Well, I washed the brush for the first time, and *chunks* of bristles came out. Bad. Terrible. Awful. Worst. Not much more to say. (I uploaded a picture, check it out.) Going to stay far away from this brand forever.
This product works well at dissolving makeup because it contains mineral oil as its first ingredient. Mineral oil is very effective at dissolving makeup. There's no other magic to it. I'm not crazy about the fact that it doesn't rinse off well - apparently, removing it is quite a laborious, complicated process. If you like the scent and the creaminess of the product, then enjoy. But there are other products out there that dissolve makeup completely *and* rinse clean very easily. Cold cream only does the first part well. So ... meh.
Makeup Brushes -Coastal Scents - Black on Black Taklon Angle Liner
mashimaru 1/10/2010 12:01:00 PM
I really don't like this brush, because it's just too stubby. When you put *any* pressure on it, the ferrule digs into your skin. And the brush separates after a while - I clean it frequently, and it just doesn't seem to hold its shape as well as my other liner brushes. Not worth it, even with its cheap price.
Cleansers -Unlisted Brand - Mandom Cleansing Express Moist
mashimaru 1/8/2010 6:43:00 AM
This is basically a non-oily makeup remover. But it is a very good one. It comes in a pump bottle, and you pump it out onto a cotton pad or something, and it will do a pretty good job of removing most types of makeup. Personally, I prefer using cleansing oil (nothing works as well as cleansing oil, I've found), so this is just an extraneous product that I don't absolutely need. But it does a fantastic job, for what it is.
Another great use for the product - makeup brush cleanser! Just add a pump or two to a cup of water, swirl your dirty brush in there, and watch the color just melt away. Considering the cost of the MAC brush cleanser, this is a pretty comparable substitute.
Makeup Brushes -Everyday Minerals - Angled Brow & Liner Brush
mashimaru 7/17/2009 8:17:00 AM
One of my more disappointing EDM brushes. It's not bad, but I usually love them, and this one just didn't wow me that much. I love slanted taklon liner brushes and use them all the time. (Currently own MAC 263, theBalm's Shady Lady liner brush, and the Coastal Scents taklon liner.)
Well, the bristles on this EDM are too sparse, and tend to bunch together. It works okay, it's just not that great. I do like it better than the Coastal Scents taklon liner, but the MAC 263 and theBalm is far superior to this one. (theBalm brush, at $8 is an absolute steal.)
$6 each, so it wasn't a huge disappointment. It does work, so it's worth having around as a backup. But I usually love EDM brushes, so I was expecting more.
Makeup Brushes -Everyday Minerals - Eye Blending Brush
mashimaru 6/9/2009 10:05:00 PM
This is a pretty good blending brush. It doesn't do a great job applying color, but it's soft on my lids and does a great job blending. It does sweep away a little more of the color than my MAC 217, but that makes it useful when I'm using intense colors but want a softer look. Basically, it's not great at application, but it blends like a champ, which is what it's supposed to do. Very worthwhile addition to my collection for $6.
Just want to give another shout-out to baby oil! It really is the best makeup remover ever.
I've been using a lot of oils as makeup removers with great success - olive, sweet almond, jojoba, etc. But recently, I bought some Wet 'n Wild cream liner, and I played with it by drawing on the back of the hand with it.
I tried to remove it with olive oil, and it didn't remove the liner completely! It removed most of it, but still left behind some residue. And I was really rubbing at it with my cotton pad. (you wouldn't want to do that to your eyes)
Then I fished out my baby oil that I haven't used in a while, and it just whisked it away! Not a trace left. I tried this a few more times with my other oils, and baby oil was definitely the best performer. Melts it right off.
Baby oil is THE BEST eye makeup remover, you guys. It's super-cheap, and gets off everything. If you wear waterproof eye makeup, you really do need this.
(Oh yeah, I usually use cleansing oil on my face, and my current one does contain mineral oil [Kose Softymo], and that does a perfect job, too. Anyway, mineral oil is the key. Other products that work wonders at eye makeup removal also contain mineral oil - Pond's cold cream, and Vaseline [a creamy form of paraffin, the same stuff in mineral oil])
Misc Beauty Tools -Unlisted Brand - Trim eyelash curler
mashimaru 4/11/2009 12:21:00 AM
This did not work for me. I have a Shu Uemura, but I wanted a backup, and I thought I'd get this because the MUA reviews are good (sorry to bring it down.) This cost $3.49 at my Target. It comes with two replacement pads.
First of all, the pad is wide and flat. You generally want a rounded pad. And it was difficult to get a nice curl instead of a crimp. And comparing the curler to my Shu, the curve is much deeper. The deeper Trim curve doesn't seem to fit my eyes, so I had a difficult time getting it to grab all my lashes. Basically, only the front half of lashes were getting curled, and when I try to grab the back lashes, I ended up pinching the skin.
