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.

Date Night Look.

Date Night Look Lip Combo: Jordana Plush Plum and Estee Lauder Electric Wine.

Date Night Look Lip Combo:
Jordana Plush Plum and Estee Lauder Electric Wine.

Recently, my husband and I attended a last minute event and a quick and simple look was required.  For this Date Night Look, time was of the essence, so I decided to play up my lips rather than waste time creating an elaborate eye look.  Truth be told, I did not alter my daytime makeup in the least, but simply changed the lip combo. Adding an extra necklace or two also helps to dress up any outfit.  I hope you find this helpful and can use some ideas for your next date night 🙂

Makeup of the Week:  Date Night Look.

Date Night Look Eye Makeup.

Date Night Look Eye Makeup:

  1. Nars Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Base (reviewed here).
  2. Laura Mercier Spellbound Highlighter (discontinued) all over the mobile lid (MAC Arena eyeshadow can be used in place of Spellbound).
  3. Clarins Mineral Eyeshadow in Auburn used in the crease and blended slightly above.
  4. Clarins Mineral Eyeshadow in Dark Chocolate used in the otter “v”.
  5. Bobbi Brown Navajo Eyeshadow used to highlight under the brow bone and to blend out the crease color.
  6. Clarins Mineral Eyeshadow in Auburn and Cargo Water-Resistant Bronzer mixed together on the lower lash line.
  7. L’Oreal Telescopic Mascara in Blackest Black (2 coats).
  8. Shu Uemura Brow Pencil in 02 Seal Brown used on the brows.
  9. Rimmel Scandal Eyes Waterproof Eyeliner in Nude used to line the lower waterline.
  10. Inglot AMC Gel Liner in #90 (reviewed here) used to line the upper waterline and upper lash line.
Makeup of the Week:  Date Night Look.

Date Night Look Face Makeup.

Date Night Face Makeup:

  1. Koh Gen Do Makeup Color Base in Yellow (reviewed here).
  2. Estee Lauder Double Wear in 3N-1 mixed with Koh Gen Do Maifanshi Moisture Foundation in #123.
  3. Estee Lauder Double Wear Maximum Coverage in Cream Vanilla was used (the tiniest dot) as a concealer under both eyes and blended out.
  4. MAC Prep+Prime Highlighter Pen in Radiant Rose (reviewed here) the smallest amount used to brighten the under eye area.
  5. Too Faced Chocolate Matte Bronzer used for contour and bronzing the perimeter of the face.
  6. Giorgio Armani Sheer Blush in #10 Beige (not photographed reviewed here).
  7. RMS Beauty Living Luminizer (reviewed here).

Lip Combo for Date Night Look:

  1. Jordana Plush Plum Lipliner.
  2. Estee Lauder High Intensity Lip Lacquer in Electric Wine.
Day Time Look:   Make Up For Ever Lipliner in 2C with Estee Lauder High Intensity Lip Lacquer in Liquid Petal.

Day Time Lip Combo:
Make Up For Ever Lipliner in 2C with Estee Lauder High Intensity Lip Lacquer in Liquid Petal.

Daytime Lip Combo:

  1. Make Up For Ever Waterproof Lipliner Pencil in 2C.
  2. Estee Lauder High Intensity Lip Lacquer in Liquid Petal (reviewed here).
Brushes Used for Date Night Look: Tom Ford Bronzer Brush, Billy B Brush #11 and Brow Tool, Laura Mercier Eye Liner Brush, Wayne Goss Brushes 01 and 02.

Brushes Used for Date Night Look:
Tom Ford Bronzer Brush, Trish McEvoy #29, Billy B Brush #11 and Brow Tool, Laura Mercier Eyeliner Brush, Wayne Goss Brushes 01, 02.

Brushes used for Date Night Look:

  1. Wayne Goss 01 for foundation and cream highlighter application (reviewed here).
  2. Wayne Goss 02 for contour, bronzer and blush application (reviewed here).
  3. Billy B #11 used for tight lining the upper waterline (reviewed here).
  4. Billy B Brow Tool used for brows.
  5. Laura Mercier Angled Eyeliner brush used to apply Inglot #90 to the upper lash line.
  6. Trish McEvoy #29 Tapered Brush used to apply all eyeshadow colors on the eyes.
  7. Tom Ford Bronzer Brush used to blend all face powders together (reviewed here).

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

Makeup would tell you this “no-fuss” makeup look held up very well all evening.  Date Night was quite a success, but I must admit, as lovely as it is going out for the evening, it is even more enjoyable returning home.  What can I say….I’m a homebody at heart.  Be well and stay safe.

