Monday, February 20, 2012

A Quick Update....

Well, I've finally arrived in Dubai!! It is really nice and sunny here, but finding furniture is really hard and taking a long time.  In the meantime, I don't have internet at home so I can't post any photos, but I will hopefully very soon!

Hope everyone is enjoying their day!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

A Light LOTD

I've been having migraines lately but I have to go out in public so I had to do something with my face.  Hopefully I will be able to unpack soon, and I really need to start using my Clarisonic again, getting some better face products, etc., etc....

I just used what was easy to find, and that was the UD NYC palette, Toxic Tale lip gloss (yeah, I still have that lol!).  I didn't feel like doing eyeliner so I used the Ransom e/l from the palette.  I did use blush, I don't know why it doesn't show up in the picture!

If anybody has any suggestions for really dry skin facial care, I'd love to hear them!  I'm currently using Clinique 3-step but I don't feel like the soap is getting my face clean enough and the moisturizer isn't heavy enough either.  

Thursday, February 16, 2012

My Favourite Brow Brush

I just got this brush last summer.  I don't know why I never knew this brand had a brow brush, it would seem so obvious since I always bought their brow powder, stencils, brow gel, and basically every brow product. 


This is the Anastasia brow brush.  It says "15" on it but I don't see any other brow brush they make.  It is described as "cut, angled" brush. 

The bristles:

The hairs are short, firm, and dense.  It has a short, thin handle which makes application an absolute breeze. 

I find this brush to be just perfect.  I use just the tip flat for the outer part of my brows, which are basically nonexistent.  I use it flat vertically for the parts near the bridge of my nose where I need just a little fill.  I never get any powder fall out and the lines look natural. 

Before this I was using MAC and Nars brow brushes, and I liked them but sometimes I felt like the brush wasn't depositing enough product, or the lines ended up too thick or uneven, and I had to use much shorter strokes as well.  With the Anastasia one it's a lot less effort to get an even better result, so I am very happy with it.  

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day!

There isn't anything big going on here, no V-Day plans for me.... in fact, I can't even remember the last time I had a "Valentine's Day".   I always wish I knew someone affectionate in that way, even if it sounds really stupid....

What are your plans this Valentine's Day? 

Monday, February 13, 2012

Maybelline Colossal Cat Eyes Mascara

I normally use Maybelline Falsies mascara, but since I had never seen this one before, I thought I'd give it a try. 

The brush is very curved:

There is soooo much product on the brush, even after swiping it a few times, it really makes applying it a mess.  That term actually basically sums up this mascara: a mess.  I really believe the brush is the culprit- the bristles are so short and sparse.  Even after using a lash comb, my eyelashes were still so clumpy.  It did also have some minor flaking by the end of the day, but it did not run or smear.  And this mascara is not comfortable to leave on all day anyway, it makes my lashes so hard, crunchy, and stuck together I couldn't wait to get it off. 

However, it did add a lot of length and I did like the curviness of my lashes after using it. 
I even held on to this mascara for over three months, thinking that perhaps when the formula dried out a bit it would perform better.  Unfortunately it did not. 

I am a natural blonde so my lashes are basically invisible, so any mascara is better than nothing.  Even though they're so light, they do have a bit of length and curl to them. 

If you were to judge only by appearance, then it looks pretty good, it may have even given me a "cat eye" look. 

The other eye, combed 3x 

I probably could have salvaged the mascara by using a spoolie or another mascara wand but frankly, it's not worth the trouble when I can just get the Falsies, which I will from now on.  

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Different Hairstyle For a Day

I forgot what I had to do this day, but I wanted to try something different with my hair.  Here was the result, granted, the photo was taken at the end of the day:

For anyone curious, I normally have my hair completely straight.  I was contemplating doing something different to it more permanently, but the straight fringe decided for itself that waves aren't really for me.  

Thursday, February 9, 2012

nails inc. Bloomsbury Square "3D" Nail Polish

I bought this nail polish on a whim (maybe because I needed one more thing to get free shipping... I'm sure we've all been there lol), so I didn't really have any expectations. 

It is purple and magenta glitter:

First, the positives about this polish- it is pretty on the nail in the sunlight.  It is accurately described as "3D" in the sense that it "pops up" and out on the nail.  It is unique- the only thing I can think of that is a bit similar is nail strips, because of the texture, but there are too many differences to really compare them. 

