Beauty: 11 April Favorites

Beauty, Favorites, Personal

Hi everyone!

It’s been a while since my last post and I really missed rambling on here.

There seems to be a conspiracy that is keeping me away from my 1 blog post a week goal.  I had a wakeboarding accident a couple of weeks back and I sprained my MCL in the right knee.  I’m getting better and I can move around and drive but it’s still not back to 100%.  I’m currently having therapy sessions to heal my injury properly.

So my injury, plus the numerous deadlines looming at work has kept me far faaar away from blogging the past few weeks.  I’m actually writing this post while waiting for some things I need for work. haha!

Despite the injury and hectic work schedule, I’m still feeling really positive because it’s already May!  It’s my birth month and for some weird ass reason it just feels like everything will go my way this month…  Or will it?  We shall see.  But aside from the tragedy of turning 23, there are just so many things going on right now and I’m so excited about all of it!

1. My cousin is getting married next weekend! (finally!)

2. Several relatives and friends are coming home from the States. – This is always fun! 🙂

3. Frantic work pace will pause after May 22; but then again maybe not…

4.  Which means I can totally enjoy my first solo trip to Siem Reap by the 24th!  Soooo excited!

5.  My injury is healing rapidly and I should be able to get back on my board soon. (yeah!)

So now that I’ve rambled on, it’s time to share with you my favorite beauty products from the past month!  It’s a miracle to only have 11 items for April.  I actually have been using pretty much the same things since March, but I’ve tried a couple of some new and not so new things too, so here are my top picks:

01 Primary

02 11 items

Clockwise: Bourjois Maxi Format Makeup Remover, Beauty Cottage Chic Duo Eyeshadow in Peach Choco, Heroine Make Long and Curl Mascara, Revlon Nearly Naked Foundation in 190 True Beige, Kiko Makeup Milano Concealer in Fair, Bite Beauty Lip Pencil in Rhubarb, Denman Hair Massager, Tweezerman Mini Teezer, MAC Cremesheen Glass in Star Quality, Chic Cosmetics Round Kabuki Brush, Gino McCray Single Eyeshadow in Light Peach

eye products

Let’s start with the single eye products!

I’ve had this Kiko Concealer for a while now and I am guilty of forgetting that it existed.  Good thing it’s still in perfect form.  This is too light for me at the moment so I use it as a highlighter instead of a concealer.  I love to dot and blend this along my nose bridge, inner corner of the eyes and underneath the brows.  Think of it as reverse contour.  It’s less obvious but very effective.

Kiko Makeup is not available locally.  I got this a few years back on a Eurotrip.

Beauty Cottage eyeshadow duo in Peach Choco – I can’t praise this thing enough.  This is an amazing product.  Pigmentation is incredible, very true to color, what you see in the pan is exactly what you get when  you apply this on the lids.  Texture is very soft and buttery, almost creamy, and blends like a dream.  I cannot believe I scored this at at a discounted price of 320 Baht in Bangkok, plus I get to pick another eyeshadow duo for free.  I am not kidding!  That’s about 500.oo pesos for 2 excellent eyeshadow duos!  I own a number of MAC eyeshadows and I have to say that the quality of these eyeshadows trumps some of the MAC shades that I have.

I love the other duo too but the shades on this one are just spot on and perfect for summer, no other shades necessary. I was in a hurry when purchasing this though so I couldn’t get more.  I’ll definitely pick up more products the next time I’m in BKK.

Gino McCray Eyeshadow Single in Light Peach – Another beauty product I scored in Bangkok.  Got this at 95 Baht (P150.00) which is 50% off the usual price of 180 Baht.  Another excellent eyeshadow.  Very similar to the Beauty Cottage one  when it comes to texture and pigmentation.  The shade looks bronze-y in the pan but actually looks more like burnt rose gold when swatched.

