Thursday, December 26, 2013

DIY Tinted Lipbalm / Sheer Lipstick

 
Got just a bit of your favorite lip color left over in the bottom of the tube to use up?
Found a gorgeous color but wish it came in a more sheer version for daytime use?
Or maybe you just like to DIY things... read on to see how I make tinted lip balms / sheer lipsticks!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Topbox December 2013 Unboxing

 
I skipped an unboxing post in Nov because I got the Bioderma box (no surprises in that box, though I have been diligently using the products so will have a full review up soon!). Finally, a surprise is back for Dec! Click the jump for more :)
 

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

The Good and the Bad... NeoStrata and Live Clean (fresh face)

Wow I've neglected this blog for a very long time... ! Work and family life have really been all I've been doing, with some watching of Breaking Bad here and there... but somehow this evening I remembered again that I have this space that I love which I can share my opinion on and hopefully may help whoever is reading with their next beauty-buy or product choice, so I'm back! And hopefully to write more frequently again, but not making any promises...

Today I'm going to share two drugstore products that I've been using off and on for the last while, one which I love and has made it into my pro kit as a staple, and the other is off my list as a face product and I will not even finish using it.  Read on for why...

First, the good product I like!
This is NeoStrata's Oil Free Matifying Fluid
CDN $20-30 (try to wait for a sale at Shopper's!)

Surprisingly, my hubby actually introduced me to this! I know eh...  This is what it says, a  matifying fluid, but man is it good at it! It's a white cream product that goes on into a dry-powderly consistency and not only matifies, but also minimizes pores. I use this over my primer on my T-zone and then apply my foundation or BB cream. It keeps me shine-free for about 6-8 hours without needing to blot or powder. Pretty darn good! This is now in my pro kit and I happily recommend it to anyone who asks ^_^









Next, Live Clean fresh face daily moisturizer
CDN $10-18

This advertises all sorts of interesting "natural" ingredients, all of which doesn't matter much in the end because this moisturizer contains a couple of alcohol-derivatives which is drying. It didn't bother me much in the summer (though didn't moisturize much) but now that it's winter, I notice how bad this is for my skin. It actually STINGS...ugh. My skin is sensitive, but this is only the second product in my life so far that actually stings. Big no-no.

In the sense of not wasting product, I actually switched to using this as a body lotion/hand cream. It doesn't sting when used that way but also doesn't moisturize well... sigh, despite not wanting to waste, I think this might be headed for the trash.




So that's it for my first post "back" from my hiatus. Hope it was helpful and let me know if you have tried these and what your experience was!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Beauty Gift Ideas for Men

It's that time of the year! It's the season to get together with family and enjoy good but also busy times. One of my favorite parts of the holidays is giving gifts (and receiving them too...what can I say, my love language is gifts). The wrapping and preparation part is just as fun as giving the gift! I've been doing a fair bit of early shopping this year to avoid the December craziness, and just thought I'd share a couple beauty gift ideas I found for the special man in my life so far.  He loves them so far so hope you find them helpful to plan your gift-giving this year! .


The Art of Shaving - The 4 Elements of the Perfect Shave ($72 CDN at Sephora)

The Art of Shaving - The 4 Elements of the Perfect Shave™ Carry-On - Sandalwood
Photo from Sephora.ca
It's a fancy dancy travel shaving set, complete with a 100% badger hair shaving brush in a nice neat little travel pouch. It contains pre-shave oil, shaving cream, and after shave balm.  It is a bit pricey but a nice treat if that dude's special enough in your books. My hubby takes this to travel, and unfortunately has used up all the shaving cream before the others :(



B. Kamins Sun Defense SPF 30 (previously Sunbar SPF 30) ($41 CDN from SpaBoutique.ca)

Photo from www.skinstore.com
 A sunscreen in winter?? Yes, we need sunscreen all year around as those UV rays don't go away just because the temperature cools down! Sun exposure is one of the biggest contriburs to premature aging/wrinkles, and my hubby is starting to care more about this as he found a couple of white hairs recently.

