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Tuesday, May 5th, 2015

Becca Moonstone Shimmering Skin Perfector (Liquid)
Becca Moonstone Shimmering Skin Perfector (Liquid)

Becca Moonstone Shimmering Skin Perfector (Liquid) ($41.00 for 1.7 fl. oz.) is described as a “pale gold.” It’s a muted, light golden champagne with very fine shimmer and warmer undertones. Too Faced Pop of Light (P) is a powder, pinker, less shimmery. Becca Moonstone (P, $38.00) is a cream, slightly more shimmery. Estee Lauder Courreges (LE, $32.00) is more shimmery. Burberry Nude Radiance No. 01 (P, $48.00) is lighter. MAC Born to Dazzle (LE, $28.00) is more sparkly, powder. Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Glow (P) is darker, powder. Tarte Champagne (LE) is a powder. Becca Moonstone (P, $38.00) is a powder. Illamasqua Aurora (P, $24.00) is similar. See comparison swatches / compare dupes side-by-side.

The formula is supposed to be a “sheer cream-liquid” that gives the skin a “soft, natural glow.” The liquid version of the Shimmering Skin Perfector is the sheerest option, though it is still a noticeable highlighter when applied on top of bare skin or foundation. I personally prefer using the liquid for mixing in with base products (like foundation, moisturizer, or primer) for an all-over luminosity, and then defer to the cream or powder versions for spot highlighting (cheekbones, bridge of the nose, and so forth). The texture is thin, watery (not in a bad way), and very spreadable across the skin. It doesn’t emphasize pores or look too shimmery on the skin, even when blended all-over. On me, it doesn’t seem to decrease or increase the wear of my base product, and as a standalone highlighter, it stays on well for seven and a half hours. The pump mechanism is hard to control if you want just enough for cheeks, as it tends to pump out enough for all-over.

The Glossover

P
product

Moonstone

A

Product

9.5/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

8/10

Application

5/5

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Dupes
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Tuesday, May 5th, 2015

ColourPop Empire Super Shock Eyeshadow
ColourPop Empire Super Shock Eyeshadow

Here are reviews for eight of ColourPop Super Shock Shadows ($5.00 for 0.07 oz.) — a few of these are discontinued/were limited edition, but they were incorporated into the looks initially, so hopefully the dupes will help or otherwise inspire you on how to wear them if you picked them up during the holidays. Perhaps we’ll see a few come back this holiday!

ColourPop Sugar Super Shock Shadow ($5.00 for 0.07 oz.) is described as a “metallic silvery blue with … glitter.” It’s a light-medium, silvery-gray with a bluish-tint and sparkle that has a more metallic finish. It had semi-opaque pigmentation that went on fairly smoothly, though it didn’t build too well as it tends to thicken up on the lid when layered. It lasted for ten hours without creasing but had some fall out. See comparison swatches / compare dupes side-by-side.

ColourPop Snow Flurry Super Shock Shadow ($5.00 for 0.07 oz.) is an antique gold with warm undertones and a metallic sheen. It had mostly opaque color coverage that was fairly smooth and blendable on the skin. On me, it wore well for ten hours without creasing or fading. This shade was limited edition. See comparison swatches / compare dupes side-by-side.

ColourPop Empire Super Shock Shadow ($5.00 for 0.07 oz.) is described as a “fiercely rich emerald green.” It’s a medium-dark, emerald green with subtle warm undertones with cooler-toned green sparkle. It had semi-opaque pigmentation that was buildable to mostly opaque coverage. It was a little more emollient than other shades, so it was more prone to sheering out. The color lasted for ten hours without fading or creasing. See comparison swatches / compare dupes side-by-side.

ColourPop Rex Super Shock Shadow ($5.00 for 0.07 oz.) is described as a “black drenched with multiple shades of blue glitter.” It’s a medium-dark black with light blue and navy blue micro-glitter. It had so-so color payoff–the black base was noticeably sheer. The upside is the cream-based formula holds the glitter better than a powder would have, but this shade was difficult to work with as it tended to look uneven applied. I had noticeable fall out over time with this shade, though the color didn’t crease for ten hours. See comparison swatches / compare dupes side-by-side.

ColourPop Sleigh Super Shock Shadow ($5.00 for 0.07 oz.) is described as a “icy sage sprinkled with tons of multicolored glitter.” It’s a muted, light-medium antique gold with silver and gold micro-glitter. It had good color payoff and applied easily, though it is pretty glittery so it doesn’t go on quite as smoothly as other shades. The color stayed in place for ten hours but had some fall out over time. See comparison swatches / compare dupes side-by-side.

