Best of Beauty 2014.

Best of Beauty 2014 products in action.

Best of Beauty 2014 products in action.

This past year has proven to be quite an extraordinary time for cosmetics.  Velvety smooth matte lipsticks, hybrid gloss/stain lip products, rich eyeshadow textures and colors, and amazing cream shadows and liners seem to have dominated the industry.  We can only hope 2015 will bring us even more phenomenal creations.  Without further ado, I present my personal highlights from this past year.  I hope you enjoy!

Best of Beauty 2014 Eyes:

Best of Beauty 2014 Face:

  •  Josie Maran Whipped Argan Oil Body Butter is my facial moisturizer during the winter months.  My overly dry skin soaks up this rich cream like a sponge, leaving a feeling of complete hydration for the entirety of the day.
  • Guerlain Lingerie De Peau Nude Powder Foundation is the belle of the ball.  This powder foundation is smooth, hydrating, convenient, and long-lasting.  I cannot think of the last time a foundation has impressed me as much.
  • Dior Star Concealer is hands down the best concealer I have ever used.  The creamy formula glides on the skin and stays in place beautifully throughout the day.

Best of Beauty 2014 Cheeks:

Best of Beauty 2014 Lips:

  • Girlactik Allure Matte Lip Paint is technically a liquid lipstick, but I use this mainly in place of a lipliner. The smooth non-drying, long-lasting formula makes lips impervious to feathering.  So smitten was I with this formula, the color Demure (review coming soon) became the newest addition to my makeup family.
  • Lipstick Queen Velvet Rope Lipsticks have been praise to no end on this blog.  I cannot think of another matte lipstick that can even match the texture and silky smooth feel of this line.
  • YSL Rouge Pur Couture The Mats are wonderful matte lipstick formulations.  These babies adhere to the lips instantly and leave the most potent stain behind.
  • Estee Lauder Pure Color Envy Lipsticks came with a promise of hydration, longevity and comfortable wear.  The subtle sheen finish was designed to make lips appear more plump.  Judging by the four tubes in my possession, it is safe to say, I’m sold!
  • Dior Addict Fluid Sticks have been such a wonderful investment.  The lightweight texture and cooling sensation instantly awakens any look, especially when worn over a drying lipstick.
  • Chanel Rouge Allure Gloss 20 Audace is the perfect mauve brown shade.  I love to pair this with Girlactik Allure Matte Lip Paint for the ultimate sophisticated lip look.

Best of Beauty 2014 Brushes:

Best of Beauty 2014 Brushes: Chikuhodo Z-8, Z-4, Z-5 Philosophy Supernatural Airbrush Brush, Wayne Goss Brush 01, Tom Ford Cream Foundation Brush, Billy B #12, Laura Mercier Dual Fiber Eyeshadow, Memebox Eye Brushes.

Best of Beauty 2014 Brushes:
Chikuhodo Z-8, Z-4, Z-5 Philosophy Supernatural Airbrush Brush, Wayne Goss Brush 01, Tom Ford Cream Foundation Brush, Billy B #12, Laura Mercier Finishing Eye Brush, Memebox Eye Brushes.

  • Chikuhodo Z-Series brushes are the most exquisite brushes I have ever used.   These brushes are meant to be used with powder products only.  The soft bristles blend the most pigmented powders to professional perfection.
  • Philosophy Supernatural Airbrush Brush is an oldie but a goodie that was resuscitated for use with my Guerlain Powder Foundation.  The soft dense synthetic bristles effectively works powder into the skin, giving flawless results.
  • Wayne Goss Brush 01 is a wonderful brush that works especially well with liquid foundations.  Currently, I use this brush to apply my cream and/or powder highlighter.
  • Tom Ford Cream Foundation Brush is used for blush and/or contour  application.  The small dense head is perfect for accurate product placement.
  • Billy B #12 Brush is used everyday for blending out gel liners, powder eyeshadows and for my outer corner color application.  The dual fiber angled design is perfect for hard to reach places.
  • Laura Mercier Finishing Eye Brush has been in my collection for years.  I recently started to utilize this gem to blend out my concealer for amazing results!
  • Memebox Brushes are meant for travel, but the short handles and brush head designs are perfect for everyday use.  In addition, the affordable price makes this set an even more attractive offering.

Best of Beauty 2014 Nails:

Estee Lauder Insolent Plum Pure Color Nail Lacquer with flash.

Estee Lauder Insolent Plum Pure Color Nail Lacquer (with flash).

  • Estee Lauder Insolent Plum Pure Nail Color is my favorite color from 2014.  The cream formula is classic and appropriate for many occasions.  Best of all, the Estee Lauder’s formula removes easily without color bleeding or staining of the nails.
Best of Beauty 2014.

Best of Beauty 2014 products in action.

