Thursday, March 26, 2009

Guerlain Terracotta

Guerlain recently came out with a few new items for their Terracotta collection. The only item that I previously used from this line were the kohl liners. I first saw the kajal eyeliner in a magazine and had been keeping an eye out for it ever since. I ended up picking up the Kajal eyeliner, all of the fard indien loose mineral shadows and one of the gloss cashmere lip gloss.

From L to R: Paradise Sand shadow,
Jungle Dust Shadow, Kajal liner

Kajal liner; without cap

Swatch (L to R): Paradise Sand, Jungle Dust and Kajal liner

Holy smoke shadow, Rouge Sultan gloss

I was very happy with the fard indien loose mineral shadows. I usually dislike loose shadows since they often fall all over my face. These shadows were super smooth and silky and there was little fallout even when using the included sponge applicator. They also applied well with a brush. All of them had a very nice shimmer to them and very easy to blend. They also seem to have a decent staying power although so far I've only used them with UDPP and layered with other shadows.

The gloss cashmere lip gloss was touted as being matte, but gloss at the same time. Seemed to be an oxymoron of sorts but this product does have both qualities. The finish when applied is quite matte and the color is intense, but it's not drying. It does have a very comfortable, velvety feel. I thought I would get one of the more nude-ish colors, however when I tested them out I didn't think they would be very flattering for me so I decided to give the red a try and I ended up liking it very much. It's a warmer brick red, although it's not as orangey as it appears in the swatch. Although since it is so intense in color, I have not worn it out so I can't vouch for it's staying power.

The Kajal eyeliner was the item that first attracted to me to this collection. I'm a sucker for packaging and Guerlain does not disappoint. The mechanism for this liner is very much like a lipstick. The Kajal goes on very smooth and without much tugging. However, when I used this product in my waterline and it was raccoon city. I read that you need to set these types of liner with a bit of loose powder. I have yet to try that. There is also the issue of how to keep the point on this liner since there is no clear way to sharpen it. Some have suggested that it's meant to be used in a sideways manner- the traditional way to use a kajal liner so the natural wear and use should keep the shape.

There is a similar product offered by Styli-Style, a drugstore brand. Their product is called a kajal bullit and I had actually purchased it before the guerlain one. The Syli version is much tinier, albiet much cheaper ($35 vs. ~$7). It's tip is also much sharper so the line created, imho, is much more define. The formula is harder though and I did have to do multiple strokes to get a good dark line. There was a bit of smudging but not as bad as the Guerlain liner.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Vanitymark Mascara ~Updated pics!

I received a Vanitymark mascara in each of the boxes/bags I had gotten from this month's My Pretty Pink Box. I'm always trying to find the perfect mascara and this product aims at achieving this label. The packaging claims that this mascara is the blackest mascara on earth, quickly dries between coats and is weatherproof. It also says that it has flexi-lastin added to its formula so that you can freely curl your lashes after putting on the product.

Loved the simple packaging and rubberized feel of the tube.

Here are my before pics, no curling or any primer applied:

And here are the after pics, only having curled and applied Vanitymark:

I do think that I have a few more coats of Vanitymark on for the pics below than in the pics above:

After, re-curling with Vanitymark on :

Vanitymark did deliver on many of it's claims. It did darken my lashes, although I don't know if I would say it's the"blackest" on earth. I tend to add multiple coats of mascara on my lashes and there were no problems with clumps. It did leave a nice shine to my lashes and I do love that it was flake and smudge free after wearing it all day. I recently discovered that there were mascaras that irritated my eyes after a few hours, but I was able to wear Vanitymark all day without any problems. I don't normally try to re-curl my lashes after first applying them, but when I tried, my lashes did hold the re-curling quite well.

My only drawback to this mascara is in regards to lengthening and volume, I was not completely wowed by this product. The darkening and shine did help to define my lashes better but I would not say it made them look amazingly more voluminous or longer.

Overall, I am very pleased by Vanitymark mascara and I think it's a great everyday option. It gave very good definition, nice shine and comfortable smudge/flake-free wear all day. The option to re-curl to freshen up my lashes after a few hours is also a nice feature. I'm defintely glad that it was in this month's My Pretty Pink Box!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Current manicure

I decided blue polish for the office might be too much so I picked a nice peachy melon color. It's cute, maybe a bit too cute for me but I'll rock it for a few days. The base is Zoya cassi and white konad polish for the stamp.

My Pretty Pink Box - March

Yay! I finally got my March pretty pink box- they are indeed quite pretty and pink. I had gotten 3 boxes and sample bags. Not all for me, I do share the wealth. Although I do try to get dibs on things! Here's the rundown of all the boxes.

In all 3 boxes were the following: Vanitymark the lash mascara in blackest, Awake pore smoothing perfect serum sample and Sweet beauty organic lip balm in inspire-a mocha flavor.

