Four brushes for blending and crease work

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Real Techniques essential crease brush, Urban Decay Naked2 brush, Sigma E40 tapered blending brush, MAC 222. 

 

The search for the perfect crease brush can be both long and hard, but when you find one you love then the struggle is worth it. It sounds dramatic, but a bad crease brush can be the root to a lot of frustration.

Now, I feel like crease brushes and how you like them are quite individual. For example, the MAC 222 brush is my favorite for blending shadow into the crease, but my friend finds it way too scratchy. I enjoy the tapered brush head and the way it works the shadow into the crease without getting it blotchy. The Sigma E40 is good for blending colours together, as well as washing colour all over the lid. A perfect “do it all” brush. The Urban Decay brush came with the Naked2 Palette and it’s double ended; one end is good for patting on shadow (although I use it for concealer) and the tapered side works great for blending – as long as you’re patient. LAstly we have the Real Techniques essential crease brush. I love using this for defining the crease, and I find that it’s the perfect brush for blending dark colours; it’s so small that it’s precise, but still very efficient.  What’s your favorite crease brush?

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Current foundation routine: the concealer way

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You know what I love about summer? Apart from the nice weather, sunny days, long nights, wearing shorts and getting tan? My daily makeup is minimized to the absolute minimum. My summer makeup routine is quick and easy, bordering on lazy. After getting eyelash extensions last week, I can be ready and out the door in less than 10 minutes. This is insane. One of the products I take out of the FOTD equation for summer is foundation. I never wear a full face of foundation during the hotter days, for one because it’ll just come of in sweats during the day. Another reason is I find it a shame to cover up the freckly summer skin. But I wasn’t born with a perfect base, and for that I go for the foundation routine: the concealer way. 

Since first trying the Rimmel Wake Me Up Foundation last year I have loved it, and when going back for a re-purchase I grabbed the concealer as well. Like the foundation it’s good for many reasons. The coverage is good, the feel of the product is light and the smell is quite nice. The biggest win for the Wake Me Up range is the texture of the product (It reminds me of the MaxFactor Xperience foundation which I loved, but sadly my skin did not like it at all) as it goes on smoothly and sits kind of like a moisturizer. I apply the concealer where needed; Around nose, chin, the occasional spot and in the corners of my eyes. To blend it in seamlessly I use the Real Techniques Setting brush. It’s so good at blending in concealer, I cannot fathom how this does not get more praise; it’s like a mini version of the much talked about RT buffing brush. I absolutely love how easy and effective it is. Blends like a dream! These two products together have made my summer foundation routine, and I consider them both staples in my base makeup stash.

The beauty bloggers made me do it: Real Techniques

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It’s Monday and I wanted to whip out another “the beauty bloggers made me do it” justified purchase. A few weeks ago feelunique had an offer on Sam’s picks pack of the Real Techniques brushes. Now, Sam and Nic Chapman, the sisters behind the YouTube channel Pixiwoo are infamous in the beauty blogging/vlogging world and for good reason. They do great, well-explained tutorials and really know their stuff. When they released their own makeup brushes it was with a lot of research and experience in their back pocket,  resulting in some really good brushes. At least, that what everyone said! Most YouTube girls are using these brushes, and especially the buffing brush has been getting a lot of love from the likes of ViviannaDoesMakeup, Zoella and Leigannsays.

So with many a good recommendation, I purchased the set and awaited its arrival with excitement and suspense. When it finally arrived (after going through customs, oh how they love to take my money!) I ripped the packet open and proceeded to try out all five brushes. Hello, lovers! Now, they are all really good. I usually reserve the favorite spots for my Sigma brushes, or the Sephoras own brushes, but the buffing brush is up there in the top five! It lays perfectly in the hand, distributes product evenly and really buffs the foundation in (as the name suggests…) without sucking up too much product. I use it in combination with the Dior glow maximizer and the Chanel Vitalumiére Aqua mixed together. The finish is so nice; dewy and even, but still very light. A summer favourite, and I am – once again – happy that I let the beauty bloggers convince me!

Current combo: The eye basics

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Like any routine, the everyday products for my eye makeup is juggled up once in a while. Like many, I’m a bit of a mascara floozy and I cannot for the life of me remember the last time I re-purchased a mascara. But when getting ready the other day I rummaged through my makeup stash and picked up the usual products, I suddenly realized: I have used the same five bits for months!

Firstly, the Tweezerman eyelash curler is my go to eye tool. I love it, and the fact that it is rose gold just makes it even more perfect in my eyes. Immediately after curling my lashes I pop on a coat of Maybellines the Rocket Volume Express Waterproof mascara. The waterproof part is key here, as my lashes are stick straight and need that extra hold to keep the curl I have forced upon them, throughout the day.  Next i tightline through the root of the upper lashes with MACs Crayon pour les yeux (the fancy, french way of saying eyeliner) in Coffee; a nice, warm brown. Then I follow with the chosen eyeshadow of the day, a step that does vary a lot. To finish off the lashes I add on a few (many) coats of the Diorshow Iconic Overcurl in black. I feel like the Overcurl does do a job in regards to keeping my lashes curled. It’s a very typical Dior mascara: awfully wet and smudgy when it’s brand new, but leave it for a week or two to dry and then you’ll love it. If you’re into heavy mascara and not afraid of fighting some clumps, that is. I find that if I wipe the wand off with a kleenex before use, it’s perfect. To brighten my eyes I use the Sephora Long Lasting Kohl Pencil in 07 Infinite Beige. Love this, and it’s quite a cheap one!

