Monday, January 31, 2011

Project 10 Pan Round 1 - Update #3

This is the third month since I've embarked on Project 10 Pan and as you can tell from the haul posts (mini or not), I have broken ban a few times already. I've simply become too accustomed to buying new goodies to play with every week or so. As a result, my collection has exploded. People look at my collection and they're simply stunned by the amount of products I've purchased. Most of my friends do not use makeup often and I don't think any of them are as obsessed as I am :( Now that I do not have a job at all, I cannot afford to spend even $20 a week on beauty products which I do not need.

Surprisingly, I actually finished a few products within the past month but several were ones I've been using over a long period of time.

Finished Products (and quick reviews):

Clinique Moisture Surge (sample) -- Counts as 1/2
I did enjoy this as a light nighttime moisturizer for the past two months that it has lasted me. I do like the generous samples Clinique includes with their seasonal GWPs because I get to try out products that I probably wouldn't buy for full price. I liked the refreshing feel this gave my face but I think less expensive products might work as well as this so I will not purchase the full size. I have an in-depth review of this product HERE.

Rimmel Eye Makeup Remover -- Counts as 1/2 (not pictured)
I got this on a whim at Target back in March (probably did not use it until a few months after that) because I had a coupon. This was relatively inexpensive and only cost me a few bucks and it does a decent job at removing my eye makeup. I do like the bottle and will keep it to store other liquids when I need to travel or something. However, I will not repurchase as I have a back up of the Up&Up Eye Makeup Remover which I love and will continue to repurchase. 

Maybelline The Falsies Mascara -- Counts as 1/2 (not pictured)
I only have two to three opened mascaras at a time since they get dry after a few months. This mascara was decent and it got the job done. I liked how it separated my lashes and held a curl but the volume wasn't amazing. I might repurchase this in the future but I have at least five unopened mascaras waiting to be used :)

Bath & Body Works Lotion in Cherry Blossom -- Counts as 1
I don't even know why I bought this lotion in this scent because it smells like cardboard to me. A few months ago before I started blogging, I hauled a ton of B&BW stuff because there was some buy 2 get 1 free deal. I really do not like this scent but I can put up with it. I used this mainly on my legs everyday after my shower since this does not give enough moisture to the dessert-dry regions of my back and arms. I will definitely NOT repurchase this nor any of the other B&BW lotions because I do not think they are worth the money. Drugstore moisturizers are a fraction of the price and work as well if not better than these.

St. Ives Green Tea Facial Cleanser -- Counts as 1/2
I've had this for quite a while too and I bought it because Fuzkittie liked it and she is really serious about her skin care. Unfortunately this cleanser did absolutely nothing for me and it took me forever to finish it because I kept switching cleansers (which probably wasn't a good idea anyway). Although it did have 2% salicylic acid, it didn't seem to do anything to prevent or treat my breakouts. Other people like Catalina suffered a bad reaction from using this cleanser and broke out more. I will not repurchase this since I could not see any results. I have a bottle of Clinique's Liquid Facial Soap in Mild which I bought almost a year ago but never opened. It's supposed to be for normal to dry skin so I hope my typically oily combination skin can use it since I do get a bit dry in the winter.

L'Occitane Hand Cream -- Counts as 1
I've been using this for over a year but only in the cold fall and winter months because that is when my hands are very dry. These are expensive hand creams (I bought a set of three for $25 at Sephora) but they last quite a well and moisturize without leaving a sticky residue. I find this very convenient to keep in my purse whenever my hands are feeling a bit tight because I can slather it on, rub it in, and continue with whatever I am doing. I already started on a new tube of this in the lavender scent which is noticeably more liquid but it still works well. I might repurchase this if I ever need to but I have another hand cream that my friend gave me for Christmas and I want to search the market for other hand creams to test out :)

So this month I've finished four products. Adding that to my previous count of three products, I have completed seven products. So I should only need to use up three more things before I can start hauling again BUT because I have cheated so many times, I am extending my Project 10 Pan to a Project 15 Pan. I really do want to finish some actual makeup products instead of just skin care and body care. I will still be labeling these future update posts as Project 10 Pan but the titles will say "Project Pan". I will not choose five new products since I have many from the original post which I have yet to come close to finishing.