But.... I absolutely do not like this polish at all.  First, it smells like nail polish did in "the old days".  I am not an expert on chemicals but it has something distinct smelling that I am sure they don't put in any of my other polishes. 

Second, the texture.  Glitter, by my definition, is supposed to sparkle!!  This does not.  It is so rough and bumpy, my nails felt so weird with it on, like they were "dirty" or had some bad spray paint on it.  I thought top coats would help smooth and/or gloss it... they did not. 

Here is a close up of my nail with this polish on, hopefuly this will show what I mean:

I used two coats, which was all I could stand because it was just so heavy looking on my nails. 

Last but not least, removal was the worst I've ever experienced.  I knew it was going to be difficult so I left it on until I just couldn't take it anymore, which was 5 days.  I had to use half a bottle of remover!  I had to soak each nail in the remover and still had to scrub too, which left my nails dry and damaged. 

In short, if you see this on a shelf near you..... I'd recommend you keep looking.  Me personally I would RUN!!  Far and fast.... your nails will thank you.  

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Bdellium Brushes

I had been contemplating getting these for a while.  They went on sale on Amazon and I couldn't justify not getting them.  I found all the reviews I could, which were all praising them.  One of their biggest selling points is that they have "antibacterial properties".  I wasn't really excited about that, but I wanted to try them just because they were something new. 

I actually bought a whole bunch of them, including two sets:  the yellow handled travel set, and a green synthetic bamboo set.  I also got several individual brushes, most are not shown here because I cannot locate them at present.

I really like these handles, they are lightweight and a great length.  The bristles are really soft.  The two I like the most are the powder brush (#1) and the eyeshadow brush (#4) but they are much better with loose product, not pressed.  The powder brush is ok with pressed powder but it is denser than the others.  The eyeshadow brush was decent for pigments and loose shadow, but I still found it a bit large.  The blending brush (#3) was fluffy and nice, but I didn't find it more effective than others I own. 

Overall, I do like these brushes.  Do I love them?  Nah.  The green handles make them a unique part of my brush collection, so I am glad to own them.  The full price is $40-$50 depending on where and when you get them, and aside from the appearance, I am not sure they're worth it. 

Next is the travel line, 7 piece set.  One of the brushes in the set isn't actually in the picture (it's an eye brush) because I simply cannot find it. 

The brushes also came with a handy multi-pocketed roll up bag:

I can say with complete honesty and candor that the bag is the only thing I liked about this set.  The brushes are completely worthless.  The bristles are itchy, scratchy, and don't even survive one wash.  So much shedding and hairs completely out of place.  Some of the handles are starting to crack.  I really don't have anything positive to say about these brushes.  I also got a brush similar to the MAC 187, and the same problems.  The flat brush pictured (#4) is actually for applying facial clay masks, and it was all right. 

I did get their #957 foundation brush that I really liked.  The long handle is especially helpful when applying foundation to others, and it applies foundation smoothly and evenly.  I only wish it was a little smaller in diameter or the bristles didn't have so much give when using it. 

In short, I'd definitely pass on the travel set, no matter if they were free I still wouldn't get them.  Their customer service also left much to be desired.  The inaccessability doesn't make it any easier.  If you have a Target near you, I'd much rather recommend some of the Sonia Kashuk brushes.  

Monday, February 6, 2012

A Little Doll Face

I have posted a pic or two of my son before, but it's been quite a while.... and he has really changed!  Full set of teeth, beautiful smile, and he even has blonde hair! I know he's my kid but I think he is really cute!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Fairly Recent LOTD: Forest Green and Bronze

This is about as recent as I have at present, but it's less than a month ago..... I totally forgot what products I used except I know the lippie is a Milani Flash pencil (I probably reviewed it at some point on here), and the bronze is actually a gel eyeliner I got from a small independent cosmetics company. 

As always, it's a work in progress, but I think green is one of the better colours on me.... 

Friday, February 3, 2012

Two Hakuhodo Face Brushes

These are brushes for liquid/creme foundation, and powder. 

At the time I purchased this brush, they were not yet on their website.  Here is a photo that was taken by Hakuhodo and sent to me for reference, I think it is easier to show this photo first.   

The brush I have is I believe G5554.  The difference is in the length of the sythetic fibres, each size has either 2 or 4 mm of synthetic above the natural hairs. 

