Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Purchase Review: bareMinerals Bareskin Pure Brightening Serum Foundation

How many people have tried and used bareMinerals Original foundation before? I was using and loving it up until about 8 years or so ago. I loved the powder formulation that was light on the skin and yet provided good coverage. I really felt like my skin could breathe and I liked the fact that it didn't feel like I had makeup on. The only real problem that I had with it was finding the right color for me. I ended up having to mix two different colors, which is pretty normal for me anyway. Then the inevitable happened, age and along with it, slightly drier skin which brought out some fine lines. I found that applying powder would make my skin appear drier than it was and being that the original foundation is a mineral powder, I couldn't make it work for me any more.

Fast forward to 2014...bareMinerals has come out with a new foundation! A liquid foundation which is said to be a tone-correcting mineral foundation AND a brightening serum all packaged into one formulation. I knew that it was something that I needed to try.

At first I was going to just get a sample to try at home because I had read mixed reviews on it but I ended up just purchasing it instead. When I got color matched by the SA in Sephora, I was a bit apprehensive at first because I initially thought that the fomulation felt very oily but then I realized that it wasn't oily but had a soft, silky feel to it. After application, it doesn't dry to a powdery finish and I felt that it's actually quite hydrating. I was also very impressed by the fact that the color match is just about perfect!

bareMinerals has a foundation brush that is to be used with this foundation but the SA at Sephora didn't use it to apply the foundation and he told me that any brush that will buff well will work. I have the Urban Decay foundation brush and he said that it would work very well.

Here I am bare faced. Not even my skin care has been applied yet.

Foundation applied to half of my face.

Finished FOTD. Thanks to the flash and SPF, I look quite a bit white.

For me, when I first finish my makeup, my face always looks a little whiter until after an hour or so. When it does settle in, the color match is just about perfect.  I have found that this foundation doesn't provide good full coverage so I need to conceal all of my larger dark spots as well as provide a little better coverage under my eyes. For this FOTD, I used Tarte Maracuja Creaseless Concealer.

I will also use a foundation under my eyes instead of concealer and two that I've found work very well in providing good coverage are Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation in #5 (thanks to a blogger who gave it to me) and DHC Q10 Base Makeup in Natural Ocher 02.

I always apply a shade slightly lighter than my foundation because I want under my eyes to be brighter.

I took this picture the day before these pictures here but this is after 8 hours of wear.

I had read some reviews say that it wasn't long lasting but it wears very well for me. I am totally loving this foundations. It's light enough to wear during the summer, and this summer has been rather hot and humid compared to the last couple of years. It covers well enough although I still do conceal, but then again, I always have to conceal the darker spots. I haven't had a foundation that I have liked this much in a long time. It's especially appealing because the color match is so good. 

The Sephora SA that helped me was really good. I have usually come across SA/MUAs that automatically reach for the yellow undertones because I am Asian. I used to be more pink toned but have recently discovered that my undertones have changed to be neutral. This SA totally understood that and I was matched with the color that I thought would match me. It's 08 Bare Beige, which is under the neutral tone category.

Has anyone else tried this foundation and what are your thoughts on it?


Sunday, July 20, 2014

Brush Reform

I was using an inexpensive brush just to apply eyelid primer. I loved it so much that it became like this:

Since it was originally long haired, I got the brilliant idea of cutting it down to even out the hair. Using my ultra sharp craft scissors, I cut it.

I also shaped it the best I could to have slightly rounded ends. Tada!

I was really happy with the end result. However...

I didn't like the way it applied the eye shadow primer. I discovered that I like how the long-hair brushes are more flexible which makes it easier for me to apply the primer lightly. I then thought that I would use it to apply eye shadows as it is around the same size and shape of my beloved MAC eye shadow brush. It was then that I noticed the the ends of the brush are pokey. I guess in the process of making brushes, the ends are somehow cut so that it doesn't poke.

I ended up purchasing a new, inexpensive brush to apply eye shadow primer.

This was an interesting lesson learned--something that I wouldn't have done unless I was planning on dumping the brush anyway.


Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Purchase Review: Tarte Best in Faux Lash Extending Fibers

Slowly by slowly, my life's schedule is getting back to normal. Probably one of the good things about having worked so much, I was too tired to go out and about. Thus, my wallet was very happy as I didn't think about buying things much. Now, I'm starting to look at things and have been making purchases.

From my recent Sephora haul, I picked up Tarte Best in Faux Lash Extending Fibers. 

It just sounded so intriguing to me. I thought that it might be similar to something that I used years and years ago from a brand called Stagelight Cosmetics. I just checked online and apparently they are still around but no where near the huge line of products that I remember seeing. I will check into it more.

This is according to Sephora's website:

What it is:
An easy-to-apply, faux lash system with sculpting fibers that enhance lash length and volume to create the appearance of false eyelashes. 

What it does:
Get the wide-eyed look of false eyelashes at home without the traditional faux lashes. The lightweight, black sculpting fibers seamlessly build onto your own lashes to achieve a naturally voluminous eye look in three simple steps: First, prep lashes with the included Lights, Camera, Lashes™ 4-in-1 Mascara. Next, extend lashes with fibers, using a gentle patting motion, and apply fibers onto top of lashes, starting at the middle and working outwards toward the tip. Finally, set them in place with mascara, applying a final coat to lock in the fibers—leaving lashes with dramatic volume. 

Using it the first time, I decided to go ahead and try using this with my current favorite mascara instead of the mascara that came in the set. My eyelashes are typical asian eyelashes which are straight, difficult to curl and will uncurl very easily. During this first time application, I made several mistakes, which I will explain along the way

My eyelashes are they normally are, without any mascara.

I then curled my eyelashes a bit, added mascara, added the fibers and mascara again, like the instructions. Then I added another coat of fibers and mascara. This was not a good idea as it got pretty clumped up, despite the fact that I was using Clump Crusher mascara.

I used a clean spoolie brush and a comb to unclump them the best that I could . The above picture looks good compared to what it initially looked like.

I did use it again another day and used the included mascara and did the process only once. As I thought, my eyelashes uncurled a bit not completely.

My thoughts on this:

The concept is good and isn't new. As I mentioned earlier, I used a product that Stagelight Cosmetics used to have. What actually surprised me was that unlike Stagelight Cosmetics, Tarte's fibers are black.

Stagelight Cosmetics was an almost clear white color. As you can see in the picture above, the fibers are very hairy looking and it's dry or perhaps almost dry, which is why you need to use mascara first. With Stagelight, I applied the fibers first as it was in something like a very light gel.

Because this is very hairy, even applying it from mid lash to tip, you may still feel the fibers. There are some people who can't use any mascara with fibers in it. If so, I would definitely stay away from this. These fibers were a bit irritating to my eyes.

One other thing that I didn't like was that the fibers didn't stay put. You know how we all get eyeshadow fallout while apply it? Well, it also happened with this product. It was really obvious until I took some closeup pictures for blogging. I even noticed it in the sink! (I apply makeup over the sink in the bathroom.)

Overall, this was a disappointment for me. I will definitely not be repurchasing or even using it again. A bit of a waste of money but it can't be helped. It happens sometimes.


Sunday, July 6, 2014

Using My Stash, June 2014

I used up a few items last month. I'm also proud to say that I haven't really purchased anything except some essential skin care items so I feel like I'm doing pretty good using my stash up.

First up is Benefit's Hello Flawless Oxygen WOW foundation. This was a nice foundation and though it didn't really "WOW" me, it was good enough that I was reaching for it to use just about every day.

NeriumAD Age-Defying Treatment. Definitely will not be purchasing this again. My review is here.

Unknown brand eye mask. This was nice to use after a long day of work. I actually had it on almost all night long as I fell asleep with it.

Dermactin-TSD Age Spot Gel Patches. This was a spur-of-the-moment purchase that I made at Sally's Beauty Supply a while ago. According to the box, it's made in Korea. I was right to be very skeptical because this did absolutely nothing. 

Rimmel Fix & Perfect Pro Primer 002. For a drugstore brand primer, this is very good and I will definitely repurchase it again. This is actually the 2nd tube that I have used up.

