U.S. Art Supply’s Wooden Artist’s Brush & Tool Box

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To say that I’m a fan of U.S. Art Supply would be a gross understatement. Everything they make is quality, affordable, and they provide everything that a professional artist, or a weekend art warrior like me, could ever want or need. And it’s all just a click or two away. And then they go and offer me this amazing Wooden Artist Tool and Brush Box and make me fall in love with them all over again.

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Hubby, bless his heart, has fully embraced my rediscovered crafty-ness. He’s bought me brushes, pencils, pens, paints, and tools, and I was just about out of places to stash them all. He even donated his old plastic art supply box from high school, but it was woefully under-equipped to handle my supplies. And you could probably imagine the “decorations” a bored 13-year old might doodle on there in art class. So it didn’t exactly look stunning in my little craft closet. Thankfully, U.S. Art Supply’s Wooden Artist’s Tool & Brush box looks so spiffy, I don’t think I want to hide it away in the closet anymore! With 4 separate easily-accessible sections, 3 of which are accessible from right outside the box, you have plenty of room to store all your supplies but also keep them within easy reach! The top hatches slide open, the bottom drawer is generous, and the compartments that are under the top hatches are deep enough to hold just about anything! Made of 100% solid wood, no particle board or verneers, and with wonderful craftsmanship, it’s built to last for years and look awesome doing it. The leather-wrapped handle on top is really a gorgeous accent as well, and the brass fittings and hardware are a nice touch.

My first box was slightly damaged from shipping and the bottom drawer was permanently, hopelessly stuck. Not to worry, U.S. Art Supply’s staff is so courteous and helpful they had a new one out and in my hands in a matter of days. No muss, no fuss. I love U.S. Art Supply’s products and service, and this Artist’s Brush and Tool Storage Box is a winner!

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Connect with U.S. Art Supply at:

I received the above product(s) free of charge from U.S. Art Supply. I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion. My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

U.S. Art Supply: Wood Table Box Easel Painting Set; Paints, Canvas, HB Pencil, Brushes, and Plastic Palette and Knives #USArtSupply

U.S. Art Supply did it again in sending out a starter kit that is welcoming sight for new artists of all ages, or nicely supplements what an established artist may have. Paints, is something that I always run low on, so I always welcome a set whenever possible. The acrylics supplied in this kit are fabulous and have a smooth texture that is not too thin or thick. The colors can be moderated from bright to mute, depending on how you mix the media. What I love most is the pigments are rich in color, so I don’t have to keep squeezing out product to get the color I want (i.e. intensity) but end up with too much material and/or layers applied.

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The Kit does not end there and this is all you get from U.S. Art Supply:

  • 1 Wood Table Box Easel with a slide out drawer for storage. The case also has a handle for easy carrying
  • A 12 Acrylic Paint set and these are actual size tubes to use, no sample sizes! Each tube contains 12 ml of paint.
  • 3 canvas panels for the artist to start creating with. They measure 9″ x 12 ” in size.
  • An HB Pencil to outline and sketch with.
  • A Palette Knife made of Plastic for easy cleaning.
  • A Plastic Palette that makes it easy to wash and clean after use because the paints peel off if they dried onto the surface. The palette has 16 wells that are circles and square in shape.  The amount of space was wonderful because I did not run out of room and was able to makes custom color washes all in one sitting.
  • Also, 4 Brushes of various sizes and made with wooden handles (#2,#4,#6,#8).

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Retail Price Point: A ultra fair price of $24.96 and ships free with an Amazon Prime Account.  You can choose from an Acrylic set (the one I received), A Watercolor set or an Oil Painting set for the same price point.

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Verdict:
I can’t say enough and absolutely love this kit. It has everything you need and/or want, that I was overwhelmed with the amount of content. I looked at the price point and kept trying to find where I was shorted but could not find one thing wrong. The drawer that pulls out slides with ease and even has two metal hinges that lock it in place. The carrying case serves as a stand, so this is perfect for an artist on the move and if you want to visit a park and feel inspired to paint, all you need is to bring a bottle of water for you and your paints and you are set.

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I was able to create a painting and all I used was the paints provided by U.S. Art Supply and a cracking media. I wanted to create background for pocket watches I will be making and framing, they will have a vintage look, so I went with an antique crackle finish that you add to paints to create the look. Once the paint set and dry, I was ably to apply the second step that actually creates the crackle. I sealed the work with polyurethane once I was finished. My Husband liked the painting so much, that he wants me to frame it as-is and make another background for the pocket watch project! This kit is great for kids to adults because the products that U.S. Art Supply gives you, come with zero frustrations! I had brushes that worked and no loss of bristles while painting. An easel that stayed in place and paints that allowed me enough time to work while I painted but dry beautifully with no crackle………..well, except where I wanted it!

