We hope you'll consider supporting Temptalia by shopping through our links below. Thanks!

Smith Cosmetics 253 & 256 Laydown Eyeshadow Brushes Reviews & Photos

Smith Cosmetics 256 Laydown Brush Large
Smith Cosmetics Laydown Brushes: Small | Large

Smith Cosmetics is a newer brand that primarily makes makeup brushes but is also well-known for their Smithfolio, which is a storage system that includes pages that can hold makeup brushes, glosses, liners, zippered bags, etc. that are held in a zippered binder. I was more curious about their brushes after watching a video the brand did earlier this year, as I liked their approach to creating and releasing brushes–they specifically looked for gaps in the market or ways to improve and tweak certain types of brushes. There seemed to be a really careful thought process to the whole range of brushes. I’ve been testing a lot of the brushes in the range, which I hope to review at some point, but there are two that have fully captured my attention (so much so that I purchased multiples, along with the Smithfolio, after trying them). All of their brushes feature a copper ferrule and antibacterial-coated, stained wood handle (one piece of wood, not wood chips).

They’re a Canadian brand, so shipping to the U.S. is around $10, but my recent order of three additional brushes and Smithfolio came very quickly (overnight) via DHL, which was impressive. They actually just announced free shipping from August 1st through August 20th, worldwide.

Smith Cosmetics 253 Laydown Brush Small ($21.00) is designed to be used for powder products and uses pony hair. The brush has the following dimensions: 6.25 inches / 16 centimeters in total length; brush head is 7.75mm in width, 4.00mm in thickness, and 11.5mm in length. It’s a smaller eye brush with a triangular shape with tapering bristles as you move away and down from the point of the brush. While not quite as silky-smooth in feel compared to high and luxury-end goat-haired eye brushes, it felt very soft and never poked or scratched the skin on and around my eyes (it was softer than my go-to MAC 239). The tapering of the bristles makes it particularly excellent for blending and diffusing colors into each other, particularly when applied on the lid.

It was moderately dense without being firm or inflexible, which made it great for packing and laying down color (real surprise, given its name, I’m sure!). I found that the 253 picked up product really well–sometimes too well, if it was a more powdery and pigmented product–and was a great way to use firmer-pressed powders without having to dig and jab at them. Again, it seemed like the tapered bristles made it so more of the brush was getting brushed across the pan’s surface and therefore more product is getting picked up. The brush is thick enough that the edge can be used to apply color into the crease, and the tapered, smaller size of this particular brush also makes blending out crease colors possible. The triangular shape is one of the reasons I fell in love; it fits so well into the inner and outer corners for more precise lid color placement, while the tapered edge makes it easy to diffuse one color into the next and just above the corners for a more seamless eyeshadow look.

Smith Cosmetics 256 Laydown Brush Large ($23.00) is designed to be used with powder products and uses pony hair; it is a larger version of the 253. The brush has the following dimensions: 6.8 inches / 17.2 centimeters in total length; brush head is 10.00mm in width, 4.75mm in thickness, and 14.00mm in length. Against my skin, the brush felt very soft and smooth without any bristles that poked or scratched at the skin. I enjoyed using this brush a lot for diffusing colors after I placed eyeshadow onto the lid, and it worked well for applying color to the brow bone as well as blending transition shades from crease toward the brow bone. It can be used in the same manner as the 253–placing color on the lid, applying color to the crease, and blending out color on the lid or in the crease–but its larger size made it better for placing one or two colors on my eye due to the size/shape of my lid. I’d actually love to see a Medium version of this style of brush.

15
Product
15
Fitness
5
Durability
5
Construction
100%
Total
15
Product
15
Fitness
5
Durability
5
Construction
100%
Total

See more photos!

We hope you'll consider supporting Temptalia by shopping through our links below. Thanks!

Wayne Goss The Air-Brush Review & Photos

Wayne Goss The Air-Brush
Wayne Goss The Air-Brush

Wayne Goss The Air-Brush ($35.00) is a powder brush designed for sculpting, buffing, and baking. It is made out of blue squirrel hair, which are some of the softest natural hairs I’ve come across. It is a flatter, tapered cheek and face brush that’s small-to-medium in size; it’s not so small that it is only useful for precision work, as it can easily be used to apply products like blush and bronzer, but it is smaller than the average blush brush (though I find it more in line with the size of more Japanese-branded cheek brushes, like Chikuhodo Cheek/Highlighter and SUQQU Cheek). It’s 22mm in width, 35mm in length, and 14mm in thickness with a total length of 7.75 inches / 17 centimeters.

