A Miscellany of Brushes: My Top Ten

MY BRUSHESMake up brushes had always seemed an indulgence to me, and were also an extra bunch of fiddly things that couldn’t stand up on their own — which meant I’d have to find a place to keep them, and in most of the places I’ve lived in the last… yikes, fifteen-point-six years, there’s been minimal bathroom-room.

There was also a thing where I was keeping the sets inviolate? Which is like, what? I got over that. And I was, okay, maybe a tiny bit intimidated by make up brushes — got over that, and haven’t looked back. They really are good for you, and your face.

Got well over that, found a jar to hold ’em, and got down to putting together, no matter their provenance, my own personal collection of brushes. There are others, for sure, and someday perhaps they will move into the rotation. In fact, I’ve made some changes to this lot already, and I only took this photo a month ago.

From the left!

> The BENEFIT Foundation Brush is the best one I’ve tried. I prefer my fingers, no matter the truth that every MUA routinely lays down — that truth being that you get better coverage with less product. I get annoyed because: one more thing to clean!

> I don’t even know that JO MALONE make brushes anymore, but this big, puff ball of goodness is genius for applying loose powder, and pressed powder that I don’t want to be too matte.

> ISADORA‘s ginormous Kabuki is perfect for bronzer, and blush if I use just the very middle chunk of bristles. Which it is entirely possible to do.

> TRISH McEVOY‘s eyelash comb. I found the metal scary near my eye the first time I used it, but now I am fearless. Should probs clean that too, oops.

> Hmm, where did that come from… MARKS & SPENCER, I think? The eyelash comb, as you can see, did not travel well, and is toothless — but the little wedgey brush at the bottom is flawless when it comes to applying dark pigment at the lash lines.

> BOBBI BROWN is my only woman for smudging. {At the moment, anyway… I’ve just gotten me paws on a SMASHBOX Blending Brush, and it may join the crowd.}

> The SISLEY PARIS brush is okay, and it may lose its spot in the Top Ten. In fact, it already has because:

> The DR HAUSCHKA Dear Eyes Limited Edition brushes are fab. That’s the Definer pictured, and the Blender is fantastic, too, and will be shifting the Sisley out of the way.

> Have no idea where that wee Kabuki came from, but it travels exceptionally well, and is a staple in my daily going-out make up bag.

I’ve also got a REAL TECHNIQUES blush brush, and a BODY SHOP blush brush near to hand, but I notice that I rarely wear blush {Should I?!?}, and one-a them fan-shaped deals, via SMASHBOX, with which to apply that fabulous white stiff, the Photoset Finishing Powder, which I need to post about.

So many brushes, so little time!

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A swipe of brushes? Thinking their might be a better collective noun…

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Face of the Yesterday: Eyes! Because: Brushes!

Not my usual spot at the back of the 46A; here, I am waiting for the 7. So: out-of-doors, environmental, natural lighting — always trying to mix it up here at Bright and Beautyfull!
BUS STOP FACE
Lots of Rimmel London on the face: their Stay Matte Liquid Mousse Foundation has become my go-to for days in which I’m going to be out and about for hours; I gave their Scandaleyes Lycra Flex Mascara a spin, and was happy with the result, but find the brush to be awfully massive. Given that I routinely get mascara alll over my lid {I cop to operator error}, I don’t know that it will go into regular rotation. But! I am loving loving loving the brand’s Colour Rush line. The Long Lasting Intense Colour Balms are in fact long lasting and balmy, and intensely pigmented. I am wearing Rumour Has It — love love love it!

Brows are the ever-reliable HD Brows via Carter Beauty.

Eyeliner! Ooh, the eyeliner! I’ve gone a bit 80s lately and been drawing on the waterline, and Smashbox‘s new Always Sharp Waterproof Kohl Eye Liner is just fab. Here, in Navy, I used it all round the inner eye, and like it says on the tin, it stays sharp, thanks to having a sharpening thingie in the lid {Lid? Top? Closey thing?} You just twist it a couple of times to the left, and there you are, pointy and ready to go.

The thing that made me happiest, however, is Clinique‘s all about shadow 8-pan palette in neutral territory 2.
CLINIQUE PALETTE
In the past, I was intimidated by palettes — what to use where, and how much? I’ve gotten over it, and just use my common sense; I do feel that I tend to do the same thing over and over, and hope to go wild some day and try something different. Here, even though I did my samey thing {light on the lid, medium in the crease, dark at the outside edge} I was really happy with the way it came out.

