Friday, August 31, 2018

5 Face Brushes From Crown Brush You Will Want Now!

5 Face Brushes From Crown Brush You Will Want Now!

If you are a makeup artist, you have probably heard of Crown Brush.  For anyone who hasn't heard of them, this brand has been around for as long as I can remember.  Long before influencers pushed certain brush brands online, Crown Brush was the go-to brand for makeup artists looking for super affordable, but professional quality makeup brushes to build their kit.  Makeup artists like myself often need multiples of many brushes, especially eye brushes.  This can get quite costly, causing many to build their brush collection over time.  I discovered Crown Brush years ago when looking for a budget friendly way to purchase several brushes at once.  I knew I wanted brushes that were professional quality and also wanted a brand that offered a large variety of shapes and sizes. 
Crown Brush is still a brand that I go to for quality brushes in a variety of styles, without breaking the bank. The quality of their brushes has always been impressive, but I have noticed a real improvement throughout the years. I still have many brushes from this brand that are close to ten years old, and they are in excellent condition.  However, the newer Pro Brush Series from the brand, offers top quality tools that rivals their comptitors. 

A Special Deal For Makeup Matters Readers:
Right now, Crown Brush is running a HUGE site wide Labor Day sale of 35% off!  I have a special treat for you.  Not only will you get 35% off, you can use my code and get an additional 10% off for an amazing deal!  The 10% cannot be applied to their Value Center (clearance) items, BUT all other items are 35% off.  Use my code for an additional 10% off after the 35% off discount has been applied.  

If you would like to take advantage of this very special deal, click the below link (my affiliate link) and be sure to use code: LIZACHUNG at checkout. 

You can shop the brushes in this post through this link: Crown Brush
Use this code at checkout: LIZACHUNG

To help you shop, I picked out a combination of old and new favorites in my collection to share with you.  I narrowed the list down to my top 5 face brushes that I think everyone will love.  They are all multipurpose brushes, with soft bristles that work for liquids, powders and creams. 

Here are the five must-have face brushes that I love, and know you will too!

1. Precision Powder Brush - I have had this brush in my kit for years. This brush is from Crown's Syntho Series. I love it for setting powder under the eye, and precise placement and blending of any face powders.  The tapered tip makes it a great choice for a soft contour. If you like to put loose powder under the eyes to catch eyeshadow fallout during application, this brush is a great option. The bristles are ultra-soft, and the tulip shaped head comes to a nice point, which can be difficult to find in cruelty-free makeup brushes. 

2. Deluxe Angle Blush Brush - Another winner from the Syntho line is this perfectly angled blush brush. Again, I have had this brush for years.  It works well for blush, highlighting, and contouring. The bristles are soft enough even for the most delicate skin.  I love using this with my Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush.  For a more precise contour, pinch the bristles together and sweep your contour powder on.  Release the grip and use the tip of the brush to blend.

3. Pro Angle Bronzer Brush - This brush is from Crown's Pro Brush Series, and is newer to my kit. This brush is designed for bronzing, as the name implies.  However, I really love using it for both powder and liquid foundation.  The dense bristles help to provide a full-coverage look.  The unique angle of the brush head, and flexible "give" to the bristles allows for a seamless blend that creates a truly airbrushed look. This is a great choice if you are looking for a multipurpose face brush as it can be used with products of various textures, and fits the contours of the face perfectly. 

Here you can see just how flexible the bristles are when a little pressure is applied:

4. Pro Lush Pointed Powder/Contour Brush - I used this brush in my last post. This brush is also from Crown's Pro Brush Series, and was purchased at the same time I bought the Pro Angled Bronzer Brush. In my last post, I used it to apply powder to set my concealer. I love this for getting makeup into hard to reach spots. It works very well for applying powder under the eyes, corner of the nose, and anywhere that you want more precise placement.  The pointed tip makes this brush ideal for a natural looking contour. The bristles are made out of High Grade synthetic fibers that can be used with liquid, powder and cream products.  The bristles are 2" tall x 1" wide.  This is a completely unique shape for me, and I do not have any other brush like it in my collection.  The size and shape also make this brush a good one for applying highlighter to the tops of cheekbones.

Below is a picture of me using this brush to apply powder to the under eye area, and then using it to apply highlighter to the tops of my cheekbones. 

In addition to the 5 brushes detailed in this post, you can see a handful of my favorite eye brushes from Crown in the lower right corner of the above photo. I have to give an honorable mention to the Deluxe Blending Fluff Brush (Syntho Series) pictured above.  It is a brush that I own many of in my kit and have mentioned in several previous posts on this site. Also pictured above is the Oval Shadow Brush (Syntho Series) which is another eye brush that I have multiples of. It is super inexpensive, and mine have lasted for years. This brush is available individually and as part of a set.