The brush felt silky-smooth against the skin; I couldn’t feel the individual bristles moving across the skin at all. It had moderate density and a fair amount of flexibility, so it can absolutely be used to buff in a powder product or to lightly sweep it on, which made it a more versatile brush overall. Personally, I liked it best for applying cheek products like highlighters, blushes, and bronzers, or else lightly patting loose setting powder under the eye (the softer hairs help minimize disturbing any concealer underneath the eye); it is a smaller version of Hakuhodo G5545, which is a brush I use regularly for applying cheek colors as it lays down color well as well as blends out powders nicely. The way the bristles taper really helps to diffuse color more gradually across the skin, giving a more blended result without a lot of effort. It can be used to contour as the narrower edge can be held underneath the cheek bone, and then the tapered edge can be used to blend out the contour. I still find an angled contour brush (which is more traditional) is more suitable for me to get a more gradual contour that really sits well underneath my cheek bone.

I haven’t had mine for long, since it just released, but I haven’t had any issues with my other Wayne Goss brushes with respect to things one would determine with prolonged use, like abnormal shedding, ferrule loosening, and so forth. Based on past performance and the fact that this is limited edition, I am comfortable giving this review sooner rather than later!

Sephora x Disney | Reflection of Minnie Compact Mirror Photos & Review

Sephora x Disney | Reflection of Minnie Compact Mirror
Sephora x Disney | Reflection of Minnie Compact Mirror

Sephora x Disney | Reflection of Minnie Compact Mirror ($26.00) is a limited edition, gold-hued mirror that looks more like your typical, circular compact when closed, but when you open it, they look like Minnie’s ears. One mirror is for normal viewing, and the other one has 2x magnification for seeing details. I was surprised at how hefty the mirror was; it’s not at all cheap in feel or look, and it’s one of the weightier compact mirrors I personally have. It comes with a zippered black decorated in glitter to hold the mirror (this didn’t feel so luxe, but I didn’t notice any glitter coming off of it, either).

See more photos!

We hope you'll consider supporting Temptalia by shopping through our links below. Thanks!

ByAlegory Acrylic Makeup Organizers & Storage Solutions

ByAlegory Organizer
ByAlegory Organizer

ByAlegory Organizers are acrylic containers designed to fit various types of makeup. They have a range of sizes/types of organizers, and I picked up one of almost all (they came out with another style after I bought mine) to take a look at, see how they fit different types of makeup, and of course, to share that information with you. In general, I think these types of organizers are great for someone with a stash that will fit them OR for storing go-to/daily products, but if you have a lot of product, acrylic organizers add up quickly!  The acrylic felt sturdy and scratch-resistant enough for regular use; it didn’t feel cheap or thin.  They can be used vertically or horizontally, though I’ve shown them all horizontally (or flat, if you prefer). The organizers are available in different colors, as well, which isn’t as common with acrylic systems: Clear, Pink Clear, Purple Clear, Black Clear, White Solid, Black Solid.

Worth noting, since I bought these, I have seen the brand have regular sales/incentives, so there is that to watch for, and they are sold through Amazon Prime (also known as one of the best things ever), which is where I purchased all of mine.

ByAlegory Lipstick Organizer ($14.89) is a short, long tray with three columns (eight slots each for a total of 24 slots) designed to hold lipstick. It measures 8.6″ in length, 3.5″ in width, and 1.4″ in height with 0.85″ interior compartments. It holds a variety of lipsticks across many brands, and the wells are deep enough to keep most sizes upright, though they could easily extend the height by a half of an inch to ensure greater stability across some of the slimmer-style tubes. Things that fit: A lot of lipsticks (I tried Bobbi Brown, Chanel, Dior, MAC, NARS, Urban Decay)

ByAlegory Oversized Lipstick Organizer ($12.99) is a smaller, rectangular-shaped tray with three columns (four slots each for a total of 12 slots) designed for larger-shaped tubes. It measures 5.19″ in length, 4.02″ in width, and 1.18″ in height with 1.02″ square, interior slots. The standard lipstick organizer fits a fair number of brands, but more square-shaped and decorative tubes tend not to fit, so this is the option for storing those. Things that fit: Tom Ford Lipstick (full-size), Kat Von D Studded Kiss Lipstick, Buxom Lipstick, Marc Jacobs Lovemarc Lipsticks, Givenchy Le Rouge, Guerlain Rouge Automatiques (if you have label facing up, the slider won’t fit in the standard holder), YSL Rouge Volupte Lipsticks