Also, I know this is so obvs, but using proper eye makeup brushes helps loads. My current faves are the definer and blender brushes from Dr Hauschka‘s Dear Eyes line. These are limited edition, and if there are any to be had, have at ’em, they are great. They hold the shadow really well, and don’t drag on your skin. Plus: super soft!

Forgot to put on blush. Scarla’! {LOL}

Also, due to brushes and the superiority of the product, the shadow didn’t move, and saw me through the eventual bus journey, two longish walks, and two launches, with no touch up. A total of five hours — that seems pretty good? And I was gutted to have to remove it, because it held up so well, the eyeliner included.

And just for fun:

World's Largest Forehead

World’s Largest Forehead

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RIMMEL LONDON Stay Matte Liquid Mousse Foundation, €7.95; Scandaleyes Lycra Flex Mascara, €8.95; Colur Rush Long Lasting Intense Colour Balm, €7.95

SMASHBOX Always Sharp Waterproof Kohl Eye Liner, €19

CLINIQUE all about shadow 8-pan palette in neutral territory 2, €39

DR HAUSCHKA Limited Edition Dear Eyes Brushes: Definer, €22; Blender, €26.50

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Lucky Thirteen of 2013: Lippy, and the View From Below My Nose

WARNING: clicking through these links may result in PTND*.

I was into lipstick this year! I say that like it is news, like I haven’t posted this picture:
ALL THE LIPPYs
These were just the ones that were by the place where I keep my going-out-the-door stuff: my purse, the thingie with my Leap Card in it, my sunglasses.

Lots of lippys — thirteen, in fact — lots of pictures of my nose from an… interesting angle.

I reviewed eight shades of lipp-ay here, which alerted me to the proboscis problem — and then I clearly just chose to ignore it because: here I went again, and again, and… yeah. Um, and this one. And then also.

Sheesh.

The main issue I see is that I have not been wearing nearly enough purple/mauve lipstick.

There’s my new year’s resolution sorted!

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*Post Traumatic Nostril Disorder

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OMChristmas 2013: Gift Sets That Are Fab {And Mainly Come in Tins}

…and are not lame, which I used to think gift sets were — back when dinosaurs walked the earth. As the human race has evolved, so has the ways in which brands present their ‘best of’ in attractive packages for the festive season.

^^^That’s all code for: this is a simple and easy way to gift, but you wont look scabby because all of this stuff is nice.

DrHauschka Daily Face Care Kit
DR HAUSCHKA Skin Care Essentials {€27.95} is terrific way in which to introduce your natural-cosmetic-loving loved one to the brand. I am a sucker for a tin or a box, and oh! the uses this container would get put to!

LRP
I love LA ROCHE-POSAY‘s Lipikar line, having had great enjoyment out of their shower oil. If you buy two or more LRP products from your local chemists, you’ll receive this gift box plus 100mls Lipikar Cleansing Oil. I can’t imagine a better value gift, and if you’re needing to spread the love a little, you can surely give the two products away in your office Secret Santy, and the gift box to a loved one. In any event, you will get so much love in return, as this is truly an excellent brand.

PAYOT design lift regard
I’ve not had much opportunity try PAYOT; their Design Lift Regard Coffret {€85} comes in a pretty little zippered case, and contains a healthy sample of Design Lift Visage face cream and sample sizes of eye cream, masque, Elixir Jeunesse, and Design Lift Visage, which is a skin-tightening serum. The sizes are perfect for travel, and like all high quality brands, you’ll get good mileage out of the the samples — less is more.

BENEFIT groovy kinda love
OMG, here’s another tin just waiting to be used to hold things! A Groovy Kind-a Love {€39.50} is full of fabulousness, including the now-iconic Porefessional and They’re Real mascara. BENEFIT have done it again in the gift-set department. And again:
BestOfBenefit
Best of Benefit {€29.50} is truly the best of the brand, and if your loved one is a heathen and not enamoured of tins, then this box will do nicely. The sample sizes are eminently portable, and will go a long, long way. You’ll get particularly excellent mileage out of the Boi-ing and the BeneTint. I mean, your giftee will. Yeah, the person for whom you bought this. Right.

Marine algae Gift Set €12.99
ZIAJA Marine Algae Spa Gift Set {€12.99} is a terrific introduction to the value brand. There are seemingly limitless lines, from grapeseed to shea butter, but I am a fan of this one, myself. Throw in a bottle of the Enzyme Peeling Treatment {€4.99} and for less than €20, you’ve given someone pampering treat.

