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Saturday, March 30, 2013

Tarte Cosmetics Coupon Code 2013: $10 OFF $50 Order + Free Shipping



Tarte Cosmetics is offering $10 OFF $50 Order + free shipping
This coupon code can be used on their new Aqualillies Summer 2013 Collection.
Enter coupon code BUNNY at checkout. 
Offer expires March 31, 2013.


Friday, March 29, 2013

Swatches + Review: Sonia Kashuk Instructional Eye Palette in Eye On Dazzling Color 03



Pros:
  • more affordable compared to palettes from other brands, such as Mac or Urban Decay
  • these eyeshadows have not been tested on animals
  • non-sparkly eyeshadows feel silky and buttery
  • non-sparkly eyeshadows have great color payoff (when used with a primer)
  • non-sparkly eyeshadows applies smoothly
  • blends easily
  • lasts at least 8 hours without fading (when worn with a primer)
  • doesn't crease when used with a primer
  • sparkly eyeshadows are sheer, but they compliment the non-sparkly eyeshadows very well

Cons:
  • fallouts during application
  • palette gets really dusty and messy 
  • palette is bulky because there are step-by-step instructions that slide out on the side


The Sonia Kashuk Instructional Eye Palette in 03 Eye On Dazzling Color comes with step-by-step instructions on how to create 3 different looks, which can be useful for those who are makeup beginners, but it also makes the palette bulky. (Sonia Kashuk recently revamped the packaging of her other eyeshadow palettes and removed the instructions.) 

It comes with 7 pigmented shimmery shades, 1 pigmented shimmery shade with sparkles (the last eyeshadow in the 4th row) and 4 sheer sparkly shades (the entire 2nd column). The eyeshadows are numbered 1 to 12 and they don't have individual names, which I don't mind because the quality of these eyeshadows are amazing for the price. The non-sparkly eyeshadows have great color payoff when used with a primer, and they all apply smoothly & blend easily. 

The sparkly shades don't feel as silky smooth as the other shades, but the texture is not gritty or chunky at all. They contain tiny microglitters that leave a sparkly and wet finish. They're very sheer, but I find that they compliment the shimmery shades very well. I love applying the sparkly shades on top of the shimmery shades to create a shiny metallic finish. It looks absolutely gorgeous! I love the way that they make my eyes sparkle and glisten, especially under direct lighting. The swatches are not doing them any justice! >_<

I recommend applying these eyeshadows before your foundation because there will be fallouts during application. Because of this reason, the palette also gets dusty easily. To minimize the amount of fallouts, tap off any excess from your brush before applying. I really don't mind the fallouts because I can easily wipe off the mess with makeup remover. 

As for the longevity, they last at least 8 hours without fading or creasing when worn with a primer underneath. (I always wear a primer underneath my eyeshadows because I have oily lids.)

(Click to enlarge to read the ingredients list.)





Bottom Line: I'm usually not a fan of glitter, but the sparkly shades blew me away because I love how they make my eyes sparkle and the shiny metallic finish looks amazing. This is a must-have for those who love to create dramatic and smokey eye looks. 

Note: The Sonia Kashuk Instructional Eye Palette (0.34oz/9.6g) retails $19.99 and is only available at Target. It is currently on clearance for $16.98 and will be discontinued.

Do you prefer colorful or matte palettes?


*This post contains affiliate links. The product mentioned was purchased by me, using my own funds.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Review - Sigma Spa Brush Cleaning Glove


(This is the instruction on the back of the package.)


Pros:
  • makes the brush cleaning process more "fun"
  • protects skin from getting wet and wrinkled
  • microfiber glove insert is removeable, washable and makes the silicone glove more comfortable to wear
Cons:
  • slightly too big
  • need to wrap a rubber band on the bottom of the glove to secure it to my arm
  • doesn't shape and squeeze the excess water out of the brushes as easy as my bare hands
  • leaves a liquid/cream product residue on surface of the glove and on the ferrules of flat shader/paddle brushes
Neutral:
  • $39 (Price is a very personal issue and I will defend my stance below in further details.)
  • It cleans my brushes well, but it doesn't clean them faster or better than the bare hands method. Therefore, this is neither a pro nor con.