Box #1
-Body Patisserie full sized grasshopper mousse body glace: A chocolate with a hint of mint scented body oil. I tested some out and the oil does sink right in your skin and made it soft, however the chocolate scent was too strong for me. I only put it on my hand and it was pretty potent, I can't imagine putting it all over my body-just not the right scent for me.

-Giella $10 gift certificate and blush sample in CPJB48 (soft pink color)
-Adure brightening stretch mark creme sample

-Roselyn scent light-n-sweet sea sat sample
-Sweet beauty organic lip balm in inspire-a mocha flavor

-Spa Secrets full sized bath sundae. There is a lavender & Chamomile milk bath with scoop and exfoliating puff. I loved the scent of lavender but alas, I'm not a bath type.

-Helio Minerals natural sunscreen sample in medium

-MK signature sample card with eye shadow, cheek and lipstick samples

-Adure tummy flattening gel sample

Box #3
-Berwick coming up roses restoring full sized night cream. I'm excited for this product, it claims to soothe and calm your skin while detoxifying it.
Update: I've been using this cream for the past few nights and I have notice waking up to softer skin. The rose scent is a bit strong at first but it does fade, the cream sinks in nicely and I don't wake up with tight skin in the morning.
-Adure stretch mark creme sample

- Giella $10 gift certificate with LGW48 gloss sample and concealer #1 sample
-Eyeko face off Cleansing Wipes x2
Update: This wipe is very gentle but effective at removing make-up. Each packet contains a good sized wipe that easily took off all eye and face make up without excessive rubbing. My face felt very comfortable and smooth after using it. This product will be excellent for lazy days when I don't want to wash my face with cleanser.

All three gift bags had a Vanitymark mascara. In the first bag, there was also a happy bunny lip gloss in vanilla whip. The second bag had a happy bunny lip gloss in cotton candy. The third had an Adure fairness creme sample.

Each box was $11.99 plus shipping and each sample bag was $4.00 plus shipping. I was definitely glad I participate this month and can't wait to try out the goodies.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

BB Balm-L'egere, IPKN, Nanoce

I am definitely not an expert on BB balms and I've only started to test them out since there are so many beauty blogs that rave about them. They sound too good to be true-an all in one product that can replace your foundation, concealer, help cover and fix blemishes, whiten and brighten your skin, provide world peace etc.

My skin tone is more of the medium range so finding the right BB balm is a bit tricky. I also prefer to have a bit more of a tan look and not be so white which kind of goes against the BB balm idea since the balm is often aimed at whitening your skin.
The balms often come in a whopping one shade-take it or leave it. If you're lucky they come in two. They are often on the paler side of the spectrum so finding a color match for me that I like can be iffy. The following are the 4 that I have purchased and my brief opinions.

Straight out of the tubes

Spread out a bit

Sorry, only 3 are pictured here-the
L'egere White Multi is missing-see reason below.

L'egere Water Drop Shiny Pearl
The box lists the following attributes-aqua moisture, sun protect, make up base, skin cover, foundations and skin care. It also claims to be waterproof and sweatproof. It does seem to deliver on most of it's claims and this is currently the leader in my BB balm race. This balm comes out of the tube like a normal cream but as you spread it on your skin it seems to become a bit more liquid-y and easier to spread. It does provide a more moisturizing feel than the other creams I tried and it sinks into the skin quite nicely. There is also a pleasant aqua scent. The shiny pearl is very subtle and provides a very slight highlighting effect. It was also the best match for my skin tone, it allowed for some brightening and whitening but it still looked natural. Although, after using it for a few days I seem to have a bit more break out than usual. I don't know if it was other factors like stress or because of the bb balm, but it may be a bit too heavy for oilier skin types.

L'egere White Multi
This product has the same attributes as the L'egere shiny drop-sun protect, make-up base, foundation, whitening and skincare. It is a bit thicker than the shiny drop and does not have the pearl finish to it. My only problem was that when I put it on, it completely washed me out. It was so promising out of the tube and I thought it would be dark enough to blend in but in the end, I looked anemic and needed to eat a sandwich. It was not a hit for me and at first, I thought maybe I just put on too much, but no even after giving it another shot and using less, it was just not working for me. Maybe, I was too impatient and it's suppose to adjust after applying but either way I decided to pass it on to my fairer sister and see if it works for her.

IPKN Blemish Balm Plus
IPKN (as told to me by a SA) is a very popular brand in Korea. IPKN stands for Independent Professional Korean New Yorker-why? I have no clue. The package describes this balm as skin calming with Yerba Mate which is suppose to give you a "healty" look (Maybe they mean healthy? or do they mean it give you a nice healed look? ah, engrish). It also provides UV protection (SPF 20 PA++) and whitening. It comes out a pinkish gray color and not at all promising in terms of color match. There is a faint scent, but not unpleasant. The balm is not too thick and has the consistency of a moisturizer. I was surprised that this one did not completely wash me out as I expected an blended in pretty well. I especially like it when used with the IPKN powder that I recently picked up (review to come). This is my second, although it is running close to the L'egere Shiny Drop the more chances I give it.

