NORDSTROM - Choose your free gift with $75 Shiseido purchase

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Review: Studio Gear Duo Fiber Angled Bronzer Brush #15

Left: Studio Gear #15 Brush 
Right: MAC 187 Brush
Pros:
  • bristles feels soft
  • ideal for applying highly pigmented products, such as Burberry blushes
  • no shedding when used with powder products
  • no dye bleeding
  • no funky smell after a few washes
  • dries within 5 hours
  • easy to wash when used with powder products
Cons:
  • a little too big for the cheek area
  • too flimsy for stippling liquid foundation

Left: Studio Gear #15 Brush 
Right: MAC 187 Brush

The Studio Gear #15 looks like an angled paddle brush in the stock photo on Ulta's website. In person, it's actually not flat or thin. When compared to the MAC 187 (full review), the Studio Gear #15 is not as dense or as soft. Also, the bristles are sparse and wider than the 187. If you are looking for a brush to apply liquid foundation, I highly suggest grabbing the Sephora #44 brush (full review) because the Studio Gear brush is too flimsy and not firm enough for stippling.

I read a review online about a buyer who used this brush to apply setting powder and then complained about it not picking up enough product. The Studio Gear #15 is not meant for picking up sheer or lightly pigmented products like setting powder because the white synthetic bristles are meant for applying highly pigmented products, such as Burberry blushes because the white synthetic bristles lightly picks up product and disperses evenly. It gives a light application and ensures that the highly pigmented product is not over applied.


Left: Studio Gear #15 Brush 
Right: MAC 187 Brush

The problem with the Studio Gear #15 brush is that it's slightly too big for the cheek area. If you dip the entire tip of the brush into the product & then apply it onto the cheeks, then the product will cover a huge portion of the face. Therefore, you need to pick up the product with only a small part of the brush. Another reason why the brush disperses product onto a large area of the face is because the brush is flimsy. If you sweep the brush in a heavy motion, then the bristles will flare out and cover a bigger portion of the face. Therefore, you need to use this brush in a light & gentle motion when applying the product. 

Top: Studio Gear #15 Brush 
Bottom: MAC 187 Brush

Bottom Line: There is nothing wrong with the quality of the brush; however, it fails during application because the head of the brush is simply too big. If you want to make this brush useable, it will take more effort and technique.

Note: The Studio Gear Angled Bronzer Brush #15 measures 7.5 inches and retails for $32.50 at Ulta.

Have you tried the Studio Gear #15 brush?
How do you use it?

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

    Philosophy 2011 Coupon Code: Free Holiday Gift with Purchase


    Philosophy Free Holiday Gift* - For a limited time, shoppers will receive a free holiday box of surprises with any purchase of $65 or more! This gift box is wrapped festively and valued at over $40. This offer also qualifies for free shipping. Valid December 1st through December 4th. Enter promo code HOLIDAYSURPRISE at checkout.


    Philosophy Free Gift* - With any purchase of $85 or more, receive a free gift valued at over $100. This offer also qualifies for free shipping. Expires November 30. Enter promo code HOLIDAYJOY at checkout.

    *affiliate link

    Tuesday, November 29, 2011

    MakeupByJoyce's Huge Holiday Giveaway (Prize Includes 20 Items)


    If you've been following my blog for a while, then you know that I received a bunch of drugstore products for free from one of my lovely friends. She has no problem with me giving them away to my readers. =) 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.)

