Saks Fifth Avenue NORDSTROM.com

Saturday, December 17, 2011

The Body Shop 2011 Coupon Code: 30% OFF All Orders

The Body Shop


The Body Shop* has its own cosmetics line. I haven't heard much reviews about their makeup products because the company is mostly known for their bath and body products. However, this would be a good time to check out their cosmetics line, since they're offering 30% OFF any purchase with Guaranteed Christmas Delivery*. Offer expires December 19, 2011.

*affiliate link

Friday, December 16, 2011

Stila Coupon Code 2011 - 10% OFF All Orders

2011 stila holiday gift guide

Stila* is offering 10% OFF any purchase for today only. Use code HOLIDAY10OFF at checkout.

*affiliate link

ELF Coupon Code 2011 - 50% OFF Entire Order + Free Studio 100-Piece Eyeshadow Palette


Get a free e.l.f. Studio Holiday 100-Piece Classic Eyeshadow Palette* when you spend $25 or more. Offer cannot be combined with any other coupons. Use code 100FREE at checkout. Offer expires December 19, 2011.


Get a FREE Mini Makeup Collection* when you spend $10 or more. Offer cannot be combined with any other coupons. Use code HOLIDAY at checkout. Offer expires December 31, 2011. 

50% OFF orders up to $15* - Use code CAROLINA at checkout.

50% OFF Studio Line* - Use code ECD21 at checkout.

50% OFF Mineral Makeup with a $20 or more order* - Use code ECD11 at checkout.

*affiliate link

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Blinc 2011 Coupon Code - Free Gifts + 20% OFF Collection


Blinc* is offering an eyeshadow primer + limited edition holiday eyeshadow ($42 value) with a $50 purchase or more. No code needed.

You can also get 20% OFF the For Your Eyes Only Collection*. No promo code needed.

*affiliate link

Monday, December 12, 2011

The Body Shop 2011 Coupon Code: 3 Items for $30

The Body Shop

The Body Shop* is offering any 3 bath and body products for $30*. Offer expires December 16, 2011. No promo code needed.

*affiliate link

Too Faced 2011 Coupon Code: 25% OFF Sitewide


Too Faced Cosmetics is offering 25% OFF their entire site. Offer expires December 14, 2011. You also get free samples with every order. Enter promo code 3DAYSALE at checkout.




*This post contains affiliate links.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Review + Comparison - Studio Gear #13 Blush Brush + Studio Gear #14 Rouge Brush

From Left to Right: Sonia Kashuk Blusher Brush, Studio Gear #13 Blush Brush, Studio Gear #14 Rouge Brush, Cover FX #160 Cream Foundation Brush

Studio Gear #13 Blush Brush + Studio Gear #14 Rouge Brush

Pros:
  • bristles feels luxuriously soft (feels softer than my MAC brushes)
  • not too dense or too flimsy for bronzer/blush application
  • no shedding when used with powder products
  • no dye bleeding
  • no funky smell 
  • dries within 6 hours
  • easy to wash when used with powder products

Cons:
  • price might not be in everyone's range



Sonia Kashuk Blusher Brush $17.99 (full review) - The bristles are made from natural hair and feel very soft, though not as luxuriously soft as my Studio Gear brushes. The Sonia Kashuk brush is ideal for applying highly-pigmented blushes because the bristles are fluffy and not densely packed. It just picks up the right amount of product and disperses evenly.

Studio Gear #13 Blush Brush $35 - The bristles are made from natural hair and feel teddy bear soft. It's ideal for applying regular-pigmented blushes because the bristles are neither too dense nor too flimsy. It also blends better than the Studio Gear #14 brush because the #13 brush is slightly denser. Also, since the #13 brush has a wider head, it's great for applying blush on the entire cheek area, up to the hair line with one swipe.

