Monday, 31 December 2012

Furless Make Up Brushes Arrival and First Impressions

After driving home from - what seemed like a long - shift at work last Friday, I walk into my room to get ready to go to a house-warming party afterwards and find a lovely package waiting on my bed.

I love packages! Especially well-wrapped ones:)

My Furless Brushes order had arrived: I had ordered two days before, they shipped it the next day, and then it arrived the day after. Shipping was super quick and I really appreciated that they shipped so soon after Christmas (I believe I placed my order on Christmas afternoon)! Unlike many websites which are off duty until some time after new years, it was a really nice surprise to find my order, well-packaged, and at my place so quickly! :)

So naturally, I used this kit to do my make up for the party afterwards. The look that I was going for was very sophisticated and feminine - which is not a big challenge for my staple favourite brushes, but unfortunately was difficult with these brushes. :(

The pink fluffy brush is an to me - an all rounder eye brush, it's good for applying a base colour and blending, and it is a free gift which was included in my order.

The free gift pink brush is a fluffier version of the PRO2E brush.
I bought the Must Have Professional Make Up Brush Set which is sold for $149.95 AUD (CLICK HERE to check out this set) and the Purple Power Make Up Brush Set which retails at $49.95 AUD on the official Furless website (CLICK HERE to visit the page for this set). The Purple Power set is in the zebra print tissue and the other set is wrapped with dark navy blue tissue paper. I also ordered a dark mineral bronzer sample in the shade "Brazen" and a medium mineral foundation sample in the shade "Progressive".

The website ships internationally and has a flat rate of $5 AUD for orders within Australia (1-3 expected delivery time - amazingly quick), and $12.50 AUD for international orders.

DISCLAIMER: I am not affiliated with this brand or website in any way at all. This first impressions post in all my own personal experience and thoughts with this set. Everyone has different opinions and what works for me may not work for you, and vice versa. :)

The company has an affiliate program, free make up templates you can download from the website, and a Blogger or Vlogger discount application. To apply, CLICK HERE to go to the page. I received a 50% discount on my first order since I am a blogger and blog often, however I am not an affiliate. The aim of the discount is to provide an incentive to purchase the brushes/make up from the brand to review (and if it's good, to buy more, etc.). I paid for all of this with my own money, my order totalled to $104.95 (including shipping) with the discount. If you own a blog or YouTube channel which is active, I highly suggest applying for this discount if you are planning on buying this brush set! You're not obliged to do a review either.

About the company/brand:
> PETA Approved
> Vegan and Cruelty Free company
> All synthetic brushes (I love synthetic brushes so that wasn't a deal-breaker at all)
> No animal testing

Honestly, the name of the company kind of explains it all - "Furless", they don't do anything that could potentially harm animals or wildlife in the making and testing of their products. :)

For once, Intagram does not do the aesthetically pleasing brushes justice! They look amazing in real life.
These brushes are incredibly beautiful in appearance. They are well-made in the physical sense, from the ferrule to the handles. The purple power brushes have deep burgundy purple handles, black ferrules, black bristles with vibrant true purple tips. All brushes in both sets have a glossy finish (unlike Sedona Lace and MakeUpByToni which has a matte finish to their brushes). The professional brush range has a dark royal blue handle, clean and bright gold ferrule, and black and/or white bristles.

They are slightly larger than average full-sized brushes in height and very pleasing to hold as the handle is tapered to be thinner towards the end (opposite of the bristles).

A design flaw: I needed to put a thin coat of clear nail polish on top of each brush over the brush name and brand name or else it will rub off (similar problem to the Real Techniques or original Bubbi brushes). For a kit that is named "professional", putting a top coat should have not been necessary - in my opinion. This was also necessary for the Purple Power Kit!
The Furless Brushes (and other brushes) drying after their first deep-clean after use. :)

I have only used this set twice and I deep clean/wash my brushes after every single use (I'm still a germaphobe), so my opinions of this set may change and will further develop as I use this set for a longer period of time and in a wide variety of ways.

The Professional Kit comes with 6 face brushes (the code ends with an F).

 The Professional Kit comes with 7 multi-use brushes (the code ends with an M). 

 The Professional Kit comes with 6 eye brushes (the code ends with an E). 

Another design flaw: The code for the eye brushes are not sequential, it's missing a 3E and a 5E. I did not lose any brushes, the kit makes a total of 20 brushes. Not a big deal but a bit of an annoying trait.
And last, it comes with 1 lip brush (ends with the letter L).


> The brushes are stunning to look at, sophisticated and elegant in design. Although I own far more expensive brushes, these easily look more expensive.

> A few of the brushes shed noticeably after the first wash - the ferrule is sturdy so I'm going to see how these turn out and how it affects application. No further shedding has been observed so far.

