Sunday, July 19, 2009

Bare Minerals Natural Gloss

I ordered this gloss admittedly because I wanted the free gift that came with it (a particularly lovely mascara). I got this gloss in Sugar Cookie, the color that looked most like "My Lips But Better" (a peachy pink). When I got it, I was pleasantly surprised. It is just sticky enough to last long but sheer enough to not be glue-y. Gorgeous color with golden speckles and it dries like a stain. Lovely color, lovely product. 

Friday, July 17, 2009

MAC 165: The Gift of Contouring

MAC 165: The Gift of Contouring

Part Three of MAC Brush Series

Let's face it: This is probably one of the best contouring brushes out there. But why?

Arrival and First Impressions: When this brush first arrived in its little plastic sleeve, I was, quite frankly, excessively disappointed. The handle is long and thin and the brush in general is just small. The white bristles were dark and dirty after the first use and the overall appearance is just different than any other MAC brush. First impression: bad. Little did I know it was all about to change!!

Uses: This brush is an EXCELLENT contour brush!! If you suck your cheeks in (yes, you look like a fool), you can fit this brush into the indent that appears. It's the perfect size. I use it with bronzers, deep blushes...anything that contours. It adds a very sculpted effect to my face. 

Cleanings: This brush is a little different than my other MAC brushes because it has the classic white bristles. It gets FILTHY, especially since most contour products are dark. I clean it as often as possible, but it still manages to have a brownish hue on the tips. At some point, MAC had a very similar contour brush with greyish hairs. This would've been a lot better. 

Technique: As mentioned above, if you suck your cheeks in, this brush fits right into the indent. Pull this brush up below the cheekbone (toward your hairline), then you can do a little blending to smooth rough edges. Viola! Sculpted face. 

Brush Shape: This brush is an angled contour brush. It is cut diagonally and is fluffy and soft, yet dense enough to grab up just the right amount of product. This is a model brush for contouring. 

Conclusion: Although at first this brush seems wimpy, I find myself grabbing for it almost everything. It's thin and lanky, but it really gets the job done. Perfect contour :)

MAC 182: The Best Buki

The MAC 182: The Best Buki

Part Two of the MAC Brush Series

The perfect brush for nearly everything (besides eyes, of course). As usual, let's start from the very beginning.....

Arrival and First Impressions: When it first arrived, the packaging was awful (wth, Nordstrom?). The brush and some other items I had ordered were thrown willy nilly into an empty box and the poor kabuki was rolling around having freed itself from the tube. When I picked it up, I noticed that the black metal handle on the 182 is longer than the traditional stump on an average kabuki. This allows for much easier application. Plus, the moment I touched the dense bristles, I fell in love with how soft it is!!

Uses: I like to use this brush for my MSF Natural. The dense bristles pick up just the right amount of product and makes for a flawless finish. However, this brush can be used with all sorts of other things. Baked powders would be my favorite for this brush, but you can also use it with pressed powders (watch out, it picks up a lot of product with pressed powders!)

Cleanings: I clean this brush with all my other brushes. It really needs a good deep cleaning because powders can get caught in between each individual hair. When this brush gets wet, it really requires a lot of reshaping. If you don't shape it back to its original form, you might end up with either a freakishly puffy brush or a thin, stiff brush. 

Technique: What I always do is pick up some product and swirl the 182 in tight, fast circles. It gives the perfect coverage this way. Apply lightly, as well. If you don't, then it will do the thing where it leaves all the product in one spot: right where you first touched the brush to your face. Don't drag the kabuki across your face. This brush is made to buff and buffing means swirling the product on your face. 

Brush Shape: This brush is made with the traditional black goat hairs (watch out, it's smelly!!). The bristles create a perfect dome shape. This brush does not shed at all and usually no stray bristles hang out of the sides. 

Conclusion: This brush was my first MAC brush and probably still my favorite. It is an absolute necessity for any collection and, despite the $42 dollar cost, one can still pick it up during a sale and get about $10 off. For $32, this brush would be a steal!!

NYX Palettes

Above: NYX Smokey Palette
I think we've all been anticipating it: NYX Palettes. Sure, they had those strange sparkly palettes and the trios, but this is something I believe most every makeup addict is lemming. The 10 color palettes are $9 (I purchased them off of cherryculture(dot)com) and the 5 color palettes are also $9. 

I purchased the smokey eye palette (pictured above) because, let's face it, who isn't a sucker for gorgeous smokey eyes? I am dreadfully allergic to NYX, but I HAD to have it. 

Quality: I have to admit that I like the trios better. I find that I need a strong base to get vivid colors that last long. On an average base, some of the colors look washy and not as pigmented as they look in the pan. As well, they can be creasy and don't last throughout a 12 hour workday. 

Colors: I really like the colors that come in the palette :) Blacks, greys, dark greys, a brown, cream, and taupe. However, it's sort of funny in some ways.....there are dark greys that STRONGLY resemble each other and two light silvery greys that are also extremely similar. I just found it a little odd that they would have such similar colors. 

Overall, I really like this palette, but just can't see myself using it very often!! It's simply not good enough (but what does one expect for $9?) and I'm very allergic :P

NARS Sale Haul

Even though my stash is overwhelming at this point (and I was 3 products into finishing Project 10 Pan), I decided that I just couldn't ignore the NARS sale (which is 20% off). Here's what I purchased:

-NARS Amour Blush
-NARS Orgasm/Laguna Duo
-NARS South Beach Multiple
-NARS India Song Eyeshadow Duo
-NARS Habanera Eyeshadow Duo

Granted, these items have not arrived yet, just wanted to give an update :) 

I am also putting a birthday gift basket together for my sister. She only owns drugstore brands and I'm introducing high end brands to her: 

-Stila Charmed Palette
-NARS Habanera Eyeshadow Duo
-NARS Orgasm Blush
-MAC Peaches Blush
-MAC Via Veneto Dazzleglass and Internationalist Dazzleglass

*Crosses finger* I hope she likes it!!