Sonia Kashuk “All That Jazz” Brush Set: The Rundown

How gorgeous is this limited edition brush set from Sonia Kashuk for Target?

Just for the holidays! The Sonia Kashuk limited edition brush set at Target.

Just for the holidays! The Sonia Kashuk limited edition brush set at Target.

Just in time for the holidays, Sonia Kashuk has a limited edition gold-toned 10 piece cosmetic brush set I believe is a must have for the beauty obsessed person on your gift list—especially if that person is you. Throughout my years of beauty obsession, I’ve used all kinds of brushes from cheap E.L.F ones to MAC to more expensive brushes. While some brushes have fallen apart completely, gotten their ferrule loosened with vigorous use, or shed more hair than a cheap shag carpet, my Sonia Kashuk brushes have always performed on point. To have the most essential brushes in a snazzy looking set is a beauty nerd’s dream.  So did it live up to it? Read on…

Ten (10) beautiful, functional and very affordable makeup brushes. Thank you Sonia Kashuk and Target!

Ten (10) beautiful, functional and very affordable makeup brushes. Thank you Sonia Kashuk and Target!

 

The ten (10) brushes included in the set are as follows:

(1) Powder Brush

This is a standard domed powder brush that can be used for everything from loose and pressed face powder, to highlighter powder to blush if you are so inclined.  Because of its shape it allows you to apply powder to the face with a light touch. This one is comparable to the large Sephora Airbrush pro brush.

Powder Brush > "All That Jazz" limited edition Sonia Kashuk for Target

Powder Brush  from the “All That Jazz” limited edition brush set by Sonia Kashuk for Target

 

(2) Flat-Top Blusher Brush

As described, this is a flat-top blusher brush that, in my opinion, will lay down blush more intensely than a rounded brush. Now the package labeling says this is a blusher brush and you certainly can use it that way, but my preference for this to use it to apply powder to set foundation. I own a Sonia Kashuk flat-top brush that I use to blend powder into my face after my NARS tinted moisturizer  has dried down. This is my second-favorite brush in the set due to its versatility. If you want an intense layer of powder this brush gets the job done quickly.

Flat Top Brush

Flat Top Brush from the “All That Jazz” limited edition brush set by Sonia Kashuk for Target

 

(3) Angled duo-fiber Face Brush

I am a big fan of duo-fiber brushes for cream blushes and liquid foundations. Even more so of this brush as it is cut at an angle and resembles the much more expensive Dior face brush (which retails for close to $50).   The duo-fiber is best suited for the more modern blends of foundation, and I find the slant allows for a more precise application and blending.

Angled Duo-fiber

Angled Duo-fiber brush from the “All That Jazz” limited edition brush set by Sonia Kashuk for Target

 

(4) Foundation Brush

This is your standard flat foundation brush with rounded edges that are slightly graduated.   This type of brush is the one I use to initially apply foundation to my face and pat it around areas such as my nose and to initially cover the dark circles under my eyes. Not much difference between this brush and my MAC foundation brush.

Flat Foundation Brush

Flat Foundation Brush from the “All That Jazz” limited edition brush set by Sonia Kashuk for Target

 

(5) Eye Shadow Brush

This eye shadow brush is a bit too large and fluffy to appeal to me but for a beauty beginner it provides a quick way to shade an entire eyelid in one stroke. I wish the bristles were more compact.

Eye Shadow Brush

Eye Shadow Brush from the “All That Jazz” limited edition brush set by Sonia Kashuk for Target

 

(6) Blending Brush

Now this brush is appropriately large and fluffy because you would use it to blend out your eye shadow look.. It is definitely a bit larger than my beloved MAC 239 brush for blending but is more like the MAC 217 brush.

Blending brush

Blending brush from the “All That Jazz” limited edition brush set by Sonia Kashuk for Target

 

(7) Crease Brush

Let me say that as I have heavy-lidded eyes (like Penelope Cruz), this crease brush is too small for me personally. However, it is perfect for those with normal/smaller eyes compared to mine. This is the type of brush you would use to initially lay down shadow in the crease area of the eye before using a blending brush to blend.