   
   (The bottom of the glove indicates whether it's the side for washing eye brushes or face brushes.)

I have over 200 brushes and counting because I dread washing my brushes. (I just placed a Hakuhodo order and have a few Sigma brush sets that I haven't even reviewed yet.) I usually leave my dirty brushes off to the side and wait for them to pile up before deep cleaning them all at once. I do this once every 2-3 weeks. I rather not wash them right after they get dirty because I'm lazy I don't have time. The Sigma glove makes brush cleaning less of a chore and more "fun" because of the nubbles. The side with the smaller nubbles is meant for cleaning eye brushes, while the side with the bigger nubbles is meant for cleaning face brushes. Both sides on the bottom of the glove clearly indicates whether it's for cleaning eye or face brushes. Also, I wash over 30 brushes at a time, so I like that the glove prevents my fingers from getting wet and wrinkled like a prune. It also comes with a microfiber insert that's removable, washable and makes the silicone glove more comfortable to wear.

(Darn it, I spelled "removable" incorrectly. -_- It's been a long day.)
Psychologically, it seems like the silicone glove does a better job with cleaning my brushes because I can see all the gunk coming out of the bristles and clearly on the glove. However, it doesn't actually clean my brushes any faster or better than the bare hands method. When I use the bare hands method to wash foundation brushes, I always need to wash it once with olive oil to get all the product out and then wash it again with baby shampoo. I have to do the same thing when I use the silicone glove. It can actually take a little bit longer because it's not as easy to shape and squeeze the excess water out of the brushes compared to my bare hands because the silicone glove is a little bit too big and thick. Also, I have to wrap a rubber band on the bottom of the glove to secure it to my arm or else it'll keep sliding out. (This may be due to the fact that I have small hands.)

Warning: Be gentle when you swirl your brush onto the glove. I was a little bit too harsh with my sigma F82 and it shedded 2 hairs because I pressed it too hard against the nubbles when I was swirling the bristles all over the glove. I didn't experienced any shedding with any of my brushes when I was gentle and it still cleaned my brushes well.

(The glove is too big and thick. So, it doesn't shape and squeeze the excess water out of the brushes as easy as my bare hands.)


I have to wrap a rubber band on the bottom of the glove or else the glove will keep sliding out.
Another important thing to mention is that there was a residue on the glove after I used it to wash my foundation brushes. This can actually make the cleaning process longer for my next dirty brush. Also, when I wash my flat shader brushes or flat paddle foundation brushes, residue gets on the ferrule because I have to wash those types of brushes in a painting motion. When I wash my other brushes in a swirling motion, it's difficult for the residue to get onto the ferrules. (I remove the residue just  like I remove the liquid/cream product from my brushes, using an oil-based cleanser to break down the product.)

(Notice the foundation residue.)
(Notice the cream product residue on the ferrule of the brushes.)

Price: Personally, Sigma was a brand that represented good quality at an affordable price. Although their quality never matched up to luxury brands, it was fine because their price was reasonable for the quality that they were offering. I paid $39 for the silicone glove + $6 for shipping. Even with the 10% off coupon, my total came up to $41.10. At first, it did seem "overpriced" for one item that's basically an "oven mit." However, I don't measure the value of a product based solely on quantity. I also measure it in terms of quality, how it would fit into my lifestyle and how it would improve the quality of my life.

Bottom Line: The Sigma Spa Brush Cleaning Glove would be less valuable to those who have only a few brushes in their collection. However, if you are a brush hoarder, then this product will make the brush cleaning process less of a chore. 

Note: The Sigma Spa Brush Cleaning Glove is available on their online store for $39. It measures 11 inches in length and 7.5 inches at the widest point.

How do you wash your brushes?


