Sunday, April 20, 2014

Furless Black Beauty Makeup Brush Set - Review

This post contains products sent for consideration

Furless Black Beauty Makeup Brush Set

For the past two weeks I have been testing out some new brushes from the brand Furless. For those of you not familiar with the brand, Furless is a company based in Australia, but they ship allover the world.  All of the brushes they carry are completely cruelty free (made of synthetic bristles).   I'm no stranger to this brand, and have several brushes from them in my collection.  I was honored when they offered to send me a set of their new Black Beauty Makeup Brushes to test out and review.  I have been using these brushes exclusively for approximately two weeks now, including washing them to really test out their durability, and different uses for each brush.  

The Case:

The case that houses these brushes is nice and compact. It is actually quite surprising as this is a full set of brushes with full length handles, making it ideal for traveling or fitting in your makeup kit. It has a faux leather-like texture with the name "FURLESS" embossed on the cover. The case zippers open to reveal both sides filled with brushes, eight of them in total.  Closed, the case is under 10 inches tall, and under 4 inches wide.

The Brushes:

The first brush, the brand calls their "Multi-purpose Blending Brush."  I absolutely love this brush for applying foundation. Because of the large brush head, I can apply foundation to a full face very quickly. I used this to apply cream foundation on a bride and it got the job done faster than any other foundation brush in my collection. It applies and blends out the product quickly and effortlessly. I tested this brush with both liquid and cream foundations.  The tapered head also makes it great for contouring with cream products.  This is my favorite brush in the set.  The quality is unbelievable. It reminds me of the Marc Jacobs foundation brushes available at Sephora if you are looking for a quality comparison.

The second brush is the Black Beauty Powder Brush. I actually think it's quite difficult to find good quality synthetic brushes in this size and shape. The tapered head and size of the bristles make this a great brush for powdering the face, especially if you like to just powder the t-zone or powder with more precision. You could also use this to apply blush or bronzer. The bristles are super soft, and I love the sleek black handles on all of the brushes in the set. Each of these brushes is also sold individually.

The final "face brush" in this set is the Angled Contour Brush. This works great for powder and cream contouring as well as blush. The angled shape makes it easy to apply product with one end of the brush while blending with the other. I also used the tip to add powder highlighter to the face.

Eye Brushes: 

The first eye brush in the set is the Mini Angled Eyeshadow Kabuki Brush. I love using this brush to apply eyeshadow primer, cream eyeshadow, or concealer under the eye. The angled head makes it easy to get into the corner of the eyes and the bristles are soft enough for the delicate eye area. 

The Black Beauty Eyeshadow Brush is a flat paddle eyeshadow brush which is perfect for packing eyeshadow color onto the lid. The bristles are staggered bringing the brush to a nice tapered tip.  This brush picks up powder eyeshadow with ease, but can also be used to apply primer or apply cream eyeshadow. 

The Blending Crease Brush is probably my second favorite from the set. I love a good blending brush, and this one is a really nice size.  The brush head isn't overwhelmingly large as many blending brushes are.  I found this brush to work well on a variety of eye sizes and shapes. The tapered bristles fit perfectly in the natural socket of the eye, and I was able to get a perfect blend with this brush.

The Angled Liner Brush is thin enough to use with gel eyeliner, and also works great for filling in brows. I am really happy with the size and shape of the bristles on this particular angled brush, because it's narrower head allows you to get a much more precise line, especially if you want to use it for winged liner.

If you are a gel eyeliner lover, this Precision Eyeliner Brush is a must have! The bristles are long and thin enough to get very close to the upper lash line. I also used this damp with powder shadow for a softer lined look. 

Overall, the Black Beauty Makeup Brush Set is an amazing value. The quality of the brushes is extremely high end, and absolutely professional. While the case is compact and it appears to be a travel set, all of the brushes have full length handles.  This set would work great for a professional makeup artist, or anyone looking for a very high quality brush set.  You can purchase the set here:

Furless was also kind enough to send me 2 eyeshadow brushes, a lip brush and a stippling brush.  They are all pictured in the first photo of this post, but I wanted to give special mention to the stippling brush, because this size is something I get asked about a lot. 

 Left to right (above): Bdellium Tools 955, Furless PPF3,  Zoeva 125 Stippling (short handle)
The PPF3 Stippling brush is a smaller sized stippling brush.  This size is somewhat difficult to find in high quality synthetic brushes. It's great for applying cream blush, foundation, or highlighter. For size comparison, I pictured it above along two other stippling brushes in my collection. It has a long sleek black handle with the Furless logo stamped on it.  If you like stippling brushes, this is a great one to have in your collection. I think a cruelty-free brush of this circumference is difficult to find.

 Above: The lip brush inside the case is nice and compact

Furless also included the above Lip Brush (PL1) which is a must have for makeup artists. The cap snaps to the end making it a nice full length brush. The brush head comes to a sharp point making it easy to get into the corners of the mouth when applying ab lip product.

I was also sent the PE2 eyeshadow brush, which is a purple fluffy eyeshadow brush. It's more narrow than the Black Beauty Eyeshadow brush, with longer bristles. This is a good brush to apply and blend eyeshadow if you are looking for something multipurpose. 

I was also sent an eyeshadow brush from the Furless Perfectly Pink line. This brush has shorter denser bristles making ideal for smudging shadow or liner along the lower lash line. This brush is called a Stubby Blending Brush, which is exactly the perfect way to describe it!

If you haven't tried Furless brushes yet, I highly recommend them. The shipping is surprisingly fast and affordable, and their selection of cruelty-free brushes is among the best I've seen.  I've been very happy with not only the brushes I tested above, but also brushes I've purchased from the brand in the past. 

Their full selection can be seen here:

Thank you Furless for sending me these brushes to test out and review for my readers!

*This post contains samples sent for consideration.  I did not get paid to write this review, nor did I promise a favorable review.  All opinions are my own, and completely honest.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014 Haul

This post contains products sent for consideration Haul

I recently discovered a fun new beauty site called Gloss48. This site features some of the top beauty brands offering special sales, exciting brands and a blog too!  If you love shopping for makeup, you are definitely going to want to check out this site. They feature different beauty brands at a special price each week so that you can try out that new lip gloss everyone is talking about at a fraction of the price.  Gloss48 was kind enough to send me a gift card so that I could pick out some products to try and review for you guys. The site currently features a large variety of cruelty-free brands that I love such as Christopher Drummond Beauty, Senna Cosmetics and Armour Beauty. 

Above look using Senna Cosmetics Palette
and Armour gloss in Lucy

My shopping experience on the site was fun and simple. You can search by brand or product type, and each product has a description as well as a little blurb about what makes the item unique and special. I purchased 2 items from the site so far.  The first item I got is from Senna Cosmetics. Their Haute Nudes Sultry Multi Makeup Palette includes 6 eyeshadows, a blush, a highlighter, mirror and 3 brushes for application. I've used other products from this brand before and everything is professional quality. If you aren't a pro, don't worry, this palette comes complete with a guide showing you how to create two distinct looks. There are a lot of "nude" eyeshadow palettes on the market, and I probably have most of them. I can honestly say this is one of the best nude palettes out there. You get five matte shades, and one shimmer shade for eyeshadow choices, all of which are super pigmented and blend like a dream. The palette also includes a sheer matte blush and powder face highlighter.  While I don't typically  use brushes included with palettes, the ones included here are actually usable and especially helpful for travel.  The small eyeshadow brush is quite nice to apply eyeshadow along the lower lash line, and unlike most palettes, they included a brush for lining the eyes if you want a bolder look.  I think this palette is especially useful for women over 30 years old, like me who have a need for more sophisticated makeup choices.   Again, I can't express how easy the eyeshadows are to blend. It can often be difficult to find good matte eyeshadows that are of this texture and pigmentation. The color selection chosen here really allows  you to create an effortless look for day or night.

 Everything you need in the palm of your hand!
 Eyeshadow colors from top left to right: New Moon, Sand, Tiger Lily, Palomino, Tigress (shimmer), Havana
Bottom left: Blush in Passion
Top left: Sunkissed highlighter

The second item I purchased is from Armour Beauty. I own several lip gloss colors from this brand, and they are by far my favorite lip gloss of all time. The color I chose is called Lucy. It's a brightly pigmented orange that wears more like a high shine liquid lipstick. The color is long lasting and when it does eventually fade, I noticed that it fades evenly leaving a flattering stain on the lips. This is THE color for Spring & Summer and will look good on just about every skin tone. If it is too bright for your personal taste, you can sheer it out for a light stain of color, but I think the pop of color on the lips just brightens up the whole face. 

 My order arrived nicely packaged with the Gloss48 logo on the box and a little personal note.
The first picture, and the picture above show me wearing Lucy gloss applied to bare lips. 

Overall, I am very happy with my first shopping experience with Gloss48, and I look forward to trying out more exciting products from this site. For a full list of brands offered by the site you can click here: 

Have you checked out Gloss48 yet? Share your beauty buys in the comments below. 

*I was provided with a gift card to explore the site. I chose the products myself, and all of my reviews are completely honest. I do not accept compensation in exchange for positive reviews. 

Sunday, March 30, 2014

High-End Favs

All Products In This Post Purchased By Me

High-End Favorites

I hope you enjoyed my recent tutorial series.  Now that you have seen some of my go-to looks, I thought I would share some of my favorite products that are the magic behind my makeup creations. While I use products at all price points, there are certain higher end products that I truly feel are worth the splurge. I've tested tons of products and honestly feel that the top five in this post are worth their higher price tag. For more of my high-end favorites, check out my Pitnerest board. My user name is MakeupMattes1.  I recently created a board called High-End Favs where you can see all of my favorite products and brands at a higher price point.  In keeping with this theme, I will also be doing a post of my favorite budget friendly buys to help guide you through which drugstore products are truly a steal.

