A short time ago, I posted a review on a small set of Sigma Brushes (link in sidebar to the right->)

Even after expressing some concerns, I decided to give them another shot. I have since purchased a full set (w/brushroll since they claimed at that time to not have sets without, yet do sell the brush roll separate).

Now as you can imagine, a MUA is often asked to make product recommendations which I take very seriously. After all, my reputation is affected by what I tell people they should buy and if it turns out to be bad quality, inconsistent in any way or the company has bad service then I get a phone call. Such is the case with SIGMA.

I will explain.

I recently recommended the SIGMA set to a young lady who was interested in becoming a MUA. She needed a variety of brushes and I felt that based on her budget, timeline and need for a fair quality that SIGMA would be a convenient option as a starter set. I told her where to go and how much they were with shipping (based on the order I just recently made.) I then got a call later in the day saying they price was off. Way off. So, I checked the site and she was right.

I was surprised since I am on the SIGMA mailing list and did not get an update about any price change, and it is not mentioned on the site either. I apologized and offered to pay the difference, but she decided to move on. I have since offered her my own set of SIGMA brushes to make up for any confusion based on my recommendation.

Now, quite a bit of traffic has come into this blog lately in search of SIGMA brush reviews and information, so thought I would add a quick update and some personal thoughts/experience here for those interested in making a first time purchase as well as existing customers, like myself.

SIGMA has in fact increased the price on the full brush set (that includes the brush roll) to $89.00 USD. While still a bargain, a $10.00 price increase since mid-July (when I purchased at $79.00 USD) does seem a bit steep. Especially for Makeup Artists and Kit builders who buy more than once or purchase several sets.

It also explains the recent push in “freebies’ being sent out for Youtube Gurus to give away. While clearly a re-promotion strategy for the price hike, it doesn’t change the fact that it is still a $10.00 increase with no change in product being evident or explained:(

At a time when the economy suffers and consumers are seeking alternatives and consistency, I found this to be a brave move. Personally, I would be concerned with existing customer retention, but I suppose from the profit side of things, mass marketing does have it’s benefits.

I can see it both ways, but as a non biased consumer/reviewer who actually paid for my brushes, I can’t help but wonder if the price increase is subsidizing the many hundreds of dollars worth of Free items SIGMA has been giving away to Youtube Gurus (Tiffany D, EmilyNoelle, Ren Ren, Lollipop26 as examples) for personal use/review promotion, gifts to family/friends and contest prizes.

It also becomes a concern as to the validity of reviews on products that are free. I mean, personally, I like free things and mostly because they are free. If you make no effort or investment, how can you really be truly unbiased in a review? I am sure it is possible, but to many it will seem suspect.

For those still ‘on the fence’ and checking out non-biased fellow consumer information, I will be reviewing the Full Set of SIGMA brushes with roll (pictured below) by the end of the week. Photos and comparisons will be included.

I also have upcoming reviews for some SEPHORA brushes , SONIA KASHUK brushes, LOEW CORNELL brushes a few of my new MAC brushes and more. The prices of these brushes seem to be consistent and since I now need to replace one whole set, I’m sure I will have a lot to share;)

Check back for updates, send questions/concerns and have a great week;)

Kristine Marie

PS. I located another SIGMA brush review in which the customer paid $64 USD for her full set without brushroll in late July, and they are now listed at $69 USD. Just an FYI.


~ Budget Beauty Supplies ~

August 23, 2009

When it comes to money, many of us would rather spend less on basics so we can save for our splurges. Here are a few things I picked up from a DOLLAR store. You would be surprised how much you can save by shopping smart. A few bucks here and there adds up over time;)


So, here is a short list of some of the things I found on my last visit to the Dollar store:

Cotton Balls, Pads and Q Tips
Hand Sanitizer (2pack)
Cosmetic Sponges
Double pack mini spray bottles
Organizers (in 2 or 3 packs depending on size)
Travel sized bottles with pumps, caps or spray tops.
Assorted plastic jars ( some stackable) for loose powders, pigments, shadows etc.
Labels for plastic jars
Pencil Boxes for organizing smaller items in your kit
Clear Lip gloss
…and so much more. Stocking up for basic supplies for your personal/professional makeup kit is easy and inexpensive by simply visiting your local Dollar type stores. Just look around and find ways to save so you can splurge later;)

Kristine Marie

I love MAC. It’s no secret. I am not limited to MAC products though. I do exercise options in the cosmetic/skin care realm whenever possible to stay updated and open minded on the many things available, but some products I do prefer. MAC wipes are one of those items.