* This post contains affiliate links. 
The Sigma Spa Brush Cleaning Glove was purchased by me using my own funds,

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Review + Comparison - Crown Brush C442 Duo Fiber Buffer Brush + C439 Round Buffer Brush


I placed an order with Crown Brush last year when they had a 10% OFF sale. The company requires a minimum order amount of $25 and they charge a flat rate shipping fee of $7 to east coast residents. I bought the C442 Duo Fiber Buffer brush, C439 Round Buffer brush, and SS003 Deluxe Medium Foundation brush, which totaled to $33.85. The SS003 was too flimsy for me, so I gave it away. Continue reading to find out what I think about the other brushes!




Crown Brush C442 Duo Fiber Buffer Brush ($9.99) - The white bristles are made of synthetic material, while the black bristles are made of natural hair. It is super dense and much firmer than my other duo fiber brushes, which is not necessarily a good thing. I actually find it to be too dense for stippling liquid foundation because it places a concentrated amount of product on one area and takes longer to blend out. I prefer the MAC 187 to stipple liquid foundation because it's not as dense as the C442, but it is by no means flimsy. So, it disperses product evenly and it provides better coverage without absorbing and wasting alot of product. Also, it leaves an airbrushed finish.

When used in a buffing motion to apply liquid foundation, the C442 does not shed because the white synthetic bristles are so densely packed that it prevents the product from reaching the black bristles. (If you press the brush firmly onto your skin and use a heavy hand when you're buffing in the product, then the product will reach the black bristles and it will start shedding. Just use a lighter hand when you're using the brush in a buffing motion and it won't shed.) Because the bristles are so densely packed, it absorbs alot of product and doesn't provide as much coverage as my MAC 187. (Keep in mind, I only use my MAC 187 in a stippling motion.) Also, the head of the C442 brush is wide and can be a little difficult to reach the small crevices of the face. However, it blends out product really well and makes applying foundation much quicker when used in a buffing motion. The Sigma F80 has a smaller head and the bristles are made of solely synthetic material. I prefer the C442 over the Sigma F80 because it doesn't tug my skin as much when used in a buffing motion. 

The C442 feels very soft and doesn't feel prickly or uncomfortable when used in a stippling or buffing motion. I did experience dye bleeding during its initial wash and it stained the white bristles grey, which I had to remove by using olive oil. It hasn't bled since then, but it sheds 1 hair from time to time when I'm cleaning it. (I clean it with baby shampoo and olive oil.) However, it doesn't shed or leave hairs all over my face when I'm using it. It takes about 13 hours to dry, but if you use a paper towel to absorb the excess water, then it'll take about 8.5 hours to dry. Also, the head is full size, but the handle is travel size. The full length of the brush measures 4.75 inches. 





Crown Brush C439 Round Buffer Brush ($13.95) - The bristles are made of solely synthetic material and is much denser than the Sonia Kashuk Synthetic Buffing brush, but a teeny tiny bit less denser than the Sigma F82. The head of the C439 brush is bigger, so it can cover a greater portion of the face and buff in product quicker, while the Sigma F82 is smaller and can reach the small crevices of the face better. However, both tug my skin when I use them to buff liquid foundation because they are very dense and don't glide product onto the skin as easily or blend product as effortlessly as my Real Techniques Buffing brush.

The Sonia Kashuk brush has longer bristles and it is not as dense as the C439 and Sigma F82, so it doesn't tug the skin. Also, the size of the head allows it to buff in liquid foundation quickly. I prefer to use it to apply my Chanel cream bronzer. The top of the brush is too wide to fit on the cheek area, so I like to hold the brush at an angle and use the side of the brush to tap the product onto my cheeks.

The main issue with the Sonia Kashuk, C439 and Sigma F82 is that they all waste and absorb alot of product and don't provide as much coverage as my MAC 187 when used for applying liquid foundation. Also, I don't recommend any of them for buffing in mineral/powder foundation because synthetic bristles do not lay down powder products as well as natural bristles. For applying mineral/powder foundation, I recommend using the Sonia Kashuk Dense Blush Powder brush or the Sephora #43 because they provide better coverage. However, I don't recommend using brushes made of natural bristles for applying liquid products because that will cause your brushes to shed.

