Monday

Spring Hair: Cristophe Professional Glossing Shampoo, Conditioner, Volumizing Spray Tonic, Shaping Spray Review - Now Available at Ulta

Press Sample


Cristophe Professional Profile

Cristophe Professional hair care products were created by Cristophe, an internationally renown hair stylist and salon owner. Products range from hair care to hair styling and have recently been added to Ulta's lineup of hair care brands. 

Cristophe Professional recently reached out to me asking if I was interested in sharing my experience with some of their products and I jumped at the chance. My hair is thick, textured and neither straight nor curly--it's one needy pain in the buns! Good hair care is hard for me to find, so I'm always open to trying new things. 

Price

Prices range from $8.99 to $10.99

Where to Buy

Cristophe Professional hair care is available directly through Cristophe's website as well as through Ulta/Ulta.com


Cristophe Professional Glossing Shampoo & Conditioner Review




Product Type

These are cruelty-free, paraben-free cleansing and conditioning formulas that are safe for color-treated hair. This specific formula is meant to provide glossing effects to hair while protecting it from UV damage. The shampoo does contain SLS if that is a concern for you--my hair is not currently color treated. 

Scent

The scent in these is fabulous! It reminds me of old school Herbal Essence (remember when they had the super simple, solid colored packaging like 15 years ago?) with a fresh twist. The scent in both is fantastic and lasts in hair, but isn't obnoxious or overwhelming. I loved it!

In the Hair

I found the shampoo did a great job cleansing my hair and it lathered very well, which is often the case for me with shampoos that contain SLS. The conditioner was easy to smooth through my hair and rinse. I didn't feel it left any residue behind. Overall, I did find that this shampoo made my hair slightly more shiny, but after 2 weeks of use I noticed it was progressively unable to give my hair the extra hydration it needed. Keep in mind, this duo is not meant to be ultra-hydrating and my hair has very specific needs because of its texture. If you don't have dry, textured hair I definitely recommend giving this a try for its glossing effects. 

I can't comment in regards to UV-protection benefits as we have had almost no sun since last September (it's definitely not "spring" here yet) and it would be hard to measure because I have to stay out of the sun. Overall, I think this would be great for those that don't require ultra-hydrating shampoo and conditioner that want a lovely smelling, glossing shampoo and conditioner. 

Price

Each bottle retails for $8.99 a piece (10 fl oz bottles)

Where to Buy

Where to Buy

Cristophe Professional hair care is available directly through Cristophe's website as well as through Ulta/Ulta.com


Cristophe Professional Volumizing Spray Tonic Review



Product Type

This is a volumizing spray meant to add body and volume to hair. It is cruelty-free, paraben-free and meant to be safe for color-treated hair.

Scent

The scent in this spray was similar to the glossing shampoo and conditioner. I didn't find it very strong, but pleasant and faint once in the hair.

In the Hair

This is meant to be applied to dry or damp hair primarily at the roots. For extra volume Cristophe Professional recommends blow drying hair and concentrating heat on lifted roots. 

I have a lot of hair, but I find my volume starts several inches from the roots, not at the roots, because of the weight of my hair. I used this several times on damp hair and once on dry hair. I did find it added a little bit of extra volume to my hair when applied to damp hair and then blown dry. My hair is very, very heavy so I think it worked as much as it could given the sheer weight of my hair. For someone with thinner or shorter hair I think this would be amazing; for those with longer and thicker/heavier hair like mine, this adds a bit more volume.

Price

This retails for $10.99 (6 fl oz)

Where to Buy

Cristophe Professional hair care is available directly through Cristophe's website as well as through Ulta/Ulta.com


Cristophe Professional Shaping Spray Review



Product Type

This is a hair spray formula meant to provide strong, but flexible hold. This is cruelty-free, paraben-free and meant to be safe on color treated hair. This hair spray meets VOC requirements (VOC = volatile organic compound).

Scent

This has a similar scent to the other products I reviewed from Cristophe Professional

In the Hair

I am in love with this shaping spray! I don't use hair spray daily, but if I curl my hair I absolutely need some to keep those curls in all day long. This was in no way 80's crunchy--it was flexible and my hair still felt/looked soft, but it kept my curls in like you wouldn't believe. I curled my hair one morning around 8am and my curls were still intact by 7am the next morning before I washed them out. I strongly suggest giving this a try because between the price and performance it's well worth it in my opinion!