Angled crease brush

Crease brush from the “All That Jazz” limited edition brush set by Sonia Kashuk for Target

 

(8) Angled duo-fiber eye brush

I use a LOT of cream eye shadows so me and duo-fiber brushes are BFFs. The fact that this brush is angled makes for more precise laying down and smoothing out cream shadow. Of course it will work fine for powdered eye shadow.

Angled duo fiber brush

Angled duo fiber Brush from the “All That Jazz” limited edition brush set by Sonia Kashuk for Target

 

(9) Precision Eye Brush

This is a small pointed brush with tighter bristles that I like using to highlight the brow area and/tearduct area. It’s also great for putting that precise amount of

Precision eye

Precision eye Brush from the “All That Jazz” limited edition brush set by Sonia Kashuk for Target

 

(10) Lash/Brow Groomer

Standard lash/brow groomer.  This is indispensable to me for brushimg my eyebrows up and separating my lashes when I’ve put on a little too much mascara.

Eye/Brow Groomer brush

Eye/Brow Groomer brush from the “All That Jazz” limited edition brush set by Sonia Kashuk for Target

 

Overall Impressions 

The synthetic brushes are made in China of very soft synthetic fiber. All of the brushes felt very evenly balanced in my hand. Another plus for this set is that the raised gold pattern on the brushes assist with gripping the brush with better precision as compared to the smooth brushes I own. And from a purely tactile standpoint the coils around the ferrule and the raised pattern on the handle just feels good on my fingers while I use them. When it comes to usage, I’ve found the larger brushes (powder, foundation) are prone to shedding a few hairs.  Given how economical this set is I’m willing to overlook it.  I own an Urban Decay Good Karma foundation brush that I paid $25 and sheds something awful.

The Sonia Kasuk “All That Jazz” brush set retails for $34.99 USD. While I picked up my set at my local store, as of this writing Target is showing the set not available online for shipping but you can order online for pickup at the Target store location of your choice–subject to availability. And if you’ve got the Target RedCard you get 5% off of your purchase and free shipping to boot!

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Preview: Fall 2012 Maybelline 24 Hr Color Tattoo Cream Shadow

Never have I fallen in love with a budget beauty product before like I have with Maybelline’s 24 Hr Color Tattoo cream eye shadows. So picture me very pleasantly surprised when I got word these new beauties were appearing in stores!

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Maybelline’s Color Tattoo Cream Eyeshadows for Fall 2012

Limited Edition just for fall 2012, the full collection consists of five colors, four of which are limited edition:

  • Barely Beige  (beige pink shimmer)
  • Gold Shimmer (dark golden bronze shimmer)
  • Rich Mahogany (deep brown shimmer)
  • Mossy Green (olive-gold green shimmer)
  • Bad To The Bronze (taupe brown shimmer/permanent)

Maybelline’s 24 hr color tattoo eye shadows are very long-wearing, humidity and sweat proof (I tested these in Florida and they performed flawlessly)

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Swatches of Maybelline’s new Fall 2012 Color Tattoo Cream Eye Shadows (flash)

I really couldn’t find fault with any of these cream eyeshadows. Barely Beige goes on so much smoother than the permanent Too Cool (solar white shimmer) color. Gold Shimmer paired with Mossy Green gives an amazing dramatic fall look to the eye. Rich Mahogany is a beautiful brown that would be perfect for an ‘office safe’ smokey eye when paired with Bad To the Bronze. There is a brush being sold along with these shadows but frankly it isn’t any better than comparable makeup brushes from Ecotools, e.l.f. and Sonia Kashuk for Target.

Maybelline’s Fall 2012 Color Tattoo 24hr cream eyeshadow collection is available currently at Walgreens and CVS and should be headed to mass retailers such as Target within the coming weeks.

