Makeup Wars – favorite brushes

Each time Makeup Wars comes together to share posts a topic is decided. While we all don’t post on every one, this week’s is definitely going to be a popular one. MAKEUP BRUSHES!!! We are all beauty enthusiasts so favorite brushes is done with ease. For me though it’s narrowing down my huge collection to just the ones I use all the time. I love luv crave brushes and even though I have over 100 the ones I’m sharing today are the ones I use every week if not daily. A few were sent for review but the majority are ones I’ve purchased and would gladly do again.

Favorite makeup brushes

Favorite makeup brushes

ARTIS ELITE MIRROR OVAL 10

Artis Oval 10

Artis Oval 10

When I first reviewed Artis Oval 10 I didn’t realize that it would eventually become my all time favorite face brush. I am madly in lust over this brush. At the time I was using it for powder but I soon learned that it was ideal for foundation. It gives me the smoothest visage ever and makes my skin look airbrushed. With over 250,00 soft bristles it marries the best of two worlds with its softness and refined blending application.

Artis Oval 10 Brush

Artis Oval 10 Brush

At $77 it’s expensive but the cost is small in proportion to my use and adoration. (Available at Saks and the Artis website)

MAC EYESHADOW BRUSHES

MAC eye brushes 239, 272, 219, 217

MAC eye brushes 239, 272, 219, 217

My first cosmetic job was as a freelancer for MAC Cosmetics. I lived and breathed MAC and that’s when my brush collection really grew. I had (past tense) a pro discount and knew that what I used on clients was what I wanted to use on myself. They are still the eyeshadow brushes that get the most use. It might have something to do with owning duplicates of them – ahem. MAC’s eye brushes all start with the number 2 in their numbering system.

MAC 242 is my favorite since it does just about everything – lays down color, blends shadows, the tip can be used with liner, and is great with both soft colors and more intense ones.

MAC 239

MAC 239

MAC 272 sadly has been discontinued – I don’t know why though since the curve makes it great for the browbone area as well as the lid. It works the same as the 239 but it has the great angle to it.

MAC 217 was always my favorite blending brush but unfortunately the newer ones are bigger and not up to the original. I still love it though and use mine constantly. I’m sure I’ll wear them out at some point.

MAC 217

MAC 217

MAC 219 is my favorite pencil brush. Shockingly I only own 1 of these but I’d happily buy another.

MAC 219

MAC 219

The MAC brushes aren’t enough to keep me satisfied, sort of like Lay’s Potato Chips, I can’t stop at one.

BEAUTY JUNKEES MINI KABUKI SET are brushes that you just can’t beat. Fabulous for eyeshadows and even better for concealer. I pretty much use these interchangeably. At $14.97 this is affordable luxury.

Beauty Junkees Mini Kabuki Set (Eye Makeup Brushes: 5 pc Precision Brush Set)

Beauty Junkees Mini Kabuki Set (Eye Makeup Brushes: 5 pc Precision Brush Set)

Favorite eye brushes: Shu Umera 10, Make Up For Ever 218, Anastasia A6, Cinema Secrets 12, Smashbox 4

Favorite eye brushes: Shu Uemera 10, Make Up For Ever 218, Anastasia A6, Cinema Secrets 12, Smashbox 4

5 other brushes that get a lot of use include the Shu Uemera 10, made of Kolinsky/Sable. It’s an extreme luxury at $95 but it’s worth it if you have the money.

Make Up For Ever 218 Medium Blender Brush ($25) is great with powder and cream shadows. I use it for blending as well as application.

Make Up For Ever 218

Make Up For Ever 218

Anastasia Beverly Hills Pro A6 is my newest brush (reviewed here) and it’s quickly became one of my favorites. Of the three brushes I received from them I notice that I’m reaching for A6 the most. I love it as a firm blending brush.

Anastasia Beverly Hills A6

Anastasia Beverly Hills A6

Smashbox 4 was one of my first highend cosmetic brush purchases. I don’t think you can find this anymore which is a shame. It was called a concealer brush but I love it as a cream eyeshadow brush. Why do brands discontinue their best products?

Eyebrow brushes are my newest obsession and my two favorites are from IT Cosmetics and Full Brow. IT Cosmetics Build a Brow Brush 12 is unique because of the bristles. They are of different lengths so they really reach into your brows to deposit color. It works especially well with a cream brow product. Full Brow is perfect for powders. It just seems to apply the powder more easily and evenly.

