Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Noteworthy: MORE Morphe Brushes

I wrote about my collection and love of Morphe brushes in a post back in April. I said then that Morphe are not only the best quality, but cheapest, best value brushes I have tried. My obsession has continued, and my collection has expanded since that April post. This post will cover all of the new Morphe brushes I have collected since then. And I have to say, I think they have gotten even better! They were fantastic, especially for the price then, but now I feel like the quality is even more fantastic in and of itself, let alone the for the price. They came out with a new Elite collection, which several of these are from, and is the best quality of all the Morphe collections I've tried. They are seriously the softest brushes ever. That line is a little more pricey than the others, but that still means they are around only $11 instead of $8.

Eye Brushes


This is just an all around excellent blending brush. It is from the Elite collection, which are by far the softest Morphe brushes. It just feels luxurious when you use it. It's a bigger brush, which makes it really good for diffusing color and blending, or for quickly putting color on a large area.

E30, E13, Real Techniques, Sephora, Real Techniques


This is actually very similar to the E30, but a little smaller and more dense. This is just one of those blending brushes that everyone should own, and once you do, you will use pretty much every day. The picture above shows this and the E30 compared to a Real Techniques, Sephora Brand, and Real Techniques Bold Metals eyeshadow brush. I definitely like these better because they are so soft and blend shadow so seamlessly and effortlessly.


This is seriously the brush I have been searching for my entire makeup-wearing life. I like using shadow on the bottom lashline, whether I'm smoking it out or not, but I find that every pencil brush I try either doesn't blend well, or just plain hurts the delicate skin under my eyes. Again, this is from the Elite collection so it is SUPER soft. It also does not have the pointed tip that most pencil brushes have. The rounded shape not only helps blend and smoke out shadow easily, but makes it not feel like you are stabbing the skin under your eye. I have tried other rounded brushes for the lower lashline, but they are always too big and blend shadow so far down your under-eye that you start getting the Panda effect. This is small and precise enough that you can control where the color goes, but blend it easily and smoothly while not hurting yourself. Absolutely the most perfect, best lower lashline/smokey eye/smudged liner/under-eye brush I have ever tried! I compared this to the G27, and the very popular MAC 219 pencil brush below.

G15 and Tarte


This brush is great for packing on eyeshadow or pigments and getting really concentrated color. I love flat, dense, synthetic brushes for packing color onto the eyelid, and I used to always use a Tarte brush (compared to this on the right), but I am liking this even more now. It is a little shorter than the Tarte brush, which helps it pack on even more color and make the color even more concentrated. This is great to use with metallic or duo-chrome shadows where you really want dense, concentrated color on your lid and aren't worried about blending. *Hint: spray it with a little MAC Fix+ before you pick up color to make it even more concentrated.


Obviously I am obsessed with the E18, but this is a really good pencil brush too. This has more of the traditional, pointed pencil brush shape, but the bristles are soft enough that you still don't feel like you're ripping the skin, like I sometimes do with the MAC 219. It doesn't diffuse color or smoke out color as well as the slightly larger, fluffier, rounded E18, but when you want a slightly more precise line under your eyes, this is perfect. The point gets up close to the lashline, but how soft it is still lets you blend enough so you don't have harsh lines under your eyes. You can see this compared to the E18 and MAC 219 above.


Um, so basically take everything I said about the G15 and repeat it here,  except this one is smaller. This is another one I use almost every day because it is the perfect brush for highlighting the inner corner of your eye. It is so teeny tiny that you can really get into that inner corner of your eye and put the highlight exactly where you want it.


I feel like I own so many angled liner brushes, but don't really like most of them. I use these angled brushes both to apply gel eyeliner and to apply color to my brows. So many angled brushes are just too fat and almost fluffy, that it seems impossible to create a straight line, a precise line, or a line with sharp edges. Then the brushes that are thinner and not fluffy, always seem to have bristles that are too long, so they almost bend when you apply pressure and can't get a sharp line with them either. This (and the very similar, but slightly different sized Morphe angled brush from my first post) are about the only angled brushes that are short and thin. This makes getting a straight, sharp line much easier.


This is a flat definer brush, but absolutely the best one I have used. I have a few other Morphe ones too, which are good, but this is my favorite. I feel like a lot of flat liner brushes have bristles that are just too long and don't seem to pick up or deposit any color. This brush picks up so much color with just one little sweep, and makes packing color on, whether it's shadow, cream, etc., super easy and fast. I love using it to put shadow really densely on my lower lashline (and the flat shape makes getting really close to your lashline super easy) and then blending it out with the E18. It also super soft and feels so luxurious.

