Thursday, December 30, 2010

L'Oreal One Sweep Eyeshadow Rouge Infallible 10HR

I know the concept is really cool but I seriously don't see how would these eyeshadow work out. I mean, people don't have the same lid/crease sizes and that tiny strip of deepest color at the bottom would make it difficult getting enough product for people who want the contour shades at the crease...Well, at least they tried...
The new collection of L'Oreal's new infallible lipstick actually looks pretty cool here (Not a big fan of the clear plastic top but I guess it somewhat stop random people from opening the packages?) .

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Liquid Daily Sunscreen SPF70

For years I have been complaining about the oily texture, lack of efficiency (or cute packaging) of sunscreen made by western brands (and spending extra shipping buying sunscreen from Asia) but someone finally made a jump and introduced a light weight liquid sunscreen to the our (US) mass market!
Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Liquid Daily Sunblock(Sunscreen) SPF70 is the first liquid sunscreen I have seen in US market (Yeah, La-Roche Posay Anthelio 60 has a liquid texture and is available in CVS but how can I call it drugstore when it costs around 30 dollars?) . It pretty much has all the qualities I look for: light weight, non-oily, faint scent (the same as all Neutrogena Sun Products but I thought it's slightly fainter) high efficiency (it's kind of hard to tell since I don't tan much during winter anyway) least that's what's shown on the packaging.

Anyway, it's so light that I can have moisturizer underneath and powder (blush) on top without feeling a tons of things going on at the same time.It says on the packaging that it layers well underneath makeup but I have yet to try that.

Overall: There is really not much to say beside "I love this sunscreen!" . 

While we are still on the topic of Neutrogena Sunscreen, apparently they released another collection of sun products, and the name is "Spectrum+ full spectrum UVA, UVB" ...

Urgh, so ultra violet light is the "whole spectrum" now? (Does it mean that I have to remove this sunscreen prior to getting a dental x-ray?)

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

New Year, New Hair (products from drugstore)

Organix Moroccan Argan Oil Shampoo Conditioner and Serum      

L'Oreal Ever Pure Sulfate Free Collection
New Size (and shape) for Tresemme Shampoo bottle

FYI, the organix hair serum is not just Moroccan argan oil, it's also filled with -cone. (I guess I will stick with my Tsubaki oil.)

Monday, December 27, 2010

Milani Metallic Eyeshadow Cover Girl Natural Luxe Makeup

Milani Metallic Baked Eyeshadow with beautiful veining (just like that of MAC!).
 A close up of the eyeshadow singles. Wound't that be so awesome if Milani would release some mineral blush/powder as well?
On the other hand, Cover Girl has a new foundation out called Natural Luxe and Taylor Swift is the spoke model for the line...for some reason I just get put off whenever see "natural" makeup.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Rimmel Match Perfection Foundation and Glam Eye Eyeshadow Quad

Rimmel Match Perfection Foundation (I am not sure if I dig Zooey Deschanel's hair color here, it looks almost blonde).
There are also several shades of their new Glam Eye eyeshadow quad.

NYC Mosaic Face Powder Bronzer in Stardust

Are you looking for some golden glam for the holidays but are a bit broke after all the splurging? Don't worry, for just a few bucks, NYC got you covered!
Mosaic Face Powder in Stardust, released as a part of their summer Sun Soaked collection, is a light shimmery bronzer with four different wedges (so I don't really get what would they call this mosaic) of color: Golden peach, soft gold, light golden brown and champagne.The compact is humongous and there is a generous amount of product in each compact (like how they normally are).
As my second mosaic face powder purchase from NYC, Stardust has very fine texture and the shimmer is quite fine and subtle. When mixed together (each wedge is too fine to be picked up individually anyway), I get a soft golden sheen/glow that looks good in summer and fall. What about winter? Well...for some reasons this blush is so loosely packed that it shattered into pieces after I throw (in a relatively lady-like manner...I would think) the bag in which it was in, on the soft carpet...

Do you know that one of my biggest pet peeves is faulty packaging on an otherwise awesome product?

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Revlon CustomEyes Eyeshadow Liner Palette

New Eyeshadow out from Revlon: CustomEyes Shadow & Liner Palette. 
Anyway, Merry Christmas everyone!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Maybelline Color Sensational Lipstick in Berry Beautiful

What's your favorite lip color for fall? For me, I actually am still loving sheer-to-medium (pigmentation wise) red glosses and balm(it's just impossible to go wrong with them!) but as a beauty blogger, I feel obliged to at least dabble into one of the fall trends of this year- Berry lips.

