Wednesday, April 30, 2014
Last year I showed you my brush collection. Since then the collection has grown by quite a few brushes so perhaps its time to write an addendum. However reading through the post, it struck me that such a post might be overwhelming and it can be hard to really let my favorite brushes get the recognition they deserve. Today I want to talk about my absolute favorite brushes, the ones that I would buy first if say, some terrible accident befell my whole collection. Great. Now I'm plagued by images of my makeup burning down. Good going, Mimi.
I'm sure that by now you have probably seen the press release or heard about the new Cirque Colors Heritage Collection. It's glorious, a symphony of rainbow hues with a scattered holographic finish and check out the new screen printed bottles! I won't let to you, part of the reason why it too me so long to finish my swatches was that they were so beautiful that I felt like I had to savor each shade and create different manicures to really show them off.
Tuesday, April 29, 2014
Tonight I'm pulling out Diptyque L'Eau de L'Eau from the back of cabinet. To be honest, I didn't think I would ever review this fragrance because I've had it for such a long time (I want to say since 2010, perhaps even longer) and I don't particularly care for it much any more.
Monday, April 28, 2014
While I was in Puerto Rico, I made it my sole mission to pick up some more Bettina Polishes. (Morgan was not pleased.) I've managed to accumulate about 16 bottles of these most excellent Bettinas thanks to my buddy Kat of Hooked on Polish but I'm not sure if I've shown you any yet.
Saturday, April 26, 2014
So I've read a number of favorable reviews of the beautyblender blendercleanser Solid Soap and really wanted to try it out. Though I've been able to get my beauty sponges reasonably clean with cleansing oil and Dr. Bronner's Liquid Soap, they haven't quite been brand new clean. I don't want decently clean, I want miraculously clean.
You get a 1 oz. puck of soap for $15.95. The twist off jar contains a slotted insert to help keep the soap from turning into a soupy mess. The soap lathers very nicely and has a faint eucalyptus scent.
If you've used a beauty sponge before, whether it be the beautyblender brand or any other so called dupe, I think you might agree that it can be difficult to keep pristine. Excess effort does not necessarily equal extra clean as scrubbing too hard can tear the soft sponge. Here's what my sponge looks like after I have used it to blend contour and highlight:
Organic Coconut Oil, Organic Palm Oil, Sodium Hydroxide*, Water, Mentha Arvensis, Organic Olive Oil*, Organic fairDeal Hemp Oil, Organic Jojoba Oil, Organic Peppermint Oil*, Sea Salt, Citric Acid, Tocopherol
* indicates ingredients that disappear during the soap making process. There's no lye in there, don't worry.
Here's what my sponge looks like after a thorough wash with Dr. Bronner's Magic Liquid Castille Soap:
Though Dr. Bronner's soap has similar ingredients, it's not actually the same. Here's the beautyblender blender Cleanser ingredients:
Sodium Palmate, Sodium Palm Kernelate, Water, Gylcerin, Coconut acid,Titanium Dioxide, Palmitic Acid, fragrance, Sodium Chloride, Tetraspdoi, EDTA, Tetrasodium Etidronate, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice Powder
Now it works great at getting soap out of not only sponges, but brushes too but doesn't quite fit my brush washing style (I like to fill a bowl with lukewarm water and dissolve a few drops of sulfate free shampoo and wash that bristles that way, rather than lather each brush by hand against a puck). The thing is while I agree that the beautyblender beautycleanser Solid Cleanser works better than liquid Dr Bronner's, I don't think that it is that much different than many bar soaps available, particularly the hand crafted variety. I first sort of accidentally discovered how good bar soap was for cleaning sponges when I was on a trip and had to resort to using soap to clean my sponge. If I remember correctly, it was some Bath & Body Works bar soap, it left my sponge cleaner than its ever been. Since then I've kept a bar around for this purpose, preferring the artisan kind (like the kind sold at farmer's markets or on Etsy. I like non scented and non colored ones but heck, I've found that even Dove White Moisturizing Cream Bar cleans sponges very, very well).
