Monday, May 30, 2011

Lancome Summer Eyeshadows

I showed this Lancome GWP quad a few days ago and I thought this might come in handy if any of you like Lancome eyeshadows. The gift with purchase quad is actually a good deal considering you get .12 ounces of product (.03 ounces each which is the same size as the shadows in the Urban Decay shadow boxes). I'm not sure how much product you get in the $17 full sized single but I'm guessing somewhere around .5 ounces.

The colors are (swatched from left to right) Filigree (shimmer), Excursion (metallic), Guest List (shimmer), and Kitten Heel (shimmer). All of these colors are available in the permanent shadow line up which I think is great because if you love a particular shade you can repurchase it by itself. My favorite shadow is Kitten Heel because I'm a sucker for pink, golden duo-chromes. I wasn't too impressed with Excursion which is the teal shadow. It didn't swatch as pigmented as I had hoped and I think this may look quite washed out on the lids.

Still, I think this is a neat little quad that Lancome is giving away for the summer time. I got this quad during a Bloomingdales GWP but Macy's is offering the same one right now as a GWP. So if you're interested, I suggest you drop by Macy's while the promotion is going on :)

Sunday, May 29, 2011

BEWARE: FAKE My Beauty Diary Masks!

If you have been following my blog, you will know that I love the My Beauty Diary Masks in Birds Nest (reviewed HERE). I wanted to try the Black Pearl masks and my friend told me about a new store called iBeauty at the New World Mall which recently opened in Flushing, Queens that sold the masks for $9 a box. I was super excited and grabbed a box without a second thought. But on my way home and following closer inspection, I was beginning to think I bought fake masks. I did a bit of google searching and found a really great blog post with detailed pictures and everything. Please read it HERE

To be honest, I'm quite lazy at the moment to take pictures of everything so please check out the site above and I'll try to explain to the best of my ability.

I compared the Black Pearl masks to my Birds Nest masks which I know are genuine My Beauty Diary masks. The first sign of trouble was that the box I bought was shiny. Normally, the outer box is smooth and matte looking with some shimmer embedded into the paper. Also, there is normally a white sticker stating who imported the product into the country. The fake masks do not have that sticker. The individual sachets feel somewhat different as well because the real packets feel somewhat squishier. Other than that, the imitation masks seem very similar.

But you can really tell when you open the packet. The fake mask is folded somewhat haphazardly and the shape is very different. It is wider than the real masks. The paper quality is the most striking difference because it is thin and rough, almost like toilet paper. The real masks have a much more plush feeling. There was a scent to the fake mask but I have never used a Black Pearl mask so I don't know if there is a difference.

I did not apply these to my face as I do not know what ingredients they might have used. I had a bunch of serum on my hands from touching the mask and rubbed it onto my legs (which might not be the smartest thing to do). But my legs felt pretty nice to be honest and I experienced no irritation. I might just use these masks for my feet since I don't trust them on my face. I highly doubt I will be able to return these because the store did not give me a receipt.

PLEASE, do NOT buy masks from iBeauty at the New World Mall! They are FAKE. I really will be more wary next time and I will go back to purchasing my boxes for $11 a piece because I know they are the real deal. I'm pretty upset about this incident but I only lost $9 so it's not too bad :/ Hopefully this will serve as a warning to myself and others to be more observant and knowledgeable consumers.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Sigma F80 Giveaway! (closed)

Hi Everyone!
I recently made an announcement that I had applied to be a Sigma affiliate :) 
Through the program, Sigma sponsors giveaways as well.

So that means you all (yes, this is an international giveaway!) have a chance to win the Sigma F80 brush! 


1. You MUST be a GFC follower (non-followers will not qualify).

2. Leave a comment to this post stating if you have tried Sigma brushes before and which are your favorites. If you have not tried their brushes, please visit their website HERE and tell me which one you would want to try the most.

3. Please include your email address so I can contact you when I pick the winner.

4. To get an additional entry, reblog about this giveaway on your own blog and include a link to that post in your one comment about the brushes. 

5. PLEASE try to leave only ONE comment with all of the above information (if applicable).

6. The giveaway will end on June 10th at 11:59 PM and I will choose the winner that following weekend.


Friday, May 27, 2011

Seaweed Skincare for Combination Skin

I have been sampling a few products from The Body Shop's Seaweed line which is geared towards those with combination oily skin. I like that The Body Shop offers mini sizes of most of their skincare so you can try out a product without breaking the bank. As with all of my skincare reviews, what works for me may not work for you and vice versa. I have oily skin with occasional dry spots and I am very prone to break outs.

I was very excited to try the Seaweed Mattifying Day Cream because Youtuber saaammage loves this stuff. The trial size will only set you back $4 and the .51 ounce will last you two to three weeks with consistent use. The full size is $16 for 1.7 ounces which is a pretty decent price. All of the products in the Seaweed line have the same fresh, perfume-y scent. I quite like the scent but I know some people are wary of fragrances in their skincare.

