Archive - Makeup Tools

Unsung Makeup Heroes: Dr. Bronner’s All-One Hemp Lavender Magic Soap

Published in: Drugstore Beauty Finds, Makeup Tools, Unsung Heroes

Dr. Bronner's All-One Magic Soap

Uh oh, it’s magic…

That Dr. Bronner’s All-One Magic Soap. It’s magic. It has the power of mind control. It magically makes every single checker at Target stop mid scan to read the label, inquisitively raise an eyebrow, and sniff the bar no matter how long the line is.

This always happens. I’m not sure why, but it does.

The last time the checker was a 20-something-year-old dude who seemed totally at home talking shop about beauty, and it went a little something like this…

ME: It’s lavender. Doesn’t it smell good?

CHECKER DUDE: Yeah, but I can’t use soap because it dries out my skin. I use shower gels instead. Kiehl’s, usually.

ME: Well aren’t you in-the-know! I’m still trying to break my husband of his habit of using shampoo for body wash, and it’s been 10 years. I bet you use lotion and sunscreen, too. How about conditioner?

CHECKER DUDE: Yup, I do. So is this soap any good?

ME: I like it. It gets all the gunk off.

CHECKER DUDE: Um…what exactly are you doing to get all gunked up?

ME: Well, I mainly use it for washing makeup brushes, but it’s also good for, you know, when you’re all gross and sweaty and covered in dirt, like after a workout or cleaning the house, and you just want to feel really, really clean. It’s good for that.

CHECKER DUDE: And it doesn’t dry out your skin?

ME: Nope, not at all.

Ah, yes. Talking beauty with random people at Target. These are the days of my life… :)

Dr. Bronner's All-One Magic Soap

I was using Burt’s Bees bar soaps to clean my brushes for a while, and I was happy with them, but the bars had been getting harder to find out here for some reason.

Then up in Redding a few weeks ago I wanted to clean the couple brushes I had with me. I didn’t have the Burt’s Bees bar or anything else, so I used a bar of Dr. Bronner’s All-One that my mom-in-law had, and it worked great.

The lather breaks up all manner of makeup and rinses clean. It’s quick and takes care of all the gunk from even hard-to-clean, dried up concealer, foundation, cream shadow and gel liners.

Oh, and if you have a skunk brush stained by a bright pink or red blush, Dr. Bronner’s will have the white parts sparkling again in no time.

The bars are also easy to find out here. I always see them on the shelves at Target, Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods, which is another reason I like it. The availability, and the fact that the bars are only $5 each.

Dr. Bronner's All-One Magic Soap

I like it as a regular body soap, too — smells great and it’s not drying — but I think it’s an epic overachiever as a makeup brush cleanser.

The list of ingredients is short and sweet. It’s a vegan product, too.

I’m curious about one of the ingredients on the label… Please help me out if you know what unscented baby-mild is? :)
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Pretty Hot Bag: The MAC Temperature Rising Makeup Bag

Published in: Fashion, MAC Makeup, Makeup Tools, Product Reviews

MAC Temperature Rising Makeup Bag

It’s getting hot in here… No, in here — inside the MAC Temperature Rising Makeup Bag ($34)

Recently added to the rapidly growing list of ways I’m turning into my mother (a list that also includes hits like “#25: Washing bars of soap so they look nice and clean in the soap dish” and “#18: Writing lists for everything”) — “#37: Putting bags within bags.”

My mother is notorious for doing this. :)

At any given moment, there are at least five or six smaller bags inside her purse, each dedicated to storing something different, like medication, snacks, office supplies, first aid, gadgets…

And wouldn’t ya know it? Slowly but surely, I’m going that route.

Never mind that the roomy Poverty Flats Perforated Satchel I’ve been toting around already has three deep pockets on the sides (what is it with me and deep pockets lately??), I’m also putting other bags inside it…

…like the new $34 MAC Temperature Rising Makeup Bag, which has been holding some of my beauty booty essentials.

MAC Temperature Rising Makeup Bag

This slim zippered bag looks deceptively small, but it actually fits a ton of stuff.

Things I need quick access to go in the front pocket — iPhone, tubes of gloss, stuff like that.

MAC Temperature Rising Makeup Bag

What I can fit inside the MAC Temperature Rising Makeup Bag

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10 Things You May Find Yourself Doing After Trying the MAC 109 Small Contour Brush for the Very First Time

Published in: MAC Makeup, Makeup Tips/How To, Makeup Tools, Product Reviews

MAC 109 Small Contour Brush

Behold! The mighty MAC 109 Small Contour Brush! ($35; lens flare not included)

