Morphe Me Brush Subscription – June 2017 Brush Review

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June’s brush package from the Morphe Me subscription features 4 brushes – 2 face, and 2 eye/multi-purpose brushes.

  • M444 Deluxe Definition Buffer (synthetic bristles) – this large, flat brush has a rounded shape and is extremely dense, making it ideal for cream or liquid products. The density and synthetic bristles help this brush to easily apply and blend cream and liquid products into the skin, where a natural or more fluffy brush would absorb cream products. This helps to avoid excess product waste! I absolutely love a brush like this to apply liquid foundation when I’m in a rush (or feeling lazy, to be perfectly honest) and can’t be bothered to clean or dampen my beauty sponge.

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  • M460 1 1/2 inch Flat Contour (synthetic bristles) – a brush like this is a must-have for any contour queen. I do already own a couple brushes with a slightly similar shape (such as the LGM1 which came in October 2016 package, and the R8 which came in the April 2017 package) The brushes are definitely different, however. The R8 is thinner, not as dense, as has natural hair bristles. I like this brush for a softer, quick contour. The LGM1 has longer bristles and a wider shape, and is medium in thickness out of the R8, the LGM1, and the M460. The synthetic bristles of the M460 and the density make it much better for applying and blending cream or liquid contour products than the R8 or the LGM1.

 

  • M518 Crease Fluff (goat hair) – crease brushes are possibly my favourite type of brush, and despite my now overwhelming collection of them I just can’t seem to get enough. This is definitely one of the thinner crease brushes morphe has included, yet is still fluffy enough that you can

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  • M496 Duo Lash Fan (duo fibre – synthetic and sable bristles) – this is a unique type of brush, and one I didn’t have anything like in my collection. It’s a small, super thin and flat fan brush with stiff bristles. Brushes were initually used to apply mascara when mascara was first invented in the early 1900’s. Using a brush gives you a lot more control, and allows for a more natural application. You sweep this against your mascara wand (or even a colored liquid or cream liner, or cream eyeshadow product for a fun, different look) and then sweep this across the lashes. It’s a really fun brush to have if you like experimenting with different looks and textures!

Overall, I’m really happy with this month’s brushes. The M444 is definitely my favourite, and I know I’ll be getting a ton of use out of it! As always, you have until the 22nd of each month to get this month’s brushes, and don’t forget you get a free brush if you join through my link here! 

What do you think of this month’s brushes? A hit, or a miss?

 

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Morphe Me Brush Subscription – May 2017 Brush Review 

Amidst the whirlwind business of April, I completely forgot to post a review of last month’s brushes.

While May’s brushes arrived rather late this month, I didn’t want to miss another month’s review! Even though the deadline to get this month’s brushes usually falls on the 23rd of each month, you can subscribe any time and use the points you earn to get previous months brushes!

This month’s package includes 5 brushes from the gorgeous Gunmetal collection: 4 face brushes and 1 eye brush.

Here’s a breakdown of each brush:

  • G1 Small Buffer: (synthetic bristles) this small, dense brush has a slightly rounded tip with shorter bristles that make it ideal for buffing all sorts of products. It’s firm and dense enough that it works great with creams and liquids, yet soft enough that you could also use it with powder. I LOVE using this brush to buff out concealer or cream contour.
  • G40 Pro Detail Powder: (synthetic bristles) this brush is a tad more unique, and definitely one I needed in my brush collection. This brush has longer bristles that aren’t as densely packed, making it ideal for applying and blending powder products. It’s incredible for setting under eye concealer with powder, or for setting specific areas or hard to reach parts of the face – such as around the nose.
  • G41 Pro Mini Contour: (synthetic bristles) this is perhaps my favorite brush from this months collection. It’s wide and flat, but much smaller than most brushes with a similar shape. It’s dense enough that it can pick up and blend powder or cream products, yet it’s also amazing for applying loose powder to “bake” with. This has been my go-to brush for contouring my nose lately! It’s small and thin enough that it creates a perfectly straight line to slim the nose.

