Friday, January 14, 2011

HIDRES SYNTHETIC FLAT TOP BRUSH

I've recently started to look for a perfect foundation brush. I've tried so many methods; normal foundation brushes,  MAC#187 (Duo Fiber Stippling Brush), MAC#109 (Small Contour Brush), sponge wedges, Beauty Blender and, of course, my own fingers. I want to get Sigma Flat & Round Top Synthetic Kabuki Brushes but they're always out of stock on their website.
Photo from Star Cosmetics

One day, I came across this Hidres brush from Star Cosmetics on Trade Me (NZ's ebay). The bristles look similar to the sigma brush, only shorter & smaller. I bought something from this seller before, and was pretty happy with the products. So I thought I would give it a try since it was only going to cost me NZ$18. I've never heard of this brand, but hey looks like it worth a try. So why not?


The brush arrived super quick (only 2 days after I made a payment) and was very well-packed. It came with a plastic protective sleeve. I didn't expect it to come with the sleeve, so I thought it was kinda of neat. I really like the wooden handle and the sleek black metal ferrule. They made the brush look like high-end brushes. I couldn't stop stroking my face with it cos it's so so so soft. 


I tried the brush today, using my favourite liquid foundation, Estee Lauder Double Wear Stay-in-Place Makeup. I love this foundation purely for its staying power. It can be hard to work with if I don't apply it the certain way. Sometimes I have problem blending it out as it's dried out quickly. 


OK, back to the application. I dotted the foundation all over my face. I usually do 3 dots on my forehead, 6 on each cheek, one on each temple, 2 on the bridge of my nose, 2 above my upper lip & 2 below my lower lip. I then used a gentle stippling motion to blend out the liquid. After that I used short downward strokes to smooth it out. I've found that using downward strokes work really well on my skin, with this brush it's even out very nicely.


Because the brush has a quite small surface, it works great around my nose, under & around my eyes. I love this brush for that. I also like that the brush is so dense. So the bristles didn't bend much when I stippled the brush on my face. Unlike MAC#187, this brush works like a stippling brush but I can still apply more pressure on it and still get that density of the brush like I get from a traditional foundation brush. I hop you know what I mean. 

MAC#187 VS Hidres Flat Top Brush

I also tried using this brush to apply my concealer and I like it so far. I don't have any bristles fall out with this brush (like I sometime do with MAC brushes).


If you are in New Zealand and looking for a good foundation brush. I would highly recommend this one. It has a very reasonable price & high quality. What else you need from a makeup brush!

Monday, January 10, 2011

DEPOTTING NYX JUMBO PENCILS

It's kind of misleading to use the word "depot" here as they're not "pots" but pencils. It's actually a process of transferring the content of NYX Jumbo Pencil into a container. These jumbo pencils are extremely hard to sharpen. So they are much easier to work with when I depot them.

Depotting these pencils is very easy. It only takes around 3-4 minutes. Here's a list of what you will need to get the depotting going.....

1) NYX Jumbo Pencil (s), of course

2) Container (s) to depot them into
3) Pliers
4) Hair dryer 
5) Rubbing alcohol (Isopropyl alcohol)
You might also need a gripping mat or something to prevent a container from moving. I got these containers from a $3 Japanese Store. There are 2 containers with 2 compartments for each one. Since I only have 4 Jumbo pencils, so these little guys are perfect for me. What neat about them is that they can be attached together or separated for different uses. I used some Blu-Tack to stick the container to my dressing table. It's also a good idea to put paper towel (kitchen towel) underneath as it can get a little messy especially for a clumsy girl like me. OK, let's get started......


I rubbed the containers with the alcohol to sanitize them. I stick a container over a little bit of Blu-Tack to make it stay still and place them on top of a paper towel.


Pull the bottom cap off. The cap usually comes off very easily, but if not use pliers to pull it off.


I used pliers to hold the pencil. You can use your hand but the pencil will get quite hot after you apply some heat to it. So this helps you not to burn yourself.


Then I placed the pencil upside down over a container.


I used a hair dryer to heat the pencil. I hold it for about 3-3.5 minutes. I think how long it takes for them to melt is depend on how much heat you apply to it. I used a medium setting. I could use higher heat but it was a hot day when I did this. Besides, I don't really like a sound of hair dryer when I'm not doing my hair. I know I'm weird but who's not LOL! 