BODY SHOP butter snowman
I consider THE BODY SHOP to have been one of the first to conceive of this form of gifting, and in having been in the vanguard, I find it can be easy to forget about them. Well, if you go for a browse in your local shop, you’ll be amazed that anyone could: the level of design and presentation continues to improve every year, as does the quality of the product. I literally went ‘Ooh!’ when I opened the Shea Scrub & Soften Gift Set {€29.95}. A 100ml body butter is paired with 50mls of scrub. This tin has festive potential for years to come…

SANCTUARY SPA @ BOOTS
Oh, Boots, how are we supposed to keep up! There are so many bargains to be had, I almost didn’t know how to choose amongst them, but I do love the SANCTUARY SPA brand. Here is their Top to Toe Glow Pamper Tin Gift Set {a tin, how surprising!}, and it is stuffed full of self-care goodness. Oh, I gotta list ’em all: 250mls of Body Wash and Body Lotion; Spa Skin Body Polisher; Radiance Exfoliator {100ml}; Fresh Faced Purifying Wash {140ml}; Spa Facial Headband; Pumice Foot Scrub {50ml}; Moisture Rich Foot Butter {50ml}; Spa Pedicure Foot File. Whew! It’s £19, and with the best will in the world, I tried to get the € price. I’ll convert, but don’t quote me on this: €22. Sure, with all the 3 for 2 deals that are going at the moment, whatever the upward difference may be is easily made up at the till.

R&G FIGROGER & GALLET 100ml Fragrance Coffrets {€39.75} in which you get matching 50mls of Shower Gel and Body Lotion. Choose from one of their four most popular scents: Bois d’Orange, Fleur d’Osmanthus; Fleur de Figieur or Rose Imaginaire. Sadly, not contained in a tin, but that box is super pretty — no wrapping required! Your new year of fragrance layering starts here.

MICRO Pedi gift set and components
Give a beloved foot enthusiast the gift that keeps on giving. At a special introductory price of €49.95, you cannot beat EMJOI‘s MicroPedi Gift Set. Look at all that! And look how cute the little heart is on the cover of the box, it’s like two little feet… As someone who is grossed out by feet, even I am adoring this.

Go forth and shop!

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Yippy! Lippy! A/W 2013: An Assortment

Let’s just get right to it, shall we?
CLARINS joli rouge
CLARINS PARIS Joli Rouge in Pink Camellia, €21
This is light and yet brimming with pigment. I likey much, except for the part where I’ve eaten and it has bled all over the place. God, I hate lipliner, but there may be nothing for it…

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YSL Rouge Neon
YVES SAINT LAURENT Rouge Pur Couture Pur Colour Satiny Radiance in Rouge Neon, €31
The orangey-red doesn’t suit me particularly, but the texture of this is pure luxe.

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ARMANI Lip Maestro
GIORGIO ARMANI Lip Maestro Intense Velvet Colour in 505, €28.50
This is amazzzzze. It is much poppier and neon pink in real life, and the compliments! They flooded in! Not so great to be wearing unless you are nil by mouth: I got some on my *nose* because I was drinking champagne and kept moving the glass around. Do people drink from the same spot on a champagne glass? Have I got some class of disorder? Don’t answer that.

This is indeed velvety, and super intense, and I adore it.

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BUFF sex on heels
BUFF MAKE UP Lipstick in sex on heels, €18
Like this one, too. The pigment is autumnal café au lait, and it is the sort of lippy I can apply like a gloss: swiftly, without looking, because it’s neutral. Which I like… I feel like this needs more make up surrounding it, to really work well.

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LANCOME l'absolu velours peche?
LANCÔME L’Absolu Velours Matte Effect in Velours de Pêche, €25
Loving matte texture as a general vibe, and liking it here espêche. Ahhhhh, see what I did there.

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BENEFIT wing woman
BENEFIT Hydra-Smooth Lip Color, Full Finish in wing woman, €22
Hmmm. There’s a new lippy in town, via our pals from San Fran, and this is meant to be the full finish version, as opposed to the mediums and sheers on offer. More to come re: this line, but I was not wowed by this coverage.

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DR HAUSCHKA novum
DR HAUSCHKA Lipstick Novum in 09, Miraculous Rose €16.50
Waa! Also feeling ‘meh’ about this, too, and I had such love for the oldum Novums, as demonstrated here. This is light, if you want light, and reflective, if you want reflective.

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REVLON Lip Butter
REVLON Colorburst Lip Butter in Strawberry Shortcake, €9.60
Not terribly autumnal, but the texture! of! this! lippy! It is the perfect mid-point between gloss and stick, and the shine is terrific. I am sure that they must have suitably deep colours for the time of year that is almost in it; until I find out more about them, this will do me just fine, thanks.

