Polishes -L'Oreal - Pro Manicure - Mango-Get-Em 410
maomaouchi 3/21/2011 4:53:00 PM
I am always on the hunt for beautiful coral nailpolishes so this one caught my eye immediately. In the bottle, it looks like a neutral-leaning warm coral shade that definitely pulls more orange than pink. On the nails, it's about the same color--very bright and perfect for the brights trend spring/summer 2011. The first coat went on very well and pretty evenly too. The color was pretty bright already but still a little sheer so I decided to add another coat. That's when everything turned ugly. This polish was goopy, streaky like no other and just did not even out at all after application. I finally got OK results after three coats but even then the coverage was not completely even, which is a shame because 2 coats would've been fine it if were not for the streaking problem. It lasts the average time for me, about 3-4 days with a topcoat without chipping. Beautiful color, but I won't be repurchasing because of the streaking and uneven application.
After using DHC Deep Cleansing Oil and realizing that oil cleansers are the only way to go to completely remove makeup, I decided to try Shiseido's version since it is easier to get for me than DHC cleanser. Here are my thoughts: USE: I use two pumps of this on a dry face, rinse, then follow up with a tiny bit of Philosophy Purity Made Simple. I also did this exactly with the DHC Deep Cleansing Oil. CLEANSING: For reference, I wear: Urban Decay 24/7 Concealer Pencil Becca Pressed Mineral Foundation Blush (varied, usually NARS or R&R) Milani Liquif'eye Pencil in Black for the upper/lower waterlines Eye shadow (various) Majolica Majorca Lash Expander Frame Plus mascara (notoriously difficult to remove) Shu Uemura Hard Liner for brows Lipstick I find that Shiseido Ultimate Cleansing Oil does an okay job of removing my makeup--I'd say 90% of my makeup is removed after rubbing 2 pumps' worth of product on my face for about 15 secs. When I get impatient and start rinsing it off, I usually still see a bit of my eyeliner left. I find that the DHC DCO does a better job at cleansing, since after the same amount of rubbing and less product I tend to not see any eyeliner left. Everything else I listed is completely gone, without question. However, in this respect I feel DHC is superior. It rinses away completely, leaving no residue. SKIN: This is where I think Shiseido shines. I get even less breakouts with this than using DHC cleansing oil. My blackheads on my nose appear smaller, and regular use of this product has made manual extraction of blackheads and/or pore strips almost unnecessary despite the fact that I have been using a heavier night cream. Pores on my nose and cheeks appear smaller. I only use this product at night, but have noticed that during the day my face is never too greasy or shiny. I've found that it is necessary to moisturize after using this product, as my skin feels a bit tight if I forget. However, using this cleanser nightly following up with moisturizer has really balanced out my skin--it is now neither too oily or too dry. SMELL, VALUE and PACKAGING: Smells very floral--I'd prefer no smell, like DHC. More expensive than DHC by about 20%. I also find I have to use a bit more. Cute blue/white packaging with a pump, although it's annoying you can't see how much remains. Overall, I give this product 4 lippies. 4 lippies instead of 5 for the price (more expensive than DHC) and the fact that it doesn't completely remove all my makeup. DHC oil cleanses better, but Shiseido gets almost as close and my skin is more balanced and less acne-prone. I find that following up with Philosophy PMS gets the rest of my makeup anyway, so I'm not too concerned with it not removing my makeup 100%.
For all you ladies who find most blush brushes too big, this is your answer! I have a smallish face and always had problems with precision blush application. However, this blush brush is the perfect size and density to get the correct amount of blush on each cheek. I also like to use it to apply highlighter to the tops of my cheekbones and to apply contour to the sides of my nose--the size allows for precision! It is also very soft and has nicely packed bristles that don't feel the slightest bit cheap. The handle is also sleek, substantial feeling and looks much more expensive than the actual cost of only $3!
This mascara is just ok. Here's what I like and don't like: I really like the applicator and the texture of the product. The formula is perfect in terms of thickness--it is neither too dry nor too wet and the bristles on the wand give very good lash separation. The wand is a good size as well and I am able to get the inner and outer corner of my lashes even though I have small eyes because of the shape--it slightly fans out at the top and bottom of the wand. I also like that the end of the brush is blunt so that you can easily swipe all the excess product from the end so that it is clean enough to really push into your bottom and corner lashes like they are always showing you in magazines. It also lengthens, but I've had other mascaras that did a better job--but it's not terrible at that. I don't like that it doesn't hold curl very well. I have stick-straight, downward pointing lashes and the most important part of the mascara for me is whether or not it holds curl. It's sort of a deal breaker for me. This does a decent job but comes nowhere close to my favorite mascaras like Tarte LCS or Dior Extase. Additionally, I don't think it does a very good job of thickening at all. I think this has to do with the fact that the brush is soooo good at separating--maybe too good. Finally, I've also found that this mascara does not last me the entire day--it smudges a bit and also just seems to fade away. I know it's not waterproof but still, it just doesn't last. For me, this mascara is just very 'meh'. It's not the worst I've used but definitely not the best. I'll use up the bottle that I have but I won't be repurchasing. I highly recommend Tarte's Lights Camera Lashes, which is in the same price range.
