Sunday, 18 May 2014

I don't normally do beauty product reviews...

...Partially because I'm not good at reviews in general (a quite accomplished journalist once told me that my reviews read more like sketches, but I still don't really understand what sketches are in the journalistic sense, and they're usually about politics...) and partially because I know nothing about make up or beauty, not naturally being a possessor of it.  Everything I know about how to apply make up I copied from what make up artists do to me at shows, and even then it continually looks half arsed (though in fairness, 99% of my make up is applied on moving trains, so maybe I could do better).  I wore heels for a day a week and half ago and my feet still hurt.  If someone actually invented Homer Simpson's make up gun I would totally use it.   Basically, I am a shambolic, fraud of woman.  Anyway, as ever, I digress.

I don't usually do beauty product reviews, but then I'm never normally impressed by beauty products, because they keep not making me look anything like Kate Moss, as is often unfairly suggested by the advertising.  But a good product deserves a shout out, so a shout it it's going to get.  I'm talking about Benefit's Big Easy liquid to powder multi-balancing complexion perfector.  The box says "Bigger than BB", but a BB cream is this product's closest living relative; it's more than a BB cream and less than a foundation.  Let me explain.

I've not historically been impressed by BB creams (though all three I've owned have been under the £5 mark and the last less than £3.50 I think.  I am not one to spend a lot on make up, I ALWAYS get the cheapest thing I can find, but I think maybe with BB creams the expensive ones really are better). They've always been too dark for me, as they tend not to come in the same range of shades as foundation, and offer little to no coverage.  The last one was by Miss Sporty, and it was just awful.  I bought it because my regular foundation (Rimmel Match Perfection in Porcelain) is £7, and although that's average for a good foundation, I was really trying to scrimp.  Anyway, it lasted just under two months, which is a shockingly short amount of time, but thank heavens, as I was bored ploughing on with it.  The consistency was barely thicker than water (if you opened the tube upright, it would flood out over your lap), it had weird bright red streaks in it, and there was basically no coverage, although it was dark enough to leave tidelines if you didn't blend really well.  The only good thing I have to say for it was it was very moisturising - I didn't usually use any serum or moisturiser before applying it, as I didn't need to.

So although I have more foundation now, I decided I wanted something lighter and more natural for summer, and had originally hit the Benefit counter in search of You Rebel tinted moisturiser - I've never tried it, but I know friends wear it, and that it has SPF, which is necessary in a summer skin product.  But when I tried a smidge, I wasn't that impressed, as it was, as usual, far too dark for my pale skin.  The sales lady was immediately on at me to try their BB cream, which is why I hate staffed make up counters.  I have to talk to people - urgh - and they'll make me buy stuff. I relented, and tried a bit, and it was much paler, and because I hate to disappoint people by not buying things when they've tried so hard to sell me them, I reluctantly allowed her to ring it up for me, despite it costing an eye-watering (and just about everything else-watering) £27.50.

But I wore it for the first time today and I have to say - this is some good shit.  It's exactly what I wanted; a light, even coverage, that just made my skin look naturally "nice" for lack of a better word, without covering up my freckles (I'm not fussed on whether my freckles show or not, just an indicator of how deep the coverage is).  It did appear to, as it claimed, "self adjust" to match my skin tone.

But what I was impressed by was the liquid to powder finish.  I was wary when the sales lady told me that it was a matte finish, as even though I wear powder to combat shine, I also have areas of dry skin, particularly on my nose, and matte is no good for that, and I just generally find matte products quite dull and dry.  Now, I didn't moisturise before applying the Big Easy, as instructed on the box, and that was a mistake - it felt quite dry going on and absorbed almost instantly, meaning I ended up using more than I'd like, and it's only a small tube, and it cost me the price of a weekly zones 1-2 travelcard.  BUT, it does exactly what it says on tin, it dries to a velvety, powder like finish.  I *could* have applied a little powder to my forehead, but only if I wanted a really, really done up look, for a natural look, this really did the job of eliminating shine, without being at all thick, claggy or overbearing.  It dried out the skin on my nose (despite claiming to be "moisture balancing" whatever that exactly means), but this is common for me, and I think if I'd moisturised first you'd barely have noticed.  And it didn't leave my skin looking dull, it looked bright and refreshed.  Plus, it does last - I'd had it on a good six or seven hours before I notice signs of it fading. Oh best thing - it's SPF 35, so perfect for protecting skin from sun damage in summer.

I'm not sure how long it will last, and thus how good value it will work out to be - the sales lady told me it lasts for ages as you only need to use a little bit, but it is really not a large tube - but if you want a light product for summer that still has some coverage, and particularly if you have shiny skin or just prefer a matte finish that is still natural looking, I guarantee you will like this.  It comes in six shades; I have 01 Fair, and the darkest is I think "Deep Beige" which is a sort of caramel colour I think, so sadly we're not really catering for women of colour here, yet, but hopefully they will expand.  The colours are quite flexible in that they adapt to your skin tone.  I've included a picture of a model wearing the darkest shade below, for reference.

So that is my not particularly well written, rambling, but hopefully still informative Big Easy product review/appreciation.  For a beauty blog written by someone who actually has a clue what they're talking about, check out my friend Jill Robinson's blog here:

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