Maybelline Color Sensational Lipstick in Berry Beautiful, released as a part of the Fall 2010 New York Fashion week collection, is a gorgeous berry/plummy/wine shade that's just right: Being neither too pink nor too blue. This is my third CS lipstick and the first from their purple family. I would say the purple lid looks classier than the ones I had but I still get a little annoyed by the fact that they get scratched so easily.
Maybelline Color Senational lipstick in Berry Beauty by itself (I might have some left over clear gloss I used a few hours prior to swatching this, which made the color stick a little bit better). Formula wise, it has a smooth texture and goes on easily. Like I said in my previous reviews about these lipsticks, I wouldn't call them intensely pigmented, creamy or moisturizing (how they are being marketed as) but they are not a bad deal for the price they charge(I often get them during sale, along with a coupon so I usually pay 2-3 dollars for these) and it seem to me that the lighter shade are creamier and feel better than colors like deep plum or red. 
Maybelline Berry Beautiful with NYX lip slider in Sugar Rush , a glossy, moisturizing berry-colored gloss(works wonderfully if you use a lip brush to dig the gloss out). I really like these lip slider as layering pieces (not that I don't love them by themselves) since they give a jelly shine without diluting the color.

Overall:Not a fan of the texture or scent but the color is gorgeous. 

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Sally Hansen Insta Dry Nail Color Silver Sweep

Sally Hansen Insta Dri Fast Dry Nail Color in Silver Sweep (newly added this fall) is an intensely metallic silver.Thanks to the flat brush and the high pigmentation, I only need one single swipe on each nail. I wish all nail color are this easy to work with.
P.S. It dries somewhat matte so a top coat (preferable with silver giltters) would make it look a lot prettier.

Physicians Formula Eye Booster and Burt's Bees Tinted Lip Balm

Physicians Formula Eye Booster is a collection of eyeliner with lash-boosting benefits and a eye(lash) serum. They are around 10 dollars but there is a rebate program in which you can try it for free(expect to wait for at least a month). Burt's Bees Tinted Lip Balm has six shades of natural lip tint, each packaged in a bulky cardboard box. 
And apparently the folks at my CVS is pretty space conscious.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Essence Eyeshadow Duo - All Time Favorite

If you are a long time follower of this blog (it's almost 3-years old!) or just happen to flip through my entire archive, you would notice I have gotten considerably less eye makeup items for the year of 2010. It's just not for me...You know, eye makeups, unlike lip gloss or blushes, looks funny when your face/foundation is undone (Well, I also gave up finding the perfect foundation altogether) and it's considerable trickier to put on when you have mono lid (if there is fold, it's hooded anyway so I might as well call it mono-lid)...

Anyway, I have come to realized that, lip and cheek product are fun enough to play with and I would also have a little break from wrinkle around eye areas since I am leaving that part alone.So why am I reviewing my "All Time Favorite" eyeshadow? Well...although I (somewhat) gave up eyeshadow (more like give up buying news ones all the time) ,I can still kind of play with what my friend has, right?
Essence Duo in "All Time Favorite"is one of the first eyeshadow I get to play with from the budget brand. It comes with a clear slide-out case with little floral pattern on the plain-Jane-but-not-flimsy compact.On the back of the compact, there is also a little instruction in three languages and eye-chart to show you how to use the colors.
In the US market, most of the cheaper makeup brands, like NYC, ELF and Wet n Wild, have their manufaturer set in China (sometime they will call it Made in PRC to confuse you)  but Essence cosmetics are either made in Germany(some of their mascara, eyeliner and blush), Poland (like this eyeshadow duo) and their nail polish are made in France. Yes, they do have some eyeshadow quads that are made in China (they even put the label on the front...almost as if it's a warning o_O) and I somehow assume that those are not as good as those European ones...

Shame on me.
The Essence duo comes with two quarter-sized pans. The lighter shade is slightly bigger.There is a shimmering medium-light taupe brown and a shimmering off-white.
I find the texture of the Essence eyeshadow fairly easy to work with, they are firmly pressed (no flying dust!) but still easy to grab. The pigmentation and texture are also quite decent. The off white looks a bit boring in the pan but I do like the multi-color iridescence it has and that natural sheen (it looks natural once you blend it out a bit) it creates.
A little look (obviously the eye belongs to the owner of the duo, my friend) of the day created by the duo:A pale pink cream shadow from Revlon Passion Fusion quad as a base, off white on entire lid, taupe brown on the bottom half of lid (under crease) and a deep plummy purple from Milani Wild Violet eyeshadow quad smudged along the lash line (Stila line-and-smudge brush is the bomb!).
Despite the simplicity of the procedure (actually that's all I can handle at the moment), I think the look ended up rather nice and if you are fan of neutrals, this eyeshadow could make a happy and contributing member in your collection.