ByAlegory Lipgloss Organizer ($23.99) is designed to fit taller, narrower tubes of product. It measures 8.6″ in length, 3.5″ in width, and 3″ in height with .85″ square, interior slots (you’ll want to measure from the widest point of the lipgloss/product that will be in the container). It can hold up to 24 items. It definitely accommodates lipgloss well, but it can also house liquid lipsticks, eyeliners, lip liners, thinner-handled brushes (probably not your favorite face brushes, but most eye brushes fit fine in it). This was one of the most versatile units that I tried; I felt like there was little in the way of “tube-shaped things” that wouldn’t fit. Things that fit: Most liquid lipsticks (including Kat Von D, ColourPop, Anastasia), most lipglosses (I couldn’t find a formula that didn’t fit), eyeshadow pencils, lipstick crayons, most face brushes (even some of my thicker Marc Jacobs face brushes fit in easily)

ByAlegory Cream Shadow Organizer ($13.99) is a short tray with square-sized compartments designed to fit small compacts and pots. It measures 11″ in length, 5″ in width, and 0.75″ in height with interior compartments of 2″ in length and 2″ in width. The tray is really short, so it works well for short drawers and spaces. The organizer is ideal for someone who likes to store their products and visually be able to see the color/shade instantly. Smaller gel eyeliners and cream eyeshadows fit with some space around them, so they shift a little in their respective compartment. I wish each compartment was a little wider, perhaps 2.25″ as it fell just shy of holding smaller-sized blushes (Clinique Cheek Pops) and larger eyeshadows (like MAC Mineralize Eyeshadows, MAC Large Eyeshadows, Kat Von D Metal Crush Eyeshadows).  It is a shallow tray, so while you can keep things on their side, it doesn’t feel quite as secure as would be ideal, but if you keep yours in a drawer and aren’t moving the trays often, it could work. Things that fit: ColourPop Blushes barely(!) fit, MAC Paint Pots, MAC Pro Longwear Paint Pots, MAC Fluidlines, Chanel Illusion d’Ombres, ColourPop Super Shock Shadows, L’Oreal Mono Eyeshadows, Illamasqua

ByAlegory Eyeshadow Organizer ($19.99) is a two-column tray (16 slots in all) designed for smaller compacts, like eyeshadow. It measures 8.6″ in length, 4.73″ in width, and 1″ in height while each compartment’s interior dimensions are 2″ in length, 0.86″ in width, and 0.78″ in height. It’s a smaller organizer, and it really does seem to fit primarily single eyeshadows best; anything blush-size doesn’t fit and some of the more rounded compacts sit a little higher in the compartment but are close enough to fitting that it isn’t a concern (it would be if these were stacking or you had a very short drawer you were putting these into). Things that fit: MAC Mineralize/Large Eyeshadows, NARS Single Eyeshadows, NARS Dual Intensity Eyeshadows, MAC Eyeshadows, Burberry Eyeshadows, ColourPop Super Shock Shadows, Urban Decay Eyeshadows, Milani Eyeshadows, L’Oreal Infallible Eyeshadows

ByAlegory Palette Organizer ($29.99) is a larger, customizable organizer that can have up to eight distinct compartments, but you can remove the dividers to create larger compartments if desired, and you can fit more than one palette in each slot (even as-is) depending on the thickness of the palettes you’re putting in it. It measures 9.75″ in length, 9.5″ in width, and 2.7″ in height with interior compartments measuring 1″ in length, 8.6″ in width, and 2.3″ in height.  I love that there’s some ability to customize here, which at least lets you stack even more palettes (say all your Nakeds) together if desired.  You can also double or triple up for slimmer palettes.   They’ve also released a Small Palette Organizer ($25.99). Things that fit: Any palette that is shorter than 8.6″, as the width can be customized and each compartment is larger than almost all palettes (except a few bulky holiday mega sets); notably, Natasha Denona palettes were just a little too long to fit.

