Friday, October 17, 2014

Mini MAC Cosmetics Giveaway - US & Canda Only


I'm back! Sorry I've been absent for the last week or so, I've been traveling and there was literally NO time to update the blog. To thank you all for your patience, I thought it'd be fun to do a mini giveaway with a couple MAC items that released this fall! This prize includes 1 bottle of MAC Before Dawn nail polish and 1 Black Brilliance  Fluidline Eye Pencil.

Because one of these items is a nail polish and shipping them overseas can be miserable, I've limited this to a US and Canada giveaway only. But don't worry international readers, I won't forget you in future giveaways!

Entering is simple and can be done through the rafflecopter widget below.

This giveaway is for those in the US and Canada (or those who have US or Canada mailing addresses) who are 18+.

Once this giveaway ends, the randomly chosen winner will be notified via the email they supply when entering and will have 48 hours to reply with their mailing address in order to claim the prize. Should they not respond in time, another winner will be selected under the same conditions. This pattern will continue until a winner claims the prize within the allotted time.

Good luck!




a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, October 4, 2014

MAC x Rocky Horror Picture Show Frank-n-Furter Lipstick Swatch & Review

SAMPLE

mac franknfurter lipstick review and swatches rocky horror picture show

MAC x Rocky Horror Picture Show

As you probably already know, MAC released a collection inspired by the cult classic, Rocky Horror Picture Show. I don't think I've seen a collection sell out as quickly online this year as this one. It flew off the virtual shelves! I've heard it has been very hard to find in-store as well--though with some digging I know some have been successful finding it at some MAC counters and locations.

I received Frank-n-Furter to share with you and I have to say, I'm so glad I did! It is a beautiful color and while the original description isn't one I would have been drawn to, the actual shade is beautiful!


MAC x Rocky Horror Picture Show Frank-n-Furter Images

As usual, blogger has done odd things to my skin when uploading pictures with vibrant colors as the primary focus so ignore that. The color is as accurate as I could capture in terms of the actual lipstick!

mac franknfurter lipstick review and swatches rocky horror picture show
MAC x Rocky Horror Picture Show Frank-n-Furter

mac rocky horror picture show frank-n-furter lipstick swatches and review
MAC x Rocky Horror Picture Show Frank-n-Furter


MAC x Rocky Horror Picture Show Frank-n-Furter Lipstick Review

Product Type - lipstick
Finish - matte
Shade - slightly berry-toned, cool red
Scent/Flavor - traditional MAC vanilla
On the Lips - pigmented; comfortable and lightweight; not drying on well prepped lips
Packaging - limited edition packaging
Price - $17.50
Where to Buy - maccosmetics.com and MAC counters/stores (sold out online as of the time of this post, but perhaps it will be restocked so keep an eye out!)
Final Thoughts - This color is super pretty and not nearly as dark on the lips as it looked in the tube. It's actually a perfect fall red in my opinion. MAC described it on the site as a deep raspberry wine and while I do see the slight berry hue, it isn't what I'd consider wine or deep. Keep in mind, my lips are not very pigmented. The lipstick itself looked slightly satin on my lips and I found it to be very creamy for a matte lipstick. It was very lightweight and not at all drying on lips that were well prepped prior to application with exfoliation and balm. I love the packaging on these lipsticks--then again I'm a total LE packaging hoarder ;) This is definitely a must-buy if you can get your hands on it in my opinion!


Did you grab anything from MAC's Rocky Horror Picture Show collection?

Note: This product was sent by PR/the brand. All opinions are my own.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Traveling? Grab These Handbag and Travel Must-Haves For Less!

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Handbag and Travel Must-Haves

I'm traveling next week so I'm in full-on prep mode! Lists are being made, laundry is being done, my kit is being packed ... and so is my handbag! Whenever I travel I try to make sure I have everything I need and that includes having all my bases covered. I previously discussed 5 of my top hangbag must-haves, but I realized these products were all really applicable to packing for travel as well!

1. U by Kotex Click Tampons

These U by Kotex Click Tampons are perfect for travel! They're super slim and the applicator is very compact. I always tend to grab a few and keep them in whatever bags I'm traveling with just in case.

