Friday, January 30, 2009

Product Review and Swatches: YSL Lilac Eyes Palette

Product Blurb: Yves Saint Laurent OMBRES 5 LUMIÈRES5 Colour Harmony For Eyes in 4 Lilac Sky is a palette of five monochrome eyeshadow colors. Each palette holds four luminous, alluring shades of varying intensity and finish—matte, shiny, pearly, or iridescent—and one highlighter. The highlighter is the magic touch, to lighten and widen the look instantly, while the deepest color is used to structure and define the eyes.

From the most natural style to the most sophisticated, from the most demure to the most audacious, the colors of each palette coordinate to create your perfect look. Everything is possible—explore numerous interpretations of color and endless changing effects with this versatile palette. You simply cannot go wrong in making your eyes your most captivating feature.

Shades include: matte purple, shimmering pink pearl, shimmering lavender, shimmering golden violet, and eggplant shimmer plus two double-ended sponge applicators.

Price: $56

(Source)

More Product Photos





Swatches



Click here for a previous look using the palette.

Although the colors look pretty in the pan, it was such a struggle getting the colors to show up on my lid even with a primer. The only color that I really fancied was the matte purple which made a nice crease color for some dimension on your eyes. The shimmering pink pearl and shimmering golden violet for some reason look the same after packing it on your lids.

The eyeshadows weren't as smooth as I hoped for which also caused some grief in applying my makeup, but luckily the eyeshadows aren't gritty or chalky. But, unlike any other high end eyeshadow palettes, YSL doesn't provide a pouch to house the palette. For the price you're paying for, they could've at least included a pouch for the eyeshadow palette.

Overall, I'm just disappointed with YSL's eyeshadow palettes. You're only really paying for the name of the brand and not so much for the quality (and maybe for the palette case). The colors are not that exhilarating or unique. The only reason I can see why you might get this is because you are a hardcore makeup junkie or collector.

Rating: 2 out 5

Thursday, January 29, 2009

China Glaze Nail Polish in "VIII" (Review and Swatch)

Believe it or not, but this is my first China Glaze Nail Polish.

I am never really big on nail polish as much as I am with makeup, but then I realize that a nicely manicure make a whole difference in the world. Since then, I make it a habit to change my polish when I notice that my nails are growing. I don't even wait til they chip off because I just don't want busted looking nails.

I dropped by Sally's today to buy some nail polish remover. And, since I was already there, I figured to at least try one China Glaze nail polish, so I picked up a purple shade, VIII.


Right when I got home, I quickly removed my nail polish, and I must say that China Glaze equals LOVE!

China Glaze made it super easy for me to apply my nail polish. I practically fail in that area especially when I do it in my dominant hand (right). The nail polish has a very thin consistency, but it applies evenly. It took me two to three coats to get the my desired shade. I loved how this nail polish didn't streak and just gave me a smooth application.

I also have a habit to putting way too much nail polish on my nails that after I'm done, my nails would end up looking fake because I slathered it in too thick. Not the case with this nail polish. My nails just looked like I got them done in a salon. And the brush head is perfect that it was easier for me just to put nail polish on my nails rather than making a whole mess with it.

I love darker nail polish on my hands because they don't make my hands look like they're "dirty". And it's just vampy. The purple shade itself is the purple that I've been looking for in a purple nail polish. It's almost black, but not quite because of its purple tinge.

China Glaze nail polishes dries almost instantly. I don't have to worry about ruining my perfectly good nail polish because of all sorts of nicks or marks because I accidentally swung my hand somewhere and the nail polish hasn't dried yet (the horror!).

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Beauty Chat: Cosmetic Settlement

Besides the historical inauguration yesterday, it was free makeup day at your local department stores to settle a case against major cosmetic brands (read more about it here). As part of the settlement, the class member is eligible to receive ONE (maximum) free cosmetics item among the list of products indicated on the website from the defendants (Estee Lauder, L'Oreal, etc).

Did you get in line and was able to snatch anything from the list? Was it worth it? Would you do it again if given the chance? For those who went, I would like to read any crazy experience you might have encountered. Please leave your response as a comment on this post.

I personally just decided to skip it overall. I wanted to get any of the Lancome mascara or the Clarins moisturizer, but after seeing the line after work wrapped around the mall, it's just not worth it. I didn't plan on going really early either since I didn't want to miss a historical event happening. My time was much more valuable.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Snowboarding and Sunscreen



Back from my short but fun trip to Mammoth. Mammoth was really amazing. It's my second time being there, but this was a whole new different experience (especially now that I'm a bit passed the beginning stages of learning how to ride a board). It was definitely fun while it lasted, and it was probably the best snowboarding trip I've ever been to. The trip definitely made a dent in my memory. It still hadn't ceased to amaze me about what happened towards the end of our trip.

