Not to show my age but I've been a big fan of Benefit Cosmetics for over a DECADE. It's a brand that doesn't take itself too seriously and that's exactly what I'm about. They have easy to use, effective makeup in fun and relatable packaging. Today's Benefit product is no exception to the rule.

For me, the cult Benefit beauty products have to be their blusher boxes. From the days of Dandelion, I was a collector (until I realised that keeping them for years was pretty manky in terms of makeup bacteria - but they DO last for ages

The newest addition to the blusher box collection is the Benefit GALifornia blush, a golden pink powder.

With 7 shades currently available, I did wonder if Benefit could come up with ANOTHER colour in the shade range but it doesn't disappoint. Let's take a closer look....

Infused with the signature GALifornia Dreamin' scent, it smells like pink grapefruit & vanilla. Even the brush has had an upgrade from the regular square shape - the GALifornia brush is rounded, for a softer more diffused application.

The colour itself is similar to Benefit Cosmetics Coralista blush, but slightly pinker & more glowy. Both would look fab in the summer with a tan. BRING ON THE SUN.

I first discovered the GALifornia blush backstage at Mark Fast where Lisa Potter-Dixon, head makeup artist for Benefit showed me how she created the catwalk look.

If you can't be bothered to watch the interview, here's a spoiler - SHE USED BLUSH ON THE EYES. Yes, coral blush on the eyes!

For me, pink eyes just says conjunctivitis, or pink-eye right? Well I decided to have a go at recreating the makeup look myself, in the comfort of my bedroom (just in case it didn't work out) and the results were surprising!

GALifornia blusher on the eyelids and blue They're Real mascara - who'd thought it would be so wearable?!

|What did I learn? Well, blue mascara is just 👌🏻 - especially layered on the tips, over black mascara.

Also, coral eyes are surprisingly wearable - ever since I tried red eye makeup at Halloween, I've been more interested in trying this colour. Definitely will be seeing more of me in this soon!

What do YOU think? Pretty pink eyes, or still just pink-eye? Tweet me your thoughts @FaceValueBlog or send me a comment on Facebook!

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Pretty in Pink Eyes: LFW Hero Makeup Benefit Cosmetics GALifornia blush gets put to the test!

As a beauty blogger, I am up to my ears in fun stuff to try, test and review. A special soap for my nose, a speed drier for my brushes, you'd think I have enough to keep me entertained but the beauty junkie in me will always find something else to crave. It genuinely is a bit of an addiction.. I'm definitely in the right business!

February is the month of love and lust and the beauty item I've been lusting after this month is the Pro Blo Curl Me set. The team over at treated me to £50 off my Febrary lust-have and it was an absolute no brainer. Pro Blo, you must be mine!💓💓💓

What is the Pro Blo? It's essentially a barrel brush with detachable barrels. Basically THE blowdry product that I've been waiting years for. The Prince Charming of hair styling.

It's essentially a barrel brush with detachable barrels so you can curl your hair and clip them in like rollers.

To be honest, I'd love to be one of those ladies that gets a regular blowdry at a salon, but frankly it's time consuming and expensive. With the Pro Blo brush, I can now get big, bouncy curls that last all day. Even on my straight hair!

No more will I be getting a round brush stuck in my hair. No longer will my curls be going straight with minutes. The Pro Blo does what it says on the tin - it's a professional blow dry, at home.

Let's see it in action

It's official - I'm in love. My bank balance loves it too as I'm no longer paying for costly salon styling. The only people suffering are all those who can no longer see behind me due to the bounciness of my hair! (Oh yeah, and poor Mr FV who has to deal with me bouncing around on a regular basis - but even he can see a difference though!)

What do YOU think? Do you like salon blowdries or would you rather be able to do them at home? Tweet me your thoughts @FaceValueBlog or send me a comment on Facebook!

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February LUST HAVE : Pro Blo CURL ME Youtube Review & Blowdry Tutorial

Okay, I'll admit it. For a long time I thought face masks were pointless. Do face masks work? Do they even make a difference? For a long time I didn't believe in them at all. And then it all changed. 

I genuinely think I'm a bit addicted now. I've got a whole drawer just full of face masks! I realised that the main reason why I never understood what they can do was because I was using 49p pouches of gimmicky mud mask (chocolate bubblegum flavour or some bollocks like that), and when I did use them, it was maybe once every few months.

I've since realised that to see the effects (and appreciate the magic) - you need to follow three simple rules:

1) Face mask more regularly.

2) Don't skimp on the ingredients
3) Use the right mask for your skin concern

Let me elaborate further.

