Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Basic Brushes to Have in Your Kit

It can be a little daunting trying to figure out which makeup brushes you should have in your makeup kit. Makeup brushes come in different sizes, shapes, textures, and are often made of different types of animal or synthetic hair. It can be confusing which ones to have in order to achieve the look you want!

I thought I'd share a few basic brushes everyone should include in their makeup arsenal, to achieve just about any look: from the woman who likes to wear very minimal makeup, to a woman who loves going with a glam look on a daily basis! 

Remember, I am listing the bare minimum required to get just about any look. These brushes are a great starting point, but I encourage you to experiment and try new things. You may realize you can do without one or two of these brushes, or that you really need something more like a concealer brush, fan brush, or something else!

FYI: all brushes shown here can be purchased here and here

1. Powder Brush

You'll want a big, fluffy, soft brush for putting on powder foundation, applying a setting powder, or a matte powder. I think out of all the brushes, this one is the most familiar. I find it very important that this brush be soft, as I've tried powder brushes that were a bit rough and they can irritate the skin, causing redness. Often, brushes made from synthetic fibers--as opposed to animal hair, like goat or squirrel--tend to be softer and smoother on the skin.

2. Foundation Brush

There are a number of ways to apply liquid foundation, but I think one of the most versatile ways is to use a foundation brush. These brushes can either be dome shamed (rounded top) or flat, and have densely packed bristles. Applying your liquid foundation with a foundation brush will give you the most amount of coverage your foundation offers, and will give you an even and flawless finish. My next favorite tool for applying foundation is to use a beauty blender, which I discuss here. Also, the beauty blender will sheer out the coverage of your foundation since it needs to be damp to use.

3. Blush Brush

Again, I think this brush is pretty familiar to most. You'll want this brush to be soft and full. This brush is different from a regular powder brush, in that it is usually smaller for more controlled application. You normally don't want your blush to go over your ENTIRE face! :P

4. Flat Eyeshadow Brush

A flat eyeshadow brush is perfect for pressing eyeshadow onto the eyelid. When you want precise application--like when applying a pigmented shadow to the eyelid--you want the shadow to stay exactly where you put it. This brush is great for getting precise eyeshadow placement and for keeping the shadow as pigmented as possible.

5. Fluffy Crease Brush and/or Blending Brush

I listed these two brushes together because they pretty much do the same thing, just in different ways and you can substitute one for the other, based on personal preference. When trying to achieve a seamless, smoky eye effect, the fluffier brush is perfect for blending out harsh lines and creating that smoky effect. The less fluffy brush will also buff out harsh lines, it just may take a few more swipes of the brush. It is also really good for getting eyeshadow right into the crease, which allows you to create some great definition.

I hope this guide helps you out a bit, as I know figuring out which makeup brushes do what, or which ones you need to begin your kit, can be confusing. Remember to practice a lot! And don't be afraid to use brushes in different ways. Just because one brush is labeled as a concealer brush, don't be afraid to try it out as say, an eyeshadow brush!

Next, I'll be sharing how I take care of my curly hair!!

*all brushes were purchased by moi here and here!

Monday, January 28, 2013

My Current Favorites

As I slowly add a few things to my makeup kit, I've come across a few favorites and a few duds too. Most often, when I'm going out to pick up a new item, I do a lot of research and I really look into what I want to buy, just so I don't end up wasting my money. That's why when I find great products I want to share my opinion with others. Hopefully you can find a few new favorites for yourself!

I always try to find the item I want at store or website that has a great return policy. Both, Sephora and Ulta have pretty good return policies that allow you to return items that have been used. Whether or not you get your money back or you get a store credit, depends on how long it's been, whether or not you have the receipt, etc. I believe even a few drugstores have similar return policies too. :)

Let's get started!

1. Tarte Clean Slate 360* Creaseless eye primer - This eye primer has definitely surprised me. I bought a sample size just to try it out, and see how I liked it. Before I bought it I tried two of the Urban Decay Primer Potions and I had high hopes, but was pretty disappointed. Everyone raved about them, but my eyeshadow ended up creasing by the end of the day! Not a pretty look. Anywho, my eyeshadow has never creased with this and it's also not a thick, dry formula. It's creamy and goes on clear. I think some of the sticky, tackier formulas, are too dry for someone who doesn't have very oily eyelids. This one works great for me, and I'll probably buy the full size when it runs out!

2. Cinema Secrets Foundation palette in #5 - I recently picked this up while IMATS last weekend, and I ADORE this thing. Even though it says it's a foundation palette, I've been using it as concealer. I was a bit wary to try out a concealer that isn't a liquid since my skin tends to be dry. These creamy type concealers usually end up caking and looking like I have scales under my eyes! Not this one, though! It's really smooth and and very pigmented. It also doesn't crease if I use a thin layer, and set it with a powder. I also love that I can contour AND highlight with the shades included.

3. Lorac Pro palette - I'm sure this palette doesn't need much of an introduction, as it has been a BIG hit in the beauty world. I can definitely see why. The shades are VERY pigmented and creamy. I wasn't going to buy this one since I already have the first two Naked palettes, but when I saw it at IMATS at about half the usual price, I snatched it up! I'm glad I did too, the colors are great and very flattering on a number of skin tones. I have not been disappointed!

4. Sigma Brushes - Again, these probably don't need an introduction, as they've been raved about all over the internet! These are GREAT quality brushes that come at a pretty decent price. A few months ago I was considering buying a few MAC brushes with some money I had saved up, but when I started looking into which ones I'd get I started reading more and more about Sigma's brushes. A lot of makeup artists and online beauty gurus were raving about these brushes and how they were the exact same quality as MAC. So, I used that money to get a few Sigma brushes. I'm thankful I did, because let's face it, MAC isn't cheap!! These brushes are amazing and I ordered a few more recently. I can definitely tell how they've improved my makeup application. I certainly recommend these!

5. Red Cherry lashes - These have become my favorite false lashes. I used to use Ardell's all the time--I still think those are good quality--but I have just found Red Cherry lashes suit me better. I love dramatic lashes for when I'm going out or there's a special occasion, but on most days I just enjoy having fuller slightly longer lashes. Red Cherry's #747S are PERFECT for a subtle but romantic look. I have had a lot of people ask me what mascara I'm wearing because they look THAT natural. Also, even though I haven't found a store that sells these lashes, I order them online and then I have a supply that lasts me months! They are definitely worth looking into if you enjoy wearing false lashes.

Those are my current favorites for you! If you have any questions or suggestions (or a product you love and want to share!), please don't hesitate to leave them in the comments.

Next, I'll be sharing which brushes I think are key to creating any makeup look!

*all items were purchased my moi!