Thursday, March 29, 2018

Everything You Need to Know About the Itslikelymakeup / Furless Rose Gold Must Have Pro Makeup Brush Set

Everything You Need to Know About the Itslikelymakeup / Furless Rose Gold Must Have Pro Makeup Brush Set

As some of you may have seen on Twitter, I recently purchased a brand new brush set from Furless Cosmetics. This set is a collaboration with Jordi Dreher better known by her YouTube handle @Itslikelymakeup. I am no stranger to the Furless brand.  I have both purchased brushes from them, and reviewed brushes sent to me by them in the past.  This set I purchased with my own money. I am familiar with the quality of brush that Furless sells, and I could not pass up this full set in such a beautiful color, complete with a brush apron.  

Furless brushes are 100% vegan. This set has long handles, and super soft bristles.  The value is truly amazing.  For the price of $169.95, I got 20 professional grade brushes, complete with a super useful brush apron that snaps close for easy storage.  While the beautiful packaging includes a detailed list of how Jordi likes to use each brush, I thought it would be helpful to share how I use them as well. 

 Brushes included in the set, and my favorite way to use them:

PR01M - I really love this brush for applying eye primer
PRO2E - This eyeshadow brush works great both for applying shadow in the crease & blending 
PRO3M - This brush works well for applying eyeshadow to the outer and inner corner of eye when creating a halo look
PRO4M - I love using this brush damp for foiling eyeshadow. The flat shape helps paint on the pigment for that super metallic look 
PRO2M - I find this size and shape brush super useful for a variety of things. I use it to apply my under brow highlight, inner corner highlight and to apply white eyeshadow primer, or concealer to the eyelid when creating a cut crease 
PRO8E - I use this brush to apply concealer around the brows & under eyes
PRO1F - This brush is the perfect size and shape for highlighting.  I love it for applying cream highlight to the cheekbones or setting under eye concealer with a matte highlighting powder 
PRO2F - This has become my go-to brush for applying powder contour to emphasize cheekbones, and shadow the perimeter of the face 
PRO4F - Just like Jordi, this is absolutely my new favorite foundation brush.  Just apply foundation to the face, and use this brush to buff into the skin for a flawless finish
PRO5F - Perfect brush for applying powder blush 
PRO3F - This is a huge, full-headed brush that is great for the body. I love using it to bronze up the neck and decolletage area, as well as for adding warmth to the perimeter of the face 
PRO4E - I find myself using this brush mostly for applying eyeshadow to the crease of the eye 
PRO5M (Fan brush) - This is the largest fan brush in my collection. It picks up and applies powder highlight beautifully 
PRO1E - This is a brow brush/lash comb.  The lash comb comes with a convenient cover that makes me wonder why other brushes like it don't have one!
PRO6M - I love this brush for applying and blending eyeshadow along the lower lash line 
PRO7E - I use this brush to apply powder to the eye area to set concealer, and also to blend eyeshadow concealer, blending eye shadow
PRO1L (lip brush) - This brush is just the perfect lip brush to apply color to the lips. I love it so much that I have several in a different color, from the original Furless Must-Have Brush Set
PRO6F - This brush is ideal for applying cream blush
PRO6E - Jordi uses this one to create freckles, but I find it to be the perfect brush to use with gel eyeliner 
PRO7M - I like using this brush to apply powder shadow along the lash line for a softer eyeliner look.  This can also be used to fill in brows 

While I honestly love all of the brushes in the set, if I had to pick my 3 favorites, they would have to be the PRO4F, PRO2E and the PRO5M.  These brushes are currently only available in the complete set, but hopefully with enough demand, Furless will sell them individually at some point. I would like to buy multiples of some of my favorites. 

Here is a closer look at the eye brushes and detail brushes in the set: 

Here is a closer look at the larger face brushes in the set: 

I ordered this set online, and they arrived in the mail on March 20th. I have used this set almost exclusively since, including cleaning them.  If you are worried about the white bristles staining, I tested them with bright pigments, and they have all still cleaned easily.  Sometimes I hear makeup artists complain that synthetic bristles aren't as good at picking up powder products as natural hair brushes. I can say with confidence that these brushes easily pick up and blend powder, liquid, and cream products.  In addition to having the brush identifier on each brush, the handles are engraved in a gold font that says, "its likely makeup,"  Before purchasing this set, I had a number of Furless brushes in my collection.  I have had them and used them for years, and I have never had one brush from this brand shed, or break.

