Monday, September 24, 2012

Behind The Scenes Beauty

I'm a firm believer than makeup can work miracles. It can make a woman feel good about herself. A little lipstick can brighten even the most dreary of days.  However, in order for that makeup to look good, it needs a clean, smooth surface to adhere to. One of the ways you can achieve this is through a proper skin care routine. With the plethora of beauty products on the market it is nearly impossible to know what works and what doesn't. In this post, I'll show you just a few tried and true behind the scenes beauty products that help me look and feel my best.  All of the products listed here are cruelty-free, meaning that none of them were tested on animals. If the product doesn't say it directly on the label, I got this information from the company's website, or through contacting the company directly. Looking and feeling your best is important, but no animal has to suffer for it, I am living proof of that.

In no particular order, let's get started:

Pictured above is my Ahava Time To Clear Purifying Mud Mask. This light green facial mask takes only two minutes to work it's magic, and the results are instant. It's made from dead sea minerals, and is safe for even the most sensitive of skin. I apply a thin layer to clean dry skin once a week and let it dry for about two minutes. After rinsing thoroughly, I'm left with clear glowing skin.  The above picture is a deluxe sample size that I received in my monthly sample box from The full size retails for $31.00 for 4.3 oz.  A little goes a long way, and the product itself helps me achieve the radiant complexion I strive for.

Next up, is Mogador Argan Oil (pictured below). This particular brand of oil is certified organic by Ecocert and is made of 100% virgin cold pressed argan oil bottled in the U.S.A.  While many brands of argan oil exist on the market, this brand is not only Eco-friendly, but also budget friendly compared to it's more expensive counterparts. Argan oil has many uses.  You can use it in your hair to add extra shine, at night to rejuvenate skin, or under makeup to create a dewy look on your cheekbones. The cobalt blue glass bottle comes with a medicine dropper like applicator, so you can dispense the perfect amount. You only need a tiny bit, to get the results you want. While I realize the concept of putting oil on your face seems counter-intuitive to everything we've been taught, this oil is meant for the face, skin and hair and some women have even claimed it helps with acne problems. I purchased this bottle of 2.1oz on for only $18.95 and trust me, it works just as well, if not better than some of the more expensive versions on the market I've tried.

The next product, I discovered after a very bad sunburn. I do wear sunscreen everyday, but sadly, I forgot to reapply quickly enough leaving me with a bad sunburn on my face one day. My obsession with skin care made me worried about how I would continue with my nightly skin care regimen without hurting my already damaged skin. Luckily, The Body Shop* makes a whole skin care line fortified with calming aloe. While my sunburn is now long gone, I continue to use The Body Shop's Aloe Calming Toner because it's comforting to my sensitive skin (pictured below). The bottle pictured below is a travel size that came with an aloe based cleanser, day and night cream as well. If you have sensitive skin, this is a great toner for you, because it's one of the few toners on the market that will truly purify your skin without irritating it. and recently started carrying The Body Shop products, but you can also purchase it, as I did, on  The full size retails for $12.00 for 6.75oz. and as previously mentioned, is also available in the Aloe Bundle for $30.00.

*Please note that while The Body Shop is cruelty-free, they are owned by L'Oreal which is not.

While my skincare routine is quite thorough, sometimes I find that I need extra hydration during the day or if I am traveling. I don't always want to apply more moisturizer on top of my makeup, so sometimes I'll spray a quick spritz of  Melvita Eau Florale De Rose Rose Floral Water (below) on my face for instant hydration. This product is also one I discovered in one of my monthly subscription sample boxes, and I'm sure glad I did!  This can also be used to thin out liquid foundation. After I apply foundation, I'll spray a couple of light sprays all over my face and blend with a foundation brush to help blend out my foundation. This brand of rose floral water is also organic and certified by Ecocert. For more information visit where you can find the 6.76 fl oz. size for $22.00.