I've been a very good girl since my last hauling (January 10th but blogged on January 12th) and I'm hopeful that I can restrain myself for awhile longer since school is starting and I will not have as much time to shop. However, I love to make lists and I used to always write long lists of things I want to buy. I put together a master list, organized by brand, of all the makeup, skincare and other beauty products I'm lemming for. I also included the price next to each item so I have a shopping list for when I'm done with my Project 15 Pan! The list is hopefully going to help me prioritize my spending and I'll slowly purchase what I've listed.

So that's it for my long rambly post which probably was quite boring for you to read. I hope the mini reviews were helpful and I'd love to answer any questions you might have so leave me a comment!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Winter Break Reflections

My winter holiday is finally coming to a close and the past month seems to have flown by. Although I spent much of my vacation indoors on account of all the snow, I'm grateful for all the extra sleep I've been getting and the much needed "catch up" time I got to spend with a few of my close friends from highschool. I would post up group pictures but I don't feel like asking all of them for their permission and whatnot :/ I don't think I've done a personal post in awhile so I thought I'd take a break from rambling about eyeshadow and lipgloss and show you some yummy food and whatnot ^^

Yesterday my boyfriend and I got to spend one last day together before he has to go back to college and we decided to go to the city to have lunch and walk around. I edited the pictures from yesterday a little bigger so that you guys would be able to see better :) I think you guys probably know already but if you click the picture, it will expand.

It snowed over five times this season already and that's quite a lot compared to what we normally get. About a foot of snow fell this past week and it made walking around a huge mess. I had knee high rainboots so I was pretty much ten feet ahead since I didn't have to walk around puddles haha.

We ate at S'Mac because I saw the restaurant on some Food Network show and I love pasta and cheese. This place only serves mac n' cheese but they have a variety of recipes and you can even make your own! I keep forgetting to take pictures of the outside of places to show you guys >.> You can check out their menu and information on their website HERE.

I ordered one of the preset options which was 4 Cheese and it was super cheesy (of course). There are a few sizes you can order and I got the second smallest which was Major Munch and it was actually too much. I can eat that plate for two meals!

My boyfriend made his own and asked for a bunch of things like BBQ sauce, blue cheese, ground beef, and more things I can't remember. It was a little too tangy for my taste but I think he enjoyed it :) It's a pretty small restaurant and when we went it was quite crowded so I wouldn't recommend this place for large groups. It's nice if you have a small trio of friends and want a hot, cheesy meal ^^

Afterwards we headed to Central Park because it pretty much looks amazing during any time of the year. If you're ever in the area you definitely need to go to the park and considering it's right in the middle of Manhattan and it's enormous.

While we were walking through the park, we saw this lonely snowman.... So we decided to make him a friend!

Tada~ Haha the leaf was actually supposed to be the nose but now it looks more like a pipe.

I wonder if they're still sitting at the park :)

I wanted one picture of the two of us but it was so difficult to made a level tri-pod of sorts out of containers of leftover mac n' cheese. I put the camera on self timer and ran through the snow to be in the picture. It was difficult to stay balanced which explains the weird pose :) All in all it was a really fun day and a nice ending to winter break. Now for a couple of random shots from the past month!

A bunch of my high school friends and I went to the Museum of Sex and it was... interesting :) Haha, it's not for the faint hearted innocent youngsters and it definitely requires some maturity. The first floor is a shop which does not require an admission fee so you can check that out for some laughs ^^ The museum is located on 233 fifth Avenue on 27th street.

I was craving a cheeseburger so we went to Shake Shack at Madison Square Park and I ordered the Shake Stack which has their regular cheeseburger and shroom burger in one. It was SO good :) I will definitely be coming back here soon.

Actually we also ate lunch at St. Marks earlier that day and we opted for one of the many Japanese restaurants there. It was my first time eating at St. Marks and I forgot the name of this place but they had 50% off all sushi rolls. I ended up getting a simple ramen combo with salmon sushi and it was good but nothing amazing.

My boyfriend and I really like little critters so we always find ourselves in pet shops since we do not have any pets of our own. We can easily spend an hour at a pet shop observing the bunnies or puppies.

This little guy was so adorable because he looked so flustered :) Yup, so that was a quick look at a few moments of my vacation. I'm somewhat looking forward to a new semester at school because of the classes and it'll be nice to have a schedule again. At the same time I know that about two weeks from now I'll be pining for Spring Break.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Belated MAC Reviews

I ordered two items from Mac a few weeks ago and I never got around to blogging about them >.< Given my obsession with eyeshadows, I had to try one of the Mega Metal ones from the Peacocky Collection.  I chose the shade Unflappable which is a very dark gray with a purple undertone.

This retails for $19.50 and contains 3.4 grams, making it a great value compared to the normal Mac eyeshadows which cost $14.50 and hold only 1.5 grams. The pigmentation is excellent and this shade is perfect for a smokey eye or defining the crease and outer corner. I really love how Unflappable blends in the outer corner of my eyes as well.

I somewhat wish I picked up some more colors since the finish is really pretty and the color payoff is incredible. But $20 is quite a lot to throw down and I highly doubt I will ever finish this shadow. If you're an eyeshadow fanatic you must try out these shadows! They're still available online but they are limited edition so pick them up before they're gone! :)

The other item I purchased was the 217 brush which is my first Mac brush ever! I was really excited to try this brush because so many people rave about this fluffy blending brush. At first I was quite skeptical since all of my other brushes are low end and inexpensive and they do the job. To see reviews on a few other crease brushes I own, click HERE.

When I pay $22.50 for a brush I expect great results and I must say my expectations were blown away! I love this brush! This brush really can be used for a whole eye look since it has a wider, flat side for placing color as well as a thinner fluffy side to blend seamlessly. The bristles are incredibly soft and the whole brush has a nice weight and feel to it. There is definitely a difference between this brush and the inexpensive crease brushes I own.

If you want a good quality brush that does a great job at blending and will last many many years without falling apart, I would suggest investing in this brush. I will continue to build up my Mac brush collection as brushes are really important in doing one's makeup and they are products I will constantly reach for as opposed to my color makeup which is mostly ignored aside from a few favorite shades. A few Mac brushes I have on my wishlist at the moment are the 239 shader, 224 tapered blending, 168 large angled contour, and the 187 duo fibre. I have many more that I want but I am going to spread out my purchases so I can control my spending. :(

Tell me what your favorite Mac brushes are and what you think I should have in my collection! :D As a side note, I finished the Lush Once a Year Massage Bar and edited my review HERE. The glitter in that particular bar was extremely annoying because it got onto everything I touched. From now on I will only be buying glitter-less massage bars >.>

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Maybelline Eyestudio Eyeshadows: For Sparkly Eyes Only!

Maybelline is one of my favorite drugstore brands and you all know I love their Expertwear Eyeshadows since I've reviewed every quad and trio that I own from that line. Sometime last year they introduced a new line of eyeshadows in their Eyestudio line. Although this is a pretty late review and there have been countless reviews and swatches already, I'd thought I'd show you the four quads I have anyway.

I bought these quads two at a time and many months apart. I picked up Taupe Temptress and Copper Chic when the Eyestudio collection was still quite new and you saw in one of my hauls HERE that I went to try out Legendary Lilac and Irresistibly Ivy.

Although the Eyestudio quads are significantly smaller than the Expertwear quads, they are pricier at about $9-10 while the Expertwear is only $6-7. I got all of my quads on sale so I paid less than $6 per Eyestudio quad. Some have called the packaging cheap looking but I actually like it. I think the rectangles are sleek and the plastic molding is interesting. These actually remind me a lot of Japanese drugstore brand eyeshadow palettes like Kate and Majolica Majorca in design and pigmentation (although I do not own any, I used to be obsessed with these palettes and researched them extensively).

Taupe Temptress was one of the most eye-catching quads because I love taupe and berry eyeshadows. I like the color combination but to be honest I've only used this quad together once and it was quite recent. This quad has sat untouched for about half a year before I actually used it. I do use the lightest shimmery white as an inner corner highlight sometimes though.

As you can see, all the shades are super shimmery and pigmented. The shadows are creamy and smooth but there is a ton of sparkle and glitter which explains why I rarely use all the shadows together. These remind me of pressed pigments and I think the formulation is quite unique, especially for a drugstore brand.

Copper Chic has some really great neutral shades and I love love love the light beige cream highlight color for the inner corners of my eyes. I really do like sparkly inner eye highlight so these palettes are good for that :)

Again, the same creamy pigmented shadows are at work in this palette and I have used some of these shades together with a matte brown for a summertime look.

I decided to go back and buy two more Eyestudio quads because I wanted to try out the other shades. I do not have many light purple or lilac shades so I thought Legendary Lilac was perfect for me.

In the pan, the first three shadows look quite similar because they are all light but when swatched, they are noticeably different. I have yet to use this one on my eyes aside from the shimmery highlight color (again for inner corner highlighting).

I also got Irresistibly Ivy because I love neutrals and a pop of color, exactly what this quad has to offer. The teal is really gorgeous and knowing the pigmentation on these was good, I had to get it.

Excuse my camera for focusing on the palette rather than my fingers >.> Anyway, the colors are super smooth and gorgeous and I like how these colors are noticeably different so they won't blend into each other as easily.

Many people have said that these colors blend away too easily and fade into one shade. I can see that happening since there is so much shimmer in these and they are soft, but if you use a patting motion to place these on the lid it minimizes the fading by a lot. I like to pat the color first onto my eyelids before doing any blending whether it be on the lid, crease, or lashline. Using a sponge-tip applicator for the lid colors is also advisable to get the most opaque application. Overall, I do recommend these quads if you like pigments and are not afraid of shimmer and glitter. I really should use these more as they are often neglected although they work very well :( Looking at these swatches, I'm tempted to purchase a few more quads but I'll restrain myself :P

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Revlon Super Lustrous Lipglosses: Pink Petal, Lilac Pastelle, Coral Reef

Whenever I shop for makeup I tend to gravitate towards eye shadows, blush, highlighters, and all those products filled with shimmery goodness so I have a very meager collection of lipgloss since I prefer cream finishes. So it's quite amazing that I have three glosses from the Revlon Super Lustrous line even though I rarely skip lip products. These lipglosses are definitely familiar to many of you already since they are considered one of the best lipglosses available at the drugstore, retailing at around $7 to $8 a pop. 

I got all of these at separate occasions but I seem to keep coming back for more! I bought Pink Whisper when I was first getting into makeup more than a year ago and I thought the light pink color was easy to wear and the micro shimmer was pretty. To be honest I have not worn this gloss very often but then again I rarely wear lipgloss anyway. This gloss looks nice by itself or over a lipstick and it nudes out my natural lip color quite well. These glosses are pigmented and comfortable enough so that my lips are not dry afterwards. Coral Reef is a bright coral orange which will be great for spring and summer though I have yet to wear this on my lips at all :X Then I recently picked up Lilac Pastelle when CVS had this for 75% off and although this looks quite weird and scary in the tube, it looks amazing on my lips! It transforms into a milky blue based pink on the lips which I love.

You can see that the lipglosses are very opaque and vibrant. Pink Whisper has shimmers in it while Coral Reef and Lilac Pastelle are creams. I prefer the cream finishes but the shimmer in these glosses is not chunky or irritating. These glosses also contain SPF 15 which I love since the sun irritates my lips easily and I suffer from sunburnt lips quite often. When I'm off my Project 10 Pan and Revlon is having a sale, I hope to pick up Peach Petal which is a cream nude peach :)

Have you guys tried these glosses and which shades do you own? When my Project 10 Pan is over I think I should focus on buying lip products instead of eye shadows all the time to diversify and even out my collection. So that way I'll be able to find more shades and finishes that work for me instead of relying on the same few products and colors over and over :)

Friday, January 21, 2011

DIY: Tinted Moisturizer All-In-One

I'm the kind of person who tends to take a long time to get ready before I go out. While this daily morning routine can be calming and relaxing, when I need to wake up early for school I can't afford to waste too much time applying skincare and makeup or else I'll be late. Therefore, I'm all for one quick fixes that combine a few steps and products into one so I can get out of the house as soon as possible.

I typically do not wear a full coverage foundation on most days and I opt for tinted moisturizers or light to medium coverage foundations. But I want to rotate my face products and I do like my Rimmel Lasting Finish 16 Hour Foundation so I decided to combine it with my day time moisturizer which is Clinique's Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion. I poured equal amounts of each into a clean tiny jar (I recycled the jar that used to hold my Clinique Moisture Surge) and added a few drops of Neutrogena's Liquid Sunscreen SPF 70 for some sun protection. I usually tend to skip sunscreen even though I know it is essential in preventing wrinkles and signs of aging :(

I stirred my concoction well with the sharp end of a Q-tip which I cut in half. You can also use a toothpick or mini spatula if you like. To add another benefit to my very own tinted moisturizer, I added some of Revlon's Age Defying Spa Illuminator to give my creation a bit of sheen. I stirred this into the mixture once again, making sure everything is blended together into one uniform color.

Now I can skip a few steps in my makeup routine but still achieve the look I want in the time I have. Although I still apply moisturizer prior to applying makeup, I can just use my fingers and spread the tinted moisturizer all over my face for a quick, even application. I usually mix my foundation with moisturizer when I apply it anyway so having it ready made in a jar will minimize the mess and prep time from morning to morning. Even when I mix the products together and stir well, they tend to separate at times so when I want to apply, I rub the mixture on the tips of my fingers to warm up the liquid to achieve a more flawless base. If I do not want to reach for an extra concealer I also use this under my eyes and apply this with tapping motions. It works surprisingly well under my eye area and brightens it up a lot :) This also works  really well if you're between foundation colors and you want to mix a lighter and darker shade.

I've been using this home made tinted moisturizer for a few days and so far it hasn't caused any bad reactions. I'll definitely keep doing this with my foundation since school is right around the corner! *sigh* Winter Break is almost over....I'm semi looking forward to going back to school since I've been wasting away at home for quite a bit of break. But I know after a week of school I'll be pining away for another vacation.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The Face Shop Skincare Current Thoughts

At the end of December I purchased some new skincare products from The Face Shop and I've tried out the products for three weeks now so I have an idea of how well they work for me. I purchased two of their more popular products, the White Mud Nose Pack and the Post Acne Nighttime Spot Treatment, which are highly raved about in the blog and Youtube realms.

I struggle with acne and pimples constantly so I almost always have scars on my face that I desperately want to get rid of. This spot treatment, which retails for $15, is supposed to gently treat scars and get rid of discoloration. I like the simple, sleek packaging and the easy to use squeeze tube. The white, green, and dark gray wording is refined and subtly elegant. I consider packaging presentation and design to be vital aspects to a product so The Face Shop definitely gets a thumbs up.

The directions are straightforward and easy to follow. I use this treatment as the last part of my night time skincare routine and the formula absorbs into my skin quickly. The product has a faint citrus scent which is pretty nice and not overpowering at all. Despite all these positive aspects, I have not seen a drastic improvement in the lightening of most of my acne scars. It is difficult to judge the effectiveness of a scar fading product simply because scars fade naturally over time. This product seemed to heal some of my smaller, less pigmented spots more effectively than the larger areas which tend to be darker. Nonetheless I will continue to use this product because it seems better than doing nothing to treat my blemished skin. I might try the serum that is supposed to be used before this because that may help increase the effectiveness of this product.

I like the Biore Pore Strips which I reviewed HERE but I wanted something that would reach all my pores in the crevices between my nose and my face. This nose pack is supposedly always sold out but when I went to the store they had quite a few in stock. This only cost $7 which is quite affordable considering it contains 50 grams of product. The consistency is similar to that of glue and it has a pleasant, light scent. I use this after a warm shower when my pores are open but I pat my nose dry first because this won't dry on wet skin. The wait time for this to dry is similar to the Biore Pore Strips which is around 15 to 20 minutes. It can be difficult to tell when this is completely dry because it dries to a shiny finish which looks a bit wet. This is more of a hassle to peel off since it does not peel off into one cohesive strip. It took me awhile to get all of it off my nose but it did pull out a lot of residue from my pores. This works well at getting all the corners that the paper strips cannot. I recommend this if you usually use pore strips and want to get more surfaces cleaned. It is more messy than the paper strips and it takes more effort but it is well worth it :)

I took pictures of the products to give you an idea of how they look out of the tube and slightly blended into the skin. The spot treatment is on the top and the mud mask is on the bottom. I purposely did not blend the spot treatment completely because you would not be able to see it if I did. The mud mask can get messy but it washes off with warm water quite easily if needed.

Have you guys tried any of these products yourself or any other The Face Shop products? Let me know if you have and recommend me something! The next time I decide to splurge a little on The Face Shop I intend to get the Migamsu Cleansing Oil, a few more mask sheets, and some items from the White Tree line which are supposed to brighten skin. But that splurge won't be happening for some time....