REVIEW: Le Blush Creme de Chanel – Chanel Cream Blush in 64 “Inspiration”

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Say, what?? Chanel released cream blushes?

Yes. And, they’re selling like hot cakes right now. I had to track down the only color I wanted at Macy’s this time around. In the pan, the colors look much darker than I had expected. However, the color pay-off is pretty, the application process is easy and smooth, and nothing beats feeling pretty when wearing Chanel. That’s all. The Le Blush Creme is marketed as “an innovative powder-cream formula [that] offers an enticing new way to blush with sheer yet vibrant pigments for instant luminosity.” The “silky texture offers a long-wear satin finish—soft and comfortable for every skin type—and is simple to apply with fingertips or brush.”

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I agree with everything. First off, the gel-mousse texture is easy to work with because it’s soft and creamy — not tacky and sticky like Bobbi Brown’s cream blush. Much like my beloved Illamasqua Cream Blusher in “Promise”, the product is soft to the touch and blends seamlessly into the skin. Basically, since it melts on contact, I don’t feel like I’m rubbing off any base makeup or wiping the blush color away. Also, the color leaves behind a soft glow that makes your cheeks look glowy without looking too shiny.

Wear time for this cream blush is average. To get a few additional hours of wear, I’d suggest dusting on some translucent setting powder, but on its own, the blush wears fine throughout the day as long as there’s no excessive sweating/activities. I chose the color “Inspiration” because it’s warm and would flatter my skintone the best. I apply this with any ol’ synthetic brush, but as always, the Real Techniques Expert Face Brush is my favorite. I recommend! :)

Made in France.
Retails for $38 USD.

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Bobbi Brown Sea Pearls Collection – Summer 2013

Normally, limited edition collections don’t really excite me for practical reasons. When I do find them exciting, I’m only drawn towards 2-3 products, but ultimately, decided on 1-2 products to actually purchase. Very rarely do I find an entire collection exciting and pretty. While perusing through Bobbi Brown’s website, I came across an ad for her Sea Pearls Collection for summer 2013 and found everything to be ethereal and beautiful. If I were to release a summer collection, it would most likely resemble this particular collection!

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What excites me the most about this collection is the pearly aspect — like, glowy and natural — fun and inspiring — perfect for a carefree and whimsical summer. The color palette runs on the light and pastel side, with shimmer and glow. What do you think? I personally think that the eye palette and blush are exquisite and will be checking them out in person very soon.

Caudalie Vinosource S.O.S Thirst Quenching Serum

Where has the Caudalie Vinosource S.O.S Thirst Quenching Serum been all my life? This is the newest addition to my skincare arsenal, but one that I needed to purchase because of my recent skincare concern.

This is advertised as “an oil-free serum that captures and continually diffuses water deep within the skin to restore its moisture balance and leave skin feeling soft and supple.” It contains “organic grape water [as] the key ingredient for reactivating the skin’s hydration mechanisms and replenishing its water reserves.” Also included is “polyphenol antioxidants [to] provide protection against UV rays and free radicals.”

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As with all serums, this product is designed to be used before moisturizer. During the summer months, I find that I can just use the serum alone and move onto sunscreen. While this is great for all skin types, I think it’s best for those with combination to oily skins. It’s oil-free and almost gel-like. It’s cooling on the skin and absorbs easily into the skin. Despite its watery-light texture, this is intensely hydrating without being oily or greasy.

For drier skins, adding on a moisturizer over this would do wonders. Caudalie products are known to incorporate grape water in their products, and that secret ingredient is really all you need. According to Sephora’s website, organic grape water showed 61% decreased sensitivity and 121% increased hydration.

As an oily skin person, I had no idea my skin could be dehydrated. And, I noticed since I’ve incorporated this serum, my skin’s oil production has been regulated since my skin isn’t trying to compensate for the dehydration by overproducing oil.

Made in France.
Retails for $48 USD.

Most-Used Makeup Brushes

Today’s post is about my most-used makeup brushes. I own both high-end and low-end brushes; and, these days, I limit myself to just a handful of brushes for convenience and ease. Like my makeup collection, my brush collection is quite vast. So, I like to keep them “on rotation” as well to get my use out of all the brushes I own. I have my favorites and not-so-favorites; but, nonetheless, the brushes I’ll be talking about today are the ones I’ve been reaching for the most as of late.

