What a big question! I think it depends on the technique you prefer more than anything else, really. Some people prefer using paddle type brushes, and others, fluffier brushes, and still others, stippling brushes. Personally, I use Urban Decay’s Optical Blurring Brush or the MAC 187. Both provide a flawless finish, though I notice the MAC 187 sheds more, but the UD one takes longer because it is more dense and a smaller brush in general.
Cheaper (but still very lovely) alternatives would be the Real Techniques Expert Face Brush which is soft. I really like all of the face brushes in the RT line, they’re soft, sturdy, don’t shed and are great to hold and are very precise (they’re not too big).
Arabelle’s January Favorites
Lots of products to review, so here are some new ones by way of a monthly favorites post. (Here’s the last monthly favorites one — you’ll see some old faces).
- Jane Iredale Triple Pearl Powder Finishing Powder* ($68) - It’s probably the best setting powder I’ve ever used, it really blends in any imperfections and smooths, I’ve been using it for a few weeks and it has delivered all it promises for me. I don’t have to touch up throughout the day either. Packaging is kind of bulky but I guess that is also ‘luxurious’. I’d rather have something travel appropriate, personally.
- Urban Decay Naked Basics Palette* ($27) - I have been waiting for this product ever since the Naked came out because I love matte shadows and personally, for my super fair skin, this is great, compact, and so worth the price. The colors blend out well, are pigmented and not as chalky as some UD shadows can sometimes be. Love. These would look chalky and unnatural on medium to dark skin though. Also, the palette is kind of hard to open but maybe that is just me.
- Benefit High Beam ($26) - Previously reviewed here.
- Zoya Nail Polish in Song ($8) - Swatch and discussion to be posted a few posts before this, go check it out.
- NARS Danmari Palette (LE/DC) - I love orgasms and also Orgasm. (this is my blog i’ll be inappropriate if I wanna)
- Urban Decay Setting Spray* ($29) - I have been using the Cooling/Hydrating formulation the most because I have dry skin and I think it does help, but the Long-Lasting formulation is definitely the best and practically cements my makeup into place.
- Eve Pearl Salmon Concealer in Fair/Light ($39) - Best under-eye concealer I’ve tried. It’s heavy enough to use on acne and scarring too, and doesn’t get wrinkly or cakey or whatever. You need very little of it as well.
- K- Palette Real Lasting Waterproof 24h Eyeliner ($15.70) - This has the thinnest brush. The thinnest. It’s also super super black and does not budge.
- MAC Violetta ($15) - On me, this is like a ‘natural’ lip color because it perfectly, and I mean perfectly, matches my hair color. I’ve grown bored of my usual purples (Belladonna, Kontrol) but this breathes new life into the color for me.
- INGLOT 545 AMC Lip Gloss ($16) - Paraben free & not tested on animals if you didn’t know (and if you care). I don’t really wear lip gloss very often but this is soooo pretty and you can actually see the duo on your lips, it’s really pigmented and strange and lovely.
- Dermablend Quick-Fix Concealer ($23) - I actually ran out of the tube I had of this. Like I ended up scraping the very last bits of it out. I have never hit pan so thoroughly on a product before and before I even hit pan I ordered 2 more backups because this is my Holy Grail Concealer. If I could only limit my makeup collection to like 3 things this would be one of them.
Disclaimer: * = provided for editorial consideration by the brand. This doesn’t mean I was obligated to blog about them & certainly doesn’t mean I am obligated to be nice and fawn over these products! Check out our disclosure policy here.
All the blue lipsticks I currently have with me in my dorm. The names are the captions, just click the photos. I would have done these photos with my DSLR but it’s dark out and I prefer natural light when I use my real camera. I have FOTD’s with Indigo Bridge and RX on powderdoom if you search for it though. (This means do not ask me, a google search or click through the tags will suffice.)
- inglot 292 — is quite similar to Indigo Bridge. I think for practicalities sake I’ll probably use this formulation more because it’s in bullet form and I don’t have to fix my lipline with this. PBCO is creamier, but a heavier formulation. This one is also more blue based and doesn’t read black in any light. You can feel the slight grit that makes this a little shimmery, too.
