Beauty Product Reviews | Page 2

Lower Lash Precision with Wings!

In Photo: Sonia Kashik bent liner, MAC 266, MAC 239, Sonia G Worker One, Smudger One, Builder One, Crease One, and MAC 219.

Smudger One is another gem in my growing Sonia G stash. This little beauty I use for darkening my outer lower lash line with powder shadows and also using it as a precision tool to apply winged shadow beautifully, gently, and easily on my hooded eyes. Couldn’t do that before with anything I owned!

I love using Sonia G’s Pencil One (not pictured) for my inner corner and inner under lash line smudging. The Pencil One can also be used for outer under lash line smudging, however it can’t produce a winged edge. If you like gentle and soft-feeling smudging, Pencil One is totally perfect. For a finer, thinner precision and that winged flexibility, Smudger One is the tool.

The Smudger One is a firmly packed, sharply-tapered, gentle-on-skin, precise tool.

Smudger One’s top edge is thinner than the Sonia Kashuk bent liner and the same thinness as the MAC 266’s top edge, which is really saying something amazing about Sonia’s brush design skills. Its leading edge is also thinner than the tip of a MAC 219 pencil brush when applied to the eye.

When turned sideways, the thickness of Smudger One at the ferrule is about half that of Builder One. Smudger One also has a slightly more squared off top edge, perfect for lining.

If I were into cut crease work (I’m not), I’d use Smudger One for precise edge lining in the socket, using the brush inverted (upside down). It’d also be really cool for architectural looks with powder. (As it’s squirrel, it can’t be used with liquids/creams.)

I haven’t tried this yet, but I’m keen to use it for under-brow highlighting for a really tiny line.

Another loved item. Roll on Sonia G!

Love it. Seeking the next one!!!

I already adored Viseart Neutral and Dark Mattes and was neglecting all other mattes I own. When the Grande came out I drooled for a long while and eventually took the plunge. So glad.

The pleasure of reaching for this palette and heading across one of the rows for immaculate colour gradation and a wonderful eye-popping intensifier was sublime. They blend without muddiness. Some are more grippy on the eye than others.

The intensifier shade is such a genius idea and takes an everyday look to celebration in a few seconds, subtle to princess, office-chic to grunge.

Application without a primer allows for a gentler and softer finish that still stays on for 8+ hours. With a primer such as Too Faced Shadow Insurance, the shadows show their full intensity and last as long as my entire day to evening until I remove my makeup. I have hooded eyes; no problems there.

Although others have commented on the differences in some individual shadows’ payoff, and it’s true, I found that when used in rows, somehow the differences worked together in the right locations on the eye for a lovely finish.

I also love how I can deviate from one row to another to pick up a shade that is slightly different in its underlying tone but it still works because of the way the tones and colour depths are laid out in the palette.

It’s just a little too big to be convenient to carry every day. I would love Viseart to bring out 12-pan empty palettes, as I would love to take certain selections from the Grande with me every day.

I miss my prime neutrals, which are in the Neutral Matte palette, particularly the transition and basic crease colours I use frequently/near daily. I typically like to add the Grande crease colours near my neutral crease colour.

The packaging is lovely, but I’d happily pass on the book cover exterior for more shadows lol! Mind you, every time I use the palette it goes back into that cover. It definitely offers a lot of protection.

I have a fair neutral complexion that some days looks warmer/yellower and some days looks cooler, so I can use most shadows in this palette except most of the coolest row, and a few of the yellow-olive-toned row.

Worth it? Yes. High quality, great selection of colours. I’m no makeup artist but I could easily use selected colours on my friends with Australian, Lebanese, Chinese, Philippino, and Baltic skin tones, as well as on specific deeper skin tones such as African. Good selection overall.

Very different Purpose to Builder 1

I absolutely adore Builder One. It gets used every day with my dark and bold Viseart mattes for precise placement.

It took me a while to find Builder Two’s niche as I don’t use cream eye products and rarely use shimmers/glitters.