Studio Gear #14 Rouge Brush $30 - The bristles are made from natural hair and feel teddy bear soft. It's ideal for applying regular-pigmented blushes; however, it doesn't blend as well as the #13 brush since the #14 brush is less denser. Also, the #14 brush does not fit on the entire cheek area as well as the #13 brush because the #14 brush has a smaller head. The #14 brush is more ideal for applying blush on the apples of the cheeks.

Cover FX #160 Cream Foundation Brush $38 (full review) 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. Also, it's marketed as a cream foundation brush; however, the bristles are made from natural fibres, so it'll shed when used with liquid or cream products. The #160 brush works best for contouring the cheeks.

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


Bottom Line: It's nice to have both Studio Gear brushes; however, it's not necessary. I recommend getting the Studio Gear #13 brush for applying regular-pigmented blushes because it fits better on the cheek area and it blends better than the Studio Gear #14 brush. For applying highly-pigmented products, I recommend getting the Sonia Kashuk brush since the bristles are more fluffy and not as densely packed.

Note: The Studio Gear #13 brush measures 7.5 inches in total length, while the #14 brush measures 7 inches in total length. They can be purchased at Studio Gear's online store.

What brush do use to apply blush?
Have you tried any of Studio Gear's brushes?


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

Friday, December 9, 2011

DHC 2011 Coupon Code: $5 OFF All Orders of $10 or More

DHC is also offering $5 off all orders of $10 or more* until December 15th.
No code is needed; however, you must click on this link* to activate the offer. 

*affiliate link

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Philosophy Friends + Family Sale 2011: 30% OFF All Orders


Philosophy is offering 30% off all orders*! Whoa! This is a great opportunity to stock up on their skin care line. I've been using the Gingerbread Man Ginger Hot Salt Body Scrub ($25)* and I love how it exfoliates my skin and leaves it feeling super duper soft. Better stock up on more while Philosophy is having a Friends & Family sale. =)

Valid December 8th through December 12th. Enter Promo Code JOY4ALL at checkout.

*affiliate link

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Review: Studio Gear #11 Contour Blush Brush


Pros:
  • bristles feels luxuriously soft (feels softer than my MAC & Sonia Kashuk brushes)
  • not too dense or too flimsy for bronzer/blush application
  • no shedding when used with powder products
  • no dye bleeding
  • no funky smell 
  • dries within 8 hours
  • easy to wash when used with powder products

Cons:
  • a little too big for the cheek area
  • too flimsy for contouring


The Studio Gear #11 brush is a little softer and bigger than both the Sonia Kashuk Multi Purpose brush (full review) and the MAC 168 brush (full review). However, the Sonia Kashuk brush is more denser, while the MAC 168 brush is less denser than the Studio Gear #11 brush.

The Sonia Kashuk brush is best used for picking up sheer products, since the bristles are densely packed, while the MAC 168 brush and the Studio Gear #11 brush are best used for applying regular-pigmented products, since the bristles are neither too dense nor flimsy. However, the MAC 168 brush sheds 1-2 hairs after each wash and the Studio Gear #11 brush is 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. So, to save you from the "trouble," I recommend purchasing the Studio Gear #13 brush (mini review) for applying regular-pigmented products because the size of the brush head and the density of the bristles are perfect. It also doesn't shed and it feels teddy bear soft.

As for contouring, I find that the Studio Gear #11 brush is too flimsy and too wide for that type of application. I much prefer the MAC 109 brush (mini review) because it's dense & firm and the head fits perfectly in the hollow of my cheeks. 


Bottom Line: There is nothing wrong with the quality of the Studio Gear #11 brush; however, it fails during application because the head of the brush is simply too big for its intended use. If you want to make this brush useable, it will take more effort and technique. It works best for applying setting powder all over the face. I recommend getting the Studio Gear #13 brush for applying regular-pigmented products and the MAC 109 brush for contouring

Note: The Studio Gear Contour Blush Brush #11 measures 7.5 inches and retails for $35 on their online store.


Have you tried the Studio Gear #11 brush?
How do you use it?