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MAC 217 – The MAC 217 is my favorite blending brush. However, lately, I’ve been using it as a general eyeshadow application brush — using it to also blend as well. This way, I can save a step and a brush.
Louise Young – I alternate between the LY31 Angled Sable Brow Brush and the MAC 266 Small Angle Brush. For the most part, I still with the LY.
Eco Tools – My trust Eco Tools Bamboo Deluxe Concealer Brush is my favorite concealer brush and it always has been. It’s the perfect size for spot-concealing because it conceals only what needs to be concealed without getting messy.
Real Techniques Stippling Brush – The Real Techniques Stippling Brush is great for foundation or BB cream application. It really sheers out the product but applies it evenly onto the skin for an even application. I’ve featured it in my Glowy Skin post because it’s also great at applying mixed products as well.
Real Techniques Expert Face Brush – The Real Techniques Expert Face Brush is my all time favorite foundation brush and one of my all time favorite brushes in general. It’s best to own multiples of these because it’s great for anything and everything you apply to your face — including cream blush
Real Techniques Blush Brush (used as face brush) – I use the Real Techniques Blush Brush as an all-over face powder brush. It’s so big and bushy that I could never use it as just a blush brush. It’s fluffy but sturdy enough to control the product you’re applying.
Chanel Blush Brush (used as regular blush brush) – One of my recent and re-discovered favorites for blush application is my Chanel Blush Brush. It’s really not anything special, but I’ve been using to really pack on blush because I’m into the rosey-cheeks look right now.

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Highend or not, it’s important find brushes that work for you and the products you’re working with. However, there’s nothing wrong with investing in nice brushes since they will last forever (with proper care) and won’t expire. For me, my collection is so vast because I’ve been adding onto my collection for years now.

Budget-friendly options are great for on-the-go or travel purposes, but it’s also great to have them around because you can buy multiples of them (like my RT Expert Face Brushes). :)

REVIEW: Chanel CC Cream – Complete Correction Sunscreen SPF 30

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The long awaited Chanel CC Cream – Complete Correction Sunscreen SPF 30 has arrived in the United States. I ordered mine a few weeks ago via eBay and let me just say — this is a keeper.

Chanel claims that the Complete Correction Sunscreen CC Cream is “a completely original creation” that is a “fusion of skincare and makeup” all in one. According to the website, this CC Cream is one of a kind that is “backed by true expertise regarding the precise needs of Asian women in terms of flawless skin.”

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This CC Cream comes in only one shade: 20 beige; and, it’s extremely light. While this may have worked for the majority of Asian women in Asia, I don’t think this will be a good match for the United States. Other American companies have caught onto the fact that medium, tan, and darker shades apply to many women, and have released multiple shades in their BB and CC cream ranges. It’s a little frustrating to see very little flexibility in shades.

However, aside from that color complaint, I’ve been loving this product and am thinking that this will be my summer item — officially. Coverage is minimal, as with mostly all CC creams. I don’t layer this with foundation, and I think on its own it does a great job at concealing pores and redness, evening the skin out beautifully, and leaving behind a soft glow that isn’t shimmery or oily looking. The texture is mousse-like and blends easily; it absorbs quickly; and, does the job for my skin FAST.

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Chanel claims that their CC Cream combines 5 actions in 1 single step:

SOOTHES. Cornflower water comforts sensitive skin.
MOISTURIZES. Hyaluronic acid helps maintain hydration level all day long by trapping and retaining moisture inside the skin.
PROTECTS. SPF 30 and PA+++ sun filters block aging-accelerating UVA-UVB rays. A mineral filter guarantees higher tolerance on the skin.
PREVENTS. An active ingredient of natural origin, Rejuvencia, provides the best shield against external aggressions.
EVENS OUT IMPERFECTIONS. Redness, dark spots and pores are visibly diminished.

I would agree with all five claims. While I wish the SPF was a bit higher, I don’t mind all that much since I wear SPF 50 regardless of what I’m wearing as my base. This is a great all-in-one, and my fave CC cream out of my mini collection. Previously, I’ve tried and reviewed: the Banila Co. IT Radiant CC Cream and the Rachel K CC Cream. In terms of coverage, I’d say the Chanel CC Cream did better than all three — even though all CC creams provided minimal coverage anyway. However, the Banila Co. CC cream definitely made me the most oily.