I’ve had trouble finding a good brush to make the most of Viseart shimmers. That quest ended when I used Builder Two! I now have consistently excellent results from my Viseart shimmers that I’ve never achieved before with any other brush. I now have another perfect pairing between two of my favourite product lines, Viseart and Sonia G.

This brush is extremely firmly packed with virtually no give/flex in it. The efficient bristles are also very gentle against the skin. It is like patting a solid tiny cat’s paw against the eyelid. It is this precise (and unusual) feature that enables wayward shimmer particles to be smoothly laid flat on the eyelid surface, giving greater gleam.

This brush somehow makes my shimmers look less ageing (I’m 45 with wrinkly hooded eyes), as it packs on colour and lays the shimmer pieces as flat as they can be. Love!

If I was unable to have both Builder One and Builder Two, I would go for One without hesitation, as it is more versatile and flexible (it’ a very different brush in actual fact). But if you have persistently annoying shimmers that don’t seem to have much payoff... grab this too.

Love it. HG.

I have been a devoted user of Shiseido White Lucent range and a few of their other products (Benefiance) for at least a decade. In the last few years they changed the formulation of multiple products in the line, which no longer provided the same effects as previously.

I received a sample of IT Confidence in a Cream from Beautylish and wow was I surprised with the results! Within a week of morning and night use, 5 years of fine lines had disappeared from my face. Plumped? I didn’t know what plump youthful skin looked like until now!!! I didn’t take before and after photos because very few products show these kind of results in the real world so I wasn’t expecting such an amazing result.

I ran out of it for a week or so and went back to a Shiseido Benefiance night cream I had on hand. The difference was remarkable. Not only wasn’t it hydrating my skin anywhere near what IT Confidence in a Cream could do, leading to more visible pores and lines, it was also heavy and greasy in comparison, sitting on top of my skin more than being absorbed.

I’m a new convert to Confidence in a Cream and have begun stashing it as it’s difficult to buy where I live. I never want to run out of it! The results were just fantastic.

I also can mix it successfully with my Smashbox Studio 15 hour foundation in 1.15. It works brilliantly. This changes my somewhat dry looking Matt long-wear foundation into a glowier version, with the same long-wear, and drops a few years off my face at the same time. When I mix it like this, I moisturise my face first, allow to sink in, then apply the foundation-moisturiser mix. This mix is best *not* used on top of a silicone primer like Benefit Primed and Poreless, as it performs better without a primer! (I still use Benefit if I am using the Smashbox alone without the IT moisturiser, but those days are getting rare and only for really high-oil days in summer.)

Essential for eyes

Photo: MAC 239, MAC 224, MAC 221, Sonia G Worker One, MAC 217, MAC 233, Hourglass #3

Speedy: If you need eyes done in a hurry or enjoy subtle and well blended shadow applications, this is definitely a one-and-done brush that works at speed. It’s worth buying it for that alone.

I love it for brow-to-crease application as it applies shadow at a medium level (unlike Builder One which packs shadow on really well, which I prefer for the mobile lid). I use it daily to blend between dense shadow applications on the mobile lid.

Targeted Blending: When used with very narrow back-and-forth strokes, it allows for efficient and targeted blending between shades, reducing the likelihood of muddiness from shadows that don’t work well together.

Elongated/Oval Circumference: Worker One is not a typical round blender, but elongated. This makes it so much more versatile as it can blend at many different angles eg vertical, horizontal, 45 degree angle. This is hands-down my favourite blender shape and density.

Shader/Blender Combo Resilience: The beauty of Worker One is it has enough resilience to pick up shadow for light/medium density application, but enough flexibility to blend it all out beautifully.

Size: Not too big, not too small. An all-rounder.

Useful/Essential: This is one of those *super-useful* brushes that I didn’t realise is as useful as it is... until it was out of rotation for cleaning. Then it became VERY apparent. I needed to find THREE brushes to replace it (!) and was completely unhappy with all my domed blenders that seemed too small, too large, too hard, too soft, and just not the right shape. I also became annoyed with my prior shaders as I realised they were all too small for efficiency for everyday.

