Wednesday, July 8, 2009

My favorite things!

Before I take off for the weekend I thought I'd leave you all this post; I've been getting lots of emails from my customers asking me what brush or makeup product I like using best & would recommend (from my adorned with GraceTM store) so I thought it might be fun and perhaps informative to give you a Top Ten list of the things *I* love and can't live without. I did a Top Ten list of products my first month of blogging, but that was what is popular with my customers --these are my own personal loves!

1. Supreme Smoothing Powder: I use this as a primer underneath my foundation all over my face and then I go over it lightly around my more visible pores or areas I feel like need an extra smoothing. Gives a "Photoshopped" look to my face, lol! See a blog post here that I did about it:

Supreme Smoothing Powder: Does it work?

2. Metal Eyelash Comb: I get asked a LOT about this item---like does it really work better than the regular brow brushes? Well, let me tell you...I used to think clumps were just a regular part of wearing mascara; I used to use the plastic combs and those things never did ANY good! Because metal lash combs have such sharp teeth, these cut through the clumps easily. Just make sure to be careful as they can hurt you if you poke yourself in the eye (so no combing while driving/in a car, lol!) and keep the combs clean! I actually use dental floss to get in between and then wipe the rest away with a piece of a paper towel with a dab of rubbing alcohol.


See...the teeth are fine and sharp, unlike plastic brow brushes.

3. Shimmer Blushes: Although I like my pigmented blushes, I love the natural look and sheerness of my Shimmer Blushes! They give such a great youthful glow to my skin without accentuating fine lines or pores. My favorite Shimmer Blush colors? Hmmm...that is hard for me to say, but I guess if I *had* to choose, I'd say Fascinating (for a golden glow), Audacious (for a "perk me up" look), Dainty (for a feminine touch), & Tenderness (for a radiant, innocent sheen).

4. Small Pointed Face Brush: I didn't think much of this brush when I first saw it in my Supplier's Catalog and actually did not carry it immediately. However, I added it and after one of my faithful customers bought it and told me she realized that it was similar to the MAC 138, a $52 brush, I gave it a try and fell in love myself!

What is so great about it is it's shape. (In fact, if you look it up, it is the MAC 138 that is used with MAC's"Sculpt and Shape Powder!") You can apply color with the point for precision or use the sides where it angles for adding contours/highlight just where you need them! If you'd like to see it in action, one of my customers who is a popular YouTube guru, Julieg713 uses it in one of her looks *HERE*. You can fast forward it to the end (around 9:25) if you'd like to see a good visual on how to use it.

5. Microfiber washcloth: I have to be honest. I started carrying these not because of Customer request but because I just adore them and wanted to get a whole bunch of them for myself ha ha! I was using some I got from a DollarTree/General Dollar really cheap but I guess you get what you pay for as I found the cloth too thin and flimsy and it didn't seem to feel as comfortable to use as these do.

I use mine very gently on my face; I don't like to scrub too hard as you can rub your face raw if you overdo it. But my favorite is for using it on the backs of my arms as I have those unsightly bumps (Keratosis Pilaris I think is what they call it) because it does an excellent job of exfoliating. As a side note, I've recently been applying Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil as a lotion to my arms after I exfoliate with the washcloth, and I've noticed a big improvement! I'll continue to experiment with my EVCO and have a Health & Beauty post on how well it is working for me as I am using it for other beauty remedies. So look for that in the next few months!

6. Premium Eyecolors: Ahhh...my favorite eyeshadows ever! Besides the fact that these are all wearable colors, I love the texture of this formula--like creamy velvet! They blend well, wear long, & have just the right amount of sheen--not too matte they look chalky, but not too shimmery it looks like Tinkerbell exploded on your eyelids...

If I had to choose my faves, I would say: Phenomenal (a great eyeshadow base & highlight); Amazing & Dauntless (crease/lid colors); and Marvelous (for contouring/eyelining).

7. Ingenue Synthetic Flat Top Brush: I love all my brushes, especially from my Premium Line, but this is my "best all around" brush! It's not quite as dense as the Premium Flat Top or Buffer but is super soft and for an inexpensive brush, I have not noticed this one shed. I also LOVE the size of it for both everyday use and travel. It is very similar to Everyday Minerals Flat Top in size & shape that I know is very popular in MMU-land.
Such a cute yet super-soft brush!

8. Foundation: The whole reason adorned with GraceTM even exists! It's really awesome to me that I actually have foundation that is my perfect match! I also like my formula in that it isn't too heavy and chalky, giving medium to medium-heavy coverage (with applying in sheer layers and/or dabbing on problem areas first), yet has an almost skin finish (for me anyway) as I've tried other brands where I felt like I looked too chalky and ghostlike.

9. Ingenue Dual Fiber Set: Okay, I am cheating with this one as it is actually two products, but I'm running out of slots in my Top Ten and really wanted to get both of these brushes in.

First off, I love the Ingenue Sleek! It's almost identical in shape to my Ingenue Petite, but has a sleeker and prettier handle; I also think that the head is a little bit denser so if you wanted to use it for stippling foundation in those hard to stipple areas like around your nose and eyes, I think this one would do a better job. My favorite daily use for it though is for blush application, especial #3, my Shimmer Blushes--and it is about $26 cheaper than the MAC 188!

And then its "big sis" the Ingenue Large! If you can believe it, I actually had a tester sample of this from one of my suppliers that I bought about a year before I started carrying it and had just forgotten about it; I was too busy testing out some others from other suppliers and comparing it to the much loved MAC 187. Well, after I had given up and thought there wasn't one similar enough, I found my bag of tester brushes and realized this one was a winner! (I have a post *HERE* comparing the two.) As mentioned in that post, this one and the sleek will note some initial shedding--but nowhere near the "fallout" of the other brushes I have owned/tested that were supposed to be good dupes. In fact, there were some that were so bad I had to thrown them out as they were coming out in clumps! These have shedding but it is on the minimal side.

Now, in all honestly, it probably does not compare to the MAC 187 "just cuz" but with the MAC 187 costing $42, I am paranoid about bringing it with me on trips and losing it as I do travel out of town a lot; this applies similar enough with good quality, it is a good backup for that or when my MAC 187 is needing to be washed. I imagine for those of you that are on a very limited budget, this one would satisfy your need for a 187 until you can save up for the real thing.

10. Luscious Lipbalm: LOL, I love this one so much I keep 1-2 in almost every room I frequent during the day at work (my "day job" as an OT), at home, and in my car! I actually collected lip balms prior to starting adorned with Grace and had enough of the store-bought variety to last me the next ten years--but after I started carrying this one, I just can't bring myself to use the other ones (well, except maybe my Tiramisu or Reese's Cup flavored one, but that was more for taste!) as they just don't seem to work on my lips which are very prone to chapping since I am bad about licking my lips. I gave some of these to my coworkers last year and they all agreed that these just seemed to "sink in" and actually moisturize whereas the store-bought variety just sits on the top of your lips.

So that completes my list! I really should have made this a Top Twenty, but this post is already long enough so maybe I'll do a continuation next week! Hope that was helpful to some of you!

P.S. Heads up, I have about 1/3 left of my CLEARANCE stock so I imagine if they are selling as fast as they have this week, they might be gone by the middle or end of next week? Also, I don't think I will be having a Blog Special next week--I thought about offering a discounted kit of the Top Ten Products above, but wasn't sure if that was a good idea. If you think you might want to buy one, email me at adorned_with_grace@yahoo.com and let me know! If I get a pretty good response, I might just do that...