Saturday, March 28th, 2015

MAC x Mia Moretti Makeup Bags
MAC x Mia Moretti Makeup Bags

Long-time readers know that one thing I still collect are limited edition MAC bags, so I bought the accessories in the MAC x Mia Moretti collaboration when they went online this past week! There’s not much to say about these, as they’re in-line with MAC’s past limited edition makeup bag releases. I don’t think the tote is worth the money, as it has such a narrow width (about two inches) that it just isn’t wide enough to be a useful tote bag to me. I don’t even think it would hold more than a laptop and a book for school. All of the accessories will be easy to wipe down if you spill anything on them, at least.

MAC x Mia Moretti Makeup Bags ($46.00) is a set of three translucent makeup bags with red zippers and a honey-hued plastic exterior with a basketweave pattern. The bags nest within themselves, so you get makeup bags in small (7 x 3.5 inches), medium (8.5 x 5 inches), and large (11 x 7 inches). The shapes and sizes are useful and will store a variety of makeup items, and since they nest, they don’t take up as much space when you’re not using them.

MAC x Mia Moretti Tote Bag ($50.00) shares the same coloring, pattern, and design as the makeup bags. It’s about 17 inches tall, 15 inches in width, and 2 inches in depth. I just don’t think there’s enough depth to make this particularly useful. It seems a lot less practical/versatile as a result, since its carrying capacity is very much restricted by the width of the bottom panel.

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Sunday, March 1st, 2015

NARS Wet/Dry Blush Brush
NARS Wet/Dry Blush Brush

NARS Wet/Dry Blush Brush ($42.00) is a brush designed to work the brand’s new wet/dry blush formula. It’s a smaller-sized, circular dome-shaped brush; it reminded me of a mini buffer brush with a longer brush handle. The dome seems a bit too rounded and raised, so you lose surface area to apply it on the cheeks and don’t get a great “buffing” diameter. The brush head is 21mm in width, 25mm in height, and 21mm in thickness. It had a total length of 15 centimeters with an open ferrule. I’ve been using this brush for a week, but I’ve exhausted so many ways trying to make it work.

I had really poor luck using this brush with NARS’ formula, and it wasn’t much better with other brand’s powder and cream blushes either. In general, I’ve found NARS’ brush range to be extremely disappointing. There is a real lack of quality when it comes to the cut, shape, and fibers used, and this brush has an uneven cut with noticeably sharp or rough bristles when the brush is patted or buffed against the skin. The fibers felt finer than some of the other NARS’ face brushes and wasn’t quite as scratchy. It’s a much denser brush (again, like a buffer or kabuki brush!), so in theory, you would expect it to apply a lot of color, but it doesn’t. It seems to pick up a fair amount of powder when you tap and swirl it against the blush’s surface, but the color doesn’t transfer well from the brush to the skin. I could feel the bristles, and some are irritating/scratchy, whenever I tapped, patted, or swirled the color in; the only time it seems smooth is if I only do a very gentle, slow sweeping motion outwards. It was impossible to even out or blend NARS’ blush formula when this brush was damp, as the brush would lift the color without blending it out, so there were whole areas where it would show bare skin.

The Glossover

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Wet/Dry Blush Brush

It seems to pick up a fair amount of powder when you tap and swirl it against the blush's surface, but the color doesn't transfer well from the brush to the skin. I could feel the bristles, and some are irritating/scratchy, whenever I tapped, patted, or swirled the color in; the only time it seems smooth is if I only do a very gentle, slow sweeping motion outwards.
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Friday, February 27th, 2015

IT Cosmetics No. 315 Soft Focus Sculpting Velvet Luxe Brush
IT Cosmetics No. 315 Soft Focus Sculpting Velvet Luxe Brush

IT Cosmetics No. 315 Soft Focus Sculpting Velvet Luxe Brush ($34.00) is a medium-sized, angled brush made out of synthetic fibers. The brush head is 34mm in width, 28mm in height, and 17mm in thickness. The total length of the brush is 18 centimeters and has a slightly pinched ferrule. It is moderately dense with some give to allow it to glide and sweep across the planes of the face with ease–less dense than most buffer brushes, denser than your average blush brush. The curve of the brush head fits well into the hollows of the cheeks for application of contouring products, and the incredible silkiness of the brush helps it blend cream and powder contouring products well. I’ve used this to apply a lot of the contouring palettes and kits we’ve seen lately, and it is does a fantastic job at diffusing those contour lines without over-blending and losing the definition I wanted. It was easy to wash, didn’t bleed or leak dye, didn’t shed, and retained its shape well. I love that I can angle, tap, pat, buff, press, and sweep this brush in any direction with any pressure and I never feel individual bristles; it never, ever feels rough or scratchy. The cut is very precise, and the bristles themselves are very fine but still picks up powder products well.