This shade is perfect for summer and really lovely for a single eyeshadow look.  Just make sure to build up the color on the crease to make it look like you made more effort than you actually did. 😉

Revlon NN

Revlon Nearly Naked Foundation in True Beige – I’ve been wanting to try this foundation since it came out late last year, but I just couldn’t kick my BB Cream routine back then.  I bought this one on impulse a month ago though because I stopped using my BB cream after I got really tanned.

I have to warn you, this foundation oxidizes like CRAY.  On initial swatches, this shade was perfect for my tanned skin.  When I got home and applied it on my face, I was aghast to find that it turns more than 3 shades darker on me.  That and it looks really flat when it sets on my skin. *insert horrified mouth gaping moment here*

I was so dismayed since I was expecting a dewy finish from this product.  It did say “Nearly Naked” so the implication is it will look like skin.  But NO it did not. I wasn’t happy and I thought it was doomed to rot in a hidden corner of my makeup stash.  At least until I thought of mixing it with some gel moisturizer.

When diluted, this thins out just enough to give me that natural looking finish and light to medium coverage.   It still oxidized but this time it just went about a shade darker which wasn’t a problem for me.

So now it landed on my favorites list because it is pretty good, despite the fact that it doesn’t look Nearly Naked like it claims to be.

I am currently searching for a lighter foundation that will work well when mixed with this and a setting powder that won’t flatten and totally mattify it.  To shop for new stuff or shop from my stash?  Hmm.   and no, I don’t want to get another bottle of the Revlon foundation in a lighter color.

lip products etc

Some odd lip and eye products and a brush

Chic Cosmetics Round Kabuki brush – This is a dupe for the Sigma Round Kabuki.  I ranted about this in my old blog but I found that the prickly bristles softens after a couple of washes and now I really enjoy applying my foundation with this.

Bite Beauty Lip Pencil in Rhubarb – The perfect My Lips But Better shade with a mauve tone to it.  Love the texture and fragrance of this product!  It’s really pricey but this was part of a gift set so I got 4  travel size shades for the price of one full-size pencil.  I think I just might get this shade in full-size when I finish it.

MAC Cremesheen Glass in Star Quality – LE lipgloss from MAC.  Something I’ve had for a while.  This was actually a PR sample I got back when I was still in publishing.  I haven’t used lipglosses for quite some time, but watching Korean TV Series got me thinking of wearing lipgloss again.  I’m glad I did because reopening my lipgloss drawer made me realize just how many lip products I’ve been neglecting.  lol!  Anyhoo,  I hope MAC releases this as a permanent color because this shade is perfect for the summer!  Love the feel of this gloss too.  It’s not sticky like the lip glass but it is tackier than most lipglosses so it lasts longer.  It also makes my lips look plump and blurs the natural grooves of  your lips.  I don’t know why I but really love it when lipglosses do that.  I might be using this for a Korean Makeup tutorial soon.

Heroine Make Long & Curl Mascara – They weren’t kidding when they said this mascara will elongate and volumize your lashes.  It really would.  Move over Fairy Drops.  This baby just drop kicked you off the Mascara Top Charts  in one hit.

HM Mascara

This mascara has a thin and curved wand that makes it easy to maneuver and reach all of your lashes.  I advise that you wipe off some of the product on a tissue before using this, especially if it’s a new tube, because it will make your lashes clump like crazy.  So just wipe it, swipe it on your lashes, et voila!  It will give your lashes some really mean lift and volume.  Work quickly when using this mascara as it dries really fast, and when it does, it’s not moving out unless you attack it with an oil based makeup remover.

Picked this up at HK for around 60HKD.

tweezerman denman

Tweezerman Tweezer – This tweezer is supposed to be smaller than the usual Tweezerman tweezers, though honestly I can’t tell the difference.  It feels the same and works just as well at a fraction of a price.  This is only P500.00 ish or so compared to the Limited Edition ones that are almost 800 to 900 bucks.  Tweezers are just Tweezers.  I’m willing to pay for quality so long as I see a good reason for it.