  • G38 Mini Round Contour: (synthetic bristles) a brush like this is – in my opinion – a must have for contour fanatics. It’s smaller, rounded and dense allowing tons of precision to sculpt the features. It’s not tiny, but smaller than an average buffing brush to allow you to be really precise with where you want to apply your contour.  It’s also a great brush to contour the nose quickly due to its size.
  • G19 Round Liner Contour: (synthetic bristles) this is a small liner/eye brush with a rounded tip, that is ideal for adding colour to the crease of the eye, or diffusing shadow beneath the lower lashline. You could use this for powder, cream, gel, etc! Morphe suggests using this for contouring the face too, which works well for creating precise contour lines with cream products. However, I personally didn’t like it for powder contour, as I found it too small to properly blend or diffuse. I love using it to apply a light shimmery shade to the inner corners of my eye for a highlight though!

I love the quality and durability of the Gunmetal brushes, they feel so luxurious!

As always, if you’re interested in joining the subscription you get a free brush if you join here!

Tarte Limited Edition Magic Wands Brush Set – Review

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This limited edition brush set was one of the most anticipated Tarte launches of 2017- each year, they release a gorgeous limited edition set of brushes with special packaging.

For 2017, they launched their most unique and (I think) beautiful set yet.

These ultra luxurious brushes were inspired by fairytales, unicorns and magic, or more specifically “unicorn kisses and fantasy dreams,” according to Sephora. These brushes are also cruelty free and vegan friendly!

 

It retails for $51 Canadian, which for 5 gorgeous cruelty-free brushes is very reasonable!

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It features:

  • Magenta contour brush – this brush is dense with shorter, flat bristles that make it ideal for contouring, applying powder to bake, or even to highlight. I love using brushes like this to contour, because the long flat shape allows for an easy and effortless contour application.
  • Pink powder brush – This tapered powder brush is fluffy and ideal for setting powder or blush. I love using brushes like this with loose powder to set my under eye concealer – though this one is a bit large for that depending on your face/eye shape. It works really well to sweep colour on the cheeks, or to set liquid/cream foundation with powder!
  • Green blending eyeshadow brush – this fluffy eye brush has long bristles, yet tapers slightly to make it great for blending in the crease! It’s thinner than most of the crease brushes I have, and for that reason is a perfect addition to my collection!
  • Blue shading eyeshadow brush – this thin, flat brush is ideal for packing on shadow to the lid. Shimmer, matte, satin, even cream shadows apply with ease. A brush like this is a must-have for any collection!
  • Purple liquid foundation brush – this brush is very uniquely shaped, it’s neither flat nor rounded like most, but rather a fluffy/dense hybrid. I’m not the hugest fan of using only brushes to apply liquid or cream foundation (nothing blends quite like a sponge for me!) but if you like applying foundation with a brush, you will likely love this one!

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The packaging speaks for itself. Sleek and gold unicorn-esque, with pastel bristles? How could I possibly resist? The brushes do feel lighter and slightly less significant than I expected – they look so luxurious I expected them to have more weight to them. But really that’s my only complaint!

I most definitely could not miss out on this brush set! It’s one I will undoubtedly keep on display for years to come! I cannot recommend this brush set enough!

 

March 2017 On Instagram

 

I took a bit of a blogging break, to rest and rejuvenate. Any fellow writers or creative personalities will know exactly what I mean when I say sometimes we need to take a step back, rest, and let the creative juices replenish.

To get back into the swing of blogging, I thought I’d share my monthly Instagram recaps. March was full of colour and a continuation of my new obsession – my bullet journal! If you’d like a post dedicated to the bullet journaling system, and how I set my journal up, let me know!

Here’s what my March looked like on Instagram: 

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You can find me here, or as “raincoatesbeauty” on the app!

Don’t forget to check out my new food page, dedicated to healthy and delicious meals – here, or as “raincoatesfoodie” on the app!

If you’re addicted to Instagram like I am, make sure to leave me your links in the comments!

February 2017 On Instagram

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Join Me On Instagram!

