Meet The Tech Monday featuring Jess Wells, The Nail Engineer…

MEET THE TECH MONDAY

Welcome lovelies…

So, in order to shake off those pesky Monday blues I’m insisting you take a moment, grab your cuppa & get settled to take a peek at yet another Meet The Tech Monday! And what a treat we have this morning as the fabulously funny Jess Wells joins us on the virtual sofa to chat about her transformation from Project Engineer to Nail Technician. Quite the change eh?!

Don’t forget, if you’re a UK based Nail Tech (or training to become one) then *CLICK HERE* to get yourself over to the Nail Tech Chat & Support UK Facebook Group where you can meet oodles of new nail buddies, pick up a wealth of insider knowledge & chatter with a wide variety of like-minded techs – including some of the UK’s top educators too!

Anyway, that’s enough from me… are you sitting comfy? Then let’s get started…

Jess Wells The Nail Engineer 

Name:

Jess Wells, aka The Nail Engineer

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Age:

38

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Are you mobile, home working or salon based?

Mobile / home working

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What training have you undertaken or are intending to take?

VTCT Level 3 Nail Services, should complete Q2 2017

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What nail brands do you enjoy using & why?

My main gel polish brand is Madam Glam because they have a great range, the colours are pretty true to the website, the formula is vegan, cruelty free and 5 free, delivery is swift and the price point is great. The polishes are generally highly pigmented and well behaved, with hardly any shrinkage or wrinkling throughout the range. I also use The Gel Bottle Inc, but mostly for their amazing builders, which are my best buy ever! Me and my girls have such lovely long and strong nails now, thanks to this amazing product! The colours are great too and many are practically opaque on the first coat. I’ve recently tried Missu builders (for P&W) and initial impressions are very good. I don’t work much in acrylic but when I do, I like CJP best.

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How long have you been involved in the industry?

I was a hobbyist on and off for 19 years but only had the opportunity to train October 2016, when I took redundancy from my job as a Project / Quality Engineer. I’d just had my 4th miscarriage, with each happening after particularly stressful events and heavily work-related, so I just decided I had to change something. Now I fit my work around life and despite packing a year’s training into a few months, while starting a new business, I never feel strung out like I did. I just hope it pays off and I can get pregnant and stay pregnant long enough to have a live birth next time.

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Do you offer any other services other than nails?

No, unless armchair psychology counts?!

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Where do you get ideas for upcoming nail designs?

Everywhere! Art, films, music, life events, scenery, books, eras, nature, science, family, even Lush bath bombs! The list goes on! There is beauty in everything, so everything can be inspiring. In addition, I like to keep up to date with nail trends on nail art groups, instagram and YouTube.

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What is your most memorable or favourite set?

This set inspired by @helennails_yeg.

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I was just so amazed and intrigued by the colour combination of aqua, pale khaki and olive green glitter. My only regret is that my mandala detail isn’t freehanded, like the original. Oh, and that I didn’t buy a pale khaki before attempting this mani – I had to hand mix it from a mint green, sage green / grey and yellow polishes

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What has been your least favourite set and why? 

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This set took an extra 1.5 hours of faffing due to a last minute mind-change by the client and the plate being awkward. They were going to be simple and classy in holographic silver and black, over nude pink, but the client decided she wanted this sickly pink instead and to avoid overkill, I had to painstakingly fill in only part of the designs, to avoid it looking super trashy. She loved them but I really hate that pink and wish I’d just said “pick something else!”. Lesson learned for next time….

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Are there any nail pro’s that inspire you?

@helennails_yeg, @deadlynails, Sarah Richardson / @therealmrsgrey, Sarah Abbott, @ninanailedit, Rachael Wilders, @ladycrappo, Annie Sarah Collins, Melanie Lewendon, Cassie Pattrick-O’Hara… The list never ends; there’s so many nail ninjas out there!

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How do you deal with difficult clients?

Relationships are key, and they’re built on trust. I work really hard for my clients, to ensure that every mani is personalised or significant in some way. I can only do that by building strong relationships and getting to know the client inside out. I always believe that honesty is the best policy. I am too old to just sit back and bite my tongue and I don’t need the stress of pussyfooting around prima donnas. If I’m not happy, I’ll say. I changed careers to reduce my stress so I’m not about to trade one hassle for another. Of course, a sense of humour helps and when someone questions your skill or judgement, the results speak for themselves.

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How do you keep yourself motivated during quiet times or tough days?