Window Shopping: Hello Kitty

I am not one of those girls who would scream for Hello Kitty but I totally appreciate these adorable key charms!
Hello Kitty clip on fruits (the kiwi actually looks like it has fur on it.Urgh...) from my grocery store. Each piece was around 6 dollars, too expensive for me. Anyway, the middle two are my favorite of the bunch.
There are also so stuffed animals (love the pink leopard) but I don't know any little girl to gift them to...
Designer (so they said) collectable figures...It's not that expensive at 10 bucks per set but I guess I like smaller items to lie around in my room.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Maybelline Volume Express One by One and L'Oreal Youth Code

Two new makeup displays spotted at CVS and my grocery store.
Maybelline Volume Express One by One mascara, is it just me or it totally looks like Covergirl Lash Blast?

L'Oreal Youth Code Youth Regenerating Skincare -  I think I am alright as long as I got my sunscreen and sun glasses.

EOS Organic Lip Balm in Summer Fruit (Yes, I caved.)

Trends come and go in the beauty blogger community: from pearl paste, BB cream, OCC lip tar to R&R blushers...I have seen everything and (I would think) held on to my wallet pretty well without jumping into too many bandwagons but this time...I simply had to cave in because...OMG A BALL SHAPED LIP BALM!?

Nah, I got it because CVS gave 3 extra care bucks for the purchase of this lip balm...which made this costing only around a quarter. I guess it's OK to cave when you don't have to pay (in full)?
Retails for around 3 dollars, EOS (Evolution of Smooth) lip balm is a 100% natural, 95% organic lip balm that's packaged like a ball with rubberized plastic(the texture somewhat reminds me of that of Nars cosmetics.I wonder if it will collect dust like them as well...)Anyway, let's get back to the product itself: 

Ingredient List of Eos Lip Balm
Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil , Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil , Beeswax , Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil , Flavor , Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter) , Stevia Rebaudiana Leaf , Stem Extract , Tocopherol , Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) See Oil , Vaccinium Angustifolium (Blueberry) Fruit Extract , Fragaria Vesca (Strawberry) Fruit Extract , Prunus Persica (Peach) Fruit Extract

 There are already several brands (Do you know that Burt's Bees now has mango and acai berry chapstick? Is that totally awesome or what?) butter and doing Organic lip balms so I personally don't think there is anything wow-worthy when it comes to the ingredient. Performance wise,I would say this doesn't do much to my lips either when it's all dried out and peeling (when my lips are in decent condition, this does makeup them softer). Just FYI, chapstick/wax-based balms in general don't do much on me(I prefer a gel gloss or moist balm).
So is there anything special about EOS lip balm beside the shape (which totally looked like a peeled lychee when it's opened)? Yeah. First, it has that delicious, fruity/candy sweet scent that I couldn't get enough of (for a week then I got tired of it) and then the ball shaped...Wait, did I talk about it already?

Anyway, as a person with mild OCD...EOS is actually bugging me a bit that the dome part that's in contact with skin (with surface area around 7 times that of a normal chapstick) collects way more dead skin cell and other junks...I feel like the constant need of wiping it clean. That's not it, I also don't like it when I use it, I has to purse my lips to avoid smearing it allover my mouth. I mean, if duck face is your thing...I guess this gives you more excuse to make it?

Verdict: It looks rather cute, smells great and should be a perfect stocking stuffer for little kids. The product itself doesn't outperform those cheaper ones with "chemicals" and I personally still prefer Burt's Bees when it comes to organic lip balm.Overall, I don't like it nor hate it...

Repurchase? If it costs 25 cents, why not?

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Paul & Joe Lipstick N in Poppy

For what I know,Paul & Joe(unlike Anna Sui, Shiseido and other brands, which categorize lipstick based on finishes and pigmentation) only has one lipstick range in their permanent display,called lipstick N. There are around 20 shades in the lipstick N range, from sandy beige to deep plum. It wouldn't be difficult to find a shade you like.

To kick off my adventure with Paul and Joe lipsticks, I picked up Poppy (05), a candy coral with very fine golden shimmer.I mentioned in other reviews that the way Japanese brands do shimmer is quite different than what you see on Western brands: For them, shimmer is meant to add subtle dimension or sheen and they rarely look metallic, frosty or loud.
Paul & Joe Lipstick in Poppy, swatched right next to NYC kiss gloss in Coral Reef. The lipstick , for some reason looks a lot softer/peachy than the pictures from Urban Outfitters (which I thought has some of the best online swatches there is). The lightly scented (powdery?) lipstick has medium pigmentation,feels rather moisturizing and smooth as it glides on.
Paul & Joe lipstick in Poppy by itself - Many would find the soft melon shade very wearable but I personally like lip color that's more vibrant (so they would define the shape of my lips more) or at least deeper than my natural lip color (quite red at the moment)so I don't feel washed out. 
Paul and Joe lipstick in Poppy and NYC kiss gloss in Coral Reef- The shade is soft, subtle and classy (just like Paul & Joe's brand image), it should be appealing to a lot of people...