 Sticking with the Rose theme, I've also included my Nuance By Salma Hayek Rose Petal Hydrating Balm (below). You may have seen me mention this product in a previous post (proof of how much I love it). This is my holy grail lip product. It's part of my nightly routine to help keep my lips supple and moist. I also rub it on my cuticles and even dry elbows sometimes. It comes in an adorable little jar with a screw top lid and is available exclusively at CVS pharmacy and This balm smells amazing and is made with good-for-you ingredients like evening primrose oil, jojoba oil and sunflower seed oil to name a few. It retails for $7.29, but is currently on sale for only $5.83 for 0.265oz. It leaves lips with a lovely sheen, perfect for no makeup days. If you have long nails, and don't like the idea of sticking your finger in a jar, simply apply with a q-tip or mini spatula.

Another product that you have probably seen me mention in a previous post is 100% Pure Coffee Bean Caffeine Eye Cream (pictured below).  This is my secret weapon against dark circles and puffiness. I apply this both at night before bed, and each morning after my moisturizer. I don't always get a good night's rest, but this eye cream sure helps me look like I do!  There are a million different eye creams on the market, and trust me I have tried them all. I have wasted so much money on products that don't work.  This product is amazing. First of all it smells delicious. It kind of smells like coffee cake to me!  This miracle-worker of a product has anti-inflammatory properties and is jam packed with anti-aging vitamins and antioxidants to help your eye area look youthful and radiant. This product is made in the U.S.A. and is 100% natural, organic, vegan and gluten free!  You get 1oz for $19.00, and this tube will last you a long time. The pump makes it easy to dispense a thin strip of product, or a larger amount depending on how hard you press it. This is a steal when compared against some of the other eye cream products on the market, and the biggest difference is that this one actually works. When I turned 25, I started seeing lines under my eyes which sent me into a full on panic. I seriously considered getting corrective plastic surgery. Luckily I wised up and at the suggestion of my dermatologist, bought a good eye cream instead. I actually bought  a ton of bad eye creams first, but finally I found this one and I'm never trying another. This one really works, it has good, pure ingredients and it's vegan. What more could I really ask for? Visit for more details.

Another staple in my night time routine is the Urban Decay Lush Lash System (below). Say that 3 times fast! After only 1 week of nightly use, people started asking me almost daily if I was wearing false eyelashes when I had on nothing more than regular mascara.  My eye doctor even asked me if I had been using Lastisse. Why go through the hassle of a prescription with possible side effects, when this cruelty-free product delivers amazing results in a short amount of time? When I bought this, I honestly did not expect it to work. I saw visable results quickly, and you will too. I even read a review online by a woman who had lost her eyelashes due to chemotherapy and she claimed this product helped bring them back. This product is not only cruelty-free, but it is also vegan (no animal products use in it) as indicated by the paw print symbol on  This miracle product retails for $42.00 and I will continue to buy it for as long as they make it. Urban Decay claims, "25% longer, thicker lashes in just 2 weeks", but I saw results more quickly, though I would imagine individual results may vary.

 This double ended tube has one side (pictured above) that applies like a liquid liner. You simply paint the clear liquid along your lash line before bed, then move on to the other end which is a mascara-like wand used to comb the white product through your lashes.

I love how narrow the mascara-like wand is because it really makes it easy to coat my bottom lashes as well.

With all the waterproof makeup I wear and use on others, I need a good way to take it off without damaging the delicate eye area or tugging and pulling at anyone's skin. I'm not a fan of makeup removers that require too much scrubbing and hard work to remove the product from your face. That's why I use Urban Decay Melt Down Makeup Remover (below).  This product is meant to be used without water. You simply apply it to your face anywhere that you want to remove makeup from, including the eye area, and it literally just melts the makeup right off of your face! It's truly an amazing product. You just need a gentle swipe of a tissue to remove the product and all of your makeup comes right off with it. This is an essential product if you are a fan of long wear formulas or waterproof makeup. In fact, this product is so popular, that it was sold out for weeks at Sephora before I could get my hands on a tube. The product comes out in a white creamy consistency, and feels moisturizing on the skin. It contains nourishing elements such as beta carotene, sea fan extract and gatuline in-tense. Cranberry and raspberry seed oils help moisturize as it removes. The best part is, this non-greasy formula is packaged in a 2.5 oz tube so it's airline approved for those who travel frequently.You can purchase this at for $24.00. I think this is the best all around makeup remover I've seen, and it's safe to use on sensitive skin.

