It might be a bit mean to post about this as you can no longer get your hands on it but I thought it was worth talking about in case 1. Jane gets the opportunity to edit another box for Givenchy or 2. you were totally unaware of the Latest In Beauty boxes and want to keep your eye out for a version you may want. Jane has actually done quite a few LIB boxes, they’re always products chosen by her and so you know they’ll be worth trying but this one was too good to resist. I have more samples than I know what to do with but still the idea of mini Givenchy skincare bits appealed to me for our upcoming holiday. I definitely didn’t need them but you know how it is.. I kinda did. The things that really swung it for me were the mini lipstick and mascara, both of which I’m saving.. I’m not sure for what but I’m a little afraid to use them. They’re just so pretty. Whatever my reasons the £17 some pounds I paid felt justified once I rifled through the contents.
Lots of people showed interest in the little purse (it was that or a notebook I think – randomly chosen) but honestly.. I’ll probably never use it.. it’s cute though. So what came in the box?
– Phenomen’Eyes Mascara
– Le Rouge Lipstick (shade 202 Rose Dressing)
– Teint Couture Fluid Foundation
– Hydra Sparkling Luminescence Moisturizing Cream
– Hydra Sparkling One Minute Glow Powder
– Hydra Sparkling Nude Look BB Cream
– Dahlia Divin
– Gentlemen Only Intense
All tiny sizes aside from the mascara and lipstick (below – and serious, HOW CUTE?) but that’s what we’ve come to expect from these beauty boxes so I’m cool with that. This one definitely felt a little more luxury, the lipstick even came in it’s own box and tissue paper.. have I mentioned how cute the lipstick is?
Possibly the best thing in this box that you can’t SEE is the promise of a free makeover (up to 40 minutes long!) and free foundation sample at your local Givenchy counter. This isn’t something I’d usually do as I feel like they’ll push me to buy something but given that the invite came from a purchase I might actually go – if I do I will let you know how it goes! If you’re interested in a more in depth run down from the lady who put this collection of products together you can read Jane’s post here however as I said it is sadly no longer available. It was a couple of weeks ago that the box launched and it sold out lightening fast (as you would imagine) but you can sign up for updates on new boxes as they launch here. I’ve bought a few LIB boxes in the past and have always been impressed so it sucks to miss a really good one – of course I will ALWAYS tweet about this kind of thing so if you don’t already – you can follow me there too!
*not sponsored, I bought the box myself, in case you were wondering 😉
Last week I cleaned ALL of my makeup brushes.. to the average person that may not sound like a mammoth task but believe me.. it was! When I had them all out drying on the side I was shocked at how many I’d amassed that I rarely use and wondered to myself how few I could actually narrow it down to. Being the procrastinator that I am those brushes sat on that side for almost a week and being as lazy as I am I couldn’t be bothered to go and get them in the morning to do my face so I actually managed without them entirely for a few days. I used a sponge for powder but otherwise got along okay with cream products.. when I DID reintroduce brushes I decided to pick a minimal set and see how I got on.. surprisingly well as it turns out.
Obviously it’s nice to have a brush for every purpose but if you’re just starting out or (like me very soon) looking to downsize your tools for travel you really don’t NEED that many! It will differ from person to person but I personally want a brush that can serve as powder/bronzer applicator, the Blush brush from Nanshy is the perfect size for me, it could obviously apply blush too however I prefer an angle for that.. I actually like the Contour brush for applying my cheek colour but this is probably because I apply it high on my cheeks and in such a way that it almost acts as my contour. I’ve found it suits me better than on the apples of my cheeks and yeah okay, maybe it’s a bit 80s but hey, I like it! The angled brush also doubles as a contour if I’m so inclined so again.. multi-tasker! If you’re looking to work with as few tools as possible those that can work double duty are worth their weight in gold!
Eyes are tough, this is where my collection is a little out of hand. I want something to lay down colour, something for the crease, to highlight my brow, to smudge my liner, to DO my liner.. the list goes on. All I REALLY need is a flat, tapered brush which can be used for an all over lid colour but the sharper edge can work well to contour the crease. You have to learn to blend well if you’re going to do away with a ‘blending brush’ but if you’re fairly modest with shadow (like me) and don’t tend to do anything too outlandish then you can definitely get away with just the one brush like the Shader from Nanshy. I would miss my smudger so I have to include the Pencil, I’m not a neat liner of eyes but find you can get a totally intentional looking smokey look if you smudge out your kohl with a little brush.
There are so many brushes I could add to this list and if you’re looking for a more comprehensive collection you can get excellent value sets like this one (which includes all of these brushes) or this that will set you up for any and every possible makeup eventuality but if I had to tell you my absolute essentials these would be they.
Which brushes could you just not live without?
*Sponsored by Nanshy
It has taken me far too long to write this post but honestly I just wasn’t sure what to say other that – this camera is amazing! I know very little about photography, I like to think I have an ‘eye’ and can frame shots relatively well however settings and such are entirely beyond me. I know which dials to twiddle to make a camera do certain things but most of the time I just mess around and hope for the best. I keep meaning to sit down and really learn more about the main tool of my trade but as they say ‘life gets in the way’ – in truth I find something ‘better’ to waste my time doing but for a novice photog this camera is the easiest thing to use to get the best possible snaps.. with extra 21st century bells and whistles that only a social media freak (that’s you, bloggers!) will appreciate. First it has a flip out ‘selfie’ screen which flips from the bottom rather than the top because apparently the angle is better.. I don’t know but I do find it massively helpful when vlogging. Oh and it does shoot HD video for those wondering, all of my weekly vlogs since I received the camera mid-vlogmas (I think it was around the 11th of Dec if you want specifics) have been shot on this as well as all blog photos. I haven’t reached for my DSLR for anything other than sit down YouTube videos since I got my PEN! I assumed it would be good for on the go photos but it’s great regardless of where you’re using it. I have managed to get some amazing shots at night using artificial light that just wouldn’t be possible (perhaps with more advanced knowledge but I don’t have that) with my Canon.
The other brilliant blogging feature is wifi – I have NO idea how this works but it creates its own wifi hot spot which you can connect to via your phone (and a free app) and download videos and photos you’ve taken. That was a bit mind blowing at first but how many times have you taken a photo on your camera you wish you could instagram? Maybe you haven’t but I have, A LOT and now that’s possible. If you wanted to be REALLY pro you could use it to take ALL of your insta photos.. I’m a little lazier than that so I don’t but it’s nice to have the option!There are so many things I could tell you about this camera but I think I will have to follow up with a video review to really show you what it can do and share the very basic tips I have on how to get the most from it if you have one. If you have one yourself and would like to share your own advice I’d love to hear it! I was very lucky to be invited to a workshop with Olympus by the lovely Jane from BritishBeautyBlogger so I did receive the camera for free however I can tell you quite honestly that if I were to lose all of my equipment and have to start over this would be the only thing I’d purchase. The flip down screen would require an adapter for my tripod so that I could actually see it rather than it be hidden by the ‘legs’ but otherwise this is a do it all tool for bloggers. If you’re starting out and considering a DSLR I would strongly suggest you check out the PEN first, it’s lightweight and portable.. much easier to take with you on the go but still take amazing photos and video.. all you need!
You can find more info about the camera here and buy the PEN E-PL7 online here