Price

This retails for $10.99 (10 fl oz)

Where to Buy

Cristophe Professional hair care is available directly through Cristophe's website as well as through Ulta/Ulta.com


Final Re-cap


Price

Prices range from $8.99 to $10.99

Where to Buy

Cristophe Professional hair care is available directly through Cristophe's website as well as through Ulta/Ulta.com

Final Thoughts

I'm surprised, first of all, by the prices on these products! Often products I use and review are in the $20-$50 range per bottle, but these are all under $12 and they work pretty well for the price. I think for the right hair types, the glossing shampoo and conditioner would be phenomenal! I alternate hair care weekly or bi-weekly (works best for my hair) and this shampoo and conditioner will definitely be added in the rotation once in a while. As long as I deep condition along with using these products my hair will be fine I think, but I could not use the shampoo and conditioner alone without my hair becoming a bit dry because of my hair type.

The Volumizing Spray Tonic definitely added a little extra something to the volume in my hair around my roots, but given how heavy my hair is I think it would take more than a spray to really lift my roots. I do think this spray would work very well for someone with shorter and/or thinner hair.

The Shaping Spray was really great and well-worth the price if you're looking for a decently priced, flexible-hold hair spray that gets the job done!

All in all, I'm excited to have been able to experience Cristophe Professional hair care as I liked some things and loved others.

Would you try these products? What do you look for in hair care?

Note: Products in this post were provided by PR/the brand. All opinions stated above are my own based on my personal experience and have not been influenced by PR/the brand.  

Saturday

MAC Patentpolish Lip Pencil Partial Collection Swatches & Review - Berry Bold, Fearless, Go For Girlie, Hopelessly Devoted, Kittenish, Teen Dream

Purchased By Me

mac patentpolish lip pencil swatches and review

MAC Profile

MAC, my original high-end makeup love that first caught my attention over 14 years ago, produces both pro and general consumer makeup products that range from prep to finish along with quality makeup tools. 

MAC just released their limited edition Patentpolish Lip Pencil collection this week and I'm excited to share swatches and reviews on 6 of the 12 shades that launched! 

Price

These retail for $20 (2.3g)

Where to Buy

These are available directly through MAC's site now and I believe they launch April 3rd in-store


MAC Patentpolish Lip Pencil Swatches & Review - Berry Bold, Fearless, Go For Girlie, Hopelessly Devoted, Kittenish, Teen Dream


Product Type

These are self-sharpening lippies with a really unique glossy lip pencil formula. Imagine Revlon's Balm Stains had a baby with MAC's Huggable Lipcolours--voila! 

Fragrance/Flavor 

Some of my tubes had a stronger signature MAC vanilla scent than others, but none were as strong as my MAC lipsticks in my opinion--I almost wish they were as strong (love that scent) or perhaps had a fresh and fruity smell since they're a unique spring product. 

Shades

As mentioned above, there were a total of 12 shades launched in this limited edition collection and I chose the following 6. All of these were swatched on bare lips. Keep in mind, I have very little pigmentation in my lips naturally so these may appear different on those with more pigmented lips. 

mac patentpolish lip pencil berry bold swatch and review
MAC Patentpolish Lip Pencil Berry Bold - semi-opaque warm red

mac patentpolish lip pencil Fearless swatch and review
MAC Patentpolish Lip Pencil Fearless - creamy cool-toned medium pink 

mac patentpolish lip pencil Go For Girlie swatch and review
MAC Patentpolish Lip Pencil Go For Girlie - bright pink with slight light coral hue (slightly brighter in person, but my camera had a hard time capturing it); this was the only shade where I noticed that up super close pigment settled into lip lines, but it wasn't noticeable from arm's-length away

mac patentpolish lip pencil Hopelessly Devoted swatch and review
MAC Patentpolish Lip Pencil Hopelessly Devoted - well-pigmented raspberry fuchsia

mac patentpolish lip pencil Kittenish swatch and review
MAC Patentpolish Lip Pencil Kittenish - dainty tea rose; a very natural shade

mac patentpolish lip pencil Teen Dream swatch and review
MAC Patentpolish Lip Pencil Team Dream - creamy orange (the name reminds me of Katy Perry's Teenage Dream of course!)

On the Lips

These have a really unique formula that I found very comfortable to wear. They were fairly gel-like, slightly tacky and glossy. Though there was a tad bit of tackiness to them, they did not pull much at the lips during application and I wouldn't say they were as tacky as some glosses--when lips were pressed together and pulled apart I could feel it slightly, but not overwhelmingly so. I would recommend (as always) exfoliating prior to wearing these as they may cling to dry skin.

