Surratt Relevee Lash Curler

Lash curlers most definitely divide the beauty community into two camps: either they are a must have or totally neglectable.

I personally love to use them and think they make a huge difference in how awake and bright my eyes appear. That being said, I was never sure if there is that much of a difference between the curlers you can pick up at the drugstore and the ones sold by high end brands.

That is, until I tried the Surratt Relevee Lash Curler. I had heard about them on Anna’s blog The Anna Edit and picked them up on a particularly spendy day, because they are a bit of a splurge.

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However, I haven’t regretted getting them one bit, as they are the most comfortable and effective lash curlers I have ever owned.

For one, they open up nice and wide, so the grab all my lashes easily and at once. Before, I always had the problem of not being able to catch the lashes at the outer corner of my eye, and with these, it is no issue at all.

The silicone pads are super soft as well, eliminating any pinching or pulling. I don’t know about you, but when I take any sort of apparatus near my eyes, I want to be sure it is as safe as possible and the Relevee curlers have been the ones I have been most comfortable with.

The curl itself is natural but noticeable without any weird kinks or droopy lashes. Plus, the actual tool itself looks absolutely gorgeous in all matte black, but really, this shouldn’t be a point (even though it totally is…).

So, a splurge for sure, but a great one. I am tempted by the whole Surratt Beauty line to be fair, but I feel that this was the best possible jumping off point.

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Real Techniques Ultimate Base Set

I’m most definitely all set in the brush department but on a recent trip to the local drugstore, I stumbled over a set of brushes that I just could not pass up.

The Real Techniques Ultimate Base Set includes two of my favorite tools from their line and an exclusive brush, so I just could not say no.

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In there is the Expert Face Brush, which I love to use for every type of base from tinted moisturizers to actual foundation. Since cleaning brushes is one of my least favorite tasks, it’s perfect that I now have a second one. It is also amazing for cream cheek products, so I will definitely find a use for it.

The Miracle Complexion Sponge is the second part of the set and I love have multiple of these as well since you can’t really have sponges sitting around dirty. I now have three on rotation and love using them for foundation (if I have a bit more time to work it in), concealer or powdering.

The set exclusive is the Deluxe Concealer Brush, which is similar in shape to the Zoeva 142 but much softer and more loose, so it works great for buffing in concealer under the eyes. You could also use this as an eyeshadow brush, especially for cream shades.

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Finally, it comes with a little brush pouch that houses a decent sized mirror. It’s not the greatest quality and very much geared towards holding only a few brushes, but it’s a cute extra.

I think this set is a great addition to the RT line-up, so if you’re looking to expand your brush (and sponge) collection at a great price, make sure to pick this set up.

Zoeva 142 Concealer Buffer

Continuing with the concealer theme, I recently also purchased a new concealer application tool, the Zoeva 142 Concealer Buffer.

A dense synthetic brush, this caught my eye on a recent browse in the beauty store, and since Zoeva thankfully is a brush brand that doesn’t break the bank, I picked one up to try out with my growing array of concealers.

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So far, I have used this for concealer application under the eye and I have to say, I haven’t completely made my mind up about it yet. It works great for actually placing and lightly blending the product, but funnily enough, when I go to buff in the concealer, I feel like it blends it away rather than working it into the skin, especially when using a thinner formula.

However, it is so easy to get the product into the perfect position with this brush that I still like to use it most days. The way I operate is that I place and blend the concealer with this brush and then gently tap it into the skin to finish off. This works very well and makes for one of the most natural concealer applications that I have ever had.

I think, too, that this would be amazing for concealing blemishes around the face, considering the size, shape, and density.

I will definitely have to play around with the 142 a bit more, but by no means do I regret this purchase. It is the beautifully quality that we have come to expect from Zoeva and I do think this brush is wonderfully versatile (cream eyeshadow anyone?). So if you own this, please to let me know how you like to use it!

Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge

It seems to me that every few years, there is a resurgence of certain beauty techniques and suddenly, applying your make-up one specific way is all the rage again. I remember the Beautyblender being one of those tools that everyone used a good couple of years ago and suddenly, nobody talked about it or used it anymore.

In 2015, it made a new appearance with beauty bloggers and Youtubers raving about it again and dozens of dupes being released on the market.

