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Real Techniques Expert Face Brush

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Disclaimer: I received this product free for review purposes and all opinions are 100% my own.

Simple and minimal packaging

The Real Techniques brand is created by two sisters, Sam and Nic Chapman. Makeup artists in their own right, they have built an empire with their Youtube channel, Pixiwoo, and a full line of cosmetic brushes and sponges.


The Packaging

I love how their packaging is simple and isn’t full of frilly details. It’s simply housed in a stiff plastic box with thick, sturdy cardboard to help retain the box’s shape. Open the top of the box and the brush just slides right out. The only concern is if there is heavy handling (ie. extreme shaking) of the box, you could potentially bend or misshape the bristles. However, given that the brush will likely be hanging on the wall at the store, the likelihood of this happening is pretty low.


The Product

Brand on barrel

The brush has a rubber base, an aluminum barrel, with soft, dense bristles. One one side of the barrel, you have the words “REAL TECHNIQUES by Sam & Nic.” The rubber base is wide and supposed to be flat so you can stand them up on their own, however, the brush I have has a slightly rounded base so it wobbles instead.


On the other side, the type of brush

The other side of the barrel has “expert face brush” printed on it.


Soft bristles

The bristles are made from synthetic taklon. They’re hand-cut and 100% cruelty-free. Packed in ultra dense, the brush is broad which makes it great for blending cream or liquid foundations. I generally use mine to blend out my liquid foundations after applying with my fingers.


The Verdict

Being near-sighted, I can’t see anything once my glasses comes off, so this makes makeup application tricky. I apply my liquid foundations with my fingers because it’s more tactile, however there’s always some areas where I haven’t blended well at all. This is where the Real Techniques Expert Face Brush comes in. I’ll buff around my nose so I can put my glasses on, then I can see where exactly I need to blend out uneven spots. A couple of swirls does the trick and I’m done! I love how fast and easy it is. It’s easily worked its way into my daily beauty routine.


Where to Buy – $12.99 CND

  • Walmart
  • Recall Pharma Plus
  • London Drugs
  • FarleyCo

Written by Jessica

June 5th, 2017 at 11:15 am

Posted in Beauty,face,tools

Ecotools Skin Perfecting Brush

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Being near-sighted, I’ve gotten used to applying my makeup with my fingers. However, when the occasion calls for contacts, I like to try to practice with tools to see how much of a difference makeup application becomes. The Ecotools Skin Perfecting Brush* is one that I’ve been testing out lately.


Eco Tools Skin Perfecting Brush - packaging
Even the packaging is eco friendly!

The Packaging

The brush is packaged in a reusable pouch that’s made out of a cloth backing and a clear front made out of EVA plastic. EVA is a type of plastic that does not contain phthalates and PVC. I think it’s great that you can reuse the pouch and I can fit the skin perfecting brush with a couple of eyeshadow brushes in there comfortably. It would make for a handy traveling case as long as you’re not overstuffing your bag. All this does is carry your brushes, but it doesn’t offer much protection in terms of breakage, so pack smart!


The Product

Eco Tools Skin Perfecting Brush - brush
Length of brush

The brush consists of really soft, white bristles that are cruelty free, a recycled aluminum ferrule, and a bamboo handle.


Eco Tools Skin Perfecting Brush - bristles 1
Angled bristles

Not sure if you can see it in this picture but the bristles are angled, which makes it easier to reach those hard to reach areas (I’m looking at you sides of the nose and around the eyes).


Eco Tools Skin Perfecting Brush - bristles 2
Close up of bristles

The claim of this brush is that it’s designed specifically to be used with BB and CC creams. BB and CC creams have a much thicker consistency than liquid foundation, and I usually use my fingers when applying this. The nice thing about using a dedicated brush is the decreased likelihood of transferring germs and oils to your face, provided that you clean your brush between each application.


The Verdict

I like using this when I’m wearing contacts. Being the blind bat that I am, I can actually see a  difference between finger application and brush application of my BB cream. The main thing is I can actually see if the application is smooth and even.  The other thing I like is the precision I get with the angled bristles. Those hard to reach places are easy to reach using this brush! When I have time in the morning, I like to grab the brush and take my time. However, if I’m running late, I default to my fingers.


Where to Buy

* Disclaimer – I received this product from FarleyCo for review consideration. All opinions expressed are my own and are not influenced in any way.

Written by Jessica

March 3rd, 2015 at 11:25 am

Posted in Beauty,face,tools

Ecotools Pure Complexion Facial Sponge for Sensitive Skin

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I’m a lazy person. There, I said it. I mean, who really wants to wake up at some ungodly hour just to get ready when you could spend that extra 30min or so in bed? I’ll admit, I’d much rather snooze a few more times before rolling out of bed to wash my face, do a 5 min face and then be out the door to go to work. However, I will spend the time at night to take care of my skin just before going to bed.


