Thursday, February 16, 2012

MAC 239 vs. Sigma E55

Before purchasing my Sigma brush kit a year ago or so, I tried asking around on MUA, which brand people liked better for brushes, Sigma or MAC. By that, I quite frankly meant: Are the MAC brushes so much better than the Sigma ones, that they are worth me spending so much money on them.
Obviously, people had different opinions. However, I noted that one person told me that the Sigma ones can do just as good a job as the MAC ones - except for the MAC 239 brush, which that person said simply could not be duped.
Lucky for me, I already had the MAC 239, so I decided to purchase a Sigma Make Me Blush kit, and definitely do not regret it. Don't get me wrong - I do own a few MAC brushes and I absolutely love them - but I also feel that spending so much on brushes doesn't really make sense, when I can get almost the same thing for a lot less. I'm not a professional makeup artist, makeup is my hobby, so why not just spend the extra money on actual makeup, then?
And yes... I do admit that the fact that Sigma has pink brushes, might have played a small role... a girl never gets too old for a little bit of pink!

Above to the right, you can see the MAC 239 brush (the lower one) and the Sigma E55 (the upper one), which is supposed to be a "Sigma version" of the MAC one. Both of these brushes are meant for packing colour onto your eyelids.

Now, as you can tell from the top picture, and the one to the left, the Sigma one is bigger and thicker. This is both a good and a bad thing. Since the MAC one is smaller, it can fit into the corner of your eye more nicely and it is precise enough to be used for placing shadow under your lower lashline as well - the Sigma one is too big for this. I also find that the MAC brush delivers more colour to the eye - the shadow's pigments seem to transfer better with it.
However, the Sigma brush does a good job when dealing with glitter - and it is my go-to brush for that. That being said, I don't use glitter on my eyes very often, so for me, the MAC brush is a winner here.

Definitely worth the money, and although you don't feel like splurging on all the MAC brushes, I think you should check the MAC 239 out - it will be your best friend before long!

What do you think? Have you tried either one of these brushes? Tell me!

Miss Diorista

Book Review - Death of a Salesman, by Arthur Miller

Hi again!

A few weeks ago, I decided to take on a really fun challenge, called 52 Books in 52 Weeks. It doesn't take a whole lot of explaining to understand what it is about, since it basically just is what it says: You do your best to read (at least) one book each week, for a whole year. That makes a total of 52 books, in 52 weeks.

I'm a few books behind, but I intend to catch up on that during the weekend. Please head over to the site of the challenge, and see if this is something for you - it's a whole lot of fun, especially checking out what other people have been reading that week.
And it's never too late to join in - you can catch up in a matter of few weeks, for example by reading shorter novellas.

I will be doing book reviews here on Miss Diorista when I finish a book in English, German or maybe Danish, if I feel that I have something to say about the book. I probably won't write about Icelandic books, although I do read a whole lot of those as well as in other languages, since most of my audience comes from abroad.

To start this off, I am reviewing Arthur Miller's famous play, Death of a Salesman. If you are interested in seeing what I am reading at the moment, you can check that out on the right side of the site.

The play was first published in 1949, has been very successful and still is, to this day. No wonder - reading it, as well as watching it, is a pure joy.
It is a tragedy of the best kind, with Willy Loman as the protagonist. His name is a play with words - it represents his low status in society. He is very unhappy, a little over sixty years old, and hasn't accomplished anything of what he thought he would. Worse yet, his sons, in whom he had great faith, haven't met his expectations either. Throughout the play, he slowly sinks deeper and deeper into a storm of dark thoughts: What could have been?
His wife, Linda, is a very strong character in the play, and my personal favorite. She loves Willy very dearly - more than so, actually - despite the fact that he isn't always very nice to her. As he gets sicker, and more lost, all she thinks about is trying to help him - she is even willing to sacrifice all contact with her own son. Whether or not you agree with her strategy there, the way Arthur Miller molded this character, is simply extraordinary.
As you can hear, I do wholeheartedly recommend this play. It is written very, very well, and with a sharp eye for human nature.

What are you reading these days? I'd love to know, looking for more books to read!

Miss Diorista

Friday, December 2, 2011

November Favourites 2011

I haven't blogged... for ages. Funny, since the same exact thing happened last winter... I took a "break" from blogging during the autumn and early winter, but got back into it around Christmas time... Anyways, I can't tell you how good it feels to be writing again!

Let us dive right into November favourites - which are actually not so much November favourites, as they are simply winter favourites. Many of these items, I have been using and loving for three months. Enjoy!

First up, with makeup, I have been loving the NARS Laguna Bronzer. I know, not much of a surprise, since almost everybody who tries it falls for it completely, but since I haven't had access to NARS before (I bought it in Edinburgh back in summer), it was a first for me. I just love this bronzer - it is honestly my favourite bronzer out of all the ones I have. Not only does it give you a healthy-looking glow, but it also looks amazingly natural as a contour colour. As you can see, I've already hit pan - I use it every single day.

