Now, you all know that I’m usually all about the positive vibes. Aside from when I have to drive past a cyclist or see shoes made out of denim – ugh- I generally avoid negativity and focus on the good. However, I do think there’s a time and a place for some constructive criticism, and a beauty blog seems like just that. I’ve recently found myself a little less than impressed with a few products in my makeup bag, and now that they’re used up I had two choices: 1. shake my fist at the sky, throw them in the bin and spit on them (dramatic), or 2. take some snaps, talk through why I was unhappy with you guys and then pop them in the bin sans-spit (sensible and mature). View Full Post
HELLO THERE, FOXY LADIES (and foxy men too). I was invited along to the new Smashbox store in the Bullring a couple of weeks ago, but unfortunately because I haven’t tricked a rich man into marrying me yet and still have to work the 9-5, I wasn’t able to make it down. However, the lovely folk at Smashbox very kindly sent me a few of their new releases to try out – and what absolute beauties they are. I thought I’d put together this quick first impressions post so we can get get all loveheart-eye-emoji over the products together, and then you know what you need to rush out and buy immediately.
It has to be said, as a person who generally goes through life from kerfuffle to kerfuffle, there aren’t that many times that I get to feel really pleased with myself. One of those rare moments came a couple of weeks ago though, when out of the blue I was contacted by the lovely Clare from Seventeen (superb name, it has to be said). She had read my recent makeup review of their new highlighter and primer – which you can read here if you so wish – and emailed me just to say how much she had enjoyed it.
It was so nice to hear that brands read what we write (I was especially delighted that she’d liked my ‘Pore-tsmouth’ joke, which I personally thought was a corker) and so the email in itself was enough to make my day – but then Clare said she would love to send us a few other bits to try out. Cue me becoming the most excited person in the world, and Seventeen automatically jumping right to the top of my Nicest Brands EVER list.
Two of the products I received a couple of days later were the brand new Stay Time Foundation in shade ‘Natural’, and the Stay Time Long Wear Primer. Longevisty is definitely one of the most important things for me when it comes to makeup. I have very long days, generally leaving the house before 7am and often not getting in again until 8pm. My commute to work also includes a horrible bus journey and around half an hour of walking each way, so depending on the weather my makeup is seriously put to the test. This new range’s promise of a long lasting base, then, was music to my ears and I couln’t wait to give it a whirl.
Firstly, the primer. It’s very different to the Flawless Poreless Primer, which in my review I describe as being a very thin balm which you can barely see or feel. Stay Time Primer is the more standard liquid primer that I’m used to. A thin layer of it goes on almost invisibly, but leaves you with a noticeable, slightly tacky base to work with. This sounds unpleasant, but it’s really not.
Next, the foundation. For one, I really like the packaging. You can’t really see in the photo but the pump twists around to lock and unlock – perfect for people like me (what some may call ‘idiots’) who are always losing lids and finding their makeup swimming in leaked foundation. At first I thought that shade ‘Natural’ might be too dark for me, but actually once I started applying it I was pleasantly surprised that I think my pale skin tone can just about get away with it. I buffed it into my skin with my usual brush, and have to admit I did find it a bit tricky to blend. I’m not sure whether it was the foundation itself or, as I suspect, the surface that the primer had created that made it a bit stubborn.
I persevered though and was actually incredibly pleased with the result. Although it’s not listed as one of the benefits, the Stay Time Foundation provided a lovely matte finish, which is perfect for me. It also promises full coverage, which I can confirm it delivers – yesterday I had an extremely attractive spot develop right at the side of my nose, and today the SPOT IT HIDDEN.
The coverage might be a bit too heavy for some people, especially when combined with the primer, but generally I like heavy coverage so it was great for me. I was also shocked, nay GOBSMACKED, after raving on about Flawless Poreless so much, to see that my pores are even less visible when using the Stay Time products than they are with that – so a huge thumbs up.
And what about the most important thing – the 25 hour lasting claims? Well, obviously, I haven’t tested it for a full 25 hours – I don’t know what sort of lives Seventeen’s target market lead, but I for one am usually in bed by half ten with a cup of tea and my Kindle. It did get tested on one of my busy work days, though, and I have to say I am hugely impressed! I had to touch up my powder and blusher through the day as usual, but when I got home in the evening my foundation was looking considerably fresher than it usually would at that time.
I would definitely recommend the Stay Time range to people who like a full coverage, or for those those who have a busy day ahead of them and want to be sure their makeup is staying put. I also think this will be great for a night out, when we generally want a heavier coverage anyway (and might actually stay up past – gasp – eleven pm!) Overall, I’m really impressed with these products and they’ve continued to change my perception of the Seventeen brand.
