Saturday, March 31, 2012

UPDATES: Becoming exceedingly disapppointed in

So today I received a replacement of the missing items from my order in the mail! The package was postmarked 3/26/12 so I know they sent it out well after I filed a dispute on Paypal. It's not all the same pieces as pictured in the set advertised on their website, but it'll do. I'm just relieved that I finally got something.
However, I'm more disappointed that I did not receive a direct reply from them. No apology, no explanation. All my emails to them went unanswered. I'm still disgruntled that I had to open a claim on Paypal to get this far. Had I NOT done so, I don't think that they would have responded to any of my emails nor sent me the items or given me a refund. So I'm still sketchy about their business ethics and still would advise others to be wary when buying from Make sure to check your order to see that you get everything you purchased and if you're suspicious of anything, don't hesitate to file a claim right away!

Friday, March 30, 2012

EOTD: Smokey purple using Maybelline Eyestudio Color Explosion Luminizing Eyeshadow in Amethyst Ablaze

Just a quick purple look I did a few days ago. I really love purples, it's probably my favorite eyeshadow color to play around with :)

This Maybelline shadow is buttery smooth and nicely pigmented without the use of a primer, but I used NYX's Jumbo Eye Pencil in Oyster as a base (another of my favs!). I adore the sparkly silver shadow at the top. It's more like glitter actually -- kinda chunky so don't get it in your eye! I like using it to accent around the inner corners of my eyes. It's really sparkly and bright!

These lashes are NYX Nostalgia & Exclusive layered together.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

UPDATES: Becoming exceedingly disapppointed in

After escalating the dispute to a claim, they apparently informed Paypal that they did indeed send me the missing items. SERIOUSLY?! ONLY when faced with Paypal interrogating them, do they choose to reply. AND IT WAS NOT EVEN DIRECTLY TO ME!!! I sent them 4 emails which received no reply whatsoever, and it took me to open this claim to get any kind of response. They are still claiming that they sent me the items. Needless to say, I am extremely irate at this point.

Thanks Christina for letting me know about your experiences in my last post! If anyone else is having a similar problem with this company, PLEASE file a dispute/claim with Paypal. Anything suspicious should be reported in order to find out if this company is in fact ripping people off!

Becoming exceedingly disappointed in

I’ve ordered from this decoden supplier since 2010 and have always been happy with their products, prices, shipping time, and customer service. However, my past three orders have got me questioning their business ethics.
  • They were advertising $1.99 rhinestones and pearls with a FREE crystal box. When I received my order, there was no crystal boxes, just the rhinestones and pearls in packages. I contacted them and they said they were out of stock; so they gave me a refund, so I was okay with that. But really, why would you still continue advertising that they are going to come with a crystal box?! Take the ad down for goodness sake! And if I had not asked, would you have not given me a refund??
  • The order after that, I ordered 2 sets of decoden. Upon unpacking both sets, I was missing one pink bow piece. I emailed them about it twice, no response. I decided to let it go since it was just one piece.
  • But the last order I made, I was missing AN ENTIRE SET of decoden pieces. NEARLY $10 WORTH OF PRODUCTS. I emailed them immediately upon discovering this. On their website, they say they ensure 100% customer satisfaction and will respond to you within 24 hours. I emailed them at their general contact email, returns/exchanges email, and customer service email. NO REPLIES. It’s been almost a week since I first emailed them. I opened a dispute on Paypal and still received no replies, so I escalated the dispute to a claim and am currently awaiting any response from them (which I am not really anticipating at this point). I just hope I get my money back.
I don’t know if they’re under new management or what; but these occurrences have got me feeling really cheated and disappointed in their business. I don’t know what’s going on with their end because I haven’t received any kind of communication from them… but at this point I’m too turned-off to care.
I have one more order from them that’s currently in transit, so we’ll see how that turns out. It’s unfortunate because they have great prices and cabochons I don’t find anywhere else; so I’ll probably still be inclined to order from them in the future… but after such negative experiences, I definitely won’t be recommending them to anyone anymore.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

My Adventures in Maintaining Red Hair! Featuring L'Oreal HiColor HiLights in Magenta & RAW Color Hairdye in Flamingo Pink/Fuschia Fatale

