We’re Absolute Beginners: A Hakuhodo Starter Set

A lot of people feel overwhelmed when they’re about to take the plunge into Hakuhodo brushes – there are just so many of them. It’s difficult to define what’s necessary for a ‘starter set’ as everyone’s needs are different, but I decided to put together my idea of a reasonably priced Hakuhodo basics set.

Hakuhodo Essential Set

I tried to cover most bases here:

  • Powder and Blush: $30 – J5547 – Goat and Synthetic – I haven’t actually tried this brush yet, but after extensive research it seems the J range goat is super soft, and very versatile. I’ve marked this down as a powder and blush brush, but because its a goat synthetic mix, it will also lend itself to cream products, maybe even foundation.
  • Eyeshadow: $18 – J5523 – Goat – This is widely regarded as a dupe (in terms of size and shape) for the MAC 217, but apparently it is much softer and performs much better. This is a workhorse, good for applying and for blending.
  • Eyeliner: $15 – K007 – Weasel – This is a great little brush for applying eyeliner, if you prefer the ‘push’ shaped brushes, swap this one for the K005 ($18).
  • Concealer and Lips: $15 – 280 – Synthetic – This brush deposits colour nicely and does double the work as both a concealer and a lip brush (though wash it in between, don’t want to make your blemishes pinker!).

Total: $78

Go Luxe

I feel a bit iffy recommending the J5547 because I haven’t used it and there isn’t a lot of info available on it. Experience and research tells me that this brush will be a really good all-rounder, and it’s a great price. A blush and powder brush I can recommend is the B110BkSL. It’s pricier ($46) but it’s the same brush head as the S110 (which I’ve reviewed here), very soft but at the same time nice and elastic so it deposits colour and blends perfectly.B110BkSL


What’s your idea of a basic brush set? Have I missed out any brushes you think are essential?

Aside

Hi everyone, just a quick note to list the Chanel Ombre Contraste Ingredients.

Talc, Synthetic Fluorphlogopite, Bentonite, Paraffinum Liquidum (Mineral Oil), Sodium Methylparaben, Zea Mays (Corn Starch, Lanolin Alcohol, Silica, BHT [May Contain CI 75470 (Carmine), CI 77007 (Ultramarines), CI 77163 (Bismuth Oxychloride), CI 77288 (Chromium Oxide Greens), CI 77289 (Chromium Hydroxide Green), CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499 (Iron Oxides), CI 77510 (Ferric Ferrocyanide), CI 77742 (Manganese Violet), CI 77891 (Titanium Dioxide), Mica]

Chanel Notorious is now available on the US chanel.com but not on the UK site. You can see my first impressions and review of it here and here, or just look under the tag ‘Chanel’ to see all my posts about Chanel Notorious.

Chanel Notorious Ombre Contraste Ingredients

Well Red: Red Lipstick Swatches

Since overcoming my fear of all things lipstick a few years ago, I’ve amassed quite a collection of lip products – mostly lipsticks, a few lip stains, and three very neglected lip glosses.

At the heart of my collection are the high-contrast reds which, apparently, I can’t get enough of, because my current wishlist is filled with them.

Clockwise from 12 o’clock: Giorgio Armani Rouge d’Armani 400, Beauté Liqui-Gel Stain in Fever (review here), Laura Mercier Stickgloss in Poppy, Guerlain Rouge Automatique in Samsara, Suqqu Creamy Glow Lipstick #17 Ichijiku (review here), Lipstick Queen Medieval, Lavshuca Dramatic Memory Rouge in RD-2 (review here), MAC Viva Glam I.

Here I’ve added a swatch of Yves Saint Laurent Rouge Pur Couture Glossy Stain in #10 Rouge Philtre (review here) on the far right, because I left it out of the earlier shots (on purpose. obviously.) even though it counts as a red.

