Artis Brushes- A Review

“A good tool should make doing something easier, not harder.”- Matthew Waitesmith

What sane person would spend $80 on a makeup brush? That’s a question I asked myself until I held the sexiest brushes ever made in my hand. You’re likely to have been living in a cave (I kid, I kid) for the past few years if you haven’t seen some variation of the Artis brushes and their various knockoffs recently.

I first saw brushes with this shape a few years ago at MAC and immediately wrote them off because why fix what isn’t broken? The brushes didn’t last long at MAC and the creator, Matthew Waitesmith, went on to develop his brushes under the “Artis” label.

Nowadays, I’m more willing to give different things a chance and various reviews I’d seen on the internet made me curious so I decided to purchase two brushes to try. I got the Oval 6 and Oval 8 brushes in the Fluenta line because I felt like those were the ones I’d get the most use out of. I’ve used the Oval 8 for foundation and powder application and the Oval 6 for concealer, contour, and blush. Needless to say, these brushes are versatile!

Artis

Artis fluenta

Artis Fluenta Oval 8 brush

Artis oval 8 brush

The Oval 8 brush has hundreds of thousands of bristles

Artis oval 8

Artis fluenta oval 8

Artis oval 6

Artis Fluenta Oval 6 brush

Artis oval 6 brush

Artis brush pad

Microfiber cleaning pad

Artis brushes are made out of something called CosmeFibre, which is supposed to apply makeup more efficiently, in addition to having 3-10 times more bristles than traditional makeup brushes. They also hold their shape better whilst resisting the absorption of makeup.

Now when I spend a ton of money on something, the packaging better correspond with the price and my Artis brushes don’t disappoint. The brushes come in a satin-lined black velvet box that can be repurposed for your own use. The fluenta line, in my opinion, is also far sexier looking than the elite collection. Everything about these brushes just scream luxury. They are sleek and feel reassuringly weighty in the hand. The brushes feel like velvet on the skin and are incredibly easy to use.

The Oval 8 ($80) is great for foundations, setting powders, and bronzers and allows me to apply my foundation in seconds. It has hundreds of thousands of fibres and gives the most flawless application. I like to apply the foundation directly to my face and just glide the brush across my face. for best results. Bear in mind that I have quite a large face so this may be too big for those of you with smaller faces. I’d recommend the Oval 6 or the Oval 7 in the elite collection for you instead.

I like the Oval 6 ($60) best for concealer and contour and because the bristles don’t hold on to product, you can just wipe the brush on a paper towel and use it for both in the same application. You literally only have to glide the brush across your face to get the best application. I also find that I use way less product when I use these brushes so that’s a bonus.

Now how exactly are you supposed to clean these brushes? I have a friend at the Neiman Marcus counter who hooked me up with the cleaning pad and foam cleanser free of charge. You squeeze a small amount of the cleanser on to pad and swirl in circular motions to clean the brush between applications. The brush dries in minutes. However, I still like to deep clean my brushes under running water weekly and I’ve experienced no adverse effects.

Clearly I love my Artis brushes but are they a “must-have?” I’d have to say- “no.” If you already have a set of good makeup brushes, I don’t think you have to add these but if you’re looking for new ones, then definitely give these a look. They are very expensive and although I think that the price makes sense when you actually have them in your hand, they are more of a luxury purchase than an essential one. They also have a few sets which may make more sense than buying them individually as they work out to be significantly less expensive.

Artis brushes can be found at Net A Porter, Saks, Bloomingdales, and Dillards. The fluenta line however, is exclusive to Neiman Marcus.

Have any of you tried the Artis brushes before? Let me know in the comments!

 Nana Adomah

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Tartelette Tease Palette- A Review

“Why do we have this desire to tease the innocent? Is it envy?”- Graham Greene

Tarte tease palette

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Tarte Tartelette palette on dark skin NW45 swatch

From L-R, top to bottom: “whisper”, “crush”, “heartbreaker”, “wink”, “first kiss”, “BFF”

“Tease me tease me tease me tease me baby, till I lose control….” Aside from reminding me of this iconic Chaka Demus and Pliers tune from the halcyon days of my youth, Tarte have another winner on their hands with their Tartelette Tease palette.

The Tartelette Tease is a mini version of their Tartelette In Bloom palette, with just 6 shades in a palette about the size of a credit card. This is my second Tarte palette, after the original Tartelette palette, and I find the quality and performance of these shadows to be pretty consistent across all three “Tartelette” palettes.

