Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Bobbi Brown Blush In Blushed

This is the third and last installment on my Bobbi Brown series. The reviews for the eyeshadows Rose Gold and Velvet Plum can be found here and here. This time, I'm reviewing the powder blush called Blushed.

I asked the Bobbi Brown sales associate for a blush that I can wear at work and this is what he recommended. Blushed is a reddish brown shade with a hint of sparkle. When applied on the cheeks, the sparkles are not visible at all and the blush looks quite matte. What I love most about this blush is the balance of its pigmentation. It is not sheer, and at the same time, not too pigmented that I have to worry about applying too much. The blush gives a soft muted glow which makes it a great 'work' or 'everyday' blush for us gals wtih medium complexion.

The blush is made of finely milled powder with silky smooth texture and blends well. The downside of this blush is its staying power. I'm not one of those people who put on a blush in the morning and have the color stay until the end of the day. I'm lucky if I can have a blush stay on me for more than 4 hours (probably has something to do with the natural oils of my face). Sadly, Blushed fades even faster compared to my other blushers. It starts fading after only a couple of hours. For this reason, I don't wear this at work anymore (don't have the time to retouch at work),  but I like to wear it when I go out for quick errands or when I have time to reapply.

Bobbi Brown blushers are the same size as the eyeshadows, but with more amount. The pans can be removed from the compact and placed in a customized palette if preferred. 

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Bobbi Brown Metallic Eye Shadow In Velvet Plum

I bought this eyeshadow on the recommendation of the Bobbi Brown sales associate (SA), according to him, this particular shade is one of their best sellers. I was not really convinced, because when I swatched Velvet Plum at the counter, the color pay-off was very poor. I thought to myself, how can a dark color have such poor pigmentation. There was also a lot of fall-out even though I used my finger to swatch. I actually passed it, but the SA was really pushing me to get this one. In the end, I decided to trust him and give it a try. There must be something wrong with the tester at the counter ( probably too many  fingers ), because the Velvet Plum I got is nothing like the tester.

Velvet plum is described in the Bobbi Brown website as a black plum with shimmer, I find the shade to be dark plum brown with gold sparkles. The shimmer in the eyashadow is mostly due to the gold sparkles which reflect light. It does not have the silky texture of Rose Gold, in fact, it is almost gritty when touching the eyeshadow in the pan. But, when applied on the lids with a brush, it goes on smoothly and blends really well. I find the color to be very pigmented, I use a fluffy brush with light strokes to apply the eyeshadow  as this gives me more control. The gold sparkles give the shade a new dimension and makes it a great outer V or crease color.  It can also work as a lid color and I've used it to line my lower lashline.

I was reading some reviews and there was some mention about this having poor pigmentation, being hard to blend and fading on the course of the day. I did not experience this with the Velvet Plum that I bought, but this was the impression I got from the tester. I'm glad that I listened to the SA and got this eyeshadow, if not for him, I never would have picked this for myself.  Metallic eyeshadows are not appealing to some people and although I think that the tester I swatched was defective, I still strongly suggest swatching this one first before purchase.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Bobbi Brown Shimmer Wash Eyeshadow In Rose Gold

This is the first review of the products I talked about in My Introduction To Bobbi Brown  post. Today, I'm sharing my thoughts on the shimmer wash eyeshadow Rose Gold.

Bobbi Brown's Shimmwer Wash are sheer, lightly pearlized eyeshadows, which can also be used as a highlighter shades under the browbone. They come in sleek black, square compacts with detachable pans that allows the user to have the option of keeping the pans in their individual packaging, or tranfering them into palettes. 

I was drawn to the color Rose Gold as soon as I saw and swatched it at the counter. The shade is just that, a golden pink that turns slightly peach on my medium toned eyelids . It is indeed sheer, but has good color pay off, you don't need to dig into the pan to get the pigments. The powder has smooth silky texture with subtle sparkle. It works best for me as an all over wash of color on my lids.  I like to extend the color up to the inner corners of my eyes (gives me a brighter look) and use a meduim to dark brown on the outer corners and the crease. I have tried, but I don't really use this as a highlight under my brows, I find it too pigmented and shimmery for that. To be fair, I generally don't like shimmery brow highlights. As usual, I wore Rose Gold with Too Faced Shadow Insurance as a primer. I had it on for more than 12 hours and there was no fading or creasing.

Rose Gold is not a unique color, it's not one of those hard to find, hard to get shades. It's not going to make you go - wow! I gotta have this. What it is, is a beautiful color that will be a good staple in any makeup kit or collection. I think most people can wear and like this shade, in fact, according to the Bobbi Brown website, Rose Gold is reccomended by Allure magazine for its universally flattering sparkle.

Monday, November 14, 2011

My Introduction To Bobbi Brown

I have known about Bobbi Brown Cosmetics ever since I started becoming interested in makeup. Sadly for me, there is no Bobbi Brown counter in the city where I live. Last month, I finally got a chance to visit a Bobbi Brown counter and I purchased 3 items to try out.

