One Brush, Five Different Ways to Use It

An ode to the Wayne Goss Air brush. 

While I keep on making jokes about the Wayne Goss brush company branding — “cruelty-free” animal hair makeup brushes anyone? — I became increasingly interested in the brand when reviewers I trusted posted about the impeccable quality of the Goss brushes. Tarababyz, Stephanie Nicole, and Temptalia all talked about the softness of the brushes, how they distributed powder products evenly and Stephanie Nicole waxed poetic of how a certain Wayne Goss changed how they applied highlighter. I really wanted to try one, but the prices were in the $40 US + range, which was out of my budget.

Then suddenly came along the Air Brush. The Air Brush is marketed as a multi-tasker, a brush you can use for bronzer, highlighter, contour, powder, undereye setting, and more. Made out of soft blue squirrel hair and a tapered head, the material and shape seemed conducive to the multi-tasking properties it claimed to have. The best part about it was the $35 price tag, which was much cheaper than many other multi-taskers on the market, including the famed Suqqu Cheek brush (used by Lisa Eldridge), which would set you back $165 US (No thank you!). I decided to take the plunge.

I ordered mine off Beautylish (which I believe is the only retailer for Wayne Goss brushes for the North American market) and it came within two weeks, beautifully packaged and wrapped. I put some blush on, taking care to swipe it on in circular motions on the apples of my cheeks. And then I brushed the powder off the brush and continue on to bronzer, and highlighter. Within a day I was obsessed. Here are five reasons why I I love it so much:

  1. The Air Brush diffuses blush so perfectly on the face to the point where I can’t tell where it starts or begins.
  2. Bronzer with the Air Brush looks like most natural tan, like as if the sun kissed my face exactly like that. Like as if I keep on having the perfect beach day every single day.
  3. Contour is made even easier, as I pick up some contour powder and blend in upward motions where my cheekbones are. Boom – instant cheekbones,
  4. In a pinch, I can pinch the Air Brush and put some blush or bronzer in my eye crease for colour harmony.
  5. I can even take the Air Brush and use it for highlighter, with the slightest tap of the Becca highlighter showing up beautifully diffused and soft on my face.

A true multi-tasker, I want to throw out every other brush in my collection and just collect multiples of the Air Brush instead. It does everything I want it to, especially when it comes to powder products and diffusing them in the most natural way on my face. For the driest of skin (er, my skin),The Wayne Goss Air brush doesn’t make powder products emphasize my pores or flaky texture. It’s a godsend.

It’s a 10/10, I would 100% recommend, and I personally don’t even think it’s necessary to invest in the rest of the Wayne Goss line. If you like a streamlined beauty routine, with a few brushes and products that do their job extremely well, then the Air Brush is perfect.

I might – dare I say – think it’s my favourite makeup brush of all time. If I could marry an inanimate object and forever make it part of my life, then the Air Brush would be it. It’s that good.


Drugstore Lip Liners That Replace Liquid Lipsticks

I have recently become a convert to the category of makeup called lip liners. Before, as a liquid lipstick fanatic, I often found them unnecessary. To me, if a liquid lipstick does what it’s supposed to, which is dry down fully opaque and matte with no transfer, then a lip liner for definition and longevity is really not a necessary endeavour. For a long time, I figured my Kat Von D liquid lipsticks were enough (and they were).

But after my Kat Von D liquid lipstick in Lolita died its death this past summer (it remains the only liquid lipstick to date that I have actually finished), I got bored and decided to branch out to lip liners and see if I could use them with my matte lipsticks. It worked — lip liner gave me a super sized pout without the dryness of a liquid lipstick and the transferring of a lipstick. It was pretty much meant to be.

To date, I think the most lauded lip liner formula is the Charlotte Tilbury Lip Cheats, as various bloggers have called it their holy grail lip liner, and Lisa Eldridge even referenced it as a must-have. The Lip cheats are good – they are opaque, creamy but not overly so – but they are also $27 a pop. Iconic Nude didn’t last through a meal for me. MAC Pro Longwear is another option which I find more long lasting than the Lip Cheats but also similarly creamy and not overly drying (unlike another mac lip liner formula). This is my favourite high end formula but I still could not help but cringe at the fact that it’s $24 a pop.

Branching out to the drugstore, I decided to try out the Essence ones with the silver cap, and now also Satin Mauve (a dupe-ish for Whirl by Mac). Needless to say, this pretty much put me down a rabbit hole. Here are some of my favourite formulas:

  1. NYX Cosmetics and their lip pencils (the ones you have to sharpen) have me raving. I’ve whittled down NYX lip pencils in Nutmeg and Nude Truffle as I find myself using them over and over again. While they aren’t the most meal-resistant, they’re pretty transfer proof and are so easy to touch up that it barely matters. Also like $8.99.
  2. Milani Colour Statement lip liners — Milani colour statement lip liner in #3 is a pretty good dupe for Charlotte Tilbury Iconic Nude, plus it’s too creepy. Perfect if you want to do an ombre lip, with a darker outlined lip and a lighter centre.
  3. Essence lip liners — Satin Mauve is such a great pinky, slightly nude but also maybe a bit of berry, kind of a colour. Also works with everyday. Also Essence lip liners in the silver cap are great, but I don’t know if they are available anymore. Essence is notorious for discontinuing its products like it’s nobody’s business.

