Monday, April 27, 2009

NYX makeup remover review

NYX Eye & Lip Makeup Remover

Product description: So long smudges and hello clean and smooth skin! Extra gentle yet strong enough to rid of all the hard-to-remove makeup on your eyes and lips. The formula is an emulsion of gentle cleansers fused with oils and extracts from rice and soy bean and contains orange and papaya fruit extracts. Cleanse, nourish, and purify your face with NYX Makeup Remover. You deserve it.

Ingredients: Water, Cyclomethicone, Isohexadecane, Butylene Glycol, CI61565, Sodium Chloride, Poloxamer 184, Benzyl Alcohol, Fragrance, Citric Acid, Dipropylene Glycol, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Hull Extract, Vigna Radiata Seed Extract, Crtrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange), Fruit Extract, Carica Papaya Fruit Extract

Pros: it looks super cool! :P, effectively removes all kinds of makeup, smells nice (citrusy)

Cons: leaves an oily film behind (it does dry though), leaves a bitter taste if used on lips

What I thought about it: For only $6, this is worth it. It looks so cool in the bottle! It's like when you mix oil and water together... except the "oil" is blue (: Then you just shake the bottle until the contents mix. It smells super good, due to the fruit extracts in it. It removes most traces of makeup relatively well. It does leave an oily film behind (it does not feel too oily when applying), however, this dries and disappears after a bit, leaving skin soft and smooth. I still would cleanse after using this though. My mom used it to take off her lipstick and it worked well, but it left a bitter taste in her mouth. So that's the only downside to this m/u remover. I wouldn't say that this is a GREAT m/u remover, but it does the job well.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

EOTD: subtle smokey eye

Decided to finally document a look I do often... a basic, subtle smokey eye. Atm, one of my eyelids still has more creases than the other (the left eye in the pic) so it's a little irritating to apply e/s ><

I don't use brushes to apply my eyemakeup, I use sponge tip applicators. However, I do use a brush to apply highlight colors below the brow and for blending harsh edges. It's just easier for me. This is the basic way I apply any e/s. Like I mentioned, I don't like going too far above my crease and I don't like using too much color. Since I normally wear glasses, I don't make a big deal with blending and such. So looking at my naked eyes = EW xD lol.

What I used:
- Geo circle lenses in Angel brown
- Eyeko cream as an e/s base
- Sheer, shimmery silver color from Sephora Color Play Palette as a highlight
- Matte, medium dark gray (drugstore) e/s on lids and above crease
- Matte, black e/s from Sephora Color Play Palette on inner & outer corner of lid only
- NYX felt tip liquid eyeliner on top & bottom outer lashline
- Rimmel Exaggerate black pencil eyeliner for tightlining
- Light dusting of EDM powder e/s in "Frost bitten" in crease

Friday, April 24, 2009

NYX felt tip liquid eyeliner review

THIS IS THE GREATEST INVENTION EVER. In the liquid eyeliner world (: I am SO satisfied and pleased with this product. On the packaging, it's called "One day tattoo" and this is no joke. The regular liquid eyeliner (the skinny brush kind) I normally use isn't the simplest to apply, smudges easily, dries slowly, and is gone by lunchtime. This one, however, really lives up to its name!

NYX Felt Tip Liquid Eyeliner

Product Description: A liquid eyeliner with a specially designed felt brush that releases just the right amount of color for precise and dark lining. Long-lasting, won't flake or smudge.

Ingredients: Water, Acrylates Copolymer, Butylene Glycol, Phenoxyethanol, Aminomethyl Propanol, Laureth-21, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract, Hydrolyzed Conchiorin Protein, Perilla Ocymoides Extract, Propylparaben, Aloe Barbadensis Extract, Methylparaben. May contain: Neheneth-30, Alcohol, Sodium Polyaspartate, Ethylparaben, Disodium Edta, Ferric Ammonium Ferrocyanide, Iron Oxides, D&C Black.

Pros: SUPER easy to use thanks to the fine tip pen style, rich, dark color, doesn't smudge, lasts all day, dries quickly, inexpensive for the quality.

Cons: since it lasts so long, it's a bit hard to take off without rubbing a lot (this is why I need to find a better m/u remover!)

What I thought about it: Using this is so insanely easy. It's like drawing with a marker pen... on your face. Compared to the regular kind of liquid liner with the skinny brush, this is 100 times easier to use. It does NOT smudge at all since it dries quickly (which might not be good if you make mistakes... so practice!) and lasts all day. The color doesn't flake or fade at all. The downside to this great factor is that it's harder to take off without really rubbing it off :( Which is why I'm still on my quest for the best m/u remover EVER :P

It's relatively inexpensive; only $7 which is well worth it for the quality. It glides on smoothly without any pulling or tugging and can be used to create a precision line or a thicker line in deep, dark color. I found that for me, it doesn't really stay on the bottom lid too well (I had to fill in some eyelash spots), but nothing too unbearable since I don't normally line my waterline anyway. It comes in 3 colors; dark brown, extreme black, and jet black. I got the jet black since the extreme black swatch on NYX's website looks a little blue :/ and the dark brown looked a little light. However, I'm thinking about buying the dark brown one in the future. I did a quick job this morning (excuse the messy half-done makeup :P) just to show the dark, deep color, and precision line. No smudges!

I got this in Dark Brown too. Here is a swatch! I like it a lot... it is a lot more natural and subtle than the Jet Black.

NYX concealer in a jar review

I do believe I've found my HG concealer (for now?). This is definitely worth it for the price, quantity, and quality.

NYX concealer in a jar

Product description: NYX concealer jar provides long lasting and natural coverage of discolorations and imperfections without looking caked on or clumpy. Super-concentrated so just a little will do the job.

