Brow Definer vs Brow Wiz

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A first impression of a person to someone of sound mind would consist of monitoring the other person’s body language, mannerisms, tone of voice and even outfit choice. Unfortunately, that’s not me. When I meet someone new, I’m looking directly at their brows. My husband finds it completely odd that I comment on the brows of other women. He can’t seem to wrap his head around the fact that a person’s persona can be easily judged by the shape and fullness of their brows. If you’re reading this, I will assume that being a beauty enthusiast yourself, you can relate to my prejudgment.

The truth of the matter is, us ladies are obsessed with brows. Gone are the days when eyebrows were a mere side act, nowadays they are the leading ladies in the act of getting glam. What’s not to love anyway? Brows frame your face, making you appear more polished, youthful and put together without having to slap on tons of makeup. I know a fair number of women who don’t believe in filling in their brows (a few others who are in dire need of a good threading session) and while I can understand their reservations, they have no idea what they are missing out on.

Filling in my brows has been my savior since since the awful day that I decided to hack away at my once full set of brows. At the tender age of 14 I asked my mother for a pair of Tweezerman Automatic Tweezers. Now I’ll admit I was far too young, but I’m not to blame. My mother is to blame for exposing me to the QVC Home Shopping Network at a very gullible age (sorry Mum). Despite my mother’s refusal I begged and begged and promised her that they would not be touched until I turned 16. How she bought into that bull I have no idea, but low and behold, I got my tweezers a few days later. I went straight to work when her back was turned (only 24 months before the age that I initially promised) and practically took my entire eyebrows off. With a good bollocking from my Mum and brows looking like they were gnawed off by a bear, it’s fair to say that I was left looking really stupid.

Nowadays, I treat my brows with more love and care than I do my husband (sorry, not sorry). I baby them, I care for them, I monitor their progress and I have now built a relationship so strong with my threading lady, I considered marrying her instead. My eyebrows are now in the best shape they have ever been, but with the assistance of a few wonderful eyebrow filling products, I now have brows my mother is proud of.

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When it comes to brow products, you can’t go wrong with Anastasia Beverly Hills. Anastasia Soare, brow queen and founder of the brand is famous for sculpting the brows of many celebrities including the Kardashian/Jenner clan. Her brow products have been highly recognised in the cosmetics industry as cult beauty products. Two years worth of development brought the Brow Definer, the latest installment to the brow collection. However, with its close resemblance to the existing Brow Wiz, many of their consumers have been left thinking, is it really worth the switch?

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So here’s the low down. Appearance wise, they’re both near enough the same, although the Brow Definer is visibly bigger in width. In fact, the Brow Definer now looks much like the Hourglass Arch Brow Sculpting Pencil. To be honest, I prefer the size of the Brow Definer as I feel more in control of the movement when filling in my brows. It also makes economical sense (to a makeup junkie like me). The Brow Definer retails at £16.00 for 0.2g, whilst the Brow Wiz is £15.50 for 0.08g. I go through the Brow Wiz pencils fairly quickly as I use them almost every day; which proves that the Brow Definer is a much better investment.

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They both have spoolies on one end; which helps to brush the product through the brows for a natural look. The spoolie on the Brow Definer is larger with thicker bristles than the Wiz. I much prefer the spoolie on the Brow Wiz and quite often keep my empty containers just for the purpose of the spoolie. The Brow Wiz spoolie easily shapes and moulds your eyebrows due to its thin shape ; which I think would be difficult to do with the Definer unless you have naturally thick, course brows.

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The consistency of both pencils are almost identical and the same amount of pressure needs to be applied with each product. The colours are identical and do not differ in shade; which is perfect when you’re trying out a new product. The only difference in the crayons are the shapes themselves. The Brow Definer has a slanted edge; which is much larger in size than the precise rounded tip of the Brow Wiz. I find the Definer a lot quicker and easier to use particularly in the front end of the brows where they require the most attention. Although the Brow Wiz is great for adding precision to your brows, the slanted tip of the Definer makes it easy to map out the outline of your brows while filling them in. This saves a lot of time in the mornings and, in my opinion, looks far more natural than the effect I ever got with the Wiz.

