Monday, May 24th, 2010

MAC 130 Brush

MAC 130 Brush: New Cream Blush Hero

The MAC 130 Brush ($38.00, supposed to be permanent now) is described as, “A short, round, flat-topped brush ideal for the smooth, easy application of foundations, creams, emulsions, and select powder products [and] features a blend of natural bristles and synthetic fibres.”

How does it work for…

FOUNDATION: I think those who normally use the 187 will find the 130 a welcome addition to the duo fibre line-up. Though the brush head is much, much smaller (think like a stumpy 188), the compact, dense brush head allows for greater control and blending as well as it’s small enough to get into the nooks and crannies (like around the nose). The shorter fibres also provide for significantly less streaking and clumping of the bristles (huge reason why I’m not a big fan of the 187 for foundation). If you liked the application of the 109 but found yours shed unbearably, I think you’ll also like the 130. I still prefer my 109 a little bit over the 130.

CREAM BLUSH: I’ve been finding that the 130 is better than the 188 for cream blushes lately. I like the firmer, stiffer brush head, rather than the more springy fibres of the 188. It gives me more control, precision, and helps to blend out the color in small, buffed circles. You can see me demonstrate how to applying cream blush using the 130 in this video (along with the 131).

POWDER BLUSH: Really not a big fan of this brush in powder products — I just don’t find that it delivers the soft, natural, and effortless color and finish that traditional blush brushes do, like the 116.  It’s better for buffing out blush than so much for applying it.

The 130 is definitely a must-have brush for those who wear cream blush or bronzer on a regular basis. The stiffness (it still has give, though!) makes it so easy to apply and the circular brush head makes it easy to buff into the skin. The bristles themselves are as soft as you would expect from MAC.

The only thing I noticed is the brush has a tendency to have some splayed bristles if you aren’t extra careful to reshape it perfectly after washing. (I re-washed the 130 brush last night, and it’s much tighter, with only 3-4 bristles pulling away.) It doesn’t affect the utility or the application of the brush, but it’s something I noticed when photographing.

What do you use the 130 for?  Is it a must-have for you?

If you want to know more about how products are evaluated, read out Rating System FAQ! :)

  • Product: 28/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation: If you’re in the market for a brush to apply liquid foundation or cream blush, the 130 excels at both tasks. It’s better than the 187, arguably as good as or better than the 109 (depends on who you talk to, ha!), and beats out the 188 for cream blush.

Availability: Nordstrom

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Monday, May 24th, 2010

MAC 131 Brush

MAC 131 Brush: A Duo-Fibre Multi-Tasker

The MAC 131 Brush ($40.00, limited edition and available with To the Beach) was originally released with Colour Craft (July ’09), and I’ve owned it since and used it once. I spent the past couple of weeks testing it out for the first time and seeing what it works best for. MAC describes it as, “Flat, tapered brush that contains a combination of short and long fibres … [i]deally suited for Mineralize Skinfinish Powders.”

How does it work for…

FOUNDATION: When it comes to liquid foundation, it does the job. I liked the application and finish better than the 187, because it seemed a lot less streaky (which is why I moved past the 187 to the 182 and now use the 109). The application with the 131 is quite a bit different, given that it’s a flatter, slightly tapered and angled brush–you don’t blend in a circular motion here. It’s more about soft sweeps and pulls to get the product blended on your face.

CREAM BLUSH: I prefer the 130 (also available with To the Beach but appears to be permanent) or the 188 (permanent) over the 131. The 131 is nice for blending out the color initially, but I find that being able to buff small circles is one thing I really find preferable in technique that the 131 doesn’t make so easy. You can see me demonstrate how to apply cream blush using a stippling brush like the 131 in this video (along with the 130). It is better with more emollient/thinner cream blushes than thicker consistencies.

MINERALIZE BLUSH/SKINFINISH: Like the 187, using the 131 to apply mineralize color products like the blushes, blush duos, and skinfinishes helps to soften the color and diffuse some of the glittery particles. It gives a very soft, subtle color and deposits a light layer of the sparkler/shimmer. I think it’s nice on some of the more pigmented, dirtier, or glitter-heavy shades, particularly for those with more visible pores. I think if you have the 187 or 188, you may not find the 131′s application far superior. I like the 131 a bit more, but it’s a close race. It’s also smaller than the 187, so it may be more manageable on cheeks in comparison.

