Senna Powder Point 33 Brush review | The perfect bronzing brush for beginners

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Senna 33 brush review

The product: Senna Powder Point 33 brush (for bronzer, face powder)

I’ll be honest. The first time I tried this brush, it was with the Senna Brilliant Bronze bronzer/highlighters that it launched with — and, yeah, I didn’t love it. So after about a week of product testing, it got filed away, pushed into the back of a drawer for a while…

But then this week, I pulled it out again on a whim while testing a smoother, less shimmery bronzer. And it was amazing.

Senna Powder Point brush review

Pointed face brush review

Senna’s Powder Point brush has a comfortably large (but light) shimmering seafoam handle with a slightly wider ferrule, and a domed head that tapers off quite a bit at the tip. The effect of all of these things paired together is brilliant: this brush forces you to hold it far back from its head, and ensures that you get light, even pressure with every brush stroke. 

Honestly, I don’t know how I missed it the first time around: this is the perfect bronzing brush for beginners. With its loosely packed bristles and unique shape, it makes it almost impossible not to get an expertly-blended cheek with soft, diffuse edges. (And yes, if you’re guilty of over-applying face powders, it’ll help you get just the right amount of those, too.)

Senna Powder Point 33 review

I do think that the Powder Point brush is a little pricy for the quality of the build, but for anyone who really struggles with making their bronzer look natural, this is going to be your magic wand. It makes it easy to slowly build up product, and it blends as you go.

This brush is similar to the Sigma F25 Tapered Face Brush and MAC 138 Tapered Face Brush, but it has a less pointed tip.

Senna Powder Point face brush review

The verdict?

Senna’s Powder Point 33 brush has your standard-issue natural-hair bristles, soft but not kitten-soft, and it’s not resistant to shedding — overall, its build is pretty standard. But its tapered design and well-proportioned handle are really something special, and if you give it a chance, this is a brush that will do all the work for you.

My verdict? Skip it if bronzing and powdering are easy for you; snap it up if you want a little help. I kid you not, I could bronze with my eyes closed with this baby. (This is a fact; I’ve done it.) (What? I get bored.)

Availability: $38 USD online or in-person at Senna boutiques. { store locator }

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Benefit Always a Bridesmaid: the perfect spring eye

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Lavender lilac eyeshadow cream - Benefit Always a Bridesmaid

To follow up with Monday’s Benefit Always a Bridesmaid Creaseless Cream Shadow review (read it here), I thought I’d bring you a quick eye look with the shade.

It applies much more sheerly than it swatches, so I photographed it three times: with one layer, two layers, and then two layers with a bit of shadow for depth. The whole look took me — I’d say under five minutes, all told.

Benefit Always a Bridesmaid Creaseless Cream Eyeshadow look

Lavender lilac eye makeup look - one, two, shadow

One layer of Always a Bridesmaid / Two layers / Two layers + Urban Decay SWF and MAC Satin Taupe

On the lashes is Senna’s Voluptulash Mascara – I really like this one, but I don’t love it the way I love Fiberwig or Annabelle Expandable. On inner corner is Urban Decay SWF Eyeshadow (mine is from before the reformulation), and on the outer corner, MAC Satin Taupe Eye Shadow.

Just to note, Satin Taupe was colour-adjusted here in post-production – I always forget how warm and ruddy this one goes on me, and I wanted to be fair to the lookAfter all, it’s not Always a Bridesmaid’s fault that Satin Taupe looks amazing on everyone but me!

MAC Satin Taupe, Benefit Always a Bridesmaid, Urban Decay SWF

Two layers of Benefit Always a Bridesmaid Creaseless Cream Shadow / Two layers of Always a Bridesmaid with a hint of Urban Decay YDK and MAC Satin Taupe overtop. (With Senna Voluptulash Mascara).

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Benefit Creaseless Cream Shadow in Always a Bridesmaid ($20 USD/$24 CAD)

Urban Decay Eyeshadow in SWF ($18 USD/$22 CAD)

MAC Eye Shadow in Satin Taupe (Frost) ($15 USD)

Senna Voluptulash Mascara ($22 USD)

See it swatched »

Senna Midnight Wine, Fall 2014 review, swatches, photos | Over the break

Friday, April 25, 2014

Senna Midnight Wine fall 2013 review

As some of you may already know, I took a “partial hiatus” starting last November, and ending May of this year. Over the break, I wasn’t accepting new product samples, and focused on slowly (very slowly) reviewing what I already had on hand. Here’s some of what you missed while I was away.

This week, we’re going over a few of the things you may have missed while theNotice’s doors were closed — starting with a few highlights from Senna’s Midnight Wine collection.

