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Monday, September 19, 2011

Swatches and Review: Dior Mitzah Panther Eyeshadow Jungle Print

Dior only released 4,000 pieces of the Mitzah Panther Eyeshadow Jungle Print and of course, it's limited edition. So, I was super excited when my Sephora package had finally arrived, but when I opened the box, I noticed a small scratch on the front of the Dior compact. This was a major disappointment because it's suppose to be a collector's item, so the condition of it is very important to me.

*Color Description*

Cream Shade - It doesn't look chalky and has a pretty satin finish.

Camel Shade - It has a matte finish and is a great transition color; however, 
it looks like vomit when I use it as an all-over-the-lid color. 
It also reminds me of Mac's new limited edition eyeshadow called Outre, 
which is a hit among many beauty junkies.

Deep Brown Shade - It's great for the outer corner and it has a matte finish.

All 3 Colors Mixed - It results in a medium cool-toned brown that can be used as a crease color. 
I tried using it as a bronzer and even to contour, but it was a major fail. 
It made my NC30/35 skin tone look like dirt. 
This palette is definitely intended for use on the eyes only.

You must layer the Dior eyeshadows and wear a primer in order to get good color payoff, which is a shame since it costs $90. I would not purchase this if you plan on actually using the eyeshadows because (1) the shades are easily dupable and (2) it's difficult to pick up the colors individually. This palette is more of a collector's item. Also, I think it's too pretty to use anyways.

The compact is heavier than the original Dior compacts and it has a magnetic closure with a large mirror inside. However, I should mention that it gets dirty easily with fingerprints.

The mini brush is useful and the bristles are soft, but I wish it was firmer so that it could pack on the eyeshadows better.

The animal print in the velvet pouch looks cute and elegant, which is expected from Dior, who always provides nice little details to their packaging.

Some people are not too ecstatic about the price, but the value of a product is determined by a person's circumstance. For example, if you are a teenager who's still living on your parents' allowance or a struggling University student with credit card debt and student loans, the Dior Mitzah palette may not be for you. This palette may also not be worth $90 if you are not a collector or if you already have alot of eyeshadows in your makeup collection. However, if you are insane like me and plan on keeping it as a collector's item, then you really need this palette in your drawer, collecting dust ASAP.

Bottom Line: If you can't get a hold of this, don't worry because you're not really missing out. This palette is not practical to use. It's difficult to pick up the eyeshadows individually. If you did buy this palette, it'll probably be sitting in your drawer looking pretty, but collecting dust. =)

Note: It contains 12g and can be purchase only online at Sephora.

Will you be grabbing this before it's sold out?

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

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Eyeshadow Swatches & Comparisons: L'oreal Wear Infinite Eyeshadow Duo in 862 Bronze Star

I received a bunch of drugstore products for free from a lovely friend. I will test some of them out and will be posting swatches and reviews about them. Don't worry, I will still be reviewing mid-range & high-end cosmetics. (I just haven't been buying much makeup lately, but MAC always come out with a new collection every month. So, you'll definitely be seeing reviews of those products as well as Dior's Mitzah Panther Jungle Print eyeshadow palette as soon as I receive it. It's being shipped to me as we speak! (review & swatches)

I decided to try out L'oreal Bronze Star first because it seems like a possible dupe for Mac All That Glitters, Twinks and Bronze.

The left eyeshadow in the L'oreal compact is more peachy tan compared to Mac All That Glitters, which is more pinkier when applied on the eyes. The right eyeshadow in the L'oreal compact and Mac Twinks look very much alike in the pan; however, when swatched, it's obvious that they are different. Twinks has a more plummy undertone. Mac Bronze isn't a dupe either because it's a lighter brown shade with gold shimmer. Even though I haven't found any dupes, I still think the shades in the L'oreal compact are great, especially for everyday, despite the fact that they both have a shimmery finish. Just make sure you use an eyeshadow primer. I can't stress how important this step is when using drugstore eyeshadows.  

  • no fallouts 
  • great for an everyday look
  • applies and blends decently
  • both shades work well together
  • doesn't crease when used with a primer
  • not expensive compared to other eyeshadows, such as Mac & Urban Decay
  • good color payoff when layered and used with a primer, such as Urban Decay's Primer Potion

  • fades a bit after 8 hours, even with a primer

Bottom Line: For the price, you can't have high expectations for this product. It's not as pigmented and it doesn't apply as smoothly as other brands, such as Mac or Urban Decay. However, Bronze Star is still workable and usable, as long as you put a little effort into it and use a good eyeshadow primer. I definitely recommend this for people who are on a budget or for people who are just starting out with makeup.