If I had to pick a favourite I would probably go with the Brow Definer over the Brow Wiz simply because I find it more user friendly. Not to say that I would throw out all of my Brow Wiz pencils, but I do find myself reaching for the Brow Definer a lot more often. If you have already purchased the Brow Wiz and you’re a complete makeup indulger like me, I suggest using the Definer for creating a shape in your brows and the Wiz for filling in the sparse areas. If you’re deciding between the two pencils and have yet to discover the beauty of an Anastasia Beverly Hills brow product, I suggest going for the Brow Definer here as it has everything you would want in an eyebrow pencil.

Have you tried any of the Anastasia Beverly Hills brow products? Comment below with your experience.

Oh Baby!

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Don’t you just love that baby smell? Whenever I’m faced with a little bundle of joy I can’t help but get a good whiff in. Not that I’m broody or anything (husband avert your eyes), I just appreciate the smell of a chubby little human!

The baby skincare market has certainly imploded over the years. There are now an array of luxurious oils, creams, balms and even hair care available for your little treasures. These products are specially formulated for your baby’s skin; which is thinner, more delicate and more susceptible to dryness than adult skin. Baby beauty products have lower levels of fragrance and contain virtually no soap or alcohol; which tend to dry out and irritate the skin.

So with all these wonderfully natural products available on the market, who’s to say that they should be reserved for just babies? Move over new-age, hippie mummies. I’m here to show you that baby beauty products can be used for adults too! After all, we all want to benefit from products which are gentle on the skin as well as your bank balance. Coming from a household of 4 bouncing beauties myself, I can honestly say that I’ve indulged in a Johnson’s product or two. So next time you’re in Boots, venture down the baby aisle and you never know what fabulous beauty finds you may come across. Here are a few of my favourites…

Sudocrem Antiseptic Healing Cream

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For years it’s been a firm favourite for treating nappy rash, but this little tub of white stuff has a multitude of hidden talents. If you read the fine print on the label of the jar, it actually states that the cream can also be used to treat sunburn, minor burns and acne. It’s a fabulous all purpose treatment; which rivals many of the higher end products on the market and at a mere £2.75 per tub, this really is worth the money.

The water-repellent base has antibacterial and anti fungal properties; which works perfectly with skin requiring soothing and healing. I love using Sudocream as a spot treatment for the days when I have an odd breakout. The formula gently draws out the junk, dries up the blemish and soothes any redness. Simply pop a small amount over the blemish and go to bed. The next morning your spot will have completely vanished. This little beauty also works wonderfully as a primer prior to foundation as it forms a protective barrier on the skin, locking in the moisture.

Johnsons Baby Powder

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I remember the days when my mother, without fail, would have a bottle of talcum powder proudly displayed on her dressing table in every fragrance possible. Not that I knew what the purpose was, I assumed it was for my brothers and I until I realised that we were all in our teens and waaaaaay passed the nappy stage! Perhaps my mother was onto something? I mean, after all, Avon didn’t have a list of 100 differently fragranced talcs for nothing. Of course nowadays, when you think of talcum powder, Johnsons Baby Powder on perfectly tubby bums is what springs to mind. However, talc isn’t just for keeping baby’s bum fresh and clean, it can be used for a number of beauty shortcuts.

Use baby powder as a dry shampoo for the days when your hair looks a little on the greasy side and your trusty Batiste is far from reach. Sprinkle a small amount onto a comb and run through your hair to instantly absorb excess oil and refresh your style. Not to mention, it will make your hair smell great.

You can also use baby powder as a makeup setter if you’re not into spending a mini fortune on loose setting powders. Dust a light coating of powder with a large fluffy brush onto the areas of the face where you need oil to be absorbed (t-zone) and also on top of any lipstick to mattify it. Don’t go too crazy though, you don’t want to be looking like you’ve seen a ghost…literally!

