Product Review: Beaute Cosmetics Luxury Brush Collection

Well, you can’t be good at everything.

Beaute Cosmetics, the brand that brought you the most amazing weightless lip creme and liqui-gel stains, also offers a brush collection.

Maybe they should have stuck with lip products.

The Luxury Brush Collection features 14 brushes, and retails at a not so cheap $380. I caught the 40% off sale, so I ended up paying $240 (including shipping) for the brushes. Considering the fact that I prefer top of the line brands like Hakuhodo, I was up for a ‘synthetic’ challenge if the craftmanship was up to par.
It’s not.
The brushes arrived in a really nice wrap. In fact, I’d say that the wrap is the best part of this collection. I was so excited at the quality of the wrap, that I did a a bit of a double take when I opened it and saw the brushes inside.
 The first problem with these brushes is the weight. They’re so light… the handles feel like they’re made out of cardboard or something… just awful. They feel like they’ll just float off of your hands, and they’re really hard to grip because the handles are thick and rather clumsy feeling. That’s a really bad idea, when it comes to accuracy and precision. The brush needs to fit in the hand and be weighted properly for perfect application. These remind me of jumbo crayons in a kindergarten playroom. The third (and most important) problem is the brush heads. For comparison, I took pictures of each brush next to a consumer grade brush, and a top of the line professional brush.
Beaute Powder Brush
Bobbi Brown (middle)
Hakuhodo (bottom)
Beaute Blush Brush
Bobbi Brown (middle)
Hakuhodo (bottom)
The foundation brush is fairly standard. It looks just like the MAC version, without the proper weight and handle shape.
Hakuhodo (top)
Beaute Contour Brush
Chanel (bottom)
Beaute Large Shadow Brush
Bobbi Brown (middle)
Hakuhodo (bottom)
Beaute Eye Shadow Brush
Armani (middle)
Hakuhodo (bottom)
Beaute Crease/Blender Brush
Armani (middle)
Becca (bottom)
This is probably the worst brush in the collection. The brush head completely impractical, and not dense enough to make any real impact. I have no idea what they were thinking when they fashioned this brush. It’s simply awful. Now, I really hate the Becca version too (and meant to return it… but missed the deadline), but in its defense… it cost me about $7.
Beaute Concealer/Corrector Brush
Bobbi Brown (middle)
Armani (bottom)
Beaute (top)
Hakuhodo (middle)
Beaute (bottom)
I put both of the Beaute Brushes in the same shot with Hakuhodo because they serve the same spot/treatment function. They just have different head sizes. These brushes are actually not completely atrocious. But the weight (or lack thereof) is still a problem.
Beaute Angled Brush
MAC (middle)
Armani (bottom)
Beaute Small Eyeshadow Brush
Hakuhodo (bottom)
Beaute Lip Brush
Shu Uemura (middle)
Armani (bottom)
So, considering the fact that I have absolutely no use for these brushes (other than to maybe gift them to my 15 year old niece as she experiments with makeup. Actually, she might not like these either), I should return them, right?
WRONG.
I send them an email. No response. So I send another email. NO RESPONSE. So I took it to twitter… and I finally got an email response:
“Hi Shahada,
Thank you for your order and we are sorry to hear that you are enquiring about our return policy on luxury products.  Our Return policies are listed on our website under the “Terms & Conditions” at www.beaute-cosmetics.com .  Due to the nature of the products (cosmetics) you can hopefully appreciate and understand that we do not take returns other than for damaged or defective products which this is not the situation since you indicated no damage or defect as you did not touch the items and any product we take back could never, nor would ever, be brought back into inventory and/or resold due to our high standards to our customers as well as health, safety and quality control issues. 
Wishing you and your loved ones the very best New Years!”
So…
 
I’m stuck with these brushes. I cannot in good conscience sell them, because I don’t feel that they are worth any real amount of money. A couple of these brushes are okay, but certainly not worth the asking price. I feel you’d be much better served with BDellium Tools, or EcoTools for a fraction of the price. Even THOSE brushes are weighted properly, and you can basically get them for a song. If you’re just heading into the ‘professional grade’ realm and don’t want to drop a small fortune on Hakuhodo, brands like MAC, Bobbi Brown, Armani and Laura Mercier would be much better options. If you want to stay with synthetic brushes (all of the Beaute brushes are synthetic), Illamasqua is is a great alternative.
 
My biggest issue is that because this is a mostly online based company, there is no way to test Beaute Brushes ahead of time. Otherwise, I would have made a different decision. And BECAUSE this is an online business, you’d think there would be a more logical return, or exchange policy. But no. You buy it, you’re stuck with it. And that policy makes these brushes just a bit more horrid.
 
