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Thursday, May 9, 2013

Real Techniques Limited Edition DuoFiber Collection

I'm going to assume if you're reading this blog that you all know about Samantha Chapman's Real Techniques makeup brushes by now! Since they came out, the brushes have pretty much taken the makeup/beauty community by storm. They are budget friendly and excellent quality and I use at least one or two real techniques brushes every time I sit down to do my makeup. I was very excited when I heard that a new limited edition set of brushes came out--of course I had to find them!
The set is, as you can see, all duofiber--these types of brushes are typically used to give a lighter application of products. In this case though, they're not completely since both bristles are synthetic. It comes with a face brush, contour brush, and eye brush. I think the limited edition design is nice and simple, just like the rest of the Real Techniques line.

All three brushes are extremely soft.
Face brush: not densely packed at all so it's not great for packing on product. It is nice for a light dusting of setting powder though and the softest of the three brushes. I tried using it to blend foundation and it was way too floppy and just could not blend it. It's also a bit too big for blush (for my cheeks!).
Contour brush: more sturdy and dense than the face brush. I actually really like this for both powder and cream blush--it deposits just the right amount of color and blends nicely.
Eye brush: I am kind of a blending brush junkie, so I always love to have fluffy tapered blending brushes in my collection. This one is a nice one for blending eyeshadow in the crease and also blending out cream eyeshdaow. I did find it was a tad too prickly to blend under eye concealer with though.

Here's a few comparisons to some of the brushes already in the Real Techniques line.

First the face brush compared to the blush brush:
Duo-Fiber Face brush on the left and Blush brush on the right
As you can see, the blush brush is much more densely packed and is dome shaped. I prefer the blush brush overall just because I love the shape and find it to be completely multipurpose--I use it for blush, bronzer, and setting powder. The duo fiber face brush is flatter and I feel the shape lends itself mainly to setting powder (for me personally!) I have more info on the blush brush HERE.

Now the contour brush vs. the regular contour brush:
Duo-Fiber Contour brush on left and Contour brush on right
The regular contour brush is bit bigger and slightly more domed. I think they are pretty interchangeable, though I think I do prefer the duo-fiber one. The new one works cream blush into the skin perfectly and it picks up the perfect amount of blush thanks to the different bristles.

Lastly I compared the Mac 286 (which is another double fibered blending brush) with the new real techniques eye brush, since I don't really own many Real Techniques eye brushes to compare it to.
Mac 286 on left and Duo-Fiber eye brush on right
The Mac 286 is a bit fluffier, which I prefer when blending eyeshadow since it diffuses the color a bit more. On the whole though it's a nice brush for getting precise color into the crease or blending the edges of cream eyeshadow! It's always a good one to have on hand. For concealer, I much prefer blending it out with the Real Techniques Setting brush HERE.

Overall I'm pretty happy with the brushes. My favorite is definitely the contour brush--I've been getting more into cream blush and highlighter and this brush just picks up and applies the right amount. I imagine it would work nicely for a chiseled cheek bone contour but I usually prefer to contour with a bigger brush (like the blush brush or a Mac 138). I also think the eye brush is a good one to have if you wear eyeshadow--I love having these type of brushes around since I use them so much when doing my eye makeup.
I do have to say I was a bit disappointed with the face brush. When I first saw it, I thought the shape looked like the old Sephora 55 pro airbrush brush, which I LOVE for foundation--but this Real Techniques one is much too floppy to use for much of anything besides setting powder or a light dusting of bronzer all over the face. I think it would be better if the brush bristles were a bit more dense.

This limited edition set is apparently only available for a year. So you have a pretty long time to decide if you want to pick them up or not! They retail for $19.99 and I bought them at Ulta. The bargain hunter in me got them for probably half off thanks to a promotion that was happening plus Ulta coupons--so it really turns out to be a great deal in the end. If you are in need of some new makeup brushes for lightweight, buildable application, then you my want to check these out. Overall though, i don't think it's a must-have set if you already have brushes you like simply because I am not crazy about the face brush. Because of that, I'd only recommend getting them if you are not paying full price! :)

What do you think about this limited edition collection?? Are these brushes you would want in your makeup bag?

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder

Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder has been one of my favorite face products for such a longggg time. It's probably been over three years.  It is a product that I use literally every single day.

The texture is wonderfully silky, fine milled, and smooth. It feels very natural on the skin. Although it says translucent I do believe it might be a little too light for darker skin tones; the color of "translucent" is a light yellow toned cream. For light to medium skin tones it is brightening and won't leave a white cast.

