Holiday Splurge: Laura Mercier Deluxe Travel Brush Collection

Buying travel and/or holiday sets is one way to get a good deal when it comes to cosmetics or cosmetic tools. They are usually pretty pricey, but after calculating how much each individual item in a set comes out to, it’s very rarely a waste of money. So when I saw this brush set from Laura Mercier last December, I could hardly contain myself and I almost flew out of the store with it. The quality of the brushes was fantastic and the design of the case was absolultely gorgeous. LM2It took a lot of will power, but I did not fly out the store with this right away last  December. The price tag read 3,950.00 Php (roughly 90USD), so the sensible part of me took control and I decided to think about it and do some research first. About a month later, as you can probably already tell, I decided it was 100% worth it and brought my new baby home. ♥
LM3The Laura Mercier Deluxe Travel Brush Collection includes five brushes (four double-ended ones and one regular one), a little detachable mesh pouch, and a hard case that zips closed. The colour scheme of the set is a deep chocolate brown which might not appeal to everyone but I think it’s very classy and it’s obviously in line with the rest of Laura Mercier’s packaging, too. 

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My UNII Palette

A couple of months ago I ordered a UNII palette from the US and it has proved to be extremely useful. The UNII palette is essentially a customizable make-up palette, much like the Z Palette except that the UNII palette is made of a sturdy plastic instead of cardboard.

Here she is! I ordered mine in Pomegranate because the black and white were out of stock and it was the closest to red they had. I actually like the color much more than I expected. The palette feels sturdy and is really pretty, too. It’s certainly much better than some original packaging out there, and it makes a lot of sense to be able to have shadows/powders from different brands together in one place.

The palette is a good size (approximately 3 x 6 inches) and it includes a full mirror, a metal plate, a rubber gripper, and a strip of adhesive-magnets (for the bottoms of your refill pans). UNII cosmetics has since come out with a new design which does not have a metal plate and magnet strip. Instead it has the magnet inside the palette and the rubber gasket which you can see on my UNII is no longer removable. A minor change is that the rubber gripper is much cuter in the new palette. A not-so minor change is that the colors available are now much cuter! You can check those out at their website: http://uniicosmetics.com. But for now, let me show you what I did with mine!

These are the shadows that I chose to place in my UNII palette. It’s obviously a neutrals palette, but with this combination I can make both a natural day look and a heavier evening look if I want to. That space below the bottom row of shadows can fit (and it usually does hold) an eyeliner. With that, I’m all set. This has travelled me once and it definitely beats bringing many single shadows or one pre-made palette that may limit you to a certain look. I prefer this even to my Urban Decay NAKED palette, which only makes sense, because these shades are tried and tested by me for use on me. The shadows/powders are namely:

Top Row: Dior random powder – The Balm “Devilish Danielle” – The Balm “Mischievous Marissa” – The Balm “Insane Jane”

Bottom Row: Shu Uemura M 851: “Soft Brown” – Shu Uemura M 860 “BXH2271” – Shu Uemura Bronze – Shu Uemura IR 900Y “BXH 1408” – Laura Mercier “American Coffee” 

The Dior powder is a general highlighter. The theBalm shadows are my favorites from my “Shady Lady” palette (yes, I ripped them out)– Mischievous Marissa gives me a lovely, peachy glow and Insane Jane just makes my eyes pop. The Shu matte soft brown is my perfect lid shadow, while the deep brown to its right is the most amazing brown I have ever come across. I usually use that in the crease of my eye and I only need the tiniest bit to create the most dramatic effect… combined with that bronze, the effect is just amazing. For everyday looks, I use the LM American Coffee on my crease. Also, notice how the Shu shadow on the far left of the bottom row is slightly thinner than the others? Shu Uemura has started producing their shadows in Korea instead of Japan (I was thinking maybe the factory was affected by the recent natural disaster?) and has downsized their eyeshadows. It isn’t very obvious when you buy the single eyeshadows in their new packaging, but it’s definitely noticeable when you place the pans side by side. I only have two that are very recently purchased and I haven’t noticed any compromise in quality which is great, of course, but the downsize is definitely a bummer. Anyway, the other two shadows that I haven’t mentioned (Devilish Danielle and the Shu Gold) are highlighters for me. They are amazing just like all the other shadows in my UNII.

Putting my palette together was a ton of fun, which I did expect since I love my make-up (hehe). One down side to the UNII might be removing single shadows from their already beautiful original containers. In this case though, there wasn’t any particular casing that I really wanted to hold on to. It’s a good way to customize to your own needs, as make-up really is something as personal as jewelry– only you really know what you like best. I might want another UNII palette in the future for powders or even a collection of brighter eye shadows, but I’m still not too sure. For now, I’m perfectly happy with the one UNII that I own and have come to love.

Again, you can check out UNII cosmetics here and have a look at that adorable honeysuckle palette! They’re now going for 26 USD (usually 29) which is a holiday price, I think.


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