They melted quickly with body heat during application, but did not slide around on the lips. With wear, the slight tackiness completely faded. While this didn't bleed in the lines around my mouth like typical lipstick, I had a slight "halo" of lippy around my lips after an hour or so, so for those of you like me that have difficulty with this I suggest clear lip liner around lips. They were all generally well-pigmented and could be built up to a degree in color, yet because of their glossy, semi-gel-like formula they offered a fairly smooth finish that was semi-opaque and made lips look juicy and fairly smooth. Some shades were more opaque than others and some shades offered a more glass-like finish. I've broken them down below:

  • Berry Bold - fairly well pigmented and semi-opaque, but buildable in color and glossy
  • Fearless - well pigmented and offered a smooth, mostly opaque, glossy finish
  • Go For Girlie - fairly well pigmented and pretty glossy in person; pigment did settle into lip lines up close, but this was not noticeable from a normal standing distance
  • Hopelessly Devoted - the most opaque of the bunch with the smoothest overall finish up super close (though all were smooth and glossy)
  • Kittenish - nicely pigmented and glossy; very natural looking on the lips
  • Teen Dream - glossy and semi-opaque, but moderately buildable in color; I think how this appears on lips will be largely influenced by the wearer's natural lip color (I have very little pigmentation in my lips)

Applicator

These are self-sharpening lip pencils that are about the same size as many popular chubby lip pencils. The bottoms of the tubes twists and the lippies screw up and down as needed. The tip of the lippies come rounded and I actually found these easy to apply straight from the tube, though I think they work well with a lip brush as well.. 

mac patentpolish lip pencil Berry Bold swatch and review


Final Re-cap


Price

These retail for $20 (2.3g)

Where to Buy

These are available directly through MAC's site now and I believe they launch April 3rd in-store

Final Thoughts

I love these! I am generally a huge fan of lip products in pencil form and these are unlike anything I currently own. If you liked MAC's Huggable Lipcolours then you will definitely like these! If you didn't like the gel-like texture of the Huggables, these may or may not be something you'll enjoy as they are similar, but not identical. These will require that your lips are in fairly good shape and recently exfoliated (I'm methodical about my lip care), but they're worth it in my opinion.

I think these are absolutely fantastic for spring and know mine will get a lot of use. They're fresh and plump on the lips and the colors are fantastic. There are a few other shades I'd like to grab before they're gone--Patentpink, Spontaneous and Sultana. 

Of the shades above (though I'm happy with all of them) I'd say my favorites are probably:
  • Go For Girly (fantastic if you like bright, light pinks with a little extra something)
  • Hopelessly Devoted (ohmagosh amazing fuchsia)
  • Fearless (just a great general pink) 
  • Teen Dream (spot-on for this year's spring 2014 orange lip trend) 

What do you think? Will you be grabbing any of these limited edition pencil lippies from MAC? Which are your favorites?

Note: Products in this post were purchased by me.

Friday

Spring Hair: FlatIronExperts Cortex 4 N One Professional Digital Titanium Clipless Curling Iron Review

Press Sample

flatironexperts.com cortex 4 n one profesional digital clipless curling iron review

Cortex Profile

Established about a decade ago and based in Miami, FL, Cortex produced hair care tools meant for both professional and individual use--ranging from straighteners to curling irons and other styling tools. 

Now that spring is (technically) here, I wanted to do a series on fun hair-related spring products. I absolutely love curls in the warmer months and FlatIronExperts.com offered to send the Cortex 4 N One Professional Digital Titanium Clipless Curling Iron for me to share with you guys. I received it shortly before I traveled earlier this month and actually brought it with me. 

Price

This retails for $239.99, but is currently on sale for $159.99 with FlatIronExperts

Where to Buy

This is currently available through FlatIronExperts.com 


Cortex 4 N One Professional Digital Clipless Curling Iron Review


Product Type

This set includes a storage pouch, curling iron handle with digital readout, 4 detachable barrels and a heat resistant glove. The handle has a swivel cord to prevent tangling. 

Detachable Barrels

The titanium curling barrels in this set come in the following sizes:
  • 2 inches
  • 1.5 inches
  • 1 inch
  • .5 to 1 inch tapered
flatironexperts.com cortex 4 n one profesional digital clipless curling iron review
Titanium is said to be great at providing even heat without damaging hair

Locking Mechanism

To attach the barrels to the handle, you pop one into the end and turn the collar until the arrow matches up with the lock symbol. Once locked in, the barrels remained firmly in place during use. I did find it a little difficult to turn the locking mechanism, but not impossible by any means. 

flatironexperts.com cortex 4 n one profesional digital clipless curling iron review

Heating

This curling wand heated up so quickly I was shocked and the digital display is extremely convenient--turning green once it hits the right temperature. 

The Glove

The glove worked well and kept my hand from getting burnt during use. This is a left-handed glove, so if you're left-handed and prefer to hold the wand in your left hand and hair in your right, this may prove problematic and you may wish to purchase a different glove. 