> Not many brushes which are suitable as eye brushes (see image below). They are too large and would make better face brushes then eye brushes.
Some of the eye brushes which are included in the kit which are large enough to be included with the Sigma Essential or Sedona Midnight Lace face brushes (made to imitate your fingers for make up application). 
> Bristles are incredibly soft, similar to the softness of my MakeUpByToni brushes (definitely softer then Sigma brushes), but the brushes are also very flexible. This caused some brushes to form streaks when applying make up (I had to blend with a wet sponge or use patting motions with the brush).

> Most of the brushes do not come with the plastic guard which is usually included in these sets. There are only three guards: one for the fan brush, one for the eyeliner brush, and one for the lip brush.

> The flat top brush known as the PRO4F (which I was most excited about), is too soft and not dense enough, so it will move your concealer and leaves streaks in your foundation. It is one of the brushes which shed after the first wash and application of liquid foundation is difficult, I will be trying this brush with powder later on - hopefully the results will be better.

> The thin flat concealer-like brush known as the PRO4M has very long bristles which make the placement of concealer easy - just not the blending as it leaves noticeable streaks and does not buff the product into the skin! I will be using this brush for application of base eye colour instead from now on (since it's a multi-use brush) to see how that goes.

> The fan brush or PRO5M is too large and dense for precise application of highlighter, and too soft and flexible to brush off excess powder from the face! I will be trialling different uses for a while to see if I can find a good use for this brush (perhaps for body?)

> The brush roll that this set comes in doubles as a make up belt, which is useful to own when applying make up on someone else! Very pleased about the innovation of that make up roll, however (unlike the other make up roll which I own from MakeUpByToni which has received rave first impressions from me) it does not feel like a well-made, sturdy, expensive case. It feels poorly made, the faux shiny plastic material is very thin, there's no elasticity in the slots and the design of the roll will damage the shape of your brushes - unlike other good-quality rolls. So personally, it is only great as a make up belt, not so much as a travelling storage roll. If you are ordering internationally, keep this in mind that the brushes may arrived slightly bent and deformed from transit and travelling time - but that's nothing that a good brush guard cannot fix!

> The large powder brush, aka. PRO1F, is super soft and applies powder foundation well. But due to it's shape being round instead of oblong, it does not brush off powder well. The same design flaw which I found in other brush kits.
So far, these brushes have not met my expectations. :( Although there is still time for that to change.
Overall, this set was a bit of a let down. Whilst you can expect there to be a couple of bad brushes in any set, out of the 20 brushes included in this set, around 10 of them didn't meet the mark. There's still time for that to change and I plan on continuing to use these brushes until I can find a good use for them. The other brushes in this kit, I have yet to form an opinion of - although the stippling brush seems to be a good brush (I have yet to use that one). So far, it isn't looking so good for this set, I really hope it all changes and I find good uses for my in-depth review in a few more months.

From first impressions, I am glad I didn't pay the full price for this kit or I would possibly be sending it back for a refund. There are better kits out there for the full price of this kit, at least, for initial first impression.


> I had only bought this set to take full advantage of the discount for the first order (50% off total order up to $100 discount), I absolutely love this kit so far.

> The brush case is a well-made, hard-cover light lilac purple zippered case with individual slots which have enough elasticity to keep the brushes in place when travelling.

> All brushes in the kit are the perfect amount of softness, density and firmness for even, streak-free application that does not move your skin (or concealer) too much.

> The covered lip brush is ingenious. I don't know how I could have survived without this kit for so long. It's a travel-sized lip brush with a cap which you can put on the end of the brush and turn it into a full-sized brush. It's brilliant for on-the-go lip colour application (especially for bold, vibrant colours such as MAC Morange or any bright red), and the cap makes it perfect for putting it in your make up bag. This kit is honestly worth purchasing just for this brush, amazing! :)

I like the purple power lip brush much better then the PRO1L, it is more defined and perfect for getting the sides of the lips. I would only use the PRO1L for concealing around the lips.
How ingenious is this: the cap can be attached to the end to make a full-sized brush, it can then work as a cap to protect the bristles and colour while travelling in your bag! :)
> The eye brushes in the Purple Power kit are more suited to eye make up application then in the Professional kit, the size is smaller and the bristles are soft. :)

Purple Power wins again! :)
> The large powder brush is oblong in shape which helps when applying powder and brushing off the excess - therefore, avoiding cake face! :)
The purple power powder brush has a dented ferrule which improves the shape of the brush.
Three guesses which one I prefer for avoiding cake face. ;)

After their first drying! I have yet to try out the mineral samples.
The free gift pink brush is actually a good blending brush. I used it for a cut-crease look and it managed to do it's job well. It was a surprising success; in fact, this entire order was a surprising mix. I had some brushes really impress me for application (and they were the brushes which I was originally not very interested in, i.e. the Purple Power Kit)!

Whilst I need to try out the sets more to make a more educated review, first impressions were a combination of good and bad characteristics.