Anyway, I'm loving my BB cream right now. I wore it when we went on top of the mountain on top of my sunscreen, and I walked away with zero sunburn after six hours of being out on the slopes!

If you're a snowboarder, sunscreen is key to your skin. You should be wearing it everyday no matter what, but once you're out in the mountain with snow, it's even more crucial. Not only you're closer to the sun, but the UV rays from the sun hits the snow and bounces off.

Don't forget your lipbalm with SPF! Your lips need protection too.

I'm glad I know better to wear sunscreen. I walked away with no burns after two days of snowboarding.


P.S. Notice anything different? Hint: my teeth :D

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Top 10 Products I Can't Live Without

If these companies ever stop production on any of these items, I know all hell will break lose! Why would they discontinue such amazing product anyway? Here are my current top ten products that I'm just currently in love with (in alphabetical order).


1. Eyeko 3 in 1 Cream: The best highlighter in the world. I would choose this over NARS Coppacabana any time of the day for my highlighting needs. It's inexpensive. It's not insanely shimmery. And, most of all, it's easy to apply and blend on your cheeks. And it doesn't hurt that the packaging is so cute! It's definitely a face saver when you want to fake an awake look (Buy it here and Enter Code E122 for a free gift).

2. MAC Blacktrack Fluidline: My favorite eyeliner for my upper lashline whether it be a thin line or a cat eye. With or without a base underneath, fluidline doesn't crease on my oily eyelids like most eyeliners do. It's better than liquid eyeliner in my opinion.

3. MAC Rubenesque Paint Pot: The base of my choice. It keeps it from creasing and my eye makeup pretty. Nothing is worse than an eye makeup being salvaged by oily lids.

4. Mandom Cleansing Express Cleansing Lotion: Like I have mentioned before, I could've sworn these are unicorn tears in a bottle. This makeup remover will wipe your makeup clean off your face with two pumps. It's amazing what this product can do. I especially love this stuff on my "lazy" nights where just getting to the sink to was your face is an impossible mission. It will get you in bed as soon as possible (Buy it here).

5. NARS Lip Gloss, Rose Gitane:
My favorite lipgloss shade! Can give you a that stain effect look, or just lick, lick juicy lips. It looks dark on the tube but it's perfect on my lips.


6. Queen Helene Mint Julep Masque: This literally saves my face from breakouts. Breakouts don't stand a chance with this mask. It's the cheapest yet most effective mask that I ever bought in my life. It really does what it promises to do, and this is one of the products that has definitely brought my face back to clearer state.

7. shu uemura Brightening Cleansing Oil 15.2 oz: Great cleanser for oily skin. Picks up any dirt or makeup debris and give you a clean and squeaky feeling without the tight and dry feeling.




8. shu uemura Eyelash Curler ($19): It's practically the holy grail eyelash curler of everyone in the beauty community. The only eyelas curler that didn't seem such a torture device. Self-explanatory why this made the list.




9. Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil, Zero: My kohl eyeliner of choice for my lower lashline or waterline. It doesn't smudge or budge. It stays put the whole day until you have to take it off. The pencil is super soft that it glides during application, and won't tug your eyes


10. Yu-Be Moisturizing Skin Cream 2.75 oz Jar ($24): Despite of the camphor smell (aka Vick's Vapor Rub smell), this works wonders on dry and chapped skin. It moisturizes your had without the greasy feeling, and only leaves it nice and smooth. It doubles as a lip balm as well and it really moisturizes your lips.




What makes up your list?

Eyeko Eye Beauty Eyeshadows (Review and Swatches)


Eyeko currently features two 5-in-1 eyeshadow cake pans in Sexy Eyes and Pretty Eyes in their makeup collection. What's good about Eyeko is most of their products usually serves more than one purpose.

These eyeshadows are so cute and travel friendly as it houses five different colors in each tin. Each tin contain each eyeshadows that compliment each other. The eyeshadows are great for people on the go. My only gripe is probably the lid itself since it can easily pop off the can.

Sexy eyes is more for the subtle and natural look. I usually reach out for this more often since it is much more suited for work. The first top two eyeshadows are a little bit on the sheer side, but can easily be fixed with a good base or primer. It can also make an excellent highlight color for the browbone or on the inner corner of your lid.




Pretty Eyes Eyeshadow tin features a pinks and purples in pastel shades. It's a great palette for Spring for a soft yet playful look. I've read some reviews from other bloggers that this eyeshadow tin was a bit sheer, but I actually thought it had a pretty decent pigmentation. I got a good color pay off with one swipe for the swatches, and it'll probably even better with a base underneath.