I can highly recommend this brush set for any makeup artist or makeup enthusiast.  Even if you do not follow Jordi on You Tube (but you really should, she is very talented), these brushes are too beautiful to pass up.  The set really includes everything you could possibly need for a full face of makeup, and then some. They look beautiful displayed on a makeup table, but the brush apron is so practical that it also acts as the perfect storage case to protect your brushes from dust. 

As many of you know, I own a ton of brushes. I have never, in all the years that I have been buying brushes, had a set arrive in packaging as stunning as this one did.  I can tell a lot of thought went into this collab, and I truly appreciate the work that went into creating them. 

There are only a few sets left in the Furless Cosmetics Australian store, but they are still available on their US site.  

If you have any additional questions on the set, please let me know in the comments below, or reach out to me on Twitter @MakeupMatters1. 

Did you purchase this set?  Do you plan on buying it?  What is your favorite makeup look from @itslikelymakeup?

Friday, March 23, 2018

Makeup Matters: Expert Interview with Sandra Villalba, Licensed Esthetician & MUA

Makeup Matters: Expert Interview with Sandra Villalba, Licensed Esthetician & MUA

Since I began this blog, I had always hoped for it to become a place that those interested in makeup products, techniques and looks would come to share ideas.  I envisioned a blog where I could share some of my knowledge, as well as learn from my readers.  Someone that has always supported me, in not only this blog, but in everything is my beautiful and talented cousin Sandra.  She was kind enough to let me interview her and share some of her expert knowledge on makeup artistry with Makeup Matters.

Find out what her favorite products are, and learn about her makeup philosophy below!

MM: As you know, my blog is all about cruelty-free beauty.  What are your favorite cruelty-free brands?

SV: IT Cosmetics, Morphe and Sigma.

MM: OK, looking at the brands you mentioned, I have to ask....What are the synthetic makeup brushes that you can't live without?

SV: Yes! IT Cosmetics makes some amazing brushes. So far they are my favorite synthetic brushes in my collection!

MM: How did you first get into makeup as a profession? 

SV: I used to draw portraits a lot as a kid.  I just drew faces, and became really into the design of a face.I would draw them for days without tiring. I also love color!  I think somehow they married as the years went on and became a natural place for me to focus my energy. 

MM: That's awesome! Can you remember your first experience with makeup?

SV: All I can remember is playing with my moms makeup and loving it. One of my most memorable experience is using a sharpie to put on eyeliner because my parent said I couldn’t wear makeup. I showed them.

MM: Haha!  Too funny!  You are an amazing makeup artist.  Can you share with us any tips that you think aspiring artists may find helpful? 

SV: I would suggest they find a makeup mentor.  I've never had one, but I think having someone in your life, that has followed the same path that you envision yourself going will help you figure out how to get where you need to be.  Even if it is not someone you know personally.... many celebrity artists will be kind enough to answer a few questions to help beginning artists find their own path. 

MM: What is your makeup philosophy? 

SV: Anything that makes you feel good and like....yourself.  If that means NO makeup, then so be it.  Personally, anything that makes you feel and look the way you picture yourself in your mind is what you should go with. I love to be in full glam all the time.That's what I look like to myself in my mind's eye.  So that's the goal I shoot for on most days.

MM: What is the number one most requested look that your clients ask for? 

SV: A natural look.  This always ends up taking at least 15 products, which surprises most people. 

MM: What is the most difficult thing about being a makeup artist? 

SV: Interpreting what a client’s expectations are.

MM: Who or what inspires you most these days?

SV: I think Instagram inspired me a lot in the past.  Inspiration is actually a big challenge for me right now. Sometimes I find it hard to source new and inspiring ideas.These days, I am not finding a lot of new ideas on Instagram or YouTube.  Don't get me wrong, there are MANY beautiful makeup looks on social media, but nothing personally inspiring me lately. 

MM: What is your least favorite makeup trend right now?

SV: My least favorite makeup trend right now is a cut crease. I think it can be too much for an everyday look. Sometimes I think it can be pulled off with the right neutral shades but often it is too harsh even for a nighttime look.

MM: In your business, what are some of the challenges that your clients face when applying their own makeup? 

