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Thursday, December 23, 2010

Mac 187 Duo Fibre Brush: Old vs New

 Old vs New

I bought my first Mac 187 Duo Fiber brush at a Mac counter at Macy's and I absolutely fell in love with it. You can read about my rave here. Recently, I decided to get a new Mac 187 brush as a back up and I ordered it from their main website. I was so disappointed when I received the package last week because the quality of the bristles was the same as the Marcel Wanders 187 brush (inferior quality). Click here to read my review.

Old vs New

I'm not sure if you can see the difference in the pictures, but in person, I definitely notice a huge quality difference. My old Mac 187 brush is much denser and firmer, and the white synthetic bristles are much thicker than the new Mac 187 brush that I recently got.

Old vs New

I'm not sure if Mac recently changed the quality of their 187 brush. (I bought the old one in May or June of last year.) Maybe the quality of the products from the counters are different than the quality of the products from their main website.

Has anyone experienced a similar situation as I did? 

 
*This post contains affiliate links. None of the products mentioned are sponsored.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Mini Trip and Mac and Urban Decay Eyeshadow Swatches


I stayed at the Hilton Casino Hotel in Atlantic City last week for 6 days and 5 nights. The room was so spacious and comfortable. I loved the bathroom especially because all the walls had full view mirrors and the counter had so much room to fit all my makeup, but too bad I forgot to take a picture. =(

I'll be going away again to Washington D.C. on Friday and won't be back until Sunday night. I doubt I'll have any new posts up on my blog this weekend, but hopefully, I'll have swatches of some new Mac eyeshadows that I bought recently and swatches of some more Urban Decay eyeshadows when I come back. =)

What are your plans for this weekend?

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Stars Makeup Haven Empty Eyeshadow Palette



Stars Makeup Haven Empty 28 Pan Eyeshadow Palette


I've been getting alot of questions, regarding my empty eyeshadow palettes. I get them from Stars Makeup Haven (SMH) for $15.00. You can also get it from Coastal Scents for $9.95. Mac's Single Pro Palette ($8) is thicker and the insert ($2) only fits 15 eyeshadows. SMH's palette is the better choice for eyeshadow junkies like me because it fits more eyeshadows with the insert. They also fit alot of different brands of eyeshadows, including Mac, Urban Decay, Coastal Scents, ELF, and SMH of course. I depot all my eyeshadows and store them all in there so it's more organized and easily accessible when I do my makeup.



*This post contains affiliate links. None of the products mentioned are sponsored.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Review: Mac & Marcel Wanders 187 Duo Fiber Brush (Limited Edition)


I have been using the Mac & Marcel Wanders 187 Duo Fiber brush for a week now and all I can say is that it does not meet my expectations. The white synthetic bristles are thinner, wider and not as dense or firm as the white synthetic bristles of the regular Mac 187 brush (review). Not only is the Marcel Wanders brush slightly flimsy, but it does not give me the airbrush finish that I get with the regular 187 brush.

If you are using liquid foundation or cream blushes with the 187 brushes, you must apply the product by stippling. If you stipple and swirl, the product will touch the natural fibers, and that will cause the bristles to shed.

I’ve had no problem with shedding with the regular 187 brush when I stipple; however, the Marcel Wanders brush shedded a few hairs when I stippled liquid foundation on my face.

The length of the limited edition brush is also an inconvenience, since it tends to hit the mirror when I get too close. It is about an inch longer than the regular version.

Another problem I have with the Marcel Wanders brush is the cheap plastic looking handle. I prefer the regular 187 brush because the handle looks more professional and sturdy. I absolutely love the design of the limited edition brush, which was one of the main reasons why I got the brush, but the quality is just bad. I was willing to pay almost double just for the beautiful design of the handle, but after seeing it in person, it's just not worth it since the quality of the regular 187 brush is much better and way less expensive.

If Mac makes another 187 brush with a similar design like the Marcel Wanders brush, but with better quality and not cheap plastic looking, then I will definitely buy it.