5. Pro Lush Powder Brush - Last but not least, is this HUGE powder brush!  This is also from the Pro Brush Series.  I purchased this because it is quite large, making it perfect for use on the body. Applying bronzer to the face, neck, chest and shoulders is a breeze with this brush due to the super rounded head, and the multi length bristles.  This has a much more fluffy feel to it, and is the one I think every single person will absolutely love. This is great for someone who wears bronzer regularly. Note the large, rounded brush head, and staggered cut of the bristles in the photo below. This is truly a fantastic brush.  It is extremely soft, and applies powder products so evenly.  I am actually considering buying more of these for my kit because the price is so reasonable. 

I love using this brush to apply my IT Cosmetics Bronzer, because it swirls around the pan perfectly, allowing me to cover a good amount of surface area when applying bronzer to the body. 

Pictured above, this brush is a great dupe for the Marc Jacobs Beauty Bronzer Brush that is so popular with makeup lovers.  The brush is only ever so slightly smaller, but the price difference is huge.  The Marc Jacobs Beauty Bronzer Brush retails for $78!  If that is outside of your budget I highly recommend checking out this one from Crown Brush.  It is also a great dupe for the Sephora Pro Featherweight Powder Brush #91 (pictured above) which retails for $40.  The brush head is about the same size, the only difference being in handle shape, and length.  The Sephora brush has a slightly longer, more tapered handle, but again, the Crown Brush is a fraction of the price. 

I hope you enjoyed this look at my 5 favorite face brushes from Crown Brush. If you are looking for good quality makeup brushes that will last you for years to come, I highly recommend taking advantage of their Labor Day sale.  

Again you can shop through my affiliate link here: Crown Brush
Don't forget to use my code LIZACHUNG for that added discount! 

Other brushes that I own and love from Crown Brush include:  

  • 6PC HD Set w/Mixing Plate & Spatula (made from high-grade synthetic fibers, this brush is vegan and cruelty free). 
  • 10PC Professional Syntho Brush Set (I have mentioned this as a set I love in an older post of mine). I love the Flat Bronzer Brush in this set for applying foundation.  This set has a lot of brushes that not everyone thinks of, but are really important such as the Deluxe Mini Fan Brush for applying mascara, Deluxe Spoolie Brush and Deluxe Eyeliner Brush. 
  • Deluxe Crease Brush (I recommend buying multiples of this one as it is useful for creating any eyeshadow look from beginner to advanced)
  • Deluxe Foundation/Camouflage Brush - I normally do not favor dual sided brushes. However, this one is very convenient for foundation and concealer application. I can apply moisturizer, primer and foundation with the larger side, and simply flip the brush over to apply and blend my concealer. The High Grade synthetic fibers make this brush durable, and very easy to clean. 

Extra tips for shopping: From the "Brushes" menu at the top, chose from brush sets or individual brushes depending on what you are looking for. If shopping for individual brushes, I recommend the Syntho Series, or the brushes mentioned above from the Crown Pro Brush Series. Simply click on the brush that you are looking at and a little box with tabs appears under the brush (on the desktop site it appears to the right).  The first tab has a detailed description of the brush.  The second tab is my favorite, it is called, "Bristle Profile."  This tells you exactly what the bristles are made of so you can be 100% sure that you are not purchasing animal hair brushes. Something that I have mentioned many times, is that I hate it when companies do not list what bristles the brush is made out of on their site. I always want to know exactly what I am buying. I know too many people who have purchased an animal hair brush accidentally because the bristle type was not clearly listed on the site. 

Crown Brush is for makeup artists and makeup lovers alike. I think you will be very surprised at how affordable these brushes are.  Some of the eye brushes I mentioned above are under $5 each.  The quality is really impressive, especially considering the price. I have had many Crown brushes for years, and they have all held their shape well.  I have never had one break on me, which is impressive given how hard I can be on my brushes.

Do you own any Crown Brush tools?  Please share your favorites in the comments below. Which brushes from this brand would you like me to review next?

*All of the brushes mentioned in this post were purchased by me.  I did receive an affiliate discount on my most recent purchase, but they were still bought with my own money.  If you choose to shop through my affiliate link, I will receive a very small commission.  This helps support the site.  Please note that I never get paid to write reviews.  In fact, I will not accept money in exchange for a review in order to provide you with an unbiased view.  Any product mentioned in any post is a product that I have personally used. I will never recommend anything to my readers that I do not personally use and love myself. 

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

The Best Makeup Tips in One Post

On Sunday, I attended a makeup demonstration in Chicago called Behind the Brush. Lipstick Nick, Director of Global Artistry for Morphe taught the class. Since I have been wearing makeup from an early age and taken countless classes I didn't expect to learn many new tricks. Luckily, I was in for a surprise. I learned quite a bit from the instructor and the questions asked by other attendees. I took pages of notes to make sure I didn't forget any of this valuable information. Once I got home, I decided to apply my makeup, this time implementing everything I learned in the class. My makeup came out quite differently than my usual application, and I am very happy with the results.

