In this series I compare my favourite brow pencil — the Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz — to similar products. In the first instalment I compared the ABH Brow Wiz to the NYX Micro Brow Pencil, which is often cited as a dupe. Here I take a look at the Colourpop Black N’ Brown Pencil.
Fun Fact: Anastasia’s DIPBROW Pomade was my gateway product to makeup addiction. I learned a lot about skin care and makeup during a brief period of underemployment, and despite wanting all of the things, I had no choice but to exercise extreme restraint. When I drifted past a Sephora after receiving that first pay check in a while, I popped in and treated myself to ABH DIPBROW in Dark Brown.
After trying a few new base products (plus incorporating a favourite from July) I’ve discovered an amazing combination that gives me a radiant matte finish that lasts All. Day. Long.
The winning combo? L’Oréal’s new Pro-Glow foundation with Laura Geller’s Balance-N-Brighten powder foundation.
I’ve been using the L’Oréal Infallible Pro-Glow foundation in 203, applied with a damp beautyblender. This foundation oxidizes quite a bit — I tried three different shades before finding one that matched me, and even still I’m not so sure it’s perfect.
Bronze liner is what I turn to when I want to add a bit of smokiness to an otherwise minimal eye. It’s warmer and softer than black, and provides enough definition to elevate the look without taking it over the top.
I recently purchased the NYX Retractable Eye Liner in Bronze, and when I got it home I realized that I have two nearly identical colour dupes: Smashbox Always Sharp Waterproof Kohl Liner in Penny Lane, and Marc Jacobs Highliner Gel Crayon in Ro(Cocoa).
These three liners are so close in colour, and each at a different price point — I decided to put them to the test.
H&M Pure Radiance Powder Blushers
When it comes to trying new brands, I’m pretty much guaranteed to reach for blushes, bronzers, or brow products. Maybe BB creams as well. BBBBbbb. These are products that I use on the regular, so I know that if the formula and colour are right, I’ll get use out of them. They could still be duds, but I’ll know that there was, at some point, a hope.
Before I jump in, let me say: H&M does not currently offer online shopping for Canada-based customers. I found these blushes at the newly renovated H&M at the Eaton Centre, which has a full beauty display on the lower level. Do you know of other good beauty sections at H&Ms across Canada? Let me know in the comments.
It was no surprise that my first foray into H&M beauty would be laser focused in the blush category, especially since they seem to be raved about in many an H&M makeup roundup. The H&M Pure Radiance Powder Blushers ($13 CAD) come in a hexagonal black, gold, and cream plastic compact (no mirror here) and contain 5g of product. I picked up Coral, Brown Sugar, and Apricot (on clearance for $5!).
Summer, to me, is exponentially more enjoyable with a fuss-free beauty routine. That means sunscreen, tube mascara, waterproof brows, and a sheer balm on the lips that can be reapplied without a mirror.
Enter The Artist’s Studio Hydrating Lip Tint, which I found at Anthropologie for $14 CAD. (Do not buy from the website, since prices are listed in USD and it’s still $14.)
These balms come in bullet form, in the most wonderfully designed cardboard tubes. Each colour in the collection features a different summery design, with mid-century-inspired bathers and graphic motifs illustrated by Lou Taylor. The packaging is so striking and adorable, I found myself trying to decide on a design rather than a colour!
One of my favourite places to browse for beauty and wellness is Urban Outfitters. They always stock unique brands that I’ve either never heard of or seen in person, and the displays always convey such a serene, relaxed mood. Bath teas and salts, masks, aromatherapy—perusing the displays is a lovely reminder to take time for yourself; to settle down and unwind.
Holy Grail brushes have evaded me until now. My regular rotation includes a few favourites, but none that I would be particularly sad to never use again.
My go-to blush brush is a no-namer from Winners; I purchased an IT Cosmetics blush brush thinking it was an upgrade, but I prefer the cheap find.
I’ve been slow to warm to high end options. I returned the Sephora + hakuho-do brushes that I purchased because they were scratchy and the shape confused me.
I totally bought into the Morphe hype and was disappointed by most of my selections. I love the G3 tapered contour brush for cream products (the image on the website, by the way, looks nothing like the brush I received), and I cycle through an assortment of crease/blending brushes because I have them on hand.
Most earn a hearty meh.
Yes, it’s a chore, but keeping your makeup brushes and sponges clean is a non-negotiable side effect of being a beauty junkie. Brushes used regularly should be washed at least once a week—especially face brushes, especially if you’re acne-prone.
Beauty sponges, on the other hand—why aren’t you washing yours every day? I cringe so hard when I see janky, foundation-soaked beauty blenders in YouTube tutorials. Yuck! You run it under water every day anyway. Why not add some soap to the mix and keep it in the best shape?
One of the products that has helped me keep my brushes and sponges looking brand new is the Japonesque Solid Brush Cleanser ($25 CAD). I have repurchased this product three times now—after trying both the beautyblender beautycleanser Solid ($22 CAD) and the Sephora Solid Clean: Solid Brush Cleaner ($17 CAD), it’s my preferred brush cleanser.
After using the beautyblender and Sephora brand cleansers, I realized that the thing I loved about them most was that they were… solid brush cleansers. The formulas weren’t anything special—I just loved how easy it was to get my beautyblender clean every morning without having to blast through my facial cleanser or DIY an oil-and-soap mixture. The soap didn’t slide around in the container, and it was tidy, travel-friendly, and convenient. I was curious to see what other solid cleansers were out there.