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Z Palette (Large, Pro, 4U, Small, Dome) Reviews & Photos

Z Palette
Z Palettes

Z Palettes are freestyle, magnetic palettes to store your favorite makeup products, making them portable, travel-friendly, and space-saving. They come in an assortment of sizes and colors, so you can choose the ones that make the most sense for your stash. Depending on what products you have, you might have to spend sometime depotting products, which is the process of removing the pan of product from the compact or container it is normally in. Some brands just pop out (like Make Up For Ever eyeshadows), some are sold in pan-form (like permanent MAC eyeshadows), and others are held in by glue. Koren (EnKoreMakeup has a few great tutorials on the various methods to depot products, but you can also do a search for “depotting” on YouTube, and you’ll get dozens upon dozens of helpful results.

Each Z palette includes round metal stickers that you can apply to any products you have that come in plastic pans or non-magnetic metal pans. Anything that is already housed in a magnetic metal pan will not need one. Each Z-palette has a clear cover and is made from recyclable materials (seems like very heavy duty cardboard with something wrapped around it to give it a sleeker appearance. You can also fold the cover completely underneath the bottom portion.

I’ve been using mine for almost a year now (in various sizes), and I haven’t had any issues with wear or tear.  I can’t say I travel extensively, but they’ve held up being tossed in makeup bags, overnight bags, as well as just sitting in drawers and being opened periodically. They have a good sturdiness to them, just enough heft so it doesn’t feel cheap but not so much that they’re actually heavy even when empty–so you can carry many and not feel bogged down.  I really like the Small and 4U sizes for more standard-sized eyeshadows.  If you’re going to be putting an assortment of pan sizes in a single palette, I recommend going for the Pro or Large. I haven’t used the Dome palette, as I’ve yet to depot a domed product (I haven’t depotted in years, to be honest! no time), but it feels as well-made as the others I have used.

These are the following sizes of Z Palettes available:

The Large Palette has interior dimensions of 7.44″ x 4.13″ x 0.25″. The large palette holds approximately 28 standard eyeshadows (MAC, Urban Decay, Makeup Geek). It is available in black, hot pink, leopard, zebra, and crocodile-prints.

Pro Palette has interior dimensions of 7.44″ x 4.69″ x 0.25″. The Pro palette holds 33 standard eyeshadows (MAC, Urban Decay, Makeup Geek). It is wider by about 0.5″ compared to the Large palette, so it can accommodate slightly more product. It is available in black, leopard, and zebra-prints.

Dome Palette ($25.00) has interior dimensions of 7.44″ x 4.69″ x 0.44″ and is designed to accommodate the many baked blushes, eyeshadows, and otherwise domed-shaped products that are typically too tall to work in other palettes. It is available in black.

4U Palette ($17.00) has interior dimensions of 5.56″ x 3.25″ x 0.25″ and is considered the “mid-size” of their palettes. It can hold 15 standard eyeshadows (MAC, Urban Decay, Makeup Geek). It is available in black or crocodile-prints.

Small Palette ($14.00) has interior dimensions of 3.18″ x 3.18″ x 0.25″ and looks like a slightly over-sized quad. It can hold 9 standard eyeshadows (MAC, Urban Decay, Makeup Geek). It is available in black, hot pink, leopard, and zebra-prints.

You can also take your favorite loose products and press them, as Z Palette offers metal pans as well as additional metal stickers for all of your depotting, depanning, pressing, and otherwise space-saving needs.

Z Palette   Large Palette
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MAC Masterclass Brushes Reviews & Photos

MAC Masterclass Brushes
MAC Masterclass Brushes

MAC Masterclass Brush Collection includes three new (and permanent) brushes that are exclusive to maccosmetics.com and MAC stores. I’ve been waiting to post this, as the brushes have been out of stock for almost two weeks now, but they’re back in stock for those who had them on their wish lists. They’re interesting brushes, and I think for some, they’ll be great, and others will find more traditional brushes more compelling. All three brushes felt sturdy and well-made; and the bristles felt very, very soft and silky. The Oval brushes are incredibly dense. They are comfortable to hold, and if you have larger hands or wear glasses, holding the brushes this way and having the brush heads facing this way greatly improve visibility.  I didn’t find that these were as multi-purpose as they’re touted, as the shapes didn’t work for as some of the recommended applications. Again, they’re intriguing and worth checking out, but they may or may not be a good fit in your routine.  I also highly recommend checking out Dustin Hunter’s video on these, as he’s a glasses-wearer as well as a professional makeup artist.

