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Sunday, October 30, 2011

Movie Review - "The Town"

I know it isn't far-fetched for Ben Affleck to star in a movie about Charlestown, MA but in this self-directed movie based on Chuck Hogan's book "Prince of Thieves," Ben stars as Doug MacRay, a bad guy wanting to break away from his current lifestyle.  I hadn't even heard about the movie but my husband, always on the lookout for a good flick, added it to the DVR just for me. (Thanks honey, love you babe!)

Image from IMDB

If you love intense movies and don't mind rooting for the "bad guy," it is a must-see!!!!  For Mad Men fans, Jon Hamm is in the cast as are Rebecca Hall, Jeremy Renner and Blake Lively, who I had to look closely to recognize.  (Great job, Blake!)

I won't spoil the film for you but if you haven't seen it, I highly recommend it.  Please post your comments if you get to see it.

This flick gets a high-five from Kimbo....BOOYAH!

Sigma Eyeshadow Palettes

Sigma Brushes are growing in popularity as they expand and add new types of brushes and brush products.  Earlier this year, Sigma introduced three eyeshadow palettes: Bare, Dare, and Flare.

From Top to Bottom: Bare, Dare, and Flare Palettes in Sleeves

Each mirrored palette contains 8 eyeshadows (Net Weight 12g) and a double-ended brush and retails for $35.  Bare is perfect for those of you that love neutral palettes.  The colors range from some highlight colors, to skin- and earth-tone lid shades as well as some additional darker colors for lining, defining and smokey eye looks.

Bare Palette out of sleeve

Here are some close-ups of each shade:

  • Shine: a glitttery black
  • Control: a matte black
  • Snoop: a matte grayish-taupe

  • Hitch: a smooth, matte brown
  • Act: a satin taupe with gold tones
  • Command: a light yellow satin shade
  • Elope: a nice pinkish nude shade, great for the browbone
  • Approach: a golden beige shade, great for highlighting

Unlike most palettes that either don't include brushes or offer sponge applicators that you end up throwing away, Sigma's palettes include a double-ended brush with full-size brush heads for professional application on the go.  Bare contains the E25 Blending Brush (similar to MAC 217) and E30 Pencil Brush (similar to MAC 219, but more flexible).
Bare's Double-Ended Brush
E25 - Blending Brush
E30 - Pencil Brush
Here are some swatches of the Bare Palette from top to bottom, Shine, Control, Snoop, Hitch, Act, Command, Elope, and Approach:

The Dare Palette is a nice complement to the Bare Palette in that it includes neutral shades but also adds a bit more color range offering some deeper earth-tones.  This palette has 3 neutral shades as well as nice peach, vibrant yellow, and darker shades.

Dare Palette out of sleeve

Here are some close-ups of each shade:

  • Surrender: a nice, burgundy shade with subtle glitter
  • Grasp: satiny peach
  • Chase: a light pink/peach highlight shade 

  • Escape: a light shimmery champagne shade
  • Reveal: a nice rust with a satin finish
  • Catch: a brick shade slightly more matte than Reveal

  • Shout: a bold, vibrant yellow
  • Vanish: a nice gold shade

Dare's double-ended brush

Dare's double-ended Brush features the E20, a short shader brush, similar to MAC's 214 and the E45, a tapered blending brush, slightly larger than MAC's 224 brush. 

E20 - Short Shader Brush

E45 - Small Tapered Blending Brush

Here are some swatches of Dare's shadows, from top to bottom (Surrender, Grasp, Chase, Escape, Reveal, Catch, Shout, and Vanish):

The Flare palette features some more trendy colors like teal, lime green, and various purple shades.  I view this palette as two "quads" with the left half leaning towards some light shades with a darker crease color and the right half working nicely together for a purple smokey look.

Here are some close-ups of each shade:

  • Crush: deep brown
  • Oversee: satin teal
  • Define: satin lime green

  • Publicize: a neutral light yellow
  • Resist: a satin burgundy/purple
  • Gossip: a deep burgundy matte

  • Allure: a vibrant lavender shade
  • Beware: a pink highlight shade
Flare's double-ended brush features the E40, a tapered blending brush and the E55, a rounded eye shading brush.

