Sephora has just updated their sale selection with additional items! I’ve included general sale highlights below, but these are some of my very top picks: Urban Decay Urban Spectrum Palette (now $29, was $55; review here), Urban Decay Anti-Aging Primer Potion (jumbo size for $10, regularly $24), Tarte Maracuja Oil (jumbo size for $48, regularly $75), and Make Up For Ever’s Artistic Artist Palette (now $34, was $42; review here).
Too Faced x NikkieTutorials The Power of Makeup Palette
Too Faced x NikkieTutorials The Power of Makeup Palette ($56.00 for 1.11 oz.) is a limited edition eye and cheek palette (that also comes with a bag full of additional goodies). Here’s a quick look at what’s in the palette with a full review to come!
The Power of Makeup Palette
IT Cosmetics No. 304 Velvet Luxe Plush Foundation Brush ($38.00) is designed as a “flat but wide” brush for cream and liquid foundation application. It’s a medium-sized, dense, dome-shaped foundation brush made out of synthetic fibers. The brush head measured 33.5mm in width, 32.0mm in length, and 17.4mm in thickness with a handle length of 7.2 inches / 18.3 centimeters. IT’s Velvet Luxe range uses incredibly soft synthetic hairs that are as soft as high-end goat hair used by brands like Chikuhodo, Hakuhodo, etc. I liked this best with liquid, medium coverage or greater foundations with satin to luminous finishes, and it will fit in best with someone who tends to apply their foundation in patting and smooth downward (or upward) strokes rather than in circular, buffing motions.
The curved edge fits in well when maneuvering around the nose, underneath the eye, and around the mouth. Personally, I still preferred the No. 302 for liquid foundation.
The brush felt soft in all directions, and it felt like it was moving across the skin as a single entity, so I did not feel the individual bristles when I was using it. It is fairly dense, though the last fourth of the brush, toward the edge, is more tapered and is less dense compared to the base of the brush head, which allows for better diffusing and spreading of liquid/cream products across the skin. It left a streak-free finish behind, so long as it was cleaned every other application; otherwise, the bristles would stick together and start to leave visible streaks behind (true with most brushes, though, when used with heavier liquids and creams!). I had no issues cleaning the brush, and it dried in a reasonable length of time (within half a day). The brush can also work for applying liquid and cream blush/bronzer if you have a larger surface area, but I’d recommend using a bit less than you think you’ll need, as the greater density means it can apply heavier coverage more quickly.
IT Cosmetics No. 307 Velvet Luxe LBD Powder Brush ($48.00) is supposed to be used for all-over powder application. It’s a synthetic, large powder brush that flares out moderately from the base and has a rounded edge that flattens out to a more buffing brush-like edge. It’s like a powder and buffer brush married together, as it is very dense–denser than most of the powder brushes I have. The brush head measured 47.6mm in width, 40.0mm in length, and 47.6mm in thickness with a handle length of 7.7 inches / 19.5 centimeters. For applying something like setting powder all-over, it had a tendency to over-apply, as it was so dense. It also worked well for applying pressed powder foundations if medium or greater coverage was desired.
This is one of my favorite IT brushes I’ve tried, but I tend to use it primarily for buffing powder into the skin, so I might use it when I’m doing a heavier layer of setting powder (often when I’ve used a dewier base), to apply finishing powder all-over, or to lightly buff everything together at the end (with no product on it). As much as I love the feel of buffer brushes, I love when I find long-handled brushes that work similarly as I prefer the longer handle. It is almost impossibly soft; it is as soft as blue squirrel hair brushes (which are the softest that I’ve felt). When the brush skims across the face, it feels like fluid movement; none of the individual bristles are felt against the skin, and I could use it in any direction or motion. The brush isn’t as balanced as others in the line, as there is a bit more weight sitting in the ferrule and brush head, but the curvature of the handle (designed to be ergonomic, and there’s a natural tendency to hold the line like a writing instrument) seems to combat some of the downward pull from the extra weight on one end.
Tarte Blush Book II Palette
This LIMITED-EDITION cult fave with 8 new full-sized shades will be available on tarte.com [August 24th] at 12PM EST!
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MAC Spoiled Fabulous Lipstick ($17.00 for 0.10 oz.) is a light, champagne gold with warm undertones and fine gold and larger gold sparkle. It had a noticeably gritty texture when applied directly to the lips, and the sparkle really clings to each other, which causes unevenness and lumpy bits of sparkle on the lips. The “color” seemed to slip into lip lines as well. This is a shade that I found difficult to apply on its own and get any measure of standalone wear out of it, as it always made my lips look rough and very textured. It would work better as a layering shade. It lasted for two and a half hours on me. MAC Tanarama (P, $17.00) is warmer (95% similar). MAC No Interruptions (P, $17.00) is less shimmery, cooler (90% similar). MAC Liquid Lurex (LE, $17.00) is warmer (90% similar). Tom Ford Beauty Rory (LE, $35.00) is warmer (90% similar). MAC All I Want (LE, $17.00) is less shimmery, darker, warmer (90% similar). Urban Decay Whip (P, $17.00) is less shimmery (90% similar). Surratt Beauty Lame (P, $36.00) is less shimmery, warmer (85% similar). Guerlain Altoum (LE, $35.00) is more pigmented, warmer (85% similar). MAC Free as a Butterfly (LE, $17.00) is less shimmery, lighter, more pigmented (85% similar). See comparison swatches / view dupes side-by-side.
MAC Wild Extract Lipstick ($17.00 for 0.10 oz.) is a bright, light-medium chartreuse with warm, yellow undertones and a fine, metallic shimmer. There aren’t that many shades like it, so I really wish this performed better, since it is permanent! The texture was thin, emollient but a little slippery, and it did gather a bit in lip lines. It could have applied more evenly as well and only had medium coverage. The color lasted for three and a half hours on me and was neither drying nor hydrating. Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics Fragmented (LE, $18.00) is less shimmery, darker (95% similar). MAC Gold Xixi (P, $17.00) is less shimmery, lighter, warmer (85% similar). See comparison swatches / view dupes side-by-side.
MAC Time to Shine Lipstick ($17.00 for 0.10 oz.) is a silvery white with a pearly shimmer finish. This was one of the least shimmery shades in the new Frosts being added to the permanent line. It had semi-opaque coverage, but the color did seem to emphasize every lip line by settling into it. I think a lip primer or lip liner might help this one, but I would consider using an invisible lip liner with this one. This shade lasted for three hours and was slightly drying. Tom Ford Beauty Casey (LE, $35.00) is lighter, brighter (90% similar). Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics Iced (P, $18.00) is more shimmery, lighter (90% similar). NYX Stone Cold (P, $6.00) is more shimmery, warmer (90% similar). See comparison swatches / view dupes side-by-side.
MAC Lipstick ($17.00 for 0.10 oz.) is available in several finishes, and the performance tends to vary with the finish. Amplified, Satins, and Mattes tend to have the most pigmentation, longer wear, and more even coverage, but satins and mattes can be drying at times. Lustres are the sheerest, can sometimes be drying, and often wear only an hour or two as they have a lot of slip. Frosts vary from medium to opaque coverage, some shimmer to glitter, and wear an average of four hours. Cremesheens have more slip and medium or better coverage, but they can often settle into lip lines or look streaky if they are lighter in color. All of MAC’s lipsticks are vanilla-scented but have no discernible taste.