For weeks when my skin feels particularly parched, or those cold winter months in Connecticut, I reach for my Nuance By Salma Hayek Intense Hydration Overnight Rejuvenator (below). This once a week treatment contains high end ingredients like Royal Jelly and blue agave. I apply this once a week when I need it to clean dry skin, massaging it in and allowing it to penetrate for a good 10 minutes or so before following with my night cream. This product was a savior during my sunburn fiasco. It retails for $19.99, but is currently on sale for $15.99 at  This is a high end product at a drugstore price.  You literally feel your skin hydrating after application. It's a creamy gel like consistency similar to a high end moisturizer. The pump dispenses the perfect amount of product.

 The next product was recommended to me by a family member. She raved about this product like I've never heard her rave about anything before. I'm sure you've seen the infomercials on TV, but I'm happy to report that Wen by Chaz Dean is now available at (pictured below).  I love the almond scent of this cleansing conditioner, but if you don't, the company makes it in many different scents and you are sure to find one that will please your senses. This product is like no other on the market. It's not a shampoo or a conditioner, but a cleansing conditioner.  I'm not a woman who has ever had good hair. I started coloring my hair at a pretty young age, so after years of damage, it takes a lot to get these locks in healthy shape. This product completely changed my hair. I apply 10 pumps to my wet hair in the shower and work it through, massaging it into my scalp and combing through the rest of my hair. I leave it in to soak into my hair while I complete the rest of my shower before rinsing it out.  I then take half a pump and use it as a leave in conditioner. I didn't see any bunny pictured on the back of this bottle, so I contacted the company directly and was assured that Wen is NOT tested on animals. This thick rich cleansing conditioner retails for $32.00 for 16 oz. and is the only product that has been able to tame my frizz.  When used properly, it's lightweight and won't weigh your hair down regardless of your hair type.  Even my hairdresser commented on how soft my hair was after a couple months of use. This product is free of sulfates, synthetic dyes and petrochemicals.

Last, but not least, is a product I use every single day of my life called Dew Me by Urban Decay (below). This is a moisturizing makeup setting spray, and is the final step in my makeup routine. Think of it as hairspray for the face. It's oil free, paraben free and is essential in helping me create the dewy glow that I desire. This fine mist feels like nothing after sprayed on the face, yet it helps your makeup last all day while leaving behind a dewy glow. I would recommend this product for someone who has dry or combination skin.  Urban Decay makes another product called De-Slick for those with oily skin and one called All Nighter for normal skin types.  This product retails for $29.00 at for 4 oz. It's hypoallergenic and trust me, it's worth every penny.

If you want to know why I am against animal testing, just look at the picture below! This is one of my rescue dogs and he is my true beauty secret. My dogs make me smile like no one else and happiness is truly beautiful!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Urban Decay Smoked 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil Set


Yesterday I teased you with a sneak peek at this set, and I am very happy to announce, that I have swatched the pencils as promised. If you missed my previous post, I'm talking about the BRAND NEW Urban Decay Smoked 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil Set!

As you may have learned in my previous posts, I am a huge fan of these pencils from Urban Decay.

What are they?  These are essentially eye pencils that are very:
            • Long lasting
            • Creamy 
            • Waterproof
            • Vibrant

 This travel-sized set is the perfect partner to the Urban Decay Smoked Palette. You can use these pencils as eyeliner, or blended out as a base for powder shadow. This jewel toned set comes with 6 richly pigmented shades including: Demolition, Uzi, Smog, Zero, Mainline and Empire.

