Beauty Beat: BrushCraft Makeup Brushes

Hello friend! While I have always fawned over the pretty Artis brushes, I couldn’t quite come to terms with the high cost. Because I truly wanted to trial it, I decided to contact Artis to see if we could collaborate. They informed me of their BrushCraft makeup brushes. The BrushCraft is a comparable brush with some updates. The best part is that these brushes are sold at a lower price point. Therefore, they are more reasonable to try.

Because of the good things I had heard about the Artis brushes, I decided to go ahead and try the BrushCraft makeup brushes. I have been trialing them for about a month now and am ready to share my thoughts with you.

Brushcraft makeup brushes: oval 6, circle 1R, Linear 1, Oval 3
From L to R: Oval 6, Circle 1R, Linear 1, Oval 3

Thank you BrushCraft for sending me these fantastic makeup brushes.

Details on BrushCraft Makeup Brushes

  • Thinner handles to allow easier maneuvering to do one’s own makeup
  • Made from manmade fibers called NuFibre (so it’s vegan, yay!)
  • Very dense brushes to provide optimum blending
  • Multi-use options for each brush
  • Designed with angles suited for self-application
  • Made to use with all formulas of makeup (powder, liquid, cream, etc.)

My BrushCraft Makeup Brushes

I received a four-pack of brushes including the Oval 6, the Circle 1R, the Linear 1, and the Oval 3. They also sent me their brush cleaning solution and cloth.

Brushcraft makeup brushes: oval 6 foundation brush
Oval 6
Brushcraft makeup brushes: circle 1R concealer and eyeshadow brush
Circle 1R
Brushcraft makeup brushes: linear 1 eyeliner and eyebrow brush
Linear 1
Brushcraft makeup brushes: oval 3 highlighter and eyeshadow brush
Oval 3

How to use the BrushCraft Makeup Brushes

Because the BrushCraft makeup brushes are built with such dense hair placement, it should require much less work from you to blend. The fibers should do the job quickly! Furthermore, you will need less product with these brushes. Again that is due to the hair placement. Because the brush is so dense, it will absorb less of the product in the fibers. Thus more of the product goes onto the skin versus getting trapped in the brush.

Brushcraft oval 6 makeup brush: ideal for foundation and blush

I have been using the BrushCraft makeup brushes for multiple purposes, just like they are intended to be! However, I will match up my favorite brushes and products below for your knowledge. But by no means should that hinder you from trying to use them for other purposes!

  • Oval 6: Foundation, blush
  • Circle 1R: Concealer
  • Linear 1: Lower lashline
  • Oval 3: Highlighter

My Impression of the BrushCraft Makeup Brushes

Upon first trying the BrushCraft makeup brushes, I liked them right away. They are soft yet dense, allowing quick and effortless application. I was nervous that perhaps I would have to learn how to use the brushes correctly. But I am happy I was wrong. Using the brushes is intuitive. The only part that’s a bit different is how I have to hold the brush. However, I got the hang of it quickly, so I don’t think it will be a problem for anyone.

I hope you enjoyed this post and video. Please let me know in the comments if you find the videos helpful. I have another one on my Fresh Lip Perfecting Wand post that you can check out too!

Beauty Beat: Fresh Lip Treatment Perfecting Wand Review

Hello friend! A few weeks back I had attended a Fresh skin care demo at a friend’s house. While I had used some products from Fresh, I hadn’t seen the entire line. I tried multiple masks and serums and purchased a few. However, my favorite item was the Fresh lip treatment perfecting wand. It is honestly a dream come true for me!

Fresh lip treatment perfecting wand demo and review

What is the Fresh Lip Treatment Perfecting Wand?

The Fresh lip treatment perfecting wand is a lip conditioner and exfoliator in one! It is quite simply a genius product! Because the tip of the wand has a textured silicone surface, it gently exfoliates as you apply the product. The core of the wand contains the lip treatment which is the consistency of jelly. To get the product out, you simply click the bottom of the wand, like some concealer products. Then the lip treatment comes out on the tip.

Fresh lip treatment perfecting wand demo and review Fresh lip treatment perfecting wand demo and review

How to Use the Fresh Lip Treatment Perfecting Wand

I find the best way to apply the Fresh lip treatment perfecting wand is to first dot it across my lips. Then I start moving the wand back and forth (or in little circles) to start the exfoliation. Otherwise, the product doesn’t get on my entire lip surface and it results in tugging.