-Maria

Jewelry Worn:

 

Ifmakeupcouldtalk.com is not affiliated with any brands mentioned, all products were purchased by me.  *This post contains some affiliate store links.  *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.

NORDSTROM.com

Top Beauty Items of 2013.

Top Beauty Items of 2013.

Top Beauty Items of 2013.

Another year has flown by and we are always left with this overwhelming feeling of contemplation. Reflection, regret and resolutions seem to dominate our consciousness during this time of year.  However, when it comes to beauty purchases, reflection can be helpful, regret is useless and I solemnly swear to be a resolute consumer of all beauty items that make me smile 🙂  I hope you enjoy my Top Beauty Items of 2013.

Top Facial Primer:

Koh Gen Do Makeup Color Base in Yellow.

Koh Gen Do Makeup Color Base in Yellow (photo courtesy of sephora.com) here.

Top Foundation:

Estee Lauder Double Wear Foundation.

Estee Lauder Double Wear Foundation in 3N1 (here).

Top Setting/Finishing Powder:

Nars Light Reflecting Pressed Setting Powder .

Nars Light Reflecting Pressed Setting Powder (here).

Top Powder Bronzer:

Laura Mercier Ritual Bronzer.

Laura Mercier Ritual Bronzer (LE) (here).

Top Cream Bronzer:

RMS Beauty Buriti Bronzer.

RMS Beauty Buriti Bronzer (here).

Top Powder Highlighter:

Laura Mercier Matte Radiance Baked Powder in Highlight 01 swatched heavily and blended out.

Laura Mercier Matte Radiance Baked Powder in Highlight 01 swatched heavily and blended out (here).

Top Cream Highlighter:

RMS Beauty Living Luminizer.

RMS Beauty Living Luminizer (here).

Top Powder Blush:

Giorgio Armani Sheer Blush 10 Beige.

Giorgio Armani Sheer Blush 10 Beige (here).

Top Cream Blush:

Chanel Destiny 61 Le Blush Creme de Chanel.

Chanel Destiny 61 Le Blush Creme de Chanel (here).

Top Liquid Liner:

Top Cream Eyeshadows/Liners:

Long Wearing Cream Formulas L-R:  L’Oreal Infallible Eyeshadow in Bottomless Java, Estee Lauder Double Wear Bronze Cream Shadow, Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill in #6, Laura Mercier Eye Canvas in EC-3, YSL #7 Cream Liner, Bobbi Brown Cobalt Ink gel liner (reviewed here), Clinique Black Honey Gel Liner, Inglot #90, Chanel Stylo Eyeshadows in Moon River (reviewed here) and Black Stream, MAC Powerchrome Pencils in Life’s Luxery (reviewed here) and Copper Strip (reviewed here).

Long Wearing Cream Formulas L-R:
L’Oreal Infallible Eyeshadow in Bottomless Java (here), Estee Lauder Double Wear Bronze Cream Shadow, Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill in #6, Laura Mercier Eye Canvas in EC-3 (here), YSL #7 Cream Liner, Bobbi Brown Cobalt Ink gel liner (here), Clinique Black Honey Gel Liner, Inglot #90, Chanel Stylo Eyeshadows in Moon River (here) and Black Stream, MAC Powerchrome Pencils in Life’s Luxury (here) and Copper Strip (here).

Top Mascara:

L'Oreal Telescopic Mascara.

L’Oreal Telescopic Mascara.

Top Lipstick Formula:

Shiseido Lacquer Rouge: L-R:  RD501, RD305, RS404, RD314, RD702, RD203.

Shiseido Lacquer Rouge:
L-R: RD501, RD305, RS404, RD314, RD702, RD203 (here).

Top Nail Color:

Dior Minut Diorific Vernis Nail Polish.

Dior Minut Diorific Vernis Nail Polish (here).

Top Brushes:

Top Brushes 2013: Tom Ford Bronzer Brush, Tom Ford Cheek Brush, Tom Ford Foundation Brush, Philosophy Supernatural Airbrush Brush, Wayne Goss Brush 02, Billy B. Brush Set.

Top Brushes 2013:
Tom Ford Bronzer Brush (here), Tom Ford Cheek Brush (here), Tom Ford Foundation Brush (here), Philosophy Supernatural Airbrush Brush, Wayne Goss Brush 02 (here), Billy B. Brush Set (reviewed here).

