Tag Archives: favorites round ups

Project Swatch’s Top 10 Posts of 2012

Maybelline LE Neutral Color Tattoos

It’s the end of the year, and we’re overrun with “best of” lists – but here is mine! I’ve divided my top 10of 2012 into two parts:

First, the top five most popular by number of pageviews:

1. Maybelline Neutral Color Tattoo Eyeshadows Swatches & Review

2. More Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain Swatches & Review

3. Urban Decay Naked Skin Foundation Review, Swatches, Photos

4. Revlon Adore Kissable Balm Stain Swatches & Review

5. Maybelline Pop of Purple Great Lash Colored Mascara Review, Swatches, Photos

Inexpensive Drugstore Red Lipsticks

And five of my favorite posts this year:

1. Inexpensive Drugstore Red Lipstick Swatches & Comparison (this actually is 6th in number of pageviews)

2. Black Eyeliner Comparison Swatches – Liquid, Gel, Pencil

Nail Polish Swatches & Comparisons: Flakies & Duochromes (I have been enjoying my whole nail polish swatch series, but duochromes hold a special place in my heart!)

4.  This is a page, not a post, but I’m proud of my Online Shopping Guide (where to buy makeup, nail polish, cosmetics, and supplies).

5. I’m going to completely and totally cheat, and say that all 21 of the posts tagged “Red Lipstick” are on my favorites list!

My favorite NOTD that I posted: Stamping over Neutral Holo

And my favorite FOTD: Featuring Wet n Wild Black Orchid Lipstick

If you have favorite posts (or favorite types of posts), I’d love if it you let me know in the comments.  And thank you so, so much for reading Project Swatch, whether you’ve been with me from the beginning, are a new subscriber, or are just dropping by.

My Favorite Face Makeup Brushes

Favorite Face Brushes

Continuing on with my brushes series, here are my favorite face makeup brushes.  If you missed it, I posted about my favorite eye makeup brushes here.  These are definitely a work in progress; I have a couple brushes that I’d like to upgrade – but here are my favorites at the moment, organized by category.

Foundation: Sigma F80

I’ve written before about the Sigma F80 – it’s by far my favorite foundation brush! It gives a flawless application, and is the only foundation brush I ever use (though I do sometimes use a beautyblender or my fingers).  Highly recommended!

Powder: Ecotools Bronzer brush, ELF Complexion brush

I love the ecotools bronzing brush – it’s $10, and I don’t think I’ll ever stop using it.  I use it to buff in either power foundation (usually Pur Minerals) or setting powder.  If I want a light veil of powder instead, or to brush away excess powder I use the ELF Complexion brush. I’m happy with the ELF brush for now – it’s soft and well made – but I will eventually upgrade to a natural hair brush that is even softer.  Lately – since taking these pictures – I’ve also been using the Hakuhodo J110 for setting powder.  The smaller size is working really well for me.

Blush: Hakuhodo K020, Hakuhodo J110, MAC 188

These are the three brushes that I was using exclusively for blush at the time I took these photos. As I mentioned above, I’m currently using the Hakuhodo J110 for powder, and loving it for that purpose!

Before I got the Hakuhodo K020, I used the MAC 188 for my most pigmented blush. Lately, I’ve been using the K020 for my medium to very pigmented blush, and the 188 has been getting less use; however, it’s still a great brush for pigmented blush, so I wanted to include it in this round-up.

Contour & Blush brushes: Sonia Kashuk Medium Angled Multipurpose brush, MUFE 24S

I use both of these brushes for both blush and contouring.  I use the Sonia Kashuk brush for my less pigmented blushes, and occasionally use it to contour, while I use the MUFE 24S to contour most days, and occasionally use it for my less pigmented brushes.  I love the shape of both of these, but I’m considering upgrading both.  The Sonia Kashuk has been a great brush for a year or so, but it’s starting to shed; the MUFE brush is scratchier and a little less dense than ideal.