About a month ago or so, Dior released a new collection of foundation, called Diorskin Forever, consisting of a liquid foundation and a powder foundation. Since I already have enough of liquid foundations to last me the next few months, I decided to try the powder version, called Diorskin Forever Compact in shade no. 010. And oh my. You haven't truly understood the meaning of a powder feeling velvety, until you have felt this powder. It is so smooth, stays nicely, covers nicely (not as well as a liquid, but very nicely for a powder) and doesn't accentuate dry skin as much as many powders do. Also, I love that they have a shade which is light enough for me.

Speaking of foundations... I know I keep saying this about every single liquid foundation I buy, but I have found a foundation which simply knocks me out. NARS Sheer Glow Foundation is so, so, so beautiful. And I couldn't help laughing when the lady matched my skin to a shade called Light 2 - or Mont Blanc - that's how fair I am! This is the closest colour match I've ever had in a foundation. And I love the finish - the coverage is medium, I would say, but very buildable, and the finish is light and natural. I don't feel overdone, but definitely well put together. And if I'm going somewhere fancy and feel like I need a bit of some extra coverage, I simply set it with the Diorskin Forever powder, instead of a regular powder.

For nails, I have been all over dark and vampy shades the past few weeks. But simple, good, old black doesn't do the trick for me - I like it dark with a twist! This Ciaté Paint Pot in Wait Until Dark is exactly that - dark with a twist. It is a dark, dark purple, with shimmer, sometimes it looks purple, sometimes almost black... magical against the glistening snow which has been coming down the last days.

I have been switching up my skincare almost entirely during the past three months, and have found many great products which I love. I might do a skincare routine soon, once my Christmas exams are over.

Ole Henriksen's On The Go Cleanser has made cleansing my face after a long day something to look forward to, a treat. It smells like orange soda, and is completely sensual.

Winter hasn't been kind to my skin - it never is, but this year, my skin is feeling the best it has for many years. I think a great portion of that is thanks to the wonderful EGF Serum. It is an Icelandic serum, which is supposed to help correct skin aging effects, improve the appearance of the skin, and moisturize. Now, of course, I'm young so I haven't experienced a whole lot of aging on my skin, but as for the moisturizing part... Wow. Two, maybe three drops of this wonder liquid, and my whole face is completely moist. This is far better than any moisturizer I have ever tried - believe me, if you have dry skin, this serum will quickly become your best friend.

But just moisturizing isn't enough - in order to keep my skin smooth, I've been searching for the perfect exfoliator. I find many of the usual grainy exfoliators too... too harsh I guess, but also not effective enough. However, this Anans Enzym Peeling by Arya Laya does the job perfectly. Most of its effectiveness is derived from the enzymes in the product, but it also has tiny grains. The mask feels slightly stingy, and you have to wash, not rinse, your face afterwards, since the enzymes won't stop working on your skin unless they are completely washed off, but the mask truly works wonders. It leaves my skin nicely exfoliated and soft.

That's it for now - but you'l be hearing more from me, that's for sure!

Miss Diorista

Friday, September 9, 2011

Weekly Gratitude - Autumn and Spinach...

I'm still here dollies! So sorry for the lack of posts the past few weeks - school was starting again and I getting back into the swing of things has been occupying my mind. But there are many posts coming up, including an August Favourites post tomorrow, so stay tuned! However, for now, we have weekly gratitude - enjoy.

  • Thank you for school starting again - I love this season!
  • Thank you to a friend, for always being able to bring a smile to my face.
  • Thank you for the weekend - I have so much to do, so it's not "two days off" at all, but just being able to sleep for one or two more hours than usually is so valuable!
  • Thank you to my aunt, for being home again! She was abrought, but knowing that she's safely home with her family, is so nice - welcome home :)
  • Thank you for autumn - I love all the autumn colours, will be showing you some favourite polishes soon!
  • Thank you for spinach... I know, that's a strange one, but unless you've tasted fresh, mountain-grown spinach (or that´s what we call it here... I'm not talking about the tasteless, artificial, perfect-looking spinach!), you really haven't tasted spinach - so good with strawberries!
  • Thank you to God, for giving me so much, so many people, to be so grateful for.

Miss Diorista

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Dior - Cannage Couture Collection Brush Set

Talk about travelling in style! I bought this beautiful set of four travel-sized brushes when I was in Germany in March (at the airport, to be specific). I wanted to give it a good share of use before reviewing it, but quite frankly, I didn't have the time until I travelled to Edinburgh two weeks ago - I decided to bring only these brushes with me (I did take an eyeliner brush as well though, and an angled one for my brows) - so after a whole week of using almost only these brushes, I believe I have enough to tell you what I think of them.
As you can see, the travel set come in this beautiful purse (perfect for both travelling and , and to be honest, my favourite thing about it is the "D" on the zipper. So Dior-ish!
The purse has a mirror inside, a sleeve for each brush and a nice cover to protect the brushes and the mirror - it feels rubbery, so makeup won't stick to it.
As you can see, these brushes aren't going anywhere - they each have their own little pocket, an elastic band for holding them in place, and a plastic cover for protection. Very, very professional.
The set comes with four travel-sized brushes - (from L-R) a lip brush, an eyeshadow brush, a blush brush and a foundation brush.

The lip brush is nice to have, very precise and does a great job at applying lipstick. Personally, I would have picked another brush for a travel set  - an eyeliner brush for example, but I guess it's nice to have, especially if you like strong lip colours, which tend to need precise application.

The eyeshadow brush is a medium at density - meaning that it can be used for both packing on colour, as well as putting shadows in the crease and blending them out. I have to admit that I don't use this brush on an every day basis, but I did use it every day for a week when I was in Edinburgh, and it does work - I got beautiful looks from it, and even managed to use it for smudging shadow under my lower lashline. So yes, I will definitely use this for travelling in the future, although I don't use it at home.

The blush brush is my favourite from the set - although that may not come as a surprise, I'm a blush gal :) It's very soft, and I used it both for bronzing and blushing - it's small enough to work for contouring, yet big enough to give a blended look when working with blush or highlighter. I would say that it's on the smaller side, but it is a travel-sized brush after all, and I do like it.

The foundation brush is to me the least interesting brush of the set - but that being said, I really, really don't like classic foundation brushes at all, this one is no exception. I feel that they leave my face streaky, and I always have to re-do my makeup if I decide to give them "one more try". I just don't understand how people can use them, to be honest.

So, do I recommend this set? Well, if you are looking for a really nice travel brush set, I think you will like this, especially if you use classic foundation brushes. The brushes are really well made, the bristles are fantastic and the handles are so classy, with the Dior logo printed so nicely on them. I'm really happy with mine.

Miss Diorista

Friday, August 12, 2011

OPI - Houston We Have A Purple

I believe this is the second to last jelly polish from the OPI Texas Collection (2011) that I have yet to post about... I know, I know, this is taking me ages :)

This particular polish happens to be my favourite, not only from the collection, but also one of my favourite polishes in my collection... it's for sure the prettiest purple I've seen so far - the hint of wine red is gorgeous. I really have no words, which is why I gave in to the temptation of posting more pictures of this polish than I usually do. Please click on them to enlarge them, in order to enjoy the full beauty of this polish (although my pictures don't even do it justice).

My thoughts on the OPI "sorbet" (aka jelly) formula:The jellies which came out with the OPI Texas collection are very, very sheer, but other than that, they apply like a dream. They are buildable, but getting them completely opaque would take many, many coats. You can get away with three coats, but the true magic doesn't happen until the fourth, or even the fifth coat. I usually use four coats, and I get the most amazing jelly finish I've ever seen. No patchiness, just gorgeous shine and everything looks completely even, like a professional manicure.
As far as weartime goes, those jelly polishes wear much better than the average cream formula. I don't get any chipping until the sixth day, and tip wear is minimal. Removing the jelly polishes is relatively easy, but if you use a top coat (which I don't find necessary) you might find it a bit more difficult.
Really, there is only one real flaw to those polishes - they are completely addicting!

This polish is perfect for fall - deep, rich, purple... what more could I possibly ask for?

Product (65%) - 9.5/10 (would have been a straight 10 if it hadn't been so sheer)
Value (10%) - 8/10
Would I repurchase? (15%) - 10/10
Packaging (10%) - 8/10

Overall - 9.5/10

Love, Miss Diorista

P.S. Please tell me what polishes you are loving for fall!

Weekly Gratitude - Autumn, My Aunt and Ice Cream!

  • Thank you for autumn coming upon us so gracefully - I almost don't want to say it, but I feel happy about summer coming to an end and fall taking over... I can't wait for rich, deep hues on lips and nails, the autumn leaves and school... there is something so oddly charming about school starting again.
  • Thank you to my aunt for stopping by this evening - she made my day!
  • Thank you for ice cream... the perfect food for extending summer into fall.
  • Thank you for Barnaby - ever watched those movies? I don't know if they're aired in the US, but it's a British series of movies about the police man Barnaby, who lives and works in a small town in the countryside. Lovely!
  • Thank you to my new followers - I hope you like what you signed up for ;)
  • Thank you to my mom and niece - the three of us went for a long ride on our bikes today. The weather was as nice as the company, and the tour was lovely.
  • Thank you to God, for letting us know that our loved ones are doing what fills their life with purpose and happiness - it's an unexplainable feeling, knowing that they're doing fine, that they're happy, that their life is the best it can be.
Miss Diorista
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