I really had high hopes for this nail polish. In the bottle and on the little color spoons they have, Gaia is a lovely pearly white with beautiful, tiny gold and peach shimmers. It looked like my fingers would look like sparkly pearls and I was really excited about that. However, I was VERY disappointed about how this nail polish applied. It is incredibly sheer and I kid you not, I applied literally SEVEN layers of this nail polish and I didn't even have an even coat after that! I just gave up, topped it with a gold glitter topcoat and called it a day. It was gloppy, streaked and pooled in small ridges I have in my nails. Now, I've had this pooling happen with other colors but usually it's unnoticeable after 2-3 coats. I'm extremely impatient and hate waiting for nail polish to dry, so waiting for seven coats to dry was bordering on torture. I will probably never touch this polish again for that reason. Maybe if I get really motivated I'd try this over a white, but I'm not even sure I care to give it a second chance. I'm only giving it two lippies because the color is beautiful.
This was my first introduction to oil cleansers and I will never turn back. A word of warning, it may make your skin purge. This happened with me, but I'm glad I stuck by it (my skin purged for about 2 weeks) because it works really well now and my skin is back to normal (not perfect--I still get breakouts but far fewer than when I wasn't using the product) I use 2 pumps of this product every night before I hop in the shower. It completely removes all of my makeup--even tough waterproof mascara and eyeliner on my waterline. I love it because it completely eliminates the need for using an eye makeup remover, which I always thought was a PITA. I've also noticed that after several weeks of use, the number and size of blackheads on my nose decreased a small amount. Even though it starts off as an oil adding water allows the product to emulsify and rinse off completely. I don't think it's moisturizing at all--I definitely have to use moisturizer after using this cleanser. No smell that I can detect. Good price for how much you get--about $25 for the 200mL container. Nice convenient pump. 200mL at 2 pumps/day will last you about 5-6 months.
This is one of my favorite lips for the winter/fall. The color of the lipstick is very hard to describe, but I'll give it my best. In the tube, Tonkin is a muted rosey peach that pulls EVER so slightly brown. I almost didn't get this because brown is such a '90s thing and besides that it never seems to be very flattering on me. However, because of the brightening qualities of the peach and the warming qualities of the dusty rose, this lipstick is creates a perfect, understated MLBB effect that's subtle enough to not be noticed but works well enough that it enhances the natural shape of your lips. It can be worn pretty sheered out or full on, and on my yellow/olive NC20 skin both options look great. The texture of the lipstick also happens to be surprisingly satisfactory despite the fact that it's a matte. It smoothes over imperfections and feels almost weightless on the lips while at the same time maintaining very good pigmentation. One swipe is enough to achieve a full color effect. It is neither drying or moisturizing, although I would suggest you exfoliate and moisturize your lips before applying so that the product doesn't apply unevenly. It also has great lasting power, about 4-5 hours if I'm not eating anything. Overall very expensive product but well worth it in my opinion because of the high quality.
Korres Jasmine Lip Butter is touted as a moisturizing balm that gives the lips a shine and smooth texture. I have to agree that when this product is on the lips, it feels very comfortable--not greasy at all, not too thin or waxy, very smooth, almost kind of like a cushy feeling. It also smells great--kind of like carmel. Sadly there is no taste, but just the smell alone partly (emphasis on partly) curbs my sweet tooth. While other Lip Butters are more pigmented, Jasmine is a soft nude pink in the jar and does not provide much pigment on the lips. It ever so slightly mutes my pigmented lips. A little smeared on the lips a couple minutes before lipstick application in order to soften and condition them would be a great use for this product. The thing that keeps this product from getting the 3-4 star rating it could potentially have is the fact that it fades very quickly compared to some other balms I've used (Aquaphor, Rose Bud Salve, LUSH Honey Trap). I don't get more than an hour's use out of one application. Also, I feel the moisturizing effects really don't last. I don't even like using this as an overnight treatment because it's simply not effective. By the morning the stuff has completely worn off and my lips are just as dry as they were the day before. However, when I use the Aquaphor, RBS or LUSH HT my lips are moisturized and happy in the morning and the effect lasts after regularly doing this. All in all I would not rebuy because it's simply not moisturizing at all. It smells very good and feels good on the lips, but I need a $10 balm to do more than that for me, particularly in the winter months when my lips are always parched.