What would a man want that's different from a woman? Women generally tend towards products that increase luminosity of the skin, whereas men tend to avoid anything that might make them look even the tad bit shiny (I am generalizing here, so forgive me if you are a man that likes luminous looks, to each their own!). Professional makeup artists tend towards decreasing shine on men's faces/heads in their work as well as usually shine = "oily", unless these a specific editorial reason to add shine of course! 

Ok so after all that pre-amble, why this product? Because it's one of the most MATTE sunscreens I've ever used! My husband loves it for this reason, it has none of that oily/sticky sunscreen feeling. We have two bottles going in the house right now.  A highly recommended product overall, and best of all you can use it too! (Which is why I chose a gender-neutral brand rather than a suncreen product that's targeted "for men").


Let me know what you got your man this season!


Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Topbox October 2013 Unboxing

 
The October Topbox came early! (I think they announced few months ago that this would be the case for Oct, but still, nice surprise!).  What's even more awesome, is the contents of this month's box, my favorite so far for size and value and variety! Click the jump to see what I got...!!
 

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Topbox: September 2013 - First Impressions

 


Last month I had opted for the Velour Lash option, so missed out on the fun and surprise of opening a regular Topbox...which made this month's regular box extra fun to open! Topbox is a monthly beauty subscription service which I've come to look forward to now as it's quite a bit of fun and deviation from my everyday routine :)  Please note this is just a first-impressions post so I have not fully tried these products and thus do not refer to this post as a "review"! Click the jump below to see what I got this month! Please share with me what you got in yours if you're also a subscriber!


Saturday, August 31, 2013

How To: Press Loose Mineral Eyeshadows

 
 


After my previous experimentation with using glycerin vs jojoba oil to press my mineral blushes, I have finally gone ahead and pressed all of my mineral eyeshadows! This is a more detailed tutorial with more photos than my previous post. Hope you find it helpful ^_^

Supplies:
- jojoba oil
- isopropyl alcohol (rubbing alcohol)
- loose mineral eyeshadows
- small mixing container
- empty pans to press your eyeshadow into (I bought mine from eBay)
- something to press with (should fit into your empty pan, coins work great)
- something to stir with (toothpick or small cosmetic spatula works great)


1) Remove the sifter from your mineral eyeshadow container if it has one (will make getting the powder out much easier!)

 
 
2) Empty your loose minerals into the mixing container (or just use the existing container) and start adding jojoba oil DROP BY DROP until minerals start to clump together (careful not to add too much or will take forever to dry!). Then add alcohol, again drop by drop, until you achieve a wet-sand-like consistency.  The amount of jojobal oil/alcohol really depends on how much minerals you have, so just be careful and you should be fine!

 
2) Transfer the mixture into the empty pan


 
3) Lay a clean piece of cloth/fabric over the pan and press the coin onto it (press HARD!!). You will see that the fabric will have absorbed some of the excess liquid from your mixture.

 
4) Let dry (can speed up with light blowing from hairdryer, or just leave it out on window-sill), and place into your palette. Done!




Here are all the shadows I pressed.
 
 
 
Here are the swatches of the eyeshadows. The pigmentation from the bronze shimmer shade turned out very nice (same as before I pressed it). Unfortunately some of the darker shades did not become very pigmented (swatches are one finger swipe). They are buildable though so I don't feel I'll have trouble using them as crease shaders. If you want to use the darker shades as eye liner, you can also add a drop of water to the surface to the shadow, and make a nice paste to use as a "gel"eyeliner with a brush.
 

 

 
 
That's it for the tutorial on pressing loose mineral eyeshadows. Pretty simple right?! I'm super happy I did this as now I have a nice palette to open and use. Not to mention, I will actually use these shadows now (they previously just sat in my makeup drawer after I got too lazy to be opening those darn containers).
 
Let me know if you try this and how it goes!!
 
