Sunday, October 27th, 2013

Must-Have Eye Brushes
Must-Have Eye Brushes

It’s been a long time coming, so I’m so excited to share with you my favorite, must-have eye brushes! I’ve categorized them into a few different groupings, and when it comes to eye brushes, well, one can never have too many duplicates. Though you can definitely use one brush with multiple shades, if given the chance, I prefer to use one brush per color. I tried to include brushes that had high quality duplicates, too, so that you could see a few options for a given style (that is my must-have), because the shape tends to dictate whether a brush is one I’ll reach for often.

I would LOVE to hear about your must-have eye brushes, if you would be so kind as to share below!

Note, I have about 30 brush reviews I’ve yet to post, so some brushes mentioned here will eventually have fully fleshed out reviews, complete with individual photos. Stay tuned!

Blending Brushes

The classic may be MAC 217, but Hakuhodo J5523 is my new favorite–so much so that I bought a second one to add to my stash.

  1. Sephora Pro Blending Brush #27 ($20.00) is a soft, lightly fluffed-up brush that works well for blending powder products together, applying highlighters to the brow bone, or dusting a sheer color all-over the lid.
  2. MAC 217 ($24.00) is a long-time favorite for myself as well as readers as a go-to brush for blending eyeshadows together, softening edges, and applying brow bone highlighters. It’s a solid choice and readily accessible for most.
  3. Hakuhodo J5523 ($18.00) is incredibly soft, lightly fluffy, and a dream to use. It outshines both the brushes mentioned above, and even better? it’s the cheapest of the bunch.

Crease Brushes

If you’ve been a reader for awhile, you’ll know that I’ve often raved about MAC’s 226 brush, which was a limited edition medium-sized, tapered crease brush (I think I have four or five of them). So long 226, for I’ve found four replacements that I love even more (who knew!). Hakuhodo J142 wins this one for quality, shape/size, and price.

  1. Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics Tapered Blending Brush ($22.00) is a slightly shorter, nicely rounded and tapered brush that works well for depositing color into the crease and then blending and diffusing that color. It’s incredibly soft, works well, and is synthetic, so it’s what I usually reach for when I’m using liquid or cream products.
  2. Tom Ford Eyeshadow Blend (13) Brush ($55.00) is the perfect shape, density, size, and softness for depositing color into the crease with good color deposit and blends and softens the color easily. It’s a real workhorse of a brush for me. That being said…
  3. Hakuhodo J142 ($18.00) is a near-exact dupe of Tom Ford’s crease brush and a third of the cost–and because it’s nearly the same, this is my top pick. I reach for this one often, so I recently purchased a second one of these to have on-hand.
  4. Hakuhodo G5522 ($28.00) is slightly larger and a bit more tapered than the other three brushes, so it works well for really diffusing and softening color. I also like using it to lay down a mid-tone color that I’ll put in the crease first and really blend well past the crease before adding a darker color to define the crease (with a more precise brush).

Eyeshadow Brushes

Sorry, there’s only one that is the holy grail for me, and that’s MAC 239 ($25.00). It is the perfect brush for applying eyeshadow, and frankly, if I could only have one brush to do my eye makeup, I’d pick this. Over every single brush mentioned in this post. There’s a reason why I have six of them. (I’m pretty sure I have two more hiding from me.) I have tried two Hakuhodo brushes (J242 and J004) and neither are quite right to me–though I am still testing the J004 so we’ll see. The shape of the 239 is square-ish, and it’s quite dense but still has a slight fluffiness to it, so it blends out colors if desired. It deposits eyeshadow nicely onto the lid, and it can be swept on or patted and packed on.

Cream Eyeshadow Brushes

When it comes to cream (or liquid) eyeshadows and products, I like firmer, flatter brushes for application. My favorite is MAC 242, because it’s firm, flat, but not too big or too small, so it is good for laying down a lot of color at once, blending out edges, and is a versatile choice.

