Saturday, July 4, 2015

May and June 2015 Empties and Blog Updates!

It's been a few weeks since I last sat down to type up a blog post and I've made a few changes to this space that I wanted to quickly mention. After many years, I've decided it's time I bought my own domain and rebrand my blog to make it more relevant to the content. Angelic Betrayal is a name I borrowed from a video game I played in way back in middle school and it didn't convey anything about what I write about here. Instead of thinking of a beauty themed blog name, I wanted to expand my horizons and make it more general since I have some travel and lifestyle content once in awhile. 

I plan on incorporating more non-beauty posts going forward to keep things a bit more interesting. Of course beauty will still be the main focus but I'm excited to give myself a reason to brunch a little more to do some restaurant reviews. Over the course of the next few months I look forward to adjusting the layout of my website into something more modern and reader friendly. Let me know what you think of the new name and if you have any suggestions for what you would like to see on According to Kar Yi!

My May and June empties is a bit late because I was out of the country at the end of last month so this is better late than never. I'm honestly not very interested in writing long, drawn out mini reviews every two months anymore but I'll keep doing these as a record for myself. Let me just tell you the products I loved and/or hated and you can assume the rest were just decent.... Feel free to ask me in the comments about a particular product and I'll be happy to give you my thoughts that way!

Liked/loved: Ole Henriksen African Red Tea Cleanser, First Aid Beauty Facial Radiance Pads (already repurchased), Tatcha Aburatorigami Blotting Papers, Cover FX Calming Primer and Softlips 

Disliked: Shiseido Bio-Performance Glow Revival Serum*, Juice Beauty Green Apple Age Defy Moisturizer, NUXE RĂªve de Miel Lip Moisturizing Stick

On another note, I've pretty much given up on my Project Make a Dent items and have moved onto other things.... I'm thinking maybe I should try a Pan That Palette challenge but I have a feeling that won't be very effective either. Here's to hoping I have some makeup pan to show you in my next empties post!

Friday, June 26, 2015

Laura Mercier Lush Nectarine Blush: Coral Cheek Perfection

For those of you who watch certain Youtubers, Laura Mercier's Lush Nectarine is probably a blush you're familiar with. It's the epitome of a coral summer flush. I finally picked this up after years of having it on my mind and it's pretty much everything that everyone says it is. No surprises here, folks! 

I've been quickly building a small collection of Laura Mercier goodies in the past few months. I really like Laura Mercier's clean, smart aesthetic and how the focus is on the actual products you apply on your face. I'm all about cute and glamorous packaging but I also admire sleek and simple. 

Laura Mercier blushes come in small square compacts with only 3.6 grams of product. That's a quarter less blush than a regular Nars blush so these are quite small. Keep in mind that these retail for $26 so the price is reflective of the fact that you're getting a bit less than say Nars. Each blush can be popped out of its compact and transferred into an empty custom compact which also fits eyeshadows. I'm a huge fan of these mix-and-match concepts as they're wonderful for traveling. 

For some odd reason, Lush Nectarine is described as a "matte soft peach coral" but there's absolutely nothing matte or soft about this blush. It clearly has golden shimmers in it and the color is very bright. I am careful to pick this up on a very fluffy brush and sweep on the tiniest amount to build up the color because this blush packs a pigmented punch. This isn't the sort of blush you can easily put on absentmindedly because the color can be quite stark if you don't take the time to blend it out. The color is absolutely gorgeous and it will look beautiful on most skin tones. Fairer skin toned people will have to be extra careful about using the lightest hand but deep skintones will look lovely with this color on. 

I'm very pleased with this first blush acquisition from Laura Mercier and hope to add a few more to my collection. Next time, I'll probably go for a true matte blush!

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Lorac Pro Palettes 1 & 2: Swatches and Comparisons

Up until last month, I had absolutely no interest in the Lorac Pro Palettes which I've seen featured on blogs and Youtube videos countless times in the past few years. For the longest time these palettes just didn't appeal to me. I thought the shades were meh and that the eyeshadow formulation itself couldn't be that great. But right when Lorac announced their 35% off Memorial Day sale, something shifted in my makeup hoarding mind and I decided I needed both the Lorac Pro Palette and Lorac Pro Palette 2.... 