The C439 brush feels very soft and I haven't experienced any shedding. Also, the head is full size, but the handle is travel size. The full length of the brush measures 5.75 inches. It takes about 12 hours to dry.


Bottom Line: If you don't mind wasting product and are always rushing out the door, then the C442 and C439 will suit your needs because they buff in product quickly. The size of the short handles also make it excellent for travel.

Note: The Crown C442 and C439 are sold individually on their online store. The Sigma F80 and F82 are available at Nordstrom. The Sonia Kashuk Synthetic Buffing brush is available only at Target

Which Crown brushes do you recommend?


* This post contains affiliate links. 
The Sigma brushes were given to me by one of my lovely friends. 
All of the other brushes that are mentioned above were purchased by me using my own funds,

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Pixi Beauty Coupon Code 2013 - 25% OFF Entire Order (No Minimum)

Makeup palettes are a busy woman's best friend!  Order at PixiBeauty.com - Free Shipping Over $50

Shade Quartette - Shades of Daylight
Shade Quartette
Beauty Bronzer + Kabuki - After Beach Glow
Beauty Bronzer + Kabuki

Pixi Beauty recently launched their Spring 2013 Collection and 
Enter coupon code pixi25off at checkout.

*This post contains affiliate links.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Shu Uemura Coupon Code 2013: $20 OFF + Free Shipping



Offer expires March 21, 2013.

Enter coupon code Welcome10 at checkout to obtain $10 OFF a purchase of $50 or more. 
Enter coupon code Welcome15 at checkout to obtain $15 OFF a purchase of $75 or more. 
Enter coupon code Welcome20 at checkout to obtain $20 OFF a purchase of $125 or more.

*This post contains affiliate links.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Review + Comparison - Sonia Kashuk Spring 2013 New Brushes



Sonia Kashuk is back with some new brushes for her Spring 2013 collection. I follow her on Facebook and once I found out that the collection was released, I immediately raced down to my local Target store and picked up a few items. ^_^



Sonia Kashuk Domed Blusher Brush ($17.19) - The bristles are softer than the Sigma brushes and are neither too dense nor too flimsy. Because of its tapered tip, it places product nicely underneath the eye area, on the cheeks and the "3E". I love using it to apply setting powder, sheer & regular (not highly pigmented) blushers and bronzers. When using it to apply regular blushers, do not swirl the brush in the compact or else you'll end up looking like a clown. Just tap the brush once in the compact and it'll deposit the right amount of product for one side of the cheek. 

When compared to the Sigma F25, I prefer the SK one more because it offers better control. The size & density of the SK one makes it more multi-functional and it's perfect for the types of applications that I mentioned above. The SK Dense Blush Powder brush is much denser and more ideal for buffing in powder foundation. (The SK Domed Blusher brush measures 7.30 inches in total length. It did shed a few hairs during its initial wash, which is normal, but it hasn't shed since.)




Sonia Kashuk Medium Eyeshadow Brush ($10.79) - The head is bigger and thicker than the MAC 239, which is better for those with a small lid space. The SK suits a wider range of people. The bristles feel very soft, but the MAC 239 is slightly softer because it has a waxy feel to it. As for performance, it packs on color well and offers excellent control because it's very firm, just like the MAC 239. I love using it to place color onto my lids and highlighting my brow bone. (It measures 6.75 inches in total lengthIt has not shed a single hair.)





Sonia Kashuk Large Powder Brush ($19.19) - The bristles are fluffy, but definitely not flimsy.  The size of the head makes it ideal for applying setting powder all over the face and body. It picks up the right amount of product and disperses evenly without ever leaving a cakey finish. (It measures 7.75 inches in total length.)