  1. Tom Ford Eyeshadow Brush ($55.00) is a larger, slightly fluffy, flat eyeshadow brush with a tapered edge. It’s nice for applying eyeshadow all-over the lid, so I like it a lot for creams (but it does work well with powders). The fluffy edge makes this brush work for blending the edges of cream eyeshadow, too, so you can that diffused, softened edge.
  2. MAC 242 ($25.00) is a smaller, flat and firm brush with a slightly domed edge. It’s great for applying cream products to the inner corner of the lid, and it also works well for packing out any eyeshadow (powder or cream) and helps minimize fall out.
  3. MAC 252 ($32.00) is a large, flat brush with a slightly domed/rounded edge. It’s excellent for applying cream eyeshadow all over the lid and still having enough edge to blend out the edges. It’s not as fluffy as the Tom Ford brush but is similar in size.
  4. MAC 249 ($27.00) is a firm, flat brush that gives the most streak-free finish even with more emollient products. I, of course, just learned it has been discontinued when attempting to find the current price on. I guess I’ll have to go about finding a dupe for it now!
  5. Hakuhodo J242 ($17.00) is similar in shape to the MAC 242, but it is softer and a bit fluffier, so it doesn’t pack on color as intensely, but it is softer to use on the lid and blends out color even better. It also does a nice job of applying cream products with minimal streaks.  This brush also works well for applying powder eyeshadow, but I find it a little too narrow personally so I don’t often use it for powder.

Detail Brushes

These are smaller, more precise brushes that I don’t reach for as often as the brushes above, but they’re ones used enough that they’re still worth mentioning. These may also be helpful for someone with less lid space or who needs smaller brushes for their eyes.  MAC 266 is the only one I use every day from this grouping, as the others tend to be used if the application calls for it.

  1. MAC 266 ($20.00) is my go-to for filling in my brows, which I fill in with powder eyeshadow. It has a nice slanted edge, is firm enough to apply thin, precise lines, but has enough thickness that it can gently soften those lines as necessary.
  2. Hakuhodo G5513 ($16.00) is a small, flat, dome-shaped brush that works well for patting, packing, or sweeping eyeshadow onto very small areas. It is similar to Tom Ford Eyeliner & Definer (15) Brush but is slightly bigger.
  3. Tom Ford Eyeliner & Definer (15) Brush ($50.00) is a small, flat, dome-shaped brush for very, very precise eyeshadow application. I also like using it to pat on eyeshadow on the lower lash line or for blending out very small areas.
  4. MAC 208 ($20.00) is similar in shape and style to the 266, it’s just thinner. It’s great for applying cream, gel, and liquid eyeliner.
  5. MAC 228 ($24.00) is a small, dome-edged brush that’s lightly fluffy. It is a lot like the 239, just much, much smaller, so it works in a similar way: for applying eyeshadow, can blend out if necessary, and can be used in a sweeping or patting motion.

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Wednesday, October 9th, 2013

Tom Ford Lavender Lust Eye Color Quad
Tom Ford Lavender Lust Eye Color Quad

Tom Ford Lavender Lust Eye Color Quad ($78.00 for 0.35 oz.) is a pink and purple themed palette. Tom Ford’s eyeshadows have four finishes: “sheer sparkle, satin, shimmer, and matte.” They’re supposed to “offer a spectrum of intensity and effects” with “excellent adhesion.” Overall, it’s a good quad, though not without its imperfections. The sparkly shade does produce some fall out during wear, though it’s minimal, it’s something to note. The lightest shade is on the sheerer side, which may be right up your alley if you intend to use it as a highlight shade, but for those who wanted something more opaque, it will be a let down. The colors go well together, and it’s certainly a very a harmonious set of shades.

Lavender Lust #1 is a pinky lavender with white sparkle. It had fairly good color payoff, and the texture was soft, finely-milled, and smooth. This shade wore well (no fading or creasing) for nine hours but had some slight fall out over time. CoverGirl Blazing Purple (340) (P, $4.99) is a bit darker, less sparkly. L’Oreal With a Twist (LE, $7.99) is darker, purpler. Urban Decay Grifter (P, $18.00) is darker. Giorgio Armani #1 Spring 2012 #1 (LE) is cooler-toned. See comparison swatches.

