Thursday, March 31, 2011

Recent Favorites // March 2011

I haven't done a monthly favorites post in awhile because I was constantly using the same basic products. There was nothing interesting that I hadn't talked about before so I skipped those months. For March I have been gravitating towards some more spring-like shades and I also found some new favorites to show you guys :)

First up, my Inglot palette that I spoke of HERE and HERE is definitely one of my new favorite beauty products. The shadows are an awesome value and the quality is really nice. I definitely see myself using this even more often in the summer because I picked so many warm shades for this particular palette. If you want to know more about what I think about Inglot shadows, please check out my previous posts :)

A year ago I rarely wore blush but now I wear it most of the time that I do my makeup. Lately, I've been grabbing the same blush over and over again which is Rimmel's Lasting Finish Blush in Santa Rose. I blogged about this HERE where I compared it to other inexpensive coral pink blushes with swatches. This blush is subtle enough to complement any look and it gives the complexion an even glow. I highly recommend this shade and I want to get my hands on more Rimmel blushes!

I do not have a large collection of base makeup items like foundation or concealers because these liquids and creams tend to harbor bacteria and go bad quickly. Last year I purchased Rimmel's Lasting Finish 16 Hour Foundation when CVS had a BOGO Rimmel sale. I have the lightest shade which is 100 Ivory. I bought this foundation for prom and after that summer came so it was too light for me. But winter eventually came and my skin lightened up enough for me to wear this again. This was the foundation I used to make my homemade tinted moisturizer HERE. Even though I have not tried many foundations, I do like this one when I mix it with a moisturizer. By itself, I can achieve medium to full coverage but I prefer a lighter coverage. This foundation gives off a dewy look that I can appreciate despite my usually oily skin. By the end of the day my skin does not feel heavy or greasy. While there are traces of oil, my face does not feel dirty but the oil appears as a glowy sheen. This foundation is scented however and it is discontinued. Rimmel reformulated this foundation and now it claims to have 25 hours of wear. Not sure if I would repurchase since I have so many foundations I want to try but I did like this product enough to wear it so often.

I talked about and swatched Clinique's eyeshadow duo in Strawberry Fudge before HERE. Those two shades are two of my most used eyeshadows in my collection which is saying something since I have a lot of eyeshadows. I got this duo with a gift with purchase but you can purchase it from Clinique counters or Sephora. These are perfect colors for any season but I especially like them for spring and summer :)

I think I've found my new holy grail (HG) pencil eyeliner from the drugstore! After the holidays, Target had a sale on a bunch of products and I snagged two Covergirl Liquidline Blast Eyeliners for a few bucks. I was not expecting much to be honest since I have seen my fair share of good liners. But this eyeliner really blew me away with it's pigment, smoothness, and lasting power. This is the same exact thing as Urban Decay's 24/7 Liner in Zero at a fraction of the price. People have said this about other eyeliners like Milani's Liquif-eye. I tried that one and I liked it for awhile but I found the product to be too soft and prone to crumbling or breaking. The Covergirl liner does not crumble and the consistency is just right for lining my eyes. I highly, highly recommend this!

Lastly, for lips I've been loving Revlon's Super Lustrous Lipgloss in Lilac Pastelle which I reviewed in depth and swatched HERE. The lilac color looks intimidating in the tube but on my lips it looks like a pale, cool pink. It reminds me a lot of spring and it compliments cool toned eyeshadow looks very well. There are actually really small magenta shimmers in this gloss that can be seen in the tube but once on the lips they are undetectable. I really want to find a dupe for this shade in another brand! Mac's Quite Cute collection has a lilac plushglass in a similar shade but some people are really sensitive to the formula. I'm not too sure I want to try a $18.50+ lip gloss that might irritate my lips :/

So there are my favorites for the month! These were some stand out things that I wanted to share with you :) My monthly favorites are inconsistent mainly because I don't switch products so often that I have new stuff I love every month. I want to show you guys things I actually use a lot in a month and things I highly recommend. I also tend to show products I may not have talked about as much to prevent myself from sounding like a broken record ^^ Hope you liked this post and tell me if you find these favorites helpful!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Revlon Lip Product Hauling~ && reviews

Rite Aid is having 40% off all Revlon cosmetics this week with $4 cash back if you buy $10. I had a few Revlon lip items on my beauty wish list so I took this great opportunity to snag some! For around $15 I picked up a Super Lustrous Lipgloss in Peach Petal, two Colorburst Lipglosses in Peony and Strawberry, and a Colorburst Lipstick in Petal.

