Saturday, October 22, 2011

1-WEEK-TRIP TRAVEL ESSENTIALS: MAKE UP BRUSHES

These are my most basic make up brushes:


FOUNDATION/BLUSH/BRONZER BRUSH: I wouldn’t normally use one single brush for all 3 purposes, but having been lucky enough to discover the Bare Escentuals Feather Light brush, now I do when I’m on the go.
I actually never bought this brush intentionally, because it was only part of a set I found on sale at Sephora. I also didn’t use it for a good while, because at the time I would apply my foundation with a flat brush. I eventually took it out of the box one time to apply a cream blush, and I liked it so much that I immediately decided to upgrade it to my official foundation brush!
The bristles are soft and dense for an effortless airbrushed result with no streakiness issues.
And when I’m travelling this brush is also all I use with my Essence All Over Shimmer blush/bronzer, because a little leftover from it doesn’t bother me when I use it again for my foundation.

CONCEALER BRUSH: this is going to sound pretty unlikely for a make up brushes brand, but I just love how this 2,95 euro H&M Eyeshadow Brush works my concealer.
I first saw the Pixiwoo sisters (http://www.youtube.com/user/pixiwoo) use eyeshadow brushes - MAC 224 and Illamasqua Blending Brush - for their concealer, and even if I don’t own those brushes that’s what inspired me to give this H&M brush a chance, since I wasn’t really using it much for eyeshadow anyway.
And this was like finding the Holy Grail.
Before Pixiwoo – sounds like a make up era, instead of the B.C./A.C. of history I am going to use B.P.(Before Pixiwoo)/A.P.(After Pixiwoo) lol! - I used to apply concealer with the typical small flat stiff “concealer brush”. What else was I supposed to apply concealer with, right??! Now I even question why that is considered as the typical concealer brush.
I find that soft dense bristles like in all of the brushes mentioned are ideal for both the delicate area under the eyes and the uneven surface of blemishes, so THIS is what a concealer brush should be like.
THANK YOU SAMANTHA AND NICOLA!!!

EYESHADOW BRUSHES:
·      MAC 217 brush is another A.P.(After Pixiwoo) product. Seeing them – and many other make up artists/guru on You Tube - use this brush in pretty much every single one of their tutorials, really made me go get one at the first opportunity.
Now I too couldn’t think of doing my eye make up without it. It works wonders with both powder and cream eyeshadows, for blending the edges or applying a wash of colour for a quick smoky look.
I believe this is a unique must-have brush like no other. No7 has a similar brush, their Eyeshadow Blend and Contour brush, but being softer (but also less expensive, to be fair) than the MAC 217 it doesn’t serve all of the above mentioned purposes quite as well.

·      The H&M Smokey Eye Brush doesn’t really have anything that you can’t find in another brush, but it’s definitely what I reach for when I am travelling because being double-sided it’s 2 brushes in 1. This only costs 2,95 euro too, so it’s more than worth it.

I hope this was helpful too, I would love to hear what you think!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

1-WEEK-TRIP TRAVEL ESSENTIALS: MAKE UP PRODUCTS

These are my most basic travel essentials when I stay away for a week or less without any special plans for parties or nights out:


FACE
·      Foundation: 2 mini-size foundation samples – since one wouldn’t be enough anyway I take 2 in two different shades  so then I can mix them and adjust them to my skin tone
(I find that the samples sales assistants give you are very rarely in the right shade for you, so I always end up mixing a few together anyway! If the texture and finish of the foundations are completely wrong for your skin type, for example moisturizing and dewy with an oily skin, or mattifying with a very dry skin, that’s more difficult to fix, and in that case I just give the sample to a friend who can get a use out of it)

·      Concealer:  for me Clinique Line Smoothing Concealer works great both under the eyes and on blemishes, so I just take one product for both purposes

·      Blush/Bronzer: Essence Sun Club All Over Shimmer for Eyes, Face and Body is one of my favourite products EVER! I have it in the shade Blondes - 01 Ibiza Sun, while there’s also a darker shade for brunettes available. It looks very similar to the Bobbi Brown Shimmer Brick – PLUS THAT PINK STRIPE!! - at a fraction of the price (around 4 euro versus 38 dollars).
    It is super-pigmented that just a light touch of the brush will do, and I use it all over my cheeks.  Since I got it about 5 months ago, I have used it pretty much every day, and still barely dented it.
 And being so inexpensive for 11 grams it really is a wonder must-have product! LOVE IT!!