Best of Beauty 2014 in action:

  • Brows:  Giorgio Armani Eye and Brow Maestro 2 Wenge Wood.
  • Eyes:  Nars Eyeshadow Primer, Giorgio Armani Eye and Brow 9 Gold, Bobbi Brown Black Scotch, Guerlain 02 Bleu Outremer, MUFE M-600, M-510, Giorgio Armani 5 Vulcano (outer corners) Estee Lauder Crystal Baby (inner corners), Givenchy 9 Brun Cachemire and Merle Norman Inner Liner.
  • Face:  Josie Maran Body Butter, Guerlain Powder Foundation, Dior Star Concealer.
  • Cheeks:  Vincent Longo Copper Kiss Bronzer, VL Sandalwood Blush, Estee Lauder Crystal Baby Gelee.
  • Lips:  Girlactik Allure and Demure Matte Lip Paint.

THE VERDICT:  If makeup could talk what would it say?

Makeup would tell you this has been a fantastic year for cosmetics.  The innovative formulas and colors seem to have come alive this year.  What have been some of your favorites of 2014?  As always, be well, stay safe and be happy.  May you have a Happy and Healthy New Year!

-Maria

*Ifmakeupcouldtalk.com is not affiliated with any brands mentioned, all products were purchased by me, with the exception of Lipstick Queen Velvet Rope Lipsticks and Memebox Brush Set (PR samples).  *Compensation is not given for any reviews. *This post contains store affiliate links. *Click on each photo to enlarge. *Click on the rose highlighted words to take you to a direct link to each product. *All opinions are my own and based on my experiences. *All photos are property of Ifmakeupcouldtalk.com unless otherwise noted.

The Vampire Diaries Katherine Pierce Inspired Eye Makeup Tutorial.

katherine-pierce-gallery

The Vampire Diaries Katherine Pierce.
(photo courtesy of funny-pictures.picphotos.net)

There was a time when I dismissed The Vampire Diaries as just another young teen drama–that was until saucy Vampire Katherine Pierce entered the scene.  I mean look at her, how can anyone resist her charms, be it by compulsion or otherwise?  What sets Katherine apart from her virtuous Doppelgänger Elena, is her inflated ego, a cut-throat demeanor, impeccable style and fierce makeup 🙂  Her distinct cut-crease eye makeup is present in almost every scene.  So for this post, I bring you my rendition of Katherine Pierce’s eye makeup…now if only I could live forever, be forever young and feast on lasagna instead of resorting to exsanguination 🙂 One can dream…

The Vampire Diaries Katherine Pierce Inspired Eye Makeup Tutorial.

The Vampire Diaries Katherine Pierce Inspired Eye Makeup Tutorial.

The Vampire Diaries Katherine Pierce Inspired Eye Makeup Tutorial:

The Vampire Diaries Katherine Pierce Inspired Eye Makeup Tutorial Products:
Make Up For Ever Artist Shadows, Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill Solo, Cargo Waterproof Bronzer, Merle Norman Inner Liner, L’Oreal Infallible Pencil Liner, and Prestige Liner Pen.

  • **Nars eyeshadow base was used as an eyeshadow primer.  Apologies for the slight lighting variations; the perils of photographing in front of a window, dependant on natural lighting. 🙂
The Vampire Diaries Katherine Pierce Inspired Eye Makeup Tutorial:

The Vampire Diaries Katherine Pierce Inspired Eye Makeup Tutorial:
Outline your desired shape with a cool tone brown.

  • Start by choosing a cool tone brown eyeshadow.  Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill Solo 4 Wood Eyeshadow (reviewed here) was applied using an angled brush (Memebox Meme Angled Brush) to outline the upper lash line and draw a line above my natural crease.  This method opens-up the eye area and gives the illusion of a larger lid space.
The Vampire Diaries Katherine Pierce Inspired Eye Makeup Tutorial:

The Vampire Diaries Katherine Pierce Inspired Eye Makeup Tutorial:
Take a blending brush to blend out the harsh line.

  • Take any densely packed blending brush (Memebox Meme Eyeshadow Brush) and blend out the crease line, picking up color as you see fit.  Be mindful not to let any of the color seep on the lid area–Katherine loves a defined crease with a brightening lighter color on the lid.
The Vampire Diaries Katherine Pierce Inspired Eye Makeup Tutorial:

The Vampire Diaries Katherine Pierce Inspired Eye Makeup Tutorial:
Take a softer brush to add a warmer transition color over the edge of your cool brown shade.

The Vampire Diaries Katherine Pierce Inspired Eye Makeup Tutorial:

The Vampire Diaries Katherine Pierce Inspired Eye Makeup Tutorial:
Apply a matte flesh-colored eyeshadow to highlight the brow bone.

  • Apply a matte flesh-colored eyeshadow (MUFE M-510) to blend out the edges of your transition shade and to highlight the brow bone area.
The Vampire Diaries Katherine Pierce Inspired Eye Makeup Tutorial:

The Vampire Diaries Katherine Pierce Inspired Eye Makeup Tutorial:
Take a golden shade and apply the color to the middle of the moblie lid.

  • Apply a golden/champagne shimmer shade to the mobile lid area (a combination of MUFE ME-512 and I-648 was used).  The contrasting eyeshadow finishes are quite distinct and really makes eyes stand-out.
The Vampire Diaries Katherine Pierce Inspired Eye Makeup Tutorial:

The Vampire Diaries Katherine Pierce Inspired Eye Makeup Tutorial:
Apply any black liquid liner to the upper lash line.