    *Prize* 
    (You get to pick 20 items from the following)
    Boots No7 Stay Perfect Eyeshadow in 50 Tender 2g
     CoverGirl Eye Enhancers Eyeshadow Single in 710 Champagne 2.5g
    CoverGirl Eye Enhancers Eyeshadow Single in 730 Swiss Chocolate 2.5g
    CoverGirl Eye Enhancers Eyeshadow Single in 740 Brown Smolder 2.5g
    CoverGirl Eye Enhancers Eyeshadow Single in 750 Mink 2.5g
    CoverGirl Eye Enhancers Eyeshadow Quad in 215 Country Woods 5.5g
    CoverGirl Eye Enhancers Eyeshadow Quad in 220 Urban Basics 5.5g
    EcoTools Bamboo Eyeshadow Brush
    EcoTools Bamboo Bronzer Brush
    ELF Studio Eyeshadow C Brush
    EcoTools Limited Edition Beautiful Expressions Kabuki Set
    Hard Candy Fox in a Box Bronzing Duo in 395 Truth or Dare 5.7g
    Hard Candy Blush Crush Baked Blush in 128 Bombshell 8g
    Harmon Face Values Large Dome Eyeshadow Brush
    Maybelline Expert Wear Eyeshadow Single in 10S Vanilla 2.6g
    Maybelline Expert Wear Eyeshadow Single in 165S Antique Jade 2.6g
    Maybelline Expert Wear Eyeshadow Single in 170S Earthly Taupe 2.6g
    Maybelline Expert Wear Eyeshadow Single in 250S Tastefully Taupe 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 06Q Amethyst 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
    Milani Runway Eyes Eyeshadow in #3 Bronze Doll 2.1g
    Milani Runway Eyes Eyeshadow in #04 Coffee Shop 2.1g
    Milani Runway Eyes Eyeshadow in #13 Aubergine 2.1g
    Milani Baked Eyeshadow Metallic in 602 I Heart You 1.5g
    Milani Baked Eyeshadow Metallic in 604 Purrr-fect Purple 1.5g
    Milani Baked Blush in 05 Luminoso 3.5g
    Milani Baked Bronzer in 06 Golden 7g
    Physicians Formula Organic Wear 100% Natural Origin Bronzer in 2160 Medium Skin 9g
    Physicians Formula Organic Wear 100% Natural Origin Blush in 2164 Rosy Organics 5.5g
    Revlon ColorBurst Lipstick in 002 Icy Nude 3.7g
    Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick in 120 Apricot Fantasy 4.2g
    Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick in 460 Blushing Mauve 4.2g
    Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick in 750 Kiss Me Coral 4.2g
    Revlon Super Lustrous Lipgloss in 120 Pink Pursuit 5.9ml
    Rimmel London Glam Eyes Single Eyeshadow in 140 Precious Rose  2.4g
    Rimmel London SunShimmer Maxi Bronzer in 002 Sun Love 17g
    Rimmel London SunShimmer Maxi Bronzer in 003 Sun Queen 17g
    Target Up & Up Eye Crease Brush
     Wet n Wild Eyeshadow Single in 251A Brulee 1.7g
    Wet n Wild Eyeshadow Single in 252B Nutty 1.7g
     Wet n Wild Eyeshadow Trio in 380B Walking on Eggshells 3.5g
    Wet n Wild Eyeshadow Trio in 383B Knock on Wood 3.5g

    *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 Google +1 the main page of my blog & NOT this giveaway post.
    You may enter only once.

    Make a post about my giveaway on your blog, using the prize picture above. +2 entries *optional 
    Post my giveaway on your blog's sidebar, using the prize picture above+2 entries *optional
    (Tabs do not qualify. It must be on the sidebar.)
    Make a youtube video about my giveaway. +3 entries *optional 

    This giveaway is open worldwide.

    This giveaway will end at 11:59pm EST on December 30, 2011.
    The winner will be chosen randomly using random.org and will be announced on my blog.

    Don't be discouraged if you don't win this giveaway
    because I'll have another giveaway after this one. ^_^

    By the way, I already shipped out the prize of my last giveaway on Monday. =)
    Hopefully, Jennifer (the winner) will receive it soon.

    Update: I've been super busy lately and I have alot of personal issues that I have to sort out. So, it will take me a few days to gather all the entries and count them. I also have to make sure that each contestant followed the rules, which is alot of work, but must be done so that everyone gets a fair chance at winning. =) I will announce the winner on January 2 on a new blog post and will ship the package within 24 hours after the winner emails me the list of items that he/she would like. (Please refer to the prize list above.)