The palette consists of 4 matte shades and 2 shimmers, and the layout is such that each row gives you a complete eye look. The mattes are buttery and pigmented but I find that they definitely need a primer underneath them. The staying power on my oily lids was disappointing without a primer but perfectly fine with my Urban Decay primer.

Of the two shimmery shades, one is of notably higher quality than the other. “Crush” can be a sparkly mess if not applied extremely carefully and I found that it worked best with a glitter glue. “First Kiss” is much less sparkly and thus didn’t give me any problem on application.

Whisper” and “wink,” the two lightest shades, appear a tad chalky in swatches but they can be easily sheered out for a good brow bone highlight on the eye. The best-performing shades were the two darkest shades- “heartbreaker” and “BFF.” These made great crease colours and I see them performing equally well in a smoky eye.

The price for what you get in the palette is a very affordable $21 (but bear in mind that each pan contains less product than the pans in the regular Tartelette palettes) and I think this is a great palette to take on the go.

If you are new to Tarte products, the brand claims to be natural, cruelty-free, and vegan-friendly. If these things are important to you and you’re looking for a portable makeup palette, I highly recommend giving the Tarlette Tease palette a look!

You can find the palette at Sephora, Ulta, Macy’s, and on the Tarte website. The palette is apparently limited edition so hurry if you want it!

Nana Adomah

 

Lancôme Teint Idole Foundation Stick: A Review

“You know how it is when you get back with somebody you’ve loved. It felt better than it ever was, better than it ever could be again.”- Junot Díaz 

Lancome teint idole 510 530

Hello my name is Nana and I’m a foundation junkie.

I absolutely did not need to make this purchase but boy am I glad I did. I’ve used it almost everyday since I bought it over a month ago. I’m having a bit of a stick foundation love-in at the moment (as seen in my last post) and they’re so easy and mess-free to use.

The Lancôme stick is the most weightless foundation I’ve used. It really feels like I have nothing on my skin but the coverage is excellent. I would characterize it as a medium-coverage foundation but it can be easily built up to full coverage depending on how much you use and the tool with which you use to blend it. I’ve tried it with both a brush and a sponge and I like the finish I get with the beauty blender best. It gives a lovely natural, skin-like finish that’s perfect for all times of the year.

Lancome teint idole stick swatch 510 555

“510” and “555” in sunlight (L) and indoors with flash (R)

I bought the stick in “510”, rather than the “530” I usually am in Lancôme foundations since Winter means that my skin has lightened. I was also given the stick in “555” after I had already bought the “510” and since “555” is much too dark for me, I’ve been using it as a contour shade and it works well for that purpose too.

The stick comes in 20 shades, which is fewer than the 35 shades available in the liquid teint idole ultra foundation, but there is still a good range for most skin tones.

The stick also comes with an SPF of 21 and it’s oil-free. The stick formula ensures precise application and it glides beautifully onto the skin.

My only con is the size of the product. It’s 0.31 oz, which is significantly less than the 0.44 oz of the Make Up For Ever foundation stick but puts it on par with the Bobbi Brown foundation stick (which I also think could be bigger) and at $42, it puts it in the same price range.

Lancome teint idole foundation stick 510 555 on dark skin

The foundation in action

Continue below to find out the rest of the products on my face:

Continue reading

Anastasia Self-Made Palette

He was a self-made man who owed his lack of success to nobody.” – Joseph Heller

Anastasia self made paletteAnastasia Self-Made paletteAnastasia Self-Made palette swatchAnastasia self made palette swatch

Anastasia Beverly Hills Self made palette dark skin swatch NW45 WOC NC50

From L-R Top: hot chocolate, spirit rock, Isla, sherbert, hot & cold, treasure, deep purple From L-R Bottom: buttery, blossom, blush, witchy, self-made, metallic plum, pink champagne

Anastasia self made palette dark skin swatch WOC NW45 NC50The Anastasia Beverly Hills “Self-Made” eyeshadow palette is my second Anastasia Beverly Hills (ABH) palette after last year’s Tamanna palette and I’m in love. Actually this technically my third Anastasia palette as I purchased the Artist Palette but quickly returned it after swatching. I was so unimpressed with most of the shades (particularly the mattes) and it put me off ABH for a while. This in addition to the general (and at times baffling) hype of most ABH products left me completely uninterested in the Self-Made palette… until I swatched it.