Denman Hair Massager – I love love love this!  I used to run a hairbrush through my scalp a couple of times to stimulate blood circulation, but this one, hands down, does a better job at it.  If you like getting your hair brushed and that tingly feeling when  your stressed scalp starts to loosen up, then get this thing.  Like now.

P295.00 at Beauty Bar Stores.

Oh, you’re welcome.

26 Bourjois

Another item I picked up at HK.  I think it was HKD 60.00 then because it was on sale.  This works just as well at the Lancome Bifacil but it’s way cheaper.

If you ever find yourself in good old Hongkong, pop by one of the Bonjour stores and pick up a bottle of this.  You won’t regret it.

*****************

So that’s my favorite for the month of April! I just noticed that my previous post was my favorites for March. GAH.  How was I reduced to posting once a month?  I didn’t even notice the month passing by so quickly! batshitcray.

Anyhoo, I’m working on another post today and it should be up by this weekend.

Until my next post!

xx

Erika

Beauty: March 2014 Favorites

Beauty, Favorites

Hi everyone!

Can you believe it’s already April!?  It feels like the first quarter of the year just flew by and it’s almost summer time.  Crazy right?

Anyhoo, today I’m sharing with you my favorites for the month of March!  I’ve been switching products a lot the past month and while I liked all of them, I had to taper it down to the ones that I’ve been using practically everyday.  You’ll probably notice that most of my favorites are already for the summer season.

Oh and I should warn you, this is a really lengthy post, so brace yourself.

01 primary

So let’s begin with face products!

02 Face Products Primary

I started wakeboarding late last year and because of that, I’ve been getting more and more tanned. Which also means my favourite BB creams and foundations are already too light for my current skintone.   Then I remembered that I bought a couple of Revlon Airbrush foundations on sale last year.

04 Revlon Foundation

Revlon Photoready Airbrush Foundation in Vanilla and Natural Beige

They no longer had my shade back then but since it was a 50% off sale, I decided to get two shades that I can mix to get my shade and these are just perfect!

05 Revlon swatches

Here you can see the swatches are a bit smeared. It is bubbly due to the “airbrush” packaging. The foundation is dispensed like a hair mousse, which honestly doesn’t make much of a difference.  I really love the formula of this foundation though.

It has superfine shimmer in it that makes you looks dewy and radiant right after it sets. I’ve worn this foundation out a lot the past month, and even after walking in the sweltering heat and sweating buckets, it doesn’t smear or transfer.   It doesn’t make me look greasy as well, despite the shimmer and dewy finish. That is pretty darn impressive since I don’t even touch up with a powder or a blotting paper the entire day.

I tweak the ratio depending on my skin tone and it works out pretty well! I seriously love this foundation! ❤

For reference, I have dry combination skin. 

03 Ben Nye Buff

Ben Nye Luxury Powder in Buff

I’ve talked about the Banana Powder before, which is Buff’s more famous sister.  It is very popular with Filipinas because of it’s yellow tone.  While I love the Banana powder, I’ve been reaching for Buff more often now especially when I use a darker shade of foundation.  I find that using the Banana powder makes me look to dark and yellow.

Buff still has a yellow undertone but it is a more neutral color that wouldn’t darken your makeup base.

06 Zero Kuma Concealer

K-Palette Zero Kuma Concealer Type 1

I’ve been reaching for this concealer a lot because it’s one of the few face products I have that still matches my skintone. It’s the darkest shade in the line and it oxidizes so be sure to swatch all 3 shades and wait for a couple of minutes before purchasing one.

This concealer doesn’t crease or fade on me even though I tend to wear it for over 10 to 12 hours.

08 Blushes

Clockwise: Sleek Blush in Sunrise – MAC Mineraize Blush in Love Joy – Makeup Academy Blush Shade #6

I’ve been loving peachy toned blushes recently but for summer I felt like warm earth-toned blushes are so much better.  It gives you a healthy warm glow as well as abronze-y effect that makes it look like you just came from a trip to the beach.

