November 30, 2011

These Color Sensational Lipsticks From Maybelline Have Me Thoroughly Impressed

I distinctly remember owning a tube of Maybelline Color Sensational Lipstick before... I threw it away because it had an absolutely awful scent and I've been staying away from the line ever since. Of course, I couldn't avoid it for too long, could I? The shades are just too gorgeous!

Warm Me Up

Warm Me Up has been on my radar for a while now; I first swatched it a month ago and loved it. It's similar to MAC Jubilee in that it's a nude lipstick that leans towards pink, which is my perfect MLBB shade. I mentioned in a previous post about MAC's Bare Again lipstick that I've had a bit of an obsession with nude lipsticks this past pre-fall/fall... Now, because of my colouring and because my lips are pretty pigmented, I find this pinky-nude shade is the type of nude (or neutral, if you will) that suits me the best...

Plum Jewel

(Please excuse the grossness. I had to re-take the photo and by then, I had already used it)

Plum Jewel is a Limited Edition lipstick that kind of confuses me a bit. I think it's pretty safe to assume that a product named Plum Jewel would look plum, but it looks more pink on me. I like to call it, "fuchsia's older, more sophisticated sister." It's definitely a bright shade that translates really well into the Fall. That said, I find that when I apply enough, it does deepen into a plum shade and as it fades (mostly through eating or drinking), it turns into a lovely, berry-pink stain. It's so pretty!

Aaaand ---


The first thing that I love about these lipsticks is the texture. It glides on so smoothly on the lips but doesn't slip around too much. I remember trying on a YSL lippie in Murale last week and the texture made me kind of anxious - it was so slippery! I was so paranoid it would somehow end up all over my face. With these Color Sensational lipsticks, I feel like the product really hugs my lips. The formula is thick enough that it doesn't move around your lips too much and yet, it's not at all sticky. 

Going back to the scent, I'm pleased to say that these two don't smell awful (unlike my first tube... Perhaps I had purchased from a bad batch?). There's still that synthetic, sickly-sweet smell; but it's not that noticeable once you're wearing the lipstick and I have a pretty sensitive sense of smell. 

I also like that it doesn't dry out my lips* and that I can wear it for a good 4 hours; more if I don't eat or drink... Which won't ever happen because I love food and I need to drink water in order to live, but that's beside the point. 

* My lips themselves feel pretty moisturized when I wear these lipsticks. However, I have developed some sort of reaction to lip products this year. If I wear a lip product that is not a lip balm for an extended period of time, the skin directly beside what Wikipedia tells me is called the vermillion border becomes very dry, slightly inflamed, and at times, very itchy. I'm not sure what the cause of this is. It can't be the cold weather because it started even before the temperature started dropping. I'm not sure if it's an allergy either because this reaction has happened even when I used paraben-free lipsticks. Anyone have any idea what I'm suffering with? 

Oh! And if these shades don't tickle your fancy, I'm sure Maybelline has something else for you because the shade range is fabulous! They have all their Color Sensational lipsticks arranged by shades - Neutral, Pinks, Reds, Plums, et cetera. Also, being a drugstore brand, they are fairly inexpensive. I purchased these in Superstore (our supermarket) for $6.99 a tube. 

What are your favourite Color Sensational shades?

November 28, 2011

All About Eyes - Fall

Products Used:
Urban Decay Naked Palette - Half Baked & Hustle
Sleek MakeUP i-Divine Palette - Sunset Palette (frosted red shade)
Clinique Brush-On Cream Liner - True Black
Rimmel Volume Flash The Max Bold Curves - Black
Prestige Cosmetics Brow Perfection Revitalizing Brow Gel - Clear

You know why I could never imagine myself living in a place with no seasons? Because seeing the leaves change colour is truly a sight to behold. That was what inspired me to use gold and red in this look. To start off, I applied Half Baked (so pretty!) on the lid and up to, but not above, the brow bone; I also applied a smidge of this to the inner, lower lash line. Then I used Hustle (one of my favourites in the Naked Palette) along the outer corner for a smokier effect and also to create some depth. I also used a little of this along the lower lash line for more definition. Then for some drama, I applied one of the red shades from Sleek's Sunet palette along the center of the lid and blending it towards the outer corner (a little "trick" I've seen a few YouTube makeup artists/guru's do in various videos). I have to say, I really like the effect it gives. Perhaps I shall use that trick more often.

