MAC Brow Set Vs L’Oreal Brow Artist Plumper

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Right L’Oreal Brow Plumper Left Mac Brow Set

 

 

Brow set is a staple in my makeup bag, Girls if you don’t own or know about brow set then get to know! MAC Brow Set in the shade Show Off is well noted in my blog as one of my favourite products so when I heard L’Oreal were bringing their own version out I was super excited to get my hands on it. For the Brow Set novices out there, Brow set is a great alternative for those of you like myself that aren’t too handy with a brow pencil or it can be used in conjunction with a brow pencil to tame unruly brows or plump sparse brows. I would recommend if you are going to use a Brow Gel alone that your brows are neatly plucked and not too overgrown!

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Right L’Oreal Brow Set Medium/Dark Left Mac Brow Set Show Off

 

MAC Brow Set £13.50

This Brow Set comes in 3 shades, I use the darkest shade which is Show Off. As much as I love this product it has to be said the shades are a little strange, Show Off the shade that I use is a dark brown but has a mahogany/reddish undertone, the next shade is Beguile which I would recommend for slightly lighter brows has a gold undertone and there’s also a clear shade.I am surprised  that there is not a bigger shade range or more neutral shades however once applied the undertones are not as prominent and you are left with gorgeous results. To apply, firstly I comb my brows with and old (clean) mascara brush to ensure my brows are in place and then I gently comb on the Brow Set  making sure there is not too much product on the wand. This fills in any gaps, plumps my brows and sets them into place without them looking stiff or clumpy. If you do happen to make a mistake I find that its quite easy to wipe away without looking smudged or having to start again.

L’Oreal Brow Artist Plumper £5.99

It has taken me quite some time to get my hands on this but finally after several trips to Boots I now have this in the shade Medium/Dark. A great starting point is that  its half the price of the MAC Brow Set priced at £5.99, and this also comes in 3 shades, Blonde, Medium/Dark and Clear. The first difference is the size of the wand which is much smaller, I do find that this makes it much easier to control the product and comb the hairs into place. Both the consistency and the colour are vastly different to the MAC Brow Set,the shade Medium/Dark definitely bears more ashy tones and is not a deep as Show Off so if you were to have dark brown or black hair you may find that this is not quite dark enough for you.  I have also found that The Brow Artist Plumper dries much faster and  some what stiffer which makes it quite hard to correct if you do happen to make a mistake.

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Top L’Oreal Brow Plumper Bottom- Mac Brow Set

The Verdict

I’m really  torn as I like both products and they both have some great features, I love the smaller brush on the L’Oreal Brow Plumper but I also love the colour and depth that the MAC Brow Set provides. If I had to choose it would have to be the MAC Brow Set as the consistency just slightly trumps the Brow Plumper, However if you do have slightly lighter brows or don’t want to spend £13.50 I would  definatley recommend the L’Oreal Brow Plumper!

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Wearing my favourite Brow Set in ‘Show Off’

 

 

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I’m back…

Summer

A snapshot of my summer!

 

Autumn has officially arrived and with that the return of my blog! Its been a little while since my last post, I took a little ‘Me’ time over the summer to do grown up things like buying my own apartment and I also squeezed in a holiday!

Taking a break means I have so much to talk about so for my first post it only seems right to talk about some of the products I’ve been loving over the summer and into Autumn.

The first thing I have to mention is my skin,Its been a very long emotional journey but finally I can say have clear skin. It’s not perfect but what girl my age can say they never get a spot!  It’s hard to believe how bad my skin was when I look back at my previous blog posts. If there is anyone reading this that suffers with oily acne prone skin then I would highly recommend using MD Formulations skin care it has literally changed my life. I started off with the Anti-Blemish kit but now just use the products individually as my skin has improved so much.  I use the Facial Cleansing Gel every morning and night while showering, followed by the Glycare Lotion and use the Vit- a-Plus clearing complex if I have a spot emergency. I wasnt keen on the moisturiser that came in the pack,I found it way too drying even for my oily skin but the cleanser, lotion and clearing complex are a total winner and I urge anyone who is suffering with acne fed up with antibiotics to give these amazing products a try.

