Workhorse Brushes: RealTechniques Blush Brush

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DSC07824Look at this fluffy blush brush! It’s so fluffy I’m gonna die! Despicable Me, anyone?

I love this brush for its intended purpose. I tend to go for this one whenever I want a diffused application of a really highly pigmented blush. It’s tapered so perfectly that you can just pick up the colour on the tip of the brush and then use the rest of the bristles to blend.

Because this brush is so fluffy and tapered, it works really well for other things besides blush. I’ve used it for powder foundation, setting powder and bronzer. Basically any powder product that I want to slap all over my face in a hurry.

And did I mention how soft this brush is? It’s really soft.

YouTube Made Me Buy It…

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I’ve been dialed into the YouTube beauty community for many years. It’s really cool to see how some of the channels I follow have grown and developed over the years. One thing that hasn’t changed though….the videos I watch make me wanna buy stuff real bad.

Here are some of my most recent purchases that were 100% YouTube driven:

YTMadeMe

1) COLAB Dry Shampoo – Sheer Invisible in Rio Tropical

This is fashion model/blogger/vlogger Ruth Crilly’s dry shampoo. I watch her channel and read her blog religiously. (Check her out if you haven’t already. Her channel is called AModelRecommends). I’ve seen Ruth plugging this product lately and just kind of assumed that it wouldn’t be available in Canada (Ruth is based in the UK). I nearly squealed with glee when I found a display of these dry shampoos in the middle of Save-On-Foods the other day. I chose the sheer invisible formula in the RIO tropical scent. This has dethroned Batiste as my fave dry shampoo. It’s lighter and has a softer, fresher scent. It freshens up my second day roots without weighing my hair down, and it doesn’t leave a white cast unless I spray too close to the hair.

2) realTechniques Sculpting Brush

Really, all of my realTechniques brushes belong in the “YouTube made me buy it” category, but this one in particular stands out, because it’s not a brush I would normally go for. I’ve seen the Pixiwoo sisters using this brush for applying contour and for blending in liquid foundation…and I don’t do either of those things. I NEVER wear contour, and I’m pretty committed to my BeautyBlender when it comes to applying foundation. Instead, I’ve been using it to apply highlighter and certain blushes. It works really well with the NARS Dual Intensity Blush.

3) L’Oreal Voluminous Miss Manga Mascara

I watched two different YouTube interviews with renowned makeup artist Val Garland. In both interviews she mentioned this mascara as a personal favourite. She kept calling it “Miss Mango,” which made me smile. So, against my better judgement, I decided to give it a try. I’ve never really got on with L’Oreal mascaras. I’ve tried a few different ones from the Voluminous line, including the original, and found them to be clumpy, dry and flaky. This one is…clumpy, dry and flaky. The clumpiness I can forgive, because it’s supposed to mimic the dolly-eyed look of manga characters. Clumpy can be a look. I get it. The dry and flaky part, however, is a deal-breaker for me. Those flakes dropping into my eyes all day long lead to irritation, not to mention smudging underneath my eyes. Not cute.

Ah well, two out of three ain’t bad, right? What has YouTube made you buy? Answer in the comments.

Battle of the Sponges!

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spongesSince I’ve been getting back into using liquid and cream foundations, I’ve developed a bit of an obsession with makeup sponges. In other words, I’ve jumped on the sponge bandwagon. Big time. I started with the realTechniques Miracle Complexion Sponge followed by the Precision Makeup Sponge (a London Drugs knockoff of the Beauty Blender). Finally, I took the plunge and went for the real deal, ordering the Beauty Blender from Sephora. I’ve thoroughly tested all three sponges and am ready to weigh in with my thoughts on each. Do the less expensive knockoffs measure up to the Beauty Blender? Does the Beauty Blender live up to all the hype? Read on to find out!

 

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Review: Dior Fusion Mono Eyeshadow #881 Hypnotique

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270215 004I just finished cleaning my makeup brushes, something I try to do at least once a week. While I was swirling those bristles, I thought to myself: there sure seems to be a lot more brushes to wash than usual. Then it dawned on me that that’s because I’ve been testing out a lot of new products lately, which of course means experimenting to find just the right brush for each product. Several different brushes were dirtied while testing out the product pictured to the right: Diorshow Fusion Mono Long-Wear Eyeshadow in “Hypnotique.”

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A Brush Set for Duo-Fiber Haters

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I’ve reached the conclusion that I am as addicted to buying makeup brushes as I am to makeup itself. I have more than I’ll ever need, and yet, if I see a new brand I’ve never tried, I’ve gotta have it! If I see a unique shape or style of brush, I’ve gotta have it! If realTechniques comes out with something new, I’ve most definitely gotta have it!

My realTechniques collection has steadily grown over the last couple of years. It was slow-going at first, because I had to order them from amazon.com, but now they’re widely available in several stores in my area. London Drugs seems to be committed to carrying the full line now, which makes me very happy. I’ve also seen them popping up in Walmart, Winners and Save-On-Foods.

My most recent addition is the Duo-Fiber Collection:

110115 035I held out on buying this set for some time, because…pause for effect…I hate duo-fiber brushes. Gasp! I’ve acquired several different ones over the years, usually in kits and gift sets, and I never use them. The white bristles are always too spiky and stabby, and often, the difference in length between the white and black bristles makes the brush too floppy. The result is a brush that covers too wide of an area and is difficult to control.

Not so with these. This collection has given me a new appreciation for duo-fiber. The white and black bristles are more evenly blended, and the length difference between them is less pronounced. I find I can actually use these for products that I want to apply sparingly, and I feel like I have complete control. Also, these brushes are soft, not stabby.

1) I use the largest one, the Duo-Fiber Face brush, for a light dusting of powder or bronzer.

2) The medium one, the Duo-Fiber Contour brush, I’ve been using to apply heavily pigmented blushes when I want to avoid clown cheeks.

3) The smallest one, the Duo-Fiber Eye brush, works well for lightly blending shadows in the crease, or for a applying highlighter. I like a small brush for highlighter.

I probably wouldn’t have bought this set if not for the fact that I got the Duo-Fiber Face brush in the limited edition Nic’s Picks set. On a whim, I tried the brush and thought, hey, I don’t hate this!

The realTechniques Duo-Fiber Collection is duo-fiber done right!