Connect with U.S. Art Supply at:

 

I received the above product(s) free of charge from U.S. Art Supply.  I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion.  My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

Xtava: The Essential Brushes Kit; Make-up/Cosmetic Brushes 7 piece set with carrying case #Review #Xtava

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I have a large assortment of cosmetic brushes and price point does not guarantee a brush will perform well or even last with proper care. I have had free ones sent by cosmetic companies, brushes I bought a la carte, to full sets I purchased at Costco and let us not forget the make-up counter at department stores. This taught me a lot about how a brush is made matters and where a synthetic one is needed for such application and where a “real hair” one will only do. Some companies blend some of the tips to give you the best of both worlds (i.e. synthetic with real), so I am not closed minded to those either. My motto is to always have two of each style I can count on and if one does not work, it gets used in an art project or if it has no hope (drops every bristle ever put on it’s pretty little head), it gets sent into the trash can. The last thing I want is looking like a cat lady with bristles all over me when I don’t even own a cat!

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Xtava is a company I have reviewed for in the past, so when they offered their make-up brushes for review, this was a new territory for me. I have reviewed hair tools but not cosmetic ones and you bet I was eager to see what they were all about!

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When the box arrived from Xtava, I loved the carrying case because each brush has a home. I have 3 carrying cases and learned this is the best way to keep the bristles from getting damaged or picking up anything that may be looming in your cosmetic bag, train case or even drawer. It also ends the hunting game in finding the one you need, like that eye-liner (slanted one) that likes to hide because sticks on brushes look all alike when you woke up late in the morning to get ready.

Xtava supplied me with seven gorgeous brushes:

  1. Large Powder Brush- for foundation powders to setting/finishing powders
  2. Medium Foundation Brush- that I use for my wet foundation and to blend out any concealer I went to heavy on
  3. Contour Brush- that can be used as a blush one too and/or with bronzers and luminizers
  4. Eye-shadow Brush- which is the perfect width to apply shadows, both wet and dry
  5. Blending Brush- that I use to define the arch above my eye to blending out creases and let us not forget the perfect smokey eye look
  6. Angle Brush- that saves me money and creates a better look when you use your eye-shadow to create your own eyeliner and/or can be used to set powder/wax on your eyebrows
  7. Lip Brush- which collapses so if need be and is perfect in size to carry in your purse

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When the brushes arrived, I quickly washed them and set them out to air dry. The following day, I began playing and applying a variety of versions of the same cosmetics I have. I used baked eye-shadows, loose powder to the type you just dab and don’t blend. The eye-shadow brush did well with all, as did the blending one. The blending one was also good at applying concealer and highlighter to the upper arch area of my eye. Both brushes I washed in between uses and after use, and I only saw one shed one bristle onto a towel when I dried it. The tips of the brushes always went back to their original shape each time after use and wash.

When it came to the foundation brush, I tend to blend best with my fingers but always touch up under my eyes with a foundation brush. The Xtava one performed just as well as my $50 one from Prescriptives. I could not tell the difference between the side I used one or the other.

The large powder brush dropped a few bristles (3 whole and one sectioned) but I attribute it to being new. I do not use face powder with tint, but more of a finishing and setting powder that goes over my foundation and only in my T-zone areas. I was happy with the application but this was the only brush out of the entire set that I was luke-warm about. I did not dislike it or love it, but it gets kept just in case my favorite one fails me one day.

The contour brush, I used to apply bronzer to my cheeks and a little on my nose, chin and forehead. I just like to slightly warm up my face but never to achieve any fake-o tan look. The brush picked up each time the proper amount of powder and distributed it evenly.

The angle brush, I used to apply a wet baked shadow to create both a “cat’s eye” and to apply half way to the bottom lashes using dry eye-shadow. The brush did what I told it to do and that is a plus in my book. I know I can always correct using q-tips but I aim when doing my own line, to never need it. I slightly arched the ends and the liner applied beautifully on top. When it came to my bottom lashes, I used a shimmery shadow and opted to not wet the product, again the brush blotted nicely to where I wanted the shadow with zero flecks jumping onto my cheeks. This is my favorite and will be replacing a frayed one of the same kind that needs to go to brush heaven!

Last but not least, the lip brush. I use lipsticks, tints and glosses and sometimes even powder to create the look I want. Half the time I only know I start with a lip balm first to hydrate my lips while I do my make-up and then I throw everything (blotting in between a few times) until I create the look I want. I used the brush and I’m sure with all the above products but I got so much into my make-up, that all I know is I washed it when I finished and then realized, “oh, I was using the new brush”. That is a good thing because it means it did not disrupt “the process” and did what I wanted it to, when I need it to.

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Verdict:
For $20 the only other set that surprised me and I still have brushes from years later, is a set I purchased at Costco that was being cleared out by a major brand. It’s one of those things I had to grab then because that chance and price point would never come to fruition ever again. It’s nice to know that Xtava does not believe in bleeding the pocket book like so many other companies do. It’s economical and 4 of the brushes performed as well as my expensive branded ones and even my favorite ones. There was no difference other than the price point and I only mind that when it’s a lot and thankfully with Xtava, it’s not. 🙂

Connect with Xtava and all their products at:

I received the above product(s) free of charge from Xtava.  I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion.  My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

Influenster: Products that go beyond the Winter Season #Influenster #FrostyVoxBox

 

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I was very excited again to get a VoxBox from Influenster. There is never a box that does not contain a new item to new brands I have never tried. This box was a beauty and food themed box, which really sums up the holiday season. The Frosty Vox Box really brought a little bit of everything from several very know brands:

 

  • Rimmel London

Was very generous and gave us two products to try out that go hand-in-hand, the Gentle Eye Make-up Remover and the ScandalEyes Waterproof Kohl Kajal eyeliner.  Both products are reasonably priced and that is welcomed after the holiday splurges.  What I like about the line is that their beauty items always exceed expectations and they allow me to keep up with whatever new fashion trend and/or look is in, but still be able to keep the lights on!

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  • NYC New York Cosmetics

Even with the nude colors being in, we still need lipstick and sometimes things get too pale or plain.  NYC fixes that by adding a touch of color with their Expert Last Lip line in Sugar Plum. The Sugar Plum color is rosy but also sheer, with a hint of shine but thankfully not super glossy.  The last thing you want to do is look back at every picture you took in Winter and your lips are blinding everyone.  With Valentine’s Day approaching, this color again fits perfectly with the season……so not just a one holiday and done product.

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  • EcoTools Hair Brush

This is my first time using this line and I was happy that the brush kept my locks nice and smooth, did not create static and was gentle enough to not break or stress my hair.  The brush has a nice handle for easy hold and also is nicely balanced, which is appreciated when I do a ponytail look.  What I like is how easy it is to clean because even though I use a low amount of leave-in products, the oils I do use can cause our hair tools to create build-up.  Dirty bristles is not an issue with this brush!

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  • No7 Protect and Perfect Intense Advanced Sachet 

I was so happy when I saw this brand included and before the box arrived.  My happiness sort of faded when I noticed this was not even a deluxe sample, but more of a packet with maybe 2 uses if I am lucky.  Two uses does not mean I can be fair or even really know about performance.  I may be able to share my opinion about the texture, and this product does have a light feel and quickly absorbs.  Unfortunately, that is all I can share because results take work and time, plus I’m always willing to give it to a beauty product but that also means I need a little more than 2 applications. 🙂

 

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  • Celestial Seasonings Candy Cane Lane Decaf Green Tea

Just when I thought I was peppermint and pumpkin out with the holidays, this shows me that a tea can make the difference.  This tastes like true peppermint with it’s subtle and refreshing notes, that not only soothe but also calm me perfectly before bedtime.  Being decaffeinated allows me to enjoy this selection of herbal tea anytime I want and still get a good snooze in.

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  • McCormick Gourmet Thyme

I grow our own thyme but sometimes the cold snap we get decides I did not need that plant, so I always have thyme in dry form.  I also like to add dry ingredients with fresh ones because the flavor profile does change and even sometimes is preferred over the fresh (i.e. oregano) kind.  This jar arrived and I was happy to have more thyme and then looked at my thyme and even though it was not an aged bottle, my thyme was lacking that nice color, aroma and started to feel ashamed about how pretty the McCormick Gourmet one looked so I set it free and left this new bottle in it’s stead.

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  • Fruit Vines Bites

Not all can be winners and this was one again taught me all because it says cherry, it does not mean even 1% of a real cherry is in it.  Not the juice, I would have even been happy with cherry skin at this point but these vines are fruit lacking and sugar is all they bring.  I even chuckled when it came to vitamins and everything was 0%.  I know it’s candy and even for some a snack, but let me sin with something at least partially real.  I think the cherry needs an asterisk or maybe it should be called wanna-be cherry or sugar vines.  It has no preservatives but then again there is nothing real to preserve!

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Final Verdict-

Influenster always delivers an array of products that make me re-look at what I buy, own or even want.  I brought economical beauty brands back into the mix and just like my clothes, my fashion looks now are like my beauty products……in all price ranges!  I’m happier this way and that is really what matters.  These Vox Boxes are always a hit even when I get some so-so products because trying is really the only way to know and share with others!  Thank you again Influenster for another Vox Box experience!

 

  • #FrostyVoxBox
  • #GetAdvanced
  • #Rimmel
  • #SugarPlum
  • #CelestialTea
  • #LoveMyECOhairbrush
  • #McCormickGourmet
  • #SweetSide

 

I received the above product(s) free of charge from Influenster. I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion. My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

 

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