Lavender Lust #2 is a medium-dark, smoky purple with subtle, warm undertones and a pearly sheen. It had very nice pigmentation and applied smoothly and evenly. It wore well without fading or creasing for nine hours. Urban Decay Voodoo (LE, $18.00) is cooler-toned. MAC Black Grape (P, $21.00) is more sparkly. Dior Constellation (864) #4 (LE) is similar, less metallic. theBalm Lavish Latoya (LE, $16.00) is darker, cooler-toned. Urban Decay ACDC (P, $18.00) is slightly darker. See comparison swatches.

Lavender Lust #3 is a pale, lavender-tinted white with a pink iridescent sheen. It was semi-opaque in pigmentation, though the texture was incredibly soft and finely-milled. I checked it a few times, as it’s such a light shade that it can be hard to tell opacity against my skin tone, but it’s more opaque than sheer–there’s some translucency there, though. It seemed like it might be a satin finish. It wore well for almost eight hours but looked somewhat faded after nine hours of wear. Fyrinnae Unicorn (P, $8.25) is cooler-toned, lighter. MAC Digit (P, $15.00) is cooler-toned. MAC Ready to Party (LE, $21.00) is more metallic. MAC Triple Impact (LE, $21.00) is more metallic, less pink. Guerlain Attrape-Coeur #1 (LE) is similar. Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics Datura (P, $14.00) is purpler. See comparison swatches.

Lavender Lust #4 is a dark, red-toned purple with violet and plum shimmer. It had a satiny finish, and it had decent color payoff, but the texture was noticeably drier than the other three shades–soft but dry. It’s a shade that I’d probably use damp more often than not. With a fluffy crease brush, the dryness wasn’t noticeable during application. Urban Decay Tornado (LE, $18.00) is darker. Le Metier de Beaute Matte Plum (LE, $30.00) is similar. MAC Highly Charged (LE, $18.50) is a cream product. MAC Grape (LE, $32.50) is brighter, warmer. See comparison swatches.

The Glossover

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Lavender Lust

B+

The sparkly shade does produce some fall out during wear, though it's minimal, it's something to note. The lightest shade is slightly sheer, which may be right up your alley if you intend to use it as a highlight shade, but for those who wanted something more opaque, it will be a let down.

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

4.5/5

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Lavender Lust #1

B+

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

7.5/10

Application

5/5

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Lavender Lust #2

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Product

9.5/10

Pigmentation

9.5/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

5/5

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Tuesday, October 1st, 2013

Tom Ford Beauty for Men
Tom Ford Beauty for Men

Purifying Face Cleanser ($48.00)

It features the Tom Ford Purifying and Skin Calming Complexes to leave skin exceptionally clean without tightness or dryness. Its lightweight formula conditions and hydrates the skin as it unclogs pores and prepares skin for a smooth shave. It rinses beautifully without drying, so your face looks and feels smooth, refreshed and energized.

Concealer for Men ($40.00)

Every man’s face occasionally suffers from redness, blemishes, under-eye circles or razor nicks. These things can be swiftly camouflaged with concealer in a natural-looking way. Tom Ford For Men Concealer is a practical, simple tool: a twist-up stick that is offered in three shades. It can be applied with your fingers after your moisturizer or eye treatment, and it will seamlessly blend into the skin as it hides imperfections.

Hydrating Lip Balm ($25.00)

One of the simplest things a man can do to improve his looks is to combat dry lips and improve their smoothness and texture. The Tom Ford ultra-emollient lip balm contains a unique blend of natural oils, vitamins and butters to soothe and condition. The balm seals in moisture, helping to protect lips from the effects of any kind of weather so they look and feel comfortable.