 

Friday, August 23, 2013

Giorgio Armani Concealer and Master Corrector Review



I had one of those Fridays where I felt the week was long and a self-treat was in order... so I ended up at the Giorgio Armani counter and decided to finally try the infamous Master Corrector and High Precision Retouch concealer.  Click the jump to see what I thought!

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Weird Beauty Find: Silk Cocoon Balls


I was travelling out west and found this weird little item at Daiso in Richmond, BC (it's a Japanese dollar store, where the items are from Japan and are mostly $2 each with some exceptions).  I was wandering in the beauty section, saw this bizarre package of white little balls, and went "HUH"????  These are supposed to be actual cocoons of silk worms, and are supposed to help you wash your face?!?!?! So the adventurous side of me thought, well it can't hurt... Click the jump to see how they worked out!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Topbox July 2013 Review

 
 
I finally got off the Topbox waiting list and here it is, my first Topbox! I used to think I wouldn't like the surprise element...but I gotta admit, there was a nice pleasant feeling getting the box in the mail and not knowing what was inside...opening the tube and wrapper...it felt like getting a present :)  Anyhow, if you don't know what Topbox is yet, it's one of many subscription box companies. It's a Toronto company as well, so brownie points there! The idea is that you pay for a monthly subscription, and each month you get a box of beauty samples. Some of the samples are deluxe sized which can actually last awhile, and here and there full size products pop up as well. In the end, the added value of what you get is well over the monthly price. My sense is that these boxes are best for people who like to try new things.  You may find something you like or that new HG product, or you may find out what you do NOT like, which is equally as valuable I think! (so that you don't then go wasting money buying something you won't like, cuz you've already tried the sample!) Topbox costs $12+tax/month.  Click the jump to see what I got inside!!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Real Techniques Expert Face Brush and Powder Brush Review



I've actually had these brushes for awhile, but I resisted writing a review too quickly as I wanted to see how they held up with time.  If you haven't heard of Real Techniques yet, it's a line of brushes made by popular Youtube guru Samantha Chapman (of "pixiwoo").  They're extremely affordable, which made me hesitate at first as I've bought my share of cheap brushes that turned out to be disasters - shedding, bleeding, entire brush head falling right off, etc.  Sometimes the disaster happened on the first wash, and sometimes it happened a few washes later.  Well, I'm finally writing the review now because I've had these brushes for a few months, and I've washed them quite a few times, and they've held up! Click the jump for more thoughts and photos!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

First Maternity Leave Essentials: What Makes Life Easier for Newbie Mommies

I'm about to head back to work soon...scary how fast time has gone by and can't believe my sweet darling daughter is almost a year old! Looking back on what got me through this past year, there were a few essentials things that just made life much easier (as "easy" as mommyhood can be...*please note the sarcasm here*). Here they are: (If you're pregnant and you run into me, I would tell you to get these)

1) Diaper Pail
I know lots of people think you don't need one, and heck I didn't think I needed one either. I'm a capable person, why can't I just take out the diaper garbage at least once a day? Well, even though I can, when I'm bone tired from all the changing/feeding/pumping/whatever-other-household-things-that-need-to-be-done, taking out the garbage is LOW on the priority list. I lived for 2 months without a diaper pail before I put aside my previous expectations/assumptions of myself and I got one, and it made such a difference!



2) ExerSaucer/activity centre
Although you can't start using this until the kiddo can sit up and it's not one of the cheaper things on this list, you need one of these.  The kid sits in it and there's toys all around to play with. To top that off, the kiddo is pretty safe inside it and can't go anywhere, which means mommy can supervise from a distance. Why would you want to supervise from a distance? Well let's see...there's cooking, dishes, eating, getting dressed, putting on makeup, the list could go on. So this is a win-win: kiddo gets to play, mommy gets to do her stuff and watch from a distance while knowing the kiddo is safe!




3) Playpen
Or otherwise known as a "pack'n'play". Functionally, this was similar to the Saucer for me, it's a safe place kiddo can play while I need to take care of something. If you get one with a napper, kiddo can also nap in it before they turn 3 months. Playpens can also be checked in with your luggage while travelling. My dog also liked to watch my daughter play inside; so it entertains both my babies, bonus!