The cream is more like a semi-opaque gel and it smooths onto the skin very nicely. I like how light this feels on my skin and it does mattify somewhat when it dries. My skin feels comfortable and refreshed. However, I feel that my skin is not necessarily prepped for makeup because there is not much moisture on my skin. I prefer having a dewier canvas for applying concealer, foundation, and whatnot because I feel that the makeup blends better and stays put longer. Also, there is no SPF in this moisturizer but there is another moisturizer from the Seaweed line with SPF 15. It doesn't really matter to me because I apply a separate sunscreen over my daytime moisturizer before makeup.

The Seaweed Clarifying Night Treatment is $20 for 1 ounce of product and there is no mini size for purchase. This is pricier than the mattifying day cream but has better packaging because the pump dispenses just the right amount with one full click. The night treatment claims to be "a light, easily absorbed, non-clogging, oil-free moisturizing gel". I agree with everything besides the moisturizing aspect. While this does seem to work decently on my oily skin, it will not soothe dry rough patches on combination skin. I felt that sometimes I would wake up with oilier skin which might be due to the lack of moisture that this gave me. There are few great things about this "treatment" as fragrance, parabens, and other preservatives dominate the list.

I'm glad to have tried out these products because I like trying out different skincare products in general. These products did not break me out but they did not wow me in any way. I would not recommend these to my friends or family and will not be repurchasing. Between the two, the day cream is a better product but not by much.

Have you tried these products? What are your thoughts on The Body Shop's skincare?

Thursday, May 26, 2011

GWP Galore

YES! I'm finally on summer vacation :) 
This last semester was filled with ups and downs and I'm relieved to say it's all over now!

Here's a little sneak peek of some high-end goodies I acquired recently. 
I only bought the Shiseido sunscreen and the rest were freebies because my mother's friend works at Bloomingdales. Some of the Lancome minis were part of a GWP because my mother purchased some items too and she has all the anti-aging type minis.
I bought a few more things from the drugstore (just a few I promise!) and I'll show those at a later time.
Expect more frequent posts~

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Bare Faced

A few weeks ago I saw a bunch of Youtubers and bloggers, who I respect and who are big contributors to the online beauty community, do no makeup posts. Their goal was to raise awareness (more or less) that makeup isn't everything and that we should be comfortable in our own skin. I have plenty of no makeup days because I'm either too darn tired or I just want to let my skin breathe. So... are you guys ready for my bare face?

This is how I look right before applying my night time skincare and hopping into the sack. I'm growing out my bangs so my hair is a bit untamed. I loved my bangs because they hid my forehead and the beauty mark near the center of my forehead. That little dot made me super self conscious when I was younger and it still does sometimes. The lighting is making me look more tan than I actually am by the way but I'll be this color or darker by the time August comes around! By the way, I did not retouch any of these photos besides adding a watermark and I blurred out the logo on my shirt because it was my high school tee :)

You can see my acne scars better from this angle. A few weeks ago I had a pretty bad breakout on my chin and the scars are taking forever and a day to heal. You can't really tell from the pictures but my skin is really thin so my veins and capillaries are really visible on my cheeks and around my mouth. My main issue is with my acne scars and uneven skin tone. Also, I have small eyes so makeup helps them look a bit bigger and more awake :)

So that's that! It really doesn't bother me to go outside with no makeup but I do prefer wearing some if I'm going to an interview or special event. I do encourage everyone who wears makeup regularly to let your skin breathe once in awhile and realize that most people won't notice the flaws you see. Chances are, people are too concerned about their flaws and insecurities to worry about yours ;)

If any of you do this post, please leave a link in the comments :D

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

6 Products I Regret Purchasing

I tend to research products before purchasing because I don't want to waste time and money using things I don't like. I also don't like to return things so I have a few bits and bobs in my stash that I almost never reach for and I wish they would just disappear!

1. Revlon's Super Lustrous Lipgloss in Pink Whisper - This is one of the first lipglosses I ever bought and the pink, slightly peachy color caught my eye right away. It looks beautiful in the tube but it does not look as great on my lips. The only reason why I've used as much of it as I have is because I forced myself to use it so I wouldn't waste product. I like the other three colors from the same line that are cream finishes though. I did a more in-depth review with swatches HERE.

2. Rimmel's Professional Eyebrow Pencil in Dark Brown - A year ago Rimmel was having a sale and I decided to try this brow pencil since Hollyannaeree uses it as well (well she did before, I'm not sure if she's still using it). I tried using this pencil maybe three times and it just did not look right. I think the color is too dark and I should have opted for a lighter shade :/ I have found that I prefer powder as opposed to pencil for my brows too. *EDIT* A few days after writing this post, I decided to give this pencil another go and I actually somewhat like it now. Although the color still leans a bit red to my liking, it gets the job done and is a handy pencil. I think I like this more because I've been getting used to how I look with fill in-ed brows.

