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Sunday, July 22, 2012

Real Techniques: Blush & Setting Powder Brushes

Hey everyone! I wanted to do a quick post on some brushes I've been using for a while now--the Real Techniques setting powder brush & blush brush! Real Techniques is a synthetic and cruelty-free brush line that was designed by Samantha Chapman of Pixiwoo (if you haven't checked out their youtube channel, do it! They're fantastic!). I have a handful of their brushes and so far, I really love using them. 

Setting Powder Brush: This fluffly little brush is a really useful and unique shaped brush to have. At first, it was so tiny I wasn't really sure I would get much use out of it. I was very wrong! I use it for blending concealer under the eyes, setting my concealer under my eyes and around my nose, and also applying and blending cream products like cream blushes or highlighters. I absolutely love that it has a full tapered head so it can fit under the eyes perfectly. Retails for $7.99 at Ulta.

Blush Brush: This was the first Real Techniques brush I ever bought--last year I believe. It is a wonderfully soft and fluffy domed brush that has turned out to be a fabulous multitasker. I prefer my Hakuhodo Yachiyo blush brush for my daily blush application however I really love the Real Techniques blush brush for days where I want a softer application. I use this brush with my Nars Exhibit A blush (a VERY bright, pigmented orangey red). Just one tap in the pan and it applies the blush very subtly. I think the head is a little too big for specific blush application though. I also find myself using this for bronzer application (the tapered tip is great for defining the cheekbones) and for my translucent powder! Retails for $8.99 at Ulta.

One negative I have is for the blush brush. If you look at the picture above, you can see the matte black finish at the bottom of my handle is starting to chip off. For a $9 brush I don't really mind, especially because it works so well--however I wish it did not start to wear down so soon after owning it (I've had it less than a year). Oh well!

Other than that, I really, really love both of these Real Techniques brushes--I find myself reaching for them on a daily basis. They are both soft, dense, and they blend and apply products easily. Definitely make sure to check them out on the Real Techniques website and at Ulta! If you do buy them from Ulta don't forget to use a coupon for an even more amazing deal!

What do you think about these brushes? Do you have any? I have a few more brushes from the line that I really love, would you be interested in some more brush reviews?

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Mac Lady Danger: Queen of the warm reds

I have had my eye on Mac's Lady Danger lipstick for a looooooong time. It was continually out of stock at the Mac stores near me and is not available at department store counters. I always prefer to shop in store so I can swatch it to see how it will look on my skintone--so the obsessive shopper in me HAD to see it in person!! I finally got my hands on it and it is undeniable love.

Lady Danger is an incredibly pigmented, opaque, matte shade. It's a beautiful red-orange--it's definitely a different look than the Mac Runaway Red I posted about a while ago. Whenever I look at it I can't help but think of old hollywood glamour--pairing a bold red lip with cat eye liner. This is my first matte lipstick from Mac and I was very pleased that it didn't dry my lips out at all. I don't own many matte lipsticks as I usually prefer a more moisturizing, glossy finish--however the matte finish really makes the shade last longer and the bold lip looks so much more eye-catching in this finish. I just have to make sure my lips are exfoliated and smooth before wearing it!

Here's some other lipsticks to compare it to...
Mac Runaway Red, Revlon Candy Apple Lip Butter, Mac Lady Danger, Mac Morange
I threw Mac Runaway into the mix so you could see how different the blue-base in Runaway Red looks in comparison to the warm orange tones in Lady Danger. Both beautiful reds and both completely different! It's nice to have both a cool and warm option for red lipsticks.
Revlon Colorburst Lip Butter in Candy Apple is a warm red but not nearly opaque--it's a glossy more sheer formula. It's also not as intense on the lips nor as warm.
I was afraid Mac Morange and Lady Danger would be too similar but they're actually completely different--sadly my camera is failing to capture just how different. Lady Danger is a red with a coral/orange undertone while Mac Morange is straightforward orange! In person it's much lighter than Lady Danger (I'm so frustrated my camera failed to pick that up. The Lady Danger swatch is pretty accurate but Morange is really much more orange--no red tones in there at all). They're both very bold and perfect lip colors for summer--just wear with confidence ;)

I am so in love with Lady Danger. I'm surprised at how brave I have become---a year ago I would have run away from a color so bright, but now I can't resist it! Here's a FOTD I did with it!

What's your go-to bright lipstick when you feel like wearing a bold lip!??


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