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The flawless glow this product provides is amazing — your skin is so evened out and radiant — it just makes you look fresh rather than made up. The naturalness of it is impressive, and the lightweight texture is easy to apply, looks great, and wears great throughout the day — despite the Texas heat here. As the website indicates, the “CC Cream delivers complete correction and natural-looking, long-wear makeup. An ideal cream for day-long confidence with a lightweight, non-oily, comfortable texture.” I highly recommend and it’s worth the money.

As with all CC creams, it’s important to keep in mind the functionality of the product. This is technically a skincare product that delivers makeup-like results. So, essentially, we can’t be expecting the coverage of a full coverage foundation and the wear time and long last effects of a full coverage foundation. I’m loving this for the summer and will go perfectly with the natural summer look I’ve been going for as of late.

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I know that the single shade is disappointing and it’s expensive for an ounce of product. However, the price range is still within the regular realms of Chanel — so if that isn’t an issue, I’d recommend you get a sample of this and give it a try. If it’s coverage and long lasting effects you’re looking for, I’d steer clear of all CC creams in general and stick with foundation. But let me assure you that this product is worth it!

1 fl. oz.
Retails for $55.00 USD.
Made in France

Bobbi Brown Shimmer Brick – Rose

I’m new to the Bobbi Brown Shimmer Brick world, but became intrigued while at Sephora recently. I picked the shade “Rose” because it was pink and iridescent. It was so pretty that I couldn’t pass it up. :)

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I was a little concerned with all the glitter. This product is jam packed with it and it made me almost not purchase it. However, based on such rave reviews, I had to give it a shot. When heavily watched, yes, the glitter it blatantly obvious and a bit scary. But when lightly dusted onto my cheeks over blush…WOW.

A little bit of product goes a long way. I mean, really little. I lightly tap my brush once into the product (definitely, no swirling), tap off the excess, and blend it onto my cheeks over cream blush. Worn alone, the pink still shows through but imparts the most beautiful pinky sheen that gives you an instant, on-the-spot glow.

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This product is marketed as having “five bars of pure pearl color for shimmering lids and glowing cheeks.” It certainly isn’t a highlighter since the product is quite pigmented and “Rose” is most definitely pink. Bobbi Brown claims that “this shimmering, brush-on powder is handmade in Italy and creates a soft, rosy glow. It works well with neutral, pink, and rose blush shades.”

All true. I’ve been adding this product over anything I put onto my cheeks. It’s the perfect finishing touch, especially if you’ve layered this on over a matte blush. Any color, even if it’s transparent or flat, will look glamorous with the Shimmer Brick layered on top of it.

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For the swatch, I swirled three fingers over the product, carefully trying to pick up all the colors evenly. Then, I swatched the shades onto my arm. Notice all are a little different, but quite pretty. This product has to be used sparingly, because the glow factor CAN get out of control.

I recommend this, for sure. Bobbi Brown has various tones and shades to fit whatever you’re looking for. However, I read that “Rose” is a customer favorite because anyone, with any skin type and skin tone can wear it; and, it can be worn with so many different colors and textures of blushes. Very versatile. Worth the money. :)

Made in Italy.
Retails for $42.00 USD.

Banila Co. IT Radiant CC Cream

BB creams are old news in Asia and that’s because they’ve moved onto CC creams. The difference between BB creams and CC creams is that CC creams contain more skincare benefits, and acts less like a foundation-like product. Because of that, CC creams are often used as makeup primer/base; thus, they’re worn underneath foundations and in some cases, they’re worn underneath other BB creams as well. The point of a CC cream is not to really cover anything — they’re used as a skincare product — and, will blur imperfections, conceal redness and pores, and leave behind just your skin in its nearly natural state.

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What will they think of next? DD creams? Lol. I purchased my CC cream from eBay because I wanted to try a Korean brand. While visiting Korea a few years ago, my cousins turned me onto Banila Co., and it quickly became one of my favorite non-department store brands. The price range is quite fair — while it’s not as cheap as Etude House, The Face Shop, and Skinfood — the product line is geared towards “professional women,” so the range targets concerns like whitening, brightening, wrinkle-fighting, etc.

As you can see from the product swatches, there are no other shade because the color of the product is not skin-toned. In fact, the pinkish hue disappears completely into the skin and absorbs quickly. After application, it looks like you didn’t apply anything at all; but, your overall skintone and texture looks remarkably better. The sun protection is medium compared to higher SPF’s in most Asian BB creams; but, unless you have good skin to begin with, this CC cream is the first step before regular makeup application (and can replace separate sun protection or makeup base for some people).