Storage Pouch

The storage pouch was extremely convenient. Inside there is one large compartment with a number of slots meant for the handle and 4 barrels. Everything in this set fit nicely inside. As I mentioned above, I traveled with this set earlier this month. I loved that it laid flat and found it easy to store in both my suitcase and Zuca Pro Artist Backpack. Definitely a plus!

flatironexperts.com cortex 4 n one profesional digital clipless curling iron review

On the Hair

My hair, as you already know if you've followed me for some time, is very thick, very textured and there's a lot of it. It takes a good curling iron to create curls that last. Thankfully, this clipless curling iron worked very well for me! I was easily able to create both tight and loose curls with this. Because my hair is very thick I don't typically use teeny barrels or anything under 1.5 inches (I prefer 2 inches to 2.5 inches generally), but I think the smaller barrels would work really well for someone with thinner hair.

I took a shot of my hair after using the 2 inch barrel. Shots this far out are very hard for me to get as I have abnormally short arms (think Tyrannosaurs Rex) and my hands shake a lot, so hopefully you can see my hair well enough!

These curls were created using the 2 inch barrel. I found these curls held up fairly well during the day, especially with the help of a fantastic hairspray I'll be sharing soon!


Final Re-cap


Price

This retails for $239.99, but is currently on sale for $159.99 with FlatIronExperts

Where to Buy

This is currently available through FlatIronExperts.com 

Final Thoughts

I'm very impressed by this clipless curling iron set. I think it's convenient and effective--great for traveling as well as in-home use. It's always impressive to me when I can get decent curls out of any curling iron given how thick my hair is, so this one definitely gets a thumbs-up from me. I love that it came with its own storage pouch and the digital read-out is really nice. This wand heats up fast so, you won't be left waiting long--remember back in the day when you'd turn your curling iron on, walk away to go reorganize your entire room, then come back and curl your hair? None of that here lol. It's nice that the set includes 4 barrel sizes and someone with thinner hair or who styles hair will certainly get more use out of the smaller barrels as well as larger barrels. While I did find it a tad challenging to turn the collar that locks the barrels into the handle, I managed to lock and unlock the barrels without too much effort. All in all, if you're looking for a versatile curling wand set to create carefree curls this spring I suggest checking this one out.

Have you used a clipless curling wand? Would you consider this set?

Note: Products in this post were provided by PR/the brand. All opinions stated above are my own based on my personal experience and have not been influenced by PR/the brand. 


Thursday

Highlighting & Contouring Part 1: Senna Sculpting Kit Shade 1 Review

Press Sample

senna sculpting kit shade 1 review

Senna Profile

Senna was launched in 1976 by Emmy award nominated makeup artist Eugenia Weston. The line ranges from skincare to brow products and everything between. 

My mother actually had Senna products in her train case back when I was little (she kept a lot of her best makeup in this vintage Samsonite hard case train case--Dior, Chanel, etc.) and I'd sometimes sneak a peek while she was getting ready. I was thrilled when Senna offered their Scultping Kit for this series on highlighting and contouring to share with all of you! 

I highlight and contour daily with various products and given how many questions I've received over the years I'm going to be doing a series on some fabulous products used for this purpose. 

Price

This kit retails for $48

Where to Buy



Senna Sculpting Kit Shade 1 Review


senna sculpting kit shade 1 review

Product Type

This kit is in shade 1, which is meant for those with fair to tan complexions--there is a shade 2 for those with deeper complexions. This kit includes a compact with 1 contouring and 2 highlighting shades, a foundation brush (#20) and a face chart packaged in a sturdy plastic ziploc-style sleeve. The products in the compact have a unique cream-to-powder formula. These kits were originally designed by Eugenia Weston for the cast of Desperate Housewives--I miss those glamorous housewives!

Shades

This kit includes 3 shades in a round compact--a gray-brown for contouring, slightly pink cream for highlighting and a light creamy yellow for highlighting. While I've seen people suggest bronze-browns and even deep red shades for contouring, I had always been taught and personally felt that contouring shades must include a gray tone to them as contouring is meant to create a pseudo shadow, which translates to depth. The brown in this kit is a perfect contouring shade in my opinion! The highlighting shades are comparable to some of my current favorites.

Contouring

I chose to follow the face chart in this kit exactly so that those of you less familiar with contouring that might wish to purchase this kit and use the face chart as an example would get an idea of how effective it might be.