Covergirl Lashblast Clump Crusher mascara. This is my favorite mascara. I think that this is also the 2nd tube that I've used. It's great for a drugstore brand and helps to curl my lashes without using a lash curler and actually holds the curl in place. I already have back ups of it.


Thursday, July 3, 2014

Gift Review: Shiseido Pureness Refreshing Cleansing Sheets

Shiseido Pureness Refreshing Cleansing Sheets are oil free and alcohol free.

I was given these wipes as a Christmas gift and have finally gotten around to trying them out. I use it after using some cleansing oil to help lift my makeup, especially the heavier eye makeup. First let's see the ingredients.

As the description says, the cleansing sheets are oil free. It removes my makeup well and leaves my face feeling almost squeaky clean. I also normally wash my face after using makeup remover sheets although with these, like with Neutrogena, you can even skip rinsing off.

While I like these sheets, I still prefer Neutrogena. The Shiseido sheets remind me of the "Yes To" line of cleansing sheets as far as the feel of the sheets.  Neutrogena works really well for me and are quite reasonably priced. I also like the feel of the sheets over Shiseido and Yes To.

What makeup remover sheet do you like to use?


Sunday, June 15, 2014

Purchase Review: Wet 'N Wild Color Icon Floral Values Bouquet Floral Eyeshadow Palette, EOTD and Angfa Review Follow Up

A long while back, sometime at the beginning of this year, I chanced upon a new Wet 'N Wild Color Icon eyeshadow palette. This new line of palettes now come in a 5-pan palette and will be part of their regular line. I purchased the Floral Values Bouquet Floral palette.

Lilac, pink and purples are colors that I like and this palette is so pretty.

I finally pulled this palette out to use and here's my EOTD.

Products used:

Urban Decay Orginal Eyeshadow Primer Potion
Wet 'N Wild Color Icon Floral Values Bouquet Floral Eyeshadow Palette
K-Palette Real Lasting Eyeliner 24h WP
Sephora Crayon 12 hr Waterproof Jumbo Liner in 14 Violet

The medium purple color is applied to the eyelid, pink to middle of eyelid and dark purple to outer corners of eyelid. Lined upper eyelid with K-Palette eyeliner. Lined the lower outer corner of eyelid with Sephora Crayon Jumbo Liner and used a brush to blend it inward toward middle of eyelid. Lightly applied the dark purple eyeshadow over the jumbo liner.

It is disappointing but I found this palette difficult to work with. The eyeshadows were quite hard, not well pigmented and difficult to blend the colors easily. Wet 'N Wild eyeshadows have been a favorite drugstore eyeshadow line for me because it is nicely pigmented and of a softer consistency. Recently I had been reading more comments from other bloggers that the Wet 'N Wild eyeshadows that they have been using recently are on the hard side and not nicely pigmented. The only good side to this is that these eyeshadows are inexpensive so one doesn't feel badly about having purchased a product that isn't going to be used.

A couple of posts ago, I did a review on Angfa Scalp-D Beaute Pure Free Eyelash Conditioner/Serum here. Unfortunately, I hadn't taken any pictures immediately prior to starting using the product, which I started using about 2 1/2 weeks ago.  I went back through some of my older pictures and found one from September 2013. I decided to use it for the comparison picture with the picture that I took this morning. In neither picture, am I using any mascara.

The top picture is the one from 2013 and the lower one is from this morning. What do you think? Do you notice a difference? I think that while my lashes do not look longer, it does look thicker.

EDIT NOTE: I forgot to add that the recommended usage is twice a day, morning and night. I've been using it only once a day at night before going to bed. 

It's a new week. Have a good week everyone!


Thursday, June 12, 2014

Creative Idea: Drying Makeup Brushes

I try to deep cleanse my brushes once a week, although I haven't been very successful doing that these past couple of months. I love using brushes that have been freshly cleaned although it can be somewhat of a trial to go ahead and actually wash them. Laying them out to dry is something that I sometimes find to be a challenge.

How many of you dry your brushes laid on out a towel? It's been my main way of drying them--a towel spread out across the top of the dresser.

