Roundup of best eyebrow kits

I’ve been obsessed with brow grooming lately, more so than usual. I don’t feel complete without a neat, but not perfectly shaped, brow. It’s a complex art, I know… you want to avoid that dreadful tattooed on brow look where the eyebrow is thin, overplucked and flat. You also want to avoid filling in your brows with a colour that doesn’t match your natural hair. What you want are natural and healthy looking eyebrows that frame your face and imparts an air of confidence and intelligence.

Okay, so that might sound a bit far fetched, but the basic idea is that a good eyebrow polishes off your entire look. You can have a perfectly made up face but if your eyebrows are sparse, patchy or light, it will throw the whole look off.

Case in point – Olivia Wilde in 2003 (Image from Allure magazine June 2013 issue)

Olivia_wilde

… and now:

Olivia wilde2

With this in mind, I’m going to present an eyebrow kit roundup – including some I have tried and some that have just caught my eye.

1. Bobbi Brown Dark Brown Brow Kit ($90)

Bobbi Brown Dark Brow Kit

What it comes with: two powder eyeshadows, mini tweezers and mini brow brush. The dark brow kit version includes Saddle and Mahogany shadows (Saddle is my personal favourite). You can find this at the Bobbi Brown website or at Myer/David Jones.

What I like about this: The mirror on the underside of the lid swings out to reveal a magnifying mirror behind! Also, the eyeshadows are high quality and looks very natural.

What I don’t like about this: The price – I get more than just a few raised eyebrows when I tell customers how much it costs…

2. Lunasol Brow Styling Compact

Lunasol brow styling compact

I’m not sure what the price is, it wasn’t on the Lunasol website but it’s one of the higher end Japanese brands. It comes with 4 powder eyebrow shades, a dual ended brow brush and an eyeshadow applicator. Four colours seems a little excessive for an eyebrow, but the pale ivory shade is supposed to highlight the browbone while the other 3 colours are supposed to fill in the brow with a 3D “gradating effect”.

What I like about this: The lighter shades can be used as eyeshadows.

What I don’t like about this: Too many shades!

3. Benefit Brow Zings (US$30 but probably more in Australia)

Benefit Brow Zings

This little kit comes with a brown wax to keep hairs in place, and a powder to fill and set eyebrows. There are also tweezers, a hard angle brow brush and a blending brush.

What I like about this: It comes with wax!

What I don’t like: I would have preferred a spoolie brush instead of a blending brush to comb through the hairs.

4. Urban Decay Brow Box (US$29)

Urban Decay brow box

Urban Decay’s version is a purple plastic case with a metallic cover. Inside, it comes with 2 powder eyebrow shades, wax, tweezers, 2 angled brow brushes and 2 mirrors.

What I like about this: A lot of things! The fact that it comes with wax and has 2 mirrors (one is magnifying) as well as the cute packaging.

What I don’t like: It can be a little bulky. It fits into the palm of your hand, yes, but it’s rather tall!

Note: This brand isn’t available in Australia but there are sites such as beautybay.com that will ship to Australia :)

5. Sephora Eyebrow Editor Complete Brow Kit (US$19)

Sephora Eyebrow Editor

I love the design of this one! It comes with 2 brow powders, setting wax, tweezer, spoolie brush and angled brow brush. It also comes in shades for light, medium and dark hair.

What I like about this: It’s an all in one kit with the perfect type of brushes that I like to use.

What I don’t: If the eyebrow powder is too powdery or doesn’t last, if the wax is too shiny, and if the angle brush isn’t stiff enough. (These are all if’s though, as I haven’t tried it!)

6. Too Faced Brow Envy Brow Shaping & Defining Kit (US$35)

Too faced brow envy

Wow… This kit is like the ultimate dream for any brow-obsessed individual! It contains wax, 2 brow powders in Blonde and Brunette, a highlighter shade, tweezers, 2 brushes, 3 stencils, a brow pencil (dark brown) and a step by step guide.

What I like about it: It’s a pretty indulgent brow experience, and I love the little pullout drawer. Perfect for displaying on the dresser! Also, the highlight is a nice touch.

What I don’t: It’s a one size fits all kit, there are no specific editions for dark haired girls and light haired girls. I also wouldn’t use the stencils as I have mine shaped professionally. Also it’s bulky and not good for travel, but I don’t think this is made for travel anyway :)

7. Milani Brow Fix ($13.95 from CrushCosmetics.com.au)

Milani brow fix

 

According to the Crush Cosmetics website, this comes with 7 essential tools: “Straight edged tweezers, slanted brow filler brush, brow bone sponge applicator, 3X magnifying mirror, brow bone highlighter and two tone-on-tone powders (light & dark) to fill and shape brows”.

