Misc Beauty Tools -Unlisted Brand - Sirius Skinsonic Brush System
Andera 1/10/2012 9:38:00 AM
I had read and heard a lot about the Clarisonic but apart from being next to impossible in finding one where I live (they only started selling it locally about 6 months ago), the idea of buying it off ebay was also less than desirable due to the costs. Then I stumbled onto Elle's (allthatglitters21) YT video on her skincare routine where she talked about the Sirius Skin Sonic system. I checked out the website she referred to and found that the company shipped to my country. I decided to end my wait and search right then and ordered it immediately! The brush set arrived about 3 weeks after I had placed the order, which was alright with me. Most online reviews and suggestions said to use it twice a day but after the first few days, I decided that once a day, at night was more than sufficient for me. It operates with 2 x AA batteries and comes ready with a pair of Duracells. I havent had to change them yet which is an added bonus! I have now been using the Sirius for 5 months. Products that I use it with are the Shu Uemura cleansing oil and Kiehl's Ultra Facial cleanser on alternate days. Both remove my makeup just as well with the Sirius. For reference, I'm 34 years old and have combination skin with an oily T-zone. I live in a country with relatively warm conditions all year round (30 - 35 degrees Celcius) and work in an air-conditioned environment 5 days a week for about 9 hours each day. I use the regular brush head for removing my makeup and occasionally use the smooth sponge applicator with a face scrub (brown sugar). I admit that the effects on my skin weren't immediately visible and it took me about a month at least to notice the difference. I do still get occasional breakouts but they are mostly related to hormones - for e.g. when it's that "time" of the month or I am particularly stressed out at work. But my skin is definitely smoother to the touch and there are fewer blackheads. The breakouts also seem to clear faster as the affected areas are not clogged up with dead skin cells and what not. Treatment products for breakouts containing glycolic acid and salicylic acid also seem to absorb better. I cannot compare this to the Clarisonic as I understand that the brushes work differently - the Sirius vibrates whereas the Clarisonic spins round. But I would think the principals are effectively the same in exfoliating the skin. But as far as costs and ease of use go, I'm happy with it and would definitely recommend it to friends and family.
Liquid -Make Up For Ever - Mat Velvet PLUS Matifying Foundation
Andera 6/24/2011 11:09:00 AM
I got this from an online store about 3 weeks ago after contemplating on whether or not to get it for more than 6 months. And it has fast become one of the best foundations I have ever used! I'm in the shade 65 Golden Beige (I'm a MAC Studio Fix Fluid NW35/NC42 for reference) and the shade matches my skintone very well. As the name goes, it leaves a matte finish but is not cakey or drying on the skin despite being oil-free. My t-zone does get oily after a few hours of application (even when I use a primer) so blotting is necessary for me although it might not be for anyone else. My normal wear time is 8.30am - 6.00pm on work days. Although I live in warm & humid climate, I'm in an air-conditioned environment most of the time so the foundation doesn't slip and slide ... although it starts to look a bit greasy by about 5pm. I also use the MUFE HD foundation (in No. 170 Caramel) but it can get oily on me very quickly so I save that for 'special occasions' when lighting and photography are high on the agenda. I think this foundation is affordable and good value (more expensive than MAC but cheaper than Bobbi Brown) and like I said, I got mine online so it cost less than it would have at the store. I'm glad I decided to give it a try and will definitely consider repurchasing once I'm done ... although I do have another 5 different foundations to get through soooo ... it's gonna take a while! So unless anything else comes along to completely blow me away or which received rave reviews on MUA, I'm making this my HG foundation!
Eye Primer -Tarte - Lifted™ Natural Eye Primer with Firmitol™
Andera 6/24/2011 10:57:00 AM
I got this as part of the Natural Eye Shadow Pallette and it has become my favourite eye primer. The texture is light enough and applies well without drying out too fast, which I sometimes find with the UDPP. But as with the UDPP, my complaint is with the packaging because there is a lump of product stuck at the bottom of the container that the wand is not long enough to reach. So I resorted to using a cotton bud to dig it out LOL! The product also claims to help get rid of wrinkles but I dont see any noticeable difference. Then again, I wasnt expecting it to do any of that to begin with. I would definitely purchase a full-sized one next - except it doesnt sell here (Malaysia) boo-hiss!
I bought this product after reading rave reviews on MUA and I must say, I am very happy with it. I have an oily T-zone and am probe to occasional (hormonal) breakouts but my skin was never really smooth and even. I dont go for regular facials and tend to just do my own skincare routine at home with off the shelf scrubs and exfoliants. But before last Christmas, I had a hydrating facial at Dermalogica and my skin peeled like a potato (haha) for 2 weeks after that. I was a tortured being then. They told me the skin on my forehead and cheeks were extremely dehydrated. But then after the peeling stopped, my skin was really glowy and fresh. I havent had skin like that for years! And I figured Dermalogica stuff did the trick for me. I use this Exfoliant once a week. The first 2 times, I couldnt really see much difference. But after regular use of about 8 weeks now, the results are visible. The only other scrub I use is brown sugar + olive oil (also once a week) and the combination is working wonders for me. I have also been using 2 other Dermalogica products for treatment of blemishes and spots so I think my overall skincare routine has been changed for the better and my skin is now smooth and there are no dry or tight spots.