Flare's double-ended brush

E40 - Tapered Blending Brush

E55 - Eye Shading Brush

Here are some swatches of Flare's eyeshadows from top to bottom, Crush, Oversee, Define, Publicize, Resist, Gossip, Allure and Beware:

Overall, I do like these palettes mostly because they include professional brushes, though I find storing double-ended brushes a chore.  I am tempted to ask my husband to saw them in half and use them as travel brushes but, the jury is still out on that verdict.

The colors do last but I find that I get more color payoff when the shades are applied over a paint pot, NYX jumbo pencil, or other primer or eyeshadow base.  Please note that the pictures of swatches reflect the shades on my bare skin (NW25-30).  I found that there was some fallout with some of the darker shades so I recommend applying your eyeshadow before your foundation if using the darker shades included in these palettes.

The packaging is bulky and I may end up trying to depot the shadows so I can easily carry them around in my bag for touch ups.  If I decide to depot the shades, I'll certainly keep you all posted.  Click this link to be brought to the Sigma site for more information on the palettes as well as their other products (

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Sigmax Brushes - Face and Precision

For lovers of synthetic brushes, these are a must have.  Sigma launched their Sigmax collection with face brushes F80 - Flat Top Kabuki Brush, F82 - Round Top Kabuki Brush, and F84 - Angled Top Kabuki Brush.  I immediately suggested to Sigma they make some eye brushes in these wonderful  HD synthetic duo fibers as they're the softest I've ever felt against my skin and they're cruelty-free to boot.  In this posting, I not only show you what was part of the original Sigmax collection, but also their new additions.

Set of 4 Face Brushes - Left to Right: F80, F82, F84, and F86
The original set (F80, F82, and F84) are my go-to brushes, replacing many of my other high-end brushes as they yield a flawless application of my makeup.  F80 is a wonderful, dense brush that buffs powder or liquid products into the skin.  My liquid foundation applies beautifully with this brush thanks to the long handle.

F80 - Flat Top Synthetic Kabuki Brush
F82, with its rounded bristles, is a perfect complement to the F80 as it is easier to get around the nose and under the eyes with this brush.  It's one of the few brushes that don't irritate my under-eye area, which is particularly sensitive and delicate.
F82- Round Top Synthetic Kabuki Brush
The last of the original trio, F84, gets a lot of use as I love it for applying my blush.  This brush is the most versatile and I have used it to apply cream and powder blushes.  I have also used it for subtle contouring.

F84 - Angled Top Synthetic Kabuki Brush
The newest kid on block, completing the "Face" portion of this collection, is F86 - Tapered Synthetic Kabuki Brush, which is absolutely perfect for applying highlighter to with flawless precision, over the cheekbones and high planes of the face, especially the bridge of the nose.

F86- Tapered Synthetic Kabuki Brush
Each of these brushes can be purchased either individually for $16 each or you can get the whole set of 4 for $56, a savings of $8.  What I love about their brushes is that Sigma always individually wraps them in a plastic sleeve but they also include a brush guard.

I am happy to announce that Sigma has also created Sigmax Precision Brushes.  This set of 4 brushes also features the Sigmax HD synthetic duo fibers, bringing soft, professional, flawless application to the eyes and other small areas of the face!  This 4-piece set was developed by Sigma to "mimic your fingertips when applying makeup [to] your most sensitive and precise areas of your face."  I find that I prefer using the brushes as I am always afraid of tugging the skin around my eye area.

Set of 4 Precision Brushes

Close-up of the Brush Tips - Left to Right: P80, P82, P84, and P86
P80, the Precision Flat Brush is described by Sigma as "small, dense [with a ] flat top [making it] ideal to conceal blemishes, sun spots and small imperfection on the skin.  It can be used to stipple concealer on defined areas [as well as] setting powder.

P80 - Precision Flat Synthetic Brush
P82, the Precision Round brush, is perfect for applying eye shadow primers like Urban Decay Primer Potion, Too Faced Shadow Insurance, MAC Paint Pots or MAC Prep and Prime Eye bases.  Sigma also recommends this brush for highlighting around the nose, cheekbones an cupid's bow.

P82 - Precision Round Synthetic Brush
P84, the Precision Angled brush is the ideal tool for contouring along the sides of the nose and highlighting the brow bone.  I have not yet tried it for contouring the hollows of my cheekbones as Sigma recommends, but I will have to try that out.

