Thursday, July 31, 2014

Shiseido Lacquer Gloss RS306 Plum Wine

The new MLBB with a plummy twist... this deluxe sample came in a Sephora special, and I am absolutely loving the formula! 

Shiseido is a very classic brand in my view, and a brand that I started out on when I first became interested in luxe skincare and cosmetics.  This is their lacquer gloss, which is a sheer lipstick-gloss product that is meant to provide color and shine as well as moisture. 

This applicator is okay-ish, not the best I've ever used but not bad. The shape applies nicely though is a bit too flexible for my liking. I like to wipe a bit off the tip before applying as it comes out of the tube with a lot of product.

(bounced flash)

(indirect natural light, no flash)

Very natural looking color when sheered out, which is how I like to wear it. Very MLBB-ish with a slight twist!

The feel of this gloss is also amaaazing. It made my lips feel moisturized all day, with no peeling or cracking that I tend to get from other products. After the shine wipes off with meals, there is a light stain that remains. The more product I use in the AM the more of a stain I'll have left after lunch. 9-10 hours later I will still have a light stain though would probably touch up if I were to go out for dinner.

Overall, a great intro shade into this lacquer gloss product that makes me want to try more shades!

Have you tried this line before? What did you think?

Monday, July 28, 2014

Shiseido Sun Protection Cream SPF 50+ For Face

The ongoing battle against the sun continues! Ok there's really no battle... we like sunny days, but I tan super duper easily (we're talking a shade darker in 5-10 minutes of direct exposure) and I unfortunately tan to a dirty brown color rather than a golden glow (so sad...). Currently my face is already a few shades darker than my neck and chest as somehow I have exposed myself unevenly. So here's me stepping up my SPF regime to try to not get any darker this summer! 

I've heard lots of good things about the Shiseido so read on to see how it worked for me!

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Philosophy Miracle Worker SPF 50+

Yay summer...time of hot weather and fun outdoors, which means need for more SPF! I'm almost done the my Murad SPF 30 (will show up soon in an empties review), and have been on the look out for something higher SPF. I chose the Philosophy Miracle Worker. It combines powerful sunscreens as well as loads of antioxidants, need lots of those!

It contains 5 different sunscreens, all of chemical types (so no white cast expected).

It comes out a relatively thin fluid for such high SPF rating (often the higher one goes up in SPF, the thicker the product might be), which is nice as who wants thick goop on their face. 

It absorbs quite nicely, no white cast as expected. There's a minor bit of sheen that will go away in a few minutes once the product fully absorbs. Not a matte finish by any means, but it doesn't make me look oily afterwards.

The smell isn't overly great (mild chemical smell), but that also means no irritating fragrances, so that's a give and take for me.

Overall, I like this! I'd recommend it for anyone looking for more skincare and sunscreen in one. Keep in mind I have normal/combo skin in the summer. If you're oily maybe try it out in store first before purchasing to see if it might make you shiny.  

What's your favorite moisturizer-sunscreen in the summer?

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Benefit They're Real! Push-Up Liner

This new eyeliner from Benefit has been getting tons of positive reviews and press recently, and I finally got my hands on one from a sample deal on Sephora. Unfortunately, it really did not work out for me... see bare eye swatches below (eye liner on bare eye with no other products), if anyone has any tips for me on how to make this work for me please let me know!

This eyeliner has quite a unique slanted silicone tip. The shape is great for making a wing, and the tip does feel soft on the skin.

After loading the pen and wiping that part off, I made one click and drew a few lines. At this point I was getting hopefully as it looks like it can make thin and very pigmented matte black lines.

And yes, waterproof and smudgeproof as heck. Above photo was taken after using a makeup wipe, bioderma sensibio, and then oil-based makeup cleanser in that order. Really held up!  The only thing that gets this off in my kit is the Lancome Bi-Facil eye makeup remover.

Ok so now onto bare eye swatches...where my excitement became let down...

This is with one click, on one eye. Very uneven, limited pigmentation
(no flash)

I'm thinking it's a technique issue, so here's hoping with the other eye... and here's my other eye, with another click. Mildly better but not great.
(photo with bounced flash)

I added another click, and although it got thicker and more pigmented, the line came out real patchy and just...gunky (sorry for lack of better vocabulary).

