Recent Favorites

Since my monthly favorites posts are so infrequent, I think it’s quite exciting when I can devote an entire entry to just my recent favorites. Pretty much all of the products here are items that I’ve had in my collection (except for one), and they’ve stuck around even after I’ve rotated products. I’m itching for warmer weather to get here, so I may be jumping the gun here in some ways; but nothing says spring like a new flirty scent and some bright blush!

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Dior Rosy Glow Awakening Blush 001 ~ $44.00 USD
This item is semi-new to my collection, and I only reach for it when I’m in a particularly Dior-happy mood. As a “universally flattering, finely milled blush [that] adjusts to your skin’s chemistry,” this blush is not as gimmicky as I once thought. It creates “naturally flushed, rosy cheeks” and seems to flatter most skin tones. The “ultra-fine powder texture and irresistible rose fragrance offer a moment of pure indulgence with each application.” Simply put, it’s soft, pigmented, and long-lasting on the cheeks. On my skin, it applies a bright candy-pink that blends well without looking harsh. There’s a subtle glowy-ness that comes without any shimmer, glimmer, or chunky glitter.

Benefit Cosmetics Bathina Silky & Seductive Body Oil Mist ~ $34.00 USD
As a “silky and seductive body oil mist,” this is my newest item in my beauty collection. I purchased it randomly on a whim simply because it smelled good. I like to apply this directly after a shower, onto freshly cleansed and mildly damp skin. I spray and rub the oil into my skin and it absorbs right away — leaving my body feeling moisturized and smelling fantastic. Benefit promises that this “seductive sheen and a hint of tempting fragrance” is impossible to resist. The “super-fine oil mist absorbs [fast] for immediate hydration,” and “includes sweet almond, olive, and avocado oils to leave skin feeling soft.” Bathina also includes vitamin E, which is known to help keep skin firm. I like it because it smells great and stays on the skin all day. It’s also a great way to skip body moisturizer and perfume!

NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer in “Vanilla” ~ $29.00 USD
I’m still going strong with my NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer in “Vanilla.” I love that on good-skin days, I can just skip foundation/BB cream in general and just dab this concealer onto needed areas. It’s a great way to save time, especially when I’m in a hurry. Recently, I’ve been pairing this concealer with the Laura Mercier Mineral Powder and I’ve been very happy with the combo.

Laura Mercier Mineral Powder in “Tender Rose” ~ $38.00 USD
My oldie but goodie — my old faithful — and my trusty mineral foundation that is always a re-purchased item: my Laura Mercier Mineral Powder in “Tender Rose.” It’s easy to forget about this powder foundation when I’m busy with other products in my collection. I admit, that most weeks, my LM mineral powder goes unnoticed. But, when I come back to it, I usually end up using it religiously for two months before moving onto something different. I always come back though; and, I like that this product is always there! I tend to gravitate towards this mineral foundation when the weather is warmer, since it gives me such a nice, warm glow without highlighters and bronzers.

Eco Tools Buffing Brush ~ $6.99 USD
Normally, I’m very loyal to either my natural-hair brushes or my Real Techniques brushes. But lately, since my obsessions has been my tried and true LM mineral foundation, I’ve found that a flat-top brush like the Eco Tools Buffing Brush is the best. I own a few Eco Tools brushes and I highly recommend them. This brush is ultra-soft, cruelty-free, and hand-cut to smoothly buff for custom coverage. It also features a recycled aluminum ferrule, a sleek bamboo handle. It’s lightweight so it’s easy to use; and, the bristles pick up the most perfect amount of product.

Shu Uemura Hard 9 Eyebrow Pencil ~ $23.00 USD
Another oldie but goodie is the Shu Uemura Hard 9 Eyebrow Pencil. It lasts for years and requires minimal sharpening. I’ve found that throughout all the eyebrow pencils I’ve tried, this one not only lasts the longest, but it’s the most natural looking on my brows. This product is difficult to swatch on the hand, but for some reason, when using it on eyebrow hairs this product is the best. Currently, since my brows are pretty much all grown out, I’ve got small gaps in the front that still need filling in. I also like to give some definition to the ends of my brows to they look a bit fuller. The Hard 9 pencil has been great option lately and I really love it.