Note: The eyeshadow duo contains 2.4g and you can purchase this shade at Target, Ulta and for around $5. As with any drugstore product, I would definitely wait for a sale because there is always a "buy one, get one half off" or even a "buy one, get one for free" sale.

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

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

MakeupByJoyce's Pick + Choose Giveaway

I never do giveaways, but I have all these makeup products that I got for free from a wonderful friend =), and they're just sitting in my makeup stash, collecting dust. So, I decided to host a giveaway for all my lovely followers. They're all brand new and unopened. (Please click here if you want to know why I won't use these products. Long story short: I'm OCD and neurotic.) 

(You get to pick 10 items from the following)
ELF Studio Eyeshadow C Brush
Target Up & Up Eye Crease Brush
Hard Candy Fox in a Box Blushing Quad in 396 Hot Flash 5.7g
Hard Candy Fox in a Box Blushing Quad in 359 Smooth Talker 5.7g
Hard Candy Fox in a Box Blushing Quad in 358 Spicy & Sweet 5.7g
Hard Candy Fox in a Box Bronzing Duo in 395 Truth or Dare 5.7g
Hard Candy So Baked Bronzer in 129 Tiki 12.5g
Hard Candy So Baked Bronzer in 130 Tropics 12.5g
Hard Candy Blush Crush Baked Blush in 128 Bombshell 8g
Hard Candy Blush Crush Baked Blush in 127 Honeymoon 8g
Milani Baked Bronzer in 05 Soleil 7g
Milani Baked Blush in 01 Dolce Pink 3.5g
Milani Baked Blush in 02 Rose D'Oro 3.5g
Physicians Formula Happy Booster Blush in 7322 Rose 7g
Physicians Formula Happy Booster Bronzer in 7321 Bronzer 11g
Physicians Formula Cashmere Wear Bronzer in 7338 Bronzer 9g
Physicians Formula Bronze Booster Glow-Boosting Pressed Bronzer in 1135 Medium to Dark 9g
Physicians Formula Bamboo Wear Mirror/Brush Compact + Bronzer Refill in 7064 Medium Bronzer 9.5g
Rimmel London Glam Eyes Eyeshadow Single in 200 Spicy Bronze 2.4g
Rimmel London Natural Bronzer in 027 Sun Dance 14g
Rimmel London SunShimmer Maxi Bronzer in 002 Sun Love 17g
CoverGirl Eye Enhancers Eyeshadow Single in 730 Swiss Chocolate 2.5g
CoverGirl Eye Enhancers Eyeshadow Single in 440 Shimmering Onyx 2.5g
CoverGirl Eye Enhancers Eyeshadow Single in 750 Mink 2.5g
CoverGirl Eye Enhancers Eyeshadow Single in 740 Brown Smolder 2.5g
CoverGirl Eye Enhancers Eyeshadow Single in 710 Champagne 2.5g
CoverGirl Eye Enhancers Eyeshadow Quad in 215 Country Woods 5.5g
CoverGirl Eye Enhancers Eyeshadow Quad in 220 Urban Basics 5.5g
Maybelline Expert Wear Eyeshadow Single in 250S Tastefully Taupe 2.6g
Maybelline Expert Wear Eyeshadow Single in 170S Earthly Taupe 2.6g
Maybelline Expert Wear Eyeshadow Single in 240S Night Sky 2.6g
Maybelline Expert Wear Eyeshadow Duo in 70D Browntones 2.4g
Maybelline Expert Wear Eyeshadow Trio in 35T Almond Satin 3.6g
Maybelline Expert Wear Eyeshadow Quad in 02Q Natural Smokes 4.8g
Maybelline Expert Wear Eyeshadow Quad in 08Q Emerald Smokes 4.8g
Maybelline Expert Wear Eyeshadow Quad in 12Q Plum Smokes 4.8g
Maybelline Expert Wear Eyeshadow Quad in 06Q Amethyst Smokes 4.8g
Revlon ColorBurst Lipstick in 002 Icy Nude 3.7g
Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick in 750 Kiss Me Coral 4.2g
Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick in 120 Apricot Fantasy 4.2g
Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick in 460 Blushing Mauve 4.2g
Revlon Super Lustrous Lipgloss in 120 Pink Pursuit 5.9ml
Revlon ColorStay 12 hour Eyeshadow in 360 Starlight 4.8g
Revlon CustomEyes Shadow & Liner in 020 Naturally Glamorous 5.67g
L'oreal Studio Secrets Eyeshadow Duo in 822 Sand Dune 2.4g
L'oreal Studio Secrets Eyeshadow Quad in 106 Desert Sunrise 4.8g
L'oreal Studio Secrets Eyeshadow Quad in 821 Neutrals 4.8g
L'oreal True Match Blush in C5-6 Rosy Outlook 6g