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

Philosophy 2011 Coupon Code: 56% OFF When Hope Is Not Enough Replenishing Cream



Philosophy is offering a .5oz When Hope Is Not Enough Replenishing Cream for $8*. It's an "emollient facial moisturizer, created for dehydrated, devitalized skin. It contains natural oils and emollients to help balance and restore the skin's moisture levels." It's regularly priced at $18, so you'll be receiving 56% off this product! No code needed. Valid December 6, 2011 only.
*affiliate link

Monday, December 5, 2011

What's In My Makeup Travel Bag?

MAC Carry All Soft Case (discontinued)

Whenever I'm travelling, I always take my MAC Carry All Soft Case. It does get dusty easily; however, you can fit alot of things inside, even the Stars Makeup Haven eyeshadow palettes (review). There are 12 compartment slots surrounding the bag and 1 zipper compartment. It also comes with an adjustable strap, so you can carry it on your shoulder or in your hand. It measures 12" L x 6" W x 5.25" H.

I never peeled the plastic off the mirror because I find the mirror to be unnecessary, 
since I usually do my makeup in the hotel bathroom.

Overall, I have no regrets buying the MAC Carry All Soft Case. The only thing that bothers me is that the top flap/lid doesn't open all the way. The picture above shows the farthest way that it can open. Also, it flaps down by itself sometimes, so you have to hold it open with your hands.


As you can see in the picture above, there is still room in the case after I pack my makeup essentials, so I usually throw in my hair products, skincare products and personal care products inside too, which is not pictured to save you from boredom. =)


The metallic makeup pouch is from Sephora and I got it for free about a year ago for purchasing something. I usually place my brushes inside it when I'm travelling. (I recently bought the Sigma brush holder and will let you know how travel-friendly it is.)

I try not to bring my mid-range and high-end brushes for fear of losing them on the trip; however, sometimes I just can't resist. (My MAC 182 couture brush is so luxuriously soft. There is just no cheaper substitute and I have to bring it with me on all my trips.)

Top Left: 
  • MAC 182 Buffer Brush Couture Limited Edition $55 (full review) - for applying setting powder and to buff out over-applied blush

Bottom Left to Right: 
  • Coastal Scents Divine Powder Buffer Brush $14.95 (full review) - for applying liquid foundation
  • Studio Gear #13 Blush Brush $35 (mini review) - for applying blush
  • Inglot 4SS Eye Brush $22 (full review) - for applying cheek highlight
  • Sonia Kashuk Black Small Multi Purpose Brush $10.99 (full review) - for applying setting powder under the eyes & around the nose
  • Sonia Kashuk Black Domed Eyeshadow Brush $9.99 (short review) - for applying highlight under the brows
  • Royal & Langnickel Silk Eye Shader SM Brush BC410 $15.99 (mini review) - for applying eyeshadow on the lids and lower lash line
  • Coastal Scents Pro Blending Fluff brush $3.95 (full review) - for applying transition color
  • Sonia Kashuk Large Crease Blending Brush $5.99 (mini review) - for blending out harsh lines & dark eyeshadows
  • Ulta Tapered Crease Eyeshadow Brush $14 (full review) - for applying eyeshadow on the outer corner & highlight on the inner tear duct
  • Royal & Langnickel Silk Sable Brow Angle Brush BC530 $7.99 (mini review) - for filling in my brows
  • Generic Spoolie Lash Brow Brush (mini review) - for blending out brow color
  • Royal & Langnickel Silk Lash Comb Brush BC515 $9.99 (mini review) - for separating lashes
  • Shu Uemura Lash Curler - for curling lashes