I have plenty of other things going on in my life so I just switch my focus. Dwelling on issues generally doesn’t help. Of course, you must analyse the situation, identify what went wrong and work on improving but, above and beyond that is just a waste. Life’s too short to spend it worrying and you’re only as bad as your last set, so get out there and do a better set

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What do you find is the most challenging thing about being a nail tech?

Working with women. After working in engineering for 19 years, mostly with blokes, and being a bit “Rainman” myself, I know I’m not a touchy-feely, huggy-kissy girlie girl and I totally get how many men think we’re from different planets. I’m getting used to it, but it is like learning a foreign language!

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How do you cope with business competition?

I don’t dwell on it. There will always be someone quicker / cheaper / nearer / whatever but I have yet to hear of anyone in my area who puts as much thought and effort into each mani, will try just about anything, has the range of products I can offer (without being a salon) and will totally tailor the service to suit. By offering a diverse range of niche services, competition is massively reduced – something I learned during my engineering career.

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Are there any aspects of your skills you’d like improve on?

I would say Acrylic, as it’s my Achilles heel, but I prefer using gel for a whole host of reasons, so I’d say my ability to multitask, or maybe to be less clumsy!

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What current trends are your clients loving?

Negative space, sharm effect, mermaid powder, chameleon chrome and direct decal stamping.

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What are your interests outside of nails?

Mechanical engineering, DIY, upcycling, sewing (I make all my own curtains and upholstery), cooking, reading and films. I’m currently compiling a planning application and completing my VTCT coursework, so it keeps me pretty busy!

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What advice would you give to others thinking about starting off in the nail industry?

Think long and hard about what you can offer – do you have a USP or hook? If so, you need to really focus on that. If not, think on. There are a lot of good techs out there so you need to be really talented and / or dedicated. You really need to build a brand identity and get it out there on social media, especially instagram. I also recommend going down the NVQ / VTCT route, as opposed to brand-specific qualifications so that you’re not tied to brands and can follow the trends without having to fork out for conversion courses.

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What social media links can we find you on?

https://www.instagram.com/thenailengineer https://m.youtube.com/channel/UC55CeVyyXRbliD_s0IPJ42g https://m.facebook.com/TheNailEngineer/

A huge thanks to our lovely Jess for taking part in Meet The Tech Monday… be sure to pop by her social media pages to check out her fantastic work or why not take a moment to say a quick howdy in the comments below. As always, thanks for stopping by 🙂

Cheerio Chums…

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Confessions 2016/2017 (tag)

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When I first started blogging (quite a few years ago) I remember the flood of tag’s that were always on the go. I adored reading them and getting to know my blog buddies through a wide range of fun questions… then somehow they disappeared into the virtual void & I rarely spotted them again – until now that is.

Needless to say the gorgeous Sarah from Sarah’s Cup Of Beauty, tagged me recently and so akin to my retro blogging ways I just had to roll up my sleeves and give it a go – particularly when as the word ‘Confession’ is involved 😉  Anyways, if you’ve a few minutes to spare or fancy giving this a go yourself then get comfy and keep reading…

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Describe your 2016 in 3 words

Surprising, transformative, eventful

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Write the name of 2 people that have characterised your 2016.

My husband, Steve. No matter what, he never fails to support whatever I do. Most definitely a huge part of the driving force behind my goals ❤

My daughter, Emma, who makes me feel so incredibly blessed to be a mama.

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Write the most delicious food you’ve tasted in 2016

Hmmm, that’s a good question – honestly, I’d have to say smoked salted-chilli chicken with noodles. It’s amazing! Nom 🙂

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Write the event which marked you most in 2016.

The decline of my health. When chronic illness hit me I felt utterly isolated in so many ways, particularly being so young. Thankfully keeping my focus on goals (that I can achieve) really has helped me to get through each day with an aim in mind.

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Write the finest purchase you’ve made in 2016, and if you want link a photo.

My nail practice hand. Sounds utterly bizarre, but with so many new nail products on the market it gives me a chance to test them all out on something that is such a great help. Definitely a worth while investment for any nail tech J

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Write 3 good intentions for 2017

1. Be as active as possible without letting chronic pain terrify me into exclusion.

2. Work on some really exciting projects.

3. Spend as much quality time with my family as possible – they come first and foremost!

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Write 1 place you want to visit in 2017

Considering that I’m absolutely terrified of flying I won’t be going very far…. As much as I dream of visiting the United States one day, it feels like it may never happen – unless I manage to overcome my fears! For now, it might just be the local beach…. having said that it’s pretty darn beautiful so no major grumbles here. The weather could be a bit nicer for it though!