Thats whats doing it for me in the eye department lately, do you have any faves I should try?

 

Take a brow

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We have all heard the saying “the eyes are the window to the soul”. If that’s true, then the eyebrows would make the window frame, right? Anyway, brows are very important for framing the face and a well groomed brow is a easy way to look put together and fresh without a lot of makeup.

Product wise, there are endless of ways to go. Powders, pencils, pomades, felt liners, dying, tattoo and so on. The choices are as many and varied as the preferences. What you like is up to you to find out, but let us help you along the way with some tips.

To begin with, you should tidy the brow up a bit. Pluck stray hairs, sort out the mono-brow and create a natural shape that suits your face. If you do not have naturally full brows, here is the time to fill them in. The most basic products are Tri Brow Colour powder from Make Up Store (1), Brow drama sculpting brow mascara from Maybelline (2) and the Brow Wizz brow pencil from Anastasia Beverly Hills(3). For the most natural finish, the brow drama is definitely the choice. It gives colour, while shaping the brow and keeping the hairs in place. The powder is easy to work with and creates a dramatic, yet natural brow. The tri color system makes it suitable for most complexions, and to get the most natural result you should mix the colors. The Brow Wizz is definitely the most time-consuming product, but it leaves a natural result. The pencil is so small that precision is the result every time – just take your time!

 

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Nail it

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Pictured from top left: q-tips, Chanel dissolvant doux, Sally Hansen cuticle remover,
Sephora buffing block, 
Trind base coat, Essie polish in Spin the bottle, L’oréal shinissme gel top coat.

Just as a bare face should be prepped for makeup (hey, at least bother with a moisturizer!) the nails should also serve as a clean, blank canvas when adding nail varnish. There are different ways of prepping the nails; sometimes you don’t need to hassle out the big guns. But when your nails are due a good old fashioned manicure, these are some of the products that might come in handy (get it? Handy, nails…).

Anyway. First, start off with a completely bare nail. Use a good polish remover, it doesn’t have to be a high end one but that Chanel sure smells good! When the q-tip or cotton ball makes a little squeaking noise, you know your nail is oil-free and squeaky clean. Then you can move on to filing the nails into a desired shape, and the go on to buffing. Buffing the nails can be harsh, so this shouldn’t be a weekly thing. But buffing down and filing them smooth will make the application of nail polish much less fussy. If you need it you can use a cuticle remover, which will help with all the gritty old cuticle that never make for a fresh look. Apply the remover gel, let it sit for about ten minutes and the push the cuticles back very gently. Rinse the gel of, and if necessary, you cut of the excess cuticle. (Ugh, okay now we’re done with the gritty part!)

When it comes to the actual polish, a good base coat will do you a lot of favors. It will create a barrier between the nail and the colour, thus preventing discoloration. The base coat will also work as a conditioner, and can help with brittle or weak nails. The Trind Nail Repair is an absolute gem, as it really strengthens your nail and prevents breakage. Then apply the desired colour, in thin strokes. It’s better to go in with a second coat, then to have soggy wet nails that never dry. When the nails are completely dry, finish of with a topcoat that will seal the colour and help with longevity.

Making a manicure a part of your weekly beauty routine, will definitely be worth it. How about making it a regular for Sunday evening? That way, you’ll be polished and ready for the coming week. Well, at least your hands are!

Holy Trinity of Tools

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When it comes to beauty tools, there is a world of choices and variations. Do you need a makeup brush specifically for contouring your nose? It’s out there! If you find it hard to work out just where to stop plucking your eyebrows – there are surprisingly many options! To put on an everyday face of makeup, or even for the more special occasions, you don’t need a toolbox full of supplies and 25 makeup brushes (but it sure helps, doesn’t it?).

Today we are breaking down the Holy trinity of tools; not because these are the only three tools you need necessary, but because this is where you should put down your money. A good buffing brush is alpha and omega for any wearer of foundation. They come in many shapes and sizes; from the stippling brush to the beauty blender and the flat foundation “pensel”. But for a foolproof, can’t-go-wrong, easy application; you’re safe with a medium sized buffing brush.

Finding good tweezers is like finding gold (anyone catch the The Hills season 1 reference here? No?); it can take a very long time, you will hit and miss, but when you finally find it – it is so worth it. Tweezerman is (as the name suggests) the king of tweezers. These do not pull or tug, but firmly grip the hairs and takes them away – even the little, annoying ones.

Tweezerman doesn’t only do tweezers, they also do some very good eyelash curlers. They’re not completely up there alongside the Shu Uemura one, but these curlers does the job and does it well. No pulling out of lashes, and if you blow some hot air on it with your blow dryer for a good 15 seconds, the curl will really hold all day. Another tip is to use one coat of a waterproof mascara right after you have curled your lashes. This will hold the curl for longer, and you can pop your favorite mascara on top.