Face Brushes




I feel like commenting on how these brushes, especially any of the "E" or Elite line of brushes, are super soft is getting repetitive, but seriously, they are!! This is such a luxurious powder brush. I love this for powdering my face, so much. It's so giant that it covers your whole face quickly, and how big and soft, but still kind of dense it is, means you quickly get a good amount of coverage, but you never look dusty or over-powdered.  Here I compared it to the Real Techniques powder brush. You can see it's pretty similar, but it is even softer, and a little denser, which makes applying powder even quicker. It's also really nice for bronzing when you want a buffed-out glow, not a sharper contour.


Again, this is soft and the perfect density. This brush is the ultimate multi-tasker.  It is just so good for so many things. It's an angled brush, and the head is the perfect happy medium between the rounded, wide heads and flat, slim heads that most angled brushes seem to have one or the other. This is great for bronzing, blush, soft countouring, highlighting, everything! I actually use it so much and for so many things that I bought more than one. You can see it compared the very popular Kat Von D Shade/Light brush. It is a little bigger and slightly fluffier, which I really like. It diffuses the color easier and I have an easier time blending and buffing out color with this than the Kat Von D.


Everyone already knows about this brush because of Jaclyn Hill, but she's right, it's a fantastic foundation brush. It's head is so fluffy and big, and the perfect density, bristle length, everything. You can see it next to the Urban Decay Good Karma foundation brush and the Real Techniques Buffing Brush, which I like both of, but aren't nearly as good as the M439. The M439 has shorter bristles than the Urban Decay, a larger head than both, a rounder head than the Real Techniques, and more dense than both. This makes it really fast and easy to buff foundation into your skin, and it manages to not only buff quickly, but it buffs out so smoothly it's crazy. The Urban Decay sometimes leaves some streaks in my foundation, and the Real Techniques leaves streaks and takes forever, but this is brush is point-blank fast and smooth. It makes buffing your foundation in feel luxurious. Normally when I'm done buffing I think "whew, glad that's finally over", but now I almost want to keep going it feels so nice!


This is a nice blush brush. Plain and simple. It is not one of the brushes I am going to tell you to add to your cart if you're going to make a Morphe purchase today, but it's nice. I like that is is smaller, so it allows you to get a precise placement with your blush, and it's still fluffy enough that you can blend that precision and have no harsh edges, but I definitely reach for the E4 most days instead of this.


This is another one that is nice, but not one of the first few I would suggest you purchase. It's smaller than the M100, and has a pretty flat head.  I like that I can use it to contour, highlight, or blush, it works well for all. There is nothing "wrong"with this brush, it just isn't one I reach for as often as others. As I'm sitting here trying to think of what to say about it, I'm not as inspired to rant about how amazing it is like I (clearly) was about some of the others. Again, it's nice, just not amazing.


This is my favorite highlighting brush I own. I used to say that about the M438, which I wrote about in my first Morphe post, and is in the middle of the picture to the right, above the M501. The brush on the top is the Real Techniques Setting Brush. You can see that the M501 is a very similar, tapered shape like the M438, but this one is a bit smaller. It's really the exact same brush except for the size. I still love and use the M438 every single day, but now I use that to set my under-eyes, and use the M501 to highlight (I used to set with the Real Techniques and highlight with the M438, but now I just barely use the Real Techniques). The M438 is great for setting because the point gets into the corners of the under-eye area and it's big enough that it doesn't take forever to pat powder over the whole under-eye triangle, but it is almost too big to highlight, it's not very precise. The smaller size of the M501 makes it easier to control where you place your highlight, which is especially nice if you're highlighting anything other than tops of cheekbones like upper lid, tip of nose, or center of forehead. You want to be able to have a little more precise control over where the color goes in those areas, and this does just that. The point gives you even more control, but it's soft enough, and the bristles are long enough, that it doesn't pack on too dense of a highlight, and lets you be precise, but still diffuse the color perfectly at the same time.