With summer behind us it only means one thing… Fake tan Thursdays are back! Strangely enough the tan I’m loving right now is one that last year I couldn’t stand! The tan in question is the Vita Liberta Extra Rich Tinted Self Tan lotion, its my go to tan every Thursday at the moment. The tan has a gel like texture and when applied feels virtually undetectable which is where I was going wrong last year- I was applying way too much. You really don’t need to use much to get a flawless,even natural looking tan. The tan claims to give optimum skin conditioning and a perfect fade which I am in total agreement with.This tan really is long-lasting and fades naturally like no other tan I have come across, I don’t feel the need to scrub it all off and start again after 5 days!

One thing I give up when the summer ends is my lash extensions, I think its important to give my lashes a break so am always on the hunt for a great mascara. My current favourite is the Lancome Hypnose Drama and I have to say this mascara is so good I am really enjoying having my lashes natural. The shape of the brush really allows me to coat every single lash and the deep black  shade  gives me really  the really dramatic thick lashes that I love!

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Wearing Lancome Hypnose Drama

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My Skin Struggle

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I haven’t blogged for a few weeks because I’ve been really struggling with my skin so this post is a little sensitive for me and not something I would usually share. My doctor  has advised that I am suffering with both inflamed and comedongenic acne. For those of you that don’t know inflamed acne is the larger red spots or yellow heads and comedogenic acne is under the skin such as black heads and blocked pores. I have tried various topical lotions such as Zinert and Dalacin T in the past and both worked for a short period of time but became less effective as time went on.

Contrary to what people believe I have real problem skin (I’ m just really good at doing my makeup!) and was prescribed a course of Erythromycin antibiotics 250mg 4 times a day for 3 weeks to try and clear my acne. I have now completed the course and there has been an improvement with the inflamed acne but I still have problems underneath my skin. I have posted a before and after picture below and you can see that my skin looks congested and almost looks bobbly.

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Left- Before Erythomycin Right-After

 

I sent this picture of my skin to the online doctor at Pharmacy2u.co.uk and they have been fantastic. I have now been prescribed Skinorem cream (Azelaic Acid) which is meant to help unblock the pores- I will keep you posted on my progress. If your struggling with your skin and are unable to get to the doctors I would 100% recommend using Pharmacy2u who will give you an online consultation and prescribe medicine if needed.

Another product I have found has really helped me and works wonders in Panoxyl Aquagel 10. This is a gel that contains Benzoyl Peroxide which is used to treat acne and it really works especially for inflamed acne or if you have a spot you need to get rid of by the morning! You apply this at night as a film on the skin- Be careful as the peroxide on this will bleach your sheets!

I am lucky that I am able to cover my acne with make up  but failing the Skinorem cream I am thinking about asking to go onto Dianette. I would be really interested to hear any suggestions or if anyone else has suffered with this type of acne.

 I will keep you updated on my progress…

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Panic Proof Makeup…

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There’s not many foundations that actually really live up to their claims of being long wearing, sweat proof and all that jazz! However there are a few hero products that really do last all day and aren’t making a swift exit from your face by 11am! The first of these being Estee Lauder Double Wear which I have reviewed previously and the second being Mac’s Pro-Longewear Foundation. So naturally when I had an interview on Monday (massive panic mode) I was going to reach for one of these beauty’s!

I chose to use my Mac Pro-Longwear foundation which I wear in the shade NC35. I probably am more towards shade NC30 at the moment but I can still get away with NC35 when blended in. The shades in the Pro-long wear are most definitely not as yellow toned as the Studio Fix Fluid and it also has a pump unlike the Studio Fix Fluid.

To apply this I use either a Mac 187 stippling brush for a lighter airbrushed finish or a beauty blender. If you are wanting to build up or layer this foundation I would definitely recommend using a beauty blender rather than a brush as dry’s pretty quickly and can set into lines and pores too much is applied.

I have read reviews in the past where by people have said that this foundation ages them- I can certainly relate to this and would agree that if you use too much product or its not applied with care this may happen. I have also noticed that this foundation can be quite sticky if you use too much.

Having said this it is a beautiful flawless foundation if applied correctly and really does last all day. I have tried and tested this all day long and dancing all night at a Beyoncé concert and I find that if I am slightly shiny by the end of the day its more dewy than oily.

Pro-Long VS Double Wear

Double Wear
Medium/Full Coverage
Brilliant shade range (More neutral shades than MAC)
Non Acnegenic
Slightly longer wearing than PL Wear

Pro-Longwear
Medium Coverage
No flashback in photos (DW doesn’t photograph well)

Over all I would say Double Wear takes the crown for long wearing foundation but if your looking for an alternative with a lighter coverage that’s photo friendly Pro-Longwear is another great option for us oily girls!