My visit to the counter was unplanned and I had no idea what I was going to get. The SA offered to do my makeup to help me decide, but I did not have the time to sit for a makeover, and even if I did, I could not wear makeup as I just had LASIK the day before. I knew that Bobbi Brown has a lot of popular products, but I wanted to get something that I would actually use. It would be pointless  to get a shimmer brick or a corrector when I rarely use highlighters and concealers . In the end, I purchased 2 powder eyeshadows and a blush. I also purchased an empty 3 pan palette since I prefer to keep  my makeup in palettes.

The items come in their individual packaging. The pan inside can be removed by gently pushing it out out of the case, then it can be be trasferred to a palette if you prefer (like I do).  The pan will snap into the customized palette without any magnets involved. The back of the palette have square holes, so the label from the pan will be visible. The eyeshadows and blushers have the same size, so you can use the same palette for both. I think that the packaging concept is very clever. It allows the user to mix and match products in the same palette, and there is no need to pop the pan out of the palette just to see the label.

3 pan palette
velvet plum eyeshadow, rose gold eyeshadow and blushed blush

back of the palette showing the labels from the pan

I bought Velvet Plum and Rose Gold Eyeshadows and a blush called Blushed. I will be doing individual reviews of the products in my coming posts, in the meantime, here is a swatch pic. More pics are also available on my blog's facebook page (link here).

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Lunasol Cheek Brush Review

The Lunasol Cheek Brush is, without a doubt, the softest brush in my collection. It feels unbelievably soft and luxurious against my skin - I love it! Whenever I see this brush, I have the compulsion to pick it and stroke the back of my hand or face with it. If the brush has a mind of its own, it will probably think that I'm a little unhinged.

Most of my brushes are from MAC with some Inglot and Sephora thrown in. This and the Shu Uemura Foundation Brush are my first Japanese brushes and I'm blown away by their quality. I once thought that my MAC 138 and 165 are soft, but the Lunasol Cheek Brush introduced me to another level of softness. Brush lovers will know that top of the line brushes are  made by the Japanese brush manufacturer Chikuhodo, Lunasol is one of their brand clients, so I guess it is safe to say that this brush came from their factory. Chikuhodo also makes brushes for Suqqu and RMK.

The brush is made of 100% uncut blue squirrel hair, which is the finest material that can be used in a brush. It is somewhat flat and does not have the density of a round-shaped brush. The bristles fan out from the ferrule and forms a smooth tapered tip. I don't know for sure what the brown handle and ferrule are made of (am guessing plastic), whatever it is, it is very light and seems sturdy. Being a klutz, I already dropped it twice and so far, no dents. 

As the brush is super soft, it will not pick a lot of product, which gives me more control on the amount of color I apply whether I am using a pigmented or sheer blush. If I'm using a sheer blush, I pick the color using the flat side of the brush, apply the product and blend. I repeat the process until I get my desired intensity. If I'm using a pigmented blush, I tap off the excess powder first before applying. I then use the tips of the brush to apply highlighter (on those rare times that I use a highlighter).  I also use it to apply powder as the brush is just a smaller version of the Lunasol Powder Brush, it works this way too! This brush is not exactly cheap, so I'm glad that I can use it with different kinds of face products.

comparisson with Inglot blush brush
This is officially my favorite face brush. I've been neglecting all my other face brushes since I got this one. But, is this brush a must have? I will recommend this to a brush collector who is on the lookout for top of the line brushes, but it is not really necessary for everyone. To be honest, I can live and do my makeup just fine using the brushes that I currently have. Having said that, I have been interested with Japanese makeup brushes for a while and I dream of eventually going completely Japanese when it comes to brushes. It's not gonna happen, but I can dream, right?


Monday, November 7, 2011

The Amazing Shu Uemura Natural 18 Foundation Brush

I already had a foundation brush that was working fine for me, the MAC 130 Short Duo Fiber Brush (reviewed here). However, I kept on hearing raves about the greatness of Shu Uemura's #18 foundation brush, and the nosy person in me wanted to know if the brush was as good as its reputation.

I finally got the chance to find out when I picked the brush at a Duty Free store while traveling. I was so excited to try the brush that I washed it as soon as I got to my hotel. The next day, I used it to put on my liquid foundation, and the verdict? This brush is simply - OH AMAZING! the $41 it cost me is worth every penny.

I already knew from the reviews that the brush would be small, but I was still a little surpissed when I saw it. It's only about 14 cm long which makes it the shortest brush in my collection. It has a black wooden handle and silver metal ferule. I actually like the short length of the brush as it allows me to get closer to the mirror. The bristles are made of uncut goat hair. The hair are short but densely packed which gives the brush a full appearance. It does not have the paddle shape of a regular foundation brush or the flat top of a stippling brush. The bristles fan out from the ferule and forms a slightly rounded tip. The shape and density of the brush enables the user to stipple and blend liquid and cream products, and it does the job like a dream. The small head also allows for better control when applying foundation around the eyes and nose. I have never found foundation application easier. My application time is literally cut in half and yet I end up with flawless finish. The fact that the bristles are soft is another major plus.

