Friday, February 29, 2008

Red Lipsticks!

My favorite subject to write about - red! I LOVE that color! I don't often wear red, but I'm crazy for it! Red is a color I have to be in the mood to wear, otherwise it frightens, and at the same time, mesmerizes me. With my red lipsticks, however, I have never worn them full on red, however. I'm too timid, I guess. Generally, I just dab them on over lip balm or clear gloss. I do love staring at my red lipsticks and marvel at how red they are though :D

It is difficult for me to find a red lipstick that matches my warm skin tone. Granted, I haven't look that hard, but so far the ones I found all have hints of blue. Urgh. But, I did managed to find 3 so far that are just the most kick ass warm reds ever!!!

Lancome Color Design Lipstick in First Crush, all pictures taken indoor with flash unless otherwise noted.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

First FOTD Ever!

This is a special post for my friend, miss Muse, and it's my first FOTD ever! Well, actually, it's more of a face of the night, but whatever. Hubby and I were going out to dinner with a colleague of his and his wife. We were going to have dinner at a decent Japanese place called Josho with pretty authentic food, out in the middle of nowhere in Somerset. Life's like a box of chocolate.

Anyway, here it is. Not much makeup that you can tell, really. I'm very light-handed with application and I prefer my makeup sheer. The picture was a bit tough to take because my head kept falling onto the side and I literally had to hold it up by the scalp... Sheesh! Stay still, would 'ya?



Face:
- Estee Lauder Lucidity Powder in Transparent (t-zones only)
- Stila Color Push-ups in Fuchsia Flash (I swear I put some on!)
- Canmake Highlighter

Eyes:
- Canmake Glow Twin Colors 03 Camel Pink
- T'estimo Color Eye DB-12 (will review this one plus several newer colors later, see a previous post with older colors)

Lips:
- Stila It Gloss BCA Trio - Inspiring (will review later too)



Anyway, the finished product, nicely propped. All thanks to hubby for taking the photos because I still haven't gotten my hands on a camera stand.

Victoria's Secret Mosaic Highlighter

This is my most beloved highlighter, and I'm not even a fan of Victoria's Secret! I think most of their stuff is crap, but I have to say there is a few precious gems here and there which I won't deny my love for, another one being the Beauty Rush Soothing Lip Balm.



I'm not exactly happy with the packaging of the highlighter, but I really do love the stuff inside. The Mosaic Highlighter has 5 shades: white, lilac, pink, yellow, and beige. When swirled together, they give me the most angelic glow that only gets better as the night wears by - a rare feat indeed as most cosmetic products do just the opposite on my combination-dry skin! By the end of the night, instead of settling into my pores, it blends in with my skin, making me look like I was photoshopped!! Nuts! It's like the powder itself adapts to moisturizing my dry cheek and at the same time absorbs all the oil on my t-zones. Isn't it crazy or what??? And the difference with this highlighter on is just amazing! I look instantly awake and rested, even when I'm exhausted and stressed out and ready to kill someone!
Anyway, the only minor problem about this highlighter is that, because it works so well, it's best used at night. The powerful wattage this powder provides does not mix well with daylight, and you can look over done. With that said, it didn't prevent me from using it during the day at all! :P I just have to be more careful about how much I put on.



Now the sad, sad, sad news: this highlighter has been discontinued for quite a while now. Actually, I think Victoria's Secret is discontinuing my beloved Soothing Lip Balm as well. Stupid. What were they thinking? They are killing the products that actually build brand loyalty!!! Garr...



Anyhow, I did managed to find another very similar, actually, an exact look-alike, product from NYX for half the original Victoria's Secret price. Will definitely give that one a try, that is, after I'm done mourning the death of my favorite highlighter first. To hell with Victoria's Secret.

Canmake Highlighter

Given the Canmake Highlight Gradation didn't work so well, I was rather hesitant to try out this Highlighter. But then it's Canmake, and even if it sucks it wouldn't bankrupt me, right?

The Highlighter is white with very fine shimmers. At the first glance I thought, "Oh great, not another flop..." Then I patted the powder lightly and was amazed how soft and silky it felt. Its texture is completely different than the Highlight Gradation! Oh, and no dust! Definitely a good point.



I'm really glad I gave this Highlighter a chance. It gives me just enough shimmers to create a subtle glow. I think I've finally found a highlighter I could use during the day instead of my favorite Victoria's Secret one, which is more suitable for night (will review soon)!