Highlighting: ELF Mineral Blending Eye Brush, Illamasqua Blending Brush 2

I use two different eye brushes for highlighting.  The ELF Mineral Blending Eye Brush is soft, well made, and perfect for highlighting down the bridge of my nose and my cupid’s bow.  The Illamasqua Blending Brush 2 is FAR too large for me to use for my eyes, but is fantastic to use to highlight my cheekbones.  Both of these are perfect for their purposes!

And, that is a lot of brushes! Do you use any of my favorites?


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My Favorite Eye Makeup Brushes

I love eye brushes, and I’m always searching for the next, best great eye brush.  Here are my current favorites!

For eyeshadow laydown, I use the MAC 219 and the Hakuhodo K005; the 219 is great for the lid, and the K005 is great for getting in to the inner corners of my eyes.

Hakuhodo K005, Mac 219

My favorite detail brushes are the Shu Uemura 5r and the Hakuhodo  G5529 BkSL; since I don’t have much lid space, both are great for crease work.  I also can use either to highlight the inner corner of the eye.  For a comparison of these two brushes, please see this post.

Shu 5r, Hakuhodo G5529 BkSL

My favorite eyeliner brushes are the Hakuhodo K007 – which has the finest tip I’ve seen – and the Benefit Get Bent eyeliner brush, which I love because it’s, well, bent – which makes it super easy to use.  It’s discontinued, but Sonia Kashuk has a similar bent eyeliner brush.

Benefit Get Bent, Hakuhodo K007

Surprisingly, I really love the little eyeliner brush that comes with the L’Oreal Infallible gel liners.  I don’t use it to apply eyeliner, but it’s the perfect size and shape for apply eyeshadow on top of eyeliner to either set the liner or smudge it out.

L’oreal liner brush

I had to put the last two brushes in a separate photo because the writing went in the other direction, which was driving me crazy!

I received the Smashbox brush in a swap a long time ago. I never use the white flat-tipped side, but the rounded size is absolutely fantastic for a base shade all over the lid/browbone, or to use a highlight shade on the browbone; I use it almost every time I do my makeup. I have no idea where it came from, and it’s not on Smashbox’s website, so I assume it’s discontinued.

Unknown but awesome Smashbox brush

The final brush is Laura Mercier’s finishing eye brush, a duo-fiber brush. It is a really great blending brush – it works beautiful, but never overblends.  It’s also smaller than brushes like MAC’s 217, which works well on my smaller lids.  Sorry that it’s dirty – didn’t realize how bad it was until I saw the close up photo!

Laura Mercier Finishing Eye Brush

Some other brushes I occasionally use – but that didn’t quite make the cut as absolute favorites – are the MAC 217, MAC 219 ELF studio eye contour brush, and ELF studio eyeshadow C brush.  I use the 217 and contour brush for cream eyeshadow, and the C brush as an all purpose brush, especially when my favorite brushes are dirty! I used to use the 219 pencil brush for crease work and as a detail brush, but it’s been replaced by the brushes above.

I do realize these are not cheap brushes – though the Hakuhodo brushes may be less expensive than you expect; the three in this post are $15 – 24.  I personally find that it’s worth it to splurge for the brushes I love, as it makes applying my makeup, which is something I really enjoy, even more fun for me.  But, for those on a budget, I have a some posts coming up with some inexpensive brushes!

 Do you use any of my favorite brushes?  What are go-to brushes?


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8 Makeup Favorites Worth Splurging On

Makeup Favorites

This is the third in my recent series of “favorites” posts. If you missed them, please check out the first – 10 Makeup Favorites under $10 Each, and the second – 10 Mid-Priced Makeup Favorites.

For this installment, I have 8 of my favorite splurges (I really don’t have 10, and I didn’t want to pad it with two additional products I don’t love!).  They range in price, but I would consider each expensive for what it is; but, because of the quality, worth it for me.