 09 blush swatches

Blush Swatches (Top – Bottom) MAC Mineralize Blush in Love Joy,  Sleek Blush in Sunrise and MUA Blush #6

As you can see in the swatch, all of the blushes have the same warm and bronze tones in varying shades.  I like to layer these blushes to get a beautiful glowing effect.  I love the MUA blush the most because it’s so flattering.  It gives your skin a nice glow so I sweep that color all over the top of my cheekbones before adding one of the darker blushes on the apples of my cheeks.

Ahhhh.  This blush routine is making me love the summer heat.  Well… Not really.

10 Sleek Contour Kit

Sleek Contour Kit in Medium

This is the product that started my love affair with highlighters.  I won’t recommend this to makeup beginners as it takes a bit of practice to get used to working with the pigmentation of this product.

However, if you’re looking for an affordable contour kit, this is one of the products you should try. The Pixiwoo sisters once mentioned that this is a good dupe for the Make Up For Ever contour kit.

12 Sleek swatches

Swatched highlighter and contour powder

As you can see, the highlighter has a yellow undertone and looks metallic.  I love how this blends into the skin and sort of disappears.  It makes your skin look naturally radiant all day.

The contour powder is great and crazy pigmented so watch how much you’re picking up with your brush.  It has a reddish undertone too, which can be problematic if you use too much.

13 Brushes

MeMeMe Blush Brush (from blush box), Makeup By Toni Duo Fibre Brush, Makeup By Toni Angled Blush Brush

14 stippling

This Duo Fibre brush is part of the Makeup By Toni Hope Series brush set.  You can get the set here.

At first I didn’t like this brush because I was expecting it to be good for stippling foundation.   It isn’t dense enough for that purpose but it is perfect for applying powder and cream blushes.  It picks up just the right amount of product and the density is perfect for diffusing very pigmented blushes like La Femme.  I’ve been reaching for this pretty much whenever I’m applying my blush.

I won’t say this is an excellent duo fibre brush but it’s pretty good for the price.15 Blush Contour Brush

Makeup By Toni Angled Blush brush

Another very abused brush from the Hope Series set.  I love this brush because it is multipurpose.  I love contouring and highlighting with this brush.  The tapered angle cut makes it perfect for applying products on the cheekbones and the hollows of the cheeks.

I use this mainly for highlighting.

16 MeMeMe Blush Brush

MeMeMe Blush Brush

I used to ignore this brush because the block shape makes it horrendous for applying blush.  But now I love this for contouring!  I got the idea from Lauren Curtis.  I was watching her makeup tutorial and she used a Nars Ita Kabuki brush to contour which is similar to this but with a longer handle.  Click this link to view the Nars brush.

Anyway, when I saw that video, I remembered this brush and I tried using it for contouring.  It works like a charm!  Just make sure to blend the contour product well and use a light hand to avoid creating streaky lines.

17 Eye Makeup

Now we’re on to eye makeup!  This is probably my favorite category in my favorites.

18 Eyeshadow

Urban Decay Naked 3, Maybelline Lumineyes Quad in Rose, MeMeMe Goddess  Eyes Quad 02

Naked 3 – if you saw my haul post <see previous post> you would know that I bought this because it has a mix of pinky neutrals and taupe neutrals.  When this first came out, I thought Urban Decay is overdoing the whole Naked line already so I wanted to pass on it.  But now I just love it!  The bronzy pink hue in the palette is perfect for summer!

19 MeMeMe

MeMeMe Goddess Eyes Quad 02

I love this tiny quad because it can fit into my emergency beauty kit! I just love how you can create multiple looks with a compact quad like this.   What makes it even more perfect is the incredible pigmentation.  The swatches are applied without a primer.  It’s that pigmented!  I am seriously in love and in awe of UK drugstore products.