MOISTURIZER: I actually found myself liking the 131 more to apply moisturizer than anything else. I spritz the brush with a little water, and then I apply my moisturizer–very clean, sanitary, and soothing. Of course, whether it’s vital to have a single brush for this purpose is debatable!

My personal feeling about the brush is that it’s a nice, high-quality brush that certainly is useful and can be used with different products, but if you are an avid brush collector, it may not be a must-have brush. I just didn’t and still don’t find myself reaching for it very often. I just want to repeat that there is nothing wrong with this brush–it has the same excellent standard of quality from the softness to the construction to the ability to multi-task as MAC brushes. It hasn’t reinvented the wheel for me, since I already own the 187 and 188.

I did an entire series of reviews on all of MAC’s Face Brushes, so definitely check that out if you’re looking for a particular brush.

What do you use the 131 for? Is it a must-have for you?

If you want to know more about how products are evaluated, read out Rating System FAQ! :)

  • Product: 28/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation: If you already own the 187 and 188, you may not find this brush revolutionary. You may not even find it’s worth it, if you’re on a budget, and you own those two. It’s better suited for blush and mineralize products from the testing I did.

Availability: May 25th online at maccosmetics.com, May 27th in-stores

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Saturday, November 7th, 2009

30 Must-Read Posts from the Archives

Whether you’re a long-time reader or this is your first time, navigating through our archives is near impossible to make easy. With 5,000 posts, there are definitely a few that stand out! Some of the must-read posts listed below are actually a series of posts or even a post that goes on to list numerous more posts (almost like a guide within a guide!).  Ultimately, we feel these are all posts that have stood the test of time and really continue to be relevant, useful, or interesting articles.

Makeup Tips

  • 16 Tips on How-to Apply Eyeshadow features sixteen of my favorite application tips and tricks to getting more out of your eyeshadow–from blending to brushes to color.
  • Eye Diagram/Reference will teach you about the different parts of the eye and how to identify them — from the crease to the lower lash line to the inner lid! It’s particularly useful if you are a frequent Temptalia reader, as I reference each part of the eye based on this chart.
  • Best Eye Makeup Brushes (Video) is an updated, video version of my must-have brushes are for doing my eye make-up. The video features six core brushes as well as two additional brushes I really like.
  • 7 Must-Have Eye Brushes features seven of my must-have brushes to create gorgeous eye looks. My picks were all MAC brushes, but the idea is really more about the shape and type of brush–the brand is up to you! If you have problems with blending in particular, you may also want to check out our blending how-to.
  • Best Face Brushes (Video) is a six minute video featuring Temptalia’s must-have brushes for applying blush, highlighters, and foundation.
  • 8 Must-Have Face Brushes for Flawless Skin features detailed explanations and reasonings as to what brushes you need to create your look.
  • How-to Clean Your Makeup Brushes (Video) explains how to best clean your brushes to keep them bacteria-, dirt-, and build-up free so those brushes you’ve invested in will last you years and years.

Tutorials

  • How-to Apply Blush for Glowy Cheeks (Video) is a quick, two and a half minute video on applying blush, where to apply it, what kind of technique I’ve found to work best, and how to bring it altogether for beautiful, glowy cheeks.
  • How-to Contour & Highlight (Video) is a short, five-minute video showing one method of contouring and highlighting your face for everyday wear.
  • How-to Apply Liquid Foundation (Video) is a tutorial on how-to apply your liquid foundation using a brush (like the MAC 109) for a flawless look.
  • How-to Apply Red Lips is a photo-based tutorial wih step-by-step photos to help you with your application of bold lip color, such as red, for a gorgeous, flawless looking pout that’ll have everyone on their knees!
  • How-to Line Your Upper Lash Line will show you with step-by-step photos and detailed instructions on how to create the classic cat-eye look with black gel liner.
  • How-to Fill In Your Brows (Video) is a quick, three minute video showing one method of filling in your brows using an angled brush and pressed powder to create fuller, more defined brows.
  • 5 Minute Eyes (Video) shows you how to create an easy neutral look in just four minutes.
  • Tutorial: Smoky Eyes will take you step-by-step with close-up, detailed photos on how to create an easy, timeless smoky eye. As an added bonus? A little help with creating cat-eye liner, too!
  • Tutorial: Black Smoky Eyes is a classic Temptalia tutorial (in fact, one of our firsts!) all about creating a very dramatic, very dark smoky eye.