Top Original Set:

Nars Guy Bourdin Fling Lip Set Content:  Damage Lipstick, Roman Holiday Lipstick, Dolce Vita Velvet Matte Lip Pencil, Baroque Velvet Gloss Lip Pencil.

Nars Guy Bourdin Fling Lip Set Content:
Damage Lipstick, Roman Holiday Lipstick, Dolce Vita Velvet Matte Lip Pencil, Baroque Velvet Gloss Lip Pencil (here).

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

Makeup would tell you 2013 was a stellar year for makeup and I look forward to the many more cosmetics goodies in 2014.  What are some of your favorite products from this past year?   In the meanwhile, I would like to wish each and everyone a very Happy and Healthy New Year!  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.

 

 

 

Wayne Goss Brush 02 review and comparisons!

Wayne Goss Brush 02.

Wayne Goss Brush 02.

If you are a makeup enthusiast, chances are you frequent YouTube regularly and have stumbled across the British “Honest Abe” of the makeup industry, Wayne Goss.  What sets Wayne apart from other YouTube personalities, is his uncanny ability to review a product thoroughly, respectfully, ethically, and eloquently. His charming little wink at the end of all his videos, only adds to his allure.  A true rarity on YouTube!!!  After many years of Youtube-ing, doing tutorials, giving advice and finding the right manufacturer to produce his brushes, Wayne has finally debuted his brushes on Beautylish.com (sold out immediately on initial release).  Therefore, I will try to emulate Wayne’s style and integrity when reviewing the Wayne Goss Brush 02 ($35 US) for you today.  “Wink”…get it…just like Wayne.

Wayne Goss Brush 02 packaging and note from Beautylish.com.

Wayne Goss Brush 02 packaging and note from Beautylish.com. Great customer service and care.

Wayne Goss Brush 02 packaging and note from Beautylish.com.

Wayne Goss Brush 02 packaging and note from Beautylish.com.

Wayne Goss Brush 02 Composition:

Beautylish.com states all of Wayne Goss’s brushes are  100% cruelty-free.  The details of the origin of the hairs is nowhere to be found on the website.  According to Sonia from SweetMakeupTemptation the hairs of the Wayne Goss Brush 02 are composed of blue squirrel.  The softness and quality of this puppy is exceptional.  The hairs of the Wayne Goss Brush 02 are “uncut”, meaning, you will never have brush hairs pricking your face during usage.  When companies “cut” natural hairs during assembly, they are essentially creating a blunt jagged point.  The results are rough and unrefined, similar to the feel of grown-in shaven hair.

Wayne Goss Brush 02 is lightweight and perfectly balanced for such a small brush.  The hairs on this brush are densely packed closest to the ferrule and gradually loosen toward the tip.  This substantial design allows powder products to be picked up easily and buffed into the skin flawlessly; unlike my RMK brush which is too soft and floppy to deposit sufficient color.

RMK Cheek Brush vs. Wyane Goss Brush 02

RMK Cheek Brush vs. Wyane Goss Brush 02

Applied heavy pressure to demonstrate the density of the Wayne Goss Brush 02

Applied heavy pressure to demonstrate the density of the Wayne Goss Brush 02

Applied barely any pressure to demonstrate the lack of density in RMK CheeK Brush.

Applied barely any pressure to demonstrate the lack of density in RMK Cheek Brush.

Wayne Goss Brush 02 Uses:

The tapered shape and density of the hairs earns this brush the title, “Jack-Of-All-Trades.”  The most obvious use for Brush 02 is highlighter application.  I also use this brush to apply Nars Light Reflecting Powder under my eyes and on my T-zone.  Blush application can easily be achieved by gently pressing the brush on your cheeks to splay the hairs, then use buffing motions to blend out the color.  All over bronzer application is a little more time-consuming, but not impossible, due to the size of this brush.  I prefer a large fluffy brush for this purpose.  However, this little guy is brilliant for applying a contour color to the hollows of the cheekbones.

Brush Comparisons L-R: Tom Ford Bronzer Brush, Tom Ford Cheek Brush, Tom Ford Cream Foundation Brush, Wayne Goss Brush 02, Bobbi Brown Bronzer Brush.

Brush Size Comparisons L-R:
Tom Ford Bronzer Brush, Tom Ford Cheek Brush, Tom Ford Cream Foundation Brush, Wayne Goss Brush 02, Bobbi Brown Bronzer Brush.

Wayne Goss Brush 02 with Nars Light Reflecting Setting Powder.

