Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Sigma Makeup Brushes - Review

A few weeks ago, I gave my first impressions on the selection of Sigma makeup brushes that I ordered via Beauty Chamber. You can read my first impression post right here

Today, I am going to give you a much more detailed review of each brush and my overall thoughts on the Sigma range. It's going to be a long one so without further ado, let's get going.

From left to right:

- Sigma Blending Brush E25 
- Sigma Eye Shading Brush E55 
- Sigma Large Fluff Brush E50
- Sigma Small Contour Brush F05
- Sigma Flat Top Kabuki Brush F80

I will start by reviewing the face brushes and then I will look at the brushes I use for applying my eye makeup.

Sigma Flat Top Kabuki Brush - F80

This was the brush that first caught my attention and made me sit up and notice the Sigma range. I'd seen a few reviews of this brush dotted around and it's safe to say that curiosity got the better of me. Used to apply liquid and cream foundations, the F80's dense, flat fibres are perfect for dabbing foundation onto the face and using circular motions, it blends products into the skin to give a flawless finish. Since using the F80, I'm inclined to bin my flat foundation brush - seriously, because I honestly can't imagine applying my base any other way. 

The synthetic fibres are soft, yet sturdy and the brush maintains it shape, even after cleaning. The handle of the Flat Top Kabuki is shorter and chunkier than the other brushes I picked up, and this makes for a good grip and ease of use. 

I have to admit, I love this brush. It's what I expected and then so much more. Best of all, it's seriously foolproof. An absolute must buy if you fancy trying out any of the Sigma range. 

Sigma Small Contour Brush F05

I have to admit, I toyed between the Small Contour brush and the F40 - The Large Angled Contour brush, and to be honest, I kind of regret going for the smaller option. It's not too dissimilar to the MAC Blush Brush (116) that I own, only the Sigma brush has shorter bristles and is slightly smaller. 

I feel that it's a bit on the small side for me in terms of what I would like for a contour brush; however I have been using it to apply blusher and occasionally to apply powder highlighters. A good quality brush; although it's not what I had in mind when I ordered it. If you're toying between this and the F40, I'd definitely opt for the larger brush.

Sigma Eye Shading Brush E55

Now we move onto the eye brushes. First up is the E55 Eye Shading brush. The short fibres are super soft and make applying eye shadow a dream. I absolutely love this brush!

The flat, rounded shape - bit of an oxymoron - is perfect for applying a heavy dose of shadow across the lids and under the arch of the brow. Dense fibres means this brush picks up a lot of product with minimal fall out and it's also pretty nifty when it comes to blending too. I've only used this brush with powder formulas; although I don't see why it wouldn't work with cream formulas also. 

A great base shadow brush; but I'd use something a touch smaller for more precise applications such as along the lash line or in the crease. 

Sigma Blending Brush E25

Next up is the E25 Blending Brush and another brush I'm loving from my Sigma set. The long, tapered fibres are silky soft yet still firm enough to be useful. The brush can be used for controlled blending of eye shadows on the lid and buffs away any harsh lines that may appear when applying two or more different shadow shades. I use it in a sweeping motion through the crease and gently blend outwards over my lids for a seamless finish.

This brush does exactly what it says on the tin and it's been my go-to brush for blending my eye make up since purchasing it. It also picks up colour nicely and I often use it to apply additional shadow during the blending process. I definitely recommend picking this one up!

Sigma Large Fluff Brush E50

Finally, we've got the Large Fluff Brush. This is actually much chunkier than it looks and I was quite surprised when it arrived as I was expecting it to be much smaller. Controlled highlighting is the 'official' function of this brush but when I used it to apply my highlighter, I found that it just didn't impress me. Maybe I'm using it wrong, I don't know, but it feels sort of odd to use - it's too big to be used on the eyes and too small, (for me) to be used on the cheeks etc.

 This brush kind of makes me feel a bit meh. I don't love it and I don't hate it, but to be honest, I don't really use it and I wish I'd picked up something else instead of this. That being said, the bristles are really full and soft and I can imagine this brush blends beautifully - probably in the hands of someone who knows what to do with it!

