Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Review: Sigma Beauty Brushes

I bought a complete set of Sigma Beauty Brushes: The Essential Kit with the brush roll back in December 2010 and have used them on a daily basis to apply my makeup.  I was drawn to them because a number of makeup gurus raved about them claiming they are comparable to MAC brushes but are much more affordable in pricing.

I've been a MAC fan since I was first introduced to the line by my aunt nearly 2 decades ago.  I've deviated and have used other brands, but safe to say I will continue being a MAC fan when it comes to makeup brushes.

Upon first inspection of the Sigma brushes, I noticed they were a bit fuller than their MAC counterparts.  They also rivaled in softness.  I actually preferred using Sigma's E55 eye shading brush to apply my eye shadow.  However, after a year plus of use of the Sigma brushes, I've found that they are not as durable as their MAC counterparts.

Within a few months, the metal and brush end of my Sigma E40 tapered brush detached itself from the wooden handle.  I've had my MAC equivalent (224 tapered brush) for about 15 years now, and it's still in one piece.  Likewise, the metal and brush end of the Sigma F15 Duo Fibre Brush has detached itself from the wooden handle.  I was able to give my Sigma brushes a quick fix with store bought generic super glue. However, the point is, the Sigma brushes were falling apart within a matter of months whereas my MAC brushes, after nearly 2 decades of use, are still in one piece.

Aside from a lack of durability, the Sigma brushes tend to shed a lot more than their MAC counterparts.  It's quite annoying having to use a huge powder brush to brush away Sigma brush sheds at the end of a makeup application.

Verdict: MAC brushes may cost more but you get what you pay for.

Stay tuned for a review of Real Technique Brushes by UK Makeup Artist Samantha Chapman

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Primavera Face Products

Allow me to introduce you to Primavera's Skin Care line.  Organic.  Essential Oils.  No animal testing.  No parabens.  No genetically modified plants.  This skin care line, which originated in Germany some 20 years ago, is made with certified organic ingredients.  An in-house chemist monitors all of the ingredients with the aid of gas chromatographs and mass spectroscopes.  Four independent institutions ensure that objective standards are upheld.

Face it (no pun intended) - good skin care and makeup go hand in hand.  In order to get that glowy skin look, you first need to make sure your skin is hydrated and healthy.  Makeup doesn't sit pretty on dry flaky skin and or blemishes.

A friend of mine swears by this line.  It delivered and still continues delivering beautiful results for her problematic skin.  I consider myself fortunate in that I can use most skin products without having an adverse reaction.  However, with age, I've become victim to dehydrated skin as well as age spots.  The Revitalizing line targets these specific problems.  I love how soft my skin feels.  The formula does not leave a greasy residue on my face and has not given me any acne since I've started using it for about a year now.

Verdict: Buy it. Try it.  Never turn back.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Favorite Foundation at the Moment

I have combination skin.  The oily areas are oily and the dry areas are dry.  It's a pain to constantly blot my face with blot paper because I'm one of those girls who likes to have my makeup done once in the morning and then not worry about touch ups for the rest of the day.  Exceptions: lipstick, lipliner, and gloss.

Enter Chanel Mat Lumiere.  Advertised as follows on the Chanel website: "Perfect for combination skin with a tendency to shine, this oil-free formula delivers a soft, natural matte finish with maximum staying power.  Medium coverage looks impeccable and shine-free for up to 12 hours."

Trigger words for moi: combination skin, natural matte finish, medium coverage, maximum staying power...for up to 12 hours.

That's worth a trip to the Chanel counter to at least TRY it out.  I got the 30 Cendre shade (I'm an NC30 at MAC).  Helpful sales associate.  Terrible coffee breath.  I digress.

Verdict: A keeper.  I had been using Makeup Forever Mat Velvet Plus and while I am pretty happy with MUFE MVP, its staying power is no match.  Chanel Mat Lumiere stays on much longer, has great medium coverage (which you can definitely build but I choose not to for my everyday look), and it keeps my t-zone area sufficiently matte while not drying out my dry areas.

About 54 USD at your local Nieman Marcus.