I got Airy Fairy because people are always talking about it on the MU boards and it was so hard to resist on sale at CVS for 75% off. Once again, the boards were right, this lipstick is lovely. Color: the color in the tube is a fairly cool-toned shimmery pink that pulls mauve heavily. I was not so sure about this initially because usually mauves tend to make my yellow, NC20-25 skin look more dull and sallow than other colors. However, on my lips (which are lightly pigmented--but they do have pigment to them), the mauve is more toned down and I actually see more pink. The finish is definitely frosty, but suprisingly doesn't look too cool for my skintone. I have to say, if this color were even half a shade cooler or a tad bit frostier, this wouldn't work for me at all--it seems to be surprising neutral despite having qualities often associated with cool-toned color products. As it stands, it is a very nice muted color that is very sophisticated and easy to pair with many different eyeshadow and blush colors, and is especially chic for the fall and winter months. Texture: I like the texture. It doesn't really emphasize imperfections/cracks/flakes on my lips and is a bit moisturizing, although balm may still be necessary for some. Wear: about 2-3 hours max without drinking or eating. I do find myself re-applying quite a bit. Scent: I hate this aspect of this lippie. It tastes and smells like cheap fruit-flavored candy which actually doesn't really go away. I'd stay far, far away from this if you are very sensitive to these sorts of things. Price: Retails for $5.99 but currently 75% off at CVS. It is rumored to be discontinued so get it while you can!
This is a lovely lipcolor if you are warm toned. In the tube, it is a very bright orange leaning toward red--and the color is basically the same on the lips. I have to say it is very similar to MAC's Vegas Volt, but definitely more red. I also think it's a bit more shiny on the lips and does not emphasize lines or flakes as much as Vegas Volt does (I think this is a horrible quality of the amplified cremes)! In terms of wear, this gets about 3-4 hours of wear on average with no eating and drinking. I do notice that it ends up bleeding a little outside the lipline, which is a major issue with such a bright/pigmented color. Using a reverse lipliner can help but I hate more steps than necessary. I would not purchase this again simply because there are many dupes (several of which I have) and it is too bright a color to have many versions of--it simply won't get used as much as others in my stash. However, if you are new to brights, are warm toned and want to try a cheapie one, I would definitely give this a try. It can be purchased right now (1/7/11) for 75% off the MSRP price of $8.99 at CVS.
I was excited about Sitcom Siren because I tried TF's other single eyeshadow, Label Whore and absolutely loved the texture, pigmentation and wear. However, I am disappointed to report that Sitcom Siren did not deliver in the same ways. Let's discuss: Color: in the pan, SS looks like a lightly shimmery taupe that pulls grey/purple. Once applied to the lids, the color is similar but you REALLY have to pack it on in order to get significant color on your lids. This is the aspect of the product I was most disappointed with. The pigmentation in Label Whore was outstanding--but not so at all with Sitcom Siren. Most of the time, the pan color is no where near achievable and instead you get this rather sad and flat grey color. Texture: Also different from Label Whore! LW was soft and buttery but Sitcom Siren is not nearly so. It's still pretty finely milled and well pressed, but its texture is only so-so in my book, especially when compared to LW. Sitcom Siren has average blendability. Wear: Wear is solid. Same as LW and other eyeshadows in the same price range like MAC and Urban Decay. I always use base. Overall, this was definitely not my end all, be all taupe. It's simply too grey and not pigmented enough to get the actual color in the pan.
Lip Gloss -Revlon - Super Lustrous Lipgloss - Nude Lustre
maomaouchi 1/5/2011 3:11:00 AM
I'm NC20 and have semi-pigmented lips, and on me Nude Lustre is a muted peach with a tad bit of orange. I wanted this to be a straight nude color on me but it is actually a little darker. I don't mind though, as it's a very wearable natural looking color for days when I want to have a simple look. This would be a perfect nude lip for women of color! Additionally, I only really see this working on NC skin as it's a bit too orangy to be easily wearable for cool-toned people. I see shimmers/glitters in the tube but they are basically undectable on the lips, so you get a shiny, peachy color. The staying power is the same as Revlon's other SL glosses, about 3 hours without eating or drinking. I don't mind the scent. It is a bit sticky, but not the stickiest I've used--I'd say it's right in the middle--a tiny bit less sticky than Stila Lip Glazes. I got this on clearance for $2.19 at CVS because it's supposedly being discontinued. At that price, I'd definitely recommend checking it out!