Wayne Goss Brush 02 with Nars Light Reflecting Setting Powder.

Wayne Goss Brush 02 with Laura Mercier Highlight 01.

Wayne Goss Brush 02 with Laura Mercier Highlight 01.

Wayne Goss Brush 02 with Laura Mercier Ritual Bronzer.

Wayne Goss Brush 02 with Laura Mercier Ritual Bronzer.

Wayne Goss Brush 02 with Giorgio Armani Beige 10 Blush.

Wayne Goss Brush 02 with Giorgio Armani Beige 10 Blush.

Wayne Goss Brush 02 Manufacturing:

All of Wayne Goss Brushes are handmade in Japan and manufactured in fixed number of batches.  If you visit Beautylish.com and discover the brushes are sold out, you now know why.  I missed out on the initial release date and had to wait a month before I was able to order Brush 02.  Wayne Goss offers his enter 8 piece collection for a very reasonable $210 US; unheard of for Japanese handmade makeup brushes. However, if you are a brush collector, professional makeup artist, or just getting into makeup and want quality over quantity, then the Wayne Goss Brush Collection is a fantastic value for the quality.

Used Wayne Goss Brush 02 to contour, apply bronzer, blush and setting powder under the eyes.

Wayne Goss Brush 02 used to contour, apply bronzer, blush and setting powder under the eyes.  Not bad!!

The Wayne Goss Brush 02 has been in my possession for two weeks and it has performed all the tasks indicated above, beautifully. During this time, I have washed Brush 02 twice and can happily report not one hair has shed or dye has run from this brush.

My only criticism is that the silver paint on the lettering has already rubbed off.  I feel as if an extra protective coating was needed.  Seeing the glass ¾ full, the name Wayne Goss and the number 02 are imprinted into the wood, therefore I will still be able to see the name and number after all the silver paint is gone.

Wayne Goss Brush 02 lettering has rubbed off.

Wayne Goss Brush 02 silver paint rubbed off.

Used Wayne Goss Brush 02 to contour, apply bronzer, blush and setting powder under the eyes.

Wayne Goss Brush 02 used to contour, apply bronzer, blush and setting powder under the eyes.

The entire Wayne Goss Brush Collection can be found exclusively at Beautylish.com.

All powder products applied with the Wayne Goss Brush 02.

All powder products applied with the Wayne Goss Brush 02. Very impressive!

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

Makeup would tell you the Wayne Goss Brush 02 is an absolutely lovely brush.  If you are on a budget and are looking for the ultimate multipurpose brush, then Brush 02 is your guy.  Better yet, the entire Wayne Goss Collection would make a thoughtful gift for the makeup connoisseur in your life.  If they are sold out, which they are, another alternative would be a gift card to Beautylish.com (I swear, I am not affiliated with them whatsoever) so your intended could order them when they restock…Kudos to Wayne for a job well done and to Beautylish for such outstanding customer service.  Be well and stay safe.

-Maria

**UPDATE:  As of December 5, 2013 (9:30 am New York time) the collection is back in stock.  Happy Shopping!!!

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 photos are property of Ifmakeupcouldtalk.com unless otherwise noted.

 

Makeup of the Week: Sixth Edition.

Makeup of the Week: Sixth Edition.

Makeup of the Week: Sixth Edition.

This Makeup of the Week: Sixth Edition will feature all the lovely goodies I acquired last week from my visit to the CCO.  For those of you who are unfamiliar with a CCO (Cosmetics Company Outlet), it is an outlet store the Estee Lauder Company has cleverly established to sell all of their overstock merchandise from their subsidiary brands.  All cosmetics/fragrance brands included are: Estee Lauder, MAC, Clinique, Bobbi Brown, Joe Malone, Flirt, Smashbox, Bumble and Bumble, Origins, Donna Karen, Tom Ford, Ojon, Tommy Hilfiger, Michael Kors and Prescriptives.  All items in store are sold at a 30% discount off the original retail price.  As an added bonus, the sales women are lovely and customers have the comfort/freedom to swatch and roam for as long as one desires.  Who could ask for more?

Eye Makeup of the Week: Sixth Edition.

Eye Makeup of the Week.