Linear 1 Brush ($25.00) was designed a liner brush; MAC’s website says “to line lashes and lips… also defines and fills brows.” It is 17mm in width, 8mm in length, and 3mm in thickness.  It has a total brush length of 5.75 inches or 14.5 centimeters. I think it’s too long, both in terms of the horizontal length but as well as the vertical length of the brushes (as they extend away from the brush itself)–it feels too large against my eye. It may be too wide, depending on how you like your eyeliner. The brush head is rather large relative to most openings of cream/gel eyeliners, too. The light curved edge on the left and right of the brush doesn’t seem intuitive as it doesn’t contour to the shape of the eye (or lip) well and instead lifts away from it. I liked using this best to fill in brows, where the longer shape worked better, and I didn’t need as much precision.

Oval 3 Brush ($32.00) was designed to be used (primarily!) for “[blending] powder or cream eyeshadows, powde, and liquid, or cream concealer.”   It is 15mm in width, 10mm in length, and 8mm in thickness.  It has a total length of inches 5.75 inches or 14.5 centimeters. This brush, again, was very large against my eye. The only practical way to use it is for applying an all-over color, whether a wash of eyeshadow or setting down an eyeshadow base. For blending, I felt it was too dense–better for application, particularly of creams–to get really soft, feathery strokes. I liked it best for blending concealer, as the slightly rounded edge fit into the hollows underneath my eye and along the contours of my nose. Against the eye, it felt too round, and I would have preferred something either less dense (so it would be more flexible and wisp-like) or flatter across the edge.

Oval 6 Brush ($42.00) was designed to be “ideal for blush, foundation, or powder, the rounded, medium-sized brush applies, blends and contours all over the face and cheeks.” It is 30mm in width, 14mm in length, and 20mm in thickness. Of the three, this was my personal favorite, as I felt like the size was right, and it’s very, very soft. I worked with this brush with blush, foundation, bronzer, contour powder, moisturizers, and primers. It worked best for applying product all over (like a primer or moisturizer) or contouring, as the rounded edge does work with contouring (but it can be a bit wide, depending on your face shape), but for applying blush and the like, only the middle portion of the brush really hits the skin, as it is curved opposite of the face. The dome shape just doesn’t deposit blush that well, and it’s so dense that blending is easier and more naturally achieved with a fluffier brush. It applies foundation beautifully, and it definitely gives a natural, even, and smooth finish.  This brush took a few washes to clean of foundation, and I imagine the density is part of why this is a harder brush to clean.

MAC   Linear 1 Brush
MAC   Oval 3 Brush
Oval 3 Brush
MAC   Oval 6 Brush
Oval 6 Brush

After trying the brushes for a few days, I then spoke to Louise Zizzo, a MAC Senior Artist, who I’ve known for five or six years now! I definitely had a few questions about these new brushes. Since our chat, I spent the next two weeks really putting the brushes through their paces.

Check out the Q&A and see more photos!

Lit Cosmetics Disco Diva and Rich & Famous Glitter

Lit Cosmetics Disco Diva Glitter
Lit Cosmetics Disco Diva Glitter

Lit Cosmetics Disco Diva Glitter ($13.00 for 0.14 oz.) is a bright, vibrant violet purple glitter base with fuchsia-red, cyan blue, and tangerine multi-colored glitters. It is size S3, so it is a larger glitter.  I don’t have anything like this (not that I have a particularly extensive library of glitters).  This shade would work really well over violets, pinks, and golds for a festive look.  This shade is exclusive to Beautylish.

Rich & Famous Glitter ($13.00 for 0.14 oz.) is a yellow gold with hints of brown glitter base with a multi-colored holographic glitter. It is size S2, which is the small-sized glitter–not super fine, but not chunky–and tends to look sparkly but not totally over-the-top like the larger sizes do (but in the best way, of course! it is glitter, after all!). MAC Gold (P, $21.00) lacks of the multi-faceted glitter, it’s just pure gold glitter. See comparison swatches.

