June 30, 2012

Chic Shopaholic: M.A.C Hey, Sailor! Collection

M.A.C released a big Summer collection called Hey, Sailor!, which is appropriately named as the products have a nautical theme to them. The boxes have navy and white stripes, whereas the products's casing are either just navy or navy and white.

There were five Eyeshadows in this collection but I only bought one in Jaunty. A Frost finish, it's a shimmery, low-metallic, light yellow-beige. I've used it as a highlight on the bow-bone and inner corner, as well as a wash on the lid. It has light-to-medium pigmentation with a smooth texture.

There were four Lipsticks released in this collection, two of which I have to review. My mom loves bright lipsticks so she bought Sail La Vie and let me swatch it to review on my blog. A Satin finish, this is a medium orange-red coral. It has opaque pigmentation with a creamy finish. For myself, I only bought To Catch a Sailor. A Frost finish, it's a light metallic gold beige-bronze. Because the color is so light and the finish is frosty, it can make the face look a little washed  out. I like to use a lip liner in a neutral beige-nude shade that is slightly darker to help give a little definition. The texture is smooth but dries out my lips a bit.

Last but not least, I bought Throw Me a Line Pro Longwear Lip Pencil. It's a medium orange coral-red that actually pairs perfectly with Sail La Vie Lipstick. This was my first Pro Longwear Lip Pencil and I've wanted to try them because they're supposed to last longer on the lips then traditional lip pencils. The texture is smooth to apply, pigmentation is opaque and once it sets, it doesn't move. 

What are your favorite products in this collection? Do you like the packaging?

Glamour Girl

June 24, 2012

Chic Shopaholic: Sephora Gift card

I received a Sephora gift card after doing Hidemi's makeup last month and so I bought a few products that I was interested in trying out.

After discovering that my favorite Neutrogena Energizing Citrus Sugar Scrub Body Exfoliator is being discontinued, I began the search for a new body scrub. I love Soap & Glory products so I decided to try the Flake Away Body Polish. Unlike some of the other S&G products that come in travel sizes, this only comes in a big 10 oz. tub. It has Shea Butter, Sweet Almond Oil, Peach Seed Powder, Sea Salt and Sugar to eliminate dry skin. It's scented with S&G Pink Fragrance, which includes Bergamot, Mandarin, Rose, Jasmine, Peach, Strawberry, Oakmoss, and Amber. It's slightly grittier in  texture than Neutrogena's but not super rough or irritating on the skin. It also has a thicker, buttery consistency but doesn't leave a slippery residue on the skin like Neutrogena's.  I find this scrub is great for Summer as it's lightweight and leaves my skin feeling moisturized and  smooth with a subtle floral scent.

I had to buy Hourglass Illume Creme-to-Powder Bronzer Duo in Bronze Light after reading a rave review for it on The Black Panties Blog. The duo comes with a matte warm bronzer and a pearly golden-champagne highlighter. I swatched heavily for the photo to show how pigmented they are but you can definitely sheer it out for a more natural look. The texture is super creamy, easy to blend with no streaking or uneven application. For the bronzer, I like to use a firm contouring brush like M.A.C 168, to buff the product where I want to define and would get a sun-kissed look; cheeks, forehead, nose and chin. For the highlighter, I like to use my fingers to pat and blend on areas I want to bring out; top of the cheekbones, brow bone, bridge of nose and cupid's bow of lip. The wax, oil, sulfate, synthetic dye, paraben, fragrance and phthalate free formula sets to a smooth velvety finish and lasts throughout the day. Like all other Hourglass compacts, this has a 360˚ lid with a large mirror. This product is perfect to achieve a simple bronzed-glow look for the Summer.

I thought I had lost my favorite Shu Uemura Natural 6 ob Brush that I use to fill in my brows so I bought Smashbox Angled Brush 12 to see if it could do the job the same or even better. In comparison to Shu, this one is longer, denser and wider. It seems to pick up more product when I use a brow powder and therefore, applies a bit more heavily. It's easy to use though and blends any brow product I use effortlessly. This brush can also double as an eyeliner brush with powders for a subtle definition. Fortunately, I found my Shu brush but will still use this in my pro kit.

What are your favorite Summer products? Favorite brush to fill in brows?

Glamour Girl

June 21, 2012

Chic Shopaholic: Amazon.com

When I ordered the Real Technique brushes from Amazon.com, I bought a few other beauty products with it.

I needed something to hold my kit brushes and so I bought a Sigma Brush Cup HolderI have a similar one from Sephora that I use for personal use but unfortunately they don't make it anymore. This one has more of an oval shape with two snaps on the sides to close. As you can see in the photo, it can hold a mix of big face brushes and slim eye brushes, about 15-20 of them. When you open the container, it becomes two cup holders which is helpful to separate the dirty brushes from the clean ones. You can keep the brush holder at home or take it on-the-go when you travel.

After loving the Aquage Uplifting Foam recommended by Kate from The Small Things Blog, I decided to try another product she liked which was the Kenra Volume Spray 25, the most popular hairspray in the line. It's a finishing spray that gives strong hold to any hairstyle, resists humidity and builds volume. To set the style, I spray in zigzag motions at 6-10 inches away. For volume, I spray within each layer at the base. It doesn't leave any sticky residue and very little product is needed as too much of it will make your hair feel too stiff and crunchy. This hairspray is especially great for up-dos, holding curls and for hairstyles lasting all day.

