I Bought This Brush Set For Under $25. This Is My Verdict
Joanna Fleming

Usually I’m a big spender when it comes to skincare and makeup (I don’t even want to look at my staff account because I’m scared to know how much I’ve spent in 3 years).

So for me to buy a 10-piece brush set for 25 bucks is a little out of the ordinary. I intended for this brush set to be my “spare” for when I did other people’s makeup – but somehow, they’ve become my favourite brushes.

What Do I Love About This Set?

Designer Brands Day Dreamer 10 Piece Pro Brush Set literally has everything a makeup beginner needs. Made from soft synthetic fibres, these brushes allow you to work with powder, cream and liquid formulas.

They’re easy to wash (I haven’t had any of them shed), they come in a little roll-up brush case, and they’re all labelled on the handle so if you’re a newbie, that comes in handy if you don’t know which brush to use for what.

The selection of brushes also impressed me – multiple brushes for eyes (blending is important!) and the inclusion of a buffing brush as opposed to a flat foundation brush. I can’t fault this set to be honest.

Shop here

What’s In The Set?

Ultimate Brow Brush: This dual-ended brush has a spoolie on one end, and an angled brush on the other – ideal for applying brow gels and powders. I personally use it to smudge out pencil liner.

Deluxe Crease Brush: Allows you to create definition in the crease of the eye, plus it’s useful for blending or applying shadow to the lower lash line. 

Foundation/Buffing Brush: This flat-topped buffing brush makes foundation application a breeze, not to mention it leaves a flawless finish.

Tapered Powder Brush: With its fluffy, dome-shaped bristles, this brush seamlessly and evenly blends powder products for a natural finish. I like to use this one to apply blush.

Illuminating/Fan Brush: Like the ones you see on Instagram, the fanned bristles can be used to highlight the tops of the cheekbones, down the nose and cupids bow.

Large Powder/Blush Brush: Ideal for setting your makeup with powder, or applying powder foundations, this brush has super soft bristles and picks up a good amount of product.

Angled Contour Brush: What I use to apply my bronzer, this angled brush makes contouring so easy. Use it to apply bronzer under the cheekbones and around the hairline.

Eye Shadow Blending Brush: I wish I could buy 10 of these separately. You can use it to apply shadow all over the eye, blend out shadows or to apply creamier formulas.

Eye Shadow Brush: Another one of my favourites. This really allows you to pack on shadows to build up pigment before you blend everything out (it can also be used as a concealer brush). 

Liner Brush: The only brush I haven’t used yet (because my eyeliner comes with an applicator). This really is a great size for applying liquid liner.

The Reviews:

★★★★★ Great brushes, bargain price – Millie

“These brushes are fantastic! They’re soft, they do their jobs well, ANDDD they don’t shed hairs! Absolute bargain price for such great brushes. 100% recommend.”

★★★★★ Bargain! – Katerina

“So cheap and for the quality, such a steal! Really nice and soft and haven’t shed at all which I am so surprised with! Designer Brands is proving to be a label which is affordable and one you can trust!”

★★★★★ Great value & quality – Ciara

“These brushes are amazing quality! Have not shed and I’ve washed them so many times. The range of brushes is perfect for a full face. The brow brush is perfect and the liner brush for carving out brows is perfect! The eyeshadow brushes blend so well even dark eyeshadow looks.”

 

Buy Designer Brands Day Dreamer Set Here

 

I Think This Could Be The Ultimate Dewy Skin Foundation…
Joanna Fleming

I think I’ve made this claim before. In fairness, I’ve tried a lot of foundations as part of my job, and dewy formulas are my jam. So if a foundation hits my favourites list, you can be sure it’s pretty good.

Speaking of my favourites list, there’s a new kid on the block who’s quickly climbing the ranks: YSL’s Touche Éclat All-In-One Glow Foundation. This foundation is literally ticking all of the dewy skin boxes.

What Sets This Foundation Apart?