Koji Dolly Wink Eyeliner in Brown
Normally, eyeliners aren’t really part of my every day routine. However, lately, I’ve been really into using a little bit of liquid eyeliner for some upper lid definition. While I favor black mascaras, black eyeliners have always been something I’ve skipped. The Koji Dolly Wink Eyeliner in Brown has been my go-to. You can find this product on eBay or at Asian grocery stores. The felt tip is thin and stable so it’s very easy to use — you can control the thickness of the line, so for most days, I like to keep it simple with a thin, non-winged liner.

What products have you been loving?

Summer Favorites

Hopefully it’s not too late to write a post about my current favorite summer products, but I figured I’d give it a go anyway. Here, in Texas, August and September are intensely hot and humid so I thought there would be others out there who can benefit from this post! But believe me – I’m anxious for fall.

Summer time – to me – means less effort. It also means simplifying and being a minimalist, so it’s a good time to really get into the natural look without overdoing it. I like the light, easy look of summer because it can be so beautiful – light, tossed and glossy hair; jeans shorts and a tank top; bright nails; and, easy and effortless looking makeup – lashes, fun lip colors, and the statement blush.

I’m featuring: Shiseido Sun Protection Compact Foundation, L’oreal Voluminous Full Definition mascara, Essie nail polish in “Blanc,” and Benefit boxed blush in “Dandelion.”

Here’s my current summer time favorites. I know that the stash is quite modest, but I feel the stash embodies what I just stated above. It’s fun, quick, and easy to do. And, when it’s hot outside, I don’t want to put so much effort into meticulously making myself look like I planned the whole look. Please check the previous post for a more in-depth review on the Sun Protection Compact Foundation by Shiseido (shade SP20).

I have always passed up Benefit’s boxed blushes because it didn’t seem like anything special. I stumbled across it at Sephora while casually browsing (as usual) and gave it a curious swatch. On a whim, I bought it, fell in love with it, and couldn’t believe this whole time I was without this staple item.

I like that Benefit re-did the packaging so the lid is attached. I’m not that thrilled about the cardboard box, but it’s sturdy and cute and the product is still good. To me, the price is a bit high for something housed in paper; I would feel better paying $28 if it were in fancier packaging (in my opinion).

The pink shade is really lightly pigmented. It’s also very powdery as you can see from the photos. The “soft pink” shade, according to Sephora, is “Benefit’s ballerina-pink pressed highlighting powder.” It’s designed to achieve the “fake awake” look with its “shimmery, satiny, radiant, perk-me-up finish.” The product “takes your complexion from dull to radiant in an instant,” and I would most definitely agree with its claims.

The color is very faint but layers easily and is very blendable. It’s a light, soft pink that is natural and has a subtle brightening effect – which is strange since it’s not glittery or a bright color. The muted pink creates a good flush in a healthy way, and doesn’t come across as a “baby doll” kind of color (much to my relief).

More views of the brush here. I don’t use this and use a regular blush brush instead. To me, the brush is a bit stratchy and is too thin. I’m afraid that the color will apply in a thin streak if applied with this. However, if in a pinch, I suppose you could turn this brush on its side and apply the blush in a “wider” fashion.

Essie polish in “Blanc” is the most perfect white nail polish. There’s no shimmer or glimmer; it’s just a good ol’ sold white that applies smooth and opaque after two coats. It isn’t streaky and sheer like some white polishes can be. It looks so pretty on the fingers and toes in the summer.

I’ve been trying the L’oreal Voluminous Full Definition mascara after hearing MakeupByTiffanyD talk about it on YouTube. I love the formula for layering and am very happy with it. It doesn’t smudge and it isn’t too wet or dry – it’s just right. It also separates the lashes perfectly, which is great since it creates the illusion of having more lashes!

