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  • Clinique25% off any purchase with code CL25, ends 6/28.
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  • MAC Cosmetics25% off to Select members with code MAC25, ends 6/27.

MAC Semi-Precious Brushes: 128, 179, 234, 235 Review

MAC Semi-Precious Brushes: 128, 179, 234, 235 Review

Above is a video review and comparison of the upcoming Semi-Precious brushes. I thought that a video would better illustrate size and how they stack up (both in size and shape) to existing brushes.

My overall take on these brushes is that they’re nice but unnecessary. The split effect is unusual but doesn’t seem to be all that useful. I don’t think that these were meant to be gimmicky, but after using them, that’s how the split fibre technique seems.   If you’re expecting one of these brushes to revolutionize your makeup routine, you may be disappointed.  If you’re looking for a particular size/shape and one of these matches that, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.  You won’t enjoy much of the split effect if you tend to use the point or edge of your brush, rather than the side.

They feel well-constructed from me, but I can’t vouch for longevity, given I have only had these for a few days.  The ferrules seem sturdy and tight around the bristles.  I had some bristles splayed around the edges of the 179, but the other three brushes were fine.  I did not experience any bleeding dye or post-wash smells.  All four brushes felt exceptionally soft, and none of them felt scratchy during application.  On the handles, all four have “China” imprinted, compared to Japan or France for many (if not all) of the permanent brushes.

I see the 234 being the most popular of the bunch, just because it shares a lot of similarities with the 217, which is one of the more popular brushes.  The 128 is a good size to add to one’s stash of cheek brushes, but it doesn’t replace anything I already have (and I don’t see myself reaching for it).   I am curious to see if that will cause each side to separate a little over time.  Right now, the split is really seamless.

These seem more like specialty brushes, which mean that they function but for particular purposes.  I see them less as becoming a new staple brush in your collection as something you buy with an exact purpose in mind.  MAC has other brushes with well-defined purposes in their permanent line-up, so I would think of these in a similar way.   One doesn’t need every brush MAC makes, but you might find a certain brush more useful than another based on what your needs are.

  • 128 Split Fibre Cheek Brush is a nice brush for smaller cheeks, though it feels a little too dense to apply blush as well as I like the application from the 116. It is very similar in size to the 109 and even to an extent, the shape, but obviously flattened. It’s a densely-packed brush.
  • 179 Angled Split Fibre Buffer Brush is incredibly soft and moves well across the skin. It also feels huge when I use it. I’m not sure just how much utility there is here, compared to a normal buffing brush. I did notice more-than-expected splaying of bristles around the edges after two washes.
  • 234 Split Fibre Eye Blending Brush seems to be the most useful of the four brushes. I could see using both sides separately but with the same color–say picking up the product with the natural side and then blending with the synthetic side. It is reminiscent of the 217 but not quite as fluffy or as rounded.
  • 235 Split Fibre All Over Eye Brush is like the 214 and 239 had an over-sized baby. Personally, I find the brush too big to be of much use for my eye area. I wouldn’t say I have particularly small eyes (I wouldn’t say I have large ones, either!). It could work well for applying a wash of a single color; perhaps laying down a cream eyeshadow with one side and blending the edges with the other.

To view still photos of these brushes, please see this post.

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Chanel Quartz Le Vernis


Chanel Quartz Le Vernis / Nail Lacquer

Chanel Fall 2011:  Quartz Le Vernis

Chanel Quartz Le Vernis ($25.00 for 0.4 fl. oz.) is described as a “silver beige.” This is shade that is difficult to describe. In natural light, it tends to look like a champagne beige with threads of silver shimmer. In brighter and more direct light, it looks like a beige-taupe with multi-colored shimmer and a metallic, silver, shimmer. This is a more office-friendly shade as comapred to the other two shades in the fall collection.

I used two coats, and it seemed a touch sheer but manageable. For me, the formula didn’t apply quite as evenly as I would have liked, but it wasn’t particularly troublesome. In the past, Chanel polishes have tended to last about a week on my nails with some minor tip wear (with a base/top coat).