Here is the process:

To begin, skin prep is key. This is not a new concept, but I did take note of the type of brush she used to apply moisturizer. Starting with a clean face, she applied Embryolisse moisturizer to the skin using a duo fiber brush. I typically use a flat foundation brush for this step. Using my Christopher Drummond Air Blender Brush (discontinued), I applied a good layer of moisture to my face. Duo fiber face brushes are something I have a lot of. Nearly every brand makes this style of brush so it is quite easy to find at every price point.

When applying makeup to someone else, I often wear my Paw Palette (a small palette that fits around the wrist used to mix makeup products). Lipstick Nick recommended disposable wax paper palette sheets which are available at most craft stores. I never tried this before, so I took a piece of wax paper from my kitchen and used it to hold any products I wanted to squeeze out or mix. The result is easier clean up. When a makeup artist is working on multiple people, it is much easier to just grab a clean sheet of paper instead of having to sanitize a hard palette in between each client. 

Next, the skin was primed, just through the T-zone. Skin prep steps will vary depending on skin type. I used a face primer from CoverFX that I received in my gift bag at the class. 


For foundation she used a full coverage liquid. I used Tarte Amazonian Clay foundation, applying it with a damp beauty sponge.

For concealer, she opted for Tarte's Shape Tape. I used the more budget friendly dupe from Makeup Revolution. Concealer was applied under the eyes, under the cheekbone (just below where contour is usually placed) and a few other spots on the face more as a highlight than covering anything up. My dark circles could have used a bit of color correcting, but I wanted to follow her steps as closely as possible. 

For loose powder, Lipstick Nick works with a custom blend of her favorite face powders. I confess that I have never mixed my powders together this way. She used a mixture of Ben Nye powders, but for my custom creation I mixed Too Faced Primed and Poreless, Nuance by Salma Hayek and Beauty Bakerie together in a cap. Using my new Pro Lush Pointed Powder Brush from Crown Brush, I gently tapped the powder on to set my concealer. 

For added coverage, a colored pressed powder was then applied to the face. I used my tried and true compact from Charlotte Tilbury


Lipstick Nick was applying makeup to Jeffree Star who shaves off his eyebrows. Therefore,  she had to draw them in by hand. She started with a lighter brow pencil to draw the outline. Then reaching for a slightly darker pencil she filled in the brow by drawing in little hair strokes, alternating between the lighter and darker brow pencil from Morphe. I used my Urban Decay Brow Pencil in a medium, neutral brown first, and then used my Milani pencil in a dark brown to complete the brows. 


After the brows were filled in, she carved out the bottom using some concealer, and also applied some to the eyelids to prep for eyeshadow. Because she was using glitter, she applied her loose powder mixture heavily under the eyes Using a beauty sponge to catch any fallout. To set the concealer on the lids, Parched (matte ivory) eyeshadow from the Jeffree Star Cosmetics Thirsty Palette was applied. If recreating this look, I recommend setting the lids with any matte eyeshadow that is just a bit lighter than your skin tone. Parched may be too light for some, but it works well with my complexion.

The other eyeshadow palette she used besides the Thirsty Palette was a neutral palette from Morphe. I don't own any shadows from that brand, so I found similar tones in my collection from the Paula's Choice / Wayne Goss matte neutral palette & a matte palette from Sonia Kashuk. Using a blending brush, a warm peachy brown was run through the crease, and a bit onto the lids as well. Going back in with a dry brush frequently to blend, then picking up a darker matte brown for the crease helped create the base for this look.

On a smaller tapered brush Kumquat was used to define the outer corner. To apply shimmer to the lid, she sprayed a flat eyeshadow brush with setting spray, patting it on the eyelid. I found this technique interesting, as I generally pick up the pigment on my brush first and then spray the Brush with setting spray or simply opt for a glitter glue. Using Lipstick Nick's technique resulted in a much different application than I am used to. Snatched (pink champagne with ultra metallic finish) was then patted over the setting spray on the eyelid.  I found this approach results in a more subtle shimmer on the lid, making this eyeshadow surprisingly wearable for daytime.

For eyeliner, she used a black gel from Tarte. She highly recommends this product for makeup artists because the squeeze tube packaging keeps things sanitary. 

The liner was applied with an actual art brush rather than a makeup brush. I am no stranger to using art brushes for makeup application,  and did so for my look using a gel liner from Physicians Formula. 

Using a smaller brush, I applied Stroke (matte terracotta) to the lower lash line, really smoking it out. 

After this step, the loose powder under the eyes was brushed away, along with any eyeshadow fallout.

