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My Fake Tanning Routine

8 February 2017
When I mention to people that I regularly fake tan I normally hear some comments along the line of "Why don't you just go out in the sun and get a natural tan?" or "But doesn't it make you really orange like the people in TOWIE?" When you have naturally pale skin like me, getting a real tan just never happens, instead I just get freckles or burnt. While this can be annoying I don't hate my naturally pale skin. In fact I think that pale skin can look beautiful. But I just think I look a little bit ill and washed out when I'm pale, and I find myself saying "this outfit will look so much better when I'm tanned". In general, I just feel more myself and more confident with a bit of fake tan on. 

So to maintain a glow I will typically tan every 5-7 days, letting my fake tan gradually fade but topping up it up sooner if I have an event to go to. Tanning this often I would say I have got my routine down to a T, so I thought that I would share it with you today.


Now I try not to over complicate my routine, as tanning on its own can be enough of a chore without hundreds of other steps. So there are only a few products I use over a few key steps. Depending on how much time I have, I start off by having either a shower or a bath. Personally I prefer having a bath as I find it not only relaxing but also easier to shave, exfoliate and moisturise. 
Even if I don't have any old tan left of my skin I will always start off by exfoliating my skin using a pair of exfoliating gloves. I have tried lots of different exfoliating products and while many are great at making my skin feel smooth, nothing gets rid of my old patchy tan like giving my skin a good scrub with my £1 Primark exfoliating gloves. 

The next step in my routine is to shave, now of course you can skip this step if you don't shave or use a different hair removal method instead, but not only do I find shaving the easiest hair removal method but it's also great for getting off any last stubborn patches of tan.

Now that my skin is all smooth and even I like to add moisture back into my skin using Ro's Argan Body Conditioner from Lush. While I know this is one of Lush's more expensive products at £16.50, it has honestly revolutionised my tanning routine. Basically you use it as you would a hair conditioner but instead on your body, by massaging it into wet skin and then simply rinsing it off. 
It leaves my skin feeling just as moisturised, if not more than a normal body lotion but without that awkward sticky period where you have to wait around for it to sink in before you can get on with your day. As Ro's Argan Body Conditioner doesn't leave any sort of tacky residue on your skin it makes it perfect to use on the day that you plan to fake tan because your fake tan isn't going to cling to any patches. Instead your skin will feel soft and smooth and your fake tan will just glide on like a dream.


As for what fake tan I actually use, my favourite brand at the moment has to be Bondi Sands. Bondi Sands is a mid range tanning brand priced around the £10-£15 mark but I regularly find it on offer for even cheaper. It is easily available in Boots and Superdrug and they have a good range of products from in various shades. The tan I always use is their Self Tanning Foam in Dark (though it now comes in ultra dark which I am really excited to try) as I find it easy to apply, it doesn't go streaky and fades evenly. The only issue I have with it is that it stains before you wash it off and takes a while to develop but this is typical with most fake tans. Usually I sleep with it on and wear either a onesie or change my bed to black sheets to counteract these minor issues. 


The rest of my routine is pretty self explanatory, I apply the tan all over my body using a tanning mitt, go to sleep and then quickly wash it off in the shower in the morning and then moisturise using a regular body lotion once I'm out of the shower, before repeating the whole process again in about a weeks time. As for tips one thing I suggest is to always brush your teeth and go to the toilet before you put on the tan and then go straight to bed, otherwise you risk water splashing on you and ruining your tan or staining the white toilet seat, though if you want more I've written a whole post about it.

Do you have any holy grail products or tips that make your tanning routine a lot easier?

Eleanor xx

Finding The Words

30 January 2017
Sometimes writing about fashion and beauty feels so wrong when arguably there are so many more important things going on in the world that we could be talking about. This has certainly been in the back of my mind these past few days as I've struggled to find the right words to accompany these photos that Karl shot of my outfit last Thursday. 

I could go into depth about how bitterly cold it was in Birmingham that day (hence why my hands are in my pockets in most photos) and they are slightly blurry in places from Karl shivering, or perhaps about how these boots rubbed my ankles causing them to bleed on the way to the bus stop, even though they're not new and they've never rubbed before.
I could tell you about how I wish this Pull & Bear belt was actually a Gucci belt or how I've been so obsessed with layering my summer camis with my winter polo necks but somehow it all seems irrelevant. 