Here’s a quick face shot so you can get an idea of what all this looks like. My favorite out of all the products is the Shiseido Sun Protection Compact Foundation in shade SP20. The coverage is amazing and its ability to withstand heat, sweat, humidity, and oil is amazing.

It’s highly resistant against all the elements, which makes it ideal for summer time wear. The finely-milled powder offers optimal coverage while feeling light. Despite the super long-wear capabilities and built in sun protection, it’s light and doesn’t feel/look cakey. However, I suggest removing this with cleansing oil at the end of the day just in case.

What are you current summer favorites? Do you change your makeup routine seasonally?

*Quotes extracted from http://www.sephora.com

New Things Make Me Happy

I’m telling myself to stop hauling stuff and I’m sticking with that promise! This post is a bit overdue and I only recently unboxed my new goodies. So, technically, it’s like a mini surprise that I was actually expecting.

I had an early birthday gift card that I was going to save until my actual birthday – which is in April. But, I’m one of those people who like to be gifted early, so I treated myself nearly a month in advance. :)

My new goodies unboxed here:
NARS eyeshadow in “Nepal” – totally my new favorite
MAC eyeliner in “Teddy” – another favorite
Lancome Brow Expert – not sure about this one
MAC blush in “Blushbaby” – my go-to blush right now
Bare Minerals concealer in “Well Rested” for undereyes – impressive product
Laura Mercier lipgloss in “Bare Naked” – totally my new favorite lipgloss, pretty much of all time
NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in “Roman Holiday” – love!
NARS Velvet Lip Gloss Pencil in “Frivolous” – love!

NEW MAKEUP BAG from Victoria’s Secret that I absolutely adore.
It meets all of my makeup bag requiremets:
1.) bag must be wide (to stuff a bunch of stuff in);
2.) bag must be deep (to stuff a bunch of stuff in);
3.) bag must be made out of flexible material (to stuff a bunch of stuff in);
4.) bag should be reasonably cute, but not tacky and junior high-ish;
5.) bag must contain sturdy and reliable zipper that does NOT get stuck.

As you can see, I’m quite particular with makeup bags and rarely change them. So when I find one I like, I stick with it (unless I’m traveling and need to pack accordingly). For me, my main makeup bag stays at home; I rarely tote around all my makeup. If, for whatever reason, I do take some cosmetic items with me – only necessities like lipgloss, chapstick, oil blotting paper, floss, and tampons – are carried in a smaller pouch.

Though I try to keep everything reasonably organized on my vanity, items in my makeup bag have a special and honorable purpose. It basically means those products are my “go-to” products or can be easily labeled as my “current favorites.”

When I rotate items OUT of my makeup bag, it generally means I got bored of a particular product and it will be waiting in line during rotation; or, it means I don’t like the product anymore. I’m hard to please, haha.

Thanks for reading. I know this post seemed kinda random, haha.

*Pictures taken using CANON POWERSHOT SD1300 IS DIGITAL ELPH (12.1 Megapixels)

Essentials of the Moment

So, since I’ve been “shopping my stash” as of late, it’s helped with re-discovering products; and, remembering which ones I loved and then forgot about. I suppose that’s the issue with routinely purchasing so many products all the time. Ha! My current essentials of the moment consists of:

Sephora Collection Pro Foundation Airbrush #56
Chanel Perfection Lumiere Long-Wear Flawless Fluid Makeup in B10
Chanel Poudre Unveriselle Libre Natural Finish Loose Powder in 20 Clair-Translucent 1
Benefit Posie Tint

Sephora’s airbrush foundation brush from their “pro” line works wonders for fluid and cream makeup of all sorts. In the beginning, although I adored Perfection Lumiere’s finish, I was on the fence about the product because of the application. The formula’s quick-drying gel-ish consistency was surprisingly hard to work with; and, unfortunately – it seemed that a traditional foundation brush and stippling brushes of both natural and synthetic fibers – made the finish of the foundation streaky and unnatural. However, after discovering Sephora’s airbrush foundation brush, I quickly changed my mind. The brush provides good control for different textures of makeup, while depositing just the right amount of color where you want it. It blends well and seamlessly – and, even makes difficult foundations, like Chanel’s Perfection Lumiere – blend flawlessly. In short, I’ve discovered that sometimes it may not be the texture of a cosmetic item that irks you – you may just be using the wrong tool.