IT Cosmetics Heavenly Luxe Build A Brow Brush #12 and Full Brow eyebrow brush

IT Cosmetics Heavenly Luxe Build A Brow Brush #12 and Full Brow eyebrow brush

IT Cosmetics Heavenly Luxe Build A Brow Brush #12 and Full Brow eyebrow brush

IT Cosmetics Heavenly Luxe Build A Brow Brush #12 and Full Brow eyebrow brush

MAC CHEEK BRUSHES: There are two MAC Cheek brushes that I use all the time. For blush I like the large angled MAC 168. Some blush brushes are so big that I’d end up with blush all over so a smaller size is my jam. The other is MAC 165, I’ll use it for blush and it’s wonderful for highlighting and contour. Sadly it was an LE brush but the Tapered Face Brush 138 would do the same job though it’s bigger.

MAC 168 and 165

MAC 168 and 165

Even though I could go on forever I’ll stop with 3 of my favorite face brushes.

IT Cosmetics Heavenly Luxe Wand Ball Powder No. 8, Japonesque Kabuki, Wayne Goss 00

IT Cosmetics Heavenly Luxe Wand Ball Powder No. 8, Japonesque Kabuki, Wayne Goss 00

IT Cosmetics Heavenly Luxe Wand Ball Powder brush is the softest, fluffiest brush. I think mine was part of a TSV (which is why you should always pay attention to the TSV!!). I love IT’s brushes and this one is a great example of what cruelty free brushes are all about.

Heavenly Luxe Wand Ball Powder brush

Heavenly Luxe Wand Ball Powder brush

The Japonesque Kabuki is long discontinued. It’s similar to Nars Yachiyo Kabuki though it was less expensive. It’s not the softest brush but it’s wonderful still for cream blush. It picks up the color well and diffuses it so my cheeks are softly blushing. japonesqueWayne Goss 00 is now only available as a duo – one black, one white. I bought it in a preorder and was able to buy just the one. Go find a friend to split this duo with! This is what I expected of all my Wayne Goss brushes. This is perfection in the way it applies any powders as it just hugs my face and feels like a baby bunny. I’d use it for foundation if I didn’t have the Artis.

While I really haven’t given you many wallet friendly brushes I personally think that brushes are an investment and that they are often worth the extra money. I’m sure if I were first beginning I’d look at ELF, EcoTools, Beauty Junkees, and Real Techniques to shore up my collection. But my shares today are my best and brightest.  What brushes make you stand up and applaud?  —  Marcia

Let’s go brush shopping with Makeup Wars!


*some affiliate links in use

Starting the new year with Japonesque Velvet Touch Foundation

Japonesque Velvet Touch Foundation

Japonesque Velvet Touch Foundation

I wonder if most makeup fanatics are as crazy about foundation as I am. I hadn’t heard about the Japonesque Velvet Touch Foundation prior to receiving it for review but I was excited to try this out. When I opened the box I was surprised to see the small spatula inside and was eager for a peek.

Japonesque Velvet Touch Foundation open

Japonesque Velvet Touch Foundation open

As you can see it’s a solid foundation. It doesn’t move in the jar. I either scoop it out and put a small amount on my metal spatula or the back of my hand or I dampen a foundation brush and pick up the foundation that way.

Velvet Touch Foundation

Velvet Touch Foundation

The reason is clear why it’s named Velvet Touch once you use it. It gives an airbrushed look to my face when I buff it in with a flat top foundation brush. The most interesting thing is that you’d expect to get a heavy cosmetic look but that’s not the case at all. Instead this is actually a lightweight foundation but one with good coverage. I don’t look cakey at all.

Japonesque BB/CC Cream Brush

Japonesque BB/CC Cream Brush

While I don’t have this brush, the Japonesque BB/CC Cream Brush is exactly like the one I do have. I’ll spritz it with a little water (Evian, Vichy) and pick up the color right from the jar. If I’m not in the mood for that then I’ll use my Beauty Blender sponge.

ingredients for Japonesque Foundation

ingredients for Japonesque Foundation

This is sold at Ulta ($36) and the reviews are mostly great. The only confusion I have with them is that some people love it for oily skin while another doesn’t. My skin is normal and confused. Dry areas and oily t-zone. It’s a great finish for my skin.

The difficult part is picking a color online. Ulta has a great chart to help you choose but I still found the Fair Shade 1 to be on the yellow side for me.

Fair Shade 1

Fair Shade 1

Fair Shade  1

Fair Shade 1

I’m very happy to have Japonesque Velvet Touch in my arsenal of foundation since it’s a nice choice especially when I need a little more coverage. It looks natural on, it feels great and it lasts well for me during the day. Japonesque has done us a favor by adding color cosmetics to their line. Not only can you use the coupons from Ulta ($3.50 off or 20%) since it’s not in the prestige section but you can easily find it. I can’t wait to explore more from this brand. What Japonesque cosmetics have you tried? I’d love to hear recommendations. — Marcia

*provided for editorial consideration

4 essential products to get ‘game day’ glam!