Nanoce BB Moist Cream (No. 2 Healthy Ocre)
Nanoce is a Japanese brand. This BB is available in 2 shades, Natural Ocre and Healthy Ocre. I decided with healthy ocre since it seemed to be the darker one. The package describes it as a moisturizing cover cream that has the all the following functions: make up base, powder, moist cream, foundation and UV protection (SPF 25PA++). It is the thickest BB balm I've tried and it has the worse scent-a bit medicinal, kind of like ban-aids (sorry that is the best description I could give). This was the first BB I bought and I had high hopes, it's not bad on coverage since it is pretty thick but the color is a bit off. Not so bad that I got rid of it but not at all great. It didn't brighten that much and I still prefer to put some additional foundation on top to improve my coloring. I will just keep using it as more of a base than a stand alone product just to use the tube up.

Friday, March 13, 2009

First Konad +Bling Nails

I received some additional Konad supplies today. I ordered some stamping plates, special polish in silver and violet, and some rhinestones. I started stamping last month and it's been pretty fun. Overall, I haven't had too many problems with the stamp picking up the image from the plate; although I have discovered that certain designs are easier than others. The intricate flower designs were more difficult than the larger whole nail designs. I would be able to pick up the larger flower elements but then I would have problems picking up the finer lines in the design and it would take a few tries to get the entire design. Less problematic designs were ones like the fishnet and zebra print for the whole nail.

Since I was generally comfortable with the basic stamping, I decided to try adding some rhinestones to my designs. Small packs of stones were on sale so I got a pack of clear ones. I used the Zoya Kotori from my polish exchange and the special Konad silver polish. You can use any non-konad polish with the stamping plates with varying degrees of success. I decided to purchase the special polish so I know the color would show up well. Generally, I found the lighter colored metallic polish that I had would hardly show when I stamped with them. Darker colors did show up decently.

Here is the result:

Ta-da! Sorry I didn't do the complete clean up around the edges. I wanted to snap a pic before I smudged something or loose a stone. I would change up my nail polish constantly but I usually don't have time in the evenings and it's not good idea to stay up till 2 am when you should get up at 6:30 am. Hopefully this manicure will last for the next few days. :)

Monday, March 9, 2009

Zoya Polish Exchange - Earth Day

Here’s a link for a pretty good deal:

Starting in April, you can send in any old bottle of polish and get a new bottle in return. There is a minimum of 6 bottles and you do have to pay $3 per bottle for shipping/handling So overall, it’s about half off of the retail price. FYI-the address you put in the initial form is the shipping address they will use.

They just did a round of this promotion. I sent in my polish the last week of February and I got my new polish today so they processed everything pretty fast. I exchanged 17 bottles! and I still have more floating around the house so I'm glad they are doing this promotion again.

These are the colors I got in my exchange-
Harley(soft shimmery grey), Malia (violet creme), Barbie (Soft shimmery pink), Cassi (soft shimmery coral/peach), Zara (purple metallic with gold sheen), Creamy(bright yellow creme), Lulu (sheer peach creme), Miley (sheer lilac cream), Deidra (mauve metallic with gold sheen), Kotori (smoky blue with gorgeous blue glitter), Erika(pink frost with gold shimmer), Elke (apple red with a fine gold shimmer), Gaia (white frost with gold shimmer), Shimmer (sheer pink sparkle), Sweet (bubble gum pink creme), Irene (grass green metallic) and Uma (beige pink with gold shimmer).

I'm pretty happy with the formula, it's not too thin and not goopey. They dry pretty fast and for most colors, 2 coats was enough. None were streaky. I'm hoping that they will release the summer colors soon so I can add them to my exchange list. :) I'm also waiting for some new Konad stamping plates to arrive so I can have a nail decorating blow out.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Hello Kitty Kouture with pics!

I had a crummy day at work and was in a state of high aggravation. I decided to go to MAC to unwind. I saw the new Hello Kitty Kouture items and the compact called to me more than I would like. I asked one of the MA what the sheer mystery powder was exactly since I had never heard of it. She told me it was a finely milled powder. It can be used alone or on top of foundation. It's consistency allows for a little bit of buildability but not much. The mystery powder is a limited release and the MA mentioned that since it is not available year round, the compact does come with a re-fill so you do get 2 pans of powder. This helps a bit to justify the cost ($90) of this puppy. The powder comes in three shades: medium light, medium plus and dark. I'm about a NC25 in mac foundation and I got the medium plus which goes on pretty well.When I was checking out another MA mentioned that the blushes sized for the mac palettes also fit into the compact so its uses can be stretched beyond holding the mystery powder.

Lip gloss and compact boxes

Compact comes with pouch and powder/sponge refill

I couldn't get the lighting quite right but the arrow points to the section
I think shows the color the best.

I also got the Dazzlepuss lip gloss, it's a very shimmery vibrant pink which is similar to the the Too Faced Girls Dig Pearls lip gloss in Tropical Pink, although the glitter is a bit more fine.

To further help justify my hefty purchase I did receive a HK tote bag.


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