6.30.2011

Ellana Minerals Multipurpose Powders: The Metallics


One of the trends for Fall is the metallic eye.  If you feel that the new collections are too dark or if you don't want to wait a month for the collections to arrive, consider mineral eyeshadows from local shops.  Ellana Minerals has an amazing selection of multipurpose powders.  Below are the metallic ones I own but they have so much more in their website.

 

 The swatches below were taken in natural light and Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion was used:

 
Left to Right: Grace, Laugh, Bluebell, Seabreeze, Preppy, Polished, Marigold & Luscious

The colors are beautiful but in order to really make it pop and last for hours, an eyeshadow primer is needed.  My favorite in this bunch is Preppy, the apple green one but I think it's been discontinued because it's no longer in Ellana's recent catalog.  Laugh is my least favorite because it does not seem like a real purple - there's some brown in it and when blended with the other colors, it comes out muddy.  The other colors are great to work with.

And here's an eye look using three of the powders featured in this post:


Entire lid - Polished
Center lid - Preppy
Outer corner - Luscious

Too bright for you?  Use a dark matte color (like black) as your base and you're all set!

P.S.  Sorry for the lack of posts this week.  The last few days have been surreal and not in a good way =|

6.24.2011

Crabtree & Evelyn Hand Therapy


Because I tend to wash my hands more than the normal person and I'm usually stuck in a cold room, the skin on my hands become very dry.

Crabtree & Evelyn's Hand Therapy contains Macadamia Nut Oil and Shea Butter which makes this an excellent hand cream that provides instant moisture and makes my hands feel smooth.  Non-sticky, it quickly absorbs into my skin and comes in a variety of classic scents that are more on the powdery side.

There's always a small tube of this product in my handbag because I apply it anytime I feel that my hands need some extra pampering.  My mother loves this as well (she's a huge fan of the La Source line!) and uses this as part of her manicure routine.

I'm keeping an eye out for the Cirton variant which is not yet available here.  I hope its released soon!

6.23.2011

Muji Cleansing Oil for Sensitive Skin

 

You might wonder why on Earth I would purchase a skincare product from a store that specializes in items for the home.  Well, I've read some reviews online about this cleansing oil and all were positive.  So I decided to give it a go and find out if it can give Shu Uemura a run for it's money.

Muji's Cleansing Oil comes in two variants - for normal and sensitive skin.  The one for normal skin contains a Palm Oil Derivative and Castor Oil.  Whereas the sensitive skin formula contains Hydrogenated Polyisobutene (a Mineral Oil substitute), Olive Oil and in the UK formula, Jojoba Oil.  I chose the one made for sensitive skin.

Can people with oily skin use this?  Definitely.  Oil Cleansers won't make your skin oilier.  The oil in these cleansers sort of act as a glue and draw out the sebum and dirt present in your skin.

A pump and a half is enough for my entire face and neck area.  The way cleansing oils work is that you have to take the product and spread it all over your dry face.  You then wet your hands and massage your face - what happens is that the oil becomes milky.  Finally, rinse.  Some people like to use a gentler cleanser afterwards.

Two things I do not like: Compared to Shu Uemura, there are times that this feels grainy.  It also has a synthetic smell.  I can live with it but some people may not like this.

What's nice about this product is that it gets the job done.  My skin feels squeaky clean sometimes, a little too tight.  Some say that this can replace an eye makeup remover.  In my case, I still find it difficult to do without having to rub the eye area.  I recommend using a separate eye makeup remover especially when wearing waterproof mascara.

Muji's Cleansing Oil is the most affordable one I've tried so far.  If you're on a budget, this is something you may want to try since it does what it's supposed to do.

6.21.2011

NYX Chaos Round Lipstick

 

I only discovered NYX last year because there weren't any local retailers before then and I've never heard of it.  I wasn't really that confident about the brand so I decided to try out a few items and see for myself.  When it came to NYX's Round Lipsticks, I decided to choose a bright color.  Chaos was just what I was looking for.

I wasn't quite sure if I'd like it and so it sat in my traincase neglected and ignored until I read Kari's review.  It made me reach for this and finally try it out.

But before I tell you how this product performs, I just want to point out that at the bottom of each tube you'll see a sneak peek of the color.  It's not lipstick... it's some sort of gooey plastic but it's spot on in identifying the color.
 

Chaos' texture is creamy, smooth and thick... thicker than the average lipstick.  In order to evenly apply and prevent my lips from drying out, I slathered on some lip balm.  I think that made the staying power of this lipstick better - 6 hours and there was no need to retouch.  Although there are far more superior products out there, this isn't bad.  In fact, it exceeded my expectations considering the price.