3. Milani's HD Advanced Concealer in Light - I picked this up when it first came out in the lightest shade because it seemed to resemble the popular YSL Touche Eclat. I have not tried the YSl version but the Milani concealer is not a good concealer at all. It has very little coverage and does not blend well. The formula is too dry for my undereye area as well. The click applicator is very frustrating when you first use it because it takes maybe fifty to a hundred clicks to get the product going. If you get annoyed and click too many times, the product spills out and goes to waste. *EDIT* After more experimentation, this works nicely as an all over light tint if I moisturize my skin thoroughly beforehand. It is still not a winner but over a very good moisturizer, I can make this look decent. I would not repurchase but I'm glad I found a way to make it look good on my skin.

4. Revlon's Colorstay Quad in Stonewash Denim - One of my first eyeshadows ever and I have no idea what made me think I could pull off blue eyeshadow. I have probably used this two or three times on my eyes. The shadows are somewhat powdery and aren't vibrant on the skin. I do not recommend this particular shade in the Colorstay Quad range. I have another one of their quads in Blushed Wines which I do quite like. I have swatches of that HERE

5. Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Primer - I felt like jumping on board with the whole foundation primer craze when Maybelline had a 40% off sale. This primer is mostly made of dimethicone so it gives the skin a very smooth finish. However, I did not notice a huge difference in how my skin looked and my makeup didn't seem to stay on longer. I take about half an hour to get ready if I'm doing a whole face of makeup so I try not to add unnecessary things. 

6. Wet n' Wild Coloricon Palette in Vanity - I know, I know. Everyone loves this palette. I thought I would too and I got it for only $2 because Rite Aid made a mistake with the price tags. The pigmentation is great and the shadows are good. However, most of the shades look too yellow to me and I hardly ever reach for this palette. My favorite shades are the shimmer dark brown and the matte cream. I rarely reach for this palette as I have many more neutrals that seem to look better on me. *EDIT* After more experimenting with this palette, it is quite nice sometimes. It's still not a favorite by any means but I no longer regret purchasing it.

So those are some products in my stash that I wish I did not buy. Do you have products you regret buying? Tell me in the comments below! :)

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Essence of Beauty Deluxe Duo Set

I recently picked up the Essence of Beauty Deluxe Duo Brush set from CVS for $15 (minus $3 from a coupon) and I wanted to do a quick review (no rambling!). I decided to grab these after months of debating because I saw that they had new versions of this with different handles. The new ones have a black rubber center and silver metal ferrules which looked very unattractive. You get three duo brushes in the set which is great for traveling. The design can be a pain for those of you who store your brushes upright though.

Here we have from top to bottom, the blender, blush, and foundation brush. The blender brush is oddly shaped because it is somewhat flat and not dense at all. I think this was supposed to be for the eye area but it is way too big for anything to do with the eyes. This brush sheds A LOT and it is my least favorite brush in the whole set. I supposed this can work for contouring the nose or something but I would have preferred if they had another brush instead of this one. The blush brush resembles the Mac 168 in color and shape. This is one of my favorite brushes in the set because it is very soft and it applies blush very well. It looks a bit small but it is a great size for applying blush to the apples of your cheeks. The foundation brush is a favorite for many people and I can see why. This is the first paddle shaped foundation brush I have used and it applies well. The hairs are soft and dense which are great for applying liquid foundation.

On the other side we have the eye shadow, powder, and concealer brushes. The eyeshadow brush also shed like the blender brush (but not nearly as bad as), making this duo my least favorite of the three. I like the angled shape of this brush though because it's good for depositing color in the crease. The powder brush is too small to be used for powder but it does a decent job at applying highlighter. The blush and powder duo is really convenient for travel purposes. The powder brush did shed a few hairs during the first wash but nothing too bad. The concealer brush is decent but it is not soft enough for my under eye area. I think this would be good for applying cream shadows though.

There was also some discoloration on some of the ferrules. This does not affect performance but it really shows the lack of consistency and quality of the product.

At less than $3 per brush, the set is decent. My favorite brushes are the blush and foundation brushes which I use very often. However, I still prefer Ecotools brushes as my favorite drugstore brushes which are made with more care and thought. I do not know if I would recommend this set to anyone unless there is a good sale going on.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Sigma Affiliate!

 If you frequent beauty blogs and youtube videos, you have probably heard of Sigma before.
For those who have never heard of Sigma before, they offer a wide array of brushes and tools for a decent price.
I have been wanting to try out their brushes for a very long time but somehow never got around to it.
I just joined their Affiliate program and if you have been looking forward to trying out their brushes, please click on the banner above to be referred to the website :) 

They also have an incentive program where affiliates can try out free products and receive some to giveaway!
I will definitely take part in that so stay tuned for more!

