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Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Swatches: MAC Vibe Tribe, Brooke Candy, Simpsons, Style Warriors and Indulge Collection (Limited Edition)

MAC Vibe Tribe 2016 Collection Review Swatches

I recently purchased a few goodies from MAC's Vibe Tribe 2016 Summer Collection and plan on picking up the Adobe Brick blush as well, which I will review in a later post.

When I was going through my stash to check for possible dupes, I realized that there were a few limited edition MAC products that I never reviewed on my blog. I decided to include them in this post because maybe you guys have forgotten about them too and this may remind you to use them again? You can also call your nearest CCO (The Cosmetics Company Store) to see if they still have them in stock. (The CCO carries products from Estee Lauder-owned companies, including MAC, Clinique, Bobbi Brown, Origins, Smashbox and Lab Series, and sells them for around 30% off retail price.)

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Swatches + Comparisons: By Terry Rouge Terrybly and Nars Sheer, Satin & Semi Matte Lipsticks

Nars Lipstick Collection Haul Swatches Review

I purchased a few items from during their 20% OFF Friends and Family Event, which is still going on now and ends May 28, 2016. It's one of my favorite online retailers because I get 5% back in the form of dollars, which can be spent on a future purchase, on top of however much cashback I get from Ebates, Mr.Rebates or TopCashBack. ^_^

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Review + Comparisons: MAC Prep + Prime, Pro Longwear and Becca Blotting Powder Perfector

Battle of the Translucent Blotting Mattifying Setting Powders Collection Review

Powders work well for setting your makeup and prevent your foundation, concealer & cream blushers/bronzers from fading throughout the day. The ones that layer well not only locks your makeup in place, but they are also suitable for mid-day touchups. The ones that go on sheer work best as a finishing powder and for those who don't want additional coverage as they can make your foundation look separated the more you pack on the product. There are also some powders that mattify the skin, while others provide a more natural finish. Continue reading to find out which one works best for your needs!

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Swatches + Comparisons: Burberry Light Glow Blush in Blossom No.05 (New Formula)

Burberry Beauty Light Glow Blush No.05 Blossom New Version Reformulated Review

Packaging: The compact has a magnetic closure and a sizeable mirror. (It's worth noting that the compact does not open all the way.) The product is embossed with the signature check print and although it doesn't go all the way through the pan, the pattern lasts a good amount of uses before fading. (For me, the pattern lasted about a few months with daily use.) 

It also comes with a velvet pouch that protects the case during travel as well as an angled mini brush. The bristles are made of natural hair and feels softer than the original version. In terms of performance, I find that both are too narrow for blush application even after washing, and is more suitable for contouring. (Natural brushes tend to fluff out after the initial wash.) Keep in mind that the brush will suffice and get the job done when you're on the go. I just prefer my full-size brushes in general because they're easier to hold and to work with.  

Scent: As soon as I open the compact and during application, I notice a very strong, but pleasant floral scent. It dissipates after a few seconds. (I've had the original version for more than 5 years and the fragrance is still noticeable.) 

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Coupon Code: 20% OFF Friends and Family Event (Nars, Urban Decay, Tarte, ByTerry) 20% OFF Sale Friends and Family Event Coupon Code 2016 is having their 20% OFF Friends and Family Event, starting now. No promo code needed. Just click through this link to activate the discount. You can get 20% OFF on most brands, including bareMinerals, Beauty Blender, By Terry, Clarisonic, First Aid Beauty, Glam Glow, It Cosmetics, Japonesque, Jouer, Kevyn Aucoin, Korres, Lorac, Murad, Nars, Origins, Paul & Joe, Philosophy, St. Tropez, Sunday Riley, Tarte, Urban Decay, Z Palette and many more. (The only brands that are excluded are Jane Iredale and Kate Somerville.) Offer expires May 13, 2016.
  • There's also a $15 off deal on all orders over $75 through this link. The brands that are excluded are Alterna, bareMinerals, Bliss, Darphin, Deborah Lippmann, DKNY, Donna Karan, Dr. Brandt, Dr. Dennis Gross, Elizabeth Arden, Eve Lom, Jack Black, Jane Iredale, Kate Somerville, Laura Geller, Le Couvent des Minimes, L'Occitane, Malin+Goetz, Mally Beauty, md formulations, MenScience, Michael Kors, NARS, NuFace, Origins, Perricone M.D., Peter Thomas Roth, Philosophy, Prescriptives, Smashbox, St. Tropez, Stila and Urban Decay. Offer expires August 27, 2016.

Monday, May 9, 2016

Review + Comparisons: Sonia Kashuk Tapered Powder and Domed Multi-Purpose Brush (2016 Collection)

Sonia Kashuk Tapered Powder Brush 19 Domed Multi-Purpose 18 2016 Review

Long time readers know that Sonia Kashuk is one of my go-to brands for quality brushes. The black handle brushes are very well made and are reasonably priced. When I found out that new brushes were being launch for her 2016 collection, I knew that I had to get my hands on them. 

