Monday, January 31, 2011

Nars Foundation Pump

I am in love with the Nars Sheer Glow Foundation at the moment.  It's got the perfect finish, perfect color, perfect amount of coverage that I am looking for in the daytime (sheer), and overall makes your skin look glowy and fresh and natural.  I wear the Sheer Glow in Deauville. What annoys me about the foundation is that it doesn't come with a pump, which you have to purchase online. Not only does that mean I have to actually wait for the pump to arrive before I can even use the foundation (I fear that I will contaminate it) but if the pump is the ONLY thing you want from Nars at the moment, it sucks to have to pay for shipping (which by the way, costs just as much as the pump itself). 

I don't know about you, but I tend to buy my foundations in person because I like having someone help me color-match the foundations to my neck/body (since my face is a slightly different color than the rest of me).  I purchased my Sheer Glow at Sephora, who doesn't carry the pump.  So after doing some research, I found out that today the Nars counter at the Barneys on Madison carries the pump! SO EXCITED! (to buy a piece of plastic, lol). 


Saturday, January 22, 2011

Nine West Botero Bootie

My most recent purchase is the Nine West Botero Bootie which is sold exclusively at Nordstrom. Living in Manhattan, any closet space is prime real estate. My rule has always been, in order to purchase a new item, I must give one old item away. It makes it much easier during spring cleaning. And since I always try my best to reuse, reduce, recycle, I make sure to either donate the item or give it to a friend who I think it would be perfect for.

The Nine West Botero Bootie is super cute for Spring/ Summer. It looks way more expensive than it cost. I LOVEEE shoes that are functional and cute. 4.5 inch heel with a 1.5 inch platform is not something you would wear for 7 hours but you can wear it for at least a few hours.Can't wait for all this horrible winter weather to leave NY and try out these new shoes.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Guerlain Precious Light Rejuvenating Illuminator

A few months ago I was at the Guerlain counter again (I am loving this brand right now) and the SA that was helping me asked me if i would be interested in switching under-eye concealers.  I think I was having a bad makeup day, or maybe my skin was just dry, because my undereye concealer was starting to separate and looked pretty bad (this was sometime in the evening).  I have a hard time saying no to people who try to sell me things, especially if they tell me the product offers something amazing or different than other products, AND if the SA doesn't try to push me to buy.  He told me that the concealer has hydrating properties and compared it to my beloved YSL Touche Eclat and thought that it was even better, especially in terms of hydration.

The Guerlain Precious Light Rejuvenating Illuminator is a highlighter/concealer that has similar properties to that of the Guerlain Parure Gold foundation.  It's made with a double sided pigment, the opague side to hide and conceal, while the gold side reflects light.  It's designed to reduce the appearance of lines, enlarged pores, and help with pigmentation issues.  Like the foundation, the illuminator contains Myrrh Oil, which mimics the effects of peptides and helps with anti-ageing.  The illuminator comes in a beautiful gold metal pen-like stick and is packaged in a velvet pouch.  It twists to dispense the product, which one full twist is usually enough to cover the eye area. 

I have been using this (in the color 00) for about a month now and I am really liking this product.  It's alot more sheer than my By Terry concealer, which can be good or bad, depending on how much coverage you're looking for.  I don't think this product would be good for someone who has really dark under-eye circles, in which case the By Terry would be great, but it does a great job for someone who doesn't need too much coverage and likes the bright-eyed look, like I do.  While I like the look that the YSL Touche Eclat achieves more, maybe because the coloring is different (I use YSL TE in #2, the more yellowish one), as I find that a yellow-based product is better at concealing the eye area, I am really sold on the anti-ageing benefits and the ingredients in the Precious Light Illuminator.  It's going to be difficult to choose when I run out of concealer!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Mac & Chanel NYE Shopping

I had a few hours to kill before I had to get to a New Years Eve party, so I headed over to a department store to do some makeup shopping.  I only needed one thing, concealer, to cover up the ginormous pimple I had on my forehead (ok I had two, but one covered by my bangs).  I went to the MAC counter to pick up some Studio Finish Concealer, in NC20. 

I knew my foundation for the evening would have enough coverage to hide most of the redness, but I wanted that extra bit more to completely hide it, especially since I knew I was going to take pictures. 

While I was there I wanted to pick up a limited edition eye pencil, MAC's Kohl Eye Pencil in Feline.  This is supposed to be a super dark black eyeliner.

I have to say, I really really wanted to like this, but after several attempts at working with this eyeliner, it's just not what I had expected it to be.  My biggest issue with this liner is that it's not smooth at all.  Trying to apply this to my eye was very difficult, there was almost no glide, which makes it uncomfortable to even use.  The other issue I have is fallout.  Yes, fallout from a pencil eyeliner.  During the middle of the day I notice the fallout on my lower lash line which is difficult to remove.  I hadn't changed my mascara, and usually when that smudges its more of a uniform smudge, versus the random patch of fallout I've seen the few times I've used Feline.  I much prefer Engraved, my go-to solid black pencil eyeliner.  I have some swatches to show the difference between Feline, Engraved, and another favorite, Urban Decay's Zero, which is super creamy and easy to work with, but not as dark as Engraved.

The top is Feline, which you can see is very similar to Engraved on the bottom, which is more matte.  On the eye it's very difficult to tell the difference.

I also stopped by the Chanel counter to check out the new Spring collection.  I had already read about the new products on other blogs, and I was most excited about the Rouge Coco in Peregrina, which is a peachy nude lipstick.  I also picked up the Ombres Perlees de Chanel Eyeshadow Palette and the Chanel Espiegle Joues Contraste:

Espiegle is a peach-orange toned blush with gold shimmer.  The glitter particles are not very visible when applied to the cheek area.  When I first swatched this blush, I felt that the formula seemed very different from other Chanel JC's.  It was not finely milled, felt somewhat chalky, and was a bit crumbly when applied, as shown in the photo.  The first time I applied it to my cheek the powder was everywhere.  I don't know if I am just having bad luck with the cosmetics that I have purchased lately, but this blush certainly did not impress me, other than the color, at first.  After using this a few times, It's become less chalky but still not as fine as I expect it to be.  I called Chanel's customers service and they told me that the formula has not changed.  Maybe I just picked up a dud.  Other than the formula, I really love this color, I think it's a really great option for spring and even into summer.

When I applied this on my lips at the counter, it seemed like a peachy coral orange lipstick, really pretty and different from other lipsticks that I own, until I came back to my apartment, reopened the lipstick and realized it reminded me of NARS' Barbarella lipstick. 

Barbarella is also a really great peachy pink nude lipstick, very sheer unless you apply multiple layers.  They are similar when applied to my lips, but Barbarella has more pink and is more cool.  Both are sheer but Peregrina is more pigmented.  I think Peregrina is easier to wear as an everyday color for work, with or without gloss on top, but if I had to do a smokey eye I would pair it with Barbarella. 

The last thing I picked up on my shopping trip was the eyeshadow palette.  These eyeshadows apply a bit sheer, feel very buttery, and have a highly shimmery pearlized finish.  I would not apply this with an eyeshadow brush as I'm not sure it would pick it up well.  It's probably best applied with fingers instead.  I am loving the purple and the green shades the most.  I have been wearing the purple on top of Urban Decay's Naked eyeshadow (light tan) with the Peregrina lipstick and the Espiegle blush.  I am also liking the green eyeshadow with MAC's Creme Cup topped with NARS Chihuahua lipgloss and a neutral/cool blush. 

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Face Shop Haul

Back in December I stopped by the Face Shop (there are two that I know of in NYC, one in Flushing, Queens, and one on 32nd street in Ktown) and picked up a few things:

The purpose of my trip was for cleansing oil, since I was running low.  I always make sure to have cleansing oil handy, as personally I think it's the best way to remove makeup, and I mean it can remove ALL makeup including heavy black pencil eyeliner, ten coats of mascara, heavy heavy black shadow, etc.  The way I use it is, I start with a dry face, rub some oil all over, concentrating on the eyes (I tend to wear tons of mascara and eyeliner, even on a daily basis) for about 15 seconds, then i sprinkle a bit of water to emulsify the oil and continue to work it in circular motions on my skin, rinse, and follow up with my normal cleanser (Neutrogena oil-free acne wash).  It is important to use a cleanser that will effectively clean the oil off (would not follow the oil cleanser with my Cetaphil) to prevent the oil from clogging your pores.  To date, most cleansing oils I've tried, if used properly, have not broken me out.  Anyway, back to my haul!

So I picked up the Face Shop's Rice Water Bright Cleansing Oil Light.  The SA who helped me suggested the Light version over the Normal, since I have combination skin.

When I first tried this, I was a bit shocked as to how "light" this oil was.  It had a very thin texture, but was still effective at removing my makeup.  Personally I think I prefer Shu Uemura's cleansing oils most, in terms of efficacy as well as texture.  It was the first one I had ever tried (the pink version) and the best one I've tried to date.  Unfortunately Shu Uemura's products are now only offered online and are pricey, but totally worth it (I think I remember stocking up a few years ago at the Narita airport in Japan during a stop over, it was crazy cheap there!).  While it's not as good as Shu, I do prefer this Face Shop rice cleansing oil to Shiseido's cleansing oil. 

I also picked up some more Shisem false eyelashes.  The ones I really like are labeled SF-- something.  They are not full sized, but also don't cover my entire eye, as I am ok with not having falsies covering the inner corner of my eye (actually I prefer it this way as I think it's more comfortable) and I believe they are synthetic.

These falsies are dramatic, without being over the top.  Theyre my go to lashes for going out, I would not wear these to work. 

I also picked up some individual lashes.  I have never tried individual lashes before, frankly I'm a bit intimidated as I feel that they would be more difficult to apply (it takes a bit of practice to get regular false lashes on correctly, I'm still no expert).  I'm thinking it would work well to add a bit more volume to my actual lashes, with some mascara of course.

The last thing I got was a bit random.  Although BB creams have been around for a while, I haven't really had any interest, because BB stands for Blemish Balm.  Without having any knowledge, one might think it's some sort of pimple cream, or some kind of makeup designed for acne skin?  When I had horrible acne, I didn't use any makeup, there was no point in covering it up when you could see all the bumps anyway, so I never bothered.  I came across some Youtube videos about BB creams, and the girls who use it describe it as something that can be used like foundation, but is supposed to look much more natural, less mask-like.  I asked the SA at the Face Shop what she recommended for my skin type, age, etc.  She narrowed it down to two, one had collagen and another that was brightening.  I went with the brightening version, the Flebeauty White Crystal BB Cream, since I didn't want to load up my skin with too many anti-ageing products.

When I purchased this, I really didn't pay attention to what it was supposed to do, I kept thinking it was brightening, which it is, and would help with hyperpigmentation, etc, but I didn't realize that it was intended to lighten the skin until I read the label.  One thing to keep in mind, is that BB creams typically (not all) come in one color, and is designed for lighter skin tones.  So when I tried this on, I expected it to come close to my skin tone, assuming as I rub the product into my skin it would disappear and just make my skin look like my skin, but better.  I was wrong.  This particular BB cream made me about a shade whiter, maybe two.  Normally I'm an NC20, but this probably made me more of NC10-15.  For those who are looking for something to make their face super white, this is the product for you.  Even though I was paler, it did make my skin look good, and as a bonus it has SPF 35.  Even though I won't be using this product by itself, I did find some use for it (since I hate returning products).  My Guerlain Parure Gold (02) is a tad too dark for me during the winter, so I mix two parts Parure Gold and one part White Crystal BB cream and it gives me the PERFECT shade. 

While my first experience with BB creams was not the best, it doesn't discourage me from trying others.  I think if I happen to walk by an Asian cosmetics store at some point, I'll pick up a few more to try out and review.