False lashes were used in the demonstration, but I was out of lash glue when I created my look, so I applied multiple coats of black mascara instead. 

For blush she mixed a couple of colors and textures from a Morphe cheek palette. I used a blush palette from my stash mixing a matte and shimmer together. 

The inner corner of the eye, and tops of the cheekbones were highlighted using a highlighting palette. I took note of the very light back and forth dusting motion she used to blend the powder into the high points of the face. 

She then created a nude lip using a Morphe liner, Lipstick and gloss.

I chose a lip liner from NYX called Vanilla Sky. Over that, I applied one of the cream lipsticks I received in my gift bag, called Ex-supermodel. For gloss,  I used Too Faced Barely Legal (a cruelty-free dupe for Nars Turkish Delight).

Here is the completed look:

What do you think? Do you notice a difference compared to other looks I have created on this site?

*This is not a sponsored post. All products were purchased by me. I do not get paid to write reviews, so you can always trust my opinions are 100% honest.


Monday, August 27, 2018

A Complete Guide to Behind the Brush Makeup Classes

A Complete Guide to Behind the Brush Makeup Classes

When Jeffree Star and Lipstick Nick announced on Twitter that they would be offering their Behind the Brush makeup classes in Chicago I screamed with joy. Lipstick Nick is the Director of Global Artistry for Morphe, and is a very talented artist.  I remember the first time I ever saw her work on YouTube.  She was featured on a video for ColourPop using their Yes, Please palette. The unique eyeshadow look that she created on the model was so refreshingly different than anything I'd seen done with the palette before. 

Jeffree Star is a name everyone in the makeup world is familiar with. His confidence and sparkling personality helped grow his YouTube channel to over 10 million subscribers. While he is certainly talented in the makeup department, his entertaining spirit is even more engaging, making his videos somewhat addicting. Finding out that I had the opportunity to learn from an artist like Lipstick Nick, and see Jeffree just a few minutes from my house was an opportunity too good to pass up. That being said, tickets were quite pricey. I know there are more tour dates coming up in various cities around the United States. I decided to put together this guide about my experience to help you decide if these classes are worth your money. 

Here is a complete guide to Behind the Brush makeup classes:

The Chicago class was held at a Marriott hotel.  Upon arrival, guests were sent to a waiting area where a table was set up with merchandise available for sale, complimentary water and snacks.  After a few minutes, they started letting us into the main room where the demonstration was held. After showing my ticket, I received a lanyard and a raffle ticket. Inside the main room, there was plenty of staff directing attendees to our seats based on the type of ticket we purchased (general admission, VIP, ultra VIP).  On each chair was a gift bag, a notebook and pen all with "Behind the Brush" written on them. There was about 45 minutes in between us getting let into the main room and when Jeffree Star & Lipstick Nick arrived.  During that time, we could take pictures against one of the large canvas backdrops set up for photos, shop for merchandise, grab a complimentary bag of popcorn, or sift through our gift bags. The gift bags were much larger than I anticipated. I immediately started looking through mine, and was shocked at the large amount of products inside.  I did some quick math in my head, and realized the contents of the gift bag contained much more than the price of the ticket for the event based on retail value. 

Here is a look at some of the products I received in my gift bag: 

One of the first things I noticed in the gift bag was the large amount of lipstick and liquid lipstick from Jeffree Star Cosmetics.  I received a total of 15 full sized lip colors from the brand.  These retail for $18 each.  I hadn't tried any Jeffree Star Cosmetics lip products before, so was very excited when I saw the assortment of colors now in my possession. 

Here is a closer look at the Jeffree Star Cosmetics lipstick bullet design:

Not all of the products in the bag were cruelty-free, but most were. The second item in the bag that excited me was this eyeshadow palette from Sleek:

Sleek is cruelty-free and they make adorable eyeshadow palettes. I have several from the brand, and find their pigmentation and texture to be outstanding, especially considering their affordable price point.  This palette is called, "When The Sun Goes Down."  It contains a variety of matte and shimmer shades, mostly neutral in tone. I could see this palette being something I use fairly regularly as the color story is one that is quite easy to wear. 

Also included in my gift bag was an eyeshadow single from ColourPop called Glass Bull. I believe this is one of their best selling eyeshadows, and from the pictures I have seen online, it seems to create a glossy eye look when applied to the lid.  I also received a liquid lipstick from Sleek, a sample sized face primer from the brands Tatcha and CoverFX, a coffee face mask from The Creme Shop, mascara (from Benefit - not cruelty-free), 3 mini beauty sponges from The Creme Shop and brow gel (from Benefit - not cruelty-free).

