Archive - Makeup Tools

It’s Makeup, Precisely! The New NARS Artistry Face and Cheek Brushes

Published in: Makeup Tools, NARS

NARS Face and Cheek Artistry Brushes

The new NARS Face and Cheek Artistry Brushes

I’ve painted several rooms over the years, but each and every time I swear to myself I’m never doing it again.

That’s because painting rooms frickin’ sucks, man, and every room subtracts at least a year off your life, you know, if you take those Real Age online tests, I swear…

Now, painting faces!? That’s totally different. Painting faces is awesome sauce to the Nth degree.

Enter the new 16-piece NARS Artistry Brush line, arriving at NARS boutiques and online April 1, with four face brushes, two cheek brushes, nine eye brushes and one lip brush, all specially crafted for precision makeup application.

These things are pumping me up to paint my mug. :)

First, the face and cheek brushes, which I’ve been using and enjoying very much. I’ll have more to say about the eye and lip brushes soon (target: tomorrow), but for now…

NARS Face and Cheek Artistry Brushes

NARS Face and Cheek Artistry Brushes

The NARS Face and Cheek Artistry Brushes in my paw for scale

The face brushes…

Powder Brush #10 ($52)

NARS Powder Brush #10

NARS Powder Brush #10 ($52)

Designed, according to NARS, to buff, blend and diffuse loose powder to a lustrous finish, it also works pretty dang well for pressed powders. I tried it with both and like the results equally. It lays down a fine, even veil of product.

The brush head is slightly narrower than typical powder/fluffy face brushes, but I kind of like that, too. Even though it doesn’t cover as much surface area as your run-of-the-mill fluffy powder brush, I think it’s easier to control and, when using it, difficult to over-apply, and I’m digging on that.

Only thing is…it’s a tad scratchy. Not terribly scratchy, but still.

I’m not sure about the bristles on this one, but based on the way they feel, I’m guessing the fibers are natural, and not synthetic.

Bronzing Powder Brush #11 ($52)

NARS Bronzing Powder Brush #11

NARS Bronzing Powder Brush #11 ($52)

If you’re a bonafide bronzing buff, you may want to seriously consider Bronzing Powder Brush #11 and its dense, domed head (looks almost like a regular kabuki brush).

No matter where I place it on my face — under my cheekbones, at the edge of my hair line, or anywhere else I apply bronzer — it just fits. And it lays down a perfect amount of product.

I have also yet to see the soft natural-fiber brush head shed one hair in the few times I’ve used it.

Like the Powder Brush #10, the one’s head is a little smaller than usual for its ilk, making it quite precise. It lays down smooth, even color. Love.

Cream Blending Brush #12 ($28)

NARS Cream Blending Brush #12

NARS Cream Blending Brush #12 ($28)

(read more…)

The Fab 5, Vol. 2: Eye Makeup Brushes

Published in: Eyes, Makeup Tools, Video

These five are my workhorse faves, and I use them almost every. Single. Day.

Do you have any of the same faves I do? Which are your five?

Products mentioned in the video

Reviews of the products on MBB

Thank you as always for watching, my friend. :)

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,

Karen

P.S. What’s for dinner, babe? I’m starved!

P.P.S. How was your day? Mine felt loooong.

How To Apply Color in Your Crease With the MAC Oval 3 Masterclass Makeup Brush

Published in: MAC Makeup, Makeup Tips/How To, Makeup Tools, Video

My favorite brush from the new MAC Masterclass makeup brush family is the MAC Oval 3. It’s just so good at getting color in the crease, quickly and effortlessly. If you ever struggle to put eyeshadow in the crease, or if you’ve just been curious about this futuristic-looking makeup/toothbrush (LOL!), here’s how I like to use it.

Products mentioned in this video

Oh, and for some really excellent tips on all three new MAC Masterclass Brushes, here’s what MAC Senior Artist Victor Cembellin has to say about them…

I hope you’re having a great night so far. TGIF! :)

I’m watching a wonderful movie on Netflix right now with my in-laws called The Sapphires. Highly, highly recommended, especially if you like ’60s music.

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,

Karen

How To Use the MAC Masterclass Brushes: Tips From MAC Senior Artist Victor Cembellin

Published in: MAC Makeup, Makeup Tips/How To, Makeup Tools, Video

There’s been a lot of mystery surrounding the new MAC Masterclass Brushes. Heck, even Tabs didn’t know what to make of them the first time he laid eyes on the funky black handles (which kind of look like toothbrushes).