I've had my hair this red for a little upwards of 2 months now, and it's definitely been a trial and error process in maintenance! In the past, I've had jet black, blue black, bleach blonde/orange, light brown, dark brown, auburn, burgandy, pink, and deep red hair... but vibrant red was something I hadn't ventured into before! My love Serenie at gifted me some L'Oreal HiColor HighLights in Magenta, and her hair looked fabulous, so I wanted to try it out for myself :)

You can buy this dye at Sally's for ~$5-7.
  • For highly-visible, intense red highlights even on dark hair, without brassines
  • Breakthrough technology lifts hair 3-4 levels, no pre-lightening required
  • Rich, no-drip creme makes it easy for control of creative techniques
  • True-to-shade color that resists fading
  • Quick processing time of only thirty minutes
  • Available in three Hi-lift Red shades
NEW HiColor RED HiLights by L'Oreal Excellence is the first highlighting series formulated for dark hair. Rich, no-drip creme makes it easy for control of creative techniques . True-to-shade color that resists fading. L'Oreal Excellence HiColor Red HiLights is available in Magenta, Red, Copper Red and Copper

This was after I dyed my hair!
It was a bit deeper colored with pink undertones irl.

For this dye, you mix the entire tube with a cream developer. I used Jerome Russell 30 Vol Cream Peroxide. The ratio is 1 part hair color (1.2 oz) to 2 part Crème Developer (2.4 oz). Basically add in cream developer and mix until the consistency is like a thick cake batter.

Apply to hair in sections and leave on for 30 minutes to develop! I like this dye because it is specifically for dark hair so you don't need to pre-bleach. However I already had bleached hair that was dyed a deep red that had faded to an auburn shade... so dying over this color made the magenta SUPER bright and vibrant! I've seen youtube vids of people doing it over black/dark hair, and the color is still vibrant, but not as bold imo as doing it over a "lighter-dark" shade of hair. After 30 minutes you wash out the dye until the water runs clear. Wash with cold water!!! This dye did not stain my tub but it did continue to bleed out color for several weeks when washing my hair.

I'm not big on maintaining colored hair... usually I get bored fast so if I had my hair a funky color, I'd just dye back black over it when it started to fade. But I really liked the way this color came out, so I started trying to maintain it better! Some tips I picked up along the way...

Wash your hair with cold water!
This is not something I actually did for more than a few days because I just can't stand cold >_< BUT washing your colored hair with cold water does help keep the color because it closes the cuticle and seals in the color better.

Wash your hair as little as possible.
This is also something I have a hard time doing, because I feel like my hair gets oily really fast. So originally I had been washing my hair every day, and that stripped the color wayyy too fast. So the most I can tolerate without washing my hair is every other day without feeling like a greaseball, and this has kept my color for at least 2-3 weeks without fading too significantly. If you can go longer between washes, I'd recommend that! I would also recommend using dry shampoo between washings. I tried one by Tresemme but it was not very good. But I've heard from many people that dry shampoo works wonders for them at keeping their color longer.

Use products for color-treated hair.
I use Redken Color Extend shampoo and conditioner. I got a set from Trade Secret for I think $23. This shampoo works the best for me and has done the best at preserving the color the longest. I had used Warpaint Beauty color-depositing shampoo from Hot Topic because I thought it would help revive the red, but I think it actually did the opposite and stripped the color faster. So I'm not sure if there are other color-depositing shampoos that work good, but I wouldn't recommend that one.

I would also recommend some kind of serum to keep your hair looking healthy. My hair is pretty fried as is, but I can still fake it! I use HANA Shine Shield, which I reviewed here. It's great for adding shine to hair and making it look smooth and silky :)

Don't overuse the L'Oreal Dye.
I had acquired 3 tubes of the L'Oreal HiColor Highlights, and used 1 for the first time to do my entire head. I used 1 more tube -- half the tube at a time -- to touch up my roots and do an overall coloring when my hair needed reviving. I wouldn't keep using the L'Oreal dye though, because it is for dark hair specifically, the more you use it to re-do the red, the more it is actually lightening your hair in the process because of the cream developer in it. It starts to fade faster and the lightness becomes more apparent as it fades.