I used the coffee sheet mask yesterday, and it made my skin feel amazing.  It was from the brand The Creme Shop and according to the package is in fact cruelty-free.  With so many new lip colors being added to my collection from the gift bag, I was actually able to toss some of my older lip colors that I don't use as frequently. I am trying to scale down my kit and collection so that it only includes products and brands I really love and use. As soon as I got home I began testing out the Jeffree Star Cosmetics lip colors I received and was blown away by the pigmentation and texture.  All of them are cruelty-free and vegan, with the lipsticks having a satin texture, and the liquid lipsticks being matte. One of the liquid lipsticks I received is in the color Weirdo (black).  At first, I thought this wasn't something I would use much because I rarely wear black lipstick.  However, I learned that it is eye safe, and can double as a liquid eyeliner. Makeup artists love products that serve multiple purposes. I also purchased the below makeup bag because the lipstick print is simply adorable, and I will get use out of this when I need a clear bag that I can easily find my products in. I was also happy to see that both the lipsticks and liquid lipsticks fit in my acrylic organizers and Alex drawers from Ikea. 

Before I knew it, Jeffree & Nick walked in to the left of me and the room exploded in applause. I could feel the energy in the room and everyone's excitement level was through the roof. They proceeded to the front of the room where they took the stage and greeted us.  They both exude a type of confidence that I can only dream of.  We were asked not to take video (though some people in front of me tried to anyway) and I am going to try not to spoil any of the surprises from the class.  Nick did a full makeup application on Jeffree talking us through each step as she went.  Throughout the entire class, both of them fielded questions, being sure not to miss those in the back.  Question topics ranged from makeup related to YouTube personalities with a handful of personal questions sprinkled in. Jeffree was surprisingly open and left no question unanswered.  As a makeup artist, I found Nick's tips very helpful and learned a surprising amount of information that could help me with my private clients. She works with celebrity clients, and has a much different experience than I do when it comes to makeup artist work. 

I honestly feel that Jeffree and Nick were very warm and caring toward their fans.  I also think the event was extremely well organized and staffed. After the demo was over, they had the raffle.  There was a nice assortment of prizes from a few different brands.  Jeffree Star even raffled off his full new collection of liquid skin frosts to three different individuals.  The woman sitting to my right won, and I was so happy for her. I thought she was going to cry because she was so overwhelmed with joy. 

After all the raffle winners were chosen, they let those with general admission tickets go to the back of the room to take pictures and shop the merchandise tables.  The VIP and ultra VIP ticket holders had a little break before Jeffree and Nick would return for a Q&A and pictures.

Staff was standing by to take pictures with your phone for you.  They also had ring lights set up so that pictures would come out with their best lighting. 

I wasn't going to buy anything initially, but the t-shirts, hats and makeup bags were surprisingly affordable.  I wanted a shirt that had lipstick prints all over it, but they were sold out of my size.  Instead I opted for a white t-shirt to commemorate the day. The shirt is still quite large for me, but I have a super petite frame so I am pretty used to having difficulty finding my size.  I still am happy I bought it and can wear it to sleep in if it doesn't shrink after washing and drying it. 

I feel that the class was well worth the price tag. The retail value of the gift bag alone far exceeds the ticket price. However, the experience I had was truly priceless. I was lucky enough to see Jeffree Star the day his YouTube channel reached 10 million subscribers.  I also feel extremely appreciative of the tips that Nick taught me in the class as they are practical things that she learned from her years of experience as an artist.

Like a good student, I took notes the entire time, paying close attention to every brush stroke.  In my next post, I will attempt to recreate the look that Nick executed so beautifully on Jeffree Star.  I know that taking one class will not magically increase my skill level to match Nick's, but I do hope that I learned enough to share some of the tips with you.

Are you attending Behind the Brush in NYC on September 22nd?  If you are, feel free to ask any questions you may have in the comments below. 

*All products in this post were purchased by me. This is not a sponsored post. 

How to use E.L.F. Cosmetics Total Face Sponge

With so many different shaped beauty sponges on the market, it can get a little confusing when trying to figure out the best way to use them. Some people don't like these types of sponges because they are so different from the old white foam triangles we used to use. 

I hope this instructional post will help take the guess work out of your foundation application.

For my demonstration, I will be using my favorite beauty sponge, the Total Face Sponge from E.L.F. ($4.00). This sponge cam be purchased on the company's website or at your local Target. 

When you first get your sponge home, wash it thoroughly with soap & water. 

If you already have this sponge in your stash, you will still want to get it wet before use. Hold it under running water until the sponge is fully soaked with water and has increased in size.  Next, put the sponge in a paper towel and squeeze out any excess water. 

Squeeze a bit of your foundation or tinted moisturizer onto the flat end of the sponge. 

Next, I dot the sponge onto a few points in the center of my face. Using the same flat side, swipe the rest of the product on, smoothing out the dots by blending out toward the edges of the face. Use a downward and outward motion. Don't forget your ears & neck. 

