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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Review: Mac 217 Brush vs. Coastal Scents Pro Blending Fluff Brush vs. Sigma E25 Brush

I already reviewed the Mac 217 brush here. I don't like using the Mac 217 for crease work or for blending out harsh lines. However, it is my go-to brush for applying transition color underneath my highlight color and above my crease area. That being said, I bought the Coastal Scents Pro Blending Fluff brush and the Sigma E25 brush with the intention of using them the same way that I use my Mac 217 brush.

The bristles of the Coastal Scents Pro Blending Fluff brush are the same size as the Mac 217. The only difference is that the Coastal Scents version is less dense, and a little bit flimsier than the Mac brush. I prefer the Coastal Scents brush for adding transition color and for crease work because it's easier to control since the tip of the brush is not as wide as the Mac brush.

As for blending, I didn't like the Mac 217 for blending. So, I knew I wasn't going to like the Coastal Scents brush for blending either. Both of them are just not firm enough for blending out harsh lines. However, I do prefer the Mac 217 for blending out light colors, such as transition colors, since the tip of the brush is wider than the Coastal Scents brush.

The bristles on the Sigma E25 brush are wider, flimsier and not as dense as the Mac 217. I don't like the Sigma E25 for adding my transition color or for crease work because it's so hard to control. My eye makeup messes up easily if I don't be careful because the brush is too big for my crease area. I would only recommend the Sigma brush if you found the Mac 217 to be too small, which would really surprise me. I use the Sigma E25 mainly for blending out light colors. However, it does not blend out dark harsh lines because the brush is too flimsy like the other two brushes.

I also found that all three of the brushes do not pack color onto my lids that well. They only add a light wash of color onto my lids.

Bottom Line: If you want a great alternative to the Mac 217 brush, which costs $22.50, then get the Coastal Scents Pro Blending Fluff brush. It is $3.95 and cheaper than the Sigma E25 brush, which is $9.

Note: The Mac 217 measures 6.5 inches. The Coastal Scents Pro Blending Fluff brush is 6.7 inches. The Sigma E25 is 7 inches.

In response to the comments below: I don't like the Mac 217, Sigma E25 or Coastal Scents' version for blending HARSH lines because they are too flimsy. I only like to use them to add my transition color and then use it to blend the transition color. I only like to use them for blending out LIGHT colors.

I have a heavy hand; therefore, I usually add too much color to my eyes. The only brush that can blend out HARSH lines is my Sonia Kashuk Large Crease brush (my holy grail blending brush). Click here to read my review.

Do you prefer the Mac 217, Coastal Scents Pro Blending Fluff brush or the Sigma E25 brush?

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

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Swatches: Coastal Scents Hot Pots Eyeshadows S03 and M25

Coastal Scents was having a sale like usual. I bought some eyeshadows and their Mac 217 dupe, which I will be reviewing soon (review). For now, this post will be about the Hot Pots. =)

Natural Lighting

Coastal Scents Hot Pot S03 is a shimmery light champagne with a gold undertone. I was hesitant on buying this color because I thought it was just going to be a boring champagne shade, but I was so wrong. The gold undertone makes this eyeshadow look so pretty and different from my other neutral eyeshadows. Moreover, the color is very safe and it is the perfect lid color for an everyday look. You can't go wrong with this eyeshadow.

I swatched Urban Decay Blunt next to S03 for comparison. Blunt is a more vibrant gold color with a slight yellow undertone. I would use Blunt more for a going out look.

I wouldn't say S03 and Blunt are exact dupes. Both are must haves if you love gold eyeshadows. If I had to choose one out of the two, then I would get S03 for an everyday school or office look, but if you want something that is bold, then I would recommend getting Blunt.

With Flash

Coastal Scents Hot Pot M25 is a matte burgundy shade with a reddish berry undertone. It is much lighter than Stars Makeup Haven (SMH) Taz, which is a true burgundy shade. I prefer Taz because it looks better on medium to darker skin tones. I can still make M25 work on my skin tone, but I think it'll work much better on lighter complexions. I've also swatched Mac Sorcery to compare.

Natural Lighting

Note: Urban Decay Eyeshadows cost $17.00 for 1.5 grams at Nordstrom,, 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. Stars Makeup Haven (SMH) raised their price from $4.95 to $6.00 for 1.3 grams. Coastal Scents (CS) eyeshadows cost $1.95 for 1.5 grams.

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. However, 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.

Have you tried any of these eyeshadows? 

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

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Review: Sigma F80 Flat Top & F82 Round Top Synthetic Kabuki Brush

I have been hearing so many raves about the Sigma F80 Flat Top and the Sigma F82 Round Top Synthetic Kabuki brush. I wanted to see what all the fuss was about.

The F82 Round Top is a little bit denser and can get around small areas more easily than the F80 Flat Top, but they work essentially the same when applying liquid foundation. When compared to the Everyday Minerals Flat Top brush (review), it's much easier to buff in a circular motion with the Sigma brushes because the bristles are not too long. (The bristles are about an inch long. The total length of the F80 is 6 inches, while the F82 is 5.75 inches.) 

The Sigma brushes buff in liquid foundation really well, but my Mac 187 brush (review) gives me a more airbrushed finish and more coverage, while using less foundation. With the Sigma brushes, a little bit of foundation gets wasted because it's being absorbed by the bristles when I buff. Although I use a little bit more foundation with the Sigma brushes, the coverage that I get is not as good as the coverage that I get from my Mac 187 brush.  

Another thing worth mentioning is that the brushes stain easily when using cream or liquid products, and take forever to dry. To get the stain out, I have wash them a couple of times. Then, I use a paper towel to absorb as much water as I can, but they still take about 15 hours to completely dry.

The good thing about these brushes is that they are super soft and they make applying liquid foundation easy and quick. I would recommend these brushes if you are someone who is always in a rush.

I also recommend getting these brushes if you are an avid cream foundation user. These brushes blend cream foundation into your skin effortlessly and there is no streaking whatsoever. I cannot use my Mac 187 to stipple cream foundation onto my face because cream products are thicker in consistency. You need a really dense and synthetic brush to apply cream foundation and the Sigma F80 and F82 are perfect for that. They also work well for buffing in mineral foundation.

You can buy the Sigma F80 Flat Top and the Sigma F82 Round Top Synthetic Kabuki for $16.00 each. They are not cheap, but are much more affordable than Mac brushes and other higher end brands. 

How do you use these brushes? 

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