friday favourites: revisted

Almost Couture Manchester Fashion Blog

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One of my favourite types of TV shows are those which include a ‘where are they now’ episode. If you’re not familiar with this concept (seriously? You don’t watch enough reality television), the show hosts go back to Tina-from-New-Jersey six months after filming to see whether she’s fallen off the wagon, got married, or been arrested. Simple as that.

It’s always interesting to see whether your first impressions were correct, whether it be about Tina-from-New-Jersey, Ben & Jerry’s new ice-cream flavour, or a certain shade of lipgloss. So today, we’re going to revisit some of my Friday Favourites, to see whether I’m still as in love with them as I was initially. (What a seamlessly linked intro that was for you. Top notch.)

The three products we’ll be looking at are the Primark Beauty Blender; Ben Nye Luxury Banana Powder, and Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Concealer. I loved all three of these when I first got my hands on them – but how the tables have turned…

Primark Beauty Blender

Having wanted to try a beauty blending sponge for quite some time – but not pay the steep prices of higher-end sponges – I scoured the high street trying to find a budget alternative. After a day of searching, I eventually headed into Primark, coming away with a mild case of pink-eye – and a £1 beauty blender. (Seriously, it’s scabby in there.)

At the time, I really liked this product. So much so, I wrote a rave review about it. However, after several months of use, my love began to wane…

Clean Freak

I hate dirty makeup brushes. I don’t want to wipe something on my face which is covered in old product and – frankly – bacteria; I wash my brushes really frequently, using a proper brush wash (MAC’s is my favourite) and make sure they’re squeaky clean.

And so the question arises: how do you clean a beauty blender?

Look, I tried. Really hard. I used some brush wash, some shampoo, and even resorted to some concentrated makeup remover – but for the life of me, the sponge still looked grimy. The foundation and concealer have sunk into the sponge, forming a layer of dirty, greying product. Which I’m then going to daub all over my face.

This is a huge no-no for me, and after a while, I just couldn’t bring myself to use it. Perhaps this is due to being a budget alternative to the higher priced sponges, but it’s definitely dented my faith in the blender hype…

Nooks & Crannies

The Primark blender was egg-shaped, which I never quite understood. With increased use, I realised that the pointy end wasn’t quite pointy enough to get under the eyes or down the nose precisely; the fat end was kind of useless and barely used.

I noticed that after using the blender, I’d have to use a small concealer brush anyway to reach the areas the blender couldn’t – which just dragged out the whole operation. In the end, I wasn’t touching the blender at all, instead just using my fingers or a kabuki brush.

Ben Nye Luxury Banana Powder

Oh God, I wanted to love this product. I hankered after this for months – MONTHS! – and eventually got my hands on some for my birthday this year. Birthday made.

Except it wasn’t, really. I’ve been using Ben Nye for a few months now, and whilst my first impressions were great, as time has gone by I’ve begun to leave it out of my makeup look altogether. Here’s why…

Matte Maker

My primary issue? It’s nowhere near matte enough for my liking. Everyone raves that Banana powder is great for setting their highlighting and keeping their base in place all day – however, I didn’t find this at all.

First I started using Banana all over. Then with another translucent powder. Then only on my highlighted areas – and then not at all.

Within hours, the areas I’ve applied Banana to become oily, greasy and unpleasant to touch. My makeup doesn’t feel secure and my foundation begins to clog in my pores and shift around my face. I would slather the powder on, wait ten minutes (leaving it to ‘bake in’ to the skin) and then fluff off the excess, but even that didn’t help. I was having to touch up my powder much more often than I’ve ever done with others before, which was seriously disappointing.

Bananas & Custard

When I wrote my original review, I compared Buff and Banana in colour. I said that there wasn’t a huge difference in shades, and reckoned I could get away with Banana, even though I have a slightly pinkish skin tone.

This is bad advice. Ignore me. Stop reading the blog. (Please don’t.)