It is similar to other medium-sized angled brushes like the less-dense MAC 168 ($35) and NARS Contour Brush #21 ($42). Sephora Pro ANgled Blush Brush #49 ($32) has a steeper angle, but it is fairly similar.

I’m still testing, but hopefully will wrap up everything up soon, of the Luxe Brush Set, as well as some of the other brushes in the IT range that aren’t part of the Velvet Luxe line. Hearing all of your enthusiasm for IT’s brush range in the No. 302 LBD Brush post made me eager to write-up reviews for all of the others I’ve been testing :)

The Glossover

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No. 315 Soft Focus Sculpting Velvet Luxe Brush

I love that I can angle, tap, pat, buff, press, and sweep this brush in any direction with any pressure and I never feel individual bristles; it never, ever feels rough or scratchy. The cut is very precise, and the bristles themselves are very fine but still picks up powder products well. The curve of the brush head fits well into the hollows of the cheeks for application of contouring products, and the incredible silkiness of the brush helps it blend cream and powder contouring products well.
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Wednesday, February 25th, 2015

IT Cosmetics No. 302 LBD Foundation Velvet Luxe Brush
IT Cosmetics No. 302 LBD Foundation Velvet Luxe Brush

IT Cosmetics No. 302 LBD Foundation Velvet Luxe Brush ($38.00) is a medium-sized, dense, gently dome-shaped brush with synthetic fibers. The brush head is 30mm in width, 29mm in height, and 30mm in thickness. It has an open, rounded ferrule. The total length is 7 inches or 18 centimeters with the majority of the handle having a “soft-touch grip.” (If you’re familiar with NARS’ packaging, it’s a bit like that but smoother, and I haven’t noticed a tendency to pick-up powder or smudges–my handle is totally pristine after having it for two months). The brush is well-balanced with a handle that’s comfortable to hold and fit well into my hand.

This is an excellent brush for foundation, particularly liquid and cream foundations, as the fibers are so fine and the brush itself so dense that all the fibers move as one, which yields a smooth, even, streak-free application. It’s domed enough to move across more contoured areas of the face, like underneath the eyes, around the nose, and along the jaw, but the more buffer-brush-like shape makes it easy to stipple, spread, blend, and buff foundation into the skin. It’s become my new go-to liquid foundation brush since I started testing it. I’m particularly impressed by how silky it feels against the skin no matter the angle or motion of the brush–there is never a direction or pressure where you can feel any of the individual fibers, which also indicates how well-cut it is. The brush itself is very dense, much like a buffer brush, so it does take extra time to really clean and rinse through any brush cleanser used, and subsequently, drying time is longer, but it dries within 12 to 16 hours in my experience.

The Glossover

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No. 302 LBD Foundation Velvet Luxe Brush

Temptalia Recommends
This is an excellent brush for foundation, particularly liquid and cream foundations, as the fibers are so fine and the brush itself so dense that all the fibers move as one, which yields a smooth, even, streak-free application. It's become my new go-to liquid foundation brush since I started testing it!
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Friday, February 13th, 2015

Sephora Contoured Eyelash Comb
Sephora Contoured Eyelash Comb

Sephora Contoured Eyelash Comb ($14.00) looked so interesting, I had to buy one as soon as I saw it on Sephora. It’s shaped a bit like an eyelash curler, but it’s an eyelash comb. The teeth are fine with good separation to really get between the lashes to separate for a really defined, fluttery lash without catching or pulling on individual lashes. I’ve used mine mostly after mascara to minimize clumping and to ensure a good, even coat of mascara throughout the lashes. Sephora says it can be used to brush product through the eyelashes, but as you might expect, it can become quite the clean-up job to remove mascara from all of the teeth. I don’t find it as effective at applying a more mascara-like product to the eye as a mascara fan brush, but it does work. I just think it does better (and really does it well) at separating lashes and removing any clumps from mascara.

