The Best of Real Techniques

It’s not too often that I talk about the tools of the trade, but today, I have a few drugstore recommendations for your brush collection. I have found many inexpensive brush brands are just as good, if not better, than the popular MAC or Sephora type of brushes and these are no exception.

Real Techniques is one of my go-to brush brands because I trust in the quality. The brushes are cruelty-free, durable, soft, secure and reliable. Some of these brushes are here since I started my make up collection over 4 years ago and are still going strong. I have tried quite a number of their most popular brushes but found that these four brushes are the ones I consistently use and return to.

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Contour Brush

When I do want some extra colour and reach for the bronzer, I find this brush is the perfect size. It diffuses my bronzer without making it look muddy or getting too dark. It fits perfectly along my hair line, on my temples, under my cheekbones and around my jawline. If you are paler or afraid to go overboard with your bronzer, I highly recommend giving this a try.

Detailer brush

This pointed, tiny brush is my go-to for detailed work. It is small enough to fit wherever I need it to go like my inner corners but large enough that it deposits all of the pigment you need. It is fantastic for smudging, or placing colour wherever  you need it.

These two brushes came in the Real Techniques Core Collection set.

Base Shadow Brush

The Base Shadow brush is my go to for blending out cream eyeshadow. In fact, this is the only brush I will use. It is both dense but fluffy making it fantastic at diffusing the colour without removing it. This is now available in this convenient eye shadow brush duo**.

Setting Brush

I am not sure how I used to apply highlighter without this. Most people use this to set their undereye concealer but I find that it doesn’t pack it on the way I prefer. For me, this is perfect for blending out highlighter. I like a strong highlight personally, but this small brush allows for a lot of colour to be placed on the skin, but keeps the glitter under control. This is sold separately but is worth every penny.

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One final thing to mention: if you already had any of the brushes now available in the duo packages, the brushes are similar but with slightly redesigned packaging. They work just as well and feel just as lovely as they always have. I am excited to have a backup Base Shadow Brush and Deluxe Crease brush to use when mine are dirty. I recommend trying them out if you haven’t already!

Til next time, ttfn x

Battle of the Brands: Blending Brushes

Let me share with you my love affair with make up brushes. I don’t judge when it comes to price or brand or colour (though it kills me when a white bristle brush won’t clean back to its white and bright self again). To me, it is entirely about how it applies my make up which usually starts and ends with the question “How well does this brush blend?”


Eye shadow blending brushes are my number one. They always seem to work miracles. I just so happen to have 3 different ones here that I feel have gotten quite a bit of hype. Introducing the MAC 217 (special edition travel size from a few Christmas’ ago, but my full sized was dirty), Sigma E40 and my long time favourite, the Mirabella Eye Blending brush.

Up until my YouTube obsession, I had no idea that MAC made brushes. Forgive me, I was young. They were once THE brush you would buy. I am sure that’s where the popularity of the MAC 217 came in. As you can see, it is tapered to create an oval top, pretty compact but fluffy at the end, and unlike the other two I have here, it has two different sides to it. Having a thinner/thicker side as well as the softness of the bristles and fluffiness of the brush make it pretty easy to blend out even the harshest of shades. That being said, it is also my least favourite of the bunch. It takes longer to blend out colour and I don’t feel like it gives me as much of an even effect. This brush full size is $29.50.


The newest brush to my collection is the Sigma E40 tapered blending brush**. I have heard about this brush almost just as much as the MAC 217 but I hadn’t given it a try until it was sent to me a few weeks ago by ObsessedCanada.com. I was thrilled when they asked me to try out a Sigma brush and had my eyes set on this beauty. It has very long, very soft black bristles perfect for blending. I feel like this blends things out very quickly and evenly and with how close the bristles are together, it gives pretty good precision. It is perfect for really getting into the crease. I do feel like it is a bit tight still and since I have only used it a handful of times, I am not sure if it will loosen yet. If it does, it will literally be perfect but as it stands, I would prefer it to be a little bit fluffier than it is. This brush is the least expensive and definitely worth the price at $20.