Both shades worked well with Lit’s Clearly Liquid Glitter Base, which is an adhesive base that feels like water but keeps the glitter secured all day long.  Ilike how it dries quickly, sets all day, but it is a cinch to wash off–just rinse off with water.

P.S. — Lit Cosmetics is having a Black Friday sale, from 6AM to 1AM today (November 29th), where it’s buy one, get one free. To get the deal, add half of the glitters you want BUT the ones you want to get for free, list them in the “Comment/Promo” box. (For exact instructions, you can see the deal on their Facebook page.)  You can check out all of my Lit Cosmetics’ Glitter swatches here! 🙂

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Lit Cosmetics Glitter Daze Holographic Glitter Collection

Lit Cosmetics Bar Star Glitter
Lit Cosmetics Bar Star Glitter

Lit Cosmetics Glitter Daze Holographic Glitter Collection ($52.00 for 5 x 0.14 oz.) includes five holographic glitter shades, plus a 4ml bottle of Clearly Liquid Glitter Base and a small brush. This is less of a review and more of a, “ooh, look at the pretty glitters,” because the nice thing is there’s very little variance in quality from the glitters, as they’re all loose glitters, and they rely on the Clearly Liquid Glitter Base (which I’ve reviewed here and here!)–and that’s the same product, just being used with new-to-me shades.  It’s a very thin, water-like (in terms of consistency) adhesive base that keeps the glitter in place all day long but washes away with water when you’re ready to remove it.

Bar Star is a medium-dark, almost violet-tinged blue with holographic glitter. It is S3 in size, so it is bit larger than the others for particle size.

Glittergasm is a cool-toned, blue-based red and magenta glitter mix with holographic glitter–looks almost fiery when it catches the light. It is S2 in size.

Heartbreaker is an orange-red and purple mix of glitter that shifts to coppery-orange, fuchsia, and orange. It is S2 in size.

Superfly is a dark gray glitter with multi-colored holographic glitter. It reflects a rainbow of color as the light bounces off the glitter particles. It is S2 in size. MAC Grey (LE, $21.00) is gray but not holographic. See comparison swatches.

Rhinestone Cowboy is a mix of a whole assortment of glitter–it seems like a deep, golden brown base of glitter, and then an array of multi-color glitter that looks like a rainbow as the light catches it. It is S2 in size.

These shades are exclusive to Beautylish at the moment, and they can be purchased as a set for $52 or individually for $13, except Rhinestone Cowboy, which is part of the set only.

Lit Champagne Wishes & Tinsel Town Lit Kits

Lit Champagne Wishes Glitter
Lit Champagne Wishes Glitter

Lit Lit Kits ($19.95 for 0.28 oz.) have launched at Sephora, and they come in two varieties–silver and gold–with each kit containing one full-sized glitter (0.14 oz.) and a miniature-sized Clearly Liquid Glitter Base (0.14 oz.), plus a miniature-sized brush for application. I reviewed Lit and its glitters and adhesive base a little over a year ago here, and I’m excited that they’re going to become more accessible as they roll out more fully on Sephora.

Lit’s glitters are available in four sizes (1 through 4) and four textures (shimmers, solids, metallics, and electrics). , so depending on the finish you want, you can select from an assortment. Their online catalog is quite extensive, though right now Sephora only has two Lit Kits available–but I know they’ll be adding more to Sephora over the next few months. These kits are a great way to try the brand, though. I really love both their adhesive base as well as their glitters. What I like about the adhesive base is that it’s thin, like water, a little goes a long way, it’s long-wearing, and it’s very easy to remove. It rinses off with water, and the glitter removes really, really cleanly if you splash or rinse your face with water. Otherwise, I would recommend a clean cotton pad to remove the majority, and then a second (clean) one to remove any residual bits left on the skin.

Champagne Wishes is described as a “light beige gold with floating translucent rainbow bubbles.” It’s a light, yellow-y gold glitter base with floating (who would have thought!) pastel glitters in lavender, pink, mint green, and aqua blue. The gold glitter seems very fine, while the more multi-colored glitter seems slightly larger. This is listed as a size 2 glitter.

Tinsel Town is described as a “pure silver sparkle highlighted by multi-halo reflections.” It’s a pale, metallic silver with floating pastel glitters in pink, lavender, aqua blue. It seemed like it has the same multi-colored floating effect as Champagne Wishes but with a silver glitter base. Again, the silver glitter seemed a bit finer than the multi-colored bits, but all in all, it’s a finer glitter. It is listed as a size 2 glitter.

