I was actually surprised by how much I ended up liking this brush set. I had seen it, along with the rest of the Real Techniques brushes, in my local Ulta store and was unimpressed. I didn't feel the need to have it just judging from the way the brushes looked in the packaging. I finally bought it just out of the need of a good concealer brush, which I was hoping the deluxe crease brush would be. It turned out that I love both the deluxe crease brush and the base shadow brush. They're some of my favorite brushes to work with in my collection and just those two brushes basically justified getting the entire set, even though the other brushes were not so great:
Base shadow brush-This is basically the synthetic version of the Mac 217. It is flat but rounded to a point, like the 217 but its probably slightly less dense. This is fantastic for blending cream products like eyeshadow bases or cream shadows. It would be good for concealer too if you want a light coverage. I don't like to use this as a blending brush for powder because the Mac 217 is much better for that since it's made out of natural bristles. But I love it for blending cream products, it does a fantastic job!
Deluxe crease brush-This is an unusual brush to find but it is basically a stubby but rounded brush that domes to a point. It's on the dense side and closes in shape and material to Sigma' Precision Round (P82) brush. I cannot tell you how wonderful this is for concealers. I've used this with both cream and liquid/highlighting pen type concealers and it just blends so perfectly. The shape is perfect for getting into the inner under-eye area. The synthetic bristles blends my Mac Studio Fix concealer perfectly and builds the product on well.
Accent Brush-This is a tiny round flat brush that is pretty handy for doing any detail work. It would work for concealing small areas, going under the brow with concealer to sharpen the brow, cleaning up lip lines with concealer, putting highlight in the tear-duct area, etc.
Pixel-point eyeliner brush-This is basically a bigger script style eye-line brush. It's good for building a thick line quickly. It's also good for tiny spot concealing. I mostly use it for laying down gel liner thick and quick and then softening it with a smudge brush. It's actually one of my least favorites from the set that I can do without.
Brow brush-This is probably the worst brush in the set and one that I find completely useless for any application of make-up. There's basically no good way to use this brush for anything. It's a large and thick angled brush made with the same fine synthetic taklon as the rest. It does brows quickly but with no sort of precision. If I was going for a natural fast brow, even the Mac 239 is better. It's way too thick for use as an eyeliner brush. I really don't know what they were thinking with this one.
Even though only two brushes were standout must-haves for me, I feel that for the price and how good the two brushes were, that this set is worth it.
This is a beautiful color, one of my personal favorites. I have brown eyes & NC25 skin and I think it looks fantastic on me, but it would look even better on those with blue eyes because it would just make them look sooo blue. Saffron is a medium warm red orange rust/brown color. It is a less red and intense version of Mac Red Brick, which is permanent. The color works well all over the eye, as the crease color and very useful as a blending color to warm up the brow bone area. The pigmentation and texture is fantastic, very easy to blend. It might seem like a bold color but honestly, its very easy to wear.
I actually find this brush rather strange. First, I don't get why the make the top of it just dead flat. Second, I don't know why they would make it so dense on top of being flat. Lastly, I don't know why they would make this brush with natural bristles if they were going to make it flat and dense. It seems like the design of the brush lends itself best to being a buffing brush for foundation, in which case should be made with either a synthetic/natural bristles blend in order for it to hold up to liquids and creams. The shape is awkward for contour since its so flat on top, the ideal being something more pointed or at least domed. For blush, its also not fantastic since its flat and very dense. The density makes it hard to use with more pigmented blushes and makes application of any product go on very strong immediately. Its good for buffing on cream blush but the natural bristles shed and deteriorate faster with use of creams and liquids. This brush is the least soft brush out of the three smaller Mac cheek brushes-116,168 and the 109. I actually believe that this brush is one that everyone, even the pros could do without. For the amount of money this cost, these no way to justify having it when there are such better alternatives.
Makeup Brushes -MAC - #168 Large Angled Contour Brush
angelixia07 4/9/2012 11:25:00 PM
This is an all around fantastic brush for blush, contouring and highlighting. It's made with very soft white goat bristles that blends easily. The brush itself is angled and rounded on top. It's dense but not so much that it would put on too much product. The roundness on the top makes it useful since I can get the product on the very top and then the rest of the brush can blend the contour or blush. It retains its shape and softness well after washing. The shape is a good size for both blush and contouring and even highlighting. It's just a great all around multi-tasker for any cheek product. It's also probably the softest out of the Mac cheek brushes. If you would get only one brush for using all cheek products, I would highly recommend this one. I love it so much I almost got another one-one for blush and one for contour, but then I decided to try the Mac 116, which also turned out to be fantastic.