The Vampire Diaries Katherine Pierce Inspired Eye Makeup Tutorial:

The Vampire Diaries Katherine Pierce Inspired Eye Makeup Tutorial:
Trace the liquid line with a deep black pencil liner.

  • Next, a liquid liner (Prestige Line & Style Ink Pen) was applied as a preliminary guide for my pencil liner (L’Oreal Extra Intense Liquid Pencil Eyeliner), being mindful not to cover the cool brown eyeshadow that was initially placed along the lash line.  This step can be omitted if you have a steady hand with your pencil liner; however, I find the two formulas produce a truly deep black color that is unbeatable.
The Vampire Diaries Katherine Pierce Inspired Eye Makeup Tutorial:

The Vampire Diaries Katherine Pierce Inspired Eye Makeup Tutorial:
Tight line the upper waterline with your gel liner of choice.

  • Tightline the upper waterline with any gel formula of your choosing (Inglot AMC Gel Liner #90).  Omitting this step would be a cardinal sin…gaps between the lashes is so not Katherine 🙂
The Vampire Diaries Katherine Pierce Inspired Eye Makeup Tutorial:

The Vampire Diaries Katherine Pierce Inspired Eye Makeup Tutorial:
Sharpen the edge of your winged liner with an angled Q-Tip.

  • Sharpen the edge of your winged liner with an angled Q-Tip dipped in lotion.  This step is essential in creating a gap between the upper and lower portion of the eye.
The Vampire Diaries Katherine Pierce Inspired Eye Makeup Tutorial:

The Vampire Diaries Katherine Pierce Inspired Eye Makeup Tutorial:
Apply a flesh-colored pencil to the lower waterline right to the edge of the eye, extending the color under the winged liner.

  • Next, is the quintessential Katherine makeup trick.  A flesh-colored pencil (Merle Norman Inner Liner) was applied on the waterline and extended outwards under the winged liner. Applying the color at the inner cusp, where the upper and lower lids meet, gives the illusion of a more youthful and lifted eye.
The Vampire Diaries Katherine Pierce Inspired Eye Makeup Tutorial:

The Vampire Diaries Katherine Pierce Inspired Eye Makeup Tutorial:
Blend-out the flesh color under the winged liner.

  • Blend out the flesh color pencil thoroughly, with a small eyeshadow brush (Meme Liner Brush).  To ensure the pencil base stays in place, I like to add an accompanying eyeshadow color on top (MUFE M-510).
The Vampire Diaries Katherine Pierce Inspired Eye Makeup Tutorial:

The Vampire Diaries Katherine Pierce Inspired Eye Makeup Tutorial:
Apply the cool tone brown to the lower lash line.

  • Take your angled eyeliner brush and pick up some of the cool brown color (GA #4 Wood).  Line the lower lash line ¼ of the way, concentrating the color at the edge.  Following the natural curvature of your lower lashes, extend the color away from the eye.  This technique was very popular in the 60’s and 70’s and if you look closely, Katherine employs this method for all of her looks.
The Vampire Diaries Katherine Pierce Inspired Eye Makeup Tutorial:

The Vampire Diaries Katherine Pierce Inspired Eye Makeup Tutorial:
Add a bronze color over the cool tone brown.

  • Add a bronze colored eyeshadow (Cargo Waterproof Bronzer) directly on top of the cool brown color on the lower lash line.  This step is optional, but as I have stated in the past, I believe adding a bronze hue on the lower lash line is very flattering.
The Vampire Diaries Katherine Pierce Inspired Eye Makeup Tutorial: Finished look with mascara.

The Vampire Diaries Katherine Pierce Inspired Eye Makeup Tutorial:
Finished look with mascara.

The Vampire Diaries Katherine Pierce Inspired Eye Makeup Tutorial: Finished look with mascara.

The Vampire Diaries Katherine Pierce Inspired Eye Makeup Tutorial:
Full face finished look.

The Vampire Diaries airs on the CW Network on Thursday 8/7c.

THE VERDICT:  If makeup could talk what would it say?

Makeup would tell you this Katherine Pierce inspired makeup look has proven to be quite a hit.  I have worn this look many times and on each occasion, random people felt “compelled” to compliment my eye makeup.  Won’t you try it and see for yourself.  Be well, stay safe and be happy.

-Maria

 

*Ifmakeupcouldtalk.com is not affiliated with any brands mentioned, all products were purchased by me. *Compensation is not given for any reviews. *Click on each photo to enlarge. *Click on the rose highlighted words to take you to a direct link to each product. *All opinions are my own and based on my experiences. *All photos are property of Ifmakeupcouldtalk.com unless otherwise noted.

Smokey Eye Tutorial.

Smokey Eye Tutorial using Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill Solo #5 Vulcano.

Smokey Eye Tutorial using Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill Solo Eyeshadow #5 Vulcano.