In conclusion: The professional kit failed to impress me initially whilst the purple power kit managed to surprise me with it's quality. The professional kit would only be good for beginners or students of make up, if you realistically want to work in the industry professionally, I suggest only using a few of the exceptional brushes from this kit, and investing in a better set.

I own over 150 make up brushes, most of them are pictured here. 
The above picture is a snapshot of the brushes which I am comparing these sets to, I'm not just pulling this stuff out of thin air. ;)

I plan on purchasing more brushes from other brands and am going to start with high end brands from next year. :)

This first impressions review is very in-depth because a number of people have been interested to know what I thought about this set as they were planning on making a purchase, and since they did give me 50% discount - I felt I owed it to make more of an effort in this entry. :)

Thank you so much for taking the time to read this entry. Please favourite, bookmark, subscribe, or follow if you have the time! New posts three times a week! All opinions are my own and will always be my own. :)

Stay Beautiful! xx

Saturday, 29 December 2012

Current Benefit Box O' Powders Review

This whole week has been impossible for posting! I'm so sorry for the lateness of every post this week, since the entire Christmas eve, day and boxing day week is over, everything should return to normal! :)

I like variety and I'm sure you do too which is why I've avoided posting about anymore Benefit products, Sigma Products, etc. Since I do tend to talk about my favourites and shift the focus away from other products. I've decided to do products which I do not like as well as products which I enjoy. So not only will my blog be letting people know which products are amazing but also which products are terrible! (Note: All of these are my own personal opinions!). :)

So I think it's been long enough: Benefit Box O' Powders review time!

I decided that instead of reviewing each powder box individually (which may take a while), I'm just going to review every single box which I own in one simple, easy post! Partly because of laziness and partly because I though you'd appreciate less reading. ;)

I'll do an in-depth version with swatches and examples in make up application later on, promise. :)

All of these powders were purchased from the official Benefit Website, individual links will be below every product review. Also, all Benefit Box O' Powders have a very light and pleasant scent to them (they're quite famous for their scents)!  

All the powders which I own.
I do not own every benefit product ever created, believe it or not ;) These are the only powders from Benefit which I have tried and tested! I hope this helps some of you, also: please leave suggestions in the comment section of any powders which you enjoy using so I can check them out! :)

Hope you enjoy the review. :)

I am washed out. Not as badly as some people but I am pale enough that bronzing is a definite part of my everyday make up routine. I actually get told that I look sick without bronzer. I've been through quite a few bronzers and this one has always been my fall-back. Kind of like a fail-proof product, this bronzer is perfect for most skin-tones. It's very blendable and is perfect at imitating the natural shadows of your face.

Hoola by Benefit was my first ever bronzing powder so there have been some good memories using this powder. It's a completely matte light brown colour with no orange undertones, so you won't look like a spray tan gone wrong. Hoola is a very well-known bronzer and a favourite product for a lot of people. I personally use Hoola daily for contouring my nose subtly but would lean towards a more deeper colour for intense contouring of the cheek bones!

Hoola retails for $28.00 USDCLICK HERE to view the page I bought it from. I bought the Double the Powder! online exclusive pack for $34.00 USD which includes Hoola and Thrrrob, CLICK HERE to visit the site!

I bought Hervana simply because it's a matte blush colour and I don't have a lot of matte blushes. The blush looks amazing and very subtle on any skin type. It actually looks like you are not wearing any product on your cheeks at all and the colour is buildable. That being said, I would not use this blush if you are looking for a highly pigmented cheek colour!! It is incredibly natural, subtle colour which does make a slight difference to your natural look.

Hervana retails for $28.00 USD, you can CLICK HERE to view the page!

Sugarbomb is a very warm, flushed type of cheek colour. It is a satin blush colour with buildable colour. The four colours are: soft plum, peach, pink and rose. They work well separately and together as a multi-coloured blush. I found that this blush complimented warmer skin tones well and can be used alone for a quick flush of colour on simple days out.

This blush retails for $28.00 USD and you can purchase it by CLICKING HERE!

Dandelion is a big favourite of mine! It's a brightening face powder which you can use as a light pink blush or sweep over your entire face for an enchanting glow. This blush evens out blotchy skin tones and brings light into dark areas which allows your complexion to glow subtly. It is a satin type blush and has a light sweet scent which wont overpower any fragrance you choose to wear.

You can purchase Dandelion for $28.00 USD by CLICKING HERE.

Bella Bamba.
Bella Bamba is a highly pigmented, shimmer blush colour. I own the deluxe sample size of the blush and have only used it on a few occasions. I find the blush is intense on my skin tone and would better suit people with darker, olive skin tones. When I do apply it, I do it with a very light hand and that alone is more then enough blush for even my more dramatic looks! I keep this in my emergency make up kit in case I ever need a bold blush colour.

