Sunday, November 22, 2015

My Only Purchase From Sephora's VIB Sale

This was my first year making the Sephora VIB cut so I was looking forward to the 20% sale, making my list and checking it twice. I went back and forth several times thinking about what I wanted, what I needed and caused myself a lot of unnecessary stress. When the thought of spending money on beauty products causes you stress, it's probably a sign you need a new hobby. That's what I told myself and in the end I just chose one luxurious brush to use my 20% discount on: the Surratt Artistique Sculpting Brush.

Surratt brushes aren't highly talked about but they're hand made in Japan like the popular Hakuhodo, Chikuhodo, Wayne Goss and Suqqu brushes. The Artistique Sculpting Brush is made of natural hairs which I presume are blue squirrel as it is oh-so-soft. This is the least expensive face brush in the Surratt line, priced at $90. Yes, it is remarkably expensive but if you're looking for an incredibly silky, soft brush and are willing to take care of your tools, this is a brush you should consider.

The brush handle is lightweight and the overall length of the brush is on the short side. It's about the same height as my Chikuhodo brushes. I prefer brushes of this size as they're easy to hold and are good for traveling (although I rarely take my pricey brushes on trips with me). The black handle fades into a shimmery purple and teal shade which is rather unique.

Compared to other angled face brushes in my collection, the Surratt brush is the smallest. It's also definitely the most soft and high quality without a doubt. The middle brush is by Zoeva and the one on the right is one from Walmart. While the other two brushes are a bit fluffy and fan out, the Surratt brush holds together better so you can get more precise powder placement.

I plan on using this brush mostly with bronzers and contour powders but perhaps blush as well. It's a bit too large to use for highlight but I can see this working with something like the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powders since they're not straight-up sparkle. So far I'm beyond pleased by this brush and I'm so happy that Sephora stocks the Surratt line. I've felt all the brushes at Barneys and can confirm they all feel wonderful. I already have plans to purchase several more of the brushes but am biding my time....

Monday, November 16, 2015

September and October 2015 Empties

Did you think I forgot about my September and October empties? Comprehensive reviews of each product are really tedious to write but I still like to document what I've used up. If anything these posts serve as a personal reminder of what I've tried, liked and disliked. If you spot something interesting, leave a comment and I'll try to be as helpful as I can in answering any questions. 

Out of that pile of products, these are the ones that left a very good impression on me. Most of these are items I've used the full sized of or have repurchased. The Alba Botanica Hawaiian Body Scrub is an awesome budget buy. The Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Concentrate makes my skin look incredibly glowy and smooth when I use it once or twice a week. The small sample lasts me ages. The Shiseido Ultimune Power Infusing Concentrate improves my skin texture and has a very pleasant formula. Shiseido's White Lucent Serum is the best brightening skincare product I've ever used to fade dark spots. The Number 4 Volumizing Condition smells awesome and smooths my hair without weighing it down. Recommended to me by Monika, INM Out the Door is my top coat of choice

These are all makeup empties or things that have gotten so old I'm worried to put them on my face. Most of the products fall into the latter category.... I have a couple of high-end mascara samples that I used once or twice before I realized I simply don't need high-end mascara. I just need a waterproof mascara to hold a curl. If it's not waterproof, there's no point in using it. I had a few high-end mascaras in my backup stash and I just gave them to Monika because there's no point in me trying them out. 

As for things I did use up, I finished the sample of Benefit's Porefessional and really liked it. It didn't clog my pores like I had thought it would and my pores really did seem to disappear. I also pretty much used up the Laneige BB Cushion which is a firm favorite in my base makeup stash. I have a refill of that which I'm using at the moment. I wore the Ruffian Nail Polish in Naked about four manicures in a row because I loved the color. It's a smaller than average bottle which meant it dried up a lot faster unfortunately. I used more than half of the bottle though. As for all the lip products, they're mostly all ones I enjoyed using. But they're just quite old and the texture of some had changed so much that I didn't feel safe applying the product onto my lips. 

One more empties post to look forward to before the end of the year! I always like seeing all my empties posts from the past 12 months at the end of the year. It's almost as satisfying as looking through my haul posts if not more so!