My favourite way of using baby powder is to apply a light dusting of it onto my lashes prior to mascara. The particles in the powder help ‘bulk’ up the lashes, making them appear thicker and longer once you have applied mascara. However, I plead with you to be more vigilant than I am. I cannot tell you the number of times I’ve had talc in my eyes!

Johnsons Bedtime Baby Cream

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I’m not about to sit here and claim that this cream will put you into a deep slumber, but it certainly works well at relaxing your mind, soul and body after a warm bath. The thick consistency reminds me of the Body Shop Body Butters and works well with dry skin like mine. I love the fact that it doesn’t leave an oily residue, but simply a gentle aroma of what I suspect to be Lavender. I love slathering this cream on after a long soak in the tub to get me ready for some serious shut eye.

Burt’s Bees Baby Bee Multipurpose Ointment

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This multi purpose product contains Shea Butter; which is a natural fat derived from the fruit of a Karite tree. It’s petroleum, Phthalate, petrochemical and paraben-free; which means it’s completely natural and safe to use on both baby and adult skin. Burt’s Bees is a brand much loved by mummies to gently treat their baby’s skin in a natural way. However, their products are just as effective on adult skin. Much like Elizabeth Arden’s iconic 8 hour cream, this oitment can be used in a multitude of ways. Slather onto your feet before slipping on some fluffy socks to soften and soothe tired feet. Rub a small amount into dry patches of your body such as your elbows or even rub a small amount onto your lips as a highly mositurising lip blam. Having this product around the house ensures that whenever my skin needs a treat, I don’t need to delve into a mass of beauty products. This is a one stop shop for all skin ailments.

Johnsons Baby No More Tangles Conditioner Spray

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I discovered this product in a random panic one day after discovering that my trusty Moroccan Oil had come to an end. I had gone a week straight without washing my hair (don’t judge me, you know you’ve done the same) and I had no choice but to throw my hair up into a messy bun before work. Of course, in my head, I thought it was a messy bun, but after a few days it began to resemble an ill fated bird’s nest. Enough was enough and although I dowsed my hair in shampoo and hair masks, I needed a coating of Moroccan Oil as a leave in conditioner before I went ahead and attempted to blow dry my hair. Just my luck that it ran out at that very minute, but I looked to my left and there was a bottle of Johnsons Baby No More Tangles Conditioner Spray that was used on my niece’s hair. I thought…that’ll do! THe conditioning spray detangles and softens the hair, much like a leave in conditioner and makes the hair easier to comb through before and after drying. I didn’t expect this spray to work as well as it did considering that I have long, thick hair, but I was plesantly surprised. It made my hair super soft without any sticky feeling and allowed for my comb to easily glide through. I wouldn’t forgo the serum or hair oil after styling my hair, but it certainly makes for a wonderful, not to mention cheap, alternative to leave in conditioners.

Have you tried any non-traditional beauty products? Perhaps you’re a mummy who’s tested out some of the products above. Comment below and let me know your thoughts.

L’Oréal’s Highstreet Sculpting

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According to Google, contour and highlighting were the two most searched beauty-related topics of 2015. Last year was, without a doubt, the year of sculpting. With an array of products now available on the market, it seems as though this trend is here to stay.

Contour and highlighting are methods of makeup application; which gives your face dimension, enhancing the natural bone structure of your face. Made famous by Kim Kardashian, sculpting is a cheat’s way of reshaping and re-defining particular areas of the face. You can fake a nose job, create the illusion of higher cheekbones and even make your face appear much slimmer, all with the help of a few makeup products.

So how do you chose which product is right for you? With so many brands coming out with their take on the contour/highlighting phenomenon, it’s easy to get swept up in the makeup madness. However, the high street (or drugstore as it’s known to our friends across the pond) have been a little late to the party. For those with deeper pockets, the options have been endless. Laura Mercier, Tom Ford and Anastasia Beverley Hills, to name a few, have all created iconic sculpting products making even the cold hearted go weak at the knees. However, for those who can’t afford the splurge, the choice in products has been a little sparse.