Grade: F
 

FOTD: Doing The Most

The day started out gloomy and overcast… much more like Autumn than Summer, so I went into today’s look with a heavy hand:

FACE
Sisley Phyto Teint Eclat (Honey)
Kevyn Aucoin Diaphonous Radiance Powder
Chanel Blush in Rose Ecrin
EYES
Tarte Eyeshadow in Legend (brows/lids/outer crease)
Tarte Eyeshadow in Glamour Me (inner crease)
Tarte Eyeshadow in Dusk (browbone)
Tarte Eyeshadow in Immortal (under waterline)
Tarte Gel Eyeliner (waterline)
Tarte Mascara
LIPS
Beaute Liqui-Gel Lipstain in Harlot
YSL Rouge Volupte Lipstick in Spellbinding Violet

My Holiday 2010: Favorite Things (Red Lips)

Every year, someone comes out with some guideline about finding your perfect red lip… and every year the method of finding that perfect color seems to be more and more confusing! ‘Experts’ have folks thinking that if you don’t have a certain undertone, then you can’t wear a certain ‘color based’ red lipstick. Untrue. It’s all about the pigmentation level. If you’ve got yellow undertones and you want to wear a blue-based red lippie… just know that it’s gonna go a little pink on you. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

I’m going to post my favorite reds (I have yellow undertones), and you’ll find that the base colors run the gamut. I’ll separate them by base color. Here’s hoping it doesn’t make things MORE confusing…

BLUE BASE

Illamasqua’s red in ‘Box’ gets a lot of play in my kit. It’s a matte finish, and goes on a ‘true red’ — regardless of any skintone. It’s considered a blue based red, but I find it to be pretty universal. It can be a little drying, so a healthy dose of lip balm before use is recommended.
Dolce & Gabanna’s red in ‘Scarlett’ is a true blue base. This goes on a little more pink and less red on me, but I LOVE it. The formula is creamy and lasts me all day. This is a good lipstick… from an excellent makeup line. I imagine that D&G tends to get lost in the makeup shuffle because it’s not widely distributed (I have to get mine from Saks) and minimally advertised.
BROWN BASE
NARS offered a lovely brown based red called ‘Rouge Basque  ‘ with their Autumn 2010 collection. I think that this color might go a bit muddy on the fairest skin tones, but it holds well with olive complexions, as well as medium and deeper skin tones. This is what I like to call a ‘fool proof red.’ It goes on easily, and is so flattering that you don’t have to stress about it looking garish.

YELLOW BASE
Now I might get a little pushback on this one. YSL Rouge Volupte Lipstick in Red Taboo looks like a true blue red in the tube, but it looks MORE like a true red on yellow based skin tones. Therefore, it falls in my category of yellow based reds. This color is DIVINE. The formula is DIVINE. I cannot say enough about this formula. You have to be careful with it… because it has so much slip that it’ll feel greasy on first contact. It’s not. It’s highly pigmented and lasts for hours. I’d recommend a lip pencil in a nude color for this… it’s easy to overdo it. I prefer to draw the lipline, then use a brush to fill it in. Using this lipstick straight out of the tube may prove to be a challenge.

Same for this one. La Prarie’s Lipstick in Rouge Claire looks the BEST (in my opinion) on olive and yellow based skin tones. I find it a little dark for fair skinned clients. The perk about this lipstick is that it plumps the lips (without any tingly irritation reserved for most plumping products). I get a really awesome boost in my cupids bow, everytime I use this lipstick. Love it!

ORANGE BASE

Yes, there are some red lipsticks that are considered orange based. They’re typically described as ‘orange red.’ The best one to fit this category for me is Illamasqua’s Lipstick in Ignite. It would likely look more red on fair skin, and more orange as you go darker (with skintones). It’s a very deep orangey red on me. I keep it with the reds, because it’s more that than orange. It’s a nice twist on the classic red lip. I highly recommend it.

That covers lipsticks…

LIP PENCILS
I feel like no one realizes they need a red lip pencil, until they start digging through their makeup stash and realize that they don’t have a red lip pencil.
Here are my favorites:

This Make Up For Ever pencil in 9C stays in heavy rotation. It goes on smooth, and has enough of a brown base to be flattering on just about everyone. I’m on my third one.

Urban Decay makes a fabulous line of lip pencils (and eyeliners) in their 24/7 line. This gel pencil in Gash goes on a dark red, and wears beautifully. Because of its formulation, it doesn’t crack or bleed into the sides of the mouth like a lot of darker colored pencils can.


LIP CREMES

This is my favorite product EVER. Not kidding. Chanel’s Rouge Allure Laque in Dragon (75) is the most flattering red lippie I’ve ever used. I love this lip color! It’s the deepest red I’ve come across… without going burgundy or brown. It wears a true red on just about every skin tone… I have no idea how they did that! Think of it as a stain, a gloss, and a lipstick all rolled into one. Highly recommend this! This was my first laque, and I’ve been buying repeats of it ever since.

