First Look: Sigma F80 Flat Top Kabuki

An awesome friend (we’ll call her C) of mine recently decided to gift me a brush, and let me choose what brush it was – I chose a Sigma F80 Flat Top Kabuki! The Sigma F80 Flat Top Kabuki had been on my lust list for a while after hearing Jaclyn Hill rave about this brush in, oh, every video she has, so this was very exciting. Most of my brushes are what would be considered low-to-mid-end – I got the Coastal Scents Elite set on sale for something like $25, and the rest are random – cheap brushes that I thought would be “throwaways,” that turned out to be awesome, a few (inexpensive but great) bdellium tools and two Real Techniques. Word on the street is that Sigma is as good as (perhaps better than) MAC at a nicer price.

The outer shipping box had been manhandled by USPS and was not a maiden fair, so we’ll start the unboxing here:

Sigma F80 Flat Top Kabuki - Packaging

Also, let it be known that said friend is not affiliated with Sigma. She didn’t get a freebie for the sake of promotion, either. She’s just awesome! Here’s the rest of what was in the shipping box, including the brush that has been removed from the fancy sleeve depicted first:

Sigma F80 Flat Top Kabuki - everything that was in the shipping box

The protective sleeve you see on the brush, below is actually two parts. The lower handle is covered with a cellophane piece (with an awesome holographic Sigma sticker), and the upper handle and head are protected by a thicker, rigid plastic piece. They mean business about packing and protecting their product.

Sigma F80 Flat Top Kabuki - Unboxed

This sucker will be an important part of my foundation routine – especially come July, as I am not hiring a makeup artist for my wedding. So pristine!

Sigma F80 Flat Top Kabuki - Unboxed 2

Hello, gorgeous. I can’t wait to awkwardly stipple and buff foundation into my face with you. Let’s face it, stippling looks awkward. You’re hitting yourself in the face rapidly. It is silly.

Sigma F80 Flat Top KabukiSigma F80 Flat Top Kabuki Brush

Take a look at how dense this brush is, perfect for buffing foundation in and building coverage. Though I plan to use it with a liquid foundation (MUFE HD Invisible Cover in 118, Flesh), you could probably use this for mineral or powder foundation.

Sigma F80 Flat Top Kabuki - so dense!

I haven’t had the chance to use it yet (my skin has been wonky, but is almost 100% again) but I plan on using it tomorrow and am excited to see how awesome my very first Sigma brush is. Thank you again, C!

Disclosure: This post was not sponsored. That said, some of the links in this post are affiliate links – this means I may get a very small percentage of the sale if you decide to buy something. I only recommend products I’ve tried and verified as awesome.

Drugstore Gel Liner Comparison

So as you may or may not know, L’Oreal has a diverse portfolio of brands under its control. They own some high end names that you would be surprised about, but also some drugstore ones aside from the eponymous L’Oreal, but also Maybelline.

When I first started playing with makeup like a child learning how to do my makeup, I decided to try a gel liner. Pencil liners always seemed odd to me, and liquids were too prescise – gel seemed like a happy medium. After a good bit of research into the gel options, I was torn between Maybelline and L’Oreal – both are well-reviewed. I happened to have a coupon for the Maybelline one and a sale was running (yes, why pay retail?) so I went with it and was content.

Later (aka recently), once I was on the verge of running out of usable product (my own error caused it to dry out prematurely), I decided to purchase both and do drugstore gel liner comparison. Here, you have the L’Oreal Infallible Gel Lacquer Liner 24 Hour on the left and the Maybelline Eye Studio Lasting Drama Gel Eyeliner.

Drugstore Gel Liner Comparison - L'Oreal Infalliable Lacquer Liner 24Hour and Mabelline Eye Studio Lasting Drama Gel LinerDrugstore Gel Liner Comparison

This post is pretty photo-heavy, so please continue after the jump.