Bronzing Gel ($48.00)

Developed to mimic the look of a few minutes of sun on the skin and lift the complexion with a healthy-looking touch of color, the Tom Ford Bronzing Gel is made with a water-based, oil-free formula that blends in easily without masking your skin’s natural features. It features the Tom Ford Skin Calming and Infusing Complexes to calm and comfort the skin. The Bronzing Gel can be used all over the face, or simply swiped onto the places the sun would naturally hit you harder: the cheekbones, the bridge of the nose and the top of the forehead.

Intensive Purifying Mud Mask ($60.00)

A weekly clay mask treatment is integral to your personal grooming routine. Tom Ford developed this time-signaling Mud Mask to counter the dulling and irritating effects of a busy lifestyle on the skin. As the mask turns light gray, it draws out oil, dirt and toxins and diminishes tension lines. When you rinse it off, your skin feels clean, hydrated and conditioned, and you look revitalized and younger.

Anti-Fatigue Eye Treatment ($75.00)

The eyes are the first place people look when they meet you. They are also the first part of your face to show signs of aging and fatigue. This multi-beneficial, restorative eye treatment is infused with the Tom Ford Skin Calming and Infusing Complexes, to lift and firm the look of the skin around the eyes, helping to diminish the look of lines and wrinkles. The silver-tip applicator helps to cool your skin to help reduce visible puffiness, leaving your eyes looking refreshed and awake.

Oil-Free Daily Moisturizer ($105.00)

A hydrating and conditioning moisturizer is essential to achieving well-kept skin. This lightweight, quick-absorbing, skin-mattifying moisturizer uses the Tom Ford Skin Calming and Infusing Complexes with a combination of luxurious butters to hydrate your skin, help reverse dullness and help reduce the look of fine lines and pores. It leaves your face looking toned, polished and reenergized.

Skin Revitalizing Concentrate ($150.00)

When your skin is depleted or dry, adding a multifunctional treatment oil into your regimen before moisturizing is one of the simplest ways to energize and regenerate it. This concentrate contains the highest concentration of the Tom Ford Skin Calming and Infusing Complexes, plus essential oils and other enriching natural ingredients. It deeply hydrates and nourishes the skin and it conditions it before shaving and soothes it afterwards. Your skin has fewer fine lines and greater resilience against damage.

Availability: Pre-order online at Neiman Marcus now

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Thursday, September 19th, 2013

Tom Ford Eyeshadow (11) Brush
Tom Ford Eyeshadow (11) Brush

This post wraps up all of the Tom Ford Brushes I’ve tested for the past several months. Generally, they’re well-made, high quality tools that likely won’t disappoint you–except if you already have high-end, well-loved tools. The handles are exceptionally well balanced and nice to hold, while the brushes are soft, durable, and easy to wash. I worried that the white bristles would really stain over time, but they’ve held up quite nicely since I’ve been using them. I can’t weigh on the Eyeshadow Contour, Shadow/Concealer, Foundation, Smokey Eye, Shade & Illuminate, or Lip Brush, as I don’t have those. My favorites have been Tom Ford’s Cheek, Cream Foundation, and Eyeshadow Blend Brushes.

Tom Ford Eyeshadow (11) Brush ($55.00) is large, lightly fluffed-up, eyeshadow brush with a flatter, wider shape that is dome-shaped at the top. The brush head is 15mm in length, 14mm in width, and 6mm in thickness. It has a pinched, gold metal ferrule, and a total brush length of 6.75 inches or 17 centimeters. The handle is etched with the brand’s logo and the brush’s number in gold foil at the end of the handle, and the very tip of the handle is flat.

The brush head is soft, not too densely packed, and just fluffy enough to allow for blending and diffusing of color in addition to being able to pack it on. I expect that this is a brush that is less universally applicable, because it is a larger brush, so if you have more eyelid space or you tend to wear one or two eyeshadows at a time, you may find it handy. If you have smaller eyes or you tend to work more precisely, it is not a must-have. It is similar to the MAC 252 ($32), which less fluffy, not as soft, and not as dome-shaped, but the overall size and shape are definitely similar–it is made out of synthetic fibers. shu uemura #10 ($68) is smaller, narrower, flatter. OCC Large Shader Brush ($22) is quite similar and made out of synthetic bristles. For this type of size and shape, I like to apply cream eyeshadows, pat powder over under eye concealer, or pat a powder eyeshadow all over the lid.