Tip: Make sure to pack tampons and/or pads in your carry-on/purse as well as your suitcase. You never know whether or not your luggage will be unavailable to you when you need it most ;) Through October 2nd you can score coupons from Walmart and U by Kotex! Perfect timing for me.


2. Kleenex Slim Pack

It's cold and flu season, which can be a miserable time to travel if you're not prepared, In addition to keeping vitamin C and zinc supplements on me, I always keep tissues as well! These new Kleenex Slim Packs are cute and super convenient for travel. You can purchase them individually or score a pack on specially marked packages of U by Kotex pads and tampons

Tip: Always keep tissues in your carry-on/purse. They're perfect for runny noses, messy hands (when napkins aren't available) and quick blotting when you've forgotten your blotting papers. Score a fabulous coupon from Kleenex and Walmart through October 2nd to save even more!


3. Hershey's Kisses

I always keep little treats on me when I travel--and not just for my little guys! You never know when you're going to need a little quick pick-me-up if food isn't available. Chocolate is my kryptonite and I pretty much always keep a little on me! All things in moderation, right? ;) Walmart has a great selection of purse and carry-on worthy treats!


4. Milani Lip Intense Liquid Color in Red Extreme

I'm so thankful Walmart carries a huge selection of Milani products (some of the only drugstore beauty products I tend to love). These amazing liquid lipsticks by Milani are as good as, if not better, than any other lip products I've tried. They're also travel-perfect because they wear great in my experience. And this red? Killer for fall! 


5. EOS Lip Balm

This is an essential for me year-round, but especially in the cooler months. EOS lip balm keeps my lips moisturized and dry skin-free all Fall long. I hate dry lips, but I swear it makes me extra nutty when my lips get dry while traveling--especially if I can't do anything about it. I generally keep a few lip balms on me in my handbag or carry-on. EOS is also available at Walmart.


What are some of your travel bag must-haves?



Thank you Walmart and U by Kotex for sponsoring this post.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Sugarpill Sparkle Baby Release Oct 1 - Swatches & Review

Purchased By Me    Affiliate Links

sugarpill sparkle baby review and swatches

Sugarpill Profile

Sugarpill, one of my all-time favorite indie cosmetic brands, sells an amazing array of mostly cruelty-free loose and pressed shadows. I first came across Sugarpill in their first year and I'm so glad I did. They instantly became one of my favorite bright shadow brands and have maintained this position ever since--you've probably noticed I regularly use Sugarpill in tutorials.

I previously reviewed 27 other Sugarpill pressed and loose shades in 2 parts:
Sugarpill Swatches Part 1
Sugarpill Swatches Part 2

Sugarpill first debuted the Sparkle Baby collection a couple years ago if memory serves me correctly at IMATS--this collection consists of 4 shades of pressed shadows. Since then, Sugarpill fans have been waiting with bated breath for their release. I'll be the first to admit I've been frustrated a few times over how long we've waited for these to launch on the site. Thankfully the wait is over and they are slated to be released on October 1st if what I've read is correct! 

Additionally, I believe the LE chromalust released in super limited quantities at IMATS Sydney will also be available tomorrow as well. The last few LE chromalusts have gone really quick, so I strongly suggest jumping on it if you want it!

Note: I am unsure of whether or not any of these shades contain carmine as the packaging does not indicate which do just that some may, so best to ask if this is a concern for you. I'm also unsure of whether or not the pro palette will release on the site, though it was offered at IMATS Sydney.

Price

These will retail individually for $12 

Where to Buy

These should release on October 1st through Sugarpill's online store


Sugarpill Sparkle Baby Swatches & Review


sugarpill sparkle baby review and swatches

Product Type

These are pressed shadows with varying finishes. I'm unsure of whether or not these will release in regular individual compacts or these white ones, but I believe they will launch both in a palette as well as individually. 

Shades

Sparkle Baby consists of 4 shades.

sugarpill candycrush review
Sugarpill Candycrush

sugarpill candycrush swatch
Sugarpill Candycrush - minty pastel aqua with frost finish

sugarpill frostline review
Sugarpill Frostline

sugarpill frostline swatch
Sugarpill Frostline - pastel lilac with subtle pink sheen

sugarpill hotsy totsy review
Sugarpill Hotsy Totsy

sugarpill hotsy totsy swatch
Sugarpill Hotsy Totsy - raspberry with lilac sparkle

sugarpill kitten parade review
Sugarpill Kitten Parade

sugarpill kitten parade swatch
Sugarpill Kitten Parade - pinky-peach with gold flash

On the Eye

These shades have fairly different textures so I've broken them down by shade.