ByAlegory Compact Organizer ($19.99) is a short, single-column tray that can hold eight slim compacts. It measures 8.6″ in length, 3.5″ in width, and 2″ in height with interior dimensions of 2.95″ in length, 0.90″ in width, and 2″ in height for each slot. This is more accommodating for most blushes but doesn’t quite fit larger products like MAC Beauty Powders/Mineralize Skinfinishes perfectly (they sit about a half inch above the bottom of the compartment). Things that fit: MAC Mineralize Blush, Chanel Blush, Burberry Blush, Clinique Cheek Pops, MAC Blush, NARS Blush, Tarte Blush, theBalm Blush, Becca Shimmering Skin Perfectors

ByAlegory Oversized Compact Organizer ($24.99) is a large tray with two columns with five slots each (10 in total) designed to hold larger compacts. It measures 10″ in length, 8.5″ in width, and 2.6″ in height with each compartment’s interior dimensions being 3″ in length, 1.75″ in width, and 2.16″ in height. This is the most free-form of their offerings, as the larger slots can store a slew of products, from small to large, tall to short.  What’s nice about this one is that you can use it for larger compacts, as intended, or you can adjust and store different parts of your everyday routine in it as well. Things that fit: Estee Lauder Pure Color Envy Blushes, Slimmer Palettes, MAC Eyeshadow Quads (and most other eyeshadow quads), Loose Powders, Foundation Bottles, Perfume, MAC Mineralize Skinfinishes, Physicians Formula Powders

ByAlegory Eye/Lip Liner Organizer ($19.99) is designed to fit very tall, narrow cylinder-shaped products, like eyeliners and lip liners. It measures 5″ in length, 2.16″ in width, 2.16″ in height with two interior-sized slots–20 0.34″ round slots and 6 0.50″ round slots. Of all the organizers, this was the least useful to me; I think the slots are a little tight for some eyeliners with caps (a lot of eyeliners have the colored end/label on the end, not the cap-side).  It worked well for holding most eyeliners, most eye brushes, larger eye crayons, and smaller face brushes (a lot of my Japanese cheek/highlighter brushes fit). Things that fit: Most pencil liners (Urban Decay, Sephora, Stila, Marc Jacobs, MAC, Zoeva, Tom Ford, Chanel, Illamasqua), NYX Jumbo Pencils (in large slot only), brushes (with narrower tapers–a lot of eye brushes fit no problem in the larger slots, smaller face brushes)

See more photos!

Wayne Goss Holiday 2015 Brush Photos & Review

Wayne Goss Holiday 2015 Brush
Wayne Goss Holiday 2015 Brush

Wayne Goss Holiday 2015 Brush ($115.00) is a new, limited edition brush for the holiday season. It is described as a finishing brush that can be used to “blend away harsh lines and set makeup without disturbing it.” According to Beautylish, it is made out of “blue squirrel hair and a synthetic weave.”

It’s like a very large, rectangular-shape paddle brush with rounded edges. It flares out slightly from the ferrule, and it is light-to-moderate in density. It isn’t a flimsy brush, but it isn’t dense either and there’s a lot of give so it almost seemed floppy at first (not in a bad way, after I used it). It is the largest brush I’ve come across from Wayne Goss’ line. The handle itself is also quite thick. The brush head was 51mm in width, 51mm in length, and 22mm in thickness. It had a total length of 6.75 inches or just over 17 centimeters.

The bristles are soft, and they’re well-placed in the ferrule so the hairs line-up and appear even at the edge of the brush head. I liked it best for setting or finishing, and it worked well to as a softer version of a buffing brush, as it could gently blend and merge all products together without losing their placement. (It will not magically blend out a blotchy blush, though, as it has too much spring and flex). I’ve only had mine for a week, so I can’t attest to longevity or prolonged use, but I have washed mine five times to at least ensure that there are no issues with shedding or smell, and I haven’t experienced either thus far.

See more photos & swatches!

MAC x Guo Pei 129 & 213 Brushes Reviews & Photos (Quick)

MAC x Guo Pei 129 Blush Brush
MAC x Guo Pei 129 Blush Brush

MAC x Guo Pei 129 Blush Brush ($46.00) is a specially packaged edition of MAC’s standard blush brush (which costs $35.00 normally). It is one of my least favorite brushes, even for a MAC brush, as it scratchy and rough. It only takes a couple of washings before it loses the majority of its softness. It also sheds. The Guo Pei version is no different, unfortunately. It is pretty to look at but painful to use! The shape is perfect for blush application, as it isn’t too small or too large with a lightly domed edge, moderate density, and some spring/give.

MAC x Guo Pei 213 Eyeshadow Brush ($32.00) is a small, fluffy eyeshadow brush beset for applying, packing, and blending out powder products on the eye. It is also a brush shape that is available in the permanent range (which costs $25.00 normally) that has been specially packaged for the collaboration. I like this brush, but I prefer a lot of others (at similar price points) over it as it is somewhat soft and can be a little rough along the edges. The Guo Pei edition seems to have a better edge than some of my standalones, as it is more even.

See more photos & swatches!