The Self-Made palette is in my opinion the best palette released by ABH. All the colours are so incredibly pigmented and buttery and there’s not a single dud in the palette. I’m a sucker for shimmers and I always gravitate towards them over matte shadows. This palette only has 2 1/2 mattes so that may be something to think about if you prefer matte shades.

I won’t detail every shade but my favourites are “pink champagne”, “self-made”, “hot & cold”, “deep purple” (almost an exact dupe for Urban Decay’s “urban” from the Electric palette), and “blush” (not to be confused with the “blush from the Tamanna palette). “Pink champagne” is described as “a rose gold with a titanium finish” and it looks absolutely stunning on my skin. It was the shade that first convinced me to even give this palette a look.

The packaging of the Self-Made palette feels sturdier than previous iterations and canvas/ plastic feel makes it feel much more durable than cardboard alone.

The palette has 14 shades rather than the usual 10 found in Anastasia palettes and the prize has increased accordingly. However, $35 for 14 shades is still a fantastic deal and you do also get a capable double-ended brush thrown in.

I really recommend the Anastasia Beverly Hills Self-Made palette for everybody as you get a wonderful mix of neutrals and colour that will be sure to spice up your make up collection. The palette can be found at all the usual Anastasia stockists and on their website. It is limited edition so grab it early if you’re interested.

Have you tried any Anastasia palettes before? Tempted by this one? Let me know in the comments!

Nana Adomah

(Look out for a FOTD featuring this palette very soon!)

BECCA Afterglow Palette Review

“Happiness does not come from doing easy work but from the afterglow of satisfaction that comes after the achievement of a difficult task that demanded our best.” – Theodore Isaac Rubin

BECCA afterglow palette WOC

I’ve missed you guys so much! I’ve been away for a little while but I’m determined to get back into the swing of things. My makeup addiction has not abated in my absence and I have a ton of new stuff to show you.

First up is my newest addition and it’s the BECCA Afterglow palette. Now BECCA have released two highlighter palettes for the Christmas season with one being exclusive to Sephora and one being exclusive to Ulta. The Sephora palette is a trio of highlighters which includes “blushed copper, “champagne pop”, and the new “pearl” highlighter. Since I already own two of those highlighters in the full-size, it was a no-brainer for me to choose the Ulta exclusive.

The Afterglow palette consists of mini versions of moonstone”, “rose gold”, and “topaz highlighters in addition to blushes in wild honey” and flowerchild”. The palette is very small and it’s the same size as the usual BECCA eyeshadow palettes. This makes it great for travel but it may prove problematic if you like to use big brushes. The packaging is a dark rose gold plastic case which is definitely a fingerprint magnet but it is nice and slim, which is a bonus.

BECCA Afterglow

Becca afterglow palette

BECCA afterglow palette on dark skin swatches

From L-R: “moonstone”, “rose gold”, “topaz”, “wild honey”, “flowerchild”

I think this palette will be especially good for those who haven’t tried BECCA’s highlighters before or those who want something for travel. I actually intend on mainly using this in my makeup kit as I don’t really feel comfortable de-potting/ carrying around my full-size BECCA highlighters. However, my main problem is how small the palette is (each shade is the size of a typical eyeshadow pan) and I also think the colour selection is a little iffy. I don’t understand why having “moonstone” (the lightest shade) and “topaz” (the darkest) in the same palette would appeal to the average buyer. I do however intend to play around with mixing shades to see how it looks on my dark skin. I also definitely can’t use “wild honey” on my skin but I can just about get away with “flowerchild”.

Reservations aside, I really recommend this palette and I think almost everybody will get some good use out of it. You get to try 5 BECCA products for the price of 1 and you can’t really beat that! The BECCA Afterglow palette is available at Ulta for $39.50. 

It’s good to be back!

Nana Adomah

HUGE GIVEAWAY! (CLOSED)

“Let us be grateful to the people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.” – Marcel Proust

Giveaway

I’ve been wanting to do a giveaway for a little bit now and there’s no time like the present. You guys have been showing ReadBetweenTheEyeliner a lot of love lately and I wanted to celebrate getting over 100 dedicated followers. I’ve been really enjoying blogging this year and I really appreciate those of you who take the time to read, comment, and “like” my posts.