Candycrush - fairly soft and buttery with decent payoff; slightly pills on itself when picking up color in the compact, but applies nicely

Frostline - this had a moderately firm formula in the pan and given its light color it provided more of a wash of lilac than super opaque coverage, but very pretty; use over a white or colored base for more depth

Hotsy Totsy - this was the hardest of all the shades in this collection, but with a little extra effort you can get a reasonable amount of color; this may stain without something between it and your skin

Kitten Parade - this had a soft, buttery formula with good payoff; absolutely stunning in person


Final Recap 


Price

These will retail individually for $12 

Where to Buy

These should be available on October 1st through Sugarpill's online store

Final Thoughts

This is Sugarpill's softest collection in terms of colors and I think many will find it very wearable. If you're the type that loves Sugarpill shadows, but isn't comfortable with super bright, opaque shades then this may be a great introduction. 

I love the shades and I think they're fantastic for spring! While they're not all as super opaque as other Sugarpill shades, none are bad and all are workable. They are not super similar to anything else Sugarpill has released for pressed shadows so they make great additions to even the largest Sugarpill collections in my opinion. I believe Sugarpill will be releasing these in palette form in addition to individually. 

Overall, I'm glad I have them and look forward to working them into tutorials this spring and summer!

Will you be grabbing these from Sugarpill

Monday, September 29, 2014

Hakuhodo Face Brush Reviews & Comparisons - J210, J5521

PURCHASED

hakuhodo face brush review and comparison J210, J5521

Hakuhodo

Hakuhodo is a Japanese company that crafts what are arguably some of the most exquisite natural hair makeup brushes in the world. I discussed them a bit more in depth in a previously post on a number of Hakuhodo blending brushes I purchased.

I recently purchased a number of Hakuhodo makeup brushes and since I've personally only found a few reviews online, I thought it might be helpful to throw in my 2 cents. I've broken these brushes down by type into separate posts, having previously posted about the blending brushes I grabbed and planning to post 1 more eye brush post after this face brush post. I've tried to include comparisons of some of these brushes to other popular makeup brushes similar in shape/size for reference.

Quick Note: Hakuhodo brushes were not originally numbered on the handles, however, they have recently changed that and newly crafted brushes in the "J" line are numbered. As a result, Hakuhodo is currently informing customers they may receive a mixture of numbered and unnumbered J brushes during this transitional period. Almost all of the brushes I received were numbered.

Their shipping is lightning fast and cost me $9, which I believe is flat-rate through their site.


Hakuhodo Face Brush Review & Images - J210, J5521

I have mentioned brush types and shapes below in each review, however, I'm a big believer in using your tools the way you see fit--there are no rules! The way I use a brush may not be the way you'd use it, so this is more guidelines based on my opinion.

hakuhodo j210, hakuhodo j5521 review
Hakuhodo J5521, Hakuhodo J210



Hakuhodo J210 Review

hakuhodo j210 foundation blush brush review
Hakuhodo J210

Brush Shape - round
Brush Type - blush, foundation
Bristle Length - 30mm
Hair Type - goat
Total Brush Length - 170mm
Price - $45
Where to Buy - Hakudohousa.com
Observations - I know this brush is listed as a brush blush, but it's exactly the shape and size I was looking for, for a new foundation brush and I've seen others feel the same. The bristles are super soft and the top is fairly rounded, but not tapered. The brush head is fairly dense, but the bristles have plenty of spring and flex. I'm in love with this brush and will definitely be buying 1 or 2 more! While it could certainly be used for blush, I personally think it's the right size and shape for foundation--though obviously you can play around with it and determine how you like to use it best. I've seen some question how the Hakuhodo J210 compares to the Esum G47, so I've compared them below. 


