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Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Overview: Brush Collection


Brushes are essential in creating a flawless look; therefore, you should choose wisely
and I highly recommend investing in high quality brushes
because they will last you a lifetime, especially if you take good care of it.

Also, I know some of you may not like to read lengthy detailed reviews.
So, I thought it would be helpful if I wrote a mini review about each brush that I currently have. =)


1. 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. 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. (Yes, I'm OCD.) It measures 7.5 inches in length.

2. Mac 187 Duo Fibre Brush $42 (full review): The bristles are firm, dense and soft. Just like any duo fibre brush, the black bristles are made from natural fibers, while the white bristles are made from synthetic material. This used to be my go-to brush for applying liquid foundation, but my Sephora #44 brush quickly replaced it because it's denser and firmer. I've been only reaching for the Mac 187 when my Sephora #44 brush is dirty. The Mac 187 brush is also suitable for stippling cream blushes and bronzers. (Like I mentioned before, 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. Also, the Mac 187 brush that I have is the old version. The new version (review) is flimsier and not ideal for stippling liquid foundation.) It measures a little less than 7 inches in length.

3. Mac 131 Duo Fibre Brush $40 (Limited Edition): I got this for $24 at an Estee Lauder Company Store. It's similar to a CCO, except the Estee Lauder Company Store is not open to the public. Click here for more info. The 131 brush picks up the right amount of product and lightly disperses my Mac Mineralize Skinfinish (MSF) highlighter in Soft & Gentle (review & swatches) onto my skin. However, when I use it to apply regular powder blushes, they end up looking blotchy and uneven. The black bristles are made from natural hairs, while the white ones are made from synthetic material. Therefore, this brush is ideal for applying cream and liquid products. It'll also work for applying Mac MSFs, but just not regular powder products. It measures 7.25 inches in length.

4. Mac 130 Short Duo Fibre Brush $40 (full review): 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 shed. I've tried using this to apply my L'oreal True Match & Make Up For Ever foundation, but they both ended up looking streaky. 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 Dior foundation dries really quick, so I'm not able to stipple this foundation with my Mac 187 or Sephora #44 brush, since stippling requires more time. If you don't mind the shedding, the Mac 130 brush is also ideal for contouring when using cream bronzers. It measures 6.5 inches in length.


5. Cover FX #160 Cream Foundation Brush $38 (full review): The Cover FX #160 brush is one of the softest brushes that I have come across, but I don't know why it's marketed as a cream foundation brush. The bristles are made from natural fibres, so it'll shed when used with liquid or cream products. Also, it's 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 and ends up looking blotchy. It does buff in my foundation really well, but the shedding annoys me. Even though the Mac 130 brush sheds as well, I prefer using it to apply my Dior Forever foundation because it's so much easier to wash, there's no staining and drying takes less time. I've been only reaching for my Cover FX #160 brush when my Mac 130 brush is dirty. It measures 6 inches in length.

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


6. Japonesque Professional Blush Brush $38: This is one of the softest brushes I own. It's even softer than my Mac 168, Mac 109, and basically every other brush that I have in my arsenal (besides the Cover FX #160 & Studio Gear #13 brush.) I don't know why it's not a popular brush in the blogging community. The bristles are not too dense or too flimsy, and is perfect for blush application. Also, I've never experienced any shedding or dye bleeding with this brush. It measures 8.10 inches in length.

7. Studio Gear #13 Blush Brush $35 (full review): This is very similar to the Japonesque professional blush brush, except the Studio Gear #13 brush is a little wider and a tiny bit denser, but both brushes essentially perform the same. The bristles feel teddy bear soft and 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.

8. Sonia Kashuk Blusher Brush $17.99 (full review): This is my go-to brush when I'm dealing with a very difficult blush that's highly pigmented. It's very fluffy, but not flimsy. The Sonia Kashuk Blusher brush picks up the right amount of product and disperses evenly. It can also be used as a powder brush. The bristles are very soft and it only shedded a few hairs when washed the first time, which is normal. The price is definitely a little steep, considering that it's a drugstore brand; however, I highly recommend it. It measures 7.30 inches in length.

9. Mac 168 Large Angled Contour Brush $32 (full review): The bristles are soft and not too dense or flimsy for applying regular (not sheer or highly pigmented) blushes and bronzers. However, I prefer the Mac 109 for contouring because the brush is firmer and denser. Also, my Mac 168 brush  sheds like 1-2 hairs each time after I wash it. Maybe I got a defective one? It measures 7.25 inches in length.