How it works for me now

I now use face masks at least once a week - and sometimes up to three times, depending on how I'm feeling (read: how many days I've got no social plans)

I don't rely on just one kind of mask either. Different parts of my face have different concerns, at different times. Have you heard of multi masking? Different masks for different areas of your face? Well it makes sense.

Face Mask Cheat Sheet

Mud based masks draw out oil and impurities. Great for big pores, my nose and the t zone.

Cream based masks are great for hydration, soothing itchy skin and anti-ageing. For me, that's forehead, cheeks and neck. (Yep, don't forget the neck!)

Sheet masks are the new "it" thing. They work on the concept that the mask ingredients are held close to the skin under the face-shaped sheet, so that the goodies are absorbed quicker and more effectively. 

Sleep masks - possibly not even on your radar but I am a CONVERT. These are basically intense night treatments that you sleep in. And no, before you get ideas of mud all over your pillow, most of the ones I've tried are either like heavy night creams or gels which are relatively absorbed by the time you hit the hay.

Acid masks - whether it's fruit acids, glycolic, lactic or enzyme masks, these work on the basis of sloughing off the top layer of dead skin to reveal radiant, smoother looking skin underneath. I tend to use these more in summer as my skin is more sensitive with colder weather.

My favourites

These are the products that I've tried and would buy again. I do have a good list of masks I like, but first, the ones I that I consider as skin gamechangers.

Sukin Anti Pollution Charcoal Mask

First up - the charcoal mask from Sukin, a natural brand from Australia. I'm OBSESSED with Sukin. It's organic, vegan, reasonably priced and lovely to use. One of the first brands to make me believe that natural skincare can pack a punch.

This clay masque feels absolutely sublime when slathered onto your face in a generous layer. It's a classic mud mask that dries within 20 minutes, but it doesn't pull at my face as much as other mud masks I've tried. (y'know, that feeling like your face is in a cast?!)

Ever since my trip to Australia, I've used this mask regularly and that's when I noticed the difference. I feel like my skin has become less oily and smoother to the touch. Also, as a Londoner, I like the "anti pollution" purpose, but I couldn't tell you whether it works in that respect.

It's available in Boots and online but if you buy it from Lookfantastic via this link, I'll get about 3% commission- WAHOO!

Antipodes Aura Mask
Next up, my favourite cream mask. It's the Aura mask by Antipodes - another great beauty brand from down under, this one by way of New Zealand

The key ingredient of this one is manuka honey, the powerful do-all (read: expensive) honey. Manuka joney is antibacterial, so this mask is actually great for oily or blemish prone skin.

Good news it's only £14.70 right now from HQHair here - that's a third of RRP. GO.

So yeah - here's a picture of it half used... MORE PLEASE.

Sephora Sleeping Mask

Finally - a more recent gamechanger. The SLEEP mask.

Fairly self explanatory, you apply a generous layer to your face and let it sink it for a few minutes before bed. Then you can sleep as normal (though, I'll be honest, I do try and sleep on my back more than usual)

I recently discovered these Sephora Sleep Masks. Initially I was a bit sceptical. I don't think they're entirely free of nasties and they do look like mass-produced commercial masks. However, when I used these for the first time, I actually looked in the mirror the next day and immediately noticed a difference. 

I love the Turquoise ones, the Purifying Algae masks (which are like a thick night cream) and the Green Tea mattifying masks (which are more of a gel).

Each pod has about 3-4 applications, so at $4 a go, I think they're very well priced. I was so impressed after buying 3 myself, that I asked my American friend to bring back TEN after her Xmas break. TEN.

Finally - what would a post about masks be, without a picture of me in a mask?! 

So, to summarise - have a regular treatment, don't be afraid to mix and match for different parts of your skin and definitely try masks outside of the regular mud mask category! (watch out for Sheet masks...)

What do YOU think? Tweet me your thoughts @FaceValueBlog or send me a comment on Facebook!

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Are Face Masks Worth It? My Recommendations & How I've Made Them Work For Me

GOODBYE 2016! Another year has flown by and since I've had a few days of holiday, I've actually had time to make another YouTube video - 2 vlogs in 2 weeks?! 

People always ask me, as a beauty addict who gets to try so many products, is there anything you'd actually pay for again with your own money? 

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BEST OF 2016 - Which Beauty Hero Products Would I Buy Again?

During the final week before Christmas weekend, I went to two Xmas parties with Depop and Yahoo Style. For stylish, sassy occasions like these, there was only one thing for it. GLITTER LIPS.

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NEW YOUTUBE VIDEO: How to apply Glitter Lips by Beauty Boulevard

So. I was interviewed by SmartBuyGlasses for their London Style feature, alongside Josie from FashionMumblr, Zara from MouldyFruit and Anneli Bush. HOW ABOUT THAT.