As you can see below, the creamy yellow shade is meant to be used as a highlighter below the eyes; the super light pink is meant to be used to highlight the forehead, bridge of nose, cupid's bow and highest point of the chin; and the contouring shade is meant to contour around the hairline, temples, cheek bones, sides of the nose and then I contoured a bit around my chin as well.

senna sculpting kit shade 1 review

senna sculpting kit shade 1 review contouring and highlighting tutorial

senna sculpting kit shade 1 review contouring and highlighting tutorial

Once I had contoured and highlighted my face, I then applied my foundation and blended it all in.

senna sculpting kit shade 1 review contouring and highlighting tutorial
Here I have nothing but the highlighting/contouring product and foundation on my face. You can see the areas that have been highlighted and contoured look very natural now that foundation has been applied and blended in.

senna sculpting kit shade 1 review contouring and highlighting tutorial
Here is the final effect after applying liner, mascara, brow powder, blush, and a lippy.

senna sculpting kit shade 1 review contouring and highlighting tutorial
You can see that this created a very natural look

On the Skin

This was comfortable to wear, though if you have dry skin I strongly suggest making sure skin is well-hydrated when using cream-to-powder products. I did find this creased under my eyes when used straight over primer. I suggest spraying your brush with finishing spray prior to applying under your eyes and setting with powder and setting spray to prevent creasing--this worked well for me. This worked well with my Graftobian foundation.

The Brush

The natural hair foundation brush that came with this kit is a decent foundation paddle brush. While I personally prefer my usual favorites for contouring/highlighting and foundation, I did try this brush and found it applied fairly well and allowed for a good deal of control. It's also slim enough that it made it easier to get into narrow areas such as around the nose.

senna foundation 20 makeup brush review


Final Re-cap


Price

This kit retails for $48

Where to Buy


Final Thoughts

Overall, I think this is a great contouring and highlighting kit. I love how convenient the compact is and I think the face chart included will be very helpful for those new to contouring and highlighting their own face. The cream-to-powder formula is very nice and works well with foundation in my experience. I can see this being great for both individuals and pros looking for new highlighting and contouring products.

What do you think? Do you tend to highlight and contour regularly? Would you give this kit a try?

Note: Products in this post were provided by PR/the brand. All opinions shared above are my own based on my personal experience and have not been influenced by PR/the brand. 

Wednesday

Spring Lips: Red Apple Lipstick Orange Lipstick and Gloss Swatches & Review

Press Sample


Red Apple Lipstick Profile

Red Apple Lipstick is a cosmetic brand dedicated to producing gluten-free, non-toxic, cruelty-free lipsticks, glosses, eyeshadows, and balms. Their lippy shades range from natural and demure to bold. For those that don't know, I'm allergic to wheat, so I tend to avoid gluten when it comes to food. I haven't been forced to transition to 100% gluten-free cosmetics, but it's nice to know there are some options out there. I have several friends and family members that are Celiac, however, so I know how difficult it can be to find cosmetic products that are actually gluten-free when you need to! I previously swatched and reviewed a number of Red Apple Lipstick lippies HERE

Orange is making its return this spring and Red Apple Lipstick has a handful of fabulous oranges lippies to offer--3 lipsticks and 1 gloss of which I'll be sharing with you today. I like orange lippies and find brighter ones as well as more coral-leaning ones tend to look best on me. While pink tends to be my general go-to, I'm looking forward to wearing more orange this year!

Price

Red Apple Lipstick retails for $23.50 (lipstick) and $18.50 (lip gloss)

Where to Buy

Red Apple Lipstick lippies can be purchased directly through the brand's website


Red Apple Lipstick Swatches & Review - Firefly, Push Pop, Sunkissed


Product Type

These are all gluten-free lipsticks--2 have metallic finishes and 1 has a creamy frost finish.

Shades

I was sent the following 3 shades to swatch and review:
  • Firefly
  • Push Pop
  • Sunkissed
All shades were swatched on bare lips. Keep in mind that my lips have very little pigmentation, so these shades may translate brighter and more orange on my lips than they may on someone with more pigmented lips. 

red apple lipstick firefly swatch
Red Apple Lipstick Firefly - metallic carrot orange with a gold frost

red apple lipstick push pop swatch
Red Apple Lipstick Push Pop - slightly rusty orange nude metallic

red apple lipstick sunkissed swatch
Red Apple Lipstick Sunkissed - vibrant orange cream with some frost

On the Lips

All 3 of these formulas were exactly what I've come to expect of Red Apple Lipstick--smooth, light-weight and comfortable to wear. The two metallics--Firefly and Push Pop--were incredibly pigmented and applied evenly. Unlike some metallic lipstick formulas out there, these were feather-light and not at all drying on my lips. Sunkissed had a lovely, smooth formula that was very balm-like--reminded me of Lipstick Queen's formula. While it was well-pigmented, I did notice that it was just a tad softer than I'd like when exposed to body heat while sitting on my lips. While it didn't appear patchy in-person, you can see in the picture above where it's slightly melting a tad on my lips and it's less opaque in some areas. Again, not very noticeable in person, but given how cold it is right now I'd be curious to see how this particular shade does on a hot day. That being said, it's a lovely lippy overall that makes lips look nice and juicy. All in all, all of the lippies above were very nice to wear and look at in my opinion.