In order from least to most expensive:

1. Anastasia Brow Powder Duo (review). You’ll notice that in every single FOTD I post, this is what I use for my brows.  It’s the perfect color for me (I use the lighter side on my inner brows, and the darker side on my outer brows), and it lasts all day. $22.

Anastasia Brow Powder Duo

2.  Burberry Trench Eyeshadow (review). This eyeshadow keeps popping up in all of my favorites posts, because I use it so often! It’s a great blending and highlighting shade for me – subtle, but does its job so well. $29.

Burberry Trench Eyeshadow

3.  Rouge Bunny Rouge Blush in Orpheline or Florita (review).  I absolutely love the texture of Rouge Bunny Rouge blushes; they’re soft, silky, and very pigmented.  The two colors I bought are quite similar, so right now I’m using Orpheline, and I haven’t decided whether to sell Florita or keep it. $31 at Beautyhabit

RBR Orpheline, Florita

4.  YSL Glossy Stain 12 Corail Fauve (review).  I am slowing learning to wear lip gloss – I’m mostly a lipstick girl – and this one is my favorite, because it lasts a long time and doesn’t transfer much.  It helps that the color is gorgeous! $32

YSL Corail Fauve

5.  Armani Eyes to Kill Intense Eyeshadow #24 Smokey Copper (review). I spent a long time thinking that the ETK shadows were too expensive for me, but I’m glad I eventually gave in; Smokey Copper is utterly gorgeous, and has a fantastic formula.  $32

Armani ETK 24

6.  Guerlain Rouge Automatic 167 Guet-Apens (review). I’d be hard pressed to pick a favorite lipstick formula (there are so many great ones!), but Guerlain’s Rouge Automatics would definitely be on the list. Guet-Apens, a gorgeous berry, is one of my favorite shades. I also love that despite being moisturizing, it will last through a meal. $35.

Guerlain RA 167 Guet-Apens

7. Guerlain Meteorites Compact Powder (review). As you can tell from the picture at the top of this post, I use this frequently! I’m almost done with my first compact, and have already purchased a second; I wouldn’t want to run out and not have this available for even a day! This powder helps my foundation last longer all year long – both in winter when my skin is dryer, and in summer when it’s more normal. $56

Guerlain Meteorites Compact

8. Guerlain Lingerie de Peau foundation (review). My foundation favorites change frequently, but at the moment this is my favorite formula. It has just the right amount of coverage (light to medium), and looks just like skin. $58

Guerlain Lingerie de Peau

Honorable Mention:

Guerlain Parure de Nuit, LE and no longer available. I’m pretty sure this is the most expensive makeup item I’ve ever purchased, but I’m so glad I did. It’s a really lovely subtle highlight, and I love the design. $67

Guerlain Parure de Nuit

As you can see, Guerlain is one of my very favorite brands – they’re one of the higher end brands whose products I find worth the price tag. What are your favorite splurges and higher end brands?


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10 Mid-Priced Makeup Favorites

This is the second in my “10 Favorites”series, which I have neglected for a while! For 10 favorites under $10, please click here. Next up will be 10 Favorites worth splurging on (post is here!)

I don’t have a hard-and-fast price limit on these; at first, I tried to compile a list of items under $30, but that didn’t really make sense; $29 for a single Burberry eyeshadow is definitely a splurge, while $42.50 for the Illamasqua Neutral Palette (four eyeshadows) is, in my opinion, more moderately priced.  So, these vary in price quite a bit, but none are what I would consider a splurge (that’s coming up next!).

In order from least expensive to most . . .

