I recently put in an order with COASTALSCENTS.COM and while I am always skeptical about super inexpensive brushes, I decided I could afford to take a leap of faith on a few items I was curious about…

As always, the brushes came packaged adorably in a drawstring organza bag (colors vary in my experience but this time it was black)  and delicately wrapped in pink tissue paper with a seal to keep everything nice and neat….)

I always enjoy attention to small details that really make getting a package feel more like getting a present;) I was given a small sample of loose shadow which was a nice and generous touch.  Shipping was also super fast and who doesn’t love that? 😉

Ok, so here are my thoughts on the few I received:

BIONIC FLAT TOP BUFFER BRUSH     $13.95     (see link for photo and more information)

The softness of this brush is pretty surprising, but yet it still has a density that makes it perfect for everything from buffing foundations in or applying bronzer or mineral foundations. This is a must-have for any makeup junkie on a budget who desires an excellent quality multi-tasking brush. I am adding a few of these onto my next order as they will now be a staple in my professional kit;) VERY happy with this purchase and even happier with the price! After all, it works as well as my SMASHBOX #19 and I paid over $50 USD for that brush. You do the math! As a side note, I do recommend the   BRUSH GUARDS to keep this brush in the best shape possible. They are a must for those who desire to get the most of their brush investment;)


DESTINY BLENDER BRUSH     $2.49     ( see link for photo and more info)

Another shocker, this little gem is under $3 USD but performs as well ( if not better) than my MAC 222 and MAC 224 brush. I liken the shape to that of the MAC 226 that sometimes appears in limited edition collections as it is very tapered and yet, dense and soft enough to give a beautiful and easy blend. Shorter than the MAC brushes but not so short that they are difficult to control. I think this is a perfect blender to keep on hand ( I will be ordering a few more…) and excellent for a travel brush set. Fast becoming one of my favorites!


DIVINE LARGE/MEDIUM EYE SHADOW BRUSH     $2.49     (see link for photo and more info)

I love these brushes. The large is great for applying a base color all over the eye or even the highlight. The medium is perfect for lid color or highlight. Dense enough to pack on color if desired , yet soft enough to deliver a sheer wash when using a gentle hand. Again..smaller than the high end counterparts, but affordable, workable and definite basics for any makeup junkie to have in their stash. The price is nice too! Check out both sizes…at $2.49 each, you can’t afford NOT to;)


BLACK POINTED CREASE BRUSH     $2.95     (see link for photo and more info)

Not my favorite pointed brush ever, but no major complaints. While the tip isn’t the most slender and perfect of pointed crease brushes, this can be worked with in my opinion. I find the tip to be soft enough to not irritate the delicate areas around eyes, but the base of the hair is dense enough to be able to smudge kohl liners into the lashline with ease.


So there you have it. A few good quality, basic makeup brushes without breaking the piggy bank. I plan to keep these handy on my personal makeup table and order a few for my professional kit as well. Great for traveling as well due to the convenient size and affordable price.  In fact, here is an adorable little bag that would be perfect to hold them all…


COASTALSCENTS.COM has so many hidden treasures from cosmetics to moisturizers. I have always been pleased with my purchases and the service at COASTALSCENTS.COM and highly recommend them to beginners and professionals.

As an addition, the already low prices are going even lower on certain items for the Holiday season so check them out!

More reviews coming soon on products from Estee Lauder, MAC, Too Faced, Sephora, Urban Decay, Coastal Scents, Face Atelier and MORE!  Stay updated and be sure to visit:


and become a fan for more information and giveaway opportunities!


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.

~ Makeup Brushes ~

July 7, 2009

In the world of makeup, how you apply your makeup and what tools you use is just as important as the quality of the makeup you buy. After all, even the finest cosmetics won’t achieve the best look if not applied properly and with the proper tools. The right brushes can make or break a desired look.

Brush how-to’s are one of the many things I go over in my makeup lessons to offer the best understanding of this process. During those lessons, I am often asked to make recommendations of what kinds of brushes to buy, and where to buy them.

While there are a great many quality brushes out there, Brush *sets* are becoming ever popular as they are an easy way to “one stop shop” and get everything you need in a convenient time saving way. Affordable and quality brush sets are out there, but so are scams, so best to do your research before a serious investment.

My current favorites are the MAC brushes as well as BOBBI BROWN brushes and I will NOT be reviewing them since I like every last one and am never disappointed. That’s my review. Expensive to some, but can’t go wrong. Just my opinion.

Keep your eyes open for my upcoming reviews about more affordable brushes and sets in the near future and for more information on my private makeup lessons for individuals or groups, feel free to leave a comment in the box and I will get back to you. 

Stay tuned and subscribe for email notification when the blog is updated!

Kristine Marie