After the product is evenly distributed, flip the sponge over and use the pointed end to get into any corners of the face. Use a light bouncing motion (stippling) or a press & roll motion. You want to push the product into the skin, diffusing any edges. Pay extra attention around the hairline. If you have a blemish tap a little more foundation on it using the pointed tip of the sponge. You can add another layer if you want more coverage. Once your skin is even, you can dot concealer on any areas that you need to, and use the same press and roll technique to blend.

This sponge is intended for liquid highlighter which can be applied the same way. Swipe the highlighter on with the flat end and press and roll to blend with the other.

I do not recommend using a beauty sponge for pressed powder. It may ruin the compact. However these types of sponges work quite well with loose powder. You can dip either end into your loose powder and gently pat over concealer using the same press and roll technique.  

I hope this helps. If you still have questions, please let me know in the comments below.

*This is not a sponsored post. This sponge was gifted to me by a family member. 

Thursday, August 23, 2018

The Perfect Back to School Makeup Look

The Perfect Back to School Makeup Look

Summer is coming to an end, and it is almost time to go back to school. I decided to create this quick and easy makeup look to help you look your best on your first day back.  If you are older, like me, this makeup look is also perfect for the office.

I made sure to use affordable products and brushes, but please feel free to use anything you already have in your makeup collection.  All of these colors are pretty easy to get in a variety of brands, and many of you likely already have something similar in your stash. If not, the brands I mentioned are all budget-friendly and as always cruelty-free.  Like any good makeup look, begin with prepping your skin with a bit of moisturizer (preferably with sunscreen) and apply a lip balm. 

Step #1: Even out your complexion 

I started by applying Wet n Wild's Photofocus Face Primer - Dewy using a Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge ($4.99).  Another great option is the Total Face Sponge from E.L.F. Cosmetics, which retails for $4.00.  After priming my skin, I applied my foundation, Wet n Wild Coverall Cream Foundation.  I am not sure if they still make this product, but Wet n Wild and Milani both make some wonderful and affordable foundations. It is important to gently pat the product into the skin with a beauty sponge for the most natural look.  Using Wet n Wild Hello Halo Liquid Highlighter in Halo, Goodbye, I patted a bit of the shimmery liquid onto the tops of my cheekbones. I used a little bit of Wet n Wild Photofocus Concealer under the eyes and on any areas where there were shadows on my face.  I also applied a dot to each eyelid to prime my eyelids for eyeshadow.  To set the concealer, I gently patted on some Milani Conceal + Perfect Shine-Proof Powder in Fair using my Crown Brush Precision Powder Brush ($11.50).

You can shop Crown Brush using the above link (affiliate link) for 10% off your order!* 

Step #2: Fill in Brows

Please do not over pluck your brows. It is one regret that many women my age have.  When I was younger, thin brows were in.  However, a full brow provides a more youthful look.  To achieve this, I brushed in some Milani Brow Shaping Clear Gel.  Using an angled brush, I gently stroked in some brown brow powder from the Wet n Wild Ultimate Brow Universal Stencil Kit ($5.99) along any sparse areas of my eyebrows.  I used the spoolie end of my brow brush to blend the powder in with my natural brow hairs and finished with another coat of brow gel.  Although I used an angled brow brush with a spoolie on the other end, this brow kit includes mini pair of tweezers, brush and spoolie, so you can simply use the tools provided in the kit.

Step #3: Define the Eyes

For the eyes, I opted for Wet n Wild's Rose in the Air Eyeshadow Palette.  However, I only used three colors from the palette; a medium-toned warm brown (matte), shimmery gold, and dark matte brown. Any shadows that you have in your collection in similar colors will work. I began by dipping a Crown Brush Deluxe Blending Fluff Brush ($4.95 - use my affiliate link above for 10% off your order) into the brown transition color in the palette. I gently swept it through the crease of my eye, blending it upward. Using a flat brush, I picked up the shimmery gold in the palette and swept it onto my eyelid.  This color works best with a swiping motion, rather than patting it onto the lid.  If you want more intensity, you can dampen the brush, but I appreciate the subtlety of the shadow as it is. 

Next, I used an angled brush, and applied a dark matte brown eyeshadow to the upper and lower lash line. You could also use the brush included with the Universal Brow Kit and some brow powder for this step instead. I kept the color very close to the lashes, making sure the color was placed in between the lashes as well.  Take a clean cotton bud to blend out the shadow if desired.  For a more bright-eyed look, I used a sponge tip applicator to press Physicians Formula Butter Highlighter in Iridescence on the inner corner of my eyes. A finger, or cotton bud will work for this step if you do not have a sponge tip applicator.

I applied one coat of Milani Big and Bigger Lashes Mascara to my top lashes only to complete the eye look.