It controls shine on my t-zone without looking cakey and it sets my makeup beautifully for the day, making sure my oily skin does not peak through. It has a semi-matte finish which is perfect if you like your makeup to look glowy. To apply I take a nice, big fluffy brush, dip it in the cap and then concentrate most of the powder on my nose, chin, and forehead-- then do a light dusting on my cheeks. This sets my makeup but does not overly mattify--although if you do like an all matte look, a more dense application would definitely give you that finish. I really have nothing bad to say about it except that it is on the pricier side.

I buy my powder from Sephora or, it retails for $35! It's pricey in comparison to other face powders but I absolutely love the effect it has on the skin and I can easily make the powder last over a year since you don't need to use a lot of it.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Disappointing Product: Nivea Lip Butter

Hey guys! Today I wanted to do a quick review on a product I was pretty disappointed in. I am one of those people who does a lot of research before making any type of purchase. It's pretty much an obsession--I spend a ton of time looking up reviews, videos, swatches, and always get samples when I can (especially if it's a high end product). It might be over the top but on the whole I almost always end up with products I don't regret buying. This one slipped through the cracks! My disappointing product for today is the Nivea Lip Butter in Vanilla & Macadamia Kiss.

The Nivea lip butters have been very hyped by bloggers and vloggers alike since they came out two or three months ago. What first intrigued me was the fact that they are called lip butters. With that title I would assume they are super moisturizing. Also, the tins look so irresistibly cute and the flavors sound delicious. Plus, they are easy to find at the drugstore and cheap!

The best thing about the lip butters is the smell--my vanilla & macadamia kiss one smells so amazing I wish I could eat it. That's about the only positive aspect it has going for it. Firstly, this lip butter leaves a white cast on the lips which can be quite unflattering--it's definitely a lip product I just use at home. Most disappointing about it: I don't get any hydration or moisture relief despite it's creamy, buttery consistency. It feels nice on the lips when you first apply it but disappears rather quickly (like within 20 minutes) and does not leave my lips feeling any better. I'm definitely not one who suffers from extremely dry lips--they can get a little bit chapped if I neglect them but overall they're not in terrible shape. So I can really only recommend these if you don't experience ANY dryness whatsoever and just want something to use that smells good. If your lips do get a little dry like most people, go for something else..

With so many amazing lip balms and moisturizers on the market, this one to me is a waste of money. I bought mine (with my own money) at a CVS--depending where you buy yours I believe they are between $3-5. Even though they are cheap I would honestly put that money towards a better product like the Paula's Choice Lip treatment or the Jack Black Lip Balms. It's really a shame because they look adorable in their little tins and smell great.

What's your favorite lip balm at the moment!? Are there any products you've bought lately that haven't worked out for you??

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Bobbi Brown Gel Eyeliner Forest Shimmer Ink

Today I wanted to show you another Bobbi Brown Gel Eyeliner that I have been a fan of for a few months now. I previously talked about how much I love the Black Ink color HERE. I think Bobbi Brown's gel eyeliners are such a fantastic product--I wish I could collect them all!

Forest Shimmer Ink is a sooty dark olivey green with subtle gold shimmer. It is such a stunning color! I personally love wearing it with green, brown, gold, and cream eyeshadows or just on it's own. It's very versatile for a green eyeliner because the brown/olive undertones helps make it more neutral and wearable.

Pigmentation is excellent--it's completely opaque and the shimmer stays on to give a lovely effect on the eyes. Texture is creamy and smooth so it applies very easily with all types of eyeliner brushes. I personally have extremely good wear time with Bobbi Brown gel eyeliners both on the lid and on the waterline. They last all day on me until I remove it at night. Another plus is the packaging. The lids screw on very tight so they don't dry out. My last pot of gel eyeliner lasted three and a half years and was creamy until the day I finished it!

I believe the Bobbi Brown Gel Eyeliners retail for $23--sadly since I lasted posted about my Black Ink liner (here) the price has gone up $2. I found mine at a Macy's counter and I know they sell it at Nordstrom as well. I don't believe you can buy this shade at Sephora since they don't have the full range available. It is definitely on the pricey side but I think it is worth it--the pot lasts forever, the shade is unique, and the wear time can't be beaten (for me at least!).

Would you wear a olive eyeliner like Forest Shimmer Ink? Have you tried Bobbi Brown Gel Eyeliners!?


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