Make Up For Ever 108 Large Foundation Brush

I’ve had a thing for Make Up For Ever brushes lately and didn’t hesitate to purchase the 108 Large Foundation Brush. Previously, I wrote about the Foundation Kabuki Brush, so it’s probably safe to say that I’m on a major foundation kick as well! While the brushes aren’t limited to being used with the MUFE HD Invisible Cover Foundation, I find that having a good foundation brush around can really make or break the effects of any foundation.

The MUFE 108 Large Foundation Brush is described to be “a large flat and rounded brush to quickly and evenly apply foundation.” As a multi-purpose foundation brush, it can be “used to apply and blend all kinds of foundation quickly on large areas. Its large, rounded shape and straight bristles are ideal for a high coverage, even foundation result. It can be used with liquid and cream foundations.” Since I don’t use cream foundations, I can’t speak to its performance with cream formulation; however, I can definitely say that this is foundation brush NEED if you’re a fan of liquid foundations.

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Essentially, with this brush, you will never have to worry about streaking. It seems that this brush will always apply the foundation evenly and smoothly. Because the bristles are fanned out in a way to cover a large area, it only takes a few sweeps along your cheeks, forehead, nose, and chin. The bristles are firm and soft, which sounds odd. But the compactness of the bristles allows the the brush to be perfectly firm, but soft enough to follow the contours of the face. It’s also super soft so it feels quite pleasant on the skin.

As with my MUFE Foundation Kabuki Brush, this brush takes a long time to dry. However, the up-side is that foundation/product doesn’t get clumpy and goopy within the bristles. It seems that no matter the product, brand, or formulation, the foundation applies thin, even, and perfect. The wide paddle shape of the brush allows the foundation to applied quickly, so I think that’s really important for this review. Sometimes I don’t want to use my Beauty Blender because it takes SO long to wet it and pat the foundation in all over my face.

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Another thing I noticed is that when wanting additional coverage, just dab more foundation onto the desired area and use this brush to pat. You’ll get additional coverage, but the brush will apply it evenly without getting cakey. I think having a good foundation brush is an important part of applying foundation correctly. In the end, it will always be about how the foundation eventually looks on the skin.

While the formulation and texture of the product is essential — and that varies from person to person — the tool that you use to apply the foundation can make a big difference too. I recommend this brush if a traditional foundation brush isn’t for you and you’re looking for a thinner and lighter application.

Retails for $36.00 USD.

Make up For Ever Rouge Artist Natural Lipstick in N52

If you’ve stopped by your local Sephora as of late, you may have noticed that Make Up For Ever has re-vamped some of their staple items and launched some new colors. I picked up the Rouge Artist Natural Lipstick in N52 after browsing through some of MUFE’s new shades, and this has been my favorite color to wear since. Lipsticks in this range are “ultra-creamy…with a translucent soft, shiny finish…enriched with nourishing properties.”

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Rouge Artist Natural lipsticks “keeps lips hydrated for eight hours after application. Its incredibly smooth texture glides on effortlessly for ultimate comfort while also leaving the lips supple and moisturized. Formulated with mother-of-pearl and colorful pigments, Rouge Artist Natural’s translucent shine adds a natural sheen to the lips.” This lipstick is available in an array of fresh, luminous shades with two finishes: satin and pearly.

The formula is very comfortable on the lips — very smooth and light, but with very good pigmentation that is reasonable and not overpowering. It’s buttery soft upon application, yet wears evenly and nicely without fading ugly or collecting in weird places on the lips. There’s a wide range of colors to choose from, and I think they’re worth exploring since the formula and texture of these lipsticks are quite amazing.

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The color N52 is new and is a nude-peachy-pink shade that is very flattering. It doesn’t blank out your lips, but it’s also not overly pink either. On my skintone, I find that a nudey-peach color that has hints of pink in it is a more flattering nude. Nudes that are heavy in beige or flesh-colored pigment looks like concealer on the lips, so i definitely try to avoid that, lol. I think N52 is a great nude color to own since it’s the nice kind of nude. I think it will pair well with looks both for a night out and for a casual/natural look too.

