Makeup Brushes -Real Techniques by Samantha Chapman - Expert Face Brush
girlndocs 5/16/2013 11:34:00 PM
I was trying to find something more economical than the Beautyblender to use for my foundation and heard a lot of good things about this brush. I was able to order it ridiculously cheap from iHerb using one of those new shopper codes for $5 off. It's ... okay? It seems like a well built brush, although I don't fid it very attractive. Looks like it would last a good long while. The design eliminates concerns like moisture damage to a wood handle or ferrule loosening. I don't know that it's as soft as everyone says. It feels pretty much like a regular synthetic brush, in fact, I find Ecotools to be significantly softer-feeling (but the again most of them are a lot more floppy). I actually felt some discernable prickles on my face whe I used it to buff my foundation, and it left several very small black shed or broken-off hairs on my face the first time I used it. It does a nice job of applying foundation, or rather of finishing foundation, since to get light coverage I fid it best to spread on the foundation with my fingers and then use the brush to even it out. My main concern with it is that my all-physical facial sunscreen is very important to me, and I can't help worrying that rubbing and twirling my fingers + a brush over it is going to compromise it. I ended up much preferring the BeautyBlender, because the bouncig motion I use with that leaves my sunscreen (ad my occasional flaky patches) completely undisturbed. Maybe I would use it again for evening makeup without any sunscreen? I dunno. I'm going to experiment with using it as a blush or contouring brush.
Not a fan; far too pale for my fairly pigmented lips, and being sheer means that rather than being able to build it up all I can make it do is gather more and more in my liplines.
Lipstick -Revlon - Colorburst Lip Butter - 080 Strawberry Shortcake
girlndocs 5/10/2013 12:51:00 AM
Not a fan. Far too light for my fairly pigmented lips, and all the "sheer" formula meant was that the milky overly-pale color gathered in my liplines.
Everything you've heard is true. This is the queen of all pale milky shades. Truly neutral (look up pics online, it doesn't look too pink for brown-skinned hands or too brown for pale pink hands). Streakless. Gorgeous formula. Wide brush makes application as easy as a song. One coat is completely sheer, two coats is a visible milky wash, three coats a translucent milky shade. Perfectly flattering.
Liquid -Make Up For Ever - Mat Velvet PLUS Matifying Foundation
girlndocs 5/6/2013 1:47:00 AM
I specifically did not go looking for a matte finish foundation because I wanted light to medium natural/glowy coverage. However, I had a really hard time finding a color match (very pale and neutral), plus I can;t use any foundations with chemical sunscreen, so I got to the point where I was really desperate to try something, anything that might be light enough for me, and 15 Alabaster is probably the overall lightest shade that MUFE makes. The first time I tried it on, all my doubts were comfirmed: every dry patch on my face sprang out into chalky relief and I could feel the foundation sucking every last droplet of moisture out of my skin. It was a fabulous color match but I couldn't wait to wash it off. It was when I was putting on my very heavy, sticky, oily Vanicream sunscreen that my eye fell on the Mat Velvet+ sample jar and inspiration hit. I dotted Mat Velvet+ over the sunscreen and blended it with a Beauty Blender dupe and I was blown away. Medium coverage, natural to dewy finish, great color match, my skin looked amazing, and it took the curse off the greasy finish of the Vanicream and stuck around all day! Long story short (too late) I bought a tube and am still thrilled to death. An extra plus is how long a tube will last since I dot it on sheerly. If you're having a hard time finding a pale foundation give this a try, even if you don't want matte full coverage. Try sheering it out with moisturizer or primer, or wearing it over vey rich moisturizer. You might be surprised.
Misc Beauty Tools -Tatcha - Aburatorigami - Japanese blotting papers
girlndocs 5/6/2013 1:32:00 AM
I had a chance to try one of these at Sephora and I jumped at it because I've been curious whether they were really very different from the $1.50 Daiso blotting sheets I use on a regular basis. The answer is, they're a little different: a little bit softer, a little bit less crackly, a little bit prettier, a little bit more absorbent. They're definitely not over 10x better at any of those things than the Daiso blotting papers so I won't be shelling out to use them regularly, but they're a pretty reasonable small luxury to tuck in my bag on occasiona when I want to look or feel a tiny bit more elegant, and I'll probably buy them for that one of these days when I need a treat.
To be honest, I'm not blown away. I like that, as one reviewer already said, the shades are truly neutral and neither overly warm nor cool, and they're a versatile satin-ish finish rather than being glittery or chalky matte.They're a very pretty color selection and the package is good-looking and sturdy. However, I wish the shadows were more pigmented. I was disappointed that at least 3 out of the 6 shades apply really very sheerly and are difficult to build up. It's a shame because the textures are nice and there's no fallout, it's just hard to get a nice intense layer of color. Bottom line for me is that if this palette is easy for you to get then it's an okay inexpensive nude palette especially for someone new to nudes and/or browns and not sure what shades look good on them. But if you have even a little bit of knowledge about what kind of neutrals look good on you, or if you have to go to lengths or pay extra to get this one, it's probably better to put together a nude set using better quality individual shadows, whether those are from Catrice, Sephora's store brand, or Wet'n'Wild.