Step #4: Brighten up the Face

To add color back into the face, I used Milani Corallina Baked Powder Blush, blending it along my cheekbones.  For added illumination, I applied the Physicians Formula Butter Highlighter (optional) to the high points of my face using a Real Techniques Setting Brush ($8.00). 

Step #5: Lips

To finish the look, I used NYX Lip Liner in Nude Pink.  I did not over line my lips at all, but just traced the pencil along the natural outline of my lips.  Over the lip liner, I glided on Milani Amore Shine Liquid Lip Color in Delight (beige shimmery nude). This lip color is on the thicker side, but not sticky at all. The applicator molds to the lips perfectly allowing for a very user friendly application.  It is one of my favorite applicators for this type of product.

Here is the final look: 

As a bonus step, feel free to set your makeup with the setting spray of your choice (optional). E.L.F. Makeup Mist and Set is an affordable option ($3.74) and is available for free two day shipping for members of Amazon Prime. 


I used a number of affordable brushes in this post.  You can purchase budget-friendly brushes from a variety of brands including: Crown Brush, Eco Tools, Real Techniques, Circa Beauty, Wet n Wild, Real Perfection, Makeup Geek, Coastal Scents and many more.  Browse my Synthetic Brush Guide to find the best brushes for your personal style and budget. 

What do you think of the final look?  Show me your back to school makeup looks on Twitter @MakeupMatters1. Don't forget to use #MakeupMatters so I will be sure to see your look!

*Note: All of the products featured in this post were purchased by me, or gifted to me by friends/family. This is not a sponsored post.  However, I have included my affiliate link for Crown Brush If you shop through this link you will get 10% off your purchase.  Please note I do make a tiny commission from the sale, but this helps support the site. 

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Full Face of Favorites

Full Face of Favorites

This post was requested through my last Twitter poll. I included a number of makeup favorites as well as some of my most loved brushes!  I found this look surprisingly easy to do because I use these items so frequently. 

Here is the look I created:

To start, I applied Wet n Wild Dewy Face Primer with a flat foundation brush from Circa. For my base, I applied IT Cosmetics CC+ Color Correcting Full Coverage Cream, buffing it into my skin with a densely bristled brush from Crown Brush (affiliate link).  This is a brush I have had in my kit for years. I purchased it as part of a set years ago, and it still blends like a dream.  makeup artists have used Crown brushes forever because they offer professional quality brushes at a very affordable price.  

For my eyes, first I primed my lids with Too Faced Shadow Insurance. Then I applied Trish McEvoy 24-Hr Eye Shadow and Liner in Cream to my eye lids directly from the stick.  I blended the color into a thin even layer using my Itslikelymakeup/Furless Rose Gold PRO7E brush. I love using these cream shadow sticks from Trish McEvoy as a base for an eye look. I own them in multiple colors, and love that they are twist up, so do not require a sharpener. The Norvina palette from Anastasia is a newer favorite of mine. I decided to focus on the bottom row of colors, applying Love (pink) to my crease using a Sigma E25 brush. 

Next, I picked up Soul (purple) from the Norvina palette on a Cozzette D220 brush. This is a brush I have multiples of in my kit.  It is a small pointed crease brush, that has kept its shape beautifully over the years. I applied the pigment to the deepest part of my crease and onto the inner and outer corner of my eyelid, leaving the center blank. Since I wanted to keep this an all matte look, I chose the color Base (matte cream) and applied it to the center of my lid using a Kelley Quan T1 (travel #1) Synthetic Tiger Flat Dome Brush – Small. 

Next, I wanted to intensify the purple on the inner and outer corner of my lid. I picked up a flat, stiff brush from Paula's Choice and packed it on, blending the edges with a Furless PRO2E brush. I blended a light layer of Soul over Base so the center stayed slightly lighter than the edges.

For the lower lash line, I used a Sigma E55 Shading Brush to blend on Love.  Underneath that, using the same brush, I swept on Soul. using the Itslikelymakeup/Furless Rose Gold PRO8E, I applied Base just under my brow.  This brush works great for carving out the shape of your eyeshadow. I picked up a bit more Base, and used it to clean up the edges. I used my trusty bdellium Tools 776 brush to blend out any harsh edges. For eyeliner, I took a Royal and Langnikel S.I.L.K. Green Line Eyeliner/Brow GL-8 brush and applied Passion (matte deep garnet) to the upper and lower lash line. To tight line and line my water line, I chose Urban Decay's 24/7 liner in Whiskey (brown). These Urban Decay liners have been a long time favorite of mine, and I have them in nearly every color. For lashes, I applied my usual Milani Big and Bigger Lashes Mascara, using Wet n Wild Megaslim Skinny Mascara for my lower lashes.  For my eyebrows I used Urban Decay Brow Beater, topping it off with Milani Brow Shaping Clear Gel.