Made in France.
Retails for $20.00 USD.

REVIEW: Diorskin Star Studio Foundation SPF 30 in 010

You can’t deny the hype surrounding the new Diorskin Star Studio Foundation and I tried to not fall into the craziness. “Inspired by the professional illuminating techniques and expertise of its makeup artists, Dior invented Diorskin Star, its first brightening foundation.” Rumor has it that this foundation is a dewier, more natural version, of the Make Up For Ever HD Invisible Cover Foundation reviewed here in this post. I’ll try it out and writ a comparison post in the near future.

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The Diorskin Star foundation is described to be a “weightless, fluid formula [that] is capable of recreating the spectacular and perfecting light of Dior’s studios. It uses a new generation of hollow silica beads to capture and diffuse light in a correcting halo with no shine.” It uses the “color-filter pigments” to “neutralize color imbalances to recreate the perfect light. Anti light-trapping skincare ingredients help reduce the appearance of dark areas, pigment spots and redness.” The concept of this foundation sounds almost too perfect to be true, which is why my expectations were extremely high for this foundation. I’ve been sort of on the fence with Dior foundations in general, and felt that for the money, other foundations performed better.

However, I’m very surprised with the performance of this foundation because it really wakes up your complexion and instantly gives your skin a more luminous and even finish/look. The formula is light and runny, much like the MUFE Invisible Cover Foundation. The texture is lightweight and appears to blend seamlessly very quickly. The finish is a barely-there effect — like skin, only better. Much like the effects of a CC cream, this foundation color corrects extremely well. While blending, you can see pigmentation and redness instantly correct (all the while feeling light on the skin).

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I chose the shade 010 Ivory, just like I have in the past with other Dior foundations. The pinky-peach undertones are perfect for my fair skin. Coverage is medium but certainly buildable; and, for a sheerer effect, I like to use the Beauty Blender sponge. It lasts very well on the skin — especially in humidity and through sweat; oil-control is pretty good for a long-wear foundation. For me, an added bonus is the SPF 30 in this foundation. While I wouldn’t solely rely on this foundation for sun protection, an SPF of 30 is quite high for foundations in the United States. I like that my complexion looks so clear with this foundation. So far, I’m very pleased with the foundation and will continue to wear it through this month. There is a sense of dewiness/glowiness without looking or feeling oily or cakey, so that’s a major plus for me. I recommend this foundation and I think it’s definitely worth checking out!

Retails for $50.00 USD.
Made in France.

REVIEW: Laneige Water Sleeping Mask

As some of you may have noticed by now, Target now carries some staple Laneige products. The Laneige Water Sleeping Mask recently has joined my skincare collection. For me, this product is consistent re-purchase item for me and I’ve been using it for nearly a decade. As an original sleeping mask kind-of product, I’ve always had to purchase this in Korea or order from an international eBay seller. It’s convenient that now I can get this at my local Target.

As you might’ve guessed, I’m on a major sleeping mask kick right now so I hope this post is still just as helpful. Most recently, I posted a review on the First Aid Beauty Facial Radiance Overnight Mask; check out other sleeping mask posts: Fresh Rose Face Mask & Nude Skincare Advanced Renewal Overnight Repair Mask, Sulwhasoo Overnight Vitalizing Mask, and the Dr. Jart+ Water Fuse Water-Max Sleeping Mask. For other popular mask posts, consider reviews about the Glam Glow ThirstyMud Hydrating Treatment, Glam Glow Supermud Clearing Treatment, Glam Glow Powermud Dualcleanse Treatment, and the Philosophy Purity Made Simple Mask.

