Review: Is the beautyblender worth the dough?

The original beautyblender.

The original beautyblender.

If you've been hanging out around these parts awhile, you may remember how much I liked the Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge, which is a cheaper alternative to the much-hyped beautyblender. It's orange, slightly larger than the beautyblender, and a slightly different shape. It's also $16 cheaper. And you know what? At the time, I had no complaints because I had nothing to compare it to. It did a great job of blending out my under-eye concealer and finishing off areas on my face (like my nose) where I wanted to be extra-sure my finish was flawless.

Then, during last month's VIB sale, I decided to give the "real thing" a whirl. I had heard from makeupbytiffanyd that the beautyblender felt less "wet" during use than the RT sponge. I had indeed noticed that the RT sponge left a touch of water on my face when I was blending my foundation. Additionally, my RT sponge was looking a little worse for wear—it had several pock marks on it. So rather than replacing it for $10, I upgraded.

My friends, I'm not looking back. The original beautyblender is more than double the price at $26, and I know it hurts, but I promise it's 100 per cent worth it.

Here's the deal: The beautyblender seems less porous than the RT sponge. It has no trouble absorbing water, which allows the sponge to grow, but once you towel it off and give it a squeeze, you'll get no water on your skin. Additionally, the surface is smoother. This textural difference is what blows the  RT sponge out of the water. The foundation finish you're left with is just better. 

Another little bonus? Packaging. The beautyblender comes in this little round canister with a lid that has a small hole in the top. When you're finished using it, you perch it on top of your canister, and as it dries, it slowly shrinks down and slips back into the canister. If you want to travel with it, pop the lid on top and you're good to go! This feels much more sanitary than the RT sponge, which I always had to store on or in tissue.

Rating: Four and a half stars out of five. Amazing product that I will repurchase, but $26 for a scrap of sponge? Seriously? Come on now.

Verdict: The beautyblender is expensive (sigh), but worth the splurge. Sorry, Sam and Nic—I love many of the Real Techniques brushes, but I'm going big on my foundation sponge! Beautyblender forever!

Available: Sephora and Sephora.ca for $26 Canadian. I've also seen it at Shoppers Drug Mart.

Have you tried the beautyblender and compared it to sponges by other brands? What did you think? Let me know in the comments! 

Disclosure: This product was purchased by Eyeshadow Addict. 

Micro-Review: OSIS+ Magic Finish Anti-Frizz Shine Serum

OSIS+ Magic Finish Anti-Frizz Shine Serum by Schwarzkopf Professional.

OSIS+ Magic Finish Anti-Frizz Shine Serum by Schwarzkopf Professional.

I can probably count on one hand the number of beauty products I've used consistently over the last ten years. OSIS+ Magic Finish Anti-Frizz Shine Serum is one such miracle product.

I have ulta-fine, poker-straight hair. I've layered it for years, which doesn't help my crazy-crazy flyaway problem. This problem got about 100 times worse when I moved to Saskatchewan—a.k.a. the land of deathly frozen, dry winters—11 years ago. The top of my head looked like straw, and this wonder product saved it. I would take the tiniest little drop, spread it over my hands a bit, and smooth them over the top of my hair. Poof! Soft. Smooth. Shiny. DONE. 

Even now that I live in the tropical much more moderate city of Vancouver, this stuff is still invaluable for taming the flyaways and occasional fuzz.

Is it worth hunting down in a salon? Is it worth the $20? Oh, yes, my beauties. Oh, yes. As a poor student, I tried the cheapie alternatives by The Body Shop, Fructis, Thermasilk…you name it. One or more of four things would happen: 1) My hair would look dirty. 2) I'd be left with a greasy film on my hands. 3) My hair would get all crunchy. 4) The product just wouldn't work. I kept going back to my OSIS+ Magic, and I haven't looked back.

Bottom line: If you have issues with flyaways or frizz, you MUST try this. Cheers!

What's your favourite frizz-fighting product? Let me know in the comments!

Disclosure: This product was purchased by Eyeshadow Addict.

Styli-Style's Line & Seal 24 - Semi-Permanent Eyeliner: The Fifth Day of Christmas

Styli-Style Line & Seal 24: Semi-Permanent Eye Liners in Black Pearl, Mulberry, and Marine. 

Styli-Style Line & Seal 24: Semi-Permanent Eye Liners in Black Pearl, Mulberry, and Marine. 

It's the fifth day of Christmas, and I've got some good-quality drugstore eyeliners to show you! Styli-Style calls these Semi-Permanent Eye Liners, and that's about right. Once they're on, they don't budge without some good eye makeup remover. They're creamy and mostly opaque, and the colours I've tried are shimmery and vibrant. Black Pearl (top in the photo above) is a deep carbon with silver shimmer, Mulberry is a really complex brown-purple with gold shimmer, and Marine is a bright turquoise with silver shimmer.

All wear well on the top lash line. I did find Marine travelled on my lower lash line. My only application complaint is with Mulberry—it tends to apply differently over eyeshadow than on my bare hand. Applied over MAC Paint Pot in Painterly and All that Glitters Eyeshadow, for example, it went on cooler and more muted than the swatch below—and it wasn't fully opaque like the swatch I'm going to show you. I didn't have issues with the others. 

Have a look:

Styl-Style Line & Seal 24: Semi-Permanent Eye Liners in Black Pearl (top), Mulberry (middle), and Marine (bottom). 

Styl-Style Line & Seal 24: Semi-Permanent Eye Liners in Black Pearl (top), Mulberry (middle), and Marine (bottom). 

Swatches of Styli-Style Line & Seal 24: Semi-Permanent Eye Liners. Left to right: Mulberry, Black Pearl, and Marine. The swatches on the left are one swipe. The swatches on the right are a few swipes.  

Swatches of Styli-Style Line & Seal 24: Semi-Permanent Eye Liners. Left to right: Mulberry, Black Pearl, and Marine. The swatches on the left are one swipe. The swatches on the right are a few swipes.  

The verdict: Well worth a try for $6 each! They're long wearing, easy to apply, and pretty. 

Rating: Four stars out of five. I'd have given it five if not for the odd application issue with Mulberry. 

Available: Online and at select Rexall, Pharmasave, Pharma Plus, and Lawtons Drugs locations for about $6. 

Have you tried anything from the Styli-Style line? What do you think of these eye liners? Let me know in the comments below!

Disclosure: These products were provided by PR for my consideration.

In honour of the fifth day of Christmas, here's a sleepy photo of my fur-babies, Domi and Ginger. They're enjoying the holiday break as much as I am. ;)  See you tomorrow.

Sleepy.jpg

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