Best Of Beauty 2014 – Beauty Tools Edition

Best Of Beauty 2014 Beauty Tools

The second to last instalment of my ‘Best Of Beauty 2014’ series, and this is probably one of my favourite topics to blog about – beauty tools.  I am definitely a big fan of using tools to apply makeup, style hair and care for the skin.  You guys know I have a rather *unhealthy* obsession with makeup brushes, I own way too many of them but at the same time, I just can’t seem to stop myself from buying a new brush every now & again.  I’m definitely doing myself in because a trillion makeup brushes means I have to spend an endless amount of time washing them.  Cleaning makeup brushes…the bane of my existence.

I’ve rounded up the beauty tools I am constantly reaching for on a daily basis.  And my top picks for 2014 are:

♥  CALA Wet n Dry Detangling Hair Brush (R 59,95) – The best R 60,00 I ever spent!  This is the only hair brush I use on my hair whilst it is wet as it gently detangles knots and tangles in a flash.  It looks like a normal paddle brush, but it is so much more than just any ol’ hair brush.  We all know hair is most fragile when it’s wet, and using a normal brush with stiff bristles can damage the hair quite a bit.  I find my damp hair glides through the flexible bristles of this CALA brush, plus it doesn’t snag or pull at the hair at all (it’s almost like the brush is walking on eggshells around my hair).  This brush is suitable for all hair types (curly, straight, thick, fine, extensions, even wigs) and can be used on wet or dry hair.  I sometimes even use to it lightly tease my hair at the crown, since it’s so gentle on my locks.

The CALA Wet n Dry Detangling Brush is available at Dis-Chem stores.

♥  Clarisonic Aria (R 2999,00) – You can read my full review of both the Clarisonic Mia and Clarisonic Aria here.  If you’ve been following my blog for a while, then you know I absolutely adore my Mia (I bought it back in 2011) and when Clarisonic SA gifted me with a brand spanking new Aria after attending their media launch end of last year, I was ecstatic!  The Clarisonic skin care devices are a cult favourite amongst beauty lovers all around the world, and with very good reason…  Using 300 tiny sonic movements per second, the brush oscillates (moves back & forth), to gently remove makeup, dirt and impurities on the skin.  The soft bristles are suitable for even sensitive skin and removes up to 6 times more dirt & grime than manual cleansing (using your hands) in just one minute.  I’ve been using the Clarisonic for the past 4 years and my skin is definitely softer, clearer and brighter than ever before.  The proof is in the pudding though, so make sure you check out my review blog post for some interesting facts and photos.

I’ve tested the Sorbet Cleansing Brush and it honestly can’t be compared to the Clarisonic, in fact I found it irritated and sensitised my skin.

The Clarisonic skin care devices are available at selected Stuttafords stores.

♥  Beautyblender Makeup Sponge (R 299,00) – My beauty BFF.  We’re in a long-term relationship and I wouldn’t have it any other way.  This hot pink teardrop-shaped sponge gives an air-brushed finish to your makeup and the smaller, pointed curve at the top makes blending foundation into the crevices of the face (sides of the nose, inner corners of the eyes) an absolute dream.  I find the Beautyblender works much faster than a paddle foundation brush and really blends and buffs foundation into the skin, giving you a flawless, natural finish.  The Beautyblender needs to be dampened to make it more pliable, this also means it doesn’t soak up as much of whatever product you are using (liquid foundation, creamy concealer, gel blush, liquid / cream highlighter).  Many have tried and failed to mimic this squishy magic sponge, trust me, you need this if you are looking for an excellent (and foolproof) makeup application companion.

The Beautyblender makeup sponge is currently available in South Africa in the following 2 online stores:  The Spa Shop and 27Pinkx.

♥  Sigma E25 Blending Brush (R 260,00 / $14) – This brush is a great dupe for the cult favourite MAC 217 blending brush, but in my honest opinion, the Sigma brush is softer!  You can use this one brush to blend shades into the crease, smoke out the lower lash line, pack colour on the lid, contour the nose, and even blend out concealer.  The oval shaped, natural bristled brush head is dense, yet fluffy so it allows for controlled blending and can target a smaller area on the outer V of the eye.  I’ve had my E25 for 3 – 4 years and it’s still as soft & full as the day I bought it.