Eco Tools Pure Complexion Facial Sponge - packaging
The box

Enter Ecotools Pure Complexion Facial Sponge for Sensitive Skin*. This sponge has made it easy to at least give my face a good clean in the morning rather than my usual wet face cloth. Dab a little bit of facial cleanser, work in small circles, and then rinse off. Voila! Fresh, clean face ready for quickie skincare and makeup application.


The Packaging

The sponge itself is housed in clear plastic shell, then enclosed in a sturdy recycled paper box.


The Product

Eco Tools Pure Complexion Facial Sponge - sponge
The sponge

The sponge itself when it first came out of the packaging was hard and had a little bit of give to it when you pressed a finger into it. It does take a little bit of time for water to soak in, at which it becomes nice and soft with a springy texture. The sponge itself is made out of 100% natural ingredients, including Konjac vegetable fibre. This was pretty interesting as I’ve always eaten konjac (I know it under the name of konnyaku) whenever my family has hot pot.

I like to use the flat, pointed side under my eyes, the sides of my nose, and below my lips. The larger rounded side of the sponge I use for the rest of my face. After using, I’ll squeeze it a couple of times under running water to rinse it, then place it in a small dish by the sink to dry.

It has a slight rough texture to the touch, but once wet, it is soft and offers a very gentle scrub. The best part of this product is that it is fragrance-free and colorant-free!


The Verdict

I use this mainly in the morning with a small drop of my facial cleanser. At night, I still default to my trusty Clarisonic. This is a great way to work a little TLC in my morning skincare regime without having to set aside a lot of time for it. The best part is that after using this to clean my face in the morning, I find that my skincare products have been absorbing better. Bonus!


Where to Buy


* Disclaimer – I received this product from FarleyCo for review consideration. All opinions expressed are my own and are not influenced in any way.

Written by Jessica

June 20th, 2014 at 11:48 am

Posted in Beauty,face,tools

Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge

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Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge - packaging

I’ve never used a makeup sponge before. I’ve always applied my foundations mainly with my fingers, and sometimes with a brush when I’m wearing contacts. When this appeared on my doorstep courtesy of FarleyCo, I was intrigued.


The Packaging

The sponge is housed in a clear plastic mold, then into another clear plastic case. The mold is helpful in helping the sponge retain its shape. However, when I opened mine up, there was a slight indent in the flat side of the sponge. It wasn’t a problem, because after washing it under water and drying, the indent was gone, and the sponge looked perfect.


The Product

Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge - sponge
The sponge itself

You can see that the sponge has 3 main areas – a flat side, rounded side behind it, and a pointed tip.


Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge - flat edge
Flat edge

The flat edge is designed for the contours around the eyes as well as the nose.

The rounded side (that you can easily see from the above pictures) is the area you use for overall application. It’s best to dab the foundation all around instead of dragging it across the skin.


Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge - pointed tip
Pointed tip

The pointed tip is for more precise work in covering up blemishes and around the nose.

I found that I actually like using the flat edge for all over the face, and then the pointed tip for around the eyes and nose. Not only was application super easy, but I could also do it well without wearing contacts! That’s right my fellow poor-sighted girls, I was able to achieve an even application without having to be right up close to the mirror!

To use, I pump the foundation to the back of my hand, then dab the sponge onto it. After dabbing it onto various areas on my face, I then use the different areas (flat, round, tip) to lightly stipple the foundation into place. The sponge does absorb some of the product so watch out for that. Whereas I use 2 pumps of foundation for application with my fingers, I find I need 3 pumps with the sponge.


The Verdict

For a first time user of makeup sponges, I love this! I’ve worked this into my daily beauty routine and it is super easy to use. I highly recommend this to the poor-sighted who want an even makeup application with no fuss!


Where to Buy – $9.99

* Disclaimer – I received this product from FarleyCo for review consideration. All opinions expressed are my own and are not influenced in any way.

Written by Jessica

June 4th, 2014 at 9:13 am

Posted in Beauty,face,tools

Winter 2013 Luxe Box Review

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Winter 2013 Luxebox - box
It’s Luxebox time!

Surprisingly, I received some mail today! That’s right, mail delivery on a sunday? Maybe because it’s getting closer to holidays? In any case, I received my Winter Luxebox today! So what could I do but anxiously open it up?


Winter 2013 Luxebox - contents
The contents

To be honest, I was pretty disappointed with this season’s box. Most of what I received were small samples and not considered a deluxe size at all. Here’s the breakdown.


Winter 2013 Luxebox - EVOLVh UltraShine Moisture Shampoo
EVOLVh UltraShine Moisture Shampoo

Never heard of this brand but am open to trying it. However, I would have appreciated it if they included the matching conditioner. I’m a shampoo and conditioner kind of gal, so only having shampoo in the box perplexes me. Now I need to use a conditioner that’s from an entirely different brand that might not even work well with this shampoo.