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Soz, probably should have posted a ‘nostril alert’. Hope no one is scarred for life…

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What I Was Going to Put on My Face Yesterday

And what actually got there.

I suspect that a lot of people who don’t like to wear make up are put off by how much you have to put on. I totally get that! I’d argue about the ‘have to’ so much as ‘choose to’, and particularly with the advent of BB creams — more about them, someday, hopefully before they get replaced by something else even more allegedly magical — you don’t really have to trowel on the slap to get a look that is ‘you’, just all shined up.

And yet. Even I was rather appalled when I laid out everything I thought I’d put on my face yesterday afternoon:

In the words of my very first Mac Classic: Eep! We’ve got your Bourjois 123 Perfect Foundation, which is on tap to review for my tried & tested column in the Herald; Sisley Instant Primer, which I didn’t fancy so much the first time I tried, but wanted to give it a second chance; new Maybelline Colossal Smoky Eyes Mascara; a gorgeous palette from Yves Saint Laurent, as seen on new representative Face, Jessica Chastain — this will make me look just like her; a YSL illuminator pen thing, for around the eyes; Sisley lipgloss, with the option of the NYC lipstick; Dr Hauschka Illuminating Powder, even though I am not a huge fan of loose powder… And a whole bunch of eye pencils that I can’t even see what they are. And an AVON lipstick I found in a coat pocket. And the Shine So Bright from Lush.

No blush, I thought, since it was going to be all about the Smoky Eye.

Also not pictured, the combination I am using on the brows at the moment as the HD Brow dye wears off: Speed Brow by BeneFit, and the super excellent AVON Glimmerstick Brow Definer in Soft Brown.

Then I lost my nerve.

See, I had to go to the theatre to review a show, and it was opening night at the Abbey, and there would be loads of people I knew, and I didn’t want to pitch up looking like Morticia Addams. I don’t have a lot of confidence in my Smoky-Eye-creating ability, so I ditched the entire plan, and feel back on the one I am liking so much at the moment:

Red lipstick. Can’t put much else on the face when you are working that, IMHO. Went with everything as planned, primer-foundation-powder-wise, used the Maybelline mascara > LOVE, and then plucked up my old-faithful eyeliner, L’Oréal Superliner Luminizer for Blue Eyes, which, in fairness, seems to luminize. I also ended up using a Wella concoction on The Hair, I think it is so old it is not even on eBay. Still works though!

I am very impressed by the Bourjois foundation, judge as best you can from the pixilley iPhone image. I was underwhelmed by the Dr Hauschka, and ended up giving myself a going over with a new Clarins palette, Odyssey Face Palette, which: more about that later, too.

Now. The thing is, I don’t carry all this around with me in the course of a day. For an evening out at the theatuh, one bring only one’s powder, black pencil to touch up the liner on the upper inner eyelid, the brow pencil and, of course, the lipstick/gloss. One means, come on! Don’t need to lug around the whole face, as it were.

I’m going to declare a Smoky Eye Day, and stay in and practice. There will be pictures to prove it happened…

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Q: Why is This Woman Grinning Like an Eeeejit? A: HD Brows.

HD Brows are the best thing ever, ever, ever.

Ever. Seriously, it’s like the rest of the face can just chill out, because the brows are doing all the work.

I just got them seen ta yesterday at Carter Beauty in Blackrock, and the world of difference it makes!

If you haven’t seen the before-and-after gallery on their site, go have a look.

Evidence: compelling.

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What else have I got going on?

> The Hair: Dermalogica Shine Therapy Shampoo & Silk Finish Conditioner {€22.20/28.65} with a few squirts of L’Oréal Mythic Oil Milk {€19.99}

> Foundation Le Teint Touche Éclat from Lancôme {€38}. I think I got too light a shade, maybe? Can’t tell from the seriously warm photo. I’m not sure this is right for me. I have to give this another go, and see.

> 10 Bronzer {€34} from Benefit because of the above.

> Clinique High Impact Extreme Volume Mascara {€21}

> NYC HD Color Quattro Eye Shadow in Queens Boulevard {€3.49}. I didn’t use the full quattro, only a duo; the palette is nicely purple-y.

> Dr Hauschka Lipstick Novum in Slow Mood {16.50}, because I was going for a neutral lip. I’m thinking it is only okay, and was sorry that I hadn’t remembered this new Lacura Beauty lippy I’m liking at the moment, from Aldi, in 419. It’s a smoky purple-y grey, and the other day? I ate an apple, and it didn’t wear off. !

Hey, that’s one pricey face…