Do touchups with demi-permanent dye.
I use RAW Color hair dye from Hot Topic. Mixing equal parts Fuschia Fatale and Flamingo Pink together create practically the exact same Magenta shade as the L'Oreal dye. In fact, it comes out a bit pinker, so I think the combination is nicer :) I leave this dye in for at least an hour before washing it out. BEWARE, THIS DYE WILL STAIN YOUR TUB!!! Be sure to rinse it off really well. I've tinted my tub pink several times already :P

I thought this dye would fade out pretty fast since I haven't had the most luck with hair products from Hot Topic, but it actually lasts relatively long. It claims 3-6 weeks, and I'd give it a good 3 before it starts looking a bit dull. Using this dye between touchups with the L'Oreal dye also worked really well for me because it counteracted the lightening effect of the L'Oreal dye and darkened my hair instead. For info on demi-permanent VS semi-permanent dye, read this article.

This is after using the RAW Color Hair dye in Fuschia Fatale and Flamingo Pink mixed together:

I'm planning to keep this hair until I run out of dye, so maybe for another month or so. Overall, it's a lot of work to maintain red hair, but if you're willing; it's definitely a fun and funky color that will turn heads! :)

Sunday, March 11, 2012

My Etsy Store! Kawaii x Couture - Handmade Custom Deco Phone Cases, Jewelry, & Accessories

Hey everyone! I made a couple posts about my decoden adventures before, but now I've ventured into the world of Etsy with my handmade kawaii creations! Feel free to visit my shop at I make all kinds of phone cases and accessories. I also take custom orders :)

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Review & Swatches: Revlon Photoready Airbrush Foundation in Nude VS Revlon Photoready Liquid Foundation in Nude

Here's a review on Revlon's new Photoready Airbrush Foundation. I got the shade "Nude" so I could compare it to Revlon's original Photoready Foundation (read on for comparison) that I already had, also in Nude.

Price: $11-12 at Target

What they say:
Get an airbrushed finish with Revlon’s light-as-air mousse makeup. Press button gently to deliver a lightweight air-infused foam mousse that blends seamlessly. Photochromatic pigments minimize the appearance of flaws for a smooth, poreless look.

PhotoReady Airbrush™ Mousse Makeup, an air-light makeup provides a flawless finish, whether it’s on camera or in person. The whipped texture allows you to blend evenly for undetectable coverage, leaving you with a smooth poreless complexion. The formula’s photochromatic pigments bend and reflect light to minimize flaws, leaving you with perfectly airbrushed skin in any light – indoors, outdoors, or under the flash of a camera. Oil free, fragrance free. Use alone or over PhotoReady™ Primers.

What to do:
Use alone or over PhotoReady™ Face Primers. To use, shake can well. Hold can upright, and press button gently to dispense a dime-size dollop of foamy air-infused mousse. Apply over face and blend for a smooth poreless complexion. Whipped texture feels weightless and provides medium-to-full buildable coverage. For an airbrushed finish, we recommend using fingertips to apply

In contrast to Maybelline's Dream Nude Airfoam foundation that I just reviewed, this foundation is the exact opposite. VERY LITTLE GOES A LONG WAY! I made the mistake of pumping out a lot, which turned out to be like 3x too much for my whole face. Just about a dime size is all you need. It comes out as a foamy looking glob of product.

The texture quickly melts into a semi-thick liquidy consistency with a slightly sticky/tacky feeling to it... practically just like their original Photoready foundation:

I also have their original Photoready foundation in Nude.
It is distinctly darker/warmer than the Photoready Airbrush in Nude.

Swatches side by side:
Revlon Photoready Airbrush | Revlon Photoready

It has medium buildable coverage that hides minor imperfections and masks redness a lot better than Maybelline's Dream Nude Airfoam. This shade also suits me a lot better than the Dream Nude Airfoam Nude. Similarly to the Nude Airfoam though, it doesn't cover around my nose very well for some reason.

As with their original Photoready Foundation, it photographs rather well and gives a smooth, softened look to skin.