When working with purple shadow like this, it is important to conceal any dark circles. I used Makeup Revolution's Conceal & Define (C2) blending it out with a clean Sigma E25 Blending Brush. I've been using this concealer for almost two months now, and I am a big fan of the texture and consistency.  Plus, the low price point makes this concealer a must-have. 

To set my concealer, and for extra coverage, I opted for Aveda's Inner Light Mineral Dual Foundation, applied with an e.l.f. small tapered brush. To brighten up the face, I applied Aveda Petal Essence Face Accent in Tessarae using a Christopher Drummond Travel Air Blender Brush (discontinued).

For additional warmth, I applied the bronzer from Charlotte Tilbury's Bronze & Glow Film Star palette using my Furless PF4 brush.  I love the size of this brush for an all over glow on the face and body. 

Going back to my small tapered brush from e.l.f. I applied the highlighter from the Charlotte Tilbury palette to the high points of my face and down the bridge of my nose. To finish off the look, I used Alexis Vogel Pro Lipstick in Debutant (natural pink cream). 

Here is the final look:

One of my babies decided to pop in as I was finishing my look. I snapped the below picture of him, and decided to share it with you. 

This is one of my puggles, Jackson:

I hope you enjoyed this look at my makeup favorites. Are any of these products your favorite too?

*This post may contain some products sent for consideration. I do not get paid to write reviews.  All opinions are my own.  This is not a sponsored post. However, I have included my affiliate link with Crown Brush. If you shop through this link, I will earn a tiny commission.  Shopping through affiliate links helps support the site!

My Secret for Fresh Looking Makeup

How many times have you looked in the mirror mid-day and noticed your makeup looks a bit off?  While makeup products are longer lasting these days, and a good dose of setting spray can extend wear time, I don't want to have such a heavy duty application every day of the week. 

Enter my secret weapon: Hourglass Veil Retouching Fluid.

This is not a concealer, but a makeup/skincare hybrid intended to give your look a little pick me up. I purchased mine on for $34, where they offer six different shades. I wear the color Fair

This mini tube fits perfectly in my makeup bag and is not only cruelty-free,  but also vegan. It contains hyaluronic acid to add moisture to the skin, and provides light coverage with a touch of illumination. 

Although I apply base and concealer daily, if my under eye area is looking a little darker than I would like, I simply apply a dot of this magical fluid under each eye and pat it into my skin. The result is fresh looking makeup that only took a few seconds of my time to apply. 

Have you tried Hourglass Veil Retouching Fluid?

*All products in this post were purchased by me. This is not a sponsored post. 

Thursday, August 16, 2018

One Palette, Three Looks (series) - Using The Marc Jacobs Beauty Scandalust Palette - Look #3

We have reached the third look in my Marc Jacobs Beauty Scandalust Palette series. For this look I wanted to create something bold and demonstrate how this palette works with other shadows in my collection. Summer is coming to an end, and Fall makes me think of cranberry makeup looks. I think this is a great in between seasons look that could work for summer and fall.

Look #3:

To start the look, I used a Soho blending brush dipped into That's Why (orange-tan) as my transition color, blending it through my crease. 

On a Sigma E36 Blending Brush I swept Scandalous (cranberry) in the deepest part of my crease and lightly onto the lid. 

I then took a clean blending brush from  Ecotools to blend out any harsh edges. Picking up the Soho blending brush again, I applied more of That's Why to the crease.  Above that, I used At The Office (Ivory) to blend out the edges blending it up toward the brow using a Royal & Langnickel Revolution BX-66 brush.

Next, I mixed Too Faced Glitter Glue with NYX The Ultimate Pearl Shadow in Copper Pearl and applied it to the lid with a Bdellium Tools  740 sponge tip applicator. I went over the edges with a clean blending brush.

For the lower lash line I dipped a Smith 220 brush into Scandalous sweeping it along the lower lash line.  I then dipped the same brush into That's Why and used it to blend out Scandalous. To add more definition to the lower lashes, I applied Little Miss, the darkest color in the palette, to the outer corner. It is important to keep this color very close to the lash line. Use a cotton swab to clean up if needed. 

Urban Decay 24/7 Glide On Eye Pencil in Whiskey (brown) was applied to the water line.

On a Kelley Quan angled brush, I applied Little Miss to the upper lash line keeping the color thinner on the inner part of the eye and thicker as I moved out toward the edge.

Sugarpill loose eyeshadow in Lumi is a beautiful iridescent color that worked beautifully on inner corners of the eye. I applied just a touch of this with my Kelley Quan blending brush.

To finish off the eyes, I applied several coats of Milani Big and bigger lashes mascara to top and bottom lashes.

On my lips I applied Wet n Wild Wine Room lipstick (matte burgundy) and topped it off with Urban Decay's Midnight Cowboy gloss.

Here is the finished look:

What do you think? Which of my three looks is your favorite?