NORDSTROM - Find the perfect fragrance gift for Mom

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Review: Mac 130 Short Duo Fibre Brush vs. Mac 187 Duo Fibre Brush

I bought the Mac 130 Short Duo Fibre brush about a month ago and I have a love/hate relationship with it. The white bristles are made from synthetic fibers, while the black bristles are made from natural fibers. Like I mentioned before, in a couple of my previous posts, when you buff your foundation in a circular motion with a duo fibre brush, the foundation will touch the natural fibers, which will cause it to shed. Brushes made of natural fibers are not meant to be used with liquid or cream products because they will damage the bristles and as a result, will shed. I just can't stress that enough.

Stippling foundation with a duo fibre brush is the preferred method because the foundation will not come in contact with the natural fibres. The problem with the Mac 130 brush is that it's nearly impossible to stipple liquid foundation with it because the top of the head is less than the size of a quarter. It's tiny! It will take me forever to apply my entire face with foundation if I used the stippling method with the Mac 130.

So, I had no other option, but to use the buffing method, which makes me cringe because I know the brush will start shedding like crazy, and no surprise, it did! It sheds like 1 to 2 hairs each time I use it, which is a pain because I have to pick the tiny hairs off of my face. I'm scared that all the hairs will fall off before I know it.

I tried applying my L'oreal True Match and my Make Up For Ever HD foundation with the brush, but both streaked. I've also tried it with my Dior Forever foundation and it didn't streak, but sometimes it would look a little blotchy. The formula of the foundation dries really quick, so I have to work really fast, but when I use the Mac 130 brush to apply it, it's hard for me to work fast because the brush is so small. In order for the Dior foundation to not look blotchy, I have to dab a little bit of the foundation on a small area of my face and then blend with Mac 130. I have to work a small section at a time, which is time consuming.

In comparison to the Mac 187 Duo Fibre brush (review), the Mac 130 is denser, shorter and smaller in general. I wish the Mac 187 was as dense and as firm as the Mac 130, but other than that, I definitely prefer the 187 for applying liquid foundation. It just gives me an airbrushed look when I use the Mac 187 to stipple my L'oreal True Match and Make Up For Ever HD foundation. However, the stippling method does not work with my Dior foundation because of the formula of the foundation. (It dries really fast.)

The Mac 130 works best for stippling concealer under the eye area, for highlighting the tops of the cheeks with cream-based products and for contouring when using cream bronzers.


The best part about this brush is that maintenance is super easy! All the liquid and cream-based products gets out of the brush after one wash without any harsh scrubbing, and dries quicker than most of my other face brushes.

The Mac 130 costs $40 and can be purchased from Nordstrom.

The total length measures 6.5 inches. The head of the brush is about a little less than 1 inch.

Please let me know if you tried the Mac 130 brush, and what foundation you use with it or what other ways you use it. =)


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

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Review: Sonia Kashuk Black Small Multi Purpose Brush


I've been using my Mac 182 Buffer brush (review) to apply my setting powder and the brush has a hard time getting under my eyes. So, I needed a fluffy brush that wasn't too big or too small for that area. Sonia Kashuk is one of my favorite brand to go to for brushes, so I knew I had to go to Target and see if she had what I was looking for, and of course, she did. =)

I saw the Black Small Multi Purpose Brush on display and it was the last one in stock. So, I immediately snatched it and went home to try it, after I washed it, of course. Needless to say, it is everything that I had hoped for. 

The brush is tapered, soft, fluffy, and just the right size for applying setting powder under my eyes and around the small crevices of my nose. The handle of the brush is thin and light weight, which allows for a light application. Also, I LOVE using it to apply my highlight on top of my cheekbones because it deposits the right amount of product and blends beautifully.

I only use this brush for face application because it's too big for me to use as a crease brush, but if you have a big eye space, then you could use it to define your crease. The Sigma E45 is more suitable for me to use on my crease area because it's smaller and more tapered than the Sonia Kashuk brush.

The Sonia Kashuk Multi Purpose brush does, however, work for me as a blending brush, but I prefer to use the Sonia Kashuk White Handle Blending brush (review) because I find that the Multi Purpose Brush is not firm enough for blending out harsh lines. It's only ideal for blending out light colors or for applying a transition color.

The Sonia Kashuk brush reminds me of Mac's 224 Tapered Blending brush, except that it's softer, a little bit denser and bigger than the Mac one.