I already have three Super Lustrous Lipglosses in Pink Whisper (my least favorite of all the ones I own), Lilac Pastelle (<3), and Coral Reef (nice warm weather color). I reviewed and swatched those colors HERE. I had been wanting to pick up Peach Petal for a long time since I love nude lip colors and it is just that. It is a slightly peach nude cream lipgloss. Like the other Super Lustrous Lipglosses it has SPF 15 and like the newer shades, it glides on like a dream. Peach Petal is very moisturizing and it does not settle into my lips and accentuate the dryness. When I first applied Peach Petal I was kind of scared because it looked like I smeared yellow Elmer's glue on my lips! I smoothed it out and in a minute it settled to  become a nice, slightly pink nude color. I am highly pleased with this lipgloss and I am looking forward to wearing it paired with a smokey eye :)

The Colorburst lipglosses are fairly new and I have heard mixed reviews about them. I was in the market for spring and summer lip colors so I picked Peony and Strawberry. Peony is a sheer coral with a lot of golden shimmer. Strawberry is a bit more out of my comfort zone as it's a hot red pink with silver shimmer. I find that I prefer cream lip colors but all of the Colorburst lipglosses are packed with shimmer! Even though the shimmer is very finely milled, it is still detectable on my lips. When I press my lips together, I can definitely tell that there are shimmer particles in the gloss.

The Colorburst lipglosses are packaged in a longer and slimmer tubed compared to the Super Lustrous but both contain .2 oz of product. The applicator is quite strange as it's a long, skinny sponge tip. I find that it does not pick up as much product as I need to cover my lips so I need to dip into the tube twice. Not a big deal, but I prefer the normal tips. Unlike the Super Lustrous Lipglosses which do not have a scent, the Colorburst Lipglosses have a vanilla scent. I don't mind it and it's hardly detectable once on my lips. So far, I'm not loving these as much as most of the Super Lustrous Lipglosses but they're decent.

I really like the other Colorburst lipstick I have in Soft Nude so I thought I'd try out one of the newer shades. I talked about Soft Nude and swatched it HERE. The shade shown above is Petal which is a my-lips-but-better (MLBB) shade with a bit more pink. It has shimmer in it and the color somewhat reminds me of another Revlon lipstick I have from the regular line called Twinkled Pink. On my lips Petal is not extremely noticeable but it adds a pink tint with shimmer on my lips.

It applies smoothly over lipbalm and feels quite hydrating. I actually don't need to put a lipgloss over the top of it and I find that the lipstick looks moisturizing enough. The lasting power is not great and after you eat it's going to disappear. But I don't really need a long wearing lipstick so I don't mind reapplying. It's a nice shade but nothing too special. If you have a lot of lipsticks already, you probably have something like Petal in your collection.

This is how Petal looks on my lips :) I'm wearing it here alone, without gloss so you can see it looks really nice and natural! It can complement a variety of looks as well!

Overall, I'm satisfied with the products I picked up. Getting four lip products for around $15 is quite good considering you'd only be able to purchase one regular Mac lipstick or lipglass for that price. A large portion of my lip products are actually by Revlon for some reason. Four out of the five lipsticks I own are by Revlon and I now have six Revlon lipglosses. The packaging is usually a lot nicer than other drugstore brands (I especially love the packaging of their glosses) and the product quality is average to above average. :)

Tried any of these products? Thinking about getting anything from their newer lines like Colorburst?

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Project Pan Round 1 - Update #5 // Weeding the Stash

In the past month I've finished a few products and I tossed out some old products that I never really used and were probably expired. It takes some effort to toss out items from my collection since I tend to hoard and by throwing out stuff I know I'm wasting money. But anyways, let's see what I used up this month and how I feel about these products!

Clinique Clarifying Lotion (toner) 2 -- not pictured
I purchased this last winter as part of the 3 step system for dry to normal skin. I usually have combination to oily skin but in winter I also have dry skin. I only used this toner during the winter or when my skin was extra dry. It has a strong scent and it feels very cooling on the skin. It has a very high alcohol content which is not good for skin in general and especially not good for acne prone skin. Thus, I will not be repurchasing this because I am trying to use skincare with little to no alcohol at all. Some people swear by Clinique's skincare and the products were alright but I don't think I'd repurchase anything that I've tried because the ingredients aren't great and I haven't seen a dramatic change at all.  

Clinique Even Better Skin Tone Correcting Moisturizer SPF 20 (sample) -- not pictured
This was a 15 ml sample jar I received last spring and I used this on and off during the spring and summer. I recently started using this again because I wanted to finish it up. This claims to improve skin tone but I saw no marked improvement in my acne scars or skin texture. This basically feels like any lotion with SPF. It smells like sunscreen (which I dislike) and the lotion is quite thick. It sinks in well and my face is not sticky after it absorbs. It was decent for a daytime moisturizer but I will not repurchase this. The price is $42.50 for 50 ml... which is absurd in my opinion. This is definitely comparable to drugstore moisturizers with SPF.