My Favorite Ways to Use the Fresh Lip Treatment Perfecting Wand

  1. Exfoliate and moisturize. This is essentially the purpose of this product. You can choose to wear the treatment alone all day, which will be perfect for a five minute face. Or you can go over it with a lipstick. I find that most lipsticks glide over the product very smoothly. However, if you like a very matte finish, you may want to blot after using the Fresh lip treatment perfecting wand and then apply the lipstick.Fresh lip treatment perfecting wand demo and review
  2. Freshen up old lipstick. If after a few hours your lipstick has worn off and is patchy, allow the Fresh lip treatment perfecting wand to come to the rescue. Using it as instructed above will redistribute the lip color as well as add some shine. I often do this at the end of my work day to revive my lip color and therefore freshen my appearance. Fresh lip treatment perfecting wand demo and review
  3. Transition between two lipsticks. If you are wearing a long wearing lipstick and want to switch to another shade, this can be tricky! But never fear, the Fresh lip treatment perfecting wand can help! First, simply blot your lips to remove as much of the lipstick as you can. Then, massage the product on your lips as directed above. Then blot a few times more. This should remove the first lipstick and thus allow you to wear the next one without altering the color!

Would you Like to Try the Fresh Lip Treatment Perfecting Wand?

If you are interested in trying the Fresh lip treatment perfecting wand, you are in luck! Because I think everyone should try this product, I purchased an extra one for a giveaway. Simply leave a comment below and tell me your favorite summer lip color or product! Good luck!!!

Beauty Beat: Oil Cleanser

Hello friend! As you know from my skin care routine post, I like to use an oil cleanser to remove my makeup. For years I have been using the MAC Cleanse Off Oil.  After trialing multiple products, I had chosen that product as my favorite. Therefore, I had no reason to try another one. That is until I saw an oil cleanser at Trader Joe’s. Because Trader Joe’s usually carries good products at fair prices, I decided to try their oil cleanser.

Trader Joes oil cleanser

 

Trader Joe’s Oil Cleanser Cost

The Trader Joe’s oil cleanser comes in a 4 oz. bottle and costs $6.99. That makes it about $1.75 per ounce. My old holy grail, the MAC Cleanse Off Oil is a 5 oz. bottle costing $32.00. Looking at the cost per ounce, that puts the MAC one at $6.40! Therefore, looking at it purely from a cost perspective, the Trader Joe’s product is much more cost effective.

Bottle Ergonomics

The bottle is well made and comfortable to hold and use. More importantly, the pump functions well. Compared to the MAC product, the Trader Joe’s pump delivers more product per pump. I prefer that instead of having to pump 3 times on the MAC one to get ample product.

Product Performance

I find that the product performs just as well as the MAC one. It dissolves the makeup and removes dirt and particles from my pores. The only small concern I have is that it doesn’t remove all of my eye makeup. The MAC cleanser did a better job with that. However, that is not a big deal for me, as I always do a double cleanse. Therefore, my second cleansing removes any leftover eye makeup.

If you’ve never used an oil cleanser before, watch my video on how to use one:

Overall Opinion on Trader Joe’s Oil Cleanser

In conclusion, I prefer the Trader Joe’s Oil Cleanser over my previous product. I am already on my second bottle and I see myself continuing to use it for a long time. Have you tried oil cleansing? Give it a go if you haven’t. This Trader Joe’s oil cleanser is a great one to try!

The Body Shop Almond Milk and Honey Collection

Hello friend! I recently learned about the new Almond Milk and Honey body care collection from The Body Shop. Although I had just visited the Santa Monica store last month, the new line was not available. Therefore when I received an invitation to a presentation about it, I decided to attend.

The Body Shop almond milk and honey event at Gracias Madre restaurant in Santa Monica

The Almond Milk and Honey Launch Event

The presentation was a fun and informative event with some local The Body Shop employees and bloggers. It was held at Gracias Madre, a vegan restaurant in Los Angeles. The location was very fitting because The Body Shop has a strict no animal testing policy. The setup was beautiful. It was all out on the patio, with cute decor. Furthermore, most of the decor were product testers so we were able to try everything out.

The Body Shops new Almond Milk and Honey collection

Even the table centerpieces incorporated the almond milk and honey products.

The body shops almond milk and honey body care collection

The presentation was led by Dr. Christine Choi Kim, a dermatologist who works with The Body Shop.

Dr. Kim discussing the almond milk and honey line from The Body Shop

The Almond Milk and Honey Products

The almond milk and honey line is formulated for sensitive and dry skin. While my face is combination skin, my body definitely has some dry and sensitive patches. I am especially prone to itchy rashes and dryness during the winter. This is a direct result of the cold air and the drying effects of the heater. Therefore, even though I do not have overly dry skin, I have been using (and benefiting from) the products.