Senna Cordovan, Coppertina review - eye colour glow

Senna Eye Color in Cordovan (left) and Coppertina (right)

The products: Senna Eye Color (Glow) in Cordovan and Coppertina ($18 USD)

It’s no secret that I adore Senna’s eyeshadows — their Glow formula in particular.

Like the other Senna Eye Colour (Glow) eyeshadows that I’ve tried, Cordovan and Coppertina are absolutely lovely. They’re a little orange for me, but are great picks if you’re doing a warmer eye look! Cordovan in particular is incredibly smooth and buttery, and I bet these two paired together–maybe with a nice, flakey-shimmer highlight–would make a beautiful copper or bronze eye.

Coppertina is described as a “gold sparked copper,” and Cordovan is a bronzed brown — heavy on the bronze.

Senna swatches - cordovan coppertina glow

Senna Eye Color (Glow) in Coppertina and Cordovan – last two swatches

Senna Mulberry Sheer Face Colour blush review

Senna Sheer Face Colour in Moonberry

The product: Senna Sheer Face Color Powder Blush in Moonberry ($18.50 USD)

Senna’s Sheer Face Color blushes are another one of my favourites from the brand, but Moonberry was a surprise for me — it swatches quite a bit warmer than it looks in the pan. 

Unlike most berry shades, which are red-blue with a neutral or blue base, Moonberry goes very red-orange/yellow-brown on my skin — ruddy and burnt. It’s not a good look for me, but would probably be more flattering on skin without olive in it! (I was expecting it to be more like MAC Fever, which it certainly was not.)

Keep reading! »

theNotice’s favourite products of 2013 | New Year, New Loves… but here are my favourites from the last one

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Laura Mercier Artist Palette for Eyes 2013

Laura Mercier Artist Palette

First off: sorry again for the radio silence. I had hoped to get a few more posts up before the end of the year (Laura Mercier Artist Palette, Osmia Organics Honey-Myrrh Lip Repair, and Marc Jacobs Showstopper Lip Gel), but, well — you know how it is. I was hardly the only person who got sick this winter, so for all of you who are still battling colds and the flu: I hope you feel better soon! 

(And for all of you who haven’t gotten sick yet: you are the worst. Yes, you. I can’t even believe your gall, coming over here, all — sturdy. And vertical. And lucid; how terribly unfair!)

theNotice’s must-have products of 2013

These are the ones that I reached for again and again in 2013. They weren’t just the ones that I tried, tested, and loved — they were the ones that I used on a regular basis, even when I had other things (prettier, shinier, newer things) that I really should have been testing instead. They’re the apple of my eye, not the cream of the crop — I’ve chosen them based on both quality and how well they fit into my life.

Senna Cosmetics Ultra Last Eyeliner - Ultra Black, Brown

Senna Cosmetics Ultra Last Eyeliners

To start off, the Senna Cosmetics Ultra Last Eyeliner in Ultra Black. I’ve tried a lot of black eyeliners in my time (I think at last count I had over twenty in my stash), but this one really is the best. I push black liner into my upper lashline every morning–it really wakes my face up–and this one has wear time like nobody’s business. It’s not totally bulletproof, but it’s very pigmented, very black, and wears better than any other black pencil eyeliner I’ve ever tried, whether it’s on my waterline, in my lashline, or on the lid.

The other eye product that I can’t live without is the Dejavu Fiberwig Extra Long Mascara — a long-time favourite of mine. It never drops a curl, flakes, or smudges, and removes so easily with warm water. That said, it gives a very natural, lengthening lash, with great separation: if I want more volume, I need to layer it overtop another mascara. (See honourable mentions).

Real Techniques Expert Face Brush

Real Techniques Expert Face Brush

Next up is the Real Techniques Expert Face Brush, which makes blending out cream products both fast and easy. At a crazy-cheap $9 USD, it’s dense and soft, and has completely ousted the Sephora/Shiseido flat-top brush as my favourite brush for foundation or concealer. This is my only “best of 2013″ tool or face product — there isn’t anything else that both I use every single day and adore. (Canucks can order online at Farleyco, with free expedited shipping over $50.)

I don’t have anywhere better in this review to put a fragrance, so: Serge Lutens Chergui, I still adore you. Chergui is such a beauty – amazing for the winter, and sexy in a very cozy way, without using vanilla as a shortcut-to-sexiness crutch. (Ugh, vanilla). loves this; it’s the only scent that he tells me smells “really good,” eyes dilated, every single time I wear it. I’m actually cheating on Serge with Etsy dupes (there’s just something about the warmth and depth of Chergui that makes it seem more appropriate as an oil), but must-have status is applied to both the dupes & the original!