This is an essential brush. If you have any young friends getting into makeup, get Worker One. If you are busy and have limited time to apply eyeshadows, get Worker One. If you like having efficient tools that multi-task, or you are a minimalist who loves makeup, get Worker One.

Finish/quality: Worker One has Sonia G’s usual high quality, pretty, shimmering lacquer which hasn’t chipped from daily use or storage in my handbag next to other brushes.

Brush Hair: The goat hair is definitely soft; but sometimes I use it in a pokey way to blend out really tough shadows that adhere strongly to primer (aka, I should have remembered and applied them more lightly!). It’s then I realise I adore squirrel near my eyes... and also realise squirrel won’t cut it for efficient blending as it doesn’t have sufficient resilience. IMO Sonia G has made the perfect decision in balancing softness, resilience, and density for this all rounder brush.

An essential product. It may not look particularly special or unique... but believe me, it is!

Modern highlighting made easy!

This is an awesomely versatile brush on so many levels. I bought it as a whimsical add-on, not as something I thought I needed. Hah! An eye-opener.

Highlighter: Perfect size and shape for modern highlighter trends (whether tapping, swiping, or fluttering). Great size+curvature for taking highlighter around the temple. Perfect for selected forehead highlighting, vertically down the nose, horizontally across nose tip and the Cupid’s bow. So easy, so fast.

The goat hair bristles pick up product really efficiently, so be light-handed when first trying it out. If you love beaming highlighter applications, this brush can do it in a heartbeat. It can just as easily be merely tapped into product to satisfy minimalists seeking a hint of a glow.

Sculpting: Shape and size allows for true targeted sculpting in cheek hollows. I prefer to use an outer third of a flatter side of the arch tapped in Kevyn Aucoin Sculpting Powder. I tap/apply it carefully near my ear with the point of the arch aimed towards my nose, and diffuse it ever so slightly to create a detectable-but-undetectable shadow.

It also sculpts the nose efficiently - just lightly tap the very top edge of the arch in sculpting product, and in a sweep or two it’s applied and diffused down either side of the nose.

Eyeshadow-in-a-hurry: On a busy morning I reached for Sculpt Three to apply a veil of neutral eyeshadow from brows downwards because it happened look like the right size/density/width for maximum efficiency. It worked. The time saved was wasted in stunned awe.

Love the handle thickness, length, and weight in conjunction with this brush head. It feels perfectly natural for everything I’ve used it for, at all sorts of angles.

Versatile density: density thicker in the centre, thinner at the ends.

Softness: Soft, soft bristle tips but with enough resilience down the bristle length to keep its structure.

High quality, gorgeous looking shimmery lacquer which doesn’t chip when carried around with other brushes. (All of Sonia G’s brushes have this beautiful lacquer and none of mine have chipped - some come with me everywhere every day in my handbag.)

I trust in thee Sonia G.

Beautiful, reliable, soft on skin

Photo: Wayne Goss Air Brush, Sonia G Face Two, MAC 168, MAC 188

Lovely quality, high end brush. Gorgeous shimmery lacquered finish on the handle.

The brush head has a flat top with curved bevelled edges around the circumference. I found the hair volume, density, firmness/resilience, and arrangement tended to lend itself to stippling on pigmented powdered product, followed by a gentle swirl/sweep to diffuse a little more.

The bristle tips are soft on the skin. They feel like the surface of a powder puff placed on top of a set of firm bristles (if that makes sense). The bristle resilience down the length of the hair is strong enough to use a buffing technique, if that is your preference. They don’t buckle when stippling, allowing for reliable placement.

The hair can certainly pick up a lot of product quickly; particularly useful if you have less pigmented blushes.

As with all of Sonia’s goat-hair-only brushes, when picking up product, less is more due to very efficient pickup. They also deposit product reliably.