SV: When I teach classes, the general consensus is that many people are unsure about which products to use. Many also have difficulties with application techniques, such as knowing how to apply eyeliner, which brushes to use, how to do their eyebrows. If you think about it, a full face of makeup has about 20 steps and is kind of complicated for the average person. But I’m always fascinated by how people do makeup that are not professionals. I LOVE learning how every person does their own makeup. You’d be surprised at how many techniques I’ve picked up from a woman that only wears mascara and lipstick. 

MM: How would you describe your signature look?  

SV: Usually it’s a some sort of warm eyeshadow look with false eyelashes and flawless skin followed up by a mauve lip. It may sound pretty boring but I always feel confident wearing it. If you had asked me six years ago, it would have been some sort of bright eye with a bold lip and cheekbones carved to the Gods.

MM: What do you think about the fact that your favorite cousin (me, for those following along at home) and you both love makeup so much?

SV: It’s everything. I have never even had a friend that I could talk makeup with, so having one of my favorite people even caring about makeup in the least bit is a dream. But it sucks that we’re so far away from each other.

MM: Awww! How do you think we ended up with the same passion growing up states away? 

SV: I can’t even guess the answer to that. We both have different backgrounds especially ones that don’t apply to beauty.  But if you have an idea of how it happened, I’d love to know ๐Ÿ˜Š

Here is a look at some of Sandra's work (before and after shots):

 Before and After
 Before and After

Before and After

Before and After

Above: Sandra demonstrates highlighting and contouring

A huge thanks to Sandra for answering all of my questions and providing us all with more insight on life in the beauty business!  To keep up with Sandra, or book an appointment with her, be sure to follow her on Twitter @SIVBeauty and check out her website

Sandra is a licensed Estetician and professional Makeup Artist.  She currently owns SIV Beauty, a one stop shop for beauty and skin. 

Friday, March 9, 2018

Urban Decay Naked Petite Heat - A Tutorial

Urban Decay Naked Petite Heat- A Tutorial*

*Palette purchased by me

If you haven't seen Urban Decay's latest addition to the Naked family, then you clearly have not been on the internet lately. With the success of the original Naked Heat palette, the brand decided to launch a mini version complete with five matte shades and one satin.  There are countless reviews online, so I will spare you my full review, with the exception of letting you know that I am super happy that I purchased this palette. I must admit that I am a little late to the game on this one, but I have been having a lot of fun creating a variety of looks from this adorable palm-sized hotness. Now, let's get into the look!

To begin the look, I applied a thin layer of eyeshadow primer from lash line to brow bone, and took a tiny bit along the lower lash line as well. With a fluffy eyeshadow brush I dipped into the color Vibrate. I swept this warm peach shadow into the crease of my eye. I am so impressed with this color. It blends effortlessly and a little goes a long way.  The shadow appears to be a light tan in the pan, but when applied gives a real warmth to the eye and it's peachy hue really works well with the rest of the colors in this palette. 

Using the same brush, I swept Vibrate along the lower lash line from the outer corner about a quarter of the way in. 

Next, using a small angled brush, I dipped it into Strike, the darkest color in the palette. This warm plum shadow is just beautiful for liner, and works well dry or on a damp brush along the lash line. For this look, I used the shadow dry to create a softer look. 

First I applied the shadow to the upper lash line, starting at the outer corner of the lid and tracing the shadow along the lashes about a quarter of the way in. 

Then I flipped the brush and traced over the same line to intensify the color. To soften the look a bit more, I gently smudged the shadow using a cotton swab. Repeat the same process along the lower lash line until the desired intensity is reached. 

Inhale is a natural choice to use as a highlight color. It is the only satin/shimmery color in the palette.  This light, opalescent beige works well on the inner corner of the eyes for a bright, wide-eyed look. I applied the color using a small flat brush, pressing the color directly into the corner of the eye and dragging it all around the hollow of the eye. 

The shade directly to the right of Inhale in this palette is called Hot Spell. Flipping over the same brush that I applied Inhale with, I dipped it into Hot Spell and gently applied it to the very outer corner of the lid. I worked in light layers, applying the color, and then blending the shadow inward toward the corner of the eye. 

Continue to apply Hot Spell (very warm brown) and blend, repeating the process until the desired intensity is reached.  The amount of shadow needed will vary depending on skin tone.  However, these eyeshadows are very pigmented, so I recommend starting with a tiny amount and adding just a little bit as you go. 

