Friday, June 21, 2019

Need Brushes? Buy These!

If I were starting my makeup brush collection over from scratch, the first thing I would want is a good set of eye brushes. When I started this blog, finding high quality brushes with synthetic bristles in the perfect shapes and sizes was not easy. Today, there are so many choices that it can feel overwhelming. 

That is why I am so excited about the 200 Series Eye Set from Units. This brand is available on and contains five brushes plus a canvas travel case for only $30. 

Note: In the above photo, I placed a white palette under the bristles so you can see them better. The black bristles tend to blend in against the black case in pictures. 

These brushes are amazing quality. They rival even the most expensive eye brushes in my collection. 

Here is what you get in the set:
  • UNIT 201 Detail Brush: This is a very small brush that works like a pencil brush, but with more give to the bristles. I love it for blending along the lower lash line and outer corner of the eye. 
  • UNIT 202 Flat Shader Brush: This is the perfect size for applying shadow to the eyelid. Because it is smaller than your average flat shader brush, it is easy to get into the inner corner of the lid. The bristles come to a nice taper so it can also be used along the lower lash line. 
  • UNIT 203 Crease Contour Brush: This is a smaller sized blending brush that is great for crease work. 
  • UNIT 204 Large Flat Shader Brush: If you have been following me for a while it will come as no surprise that this brush is my favorite in the set. It is comparable to the brush from the Wayne Goss Synthetic Set, and such a great multitasker. 
  • UNIT 205 Large Crease Contour Brush: While similar to the 203 brush in this set, the 205 is larger and fluffier. I use this throughout my eyeshadow application to blend out any edges.

Here is a look at the set in action:

Why do I love this set so much? The vegan bristles are amazing quality. The handles are matte white cedarwood with an aluminum ferrule. You really can't beat the price. I can't think of any other brushes of this quality available at this price. These are the kind of brushes that even those who prefer animal hair bristles will love. They are sleek, easy to clean and the ideal handle length for personal or professional use. 

Below is an eye look I created yesterday using the Norvina palette from Anastasia. I used only these brushes.

A closer look:

What do you think? 

*The brushes in this post were purchased by me. I do not get paid to write reviews. This post is not sponsored. 

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

What To Do With Pigments

Pigments, sometimes referred to as loose eyeshadow, can be an inexpensive and fun way to create custom colored makeup products,  break you out of a rut and enhance creativity. Many brands offer pigments and most offer them in good sized jars. If you are interested in trying pigments for the first time, I recommend buying a color that you can use in more than one of the below mentioned ways. Remember a little goes a long way.

They can get messy if you aren't careful, so I recommend putting a towel or some paper down before playing with them. Also, have a plate or small dish handy for mixing. Soy sauce dishes work great for if you do not have a traditional mixing palette, otherwise you can purchase a really inexpensive art palette with wells in it for creating new color combinations. 

If you are always searching for a perfect shade of rose gold, antique gold that pull a little green, or favor duochromes, mixing pigments together yourself is a great way to get the exact color you want. 

Brands I like: Furless Cosmetics. Anastasia, Makeup Geek and Colourpop all offer beautiful options.

Pigments can be used dry or with a mixing medium. Some cosmetic brands sell transformers intended specifically for this purpose, but there are a variety of other mediums you can use that you probably already have around the house. 

Here are some of the ways I like to use cosmetic pigments:

1. Eyes: Foiled eyeshadow (wet your brush with facial spray, or add eyedrops to pigment sprinkled out on a plate and mix until you get the intensity you want), eyeliner, colored mascara (use clear mascara), glitter brows (brush on metallic pigments with clear brow gel). For an editorial look to your pictures pop a little pigment onto your eyes by mixing it with an eye gloss or clear lip gloss that is eye safe. 
2. Highlighter: By itself brushed onto high points of the face, mixed in with face lotion, cream, or a face oil. 
3. Blush: Use solo, or mix with a clear balm, jelly or face oil. This is a great way to experiment with fun blush colors like a pale lavender, or orangey tone. Mix one of these colors with a bit of a shimmery peach or pink to keep it wearable. 
4. Lips: Mix with lip balm, clear gloss or sheer lipstick.  This is a good trick to remember come Halloween. No need to buy a whole tube of an unusual colored lipstick for your look, just mix some pigments together for any lip color you can imagine. Apply metallic or lighter colors to center of lips. Make sure the pigments that you are using are lip safe first. 
5. Hair: Add to a spray bottle with a little bit of facial spray  and mist lightly, or mix into clear hair gel.
6. Body: Add to your favorite body lotion or body oil. This looks especially lovely on the legs in summer with a bronze or gold pigment. If you are very fair, an opal / pearlescent pigment will also work. 
7. Nails: Mix in with clear nail polish. 
8. Foundation: Just a tiny bit mixed in with liquid or powder foundation for a lit from within glow. For a take on the yoga skin trend, mix in a gold, silver, champagne, or shimmery nude pigment in with your foundation plus 1-2 drops of facial oil. 
9. Primer: Adding a slightly metallic pigment into your primer helps add luminosity and a brightening effect. Try pigments in colors like nude pearl, or bronzed pearl depending on your skin tone

I prefer pigments with a pearl or metallic finish because I find them more versatile, but matte pigments can be a lovely option for blush, eyes and nails. I find bright matte colors can be easier to wear in pigment form because you have better control of the intensity. 