Washes well, diameter expands/fluffs slightly after washing, no hair fallout whatsoever during washing or use.

I haven’t attempted to multi-task with this brush as I enjoy the Sonia G Sculpt Three for accurate powder sculpting or highlighting and the Sonia G Sculpt One for powder bronzing.

Sculpt One is a Speed Demon

Photo: MAC 187, Wayne Goss Air Brush, Sonia G Sculpt One, MAC 168, Chikuhodo T-1 (my T-1 was gently blow dried on a cold setting for greater airiness)

Brilliant quality, gorgeous glimmering lacquer finish, excellent bristle design. Wonderful for bronzer and pressed finishing powders.

This brush halved my bronzer application time for cheekbones and facial perimeter because of its varied surface area, bristle shape, and pickup efficiency.

For pigmented products, merely tap it in, then apply with a wiggle to diffuse. I don’t ‘load’ this brush - I tap, apply, tap, apply. Takes me 6 seconds to bronze my entire face, including cheekbone zone when ‘contouring’ with bronzer (not sculpting).

To apply bronzer just under/on cheekbones, I pick up product on an outer third of the arc on one surface only. Apply with one tip pointing towards the nose, the apex of the arch (highest point) tilted towards the top of the ear, and the surface nearly flat on the skin. Sweep towards the ear first, then go back and wiggle/diffuse briefly.

For facial perimeter bronzing, I very lightly tap/roll the tips of an entire (flatter) side onto product, apply with the same motion near the hairline, then wiggle inwards to diffuse. Any left over bronzer in the brush works for the jaw in a swift back-and-forth movement along the jaw edge.

If you have less pigmented products needing heavier application, this brush is a great solution as it has the capacity to pick up an immense amount of product with little effort. Efficient indeed.

This brush is lovely for pressed finishing powders, as it has wide (whole arch, flat side), broad (top of the bristle tips at arch apex), and smallish surfaces (end of the arcs) to play with.

I have average cheekbone space and couldn’t figure out a technique to apply blush, highlighter, or true sculpting powder with the level of precision I prefer. Sonia G’s Face Two and Sculpt 3 do those jobs more effectively for me.

Sculpt One bristles are slightly softer feeling on the skin than my Chikuhodo T-1 saihoko powder brush, yet have the strength (without pokeyness) to maintain the arc during application. They also have the right amount of flex to facilitate diffusion without being floppy.

The standout element is the shape. Imagine a banana shape. The spread of the bristle tips is broadest at the centre, gradually narrowing in profile and thickness towards the ends of the arc. The airiness remains constant throughout.

The overall length of Sculpt One works well, especially for facial perimeter. When contouring my cheeks, I hold the brush closer to the ferrule for greater control, so find the handle a bit chunky. I’d enjoy the somewhat thinner handle of Face Two on this brush, for sure.

After washing, Sculpt One becomes airier/slightly broader, which enhances the diffusion effect. I didn’t use a brush guard and it retains its shape. There were a couple (literally) of wayward goat hairs that may benefit from a fan brush guard while drying if you’re fussy about perfect looking brushes. It didn’t affect application. No hair fallout whatsoever.

Can’t see myself going back to other brushes for everyday bronzer application... Sculpt One is a speed demon!

Precision, precision, precision

Another superb brush by Sonia G, just as high quality in design and manufacture as her Crease One and Pencil One.

The dyed goat hair is supremely soft. By soft, I mean super gentle on 45-year old, sensitive, crepey, eyelid skin. No sharp pokes. Almost fluid. Softer than my Chikuhodo T1 undyed goat hair powder brush. Just as soft as my squirrel hair Wayne Goss Air Brush. <sighs blissfully> I was afraid it was going to be more pokey than her squirrel hair brushes. It isn’t :)

The density and architectural structure of the bristles enables a firmness and cohesiveness that is firmer near the ferrule, becoming exponentially more flexible towards the tip. The structure means the flexibility runs in one direction - horizontally across the bristles as you place the flat side on your eyelid. This allows a perfect lay down of product exactly where you want it. No further. If you pat the brush again a fraction of a millimetre above what you’ve already placed, that’s exactly where it will go. No stray bristles on the edges of the brush, just precision (that’s after washing too, with no brush guard for drying).