Finally, the Mirabella Eye Blender Brush. I happened to get this gem from ipsy, a bag that I have since cancelled. Ipsy has introduced me to some seriously fantastic products and brands but it also was starting to cost close to $20 for samples. But back to the brush, it is very fluffy and tapered which is perfect for getting an even blend and because it is also pretty large, it blends everything out effortlessly. You can tell it is a quality brush just by looking at it. I don’t know if this contributes to anything, but the handle is solid and long which might effect how I use the brush. It’s definitely cool looking and feeling. The one potential con is that the bristles on this brush are not nearly as soft as the other two. It doesn’t bother me but perhaps it would bother others. It is also the fluffiest brush of the three which I actually prefer. The price for this brush is $27.

 
I do use all of them, and I use each of them a little differently. The Mirabella is usually what I reach for when I am blending everything out at the end of my application for a flawless finish, however, it is the Sigma brush that I would use in the crease to lay the initial shadow, blend everything together and create different effects from a cut crease to a smokey eye. The Mac brush I prefer to use on the lid to blend or add a soft amount of colour. None of these have shed on me so far and I have given all of them a deep-clean. Check out the other Sigma brushes they offer at ObsessedCanada.com! I will be now that there is such a selection that is so easily accessible (plus, has free shipping). What is your favourite blending brush?

Til next time, ttfn x

Whatcha Think About Ecotools Brushes?

How many moms spend their hard earned money on beauty essentials? Not enough, I bet. Though make up is fun and often a confidence booster, the brushes can make or break a product. Does your mom use the little sponge applicators that come with her eye shadows? Or her fingers for foundation? What about those tiny odd shaped brushes for her blush? Maybe it’s time for an upgrade…

There is a lot of importance on the consistency of cosmetics and not enough on the application of your brushes and sponges. Improving your make up application could be as simple as an upgrade to a quality brush. Trust me on this though, you don’t have to spend a lot to get a quality brush.

 

Take the Ecotools line for example. That stippling brush and eye shadow shading brush were 2 of my first brushes. Ever. They come in a pack of 4 with a lash/brow grooming brush and lip brush (and are still available for only $17 – incredible). They have held up through a whole lot of use, washing, traveling and everything else. I can honestly say that I haven’t seen a decrease in their quality or even a stray hair.

This spring, they have come out with a new line of brushes, one of which I was lucky enough to receive from Farleyco. The Ecotools Complexion Collection includes the Eye Perfecting brush** ($9.99) which I received, the Correcting Concealer brush ($6.99), the Skin Perfecting brush ($9.99) and Mattifying Finish brush ($11.99). These brushes are distinguishable by their beautifully designed ferrules. To show you how lovely these are to apply with, I did a little impromptu make up tutorial using almost exclusively these 5 Ecotool brushes.

Primed my face with the Make Up For Ever Step 1 Skin Equalizer, Smashbox Photo Finish Primer and Too Faced Shadow Insurance.

  

Coloured my lid and lined underneath my waterline with the Urban Decay 24/7 Glide On Eye Pencil in Freak before applying Comet from the BH Cosmetics Galaxy Chic Palette all over my lid. Applied a bit of Meteor to the inner corner and blended it underneath my eye where I had eyeliner. Blended Mars into the crease and Astoroid into the outer corner. Lined my lid with Urban Decay 24/7 Liquid Liner in Smog. 

  

Left side is with Ivory concealer, right side is without.

Applied the Green and Lilac colour corrector a fro the Lise Watier Portfolio Professional Corrector wheel before applying Dior Forever Flawless Perfection foundation in 021. To conceal under my eyes, I used Ivory from the same colour wheel. To contour, I used Dark Beige around my temples and under my cheek bones.


  

To finish off my face, I powdered with the MUFE HD Microfinish Powder, added some of the Colourpop Super Shock blush in Aphrodisiac. Finished off the eyes with the MUFE Smokey Stretch mascara. On my brows, I combined my beloved Annabelle Skinny Brow liner and the Benefit Gimmie Brow. Lastly, on my lips is a combination of Bite Beauty’s Violet lipstick and Annabelles Stay Sharp lip liner in Java.

