My parents gave me, among other things, a $50 Visa gift card for Christmas. I tucked it away in my purse, mulling over all the possibilities on what I could spend it on. Just so you know, I am NOT one of those people that sits on a gift card for weeks or months or – heavens – years. I do not even understand those people. I hear people say “Oh I’ve had that gift card for six months” and I stare at them like they have six heads and three of them are alien. It’s free money, people! Free Starbucks. Free Target. Free Sephora. Free whatever store or if it’s a Visa or what have you, free whatever you want, that you did not have in the seconds before someone handed you that card. What in the world are you waiting for?
However, I am now in, *ahem*, my thirties, and I thought maybe I should be grown up about this just once in my life. And then I got my daily email from HauteLook that told me BH Cosmetics were being offered that day. Just like that, two days after Christmas, that gift card was spent.
HauteLook is one of many sites that offer certain brands at a discount for a limited amount of time, and there are new deals every day. Ideel is another one, Gilt Groupe is another. This site is nice because it doesn’t just have clothes, but beauty, home and men’s items also. BH Cosmetics was one of those brands I’ve seen on YouTube and had my eye on, and their offerings on HauteLook looked too good to pass up!
12 Piece Wild Brush Set
I have collected brushes from here and there, but the idea of having a proper set was very appealing. These are synthetic hair brushes, with sturdy ferrules and nice handles. I saw some reviews complaining that they were on the small size – I don’t feel like that’s a huge problem for me, but as I’ve said before I have child sized hands. Also, they come in a very cool little case that allows you to take them on trips without them getting bent out of shape, and doubles as a storage cup (or two) when you’re at home.
In this set, from top to bottom, you get:
- XL Powder Brush. This is a very nice size for powder or foundation, and blends the product nicely into the skin. The synthetic hairs feel a little soft – on this and other brushes, I wish the hairs were a littler firmer and sturdier to really buff the product in, but it works nicely.
- Tapered Contour and Powder Brush. The bristles on this are cut in such a way that they almost come to a point. This allows you to apply contour shades just where you want them, and then you can use the whole surface of the brush to blend the product. I still like my angled blush brush for this, but it still works nicely!
- Blush Brush. Kind of a standard blush brush, nothing too special. I actually like the next brush better, for applying blush.
- Highlighting Brush. The bristles on this one are shorter and denser than the blush brush – I think it does a better job of applying blush, and I’ll keep my e.l.f. small stipple brush to apply highlighter.
- Tapered Blending Brush. This is actually a very nice blending brush. It’s nice and fluffy and blends eyeshadow like a dream. Use it to apply a transition shade above your crease, or to blend colors on your eyelids.
- Medium Shader Brush. The bristles are flat and dense, and the surface area is wider than similar brushes. It allows you to pack on eyeshadow color to a large area.
- Small Shader Brush. Same as above, just not as big. This allows you to put color in a concentrated area, such as the outer third of your eyelid, just before your crease.
- Bullet Smudger Brush. I would actually call this a small crease brush. It would work for smudging also, sure, but what this brush is AMAZING for is applying a concentrated amount of a darker color in your crease, to deepen the color there and the contrast with your lid. For instance, the other day I did a sort of blue-green smoky eye, placing a medium-dark blue shade in the crease with a crease brush, then I used this brush to apply a thin line of a dark navy blue over the top of the crease work I already did, then used the blending brush to smooth it out. The gradient of hues made it look professional and polished. I didn’t realize I needed this brush all my life until I used it!
- Tapered Liner Brush. Liner brush? I would never use this as a liner brush unless I wanted to look like a raccoon! It’s basically like a tiny crease brush – the ferrule is round instead of pinched, so the bristles are in that sort of bullet shape, and it’s I’d say half the size of the smudger brush. What I do like to use it for is to apply a highlighting eyeshadow shade to the innermost corner of the eye around the tear duct.
- Angled Brow and Liner Brush. Typical angled liner brush. Great for applying cream liner or brow powder/wax.
- Lip Brush. I had been using a tiny travel concealer brush for this, so I’m excited to try a proper lip brush out. I haven’t used it yet, but it’s a nice size for the purpose. The reason I had used the concealer brush before is, I have rather large lips – doll lips, a classmate once called them – and typical lip brushes just seemed so tiny. I felt like it took forever to get the product on my lips! This one isn’t huge, but it doesn’t seem like a glorified eye liner brush either.
- Spoolie Brush. I don’t know that I’ll use this really, as I use this brow pencil from Milani, which has a spoolie on one end. But I have one if I need it!
Overall, I like these brushes. My only complaint is, the synthetic bristles sometimes seem too soft and slippery, like the product just slips off or buffs away to nothing. I won’t get rid of all of my old brushes – but these make a very nice addition to the ones I will keep, and I love the travel case it comes with!
Professional Blush 10 Color Blush Palette
This is such a nice product. You get ten large blushes – each one is about 1 1/2″ in diameter – and a range of mattes, shimmers, warm and cool tones. On the left side of the picture, from top down, you get a matte hot pink, matte mauve, shimmery coral, matte dark pink, and a matte terra cotta. On the right side, you get a matte bronze, a matte cream, a shimmery mid tone pink, a matte bright coral, and a shimmery bronze. Each one is highly pigmented, and you can mix and match colors to really get a unique shade. I love that it’s not overloaded with shimmers – it’s so hard to find blushes that are matte, especially in the drugstore, and no one wants to walk around looking like a disco ball (unless they’re at a 70’s party, I suppose). The bronze shade at top right makes a nice subtle contour, the cream shade can highlight, and so far the hot pink and the matte bright coral are my favorite shades! I have a very neutral undertone to my skin – warm and cool tones both look good on me – so I’m looking forward to trying all of the shades in here!
Neutral Eyes 28 Color Eyeshadow Palette
I didn’t bother swatching all of these – I figured 28 neutral colors wouldn’t translate all that well – but rest assured these shades are as beautiful on as they look here. Everything you need is here, from shimmery whites to matte creams and browns, to shimmery browns and plums and a matte black. This palette is about half and half – 15 shimmery shades and 13 mattes. They can either provide a neutral anchor to bright eye looks, or you can create a beautiful natural look just using this palette. I only really had one matte brown eyeshadow before this – it was a definite need product for me!
Eyes on the ’70’s Eyeshadow Palette
So many colors! The swatch is not the best – maybe I’ll reshoot that later, so you can really tell how they come out – but I’m telling you, this palette is gorgeous! There are 30 shades in here. From left to right, top to bottom: silver with silver glitter, aqua with silver glitter, black with purple glitter, purple with silver glitter, gold with gold glitter, matte black, matte aqua, shimmery light green, shimmery lilac, shimmery periwinkle blue, shimmery dark purple, matte royal purple, shimmery dark blue, matte green, shimmery yellow green, matte navy, matte forest green, shimmery sage green, shimmery gold, shimmery frosty pink, a darker shimmery pink, shimmery burnt sienna, shimmery light coral, shimmery white, shimmery plum, matte magenta, shimmery peach, matte brown, shimmery brown, and finally shimmery copper. There’s a heavy emphasis on blues and greens and purples, with some warmer orangey shades at the bottom. Again there’s a nice mix of shimmer and matte shades, plus the high glitter shades for extra drama! I love playing around with so many colors. Also, if you had to, you could just use this palette to create a look, since it includes some matte neutral shades.
Altogether I am super impressed with these sets. They’re well made, pigmented, and you get a lot of product. Take a look at their website – they have tons of palettes and other products I wasn’t able to get! Go forth and have a colorful week!