10. Sonia Kashuk Multi Purpose Brush $17.99 (full review): The bristles are denser and softer than the Mac 168 brush. The Sonia Kashuk brush is definitely not intended for applying highly pigmented products because it's simply too dense. It only works best with sheer products. I like using it to apply my Too Faced Peach Leopard Bronzer. However, I find it too wide for contouring. I still prefer the Mac 109 for contouring because it gives me more precision and it fits better in the hollow of my cheeks. It measures 7.10 inches in length.


11. Inglot 4SS Eye Brush $22 (full review): The bristles are soft and not too dense or flimsy. I like using it to apply highlight on top of my cheekbones and setting powder under my eye area & around the small crevices of my nose. However, it's too big for eye application. It measures 7.25 inches in length.

12. Mac 109 Small Contour Brush $32 (full review): The bristles are made from natural fibers; therefore, it will shed when used for applying liquid products, such as foundation. I prefer to use the 109 brush to contour because it's dense & firm and the head fits perfectly in the hollow of my cheeks. I don't recommend it for blush application because the brush is too small for the cheek area. It measures a little over 7 inches in length.

13. Royal & Langnickel Silk Baby Dome Powder Brush $14.99 (full review): This is softer, denser and bigger than the Mac 109 brush. However, the Royal & Langnickel brush is too big for contouring. I mainly use it to apply my bronzer and for blending out over applied products. One thing that annoys me is that it sheds 1-2 hairs after each wash. Maybe I got a defective one? It measures 6 inches in length.

14. 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 better coverage since the bristles are more densely packed. It measures 2.75 inches in length.

15. Sephora Professionnel Contour Blush Bronzer Brush #43 $36 (full review): The bristles are soft and dense. It's great for buffing out over applied products & for applying mineral & powder foundation because it'll give you an even application and better coverage. (Note: The denser the brush, the more coverage you'll get.) You can also use the side of the brush for contouring, but I still prefer the Mac 109 because it fits better in the hollow of my cheeks. Also, I find that round top, angled & paddle brushes work better for blush & bronzer application because the shape of those brushes fit better on the cheek area. It measures 6 inches in length.

16. Mac 185 Body Buffer Brush $52 (full review): The bristles are soft and densely packed. It's great for applying mineral & powder foundation and for buffing out over applied products. However, I do not recommend using it to apply liquid or cream products since the brush is made from natural fibers and shedding will result from that. It's also difficult to wash without touching the handle. Sooner or later, the Mac logo will be rubbed off since water keeps getting on it. Also, water can easily loosen the glue in the handle, and that will result in shedding. Lastly, I wish that the bristles were black because white bristles stain easily and are tougher to clean. It measures 2.5 inches in length.


1. 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. It measures 6.5 inches in length.

2. Royal & Langnickel Silk Sharp Line Brush BC498 $4.99: It's firm, but too thin for filling in my brows. I like using it to set my liquid eyeliner with a black eyeshadow. This is also good for applying gel liner. It measures 6.1 inches in length.

3. Royal & Langnickel Silk Lash Comb Brush BC515 $9.99: The metal bristles do a great job at separating my lashes after I apply my mascara, but it's difficult to wash out the mascara residue that's left on the comb. Also, the metal bristles are sharp. Be careful not to poke your eyes out with it. It measures 6.75 inches in length.

4. 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. .


5. Ulta Professional Wide Eyeshadow Brush $9: The bristles are soft and dense, but not as thin or firm as my other eye shader brushes. It's great for applying highlight on the browbone, blending and for packing color onto the lids. However, it may be too big for people with a small eye area. It measures 7.10 inches in length.

6. Royal & Langnickel Silk Eye Shader SM Brush BC410 $15.99: This brush is a little wider and thinner than the BC411 brush. The bristles are 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. The only thing that I'm not too ecstatic about is the color of the 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.

7. Royal & Langnickel Silk Synthetic MD Eye Shader Brush BC411 $10.99: The bristles are soft & firm, but a little thicker than the BC410 brush. It doesn't pack on color as well as my other eyeshadow brushes because the BC411 brush is made from synthetic material, which tend to apply products lightly. However, this brush is great for applying cream eyeshadows and concealer, but I mainly use it for applying powder eyeshadows when my other eyeshadow brushes are dirty and for smudging. It measures 6.5 inches in length.