*How to Qualify and Enter*
You must be 18+ or have parental consent to enter.
You must fill out the required questions in the form here.
You must follow my blog publicly through Google Friend Connect.
You must leave a comment on this post, telling me the prize that you are most excited about.

Make a post about my giveaway on your blog. +2 entries *optional 
Post my giveaway on your blog's sidebar. +2 entries *optional 
Make a youtube video about my giveaway. +3 entries *optional 

This contest is open to everyone. I don't care if you live in the US, Canada, Europe, Asia, Africa, South America, a different planet. If you win, I will ship these items to you someway, somehow. =)

This giveway will end at 11:59pm EST on October 14, 2011.
The winner will be chosen randomly using and will be announced on my blog.

Update: Posting more than one comment on my giveaway post WILL NOT count as additional entries.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Favorite Face and Eye Brushes

I love ALL of my brushes and use each and every one of them, 
but if all of my brushes magically disappeared one day, 
I will repurchase the following 12 brushes in a heart beat. 

These 12 brushes are MUST-HAVES in my collection 
and I always bring them with me when I travel.

1. Inglot 4SS Eye Brush $22 (full review): This is truly a must-have brush for me because I haven't found a comparable brush to this. I love using it to apply cheek highlight and setting powder under my eye area & around the small crevices of my nose. The bristles are soft and not too dense or flimsy. However, it's too big for eye application. It measures 7.25 inches in length.

2. Mac 130 Short Duo Fibre Brush $40 (full review): The formula of the Dior Forever foundation dries really quick; therefore, I'm not able to stipple this foundation with my Mac 187 (full review) or Sephora #44 brush (full review), since stippling requires more time. However, the Mac 130 brush applies my Dior Forever foundation flawlessly without any streaking or blotchiness (as long as I work a small section at a time and quickly buff it in). The bristles are firm and dense, but the head is tiny; therefore, it's not practical to stipple liquid foundation with this brush. It makes me cringe to buff in a circular motion with this brush because like I mentioned a dozen times already, if you stipple and SWIRLthe liquid/cream product will come in contact with the black natural fibers, and that will cause the brush to shedIf you don't mind the shedding, the Mac 130 brush is also ideal for contouring when using cream bronzers. I've tried using the Mac 130 brush to apply my L'oreal True Match & Make Up For Ever foundation, but they both ended up looking streaky. Even though my Mac 130 brush sheds, I don't mind because it applies my Dior Forever foundation flawlessly, it's easy to wash and it dries within a few hours. It measures 6.5 inches in length.

3. Sephora Professionnel Platinum Stippling Brush #44 $35 (full review): The bristles are firmer and denser than the Mac 187 brush. The black bristles are made from natural fibers, while the white bristles are made from synthetic material. Therefore, this brush is ideal for stippling liquid foundation and other liquid or cream products, such as blushes and bronzers. (Do not stipple & SWIRL or the liquid/cream product will come in contact with the black natural fibers, and that will cause the brush to shed. If you only stipple, then there will be no shedding whatsoever and it will give you an airbrush finish when used to apply liquid foundation.) This is my favorite foundation brush for applying my L'oreal True Match & Make Up For Ever HD foundation. I prefer it over the Mac 187 because the Sephora #44 brush performs better when stippling liquid foundation since it's denser and firmer. However, it is also important to note that it bled when I washed it the first few times. Also, I wish the handle was black so that it'll look more professional and match my other brushes. It measures 7.5 inches in length.