Overall:If you like a classy, elegant and under stated lip color (Btw, I call anything lighter than my lip color "understated") Paul & Joe is a decent-enough brand to look into. I am not saying it's not great, it's just that I usually prefer something brighter and juicier... And even though the color and finish turned out to be incredibly wearable, I would still prefer something creamier, more vibrant... (I guess I am already used to the lipsticks from western brands?)

And...The plastic tube could be a bit (you know, like how MAC, Max Factor and Anna Sui do it) just a little bit heavier.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Maybelline Fit Me Makeup and New Shades added to Color Sensational Lipsticks

Maybelline Fit Me Makeup collection is a range (12 shades of foundation,12 shades of powder, 6 shades of concealer, 6 blushers and 3 bronzers)of "true fitting" makeup. At first I thought the bottles of foundation looks pretty nice for a drugstore product but it turns out to be plain bottles with stickers...
New shades are also added to the Color Sensational Lipstick and Express nail polish lines. I have already tried three shades from Maybelline Color Sensational lipstick but I am still on the fence about them: Some of the shade are rather interesting and bright but the formula is a bit thin for my liking and that smell...I still can't get used to it.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Essence Lipstick Swatch

While my local grocery store is pretty much the last one to get any new releases/ limited edition(if they get anything at all...Well, at least I am glad for my wallet). At least I can find affordable and interesting brands like Essence.
Essence Lipsticks, available in 10 shades and each for around $2.5, are lip color with medium pigmentation, glossy sheen and a soft Playdoh scent (fresh Play-doh, not the dried up and rancid one) that's totally tolerable. If you can stand the scent of Maybelline Color Sensational lipsticks (IMO the worst lipstick scent I have encountered so far...and they aren't even belongs to the "bad patch") these ones would likely to be a pleasure to use.

The sunlight might confuse things a bit but beside Red Carpet (a medium coral red, one of my favorite in the bunch), Like a Lady and Creamy Nude,  all the shades are shimmery.

Here is a picture of the newer Essence cosmetics display (This is how it looked like 9 months ago), many new shades have been added to their range of blushers, compact powder, eyeshadow and nail color.I have already gotten a blush from them and totally can't wait to try on their eyeshadows and lip glosses!

OPI Burlesque Collection

It seems that OPI released a collection after the movie Burlesque. If it were last year, I will go allover these glittery polishes especially Sparkle-icious but now...I think I will just stick with creams, at least they are easy to remove.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Cheap Thrills: Three Jade Bracelets

Unlike precious metal or other gem stones, which are all relatively pricey to start with. The expensive natural jade (jadeite) can cost well over a billion (the determining factors are colors, shades, textures, transparency size, craftsmanship and it's usually hard to draw an exact guideline)or be cheaper than grocery.
With bland colors, coarse texture,these bracelets usually don't go over 10 dollars.If you happen to stop by a street vendor/jeweler in Chinatown (or in China!), don't think that getting a A-category jade for 30 bucks is a great deal...Type A simply means that it's a piece of untreated jadeite (type B mean bleached and filled with polymer resin, Type C is colored and Type D means the it's faux jade like jasper, adventurine or other green stones of the sort) and it doesn't indicate the value of the piece at all.

So how can one tell the value? The answer: Shopping around.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Lancome Juicy Tubes Smoothie Ultra Shiny Lip Gloss in Moulin Rose

Over the years, I have tried lip glosses from quite a few brands and collections, I have been pickier and pickier on my choices.After many trial-and-errors, Lancome Juicy Tube is one of the line I kept going back to.
The reason is quite simple: They (well, most of them) are smooth, long-lasting, nicely scented and feels very comfortable (some would find the formula thick but at least it's not tacky or gooey) . The best part is that there is a generous amount of product in each tube so the unit price is actually very reasonable (Dior used to have that humongous tube but they reduced the size by 50% back in 2008)compared to all the high-end glosses out there. Since I ran out the other tubes I had, I picked up Moulin Rose (a medium pink, rose scented gloss with tiny flecks that are barely noticeable.)
Lancome Juicy Tube Ultra Moulin Rose on Lips
Lancome Moulin Rose with Rimmel lipstick in Coral Shimmer

 P.S. I thought the texture and scent from Juicy Tube are either hit or miss, some of the shades wear and smell absolutely wonderful (Kiwi Slice, Lemon Sugar, Orange or other fruit scented one)  while other are either overwhelmingly sweet and/or have a thick/sticky texture (like sun bronze, daiquiri,coral rush, honey violet). Now I usually just buy the translucent, jelly-like shades and avoid opaque, shimmery ones.
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