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Write 1 plate of food you’d like to eat in 2017.

My Christmas dins – yep, sounds bizarre so early in the year but if I make it to Christmas and spend it with those that mean the most then I’m as happy as can be!

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Here are the tag rules:

1. Mention the creator of the TAG.

2. Use the image that you find in this article.

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3. Mention the blogger who has chosen you.

4. Answer the questions.

5. Mention 9 bloggers/friends and let them know through a comment on their blog.

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And the nominations are….

YOU!

Okay so I might be a bit of a rule breaker.. but without tagging a heap of my blog buddies I thought I’d leave this one open for the any of you lovely lot to attempt.

Feel free to use my main image (very top) or you can use the one above that has been supplied by the original poster.

Don’t forget to give me a mention so I can check out yours too, I’d love to read your answers!

A huge ‘thank you’ to the lovely Sarah over at Sarah’s Cup Of Beauty for nominating me… do pop over and say a huge hello, she’s super friendly!

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As always, whatever your thoughts I’d love to read them in the comments below, so do stop by and say a quick howdy 🙂

Cheerio Chums…

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USPICY 48W UV/LED Nail Lamp: Unboxing & Review…

 

Regardless of whether you’re a well-seasoned pro, start-up nail tech or simply obsessed with a glossy gel polish; there’ll be one thing that’s top of your equipment ‘must have’ list – a fabulous nail lamp. But what to choose when there’s so much choice out there? Does affordability mean cutting quality or does sticking with the salon established names mean you’re paying over the odds? Does it have to be LED or UV? Is there room for an entire hand, and what about toes too? Is it able to travel well if you’re out on the road a lot? So many questions, and that’s just the tip of the Iceberg! *sigh*

Digging a little deeper into what (most) nail techs want from a lamp, and it’s no surprise to find out that my needs are exactly that as a majority of nail artists out there – a reliable, spacious, easy to use lamp that can cope with a wide range of gel products without taking up half of my desk and draining my bank account! Doesn’t seem an overly ambitious ask, right? However, over the last 9 months alone I’ve blazed my way through 3 lamps – all of which have turned out have more cons than pro’s when it comes to assessing my needs.

But could my curing woes be a thing of the past?

Cue the USpicy nail lamp… a 48W, sassy little lamp that fits neatly on my desk, looks smart and seems to tick all my shopping list requirements. In fact, it even has a bonus item of coming complete with its own little USB light which is perfect for any mobile nail tech, or notoriously badly lit area!

So this week’s upload is taking a peek at this fabulous little lamp that could just be the answer to our curing prayers… an affordable lamp that actually does the job! Grab a cuppa, nestle down, press play & find out for yourself…

Ps:  You can *Click Here* to check it out on Amazon UK for yourself!

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Cheerio Chums…

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1000 YouTube Subscribers… THANK YOU!!!

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SO, I’m casually browsing around the interwebs this morning and to my shock and surprise discover that 1000 of you fabulous folk have subscribed to my little corner of YouTube! Naturally, such a revelation caused for celebrating with a mars bar square and cup of tea… aren’t I just the modern day party animal!!

So thank you, thank you, THANK YOU! All those that have taken the time to stop by my channel, watch a video, leave a comment, hit the like button and of course (the golden ticket) subscribe. Like most YouTubers, taking the plunge to launch a channel wasn’t an easy step – my nerves were as solid as grated cheese as beads of sweat lashed from my forehead at the mere thought of a nasty comment (I’ve had a few but life goes on)… isn’t the block button a wonderful invention chums?! 😉

Thinking back to my very first video I almost cringe at how horrendously nervous I was. Revealing my blog to friends and family was one thing, but actually putting myself out there on YouTube was something else as a whole new world of realisation dawned… it isn’t like taking a selfie; you can’t sit still and hope for the best angle… everything is on show! Looks, personality, surroundings. Not that I’m in any way ashamed of myself, how I act or the home I live in – but there’s always that looming fear that some nasty critter stumbles across your channel and leaves a horrid comment that will make you hibernate below a duvet for months on end, pondering how on earth to rectify a smashed confidence. Thankfully that hasn’t been the case. If anything I’m more confident now than I’ve ever been about myself… at the end of the day, I’m a mere mortal, just like everyone else. I’ve good days/bad days/crappier than crap days but also days that I’m unbelievably thankful for what I’ve achieved in building my self-belief. Isn’t it amazing the influence a bunch of people who you’ve never met (and scattered all over the world) can make in building such positivity in your life?! Every time I’ve reached a blogging or YouTube goal it’s because of the support of others (aka YOU guys) and that’s something I’m incredibly grateful for.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m under no illusion that 1000 subscribers is a mere spec of dust on the moon compared to other channels – but for me, it’s a HUGE milestone. So once again THANK YOU blog buddies – for being not only the biggest part of my blogging journey but also my YouTube one too!

