Saturday, June 30, 2012

MAC 109 Small Contour Brush Review

MAC 109 Small Contour Brush

MAC 109 is called Small Contour Brush by MAC but many people rave about its multipurpose uses. It's a small round top brush with black goat hair. The size of the head is bigger than a quarter, and it gets bigger the more you use it. Other than getting bigger, it keeps its shape well and bristles don't splay out with usage. It's dense. Ferrule is attached and cinched in very nicely, and the weight of handle feels nice. Typical of MAC brush.

People use it for foundation, blush, powder, and contour. I got it for contouring purposes. It really seemed like the perfect size (small enough) for a precise application of a contour color. It also seemed dense enough to buff out the color well. And it performs well for contour color. I am sure it will work well with other powder product application but foundation I am very hesitant to try because of few problems I noticed.

First of all, at the price point I expected this brush to be soft. I can't say that it is. It's not rough enough to stop me from using it but I wouldn't want to use it all over the face for foundation. Secondly, it sheds, It's not horrible shedding issue but it does shed with powder product and regular washing. So I wouldn't dare to use it with liquid or cream product as they will cause more shedding.

Mine bled for first couple of washes but stopped after that. This had very minor bleeding for black goat hair.

I am not perfectly happy with this brush although it does its job. I always wanted a good contour brush because contouring is my favorite part of makeup. So after I tried Real Technniques Contour Brush and Sigma F05 from the Cities collection set, I decided to "move up" to a MAC brush. It certainly costs more than the other two I have tried, but it doesn't apply the product much better. It does buff out little bit better since it's a bit denser (also bit bigger) but that the quality difference doesn't justify the price difference for me. Also it's not as soft as the other two and feels scratchy on my face. And I am not completely happy with the shedding either because it's not a cheap brush.

I would recommend getting Sigma F05 and pay less for a contour brush that works just fine. Sigma brush does shed so probably not good for liquid foundation application. If you want a great quality brush that will work well as contour brush and foundation brush, I would recommend checking out Hakuhodo 210 Blush Brush. It's a bigger investment but it gets much better reviews.

MAC 109 Small Contour Brush
MAC 109 Small Contour Brush
Sigma travel size F05 on the left, MAC 109 Small Contour Brush on the right
Sigma travel size F05 on the left, MAC 109 Small Contour Brush on the right

Price: 34 USD on MAC website
Rating: B-


Revlon Colorstay Whipped Creme Makeup in Sand Beige Review

revlon whipped foundation sand beige
Revlon Colorstay Whipped Creme Makeup in Sand Beige


Updated swatch with Buff is here.

Second update with Buff and Warm Golden is here.


Revlon Colorstay Whipped Creme Makeup is the latest Revlon Colorstay foundation. Regular Colorstay liquid foundation in combo/oily skin formula is one of the foundations I use on regular basis. I wasn't going to try this one out because I have plenty of foundations but I decided to try it after many positive reviews. I am NC25, and I chose 200 Sand Beige. As far as the darkness goes, the shade is workable on me but the tone doesn't suit me. Sand Beige is supposedly warm shade (for yellow undertone people) but it has quite of bit of pink for a warm shade. So it's neutral than warm in my eyes. This shade wasn't yellow enough on my skin. This wouldn't be an issue if I didn't have to apply foundation past my jawline but since I have to bring it down to my neck, the the pink tone is way too noticeable. I did side by side swatch with this and Nude sample packets that were available on display, and there was no real difference. Sand Beige has tiny bit more yellow. I did comparison swatches with original Colorstay shades I have so I hope that helps. :)

The formula is not the airy mousse type I think of when I hear whipped. It's consistency is somewhere between liquid and cream. It's liquidy enough to flatten out overnight after you make a dip in the product but it doesn't run either. It doesn't dry down as quickly as original Colorstay foundation, so you can take your during application. It gives you nice satiny natural finish when it dries down. It's dewier than original formula. Revlon calls it buildable coverage foundation, and I agree. I think this is the most buildable foundation I have used. What I mean by that is sometimes when you build up foundation, it can look so cakey and thick. It looks like the foundation is not meant to be worn that way. This looks quite natural when built up to full coverage. It covers all my acne scars and redness really well.