Traditional, smokey eye tutorials feature brown, gray, and black eyeshadows.  I have found that the aubergine tone of Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill Solo Eyeshadow #5 Vulcano is the perfect color to make any eye color pop.  The matte formula and velvet finish of this color, make this smokey eye look quite unique and unforgettable.  I hope you enjoy.  (Please excuse the slight lighting variation; the sun was going in and out on this day.)

Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill Solo #5 Vulcano used with a dampened Meme Angled Brush.

Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill Solo Eyeshadow #5 Vulcano used with a dampened Meme Angled Brush.

Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill Solo #5 Vulcano used with a dampened angled brush as an intense eyeliner.

Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill Solo Eyeshadow #5 Vulcano used with a dampened angled brush as an intense eyeliner.

Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill Solo #5 Vulcano used with a dampened angled brush as an intense eyeliner.

Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill Solo Eyeshadow #5 Vulcano used with a dampened angled brush as an intense eyeliner.

  • Step 1:  Apply an eyeshadow primer (I used Nars).  Dampen any angled brush (I used my Meme Eyeliner Brush) with water (I use Witch Hazel) and dip the brush into the pan using a good amount of pressure.  You want to saturate the brush tip with an adequate amount of color.  Apply the color thickly along the lash line and create a wing at the ends.  This will act as a guide for the black liquid liner that will be applied later.
Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill Solo #5 Vulcano smudged on top of the dried liner.

Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill Solo Eyeshadow #5 Vulcano smudged on top of the dried liner.

  • Step 2:  Use a dry dual ended brush (I used Billy B #12 Brush) or a sponge tip applicator and smudge a light amount of Vulcano over the liner.  I like to stop midway on the lid.  The goal is to create a hazy layer over the darken line to make the eyes appear larger.  This technique will not disrupt the liner, because once Vulcano sets it does not budge.
Make Up For Ever Artist Eyeshadow M-510 with Chikuhodo Z-5 Eyeshadow Brush.

Make Up For Ever Artist Eyeshadow M-510 with Chikuhodo Z-5 Eyeshadow Brush.

Make Up For Ever M-510 applied to the rest of the mobile lid and on the brow bone.

Make Up For Ever M-510 applied to the rest of the mobile lid and on the brow bone.

  • Step 3:  Apply a matte flesh-colored shadow (I used MUFE M-510) to the rest of the mobile lid using a soft eyeshadow brush (I used Chikuhodo Z-5), blending some color onto the edge of Vulcano.  This lighter color will not only brighten and even out the rest of the lid, but it will also blend out any of Vulcano’s harsh edges.  Apply the same matte flesh color to the brow bone area.
Make Up For Ever Artist Eyeshadow M-600 with Meme Eyeshadow Brush.

Make Up For Ever Artist Eyeshadow M-600 with Meme Eyeshadow Brush.

MUFE M-600 applied to the crease.

Make Up For Ever Artist Shadow M-600 applied to the crease.

  • Step 4:  To add depth to this look, add a warm brown matte color (I used MUFE M-600) to the crease area using a soft eyeshadow brush (I used Meme Eyeshadow Brush).  The warmth of the crease color perfectly enhances Vulcano’s aubergine tone.
Make Up For Ever Artist Shadow I-524 applied to the inner corner of the eye.

Make Up For Ever Artist Shadow I-524 applied to the inner corner of the eye.

  • Step 5:  Add any brightening pink-based eyeshadow/highlighter (I used MUFE I-524) to the inner corner.  This will open up the eye area and the iridescent texture proved to be an interesting and attractive contrast against all the matte shadows.
Prestige Line & Style Ink Pen applied to the very base of the upper lash line.

Prestige Line & Style Ink Pen applied to the very base of the upper lash line.

Reapplication of Giorgio Armani ETKS #5 Vulcano over the black liquid liner.

Reapplication of Giorgio Armani ETKS #5 Vulcano over the black liquid liner.

  • Step 6:  Apply liquid liner of your choice (I used Presitge Line and Style Ink Pen), using the first layer of Vulcano as a guide; being diligent not to completely cover the line.  Should you become overzealous with you liquid liner and cover too much of the original line, reapply  more Vulcano with your dampened angled brush directly on top of the black line.  The darkened aubergine color against the black liner will give your eyes a doe-like effect and really make them appear larger.
Tightline your upper waterline using Iglot AMC Eyeliner Gel in #90.

Tightline your upper waterline using Iglot AMC Eyeliner Gel in #90.

Sharpen the outer corners of you wing but using a pointed Q-Tip dipped in your lotion.

Sharpen the outer corners of your wing by using a pointed Q-Tip dipped in your lotion.

  • Step 7:  Take your gel liner (I use Ingot #90) and tightline your upper waterline, making sure to cover any gaps in-between the lashes.  Use a pointed Q-Tip dipped in lotion to sharpen and clean up the edges of your wing.
Givenchy #9 Brun Cachemire Ombre Couture Cream Eyeshadow with Meme Eyeshadow Brush.

Givenchy #9 Brun Cachemire Ombre Couture Cream Eyeshadow with Meme Eyeshadow Brush.