All of these lip liners — from Essence, NYX, Milani — all hit the sweet spot I’m looking for, which is that they’re creamy and able to glide across the lips with little tugging, but they also stay in place for a while and are transfer resistant. This makes them the polar opposite of the MAC lip liner range (the regular lip liners), as the MAC ones are often drying and exacerbate fine lines to the point of being just so unflattering. All of this, while also being in the range of $2.99 to $8.99, makes all of these brands a steal.

So all hail the lip liner, but more importantly, all hail the drugstore lip liners that make it easier for us to save instead of splurge while perfecting our pout.

Stellar Limitless Foundation Review


Image courtesy of

Last week I was able to get a foundation sample of Stellar Beauty’s Limitless Foundation and I have been testing it out for the past few days to see if it is something I want to invest in. To give some background, Stellar Beauty is a brand created by former Canadian TV personality Monika Deol, and it caters specifically to medium skin tones. Deol claims that medium skin tones are not accounted for in the beauty industry (she references her time working on television as an example) and resolved to create a line that work for medium-toned skin tones like hers. I was very excited to see that this line launched as I liked the concept (space age-y but still quite luxe-looking) and also liked  the idea of catering to the middle-of-the-spectrum people.

I was particularly interested in seeing if the line had neutral shades that still looked natural as my particular beef with foundation lines has mostly been on how yellow/orange/golden a lot of them are. This works for many people of colour but I am more neutral-to-olive in tone and I really dislike foundations that look super yellow or golden. As such, I don’t particularly like NARS (very golden), Bobbi Brown (yellow in general and neutral shades have been a bit ruddy-looking in my experience), and Cover FX (which I find over-commits to shades in general. The G-range of shades are particularly atrocious for being so warm-toned to the point where I can’t imagine who would be that golden-orange in tone). The best foundation match for me so far has been Make Up For Ever’s Y415 foundation stick. Needless to say, I wanted to see how Stellar Beauty fared in comparison.

I got a sample of the Stellar Beauty foundation in shade #7, which is a light-medium with slightly peachy ish undertones. My first impression is that the shade is the perfect medium neutral tone that is not ruddy looking, and meshes in very nicely with my skin. I wore it on a work day once by dotting the foundation around my face and blending out with a beauty blender. It kind of looked heavy on first application but settled in nicely after that. I noticed that it didn’t seem to blur my pores or anything like that, so that area of my face still had to powdered with a HD powder after the fact.

It lasted okay. It broke up by the end of the day, and looked slightly cakey but I attribute that to me applying with a heavy hand more than anything. It still looked pretty natural despite the coverage. The second day, I went to the gym and applied the foundation with my fingers. Surprise, surprise – it applied so beautifully and evenly with my fingers. Furthermore, it lasted even longer because I had really taken the time to work it into my skin. Applying a little at a time and working in layers also did wonders to its longevity — but I think that’s probably a pro-tip for most foundations in general. I tend to be so slap-dash about make-up  that I tend to cake on my MUFE foundation stick and call it a day but the Stellar foundation seems to be a beautiful option for medium coverage that’s radiant and very skin-like.

I have dry skin so this kind of a skin-like foundation works pretty well for me, but I feel like people with combination skin can work with this as well. I do think it benefits from powder to tone down the shine but it’s not egregiously shiny in nature (nothing like Becca’s Aqua Luminous foundation, which can look almost dewy-overkill). Overall, I think it’s worth going in and getting a sample as I can imagine this being a perfect work/day-to-night foundation for a lot of people. I particularly think this range is worth exploring if you have a medium to dark skin tone that’s more neutral in tone as I think this range has some beautiful options for that (though I will say the yellow-based and caramel shades also look quite skin-like and beautiful as well).

So far, the Stellar Beauty line-up looks promising. The foundation, in particular, has a decent range of shades (22) that look like they would suit light to deep skin tones. People have complained about the concealer range being too small (I agree, it’s only six shades) but there are also a range of translucent powders in the line that seem like they would cater everyone from light to deep in skin tone. So far, so good for a complexion line that’s relatively new and just launching at Sephora.


‘Trials of Beauty (and Skincare)’ is:

  • beauty blog
  • a meditation on my compulsive hoarding tendencies
  • an temporary reprieve from the ways of the world

Examples of content you will be able to find:

  • product reviews – skincare
  • product reviews – beauty items
  • commentary on beauty and skincare trends

Thanks for stopping by!

Some more info about me:

  • Skin type: normal to dry
  • Skin tone/Foundation matches: MAC NC40, Charlotte Tilbury Light Wonder 7, NARS Tinted Moisturizer St. Moritz, MAC Face and Body C4, Giorgio Armani Power Fabric 6.5, Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk 6.25, Make Up for Ever Y415 (stick and actual foundation)
  • previously graduated from university, currently work in front line services