Makeup Brushes -Unlisted Brand - Posh- Travel Foundation Brush
mashimaru 4/8/2009 2:56:00 AM
I bought this at K-Mart ($4.99, but $1 off sale this week so I paid $3.99). It's the perfect size for my travel brush kit which is missing a foundation brush.
It's pretty! Black ferrule with a glossy red handle, and the taklon bristles are very nice. The bristles are a little bit long-ish, but the brush head is not compact, and is about the average size of most foundation brushes, with a good shape overall.
I only bought this one brush, but I looked over all the Posh brushes and I liked what I saw. The packaging and the shape of most of them are identical to the Essence of Beauty brushes sold at CVS. I recently bought the EoB crease duo set at CVS, and the Posh brushes looked 100% identical except for the color of the handle. I'm going to assume that they are the same manufacturer. (However, EoB cost $5.99, while the Posh brushes cost $7.99, and with the $1 sale I would have paid $6.99. On the other hand, I think the Posh powder brush was cheaper than the EoB brush. And I love the pretty red handle.)
I love this new purse-sized foundation brush, and I'm interested in more. If I need new brushes, I'm going to check out Posh brushes at K-Mart in the future.
Well, I'm on the hunt for a pink blush. (Got my peaches.) I tried this because of the name "Love That Pink!" (BOGO sale!) How much do I love it? Not much.
Well, you just can't see it on my skin. I'm pretty pale, but I still get no color. I don't think this will show up on Conan O'Brien's face, either. And I really dug into the palette with my brush trying to get some color on my face, too. What's the point?
I've never bought makeup before that did absolutely nothing. Sometimes they're great, sometimes they're the wrong color, and sometimes they're terrible. But never something that makes exactly zero difference. So weird. I sure hope Rite Aid takes my return.
Misc Beauty Tools -Revlon - Universal Points Sharpener
mashimaru 3/16/2009 8:02:00 AM
I have a Cover Girl sharpener that I've had since high school. It works well, and did a great job sharpening my pencils. (I always keep them in the fridge overnight before sharpening, so they don't crumble.) But I tried to sharpen my Urban Decay pencil, which is very creamy, and it crumbled! Grrr, pencil waste. Sad.
I was going to buy an Urban Decay sharpener ($8), but decided to try this one from Rite Aid. ($2.99) It worked really well, and my pencil sharpened to a perfect point with no crumbling! I didn't even put the UD pencil in the fridge this time. I was thrilled.
What I would change about this sharpener is the lid - it is opaque. I like a see-through lid so I can see what I'm doing. But I can do that by just taking the lid off, so no biggie. Also, the lid comes off completely so you could lose it. Some lids stay attached with a hinge, which some people might prefer.
Also comes with a converter - if you remove it, you can sharpen the fat pencils. So you can use it for 3 different sizes.
Also comes with a little pick to dig out the shavings that get stuck that stores neatly in the sharpener. Made in Germany if that matters to anyone. All in all, a good buy. I'm happy.
Skincare - Body -Aura Cacia - Sweet Almond, Skin Care Oil, CERTIFIED ORGANIC
mashimaru 3/12/2009 2:27:00 AM
This is the organic version of the Aura Cacia Sweet Almond which has a brown cap, and costs about $14. Its sole ingredient is organic sweet almond oil. (The version with a white cap costs about $6, and contains Vitamin E.)
Very moisturizing and perfect for winter dryness. I've tried mixing it with my regular moisturizer, and also just putting it directly on my skin after cleansing. I like the white cap version, but I think the brown cap version absorbs better and feels less greasy, probably because it doesn't contain Vitamin E. Also has a slight woodsy scent, while the white-cap version has no scent at all. I've had no break-outs with both versions of the oil.
All in all, thumbs up. I will buy this again when I run out.
Makeup Brushes -Shiseido - The Makeup Powder Brush
mashimaru 3/7/2009 12:19:00 AM
What a great powder brush! Soooo soft. My Nordstrom SA just told me that Shiseido is discontinuing all their brushes, though. Boo!
Very light cleansing oil (rice-bran oil-based, contains no mineral oil). Smells nice, removes every trace of sunscreen and makeup, and leaves my skin feeling goooood. My previous cleansing oil was Kanebo Naive (the cheapest!) which I've been using for years, and very happily. But I've been using The Face Shop Migamsu for a few weeks, and I like it very much. Love the light consistency. Would buy again. $15 for about 5 oz. - cheaper than Shu Uemura and DHC.
Misc Beauty Tools -Rubis - Slant-Tip Stainless Steel Tweezers
mashimaru 12/20/2007 4:05:00 PM
In a quest for the perfect tweezers, I bought my Rubis tweezers from drugstore.com (in pink!) It's well-reviewed, and I do love my Swiss Army knives, so these would be awesome, too, right? I like that it comes with a protective cap, and the tips come together perfectly so it grabs every hair. The problem is that the tips are very sharp, and tend to break a lot of the hairs, no matter how gently I try to pull. And because the tips are so sharp, my skin ends up feeling more sore, too. So I hate using these, and I don't think they are worth the $30~ I paid for them.