September 27, 2011

NYX 810 Natural Slim Lip Pencil

A lipliner is an important part of anyone's makeup kit although it seems that sometimes, we overlook these multi-tasking little things.

The most common use is to prevent lipstick from bleeding by providing a waxy, solid border.  I rarely use it for that purpose. Instead, I use it to shape my lips because my upper lip tends to disappear when I smile - so I use a lipliner to make it look thicker. I also love using lipliners as a base whenever I feel like making my lipgloss stand out. It's less messy and it makes the lipgloss stay a wee bit longer.

If there's one shade of lipliner you need own, a neutral one is your best bet because it can be used with any lipstick.

Today's swatch and tell features NYX's Slim Lip Pencil in 810 Natural.  My initial impression was that it looked too dark for a natural shade.  But it's really is quite natural and light.  Check out the swatches below:

NYX's Slim Lip Pencil are firm and dry, so if you prefer the softer ones, then this isn't for you.  Personally, I like this because it forces me to be patient in filling out my lips... that means less room for error.

To make application smooth and easy, I wear lip balm before going in with this lipliner.

I must confess I've only tried about four brands of lipliners. All of them are budget brands, with varying textures, softness, etc. They seem to work fine. For those who've used high end lipliners, would you say that there's a big difference from budget ones? I'd love to hear your thoughts :)

BY THE WAY - I just realized that my blog turned 1 yesterday! I will definitely need to come up with something nice as a way to thank those who have been following The Stepford Witch. I'll do that around the second week of October - please bear with me since this week and next will be really busy.


September 26, 2011

Cezanne Brown Ultra Fine Eyeliner N

I was looking for a pen-type liquid eyeliner since I never had one and wanted to see the difference between that and the ones that come in well-type packaging. So I entered Bonjour not really knowing what brand I wanted. The store was crammed with people and since I hate crowds, I picked up two eyeliners in a hurry.

One of the eyeliners I bought was the Ultra Fine Eyeliner N from Cezanne, a Japanese brand I've never heard of. What I wanted to know was if it was easier to maneuver liquid eyeliner using a brush-tip applicator or a felt-tip applicator. This one has the former and I had my apprehensions. My first impression was that because the brush was so soft, it would be difficult to control.  I also thought that after a few weeks of use, the hair on the brush would get hard or go all over the place.

Wrong! After four months of use, the brush is still as good as new. The eyeliner formula is so light and watery that it does not dry up the brush. And I am super thrilled that it's easy to use. For me, it's easier to use this than a felt-tip applicator.

The product itself is lightly pigmented but is easily buildable. It dries up in less than 10 seconds and lasts the entire day even with oily lids. Another great thing is that it does not irritate my eyelids, no stinging feeling and is safe to wear with contact lenses. But some of it could rub off if you wipe your eyes after crying.

top: one stroke; bottom: three strokes

Of all my eyeliners, this is the easiest to create a winged eye look so I am love, love, loving it!  Next time I drop by Bonjour, I'm going to keep an eye out for this. I need a backup and will definitely get one in black too.

September 23, 2011

Revlon Blackberry Super Lustrous Lipstick

Do you remember your first time?  I'm talking about when you bought your first tube of lipstick.  I bought mine the summer before my sophomore year in high school, sometime in the early 90s.

I was at the Glendale Galleria with my classmate and we were paying for stuff.  For no good reason, I asked the cashier (a few years older, grunge girl) to recommend a good lipstick.  She handed me a tube of Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick in Blackberry.  I was shocked and delighted at how dark it looked.  Since then, I've never been without a tube of this shade.

At that time, my parents didn't allow me to wear makeup so I bought this lipstick in secret.  Studying in an all-girls Catholic school, we weren't allowed to wear any makeup either.  Anyone caught would get a demerit.  The only time I got to wear this was in my room but I was happy.  Of course I was happier in college since I then had the freedom and permission to wear Blackberry.  At first my mother hated the color but she got used to it.

Super Lustrous Lipstick is the only drugstore line I truly love because the shades are pigmented and keep my lips feeling soft and smooth.  It's even better than MAC Creamsheen Lipstick because it lasts longer and applies evenly.

Blackberry is obviously reformulated.  The original one had a darker, purplish tone to it.  This new one is a neutral deep red sahde.  I wish I kept my old tube so that I could have it replicated at Three Custom Colors Specilists.  Don't get me wrong, I love the new shade (otherwise I would have stopped buying it) but I wish they didn't discontinue the original.  If you want to see what the original looked like, check out this swatch.

I loved the old shade (in the original tube) so much that I made a painting and gifted it to one of my best friends:

Another memory - that was the same summer I bought a copy of Pearl Jam's album, Ten.  And this was my summer song:

Do you remember your first? :)

September 21, 2011

Make Up For Ever 5 Camouflage Cream Palette No 5

Make Up For Ever's 5 Camouflage Cream Palette No 5 is a color corrector palette that addresses a variety of concerns.  If you want one that's specific to your skin color, check out their website because they have that available.

This is medium-weight, creamy and easy to blend.  Coverage is meduim to heavy and there are times it looks fake.  A brush deposits too much product so the best way for me is to lightly stipple using a finger.

Pay close attention to how your skin responds to the product - prepping your skin the right way is key.  In the areas where I have dry skin, this tends to look cakey and in the oily parts, this travels a bit.  Whenever I use the Orange plus  Skin-Toned (Light) color to cover my undereye area, it works in reducing the darkness but it settles on my lines.  I feel let down and obviously, no longer use it for that purpose.  It does a good job covering post-acne scars, though.

No 13, No 16, No 17, No 18, No 20

The first two Skin-Toned colors (Nos 13 & 16) can be mixed to create a concealer that will suit your skin.  The other three are used underneath concealer to balance color and even out one's skintone.  The green one (No 17) is used to reduce redness - great for people with rosacea.  You can also take a fine brush and paint over broken capillaries.  Lavender (No 18) is a highlighter and can be used anywhere your skin needs brightening.  Orange (it really is orange in this palette and not salmon) is used to conceal extremely dark undereye circles.  I also used this to make a bruise on my leg less obvious.

For us everyday folk, this is a "nice-to-have" palette versus a "must-have."  Makeup Artists would benefit more because of diverse clientele they have.  Each has 2g of product in it so you will get some milage out of this. 

September 20, 2011

L'oreal Telescopic Clean Definition Mascara

Of all beauty products, I think mascara is my worst enemy.  Most of the ones I've tried make me look like a panda - no thanks to my watery eyes.  I've been using L'oreal Telescopic Clean Definition Mascara close to a month now and every time I wear this... absolutely... no... panda... eyes!  The staying power is just amazing.

I like how this mascara coats each individual lash and lengthens it.  It has a wet formula which makes it easy to distribute and results to less clumping.  The brush is slim and long which makes it easy for me to apply the product in the inner corner and on my lower lashes.  I normally don't put anything on my lower lashes because it looks too fake or it'll smudge but with Telescopic Clean Definition, I am confident that won't happen.  If you have short lashes, this is definitely worth checking out.

As a person whose eyes are sensitive and as a contact lens wearer, I look for stuff that won't irritate my eyes or eventually travel into it. The first few hours of wear, this seems fine but if you have it on for an extended period of time (beyond 10 hours) it tends to flake and some might fall into your eye. Then it'll get all red and itchy :(

I don't really care about volume but what I need is something that holds curl.  This is where Telescopic Clean Definition falls short.  After curling my lashes and applying on the mascara, tendency is my lashes look straight.

Last thing to note:  I read that all it takes is soap (or foaming cleanser) and water to remove this.  True.  If you do it this way, it's very easy to remove.  But I don't like the rubbing and tugging involved using this method, even if you try to do it lightly.  I prefer using a makeup remover or cleansing cream - and this mascara can be pretty stubborn if you try removing it using these products.

People have different needs.  For some, this mascara might just be the one.  In my case, I'm going to experiment by using a different product underneath that will hold curl better.  Or I'm going to use it on just my lower lashes - I really love it for this purpose!  Still on the fence with this one, that's for sure.

September 18, 2011

Natural Household Cleaning Products - I Use Messy Bessy :)

If you're heading to your local farmer's (or organic) market this weekend, it's a good idea to check out stalls that sell household products.  Chances are, you'll find something that's biodegradable and made of natural ingredients.  Plus, you're supporting the local economy.  I use Messy Bessy products because that's what's available in my area.

What made me switch to these products was the fact that my cats knew how to pry open cabinets and had access to household products stored there.  Years ago, Orange ingested something and I had to rush him to the vet.  It was heartbreaking seeing him so weak and having medicine given to him intravenously.  I don't want that to happen ever again.  If you have pets or kids, you'll feel safe using these instead.

All products perform just as well as their supermarket counterparts.  They may cost a bit more but you certainly can't put a price tag on the health and safety of your loved ones.  All the ingredients are things I am familiar with and I won't get tongue-tied... nor will I have to Google what it really is!

The first product I tried was their Anti-Roach Spray which was really effective - it works on anything creepy crawly, including ants.  It doesn't have a nasty smell you get from regular bug sprays.  And I don't have to vacate the area after spraying this.

Leave a comment if you've made the big switch as well or would want to do it! :)

September 17, 2011

Rouge Bunny Rouge Milk Aquarelle Liquid Foundation

Milk Aquarelle Liquid Foundation is another reason to love the brand Rouge Bunny Rouge!

It has a satin finish that looks ultra-smooth on the skin with a subtle glow.  Upon application, it looks semi-matte but within minutes, it gets absorbed and looks softer.  The first time I applied it, it hit me - this is really great for pin-up looks because it just looks so clean.

I tried applying this using different tools - a foundation brush, my beauty blender and even my fingers.  No matter what I used, I still ended up with an airbrush-like effect.  I suppose it's because the texture is so light and easy to blend.  Its one of the foundations that I've tried which feels nearly weightless.

left to right: Cashew Milk Parfait, Hazelnut Milk Parfait, Coconut Milk Parfait, Chestnut Milk Parfait, Almond Milk Parfait

Coverage is medium and by far the best.   With Milk Aquarelle, I could get away with not wearing any concealer - I use concealer almost all the time and I'm stoked that I can totally skip this step.  If I'm having a really bad day, the most I would do is wear a highlighter on my dark under eye circles, nothing more.  It covers blemishes extremely well but the rest of the face still looks natural.  You know what I mean? 

I like using this in the evening or when its cold because the formula is hydrating.  It won't get cakey at all.  During the day, I do find myself having to blot after three to four hours of wear but with everything else this foundation does, this is forgivable.

swatches blended out

I read a lot of reviews that agree this is a great product however the price tag is a bit steep.  Yes, it is quite pricey but it's also not your ordinary foundation.  Besides, if there's something I'm not stingy with, its foundation.  I just love how it transforms my skin into a clean, flawless canvas... so yes, as soon as I'm done with the other foundations I have (some of which are still unused!) I will take the plunge.

Milk Aquarelle comes five shades:  Almond Milk Parfait (pale yellow-toned beige), Hazelnut Milk Parfait (medium tawny beige), Coconut Milk Parfait (milky-pale pink beige), Chestnut Milk Parfait (warm, pale ochre beige) and Cashew Milk Parfait (medium, warm olive beige).

A press sample was provided for editorial consideration.

September 15, 2011

Stoic Sushi's Beauty Discovery

Recently, Stoic Sushi was sent to Johannesburg for a month.  It was winter there and she was searching for the perfect moisturizer to protect her skin from dryness.  I was surprised and excited about her discovery!  Read all about it here.

Do you have any unlikely beauty trick you'd like to share?  Leave a comment below :)

September 14, 2011

Etude House Oh~ m'Eye Lash Topcoat

One day, I just got annoyed at how my mascara (I was using Maybelline Great Last then) made my lashes too thick and long - it caused my lashes to cast a shadow which made my dark undereye circles darker.  I was determined to find a clear mascara hoping it would solve the problem.

The thing is, I've avoided clear mascara for years - the last time I had a tube was over 10 years ago.  I stopped using it because the formula was too light that it wouldn't last and it felt sticky, gross.  With formulas improving, I was hopeful.  

I chanced upon Oh~ m'Eye Lash Topcoat from Etude House and crossed my fingers because I did not want to be disappointed.

This mascara is really meant as a topcoat - you apply it after your regular mascara and it is supposed to make it last longer.  It's a sealant, in other words.  I can't speak to that but from the way it performs as a clear mascara, I'm pretty certain it works.

I love how the bristles grab on to my lashes and coats it without clumping.  It dries quickly and is great when it comes to holding curl.  I didn't expect the latter and it blew me away when it did!  This product is everything I want and need from a clear mascara.  I was pleased that the shadow was gone.  This is now my mascara for days when I don't feel like wearing a lot of makeup and I think it's going to be a permanent addition to my kit.

I'm thinking of getting a second tube to experiment - I want to see if this works as an eyebrow sealant as well because sometimes my brows go wild.  Wax isn't enough to tame it!  Well, let's see how that goes, I'll update you all.

Etude House is a Koren skincare and beauty brand that's fast gaining popularity worldwide.  I haven't tried enough products to judge if they are a quality brand - so far, I only have a couple of makeup items and have tried some stuff from their skincare line but I feel that it's not enough.  I'll work on that :)

If you've tried Etude House, what products do you recommend to try?

P.S. I made a Facebook Page.  Please like... Thanks ♥

September 13, 2011

NARS Orgasm Blush

Left and right I keep hearing (and reading) that NARS Orgasm is a must-have item.  I wanted to know if this stuff was legendary because of the publicity it has received or if its truly a great product.

First off, bravo to the NARS team for coming up with a product that has such a notorious name - that alone probably drove sales through the roof.

Orgasm is described as a peachy-pink color with gold shimmer.  I think it should be the other way around - a shimmery gold blush with a hint of pink.  I think what really sets this product apart from the rest is that the color is unique.  That can be a good thing or a bad thing, depending on your preference.   For me, the color balance is off, there's just too much shimmer.  I wanted the pink to come out for the swatch below, so a heavy application was necessary:

Although it does feel light and is smooth to apply, it did not stay on as long as I hoped.  I noticed it stays for an average of three to four hours tops.  Bobbi Brown and MAC have better staying power.

It's pretty, yes, but I think it can be quite limiting.  I don't really like how it looks during the day and prefer this for an evening look.  One must be careful with whatever else makeup is worn unless the purpose is to come up with an "over the top" look.  And seriously, a lot of people end up looking over the top without realizing, right?  It's a common mistake.  To make NARS Orgasm work, I suggest using a cream blush and applying a light wash of this on top to highlight and add dimension to your base color.

Do you need this?  If you're on a budget, I say skip this for a color that's more wearable.  But if you love things that sparkle and shimmer, then you'll enjoy having this.  Personally, I wouldn't repurchase because it's just too much work for a blush.

September 12, 2011

A Mango-Looking Eye & The Tudors

I had a bored moment this weekend so I decided to practice on my eyeshadow application.  I always try to use the brightest colors I have since they are tricky and great for practice.  Here's what I came up with.  The first thought that crossed my mind  - my eye looks like a mango:

Products used:
MAC Painterly Paint Pot
Sugarpill Buttercupcake
Sugarpill Flamepoint
Sugarpill Love+
Palladio Eye Liner Black
Almay Liquid Eyeliner Black
L'oreal Telescopic Clean Mascara

Another thing I did was re-watch The Tudors.  It's one of my all-time favorite shows.  The costumes alone are beautiful.  I would have loved to live during that time... well maybe not.  My head might get chopped off because of my shenanigans.

How'd your weekend go? :)

September 9, 2011

Mario Badescu Buffering Lotion

Acne - the bane of my existence.  When I was in the 7th grade, it went away after treating it with Ten-O-Six and OXY for a few weeks.  Worked every time.  It didn't bother me then as much as it does today because now it's the cystic kind which really, REALLY hurts.  Plus they leave big, ugly scars.  It baffles me how this could happen at 30+.  Then my mom told me something similar happened to her when she was my age.

I knew I couldn't experiment on what to put on my face and back because it might get worse and I couldn't risk that.  So I consulted with a dermatologist.  She prescribed some antibiotics combined with other stuff.

One product I wanted to try was Mario Baduescu's Buffering Lotion since I heard that it does wonders for cystic acne.  I let her check the ingredients and she told me it was okay to use as long as I followed the instructions (use every other day) because it can be extremely drying.

So far, so good.  This product works wonders and helped improve my adult acne dramatically.  I was worried it might irritate my skin but since it's just a spot treatment, nothing happened.  I did not experience skin flaking either.

Before you go buy this, make sure your dermatologist says its okay.  For those with milder acne, you may want to check out their Drying Lotion.

September 7, 2011

The Body Shop Jade Baked Eye Colour

This Baked Color Eyeshadow was released last year as part of a collection (I can't recall which one) from The Body Shop but it is still available in stores and online.  I got mine when I saw it on sale this summer.

Jade is an iridescent duo of black and some bluish-green color.  It's mesmerizing and I hoped it would look just as beautiful on the eye.

it fell off the pan and I got a good picture out of it.

I was disappointed because the color payoff was weak.  If you swatch it using your fingers, you will get some color but when it's time to pick up and apply the color with a brush... well, it's a different story.  A great primer saves the day.  See below for comparison with and without primer:

above, with UDPP; below, without primer

The silver shimmer is overwhelming making the bluish-green color look more bluish-grey.  I had to pack the color in several times just to make it appear.  I don't want to waste anything I purchase so I won't chuck this out.  I'm going to use this as a base or transition color instead - it's just too much work for a main color.
I do want to try the other baked colors they have, I'm just afraid that the pigmentation will be as weak as this.  I hope I'm wrong but I certainly won't pay full-price for this.  I'll wait til I find it on sale again.

September 6, 2011

Rouge Bunny Rouge Sketches on Water Tinted Moisturiser


Rouge Bunny Rouge is a high-end European brand that's fairly new (it was launched 5 years ago) and has caught the attention of the beauty blogging world.  I, for one, was dying to try this out because of the great reviews I read.  Plus, I got a kick out of going through their website which is like a fairy tale - read the product descriptions and you'll know what I mean.

A couple of weeks ago, nothing could contain my excitement as I was on my way to pick up my parcel from Rouge Bunny Rouge.

One of the items I received was their Sketches on Water Tinted Moisturiser and this was the one I wanted to try out first.  Why?  Because Tinted Moisturizers are my favorite among face products.

Sketches on Water's coverage is sheer to light and gives the face a luminescent glow. Although it's sheer, it provides some coverage and evens out the skin.  It tends to dry faster than most face products but to my surprise, it was still easy to spread the product and blend it out. 

What made me fall in love with this Tinted Moisturizer is how hydrating it is.  Usually, products (yes, even Tinted Moisturizers) tend to cake on the side of my nose or would flake on the corners of my mouth but with Sketches on Water, that never happened.  I think this is a wonderful product for people with dry skin or when the weather is cold and dry.

left to right: Adansonia, Sequoia, Quercus

This is available in three shades:  Adansonia (transparent wash of pale milky beige), Sequoia (transparent wash of pinkish beige) and Quercus (transparent wash of warm tawny mid-beige).  It's sheer enough that even if you're a shade off, this can still be worn and it won't be obvious.  Adansonia is the shade I use most days but I also like using Quercus when I want to add more warmth to my face.

swatches blended

I do find that I need to blot my face after 3 or 4 hours.  Its not that big a deal but its good to note nonetheless.

Is this something I would actually buy?  Yes, because I have never tried a face base that provides moisture as well as this does.  By far, this is the best tinted moisturizer I've used.

A press sample was provided for editorial consideration.

September 3, 2011

Sebago X VANE Docksides

Growing up in the 80s, I saw a lot of men wearing boat shoes.  At that time, we called them topsiders.  Is it still called that?  All I remember was that it was a big thing.

For some strange reason, I always had this impression that they were uncomfortable.  That is until Preppyboy introduced me to a pair a few weeks ago.

The man is rubbing off on me as I am absolutely loving my Docksides from Sebago X VANE.  This particular pair was released in 2009.

I like how the look this has a clean and classic look.  It's an all-around shoe that I can wear with practically anything (pants, shorts, skirts).

And I was wrong.  These are very comfortable to wear if you're going to work, run errands, etc.  The only time I can see this failing is if I'm going on an all-day shopping expedition.  Then again, any shoe except rubber shoes will fail.

For a small fee, Sebago lets you customize your shoes by changing the leather lace.  Mine was originally some greyish beige color.  I replaced it with gold ones.  What do you think?

Preppyboy laced 'em up.  The twirly ends are too cute!

Last year, Preppyboy got a new pair for himself.  I guess I rubbed off on him too.  Haha!

Have a great weekend, everyone!

September 2, 2011

Dior Addict Lipstick No 445 Créateur

I was going through a light-colored lipstick phase when, on an impulse, I got this tube of Dior Addict Lipstick.  It didn't help that they were giving away kiss-mark stickers with every purchase.  Ah, what a sucker.

To be honest, I ignored this for some time.  I only realized recently that I reached out for this practically everyday in the last month.  To the point that it moved out of my "occasional use" traincase and into my "everyday use" kit.  Turns out, this was my favorite product for August.

Créateur is a soft rosy hued lipstick that looks dark on the tube but it's actually sheer when applied.  It has a soft shine that makes my lips look plump.

I love this color because it matches any look.  It goes well with a no-makeup look but at the same time looks good with smokey eyes.  Very versatile.  Now you know why this is my current go-to color ;)

The texture is light and creamy - my lips feel so moisturized whenever I'd use this.  Wear time is average, about 3 hours.  That's not bad for a shiny lipstick.

It's so worth it that I think I may just pick up a few more shades... perhaps a pinkish one and a darker colored one too.  Sigh. :)