May 30, 2012

NARS Thakoon Nail Polish in Kutki

The Thakoon Nail Polish collection from NARS has an interesting selection of colors. I wasn't really planning on getting another nail polish since I've amassed quite a few over the last couple of months. But when Preppyboy saw this and told me it was cute, I decided to check it out again.

Kutki is an opaque pastel blue - the formula is streaky and I had to apply two coats to reach full opacity. It dries quickly, pretty much like Chanel but it felt thicker and stronger.

I'm happy to have this as part of my modest but growing polish collection because this is the first pastel color I have - unless you count white?

It's easy to imagine using this in various nail art projects. Cupcakes, clouds, flowers... anything cute! I personally have not made any attempt to create nail art. My hands get wobbly easily. So maybe I'll add some cute nail stickers on this instead.

May 29, 2012

Chanel Soleil Tan De Chanel Luminous Bronzing Powder No 917 Sable Rose

Prior to acquiring Sable Rose, I only owned two matte bronzers which sat in my kit out of obligation. Truth is, I've been avoiding shimmery bronzers because I didn't find one that looked right and I have this fear of looking like a disco ball.

My purpose for visiting the Chanel counter was to pick up a bottle of Island but I went home with three more products from the Summertime de Chanel collection.

Curiosity got the best of me and I ended up swatching Sable Beige and Sable Rose. The former seemed too light for a bronzer so I chose Sable Rose. At the counter, I swatched it on my arm and I thought to myself "oh, this is would look cute as a blush." A few days later, I opened this package and tried it on my face.

My very first time to use an illuminating bronzer and wow... I was blown away!

individual swatches

The result is a lit from within glow and not something bombarded with shimmer. Seeing this effect on my cheeks gave me confidence to apply Sable Rose on my chin, nose and sides of my forehead. Now I know why so many women love bronzer. The rosy bronze color on my face made it look like I got a tan.

It's also worth mentioning that the brush applicator is pretty good - one of the few that can actually be used (I'm guessing even after I hit pan).

colors blended together

The only thing I do not like is when I use a brush to pick up this product, its a powdery mess. But it's something I can live with because at the end of the day this bronzer delivers.

I am ridiculously happy because it's impossible for me to get a real tan and faking it is too tricky. This is just what I need!

May 28, 2012

Chanel Le Vernis Nail Colour No 597 Island

The first product that caught my eye from the Summertime de Chanel 2012 collection was the Le Vernis Nail Color is Island. I also purchased Delight and I'll post that later this week. 

Island is pretty sheer and I needed 3 coats to get it to look opaque. Although it looks more beautiful semi-sheer, which can be achieved with 2 coats.

Island is a metallic pinkish-beige color which is great if you want a toned-down shade to wear everyday. I think I'll wear this on formal occasions because of its classic and elegant look.

The thing I love about Chanel nail colors is that they dry quickly. The only issue I have is that on my toenails, they last up to a week without chipping but on my fingernails, its the opposite (even with a base and top coat). I think that's more of user error though. Haha!

That being said, any suggestions on how I can make my polish last longer?

May 25, 2012

Beauty Blog Coalition Weekly Roundup - Week of May 21, 2012

Has blush ever mystified you? Retrodiva takes a look at some tips and techniques to make sure your blush is perfect for you.

Is the skin around your nails in bad shape? Would you do anything to fix it? Jessika from polish insomniac shows you her latest Holy Grail item - but would you spend that much $$$?

BlushingNoir has gone on a Revlon Swatch-A-Thon! Click to see 70 products from Revlon used in eye looks, as well as swatched and reviewed!

The Lacquered Lady shares with us her best tips for staying beautiful and confident this summer. What will be her number one tip?

Glitter.Gloss.Garbage shows off swatches of theBalm palette.

Beauty Info Zone can't get enough of " target="_blank">Eyeko Skinny Brush mascara. Both Marcia and Lisa are in love!