- Inglot 290 is actually my favorite out of these photos? I wouldn’t think such a pale color would be so nice on me. It has some slip though, and you need several layers for true opacity. I have’nt worn this out yet for any length of time but I can tell it’s going to be very high maintenence. I think for this shade, you can replicate it using lip tars (Feather + RX) for more longevity.
- OCC Lip Tar in RX. The color that started it all. (Actually no, my first lipstick was actually one from Hot Topic when I was in middle school, and it was a black based blue. lol.) I mean, I love this forever.
- PBCO Lipstick in Indigo Bridge - I am very fond of this color, I think it’s so beautiful and creamy and pigmented.
- Mac Lipmix in Blue - super dark blue. I was expecting it to be a liquid like OCC Lip Tar because of the packaging, but it’s more like a cream product — not as wet or gooey (gross) as Lip Tar, and it applies drier on your lips. It settled into my lip lines and looked gross (perhaps because of the incessant rubbing from these swatches though) so I put some clear MAC Lipglass on it for some shine. It is I would say, kind of a dark navy, and requires more blending than Lip Tar. They are noticably different formulations. I prefer lip tar, but if that feathers for you you might prefer Lip Mix. I haven’t seen this color in sunlight yet so I can’t say 100% it’s a perfect dupe of RX.
- Reblogged from fashinpirate
Rounded out my Lip Tar collection — I didn’t want any of the pinks or reds or beigey colors because BORING. Also picked up some of the MAC Lip Mixes to compare. Black, Burgundy, and Blue. Very excited to see the swatches myself.
On the last shoot I worked on, all the ladies kept asking me what brushes I was using, where to buy x, why do I use y, etc, etc. This is for them! I get a lot of questions as to what brushes one should invest in and what are some affordable alternatives. This post is to answer all of those questions. Click the jump for details on what is what, and why you have to have it.
Forgot I did this post! Relevant as ever.
- Reblogged from powderdoom
We’ve answered this a few times, I’ll put this in the MAC tag. Basically it’s just that they are overproducing products that are all pretty mediocre nowadays. They used to do fewer releases and they’d be more interesting and higher quality but now they seem to be releasing new things every week and they’re usually pretty crappy. It’s all whatever. I think INGLOT has better eyeshadows, and there are several better lipstick brands…. they just don’t interest me. I have no bad experience in store, it’s just even with the pro discount I’m not compelled to buy anything. We have like, 5 MAC products in between us. I like their brushes but I have plenty of affordable and comparable alternatives. They have the leg up when it comes to an expansive range of foundation shades, and shades of colors in general, but I don’t wear foundation in the first place, and their products have never truly wowed me. We’re both open to being pleasantly surprised, but it just hasn’t happened yet.
We’re not really big MAC fans, I think we own like, 4 MAC Products between us. Since you don’t want to have to spend more money than you were given, I’ll just recommend products I like that fit your price range:
- Strobe Cream ($15) - hydrating, brightening moisturizer. If you mix it with your foundation it’ll give you a nice glow.
- 224 Brush ($30) - I don’t know how much this would cost in the UK, but anyway, even if your voucher doesn’t cover the whole cost, it’s worth it if you can get it with a nice discount. It’s a good blending brush, though if you have smaller eyes it’s probably not the brush to buy. Your eye shape and size matters when it comes to blending brushes.
- FIX+ ($10) - a great way to touch up your makeup, set your makeup, hydrate your skin. Spritz your face and you are good to go.
You could always also buy a lipstick, but I think it’s a matter of personal preference which ones to buy — Temptalia has a swatch gallery you can peruse. I won’t recommend any eyeshadows ‘cause I think MAC shadows are hit or miss and pretty overrated anyway.
Went to the Cosmetic Company Store + a Lancome-owned outlet and got a couple things. I’m branching out in my hauls. Neutrals + orange. ;; Arabelle will be so proud.
- Lancome Color Design Sensational Effects Lipcolor in Timeless
- Bobbi Brown Lip Color in Brownie Pink (56)
- Lancome Color Design Sensational Effects Eye Shadow - Smooth Hold in Sew Elegant and Creme Lustre, and Laced Up
- MAC Eyeshadow in Saffron (from the Surf Baby collection)
- Lancome Juicy Tube Ultra Shiny Lipgloss in Crazy Raspberry (from Yayoi Kusama collection)