Thursday, June 18th, 2009

Beauty Basics: MAC Eye Brushes

Beauty Basics is a series covering basic products and tools that help to make applying your makeup easier. To view the entire series to date, be sure to visit the beauty basics, or you can view posts within the series about MAC Eye Brushes.

Focus On: MAC 205 Mascara Fan Brush

MAC 205 Mascara Fan Brush ($17.50) is a tiny (seriously, it’s like the size of your pinky fingernail!) synthetic-bristled fan brush designed to apply mascara, remove clumps, and help lashes look their best. It’s a PRO only brush, which means you can only purchase it by calling a local PRO store or visiting a PRO store location. (You do not have to be a PRO member to purchase through either of the aforementioned methods.) This is one of those brushes that gets a lot of raves, and it’s for a good reason–it is excellent at removing any clumps or unevenness in your mascara application. I find applying mascara with it a bit more tedious than using my mascara’s wand, so I think I’ll likely stick with it mostly for post-application clean-up and polishing.

How do you like to use this brush?

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Thursday, June 18th, 2009

At-Home Face Masks:  Renew Your Skin

REN Glycolactic Skin Renewal Peel Mask ($55.00 for 1.7 oz.) is a peel mask designed to “renew the complexion, reduce fine lines, and improve skin tone, firmness, and radiance.” It uses a fruit acid complex (thus, lactic, glycolic, tartaric, and citric) along with papain enzyme to revv up this exfoliating peel. REN does warn those that this product is not suitable for those with sensitive skin, however.

I love the packaging, because it is extremely functional and practical. I, also, am not swayed by cute/fancy packaging for skincare–functional is far more important. It comes in an airless pump container, so you don’t have to worry about bacteria build-up or ingredient breakdown from exposure to air/using it with your fingers. I find two to three pumps gives me enough product to cover my entire face. The product is very easy to use — just apply the product to your face, smooth all over, and let it sit for ten minutes. After ten minutes, gently pat your face and “lift” the mask with your fingertips. Finish by rinsing your face with warm water, then pat dry with a clean towel.

It looks and smells like an orange fruit roll-up! It really does. I didn’t mind, since I’m a citrus kind of girl, and sweetness was just fine with me. The consistency reminded me of honey with just a bit of grit texture (but it doesn’t really feel rough/harsh). It may tingle a bit on some skin types (again, not recommended for sensitive-skinned folks), but it’s not a painful burn or sting. After I rinsed the product off, my skin felt incredibly smooth, soft to the touch, and gave me a bit of glowy-ness. I definitely felt like it improved the texture and appearance of my skin. I’m going to incorporate this into my skincare routine and use it once a week or so. I’ve tried stronger peels, but this still gives me the same results while being much gentler (which can’t be a bad thing, right?). If you’ve had trouble with chemical peels, I suggest looking into this one!

For those interested, REN is a brand formulated without parabens, sulfates, synthetic dyes/fragrances, petro-chemicals, or phtalates. They pride themselves on using only 100% natural active ingredients. REN also does not test their products on animals nor tested on their behalf by a third party. They state that the only animal products they use are honey and beeswax in their Lip Honey.  You can purchase REN products at Sephora.com.

Thursday, June 18th, 2009

Beauty Basics: MAC Eye Brushes

Beauty Basics is a series covering basic products and tools that help to make applying your makeup easier. To view the entire series to date, be sure to visit the beauty basics, or you can view posts within the series about MAC Eye Brushes.

Focus On: MAC 217 Blending Brush

MAC 217 Blending Brush ($22.50) is one of the most popular brushes sold by MAC. It probably has something to do with making blending way easier. I managed to get along without it for years, but it’s definitely one of those brushes that once you have in your arsenal, you can’t figure out how you lived without it! Ultra soft, just a touch fluffy, but very dense, this brush does a great job of blending harsh lines of color into soft, fading gradients. It can also be used to apply creamier, more emollient products, because of its density.

How do you like to use this brush?

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Wednesday, June 17th, 2009

Beauty Basics: MAC Eye Brushes

Beauty Basics is a series covering basic products and tools that help to make applying your makeup easier. To view the entire series to date, be sure to visit the beauty basics, or you can view posts within the series about MAC Eye Brushes.

Focus On: MAC 214 Short Shader Brush

MAC 214 Short Shader Brush ($23.00) is best described as a stubby 239. It has natural bristles, and the brush itself is fairly stiff. If you’ve ever wanted to smoke out your lower lash line for an ultra sultry smoky eye, this is the brush you’ve been missing. The rounded edge can easily smudge color without getting it everywhere. It can also be used to deposit color into the crease or to create an extremely defined/sharp crease. The stiffness of the brush helps to prevent over-blending of the crease when used for that application.

How do you like to use this brush?

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Wednesday, June 17th, 2009

Beauty Basics: MAC Eye Brushes

Beauty Basics is a series covering basic products and tools that help to make applying your makeup easier. To view the entire series to date, be sure to visit the beauty basics, or you can view posts within the series about MAC Eye Brushes.

Focus On: MAC 208 Angled Brow Brush

MAC 208 Angled Brow Brush ($19.50) uses a blend of both synthetic and natural fibres to create a thin, angled brush tip. It’s designed to be used to define, line, or fill with a high degree of precision. The fibre blend allows for application using an assortment of product textures, from powders to creams. I personally love this thin angled brush more for lining the upper lash line, particularly when it comes to using gel eye liner (like Fluidlines). I know many use the 266 brush for upper lash line work, but I find it is often too thick. I prefer this thinner angled brush, because it gives me more control and more room for errors. I actually liked this brush so much, I have two!

How do you like to use this brush?

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Wednesday, June 17th, 2009

Beauty Basics: MAC Eye Brushes

Beauty Basics is a series covering basic products and tools that help to make applying your makeup easier. To view the entire series to date, be sure to visit the beauty basics, or you can view posts within the series about MAC Eye Brushes.

Focus On: MAC 204 Lash Brush

MAC 204 Lash Brush ($11.00) is made up of synthetic fibers, and it is typically used to apply mascara to lashes. You can also separate lashes by twisting it through lashes to remove clumping. It also makes for an excellent brow groomer to keep brows in place. I personally prefer to use this for separating lashes and brushing stray brow hairs back into place. While still useful for mascara application, I do find disposable mascara wands tend to be much better–particularly if you have lots of mascara to apply to numerous people, since it there is a lot less clean-up with disposable wands.

How do you like to use this brush?

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