So, Fenty Beauty dropped their Cheeks Out Collection containing cream blush and bronzers and I am LIVING for this collection! In this blogpost I'll be reviewing the Cheeks Out Freestyle Cream Bronzers. I picked up 2 of their 7 shades, a bronzer in the shade Teddy and a contour in the shade Toffee Tease.

 The Claims:
"A light-as-air, non-greasy cream bronzer that effortlessly melts into skin for a natural-looking bronze or soft contour—in 7 no-fuss shades for all skin tones.
Sun’s out, cheeks out! Cheeks Out Freestyle Cream Bronzer brings out the best of your cheekbones and delivers a natural-looking bronze that fakes that best-life flex: Sun, sleep, and plenty of water. 
With 7 sheer, buildable shades designed to serve all skin types and tones, this cream bronzer warms up and softly defines your face with a fresh-faced bronze glow that looks natural on everyone.
Easy to blend and impossible to overdo, this light-as-air, sweat- and water-resistant formula instantly melts into skin without disturbing makeup, so vacay skin is just a finger tap away. And with a silky smooth texture that doesn’t feel sticky or greasy, Cheeks Out leaves your skin feeling as natural as it looks."

Octyldodecanol, isononyl isononanoate, caprylic/capric triglyceride, pentaerythrityl tetraisostearate, dicalcium phosphate, synthetic fluorphlogopite, synthetic wax, mica, polyethylene, bis-diglyceryl polyacyladipate-2, silica silylate, nylon-12, candelilla cera/euphorbia cerifera (candelilla) wax/cire de candelilla, disteardimonium hectorite, tocopheryl acetate, pentaerythrityl tetra-di-t-butyl hydroxyhydrocinnamate, talc, bht, titanium dioxide (ci 77891), iron oxides (ci 77491, ci 77492), blue 1 lake (ci 42090).

The Packaging
 It is housed in the same packaging as their powder bronzers and to distinguish between the two components, it has "Cream" written on top in a graphic font. Whilst the packaging isn't particularly small, for £28 you aren't actually getting that much product (5.23g). 

The Cost
I would class Fenty Beauty as a 'mid range' price point, similar to say Mac and Benefit. However this new launch is not the best value for money so the appeal really comes down to the formula and colour choices.

Let's break the cost down:
The Fenty Cream Bronzer comes in at £28 for 5.23g = £53.53 per 10g

Here are some other cream bronzer's price breakdown as a comparison:
Milk Makeup Matte Bronzer £20.50 for 28g = £7.32 per 10g
Chanel Healthy Glow Bronzing Cream £42 for 30g = £14 per 10g
Huda Beauty Tantour £26 for 11g = £21.81 per 10g
Fenty Matte Matchstix £21 for 7.10 g = £29.57 per 10g
Clinique Chubby Stick Sculpting Contour £21 for 6g = £35 per 10g
Nudestix Nudies Matte Blush & Bronze for £28 for 7g = £40 per 10g
Tom Ford Shade and Illuminate (Bronzer and Highlighter) £63 for 14g = £44.29 per 10g
Westman Atelier Contour £44 for 6g = £73.33 per 10g

This brings Fenty's Cream Bronzer into the upper price range of some of the most popular cream bronzers on the market. 

However, one of the key differences between Fenty's offering and those listed above, is that this is one of the few cream bronzers that actually has a shade range (Nudestix and Milk Makeup offering a 'deeper' shade in their cream bronzer range). Fenty Beauty offers a whopping 7 shades ranging from a pale contour (Amber) to a deep contour/bronzer (Toffee Tease) and these shades not only vary in depth but also tone, so this collection really caters to every skin tone. 

From left to right: Teddy (olive toned bronzer) and Toffee Tease (deep, cool toned bronzer/contour)

The Shade Range
There are seven shades, from lightest to darkest.
Amber - cool undertone for fair skin tones 
Butta Biscuit - pink toned for fair to light skin tones
Macchiatto - neutral toned for light to medium skin tones
Hunnie Glaze - warm toned for medium to tan skin tones
Teddy - olive toned for tan skin tones
Chocolate - warm toned for deep skin tones
Toffee Tease - cool undertone for very deep skin tones

From left to right: Fenty Powder Bronzer in Caramel Cutie, Fenty Cream Bronzer in Teddy and Toffee Tease
I picked up Teddy as I am always on the hunt for an olive toned, well, anything really. But especially bronzer and whilst I have found a few I love (such as the Fenty Powder Bronzer in Caramel Cutie), I haven't yet found an olive toned cream bronzer that isn't a foundation stick/concealer. And let me tell you, the shade does not disappoint. This isn't yellow, neutral, pink, red, orange or terracotta, this is OLIVE. And wow, do I love the tone of this bronzer. It is the perfect shade and mimics the exact tone of my my skin when I catch some sun. The magic really happens when I layer the powder bronzer in Caramel Cutie (which I would say is a shade match for Teddy), I have the most natural looking tan that blends seamlessly in with the rest of my body and that looks like a genuine suntan rather than a sun burn or typical "bronzer" colour.