Price

These retail for $23.50

Where to Buy

These are available directly through Red Apple Lipstick's website


Red Apple Lipstick Lip Gloss in Fuzzy Naval Swatches & Review


Product Type

This is a gluten-free lipstick meant to cool (spearmint) and condition lips.

Shade

I swatched Fuzzy Naval on bare lips.

red apple lipstick fuzzy naval lip gloss swatch and review
Red Apple Lipstick Fuzzy Navel lip gloss - sheer, milky coral

On the Lips

If you like cooling, non-tacky lip glosses this was meant for you. I'm personally not a fan of spearmint scented things, but I find the scent wears off fairly quickly so I can tolerate it given how lovely the formula is to wear. The cooling effect is really nice and the formula itself is buttery smooth and hydrating. This particular shade did not have a lot of pigment to it, but it did brighten the color of my lips and give them a smoother appearance. I really, really recommend this gloss. It's the type of product you can throw on no matter where you are and end up with a nice look overall. 

Price

This gloss retails for $18.50

Where to Buy

This product can be purchased directly through Red Apple Lipstick's site


Final Re-cap


Price

Red Apple Lipstick retails for $23.50 (lipstick) and $18.50 (lip gloss)

Where to Buy

Red Apple Lipstick lippies can be purchased directly through the brand's website

Final Thoughts

These are all lovely shades and extremely comfortable to wear. If you're a little intimidated by orange lippies I highly recommend grabbing Fuzzy Naval, otherwise any of the orange lippies above would be fantastic additions to your spring lippy lineup. Although Sunkissed was a tad soft, it was really lovely on the lips (that formula is phenomenal to wear) and I think wearing a clear liner may prevent some of your body heat from transferring to the lippy and causing it to melt slightly. 

What do you think? Will you be jumping on the orange lippy trend this spring?

Note: Products in this post were provided by PR/the brand. All opinions stated above are my own based on my personal experience and have not been influenced by PR/the brand. 

Monday

Ellis Faas Multi-Product Review

Press Sample

Ellis Faas product review

Ellis Faas Profile

Ellis Faas is the creative force and world renowned makeup artist mastermind behind her namesake brand--Ellis Faas. Her expansive range of products cover everything from foundations to lip products and everything between. Many Ellis Faas products come in the sleek, bullet-shaped metallic wands shown above. You can tell different products/shades apart by the label on the bottom. 

You guys know I don't often gush too much over brands, but this brand has taken me by surprise. It is the epitome of luxury, but despite the beautiful packaging and lovely colors, it's the formulas and performance that outshine all other aspects of Ellis Faas' line. More than just a "pretty face", this exceptional brand is a force to be reckoned with for both personal and professional use and I've fallen head-over-heels. 

I recently had the opportunity to review several of Ellis Faas' products. I've actually been using them on and off since before I traveled earlier this month and I'm excited to finally share them with you!

Prices

Prices for the products I've reviewed range from $34-$35.

Where to Buy

Ellis Faas products are available directly through the brand site as well as through Sephora/Sephora.com


Ellis Faas Creamy Eyes in E107 Review & Swatch


ellis faas creamy eyes e107 review and swatch
Ellis Faas Creamy Eyes in E107

Product Type

This is a cruelty-free, fragrance-free, paraben-free cream eyeshadow meant to offer long-wear and a velvet finish.

Shade

E107 is a fairly neutral, light chocolate brown--very natural shade. 

ellis faas creamy eyes e107 swatch
Ellisa Faas Creamy Eyes E107

Applicator

This product comes in the signature Ellis Faas bullet-shaped wand with a built-in, flat-tipped paddle brush. The brush is moderately dense and very firm. You twist the bottom of the wand to dispense product. I found that like most twist-up products (including all of the ones I reviewed here) it took quite a few turns to dispense product, but once the product began to "flow" it was easy to use the wand. Despite the fact I normally dislike built-in brushes, this brush worked surprisingly well with the cream shadow. You could also dispense product and apply it to a brush of your choice if that's what you preferred or if you intended to use this on others. 

ellis faas creamy eyes e107 review

On the Eye

The formula applied beautifully (one or two turns of the base is easily enough product for your entire upper lid) and dried down to a lovely, light-weight velvety matte finish. I was so impressed with this shadow. For a cream product, I had absolutely no creasing, fading or cracking after long days of wear. This was impressively budget-proof for me as well. While I don't have very oily lids, I do have fairly deep folds so sometimes products crease as a result. I was also impressed by the amount of time I had to blend shadow into the edges. Unlike some other cream shadows I've worked with, this worked very well with shadow blended into it and did not become patchy--rather it allowed me to blend flawlessly. Very impressive in my experience.