Banana definitely has more than just a yellow tinge to it; it’s quite noticeable when on the face and over a base layer. Ben Nye is famed for the Banana shade, which is why I was suckered into wanting this particular colour, but I would advise to pick yours wisely. When I’m not tanned and wearing a darker foundation, Banana makes me look somewhat jaundiced – Buff is a much better colour for my skin, as it’s much cooler and more pink, making it much better for highlighting.

Maybelline Age Rewind Eraser Eye Concealer

I bought this concealer after watching several YouTube tutorials, where the girls raved about this little miracle in a tube. If they loved it, surely I was going to love it – what could go wrong?

Covergirl

I find the coverage of this concealer to be poor to middling, at best. I don’t believe it really does anything by the way of concealing, as after a few hours of wear it has worn away. This may be something to do with my powder (see above), but it’s definitely in the spots where I’ve used this product. It gives awful coverage on my nose and tends to get cakey and chalky in minutes – not the dream!

Spongebob

This one is going to sound a bit weird – but I really hate the applicator. If you’ve never used it before, it’s got a little sponge top which product is dispersed from, and you can use it to dab onto the skin.

I feel like the sponge gets a bit damp over time from excess product, and it feels a bit slimy going onto the skin. Much like my beauty blender issues, it’s hard to clean and it seems to just gather product. I felt like I was winding the tube excessively just to get any product onto the sponge, and it ran out way quicker than any other concealers I’ve used.

Friday Favourites?

So would I buy these again?

Beauty Blender – Possibly

Next time, I’d plump for a pricier sponge. I’d also make sure I was cleaning after every application, to try and minimize build up.

Banana Powder – Possibly

I wouldn’t buy the Banana shade again, but as a highlighting powder, Buff is quite handy – I also like the look of Cameo. I think perhaps my skin is a little oily for these powders, so I’d always use a setting powder over the top of them.

Maybelline Concealer – No

After the first few applications, I just really didn’t like this product at all. The sponge weirds me out, it runs out quickly, and coverage isn’t great – overall, a total flop.

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12 thoughts on “friday favourites: revisted

  1. I was gung-ho on getting that Maybelline eraser for the same reasons you were. It’s been on my list. I like the Fitme concealer but I did notice it sort of breaks up after a while? It gets dry or something and starts to crack? If that makes sense. I think I’ll just cross the eraser off my list and stick with my NARS radiant concealer which is awesome.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. That’s it… YES! It’s flakey looking on my skin. It’s not at first, but later, check the mirror and it looks like total shit! NARS is expensive and I’d really like to find something else but I haven’t. MAC Pro Longwear is the other concealer I have and it doesn’t cover as well as NARS. There’s Studio Fix and that’s pretty good but THICK.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Omg I felt the same way about the beauty sponge until I caved and got the Beauty Blender with a free little soap that they had the promotion about and OMG did it work miracles. I like you, wash my brushes constantly, I hate germs, I hate using day old makeup on it so every day after I use my brushes I immediately wash them. When I first got a beauty sponge I noticed my regular liquid soap wasn’t going to cut it and that worried me and I stopped using my sponge, but trying a little bar soap helped so much!!! I bought a bunch during a sale and scored a bunch for free using some reward points but maybe a regular bar soap would help too. Again I couldn’t agree more about the Maybelline Eraser concealer, my under eye circles are still there and it does nothing for me. I like my Nars Concealer but that’s another one I use more for highlighting than coverage. I love my NYX Dark Circle Concealer the most and for the price I will definitely be repurchasing it. Such a shame about the Ben Nye I was curious to try it but may hold off until I can get a sample from a friend before ordering it online. Great post xoxoxo Janet

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank tou so much for your comment – it gave me so much food for thought! Re Ben Nye – it’s not horrendously pricey so maybe take the plunge, but a sample is always sensible. I defo think I’ll splurge on the real beauty blender 👌🏻 xx

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