4) Baby carrier/wrap/sling

Sometimes you need to carry your baby (really).  Most moms enjoy carrying their babies of course, and the carriers/slings make it much easier to do that and still be able to do something else at the same time (and we all know there's a million things to do). My daughter liked to fall asleep in the carrier and it was perfect for me to put her in and walk the dog.  If you have a dog and plan to walk your dog and baby together as I did daily, the carrier is also much easier than the stroller.  Put baby in, leash the dog, and go! On the days I used the stroller, it was more like: put baby in safe area (Saucer/playpen), bring stroller out and set it up, bring dog out and leash dog to stroller (mine will take off if it sees a squirrel), go back and get baby and put into stroller, lock the door, off we go.  See how many more steps that is?!



5) Lightweight stroller

Strollers come in all sorts of sizes/models and at all sorts of price ranges.  I've tried quite a few as we got a few hand-me-downs from kind neighbors and friends and then bought one of our own. Other than safety/stability for the baby, what made each stroller likeable or not for me was the weight. We mommies already have to carry and lift a lot of things (heavy babies included), and a heavy stroller just doesn't need to be one of them! Personally, I found the frame stroller the most helpful from birth until the kiddo outgrows the stage 1 carseat.  The frame is super light, and I just snap the carseat out of the base and into the frame at my destination. It's also very compact, which means when you're browsing stores with those darn-tight aisles, you may actually be able to fit into it and continue browsing while other giant strollers will not! 

Ok so you might need some other things like a crib, car seat etc. Those are of course necessary but they don't really contribute to making your mommy-life easier. For more resources on other essentials, I found Babycentre.com a great resource.

Most importantly though, apart from all this "stuff" that you could get, is feeling and being LOVED: by God, your spouse, your family, and friends.  They will help carry you through those nights when you feel like everything is falling apart and you're about to break down.  You'll need to get that love to then dish it out to your your baby with everything you've got.

Hope this post has been helpful, if you have other items you feel are must-haves to make mommy-life easier, please share them with me in the comments!

*Disclosure: none. I'm not promoting/endorsing any specific brands and the photos in the article are from non-copyrighted internet images. I'm not associated with any of the brands shown.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Julep DD Creme Review



I'm a fan of BB creams, so when Julep announced their "DD" cream (really just another BB ceam, or tinted moisturizer with some skincare benefits) in their June Maven box, I was really looking forward to trying it.  Unfortunately, all my excitement just got me all the more disappointed when I actually received the product, and the disappointment began when I took the tube out of the box... Click the jump to read why...

Friday, June 7, 2013

Review: Face Atelier Ultra Sheer in Peach


Face Atelier is a popular pro brand that is especially well known for their foundation (and it gets extra love from me for being Canadian!).  I decided to order a sample of their illuminator-type product called Ultra Sheer in the shade Peach with my recent haul (more reviews coming in later posts!).  Click the jump for swatches and thoughts!

Monday, June 3, 2013

Princess Jasmine Nails


Here's another experimentation/variation on the French manicure! I felt all princess-y with this manicure and it totally reminded me of Jasmine for some reason (maybe to do with her blue dress). Super simple to do:

1) Base coat (I used Essie Fill the Gap)
2) 2 coats of China Glaze For Audrey
3) 1 coat of French tip using Revlon Silver Screen
4) Add another layer of French tip (thicker than the previous) using Julep Paris
5) Fasy-drying/high-shine top coat (I used Seche Vite)

And remember, I'm a total beginner when it comes to nails, so if I can do this so can you! It's not perfect, but I've come to realize we're usually our own most critical judge.  It's about the "feeling" your nails give YOU. Enjoy!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Reflections on God's timing

This isn't really a "review" of anything, but just something I wanted to write about with regard to an important realization of late. 

