Sunday, January 31, 2010

Formspring Q&A - How I get rid of oil + Youtube

Hello loves & new followers, I would just like to take a moment to thank you all for your kind words and support in my last post. Also thank you SO much to those who even took the time to email me... it was so very kind of you all and I truly appreciate it ♥ Going through a loss is never easy, and coupled with the stresses already going on in my life = Huge breakdown for me. It was probably one of the hardest nights of my life. So, it truly helps to have such kind and compassionate people surrouding you, physically and "virtually" (: I'm still very sad but trying my best to stay positive and keep moving on; after all, memories do last forever. Again, thank you all for your thoughtfulness during this difficult time.

I just thought I'd answer recent questions from my Formspring
QUESTION: how do YOU get rid of oil on the face?

ANSWER: Hmmmm... when I was battling with oily skin, I used:
  • ELF High Definition Powder (held back shine all day for me, buuut I'd still feel oily when I touch my face)
  • BB Cream (Skinfood worked the best for me at holding back shine)
  • Neutrogena acne cream cleanser (because it dried out my skin)
  • Lots of blotting paper/kleenex
  • Today I also tried this PDC Oil-Off mist I got from a swap, and it worked pretty well. But I wouldn't know where to get it :(
  • Oh, that and getting on a new bcpill (even if my skin is still not 100% back to normal, it improved my oiliness by 90%!)
QUESTION: Who's your favorite youtube beauty gurus? And why don't you make youtube tutorials and reviews? I think you'd have tons of subscribers!

MY ANSWER: I think the only YT beauty guru I know of is Michelle Phan. LOL. I started watching her vids from when she was on Xanga... loved them all. But haven't been keeping up for the past year. Even moreso because of my growing disappointment with iQQU. Oh, that and I guess I'm not much of a YT video-watcher anyway... I get bored too easily :P

I've thought about making videos, but honestly, I don't have a good enough digicam that can take video, and I don't have a tripod, video cam, webcam, or any video editing program (and don't want to buy any). Ha, I'm so technologically behind! :P Plus I'd feel super nervous and awkward watching myself XD Thanks though, that's really nice of you to say :D I guess I will consider this more in the future.
Also, I've revamped my Art & Photogblog into...


http://tinisidestories.blogspot.com
Which is basically going to be a place for me to just write about my main passions: art in general, my artwork/photography, artists, music, lyrics, and other random things I feel like talking about that aren't beauty related. Feel free to follow/unfollow, as it probaby won't be very interesting to many people lol. Just a place for me to collect my random thoughts.


Saturday, January 30, 2010

Sad news....

Hey all... My family and I are left with heavy hearts and deep sadness, as my grandma passed away tonight.

I know that everyone has probably heard things like this countless times before, but I just want to say... Cherish every moment and memory you have with your loved ones... don't wait to tell them just how much you love and appreciate them. Life is short, love is unbending, and no one knows what could happen next. -Brandy

Make sure you let those whom you hold most dear,
know just how precious they are to you.

I love you Granny, & I'll miss you.



Friday, January 29, 2010

Brush set reviews: Shu Uemura, EcoTools, & I ♥ Sephora

Hello loves & new followers! I've been putting off these reviews for quite some time now, and I figure it's time I share my thoughts on three different brush sets I've collected over the past year (sorry some brushes are dirty, I use them a lot!). This is a long, wordy post, but thorough and detailed, if you want to know more about these brush sets!

Shu Uemura Compact Brush Set


Price: $55 (I got mine from the shu uemura website, but it's the same price from Sephora)

What it is: A set of four compact-size expert brushes.

What it does: This compact brush set contains four expert brushes presented in an ultra-sleek case, and is conveniently portable to ensure holiday glamour anywhere you are. Made with the finest hair quality including goat and sable, these brush bristles dispense the perfect amount of color to your eyes, cheeks, or lips to enable a professional, fail-proof makeup technique.

What else you need to know: This limited-edition set includes a Blush Brush, Eye Shadow Brush, Lip and Eye Liner Brush, and a Concealer and Foundation Brush.


The case is quite sleek. Very nice and portable, with a magnetic closure. It's easy to clean. The brushes are, well, compact! I actually prefer shorter brush handles because I don't like using long brushes because they tap against my mirror when I'm using them. No fallout.


The blush brush was my biggest disappointment with this set. While it feels super soft on my hand, it's nowhere near as soft on the face. While it's not terribly uncomfortable, I still wish it was A LOT softer. It is not too firm, but still picks up product well. However when you use it, it splays out quite a bit. In this sense, it is better for lightly dusting on powder.

Overall: It's okay.