Tom Ford Eyeshadow Blend (13) Brush ($55.00) is a long, narrowed brush with a rounded, domed edge that fits well into the crease. It’s not so long that it becomes floppy, and it’s wide enough to blend as well as deposit color. It also has good resistance, so it doesn’t splay easily. The brush head is 17mm in height, 9mm in width, and 9mm in thickness. It has a rounded, open gold metal ferrule, and a total brush length of just over 6.75 inches or 17 centimeters. The handle is round, not too thick or too thin, and flattens at the bottom.

This was definitely one of my very favorite brushes from Tom Ford, because it’s well-made, works well for its purpose, and is a shape and size that I would often reach for. It’s soft and never scratchy, and it lays down color well into the crease as well as blends and diffuses it above and below the crease as you want. Hakuhodo J142 ($18) is very similar, just slightly narrower–but at a third of the price, I would get three of these instead; unless, of course, you’re sold on the Tom Ford aesthetic! MAC 222 ($28, discontinued) has a more flared shape, so it doesn’t come to a point. MAC 226 ($24.50, limited edition) is smaller and shorter; there is also some variance in how these were made, so some are rather pointed and others are more dome-shaped. OCC Tapered Blending Brush ($22) is smaller but similar in shape. Sephora PRO Crease (10) ($20) is fluffier and wider. NARS Large Dome Brush (13) ($33) is more rounded at the edge with more flare. Make Up For Ever #242 Large Blender is less tapered, longer. Urban Decay Crease Brush is less tapered.

Tom Ford Eyeliner & Definer (15) Brush ($50.00) is a tiny, squat brush with a rounded edge. The brush head is 4mm in length, 6mm in width, and 2mm in thickness. It has a pinched, gold metal ferrule, and a total brush length of 6.25 inches or just under 16 centimeters. The handle is well-balanced, rounded, and the handle end is flat.

It can be used for apply eyeshadow very, very precisely, but it worked best (for me) for smudging eyeliner, applying cream/gel eyeliner, applying eyeshadow along the lash line, and cleaning up any mascara smudges. The bristles are soft, but it’s a thin, firm, brush, so if you use too much pressure, you’ll feel the edge somewhat. Hakuhodo G5513 ($16) is longer and has a straighter edge. MAC 228 is also longer and fluffier. Make Up For Ever #208 Small Precision Shader Brush ($22) is slightly longer, but it is very similar–except it is not as firm or stiff, so it’s not as precise or as easy to control for applying cream or gel eyeliner.

The Glossover

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Eyeshadow (11) Brush

I expect that this is a brush that is less universally applicable, because it is a larger brush, so if you have more eyelid space or you tend to wear one or two eyeshadows at a time, you may find it handy. If you have smaller eyes or you tend to work more precisely, it is not a must-have.

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Eyeshadow Blend (13) Brush

This was definitely one of my very favorite brushes from Tom Ford, because it's well-made, works well for its purpose, and is a shape and size that I would often reach for. It's soft and never scratchy, and it lays down color well into the crease as well as blends and diffuses it above and below the crease as you want.

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Eyeliner & Definer (15) Brush

It can be used for apply eyeshadow very, very precisely, but it worked best (for me) for smudging eyeliner, applying cream/gel eyeliner, applying eyeshadow along the lash line, and cleaning up any mascara smudges. The bristles are soft, but it's a thin, firm, brush, so if you use too much pressure, you'll feel the edge somewhat.

