Alexis Bittar Liquid Gold Compact Mirror

Alexis Bittar Liquid Gold Compact Mirror ($42.00) is a medium-sized, heft 24 karat gold-plated compact mirror with Swarovski crystals. It has a very interesting, unique shape, and it is incredibly heavy, which makes it feel higher quality in the hand as it feels solid, but it’s not something I’d want to keep in a bag to use for touch-ups on-the-go. It might be a nice item to keep on a desk (or a vanity) for touch-ups at the office or the like, or if you normally carry a big purse, you might not mind the additional weight.

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Alexis Bittar Liquid Gold Compact Mirror

Diptyque Spice Candle Review & Photos

Diptyque Spice Candle ($68.00 for 6.5 oz.) is described as “cinnamon with the reassuring roundness of plum.” Sometimes, I’m not sure why I buy things I know I probably won’t like, because Diptyque’s candles always disappoints me. Their holiday candles are always so beautifully packaged, and since I tend to gravitate towards spicy, cozy scents in the fall and winter, I thought this one might hit the spot (and being cinnamon-driven, I didn’t think it would be a shy scent).

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Diptyque Spice Candle

Hello Kitty 40th Anniversary Ruby Compact Mirror Review & Photos

Hello Kitty Ruby Compact Mirror ($49.00) is described as a “Hello Kitty-shaped compact mirror” that’s supposed to have 300 “hand-placed jewels.” For a serious collector who is less concerned about quality or durability, it might still be nice to have on a desk or vanity, but with as much Hello Kitty merchandise out there, I would be surprised if there wasn’t something that was really dazzling to be had. (Or even DIY one!) This just doesn’t have much sparkle–it looks dull–they almost look like clear crystals, even in person. The exposed edges of the mirror scratched really easily, so I don’t think I would keep it in a bag unless you found a pouch for it. It is lightweight with a thin feel–I’m not even sure it is metal. The hinges are a bit stiff, but it doesn’t readily open in a makeup bag or purse. The red paint on the bow arrived partially chipped on the side, and there were a few scratches on the interior upon arrival. It doesn’t feel like a luxury compact, and the real lack of shift and sparkle with the “jewels” is so disappointing.

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Hello Kitty Ruby Compact Mirror

Guerlain Coque d’Or Perfumed Shimmer Powder

Guerlain Coque d’Or Perfumed Shimmer Powder ($95.00 for 0.61 oz.) is described as a “silky halo of a golden shimmer.” It’s a fine misting of gold shimmer, just as described. Guerlain says it can be used to “illuminat[e] hair, face, shoulders, and the top of the decollete.” It is a scented powder, which the brand says is a “chypre composition based on bergamot, rose, jasmine, and patchouli.” It’s very subtle when I tried wearing it all-over arms–it’s no substitute for perfume–and I only get a hint of a scent when I have my nose to my skin. It’s warm, sweet, and slightly woody with a little earthiness.

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Guerlain Coque d'Or Perfumed Shimmer Powder
Guerlain   Coque d'Or Perfumed Shimmer Powder
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NARS Kabuki Brush Set (Holiday 2014)

NARS Kabuki Brush Set ($149.00) includes three, kabuki-style brushes: Mie Kabuki, Mizubake Kabuki, and Kabuki Eye Brush. The Mie and Mizubake brushes are both $55 each, so that is $110 value there, and then $39 for the eye brush (which seems about right–the Kudoko, an eye Kabuki brush NARS released earlier this year is priced at $40). The brushes come housed in a thick, plastic rectangular box (it feels like acrylic storage containers to me). There’s a thin, removable plastic insert that holds the brushes upright in the box.

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NARS Kabuki Brush Set
NARS   Mie Kabuki Brush
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MAC Keepsakes/Brush Kits Review & Photos (Quick)

I thought the quality of the brushes in these sets seemed better than many of the other brush sets released over the last few years. Unlike past years’ brush sets, I didn’t instantly think, “Why bother?”  This is the first year in quite awhile where I’d say they’re worth considering if you really want MAC brushes but the cost of full-sized brushes is too high. I would, of course, also say that there are plenty of quality options to consider if your budget is $50 that may be better or more versatile, especially if you prefer or are indifferent to synthetic bristles.  I highly recommend looking at the brushes in each set and determining if those are the shapes you’ve been looking at or not.  Another aspect to consider is whether you like short handles or prefer longer ones, as these are all short.  Each comes with a glittery brush bag with “pearl” trim.  The bags use a finer glitter, so it doesn’t feel as rough, and though it does shed some glitter, I didn’t notice it much.  The Studio Brush Kit was the least comparable to their full-sized counterparts, and I don’t recommend it at all.

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MAC Keepsakes/In Extra Dimension Brush Kit