8. Japonesque Professional Medium Eye Shadow Fluff Brush $19: The bristles are not as thin or firm as the Royal & Langnickel BC411 and BC410 brush, but the hairs on the Japonesque brush are soft. I like using the flat side to pack color onto my lids and the tip to add color onto my crease because the tip is fluffy and not too thin. It measures 7 inches in length.

9. Confidential E39 Fluff Eye Shader Brush $8 (full review): The bristles splay and are not as firm or as soft as my Mac 239 brush. I still like using the Confidential E39 brush because it's thin, it's slightly bigger and it can cover more eye area in one swipe. However, the bristles stain easily, especially if you're using dark colors. It measures 6.75 inches in length.

10. Mac 239 Eye Shader Brush $24.50 (full review): The bristles are firm, thin and soft. It's great for applying color onto the lower lash line and lids. However, I find myself reaching for the Royal & Langnickel BC410 brush more because it's bigger and can cover more eye area at a shorter amount of time. Also, just like any other brush with white bristles, the 239 brush takes more time and effort to clean. It measures 6.5 inches in length.


11. 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 smudging and adding color on the crease area & inner corner. 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. It measures 7.5 inches in length.

12. Coastal Scents C139 Tapered Crease Eye Brush $2.55 (full review): This brush is thin, firm and tapered; therefore, it's ideal for applying color to the outer v area. It's also great for blending when I'm wearing a dark color on my lids because it fits nicely on my socket line. The C139 really smokes out the color. It measures 6 inches in length.

13. Sigma E45 Small Tapered Blending Brush $9: This brush is tapered and is similar to the Coastal Scents C139 brush, except the Sigma E45 is not as firm and is a little bigger. It is more suitable for applying color on the crease area. I can still use it to blend out harsh lines, but I prefer to use the Sonia Kashuk Large Crease Blending brush because it's wider and a little bit firmer. It measures 7 inches in length.

14. 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.

15. 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. The 217 brush is ideal for blending light colors and for applying a sheer wash of color all over the lids. It measures 6.5 inches in length.

16. Sigma E25 Blending Brush $9 (full review): Just like the Mac 217, the Sigma E25 is too flimsy for blending out HARSH lines and dark pigmented eyeshadows. The difference between these 2 brushes is that the Sigma E25 is bigger and flimsier. Because the tip of the brush is wider, it's harder to control the placement of color. The Mac 217 fits better on my eyes. It measures 7 inches in length.

17. Coastal Scents Pro Blending Fluff brush $3.95 (full review): This is another brush that's similar to the Mac 217. The Coastal Scents version is thinner and less denser, but it's still great for applying and blending my transition color. This brush is also ideal for blending light colors and for applying a sheer wash of color all over the lids. However, it's too flimsy for blending out HARSH lines and dark pigmented eyeshadows. It measures 6.7 inches in length.

18. Edward Bess Luxury Eye Brush $40 (full review): It's not as soft as my other eye brushes, such as my Sonia Kashuk Black Domed Eyeshadow brush, but it's by no means scratchy. Please keep in mind that some brushes, especially blending brushes can't be too soft or else it won't blend/work properly. The bristles are not too dense or too flimsy for application on the eyes. If you have a big eye area, then you could use the Edward Bess Luxury Eye brush to add a light wash of color onto the lids, to define the crease, and to blend. I personally use it to apply setting powder under my eye area and to blend my eyeshadows when my holy grail Sonia Kashuk Large Crease Blending brush is dirty. It measures 6.25 inches in length.

19. Sonia Black Domed Eyeshadow Brush $9.99 (short review): The bristles are soft and super dense. I love using the Kashuk 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.

Gosh, this is another long post. >_<
Hope these mini reviews are helpful. =)

I had alot more brushes in my collection a couple of months ago, 
but good thing I returned/sold them or else this post would be never ending.


*This post contains affiliate links. 

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Looks: Silver Mist



Lid: Urban Decay Sellout
Crease: Mac Contrast
Outer Corner: Mac Carbon
Highlight: Mac Brule
Transition Color: Mac Kid
I'm just experimenting with my eyeshadows. =)


Thursday, August 25, 2011

Swatches: Favorite Eyeshadows (Mac, Urban Decay, Stars Makeup Haven, Coastal Scents)


This post is about my favorite eyeshadows that I would repurchase over and over again.