Phyrra shows you her newest lust, the Sugarpill Heart Breaker quad. She compares it to some of her other favorite shadows, too!

Lola from lola's secret beauty blog has rediscovered just how much she loves the Hakuhodo Kokutan M & MLL eye shadow brushes - they are gorgeous, effective, and joyous to use!

Laura from My Newest Addiction Beauty Blog is hosting a " target="_blank">giveaway for Minerals Mate, a handy tray for mixing and applying any form of makeup!

OPI, ORLYs and Color Clubs, Oh my! Confessions of a Sarcastic Mom is co-sponsoring a super awesome fantastic giveaway!

The Stepford Witch swatches and reviews a lovely cream cheek product from The Face Shop.

The Crumpet started a 66 day Summer Nail Challenge going all the way through to September. Take a peek or join in!

Perilously Pale shares with us the complete set of four new limited edition Rouge d'Armani lip glosses from the Armani Beauty Summer 2012 collection.

Spontaneous Chick posted five MoroccainOil reviews.

Curls N Pearls is all kinds of inspired by Miley's gorgeous look at the Billboard Music Awards, reminiscent of Brigitte Bardot.

The Pink Sith broke up with her old eye primer in order to start a romance with LORAC Behind The Scenes Eye Primer. Her new love.

Hello Dollface wants to know: do you want perfect hair? Get it with these products from Matrix

Love free stuff? How about a free L'Occitaine facial…and a giveaway for your own Angelica Instant Hydration Mask? 
BeautyXpose has you covered.

Looking for an amazing summer neon polish? Nails and Noms shows us this great set of minis from the Orly Feel The Vibe Collection!

Mally Beauty claims that her Face Defender is so amazing, you'll never need to powder your face again. Check out Erin from Scandalous Beauty's verdict.

Miss L found out if Mavala Eye-Lite Double Lash Night Treatment makes your lashes thicker and longer in 30 days.

Prime Beauty finds a less expensive alternative to her beloved WEN Cleansing Conditoner with the Marc Anthony Oil of Morocco Argan Oil Collection in her latest Splurge v.s. Steal!

Mina Slater from Fabulous Awesomeness swatches Pretty In Pink color-changing nail polish by Del Sol!

BeautyJudy reviews the Bliss Triple Oxygen Instant Energizing Mask, and finds the best way to describe the experience is like this: gentle, soft Pop Rocks for your face.

May 24, 2012

The Face Shop Lovely ME:EX Petit I Cheek Stick in Coral PongPong

Two things I have grown very fond of recently: cheek products and korean & japanese cosmetic brands. And so this post is about a cheek cream from a korean brand - The Face Shop.

Before I start my review, I just need to say how absolutely adorable the packaging is. It reminds me of a Matryoshka doll. If I were a true-blue collector, I'd purchase all three shades just for the sake of its packaging. But I'm not that hardcore.

Cream cheek products work wonderfully if you want to achieve a natural-looking flush. Whenever I work on my clients, I apply cream blush (Graftobian) after foundation and before any type of powder. The effect is soft and beautiful.

For everyday personal use, I picked up this one from The Face Shop in Coral PongPong. The other shades just didn't seem like it was for me but Coral PongPong looked just right. It has a nice shimmer which adds dimension and a nice glow.

When applying this product specifically (I have not tried this with other brands), scrape off a small amount using a spatula and put it on the back of your hand. Use your fingers to warm it up - this makes it easier to blend. The following steps will make the color last all day:

1. On bare skin or after applying liquid/cream foundation, pat a small amount of Petit I Cheek Stick on to your cheeks. Blend with your finger. If you want more color, pat some more product and blend again.

2. Apply your setting powder.

3. Do Step 1 again. Yes, you heard me! Apply some of this cream over powder and blend.

The product is unscented which I like... I already use other products that are scented and having another one is just an assault to my senses.

