I often find myself wanting to put makeup on people – so these are a few pics from two Saturdays ago, when I dolled up my darling friend Sarah, who was so much fun to work with; I can’t wait to make her look like a high-class hooker again sometime!
I was sipping some ginseng green tea with honey out of a new massive mug a friend got for me for my birthday (it came as the base to an edible fruit arrangement), and I thought it was time to get my ass in gear and write about some freakin’ makeup brushes! (Here’s a secret: I was also thinking about how badly these eyebrows need some work) This is what I pulled out of my brain:
So you’re looking for some makeup brushes, and you don’t want to spend $25+ per brush. But at the same time, you’d like brushes with a certain level of quality to them. I am no brush connoisseur, but I do know where you can get brushes at a better-than-you’d-think level of quality for an extremely low price. The great thing about this company’s brushes is, if you feel like upgrading, you can go from their Essential line, to their Studio line, for only an extra $2!
I bet you’re curious as to who this company is, if you don’t know who I’m talking about already. I first heard of them on YouTube amongst the beauty community; a common aside was the “well, everything cost me only $1 each”, and curiosity got the best of me!
Late last summer, I placed my first order with E.L.F., or Eyes Lips Face, and I ordered a modest bundle of goodies, ranging from their All Over Cover Stick, to several different eyeshadow quads(the ones I got were in Butternut and Drama). I also picked up my first few E.L.F. brushes. These were from their Essential line, where EVERY individual brush costs $1 each. If you are new to makeup, these are definitely great to get started with.
In the photo below, here we have four of the brushes from E.L.F.’s Essential Line. From left to right: their Brow Comb & Brush, Foundation Brush, Concealer Brush (which I obviously have not been using for concealer), and their Eye Shadow Brush.
I have found the brow comb pretty handy when shaping my insanely out of control eyebrows (I must have some Greek heritage in me), and the eye shadow brush works pretty damn decent considering the price. The bristles on these brushes are soft and feel quite nice on the face. I tried the foundation brush for foundation application, and I wasn’t a fan. It is very soft, but I prefer to apply foundation with my hands, or a stippling-type brush. Personal preference, that’s all! As for the concealer brush, I found it pretty useful when it came to smudging pencil eyeliner or shadow around my lids. I usually use my fingers to apply concealer, so I have never used this brush for the purpose it was designed for.
Now we must proceed onto my second E.L.F. order that I placed, which includes the Studio line of brushes.
After one successful order, I thought it would be fun to try some products from other E.L.F. lines. I ordered five different brushes from their Studio line, after I have heard mostly positive reviews, and I wanted to try them out for myself!
Here they are on the right! In order from left to right, we’ve got their Kabuki Face Brush (soooo soft!), Powder Brush, Complexion Brush, Eyeshadow “C” Brush, and Small Angled Brush.
When I am not using my old stippling brush for foundation, I use the E.L.F. Studio line’s Powder Brush! It is great for spreading foundation into the crevices around your nose, and blends very well. The Complexion brush is great for blush and bronzer application, or even a mineral veil a la Bare Escentuals. The Kabuki, I also love for blush and bronzer, and it is so damn soft! The Studio line’s Eyeshadow “C” Brush is definitely better than the same brush from the Essential line. It really packs on the colour and blends well. The Small Angled Brush is fun to use for eyeliner, or shadow on the lash line. I prefer using my Quo Angled Eye Liner Brush, because it gives me a more precise application. E.L.F. has one as well, so try it and let me know what you think!
I accidentally forgot to include the one brush I did not like from the Studio line in the above photo. The Contour Brush did not work very well for me. I felt the bristles were extremely sparse and poorly put together (it almost came apart one of my first times using it!). Bottom line was, I just didn’t find a good use for it, and it didn’t contour very well. Alas, it only cost me $3 (actually, they had a sale of 55% off everything at the time, so I paid less than that – go me!).
I have heard some complaints from people, who say that E.L.F.’s brushes aren’t densely packed enough, and their bristles are more sparse than some higher-end brands. I can agree with this when it comes to the Complexion Brush. It definitely isn’t as dense as the Powder Brush, but I use it for blush and bronzer, and don’t want massive amounts of colour on the brush anyways.
If these brushes cost me what most brushes cost, I would definitely be more harsh. But even some of these brushes compare to the higher-end brushes, with similar quality and performance. Not does E.L.F. indicate which of the Studio line’s brushes are vegan friendly (quite a few), but the entire company is PETA certified and Cruelty-Free! BAZINGA!
If you’re new to makeup, or just don’t have a ton of money to fork over, E.L.F.’s makeup brushes can get you ready for your day or your night out. You don’t have to spend a lot to get good quality brushes that will last. I’ve had my Studio brushes for about 6 months, and I use them almost everyday.
E.L.F. currently has a sale (which they frequently do), on their Mineral line, which is 50% off the entire line! Please go check them out, and tell me about your experience!
Well, my tea is all out! Time to go fix these damned eyebrows and wash my hair! Hope you enjoyed this, and happy Sunday!
I am happily sitting down to write this delicious blog post, after a long and satisfying last few weeks of school. Now that exams and final term papers are behind me, I can get down to business and blab about all things skin.
Approximately 2 months ago, I placed my first order with this online skin care and supplement store called VitaCost. This site was recommended by TheSilverLining80 on YouTube (who, unfortunately, has not updated her channel for many months now, which is very disappointing).
Since I had had a great experience ordering from E.L.F., I figured I’d give this other online retailer a shot.
I ordered four products. The first two are from the Alba Botanica Advanced line of products. I already use a few Alba products, and have mixed reviews for them. I was drawn to this line because of the ingredients used, and since I was now more aware of my skin type I figured I could choose products that were best for me.
First, of the Alba products, is the Sea Moss Moisturizer with antioxidants, and SPF 15.
Brief description: I was looking for a daily-wear moisturizer that had SPF, that would be better for summer months when I need not use creams with a high level of oils. This product cost me about $9.50 (and it retails on the Alba website for $14.95). You can find all ingredients to the Alba products on their product description page.
The verdict so far: I was very disappointed when I opened this product. It was covered in dust, and the moisturizer’s expiry date is April 2011! I am sure I can still use it for a few months after, but still! Not cool. Aside from that, the moisturizer goes on quite well, but the weather is still too dry for me to go without mixing it with some oils or other heavier moisturizer. Not bad, but I will probably not re-purchase.
Second is the Deep Sea Facial Mask.
Brief description: This is a delightful clay mask with kaolin clay and green clay, and the best part about it is that you only have to leave it on for 5 minutes. Great if you don’t have time to sit around for 15-20 minutes with a mask on your face. I often do it in the shower. This cost me about $5.50 on the VitaCost website, and it retails on the Alba site for $9.95.
The verdict so far: I love this mask. I mix it with organic honey sometimes, but even on its own it is great for cleansing the skin and helping to reduce and eliminate breakouts. My skin feels very soft after using it, and it doesn’t dry it out. It feels a little strong at first when you put it on, but my skin is sensitive and it has not had any adverse reactions to it. Since you only need to leave it on for five minutes, it doesn’t harden as much as other clay masks, which I find extremely uncomfortable. Very happy with this; will probably re-purchase!
The other two items are rose-related. For those who know me, you know I deal with redness around my nose, and I am always looking for natural ways to help minimize this and soothe my skin. I picked up the Heritage Products Rose Petals Rosewater, which is 8 fl oz for $5.65!
Brief description: about ten dollars cheaper than I had found in health food stores, this comes in a spray bottle so you can spritz it on your face, hair, and it can even be used to flavour your food! It has two ingredients. Vor-Mag water (water that has been vortexed and magnetized to raise the energy to a higher vibration that is beneficial), and Hydro-essential Rose oil
The verdict so far: I use this day and night, after cleansing, and I love it. It is so refreshing, and I rarely use any other toners anymore. It definitely hydrates pretty well for a toner, but I don’t notice much reduction in the redness around my nose, but my skin is a lot softer and less dry around my entire face. If you love the smell of rose, you will definitely enjoy this. The bottle is a substantial size, and I will definitely purchase again.
The fourth product was the Aubrey Organics 100% Organic Rosa Mosqueta Rose Hip Seed Oil. This product was just under ten dollars on the VitaCost site.
Brief description: pretty much your standard facial oil. It comes in a rollerball type tube that makes applying it pretty mess-free.
The verdict so far: I use this almost every day, and always every night, for added moisture on my face. I am not a fan of the smell, but it isn’t very strong. It can even be used in your hair/on your scalp if you have dandruff or you want to treat your hair, or on your cuticles to moisten them before a manicure! I will definitely buy this again.
Overall, my experience with VitaCost was pretty good. Despite the Sea Moss moisturizer being dusty and almost expired, all other products are great. The order came to less than $35, including shipping! Definitely a better price than I’d get in a local store. I will order from them again.
They have a great selection of skin care products, as well as vitamin supplements, foods, weight loss products, herbs, and more. Check them out and let me know what you think! They often have sales as well, so a good chunk of the time you pay even less.