Some are limited edition; however, they might still be available at a CCO.

Also, please keep in mind that these eyeshadows are my favorites.
Some of the eyeshadows mentioned may not work well on cooler skin tones or darker beauties.

Just enjoy the swatches. =)

First Row: Mac Ego (Limited Edition), Coastal Scents S06, Stars Makeup Haven Plum Crazy
Second Row: Mac Brule, Urban Decay Sellout, Urban Decay Blaze
Third Row: Urban Decay Blunt, Urban Decay Half Baked, Mac Woodwinked, Mac Warming Trend (Limited Edition), Mac Sumptuous Olive, Mac Humid
Fourth Row: Mac Soft Brown, Mac Swiss Chocolate, Stars Makeup Haven Taz, Mac Carbon

Mac Ego (LE) - beautiful baby pink with a soft shimmery finish that is not too frosty
The texture is buttery smooth. I love wearing this all over my lids 
with S06 in the crease and Plum Crazy in the outer corner.

Coastal Scents S06 magenta pink with a hint of violet; shimmery finish
I love using this to blend out purples.

Stars Makeup Haven Plum Crazy - intense purple with a blue undertone; shimmery finish
This is the best shade of purple that I have come across. 
Some of Mac's purple eyeshadows are too light and
the dark ones don't have a shimmery finish.

Mac Brule beige with a satin finish
It has a grey tone to it when swatched heavily. When applied lightly (swatches), it works as a highlight color for my browbone and it goes with any eyeshadow look. 
Mac Blanc Type (swatches) is more opaque and more eye catching, 
but I prefer Brule for an everyday look because it is a safer color to wear during school or work. 

Urban Decay Sellout - light pinky beige with a metallic frost finish
It brightens your eyes and make you look more awake when worn all over the lids.
I usually pair it with browns for a neutral look.

Urban Decay Blaze - peachy gold with a metallic frost finish
I love wearing this all over the lids and pairing it with greens (Humid) in the crease.

Urban Decay Blunt -  light glowy gold with a hint of yellow; metallic frost finish
For a light shade, I'm surprised at how strongly pigmented this is. 
It looks absolutely gorgeous all over the lids when paired with 
greens or browns (Swiss Chocolate or Mac Tempting: swatches) in the crease.

Urban Decay Half Baked - true gold without looking too yellow or orange; metallic frost finish
I can't stress how much I love this color. 
I already mentioned this in my July Monthly Favorites post
However, lighter beauties should buy this shade with caution because 
it might oxidize throughout the day and make your eyes look Oompa Loompa orange.

Mac Woodwinked - warm antiqued gold with a copper brown undertone;
shimmery finish with a metallic shine 
It's too light for my crease, but I like using it all over the lids; however, it turns orange when blended. 
So, I usually apply the color a little above my crease.

Mac Warming Trend (LE) light taupe with a hint of brown and a gold sheen; shimmery finish
I love this shade, but too bad it's limited edition. 
It's great as an everyday neutral look when paired with browns, but it also works well with greens.

Mac Sumptuous Olive - olive green with a brown undertone and golden sheen; shimmery finish
This is a must-have for me. 
It's pretty to look at, pretty when swatched, and pretty when worn on the eyes. 
It's just pretty gorgeous. I wear it as a crease color and definitely pairs well with Humid.

Mac Humid - forest green with a subtle gold sheen; shimmery finish
This is the prefect shade of green for my outer v when
I'm wearing Sumptuous Olive in the crease and Warming Trend all over my lids.


Mac Soft Brown - peachy brown; matte finish
It looks really dark in the picture because it's a heavy swatch. 
The peachy tones turn into a mauvey shade when swatched heavily. 
When applied lightly (swatches), it works great as a transition color for my skintone. 
If you have a lighter complexion and are more cool toned, 
then Mac Wedge or Mac Kid would be a better option. 

Mac Swiss Chocolate - warm chocolate brown; matte finish
I usually wear a shimmery lid color. 
So, in order to balance out the eye look and make it more wearable for the daytime, 
I wear a brown shade that has a matte finish in the crease.

Stars Makeup Haven Taz - true burgundy shade; matte finish
I love applying a tiny bit of this color above my crease color when I want to spice up a neutral eye look.

Mac Carbon - matte black
I use this all the time whenever I want to darken my eye look.


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. 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 I mentioned any of your favorite eyeshadows?

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