Friday, July 3rd, 2009

Beauty Basics: MAC Face 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 Face Brushes.

Focus On: MAC 150 Large Powder Brush

MAC 150 Large Powder Brush ($42.00) is a large, domed-shape densely-packed brush. It’s ideal for use with loose and pressed powders. I do believe MAC encourages using this with blush, too, but I find it far too large and dense for that purpose; particularly because there are so many better brushes to use (like the 116 and 129). This isn’t the softest brush I own by MAC, but it’s still incredibly soft and doesn’t feel scratch to me. Personally, I find I only use this for applying loose/pressed powders to set my makeup. I find it is fluffy enough to blend and give me thorough coverage, but it is dense enough that product doesn’t get wasted. I use this brush everyday, but I do wish it was more of a multi-tasker for its price!

How do you like to use this brush?

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Thursday, July 2nd, 2009


Make Up For Ever #158 Eyeshadow

Make Up For Ever Eyeshadows ($19.00 each) and Diamond Eyeshadows ($20.00) each are sold individually in single-sized compacts. What’s nifty about the compacts is that they’re already magnetized and there’s no depotting necessary. If you need to pop one out, just take a pair of tweezers to do so (I do this to prevent any “oops!”). You can also purchase the eyeshadows in pan-form only (I believe that those are $13.00 each) and then fit them into 10-pan palettes (I believe those are $13 as well).

  • #158 is a matte, medium red. It goes on smoothly, has good pigmentation, and it doesn’t have a chalky texture. Because of the intensity of the red pigment, this color may stain lids temporarily. Compared with 99, this is a much subtler red. I like that it doesn’t have any noticeable brown in it, so it doesn’t come out brick red.
  • #99 is a matte, bright apple red. It feels like velvet when swatched, and it packs a lot of color without much product. This one, like 158, may also stain lids temporarily.
  • #75 is a matte, bright hot pink. This is the shade I used in yesterday’s look, and it definitely gives you a nice pop of bright pink color. It, too, will stain your lids, though. I didn’t wear a base beyond my lid, and anywhere I had #75 above my lid, it stained. It is pretty easy to work with and feels like a buttery matte with no chalkiness to it.
  • #85 is a shimmery, soft pink. This is a pretty color, and it reminds me of MAC Pink Freeze, just not as gritty/glittery. This is smoother, and while it doesn’t pack a lot of color, it is a nice all-over-lid shade to brighten up eyes.
  • #303 is a shimmery, pale pastel pink. All Make Up For Ever shadows that start with a 3 (e.g. #3_ _) are Diamond Eyeshadows. According to the brand, Diamond Eyeshadows is a combinatoin of their Diamond Powders and their regular Eyeshadows. No matter what you call it, they’re shimmery and iridescent. This is almost like a pink-meets-lilac color, but it runs a bit pastel and cool-toned with subtle silvery-pink shimmer.

To avoid staining:  make sure to layer a base underneath wherever you’re going to put a shadow that has the potential to stain.  When I used #75 on my eyes, it only stained above my crease, where I laid it down directly onto skin.  The staining does fade after about a day or so, though.

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Wednesday, July 1st, 2009

Beauty Basics: MAC Face 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 Face Brushes.

Focus On: MAC 138 Tapered Face Brush

MAC 138 Tapered Face Brush ($52.00) is a large, extremely tapered brush made out of natural fibers. It is extremely dense, and it is relatively firm. The end of the brush tapers into a rounded tip with angled sides. The brush shapes reminds me of the 226 or 224, except several times larger. The bristles feel incredibly soft against the skin, and I have found mine to shed very rarely (which basically means I can’t remember it really shedding at all). The 138 can be used for a variety of applications: creams, liquids, highlighters, blushes, and contouring. It is touted by MAC as a contouring and highlighting tool, but like most brushes, usage depends more on you and your needs. To contour with this brush, simply slant it against your face with the tip pointing towards your mouth. To highlight, just use the tip of the brush on the areas you would like to highlight. It is one of MAC’s pricier brushes, but I’d say it’s completely worth the investment!

How do you like to use this brush?

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Tuesday, June 30th, 2009

Beauty Basics: MAC Face 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 Face Brushes.

Focus On: MAC 129 Powder/Blush Brush

MAC 129 Powder/Blush Brush ($34.00) is a is a rounded, dome-shaped brush with a more rounded dome than other brushes. Of MAC’s various face brushes, I do find that the 129 does have a tendency to be scratchier than others, but it is definitely something that gets better with time. After a few washes, the brush is as soft as most MAC brushes, and it feels fluffier than when you first purchase it. It sheds occasionally, but not enough to make me hesitate on purchasing it again. I personally find this is better as a blush or bronzer brush than a powder brush, because it isn’t fluffy enough for my liking when it comes to applying loose or pressed powder all over. MAC does make a short handled version of the 129 (this is a brush of the same quality and caliber as the long handled 129–just to distinguish it from special edition 129 brushes), but I personally prefer longer handles.

How do you like to use this brush?

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Tuesday, June 30th, 2009

Beauty Basics: MAC Face 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 Face Brushes.

Focus On: MAC 116 Blush Brush

MAC 116 Blush Brush ($32.00) is a natural-haired, tapered, rounded brush. It is smaller than the 129 Blush Brush, and it also feels a bit denser to me. It’s an incredibly soft bristled brush, and it does have some give, but it is still firm. The smaller size of this blush brush relative to other popular blush brushes makes it easier to control where you apply your blush, and it also picks up a good amount of color and deposits it on your cheek without eating it up. Since purchasing this brush, I find myself regularly switching back and forth between this and the 129, and I think I am starting to prefer the 116. I also like this with pressed powder to dust all-over. If you’ve been looking for a brush for more precise blush application, I’d urge you to consider the 116!

How do you like to use this brush?

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Tuesday, June 30th, 2009

Beauty Basics: MAC Face 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 Face Brushes.

Focus On: MAC 109 Small Contour Brush

MAC 109 Small Contour Brush ($32.00) is designed to be used to blend and contour with powder products, but this brush is quite the multi-tasker. It’s a small face brush with a rounded-dome tip, densely packed bristles. It can actually be a bit too big to contour with, depending on the where and when of your face, but I actually am fond of using this brush to blend out more emollient (e.g. liquids or creams) products, particularly foundation and blushcremes.

This works well with both cream and liquid foundations, and I prefer it to the 187. (Though, I still love the 182 for foundation overall–this comes close, and the bonus is it is easier to wash.) You can also use this to apply powder products like blush and bronzer, too. It’s easy to both apply and blend out all sorts of products, so this is definitely is a brush I’d recommend picking up–plus, it is on the lower end of the price spectrum as far as face brushes go.

How do you like to use this brush?

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