  1. Standing in the spotlight on a massive stage in front of thousands of adoring fans, with your cheekbones contoured like WHOA! — as confetti, balloons and glitter rain down upon your glorious form
  2. Wondering how you ever lived without it
  3. Marveling at how perfectly the diminutive, rounded brush head fits into pans of MAC Eye Shadow singles and the hollows of your cheeks
  4. Contemplating how strange it is for you to want different 109s for bronzer, blush, another one for powders, highlighters, two more for foundations (one for liquids and another for creams, both of which it easily applies) and another one strictly for buffing…
  5. Considering time travel, specifically going back in time 10 years to gift yourself with a 109 and a pan of MAC Refined Golden, and while you’re there, reassuring yourself that you’re doing just fine, so keep up the good work
  6. Singing Debbie Gibson’s Only in My Dreams at the top of your lungs in the shower (using a bottle of shampoo as your microphone, of course) and yelling, “That was for you, 109!!” at the end of the song
  7. Blurting out, “Whoa there, cowgirl!” to no one in particular after you get a look at how many bristles it leaves on your face, because it sheds A LOT — more than any other MAC brush you’ve ever tried
  8. Questioning your sanity after spending $35 on a makeup brush, good or not, that sheds as much as the 109…
  9. Sighing with relief after washing and drying it for the first time, which dramatically cuts down on the future shedding
  10. Gushing to all your girlfriends and makeup-lovin’ guy friends about how great the 109 is, but also warning them about the shedding and suggesting that they give it a good washing beforehand

MAC 109 Small Contour Brush with 116 129

From the left for size: 109 Small Contour Brush, 116 Blush Brush and 129 Powder/Blush Brush

MAC 109 Small Contour Brush with shadow

The brush head perfectly fits into pans of MAC Eye Shadow singles as if it were designed for ’em

MAC 109 Small Contour Brush in hand

PRICE: $35
AVAILABILITY: A permanent collection product available now at MAC counters, stores and also online
MAKEUP AND BEAUTY BLOG RATING: B+ (an A if it didn’t shed so much at first)

Pretty stoked about…

This purple cauliflower. :)

Stopped by the farmers’ market yesterday and picked it up on a whim.

Have you ever tasted one of these before? I haven’t, but I’m going to steam it and toss it in some lemon vinaigrette and capers tonight.

It’s supposed to be sweeter than regular cauliflower… We shall see!

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,



Hot Couture at a Cool Price: Sonia Kashuk’s $14.99 Brush Couture Five-Piece Brush Set

Published in: Makeup Tools, Product Reviews, Sonia Kashuk

Sonia Kashuk Brush Couture Five-Piece Brush Set

The adorable and affordable Sonia Kashuk $14.99 Brush Couture Five-Piece Brush Set

Maaaan, Sonia and her good deals. The new bangin’ budget brushes in Sonia Kashuk’s limited edition $14.99 Brush Couture Five-Piece Brush Set work out to just $3 each, which is a great deal, even for Sonia.

A few of the brushes in this particular set also remind me of bad@ass brushes from more expensive brands…

Sonia Kashuk Brush Couture Five-Piece Brush Set

From the left: the Powder Brush, the Foundation Brush, the Angled Contour Brush, the Fluffy Eyeshadow Brush and the Flat Shader Brush

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The New Illamasqua Blush Up Brush Seeks to Broaden Your Brush Horizons

Published in: Face, Illamasqua, Makeup Tools

Illamasqua Blush Up Brush

The new Illamasqua Blush Up Brush ($40), available now at Sephora and

I keep having visions of myself using Illamasqua’s new $41 Blush Up Brush while I’m on the elliptical machine at the gym, I think because Illamasqua refers to the shape oval brush head shape as an “ellipse.”

(I know, I know. I’m easily distracted.)

You might wondering, “Why would anyone apply blush in the middle of their workout?”

Honestly, I don’t know…but I’m someone who applies makeup to run to Petco in the middle of the night, so I don’t rule anything out anymore. :)

About the brush, Illamasqua says it opens doors to a bold new world of blush application! The secret: the elliptical shape.

It’s designed to fit snugly beneath your cheekbones. Just gently pull the brush upward along the cheekbones to create a soft gradient of color.

Here’s the recommended step-by-step instructions I’ve been following…

Illamasqua Blush Up Brush Instructions

Looks as easy as 1-2-3

I’m intrigued, but I’m also pretty set it my ways when it comes to blush application. I’ve been doing the bounce and swirl for so long that I could do ’em hanging upside down in a pitch black room.

After trying Illamasqua’s technique and the new brush for a few days, well, I think I’ll eventually get the hang of it, get to where I could create some sharp, defined ’80s-style cheeks, but it’s still a little tricky for me now.

First, the stuff I like about the brush: the soft bristles, and the long handle feels sturdy and comfortable in my paws.

Illamasqua Blush Up Brush

Long, sleek and sturdy black handle (um, this is a good-looking brush!)

Oh, and the density of brush head? Amazing. It’s so thick! It picks up plenty of powder and deposits it smoothly and evenly on the skin.

Really great for strong, defined blocks of color.

Illamasqua Blush Up Brush in hand for scale

Illamasqua Blush Up Brush in my hand for scale

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