The eyeshadow brush is luxuriously soft and smooth. It picks up and deposits product very well. No complaints here.

Overall: Love it!


The concealer/"foundation" brush is definitely not something I would use for foundation. It is way too small! However it is an EXCELLENT concealer brush. It is also luxuriously soft and smooth, but firm. I have only used it with powder products (don't want to yuck it up with creamy concealer XD) and it picks up and deposits product very well, without leaving a streaks.

Overall: Love it!


The lip/eyeliner brush is again, also extremely soft and silky smooth, but firm. I have not used it with any product yet, as I don't use lip brushes, and haven't really had a need for a very tiny eyeliner brush.

Overall: Indifferent.


EcoTools 6 Piece Bamboo Brush Set

Price: $12.99 from drugstore.com


What they say:
• 5 high-quality brushes inside a natural cotton & hemp case
• Soft cruelty-free bristles
• Natural & recycled materials

This earth-friendly brush set is packed with the 5 high-quality brushes you need to look beautiful. And, it shows respect for the planet:

• Bamboo handle has a low impact on the earth’s resources as it is a highly sustainable plant.
• Synthetic taklon bristles are 100% cruelty free.
• Sleek ferrule is made from recycled aluminum.
• Cosmetic case is made from natural cotton and hemp.


The brushroll is eco-friendly (: While cute and all, I don't use it, as I use all these brushes on a daily basis. You have to tie it closed. The brushes are just the right length too, not too long. No fallout.


The blush brush is the EXACT OPPOSITE of the Shu blush brush. While it's not exactly cut in the most attractive shape, it works! This brush is EXTREMELY soft, smooth, and feels silky on my skin. It picks up and deposits product very well! No complaints here, and I use this brush daily!

Overall: Love it!


The eyeshadow brush is also a VERY good brush, I'd say on par with the Shu eyeshadow brush. It is super super soft and smooth and picks up and deposits product extremely well. This is my everyday go-to eyeshadow brush!

Overall: Love it!


The concealer brush is extremely soft like the rest, but I find the brush head a little too large to be precise and not firm enough for my liking to apply my NYX jar concealer with. I find it works better with powder products, but I still prefer the Shu concealer brush over this one. However my HG concealer brush is still ELF's concealer brush from their Studio line.

Overall: It's okay.

The angled eyeliner brush (not pictured) was also soft and firm, but like the blush brush, not cut in the most precise way. I never used it because I don't really use brushes to line my eyes, so I put it up for sale. I don't doubt that it is most likely a nice brush though!

Overall: Indifferent.


The brow brush/comb is what you'd expect any eyebrow brush/comb combo to be like. It does the job! I actually do use it every day to brush through my brows after filling them in, even though I have many spoolies lying around :P

Overall: Indifferent.


I ♥ Sephora Brush Set


Price: $29 from Sephora


What it is: A portable set of top-quality brushes.

What it does: Made with the same peak standards as Sephora's Platinum Brush Line, these essential beauty tools are perfect for creating your signature look, at home or on the go! These makeup-artist-tested brushes deliver built-to-last durability, and just as beautiful as they are functional.


The case is sleek, and it's nice that it's a hard case with a magnetic closure. The brushes are suuuper cute and candy apple red. They also are embossed with the brush names; very nice touch. I had fallen in love with this brush set when I saw it in a magazine, but I am not so impressed with it now that I bought it.


The powder brush has gone unused. Mostly because I don't use brushes like that anyway, AND it feels similar to the Shu blush brush, except it is not too soft on my hand either. It is on the slightly coarse/prickly side.

Overall: Pass on it.

The eyeshadow brush is soft, but lacking. It is relatively firm, but does NOT pick up and deposit product anywhere near as well as the Shu and EcoTools eyeshadow brushes. I have to load the brush multiple times to get the amount of product I want. It is more on the fluffly side so it's better for blending... but I still don't find myself reaching for it too often. Not impressed.

Overall: Pass on it.

The smudge brush is also soft to the touch, but extremely firm! Not in a good way for me! I understand it is suppose to be a "smudge" brush but I was hoping it would be like a smaller version of my ELF eyeshadow brush because they're shaped the same way, so I could use it like a shadow brush as well, but it is WAY too firm for my liking. It also does not pick up and deposit product too well. So I have to keep rubbing it in the shadow and then it deposits way too much product, way too heavily in a small, concentrated area. And when I try to use it for smudging, it does not blend shadows very well and just makes it look harsh. This was a disappointment.

Overall: Pass on it.

The lip brush is soft, but it also goes unused, as I don't use lip brushes.

Overall: Indifferent.