Make Up For Ever Artist Shadow I-648 with Meme Eyeshadow Brush.

Make Up For Ever Artist Shadow I-648 with Meme Eyeshadow Brush.

Givenchy #9 Brun Cachemire and MUFE I-648 applied to the lower lash line.

Givenchy #9 Brun Cachemire and MUFE I-648 applied to the lower lash line.

  • Step 8:  Apply a light bronze color thickly along the lower lash line.  It is my personal belief, using a bronze shade on the lower lash line really accentuates the eyes, more so than using the same color that was applied on the lids.
Finished look with mascara and Givenchy #9 Brun Cachemire added to the lower waterline.

Finished look with mascara and Givenchy #9 Brun Cachemire added to the lower waterline.

Smokey Eye Tutorial Final Look.

Smokey Eye Tutorial Final Look.

THE VERDICT:  If makeup could talk what would it say?

Makeup would tell you this smokey eye look will make your eyes stand-out.  Use any eyeshadow color or brand of your liking or cream products if you have really oily lids.  Regardless, I hope you found the technique helpful to create your own unique smokey eye.  Until next time, be well, stay safe and be happy.

-Maria

*Ifmakeupcouldtalk.com is not affiliated with any brands mentioned, all products were purchased by me, with the exception of the Meme Brush Set.  *Compensation is not given for any reviews. *This post contains store affiliate links. *Click on each photo to enlarge. *Click on the rose highlighted words to take you to a direct link to each product. *All opinions are my own and based on my experiences. *All photos are property of Ifmakeupcouldtalk.com unless otherwise noted.

Current Favorites.

Current Face Favorites: Lancome Teint Idole 24H Foundation, Guerlain Meteorites Primer, Chantecaille Gel Bronzer, Nars Translucent Pressed Setting Powder, BeautyBlender, Wayne Goss 01 Brush.

Current Face Favorites:
Lancome Teint Idole 24H Foundation, Guerlain Meteorites Primer, Chantecaille Gel Bronzer, Nars Light Reflecting Pressed Setting Powder, BeautyBlender, Wayne Goss 01 Brush.

Current Favorites.  Nars Light Reflecting Pressed Powder used with the BeautyBlender.

Current Favorites.
Nars Light Reflecting Pressed Powder used with the BeautyBlender.

  • Lancome Teint Idole 24H Foundation 340 (N) Bisque lasts all day with slight oil break through on the T-Zone area.  Plus the color selection is amazing, I have never had a foundation match my skin coloring so well.
  • Guerlain Meteorites Primer is lovely, but severely overpriced for what it does.  There are other primers that do the job just as well for a fraction of the price.
  • Chantecaille Gel Bronzer (reviewed here) has been used since my little beach excursion.  Someone forgot to tell me to rotate my beach chair, as a result, the right side of my face is more tan than the left.  I use this guy to even myself out.
  • Nars Light Reflecting Pressed Setting Powder (reviewed here) has been the secret to my “flawless” skin.  I simply use a DRY BeautyBlender to pick up product, tap off the excess on a towel and use the “press and roll” method to apply the powder onto the T-Zone area and on any enlarged pores around my cheeks.
  • Wayne Goss 01 Brush (reviewed here) is the ultimate foundation (everything) brush.  There is no going back to another brush.  Enough said!
Current Cheek Favorites: Vincent Longo Copper Kiss Bronzer, Estee Lauder 04 Crystal baby Gelee, Giorgio Armani 10 Beige Sheer Blush, Vincent Longo Sandalwood Blush, Tom Ford Bronzer Brush, Tom Ford cream Foundation Brush, Chikuhodo Z-8 Cheek Brush, Chikuhodo Z-2 Highlighter Brush.

Current Cheek Favorites:
Vincent Longo Copper Kiss Bronzer, Estee Lauder 04 Crystal Baby Gelee, Giorgio Armani 10 Beige Sheer Blush, Vincent Longo Sandalwood Blush, Tom Ford Bronzer Brush, Tom Ford cream Foundation Brush, Chikuhodo Z-8 Cheek Brush, Chikuhodo Z-2 Highlighter Brush.

  • Vincent Longo Copper Kiss Bronzer (reviewed here) is so finely milled and pigmented.  I use my Chikuhodo Z-8 Cheek Brush to apply the bronzer to my face and Tom Ford Bronzer Brush (reviewed here) to apply the powder to my décolletage.
  • Estee Lauder 04 Crystal Baby Gelee (reviewed here) is such a lovely pearlescent pink highlighter.  I use my slightly dampened Tom Ford Cream Foundation Brush (reviewed here) to apply the powder to highlight the cheek bones.  Just remember to use this beauty sparingly to avoid looking like a disco ball.
  • Giorgio Armani 10 Beige Sheer Blush remains my favorite blush color.  This muted pinky/beige hue seems to go with every makeup look under the sun.  Use with a dense dampened brush for more color intensity and longevity.
  • Vincent Longo Sandalwood Dew Drop Blush (reviewed here) is just as finely milled as 10 Beige, but gives me the option to utilize a peach blush for certain looks.  I prefer to apply this pigmented powder with my Chikuhodo Z-2 Highlighter Brush for even and smooth results.
Current Eye Makeup Favorites: Cargo Waterproof Bronzer, Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill Solo Eyeshadows in 2 Armani Navy and 9 Tadzio, Givenchy Waterproof Cream Shadow in Brun Cachemire, Inglot AMC gel liner #90, YSL 07 Gold Star Cream Liner, Clinique High Impact Mascara, Nars Eyeshadow Primer, Sonia Kashuk Concealer Brush, Chikuhodo Z-5 Eyeshadow Brush.