Since I am a huge fan of the Real Techniques brushes and as of now, am not willing to splash out on the real Beautyblender, I purchased one of their Miracle Complexion Sponges, seeing as it is often touted as being the closest to the original.

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I have to say, I get the hype. Applied with the damp sponge, my make-up looks natural and skinlike and even though the coverage does become lighter with this method, it looks so flawless and seamless that I am willing to dot on a bit more concealer afterwards in order to get that natural looking base.

I do, however, absolutely hate the cleaning process. I only own one of the sponges, so I feel like I am always cleaning it and often, I am too lazy to do it and revert back to a regular buffing brush. As you can see from the picture, the sponge does look worse for wear already, which is another reason I prefer the more affordable Real Techniques version over the original.

As I said, I have to give the Beautyblender a go to make a definitive comparison, but for now, I am good to go with the Miracle Complexion Sponge.

Zoeva 227 Soft Definer Brush

While my make-up collection is chock full of lip products and eyeshadow palettes, my brush stash is actually rather normal in size. I have my designated brushes that I like to use and I rarely venture out of that range.

What I was missing however, was an eyeshadow brush for cream products. For general blending, the MAC 217 still reigns supreme, but since it has natural bristles, it is hard to clean from creamy products.

Since I have always loved the quality – and price point – of Zoeva brushes, I went onto their site to search for something suitable and I think I found the perfect pick in the 227 Soft Definer vegan brush.

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As the name suggests, this is made of synthetic fibres, which is why it is perfect for cream products as they don’t cling to the bristles as much as to natural ones. I have washed it several times now and it always came out perfectly clean without any shedding or loss of shape.

Speaking of the shape, is is a little less round than the MAC 217 and more of a paddle, but still it blends out the crease perfectly and die to the slight paddle-shape, I think it would even fit under the eye very nicely for a smoked out lower lash line.

It is my top pick for any cream eyeshadow and a perfect addition to my collection. Plus, it is definitely not the last Zoeva brush that will join my little crew.

Zoeva Luxe Cheek Finish

Zoeva brushes are causing quite the stir around the beauty blogosphere and with good reason – great quality brushes at a reasonable price point, this German beauty brand has filled the gap between drugstore and high end beauty tools.

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So in order to see what all the fuss is about, I recently picked up the 126 Luxe Cheek Finish Brush, a real allrounder for face make-up. According to Zoeva, this is a blend of real hair and synthetic bristles which results in an amazingly sift and easily washable brush that has shot straight to the top of my favorite brush list.

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I use this mainly for a soft wash of blush, but its size and shape make it perfect for bronzer or even powder application as it blends product well and isn’t too flimsy or small. I wouldn’t use this for highlighter though, seeing as it is a slightly bigger tool. I’m really happy with this brush because it has held up so nicely and has become a constant in my beauty routine. I also love that it comes with its own little pouch, which is great for traveling. You could even load it up with a few more brushes and be all set for a quick weekend getaway.

I know that Zoeva also do amazing brush sets, but since my collection is already pretty well-rounded, I’ll be sticking to the single brushes for now. The eye brushes look great too and offer something for every look. If you’re looking for vegan brushes, they do those as well and have recently expanded their collection into make-up too (their felt tip eyeliner is a good pick!).

Brush Cleaning with Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soap

After trying out several different techniques for brush cleaning (expensive high-end brush cleaners, bar-soap, etc), I have now firmly settled on one thing – the Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soap.

This is somewhat of an odd product that sports a huge label full of sermons and bible verses and promises to do everything from cleaning your hair to cleaning the bathroom itself, but the results speak for themselves.

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I am still working my way through the second smallest bottle of unscented liquid soap and I have been using it for over two years to get my brushes squeaky clean and well conditioned. I haven’t experienced much shedding or drying out of my brushes with this soap, and even those that have been in my possession for years still look brand new and well cared for.

I usually put a bit in my hand after dampening the dirty brush and swirl and rinse with lukewarm water until my brush is clean. The only thing to look out for is to have the brush pointing downwards while rinsing in order to keep water from entering the ferule, which could loosen the glue and, consequently, the brush hairs.

If you can get past the unorthodox marketing, I would rate this the most effective and affordable brush cleaner that’s out there.

It also comes in a ton of different scents, and once my current bottle has run out, I will definitely pick up a scented version as the smell of the ‘unscented’ one is really the only (minor) thing I don’t like about this soap.