You can check out this blog post for up close & personal photos of this makeup brush.  I bought my E25 via the Sigma Beauty website back in the day when we didn’t have the amazing Turquoise Studio here in South Africa.  You can purchase all your Sigma Beauty brushes from Turquoise Studio here.  If you live in a country outside of South Africa, then you can purchase your brushes in the Sigma Beauty online store – use coupon code BOLD2015 for 10% off your purchase.

♥  CALA Angled Contour Brush (R 69,95) – For the longest time, I contemplated purchasing the NARS Ita brush online because it looked so darn perfect for contouring.  That’s until I picked up this cheap & cheerful angled contour brush at Dis-Chem, you can check out my full review of 7 CALA brushes here.  The brush is soft, fluffy, angled and flattened so you can use this one brush to lay down the initial contour shade, plus use it to blend out that contour as well.  It fits perfectly into the hollows of my cheeks, can be used to apply cream or powder products, and is so easy to use.  If you’re a beginner, then you will find this brush to be a great addition to your brush collection.

If you’re not sure what contouring & highlighting is, then check out this ‘How To’ video I filmed a couple of months ago (and I actually use this CALA brush in that video).

CALA makeup brushes are available at Dis-Chem stores – they are amazing quality for the affordable price.

♥  Glampalm Magic Wand (R 1699,00) – If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, then you know I love curling my hair.  I have frizzy, fine and relatively dry hair but when I use a curling iron, it transforms my hair  and looks healthier, shinier and more voluminous.  I reviewed the Magic Wand in this blog post, and it is been my favourite hair styling tool for 2014.  I use this clipless curling wand to create curls or waves, it all depends how you wrap the hair around the barrel.  No clamp means no annoying crimp lines on the hair.  The barrel quickly and evenly heats up, and the Mineral Ore technology is gentle on hair and naturally gives off a negative charge, minimising static and adding shine.  The 1 inch barrel diameter is constant (not cone shaped), this makes it the perfect curling wand for beginners as the hair will not slip down the barrel.

The Glampalm Magic Wand creates the most beautiful long-lasting curls – I still have decent curls on the second day, and soft waves on the third.  You can purchase Glampalm products in their South African online store here but unfortunately this little guy is out of stock at the moment.  If you decide to pick up one of their straightening irons, use the code ppb225 to get R 200,00 off your purchase (my coupon code only works for their flat irons at the moment).  They are a South African-based company and will courier your order to you free of charge (delivery takes place within 24 to 72 hours).

♥  Sigma Beauty F80 Flat Top Kabuki Brush (R 415,00 / $24) – I have raved about this kabuki brush to anyone and everyone who will listen.  There’s a reason why this brush is Sigma’s best seller, the F80 has very soft and dense synthetic bristles, and since it has a flat top it gives full foundation coverage.  I’ve used it to buff and blend liquid, cream, mousse, powder or mineral products and it gives the skin a streak-free & cake-free finish.  The bristles are incredibly soft and create a flawless canvas, trust me, you cannot achieve the same smooth and well-blended effect using your fingers.

Love you long time, F80 Kabuki…  You can purchase all your Sigma Beauty brushes from Turquoise Studio here.  If you live in a country outside of South Africa, then you can purchase your brushes in the Sigma Beauty online store – use code BOLD2015 for 10% off your purchase.

♥  CALA 313 Eyeshadow Brush (R 29,95) – This versatile eyeshadow brush can be used to pack on shimmery lid shades, darken up the outer V-area, buff in a shade on the lower lash line, highlight the inner corner or brow bone and can even be used to apply a cream shadow product (think Maybelline Color Tattoo) since it contains synthetic bristles.  It really is a multi-tasker and is small enough to be used for precision work too.  Take a look at this full review blog post on CALA makeup brushes, they’re my new favourite drugstore makeup brushes.

CALA makeup brushes are available at Dis-Chem stores.