Price

This product retails for $36

Where to Buy

This is available directly through Ellis Faas or through Sephora/Sephora.com


Ellis Faas Mascara Review


ellis faas mascara in black review

Product Type

This is a creamy mascara meant to lengthen and separate lashes. This also comes in brown.

ellis faas mascara review

On the Lashes

This formula had such a lovely texture to it--almost like a creamy mousse. It separated lashes and lengthened my super short, curled lashes somewhat. It dried down to a flexible finish--not crunchy or hard. While I personally did not see a great deal of additional length on my upper lashes, the formula and slim spoolie worked phenomenally on my lower lashes for precise application. If you don't have super short lashes I can see this mascara becoming a favorite, but for those who need a tad more length this may not quite fit the bill despite being a lovely formula otherwise. 

Price

This retails for $34

Where to Buy

This is available directly through Ellis Faas as well as through Sephora/Sephora.com


Ellis Faas Milky Lips in L201 Swatch and Review


ellisa faas milky lips L201 review

Product Type

This is a liquid lipstick meant to offer great pigmentation and long-wear. 

Shade

L201 is a deep blood red. It photographed a tad lighter for me than it actually was. The shades in this line were created to mimic natural "human colors" and this definitely does its name, "blood red", justice--it's the first thing I thought of when I first used this shade prior to looking up the name. 

ellisa faas milky lips L201 swatch red lipstick
Ellis Faas L201 - deep blood red (a shade darker than shown here)

Applicator

This comes with a built-in lip brush. I never like built-in brushes and since I only ever use lip brushes to apply anything but balm, I'm fairly particular. I wasn't surprised I wasn't a fan of the brush built into the wand for this product. I found it didn't apply product evenly because it was too firm and hard. I highly recommend dispensing product from the wand and using your own lip brush to apply it.

ellis faas milky lips l201

On the Lips

This formula was fantastic when applied with my own lip brush! It was even, pigmented and wore very well without any bleeding. It was very light on the lips. I loved the semi-gloss finish as well.

Price

This retails for $35

Where to Buy

This is available directly through Ellis Faas as well as through Sephora/Sephora.com


Ellis Faas Hot Lips in L408 Swatch and Review


ellis faas hot lips l408 review

Product Type

This is super pigmented liquid lipstick with a finish in between semi-gloss and matte. It is meant to be non-drying and long-wearing.

Shade

L408 is described as a baby pink on the Ellis Faas site, but I'd personally consider it more of a slightly salmon-y bubblegum.

ellis faas hot lips l408 swatch
Ellis Faas Hot Lips L408 - slightly salmon-y bubblegum pink

Applicator

This comes with a built-in sponge-tip, slanted applicator. I actually loved this applicator with this product! It applied evenly and well.

ellis faas hot lips l408 swatch

On the Lips

This formula was fantastic--super pigmented, comfortable and lovely. I absolutely loved this color and found it wore really well without any bleeding. It was not drying. I think it's a super unique lip product overall. 

Price

This retails for $35

Where to Buy

This is available directly through Ellis Faas


Ellis Faas Look

I wanted to create a look using most of the product I reviewed above. The shades were so lovely and translated beautifully in-person as well as in pictures. The images below were not retouched to alter the finish of any of the products I used.

In these picture I used Hot Lips L408, the mascara and Creamy Eyes E107.

ellis faas makeup look

ellis faas makeup look

ellis faas makeup look

What do you think? Are you interested in trying any of Ellis Faas' products?

Note: Products in this post were provided by PR/the brand. All opinions are my own based on my personal experience and have not been influenced by PR/the brand. 

Thursday

BeautyPopStop Method: How to Wash Makeup Brushes

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*For those that messaged me, I have brushes from a long list of companies (MAC, Bdellium, Fresh, etc.), but the majority of brushes in the pics are Royal & Langnickel Revolution.

Prior to traveling a couple weeks ago I did a giant wash of my most-used brushes (generally I only wash all the ones I've used on myself 1x per week) and received a lot of questions--I like traveling with newly cleaned brushes even if they haven't been used since they were last washed. In fact, every time I post I'm doing it I receive a slew of questions about what I use and how I get it done. I thought it might be helpful to dedicate one post to my personal makeup brush washing habits so I took pics as I went about my routine and saved them for my return. It's been a little while and I've finally gotten around to posting!

I want to preface this by saying that there are a million methods and products out there to help get those brushes squeaky clean, so my advice to you is to figure out what works for you, but right now this is what works best for me.