    Monday, November 28, 2011

    Too Faced Cyber Monday Deals + Coupons: Free Gifts, Free Shipping, 5% OFF + 50% OFF


    Too Faced Cosmetics - Receive a free Deluxe Lash Injection Mascara with orders over $50, a free fluff eye shadow brush with orders over $100 and a free Lash Layering Mascara Kit ($30.50 value) with orders over $250. No code needed. Free shipping on any order with code BLACK11 (expires 11/28). Save 50% on all vintage Too Faced products. 5% off any order with code CYBERMONDAY11 (expires 11/28).

    *affiliate link

    Stila Cyber Monday Warehouse Sale: 80% OFF


    stila cosmetics warehouse sale - up to 80% off!

    Stila Cosmetics* - Warehouse sale, up to 80% off. (11/28 through 12/2). No code needed.

    *affiliate link

    Thursday, November 24, 2011

    17 Massive Black Friday + Cyber Monday 2011 Coupon Codes + Deals


    EyesLipsFace.com* - 50% off with all orders over $25. Use code 50WIDE (11/27 through 11/29). 50% off an order up to $15. Use code CAROLINA (currently active). 50% off Studio line on $20+ purchases. Use code ECD21 (currently active).
    Free Shipping at blincInc.com! Shop Now! 

    Blinc* - Free Gifts (Blinc Eyeshadow Primer + Limited Edition Holiday Eyeshadow $42 value) with $50 purchase. No code needed.
     The Body ShopThe Body Shop

    The Body Shop* - 3 for $30 on all products (11/24 through 11/25). 3 for $30 on all bath and body products (11/26 through 11/27). 3 for $30 on all products + free shipping (11/28). No code needed.

    stila cosmetics warehouse sale - up to 80% off!


    Stila Cosmetics* - First 500 to spend $25 will receive a 6-piece eyeshadow palette + free shipping. Use code BLACKFRIDAY (11/25). Warehouse sale, up to 80% off. (11/28 through 12/2). No code needed.

    Other Coupons + Deals:

    theBalm - 40% off entire site. Use code BLACKFRIDAY (11/25 9am PST through 11:59pm PST).

    Coastal Scents* - 50% off entire site. (11/24 through 11/29 9am EST). No code needed. 

    DHC* - 10% off sale entire site. (11/28). No code needed.

    Eve Pearl - 40% to 55% off entire site. Use code BPTG2011 (11/24 11am EST through 11/28 11pm EST).

    Giorgio Armani - 20% off + free 2nd day shipping on $75+ orders. Use code GAHOLIDAY1 (11/24 through 11/29). 20% off + free 2nd day shipping + 6 minis ($42 value) on $125+ orders. Use code GAHOLIDAY4 (11/27 through 11/29).

    Laura Gellar - 20% off entire site (11/24 through 11/28). No code needed.

    Milani - 50% off + free shipping. Use code CYBER (11/28 8am PST through 11/29 8am PST).

    Saks Fifth Avenue - Spend $100 on beauty/fragrance, get $25 gift card. Use code SFABEAUTY (11/24 through 11/25).

    Shu Uemura - 20% off entire site + free shipping on $50+ orders. Use code WISH2011. (11/24 through 11/29).  

    Sigma* - Free shipping worldwide. Use code BF2011 (11/25 from 9am to 5pm CST). 10% off entire site. Use code PSW2011 (expires 11/30).  

    Smashbox - 20% off entire site. Use code SBXFF11 (11/23 through 11/28). 

    Tarte* - $10 off your order of $50 & up, $20 off your order of $75 & up, & $30 off your order of $100 & up, plus receive free shipping with orders over $40 & receive a FREE gift from your choice of 5 full-sized products. Use code Cyber (11/28)

     Urban Decay - $20 off Book of Shadows Vol. 4 to the first 1,000 people. Use code BLACKFRIDAY11 (11/25).

