Wednesday, October 24th, 2012

Karl Lagerfeld for shu uemura Eyelash Curler
Karl Lagerfeld for shu uemura Eyelash Curler

How Many Eyelash Curlers Does One Person Need?

Karl Lagerfeld for shu uemura Eyelash Curler ($24.00) is shu’s famous eyelash curler with a vibrant red curling pad and mon shu charm attached to the handle. The charm is completely removable, and I’d recommend doing so–but shu said as much saying to “take this lovelyc harm along in your favorite bag.” If the red curling pad and the charm don’t do it for you, the original curler is $4 less. Either way, I’m a huge fan of shu uemura’s curler, and I have been for years! I’ve given it an award for being the best for the past three years.

What I like is the way the handles are shaped, so the grip is comfortable, while the curler is wide and gently curved to fit around all my lashes. It doesn’t pinch the skin, and it doesn’t crimp my lashes either.  While I can’t vouch for this particular unit, I’ve owned two shu’s in my lifetime, and the only reason I bought the second was because I needed the curling pads.  They’re well-made, and I’ve never felt that the spring has lots its power over time.

Eyelash curlers may be the most fun product to photograph, if only because they always look a bit like torture devices.  And I’m sure to anyone who hasn’t been around one or used one often, they do look strange.  No torture here, just prettily curled lashes, which make eyes appear larger and more awake.

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Wednesday, October 24th, 2012

Karl Lagerfeld for shu uemura Mini Brush Set
Karl Lagerfeld for shu uemura Mini Brush Set

A Travel Set of Exquisitely Soft Brushes

Karl Lagerfeld for shu uemura Mini Brush Set ($69.00) includes a silver brush case that includes four short-handled brushes. The largest is the cheek brush, which is made out of pony/squirrel hair. Then, there are two eyeshadow brushes, one is made out of nylon and the other out of sable. The last brush is a lip or eyeliner brush, which is made out of sable. The four brushes were made in Japan.

I’ve been using these brushes for a couple of days, and for a travel set, they’re really quite nice. The blush brush is dense and soft against the skin; it doesn’t feel scratchy at all. It does a nice job of both applying and blending out cheek color. The nylon eyeshadow brush works well for cream eyeshadows, while the sable eyeshadow brush is better for applying powder products. I thought the latter brush was a little large and would have preferred a squatter brush. I used the smallest brush for both applying lip color as well as applying shu’s Painting Liner, and it worked nicely for both applications. I liked it a bit more for lining around the eye, just because it felt a smidgen too small against my lips (but would be nice for someone with thinner lips).

All four brushes have been washed twice now, and I haven’t had any problem with dye bleeding, funny smells, or the like.  The blush brush hasn’t had any shedding problems either.  As far as the bag goes, it will get the job done; I think it’s a little thin overall.  I liked the way each brush had its own pocket, and there’s enough room in it to stick a couple more brushes in there if you want (or a few other products).

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Wednesday, October 10th, 2012


Sleek Eyelash Curler by MAC

MAC Full Lash Curler ($20.00) is easy-to-use, doesn’t pinch, and yields a soft, natural curl that stays. I’ve been using this for the past few weeks when I’ve gone to curl my lashes, and I think it’s very comparable to shu uemura’s curler in shape, feel, and use. If you have smaller eyes, you might consider MAC’s Half Lash Curler. This particular version of the curler is all black, because it is/was part of the Carine Roitfeld collection. I think the all-black coloring makes it look rather sleek (and reminiscent of Chanel’s). It came with one additional curling pad.

When I use this, I’m able to get all my lashes between the curler, and the curl is natural and never an L-shape.  I don’t feel like you have to squeeze your lashes to death to get a good curl either!  The handle is large enough to accommodate a variety of hand sizes.  The overall curler felt sturdy, and I’ll definitely keep this with my lash/brow basics for regular use.

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Thursday, October 4th, 2012


You’ll Be the Envy of All at the Ball

Disney Cinderella Compact by Sephora ($20.00) is a limited edition mirrored compact with a mirror on both sides of the interior (one magnifies). It’s nicely done, period, but it’s particularly well-done for a collaboration. It’s not a gimmicky piece–the design itself is intricate and appropriate. I felt it was inspired by Cinderella in a classy, sophisticated way. It did not feel like a compact my five-year-old self would love but a compact that would suit a spectrum of ages.

There’s a fair amount of heft to it, which gives it a more expensive feeling, and it also makes it sturdier. The numbers on the clock (in Roman numerals) is in raised above the background design (with the gold and teal), so there’s some depth and dimension to the piece. The plastic that is beneath the numbers and above the background is beveled. Overall, I was very impressed by the quality of the compact.

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Monday, September 24th, 2012

MAC 215 Medium Shader Brush
MAC 215 Medium Shader Brush

Congratulations 214 and 227! It’s a Boy 215!

MAC 215 Medium Shader Brush ($25.00) is a new, limited edition (I believe, at least) brush designed to be used for shaping and defining the eye with both powder and cream eyeshadows. It has natural bristles. This brush is like a bigger 214, or a stumpy version of the 227. The 215 is wide, dome-shaped brush that’s packed with bristles. For me, it felt a little rough on the eye. It was less rough when I used powder eyeshadows than when I used cream eyeshadows, which seemed to emphasize the pointy, blunt edges of the bristles.

This brush is a larger eye brush, so if you have a smaller eye area or smaller lids, you may find it too large to use often. It’s a bit large against my eye lids, but I like it for applying one-and-done eyeshadows–which are more or less a wash of color on the lid.  It picks up pigment easily and deposits it well without it getting lost within the bristles.  For more multi-colored looks, it’s too big for me.  It’s softer than the 214 but not as soft as the 227.  The 227 also blends more readily, but this is easier to blend with than the 214.

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Monday, September 24th, 2012

MAC 163 Flat Top Contour Brush
MAC 163 Flat Top Contour Brush

Defined Contouring Made Easy with the 163

MAC 163 Flat Top Contour Brush ($35.00) is a new and limited edition brush designed to be used with MAC’s Pro Sculpting Creams, but they are noted as a multi-purpose brush, so they can be used however you find it works.  The brush is not MAC’s softest face brush, but I wouldn’t describe it as scratchy.  I think the blunt edge gives it a harsher feel against the skin, but when I run it back and forth against my face or arm, it feels fine.  It’s tightly packed with bristles, making it a very dense brush.

It was good for placing the Pro Sculpting Creams on the face, but it wasn’t so good at blending them out. I needed to use my fingertips or another brush to do that.  I think this brush is fairly purpose-specific, and as a result, it’s not a must-have brush for everyone.  It may work well in professional kits or for anyone who does more intense, dramatic contouring.  I did not like this for foundation, blush, or powder products in general.  It worked best with liquids and creams, mostly for initial application.  It had a tendency to drag products in noticeable streaks when used to blend.

Again, this is a brush that seemed to be more of a one trick pony than a great workhorse of a brush.  It’s great if what you’re looking for is a way to apply cream/liquid products in defined lines. There’s also a Sonia Kashuk brush that’s supposed to be a dupe, but I only just bought mine so I can’t weigh in quite yet!

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