The Mac & Marcel Wanders 187 brush costs $75.00, while the regular 187 brush costs $42.00

How does the Mac & Marcel Wanders brush work for you?

*This post contains affiliate links. None of the products mentioned are sponsored.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Sneak Peak: Mac & Marcel Wanders 187 Duo Fibre Brush


I just got my Mac & Marcel Wanders 187 Duo Fiber brush and I am super excited to try it out. I love the original Mac 187 Duo Fiber brush (reviewfrom the permanent line so much and it is hands down my favorite foundation brush ever. I hope the limited edition brush will not disappoint. I will test it throughout this week and plan to post a review before the end of this week. =)

Did you get anything from the Mac & Marcel Wanders Collection?

*This post contains affiliate links. None of the products mentioned are sponsored.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Makeup Storage and Vanity


I stayed at the Hyatt Hotel during my recent trip and I fell in love with the bathroom counter. It's so spacious and is the perfect place to do my makeup because I can just lay everything out on the table. The bathroom cabinet at my house has no space for anything. =(


I desperately need somewhere comfortable to do my makeup and to store everything. I came across West Elm's Narrow-Leg Vanity and it is gorgeous, but the price is pretty steep. It retails for $379.00, but is on sale now for $299. The total price adds up to $352 because of shipping and handling and tax.

I love that the mirror folds down and becomes a completely flat table. I can place my laptop there and transform it into a computer table. There is also 2 drawers and more storage space in the middle, but the price is still creating a barrier between me and the lovely vanity.


Ikea also sells a nice cabinet for makeup storage called the Lillangen Mirror Cabinet for $49.99. The mirrored door is removable and you're suppose to place the Anordna Interior Fixtures (picture on the right) inside the cabinet. The Anordna pull-out storage is sold separately for $14.99.

Why can't money grow on trees?

What other makeup storage ideas do you suggest?

Swatches: Urban Decay Eyeshadows Part 1



I've been eyeing on a couple of Urban Decay eyeshadows for a while now, but haven't made the purchase because I just couldn't justify buying them at full price for $17.00 each. Sephora was recently having a 20% off sale and I took full advantage of that. =)

These swatches do not do the Urban Decay eyeshadows any justice. They look much prettier in person because the flash washes out the color. Also, when comparing them to Mac eyeshadows side to side, the latter looks dull in the pictures because of my stupid camera.

Urban Decay Maui Wowie looks like a shimmery silver color when swatched; however, when you apply it onto your lids, it's a very gorgeous and unique color, especially when paired with other colors, such as Mac Humid because it really brings out the sandy-olive gold iridescence in Maui Wowie. The only problem is that the eyeshadow has little specks of glitter that will get all over your face. I don't mind because I can wipe it off after I'm done with my eye makeup. Also, I recommend applying your foundation after you do your eye makeup.

Also, please keep in mind that they are not chunky bits of glitter. The eyeshadow actually applies very smoothly and blends effortlessly.

I thought Coastal Scents S10 would be similar to Maui Wowie, but S10 is darker and has an olive green iridescence. It's very pretty when you apply it onto your lids with a light hand. I usually apply Mac Humid on the crease to really bring out the olive in S10.

I found Mac's discontinued eyeshadow called Warming Trend at a CCO. I thought that it would be very similar to Mac Patina, but it's actually pretty different and I prefer Warming Trend over Patina.

Warming Trend is a light taupe color with a gold sheen. Patina is a light taupe brown with a golden shimmer that's less shimmery.

Urban Decay Urb is very sheer, but it is workable and you can see the true color by keep layering it and applying the eyeshadow with a heavy hand. Once you do that, it's a light greenish olive with golden shimmer. When swatched, it has a less olive color and looks more like a light green with golden shimmer.

Urb also has specks of glitter like Maui Wowie, but it's easy to clean if you haven't put your foundation on yet.

Urban Decay Mildew is lighter and a little bit more shimmery than Mac Humid. The shimmer is really nice and not hard to blend at all. Mildew has a hint of an olive and golden undertone, while Humid is a forest green.