Eye Makeup:

  1. Laura Mercier Eye Canvas in EC-3 (reviewed here).♥
  2. Clinique Black Honey Brush-on-Creme Liner used as an eyeshadow (purchase here). [CCO]
  3. Bobbi Brown Cobalt Ink Long-wear Gel Liner (reviewed here).♥ [CCO]
  4. Inglot Matte 90 AMC Eyeliner Gel for tight lining the upper water line (purchase here).
  5. Too Faced Chocolate Bronzer used in the crease to add dimension and warmth (purchase here).
  6. MAC Copper Strip Powerchrome Eye pencil for the lower lash line and in the lower water line (reviewed here).♥
  7. Clinique High Impact Extreme Volume Mascara (purchase here) not my favorite. Does not layer well and flakes by the end of the day. [CCO]
  8. Laura Mercier Spellbound Illuminator for an inner corner highlight (reviewed here). ♥
  9. Shu Uemura Brow pencil in 02 Seal Brown (purchase here). ♥
Makeup Of the Week:  Sixth Edition.

Makeup Of the Week: Sixth Edition.

 Face Makeup:

  1. Hourglass Mineral Veil Primer (purchase here).♥
  2. Estee Lauder Double Wear Foundation in 3N1 (purchase here) I have the new formula and it does not oxidize and feels less drying compared to the original. ♥ [CCO]
  3. Edward Bess Concealer in Soft Beige (purchase here).
  4. Chanel Le Creme Blush de Chanel in Destiny 61 (reviewed here).♥
  5. Laura Mercier Spellbound Illuminator (purchase here) and Laura Mercier Highlight 01 (reviewed here) used to highlight the cheek bones. ♥
  6. Too Faced Chocolate Bronzer applied to the forehead and jaw bone only (purchase here).
  7. Skindinavia Finishing Spray (purchase here). ♥
Lip Combination of the Week:  Daliia My Best Friend's Red w/Shiseido RD702.

Lip Combination: Daliia My Best Friend’s Red w/Shiseido RD702.

Lip Combination:

  1. Daliia Herbal Lip Stain in My Best Friend’s Red (reviewed here) ♥
  2. Shiseido RD702 to add shine and moisture throughout the day (purchase here). ♥
Brushes of the Week: Sixth Edition.

Brushes of the Week.

Brushes of the Week:

  1. Laura Mercier Angled Eyeliner Brush (purchase here).♥
  2. Billy B Beauty # 12, 8, 11 (reviewed here).♥
  3. Smashbox #7 brush (purchase here). [CCO]
  4. Philosophy “the supernatural” Airbrush foundation brush (purchase here).♥
  5. Tom Ford Bronzer (reviewed here) , Cheek (reviewed here) and Cream Foundation brushes.♥

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

Makeup would tell you to locate your nearest Tangers Outlet Mall (location finder here) and visit a CCO pronto!  Plan a trip for the day with your family/friends and roam all the stores to your heart’s content.  CCO are fantastic for discovering some limited-edition jewels that were hard to obtain during the original release. I have yet to spy any TF brushes..Darn!  Do call ahead of time to check inventory before making a trip.  I hope you find this helpful and informative.  Be well and stay safe.

-M-

*Ifmakeupcouldtalk.com is not affiliated with any brands mentioned, all products were purchased by me.  Compensation is not given for any reviews. *All photos are property of Ifmakeupcouldtalk.com.

MOTW: Makeup of the Week fifth edition.

Makeup of the week fifth edition.

Makeup of the week fifth edition.

This week has been fun and exciting.  Here in the Americas, we celebrated our nation’s independence.  My personal highlight was spending time with family we do not get to see often.  Did I wear makeup on a hot, muggy, and humid Fourth of July?  Yup…You Betcha. Did my makeup look flawless at the end of the day? Not even this makeup maven could battle the forces of sweaty pores at their optimum levels.  This Makeup of the Week fifth edition, is a tribute to the war paint that was strategically applied in the morning and shamelessly vanquished in the evening.

Eye makeup of the week.

Eye makeup of the Week fifth edition.

Eye Makeup:

  1. Laura Mercier Eye Canvas in EC-3 (reviewed here).♥
  2. MAC Minerialized Skin Finish Natural in Medium Plus (purchase here).
  3. MAC Powerchrome Eye Pencil in Life’s Luxury (reviewed here).♥ lasted all day ♥
  4. MAC Sweet As Cocoa to blend out the edges of Life’s Luxury and used under the lash line (reviewed here).♥
  5. Shu Uemura eyeshadow in IR911 in the inner corner (purchase here)
  6. Clinique 02 True Black cream liner (purchase here).
  7. Merle Norman Nude inner eye pencil (here).
  8. Shu Uemura eyebrow pencil in 02 Seal Brown (purchase here).♥
  9. L’Oreal telescopic mascara for first coat.
  10. Prestige My Blackest Lash for second coat.
Makeup of the Week fifth edition.