Gucci, Dupe, Black, Coat, Blazer, Polo, Neck, Turtle, Cami, Missguided, Highstreet, Primark, M&S, Topshop, Office




What I'm Wearing | M&S Coat, Missguided Cami, Primark Polo Neck Jumper, Pull & Bear Belt (similar)Topshop Jeans, Office Boots (ON SALE)

But while talking about frivolous fashions feels wrong, I don't think we should stop. I like to think that my blog may provide at least one person a bit of light relief or a chance to escape (even if only for a minute) from the strange world in which we live, as I know that reading other blogs and watching Youtube videos brighten my day and inspire me. 
We can't let the tough times hold us back. Use the tough times to push you to do the best you can in anyway you can. Keep contributing positively and trust that together we can overcome injustice.

Eleanor xx

New Year Gym Essentials

1 January 2017
While I believe you can make a positive change at any time in your life, if there is something you've wanted to do but have been putting it off for a while, the New Year is the perfect opportunity to do it. Now is your time.
I know for many people their New Year's Resolution will be something along the lines of eating healthier and keeping fit. Personally my resolution is to not start but keep going to the gym (not only because I've paid for my membership) but because I've actually started enjoying it. 

Now in Secondary School P.E was not my favourite subject. While as a child I enjoyed various sports including ballet, badminton, swimming and horse riding, P.E often involved Netball, Hockey or Circuits, none of which I was particularly good at. My lack of passion for competitive sports plus my hatred for the compulsory P.E kit meant that through parts of my teenage years I avoided exercise at every possible cost. So when a few months ago Karl suggested that we both get gym memberships and start going each day after Uni, I was apprehensive to say the least. But after a bit of persuading I begrudgingly signed up and we started going for a 30-45 minute work out 5 days a week. A couple of weeks of hard work and sweat, I realised that Karl was no longer dragging me along with him but I was going because I enjoyed it. I enjoyed seeing my stick insect arms become more toned and muscular and not having to struggle to get my skinny jeans over my thighs. I enjoyed how empowered I felt as I pushed myself a little harder each day. I enjoyed the energy boost of a great workout.

I'd become that girl. The gym girl.


But every gym girl has her essentials right? For me it starts off with some cute exercise clothes. If I buy myself nice clothes especially for the gym, then I'll want to wear them and I can only do that at the gym. My go to tends to be some 3/4 cropped leggings (I find that long leggings emphasise how skinny my ankles are in comparison to my chunky thighs), then a supportive razor back sports bra, a lightweight vest over the top and off course some comfortable trainers. While I'm not fussy about branded sportswear and will quite often buy my workout clothes from Primark, my trainers have to be proper sports trainers preferably from Nike.

Another thing I can't go to the gym without is a bottle of water. I don't like the taste of some tap water but bottled water can be quite expensive if you buy it all the time so I prefer to use my BRITA Fill and Go water bottle as it filters the water as you drink it. Not only does it make my water taste better but the straw makes it easy to drink out of, while I'm on the cross trainer, without spilling water all down myself.


While my gym does play music, I prefer to listen to my own Spotify workout playlist in the gym. Full of feel good, empowering, up beat songs it keeps me motivated throughout my workout so I can go a little longer and harder on the treadmill. But you cannot listen to music without headphones and that's why I always keep my Urbanz Sportz Headphones* in my gym bag. I don't like to spend too much money on headphones as when I've bought expensive headphones in the past I've lost them or broken them by accident, Urbanz are a nice in between, as they are good quality but not too expensive. The Sportz headphones also don't fall out of my ears when running like buds do but don't hurt my ears like on ear headphones, making them perfect for my workouts.



So is it New Year, new you? Or is your New Year's Resolution to simply keep doing the changes you made during 2016? I'd love to know whatever they are, or even perhaps what some of your workout essentials are, just let me know in the comments below!

Happy New Year! 

Eleanor xx

How To Never Pay Full Price Ever Again

26 December 2016
Having probably spent just a little bit too much over the Christmas period you may be thinking about having 'saving money' as one of your New Year's Resolutions. So today I'm sharing some tips on how to save money on the things you need to or want to buy, and with the boxing day sales starting today, what better time to start hunting out those bargains and put a few of these tips into practice.