It wasn’t until mid February that realized I completely forgot to post my Instagram recap from January – that’s how ridiculously fast the months are passing! February whizzed by in a flurry of work, training, and creativity. I decided to start a Bullet Journal, which you can see some glimpses of in my recent Instagram posts! You can expect to see it making appearances in many posts to come!

Make sure to join me on Instagram to stay up to date with my posts!

You can find me here, or as “raincoatesbeauty”

Happy March, everyone!


Previous Posts

Morphe Me February 2017 Brush Review

Morphe Me January 2017 Brushes

A Blogmas Recap (Blogmas 2016 Day 25) 

Morphe Me February 2017 Brush Review

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I’ve been subscribed to the Morphe Me brush package for nearly a year now, and while I now have more brushes than I’ll ever need, I just can’t bring myself to cancel my subscription. Receiving my brushes is my favourite part of the month, and it’s such a darn good value.

February’s package was of course Valentine’s themed, and featured 3 brushes from the Gunmetal collection. These brushes are sleek, luxurious, and absolutely gorgeous. I also think this month featured some unique brushes, which I have nothing like in my collection.

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The brushes included (from left to right)

G34 Mini Round Buffer: (synthetic bristles) this rounded, dense brush is perfect for blending out under eye concealer. Its rounded tip allows you to get right into the inner corners of the eye to diffuse and blend concealer. You could also use this for cream contouring, as it’s a perfect shape to sculpt out the cheekbones! It’s so soft, and has quickly become my go-to brush for under eye concealer. It really is the perfect shape.

 G33 Angle Buffer: (synthetic bristles) this is definitely one of the most uniquely-shaped brushes I have seen. it’s angled and pointed, and shaped kind of like a scalene triangle (bringing back any traumatic memories from math class, anyone?) This could be used for cream, liquid, or powder. I think it’s great for getting into those hard to reach areas, such as the creases by the nose and underneath the lash line! I tried using it with under eye concealer to create that sharp line to clean up liner, and it was awesome for that! It’s also fantastic for creating a sharp contour.

G36 Round Powder: (synthetic bristles) this mid-sized buffing brush is densely packed, and is definitely a multi-function brush. It can be used with liquid or powder products, such as liquid foundation, cream makeup, pressed or loose powder, and more. It’s slightly rounded tip makes it really great for blending cream products into the skin. I personally have been loving this to blend cream contour, because it’s size and shape do it so effortlessly and really create a clean blend. You can use the G34 to draw on your contour, and blend it out with the G36!

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(Left to right: G36, G33, G34) 

Once again, I’m so happy with the brushes. I think the G33 and G34 are really unique brushes that are awesome to add to your collection if you’re a junkie like I am!

Don’t forget, if you’re thinking of joining the Morphe Me subscription, you get a free brush when you join through my link!

January 2017 brushes

 

*This post is not sponsored or endorsed in any way*

Morphe Me January 2017 Brushes

This video is pretty late, I received my brushes this month quite later than usual – but I always get quite a few questions about the brushes each month, and whether or not I recommend the subscription.

This month’s package included:
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If you’re curious about the subscription, or wanting to join click here! 
You get a free brush when you join through my link!

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Don’t forget to check out my previous post! 

A Blogmas Recap (Blogmas 2016 Day 25) 

A Blogmas Recap (Blogmas 2016 Day 25) 

I’m truly in shock writing this. My brain can’t seem to comprehend that Christmas has already come and passed. It still feels like the first week of December to me.

This post concludes my second Blogmas, so I wanted to reflect on the past month, and the previous 25 days of consecutive posting.

December was far busier than I expected. Time seemed to slip away, and I had far less time than I had hoped for blogging. While a couple of my posts were a few minutes late, I didn’t miss any days. Considering I was juggling 2 jobs, I’m pretty pleased with myself!

Here’s a recap of my Blogmas 2016!

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I started off Blogmas with several posts scheduled, thinking I was ahead of the game. Then things got crazy busy, and I fell behind. The last 2 weeks consisted of me coming home from working a double shift, then immediately falling into a writing-frenzy.

