December 20, 2011

The Body Shop Sheer Lip Shine

I think The Body Shop's bath products are fantastic but their cosmetics... well, I have a love-hate relationship with those. Some products are great while others I could do without (the 2010 holiday eyeshadow palettes were horrible).

Sheer Lip Shine is one of the products I love and wish they would bring back. It's been discontinued for some time but you might spot a tube on the sale bin... if you do, grab it!

My lips feel so soft and hydrated whenever I wear this. The colors are sheer and it has a moderate amount of shine. When I first saw these from the tube, I wasn't impressed but when I swiped them on my arm, I knew it was good stuff.

I think this is a lipstick-balm-gloss hybrid, really. With this texture, it's expected that it doesn't stay long. I can wear this for 5 hours (without eating or drinking) and still feel it on my lips although the color fades by then. Hours after removing the product, the softening effect remains. This is what you want to wear on cold months.

Guava, Strawberry, Ruby, Blush and Peach

As a bonus, this has a sugary (like cotton candy) flavor which is faint and pleasant. Quite nice, actually.

Since this is no longer around, you may want to check out their Delipcious Lipstick line. I haven't tried it myself but there are too many similarities. Both are sheer, sugary-flavored and the colors are similar. Even the tubes are the same - the only difference being that Delipcious has polka-dots on the tube. 

What's that I smell? Oh, rebranding & repackaging!

December 16, 2011

3.1 Phillip Lim Beaded-Sleeve Silk Blend Dress

Was going through the Lane Crawford website doing some research on their latest merch. My heart stopped for a second when I saw this beautiful dress by 3.1 Phillip Lim. Click here to view more pictures!

This voodoogirl absolutely loves the sleeves and adores the belt. Swoon!

December 13, 2011

Laura Mercier Limited Edition Travel Brush Set

For personal use, I prefer travel brushes because the shorter handles mean better control in application. This year's Laura Mercier Limited Edition Travel Brush Set is almost identical to the one last year. The only difference being the design of the bag's exterior.

If you're thinking about purchasing this, read on as I go through what last year's set looks like. Note that I just took these photos - after a year of use.

The bag is roomier than it looks.  All the brushes will fit. You may need to use a brush guard to protect the Finishing brush but everything else will be fine as is. The bag's interior has two side compartments which can store more products than you'd initially think. The mesh bag is removable and kept in place with magnets at the bottom of the bag.

During my last overseas trip, I stored all my cosmetics in this bag - three individual eyeshadows, a lip & blush cream color pot, a travel-sized tube of tinted moisturizer, powder compact and a small mirror. Everything fit well, there was a little bluge but not enough to damage the bag.

This set contains four double-sided brushes and a full sized brush, some are made of synthetic bristles and the others natural. The quality of the mini-brushes are comparable to their full-sized counterparts which is something you don't often find in travel brush sets.

I was blown away by the fact that they included a full-sized Finishing Brush in this set. It's just as soft and firm as MAC's Stippling Brush but with less fall-out. The bristles are a bit longer than MAC but it doesn't make the much of a difference with makeup application. I use this for liquid foundation and cream concealer. I also find that this works when I need to apply a light layer of powder to set my makeup.

Next up, is the mini Secret Camouflage/Camouflage Powder brush. Before owning this set, I already had the full-sized version of both. Initially, I thought that the double-ended brush would be inferior compared to the full-sized one but I was wrong. The quality is excellent - the Secret Camouflage Brush end grabs on to cream products extremely well. The Camouflage Powder end is what I use to set my concealer with just a tiny pat of powder.

The Brow Definer/Brow Grooming brush is my favorite in this set. The Brow Definer's width is approximately 0.65 cm. I've tried brushes that were smaller and bigger - the brush in this set is just the right size as it covers more area but at the same time still allows me to fill in the sparse area of my brows with precise detail. The Brow Grooming tip is very sturdy and I don't need to worry about it snapping off after numerous times of using and washing.

My least favorite duo is the Ponytail/All Over Eye Colour double-brush.  That's not to say that these brushes are no good - not the very least! The bristles are so soft that applying product feels quite nice. It's just a matter of preference and figuring out how to get the most out of this duo. The All Over Eye Colour is a little over 1.5 cm which is quite wide for any type of eyeshadow brush. I personally prefer smaller eyeshadow brushes so that it's easier to build color. Since this is huge, I just use this for the base color or for times when I just use one shade of eyeshadow. 

The Ponytail Brush is a little too soft for a blending brush which means I spend more time blending compared to when I use a bullet brush. However, this is a great alternative for applying loose powder to set undereye concealer. I actually love using this for that specific purpose.

Lastly, let's take a look at the Smudge/Flat Eye Liner brush. The Smudge tip is what I use when I want to apply a dark eyeshadow shade like Black. Since it's tiny, about 0.5 cm, I can slowly build the color and avoid going overboard. This tip is a bit on the scratchy side so I don't use this to smudge eyeshadow but for heavier products like gel eyeliner, it works great.

The Flat Eye Liner end is the same size as the Brow Definer and this is my brush of choice when it comes to applying my gel eyeliner. MAC's Flat Eyeliner brush is just too wide for me to comfortably maneuver the brush around the shape of my eye. Laura Mercier got it right by making it shorter which means less room for error.

These brushes are so easy to use and convenient that for most of this year, I kept my full-sized brushes and switched to using this set almost on a daily basis. As you can see, after a year of constant use, they are still in pretty good shape which speaks of its excellent quality. I absolutely love this set! As much as I would love to say that this is great for the novice makeup user, I think that those with more experience will appreciate this more.

December 8, 2011

Shu Uemura UV Under Base Mousse

limited edition Mika Ninagawa packaging

Not sure which Shu Uemura product you should try first? One of the makeup products you've got to try is the UV Under Base Mousse. It's so unique because it comes in mousse form and is the most lightweight primer and sun protection I've tried. The formula is more on the watery side which makes it easy for your skin to absorb.

Right after application, there's a bit of a white cast but after a minute or two, it blended with my skin's color. I don't think it'll have that same effect on everyone and given there isn't a lot of choices (just beige and pink), I suggest testing this out first.

As much as I love makeup, it just gets too tedious especially if all I have to do is go to the supermarket or run some other kind of errand. On those days, I just put on sunscreen. Now, when it comes to sun protection, I don't like products that are thick, sticky and have a strong sunscreen smell (you know what I'm talking about). This is the main reason I love this product - its so light and feels like nothing. I highly recommend this for those who don't like wearing makeup all that often.

When it comes to this product's performance as a primer, it's not fantastic but it's not a complete failure either. It's just okay. Sure, it does keep my makeup on longer but I have tried other products that work a lot better than this.

Overall, I still think this is a good product to have. I do use it on a daily basis since I always look for a lightweight base and I can wear it with without makeup since it provides sheer coverage and makes my skin glow. I need to make myself clear - this is not a foundation. If you want more coverage, Shu Uemura does carry a foundation in mousse form.

On another note - I absolutely love the sponge of Shu Uemura (pictured above). It's feels more solid than the regular wedge sponge. It doesn't "drink up" as much product which means that most of it actually gets on your face. There's also something about how firm it feels that makes makeup application so much better. Must get more of those - last time I checked it was out of stock.

December 5, 2011

Wishlist: Holiday 2011

I'm going to be cheeky and post the stuff I want for the Holidays in case someone wants to gift me with these items haha!

I love bright colors so it's natural that I'm drawn towards Urban Decay's 15th Year Anniversary Eyeshadow Collection.

Gasp! The Naked Palette is on my list! Yes, I don't own this... *hangs head in shame*
And while we're on the topic of the Naked Palette. I also want the recently released sequel - Naked 2!

The Laura Mercier Luxe Color Portfolio is another one on the list because it has the Tightline Cake Eye Liners which I am dying to try out. I also heard that their eyeshadows are good so this is a great way to try out other Laura Mercier products.

NARS blushes are a must-have in any bridal makeup artist kit. So yes, one of these Danmari All About Cheeks Palette please!
Before I even took the MUA course at Make Up For Ever, I was already a fan of their products. I would really love to have this limited edition Wild & Chic Aqua Cream Collection.

And the Highline Palette is just too pretty to pass up! I think it'll make for an awesome everyday palette.

A little known fact: I love fragrance a bit more than cosmetics. I can leave my house without makeup, but not without perfume. Prada Candy is so delicious - it's a warm and sweet scent that I just love. If I don't get this from anyone, I promised myself I'd pick up a bottle before the year ends.
And last but not the least, Lime Crime Carousel Lipgloss Collection. I want them all! My heart palpitates just looking at these!

I'd actually buy some of these myself except that I already went nuts shopping at Sugarpill... my goal was to complete the collection by end of year. Thank you, Black Friday sale!

What's on your holiday wishlist?

December 3, 2011

Lush Shampoo Bar

A quick post! I've never tried a shampoo bar before - the concept just seemed alien to me. But a few months back, I hoarded stuff from Lush and picked up this shampoo bar. It was only this morning that I tried it.

Where have you been all my life? 

I love how this lathers rather quickly and it doesn't take up as much space in the bath compared to a bottle of shampoo. And less bottles used is good. That brown thing you see in the middle is a cinnamon stick. This bar smells like Christmas - perfect for this season!

I don't know the name because I ripped off the packaging and threw it... had no intention of blogging about this, really. As you can see, I didn't even get the chance to take a "proper" photo. But it's the end of the day and my hair feels normal (a bit on the tame, soft side), not dry. It's something I just had to share with all of you because I think I'm falling in love with this product!