20 Maybelline swatch

Swatches of Maybelline Lumineyes Quad in Rose

This was a gift from Nikki, and my first thought when I opened it was it is so Naked 3.  I didn’t have the Naked 3 at that time, but I’ve seen reviews of the palette.  This is something you could try if you want to get pinky neutral eyeshadow without splurging on the Urban Decay palette.

As for me, it made me decide that I need the Naked 3 in my life.

21 Fairy Drops

Fairy Drops Lengthening Mascara

I used to hate mascaras with vengeance because most of the ones I’ve tried did absolutely nothing for my lashes.  If it adds volume, it makes my lashes lose the curl.  If it retains the curl, it doesn’t volumize.

That was before I met Maybelline Falsies and this amazing Fairy Drops mascara.  The unique shape of the wand is reminiscent of Giorgio Armani mascara wands and it works well with the formula.  This mascara is so much better than The Falsies though.  It adds volume and retains the curl even with just one coat.  It’s incredible!

When you’ve had this for a while, it will dry up and thicken.  I’m not gonna lie, it will make your lashes clump.

My tip?  Pull the wand out of the tube and using a tissue paper, gently squeeze out all the product from the wand.  Dip it back in the tube and apply on the lashes.  It will be good as new.

If it doesn’t work, it’s probably time to toss your mascara tube.

22 Brow and Eye Liner

Dolly Wink Brow Pencil in Dark Chocolate & Make Up For Ever Aqua Eyes pencil

Dolly Wink is my life saving brow product.  I use this to outline my brows before filling it in with brow powder.  This pencil reminds me of Shu Uemura’s hard formula brow pencil.   It is a perfect match to my brows though so I can use it to fill in my brows as well.  I do that when I’m in a hurry.

The Make Up For Ever eye liner is another lifesaver this summer because it does not smudge, crease or transfer.  I use this to tightline and line my lower lashes.  I love that I don’t have to worry about it smudging even in the sweltering heat!  It is worth every single penny.

23 Lip balms

Lipbalms

24 Hurraw

Hurraw! Earl Grey Lip Balm

25 Hurraw Details

I love my Jack Black lip balm, but I’m beginning to obsess over this lip balm.  I mean really, what’s not to love about this tiny tube of goodness?  It’s organic and made with raw ingredients.  The formula is perfect for Philippine weather too.  It’s thick but not slick which is my preferred texture for lip balms.  Plus it smells HEAVENLY.  It smells exactly like CBTL’s Earl Grey tea and I freaking love that stuff!

Confession: I find myself pouting whenever I use this just so I could get a whiff of this lip balm.  Yes.  I am that obsessed and far gone over this thing.

26 LCDM Lip Balm

Le Couvent des Minimes Smile Lip balm

27 LCDM texture

Nothing will make you think of Provence as much as L’occitane and Le Couvent des Minimes (LCDM) products. One whiff of this lip balm will transport you to the lush French countryside.

Made with honey, honey extract, shea butter, and royal jelly this is a really rich and thick lip balm that is best used in the evenings.  I think this was formulated for use in colder climates because it has a warming effect when applied on the lips.  I love to use this when my lips are in need of intense hydration and repairing.

It tastes just like honey though so I have to find a way to keep myself from licking it off my own lips.

28 Skincare

Skincare favorites!

29 Bioderma

Bioderma Sensibio H20 Micellar Water

I know I once extolled the virtues of Bifesta and claimed it is a better and cheaper option than Bioderma.  Well please let me retract that statement.  While I still like Bifesta, I realized that Bioderma IS better.

Why?  It has better skincare properties.  Bifesta removes makeup better but it does nothing for my skin.  One time I randomly decided to use this instead of Bifesta since I thought it shouldn’t go to waste.  I forgot to apply moisturizer that evening, but when I woke up the next day, my skin was so clear and hydrated.  It has almost the same effect as the Kiehl’s Midnight Recover Concentrate.

Needless to say, I’ve been using this to remove my makeup ever since.