How do you like to use pigments?

Saturday, June 8, 2019

5 Reasons We Love The Gloss

Jeffree Star Cosmetics has been launching new products galore and I am loving it! Truth be told, I have never been a huge lip gloss lover. Living here in the windy city of Chicago, that whole hair stuck in your lip gloss and getting on your face thing has never been my jam.  Of all the launches by Jeffree Star Cosmetics, this was the one I almost skipped. Yet, after a bit of contemplation I realized that I wear the Velour Liquid Lipsticks from the brand more than any other lip product in my kit. 

I have seen some people top their liquid lipstick with gloss from other brands, but remembered how popular lip oils started becoming. I didn't want to use a gloss that would break down the formula of my liquid lipstick and ruin my application. I have been known to wear a variety of glosses (on occasion) over regular bullet style lipsticks, often favoring clear lip gloss because it looks good over everything. 

For $18 each, plus free shipping, courtesy of, I took the plunge.  I am very pleased to report Jeffree Star Cosmetics The Gloss has helped me rediscover shiny lips.

Below is a quick list of why this particular gloss changed my makeup game.

5 Reasons We Love The Gloss

1. Makes lips looks fuller - 

I know some individuals opt for fillers to enhance the volume of their lips.  I am not a fan of needles and have heard lip injections can be particularly painful. While The Gloss is not officially a plumping formula, the added shine works like magic to make lips look more pouty with a quick swipe of the wand.  The above photo shows a healthy coat of The Gloss applied over bare lips. 

2. Hydrating formula - 

My lips can be quite dry if I don't prep them properly. For this reason, I am always careful not to use overly mattifying lip products.  Wearing The Gloss alone, or over lipstick provides some serious moisture minus the sticky formula some other brands leave behind. In the above photograph, I am wearing The Gloss in the color Legends Only worn over Celebrity Skin Velour Liquid Lipstick. For lip liner, I used Urban Decay 1993.

3. Looks good with many different makeup styles - 

Most of the week, I kept my makeup pretty light to keep the focus on the lips. However The Gloss is offered in two different formulations; a cream version, and one with shimmer. The color selection ranges from super sheer and neutral to straight up black. They all have a bit of a see through quality to them making them ideal toppers for your favorite lip liner, or lipstick. There really is something for everyone in this collection making it suitable for everyone from teenage rebels to CEOs. Adding a bit over your daytime lip color helps easily transform your look to something sexier for a fun night out. In the picture above (left) I am wearing Wet Peach over bare lips. 

4. Easy to reapply - 

Since I frequently wear Jeffree Star Cosmetics Velour Liquid Lipstick, I topped the color Allegedly with The Gloss in Wet Peach. For lip liner, I used Milani Color Statement Lipliner in 03 Nude to shape my lips. This lip combo lasted for hours, and when I did want to enhance the shine later in the day, I found The Gloss super easy to reapply quickly even without a mirror.

5. Quick way to update your look - One of the colors from this launch that had some a bit confused is a sheer blue. I didn't pick that one up, but only because I have a few blue glosses from other brands already.  This color is intended to be worn over your favorite lip color, and can help create the appearance of whiter teeth. If the thought of changing up your look intimidates you, adding even just a smidge of The Gloss over your regular lip color is a quick and easy way to add some variety to your makeup look while keeping things modern. 

Another comment I saw appear online frequently about this launch was about the price. Some think the $18 price tag is a bit too expensive. Everyone has a different budget and not everyone can afford to splurge on a high-end gloss. Some simply do not want to, and others just love a good bargain. Whichever category you fall into, I decided to help by searching my stash for possible dupes. 

Dupes:  In terms of formula, I find The Gloss by Jeffree Star Cosmetics most comparable to the Jordana lip glosses.

Specifically,  Wet Peach is very close in formula and color to Jordana Cosmic Glow Holographic Lip Gloss in Chromatic PeachStila Lip Glaze in Pinkle Twinkle is a close color match, but Stila's formula is much thicker and a bit on the sticky side. 

I thought that Legends Only would be closer to Milani Crystal Gloss For Lips in a creamy beige formula the brand used to sell, but Legends Only has a warmer hue. 

Prior to purchasing The Gloss my favorite way to add shine was using lip gloss from Milani or NYX Mega Shine Lip Gloss. I am a big fan of the packaging, scent (very subtle sweet), formula and appearance of Jeffree Star Cosmetics The Gloss. The scent of the NYX gloss is pleasant, but sometimes a bit overwhelming. The creme brulee/vanilla scented gloss from Jeffree Star Cosmetics, is super subtle, and quickly fades after application. 

Here is a look of The Gloss colors I purchased side by side: 

I think it is safe to say I love The Gloss from Jeffree Star Cosmetics. 

Did you pick up any? What color is your favorite?

*The Jeffree Star Cosmetics products in this post were all purchased by me. This is not a sponsored post. All opinions are my own.  This post may or may not contain products from other brands sent for consideration. However I do not get paid to write reviews or mention anything in my posts.