Usually I have the long side that is deeper into the dresser top rolled a bit so that the brush can lie at a slight angle with the end of the handle on the roll. I tend to use quite a bit of brushes so my washed brushes can spread the length of the towel, which actually takes up quite a bit of space.

I have recently started to slow down a bit at work, leaving me with some free time and so I wanted to wash my brushes. I laid out the towel and started gathering everything to begin washing. When I turned around, lo and behold, there was my cat lying on the laid out towel and she wasn't planning on budging. In the next several days, she made that her spot so I decided that I needed to find another area with enough space to lay out the brushes or think up something else.

While mulling things around in my head, one thing that I thought would be ideal is if the brushes had air flow, not just from the top of the brushes but from the bottom too. In my mind, it would seem that they would dry a bit more quickly. If I could, it would be great to be able to hang them so that they are vertical with the brush heads facing down but I couldn't figure out an ideal way to do that. While I was in Don Quijote in the $1.99 section (which would probably be 100 yen section in Japan or available in Daiso or other 100 yen stores in Japan), I came upon these stacking plastic racks.

It looks like you could buy separately, the little poles that would make it stack higher up but there were no poles for sale. I did find that just stacking them on top of each other gave enough space for the purpose that I wanted. I like that there is aeration on the bottom. It is also wide enough for even my longest brushes and yet compact in size that it takes up less space than the laid out towel.

I use two lightweight cotton towels on each rack, one to cover the bottom to soak up any excess water and the other one is used rolled up in the center to provide the angling of the brushes that I like to have when they are drying.

So far, I have had to use only two stacked trays and the spacing was perfect.

I'm happy with this new method of drying my brushes. So is the darned cat! What do you think of this?


Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Gift Review: Angfa Scalp-D Beaute Pure Free Eyelash Conditioner (Mini)

As I mentioned in my previous post, while departing from Hawaiian May 2014, I was given a mini of Angfa Scalp-D Beaute Pure Free Eyelash Conditioner.

Made in Japan, it is an eyelash beauty serum that is applied to the lash line where the root of the eyelashes are. The application of it is similar to other products that I have tried. The good points to this eyelash conditioner is that it is silicone free, oil free, alcohol free, antiseptic free, artificial color free and synthetic perfume free. It also has a new ingredient called "Widelash" which is supposed to strengthen eyelashes and make them last. It is good for damaged eyelashes because it helps to provide nutrients and moisture retention. It is also delicate enough to use on sensitive eyes and those people who have eyelash extensions.

It has a doe foot applicator, which is similar to lip gloss applicators so I originally thought that it might be a clear lipgloss until I looked it up.

The soft doe foot is supposed be gentle on your eyes and lashes so that you can apply it without damaging your eyes.

To use, apply it twice a day after washing your face. Apply it generously to the roots of  your eyelashes. You can apply eyeliner and mascara after the serum has dried. For best results, use it daily.

I've been using it for just about 2 weeks now. Unfortunately, I didn't take any before pictures and I think it's too soon to be able to see any significant difference. I do feel that it is helping a bit as I do notice my lower lashes, whereas I didn't before. It could also be because I am more consciously looking at my lashes though. I will continue to use this product and do another review in a month.


Sunday, June 8, 2014

Hawaiian May 2014

Towards the end of the 3 months of working long hours, I took off early one Friday, thanks to my workers who knew I needed a break. I was fortunate to have received an invitation to the Hawaiian May 2014 event. In its 2nd year, Hawaiian May is a fashion event that showcases the latest in Hawaiian resort wear. This is an invitation only event.

The fun thing is that it features local models as well as famous models from Japan as well as special Japanese guest models. This year many of the special guest models were from the J-Pop girls' group, E-girls. They also had some surprise guests show up on stage. It was a fun event that kept you guessing as to what would happen next.