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Swatches of Maybelline’s Fall 2012Color Tattoo Cream Eyeshadows (no flash/HDR)

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Top row: Barely Beige (no flash/HDR). Bottom row: Gold Shimmer (no flash/HDR)

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Top row: Rich Mahogany. Bottom row: Mossy Green (no flash/HDR)

Guerlain Terracotta Sun In The City Illuminator: The Rundown

Florida is known as the ‘Sunshine State’.  Little did I know Guerlain had managed to press it into a compact and have it waiting for me on my trip to Disney World this past Easter.

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Guerlain’s Terracotta Sun In The City Golden Illuminating powder–sun in a compact

I had no intention of buying this product.  That all changed with the MUA at the Guerlain boutique in the France pavilion at EPCOT swiped it on my skin once and raved at how it looked on me.  I was about to tell her she was blowing smoke up my skirt but one look in the mirror and I was floored.

And so I bought it.

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Close up–the imprinting on this compact is insanely detailed.

Part of Guerlain’s Summer 2012 collection, the Sun In The City golden glimmer powder is a shiny addition to the Terracotta bronzing line this luxury brand is famous for. Weighing in at a hefty 15 grams (.52 oz) it comes in a plastic mirrored compact imprinted with the words ‘Terracotta’ on top and is about the size of an adult’s palm.  As with other memorable Guerlain pressed powders it has an imprint on it designed to impress.  Sun In The City has a gorgeous wavy imprint that makes it look like gold weaving in the wind.  It almost makes you not want to use the highlighter so you don’t mess up the pattern but trust me, you’ll get over it.  You need very little to get a rich brush of gold on your skin.

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Closer shot of Sun In The City highlighter on my cheeks and nose bridge. Brings warmth and definition to dark skin.

The reason I love highlighters so much is because you can use them so many ways.  I like to use them to highlight the bridge of my nose, under my browbone and to emphasize my cheekbones before applying blush.  And of course there is the most common and alluring way to use a highlighter—to emphasize the tops of ones cleavage/décolleté.

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Sun In The City highlighter on my cheeks (under Chanel Joues Rouge Contraste blush in Malice) and on the bridge of my nose.

As compared to two of my other favorite highlighters, Guerlain’s Sun In The City highlighter is more golden than theBalm’s Mary LouManizer and not at all pink and iridescent like Guerlain’s Cruel Gardenia released this past Spring.  I don’t own the Bobbi Brown Gold Shimmer Cheek Glow but it does look similiar to Sun In The City.  According to Temptalia.com, Guerlain’s highlighter is more opaque which is good for olive to dark skin. If you are fair to medium-skinned and price is an issue, I think you could use the Bobbi Brown gold shimmer cheek glow as a suitable dupe.

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Highlighter comparison swatches from top: Guerlain’s Cruel Gardenia, Guerlain Sun In The City, theBalm Mary LouManizer (with Flash)

For those with deep to dark skin you need to be careful to choose a highlighter that is translucent enough to give you a glow and not look ashy.  Guerlain’s new highlighter, as with all of their highlighters I’ve tried, does this and more.  Try blending it with their Terracotta bronzer in #3 (yellow undertones), #4 (red undertones like mine) or #8 (all ebony skintones) to deepen the gorgeous warmth of dark skin.  The effect is similar to combining theBalm’s Mary LouManizer and Betty LouManizer but more opaque and richer color.

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Guerlain’s Terracotta Sun In The City highlighting powder is great on dark skin!

At $70 the price for Guerlain’s Sun In The City  is steep however, there is more product than in Cruel Gardenia or Meteorites perles.  Because of its pigmentation and neutral coloring, and it’s manufacture in Italy (the best pressed powders seem to come from there) there is definitely value in this luxury product.  Unlike with Cruel Gardenia and Meteorites I didn’t notice the trademark violet scent.  This was somewhat dissappointing to me as I love the smell of violets synonymous with Guerlain products.