Key Shopping Dates
While I'm not the biggest fan of conventional sales, bargain bins and last seasons stock, they can be great for getting a good deal. Personally I love key shopping dates such as Black Friday where many retailers will offer a percentage discount off the whole store. Websites like Missguided often run 50% off deals around holidays, and Office always offer 20% off at Halloween or on Black Friday, so if you're thinking of buying something try and hold out for a discount event.

Student Discount
Now I know not everyone reading this will be a student but if you are, or know someone who is, then organisations like NUS or websites like Unidays are an easy way to get money off. NUS cards cost £12(but this is soon made up for in the amount of money you save) and are available to those in college, sixth form and university. While Unidays is a free website and app available to those in university. Failing those a lot of places will give me student discount with just my uni ID card as long as it is dated.   
You may have heard of student discount but did you know that a lot of high-street stores also offer discount to those who work for the military or the NHS? So if you work in either of those professions it's worth googling what stores offer.

O2 Priority
One of the main reasons I like to renew my phone contract with O2 is because of O2 Priority. While many know of O2 priority's benefits when it comes to getting early access to concert tickets but did you know they regularly offer deals such as free hot drinks at Cafe Nero, £1 meal deals and money off at various high street retailers? To make bargain hunting easy I often check the O2 Priority app to see if there are any deals that take my fancy.

Mailing Lists and Brand Websites
Often while online shopping, a pop up may appear on the website you're shopping on saying something like "Sign up to our mailing list to receive 10% off on your first purchase" while my first instinct is often to click off this annoying little pop up, signing up can often lead to a great discount or deal. Then when you've taken advantage of the offer, simply unsubscribe from the mailing list to avoid your inbox being clogged up or tempting you to unnecessary spending. If there are no pop up deals, scroll to the bottom of the page and have a look for potential deals down there. Also chain restaurants like Pizza Express often have an 'Offers' section on their website where you can download vouchers of up to 25% off your meal, so if you know you're going out for a meal always check the restaurants website for deals before you go.

Cash Back Websites
Now cash back websites are something I'm quite new to but they have proven to be a great way to get money back on things I was planning on buying anyway. All you do is sign up to the cash back website, for example the one I use: Top Cash Back, and then shop online as you would normally but by going through the links on their website. Later a percentage of what you spent will be deposited into your account (this isn't always instant but can be a nice surprise a few months later) and then you can either have this transferred into your bank account or turn it into vouchers to use on other websites. I promise it isn't as complicated as it sounds and so far I've earned back £10 for just buying a couple of things.

Haggle
This is probably my least favourite method but in the right place at the right time it can work really well. Just be warned that unless you are talking to a manager or supervisor, your average sales assistant is unlikely to be able to pull any strings. It also probably won't work on a busy day, this is because if the shop are doing well and meeting target they don't need to tempt you with discounts as they're not desperate for the sale. But if you've done your research and have the confidence to ask for a cheeky discount it can really pay off.

Don't Buy It
If all else fails and you simply cannot afford what you want, don't buy it! Unless it is an essential such as food, remind yourself you don't need it and save your pennies until you can afford it. Remember the rich stay rich by being careful in how they spend their hard earned cash, so don't get into debt or go hungry by buying luxuries, no matter how much discount you got. 

I hope you've found these tips helpful but just remember getting a good deal isn't an excuse to buy more because if you buy more than you need or were planning, you haven't saved any money at all. So set yourself a budget (don't know how to budget? Check out this post here) and stick to it.

Also I hope you're all enjoying the holidays!

Eleanor xx

Tailor Made Foundation Shades | The Body Shop Shade Adjusting Drops Review

8 December 2016
Is there really a bigger make up faux pas than your foundation not matching your neck? We've all been there. You buy a foundation from the drugstore or online and the shade just isn't quite right. Or you fake tan and while your foundation may look perfect on day 1 by day 3 or 4 your tan has faded and your face is darker than your body. Nightmare. But what can you do? No one wants to buy two shades of every foundation they own but then that whole unblended, orange face look that was popular in secondary school isn't particularly desirable either. That's where The Body Shop Shade Adjusting Drops come in.