From far away, it doesn't look overly bad, but get close at all and you'd be able to see the evenness and ugh...  (note: if I were to actually use this in a look I'd tightline as well, doesn't look great to have flesh tones showing through the liner).

This liner has gotten such rave reviews though and I've seen such great looks of it online, what am I doing wrong?! Sigh...

Have you tried this new liner? Let me know how it worked for you and also how you made it work!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Nars Orgasm/Laguna mini palette

If you've read my blog before you probably know I'm REALLY slow on the uptake of any hype products. So yes, I have done it again... I have JUST begun using the infamous Nars Orgasm/Laguna  combo.  These have been swatched and compared bajillions of times before on other blogs so I won't contribute photos to that, but will add my two cents (just cuz I can...).


I probably don't have to say this, but just in case you're unfamiliar, Orgasm is a peachy-pink shade with fine shimmer/glow. Laguna is a warm mildly-shimmery bronzer (less shimmery/glowy that Orgasm).  This has been noted to be the perfect blush/contour combo by many others.

So I have been trying this out for the last few days, my take... I actually find Orgasm a bit too shimmery for me. I still prefer my matte blushes, and would rather than add shimmer highlighter to where I like to put it (in a "C" shape from just above my eyebrows to top of my cheekbones), rather than mix it with the blush. 

As for Laguna, it's a great bronzer! Adds a nice warm glow with just the right hint of shimmer. Note I do NOT use this as a contour. Contour/shading should be done with a shade that mimics a shadow on your face to get a realistic effect. Laguna is not the color of a shadow for my skintone, and I'm going to guess it's not going to be a good shadow shade for a lot of lighter skinned people, it's much too warm. Grey-tones usually perform better for this.

For me, I like to use bronzer where the sun would hit to mimic a glowy tan (what a bronzer is meant to do), which means top of my forehead and on TOP of my cheekbones (not under), and some on my chin and jawline.  Refer to this excellent video by Jordan Liberty to see the effect of bronzer inappropriately used as contour. That said, some people can use certain bronzers as contour, but again only if the bronzer shade happens to mimic how shadows look on one's face. 

Personally, I don't like to contour as my face is already quite angular. I much prefer highlighting to get a more youthful appearance.

Do you have this infamous combo? What were your thoughts? How about your thoughts on contouring? Please feel free to disagree with me and share your experience with bronzers/contouring, I'm always open to learning what others are doing!

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Sephora Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner Review - Purple Glitter

Ever felt like stepping out of your comfort zone and trying something crazy?! Ok this is not that crazy... but given my usual natural/classic makeup style, purple glitter eyeliner is totally out of my comfort zone. What triggered it...a sale of course! This was $7 on Sephora... Read on to see swatches (including eye swatches) and my full review on this product!

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Review: Benefit Watt's Up Highlighter

This little guy came in a Sephora birthday thing a year or so ago, but I really only got around to testing it more recently. (Need to go shopping through my stash more rather than going back to the store...)
Bounced flash. Left: blended. Right: heavy swatch (5 swipes)

It's advertised as a luminous champagne highlighter with a cream-to-powder formula. I use it in a "C" shape from my cheekbones up to just above the arch of my eyebrows. I like this better than using it on the browbone under brow (the usual place where one might recommend you put it) because I find the "glow"-texture highlights my hooded lids and aging eye area. 

I found this product very easy to blend with my fingers, and it gave a very nice subtle glow without looking too shiny or too shimmery. As you can see from the swatch above, it took 5 swipes to get that intensity, which means it's not super heavily pigmented, which is exactly what you want in a subtle highlight product. Easy to use, would be quite difficult to over-apply, you'd really have to try! (Am I rhyming's late...) Blending is always key though!

Overall, great product that's easy to use in stick form for even the most novice makeup consumers. The effect is subtle and beautiful, however is not unique by any means. I can achieve this look with numerous other products. The stick is much more convenient for travel purposes, and I will definitely be using it that way. At home, where I prefer to play with my brushes (just cuz I can...), I will stick with my powder highlighters. 

Have you tried this? Love it, hate it, or just meh? Let me know in the comments!