Sun in the City Illuminator is a limited edition item and is available at Nordstrom.comSephora.com and in freestanding Bloomingdales and Neiman Marcus stores.

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Another shot of Guerlain’s Sun In The City highlighter (w/ flash

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Guerlain Sun In The City Higlighter–heavily swatched and sheered out (w/ flash)

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Highlighter comparison swatches from top: Guerlain’s Cruel Gardenia, Guerlain Sun In The City, theBalm Mary LouManizer (without flash)

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HIghlighter comparisons from left: Without flash, with flash.

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Gorgeous Guerlain Golden Goodness

Guerlain by Emilio Pucci Capri Eye Shadow Quad: The Rundown

Finally! I have gotten around to reviewing the Guerlain by Emilio Pucci Terra Azzura Capri eye shadow quad from the delightful Summer 2012 collection. I’ve had a few weeks to road test this product and see how versatile it is and how the shadow formula behaves.

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Guerlain by Emilio Pucci Eye Shadow Quad in Capri–French Riviera memories!

The Product Details

There are four (4) colors in this quad chosen to replicate a feeling of being in the French Riviera at summertime are as follow:

  • A shimmering ecru
  • A smokey brown
  • A satin pink
  • A semi-frosty peach coral

At first glance if you think you’ve seen a quad like this you probably have. MAC’s Call Me Bubbles quad that came out for Spring 2012 for Shop MAC/Cook MAC is almost identical at first glance. But unlike with MAC’s quad, I found all four colors in the Guerlain palette to be buttery smooth with amazing color payoff. More often than not I got too much product on the application with less effort than with my MAC shadows. For darker-skinned beauties NC/NW40+, these colors will definitely work for you however I would suggest using either a white eyeshadow on the lid, or a light color eyeshadow pencil such as Make Up For Ever’s Shadow Pencil in Pearly Peach (26E) or Urban Decay’s 24/7 Shadow Pencil in Sin.

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Guerlain’s new eye shadow palette by Emilio Pucci–Great for everyday!

The palette seems like it is all warm colors but there is enough neutrality for it to look nice on all skintones. Even with my screaming red undertones all of colors complimented me very well and I found myself reaching for this palette more often than not. Out of all of the colors, the cool dusty brown and peachy orange are my favorites for a surprisingly wearable summer smokey eye. The pink color is nice but as I have the Les Roses palette and this one is more matte, I use to enhance the peachy orange shade moreso than on its own. The beige color is fabulous as a highlighter or a light wash of shimmery ercu across the lids.

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Guerlain by Emilio Pucci swatches from bottom: Kohl Kajal, Eye shadow palette (no flash/HDR)

I would highly suggest using the included custom applicator to apply the shadow. My MAC brushes didn’t seem to play very well with this. And if you have oily eyelids as I do, definitely use an eyeshadow primer like Too Faced Shadow Insurance and a cream shadow as a base such as MAC’s Quite Natural or Painterly paint pots, or Maybelline’s Color Tattoo 24hr cream shadow in Tough as Taupe or Pomegranate Punk. Total weight by volume of all four shadows is .24 oz which is a very healthy amount compared to MAC’s usual .17 oz total weight for a quad.

Final Recommendation

While the price point is quite high ($59), the different finish of the case and quality of the eyeshadows (and big mirror in it) more than qualify the price. For women of color, the shadows do not turn ‘ashy’ but to make them pop I would suggest using a cream shadow underneath either a few shades lighter than your coloring or use a white shadow pencil. All colors are easily blendable and while this pallete is showcased for Summer, it is a lovely one to have year-round for olive to dark-skinned beauties.