Available at MAC stores and counters everywhere, MAC Wipes are $18 USD for a pack of 45 and $26 USD for a bluk pack of 100. I purchase the latter due to consumption and cost efficiency. 

I use these wipes on myself as well as clients to cleanse, tone and hydrate on the go , all in one easy step. These cloths are larger than most and what I most love is that they do not dry out. They are saturated but not messy and effective enough to handle some of the toughest jobs including long wearing makeup and waterproof mascaras. Sometimes, I keep a few in my bag on summer days as a quick refresher. I love this product!

The packaging is simple as you see above. The center top lifts up and snaps back down to seal the moisture in. No cheap sticky seal here. Infused with Vitamin E, these nourishing wipes feel cool and slick in use and afterward leave no offensive medicinal smell, residue or sticky feeling like some wipes I have used in the past.

Best of all, one wipe usually does the trick, so in terms of cost efficiency, I feel like I am getting a better deal. With many other brands I am using 2 – 3 of their wipes making it the same cost overall, but less hassle with MAC.

It’s no wonder that a company designed for Makeup Artists would take the steps to make sure they also had the best makeup removers. Efficient, luxurious and a splurge I feel is totally worth it. 

While makeup remover wipes are NO SUBSTITUTE for face washing, toning and moisturizing…these handy little numbers are great  on the go, in a bind or before and after makeup applications. 

For those looking for more cost efficient options, please subscribe and keep an eye out for upcoming FAVORITES and REVIEWS where I will update further on other products I use and enjoy!

Kristine Marie



US $26.00

Here is a quick, and CHEAP idea for storing Makeup Pallettes and Pencils etc… The letter organizer and both cups were each $1 at Dollar Tree Stores. They came in silver and black. The cups were rounded and squared. I chose the silver in the squares. They are lightweight but do the job well and keep things at an easy reach for me. Check them out here:


I think I will be picking up a few more. I will likely use one for clean pencils and one for pencils that need to be sanitized when I am in a hurry and don’t clean them before putting them back in the kit. You can also use the cups for hair combs and other things as well.


I have seen the same organizers in other places for $7 and up, so be sure to shop around!
Just remember – A penny saved is a penny toward more makeup! So, shop smart and enjoy!

Kristine Marie

Yes, another MAC foundation review…

This convenient stick foundation is in a twist up applicator making it handy and easy for application and touching up on the go. It offers a medium coverage that I find easily buildable and its creamy formulation makes it a smooth application on any skin type.

I didn’t find it to be heavy even with a full face application. For sheerer looks, use a damp sponge or brush to blend. For those desiring even less coverage , just apply as a concealer to spots, press in with warm fingers and go.

For those who like a natural contour look, I suggest using the EVE PEARL Method of applying 2 different shades and blending them out before setting them. This will give definition at the base of your makeup application making for a subtle, natural looking contour that won’t rub off or fade throughout the day.

If you desire a matte finish, set with a colorless powder such as BEN NYE (see review in the sidebar) and for those who enjoy a more dewy finish, let it set on it’s own.

Not greasy, not drying, this foundation can be used year round in the proper shades and still deliver a consistent look. I feel it has brought about a balance to my skin when it wears makeup unlike some foundations that seem to dry my skin over time or make it feel oily with continued use. Day after day, this foundation just delivers reliable lasting coverage, a light feel and leaves my skin soft even after removal.

It is 9 grams and retails for $29.50 USD Available in 15 shades.

This product is quite genius to offer convenience and a formulation that works on most skin types in one easy product. Versatile and a great addition to any personal makeup bag or professional makeup artist’s kit.

Now one of my Favorites!

Kristine Marie

Your favorite lipcolor formulation wearing down before you do? Here are a few steps toward making the most of your lipcolor. I will warn, this is drying to some, so it may not be ideal for everyday wear. Results do vary, so try this method and see how it works for you.

First, exfoliate lips a  few times a week. You can do this by gently rubbing a washcloth over them, or using your toothbrush to refresh them and remove dead skin. Immediately after, apply your favorite lip moisturizer , balm or Vaseline and allow it about 10 minutes to settle in. 

When you are ready to apply lipcolor, gently pat your lips dry of excess moisture, but do not rub them. You want them moist, but not wet. A soft tissue and pressing motions should do the trick just fine.

Now, you can apply a Lip Primer if you have one. Go lightly. You do not want “slick lips”. I prefer the new Urban Decay Lip Primer potion (Sephora stores / $20 USD) . This is not necessary, but can improve results.