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Now I know that white foundations are not a new concept but as far as I'm aware there weren't many drugstore products designed to alter your foundation shade before The Body Shop launched the product earlier this year. Coming in two shades (one to lighten, one to darken) The Body Shops Shade Adjusting Drops are designed to, of course, adjust the shade of your foundation but in a way that doesn't make your skin look orange or ashy. The lightening shade is packed with white and pink pigments to neutralise orange or yellow undertones while the darkening shade contains a concentration of red and black pigments to avoid ashy undertones.

Coming in a simple and sleek glass bottle with a black pipette to easily distribute the product, this product moves away from the colourful plastic packaging that I would usually associate with The Body Shop to something a lot more elegant and grown up. Priced at £10 it will not break the bank and costs a lot less than buying multiple shades of your foundation especially if like me, your favourite foundation costs about £30.

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But the real question is, is it any good? While I cannot speak for the darkening shade as I have not tried it, the lightening shade is a great product. It does exactly what it says on the tin, lightening my foundation without changing the consistency or making my skin look a weird colour. But as the product says, it is very pink toned. While this may be alright in small quantities, if you have a warm or neutral undertone and plan on using a high ratio of this to your foundation, it will change your foundation's undertone and therefore may not suit your skin tone. Therefore it would be great if they developed the line further for products to suit different undertones.

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On The Body Shop's website it states that 1 drop of this product changes your foundation by half a shade but the reality is that this is impossible to measure because the pipette doesn't work. Sometimes you will pick up massive blobs of the product while other times nothing. It's a great idea but maybe needs a bit of tweaking so that you can pick up the product and disperse it with ease. 

Apart from the pipette this is a really great product for the price that works really well for my skin type and skin tone. It solves the major problem that I had with my skin tone varying as my tan fades and I never need to worry about a foundation being too dark for my untanned pale skin again. I'd be really interested to see how the darkening drops work on the other end of the scale for girls that find foundations are too light for them.

Have you tried The Body Shop's Shade Adjusting Drops before?

Eleanor xx

The Only Eyeshadow Palette You Need This Autumn

9 November 2016
As the weather changes many of us like to change our makeup routine with it. Gone are the lashings of bronzer, bright stains or pretty tints and in come the warm earthy tones and dark lips. Thus in the quest to achieve the perfect autumn winter eye makeup I have been searching for a palette containing red tones as opposed to your standard neutral browns and beiges. I considered ordering myself a Kyshaddow Palette but £34 plus shipping for 9 eyeshadows and a whole load of hassle trying to get my hands on one didn’t really appeal. It wasn’t until I was scrolling down Instagram one day that I spotted the Morphe 350 palette and immediately had to know more. 

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Morphe, swatches, 350, 350m, review, Eyeshaddow, palette, fall, autumn, winter, red, matte, shimmer

The Morphe 350 palette comes in 3 variations: matte, shimmer and original. Each palette contains 35 eyeshadows and costs £21.75, working out at £0.62 per eyeshadow which is incredible value for money. I opted for the matte version as I have quite a lot of shimmery eyeshadows that I never use yet find myself hitting pan on my matte shadows. As you can see from my swatches the eyeshadows are highly pigmented, my only gripe would be is that they are more powdery than higher quality eyeshadows like that of Urban Decay which are creamy, but for £0.62 an eyeshadow you can’t really complain. As they are a little bit powdery it can take a bit longer to blend them properly but yet again for the price you expect it.





BUY ME

As for the packaging it is sleek and simple. The clasp is secure and the palette doesn’t feel flimsy, although I should note that it doesn’t contain a mirror. Also none of the eyeshadows have names, which again isn’t the end of the world but it would’ve been nice. But for me what shines about this palette is the selection of colours. There is a lovely selection of cool and warm toned browns, beige's, oranges and reds, ranging from light to dark. There is a colour to suit everyone and every shade is perfect for this season.

What do you think of the Morphe 350m Palette?

Eleanor xx

Dress Code: Smart Casual

1 October 2016
So you receive an invitation to an event, you start reading it and all sounds good. You're free on that day and time, it's at a fancy hotel or an up and coming bar and it honestly sounds like this seasons hottest event. But then you see a small note at the bottom. Dress code: smart casual. Smart casual? Does anyone honestly know what smart casual means? 