Football season is in full swing, and in Michigan people take this game very, very seriously.  Pro football is huge, and so is high school football.  My goodness, our high schools even have a class called ‘Football Advanced Training”.  Whether you are out tailgating at the stadium or hosting a game day at home, it’s far more fun when you are feeling glam.  Here are four products sent to the BIZ that will help you get your glam on.

Game Day Glam essentials!

Game Day Glam essentials!

First up, if you are going to be outside you still need protection from those UV rays.  Be sure to slather on sunscreen before cheering on the team, and what better brand for tailgating than Drunk Elephant??

This couldn't be more appropriate for the game days around here...

This couldn’t be more appropriate for the game days around here…

Drunk Elephant Umbra Sheer Physical Defense

Drunk Elephant Umbra Sheer Physical Defense

Drunk Elephant Umbra Sheer Physical Defense

Drunk Elephant Umbra Sheer Physical Defense

I love Umbra Sheer Physical Defense Sunscreen ($42).  It is made with raspberry seed oil, which gives extremely effective protection from the sun without irritating the skin.  When it comes to being out in the sun, it definitely pays off to go on defense with skin protection.

You can find this awesome sunscreen at DrunkElephant.com, dermstore.com, b-glowing.com and gotbeauty.com.

eos Visibly Soft Smooth Spheres

eos Visibly Soft Smooth Spheres

You know you will be cheering on your team, so be ready with soft, smooth lips thanks to eos Visibly Soft Lip Balm Spheres ($3.29).

eos Visibly Soft Smooth Spheres

eos Visibly Soft Smooth Spheres

Looks like the aliens have landed!

Looks like the aliens have landed!

These ultra cute, super affordable lip balms have hyaluronic acid and Vitamin C so they leave lips incredibly soft and supple.  Plus they are awesome conversation starters.  Every time I use one people ask what the heck it is…and I am always happy to share!  I don’t even know which one is my favorite, the delicious tingly Vanilla Mint or the creamy, soothing Coconut Milk.  Trust me, you want to pick up one of these really neat lip balms.   They are available at Target, Walmart, Ulta, Walgreens, CVS, Rite Aid, Drugstore.com and EvolutionOfSmooth.com.

Whish Deoderant Swipes

Whish Deodorant Swipes

Whish Deodorant Swipes...super convenient!

Whish Deodorant Swipes…super convenient!

The weather can still be pretty warm, and sitting in the stands can be a rather sweaty experience.  Just pop a few Whish Deodorant Swipes ($8) in your purse, and you’ll be able to freshen up any time.  With consistent use, these also inhibit hair growth – that’s a pretty nice side effect.  You can find them at Nordstom.com.

Take the day off with Japonesque Pro Performance Makeup Wipes

Take the day off with Japonesque Pro Performance Makeup Wipes

Speaking of handy, Japonesque Pro Makeup Artist Wipes ($12.50 for 20 wipes) are the absolute definition.  Stadiums and game stands can be grimy and dirty, and these wipes dissolve away dirt, not to mention makeup.  They are great for last-minute touch-ups, and even better for wiping away the day after game time is over.  The vitamin E helps to ensure your skin is all ready to be glammed up for the next game time.  You can find these at Ulta.

With these four beauty necessities, every game day is a glam day.  It’s everything you need to start with Friday Night football and keep on going through Sunday!  – Lisa

*sent for editorial consideration

Game Day Glam collage

Wantable keeps adding beauty to my life

My August subscription from Wantable arrived with some new surprises and items that I know I’m going to love owning. While this is my most expensive subscription box, it’s also the most reliable as to what I’m going to get. I’m always delighted by items that Wantable sends and August just kept on adding to that feeling.

August 2013 Wantable Beauty Box

August 2013 Wantable Beauty Box

If you read 100 reviews/articles about Wantable you’ll see 100 combinations. There are a few things that are in many of the boxes but for the most part each box is customized by the profile you’ve filled out. I’ve seen several other articles and no box was exactly like mine. I’m delighted with mine and will use every single item in it.

FACE STOCKHOLM is one of my favorite brands so to get two items in the box by them is a thrill. It’s funny though because on someone else’s blog I saw a comment that they didn’t want FACE Stockholm – well send it all to me. The first item from FACE is the gel eyeliner in brown ($24). On my profile I’ve got two items under “LOVE” – eyeliner and eyeshadow. Therefore I receive a lot of eyeliners in my boxes and that makes me happy. I hadn’t tried the FACE Stockholm gel eyeliner and I can always use another brown gel since I go through them faster than any other color.

FACE Stockholm gel eyeliner in Brun (brown)

FACE Stockholm gel eyeliner in Brun (brown)

The other FACE Stockholm product is the most stunning and vibrant red nail polish in #128 ($12). Unfortunately the website for FS has terrible swatches so I’d never know to pick this metallic pinky red out. I’ve reviewed Aura, a holographic polish, from them and adored it so I’m thrilled to have one of my favorite colors now to try.