I think the number one thing I love about this foundation is how beautifully it blends into the skin. It’s so smooth and hydrating, it just glides on regardless of what you use to apply it – I’ve used a brush, sponge and fingertips and the finish is flawless every time.

– Provides light to medium buildable coverage

– I’d say it’s just slightly heavier than a tinted moisturiser

– Super hydrating & comfortable to wear with a natural dewy finish

– It’s an oil-free, long-wearing formula packaged in a travel-friendly tube

– Softly conceals imperfections without ever looking mask-like or cakey

– Smoothes skin texture & evens out the skin tone for a flawless complexion

– Leaves the skin glowy & radiant (best suited to normal-dry skin types)

– Available in 12 shades from very fair to medium-deep

Shop here

What’s In It?

YSL’s Touche Éclat All-In-One Glow Foundation contains 70% water, hyaluronic acid and vitamin E, as well as other protective antioxidants and soothing ingredients like calendula, which explains why it’s such a comfortable, hydrating foundation to wear.

PRO TIP: Because this formula is so dewy, I lightly powder down my T-zone with a translucent setting powder to prevent my skin looking too shiny throughout the day. If you have dry skin though, you probably won’t need the powder.

Find your shade

The Reviews:

★★★★★ Natural glow – Kelly Lee

“I usually use the All Hours foundation and didn’t think this would have the same staying power, I was wrong. It felt really light on my skin and I didn’t need to use a lot to get the coverage I wanted. It lasted a full day in a hot office without any touch-ups ( I even got a comment about how clear my skin looked) and was equally good after a night out.”

★★★★★ Glowing – Josey

“I really like the pump dispenser that this comes in, the click closure lid is great. Colour wise it was a perfect shade for me and I was pleased with how comfortable this felt in my skin and how flawless it made my not-quite-so-perfect complexion look.”

★★★★★ A winner! – Estelle

“I was so worried that to get the lightweight feel and dewy look, I would lose in coverage. But no, this foundation covers imperfections and gives a unified look to my skin without making it greasy. On top of that, I get a gorgeous glow! Even my pictures and selfies look better! My skin looks healthier, more hydrated, simply beautiful!”

 

Shop YSL Touche Éclat
All-In-One Glow Foundation Here

 

This Is The Fastest Shortcut To Natural-Looking Fluffy Brows
Joanna Fleming

I was never one for the “Instagram brow” trend that hit our feeds back in 2014/15. You know, those heavily drawn on brows defined even further by a thick layer of concealer? I’m pretty glad that trend has made its way out.

What replaced the Instagram brow was a trend I do approve of: the brushed up fluffy brow. Only thing is, a lot of us butchered our eyebrows in the 90s, so the term fluffy isn’t exactly applicable for some.

How To Fake Fuller Brows:

Despite plucking my eyebrows incessantly throughout high school, I managed to fully grow them back (after a 5 month ‘growing out’ phase which nearly broke me). Sadly for some, the damage was irreversable.

In that instance, how do we create the illusion of full, fluffy brows? The answer is Napoleon Perdis Wand-er Brow and Benefit Precisely, My Brow Pencil.

1. Use the spoolie end of your Benefit pencil to brush the brow hairs upwards to expose any sparse areas

2. Use your Benefit pencil to create hair-like strokes through gappy areas, lightly defining underneath the front of the brow and the arches as well

3. Brush Wand-er Brow through the brow hairs using upward strokes – this not only makes the brows look fluffier and fuller, but also lifts the whole eye area.

I’m telling you, Wand-er Brow is SO underrated. This sh*t holds everything in place, so it’s a dream for both sparse and unruly brows.

More About Wand-er Brow:

Easily the strongest-holding brow gel formula I’ve ever used, Wand-er Brow mimics a similar effect to the ‘soap brows‘ technique – oh, and it can double as a mascara.

– Available in three shades: clear, blonde & brunette

– It has a waxy texture which brushes easily through the brows & then sets

– A great tool for defining & shaping the brows (especially for beginners)

– The formula contains Vitamins C + E which condition & strengthen brow hairs

– Ideal for taming naturally fuller & unruly brows (they won’t budge!)