Sonia Kashuk Blusher Brush (Old Version $17.19) - The head is smaller than the Large Powder brush and is my go-to brush when I'm dealing with a very difficult blush that's highly pigmented. The bristles are not densely packed, which allows it to pick up product lightly and disperse evenly. I just wish it was a teeny tiny bit smaller so that it'll fit on my cheeks better. If I'm not careful, it can place product onto a large portion of my face. (It measures 7.30 inches in total length.)

Sonia Kashuk Blusher Brush (New Version $17.19) - The head is slightly narrower and the tip is not as wide as the old version. So, it fits alot better on my cheeks. Also, the bristles are a little bit more densely packed and is excellent for applying regular (not sheer or highly pigmented) blushers. (It measures 7.30 inches in total length.)

All 3 of these brushes did shed a few hairs during its initial wash, which is normal, but they haven't shed since. These are not from the new Spring 2013 collection. I've had them for more than a year and they still feel like brand new.


Bottom Line: Sonia Kashuk's black handled professional brushes never fail me. The hair on these brushes are super duper soft and the ferrules never loosen. Also, the new ones have the brand name and number of the brush engraved on the handles, which is a nice touch. I highly recommend checking out her line of brushes, even if you're not a fan of "drugstore" products because these are definitely superior to other drugstore brushes and are even better than some of the high-end ones that I've tried. 

Note: The MAC brush is available at their online store and NordstromThe Sigma brushes are available at Nordstrom. The Sonia Kashuk brushes are available only at Target.

Have you check out Sonia Kashuk's Spring 2013 collection?


*This post contains affiliate links. All of the Sonia Kashuk products were purchased by me, using my own funds.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Swatches: Neutrogena Cosmetics Spring 2013




Neutrogena Healthy Lengths Mascara ($8.49 retail) - Non-waterproof mascaras usually weigh my lashes down and don't hold my curl and the Neutrogena one was no different. However, I did like the non-plastic/rubber brush because it separated my lashes well, darkened them and made them look fuller.


Neutrogena MoistureSmooth Color Stick ($8.49 retail) - I have it in 30 Sweet Watermelon and I love the color. It gives my lips a hint of color and it's perfect for everyday. It's not too bright or flashy. It leaves a glossy finish and looks frosty in direct sunlight, but under artificial lighting, the finish is toned down and looks office safe. Also, it has a slight fruity and bubblegum taste to it. As for the application, it glides onto the lips easily and feels moisturizing. However, because I have extremely chapped lips, I still need to wear a lip balm underneath and need to exfoliate well before applying or else it will emphasize my flakiness.


Neutrogena Crease Proof Eye Shadow ($8.49 retail) - Constant Copper is a light pinky beige that's perfect for a neutral eye look. It can be worn by itself or as a base for powder eyeshadows. Lasting Taupe is a medium greyish brown that I prefer to use as a base because on its own, I find it to be too dark as an all over the lid color for daytime. Both shades are sheer and not as pigmented as the Maybelline Color Tattoos, but they are still buildable. I've tested them without a primer and topped it off with a powder eyeshadow and found that they lasted at least 7 hours without fading or creasing. Keep in mind, I have extremely oily lids. I noticed that they started to crease in the inner corner of my eyes on the 8th hour. These Crease Proof Eye Shadows would last longer on those with normal and non-oily lids because when I tested them on the back of my hands, they were a beast to remove.

(Indoor Natural Lighting)

(Outdoor Natural Lighting)

Bottom Line: I like the price point of these products. They're all under $10 bucks and are very affordable. Also, the quality is good for the price, but I wish they came out with a waterproof version of the mascara and that the eyeshadows lasted a little bit longer for those with oily lids.

Note: The Neutrogena MoistureSmooth Color Stick (3.1g), Healthy Lengths Mascara and Crease Proof Eyeshadows (2.8g) are available at Ulta, drugstore.com, and Target, .

Which products are you excited about?


*This post contains affiliate links and the products mentioned were provided by BzzAgent for review consideration. BzzAgent is currently open to all US, Canadian and UK residents. This does not affect my opinion about the products. I don't do paid or guaranteed reviews. My reviews are based on my own honest opinion.  
 
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