Sunday, December 1, 2013

Favorite daily use makeup brushes

The daily use makeup brushes I own are all radically different: different manufacturers, different materials, and different purposes. Here they are, in order of use:

I start my routine by using a MAC 217 ($24) to blend my under eye concealer. Haven’t found anything that works better. Seriously. Sometimes the classics are classic for a reason.

Next, I use my IT Cosmetics Heavenly Luxe Flat Top Buffing foundation brush ($48)  to apply powder foundation. I haven’t found one yet that it doesn’t work with beautifully. It would probably work fine with liquid or cream also, since the bristles are synthetic.

When I fill my brows, I typically use a pencil, then groom with the spoolie end of another tarte brush, the double-ended brow brush. I got it in a set with their Amazonian clay brow mousse ($28), but the angled brush end also works well with powder or tinted wax. I don't think it is available by iotself. Really nice to have all my brow needs met with one brush.

Lately I've been applying bronzer with a nifty little brush I got in a set from Bare Minerals last year, but I seem to go back to my Sonia Kashuk flat topped buffing brush all the time. The Bare Minerals brush is a travel size wide paddle brush with a concave dip in the middle, making it look like a blush brush with a bite taken out of it. Unfortunately, it doesn't seem to be for sale anywhere. The Kashuk brush was a limited edition a few years ago and isn't part of the regular offering at Target. It looks like a smaller version of the IT Cosmetics brush above, but with a smaller head and not nearly as densely packed.

For blush, I always use my SEPHORA COLLECTION Pro Angled Blush Brush #49 ($32), unless what I'm using is super dark, bright, or very heavily pigmented. Then I use a Sonia Kashuk duo fiber brush ($12.99). There might be better brushes out there, but this one gets the job done with no fuss and a nice low price.

If I am using eyeliner (which is to say, just about every day) I use my tarte double-ended liner brush ($22). The skinny end can’t be beat for gel liner, and the smudging end is perfect for applying powder or for blending out pencil. A real workhorse, and very well-made.

I use a pretty wide variety of eye shadow brushes, probably too many to name a favorite. That said, I do seem to reach for my SEPHORA COLLECTION Pro Crease Brush ($20) a lot. 

I have quite a few brushes besides these, certainly far more than I need, but these are the ones I reach for over and over. They all are just right for the way I apply my makeup at a price I'm willing to pay.  What brushes do you find yourself reaching for again and again?

Monday, September 16, 2013

Benefit gimme Brow review and swatches

I bought this the last time I got my brows done at Benefit and I love it! 

My brows are not thin, but they are pale blonde and rather unruly, so what I really need is some color and control. This stuff fills the bill perfectly. 

The small tapered spoolie makes it easy to apply and the light/medium shade is a good match for what I want my brows to be. Most lighter shades are way too warm, but this one is more cool toned. 

Benefit is hitting it out of the park lately with good basic every day products like this!  This item retails for $22 and is available at Benefit counters, Sephora, Macy's, and various places online.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Donating to Locks of Love

My hair had gotten really long and was constantly tangled and messy, hanging limp and sad instead of being full of bounce and happiness.  I decided it was time for a drastic cut. Off to Salon U!

Long and ready to GO

Once there, Janice (the best stylist EVAH) realized that I had enough surplus hair to donate to Locks of Love, so guess what happened?

Yep, 10 inches gone. Because I had at least 10 inches to give and all the bleached parts had grown out, my hair met the guidelines for donation.

I decided to pool my donation with Janice's other clients instead of sending it in seperately.  It was a WIN for me because my hair looks lovely now. It's a WIN for a kid who can get a nice natural hairpiece instead of sythetic. It's a WIN for Locks of Love for making it easy and it's a WIN for Janice for suggesting it.

The final result. Still plenty of hair!

I feel lighter, not just in my hair but all of me. Now I need to figure out what to do with my new chic style!