It comes with a plastic cap to protect the metal teeth, and it folds in half for easy travel, if desired. I also found that you can bend the handle to get a better grip/fit, depending on your needs. The handle is made out of plastic, and it seemed lightweight and durable enough to travel with.

The Glossover

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Contoured Eyelash Comb

The teeth are fine with good separation to really get between the lashes to separate for a really defined, fluttery lash without catching or pulling on individual lashes. I don't find it as effective at applying a more mascara-like product to the eye as a mascara fan brush, but it does work. I just think it does better (and really does it well) at separating lashes and removing any clumps from mascara.
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Saturday, February 7th, 2015

MAC Evil Stepmother Pigment
MAC Evil Stepmother Pigment

MAC Evil Stepmother Pigment ($24.00 for 0.15 oz.) is described as a “black plum with plum pearl.” It’s a blackened purple with cool undertones and a pink shimmer that gives it a more frosted finish. Applied dry, it is less shimmery and goes on unevenly with so-so color payoff. Applied damp, it is more even and more pigmented, but it is hard to blend. The texture was fine but dry, so it wasn’t my favorite pigment to work with. It lasted for eight hours applied. L’Oreal Purple Priority (758) (P, $7.99) is more shimmery. MAC Past Midnight #2 (LE, $21.00) is brighter. Ardency Inn Purple Hearts (P, $32.00) is less shimmery. NARS High Society #3 (LE, $24.00) is lighter, less shimmery. MAC Starless Night (LE, $21.00) is cooler-toned. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

MAC Pretty It Up Pigment ($24.00 for 0.15 oz.) is described as a “olive with pearlized pigments.” It’s a medium-dark bronze brown with warm, yellow undertones and a frosted, sparky finish. It had mostly opaque color payoff applied wet or dry, but it is easier to work with damp, as there’s minimal fall out and the product goes on very smoothly. It wore well for eight hours before creasing slightly. This shade was released as part of a holiday set, but the texture of the version in this collection is much finer and binds together a lot better. Marc Jacobs Beauty The Enigma #6 (P) is darker. Colour Pop Mooning (P, $5.00) is less shimmery, darker. Urban Decay Stun (LE, $18.00) is darker. Too Faced Cinnamon Sugar (LE, $16.00) is lighter. Make Up For Ever ME644 Iced Brown (P, $21.00) is warmer, lighter. Make Up For Ever D640 Golden Snake (P, $21.00) is less shimmery. MAC Collective Chic #2 (LE) is darker. bareMinerals Embellish (LE) is darker. Makeup Geek Utopia (P, $6.99) is chunkier. Sleek MakeUP Lust in LA (LE, $9.99) is cooler-toned. Chanel Initiation (827) (LE, $36.00) is a cream product. Bobbi Brown Golden Bronze (P, $28.00) is less sparkly, cream product. Urban Decay Snakebite (LE, $18.00) is similar. Giorgio Armani #6 (P, $33.00) is less sparkly. Inglot #422 (P, $6.00) is darker, less shimmery. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

MAC Reflects Pearl Glitter ($24.00 for 0.15 oz.) is described as a “fine white glitter with pearl sheen.” It’s pretty much as described–it’s very fine white glitter that when applied over a glitter adhesive looks more like a wet sheen than particles of glitter. This shade is part of the permanent range, and none of MAC’s Glitters are eye safe. As it is a loose glitter, it is best applied over some sort of adhesive base. I was rereading the description for MAC’s Glitters for this post, and MAC actually said it “can be applied directly to the skin.” When one does that, the product is messy to work with, and while some of the glitter sticks, a good deal of it doesn’t. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

The Glossover

LE
product

Evil Stepmother

C+

Product

7.5/10

Pigmentation

8/10

Texture

7/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

4/5

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LE
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Pretty It Up

B+

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

5/5

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Dupes
P
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Reflects Pearl

It's pretty much as described--it's very fine white glitter that when applied over a glitter adhesive looks more like a wet sheen than particles of glitter.
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