Full size: 250ml for $24
Sample size: 75ml for $7.20


Winter 2013 Luxebox - Keratase Elixer Ultime
Keratase Elixer Ultime

I’m pretty sure I received something really similar in a previous box, though not exactly the same. This is a hair oil that’s meant for colour-treated hair. This is something I’m positive I had indicated in my personal profile that I do NOT have. This is a completely useless product for me.

Full size: 250ml for $42
Sample size: 3ml for $0.50


Winter 2013 Luxebox - the Balm Stainiac
theBalm Stainiac

I was only introduced to theBalm from the last Luxebox so this is something I’m willing to try out. I wonder how it is compared to Benefit’s Benetint?

Full size: 0.3 oz for $17
Sample size: $2.27


Winter 2013 Luxebox - Essie nail polish - No More Film
Essie No More Film

I’m very disappointed with this as No More Film was part of Essie’s 2012 Resort Collection, which means the collection has been out for over a year now. To have this in the box now is pretty late.

Full size: 13.6ml for $11.99
Sample size: This is the full size.


Winter 2013 Luxebox - Yves Rocher Sexy Pulp Ultra Volume mascara
Yves Rocher Sexy Pulp Ultra Volume mascara

A mini tube of mascara. I’m not too interested in mascara since I can only wear it when I wear my contacts. I’m still willing to try it out though.

Full size: 9ml for $19
Sample size: $5.28


Winter 2013 Luxebox - L'Occitane 20 percent Shea hand cream
L’Occitane 20% Shea Hand Cream

The one thing I’m really really excited to try. I’ve heard so many good things about L’Occitane’s hand creams, especially this one in particular. I can’t wait to try it out!

Full size: 150ml for $30
Sample size: $2


Winter 2013 Luxebox - Loose Button lip brush
Loose Button lip brush

I feel like these Loose Button branded brushes shouldn’t be counted as part of the 6-7 deluxe samples that each box is supposed to contain. For consumers that are as like-minded as I am, I am paying for these quarterly boxes to receive up-to-date deluxe samples that are on trend with the current season. A lip brush is not what I consider something that is “on trend”. I am treating this as a freebie throw in and not counting it in the value of the box.

Full size: No price, but I’m going to guess around $6.
Sample size: This would be considered full size.


To sum it all up…

# of sample size products = 5
# of full size products = 1
Total value of this season’s Luxe Box = $29.24

Wow Loose Button. This box was pretty much a fail. To put out a box that costs only marginally more than what I paid for when all of your other boxes have had much greater value? This is enough to seriously make me consider cancelling my subscription altogether. Even though you’re providing consumers with the option to “upgrade” their boxes by paying extra, I feel like it’s just an extra cash grab to gain more money. Part of the fun is not knowing what you’re going to get and the surprise that comes with it. However, if you’re advertising 6-7 deluxe beauty samples, then that’s what you should be providing. Never mind. Their website now says 7-8 trial sized beauty and lifestyle items. I’m remember when they made the change from monthly to seasonal, they said the extra time would allow them to curate better deluxe sized samples.

I’ll be taking some time deciding if I want to continue with my subscription or not. Hopefully all of your boxes were much better than what I received.

Written by Jessica

December 16th, 2013 at 12:29 am

Real Techniques Core Collection Brushes

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As mentioned in a previous post, I had won a giveaway from Procrastinating Pretty in conjunction with FarleyCo. Part 1 was The Batiste Dry shampoos I have reviewed here. This post serves as part two, where I will review for you the Real Techniques Core Collection brushes!

A little side history first: Real Techniques brushes were created by Samantha Chapman, of Pixiwoo fame. She developed these affordable brushes and now they are finally available for purchase in Canada! In addition to being available on FarleyCo’s website, they are also available at Wal-Mart although the last two times I’ve been there, I haven’t spotted them yet.


The Packaging

Real Techniques brushes - front of package
Front of package

It’s housed in a semi-sturdy plastic package with all its information printed on. There are no stickers sealing the edges so it makes it a little harder to tell if the package has been opened before. However, the way that the tabs are inserted in order to close the box means it is a little difficult to open the box without damaging the tabs. So make sure you look closely at your package to make sure it’s unopened.


Real Techniques brushes - back of package
Back of package

The back has information about Samantha, as well as detailed information about each brush that’s included. This is pretty useful to a beginner like me since I’m likely to look at a brush and then wonder what to use it for, haha.


The Product

Let’s look at the brushes themselves first.