Lastly, I applied gel liner along the top lid (flicking it gently otuwards) & along the lower water line; then I applied 2-3 coats of mascara to top lashes.

Hope you all like my Fall look =).

November 23, 2011

My Introduction To BB Creams - The Face Shop's Power Perfection Bb Cream

While in the Philippines, I decided that I wasn't going to spend any money on beauty products. Don't ask me why, it doesn't even make any sense to me now :p. But, on the third week, I thought: "why not check out the beauty products they have here?" So I stepped into The Face Shop (a Korean skincare and cosmetics company) and it was decided that it was my new favourite store.

I've heard of BB Creams before, but until recently, there were no North American brands that offered them in their roster. So of course, I jumped at the chance to try these coveted products. To reduce this to its simplest definition, it is basically a hybrid of skincare and makeup. Think of a tinted moisturizer but with loads of extra skincare benefits.

Power Perfection is The Face Shop's "top of the line" BB Cream, the best they have to offer. So of course, I had to have it :p. Now, I think it's important to state that my skin doesn't suffer from too many problems. I get hormonal breakouts, I get some dry spots on occasion and my skin tone isn't even (darker pigmentation around the chin and around the jaw area). That said, I wouldn't be able to tell you if Power Perfection has any miraculous, anti-aging properties because my skin is simply not there yet...

However, I have to say that I absolutely love this product! It definitely takes the the concept of a tinted moisturizer even further. It certainly feels like a moisturizer, it glides onto the skin smoothly and effortlessly; but has better pigmentation and coverage than any other tinted moisturizer I've tried (which, admittedly, is not that much).

As you can see, I still need concealing (I definitely need it around the mouth/chin and under the eyes); but considering it's not a foundation, I'm still quite pleased with the coverage. I find that it certainly performs better than Laura Mercier's tinted moisturizer. Granted, I only tried it out once, but that's enough to figure out whether or not it's enough coverage for you, I think.

Unfortunately, this isn't exactly the right shade for my skin. BB Creams typically come in two shades and I chose the darker of the two, which is Natural Beige. However, the undertone is too pink for my warm/yellow toned skin (in the Philippines, it's all about having "pinkish-white skin"). Thankfully, because the coverage isn't too thick, I can still make it work for me; I just make sure to blend a bit of it on my neck.

I guess you can call this a "my skin, but better" type of product :p. No, it doesn't make my skin look flawless; I don't think that look is appropriate for every day, anyway. But it does make my skin look fresh, slightly dewy and healthier. I do notice some shine and oiliness on my face after a few hours, but honestly, now that we're heading into Winter, I'm more forgiving of some shine on my face. Especially since I find that whatever coverage it gives still sticks around until the end of my work day. That said, if you have oily skin, I don't think this product is for you.

...Assuming you would even be able to get it, coz um... It's not available in Canada. I'm sorry! >.<

But! They have stores in the US, Australia and various other countries in Asia so take a look at their Store Locator; you may be in luck and have a store near you. Check it out, yo! Coz this product is absolutely lurvely!

Have you tried a BB Cream before?

November 21, 2011

Meet The Most Vibrant Blush I've Ever Come Across...

I was immediately drawn to this amazingly bright shade and who could blame me? It was practically begging me to pick it up! This baby is Maybelline's Clear Smooth Shine Free Blush in Fresh Berry. The Clear Smooth line is not available anywhere outside of Asia, unfortunately; and that's a shame, because this blush is gorgeous and fantastic quality!

Here's some info from Maybelline regarding their Clear Smooth Shine Free Blushes:

1. Velvety, matte colour:
Pure colour pigments blend into skin for a naturally shine-free flush.

2. Lasting oil control:
Micro-fine oil-absorbing powders remove shine for a clean, shine-free look that lasts for hours and hours.

3. Silky smooth texture:
Ultra-blendable powders glide like silk and melts smoothly only skin.

Shades specifically developed for Asian skintones
Dermatologist-tested, Non-comedogenic, Fragrance free & Oil-free

Because of the high temperatures and humidity, the majority of Asian beauty products cater to oily skin*.  This oil-free blush is perfect for such weather and also for those with oily skin to begin with. The texture is amazingly smooth and feels really soft. It blends wonderfully as well; a plus, considering how crazy pigmented this blush is. For reals, I only tap my brush to the pan once and I still need to tap off the excess on the back of my hand, it's that bright!

*Asians are also obsessed with whitening products. Practically every skin care or makeup base product involves "whitening properties." I can't even count how many times an SA looked at me like I had two heads when I said I wasn't interested in anything that would whiten my skin (it was their number one selling point).

Holy Moly! :o

That said, there's absolutely no need to be frightened. Because when applied properly, it looks very, very pretty! Fresh Berry is a bright fuchsia shade with red undertones, definitely not something I have in my humble stash. Even if you are a bit heavy handed (as I sometimes most of the time am), it's also easy to blend with either your fingers or a brush, to make the colour less intense.

But the best part is that it's long wearing. Again, with products marketed for Asia, it's important to have matte finishes and also long wearability. Because, and I kid you not, once you step outside, it takes less than 5 minutes for your skin to get a bit oily due to the humidity. Now that I'm back in Canada and the weather's cold, that's not much of a problem for me. However, my skin still gets a bit oily near the end of my day. Still, I find that the Clear Smooth blush sticks around on even my longer days. The vibrancy diminishes a tiiiny bit, but I can still tell I'm wearing blush, which is the most important part. These chubby cheeks need some definition, yo!

I am so impressed with this product and it seriously needs to make an appearance on North American shores; I'm sure oily-skinned ladies would absolutely love it. And even if you have normal to dry skin (which I do), this would still be suitable for you, because it doesn't accentuate any dry areas at all...

...Now I wish I had gotten all the other shades!

Are you a fan of BRIGHT blushes?

November 14, 2011

Lipstick Bandit: My Favourite Fall Lipstick

When I received an email from my fellow Lipstick Bandits, I was still in the Philippines and Fall was so far away from my thoughts that I thought I wouldn't be able to find a Fall lipstick in time. Well, looks like my worries were unnecessary as I was able to find my fall lipstick a few days after I arrived back home.

Except, adjusting back to work and having a delayed case of jet lag has made writing this post an ordeal and a half. And sure, I could've spent Sunday afternoon home writing it, but I couldn't pass up the chance to see Henry Cavill and Luke Evans throwing it down while shirtless :p. It's a totally good excuse, you guys...


Bite Luminous Crème Lipstick according to Sephora:

What it is:
A lush, long-lasting, moisture-rich lip color.

What it does:
This lip color delivers super antioxidant resveratrol, which fights free radicals with potent long term anti-aging benefits. Each lipstick contains the amount of resveratrol found in five glasses of red wine.

What it is formulated WITHOUT:
- Parabens
- Sulfates
- Synthetic Fragrances
- Synthetic Dyes
- Petrochemicals
- Pthalates
- GMOs
- Triclosan

What else you need to know:
This products is free of synthetics, polybutenes, and petroleum byproducts and made exclusively with lip nurturing, food-grade ingredients that are healthy enough to eat.

When I first swatched this lippie, I actually gasped a little bit. Still, the $28 price tag was a bit of a kick to the gut, especially since I didn't earn any money in October. So I went in search for a cheaper alternative, but couldn't find anyway. So I ended up just buying the darn thing, since I was so in love with it already.

This lipstick, which Bite has dubbed "Mulberry," is very creamy; it glides on smoothly & effortlessly, with amazing colour payoff. Sadly, despite being a "moisture-rich" lipstick, it is still no match for my über dry lips and this lipstick is emphatically not something you should wear when your lips are dry. Thankfully, they're behaving at the moment, so I'm enjoying wearing it :). That said, I'm afraid I've developed some sort of reaction to lipsticks as of late. The skin along my top lip and the skin on the left side of my bottom lip get pretty dry and itchy when I wear lipsticks for a prolonged period of time. I experienced that the first time I tried this lipstick, though it hasn't happened since then.

(dotted on)

Mulberry is a gorgeous wine-red shade that actually looks a lot like MAC Media, albeit a less intense version. Unfortunately, my camera could not fully capture the shade in all its glory. It's more... Well, wine-y than my photos suggest. 

It's such a lovely colour, that I've been semi-obsessed with similar shades ever since I purchased this lipstick. I know I said nude would be my go-to shade in the Fall, but I lied I just can't resist! One thing to keep in mind with this product is that it has a tendency to shift if, like me, you like to smush your lips together. So you'll definitely want to keep that to a minimum while wearing Bite's Luminous Crème Lipsticks. 

My favourite way to wear Mulberry is by dotting it over or under lip balm. I tend to wear it with Korres' Lip Butter in Jasmine because it doesn't add any colour, though layering MAC Tinted Lip Conditioner in Fuchsia Fix over Mulberry is also a really gorgeous combo!

So there we go, my favourite Fall lipstick! Of course, as you all know, I'm not the only Lipstick Bandit around... Wondering what the other Lipstick Bandits are loving? Check out these posts for all our fall favourites:

What's your favourite Fall lipstick?

November 9, 2011

Get A Pretty Flush With NYX Cosmetics' Rouge Cream Blush In Natural

I never used to like cream blushes, mostly because I could never apply it properly with my fingers. I still have trouble, if I'm honest; but I've recently added another cream blush to my burgeoning collection: NYX's Cream Blush in Natural. That brings my collection to a whopping 3! I'm out of control, guys...

So the first part of this post was written back in the Summer. I thought that in order to give it a more thorough review, I should also test it out in the Fall when the temperature drops; it might give you guys a better idea of how this product works in the heat and in the cold. 

From NYX Cosmetics: More delicious than peaches and cream? We like to think so. Our velvety smooth mineral Rouge Cream Blush offers a sheer wash of radiant color. The glorious payoff is dewy, sultry and long-lasting. Available in 12 shades.

I really love the dewy finish it gives, it looks so pretty on the skin. Although, unlike the Joe Fresh cream blushes, these remain tacky. So while the weather is still quite warm and my skin somewhat oily, I make sure to only wear this blush when I don't have to be out for very long or on those odd Vancouver days when the temperature drops. 

That said, I find that even though my face has gotten oily, the blush stays put. I'm wearing it as I'm writing these very words, 6 hours after I first applied it and it's still with me. Might I add that it was quite hot today with a high of about 25°C (yes, that's hot to me) and it somehow didn't melt right off my face?

After 6 hours, I blotted my face and it didn't come off. Two hours after blotting and the blush is definitely not as vibrant but it's still there; so I'm seriously quite impressed with the wear time. It's not super long lasting and I'll probably have to touch up if I happened to spend a lot of time running around from place to place, enduring the combination of heat/sweat/oiliness (how lovely)... But 8 hours is still pretty darn cool.

Fast forward to today, November 8th and I still love the product & love the shade. Now that the weather is much cooler, I find that the product settles onto the skin much better and has a drier finish. That said, it still gives a nice, dewy flush. Obviously, the wear time is a bit extended as well because there's no heat t melt it off my face :p.

I currently use Sigma's F15 brush, but I find that it's much too big and I don't enjoy how it feels on the skin when applying blush. If anybody has any recommendations for brushes that would apply cream blushes beautifully, please hit me up in the comments section!

NYX Cosmetics' Rouge Cream Blush retails for $9.99 CAD and are available at PriceSmart, Save-On Foods, and the freestanding NYX Cosmetics store in Surrey's Central City mall.

What are your favourite cream blushes?

November 2, 2011

Monthly Favourites - October 2011

Mother of pearl, has the Philippines been HOT!

I say this like I'm surprised, but really... What does one expect from a country in Southeast Asia? Honestly though, I am so ready for cold weather. As I am writing this, I am a mere 4 days away from blissful coolness and as you are reading this, I am emphatically not enjoying the jetlag as I adjust back to Pacific time.

Anyhoo, these month's favourites are the ones that have really impressed me with how helpful they've been in this heat (it is 32º C this very moment).

1. Urban Decay Naked Palette

OH-EM-GEE, enough with the Naked Palette!

But seriously, one last thing I have to say before I quit it... If you ever go on vacation and want to keep the makeup to a minimum (good luck with that :p), bring the Naked Palette. I have used it every day and on every occasion; whether it's a casual day spent with family, dinner with friends, or a concert performance - this palette has seen me through all of them. 

Although it was a shame that it didn't hold up to the heat (not even with UDPP).

2. Maybelline Dream Matte Powder

Of course, a mattifying powder is important with such high heat; but what I especially loved about this product during the month of October was how it served as a great foundation, too! On days when my skin was behaving, I could get away with wearing just this. It evened out my skin tone and kept my skin looking matte.

3. Rimmel Volume Flash The Max Bold Curves & Volume Accelerator Mascara

Both these mascaras make some very big claims... One promises extreme volume and lift, while the other promises thicker lashes after 30 days of use. 

Can't say I agree with either, but you know what? Both stuck around for a full day out and in 30º heat! That alone is pretty damn impressive. I also love that it doesn't take too much effort to remove all traces of mascara. I normally have problems with L'oréal's waterproof version of the Voluminous mascara, but not so with these two!

The formula got too clumpy too soon, though. Not such a fan of that, considering I've only had both mascaras for less than a month... Still, I get good enough separation if I'm patient and like I said, both formulas stick around even in 30º/high humidity situations.

4. Prestige Cosmetics Brow Perfection Revitalizing Clear Brow Gel

I'm sure you've all seen some photos where I've somehow forgotten to groom my brows. I finally decided that this problem can no longer be ignored, so I went to London Drugs to find myself a clear brow gel. This baby is so easy to use and it definitely keeps my sometimes unruly brows in check all day. It doesn't make it my brows feel stiff at all, although it holds them in place really well. Bonus!

5. MAC Mineralize Blush in Feeling Flush

Another repeat performance by this product. Like the Naked Palette, I've blabbed about it enough. I just wanted to reiterate how amazing the staying power is. It stays put all day, although the heat does make it fade a bit at the end of the day. But if you're not dealing with high heat and humidity, this stuff will stay super vibrant all day.

6. Eyeko Graffiti Eyeliner Pen

Another repeat "offender" :p. 

Long lasting products is this month's theme, since I've been in the Philippines. You don't need any primer for this stuff, it locks on and doesn't let go all freakin' day! It doesn't migrate anywhere! 

7. EcoTools Retractable Kabuki Brush

Lightweight, portable; this brush is amazing to travel with! Makes touch-ups so much easier! It's eco-friendly, too.

8. Tarte Smooth Operator Amazonian Clay Concealer

Love this stuff! 

It kept my dark circles at bay and kept up with the weather and long days. It's pretty creamy, which I love because it doesn't look cakey or chalky at all. 

9. Travalo Refillable Perfume Atomizer Bottle Spray

I randomly came across this at London Drugs and boy was it ever a life-saver during my trip! It's easy to use (simply remove the top of the spray of your perfume, place the bottom of the atomizer on top, and press down repeatedly until your atomizer is filled), super lightweight and small enough to fit in even small evening handbags. 

When the weather is super hot, your perfume fades away quicker (you pretty much sweat if off after 10 minutes of being outdoors :p), so having this handy was a great way to freshen up!

What are your October faves?


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