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What I'm Wearing | Celine New Audrey Sunglasses, Missguided Cami, Missguided Culottes, Coach Nolita Bag and Old Skool Vans

While when you read the words smart casual the first thing that may come to mind is a weird combination of a ball gown and trainers, I think of casual tailoring with a street style edge.

The first place I'd start is with culottes as they look smart (probably because they're not denim), but they're also super comfy and have an effortlessly cool vibe about them, making them perfect for the dreaded smart casual dress code. Dress them down with a pair of trainers, dress them up with a pair of heels, simple. 

For this outfit I've paired my Missguided culottes with this striped cami that is reminiscent of the men's work wear staple that is the pinstripe suit, then finished with a smart bag and statement sunglasses for the ultimate smart casual chic.

Eleanor xx

What Is Our Obsession With Liquid Lipsticks?

12 September 2016
Everyone from Kylie Jenner to instagram Grandma's has one, and with every major brand jumping on the bandwagon I find myself asking "What is our obsession with liquid lipsticks?"
In the past I've never been a fan of matte lipsticks. Having naturally quite dry lips I found them to be too drying and would always opt for formulas like that of the amplified finish from Mac instead to get the right balance between moisture and pigmentation. But with the trend towards liquid lipsticks growing ever more increasingly popular I decided to take the plunge and see what all the hype was about.

NYX, Lip Lingerie, Liquid Lipstick, Kylie Jenner, Lip Kit, Jeffree Star, Kat Von D, Beauty, Blogger, Review

If I had the money and patience my first liquid lipstick purchase would have obviously been from King Kylie and her brand Kylie Cosmetics, I then considered Jeffree Star's Velour Liquid Lipsticks but with all the drama surrounding him I decided it was perhaps best to not support his brand. Of course there are many other high end brands I could've tried but with so many drugstore brands bringing out their own liquid lipsticks at a much lower price point I decided to try one of those first before investing into more expensive liquid lipsticks.

After much debate I picked up 2 of NYX's Lip Lingerie's in the colours Satin Ribbon and Push Up which are both gorgeous pinky nude colours with a brown undertone. The formula of these liquid lipsticks is very mousse like which I like as it is easy to apply, it's highly pigmented and also dries quickly. I've heard that lots of liquid lipsticks you have to wait for them to set for quite a while, this isn't the case with NYX's Lip Lingerie's as once it's applied you are ready to go. The product does wear well but can fade along the inner part of the lip after eating and drinking so you may have to reapply throughout the day. You can also feel the product sitting on your lips with can feel quite drying and uncomfortable if you haven't prepped your lips properly.

NYX, Lip Lingerie, Liquid Lipstick, Kylie Jenner, Lip Kit, Jeffree Star, Kat Von D, Beauty, Blogger, Review

But despite all its flaws, I'm strangely addicted to the shade Satin Ribbon as it is the perfect nude lipstick for my skintone. But it's not just the shade I love but how the lipstick looks on. The doe foot applicator makes it easy to slightly over line my lips without having to use a lip liner and gives my lips the appearance of looking fuller. The matte flawless finish makes me feel like I've stepped out of an instagram picture or I should be walking round wearing the snapchat dog filter. But the best thing about this product though has to be the fact I can kiss my boyfriend without covering him in lipstick which he loves to.

While the NYX Lip Lingerie is a decent liquid lipstick I'm not saying it's the best on the market. But despite this it has given me a taste of the liquid lipstick life and hooked me with the matte, full and flawless finish, so for this reason I will probably buy more liquid lipsticks in the future because I am well and truly obsessed.

Eleanor xx

Bardot Chic

5 September 2016
Ah the Bardot top; a summer essential named after the beautiful French 50s and 60s icon that is Brigitte Bardot. Designed to show off and flatter the collar bone, one of the most subtly sexy parts of the body, you can see why this effortless style has become one of the most popular styles on the high street this season. This top from Missguided is an example of the Bardot trend at its finest, a simple off the shoulder white shirt made interesting by these flowing flared sleeves and tie detail at the elbow. And the best it about it? This top flows over all your lumps and bumps hiding how much you ate at lunch.