There we have it folks! Apologies for the sheer length of this post, I'm sure that if you made it this far you're probably going to need a break from your screen right about now so I'll wrap this up quickly. I purchased my brushes from the Beauty Chamber website as the shipping fees from the Sigma site (US based) were eye-watering! I'd highly recommend them as delivery was fast and they seem to have the largest stock/range of brushes than the other official U.K. Sigma stockists, and we all know a girl likes choices... 

Any thoughts on these? Have you tried any of the Sigma make up brushes before and/or what are your all-time favourite make up brushes?

Monday, 20 October 2014

Weekend catch up...

Today's post is going to be a bit of a weekend catch up/generous portion of waffle so you may want to mentally prepare yourself before continuing. 

On Saturday, Scott and I headed to Helsinki, partly because it was his birthday last Tuesday and he wanted to drag out his celebrations a bit longer, and mostly because I had been dying to raid LUSH's Helsinki store and check out the new M&S store that just opened... Yes, M&S in Finland, the shopping gods have been kind these last few months! If you caught this post, then you'll probably be wondering why I even bothered heading to LUSH at all seeing as I have a serious lack of bath, but after much moping around and genuine consideration of buying something along the lines of this:

Scott suggested we buy a bag full of bath bombs and go wild on the bath front in our hotel in Vietnam... and this is why I'm marrying him folks. This boy just gets me. 

I was a very excitable kid in a candy shop at LUSH and managed to pick up a tonne of stuff that I'm absolutely dying to use. I'll be featuring them in a post really soon, so you can have a peek at what I managed to get my paws on. Also, M&S is four whole floors of clothing greatness; however I was really disappointed that the food section was TINY! Decent, home comfort food is a bit of a rarity in Finland so I was hoping for something a little more exciting than a few packets of shortbread biscuits and some mint imperials.

One of the last times I was in Helsinki, I stumbled across the beauty brand Inglot and I picked up one of their Freedom System palettes. You can read all about it here. Well, I may or may not have picked up a third shadow to fill my palette. It's actually a little different to the usual shades I pick up, so I'm looking forward to sharing it with you soon. Scott and I also picked  up some winter woollies whilst we were out and about as the weather is getting so nippy now! It was -3 over the weekend and when we returned to our apartment on Sunday evening, every last leaf had fallen from the trees in our garden. Brrr...

In other news, we're now in sniffing distance of our jolly holidays and I have to admit, I'm more than a little bit excited. Okay, that's probably the understatement of the Century right there as I've barely been able to contain myself these last few weeks. It's a wonder I still have friends because my recent conversations include; holiday, holiday and ermm.. holiday! Did I mention I was going on holiday? It's felt like a long time coming though and I'm so pleased that it's now almost here. We're heading to Paree for a couple of days to sightsee and watch Lady Gaga in concert... on Halloween! One can only imagine how weird and wonderful that is going to be! Then it's on to Vietnam for cocktails, culture and more LUSH baths than you can shake a stick at!

Right, I've had my fun, I'll ditch the vay-cay chit chat, but before I do, I'm hoping some of you knowledgeable travellers out there may be able to pass on some good recommendations for things to see and do in Paris. We've pre-booked our Eiffel tower visit and intend on doing a fair bit of sight-seeing but if there are any must dos, pop them in a comment below and we will try and work them into our trip. Please and thank you.

I'm going to wrap it up here as I'm pretty sure that's enough waffle for one day. Sorry today's post is a bit all over the place, I will hopefully be back with something a bit more exciting tomorrow! 

How was everyone's weekend? Did you get up to anything exciting?

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Autumn Outfit Posts

Scary season is fast approaching in Finland and no, I'm not talking about Halloween! The weather app today reads the temperature at a measly 3 degrees Celsius, which is pretty darn cold; although probably not as cold as what is yet to come! To say I'm not looking forward to the next few months is an understatement and so I'm trying to make the most of wearing, 'normal' clothes before they end up being replaced by thermals and insulated trousers... Yes, I own these monstrosities. 

I've rounded up several of my, 'outfit of the day' posts from Instagram so that you can have a peek at what I've been clothing myself with lately, and also because I'll probably look back on this post in a few weeks time and weep into my Arctic weather gloves. 

What are your favourite pieces that you've been rocking this season?

Friday, 17 October 2014

Furry Friends...