As much as I love my Tom Ford Shade & Illuminate palette, I feel a little guilty in dabbing into this product on a daily basis. Now don’t get me wrong, when I say daily basis, I really mean occasions which don’t require full on drag makeup. I certainly don’t contour and highlight on a daily basis.

So where was I? Oh yes…I’m far too cheap to use my Tom Ford palette on a daily basis. Enter L’Oréal Paris. I should have known really. If I wanted to find a product; which not only saves me a bit of money, but has an amazing quality, L’Oréal was the direction I needed to go towards. Not forgetting that Boots and Superdrug are constantly offering 3 for 2 on all L’Oréal makeup products. An all round winner in my books.

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The Infallible Sculpt range, promoted by Kim Kardashian’s very own sculptor Mario Dedivanovic, features a fool proof 3 step guide to a perfectly chisled face. Rather than caking on the layers, L’Oréal developed natural finished products to create a contoured look without looking over done. I’ll admit, I wouldn’t necessarily reach for these products for a special occasion or night out, but for less glamorous events, they’re right up my alley.

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So let’s start with the base. The Infallible Sculpt Foundation comes in only two colours; light and medium/dark. The formula is actually much lighter than a traditional foundation and serves as a primer for the proceeding steps. It contains ‘grip technology’ to ensure the sculpt products adhere onto the skin for up to 24 hours. The consistency reminds me of a BB cream, but despite its sheer nature, the coverage is not too bad. It managed to cover the pigmentation on my face to an acceptable degree and feels incredibly soft and weightless on the skin. This is definitely a product; which can be used on a daily basis with or without the contouring for a natural, fresh-faced look.

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The next step is the palette. This also comes in two shades – light/medium and medium/dark. Both options contain a non-glittery highlight shade and a cool-toned contour shade; which are very buildable. What I love most about these palettes is that they have a cream to powder finish. This means that using these palettes completely erradicates the need for cream contouring and powder setting. Not only does this save time, but it leaves a perfectly natural finish to the skin. The concept is simply genius and it’s about time that the beauty world revealed a product like this. I picked up the medium/dark shade; which is slightly more warm toned than the light/medium palette, however, the consistency is so light, it doesn’t leave my skin looking ‘muddy’. I was impressed with how well the shades blend out, considering they are in a solid rather than liquid form. I’ve never been on board with compact foundations, but this palette feels very creamy upon first swipe.

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L’Oréal also offer a Sculpt Brush; which is used in conjunction with this palette and a personal favourite of Mario Dedivanovic. The Infallible range also contains a Blush Trio and a few eye products. So far, apart from the foundation and contour palette, I’ve only tried the mascara; which can I just say is AMAZEBALLS! L’Oréal have really hit it out of the park with this collection.

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Overall, the longevity is impressive of both the foundation and the palette. I love the concept behind the collection, making it super easy for even the less makeup savvy to get a beautifully sculpted look. They save you a ton of time with setting and blending the creams together and give you a very natural, non-cakey look. The palette, in particular, is very handy for travelling and eliminates the need to pack a cream contour, highlighter, setting powder and bronzer. I would, however, not forget your concealer as the ‘highlight’ shade in this palette may blend out seamlessly, but it does nothing for concealing under eye circles.

Have you tried out any of the products from the Infallible range? Comment below with your experience.

DIY Under Eye Brightener

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They say your eyes are the windows to your soul, but they’re also the little snitches that give away your deepest and darkest secrets. If you’re lacking sleep, low on water intake, stressed about daily life or, simply, not looking after yourself well enough, your eyes can let the whole world know that you’re not at the top of your game.

