Thursday, October 8, 2015

Sally Beauty, Forever Puffs and more

After many moons, I visited a Sally Beauty Supply location and to my delight, there were so many things I was interested in that I felt like a kid in a candy store. Aside from the items I knew I wanted from the get-go, the expanded selection of products since my last visit made it a delight to peruse the store on a free evening. I purchased the Face Secrets Deluxe Powder Synthetic Brush pictured here; after feeling the tester I couldn't pass on this astonishingly luxurious face brush that has become my everyday setting powder brush, it's so large and poofy, I just adore it.

TA-DAAA!!! Here is THE ANSWER for applying glitters, shimmers and sparkle effectively.
It's a Face Secrets Silicone Eye Shadow applicator, that combines precision with comfort, so it feels similar to using your fingertips, minus all the mess and fallout. As soon as I tried it I realized I had THE perfect makeup tool in my hands, for this is also ideal to apply cream eyecolours since they're soft but still firm enough for detailed accuracy, plus they're hygienic and inexpensive! (I'm so won over by these that I've taken one apart and am looking for an empty small-opening ferrule to install one of the silicone ends into.) If you struggle with glitter mess and precise colour placement, you need to give these little magical wands a try.

I mean, just LOOK at them, look at these colours.
Real Colors had an alluring display with a wide range of shades to tempt shoppers, and I picked up this shimmery, acid-bright Aventure palette in Bal Harbour, partly because I do not own these particular shades and am excited about all but the little emerald square (which may end up being a fav, who knows?!), and so I could give this affordable brand a decent assessment. These shadows are indeed intense and brightly saturated with colour but they're also silky and blendable. The metallic sheen matches the circus colours and makes them easier to apply and wear. The compact is clunky and awkward, but at such a great price, I'll enjoy using these even if I can't figure out how to de-pan them from the packaging.

Finally from Sally, the makeup artists' trick to flawless makeup application: hook one of these Face Secrets Face Powder Touch-Up Puffs around your baby finger of the hand you use to apply eyeliner, so that you simulaneously help blend out your face contouring/foundation while avoiding smearing eye makeup around on messy fingers. This is especially effective when applying makeup to achieve HD-closeup perfection quality. Of course, these can be used as labelled, to apply loose powders to the face, most commonly setting powders, be they yellow, flesh-toned or translucent, these puffs will lay it on thick, which is exactly what you want for techniques like 'baking' where large face powder brushes don't work as well. I definitely feel this does a better job at applying 'baking' setting powder than a BeautyBlender either dry or damp, because.... just, euw. These little puffs go right in the washer/dryer to keep them fresh and clean so for a few bucks, I like to keep a couple of these handy whenever I'm applying makeup.

Way back a zillion years ago, my darling friend Nics gifted me a set of these gorgeous Forever Puffs. I was enjoying spending some of my time working as a freelance makeup artist, repeatedly called on for wedding and public event makeup application in addition to dabbling in makeup for photo stills and consulting on beauty product development. I was clearly overwhelmed with products and busyness at the time, for I didn 't realize what a brilliantly simple and perfect beauty tool I had on my hands. Remember, this was more than a decade before anyone had ever heard of a BeautyBlender. Made in Canada, it's a machine-washable, soft, durable applicator best used for powders or creams, to achieve an evenly perfected complexion. The texture of the fleece is ideal to lay down and smooth out product while simultaneously redistributing and absorbing any excess so you waste less while achieving a natural flawless face. Available here.

My current favourite blush is not just a blush, it's a lifestyle. If you could see how this silky, shimmery smooth product just glides onto the skin, you would understand. Milani's Baked Blush in 03 Berry Amore is all things to every cheek. For an olive-brown girl like me, this shade of plum blush is absolutely essential for everyday wear as it brings the most realistic healthy flush to the skin, which it needs more and more now as dark days loom. It is also ideal to balance out deep, vampy looks. Next, this beauty is shot through with warm gold highlights, absolutely gorgeous when they catch a bit of light, and finely milled so it gives skin a glow instead of looking glittery. And finally, the deep bronze shade baked into it makes this a subtle contour as well. There are many days when I have neither the time, nor the inclination, to don a full face of contouring before leaving the house. It's just too many steps and I like to sleep very, very much. I was not expecting this to be my can't-live-without face product, that with just a few swirls with my softest fluffy brush, I've got my perfect blush, bronzer and highlighting done without even thinking. Milani is available in Western Canada at the Real Canadian Superstore.

And lastly, let's just take a minute to appreciate what a coup the GlamGlow franchise orchestrated to dominate their skincare niche of cleansers and masques. While I find most of their non-hydrating products to be a bit too drying or rough on my skin, this ThirstyCleanse is likely my favourite of the bunch. Used with my gently effective konjac face cleansing sponge, every trace of makeup, dirt and impurities gets wiped away and then... my face is not left feeling tight and parched! This is such a novel concept for me that I'm thrilled each time I use this product. Ok yes fine, you're paying a pretty penny for snazzy containers of mud, but each of the products I've tried from this line left my skin feeling incredibly smooth and clean, so I do not discount the effectiveness of the ingredients they've chosen in their formulas. GlamGlow has an obsessive following for good reason, and these travel-sized versions allow you to test-run a few different types before committing to the expensive full-sized products. You'll find it in the dangerous checkout lineup area at Sephora where all the irresistible little add-ons lie in waiting to nudge you closer to VIB Rouge status...

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