    Top Left to Right:
    • Le Metier de Beaute Visage de Soie Finishing Powder in Shade 6 $40 for 9.9g (mini review & swatches) - I never got the chance to return this product. So, ever since I finished my MAC Select Sheer pressed powder, I started to use the Le Metier one. There is nothing wrong with the quality of this product; however, my MAC one works just as well and is cheaper. So, I will definitely not repurchase the Le Metier powder after I'm done with it.
    • Dior Diorskin Shimmer Star Amber Diamond $44 for 10g (full review & swatches) - I love using this as a cheek highlight. The texture is smooth and it gives me a gorgeous sheen. It's definitely not gritty or glittery like MAC's MSF in Soft & Gentle (full review & swatches).
    • MAC Prim & Proper Blush $13 for 6g (full review & swatches) - When swatched, it looks like a mauvy rosy nude; however, when applied to my NC30/NC35 skin tone, it translates into a warm rosy nude & has a nice sheen.
    • Too Faced Peach Leopard $29 for 9g (full review & swatches) - can't use this to contour because it's too peachy, but it looks amazing on my cheeks alone and acts as a blush and bronzer for me. 
    • Glass Lid - I pump out my foundation onto this lid. Even though I wash my hands right before makeup application, I still prefer not to apply foundation with my fingers because I find that using a brush gives me a better finish.

    Middle Left to Right:
    • Chanel Demaquillant Yeux Intense Eye Makeup Remover - I got this as a sample and although it removes waterproof mascara and eyeliner, I won't purchase a full size because the Neutrogena Oil-Free Eye Makeup Remover works just as well and is cheaper. 
    • Urban Decay Original Eyeshadow Primer Potion $19 for 11ml - It makes my eyeshadows last all day without fading or creasing. It dries to a clear finish and sets quicker than the Too Faced Shadow Insurance.
    • L'oreal Voluminous False Fiber Lashes in 270 Blackest Black around $8.95 - I got this for free through L'oreal's Facebook page. It lengthens my lashes with one coat and volumizes with 2 coats. However, it starts to clump after 2 coats and I have to separate my lashes using my Royal & Langnickel BC515 brush. Also, when my eyes get watery, the mascara flakes. I will finish this mascara because I don't want to waste it; however, I won't purchase a new one after I'm done with this.
    • Mac Pro Longwear Concealer in NW20 $17 for 9ml (mini review & swatches) - It's too light and looks too pink under natural lighting. NW25 is too dark for me, so I have to mix NW20 with my NC30 concealer to get a perfect color match for my under eye area. The hint of pink counteracts my dark circles very well, but I would not use this for any blemishes on the face because I have a yellow undertone. (I poured my NC30 concealer in the container of my NW20 concealer and mixed it. The cap was so hard to take off, but I still managed to open it!)
    • Milani Infinite Liquid Eye Liner in 05 Everlast around $6.99 for 5ml - This does not fade or smudge and is waterproof. You just have to wait about a minute to let it dry & set. The problem is that it's really wet, though not watery. So, I have to wipe off alot of the excess before applying it or else it applies very thick. Also, I wish it was a felt tip applicator because the brush applicator is a little too thick and a little hard to control. I have to be extra careful or else the liner ends up being too thick.
    • L'oreal True Match Foundation in W4 around $10.95 for 1oz - It has SPF 17; therefore, it gives a white cast during flash photography, but it's great as a day foundation. I like that it's oil-free and the shade matches my NC30/NC35 skin tone really well. It gives me medium to full coverage and it's buildable. It also gives me a natural finish that's neither dewy nor fully matte when set with a powder. The problem is that my t-zone gets oily after 4 hours. So, I have to blot after 4 hours and then every hour or two after that. (I've tried MUFE HD Microperfecting, CoverFX Clearprep FX Matte, Philosophy The Present Clear Makeup, NARS Pro-Prime Oil-Free, Smashbox Photo Finish regular + light version, Laura Mercier Oil-Free, Lancome La Base Pro Perfecting primer and many others. However, they don't make a difference in the longevity of the L'oreal True Match foundation.)

    Eyeshadow Palette:

      Yikes! This is a long post. -_-
      Hope you all enjoy reading it or at least enjoy looking at the pictures. ^_^

      What makeup case do you use for travel?
      Do you travel light or heavy?

       
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