A Few Favorite Cheap Makeup Brushes

Thursday November 05, 2015 comments   

I had Labor Day off and I took the time to catch up on sorting through my current lot of brushes while giving them all a full clean. I decided to part with some while others I realized how happy I’ve been with them and wanted to share.

makeup brushes

ELF face brush

First up this elf cosmetics complexion brush. I bought it while visiting family this summer to go with a bronzer I picked up while there. I just needed something to hold me over until I could use my IT Cosmetics face brush. Well, to my surprise, I found myself reaching for this a lot even after getting home. It’s really nice for applying bronzer, highlight, face powder, anything. I hadn’t planned on keeping it but I really like it for travel and for using when I want to apply a heavy bronzer look.

Morphe makeup brushes

I posted on Instagram when I ordered a bunch of Morphe brushes after finding recommendations on YouTube. These 3 were instant stand-outs.

The G14 oval shadow brush is fantastic. I use it mostly as my eyeshadow base brush or if I’m only applying a single color. It’s large and soft and does a good job of both aplying color and blending out the edges a bit while you apply. It was my immediate favorite.

The G17 blender brush I like for blending my concealer. It didn’t do much on my eyes. My lids are very plump and textured hoods. I need something harder for blending eyeshadow. But for concealer this has been fantastic for airbrushing over zits and blending out around the under eyes and nose.

Lastly the M500 is a nice versatile face brush. I got it because the shape reminded me of my Paul and Joe travel blush brush which I love. It’s a bit softer and thinner than that though. It does a great job with bronzer when you want to slowly build up color (office look) and I use it for highlighter and blush as well. It’s for soft application. I use it every day I do makeup now. It works really well for me as winter approaches and I’m grower ever paler. I can easily apply too much color as I transition to vampire pale

small Sephora blush brush

This thing is what I use for contouring. Sephora’s Classic Mini Multitasker. I went through so many brushes looking for one to do my contour just right and this has been it ever since I ordered it on sale months ago. Contouring on pale skin leaves very little room for mistakes. Angle brushes often cut “outside the lines” when I used them (I had to be too precise.) The soft medium stiff round brush here was perfect. It runs $14 full price but I got it for $6.99. Hopefully it goes on sale often.

That’s it for now. I have a few others that I only sort of like or am still experimenting with. A few eco tools brushes and a new elf mini blender brush for eyeshadow.


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Post-Sunburn Skin Problems

Sunday October 04, 2015 comments   


I wrote this post then a day later made an appointment to see a dermatologist who has since started me on a prescription retinol gel. I’ve been on prescription acne medications twice before in my lifetime and I will say I’m very skeptical. They tend to cause my skin to get worse before it gets better. Of all the products listed below the only ones I can use now with the prescription gel are GLAMGLOW Daily Clearing Cleanser, Ole Henriksen Sheer Transformation lotion, Simple Micellar Cleansing Water, and Roberts Florentine Rosewater Cleansing Gel. I actually go in for a facial treatment (& extraction) in a few weeks which I hope will help more than anything else has.

sand castles and beach umbrella

A few weeks ago I was visiting family on the coast. Out in the sun a ton and always wearing sunscreen. But on the last day I was careless and forgot to reapply sunscreen in time. I ended up quite badly burned; especially on my forehead. I haven’t dealt with a burn in years. In the past there wasn’t much issue but this time my skin was very damaged. I kept it moisturized but it still took about 2 weeks for the burn to actually diminish. Next was peeling. Followed by leather-like dark patches of skin left. And now? Well it’s a mess. It has caused a bad case of closed comedonal acne. I’ve never had this type of acne. It is very much out of control and stubborn to treat. My usual products were not helping clear it completely. It was only getting worse. So I started buying new things to try.

One of the things I purchased was Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare Alpha Beta Universal Daily Peel 5 pack and Pixi’s Glow Tonic. I was finally seeing a change after using them. But I felt the peels were too gentle as my usual Ole Henriksen Invigorating Night Treatment felt much stronger. So I bought the 30 pack of the extra strength formula.

Bad idea. The acne got worse within 3 days. I even had bumps in my eyebrows now.

At the same time I also purchased Fresh’s Rose Toner to calm my skin after cleansing but before moisturizing. It made my skin feel tacky though; not moisturized.

I also had a sample of Sunday Riley’s Good Genes (which I felt was helping clear me up as well.) And added Simple’s micellar water to my routine for makeup removal just in case I wasn’t getting a deep enough clean.

You see the problem here? Too many new products at once. I couldn’t pinpoint exactly what was helping and what wasn’t. Let alone was it too much exfoliating or too little? My face never felt dry or burning.

Well not until I ditched EVERYTHING and reverted back to my old classic Clinique’s Acne Solutions Kit. After using it since Saturday my acne is shrinking in size and amount. However… now my face is so dry and peeling in some spots. I’ve been keeping my mist diffusers directly pointed at my face to calm down my skin.

I don’t have a real point or message for this post. :) I’m not looking for random advice or a home remedy that worked for your sister’s sister-in-law’s half cousin 2nd removed. Just letting you know what’s been up with me lately. And besides my car being in the shop, work being busy, and the free time I fill with TV, ice skating, camping, and scheming, this has been on my mind on a near daily basis and something I’m still dealing with apparently.

I just ordered Paula’s Choice trial acne kit. Because Clinique is just too harsh for me these days. I also purchased Mario Badescu Botanical Exfoliating Scrub after seeing that Glamglow’s Youthmud Tinglexfoliate made it worse. However Glamglow’s Supermud Clearing Treatment was still really helpful in the larger acne spots that popped up every other day. I’m still using that one often.

GLAMGLOW’s daily face wash and Roberts Florentine Rosewater cleansing gel are the two cleanser I’ve been using for months. The gel is very mild and good for removing excess makeup while the Glamglow’s daily cleanser is like their mask in a lighter form.

Ole Henriksen night treatment and oil-free moisturizer had cleared up my previous small breakout months ago and I stuck with them since. I’d say the night treatment was about as good as Sunday Riley’s Good Genes without the lemon-cake fragrance!

This deluxe sample of Luna Sleeping Oil made my day when I got it. When I ran out of the sample my skin felt so dry because this was keeping it super hydrated. It erased red marks in a single night. Great for overnight repair. One of the very very very few oils I’ve tried that didn’t give me pimples.

Before my sun damage I wasn’t using any strict acne medications. I was using Glam Glow’s daily face wash, a MakeUp Eraser with just water, Organic Rose toner, Ole Henriksen Invigorating Night Treatment and Sheer Transformation moisture cream, and Sunday Riley’s Luna Sleeping Oil every now and then. And I was clear. My skin looked near flawless. I had about 2 months of some of my best skin days in recent history before the sunburn.

While I’m frustrated on days that my skin feels uncomfortable, I’m not too bothered by it. My skin has always been extremely acne-prone. At this point in my life I understand there’s an ebb and flow to skin problems. I will also say that it’s become clear this year that my skin is in transition. The items that worked in my early 20’s are no longer effective. I literally removed them from my routine and saw 0 difference. I’m really interested in trying more glycolic and lactic acids and natural flower oils (though I’m acne-prone to others like castor, grapeseed, and coconut) now.

Every product mentioned above:
Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare Alpha Beta Universal Daily Peel

Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare Alpha Beta Peel Extra Strength Daily Peel

Pixi Glow Tonic

Simple Micellar Cleansing Water

The Original MakeUp Eraser

Fresh Rose Floral Toner

Meishoku Organic Rose Skin Conditioner toner

Roberts Florentine Rosewater Cleansing Gel

Sunday Riley Good Genes Treatment

Sunday Riley Luna Sleeping Night Oil

GLAMGLOW SUPERCLEANSE™ Daily Clearing Cleanser

Ole Henriksen Sheer Transformation

Ole Henriksen Invigorating Night Treatment

CLINIQUE Acne Solutions Clear Skin System

Paula’s Choice Clear Regular Strength Two Week Trial Kit



Mario Badescu Botanical Exfoliating Scrub

– loved product

Not related to skincare but a nice perk to having to order so many new products is this Viktor & Rolf Flowerbomb free gift set I got with a Sephora order using a promo code. I like Flowerbomb but have never purchased a full sized bottle.


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