When you apply Maui Wowie, S10, Warming Trend, Patina or Urb on the lids alone, it either looks very plain or not workable, but when you pair it with a dark green on the crease, it really makes a difference and enhances the lid color.

 With Flash
 Natural Lighting

Urban Decay Chopper is a peachy orange, but I found that the orange diminishes when I apply it on the lid and then pair it with Mac Humid in the crease. It’s a nice eyeshadow depending on which colors you pair it with, but it may be too orange to work with for other people. It also has little specks of glitter like alot of the other Urban Decay eyeshadows that I have mentioned above.

Mac All That Glitters is a lighter peach with a pink undertone. I thought they would look similar, but I was wrong.

I’ve heard that Urban Decay Toasted is a dupe for Mac Sable. When swatched, they look completely different as Toasted looks like a light taupe with a brown undertone and Sable looks like a darker bronzy brown. When I apply it on my eyes, Toasted looks like a light bronzy copperish brown and the taupe does not show, while Sable looks like a darker bronzy brown with a stronger copperish undertone. Toasted is too light for my crease, while Sable is too dark for my lids.

The color of Toasted doesn’t attract me that much. It looks prettier when swatched than when I actually apply it onto my lids. I would skip this eyeshadow.

Urban Decay Blunt is one of the most pigmented eyeshadows that I have seen. Other light color eyeshadows are usually either too sheer or not pigmented enough. Blunt is a light glowy gold with a hint of yellow. Do not let my ugly description scare you away from trying this eyeshadow out. The yellow tint is not that strong. It looks beautiful when I wear it either all over the lid or just my inner eyelid and pair it with browns or greens.

I don’t use it as a highlight under my brows because it’s too shimmery and a little bit too dark for that purpose.

Urban Decay Half Baked is a light true gold color without being too yellow or orange. Half Baked is definitely a staple in my makeup palette.

Urban Decay Baked is a bronzy orange with golden shimmer. I hate it because it’s too orange when I apply it on my lids. What a disappointment. I am going to return it.

Woodwinked is a better alternative, but it looks dead orange in the picture because of the camera flash. The picture without the flash shows its true color and it’s actually a lovely gold color with a hint of brown; however, it does turn orange when you blend it. I solve that issue by applying Mac Tempting and Mac Brown Down on the crease to cover the hideous orange.

The formula of Urban Decay eyeshadows is different than Mac, with the exception of some Mac eyeshadows. Urban Decay eyeshadows are much smoother and buttery, and the shimmery eyeshadows look much prettier than the Mac shimmery eyeshadows. Also, the Urban Decay eyeshadows that I have reviewed might be a little bit frosty for some people, but I find them to be really easy to work with and to blend. Another thing worth mentioning is that I do get some fallouts when I apply certain Urban Decay eyeshadows (the ones with the microglitters), but I don't get as much fallouts as I do with my SMH & CS eyeshadows.

Overall, I highly recommend Urban Decay eyeshadows, but the price might be expensive when compared to the cost of other brands. You should either wait for a sale or purchase from other comparable brands like Mac.

Note: Urban Decay Eyeshadows cost $17.00 for 1.5 grams at Nordstrom, Beauty.com, and Sephora. Mac Eyeshadows in pan form cost $11.00 for 1.5 grams (some of the eyeshadows have 1.3 grams) and cost $16 in pots. Coastal Scents (CS) eyeshadows cost $1.95 for 1.5 grams.

Do you prefer Urban Decay over Mac eyeshadows?

*This post contains affiliate links. None of the products mentioned are sponsored.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Mini Trip and Urban Decay Eyeshadow Swatches


I stayed at Nassau Inn during my last mini trip. The bed was sooo comfortable. 

I will be away in Philadelphia for a mini trip again and won't be back until Thursday night. Hopefully, the Hyatt Hotel that I will be staying in for these couple of days will be even better than the inn. 

Also, I plan to post swatches of some Urban Decay eyeshadows that I bought recently before the end of this week. =)

What plans do you have this week?