What I like about this: It has a stand up applicator holder that’s so cute! Also, the price is great!

What I don’t: The darkest version looks like it would be too light for my eyebrows, plus I don’t really like sponge tipped applicators. The packaging also looks cheap (it is a drugstore brand anyway, so I can’t really hold that against Milani).

8. Face Shop Face It Designing Cake Eyebrow 

Face Shop

Again I’m not sure how much this is as it wasn’t online, but there is a store in the Perth CBD (and one in Melbourne Central) in case anyone wants to know… Anyway, it comes with 2 powders, a spoolie and an angled brush. Nothing too special but just the basics.

What I like about this: A nice basic kit for those who don’t want to mess around with wax if they’re in a hurry. Also, the Face Shop is generally quite affordable (my thoughts are that this set is below $25)

What I don’t like about this: No wax, although that isn’t really a big deal.

9. Le Sourcil de Chanel ($49)

182500_a_LARGE

 

I’m surprised at the price – not bad, considering it’s Chanel! It comes with 3 powders, an angled brush, a flat spoolie and tweezers.

What I like about this: The packaging and the fact that it comes with a magnifying mirror. Also, the powders are mineral pigments.

What I don’t: From the picture it seems as if the third shade has a green tinge, which I don’t particularly like. Maybe it’s different in real life?

10. Lancome Le Regard Pro Eye Brow Expertise Kit

lancome-le-regard-pro-eye-brow-expertise-kit1

 

This actually looks a lot nicer than the Chanel kit! It comes with 4 powders (one is a highlight shade), tweezers and a double ended applicator.

What I like about this: It’s really sleek and slim, packaging is a major plus point. Also, the tweezers are actually full size, and from the reviews I have read so far, the tweezers perform quite well. The double ended brush is also a great idea and the flat brush side can be used to apply eyeshadow.

What I don’t: I probably won’t have much use for the third shade, which is more suited to blondes, but it could be easily used as a matte eyeshadow. Also, the darkest shade may not be dark enough for me (I have black hair).

 

So.. which brow kit will you pick? Or will you stick with the good old brow pencil?

 

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Kate Middleton hair/makeup envy

Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge, is known for her consistently great hair. It’s thick, glossy, bouncy and curly at the ends – really, all I’ve ever wanted in my hair. My hair, while thick, shiny and slightly shorter than hers, just can’t compare. Of course, I don’t get my hair blown out three times a week (it’s more like twice a year, when I’m getting my hair cut). And it’s not just the hair, it’s the makeup as well. It looks very natural, although sometimes she does overdo the brows a little.

Kate middleton hair 2 The Duchess of Cambridge Visits The Treehouse in Ipswich Kate middleton1

So what products does she use and how does she get that hair? Read on to find out.

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My travel skincare routine (summer)

Thought I would share my travel skincare routine on my blog, since I’m currently on holiday and have been forced to cut down on the number of beauty implements and items that I use. Usually I like to rotate 2-3 serums and try a different one every couple of days, which obviously isn’t the wisest idea when travelling.

I’ve labelled this post as a summer skincare routine because I’m in a hot and humid environment, which causes my skin to feel oiler than usual and therefore slightly changed my usual routine. Note: My skin is typically not oily, it’s fairly normal with  slight dryness on the cheeks.

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My winter skincare routine

There are so many blog posts (and youtube videos out there) on skincare routines, so I thought I’d share mine! For the most part, it has remained the same for the past 3-4 months with the exception of my cleanser, which I recently changed.

Once I get home from work, I take off my makeup with MAC’s Gently Off Eye & Lip Makeup Remover with a cotton pad. It works pretty well, but waterproof makeup is quite hard to get off (as expected). The good thing is it doesn’t sting the eyes, unlike some other makeup removers.

In the shower, I use Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser, concentrating on my eyelids where there is the most makeup. The bottle says that it removes light makeup, so if I’m wearing anything heavier, I use my Neutrogena Fresh Foaming Facial Cleanser. Once or twice a week, I use my Clarisonic Mia on the entire face. I would use it more often but the fact that it’s kept outside the shower acts as a disincentive ;) For those that aren’t familiar with the Clarisonic, it’s like an electric toothpaste but for your face (and gentler, of course).

Once a week (when I’m not using the Clarisonic), I use part one of the Mary Kay Time Wise Microdermabrasion Set as an exfoliator for the nose and lips. For lips, I alternate between the MK and the Smashbox Peppermint Lip Scrub – it smells and feels amazing!

Out of the shower, I apply my toner, T.N. Dickinson’s Witch Hazel, one of the gentlest and cheapest toners on the market. It smells a little gross but once it evaporates on the skin, the smell disappears. This is a new addition, too – before I purchased this, I wasn’t using a toner at all.