Makeup of the Week fifth edition.

Face Makeup:

  1. Hourglass Mineral Veil Primer (purchase here).
  2. Estee Lauder Double Wear Foundation in 3N1 (seen here).♥
  3. Laura Mercier Highlight 01 used wet as a highlighter (reviewed here).♥
  4. Laura Mercier Ritual bronzer (sold out online but I have seen it stocked at my Sephora).♥
  5. MAC Sweet As Cocoa blush (purchase here).♥
  6. Bobbi Brown Pale Pink blush (purchase here).♥
  7. Skindinavia Finishing Spray (held up most of the day, purchase here).
Lip Combination of the week fifth edition.

Lip Combination of the Week fifth edition.

Lip Combination:

  1. MAC Prep n Prime lip.
  2. MAC Morning Coffee Prolong Wear Lipliner (purchase here).
  3. Dior Addict Lipstick 773 Rouge Podium (reviewed here).♥
Brushes of the week fifth edition.

Brushes of the Week fifth edition.

Brushes of the Week:

  1. Laura Mercier angled eye liner brush (the best for getting the right line and flick, purchase here).♥
  2. Billy B #12, #8 and #11 (for tight lining) (reviewed here).♥
  3. Smashbox #7
  4. Philosophy supernatural airbrush brush (purchase here).♥
  5. Tom Ford bronzer brush (reviewed here).♥
  6. Tom Ford Blush brush.♥
  7. Tom Ford Cream Foundation brush used for highlighter application.

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

Makeup would tell you to always look your best even when the circumstances are stacked against you.  As Coco Chanel once said,

Elegance is refusal.

I refuse to let meteorological conditions, exhaustion, children or animal ever stop me from looking and feeling my best. Refusal to accept anything but the best for yourself is always the order of the day; a little “makeup” for your soul.  Be well and stay safe.

-M-

It's a dog's life.  Yoshi has no worries.

It’s a dog’s life. Yoshi has no worries.

MOTW: Makeup of the Week fourth edition.

 

MOTW: Makeup of the Week fourth edition.

MOTW: Makeup of the Week fourth edition.

This week has been very long, hot and tiring; not the time to delve into the creative, rather reliance on the predictable was the rule du jour.  Therefore, I have literally been wearing the same look everyday this week *gasp*.  However, sparkle was summoned to awaken the spirit.  I hope you find this Makeup of the Week fourth edition helpful and inspiring!

Eye Makeup of the Week:

  1. Laura Mercier Eye Canvas in EC-3 (reviewed here). ♥
  2. MAC Mineralized Skinfinish Natural in Medium Plus all over the eyelid. ♥
  3. Shu Uemura M895 eyeshadow mixed with..
  4. Estee Lauder Chocolate Bliss eyeshadow (both colors mixed and smudged along the upper lash line).♥
  5. Chanel Illusion D’Ombre in Vision patted with my finger on top of the eye.♥ (seen here).
  6. Clinique cream liner in 02 True Black.
  7. Merle Norman Inner liner on the lower water line.
  8. Benefit “They’re Real” mascara (ok..does not layer well and removal is a pain the keister).
  9. Shu Uemura brow pencil in 02 Seal Brown.

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Face Makeup of the Week:

  1. Hourglass Mineral Veil Primer.
  2. Estee Lauder Double Wear in 3N1 (seen here).♥
  3. Laura Mercier Ritual Bronzer for the eye crease as well (reviewed here).♥
  4. Bobbi Brown Pale Pink Blush.
  5. Laura Mercier Highlight 01 placed damp on top of cheekbones lasted all day (reviewed here).♥
  6. Hourglass Ambient powder in Diffused Light (reviewed here).

Lip Combination of the Week:

  1. MAC Prep n Prime lip.
  2. MAC Morning Coffee Prolong wear lipliner.
  3. Dior 525 Vintage Lipstick (reviewed here) ♥.
Lip Combination of the week.

Lip Combination of the week.

Brushes of the Week:

  1. Laura Mercier angled eyeliner brush (makes applying gel liner a breeze).♥
  2. Estee Lauder #20 angled brush.
  3. Billy B #12 & #8 brush (reviewed here).♥
  4. Smashbox #7 & #15 brush.
  5. Philosophy “supernatural airbrush” brush.♥
  6. Bobbi Brown Bronzer Brush (trying to use this guy..he’s been ignored).
  7. Tom Ford Bronzer Brush (reviewed here) using it for finishing powder this week.♥
  8. Tom Ford Blush Brush.♥
  9. Tom Ford Cream Foundation Brush for my highlighter.