Now THIS brush is precise. This makes contouring so easy it's not even funny. I actually don't even know what else to say about this brush, it's just so precise and easy for contouring, bottom line. How flat and slim it is really gets up under cheekbones (or draws a defined line where they should be, for those of us who don't have them) so you can get that sharp, defined contour right where you want it. You can see it next to the Angled brush from Real Techniques, which I do like for contouring, and I used to think was precise, but that brush is so much fatter than the Morphe that it's nowhere near as precise. I do sometimes like using the Morphe to precisely place my contour where I want it, then softening it with the Real Techniques. This brush also makes contouring your nose easier than any brush I've ever tried. I've attempted to contour down the sides of my nose to make it look slimmer several times, and uslaly with not-so-pretty results. This made it so easy. I just hold the brush with the flat top down the side of my nose, move it up and down a little for a second, and bam, my nose is contoured and doesn't make me look crazy or muddy. Speaking of brushes for contouring, I know a lot of people love the NARS Ita brush, but I did not. That brush seriously hurts my face. The bristles are just stiff and sharp, and it honestly hurts. If you had the same experience, this is a perfect dupe that doesn't hurt. Or, if you like that brush, or have been wanting to try it, I honestly think this works better, feels better, and is less than half the price.

Monday, November 9, 2015

October Favorites


Maybelline Eye Studio Lasting Drama Waterproof Gel Pencil

This is definitely a new all-time favorite. I have already gone back to buy it in other colors. This is THE smoothest, longest lasting, boldest color payoff gel eyeliner pencil I have ever tried. I love gel pencils in general, but this is the best one I have found. It is great for so many things too. To line the water line when you're doing a smokey eye, I have never found a pencil that goes on so black, so smooth and lasts so long. Normally when I line my water line, it's gone in an hour, this lasted all day and night. I also love smudging it all over my lid as a base for shadows, and just as a normal eyeliner pencil, it is awesome. My only gripe is that it only comes in a few colors. I will definitely use the black, brown, grey, and purple it comes in, but I wish there was more. I have to say just pencil to pencil, I like this better than the Urban Decay 24/7 Eyeliner, which we all know and love (and I still do) but I will keep buying those too because of the shade range.

Batiste Dry Shampoo

I wouldn't say I was my hair frequently. Having naturally curly hair, I honestly wash my hair 2 or 3 times a week. My curls usually still look good on day 3, but my roots could use a little freshening up, and this is by far the best dry shampoo I have tried. A lot of dry shampoos make my scalp itch so badly it's almost painful, even though I don't spray them directly on my scalp. This one is so gentle, but it still absorbs some of the oil and freshens up. I also find a lot of dry shampoos are just plain stinky, but this smells sooooo good. All of the Batiste dry shampoos smell good, but the Wild is by far my favorite. Definitely a product I will never be without again.

Morphe E18 brush

I am always looking for the perfect brush to smudge out my lower lash line, and I have finally found it! A lot of pencil brushes, I think, kind of hurt when you're blending on that delicate undereye skin, but this is the absolute softest brush ever. It's rounded so it doesn't feel like it's stabbing you like some of the pointy pencil brushes do. I am obsessed with Morphe brushes, and I wrote about a lot of them in depth Here. I've also gotten several new ones since then, which I will be writing about very soon!

BECCA Backlight Priming Filter

There is only one work for this primer: Gorgeous. It has a golden-pearl cast that makes your skin just glow. The sheen looks a little overwhelming at first, but when you put foundation over it, it tones it down slightly, and this absolutely beautiful glow is created. I like putting the sheen under foundation, which makes it more of a "lit from within" glow, and makes you look radiant. I know some people feel like putting a powder highlighter over their foundation looks too shiny or too fake, but still want to glow, and this is the PERFECT solution for that.

Belif The True Cream Aqua Bomb

This moisturizer is perfect for days that I still need a good amount of hydration, but don't want something thick or sticky. It is a gel-like consistency, which means it absorbs pretty fast and it dries to a beautifully soft and smooth finish. It gives a cooling feeling when you apply it too, which is so refreshing. I love this moisturizer. It didn't irritate or break me out either, just a good dose of hydration that was non-sticky and absorbs beautifully. It's also a pretty blue color, which just makes it even more fun...

Nugg Hydrating Face Mask

I still like a hydrating mask, even if I have a moisturizer I love. This baby does the trick, and it's cheap! The container also has enough in it for at least two uses. It feels kind of gel-like when you apply it and is super hydrating. It smells good, didn't irritate my sensitive skin, and your skin feel soooo soft the minute you rinse it off. Definitely one of my new standbys. I also found that using this at night kept me hydrated all night. I would use this, then put the Aqua Bomb over it, and would be nice and hydrated in the morning.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

How to multiply your eyeshadows

Have you ever wished you could multiply your entire eyeshadow collection by only buying a few new products? Wished you could find a different finish of a shade you already own? Tried to find a color that doesn't seem to exist? Wished a shade you own could be slightly different than it is? There is a super easy way to make all of these happen. This is one of my favorite tricks.