P84- Precision Angled Synthetic Brush
Last, but not least, is the P86, the Precision Tapered brush, which Sigma recommends using for applying concealer under the eyes as well as areas like the sides of the nose, chin and mouth, to prevent lipstick bleeding.

Each of these brushes is sold individually for $14 or you can save $7 and buy the 4-piece set for $49.  Sigma throws in a free E25 - Eye Blending Brush with every order of $30 or more.  Sigma also includes a great foldout with a description of the use of each brush with every order.

Foldout describing Sigmax Face Brushes
Foldout describing Sigmax Precision Brushes

I highly recommend these brushes as they are affordable, cruelty-free, and are of professional quality.  Click this link to be brought to the Sigma site (

Monday, October 24, 2011

Wet 'n' Wild Dream Weavers Collection

In this economic climate, Wet 'n' Wild offers great products with excellent color payoff at an affordable price.  I was lucky enough to snag the full set of Dream Weavers Trios ($2.99 each).  The trios offer a nice range of versatility from neutral to trendy shades in various finishes.  For those of you that missed previous limited edition products, some of the shades make an appearance in this collection.  Other shades bear some resemblance to those offered in current Color Icon Trios or 8-shade Palettes.

The collection consists of 6 trios as follows (pictured above from top to bottom; left column and then right):

1. Bright Idea - #33645 - Gold (browbone); Green (crease); Fuchsia (eyelid) 

  • Shown on the left next to Spoiled Brat - Eyelid shades are very similar though Spoiled Brat's appears to be slightly darker

  • Shown on the left next to I Got Good Jeans - Browbone shade brighter and more yellow than the eyelid shade offered in I Got Good Jeans

  •  Shown on the right next to I Dream of Greenie - Crease shades are similar; new crease shade slightly more olive

2. We're Blasting Off -  #33646 - Pink (browbone); Shimmery purple/burgundy (crease - similar to MAC Beautymarked); Taupe (eyelid)

  • Shown on the left next to Silent Treatment - eyelid shades are similar

  • Shown on the right next to Petal Pusher - browbone color similar to browbone shade on the right of Petal Pusher and crease shades are similar

  • This trio has been said to look like Sweet As Candy.  Unfortunately, this trio needs to be replaced in my stash so I don't have a photo at this time.  Rest assured though, that these are not the same at all.

3. Dancing In The Clouds - #33647 - Shimmery taupe (browbone); bright purple (crease); light rust (eyelid)

  • Shown on the left next to Comfort Zone - eyelid shade similar to the eyelid shade in the left column of Comfort Zone

4. Fly Me To The Moon - #33648 - white (browbone); glittery black (crease); royal blue (eyelid)

  • Shown to the right of Blue Had Me At Hello - crease color similar to the definer shade in the right column of Blue Had Me At Hello

  • Shown to the left of Blue Had Me At Hello - browbone shade similar to browbone shade in the left column of Blue Had Me At Hello

5. Earth Looks Small From Down Here - #33649 - olive (browbone); shimmery blue (crease); green (eyelid)

  • Shown on the right of Comfort Zone - browbone shade similar to eyelid shade in the right column of Comfort Zone; I find it slightly more olive

  • Shown on the right of I Got Good Jeans - crease shades are similar 

6. Enter A New Realm - #33650 - silver (browbone); matte black (crease); shimmery red (eyelid)

  • Shown on the right of 2010 Holiday Limited Edition Night Elf - browbone shades similar; eyelid shade similar to crease shade in the right column of the Night Elf palette

  • Shown on the left of Blue Had Me At Hello palette - crease shade similar to the definer shade at the bottom left of Blue Had Me At Hello

While there are some similarities to products still offered, this collection affords those of you that have missed out on previous collections, or can't seem to find the 8-shade palettes or trios in your area, the opportunity to try these great shades.

I love the color payoff on these.  I generally apply over a primer and they seem to last long enough for me.  Some of the glittery shades do have some fallout so if using them, I'll use a light hand and apply my eyeshadow before my foundation.  All in all, these shadows are a "dream" and I can't wait to "weave" some looks with them.