27Pinkx Makeup Organiser

♥  27Pinkx Mini Makeup Organizer (R 1200,00) – There really is nothing ‘mini’ about this makeup storage product, it can hold a ton of makeup!  I first heard about these types of clear makeup storage units quite a few years ago when Muji drawers were all the rage overseas and was so disappointed when I found out there was nothing like it in South Africa.  Fast forward to 2014 when I attended a 27Pinkx press launch and was introduced to their makeup products and storage range.  I left with one of their Mini Organizer units and immediately filled it up as soon as I arrived home.  This perspex makeup storage unit is the perfect addition to any beauty girl’s makeup collection as it keeps all your items in one easy to reach place.  The unit is solid & sturdy, the drawers are easy to push & pull and it is very spacious (you’d be surprised to see how much can fit in just one drawer).

27Pinkx Makeup Organiser Drawers

My makeup collection is ginormous (no one should own this much makeup!) and I have found it houses all my primers, foundations, concealers, liquid highlighters and blushes – it will be the perfect size for a small to medium sized makeup collection.  You can purchase the Mini Makeup Organizer in the 27Pinkx online store here (they are based in South Africa and delivery is via courier).

The lipstick holders you see on top are not included, I bought these on eBay a few years ago.

Sigma Beauty Brush Cleaning Mat

And next on my list of beauty tools to purchase?  The new Sigma Beauty Brush Cleaning Mat, I definitely need all the help I can get when it comes to giving my makeup brushes a bath.

Let me know if there are any makeup / beauty tools you think I need in my life, you should know by now I’m always up for buying a new product to test & perhaps recommend to my blog readers.

P.S.  I have discovered other brands that manufacture these acrylic / perspex makeup storage units BUT I’m only mentioning 27Pinkx (since I discovered the brand in 2014, and this is my ‘Best Of Beauty 2014’ series).

Happy Monday, everyone!



  1. F 16 February 2015 / 13:23


    been following your blog for awhile now….. Totally love it.

    Love this post and that make up organiser is sooo going on my wishlist :-)

    PS: Just a suggestion: when you doing make up videos if you can put caption at the bottom each product you use as you show them…

    Mwahz – have a lovely Monday

    • Luzanne 20 February 2015 / 11:28

      Thank you so much, I’m so happy to hear you enjoy reading my blog. :)

      Will definitely try to do that for you in future, I always list the products in the ‘Show More’ section of each video as well as the accompanying blog post.

      Have a great weekend! :)

  2. Simone Cameron 16 February 2015 / 13:33

    Ahhh I’m going to miss this series!!

    I love that make up organiser, but darn it, it’s a bit pricey for me:( If you know of cheaper options, let us know please.

    All those make up brushes???? EEEEKKKKK!!! And as you say, all the cleaning that goes with it. lol. You need to cut down mam!

    I wish I could get that curling wand…it looks fantastic. Argh I just want everything on here. The only thing I have are the Cala brushes. Oh shame tog for me.

    Besides that cleaning pad, I just spotted a cleaning glove, but for the life of me, I’m not sure of the brand or where I saw it advertised. I just saw it on FB maybe a day ago. Basically same as that pad, just you put the glove on and clean your brushes against it.

    • Luzanne 20 February 2015 / 11:32

      There’s always next year – imagine all the goodies I’m going to mention in my ‘Best Of Beauty 2015’ blog posts! Eeeep!

      One thing that works in your favour when you have this many makeup brushes is that you don’t have to wash your brushes thaaaat often because you have so many to get through before they all need a bath. 😉

      I haven’t used the Sigma glove as yet (I use another glove to wash my brushes) but I think I’d prefer the mat as you’ll have both hands free to clean the brushes. Sometimes it becomes a bit of a pain when my one hand is stuck in the glove, it just feels clumsy.

  3. Vanessa 16 February 2015 / 13:53

    Enjoyed this blog post SOOooo much, your makeup collection looks to die for and you go girl those makeup brushes are drool worthy! 😀

    • Luzanne 20 February 2015 / 11:33

      Yay! Thanks for taking the time to read this blog post, Vanessa! :)

  4. Odette 16 February 2015 / 14:02

    Oh Im going to be sad when this series comes to an end..

    I would give anything for all those makeup brushes wowie! Your makeup collection is amazeballs too!!!

    Thanks for this blog post, I’m going to save to get the makeup storage and Sigma foundation brush. Going to pop off to Dischem this arvie to check out the hair brush and makeup brushes, you have inspired me. :)

    • Luzanne 20 February 2015 / 11:40

      Thank you, Odette. :)

      And you’re welcome, I have so enjoyed writing these blog posts! I hope you found the CALA brushes. 😉

  5. Felicia 16 February 2015 / 15:31

    Ur makeup collection looks freaking amazing!

    • Luzanne 20 February 2015 / 11:42

      Thank you, Felicia! 😉

  6. Talitha ❤ 16 February 2015 / 15:41

    Okay, I basically want everything in this blog post. 😀 xo

  7. PlausiblePaws 16 February 2015 / 15:46

    I love that you’re using an egg holder for your BeautyBlender. So cute and clever!!
    Really enjoying this “best of” series 😀

    • Luzanne 20 February 2015 / 11:43

      Thanks so much, I find it keeps the sponge from rolling around / falling on the floor. 😉

  8. Nthombi Maluleka 16 February 2015 / 16:02

    Man oh man oh man, that make up storage organising thing is just gorge. Going to ask my man to buy one for me. :)

    • Luzanne 20 February 2015 / 11:44

      It’s amazing! Best thing to keep your makeup organised and all in one easy to reach place. :)

  9. Teresa E 16 February 2015 / 16:07

    I discovered your blog via instagram the other day and I am so happy I did. I have been reading your blog posts non-stop ever since. Really enjoy your honesty and beautiful photos, Luzanne, plus you make me want to go out and buy everything you blog about.

    I am most definitely going to look at those Cala brushes and will also save up for the storage unit, it is a bit pricey but my vanity is starting to look cluttered and something like this is just what I need.

    Your idea to store your egg-shaped sponge in an egg holder is just genius! 😀

    • Luzanne 20 February 2015 / 11:46

      I’m so happy to hear that, Teresa! Thank you for taking the time to read my blog. :)

      I hope you enjoy the CALA brushes. You definitely need an organiser, I have no idea how I lived without my makeup storage units. 😀

  10. Estee 16 February 2015 / 16:11

    My mouth literally fell open when I saw your makeup collection in those photos, where did you get the Maybelline Baby Skin, Makeup Forever (is that a powder?) and Maybelline Dark Circle Eraser concealer? I wouldn’t mind having access to your collection lol!

    I must get that mat, do you know if Turquoise Studio will be stocking it? I don’t see it on their website?

    • Luzanne 20 February 2015 / 11:50

      LOL! Maybelline Baby Skin & Dark Circle Eraser I bought on eBay last year, but I have great news, Maybelline is bringing Baby Skin to South Africa in June 2015! Not sure if the concealer will ever come to SA, it’s a great quality concealer. I received the MUFE HD Powder from a friend, I think she bought it at Metropolitain Cosmetics in Sandton City. :)

      I think they will stock the mat at some stage. Will ask them to comment on this blog post to let us know. :)

      • Nina 20 February 2015 / 12:23

        Hi There Estee and Luzanne!

        The Sigma Spa Mat is currently out of stock at Sigma – as soon as they have stock available we will have an order sent out to us. Unfortunately I can’t give you an estimate as to when this will be :(
        We are just as excited to get our hands on it!

        Warm regards,
        (Turquoise Studio)

  11. Candice 16 February 2015 / 18:58

    I like the makeup oprganizers..

    Candice | Beauty Candy Loves

    • Luzanne 20 February 2015 / 11:50

      It’s such a handy thing to have! :)

  12. Holly Morello 16 February 2015 / 19:52

    Fab post, L :) I’m not from South Africa but will be making use of the Sigma coupon code, thank you. XO

    • Luzanne 20 February 2015 / 11:53

      Thanks, Holly! :) You’re welcome, I hope you find some great goodies on the Sigma website. 😉

  13. Geraldine 16 February 2015 / 20:09

    Great post as always:). Have you seen out the LA girl HD bb cream? Its looks so good with a light dusting of powder- very natural and nice light coverage if that’s your thing.

