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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.

Burberry Check Print Satchel


The Burberry Check Print Satchel was one of my birthday gifts. I absolutely love the plaid design because it looks so classy. It is the perfect handbag for me because there's a lot of room for all my stuff to fit in. There's one compartment inside where I usually put my cellphone, gum and chapstick. I throw everything else in the bag, including my makeup, wallet, keys and advil. Doctor handbags are timeless and are always in style. The Burberry satchel will definitely be one of my favorites for a very long time.

Size: 13"W x 8"H x 6 1/2"D

What's your favorite handbag?

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Review: Mac 217 Blending Brush

I've heard so many good reviews about the infamous Mac 217 Blending Brush. Since my Mac 239 Eye Shader Brush turned out to be one of my favorite eye brushes, I decided to try out the 217 and had high hopes for it because so many people raved about it.

Do I recommend getting this brush? Well, it depends on how you plan to use it.

The brush is suppose to be multi-functional because the sides are flat and the tip is oval.

I tried using the flat side to apply color onto my lids, but the soft bristles are too flimsy and a little too big for my eye lids. This brush may be suitable for someone who wants a light wash of color on their eyes, and who has more lid space.

Also, the bristles are not extremely flimsy, but it is not firm enough to blend out harsh lines. My Sonia Kashuk Large Crease brush (review) does a better job at that than my 217.

I also have to wash the brush multiple times to get the bristles clean because the stain is tough to get out.

However, this is the brush that I tend to grab most often when I add a transition color under my highlight color and above my crease area. Other brushes, such as my Sonia Kashuk Large Crease Brush tend to pack on too much color. The Mac 217 adds just the right amount of transition color.

The total length of the brush is 6.5 inches. It costs $22.50 at Nordstrom

How do you like to use this brush?


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

Friday, October 8, 2010

Review: Everyday Minerals Long Handled Kabuki Brush


The synthetic bristles on the Everyday Minerals Long Handled Kabuki brush are super soft and denser than your average powder brush, but not as dense as the Everyday Minerals Flat Top brush (review). The Long Handled Kabuki brush is best used for applying bronzer or setting powder. However, it picks up alot of product. So you must use a light hand or a ton of product will get concentrated onto one area of your face.

Another problem I have with this brush is the size. It doesn't stand properly in my brush holder because the handle is too thick. Also, it is too short for my liking (4.25 inches).

When I started to wash it, I realized that alot of powder was inside the brush. Much of the product gets wasted when you use this brush because it falls deep down into the bristles.

It also takes about 14 hours to dry.

I remember buying it for $10.00 at EverydayMinerals.com, but they raised the price to $12.00

What do you think about this brush? 

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Review: Everyday Minerals Flat Top Brush


I've had my Everyday Minerals Flat Top Brush for more than a year. It does not fit nicely in my brush holder because the handle is too thick. It also doesn't stand properly and looks weird with my other brushes that are taller. However, this would be perfect for travel because it's only 4 inches long.

The bristles are synthetic and are extremely soft and dense. It picks up a lot of powder, and would be best used for mineral foundation. However, it's too hard to buff in a circular motion. You really have to work it in because the bristles are super dense and are too long (1.25 inches). Also, just like my Everyday Minerals Long Handled Kabuki brush (review), the product gets deep down into the bristles and gets wasted.

Another issue I have with this brush is that it takes forever to dry. After I washed it, I used a paper towel to absorb as much water out of it as I could, but it still took about 14 hours to completely dry.

It was $10.00 when I bought it at EverydayMinerals.com, but I noticed they raised the price to $11.00.

What do you think about this brush?

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Review: Mac Studio Finish SPF 35 Concealer

 Mac Studio Finish NW25

I have tried many concealers, but I just keep coming back to the Mac Studio Finish SPF 35 Concealer.

My Mac foundation color is NC35. I use NW25 for my under eyes because the pink tone counteracts the green and purple tones of my dark circles. I use NC35, which is yellow based, for blemishes on my face. 

When I first opened the package, the concealer was very creamy. After I started using it, the product dried up in the pot. I can't use a brush to apply it onto my skin because it feels very dry. I have to apply it with my finger to warm up the concealer. I warm it up by rubbing my finger clockwise in the pot; however, I end up having a lot of product on my finger.

 Mac Studio Finish NC35

During the summer, the oils of the concealer settles on top. I either have to wipe the oil away with my finger or "mix it"  by rubbing the oil into the concealer. Either way, I am wasting a lot of product because an excess gets picked up by my fingers. However, I've had the NC35 concealer for about 10 months, and there is still 50% of the product left in the pot. 

This concealer is amazing. It lasts all day with setting powder. It also covers my dark circles and blemishes; however, you have to be careful. If you apply too much, it'll end up looking cakey. Another problem is no matter how little I apply, it settles into my natural fine lines under my eyes, but I haven't found a concealer that doesn't do that.

Although a lot of product gets wasted, I am in love with this concealer because it gets the job done. This will last you a long time, and is well worth it for the price of $16.50 for 7 grams at Nordstrom.  

Did this concealer work for you?


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

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Review: Mac 239 Eye Shader Brush


I've heard so many raves about the Mac 239 Eye Shader Brush, and didn't know what all the fuss was about. I didn't want to pay $24.50 because I thought it was just a typical eyeshadow brush. What could be so special about an eyeshadow brush?

I was sooo wrong and regret that I didn't grab this from Mac sooner.

The bristles are densely packed and picks up colors really well. I just do one swipe and I get a rich color on my lids.

The Mac 239 is slim, but not flimsy. One of the reasons why I prefer this over other eyeshadow brushes is because of its firmness, which gives me better control during application.

I also love that the bristles are made of soft, white goat hair; however, it's a hassle to clean the brush because it stains easily. I have to rewash it sometimes. Also, the head of the brush may be too small for people with a large eye area.

Honestly, a basic eyeshadow brush could do just as good as the Mac 239. This is a luxury item for me, considering the price for it when compared to other eyeshadow brushes. I would definitely get this if you have money to splurge. If you are just starting out with makeup, a regular eyeshadow brush like the $1 ELF brush (review) would work just fine.

Note: The handle of the brush is a little over 6.5 inches

What do you think about this brush?


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

Collection: Neutral Matte Palette



I wear mostly shimmery eyeshadows because my makeup collection is filled with them. I even wear shimmery neutrals as a day look! So, I finally decided to build up my collection with toned down neutral matte colors. I don't look like I got attacked by a glob of glitter ball on my eyes anymore. =)


First Row: Kid, Wedge, Cork, Haux, Swiss Chocolate, Folie
Second Row: Espresso, Corduroy, Brown Down, Embark, Shadowy Lady

I use Kid, Wedge, or Cork as a transition color. They blend out dark eyeshadows and harsh lines beautifully.

I use Haux, Swiss Chocolate, or Folie for my crease when I want to create a neutral look, yet still looking sultry.

I apply Corduroy, Brown Down, or Embark for my outer v. If I wanted to spice it up just a little bit, I use Shadowy Lady, which is an amazing dark plummy purple.

I thought Espresso would have been too dark for my brows; however, when I applied it, it was the perfect shade.

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.

What eyeshadows do you use to create a smooth transition to you highlight color? 

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