That being said, I've found that some people of all skin tones absolutely love this melon-coloured blush! It's just not for me, personally! :)

You can buy Bella Bamba (god that name is fun to say) by CLICKING HERE for $28.00 USD.

I got Thrrrob from buying the Double the Powder! online exclusive pack for $34.00 USD which includes Hoola and Thrrrob, CLICK HERE to view the offer. I ended up enjoying this blush because it's a lovely light pink colour with a larger amount of shimmer compared to the other blushes. This blush looks amazing when layered on top of other blushes to add more dimension to your cheek colour and highlight your cheekbones.

CLICK HERE to purchase Thrrrob individually for $28.00 USD.

The catchy phrases on the packaging give you a general idea of uses for the powders. ;)

TheBalm Hot Mama & Benefit Bella Bamba Blush!
I decided to include pictures of blushes I own and love to show how they compare with the Benefit versions. TheBalm's Hot Mama blush (very famous blush) is a warmer and lighter colour compared to the Bella Bamba by Benefit. Bella Bamba is a melon-pink colour which is highly pigmented whereas Hot Mama can be used for everyday make up looks for any occasion.

TheBalm Bahama Mama and Benefit Hoola Bronzers!
Bahama Mama is a much more dramatic, deeper, matte brown colour then Hoola. I would not use Bahama Mama to contour my nose (that would make me look angry - hahaha)! But I reach for the Bahama Mama for cheek contouring. Hoola is a subtle colour which can be used for any type of contouring (especially for natural looks). They are both great bronzers for my light-medium, yellow undertoned skin tone. They have no orange undertones and no shimmer!

I hope this review helped someone, much love to all my readers! :)

Stay Beautiful! xx

Thursday, 27 December 2012

L.A. Colors Auto Lipliner Review and Swatches

Okay this time the lateness of this entry is not due to any fault of my own: my internet literally decided to kill itself during boxing day. There was nothing I or anyone in my family could do to repair it and uploading remotely was impossible - trust me, I tried. :(

Here's yesterdays' post:

Every person (male or female), anything and anyone who is starting off with make up or has been into make up for a while, should know and own the simple, humble miracle which is lip liner! Lip liners (are supposed to) prevent leaking of lip colour by providing a good base, line the lips for different looks, intensify/change any lip colour which is layered over the top of lined lips, prevent feathering of the lips, and compliment a wide variety of make up looks and skin tones!

If you find a good lip liner, it may do most/all of these things and more. There are liners which plump the lips, are highly moisturising, and more! *cue applause for this innovative product*

If you want some good quality and affordable lip liners to start or add to your growing collection, I very highly suggest L.A. Colors Auto Lipliners! These liners are incredibly soft and simply glide onto any surface smoothly. The colour payoff is amazing, the formula is smooth and prevents feathering, the packaging allows for precise application of the liner to a variety of lip shapes and sizes. :)

L.A. Colours Auto Lipliners which I own.
So I bought three of their lip liners in the following colours:
- AL565: Pinky
- AL561: Nude
- AL569: Fiery Red

From Cherry Culture for $2.50 USD each, there is a wide selection on the site and shipping was quite inexpensive to Australia for my large order! :) CLICK HERE to visit the exact page I used to purchase these lip liners.

Twist up function.
These liners have a twist up function so there's no sharpening needed to get a precise line. Remember that when you're using twist up products, not to twist up too much or the product might break off! I would twist to the level shown in the picture above or just a bit higher to prevent breakage. Although this all depends on the amount of pressure you use normally! :)

Swatches of the colours.
Let me start off by saying that these lip pencils are amazing; they glide on perfectly/very easily, are very pigmented and contain shea butter which conditions your lips to prevent feathering of any lip product you put on top. Personally, I love using Pinky to line and completely fill in my lips then putting on any pink gloss - these lip liners can be used by themselves if you want a matte-lip look as well!

I'm not a fan of the Nude colour, it's far to dark and with no pink undertones (like the Too Faced Perfect Nude pencil has - this by the way is my favourite nude lip liner of all time!). Nude lip colours are always tricky since every lip has a natural colour/pigmentation which is suited to the individual. Therefore, while this nude pencil did nothing but wash me out, it may suit other lips better.

I love wearing Pinky by itself, it's a beautiful light mauve pink colour which is just amazing and unique. I've gotten asked what lipstick I was wearing before with this liner on and some compliments so I'm very happy with this colour. It's difficult to describe but try it out! Hopefully you'll love this as much as I do - or maybe this is one of those "just me" things. ;)

Fiery Red is a deep and dark red colour with blue undertones. It's good for putting a bright red over the top to balance the look and creating ombre lip colours.

Anyways, thank you so much for checking out this post on my blog, all feedback is much appreciated and loved! Everything I review and bought with my own money so these are my honest opinions. Since they are my own opinions, they may not agree with someone else's. Make up is diverse, just like the people who use it - let's all have fun whilst sharing our experiences!

