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Product Review: Too Faced Retractable Kabuki Brush*

Friday, January 6th, 2012
By Glinda

For some things, I can be a creature of habit.  I would say that makeup brushes fall into that category.

I am extremely lazy about buying new makeup brushes, although I probably ought not to be.  So when a mini kabuki brush came with my Bare Escentuals starter kit, I never really thought about purchasing a different one.   It worked, after all.

Little did I know what was waiting for me the entire time.

I started thinking about getting a replacement buki brush about a year ago.  Mine was at least six years old, and was starting to shed quite a bit.  I also didn’t like the fact that when I packed it to go somewhere, it wouldn’t fit properly in my brush wallet, thus needing to hang out on its own in a Ziploc bag with the Bare Escentuals makeup itself.  You know, because I’m classy like that.  This was before they introduced the self-closing jars.  And amen to those.

Ahem, getting off track here.

So for my next buki, I vowed that it would be a retractable one, and a mini one as well since I just don’t like the way the full sized bukis apply, but that could be all in my head.

After a long (and to be honest, intermittent) search, I came across the Too Faced Retractable Kabuki Brush.  I ordered it with some trepidation, but it had five stars from Sephora reviewers, so I felt things couldn’t go too badly.

Long story short, I adore this brush.

It is so, so soft.  And before using this brush, I equated a certain stiffness in a kabuki to be a desirable thing.  But now I know that isn’t necessarily the case.  I love that it comes in a very pretty, girly metallic casing, and I LOVE the way it retracts.  It doesn’t twist down, but has a little “shield” that pops up before you put the cap on, thus ensuring the bristles don’t get smushed.   Oh yeah, and it also does a better job at applying the powder than the BE brush.  It does it a bit more subtly, although maybe that was just the age of my BE brush showing.

Should have bought it a loooong time ago and well worth the expense, especially for someone who regularly uses mineral makeup.


*Bought with my own damn money.  I have NEVER gotten a freebie to review.  Although, uh, I wouldn’t be against it.

Cosmetics Cage Match: Too Faced Eyeshadow vs. e.l.f. Eyeshadow

Friday, August 12th, 2011
By Glinda

Yes, it’s time again for a




Because I don’t trust you guys, (kidding) I decided to do my own frou-frou brand versus a cheapie drugstore brand in the form of eyeshadows.

This is probably because even though I really like eyeshadow, I don’t wear it as often as I wear other types of makeup.  It’s the last thing I put on, if I have time.  And often, I don’t.

I used Too Faced shades Heaven and Push Up (a matte beige and light bronze shimmer, respectively) against e.l.f.’s Eye Brightening quad Ethereal, which had two extremely similar colors.  Identical, almost, except the e.l.f. beige had a bit of shimmer.

I applied the e.l.f. shades to my right eyelid, dusted all of it off the brushes, then applied the Too Faced shades to my left eyelid. 

I’m using the following criteria- 1) ease of application 2) “trueness” of color, and 3) how long the shades lasted, and 4) price.  I applied no primer to either lid, and my face was freshly washed.


The e.l.f. shade came off nicely onto the brush, but I noticed a lot of product that (in very scientific terms) poofed off the  base and remained on the surrounding plastic.  It blended fairly easily, but I noticed the same “poofing” of product below my eye.  Noticeable mostly due to the shimmery aspect of the shadow.

The Too Faced also came off nicely, with little-to-no poofing.  It went on smoothly.  Not a lot of product went anywhere other than my eyelid.

Winner of Round 1: Too Faced


E.l.f.’s shade of beige did take more than one application to become the color on my eyelid that I wanted it to be.  I have dark-ish eyelids, so I usually have to apply very light shades at least twice to get what I want.  It took three applications, and looked fine.  The bronze shimmer was only applied once, and was a light bronze.  I didn’t find that particular bronze to be very intense.

Too-Faced beige took two applications, and looked pretty much the same as the e.l.f.  In fact, I could not tell the difference.  The bronze, with one application, was more intense and shimmery than the e.l.f., but no so much so that I gasped at the difference.

Winner of Round 2: Too Faced, although it was a SQUEAK.


After two hours, both sets of shadows looked exactly the same.

After four hours, both beige shadows had worn slightly, bronzes looked good.

After six hours, both beige shadows were pretty much toast, the e.l.f. bronze was very faint, and the Too Faced bronze was hanging in there pretty good.

Winner of Round 3: Too Faced, again by a VERY slight margin.


E.l.f. $3.00 for a quad.

Too Faced $36.00 for a complete kit.

Winner of Round 4: e.l.f. because how can you not love a quad for three bucks?

So, according to my criteria, Too Faced won this cage match, but came out pretty bruised and in desperate need of a massage and an ice pack.

I must say, that when faced with suge a huge price difference, there is not much in the way of being able to say that Too Faced was a completely superior product.  It wasn’t.  Granted, you get more colors with the Too-Faced, and your base colors are larger, so there is that. 

However, there was absolutely nothing wrong with the e.l.f. shadows, and the next time I find myself considering some pricey eye shadows, I will definitely keep this experience in mind.





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