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.

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.

Current Favorites.

Current Favorites: Chikuhodo Z-5 Eyeshadow Brush, Tom Ford Platinum Cream Eyeshadow, Bobbi Brown Espresso Eyeshadow, Bobbi Brown Bone Eyeshadow, Givenchy 9 Brun Cachemire, Nars Eyeshadow Primer, Clinique High Impact extreme Volume Mascara, Milani Liquid Liner, and Shu Uemura 02 Seal Brown Brow Pencil.

Current Favorites:
Chikuhodo Z-5 Eyeshadow Brush, Tom Ford Platinum Cream Eyeshadow, Bobbi Brown Espresso Eyeshadow, Bobbi Brown Bone Eyeshadow, Givenchy 9 Brun Cachemire, Nars Eyeshadow Primer, Clinique High Impact extreme Volume Mascara, Milani Liquid Liner, and Shu Uemura 02 Seal Brown Brow Pencil.

Current Favorites–Eye Makeup:

  1. Chikuhodo Z-5 Eyeshadow Brush is a wonderful multi-purpose brush–fantastic for application of lid color, crease color, lower lash line color and to blend out any harsh edges.
  2. Tom Ford Platinum Cream Eyeshadow applies like a dream and lasts all day (seen here).
  3. Bobbi Brown Eyeshadow in Espresso (discontinued, but Rich Caviar comes close) is used along the lash line for a smoldering eye look.
  4. Bobbi Brown Eyeshadow in Bone is an everyday essential used to highlight the brow bone, blend out harsh edges and as an all-over lid color.
  5. Givenchy 9 Brun Cachemire (reviewed here) is used everyday along the lower lash line and occasionally, as a lid color.
  6. Nars Eyeshadow Base makes any eyeshadow adhere brilliantly to the skin.  I seriously will never be without this tube of wonder.
  7. Clinique High Impact Extreme Volume Mascara was once upon a time not my favorite mascara, but how a new tube can change the most cynical perspective.  It does exactly what is stated on the tube.  Love it!
  8. Milani Eye-Tech Perfection Liquid Liner is blacker than black, stays on all day and is a true drugstore gem.  The formula and color are very comparable to Tom Ford Eye Defining Pen (reviewed here).
  9. Shu Uemura 02 Seal brown is my perfect brow color.  This pencil is going strong even after 2½ years of consistent use.
  10. Milani Brow Gel (not photgraphed) is great for keeping brow hairs in place.
Current Favorites--Eye Makeup.

Current Favorites–Eye and Face Makeup.

Current Favorites: Chikuhodo Cheek Brush, Cargo Water-Resistant Bronzer, Giorgio Armani Blush #10, Lancome Teint Idole Makeup 340 N, Wayne Goss 01, Chikuhodo Highlighter Brush, Too Faced Chocolate Bronzer, and theBalm Mary-Lou Manizer.

Current Favorites:
Chikuhodo Cheek Brush, Cargo Water-Resistant Bronzer, Giorgio Armani Blush #10, Lancome Teint Idole Makeup 340 N, Wayne Goss 01, Chikuhodo Highlighter Brush, Too Faced Chocolate Bronzer, and theBalm Mary-Lou Manizer.

Current Favorites–Face Makeup:

  1. Chikuhodo Z-8 Cheek Brush reviewed (here).
  2. Cargo Water-Resistant Bronzer was originally purchased for use as a bronzer; however, the high shimmer factor has deemed this product suitable for eyeshadow use only.  Love to use it on the lower lash line.
  3. Giorgio Armani Blush #10 Blush is my all time favorite blush (reviewed here).  I like using this blush with a dampened brush for more intense color and long-lasting wear.
  4. Lancome Teint Idole Foundation in 340 Bisque (N) is giving my Estee Lauder Double Wear a run for its money.  I adore the lightweight, full coverage, non-drying formula.
  5. Wayne Goss 01 Brush (reviewed here).
  6. Chikuhodo Z-2 Highlighter Brush (review coming soon)….can you guess my thoughts?
  7. Too Faced Chocolate Bronzer is one of my favorite bronzers…my compact is over two years old and still going strong.
  8. theBalm Mary-Lou Manizer is a seriously illuminating highlighter–a light hand and a proper brush are strongly recommended.
Current Favorites: YSL #11 Prune Impertinence, Dior Addict Fluid Stick 893, 975 Minuit, 219 Whisper Beige, Estee Lauder Pure Color Envy 210.

Current Favorites:
YSL #11 Prune Impertinence, Dior Addict Fluid Stick 893, 975 Minuit, 219 Whisper Beige, Estee Lauder Pure Color Envy 210.