Whargaaaaarble. How does this not have any reviews yet? I swapped for this wanting a more pigmented MAC Club/W'n'W Comfort Zone crease shade dupe, and it has blown. me. away with its buttery, velvety texture and insane pigmentation. It's maybe not as shimmery as Club/Comfort Zone -- the duochrome is strong and pigmented, but the finish is maybe closer to satin, so it doesn't flash quite as brightly, but still gorgeous. I think that the taupe/brown side of this shadow is also maybe slightly cooler than Club, which suits me fine.
Wonderful packaging. Superb formula. Gorgeous finish. No shades lighter than caucasian-with-a-tan. Oh, Urban Decay. I'm not angry. I'm disappointed.
Foundations -Make Up For Ever - HD High Definition Foundation
girlndocs 4/17/2013 4:26:00 PM
I've been frolicking through Sephora and Nordstrom on a foundation-testing binge lately so THIS IS NOT A FULL REVIEW, which is to say, I tested my sample of this on a full face *once*. I won't be testing it again because I was unimpressed with it -- apart from slightly easier blending, I didn't see it do anything that Revlon Colorstay doesn't do. In fact, it settles into my pores and makes little foundation-colored dots in a way that CS never does. Undoubtedly if I spent days applying it with different methods I would find a way to get a better finish, but I don't have time for that, I want foundation that doesn't have to be babied to look decent.
Makeup Brushes -E.L.F. - Studio Line Eyeshadow 'C' Brush
girlndocs 4/16/2013 3:06:00 PM
Quite like this one for shadow on the lid. Hangs on well to powder shadow, gets it where I want to go in a nice opaque layer. Soft. Has held up for over a year with periodic deep cleanings (cone-free shampoo and conditioner) and regular wiping off with baby wipes. If I had more expensive brushes I would feel like I had to baby them, which I don;t mind fo a powder or blush brush but is less convenient when I have 3 or 4 shadow brushes sticking out of a jar to grab in a hurry. So, I have contemplated replacing these with something (maybe) higher quality, but I decided against it.
Makeup Brushes -Shiseido - The Makeup Powder Brush
girlndocs 4/16/2013 12:44:00 AM
"So," says my man (he asks this out of curiosity, you understand, not to grill me). "What did you spend the rest of your birthday money on at Nordstrom?" "A brush," I say. "A brush," he says. "ONE brush. You spent $55 on ONE brush?" "I HAVE NO REGRETTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTS," I scream as I dive through a window and run into the sunset. Okay, actually I stick my tongue out at him. Obviously, this is the most expensive brush I've ever bought. I have a couple of super soft synthetic powder brushes that feel nice on my face but it dawned on me that since they were dense, they were also -- duh -- applying my powder densely. I went looking for the highest quality natural powder brush I could find for my budget, and after a lot of looking online and at Sephora and Nordstrom, the Shiseido came up on top. This brush is genuinely silky, like, the texture of the hairs is unlike any brush I've handled before. It feels very luxurious sweeping across my face, absolutely whisper-soft. I had also considered the Laura Mercier blue squirrel powder brush, which was just as soft, but the LM brush was denser and I ended up glad I opted for the Shi because I do feel that not being overly dense really helps it to lay down powder in an extremely sheer, invisible layer. Unlike my synthetic brushes, it is very easy to distribute powder evenly thoughout the bristles of this brush without their collecting in one spot more than another -- translating to very even application to my face. About the only thing I could wish for is handle construction out of something more weighty and substantial -- obviously you don't want it to be *too* heavy, but I was surprised at how very light it was and I think a little weight would give it even more of a luxury feel. Next on my list is the blush brush.
Blush -Tarte - Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush in Exposed Tarte Blush
girlndocs 4/12/2013 10:17:00 PM
This is the most I have ever spent on a blush, since I'm a stingy lady at heart. But I swatched it on my cheeks while I was at Sephora, and when I got home I looked so beautiful with such a perfect, natural glowing flush. AND, at 6pm that blush looked *exactly* like it did when I first applied it at noon. I went back and bought it.
Lips -Revlon - ColorBurst Lip Butter in Peach Parfait
girlndocs 4/7/2013 10:20:00 PM
I was looking for a subtle but recognizable peach/coral and found Peach Parfait and its sister in the Colorburst lip gloss line, Peony. Both are pinked-coral with gold shimmers. I like the shimmer, it is not frosty, and although I can feel the shimmer particles on the stick when I apply it, afterward they're not gritty on my lips. Peach Parfait is more subtle or maybe more sheer than Peony.
Pretty! Semi-sheer, pinked peach or pinky coral with gold shimmers. I was looking for a coral that would work with my pale, neutral slightly yellow complexion and auburn hair and be recognizably coral as opposed to just another peachy nude, and this fits the bill! Consistency is very much like a soft lip butter, not sticky at all. No recognizable taste or scent. Tube is heavy and nice-looking. Only minuses for me are: doesn't last as long as some stickier lipglosses I've tried, and has the sponge doe-foot tip on the wand, which I dislike (prefer a brush or squeeze tube).