Mascara -Jordana - Best Lash Extreme Volumizing Mascara
angelixia07 4/9/2012 11:13:00 PM
Considering how cheap and amazing this mascara is, I am a little worried about what goes in it. It just seems too good to be true. It's an excellent mascara that gives you a boat load of product. I've been on the same tube for over a month now and I have used a fraction of the product, which seems to never dry out. I know it has a lot of product in it because I tend to close my mascaras very tight and the stopper on the mascara came off with the top, revealing all the product in the mascara and I realized that there's a ton of product in there.
This is a non-waterproof mascara that will not hold a curl well if you have naturally very straight lashes. When I first opened the tube and used it, the product was unimpressive and it immediately made my lashes go straight. Then, I left it alone for a week and the product turned perfect. It holds a curl okay, not the best I've seen, and it is very very volumizing and slightly lengthening. This mascara might turn clumpy for those with lashes that are on the full side. It's very buildable as well and not very hard to remove. Overall, this is a fantastic mascara. I only worry about the ingredients since its comes with so much product and its very good.
Lip Gloss -Milani - Creme Brulip Color Gloss in Peaches & Cream
angelixia07 4/5/2012 2:33:00 AM
This gloss is a pale milky pinky nude color with a cream finish. It's not overly sticky but it does have moderate staying power on the lips. The finish is natural and creamy, not overly glossy. I don't have the exact oz but these have an extremely small amount of product in them, making the cost actually very high compared to how little you're actually getting. In fact, the bulk of the prodcut and I mean over half from the looks of it is just packaging that encases what seems to be a drop of gloss.
It's a good idea to have lip creams that give a matte finish and has a soft texture. In execution, the formula leaves much to be desired. Although they do have an airy light texture and a velvety matte finish, the product does not cling to the lips at all. The product is hard to control and goes everywhere. It does dry down eventually but the lasting power is sub-par. The applicator provided is not great but no applicator is much better given the formula. I've tried to use a lip brush but that just spreads the product too thin and still, it just slides and there is not precision to be had. The best way to do it is to get it onto the lips as best as one can with the provided applicator and spread around with fingers. This gives a natural, not too precise finish but it still takes time to make sure it doesn't look all over the place and messy.
Lip Gloss -Revlon - Super Lustrous Lip Gloss (general)
angelixia07 4/5/2012 2:16:00 AM
Excellent range of lip glosses, one of the best formulas all around, second only to Mac glosses. My perspective is based on my preference for sticker glosses that clings and lasts long on the lips. In my opinion, Mac glosses are the best on the market just because they fulfill that requirement the best and has the largest range of colors. Revlon SL glosses are generally pigmented, sticky but not as much as Mac, lasts long and wears off well. I wish they would expand their range of colors since the formula is so good. They are also a great value at around 5-6 dollars for .2oz compared with Mac at .17oz for around 15 dollars. Also, some of my favorite shades of all time are from the Revlon SL gloss range:
Pink Pop-bright medium pink (HG)
Coral Reef-bright medium warm coral(HG)
Coral Glow-medium coral, orange-red shot with gold sparkles (HG, discontinued)
Peach Petal-very pale milky peach/flesh color with medium opacity
Life's a Peach-light golden champagne peach color with fine sparkles throughout, extremely wearable everyday color
Pink Whisper-pale pink shot with fine silver shimmers
Lilac Pastelle-pale milky lilac with light opacity
I literally cannot live with out Coral Reef, Pink Pop and Coral Glow in my collection and I hope they never discontinue Coral Reef and Pink Pop like they did to Coral glow. Those three are amongst my favorite glosses of all time and I highly recommend them and the whole range in general. I think they are the best lip glosses in the drugstores for sure and also in general.
Gorgeous medium fuchsia pink color with a satin finish. It is pigmented and has a medium opacity. I would give it a four if based on color alone but the formula is a let down. It slides around and doesn't last well but it's not sticky. I just prefer a sticker gloss that stays put.
Lip Gloss -Revlon - Colorburst Lipgloss 002 Crystal Lilac
angelixia07 4/5/2012 1:30:00 AM
Crystal Lilac is a pale mauve/lilac pink color with very fine bright pink shimmers throughout. The color is lovely and wearable. However, the formula is rather sub-par. It is on the thin side, slides around and doesn't last long. Also, I don't care for the long and slender packaging which contains a long stemmed applicator, making it harder to get control of application. The applicator itself is a round and flat on both sides, which is workable but sort of awkward. I would have much preferred a normal slanted doe-foot applicator.