Girls of colour, you know this all too well. Skin tones with a higher concentration of melanin, such as my fellow Indian beauties, know that dark circles are a given. It’s all very scientific and quite honestly very boring, but what my fellow desi girls know is that dark circles are very prominent on tanned skin. Heredity, skin ailments, exposure to the sun, nutrition, fatigue and age all play part in dark under eye circles too.

Concealers and skin correctors are firm fixtures in my makeup bag. While they work miracles at concealing raccoon eyes, the days when I’m not wearing makeup (and trust me there’s a lot) my eyes look like they’ve had a round with Mike Tyson. Oh how I envy the girls who have never seen so much as a shadow on their under eyes!

Never fear beauties, because the cosmetic industry is full of wonderful potions and lotions to help mask and/or reduce the pigmentation under your eyes. Whilst you can’t necessarily eliminate them, the reduction can be dramatic depending on the product. However, for some of us, spending a mini fortune on an eye cream is unattainable. Whilst the promise of reducing fine lines, premature aging and dark circles can be enough of an incentive, sometimes our budgets do not permit us to do so.

Here are a few of my favourite and natural home remedies for you to try out at home when you’re looking to alleviate yourself from the pain of dark under eye circles.

Chamomile and Green Tea

1 Green Tea bag
1 Chamomile Tea bag
Water
Cotton pad/wool

Steep both tea bags in a cup of boiling water and completely cover. Let the tea bags brew for 30 minutes whilst the water cools. Place the cup in the refrigerator over night. The next day, take two cotton pads and soak with the cold tea mixture. Squeeze out the excess and apply to both eyes for a minimum of 10 minutes. Repeat the process daily with the same tea mixture, but discard the tea and brew a new cup after 3 days to avoid cross contamination.

Both green and chamomile tea are rich in anti-oxidants; which helps relieve tired and puffy eyes. They have been used for centuries as natural skin lighteners, because of their natural botanicals.

Cucumber and Potato

½ cucumber, peeled
1 medium uncooked potato, peeled
1 tablespoon lemon juice

Peel both the cucumber and potato. Roughly chop and add to the blender (smaller the cuts, the easier it will be to blend). Squeeze and add the juice of a fresh lemon and blend together until a paste is formed. Refrigerate for an hour. Apply mixture to the area around your eyes, being careful to not get too close to the eye ball (lemon juice in the eye is never pleasant). Leave for 10 to 15 minutes and rinse with warm water. Repeat the process daily until you see results.

Many believe that cucumber slices over the eyes are just a pleasant placebo whilst getting a face mask, but cucumbers are rich in antioxidants like cucurbitacins, vitexin, orientin, isoscoparin, along with vitamins C and K. Potatoes rich in minerals like potassium, sulphur and phosphorous which are excellent for skin care as well as vitamins and antioxidant compounds that are found in raw potato juice, which help improve the skin tone.

Tomato and Turmeric

2 teaspoons turmeric powder
3 tablespoons of fresh tomato juice

Place the chilled tomato juice and turmeric powder in a bowl and stir to combine. Apply the paste under your eyes and let it sit for 20 minutes. Wash with warm water and reapply on a daily basis.

Turmeric is one of those ‘wonder’ ingredients that can aid a number of beauty concerns. In this case, turmeric is known for its anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties; which is perfect for treating dark circles. Tomatoes have natural bleaching properties and makes the skin soft and supple.

Almond Oil and Honey

Two teaspoons of sweet almond oil
Two teaspoons of natural, raw honey

Combine the mixture together and massage gently into the area around the eyes in circular motions. Leave on overnight and rinse in the morning. Repeat daily for two weeks or until you see results.

Almond oil is a natural emollient; which softens, soothes and moisturises the skin. Massaging this oil onto dry and nourished skin around your eyes will give them the necessary moisture. Almond oil is a rich source of vitamin E and vitamin K; which are essential in reducing puffy and pigmented eyes. Honey has obviously great natural anti-bacterial properties; which helps keep eye infections at bay. It’s also incredibly moisturising; which helps tired and itchy eyes.

What are you favourite natural beauty treatments? Comment below with some suggestions.