As for the Sonia Kashuk Black Domed Eyeshadow brush (review), it has a round tip and is far more denser and is smaller, but still too big for my crease. I prefer to use it as a blending brush and to apply highlight on my brow bone.

The Sonia Kashuk Multi Purpose brush shedded a few hairs when I washed it the first time, but hasn't shedded since and I've been using it religiously for the past 2 weeks. Also, it doesn't have any weird chemical smell or dye bleeding. 

The total length of the brush measures 7.20 inches. The bristles are about 4/5 of an inch long.

It costs $10.99 and is only available at Target and the online store.


Have you tried the Sonia Kashuk Multi Purpose brush? Do you prefer to use it for the face or eyes?


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

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Review & Swatches: Mac Give Me Liberty of London Prim & Proper Blush


I stopped by the Estee Lauder Company Store about a month ago. It's kind of like the CCO, except the Company Store is not open to the public. Your workplace must be a member of the Company Store and you need to show your work ID in order to purchase something.


The Estee Lauder Company Store that I went to definitely has a better selection of Mac products than the CCO down at the Jersey Shore. Also, the Company Store is way closer to my house. It takes me about an hour and a half to drive to the nearest CCO! 


Anyways, I saw alot of Mac's discontinued limited edition collections on display. Give Me Liberty of London, Style Warriors, To The Beach, A Tartan Tale, holiday collections from 3 or 4 years ago, and even products in their permanent collection were on display.

With Flash

I bought a few things, but this post will be reserved for the Mac Prim & Proper Blush. It cost $13.00 for 6 grams! I was so excited about the price because it would have cost me $18.50 if I bought it at a Mac store or counter.

I love the packaging more than anything. This is one of the best designs that Mac came out with. =)

Indoor Lighting near Window

I also saw Dirty Plum, but I chose Prim & Proper because it seemed like a safer color to work with. The texture is very soft and easy to blend. It's not sheer, but it's also not as pigmented as the Burberry Light Glow Natural Blush (review & swatches). Prim & Proper is somewhere in between, and has just the right amount of pigmentation for it to apply evenly and not clownish. 

Indoor Lighting With Shade

Alot of other blogs describe the color as a beige-y nude or peachy nude, and their swatches do not look as pink as mine. Also, when I hear peachy nude, I think of Too Faced Peach Leopard (review & swatches). As you can see from my swatches, Prim & Proper looks like a mauvy rosy nude, while Peach Leopard looks like a peachy nude. Just keep in mind that blushes and practically every other makeup product look different on different complexions.

Direct Sunlight

For reference, I'm a Mac NC30/35, Dior Forever 021 mixed with 031, MUFE HD 127 and L'oreal True Match W4.

When I apply Prim & Proper onto my face, the mauviness is toned down, and the blush translates into a warm rosy nude with a nice sheen. However, under direct sunlight, it looks a teeny tiny bit shimmery, but it is VERY subtle. I don't like shimmery blushes/bronzers at all. That's why I stay far away from Mac's Mineralize blushes, but Prim & Proper has a satin finish and is definitely safe to use anytime of the day. 

I would love to know what kind of Mac stash your Estee Lauder Company Store or CCO carries. =D

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

Friday, April 22, 2011

Review: Sonia Kashuk Blusher Brush


The Sonia Kashuk Blusher brush looks like a traditional powder brush, and can be used for that purpose, but I bought it to apply my bronzer. It's so soft and fluffy, and the best part is that it applies bronzer fabulously without any blotchiness. It did shed some hairs when I washed it the first time, which is normal, but it hasn't shedded since. Also, there is no weird smell or dye bleeding..

I would be 100% satisfied if the head of the brush was a teeny tiny bit smaller because it can be a little bit too big for the cheek area if I'm not careful, but other than that, I am happy with the purchase.

It costs $17.99 and is sold only at Target.
 
Sonia Kashuk brushes has not failed me yet. Even if you already found your perfect bronzer brush, you should still stop by Target and check out some of her other black handled brushes from the professional line.

The total length of the brush measures 7 inches. The head of the brush measures 1.5 inches.


Have you tried the Sonia Kashuk Blusher brush? 


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

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Looks: Violet Grapes


Highlight: Mac Brule
Lid: Inglot Pearl 431
Crease: Inglot Pearl 452, Mac La La (Limited Edition)
Outer V: Mac Carbon

What looks have you created with these eyeshadows?