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Swatches: Coastal Scents Hot Pots Eyeshadows



I recently purchased a few eyeshadows from Coastal Scents because they were having a sale. I got $5 off a $25 order. Normally, each eyeshadow costs $4.49. (Update 3/10/2016: Price has been reduced to $1.95.)

Skip: They are all very pigmented except for M05, which I don't mind because I bought it to use as a base for Mac Humid. I find that the combination of M05 and Humid results in a less shimmery, but darker forest green color, which I had hoped for. I would skip M05 if you plan on using it alone because the color payoff is poor.

I also use CM09 or M17 with Mac Deep Truth. When I use Deep Truth alone, it's not pigmented enough. (I bought Deep Truth in the pro pans and I heard that the pot pans are much more pigmented. If anyone has Deep Truth in the pot pans, please let me know how pigmented the eyeshadow is.)


Dupes: M21 and S38 are perfect on the crease with Mac Swiss Chocolate for an everyday school look or for a professional environment. Coastal Scents describes S38 as a satin eyeshadow, but it has a more matte finish to me. Also, S38 has specks of gold in the pan, but once you apply it, you can barely see the gold. M21 is a lighter version of S38. Mac Haux is more brown and has a hint of a plum undertone. S38 is a more pinkish beige color.


I heard from other sites and blogs that S10 is a dupe for Mac Sumptuous Olive, but they couldn't be more wrong. Sumptuous Olive is a golden olive color, while S10 is a silver color with an olive green iridescence. I've also swatched Mac Patina and S05 to compare, but they are all very different colors.

Favorites: S10 is actually one of my favorites from this haul. I love applying it onto my lids and pairing it with Mac Humid in the crease.

CM07 and M08 are also my favorites because they're very pigmented and are a lovely pair for a dramatic look. However, beware because after I washed off CM07 with makeup remover, my eyelids were stained bright pink. (I use Olay Daily Facials' makeup remover cloths and also Chanel's eye makeup remover).

Note: Coastal Scents eyeshadows fit perfectly in my palette and are the same size as Mac eyeshadows. In terms of quality, Mac eyeshadows are better than Coastal Scents eyeshadows. I hit pan faster with Coastal Scents eyeshadows because the formula is smoother. They also get really dusty and crumbly in the pan and a lot of the product tends to fall down to my cheeks and under eye area when I apply them on my lids.

Mac Eyeshadows in pan form cost $11.00 for 1.5 grams (some of the eyeshadows have 1.3 grams) and cost $16 in pots. Coastal Scents eyeshadows cost $4.49 $1.95 (price reduced) for 1.5 grams.

What Coastal Scents eyeshadows are your favorites?

*This post contains affiliate links. None of the products mentioned are sponsored.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Swatches: Mac Neutral Matte Palette



First Row: Kid, Wedge, Cork, Soft Brown, Espresso, Blackberry, Shadowy Lady
Second Row: Haux, Swiss Chocolate, Folie, Corduroy, Brown Down, Sorcery Limited Edition, Embark

Favorites: I love using Soft Brown as a transition color. I thought it was going to look too orange, but it's actually a light peachy brown color. Blackberry, Haux and Folie are gorgeous colors for the crease. They all have a hint of purple which is my favorite color for the eyes.


Skip: I would skip Sorcery if you already have Sketch because the only difference between the two is that Sketch is more darker.

Dupes: Wedge has a cooler undertone, while Cork has a warmer undertone and is a little bit darker. If you have a cool skin tone, then get Wedge, but if you have a warm skin tone, then get Cork; however, I find that both eyeshadows work for me when I use them as transition colors.

Folie and Sorcery are not dupes. Folie is a reddish brown with a hint of some purple, while Sorcery is a dark brown with a burgundy undertone.

Corduroy and Brown Down look very similar. Corduroy is a more true brown and a little bit lighter, while Down Brown has a reddish undertone. 

Brown Down and Embark are not dupes. Embark is a very dark brown with a reddish undertone.

Mac Eyeshadows in pan form cost $11.00 for 1.5 grams (some of the eyeshadows have 1.3 grams) and cost $16 in pots. Stars Makeup Haven eyeshadows cost $6.00 for 1.3 grams. Coastal Scents eyeshadows cost $4.49 for 1.3 grams. The empty 28 pan palette can be purchased from Coastal Scents for $9.95.

