Wednesday, August 27th, 2014

Hakuhodo J004G Eyeshadow Brush Round & Flat
Hakuhodo J004G Eyeshadow Brush Round & Flat

Hakuhodo J004G Eyeshadow Brush Round & Flat ($20.00) is a small, dome-shaped, flat eyeshadow brush made out of goat hair. The brush head is 10mm in length, 9mm in width, and 3mm in thickness. It had a total length of 145mm with a pinched, metal ferrule. It’s incredibly soft and silky–it feels like the brush moves at once, so I never felt the individual bristles–and excellent for packing and patting on eyeshadow or blending two shades together. For me, this shape and style of brush is a workhorse, because it can be used to apply, blend, and diffuse eyeshadow all on its own, so it is a true multi-tasker.

It is the most similar brush I’ve found in terms of general shape and feel to MAC 239 ($25). The 239 has a flatter edge with a bit more firmness, while the J004G has a slightly fluffier, lighter feel and is a bit bigger overall. The J242G (reviewed in the next paragraph) is narrower and flatter in comparison to the 239. The 239 is more like a mix of the J004G and J242G, but both are worth considering as alternatives to MAC’s 239. Just for reference, the measures of the 239 are as follows: is 8.5mm in length, 9.5mm in width, and 3mm in thickness. It had a total length of 170mm with a pinched, metal ferrule. The 239 is also much longer in total, as Hakuhodo’s handles run shorter.

Hakuhodo J242G Eyeshadow Brush Round & Flat ($18.00) is a small, flat eyeshadow brush with a slightly tapered edge made with a mix of goat and synthetic bristles. The brush head is 9mm in length, 7mm in width, and 2mm in thickness. It had a total length of 144mm with a pinched, metal ferrule. It’s a narrower eyeshadow brush that’s great for packing or patting on eyeshadow on the inner portion of the lid or for more precise color application if you’re applying more than two shades on the eyelid and want them to be more distinct. The brush is soft and silky, never rough or scratchy, so I also like it for patting on color along the lower lash line using the edge.

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J004G Eyeshadow Brush Round & Flat

For me, this shape and style of brush is a workhorse, because it can be used to apply, blend, and diffuse eyeshadow all on its own, so it is a true multi-tasker.

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J242G Eyeshadow Brush Round & Flat

It's a narrower eyeshadow brush that's great for packing or patting on eyeshadow on the inner portion of the lid or for more precise color application.

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Tuesday, August 26th, 2014

Sephora #27 Pro Blending Brush
Sephora #27 Pro Blending Brush

Sephora #27 Pro Blending Brush ($20.00) is a fluffy, medium-sized rounded brush designed for blending made out of goat hair. The brush head is 14mm in length, 9mm in width, and 6mm in thickness. It had a total length of 178mm with a pinched, metal ferrule. It is fairly soft, lightly fluffy with moderate spring and works in a variety of ways. I like using it to apply a highlighter to my brow bone, and then blend downwards to the crease color, but it can also be used to apply all-over color to the lid, to set or blend out concealer, or to blend out any harsh edges between eyeshadows. It is similar to MAC 217 and Hakuhodo J5523.

Sephora #73 Pro Precision Blush Brush ($32.00) is a small-medium, flattened blush brush with a strongly tapered edge. It is made with natural pony bristles. The brush head is 31mm in length, 26mm in width, and 15mm in thickness. It had a total length of 210mm with a pinched, metal ferrule. This is a feathery, lighter-weight blush brush with a lot of spring and give, so I’ve found it ideal for applying blush and highlighting powders for a subtler application/color. It is moderately soft, but if you tend to use a stippling or tapping motion to apply your brush, you may want to look for a softer brush.

Sephora’s Pro brushes have longer handles than the average brush brand, but they’re weighted well, so they don’t feel awkward in the hand. They seem to use high quality printing on the handles, too, as none of mine show signs of fading/wear for the names.

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#27 Pro Blending Brush

It is fairly soft, lightly fluffy with moderate spring and works in a variety of ways. I like using it to apply a highlighter to my brow bone, and then blend downwards to the crease color.
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#73 Pro Precision Blush Brush

This is a feathery, lighter-weight blush brush with a lot of spring and give, so I've found it ideal for applying blush and highlighting powders for a subtler application/color.
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Monday, August 25th, 2014

Chikuhodo GSN-09 Eyeshadow Brush
Chikuhodo GSN-09 Eyeshadow Brush

Chikuhodo GSN-09 Eyeshadow Brush ($25.00) is a small-medium, dome-shaped eyeshadow brush made out of gray squirrel hair. The brush head had a length of 12mm, width of 6.5mm, and thickness of 2.5mm. It had a total length of 182mm with a pinched, metal ferrule. Of all the GSN brushes I’ve tried, this is easily my favorite, and I could see getting multiples of it, because it’s a really versatile brush for eyeshadow application. It’s narrower than my go-to MAC 239, but it is softer with a more domed edge. The narrower width allows it to apply color more precisely, which is helpful if you’re using more than two or three colors on the lid. It packs on, sweeps, and diffuses eyeshadow beautifully. The edge also fits into the crease area well and can apply color there, too, if you don’t have a go-to crease brush (or sometimes get lazy, in my case). It’s incredibly soft and silky against the skin, but it still picks up plenty of product, so you don’t sacrifice color payoff in your application.