    *affiliate link

    Wednesday, November 23, 2011

    DHC Cyber Monday Sale on All Orders


    I love to use the DHC Deep Cleansing Oil to remove all my makeup, but $26 for 6.7 fl. oz can be pretty hefty compared to other makeup removers. So, it'll be a good time to stock up during their Cyber Monday deal. 

    The DHC 10% off sale* only applies on Cyber Monday, November 28. No code is needed. You can also get free shipping on all orders over $25 from now until December 31, 2011 by clicking here*Plus, 4 free samples are included with every purchase.

    *affiliate link

    Giveaway Winner + Another Giveaway


    Sorry it took so long, but there were so many entries this time and I had to go through all the entries twice to make sure everyone followed the rules and that there were no mistakes. I do check if you're a follower of my blog, if you actually posted my giveaway on the sidebar of your blog and if you actually made a blog post about it. =)

    After many hours later, we finally have a winner and that person is Jennifer@Rainy Days and Lattes
    Congratulations! =) Please email me the 15 items that you would like to receive & your shipping address. 
    Go to this blog post for a list of items that you can choose from.

    Please don't be discouraged if you didn't win because I will have a holiday giveaway coming up 
    and the winner will get to choose 20 items as the prize. ^_^
    Also, the EcoTools Limited Edition Beautiful Expressions Kabuki Set 
    will be one of the prize options in my next giveaway!

    Monday, November 14, 2011

    Review: Coastal Scents Divine Powder Buffer Brush

    From Left to Right: MAC 187 Brush, Coastal Scents Divine Powder Buffer Brush, MAC 131 Brush

    I only use my foundation brushes once before putting them off to the side with my other dirty brushes and I usually do my brush cleaning at the end of week. So, I'm always on the hunt for a foundation brush. (I don't reuse brushes that are used with "wet" products, such as cream eyeshadows, eyeliner & liquid/cream foundation, liquid/cream blushes, & liquid/cream bronzers because of hygienic reasons. Damp brushes allow bacterial and fungal growth; therefore, reusing damp brushes can cause acne, rashes, irritation & eye infections. I strongly recommend washing brushes after each use if you are using them for liquid/cream products.) 

    Anyways, I decided to get the Coastal Scents Divine Powder Buffer brush because there are many postive reviews online and Coastal Scents was having a 30% off sale.

    From Top to Bottom: MAC 187 Brush, Coastal Scents Divine Powder Buffer Brush, MAC 131 Brush

    Pros:
    • feels soft when I run my fingers through the bristles & when I use it in a buffing motion
    • bristles are dense & firm
    • able to reach into all crevices of the face
    • doesn't streak when buffing or stippling liquid foundation
    • ideal for buffing in liquid/cream products, if you don't mind shedding
    • no shedding when used with powder products or when stippling liquid foundation
    • not expensive
    • no dye bleeding
    • no funky smell after a few washes
    • dries within 4 hours
    • easy to wash when used with powder products

    Cons:
    • feels prickly when used in a stippling motion
    • sheds at least 1 hair when buffing in liquid/cream products
    • takes at least 2 washes for all the liquid/cream product to get out
    • too dense for applying powder blushes, bronzers and setting powders

    From Top Left, Clockwise: Coastal Scents Divine Powder Buffer Brush, MAC 187 Brush, MAC 131 Brush

    Like I mentioned in my other posts, if you stipple and swirl any liquid product, such as foundation with a duo fiber brush (a brush that is made with a blend of synthetic and natural fibers), then the foundation will come in contact with the bottom part of the bristles where the black natural fibers are, and that will cause the brush to shed. If you only stipple with a duo fiber brush, which is its intended use, then it will give you an airbrush finish & there will be no shedding whatsoever because the foundation will only be in contact with the white synthetic fibers.