Here’s what Sephora has to say about the foundation brush #56:
“For even greater control and precision, Sephora’s cult favorite Platinum Foundation Airbrush now comes in a version with a smaller brush head. Create a flawless, airbrushed finish thanks to this brush’s densely packed bristles and smaller head. Smoothly and easily, layer foundation from light to heavy. As you continue application, your results will be perfectly smooth at every level of coverage.”

Benefit’s Posie Tint is a bright baby pink color that is in liquid form. Pictured in this post is a sample size, since I wanted to test it out before committing to purchasing the product. I do have to say that it’s an interesting product to use: it’s watery and blends right into the skin – leaving you with the perfect flushed pinkness without looking powdery or cakey. It looks like you took a quick jog around the block, and your skin is healthy and refreshed. Now, too much of this product can make you look like you’ve got rosacea, so use a light hand.

*Pictures taken using CANON POWERSHOT SD1300 IS DIGITAL ELPH (12.1 Megapixels)
*Click on images to enlarge.

Recent Favorite Products

Back by popular demand – some current favorite products! So I admit, as a product junkie, it’s hard to keep up with all the new releases by so many departments, companies, and brands. However, since I know what I like – and what my skin likes – I find good face products from time to time. For me, I focus a lot how the skin looks. In my opinion, no amount of expensive eye products, fancy colors, and professional-looking application – will cover up the fact that the skin/base makeup looks like ruddy, uneven, or discolored.

If you think about makeup as an artistry – the skin is the base – hence, the term “foundation.” It’s the basic canvas before you start getting into the technical work, like gradation in color, color application, etc. And, even from a painter’s point of view – before creating your masterpiece, you start with a clean, blank canvas, right?

Featured products:
L’oreal True Match Super-Blendable Power in “W1 Porcelain”
Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer SPF 20 (oil-free) in “Porcelain”
Chanel Illuminating Base Makeup

The infamous tinted moisturizer by Laura Mercier in the oil-free formulation is what I prefer. “Porcelain” is the lightest shade that is offered, and is yellow-based – which is quite odd for a shade named “Porcelain.” However, for a tinted moisturizer, it gives good, lightweight coverage. This product is used on “good skin” days because the coverage isn’t going to be as thorough as a foundation. It’s long-lasting, lightweight, and evens the skin tone out beautifully without looking overdone. Perfect for every day wear and for when you want to sport the “no makeup look” on weekends or to the gym.

L’oreal True Match powder is a great alternative to pricey powder. “W1 Porcelain” is the lightest shade in their “warm” cateogry – and, yes, that’s what the “w” in this range stands for. L’oreal True Match powder is also available in cool tones as well. I use this with a fluffy powder brush to get a sheer application. This provides good oil control, and so this power is great for the T-zone.

Chanel’s Illuminating Base is great for a special occasion or night out on the town. The base is essentially a primer and is designed to be worn under foundation – or, for me as of late – under the tinted moisturizer. This product is gel-like in consistency and is clear, yet white-ish in color that contains small pearly, iridescent particles that cleverly disappears once you rub it onto the skin. It perfectly “lights up” whatever base product you decide to pair with this base.

Since it’s winter, a dewy look still looks healthy – however, it’s important to address our skin’s changes with the weather. Now, rather than oil control, I prefer to focus on retaining moisture.

What are you loving lately?

*Pictures taken using CANON POWERSHOT SD1300 IS DIGITAL ELPH (12.1 Megapixels)
*Click on images to enlarge.