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…
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…
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?
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!
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.
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.