These pencils are cruelty free, as Urban Decay does not test on animals and famously states on their packaging, "We don't do animal testing. How could anyone?"

Here is a closer look at the back of the package:

I'll do my best to describe the colors in my own words:

Swatched from left to right (below): Demolition which I would describe as a deep matte chocolatey brown, perfect as an everyday color, Uzi - a metallic duo chromed silver and blue shade that almost looks gray or pewter when applied, Smog - gold and very similar to the eyeshadow of the same name, Zero- black, Mainline a true matte blue and Empire an eggplant purple - matte to satin finish

 And here's a closer look:

 This set retails for $38 and is available at

As mentioned, they are travel size. To better illustrate the length, here is a picture of one in my hand (below):

I actually really appreciate the travel size, because they fit perfectly in my makeup bag without taking up much room. I find these sharpen best with the Grind House Double Barrel Sharpener available on for $10, though any eye pencil sharpener will work.

I really love this set.  It's important to note that Mainline and Empire are exclusive to this set, so you can't purchase them separately. Uzi was brought back by popular demand, and I can see why. It's probably my favorite of the bunch because the color is so unique. While Urban Decay doesn't recommend putting anything directly on the waterline (soft wet tissue on the inner rim of your eye), I personally love their 24/7 pencils for this purpose. It's their waterproof nature that makes them such a good pick for that task, and as a contact lens wearer, this is one of the few pencil products that will actually stay on my waterline and not migrate on to my lenses.

Here is a final look at the super 6:

Will you be picking up this set?  Comments/Questions, leave them for me below, or drop me a comment on twitter @MakeupMatters1

Be sure to follow me for the latest in cruelty-free beauty (just click on my user name above)!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Urban Decay 24/7 Smoked Pencil Set - SNEAK PEEK

I'll have swatches up for you guys tomorrow night, but I've seen a lot of questions around the internet about these, so thought  I'd put up a quick post.

Urban Decay has released a new travel-size, limited edition set of 24/7 Pencils called Smoked. This is a great item to pair up with your Smoked palette if you have one.

What UD Has to say:
Smoky doesn’t always mean black…deep, dynamic jewel tones, shimmering pewters, and chocolate neutrals all create super-sexy eyes. This quintessential set includes all these shades, plus our award-winning black, in experimental, travel-friendly sizes. If you’re thinking of toying with a sultry look, our creamy, vibrant, waterproof pencils are the perfect partners in crime.

What I have to say:
My set comes tomorrow!!! I'll put up personal pics, and swatches for you tomorrow night. I think these will be great either as a base underneath the shadows in my Smoke Palette, or used as eyeliner. These are the best eyeliners because they are waterproof and truly last all day. I'm very excited about this set.

Available NOW on for $38.  It is limited-edition, so get it while you can!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Let's Talk LIP TARS - Are you down with OCC?

You down with OCC? YEAH YOU KNOW ME! OK now that I got that out of my system...seriously let's talk about OCC's Lip Tars. What's a Lip Tar? How do I use them? Do I need them?

I first heard about these lovely lippies from a makeup video I was watching one day. The woman said she was mixing some Lip Tars to create the color she wanted. This of course intrigued me.  A couple of Google clicks later, and next thing I knew I had purchased 2 sets of Lip Tars; Brights and Neutrals from  Let's begin with the basics:

  1. What is a Lip Tar?:  Lip Tars are described as essentially a hybrid between a lipstick and a gloss. They give you the wear and coverage of an opaque lipstick, but apply somewhat like a gloss.
  2. How do I use them?: The reason I wrote they apply "somewhat like a gloss" is because while they do come out of a squeeze tube, they are best applied only with a brush, and the amount you use is the size of the head of a pin.  Trust me this tiny amount will cover your full mouth. 
  3. Do I need them?:  If you are someone who loves makeup, and really loves trying out new lip products, then yes, I would recommend this product for you. It's truly unique and because you need to use such a small amount of product with each application, one tube will last you forever. Plus, they are fully mixable, so you can have a lot of fun mixing your own custom colors. So as you can see from my collection, I basically have enough to last the rest of my life!
As I mentioned above, I purchased my Lip Tars in sets. While they are also sold individually, sells them in 2 sets; neutrals and brights. Each set comes with 6 colors and a very good quality brush for $49.50.  If you plan to purchase more than one color, you may want to take a look at the sets instead.

There has been a lot of hype around the new shade Nylon, which is a Sephora exclusive. This uber bright pink will liven up even the most boring of makeup looks. I was unsure if I wanted to buy this shade because it looked similar to two other shades I already owned from the Bright set.  I've swatched the 3 similar colors side by side for you to see:

Pictured above, from left to right: Nylon, Anime and Pretty Boy

Should you choose to buy a set, here is a closer look at the brush that comes with it. This is an excellent quality lip brush, and I really like that it's not a retractable, like so many other lip brushes are. Also, like all my brushes, this brush is synthetic and cruelty free.

 To show you how some of these look actually applied to the lip, I've applied a few of my favorite shades for you to see.  Here's a sampling of some of the shades I own:

This first shade (pictured above) is Nylon. It's exclusive to Sephora and a new shade to OCC.

Next, is a shade called NSFW, this came in my Neutrals set. It's a dark wine colored red, that I think will be great for Fall:

Next is Trollop. This shade, I've not only used on my lips, but also took the tiniest bit and blended it onto my cheekbones as I would a cream blush. I frequently use this product instead of a traditional blush because I love the natural flush it gives me.

 Finally, we have Interlace. This is a muted neutral color that would look great if you were doing a really intense smokey eye look or any very dramatic look to help add balance to the look.

I hope you enjoyed this peak at my OCC Lip Tar collection. For more info visit:

OCC is 100% Vegan and cruelty free!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

5 Min Smokey Eye Using Stila Smudge Crayon

 If you subscribe to's Sample Society monthly subscription box, you probably were fortunate enough to get a mini Stila Smudge Crayon in your box this month. While on Facebook this weekend, I saw that someone requested a tutorial. I received my sample in the color Smoke, but I also own 2 full size versions of this product in the colors Kitten and Dazzle. For more info on the Sample Society program, please visit BeautyBar.comStila's Smudge Crayons are very easy to use, waterproof and long lasting. I absolutely love this product and will probably purchase it in more colors.

I left my sample at the office, which I received in the color Smoke, a taupey gray color similar to Urban Decay's Mushroom.  For this tutorial, I will be using the color Dazzle and Kitten. Dazzle is a sparkly deep gray color and Kitten is a champagne peachy pink with gold in it (perfect for highlighting).

This product works as a stand alone shadow, a base for powder shadows, and the lighter colors such as Kitten, work as a highlighter to highlight cheekbones, cupid's bow and just under your brow bone or inner corner of the eyes.

How do I use this product?:

For a 5 minute smokey eye, I took the color Dazzle and applied it just to the base of my lash line because that's where I wanted the color to be most concentrated. I then pulled the color up using a cream eyeshadow brush. You can also smudge it up using your finger or a concealer brush if you prefer. I kept reapplying the color, always starting at the base of my lash line and pulling the color up with the brush until I got the desired intensity. I also drew a little bit on the outer corner of my eye to define that area. Pull the color up into the crease using the same brush (or your finger).  Blend out any harsh edges using a synthetic crease brush or blending brush. I recommend blending out each eye before moving to the next once because once these set they do not budge, so you'll need to work somewhat quickly.I then took the crayon and drew about 1/3 of the way under my lash line and smudged it gently with a pencil brush.