– The built-in wand applicator disperses the product well through the brows

– All shades can also be used as a mascara

Buy here

 

Buy Napoleon Perdis Wand-er Brow Here

 

This Foundation Contains SPF50…And It’s Actually Good
Joanna Fleming

I know people can get scared off by foundations that contain SPF, but as I sit here writing this article in 44 degree heat, I’d like to remind you that your concerns should be less about flashback, and more about sun protection.

After all, if you’re not wearing your SPF foundation at night in front of a camera flash, we won’t have an issue. And when it comes to Ella Baché’s Suncover Great SPF50 Foundation, I can also assure you this is one of the best high protection formulas going around.

What You Need To Know:

– Ella Baché’s Suncover Great SPF50 Foundation has a light-medium coverage

– Hydrates, protects & promotes an even complexion with its light-diffusing formula

– It has a natural, dewy finish which helps to reduce the appearance of fine lines

– Protects skin against harmful UVA/UVB damage thanks to its SPF50 rating

– Enriched with antioxidant Green Tea to help combat free radical damage

– Has a creamy, blendable texture that melts into the skin leaving it hydrated & glowing

– Jojoba & Lanolin protect, moisturise & comfort the skin

Buy it here

The Shades:

Usually when reviewing a foundation, I’d expect there to be an extensive shade range of at least 20+ shades, but on this occasion I’m happy to excuse the fact that Ella Baché’s Suncover Great SPF50 Foundation is currently only available in four shades – cream beige, light beige, medium beige and dark beige. Yep, that’s a lot of beige.

I know how tricky it is to formulate products with such a high SPF and still have them turn out as they should, so kudos to Ella Baché for being able to formulate such a nice foundation that caters to Aussie conditions. Fingers crossed we see some more shades in the future.

The Verdict:

I’ll be honest with you, I wasn’t expecting to love this product. When I first swatched it on my hand, I thought for sure that it’d be too thick for me.

But I was proven wrong. The formula actually glided on much smoother than I expected, and as I buffed it in with my Expert Face Brush, it gave my skin a naturally dewy, healthy-looking finish which is exactly what I look for in a foundation. It was also easily buildable in areas I wanted more coverage.

With the added bonus of broad-spectrum sun protection, surprisingly it doesn’t feel heavy or greasy on the skin, plus it has a pleasant (only slightly sunscreen-y) smell.

Buy Ella Baché Suncover Great SPF50 Foundation Here

Aussie Makeup Artists You Should Be Following On Instagram
Joanna Fleming

Whether you’re an amateur or a professional, Instagram can be a great platform for accessing makeup artistry tips and tricks, product recommendations and technique demonstrations.

I’m constantly learning new things from watching tutorials on makeup artists’ Instagram stories – so I thought I’d share a few of my favourite local artists with you (plus their holy grail products).

@carladysonmakeup

Carla’s holy grail: Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation

“Luminous Silk is my all time favourite foundation. It adds the perfect amount of radiance to the skin and applies flawlessly. It’s a light to medium coverage and looks super natural on the skin.”

Buy here

@thanhtheman

Thanh’s holy grail: Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Foundation

“I love that this foundation is lightweight, so it actually feels like your skin can breathe, but still has buildable coverage. There’s also a really wide range of shades to suit fair to deep skin tones.”

Buy here

@jackcail

Jack’s holy grail: M.A.C Cosmetics Prep + Prime Fix+

“If I run out of this stuff, I basically have a mental breakdown. I use it for everything! Removing makeup, preparing the skin, refreshing the skin throughout makeup application, wetting eyeshadows to intensify them, and most important setting the skin with a lovely dewy finish”

Buy here

@serenawylliemakeup

Serena’s holy grail: Bobbi Brown Vitamin Enriched Face Base

“This product is the perfect base to apply before foundation. It leaves the skin ultra smooth and locks in hydration. I like to think of it as a mix between a moisturiser and a primer (it can easily be used as both, plus as a night cream). And the scent is to die for!”

