A Golden Legend: Shu Uemura Eyelash Curler

You know what they say: if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. I’ve been using my Shiseido 213 Eyelash Curler for about a year now, and it works pretty well. So how did I end up with a Shu Uemura?

Curiosity, my friend, is the answer. So many people have raved about this eyelash curler that I felt almost obliged to give it a go! They launched a gold version of the curler (apparently 24k gold). Since it’s only a couple of bucks more expensive, that’s what I ended up with.

How does it work for me? Let’s read on!

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Fancy Seeing You Here, Eyebrows! My 5 Brow Essentials: Tweezerman, Bobbi Brown Eye Brow Brush, Sable, Bone & Brow Shaper in Mahogany

I wouldn’t be the first or the only person to acknowledge the importance of eyebrows. They frame your face and make your features stand out. Unfortunately, my eyebrows are really invisible because the hair is very sparse. After having overplucked my eyebrows and used products that are way too dark for my coloring, I have finally come up with a brow routine that works for me. Today I’m sharing my 5 brow essentials that give me the eyebrows I should have been born with!

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Review: Give Your (Natural-Bristle) Brushes Some Lovin’ with L’Occitane Women’s Day Soap

Hey everyone!

I know that International Women’s Day is already behind us, but since I found this little gem that is still available, I’ve got to share it with you guys!

I have to admit this: I almost NEVER use soap bars. I use liquid hand soap and shower gel, and I can’t remember the last time I saw a bar of soap in my house. When I saw this however, I had the idea of cleaning my brushes with it, and it rose to the challenge!

I used to use either mild shampoo or the Aesop animal cleanser I got a couple of years ago to clean my brushes (I can’t seem to find any information about this animal cleanser anymore. I’m not sure if it has been discontinued), and then I use either a conditioner or a conditioner for animals to condition my brushes. This works pretty well, but it’s somewhat difficult to clean the foundation brush, and I’ve always had to remove gel liner from the liner brush with my eye makeup remover before soaping it up.

With L’Occitane Women’s Day Soap however, brush-cleaning has become a one-step job. I put the soap on a soap dish, wet my brushes, and then go over the soap a couple of times. I then swirl them around a bit in my palm and rinse them, and that’s it! The brushes are cleaned very efficiently, it doesn’t take as long to rinse the suds out, and the brushes are already conditioned with the 52% of shea butter in the soap (that means I can skip conditioning). Dried foundation? No problem. Concealer? No problem. Dried gel liner? No problem. I’ve honestly never thought anything could achieve this!

The soap smells like their hand cream, which is rich and nutty, but I can’t describe it better than that.

The only drawback of this soap is the fact that synthetic brushes don’t seem to get along with it too well. I don’t own a lot of synthetic brushes, but each time I try to clean them with this soap, they end up being very stiff when they are dry. I am not too sure if it’s because they can’t handle the 52% of shea butter too well, but

L’Occitane Women’s Day Soap is limited edition, but for the moment it is not yet sold out. When it is however, there are many different soaps available at L’Occitane, and I’m sure you will be able to find one that does the same kind of wonders (to natural brushes)!

What do you use to clean your brush? Do you also use a conditioner from time to time? Have you tried to use a soap?

Sunny, your beauty culture translator xx

Disclosure: The product mentioned in this review is sent by the PR for my consideration. All opinions are honest and my own. I am in no way compensated for this review. I have always been, and will always be committed ONLY to my readers.

PS: If you have been following this blog for a while, you can probably see that I have been making some progress in photography. I’m trying to lay my hands on a better camera, and I’m finally beginning to realize the concept of composition and so on. However, there are still photos in my backlog that I processed into blog posts yet, and sometimes it is impossible to retake these photos because I have already thrown the box away/used the product and so on. Please bear with me while I work these out of the system. I promise the photos will only be getting better!

Review: The Brush Guard (Guards Your Brushes!)

Hey everyone!

How are you doing? Is Tuesday easier than Monday? I certainly hope so!

I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned The Brush Guard somewhere, and now I am finally ready to review it after having tested it out thoroughly! I might be slow to the party, but let me just say I’m pretty glad I discovered The Brush Guard! I have talked a lot about the importance of owning good brushes (so much that Bdellium Tools actually made me their February’s La Beauté of the Month lol). Once again, if you have invested in brushes, you might as well take good care of them. After experimenting with The Brush Guard, I can say it’s one of the things that can help you achieve that goal!

What is it?
The Brush Guard is essentially plastic tubes that are slightly stretchy. I got a variety pack to try it out, and it contains one in size XS for shadow/liner, two in size S for blush, two in M for foundation, and one in L for powder/kabuki. I actually use XS for liner brushes, S for shadow brushes, M for foundation/blush brushes, and L for my Bobbi Brown bronzer brush though. Basically, you want something that fits snugly enough without the need to overstretch to fit. You can also purchase all sizes separately.

How does it work?
According to the instructions, you are supposed to shape your brushes after washing them, fit the Brush Guard on, and dry them heads down in a cup. However, in the following picture you will see that I don’t do it this way for two reasons. Number one, it takes forever and ever to dry brushes this way. I don’t think it’s the humidity in Belgium, I really think it’s because of the low temperature. My brushes are usually laid out to dry in my bedroom, where the heater is just about never on. When the weather was colder, it takes more than a day for a shadow brush to dry, let alone anything bigger. Second of all, Dustin Lujan, the manager of the Le Metier de Beaute counter at Bergdorfs wrote this article about brush cleaning. He very specifically says that brushes are never supposed to be left drying in a cup (or heads up), because it could cause root rot or shedding. I know that everybody has a different theory about this. I choose not to dry mine in a cup basically because I don’t believe it does the brushes any good to stay humid for a couple of days after each wash. Therefore, I dry them with their heads over the side of the counter, like this:

In my experience, the Brush Guard makes real differences for fluffy brushes. MAC 217, 168, and Bdellium Tools 953 for example, really benefit from the Brush Guard. Flat brushes like liner brushes, MAC 239, or Bdellium Tools 965 for example, don’t change much with or without it. What amazed me is the fact that the Bobbi Brown Bronzer Brush also stays the same without the Brush Guard, though I still dry it with and I reckon similar brushes would also benefit from the Brush Guard.

These are brushes dried with the Brush Guard:

This is MAC 168 dried without the Brush Guard:

The second from the left is MAC 217 dried without the Brush Guard:

Can you spot the difference? They retain their shape so much better with the Brush Guard! Without it, they look pretty fluffy and shapeless. You get much more precision with brushes that are nicely shaped, and the couple of strands of flyaway/unruly hairs are also tamed. Also, if you don’t have a handy brush roll like my Bdellium Studio Roll-Up Pouch, the Brush Guard will also make storing brushes in a bag a lot safer for your brushes.

Bottom line: If you have problems with brushes losing their shape, you might want to try the Brush Guard. It is an inexpensive solution to keep your brushes in good shape (literally), though admittedly not ALL brushes would benefit from it.

Have you heard of/tried the Brush Guard? How do you keep your brushes in shape? Do you think something like this is too gimmicky or actually useful?

Sunny, your beauty culture translator