I don’t have any dupes for either shade in my stash, but I don’t have an extensive collection of loose glitters to compare to 🙂

Lit Cosmetics Glitter Champagne Wishes
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Tinsel Town
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Hakuhodo G5545, G5556, and J511 Brushes Reviews & Photos

Hakuhodo G5545 Blush Brush
Hakuhodo G5545 Blush Brush

Hakuhodo G5545 Blush Brush ($48.00) is a rounded, flat blush brush made out of blue squirrel and goat hair. It’s 38mm in length, 30mm in width, and 18mm in thickness. It has a total length of just under 7 inches or just over 17.5 centimeters with a pinched ferrule. Prior to my aggressive try-all-the-brushes campaign, I don’t think I had a brush like this–it is a lot flatter than I’m used to. It’s somewhat dense, flat, and just a little rounded around the upper half of the brush head. If you tend to pat your blush on, it’s a good option. It feels incredibly soft against the skin, doesn’t apply too much or too little product in a go, and can softly blend color together. I liked it best with powders. Sephora Pro Precision Blush Brush ($32) is shorter and has a more angled/tapered edge, but it is similar in flatness and overall application; the G5545 is much, much softer (feels like water, almost, against the skin). MAC 116 ($35) is thicker and fluffier overall–and feels much rougher in comparison. Shu Uemura #20 Natural Brush ($50) is the most comparable, though it has a flatter edge, so it is not as rounded, but it has a similar flatness and overall size; it is almost as soft as Hakuhodo’s but not quite (I don’t think you’d notice unless you had both).

Hakuhodo G5556 Powder & Liquid Brush ($69.00) is a blend of goat hair and synthetic fibers. This particular shape of brush is available in a few sizes (and you’ll also find a few in the S series with the red-orange handle if you prefer that aesthetic), there is the G5552-4mm ($45), G5553-2mm ($45), G5554-4mm ($54), G5555-2mm ($54), G5557-2mm ($69). Since I have a history of choosing a brush that’s just slightly smaller than I actually want, I went for what I hoped would be one of the larger versions! From what I’ve seen from readers, this shape/style is supposed to be similar to Shiseido’s Perfect Foundation Brush (which, apparently, is $30, and I had in my mind that it was going to be a $50+ brush, go figure! This also means I’ll probably cave and buy it!). I don’t have Shiseido’s to compare at this time, so I can’t weigh in on that debate.

The G5556 is 28mm in length (from the tallest edge), 28mm in width, and 28mm in thickness. It’s just under 6 inches or 15.5 centimeters in total lenght. It has a round, open ferrule. The brush handle is also very, very thick and round–about 3/4 in diameter and a wide as 1 inch at its widest point. It’s a round, dense brush with a slanted, angled edge that goes flat across (but at an angle). That angle makes it easier to pull the brush into crevices and curves, like around the nose, around the eyes, and along the jaw line. The mix of synthetic and natural bristles makes it work well for liquid as well as powder, so for cream and liquid foundations, this is a nice option. I really liked it for foundation application, but I don’t reach for it over some of my other favorites! It does take a little longer to dry due to its density. This is one of the only angled foundation brushes I own, I think!

Hakuhodo J511 Angled Highlighter Brush ($33.00) is a small-to-medium angled brush made out of goat hair (it is also available with a combination of blue squirrel and goat hair, with black bristles, for $42 as the G511). It’s 28 mm in length, 28mm in width, and 18mm in thickness. It has a total length of 6.25 inches or 16 centimeters. It has a pinched ferrule. The size makes it workable for highlighting, as you can delicately feather a shimmery product on without applying too much or getting it everywhere. For contouring, it works for those with smaller faces or who want a more precise contour. I also thought it was better for applying cream or liquid contours, as I find more precision in placement is more crucial with those textures than with powders. I noticed that this brush also fluffed up quite a bit after an initial wash, so it is more feathery and not as dense as it appears when it first arrives (not really a bad thing!). It is smaller than MAC 168 ($35) and Sephora’s Pro Angled Blush Brush ($32).

Hakuhodo   G5545 Blush Brush
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Hakuhodo   J511 Angled Highlighter Brush
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