While I'll happily use up this puck, I don't think I'll be repurchasing. There is irony perhaps in how much I'll spend on brushes but consider $16 to be steep for an ounce of soap. If its performance wasn't similar to palm oil and palm kernel oil based shave soaps and artisan crafted soaps, I would be happy to shell out that much but I think that you can easily get 3 (or more ounces) for less than the cost of the beautycleanser Solid Sponge Cleaner.
The beautyblender beautycleanser Solid Sponge Cleaner is $15.95.
What's your favorite brush cleaner? Someday I should throw up a whole new updated brush washing post since I wash my brushes in a completely different manner than I did when I first started this blog.
Product featured was purchased by me, for my own use. Post contains affiliate links.For additional information, please refer to my Disclosure Policy.
Friday, April 25, 2014
Today I have three newer Lumina Lacquer shades to show you. Lumina Lacquer is definitely known for complex glitterbomb toppers that crazy awesome color combos that I could have never have dreamed up myself in a million years yet look exquisite together.
Wednesday, April 23, 2014
As much as I prefer to shop at Nordstrom these days, I can't help that Sephora carries one of my favorite lipstick brands - BITE Beauty - and occasionally waves tantalizing LE shades at me. I'm weak. I can't help myself. So recently I purchased the LE VIB Rouge shade Lilac. It seemed that Lilac was BITE's answer to the color of the year, Radiant Orchid.
Tuesday, April 22, 2014
Recently Sephora marked down their house brand of Long Lasting Eyeliners so I made a rather impulsive decision to snatch one up before it was discontinued. Truth be told, I had my eye on Fancy Blue for quite a while but for some reason just never pulled the trigger.
Monday, April 21, 2014
Sunday, April 20, 2014
Today's manicure is inspired by some of the recent pysanky designs I've worked on. It turned out a bit more tribal/geometric looking than I had anticipated but I absolutely fell in love with the colors I used.
Glitter Gal or through their international stockists. GG is based in Australia.
Do you have any favorite Glitter Gal shades? I've swatched quite a few of the holos, they are some of the finest ones out there!
Products featured by me were press samples. For additional information, please refer to my Disclosure Policy.
Thursday, April 17, 2014
Hi folks! I'm back from our honeymoon but unfortunately quite ill (again) so I haven't tackled the comments you guys have left me. Hopefully I'll be caught up soon. Tonight I wanted to review new sable nail art brushes from Winstonia, your US based nail art supply store. These pink aluminum sable brushes come in five sizes but I'll be showing you the three smallest detailers; #0, #00 and #000. If you're familiar with the brown set of detail brushes (these), these are similar in terms of the size of the brush tips but are far superior quality wise. The hairs have a much better taper.
For this manicure I used white acrylic paint using the brushes to paint designs over glittery polish bases. From left to right: Maybelline Drops of Jade, The Face Shop 04 and 01 glitters and Maybelline Blue Marks the Spot.
I definitely like the quality of these brushes and I can't tell you how nice it is to have brush caps to protect the bristles. I would be extremely happy if even finer sizes were made available, I'd buy them for sure! These brushes are definitely affordable too! Each brush is $6.95. Click here to shop.
Do you have a favorite set or individual nail art brushes?
Products featured were press samples. For additional information, please refer to my Disclosure Policy.
Sunday, April 13, 2014
So a few days ago I posted a review and a sorry excuse for swatches of the OPI Sheer Tints. I finally completed a successful manicure using these shades. Well by successful I mean that it didn't bubble up, I didn't actually care for this manicure much! In the end, I used a lot of thinner to really dilute the polish until it was quite watery and used a striping brush to just doodle it on.
Short and sweet post! Hope you had a great weekend.
(I'll be back in just two more days, this is a scheduled post while I'm on vacation!)
Friday, April 11, 2014
Anyways, I'm still on vacation so I won't be able to read/reply to comments until after I get back.
Have a great weekend!
Wednesday, April 9, 2014
Ever since my beloved Urban Decay De Slick in a Tube was discontinued, I've been on the hunt for a similar oil control product to use on my t-zone. Even though I am leaning much more towards dry skin these days, my t zone remains oily. With the warmer weather here already well on its way, I definitely felt a greater sense of urgency as without grease control, my t zone is likely to just melt when I walk outside. A few months ago, a sales associate and I were discussing primers without much or any silicones when she offered to show me Anthony Logistics for Men Instant Fix Oil Control.