I’ve decided to give away a little bit of makeup, skincare, and literature- everything my blog is about!

I’m giving away:

I included these two novels because the Bildungsroman (a coming of age novel) is my favourite literary genre and these two are a fine, fine, example of the genre. I chose ‘Purple Hibiscus’ partly because Chimamanda is one of my favourite authors and partly because I believe more people should be reading African literature. ‘I Capture The Castle’ is a classic that made me fall in love with Bildungsromane and it’s superbly written by Dodie Smith (of ‘101 Dalmations’ fame).

How to enter:

1. Follow ReadBetweenTheEyeliner, if you haven’t already, either here on WordPress or via Bloglovin’

2. “Like” my brand new Facebook page

2. Leave a comment below telling me either your holy grail makeup product or your all-time favourite book (along with your name and e-mail address).

This giveaway is open internationally to persons over 18 years of age and no entries will be considered after  June 30th. One entry per person only. One lucky person will win everything so good luck!

Hope you all have an excellent week and I can’t wait to read all your entries.

Nana Adomah

ETA: Congratulations Ericca! I really enjoyed reading all your entries so look out for another giveaway soon.

Face Of The Day: Shades Of Orange

“I wish I could show you when you are lonely or in darkness the astonishing light of your own being” – Hafiz of Shiraz
NARS persia fotd dark skin woc nw45 NARS persia on dark skin nw45 fotd swatch NARS Taj mahal Persia on dark skin woc nw45

I often used NARS Persia eyeshadow as a transition shade but I’ve never made it the focus of an eye look before. This Memorial Day weekend is blessing us with glorious weather and I decided to do a quick orange eye just because. I even wore lashes! This was a super simple look and it wore perfectly for the whole afternoon. Click below for a list of products used. Continue reading

Colourpop Highlighters: A Review

“The more you leave out, the more you highlight what you leave in.” – Henry Green

Colourpop highlighters

Colourpop highlighters on dark skin

From L-R: “Sticky Sweet”, “Tasty”, “Avalon”, “Monster”

colourpop sticky sweet and avalon highlighters on dark skin

“Avalon” & “Sticky Sweet” Top- indoor swatch w/ flash , Bottom- outdoor swatch

Colourpop tasty monster highlighters on dark skin swatch

“Monster” & “Tasty”: Top- indoor swatch w/ flash, Bottom- outdoor swatch

Colourpop cosmetics tasty blush highlight on dark skin nw45

“Tasty” layered over NARS “Liberte”

I was a complete saddo and stalked the Colourpop website in anticipation of their new highlighters. Highlighters are in my top 3 makeup items of all time so these were a no-brainer. I restrained myself however, and I only bought 4: “Monster”, “Tasty”, “Avalon”, and “Sticky Sweet”. 

Colourpop’s newest additions are similar in texture to their amazing shadows in that they’re not quite cream but rather more putty-like in texture. Pictures truly do not do these justice as they appear much more shiny and pigmented in living colour.

The colours are described by Colourpop as follows:

“Monster”light pink with [a] highly opalescent duo chrome finish

“Tasty”candy coloured coral with multi-dimensional pink and copper duo chrome finish

“Avalon”a true golden bronze with golden pink duo chrome finish

“Sticky Sweet”a deep violet with pink duo chrome finish

All the shades (aside from “monster”) can be worn as a blush when built up or applied as a sheer wash of colour for a highlighted effect. “monster” and “Avalon” apply as true highlighters on me whilst “sticky sweet” and “tasty” straddle the line between a blush and highlighter. “Avalon” reminds me a lot of BECCA’s “blushed copper” but I do not own any colours like the other shades.

All 4 colours are beautiful but “monster” was the real surprise. It looks scary and pasty in the pan but it really comes alive when swatched on the skin. It’s like a cool/ pink- toned version of NARS’s “Albatross”.

“Monster” (and another shadow I ordered) came to me damaged as the product had separated itself from its container but Colourpop’s customer service was fantastic and they mailed me another one about a week later.

If you are familiar with Colourpop, these provide the same high quality as their other products and if you’re not, well what are you waiting for?! These babies are only $8 a piece and they are worth far, far more in my opinion.

Colourpop are currently offering a free eyeshadow with any purchase (while supplies last) and there are a few free shipping codes floating around too.