Here are my top five favorite high-end beauty products:

#1 Hourglass No 28 Primer Serum -   This is one of the first items I tried from the brand Hourglass. I have repurchased it multiple times over because it is truly a staple in my kit.  As the name suggests, this is a dual purpose product. It can be used both as a skin serum, and as a primer under your makeup.  In the winter, my skin tends to be much more on the dry side, and this primer has been a life saver to help nourish and hydrate my face. This product feels super luxurious and contains 14 essential oils as well as vitamins to nurture and rejuvenate the skin.  At $65 an ounce, this product is not cheap by any means, but the result it provides, makes this well worth the hefty price tag in my book. If you have tried primers before, but haven't really liked them, I suggest you try this one.  Everyone I know who has tried this just loves it. If there is one thing worth investing in, it's your skin. 

#2 Hourglass Illusion Tinted Moisturizer - While this product is sold as a tinted moisturizer, I really think of it more as a foundation that works well for those with a drier skin type.  This product contains SPF15 and helps even out skin tone while leaving a healthy looking dewy glow. The coverage is light, yet this can easily be worn solo with a little added concealer in spots that need it. I especially recommend this product for those with more mature skin that don't want to wear a heavy foundation. If I could only have one foundation for the rest of my life, it would likely be one from Hourglass. It doesn't look like I am wearing foundation when I have it on, it just looks like I have really amazing skin. Isn't that what we all want from our foundation? 

 Hourglass Tinted Moisturizer Retails for $55
Above swatch in the color Ivory 

#3 Anastasia Tinted Brow Gel in Brunette - While many brands make brow gel, this one is my Holy Grail.  This tube has made countless trips with me, and when I am packing light for a trip, is the one thing that always gets packed first. In my professional kit, I use the clear shade, but personally, I tend to favor Brunette.  On days when I am particularly lazy and don't feel like doing my full brow routine, I can still brush through this tinted brow gel for a more complete look.  I have tried other tinted brow gels from other brands, but Anastasia just gets the color perfect, and no other brand holds my brows in place all day like this one does. This product also helps thin brows look a bit fuller and thicker. With full brows still quite popular, I highly recommend this product for everyone. It comes in quite a few shades so you are sure to find one that works with your coloring. 

 Anastasia Tinted Brow Gel Retails for $22 at
  Above is a swatch of Anastasia Tinted Brow Gel in Brunette

#4 Too Faced Shadow Insurance: This eye primer is an absolute staple in my kit. I use this as the base for nearly every eye look I create. I literally use this every day and can't imagine my life without it. I always keep multiple tubes handy and on the rare occasion I have tried to do my eyeshadow without it I notice a huge difference. I used to use Urban Decay Primer Potion, and I have to say, this product is much better. I find I am able to get a much longer wear time with my eyeshadow.  With this layered underneath, most of my eye looks stay looking fresh an average of seven hours before any noticeable fading or creasing. 

 Above is a mini size that came included with an eyeshadow palette
TFSI retails for $20 for the full size.
This product provides full coverage on the eyelids to help 
block out any veins that show through the lid. It is my HG eyeshadow
primer, as it prevents creasing and creates a smooth base for eyeshadow

#5. Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics Lip Tar - The primary lip product I use in my professional kit is OCC's lip tar. They come in a large variety of colors, which come packaged in a convenient squeeze tube. I love that I can just squeeze a pea size amount onto my palette and mix colors to create my own unique shade. These are completely vegan, and the brand does offer a makeup artist discount if you shop through their site. The original lip tar is a matte formula, but the brand has now branched out to create stains, and metallic formulations as well. I even mix in loose pigments with these sometimes to create a truly unique look. These are super opaque and each comes with a mini lip brush. I purchased many of mine in sets and use the full size lip brush from the brand to apply. These are basically liquid lipsticks that are super pigmented. I love the matte formula best, as they can be turned into a metallic, or gloss can be layered over top for added shine. I also love that the brand makes a white and black shade which are great for mixing. The color selection is unparalleled, and these are an absolute must have in my book.  The 0.33 oz. size retails for $18, but sets are often available at a better value.  The brand offers full-size and mini tubes now, which is quite convenient, as it is quite difficult to finish an entire tube since you need so little product per each use. 

 Above is the full size tube which is 0.33 Fl Oz.
Above is a swatch of the color Memento (matte midtone pink plum)

I hope you enjoyed this look at my favorite high-end beauty products.  Please make sure you are subscribed so you never miss a post!  

Please share your favorite high-end beauty products in the comments below. 

*All products in this post were purchased by me. I was not paid to write about these products. 

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