I wrote an Idiots Guide to Contouring earlier this year, and my routine and products have been much the same since then. However, I recently caught wind of a new contouring kit from Seventeen and of course HAD to give it a whirl. Seventeen is one of our favourite drugstore brands and they’re always bringing out pretty innovative stuff.
I picked the Define and Conquer Contour Kit up the next time I was in Boots for the teeny tiny price of six quid. Packaging-wise, it’s sleek and sturdy, and has a big mirror in the compact for extra super handiness.
What really appealed to me about this contour kit was that both shades are matte. Highlighters in contouring kits are usually shimmery, which is fine for cheekbones and the bridge of the nose but can lead to a serious case of sweaty upper lip syndrome – and who the devil wants that? The Seventeen highlighter is a matte, light powder, which is more pigmented than a finishing powder but still quite subtle. Unbeknownst to me, I picked the kit up in shade Medium. How was I to realise there are two options? My mind is busy thinking about important world issues such as who my favourite is on X Factor and when exactly tortilla chips become nachos. Anywho, the two-shade option is really good, because my only criticism of this product was going to be that the highlighter may not be light enough for those with pale skin. It suits my perma-tanned face just fine, but the contrast would be much more pronounced if I had the lighter kit. I’d recommend actually using your brains and your eyes to see which palette best suits you before buying.
The kit comes with a handy little guide showing you where to apply the powders in order to get the shadow and highlight that contours your face. I will say that the one thing I’ve learned about contouring is that everyone’s bone structure is so different that one technique doesn’t really fit all in this way, but it’s still really useful for those brand new to contouring.
Overall, I really like this product. I tend to go for a more matte makeup look in winter, so contouring with powders as opposed to cream products as I was before suits me really well. I also think the pigment of powders makes contouring smaller areas like the nose much easier as you don’t end up with a look so subtle it’s actually unnoticeable. The highlighter also has the extra benefit of covering pores really well, making the skin look much more flawless.
I do have one additional little niggle, and that’s how quickly I’m getting through the highlighter. As you can see from the picture, I’m already seeing the pan and this is only after like two weeks of use. Maybe it’s me getting carried away with all of the pore-hiding goodness, or maybe there needs to be a bit more product. WHO KNOWS, EH?
If you’re in the market for a new contouring kit, then I would definitely recommend giving this one a go. You can pick it up in Boots stores or on their website. There’s currently a three for two offer on across all cosmetics in Boots so GO GO GO, little monkeys.
Have any of you tried this product?
Or so I used to think.
I then started to hear news of LipVoltage, mainly because it’s loved by the likes of the Geordie Shore and TOWIE cast (look, I never pretended I take beauty tips from Kate Middleton?, okay), and eventually I caved in and had to buy the product that’s hailed as the best alternative to lip filler injections.
LipVoltage contains 2 products: The LipVoltage gloss, which you can see above in the standard lipgloss-style tube, and the MixUp the Voltage solution, which comes in that beautifully gimmicky syringe. The LipVoltage apparently contains peptides and collagen, while MixUp the Voltage is a VBE-infused plumper. I hope all of your faces are as blank as mine.
I was a bit obsessed with finding out what all that actually meant, but there’s not a huge amount about it. What I can deduce from my reading around the web is that on the most basic level, the ingredients produce a tingling, which increases circulation to the lips, which increase blood flow, and therefore leads to the plumping. Still not a simple explanation but hey ho, nothing good is ever simple.
To use, you add between 1-3 drops of MixUp the Voltage into the LipVoltage lip gloss and then mix together for 30 seconds. 1 drop is supposed to result in a warm tingle, 2 gives a warm to hot tingle, and 3 drops will produce a very hot tingle. I’ve heard tales that this ‘tingle’ is actually very, very painful – and I think, in as non-sick and masochist a way as possible – it was this that actually made me buy it. No pain no gain, right lasses?
When it comes to mixing the two, I personally don’t find it too easy to add the drops in to the gloss; the MixUp formula is quite thick and gloopy, so you have to be careful not to accidentally make loads squirt out (oo-er). However, all that REALLY matters is 1. does it hurt as much as people say it does? And 2. does it actually work?
In terms of question number 1 – it kind of hurts, yah. It’s not so much pain as a burning, slightly raw sensation similar to if you have really irritated, chapped lips. However, I definitely wouldn’t say it’s unbearable and it’s a case of mind over matter really. Yes, you might feel like your lips are burning and about to drop off. But they’re not. So what’s your beef? The burning does also stop after around 10 minutes, so if you do find it a struggle, know that it doesn’t last that long.
And onto question number 2 – yes, it basically DOES work. I’ve experimented with between 1 and 3 drops now, and do honestly think there is a more noticeable difference each time. This is mainly because of the increase in blood flow that the tingling causes to the lips – they become redder, particularly around the edges, which in turn makes them look bigger. I would say that the lips themselves aren’t actually made larger; it’s more that they puff up a bit, as they do when they’re irritated. Results aren’t drastic, but they are noticeable.
LipVoltage is notoriously hard to track down due to its cult celeb status, but I bought mine from To Make You Gorgeous and it was delivered super-quickly. At around £16 RRP, I personally think this is a really good product that is much more than a gimmick. Of course, you’re never going to achieve the effects of a cosmetic procedure like lip fillers without actually having the real thing – but for those who just want a bit of plumping, I really do recommend this product.
Have any of you tried LipVoltage? Or would you like to? Let me know in the comments below!