Current Eye Makeup Favorites:
Cargo Waterproof Bronzer, Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill Solo Eyeshadows in 2 Armani Navy and 9 Tadzio, Givenchy Waterproof Cream Shadow in 9 Brun Cachemire, Inglot AMC gel liner #90, YSL 07 Gold Star Cream Liner, Clinique High Impact Mascara, Nars Eyeshadow Primer, Sonia Kashuk Concealer Brush, Chikuhodo Z-5 Eyeshadow Brush.

Current Favorites: Givenchy 9 Brun Cachemire with Cargo Waterproof Bronzer on the lower lash line.  Tom Ford Eye Defining Pen with Armani Navy Eyes to Kill Solo on the upper lash line.  YSL #07 Gold Star on the waterline.

Current Favorites:
Givenchy 9 Brun Cachemire with Cargo Waterproof Bronzer on the lower lash line. Tom Ford Eye Defining Pen with Armani Navy Eyes to Kill Solo on the upper lash line. YSL #07 Gold Star on the waterline.

  • Cargo Waterproof Bronzer combined with Givenchy 9 Brun Cachemire (reviewed here) are my everyday lower lash line colors.  Applying the same colors to my lower lash line as those on my lid, does not look particularly flattering on my eyes.  The resulting bronze coloring defines the area and brightens the eyes.
  • Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill Solo Eyeshadows in 2 Armani Navy and 9 Tadzio (reviewed here and here) have amazing pigmentation and longevity; the latter looks so delicious when applied with a dampened brush.
  • YSL #07 Gold Star Cream Liner makes an amazing waterline color.  I find this formula lasts all day with slight fading on the outer corners.  As an added bonus, the deep gold coloring looks great with a variety of eye looks.
  • Clinique High Impact Extreme Mascara has served me well for the last few months.  It does exactly what it claims to do.
  • Chikuhodo Z-5 Eyeshadow Brush (reviewed here) is the one brush that can do it all (at least on my eye shape).  The soft dense hairs pick-up color quickly and delicately.  Never a scratchy moment with this beauty.
  • Sonia Kashuk Concealer Brush is used dampened to apply my eyeshadows.  The synthetic fibers are rather resilient and the price cannot be beat.  Lately, I have been using this wonder to apply Armani Navy along the upper lash line and in the outer corners.
  • Nars Eyeshadow Primer (reviewed here) is the best eyeshadow primer……period.
Current Favorites: Tom Ford Eye Defining Pen, Shu Uemura 05 Stone Gray, Milani Brow Gel.

Current Favorites:
Tom Ford Eye Defining Pen, Shu Uemura 05 Stone Gray, Milani Brow Gel.

  • Tom Ford Eye Defining Pen (reviewed here) has been in my possession for 10 months and has remained as inky black as the first day I brought it home.  The quality of the dual ended felt tips is outstanding, they remain unaffected by eyeshadow residue.  My Milani Eyeliner was prone to eyeshadow build-up, as a result, the tip no longer dispense product.
  • Shu Uemura 05 Stone Gray was discovered in the back of one of my makeup drawers.  Even though the color is a bit deeper than it predecessor, 02 Seal Brown, a pencil this wonderful could not go to waste.  My 02 Seal Brown Pencil lasted 3 years before a replacement was needed.
  • Milani Brow Gel does what it claims to do at a very cheap price.
Current Lip Favorites: Estee Lauder Insolent Plum Pure Color Envy Lipstick, Lipstick Queen Private Party Velvet Rope Lipstick, Dior Fluid Sticks, It Cosmetics YLBB Waterproof Lip Liner Stain.

Current Lip Favorites:
Estee Lauder Insolent Plum Pure Color Envy Lipstick, Lipstick Queen Private Party Velvet Rope Lipstick, Dior Fluid Sticks, It Cosmetics YLBB Waterproof Lip Liner Stain.

  • Estee Lauder Pure Color Envy Lipsticks (reviewed here) are wonderful.  450 Insolent plum is one of my favorite shades.
  • Lipstick Queen Velvet Rope Lipsticks (reviewed here) have a heavenly formula.  Private Party is the perfect bright pinky/red shade for the summer time.
  • Dior Addict Fluid Sticks (reviewed here) have a lovely texture.  The lasting power is not the greatest on their own, but when added to a long wearing lip color, the results are stunning.
  • It Cosmetics YLBB Waterproof Lip Liner Stains (reviewed here) have amazing longevity especially when used as a base for lipsticks.
Current Personal Care Favorites: Coconut Oil, Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse Dry Oil, Natures Gate Toothpaste, L'Oreal Olio Therapy Shampoo, Sienna Naturals Leave-in-Conditioner, Target Eye Makeup Remover.