First of all, I was completely in the dark as to why they've picked me - as a complete non-established, non-famous (not even Insta-famous) blogger. 

Second of all, I wanted to stay true to myself and not take myself too seriously in the interview. Despite, the fact I think I sound like a real plodhead in the feature, I'm absolutely loving the end result. If anyone else wants to write about me, please feel very welcome! .. Anyone?!

I did say I didn't take myself too seriously..

There's been a huge shift in blogging towards 'picture perfect' girls who have immaculate dressing tables, never-ending designer wardrobes and breakfasts that would count as pieces of art. And as much as I'd love to channel that in real life, it's just not me at all. I eat Sausage & Egg McMuffins and wear Rudolph pyjamas! 😅

Youtube videos and lifestyle blogging was born from girls next door, who could just as easily be your pal or your friend's friend. I promise to continue being that person for you - regardless of whether you like my terrible jokes, poor diet or messy bedroom pictures. Thanks for sticking with me guys.

Read the full interview and London Blogger style feature here

And, in case you missed it, here's the sunglasses feature I did with SmartBuyGlasses earlier this year. I basically run around on Oxford Street and babble passionately about all my favourite things to wear and do in London. Wahey.

What do YOU think of my first ever feature? Do I sound like a proper dork? Tweet me your thoughts @FaceValueBlog or send me a comment on Facebook!

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London Blogger Style! Interviewed For SmartBuyGlasses

When it comes to eyeshadows and the best quality eyeshadow palettes, Urban Decay is a bit of a fail safe for me. Their eyeshadows are often that lovely soft, almost buttery, kind of powder which makes blending and application an absolute breeeeze.

Urban Decay Cosmetics are probably most known for their Naked eyeshadow palettes - a range of wearable neutrals in different warm/cool tones, but what about their more creative, adventurous colours?

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21 Eyeshadow Swatches! Urban Decay Full Spectrum Palette review

It's that time of the year again - the credit card comes out, the ridiculous self-justification starts ("I need these shoes because... I HAVE FEET") and the scramble to get a deal leads to you spending an hour glued to your computer, in the hope of saving a few pounds.

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Spend to save? My pick of the best Black Friday /Cyber Weekend deals

It's official! With temperatures falling into single digits, winter is here. Although I'm sad to see the end of Autumn, there is one reason for me to be please. It's a reason that's been hanging in my wardrobe for a few months now. Yes friends - it's time to wear my new coat!

I bought this navy wool and leather trenchcoat from The Kooples when on my summer holidays in France. The fact that The Kooples is french, coupled with a dip in foreign exchange meant that I saved almost 20% on the British retail price.

It still cost me £400 - which is basically the most I've ever spent on a coat butI'd just spent the week reading 'The Life-Changing Magic Of Tidying' by Marie Kondo and her mantra of only keeping and buying things that 'inspire joy' just... inspired the purchase?

In addition to inspiring joy, I figured that
1) It's a timeless, classic shape
2) I don't have any trenchcoats 
3) I'd earned a bit of money reporting from London Fashion Week and I figured it may as well go back into the industry
4) It was 20% cheaper than buying it in the UK

All of the key points that led me to justifying that I would buy this as an investment (and then probably eat beans for the rest of the month). Will it pay off? Let's find out if I'm wearing it in a couple years time..

As an accountant, you know I'm all about value so my wardrobe is definitely not all designer labels. Today's outfit sees me mix this high-end investment coat with some $19 Levi's that I bought on sale in New York and a £15 Cluse watch that I bought second-hand from Depop.

Outfit Details

M&S Suede Footglove Ankle Boots £59: The heel is the perfect height, they are comfortable enough to wear all day. They come in Khaki too.
Meli Melo Utility Bag  approx £200 - now discontinued but more details and pics here.
Levi's 501 CT jeans - £16 - Found these in the clearance section I'm going to be creating some more rips in my jeans myself soon. Should I do a DIY rip your jeans vid maybe?!
Cluse Imitation Watch £15 - second hand found on Depop (my fave)

If you're messy and a bit of a hoarder, I recommended reading the Marie Kondo book. I certainly approach buying things a bit differently now!

Previously, I'd always be about a bargain - but sometimes spending to save means you still spend. I now spend if I need to spend, and they end up being things that I really enjoy using and enjoy looking after now. Definitely recommend the book.

Are you ready for winter? What was the last "investment piece" that you bought? 

Tweet me your thoughts @FaceValueBlog or send me a comment on Facebook!

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Winter What I Wore To Work: 50 Shades Of Blue with The Kooples Trenchcoat

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