The Body Shop Lemon Body Butter
I did a full review on this product HERE. I liked this body butter overall. The scent was refreshing and it left my skin supple and smooth. Although it absorbed into my skin without leaving a sticky layer, I could feel the moisture of the lotion into the next day. I like this lotion but I don't know if I will repurchase since Jergens is working well for me and it is considerably less expensive. I'm keeping the nice tub so I have an airtight container to store my future Lush products ^^

Tresemme Heat Tamer Spray 
This heat protectant is pretty popular because it's affordable, around $5-6, and it works. It has a sweet scent that is quite strong but it doesn't bother me. I find that my hair feels more manageable when I spray this before applying heat to my hair. This does not make my hair feel heavy or greasy at all. I liked this enough to buy a back up many months ago when Tresseme was having a sale. This bottle lasted me for awhile and I only recently finished this because I'm straightening my hair more often. I have another bottle so I won't need to repurchase anytime soon. After I'm done with the new bottle I might try something new for my hair just so I can compare since this is the only heat protectant I have ever used.

Wet n' Wild Gel Liner
This was one of the products I originally chose to be in my project 10 pan. To be honest I hardly reached for it at all in months and when I opened it the other day, it was dried out. I had this for over a year I believe and it served me well. I used to use it very very often so for the price, about $4, I got what I paid for. This is a highly raved about eyeliner and I do like it overall. It is super black and the line is extremely long lasting. The cap can be a pain to take off sometimes because of the off shape so I wish Wet n' Wild would change that. I also want them to make more colors for their gel liners. I may repurchase this sometime in the future. 

Revlon ColorStay Eyeliner in Black -- not pictured
This is one of the first eyeliners I used back when I started experimenting with makeup two years ago. I used up more than half of it and I guess I moved onto other eyeliners and this one got thrown to the side. I still like it because it's easy to use and the pigment is very opaque. I tried to use this more recently and because it's so old, it became a bit brittle and it pretty much broke at the base and I had to toss it. It served me well and I have a back up of this in my collection (along with many more black pencil eyeliners) so no worries :)

The Face Shop Dual Concealer
This was my first concealer which I bought in May 2009. It is double ended with a liquid side and a stick side. I hardly used the stick side since it was quite heavy and it tended to cake up on my face. The liquid side was decent and I used it a fair amount. This was extremely pricey for how it performed. I paid $15 for this because I was first starting out with makeup and I had no idea how much concealer cost. I also did not know about the great sales and deals I could find in drugstores. The color of this concealer is a bit too gray for my skin and I have concealers that I favor over this one. I didn't want to keep an expired product that I would no longer reach for in my collection so I just tossed it.

L'oreal Infallible Lip Gloss in Bloom
This was one of the very first lipglosses I purchased around the same time as the concealer. Loreal was having a BOGO sale on lip products and I just grabbed this one. I had little knowledge of anything makeup related and pinks were pretty much light or dark to me. I probably didn't know what "nude" was either. I have no idea why I picked up this shade because I really don't think berry pinks work on me at all. For a year this lipgloss sat in my collection untouched. Throughout the past few months I have made a conscious effort to use this more and I used this probably... more than ten times but less than twenty. I disliked the artificial, chemical scent to this lipgloss and it just didn't look nice. I decided to toss this because the chemicals were starting to separate and it didn't make sense to use something I didn't enjoy while the lipglosses I do like were being ignored.

SO! Overall, my Project Pan was... pretty fail. Over the past few months I did buy some beauty products but I'd like to think I cut down a bit. I cleared  my collection of some items I never really used and I realized many of the things I do not enjoy were things I purchased a long time ago when I first started with makeup. I'm also finishing up some skincare and excited to try out more things. If I learned one thing during this project, it was that I probably have enough eyeshadow to last me at least twenty years. I'm pretty much preventing myself from buying new eyeshadow while spending the money on better skincare and some new lip products. I am also trying to spend less on more drugstore products so that I can invest in a few high end items.

I encourage all of you who feel like you have spent too much on beauty products to try and cut down and see how refreshing it can be. Toss out the really, really old products in your collection so that you can use the stuff you really like! Thank you guys for giving me suppprt and encouragement throughout my progress :)

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Baby Pink Cheeks - Latest Blush Aquisition!

A week or two ago, Rite Aid had their entire line of Jane cosmetics for 75% off since they are phasing out the brand and bringing in Rimmel. I own another Jane blush in Blushing Earth Sheer (swatched HERE) and the quality is nice enough for me to purchase another one, especially since this was on sale for less than $2!