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The Laneige Water Sleeping Mask functions as a sleeping mask that recharges dehydrated skin overnight. As a mask with highly concentrated, ionized mineral water and ceramides, it delivers intensive doses of moisture to stressed, parched skin. “Aromatic Sleepscent — orange flower, rose and sandalwood — relaxes and rejuvenates while apricot and chestnut extracts brighten and purify fatigued skin. The result: skin looks and feels radiant, refreshed. Wake up to soft, glowing skin with Water Sleeping Mask.”

Much like all sleeping masks, this mask is designed to be applied as the step in you night time skin care routine. I apply it on top of my final step for the night, which is my night cream. I let it absorb for a few minutes and can feel the product working right away. The light gel texture is water-like and absorbs easily; the scent is light and lingers, but it doesn’t really bother me.

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Out of all the sleeping masks I own, I’d say that this is the best for restoring radiance and moisture to the skin. That’s by I’ve re-purchased it over the last ten years! It’s a great emergency mask too — especially for when your skin really needs something extra overnight. I recommend this product and find that the convenience of buying this at Target has now changed my life! :)

Made in Korea.
Retails for $23.00 USD.

Benefit Majorette Blush

Newly released from Benefit Cosmetics is the Majorette Blush, and it’s marketed as “cream to powder blush” that is a “peppy booster blush that amplifies cheeks.” I’ve been waiting for its release since I began to see it appear in some beauty blogs over the summer, and I was thrilled to see that my local Sephora had them in stock! There are no other colors available; in fact, “Majorette” is the color of the product as well. In the future, I hope that Benefit will release additional colors because the formula and texture of this blush is fantastic.

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Benefit released this blush as a way to “amp up your flush.” This cream-to-powder blush is powdery soft; almost bouncy in texture and lightweight on the skin. The product is subtly scented with peach and pomegranate, which is no surprise for Benefit’s products. The “spirited pink-peach shade can be smudged onto cheeks alone, or underneath your favorite powder blush for an instant glow.” At first glance, the blush looks like a typical powder blush. The creaminess of it is unusual — as I previously stated, it’s quite bouncy. A little bit goes a long ways, so I’m satisfied with the pigmentation.

I like to apply this blush with my finger tips and then blending the edges with the Real Techniques dome-shaped brush from the Core Collection. However, the product lingers on my fingers so sometimes when I’m not in the mood to deal with the messy, I’ll directly use the brush to dab into the product before lightly applying it on my cheeks.

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The peachy-pink hue is pretty and transfers lightly and naturally onto my skin. It gives a subtle and glowy flush without looking too much, which I like in blushes. As the directions stated, this is great to layer underneath other blushes as well; but for the ultimate glowy look, I like to wear this on its own with a dewy finish foundation. I like this blush and I think the formula and texture are great. I hope that there will be additional colors to follow. My only gripe is that the packaging is huge and bulky; and, it takes up way too much space in my makeup bag — not to mention, it doesn’t even fit inside my Muji makeup drawers, LOL. I recommend this blush and I think you’ll really like it, especially if applying cream blushes has been a horrible experience for you. The blush applies easily like a powder blush and blends beautifully.

Retails for $28.00 USD.
Made in USA.

MAC Mineralize Blush in “Just a Wisp”

I am not one to be all that interested MAC face products, even though I test my luck with them from time to time because of their blushes! I’ve noticed that the mineralize products’ packaging have been re-vamped and look way better. I don’t think the formula of the products have been altered though. I got the MAC Mineralize Blush in “Just a Wisp” when I recently visited the MAC store; and, it was because I was drawn to the glowy, icey-pink color!

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The MAC Mineralize Blushes are blushes that are “baked minerals refined into a powder blush formula to provide exceptionally sheer and lightweight application.” The color/pigmentation is intense, so don’t be deceived by the pretty colors and feather-light texture. “Colour builds lightly, layer after layer, without heavy coverage…[and] veils and enhances the cheekbones with a luminous, pearlized shimmer.”

