Worth it? Cinema Secrets Brush Cleaner

Cinema Secrets Brush CleanerCinema Secrets Makeup Brush Cleaner, $24 for 8oz

This was a legacy post that I gave a facelift because I seriously cannot tell enough people about this product. If you’re an artist? Lifesaver. If you aren’t, it means you can avoid buying thirty seven thousand brushes, because you can use the same one over and over in a look.

I’d seen this brush cleaner in blog posts and on YouTube. I was curious but…really, how good can it be? It’s a brush cleaner. I had come close to buying it a few times for myself but always talked myself out of it. My current system is good; why invest in another product – especially with that price tag? Fortunately, a wise friend sent this wee little spray-bottle of it to me.

I tested it that night, but was not prepared to record or demonstrate my findings. Spoiler alert: I was blown away and wondered how the ever loving hell I haven’t had this product in my life before.

Let me just show you.

Before

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Worth it? Color Switch by Vera Mona

I picked up the Color Switch by Vera Mona during the most recent BI sale. I find myself using the same few brushes again and again, even in the same look. Wiping brushes off on a tissue doesn’t do much, and although I love Cinema Secrets, I don’t want to use it in my brushes every day I wear makeup.

Okay, but what is it?

The $18 Color Switch is a tin filled with a disc-shaped, rough mesh sponge not unlike the material used in a bun ring . As bristles are drawn across the surface, product is jostled away and falls down into the cells of the sponge.

There is a slightly smaller $14 one as well.

Does it Work?

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Recent Repurchases – Fall/Winter 2016

Us beauty bloggers talk a LOT about new things we’ve tried, or NEW(ish in my case!) favorites, but I think we collectively do a poor job of talking about what we loved enough to repurchase. I might really enjoy a product for a few months, but by the time I get to the end of the bottle or hit pan, things may have changed.

Here’s are my recent repurchases as of last week.

 

Recent Repuchases - Million Dollar Tan Cabana TanMillion Dollar Tan Cabana Tan

Some of my hunt for a more cost-effective sunless tanner has been chronicled. I’m not unhappy with Million Dollar Tan in the slightest, but accessibility and cost are key items that factor in my buying choices. St Tropez is more accessible didn’t blow my mind. Vita Liberata is more accessible, but also more costly. Many drugstore options are hit-or-miss. On Thanksgiving, Million Dollar Tan featured a 40% off discount – so I snagged the already-discounted 2-pack of Cabana Tan for only $30 TOTAL with the 40% code and free shipping. Normally $32 EACH (I’ve never paid full price, but still) this is a solid deal. With my usage, it takes me forever to get through the product, so it will be about two years before I need to replenish.

For those who would prefer to order through a retailer, Nordstrom carries it now too.

 

2016 Holiday Gift Guide - Big Sexy Hair Volumizing SetBig Sexy Hair Root Pump

I’m utterly helpless when it comes to hair, but I’ve figured out how to be presentable for work. One of the consequences of insisting on having long hair is that long locks tend to weigh down roots, so I need help in that department. I’ve bought a few travel-sized bottles of Big Sexy Hair Root Pump before, too gun-shy to shell out for the a full-sized can. This gift set from JcPenney (fluctuates between $22-25) finally got me to bite the bullet with some promo code and rewards cash for ultra-cheap.

Sigma F80 Flat Top Kabuki

Sigma F80

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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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Favorite Brushes – October 2016

Apologies for the delayed post – when I wrote this, I evidently thought today’s date was 10/29. Thanks for bearing with me.

Even if you have a ridiculous brush collection, I’m willing to bet that you reach for the same few over and over. They get use for a reason! Below are my favorite brushes; the ones that put in overtime, the ones that see the most use. Current pricing is listed next to it, many of the nicer ones are available in sets for a better value.

Sonia Kashuk 116 $6 – I’ve had this for years, and found myself agreeing with Sam Ravndahl when I first heard her sing the praises of this brush. It’s amazing for crease work, outer V work … anything, basically, that isn’t densely packing color. I’ve gotten great results using it for concealer as well. Now that I think of it, I need to pick up another one of these! Here’s hoping my local Target isn’t out of stock.

MAC 217  $25- For the longest time I was using a bdellium tools brush that was similar, but the quality and performance difference is night and day. This is one of only two MAC brushes I own at the time of writing this. Don’t buy this one in a set – although MAC does it, it’s a common for them to compromise on quality for the brushes released in LE sets and kits.

Makeup Geek Face Buffer Brush $18 – I haven’t found a new liquid foundation I want to commit to, so I’ve been wearing my Urban Decay Naked Skin powder foundation quite a lot and this is the brush to apply it with. Forget the included sponge-puff; apply with this brush and work your way to an airbrush (yes! with powder!) finish. All that praise given, I actually do not like this brush for applying liquid or cream products. Even though the bristles are lush and full, I find they aren’t as densely packed as I prefer for liquid and cream application. It is not a substitute for the next brush (but maybe their Foundation Stippling Brush is, I haven’t tried it)…

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