Sunday, April 21, 2013

Real Techniques Limited Edition Duo-Fiber Collection

Disclaimer: The products mentioned in this post were purchased by me and all opinions are my own.

I need more brushes like I need a hole in the head, but I couldn't resist when Real Techniques released a limited edition set of duo-fiber brushes. They are currently being sold on both and for around $20.

I like the contrast of the white handles and the unique colors for the lettering on each brush. I also really like that each brush is labeled with its intended purpose.

Duo-Fiber Face Brush and Contour Brush

Face Brush on top and Contour Brush on bottom
Face Brush, Stippling Brush, and Contour Brush
Face Brush on left and Stippling Brush on right
Stippling Brush on left and Contour Brush on right
 As you can see, both the face and contour brushes included in this set are very flat in shape. This really works well for the contour brush because it helps create a very defined contour that can then be blended out (I use the EcoTools Bronzer Brush for blending). However, I wish the face brush had a rounder, fuller shape. Since I use it to apply loose setting powder, having such a flat brush head feels slightly awkward and inefficient.

Duo-Fiber Eye Brush

I took pictures of the duo-fiber eye brush with the base shadow brush from the Eye Starter Set for size comparison. The duo-fiber eye brush is pretty small in circumference, which is nice for people with smaller eyes. I personally prefer smaller crease brushes, so I was really happy about the size. Even so, for me, there's been a little bit of a learning-curve getting this brush to place color where I want it. It also feels a little bit prickly when I'm using it, even though the bristles feel soft to the touch on my hand. For that reason, it won't become my favorite crease brush, but I'll still use it.

Final Thoughts

These are good quality brushes on par with other brushes in the Real Techniques line. They have soft bristles, and I haven't had any issues with shedding. I think my favorite of the three is the contour brush. I like the other two, but they aren't going to become my favorites for their intended purposes. Should you pick them up? I don't think these are must-have brushes, but if you are a big fan of duo-fiber brushes and like the shapes of these, you'll probably want to consider picking them up.

Are you a duo-fiber brush fan? Will you be picking up this set?

 Disclaimer: The products mentioned in this post were purchased by me and all opinions are my own.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Silk Naturals Spring Collection - Cream Shadow Swatches and First Impressions

Disclaimer: I purchased all items mentioned in this post with my own money. All opinions are my own.

Well...this week was a blogging fail. I didn't get up my Tuesday post, and I didn't even do That's Okay Thursday. I wasn't feeling well at the beginning of the week, and it turned into an awful week after that. Hopefully, this next week will be better for me.

The highlight of my week was the fact that Silk Naturals released their spring collection on Tuesday night. It's an amazing collection. They released 19 cream eye shadows, 2 cream cheek products (a cream blush and a cream bronzer), 5 lip glosses in a new formula, and a super shimmery clear gloss.

The other really exciting thing about their spring collection is the return of their Mystery Adventure Club. I'm going to go ahead and leave the explanation to Karen, Silk Naturals founder (taken from the listing for the MAC):

Every week I make a new gift with purchase.  When I make the GWP it's sort of my time to play.  I take a few minutes to just be grateful that we have customers, and try to think of something that would bring a smile to your face when you open your package.  GWP's can be pretty much anything- I'm not charging you for them, so I feel a lot more liberated to try new things.  In the past we've done sneak previews of new collections, glows, eye shadows, little bath/spa type things, skin care samples etc- pretty much whatever I'm feeling at the moment.  

We had a request for a GWP people can get automatic shipments of the gift with purchase items without having to order.

Here's how the club works. 

Packages will be sent the third week of the month- on or about the 21st for a total of 3 months.  Your first shipment will go in the mail on May 21 ish, and will cover the GWP's from April 21 to May 21.  So for $37.95 plus the cart will charge you for shipping  you'll get a total of 12 GWP's in a total of three shipments (plus some other goodies- we make it fun).  We don't charge your card, or send you paypal invoices for anything else.  One price, three shipments.

They've done this program a few times before, and I've always signed up. I've done so this time too. Karens' shadows are gorgeous, and they always throw in really fun extras. It's a nice little pick-me-up every month. If this sounds like something you'd like to try, don't hesitate too long. Sign-ups end on April 21st, and they reserve the right to limit sign-ups. I don't think they've ever stopped accepting sign-ups prior to the cut-off date, but it's always possible.

Now that I've got that out of the way, I placed an order for a few of the new items. Today I'm going to show off the 4 cream shadows that I picked up. Each shadow retails for $4.99.


 Each of the shadows comes in a skinny lip gloss looking tube. The label covered the entire circumference of the tube and does include the name of the color on the label (sorry they aren't pictured - I didn't think about that). The bad part about the large label is that you can't see the color from the side of the tube, but you can see it from the bottom.

The tube has a doe foot applicator. This actually works pretty well for applying these. When I've used them (I have two of their gumball - or trial - cream shadows), I just did a dab on the center of my lid and blended it out with my fingers. It gives a soft wash of color. Silk Naturals suggests doing two thin layers of these shadows to get the best result. 


 I was thrilled with the range of colors that were released - there's everything from neutrals to pastels to brights. I would have loved to play with some of the brighter colors, but I knew I wouldn't use them much, so I showed restraint. I only picked up a few shades, and picked up ones that I could wear easily. I am already imagining myself wearing these all the time this summer as a one-color wash.

Left to right: Tribeca, Gramercy, Sunnyville, Penthouse

I'm going to go ahead and take the shade descriptions from Silk Naturals site because I find them to be accurate: Tribeca is a "pale gold highlight," Gramercy is a "coppery tan," Sunnyville is a "peach shimmer," and Penthouse is a "nude pearl."