What are your favorite matte eyeshadows? 

 
*This post contains affiliate links. None of the products mentioned are sponsored.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Review: Mac 185 Body Buffer Brush


The Mac 185 Body Buffer brush is from the Glam Gams Collection that came out in 2007. The bristles are made of super soft goat hair that feels amazing on my skin. It is intended to use on the body, but I find it to work well on my face too. 

The 185 has a flat top, is much denser, a little bit shorter and wider than the Mac 182 Buffer brush (review). If I want more coverage, I'll use the 185, but if I want a light touch of setting powder, then I'll use the Mac 182. I've also used the 185 for liquid foundation and it buffed really well into my skin; however there was some shedding. The 185 is not ideal for liquid or cream products because those types of products damage natural fibers. There was no shedding when I used it to buff in my setting powder. I would use the 185 only for powder, mineral foundation and for buffing out powder blushes.


The brush takes about 15 hours to dry, and I have to re-shape it using a brush guard because the bristles tend to splay out.

I also wish the bristles were black because the white goat hair stains easily and it's very hard to wash it without getting the handle wet. The Mac logo and number of the brush is written on the handle, and it will all be scratched off if water keeps getting on it. I might spot clean it from now on, but I don't really like that method because it doesn't clean as well as the traditional way. (To spot clean, spray some brush cleanser onto a piece of paper towel and then rub your brush onto the towel until all the product gets out.)

The bristles are a little bit less than an inch long and measures 2.5 inches including the handle. The brush costs $52.00, but it is not available at Nordstrom anymore. If you are lucky, you can still find one at a CCO for $36.50-$38.50.

How do you use this brush?


*This post contains affiliate links. None of the products mentioned are sponsored.

Swatches: Stars Makeup Haven Eyeshadows



I recently purchased a few Stars Makeup Haven (SMH) eyeshadows from All Cosmetics Wholesale, which sells many products from other brands too. I like buying SMH eyeshadows because they have many colors that Mac doesn't have, they fit in my empty 28 pan palette and the prices are reasonable.

However, the quality of Mac eyeshadows are better than SMH eyeshadows. I hit pan faster with SMH eyeshadows because the formula is smoother and a lot of the product tends to fall out when I apply it onto my lids.

"7" is a really dark greyish brown with a hint of a plum undertone. I love using it for my outer v to enhance any neutral look. Taz is a true burgundy shade. It is my favorite out of the three. SMH claims it's a "cross between Sketch and Signed Sealed by Mac," but I beg to differ. Sketch is a dark brown with a burgundy undertone and Signed Sealed is very close to black with a touch of deep burgundy. Taz is much lighter and I'm glad it looks nothing like Sketch or Signed Sealed because I already have Sorcery, which is close to Sketch. Glitz is a raisin shade with some reddish-purple undertones and I love using it on my crease.

Note: Mac Eyeshadows in pan form cost $11.00 for 1.5 grams (some of the eyeshadows have 1.3 grams) and cost $16 in pots. Stars Makeup Haven raised their price from $4.95 to $6.00 for 1.3 grams.

Do you have any SMH eyeshadows that you love or hate?

*This post contains affiliate links. None of the products mentioned are sponsored.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Review: Mac 182 Buffer Brush (Couture Limited Edition)



My Mac 182 Buffer Brush (Couture Limited Edition) has just replaced my Coastal Scents Italian Badger Buffer brush (review). It came out during Mac's Couture Collection in 2006. The bristles are dense and made of super soft goat hair. I love using it to apply my setting powder and it's also great for buffing in mineral foundation and buffing out blushes. It picks up the right amount of product and distributes evenly onto my skin. I won't use it for liquid foundation because it'll damage the natural fibers and cause it to shed more. As of right now, my brush has yet to shed a single strand of hair.

However, when I wash the brush, it's hard to avoid the handle from getting wet. I'm also scared that some of the bristles will pull out when I squeeze them to get the water out. 