    The problem with the Coastal Scents Divine Powder Buffer brush is that I can't use it to stipple liquid foundation because it feels too prickly when I use it in a stippling motion. The only option is to use it in a buffing motion and we all know what happens when we buff in liquid foundation with a duo fiber brush. It sheds! It doesn't bother me that much because it only sheds 1 hair each time I use it to buff in liquid foundation. I've had this brush for a few weeks and it's still looking good and feels just as dense as when I first got it.

    Overall, I like using this brush for applying liquid foundation because the bristles are firm & dense. It's the perfect size for foundation application because it can get into the small crevices of the face and it's quick & easy to use. It's not your average duo fiber brush because of it's density. Think of it as a "duo fiber kabuki" brush.

    I find it too dense to use for buffing in blushes, bronzers, and setting powders. However, if you really want to use this brush for applying blushes or bronzers, then you must take the extra steps to make it work by tapping the product onto the cheek area and then lightly blend downwardsIf you buff in the product in a circular motion, then it can "move" or mess up your foundation. Also, remember to apply setting powder (with a fluffy brush and not the Coastal Scents one) on top of liquid/cream foundation before applying any powder product in order to make blending easier. (The technique that I mentioned in the beginning of this paragraph only works for sheer and regular pigmented products. Do not use this brush with highly pigmented products because this brush is simply too dense and will place a concentrated amount of product onto the cheek area; thus, making it difficult to blend out.) 

    As for maintenance, it's super easy to wash when used with powder products and it dries super fast. However, when used with liquid/cream products, it takes at least 2 washes to get all the product out. It is important to note that I have to do this with all my other foundation brushes.

    As for packaging, the handle is a little too thick to store in my brush holder. It doesn't stand upright unless I jab it in because I use sand to fill my brush holder. Also, I would much prefer the handle to be matte and the ferrule to be nickel because it'll look more professional.

    From Left to Right: MAC 187 Brush, Coastal Scents Divine Powder Buffer Brush, MAC 131 Brush

    MAC 187 Duo Fibre Brush $42 (full review): This brush is longer, wider and not as dense as the Coastal Scents one. It's ideal for stippling liquid foundation, applying highly pigmented powder products, such as blush and applying a light dusting of setting powder. (The Mac 187 brush that I'm referring to is the old version. The new version (review) is flimsier and not ideal for stippling liquid foundation.)

    Mac 130 Short Duo Fibre Brush $40 (full review): This brush is denser than the Mac 187 brush, but it's not as dense as the Coastal Scents brush. It's also significantly smaller and takes more time to apply liquid foundation with. If you're contouring or highlighting with a liquid/cream product, then the Mac 130 brush would be ideal; however, if you want a brush for buffing in liquid/cream foundation, then the Coastal Scents brush would be more suitable since the head is bigger and it takes less time to apply the foundation onto the whole face.

    Bottom Line: I love my MAC 187 and Sephora #44 brush (full review) for stippling liquid foundation because they give me an airbrush finish; however, stippling requires more time. So, if you're always in a rush, I recommend getting the Coastal Scents Divine Powder Buffer brush to buff in liquid/cream foundation as long as you don't mind some minor shedding. It's also firm enough to stipple liquid foundation & it doesn't shed when using that technique; however, the bristles feel prickly when I use it in a stippling motion as opposed to a buffing motion. It also doesn't shed when used with powder products; however, if you're a makeup beginner, I recommend using "traditional" brushes, such as the Studio Gear #13 brush (mini review) & the Mac 168 brush (full review), for applying powder blushes & bronzers because it takes more work and technique to use the Coastal Scents brush for that type of application.

    Note: The Coastal Scents Divine Powder Buffer brush measures 6.25 inches and retails for $14.95 on Coastal Scents' website

    Have you tried the Coastal Scents Divine Powder Buffer Brush?
    Do you prefer it over "traditional" duo fiber brushes, such as the MAC 187?

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