Sadly, I didn’t get to do all the posts I had initially planned. I wanted to do at least 2 makeup looks and tutorials, but with all the craziness of work and problems with my computer, I didn’t get the time to film.

When I started Blogmas this year, I hoped that having to come up with a post everyday would force me out of my recent blogging funk. It definitely did, and it also helped showed me what I’m capable of when I really put my mind to it!

I was very much in the baking spirit this year, and cooked up quite a few yummy treats. Baking is one of my absolute favourite parts of the Holiday season, especially when it comes to sharing treats with your friends and family. This year I experimented with a few different recipes, from donuts, chocolate bark, and easy brownies, to chocolate squares and glazed snickerdoodle cookies!

 

This year I shared a lot more gift guides than last year, as well as sharing new and noteworthy products at Sephora!

This Christmas was full of ups and downs. Good and bad, with moments of happy and sad mixed together. There have been a lot of changes in my family, and change during the Holiday season is always the toughest.

December passed by in a flurry of work and business, I found it difficult not to get discouraged and dejected. This year, rather than counting the things I want, I tried instead to count the things that I’m grateful for. A cheesy sentiment, I know, but the list was overwhelming and it really dawned on me how easily we take things for granted.  Despite everything, I’ve been trying to remind myself of how truly lucky I am, and how much worse things could be. To be able to sit here, casually writing this blog post in the comfort of a warm home. To spend Christmas with family and friends, and a table full of food while so many spend it in struggle, strife, and poverty.
I think that’s something we all need to do more often – reminds ourselves of how blessed we are. On that note, I wanted to thank every single one of you for embarking on another Blogmas journey with me! I hope you all had a merry Christmas (or if you don’t celebrate Christmas, then a happy and peaceful holiday season!)

 

 

 

Sweet & Salty Chocolate Pretzel Bark – Dairy-Free, Vegan-Friendly (Blogmas 2016 Day 24)

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Can you believe it’s already Christmas Eve?! I’m not entirely sure where the month of December went. All I know is that I blinked just after Halloween, and then suddenly it was Christmas!

For the 24th day of Blogmas, I wanted to include a recipe that is perfect for a last-minute treat to bring to any Holiday occasion. This is one of my favourite treats, and I actually posted a recipe very similar to this last year. However since switching to a predominantly plant-based diet and trying to avoid dairy, I figured I needed to post an updated recipe with some adjustments!

Ingredients: 

  • 1 to 1 & 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips (dairy free of course! Many brands of semi-sweet chocolate chips are dairy-free, but just check the ingredients!)
  • 1/2 tbsp pure coconut oil (optional, just helps smooth out the chocolate)
  • 1/4 cup crushed pretzels
  • 2 tablespoons crushed graham crackers (you can add more to taste if you wish, or skip this all together) – for vegan-friendly options, choose ones without honey.

Note: I had leftover glaze from yesterday’s Pumpkin Spice Snickerdoodle recipe, so I drizzled some of that on top! 

Instructions: 

  1. Line your baking sheet with parchment paper (you want extra paper, rather than cutting it to fit perfectly, This makes it easier to pull it out to break apart the bark once it’s cooled!)
  2. Crush your toppings, and set aside so they’re ready to go.
  3.  In a double boiler, place your chocolate chips and stir over low-medium heat until chocolate chips are melted. You can also do this in the microwave, in 30 second intervals. I prefer double boiler as it’s far easier to control.
  4. Carefully pour the chocolate onto your parchment-covered baking sheet, and spread evenly with a spatula. I find about 1mm works best, otherwise the chocolate is too thick.
  5. Sprinkle the crushed graham crackers over top, and then the crushed pretzels. You want to do this right after spreading on the baking sheet, so the toppings can harden into the chocolate as it cools.
  6. Place in refrigerator and let cool for approximately 30 minutes to an hour – or until hardened.
  7. Lastly, all you have to do is break up the bark! It looks much cooler than cutting. I like to break them into assorted sizes.