The good stuff:
  • Various shades to choose from
  • Medium-buildable coverage
  • Covers minor imperfections & redness
  • Photographs nicely
  • Gives a smooth/softened appearance to skin
The low-down:
  • Requires careful blending to look ideal
  • Slightly sticky/tacky feeling
  • Finish wears off after 4+ hours
  • Doesn't hold up against oily skin
  • So similar to the original Photoready Foundation
My take: Overall, I like this foundation, but I wasn't as happy with it as I was with Maybelline's Dream Nude Airfoam. Mainly this foundation did not impress me because it's basically just an aerated version of their original Photoready Foundation, which I already have. The product comes out looking fluffy and mousse-y, but quickly melts into a semi-thick, liquidy, slightly sticky/tacky consistency, just like the liquid foundation. Thus it requires a little more blending to make it appear smooth and not cakey on skin. It's also sort of hard to control how much comes out of the pump, and you only need a REALLY LITTLE BIT, so I usually end up with too much for my whole face; wasting product.

I like that the coverage is heavier than Maybelline's Dream Nude Airfoam, but I much prefer Dream Nude Airfoam's lightweight texture. I honestly don't think the Photoready Foundations look especially spectacular in-person, but they do seem to photograph nicely; as promised by their name. It gives a nice, smooth, softened glowy appearance to skin.

Similarly to Dream Nude Airfoam though, this foundation also does not hold up to oily skin. By the middle of the day, my T-zone was visibly shiny as well and the dewy smooth finish wears off.

Would I repurchase/recommend?
I wouldn't repurchase this foundation as a little goes such a long way, and I still have their original Photoready foundation and they both feel/look the same to me. I would recommend this to anyone who is interested in Revlon's Photoready line and HASN'T tried their original foundation yet... it's worth a shot. I wouldn't recommend this to anyone with oily skin or anyone who already owns the Photoready liquid foundation.

The Rundown:

Packaging: 5/5
Pump dispenser.

A good foundation, I wouldn't really call it an innovation. It's basically an aerated version of their original Photoready Foundation.

Price: 4/5


click here to read about my Review & Rating System ]

Review & Swatches: Maybelline Dream Nude Airfoam Foundation in Nude

After seeing the commercials for Revlon Photoready Airbrush and this foundation, I decided to try both! First up is a review on the Maybelline Dream Nude Airfoam:

I got the shade "Nude"

Price: $8.99 from Target

What they say:

Why You'll Love It

• Lightweight foam foundation
• Releases refined pigments pre-dispersed in air for effortless application and 100% nude perfection.
• SPF 16
• Ideal for normal skin
• Doesn’t clog pores
• Dermatologist, allergy tested

For Best Results

  • Before first application, practice using the dispenser by shaking the can and applying a small amount of product to a tissue.
  • Shake can well before use and remove cap. Hold can upright and press lightly to dispense a walnut sized amount of product onto back of hand.
  • Take small dabs of product from hand.
  • Apply to face one section at a time, blending with short circular motions.

One full pump actually gives a HUGE glob of product, which shocked me... it covered my entire hand 0_0 but it turned out that even though it looks like A LOT of product, it's really foamy, so it ends up being enough for your entire face.

This is just a tiny pump:

It comes out really full and foamy and airy, but it melts into a liquidy consistency that is easily blendable.

The shade "Nude" turned out to be a tad orange for me, which is really obvious on my inner wrists, which are a lot paler than my face lol:

On my face, it was easy to smooth and blend onto my skin. I used ELF's makeup wedges (my fav). It doesn't look streaky or cakey at all. However, the coverage is pretty sheer. It's buildable, but since the shade was already orangey for me, I didn't try building it up any more.

(Please excuse fresh-out-of-shower / no eye makeup pix LOL)

For some reason though, it wouldn't cover evenly only around my nose.

The good stuff:
  • 12 shades to choose from
  • Foamy lightweight texture
  • Smooth and blendable
  • Natural coverage
  • Slightly dewy finish
  • Smooths out appearance of skin
  • Has SPF
The low-down:
  • The shade "Nude" was too orange for me
  • Coverage is too sheer to hide imperfections/redness
  • Finish wears off after 4+ hours
  • Doesn't hold up against oily skin
My take: I was actually pretty impressed with this foundation. I like the lightweight texture and how it feels. It spreads and blends easily without feeling sticky or looking cakey. The only downsides are that the coverage is sheer, so this is more for people with an even complexion that just want a natural-looking foundation to even out skin tone. My skin has been really bad with breakouts lately, so this foundation does next to nothing to cover up acne/redness; but it does give a nice slightly dewy smooth look to skin. It also doesn't hold up against oilyness. By the middle of the day, my T-zone was visibly shiny. I think when my skin starts settling down, I'll be reaching for this foundation more often.

