Guess I’m just a downtown girl

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

What it is: Quo‘s Minerals Matter eyeshadow quad, in Downtown Brown. Just as a heads-up, keep in mind that the shadows on the SDM/Quo site are way off.

The shadows: Soft and pigmented, just as they should be! I actually picked this out with a friend in Quebec so I could do a couple neutral looks on her (and some of our other friends,) and told her that if she didn’t want to take it home at the end, I would. I no longer have this, so I guess that says something, right? :PIn comparison to the rest of the drugstore neutrals that we swatched, these shadows are stellar. A lot of people love the Maybelline quads, so I swatched their neutral to compare this one to — in short, the Quo palette blew the Maybelline one right out of the water! No, they don’t swatch very true to colour, but they do swatch very nicely.A good way to describe the shadows may be this: they’re better than most drugstore shadows, and on par with some mid-range ones, but not quite the calibre of high-end ones. And, I mean, the quad is priced accordingly, so I can’t complain!

Macro shots of the shadows. These correspond to the swatches later on in the post.


Mica, ethylhexyl palmate, zinc stearate, kaolin, phenoxyethanol, sodium dehydroacetate, tocopherol, ascorbyl palmitate. May contain mica, titanium dioxide, iron oxides, CI 75470, CI 77288, CI 77007, CI 77742, CI77510.

The shades:

Hey, do we find these swatch boxes helpful? It’s the same image as below, but… in boxes.

A touch warmer/more bronze than I wanted them to be, but overall it’s a great daytime neutrals quad. Starting in the top left and moving clockwise, there’s a nice hilight colour (it’s like an apricot-champage,) a bronzey medium brown, a darker brown with reddish undertones, and another (more sheer) medium brown.The verdict? If you’re looking for a neturals quad, you’re in Canada, and you’re happy with netural-warm shadows, this is a great buy at $16 per quad (if I remember correctly.) Quo goes on sale often, too! You can’t create anything super-dramatic with this, obviously, but it’s gorgeous and definitely suitable for office wear.


Wednesday, September 17, 2008

This is for all of you, but especially Phyl – because fingers in potted products are icky. It’s just a quick skimming of a bunch of my brushes, in the order that I bought them. I hope you find it helpful!! (There’s a super-quick summary at the bottom for those of you that want the dish without the time!)

First up is a Mini Brush Kit from the Body Shop. I don’t have my own photo of them
in the little case, but I do have a couple of images. (The back, which peeks out on the left in this image, folds to cover the brushes; velcro closing. There’s a tiny mirror in the top, but it’s fairly useless) My biggest pet peeve is that if I close this case, my blusher brush gets bent.My favourite part of this set is the fact that they’re high-quality synthetics. Super-soft (but not TOO soft) and cruelty-free, they’re great quality and will last forever. This set is $18.50 and contains four mini brushes.

I used the eyeshadow brush for concealer for the longest time (I’m using it for my RareMinerals Blemish Therapy sample right now), and it works great for liquids, creams, and minerals.

The blusher brush is a little on the small side, but it’s alright – super soft, and I actually use it to smooth on mineral foundation when I need a little light coverage but my kabuki’s out of commission, or my face is being super-sensitive. I have to get around to checking out the full-size sometime – I’m hoping it’ll be larger, which would make it perfect!

The last two are the slanted brush and the lip brush; neither get much use but both are great. I can use the slanted one for a thick line, if I wanted to, or to sneak a shimmery eyeshadow or concealer into the inner corners of my eyes. The lip brush is fab for getting just the right amount of lipstick on, and keeping it in line, and it comes with a little lid. I bring it along with my little potted concealer in case I need a midday touchup; it’s listed as a lipstick/concealer brush on the site (but not on the brush itself – I guess they ran out of room!)
Art brushes – they were purchased before, but I started using them right after I bought my Body Shop brushes. They’re not Loewe-Cornell MAC dupes, but rather the synthetic kids’ sets. (Update with photos in a while if you want them) I have really sensitive eyes, and I used to tightline with a pressed powder eyeshadow, used wet. These are perfect for a soft eyeliner look – cheap, thin, and very soft!! However, note that they do not usually offer enough control for something like a wing. They’re also pretty good at applying cream concealer – I always use the slanted one to cover up blemishes, getting product just on the tip!

Update: here’s a photo!!