 

Previous Blogmas posts:

Glazed Pumpkin Spice Snickerdoodle Biscuit Recipe- Dairy-Free, Vegan Friendly (Blogmas 2016 Day 23)

Winter Skin Savers Part 2 (Blogmas 2016 Day 22)

Glazed Pumpkin Spice Snickerdoodle Biscuit Recipe- Dairy-Free, Vegan Friendly (Blogmas 2016 Day 23)

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While the name sounds lengthy and slightly pretentious, I had to share this recipe with you – and I really couldn’t decide what to name them! I accidentally stumbled upon these snickerdoodle cookie/biscuit hybrids while experimenting in the kitchen. I was originally inspired by these Pumpkin Snickerdoodles created by VeganRicha, and wanted to see what I could come up with.

These are a more dense cookie that’s almost a hybrid between a biscuit and a cookie in texture. It’s got a pumpkin caramel, which I also made following the recipe on Vegan Richa’s blog. It’s super easy and so delicious! They can easily be made gluten-free, and are free of dairy and lower in fat than your average cookie, as they contain no butter or eggs!

They take about 25-30 minutes in total, and are great for a last minute treat to bring to a party. The pumpkin spice flavour is subtle, and paired with the sweetness of the maple glaze, they’re highly addictive! Also, why do more cookies not come glazed?! It’s like the lovechild of a donut and a cookie.

p1250645I used mainly organic coconut palm sugar as the sweetener, but you could definitely use brown sugar/cane sugar instead for a sweeter cookie, or if coconut sugar isn’t easy to find where you live.

Makes about 15-22 cookies depending on how big you make them! 

Ingredients: 

  • 1 cup flour (I use all-purpose, but use your preference. Gluten free flour, spelt flour, etc.)
  • ⅛ tsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp cornstarch
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice (or you can make this using cinnamon, nutmeg, a tiny bit of ginger)
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 Tbsp oil (I used natural grapeseed, but you could also use coconut oil, or melted vegetable shortening)
  • 1 tbsp pure pumpkin puree
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp sugar (I used coconut palm sugar, but you could use brown sugar, cane sugar, or whichever your preference.)
  • ½ cup spiced pumpkin caramel (this works as the binder and the sweetner. It helps to prevent the pumpkin puree from being too watery and resulting in overly wet cookies.)

Cinnamon Sugar Coating: 

  • 2 Tbsp sugar (you want something with larger granules, such as cane sugar.)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon (ground works best)

Maple Glaze

  • 1 tbsp non-dairy milk (unsweetened preferably. I use almond milk)
  • 1 tbsp Maple Syrup
  • 1-4 cup icing sugar/confectioners sugar. Add extra in small amounts if your glaze looks too liquidy.

 

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Mix the flour, cornstarch, salt, spices, baking soda, and baking powder in a medium sized bowl. Mix until combined.
  3. Stir in the pumpkin “caramel,” vanilla, oil/melted shortening, and vanilla. Stir/mix until it forms a dough. If it seems dry or crumbly, add about a tbsp of milk.
  4. Depending on your taste, you may want to add an extra tbsp of sugar. I opted for a less-sweet cookie, as I knew I wanted to dip these in the maple glaze.
  5. Scoop the dough using a spoon, and roll into a ball. I opted for about the size of a ping pong ball. Lightly roll the balls into the cinnamon sugar mixture, and press down with a fork to gently flatten.
  6. Bake for approximately 8-10 minutes for a smaller cookie, and 10-12 for a larger cookie.
  7. Place on a cookie sheet to cool for a couple minutes, then dip in the glaze and return to cookie sheet to cool and dry! The glaze should be set after about 20 minutes or so.
  8. Dust lightly with icing sugar for a more Christmasy look if you’d like!

For the Glaze:

  • Sift the icing sugar into a bowl
  • Stir in milk and maple syrup, and mix until well combined
  • If it’s too liquidy, add a little bit more icing sugar.
  • If it’s too thick, add a little more milk or maple syrup.
  • The glaze is ready when it’s it somewhat slowly drips off your fork/spoon. You should be able to dip the cookies into the glaze, and the excess glaze should drip off. If you try to dip your cookie and the glaze sort of smushes around, then it’s definitely too thick and needs more liquid.