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If you enjoy a sprinkle of beauty chatter and have a quick moment to pop by the Confetti & Curves YouTube channel then *CLICK HERE* to subscribe! Do feel free to say a quick hello and if you have a channel too, leave the link below and I’ll go check it out 🙂

Cheerio Chums…

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CLOSED: Win A KAT-VON-D Eyeshadow Palette Of YOUR Choice…

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It’s GIVEAWAY time here on Confetti & Curves as we celebrate our exciting news! As y’all know, we recently hit a grand total of 2000 subscribers thanks to you fab folk popping by to check out my regular beauty & blog ramblings! But it’s not only that whopping milestone we’ve been digging out the party hats for, as Confetti & Curves celebrates its 2nd Blogiversary!  Cue the Blogday cake gals *woohoo*

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And of course, what better way to say a HUGE thank you to all my blog buddies & readers than to host a fabulous INTERNATIONAL GIVEAWAY featuring something a little special… which is exactly why you could win a gorgeous KAT VON D eyeshadow palette of YOUR choice!

Wanna know more? Then just keep reading…

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Shade & Light Eye Contour Palette

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This eyeshadow palette is something special, y’all! Arranged with the perfect blend of neutral, warm and cool tones, it contains base, contour, highlight and define shades…just one look and you know this sh*t is insane!

Each matte powder is finely-milled and highly pigmented for true payoff and awesome blendability! We dare you to find a shade that you don’t absolutely adore

*Excerpt from KVD website*

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Interstellar Eyeshadow Palette

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Seize the night with Innerstellar’s twelve starry-eyed shades. Our signature color quad configuration gives you larger-sized base shades (so you don’t hit pan on the ones you use the most), plus a dazzling constellation of pop colors in shimmer and matte finishes! Each base shade is arranged above three accent shades, creating three color quads in this one palette!

*Excerpt from KVD website*

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Chrysalis Eyeshadow Palette

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The Chrysalis Palette opens up a world of breathtaking beauty, inspired by the cool, dramatic hues of a butterfly. Create full eye metamorphosis with the swipe of a brush! Each finely-milled eyeshadow is saturated with bold, pure pigment. Crease-free and long wearing, these powders have super rich payoff and gorgeous blendability!

*Excerpt from KVD website*

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1) If you haven’t done so already then get following Confetti & Curves via WordPress OR you can:

*Click Here* to follow via TWITTER

*Click Here* to follow via INSTAGRAM

*Click Here* to follow via FACEBOOK

2) Re-Blog OR Share this post via whatever Social Media your heart desires ❤

3) Leave me a comment below stating the Kat Von D palette of your choice!

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*CLICK HERE* To subscribe to the Confetti & Curves YOUTUBE channel and leave a comment on any video you wish & you’ll automatically grab yourself an entry! *waa hoo*

Current subscribers simply need to leave a comment 🙂

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THE ABOVE GIVEAWAY IS RUNNING THROUGHOUT OCTOBER – ENTRY CLOSES 31/10/16 @ MIDNIGHT (GMT)

ONE LUCKY WINNER WILL BE SELECTED AT RANDOM & CONTACTED ON MONDAY 07/11/ 2016

ENTRANTS MUST BE 16 YEARS OR OLDER

Once again, thank you all SO very much for your support, encouraging comments & generally just being a fabulous bunch. Wishing all those who enter the very best of luck!

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Autumn Inspired Makeup: Purple Smoky Eyes…

There’s few words that can truly portray just how excited I get for the arrival of fall… it’s undoubtedly my favourite time of the year! The gorgeous rich colours of the landscape, crunchy brown leaves tumbling to the ground, warm cosy scarves, boots and of course – makeup up to match *happy sigh*

In this week’s video I showcase (one of) my favourite looks for fall… a purple smokey eye and dramatic rich berry lip. Those fabulous colours never fail to get me in the mood for a spiced pumpkin latte and gingerbread cookie – not to mention dusting off my fairy lights and seasonal candles.

So if beautiful berry tones coupled with moody mauves is your kinda thing too then sit back & hit the play button. My entire makeup look is a cocktail combination of super affordable drugstore finds, so it’s just as pretty on your pocket as it is on your face 😀

Don’t forget – you can subscribe to the Confetti & Curves YouTube channel by *Clicking Here* – and if YOU have a look for autumn that you’ve been blogging or vlogging about recently do leave the link in the comments below, I’d love to check it out!

