Friday, August 1, 2014

Hakuhodo G5526BkSL Eye Shadow Brush Review/Comparison to MAC 226

For two years now (ever since I first saw them at The Makeup Show LA 2012), I've been hemming and hawing over Hakuhodo brushes. They are the creme de la creme of makeup brushes but each time I went to a show, I would end up chickening out. Well this year at PHAMExpo, I made a decision and got myself one Hakuhodo brush, the G5526BkSL.

The G5526BkSL is part of the G series, which contain brushes that are usually a mix of black blue-squirrel and goat hair (which is why it's denoted with BkSL) though the G5526BkS has horse hair bristles. The G5526BkSL was only $20.00 and in the grand scheme of brushes, it's actually not as expensive as you might think.

I was in between the G5526BkSL and the J242G (which looks similar to the MAC 239), but decided on the G5526BkSL because I couldn't pass up on a brush that looked so close to my beloved MAC 226. While I adore the shape of the MAC 226, it's just not as soft as MAC brushes usually are and I wanted the Hakuhodo version without the scratchiness. I do own both brushes so I'll review the G5526 first then compare it to the MAC 226.

The handle is black and sleek but unfortunately the name or number isn't embossed on the brush, just the brand's name.

The G5526's shape is unique because it's the result of crossing a pencil brush and a fluffy blending brush. The top of the bristles comes to a soft point which allows you to apply eyeshadow in the crease with precision or use the edges to widely blend out a crease color. I prefer using the tip of the brush for drawing out the beginning of a cut crease and using the sides of the brush to blend out the edges. I've also been able to use the sides of the brush to pack on eyeshadow onto my lid.

hakuhodo eye brush (1 of 1)

Here's a comparison to the original MAC 226. I say original because the rereleases of the brush have never quite lived up to the first release. The G5526BkSL has a similar shape but the MAC 226 comes to a sharper point and has a less rounded shape overall but the MAC bristles are much more scratchy. The Hakuhodo brush on the other hand is extremely soft, the bristles feel luxurious on my eyes and it makes for such a wonderful application.

hakuhodo brushes (4 of 4)

In summation, I'm extremely pleased with the brush. The brand and the brush live up to the hype in my opinion. I've been able to use the brush in my crease and to apply eyeshadow on my eyelid. It's been brilliant for the smokey eyes I've been preferring lately and can be a great pick for anyone seeking the dual purposes of the precision of a pencil brush and the blendability of a fluffy brush.

Do you own any Hakuhodo brushes or any similar brushes? Do you think you might invest in one?

Disclaimer: I purchased this brush myself. All opinions are my own. I'm not being compensated for this post.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Question of the Week #9: Foundation Brush, Sponge, or Other?

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This week's Question of the Week is on foundation application. Do you use a brush, a sponge, or something else like your fingers? Feel free to share in the comments!

question of the week #9

For me, I'm on the Beauty Blender bandwagon. I know $20 is a lot to spend on a sponge but dang I've really been enjoying applying foundation with it. I have applied liquids and creams both while the sponge is damp or dry and like both methods so far. It's a big investment for sure but it is worth a try. I would suggest you get the black pro sponge though, the pink stains like no other!

Monday, July 28, 2014

Monochromatic Monday Series: Grey/Brown FOTD

When I was rifling through my weird lipstick stash (comprised of many jars and tubes of unconventional and unique lipstick colors), I felt inspired to try to do a new series (the operative word being try) where I will create a makeup look around a single color for eyes, lips, and nails. I want to use this to encourage the comfort level of people who own weird colors like this but may be reluctant to show them off. I have a lot of Limnit Lipsticks in weird colors so I'll be using a lot of them in this series and I'll also be including lip colors from other brands (including OCC Lip Tars). I'll be posting on Monday's but not every Monday (to avoid being monotonous!)

The first in the series is around the Limnit Lipsticks Lipstick in Goodness Graycious, which is a mixture of a clay brown with a deep grey. The eyeshadow paired with it is the Bare Escentuals 5 in 1 BB Cream in Divine Wine that despite the name, isn't a wine color. It's more of a pottery clay grey/brown that also pairs well with the nail polish which is China Glaze Channelesque. 

Grey/brown lipstick might not be for everyone, but it's just as unconventional as purple lipstick and that's been on trend lately.

monochromatic monday 1 (1 of 1)

Thanks for reading! I hope I'll be on track to continue this series!

Friday, July 25, 2014

5 Popular Makeup Products that Didn't Work Out (for Me)

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I talk a lot about products that I enjoy on the blog but I think it's worth mentioning products that didn't work out for me. It's also worth talking about hyped up or popular products that just didn't agree with me for one reason or another. 

5 popular products didnt work out
The first is the Anastasia Dipbrow. My fellow bloggers Alyson and Krissy have heard me lamenting about this product for days while I was at The Makeup Show LA. Sadly while it seems to agree with most people, its formula doesn't agree with me. It's difficult to use in my opinion because you have to pick up the tiniest amount. It melted and was easily wiped away on me after only a few hours. Not cool.

The next is the Make Up For Ever Aqua Liner in #11. While I adored the variety of colors available in the line, I didn't like removing the liner. It kept breaking off in shards as I removed it and overall was a painful experience.

The next is the Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer - Light. I had hopes for this because it mentions being perfect for oily acne prone skin (which is what I have) but despite being primarily water based, it's also got silicone so it doesn't fare well with my water based or silicone based foundations. The primer didn't end up helping with oiliness or longevity. 

The next is the Tarte Lipsurgence pencils. I've tried a few but it smells like minty pencil bark to me (because it's got a very woody/herbal quality to the mint) so it was very unwearable to me, despite the colors and finishes available.

Lastly is  the Wet n Wild Mega Last Liquid Lip Color. This is a liquid to matte lip color that I had such high hopes for because it had been the only drugstore liquid to matte product at the time. Sadly the product didn't work out for me because it kept flaking from my lips so I'd get red flakes on my teeth as I wore it. 

How about you? Share any products you've used that didn't work out in the comments! 
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