Both the Sonia Kashuk Tapered Powder No.19 brush and Domed Multi-Purpose No.18 brush are made of natural goat hair and feel very soft, just like the other black handle brushes from her line. They also have the same type of handle with an ergonomic design and are even weighted, which feels very comfortable in the hand. The only difference is that they no longer come with a black ferrule and have been recently revamped with a gold one. (The #24 Dense Blush Powder brush and #29 Domed Blusher brush that are mentioned in this post are now available with a gold ferrule. Both versions have the same brush head.) They did shed a few hairs during the first week, which is normal, but haven't shedded since.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Review + Comparisons: Sephora Collection Pro Featherweight Brushes

All of the brushes mentioned in this post are vegan, 100% synthetic, and not tested on animals. They all have bristles that feel very soft and do not shed. (These feel just as soft as the Real Techniques Buffing brush and the ELF Selfie Ready Foundation brush, which are also made of synthetic bristles. However, they all feel like they're made from different types of synthetic bristles. I wish companies would be more transparent/specific about the bristle type because just like natural hair (pony, goat, squirrel, etc), not all synthetic bristles are made equal.)

The names and numbers of the brushes are conveniently written on the handles. They also each come with a plastic brush cap that prevents the bristles from getting dirty and damaged during travel.

Sephora Collection Pro Featherweight Brush Caps Protective Case Plastic Review

Friday, May 6, 2016

Hot Deal Alert: Sephora $20 Gift Card + $20 Cash Back

TopCashBack New Members Deal Offer Sephora Freebie

If you're a long time follower of my blog, then you know that I only post about deals and coupon codes that I personally use or are too good to pass up! TopCashBack is having a promotion for new members and is giving $20 cash back if you purchase a Sephora $20 gift card. Offer expires at 11:59pm PT on Monday, May 12, 2016. (Sign up is completely free and you do not have to provide your credit card information. TopCashback is a free site that provides cash back for your purchases.)

How do you get it?
  • First sign up through my referral link. Then, go to this link, click on "Get Offer Now" and purchase a Sephora $20.00 gift card. Within 14 days, $20.00 cashback will be posted in your TopCashback account.
  • On mobile: There is only an option to buy a $25 Gift Card. You will still receive your $20 cash back. If you do not want to pay the extra $5, switch over to desktop and repeat the steps above.

When do you get your money back?
  • Within 14 days, $20.00 cashback will be posted in your TopCashback account and then it can be credited straight to your checking account.

Who qualifies for it?

Is there anything else important to know?
  • Transactions must only contain one Sephora $20.00 gift card priced at $20.00 to ensure $20.00 cashback is credited to TopCashback accounts. If another item is purchased or additional items are purchased at the same time, the cashback amount awarded will be 5% or less (depending on the item(s) purchased) instead of $20.00.

Only one:
  • Gift Card is allowed per TopCashback account
  • TopCashback account is permitted per member

Monday, May 2, 2016

Review + Comparisons: Battle of the Makeup Sponges (BeautyBlender, Real Techniques, Swissco, Sephora, Black Up)

Battle of the Beauty Blender Makeup Sponge Dupe Comparison Review

Makeup Sponges

  • works especially well for those with dry skin (Using a synthetic brush in a buffing motion can cause exfoliation and make your foundation look flakey. Using a sponge in a tapping motion prevents exfoliation and is ideal for those with dry, flakey skin.)
  • prevents full coverage foundations from looking cakey (Since sponges sheer out coverage, it makes it more difficult to over apply foundation. Therefore, sponges work well for those with a heavy hand.)
  • allows foundation to "melt" into your skin (The method of stippling in conjunction with the moisture from the sponge allows foundation to blend into the skin seamlessly without any lines of demarcation, while leaving an airbrushed finish.)
  • suppose to be replaced every 1-3 months (Those who take good care of it have been able to make it last for about 6-8 months. I've had brushes that lasted 5+ years. Therefore, those who are on a beauty budget may not find makeup sponges to be economically sound.)
  • more product gets absorbed and wasted (I find that sponges soak up more product compared to synthetic brushes.)
  • time consuming (Stipping with a sponge requires more time compared to buffing with a synthetic brush. It's also best to use a foundation that doesn't dry as fast to prevent it from applying blotchy or else you'll have to work alot quicker. Also, when using a sponge, I have to apply 2 layers of the MUFE HD foundation in order to get the coverage that I need, while it takes only one layer when using a synthetic brush.)
  • emphasize pores (I find that sponges can make my pores appear larger when used in a stippling motion compared to a synthetic buffing brush. To prevent this from happening, you can (1) wear a silicone-based primer (review) underneath or (2) use the sponge in a painting motion on areas where there are visible pores.
I don't find sponges to be superior or inferior to synthetic brushes. Just like everything else in life, there are always pros & cons and trade-offs. This post is meant to be informative and to explain why sponges may or may not be right for you.

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