Stay Beautiful! xx

Tuesday, 25 December 2012

EcoTools Beautiful Expressions Kabuki Set Review

Firstly, I would like to apologise for not posting yesterday. Christmas eve got a little out of control with my family and such so I actually forgot until around 11pm that night! Anyways, I'll be sure to let all of you guys know beforehand next time I do something like this! Just a heads up, I will be going out a few times this week but everything should go as per usual! Sorry again and here's the review which I was planning on giving you yesterday! :)

Urgh, so many calories! :)

EcoTools is a well-known, inexpensive, drugstore brand. Its main selling point is the length it goes to when promoting environmental awareness and support. Today I will be reviewing the EcoTools Beautiful Expressions Kabuki Set (limited edition 4 piece set): a completely environmentally friendly, synthetic brush set.
 The set features four full-sized kabuki brushes.
To be honest, I believe that this set must be one of their best-selling of all time. I've seen these four kabuki brushes on basically every dresser/bathroom/make up table in history nowadays. So if you don't own this set, someone you know probably does!

The brushes are all very small and will easily fit into any type of travel bag invented. Don't be surprised when they arrive because despite being sold as "full-sized", I own travel-sized kabuki brushes which are larger then these!

I bought these off iHerb for $13.95 USD and I paid $12 USD shipping (I choose a quicker shipping option for my first order since it was very large), CLICK HERE to go to the site. You can use the code: VAF312 for $10 off your first order over $60 or $5 off your first order under $60! That's pretty much free shipping since the cheapest shipping option is $4.

DISCLAIMER: All products have been bought and paid for with my own money and I am not endorsing/paid for by iHerb at all, I have the code which will discount your first offer which is provided to everyone after their first order. I wish I knew a code when I first ordered but I didn't use one so I paid the extra $10. Feel free to use any code at all that you wish, I'm not going to force you to use mine! :) Okay, back to the review! :)

Bronzed Angle Kabuki Brush.
The bristles on this brush are too soft and flexible to be used to apply bronzer. I use this brush for either applying setting powder or blush colour. I prefer my contouring/bronzer to look defined rather then "snooki" (everywhere on the face - if I wanted that I'd get a fake tan) if that makes sense. ;)
Conceal Round Kabuki Brush.
This brush is incredibly soft and dense which makes it ideal for use with liquid and cream products since it will not absorb too much product into the bristles; and the softness means that it doesn't disturb your skin during application too much! It is a nice brush to have for concealer or liquid highlighter application when contouring your face.

Contour Domed Kabuki Brush.
This is the brush which I would use to apply and blend out bronzer if I used this kit. Although it isn't my favourite bronzer brush, it does a good job of precisely applying the bronzer or powder highlighter to the areas of my face which I want to focus on. A very decent brush - especially considering the price.

Buff Flat Top Kabuki Brush.
This is a semi-dense flat top brush but it's too flexible and soft for liquid and cream product application. I find that if I use this brush for liquid and cream foundations it absorbs most of the product and leaves a streaky application. Best for application and dispersion of powder make up since it prevents any cake face with it's large amount of bristles. In other words: the bristles are dense, but not dense enough for use of foundation application (unless it's mineral powder foundation)! :)

In conclusion, this brush set is definitely worth the money. Although none of these synthetic brushes are revolutionary or have made it into my favourites collection of brushes, it is still a brilliant brush set to work with when you are beginning to explore with different kinds of make up brushes and learning different techniques. If you can use these brushes well - you can use any brushes. ;)
Kabuki-Sized Brush Guards!
I also thought I'd also share how I maintain the Kabuki brush shapes and store these Kabuki Brushes (since they do not come with their own carrying case)! These will prevent any damage or splaying of the bristles and maintain the density of the brush. :)

I wash my brushes after every single use: no shedding or bleeding of colour was observed! The shape is maintained through brush guards so I don't know how they'll do without them (since they are very easily splayed during make up application). :)

Thank you once again for taking the time to read this review on my blog, much love goes out to all my readers. xx

Feedback and comments are much appreciated and loved, thank you to everyone who does!

Please subscribe, follow or bookmark/favourites this page if you have the time! :) Thanks again lovelies.

Stay Beautiful! xx

Friday, 21 December 2012

Make Up By Toni Brushes Update - First Impressions

Hi everyone! I have some super exciting news to share with you all. :)

I was going to post a review up today and this package arrived which - I swear - I wasn't planning on blogging about but after opening, playing around with and washing these brushes, I need to post about these!
Christmas came early baby! ;)

They came very well-packaged in a firmly bubble-wrapped parcel. Shipping to Australia took only 7 days (Christmas is literally three days away from today, so delays in shipping are to be expected - there were none!). I purchased the HOPE Series Brush Kit/Set and the MakeUpByToni Flat Top Kabuki brush - these are the only products that Toni has released and to be completely honest - if she released anything else in the future, I would buy it in a second - without any hesitation! :)

So the HOPE Series comes in the navy blue brush roll and with two extra travel-sized blending brushes (while stocks last). The other packaged box houses the Flat Top Kabuki brush and another free travel-sized blending brush (also while stocks last)! Whilst Sigma and Sedona Laces' idea of a free travel-sized gift is decent (but seriously, how many eyeliner brushes does a girl need?), you can NEVER have enough blending brushes. I thank and congratulate Toni on her insight into what brushes are most reached for when doing make up - instead of just going with the cheapest option during production!