You can buy these eyeshadow cake pans for only £5.00 (approx $7-8) with free shipping at Eyeko.com. Don't forget to enter code E122 to receive a free gift with every order.

MAC Hello Kitty Spring 2009... New Product Photos!!!

I think I just had a change of heart about this Hello Kitty business after seeing these photos from Roselyn of Makeup Makes Me Happy. She was fortunate enough to be part of the unveiling of MAC's Spring 2009 Hello Kitty collection (back in November!!!) and she's sharing to us unlucky ones who have to wait til it releases in stores (however, do check your local MAC stores if they're holding an event for an early reveal of the collection).

I'm definitely picking up the Lucky Tom palette and the nail lacquer... and maybe a DazzleGlass.

Click on the pictures to enlarge...












Credit: Makeup Makes me Happy

Did these photos impressed you enough? Are we at least a teeny bit excited now?

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Skincare Routine (Night) Part 1: Shu Uemura Brightening Cleansing Oil

The most popular question I've been getting lately on my mail, comments, and cbox is is about my skin routine.

I've decided to do a series of product reviews that are part of my current skincare routine. My skincare routine has changed within the year as I have experimented with different products that I think will suit me. The items that will be featured are products that are currently in my bathroom or vanity being used for at least the past two months.

I will be doing one or two products a week until I've gone through all of them. For each posts, I will have a recap of previous skincare items listed at the end of every review with links.

Sounds good?

Skin Tidbit
I've previously battled acne for almost a two years in and I can vouch that it was probably one of the saddest point of my life. It took a toll on my self-esteem because of what I saw every morning when I woke up, another pimple some where on my face to join the rest of the gang. No matter how much cover you put on your face, it was never be enough just because mentally you still knew that the pimple was there, and people still saw it.

I knew whatever my current approach on taking care of my skin had to change because obviously nothing was working. I started reading the ingredients on every product and became a bit more mindful with what I slathered on my face. And over time, my skin had improved... immensely.

My skin type can be categorized under the oily or combination type depending on the season. I do tend to get really oily during warmer days, and dry in the winter in certain areas. I am still acne-prone, yet my breakouts are much milder now in comparison to previous experience. If and when I do breakout it's probably because of hormonal changes during that time of the month, or I'm paying the price of not washing my face from the night before (yes, I'm still guilty of this). Although the products I use change overtime, I still try to stick to the tips I've mentioned before to maintain a good and healthy skin.

Night time Routine

1. I start by removing my eye makeup with Mandom Cleansing Express Cleansing Lotion Sebum (click for the review). Not only this makeup remover is inexpensive, but it's gentle enough for my eyes and does not leave an oily residue. It does a great job on removing my eye makeup, including my mascara.

2. And then, I was my face with shu uemura Brightening Cleansing Oil 15.2 ozto remove any traces of makeup or dirt on my face


Product Blurb: shu uemura Brightening Cleansing Oil 15.2 ozis a "is a one-step, mild cleansing oil that removes makeup while gently cleansing, moisturizing, and calming the skin. It's ideal for those with dull and spotted skin or those seeking protection from UV rays. This gentle cleansing oil leaves the skin appearing more even toned, translucent, and smoothed for a radiant finish every time (Source)."

Price: $35 (5 oz) or $75 (15.2 oz)

This is my cleanser of choice at night. At first, I was a bit hesitant whether or not I should use cleansing oil for my already oily skin and with the product containing mineral oil, but I took the plunge and decided to try it.

The oil cleansing method is actually a great way to rid of any impurities trapped in your pores. Using the shu uemura uses a tad bit different approach in cleansing your skin. Before anything, I make sure my hands are clean (so wash your hands!) since I'll be applying the cleanser on my face first WITHOUT water. So you're just massaging the oil on your face to break down any dirt and makeup debris left over with your dry hands. It is oily, but it's not thick that it feels gross on your skin.

The smell of the oil is actually quite pleasant and a bit relaxing in my opinion. It is lightly scented, but nothing strong or vomit inducing. It smells fresh in my opinion. Once the oil has been fully massaged on to your face, dampen your hands and massage your face again. This will emulsify the oil and will start to foam. This step gets rid of the oily feeling before rinsing your whole face with water to rid of the foam.

You'll notice that face will feel clean but not dry nor oily. Although you are putting oil on your face, this cleanser will not leave any oily residue.

I also notice that my face look a bit brighter after repeated use. And any recent acne marks that I might have gradually lighten. And the week I stop using the cleanser (I have chosen not to bring it with me to my trip to the Philippines), my face became looking dull and drabby.

Because of the packaging of the cleanser, it is quite a challenge to bring this on board long trips because there is a chance of spilling it all over your suitcase (although you can turn the knob to 'lock it', but I didn't want to risk it), and this small bottle does not come cheap. So in order to save me the agony and grief, I left it at home, but my skin ended up paying for the price. My pores are more clogged (with the cleanser I ended up bringing) that new breakouts end up being huge in size. Since then, I am pretty convinced that this cleanser did make some impact on the clarity of my skin.

Overall, despite of it's steep price mark, this cleanser is worth every penny for me. It does a great job of really cleansing my face with out drying it out especially during winter time, and it brightens up my face after repeated use. It's very gentle leaves my skin feeling refreshed and ready for bed everytime.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Stay tuned for Part 2 of the series.

Related links:


  • Product Review: Mandom Cleansing Express Cleansing Lotion Sebum

  • Old Skin Routine

  • "OMG, You looked like that?" -- Skin time line Dilemma



  • Sephora.com, Inc.

    Tuesday, January 13, 2009

    Bobbi Brown Makeup Manual (Review)

    I've always love a good read especially if the topic is about my favorite hobby and borderline obsession... makeup!

    A good makeup book is filled with colorful pages, a chockful of tips and things to know, and maybe if I'm lucky, how to recreate the modeled look step by step.

    I've spent quite sometime at the bookstore perusing makeup books in the hopes that I will find another good read to add to my growing collection. I'm always in a search for one. And one day, I was lucky enough to win a contest for a copy of Bobbi Brown Makeup Manual (Thanks Roselyn!). You just can never have too many makeup books in my opinion.

    My first impression of the book is: "Wow, this is probably the best looking makeup book I've seen." As a skimmed through the pages, it was filled with pictures, a lot of pictures. I like pictures.

    The book looking into it a little deeper, I noticed that the topics covered in the book were very organized and builds to the next one. It covers the basics-what-you-need-to-know subjects. The first few pages are really basic things for some people but nonetheless still good reminders. It's pretty much things you might already know from reading blogs or magazines.


    What I really liked about the book are the illustrations. I love pictures in books especially if they're very organized and appealing to the eye and not a bunch or random images thrown together. The pictures give you a better visualization of what she's talking about and definitely helps with the step by step makeup application section of the book. It's pretty much like reading a tutorial from your favorite blog.

    Another good aspect of this book is that it covers how to take care of your skin as well, and it dedicates a whole chapter for it. It also lists the expiration date for makeup products as seen on the image below.



    And here's a sample of a step by step how-to part of the book. For some reason, this page was my favorite out of all the pages in the book. The how-to parts; however, only covers the basic elements of makeup application with a few creative ones toward the end. The creative makeup samples I thought wasn't as compelling as it should have been. They were more costume-y looks yet pretty simple. Nothing really mind boggling.



    What sets this makeup book apart though from the previous books I've read is it's simplicity and the tips it offers and resources (books, agencies, websites) you might be interested in checking out in case you do plan to pursue a career in makeup artistry. Some books do mention it briefly in passing or some general information. It's definitely a good starting research point for those who haven't had the slightest clue on where to look.

    Overall: The book is definitely a good read. Although the book targets both beginners and professionals, I think it caters more to people who are just starting with makeup. It does offer good tips and reminders which everyone can actually use, but don't expect over-the-top makeup looks in this book. If I have to categorize the makeup majority of the looks found in the book, it's more of a practical day or night makeup. Something you would probably wear for work or a night out with friends and are mostly neutral looks that emphasizes your features. But, I really enjoyed the images in the book because it really helps you go through the procedure step by step. The book; however, is pretty pricey in my opinion, but you can always get it cheaper at Amazon.com (Buy here). The book retails for $32 (Amazon.com $21.12).

    Friday, January 09, 2009

    Sneak Peek: Spring Makeup Collections (Asia)

    From my recent trip to the Philippines, my flight had a stopover at the Narita Airport in Japan. Ecstatic I was when I found out they had Japanese magazines available. Obviously, I picked out a couple (or four) of magazines so I can oggle at the the so much cuter makeup collection Japan (and certain parts of Asia) will be graced upon this Spring.

    You can find the booklet of makeup collection in the February 2009 issue of Biteki magazine. Here's a sneak peek of what to expect.

    Click on the images to enlarge...








    Why can't we have these too? How can you resist on not buying pretty much all of them with the screaming cute packaging? If I can only have at least one of each *sigh*...