EYES
·      Mascara base: I know this might not sound like an essential, but since I first tried Helena Rubinstein 00 White, I can’t wear mascara alone anymore.  To me, there is no such thing as “too much mascara”. The “natural look” for lashes are bare lashes with no eye make up at all (since there is also no such thing as eye make up without mascara, right??!). When there’s mascara, it can only be full-on and dramatic.
I have also tried the Guerlain Supercils Base/Primer, but haven’t liked it as much. Does anybody have suggestions for other mascara bases?

·      Mascara: Dior makes great mascaras, and this mini Diorshow is perfect for travelling

·      Eyeshadows: the NYX Smokey Look Kit is pure genius! You can’t beat 9 eyeshadows + 2 lipglosses + A MIRROR! in a super cute cube smaller than the palm of a hand! It also contained a 2-sided mini sponge applicator for the eyeshadows and a 2-sided mini lip brush, but I took them out because being on the go they would only come in the way, and I would use other brushes anyway.
The eyeshadows aren’t the longest lasting unless a primer is applied first, but are well pigmented and blend very smoothly. And the price is only 11 dollars!

·      Eye pencil: black Pupa True Kohl 01, a product I’ve had since forever and never felt the need to look for another

·      Eyebrow gel:  there’s no need to spend a fortune on an eyebrow gel, so why look further than Kiko Eyebrow Designer?!

LIPS
·      Lipstick/Lipgloss: again, nothing other than the NYX Smokey Look Kit! The peachy shade is more opaque, while the rosy shade is sheerer, and they both give a very sweet looking touch to your lips.

I hope this was helpful to someone who is about to pack up and go on holiday! Or on a work trip! I always love reading other girls’ organization tips myself :-)

Monday, October 3, 2011

FALL-WINTER 2011/2012: PLUM NAIL POLISHES

OPI Lincoln Park After dark, 2 coats, natural light

OPI Lincoln Park After Dark, a tribute to the city of Chicago, is one of the most popular and best selling shades of the brand. It is one of Kim Kardashian’s favourites – and let me add, a friend of mine’s favourite too!
When I first got it, I honestly had never heard about it before. I just handpicked it from millions of other bottles on the shelf, for the days that I would want to feel like a witch in disguise!
It is a blackened plum so dark that, from a distance, even the most eagle-eyed observer might mistake it for black. But isn’t distance known for altering the appearance of things anyway? So why would we be concerned about how distance specifically alters the perception of Lincoln Park After Dark??


And I am not sure this is what the OPI colour creators had in mind when they conceived this shade, but such a deep abyss purple just can’t stop reminding me of Ursula from The Little Mermaid!


Essie Carry On, 2 coats, natural light

Essie Carry On, another colour from their new Brand New Bag collection, is a deep burgundy on the black side too.
Compared to Lincoln Park After Dark is warmer and with a more red tone to it.
I couldn’t think of a more perfect shade for fall!

(8 OCTOBER) ETA: I thought it would be interesting to show how great Carry On lasted on my nails!
I am taking it off today just because I want to wear a different colour, but see, after 5 days of regular everyday activities it doesn't look much different than when I had just applied it!
Yes the shine has faded a little and, upon a very close look, the very edge of the nails has worn off a little, but overall I would call this intact.
Thank you Essie, beautiful shade and amazing performance!!

Essie Carry On after 5 days

If you would like to see my review of some nude nail polishes, please go to Nude nail polishes :-)

Thank you for taking the time to read!

Love
MJ