God's timing is perfect.  As much as "during", when things are happening, it feels like things are all going wrongly, or I've made the wrong choices somehow, or somehow things aren't happening the way I'd like them to, when in the end I reflect, God's timing was perfect.

This is my reflection on our first child. The pregnancy wasn't particularly "planned" by my husband and I, and at times I felt like I didn't really want the child. Overall though, I knew that children are gifts and blessings from God, and knew that regardless of how I felt that we would continue the pregnancy.  We received much support during that time.  When it got more to "crunch time" (ie, late 3rd trimester), my husband and I were still not very prepared with regard to nursery stuff and getting all the baby stuff together.  God also blessed us during that time with many hand-me-downs and gifts from friends which later proved very useful. We were also blessed with my parents.  Who decided to come about 10 days before my due date to help us "set up".  Turns out they came at the most useful and perfect time.  They not only helped us clean up the whole house, but also set up the nursery and my study space.  As if somehow the baby knew we were ready, I went into labor just after midnight, after the day we had gotten most things "ready".  The support from my parents during the immediate post partum period was also an incredible blessing from God (my husband and I may have been starving without it, and certainly our beloved dog would have been much neglected without them).  I know my mother went through much of her own difficulties with her pregnancy and postpartum period, and for her to be there for me may have brought on her own traumatic memories. My dad, being incredibly hardworking by nature, went right to work on all sorts of odds and ends in the house that were super helpful. 

How full of grace and love and blessing our God is...  We now have a beautiful little girl to love. There is nothing I can offer in return that is worth anything compared to what God gave me already, which more importantly than all the supportive people and material things in this life, is the eternal life with Him through the sacrifice of His son Jesus Christ. 

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

How to be More Helpful to Moms

A post Mother's Day blurb... Due to some recent experiences, I've been inspired to write something different today, something about being a more beautiful person.

Since becoming a mommy  almost a year ago (where did the time go?!) I have had much more appreciation for little "helps" from friends or random strangers. This is a collection of the helps I have either received or really wish I'd received, so think about doing some of these for the moms you know or randomly see :)

1) hold open a door

This simple and polite gesture we extend to others who are very capable of opening a door themselves, is inifitintely more appreciated by the mommy with the big stroller. Not that us power super moms aren't capable of opening a door and push a stroller through (we damn well are and do it all the time), but it is just so much easier when someone holds it open... We are talking 5 min struggle vs 5 sec breezy walk through. I have especially appreciated it when this help came from someone who wasn't immediately infront or behind me, and took special effort to come help.

2) offer to keep an eye on the baby at a party (just for a minute)

I usually only go to a party when it's a mommy/kids party, or when hubby is going too. Why? Cuz I just don't have enough hands to be dealing with the baby, try to socialize, and somehow try to fill my grumbling hungry tummy.  Regardless, I somehow ended up at a cocktail style event where I barely knew anyone other than the hosts, on my own with the little one in tow, and as I feared, ended up standing around awkwardly tending to her while everyone else ate and I looked on with envy. I did finally grow a thick skin and asked an acquantince to please just stand by the stroller and watch my kid while I quickly filled my plate with some nibbles and quickly returned to her side. So please, if you see a mommy looking awkward on her own at a party, offer to keep an eye on her kid for a minute so she can get something to eat. Then, I don't know, maybe say hi and start a conversation, she'll appreciate it :)

3) help lift a stroller (over steps, puddles, etc)

Downtown Toronto collects some big water puddles when it rains, and they are hard to avoid! I came up to a very deep one once, and paused for a second wondering how I'm going to get across without getting the bottom of the stroller and the diaper bag wet. There really wasn't a way around and I was literally stuck until a kind stranger came up behind me and offered to help me lift the stroller across. My shoes got wet as expected, but the diaper bag and stroller bottom was saved! I have carried the stroller myself before (luckily I have a light one) up stairs, and have had random strangers help me up the stairs as well, the difference is phenomenal. Believe me, though we moms might look like we're trying to exercise our biceps, we are not and help is hugely appreciated.