Bobbi Brown Lip Balm SPF 15 review

Bobbi Brown Lip Balm SPF 15 from this very old post, plus buckets of Photoshop. I am equal parts proud and horrified at myself.

Finally, a bit of skincare. I discovered the Mario Badescu Buffering Lotion this year during the worst breakout of my life (I tried sunflower oil and my skin lost it), and haven’t looked back since. It’s amazing at treating cystic acne in particular, and still incredible at treating everything else — whether that means preventing them from coming to a head altogether or encouraging my skin to clean up shop without ever needing to “purge”.

I’m still loving the Bobbi Brown Lip Balm SPF 15, which hydrates my lips like no other, and the Marcelle Essentials Cleansing Milk, which removes makeup & pollutants without drying. They were holy grail products for me last year, and continue to be — with skin as dry as mine, I can’t imagine life without them.

(Okay, that’s a lie. I can imagine it, and it’s horrible. If you have dry skin, you need these.)

The honourable mentions (& best ad) »

Senna Brilliant Bronze Bronzer & Highlighter review, swatches, photos | Senna Sunglow collection, Summer 2013

Friday, September 6, 2013

Senna baked mineral bronzer highlighter review

The product: Senna Cosmetics Brilliant Bronze Baked Mineral Bronzer & Highlighter in Sunset and Dawn

Every now and then, I’ll come across a product that’s strangely, inexplicably difficult to review. Senna’s new Brilliant Bronze baked bronzer/highlighters are the perfect example of this: they’re limited edition in this summer’s Sunglow collection, and I really want to love them, but I’m still not sure if I actually do.

Senna baked mineral bronzer highlighter review dawn

The packaging and aesthetic: Let’s start with an easy one, then. I love the glossy black boxes that these bronzer/highlighters come in — everything from the sharp, sturdy lines to the Senna logo & design. There’s just something so fresh and chic about them, and opening the compacts to reveal almost-veined domes really completes the effect.

Mirrored compacts aren’t always something that I’m a fan of, but I think they work here. The size makes them big enough to be useful, but the thick plastic (as opposed to glass, metal, etc.) means that the addition of a mirror doesn’t make things too heavy, either.

Senna Brilliant Bronze review Dawn

Senna Brilliant Bronze Bronzer & Highlighter in Dawn

Senna Brilliant Bronze review Sunset

Senna Brilliant Bronze Bronzer & Highlighter in Sunset

Senna Brilliant Bronze Baked Mineral Bronzer Highlighter swatches review

Senna Brilliant Bronze swatches: Dawn, Sunset (highlighter/bronzer/mixed)

The shades: The Brilliant Bronze Bronzer & Highlighters are available in Sunset, which pairs a pigmented brown bronzer with a sheer buttery-yellow highlighter, and Dawn, featuring a lighter, cooler bronze shade and a soft pink highlighter. Sunset has mainly golden shimmer, while Dawn has mainly silver shimmer.

As you might expect, Sunset is better for darker and warmer skintones, while Dawn shines on paler, cooler complexions. Both shades are beautiful, but while I prefer Sunset on an aesthetic basis (I’m loving gold highlighters at the moment, and the bronzer is gorgeous), Dawn is definitely better for my skintone.

My advice? If your skintone is warm or medium-to-deep, go for Sunset. If you’re fair-to-medium with cool undertones, opt for Dawn.

Senna Brilliant Bronze Baked Mineral review Sunset

My experience with these: I applied these with the Powder Point 33 brush (also featured in the Sunglow collection), and while I absolutely adored the shape of the brush, I thought it was a little too large and disperse for these products.

The thing about the Brilliant Bronzes is that they’re absolutely loaded with shimmer, and while I know a lot of bronzer lovers are into shimmer, I always end up with it everywhere by the end of the day. These have great staying power, each lasting easily through nine hours and two naps on a hot summer day, but the shimmer has a tendency to migrate. (The dusty texture of these doesn’t help, either — I bet they’d fare better with a smaller, more controlled brush.)

Senna Cosmetics Dawn bronzer highlighter swatches

Senna Brilliant Bronze swatches, to show off the shimmer: Dawn, Sunset (highlighter/bronzer/mixed)

The verdict?

If you’re into makeup that you can see, then these are a really lovely example of a glowing bronzer-and-highlighter done right. The tones, shimmer (of which there’s a noticeable amount), and packaging are excellent, and they stand up well through daily life.

If you don’t want your makeup being spotted from two paces, though, give these a pass. Being able to catch glimpses of individual shimmer particles can be pretty visually interesting, but it also means that these Made-in-Italy baked domes are quite obvious on the skin!

Availability: $42 USD online & in-store. To my knowledge, these are limited edition while available.

Makeup daydreaming, a how-to video, & ingredients »

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