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

Makeup would tell you to relax and enjoy the warmer, stress-free months of summer and not worry so much about makeup.  Of course, when you have a treasure trove of goodies at your disposal, that could be difficult.  Do I want to go the simple route?  YES…I wake up every morning and chant, “I will not wear makeup today, I will not wear makeup today….”  However, something comes over me and the self-imposed command is quickly obliterated….”HELP, I NEED HELP!!!!”  Nah…I need a larger vanity.  Be well, cool and stay safe.

-M-

 

Tom Ford Bronzer Brush review, photos and care.

Tom Ford Bronzer Brush in all of its glory.

Tom Ford Bronzer Brush in all of it’s glory.

Some believe buying the best cosmetics to will yield a flawless look, I consider that outlook as being partially true.  The best cosmetics cannot perform to their utmost potential without the aid of quality tools.  Tom Ford Bronzer Brush ($110 US) is one of those tools, once used, will leave you breathless.

The Pros:

Tom Ford Bronzer Brush is incredibly soft, dense and made of “natural origin”, presumably goat hair.  The sales associates at Saks were unable to deny or confirm this speculation on my part.  The bristles are white, long, soft and have a desirable flexibility, to pick up just the right amount of product.  The density of the hairs allows pigmented powders to be blended out in a smooth and even manner.  This brush can be used for a variety of powders of your choosing.  TF brushes are made in Japan by Hakuhodo (they also make MAC brushes).  Tom Ford Bronzer Brush is of higher quality than any MAC brush, it is not scratchy or prickly on the skin no matter how frequently it is washed.  There is no offensive animal oder to the brush before or after washing.  The white hairs will not become permanently stained, even when pigmented powders are used.  A good washing restores the bristles back to their pristine white brilliance.

The ferrule is rumored to be 24K gold-plated, another fun “fact” the sale associates could not confirm.  The thickness and weight of the handle make holding the brush an absolute pleasure.

The Cons:

Let us start with the obvious….the price.  My mother was with me when I utilized a gift card for the purchase of this brush.  I could have sworn her knees buckled when she heard the price.  Oh well, the heart wants what it wants.  Some may find the brush head a little too big for their liking.  If that is the case, Tom Ford offers a cheek brush which is smaller in size and can pull off bronzer application just as well.  A point of contention with my TF bronzer brush, is it did not have Japan engraved on the handle.  My other Tom Ford brushes all have Japan engraved on them.  The sale associate offered to exchange my brush, but I found that minor flaw a bit too extreme…even for me.

Cleaning and Care:

Tom Ford Bronzer Brush is a luxury item, for sure.  A brush this expensive deserves TLC, this will ensure your investment will last a life time.  I did experience shedding with this brush for a few weeks.  I have since rectified that situation by using a nubby textured washing board to clean my brush.  Gently rubbing the brush in a circular motion on the nubs, removes any loose hair that would have otherwise been deposited on my face during makeup application.  Additionally, this method ensures a thorough cleansing of your brush.  Clever?  I thought so.

Cleaning Tom Ford Bronzer Brush.

Cleaning Tom Ford Bronzer Brush.

Tom Ford Bronzer Brush after shampoo and conditioner.

Tom Ford Bronzer Brush after shampoo and conditioner.

Wrapping the brush in folded toilet paper to retain brush shape.

Wrapping the brush in folded toilet paper to retain brush shape.

Tom Ford Bronzer Brush wrapped in toilet  paper and set to dry overnight.

Tom Ford Bronzer Brush wrapped in toilet paper and set to dry overnight.

This board belonged to my son’s Perler beads kit pegboard set from eight years ago.  It is a fabulous “tool” for cleaning all of my makeup brushes.  The shampoo and conditioner of your choosing should be sulfate, paraben, phthalate and silicone free.  I use Neutrogena natural facial cleanser followed by Dessert Essence conditioner (very small amount).  Take great care, to slightly tilt the brush head forward, to ensure any residual moisture does not run down and loosen the glue in the ferrule.

Tom Ford Brushes are sold at Saks Fifth Avenue, Bergdorf, and Neiman Marcus.

