Worth it? Tarte Shape Tape Concealer

Tarte Shape Tape

Tarte Shape Tape, $25

Holy heavily-promoted-on-YouTube, Batman! I eventually bought Shape Tape to weigh in on it to see if it was ridiculous YouTube sponsored hype or a legitimately good product. This cruelty-free, apparently vegan product is evidently sold once every twenty-six seconds according to Tarte’s site.

Availability

When Tarte Shape Tape came out, it was basically out of stock in all popular shades, including mine, for what seemed like months. I suspect this is due to a bit of manufactured scarcity to pump up demand and hype. Eventually, I got my hands on a tube during a Ulta 20% Platinum Perk sale.

I didn’t realize this at first, but Tarte Shape Tape is only sold on tarte.com and at Ulta. I learned that Tarte seems to offer 20% off promotions more often than Ulta does, but then you lose your point/perk earning potential. Pros and cons, people.

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Sonia Kashuk No 4 Synthetic Flat Top Buffer

Sonia Kashuk No 4Sonia Kashuk No 4

Over the last two years years I’ve given my F80 quite the workout. It’s on its last legs, and could use replacing. I planned to. Then, Target offered 25% off all beauty products; I struck out and bought the Sonia Kashuk No 4 Synthetic Flat Top Brush (reg $16), which is widely suggested to be a dupe for the F80. I had my eye on it for a while, but with no reason to buy, I refrained.

Ergonomics

The No 4 features the same weird, ergonomic handle that many of the, “nicer,” SK brushes do. For some, that’s great – but unfortunately, this brush was awkward for my to hold and felt very unnatural. My hands are somewhat small, so your mileage may vary with the handle. I’m sure some people would find it comfortable to hold.

Bristles

This is the crucial part. So as you can see below, the bristles are different lengths (pardon the smudged eyeliner on my index finger)…

 

Sonia Kashuk No 4 Synthetic Flat Top vs Sigma F80

This isn’t a bad thing per se. Depending on the type of bristles and the rigidity with which they were bound, the length could be irrelevant. Here, however, it is not. Because more of the length is exposed, the bristles flex more during application. This impacts buffing and can, at worst, lead to streaks; at best, your application could take longer as you work to even out the product.

Like the Sigma F80, Sonia Kashuk No 4’s bristles are all synthetic (read: cruelty free). That said, there is a marked difference in texture. Compared to the F80’s Sigmax bristles, the Sonia Kashuk No 4 feels rough. It is not rough and does not irritate my skin; its bristles just seem so when compared with something softer.

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Blond Brilliance Conditioning Toner

Blond Brilliance Conditioning Toner
For the first time in a decade, I colored my hair via balayage highlights – and now I need to care for those highlights. Research and a trip to my local Sally Beauty landed me on Blond Brilliance Conditioning Toner. This $9, house-brand toner is an indigo-hued conditioner suitable for DIY application (read: you won’t screw this up if you aren’t a professional colorist!).

Usage & Results

Flat out, is ridiculous. There’s something hilarious about dispensing This is an intensely pigmented purplish-blue conditioner. By itself, it is not ultra-hydrating, so I like to make a conditioner cocktail of it and whatever conditioner I planned to use that day. I focus this where it is needed; for me, it has been OK to get it all over, but I try to apply it where it will do the most good. Then, I leave it for five minutes while I tend to other aspects of my showering routine. Rinse and you’re good-to-go.

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LUSH Bath Bombs

In September, I visited a LUSH store for the first time. I’m familiar with the brand, of course, but had never tried their products – shopping for such things requires at least one physical visit before retreating to the internet for future purchases.

I rarely take baths, but I knew I wanted bath bombs. From there, I had no idea. Luckily for me, I encountered a friendly, knowledgeable employee (whose name, I regret, I do not remember) who asked me some questions to make recommendations:

“Do you like glitter?” Woman, is that even a question? Of course it is – plenty of customers don’t care for glitter. That’s fine, more for me. “What kind of fragrances do you like? Clean? Warm? Vanilla-y? Citrus? What else?” There were a few more – but she led me to two. The Experimenter, which is vanilla and tonka…

LUSH - The ExperimenterLUSH Cosmetics – Experimenter Bath Bomb

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Urban Decay Naked Basics

So my approach with Urban Decay Naked Basics was a little backwards, having bought Naked2 Basics first. Don’t judge. I’ve really been feeling matte neutrals lately. My energy’s been zapped lately, so I need foolproof…and mattes are exactly that. Let’s be honest – you know what the packaging looks like, so let’s jump right into it.

DSC_0378Urban Decay Naked Basics

Urban Decay Naked Basics isn’t a new palette. I’m not going to hold your hand through it. But even though it isn’t new, I AM excited about it.

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