March 29, 2012

Le Métier de Beauté City Girl Kaleidoscope Palette

I was quite excited when I saw this brand being sold because: #1 it was something that a lot of my fellow bloggers love #2 trying new brands is always an experience I enjoy. I figured that the first Le Métier de Beauté product I should own would be their Kaleidoscope Palette.

The packaging is so pretty! I love that it includes a mirror and that each eyeshadow has a separate compartment. However, it's rather bulky to carry around because the pans are as big as those from Make Up For Ever and Sugarpill. It's obvious that the packaging has a lot to do with the hefty pricetag attached to this.

The name of the palette is City Girl and I read that it's a Hong Kong exclusive. I'm not sure if they still have this because this was purchased last year.

It occurred to me later on that it should have been named something else. I mean, does this look like a City Girl to you? City Girl should have bolder, darker colors. That aside, the color combination is beautiful and perfect for everyday wear.

Anyway, check out the individual pictures below (you can click on the photos to enlarge):

The first color looks light pink on the pan but when swatched, its more on the peachy side. It has a shimmery finish. This applies somewhat uneven with a brush and the color payoff is weak. Still, it works as a highlighter.

Next up is a blue-toned grey with a semi-mate finish. It's not as pigmented as I hoped it would be. I expected a darker color once applied. This can be used as an accent color on the outer corner of the eye.

The third eyeshadow in this palette is a shimmering lilac. The color payoff is okay and when applied to the eyelid using a brush, it was a bit more cooperative compared to the first two colors.

The last one is my favorite. It lies somewhere between gold and bronze. This eyeshadow has a shimmery finish and the pigmentation is just perfect. It's the only one that applies evenly. I absolutely, positively love this shade!

All of these are soft and buttery in texture with very little to no fallout. In order to get the colors out in the swatch above, I had to use Urban Decay Eyshadow Primer Potion

For those with more experience with Le Métier de Beauté's products, what should I try? I'd love to try their other products!

March 24, 2012

LowCal Cafe


My food cravings can get pretty extreme. Earlier this week, I wanted seafood for breakfast. A few days later, it was cupcakes at midnight. Yesterday evening I wanted cake. Then I remembered that I had Banana Walnut Cake in the refrigerator from LowCal. 

The first time I encountered LowCal was during a friend's bridal shower. Someone brought a carrot cake and wow... it was so delicious!

LowCal specializes in sugar-free desserts. They use Isomalt or Suchero which are natural sugar replacements. All their items are safe for diabetics and some items are vegan.

They don't really have a physical cafe... although I wish they did! LowCal is usually present during weekend organic markets and they have an online store. You're guaranteed that everything is freshly made.


The Banana Walnut Cake won't live to see Sunday. Preppyboy and I love banana bread. LowCal's version is moist, light and not too sweet. Totally guilt-free!  And we're devouring it like crazy.

Next time, I think I'll try their Calamansi Cheesecake and Belgian Choco Cranberry Cookies... yum!

Check out their Facebook Page to see what other mouthwatering desserts they offer.

March 23, 2012

Rouge Bunny Rouge Fine-Spun Light Luminous Skin Wand in Orionis

When I got Rouge Bunny Rouge's Luminous Skin Wand, I wasn't quite sure what to do with it. It's designed to be a concealer for the face and undereye area. With light-diffusing particles, it's meant to brighten and perfect the skin. The color I received as a gift (Orionis) was too light for me and it just looked off with the rest of my makeup.

I don't like wasting gifts and I was determined to find a way to use this. So for a few months, it lived in a corner of my kit.

I'm not big on highlighting and it's something I skip most of the time. Something came over me and I decided to try highlighting the bridge of my nose. I didn't want anything shimmery, just something subtle. I decided that a concealer that was too light for me would do the trick. And that's when the Luminous Skin Wand came into the picture.

As a highlighter, Orionis is pure love! Its so subtle and that's the effect I want. Now I never skip this step when I apply makeup. Thank you, Rouge Bunny Rouge for making me a convert to highlighting.

To dispense the product, you'll have to click the bottom like a pen. I find that I need about two clicks to get enough product to highlight the bridge of my nose and my cheeks. That's fine by me - I'd rather have that than too much product on my hands.

The other end features a synthetic brush applicator. Since this is for personal use, I apply this on my face directly... the brush feels firm, not flimsy.

Luminous Skin Wand's formula is light, unlike the usual concealer. It feels more like a moisturizer and blends easily.

Orionis is what I swatched in this post. According to Rouge Bunny Rouge's website, it's a pink beige color with a touch of peach. I'd say that's pretty accurate and it would fit those white lighter skin tones. They have another shade called Alula which is a yellow-based orange and I think that would be suitable for medium skin tones.

I do want to try Alula in the future to see how this works as a concealer but for now, Orionis is the only highlighter I use on myself.

March 16, 2012

Mary Kay Botanical Effects Skin Care

Mary Kay, a brand trusted by millions of women worldwide, just released a new skincare line called Botanical Effects. It keeps your skincare routine as simple as possible because all you ever need to use day and night would be the 3-in-1 Cleanse and the Skin Care Hydrate. The line also includes a Skin Care Mask which can be used twice a week - of course, this step is optional.

At the heart of the Botanical Effects range are two ingredients:

  • Silymarin (Milk Thistle) - a powerful antioxidant that helps defend against environmental damage, while calming and smoothing skin.
  • Luo Han Guo - an ingredient infused with antioxidants to help promote healthy skin.

According to the company, all products in this line are safe for those with sensitive skin and pregnant women. To address different skin concerns, Mary Kay also included other unique ingredients:

  • Dry Skin - Flaxseed and Sea Kelp, both known sources of vitamins, minerals and fatty acids, bring moisturization and balance to give skin a healthy radiance.
  • Normal Skin - Frangipani Flower extracts, with antioxidants against environmental stressors, provide extra hydration and Water Lily Extract, a source of minerals, calm the skin.
  • Oily Skin - Kanuka and Guava Extracts that help purify and unclog pores while at the same time sloughing away dead skin.

I got the cleanser and moisturizer for oily skin. I'll be trying these out for a month to see if it delivers. Come back for the review!

Since this is my first time to try anything from Mary Kay, I'd like to hear about your experience with this brand :)

March 9, 2012

Make-up Designory Eye Color: Pixie, Cajun Spice, Pomegranate, Voodoo,Midnight, Tea Tree, Moss, Sunset, Bronzed, Spanish Gold, Brownstone,Espresso

I once wrote about Make-up Designory's Eyeshadow in Taupe and how much I loved it. Naturally, I came back for more... 12 more! Feast your eyes on these beautiful colors. Warning: this is picture heavy but you will enjoy it :)

It's a good thing MUD sells the empty 12-hole palette and pan refills. As a professional makeup artist, its heaven sent! You can mix and match eyeshadows depending on the job you were hired for. In my case, I needed to build a palette that would complement my matte eyeshadows from Sugarpill and shimmer was the way to go.

MUD's empty palette is made of hard cardboard which may be an issue for some because it can get flimsy with frequent use. It has magnet locks and the bottom is magnetic too, which holds the eyeshadow pans in place.

There are holes at the bottom of the palette which makes prying off the pans easy peasy.

Left to Right (click to see a larger picture): Pixie, Cajun Spice, Pomegranate, Voodoo, Midnight, Tea Tree, Moss, Sunset, Bronzed, Spanish Gold, Brownstone, Espresso

Almost all of these shadows are soft and buttery. The more shimmery ones tend to be a tad powdery. Although these are well pigmented, I still like to use my Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion to make the colors stronger and last the entire day. In this climate, it's a must because almost everyone has oily lids.

I really do love MUD's eyeshadows - they are extremely easy to blend. It's perfect when working on multiple clients because it just makes application a lot easier.

Let's take a closer look at each of these colors shall we?

Pixie is an iridescent peach. At an angle, you'll see some pinkish-lavender shimmer. I use this color mostly to add dimension to the ball of the eye or to highlight.

Cajun Spice is a shimmery copper that is wonderful to use as a crease color.

Next up is Pomegranate. A shimmery deep berry pink shade that can be used on the outer-V or crease.

I love the name of this color - Voodoo. A mid-toned violet shimmer which is one of my favorites from MUD. This is the only non-neutral that I use heavily. It looks lovely on the crease.

Midnight is my least favorite. The color pay off is weak and it doesn't blend well. I wish it was more pigmented because it looks so beautiful on the pan.

Tea Tree is a dark green with gold shimmer which works well as an accent color. It goes well with Moss and Spanish Gold.

Another color that I fell in love with. Moss is a leafy gold-green that is so beautiful and can be worn as a solo eye color. My only issue with it is that it's too soft. Literally, I held the palette upside down to pry one of the other eye colors out and this one fell off the pan and onto the floor. Yes, the pan was still on the palette (remember its magnetic) but the eyeshadow itself... a powdery mess. I cry, I cry... :(

Sunset is a pretty golden yellow which can be used as a base color. A light wash on the lid is perfect for those who prefer a subtle gold. More layers are great when working on a summer or spring avant garde theme.

Bronzed is one of my favorite neutrals to use. If I'm not mistaken, I've used this on every client and photo shoot ever since I've owned this color. That's because I'm currently in a goldish-bronze phase. It's so beautiful when used on the crease!

You know how some furniture have this weathered old gold quality? That's what Spanish Gold is like. It's a darker, muted shade of gold. I use it under other colors just to add more dimension. It can also be used as a base shade provided it's a light wash and blended out carefully.

Brownstone is a reddish-brown shimmer which can be used on the outer-V to make Bronzed look deeper.

Espresso - the only matte color in this palette. It can be used with any of the colors above to add more depth and definition to the eye. I use it instead of black when I want to create a softer look.

Overall, I am very happy with the palette I put together. I never take it out of my kit because it can be used to create any type of look - it doesn't matter if it's for beautiful makeup or avant garde. This baby is so versatile. I can't wait to go back to MUD and get more shades. I just hope they aren't too soft and that the Moss incident was a fluke!

March 8, 2012

Badger Sore Muscle Rub + Soothe Herbal Pack

I get muscle aches more often than I'd like. Before I hit the medicine cabinet, this is my first step to feeling better.

The Sore Muscle Rub from Badger radiates a subtle wave of warmth when I work it into my skin. Although it's in balm form, there's no greasiness and its easily absorbed. Being the aromatherapy nut that I am, I absolutely love the ginger scent which feels so soothing.

After that applying the balm, I nuke my Soothe Herbal Pack (which is like  a small pillow) in the microwave for a minute. I'm not sure what secret thing is inside - feels to me like beads of some sort. I also detect a combination of lavender & camphor based on the scent. What I do is leave it on the sore area until the warmth fades away.

I store the herbal pack in the freezer when not in use and as a cold compress, it works wonders in helping me recover from migraine headaches.

Have you tried using alternative ways to heal? What works for you?