Now for the most intriguing color in the palette, Wild Thing!  This warm matte orange is simply stunning, and especially beautiful for blue eyes.  My pictures truly don't do this eyeshadow justice.  The texture on this eyshadow is impecible. This is the perfect example of why so many people love Urban Decay eyeshadow.  This is one of the best performing eyeshadows I own. 

I decided to do something a bit different than I normally do with this eyeshadow.  Using a small flat brush, I dipped just the tip of the brush into the color and traced along the natural curve of my eyelid in the socket, almost like I was doing a cut-crease.  If you don't have a natural crease, don't worry, simply draw one where a crease would be and create the shape that works best for your eyes. Then, using a fluffy brush, blend the color using back and forth motions to create a hazy fog.  Continue to apply the color with the flat brush, and blend again with the fluffy brush until a warm haze frames the eye.

Going back to the angled brush used around the lash line, tap first into Heist (a warm peppery brown not to be confused with Urban Decay's discontinued matte grayish purple color of the same name), and then into Strike to get a mixture of the two colors. Starting from the lower lash line, trace the color up until it passes the upper lid and reaches the crease.  Then in short, feathery strokes sweep the shadow in from the corner onto the lid, covering just the outer section to emphasize the "outer V" and create some depth. Using a cotton swab, clean up the edges of the lower lash line so that both sides are even. Pick up some more eyeshadow on the angled brush and starting at the crease of the eye draw down until you reach the upper lash line. This line should meet up with the lower lash line.  You want to see a distinct line coming up from the lower lash line that looks almost like reverse eyeliner.

Finally, grab a fluffy brush and a mix of Inhale and Vibrate to highlight just under the brow. Use sweeping motions to tone down the shimmer and down-blend so there is a smooth transition into the other colors previously applied. There should be no harsh edges between the highlight shade and any other colors.

To clean up the shape of the shadow take a cosmetic sponge and use it as an eraser to wipe away any fallout that may have dropped down. Curl your lashes and apply your favorite mascara to top and bottom lashes and/or apply false lashes if you prefer.

There are a variety of lip colors that will look great with this look depending on the vibe you are going for. I popped on the newest lipstick in my collection, Urban Decay Wrath. Wrath is a beautiful metallic red that looks stunning on pretty much any skin tone. At the time of this post, Urban Decay is offering free engraving with purchase of this lipstick and a variety of others at I got mine engraved, and think it is such a nice touch to personalize your makeup, or give as a gift.

Here is the final look:

I am wearing a wax-based foundation, cream bronzer, and brow gel to complete the face. The metallic finish on this lipstick is amazing. I am so happy I purchased this. The Naked Petite Heat palette is only $29, which I think is a steal given the quality of these eyeshadows. I purchased the palette and lipstick as part of the Urban Decay "friends and fanatics event" and got an even better deal on these high quality products. I already own the original Naked Heat palette, but find this petite matte version ideal for work, and to carry with me in my purse. Some people are getting tired of these warm shades that many brands are selling at the moment, but if you have blue eyes, orange tones look simply stunning as orange and blue are complimentary colors. I really think this palette is well thought out, and the shadows blend effortlessly.  They are the type of eyeshadows that seem to sort of blend themselves. This palette also works well on most skin tones.  Kudos to Urban Decay, as this is another winner in my book!

Do you have the Naked Petite Heat palette?  Would you like to see some more tutorials? Do you prefer to see more Naked Petite Heat looks, or looks that also include the original Naked Heat palette as well?  I want to hear from you!

PS Make sure you are subscribed as I have some exciting giveaways coming to Makeup Matters soon!

*Note: Any links included in this post are for the convenience of the reader only. I was not sent any of these products for review.  I never get paid to write reviews. All opinions are my own. 

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Five Products to Get You Spring Ready

*All Products in This Post Purchased By Me

Five Products to Get You Spring Ready

Despite the snow that accumulated on the roads last night, the Spring season is nearly upon us. That means it is almost time to put away the winter sweaters and heavy foundation in favor of pastel makeup, BB creams, and highlighted hair.  I'm not quite ready to switch up my beauty routine to full-on Spring flair just yet.  However, there are a few things I like to do in between seasons to prepare myself.  This post guides you through some of my favorite items to prepare me for the upcoming season, and hopefully get you Spring ready in no time! 

In no particular order, here are some of my must-have beauty products to prepare for the change in season.

