Topic: Makeup Tools

I Hung Out With James Vincent and All I Got Was This Brush Set*

Published in: Guest Post, London Brush Company, Makeup Tools

James Vincent x LBC

James Vincent x London Brush Company

I was oohing and ahhing over pots of glitter when I felt someone tap my shoulder. I turned around to see James Vincent smiling at me saying, “Hi, Nicole.”

A mutual friend introduced us. I have long since admired James Vincent, but meeting him in person, artist to artist, was so wonderful. I met him at The Makeup Show in San Francisco last year. If you aren’t familiar with The Makeup Show, it’s a pro-focused beauty convention that travels the US every year. Bigger brands and smaller local brands attend, and you can find tons of goodies at a pro rate. They also have classes! I could listen to James Vincent teach for hooooours. And I did.

When I met him, he told me about this brush collection from the London Brush Company (it looks like they’re sold out as of right now), and I obviously needed it. The brushes are vegan Mongoose hair, and very simple in design with only James Vincent and London Brush Company on the ferrule. They’re very soft, and very versatile.

Let’s break it down: there are 3 pyramid brushes and two bent ones.

James Vincent x LBC

James Vincent x London Brush Company Pyramid Blender Brush

The biggest pyramid brush works for so many base products. That’s something I LOVE about LBC — the multitude of uses a single brush is made to have. I’ve used this brush for moisturizer, primer, foundation, setting powder, and contour. It’s bloody brilliant. The fine point makes it easy to get in there and contour precisely and the pyramid angle helps blend it out. It applies powder so easily with not too much product (I’ve been using it with the Laura Mercier Loose Setting Powder and the Rimmel Stay Matte Pressed Powder).

James Vincent x LBC

James Vincent x London Brush Company Pyramid Blender Brush (medium)

James Vincent x LBC

James Vincent x London Brush Company Pyramid Blender Brush (small)

The next two pyramid brushes I’ve been using mostly as eye brushes, but also for contouring my nose (which I don’t do often, but it helps in photos and when I’m hanging out with drag queens and feel under…painted). Again, this pyramid thing is bloody brilliant. Apply with the tip, blend with the edges. It also makes crease work so damn easy because the flat part of the triangle sort of blocks pigment from blending down onto your mobile lid. Brilliant I tell you.

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My Foundation Routine (A Collaboration With Adia)

Published in: Clinique, Face, Guest Post, Makeup Tools

Clinique Stay Matte Oil Free Makeup in Linen

My go to: Clinique Stay Matte Oil Free Makeup in Linen ($24 for 1 oz.)

Hey, everyone! Today I’m collaborating with the lovely Adia to show you how I wear my foundation (she’ll be sharing her post later tonight), and also try out a new brush I haven’t gotten a chance to work with yet, the Heavenly Luxe Complexion Master, No. 16, from It Cosmetics ($58).

Now, I don’t often wear foundation (I typically go for a lighter coverage BB cream), but when I do want heavier coverage, these are the products I like to use.

First, I start with a moisturized and primed face, and for primer, I go for e.l.f. Poreless Face Primer. It’s a good dupe for Smashbox in my opinion, although the formula seems to have changed recently, because the smell isn’t quite as pleasant as it once was…

Clinique Stay Matte Oil Free Makeup in Linen

Literally the lightest shade they have. #foreverpale

Heavenly Luxe Complexion Master No. 16 brush

Heavenly Luxe Complexion Master No. 16 brush ($58)

This brush has a lot of plusses, but on my first run through with it doing my normal routine, I noticed that I was really dry and cakey.

Then I remembered something Adia recommends sometimes, which is to wet the brush. So, while doing my look for this post, I made sure to spray some rosewater on the brush before buffing it into my makeup.

I could have used setting spray, but the scent and the whole effect of using rosewater are just so much more appealing to me.

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Bring Out Your Inner Makeup-Loving Mermaid With the Tarte Rainforest of the Sea Makeup Brushes

Published in: Face, Guest Post, Makeup Tools, Tarte

Tarte Double-Ended Color Correcting Brush

Color correcting with the Tarte Double-Ended Color Correcting Brush

In addition to a whole boat load of amazing marine inspired products, Tarte also introduced a set of fabulous brushes fit for Ariel herself with their Rainforest of the Sea collection.

I tend to feel like brushes don’t get enough love… I mean, it seems like we generally only talk about them when we’re complaining about washing them (guilty as charged). On top of that, I’m one of those former kids that just loved finger painting and can’t get enough of my (clean) god given applicators when I’m putting on my makeup each morning. BUT, an artist is only as good as their tools, and a good makeup brush can make all the difference.