FACE Stockholm Nail Polish #128

FACE Stockholm Nail Polish #128

FACE Stockholm Nail Polish #128

FACE Stockholm Nail Polish #128

The “LIKES” on my profile are blush, highlighter, lip color, nail polish, lash products and tools. I think I’ll take off highlighters for the next time though since I’ve got a lot that I love already. The rest of items in my box are all from this list showing how much attention Wantable pays.

MICHAEL MARCUS was introduced to me in my last box with a pretty pinky coral nail polish. This time I received a lipstick named Ann ($24). I had specified I didn’t want bright lipstick and Ann is a neutral that’s within my comfort zone.

Michael Marcus lipstick

Michael Marcus lipstick

Michael Marcus lipstick in Ann

Michael Marcus lipstick in Ann

This next item brought me great joy – Whip Hand Cosmetics. I’m a huge fan of Whip Hand and I’m so excited to see that Wantable has partnered with them. I’m hoping to get a lot more from Whip Hand in my boxes. This time it’s Whip Hand Cheek Flash loose blush in Biased ($18). This is the prettiest soft pink blush and works perfectly with my Whip Hand pink lipgloss that I showed in my Pink Makeup Wars article.

Whip Hand Cosmetics Biased Cheek Flash

Whip Hand Cosmetics Biased Cheek Flash

Whip Hand Cosmetics Biased Cheek Flash

Whip Hand Cosmetics Biased Cheek Flash

Also included is my first tool from a Wantable box, this is a JAPONESQUE Travel Smudger Brush ($14.50). I’m looking forward to putting this in my travel brush bag since I have nothing like this in there. Japonesque brushes are excellent cruelty free brushes.

Japonesque Smudger Brush, travel

Japonesque Smudger Brush, travel

Japonesque Smudger Brush, travel

Japonesque Smudger Brush, travel

Last is a bonus that isn’t counted in the total: a Lise Watier sample card of the Ombre Supreme Souffle eyeshadows. The card shows all six shades and has samples of Sunrise Peach and Vert Enchante. I’m looking forward to trying both of these as this is a favorite formula.

Lise Watier Ombre Supreme Souffle test card

Lise Watier Ombre Supreme Souffle test card

So there you have my delightful Wantable Subscription for August. I buy my subscription but I have to say thank you to several of you who helped me get this month’s box for less. If you sign up for emails using my link then I get $1 off my next box. If you decide to subscribe via my link I’d get $9 off my next box. So I thank those of you who have signed up past and future. It’s always nice to save some money. Here’s my link: https://www.wantable.com/invite/1DV7tjqbktQ

As you can tell, I highly recommend Wantable. While I pay $36 a month for my subscription I got $92.50 worth of items, all products that I’m excited about to boot. This is the one box that I believe will hold my interest for a long time to come! — Marcia

 

The Look of Love: Japonesque Kabuki brush

Only a cosmetically obsessed crazy woman could be in love with a brush. Normal people would say “Oh that’s nice” or “Yes, I’m glad I have that” but the crazy cosmetically obsessed woman professes true love. She shows that love by using the brush almost daily. You obviously know that I’m the crazed woman but you don’t know what the brush is, unless you peeked at the picture that is.

The brush is one I’ll have to send you on a journey to purchase since it’s only sold where the full line of Japonesque is found; I’ve just found the brush at Naimie’s Beauty Center. The brush is their Kabuki brush but it’s unlike any kabuki you’ve seen before. A typical kabuki brush is a short handled brush with a very full head that is often used to buff minerals or powders onto your skin. Japonesque’s has a long handle and the most unusual head. The brush is 6.5 inches long with the fluffed out rounded head at 1.75 inches long.  The head of the brush is tapered at the top so the bristles are of different lengths. The goat hair on this  makes the BEST brush for cream blush ever. It applies and blends my beloved cream blushes with ease. The size and shape of the brush head is perfect for pots of blush like Julie Hewett’s, Kevyn Aucoin’s and the discontinued Rock & Republic’s. It also applies powder blush, loose powder and highlighters just as beautifully.

Nars makes a similar brush that they call the Yachiyo brush. Theirs is black, Japonesque’s is white. Theirs is $50, Japonesque’s is $25. Theirs is scratchy, Japonesque’s isn’t. Both are bamboo wrapped. In my opinion the Japonesque Kabuki brush is superior in all ways. It’s softer so it’s a pleasure to use. Big splotches of blush are a thing of the past with this terrific brush.


I received this as a gift from a very good friend for my birthday in January. If anyone wants to buy me another for my next birthday, I’ll be happy to send you my address. After all it’s not really cheating if they look alike, is it?? — Marcia

p.s. A friend just alerted me to the fact that you can find this brush on Amazon.com for $23.50 plus shipping of $6.50.