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Cheerio Chums…

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Bourjois Poudre De Riz De Java – Illuminating Face Powder…

Bourjois Poudre De Riz De Java Illuminating Powder

Not gonna lie ladies, face powders have never really been my thing, simply because most of the ones I’ve tried in the past have left my skin looking a little cakey, dried out and in need of a good re-hydrating face mask. Maybe it’s pale skin problems or maybe it’s my overall skin type; either way powders and moi just haven’t mixed as well as I’d hoped we would. Could the Bourjois Poudre de Riz change all that? Let’s find out…

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So before we jump right in with the review let’s take a peek at what Bourjois have to say about it:

“Bourjois celebrates its 150th birthday by reinventing its best selling cult classic from 1879! The delicately scented feather-light powder boosts skins radiance, smoothes the complexion and sets make-up. One transparent shade suits all!”

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Let’s talk packaging…

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Let’s be honest it really is the first thing that catches your eye about this little cutie, well it certainly was for me whilst browsing the Bourjois stand in my local drugstore. Personally I adore the fact it’s designed in a very chic and vintage style, which looks exceptionally sassy on the dressing table. Of course the beautiful French text and descriptions give the impression of a high end spend when in fact it’s a mere £9.99. My only grumble is that they could be a little more clearer on the description of what it does and what it’s for, okay so it’s not too hard to figure out but just a little more info wouldn’t go a miss!

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So what does it actually do?

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Apart from giving you a soft illuminating glow to your face I found it worked really well at simply setting my makeup whilst keeping my oily areas under control. The formula is incredibly light weight and has a very subtle micro glitter/shimmer running through it – which I must admit kinda concerned me that it may come across too much but it absolutely doesn’t, so for those of you who writhe in the mere thought of sprinkling unicorn powder across your face you can take a deep breath, this is far from shimmery however it does add a very soft luminosity to the skin by brightening it ever so slight.

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What about the formula?

It’s a powder, so there’s not really that much to add here HOWEVER its incredibly fine and smells of THEE most beautiful floral scent that reminds me of dried flowers, old fashioned sweets and my grandma’s perfume all rolled into one. However considering that it is delicately scented this may not be suitable for all skin types – particularly those with super sensitive skin. From personal experience my skin reacts to most things but the Poudre De Riz De Java sat so finely on top of my foundation that it really didn’t bother my most moodiest of pores. It leaves a very silky smooth texture to your skin that doesn’t seem to transfer easily, nor does it leave my makeup looking cakey or too matte.

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Application…

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It really is each to their own with this as some are happy to dab onto a dry blender sponge, however where powders are concerned I’m always a fan of sticking to good quality makeup brushes. I personally love the Real Techinques Duo Fibre Facebrush – which picks up the perfect amount of powder so you don’t need to worry about over applying. Simply tap some of the powder into the lid and apply over your finished makeup look to help set your foundation and brighten your complexion – it couldn’t be easier.

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Pro’s

One transparent shade suits all – no hunting for colour matches.

Lightweight

Great for setting makeup

Ideal for keeping oily spots under control

Smells like a little bowl of floral gems  (anyone remember those?!)

Non mattefying, so it shouldn’t change the finished look of your foundation!

Beautifully presented in vintage inspired packaging – a classy addition to any vanity table

A great happy medium without over spending on high end alternatives.

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Con’s

Not everyone might be a fan of the scent – though I can’t imagine why, it’s beautiful!

It’s not the cheapest powder available in drugstores… however it has been the only one that hasn’t left my makeup looking caked.

May be tricky getting the last little dregs of powder out of the packaging due to the sealed unit.

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Final thoughts

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As much as powders and I haven’t really bonded in the past I must admit this has been the most successful one of tried to date. It’s lightweight, smells beautiful and leaves my skin feeling silky smooth. I appreciate that Talc based products aren’t for everyone but for those who are okay to wear them this is most certainly a lovely product that looks great, feels great, lightly illuminates and is certainly worth the £9.99 spend in comparison to its drugstore rivals.

*Click Here* for more information & customer reviews on the Boots website

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Have you tried the Bourjois Poudre de Riz illumination face powder? If so, what’s been your final verdict? Or are you a fan of liquid finish rather than powder? Whatever your thoughts I’d love to read them in the comments below so do stop by for a quick chatter:)

Cheerio Chums…

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