The Guerlain by Emillio Pucci Capri eye shadow palette is a limited edition item and is available at Nordstrom, Sephora.com and NeimanMarcus.com

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Back of Capri eyeshadow palette by Guerlain by Emilio Pucci

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The velvet sleeve for the eye shadow palette–a true identifier of luxury cosmetics

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Guerlain by Emilio Pucci Eye shadow quad – Flash

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Guerlain by Emilio Pucci swatches from bottom: Kohl Kajal, Eye shadow palette (flash)

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Makeup Intel: MAC Extra Dimension [April 2012]

Coming in April 2012, MAC invites you to take your eye shadow to the Extra Dimension.

MAC Extra Dimension--bringing color to another level!
MAC Extra Dimension–bringing color to another level!

Scheduled for a North American release the first week of April 2012 (yes, same time as Reel Sexy) this collection will debut a new technological formula in the form of ten (10) Extra Dimension Eyeshadows and three (3) Extra Dimension Skinfinishes. Also coming back from its successful launch with the Semi-Precious eyeshadow collection are the split fibre cheek and eye shadow blending brushes.

MAC Extra Dimension eye shadows--can they top Peacocky?
MAC Extra Dimension eye shadows–can they top Peacocky?

Extra Dimension Eye Shadows

  • Warm Thunder- mid-tone silver grey
  • Blue Orbit- light iridescent purple
  • Grand Galaxy- mid-tone violet
  • Lunar- royal blue
  • Havanna- mid tone copper brown
  • Sweet Heat- bright peach champagne
  • modern pewter mode-tone olive gold
  • Rich Core-mid tone aubergine
  • Dark Dare-charcoal black
  • Young Venus-pale white pink

With ten eye shadows it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. Reports indicate these shadows are large-sized like the Mineralize eyeshadows that were recently relaunched. For me personally I like to gravitate towards colors I will use the most frequently given the size of the product. So with my skin tone (NW) in consideration and my budget, plus what my inner beauty geek tells me, here are my top pics for the Extra Dimension eye shadows

WARM THUNDER — Described as a mid-tone silver grey, strangely this a color missing from my eye shadow stash. I don’t own Electra nor do I own any MAC silver pigments. Silver is great on gals with cool/red undertones as a base and as a highlight.

MAC Extra Dimension eye shadow in Warm Thunder

BLUE ORBIT — Light iridescent purple? Iridescent AND purple? I’m going to call this now as THE shade to get from this collection. This is a color I don’t recall MAC having anything in its current eye shadow or pigment lineup. So suffice it to say that in addition to the color, the iridescent effect, and the new formula, Blue Orbit will be the Shimmermint (from MAC’s Christmas Glitter & Ice ) of this collection.

MAC Extra Dimension Eye Shadow in Blue Orbit

SWEET HEAT — A bright peach champagne, this looks to be a very pretty brow highlight shade and even a nice neutral color to wear all over the eyelid. It looks like it will compliment cooler skintones a bit better but not so much that warm toned beauties couldn’t rock it.

MAC Extra Dimension Eye Shadow in Sweet Heat

MODERN PEWTER — Pow! This shade reminds me of the Dalliance eyeshadow from the Peacocky collection. This definitely looks to be a cool-toned shade and would look amazing blended with Blue Orbit for an interesting eye look. I know I plan to try it!

MAC Extra Dimension Eye Shadow in Modern Pewter

You can find pictures of the remaining shadows on this German website.

Extra Dimension Skinfinish

  • Whisper Of Gilt- light soft white gold with shimmery sheen
  • Superb- Soft peach nude with Multi dimensional shimmer
  • Glorify- Copper golden shimmer

Unlike the Mineralize Skinfinishes (which do not last on my super oily skin) the Extra Dimension Skinfinishes (EDS) are reported to be a new formula like the eye shadows. In the graphic earlier in this post where you see the small eye shadows and three ‘bigger’ ones, those three big ones look to be the Extra Dimension skinfinishes. What excites me about these is that if you have severely oily skin as I do, those Mineralize Skin Finishes seem to last only nanoseconds on your skin before evaporating into a thought. Me being the techno-geek that I am, I so hope these do last longer on my skin. Glorify, the one described as having the copper golden shimmer is definitely on my list. Superb may be next and this is probably the one that would look the best on all skin tones. Whisper of Gilt looks to be a little too light for my skintone but could be a nice highlighter.