Just an added note: MakeUpByToni "travel-sized" brushes which were included as a free gift are exactly the same height as a full-size Real Techniques eye brush (from their eyes kit) - they are substantial brushes in size which does not feel cheap or cheaply made! :)

16 high quality brushes for $105 AUD including Shipping. :o
You can see from the image above that the three free travel-sized tapered blending brushes I got in total are just the tiniest bit smaller then the full-sized brushes. The brushes are about the same height and size as the Sigma brushes. All brushes came in immaculate shape which is much more then I can say about certain other companies that I've purchased brushes from. Although this may be due to MakeUpByToni's quick shipping, e.g. Sigma and Sedona Lace brushes can easily take 3-4 weeks to arrive, which means a lot of possible damage during transit.

The HOPE Series of a 12 piece brush set which comes in a navy brush kit roll for travel and storage. The handles are dark navy blue, with holographic print of the brand (MAKEUPBYTONI), with silver ferrule and light brown, white-tipped bristles. The bristles are a very high quality synthetic nylon bristles.

Now I'm not an affiliate or an ambassador or any way involved with this brand, so I don't know the full story. These are the few facts that I've been able to find and have assembled all here for you:

- Toni is a make-up artist, she has a YouTube channel which showcases her looks and special VIP events which she attends.

- Toni released the HOPE Series to show that you don't need a fat-ass wallet to buy quality brushes, she quotes "There is HOPE!" (get it?) ;)

- HOPE Series was officially released on the 1st of August 2012 and there is very limited stock - once it's gone, it's gone. I will most definitely be buying back ups if there are any after a few months of rigorous testing of this kit I have now! (I shall keep you updated on that) :)

- The Flat Top Kabuki brush was only released a week or so ago, I had pre-ordered and was one of the first to get my hands on this sweet baby. :)

Unfortunately, that's all I know. I had only discovered Toni a few weeks ago and here I am, ranting about her brand of brushes! :)


- The size and design of the HOPE series brush kit is very similar to the Sigma or Sedona Lace brush kits (which is a normal thing to expect since many brush kits have similar combination of these brushes). There has been a lot of speculation that MakeUpByToni brushes are made by the same company that Sigma Brushes source their brushes from (I believe there's a rumour going around that this is Crown brushes), personally I don't think this is true (see below point).

These brushes are of MUCH better quality than my Sigma brushes. I'm not kidding, I own a lot of make up brushes: Sigma brushes (Mrs. Bunny, Performance eyes, Entire Kabuki and essential face kits), the entire Real Techniques range, Napoleon Perdis, TooFaced, UD, Revlon, Sedona Lace, NUDE, etc. And these brushes take the cake. (Metaphorically, I don't have any cake - calorie counting diet). :(

So if these brushes came from the same company, there seems to be a dramatic difference in the quality. The bristles hold their shape much better, are denser (especially in the case of the Flat Top Brush), and the cost is actually lower. Yes, I only paid $105 AUD for all 16 of these brushes INCLUDING shipping to Australia (which took only SEVEN days)!

You can purchase these though the following contact methods (which I found through her Facebook page):
Instagram: @heartonialvarez and @mateorafaelray (follow requests are subject to approval)

- Bristles are well-shaped, brushes are well-made with holographic printing (which won't fade like certain brands which I won't care to mention now).

- Bristles are incredibly soft - think of the softest thing you've ever touched, now multiply that by 5. Seriously though, the angled liner brush is as softer then some blending brushes which I own (which is amazing for people like me who suffer from sensitive skin around the eye area and sensitive eyes). I will be using this brush for gel liner to see how it performs but from first impression, it is firm yet unbelievably soft (good god, I hope this brush applies amazingly - if it does, I'm buying duplicates because I've never found a brush like this before!)

- After the first deep-clean I've done, there has been no bleeding, no shedding and no change in brush shape. I honestly CANNOT be more impressed with this brand.