The color payoff is pretty good.  One swipe and a little bit of blending provides a decent amount of color.  The color changes as you add more.  In the middle picture, I applied color at the bottom lip and pressed it against my upper lip so that the latter could pick it up.  I added whatever was left on the brush, blended to define my lips and blotted using a piece of tissue paper.  If you apply it that way, you end up with a soft fuschia color.  The picture at the bottom was when I added another layer to make it really red.

 
 

If you're into bold colors, then this might be your cup of tea.  Just remember to exfoliate and apply a lip conditioner or balm beforehand.

The lipstick obviously had fragrance added.  Subtle but synthetic - I can't identify what though.  However, I found this to be a hundred times tolerable compared to the Mega Shine Lipgloss.  That means it won't stop me from repurchasing.

I'm still on the look out for my next Round Lipstick.  Any recommendations?

6.18.2011

Out & About Vol.1

I thought I'd share photos of some interesting things I've seen around.  Enjoy the weekend!

 
Display at a clothing store along Lan Kwai Fong, Hong Kong

 Mirror inside the women's bathroom at Charlie Brown Cafe, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong

6.17.2011

MAC Surf Baby Has Finally Hit Our Shores!

 

Finally, MAC's summer collection has arrived in Asia... at the end of summer and just when it's starting to pour.  Oh the irony of it all!

It was just released yesterday and I was able to test everything... so bright and pretty!  The items they didn't have were the Crushed Metallic Pigment Stacks and the Suntint Lip Balms.  A bit of a bummer because I actually wanted the pigments.  They said it (the pigments) will be released on a later date.  I didn't ask about the Suntints.


Anyway,  I've been lusting after the My Paradise Cheek Powder ever since I saw the sneak peek.  Obviously, it's something I've been looking forward to.  I must have passed by the MAC counter five times since just to ask if Surf Baby's out. 

When I swatched it, it was all I expected it to be - a loud coral color that will make your cheeks stand out.  Even without the gold overspray, it's still pretty.  For those with lighter compexion, it provides a bright pop of color and I think it would also look beautiful on those with darker tones as the color is deep.


To be honest, I don't know what I'm going to do with this or how I'm going to pull it off.  I just have a weakness of bright colors in general.  Oh the pretty colors!

Th cheek powder comes in a compact that's a big as MAC's pressed powder foundation.

On my way to the mall, I told myself that I would not buy anything.  And I left with an additional item:  a Lustre Lipstick in Naturally Eccentric.  At first I wasn't sure about it but I found myself holding it after every swatch.  The reason?  I've been looking for a really pale lipstick that would go well with the Sugarpill eyeshadows I purchased earlier this year.  This could possibly be it.  We'll find out soon enough.

 

Other products in this collection that I liked but didn't get were:

  • Surf USA & Sun Blonde Eyeshadow - Because I already own colors similar to those
  • Short Shorts Eyeshadow - Because I'm not sure what to do with it.
  • Hibsicus Lipstick - A bright red coral color that's really pretty.  I would have bought it except I have too many bright lipsticks already.  We'll see... I need to think it over.
  • Gilded White Powerpoint Pencil - An off-white shimmery eye pencil.  If I didn't have my Paul & Joe Eye Liner, I would have gotten this!

Let me know if you want me to do a Swatch & Tell.  I just need to use this for some time so that I can provide a proper review.

Is there anything you want from the Surf Baby collection?  Share!

6.15.2011

Heated Eyelash Curler


If you have short lashes and are frustrated because your regular lash curler just doesn't work, you might want to consider using a Heated Eyelash Curler as an alternative. 

This battery operated tool takes 30-60 seconds to heat.  You then gently press the part with the heated coil against your eyelashes.  After about 20-30 seconds, your lashes should lift.  Repeat if you want to get more curl out of it.

Here's a view up close:
 

When I first tried it, I was afraid of burning my lashes but it wasn't the case.  It's pretty safe, you just need to be careful not to poke your eye.

The instructor in the Personal Beauty Makeup class I attended at Make-up Designory Manila said that this tool works best for those with short eyelashes.  In fact, she uses it herself.  In my case, I have long lashes and it takes longer to get them to curl which is why I don't use it as often.  But when I have spare time I still use this.

Are the claims true that curls last longer when this is used?  I honestly can't answer that because I apply mascara immediately after curling.  I mean what's the point of curling if you don't apply mascara to keep the curl?  At the end of the day, if you want the curl to last a long time, get a good mascara.

I got my Heated Eyelash Curler from Suesh Makeup Toolkit which is also available in Singapore, New Zealand and Australia.  If this isn't available in your area, check out Model Co  - they've carried this for several years now... except theirs seem a little bit more high tech and the color is hot pink.  Really pretty!

Is this something you've tried, will try or pass?

6.14.2011

NYX Cosmo Mega Shine Lip Gloss


Nyx is a crowd pleaser when it comes to makeup because of the wide variety of products and colors at an affordable price.

The first Nyx lipgloss I will Swatch & Tell is Cosmo, which is a dark pink (almost old rose) color with silver glitter.

The applicator is longer than other brands.  It's also softer which makes it more difficult for me to apply.  The tendency is to go over the lip which is something you don't want when using lipgloss.


The texture is just about right - thick enough to make it last long without feeling sticky.  I wish they didn't make this bubblegum flavored because I'm not a fan.  Actually I'm not sure if it's bubblegum or cherry.  Either way, I really dislike it.  I would have preferred it to be unflavored or something more subtle like sugar or vanilla.

The color looked nice on the tube and I didn't have a tester at that time.  Note to self: only buy lip products that you can swatch!  By the way, its actually darker than the photos below.


I just felt that there was too much glitter action going on with this shade.  My lips felt like a disco ball.  And when I wiped the product off, it left a glittery mess that required several swipes of makeup remover to be glitter-free.

The verdict?  This product isn't great for everyday but for makeup artists working on a shoot that requires wet and glossy lips, this is what you want on your kit.

I have three more Nyx Mega Shine lippies in my traincase that I haven't opened but once I do, I will swatch & share.  Thankfully, those aren't too glittery ;)

Have any of you used Nyx Mega Shine?  I want to know if it all has the same flavor.  I'm hoping that's not the case but I think I'm going to be wrong about that.  Oh well =|

6.13.2011

FruiTeaMix


I am absolutely crazy about tea drinks.  Which is why I'm glad there's a new place that I can go to in Greenhills.  We tried out Fruit Team Mix today and were quite pleased with what we had.

Oh yeah, there's an Eye Look snapshot at the end of this post. ;)


Preppyboy had the Premium Milk Tea with Egg Custard while I had the Wintermelon Grass Jelly drink.  I know the names sound strange and might give you the impression that it's too weird and gross tasting but really, it's good.  Like GOOD.  The egg custard in the Milk Tea settled at the bottom and provided a subtly sweet and creamy interval while sipped.  My drink had a black chunk of jelly that had a "musky" flavor which was a wonderful contrast to the mellow taste of Wintermelon.

We also had some of their Fresh Potato Chips which was seasoned with salt, pepper and something we couldn't point out fingers on.  It was good though.

While Happy Lemon still tops my list because of their selection, I am not a fan of how slow their staff are.  I don't really mind long lines but after paying for my drink, I think waiting for over 10 minutes is unacceptable.  So it looks like I'll be visiting Fruit Tea Mix more often.

Fruit Tea Mix also has this reward thing for frequent patrons.  And the funniest coincidence, their color scheme matched the eye colors I wore.  Hahaha!

 
I used Sugarpill's Buttercupcake and Midori on my lids.

Accidental Sanrio Sunday

 

My favorite Sanrio characters are Tuxedo SamHello Kitty and recently, Kuromi.  I got this Kuromi Coin Bank as a semi-surprise, out of the blue present from Preppyboy.

Let me explain.  After having late lunch at Bellini's, Voodoomommy and I checked out the antique stores while Preppyboy checked out other stores nearby.  When we were done, we looked for him so we could leave.  From the window of a store with contemporary stuff, I saw him.  And then I saw this and screamed "Kuromi!" which I think left my mother confused.  As I entered the store, Preppyboy told me to leave... apparently he saw it first and was in the middle of buying it for me.  Awwwww... how sweet :)

Kuromi, for those who are not familiar, is the rival of My Melody.  No contest though.  I think Kuromi is infinitely cuter.


We had to kill time before the movie (Super 8) so we hit Timezone.  Walked away with this adorable Hello Kitty prize - it sways when under light.  No batteries required.  What is this thing called anyway?


I'm not the only Kuromi fan in this household ;)

Which Sanrio character do you love?

6.11.2011

Almay Black & Brown Liquid Eyeliner


I've been searching high and low for a liquid eyeliner that would not sting my eyelids and leave a dark stain on my skin (kind of like a scar).  I tried several brands (Palladio, Body Shop, some local stuff) and they all stung like crazy.  With a bit of online research, I learned that some people had better luck with Almay's Liquid Eyeliner.  And so, I asked a friend to purchase the black and brown ones and send it over since I can't find anyone selling it locally.

It has decent staying power and does not smudge easily.  Here's a pre-smudge photo.  The brown one (left) is quite dark.


 And after my running my thumb through it a few times, it looks like this.


See?  There's still a good amount of color left.  Of course, some of it rubbed on to my thumb.


I tried using this without any primer or eyeshadow and it stayed on for over four hours without smearing.


It has a felt tip applicator which I personally like because it's easy to control.  The key to keeping this intact is to use a light hand and just dab instead of trying to draw a straight line.

What I was a bit disappointed was that it somewhat stings... not as bad as the rest. It only does when I apply a thick layer. Which leads me to the conclusion that thicker formulas, the ones with a well and felt-tip applicators just sting. Period.

6.10.2011

St Ives Apricot Blemish & Blackhead Control Face Wash


A few years back I tried St. Ives' Blemish & Blackhead Control Face Scrub and it worked pretty well.  During that time, my face was breaking out just a bit so I didn't need to use it long-term.  Last year, when my acne started to flare, I couldn't find the scrub so I bought the Blemish & Blackhead Control Face Wash instead.  I told myself that this was a good idea since a face wash would be gentler on my face than a scrub.  Unfortunately, I was wrong.

The product stung whenever I would wash my face with it.  Something that people with sensitive skin should stay away from.  However, I was desperate to rid myself of acne that I kept using it every other day.  You know what's strange?  The face scrub was actually gentler on my skin.

And after using up more than half the bottle (I was really hoping it would work), I noticed that it did nothing and so I switched to a different skin cleanser.  I was utterly disappointed with this product that I threw it away when I realized that it just didn't work.

Chronic Bitchface

I am so sick of explaining to people that I don't hate the world.  I once had a boss who hated me for having CBF and tried to get me fired.  Ah, that bitch!  Yes people, I look pissed off most of the time but seriously, all I think of is what I'm going to eat or what my cats are up to while I'm away.  This is also why I don't like posting my photo online all that often.  Love and kisses from my black lipstick, yo!

source: kris atomic

6.09.2011

Guerlain Rouge Automatique No 103 Chant D'Arômes


Guerlain recently launched their Rouge Automatique lipstick line which promises long lasting color while keeping your lips hydrated.  And as an added bonus, it comes in the sleekest tube ever.

Packaging fiends will certainly love this one.  All you need to do is slide down the square button and the lipstick slides up.  The cap itself is sturdy.  I applied pressure on it and it barely budged.


It took some getting used to.  My lower lip would hit the tube because I did not want to slide the product all the way out.

Most of my lipsticks are dark shades so I decided to build my collection and add light colored ones.  I chose Chant D'Arômes which is a light beige color.  A bit on the peachy side with a beautiful subtle sheen.


It felt creamy upon application but after about ten minutes, I noticed that the texture changed.  It felt very light and slightly drier than when I initially applied it.  But not dry to the point that my lips would flake.  It had a subtle powdery-floral scent when I applied but it completely vanished within a few minutes.

Guerlain Rouge Automatique holds up to its promise of long lasting color.  After drinking, there was no need to re-apply as I still had a pretty good amount of color left on my lips.


Because this product's staying power is above average, I may just purchase a bolder color in the future.

6.08.2011

Heartsy

Heartsy - Daily deals on fabulous handmade items, at least 50% off.

Let's cut to the chase - you'll love Heartsy because it's basically a groupon site specifically for etsy stores.  That's right - you can now purchase handmade and vintage pieces at a fraction of the cost.

How does it work?  Heartsy features several stores daily.  Each store will offer store credits that you can use within a given timeframe.  For example, a $6 coupon for a mineral makeup store actually gets you $17 worth of store credit that you'll need to use within 3 months.

Cool, huh?

They also have a VIP program wherein VIPs can avail of coupons earlier and they get more credits too.  Like in the example above, a VIP will get $27 worth of credits instead of $17.

I already signed up and I've been looking forward to each email that comes in with delicious deals.  If you sign up using this link, you will receive $5 worth of credit (so will I) that you can use towards your purchase.

Let's go shopping, my friends :)

Paul & Joe Beaute Angel Waterproof Pencil Eye Liner


I first encountered Paul & Joe Beaute when a friend gifted me an eyeshadow with the cutest packaging ever - it had a sleek black cat printed on the cover of the cardboard container.  You know how much of a sucker I am when it comes to cats.  When I first got it, I was dreaded that all there was to it was packaging.  It's one of those times I'm glad I was wrong because to this day, its the best eyeshadow I've tried.  It was packed with color and was the smoothest thing my eyelids have ever had on.

A couple of years passed and I figured it's time to get re-acquainted with Paul & Joe.  I decided to skip the latest collection and instead, purchased a product I've been looking for.


Angel is a very light peach color that's iridescent.  I chose this because I wanted a product that I could use on my lower waterline to make my eyes look brighter.  A certain YouTube guru likes using white eyeliner but that doesn't really work for a lot of people.  I think using Angel comes across as natural and suits me best.


This product was part of their collection for Fall 2010 but I believe it's also part of their permanent line.  Now I regret not getting Aubergine since it was another one I wanted to get.  Let's wait and see.