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

Makeup would tell you, to calculate your finances carefully to make way for the purchase of Tom Ford Bronzer Brush.  This brush is not a complete necessity, but it is a luxury I have become accustomed to having on a daily basis.  Instead of reserving your budget for Tom Ford lipsticks, gather your pennies and save up for his brushes.

If price deters you, calm you conscience by calculating the total price ÷ by your life expectancy = price per year.  For example $110 ÷ 150 years (my life expectancy) = .73¢ per year.  See…totally doable and JUSTIFIED!!!!  Will you be getting any TF brushes?  Say yes…..come on over to the dark side.  Be well and stay safe.

-M-

Laura Mercier Ritual Baked Blush Bronze review and swatch.

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Laura Mercier Ritual Baked Blush and Bronze:

Do you see this beauty?  Do I even need to elaborate past this sentence?  Can you predict what my thoughts will be on this product?  Well here goes…Introducing Laura Mercier Ritual Baked Blush and Bronze ($36US/9.50 g).   This stunner is part of the Folklore Collection Spring/Summer 2013.  According to LM website, Ritual is comprised of 5 different colors and baked to “provide the perfect, natural color for cheeks and face.”   I would have to say that description is spot on.   This is a very pigmented, dark rosy brown shade with a slight pink shimmer that works surprisingly well as a bronzer.

Multiple uses for Ritual:

The pink veining in the product does make it usable as a blush.  If used as a blush tread lightly.   Did I say Ritual is dark and pigmented?  This product does not contain any orange undertone what so ever!!  Bare Minerals Faux tan is similar, in that they both are on the reddish side of the bronzer spectrum.   Bronzers that fall in this realm are regarded as mimicking the natural effects of the sun!!   Ritual’s powder is finely milled and applies smoothly, it does not come off as a shimmery mess on the skin.   Instead Ritual subtly highlights the areas in which it is applied.  It gives off the “glow” we often hear about in the beauty community.  I also use this beauty as an all over eyeshadow or crease/blend out color.   Ritual lasted on my face for a solid 6 hours with noticeable fading on the cheek area.  In all fairness, this can be attributed to my annoying habit of always resting my hand on my face when I read.  Hey ho, I still LOVE the color…I will endure!!

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Laura Mercier Ritual swatched heavily and blended out.

As much as I love this product, it maybe too dark for someone with a fair complexion.  Could it work?  Sure anything can work on anyone, however proceed with caution.  Use a fluffy bronzer brush or even a stippling brush to apply Ritual AS A BRONZER.  To my eye this would be catastrophic if used as a blush for the fairest in the land.   I have a fair complexion (NW20/25), however because I have such dark (hair, eyes, and brows) and strong features, Ritual works for me in all regards (lucky duck).  Below are a few popular bronzer comparisons.

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Top row: LM Ritual, Bare Minerals Faux Tan, Bobbi Brown Medium
Middle row: Edward Bess Daydream, Too Faced Chocolate, Chanel Soleil tan de Chanel Bronze Universal
Bottom Row: Dior Nude Tan 003 Cinnamon

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LM Ritual, BM Faux Tan, BB Medium, EB Daydream, Too Faced Chocolate, Chanel, Dior.

Application:

I use my Tom Ford bronzer brush to apply Ritual as a bronzer followed by my RMK blusher brush to apply Ritual as a blush.  If you are not familiar with a RMK brush, it is very similar to the Suqqu blush brush, as both are very soft and designed to give light application with pigmented products.  Any STIPPLING  brush from any line sill suffice.  Sonia Kashuk makes an affordable version that can be acquired from your local Target.

Laura Mercier Ritual is available for purchase at Nordstrom, Lord & Taylor, Bergdorf, Sakes, LauraMercier.com, etc..

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Laura Mercier Ritual used as a bronzer, blush and crease color (triple treat…oh yes).

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

It would tell you to go to the counter and see “my Precious” in person.  Picture me with Gollum’s voice (Lord of the Rings dude) stroking my Ritual compact against my face and repeatedly chiming,  “Precious, oh my precious please become a permanent item in LM line”.   You are getting a sizable amount for a reasonable price compared to other lines (Guerlain I’m looking at you with your Terracotta bronzer ($75) that smells like my Grandmother).  It would be wise to go see Ritual in person (have I stressed that enough?) because there is only one color offered and some may not find this suitable for their complexion.  Makeup also says,  “remember, it’s only makeup, you don’t likey you don’t keep!!!”     Be well and stay safe!

-M-

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Laura Mercier Ritual Baked Blush Bronze ingredient list.