Both the almonds and the honey used in the line come from fair trade with suppliers from Spain and Ethiopia (respectively). The Body Shop actually pioneered fair trade for beauty ingredients. Besides fair trade, they also support support sustainable farming of their resources. Truthfully, the more I learn about the brand, the more I am impressed!

Before I discuss individual products, let’s discuss the scent. It is exactly like it sounds. It’s rich and nutty, yet sweet and subtle at the same time! I am often sensitive to smells, so believe me when I tell you this is a soft and non-cloying scent.  It is one that can definitely be unisex.

I have enjoyed all of the products I received. My favorite (which you can probably predict from my last The Body Shop post) is the body butter. How do they get such a rich product to absorb so well into the skin?! I am also enjoying the bath milk and the shower cream. I have recently moved away from foaming cleansers, therefore both of those are ideal bath products for me.

Have you tried this new line yet? I am so pleased to have been introduced to it. If you have dry and/or sensitive skin, I encourage you to try these body products.

The Beauty Beat: The Five Minute Face

Hello friend! We’ve all been there: woke up late, lost track of time, kiddo had a meltdown… Whatever the reason, we’ve all had days where we wanted to put on some makeup but had desperately little time. Let me show you an easy makeup routine for when you’re pressed for time. My five minute face will have you looking fresh and presentable in no time.

Polished whimsy's five minute face

My five minute face routine is simple and adaptable to each situation. The best thing about this routine: you can modify it to your specific needs. It is essentially just two steps. Depending on how much time you have, you can add a few sub-steps, thus completely tailoring the routine to your needs for that day.

Step 1: Hide Your Biggest Concern

Again, you can have many sub-steps here. But the focus is to cover up the “imperfections” you see that bring down your self confidence. Because truly, going about your day completely confident in your look is the main goal here.

Polished whimsy's five minute face routine
Before face: no makeup

My biggest concern is my skin. I suffer from rosacea and therefore have a lot of red in my skin. Ironically others don’t think it looks that bad, but I feel insecure with my bare face showing. Therefore my step 1 is always some kind of foundation.

Polished whimsy's five minute face routine
Before face: no makeup

If I am in the biggest hurry, then I just swirl on some mineral powder and move on! My go-to at the moment is Laura Mercier Mineral Pressed Powder.

Polished whimsy's five minute face routine
Step one: mineral foundation

Since I don’t have time for a full face of makeup, thus no bronzer, blush etc, I have chosen a shade that is just a touch darker than my skin tone. This serves two purposes: first, it ensures coverage of my redness. Second, it adds color to my face without the need for bronzer.

To get the best coverage, I use a dense brush such as this Bdellium tools one. I use circular buffing motions to apply the powder and then sweeping motions to blend in.

Polished whimsy's five minute face

If I have a tad more time, I may add some concealer. Because I have redness around my eyes, I make sure to put concealer and/or the foundation on my eyelids as well. This ensures a well-rested appearing face.

Polished whimsy's five minute face
Step 1: conceal problem spots

Step 2: Highlight Your Best Asset

The second step in my five minute face routine is highlighting your best asset. By bringing the focus to your best asset, the onlooker will notice that lovely feature and miss the fact that the rest of your face is not as perfected.

My biggest asset is my eyes, therefore I will always do something to draw attention to them. When I have absolutely no time, I will just use my favorite volumizing mascara to make my eyes look wide and awake. If I have more time, I will further define with some eye shadow and eyeliner. I use a neutral taupe shade from my favorite eye shadow palette to add definition and depth to my eyes.

Polished whimsy's five minute face
Step two: define eye crease

Then I try to work in some eyeliner to my inner upper lash line. This is called tight-lining. It may feel weird at first, but it is much easier than trying to get a straight line on your eyelid. It also gives great definition to the eye without looking “makeup-y.” Furthermore, it makes your lashes look thicker. Just be sure to use an eyeliner that is specifically for the waterline, like my favorite one here.

Polished whimsy's five minute face
Left side with eyeliner, ride side without

I tend to use brown, gray or navy as my eyeliners for daytime. I find they provide adequate definition without looking too harsh. While I also love black eyeliner, I save that for evening and dramatic looks. Most days, I also bring the eyeliner half way in on my bottom water line. I find this further defines my eye shape. I leave the inner half clear to keep the eye bright and awake looking.