Chikuhodo GSN-07 Eyeshadow Brush ($40.00) is a large, paddle-shaped eyeshadow brush made out of gray squirrel and fitch hair. The brush head a length of 21mm, width of 16.5mm, and thickness of 8mm. It had a total length of 190mm with a pinched, metal ferrule. As an eyeshadow brush, I think it’s very much over-sized and couldn’t incorporate it into an eyeshadow routine at all. I mostly found use for it in applying concealer underneath the eye or using it to press loose powder underneath the eye to set powder over concealer. The bristles are soft, while it had a dense, firm texture with light spring.

Chikuhodo GSN-12 Eyebrow Brush ($29.00) is a medium-sized, angled brush made out of raccoon hair. The brush head had a length of 7.5mm, width of 6mm, and thickness of 2mm. It had a total length of 177mm with a pinched, metal ferrule. The brush head is firm with a little give, and it’s a thicker brow brush so it actually gives a really soft brow color when used. You can get more precise edges, but the brow powder can be diffused and evened out throughout the brow. I like this for getting a defined but not harsh brow using powder eyeshadow. For gels and creams, it picks up too much product, but I liked it for blending out those formulas. I’ve been reaching for this over a lot of my other go-tos for brows, just because I really like how it blends out my brow powder.

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GSN-09 Eyeshadow Brush

Temptalia Recommends
Of all the GSN brushes I've tried, this is easily my favorite, and I could see getting multiples of it, because it's a really versatile brush for eyeshadow application.
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GSN-07 Eyeshadow Brush

This is going to be a brush that someone picks up because they're specifically looking for a larger, paddle-shaped brush for eyes or smaller areas of the face.
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GSN-12 Eyebrow Brush

I like this for getting a defined but not harsh brow using powder eyeshadow. For gels and creams, it picks up too much product, but I liked it for blending out those formulas. I've been reaching for this over a lot of my other go-tos for brows, just because I really like how it blends out my brow powder.
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Friday, August 22nd, 2014

MAC Marge Simpson's Cutie-cles Nail Stickers
MAC Marge Simpson’s Cutie-cles Nail Stickers

MAC Marge Simpson’s Cutie-cle Nail Stickers ($16.50) have a shiny, yellow background with the cast of the Simpsons drawn in black. It’s the same pattern/design as featured on the boxes in this collection. You get two strips, each with eight diffently-sized “nails.” They’re about an inch in length (from the usable edge to the tip).

I don’t know if I’ve ever used nail stickers, but at least not in the last decade, so I was honestly surprised at how easy these were to apply and how nice they looked. The instructions were helpful, and as someone who has pretty much nil experience with it, I only had one goof where the sticker creased a tiny bit on one nail. I started by peeled the back of the sticker halfway, which exposed only the lower half of the sticker, so I could maneuver that along the bottom of each nail, and then slowly peeled the remaining bit off as I stretched and pressed the sticker onto the nail. Then, I bent the excess sticker over the free edge of my nail, rounding along the curves, and used a glass nail file to remove the excess. I did all ten nails in about five minutes–it was extremely easy! I’ve had them on for seven days, and they’re no worse for the wear: they look exactly the same eight days later as they did when I put them on. To remove, I used regular nail polish remover and felt, and it removed easily (pretty much like regular polish), and bonus: no yellow staining.

They don’t look as natural as something done yourself to me, because the bottom edge of it is so perfectly curved/neat, and obviously the drawings are perfect across all your nails. The pre-cut nails fit fairly well on me; only on one nail on each side was the width not quite right, but I was able to easily cut the excess sticker by just rounding my thumbnail along that edge. It’s hard to tell that these are Simpsons-related from afar, as the drawings are smaller. I was also really bummed with how the drawings were translating onto the nails. Not a single nail (and mine are longer, 0.6″ from base to tip) has Marge on it. Smithers shows up on six of the ten nails, and Edna shows up on four of the ten nails. Part of Maggie’s head is visible on six of the ten, then Lisa and Homer show up on two of the ten. Mr. Burns shows up once on each pinky nail, and there’s a bit of Sideshow Bob visible on the pinky nail design as well. I really wish they had broken up the design and thought more about who was going to be visible towards the base (which everyone will use).

These new, limited edition nail stickers are part of MAC’s collaboration with The Simpsons, which will launch online on August 28th and in-stores September 4th.