Here are my photos of the brush:

This brush is $54.  They range from $45 to $69. 

I would love to give this brush a glowing review, and most people probably would.  The performance is outstanding, it gives an even, airbrushed like finish and it is so easy to use, just the right size, and the brush stays stiff during use.  I get irritated with the more flexible foundation brushes because sometimes you have to go over the same spot twice to make sure it's covered.  I also love the handle size, it is perfect for personal use because with the longer handled ones I often found myself hitting the handle on the mirror. 

Unfortunately, I don't use this brush myself anymore.  First, it's really hard to clean- but then again, I haven't found any foundation brush that isn't!  Second, the hair is just way too potent smelling for me to adjust to, I really cannot stand it.  Other than that, it is an excellent brush. 

The second brush is the K002. 

This is one of their blue squirrel brushes.  It is absolutely the softest, finest brush I have ever used, period.  It is $82 but I have to tell you, if you only get one Hakuhodo brush in your life, make it this one!  It gives you an absolutely flawless finish with any powder, but particularly loose powder, which is what I use most often.  I really cannot even compare it with any other brush because all the other face brushes I've used feel like scouring pads compared to this one.  I have probably hundreds of brushes (some I admit need to be tossed), but this is my #1 absolute favourite out of all of them. 

There are a couple more Hakuhodo brushes on my wish list, brow and eyeliner, the S103, and some others.  I am actually regretting that I didn't get one of their sets, either the maple or the Kokutan, but I really don't think I saw either of them at the time I got these.  I believe their untraced international shipping is $12 which is not bad at all, so hopefully I'll get some more soon. 

Warm in February?

I might be going to Dubai in a while (so excited!) and yes, its very warm there in February.  I had the chance to go not too long ago and it was really fun.  I had never even heard about it when I was living in the midwestern U.S., but it's a really great city, diverse and unique. 

Here are some photos.  They have an aquarium inside of a mall, and they seem to be fond of aquariums there because they also have them inside of hotels, retaurants, etc.

Have any of you been to Dubai?

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Some Hakuhodo Brushes and a Short Update

The reason I am doing this post is because recently I have undergone some serious medical treatment (which I won't bore you with), so a lot of my rest time is spent on the computer.  I have to build up my energy so the post might be short, but I'll keep trying.  I was planning on going to the London IMATS but I really don't know if that's a possibility anymore, unfortunately. 

My makeup stash has not increased at all since I left the U.S. and that is a bit depressing for me.  It's like losing your job, when your blog is supposed to be about products!  But it's just impossible to find anything, especially something new, and they didn't even have any holiday selections.

So here is a small post about  a couple of Hakuhodo brushes. 

The first one is one of my favourites, it is called the B214BkSL Highlight Brush.  It is a bit irritating that the number is not on the handle cause I had to look that up, but then again, that long code there wouldnt be that attractive on the brush, I suppose!

I love this brush but I have to admit, I don't use it for highlighting, it is quite a dense brush and with the rounded tip, it makes it perfect for me to use as an undereye/inner eye concealer brush.  It is goat hair, specifically Ototsuho, which is a shorter, thinner hair, so it is not scratchy or rough (none of their brushes are).  It is one of their most affordable brushes, $26. 

The second brush (and the last for today) is the S142 Eyeshadow Brush.  This is one of their signature vermillion handled brushes and it's a real beauty. 

This brush is made from Blue Squirrel hair, and if you don't already have one of those I really strongly suggest you at least try one because they are so soft, like a whisper on your eye.  The S142 is $40 and it is a crease brush.  It is so incredibly soft, it's like you have to look twice to make sure the colour actually got on your eye- and it does, every time, with hardly any even left on the brush.  However, I don't find it all that unique in terms of shape.  To compare, this is the Hakuhodo, MAC 226, and Sigma E45.

Honestly, I've had to dump all of my Sigma eye brushes (not like I had that many), they just turn into complete crap after a couple uses and I am not hard on my brushes!

I hate to say it, but I use my 226 way more often than the Hakuhodo, if for nothing except I am used to it and I like how it feels and performs. 

I have a few more Hakuhodo brushes I hope to put up in the near future.  If you're thinking about them, I would definitely not hesitate on the B214BkSL as one of the ones to start with.