    • Luzanne 20 February 2015 / 11:54

      Thank you, Geraldine. :) Yes, I saw it at Dis-Chem this past weekend and actually contemplated getting one but then left it. I’ve heard great things, so will definitely pick it up next time I’m at the shops! Thanks for the rec!

  14. Lauren Henderson 16 February 2015 / 21:58

    Love your vanity, it’s so pretty!

  15. Jean 17 February 2015 / 09:04

    Your photos just make me drool! And your make up collection! And your brush collection! 😉

    • Luzanne 20 February 2015 / 11:55

      Thank you for your kind words, Jean. :)

  16. Leanne 17 February 2015 / 10:44

    I still need to get my hands on a Beauty Blender. I’m dying to try it. Gorgeous round-up, Luzanne :)

    • Luzanne 20 February 2015 / 11:56

      Aaaah, you NEED it in your life! It’s such an amazing makeup application tool!

      Thanks, Leanne. x

  17. Lulu 17 February 2015 / 11:07

    Whow! What a collection you have, your own little make-up shop! The make-up organiser looks great!

    • Luzanne 20 February 2015 / 11:57

      Haha! It’s the best way to declutter your makeup collection, I love it! :)

  18. Bianca 17 February 2015 / 11:47

    Just ordered a Sigma F80 – can’t wait for it to arrive!

    • Luzanne 20 February 2015 / 11:57

      YAY! I hope you love it as much as I do! 😉

  19. Carmen 17 February 2015 / 12:45

    I was waiting for this blog lol reason being I wanted to see which brushes come up as your favourites. Now my question is…. Do I need more than 1 or 2 of the same brush to do the same think? I use a little foundation/BB cream sometimes and definitely use eye shows. I use a little blush. I dont always contour and bronze. I do powder.

    I dont think I need that many brushes. I imagine I would need a few eye shadow brushes if Im going to use more than one colour at a time.

    Im going to try the Cala brushes. What do you think the essentials are?

    PS. when you do a clean up, I accept hand me downs of make up lol

    • Luzanne 20 February 2015 / 12:02

      No, you probably don’t need more than 1 or 2 of the same type brushes. I just like to have more than a few handy because I hate washing my brushes and that means I can get away without having to give my brushes a bath very often. I’m so lazy when it comes to cleaning my makeup brushes. 😉

      You definitely don’t need the amount of brushes I own, I would say 1 powder brush, 2 blush brushes (1 for pinks, 1 for corals / bronzer), 2 eyeshadow blending brushes (1 for light shades, 1 for dark shades), 2 eyeshadow brushes (1 for lighter shades, 1 for darker shades) and a foundation brush.

      Haha! I usually donate to charity but will keep that in mind! 😉

  20. Abby 18 February 2015 / 11:24

    That brush mat is amazing!!!!

    • Luzanne 20 February 2015 / 12:03

      I agree!! Definitely buying it once it arrives in the Turquoise Studio online shop – I hope it’s soon! Cleaning my makeup brushes has become such a chore for me… :(

  21. Linelle 19 February 2015 / 06:49

    Oh my word I definitely need that makeup organizer :) love the article!

    • Luzanne 20 February 2015 / 12:03

      Thank you for taking the time to read my blog post, Linelle. :)

  22. Sibahle 20 February 2015 / 08:18

    I love the Brush Cleaning Mat.

    • Luzanne 20 February 2015 / 12:04

      Aaaaah, me too! 😀

  23. Fatima 20 February 2015 / 17:41

    Love this, I want it all.especially the makeup organiser. I Dont think any company makes better makeup storage in South Africa than 27Pinkx :) I have the brush holder its fab!!! I want the mat too xxx

    • Luzanne 21 February 2015 / 09:54

      The makeup organiser is now a staple for me, it just makes your whole makeup collection look so much prettier all on display. 😉 x

  24. melissa 8 April 2016 / 14:37

    Catching up must say i love it !!!!!!!!!!!

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