Sunday, May 3rd, 2015

MAC Wash & Dry Makeup Bag
MAC Wash & Dry Makeup Bag

MAC Wash & Dry Makeup Bag ($35.00) is a new, limited edition zippered, rectangular makeup bag that will be available at select MAC stores and online at maccosmetics.com beginning May 14th (stores on May 21st). It’s tapered so the bottom widens and flattens out, so the bag retains most of its shape even with nothing in it, which helps it stand up as well. The bag is 8 inches / 20 centimeters in length, 4.5 inches / 11.5 centimeters in height, and 2 inches / 5 centimeters in depth. The exterior is 100% PU (a poly synthetic leather), and the interior lining is 100% polyester, which is black in color.

I would have loved to have seen a metallic gold zipper instead of a black plastic one, or at least the zipper pull in a coordinating shade/style to the rest of the bag. It feels comparable to past limited edition MAC makeup bags, which I’ve never had an issue traveling with, but I don’t travel extensively. I think the zipper felt a little cheaper in the type or weight of the plastic use, and it is a bag that will not allow a lot of over-stuffing, as it tapers towards the top and will not zip if you attempt to put much near the top. It’s priced similarly to other MAC makeup bags with similar size dimensions.

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Wash & Dry Makeup Bag

It feels comparable to past limited edition MAC makeup bags, which I've never had an issue traveling with, but I don't travel extensively. I think the zipper felt a little cheaper in the type or weight of the plastic use, and it is a bag that will not allow a lot of over-stuffing, as it tapers towards the top and will not zip if you attempt to put much near the top.
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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.

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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 :)

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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.

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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.

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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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