Sunday, 2 October 2011

Basics: Face tools

First of all, face brushes are the tools that enable me to achieve the best possible results in combination with the products that I use (foundation etc.).
Given the fact that they come in contact with my face on a daily basis, they must be of a good quality and they must be regularly cleaned.
That being said, I was really sceptical and undesicive about selecting face brushes. The reasons are:
  • there are too many choices out there
  • they are not cheap
  • even if they were cheap, it wouldn't be practical to me to have too many brushes 
So, after a lot of searching and reading and taking in consideration my needs and the products that I use, I visited my local Mac with a clear plan. 

The first brush that I had to try was the very popular 187 (also known as duo fibre or stippling or skunk brush) and the Mac assistant told me that this is definitely THE must have brush. Although I'm always reserved when I hear raves about a product, this time I found the raves to be true.
In the store I wasn't that impressed (but I'm never impressed with brushes), but when I got home I used it right away and then I got sooo excited, because it is simply PERFECT for:
  • liquid foundation: I get an even, flawless coverage, almost airbrushed, with minimal use of product. 
  • powder: it delivers the desired amount of powder for my dry skin (that is less is best).
  • blush: even the more pigmented ones (that were a nightmare to blend) have become my best friends
  • bronzers: I was intimidated to use on my fair complexion but with this brush it is a pair made in heaven!
  • mineralize skinfinishes: I get glow without the discoball effect.
Best feature is that it delivers the right amount of every product and even in layering it doesn't get cakey.
Mac 187 - €46 (€34,50 on a 25% discount)
So, here's my loved Mac 187 brush

Next day I run back to my local Mac shop and I got the 188 as well. It is the same brush as the 187 but narrower.
I use this one for the base products for eye makeup:
  • concealer: it blends it like a dream (and I use cream concealer, not the easiest product to apply)
  • powder: here too, it applies just the right amount (as already mentioned, less is best for me)
  • paint pots: with cream eyeshadow bases in general, I get an even, flawless coverage.
Mac 188 - €37 (€27,75 on a 25% discount) 
Here's my loved (and a little dirty!) Mac 188 brush

The next brush is the Mac 168 angled contour brush and I got it when I started to contour my face with matte bronzing powder. I found that I needed more precision (in comparison to the 187), for example under the cheekbones etc. I also tried it with blush, higlighters etc, and it works great when I want a little heavier application (again in comparison to the 187). It also can be used for foundation. I don't love it like the 187 or 188, but it is a really practical one.
Mac 168 - €37 (€27,75 on a 25% discount).
Here's my handy Mac 168 brush

Here they are all together :-)

Cleaning my brushes is an essential step that I rarely miss:
  • everyday, after I 've completed my makeup, I spray some Mac Brush Cleanser on a paper towel and I swipe them repeatedly on it. For that reason I keep in my brush case a small travel bottle with a spray pump.
  • once a week, I wash them with a baby shampoo
Mac Brush Cleanser 235ML - €11,00 (€8,25 on a 25% discount).
Mac Small Travel bottle (package of 2) - €5,50 (€4,12 on a 25% discount).
Mac Spray Pump - €4,00 (€3,00 on a 25% discount).

Talking about face basics, I could not ommit my Mac Face & Body foundation. Although its coverage is on the light/sheer side, I love it because:
  • it melts into my skin and it actually looks like my skin but better
  • it evens out my skintone
  • it gives my dry skin a dewy and fresh look
  • even when I use two layers, it doesn't look like "makeup"
  • it is quite affordable even fullprice - €34 for 120ML of product!
The funny thing is that I get the best coverage and less dewiness from it (more natural this way) when I apply it with my palms: I put some on my palm and rub my palms together until it starts feeling less slippery and more sticky. Then I "rub" it gently all over my face.
Shadewise, I was never into Mac foundations because they're dark for me, but in the summer (when I purchased the F&B) I was tanned so N1 was perfect. Now, it starts getting darker on me, so I got the Face & Body in White (available only at the Pro Mac stores, I got it in the Ermou street store) and I mix the two colors. Now that I think of it, this is a way to adjust the foundation to my skintone throughout the year, at least until I get excited to try something new!

By the way, I tried to get the new Mac Matchmaster in 1.0 (I think it's the lightest Mac shade) but there's nowhere to find it! The lightest shade they got is 1.5 and it's not that 1.0 is sold out (Mac at Ermou street hadn't even set the display for this collection). Maybe Mac supposed that all greek women are fairly tanned??? Well, news for you Mac, there are many greek women that could use the 1.0!