After 3-4 minutes, the content should melt & drip into the container like in this picture. 


OK, this is why I said to put a paper towel underneath. See...I told you I'm a clumsy girl. Actually, this happened because I reached out for a camera to take a photo :P 



 Voila! all in the container now. Told you it's easy. It will get a bit messy on the rim and along the side if you are clumsy like me but that's totally fine. You can always clean it up later. I used cotton buds to wipe off the mess. 



This is what they looked like. Empty from top to bottom.


Look at how much I got out off them. I think I would loose about 25% off this if I sharpened the pencils.




I then labeled them so I know which is which. Well, I didn't really have to label them I only have four, but hey not only that I'm clumsy, I also a neat freak hahahaha  Below is the completion of depotting NYX Jumbo Pencils.... Nice & tidy in these little containers. Easy for me to find in my makeup drawer (they're always lost deep somewhere in my drawer & I ended up forget to use them). I didn't like that I had to rub a brush on the tip of the pencils every time I used them. I felt like I never get enough product on a brush. It's way easier to dip my brush to get the product out.


I think you can use this method to any of the cream like pencil products (only the big ones I suppose). You can try this with NARS Lip Pencils, Makeup Forever Eye Shadow Pencils or any creamy pencil products.

Enjoy depotting your own makeup!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

MAC CHAM-PALE NAIL LACQUERS

On the way home from work, I decided to pop in to check out MAC counter at Smith & Caughey's. I know that most of Tartan Tale Holiday Collection Sets are sold out, but I just need to look at something pretty & colourful after a dull day at work :)

I was looking around, swatching & trying on stuff when a SA came to say hi and asked "What are you after today, love?". I replied "umm...nothing in particular. Just browsing, thanks". A few second later, I remembered the new Cham-Pale collection I saw on temptalia.com. I knew that it wouldn't be available in NZ until after New Year. (The official release date in NZ is Januray 3rd) I thought I should ask the girl when it's the acutal release date so that I won't miss out on the products I want. I told her that I really like the Nail Lacquers as they were the only items that caught my eyes from the blog. She then grabbed them from the drawer and said to me "I can sell them to you today if you want to get them both". If you were there, you would see a big smile on my face when she said that :D My instant reply was "YES! I'LL TAKE THEM" with no hesitation LOL!

OK, enough with droning on and on...Let's see the photos

MAC Cham-Pale Nail Lacquers: Very Important Platinum & Soiree



with flash

Very Important Platinum is officially described as "Dirty Platinum" and Soiree is described as "Sparkly Light Bronze Gold". For me, Very Important Platinum looks like a metallic grey with glossy finish. Soiree is a bronzy gold with glitters. I actually like Soiree since the first time I saw a swatch on the internet when I came out in the US, and I still like it a lot. Very Important Platinum is just alright for me. Nothing unique about it. It's just another silver nail polish. The reason I bought it because I never owned a silver polish before, and the deal the SA offered me was, for me, impossible to say no. 



About the application, I found Very Important Platinum very streaky. It was very hard to avoid brush strokes showing on my nails. I applied 3 coats to get the less stroke as possible. Staying power for this one is rather good. I had it on on Christmas's Eve now it's Jan 4th and it's still on with some fading on the tip. But considering I didn't put on any top coat, I think it is a good longwear nail polish. 





As for Soiree, I love love love this colour. It's so gorgeous and I think it will suit all skin tones. I like that it's shimmery & glittery but it doesn't feel gritty at all. Like I can literally see the glitters on my nails but it feels smooth when I stroke my finger over it. The application is super easy. I can easily have my nails done in just one coat (you will get a nice sheer finish with this). This time I put on 2 coats so that the colour will show up when I take the photos.Unlike other glittery polishes, Soiree is very easy to remove & doesn't damage the surface of my nails.



with flash
Overall, I'm pretty happy with these nail polishes. They can be worn as everyday polish, for every occasion, day or night. They're versatile colours to have. So, if you haven't got any nail polish like these 2 shades. I would recommend you to go to MAC counter and try them on. If you only allow to get one, I would say go for Soiree. It's a prettier colour & easier to apply out of the two. I also think that the colour is quite neat and different from other bronzy polishes. 

See ya x x