Saturday, November 30th, 2013

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.

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Linear 1 Brush

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.

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Oval 3 Brush

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.

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Oval 6 Brush

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. It applies foundation beautifully, and it definitely gives a natural, even, and smooth finish.

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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! Continue reading →

Friday, November 29th, 2013

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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Disco Diva

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Rich & Famous

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Tuesday, November 26th, 2013

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.

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Bar Star

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Glittergasm

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Heartbreaker

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Thursday, November 14th, 2013

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 :)

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Champagne Wishes

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. (Glitter is not currently rated as our Glossover characteristics do not readily apply to this type of product.)

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Tinsel Town

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. (Glitter is not currently rated as our Glossover characteristics do not readily apply to this type of product.)

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Monday, November 4th, 2013

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).

The Glossover

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G5545 Blush Brush

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.
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G5556 Powder & Liquid Brush

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.
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J511 Angled Highlighter Brush

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.
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Friday, November 1st, 2013

MAC Nocturnals/Silver & Violet Set
MAC Nocturnals/Silver & Violet Set

MAC Nocturnals/Silver & Violet Set ($32.50 for 0.55 oz.) contains three pigments and two glitters. Each pigment contains 0.09 oz. of product, while each glitter vial contains 0.14 oz. of product. None of MAC’s glitters are listed as eye safe, and these two glitters are listed as “not safe for the eye or lip area.” This set contains $37.80 worth of pigments and $39.20 worth of glitters for a total value of $77.00. You could try using the glitters in nail polish, in the hair, and on the body. These are loose glitters, so you will need some sort of adhesive base or mix to have them stick to skin. I applied the glitters over Fyrinnae’s Pixie Epoxy for swatches. I wish MAC would test or use a grade of glitter that was eye safe, especially if they’re going to include them in consumer kits like this.

Vanilla is described as a “soft ivory white.” It’s a pale, white gold with warm undertones and a golden yellow sheen. It had good color payoff both dry and damp, though it was more metallic in finish when applied damp. It wore well for seven and a half hours before I saw some faint creasing. It’s part of the permanent range. There’s no shortage of dupes for this shade, though Vanilla has been a long-time fan favorite for years, but you may already have something like it if you haven’t come across it before. Tarina Tarantino Taurella (LE) is warmer. Too Faced Snowflakes (LE) is similar. Bobbi Brown Sunlight Gold (P, $28.00) is a cream product. Disney by Sephora Charming (LE) is similar. Urban Decay Illusion (LE, $18.00) is similar. MAC Carefree (P, $21.00) is less frosted. MAC Short Shorts (LE, $15.00) is similar. Guerlain Calligraphy #1 (LE) is less metallic. bareMinerals Carte Blanche (LE) is similar. See comparison swatches.

Kitschmas is described as a “shimmering pink mauve pearl.” It’s a pinky-lavender with subtle cool undertones and a frosted finish. The texture of this is slightly chunky, so it is best applied with a damp brush as this will help it smooth out and apply with more color payoff (and less fall out!). It wore well for seven and a half hours, and after eight hours, there was some slight creasing. It’s part of the permanent range. Urban Decay Grifter (P, $18.00) is darker. MAC Cheers My Dear (LE, $21.00) is similar–more metallic. Guerlain Attrape-Coeur #1 (LE) is darker, less metallic. Bobbi Brown Cool Lilac (P, $24.00) is cooler-toned and a cream product. See comparison swatches.

Push the Edge is described as a “deep bright purple with pearl.” It’s a medium-dark, cool-toned violet purple with pink-ish-red tones and a pearly sheen. It was fairly pigmented applied dry, but it was more intense when applied with a dampened brush and tended to look a bit darker/richer. It lasted for eight hours on my lid without creasing, but it did stain. It’s limited edition but has been repromoted several times. Urban Decay Vice (LE, $18.00) is more muted. NARS Trash (LE, $24.00) is a cream product. MAC Pink Union #2 (LE, $21.00) is cooler-toned. Inglot #439 (P, $6.00) is slightly cooler-toned. See comparison swatches.

Grey is described as “sparkly chunky grey.” It’s a dark gray small-sized glitter that flashes to a gunmetal silver and gray as the light hits it. It is not lip or eye safe. I don’t have another glitter in this color that I can recall, though I’m sure it is something dupable by brands with full glitter ranges (Lit, OCC, etc.).

Pink is described as a “bright pink.” It’s a medium pink glitter with small-sized particles that flash from light pink to coppery-pink. It’s not lip or eye safe. It’s part of the permanent range. I don’t have another glitter in this color that I can recall, though I’m sure it is something dupable by brands with full glitter ranges (Lit, OCC, etc.).

Note, there are no ratings for glitter because it’s not a product that really fits the criteria we use in The Glossover at this time.

The Glossover

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Nocturnals/Silver & Violet Set

A-

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9/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

8/10

Application

4.5/5

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Vanilla

A-

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

10/10

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9.5/10

Longevity

8/10

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5/5

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Kitschmas

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8.5/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

8/10

Longevity

8/10

Application

4.5/5

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