Thursday, May 19, 2016

Real Techniques | Miracle Complexion Sponge

Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge



It has been so many years since I started watching beauty tutorials on blogs and YouTube, and every other person has this bright pink sponge that they use to apply a variety of products onto their face. For the longest time, I thought I needed one but I never actually bought one. Time passed, and more and more companies introduced their own versions of the coveted sponge that'll blend away your imperfections in a jiffy. So it was only a matter of time before I succumbed to the pressure and ended up with a bright orange one in my hand, all damp and soft and ready to fight the battle against my beauty woes. And voila, I had a flawless face! Like whaaaat? Me? Really? This really must be a magic sponge.

The reason why I picked Miracle Complexion Sponge (KWD 3.5, Lifestyle) and not any other was:

First, I'd read that this was the closest dupe to the infamous pink 'beautyblender'. Two, it was for half the price of the beautyblender. And third, it was by my favorite makeup brush brand. And come on, that bright orange color is one heck of an eye catcher, innit? I'm not a fan of pink anyway.

All reasons aside, this sponge feels really soft, and really weird. Like it feels nothing like all the sponges I have used for my various crafting projects in school, or like the dish washing sponges that you'd use to clean your grimy, sticky utensils (ScotchBrite?!). This feels very different, I believe it is some special polymer-monomer thing that doesn't eat way too much product and bla bla. I don't know the details myself so I won't bore you either.

With my extensive knowledge of how these things work (Thanks, YouTube!), I immediately sprayed a decent amount of Avene Thermal Spring Water onto it and it gobbled it right up looking just the same as ever, just slightly damp. The first time I tested it, I used a medium coverage foundation and I swiped it across my face so I ended up with light coverage (I believe I over-dampened my sponge too). So, I backtracked and used it with a dabbing motion that I have seen KathleenLights do for ages. A much better finish, slightly more coverage too and I was mind-blown with its blending. There was no patchiness, and it was really easy to build up the product where you needed extra coverage without streaking, or making it look cakey.

Fast forward 4 months to today, I have been using Miracle Complexion Sponge almost every day since. And I've also found what works for me, and what doesn't. While this can be used both wet and dry, I cannot for the life of me get a decent coverage or finish when I use it dry. It becomes patchy on me, streaks a lot and I just hate how it makes me look overall. So I always dampen it before I use. The flat side of the sponge is great for applying loose powder under the eyes, and it works really well for that "baking technique" hype that's doing the round since last year. I personally am not a fan of it, but I've tried it a couple of times and it did make the job fairly easy. The pointed tip of the sponge makes blending a contour cream around the nose a breeze while the overall product is great for blending face contour. It even works amazingly for applying fake-tan for a seamless, soft focus finish.

While I'm still very attached to my makeup brushes, there is no denying that sponges do make the job easier, especially when you want to build up the intensity of your foundation without making it look too heavy. I absolutely love my Miracle Complexion Sponge, and I would gladly purchase more sponges (from different brands) to see how they compete against each other. Beautyblender, I'm coming for ya!
Miracle Complexion Sponge and Sculpting brush from Real Techniques. Read about the Sculpting brush here
Would you rather use a beauty sponge or a makeup brush? Have you tried Miracle Complexion Sponge or any other brand? How do you use your sponge, and how often do you clean it? I'd love to know in the comments below. Meanwhile, I'd love to know you more so come pop over to my Instagram at @Fayhalicious for random beauty & lifestyle musings. 

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Real Techniques | Sculpting Brush

Real Techniques Sculpting brush



It is no secret that Real Techniques happens to be my favorite makeup brush brand. It was from this brand that I bought my first one, the Angled Foundation brush and since then we've become close pals with me reaching inadvertently towards the RT counter as soon as I enter Boots or Lifestyle. 

Recently I acquired this stunning beauty, and I just cannot stop raving about it. And I might as well declare that this happens to be my most favorite brush of my growing collection after the Buffing brush. Presenting to you, the Sculpting brush by Real Techniques (KWD 6, Lifestyle).

It was launched sometime a year ago, but I only got it during the 2015 winter holidays along with their Miracle Complexion Sponge. It is an angled brush with dense bristles that make cream or powder products blend beautifully. I have found its sole purpose in applying my foundation, as due to its angled cut it fits every curve of my face perfectly, something I believe the Buffing brush took a tad bit longer to do. However, it also works nicely as a cheek brush to apply blush and bronzer, although be sure to use a very light hand and slowly build up the intensity. I ended up with clown cheeks the first time I used a blush with it, as it picked up way more product from the pan than I intended to apply.

Although it is named as a "sculpting" brush, I find it a bit too large for actual sculpting. Instead, I have to use a small, fine brush to draw out the contour all over my face from my contouring palette and then use this brush to blend it seamlessly for a flawless, contoured face. If I could rename it, I'd definitely go for "Expert Blending Brush" perhaps, LOL.
I think I have heard one of the Pixiwoo sisters mentioning on their YouTube channel that it is almost exactly like their Expert Face brush, except that this is angled while the other isn't. I cannot confirm that as I do not own an EFB (yet). However, I can vouch for it being one of the best brush investments you'll make if you're looking for a great multi-tasker for foundation, powder, bronzer and blush. You can easily get away with just this brush for your entire face if you're not that much into makeup and want an essential pick, or are only just starting out with makeup.

What are your Real Techniques favorites? Is the Sculpting brush among them? If so, what else do you use it for? I'd love to know what you think of it in the comments section below or come say Hi to me on Instagram at @Fayhalicious