Staying power is great! It lasts and doesn't move around until I take it off. It may last 24 hours as Revlon claims, but I haven't worn it that long to test (I can't have foundation on for 24 hours). I don't think it will look very fresh even it lasts. After 8 hours, oil breaks through. It stays put but it definitely does look shiny. It doesn't keep me matte as long as original Colorstay does but this doesn't oxidize like the original. 

Packaging leaves a lot to be desired. The consistency is not thick enough to require a jar. It would be much more convenient in a squeeze tube. That way it would be much more sanitary than dipping your finger into the jar. I like to use metal spatula to scoop out the product and then sanitize the spatula with alcohol to keep it sanitary. And the jar is too bulky for the amount it contains, which is less than typical foundation. Lastly, it's impossible to tell the color of foundation because of the jar so prior research may be helpful!

Here are some pics

Friday, June 29, 2012

Yves Saint Laurent YSL Rouge Volupte in No. 30 Faubourg Peach Review

ysl lipstick no 30 faubourg peach
YSL Rouge Volupte No. 30 Faubourg Peach

Yves Saint Laurent YSL Rouge Volupte in 30 Faubourg Peach is a bright peach lipstick with no pink tone in my eyes. This was my choice when I want a peach color that's not completely nude or have pink undertone. Sephora website calls it "pastel coral with red undertones". I don't see enough pink to call it coral though. But just as a reference. :) When worn lightly, it can give a peachy almost nude lips. It brightens your lips but it's not distracting bright this way. When built to opacity, it's the bright peach color that it is on the tube. I prefer to wear it lightly as it's much more wearable that way. 

Formula is very pigmented. It's also very creamy and moisturizing on your lips. With that comes the fact the lipstick is slippery and can bleed out. It's not an issue if you wear it sheer. It goes on beautifully but it can accentuate dry lips, so I recommend moisturizing well before :) Well, that goes for most lipsticks. This has spf 15.

It lasts about 2-3 hours on me with regular talking, drinking, and etc. It comes off easily on cups but some color do stay behind. The staying power is pretty typical of creamy lipsticks.

This is probably my favorite lipstick packaging. The tube is absolutely beautiful and looks very luxurious. The middle enamel part is the color of the lipstick so you can tell what it is without looking at the bottom. :) It broke once on me (it didn't twist down all the way) but I fixed it. That wasn't a packaging problem but more of a formula issue.

Here are more pictures!

E.L.F. New Brushes Review

elf Angled Blush Brush, Flat Eyeliner Brush, and Small Stipple Brush
From top to botter: E.L.F Studio Angled Blush Brush, Flat Eyeliner Brush,
and Small Stipple Brush

E.L.F has released few new brushes. I didn't get all of them but a few new ones along with old goodies like Blush Brush and Kabuki Face Brush. New ones I purchased are  Flat Eyeliner Brush, Angled Blush Brush, and Small Stipple Brush from Studio line, which I LOVE! I also ordered Mineral Powder Brush but they made a mistake so that one's on its way. :) Now on the brushes themselves!

Flat Eyeliner Brush is a small flat brush that would be ideal for tightlining or precise application of eyeshadow close to lash line as I like to do. Very soft. It's thin enough to use it for gel eyeliner unless you like super thin line.

Angled Blush Brush is a dense blush brush that is on the smaller side. It's small enough to work well as a contour brush. It's quite dense that it would be safer to start with lighter hand when applying blush and bronzer with this brush. Also it's not as fluffy as typical blush brushes due to its density. Very very soft brush.

Small Stipple brush is a very small skunk type brush. It is quite small so it's very nice to apply cream blush. It's on a dense side, and shorter bristles give enough stiffness to stipple foundation with it. But once again, it's quite small so it won't be quick job to stippling entire face of foundation with this. This hurts a little when I stipple but I haven't come across a stippling brush that's not pokey. It's not painful enough to bother me. Compared to Real Techniques stippling brush as shown in the pics, it's smaller and more dense. Bristles are a bit longer. It also hurts less than RT brush.

Here are the pics! :)

Bare Escentuals BareMinerals Ready Eyeshadow Duo in The Phenomenon Review

BareMinerals Eyeshadow The Phenomenon
BareMinerals Ready Eyeshadow Duo in The Phenomenon

Bare Escentuals BareMinerals Ready Eyeshadow Duo in The Phenomenon has Azure Iris and Golden Iris. Azure Iris is light lavender with sheen. Golden Iris is very light toned copper that leans more toward orange than gold with more shimmer than Azure Iris. When swatched, both colors are very pigmented. But on eyes, they are not super intense in color. But I think the color combination does look rather nice together. If you are looking for intense eye look, this won't do it. But it definitely does have a brightening effect.