MAC Masterclass Brushes

MAC Masterclass Brushes from the left: Oval 6 Brush (two on the far left), Oval 3 Brush (two in the center) and Linear 1 (two on the far right)

I was curious, too, so yesterday I went to the source — the MAC Pro Store in San Francisco — and got some great tips from MAC Senior Artist Victor Cembellin.

Karen with Senior MAC Artist Victor Cembellin

With Senior MAC Artist Victor Cembellin (I’m wearing three-inch heels here, and I still look short, LOL!)

If you like makeup and you’re not already following Victor online, get on that! He’s really nice, and he posts lots of fun and interesting behind-the-scenes MAC tweets and pics on his Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

Anywho, Victor walked me through the different ways you can use the new Oval No. 6, Oval No. 3 and Linear 1 MAC Masterclass Brushes.

So far there are just three brushes in the new line, but as you can probably tell by the numbered names…it’s a safe bet we’ll see more. Hopefully, because I think they’re great.

MAC Masterclass Brushes

Another shot of the MAC Masterclass Brushes

The video has a lot more detail, but in a nutshell…

  • One big difference — I mean, other than their unusual appearance — between these new brushes and traditional makeup brushes is how they’re used. They’re designed for less tapping and stippling, and more gliding, skimming, pushing and pulling across the skin. Think of your brush as a figure skater gliding along your skin.
  • Each of the brushes can be used in different ways, and you can even use them to go from cream products to powders.
  • The largest brush in the three-piece collection, Oval 6 ($42), can be used to apply foundation, tinted moisturizer, face powder, blush, highlighter and contour colors (probably among other things).
  • Oval 3 ($32), the medium-sized one, works great for applying concealer to the under-eye area, eye cream all over the eyes and eyeshadows in the contour.
  • The smallest brush, Liner 1 ($25), can be used for blending out eyeliner pencils (for a smudgy look) and applying eyeshadow, especially along the lash lines. In a pinch, you could even use it to fill in your brows.
  • But what if you’re new to makeup? Can beginners use these brushes? Absolutely! Victor thinks so, too, and he talks about that in the video.

There’s way more tips and product recommendations from Victor in the vid, and here all links to all of the products mentioned.

MAC Masterclass Brush video products

The MAC products used in the video

Here are prices and links…

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Unsung Makeup Heroes: The Too Faced Shadow Brushes Essential 3-Piece Set

Published in: Makeup Tools, Too Faced, Unsung Heroes

Too Faced Shadow Brushes Essential 3-Piece Set

The terrific teddy bear-haired $39 Shadow Brushes Essential 3-Piece Set from Too Faced Cosmetics

“Made with luxurious teddy bear hair!”

Every time I see that phrase on my Too Faced Shadow Brush Set tube, I see a sad teddy bear with long, luscious ’80s rocker hair, like Bret Michaels had back in his hair heyday before he stormed the reality TV show circuit with a weave.

(No judgement, Bret! It’s all good!)

Too Faced Shadow Brushes Essential 3-Piece Set

100% pure teddy bear hair (not)

When I mentioned these brushes last week, I got some requests to review the set, so here goes… :)

First, it’s darling, isn’t it? $39, comes with three eye brushes, a cute carrying tube, and it’s in the permanent line.

I like this set, a lot, mostly because of the epic Crease/Blender brush. I mean, none of the brushes are slouches, but that one takes the cake.

The bristles are made from synthetic fibers, otherwise known as “luxurious teddy bear hair,” and yup — there’s Bret Michaels again in my mind’s eye…

Too Faced Shadow Brushes Essential 3-Piece Set

The set’s three eye brushes

It includes:

  • One Crease/Blender Brush — This one’s like a thinner MAC 224 Tapered Blending Brush, and it’s fab for applying shadow in the crease (more on this in a sec).
  • One Lid/Smoker Brush — This dense, flat eyeshadow brush is all about quickness and precisely packing tons of color on lids.
  • One Liner/Smudger Brush — Like a hobbit-sized version of the Lid/Smoker Brush. I use it to line my lash lines with eyeshadow or soften the edges of pencil eyeliner. In a pinch, I’ll also use it to fill in my brows.

For me, the Crease/Blender Brush headlines this show. That brush — I kid you not — I use practically every day.

It’s shaped like the MAC 224, only thinner, and that makes it perfect for placing eyeshadow right where I want it.

Very handy, particularly in smokey eye looks, or any looks with precise placement in the upper and/or lower crease.

Of course, it’s also OK for blending, but I think its forte is placing product, and not buffing. For blending, I like fluffier brushes, like the MAC 224, with bristles that fan out to spread product over a wider area.

Too Faced Shadow Brushes Essential 3-Piece Set

The Crease/Blender Brush on the left beside a MAC 224

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