If you're using your brushes for individual use I generally spot-clean during the week then do one giant wash at the end of the week of all the brushes I've used on myself. As I mentioned above, before traveling I tend to wash all of the brushes I'm going to use even if they aren't dirty--just a habit of mine!

If you're applying makeup to others please make sure you disinfect brushes between people. You do not want to spread nasty bacteria from person to person and there are so many ugly things that can be spread through contact with brushes.


Makeup Brush Drying

Although drying is obviously the last step in the process of washing your brushes, it's always a good idea to set up the drying area prior to beginning so you can set your brushes down in a clean, designated area as you go.

Here are some of my general tips for drying:

  • Choose a clean area where brushes can remain for an extended period as some brushes can take upwards of 24 hours to completely dry through (my Revolution face brushes are very long-drying for example)
  • Make sure brushes will not be left bristles-up as this will allow excess water to sit at the base of the bristles in the ferrule where it can break down the brushes and grow bacteria 
  • If brushes are lying flat, check larger brushes halfway through the drying period as sometimes the side lying against the drying surface will remain damp and brushes will need to be rotated
  • Make sure brush heads are not up against each other as it'll cause them to take longer to dry. I alternate their directions so there's a decent amount of space between them, but I am still able to fit quite a few on each drying area as you'll see below

So what do I use for drying? While I've been contemplating purchasing a few makeup brush trees for some time, I haven't taken the plunge yet. I've used a more DIY approach for a long time that consists of using stackable cooling racks and high-absorbency paper towels. This allows me to dry a large volume of brushes in a moderately small area. These cooling racks break down and lie flat once I'm done with them, so they're easy to store. They have a special coat on them so they won't rust easily.

diy makeup brush drying rack for cleaning makeup brushes
I place a fresh layer of high-absorbency paper towel over each stackable cooling rack

diy makeup brush drying rack for cleaning makeup brushes
Here you can see 2 of the cooling racks stacked. There are above 2-3 inches of clearance between racks (the perspective here makes it difficult to tell) so there's plenty of airflow.

how to wash makeup brushes
Here you can see one layer of eye makeup brushes. You can see how I alternate the vertical direction of every other brush so that the brush heads don't touch each other, but I'm still able to fit quite a few brushes on each rack--and I have quite a hefty pile to wash so that's great!

how to wash makeup brushes
Here's some of my face brushes drying--again, alternating their direction so their heads don't touch. I forgot to take a picture of some of my face brushes with larger paddle-shaped handles. Those tend to take up more room and have square shapes so I put them on a layer by themselves.


Makeup Brush Washing

As far as what to use for cleaning your brushes, there are quite a few products out there. I prefer to use something that cleanses, disinfects and conditions. Especially if you have natural hair brushes, you want to make sure you don't dry your bristles out with the product you use to clean them. Think about your hair. You wouldn't want to use something harsh and drying on your hair--your natural brushes are made of what? Natural animal hair ;) Be kind to those brush heads!

Here's what I do for all of my brushes using my favorite product for the last year or so, Enkore Makeup's fabulous Pro Ultra Brush Soap. I find it works well on natural and synthetic brushes. I've also heard good things about Clean Brush Shampoo and plan to try it at some point in the future. It's similar in the way it's used to Enkore's brush soap. 

I was always taught with artist brushes to never use super hot water on them as it can be harsh on the bristles and cause product to harden deep in the base of the head. I tend to follow this same rule for my makeup brushes and use comfortably warm water when washing them.

how to wash makeup brushes using enkore makeup pro ultra brush soap
Step 1 - lather up the bristles of your makeup brush with your brush soap and warm water. Make sure not to splay the bristles while you do this. Using a painting motion on the wet surface of this brush is enough to get a good lather going.

how to wash makeup brushes
Step 2 - for deep cleaning you can use the loofah side of the brush soap with the same "painting" motion. This isn't something I'd necessarily recommend for super delicate brushes, but it work wonders on my durable synthetics. For more delicate brushes I use the palm of my hand and fingers to gently work the soap down through all the bristles.

how to wash makeup brushes using enkore makeup pro ultra brush soap
Step 3 - rinse all of the soap out and gently reshape the head of your brush. I do this by gently pinching the head of my brush into shape. This also squeezes out a tiny bit of the excess water. Don't pull at your bristles by squeezing them super tight as it can cause damage over time. 

how to wash makeup brushes using enkore makeup pro ultra brush soap
Step 4 - lay your brush on your drying service and allow it to sit until it's completely dry--drying times can really vary based on bristle type, density, materials, etc.

There you have it! That's how I perform the tedious task of washing my makeup brushes. Yes, with as many brushes as I have I find it rewarding, but tedious!

Do you have a makeup brush cleaning routine? What is your favorite makeup brush soap?