The bent eyeliner brush is soft and feels a bit flimsy at first, but it actually did the job very well when I tested it out. I have only used it with powder, as I don't own any gel liner, but it can create a nice fine line. No real complaints here.

Overall: Getting to love it!

Congrats to you if you've read this far! :P
I hope this post was helpful for anyone interested in these brushes!



Thursday, January 28, 2010

LOL OF THE DAY 2 - More googling shame XD

NOTE - You can click to full view the pictures below, but I would suggest you NOT full view the second one if you are at work/school. :P

Here was LOL OF THE DAY #1:
http://ectini.blogspot.com/2009/11/lol-of-day.html

And this is officially LOL OF THE DAY #2:
Apparently, due to my recent & maybe somewhat "inappropriate" title in response to NYX's stupidass $1 sale (NYX CAN SUCK MY DICK), my blog post now pops up in Google searches of rather inappropriate search keywords.

Every now and then I check Feedjit to see where incoming views to my blog are coming from, and how they got here. This is what I was greeted with today:

How they got here:

LOLOLOL.
Most people may be disgusted by this, but I got a good kick out of it.
Either way, thanks pal, for viewing my blog, and sorry to disappoint you (;





Wednesday, January 27, 2010

NOTD - UD "Meltdown" vs. ELF "Royal Purple" + Your thoughts on...

I mentioned in my recent post of swatches from my Urban Decay Apocalyptic nail kit that the shade "Meltdown" looked just like ELF's nail polish in "Royal purple." At the time, I thought this was pretty accurate, but I should have noted that I hadn't looked at the bottle of ELF since last year :P So Here is a better comparison.


The ELF Royal Purple is, well, purple. But it has a sliiight red undertone in real life.
The UD Meltdown is more of a true purple, and a bit darker.
(sorry it looks a bit blue-violet in the pictures, but it is purple in real life)

Meltdown is not as sheer as Gunmetal was, but I still did 2 coats anyway.
The ELF polish needs about 2-3 coats. It is thinner than Meltdown.
Both dry quickly to a high-shine finish!

In real life, the color difference is not as noticeable as in these pictures.
At a glance, they all look the same shiny purple!
You can only tell the difference if you look closely.


All in all, I think these are both equally gorgeous shades. ELF is not exactly a dupe like I previously thought, but it is still pretty! Just goes to show that even for $1, you can get great quality nail polish in awesome colors!

PS - When the hell did I get 297 followers?! Thank you all so much! :D

Which leads me to these questions:

What makes you follow a blog?
Or do you follow everyone?
What makes you want to keep reading?
What totally turns you off?


I would have to say that I will usually follow most people who follow my blog, as long as they don't ASK me to follow them. Does anyone else find that kind of... pushy?

I've heard a few stories of bloggers losing some of their followers, just because they didn't follow them back. I don't think that's very nice. No one should feel obligated to follow anyone else. But, if your blog is fascinating to me, I'd still follow anyway.

I like beauty blogs that have long, detailed, thorough, honest reviews, and lots of pictures. I like pictures. Lots of pictures. Swatches, FOTDS, EOTDS, NOTDS, you name it. Or just lots of pictures of the blogger. I like staring at hot girls while I surf the net. Now I sound like a stalker. Haha.

I also like bewbs (Alienman!). Now I sound even worse lol. I also like the occasional lengthy personal post, that lets readers know that the person behind the blog is, well, a real person! It's always nice to be able to identify on a certian level with other bloggers. That's why I like reading/doing tags. This is usually what makes me want to continue following/reading a blog -- if I can relate to the blogger, or I enjoy what they write about/the way they write about it and their "personality".

In all honesty, I tend to not read SUPER LONG SUPER PERSONAL posts (unless I "know" the blogger :P) because I feel like I'm reading something that's not my business. What are your thoughts?




Monday, January 25, 2010

NOTD - UD "Gunmetal" + BLOG SALE UPDATE

Quick nail job today.

This is Gunmetal from my Urban Decay Apocalyptic nail kit. It's a really nice well... gunmetal color, with fine metallic shimmer and a high-shine "metal" finish. It's a really nice dark-but-not-black color. It was a lot more sheer than Big Bang (used in the previous NOTD), so it took two coats for full coverage. Excuse the chipping pinky nail.



Also updated my blog sale!http://ectmakeupandmoresale.blogspot.com
I bunched everything under "latest items"





Formspring Q&A - What ethnicity are you?

I get this question a lot, online. Now that I think about it, I'm not sure if I've ever really made it clear what ethnicity I am. Whoever asked, thanks for popping my Formspring cherry... haha

I am Japanese, with just a touch of Okinawan (;
Yes, the ethnicity I am most confused for is Chinese... I think maybe the only ethnicity I am confused for. But then again, isn't that what most non-asian people assume ALL asians are??? I also get asked a lot if I'm from Japan. I wish I was! I've lived in Hawaii all my life.

