Showing posts with label Burberry Beauty. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Burberry Beauty. Show all posts

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

The Beauty Look Book Essentials | Face and Cheek Brushes

By popular request, I've gone through all my face and cheek brushes and picked out my favorites. I've been testing a number of brushes over many years (over a decade from my college days) and built my collection slowly over time. My experience with face brushes has been similar to that of my eye brushes. I started with a small handful of tools from Stila, Trish McEvoy and MAC. For many years I only had 4 face brushes and to this day I still think most can accomplish most of what you need for face makeup with a powder, blush, foundation and bronzing brush.

I've learned through makeovers, artist tips and a number of other blogs that there are a number of brushes with different materials, shapes, lengths and densities to help you apply your makeup better. I see face brushes like art tools - you probably need a few, but there are so many different kinds out there, they are fun to play with and experiment with.

The brushes I've picked are from more mainstream brands that are easily accessible. There are a number of makeup artist brushes that look and sound amazing from other blogs but I haven't ventured into the artist brands. I've broken down my favorites into three categories. Face powder, blush and contour, and creams.
For all over face powders, whether it's loose, pressed or powder foundation, I look for dense but soft brushes that will pick up product well and apply it evenly over the face. A more fluffy brush will give a sheerer application. I like larger ones that will cover your entire face with a few brush strokes.

  • MAC #134 ($53) is a brush that is currently only available at MAC stores/online but it has been released and re-released at other MAC counters numerous times, this is my favorite large flat powder brush, it's dense, soft and perfectly rounded tip for easy powder application.
  • MAC #129 ($35) is the ultimate multi-taskers, it can be used for powder, blush or contour, for those who prefer a smaller brush for more precise control or someone who wants one brush that can do multiple things, this is your best option.
  • Chanel Powder Brush #1 ($65) is a well-designed brush with a domed tip, the bristles are slightly stiffer than MAC but the Chanel is still very soft and picks up powder well, I like this also with pressed powders such as Les Beiges and Dolce & Gabbana's powder foundation because it applies powder evenly on the face.
  • Tom Ford Bronzer 05 ($115) is one that will break the bank but Tom Ford brushes are extremely well made, designed and deliver flawless makeup application. I purchased this as part of a brush set a couple holidays ago when they had a gift card event. This is the largest densest bronzer brush I've ever seen it feels like a soft kitten. If you look up reviews on this brush you will see it is well loved by many others (ie Café Makeup, RaeViewer, Temptalia)
  • Burberry Beauty Brush ($52) is my favorite short kabuki brush although a number of other brands are very similar in shape, size, material and feel. I purchased mine from Nordstrom although they don't stock it online at the moment. You can still find it at Burberry. I like this for powder or bronzer. The reason I prefer this one is the handle is square while most other brands are round. This fits perfectly in my hand and I find it easier to hold. (MAC and Chanel are very similar in how they perform.)
Many cheek brushes are multi-purpose and can be used for both cream or powder. I don't tend to use these for creams but I've had artists use these on me before for cream. I'm listing a number of brushes here that I love.

  • Tom Ford Cheek Brush 06 ($78) is a luxuriously soft blush brush, it picks up just the right amount of powder to apply color to the cheeks. As The Non-Blonde noted, this one is as plush as it gets. I find it perfect for Tom Ford blushes but works well with other brands. I personally don't like it with super pigmented matte blushes because it will pick up too much color (like some NARS or MAC mattes/brights). For most everything else this one is perfect.
  • Chanel Blush Brush #4 ($54) is one my smallest blush brushes. It's shaped and tapered in a way to layer blush easily. It's a softer less dense brush so it works for a lighter application. If you're one who likes to go easy on the blush but still wants to be able to control how much color goes on the face this is the best option.
  • MAC Duo Fibre Brush #187 ($42) is a classic must-have for highlighters. It's the perfect brush for those Mineralized Skinfinishes to swipe a light blend of shimmer over the cheeks. I've had artists use this with foundation and cream products as well. It's versatile and works well with any kind of highlighter whether it's pressed, loose, or cream.
  • MAC Brush #168 ($35) is a classic contouring brush. It's a good sturdy white hair brush with an angled tip. I find it medium-sized which makes it good for being able to control where you place the powder. It's also a good brush for blending around the face.
  • NARS Contour Brush #21 ($42) is a new brush from NARS, you can read my detailed review here, I usually don't like angled brushes because I am more comfortable with more traditional brushes, this one makes contouring easy especially for those who aren't pros at contouring (like myself).
  • MAC Brush Tapered Face Brush #138 ($53) is another harder-to-find brush, it's made a re-appearance on limited-edition collections at counters, you can still find directly from MAC. For me this is the ultimate contouring brush because it's shaped to place product right along the sides of the face where you want contour. It's specially designed to streamline and enhance the makeup technique of sculpting and shaping. Per MAC, "use the chiselled side for contour shaping of facial planes; the pointed tip for applying and blending powder blush, highlighter or face powder." It's another multi-functional brush that works well as a powder brush.

  • Tom Ford Cream Foundation Brush 06 ($72) is the ultimate blending brush for creams. If you ever try this at the Tom Ford counter they will demonstrate how it works with their foundation stick and blends the product on the face to perfection. With most brushes you will see some kind of streaks and still need blending with fingers or a sponge, the Tom Ford applies cream product (foundation or highlighter) streak-free.
  • Tom Ford Foundation Brush 01 ($72) is another cream brush designed to apply makeup streak-free. In my mind you don't need both 01 and 06 (although the Tom Ford counter convinced me otherwise). They both perform the same for either liquid or cream foundations. If you're trying to decide between one or the other, I would recommend 06 because it's more unique in shape. If you want a standard foundation brush you can find many cheaper options. I find it a staple in my weekly makeup routine. It cleans easily - I use Bobbi Brown's Brush spray cleaner after each use to lightly wipe it down but do a thorough washing after 2-3 uses.
  • Chanel Foundation Brush #6 ($45) is a classic foundation brush that is soft and applies foundation quite well. In my mind most foundation brushes are almost identical (i.e. MAC, Chanel, Prescriptives etc) in the bristles. The main difference is in the handle size. I like Chanel because it's shorter and easier to travel with. I still get streaks no matter what brush I use (with the exception of Tom Ford) but this one works very well.
  • MAC Duo Fibre Brush #187 ($42) is repeated from above, I like this for cream highlighters because it will cover a large area with fewer swipes. It also works well for blending harsh lines or edges.
For face brush storage, I love Muji Acrylic Holders but they aren't easy accessible for me and are often sold out online. I've used recycled candles from Jo Malone, Diptyque and Henri Bendel as alternatives. I also found clear jars from Crate and Barrel to be good for shorter brushes, tools or pencils. Stila and NARS Paint cans are also good for storing brushes if you are able to find them. Click on the Diptyque tag below for more storage ideas.

I usually use Neutrogena Body Wash to clean my brushes as the most economical method. I buy the large size at Costco which I use as a regular body wash anyways. I know many recommend baby shampoo but I always find it leaves a film on my brushes from the conditioning properties (might just be me). For those brushes that need extra work, I have three go-to's for cleaning brushes which include MAC Brush Cleanser, Bobbi Brown Brush Cleaning Spray and Brush Cleanser (review here). These tend to be on the pricey side so frequent usage of these cleansers isn't an option for me.

I realize this is a rather large and extensive list of brushes. You definitely do not need as many as I have collected over the years. I've been testing brushes for over a decade now (not to date/age myself) and have acquired them over time. Brush sets can be your most economical way to buy many at one time at a good price but those deal sets tend to be of lesser quality than individual brushes.

If I had to narrow my list down to my top picks these are what I'd narrow down my absolute essentials to: Chanel Blush #4, MAC Duo Fibre #187, MAC #134 or MAC #129, Tom Ford Cream Foundation 06, NARS Contour Powder #21.

I hope you found this brush guide helpful. The options can be overwhelming with all the shapes, sizes, materials and brands. To simplify your choices try thinking about what makeup products you gravitate towards in categories and whether it's a powder, cream or liquid. Pick one for each main category to start.

While tools can be used for multiple areas, having more than one brush helps keep your makeup application cleaner and easier. For example while a powder brush can also double as a bronzer brush, having one brush for each product will prevent you from mixing products and accidentally brushing bronzer all over the face from left over product if you dip it into powder and bronzer (I've done it before and my entire face was several shades darker than the rest of my body).

What are your must-have face brushes? I would really love to hear what your tried and true are, new discoveries or staples. Also if you want to share how you store your face brushes I'm all ears. Do you store them upright in containers or put them in a brush roll?

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Beauty Look Book | Favorite Nude Pink Nail Polishes

I've been on a natural nude-pink nail polish kick ever since Tom Ford Sugar Dune was released for spring. I've since been wearing a lot of light and neutral pinks on the nails. For me light pink is a bit difficult to find, most are either too pale, too sheer or apply unevenly. I've still managed to find quite a few variations of light and nude pink with great formulas, application and wear. The colors that made my top picks:

Rescue Beauty Lounge Thank You ($20) is a nude pink with light pearl particles. It flashes blue and pink for a cool-toned sheen but has a nude pink base to prevent it from looking too pale. This color looks good on everyone I've seen it on. It's shown below with two coats.

Tom Ford Sugar Dune ($32) is my ultimate perfect nude pink. As discussed in my review a few months ago, application can be a bit time consuming, it is one of the higher maintenance nudes but once applied is a clean polished neutral light pink. It is limited-edition so if you're interested I suggest you try to track one down sooner than later.

Burberry Nude Pink and Ash Rose ($21 each) both beautiful polished clean neutrals. Scroll down through the archives (last couple weeks) to see a more detailed review on each shade.

Nude Pink:

Ash Rose:

OPI My Very First Knockwurst can be found at a number of retailers. I either purchase my OPI from or Ulta. I found this to be the most difficult to apply and it required three coats. However the price of OPI is much more affordable compared to high end brands. Most of the time OPI applies just as well (sometimes better) than other luxury nail polishes. In this case, this one was a bit of a nightmare to apply. It required three coats but I love the color of this shade.

Chanel Rose Cache ($27) is a classic sheer natural pink. It has that secret-shimmer in the bottle that disappears once applied on the nail. It looks different on everyone I've seen but is a universally flatting easy to wear/go with everything kind of nail polish.

Dior Incognito ($24) is my favorite classic nude pink. It's not too dark and not too pale. Just the right in between. Do note this one is coming out in the gel formula (have not tried yet). You may want to wait for that color to be released in stores near you. But for now I've been a huge fan of all Dior's nail polish formulas. The application is smooth and flawless with very good lasting power. Everything from the formula to brush design of Dior's nail colors makes application very easy.

Zoya Rue ($9) is a classic nude pink with a hint of cool-mauve. I haven't had much experience with Zoya but the brand has performed well for me on the occasions I have tried it. Rue was part of a recent nude collection. It's a lovely natural pink cream. Below is Rue shown with three coats.

Comparisons to other lighter pinks: OPI Care to Danse?, OPI Don't Bossa Me Around, Rescue Beauty Lounge Sheer Nude, Bobbi Brown Pink Pearl, Deborah Lippmann Naked, Deborah Lippmann Fashion, Deborah Lippmann Modern Love, OPI Butterfly Moment, Guerlain La Petite Robe Noire and Tom Ford Show Me the Pink

What's your favorite nude pink nail polish? Do you have any staple go-to's? If I were pressed to pick just three, I would narrow down my picks to Tom Ford Sugar Dune, Dior Incognito and Burberry Nude Pink as my favorites.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Burberry Beauty Nail Polish in Nude Pink No. 101 and Ash Rose No. 103

I've been playing with a few Burberry nail polishes over the past few months. I fell in love with the color of Oxblood No. 303 even though the brush was a bit difficult for me to work with. I ordered both Nude Pink No. 101 and Ash Rose No. 103 ($21 each for 8 ml/.27 fl oz) sight unseen as they seemed like the perfect delicate nude pinks.

The formula of these two colors is similar to that of Oxblood in the sense that the first coat applies streaky and uneven. Adding a second slightly thicker coat (after the first coat dries completely) results in a flawless finish although application does require patience and an extra steady hand. This is a polish where the best application is to load the polish onto brush a bit thicker than you normally would and skim lightly over the nail in one quick steady sweep. In my experience I've found most pigmented nudes a bit more high maintenance to apply in general, I'm not sure why this is the case. Sheer nudes are easy to apply but require multiple coats to show up. The Burberry nail polishes fall somewhere in between for me. (For more detail on the formula, packaging and brushes, refer to my review on Oxblood.)

Nude Pink No. 101 just might be my perfect polished nude pink. It is a perfect blend of nude and pink. I find that it has enough color in it to prevent it from looking too nude. Here it is with two coats. I used this with Deborah Lippmann Rehydrating Base Coat and Rescue Beauty Lounge Top Coat. Lasting power was quite impressive at over 6 days without any tip wear or chipping.

Ash Rose No. 103 is a lovely mauve pink with a slight hint of grey. This one is pigmented but has a slightly transparent quality. It has enough nude to prevent it from being a cold mauve. The transparent finish makes it look a bit more natural than other mauves look. I applied it with two coats below.

I didn't have time to photograph comparison swatches yet although I am working on a post I hope to have up by the end of the week. So far I couldn't find any dupes. Burberry Nail Polishes retail for $21 each at Nordstrom, Burberry and Saks. What's your perfect nude pink?

Friday, March 7, 2014

Burberry English Rose Spring 2014 Collection Now Online at

Burberry fans who have been waiting for the English Rose collection to restock or show up online will be happy to know it is now online and in stores at counters at Nordstrom. There are a few new individually released items which include:
  • Complete Eye Palette ($59 each) in Rose Pink No 10 (swatches here) and Sage Green No 15
  • Nail Polish ($21 each) in Rose Pink, Dusty Mauve, Pale Grape, Pale Yellow and Sage Green
The remaining items are mainly repromotes of previously released colors to coordinate with either a Rose Pink or Sage Green look. The Rose Pink quad sold out online almost instantly at Burberry and Saks. If you missed out, check Nordstrom. I don't have a complete store listing, but I have an older Nordstrom Burberry Location list here, if you have any updates please share in the comments!
  • Bellevue, WA - 425-455-5800
  • Topanga, CA - 818-884-7900
  • San Francisco Center, CA - 415-243-8500
  • Walnut Creek, CA - 925-930-7959
  • South Coast Plaza, CA - 714-549-8300
  • Valley Fair, CA - 408-248-2180
  • Michigan Avenue, IL - 312-464-1515
  • Oakbrook, IL- 630-571-2121
  • Garden State Plaza, NJ - 201-843-1122
  • Standford Mall, CA - 650-323-5111
  • North Park, TX - 214-231-3900

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Burberry Rose Pink No. 10 Complete Eye Palette

The latest from Burberry is the English Rose Collection. The collection has been arriving in pieces here and there. There are two new quads, new nail polishes and some lip colors that are repromoted. There are two new quads in Rose Pink No. 10 and Sage Green No. 15 ($59 each for 5.4g, made in Italy). I ordered the pink version from Burberry which sold out almost immediately online. While at the Burberry counter at Nordstrom San Francisco, the artists showed me the testers of the collection and said they expected to receive the items very soon. Right now has both quads online.

Rose Pink No. 10 is a lovely palette of pinks - it is very light and pale. The shades include a pale frosted ivory, a light frosted pink, a soft shimmering mauve-grey and a matte dusty earthy clay kind of pink. On my skin both the lighter shades look identical. To avoid an overly pale eye, I started applying the taupe-mauve shade first, layered the salmon pink and then blended the two pale shimmers on top. The result was a very light eye. It had a delicate look. With a significant amount of blending I was able to get the palette to work with a simple dark brown eyeliner and mascara. I felt this palette needed a darker shade to make this work better for me. For more definition I added a bit of Midnight Brown eyeshadow.

The quality and texture of this palette is very good. Some have felt the other quads were different in quality than the single shades reporting they were powdery with fallout. I personally found all the other quads to be of very high quality, I didn't see too much of a difference in quality - the quads in general seemed to have more satiny shades which had a slightly different texture. The Rose Pink quad seems to mimic the texture and quality more of the singles.

For those new to Burberry eyeshadow quads - these palettes come in a sturdy mirrored compact with a magnetic closure. Each palette comes in a soft black pouch with tiny brushes which I find too small to use except for quick touch-ups. Some more photos of Rose Pink below.

In sunlight:

Artificial bulbs highlight the shimmer and frost:

Swatches (slightly blotchy because I had remnants of moisturizer on parts of my arm but it shows how you can control pigment depending on how moist your eye base is):

Here are some comparison swatches to a couple other Burberry Eyeshadow Quads in Pale Nude No. 3 and Pink Taupe No. 7:

Comparisons to Burberry Rosewood, Antique Rose, Pale Rose and Midnight Brown:

I'm overall pleased with the quality of Rose Pink No. 10. Color-wise I do feel it needs one or two more darker shades blended in to work for me. Right now Burberry Beauty is available in the US at select Burberry stores, a few Nordstrom counters and select Saks stores. It can be a bit difficult to find and with the recent changes some items have been on back-order and hard to find. You may have to do a bit of shopping around if you want to purchase different colors.

The list of Nordstrom locations carrying Burberry Beauty can be found here (if you have updates please share below in the comments). For your reference I've linked the places you can find the items I swatched:

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