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Review: Cover FX #160 Cream Foundation Brush

Natural Lighting

I have been searching for a new brush to apply my Dior Forever foundation because it looks blotchy sometimes when I apply it with my Mac 187 brush (review). The formula of Dior's foundation dries/sets really quickly, so I have to work fast when I apply it. The problem with the Mac 187 brush is that I can't work fast because stippling requires more time; thus, my Dior foundation ends up looking blotchy.

I have also tried applying it with my Mac 109 (review), but it's such a pain in the butt because each time I use it, it sheds 2-3 hairs since the bristles are made out of natural fibers. (You should not use a brush that is made out of natural fibers to apply liquid foundation because it will shed. Ideally, you should use a synthetic brush.) Also, I end up using a tiny little bit more foundation than I usually would.

Indoor Lighting

I have also tried applying the Dior foundation with my Sigma F80 & F82 brush (review), which are made from synthetic material, but I didn't like how the finish looked and I also had to use more foundation than I normally would use. Furthermore, the application of the brushes made my foundation look flat.

So, I went to Sephora and bought the Cover FX #160 Cream Foundation brush, which is made of 100% natural goat hair. That being said, I knew this brush was going to shed if I used it to apply liquid foundation, but I desperately needed something to apply my holy grail foundation.

The Cover FX brush is an oval shape, and is much softer and denser than the Mac 109 brush, which has a round shape. With the Cover FX 160, I find myself buffing in my foundation in a horizontal and vertical motion rather than in a circular motion, which I usually do with my Mac 109. The Cover FX brush gets into all the nooks and crannies of my face and provides a flawless finish. It doesn't streak, blends well, and I don't find myself wasting or using more foundation.


The problem with the Cover FX brush is that it sheds, since it is made of natural fibers, and the white bristles stain easily. I don't know why it is marketed as a cream foundation brush since brushes made out of natural fibers are not meant to be used for liquid and cream products. However, I will still use this brush to apply my Dior foundation because as of right now, no other brush works as well as the Cover FX 160.

I have also tried the Cover FX brush to apply powder products, including my Burberry blushes (review & swatches) and even my Too Faced Peach Leopard bronzer (review & swatches), but they all ended up looking blotchy because the brush is too dense. I have also tried grabbing the least amount of product with the brush and then applied it, but it still ended up looking blotchy. (The brush is too dense for blush/bronzer application, and is a little bit small for the cheek area, so the product tends to concentrate on one area; thus, looking blotchy.) It works best for contouring the cheeks.

The bristles measures 1 inch in length, while the total length measures 6 inches. (This is the perfect length for applying foundation because it's not too short or too long.

The Mac 168 brush has nothing to do with this post, but I included it in the picture for size comparison and I will be reviewing it soon (review). =)

It costs $38 at Sephora.

Update: Cover Fx recently released a new version that's made with synthetic materials.

What purposes do you use for this brush?

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

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Review & Swatches: Burberry Light Glow Blush in Rose No.03 & Blossom No.05




Rose No.03 is a rosy pink color, while Blossom No.05 is a pinky coral. In indoor lighting, they both look semi-matte when applied on the face. Under direct sunlight, Blossom looks shimmery, while Rose has like 3-4 tiny specks of shimmer, which are barely noticeable.


I must warn you, these two colors are extremely pigmented. You must use a light hand and a fluffy brush or you will look clownish. (Tip: Use a dense brush and setting powder to buff out over applied products.) The angled travel brush that comes with the blush is more useful than most brushes that are included in the compacts. It's not as soft as my full size brushes, but it's a decent mini brush. However, I really don't have high expectations from brushes that are included in the compacts and I must admit, I still prefer to use a full size brush to apply my blush. 

Another thing to keep in mind is that it has a strong fragrant scent, which might bother some people, and the compact doesn't fully open all the way.


On to the things I love: I love the classy Burberry packaging, of course and that the signature check pattern is embossed on the actual product. 

The texture feels silky because it contains silicone, but it still feels comfortable on the skin. The blush blends well and lasts all day with no touch ups. 

I find that these 2 shades in particular complement medium skintones. Burberry also offers other shades that are more suitable for lighter complexions (Peony No.04) as well as darker complexions (Russet No.01).

For reference, I'm a Mac NC30/35, Dior Forever 021 mixed with 031, MUFE HD 127 and L'oreal True Match W4.

Note: It's $42 for 7 grams/0.24 ounces at Nordstrom and Sephora.

Have you tried any of Burberry's blushes? I would love to know what you think. =)

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