Ingredients: Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Mineral Oil, BHT, Microcrystalline Wax, Nylon-66, Octyldodecyl Myristate, Silica, Butylparaben, Fragrance, Ricinus Communis (Castor) Seed Oil, Ceresin, Dipentaerythrityl Hexahydroxystearate/ Hexarosinate, Polyethylene, Sorbitan Sequioleate, Tocopheryl Acetate. MAY CONTAIN: Titanium Dioxide, Iron Oxides, Chromium Oxide Greens, Ultramarines.

Pros: cute packaging, only $5, conceals dark cirlces pretty darn well (considering I have HORRIBLE dark circles!), a little bit goes on a long way, lots of product.

Cons: the jar isn't all too hygenic, contains mineral oil, isn't too smooth atm, has a slight smell.

What I thought about it: This concealer is the best I have ever used. I've read plenty of rave reviews about this so I decided to try it out for myself. It comes in a cute little glass jar (unhygenic to dip your fingers in, so use a brush). There's a lot of product in there and since you only need a little bit, it'll last a super long time. I only use about 4 dots under each eye to conceal my dark circles. Since mine are REALLY bad, this works relatively well to cover them. Setting the concealer with some powder does the trick. Since my product is still new, it doesn't go on quite smooth yet (I might need to warm it with a blow dryer first), but it is blendable enough. If you only use JUST ENOUGH to conceal imperfections, it won't look cakey, but I can tell that if you layer it on too much, it definitely will.

I have only used this to conceal my dark circles even out the skin tone on the bridge of my nose... NOT on blemishes or pimples. I'm a little wary to try that since it contains mineral oil which clogs your pores and can cause breakouts. However, I haven't had any skin irritation yet, so that's a good sign. It also has a slight perfumey smell, but it isn't unbearable imo. Also, the undertones in this concealer don't match my skin perfectly, but it's barely noticeable. It's available in 12 shades, 3 of which are color correctors (yellow, green, and lavender). I got "beige."

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Neutrogena Healthy Skin VisiblyEven cleanser review

Ok, so I've come to the conlclusion that ALL Neutrogena cleansers that say they "foam," DO NOT foam >: Not that I care or anything, since ALL Neutrogena cleansers that say they exfoliate and smooth; do so VERY well. Anyway, I just bought this new cleanser and I've been using it for a couple days now. It's nothing to really rave about, but it works fine.

Neutrogena Healthy Skin VisiblyEven Cleanser

Product Description: Neutrogena Healthy Skin Visibly Even Foaming Cleanser is a dermatologist tested facial cleanser that gently exfoliates to refine skin texture for a more even-toned, radiant complexion as you cleanse. This cleanser contains a combination of Essential Soy, a natural skin brightener, gentle exfoliators and Vitamin C to: Remove dead skin cells, dirt and oil. Help even skin tone. Improve radiance. Rinses clean and leaves skin soft, smooth and healthy-looking. Non-irritating. Gentle enough for sensitive skin.

Ingredients: Water, Sodium Methyl Cocoyl Taurate, Myristic Acid, Stearic Acid, Glycerin, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Coco Glucoside, Glyceryl Oleate, Glycol Distearate, Lauric Acid, Sodium Hydroxide, Polyethylene, Cocamidopropyl PG-Dimonium Chloride Phosphate, Cetyl Alcohol, Soybean Seed Extract (Glycine Soja), Ascorbyl Glucoside, Saxifraga Sarmentosa Extract, Grapefruit Extract (Vitis Vinifera), Butylene Glycol, Morus Bombycis Root Extract, Scutellaria Baicalensis Root Extract, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Disodium EDTA, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Magnesium Aluminum Silicate, Phenoxyethanol, Methylparaben, Ethylparaben, Propylparaben, Butylparaben, Titanium Dioxide, Fragrance

Pros: light-scented, smooth, milky texture, super gentle exfoliating beads, leaves skin soft and smooth, no adverse reactions.

Cons: contains parabens, is slightly more milky than other Neutrogena cleaners, hasn't seemed to noticeably improve my skin tone.

What I thought about it: I decided to buy myself another cleanser since I gave the hubby my Anti-wrinkle/blemish one (which was working good for me). I think I've tried this a long time ago but I wasn't too sure, so I figured what the heck, I'll just buy it and see how it goes. Overall, this is a decent cleanser. It doesn't foam but does leave skin smooth, soft, fresh, and clean. I wouldn't say it's really improved my complexion, texture, or radiance radically, but it hasn't irritated my skin either (I thought it would, since there's so many acids in this). Also, I might have to use it much longer to see results. I did notice that after using it for about 4 days, the skin around my forehead and nose became a bit shiny. I'm not entirely sure that it's because of the cleanser or not. Either way, this cleanser is still good for making your skin soft and clean.

It's a lot more milky than other Neutrogena cleansers I've used, and it tends to come out in a thin ribbon of product, so a whole lot more than you expect comes out. It has a soft scent, which is not bad. Plus, the exfoliating beads are VERY gentle (unlike their scrubs). I find that Neutrogena's scrubs are better for me in giving that glowy look rather than this cleanser.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Another circle lens post

So, I gave in and ordered a pair of Ash Wing lenses. Seen some pictures but I'm not quite sure how they'll look on me. Hopefully okay (: The lenses were $16 and shipping was $5. Plus you get a free contact lens case with your order. Customer service over at Mesmerized Eyes is excellent.

I'm totally drained of cash right now, so I'll wait for the next batch to order more. Like I mentioned in my previous circle lens post, I'm lemming me some Nudy greens and possibly the violets (but I'm afraid they'll look too gray :P). Either way, I can't wait for the next batch to open (:

Also, I only have 3 more posts to re-write! Yay! :D

Avon look alert eye brightener review

So, I ordered this concealer pen from Avon and it came in on my birthday. I was debating between getting this one for $3.99 or the Anew one (for wrinkles and fine lines) for $8. I got this one. I've been using it for about 3 days... and it's nothing to brag about.