4) don't judge

There are some things in life we can do without, and we mommies would be much helped by not having people we barely know make judgemental comments about how we are raising our children.  Yes, if we are doing something dangerous that warrants a call to Children's Aid or the like, then please judge us and call someone.  Outside of that, if you think we're feeding the baby too little, too much, or dressed the baby too warmly, or not enough, please keep it to yourself. We moms judge oursevles the most harshly and are already prone to feelings of guilt and worry about what we're doing. We would be most helped by your encouragement, not your criticism. 

Overall, be more aware. When I have been offered help from random strangers versus having strangers walk on by without a glance, I believe a big difference between the two groups starts with  just being more aware of what's around them (then a kind heart that wants to help to make the act comes net). You can't help if you don't see it. So be more aware of what's around you next time you go somewhere, and see if you might be able to help someone!

Battle of Blue Kohl Pencils: Sephora vs Lancome


When Lancome launched their Spring collection this year, there was a lot of hype about the Kohl in Love pencils. I bought the blue version called "deepwater blue" as it seemed to be the most wearable for day to day, and it has come to replace my previous loved blue kohl liner from Sephora.  Click the jump for swatches and more detailed comparison!


Sunday, May 19, 2013

DIY Avocado Face Mask





There's lots of recipes out there for homemade face masks, this is one that I have been using that has been working great for my skin (combination/sensitive, early signs of aging). Read on to see how easily it's made and why I love it!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Julep Maven May 2013 Boho Glam




 
 
It finally arrived! As much as I love living in Canada, our postal system is not the greatest... for that I'm thankful that Julep is one of the few companies that doesn't charge extra $$ to ship to us up north, so thank you Julep! This is my 2nd Julep box now (first being the intro) and I'm loving their Maven program. Such a good deal for fantastic polishes. Click the jump for more info and swatches )
 

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Banana Oatmeal Chocolate Swirl Quick Bread





A break from the makeup stuff...I realized I had some overly ripe bananas today (brown with spots, hubby and I only like to eat yellow with green tips... we have become more particular as we age...), so looked up some banana bread recipes and added couple more things from my pantry/imagination to make this delicious bread (more like a cake, cuz it's not healthy, you've been warned!). Recipe after the jump!


Friday, May 10, 2013

DIY Homemade Lip Scrub

 
I have chronically dry, sensitive, and peeling lips that don't respond much to all the different balms/moisturizers/ointments I've tried.  Then I heard about the simple honey + sugar lip scrub from a recent cosmetic counter visit (thank you mua from YSL), and added a couple more ingredients I thought would be beneficial. I'm sharing this recipe now because I have been using it for the last couple months and it totally works! My lips still peel from some lip products but at least it doesn't peel all the time anymore!  Click the jump to see how I made this super simple yet super effective lip scrub!
 

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Dr. Jart+ BB Creams Part II: Renewalist vs. Premium



Now that the warm sunshine is out, I've started to pull out higher SPF products, and thus it's time for part 2 of my Dr. Jart+ BB cream review!  I reviewed and compared the Water Fuse and Black Label Detox BB cream in an older post.  I've really been loving the Renewalist and Premium BB creams, so click the jump to find out why!

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Enkore Pro Ultra Brush Soap Review


Yay I finally got ahold of one of Enkore's brush soaps! There's been much buzz about these, and after trying to find a good way to get them here in Canada, I finally bought one from FTB. I chose the pro ultra version since it has antibacterial ingredients as well ("clean" isn't clean until it's sanitized!). Click the jump to see what I thought ^_^


Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Sigma F82 Review


Sigma's synthetic line of brushes have been out and popular on Youtube for awhile now, and I'm slow to jump on the bandwagon generally so after all this time, I finally bought one to see how it is for myself :) Click the jump to read my thoughts!  I bought mine from FTB (yay Canadian company!)

Monday, April 29, 2013

Drugstore Lip brush review: Annabelle vs. Quo


I tried 2 different drugstore lip brushes recently and here are my thoughts on the Quo vs Annabelle (actually this is their concealer brush, but I much prefer using as a lip brush, click the jump to see why!)

