Outside of seeing my sweet child grow and develop, I can definitely ball up 2016 and toss it in the trash. My year end post typically discuss products I’ve discovered, but didn’t blog about or wanted a longer test run.
I stepped up my skin and hair care during 2016, so I look forward to sharing some tips and tricks in later posts in 2017. Enjoy and Happy New Year!
IT Cosmetics’ Heavenly Skin Bye Bye Pores Powder Brush #701
I use loose powder foundation and love dense, compacted soft bristle brushes to buff in the product. I’ve had some luck with IT brushes by Ulta, so I wasn’t afraid to get this Sephora exclusive brush sight unseen and I’m glad I did. It meets all my requirements, is perfectly tapered and makes applying foundation rather enjoyable. Since it is synthetic, clean up is easy and the bristles stay snow white. If you’re not a fan of large brushes or have a small face, this may not be the one for you.
IT claims the bristles are “patent-pending Heavenly Skin™ hair infused with antiaging collagen, silk, peptides, niacin, and antioxidants. The innovative brush technology improves the look of your skin”…blah blah. I don’t put any stock in those claims. Seriously people, antioxidants in a brush? It’s a really nice brush and l love using it, but the other claims (if you believe it) is gravy. It is also pricey at $58 (Sephora only). I had a Sephora gift card to soften the blow, but it is expensive for synthetic hair. The brand also offers a range of less expensive synthetic foundation brushes at Ulta, but I’ve found the quality adjusts accordingly.
Urban Decay’s The Finger Brush
I had been struggling with under eye concealing for…ever. I was intrigued by the concept of this brush and got it at the same time I tried a new concealer (more on that later). I had used your classic concealer brush but found them too streaky and my finger too fat. This brush allows me to pick up the smallest amount of product and stipple it under both eyes and have better control over where the concealer is applied using the side of the brush. I still need to smooth out the edges with my finger, but I’ve had great success using it. The brush is stumpy, the hairs are stiff and a bit pokey, but not terribly so. The hair is synthetic and easy to clean, but I also don’t use a lot of product during application and I wash it daily. If you’re one to do the opposite of that, you may think differently. What is nice is the brushed gunmetal handles are made from recycled aluminum, which looks and feels cool. A small annoynance is the tapered finish makes this brush addicted to rolling off the counter. The brush retails for $26 and is available at Sephora, Ulta and Urban Decay.
An honorable mention for the GoodBuy 2016 is Mac’s Mineralize Concealer in NC45. I switched over to this concealer from Estee Lauder’s Double Wear in Deep as I found it too peachy and wasn’t helping my color correcting issues. The color is perfect and you only need the tiniest amount of product for the undereye area for both eyes. After setting the area with powder, I don’t experience any creasing. The misstep is the pump, which dispenses three times the amount you need with light pressure. To avoid waste, I have to depot this into a separate container. Four or five pumps worth of product will last about couple of weeks. As pictured below, the bottle is a couple months old.
Urban Decay’s Vice Lipstick
Urban Decay revamped its lipstick line earlier this year. More finishes were added and a lot more shades, 100 in total. I’ve been a fan of their lipstick line the last time they revamped it several years back, so I’m glad they kept a lot of their old shades, made previous limited shades permanent and upped the quality. My beef with the older lipstick is you had to wait a beat before the product warmed up for a smoother application. I don’t find that with these. The price tag has reduced, which is a rarity. I think the difference was made up in the packaging, which feels thinner and cheaper. The old packaging had a nice weighty feel to it, but if it means a cheaper price with great quality, so be it. One hundred shades is a lot, but range looks rather basic with your odd black and blue shade. I’m at the age where blue or black lipstick doesn’t attract me and unfortunately, my eyes skip over half of the range as it is too pale for my skin tone (and my even darker lips). My options shrink significantly. So, it isn’t as full as Mac, but if you haven’t considered Urban Decay or only have a few of their old shades, you will find their new options and price tag refreshing.
The Sheer’s deposit a nice amount of pigment, but your natural lip color will give you different results. I don’t find them very moisturizing as the formula doesn’t have a lot of oil. The feel is similar to a sticky gloss when worn on bare, dry lips. The Metallized finish is my least favorite as it reminds me of frost finishes, which can be harsh on me in an odd, indescribable way. Though, it’s fine when dabbed on or mixed with other shades. The Mattes are comfortable to wear, but moisturizing my lips beforehand is a must. The Mega Mattes are stiff from the bullet, but apply better with a lip brush. My favorite finish is Cream, which gives you the intense color and some moisturizing properties.
Disturbed (Comfort Matte) – deep brick red
Sheer F-bomb (Sheer) – classic red
Sabotage (Cream) – rose-plum with blue shift (Sephora exclusive shade)
Moshpit (Cream) – berry plum
Firebird (Cream) – deep fuchsia
Jawbreaker (Mega Matte) – purple
Seismic (Sheer Shimmer) – Plum-purple with red shimmer
Liquid (Sheer) – described as a brown plum, on me…dark brown
Conspiracy (Metallized) – plum-bronze shimmer
Nighthawk (Cream) – brown-red