So, as a reminder, these swatches (and the paper swatches) are, from left to right:

  1. Guerlain Rouge Automatique in Samsara: a berry red
  2. Suqqu Creamy Glow Lipstick #17 Ichijiku: a dark, vampy, brick red
  3. MAC Viva Glam I: another dark brick red
  4. Lipstick Queen Medieval: a sheer but buildable cherry red
  5. Lavshuca Dramatic Memory Rouge RD-2: a sheer red that’s slightly warmer.
  6. Armani Rouge d’Armani 400: a classic true red
  7. Laura Mercier Stickgloss in Poppy: a sheer tomato red
  8. Beauté Liqui-Gel Stain in Fever: a vivid red to sheer rose pink depending on how sheer it’s applied.
  9. Yves Saint Laurent Glossy Stain #10 Rouge Philtre: another vivid classic red, that can be sheered out to a rose stain.

Can’t get enough red?


What’s your favourite shade of red lipstick? And are there any you’re lusting after at the moment? I’m in love with Guerlain’s new Rouge G l’Extrait in Luxure, and I can’t wait to actually get it.

Luxure

(Mis)Adventures in Contouring: Chanel Ombre Contraste Notorious Review and Test Run

I start this post with a disclaimer: I am not good at contouring. I have contoured twice in my life, once yesterday (disaster), and once today (…meh). Usually I’d practise a bit more before posting my efforts, but it seems a LOT of people want to know how this product looks on skin sooner rather than later.

For a post where the Ombre Contrast is used by someone good at contouring, check out this post by the lovely Xiao of Messy wands.

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Being a newbie, I had no idea which brush to use (Xiao used the Hakuhodo 210) so I picked out the G5521, Small Pointed Yachiyo, B214BkSm Highlight brush, S111 and Kokutan Eyeshadow C brushes for my attempt. I ended up using the G5521 to do most of the work, and the Small Pointed Yachiyo to blend difficult areas.

Oh and here’s another swatch

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Heavy on the right, smudgy on the left.

Before

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I tried to create an even base using Shu Stage Performer, Bobbi Brown Corrector and Bobbi Brown Skin Foundation.

Half and Half

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Contour on the right side of my face (the left side of the photo). I’ve contoured my cheekbone, my jawline, and the side of my nose.

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This is where skills come into play, the edges of my contouring are very blunt, which makes it look quite obvious. BUT, if you look at the shadow at the bottom of my neck, then look at the shadow on my jaw or on my cheek, you can see that they’re pretty much the same colour and that’s really what matters. The reason I haven’t even attempted contouring in the past is because the shade is nowhere near what a natural shadow on my face would look like. The Ombre Contraste makes a refreshing change.

Full

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Contouring on both sides of face on jaw, cheek and nose.

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Finished Face

Adding some lipstick (LQ Medieval), blush (Addiction Revenge), and highlighter (Becca SSP Pearl). (And letting my hair out finally!)

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Conclusions

  • I need to practice!
  • But I really love this Ombre Contraste
  • Because it actually looks like a shadow, and not like darker foundation/poorly-placed bronzer.
  • It’s pretty easy to work with and build-up
  • But use a light hand because it’s quite difficult to fix mistakes.

Further Reading

First Impressions: Chanel Ombre Contraste Notorious

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So Chanel has released a ‘sculpting veil for eyes and cheeks’ or, as I like to call it, a contour powder. As far as I know it’s limited edition and also on limited release in the UK (Selfridges London and Selfridges Manchester Exchange Square, Harrods, John Lewis Oxford Street, House of Fraser Glasgow and Fenwicks Newcastle according to this source). This powder was used on models at Chanel’s Fall 2012 show at Paris Fashion Week:

Chanel Fall

This is a great post that sums up all the info available pre-release.

I haven’t had a chance to use this yet as I bought it this afternoon, and I’m pretty sure it’s going to be quite a learning curve for me so it might take a while before I can show you face photos. For now, here are swatches and product photos.

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Paper Swatch

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Arm Swatch (this one is the most colour accurate as it was taken outside pre-rain)

The swatch in the middle is very heavy, and gives an idea of the colour and the tone of the powder. On either side I’ve applied it more lightly to give a better idea of what it would actually look like on.

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Overall I’m excited to test this out, I’m imagining lots of er…not so great attempts as I’ve never really got into the whole contouring thing, but I think it’ll be fun to use and if not I’ll just use it as an eyeshadow.