Moisturizers -Unlisted Brand - Glycolix Elite Facial Cream-Fortified
maomaouchi 1/3/2011 2:09:00 PM
I bought this product to use as a moisturizer from Dermstore.com because I couldn't find Eucerin Q10 Sensitive Skin Cream anywhere. I felt this product was similar, as it also contains co-enzyme Q. Furthermore, it contains retinyl palmitate, which is a form of Vitamin A. I have been using this product for the past 10 weeks and I am quite satisfied with it. I love to slather this cream on morning and night after cleaning. I find that doing so really helps in combating the flaky skin that I get around my chin and cheeks in the winter without making my face feel gross or greasy at the same time. Furthermore, my skin always feels nice and soft in the morning after using this product. I do not have many fine lines so I cannot really talk about its ability to diminish them, but I have not noticed any new fine lines cropping up. Admittedly, I do have some fine lines around my eyes but I do not see an improvement on them--but I really don't know if a cream is capable of really getting rid of lines. I feel like it nourishes my skin very well without making it break out or cause clogged pores, which many many many moisturizers are apt to do for me. The price is great. You get a big tub that will probably last about 4-5 months (I've had it for 10 weeks and am about half-way through and I use it very liberally).
Eye Shadow -Too Faced - Couture Eye Shadow Luxe - Label Whore
maomaouchi 12/25/2010 6:29:00 PM
I know this is a little over the top to say, but I'm just gonna say it: this is the best eyeshadow I have ever purchased, ever. Shall we discuss? COLOR: LW is one of those crazy new-fangled "duo-chrome" eyeshadows that transition from one color to another depending on the angle from which you are looking. The easiest way to describe it is a reddened brown that transitions to shimmery deep teal with very fine flecks of multi-colored micro-glitter thrown in for good measure. People say it's a dupe of MAC Club and they are very similar-- but I have both and LW is about 10X more pigmented and "duo-chrome-y". Another color that is similar to Club and LW is the third left color of the Wet n Wild Night Elf ColorIcon Palette. Of the three, LW is definitely the best--it is not as red when blended out (which I think looks blah on most people) and is the most intense. There are also several loose powder dupes but none are as pigmented as LW. When patted on over base like UDPP or MAC Painterly PP, the color is amazingly smooth and luminous and has just the right amount of reds and browns, with the gorgeous teal shimmer showing up with no problem. I find this is difficult to achieve with MAC's Club unless you use a ton and use a sticky black base, which is just an extra step. Without a black base, Club tends to pull too much on the red side and still look dull. Even with base it's hard to get the color intensity you get with LW. You do get more red if you blend out a lot but it still looks great at the edges of more intense color. TEXTURE: Heavenly, buttery, soft. They remind me of Lorac e/s b/c of how silky and soft they are. Blends very well. WEAR: Does not crease or fade if used with UDPP or other eye primers. I have never tried without one. PRICE: Reasonable, cheaper per oz than MAC.
Mascara -Christian Dior - Diorshow Extase Flash Plumping Mascara
maomaouchi 12/3/2010 4:38:00 PM
This is a fabulous mascara that I highly recommend if you've got stick-straight puny Asian lashes like me. PROS: -Lengthens. Creates natural length without looking over the top as some mascara with fibers are wont to do. -Thickens. Extase is really good for this--it basically doubles the fullness of my lashes, which is important for me because without mascara my lashes are pretty much nonexistent. You get great volume which is buildable, but most days I find one coat sufficient. -Holds curl. Mascaras for me are pretty much useless if they don't hold curl, and at worst some can weigh them down and make them point downwards. Extase does not do this at all, even with 2-3 coats. My lashes stay curled all day. -Does not smudge or flake despite the fact that it is not waterproof. -Sexy Packaging -Easy to remove: comes right off with my cleanser. I use DHC Deep Cleansing Oil and need to only lightly rub a bit to get this to come off completely. Pretty amazing considering it doesn't flake or smudge otherwise. -Good for lashes. Kinda reminds me of Fresh Supernova in this aspect. Some mascaras make my lashes very brittle and frail, but I find Extase is really gentle on them. I can wear this mascara every single day and not have problems with extra lash fallout or weak lashes. -Nice brush. I know some people complain about the brush but I think it's fabulous. The wave shape allows me to get the inner and outer lashes very easily without smudging product all over as with a normal tapered brush. Cons: -expensive. Very expensive. Overall, I think if you've got the money then totally go for it. It's a great everyday mascara that performs exactly as advertised. If you want a slighter cheaper mascara, Tarte's Lights Camera Lashes performs very similarly, except it is not as thickening.