Current Personal Care Favorites:
Coconut Oil, Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse Dry Oil, Natures Gate Toothpaste, L’Oreal Olio Therapy Shampoo, Sienna Naturals Leave-in-Conditioner, Target Eye Makeup Remover.

  • Organic Coconut Oil is my night-time/summer-time moisturizer.  Bruce Fife, C.N., N.D. wrote a great book called, The Coconut Oil Miracle, outlining all the benefits of Coconut Oil.  He states, “Polynesians, who traditionally wear very little clothing, have beautiful skin without blemishes and without cancer.  The reason is they eat coconuts and use the oil on their bodies as a lotion.”
  • Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse is my day-time/summer-time moisturizer.  The dry-oil quickly absorbs into the skin and doesn’t cause me to “sweat” during hot humid days.
  • Natures Gate Toothpaste is one of the few toothpaste brands that is fluoride-free and sodium laurel sulfate free.
  • L’Oreal Oleo Shampoo is sulfate-free and smells heavenly.  I would purchase Sienna Naturals Shampoo, but my son goes through shampoo like water and requires a readily available and affordable alternative.
  • Sienna Naturals Leave-In-Conditioner was recommended by Olivia from The Unknown Beauty Blog (her fabulous review here).  I love this product, the all natural formula truly smooths out the hair without weighting it down.  I’m on my second bottle, my son used up the first bottle completely.
  • Target Oil-Free Eye Makeup Remover gets the job done.  Although I am a devoted Bioderma user, as of late, I feel a tinge of resentment over the inflated price ($40) for a makeup remover.  The same product in France cost $10 dollars.
Current Favorites: City of Heavenly Fire, Tom Ford Violet Blonde Perfume,Estee Lauder Insolent Plum Nail Lacquer.

Current Favorites:
City of Heavenly Fire, Tom Ford Violet Blonde Perfume,Estee Lauder Insolent Plum Nail Lacquer.

  • City of Heavenly Fire is the last book in The Mortal Instrument Series.  If you enjoy a quick supernatural read, then this series is for you.  The movie was a major disappointment, the series had the potential to be the next Harry Potter and they wrecked that opportunity with a horrible script and subpar actors.
  • Tom Ford Violet Blonde is the only perfume that will last during the hottest of days.  I would love to describe the notes and so on, but Gaia from The NonBlonde is the source for all things fragrance related.
  • Estee Lauder Insolent Plum Nail Lacquer is amazing. The left photo shows the polish on the first day and the right photo shows the polish on the fifth day with a fresh top coat added.

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THE VERDICT:  If makeup could talk what would it say?

Makeup would tell you I would love to hear some of the things you have been loving lately.  Be well stay safe and be happy.

-Maria

*Ifmakeupcouldtalk.com is not affiliated with any brands mentioned, all products were purchased by me, with the exception of Lipstick Queen Private Party.  *Compensation is not given for any reviews. *Click on each photo to enlarge. *Click on the rose highlighted words to take you to a direct link to each product. *All opinions are my own and based on my experiences. *All photos are property of Ifmakeupcouldtalk.com unless otherwise noted.

Chikuhodo Z-5 Eyeshadow Brush review, photos and comparisons.

Chikuhodo Z-5 Eyeshadow Brush.

Chikuhodo Z-5 Eyeshadow Brush.

Chikuhodo makeup brushes are renowned for their handmade quality and attention to detail. Just like Chikuhodo Z-8 Cheek Brush (reviewed here),  Chikuhodo Z-5 Eyeshadow Brush ($43 USD) is yet another example of an eyeshadow brush done right.  The size, shape, hair quality, design, and weight are so meticulously constructed, I often wonder why I waited so long to purchase this beauty.

Chikuhodo Z-5 Eyeshadow Brush.

Chikuhodo Z-5 Eyeshadow Brush.

The Pros to Chikuhodo Z-5 Eyeshadow Brush:

  1. Made from 100% Gray Squirrel.
  2. Hairs are”uncut,” shaped and assembled by hand in Japan.
  3. Substantial thickness to the handle, yet lightweight design indicate thoughtful construction.
  4. Densely packed hairs apply powdered eyeshadows easily and deposits color evenly for flawless results.
  5. Hairs are tapered with a “flat-round” shape–ideal for all over color application, crease color and lower lash line color application.
  6. Larger head size is perfect for fast application of eyeshadow during busy mornings.
  7. Soft gray squirrel hair is ideal for people with very sensitive skin..feels like silk on the skin.
  8. Has not shed one hair during usage or deep cleaning.
  9. Shorter handle (5.3 inches/13.4 cm/135 mm from tip to base) will allow people to get up close to makeup mirrors, without the annoyance of having the brush handle bump into the mirror.
  10. Wooden handle is engraved with the company name on one side and the brush name on the other.
  11. Now-eproject offers a personalized service where anyone can have their name engrave on the brush for an additional two dollars per brush.
Chikuhodo Z-5 Eyeshadow Brush.