Current Favorites–Lip Colors:

  1. YSL Baby Doll Kiss and Blush #11 Prune Impertinence (reviewed here).
  2. Dior Addict Fluid Stick 893 Trompe L’Oeil (reviewed here).
  3. Dior Addict Fluid Stick 975 Minuit (reviewed here).
  4. Dior Addict Fluid Stick 219 Whisper Beige makes a great topper shade for most lip colors.  I love the effect when added to:
  5. Estee Lauder Pure Color Envy 210 Impulsive (reviewed here).
Current Favorites: MAC Pro Longwear Lipliner in Nice-n-Spicy, Estee Lauder Pure Color Envy 210 Impulsive topped with Dior Addict Fluid Stick 219 Whisper Beige.

Current Favorites:
MAC Pro Longwear Lipliner in Nice-n-Spicy, Estee Lauder Pure Color Envy 210 Impulsive topped with Dior Addict Fluid Stick 219 Whisper Beige.

Current Favorites: Alvera Natural Deodorant, Thayers Witch Hazel, Alba Un-Petrolum, Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse, Tom's Floride-Free Toothpaste.

Current Favorites:
Alvera Natural Deodorant, Thayers Witch Hazel, Alba Un-Petrolum, Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse, Tom’s Fluoride-Free Toothpaste.

Current Favorites–Personal Care:

  1. Alvera All Natural Deodorant in Aloe & Almond is not completely all natural; it is formulated with Alcloxa (aluminum derivative) and is used during the spring/summer seasons.  This has great odor protection.
  2. Thayers Rose Petal Witch Hazel is transfer into a spray bottle and used to dampen my makeup brushes.  It is also used as facial toner after all makeup has been removed.
  3. Alba Un-Petrolum contains castor oil and coconut oil (saves me the trouble of combining the oils myself)–great moisturizer for arms, legs and face.
  4. Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse is a dry oil–great summer time facial moisturizer, but I like to combine it with Alba Un-Petrolum as my spring time facial moisturizer.
  5. Tom’s Fluoride-Free Toothpaste.

Current Favorites–TV Shows:

  1. Mad Men.
  2. Covert Affairs…amazing..especially season 3 and 4.
  3. Suits…Gabriel Macht was born to play Harvey Spector.
  4. Grimm.
  5. Orphan Black.

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

Makeup would tell you most of these products have been in my rotation for years, some have recently crept their way into my routine and others are seasonal delicacies.  Regardless, I love them all.  What are some of your favorites?  Be well and stay safe.

-Maria

*Ifmakeupcouldtalk.com is not affiliated with any brands mentioned, all products were purchased by me.   *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.

Saks Fifth Avenue

Chikuhodo Z-8 Cheek Brush review, photos and comparisons.

Chikuhodo Z-8 Cheek Brush.

Chikuhodo Z-8 Cheek Brush.

It is my personal belief one should invest in quality makeup brushes from the very beginning.  Some of the best makeup brushes are made in Japan.  Unfortunately, one cannot easily gain access to those products; many Japan based companies are unable to ship to the US.  Thankfully, companies such as Chikuhodo, are making it possible for overseas consumers to purchase their products (for a premium of course). Taking full advantage of this convenience, the Chikuhodo Z-8 Cheek Brush ($109 USD) made its way across the Pacific into my eagerly awaiting little hands.  This decadently supple gray-squirrel brush caresses the face like the finest silk imaginable.

Chikuhodo Z-8 Cheek Brush.

Chikuhodo Z-8 Cheek Brush personalized with my name.

The Pros of Chikuhodo Z-8 Cheek Brush:

  1. 100% gray squirrel hair.
  2. Hand made in Japan.
  3. According to now-eproject, “The ultimate Chikuhodo brush collection series, where [Chairman Tesshu Takemori] himself oversees material selection to finishing.” 
  4. Brush measures roughly 6 inches (15 cm) from hair tip to base..I like shorter handle brushes.
  5. Extremely light-weight feel with minimal design.
  6. Hairs are uncut, giving the brush an incredibly silky quality.
  7. Hairs are bundled meticulously for a voluminous airy feel..perfect for people with sensitive and dry skin.
  8. Blends any powder blush or bronzer to perfection.
  9. Can be used with highly pigmented powders for a soft-focused effect.
  10. The rounded paddle shape and tapered sides picks-up color beautifully and makes for effortless application.
  11. Round-oval shape coupled with a slightly pointer end is fitting for bronzer and contour application.
  12. Company name and brush type is printed with raised white lettering, which has not faded in the past month of use.
  13. For an additional two dollars per brush, you can personalize your brushes.
  14. Chikuhodo also manufactures Suqqu Brushes, Kanebo Tesshyu Collection, La Donna, Shiseido Brush Etheindre, RMK, and Lunasol.
Chikuhodo Z-8 Cheek Brush.