Anyway,  back to the topic..
Mac Face & Body 120ML - €34,00 (€25,50 on a 25% discount).
Here are my foundations

During the summer, I also used some Elf mineral makeup (very lightly) as a setting powder.
Although it makes my makeup last even longer (all day) without touch ups (dry skin), I didn't like it that much, it felt weird, not itchy but close to that.

So, last week, after reading all the positive reviews about the Mac Careblend pressed powder, I decided to give it a try and I got one in Light. What makes this setting powder "special" is that it is supposed to be the most moisturising of all the Mac powders. Powder and moisturizing definitely sounds like an oxymore but, it really has a creamy-like feeling. I use it only with the 187 brush, so that I get the least possible amount of it and then I buff it into my skin.
It has a mirror and a little sponge application.
Mac Studio Careblend Pressed Powder - €25,00 (€18,75 on a 25% discount).
Here 's my Careblend

Last thing that I use on an everyday basis is the Mac Fix+ spray. It is supposed to be like a setting mist, after the makeup application to blend everything seamlessly together. It can also be used as a moisturizer, before makeup application.
Well, it didn't sound like that much, nor like a product that I must have had, but, one day, I saw the mini bottle of it and I got it out of pure curiosity. And (surprise!) it became a staple product to me. I keep the mini bottle in my purse at all times and I also keep a large one at home with my makeup stuff.
The reason I love it is mainly because it gives me the solution to "combat" the midday dullnes, when my face becomes flat and dehydrated. A couple of spritzes is all it takes to bring life and moisturization back to it!
I also use it after completing my makeup, it melts everything into my skin.
Mac Fix+ 30ML - €11,00 (€8,25 on a 25% discount).
Mac Fix+ 100ML - €17,50 (€13,12 on a 25% discount).
Here are the two of them

So, long story short (LOL!) these are my basic tools for face makeup.

What's your staple product for face makeup?


  1. I love your Mac basics!

    I so want to get Fix+, every other facial spray I've tried just don't do it for me... Last year I got the 130 brush and I'm thinking I made a wrong choice! Ahhhh I must find some good use of it cause I paid too much money to get it... On the contrary, the flat top brush from th Elf Studio line is way more versatile, 4 euros very well spent! xx

  2. Thanks! I think that the 130 will be perfect for contouring, highlighting, cream blush, for more precise application in general. I also have the elf flat top brush but while I was cleaning it the other day I noticed that the water was turning grey, I washed it 4 times but still the water would turn grey and it kind of put me off, I stopped using it. It was as if the color of the bristles was coming off, weird...have you noticed it?

  3. No way!!! I got grey leakage when I first washed my 130 brush instead! Absolutely no traces of leakage with my Elf brush, that's really weird! I guess it shows that the Elf products are not consistent throughout their batches? Maybe you got a faulty one? Eh well, at lease it didn't cost you as much as a Mac brush!

  4. Mac's Fix+ is my right hand I use it before and after my make up...I spray my brushes to set eyeshadows and pigments its Fantastic...I use Sigma brushes they are cheaper but I'm really disappointed from their duo fibre!!

  5. @cbsg5861: you got that right, even more when it was purchased at 50% off!!!LOL!!!

    @demi: I'm not into pigments yet (I actually don't want to start another mac addiction!!!) but I've tried it with elf loose mineral eyeshadows, it's sooo useful! I haven't tried a Sigma as yet and I'm considering the F82 rounded kabuki, any thoughts?

  6. Λατρεύω το Fix+ !!!
    (χρήση: ψεκάζω το πινέλο πριν την εφαρμογή του foundation- στρώνει απίστευτα!)
    Τα πινέλα της Sigma είναι τα μόνο που έχω, μιας και με καλύπτουν απόλυτα,
    είμαι πολύ ικανοποιημένη και είναι και πιο οικονομικά!
    Η σειρά Sigmax είναι ό,τι καλύτερο έχω δοκιμάσει!!!
    Το F82 είναι το δεξί μου χέρι για την εφαρμογή του foundation,
    κυρίως γιατί προτιμώ το σχήμα του!(σε σχέση με το F80)
    Τελευταία βέβαια, ακούω πως και το F84 είναι αγαπημένο πολλών και
    σίγουρα θα το συμπεριλάβω στην επόμενη παραγγελία μου...

  7. Το f84 το έχω, είναι απίστευτο! Απλώνει τα πάντα τέλεια!


Thank you!

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