1.  Ludurana Aurora Boreal Multi Chrome nail polish; I have and love Emocionante and Show, but Emocionante is my favorite. When I wear these, I can’t stop looking at the colors dancing on my nails – they’re really spectacular! $11 at Ninja Polish

ludurana emocionante / ludurana show

2.  Sleek Ultra Matte Darks eyeshadow palette (review).  I love using these shades as eyeliner – the quality is great, and the colors are beautiful.  Around $13 on Ebay

3.  MAC Rebel lipstick (review).  Flattering on just about everyone, and super long lasting. $15 at MAC

mac rebel

4.   MAC Sculpting powder in Sculpt (review). My go-to contour product; easy to use, looks very natural. $15.50 for pan only at MAC Pro

5. Sigma F80 Brush.  I’m not really sure why I decided to throw one brush into this list; I actually have some posts coming up about my favorite brushes. In any case, this is a fabulous foundation brush! $16 at Sigma

6.  Urban Decay Smog Eyeshadow. I don’t actually own the single, but I have this in the Naked Palette, and I have made a significant dent in it.  Once it runs out, I’ll replace it with the single – I don’t plan to replace my Naked Palette.  It’s in one of my very favorite eyeshadows of all time! $18 at Sephora.

urban decay smog

7.  MAC Blushbaby (review). Blushbaby is my perfect neutral blush; it goes with absolutely any look, and is especially perfect if I wear more dramatic eyes or lips.  $20 at MAC

8.  NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Cruella (review). Favorite red lip of all time, color and formula. Need I say more? Well – it’s also what I’m wearing in my red-lipped profile photo. $24 at Sephora

9. NARS Gipsy lipstick. This lipstick is beautiful; it’s a warm berry, and can be worn either blotted (as shown below) for a subtle, almost my-lips-but-better look, or full-strength as a sheer red. $24 at Sephora

nars gipsy

10.  Illamasqua Neutral Palette (review). Although the colors aren’t particularly unique, the quality is great and the combination is perfect.  I use this palette frequently and I’m always happy with how the look turns out.  $42.50 at Sephora

Honorable Mention:

MAC Casual Color in Keep It Casual (review). This is a really nice product; I love the texture as a lip product, and it’s workable as a cheek product too. $20 at MAC – LE and no longer available, thus the honorable mention!


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Summer 2012 Favorites

summer makeup favorites

My favorites don’t change often enough for me to do monthly favorites posts, but sometimes the mood strikes and I want to share the products I’m currently loving!  I put together this post with the thought that these were just product I was loving right now, then realized that for the most part, they’re summer-themed.

L’Oreal Gleaming Bronze Infallible Eyeshadow (review) – Perfect for summer, I’ve been loving this as a wash for a simple everyday look.

Revlon Romantic balm stain (review) – Still a favorite for a simple & low maintenance lip.  I love how long wearing it is!

Duochrome / Multichrome nail polish. Love love love! My top two favorites are Ludurana Emocionante and Ludurana Show. When I wear them, I cannot stop moving my hands and staring at my nails!

Ludurana Emocionante
Colored eyeliner – perfect for an easy summer look, especially for hot days! Pictured here with eyeshadow (Maybelline Color Tattoo in Bad to the Bronze, set with Burberry Trench), but so easy with no eyeshadow and just mascara.  Two of my favorites are Milani Color Play eyeliner in Blue Definition (review) and Inglot Soft Precision Eyeliner in 28 (review).
Milani Color Play eyeliner in Blue Definition
Burberry Trench eyeshadow (review) – still my go to highlight shade! 

Jordana Best Lash Extreme Volumizing Mascara (review) – I am just loving this mascara. Without wiping off the wand, it gives huge volume; if I wipe off the wand, it gives volume, but with more definition.  It’s not waterproof (and thus easy to remove), but it never smears, smudges, or flakes on me.  It’s my current favorite mascara, and at $3-4, the price is definitely right!

Most of my favorites definitely have something in common – they are perfect for hot summer days. A wash of eyeshadow or a simple colored eyeliner; an effortless lip balm/stain.  The duochrome nail polish works all year, but really shines in the bright sunlight!

And, swatches!

l’oreal gleaming bronze / burberry trench / revlon romantic / milani blue definition / inglot 28

What are your late summer go-to products?


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