Beauty Tools

Kat Von D x Influenster – FIRST LOOK

I’m not exactly sure why, but I’ve sure gotten realllllyy lucky with Influenster this year. Just a few years months ago I got to try out YSL’s corrector, and now part of Kat Von D’s new products. I’ll just get to to it and show you:


How. Pretty. And expensive. I know. This box’s value is at least $100 worth of makeup products and brushes. My absolute favorite is the setting powder brush – so soft, fluffy and effective. Let me know what you’d like to see reviews of!

Love, Nicole 🙂 

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AliExpress MAC Brushes Review

So I’ve finally received my Mac brush set (purchased from AliExpress), after two weeks of waiting, and let me just tell you – these are not cheap-like brushes. They are also strikingly beautiful as a whole and individual, and the case is a cute extra.

The favorites (& standouts)

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The brush I absolutely couldn’t wait for was the white bristled, angled brush (168). I love white bristled brushes. I just think they look cute and classy, but that’s me. I also think this one may be made out of real goat hair, as the bristles smelled a tad bit funky, the way goat hair brushes usually smell.

The bristles of this particular brush are not the softest, but they do a surprisingly good job at applying contour powders (no wasting powder!) I would compare the feeling of this to the ELF Professional Contour/Angled brush (white-handled, red-bristled brush), though a tad bit softer.

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Another one of my favorites in this set is the other white-bristled brush, brush 219, which is a crease blending brush. I think this may also be a real goat hair brush. This is by far much better for my crease (alone!) especially when compared to the other two brushes I’ve been using for shadow (Real Techniques crease brush & Ecotools smudge brush). It both applies shadow pigmentedly and blends out beautifully. LOVE. The texture is neither soft nor rough. Softer than 168, but not any more than 187.

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I also like that this set comes with another flat small brush (214). I have 3 of them as of now. I just think small flat brushes are a must for pretty much any type of complexion cosmetic (concealer, foundation, BB creme) to pack up on blemishes and imperfections. This is mid-soft, as well.

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The stippling brush, 187, though seemingly big, “stipples” surpringly well. It leaves my foundation looking flawless as ever and I don’t need to break my wrist in the process! That’s always a plus. I would seriously tie this to my all time favorite Expert Face brush by Real Techniques. It’s that good. This brush is probably the softest of them all, as you can see from the thinner bristles towards the end (the thinner, the softer!!)

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The flat foundation brush is a nice standout. It is very soft (much more than the typical flat foundation brushes I’ve seen). Too bad I don’t like using flat foundation brushes – I find they leave me “streaky” and “painted-on”.


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The Bad:

The powder brush (134) is not the best. My Ecotools powder brush is better (softer, glentler, better). The bristles are too thick to actually take seriously as a brush – seriously, this looks like a dollar-type of brush. The bristles are coarse and “hard”, and they don’t feel too good against the skin. You can skip this one.

The rest of these brushes I have as of yet to try. Though most are simple, small brushes. I might add on these later on.

What I will say in general is they lack the super softness of other higher quality brushes. But the actual application is flawless. They don’t waste nearly as much product as some of my other brushes do and they apply the product well, which is what I like.

The brushes are housed in a really nice case, which would double perfectly as a makeup bag. It has a detachable little purse in the middle, which can be used for storing products or travel sized brushes.

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Overall, would I recommend this? Yes and no. As an overall, this set is okay. As for some of the individual brushes, this set is an absolute steal! There are a few brushes in this set which are amazingly good and all that, and then some, for 15 bucks makes it worth it to me. Find some niece or little girl to give the worse brushes to! Lol.

What do you think of the AliExpress Mac brushes? Let me know!!

Love, Nicole💕

Note: the brushes used in this post are not authentic MAC brushes. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Products are purchased on my own. Thank you. x

Real Techniques Starter Set Review

I have been needing some eye brushes for quite some time now, but as a professional procrastinator, I never actually found myself buying these for whatever reason. Mostly because eye brushes are exceptionally small and expensive per piece. So when I found out about the Real Techniques Starter Set brushes, I was in absolute awe.

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The Real Techniques Starter Kit is officially described as:

Eye definition goes high definition with our revised starter set.

  • Base shadow brush: applies a smooth, flawless foundation of color.
  • Deluxe crease brush: soft, oversized design for effortless contouring.
  • Accent brush: for precision detailing, highlighting and smudging.
  • Fine liner brush: for precision application of liquid of cream eyeliner.
  • Brow brush: distinctive shape easily defines eyebrows.

The brushes are pretty much set in that order, from left to right, except for the first two, which are switched.

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One thing I can say for sure about the Real Technique brushes is they are well presented for their price. Before Real Techniques came along, the only good drugstore/affordable brushes were Eco-tools, and though they were quite pretty with their bamboo handles and all, the packaging simply wasn’t (at least for my own personal taste). Real Techniques on the other hand, has some booty-kicking packaging!! I personally find their cases/stands, in which the brushes come in, surprisingly luxurious.

The first brush I ever purchased from RT was the Expert Face Brush, for stippling foundation, and it was absolutely amazing. It left my face absolutely flawless and blended my foundation quite effortlessly. And so I expected this same type of treatment from these brushes.

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Let’s break it down, shall we?

The Base Shadow Brush is great for it’s intended purpose, which is for applying a base color all over the lid. Pretty “Base”-ic 😉

The Deluxe Crease Brush is real big, fluffy and soft, though I wish it were as good on my small eyes. This brush sadly covers pretty much my whole eyelid rather than just the crease. It’s a great blending brush but sadly simply does not fulfill its purpose for me. EcoTool’s smudge brush is much better for the crease for small eyes, though it’s a tad too small.

The Accent Brush is great for small places, like the inner corners of the eyes and the upper sides of the nose, where concealing or highlighting may be needed/wanted -though a pointed concealer brush would do just as well. This is more of an “accessory” brush.

The Fine Liner Brush, I’ll be totally honest, I don’t even know what I’d use with or how. I have another just like it, which I rarely use, though according the other brush’s packaging, it is a smudge brush, vs. this which is a liner brush. Though this brush is very small, I don’t find it tapered enough to line my small eyes, nor shaped “correctly” in a helpful manner to shape my liner. Though the next one is! (You might want to use ELF’s liner brush for that 🙂 )

The Brow Brush I find perfect for tight lining, and, well, any type of lining. I’m sure it’d do quite well on eyebrows, though mine are thick enough to leave alone!! 🙂 I find it very useful to apply liquid and cream eyeliner on my top lids, as well as wet shadow to line my upper lids. This, along with the “Base Shadow” brush are my absolute favorites.

Overall the brushes are just as good in quality as the expert face brush, though they don’t stand on their own as easily, and the print on the brushes is harder to see, even when compared to the expert face brush.

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The stand I don’t find particularly useful, at all. It’s great to travel with, but I wouldn’t use it to stand my brushes as it doesn’t, well, stand. The idea of it is, it’s supposed to bend in half and be used as a stand. The problem with that is, it doesn’t stay that way. It simply falls flat after literally 0.5 seconds.

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Generally, this set is very well constructed and designed. It comes at a great price, though there are a few of these brushes which just wouldn’t go well for specific types of eyes (such as small, etc). If you have average sized eyes (“almond eyes”) (which you likely do), it’s great for all around, different types of eye looks, but for those with eyes smaller than average, you might have to switch out some of these brushes instead. Whether that’s worth it or not, you’d have to be the judge of that!!

Have you tried out any Real Techniques Brush sets? Let me know!!

Love, Nicole.