Beauty Product Reviews
Possibly Lowest Value XL Boxes This Year
One of the biggest reasons the XL boxes are so sought after is because prior to this year, there was always an eyeshadow palette valued above $100 in the box. Natasha Denona 28 pan palettes and Viseart Grand Pro, for example. This year I saw so many boxes (excluding the west coast who always get better bags) on Instagram and Youtube that had palettes you would expect to be in the regular lucky bags. My "high value" item, ND Diamond and Blush palette, was on sale on ND's website for $53 on Black Friday (which I didn't want even at that price). The Becca Powder I received has gone on sale at Ulta several times for $19. Although my bag was valued at $344 retail (and yes, I remember when the minimum for XL used to promise $350 but this year they only guarantee $300), I was disappointed to see that the XL bags were nowhere near equal in value across the board. And high value palettes are no longer guaranteed. I may as well have gotten a regular box instead and used the other $75 towards the Metropolis palette I've been contemplating getting for months (or any of the many other Viseart and ND large palettes I don't have).
I've had this brush for almost three and a half years and it still looks and performs like it is brand new. My favorite products to use this with is for bronzer and highlighter. I prefer to use the barest amount of bronzer on the perimeter of my face, so this gives a nice light application precisely where I want it (unlike traditionally sized bronzer brushes). Especially since my favorite bronzer is just slightly too dark for my complexion, using this brush prevents me from overapplying. At the same time, despite the bristles being so incredibly soft, they're still sturdy enough to be able to pick up something harder in pan like my Nabla Skin Glazing highlighter. I love this. Great brush!
Fantastic XL box!
I was so relieved that the items in my box weren't complexion-dependent (meaning only works on certain skintones like bronzers, contour, blush, etc). My favorite items will always be eyeshadow and brushes so I'm especially happy that I got both. My previous bag was 2016, which I liked, but this one was even better! Thank you!
Benjabelle trees are made of very durable material; it is not flimsy in any way. It has varying hole sizes which can easily fit something like Tarte's 'the buffer' airbrush foundation brush. My off-brand brush tower can't do that! For a product that can be taken apart for storage, this is remarkably sturdy when assembled. One time I knocked it over and even though it fell it was still locked into place as tightly as if it was one solid piece. This also contributes to how tricky it is for me to assemble and reassemble. It takes me 2-5 minutes every time to get the legs to attach to the top. For that reason (and the price per slot compared to what else is on the market) I had to knock this to a 4 instead of 5. In general, if you don't have any sort of brush drying tree I highly recommend getting one. Hanging wet brushes upside down is the best method because it gets all the water out and the fibers won't get misshapen from being laid flat or pressed down on a towel.
The best cleansing water
I have tried both cheaper and pricier cleansing/micellar waters but Bioderma is the best! The others leave a slight residue on my skin after using them but Bioderma is the only one that doesn't. I especially like the bottles with the pump because of the convenience of applying the exact amount I need onto my cotton pad. Although this can be used alone to remove most makeup, I find that the quickest and best use of this product on myself is to use a makeup wipe first and then bioderma afterwards to get anything I missed.
Fantastic for Beginners
I didn't think this would be dark enough for my black brows but it worked! It creates a kind of shadow to camouflage sparse areas. I do wish it was a little less stiff but the fact that you have to build up the color is what makes it almost foolproof for beginners to mess up or over apply.
The Best Fan Brush!
The thickness of the brush makes it perfect for applying highlighter precisely. The softness not only makes it a pleasure to use but also does not disturb your makeup when dusting away excess powder. If washed and dried correctly, this brush holds its shape and doesn't shed. It is the best fan brush I have ever used. My brush is a year old.