Split Fibre Brushes

  • 128 split fiber brush — Cheek brush
  • 234 split fiber brush — Eyeshadow blending brush
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MAC Split Fibre 128 and 235 brushes

Finding out these split fibre brushes were coming back was the main reason the Extra Dimension collection piqued my interest. Originally launched with the limited edition Semi-Precious collection last year, these brushes are unique in that one side is made up of natural hairs while the other side is made up of synthetic hairs. This makes for a great multi-purpose brush for applying cream shadows (like Paint Pots and Make Up For Ever Aqua Creams) and cream blushes. I use mine religiously to apply cream and powder products then blend them–all this with only having to use one brush.

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Closeup of MAC Split Fibre 128 and 235 brushes

So are you excited about this collection? Planning to pick up a few items? See any colors that you just gotta have? Hit me up in the comments.

Makeup Intel: MAC For Marilyn Monroe [Fall 2012]

A MARILYN MONROE MAC COLLECTION IS COMING!!!

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If you know anything about the icon Marilyn Monroe was, and still is, you know those caps are more than warranted.

Scheduled for release in stores in October, MAC is producing a makeup collection inspired by the illustrious Marilyn Monroe. According to the press information MAC provided to the Hollywood Reporter, and announced by MAC in their Twitter Feed on 2/22/12 the collection will be comprised of over 30 pieces including eye shadow, lipstick and other goodies. I will post more information as it is released to the public.

Here is the full text of the article from The Hollywood Reporter

Blonde bombshell moment: MAC Cosmetic has unveiled plans for a special makeup collection inspired by Marilyn Monroe’s glamorous beauty. The limited-edition line (in partnership with Authentic Brands Group) includes nearly 30 products — eye shadow, lipstick (think retro red and hot pink), nail lacquer and eyeliner — and will arrive in stores in October.

“Marilyn’s an icon, plain and simple. Her look not only defined a generation but also is relevant today,” MAC senior vp James Gager told THR. Monroe’s presence is felt everywhere, even 50 years after her death, from NBC’s new hit show Smash, which stars American Idol alum Katharine McPhee and Broadway vet Megan Hilty, to the Oscar-nominated My Week With Marilyn with Michelle Williams.
“Marilyn’s back in the zeitgeist,” says Gager.

Start saving those credits, Programs. This is going to cost a chunk of change!

Makeup Intelligence: MAC for Chen Man Collection

Purely from a photography geek point of view, how hot is this promo shot?

MAC for Chen Man promo shot.  Seriously, how sick is this photo? Mad photography skillz.

MAC for Chen Man promo shot. Seriously, how sick is this photo? Mad photography skillz.

Chen Man is a visionary photographer whose images have set the Chinese couture world on fire.  I honestly hadn’t heard of her until this collection popped on my radar.  MakeUpForLife.net has a great promo shot of the offerings in this collection and The Musehas a concise price list.

MAC for Chen Man full line

MAC for Chen Man full line at MakeUpForLife.net

According to MAC this collection is scheduled for GLOBAL release in March at all MAC outlets.  However, the word on the street and in the Google results hint this collection will be launched sooner.  Check out what Macy’s.com has up so far for this. I’m personally not interested in anything from this collection as I’ve already blown my beauty $$$ for the Shop MAC / Cook MAC collection and a few items from Tom Ford.  However, if I did want to pick up anything from this collection, I would get the Force of Love lipglass.  Lipglass is a great product you can wear alone or over lipstick and/or lip pencil so it is a very good value.  Whether you get anything or not, do take some time to check out Chen Man’s amazing photography at her officialsite at: www.ChenManer.com.

The MAC for Chen Man 'Love and Water' collection

The MAC for Chen Man 'Love and Water' collection