- I have not found ONE flaw, even the brush roll (I had a terrible experience with brush rolls which mis-shaped and damaged the brushes), is of exceptional quality and actually maintained the shape of the brushes in the kit! *mind blown*


- I purchased everything with my own money, I do not get paid/any benefit from doing this review (in fact she has no idea I'm doing this - or that I even have this blog (I'm pretty sure)).
- I found out about MakeUpByToni a few weeks ago when randomly searching "Brush Review" on YouTube. I was curious about the reviews and I am so glad I found it when I did! What a stroke of good fortune! :)

- To be completely honest (I'm using that phrase a lot this entry), I distrusted the brand at first since she took payment methods which I have not used before. But because of the positive interaction I had with her (she's very friendly, open and willing to guide you through steps - and most importantly, she's very contactable through her Facebook, Youtube, Instagram, and Email!), I decided to take the risk... And then she got a PayPal account. That's right - go shop now, there's no more risk (not that there was anyway - trust me, I'm a good judge of character). You'll thank me later when you receive these brushes. ;)

In conclusion:

I will be continuing to use these brushes for many months before posting an in-depth review about the brushes. THIS IS JUST MY FIRST IMPRESSION POST and my opinions may change as I continually use these brushes for a few months. For the time being, they are impressing me on every level possible and as you can probably tell by my passionate blog post - I really needed to share my excitement today (the review I was going to post can wait till Monday).

These opinions are my own, I cannot guarantee that these brushes will work for you as they do for me. Please comment, subscribe, follow, bookmark or favourite this blog if you have the time. Thank you so much for taking the time to read my - rather eccentric - blog entry today, I really hope this will help someone in some way! Feedback is much loved no matter what the type! :)

Stay Beautiful and most importantly, stay safe during this holiday season my lovelies! xx

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Sigma Performance Eyes Kit Update!

Is there any better feeling then coming home to an awaiting parcel? Even if you know, very well, what's inside from the box alone - you still get curious and excited when you start to open it? Although the waiting is the worst part of Internet shopping (along with the chance of being scammed or your package getting lost - has never happened to me, THANK GOD!), opening the package is the most exciting!

I just thought I would update everyone on my Sigma Black Friday Parcel arriving earlier this Monday (17/12/2012). :)
My Second Sigma Order.
The free gift is the same as it was before (travel sized eyeliner brush - I have soo many eyeliner brushes now). The kit came in a cardboard box with a instructional pamphlet outlining ways to use each brush (of course this can be varied according to personal preferences), and a little card saying thank you for purchasing Sigma!
I bought this kit for $61.00 USD with free shipping (promotion during Black Friday) from the Official Sigma Website: CLICK HERE to visit the page (I am not a sigma affiliate)! :)

Packaging is similar to all Sigma brush sets.
Back - with official sticker of Authenticity.
Sigma Performance Eye Kit Brushes - all in protective sleeves.

Originally I had no intention of buying these brushes. They interested me but the fact that they weren't made of synthetic Sigmax bristles meant they didn't make it to my "need to buy" list (which is already quite extensive, I need to cut down... Starting next year). ;)

But when Sigma had the free shipping deal on their Black Friday "sale", I couldn't resist and bought these. :)

I will be using them daily for the next month or more before writing a review. I wash my brushes after every use, so these brushes will be very tested like the rest of my collection.

First impressions: after one use and wash

> Bristles on all the brushes are splayed, fixed after the first wash with the use of brush guards. Also many of the brushes are not as defined and well-shaped as they are on the website or advertisements (yes, they've photoshopped the BRUSHES, I can't believe people do that...)
> One particular brush is very coarse (I have sensitive eyes so my standards for soft eye brushes are very high). I will post more about this brush on my review in the future because I want to see if maybe I'm using it wrong or the bristles soften up.
> You can see the glue which binds the bristles on two brushes below the ferrule - quite worrying but we'll see how this holds.

 Now adding this set to my current collection:

My First Ever Sigma Order!

I think I'm done with Sigma for the time being. :)

This is strange but does anyone else love the smell of new brushes? When you open new brushes from any brand at all, they all have that new-brush smell which I've realised I love. :) Or is it just me? ;)

Thank you for reading this entry, feedback is much loved and posts are up every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Bookmark, subscribe or follow if you find the time. :)

Stay Beautiful! xx

Monday, 17 December 2012

Elizabeth Arden Exceptional Lipstick Review and Swatches

Although I prefer lip stains over all types of lip products, I do own a fair amount of lip sticks. When I reach for a lipstick, it must be moisturising, pigmented (my lips feel suffocated and heavy if I have to layer lipstick on too much), and long-lasting (the best part of a lip-stain!).

Introducing the Elizabeth Arden Exceptional Lipstick Collection (I own two of the colours from this collection):

The two lipsticks from the Exceptional Elizabeth Arden collection which I own.
I received these two lipsticks when I purchased the Elizabeth Arden Red Door Set (contained an eyeshadow palette based on the Red Door fragrance, mini eyeliner, and some other things!) for around $70 AUD at Cosmo Cosmetics (in-store).