Buy here

@monicagingold_beauty

Monica’s holy grail: Embryolisse Lait-Crème Concentré

“This is the perfect moisturiser/primer combo for prepping the skin before makeup, in one easy step. It’s perfect for normal to dry skin, as it thoroughly hydrates the skin, giving it a healthy glow, while helping to keep foundation on all day!”

Buy here

Shop Makeup Here

Our Editor’s Guide To Combatting Tired Eyes Instantly
Joanna Fleming

As we all drag ourselves back to work for another year, I find solace in knowing that I’m not the only one pressing the snooze button to try and gain another 10 minutes of sleep each morning.

If like me, you can’t seem to shake that back-to-work lethargy, and it’s showing in the form of tired-looking peepers – these are my tried and tested little hacks that’ll bring you back to life in an instant.

Hide Redness In The Waterline

When we’re tired, our waterline (that bit between your eye ball and your lash line) tends to show signs of redness. Using a nude pencil liner like the
Eye Of Horus Goddess Pencil in Sahara Nude in the waterline not only instantly brightens the area making you look more awake, but also disguises that redness too.

Add A Pop Of Highlight

Even if you’re only wearing a lick of mascara, you can add a touch of highlighter to the inner corner of your eyes either with your pinkie finger or with a small bullet brush to create a subtle brightening effect. I like to use the Erin Bigg Cosmetics Illuminating Powder. You can also lightly dab YSL Touche Éclat under the eyes to lightly conceal and brighten.

Lift Your Brows

Another trick for looking more awake is to give the illusion of lifted brows. All you need to do is line underneath your arch with Benefit High Brow Glow and blend it out with your fingertip. This really helps to combat heavy-looking brows which can make you look more tired. I’d also recommend brushing your eyebrows upwards with Benefit Gimme Brow +.

 

Shop Makeup Here

 

Mia Connor’s Guide To Perfect Eyeliner Every Damn Time
Joanna Fleming

If you follow Mia Connor on Instagram, you’re probably already aware that she’s the queen of eyeliner. Seriously, I’ve never seen anyone nail a wing like her – and she makes it look so graceful too?!

Turns out, Mia has a few pro tips for perfecting your liner technique. Apparently it’s all about the product, the brush and the blinking.

 

 

 
 
 
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A post shared by MIA CONNOR – MAKEUP/HAIR/EDUC (@miaconnor) on

Tell Me More:

Sharing with her 135,000 Instagram followers, Mia details how important it is to pause every couple of seconds to let your client (or yourself) blink as you apply liner.

“Notice how I always pull my brush out so that she can blink – a lot of artists get caught in the concentration zone that they forget to let their poor model blink and next minute they are watering all over the show.”

Secondly, she credits the Erin Bigg Cosmetics Luxe Crème Gel Eyeliner Pot in Onyx as her go-to product for the perfect wing, paired with a sharp angled brush.

About The Product:

– Erin Bigg’s Crème Gel liner has an ultra-black opaque payoff & a creamy texture

– Allows you to create the perfect base for that smokey eye or liner flick

– Super easy to apply with an angled eyeliner brush for a precise wing

– It has a very highly pigmented formula that won’t crack or crease

– This eyeliner has a waterproof and smudge-proof finish

Buy it here

The Reviews:

★★★★★ Love this eyeliner! – Renee

“I am so glad I tried this eyeliner – it is a creamy gel formula which is easy to apply and stays in place all day and into the night! I love the fact that it doesn’t smudge either and looks as good as it does at the end of the day, as to when I apply it in the morning.”

★★★★★ The only one! – Amy

“Never found anything like this! Its creamy, pigmented and lasts forever. I love that I don’t have to keep applying multiple layers to be black enough, just one swipe!”

★★★★★ Fantastic pigment – Caroline

“So happy with this gel liner! I have struggled to find one that is black as black can be, whilst remaining crisp for wings but also enough movement so it blends like a dream.”

 

Buy Erin Bigg Cosmetics Luxe Crème Gel Eyeliner Pot Here