Monday, August 26th, 2013

Make Up For Ever Precision Powder Brush
Make Up For Ever #128 Precision Powder Brush

Make Up For Ever #128 Precision Powder Brush ($52.00) is described as a “long and flat brush with a tapered tip” to be used with loose and pressed powder for application “the face, neck, and upper shoulders.” It’s a large, substantial brush, and it’s easily one of the larger powder brushes I have. It flares out slightly from the base and then tapers significantly to a rounded edge with the bristles layered and lengthening as you move to the center of the brush. It measures 50mm at its widest part, 56mm tall, 25mm thick with a total length (including handle and ferrule) of just under 8 inches/20 centimeters. The handle itself is quite thick but tapers down towards the end and finishes with a sharp, angled tip. All Make Up For Ever’s Artisan brushes are made out of synthetic fibers and officially release in September.

The new Artisan Brush range is touted as being “hand-crafted by a total of 30 people from start to finish” and have beech wood handles. The slanted tip of the handle is done specifically to “allow for easier product retrieval and can be used to assist in faux lash application.” The first thing I noticed about this brush was how top-heavy it was–the brush head is much, much heavier than the handle, which is incredibly lightweight. You’ll notice that the brush head is actually two-tone–the bottom third is a dark brown, while the upper two-thirds are nearly black. The top two-thirds actually flop a bit; like if you held the brush in your hands and waved it up and down, you would see just that portion moving up and down while the bottom third stays in place.

This brush is incredibly soft, and it’s one of the softest brushes I’ve come across–tying with Hakuhodo and Tom Ford brushes. At times, this almost feels softer, but I think it’s the result of the layering and airiness of the upper two-thirds of the brush that give it a feathery, soft feel. My husband has been a test subject for numerous “which is softer” tests in the past few months as I’ve been doing an extensive testing of brushes across brands, and Hakuhodo and Tom Ford brushes (which are rumored to be made by Hakuhodo) were all readily distinguished as the softest. He described the difference as the Hakuhodo felt silkier, almost cool and wet, but he felt like softness was the same. I had a similar experience to his, and I felt like the bristles melted together to provide a smooth, seamless applicator across the skin. I could jab, splay, and twirl the brush and never felt a jagged or rough edge.

I liked it for applying loose setting powder, and because the top of the brush “flops,” it actually works to press the loose powder against the skin with a lighter pressure than with a sponge or powder pouf but does a better job of getting an even, full layer of powder against the skin to really set makeup. I can’t make any claims as to the durability of the brush, so as I find brushes that I can work into my regular routine, I’ll be adding them and continuing to trial them to see how they hold up to more prolonged use. I’ve washed this brush five times, and I haven’t had any issues with shedding, dye bleeding, or any resulting smells post-wash. It takes awhile to dry, but if I use it in the morning, wash it, then it is ready for me to use about eight to twelve hours later. I wish the handle had more weight to it, though, because while the dark, red-toned wood handle looks nice, it lacks substance.

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Friday, August 23rd, 2013

Make Up For Ever #402 Artistic Fan Brush
Make Up For Ever #402 Artistic Fan Brush

Make Up For Ever #402 Artistic Fan Brush ($20.00) is described as a “pre-cut, fan brush with 8 sections used to create multi-line effects.” It’s part of the 400 series, which is the artistry/professional range. It is, quite possibly, the most unique brush I’ve come across. This is definitely not a brush that most people will be rushing out to grab, because it is specific and more of an artistry tool than anything else. Make Up For Ever says it can be used to create artistic patterns on the face and smaller areas of the bodies, and it is appropriate to use with creams and liquids. It’s 23mm wide, 15mm tall, and less than a 1mm thick. The ferrule clasps the bristles in the middle of the base, and then the brush fans out with eight distinct tips. The brush head is heavier than the handle, which is very long and skinny (total brush length is 6.5 inches/17 centimeters, and comes to a slanted point at the end. The bristles were soft when dragged across the skin and had a good amount of give and spring.

Dubbed “the rake” by my husband, you can dip it into a cream or liquid product and than drag it across the skin’s surface. I think it would work better with a liquid or very thin cream/gel, because it needs to be fairly saturated and have a product with a lot of slip, so it can create even, opaque lines. I tried with NARS new Eye Paint in Solomon Islands, and though I felt like I loaded up the brush, the color ran out quickly. I’m thinking body paint would be a far better product to be used with this (which I do not have). I hope the brand will put out a few videos of artists in action, particularly one where they’re using this brush! The brush was easy to clean, and I didn’t experience any dye washing out, shedding, or unusual smells post-wash.

I have a few other brushes from the new Make Up For Ever brush range that I’ll be putting through the paces, but I thought I’d share this early look at an unusual brush (as I will not be testing this one extensively).