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Saturday, September 7th, 2013

Tom Ford Cheek (06) Brush
Tom Ford Cheek (06) Brush

Tom Ford Cheek (06) Brush ($78.00) is a blush brush with a rounded square-shape, slightly domed along the top edge, with very densely-packed bristles that feel lush and thick to the touch. It is very similar in shape to Tom Ford Cream Foundation Brush, it’s just larger. The brush head is 33mm in length, 35mm in width, and 20mm in thickness. It has a metal ferrule that is pitched towards the top, and the handle is well-balanced with some heft (but it’s not heavy or awkward) with a total brush length of just over 6 inches or just under 16 centimeters. The brush handle is somewhat thick at 15mm in diameter, and it has a flat bottom, so it can stand upright (if desired). The brand’s logo and brush number are engraved and have gold lettering (neither have worn off at all so far).

Tom Ford’s brushes, from my experience, are very consistent. There is no question that they’re soft, silky, and feel great against the skin, and the Cheek Brush is no different. The brush is dense and thick, so it’s somewhat firm (but not stiff) with spring and give that’s just right for sweeping, patting, and diffusing powder products. I haven’t had any issues with this brush over the year and a half I’ve been using it–no shedding, no funny smells, and despite it being white, surprisingly easy to keep close to the way it came. The natural bristles pick up color well, and then the shape and texture of the bristles also blends out the powder well. Because it retains its shape during application, it can also work well for contouring or applying bronzer, as the edge fits well into the hollows of the cheek.

Hakuhodo J5543 ($60) is very similar and is only 2mm shorter in length and thickness (though Hakuhodo lists it as 11.5mm in thickness, mine is 18mm after washing and use)–it is not quite as dense, which results in a lighter application, though I felt realistically you can layer and apply as much/as little with either brush, it’s a matter of technique, pressure, and amount of product you initially pick-up. I also think that many will prefer a softer blush application to start than one that provides for a more pigmented application right off the bat. Generally, denser/thicker brushes will yield more color payoff and coverage, and then fluffier, sparser brushes will give you a softer, sheerer color payoff and coverage. I don’t have it to compare, but the J501 ($96) is longer (44mm) and less thick (16.8mm); J505 ($69) is also longer (38mm) and less thick (15mm). MAC 116 ($35) is much less dense, not as soft, and is narrower/more flared.

Bronzer (05) Brush ($115.00) is a massive, dense, thick brush that’s wide, flares out towards the top and has a slightly domed edge. I have to reiterate that this brush is huge, and it’s one of the larger brushes I have. The brush is 45mm in length, 50mm in width, and 30mm in thickness. The handle is quite thick at 21mm across in diameter, flat-bottomed, and the brush has a total length of 6.7 inches or 17 centimeters. It has a metal ferrule that is pinched towards the top. The overall shape is similar to both the Cheek (06) and Cream Foundation (02) brushes, which this being the largest, the Cheek falling in the middle, and the Cream Foundation being the baby of the family. The bristles are layered, so the outermost bristles are shorter than the ones in the middle. They move, feel, and act like one in many ways; you do not feel bristles or fibers against the skin, just a seamless sweep across the face.

While it’s designed for bronzer, and it certainly applies bronzing powder well and blends it out nicely, the brush is quite large and so it will depend in your application and face shape/size whether it’s really a feasible/worthwhile tool. It picks up powder products quite well, which may make products seem too pigmented if you tend to be heavy-handed. Less is more, and you’ll spend less time diffusing and blending out whatever product you may apply. I must admit that I personally like using this for applying finishing, setting, and loose/pressed powders/foundations over bronzer, as I regularly wear those and wear bronzer less, so I can get more use out of it that way. I had two to three hairs shed during the first two or three uses, but after that, I did not have any issues with it shedding. It washes easily, though be prepared for a slightly longer drying time compared to smaller brushes–it’s just so large. It dries in less than a day, though, and some of the synthetic brushes that are closer to this size, take a full day.

If you are even the slightest bit seduced by brush softness and don’t want to splurge on this product, I highly recommend never, ever touching it. Ever. It is like a combination of silk and cream against the skin. One thing I’ve learned is that brushes can be had at all price points, and like anything that’s a splurge, you have to not just love it but use it. If it just sits there, it’s never going to be worth it. If you use it every day, you get joy out of using it, then it might be just the right reward for yourself.