Avon Look Alert Eye Brightener

Product Description: Light-reflecting pearls appear to dispel dark circles, fade away fine lines and optically airbrush imperfections...visibly gives eyes a brighter outlook. Dot and blend Eye Brightener under eye, from inside corner out. Wear alone or under foundation. .04 oz. net wt.

Ingredients: click here for a list.

Pros: goes on smooth, blendable, relatively inexpensive, portable twist-pen design.

Cons: only comes in 4 shades with pink undertones (except for illuminating pearl), coverage is VERY sheer, does not cover dark circles very well on its own, the twist pen has problems, shimmer particles?

What I thought about it: Since it was pretty cheap, I wasn't too upset with the results. I haven't tried Avon's concealers before so this wasn't a good first product to try, I suppose. I like that it comes in a twist up pen which is easy to store and small enough to fit anywhere, but it has problems. After pre-use twisting, the product comes out. However, I've found that the next day I want to use it, the product dries up and you have to do a lot of twisting again. One twist gets nothing, until you get to 5 twists. Then A LOT of product comes out :( Too much; and there's no way of seeing how much is coming out up until that point. Then, you cap it, and the next day, the extra product has already dried up. So that's kind of a waste.

Coverage-wise, it is VERY sheer and cannot conceal dark circles by itself. Also, my skin tone doesn't quite match with the pink undertones (I've found that most of Avon's skin tone products are more pinkish than anything). However, the coverage is buildable and blendable, but applying too much ends up looking cakey. It worked best for me to pat and smooth on a thin layer to conceal as much as possible, then go over it with my EDM pressed powder... this works pretty well, but I'd rather have a concealer that covers better than this one without looking heavy or needing to set powder over it. Also, there are shimmer particles in this! I cannot decide if this is a good or bad thing. They don't show up too much around my eyes but when I swatched it on my hand, it was noticably glittery.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Circle lens update

I just came across this site you can order circle lenses from: MESMERIZED EYES. They seem legit and sincere, so I'm thinking of ordering from them soon. Their prices are very good; ~$16 and they have some promotions going on right now, so be sure to check that out. I'm lemming some green, purple, or gray circle lenses, but I'm not sure yet. Leaning towards the Ash Wing pair, but Nudy Violet and Geo Green look pretty good too. Well, I'll see what happens :P

And, I lied xD I said in my review that these lenses are something I wouldn't wear everyday, but since I got them, I have been wearing them daily, for 7+ hours with no irritation. They are completely comfortable and don't dry out my eyes or make them red or itchy. I don't know about the other brands, but Geo is great imo. (:

Friday, April 17, 2009

Geo Circle lens review

So, I just received my circle lenses yesterday. I ordered mine from Phyllis @ Makeup For Life. They were $30, shipping and handling included. I got Geo Brown, both in 00 power (so I could wear them with my glasses & since I don't know my perscription ><). And I'd have to say, I'm definitely satisfied with them. The only trouble I had was with opening the bottle :S Here's instructions that I SHOULD have read lol. The top cap was hard for me to pop off (I am SO weak lol) and it didn't break the aluminum ring the whole way. So I had to rip it off with my fingers and scissors, which worked pretty well; except for the fact that I cut myself on the aluminum, twice xD

Anyways, these are actually more comfortable than my regular contacts! Wth? Yes! I thought I'd have trouble with them since they are larger than normal contacts, but they are actually pretty comfortable and don't irritate my eyes. I've had a lot of trouble with perscription contacts in the past, so this was a surprise. This color is GREAT for a natural look. It really gives a clear, doll-eyed look that widens your eyes and makes them appear bigger and brighter. They're cute but I don't think I'll wear them everyday, just because contacts are a hassle for me to put in, take out, and clean all the time :P I'm very lazy like that. These will last up to 1 year with proper care.

I like these a lot, and I'm thinking about getting other colors; maybe green or purple. They are actually very natural looking. However, I'm not sure when is the next time there will be more ordering opportunities. I was going to try buying some from SGlenses, since their prices were on the inexpensive side, but apparently their sales are closed :( Anyways, I'll be on the hunt for other places to order circle lenses.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

ULTA nailpolish review

I have 4 Ulta nail polishes that I've received as gifts (why all pink? Idk). I figured I'd post a little bit about them. They are $5 from Ulta's website.

The two ones at the right are original formulas, and the two on the left are different. "Princess" is Super Sheer, and "Sweet Nothing" is Salon Formula.

The weird thing about the two in the middle is that they used to be the same color. They are both "Sweet Nothing," but the one on the right changed color over time. However, the consistency did not change; it's still usable... so I'm wondering what happened to it. This didn't happen to any of my other Ulta polishes. I'm not sure if this is just something that happens over time.

"Princess" is, like it says, a sheer pink color with gold tones. It's a pretty color. "Sweet Nothing" looks french manicure pink in the bottle but is a VERY sheer wash of pink that appears more clear, if anything. It's a nice everyday look. "Diva" is a pearlescent soft baby pink shade with glitter. It's a cute color.

Ulta nail polishes are pretty good, considering I usually have issues with nail polishes. Every one I've ever used doesn't dry fast, needs a lot of coats, stays tacky, chips easily, dries up in the bottle, etc. These dry relatively quickly and last a long time without chipping. The polish does tend to clump if you do to many coats (but what nail polish DOESN'T), so I usually only do 1 coat, which is enough. The polish goes on smoothly and easily, and doesn't get tacky on the brush. I've had these for YEARS and they haven't dried, separated, changed consistency, or color (except for Sweet Nothing) like all my other polishes have done.

Voki! And some ranting.

Lol, we just learned about this in Japanese today: We're using it to do an assignment to have a convo with our sensei -_-;; But it's hella cool and fun to customize and listen to lol. Here's mine. The resemblence is uncanny. Lol :P

Here's a little 411

What is Voki?
Voki enables users to express themselves on the web in their own voice using a talking character. You can customize your Voki to look like you or take on the identity of lots of other types of characters… animals, monsters, anime etc. Your Voki can speak with your own voice which is added via microphone, upload, or phone.Voki lives on your blog, social network profile and will soon be integrated in various instant messaging platforms. You will also be able to download it to most video supported phones.

What's with the name?
Voki is a combination of "vox", which is Latin for voice, and "Loki", which, is a prankster character in Norse Mythology.

Who made Voki?Voki is brought to you by the folks at Oddcast, a New York based company that has been creating speaking characters on the web for years. These are the same people behind the popular Careerbuilder Monk-e-mail.

Will Voki always be free?Yes, you will always be able to come and create a character for free at Voki. However, we may offer special items or characters for sale at some point. Also some of the things you can do with your Voki, like downloading it to your phone, may cost money. It is also likely that you will see different kinds of sponsorship on the site. No matter what we do to make money through Voki, we'll make sure we keep you in the loop, get your feedback, and try not to do anything that makes Voki less entertaining to have.

Can anyone use Voki?Voki is solely and exclusively for personal, non-commercial use only. If you run a business website where you sell things or you run a site about your business – a real estate agency, for example – then Voki is not for you. We have a product called SitePal that costs a small monthly fee for business class users.

Aaaaand, like I mentioned last night, I've been lemming LUSH's Night in for 2 sample kit which inlcudes 2 muslin flannels, 2 Ultra Bland cleansers, 1 face mask of your choice, 2 toner tabs of your choice, and 2 face moisturizers of your choice for only $20. I was in my "I need to buy something" mood last night, so I was raring and ready to order this thing. I've never tried Lush's products but I've heard good stuff about them. However, I did notice that their individual products are on the pricy side, and I wouldn't want to buy something for so much that didn't work for me. So the sample kit was my savior here.

Unfortunately for me, the horror of RIDICULOUS SHIPPING COSTS struck again. Boo hoo. The only shipping option LUSH is offering atm is Express, which costs over $30. No way am I going to pay more for shipping than I did for the product. :( I guess I will have to wait to figure out what I really want to try from them. Meanwhile, I'm on the lookout for cheap makeup to test drive :P

What is PA++?

I posted this in my review of ZA's two-way foundation, but I figured I might as well give it a post on its own so I can link it:

"PA is a different indicator of protection for the skin. It's usually found after the SPF number. SPF is a sun protection factor of UVB rays. PA is used to measure the protection factor of UVA rays. I don't think they have means of measuring or studying the degree of UVA rays and how quickly they can be absorbed into the skin so they can't numerically tell you how much protection is in them exactly. There are 3 degrees of PA which are PA+, PA++, and PA+++. Of course, the higher the plus, the more protection."

Many asian makeup and skincare products contain atleast PA++.

Monday, April 13, 2009

I miss ZA NY's two-way foundation :[

ZA NY's two-way foundation used to be my HG pressed powder foundation a couple years back, until I found out they stopped selling their products in Hawaii and Australia. Why? I have no idea. Currently, ZA cosmetics are currently only available in: China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, New Zealand, Thailand, Taiwan, and Vietnam. WORST THING EVER. It was only $12 which is relatively reasonable, considering how expensive worthwhile foundations usually are. The best part about these foundations? THEY HAVE SPF 20 and PA++!!!

I also used ZA's True White two-way foundation, but I found the original one to be my favorite. The original two-way foundation has 8 shades, while the true white has only 4 shades (pinkish undertones). However, the true white really did give a nice whitening and brightening effect to my skin while retaining the same finish as the original. But I didn't like it as much because of the limited variety of shades.

On the skin tone scale (when I was using this) I used a No. 34! Wtf? Yes, I was THAT tan :P But with my current skintone, I'm probably around a No. 22 (I can range between pink-yellow undertones for some reason). The only place I could find this was from this ebay seller who was very professional about answering the questions I had about it. Unfortunately (for me and my wallet), it runs for $25.55 with $5.55 shipping from Singapore w/o tax. So a bit over $31 for only the refill, NOT the entire case with applicator sponge. Again, unfortunately for me, I threw away my case and sponge after I used all the foundation because I assumed ZA would always be around :(

Anyways, I figured I'd go over some of the points that made this foundation my all-time favorite (unforgettable!) while I ponder whether or not I should place my order :(


Product Description: A two-way powder foundation that can be applied with or without water. Achieves bright, smooth skin while simultaneously protecting the skin from UV attack. A natural finish that lasts for hours.

Pros: comes in a cute, slim compact with a squishy soft sponge applicator, reasonable price, gives a silky smooth, long lasting matte coverage, hides imperfections, redness, dark circles, evens skin tone, has spf 20 and PA++, doesn't make skin look dry, controls oil, wide variety of shades for yellow and pink undertones.

Cons: the pan is a bit small... it still lasts pretty long though.

What I thought about it: This was the BEST foundation I have ever tried from my experience! Just read the Pros :D The coverage was GREAT for concealing redness and dark spots while not looking heavy or cakey; just smooth, fresh, and clear. It was also the longest lasting wear I've ever had that controlled shine all day. I MISS IT SO MUCH! :(


Product Description: Inhibits melanin production while providing the skin with solid protection from UV rays. Thoroughly covers up even conspicuous pores and dullness while achieving a natural finish with a fabulous clarity.

Pros: brightened and whitened my skin tone and complexion after continuous use + the same pros as mentioned above.

Cons: limited variety of shades + the cons mentioned above.

What I thought about it: The coverage of this was the same as the original two-way foundation and it did have a subtle lightening effect on my skin after using it for awhile. The only downside is that there are only 4 shades available and they ran a little pinkish imo so it was slightly too light for my skintone. However, it wasn't that bad and it still gave the same flawless, smooth finish.

Also, if you don't know what PA++ is, here's what I found on Yahoo!Answers:

"PA is a different indicator of protection for the skin. It's usually found after the SPF number. SPF is a sun protection factor of UVB rays. PA is used to measure the protection factor of UVA rays. I don't think they have means of measuring or studying the degree of UVA rays and how quickly they can be absorbed into the skin so they can't numerically tell you how much protection is in them exactly. There are 3 degrees of PA which are PA+, PA++, and PA+++. Of course, the higher the plus, the more protection."

You learn something new every day (;

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Makeup tips for Asian eyes

I know how difficult it can be to apply eye makeup when you have monolids. For me, sometimes I have them, and sometimes I dont. Most of the time, I have a small, defined amount of crease space (which is good enough for me). However, sometimes after I rub my eyes a lot, one of my eyelids will develop more creases than the other and not go away for awhile.

Yes, that is my eye (I squinted a bit on accident lol) in all its un-concealed glory. I'm also prone to puffiness/wrinkles and have bad dark circles as you can see. Plus, my eyelashes grow straight down. Asian eyes can be so frustrating! Lol.

BUT luckily, there are options for defining and complementing asians eyes while giving the illusion of having a crease, or bigger, rounder, wider eyes. Yes, these are also my eyes (I really liked blue at one point :P). You can see the difference concealer, eyeshadow, liner, and false lashes (see below) make when applied right. Everyone's eyes are different, but I'll explain what has worked best for me and what I've found works best with monolids and asian eyes.

Asian eyes and skintones match best with neutral, muted tones in matte finishes:
- Black
- Browns, taupe
- Gold, bronze

But certain colors are also flattering:
- Maroon, rose, plum
- Dusky pinks- Navy blue (brightens the whites of your eyes)- Deep, darker colors

It's safer to stay away from bright, flashy, garish colors unless you really can pull it off or if you're dressing up for Halloween or something :P However, small color highlights along your lower lashline work well with other muted colors.

It's best to STAY AWAY FROM VERY SHIMMERY SHADOWS because they attract attention to imperfections like wrinkles and will catch on stray eyebrow hairs. Any eyeshadow will catch on stray eyebrow hairs for that matter, so make sure to have them groomed well! Also avoid icy, pale, pastel colors because they wash out your skin if your hair is dark. Dark matte shadows look best because they blend well with natural skin tone.


When it comes to defining your eyes, here's some things you can do:

1. False eyelashes work WONDERS for opening up your eyes, as well as curling your eyelashes. Here's a good TUTORIAL on applying false lashes by Askmewhats. She does great reviews too!

2. Black or dark eyeliner along your lashline and waterline help define eyes, BUT also might make them appear smaller and give you that "dead fish" look. It really depends on your type of eyes. I don't line my waterline anymore, which makes my eyes appear a lot wider. But other people like Michelle Phan ( can pull of lining without making their eyes look smaller. She has so much crease though! Lucky!

EXAMPLE by Michelle Phan

3. You can apply a dark eyeshadow on your eyelid and ABOVE the monolid to create a fake crease.
Or depending on how much crease space you have, you can apply a light e/s all over your lid, then apply a dark e/s ABOVE the light color.

EXAMPLE by lizz1901... Check out her youtube channel... awesome (:

4. You could try eyelid tape/glue. I've never personally tried it, but it seems to work. However, it supposedly causes your eyelids to sag with continouous use. Also seems kind of scary :X

5. Circle lenses work great to make your eyes appear larger, wider, and brighter; giving your eyes a doll-like cute quality. I ordered mine and am waiting for them to come in. As you can see below, a combination of all the above techniques can make a HUGE dramatic difference.

Sephora makeup remover & toner review

So I figured it's about time that I do my review on the toner and makeup remover that I bought from sephora.


Product Description:
What it is: An alcohol-free toner for dry skin. What it is formulated to do: Completes makeup removal, in addition to toning and softening the skin, leaving it clean, velvety soft, supple, and radiant. What else you need to know: Tested under dermatological control.

Active ingredients:
-Litchi Extract: Antioxidant with hydrating, softening, and antiaging properties.
-Peach Extract: Refreshing, softening, and anti-irritation properties.
-Pro-vitamin B5 : Nourishing, softening, and anti-inflammatory.
-Glycerin: Moisturizing agent; helps prevent skin dryness.

Aqua (Water), Propylene Glycol, Sorbitol, Glycerin, Phenoxyethanol, Polysorbate 20, Parfum (Fragrance), Panthenol, Disodium EDTA, Chlorphenesin, Buteth-3, Sodium Benzotriazolyl Butylphenol Sulfonate, Triethanolamine, Litchi Chinensis Fruit Extract, Prunus Persica (Peach) Fruit Extract, Tributyl Citrate, CI 17200 (Red 33), CI 42090 (Blue 1).

Pros: big bottle, lots of product for only $4, nice, light smell, it's PINK :D, instantly softens and smooths skin, doesn't leave it feeling tight.

Cons: none.

What I thought about it: at first, I was a little wary that this toner would add unnecessary moisture to my skin since it is formulated for dry skin. But, I was pleased with the results of using this toner. It made my skin nice and soft without leaving that "tight" feeling you usually get after using toner. However, I guess I really wouldn't know whether or not this would make my skin oily after continuous use (I don't use it regularly, only when I feel like it :P). It doesn't have any strong alcohol scent, it's light and fresh scented. Plus, there's so much, so it'll last a looong time. It's effective at moisturizing, smoothing, and softening, as well as removing leftover traces of makeup after regular cleansing. I would definitely buy this again since it's so cheap and such good quality.


Product Description: What it is: A non-oily, alcohol-free makeup remover for face and eyes. What it is formulated to do: Cleanses, removes makeup, and gently purifies the skin. What else you need to know: Non comedogenic. Tested under dermatological control.

Active Ingredients:
-Cornflower Water: Softening, anti-inflammatory, and astringent properties.
-Zinc: Sebum-regulating properties.
-Pro-Vitamin B5: Nourishing, softening, and anti-inflammatory.

Aqua (Water), PEG-6 Caprylic/Capric Glycerides, Pentylene Glycol, Panthenol, Polyaminopropyl Biguanide, Centaurea Cyanus (Flower) Water, Zinc Gluconate, Disodium EDTA, Chlorphenesin, Sodium Hydroxide, Phenoxyethanol, Methylparaben, Ethylparaben, Butylparaben, Propylparaben, Isobutylparaben.

Pros: effectively removes makeup, only $2.50, not oily

Cons: the bottle is not as big as advertised! Has a VERY LIGHT chemical smell that stays on your fingers (wash it off!)

What I thought about it: I was disappointed that the bottle is nowhere near as big as it appears in the picture on Sephora's website, but it's no biggie. I usually use my own cosmetic wipes (will review soon) so I gave this to my mom to try out. I did try it though, and I'd have to say this is probably the best m/u remover I've used so far (I haven't tried that many lol). It is not oily at all and removes all traces of makeup perfectly. It says "no rinse" but I'd cleanse after anyway. It doesn't leave skin tight, dry, or oily either. The only downside is that there is a light chemical scent to it that lingers on your finger unless you wash it off (found that out last night lol). It's not that big of a deal, but I figure some people wouldn't like that. However, for only $2.50, it's definitely worth it.

And here's the other samples I ordered, figured I'd get some Dior Shine and Giorgio Armani Addiction for the hubby (not pictured). And I also got some samples of Laura Mercier skin care Face Polish and Korres Sugar Crystal Cream that I'll try out and review sometime soon.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

NYX Small concealer brush review

So I've heard some decently good reviews about NYX Professional makeup brushes, but not enough to convince me without trying them for myself. I figured I'd get a small concealer brush, since I wanted to have one for powder and one for liquid foundation/concealer and I already have one for powder. I got the small concealer brush for around $5.

The packaging is lovely (excuse the chipped nailpolish), and the brush itself is sleek and simple. Me likey. The bristles are soft, firm, and compacted. Great. However, the worst thing happened when I first used them to apply Benefit's Erase Paste (DARN YOU, BENEFIT!)... the bristles separated into little sections! WTF?! I even tried washing them, reshaping them, and letting them dry overnight. The next day, the bristles were still separated. Now, it seemed like there could have been a lot more bristles compacted into the ferrule... a little strange, hrm?

Now, the brush hasn't been rendered completely useless; it's just not that great for applying, well, ANYTHING anymore. I just use it to dab concealer here and there and blend it with my finger instead of the brush. Maybe later I'll try the larger concealer brush which is a little more expensive... I'm hoping I will not get the same results as with this brush. I'll make my final verdict on NYX brushes after I try out a few more. But for this one, I would NOT purchase again because of what happens and I kind of prefer my brushes to be a little fuller than this one.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Sephora Color Play palette review & swatches

M = Matte, S = Shimmer, F = Frost, H = Highlight

(It was hella cold tonight, so I have goosebumps :P)

The greens had the most variety of shades imo and was the most pigmented.

Nice rich browns & cranberry colors.
But the two highlight colors were very similar.

More browns with mauve tones.
The 2 highlights and matte shade on the right were very similar.

The purple shades were also quite pigmented with lots of variety.
However, the middle shimmer and end highlight were very similar.

Pretty blue shades. The two matte colors on the left were very similar.

A variety of shades here. Lots of neutral gray and bluish tones.
I was pleased with the white... it's very matte and shows up well.

On to the lipgloss! Cool tones (nothing I would use, personally :P)

Warm/neutral tones. The three in the middle were very similar.

The bronzer was a little dark for me, I probably won't use it much. I labeled in the picture that the shimmery pink was more of a highlight color; it's actually very nice and subtle. The shade to the left of that was VERY sheer and the one next to it was VERY pigmented. Neither really match my skin tone, but they still are pretty.

The size relative to my hand


Talc, Mica, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Magnesium Stearate, Hydrogenated Polysiobutene, Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Dimethicone, Phenoxyethanol, Tocopheryl Acetate May Contain: Titamium Dioxide (CI 77891), Black Iron Oxides (CI 77499), Yellow Iron Oxides (CI 77492), Red Iron Oxides (CI 77491), Manganese Violet (CI 77742), Ultramarine (CI 77007), Chromium Oxide Green (CI 77288), Chromium Hydroxide Green (CI 77289), Blue 1 Lake (CI 42090), Yellow 5 Lake (CI 19140).

Polybutene, Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Bees Wax (Cera Alba), Hydrogenated Polyisobutene, Phenyl Trimethicone, Silica Dimethyl Silylate, Microcrystalline Wax, Carnauba (Copernicia Cerifera)Wax, Phenoxyethanol, Tocopheryl Acetate May Contain: Titamium Dioxide (CI 77891), Black Iron Oxides (CI 77499), Yellow Iron Oxides (CI 77492), Red Iron Oxides (CI 77491), Yellow 5 Lake (CI 19140), Red 6 (CI 15850), Red 7 Lake (CI 15850), Red 28 Lake (CI 45410), Blue 1 Lake (CI 42090), Mica (CI 77019).

Talc, Mica, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Magnesium Stearate, Hydrogenated Polysiobutene, Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Dimethicone, Phenoxyethanol, Tocopheryl Acetate May Contain: Titamium Dioxide (CI 77891), Black Iron Oxides (CI 77499), Yellow Iron Oxides (CI 77492), Red Iron Oxides (CI 77491), Manganese Violet (CI 77742), Red 6 (CI 15850), Red 7 Lake (CI 15850), Yellow 5 Lake (CI 19140).

Talc, Mica, Magnesium Stearate, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Hydrogenated Polysiobutene, Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Dimethicone, Phenoxyethanol, Tocopheryl Acetate May Contain: Titamium Dioxide (CI 77891), Black Iron Oxides (CI 77499), Yellow Iron Oxides (CI 77492), Red Iron Oxides (CI 77491), Manganese Violet (CI 77742), Ultramarine (CI 77007), Chromium Oxide Green (CI 77288), Chromium Hydroxide Green (CI 77289), Blue 1 Lake (CI 42090), Yellow 5 Lake (CI 19140).

Overall, I'm really happy with this palette. Although the shadows are not as pigmented as let's say... MAC; they are still pretty colorful and show up well, which is good since I'm partial to more sheer shadows and I doubt I'll be using blues and greens every day. This is just fun to play with. In general, the last three shades in each column were the most pigmented and showed up quite bold. I'd compare them to Urban Decay's matte eyeshadows, except not as smooth. The highlight colors in the top of the columns and other lighter shades tended to be very sheer and very similar to one another, as well as a bit frosty (I don't really use much frost/shimmer). The lighter shades (not highlights) were on par with NYX e/s pigmentation... which is pretty good. If used with a primer, the colors are much brighter and more vibrant, so even the sheer colors can be put to use.

I thought the lipglosses would be rock-hard but they were actually smooth and creamy. I didn't apply any to my lips so I'm not sure if they dry them out or not (I'm assuming they do). The lipglosses are somewhat sticky, but not too bad. I'm not a fan of the reds/pinks, but the neutral shades are nice.

The only complaints I have are that when I received this and opened the palette, it had a really strong perfume-y smell (don't know how to describe it better) that lasted for a few days. This wasn't that bad though. Also, the shadows, blushes, and bronzer are all very powdery, so the palette gets messy easily; but this is nothing that isn't cleaned easily; and lastly, there are no names or numbers of the shades incase you wanted to buy them inidivually. However, for only $22, this is definitely a steal and then some; especially for 36 eyeshadows and 12 lipglosses of good quality.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Benefit Erase Paste review

Although I've heard people rave about this concealer, it didn't impress me. In fact, it kind of disgusted me. I got a sample size of the medium color from my last order from Sephora and I was rather looking forward to using it. However, when I did use it, I was very, very, VERY, dissatisfied with it. I mean, it has its good points, but not many.

Product Description: What it is: A brightening camouflage for the eyes and face. What it does: Benefit Erase Paste is a concentrated, creamy, blendable concealer that instantly brightens and camouflages all-in-one. It has an innovative formula which makes sure signs of stress and fatigue are a thing of the past. These three brightening neutral shades give every gal correction perfection.

Pros: coverage can be built up from light to heavy (a little goes a long way), did seem to brighten undereye area a bit.

Cons: VERY thick, weird pinkish undertone (only 3 shades available: light, medium, deep), lots of rubbing/tugging to apply... it does NOT go on smooth and blendable, emphasized the dryness and fine lines around my eyes A LOT (dried to a powdery appearance).

What I thought about it: Although the coverage amount is definately something to be happy about, the application is not. My eye area already has enough fine lines and darkness and having to rub and tug this thick stuff around was not fun. It's just too damn thick to blend easily. Plus, even the medium tone did not match my skin tone well... yellow tones are better for me and better for concealing. This had a pinkish undertone. After smoothing it out the best I could, I noticed right away that the dryness around my eyes was very emphasized. It also settled into my fine lines after awhile and overall just looked gross. I will give that it did brighten my eye area, but I was not able to fully conceal my undereye circles because of the fact that I didn't want to have to apply more and have to rub and tug it around. However, this is a better spot concealer for pimples or red spots. I think people with minimal dark circles and without dry skin would probably fare better with this concealer. According to Benefit, this can also be used all over the face. However, I would not do this since it's so thick... it seems highly likely that it would clog your pores :X

edit/ I tried liberally applying some moisturizer around my eyes before applying the erase paste today, and it smoothed and blended a LITTLE better, but not much. The effect was still the same and it still dried to a powdery and dry appearance.

On another note, all of Benefit's products are hella expensive. Idk about their other products, but the tiny Erase Paste pot is NOT worth $26 imo unless this REALLY works well for you. Boi-ing is only $18, so I might try that one later on.

Urban Decay family & friends event


Get 30% off on your order from April 6-17.

Enter code FNFS9 at checkout and hit "redeem coupon."

Take advantage of this while it's still around (;

What is alpha/beta hydroxy?

I've been wondering this for some time, as 2 of the cleansers I use contain beta and alpha hydroxy. Turns out, beta hydroxy is just another name for salicylic acid. Here's some other info I found interesting:

Alpha and beta hydroxy acids are derived from apples, ginger, oranges, grapefruit, sugarcane or willow bark, and will gradually peel off the top layers of dead skin and minimize wrinkles.

The Alpha's (AHA): One of the alpha hydroxy acids found in cane sugar, sugar beets and unripe grapes, glycolic acid, is an odorless, crystalline compound used to control the acid/alkali balance and also as an exfoliant, It works easily into the skin to break up, and remove, bonds of dead skin cells.It has been said that loosening these bonds stimulates the body's built-in dead-cell elimination, or sloughing off, process, making way for new skin cells to emerge and for fine lines to be smoothed over. The use of these alpha hydroxy acids has also been shown to reduce skin discoloration and to even out pigmentation.

The Beta's (BHA): Salicylic, benzoic and buteric acids -- all beta hydroxy acids -- are also reported to be excellent exfoliators, and are often combined with alpha hydroxy acids for their synergistic, complementary activities.

The "hydroxys" have also been shown to help those with oily and acne-plagued skin, since dead skin cells are no longer able to clump up around hair follicles and compromise the natural drainage of the oil-secreting (sebaceous) glands.Citric acid is another hydroxy powerhouse, one extracted from citrus fruits. These fruits are rich in vitamin C and bioflavonoids, including rutin, which are said to strengthen the small capillaries that provide nourishment to the skin.

The main difference between alpha hydroxy acids and beta hydroxy acid is their lipid (oil) solubility. Alpha hydroxy acids are water soluble only, while beta hydroxy acid is lipid (oil) soluble. This means that beta hydroxy acid is able to penetrate into the pore which contains sebum and exfoliate the dead skin cells that are built up inside the pore. Because of this difference in properties, beta hydroxy acid is better used on oily skin with blackheads and whiteheads. Alpha hydroxy acids are better used on thickened, sun-damaged skin where breakouts are not a problem.

Neutrogena Deep Clean Gentle Scrub contains BHA.
Neutrogena Healthy Skin Anti-wrinkle Anti-blemish scrub containts AHA.


What are parabens?

The notion of having possible carcinogens in your makeup and skincare (as well as food, hair, and body products) is a disturbing one. Ever since I actually decided to read the ingredients in the products I buy, I've found that parabnes are contained in almost every single one. If you don't know what parabens are, here's a little 411 on the topic. My views in regards to this issue are still a little up in the air, but I'm pretty wary at this point, no matter how small the risks are.


Parabens are a group of chemicals widely used as preservatives in the cosmetic industry. About 90% of all skincare and cosmetic products contain parabens. Preservatives are used to prevent bacterial growth and prolong the shelf-life of products. Typically, more than one paraben is used in a product and they are often used in combination with other types of preservatives. This allows the use of lower levels of parabens while increasing preservative activity. Parabens are widely used because of their efficacy as preservatives, their low cost, their long history of safe use and the unproven efficacy of natural ingredients like grapefruit seed extract.

Here’s a list of the different types of parabens:

- Butylparaben
- Ethylparaben
- Methylparaben
- Propylparaben
- Isopropylparaben
- Benzyl-parahydroxybenzoic acid (p-hydroxybenzoic acid)
- Methyl-parahydroxybenzoic acid (p-hydroxybenzoic acid)
- Ethyl-parahydroxybenzoic acid (p-hydroxybenzoic acid)
- Propyl-parahydroxybenzoic acid (p-hydroxybenzoic acid)
- Butyl-parahydroxybenzoic acid (p-hydroxybenzoic acid)
- Parahydroxybenzoic acid (p-hydroxybenzoic acid)
- Parahydroxybenzoate (p-hydroxybenzoate)

Parabens are used in:

- Cosmetics
- Shampoos
- Commercial moisturizers
- Shaving gels
- Cleansing gels
- Personal lubricants
- Topical pharmaceuticals
- Toothpaste
- Deoderant
- Food items

The controversy

However, controversy over paraben use in skincare and cosmetics has risen due to suggestions that parabens may cause cancer, accumulate in tissue and influence estrogen levels.In 2004, a study was published saying 20 different human breast tumors were tested and parabens found in all of them. However, no one could explain why they were there and whether normal tissue had parabens. The study didn’t determine if the ingredient was the cause of the tumors.

In 2005 the USA FDA (Food and Drug Administration) declared that parabens in the concentrations found in skin care products and cosmetics (up to 25%, but typically 1%) pose no logical risk to the consumer.In 2007, a French study suggested that parabens may accumulate in tissues. In the study, 0.45 mg of parabens was applied to the skin’s surface every 12 hours for 36 hours. The results showed increased quantities of parabens moving across the skin barrier for the first 24 hours. They also showed that parabens applied to the skin had no cumulative effect after 36 hours.

A 2002 study showed that 0.1% butylparaben in the daily diet reduced sperm production. However, this is hundreds of times more than the average skin care product application over the entire body. This means that it is impractical to assume that skincare products can reduce sperm production in humans.

Do All Cosmetic Companies Use Parabens?

Not all cosmetic companies use paraben preservatives and many have announced plans to stop using them now that questions have been raised about their safety.

Alternative Preservatives

Other effective preservatives like DMDM Hydantoin or Kathon have potential safety issues too, while Hydroxymethylglycinate can irritate the skin and the eyes. Other alternatives like grapefruit seed extract, phenoxyethanol, potassium sorbate, sorbic acid, tocopherol (vitamin E), vitamin A (retinyl), vitamin C (ascorbic acid) don’t work too well.


The Cosmetic Ingredient Review (CIR) reviewed the safety of methylparaben, propylparaben, and butylparaben in 1984 and concluded they were safe for use in cosmetic products at levels up to 25%. Typically parabens are used at levels ranging from 0.01 to 0.3%.


More reading:

Wikipedia's entry on parabnes

Are parabens really dangerous?

Companies that don't use parabens

Monday, April 6, 2009

1 Litre of Tears

Has anyone else heard of/watched this movie-series? I just watched it over the past few days. It's the most heartwrenching/warming story I've ever heard:

"Based on a true story, One Litre of Tears is about the life story Kitou Aya (1962-1988) a girl who had an incurable disease called Spinocerebellar Degeneration Disease (also known as SCA type 2; spinocerebellar ataxia type 2) at a young age of 15. Although the girl in the drama - Ikeuchi Aya, lived in the 21st century, her character was based on Kitou Aya's life, how she struggled and fought her disease and how she wrote her deepest thoughts until the last day she could hold a pen. Before she died, her writings were published including the poems she wrote while she is staying in a school for the disabled. This gave new hopes to people who suffers the same disease as she did and soon Aya received letters of appreciation and thanks from those people. At the age of 25, she succumbed herself into a sleep where she could no longer feel any pain.Ichi Rittoru no Namida is a heart-warming drama that will make people happy for the simple fact that they are alive, and will give hope to those who suffers from diseases and will make them think positive about living instead of giving up easily."

It really made me think about how much more I should appreciate life, since it can be taken away at any given moment. We should live life to the fullest and do things to the best of our abilities... we wouldn't want to have regrets in the end. As said by Kitou Aya, ""People shouldn't dwell on the past. It's enough to try your best in all that you're doing now."The theme song, "Only Human" by K is simple and beautiful. Listen to it - I'm addicted right now.