Optional: I then used Kitten to highlight the inner corner of my eye and just under the brow bone, applying the color straight from the crayon then blending with a brush (you can also blend with your finger). That's it. You are done. How easy is that?

 This is the fastest easiest way I know how to do a smokey eye. I'm not sure what other colors came in the Sample Society box, but you can use this same technique with any of the colors and it will give you a different look depending on how deep the shade is.  Here is the final look. You could make this as light or as dark as you want it depending on your preference by simply adding more color:

 Note the nice highlight in the inner corner of the eye and under the brow bone (above).

 If you want to take the look 1 step further, and treat the smudge crayon as a base for a powder shadow, after following above steps, you can apply some of Urban Decay's Ashpalt shadow from the Smoked palette to just the outer corner of the eye over the top of the Smudge Crayon, blending it into the crease  and under the lash line as I've done here:

 Note, I also used Stila's Smudge Crayon in Kitten as a cheekbone & brow bone highlight (above).

As you can see, this final step doesn't change the look much it just adds another layer of dimension to the look and it will make the look last a bit longer on the eye because you've layered the product. Here are the powder shadows I would recommend for layering based on your color of Smudge Crayon:

Kitten: Use the Kitten powder shadow from Stila
Smoke: Use Mushroom from Urban Decay
Dazzle: Use Ashpalt from Urban Decay's Smoked Palette

Available shades of Stila Smudge Crayon:
  • Black
  • Kitten
  • Midnight Blue
  • Umber
  • Antique
  • Pink Violet
  • Rose
  • Smoke 
I no longer see Dazzle on Stila's website so it may have been a limited edition or discontinued shade. 

Price for full size product is $22 which includes a built in sharpener.  Please visit for more info 

Stila is a cruelty free and Eco friendly company!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Spotlight: 100% Pure Cosmetics Vegan Brushes

It is with great pleasure, that I am writing today's post about makeup brushes from 100% Pure Cosmetics.  If you are unfamiliar with this brand, please see more under my Synthetic Makeup Brushes Part 3- About the Brands : post, where they are listed in my synthetic brush guide. I was first introduced to this brand through their coffee bean caffeine eye cream which works wonders on puffy under eye circles and fine lines. It's my holy grail eye cream and I don't know what I would do if they ever discontinued it. As many of you may know from my previous posts, I am on a never ending quest for good quality synthetic brushes. The brushes from 100% Pure Cosmetics came up in my search when I was looking for brushes, but I couldn't really find any personal reviews on them. I generally like to read other people's personal thoughts and reviews on products before I buy them. That is why it is with such pleasure that I am writing this post. I hope that this information is helpful to someone like myself who was looking for a more personal account of these brushes.

Here are the brushes that I have:
  • Cruelty Free Angled Brush #8 ($13): This brush is AWESOME for applying eyebrow powder and shaping your brows. This has become my go to brow brush because of the angle, size and stiffness of the bristles.You can use it to apply brow powder, brow wax or eyeliner.
  • Cruelty Free Contour Brush ($15): This is a stand out for me among the brush line. I think this is a really great blending brush, and blends eyeshadow perfectly every time. The bristles are really soft and the dome shape of the head makes it perfect for blending out harsh edges. 
  • Cruelty Free Eye Liner Brush ($9): I like this brush for gel liners.  Just dampen it with a little water, dip it into your gel liner pot and draw the perfect line of color. This brush can be used dry or wet to create different effects.  I find I use it most for applying dry powder shadow to my bottom lash line. 
  • Cruelty Free Blush Brush ($18): Another stand out brush for me, this is truly a multipurpose brush. 100% Pure Cosmetics advertises this as a vegan blush brush, but when I first got it I used it to apply liquid foundation and it gave me a beautiful airbrushed finish.  I've also used it to apply powder bronzer & blush and have found that it works equally as well for all 3 tasks. So, I think you are really getting 3 brushes in one here, because it does all 3 jobs quite well. 
  • Cruelty Free Eye Shadow Brush ($12): This is a flat shader brush perfect for packing on color to the lid. If you prefer long handle brushes, you'll love this one.
Now let's take a closer look at each brush individually. Before we do, I want to mention that although these have white bristles, they are easy to clean. When I first received these brushes, I was worried that the white bristles would get stained with product and they wouldn't look pretty when it came time to photograph them to share with you. I used them with very bold pigments including NYX Cinnamon blush, a dark bronzer, pigmented eyeshadow etc. and as you can see from this picture which was just taken, after lots of use and a few washes, they look good as new! Product came out easily with my daily brush cleaner spray, and brush shampoo, with no extra effort.