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Milani Eye Tech Extreme Liquid Eye Liner

Milani Eye Tech Extreme

When I heard Milani Eye Tech Extreme may be a reasonable dupe for Stila Stay All Day Liquid Liner, I had to look into it. Glorious as the felt-tip liner from Stila is, it is about $20 for a full size at regular price, which makes me kind of sad. This product, however, is only about $7-8.

Featuring a fine felt tip, the Milani Easy Tech Extreme liquid liner is structured very similarly to the Stay all Day and should be able to product similar results. According to Milani’s Site:

Non-feathering, waterproof blackest black formula lasts all day without flaking our budging.

I tested it out to see how well it met that claim. Here are the pictures, taken and laid out similarly to the Stila test.

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Josie Maran 100% Pure Argan Oil

AKA Argan Oil – Is It Snake Oil? Part Two

If you haven’t already, read part one!

Last week, I talked about my initial impressions of the Argan Oil craze. I was ensnared when friends admitted to using the argan produts by Josie Maran and that it seemed to be helping with facial scarring and under-eye blahs.

Josie Maran 100% Pure Argan Oil, 0.5fl oz

The JCPenney in my local mall opened a Sephora in October – on my first trip there, I bought one of the small bottles of Josie Maran 100% Pure Argan Oil, 0.5 fl oz. for $14. I have some pretty stubborn dark circles and had a dermatological procedure coming up that would leave me with a facial scar, so I figured the timing was good.

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Argan Oil – is it Snake Oil?

Last year, I was only just starting down the rabbit hole that is the beauty world and started hearing about beauty oils. It wasn’t gradual, it was sudden, it was frequent, and more often than not it was Josie Maran’s 100% Pure Argan Oil ($49). Although some struggle with the idea that facial skin + oil = unparalled catastrophe, that was not my obstacle. My personal obstacle was wrapping my head around

  • the fact that so many people seem convinced that this is a miracle product and that
  • the purveyors of this bottled hocus-pocus were actually selling it for as much as it costs. “It fixes your hair!” they said, “It fixes your face! It soothes ragged cuticles! It feeds the hungry!”

Okay, maybe I got a little carried away there at the end. It doesn’t feed hungry people, not directly anyway.

Argan Does Feed, Though

That said, it does feed hungry goats. The Argan tree, in addition to producing fruit with nuts inside that we get our so-called magical oil from, does in fact feed hungry Moroccan goats. Evidently, these goats determined that the fruits from Argan trees are outstanding because they climb the trees to eat them. Pics, it happened:


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Beauty Oils

Beauty Oils

Beauty Oils

Beauty oils started increasing in popularity within the last couple years, but mostly among those in the beauty industry or fanatics. It seems that in the last year however, they have just exploded in popularity. Pesky waterproof makeup giving you trouble when it is time to remove? Oil can fix that. Facial cleansing that doesn’t strip your skin–squeaky clean isn’t actually a good thing, people–and leave it dry? Oil. Moisturizing without caking some awkward, likely scented goop on your face and waiting forever for it to sink in? Yeah – oils.

The problem is that many of us have been conditioned for years–hell, decades–with the understanding that oil = bad. Oil = shiny, and oil = blemishes. As it turns out, we’re in the wrong – as with many things, we should not assume that all oils are going to give us trouble simply because some do. We need to clear the cache here and start anew, because beauty oils are not going to ruin your day. Many people with oily skin (or even just combination/oily T-zone) seek oil-free everything. Cleansers, moisturizers, treatments, foundations – all for the fear that additional oil would exacerbate the problem. Not so – in fact, removing too much oil or forcing your skin to be too dry is going to cause your skin to overcompensate and produce more of what you’re fighting against. Using an oil (provided you choose the right one, please do not slap canola on your face and call it a day) can calm your skin down and make it scale back its oil production. Using an oil on waterproof makeup is a gentle and quick way to remove it. Sephora has been pushing them for a while and it really makes you wonder why they didn’t gain popularity sooner.

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