I gathered similar brushes to compare to this one, but its greatest difference is how dense, full, and lush it is. It is just packed with feathery, silky-smooth bristles. MAC 134 ($53) is the brush closest to this that I have, though it feels noticeably rough and scratchy in comparison, is more flared out, and is 30-40% less thick/dense (just my estimate!). OCC Powder Brush ($28) is narrower at the base with a stronger flare, and it is a thinner, less densely-packed brush. I don’t have any Hakuhodo brushes that I purchased that compare to this, but I did try to make an educated guess comparing the measurements, and the closest I could find was the J5541 ($111), which is half as thick (13mm vs. 30mm), and the J501 ($96), which is 6mm shorter in length and half as thick (16.8mm vs. 30mm). Make Up For Ever #128 ($52) is a brush that also has a very large brush head and a fairly thick/dense quality to it, but the shape is really quite different. I do prefer the #128 for loose/setting powder application (I feel like you can press better) but Tom Ford’s is better for dusting, sweeping, and feathering those products across the skin.

The Glossover

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Cheek (06) Brush

The brush is dense and thick, so it's somewhat firm (but not stiff) with spring and give that's just right for sweeping, patting, and diffusing powder products. I haven't had any issues with this brush over the year and a half I've been using it--no shedding, no funny smells, and despite it being white, surprisingly easy to keep close to the way it came.

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Bronzer (05) Brush

While it's designed for bronzer, and it certainly applies bronzing powder well and blends it out nicely, the brush is quite large and so it will depend in your application and face shape/size whether it's really a feasible/worthwhile tool. It picks up powder products quite well, which may make products seem too pigmented if you tend to be heavy-handed. Less is more, and you'll spend less time diffusing and blending out whatever product you may apply.

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Tuesday, September 3rd, 2013

September is the beginning of all things autumn for me. The temperatures have already started to cool down by me, though it’s still warm overall, the nights are cooling down. I’ve always been partial to September, as I am a September baby :) Usually, the real start of fall begins with my first sip of Starbucks’ Pumpkin Spice Latte, but they already brought it back (and it was delicious!). By this point, I’ve typically reviewed several fall color collections, which is perfect timing so I can include some of those favorites while they can still be purchased. This month’s Tempting 10 features more recently released shades from the fall collections, but I still wanted to highlight a few favorites that you can find all year-long.

  1. Dior Millenium — a shimmering warm-toned, pewter in a cream formula that can be used as a sheer wash or built up for more intensity.
  2. Sugarpill Cold Chemistry Palette — it is such a perfect mix of deep, smoky shades for fall with excellent color payoff across the board.
  3. Color Club Beyond — a deep, warm, smoky gray-black with holographic shimmer–like ash from a crackling fireplace with dancing, fiery bits of shimmer.
  4. Urban Decay Vice — a rich, plummy purple polish with a soft, shimmering pearl.
  5. Milani Purr-fect Purple — a vibrant, rich purple eyeshadow with shimmer–perfect for accenting the eye!
  6. Tom Ford Love Lust – it’s a warmer, more muted coral, so it’s a lovely transition shade from summer to fall
  7. Guerlain Madame Batifole — creamy, hydrating, incredibly pigmented, and long-wearing makes this a rich, fuchsia-shimmered berry-red a true joy to wear.
  8. Tom Ford She-Wolf — it’s pricey, but not only is it a palette I could easily see myself reaching for time and time again, it was a palette that readers gravitated towards. It was easily one of the most viewed products from all fall color collections!
  9. Benefit Rockateur — a rose gold blush is subtle, wears well, and reminds me of the colors of autumn; rusty in a way, but still warm and inviting.
  10. Too Faced Pretty Rebel Palette — ten glorious shades of bold, bright, eye-catching shadows with buttery, soft, and smooth textures and excellent color payoff.

I hope you’ll consider sharing your must-haves for September in the comments! Here’s a quickie list to get you started…

Must-Have Eye Products:
Must-Have Cheek/Face Products:
Must-Have Lip Products:
Must-Have Hair/Skin Products: