Showing posts with label Makeup Brushes. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Makeup Brushes. Show all posts

Monday, January 19, 2015

Wayne Goss - The Holiday Brushes (2014)


On the nails: Dior Lady

I'm late to the game with the Wayne Goss Holiday Brushes in White and Black ($85 each, limited-edition) but I am really happy I was able to get both as they were produced in limited quantities for last holiday (the white one is already sold out). These are exclusive to Beautylish and although I almost always purchase brushes I can see and touch in person, I made an exception and ordered them sight unseen after seeing it featured on @raeview's Instagram (also featured on her December Hits/Misses video). I'm so glad that I did.

This year he released a Black and White version:

The Wayne Goss Holiday Brush is a large tapered powder brush. It's dense, fluffy and ultra soft. All of his brushes are all hand made (cruelty free) and none of the hairs are cut - the two holiday brushes are the first that I've tried from his line for face brushes and I am really impressed. They both pick up just the right amount of product with just one or two swipes. I've tested it on pressed setting powder, bronzer, highlighter and blushes. The tapered shape makes it extremely versatile for all sort of powder face makeup. I really like these for blush and bronzer.




MAC Sheertone Blush in Tenderling


For me, it's been challenging to find a brush with this particular shape and size - most tapered brushes I've seen are quite a bit smaller. The MAC 138 is similar in size and density but the ones designed by Wayne Goss by comparison are much softer in texture and feel like silk on the skin. In my entire brush collection, my Tom Ford brushes are the softest that I own. These holiday brushes from Wayne Goss are just as soft.



For my testing, the Black Holiday brush has gone through two washings already. It does fluff up a little bit after the first wash but it still retains its shape. I photographed it next to an unwashed/unused white one before I tried it. For me there was no shedding or color bleeding with the first or second wash.

If you're crying over the fact that the White Holiday brush is sold out, I found both the White and Black versions to be identical in texture, density, softness and performance. I would still be crying if I didn't get the white version since I have a soft spot for white fluffy brushes, but they are both identical and I probably didn't need both. That being said I am really happy I have both, I've found them both to be very gentle on the skin and effective at pickup up product and giving you a super smooth and even makeup application with powders, bronzers and blushes. For me they are both worth every penny even though the price is on the steep side. They are well made and very good quality.


If you haven't checked out the Wayne Goss Holiday Brush, I highly recommend you do soon. It's limited-edition and exclusive to Beautylish. Have you tried any of the brushes from Wayne Goss? What are your favorites?

Monday, December 22, 2014

Favorite Makeup Tools for Face, Cheeks and Eyes


I've compiled several detailed brush guides this year but several of my readers have asked for a more consolidated list of recommendations. Like most of my beauty routine, when it comes to makeup tools, I rarely stick to just one brand. I think different lines have certain strengths in particular areas.  Some have a better shape while others are made of better materials. There is a lot to sort through in terms of brush shape, size, material and price point. For me, it's really important that I am able to test a brush in person before purchasing it so I tend to stick to main stream brands. Today I've compiled a list of my most reached-for tools for face, cheeks and eyes.


My top picks for brush brands include MAC, Chanel and Tom Ford. In my experience, the overall best brand for quality and price is MAC. I own many MAC brushes that have lasted me over a decade. I like that the brushes have a simple and sleek design and the quality is consistent among all the tools regardless of material or type.

Chanel is also another great brand that I use a lot for brushes and tools. They recently redesigned all their brushes (I think in the last year or so) for a more modern look. The tools work really well with all brands of makeup. There are many similarities in shapes between MAC and Chanel although the material is very different in most of the tools. 

If price is no object, Tom Ford hands down makes the best brushes I've ever tested. All the brushes are super soft and plush and perform the best out of all the tools I've tried. The cream foundation brush is the only brush that gives me a streak-free application for foundation or tinted moisturizer. Tom Ford's brushes are among the few brands I ordered sight unseen. I splurged on a brush set a few years ago and although it made a serious dent in my wallet but I have no regrets and it makes applying makeup a truly luxurious experience each day.



1 / Beautyblender ($19.95) is the best sponge I've used. I just discovered it this year and don't know how I ever got along without it. There are multiple colors and types of beautyblenders but the pink one performs the best. Use it damp and it expands and applies foundation flawlessly.

2 / MAC Duo Fibre Face Brush #187 ($42) everyone needs a good skunk brush. These are fluffy brushes with two types of material mixed in. The uses for this are endless. I like to use mine to apply powder bronzer or highlighters to the face. You can also use these with cream products or to buff out powder foundation or to blend items. MAC also makes the Duo Fiber brushes in a number of other formats like the Short Handled #187 and a tapered Blush #159 version. I like the classic version the best.

3 / MAC Large Angled Contour #168 ($35) is super soft and fluffy angled contour brush. I use this for bronzer or blush (primarily powders). It's also a good blending tool. The angled edge helps control application.

4 / Tom Ford Cream Foundation Brush #02 ($72) is the best foundation brush I've used. It's one of the most expensive tools I own but worth every penny. When I use this to apply liquid or cream foundations, application is flawless and completely streak free. I normally prefer to use sponges for foundation but often times they soak up so much product. This is the closest thing I have to getting a sponge-finish look with foundation but in brush format.

5 / Chanel Foundation Brush #6 ($45) is my most reached-for foundation brush. It's not quite as perfect as the Tom Ford, but for me it's the next best thing. I like this for cream blushes too.

6 / Chanel Blush Brush #4 ($54) is my favorite blush brush because of the shape and material. It's medium-sized and compact but has just the right amount of density to pick up color and dispense it perfectly on the cheeks. MAC makes a lot of good blush brushes too which are very good quality, but I find myself reaching for the Chanel the most.

7 / Chanel Powder Brush #1 ($65) is my favorite dense but soft powder brush. I use this for loose powder, pressed powder and powder foundation. It comes out of the box tapered but once you wash it it fluffs up quite a bit while still retaining a round shape. I like that it's sturdy with a substantial handle but still easy to hold and maneuver.



1 / MAC Blending Brush #217 ($24) is the best white fluffy brush you can find for $24. This is key for me in terms of blending shadows for a subtle gradient. I also like to use this as a regular eyeshadow brush when I want an all over lid color.

2 / MAC Eye Shading Brush #239 ($25) is in my top 2 picks along with MAC Brush #217. This is my all time favorite eyeshadow brush. It picks up color really well and blends powders together nicely. I like that it's dense but super soft.

3 / Tom Ford Eyeshadow Contour Brush #12 ($56) is another favorite. This is my do-it-all kind of brush. It applies shadow on the lids, it will contour or smoke out darker colors and the tip is dense for a smokey eye.

4 / MAC Shader Brush #242 ($25) is what I like for cream shadows (or concealer too). This one has lasted me the longest, I think it was one of the first MAC brushes I bought for myself. It has a really nice round tip making application easy and smooth on the eye (so it doesn't poke the skin).

5 / Chanel Large Eyeshadow Brush #25 ($38) is a medium to large eyeshadow brush that isn't too big or fluffy. I do like a good fluffy brush, but these days I find myself reaching for this one because it isn't as thick or dense making it easier for me to control color and application. If you want something fluffy, soft and more dense, the Bobbi Brown Eye Sweep Brush is one of my favorites.

6 / Laura Mercier Smudge Brush ($24) is a good dense detail brush. It's stiff but not too stiff so it's easy on sensitive skin or eyes. I like this one to smudge eyeshadow or eyeliner. I use this instead of a regular liner brush because I like a more smudged softer line to define the eyes. It offers precise application but if you are looking for something super precise, I'd recommend the Bobbi Brown Eye Liner Brush or the Angled Eye Definer Brush.

7 / Trish McEvoy Laydown #40 ($42) is one of my favorite multi-purpose brushes. I like this for powder eyeshadow, cream eyeshadow and concealer. I owned this back when Trish McEvoy had gold handles for the brushes (they are now lucite). It's the perfect shape, size and density for creams to get a good smooth and even application.

8 / Charlotte Tilbury Eyelash Curler ($20) is one of the newest eyelash curlers I've tried. When I first tried it I wasn't super impressed because it's called the "Life Changing Lashes" eyelash curler and well, it simply didn't change my life. I found it just as good as my Trish McEvoy and Chanel eyelash curlers but not anything super special. I've since tried a few others from other brands like Shiseido and Shu Uemura and have really come to appreciate the design and shape of the Charlotte Tilbury. It has just the right amount of curve to fit my eye shape. Many others are too flat or not curved enough. The wrong shape will either pinch my eyes around the corners or miss lashes making the curl uneven. I give the Charlotte Tilbury a huge thumbs up for the way it performs. 

9 / Trish McEvoy Eyelash Curler ($20) is a classic go-to for me. I have several of these right now and  it's been my most-replaced tool (some recommend you change or the pads these every 90 days, I tend to use these longer replacing once every 6 months). It just works the way an eyelash curler is supposed to. It grabs all the lashes and curls them evenly and in a round flared up shape. 



I have some additional thoughts on brushes focusing on double duty or recycling. Based on the above guides, you might be wondering what I recommend for eyeliner, concealer, crease, bronzer, brows or lips.

I think a lot of tools can be used multiple ways which means you can stretch out the uses. Having multiple brushes can be extremely useful so you don't have to worry about mixing colors or washing brushes frequently if you change from a light to a dark color for a certain tool. I do like brushes that will do multiple things though. For bronzer, I will sometimes use my blush or powder brushes. For the eye crease or contour I find the MAC #217 works just perfectly. For concealer I like blending with the fingers or a sponge.


For brow a lot of brow pencils come with a brush on the end to smooth out the color. I've bought a few brow combs before but find they don't last me very long so I like to recycle my mascara wands after they are used up. Rinse the end with soap and warm water and you've got a lash comb and brow comb in one that you can toss whenever without worrying about throwing money away.

Lip pencils often come with a lip brush at one end so I don't find the need to purchase a separate lip brush for gloss or lipstick. Chanel and Dolce & Gabbana have lip brushes which I find handy.


Last but not least, long time readers know I'm a fan of recycling candle jars. I use them to store brushes, pencils, lip gloss and office supplies. Diptyque and Jo Malone are my favorite to recycle. I just clean them out with warm-to-hot soapy water and a dish sponge. My candles don't always have a clean burn so often times there are remnants of wax stuck on the sides. Some recommend freezing or using boiling water. I find that using anything too drastic with temperature changes can crack the glass or melt off the sticker (which I like to keep in tact).

If you're just starting to build up your collection of makeup tools I hope you found this guide helpful. It can be overwhelming to sort through all the options so I have found the best way to start is to focus on one area at a time (i.e. start with eyeshadow brushes or blush brushes) and do your research. If you're an in-store kind of shopper, I highly recommend bringing a small list of options you've found interesting or with high ratings. Having a list can be helpful in case you want to see different brands in one store. Some brushes go by number so writing the numbers down is handy unless you have a super good memory, I often have to look at the numbers on my MAC brushes when someone asks me "which brush is that?"

Building a good brush collection will take some time but it doesn't have to be complicated. Brushes can be pricey especially when you add them up so I do recommend taking your time to research in advance to make sure you find ones that work best for your specific needs or wants.

I hope you found this guide on my favorites helpful to start!





This post was sponsored by Nordstrom. All opinions my own. All tools my own. For more information you can refer to my Disclosures.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Killer Cheekbones Set | Nordstrom Anniversary Beauty Exclusive


I ordered the Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Killer Cheekbones Set ($110) last week online. It's a duo that includes the Filmstar Bronze and Glow along with the Powder and Sculpt Brush. It's currently a Nordstrom Beauty Exclusive in the US and has been released as an early preview for the Charlotte Tilbury Beauty line. According to a Nordstrom Beauty Livechat I had earlier this morning, the entire line will launch online at Nordstrom.com around August 10th. Update on August 4th, per Charlotte Tilbury PR, the line will be available in the US around September 3rd.

On the nails - Aventure


The Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Bronze and Glow (16 g/0.56 oz, made in Italy) comes in a luxurious rose gold colored compact. It has a warm bronze with a soft satiny shimmer glow. On my skin it acts like the perfect contouring powder. When it comes to contouring the face, I am a super minimalist. I have a roundish face without high cheekbones so any kind of contouring is me brushing on product in areas to create a fake one. I do like a good bronzer to sculpt the face and add warmth in a 3 shape motion around the edges of my face, but that's typically the most I'll do for contouring.

I find traditional matte/taupe contouring looks good in photos but in real life can look fake and too sharp on me (this is when artists do it on me or when I attempt it). The Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Bronze and Glow however makes contouring goof-proof and super easy. The Sculpt/Bronzer side has enough warmth and color that it doesn't make the skin look ashy and also isn't too warm that it turns orangey. It has a soft satiny sheen that gives depth.


The Highlight/Glow side is a yellowish/gold pale champagne highlighter. Based on what it looks like in the pan and how it swatches on the arm, I was worried it would be overly frosty and sharp on my skin. On the face it glows. There is visible shimmer but on me it doesn't look frosted and it doesn't emphasize pores. Huge plus! If you have dewy skin, you may need to apply with a light hand. It's very pigmented and adheres well to the skin. I like to dip the brush into the highlighter and then tap it to dust off excess. On the skin it's a light golden color but not too yellow for my olive skin.


The Powder and Sculpt Brush is the full size version made of goat hair. It's a smaller brush than what I'm typically used to for the face but it's tapered for perfect contouring on the face. It's well-made and the bristles pick up the product and blend well, but I don't think it's a must-have since I have so many other brushes and find that a regular blush brush can do the same. I do like the way it's shaped for easy application. It places the product right along the cheeks in the right shape for a perfect contour.


Swatches, don't let the frost/shimmer deter you, they apply much softer on the face:



I pulled a few comparisons:


Edward Bess Daydream Bronzer (original version shown, newer version here)


Chanel Les Beiges Multi-Colour 02 (summer stripe version)


Overall a huge thumbs up. I had high expectations for this because of raves about Charlotte Tilbury's line but was worried it might be just another standard bronzer/highlighter/contour duo. After playing with this for several days I can say that I have found my perfect contouring duo. On my medium/tan skin it's not quite bronzer level, but I suspect on fair to medium skins it will be suitable as a contour or bronzer depending how you apply and how much you layer on.

I love the soft silky texture of the powder. Brushes pick up just the right amount of product so you don't have to swirl the brush in the pan a lot. It's powdery but not too powdery. It blends very smoothly on the face and layers nicely. It's on par with Edward Bess Daydream Bronzer (my holy grail) in the sense that it's impossible to mess up because it's super easy to apply and it's very flattering on the skin.


I am really pleased with the set even though it seemed a bit pricey. However you do get a full sized bronzer-highlighter duo and the brush is the full size version that is well made. It's a very high quality set that makes the price tag worth it for me. If you have a lot of brushes you may want to wait for the entire line to launch in August and just get the Filmstar Bronze and Glow. That being said the brush does make contouring easy for those who aren't good at contouring (like myself). Even though this is designed for the face, I've found it wears well on the eyes as well.

Many have asked whether I think the Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Killer Cheekbones Set or Chanel Dentelle Precieuse powder is the better buy. I can't choose between them, they are both phenomenal products, my thoughts:
  • The Chanel powder is limited-edition and gives a more glowy finish with a pinkish, peach and bronze champagne glow on me. For my skintone it's definitely a highlighter while fair skinned readers have commented it appears darker and more bronzey on their skins.
  • The items in the Charlotte Tilbury will both be available for purchase in the US at a later date when the line officially launches. It's also more of a contouring duo rather than a highlighter. The bronze/sculpt powder is beautifully warm and satiny with a natural glow, but you can probably skip the brush if you already own a good detail brush.
If you can get both eventually but only want to purchase one now, I would recommend getting the Chanel since it's limited-edition and I've found there's nothing really like it. If you don't need a contouring brush then I'd say wait for the line to launch later this fall, skip the brush and just opt for the Bronzer/Highlighter duo.
The Filmstar Killer Cheekbones Set is currently a Nordstrom Anniversary Beauty Exclusive and retails for $110. Online it looks like it's on backorder. I can't wait until the entire Charlotte Tilbury line launches in the US later this fall.

Have you tried this Filmstar Killer Cheekbones set or anything else from Charlotte Tilbury? What were your thoughts?

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 CafĂ© 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?



Saturday, April 5, 2014

NARS Paloma Contour Blush, Altai and Vientiane Matte Multiples and Contour Brush #21


NARS has been killing it with some amazing new releases this year. New items on my radar focus on contouring: Matte Multiples in Altai and Vientiane ($39 each for 7.5 g), Paloma Contour Blush ($42 for 8.2 g) and the new Contour Brush #21 ($42).


The new Contour Blushes are powder duos with shades that create dimension for the face while giving a luminous finish. Each compact has a deeper shade to create definition and contour and a lighter shade to highlight and blend. There are three color options and I picked the middle option Paloma. The powders are very similar in concept to the MAC Sculpt and Shape powders. I find the NARS slightly more velvety in texture. Paloma has a neutral cream powder with a neutral tan. It's described as having a rose undertone which is nice because it prevents the colors from turning too brown or orange on the skin. I found Paloma to be dark enough to show up on the skin but it is still very natural looking. I'm not a contour pro, but I like to apply contouring/bronzer powders in a 3 shape on each side of the face starting at the temples and down to the jawline. You could use this as a nude blush, however adding a swipe of a brighter blush on top like NARS Torrid really brightens the face after using the Contour Blush first.


Matte Multiples have been all the rage lately. I purchased a handful and have been really impressed with the velvety pigmented texture that is really easy to blend. The Matte Multiples have more pigment than the regular Multiples. The only downside is the new matte multiples are smaller in size than the regular versions and priced the same. Altai is the lightest bronze option which I find perfect for contouring. For those familiar with the older flesh-colored multiples from several years ago, Altai is a close duplicate for Tuomota. Vientiane is a darker warmer bronze. The NARS artist at the Melrose Boutique used this to contour my face in the temples, nose, cheek bone and jaw. The velvety texture of these adheres well to the skin and the formula allows for precise control of pigment. I found these to last on the cheeks quite well (much longer than the regular multiples).


I have swatches and also comparisons, first up swatches of the three new items  I purchased from NARS - Paloma Contour Blush, Altai Matte Multiple and Vientiane Matte Multiple:


Paloma Contour Blush comparisons to MAC Accentuate Shaping Powder, NARS Zen Blush, NARS Douceur Blush, MAC Sculpt Powder, Chanel Les Beiges in 30 and MAC Strada Blush.


Altai and Vientiane Matte Multiple comparisons to other cream contouring products (unfortunately I think all have been discontinued) St Barts Multiple, MAC Naturally Defined Pro Sculpting Cream, MAC Pure Sculpture Pro Sculpting Cream, NARS Tuomota Multiple and NARS Laguna Multiple:


Last item I wanted to feature includes one of the newly re-designed brushes: Contour Brush #21. This is a sturdy basic black angled blush. The bristles are very soft yet dense. It has a medium-sized handle that fits my hand well. It's not too short but not too long. It picks up powder really well and helps to apply it evenly on the face.

Dior Tra La La on the nails

Views of the Contour blush from different angles:

Overall really pleased with these new discoveries from NARS. You can find the items at NARS counters and boutiques now. Online now at Nordstrom (gift with purchase now), Bloomingdales (also has a gift with purchase now), Barneys and Narscosmetics.com.


What's your perfect contouring product or tool? Have you checked out the new Contouring Blushes or Matte Multiples? What did you pick up?
 

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