My Favourite Highlight Brushes

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For a true makeup lover, a set of new makeup brushes are considered as valuable and as treasured as a new born baby. You may think that’s a terrible analogy, but if you’ve seen the way I’ve swooned and pampered a new makeup brush, you would understand.

Top quality brushes are one of the most important aspects of makeup application. Using poorly designed brushes can make your look appear streaky, amateur and unpolished. Quality brushes allow for a smoother application and avoids major adsorption of a makeup product.

I never understood the importance of a quality makeup brush until I started using high end makeup .There’s no worse feeling than spending a large sum of money on a beautiful foundation or blush, only for your makeup brush to soak it all up. That being said, quality should not be confused with price. Nowadays, more and more companies have brought out amazingly beautiful brushes for an equally as attractive price. The key is to finding a makeup brush that will work well with the task at hand and the natural contours of your face, despite the price. Assess the shape, size and even handle of the brush to determine whether or not it’s right for you.

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I’m sure you’re all aware that highlighters are the way to my heart. Although I love all aspects of makeup, a new highlighter sends my emotions into overdrive. Now, I won’t admit to how much money I’ve spent on highlighters over the years, because, to put it simply, it’s embarrassing. I will say, however, that there’s never a moment when my face doesn’t look like it could light up the Tower Of London.

I’ve experimented a lot when it comes to highlight brushes. However, I’ve found three brushes on the market that have become permanent fixtures on my dressing table. Finding the right highlight brush can be tricky. Some are either too big, too small, not capable of a perfect blend or simply, don’t pick up enough product. The right highlight brush can turn you from a ‘greasy’ mess to an ethereal goddess with a simple swipe.

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Anastasia Beverly Hills Pro Face Detail Brush (A23) | £24.50

This brush can be used for a multitude of tasks. It’s perfect for highlighting, diffusing powder products and setting beneath the eye. The natural bristles are tapered yet flattened on either side making it perfect for concentrating the product in the area required. I use the very tip of the brush for highlighting atop my cheekbones and use the flattened sides for underneath my eyes.

The bristles are extremely soft; which is useful for those with sensitive skin as it doesn’t irritate. I also love the super long handle; which helps me control my hand motion perfectly when applying a product. My only gripe with the handle is that I wish it were more weighted, like a Sigma brush for example. However, with that said, the brush diffuses powder products beautifully, allowing for you to build up the intensity depending on your mood.

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Zoeva Luxe Fan Brush (129) | £9.50

Fan brushes, to me, are massively underrated. For years, I never knew the importance of a fan brush and always thought that its only use was to look pretty on a dressing table. However, fan brushes are one of the most practical makeup tools around. A fan brush can be used for a multitude of tasks and eliminates the possibility of harsh lines. Using a fan brush to apply your highlighter creates a naturally diffused, soft-focused look, perfect for the daytime or understated looks.

The Zoeva Luxe Fan Brush is a high performance brush made of both natural and synthetic bristles. Zoeva brushes are by far my most favoured brush brand on the market. Not only are the brushes super affordable, but the quality of the brush and the packaging it comes in are incomparable.

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Real Techniques Setting Brush | £6.99

If you’re looking for quality brushes with an affordable price tag, the you can’t go wrong with Real Techniques. The powerful sisters behind this brand know what they’re doing when creating brushes. Each brush in their line are not only affordable, but they’re incredibly long lasting.

My favourite brush out of their range is the Setting Brush. So much so that I have 5 of these little beauties in my collection. Besides the fact that it’s pink (adore), the small, densely packed brush head means that I can concentrate the product in a particular area without worrying about it going all over the place. The synthetic bristles hold a lot of product; which is why I love using this brush on occasions when I really want to go full out glam. It’s also perfect for applying highlighter to small areas, such as the brow bone.

What are your favourite highlighter brushes? Comment below with your suggestions.

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p.s. I finally got my hands on Becca and Jacklyn Hill’s Champagne Pop and I’m loving it!