Toffee Tease
 I also picked up the shade Toffee Tease as a deep contour for when I am more tan as most traditional contours don't show up on my skin when I have a tan and go above an NC30 skin tone. Plus, I was curious as to how this deep shade would perform and how it would look sheered out on the skin. Now this is an interesting one, in the pan it looks quite cool, almost purple in tone but on the skin it truly is neutral. I've been able to wear this as a lighter medium skin tone (NC27 with an olive undertone) sheered out under the cheekbone and I do find it mimics a shadow and defines the contours of my face without looking too grey/ashy. However, I'm sure this contour will come into it's own when I'm more tan as it will most certainly show up when I am a medium-tan skin tone as a contour. It provides depth and definition but the sheer formula doesn't leave it looking muddy and it blends into the skin so it doesn't leave a line of contour but sculpts into your face structure. 

The Formula
So, I think I need to start off by setting expectations. This is a sheer and more emollient product. So, if you're looking for more pigment and punch with a matte, skin-like finish then I'll point you to the Fenty Matchstix* (available in Matte and Shimmer formulas).

Now that is out of the way...

This product isn't a traditional 'cream' product, I'd liken it more to a gel/cream hybrid as it has more emollience and translucency than other cream bronzers on the market. 

For example, the cream offerings from Chanel and Huda (even the Fenty Beauty Matchstix) have a a traditional creamy  texture with a soft matte, powder finish. The Nudestix bronzer is more creamy rather than a cream-powder and and has a finer finish on the skin. Whereas the Milk Makeup Matte Bronzer or the Tom Ford Shade and Illuminate are very emollient and dewy on the skin. I would say the most similar product is the Tom Ford Shade and Illuminate - it has the same translucency and emollient finish but is slightly more dewy. The con here is the up front cost (although it is cheaper per gram) and that it comes with a translucent highlighter which people might not use. Furthermore, the shade range leans on the warmer side, rather than neutral, and doesn't have an extensive shade range.

When you feel the product in the pan, it does melt to the warmth of your fingers and feels quite emollient and buttery. When you start to blend it on the skin, however, the texture feels more gel like and then begins to set into a more powdery finish. However don't be fooled, this won't leave your skin looking powdery or matte or even soft-matte like the Nudestix. You'll be left with a satin finish on the skin, not at all powdery or blurring but a true skin-like texture. I'd also say that with some "bronzer" shades like Teddy, which have an incredibly subtle shimmer running through them, you'll be left with a luminous skin-like finish (see below). Even though the more glowy shades in the line up leave a luminous finish on the skin, they don't leave any tacky or sticky feeling on the skin or any real dew/gloss (like the Tom Ford and Milk Makeup). So I'd agree that it is non-greasy, light as air, natural looking bronzer.

As you can see in the photo above, Teddy has a beautiful and fine shimmer that leaves your skin looking luminous but not dewy or greasy. 

The Application

As this is quite sheer I find it lends to this whole 'just like skin' texture. The translucency in this product really allows it to blend in to your skin. It is what I would describe as a wash of sunshine across your skin. Whilst you can build this up, I'd recommend accepting it as a beautiful veil of colour. If you do want to build it up however, the Fenty bronzers work wonderfully and seamlessly on top of this as a base, to add more depth and a sun kissed effect.

I have applied this in multiple ways, I've dipped my finger into the product, dotted it on my face and blended it out with a sponge/brush (I've found that duo fibre brushes, stippling brushes and synthetic foundation brushes work best with this formula). I have also applied this by dipping a brush directly in to the product and stippling it in to the skin. I've applied this onto skin that has just SPF on, on to light coverage bases and on to fuller, more matte bases and this works beautifully every time and really adapts to the finish of the foundation you've used. I find that when applying this on to more matte foundations that stippling the product in to the skin provides the most seamless results. Due to the sheerness of this product and adaptable gel like texture, it is pretty fool-proof when it comes to application. 

Final Thoughts
I love it. I love it because the shade is everything I have ever wanted in a cream bronzer and it provides a natural, effortless looking finish to the skin. I think that if there's a shade that you can't find in another brand or find a shade that finally caters to your skin tone, yes, I do think this bronzer is worth it. Or, if you want a light-weight cream bronzer that truly mimics skin texture and are a big fan of 'no makeup, makeup', I really do think you'll enjoy this product.

However, if you're lucky and have a light-medium skin tone that suits neutral-warm bronzers and you prefer a more pigment or a soft-matte/dewy finish then you can probably find a more cost effective cream bronzer elsewhere.

Fenty Beauty  Cheeks Out FreeStyle Cream Bronzer* available at Harvey Nichols for £28.

*affiliate link used (if you buy through this link I will receive a small commission from the product, without any cost or change to you the buyer, which helps support this blog).

Shop my Favourite Cream Bronzers

Spring is here.
The air is warm and the only rain is that from blossoming trees, kissing the ground with each fall.

This time of year makes me reflective, introspective and so incredibly pensive. I want to spend my hours, thinking, reading, and writing, only to break for some fruit and a cup of coffee. The evenings I want spend in the fading sunlight, lingering on memories.