Would I repurchase/recommend?
I would definitely repurchase this foundation in a different shade since I don't feel like this one matches me 100%. I would recommend this to someone who wants a lightweight foundation with natural coverage. I wouldn't recommend this for anyone who wants a foundation with medium-heavy coverage or who has oily skin.

The Rundown:

Packaging: 5/5
Pump dispenses a lot, but it's actually enough for your whole face.

I really like the texture and concept, although the coverage is relatively sheer and doesn't hold up to oily skin.

Price: 4/5


click here to read about my Review & Rating System ]

NOTD/Swatches: NYX Carnival & Milani Gems - Deborah Lippmann Happy Birthday Dupes

I don't have Deborah Lippmann's Happy Birthday myself to compare, but here's some swatches of Milani Gems and NYX Carnival! They look almost identical to me, although it seems like Milani Gems has more small blue and silver glitters. Also it dries to a glossier finish while NYX Carnival is slightly duller.

Overall, I love both of these polishes!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Review & Swatches: Maybelline Dream Bouncy Blush in Rose Petal

This is another one of those products that I'd been hearing so much about, so I just had to try it out for myself! Unfortunately I was rather disappointed in my purchase, read on for why...

Maybelline Dream Bouncy Blush in Rose Petal

Sorry, this picture is after I mushed it around a bit :x

Price: $6.99 from Target

From Maybelline's website:

Why You'll Love It

Freshest flush ever:
• Revolutionary gel formula provides a new bouncy texture.
• Lightweight like a powder, yet melts seamlessly into skin like a cream
• Natural sheer wash of color that is buildable for greater color intensity
• Dermatologist tested, Allergy tested
• Non comedogenic

For Best Results

With your fingertips, blend a small amount of blush onto the apples of your cheeks, applying from your cheekbones to your temples. To build color intensity, apply more blush.

Ingredients: Talc, Dimethicone, Hydrogenated C6-14 Olefin Polymers, Diisostearyl Malate, Paraffinum Liquidum / Mineral Oil / Huile Minerale, Silica, Dimethicone/Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Hexyl Laurate, Ethylene/Propylene/Styrene Copolymer, Butylene/Ethylene/Styrene Copolymer, Synthetic Fluorphlogopite, Phenoxyethanol,Triethoxycaprylylsilane, Alumina, Tin Oxide. May Contain: Mica, CI 77891 / Titanium Dioxide, CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499 / Iron Oxides, CI 77007 / Ultramarines, CI 15850 / Red 7, CI 19140 / Yellow 5 Lake, CI 15850 / Red 6, CI 45410 / Red 28 Lake, CI 77120 / Barium Sulfate, CI 73360 / Red 30, CI 15850 / Red 7 Lake, CI 15985 / Yellow 6 Lake]

The good stuff:

  • Interesting texture
  • Easy to smooth on and blend

The low-down:

  • This shade in particular is REALLY lacking in pigmentation
  • Lasting power is less than spectacular
  • Very tiny! Too pricey imo for the size

My take: The main reason I was disappointed in this blush is because this shade, Rose Petal, barely shows up on me at all! I was expecting it to be a nice flush of, well... ROSE PETAL color!!! Unfortunately, it's an extremely soft shade of pink that melds into my skintone, appearing as a VERY VERY light pink. On cheeks, it gives the SUBTLEST glow... but just barely. Even after piling on the color, it remains quite lackluster in appearance.

On the upside, I really like the idea behind this blush. The texture is a bit like "clay" -- soft, squishy, kinda springy to the touch. It's easy to smooth on and blend into cheeks using fingers, but I found I got a tad more color out of it using a stippling brush. It's actually more fun to mush around that to actually use... LOL :P Once applied, I wouldn't say it sticks around on me for longer than 2 hours. In this sense, I think it would work better as a base for powder blush.

Would I repurchase/recommend?: I would definitely not repurchase this shade or recommend it to anyone with a similar skin tone. I really would like to try some of the other shades though. The deeper, more vibrant shades seem a lot more promising than this one!

The Rundown:

Packaging: 4/5
A standard compact. Really small though!

It feels really interesting, definitely a novel concept. However this shade in particular really lacked in pigmentation and lasting power.

A bit pricey for the small size!


[ click here to read about my Review & Rating System ]