38 - Beauty (and swatch).
Beauty is a light plum colour with a matte finish. Despite the matte finish, it feels moisturising (although I recommend moisturising your lips before applying any lip product to it during make up application) and there has been no feathering of the colour. It is fairly pigmented - I usually layer on about 2-3 layers to achieve the intense colour which I want.

25 - Starlight (swatch to the left - the right swatch is Beauty).
I absolutely love this lipstick colour - Starlight! It was very unexpected but this lip colour is the perfect nude lip colour for me. It is an intensified version of my natural lip colour and is perfect for daily use. The finish is semi-matte and the formula is pigmented and moisturising. I adore this lipstick because it suits a wide range of looks for everyday use! :)

In conclusion, these lipsticks are inexpensive (when bought in a set/pack), and good quality. They aren't orgasmic or anything, but they do what a lipstick should do. Nothing revolutionary but great value for price that I paid. If you want a few good lipsticks, these may be the one for you! Please let me know if you have tried these lipsticks and your own opinions on them - I'd love to know! :)

These opinions are my own, so what works for me may not work for someone else and vice versa! I made this blog in the hope that some of these tips/reviews and swatches may help someone out there as well as for my own personal enjoyment (make up is a passion of mine!).

Once again, thank you all for taking the time out of your day to read my blog, much love to all of you! Any feedback/comments/suggestions you leave will definitely be taken into account and much loved and appreciated! :)

Stay Beautiful! xx

Friday, 14 December 2012

Travalo Review and Refill Tutorial

I can't exactly recall when I had first heard about the Travalo (it's one of those things where I can't remember at the top of my head but if I hear a certain word, it will trigger the memory and I'll remember where I heard it from originally). But I recall being immediately interested in it. Travalo is - in my own words - a tiny portable spray capsule which you can refill as often as you need too with whichever fragrance/fragrances you like for on-the-go touch ups or when you're running late and forget to wear any perfume (this has saved me more then once - I'm usually late for everything...)!

Travalo - Front.

Travalo - Back (holographic inscription - won't fade)!

The Travalo is just under 9 cm (it's 8.6cm if you want to be specific) in height and is capable of spraying up to 65 times (when full). The best part about this packaging is that it is made out of aircraft grade aluminum which makes the geek inside me scream with happiness. This means that it's lightweight and incredibly durable, so you can throw it into any bag without a second thought!

The original idea of the Travalo was to allow people to fly on a plane with their favourite scent. The capsule has it's own pressure regulating system which makes it safe to fly with. There are also no dangerous glass parts so there's no risk of shattering/hurting yourself with this product! :) Perfect for someone as clumsy and uncoordinated as myself...

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You can see the little spray nozzle (aka. "fragrance atomizer") which releases a very fine mist and not a jet of fragrance! :) The entire packaging is very secure and airtight, it is a very well-made product and I have complete confidence in this bottle to last through bumps and scrapes and all sorts of horrors whilst traveling! ;)

The mechanism at the bottom of the capsule.
This little rubber bit at the bottom of the capsule is how the you full this capsule with any fragrance in a matter of seconds!


STEP ONE: Remove the top nozzle of your favourite perfume (don't worry, it can be put back on!) ;)
STEP TWO: Press the bottom of the Travalo to the end of the nozzle of your perfume bottle.
STEP THREE: Push the Travalo in up and down motions to fill with fragrance, keep an eye out for the see-through level indicator (make sure your Travalo is NO MORE THEN 3/4 FULL or you'll risk damaging the pressure system of the Travalo!) 
FINISHED! Replace the cap on the perfume bottle and have fun! :)

In conclusion, this little handy product has very quickly become an item which I simply cannot live without. I need to buy extras in every colour! Australia still has yet to realise its own version of this product, but the idea is so unique and just obviously simply that I can't believe I didn't own one for so long before!

I bought this for $21.23 AUD with free shipping to Australia from Feel Unique, shipping took around 4 weeks to Sydney (similar to Beauty Bay in that sense). There is a large variety of colours and they often have specials! CLICK HERE to visit the exact page I bought this from, there's currently a 4% off discount applied to these so you can get them for $20.38 AUD. :)

ADDIT: I recently found out that these can be bought in-store in Australia from Myers/David Jones or Terry White Chemist! Off you go! :)

I recommend for anyone out there, male/female, it does not matter (the bottles come in a variety of different colours!), because you'll find yourself reaching for this more then once! I had no idea what a dependence I would develop for this product until after using it for a few months. You no longer have any excuse to smell anything BUT delicious from now on! ;)

Have you tried out the Travalo? If yes, please tell me what your experiences/uses are for this little capsule? If no, are you interested in trying out this product? For future giveaway reference! ;)

Thank you so much for taking the time to read my blog, all feedback is much loved and appreciated! These opinions are my own opinions and I'm not sponsored by anything/anyone. I understand that people may not share the same opinions as myself and I enjoy seeing how different people find the same product. Differences make us all unique! :)

Stay Beautiful! xx