Tarte Rainforest of the Sea

Tarte Rainforest of the Sea Face Brushes

Tarte Rainforest of the Sea

Tarte Rainforest of the Sea face brushes in their boxes…with seashells

Tarte Double-Ended Foundation Brush ($34) — This brush was designed with the brand’s Sea Water Foundation in mind. Each end is composed of duo-fiber bristles with a different intended purpose. The smaller side of the brush is ideal for facial contours and concealer application. I personally prefer working with smaller tools, so I also find this side helpful when applying foundation across my entire face (particularly with Sea Water Foundation, as it requires speedy blending before it sets). The larger end of this brush can be used to buff and blend, and per Tarte creates an “airbrushed effect.”

Tarte Double-Ended Highlighter Brush ($34) — This brush would be ideal for fans of strobing. The precision end allows you to really pack on highlighter wherever you desire — on the tops of your cheekbones, brow bones, the inner corners of your eyes or on your Cupid’s bow. The larger fan-shaped end still deposits a fair amount of product; however, it creates a more diffused effect. I can see the large side of this brush working equally well for blush application as it does for highlighter. (And, if I’m honest, this is my favorite of the bunch!)

Tarte Rainforest of the Sea

Tarte Rainforest of the Sea Double-Ended Foundation Brush

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I’m Finally Trying Zoeva! Here Are My First Impressions…

Published in: Guest Post, Makeup, Makeup Tools, Palettes, Video, ZOEVA

zoeva first impressions

So, I have been wanting to try Zoeva makeup brushes and cosmetics for the longest time.  I’ve seen so many bloggers and YouTubers rave about them — the pigmented eyeshadows and gorgeous brushes — and the day has finally come. I’m finally trying Zoeva!

I wanted to share my excitement with you guys, so I filmed my first impressions in this video:

I also have photos and swatches of everything I talk about in the video (down below), so that hopefully you guys can get a good idea of what Zoeva has to offer.

ZOEVA History

“ZOEVA is a German brand, founded in 2008 by Zoe Boikou. The brand name ZOEVA is composed of ZOE, the Greek word for ‘life’ and EVA, the very first woman. From a basic range of only 10 makeup brushes, ZOEVA now offers a professional portfolio of over 50 makeup tools and 100 colors for a full face makeup routine. Our products are designed to make a real difference in the way women experience their beauty rituals.”

Zoeva Warm Spectrum Eyeshadow Palette

zoeva first impressions

Zoeva Warm Spectrum Eyeshadow Palette swatches from top to bottom:

zoeva first impressions

L to R: WR 130, WR 100, WR 070, WR 040 and WR 010

zoeva first impressions

L to R: WR 140, WR 110, WR 080, WR 050 and WR 020

zoeva first impressions

L to R: WR 150, WR 120, WR 090, WR 050 and WR 030

“ZOEVA is dedicated to the self-confidence and unique beauty of all women. Every ZOEVA product is made with love and designed with conviction and passion for makeup. Our ultimate goal is to offer luxurious, high quality products. Helping every woman to discover her individual beauty is our highest ambition. ZOEVA means celebrating yourself and being aware of your individual beauty.”

Zoeva Luxe Color Blushes in Burning Up and He Loves Me, Maybe

zoeva first impressions

zoeva first impressions

For size comparison, here are the Zoeva blushes compared to NARS and MAC blushes:

zoeva first impressions

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The Special Edition Hello Kitty 5″ Sensor Mirror by simplehuman

Published in: Makeup Tools

simple human hello kitty mirror

You’re never too old for Hello Kitty.

The evidence: this OMG-inducing Hello Kitty 5-inch Sensor makeup mirror by simplehuman.

How adorable is this special edition mirror?!

Straight-up, though, it’s $150, which…I KNOW. But it’s a technological marvel. Plus, HELLO KITTY.

If you haven’t heard of simplehuman before, they make all manner of streamlined, modern-looking products for the home, including waste baskets (I have a small one in my office right now), dish racks, shower caddies — all kinds of practical doodads and gizmos. And they also have a line of fancy makeup mirrors.

This one folds up/down to fit in her very own carrying case with red bow (aw!). There’s even a little Hello Kitty charm on the zipper.

Srsly…? Cute overload. 🙂

simple human hello kitty mirror 1

simple human hello kitty mirror 2

simple human hello kitty mirror 3

A rechargeable LED ring light encircles the mirror providing awesome light, and it’s rechargeable with the included USB cord. Charges last up to five weeks, too, so if you bring the mirror somewhere with you, you probably won’t even need to bring the cord.

The light is also BRIGHT — supposedly twice as bright as the average makeup mirror light — and daylight balanced. A sensor detects as your face approaches the mirror and automatically increases the brightness of the light, so YOU DON’T EVEN HAVE TO TOUCH ANY BUTTONS.

Welcome to the future.

The tru-lux light system

“At 550 lux, the tru-lux light system is more than twice as bright as the next best. The light from surgical-grade LEDs is dispersed evenly with a unique pattern of micro-reflectors throughout the ring. No light loss or hot spots.

With a color rendering index (CRI) of 90, the tru-lux light system closely simulates natural sunlight and the full color spectrum to show every detail. Looking good in this light means you will look flawless in any setting.”

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