The texture of the both eyeshadows are great. Creamy, not too much powder kicked off or fall out. I have no complaints.

The staying power is good. It lasts all day with a nice primer underneath. No creasing but Azure Iris shade seems to fade a little toward the end of the day.

Packaging is very similar to NARS products. Rubberized plastic. I find that it doesn't get dirty as easily as NARS and easier to clean.

Here comes the pictures!!

Chanel Soleil Tan de Chanel Bronzing Makeup Base

Chanel Bronze Universel
Chanel Soleil Tan de Chanel Bronzing Makeup Base

Chanel Soleil Tan de Chanel Bronzing Makeup Base (previously called Bronze Universel) is a cream bronzer with very fine shimmer. Shimmers are so fine that once applied, it gives to satin finish with no noticeable shimmer. The bronzer is not too dark with quite a bit of orange. It's dark enough to contour with on my skin but it will probably have more of a brightening effect on darker skin tones. Some people run away from orange bronzers but this looks quite natural to me. Especially during the summer, I like to go for bronzers with stronger orange undertone. It works well as both all over bronzer and a contour color. I used to love heavily contoured face but this converted me. This gives the most natural, polished contoured look.

Texture is so creamy and very easily blendable (with a right brush). It's not too each to pick up the product. I wouldn't recommend using a finger. I would recommend a small synthetic brush that doesn't have a lot of give and swirling it around few times. The brushes I like to use for this are Real Techniques Contour Brush, Expert Face Brush, and Sigma F82.

Staying power is fantastic. It stays on and doesn't move until I take it off. Staying power is on;e of the reasons I decided to try out a cream bronzer. I am not about to give up on contouring during summer :) but I sweat like no joke so any powder products will end up sliding off. This stays put when I sweat and blot. I LOVE!

It comes in a big jar, but as you can see in the picture, It's not wasteful packaging. It just comes with a lot of product!

Here are pic and swatches!

E.L.F. Studio Cream Blush in Tease

e.l.f cream blush in tease
elf Studio Cream Blush in Tease

E.L.F. Studio Cream Blush in Tease is a dusty coral cream blush. It's matte. You can sheer it out on your cheeks to get a more wearable (not crazy bright) coral color. It can be built up for the intense color of the blush in the jar since it has very good pigmentation.

The blush has a slightly whipped feeling to its creamy texture. It's not the type of texture you have to dig your finger or brush very hard into the product to pick up a good amount of product. You can pick up product very easily with little pressure. E.L.F. says it's oil-free and cream to powder finish, which I find to be true. It blends very very nicely on cheeks which made me guess that it probably has a lot of dimethicone. And it is the first ingredient on the list so watch out if you are sensitive to it.

Staying power is fine but not great as it doesn't last the entire day for me. It lasts 5-6 hours on me.

The product comes in a plastic jar. I like that I can see the color of the blush without opening it. But packaging is quite bulky for the amount of product that comes with it.

Click Read More for pictures :)

Thursday, June 28, 2012

NARS Blush: Sex Appeal

NARS Sex Appeal
NARS Blush in Sex Appeal


NARS Sex Appeal blush is a very pale pinky peach in pan. It's completely matte. I hesitated getting it for so long because I was afraid it wouldn't show up on me (NC25). Then I came across a review saying that it is likely to show up on people with skin tone darker than N15 range if they are yellow undertoned. So I decided to try it. Thankfully it does show up on me. It shows up as a very pale pink flush with slightest peach tone, which is very nice for days you are not up for a very strong blush color.

Texture is powdery, and quite bit of a powder access is kicked off when you take a brush to it. But it blends quite nicely on cheeks. It does build up but not too much, so it will be very hard to over do this blush. I typically have to dip twice to get the color to show up.

Staying power is good. It stays on for 7-8 hours on my very oily skin.

Packaging is standard NARS packaging, rubberized plastic. Sleek, compact, easy to open, but impossible to clean once it gets dirty (hence the dirty outside pic)

Here are some pictures!