Beaute’s Weightless Lip Creme in Masochist runs a VERY close second. It features the same properties of the laque, with a much lighter feel. I’ve sometimes forgotten that I’m wearing it and wiped my lips… with tragic results. I would say that I use this one about as much as I use the laque. Sometimes, it comes down to which one is within reach at the time that I need it.

LIP GLOSS 
I have a LOT of red lip glosses. Too many, in fact. But I do have some standouts that I consistently go back to…

DEX lipgloss in Bond Street rose quickly to to the top of my favorites list. I’m relatively new to this vegan brand, but I was instantly impressed by the ‘non sticky’ consistency and long wear. Love this stuff. I keep one in my purse, because just this gloss with a little tinted moisturizer and mascara … and I’m good to go!

Rock & Republic makes an awesome red lipgloss in Cougar. I LOVE the name, by the way. But, like most Rock & Republic makeup items, this one may soon be hard to come by. I hope they keep the makeup line around. It’s really good.

That’s it! My favorite ‘red lippies’ (and lippie helpers) for the season… and beyond. I hope I didn’t make things MORE confusing. Thanks for indulging me… Ciao for now!


My Holiday 2010: Favorite Things (nude lips)

If you thought finding the perfect peach anything was difficult, try searching for the perfect nude lippie! I’m always perplexed by the ‘nude’ selections from any given makeup line, as in truth they are more like an unflattering pink for any skin tone darker than ‘fair.’

In the past, to get that perfect nude… I’d typically have to mix three or four shades from lip liner to lip gloss to get the ideal shade.

But these days, it looks like more and more universal ‘nude’ shades are showing up… WHOO HOO!!!! From lip liners to lipstick, to lip cremes, and lip gloss… the idea of an actual nude lip on a person of color is more of a reality than ever before.

Here are a few of my favorites:

LIP PENCIL:

Chanel’s lip pencil in ‘Cognac’ is more nude than brown. The neutral color stays cool without going ashy on darker skin tones.

Same goes for Chanel’s lip pencil in ‘Nude.’ It’s ACTUALLY nude on darker skin tones, instead of pink or ashy beige.

Make Up For Ever makes a great waterproof version with their lip pencil in 1C. It goes on a deep nude for fair skin tones, and an actual nude on darker skin tones. I’m on my third pencil… this one gets a lot of use on clients and on me.

LIPSTICK:

There’s an unexpected treasure at your local Shiseido makeup counter: a lipstick called BE333. It’s a beige color from their ‘Perfect Parfait’ line. Shockingly, it’s a universal beige … with little to no pink undertones. I was so nervous about this color until I actually tried it on. It’s a creamy formula that wears all day, and never goes pink on my warm skin tone. I bought a backup. It’s that good.

Chanel produced a gem in the Holiday 2010 Collection: The Patchouli Lipstick is simply stunning on medium and darker skin tones. The darker the skin color, the more ‘pink’ the color will go… but it stays a flattering version of a ‘nude’ without ever going ashy. I think it’s the gold flecks in it. It works very well on all skin tones, and adjusts accordingly. On me, it’s nude. Anyone lighter than me would likely get a ‘brown’ result, and any one darker will lean more toward a pink based nude.
LIP CREME:

The only real ‘workable’ nude lip creme I’ve been able to find is from Beaute Cosmetics. Their Weightless Lip Creme in ‘Severine’ is just stunning. It’s an opaque beige color that can be sheered out. I do not recommend this for skin tones darker than medium… at least not without some correction. You’d likely need a darker nude or lighter brown pencil to bring the color together. This isn’t really a ‘stand alone’ product… it needs a little coaxing for proper shape and shading.

This isn’t really a lip creme, but it kind of falls in that category. OCC Liptar in Petty Beige makes for a stunning nude, when used properly. Like all lip tars, a little goes a VERY long way. This the most flattering for me when used with a darker nude lip pencil (like Chanel’s Cognac) or a touch of the OCC Liptar in Fondue (a dark brown) around the edges as a lip liner. The Liptar formula is moisturizing, and boasts incredible staying power. I maintain that this product is still the best in their entire makeup collection.
LIPGLOSS:
There is only one.
Chanel’s Rouge Allure Lip gloss in Insouciance is THE BEST NUDE LIPGLOSS ON THE MARKET. Period. It’s not shimmery or glittery… but creamy and semi-opaque. And it’s a true nude. Not pink. Not brown. Not gold. Just nude. I love this lip gloss… it’s really a treasure. This gloss stays in heavy rotation because you can use it alone (without a mirror. It’s virtually idiot-proof), or layer it over a nude lipstick or any other color. You do NOT need a liner with this gloss. It goes on, it’s not sticky, it stays put, and wears beautifully. I highly recommend it! 


There it is… my pics for the perfect nude lip this Holiday season… and any season beyond. Thanks for indulging me (yet again). Ciao for now!