The primer retails in Boots for £5.49, while the foundation costs £6.49.
Have any of you tried these products? What do you think of the Seventeen brand?
I have to admit, Seventeen has always been one of those brands that I just breeze past when I’m in Boots and never really bother considering buying from. It’s not a snobbery thang; it’s no secret that I’m more than happy to try the cheaper makeup brands and have plenty of Collection and MUA in my makeup bag. Rather, I just always assumed that Seventeen was just as the name suggests – a very young brand, on par with Miss Sporty in the sense that they cater to that ‘first makeup’ market.
However, when I saw Seventeen’s new releases I realised I might have been a bit quick to judge all these years, as they looked very interesting indeed. I popped into Boots at the weekend and lo and behold, they had a Buy One Get One Half Price offer on, so of COURSE both of these ended up coming along to the till with me. Sigh.
Seventeen Flawless Poreless Primer
Up until recenty, my pores never really had much impact on my life. About six months ago, in our pre-beauty blogging days, Lauren complained to me about her large pores and I remember literally thinking ‘what are you on about you idiot, nobody cares about their pores’. For me, legitimate skin complaints included spots, blemishes, dark circles, dry skin, oily skin, flaky skin and scabby skin – people who actually thought about their pores were clearly people with too much time on their hands.
And then, I suppose I got too much time on my hands.
I suddenly one day became aware of my pores. I noticed they were definitely there, and more problematically, they were bloody massive. They were all I could see when I looked in the mirror and I genuinely wondered whether when people looked at me their eyes were just about to travel down a fraction and settle on my large pores.
So when I saw this Flawless Poreless Primer, I knew I immediately had to try it. I’ve only ever really used
glorified moisturisers liquid primers before, so at first I was a bit bamboozled by this balm-like product. Also as I initially swiped my fingers across it and could feel and see absolutely nothing on my finger tips, I began to think I’d royally been had. Then I actually applied the primer to my skin, and most important around my nose a.k.a. Pore City (a.k.a. Pore-tsmouth if I’m feeling particularly humorous), and I was FLABBERGASTED. It just smoothed right over them, like Pollyfiller for the face. I’ve heard people use the word ‘airbrushed’ to describe their skin after some primers and foundations and thought they were being dramatic, but that’s honestly how that particular area looked after using this.
I know the lighting etc is completely different on the following photos, but hopefully they’ll still give you an idea of how visible my pores were without the primer, versus their invisibility cloak with the primer:
I am genuinely ridiculously impressed with Flawless Poreless for its ability at hiding my pores, but how is it for actually making my makeup last? Well… also ridiculously good if I’m honest. I don’t think I realised but I must be quite used to my foundation casually slipping off my face over the course of the day, as usually by the time I go to the gym after work I look a lot more bare-faced. This week though, I’ve been heading to the gym with what looks like a full face of makeup (which everyone knows is the ultimate gym faux pas; it’s been an embarrassing time, I assure you).
This is sold for £5.99 in Boots and is honestly worth every penny. Seventeen, I am sorry I judged you.
Seventeen Wow! Skin Highlighter
The second product that caught my eye was this 3-way highlighter. As you may know, I’m very new to the highlighting game and was left somewhat unimpressed with my Bare Minerals ‘Radiance’ highlighter. When I heard this Seventeen product praised as a Benefit High Beam dupe then, I was feverish with excitement. It’s called a 3 way highlighter as, who’d have thunk it, it can apparently be used three ways – either underneath foundation as a primer, mixed in with foundation as some sort of all-over dewy base creator, or applied to cheekbones and all those other pointy bits you’re meant to put highlighter on (as I said, I’m new to this).
On day 1 I mixed it with my foundation. I wasn’t a huge fan of this look as it seemed primarily to thin out my foundation, leaving a much sheerer coverage. It also left me a bit glowy, but not really in an ‘ah, I’m an angel!’ way, but rather a ‘I’ve just had to walk pretty briskly to catch my bus’ way. HOWEVER, I do think that there are some days when this effect will be much more appropriate – I don’t mean to be a complete yob, but I’m mainly thinking those hangover days when your skin looks all pallid and you need to be perked up.
Next I used it just to highlight. It has a really lovely, pearly sheen to it that thankfully isn’t at all glittery (pet peeve). As you can see, when blended out it goes really sheer and is maybe not noticeable enough, so it’s a good idea not to try to blend it in too much and instead just stipple it on lightly.
At 30ml it’s not the biggest bottle, and depending on how you use it it might not last you that long. Again though, at £5.99 I would say it’s worth the money considering how expensive other brands can be (yeah Bare Minerals, I’m looking at you).
Have any of you tried these products? What did you think?