This product comes in a pretty standard looking squeeze tube. The first thing I noticed was how big the tube was (well in comparison to Smashbox Photo Matte Anti-Shine which I reviewed here), for $28 you get 3.0 fl. oz. of product. Pretty fantastic if you consider that most primers in the mid price range at Sephora or Department tend to be $20+ for usually 0.5 to just over 1.0 fl. oz. Though geared as product for men, I found this milky gel to definitely be usable as a makeup primer.
You can use this either under your makeup as a primer or on top of oily skin. I only use a small dab, as pictured. As a primer, it sinks into skin very quickly without drying it out, giving me a few hours without shine. It doesn't hinder makeup application in any way; no pilling of foundation or the like. It's tricky to apply on top of oily makeup (I suggest lightly dabbing it in with your fingers, taking care not to smear your foundation) but works fantastic if you want to apply it to bare oily skin. In fact, if you know a guy (or you are a guy) looking for a product to combat a slick face, this is for you.
It's very similar to other silica gels out there, perhaps a bit on the thin side. It works reasonably well but not as great as De Slick in a Tube. It does however make your skin really soft and pretty smooth which is a plus over oil control products I've tried. One slight problem I found was that it contains limonene. Limonene is a major component in citrus oils and gives Instant Fix Oil Control a light citrus scent, not unlike a sweet clementine. Unfortunately for me, I have a sensitivity to citrus oils. This sensitivity runs in my family; my brother and sister also experience dry peely skin when we are exposed to it. So it made me a little bit itchy and therefore it wasn't exactly a suitable replacement. However most people don't have a problem with limonene, so I hope my experience doesn't deter you from trying this product if you'll looking for something with light to medium oil control.
Anthony Logistics For Men Instant Fix Oil Control is paraben free. It does contain silicones but not nearly as much as say, the Smashbox Photo Finish Primer line. You can find this line at Ulta or online at Sephora.
(By the way, this is an scheduled blog post, I'm on vacation! I'll won't be able to respond to comments until after I get after April 14th)
What's your current solution for oil control?
Product featured was purchased by me, for my own use. Post contains affiliate links. For additional information, please refer to my Disclosure Policy.
Monday, April 7, 2014
Recently I took up an old hobby, making Ukrainian Easter eggs (pysanky) by way of wax resist. I learned this in elementary school and I think the last time I dabbled in this was about a decade ago.
Anyways if you're interested, this website goes over the basics and tools needed for this interesting craft.
Do you have any unusual hobbies or crafts you like to do?
Sunday, April 6, 2014
Another day, another brush review! Today I'd like to discuss the softest cheek brush I own. This is the Laura Mercier Cheek Colour Brush. This was one of those 4 a.m. purchases that seemed like a great idea at the time, but when I woke up in the morning I was feeling a bit more WHAT HAVE I DONE? Luckily all I manage to do was to purchase a sublimely soft brush that is unlike other cheek brushes in my collection.
The bristles of this particular brush are blue squirrel and let me tell you, they are ridiculously soft, very fine and quite pliable. If you find yourself to be quite heavy handed with blush, this is blush brush for you. The hairs don't pick up as much powder as my other blush brushes, which can be a good thing for some. The application method is also different compared to blush brushes with a more full dome shape (like for example, the MAC 129).
This is definitely the most flat brush that I own, the closest brush in shape being the Sephora one. However, the hair lengths are quite different. The Sephora bristles are all on the longer side, causing a more poofy shape whereas the Laura Mercier brush's bristles are arranged with more of a taper (think of it like layers in a haircut).
At $45, I certainly won't insist that this is an absolute must. However, if you're in the market for a luxury brush and having found yourself to be perhaps a bit heavy handed with the application of powder rouge, this marvelously soft brush may be perfect for you.
The Laura Mercier Cheek Colour Brush can be purchased from Nordstrom and similar stores.
What's your favorite cheek brush? Do you prefer softer brushes that glide or stiffer blush brushes that pick up pigment nicely?
(By the way, I'm on vacation until the 14th of April! I won't be able to read and respond to comments until then.)
Products featured were purchased by me. Post contains affiliate links. For additional information, please refer to my Disclosure Policy.