Hakuhodo J5521 Review

hakuhodo j5521 highlighter brush review
Hakuhodo J5521

Brush Shape - tapered
Brush Type - highlight
Bristle Length - 32mm
Hair Type - goat
Total Brush Length - 167mm
Price - $38
Where to Buy - Hakudohousa.com
Observations - I really love this shape and size brush for highlighting ultra fine, pressed powders. This brush is very soft. It's pretty dense and picks up and distributes product nicely. I bought it because from everything I read and saw it looked very similar to my other favorite highlighting brush, Wayne Goss 02, which I've compared it to below. This is a fantastic brush in my opinion!


Hakuhodo J210 vs Esum G47

hakuhodo j210 vs esum g47 makeup brush comparison
Hakuhodo J5521 vs Esum G47

hakuhodo j210 vs esum g47 japanese makeup brush comparison
Hakuhodo J5521 vs Esum G47

Hakuhodo J210 and Esum G47 Comparison

  • Hakuhodo J210 round, Esum G47 is round and flat
  • Hakuhodo J210 is larger
  • Hakuhodo J210 is softer, but Esum G47 is soft as well
  • Both are similar in overall length
Conclusion - Hakuhodo J210 is nothing like Esum G47. Ironically, Hakuhodo J210 is labeled by the brand as a blush brush and Esum G47 is labeled by the brand as a foundation brush. Personally, for my own uses, I prefer to use them for the opposite purposes--Hakuhodo J210 for foundation and Esum G47 for blush. I think one could easily own both brushes if you liked their individual shapes and sizes, but I don't personally find them to be interchangeable. They are very close in price (Esum G47 is around $42 retail).


Hakuhodo J5521 vs Wayne Goss 02

hakuhodo j5521 versus wayne goss 02 japanese makeup brush comparison
Hakuhodo J5521 vs Wayne Goss 02

hakuhodo J5521 versus Wayne Goss 02 japanese makeup brush comparison
Hakuhodo J5521 vs Wayne Goss 02

Hakuhodo J5521 and Wayne Goss 02 Comparison

  • Both equally (super) soft
  • Hakuhodo J5521 ever so slightly shorter (really small difference as you can see above)
  • Hakuhodo J5521 may be the teeniest bit denser, but honestly it's such a nearly imperceptible difference it's really difficult to tell
  • Both are pure perfection in shape and hair quality
Conclusion - If you guys follow me regularly you know I'm a HUGE fan of Wayne Goss and his lovely, angel-sent brushes. Oh my gosh do I love the ones I own (and look forward to having an equally boarder-line inappropriate relationship with the ones I plan to purchase). The Wayne Goss 02 is my all-time favorite highlighter brush and from everything I'd read and saw prior to purchasing, the Hakuhodo J5521 was supposed to be nearly identical in every way but hair color. I have to say, it really is. Both are beautifully constructed, magically soft and just sheer joys to work with. While my Wayne Goss 02 looks a tiny bit fluffier above, it's only because I didn't intentionally reshape it as a much as I sometimes do while it was drying this last time. It's magic as is the Hakuhodo J5521 and I definitely suggest getting either or both (I plan to pick up 1 more of each) if you're searching for a highlighter brush that deposits the most lovely amount of glow on the highest planes of your (or your clients') face. I've even had those sitting for full face applications comment on how soft my Wayne Goss 02 was before--it's that impressive. Like the soft whisper of a mild fall breeze caressing your face ... ok, getting a little warm over my brushes here. I'll stop! But really, amazing.


Have you purchased any of the brushes mentioned above? What did you think of them?

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Free for "Fall" Makeup Giveaway - Open Internationally

SPONSORED


tarte cosmetics giveaway fall beauty 2014

Free for FALL Giveaway!

Fall is here! The weather is cooler, the leaves are changing and fall makeup is everywhere we turn. Time to swap out those summer products for some sultry fall shades and I'm excited to help you get started!

Included in this Prize

  • Tarte Clean Slate Timeless Smoothing Primer
  • Limited Edition Tarte Amazonian Clay Dual Liner (black and brown)
  • Tarte Amazonian Colored Clay Tinted Brow Gel in Taupe
  • Eyeko Visual Eyes Liquid Liner in Mocha
  • SheaMoisture Lip Crayon in Keylin
  • SheaMoisture Lip Crayon in Sarah


When is it happening?