The display was quite bare and this was the last blush that looked appealing to me. Some had cracked and there was another shade called Blushing Baby Doll that looked too orange and muddy to work on my skin tone. So I picked up Blushing Orchid Shimmer which is a light, shimmery, cool toned pink blush.

The pigmentation is decent and pretty much on par with the other Jane blush I have tried before. They offer shimmer and matte blushes and I have only tried the shimmer ones. When they say shimmer, they mean shimmer. I would definitely suggest using a light hand when applying this and these blushes will probably suit lighter skin more than darker skin tones. I sometimes use these blushes as highlighters or I sweep a thin layer over a matter blush. I can definitely see myself using this particular shade often this spring season!

For the price, I think these are decent blushes and I'm somewhat sad to see them go. I do really enjoy Rimmel blushes though so I'm not too upset about the brand replacement :)

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Purple Spring Nails :)

This was what I wore on my nails last week to usher in the new season :) When I think of spring, I automatically gravitate towards lilacs, baby pinks, sky blues, peaches, corals, and anything pastel. So when I saw the Maybelline Spring 2011 display during Rite Aid's 40% off Maybelline, I had to pick one of the limited edition nail polishes. There were six shades in the collection and I picked up Lilac Luster which is a pale purple with pink duo-chrome. These polishes are very unique in that they flash different colors depending on the lighting.

I applied three to four coats on my nails and you can still see the tips of my nails :/ This is the first Maybelline nail polish I have tried and to be honest, I am not entirely impressed. The formula is extremely thin so you really need to layer it on. I do really enjoy the color and I bought this for only $1 and a few cents so I'm not unhappy with my purchase. The next time I wear this, I'll probably layer it over a pink or purple polish to achieve a more opaque coating.

What are your favorite spring nail colors and polishes? :)

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

My Beauty Diary Bird's Nest Mask Review

Sheet masks, or paper masks, are essential skincare supplements for many Asian women. One of the more popular brands hails from Taiwan and it is, you guessed it, My Beauty Diary. Although they are not readily available in stores for many people living outside of Asia, you can purchase the masks online from sites like Sasa. Today I'll be reviewing one of their newest masks which is the Bird's Nest mask. I am offering one of these in my giveaway HERE so be sure to enter :)

Most Chinese people consider bird's nest to be a delicacy and they use it as a cooking ingredient in mostly soups. It has many supposed health benefits which includes radiant, healthy skin. Marketing aside, I was actually very pleased with the results of this mask!

For reference, I typically use a sheet mask after I splash my face with water and apply toner. I apply the mask and lie down and remove it when the liquid is more or less absorbed. Then I pat the remaining essence into my skin with clean hands and use the remainder on my neck and hands. I skip moisturizer altogether and go to bed :)

A box contains 10 individually wrapped foil pouches and the packaging is really pretty. The box has a bit of shimmers in the cardboard and I like to reuse these boxes to store my masks, samples, etc. The mask itself is made of a soft, semi-thick fabric that is literally dripping with thick, translucent essence when you take it out of the packet. This is a plus because you're getting more product and due to its semi-thick consistency, it does not drip all over the place!

Out of all the sheet masks I have tried (probably around ten different kinds so far), this one has the least powerful scent. There is a nice scent to this mask but it is really subtle and hardly noticeable. This is a plus for people who are sensitive to fragrance or just prefer no scent at all. Also, out of all the masks I have tried thus far, this mask hardly stung at all! Many sheet masks often sting my face after a few minutes of use and sometimes I just have to throw the mask away after five minutes to stop the irritation. With the Bird's Nest mask, I did not have any discomfort and the first time I used this, I fell asleep with it on! The mask was entirely drenched in essence so I had extra and after a minute of patting it into my skin I just dabbed a tissue over my skin to seep up the extra.

The next morning I woke up with smooth, hydrated skin and my complexion was a bit brighter as well! This mask is supposed to be targeted to dry skin while I have combination oily skin. I like to use this when my skin is feeling a bit tight or dry in some areas. I think this mask is still suitable for those with oily skin though considering the essence is not oily or thick and my skin was not oily after using this product.

I was extremely pleased by the results of this mask because I experienced no irritation and I saw some results. I gave my mom a mask to try and she said she felt a bit of stinging so your experience may differ from mine. Sheet masks are skincare products and of course, everyone's skin is different! Something that works for me may not work for you and something that does not work for me, might work for you.

Not every My Beauty Diary mask is made equal. About a year ago I had purchased a box of the Japanese Cherry Blossom mask and my experience with that one was quite different. It had a very strong, but pleasant fragrance and it stung my face considerably. I cannot quite remember how much essence it had but overall I did not enjoy that one nearly as much. I will probably be repurchasing more of the Bird's Nest masks as well as some of the other versions I have yet to try!

Do any of you use sheet masks? If so, which are your favorites?