Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Benefit Sugarbomb is the BOMB!

Hey guys! I'm back from my haitus! I have lots to share but I haven't had time to take pics. Everyone doin lots of holiday shopping?? I've really outdone myself at Nordstrom's lately, got a couple of pairs of shoes and some clothes....some of the sales are really good..other places not so much.

Anyways - I just wanted to share my new blush - Benefit Sugarbomb. I bought it on the 14th, which was also the first day it was released in the stores (it wasn't even on the Sephora site yet!) - It didn't even have its own place in the rack - it was just sitting where Coralista usually sits. It's soooo pretty, I carry this around now instead of my broken Nars. It's a shimmery peach - same effect as Nars Orgasm, but not as pigmented. You just swish the four colors together to use. I LOVE IT! Definitely one of my faves so far! I accidentally came upon it when I was trying to use my VIB gift coupon on the last day.

In natural daylight-

At night indoors - my new camera captures colors really well without using flash! (This is truer to eye)

I also stopped by CVS and I saw a lot of new products! Among them, there were two new Revlon E/S collections - perle and satin finishes. I got two of them. SO far, I'm very impressed! I think the perle's had too much glitter in them so I didn't pick them up. I got two satin finish e/s's which were a soft shimmery finish.

Peacock Lustre & Nude Slip

With Flash
- Peacock Lustre is a teal/blue, very pretty.
- Nude Slip is a very versatile tan - good for blending! I think it's one of those "good to have" shadows, I can see myself using this a lot!
Anybody else see the new Maybelline and Revlon stuff? There's some new Revlon foundation for photo-taking (I assume drugstore equivalent of HD?), some new mineralized shadow domes from Maybelline, some new style palettes and a waterproof gel eyeliner. I wanted to get the eyeliner but it was 10 bucks without any Bogo's so I'm just going to wait on it.

Doesn't this just scream cakewreck? It was my MIL's birthday cake from Carvels lol! In case you guys don't know - cakewrecks.blogspot.com is an awesome site for wasting time (besides Farmville)!

Here are some better desserts, we had these at the Ichi Umi sushi buffet in Jersey. Yum!
Mmmmm....some buffet food!

And if I had a "great buy's" section of my blog - I would put this on the list - these are rainboots I got from Nordstrom's for my MIL's birthday. They are very well made, very comfy, overall great boots!

Merry Christmas peeps! What are your new year resolutions?

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Bigger IS Better... Especially When You're Paying the Same Price!

Hey guys! I'm back! And I've accumulated some interesting things to blog about.

First of which is consumer sizing. That is, doesn't it seem like everyone is downsizing everything and you're still paying the same price for it? I think the most obvious example I see is ICECREAM! They shrunk the boxes and it's still the same price! I remember reading a fellow blogger's post about MAC palette swatches and she said that this year's palette is smaller than previous years. Who wants to pay the same price for less stuff? As if inflation doesn't already screw us! Anyhoots, so I've been using the Neutrogena oil-free makeup remover for a while now, I'm up to my third bottle. A few months ago, I bought a spare (I keep lots of spares of stuff around hehe). I was really surprised to see they downsized the bottle! Previously, for 5.5 ounces at Target, it was 5.29, the last time I bought it, it was 3.8 ounces at 4.99. Sure it costs a little less, but by unit price, it was definitely more (about an extra 30 cents per ounce)! I'm finally getting around to using it now and I still can't believe it's so tiny!

This is a recent buy - a boar bristle brush! I read about them on a blog a few weeks ago and I did some outside research as to getting one. I always thought Mason Pearson was the only one that made boar bristle brushes but I was wrong! I think this is realllllly good for people with fine, oily hair. I've been using this for the past two weeks and it has definitely made my scalp less oily. It basically properly redistributes the oils from your scalp to the tips of your hair. It supposedly makes your hair shiny with more use. I got mines at a local beauty store for 10 bucks. It's definitely not a Mason Pearson but I'll live :)

I got this for pimples! It's actually for chicken pox, but it's also the main ingredient in the Mario Badescu Drying Lotion so I had to try this generic version especially since it's only 5 bucks. My verdict? I'm not sure if it works; I don't get cystic, painful pimples, which is what I think the MB Drying Lotion and Calamine in general can alleviate. I tried it twice but it wasn't on the type of pimple that needed "drying" so I don't know if it works. I would recommend this for acne, not so much for pimples. I read a bunch of forums that say it realllly does wonders. Plus, Calamine is good to have around for irritations and itching.

I got my Sephora Steal of the Month! Thanks to Ahleesa, I went to the nearest Sephora to grab it! I was excited to get it, but when I opened it, I was ehhhh. The colors are matte and they wouldn't look particularly nice alone on the eyelid.
But anyhoots, I bought it for the function, it's "creaseless cream shadow" - so I used it as a base. I have to say it is definitely a steal - very good for just 5 bucks a piece. I used it last night and it kept the eyeshadows from muddling for a good 6-7 hours, the same as TFSI. The texture is very nice too. Definitely worth grabbing! It's a steal compared to TFSI and UPDD.

Here is a purple EOTD I did using the Benefit cream shadow - it works really well and texture -wise feels like UPDD more so than TFSI.

I also grabbed my birthday present from Sephora teehee, picked it up even though it's not my brithday till next Thursday.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Product Fails & NARS dupe

(teehee, not my dog :)

Hello! I've dedicated this post to products that FAILED for me. Some may or may not apply to some individuals but there are at least some formulas/designs that are completely garbage. I realize most product fails nowadays you can return (Sephora, some drugstores, Target, etc), but there's always some that you can't - like ones from Japanese stores, online purchases, etc. There's also products that I "put up with" because I didn't know anything that was better out there. But now, with Makeupalley, I can spend my money a littttttle bit wiser. Most of these product fails came from lack of research, following YT gurus/people/bloggers like a sheep (or like a lemming), or compulsive purchases and almost all of them came BEFORE I signed up for Makeupalley :D Individual experiences may vary, so take that as a disclaimer before following my advice (like a lemming ;P).

Without further ado (and in no particular order) ~
1. Laura Mercier Oil-Free Tinted Moisturizer: This was my very first foray into face makeup (*memories* lol!) this February (although I've been wearing eyemakeup since forever). I read an MSN article about being in your 20's and having to looking polished with TM if you want to look your age. I headed to the local Sephora and demanded to be matched up with the best TM evar!! They gave me this crap. I used this from February to June, religiously, thinking it made me look "polished." I did realize that I was an oil slick by 5-6pm when I was still at school but I just blotted it away thinking it was still better than without any makeup at all.

For the price, it just was not worth it. I read that the Sonia Kashuk TM was pretty good and comparable but don't take my word for it (I've never tried it!). I also read on another blog a long time ago about the terrible oxidation on this product. Can't personally say I've experienced that, then again I might've wiped it all off before it got to oxidize because of the nasty slickness.
The dealbreaker:
- Oil slick guarantee
- Coverage so sheer (I could never tell whether I have it on or not), might as well not be wearing anything at all, so this would be good for people with PERFECT skin.

I plan to eventually finish using this, even though I hate it. I'm not about to let $42 go down the drain! I'll just finish with a better powder :) Could it be that this in reality is too drying for my face (it's combination/dry) and forced my Tzone to produce more oilies? It's a possibility.

2. Physician's Formula Twin Concealer: This plain sucks. The only thing I like about it is the shade match otherwise this piece of crap is a waste of money as well. Green is GREAT for the coverage, then following the instructions, you put the color on top of the concealed spot right? Well, it comes apart, and the red returns. Believe me, I've tried this every which way and it just does not work (for me). I'd rather save my money and buy something better.
The dealbreaker:
- It causes the skin around the blemish to immediately dry and flake, ya girls know what that looks like right? Disgusting.
- Conceal? What conceal? Pigment please!

3. Physician's Formula W/P Eyedefiner (eyeliner) : "Eye definer"- laughable! I got this 40% off on a sale at CVS out of desperation because Colorstay was not on sale. Waste of 2 dollars.
The dealbreaker:
- Where is the pigment?? It comes out as a kohl gray, not true black.
- Waterproof? What waterproof? It's not anything proof!
- Worse eyeliner I've ever owned (and I've owned quite a few drugstore eyeliners).

4. Almay Smart Shade Concealer: It's not smart. It's not anything. It plain sucks. I did NOT get this on sale (I know, who gets drugstore stuff when it's not on sale?!), but yea I really needed a eye concealer so I just grabbed this.The dealbreaker:
- Lack of pigment (seems to be the issue for a lot of d/s products). Doesn't cover well.
- It's NOT SMART! It doesn't adjust to anything. Manufacturer sets a shade that it will oxidize into when it touches the air and is heated by your hand. It's an okay shade match for me, but I hate deceptive packaging/technology!
- Slips off in about an hour or so.

5. Revlon Creme Shadows: I lovvvvve the colors of this line. Unfortunately, it will either work for you or it will not. It's just one of those things you gotta try. And I got this for Bo-Go so it wasn't that much of a loss. Doesn't mean I'll ever buy any Revlon creme shadows though.
The dealbreaker:
- Creases like NO tomorrow, no matter what I do (primer & powder check!). If I use very, very, very little, it will NOT crease, but then what's the point?

6. Naris Up Mask: This is one of those products that are overhyped, considering the options out there. I got this on sale for real cheap so ehh, not too sad about it but I would never buy it again. Considering it's about the size of half my toothbrush, no thanks.
The dealbreaker:
- Performance fail. Still don't see the point of the "white egg" essence. It does nothing except for 5 minutes of seemingly more translucent skin - but what masks/exfoliators can't deliver that?
- I use less of the white step than I do the mask step, why can't they just combine it?

7. Bare Minerals Eyeshadows: I LOVE these colors. I own THREE limited edition sets of eyeshadow/liner, blush & gloss combo (like a crazy idiot). This was my FIRST high-end eyeshadow purchase :) (although I've worn Lancome/Clinique GWP eyeshadows for years) I acquired the first set last Christmas and bought two more in the last 12 months. I'm sure their face products aren't bad (considering how many people use them!) but their eye products are really just eye candy, not practical at all.

The dealbreaker:
- Even with primer, these are very sheer until you stack it on. But when you stack it on, the colors will come apart at the seams by midday, creasing and muddling (muddling is the WORST part!). Blame it on the formula.

8. The Body Shop Aloe Soothing Body Lotion: Don't know what's so "soothing" about this lotion. It says that it is "light hydrating lotion" - they're right on the light part. This is coming from someone who doesn't regularly put on lotion (even in the winter). My body's skin is very balanced and I rarely use moisturizers. It is only when the heat in the apartment gets unbearably hot that my skin starts getting itchy and irritated. Stick with the body butter, everything else they peddle is not worth the time.
The dealbreaker:
- Can't even use this as a hand lotion.

9. NYX Brow Pencil (Auto twist-up): This is a piece of 3 dollar garbage. As you can see, the tip already hardened. I'm going to toss it out after I finish this review.

The dealbreaker:
- Put it on and if you touch it, it comes off, like magic!
- Hair brushes by, and it gets muddled, looks like a brown puddle I have for brows.
- Terrible color, it's so....BROWN....like poo! Or a chocolate crayon. Completely unnatural (for me at least).

10. Cover Girl Brow & Eye Makers: This was before I discovered something better. But no, this will not make your brow or your eyes. I initially bought it because of the supposed dual function - brow pencil and eyeliner. But it doesn't make brows or eyes, it doesn't make anything. It makes a good pencil to write with.
The dealbreaker:
- Rubs off easily, very easily but not as easily as the NYX one.
- Ever try to line you eyes with a real lead pencil? Well yea, this is what it feels like on your eyes.

11. Koji Eyelash Curler: NooOoooo!! I should've never bought this - for me, it was like why mess with a good thing? My Shu Uemura with Tweezerman refill pads worked fine, don't know why I wasted my money on this piece of junk. No matter how hard I try, I can't make it work. So my advice is, if you have a good one that works for you, don't bother, because why mess with a good thing? There's a couple of them, I got the standard one in the purple and black box.
The dealbreaker:
- I manage to learn how to use it without pinching my eyes. But the quality of this is terrible - the pads are too soft, use too little pressure, nothing happens. Use a smidge more, lashes fall out (as if I have so much to spare). I HATE this thing. The pads of this curler are the dealbreakers. I'll try to put Tweezerman refills and see how I feel about it.

12. Sonia Kashuk Eyeshadow Brush: One of my first real brush purchases. Ever want to know what straws feel like on the most delicate part of your face? Like hay bale straws? Well, this is it.
The dealbreaker:
- Made out of straws.
- Picks up pigment, but can't seem to deposit it on your eyes.

Whew, that was long. Hope you all found it at least a little helpful.


Ooo just wanted to show you my NARS Orgasm dupe - it's Bare Minerals Blush in Vintage Peach (from the LE sets), looks and applies just like it. But I bought the NARS because of the ease of use. I can never get an even spread on the powder.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Belated Sephora Haul & Review

I got my Sephora stuff a while ago but didn't get a chance to post up the goodies. I wanted to wait a little till I tried everything first hehe. So I'll be including a mini review of each item for those of you who don't have them (they're pretty popular items too so you might probably already own some of these haha). I got the great idea to put my haul on Polyvore from Fuz! :) It looks so much better than the ugly pictures I took of the products haha

Quick thoughts on each item:
  • Rosebud Salve - 4/5 - It's good, it's cheap but it doesn't last on my lips. Compared to others, it is one of the smoothest lip balms I've ever tried. The Jack Black lip balm still tops my list, but I don't like that the Jack Black is so small and it costs 7 bucks.
  • Philosophy Purity Cleanser - 5/5 - This feels good for me and cleans off makeup residue well. I have combo skin and my skin doesn't feel tight and rubbery afterwards and it doesn't feel unclean either.
  • Nars Orgasm - I tried this in the store before I bought it, I like it, it's a good blush to have and the color works for me. I already dropped this, argh and a very small corner broke off. sadsors.
  • Benefit 10 - I really like this, it is the perfect tool all in one for me. The highlighter is not too white (Nars Albatross is) and the bronzer is not too deep. I'm not too fond of the weird flower scent though lol
  • LORAC Coverup - I like the consistency of this the most, I think I found the type that works for my undereyes. It is kind of yellow (I bought C2) but it does a decent job and doesn't make my dark circles appear gray as feared with laying yellow on top of dark circles for yellow undertones. I do warn that it is oil based - so it might not work out for some ladies. So far, no creases when I set it, so I don't know if its because I set it or because of the way the product is delivered - you don't have to use a lot. Really glad I got this, I use this over MAC now.
  • Laura Mercier Setting Powder - I like this for setting concealer and my foundation. It doesn't give the airbrushed feel that I get when I use Dior Forever compact but that's probably because it's translucent. I like it, I like it :)

Have a good weekend!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Decanting Lipbalm Tins & Dior Extras!

Hi guys! I've been set back by some work so I've been neglecting the blogosphere this past week. I think I'm going to get some reading done this week :) I'm back now and I want to share something really cool with you guys - decanting lipbalm tins! I really can't stand dipping my fingers into a tin of lipbalm and I have several pots of lipbalm (sucker for sales much). I first got the idea to decant them from Koren on Youtube, who decanted UPDD onto a clickable lip glaze pen, tutorial here. I don't use UPDD but I thought it was a great idea to depot other stuff like my lip balm tins!

This is the finished product!
I started with the lip glaze pens for my newly acquired Rosebud Salve -
Getting it in the pens was actually very tricky because it was so jelly and viscous :(
Finished product, but I couldn't get a lot of the air bubbles out, argh!Second, I decanted my passionfruit lip balm from Body Shop. I got a bunch of these on sale a while ago when I had the Body Shop card. But I never use them unless I'm at home because I don't like touching it.
This one was a little easier because the balm wasn't so sticky and viscous. It's not sticky in the sense that it feels sticky but it stretches.
Finished product, Simba is curious :)
And even after I decant them, there's still so much left in the tin!
Next, I decanted Body Shop Lip Butter and this Apple lip balm from Spain - but instead of pens, they will be just in lip balm tubes.
This was a LOT easier than the lip glaze pens, because I can use the fact that I can squeeze air in and out to move the lip balm into the tube. It's like a little suction system.
I've made so much progress on this pot, that I was able to get all of it out to be decanted
Clearly, I've never touched this one, that's why there's still so much left after I've decanted it.
And there is a pic again of all four of the finished products -
I got so many of these pens & tubes :D I am so please with them, I'll never be afraid to buy lip balm tins ever!

Here are some Dior goodies I got from my future mother in law! She buys lots of Dior stuff and she got some extra goodies for me. This is my fave, a soft train case, LOVE IT! It's going to be so useful when I travel :)

The first zipper case is for brushes, I already put mine in hehehe Well I took them out when I got home, but when I was over at their house, I put my brushes in.

Also got this cute notebook, I'm using this as my wedding planning notebook :)
perfume sample

And a little Dior trinket, I guess that tiny, tiny, tiny little gem is a diamond lol. Probably a diamond shard worth about 50 cents. I give them an A for effort. haha

Have a good week!