Quick Thoughts: Wet n' Wild Just Peachy Lippie

I have not worn makeup for the past few days and have not taken pictures of what I have been wearing so please bear with my lack of FOTDs, EOTDs, and tutorials. Once school is over I will have more interesting, fun looks to post!

I showed this Wet n' Wild Megalast Lipcolor in one of my previous hauls so I wanted to give my two cents about this product. First of all, it is super affordable at only $3 at any drugstore or superstore like Target or Walmart. The color range is extensive but of course I chose a safe, everyday color. The packaging is good in that you can see the true color of the lipstick but the product does not twist all the way down so you might nick it when popping the cap off. I find that if you want to avoid touching the product, pull the cap off quickly using both hands.

Just Peachy is a pinky, peach shade that will look nice on most skintones. The finish is satin-matte and I would recommend wearing this over a lipbalm. The color is nice but I'm not a fan of the finish because it is a bit drying for me. I definitely have to wear a lipgloss over this to give my lips some moisture. Overall, it's nice and I might give a few colors a go because it is so inexpensive. But it's not my favorite lipstick by any means.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Some Recent Acquisitions

I picked up a few new things recently so let's cut to the chase!

This month's freebie if you have the Bath and Body Works Membership Card is a small coconut body lotion, a pocket bac, and a mini candle. I also picked up one of their relatively new Country Chic lipglosses because it was 50% off (retail is $8). This concludes the five months of freebies which the card entitles and I hope they do this promotion again! I would not pay for most of the products at Bath and Body Works but trying them out for free is fine :)

I have had this Essence of Beauty brush set on my to-buy list for a long time so I decided to get it when I got a $3 off $10 coupon from CVS. The brush set retails for $15 and some change. Normally I would wait for a sale but I just couldn't wait any longer and I needed some new brushes in my collection. I will do a more in depth review on these brushes soon!

I needed a new exfoliant for my skin and Mimsy raved about the Olay Regenerist Microdermabrasion Treatment. I read a bunch of reviews and a lot of people seemed to like it. I put it on my wishlist and CVS happened to have this for 50% off! It was the last box so it was kind of beat up but I'm happy with the price. It retails from anywhere from $20-$30. CVS sells it for $32 normally but I got it for $16 with the discount. I will be reviewing this after I have used it a couple of times!

So that's all I have bought in the past week or so. I might be purchasing new skincare products in the upcoming weeks. I'm mainly going to focus on purchasing skincare and brushes because I have enough makeup at the moment. Then again, I always seem to say this and somehow end up hauling more eyeshadows.... We'll see :)

Monday, May 16, 2011

DDF Mattifying Oil Control Moisturizer SPF 15

Please excuse my incredibly uncreative title but due to impending finals and papers, I want to be succinct as possible. I recently purchased the Sephora Sun Safety Kit which you can see in THIS post and I wanted to try out each product separately to get a good idea of how I feel about each one. I chose to start off my SPF escapade with the DDF Mattifying Moisturizer because it has a relatively low SPF and is has the earliest expiration date out of the package. On a side note, I really appreciate that everything in the Sephora kit was labeled with the expiration date so there is no second guessing involved. SPF 15 is generally decent for me during the winter and most of the spring since I spend a lot of my time indoors and there is not too much sunlight. When I am outside more often in the summer, I will opt for a higher SPF.

The DDF sample comes with .05 oz of product which is a little less than what a full sized tube contains. Ironically, this product is not available on Sephora's website but you can purchase it from Nordstrom for $42 for a 1.7 oz. tube. It is definitely a higher end moisturizer and I figure a full sized tube can last you about three months with daily usage. 

This is what the cream looks like out of the tube and it is about how much I use to cover my entire face in the morning. The moisturizer is light and easy to blend into the skin. I can not detect a scent when I try to smell the product on my finger but as I apply it to my face I get the faintest whiff of sunscreen. This is not bad at all because the smell dissipates quickly. After applying, my normally combination oily skin feels moisturized but not heavy. After a few minutes my face feels like I have nothing on it at all which is good because I do not like heavy moisturizers or sunscreens. Although this claims to be mattifying, my skin does show spots of shine throughout the day but nothing too bad. I would not say that this helps keep my oil at bay but at the same time it does not contribute to the oiliness that some sunscreens may. After using this for about a week, I have not had any negative reactions to this so I would recommend this to people with acne prone skin. Of course, everyone is different so keep in mind that what works for me, may not work for you and vice versa.

I am pleased with this sample and glad that it was in the kit. I don't know if I would want to shell out $42 for a tube of this because it is a bit much. I have several more samples to try and I'm guessing they will last me until the end of the year so I don't have to make a decision anytime soon.