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The texture of the CC cream is light and blends easily — making a little bit of product go a long way. The floral scent is nice but nothing special. This is great for evening out skintone and texture — meaning, even the bumps that are raised seem to be less noticeable in some magical way. Pores are easily concealed with this product; and, because the finish is extremely natural, it’s essentially undetectable. It just looks like skin! The overall finish is dewy and healthy. I find the product to be very moisturizing, but the whitening claims are pretty non-existent in my book. While it didn’t do anything bad to my skin, I didn’t notice any real/long-term changes because of this product.

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CC creams are entirely different than BB creams and I think it depends on your own skin care concerns. If you’re looking for high coverage and need something for large pores and acne (including scars), I think it’s best to stick to a BB cream or foundation. If you don’t have that many concerns regarding your skin, a CC cream and some powder could be all you need on an every day basis. However, if you’re looking to double-up on products for a special occasion, or you just need the extra coverage, you can layer on foundation over a CC cream to achieve your desired effect.

Previously, I tried the Rachel K CC Cream in neutral. I didn’t like the grayish tone, but it blended in decently (but not to my liking). I feel like both can be worn alone as well. It really does depends on your own concerns — skincare-wise and coverage-wise.

Made in Korea.
30 mL.
Retails for 25,000 원 (or just over $22 or so).

Face of the Day — featuring one eyeshadow

I’ve included an eye look in this face of the day post. I’m quite simple (and lazy) when it comes to eye looks, unless I have somewhere to be, lol. I know that using one eyeshadow may not seem like anything special, but it’s a good trick to know for a rainy day. When you’re in a pinch or in a hurry, and you find it necessary to put in some effort for your eye look, using one shadow can really help.

It’s quite simple: you apply a wash of your singular color of choice and then blend. Blend to sheer it out. Then, apply the same color to the outer corners of your eyes to add depth and some dimension. Blend. Add more of the same color into the same place. Blend.

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For my face, I’m using the Chanel UV Essentiel Complete Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 50 as my sunscreen/base, but I’m finding that it’s kinda oily for my liking. That’s why I paired it with powder foundation for a bit of oil control. Since finishing the Chantecaille Compact Makeup Foundation in “Petal,” I’ve re-purchased it in “Shell” and still love it. “Shell” is not pink-toned like “Petal,” and it adjusts well to the skin. It’s still one of my all time favorites — even though it’s stupidly expensive.

For blush, I’m STILL obsessed with my Illamasqua Cream Blusher in “Promise.” Enough said, lol. For some minor contouring of the nose, I’ve come back to the Benefit Hoola Bronzer because it’s warm for my pale skin tone.

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Here are my eye products. I’m still using the same KOJI eyelash curler with my Shiseido Mascara Base and new MJ mascara. I’ve been using the clear Maybelline Great Lash Mascara to run through my brows. I’m really liking it for the brows after using brow powder, mainly because it’s less sticky and hairspray-like. The finish is very soft and natural. Because it’s clear and my powder brow products are dark brown, I assume this will get dingy and dirty looking really quick. Good thing it’s just a few bucks!

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The “one eyeshadow look” is featured in this post using the Laura Mercier eyeshadow in “Bamboo.” In a previous post some time ago, I wrote about Top Neutral Eyeshadows to Own and mentioned this very shadow. As you can see, it’s still one of my favorites for sure.

I’ve also been playing with the Anastasia Brow Powder Duo in dark brown. The packaging has changed and so has the amount of product. I like it, but to me, it’s just like my other eyebrow powders.

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The “one eyeshadow look” is literally that — I’ve only applied on eyeshadow, but layered it so that it looks dimensional. :) While I know that this look may not be interesting/useful to others, it’s just another way to simplify. During the hotter months, nothing is worse than having all your makeup melt off your face and get streaky! Another things to keep in mind is that not all singular shadows can look good on its own. I feel that there are some colors that need a partner, so try it out and see what works best for your eye color and skin tone.

REVIEW: Laura Mercier Matte Radiance Baked Powder Compact – Highlight – 01

I was avoiding highlighters for the past few weeks because I wasn’t in the mood. But when I saw the new Laura Mercier Matte Radiance Baked Powder Compact highlighter, I couldn’t walk away from it! The name, I admit, confused me because I initially thought it was an all-over face powder; kind of like the MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Natural. BUT, this is a highlighter — and, a great one at that. Dare I say that this is my new favorite? :)

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I’ve always been a fan of baked products. They’re fun to use, but they’re also glowy by nature. While I’m really into the dewy look, sometimes they can make you look greasy during the summer. Also, I’m kind of over the glittery-shimmery look as well, so I try to avoid highlighters that give me that kind of look.