The texture is super light and powdery, so the downside is that sometimes they can be a little chalky. But, in general, this may just depends on the color that you choose. Pigmentation is superb and there’s some fall out, so it’s important to tap off the excess before applying the product to your cheeks.

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The color “Just a Wisp” is an icey, cool-toned, baby-doll pink. The glow-factor is intense in this blush, but that’s the whole reason why I bought it to begin with. The glimmer in this blush isn’t necessarily chinky glitter or anything like that. But, with this blush, you can definitely skip the highlighter as long as you use a light hand. The MUA suggested layering this blush over other blushes to up the glowiness, and it totally works in conjunction with more matte/semi-matte shades. I think the color “Just a Wisp” is pretty and is unique for me since I tend to like rosier and less intense pinks. The Mineralize Blushes may be worth looking into; and, so far, I’m really enjoying my purchase.

Retails for $27.00 USD.
Item contains 3.5 g. / 0.11 US oz.
Made in Italy.

REVIEW: Make Up For Ever HD Invisible Cover Foundation

I’m really late to the Make Up For Ever HD Invisible Cover Foundation game, but I’m finally experiencing what the big deal is about with this foundation. As an “oil-free medium-to-full-coverage liquid foundation that covers skin imperfections flawlessly while remaining invisible on-screen and in real life,” this foundation’s concept of being both invisible and HD is quite extraordinary. This foundation claims to “create a soft-focus effect, which is designed to meet the coverage concerns of those in the spotlight. It leaves your complexion with such a flawless finish, [and] it can withstand bright or harsh lighting” as well.

I chose the shade 115 Ivory which is for light skin with pink undertones. I thought about 110 but decided while I like some pink tones in my foundation, it was way more pink than I needed. I find that 115 is a great match for me since it’s both light in color with pink undertones. The formula and texture of this foundation is really light and runny — which is surprising for a foundation that is such high coverage. A little bit goes a long way, so it’s absolutely possible to adjust the coverage levels depending on what your skin needs. I need less than half a pump since I apply this lightly to the skin.

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I’ve used both a synthetic buffing brush and a regular foundation brush to apply this. However, I like using a damp Beauty Blender to apply this foundation sheer and even. The formula instantly cancels out redness and pigmentation, while evening out the skintone amazingly. There’s a hint of glow and radiance without looking glittery or shimmery, so the formula really helps the finish appear natural on the skin.

Coverage is adjustable and the formula is easy to worth with and blend. I think it’s a great foundation for special occasions and for every day use since the texture and appearance of this foundation is natural. While it’s great at covering pigmentation, discoloration, and redness, I find that it’s not as good as some of my BB/CC creams in covering pores and filling in lines. It’s very smooth and flawless on the skin with decent oil control after powdering, so it’s a very customizable product for sure. Without powdering, oil breaks through for me after about 4 hours of wear so I need to blot. I also think the wide range of colors available can be helpful for those who are “in between” shades.

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I recommend this foundation and I can understand why there’s a cult following. My only gripe is that the pump gets clogged easily and product will goop around the opening. I have to be extra careful to wipe off any excess before putting the cap on, or the leftover foundation will cake around the opening. A suggestion is to set your t-zone with a translucent setting powder because my combo skin gets oil within a few hours of wear with this foundation. If you haven’t already tried this foundation, I’d say give it a go and you’ll be satisfied with the results. In the future, I’m planning on experimenting with using this foundation as a mixing agent. I’ve read that combining the HD Invisible Cover Foundation with other formulas works wonders as well.

Retails for $42.00 USD.
Made in France.
Item contains 1.01 fl. oz.

VDL Beauty Metal Cushion Foundation SPF 50+ in A201

The VDL Beauty Metal Cushion Foundation has been all the rage in Korea as of late, so as per usual, I had to get my hands on this product. It’s difficult to get, but you can find it on eBay if you’re interested. While this product follows the “cushion compact” design, the metal plate is designed to “maintain the moisturizing foundation’s cooling components and fresh use.” The traditional cushion compact foundations/BB/CC creams come with literally a cushion like here in my review about the Innisfree Mineral Melting BB Cushion Compact. This metal plate is an interesting twist — even though, in my opinion it doesn’t necessarily change the consistency, formula, or application process of the foundation.

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Metal Cushion Foundation

The VDL Beauty Metal Cushion Foundation is said to “deliver 24-hour lasting, bright, clear skin” while providing a “glowing radiance through hydro-rich prune water.” The metal plates allegedly preserves the foundation, releasing a fresh pump’s worth of product each time to press down on the compact. The “radiance complex” consists of “reflecting board-effects [that] controls light to efficiently cover any imperfections and deliver glowing, bright skin without darkening.”

Within the formula, “skin cell pigments” — which claim to be “similar to actual skin structure” — keeps the skin hydrated for 24 hours, and said to look fresh throughout the day without looking cakey or messy on the skin. Prune water, the active ingredient in this product, is made of “moisture keeping formula perserves” to maintain the hydration balance to keep the skin dewy and healthy looking.

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The formula is quite thin for a foundation, and the texture is very smooth and light on the skin. As with all cushion products, it’s best to pat the puff onto the skin with product on it and “bounce” the foundation on. With continuous patting, the foundation will disperse and blend into the skin seamlessly — and is superb at drying semi-matte, concealing pores and redness, and controls oil pretty well around my nose. The scent is clean and perfumey but it doesn’t bother me at all.

This foundation covers impeccably — and, it of course, can be adjusted with a lighter layer of application if you don’t need much coverage. It’s very easy to use and stays put even during hot, humid summer months in Texas. It’s also travel-friendly as it’s easy to apply and you don’t need any additional tools to apply this product.

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The shade A201 is a good match for me, but I find that all Korean products generally match me pretty well anyway. I think out of all the cushion products I’ve tried, I really like this one the best. “A” apparently stands for an “apricot” base tone, so the balance of pinkish and beige tones is a good match for me. The product is long-lasting, user-friendly, and looks pretty on the skin without looking too dewy/wet or dry/matte. It’s difficult to find in the US, but the products are worth checking out in my opinion!

Made in Korea.
Retails for 30,000 won (roughly $30.00 USD).

August 2014 Favorites!

Another month has gone by and I was recently reminded that I hadn’t posted a favorites entry of any kind in quite some time. But, this isn’t unusual for me since I tend to stick with what I like for extended periods of time before boredom kicks in. Also, during the summer months I found myself in somewhat of a makeup rut when I had to deal with two weeks worth of bad/broken out skin! However, I’m over my slump and I’m back on the makeup bandwagon — so have no fear! My favorites this month consist of a small, humble stash with no new products. But they have been proven worthy and I recommend all of them.

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Dior Rosy Glow Healthy Glow Awakening Blush
I re-discovered this blush during a “shop my stash” kind of moment, and I’m so happy that I did because I’ve been using it non-stop as of late. It’s a blush that “effortlessly recreates a natural, flushed look on the cheeks.” As a universal shade, “the unique formula adjusts to your skin’s natural chemistry to create a customized look,” and is flattering on all skintones. The texture is ultra-fine, the subtle “irresistible rose fragrance offer a moment of pure indulgence with each application.” It’s natural, pretty, and gives you the perfect flushed tone without looking like too much.

Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Eraser Dark Circle Treatment Concealer
Normally, I don’t bother with under eye products — let alone concealer. The Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Eraser Dark Circle Treatment Concealer has been my life-saver this month because it’s just really helped to erase the appearance of dark circles and fine lines, while visibly diminishing the appearance of puffiness around the eyes. I just dab a few dots under my eyes and blend with my finger. It instantly awakens my overall look and helps to make me look put-together naturally.