30 Cure

Cure Clear Aqua Gel

This was gifted to me last year and because I’ve never heard of it, I had no idea what it was.  Since the label is in Japanese, it didn’t help either.   So I googled it and found out that it’s a water based exfoliant.  I thought it odd until I tried it out.

It cleared my skin up right away and it feels like my skin was so healthy and glowing.

I use this once a week to unclog my pores and whatnot.

31 Caudalie

Caudalie Grape Water Face Mist

I love love loooove Caudalie. It is the only pricey brand that I don’t mind splurging on when I have the chance.  Perhaps it’s because it brings back memories of my trip to France?

I don’t know.  But I love anything Caudalie.  So when my boss gave me this face mist, I was over the moon.  It sprays a really fine mist that is perfect for setting my makeup in the morning.  It is expensive so I reserve this for setting my makeup before I leave the house.  I use Avene or The Face Shop spray mist throughout the day.

But this, if it was readily available and less expensive, I’d use it all day!  As it is, I have to save it so it will last a little bit longer.

32 LCDM Cleansing Milk

Le Couvent des Minimes Gentle Cleansing Milk

What do I love about this?  hmm.  I don’t have a negative thing to say about this product because I love everything about it.  The light rose scent, they way it removes makeup like a breeze (except for waterproof mascara) and how it leaves your skin feeling fresh and hydrated.

After trying this, I understood why Julia of Bless My Bag sings praises about this makeup remover.

See it in action here:

33 LCDM Before 34 LCDM Emulsify 35 LCDM After

See what I mean by fresh and hydrated skin?

36 ZA

ZA Cleansing Foam

We’re finally down to my last favorite skin care product!  Za is a the more affordable brand under the Shiseido umbrella.

This is s a light cleansing foam that effectively cleanses skin without stripping it of moisture.  It doesn’t leave your skin feeling squeaky clean and dry like Pond’s facial washes do and I just love that.

37 Scents

Ralph Lauren Big Pony 2 and Le Couvent des Minimes Lavender Pillow Mist

I’ve had the RL Big Pony for a year already and even though I rarely used it before, i know it is a really nice fragrance.  It has the perfect blend of floral and fruity notes so it isn’t overpowering.  It’s the perfect summer scent though so I’ve been using this practically everyday.

38 LCDM Pillow Mist

LCDM Pillow Mist

I refrain from spraying this on my pillow during weeknights because it makes me late for work. lol!  It just smells so damn good.  It will make your pillows and sheets feel and smell crisp and clean once you wake up, which also means you would never want to leave your bed.

This makes me want to dive back into my duvet and pillow in the mornings.

Who would have thought pillow mists have this power?

39 Nail Polish

Clockwise: Revlon Gel shine Top coat, Cutex Emergency Nail Remedy, Revlon in Dreamer, RBL Scrangie, American Apparel Nail Lacquer in Cameo Blue and  H&M I am not a Kiwi

40 Polish

Not much of a neon nail polish fan so I opt for bright yet more sedate shades for summer.  Just between you and me, I think neon nail polish make my hands look dark.

41 Top and Base Coat

This has been my go to top and base coat combo for a year now.  I can vouch that Revlon topcoat can make my manicure look impeccable for almost 2 weeks. No chips at all!

The Cutex nail remedy is perfect for when you need polished looking nails minus the nail color.  It seals off damaged nails and makes it look healthy as well.

42 Hair

Paganini Velcro Rollers and L’oreal Elnett Hair Spray

I swear by these hair products when I my hair needs volume and taming.

I use the rollers to pull my hair into shape, add volume and body.  I just roll them on before applying makeup then remove afterwards.  A couple of sprays from the Elnett and my hair is set for the day.

***

WHEW!  My gosh!  This was one LONG lineup of favorites.  I swear I tried to whittle it down as best as I could, but I just couldn’t part with any of these.  The length of this post probably explains why I’m so late in posting this.  haha! But there you go!

This concludes my March Favorites post.  I hope you guys found the mini reviews helpful!

Thank you so much for reading! ❤

xx

Erika