Friday, April 26, 2013

Discovering How To Press Mineral Powder Makeup



I recently re-discovered my mineral blushes and eyeshadows during my makeup cleaning-up/decluttering.  These had gone underground in a sense because they were just plain inconvenient to use after the intial "ooh-new-product" phase wore off. It is of course much faster and easier to open up a pressed shadow palette than to unscrew multiple lids and deak with loose powder for every mineral color I wanted to use.  Read on for my adventures in discovering how to press minerals!

Aug 2013 - Read my recently updated post on pressing loose mineral eyeshadows! More photos of the pressing process included.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Beginner Nail Art: Leafy French


I have recently taken an interest in nail art and so decided to post some here on this blog in a beginner nail art series.  By the way, when I say "beginner", I do not mean that I'm some nail art expert here to teach beginners how to do nail art! By "beginner", I mean that I myself am a complete newbie and beginner to this, and am sharing my adventures and designs in a way to say: hey, if a complete newbie like me can do this, so can you!
Click on the jump for supplies/colors used :)

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Julep Maven: Intro Box Review



I have been looking into beauty subscription boxes recently and after reading many reviews and going over different companies' websites, I finally decided on joining Julep Maven. This is a review of the "Intro Box" I received and my overall experience with the service thus far. Click the jump to read more!
(*disclainer: I purchased these products myself and have not been endorsed in any way to write this review)

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Dr. Jart BB Creams: Water Fuse vs. Black Label Detox



I recently purchased Dr. Jart's BB cream set from Sephora ($34). It comes with 4 deluxe-sample sized versions of their original 4 BB creams. I highly recommend this as it will allow you to try each out before you splurge on the full size tube!  Click the jump below to read more of my thoughts on the two I tried so far: Water Fuse and Black Label Detox.

Update: My review of the Renewalist and Premium BB cream is now up!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Depotting Lipsticks


The depotting saga continues! I'm having tons of fun as you can see, and have moved on to lipsticks! When picking a color to wear, I have become a bit annoyed at opening various tubes only to see the color wasn't what I was thinking. So I decided to depot the lipsticks into a palette, and also sheer down some of the colors that were too opaque for the type of makeup I do (love natural looks where the natural lip colors come through!).  This is not only easier for myself getting ready, but also easier on my pro kit as I can use disposable spatulas to scrape the product out (rather than opening tube by tube). Read on for how I did this....

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Depotting Lancome Holiday Edition Palette


As per my previous post, I got started with depotting recently and have become slightly obsessed =P After getting "experience" and feeling more confident about my depotting skills with the GWP Lancome palettes, I moved on to my more expensive stuff (albeit older).  This Lancome palette is from the 2010 or 2011 Holiday edition which I received as a gift.  This was waaaay harder to depot than the GWP palettes! Read on for my experience with this

Monday, March 18, 2013

1st Z-Palette depotting experience: Lancome GWP eyeshadows


For a long time I've heard others rave about Z-palettes and "depotting", and for a long time, I thought, "why would I want to take apart the pretty packaging?" I guess I never owned enough makeup until now haha... Because I recently finished a makeup artisty certification and have been building my artist kit, my collection is growing and now I finally understand. No matter how pretty the packaging, it is very annoying to have to flip open every compact to find that certain color/shade I had in mind! So I finally took the plunge...I'm still somewhat attached to the pretty package so I started my first attempt with some Lancome GWP eyeshadows.  Figured since I got them for "free" and I wouldn't THAT upset if I screwed up =P Anyhow, read on for my experience!

Friday, February 22, 2013

Battle of the Pro Eyelash Curlers: Shu Uemura vs. Tweezerman ProCurl



I'm asian with naturally short/stubby lashes that grow down and hard to curl and maintain curl, so a good eyelash curler is a must-have product for me. I've tried quite a few, and this post is a comparison of my top 2 to date:

Saturday, February 16, 2013