4. Studio Gear #13 Blush Brush $35: This is very similar to the Japonesque professional blush brush (mini review), but both brushes essentially perform the same. I prefer the Studio Gear brush because it's a little wider & a tiny bit denser. I love using it to apply basically any cheek powder product because the bristles feel teddy bear soft. It's unfortunate that most people haven't even heard of the brand. Their brushes are definitely high quality and are well worth the investment. It measures 7.5 inches in length. My second favorite blush brush is the Sonia Kashuk Blusher brush (full review). The bristles are very soft and very fluffy, but not flimsy. It applies any type of blush or bronzer, including highly pigmented products, flawlessly without any blotchiness. The best thing is, it's cheaper than the Studio Gear brush. The only reason why I prefer the Studio Gear #13 brush is because it's incredibly soft and is the softest brush that I own (besides the Cover FX #160 & Japonesque professional blush brush). I have a soft spot for soft brushes. =)

5. Mac 182 Buffer Brush Couture Limited Edition $55 (full review): The bristles are soft and not too dense or too flimsy. I use it to apply setting powder all over my face. It's also great for buffing in mineral & powder foundation if you don't want heavy coverage. However, the Sephora Professionnel Contour Blush Bronzer Brush #43 is more suitable for applying mineral & powder foundation if you want more coverage since the bristles are more densely packed. The couture version measures 2.75 inches in length.

My eye brush collection is actually very small. 
It may look like I have alot of eye brushes, 
but they are mostly duplicates and 
my Sonia Kashuk blending brushes are taking up most of the space. ^_^

1. Royal & Langnickel Silk Eye Shader SM Brush BC410 $15.99: This brush is a little wider and thinner than the BC411 brush (mini review). The BC410 brush is made from natural hair and I love using it for packing color onto the lids and adding color to the lower lash line because the brush is firm, thin & soft. It's also great for applying highlight under the brows. I prefer the BC410 brush over the Mac 239 because the BC410 can cover more eye area in one swipe and it's easier to clean. The only thing that I'm not too ecstatic about is the color of the BC410 bristles. It just does not look attractive. I much prefer it to be black bristles, but this is just a personal preference. It doesn't affect the performance or the quality of the product. However, it may be slightly too big for people with a small eye area. It measures 6.25 inches in length.

2. Studio Gear #35 Blending Crease Contour Brush $30 (short review): This brush is made from squirrel hair and is super soft. The bristles are firm and dense. It's great for adding color on the crease area, but I love using it for smudging & for applying a highlight color on my inner tear duct. It does a decent job at adding color on the lower lash line too, but I prefer to use my Royal & Langnickel BC410 brush because it's thinner. The Studio Gear #35 brush measures 7.5 inches in length.

3. Sonia Kashuk Large Crease Blending Brush $5.99 (short review): This is the BEST blending brush on the market. It's dense & firm and blends out all harsh lines and dark pigmented eyeshadows with barely any effort. It just makes blending a breeze. It also fits in my crease really well and is great for crease work. I can't believe it's a drugstore product. All the other blending brushes and even the high-end ones don't compare to the Sonia Kashuk one . This is my holy grail blending brush, but the only thing that I hate is the handle. White handles get dirty easily and I just prefer it to be black since it'll look more professional. It measures 6 inches in length.

4. Mac 217 Blending Brush $22.50 (full review): It's not dense or firm enough to blend out HARSH lines and dark pigmented eyeshadows, but I like using it to apply & blend my transition color. This brush is ideal for blending light colors and for applying a sheer wash of color all over the lids. I prefer the Mac 217 over the Coastal Scents Pro Blending Fluff brush (full review) and the Sigma E25 brush (full review) because the Coastal Scents one is thinner & the Sigma E25 is too big. The Mac 217 brush measures 6.5 inches in length

5. Sonia Black Domed Eyeshadow Brush $9.99 (short review): The bristles are soft and super dense. I love using the Black Domed Eyeshadow brush to apply highlight on my browbone and for blending my highlight color to create a smooth transition. However, it's too dense and big for crease work. It measures 6.5 inches in length.

6. Royal & Langnickel Silk Sable Brow Angle Brush BC530 $7.99: It's firm, but too thick for lining my eyes. I like using this to fill in my brows. This brush isn't anything special, but it's a necessity.  It measures 6.5 inches in length.

8. Generic Spoolie Lash Brow Brush:  I don't remember where I got this from, but all spoolie brushes work the same for me. I use powder eyeshadows to fill in my brows. Therefore, I mainly use a spoolie brush to blend out the brow color and to make it look less harsh. 

If I was stuck on an island and could only have 12 things with me, I would choose these brushes. 
Food, water and shelter would be secondary.

Let me know your favorite makeup brushes. =)

*This post contains affiliate links. 
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