Sephora Collection Two Tone Portfolio Brush Set

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I was going away on vacation and decided that rather than hauling a ton of individual brushes along with me that a brush set would be practical.  I wasn’t worried about having a top of the line brush set because I was going to be spending a lot of time on the beach so I wasn’t worried about having perfect makeup and also didn’t want to spend a fortune on a brush set.  So I found this set on good ol’ Sephora.com.

It features 6 essential brushes that are perfect for travel and comes with a buckle snap closure black case for $44.00.

Included in this set are the following brushes:

  • Blush brush
  • Powder/complexion brush
  • Eye shadow blending brush
  • Eye shadow detail brush
  • Concealer brush
  • Retractable lip brush

This set of brushes seemed to cover all the basics for me on a simple makeup day.  I was pleased with the set when it arrived.  It’s compact and isn’t too big or bulky.  It snaps shut nicely and doesn’t bulge out so it’s great for travel and is also a great set to toss in your purse for touchups, etc.

The only brush out of this set that I use on a daily basis is the blush brush because I still haven’t gotten around to getting a new one.  I have noticed that with daily use, this brush is starting to show some wear and getting a little worn out.  The bristles are starting to flare out a little and get a frizzy appearance.

The concealer brush was a let down and I was looking forward to using that one.  With each use, I started to notice that the bristles were moving further and further out from the brush.  Then, they started to shed excessively to the point where I was left with next to no bristles and had to toss the brush all together.

Aside from that issue and the blush brush getting worn out from daily wear, the case is still nice for travel.  The other brushes are holding up well and are not shedding.  I would say that this set is good strictly for travel only and doesn’t hold up well for day to day use over a long period of time.

Pros:

  • Affordable
  • Covers all the basic brush needs
  • Compact
  • Great for travel
  • Nice case

Cons:

  • Not for everyday use
  • Concealer brush didn’t last long at all

Dr. Jart+ Premium Beauty Balm

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I recently purchased the boxed set of Dr.Jart+ beauty balms from Sephora.com when they were having the chic week sale.  This is the first beauty balm that I have tried from the collection and so far, it’s a keeper!

I normally use Smashbox’s beauty balm and even though I love that one, I also always love trying other brands as well.  I’m a big fan of Smashbox’s beauty balm because it offers great coverage which is very important to me.  I was concerned about whether or not this one would off the same coverage (or even enough coverage).  Turns out it does : )

I used this for the first time the other day and was pleasantly surprised with the results.  The consistency is creamy with a medium thickness.  It applies smoothly and does an excellent job at hiding imperfections as well as evening out skin tones.  It also feels moisturizing and left my face with a little bit of a fresh and dewy appearance (which I often like).

I did not reapply this at any point in the day and after an 8.5 hour workday it still seemed to be holding up pretty well.  It did wear off slightly around a couple of blemishes but it didn’t completely expose them.

The only downside to this product is that it comes in only one shade.  I feel like the shade it’s most suitable for is fair/light to light-medium.  It works for me now, but come summer when I actually have a tan (or start using sunless tanners again) I feel like it could be too light for me.  I did try dusting a little bit of bare minerals bronzer over top of it to see if I could adjust the color without it looking ridiculous and it turned out nice.  It toned down my bronzer a little (which I feel like can look too harsh otherwise) and in turn the bronzer gave it a little extra kiss of color.

I’m anxious to try out the other ones in the kit being that I liked this one so much!

 

Pros:

  • Long lasting
  • SPF 45
  • Medium coverage
  • Leaves face looking fresh and slightly dewy (not good if you prefer a matte finish)

Cons:

  • Only comes in one color….and it’s probably going to be too light come summer

 

Make Up Forever Mat Velvet + Matifying Foundation

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Average Price: $36.00

I normally never use liquid foundations and generally just stick with powder/mineral foundations.  I have a wedding coming up that I am in and was on the search for a foundation that won’t budge over the course of the day or night.  After reading a lot of reviews, I picked this one from Make Up Forever.  Most of the reviews were great, all praising this products staying power, etc.