The featured design lines were:

Angels by the Sea Hawaii, Aloha Aina Boutique, Fighting Eel, MUSE by RIMO, Muumuu Heaven, Pualani Honolulu, San Lorenzo Bikinis, 88 Tees, Matt Bruening, Issa de' mar, Unibazar, as well as a few other local brands. Most of these I haven't heard of before. There were a couple of Japanese brands as well, Double Standard Clothing and Samantha Thavasa. I've heard of Samantha Thavasa, but mainly because one blogger has blogged about picking up some items.

Some of the more well-known Japanese models that participated were, Yuri Ebihara, Moe Oshikiri, Natsuki Kato and Angelica Michibata.

Eiji Wentz was a surprise special guest model for Samantha Thavasa. I know him from J-Pop music and dramas although I haven't seen him doing anything recently. He looked quite cute trying to model showcasing a bag.

When you first walk in, everyone was given a cute tote bag imprinted with Hawaiian May 2014 on one side and 88 Tees on the other. Inside the bag was a lot of promotional material and some bags included secret items. If your bag had a secret item, then you won a surprise gift! None of this was known until it was announced mid way through the show. Of course, we didn't win anything.

The real highlight for me was the short, live performance by popular J-Pop group, E-girls. They sang only 3 songs, but it's probably the songs that they are currently most known for.

As we were leaving, the women were given a mini of Angfa Scalp-D Eyelash Serum. I wasn't sure what it was at first because the little tube doesn't really say much. It has a doe foot applicator so at first I thought it might be a clear lipgloss although it smelt a bit funky. It's a good thing that I did some research before using it. (I was going to do a quick review of it here but since this post has gotten a bit lengthy, I'll do it in a separate post.)

It was a fun afternoon/evening and a much welcome and needed break from work.


Friday, June 6, 2014

1st Impression of Milani Eye Tech Extreme Liquid Eyeliner & Comparison With K-Palette

As I was out yesterday running some errands for work, I happened upon a Milani display of their different liquid eyeliner pens. I picked up the Eye Tech Extreme Liquid Eyeliner.

There was a LE mini fine eyeliner. I'm still not quite sure why it was called "mini" as the pen itself was the same size as the others. I decided to skip it because the only color they had was black while this one that I got was in Blackest Black. What appealed to me was the fact that according to the packaging, it looked very much like my long-time HG favorite, K-Palette Real Lasting Eyeliner 24h. It also says that it's waterproof and non-feathering.

I decided to try it out today. Let's first take a look at both eyeliner pens:

Side by side, K-Palette's tips is shorter than Milani. Otherwise, it looks quite similar. When applying the eyeliner, K-Palette's brush tip is much softer while Milani's is a little stiffer. I think that for someone who hasn't used a pen-type eyeliner before, Milani's stiffer tip will apply easier than K-Palette. 

Applied, both look the same on as far as thickness of the line and intensity of the color.

I can't tell the difference between the two.

After I got home, I decided to apply it to my arm and do a smudge test. This is after I rubbed it with my dry fingers.

Nothing smudged.

I then ran my arm under cool water.

Although you can't see it, the K-Palette side did run very slightly.

The next test I ran it through was rubbing my wet arm. I was surprised by the result.

K-Palette held up better than Milani!

As a last test, I rubbed my finger at my inner eyelids, where my tear ducts are. I happen to touch this area of my eyes during the day and the result isn't very pretty. Again, with this test, I was surprised by the result. I was expecting the Milani side to smudge much more badly than the K-Palette side does to me on a daily basis when I do happen to touch my eyes since it faded with the water test.

As you can see, the K_Palette side smudged while the Milani side stayed intact.

So, with this one day test, I've discovered that there are some great things about Milani's eyeliner. On my eyes, it seems to not smudge, while K-Palette does. It applies just as nicely as K-Palette. The biggest plus is that it's something that I can buy in the store here while the K-Palette I have to order online or ask someone from Japan to CP it for me. The Milani eyeliner was only $6.99 while the K-Palette is at least double that price. Surprisingly, while Milani didn't smudge on my eyelids, it didn't seem to be as waterproof as it says it is. The one thing that I'm not really pleased about is the cap. It doesn't snap/click on tightly like K-Palette does. I can see where the cap may come off if you are transporting it in a makeup bag that you carry in your purse.

Thank you for reading!