The handle is about 1.35 inches wide and 2.75 inches in length including the bristles. It costs $55.00 and is not available anymore at Mac. However, if you find one at the CCO, it costs $38.50. (The nearest CCO in my area is about 2 hours away. It's best to call your nearest CCO to make sure they have it in stock before going there.) 

You can also find the Mac 182 Couture brush at an Estee Lauder Warehouse Sale for $15.00. (The sale happens every 4 months in Canada and sometimes in the US, but you need a ticket to get in. The tickets are only given to Mac and Estee Lauder employees, who are then allowed to give the tickets to their friends and family members. You also need to consider travelling time and gas money. Moreover, you might not find the Mac 182 Couture brush because there is no guarantee that the brush will still be available at the Warehouse sale.)

The 182 regular brush is still available at Nordstrom for $47. The major difference between the regular brush and the couture brush is the handle. The couture version has a square handle, which is much prettier and a little bit heavier, but during application, it basically works the same as the regular version.

How do you use this brush?


*This post contains affiliate links. None of the products mentioned are sponsored.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Mini Trip and Mac Eyeshadow Swatches


I will be away in Princeton for a little mini trip and won't be back until Friday. Hopefully, I can have at least one post up during the middle of this week, which will be swatches of my Neutral Matte Palette. If not, I will have to wait until next week to do the swatches. Also, I will include Mac Soft Brown and Blackberry, since these are the most recent eyeshadows that I bought.

What plans do you have this week?

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Review: Crown Brush Studio Series C138 Round Contour Brush vs. C317 Deluxe Crease Brush

The Crown Brush Studio Series C138 Round Contour brush (Coastal Scents Sable Contour Brush) and the Crown Brush C317 Deluxe Crease brush both do a great job at contouring, defining the outer v, and adding color to the outer corner or inner tear duct. However, the bristles of the C138 is a little bit denser and softer than the C317. The handle of the C317 (7.5 inches) is also much longer compared to the C138 (5.5 inches).

The C317 costs $2.49 at CrownBrush.com, while the C138 is $1.87. You can also buy the C138 from Coastal Scents for $1.79.

How do they compare to the S217 and C222 (review)? The bristles of the C138 and C317 are a little bit shorter and less fuller. It's easier to blend out the outer corner color with either my S217 or C222 because the bristles are denser. 


If I could only keep one brush, I would choose the S217 because the bristles are fuller and the handle is the perfect size.

What contour brush do you have?

*This post contains affiliate links. None of the products mentioned are sponsored.

Review: Crown Brush Studio Series C222 Round Contour Brush


The Crown Brush C222 Round Contour brush is very similar to the Crown Brush Backstage S217 Round Contour brush (review). The bristles have the same density, size and softness. They both do a great job contouring, defining the outer v and adding color to the outer corner or inner tear duct.

The only difference is the length of the handle. The total length of the C222 is 7.5 inches, while the S217 is 5.5 inches. I prefer the S217 because it's great for travel and easier to use. I can't get too close to the mirror when I'm using the C222 or the handle will hit the mirror.

The C222 costs $2.80 at CrownBrush.com, while the S217 is $1.87

Which brush do you prefer?

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Review: Sephora Professionnel Contour Eyeshadow Brush #28

The Sephora Professionnel Contour Eyeshadow Brush #28 is one of my favorite blending brushes. The bristles makes it super easy to blend because they are so dense and firm.

Sephora describes it as a contour brush, but I find it too big for contouring my eyes. I use it mainly to blend out harsh lines and to create a smooth transition to my highlight color. You can also use it to add highlight under your brows and sweep color onto your lids. 

The brush handle says "Sephora Professionnel" on one side and "contour paupiere plat 28" on the other side. You can remove the barcode sticker that's on the handle, but I just decided to keep it there.

The total length of the brush is 5.5 inches. The handle also has a nice grip because it's pretty thick.

I couldn't find it at the two Sephora stores that I went to, so I bought it online for $10.00

How would you use this brush? 


*This post contains affiliate links. None of the products mentioned are sponsored.
 
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