First up is the Blush Brush:

 This is a flat top kabuki style brush with a nice long handle and long Ferrell. In fact, all of the brushes in this post have quite long handles, though 100% Pure Cosmetics also makes shorter handled brushes if that's what you prefer.

 I love this picture (above) because you can really see how dense the bristles are here. The bristles are so super soft, you would never guess these brushes are synthetic. These brushes are just more proof as to why it's totally unnecessary to kill animals for brushes (or anything for that matter).

Next up is the Eyeshadow Brush:

 Note the long handle and long flat bristles. This could also double as a concealer brush.

 Above is a side view of the brush, note the flat head making it easy to also apply a small amount of color to the lower lash line using the tip of this brush.

Here is the Eyeliner Brush:
Once you wet the bristles they can be smoothed to a point and you can get a nice fine line from a potted gel liner. I also used this to apply powder eyeshadow to my lower lash line and because the bristles are so thin, you get a nice natural looking line every time.

Like the others, this brush also has a nice long white handle. 

Angled Brush #8:

This brush has a slightly angled head, with thin flat bristles and the perfect amount of firmness making it ideal for filling in brows, or lining the eyes. For me, as mentioned above, this is my go to brow brush. I think you could also use this is a lip brush, it would probably work great for applying something like the OCC Lip Tars or even gloss. As you can see most of these brushes are really multitaskers so you are getting much more than what you are paying for with each brush.

Contour Brush:

 This really is a great blending brush. I know many makeup artists who have all synthetic brushes except for the MAC 217 because quite honestly, there are not a lot of good synthetic blending brushes on the market. This synthetic blending brush really works great for blending out color, and in my personal opinion could and should replace that brush in your kit as a more cruelty free option. While the shape is not exactly the same, it is a domed brush and the density of the bristles is about the same. I really like the way this blends out color on the eye, and I've even used it to apply under eye primer and concealer.

Like the other brushes, this one has a nice long handle, and feels quite sturdy, yet comfortable in the hand.

 I've juxtaposed the bristle head with my index finger to show you size.  I think this is the perfect size for most eye shapes. I hate when companies make their blending brushes too big, not everyone has giant size eyes. This one, is just the right size!

Here is a final look at all of the brushes together:

From left to right (pictured above): Blush Brush, Contour Brush, Angled Brush, Eyeshadow Brush, Eye Liner Brush

Overall, I really like these brushes a lot. I think these are very reasonably priced for what you are getting.  It is important to note that not all synthetic brushes are created equal. I have made the mistake of purchasing brushes only to find them unusable. I've bought brushes from other companies that smell of paint or other oddities, or brushes that simply fall apart after one use.  The brushes from 100% Pure Cosmetics are sturdy, well constructed brushes. They are easy to keep clean, do not shed and have a nice long handle. 

If you are looking for a holiday gift for someone you know who likes makeup, or needs some brushes to start out her collection, this would be a great place to start without breaking the bank.These brushes are available for purchase on the company's website at:

I hope you enjoyed this review, and as always please feel free to ask questions in the comment box below.

*Note: These brushes were sent for consideration by the company. This does not in any way alter my review, all of my reviews are 100% honest. I never recommend a brush or product without using  it personally first. I do not get paid to write reviews, and only write them in hopes of helping others to make good purchasing decisions.