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Sephora describes this product as “an ultrasmooth baked face powder that provides natural color with soft matte radiance” to “wake up the skin” and “provide natural color with a radiant, healthy glow for a flawless, no-makeup look.”

The product claims to provide “sheer, buildable coverage” that “lets you customize your glow, while the modern, multidimensional matte finish imparts a hint of soft luminosity.” The “ultralightweight formula feels weightless on skin and applies smoothly and blends effortlessly. The smooth, silky, velvety texture feels comfortable, while the long-wearing formula lasts up to eight hours and stays color-true without oxidizing for an even wear.”

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First of all, it’s not really matte, so that’s kind of confusing. Because the product itself is already glowy, it’s impossible for it to be matte. It doesn’t make feel or look oily, but it certainly isn’t matte. Also, saying that the product is sheer with buildable coverage is also misleading — see? This is why I thought the product was an all-over face powder; but, with it being so glowy — who would wear this ALL OVER? As a highlighter, it works great for the tops of your cheeks, but I certainly wouldn’t dust this all over my face.

However, I do agree that the product helps you look radiant. The color is natural and definitely helps with the no-makeup look, for sure. Like all domed and baked products, it is silky and the texture is beautifully velvety. I love it as a highlighter. Definitely NOT as a face powder, however, lol.

0.26 oz.
Retails for $36.00 USD.

REVIEW: SK-II Cellumination Mask-in Lotion + SK-II Update

Previously, I wrote a post about the SK-II Treatment Essence–challenging the idea of it being worth the hefty price tag. It’s been another near two months since that post and since then, I’ve had a chance to continue using my SK-II products. In my experience, it seems that the improvements I’ve seen in my skin can be attributed to SK-II products because that’s what I’ve switched to in the last 6 months. Also, I’ve noticed that the more I add onto my SK-II collection, and I continue to use the products together, the results get better and better.

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I’ve added a new item to my skincare routine. I purposely waited to have used up all my sheet masks, because apparently the Cellumination Mask-in Lotion is a substitute. So after diligently using up my sheet masks, I placed my order for the Cellumination Mask-in Lotion to see if this product was worth the hype.

“This leave-on lotion brightens your skin tone, allowing for skin to feel soft, smooth, and hydrated. An ideal product for those who do not have the time to use a cotton substrate mask.” As a product for “radiance enhancement,” the Cellumination Mask-in Lotion is a unique product that is surprisingly easy to use.

Application guide: “After cleansing, put about 1ml of SK-II Cellumination Mask-In Lotion on your cupped palm, and quickly spread the Mask-in Lotion by gently pushing over the entire face with the palms of the hands. Blend the lotion into the skin to envelope the entire face.”

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For me, I use this by pouring a little bit of product into my hands and apply it directly to my face before the Treatment Essence, as directed. While the product is in liquid-form, it’s not as runny as the treatment essence. The near-gel-like texture is easily to scoop from your palm with your finger to apply it to your face directly.

Ingredients: Aqua (Water), Galactomyces Ferment Filtrate**, Glycerin, Niacinamide, Butylene Glycol, Pentylene Glycol, Diphenylsiloxy Phenyl Trimethicone, Glycereth-25 PCA Isostearate, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate, Ascorbyl Glucoside, Centella Asiatica Extract, Nylon-12, Sodium Hyaluronate, Saccharomyces Cerevisiae Extract, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Aminomethyl Propanol, Disodium EDTA, Xanthan Gum, Benzyl Alcohol, Sodium Benzoate, Phenoxyethanol, Methylparaben, Parfum (Fragrance).

The benefits? Instant brightened, tightened, and glowing skin — but, of course, this isn’t permanent. I think this is best used at night before the rest of your nighttime skincare, and you’ll wake up with great results! :) I recommend this product over the SK-II Facial Treatment Mask (they’re very expensive and are one-time use each). If you’re trying to decided which SK-II product is best to try first, I wouldn’t say this would be your option — especially, since this product is designed to be used with other SK-II products. This is a good add-on, but certainly not necessary.

100 ml (3.4 oz)
Made in Japan.
Retails for $75.00 USD.