Chikuhodo Z-5 Eyeshadow Brush.

Chikuhodo Z-5 Eyeshadow Brush.

Chikuhodo Z-5 Eyeshadow Brush.

The Cons to Chikuhodo Z-5 Eyeshadow Brush:

  1. Not sold in any retail location in the US.  Ordering such an expensive brush from an online source takes a tremendous leap of faith.
  2. People with smaller lid space will find this brush overwhelming.
  3. Gray Squirrel hair can only be used with powder eyeshadows…don’t even think about using this angel with cream eyeshadows.
  4. Deep cleaning is recommended once a month…so if you feel an overpowering urge to wash your brushes on a weekly basis…DON’T.  Chikuhodo suggests to “dry” clean gray squirrel brushes on a clean towel in-between uses.
  5. No other cons…This brush is pretty much perfect in my eyes 🙂
Chikuhodo Z-5 Eyeshadow Brush.

Chikuhodo Z-5 Eyeshadow Brush.

Chikuhodo Z-5 Eyeshadow Brush used to apply all over lid color.

Chikuhodo Z-5 Eyeshadow Brush used to apply all over lid color.

Chikuhodo Z-5 Eyeshadow Brush used to apply color under the brow.

Chikuhodo Z-5 Eyeshadow Brush used to apply color under the brow.

Chikuhodo Z-5 Eyeshadow Brush dipped into bronzer to apply color to the eye crease.

Chikuhodo Z-5 Eyeshadow Brush dipped into bronzer to apply color to the eye crease.

Chikuhodo Z-5 Eyeshadow Brush used to apply color to the eye crease.

Chikuhodo Z-5 Eyeshadow Brush used to apply bronzer to the eye crease.

Comparisons to Chikuhodo Z-5 Eyeshadow Brush:

Comparisons: Billy B #8 Eyeshadow Brush, Shu Uemura #10 Flat Eyeshadow Brush, Chikuhodo Z-5 Eyeshadow Brush, Smashbox #17 Brush.

Comparisons:
Billy B #8 Eyeshadow Brush, Shu Uemura #10 Flat Eyeshadow Brush, Chikuhodo Z-5 Eyeshadow Brush, Smashbox #7 Brush.

Comparisons: Smashbox #7 Eyeshadow brush, Chikuhodo Z-5 Eyeshadow Brush, Shu Uemura #10 Flat Eyeshadow Brush, Billy  B #8 Eyeshadow Brush.

Comparisons:
Smashbox #7 Eyeshadow Brush, Chikuhodo Z-5 Eyeshadow Brush, Shu Uemura #10 Flat Eyeshadow Brush, Billy B #8 Eyeshadow Brush (click to enlarge).

  • Smashbox #7 comes the closest in size to Chikuhodo Z-5.  Both brushes perform similarly, but Chikuhodo surpass Smashbox in terms of design and softness.  Chikuhodo’s tapered head is suitable for more precise eyeshadow application, whereas Smashbox’s brush head is structured more as a blending brush.
  • Shu Uemura #10 is clearly not the same type of brush, Shu is primarily designed to lay down color on the lid.  Chikuhodo is able to deposit and blend out color at the same time.  Shu Uemura #10 is an excellent brush and has served me well for 14 years.  I prefer to use #10 when I want a heavy eyeshadow application.
  • Billy B #8 (reviewed here) is a great little brush for just about anything–the only difference other than the size, is the quality–would love it if Chikuhodo came out with a brush of this size in their Z-Series.
All eyeshadows (with the exception of the liner) were applied with Chikuhodo Z-5 Eyeshadow Brush.

All eyeshadows (with the exception of the liner) were applied with Chikuhodo Z-5 Eyeshadow Brush.

  • All eyeshadows were applied with Chikuhodo Z-5 Brush:  Bobbi Brown Cement on the mobile lid, Too Faced Bronzer in the crease, Bobbi Brown Bone under the brow bone, Cargo Water-Resistant Bronzer on the lower lash line and Bobbi Brown Espresso applied lightly in the outer corners. Chantecaille Iron Ore Eyeshadow (reviewed here) was used wet on the upper lash line with Estee Lauder Angled Eyeliner Brush.

Chikuhodo Z-5 Eyeshadow brush can be found exclusively at now-eproject.com and  Beautylish.com.

THE VERDICT:  If makeup could talk what would it say?

Makeup would tell you Chikuhodo Z-5 Eyeshadow Brush is one of those makeup tools you will always reach for, never regret buying and secretly wish for multiple back-ups.  I hope you enjoyed.  Be well, stay safe and be happy.

-Maria

*Ifmakeupcouldtalk.com is not affiliated with any brands mentioned, all products were purchased by me.   *Compensation is not given for any reviews.  *Click on each photo to enlarge. *Click on the rose highlighted words to take you to a direct link to each product.  *All opinions are my own and based on my experiences. *All photos are property of Ifmakeupcouldtalk.com unless otherwise noted.