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OOTD, Style, Fashion, White, bardot, top, black, ripped, jeans, suede, boots, office, shoes, topshop, missguided, coach, nolita

OOTD, Style, Fashion, White, bardot, top, black, ripped, jeans, suede, boots, office, shoes, topshop, missguided, coach, nolita


OOTD, Style, Fashion, White, bardot, top, black, ripped, jeans, suede, boots, office, shoes, topshop, missguided, coach, nolita

What I'm Wearing | Missguided Bardot Shirt (similar), Topshop Jeans, Office Boots and Coach Bag

When paired with ripped jeans, heeled suede boots and a preppy bag, you get the right balance between 'good girl chic' and 'I'm not your average plain Jane', making it perfect for a lunch date or a day out shopping and therefore one of my favourite go to outfits of recent.

Are you all for the Bardot or is a Bardot a faux pas in your eyes?

Eleanor xx

Benefit Goof Proof Brow Pencil Review

15 June 2016
Now first off I'm going apologise to those of you who are perhaps a bit fed up of seeing/hearing about Benefit's most highly anticipated release in years; their new and re-branded brow range. Personally I wanted to throw my two cents into the pot as I think it's always great to read as many reviews as possible about a product before you buy, but if you're still not interested perhaps read my 5 Tips To Avoid Overpacking or my review of L'Oreal's Telescopic Mascara. Now we've got that out of the way, let's get onto the review!

This month Elle were giving away a free sample of Benefit's new Goof Proof Brow Pencil to each reader. When I heard I had to pick myself up a copy of Elle to try a product from the new collection which is released on the 24th of this month! Unfortunately they put the magazine in an opaque sleeve making it impossible to see what shade of the product you are going to get, this meant that I ended up with shade 6, the darkest shade in the collection (not ideal for a blondie like myself). Despite the fact that it was 2 shades too dark I thought I'd give it a go anyway because if I liked it I could pick up the right shade when the collection was released.

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The Goof Proof Brow Pencil has a unique triangular shaped tip, which was designed for the large end to fill in large gaps and the pointed end to draw precise lines. While this is in theory a great idea, I found myself gravitating towards using only the pointed end as the wider end made my brows look a bit blocky rather than thick. The downside to this is that I wore down the point after only one use, so on my next use I'd be forced to use the wider end. This being said even if I did enjoy using the wider end, I can still see the pencil wearing down unevenly and losing it's unique shape. 


As for the consistency on the product it was a nice solid pencil allowing you to achieve sharp and precise lines, this is something that I have never found in a high street brow pencil as they are always too waxy and soft. It's preciseness allows a natural look and realistic look for even the thinnest brows as you can draw those missing hairs in which is something I struggle to do when using a brow pomade (but then again that may be because I'm not using a precise enough brush).  

Before



After


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As you can see from the before pictures above, my eyebrows aren't the thickest. I have a decent amount of hairs in the front of my brows but they thin out towards the end and this is where I have to do the most work when filling out my brows. While I quite like the look of my brows after using this product (ignoring the fact that the shade is wrong), I definitely prefer the front half to the second half. I found that in sparser areas I had to be careful not to use too much product or brush through my brows with a spoolie too much as it would all just blend into a brown smudge, blurring away all the effort I had put into drawing each individual hair. 

It is also for this reason that I doubt it lives up to it's claims of 12 hours of waterproof wear, especially on an oily skin type like mine. But I cannot completely confirm this as I did not wear it for 12 hours or test how waterproof it is.



As for ease of use I initially found it difficult to gain control with such a light and dainty pencil as I am used to using a brush to fill in my eyebrows. For an avid eyebrow pencil user this would perhaps not be a problem but just a warning to those without a steady hand; this pencil is so precise that mistakes are very obvious, if you try to draw a straight line and it is not straight, it will be painfully obvious.

The real question is: will I buy it when the collection comes out? My honest answer is probably not. It's a decent product but I'm not sure it's right for me, personally I would prefer the whole tip to be pointed not triangular so maybe I'll try the Precisely My Brow Eyebrow Pencil when that it released. I also don't prefer it to the ABH Dipbrow Pomade that I normally use so why would I buy it over that. Instead I might try this product out on my mum who has darker brows, a less oily skintype and prefers very natural makeup as I think it may suit her more.

Have you tried the Goof Proof Brow Pencil? While you be trying anything else when the full collection is released?

Eleanor xx