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Pro-Longwear NC35

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All wearing Pro-Longwear NC35

Love Zoe

XOXO

Balmain Hair Extensions & B-loved Review

Balmain Double Hair 5 Pieces

So let me start by telling you about my past relationships with hair extensions… Its fair to say I’ve been around a bit! Weaves, Racoon, Wefts,Pre Bonded,Clip ins you name it I’ve had it! All of these which have ended in heartbreak, bald patches, and breakage, that is until I met my perfect match in Balmain.

I am naturally blessed with soft shiny hair but what it most certainly lacks is volume,I could spend hours blow drying my natural hair only to be met with the slightest gust of wind and I’m back to square one. I have wore extensions for many years for both length and volume and until I was introduced to Balmain was struggling to find extensions that looked natural with minimum damage to my own hair.

I first started my budding relationship with Balmain back in February 2012 and can honestly say I haven’t looked back. I had 5 pieces of Balmain Double Hair fitted at Georges Hairdressing in Leicester and as soon as they were fitted I knew it was love at first sight I felt so glamorous!

The extensions were fitted as 2 wefts together with your natural hair inbetween and secured by small bonds.What I really loved about these extensions was the length of time they took to fi within 1 hour I was transformed with long flowing locks! Secondly…No pain! Ever had a weave and felt like you had a face lift? Because these extensions are fitted quite loosely it means there is no pain or strain on your natural hair, you can also put your hair up really easily without pulling.

Another amazing thing about Balmain is that you get a 6 month guarantee on the hair and they can be re-used. Since having my first set of Double hair fitted I have only purchased new hair an additional 3 times which means I am getting a good 6 months wear out of the hair.

Obviously you need to ensure you are looking after your extensions as you would your own hair by using the right products.I recommend the Loreal Mythic Oil Shampoo and also the Balmain Conditioner which makes my hair super shiny, I would also recomend using a Tangle Teezer after washing. 

I cannot rave about Balmain enough and most definitely couldn’t be without my Double Hair. Whether my hair is long, short, blonde or brunette you can guarantee I’ll be rocking my Double Hair.

Looking for extra little extra…

A few weeks ago the lovely people at Balmain HQ kindly chose me as a winner for one of their twitter competitions. I was beyond excited as the prize as £50 to spend at their online webshop. 

One of the items I chose was the Balmain B-loved which is a hair piece that clips onto the crown to give extra volume. It also doubles up as a ponytail and a bun, and I am a girl that loves a bun! I have the B-loved in the colour Dark Expresso and it is the perfect match for my brunette locks. The B-Loved is really versatile and unlike other hair pieces you can curl and straighten it. I have posted a link below for those of you who want to see a video of the B-Loved in action.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZL2h4SVXNIs&noredirect=1

Wearing Balmain B-Loved on the crown

Wearing B-loved as a pony
Make Up Used:
Mac Studio Fix Fluid NC20
Mac Pro-Long wear concealer NC20
Studio Fix Powder NC40
Diego Dalla Palma Bronzer
Mac Springsheen Blush
Mac Hue Lipstick
Mac Lipglass in Prrr
Brows- Mac Brow Gel- Showoff

Messy Bun with B-loved Make up used: Maybelline Superstay better skin-Sand Rimmel wake me up concealer-Soft beige Sleek-Luminous Powder Rimmel stay blushed-Sunkissed Cherry Diego Dalla Palma Bronzer Sleek lipstick-Barely there  Brows-Spike Pencil MAC

Messy Bun with B-loved
Make up used:
Maybelline Superstay better skin-Sand
Rimmel wake me up concealer-Soft beige
Sleek-Luminous Powder
Rimmel stay blushed-Sunkissed Cherry
Diego Dalla Palma Bronzer
Sleek lipstick-Barely there
Brows-Spike Pencil MAC

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Welcome to A Blushing Brunette

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Welcome to my first post on A Blushing Brunette!

I am a 26 year old girl from Leicester that lives for fashion & make up! Amongst other things!

I spend a lot of my time scouring the internet for makeup reviews and blogs but find there’s not a lot for oily skinned girls like myself.

Since my HG foundation Chanel Pro Lumiere was discontinued years ago I have been searching for the perfect canvas!

Come and join me on my journey…

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