This product is supposed to be waterproof which was important for me because the weddings location is in a place that is often hot and humid, so I don’t want to take any chances of having my makeup “melt” off throughout the course of the day when the weather heats up.  It also boasts to control oil and shine and offers complete coverage with a powdery finish.

I decided to try this product out on a regular day to see how it held up.  I applied primer prior to applying this (Smashbox).  This foundation applied smoothly and easily.  I had a couple of small reddish blemishes that I wanted covered and after reading the reviews on this product, I figured it would get the job done.  I have to say, I was slightly let down.  It didn’t cover these blemishes in their entirely, as I had hoped it would.  Don’t get me wrong, it covered them to an extent, but not completely.  The reviews also made it seem like I wasn’t going to need to pair this product up with concealer, but that was not the case.  Pairing this up with concealer helped to conceal the blemishes but I was just hoping that this product alone would get the job done.  It does settle with a powdery matte finish.

I wore this over the course of a work day and by mid-afternoon, it was starting to wear off a little (especially around the blemishes).  This was also a let down because I wasn’t even in a hot and humid climate and the foundation started to wear off during the course of an  8 hour workday.  It did however control my face from having any oil or shine which I definitely liked.  (Great for those that suffer from T-Zone oils!)

I’m still going to give this a try on the wedding day but it definitely isn’t holding up to the extent of “greatness” I thought it would.  For day to day makeup, I’m sticking to my normal bare minerals foundation because I think it lasts about the same length and also controls oil and shine (and I think it covers blemishes better).  So on the day of the wedding, I will apply a light dusting of bare minerals over top the Make Up Forever foundation just for added security and staying power.

 

Pros:

  • Waterproof
  • Applies smoothly and evenly
  • Controls oil and shine

Cons:

  • Doesn’t cover blemishes entirely
  • Wears off over the course of the day

Tarte Awaken Your Complexion 4-Piece Customizable Complexion Kit

Tarte set

Set contains:

  • 0.07 oz. Amazonian Clay Finishing Powder
  • 0.07 oz. Maracuja C-Brighter Eye Treatment
  • 0.23 oz. Pure Maracuja Oil
  • 0.28 oz. Maracuja Creaseless Concealer
  • Bamboo Concealer Brush

As I said before, I’m a fan of Tarte.  I was looking for a new concealer when I stumbled upon this kit.  I know that I would much rather get multiple beauty products rather than just one, so when I have the opportunity to buy a kit like this, I usually take it.  (I was already planning on buying concealer….so the kit just makes sense.)

The kit costs $32….the concealer alone costs $24….5 products versus 1 product….

A lot of people are skeptical of the kits because they aren’t the full-sized product.  The concealer in this kit is 0.28 oz. and a very decent size.  It also helps that the concealers coverage is thick so you don’t need a lot and a little goes a long way.  You also get a bamboo concealer brush with it. (I still often end up applying it with my finger though.)

The C-brighter eye treatment is a small sample sized packet.  Once again, a little goes a long way.  It did seem to make my eyes appear brighter when I used it, however, it wasn’t enough to last over a week and I feel like I don’t see true results in less than a week.

The Amazonian Clay Finishing Powder is just like a mineral veil.  The jar looks tiny but I’ve been using this for a few weeks now and I still have plenty left.  It gives me a nice finished matte look and gets rid of any shine/oil.  However, if you prefer a more dewy glow/look I wouldn’t suggest this.

The Pure Maracuja Oil is great for dry skin!  I also dab a little under my eyes and it seems to brighten them up a little bit.  A word to the wise, the jar has an eyedropper style dispenser.  I thought this was just a wand and it took me a couple of uses to realize that you push the gold button in the center down to fill the dropper and to dispense it on the desired area.  (Trust me, this works MUCH better than just swabbing it across your face like I initially did.)

Overall, this set is well worth the money.

Pros:

  • Much cheaper than buying each of these products individually
  • 8 different color shades to pick from
  • Good for your skin
  • A little goes a long way (this kit has lasted me weeks so far and there’s still plenty left-aside from the eye cream)

Cons:

  • Wish the eye cream was larger