Dior Addict Lip Glow
The Dior Addict Lip Glow is the sister product of the Rosy Glow Healthy Glow Awakening Blush I mentioned earlier. As a “sheer balm that enhances your natural lip color while moisturizing and protecting the skin,” this is like a super lip balm on steroids! “Formulated with color reviver technology, this silky lipstick reacts with the chemistry of your lips to create a special shade that will last all day.” It adjust to you and gives a soft, pinky glow that neither sticky or too glossy. It’s perfectly natural but doesn’t look like you’re wearing any lipstick either. Seriously, the best of both worlds here — and, perfect for when you’re running late and you need something to perk up your lips.

Clinique Bottom Lash Mascara
The Clinique Bottom Lash Mascara sounds like a gimmicky product and totally unnecessary — but you totally need it in your life, surprisingly. Sure, you can just apply your regular mascara of choice on the bottom lashes — but, for me, it almost always smudges no matter what the formula is. “This mascara’s brush was engineered to grasp even the tiniest of bottom lashes; its expert formula resists pesky smears.” Its brush is teeny tiny and coats the bottom lashes perfectly with no flaking or smudging.

3 Concept Eyes Back to Baby BB
This my favorite BB cream as of late. 3CE is a Korean brand and you can order this on eBay if you’re interested. Seriously — the best, it applies lightweight, is dewy, doesn’t get oily, and conceals pores and imperfections instantly. What more can you ask for??

What are your favorites?

MAKE UP FOR EVER Foundation Kabuki Brush

I’ve never really been a kabuki brush user since I prefer long-handled face brushes. However, I started looking into them when I was on my mineral makeup kick awhile back. While I didn’t really find one that I truly loved and wanted to invest in, the MAKE UP FOR EVER Foundation Kabuki Brush caught my attention a few weeks ago and it definitely lingered. I purchased it in hopes of being able to use it for powder foundation as well, and I’m so glad I did because it’s so perfect for everything — especially powder foundations. :)

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The Make Up For Ever Foundation Kabuki Brush is a “soft, tapered brush for precise foundation application.” This is a little different than a traditional kabuki brush with a much more rounded brush head. Designed as a “one-of-a-kind, synthetic brush,” Make Up For Ever has “combined the precision of a traditional foundation brush with the convenient size of a Kabuki brush. Its large, dense shape is tapered at the end for quick and specific application of all foundation formulas.” This brush is extremely versatile as it works well with liquid, cream, and powder foundations. “Its soft, straight fibers allow for buildable coverage with a flawless finish.”

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The brush is very soft, but it takes 24 hrs for it to completely dry after a wash. So plan ahead if you really need to use this brush and you’re deciding to wash all your makeup brushes! The bristles are very full and dense so if you’re looking for the effects of a fluffier brush, this may not be a good option for you. However, the cut and the shape of this brush is perfect for the contours of your face — it lays perfectly under the eyes, around the nose and mouth, and along the cheeks. The tapered point of the brush is great for getting into the crevices of your face such as under the nose the corners of the nose as well.

The soft, flexible bristles make easy to move around your face; and, whether you’re using a cream, powder, or liquid product, this brush evenly applies everything without making it look uneven or cakey. My favorite combination is to use this brush with a powder foundation (in a compact), loose powder, or mineral foundation. It disperses the powder products perfectly and so lightly you can’t even feel or see the product on your face. You just see clean, pretty results of the product working perfectly.

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I recommend this brush and I think it will serve a very important purpose regarding your makeup routine. The versatility of this product makes it worth the investment, but more importantly, the way that it applies products is really the reason why I would recommend this brush. While it’s pricey, you’ll be able to use it with a variety of products so I think that in itself would be more than enough reasons to it some major praises, lol. If you’re on the hunt for a foundation brush or even just a kabuki brush, take a look at this brush because you won’t be disappointed!

Retails for $48.00 USD.