For anyone that knows me, it's no secret that I'm fairly attached to my guinea pigs; Hamish and Ralph. They're my small, squeaky children and Scott always jokes that I love them more than I love him... but, ermm, that's not the case... entirely. They are just so utterly gorgeous and I could eat them all up - although not literally because that would be quite weird. 

Anyhow, this is going to be a very pigture heavy post... (groan - I went there) so if you have any aversions to things that are just darn cute, I'd look away now!


If you want to know more about Hamish and Ralph, you can read my post - A Tale of Two Pigs 

I hope you enjoyed looking at their little faces as much as I do!

Thursday, 16 October 2014

If you wear make up, you're insecure!

Now, before I start receiving a hefty amount of hate mail and get trolled more than those three goats, I must point out that the title of this post is in no way my opinion. In fact, I'd almost go as far as saying I believe quite the opposite; however I had it brought up to me in conversation the other day and I've been pondering over it ever since. (See, I can be a thinker if I put my mind to it! *scoff*)

The gritty details of the story are irrelevant, but the key outcome of the conversation for me was the very idea that wearing make up is a sign of insecurity and that girls, (and guys, because we sure as hell don't discriminate here) generally tend to wear make up because they may have deep-rooted insecurities and/or feel the need to pile on the slap in order to feel good about themselves. Well in fact yes, I'm the first to admit that slathering my face in a mix of Porefessional, brow gel and Mineralize blush, (amongst many, many other things) does make me feel pretty damn good about myself, in fact I'd go as far as to say that, with a full face on, I usually feel the dog's bollocks... Does this make me a bad person, or worse still, insecure? I mean yes, some days I poke that fleshy bit that just so happens to sit atop my jeans with a perkiness that I could only dream of for my boobs, and on occasion I will mentally beat myself up over the fact that my hair is fostering a frizz that throws me back to holiday Monica and my Friends watching days, but isn't this just what we all do from time to time? 

Maybe I am insecure, maybe I just like make up, hell... Maybe the girl with the makeupless face doesn't quite have the confidence and the sureness of herself to rock a bold, red lip to the shops to buy milk? Does anyone really give a shit? Some people like Marmite and watching re-runs of Coronation Street until they're blue in the face. I'm not judging... well, not entirely

I feel like these days everything has to mean something. Why do people feel the need to psycho-analyse the crap out of someone they've maybe known for the length of a bus ride to work? I like make up because it means I can play around with how I look, more so than just mixing up my clothing on a daily basis. For me, it's like painting, I use brushes so it's technically art.. No one can argue with Van Gough; although my face has days when it's very much channeling more of a Picasso, but that's neither here nor there.

If truth be told, maybe we're all just a bunch of insecure idiots running around, trying to cope with the complexities of life and perhaps one man's make up is another man's baggy sweater or 6 inch heels? Maybe we should worry less about pointing out people's perceived insecurities and perhaps just smile and tell someone they look lovely today.

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Eyeing up sale products...

Yes, feel free to let out a little groan. I won't be winning any awards for 'most witty' post title any time soon, you can be sure of that, but let's cut to the chase. A few days ago I made the fatal error that is walking through the only decent 'department store' in my town. They always have some sort of sale on and I always end up getting sucked into making a purchase. Here's what I picked up... *swoon*

22 - In the Meadow
20 - Frosted Forest
These gorgeous, shimmery pots are from a Finnish brand called Lumene. Their official titles are; Blueberry Long-Wear Crystal Eye Shadows; however I like to call them uhhhmazing! Infused with Arctic blueberry, (hence the name) these eye shadows are unbelievably soft and silky. The powder itself is microscopically fine and glides onto the skin beautifully. The minute I swatched a tester, I knew these would be coming home with me. Sucker. 

In bright, natural light
In the Meadow is a stunning rose gold, bronzey shade which is definitely the more metallic of the two, whilst Frosted Forest is a mauvey taupe colour. The purpleish undertones are so hard to capture in a photograph, but I can assure you that they're there! 

Both of these shades scream festive to me and I'm looking forward to getting some good use out of them in the upcoming holidays. How are we rating them for Autumn? Autumnal shades, yes or no? 

Besides being fab, little products they were also a total bargain. Got to love a sale!

You can check out more products from Lumene right here
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