So for Spring, a time for the fresh and the new, I need something that mirrors my need for warmth and comfort whilst also clearing my mind and making me feel light, not weighed down by my emotions.

Enter Diptyque's L'Ombre Dans L'eau.
I think the name, The Shadow in the Water, is evocative of my relationship with spring.
Shadows serving as memories, dancing in the sun-dappled waters, waiting until it is hot enough to dive right in.

It's something intangible, 
a scent you can't quite put your finger on.
 But it reminds you of something you know so well...

A mix of fresh black currants, their crushed leaves filling the air, enveloped by a soft but spicy rose. It's not the smell of an English garden, but you'll be able to walk through the British countryside. 

It's fresh and green. 
Fruity but tart.

It's sillage seeing you through the bare branches and blue skies, all the way to the fruitful trees in the gardens.

Diptyque L'ombre Dans L'eau* available at SpaceNK for £120.

*affiliate link used (if you buy through this link I will receive a small commission from the product, without any cost or change to you the buyer, which helps support this blog).
I spoke about Breaking the Beauty Rules in my first post where I focus on playing with application and throwing out the 'how to's' of makeup. But now I want to talk about products and throwing out their manuals.

How many times do we buy a makeup product and use it only for their intended purpose? Our lipstick goes on our lips, our blush on our cheeks. Sometimes we mix it up when the brand has given us permission to. Take "lip2cheek" products and "multipurpose" sticks which allow us to play and experiment with where we like to place product. 

But I encourage you to change the way you use your makeup. We may all throw a bit of bronzer in the crease but are we using that eyeshadow as highlight, or that iridescent highlight as eyeshadow? Do we pat that perfect lipstick on our cheeks, or, create a perfect powdered pout by patting your blush on top of a lipstick. 

In a moment of lockdown, now is the time to play with placement, to get experimental. Bring life back to old items and rekindle your love for all things texture.

The Pat McGrath Fetish Eyes Mascara has joined the search party for the  ever elusive "best mascara". I've used the whole tube up before writing this review, as I wanted experience the lifespan of this mascara, to see it from infancy to adulthood, to really understand who she is, and what she has to offer.

Let's start off with the facts: she's a little bit pricey at £26 so expectations are already high. For £26, I really am looking for a near perfect mascara to justify the price. It is a nylon bristled brush rather than a plastic combed brush. The brush itself is classic in shape, and has the same circumference (no taper) throughout the entire wand. I'd describe her as short and squat.

But before I move on, it might be helpful to know about my lashes and my preferences, as mascara is such a personal makeup item. If my lashes sound similar to yours and our preferences are the same, then this review will apply to you, or if we are direct opposites then it may also be helpful to you (eg, mascaras that don't work for me are usually perfect for my mum).

I have quite short, straight lashes that get weighed down by heavy or wet mascaras. I always curl my eyelashes before mascara application and look for a formula that supports a curl. I like length and volume but as I don't have a lot of length, I can't frame an extremely thick or clumpy lash. I also need it to not smudge, smear or crumble throughout the day.

Some of my favourites: Chanel Le Volume, Diorshow Overcurl Mascara, L'Oreal Lash Paradise, Glossier Lash Slick, Benefit They're Real Mascara

Some which didn't work for me: Lancome Monsieur Big (too thick), Charlotte Tilbury Full Fat Lashes (weighs my lashes down), Too Faced Better Than Sex (flakes)

The Pat McGrath Fetish Eyes mascara is on first opening, a wise and mature woman. You don't have that overly wet 'fresh' mascara problem. She opens already at her prime, at that sweet spot that we all love in a mascara when it has just dried out enough to give us full, luscious lashes. Because she is ever so slightly drier in texture, the mascara isn't too wet or heavy so doesn't weigh your lashes down. My lashes hold a curl and can really be flexed and moulded into the shape I want to create. The thicker texture adds volume and the bristle brush is able to wiggle through your lashes to give the right amount of "clump" whilst also separating lashes and allowing for some flutter. The wand is able to deposit the formula on to the base of the lashes, leaving them thick and black but doesn't clump the lengths of the lashes together. The mascara lasts well all day, it doesn't smudge, even with an unset and luminous concealer. It does sometimes, however, flake. But the effect of this mascara is worth a few specks at the end of a long day. I adore this mascara, I find that it gives me really flirty lashes, full, fluttery, girly. You can really pull the brush through your lashes to stretch your lashes and sculpt them into a more feline shape.

But, because of it's instantly ripe texture, she has a short lifespan. Within three weeks she is dry and you are scraping to get the last juice from this mascara, which really calls in to question the price. For me, this mascara is too expensive to repurchase on a (minimum) monthly basis. She is so close to perfection, but just misses the mark. If this at least £10 cheaper, I would be whole-heartedly recommending it but it is a £26 mascara that doesn't last through a month of daily use. 

So, do I like this mascara? Absolutely.
Would I repurchase her? Yes, but as a treat.
Would I recommend it? Only if you have the budget but otherwise, stick with your current favourite. The lashes really aren't all that better over here.

*affiliate link used (if you buy through this link I will receive a small commission from the product, without any cost or change to you the buyer, which helps support this blog).


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