I wait a couple of minutes before putting on a pea-sized drop of Lancome Visionnaire Advanced Skin Corrector serum, waiting a couple more minutes to sink in before finally applying Shiseido Night Moisture Recharge. This cream is really, really hydrating, especially if I have a flaky nose. Perfect for winter.

I will probably change up my routine again once summer hits, as the cream will be too heavy for warm weather. I’ll post an updated blog post once that happens. Hope you enjoyed this skincare post – it’s not as lengthy as it sounds! Most of it occurs in the shower anyway, which saves time.

Take a look at my skincare guides here, too!

Pictures (taken myself and via Pinterest):

Favourite eye palettes

I was walking by Kit Cosmetics today on a window shopping trip (money is tight at the moment) and saw the new eyeshadow palette from Smashbox, the Shades of Fame palette. I saw EmilyNoel83 talk about this on youtube, so I went to have a closer look… It’s amazing!

I’m not the biggest fan of Smashbox’s products, in fact their eyeshadow trios are a little dusty and not very pigmented, so I was surprised when I tested out the Shades of Fame colours – it’s like they changed their formulation or something.

Anyway, I thought I would share with you my five fave eyeshadow palettes, since we’re on the topic – I’m definitely including this Smashbox one! I only have one thing to say about the prices of these palettes in Australia – they are OUTRAGEOUS, given the dollar is so strong!!!

In no particular order…

1. Smashbox Shades of Fame, $64.95, Kit Cosmetics

Image from Smashbox Cosmetics

Despite not having actually purchased this palette, I can already tell it’ll be one of my favourites because of the beautiful pigmentation of all the shadows. Unlike their previous formulations, these glide on easily and the colour selection is fresh and on-trend without being unwearable. Pacific, the brightest colour in the palette, can be worn as a ‘pop’ shade on the lower lashline. My favourite colours, though, are Praline and Sherbert.

I also like it because it comes with two cream shadows or liners, which are nice complementary colours and saves you some time when it comes to doing your makeup. Previous experience with Smashbox liners has informed me that they have great staying power, too. The only thing I would be concerned about is that they might dry out over time as they don’t have any lid or covering over the top.

Other cons? I’m not crazy about cover images of photographers and models, either.

2. Urban Decay Naked Palette, Beautybay.com, $57.50

Of course, like any other blogger out there, the Naked palette makes my top five. Since they no longer stock UD in Australia, I had to purchase mine from a UK site.

You can read my review here, but in a nutshell: it is one of the best colour selections and pigmentation I’ve ever seen in an eyeshadow palette, but it’s really natural as well. Great for bridal makeup!

Loved it so much I bought two!

3. bare minerals READY eyeshadow 4.0 in The Truth, Kit Cosmetics, $39.95

Image from gorgeousshop.co.uk

If I were to go on holiday and were only allowed one eyeshadow palette, I would take this along. It’s compact, not too heavy, and can take me from day to night, that’s why! The shade Magnetism (top right), in particular, is so pretty, and perfect for everyday use. In fact, that’s the shade I use the most on an everyday basis, with Serendipitous (top left) in the inner corner and browbone.

Again, pigmentation is excellent (that’s a must-have for my eyeshadows) and while it doesn’t wear as long as the Naked palette, it stays on for a reasonable length of time, goes on really smoothly and blends well. I like it also because it contains ingredients like borage oil, cucumber, caffeine etc – and I like to know that my eyeshadow can double up as skin care at the same time! While there is some fallout (because it’s really mineral powder made into pressed format), it doesn’t really bother me.

4. Lancome travel palette (limited edition), Singapore Changi Airport, $65

[Picture and exact name coming soon… I’m not at home at the moment so I can’t check!]

I know I said that the bare minerals READY palette would be by no.1 choice for travel, but this Lancome palette would be my choice for an all-in-one makeup palette (eyes + face + lips). It’s an Asian limited edition, purchased in the airport en route to Melbourne in January this year. It’s really lightweight, looks really posh and is amazing quality.

The slim case is black and glossy and inside are four eyeshadows (ivory, pink, taupe and brown) that are really soft to the touch. Not as pigmented as the other eyeshadows I’ve just mentioned; when worn they are really subtle but gives a more natural look. It also comes with a rose pink blush which is perfect for my skin tone and two lip colours (one a berry lipstick and one a sparkly pink lipgloss). Everything applies well and gives an overall very natural look! Simply love this!

5. NYX 10 colour eyeshadow palette in Caviar and Bubbles, Groove Cosmetics, $14.95

Can you tell I love neutrals? :)

This is another one of my faves, this time a budget friendly pick! I love NYX eyeshadows because they’re usually really silky and stay for a good five hours, although they aren’t as pigmented as my other higher end shadows. The price is pretty good though, so I’m satisfied!