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Thursday, August 14th, 2014

NARS Yachiyo Kabuki Brush
NARS Yachiyo Kabuki Brush

NARS Yachiyo Kabuki Brush ($55.00) is described as a “multi-functional tool designed for defining cheekbones, highlighting the complexion, and blending and diffusing color on or around the eye area.” It’s a slightly smaller-than-medium-sized blush brush that flares outwards from the base and then tapers gradually to a point at the tip. It’s 1.5 inches / 4 centimeters in length, 0.75 inches / 2.5 centimeters in width (at its widest) and thickness. It has a total length of 6.25 inches / just over 16 centimeters. It has a fair amount of spring and moderate density. I liked it best with under-pigmented blushes or blushes with stiffer, drier consistencies, because the bristles aren’t as soft, so they seem to disturb the surface of tougher powder blushes better, but it’s a brush that doesn’t feel as nice on the skin at times. When I use a feathery touch, I don’t notice that it’s lacking some softness and smoothness to the bristles, but if I try to buff or really blend and diffuse color, it’s less comfortable. I remember hearing a lot of raves for this brush over the years, so when I received it, I was disappointed by the texture and feel of the brushes. It actually prompted me to try Hakuhodo’s Large Yachiyo brush ($50), which is softer but not as soft as other face brushes.

NARS Mie Kabuki Brush ($55.00) is described as a “soft, allover face powder” brush that uses goat hair bristles. It’s a medium-large powder brush that flares from the bottom, rounds out in the middle, then gradually tapers to a soft point at the top. It’s nicely weighted with slightly more weight towards the brush head end, but it feels comfortable in the hand. The brush head is 1.75 inches / 5 centimeters in length, 1.25 inches / 3 centimeters in width (at its widest point) and thickness. It had a total length of 7 inches / 17.5 centimeters. The bottom half (towards the base) is dense, and as it moves up, it has more of a moderate density and moderate spring. The bristles are somewhat rough/scratchy against the skin, especially if you use any tapping or stippling motion, and it is less noticeable if you use slow, sweeping motions. It is about double the size of the Yachiyo with greater density, but it is similar in overall shape.

NARS Mizubake Kabuki Brush ($55.00) is described as a “contour and sculpt” brush with goat hair bristles that can be used with blush as well. It is a short-handled, flat-topped brush that flares out from the base. The brush head was just short of 1.25 inches / 3 centimeters in length, and 1.25 inches / 3 centimeters in width (at its widest point) and thickness. It had a total length of 4/5 inches / 11 centimeters. It could have a better cut–the bristles are a bit uneven, but it was significantly softer, smoother, and nicer to use on the skin compared to the other two brushes above. It had moderate density with light spring, so it worked well for buffing product into the skin, stippling, blending, and sweeping. Of the four, this was the only one I liked, though the shape itself isn’t one that I use in my regular routine, but it is a nice alternative to a buffer brush for someone looking for a longer handle (compared to most buffer brushes, that is!) and less density (it is easier to clean and dries faster than your typical buffer brush, since it is less dense).

NARS Kudoki Kabuki Brush ($40.00) is described as a “sable and pony hair” brush used to “contour the eye for impeccable crease definition.” It is a medium-large-sized, sharply angled eye brush. The brush head measured 0.5 inches / just over 1 centimeter in length, 0.4 inches / 9mm in width, 1/8 of an inch / 3mm in thickness. It had a total 6.5 length of inches / almost 17 centimeters. It’s a firmer, denser brush that is very precise, so if you like a soft, diffused crease, this isn’t an appropriate brush. This seems like a brush you’d use to create a cut crease look. It could be used to apply eyeliner as well, but it is a thicker angled brush, so it would be for a more specific look/application or perhaps smudging out eyeliner. The bristles were fairly soft, but the shape is “sharper” in a way, so use a light pressure when applying to find your comfort zone. The cut could be better, as the edge is noticeably uneven.

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Yachiyo Kabuki Brush

Moderate density, springy brush that is best for under-pigmented powder products as the bristles are scratchier/rougher and dislodge powder from stubborn pans of powder better, but it can be uncomfortable to use, especially when blending due to the scratchiness.
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Mie Kabuki Brush

A medium-large all-over face powder brush with rougher/scratchier bristles, which makes it more unpleasant to use as an all-over face brush. The lack of softness is more noticeable when tapping or patting the brush against the skin and slightly less apparent when doing a sweeping motion.
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Mizubake Kabuki Brush

Moderately dense, light springiness that made it work well for buffing and blending out powder products on the skin for a really diffused look. The bristles were fairly soft, and the brush is similar to how one might use a buffing brush but with a flatter edge and a longer handle (but it is a short handle compared to face brushes in general).
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Wednesday, August 13th, 2014

Z Palette - Fall 2014 Colors
Z Palette – Fall 2014 Colors

Z Palette Large Palettes ($20.00 each) will add five new colors in September. The new colors are: Lavender, Orange, Sky Blue, Yellow, and Pearl White. The Yellow shade is the brightest and most neon, while Sky Blue and Orange are slightly subdued. The White is a bright, crisp white.

Each palette comes with 20 metal stickers so you can magnetize any product you plan to put in it. The Large palette fits about 28 standard-sized eyeshadows (MAC, Urban Decay, Makeup Geek, etc.). Ever since I saw MakeupByTiffanyD depot NARS eyeshadows with floss, I’ve been kind of wanting to try, so I just might see how that goes to fill these up! Has anyone tried that method with success?

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