Builder One picks up Viseart Neutral Matte dark brown in one swipe (no wiggling!) and applies it with deep intensity when patted over the outer third of the mobile eyelid.

Using Sonia’s wiggle technique for glitter shadows, Builder One picks up BH foil shadows and Urban Decay glitter/metallic shadows better than a MAC 239. In two swipes to place product, Builder One deposits twice as much glittery shadow as what the MAC 239 can, using the same technique and pressure.

In contrast to another reviewer here, I didn’t find the ferrule touched my eyelid. This may be because I was expecting precision, so subconsciously aimed the tip exactly where I wanted it to go, at a 45 degree angle to my eyelid, then swiped/patted downwards at that angle. This is different to how I normally place product with a MAC 239, which has longer bristles that I tend to apply at a 30 degree angle when I’m trying to lay down product. (Never noticed until now!)

For the heck of it, I tried it under the lower lash line and as a cut-crease tool. Cut-crease, precison. Oh yeah.

Lower lash line? I prefer Sonia G’s Pencil One, which has a better shape and structure for both pickup (rotate it in the shadow) and application (short strokes from outer to inner) of shadow in that space. The Builder One didn’t lay down as much product across the same distance. However, it did apply it with a fraction of a millimetre more narrowness though. If I was travelling light (or late for work), I’d grab this and the Builder One for eyes. I love my Pencil One though, it’d sneak in.

Pic is of lay down after two swipes of Urban Decay Naked 3 Trick on unprimed forearm. Builder One vs MAC 239.

This review is lengthy, but as an Aussie buying sight unseen, I’ve found detail is useful :)

Awesome. Just awesome.

A glimmering piece of perfection from the brush connoisseur Sonia.

Super soft and very fine bristles are soooo gentle yet incredibly densely packed. They are perfectly tiered into a dense cone which allows the squirrel hair to pick up a lot of product.

So so easy to do a smoked out undereye as heavily or as subtly as you like - it blends immaculately as it goes. It is also perfect to create a defined outer V, something I have never been able to accomplish before.

Rolling just the very tip of this brush into Viseart black from the VPE01 Neutral Matte palette (my most intense black shadow) and applying from the outer under eye inwards offers daytime undereye definition that is as buildable as it is controllable. Using little, short strokes, this brush allows a perfect gradation from the outer eye towards the inner eye... blending top and bottom as it goes.

Its perfect bristle length, relatively sharp taper, and gentleness means I can even apply Viseart Matte Black smoothly through my long lashes onto the outer edge of my lower waterline - a totally unheard of adventure for my sensitive, crepey, eyes.

The conic form remains after washing - no bushing out. Really really impressed me.

I also used it to apply one of the BH Foil Eyes mauves under my eye on top of the Viseart Matte black - perfection. It offered far better application for payoff and controllability than current Hourglass eye brushes or the top edge of a MAC 239.

My unused spiky and prickly pencil brush MAC 219 can now make an undignified and permanent departure.

I’m hoping the photo retains enough resolution one uploaded here to show the bristle ends. If not, know they are immaculately arranged!

The lacquer work on this brush is exceptional. It has an unparalleled finish where the glimmering particles are deposited on a lower layer, creating a dimensional shimmering gleam through the glossy upper layer that is gorgeous to look at in sunlight. The ferrule is attached firmly to the brush - quality control is very evident resulting in an impeccable brush that has instantly made it a favourite on all levels.

Thank you Sonia for bringing an exceedingly high quality and wonderfully performing brush into my price range. I’m coming back for more of your range over the coming weeks, months, and years.

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