Polished whimsy's five minute face
Eyeliner on upper and lower water lines

Last of course is mascara, lots of good volumizing mascara.

Polished whimsy's five minute face
Add mascara

If I have a tad more time, I will also define my eyebrows with an eyebrow pencil. This further frames my eyes. I can often skip this step because I already have dark brows. For those with lighter brows, defining them may be more important than some of these other steps. Like I said, do what works for you! That’s the beauty of my five minute face.

Polished whimsy's five minute face
With eyebrows defined

Finishing Touches

My five minute face is basically finished. If I need any more color on my face, I may add a pinch of blush or a lipstick. But most of these busy days, I will opt for a tinted lip balm or gloss and head out the door.

Polished whimsy's five minute makeup
After face: fresh and polished

What is your quick go-to makeup look? Will you be able to adapt my five minute face for your needs? Let me know if you have any questions.

My Skin Care Routine

Hello friend! Today I thought I’d share my skin care routine with you. It’s an important part of our beauty routine that is often overlooked. I confess, I’m not one to get excited over skin care. To me, it’s more of a necessity than a pampering. However, knowing how important it is, I do make a point of providing my skin with proper care. In this post, I will share what I have learned throughout the years in the hopes that it will help you!

Good skin care is not cheap. Because of the cost and the sheer number of products available, I recommend consulting with a dermatologist to make sure you pick the right products for your skin type. Therefore, you won’t waste money trying products blindly. Furthermore, you don’t have to go high end with every product. I’ll tell you where to save your money.

Save on face wash. I learned that in pharmacy school years ago. It makes complete sense, you are washing it OFF! No need to go high end there. I am appalled that there are cleansers selling for triple digits. I say, choose one that is mild and appropriate for your skin. There are many options at all price points.

Morning Skin Care Routine

My morning routine can be split up into four main steps.

Step One: CLEANSE

I like to wash with a gentle non abrasive wash in the morning. Since I have (or should have!) washed off my makeup the night before, my skin should be relatively clean. This cleansing step is simply to get rid of any dead skin and oil produced overnight. I like to use a non-tripping (i.e. non-foaming) cream cleanser. My favorite one right now is Normacleanse by ZO Medical.

Now this product is billed as a cleanser for normal to dry skin. However, it is light and mild and I would argue that it works for all skin tones. For example, I have oily to combination skin and this works wonderfully for me. Also, this product is very concentrated so it lasts me for a very long time. I usually use about two pea size dallops to wash my entire face.

Step Two: CORRECT

This step is different for each person as well as in different times of your life or season of the year. For my skin, I use two serums. One is a vitamin C serum that fights off free radicals. The second is a redness reducing serum.

Polished whimsys skin care routine

Step Three: MOISTURIZE

At this point I use a moisturizer for my face and eye area. For most of the year, I only use my face lotion. However, during the coldest and driest parts of the winter, I also like to mix in some extra moisture with a hyaluronic acid concentrate. For the eye area, I choose a fast absorbing but moisturizing eye cream so that it won’t impede my makeup application.

Polished whimsys skin care routine

Step Four: PROTECT

Finally I apply a layer of sunscreen to protect my face from the damaging rays of the sun. Currently I am using this product, but I’m not completely loving it. So if you have any recommendations, let me know in the comment section!

Evening Skin Care Routine

My evening skin care centers around thoroughly cleansing my skin of the makeup and grime from the day. Following that, I work in some age reversal products and end with a good moisturizing.

Step One: CLEANSE

At nights, I perform a double cleanse to ensure that all my makeup is removed. First I use an oil cleanser. I massage it well into my skin (including my eye area). Then I add a bit of water to emulsify it. I follow that with a good rinsing. Then, I use my cream cleanser, usually in conjunction with my Clarisonic skin cleansing brush. After this, my skin is super clean but not dry or tight.

Polished Whimsy's skin care routine

Step Two: CORRECT

For my evening time treatments, I use a retinol type product to speed up skin cell turnover. As a result, skin is softer and less textured. I switch between this retexturing serum and retinol cream. While both work well, I find that the serum is a bit gentler. Therefore, I turn to that one in the drier months. I follow that with a glycolic acid treatment, which acts as a chemical exfoliant, clearing off the dead skin.

Step Three: MOISTURIZE

The last part of my night routine is to follow up everything with a nice moisturizer. This product is another one that I vary. At the moment, I am using my hyaluronic acid treatment which is doing the job quite well.