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Canmake Metallic Eyes

I've been curious about these for a while but was hesitant until I read a good review on a fellow makeup lover's blog, Musings of a Muse. The lovely Muse says they were wonderfully sheer, and that was pretty much the little push I need :D

I got 5 of these Metallic Eyes, but have only tried 2 so far. Will review the rest later.

- 01 White: it's, well, white, metallic, and very sheer. I was afraid it'd turned frosty on me but it goes on translucent. Awesome!


- 09 Metallic Black: definitely metallic, but is not black but rather charcoal, low intensity. I actually like this one a lot as I can use it both on my crease for a smoky effect as well as a liner. A definite keeper!


Canmake Glow Twin Colors Part II

I finally got a hold of more of these since I really like the combo 02 Gold Pink Yuki-chan sent me last year.



- 03 Camel Pink: a combination of a very pale pink, shimmers, and a nude beige, shimmers, again both are very sheer. I was hoping to get another metallic shade like the gold in 02 Gold Pink, but both turned out to be shimmers. The pale pink has chunkier violet shimmers, versus very fine ones in the nude beige. Perhaps they meant for it to be metallic but wasn't quite successful? Anyway, the nude beige almost match my skin tone perfectly, so it disappears completely on my eyes, leaving just a glowy finish that makes you wonder if something's different but couldn't quite tell exactly what. Final verdict: I like the combo 02 Gold Pink better :S



See Canmake Glow Twin Colors Part I.

Stila Color Push-up

The marvelous Convertible Colors has inspired me to try other Stila cream blushes, and the Color Push-ups' fun packaging caught my eyes. I have several of these but have only tried Fuschia Flash, so I will review the others later.

These Color Push-ups come in a super cute and tiny deodorant-like tube with a twist knob at the bottom. It also has a clear body so you know exactly what troubles you are getting into :D The only problem I noticed, as has been pointed out by others, is that the cap closed very snuggly at the tip of the tube. That means whenever you're done, you'll have to roll the color all the way back down or its top surface will be crushed by the cap. Other than that, awesome packaging. Love it!

All pictures taken indoor with flash, unless otherwise noted.

Estee Lauder Tender Blush Part II

Got a sample GWP in Petal. I was expecting the same performance as the Peach Nuance, but I was wrong. While the Peach Nuance was quite pigmented on my fair-medium skin, this particular shade barely showed. Yep. Tossed. I don't even feel bad, and that's saying something as I always feel bad when I throw out makeup.



See the Estee Lauder Tender Blush Part I.

T'estimo Shining Eyeliner

I was so excited when I first saw these two colors, EX-01 Silver and EX-02 Gold. Silver and gold liquid eye liners, how much better can life be? But no, I was utterly crushed when I first opened these. They were clear gel with chunky silver and gold glitters. Worse, the glitter would flake off, fall into my eyes and irritate the hell out of them. In two words: they suck. Don't waste your money on these. If you really want to try, try them in a different color.



Estee Lauder Lucidity Pressed Powder

I got the smaller version of the powder in Transparent to go with my tiny After Hours Compact.



Over all, I'm pretty happy with the quality of Estee's pressed powder. They are much lighter than the Lancome ones, that's for sure. And the After Hours Compact is so much smaller and easier to carry than the regular huge square and bulky Estee Lauder powder compact.



The Lucidity powder is decent. It's a little more moisturizing than the Aeromatte, thus heavier, and if it weren't for my awesome mattefying sunscreen, I wouldn't be able to use given I only use powders on my oily t-zones. It's also unfortunately fragranced, and while I actually like the powdery scent, it irritates my face when I do use it all over. Oh well. I really wish they make the small-sized refill for the Aeromatte powder. I would have stocked up a few if they did. It would have been perfect! Sigh...



See the Estee Lauder Aeromatte Ultralucent Pressed Powder post.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Stila Lip Glaze

I have a bunch of these too because I really like the brush applicator, plus the click pen packaging is kind of fun :D These Lip Glazes have very similar consistency and thickness as the Lancome Juicy Tubes, only they are much stickier - when I press my lips on a sheet of tissue, the Juicy Tubes comes off on the tissue, where as the Stila Lip Glaze tears the tissue and it ends up sticking to my lips. Bleargh! And surprisingly, being so sticky, these Lip Glazes don't last as long as the Juicy Tubes and are not as smooth either! I like their flavors much better though, as the Lancome ones are complete hit and miss. Also, the click pen doesn't hold much product, and each of these Lip Glaze goes for $20. In comparison to the giant $16.50 Juicy Tubes, these Lip Glazes are a total rip off! Oh well, I'm a sucker, what can I say? Will review more later.

- Apricot: a semi-translucent and soft peachy pink with very fine shimmers that's unnoticeable unless under direct light. Looks colorless on my lips and the shimmers aren't visible at all. I like the flavor a lot! It reminds me of Japanese bubble gum, only it's not as smooth, even thought it doesn't have chunky glitter nor is it overly shimmery. Oh well, lots of room for improvement here.

Lorac Mocktail

I got several of these have only used one far, so I'll review that one first and the others later. I got started on these after getting a sample from a loot of Sephora GWP.

- Sex on the Beach: a muted fuschia. I was doubtful this color would work with my skin tone, but it turned out okay. Hubby even commented that it was a nice pink. A thinner consistency, not sticky, but last pretty well. Love the squeeze tube with brush applicator too. So I got myself more of them to play with :D

Clinique Glosswear

Have a few of these but I honestly don't like them. They are stickier than Lancome Juicy Tubes and surprisingly don't last. Go figure. And because they are unscented, they actually smell kind of gross. Some things are nice unscented, but others are better masked.

- Whisper: a very pretty shimmery cloud pink. Colorless on my lips but make them very very glossy.


- Sunset: A beige nude with a lilac sheen, similar to Lancome Juicy Tube in Pink Horizon, only the lilac is not as pronounced. Gives my lips a natural but bronzy look.


- Air Kiss-Cherry: this is actually a Glosswear Swirls, as you can see the pale frosty pink swirls are still somewhat intact. The two colors mix together into a perfectly sheer cherry red. I do like the color a lot, if it weren't for the yucky chemical smell...

Urban Decay XXX Shine Lipgloss

I have the color Earney, from a Sephora GWP. It's my only Urban Decay piece, actually, as I haven't tried anything from the brand and I'm not really interested either. Over all, the lip gloss is nice. I like the minty taste a lot - very different than what I'm used to and it's not sticky at all. It's almost like a balmy gloss, very nice. It just doesn't last very long. Oh well.

Lancome Juicy Tubes

I have a gazillion of these Juicy Tubes, some I bought, and some from GWP. I've been using them for years and find that people either love them or hate them. Those who like them like them because they last and last and last. I can personally attest to that, as I usually put some on before going to the gym, and they would be on my lips still, glossy and all, after I get out of the shower! Others dislike them because they are sticky. Personally, I find them NOT very sticky, as they do come off on the tissue when I choose to wipe them off. I've had trouble wiping other glosses off with the tissue ends up tearing and sticking my lips instead. Now that's sticky! I prefer my lip glosses that thick anyway because, well, they stay put! Another thing I love about these Juicy Tubes is that their formula is quite smooth and is much more comfortable and hydrating on my lips than any other lip glosses I've tried. Except for the ones with tons of shimmers or chunky glitters, the sheer ones and the ones with fine shimmers feels buttery and wonderfully soft! I just love them!

Now, the rant: I don't love all the Juicy Tubes flavors! In fact, I abhor some of them as they give me headaches! Yuck! It's really too bad because, I suppose, the flavors aren't the most difficult thing to improve upon. Lancome's got everything else right, so why can't they make every flavor pleasing instead of disgusting? Hmph.

Anyway, below are a few I've been using for a while now. I have many others I haven't had the chance to thoroughly tried so I won't review until then. Only some flavors and endure the test of time.

- Pure: it's clear, smells like lychee, and is significantly less thick than all my other Juicy Tubes. But then it also doesn't last as long. Perhaps it would be more suitable for those who like their lip glosses less sticky.


- Daiquiri: a translucent faint pink, looks colorless on but somehow brings the natural pink out of my lips. I like the scent too, a bit sweet like candy. One of my favorite Juicy Tubes.


- Spring Fling: a baby pink and a bit more opaque than Daiquiri. Again, looks colorless on but will bring out my lips' natural color. I also like the scent, it smells sweet, only I can't pin point what that flavor is, exactly. Another one of my favorites.


- Miracle: a glittery candy pink that adds just a touch of pink, almost undetectable. But it does make my lips look really really glossy, probably because of the glitters. It also doesn't feel as smooth as the non-shimmery ones because of the glitters.


- Melon: a rosy color with a touch of nude. I actually really like this color, it makes my lips perfectly glossy and alive, only I just can't stand the smell. It's supposed to be Melon flavor but it's somehow nauseating. This happened with another Juicy Tube I had, only worse: Bolole - the flavor actually reminds me of funeral flowers and it was so disgusting I tossed it after a few uses. This one's going soon too, sadly.


- Cherry Burst: smells like cherry candy, which I like, but the color is a bright cool red (although it doesn't look it in the picture), and well, it makes me look like a clown. It is actually one of the most pigmented gloss I've ever tried, so now I only use a tiny little it, and the color turns out okay. Still too cool and too red, but I can live with that.


- Cerise: an almost transparent watermelon red with sparse gold glitter. I absolutely love the color, but again hate the flavor. It gives me a headache! Tossed :(

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Current Skin Care Routine

Not that anyone gives a damn, just thought I might look back one day and think, "Wow, that was stupid." This is my current skin care routine as of February 2008.

AM Routine1. Kinerase Gentle Daily Cleanser (See my comments in an earlier post)

2. Avon Hydrofirming Eye Cream
This gel/cream goes on like water, absorbs completely leaving no residue behind, and best of all, it leaves my very dry eye area feeling naked but surprisingly supple and thoroughly moisturized. I used to think it wasn't moisturizing enough when I was still using the Shiseido SPF 55 sunscreen, but then I quickly learned the problem was with the sunscreen and not the eye cream. In fact, this is the only eye cream I've tried so far that does NOT melt my water-resistant sunscreen! I'm on my 4th jar and stock up whenever there's a good promotion, not that it isn't already dirt cheap. Try keeping this cream in your fridge for a lovely cooling effect, especially in the hot summer! I actually keep the empty glass jars afterwards too, removing the label and using them to store other creams and mix loose eye shadows, pigments, and blushes. Talk about efficient!

***Picture from Avon.com.

3. Embryolisse Lait Creme Concentre & Lait Creme Concentre Fluide
I have combination-dry skin, and use the Fluide for my oily t-zones and the cream for everywhere else that's crazily dry. The cream is fresh and the Fluide is milky, both are very light, absorbs instantly, leaving my face soft and dewy. I don't wake up with oil-slick face, which is VERY impressive given my super oily t-zones! Neither the cream or Fluide breaks me out or clog my pores. Their prices are reasonable, given you don't need much at all for thorough hydration. My only complaint is they are fragranced.



***Pictures from Thecureshop.com.

4. Sofina Perfect UV SPF 50 PA+++ Lucent (See my comments from the Sun Protection! Part II post)

PM Routine
1. FANCL Mild Cleansing Oil (See the FANCL Mild Cleansing Oil post)

2. Kinerase Gentle Daily Cleanser (See my comments in an earlier post)

3. Lancome Renergie Microlift
It's technically not an eye cream, but who says I can't use it for my eye areas? Actually, I only use it because it feels rich and I love the soft powdery scent similar to those in the Shiseido Benefiance line. It moisturizes better than the Shiseido Benefiance eye cream and isn't greasy, but other than that, I don't notice anything else it claims to do. The cream actually melt my water-resistant sunscreen and stained my contacts when I tried using it during the day, so I can only use it at night. Oh well...

***Picture from Lancome USA.

4. Embryolisse Lait Creme Concentre & Lait Creme Concentre Fluide
See comments above.

TreatmentsEvery 3rd night, I use a retinoid gel as a treatment. I actually started out with Avene Retrinal 0.025% Cream, however, while this cream cleared out the carnage from the Tinosorbs (See the Sun Protection! Part II post) on my face, it also clogged the bloody hell out of my already battered pores. The culprit is not the Retinaldehyde treatment, purging, irritation, or otherwise reaction with any specific ingredient but is rather the formula itself. To simply put, the cream was too emolient for my dry-combination skin. My dry cheeks were clear, but my t-zones were greasy and therefore didn't fare so well. After a 3-month battle with my face, I called it quits and switched to Differin (Adapalene) 0.1% Gel.

***Picture from Avene USA.

Differin (Adapalene) 0.1% Gel
Let's just say, "Wow." Within 1 weeks (2 uses) of this gel, my skin cleared like clouds after a rainstorm! I'm finally seeing my good o' clear skin back and this time, it returns with a nice pinkish glow. Am I imagining things? Anyway, because it's in a gel form, it's supposed to be stronger, and hence more drying. We'll see about that. So far, no signs of dryness yet. Let's hope it stays that way...

***Picture from Differin.com.

For more information on Retinoids:
- See an Anti-Aging FAQ page provided by Janssen Cosmeceutical
- See an article on Retinoids written by Albert M. Kligman, the dermatologist and researcher who invented Retin-A
- See even more information on Retinoids from MUA member Tetrakis's notepad, where the above 2 links are provided

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