The color range of these glosses is very good. There are lots of wearable as well as fun and up to date/trendy colors. They actually contain the same amount of product as the Revlon Super Lustrous glosses (.2 fl.oz). However, I think the formula is drastic fall from the older SL glosses. Comparatively, the Colorburst formula is thinner, more runny, slippery, less shiny and does not last nearly as long or wear as well as the SL glosses. To clarify, this is based on a personal preference for stickier glosses because they last longer. The SL gloss formula is second only to Mac ones in terms of formula and wear. The Colorburst glosses, despite of the exciting color selection is rather lacking in terms of its formula. I only have three colors:
Crystal Lilac-pale mauve/lilac pink in a satin finish with fine pink shimmers
Cheers-medium fuchsia pink in medium opacity
Decadent-medium purple with fine blue shimmers in a satin finish and medium opacity
I do enjoy the colors but I find myself not reaching for them too often since they don't last long on the lips, slip around quite a bit and doesn't necessarily layer well on top of other lipsticks. Until they improve on the formula, I will not be buying more from this range regardless of how great the colors are.
The formula of Mac lip glosses is my favorite out of everything I tried and out of all the various ranges of Mac lip glosses I adore the Plushglass range the most. They wear beautifully and lasts long since they are on the stickier side-the stickier the gloss the longer it lasts. When they do wear off they do so beautifully. The color is a very sheer milky pale pink that will look almost clear on its own but over nudes and light pinks, lend itself to this beautiful glossy milky quality. I really enjoy this color and I do prefer it to a simple clear gloss. It just adds an extra dimension to lighter lip colors. It does feel minty and stings a bit but I don't think it has any actual plumping effects. I gave it a four just because I think it could be a touch more pigmented and then it would be perfect.
Avenue is a brown/gray with lovely gold shimmers that really comes through. Though I find that it doesn't give me enough definition-I don't have very big prominent eyes that usually need black or very blackened shades as a top liner. However, it does give me a more natural look for days when I want to look like I haven't got as much makeup on. The shimmer particles also brighten my eyes a bit and just looks lovely. I enjoy this the most on the lower lash liner since it is softer than black or very deep shades and has that those beautiful gold sparkles. The lasting power is just as good as other fluidlines but the formula is not quite as good. Like other reviews said, I also find that this liner is thinner/not as pigmented as other fluidlines. I do have to go over it twice to build it up to full opacity but this lesser intensity lends itself well to use on the lower lash line so you can get a softer line effortlessly. For those who love this color but don't love the slight lack in pigmentation might enjoy Mac Glitz n Blitz better since its a similar color but deeper and more pigmented. However, the sparkles in Glitz n Blitz isn't as prominent as they are in Avenue. I would imagine that this shade would also be lovely as a base. One thing I am annoyed with and that probably varies by batch is that the one I received seems more noticeably more under-filled that any other fluidlines I've gotten, most of which is almost filled to the top.
When I finally tried this after getting it at the Mac Pro store, I thought it was the best thing since sliced bread. It's a pale flesh color pencil that I put in the lower waterline and it makes my eyes look awake, more open and bigger but in a completely natural way that white just could not achieve. Also, this pencil lasts longer on my waterline longer than any other pencils I've tried. I was amazed to find that it lasted for five hours and wore comfortably. I even made a friend who doesn't like wearing a lot of makeup try this in place of black on her lower waterline and she absolutely loved it as well. It makes such a difference its like magic. I highly recommend this to anyone who wants to have their eyes look bigger and more awake. It's also a reasonably long pencil and you don't use much with each application so it will last a while. The texture is creamy and the pencil is pigmented so it goes on really easily but it also stays put.
This is one of my favorite liner shades. It's very much a blackened brown color-imagine the blackest brown possible but still be brown and that is exactly the color of Wholesome. I can see that a lot of people might not be into such a small, nuanced shade difference than black but to me, this is absolutely essential. I line my eyes with a gel liner literally everyday and my eyes don't stand out much and have no definition without it. I am not one of those people that can get definition with a light liner shade either, which is why for most of my life, I have just used black. Wholesome allows me to switch it up and wear brown for days when I want a less intense liner color to pair with certain looks. I've been searching long and hard for a dark brown that is dark enough to give me definition and still be brown. Well this is it! The formula is fantastic just like most other Mac Fluidline shades. It is creamy, pigmented, stays put and easy to apply. The closes color to this would be Bobbi Brown Gel Liner in Espresso but I think its not as dark as Wholesome. This was limited edition from the Shop Mac, Cook Mac collection.