Chikuhodo Z-8 Cheek Brush.

Chikuhodo Z-8 Cheek Brush.

Chikuhodo Z-8 Cheek Brush.

Chikuhodo Z-8 Cheek Brush.

Chikuhodo Z-8 Cheek Brush.

The Cons to Chikuhodo Z-8 Cheek Brush:

  1. Ordering such an expensive brush online takes a tremendous leap of faith.
  2. Not for people who prefer a strong blush or bronzer application.
  3. Not the most efficient bronzer brush..takes more time to build-up color (IMHO, the results are worth it).
  4. Natural oils from the skin will collect on the delicate hairs after every use.  Make certain to “dry” clean your brush on a clean towel before storing it away for the day.
  5. Some may find the shorter handle not to their liking.

 Comparisons:

Comparison L-R: Tom Ford Bronzer Brush, Chikuhodo Z-8 Cheek Brush, Bobbi Brown Bronzer Brush.

Comparison L-R:
Tom Ford Bronzer Brush, Chikuhodo Z-8 Cheek Brush, Bobbi Brown Bronzer Brush.

As you can tell Chikuhodo Z-8 Cheek Brush is the daintiest of the lot.  Tom Ford Bronzer Brush has a towering presence in both appearance and feel.  Bobbi Brown Bronzer Brush is lightweight, not as much as Chikuhodo, but it is definitely bulkier in comparison (not my favorite brush).

Comparison L-R: Tom Ford Bronzer Brush, Chikuhodo Z-8 Cheek Brush, Bobbi Brown Bronzer Brush.

Comparison L-R:
Tom Ford Bronzer Brush, Chikuhodo Z-8 Cheek Brush, Bobbi Brown Bronzer Brush.

Tom Ford Bronzer Brush (reviewed here) is composed of dense goat hair; I prefer to use this brush for a fast all-over bronzer application, and to deposit bronzer down my neck and décolletage. Chikuhodo is delicate from the start; this exquisite swan will dance brilliantly over the skin, depositing a light veil of color. Bobbi Brown Bronzer Brush is the brute of the bunch…he sheds like crazy and I find the shape a bit awkward.

Tom Ford Cheek Brush and Chikuhodo Z-8 Cheek Brush.

Tom Ford Cheek Brush and Chikuhodo Z-8 Cheek Brush.

Tom Ford Cheek Brush (reviewed here) is composed of densely packed goat hair and is ideal for those who prefer a heavier blush/bronzer application.  The more substantial goat hairs are able to pick-up powder products that are tightly pressed in the pan or blushes that are subtly pigmented (like my Giorgio Armani Blush #10). Chikuhodo is the perfect shape and density to blend highly pigmented blushes (from Nars and Tom Ford) to sheer perfection.

Too Face Chocolate Bronzer applied with Chikuhodo Z-8 Cheek Brush.

Too Faced Chocolate Bronzer applied with Chikuhodo Z-8 Cheek Brush.

Too Face Chocolate Bronzer applied with Chikuhodo Z-8 Cheek Brush.

Too Faced Chocolate Bronzer applied with Chikuhodo Z-8 Cheek Brush (with flash).

I use Chikuhodo Z-8 Cheek Brush with Too Faced Chocolate Bronzer and the coverage is delicate and balanced.  Chikuhodo recommends deep cleaning gray squirrel hair brushes once a month.  Read their outline here.

Chikuhodo Brushes can be purchased at now-eproject.com and  Beautylish.com 

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

Makeup would tell you if you want to treat yourself to a beautiful, yet functional makeup brush, then Chikuhodo Z-8 Cheek Brush would make the perfect investment.  My husband gifted this to me after he saw me drooling over Sonia’s (Sweetmakeuptemptations) review (here) and Tarabayz’s review (here). Admittedly, this brush will not be for everyone, but if you get a chance to experience the feel of Z-8, I doubt anyone will be able to resist its charms.  What can I say, some girls like flowers, dining out, designer bags, shoes, etc..personally, I’ll take Chikuhodo makeup brushes any day….however, jewelry is always welcomed 🙂   I love anything makeup related, but I’m not completely crazy.  Be well and stay safe.

-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.