It reminded me of Illamasqua Bacterium, which is a yellower brown.

Chanel Le Vernis Nail Colour Quartz
Quartz
Quartz
8
Product
7.5
Pigmentation
8
Texture
9
Longevity
4
Application
81%
Total

See more photos & swatches!

Behind-the-Scenes: Lessons from Blogging


Coffee is always a good blogging companion!

Behind-the-Scenes:  Lessons from Blogging

One of the most frequently asked questions I receive via e-mail is, “How do I start a beauty blog?” or some variation on that theme—why do you blog, when did you start, how do I get readers, how do you manage your time, and so on and so forth. I thought with today being Saturday and part of the long, holiday weekend, that perhaps I’d take a post to try and give some advice to any aspiring beauty bloggers and some insight on the behind-the-scenes at Temptalia.

Get the Resources and Tools to Become a Beauty Blogger

I do want to make a point that I take blogging seriously; this is not just a hobby to me. I believe that you get what you put in. With that being said, my advice is from that perspective—I plan my life around the blog, not the other way around. This is what has worked for me, but I understand many who want to blog more as a hobby and escape from their everyday lives. These are not rules but lessons I’ve learned from the past (almost) five years of blogging that I want to share to those who may aspire to blog or are already blogging but would like more insight.

From time management to content to motivation…

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Would Jack Black Lip Balm count?  Seriously, it’s one of those products I have bought over and over again and HAVE to keep STOCKED in my house at all times.  If it’s more about a color cosmetic, then I’d have to say Cle de Peau #2 Lipgloss or Chanel Dragon Rouge Allure Lacquer.  Both the color and everything I associate with it.

— Christine

Do you have a question idea? Submit yours here.

MAC Eyeshadow Swatches – Burgundy & Brown

MAC Eyeshadow
MAC Sketch Eyeshadow

MAC Eyeshadow Swatches – Burgundy & Brown

I’m trying to get these up sooner rather than later so that I can be sure to include permanent MAC dupes when and where possible, as it’s the most requested brand when someone is looking for a dupe. MAC Eyeshadows ($14.50 for 0.05 oz.) are so numerous, and the amount of browns and neutrals the brand has is insane.

Sketch is a dark burgundy brown with a velvet finish.
Deep Damson is a dark burgundy brown with red undertones and a matte finish. It’s slightly richer in color with a stronger red undertone than Sketch, but ultimately, it’s a much better formula to work with. This is a PRO shade.
Star Violet is a frosted, medium-dark burgundy brown with a veluxe pearl finish.
Embark is a rich, intense brown with a red undertone. It has a matte finish.
Shale is a dirty plum-gray with a satin finish (though it feels more like a frost or veluxe pearl than it does a satin–the sheen is too frosted).
Brown Down is a dark, chocolate brown with subtle warm undertones and a veluxe finish. It has this grayish cast to it that makes it not quite your typical brown.
Twinks is a medium-dark, golden brown with bronzed shimmer. It has a veluxe pearl finish. MAC describes it as a deep plum with pearl, but it’s very brown on me–at most, a hint of plum.
Sable is a medium-dark, bronzy brown with a tinge of plum. It’s very similar in color to Twinks, but their finishes make them look different.
Antiqued is a rich, coppery brown with a veluxe pearl finish.
Swiss Chocolate is a warm, medium-dark brown with a matte finish.
Brown Script is a warm, red-toned, medium brown with a Matte2 finish.
Texture is a warmed-up, light-medium brown with a yellowness and a velvet finish. It is a bit like Inglot #357.

A lot of the shades featured in this post are really lovely to work with.  Sketch is the only so-so shade; it can be temperamental and not always blend out with ease, which makes Deep Damson a much better choice if one has access to a PRO store/willingness to purchase via phone.  Shale is a shade that often looks just a bit different, because skin tone often shifts it to gray, plum, mauve, or even brown.  I’m a big fan of Twinks, Sable, Antiqued, and Brown Script–all rich and smooth formulas.

See more swatches!

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