Sunday, May 11, 2008

Tools + Artistry

I forgot to mention that I spent 15 minutes and washed all my bristled brushes on Saturday.

I have the Body Shop Retractable Travel Blush Brush [$18.50USD] and I've been using it as my regular blush brush (instead of getting a long-handled one) for I think 2-3 years now.
Ah big picture...
Anyway - I never washed it. Extremely disgusting on my behalf.. it grosses me out just thinking about it.

Please wash your brushes every 2-3 months at least (and eye brushes even more often!) because they become a bacteria haven. Why else? Your brushes will last much much longer.

The steps:
You can go out and buy brush cleansers at MAC ($10) etc... but if you'd rather buy a rather satisfying meal (or two!) instead, read further.
A lot of people have these complicated, unnecessary steps and ingredients when washing brushes that involves bottled water, 70% alcohol, baby shampoo etc... too much work!

All you need is warm water (from your SINK) and clarifying shampoo - or any shampoo that's clear basically. I used gentle hotel shampoo. All you have to do is wet your brush, put a dab of shampoo on it, and swish it around on your palm. You will see all the hidden junk and build-up expend. If your brush is good quality, you can be as harsh as you want on it and it won't clump or mat, no bristles will come out, and it will look brand new once you're done. I washed my mom's brushes too and she had a CG one that came w/ her mineral foundation. It's black and synthetic... and after I washed it, it just became one unusable, un-ctrl+z-able, matted mess.
Then, gently squeeze dry them with a bath towel and leave them on there to dry flat. It took over 6 hours to dry completely so it's a good idea to do it a few hours before you hit the sack. You can turn it over right before you go to bed so that it dries more evenly (for thick, round brushes especially).

Tada!

I was amazed at just how much thinner the brushes looked after I washed them! Before, right before I washed it, I could hardly close my Body Shop retractable blush brush (above), which was weird because I remember I could open and close it really easily. Now I know it was all due to blush build-up 'cause it's a cinch to close again.

I also have the Body Shop travel brush kit [$15] which includes a mini blush, angled brush (which is supposed to be used for eyebrows but I use to apply my MAC Fluidline), eyeshadow brush, and a lip brush. While it's great for travel, it's just way too small to hold and doesn't have that weight at the other end. I'd really like a full sized set. I don't even use the lip one at all b/c I only use self-applicate glosses.
I must say that I'm a reluctant Body Shop liker. Their lotions are just alright -- too much overpowering fragrance and their body butters are too heavy for my liking, don't absorb into my skin, and they make me have oily fingerprints. Their bubblebath makes my skin super dry and their body washes seem to also strip my skin from its natural oils. HOWEVER, Body Shop makes excellent brushes I must say - especially for being synthetic! Surprisingly very very good quality, super soft (I find most MAC brushes not soft at all!), and generally SO much cheaper than MAC's brushes. Plus they advocate the defense of human rights, support community trade, are against animal testing, and protect our planet all at the same time. I feel like a good citizen. The only thing is that they have very limited kinds of brushes compared to MAC.

I'm really not experienced enough to buy an actual full set, so I was thinking of eventually getting a long-handled Blusher Brush [$23]
An eyeshadow blush [$14.50]And maybe a full-sized Slanted brush [$17].Another great thing about Body Shop brushes is how they are made to stand upright on the table so it won't become contaminated with whatever reside from your bathroom counter.

I've heard decent things about Body Shop makeup too but I haven't tried them yet. I don't believe in spending ridiculous amounts on every item of makeup you own 'cause really, noone can really tell whether you're wearing Chanel lipstick or some drugstore brand.. and a lot of the time, designer doesn't mean better (this pretty much only applies to makeup though). Sure, it can be the packaging, but whipping it out for those 5 seconds to apply isn't going to make you look cheap. I'd rather spend the money on a designer bag I can use for hours, days, and years to come.
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OK I wrote this before I went to Mother's Day dinner at my Uncle George's house. While my opinion that "designer doesn't always mean better" still stands, this is probably one of the products that's an exception. My Auntie Winnie gave me a Chanel Ligne Extreme No. 31 Encre Noire - 2.5ml/0.08oz Liquid Eyeliner [$30] she bought recently but couldn't use because the tip was too fine and it was too precise for her. I tried it and I'm very very impressed!
OK - quickly - my experience w/ eyeliner: My first eyeliner was CG's Crayon Eyeliner which was just a thin, slim, pen-type... I think it was around $4-5. I don't think it's Perfect Point, but it looks very similar. It was very easy to use - just glides on and it lasted me quite a while. BUT my oily lids made it fade by the end of the day and seemed to have smudged up which was annoying b/c I was constantly wiping under my eye. In between, I've tried my mom's Loreal Lineur Intense Brush Tip Liquid Eyeliner [$7] that seemed to dry more as a smokey colour than intense black. It was also very very fine and was hard to use - I think the brush was too long. I don't think I tested how long it lasted 'cause my eyes would turn out horrible every time. Then I got MAC's Fluidline in Blacktrack b/c of all the raves on MakeupAlley. It's a pot of semi-solidified creaminess where you have to use an angled/fine-tipped brush to apply (dip and stroke). You know what - I still find it hard to use even though I've been using it for so long... and it always seems to go on too thick. Good thing is that it really is a no-budge, waterproof eyeliner... and if you have the skill and the right technique to apply, I'm sure it can look great. The colour is rich too. Bad thing (for me) is that it's not only difficult to put on, it's not that easy to take off either. I won't be repurchasing. OK done.
Anyway - this Chanel Fluid Eyeliner... so far, it's a dream. Glides on so quickly and smoothly... the tip isn't too thin or too thick - just perfect for me.. the colour is intense and doesn't fade... it's waterproof.. and it comes off easily with eye makeup remover. YesStyle says "Contains concentrated pigments to draw an intense and even line. Fluid texture ensures a precise result, ease of application and rapid drying. Water-resistant, Excellent hold". I can't believe MakeupAlley doesn't have any reviews for this. Of course, I've only tested it out for less than 6 hours so it's just my 1st impression. I'll write again if my opinion changes.

Dishes time... excellent dinner btw =) Kiddies so cuteeee. I had no idea Pokemon was still in.

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