10000 BC and 2006 are years that couldn’t be more further apart, but the former is the year eyeliner was said to be invented and the latter being the year I discovered liquid eyeliner. Amy Winehouse-esque eyes were big at the time so during break my friends and I would congregate in the school bathroom perfecting our technique, although not quite as garish. But I’ve since been through my fair share of liquid eyeliners, from Collection 2000′s Fast Stroke Eyeliner for a cheap as chips £2.99 to a reasonably priced Super Liner Perfect Slim from L’Oreal. The two still get a thumbs up, but the past few months have seen me test some new contenders below:
If there’s one thing I’m not very fussed about, it’s my brows. I rarely fill them and I never pluck, thread, wax or arch them into oblivion, but as of late the saying ‘brows frame the face’ has truly sunk in and I’ve been looking to do something about them. Being pretty much happy with the shape of my brows but in need of something to tame and fill, I’ve been brow-sing around and the first product on my radar is the HD Brows Palette in Foxy which also doubles up as a great eyeshadow quad for a neutral smokey eye. The shadows are easy to blend and smudge, but they pack a punch in pigment so it’s best to use the right brush like Bobbi Brown’s Eye Brow Brush and a light hand or one stroke too many will take you from super groomed to Scouse Brow.
But if you prioritise ease over super groomed, then the Eyeko Brow Gel* is your friend. A quick swipe of the tinted gel over the brows and they’re thicker, in shape and set. I find gels easier to work with as the spoolie allows you to move the hairs and create your desired shape in comparison to brow pencils and palettes which can be a slightly intimidating. And if that’s not enough it’s also handbag friendly and won’t spill everywhere unlike the HD Brows Palette - powder everywhere…
Looking for a tint like the Eyeko Brow Gel and the definition of a pencil? Then the Soap & Glory Archery* would ideally be your thing but it’s my least favourite of the three with good reason – it doesn’t work. It takes a lot of elbow grease and tugging around the eye area to get Archery to show up on the skin so it gets a thumbs down from me.
We all know Mavala for their iconic 5ml nail polishes, but how many of us knew they did makeup? I was definitely out of the loop until I heard about their Sugar Free Lip Gloss* collection of six candy hued lip glosses. I think when a brand like Mavala is well known for a particular thing, its best to just stick to it and do it well however after having a play around with the lip glosses I’m so all over Strawberry and Blackcurrant that I’m going to need Mavala to bring out some more shades.
First things first, these lip glosses pass the No Stickiness Test – a lip gloss can be made from diamonds for all I care, but it won’t be touching my lips if it’s sticky. Now that’s one box ticked, the others? Lip gloss applies like a dream, tiny particles of Mother of Pearl for shimmer to give that ‘wet look’, vanilla scent so good you might eat it, perfect juxtaposition of sheer and bright and there’s also free radical fighting vitamin E and nourishing grape seed oil thrown in for good measure. As far as I’m concerned, Blackcurrant is on my short list of the best lip glosses, but for £10.25 I’d feel slightly guilty handing over the cash however it’s definitely worth it so my guilt would quickly disappear.
With an oversaturated cosmetics market it’s hard to find something that really stands out, so when I come across something innovative I’m all ears and I’m definitely paying attention to acclaimed jewellery house Belmacz‘s makeup line thanks to one particular ingredient in the products… gold! It’s quite interesting to see a fashion or jewellery house venture into cosmetics, either they get it right à la Tom Ford, Chanel and Bulgari or go horribly wrong for a number of reasons so when I first heard that Belmacz, known for their quirky jewellery pieces were going to be launching the Aura Balm* I honestly wasn’t that enthusiastic, however it’s been quite some time since the launch and I’ve had the chance to play around with a few of their other products and I’ve been able to form a full opinion.
Most of Belmacz‘s products contain some amount of gold in it as well as crushed pearl, rosehip oil, cocoa butter, and vitamin E. Out of their small collection my favourite has to be the Glow Gold Leaf Lipgloss* in shades Infrared and Ruby. It’s sheer yet buildable and the chunky flecks of 24 carat gold leaf give great shine. Another favourite is the Aura Balm, a multi-tasking product with 24 carat gold leaf and ultra-fine crushed pearl powder which is perfect for highlighting along the cheekbones and a quick dab on the lips. Its subtle scent of rose makes it lovely to dab around the wrists too.
Considering that there’s actual gold in the products you’d think the line would be overtly luxury and snooty but the packaging is quite straight forward with see-through pop-up lids and the shades of the Glow Gold Leaf Lipgloss are bold and bright – it’s a great cross between luxury and fun.
If you want to bring some gold into your life Brits can find Belmacz at Cult Beauty, Emirati’s at Backstage Dubai and Parisian’s at Colette.