I was recommended this after the Oil-Free Foundation I had been using for a few years was discontinued and they hadnt introduced the Long Lasting one in my shade yet and the Moisture Rich was way too oily fo rme. The MUA gave me a sample to try for a week and I liked the way it looked on my combination-oily skin even after 8 hours at work, although it was noticeably shinier than the Oil-Free. So I went back and got my full-sized bottle but after using it for a couple of weeks, I began to like it less and less, mostly because it wasnt hiding my blemishes and earlier scarring even though I had used concealer as well. The coverage was definitely more sheer than the Oil-Free (hence the name Skin Foundation, I suppose) and too light (texture, not colour) for what I was used to. So I started using MAC's Studio Fix Fluid which suited my needs and was cheaper! However as the condition and texture of my skin is improving, I sometimes reach for the Skin Foundation when I can afford to go about with lighter makeup during the day. With a light dusting of Bobbi Brown Face Powder, has a very natural finish. And ... it comes with a pump! I'm NW35/NC42 in MAC and use Honey in Bobbi Brown liquid foundation shades.
Mascara -The Body Shop - lengthening and defining mascara
Andera 2/7/2011 8:58:00 AM
This is one of my favourite mascaras and I'm on my 2nd tube. My lashes are not naturally long so this gives me amazing length and doesnt too bad at thickening either. The black is intense and stands out well against my NW35/NC42 skin tone. I like the wand length and thickness. It evenly separates my lashes and effectively coats the mascara till the tip without clumping. It looks dramatic enough after the first application but is amazing after a second or third coat.
Lip Gloss -Isadora - Express Star Gloss in Reflecting Nougat
Andera 1/31/2011 1:47:00 AM
I got this as a free gift today and it made me gag as soon as I twisted the cap off today. It smells horrible and I had to wipe it off just 2 minutes after I tried it on. I dont know how much it costs because I have never seen it sold anywhere in the stores here.
Eye Makeup Remover -TheBalm - Balms Away Eye Makeup Breakup
Andera 1/13/2011 2:05:00 AM
This is the best eye makeup remover I have ever used! I was stoked when I found out it was sold at my local beauty supply store (which doesnt usually carry such unconventional brands). The skin around my eye area is quite thin and sensitive and I wasnt able to find the right makeup remover. The last ones that worked for me were Clarins' Sensitive Eyes & Lips and Bobbi Brown's Long Lasting Eye Makeup Remover. But they were both quite pricey and lasted me a mere 3 months (I wear eyeliner and mascara almost daily). I've been using my first Balms Away tin for exactly a year and will be repurchasing in a month or 2 when it runs out. So definitely value for money! Although the product looks and feels oily (think petroleum jelly), it doesnt leave a greasy film on my eyes after use, which tends to happen with some oil-based makeup removers. I also use it to remove lipstick and it works great as it doesnt dry out the skin as it's supposed to have plant-based moisturisers and is vitamin enriched. People in a rush might not favour this though because you have to apply the product all over the eyelid and let it work on the makeup for about 15 seconds before using a tissue or cotton pad to wipe it off. But as I use it at the end of my day, I have no issues with that and am quite happy that it is now part of my night routine.
Eyes -Make Up For Ever - Aqua Creams (Multi-Purpose)
Andera 1/12/2011 10:35:00 AM
I wouldnt use this with a primer because it caked big time when I wore it over the UDPP. Also, the MUA recommended that I use my fingers to apply it and I must say, that really made a difference because using a brush simply didnt work for me. Positives : great texture and wonderful choice of colours, long lasting and wont crease if used as a base with regular eyeshadow worn over it. Negatives : pricey and the packaging makes it slightly less hygienic to use if it means having to dip my fingers into the jar.
Foundations -Make Up For Ever - HD High Definition Foundation
Andera 1/12/2011 10:32:00 AM
I got this just a few weeks before Christmas - to prepare myself for all the holiday season photos LOL! The MUA colour matched me to shade no. 170 and I must say it was an excellent choice because the colour is very natural on me (I'm NW35/NC42 in MAC). The coverage is light to medium with a single pump's application but I imagine it would be buildable although I havent tried it myself. I've applied it with both the 190 brush and also my fingers. I like the smell - which is a welcome change from the other foundations I use (MAC, Bobbi Brown, L'oreal) but it's not overpowering in any way. I use the HD powder to set the foundation and I must say it turns out great in photographs. But I dont think the effect is quite as different or outstanding when viewed in person. My skin type is combination with an oily t-zone and this foundation starts to look oily after about 7 hours (worn without a primer) although I stayed in an air-conditioned room the whole time. So for that reason, I would not use it as a day to day foundation for work. Also if you have dry patches, you might want to avoid it. I had a spot of dry skin around my mouth (due to a botched facial recently gah!) and the foundation caked around it rather noticeably. All in all, I would use this for 'special occasions' where photographs are being taken. Not sure if it would withstand a hot and humid environment though i.e. clubs. But until I find another HD foundation that's better, I'm sticking to it!
This is my first MAC foundation, having used Revlon Colourstay and Bobbi Brown's Oil-Free, Skin & Moisture Rich Foundations before. For Reference, I was an Early Tan in Revlon and No.5 Honey in BB. The MUA matched me with the NW35 although I'm still convinced I'm an NC42 or NC44 because the undertone of my face is extremely yellow compared to my neck. My Mom is a NC45 but that is way too yellow on me. So I guess the NW35 evens out my skintone but I think it dulls the complexion a little. The smell doesnt bother me because it's something like the Revlon but I can imagine most people not being too crazy about it. The lack of a pump is at times annoying but as the liquid formulation is thick, it wont be runny when you tilt the bottle to get just the right amount out. I use my fingers to apply this, which gives me a medium to full coverage but I will soon try it with my 190 brush and see if it's streaky or dries out too quickly. Will update if and when I do. I have combination skin with an oily t-zone. This foundation lasts me my full day at work but naturally starts to wear off after about 8 hours. After 2 months of use, it hasnt caused me breakouts, which is a major plus point for me! The price is reasonable when compared to other brands so I have no issues with that.