   

The Ecotools brushes are made of Bamboo, cruelty free bristles and recycled aluminum ferrules which I thought was quite unique and fantastic. I used all 5 of these brushes in this tutorial and I am sure you can see the quality of the brush.

Til next time, ttfn x

November Haul: Everything else

As the seasons change and the holidays are within our sights, every store is coming out with new products whether they are scents or styles or bundles. Amazingly enough, most places are also getting rid of older stock. This combination makes this the most wonderful time of the year. Fall and Winter scents, colours and deals are sent from the heavens, I swear.
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Let’s start with scents! If you weren’t aware, I am fond of candles. They are relaxing and can very easily change your mood. My absolute favourite candle in the world comes out this season and how could I resist? Cherries On Snow from Yankee Candle is the perfect amount of sweet. It is so scented that you don’t have to have it lit and it fills the room. Obviously, if you’re not a cherry fan, this is not the candle for you, but if you’re into fruity scents, buy this now while it’s still available!

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Along side Cherries On Snow, I bought two small jars on sale (BOGO, I believe). Pictured below is Cranberry Chutney and if you follow me on Instagram, you would know I have already been burning Harvest. Both smell divine and very fall appropriate, though I will be saving Cranberry Chutney to use in the winter.

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At Bath and Body Works, I bought even more candles. Being a sucker for sales, this was a 2 for $25.50 purchase that B&BW frequently does. I believe ‘Tis The Season is one they brought back, but Tailgate may be new. ‘Tis the Season is rather cinnamony and Christmasy. It is very warming. Obviously, Tailgate is a autumn scent but if I am being honest, it smells like cologne which I do not mind. If you’re into the more manly smelling candles as I am, this or Black Tie are right up your ally.

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I did do a little shopping at Sally’s and S & H Health Foods (yes, a health food store for beauty). I went with my fiancé with the goal of getting Coconut Oil. I had used some of hers for make up removal a few weeks ago and it made my eyes feel fantastic. Random, I know. Plus, it can be used for just about anything, so I figured it couldn’t hurt to grab some.
I had also heard a whole lot of raving about Witch Hazel and Tea Tree Oil in the past for acne and general pore cleansing. They had a toner there with both combined and I figured I should give it a try. I had also heard in the past about using a spray bottle for toners and using a cotton pad to wipe off the excess, so with this in mind, we headed to Sally’s. I purchased a mini spray bottle to put the Witch Hazel and Tea Tree toner in. While there, I grabbed a new a face scrub brush since I lost mine since moving. I loved how my skin felt when I used it. While I was there, I figured it was only right I look at the OPI polish. I ended up with I Saw… You Saw… We Saw… Warsaw which I put on right away.

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A midstall of this, I placed an order for a few random tings on ObsessedCanada.com. Let me first say, I was so impressed with their shipping. Ordered November 1st, a Saturday, and it was at my door November 4th, the Tuesday. I don’t think I have ever had anything come so fast! Anyways, to the products. I wanted to try something new, and with that in mind, I went straight for the lashes. I ended up getting 3 pairs of Red Cherry Lashes #106, #118 and #523. They are similar styles, which is of course the style I like. Dramatic.
I also bought a Lip Love Lip Conditioning Stick from LippyGirl. I’ve heard of them before and did a bit of digging. They are all natural and do no animal testing. Both pluses in my book. So far, I LOVE the smell.
I took a quick look at the brushes because I noticed they had a good selection and I am so glad I did! They had the Real Techniques Beauty Blender Sponge that I had been searching for. I have heard great things, but couldn’t find it. Here it is, and I am going to give it a try soon (and maybe review it a little?)
I also decided to try the elf eyeshadow blending brush. I am in love with my Mirabella blending brush and have been on a mission to find more like it. This one, upon receiving it, won’t compete. I can foresee it being great for a wide range of other effects though.
That’s it for my random products haul this month! I have been loving just about everything I have tried so far and I hope you loved reading about it!

Til next time, ttfn x