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Wednesday, August 21st, 2013

“The brush is an extension of the hand and is a fundamental tool for a makeup artist, whether he is a professional or amateur makeup artist, his canvas is the face.” – Dany Sanz

As the essential tool of the MAKE UP FOR EVER universe, the brush signifies Creator & Artistic Director Dany Sanz’s roots as a painter and sculptor while exemplifying her passion for make up artistry. As both an artist and innovator, Dany creates products to meet the needs of both the professional make up artist and every day woman, which led her to reinvent the artist’s most vital tool – the brush. MAKE UP FOR EVER proudly announces a revolution in brushes with the introduction of seventy-six cutting-edge brushes, the most expansive luxury brush collection available today.

This extensive set ranges from everyday ‘must-haves’ to highly customized tools to create the most intricate artistic effects. Notorious for its high performance, quality products, MAKE UP FOR EVER employed the most advanced technology to ensure the tools met professional standards with consumer appeal. Dany Sanz perfected each and every brush throughout a five year process that involved testing a variety of synthetic fibers that mimic the silky softness of natural hair. She consulted with renowned brush manufacturer Raphaël on the island of Mauritius to create specialized brushes that require unparalleled craftsmanship. The construction of each brush involved 25 unique stages, and was hand-crafted by a total of 30 people from start to finish.

What further differentiates this brush collection from any other is the specific synthetic fiber technology that exists in several diameters and types: wavy or straight depending on the required use. When fibers are straight, application is more generous and precise, while wavy bristles are more splayed, allowing for a lighter and freer application. A unique combination of the two fiber textures gives infinite creative possibilities. The softness and performance of each set of bristles is ensured by using tweezers and not scissors, while fibers are fixed in place with a ferrule made from a gunmetal barrel. With no detail spared, the beech wood brush handles were created with a beveled end to allow for easier product retrieval and can be used to assist in faux lash application.

The Artisan Brush Collection is classified in a way that is extremely practical for artists everywhere:

  • 100s = complexion
  • 200s = eyes
  • 300s = lips
  • 400s = artistic specially designed for professionals.

The range is then further categorized depending on textures or product type, and is given units to indicate the size of each brush.

Availability: September 2013; select brushes in-store at Sephora, all brushes available online at Sephora and at Make Up For Ever Boutiques. Brushes marked with * will be available in-store and online.

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Saturday, August 10th, 2013

These are five eyeshadows that I think are worth splurging on! They’ll all set you back $20 or more, but over time, these are shades that have stuck with me.

If you could recommend someone splurge on one eyeshadow, what shade would you recommend?

Tuesday, July 2nd, 2013

Will you be wearing your red, white, and/or blue on July 4th? I’m most likely going to sport a red lip, at the very least! Here are five of my picks for a little red-themed inspiration, and it was quite hard to narrow it down, because there are so many awesome red lipsticks and polishes in particular. So think of this as just a moment in time – surely if I picked a week from now, it would be different :)

  1. Fyrinnae Hitched — a bold, warm red with a beautiful satiny sheen
  2. Zoya Blaze — a deeper, cool-toned red with sparkle
  3. Maybelline Very Cherry — rich, cherry red with a matte finish for under $10
  4. Make Up For Ever #99 — pure matte red for those who dare to go big
  5. Guerlain Garconne — classic, sumptuous deepened red

And for fun, I pulled ’em all up to compare here.

What’s your favorite red-hued product?

Thursday, May 16th, 2013

Make Up For Ever #25L Aqua Eyes Eyeliner
Make Up For Ever #25L Aqua Eyes Eyeliner

Make Up For Ever #25L Aqua Eyes Eyeliner ($19.00 for 0.04 oz.) is described as a “dark chocolate brown.” It’s a medium-dark chocolate brown with warm, reddish undertones and a matte finish. If it looks familiar, you may be familiar with it when it was launched as a limited edition shade named Gypsy. Now, it’s part of the permanent range of Aqua Eyes. Chanel Brun-Teak is similar but less red-toned. MAC Brownborder is also similar. Urban Decay Corrupt is browner with less red. Tarina Tarantino Locket Book is warmer, more golden, less red. Tarina Tarantino Puppeteer is closer but shimmery and not as dark.

It felt, looked, and wore the same as Gypsy did, so if that was a favorite for you (or you missed out), you can have the same experience with #25L.  It’s fairly opaque in one stroke, and it’s very buildable without getting patchy or looking uneven.  The pencil has a slightly waxy and creamy consistency that allows it to glide on evenly and easily without pulling or tugging on the lash line.  I recently tested this, and it lasted for ten hours without smudging or migrating; there was some faint thinning of the lie, but it seemed fully intact at the eight-hour mark.

The Glossover



This is a gorgeous, rich red-toned brown that's an excellent alternative to black eyeliner for everyday eyeliner. It works well on its own with a neutral eye or anchor a more intense look.











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