This giveaway starts Sept 27 - Oct 8



Details

One winner will be randomly chosen from those that enter through the rafflecopter widget below! All mandatory entries must be completed in order to be chosen as the winner. The prize will ship out within 2 weeks of the end of the giveaway. This giveaway is opened internationally to those 18 or older. Please note, some countries restrict cosmetics being shipped and it is not our responsibility to ensure your prize passes through customs. We suggest checking your local shipping laws just in case!


Ready to enter? Here you go...


Friday, September 26, 2014

Hakuhodo Blending Brushes Reviews & Comparisons - J5523, J5533, J142, J146, J5529

PURCHASED

hakuhodo japanese makeup brush review

Hakuhodo

Hakuhodo is a Japanese company that crafts what are arguably some of the most exquisite natural hair makeup brushes in the world. While Japanese makeup brushes have been gaining in popularity for the last couple years, they're far from new. Japanese brushes have been used for centuries for a variety of purposes from writing to art and applying cosmetics. Crafting these brushes is a serious art form and as a result, these brushes are quite costly both in Japan as well as to purchase in the US. In fact, one of my sisters lives in Japan (where my father's family is from) and we regularly discuss how expensive brushes and cosmetics are there--even the brands based in Japan. I've personally always preferred investing in my brushes (for both myself and my kit) so I think the prices for these brushes were actually quite reasonable, however, "affordability" is a subjective term so it's best for readers to determine for themselves whether or not these are worth it to purchase. 

I recently purchased a number of Hakuhodo makeup brushes and since I've personally only found a few reviews online, I thought it might be helpful to throw in my 2 cents. I'm going to break these brushes up across several posts to keep things a bit more organized. This post is dedicated to the brushes I purchased that are primarily blending/crease brushes. I've tried to include comparisons of some of these brushes to other popular makeup brushes similar in shape/size.

Quick Note: Hakuhodo brushes were not originally numbered on the handles, however, they have recently changed that and newly crafted brushes in the "J" line are numbered. As a result, Hakuhodo is currently informing customers they may receive a mixture of numbered and unnumbered J brushes during this transitional period. Almost all of the brushes I received were numbered.

Their shipping is lightning fast and cost me $9, which I believe is flat-rate through their site.


Hakuhodo Blending/Crease Brush Reviews & Images - J5523, J5533, J142, J146, J5529

I have mentioned brush types and shapes below in each review, however, I'm a big believer in using your tools the way you see fit--there are no rules! The way I use a brush may not be the way you'd use it, so this is more guidelines based on my opinion.

hakuhodo japanese makeup brush review J5523, j5533, j142, j146, j5529
L to R - Hakuhodo J5523, Hakuhodo J5533, Hakuhodo J5529, Hakuhodo J146, Hakuhodo J142


Hakuhodo J5523 Review

hakuhodo J5523 japanese makeup brush review
Hakuhodo J5523

Brush Shape - round, flat
Brush Type - blending, crease, shadow
Bristle Length - 16mm
Hair Type - goat
Total Brush Length - 151mm
Price - $19
Where to Buy - Hakudohousa.com
Observations - This brush is very soft and fairly fluffy, yet it's dense enough that it holds its shape well. This could easily be used for both applying shadow to the lid as well as to the crease. It's similar in shape and size to MAC 217, which I've compared it to below.


Hakuhodo J5533 Review

hakuhodo j5533 japanese makeup brush review
Hakuhodo J5533

Brush Shape - round, domed
Brush Type - blending
Bristle Length - 18mm
Hair Type - goat
Total Brush Length - 153mm
Price - $18
Where to Buy - Hakuhodousa.com
Observations - This brush is super soft and flexible. It's very fluffy with a round head, rather than tapered, making it perfect for blending. Bdellium had a blending brush in the Bambu line that was somewhat similar if memory serves me correctly, but I couldn't find the one I had and it was synthetic anyway, so I didn't compare them. I am really excited to use this brush on some new faces as I loved it while testing it on myself.


Hakuhodo J142 Review

hakuhodo j142 japanese makeup brush review
Hakuhodo J142

Brush Shape - medium tapered
Brush Type - blending, crease
Bristle Length - 18mm
Hair Type - goat
Total Brush Length - 153mm
Price - $18
Where to Buy - Hakuhodousa.com
Observations - Like the others, this is super soft. It's very flexible and fairly fluffy. It's neither super small nor super large--more medium size in terms of the brush head. Definitely a great crease brush! When I first saw this brush it reminded me of MAC 226 and I have compared them below.


Hakuhodo J146 Review

Hakuhodo j146 japanese makeup brush review
Hakuhodo J146

Brush Shape - slim, tapered at end
Brush Type - blending, crease
Bristle Length - 16mm
Hair Type - goat
Total Brush Length - 156mm
Price - $18
Where to Buy - Hakuhodousa.com
Observations - This has very soft bristles, which are also very flexible. The head of the brush is fairly long in proportion to the width of the head compared to most blending brushes I've come across. Great for working on smaller eyes!


Hakuhodo J5529 Review

hakuhodo j5529 japanese makeup brush review
Hakuhodo J5529

Brush Shape - petite, fairly domed tip
Brush Type - blending, crease, precise application
Bristle Length - 13mm
Hair Type - goat
Total Brush Length - 153mm
Price - $17
Where to Buy - Hakuhodousa.com
Observations - This was the smallest of the blending/crease brushes I purchased and it is itty-bitty! It is still very soft and has a fair amount of flex to it, but it is slightly on the firmer end. While it's described by Hakuhodo as a tapered brush, I think mine is more dome shaped than tapered, It almost reminds me of a cross between a slim pencil brush and long-headed mini smudger. It's a nice brush for smaller eyes and more precise work. 


Hakuhodo and MAC Cosmetics Comparisons

I'm not suggesting you should purchase these brushes instead of Hakuhodo brushes, but given the brushes mentioned below are fairly popular in the US I thought it might help those wavering between them--or simply as a point of reference.

Hakuhodo J5523 vs MAC 217

hakuhodo j5523 vs mac 217 comparison
MAC 217 vs Hakuhodo J5523

hakuhodo j5523 vs mac 217 comparison japanese makeup brush maccosmetics
MAC 217 vs Hakuhodo G5523

MAC 217 and Hakuhodo G5523 Comparison
  • Hakuhodo G5523 is softer
  • Hakuhodo G5523 is slightly more flexible
  • Hakuhodo G5523 has a slightly more uniformed brush head
  • Hakuhodo G5523 has a shorter handle
Conclusion - I have owned several MAC 217s over the years and I think it's got a great multipurpose shape. I tend to use mine most often in the crease, but have used them to apply concealer/corrector, shadow, etc. While I'd never consider the MAC 217 scratchy or rough, the Hakuhodo G5523 is notably softer. You can actually see in the picture that the ends of the bristles on the 217 look a tad more blunt than the bristles on the Hakuhodo G5523. If you're super picky about softness, the G5523 would probably suit you best! I'll definitely be picking up a few more Hakuhodo G5523s.


Hakuhodo J142 vs MAC 226

hakuhodo j142 vs mac 226 japanese makeup brush mac cosmetics comparison
MAC 226 vs Hakuhodo J142

hakuhodo j142 vs mac 226 japanese makeup brush mac cosmetics comparison
MAC 226 vs Hakuhodo J142

MAC 226 and Hakuhodo J142 Comparison
  • MAC 226 is more tapered; tapering begins closer to the base and comes to a slightly finer point
  • Hakuhodo J142 has a slightly longer brush head
  • Hakuhodo J142 is softer
  • MAC 226 is limited edition and therefore more difficult to get a hold of as it's only been released for limited periods a couple times with LE collections
Conclusion - MAC 226 is the smaller (and limited edition) little sister of MAC's popular 224 blending brush. While I normally wouldn't compare a limited edition product in a post like this, MAC 226 has a cult following and as it's been released a couple times with different limited edition collections, I'm sure we'll see it someday again. Hakuhodo J142 is notably softer, while MAC 226 is slightly more tapered. Hakuhodo J142 has a shorter handle, which may or may not factor in for some.


Have you purchased Hakuhodo makeup brushes? Which are your favorites?

Check back soon for additional Hakuhodo makeup brush features.