Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Laura Mercier Artist's Palette for Eyes and Cheeks for Holiday 2014: Dud or Deal?

Months ago I remember walking around Sephora and seeing the limited edition Laura Mercier Artist's Palette for Eyes and Cheeks on display. I didn't so much as stop to swatch it because something about the palette just looked off and there were too many other lovely palettes and powders to look at. Last week I noticed this palette which sold for $58 at Sephora is going for $25 on the Laura Mercier website. This was right after I cemented my love for the relaunched Eye Artist Palette so my willpower was weak. I want to deliver my thoughts on this palette while this is still in stock on the Laura Mercier website in case you've been wanting to try Laura Mercier but it's been out of your price range.

Obsessive organizers and collectors will rejoice in knowing the palette is the same exact size and format of the other Laura Mercier Artist Palette. These are the only two I have so I may be wrong in assuming older variations are the same. The Eye and Cheek Palette has a zebra printed cover that has a different texture than the Eye Palette but I like how the inside lines up perfectly. The only repeat shade between the two palettes is Vanilla Nuts, a matte cream shade that is perfect for highlighting under the brow and blending out the edges of your eyeshadow.

The eyeshadows seem to be broken up between cool and warm. On the left you have three mattes and a shimmer shade. Vanilla Nuts and Stone Taupe are two shades I can see myself using a lot and I can mix them together to form an inbetween shade. Deep Night is an interesting matte navy which is unique to my collection. I plan on using it to set black pencil liner to create a subtle blue eyeliner look. The one shimmer on the left side is Pewter, a grayish green shade that I imagine won't be flattering on my warm skin tone but I'll probably be able to use it for a smokey eye.

On the right we have some warmer tones that are more suitable for my skintone. Topaz is a satin rosey taupe that would be great as an all over lid shade. Morning Dew is a matte cream with a very slight hint of pink. It is very similar to Vanilla Nuts so I wish they had omitted Morning Dew and added a light shimmery shadow instead. Cashmere is a matte dusty pink that I think is trending these days. I don't have anything like it so I'm excited to see how it looks blended into the crease. Last but not least is Crystal Beige which is a shimmery rose and not so beige at all.

All eight eyeshadows are pigmented, creamy and beautiful on the skin. The quality is just as nice as the ones in the Eye Artist Palette although the color choices are not as complementary. However, I like that there are several matte shades and a few of the colors are truly unique to my collection.

One of the things that made this palette seem awkward at first glance is the decidedly warm cheek color. The eyeshadows as a whole lean very cool but the orange blush just looked awkward. Well, upon further inspection and a swatch, I now know the cheek color is actually meant to be a highlighter. The highlighter is smooth and pigmented but not overly so. A light dusting off this on the top of the cheekbones would look especially beautiful on darker skintones. I look forward to wearing this more in the summer months. 

For $25, the Laura Mercier Artist's Palette for Eyes and Cheeks is a good value considering the quality of all the eyeshadows and cheek color. If you already have a lot of makeup and aren't curious to try Laura Mercier, I'd suggest skipping this and waiting for another stunner in the future. The individual shades are lovely but the palette still looks a bit awkward and you can't really mix and match too much. I would have liked it if they had included another cheek color and made the pans half the size since I think they allotted too much space for a single highlighter. 

What do you think of this palette? Is it worth $25? How would you craft a makeup look using this palette?

Monday, April 27, 2015

March and April 2015 Empties

We're already a third way through 2015 and I can't help but feel this year is flying by. I felt that I had finished a lot of products recently but now that I'm looking at the pile, it's actually quite small. Note that once in awhile I use up samples and forget to include them in my empties roundups because I either had no particular good or bad things to say about the product or I simply threw out the packaging. In general, I'm pretty good about setting empty containers aside for my bimonthly roundups.

I used up a small tube of the Nars Skin Restorative Night Treatment, a gel-to-oil serum that smells very floraly and leaves your skin feeling greasy and protected. It's great if you love face oils that don't really sink in. It seemed to do my skin some good when it was super dry in March but not worthy of a full size purchase for me. I had high hopes for the Glam Glow Powermud Dualcleanse Treatment but I'm glad I only tried the sample because it is way too harsh for regular use. It didn't seem to drastically improve my skin either so it wasn't worth the stinging. The IOPE Super Vital Cream was another sample I wasn't a fan of, mostly because the scent is extremely strong and akin to men's cologne. I couldn't bear to put this on my face and smell it all day so I used it as a hand cream. I wanted to mention I liked the packet sample of the Kiehl's Clearly Corrective White Skin Brightening Exfoliator. It's a gentle foaming exfoliant with small grains that don't scratch the skin. I only used it a few times so I can't vouch for it's brightening properties but it was pleasant to use.

I used up a bottle of Klorane's Shampoo with Flax Fiber which cleanses my hair fine and does the job. I'm onto another bottle since I got them both as gratis from my beauty retail days but I find that I'm having trouble with dandruff recently. It's probably not just the shampoo that's causing it but I'm trying out some good ol' Head & Shoulders to see if it helps. I finally finished a bottle of Lush's Breath of Fresh Air Toner and I would consider repurchasing it in the future. I like all of Lush's toners and they last a really long time. I used up The Body Shop's Cocoa Butter Shower Cream which is supposed to be gentle and moisturizing. I can't say it really gave my skin any added moisture and there wasn't anything particularly captivating about it.  I only have this because I got sucked into a GWP offer they did a few months ago. I'll stick to my bar soap from now on. I always use dual phase eye makeup removers and the Biore Makeup Remover for Eye & Lip did the job. I liked that the solution was pink (not that eye makeup remover needs to be colored) and it did not irritate my eyes. I bought the Skin Food Black Sugar Mask with the intention of using it as a face scrub but ended up using it all as a body scrub. I didn't like the fake lemon scent and the consistency felt like sugar suspended in dark vaseline. It wasn't pleasant on my face at all and I have no idea why this is so highly rated.

I finished a few base makeup products recently! I completed a sample of Supergoop!'s CC Cream which I really liked taking with me on travels because I could apply it with my fingers for a quick and easy base. Don't be fooled by the small tube; this must have lasted me at least six applications! I finally finished the Maybelline Dream Fresh BB Cream which I included in my Project Make a Dent. I don't like this BB Cream because it doesn't last long enough on my skin. It's not terrible but it's not something I would recommend, especially if you have oily skin. I was sad to see my Shiseido Sheer Eye Zone Corrector bite the dust. I really liked this under eye concealer because it was really convenient, natural looking yet effective for feigning a well rested look. I retired a BeautyBlender because it was looking a bit raggedy and the foundation stains were no longer washing out. This one actually lasted me longer than my first because I was diligent about washing it immediately after every use. I have several backups of these guys so I'm slowly working my way through them.

After using L'oreal's Voluminous Mascara in Waterproof, I don't think I can call Maybelline my favorite mascara brand anymore. I remember loving Maybelline's The Falsies Mascara in Waterproof but this time around it just didn't hold my lashes up as nicely as the L'oreal and it flaked a lot. On the other hand, I really enjoyed my sample of Anastasia Beverly Hills' Clear Brow Gel. It made my brows look more natural by combing out excess product and made them hold their shape without the crunchy feel. Lastly is a packet of Clean & Clear Oil Blotting Sheets in the Pink Grapefruit variety that is exclusive to Asia. These are my favorite blotting sheets and I need to stock up next time I go to Asia because they're way cheaper over there.

I also went through my collection and picked out things that I suspect may be past their prime. I plucked some of these things out a few weeks back and added them to my bag of empties so I forgot to add them to my purge pile. I really liked the Holika Holika Peach Girl BB Cream but the scent is a bit off now. Unfortunately it's discontinued so I can't repurchase it. The Mac Mineralize Skinfinish is years old and it has no oil control so it never lasts throughout a full day. I used at least half of it so I don't feel too bad and it rounded out my sixth Mac empty so I Back to Mac'ed it for a lipstick. The other three items are just ones I've had for too long and the liquid/cream formulas mean they're probably bacteria ridden. I also chucked a few pencil eyeliners that had dried up from lack of use which I found in my eyeliner storage after I took all these photos and I was too lazy to retake some shots.... So there's that.

Empties posts can be a pain because they're often quite lengthy and who knows if anyone even cares to read them. However they also give me some relief because I can quantify how much stuff I actually use up and it's good to know some things have been well loved. I'm also patting myself on the back for being able to let go of so many unloved and expired things that I've held onto for way too long thinking "I might use this one day". Going forward I hope I accumulate less things I don't like and actually love my collection in its entirety.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Major Zoeva Brush Haul: Rose Golden Goodness

Last month I jumped on the Zoeva bandwagon and placed a generous haul because I did a massive clean out of the cheap brushes that I've had since I first started experimenting with makeup. The result? Two of the rose gold brush sets and a single brush from their standard line for $144. That's 21 brushes in total so about $6.85 for each brush with shipping factored in, making these less expensive than Sigma. I would take advantage of the favorable euro to dollar exchange rate if you've been thinking about getting these brushes.

The Rose Golden Luxury Set is the perfect introduction set for a makeup beginner or anyone who wants a solid set of travel brushes. I purchased this set to test out a variety of face brushes at a decent price. The three different sized kabuki blending brushes were what drew me in the most. Also, the angled blush brush garnered many favorable reviews and I can say it's a pleasant addition to my collection. I love that each set comes with a branded pleather pouch that is actually good quality and something I would actually use.

Pictured above from largest to smallest are the 106 Powder, 102 Silk Finish and 110 Face Shape. The powder brush is not the softest synthetic brush I've ever felt and can hinge on scratchy if I try to run the bristles against the surface of my face (which I don't try to do purposely). The Silk Finish is a great foundation brush and a more dense version of the Real Techniques Buffing Brush. The Face Shape is a great brush for blending large areas of concealer or cream highlight and contour products.

The Rose Golden Complete Eye Set comes with every brush you need to do your eye makeup. To be honest, these brushes were not as good as I had hoped them to be. The blending brushes in particular are not as soft as I had wanted them to be. They still do the job but they do not compare to my brushes from Mac, Chikuhodo or Wayne Goss. That is to be expected given the vast difference in price although I did see a number of reviews comparing these to Hakuhodo brushes. The angled liner brush is also surprisingly flimsy so not my favorite for applying eyeliner of any kind. I also experienced shedding with a few of the natural fibered (white) brushes. It wasn't a lot of lost hair but I thought I should mention it.

I would recommend just the Rose Golden Luxury Set instead of both sets because there are a few repeated brushes. I like the concealer buffing brush and the blending brushes are useable so I don't mind. These four brushes are pretty standard and ones that you'll have to clean frequently anyway so it's good to have some backups.

Another benefit of the Rose Golden Luxury Set is the short handles which make these good travel brushes. I personally prefer short handled brushes because they fit easier in my hands and I can get up closer to a mirror. 

Here is how the brushes looked when squeezed into the clear case that contained the single face brush that I also ordered. Most of the brushes also came packaged with plastic sleeves which you can see on some of the eye brushes in the photo above. I think this is a nice touch and a good resource to have when traveling so your brushes don't get very dirty.

I've saved possibly my favorite brush for last: the 109 Luxe Face Paint. This I purchased with the sole intention of using it as a contour brush for precise bronzer application. This brush is very soft and the perfect size and shape to place color in the hollows of your cheeks to give you the illusion of sharper cheekbones. If you can only purchase a few brushes, I urge you to pick this one up if you like to contour.

That sums up my thoughts on the Zoeva brushes I purchased after a few weeks of use. These aren't the best brushes I've ever used and they have a few faults such as the minor shedding and not being as ultra soft as I had wished. But for the price point, these are well made brushes and I'm glad these have become my new everyday brushes instead of still having to deal with $3 brushes from E.L.F whose ferules fell apart every few months. There are many more face brushes from the brand that I'm eyeing that I might pick up in the future. What do you think of Zoeva? Have you tried any of their brushes or makeup? Any recommendations for must-haves?

Monday, April 20, 2015

Learning to Let Go of Unloved Makeup

Today's post will be a relatively short one because it's essentially a self-congratulatory pat on the back for finally making strides to let go of makeup I hardly use. It's not that I hate the products I picked out of my stash to throw away or give to some friends; I just never use these things. I wasted the money when I bought these things so I'm not really wasting more by keeping them or forcing myself to use them up. Above is the pile I gathered after one sweep of all my makeup drawers. Some things were easy to pick out, like the Bdellium eye brush and ancient Revlon Matte Blush (which has already been tossed). The E.L.F blushes are great $3 blushes but I never use them so what's the point of having them around when I have nicer blushes I prefer using?

I decided to do a second sweep because I knew I had gone easy on myself the first time. I ended up picking out a few more expensive items including a Bobbi Brown cream eyeshadow and a Cargo blush. Both of them are perfectly fine products but the shade of cream shadow looks awful on me and the blush is not something I reach for. I had two shattered blushes which I salvaged into little containers but I never used them again so into the garbage they went. I used to like the Hard Candy Fox in a Box Blush back when I had only a few blushes. But now, I have well over 30 so no point in keeping that around. The Physician's Formula palette is great but I don't think I've ever used it on my eyes. I probably bought it during a 40% off sale just because I know I like those palettes but didn't think too hard about if I would wear the colors.

I've been hauling a lot of new makeup recently and this de-stashing makes me feel a bit more at ease. A lot of things I destashed this time around are products I bought years ago and I feel that I have better taste in products now. Hopefully there won't be as much destashing in the future. How do you decide when products need to find a new home?

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Laura Mercier Eye Art Artist's Palette: The Neutral Palette You NEED

I'm a compulsive wishlist-maker and products usually stay on that list for months to years until they make it to my collection. The Laura Mercier Eye Art Artist's Palette skipped to the top of my wishlist when I saw they re-released this limited edition palette last week. This palette originally debuted in 2013 and I had wanted it but I was a boot strapped college student so couldn't justify a $48 eyeshadow palette on a whim. Well they've raised the price to $55 but I couldn't stop thinking about this beautiful palette of 12 shades I could see myself using very often. 

This palette sold out quickly online and I wanted to wait for the measly 10% off from the Sephora sale. Yes, I'm only a Beauty Insider and not a VIB (although that might change this year). The Laura Mercier area at the Soho location was wiped clean of these palettes and I had almost given up after several sales associates said this was sold out. On my way out, I asked one last sales person and he knew of another display in the store where they had new eyeshadow palettes and there was at least half a dozen of these still left! I seriously wanted to give the guy a hug. That is how much I wanted this palette.... 

There are six mattes, two lusters and four sateens. I love a mix of shimmery and matte shadows so a half/half split is perfect. Each pan holds 1 gram or .03 ounces which is about a third less than your typical full sized shadow. So in comparison to the Urban Decay Naked Palettes, this palette gives you a third less product and is a dollar more expensive. However, I think the quality of these shadows is superior to Urban Decay ones. 

My first photo didn't quite capture the beautiful shadows well enough. African Violet is the star of the palette for me. It is a warm lavendar with gold shimmer. I wore it all over my eyelids today and it captures the light beautifully. The brown shadow diagonal from it is Bamboo and possibly my second favorite shade. Although African Violet and Bamboo are both described as luster finishes, I didn't find them to contain glitter and they did not cause fall out.

All of the shades are buttery smooth and pigmented. I love the range of colors in this palette because some other palettes have too many dark or light shades. This palette has the perfect balance of highlight shades, all over lid shades and dark definer shades. Some neutral palettes have too many shades that look too similar. Laura Mercier did a fabulous job of choosing shades that are noticeably different. Guava and Primrose look similar in the pan but on the skin Guava has a strong golden-pink sheen whereas Primrose is a shimmery pink. Also, I don't think these shades are easily dupeable unlike many other palettes out there.

The swatches speak for themselves here. All of these were just one swipe on my arm so you can see how much payoff you get. There is no powdery fallout and these blend like a dream on your eyelids. It is honestly hard to top this palette in terms of value for money. At $55 this is a high-end product but you get a lot more for your buck with the fashion luxury brands like Dior, Chanel and Burberry. 

I'm so glad I scooped up this palette and highly recommend it to anyone who loves eyeshadow palettes. The quality is so good, the colors are well edited and when you think about the price per shadow, you're only paying about $4.5 for each. Watch the video above to see live swatches and all the nuanced beauty in HD glory and tell me you don't need this in your stash. Did you pick up this palette in 2013? Thinking about acquiring this now? Let me know your thoughts!

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Trying Out Shiseido's New Perfecting Stick Concealer

In theory, base products in stick form seem very non-fuss and easy to use. After trying my first one in the form of Shiseido's new Perfecting Stick Concealer*, I have to agree that this is one of the better methods for applying makeup on the go. I had concerns that a stick concealer would be more drying than a liquid one but Shiseido claims this product will melt into the skin, not crease or fade and deliver moisture. Sounds like a dream come true for a relatively affordable high-end product that retails for $25.

This concealer stick is packaged in a lightweight but sturdy dark plastic case. In the first photo I've twisted all the product up so you can see how much is in the tube. There are six shades to choose from and I am currently the lightest shade in 11 light. I know there are many people who are lighter than I am so not everyone will be able to find a shade match.

This concealer offers light to medium, but buildable, coverage. Here I've swatched it heavily on my arm to give you a sense of the color. Normally I would use the pad of my finger to warm up the product in the tube then apply straight to a spot I want to conceal. I wouldn't recommend applying straight to your face as you'll use too much and end up looking cakey.

Above I've blended out the original swatch and you can barely tell I have any product on my arm. On smooth surfaces of skin, this concealer blends very well and look undetectable. If you have broken capillaries and old sun spots or acne scars, you'll probably find this concealer useful.

However, when this concealer encounters textured surfaces, it doesn't fare quite as well. Above I've used it as an undereye concealer. It definitely brightens my sad dark circles but it also leans a bit ashy and I much prefer the Shiseido Sheer Eye Zone Corrector. The stick concealer is also a no-go for healing spots as it really clings to dry patches and flakes. It emphasized those spots and didn't do a good job or concealing them at all.

If you have great skin and need a handy concealer to cover redness or non-textural skin woes, the Shiseido Perfecting Stick Concealer might be a great one, particularly if your skin leans oily. For everyone else, I think you might have to keep looking.

*This product was provided by PR. All opinions are my own.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Late on the Bandwagon: Nars Orgasm Blush

Does anyone talk about Nars' infamous Orgasm blush anymore? For many years this peachy pink blush dominated the top blush charts of magazines and blogs. I have no doubt that the cheeky name had at least something to do with the popularity. Somehow I never got around to purchasing this blush and only acquired a baby version from a gift with purchase. So how does this well-known blush fare? Is it worth all the hype?

If you like a glitterbomb of a blush, you'll definitely like Orgasm. You can see above that the swatch is 85% shimmer. The dark pinkish peach base is loaded with fine golden shimmer that disperses evenly across the skin. I don't detest shimmer in blush as it allows me to skip highlighter and adds a touch of luminosity the skin. I think this is a great blush topper layered over a matte shade. I recommend applying with a fluffy brush and tapping off excess glitter particles beforehand. 

Nars Orgasm isn't a must-have by any stretch of my imagination. If you want a peachy pink blush from Nars, I recommend Deep Throat (another cringey name) instead. Deep Throat is a touch more pink, has less shimmer and packs a lot more pigment so you have lovely flushed cheeks every time you wear it. What do you guys think of Nars Orgasm? Love it? Hate it? Does anyone even talk about it anymore?!

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lipstick in Outlaw: Matte Lip Cream Love

Matte lip creams are all the rage right now and the Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lipstick in Outlaw converted me into a believer. I got a mini tube in last year's Sephora Give Me More Lip Set and it was definitely one of the products I was more interested in trying. Outlaw is a classic, bright red that looks great with sharp black winged liner and a clean canvas. 

The full size tube costs $20 and contains .22 ounces. There are 12 shades to choose from in this line and I find myself especially drawn to the bright reds and pinks. The applicator is a simple doe foot applicator that I find works really well for applying the product. A little goes a long way so I only need to dip the wand in two times max to cover ever corner of my lips. The product itself is very lightweight and comfortable to apply and wear. 

Above I've compared Kat Von D's Outlaw to the Hourglass Opaque Rouge Liquid Lipstick in Icon. As you can tell, Icon is much deeper and more of a berry red whereas Outlaw is more vibrant. I actually like the Kat Von D formula better as I found Hourglass' to be a bit drying. I also felt the Hourglass lip color to be more prone to smudging around the lips, which I did not experience with Kat Von D. The Hourglass Opaque Rouges are also much more expensive at $28 for .1 ounce of product.

Above is a rather bright swatch of Outlaw on my lips. In real life, the color is a tad less in-your-face but still very much a bold shade. I swatched this without lip liner but you can certainly apply a lipliner beforehand to get crisper lines. I like applying a clear lip liner around the edges of my lips or putting a lipstick all over before applying this matte lip cream to get even more lasting power. The thing I like the most about this product is how comfortable my lips felt as I wore this. I didn't feel like my lips were devoid of moisture and even after eating a light meal, the color was still even. I could apply lipbalm over top after a few hours if I felt tightness, reapply the color and have even looking lips.

Kat Von D wasn't a beauty brand I had ever been interested in but this single product is making me reevaluate. If you're looking for a high quality matte lip cream in a classic shade, I can whole heartedly recommend Outlaw by Kat Von D.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Five Champagne and Rose Gold Stick Shadows and Liners

I was rummaging through my backup stash and found a few shimmery champagne eyeshadow sticks and eyeliners and thought I'd do a little comparison.  When I'm pressed for time or just plain lazy but I still want to wear makeup, I'll grab one of these for a one-and-done eye look.

The KIKO Long Lasting Stick Eyeshadow in 07 is the most metallic out of the five and has some glitter particles. It can accentuate dryness on the lids so I tend not to reach for this often, especially in cold months. The Jouer Creme Eyeshadow Crayon in Rococo looks more like a peach gold in the tube and has a finer shimmer to it. The formula glides on smoothly across the lid and offers a warm brightening effect. Laura Mercier's Caviar Stick Eye Colour in Rose Gold certainly looks more pink in tone compared to the first two eyeshadow sticks. I have the miniature travel size which often accompanies me on trips because it's so easy to use. It's a touch less shimmery than the Jouer eyeshadow but still imparts a brightening effect. 

The last two I have to share are actually eyeliners which you can certainly use on your upper or lower lashlines. I don't tend to wear light eyeliners as just liners and I don't think shimmery liners would do well on the waterlines. The Mirenesse Inside Out 27Hr Eye Kohl in Ra and Vasanti Kajal Extreme Rose Gold Eyeliner are both very smooth and the finish is most similar to the Laura Mercier eyeshadow. The Mirenesse pencil is more on the warm side which makes sense since I think the name of the shade pays homage to the Egyptian sun god. The Vasanti rose gold liner is true to its name and leans pink. 

As we get into the warmer months, I think all of these shades would look stunning with sunkissed skin and minimal makeup. Which shade is your favorite? Do you use stick eyeshadows or eyeliners as all over lid colors?

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Small Bdellium Tools Haul: Expectations and Disappointments

Bdellium Tools is an inexpensive brush line that I've mentioned briefly in the past after last year's IMATS damage. I had a decent experience with them and other reviews of the brand have been overwhelmingly favorable. As you might have noticed on Instagram, I've been doing a major revamp of my brush collection in the last few months. I picked up four brushes from Bdellium for the purpose of traveling during the 30% off St. Patrick's day sale.    

I opted for the 954 Duet Fiber Slanted Kabuki brush from the Green Bambu line as I know this series has short handles. I already have two other face brushes from the Green Bambu line and like the soft synthetic bristles. The 954 performs well and applies base makeup easily without streaks. It costs $18 which is a bit much for a bargain brush but with the discount I only paid $12.60 which is acceptable.

The other three brushes I chose were from the travel line. I was not expecting the quality to differ so much between this line and the Bambu line since the prices are the same. Like every other beauty-obsessed person, I've been into contouring lately. I purchased the 945 brush for precise contour application. The shape is great and the size is perfect for my face. But the bristles are noticeably scratchy and there was significant shedding when I washed this brush. Even swiping this brush back and forth on my hand yields broken hair particles. I am incredibly disappointed by this brush and I totally regret not getting the same one from the Green Bambu collection. This brush retails for only $11 but I would rather get a Real Techniques brush for that price.

Another disappointment was the 776 Blending brush. Every brush manufacturer has a look-a-like to the Mac 217. This is your basic rounded blending eyeshadow brush. This one is not soft and the bristles are cut very blunt. The glue also goes too high into the bristles so the hairs don't have any give at the base where the ferrule starts. It's clearly a shoddy brush and I wonder how Bdellium thinks it is acceptable to have such discrepancies between product lines. This brush is still usable but I could have saved $9 (or rather the $6.30 I paid for it). 

The one redeeming travel brush is the 710 Eyeliner brush. I wanted this because I love the Sigma E05 Eyeliner brush for applying gel liner. The Bdellium version applies liner well enough and I can get a precise wing. Retailing at $8, this is an acceptable brush.

Overall, two out of four brushes were worth the money. These aren't expensive brushes but I was still dismayed to find such variation in quality. Check out the synthetic bamboo brushes from Bdellium. Skip the travel brushes. I might purchase more Bdellium Green Bamboo brushes during subsequent sales but I'm wary of the other lines. Have any of you tried brushes from their Maestro line? I'm curious to see if those perform any better since they are a bit more expensive.

Those of you who follow me on Instagram will know that I hauled quite a bit from Zoeva so expect an overview of those brushes in the coming weeks!