What ethnicity are you?
What ethnicity do people mistake you for?

I think Kym wins for having the most creative guesses on her ethnicity (;

Oh and,
I've started replying to comments... in my comments. Again (;


Friday, January 22, 2010

Skin MD Natural Shielding Lotion review + GIVEAWAY!

I was contacted by a Skin MD representative to test & review this product. I have been hearing so many good things about it so I was excited to be able to test it out for myself (: Please note I am not paid by or affiliated with this company, I was sent this product for free to review and this is my honest opinion and experience with it.

This is basically how much I use for my entire face. Maybe even a little less.
I'm sure many of you know I want to make an inappropriate joke right now, but I'll restrain myself XD


Price: $18 for a 4 oz. bottle -- "1-2 month supply with daily use"

What they say:

Skin MD Natural is a shielding lotion, a very special type of lotion helping the skin restore its integrity, enhance its protective functions so that the skin is able to heal naturally and regain its youthful appearance.

Skin MD Natural works by bonding with cells of the skin's outermost layer to form what works as an invisible shield.

This layer of protection prevents environmental irritants and pollutants from penetrating the skin, while sealing in the skin's own natural oils and moisture, helping resolve the dry skin condition.

Skin MD Natural uses only the finest natural ingredients, and is focused on urging the skin to be active, and to use its own moisture to effectively heal itself. It is not oily or sticky, doesn't sit on top of your skin leaving a greasy residue on everything you touch, it doesn't rub or wash off easily, is hypo­allergenic, fragrance, colorant and paraben free and dermatology tested.

What's in it: Deionized water (Aqua)Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract (Aloe Vera)CyclopentasiloxaneDimethiconeMethyl Gluceth-20Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E)Arnica Montana Flower Extract (Arnica)Symphytum Officinale Leaf Extract (Comfrey)Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Extract (Chamomile)Achillea Millefolium Extract (Yarrow)Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer1,2 HexanediolCaprylyl GlycolButylene GlycolAminomethyl PropanolPhenoxyethanol. Click here to read about the ingredients!

What to do: Apply small amount, initially every 2-8 hours until moisture level improves, then just once every 12-24 hours.

The good stuff:

  • A little goes a long way
  • Light scent
  • Smooth, milky texture
  • Absorbs very quickly
  • Leaves skin feeling silky smooth and soft
  • Did NOT make my skin oilier!
  • Natural ingredients

The low-down:

  • Pricey for the size
  • Not available everywhere

The size relative to my hand.


My take:
I'm so glad that I was given a chance to test this product! First off, yes, the bottle does seem rather small for the price and it is not readily available everywhere, so you might have to order online, and shipping is $9.95. But this is one of those situations were VERY LITTLE does indeed go a long way. I need a pea-sized amount for my entire face. Since the texture is milky and liquidy, it covers my entire face evenly and easily. It is a very light and smooth texture though, not thick and uncomfortable and not too watery and wet. It absorbs quickly and just the right amount of hydration and moisture with a healthy, dewy finish, WITHOUT looking oily or shiny. It seems to give general good improvement to my skin tone / complexion as well, but most noticeably, the texture.


I find it great as a base for foundation/BB creams. It makes my skin feel extremely smooth and soft to the touch. It is true to its word and does not feel like something is sitting on your face or smothering your skin. Also, it doesn't leave any greasy residue on your hands like other products I've tried because it can also be use on face, hands, and body (but I only use it for my face).


The best part is, it does NOT make my skin oilier throughout the day, or add excess moisture (which was my main worry)! As most of you know I've been battling with oily skin as a result of getting of YAZ. Although switching to Microgestin has helped 90%, I'm still dealing with slight oiliness at the end of the day in my T-Zone. So having a moisturizer that DOES NOT increase oiliness and gives just the right amount of moisture to dry spots is wonderful! I would reccommend this for any skin type!

Would I repurchase: Yes, I will consider repurchasing, but the product will last me a good while as I don't moisturize every day and I only need a small amount (:

I was also given the opportunity to host a GIVEAWAY!
One lucky winner will get their own
full-size bottle of Skin MD Natural Shielding lotion (:

1 ENTRY:

- Leave a comment saying "ENTER ME!"
- Include a valid email address so that I can contact you if you win

2 ENTRIES:

Make a post about this giveaway on your blog & provide me a link.
Of course this is not required but will get you another shot at winning (;

Giveaway ends on February 8 14th!
Extended until 2/14/10 (: