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I recently went to Ikea to purchase some Komplement storage boxes for my bags, and was distracted by a brilliant new idea for keeping my makeup brushes. See, I previously stored my brushes in two white porcelain cups according to height. Sounds nice? Yeah, except the cups don’t really match.

Before

So when I saw a cutlery holder going for S$3, I grabbed it. It has two compartments, and this is what it looks like:

Midway

As you can see, I transferred the forest green ribbon from my mug — I really like the ribbon :-) — and did a little DIY divider. You may recall that just moments ago, I mentioned arranging my brushes according to height. Well, several of my brushes are pretty short handled (think: limited edition MAC brush sets), and the back of the new holder is kinda high. So I dug up a spare grey ribbon (yes, I have a bag lady keep-everything thing goin’ on) and did some funky knot tying. Alright, it’s not that funky, but here’s how to do it:

divider

Step 1: Tie one end of thin ribbon to the edge of top ‘bar’. (Notice that the holder has a sort of horizontal bar design.)

Step 2: Fix ribbon in place with sticky tape as indicated by red rounded rectangle.

Step 3: Thread the ribbon round the back ‘column’.

Step 4: Pull the ribbon taut and tie a knot on the top ‘bar’ of the other compartment. Adjust knot to adjust tautness of ribbon.

Step 5: Fix in place with sticky tape.

It’s really easy to do, and completely removable when a better idea comes along. So after I assembled my brushes into their new home, they take up less real estate in my cupboard (as is the case when you use a compact angular holder instead of two round cups).

AfterOf course the ribbon divider is not as good as, say, a horizontal divider that keep all the tall brushes at the back; it’s still good enough for now. Face brushes on the left, eye brushes on the right. This arrangement is better than the previous height-oriented arrangement. Oh yeah, one last thing: You may have noticed that there’s a thin white napkin-like thing sticking out of my mugs and also at the bottom of this new holder. I like to put tissue paper (or felt, if you have it, but tissue is really cheap) at the bottom of the holders so the brushes don’t make a clanging noise — especially annoying on porcelain — when they hit the base.

Just wanted to share this (cheap) alternative to regular round brush holders. Hope it helps!

Just like how you ought to keep your hands clean before any makeup application, it is imperative to clean your makeup brushes regularly too. Dirt and grime accumulate on the brushes during and between uses, and this can affect a number of things.

Some of these include – uneven application of makeup, alteration of makeup shades due to the oxidization of built-up facial oils trapped in the bristles, and shortening of brush lifespan. Therefore to keep hygienic, have flawless makeup application, and prolong the lifespan of your brushes, spot and regular deep cleaning is necessary.

I personally prefer using MAC’s brush cleanser, because it does a fantastic job at cleaning out any pigment or residue on the bristles. It supposedly conditions the bristles, and shortens drying time too. Also, a little product goes a long way.

Here’s how I clean my brushes:

  1. Damp bristles with some water.
  2. Place a few drops of MAC brush cleanser into palm or directly onto bristles.
  3. Swish brush back and forth in palm (or a container with a shallow amount of warm water) in a gentle fashion.
  4. (Optional) If you have stickier products that need removing – like foundation or concealer – it would be good to get off existing residue first with a cleansing wipe or an oil based makeup remover. Subsequently swirl the brush in a container with a shallow amount of *warm water + MAC brush cleanser, and leave to soak for about 10 minutes. *note: warm NOT hot water.
  5. Rinse off any remaining residue until water from the brushes run clear.
  6. Squeeze off excess water, reshape bristles, and lay brush flat to air dry.

I like laying my brushes with the bristles peeking out from the edge of the table to dry them. I find that it dries better this way, and also, the reshaping of the bristles is not compromised.

If you don’t have the MAC cleanser, you can always use any mild facial cleanser or soap. Never use harsh detergents to clean your brushes. You will only end up damaging the bristles.

It is important not to soak the entire brush, but rather, leave any soaking or rinsing to just the bristles. This prevents water from seeping into the ferrules, and eventually breaking down the glue binding the bristles. Also, it is the same reason why brushes are laid flat to dry, instead of being placed upright.

Now for spot cleaning brushes, some people give their brushes a wipe down with cleansing/baby wipes. A neat trick I picked up is to mix 1 part MAC cleanser to 2 parts water in a spritz bottle, and basically spray down the brushes after use, followed by a quick wipe till the brush runs clean. It removes residue effectively, and aids in sanitizing them between each use.

Alternatively, you can follow this video by TiffanyD. It’s a quick and simple demonstration, and shows just how effective the MAC brush cleanser is.

Alrighty, hope I haven’t lost you along the way, and that you found this helpful. Happy cleaning!

mac tag =)

I got this tag off Zoella’s blog (which I discovered about half an hour ago). Since it’s makeup-related… :) Kind of like a mini-review?

How long have you been using Mac?
Since I was 18… I think. Long time ago!
What was your first Mac product?
Select Sheer pressed powder
What’s your all time favourite Mac product?
MSF Natural :)
What’s your least favourite Mac product?
Pro lash didn’t perform as well as I’d hoped
Do you own a Pro Card?
Nope.
Your Mac foundation shade:
NC20-25
Your favourite Mac-Foundation:
Right now it’s Mineralize SatinFinish
Eyeshadow:
Brule, Soba, and Naked Lunch (can’t choose!)
Lipstick:
Plink! and Modesty (absolutely can’t choose!)
Lipgloss:
I don’t have any Mac lipglosses right now. Hmm…
Liner:
Forever Green Powerpoint Eye Pencil
Brush:
187
Nail Lacquer:
Don’t own any nail colors from them either.
Pro Product:
Don’t have any :( Want me some eyeshadows!

Comment on the following Mac product; Have you used them? If so, give feedback. (After the jump!)

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I started wearing makeup right around the time I turned 17. That was when I first discovered rimless glasses (and, shortly after, contact lenses) and noticed the dark circles under my eyes for the very first time. Needless to say, I was horrified and scrambled to find a quick-fix solution to it. Concealer was one of my first makeup items. Much of my experience with makeup was trial-and-error and learning from internet sources as well as books such as those published by Bobbi Brown; and by now, I’m quite used to using sites like makeupalley.com to search for reviews on products I’m interested in. Today I had the pleasure of helping a friend get acquainted with make-up, so I thought a post on a starter kit would be useful to at least some people out there. :)

After the jump: The very basics that you need for a me-but-better look. (Listed in order of application.)

Continue Reading »

As an avid user of under-eye concealers, eye cream is an essential part of my everyday makeup routine. Although I’m not sure if there is really any difference between eye cream and regular moisturizer (according to an e-mail that has been going around, they’re basically made of the same stuff), there is at least a placebo effect on me :) Right now, I have four eye-creams in my stash; but before you judge me, I’m really only using two — I haven’t opened my Laneige Eye Designer (which was only S$20 for 30ml, thanks to a promotion *cheers*), and my Kiehl’s Eye Alert is running really low.

Here’s a quick review of the three eye creams that I’ve actually used :)

Kiehl’s Eye Alert (0.5 fl. oz/15ml)

kiehls eye alert

The main feature of this eye cream is its caffeine content, which is supposed to rejuvenate your fatigued under-eye area. A little bit of this stuff goes a long way, and I like this for days when I wake up with puffy eyes after pulling an all-nighter. Although it says “Energy Booster to Combat Puffiness and Dark Circles”, I think it’s really only useful for puffiness. My dark circles are still an unwelcomed sight (hence the need for more concealer, and consequently, more eye cream!) :(

Pros: Eye Alert has an emollient texture that isn’t heavy, so you won’t get milia under your eyes. And it’s pretty good for combating puffiness. And it’s not oily, so it does well under concealer. It’s also not tested on animals.

Cons: Not fantastic at dealing with dark circles (though to be fair, mine aren’t due to lethargy).

Rating: 3 out of 5

Kiehl’s Line-Reducing Eye-Brightening Concentrate (0.5 fl. oz/15ml)

kiehls line reducing

This eye cream is supposed to be potent stuff seeing as it comes under Kiehl’s Dermatologist Solutions line. It’s not the best at moisturizing the under-eye area, so if dryness is your problem, then this eye cream is not for you. It’s more of a preventive measure against crows feet and sub-orbital wrinkles (read: the semi-circular ones under your eyes). I was hoping that this would get rid of my dark circles, and it really hasn’t. But I do notice that I require less concealer on most days after using this product for close to a year. (Yes, I know that’s a long time to see minimal effects.) This eye cream isn’t meant to be used every day because it’s so strong, and a little goes a long way. In fact, the sales assistant warned me that using too much can cause milia seeds and irritation.

Caveat: Keeping this product for too long can cause the color to change because of its Vitamin C content. But you shouldn’t be keeping eye cream for more than 6 months anyway. (Guilty as charged!)

Pros: Not too thick and a little goes a long way. Seems to be effective as getting rid of lines and decreasing appearance of dark circles (contains little particles that reflect light too, if my experience is anything to go by).

Cons: Not moisturizing. Stings like hell if it gets into your eyes. Expensive.

Rating: 3 out of 5

Eau Thermale Avene’s Soothing Eye Contour Cream (0.034oz/10ml)

avene eye cream

I bought this because my tube of Eye Alert was running out (check out that huge crease across the tube) and I needed a good base for concealer. This product was highly raved in MakeupAlley Product Reviews, so I decided to give it a shot. It seems to be cheaper than the Kiehl’s eye creams, but note that this little tube only contains 10ml of product. That said, I really like this eye cream a lot because it’s great at moisturizing and isn’t too rich.

Pros: Emollient, good at moisturizing, and absorbs quickly. Also great for sensitive skin. Great base for under-eye concealer (even the creamy types that, without a good base, can really accentuate fine lines).

Cons: No cons, really. Except maybe the price could be a little more reasonable for so little product.

Rating: 4 out of 5. (Definitely would re-purchase.)

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… until I get this blog up and running!

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