Since the bristles are made of goat hair, they do absorb more products compared to a synthetic brush. For me, this is no biggie, it can be remedied by spraying the bristles with water and using the brush damp. I like that the bristles are white, I can be visually sure when I wash my brush that I all the unwanted dirt and old products are out. The brush does not shed and dries fast, I wash it at night and it's dry and ready the next day.

I have been neglecting my MAC 130 since I got this brush. I still think that the 130 is a wonderful brush, but like a kid with a new toy, I'm just enjoying the Shu at the moment :).

This review will go down as another rave for the Shu Uemura Natural 18 Goat brush, it certainly is an amazing brush and deserves all the fuss. I also recently acquired another amazing face brush (not from Shu Uemura). Unlike the Shu, this brush is not talked about, but I will try to change that.


Friday, November 4, 2011

Paul & Joe Central Park West Palette Dupes

This is the post I promised on the the possible dupes for the Paul & Joe Central Park West Palette (reviewed here). I actually don't have a Paul & Joe counter near me, I picked up this palette while I was on a holiday visit to my family. If you like the palette and don't have access to Paul and Joe, you might want to check out the swatch pics in this post for alternatives.

The Manhattan Collection was on display when I happen to pass by the counter. I, of course, wanted to get everything, but couldn't. After much deliberation, I settled on this one. I was positive when I got this that I already have similar shades in my collection, but that didn't stop me (talk about self control).  I had read a lot of good things about Paul & Joe Beaute and I thought this palette would be a nice addition to my collection.

 On with the swatches:

I found several possible dupes for the white shade on the palette from Guerlain, MAC, Armani and Inglot. Inglot #395 is the closest.

The second shade can be easily duped with MAC's Amber Lights and the amber shade from Giogio Armani's 2011 Mediterranean Eye Palette.

For the last two shades, the reddish plum is a dead ringer for MAC's Cranberry. I had to redo this swatch beacause I forgot which I swatched first and could not tell them apart. As for the khaki green, Paul & Joe is slightly more pigmented compared to MAC's Sumptous Olive, the brown tone in the shade is also a little bit more pronounced in the Paul & Joe. Still, it's also hard to tell these two shades apart.

For the middle shade (blush), I could not find an exact dupe from my blush collection, but MAC's Bold and Brazen (limited edition from Starflash) and Expensive Pink are pretty close. The blush is pigmented and can be used as an eyeshadow.

I take a lot of photos for every blog post, but not all of them will make it here. If you are interested to see more photos and swatches of this palette you may visit the Paul & Joe albums on my facebook page here . I'm also planning to do the same thing on my future posts, upload all photos in my facebook page for browsing.  Hope this helps :).

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Paul & Joe Manhattan Color Palette In 003 Central Park West (2011 Autumn Creation)

This palette is part of Paul & Joe's 2011 Autumn Creation, the limited collection called Manhattan. The collection includes a finishing pressed powder, lipsticks, nail polish, waterproof eyeliners and 3 color palettes.  The palettes are named after places that I presume are found in Manhattan.

I was drawn immediately to the palettes (no surprise since I love eyeshadows and palettes). After browsing and swatching at the Paul & Joe counter, I decided to get 003 Central Park West. It has 4 powder eyeshadows and a blush in the middle. The plastic packaging is light but sturdy and the big mirror makes application easier. It comes with two applicators which are surprisingly good except for the tiny size of the blush applicator. Although the shades are beautiful, they can be easily duped. What makes the Manhattan palettes unique are the combination of colors in each palette. Central Park West have white, amber, deep coral (blush), reddish plum and khaki green shades. The palette does not have one color theme, yet the shades can be mixed to create different looks.

Paul & Joe Manhattan Palette in 003 Central Park West (2011 Autumn Creation)

 All the eyeshadows and the blush have soft, buttery texture. Each one is a joy to apply as they go on very smoothly and blend really well. The shades are also as pigmented in reality as they are in the photos. The swatch photos under direct sunlight might intimidate some people, but I think the swatches under the shade in natural light are more representative of the finish. I find the level of shimmer in the eyeshadows subtle and acceptable. The blush, however, is a little bit frosty for my taste.

Swatches under the shade in natural light

Swatches under direct sunlight
The beautiful coral shade in the middle of the palette is the blush. I actually use this as an eyeshadow as I find it to be a little bit too shimmery for my old cheekbones :). Below are a separate swatch photos of the blush.

Swatch under the shade in natural light. Bottom: heavy swatch, Top: blended

Swatch under direct sunlight. Bottom: heavy swatch, Top: blended
 As I mentioned, this palette can be easily duplicated. MAC alone have eyeshadows that are dead ringers of the shades in this palette. On my next post I will be swatching eyeshadows in my collection that are similar to the shades in this palette. This is my first foray to Paul & Joe and I have to say that I'm impressed with the quality of this product. I'm now open to try other stuff from the brand and am interested to know which products do you like and recommend from Paul & Joe?
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