MAC

  • MAC Makeup: Your Guide to Everything MAC Cosmetics is pretty much the most comprehensive listing of all of our must-read posts about MAC and all that MAC is. It includes a breakdown of posts that focus on brushes, must-have products, product photos, and swatches. To date, this Everything Guide features over 70 must-read posts about MAC Makeup!
  • Your Guide to Upcoming MAC Collections is a comprehensive listing of the latest collection releases as well as upcoming launches that we know about. We update it every few weeks with links to new information or reviews, swatches, and the like for recently released launches as well.
  • MAC Eye Brushes Guide includes detailed reviews as well as close-up product photos of most of MAC’s currently available eye brushes. Seasoned MAC artists also talked to Temptalia about their favorite brushes to use on the eyes, too!
  • MAC Face Brushes Guide contains detailed reviews, including product photos, of just about every face brush currently available by MAC. Also, get expert advice from MAC artists as they tell you what their favorite brushes are and why.
  • MAC Eyeshadows (Product Photos) is a photo montage of the majority of MAC’s permanent eyeshadows. Detailed, close-up photos were taken of as many permanent eyeshadows as possible. Psst, don’t forget to check out part two, as well.

Series

  • 30 Days of Make Up For Ever was a month long series in July 2009 that featured a myriad of product reviews, swatches, looks and even tutorials featuring the Make Up For Ever brand.
  • My Recommendation Guide is all about helping you find the best eyeshadows, best lipglosses/lipsticks, and best blushes based on your skin tone. This series consists of three parts: fair skin, medium skin, and dark skin. Recommendations are given both by Temptalia as well as readers!
  • The Best of… is a series of posts devoted to highlighting must-have products from different brands. The idea is to give you a snapshot of a brand’s best products if you haven’t yet tried that brand. You read our “Best of” for: Benefit, Bobbi Brown, Clinique, Dior, and Guerlain — with more to come.
  • The Scarlet Season focuses on a variety of different shades of red lipsticks and lipglosses from various brands for the holiday season. (Please note, this series is currently in progress, so it is not finished yet.)
  • Temptalia’s Stash & Storage will keep you up-to-date on any posts, photos, or storage tips I have based on my own collection of beauty bits and bobs.

Get to Know Us

  • About Temptalia & the Founder is a quick intro into how Temptalia was created, what it wants to be, and who’s behind it.
  • How-to Contact Us with any feedback, questions, or suggestions.
  • FAQ which may help answer any questions you’ve always wondered about the blog.
  • Our Disclosures & Policies in regards to how we review, what we disclose, how we disclose, what some of that mumbo jumbo actually means, and the like.

Is there a post that you’ve always really enjoyed? A post you have bookmarked or one you continue to keep going back to? I’d love to hear what you might have found helpful or useful!

Monday, September 28th, 2009

MAC Eyeshadow Product Photos – Part 1

I was able to snap some photos of MAC’s permanent line of eyeshadows, so here’s part one of them! :) Please keep in mind that these are testers from the MAC counter, not owned by me, so they may be messy, gross, etc. I swatched most of MAC’s permanent eyeshadows a few months ago, so do check that out if you’d like swatches instead!

Sunday, August 9th, 2009

Once you’ve made the investment in brushes, take care of that investment by regularly washing and cleaning your brushes. Regular maintenance of your brushes will provide you with years of use, but it will also keep your makeup, brushes, and routine more sanitary. It is particularly important to regularly wash face brushes if you are acne-prone — it is best to do so after every use, especially with brushes that have been used in cream or liquids.

You can use any of the following:

  • Brush Cleanser (by MAC or any other brand)
  • MAC Cleanse-Off Oil (to remove stains)
  • Baby Shampoo (by any brand)

Make sure to SUBSCRIBE! :D

Wednesday, July 29th, 2009

Beauty Basics: How to Apply Blush to Get Glowy Cheeks

Struggling with blush application? It’s all about applying it to the apples of your cheeks, then diffusing the color towards you temples. The MAC 116 brush makes this *super* easy!  Tomorrow, I’ll have an easy, everyday highlighting/contouring tutorial up. :)

Products Used

  • MAC Enough Said Blush (Photo)
  • Dior Amber Diamond Skin Shimmer (Review)
  • MAC 116 Blush Brush (Review)
  • or MAC 129 Blush Brush (Review)

Don’t forget to…

Subscribe to my YouTube Channel! :)