Polished Whimsys skin care routine

*APPLICATION TIP*

I will leave you with one of my most important tips. When applying different products, to ensure best penetration of each item, apply in order of lightest to heaviest. For example: liquids first, followed by any gels, next any lotion products, then creams, last will be oils.

If you’d like to try some of these products, I have linked them here:

The Beauty Beat: Fall Lipstick Colors

Hello friend! As you likely know, I adore makeup. I can never decide whether I love fashion or beauty more. Therefore I will have a beauty segment every now and then so I can get my beauty fix. You probably don’t know this, but I have even taken a few professional makeup classes. So that’s all the more reason that I discuss it on the blog. I would like to share what I have learned with you.

I think it is important to swap out your makeup shades in the changing seasons. It keeps your look updated and makes sure you don’t get in a rut. So I’d like to share with you my favorite fall lipstick colors. They all happen to be MAC, not because that’s the best brand out there. But it is one that I have been obsessed with since my teen years. So I know their line the best and am comfortable recommending them. I am rarely disappointed with a MAC lipstick.

MAC fall lipstick colors

Plum Shades

I always like to have a light plummy-mauve lipstick as my everyday lipstick in the fall. It tends to go with just about any makeup look and outfit. In fact, I keep one of these in my locker at work. Therefore if I have forgotten my lipstick, this one will step in for the day.

The one I have turned to year after year is MAC Syrup. Syrup is in the lustre formula, which is one of my preferred formulas for work. While it is an opaque color, it also has a shine and a light consistency. It feels very comfortable on the lips. However, I do have to reapply it throughout the day, especially after meals.

Polished Whimsy wearing MAC syrup lipstick for fall lipstick colors
MAC Syrup

Another plum shade I like is MAC Plumful. Plumful is similar to Syrup, but as its name suggests, it has more of the plum shades to it. It is a beautiful color to wear for photos as it looks lustrous and natural in photographs. Similarly to Syrup, it also works well with many other makeup looks. Also like Syrup, Plumful is a lustre formula, making it a comfortable lipstick to wear.

Polished Whimsy wearing MAC Plumful lipstick for fall lipstick colors
MAC Plumful

Red Shades

In the fall, I move away from the pink reds and more towards the brown reds. The first of these colors I choose is MAC Brick-O-La. Brick-O-La is an amplified finish, meaning is is more opaque than the lustre but it still has some sheen. It has a very creamy look on the lips. As far as colors go, Brick-O-La reminds me of a cross between terra cotta and hot chocolate. It is a perfect muted red tone to wear on a daily basis.

Polished Whimsy wearing MAC Brick-O-La lipstick for fall lipstick colors
MAC Brick-O-La

Now when I want to wear a more attention demanding fall red, I turn to MAC Dubonnet. It is also an amplified finish, thus producing a creamy finish with a slight sheen. However, unlike Brick-O-La, Dubonnet is darker and more red. I like to describe it as a black cherry color. If I wear this to work, I simply blot it once or twice to make it more office appropriate.

Polished Whimsy wearing MAC Dubonnet lipstick for fall lipstick colors
MAC Dubonnet

Berry Shades

For the perfect berry shade, especially for evenings out, I always rely on MAC Rebel. Rebel has always been one of my favorite fall lipstick colors. The only downside to Rebel is that it’s a satin formula, which is a formulation I don’t usually enjoy. However, because the color is so beautiful, I happily wear this satin formula. Rebel is the perfect shade of berry, with a nice amount of blue in it. It is very striking color that will suite many skin tones.

Polished Whimsy wearing MAC Rebel lipstick for fall lipstick colors
MAC Rebel

Burgundy Shades

When it comes to burgundy shades, I have two favorites. The first is MAC Viva Glam III. It is a matte formula, so there is very little shine. However, it goes on very smoothly and easily. This lipstick is a brown-burgundy, so it’s fairly easy to wear (not too vampy). An added bonus is that the every cent spent on a Viva Glam lipstick goes to the MAC AIDS fund.

Polished Whimsy wearing MAC Viva Glam III lipstick for fall lipstick colors
MAC Viva Glam III

Now when I am ready to go bold and vampy, I take a walk on the dark side, literally! I use MAC Dark Side lipstick. Dark Side is an amplified finish, which I love. It applies easily and wears well. The color is a definitely a more purple toned burgundy.

Polished Whimsy wearing MAC Dark Side lipstick for fall lipstick colors
MAC Dark Side

I hope you enjoyed my favorite Fall lipstick colors. Please let me know how else I can help you with makeup. I’d love to pass on whatever I’ve learned to you friends!

Lipsticks mentioned in this post: