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 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.