The only downside is the amount of product. See the picture above? That's the entire stick twisted up.. way less than half of a NARS Multiple. But that's not a deal breaker for me because overall, the quality of this product is fantastic!

This may be one of may favorite korean cosmetics. What's yours?

May 19, 2012

NARS Ramatuelle Eyeshadow Trio

I was initially going to pass up on this because it seemed ho-hum, more of spring not summer. Then I remembered that light shimmery blue and matte apricot shadows were colors I did not have present in my collection. So for the sake of completing my kit, I decided to pick it up.

Thank heavens the quality is far from the disaster known as Marie-Galante as this has very little fall out, the color is sheer but is easily buildable and blending isn't a daunting task.

What I did not expect was that these colors would come out beautifully together. The color on the left is a shimmery  icy blue that I never thought I could wear but it works as a highlighter. The middle one is a shimmery icy peach - I like to use this on the ball of my eye as an accent to the matte apricot color that's on the right.

No regrets! I find that the colors go well together to brighten the eyes whithout looking too disco-ball shiny.  I think people with dark undereye circles will find this flattering - it won't make it appear worse.

Seriously, go check the NARS counter near your place and give this trio a chance. The Summer 2012 collection was deceiving for me - what I though was good, wasn't... and what I thought wasn't great, I ended up loving!

May 18, 2012

Moderating Comments

Not because I love you less... but because I've been getting a number of spam comments that are annoying and just really weird.

That is all for today! :)

May 17, 2012

New! GlossyBox USA

GlossyBox is now available in the US! Another subscription box for all you beauty addicts out there. I got my box a few days ago and wanted to check out the products before posting this.

So here's the deal, below are snapshots of the packaging to check out. After that are photos of the actual products and my comment on each item.

But before all that, let me clarify - this box I received is a promotional box. All the items here are full-sized. However, the actual subscription box will contain at least five-items. One of which will be full-sized, the rest travel-sized. For more info read Pink Sith's blog entry on this box.

So here's what the packaging looks like. The light pink box is sturdy, the tissue paper and ribbon are cute. There's a trend guide and card explaining the contents of the box.

Now let's take a closer look at the products included in the box...

Basq Cucumber Tea Soothing Eye Gel: There's a good number of people who said they didn't like this because of the scent. I didn't mind at all because it was faint and faded quickly. I love the cooling sensation when I apply this on my eye area. It felt familiar... then it hit me... It's like the Cucumber Elastin Eye Gel from St. Ives! No wonder I liked this - I used to take some of my mom's St. Ives products and slather it on my face when I was a kid.

C.O. Bigelow Lavender & Peppermint Body Lotion: I was secretly hoping to get the Shampoo because I hoard bath products like crazy. I have too many bottles of unopened lotion. But I am happy to get this. When I first opened the bottle, I was overwhelmed by the scent but it weakened after a while. This lotion is lightweight - my skin drank it up immediately and while it was sitting on my skin, it felt cool too. Very nice. I think this will make for a great bedtime lotion.

Cargo Eye Bronzer: I'm currently in a bronze-eye phase... it's a great color to use for special occasions or when going out... Or I could include it in my pro kit since I do like doing a bronze/brown smoky eye look on my clients. I thought this would be a mess to apply - on the contrary, it was quick and clean. No fallout and it was easy to blend. This is my first time to try a product from Cargo and I like this! 

OPI Nail Lacquer Kiss Me on My Tulips: I'm not a huge fan of light or bright pink nail polish. I don't think it looks great on me but I am still happy to receive this product. In case I have a change of heart about this color, at least I already have it in my kit. I know my mom will borrow this because its is right up her alley. Plus OPI is a pretty good brand so there's no complaining here.

Kryolan High Gloss Brilliant Lip Shine in Toffee: This was the item I was most excited to try out. Some of the pro artists I work with use Kryolan products and love it (especially the foundation). So naturally, this was what I checked out first. The formula is heavy but non-sticky. The product comes with a brush applicator that dispenses enough product at one go. It's very opaque so if you want something more subtle, you'll need to dab it with your finger instead. If applied with a brush, you'll get an opaque coat but within minutes it breaks and you'll start seeing the lines on your lips. Toffee is best suited for pale to light complexions. Those with medium skin color can use this but sparingly. I was so disappointed with the quality :(

Erno Laszlo Hollywood Collection: I can't say much about this because I haven't opened it yet. For me, this is the most MEH of the products I received. It's because I don't think I'll get much out of a few small sachets of various products. I think this is really more of a "try and see if you like how it feels" kind of thing. Will this even last me a month?

Most of the products in this box I liked. If these are the types of travel-sized items I'll get, I wouldn't mind at all. As long as I don't get non-beauty related items like... air freshener or some weird lifestyle thing like what other boxes include. Compared to other subscription boxes, this is pricey at $21. Is it worth it? It all boils down to this: if GlossyBox can consistently bring in products from good and great brands and keep it all beauty focused, then it's possible. Of course this can only be measured by checking out the first few boxes that come out.

Okay, I didn't think my post would be this long but I hoped this has helped you make a decision. Would you sign-up for this service?

A press sample was provided for editorial consideration.

May 16, 2012

MAC Scan-Delicious Kissable Lipcolour

Scan-delicious was part of the Shop MAC, Cook MAC collection and it's nothing short of gorgeous! A bold-fuchsia shade that's definitely eye-catching. The last time I wore it, I received at least 3 compliments - one of which came from the lady at the MAC counter, not knowing this was their product.

MAC's Kissable Lipcolour is a creamy, opaque lip product that comes with a doe-foot applicator. The applicator dispenses the right amount of product in one dip and is pretty easy to use. The formula is thick but non-sticky, goes on smooth and feels cushiony. This is highly pigmented and stains when removed with a tissue paper.

The swatch above is more accurate in terms of color because this is pretty bold. I guess when I took the picture below there was too much sun. Either way, if you're looking for a fun color to wear, this is definitely it!

A similar product is NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream although I can't tell for sure if they have a dupe for this shade. And just like its drugstore-priced equivalent, this is drying to the point that my lips were peeling after wear. In a span of 6 hours, I found myself reapplying because the texture is slippery and doesn't hold well when eating a full meal.

Would I buy this again? Hmmmm... probably not. Not because it's a MAC Lip product (you know how I feel about those) but because it's the nature of these lip creams to be dry. Colors are pretty but I'm more of a comfort over appearance type of gal.

May 14, 2012

Coming Soon... Benefit Box O' Powder Lip Gloss Collection

Benefit is coming out with lip glosses to match their oh-so-famous Box O' Powders. I wonder if this is going to be great or a flop. These will be available in June. Are you looking forward to these babies? I'm curious...

May 12, 2012

Beauty Blog Coalition Weekly Roundup – Week of May 7, 2012

May 11, 2012

NARS Vendanges Lipstick

NARS' Summer 2012 Collection has kept me on my toes, to say the least. The three products I purchased were all unexpected in different ways. I already told you how Marie-Galante was a huge disappointment... now let's take a look at the Vendanges Lipstick.

At first, I completely ignored it. It seemed like it didn't fit into usual the Summer (or Spring) set of colors. I'm accustomed to seeing bright or light colors around this time of the year. Dark or muted shades are better suited for Fall or Winter. But then I realized that my Fast Ride (another sheer lipstick from NARS which was released in Fall 2009) lipstick had just a few applications left. I thought this color would be a close enough replacement. Take a look at the comparison swatches:

Left to right: 1 coat & 2 coats of Vendanges; 1 & 2 coats of Fast Ride

Hmmmm... not close enough. The good news is, I love Vendanges on its own. Both lipsticks are sheer but Vendanges is lighter and looks rosy brown. Fast Ride has a more purple tone.

I've been using this almost everyday for the past week - with a touch of shimmery peach lipgloss and taupe eyeshadow. If you need an office friendly color and one you can use with a smokey eye too, you may want to check this out.

The formula is non-drying which makes it an instant hit for me. Ya hear that MAC?! Since this is sheer, it takes a second coat to get even coverage. The only thing that I'm not too happy about is the staying power. After two hours, this fades and I find myself having to retouch my lipstick. NARS' opaque colors (like Funny Face) last longer and can withstand drinking and careful eating. So it depends on the finish, that's for sure.

Overall, NARS' formula is far more superior than MAC. To the point that I've converted a couple of friends to this brand simply because its much more comfortable to wear on a daily basis.

Now that I'm loving this, what about Fast Ride? Well, I just reserved a tube because that was my first NARS lipstick and I'm still hooked on that too.

May 10, 2012

MAC Runaway Red Lipstick


MAC lip products are my makeup equivalent of the bad boy. You know it's not fantastic, it's potentially horrible but they look so damn good you can't resist.

Agree or disagree? :)

Anyway, Runaway Red is a satin finish lipstick that was released last year and made a comeback in this year's Shop MAC, Cook MAC collection. Yeah, I'm a little late in posting this but I think you'll like the pretty swatches.

I saw other swatches online and I think the outcome of this lipstick really depends on your skintone. On some people I noticed it looks a lot more blue than it is on me.

Since I like the red-lip look a lot (its actually the first make-up trick I was able to master), this was an immediate hit in my book... at least color-wise.

But again, it's just another pretty face from MAC. Almost immediately I felt how drying this was because the product made my lips feel tighter. Within an hour the color in the middle faded and in order for me to look fresh, I had to constantly retouch. After removing this product, my lips were screaming for a bloody lip balm for relief.

Another miss from MAC. For shame. Great to look at (most likely I'll be using this on photo shoots) but it's not great for a lifetime commitment.

May 8, 2012

NARS Marie-Galante Duo Eyeshadow

Isn't Marie-Galante such a beauty? It looks much more stunning on the pan than pictured above. NARS describes this color as an iridescent orchid and iridescent regal blue. The color on the left has a sheer lilac base with blue glitter. On the right is a sheer wash of navy blue with blue and purple glitter.

As soon as this hit the counter, the NARS folks in my area sent me a message and I made a mad dash to the mall. That's how much I wanted this when I first saw photos online.

I expected this to be more iridescent than it actually is. In fact, this is more on the glittery side. I had also expected this to be a bit more pigmented. When I swatched these, I had to use a damp brush and applied several layers of color.

Even if the color wasn't what I wished, I was still willing to give it a shot as these as the duo is unique and eye-catching. The best word to describe this set is ethereal. 

My tip to those who want to make the color darker, wear a cream base because a primer can only do so much. By the way, I've been using Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion.

The real let-down is the ridiculous amount of fallout. This is one of the worst eyeshadows I own because of it. Whether I wear my contact lenses or not, within three to four hours I can feel my eyes get irritated because of the glitter - that's with primer. It's so bad that I have to remove it everytime. So heartbreaking to have such a pretty product and not be able to wear it for a long period of time. Since I haven't been able to use it for an entire day, I can't say if this will last or crease after an entire day's wear... the most I've gone is four hours.

My recommendation for those who still want to check this shade out: use it as an accent color. I think it would look pretty when applied to the center of the lid or on the crease.

NARS, I am disappointed with this product. Such a shame because most of the stuff I have from the brand is fantastic.

May 6, 2012

MAC Vera Collection Butterfly Dream Plushglass

Here's another Vera Collection post! Almost all the Plushglasses from this collection were nice but the specific reason I chose Butterfly Dream was that the color was unique, I've never seen anything like it. For the rest , I'm pretty sure there are dupes out there or something close.

I've never used Plushglass before, didn't bother doing research either. I just saw this color, swatched it and boom! I found myself mysteriously transported in front of the cashier with this product in hand. What I didn't know was that this is a plumping product. *groan* I hate plumpers... they feel weird.

Butterfly Dream is just soooo pretty! On the tube and when swatched on my arm, it has a lilac tinge. When its on my lip, it looks pinkish. The product has blue and purple iridescent shimmer which I absolutely love. My lips look slightly plump with this but I think it's a visual trick from all the gloss and glitter. 

It has a non-sticky and medium-weight formula with a light vanilla scent which I like, thankfully. Like most lip plumping products, this feels tingly when applied. I'm not a fan, but this one isn't extremely irritating either.

I can wear it on its own but I also like how this gives plain lipstick more character.

What I absolutely cannot stand (and I've had this experience with most, not all, MAC lip products) is that it makes my lips so dry that when I remove this or it wears off, my lips peel. Every single time. Even if I put something underneath, it doesn't help. It's painful and I don't know why I put up with it. Okay, I do know why... I'm a sucker for pretty colors.

I hope MAC improves the product of their lip formula. Either it's drying or it fades too quickly. Seriously, I haven't had luck with their lip products. I would probably never purchase a Plushglass again unless they do something about this. I suppose this is okay for quick photo shoots where you can wipe off the product in about an hour. But for extended or everyday use, I would steer clear of Plushglass.

May 5, 2012

Mary Kay Botanical Effects 3-in-1 Cleanse and Hydrate

After a month and a half of using the 3-in1 Cleanse and Hydrate from Mary Kay's Botanical Effects, it's time for a review.

This was my first time to try anything from Mary Kay. Since they follow a business model that involves direct sales, it's not as accessible compared to most brands. I'm the type of person who wants to at least feel and smell the product before buying. So I'm glad I finally had the chance to try this and for those who are not familiar with the brand, I hope this review helps.

The Botanical Effects line aims to make skincare easy while using natural ingredients to care for the skin. There's a cleanser, moisturizer and mask for each skin type: Normal, Dry and Oily. All of these are also suited for sensitive skin. If you want more information about the line, I wrote about it here. On to our review...

According to Mary Kay the 3-in-1 Cleanse cleans, tones and exfoliates. It's used the same way you would any kind of foaming facial wash. There's a faint soap/bleach scent, nothing overpowering. It contains micro-beads and you can actually feel it scrubbing your face clean. I have Rosacea and I tend to scrub real hard so my cheeks and nose would get flare-up after washing. After applying Hydrate, the redness subsides.

For the first two weeks, I used my toner after washing but every single time, I noticed that there wasn't any dirt or leftover product. This is the perfect skincare product for the beauty minimalist because it's efficient.

If you're wearing eye makeup, you will still need a makeup remover but if not, then all you need to clean your face is the 3-in-1 cleanse.

Hydrate is the line's moisturizer. It's in gel form, has no scent and has a lightweight formula - it gets absorbed into the skin quicker than most moisturizers. I'm so impatient about waiting for my moisturizer to set before I put on my makeup so I see the value in this.

The set I got was for Oily Skin. With consistent use of these two, I noticed that my T-zone was less oily and my skin did not break out in acne. However, since I have Combination skin, I think formula for Normal skin would have been better suited so that my cheeks were better hydrated. Make sure to choose the correct formula for your skin type!

Both products do not contain any alcohol, fragrance and synthetic dyes which is good because for me, the less ingredients, the better.

Here's the bad news: PETA has removed this from its list of Cruelty-free companies - a head's up for those who are conscious of this.

All in all, this was a pleasant Mary Kay experience for me. It's the perfect line for people who are too lazy to follow numerous skincare steps or for those who come home from work really tired and just want to get to bed as fast as they can. Can you say easy peasy?

A press sample was provided for editorial consideration.