Next, apply your favorite lipliner. Aim for a shade or two lighter than the lipcolor you will wear. Outline the shape you desire and fill in the lip completely. Then work it into your lips by gently pressing your lips together. Now you are ready for lipcolor.

Apply lipcolor and gently press lips together to work it in. Then blot excess on a tissue. Next, lightly apply a colorless setting powder over your lips. I prefer to use BEN NYE NEUTRAL SET, but any colorless formula will do. Now, reapply your lipcolor as normal and gloss if you prefer.

As with ANY product, layering is essential to long wear, so repeat application and set steps as desired. By following the basic steps above, you will find your lipcolor lasting longer than ever before.

Now, keep in mind, all formulations of lipcolor are NOT created equal, so results will vary. As always, be sure to completely remove all makeup at the end of the day (or eve) and apply a generous amount of lip moisturizer to replenish your precious pout. 


Kristine Marie

This wonderful woman owned business is based in Singapore. It specializes in beautiful handcrafted jewelry for those who truly want to set themselves apart. The designs are unique and the quality is incomparable. Choose from many beautiful designs or submit an idea for a custom creation. The possibilities are endless…

Here is one of the beautiful handcrafted necklaces. Anything but flimsy, the chain is sturdy and the lobster claw clasp is perfect for those of us with long nails who cannot always handle the smaller clasps. I especially like this design for Autumn as the colors reflect the golds and greens of the season, while the leaf design really ties in the Rose of the pendant . This is a one of a kind, charming and elegant piece with an antiqued appeal…

…and just one of the MANY things you can find or create at EDELSTINE DESIGNS. Convenient payment options including paypal, reasonable shipping time/fees and affordable quality jewelry. It just doesn’t get better than that;)

Check out EDELSTINE DESIGNS and choose something for everyday or create something for a special day;) Gift giving season is fast approaching, so be sure to bookmark them for up and coming designs;)


Kristine Marie


August 19, 2009

Beauty Blogs - BlogCatalog Blog Directory


I have been doing some research on the best and most affordable flat iron for my hair. I came across some video tutorials on the Le Angelique Pro Ceramic 1″ flat iron seen in the video below..

The same girl does a video with the curling iron from Le Angelique as well, and for a very limited time, BEAUTYCHOICE.COM is offering a BUY ONE, GET ONE FREE option.

Le Angelique 25mm Curling Iron (Black)

Yes! Buy the Curling iron for $99.95 and get the Flat Iron for FREE!  Best of all, FREE shipping with orders over $50! What a fabulous deal!  I ordered mine today;)

So, check it out and be sure to enter the code  TURBO6 to get both products for only $99.95 with FREE SHIPPING! Limited Time only so order soon!

Here is the link and don’t forget the code! 

_Buy Curling Iron, get Flat Iron FREE!



I purchased this colorless face powder months ago based on the recommendation of another Makeup Artist. She noticed I used a fairly expensive brand ( MAC ) and suggested this product as not only a comparable alternative, but a more affordable one. For the large 3 ounce container and the price tag of only $7.oo USD, I was happy to give it a try.


The first thing I noticed was that the container has a twist top with a shaker…which is very convenient and keeps me from having an open jar laying around ( I am a bit of a germaphobe) or a jar that could spill if bumped into. It also allows me to use ONLY what I need and not waste product.

Another thing that appealed to me is that this is a Ben Nye product. As some of you may know, BEN NYE  is an industry leader in theatrical makeup, so if it is good enough to stand up to stage performances under hot lights, stage sweat and teary eyed performances, then I can only assume it will hold up for brides, portraits and everyday situations as well…

I assumed right.

As with all new products, I always test them on myself a few times. In this case, I fell in love with it the first time I tried it and have used it with EVERY makeup application on myself since. No, really…I LOVE this product. Very little product will go a long way with BEN NYE. I personally use the SIGMA 150  or MAC 150 brush to lightly dust over my final looks. For those who do not wear foundation and only desire a light powder to reduce a bit of shine, a kabuki will work well for you.

It goes on so softly and doesn’t leave a white sheen like some set powders do. It has a silky feel, no color, no smell and leaves behind no traces of existence other than a wonderfully set final look that lasts ALL day long;) Perfect for those who want to set makeup without adding additional coverage or an unnatural sheen/cast that many powders seem to give off. 

Not much else to say when it comes to a colorless set powder, but I would happily recommend this product to anyone. It does the job, does it well, and does it for a very friendly asking price. Once again, BEN NYE has won my heart and didn’t break the bank to do so;) Buy it here:

Neutral Set Translucent

Kristine Marie