I did a review on my Quo brushes back when I bought them, but here’s your overview:Face Contour brush: love the fact that it’s white (you always know how much product you have!) but it’s too big and fluffy for me. Once washed, it smells kinda funky and really puffs out… not recommended, unless you have an unnaturally large face? :P
Now, the All Over Eyeshadow brush, I do like. Very much. I use it to put on mineral concealer in my undereye area, and it does a great job of it. Great, even coverage, and it’s super-soft, but still fairly stiff. When I do wear a touch of eyeshadow, this is great, though it’s a bit large for my Asian monolid crease!! A must-buy for a beginner with double lids, and a buy-on-sale (like I did! 40% off!!) for the rest of us.Lastly is my Adesign mini set ($45) which I received courtesy of the darling FB. It contains…

  • (pointed) Foundation brush (I’m not sure if these are the same brush, but they look the same!)
  • Eyeshadow brush (this link is a pretty good match, by the image…)
  • Angled eyeliner brush (no link for this one – can’t find anything like it full-size!)
  • Brow brush (same here)
  • Kabuki brush (link to their small kabuki, which is larger than this one, I believe)
  • Powder brush (again, not a link to this brush, but the similar ones)

Though I would never spend $45 on a brush set, I must admit that it is pretty good. When washed, they always dry and have great shape, unlike my Quo contour brush! And the roll us cute (not to mention handy for on-the-go gals!) It is a little large for my liking, though, and I keep all my brushes in my drawer – so this is stored away unless I’m travelling.
If you’d like specifics, here they are:

  • Foundation: amazing. I used it to put on a sample of some Smashbox liquid foundation, and the foundation was gross… but the brush was great. It’s the most luxurious brush I own, and I would definitely recommend it! Though the full-sized is $32, I can tell that it will last next to forever, and it’s well worth it. The “pointed”-ness means you can get into the little corners by your eyes and nose, and the synthetic that this is made of (most foundation and concealer brushes fair better in synthetics, as they have no cuticle and will therefore not absorb your product) is bang-on.
  • Powder: I love this for blending out my cheek colour and swirling on powder, of course! This fluffy brush is great at what it’s supposed to be great at, but I don’t know if it’s $35 great.
  • Kabuki: Tiny, and great because it doesn’t engulf my entire freaking face. Very dense and very soft! I adore this brush.
  • Eye, and angled eye liner brush: these don’t get used often, but when they do, it’s to apply eyeshadow (the liner brush? Way too big for liner.) They’re not as impressive as the first three, but they’re still pretty nice brushes. With full sizes around $20-25, the pricing is decent, too.
  • Brow: no idea! I don’t do my brows :P

The one disappointing thing about this set is that there’s no blusher brush, which is a definite no-no for a blush whore like me!!

And a summary of this post, for those of you that only want a five-second breakdown…

  • Quo brushes are hit-and-miss, but they go on 20% sales almost every week and 40% sales every now and then.
  • The Quo All Over Eye brush is a definite hit!
  • Adesign mini brush sets are great for a mid-budget gal. They’re not super super expensive, and you are getting great, high-quality brushes for your money. However, there are a ton of great budget options out there as well!
  • Art brushes are great alternatives, and the synthetic kids’ sets are fabulous for putting eyeliners on sensitive rims!
  • Body Shop brushes are worth checking out, and are definitely great quality. Not to mention, they’re to-die-for soft!

Whoa! Long post. *breathes*

Ton of stuff to do still, so I’ll chat with you later, ladies!!

Quo brushes

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

These pretties were on sale when I picked them up – they’re decently priced, regular, and are often 20%. But you know me – always wanting the best price :P So, I picked these up for just under $20, I believe? For both. It was either 40 or 60% off…can’t remember which.

Names above – I wanted a white contour brush, and I’m so glad I found one! The eye brush I’ll use either for e/s (if I need to, which I don’t usually) or, more often, for mineral concealer around my eyes. Its dense, super-soft bristles can get into the corners and such without stabbing my eyeballs!!

After washing, the All Over brush held up pretty well – actually, it held up amazingly. I didn’t get much shedding, and reviews say that once you get over the initial everything-falling-everywhere, they hold in very well. I adore this brush!! It’s perfect for what I’m using it for.
About a centimetre longer than the eye brush is the face contour. I was unimpressed with it after I washed it. Bristles everywhere, splaying to the sides… also, it smelled funny. However, after re-washing and drying it differently (don’t shape it how you want it to look, but rather keep it as “together” and skinny as possible), I found it to be okay.
It could be softer, though, and it would have been nice if it didn’t splay out so much on my cheek.

The verdict: Definitely buy the All Over Eye Shadow brush – it’s amazing at what it does, and is generally just a dream. Wait for at least a 20% off sale – they’re so common it would be stupid not to! In terms of the Face Contour Brush? I wouldn’t buy it again. But for the price, and seeing as I wanted a white one (I know. I’m crazy.), it was just okay. I mean, if I only spent about $10 on a full-sized brush, I shouldn’t be expecting miracles, right?

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