Real Techniques brushes - name on handles
Real Techniques printed on the handle

Real Techniques brushes - type on handles
Roll the brush 180 degrees and the brush type is printed on the handle

Each brush is composed of a rubbery base, a light weight aluminum handle, and synthetic taklon bristles. The rubbery base is what gives the brush a bit of weight in your hand. The whole brush itself is fairly light in comparison to other brushes out there. I thought the brushes could be stood upright on their bases, but according to Real Techniques’ website, only certain individually sold brushes can be stood upright. I guess because these come with their own brush holder/stand, you wouldn’t have a need to stand them upright on their own.

The aluminum handle is very light, and I feel like it could dent really easily, but I’m not about to drop them on the ground for the purpose of research. If the entire aluminum part really is the ferrule, then that means you can wash your brushes without fear of water getting towards the back of the ferrule. I’m not saying that you should put the entire brush upright under running water, just that when you’re lying your brushes flat to dry, there is quite a bit of distance for the water to travel in order for it to reach the back of the ferrule. Also, on the aluminum handle, are printed labels for both the logo and the type or brush. This is helpful to me until I can tell what brush is what just by looking at it. Otherwise, it’s a nice reminder. The labels are printed (applied?) right on the aluminum and they don’t scratch off. Yes, I actually tried to scratch off the label because I thought it was a sticker appliqué. And no, the label did not budge.


Real Techniques brushes - brush heads
Beautifully soft bristles

Surprisingly, the bristles of each brush are super soft to the touch. They are made of synthetic taklon bristles that are hand cut. They’re definitely softer than my old Quo brushes. They’re not as densely packed as my Sigmax brushes, but they’re not sparse either.

Let’s look at individual brushes:

  • Contour Brush – Great for putting bronzer under the cheekbones since the size of the brush fits really well under the cheekbones.
  • Detailer Brush – I used this one to put powdered eyeliner on. A really small brush, it also works well for the inner corner of the eyes and the lower lash line.
  • Pointed Foundation Brush – Smaller than I expected, this foundation brush didn’t streak on my at all and provided with a beautiful finish.
  • Buffing Brush – I used this to put blush on and it works amazing. It blends out really well if I accidentally put a little too much on initially, and finishes off to a soft glow. I think it would also work well with powder foundations.


Now for the portfolio/holder.

Real Techniques brushes - closed holder
Closed with velcro tab  and string holder

The outside of the portfolio is covered with a silky nylon. There’s some foam padding underneath the lining so it feels a little plush under your fingertips. A velcro tab keeps the portfolio closed when it’s put away for storage or for when you’re traveling.


Real Techniques brushes - open holder
Opened up

The inside of the portfolio has a canvas nylon. There’s also no foam underneath but a board of some sort (cardboard? plastic?) that gives the portfolio structure. A thin elasticized band runs across the middle and is sewn into the portfolio at different spots, creating widths just wide enough to fit the handles of your brushes. Although this is a creative idea, the rubberized bottom of the brush handles makes it an incredible pain to fit in. The rubber is not conducive to sliding through the elastic and instead, catches and drags. Once you’re able to work through the brush handle through, it does fit nice and snug.


Real Techniques brushes - bend back to fold
Bend at the back and use the black ball to pull back on the string and keep it in place

To make the display stand, you bend it at the halfway mark and pull the string through. The black ball acts as an anchor and holds the string in place so it can’t slip back through. It’s a little hard to explain in words but once you see it, you’ll understand it.


Real Techniques brushes - standing holder
The stand with all four brushes on display

Isn’t it pretty? Just ignore the background. I was going through a Spring Clean and didn’t know where to put my cake and cupcake carriers for the time being. Brushes on display are pretty to look at but not all that practical if they’re going to be your daily use brushes.


The Verdict

I love the quality of these brushes! I keep reiterating that they’re super soft because they really are! Aside from being on the lighter side of weight, I have no other complaints of the brushes. The holder would be somewhat useful for travel, but definitely not for every day use. These are great brushes for beginners (like me!) and maybe perhaps for some of you seasoned beauty lovers.


Where to Buy

Written by Jessica

May 9th, 2013 at 8:28 pm

Posted in Beauty,tools

Good things will come to you by mail

with 3 comments

Or at least that’s what my fortune cookie said. Something really good did come in the mail today. And I’m super excited to share with you what it is!


Real Techniques brushes and Batiste dry shampoo
Real Techniques Core Collection brush kit and Batiste Dry Shampoo

Ta-daa! *insert super huge grin*

A few weeks ago, I entered a contest on Procrastinating Pretty and won! It was her very first giveaway in conjunction with FarleyCo. I was able to pick three things: 1 Real Techniques brush set (Core, Travel Essentials, or Starter), 1 full size Batiste Dry shampoo, and 1 travel size Batiste Dry shampoo.

I’ll be playing with these for the next couple weeks so be on the lookout for reviews soon!

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Written by Jessica

April 3rd, 2013 at 9:32 am

Posted in Beauty,hair,tools