One of the interesting things about these shadows is that they quickly dry down to a powder finish. These will not work as a base for a powder shadow for that reason. The gumball shadows that I have lasted well on my eyes when worn with a primer. I haven't tried out these new ones on my eyes yet. I did the rub test on the swatches (which had no primer underneath), and they stayed put pretty well with light rubbing. Some of the shimmer migrated, but the swatches stayed pretty well intact.

Did you pick up any of Silk Naturals's spring collection? Are you indulging in the Mystery Adventure Club too?

Disclaimer: I purchased all items mentioned in this post with my own money. All opinions are my own.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Bourjois Blush in Ashes of Rosese - Review and Swatch

Disclaimer: The product mentioned in this post was given to me as a present. I am not affiliated with Bourjois or All opinions are my own.

Back in December I posted about a Secret Santa package I received. I was really excited about it because it was from Europe, so I received items that I don't have easy access to here in the US.

I actually think that the item I was most excited about was the Bourjois blush that I received in Ashes of Roses. It is available on for $13.28 USD and free shipping. If I decide to try other Bourjois products, that's probably where I'll pick them up.


The blush comes packaged in a compact that is small in size and has a magnetic closure. The compact itself is the shade of the blush. I always enjoy when companies do that because it makes it convenient to locate  a specific color in a large collection.

The inside of the lid has a mirror on it. Because the compact itself is relatively small, it would be challenging to use the mirror for much, but it would work in a pinch. The blush also comes with a brush (not pictures). It's similar to the brushes included with Physicians Formula blushes, but it's smaller and has a curve to it that helps it nestle in the compact on top of the domed blush. I threw it out not long after I got the blush.  I knew I would never use it.


When I first swatched this blush and for the first few times I used it, it kicked up a lot of powder. Thankfully, it has stopped being so powdery. As you can probably see, it has good pigmenation. The color itself is a slightly warm leaning pink that would probably work for most skin tones. It has a matte base and fine, sparse shimmer that doesn't really show up unless you look really  closely for it.

When wearing it with a face primer and foundation, it lasts really well. I wore it yesterday, and it made it through an entire work day. I applied it at around 7 in the morning, and I could still see it at 6:30 p.m. when I was getting ready to go back out. I did reapply, but that's because I touched up my concealer and powder, which dulled down the color.

Final Thoughts

I'm really glad that I got to try out this blush. The color is exactly the sort of thing that I love wearing on a daily basis. If you are in the US and looking for a European brand to try, this might be a good one. Again, if you order through, shipping is free. 

What foreign brands have you tried and enjoyed? Have you tried any Bourjois products?

Disclaimer: The product mentioned in this post was given to me as a present. I am not affiliated with Bourjois or All opinions are my own.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

It's Okay Thursday Link Up!

TGI almost F!

Its Ok Thursdays

It's okay...

...that my typical "hairstyle" is rewetting my hair in the morning, scrunching it a little, and nothing else.

...that today was a really crappy day.

...that I had a whole list of these in my head earlier today, and I can't think of them now.

...that I did go ahead and upgrade to an iPhone 4. It's working so much better than my old phone.

...that I'm addicted to the game Tiny Tower.

...that I will probably order more than I should when theBalm finally gets their new website up and running correctly (they will be having a 24-hour 50% off everything sale).

...that I bought a ton of junk food at WalMart today (Cadbury cream eggs, Starburst jellybeans, and ice cream).

...that I'm stockpiling Special K products that have codes for free OPI polishes (8 codes gets you three exclusive colors).

How has your week been? What's okay with you?

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Wet n Wild Eye Shadow Trio in Knock on Wood - Review and Swatches

Disclaimer: The product mentioned in this post was purchased by me. All opinions are my own.

Since I've been trying to be good about not buying a lot of makeup lately, I don't have a lot of new stuff sitting around for reviews. That's a good thing because now I can start working my way back through my stash and review the stuff that I already have.

The first trip into my stash is going to be the Wet n Wild Eye Shadow Trio in Knock on Wood. I've collected several of these trios because they tend to be pretty good quality for a fantastic price - $2.99 is the typical retail price. You can quite often pick it up for less than that though because Wet n Wild regularly goes on sale at drugstores.


Let's face it, the packaging of these isn't anything to write home about. It's a basic case with a black bottom and a clear top. It isn't the type of packaging that can take a beating, but that's to be expected when you're only spending $3. The empty well at the bottom did hold a sponge tip applicator and a brush that is useless. My general preference would be a smaller palette that leaves out the cheap applicators, but I understand why a lot of drugstore brands feel the need to include them.


Wet n Wild Knock on Wood Eyeshadow Trio

These shadows have a soft, slightly powdery texture and good pigmentation. The top shade that is labeled as a browbone shade isn't as pigmented as the other two. I have to work a little bit to get good coverage on my lids (I am nowhere near dark enough to use this shade on my browbone). All three seem to blend well together. Using a primer, I can get a full day out of these shadows without creasing, but the browbone shade does fade some on me. It doesn't bother me much since it is such a subtle shade to begin with that I don't worry so much about it popping on my eyes. All three shades have subtle shimmer, but they come across as more of a satin finish on the eyes.

Speaking of popping, this trio would be fantastic for blue or green eyes. The brown and reddish-purple tones in these shadows make a great contrast on those eye colors. My eyes are blue-green, and I really like what these shades do for my eyes.

Final Thoughts

These might not be the most amazing eye shadows ever created, but they are really good, especially for the price. If you have blue or green eyes, or if you want to dip your toe into using something other than basic brown neutrals, it's worth checking out this palette.

Disclaimer: The product mentioned in this post was purchased by me. All opinions are my own.