Have you tried any of these new highlighters? Let me know in the comments!

Nana Adomah

Cover FX Custom Cover Drops: A Review

“One drop of wine is enough to redden a whole glass of water.” – Victor Hugo

Cover FX custom cover drops n100 n110

Cover FX custom cover drops

cover fx custom cover drops on dark skin n110

Cover FX custom Cover Drops on dark skin N100 N110

Wearing the CCDs in N110 mixed with Bare Minerals Complexion Rescue and concealer. No powder or blush.

Once in a blue moon you come across a makeup product that is life-changing in the true meaning of the word; a product that is so ingenious you wonder why nobody thought of that before. Enter Cover FX’s Custom Cover Drops. I’ve waxed poetic about my love for this brand before but this has to be far and away my favourite thing the brand has brought out.

Custom Cover Drops (CCDs) are drops of pure pigment that allow you to fully customize any of your liquid-based beauty products. They can be mixed with facial oils, primers, moisturisers, serums, other foundations, and the list goes on and on. If it’s liquid, mix away!

Cover FX suggests adding 1 drop for sheer coverage, 2 drops for medium coverage, 3 drops for full coverage, and 4 drops for total coverage. I don’t think I’ve ever tested a product as thoroughly as I have this one. I’m typically N100 in Cover FX products but I purchased N110 in the drops as I primarily got it to mix with all my foundations that are far too light for me. I shudder to think how they would still be languishing in my foundation graveyard if these drops hadn’t come into my life. For example, I’ve tried the drops with argan oil (give a gorgeous dewy glow), with Caudalie’s mattifying moisturizer, with Bare Minerals’ Complexion Rescue (finally gives me the coverage I crave) and with my fave- Murad’s Invisiblur. There hasn’t been a single product the CCDs haven’t meshed well with. I’ve finally been able to wear my YSL fusion ink foundation because of the CCDs and I feel like I have so much more versatility in my face makeup. No longer will  I have to have a “Summer shade” and a “Winter shade” for my foundations and I’m planning on getting the drops in N90 for my foundations that are too dark for me. The CCDs gives my skin a gorgeous and flawless but natural finish and I couldn’t be more pleased with them.

Like all other Cover FX products, the CCDs are fragrance, paraben, gluten, and mineral oil free so don’t worry about them negatively affecting your skin. I’ve had the drops since the day they came out and I would happily pay more than their $44 price tag.

My one and only complaint about them is that the opening of the bottle needs to be much smaller as leaks can occur if you don’t make sure it’s tightly sealed before shaking the bottle. My bottle looks a mess right now because the leaks have accumulated around the opening. I would also love it if Cover FX would come out with a resealable mixing palette so I don’t have to waste the product left over when I mix up my concoctions.

However, that’s a minor quibble and I would run, not walk, to snatch this up. Cover FX have always been great at giving us a wide range of colours for all undertones so I’m sure there’ll be a colour to suit your needs.

The Cover Fx Custom Cover Drops are available at Cover FX and at Sephora for $44.

Are you intrigued by this product? Let me know in the comments below!

Nana Adomah

“L.U.V Conquers All”: Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lipstick Review

“True love is usually the most inconvenient kind”- Kiera Cass

Kat Von D LUV

Kat Von D LUV on dark skinKat Von D’s Everlasting Liquid Lipstick in “L.U.V” is my third purchase in this line and it’s far and away my favourite. “L.U.V” is a purple/ pink that goes on wet like a lipgloss but dries to a matte finish that does not budge. I’d been putting off getting this shade for a while as I needed another purple/ pink lip product like a hole in the head but I’m so glad I finally caved.

I can put “L.U.V” on in the morning and (if I avoid greasy foods) forget up touching up for the majority of the day. Yes, it can feel a touch drying as most liquid lipsticks are wont to do but it is most definitely bearable. Making sure your lips are exfoliated and lightly moisturised before application will also go a long way towards combatting dryness. It feels pretty lightweight on the lips and it doesn’t collect in the corners of my mouth either. It can also be worn without a lipliner if desired but I am wearing it with OCC’s “Hoochie” liner in the pictures above.

“L.U.V” is a great colour for this time of year and I heartily recommend it to all my lipstick lovers out there. Check out this and the other colours in the range for $20 at Sephora.

Are you in love with “L.U.V”? Let me know in the comments!

Nana Adomah