I needed to buy tweezers for my kit to use on clients and so my favorite brand for that is Rubis Switzerland. They are made of stainless steel and are rust proof and acid proof.  There are many style of tweezers from Classic Point to Slant/Point Combination but I bought the Perforated Slant. It's a traditional slanted tip with little holes at the handle. It has a transparent rubber cap to protect the tweezers. I've used the popular Tweezerman tweezers before but have found that the tip gets dull after a few years and you have to ship it back to the company for them to resharpen it at a small fee. With Rubis, they never need to be sharpened. They're confortable to hold and grip the hair securely to pull out smoothly. The sharp edge doesn't hurt against the skin but is still able to grab the shortest hair. They may seem a little pricey to buy but I think they're a great investment to keep your brows groomed and will last for a long time.

One last beauty related product I bought was a lipstick iPhone case! They're by ZERO GRAVITY, Scarlet - Metallic for iPhone 4 or 4S. I was looking for a makeup related design that wasn't too cutesy looking. I like this one because it's simple with a drawing of a red lipstick over a gold metallic background and black trim. It's plastic so it's lightweight and not bulky to fit n a small purse.

Do you buy any beauty products from Amazon? If so, what do you like to buy?

Glamour Girl

June 16, 2012

Chic Shopaholic: Real Techniques

I needed to buy a some extra brushes to use on clients since I didn't always want to use my own personal brushes all the time. I also wanted to try Real Techniques brushes since I've heard great things  about them and wanted to review them on my blog. The brand was created by one-half of the the well-known YouTube beauty gurus and Makeup Artist sisters, Samantha Chapman. I didn't have any stores near me that carry the brand so I ordered online via Amazon.com.

The line is 100% cruelty-free, the bristles being made of synthetic taklon hair. Each brush is labeled for what its purpose is and held by color-coded aluminum ferrules - orange for the skin, purple for the eyes, and pink for finishing the makeup. The ends of the handles are covered in black with the larger brushes having a flat base so you can stand them upright on your vanity. I bought three sets plus a few individual brushes.
  • Core Collection: This set consists of four brushes to create flawless base for the skin.
    • Contour Brush: Medium, rounded-domed shape. Fits right under the cheekbones, around the hairline and under the jaw to create shadow around the face. Defines but is easy to blend so the contour doesn't look like a harsh line. Can also be used for  cream and powder blushes, highlighters and powdering small areas of the face.
    • Pointed Foundation Brush: Medium, traditional flat foundation brush with a slight rounded-point at the tip. The point helps to get within the crevices around the face like the nose and mouth. Can also be used for cream blushes and highlighters.
    • Detailer Brush: Small, flat brush for concealing under the eyes and blemishes/spots on the face. Can also be used for applying eyeshadows and as a lip brush.
    • Buffing Brush: Large, fluffy brush with a slightly flat. domed top. Can be used for loose or pressed powders, powder or mineral foundation, and bronzer. It has enough density to build coverage but with enough movement to buff and blend.

  • Starter Set: This set consists of five brushes for the eyes.
    • Deluxe Crease Brush: Large, dense rounded domed-shape brush. It gives a soft definition in the crease and can also be used to apply concealer.
    • Base Shadow Brush: Large, fluffy domed-shape brush for applying color all over the eye. Can also be used to apply colors in the crease and blend eyeshadows.
    • Accent Brush: Small, short dense brush. Can be used to apply details of color,  highlighting, smudging and creating a defined line in the socket of the crease for a "cut-crease" look. 
    • Pixel-point Eyeliner Brush: Small, tapered eyeliner brush to work with cream or gel liners. The brush is a bit thick but once you have product on it, the tip of the brush becomes a little finer so it's easier to create thinner lines.
    • Brow Brush: Flat, slanted brush to fill in brows. The density is a bit thick and a bit wide but works to give a soft definition in the brows. Can also be used for emollient and powder eyeliner.

  • Travel Essentials: This set consists of three brushes for traveling.
    • Essential Foundation Brush: Medium, traditional flat foundation brush. Can also be used for cream blushes and highlighters.
    • Domed Shadow Brush: Medium, dense, rounded brush for applying eyeshadows. Can be used to apply  base all-over color, in the crease, blend, as well as applying concealer.
    • Multi-task Brush: Large, fluffy tapered brush. Can be used to apply powder, bronzer and blush.
All sets come with a black panoramic brush case. As shown in the photos, it can be folded to become a brush stand so you'll have easier access to see what brush you need as you're using it. You fold it the middle and adjust the toggle until you like the position of the stand. The stand is very sturdy, I don't worry about it getting knocked over or collapsing.

For the individual brushes, I bought:
  • Blush Brush: Large, fluffy round domed-shape brush. In my opinion, the size of the brush is a bit too big for the cheeks and you aren't able apply the color in small areas like the apple of the cheeks. The color ends up being spread throughout the face. The brush is dense but still has movement to blend. I prefer to use this brush for powdering the face or for bronzer.
  • Stippling Brush: Medium, flat top dual-fiber brush. Can be used for foundations, powders, bronzer and blush. The black hairs are dense and stiff enough to buff the product and the white hairs help move the product around.

  • Shading Brush: Small, flat, brush for the eyes. Can be used to apply color on the lid, crease, to highlight and smudge liner. This order actually came with a pack of two which is great because it's one of my most used brushes so it's good to have an extra one on hand.
Overall, I think the quality of the brushes are really nice for the price. I was surprised at how soft the bristles were for being synthetic. The only downside I have to them is that some of them are a little too fluffy and don't apply a concentration of color, particularly for the eyes. The crease brushes spread the eyeshadows a little too out for my taste and I'm not able to create a more defined, intense look. I think these brushes are great for people who just want a basic set for everyday looks. I was able to work with them just fine though on my recent clients, which were the bride and her party for her wedding, as well as for Hidemi's prom. If you're looking for affordable, cruelty-free, well made brushes, defnitely check these out.

Have you tried these brushes? What do you think of them? What are your favorite brands for synthetic brushes?

Glamour Girl
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