ColourPop Krinkle Super Shock Shadow ($5.00 for 0.07 oz.) is described as a “smoky blue loaded with silver and gold glitter in a metallic finish.” It’s a muted, medium-dark gray-ish blue with gold and silver glitter. The texture of this is creamier than a lot of the other shades in the formula, but it is very sparkly, which gives it a more textured feel and a tendency to apply a little unevenly. The effect is pretty cool in person, but it’s one of those textures that doesn’t photograph as well. It had semi-opaque pigmentation that is best applied with only light blending or else the glitter gets everywhere. The underlying bluish coloring lasted for ten hours, but I had some fall out over time. See comparison swatches / compare dupes side-by-side.

ColourPop Etiquette Super Shock Shadow ($5.00 for 0.07 oz.) is described as a “true royal blue in a pearlized finish.” It’s a brightened, medium-dark navy blue with a pearly sheen. It had mostly opaque pigmentation that went on smoothly and evenly, while the color stayed on for ten hours without creasing or fading. See comparison swatches / compare dupes side-by-side.

ColourPop Friskie Super Shock Shadow ($5.00 for 0.07 oz.) is described as a “rich black doused with high levels of silver glitter and hints of pink glitter.” It’s a medium-dark black with silver glitter. The base was semi-sheer, which made this shade difficult to apply evenly. When blending, the glitter tended to lift and clump together at times. This was one that really was better applied by patting on with a fingertip rather than a brush. I had some fall out over time, though I didn’t have any creasing over ten hours. See comparison swatches / compare dupes side-by-side.

The Glossover

P
product

Sugar

B-

Product

7.5/10

Pigmentation

8/10

Texture

7.5/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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Dupes
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LE
product

Snow Flurry

A-

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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Dupes
P
product

Empire

B+

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

4.5/5

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Tuesday, May 5th, 2015

Real Techniques Bold Metals Brushes
Real Techniques Bold Metals Brushes

Real Techniques Bold Metals Brushes ($15.99 to $25.99) are intended to be a premium range above the standard range of brushes that made the brand so popular. I don’t know that they’re really softer or more usable than their original brushes, which are more affordable. I think that they tried to create some more unique/interesting shapes, and as a result, I find that whether the good brushes are worth picking up depends on your needs and preferences even more so than usual. The only brush that I anticipate using going forward (now that I’m done testing them) is the #202 Angled Liner brush, but if I did more contouring, I would also consider the #301 Flat Contour Brush.

Real Techniques #100 Arched Powder Brush ($25.99) is a large, dense, paddle-shaped powder brush that has a very rounded, curved edge. The brush carries a lot of its weight in the ferrule area, and I noticed with this one in particular (as it is one of the largest brushes in the collection), it wasn’t as comfortable to hold if you tend to hold it towards the tapered end, but if you tend to hold your brushes closer to the ferrule, you should be just fine. When swept across the face, the bristles feel very soft and silky, and when patted on the skin, they’re still soft but not quite as smooth. It’s a denser brush that has a longer drying time than average. The shape is flatter, less round and full compared to a traditional powder brush, which makes it ideal for those who tend to press or pat their powder into place, rather than swirl or buff it into place. I found it to work best for loose and pressed setting and finishing powders. The brush head is 50mm in length, 40mm in width, and 24mm in thickness. The brush is made out of synthetic fibers, and it has a total length of 8 inches / 21 centimeters.

Real Techniques #200 Oval Shadow Brush ($15.99) is a large, paddle-shaped eye brush with a domed edge. It is quite large, which makes it a more all-over kind of brush, whether you’re applying a layer of cream eyeshadow or a wash of powder eyeshadow. When using it flat against the lid, it works decently and feels soft enough, but the edge is poorly cut with uneven bristles noticeably felt against the skin. It does a poor job of really blending or diffusing edges, as it is quite a firm, dense brush without a lot of give. It doesn’t pick up a lot of color unless you use the edge, where it is more uneven, so it is only going to give lighter coverage. The brush head is 17mm in length, 15mm in width, and 6mm in thickness. The brush is made out of synthetic fibers, and it has a total length of just over 7 inches / 17.5 centimeters.

Real Techniques #201 Pointed Crease Brush ($15.99) is a pointed, large pencil brush. It’s very similar in concept to your traditional pencil-style eye brush, but it is three or so times larger. I would highly recommend washing the brush a few times, because initially, the point is very pronounced and sharp, but after a few washes, it shapes to a more gradual point that’s still pointed, but it is usable and much more comfortable on the skin. On that note, it is a more difficult brush to wash as there is a lot of open space between the bristles and the ferrule due to it being open. Occasionally (not every time I used it), it felt a little scratchy–like one or two bristles were out of place and therefore poked into the eye space). It’s nice for laying down color on the outer corner and slightly going into the outer V, though I prefer a more rounded crease brush for blending and diffusing that color, but this would work well for those who like a brush to apply stronger color initially and then tend to reach for a blending brush to polish the look. The brush head is 13mm in length, 9.5mm in width, and 9.5mm in thickness.The brush is made out of synthetic fibers, and it has a total length of just over 6.75 inches / 17 centimeters.

Real Techniques #202 Angled Liner Brush ($15.99) is a small, thin, angled brush. It’s very soft, smooth, and holds together nicely as it is pressed and dragged across the skin in a line, which gives you more opaque, more even eyeliner application. Despite its thinness, it doesn’t feel sharp against the skin, even along the lower lash line. The brush head is 6mm in length, 5mm in width, and 2mm in thickness. The brush is made out of synthetic fibers, and it has a total length of just over 6.5 inches / 16.5 centimeters.

Real Techniques #300 Tapered Blush Brush ($23.99) is a small, tapered, paddle-shaped blush brush. The smaller shape makes it a better brush for getting placement, but it’s not quite as effective for diffusing of bolder or more pigmented blushes. I actually felt like it was better for applying cream and liquid highlighters along the cheek bones, down the nose, or wherever you wanted to highlight. I could feel a lot of the fibers in the brush when used, and it felt like I was getting poked every other sweep or stroke across the face, which made it an uncomfortable brush to you use. The cut just didn’t feel as well-done here, and it seemed to give the bristles a rougher feel against the skin. The brush head was 30mm in length, 28mm in width, and 14mm in thickness. The brush is made out of synthetic fibers, and it has a total length of just over 7.75 inches / 19.5 centimeters.

Real Techniques #301 Flat Contour Brush ($25.99) is a medium-sized, extremely dense, stubby brush that’s mostly rectangular in shape with flat edge. From the name as well as the shape, it is ideal for placing contouring products into the hollows of the cheeks. The bristles are soft enough to allow for patting and tapping the product into place, as well as skimming, sweeping, and blending motions. It does a decent to good job blending out a contour powder, but it is better for initial placement or getting a more precise contour in place, but I liked it for blending out of cream-based products. If you prefer a very subtle contour, though, this may over-apply product for your liking as it is quite dense and flat, which makes it excellent at picking up product, but it may be more coverage than desired. The brush head was 21mm in length, 30mm in width, and 17mm in thickness. The brush is made out of synthetic fibers, and it has a total length of just over 7 inches / 18 centimeters.

The Glossover

product

#100 Arched Powder Brush

The shape is flatter, less round and full compared to a traditional powder brush, which makes it ideal for those who tend to press or pat their powder into place, rather than swirl or buff it into place. I found it to work best for loose and pressed setting and finishing powders.
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product

#200 Oval Shadow Brush

When using it flat against the lid, it works decently and feels soft enough, but the edge is poorly cut with uneven bristles noticeably felt against the skin. It does a poor job of really blending or diffusing edges, as it is quite a firm, dense brush without a lot of give.
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product

#201 Pointed Crease Brush

Occasionally (not every time I used it), it felt a little scratchy--like one or two bristles were out of place and therefore poked into the eye space). It's nice for laying down color on the outer corner and slightly going into the outer V, though I prefer a more rounded crease brush for blending and diffusing that color, but this would work well for those who like a brush to apply stronger color initially and then tend to reach for a blending brush to polish the look.
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Monday, May 4th, 2015

Temptalia Asks You


What are your best tips for traveling with makeup? Share!

Temptalia's AnswerI highly recommend giving careful thought to where and what you’ll be doing on your travels, because when I don’t think carefully about it, I end up bringing way too much. It is easier to narrow down what to take when I can have a few ideas as to what makeup I’d want to wear. I’ll also look to mix and match more products, like a light and dark gloss, as I can mix the two to create something more medium-toned. You can also use a cooler-toned gloss over a warm-toned lipstick to change up undertones that way.

Thanks to Laurie for today’s question! Do you have a question idea? Submit yours here.

Monday, May 4th, 2015

Chikuhodo GSN Brushes
Chikuhodo GSN Brushes

Chikuhodo GSN-04 Highlighting Brush ($64.00) is a medium-sized, domed brush that narrows as the base and flares upwards towards the upper third of the brush before tapering and rounding at the edge. It is made out of a mix of gray squirrel and goat hairs. The brush head is 37.5mm in length, 27mm in width and thickness at its widest point. It had a total length of 7.25 inches / 18.5 centimeters with a lightly pinched, metal ferrule. I think for most people, this is going to work better as a blush brush than a highlighting one, as it is larger than the average highlighting brush. I think it is too rounded and dense to be the best highlighting brush as well, but it does work for diffusing and blending out a highlight or for applying more of a highlighting blush where the area of coverage is larger. It is a moderately dense brush with light spring so it can be swirled and swept across the skin in all directions. The hair felt fairly soft, though at this price point, it could have been a bit softer, I think. For blush, it worked well for applying color, diffusing and blending out the applied color, and it made short work of the process.

Chikuhodo GSN-08 Eyeshadow Brush ($32.00) is a large, paddle-shaped eye brush that comes to moderately pointed tip. It’s a dense brush that tapers upwards and ends at a rounded tip, so depending on the size of your eyelid, it can actually fit almost perfectly held horizontally on the inner half of the eyelid. It’s made out of weasel hair. The brush head is 18mm in length, 12.5mm in width, and 6mm in thickness. It had a total length of just under 7.5 inches / 19 centimeters with a lightly pinched, metal ferrule. For me, this brush is fairly large for my eye area, so I don’t reach for it often, but I liked it best for applying a cream eyeshadow all-over the lid or for a wash of a powder eyeshadow, since it can cover a larger area easily. It also could be used to apply or set concealer underneath the eye, as it is dense, firm, but still soft and feels very smooth against the skin.

Chikuhodo GSN-11 Shadow/Liner Brush ($19.00) is a tiny, dome-shaped, flat, firm precision-focused brush that can be used for eyeshadow or eyeliner. It is made out of weasel hair. The brush head is 6mm in length, 5mm in width, and 3mm in thickness. It had a total length of 6.75 inches / 17.5 centimeters with a pinched, metal ferrule. I personally prefer an angled brush for eyeliner, but I liked this for applying eyeshadow on top of eyeliner, especially the lower lash line. The flat, firm shape enables you to really pat on the eyeshadow without diffusing it too much, and the small size gives you a lot more control.

Chikuhodo GSN-16 Lip Brush ($25.00) is a medium-sized, rectangular lip brush made out of weasel hairs. The brush head is 10mm in length, 5.75mm in width, and 1.5mm in thickness. It comes in a concealed, metal tube, where the tube is like a “cap” of sorts, and when removed, you can connect it to the bottom to elongate the brush handle, or you can hold the as-is lip brush if you prefer shorter handles. This is an easy brush to toss into a makeup bag or purse to keep with you for touch-ups during the day, if you need to. The total length if 6 inches / 15.5 centimeters. The bristles are soft enough not to poke or irritate more sensitive lips, but it’s a firm, flat brush that provides enough density to lay down lip color well while still having enough spring to maneuver around the edges of the lips easily.

I had no issues with shedding, dye, smell, or re-shaping with any of these, and I’ve been using the Chikuhodo GSN brushes for about a year now. Of these four, the GSN-11 is the one I’ll keep with my favorites, as it worked well for what I’d like to use it for. The other brushes were good, but they’re in shapes/sizes that don’t fit as well with my personal routine. I think you can get a higher quality blush brush, though. You can read reviews for the GSN-01 Powder, GSN-03 Cheek, GSN-07 Eyeshadow, GSN-09 Eyeshadow, and The Glossover

product

GSN-04 Highlighting Brush

I think it is too rounded and dense to be the best highlighting brush as well, but it does work for diffusing and blending out a highlight or for applying more of a highlighting blush where the area of coverage is larger.
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GSN-08 Eyeshadow Brush

It's a dense brush that tapers upwards and ends at a rounded tip, so depending on the size of your eyelid, it can actually fit almost perfectly held horizontally on the inner half of the eyelid.
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product

GSN-11 Shadow/Liner Brush

The flat, firm shape enables you to really pat on the eyeshadow without diffusing it too much, and the small size gives you a lot more control.
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