Rosewater & Glycerin Spray

If you follow me on Pinterest or have read previous posts on my skincare routine, many of these products may look familiar to you. This Rosewater & Glycerin spray is a product that I have been using for many years. The wind here in Chicago is brutal, and this winter was a particularly hard one on my skin.  Come springtime, I generally opt for less foundation and switch to a more lightweight formula. In order to be able to pull this off in a way that won't scare everyone around me, I try to take the time in between seasons to give my skin a little extra TLC. This hydrating spray is very soothing, and super affordable. I've seen it in many stores, but tend to find the best prices on This is truly a multipurpose product for me. I use it before makeup as a primer, after applying makeup to take down any look of excess powder on the skin, and occasionally to wet my makeup brush to foil my eyeshadow. 

Jojoba Oil

Another long-time favorite of mine is Jojoba oil. This stuff is super affordable, and multipurpose (sense a theme here?). Again, as a way to lock moisture in, I apply this stuff everywhere!  The bottle has a medicine dropper applicator. I generally apply one drop to each fingertip, then gently press into the skin on my face. This acts as a mini facial massage and ensures that I am adding just the right amount of product to my face. I tend to pay special attention to the area right around my eyes as I find this part of my face can look particularly dull and dehydrated after the long winter months.  Many brands are available in pretty much any pharmacy or health food store. This one from Leven Rose is around $14 on Amazon for 4 Oz. In addition to using this on my face, I have also used it to remove eye makeup, tame frizzy hair, moisturize cuticles and soften dry lips. A little goes a long way with this stuff, so a 4 Oz bottle tends to last me for quite a while. I find this brand to work just as well if not better than many of the other pricey face oils that Sephora sells.

Charlotte Tilbury Wonder Glow

This item is not so budget friendly, but a worthy splurge in my opinion. This is another product that I have been using for years, so I feel very comfortable recommending it. I like to think of this as a cruelty-free version of MAC's strobe cream, but with a more champagne tone to it.  I absolutely love this stuff for camouflaging dull skin. While the price tag is on the higher end, you really only need the tiniest amount of product for a full face, so I have found one bottle is long lasting.  This balm acts as a sort of filter on the face, creating a soft-focus appearance when worn under foundation.  For a more traditional highlighter type effect tap some on the high points of the face over your normal foundation or tinted moisturizer.  In a pinch I will even mix a drop or two into my normal moisturizer or foundation to help me achieve that lit from within glow. 

Trish McEvoy Beauty Booster Lip Balm SPF 15

Speaking of splurge-worthy, this lip balm is a life saver when it comes to reviving windburned lips.  $32 a tube may sound excessive, but my lips absolutely need this product to help get them in shape for the bright lip colors I usually wear in the spring season.  The reason this product is a holy grail lip balm for me is that it contains vitamin E to help plump, hydrate and protect the skin.  While SPF is important to me all year, I pay extra special attention to it when the days get longer and I am exposed to more sun. This balm is very deeply moisturizing so I tend to apply it before bed as well even though it does have a broad-spectrum sun protectant and is meant for day-time use.  When using this before lipstick application, it is important to let it really sink into the lips before applying your lip color.  For some reason I don't hear a lot of people mention Trish McEvoy in the cruelty-free beauty community and I am not sure why.  So many of her products are amazing.  This balm also happens to be paraben-free, gluten-free and fragrance fee. 

Osensia Hydrating Mask

Last, but certainly not least, this hair mask is the newest product in my beauty routine.  Each year, before spring is upon us I like to find a good deep conditioner for my hair. I have thin, damaged hair from years of over processing. Come springtime I start getting the itch to lighten my strands again.  Before I do, I try to get my hair in the best shape possible so that I don't create further damage.  This hydrating hair mask from Osensia delivers amazing results. In just one use, my hair felt so much softer and more manageable. It comes in a large round tub and contains argan oil to help strengthen and hydrate hair. Like pretty much everything in this post, I buy mine on Amazon for about $14 for an 8 Oz tub. In addition to soft locks, my hair is also noticeably shinier after each use. I apply this mask about once a week after shampooing my hair.  I love that contains some great natural ingredients like jojoba oil, and aloe vera.  It also has a very pleasant smell and rinses easily, unlike other hair masks that I have tried in the past. 

I hope you found this post helpful.  What products do you use to get ready for the change of season?  Are there any recommendations on products you would like me to review?