Both palettes retail for $42 and come with their own mini Behind the Scenes Eye Primer which is a decent enough primer. You get 16 shadows in each palette; the top eight are mattes and the bottom eight are shimmers. Note that the shadow pans are smaller than the average palette pan and contain only .02 ounces whereas the Urban Decay Naked Palette shadows are .05 ounces. Overall you get more shadow in something like the Naked Palette but the Lorac Pro Palettes are $12 less expensive and realistically I'm not one to use up an eyeshadow no matter the size. 

Additionally, the Lorac Pro Palettes are very lightweight and thin, practically half the width of a Naked Palette. The cardboard packaging has a rubbery finish, similar to Nars packaging, and a magnetic closure. 

The original Lorac Pro Palette has more of your basic neutrals with the only standout color being Garnet, a rusty red. I really like the shimmers and warm mattes. I could have done without White, Light Pink and Slate but that's just my personal preference. Champagne is my least favorite shade out of both palettes because it's the only color with glitter in it and it isn't as smooth and buttery as the other shadows. 

At first glance the Lorac Pro Palette 2 has more unique shades because Navy and Jade really jump out at you. But taken as a whole, this is very much a neutral palette. I purchased this palette because I liked the look of Rose, Mocha and Chrome. I also appreciate the light Brown and Nectar mattes. I wish this palette had a darker matte brown though. I don't care for Snow, Silver or Charcoal at all since cool toned whites and grays look weird on my yellow toned skin. 

My shade pickiness aside, the quality of these shadows is superb. I almost feel bad that I had judged these palettes before ever swatching them. I've swatched the matte rows of the two palettes next to each other so you can see the differences between them better. These mattes are very buttery and easy to blend. As with some creamy eyeshadows, these can kick up a fair bit of powder and get messy quickly though. Just gently dab your brush in, tap off excess and you'll be fine.

The shimmers are lovely as well and I'm head over heels in love with the midtone shades. You can see the chunky sparkles from Champagne on the top row and Jade didn't come off the smoothest but everything else looks really nice. These shadows are very blendable, almost to the point where you might blend everything away if you're not being mindful. If I had to pick only one of the palettes, I'd go with the first palette since it has more wearable colors (I probably won't wear the silver or gray in the second palette) but I think both palettes are worth having if you come across a good sale.

I take back my hesitations about these palettes and have to say the quality is very good considering the price is noticeably less expensive than comparable mid-high end makeup brands. The shadows aren't perfect as they can be a little powdery but overall they're a pleasure to work with. When I'm going on an extended trip, I'll be all set if I just brought one of these palettes since you have so many mattes and shimmers to play with. I have my eyes on the Lorac Unzipped Palettes next.... 

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Affordable Summer Shimmer with Physician's Formula

When I spotted these cheek products from Physician's Formula, my first thought was that these look too pretty to be from the drugstore. The Bronze Booster Glow-Boosting Airbrushing Bronzing Veil (what a mouthful) caught my eye because the texture of the powder looked like the Mac In Extra Dimension formula. These aren't new releases from Physician's Formula but I don't believe I've seen any reviews or swatches before. I thought both of these would be lovely for the summer so I scooped them up when Rite Aid was having a BOGO sale a few weeks ago.

To my dismay the metallic finish of the bronzer is simply an overspray. I purchased the shade Light to Medium in the hopes that it might be a highlighter when I'm at my tannest skin tone. Alas, this is not meant to be a highlighter and suits my skin as an all over bronzer. Under the ultra shimmery overspray, the rest of the bronzer still has a distinct pearl quality. The bronzer gives a true glow without looking shimmery or glittery. I've been using it alone as a bronzing contour and it doesn't highlight pores or imperfections.

The swatch on the left is the color of the overspray and the right side is what the true bronzer looks like. This bronzer definitely leans warm and isn't the best if you want to chisel natural looking cheek bones. What it is great for is adding a healthy, tan glow to your complexion. If you want to accentuate a summer tan, this would be perfect. If you're one to wear makeup to the beach or pool, you could use this over your face and body as well since you get 12 grams of product and you're only paying about $15.

I used the bronzer in my most recent Get Ready With Me and First Impressions video. I layered it over a matte bronzer but I find that I don't really need to do that since the shimmer doesn't translate into sparkle on the skin.

The Argan Wear Ultra-Nourishing Argan Oil Blush also has a gold sparkly overspray which you can see in the very first photo in this post. I took a brush and gently brushed away the top layer of product so you could see what the blush actually looks like. I chose the shade Rose, a vibrant pink that looks almost intimidating in the pan but with a light hand, it looks very natural on medium to deep skintones. Another thing I should mention is that this blush has a distinct exotic perfume scent. I don't particularly enjoy it but you can't smell it when you're wearing the product.

Again, on the left we have a swatch of the blush with the overspray and on the right is what the blush looks like without the glittery accents. Even after dabbing my brush in the pan and wiping away all of the overspray, there are still bits of shimmer and glitter that wind up on my face. The blush has a satin finish but the pesky glitter particles linger. Despite this, I really like the color of the blush and the satin finish doesn't look too shiny but definitely gives the cheeks a nice brightness. Although the color is quite deep in the pan, the pigmentation is not too strong and you can lightly build up the color to whatever intensity you prefer.

These are two fantastic cheek products by Physician's Formula and I'm consistently impressed by their face powders. If you seek a healthy summer complexion, head over to the drugstore and check out this bronzer and blush because they're worth every penny!

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Travel Makeup Bag: 10 Days in Scandinavia

Tomorrow I'm jetting off to Norway followed by Sweden for a much needed 10-day trip. Since it's a relatively short trip and I'm only allowing myself to bring a carry on, let's see what makeup necessities I'm bringing. Everything fits into a pleather Zoeva pouch that came with one of their brush sets but I'll need to transfer some of the cream products into my clear liquids pouch. 

As usual I tried to pare my routine down and take sample minis that I have on hand to cut down on the bulk. I also aim to bring long wearing products that I don't need to fuss with. I'll list out the items by category so you can see exactly what I'm bringing and link to separate reviews and swatches where applicable. 

Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer (sample)
Laneige Cushion Concealer in Medium*
Dr. Jart+ WaterFuse BB Cream (sample)
Dr. Jart+ Premium BB Cream (not pictured because I added this in after taking the photo - sample)
Marcelle Golden Glow BB Cream (sample)
Laura Mercier Invisible Pressed Setting Powder (sample)

Catrice Sun Glow Matt Bronzing Powder in Deep Bronze
Stila Convertible Color in Peony
theBalm Mary-Lou Manizer (sample)

Nars Pro-Prime Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Base (sample)
KIKO Long Lasting Stick Eyeshadow in 06
Inglot Eyeshadow Duo in AMC Shine 08 and 107R
Physician's Formula Eye Booster 2-in-1 Lash Boosting Eyeliner + Serum in Ultra Black
Shiseido Eyelash Curler
Maybelline The Colossal Volume Express Cat Eyes Waterproof Mascara
Lioele Auto Eyebrow Pencil in #2

Benefit Posie Balm (sample)
Holika Holika Pure Mellow Moisture Tint in Red
I probably will have a handful of other lipbalms and lip products floating in my other everyday makeup bag....

I tend to be very minimal in terms of makeup when I travel because my skin usually goes crazy from the flight and I'm not in the mood to fuss with products when my skin is unhappy. I could have been even more strict and not included the eyeshadow primer and duo altogether and left the highlighter out. But I figured I'd bring them along "just in case".

Regardless of what beauty bits I'm taking with me, I'm sure I'll be spending less time getting ready and more time taking in all the sights that Norway and Sweden have to offer! I'm excited to take lots of photos and get back into travel posts! Until then, I'll have a few prescheduled reviews for the next week and a half.