Sunday, December 30, 2012

2012 favorites & beauty goals


Another year has gone by and boy was it a year of discovery for me. Reflecting back I am happy with the brands I explored, products I tried, and personal growth I gained. I hope you all feel the same with your year. Time for the annual post of my favorites for the year. If you were curious, click HERE to see the post I did last year.


2012 was definitely the year of experimenting with my base makeup. While I still have a long way to go in my exploration in this field, my favorite foundation I tried was Koh Gen Do Aqua foundation. Painful price but it is a wonderful foundation if you prefer breathable and natural coverage.

Concealer is another area that I still need more experience with. I suppose the only concealers I own, DiorSkin sculpt lifting smoothing and Laura Mercier secret camouflage, win by default as my favorites this year. Dior's works well for under the eyes but can crease if you use too much. Laura Mercier's works well for spot concealing.

Maybelline Dream Matte Powder wins for my most used this year. It is inexpensive and not cakey. I would repurchase if I was in a pinch but once this is used up I'll be on the look out for a replacement from another brand.

My bronzers of choice did not change from last year. My most used and everyday bronzer was CARGO Medium Matte Bronzer which I finished up this year and enjoyed. For travel and nights out, NARS Laguna would be my pick as it has a more glowing finish.


I had a love affair with MAC Tenderling since it is a shade that goes with just about anything. For summer CARGO Laguna was my top choice. And during the fall and into winter I was obsessed with CARGO Lyon. This year was definitely the year of CARGO for me.

This was impossible to pick. Really. I stared at my collection trying to figure out which I used most this year and I drew up a blank because I rotated them all so often. So no highlighter favorite this year, I was too mercurial.


I MUST mention my Smashbox PhotoOp Trio in Filter. Seriously, no one ever talks about this trio. I love it so much, as you can tell since I hit pan. The colors are super smooth, pigmented and last forever even without primer. The packaging is so compact making it the best for travel. I can't think of one con about this product. Poor Smashbox, I feel like their eye shadows are kept in the dark and neglected which is a shame since they are phenomenal.

MAC's Cork, Brun, Brule, and Tempting are staple shades for me. This has not changed from last year since they are basic browns and fit into my quad for easy travel. I like to have three matte shades for sculpting the eye and one shimmery shade to blend with my kohl liner.

Also, I went through a taupe craze and my favorite by far is Le Metier de Beaute's Corinthian.

I still love Prestige My Blackest Lashes. It beats all the other mascaras I tried this year (Giorgio Armani ETK Excess, Maybelline Falsies Flared, L'Oreal Telescopic).

For liquid liner I prefer L'Oreal Lineur Intense with the felt tip. For kohl liner it depends. When I was a contact wearer, hands down MAC Feline was my pick. As a glasses wearer and (recent) LASIK patient, Giorgio Armani ETK waterproof liner and Urban Decay 24/7 liner in Perversion work just as well. All are inky black and last on me the same so I now have no preference. When I run out of liner I will pick Feline or Perversion as they are easier to get and not LE.


The year of lipstick as well for me! I had fun trying out different textures and colors this year. But realistically my most reached for shades were the fleshy NARS Dolce Vita and the warm and natural Burberry Lip Mist in Copper. I can't imagine life without either of these shades and urge EVERYONE to check both out if you haven't already. If it helps, I am wearing Dolce Vita in THIS post and Copper in THIS post (fourth picture down).

Initially I didn't care much for Revlon's Colorburst Gloss in Pink Ice. But it grew on me and ended up being something I reached for quite often. I like the Colorburst gloss formula as it is not sticky, smells nice, and doesn't give me the dreaded lip rings.

Blistex Lip Medex, the little blue pot, is the best night time treatment for me so far. Nuxe Reve de Miel is a recent buy but I am half way done with it already if that gives you an idea of how much I am enjoying it.


OPI Ink is a complex dark blurple that looks great on the toes. Essie Set In Stones was my favorite glitter. OPI Cajun Shrimp is one of OPI's best shades and formulas. BUTTER London Blagger is bright, unique and eye catching. OPI Koala Berry is my only repeat from last year. It is such a cheery, beautiful color that I never get tired of for pedicures. I tried really hard to narrow down my list but, as you all can see, I failed. But I tried guys!

I still enjoyed Sally Hansen's Cuticle Remover Gel. For a base coat I loved OPI Nail Envy (like everyone else and their brother). As for top coat, I have not found one I love. I rotated between Seche Vite and Out the Door, both of which turned thick and unusable so I need a replacement stat.


I still love Victor & Rolf Flowerbomb, but I would say I enjoyed Chanel Chance Eau Fraiche the most this year.


I had so much fun with skincare this year it is unbelievable. My wallet sure didn't have fun but I don't regret it in the slightest. I focused more on my skin this year and I predict this is an addiction I won't be able turn my back on.

Clarins Gentle Cleanser with Cottonseed was my favorite cleanser I tried this year. Cleans very thoroughly but gently and smells like fresh cotton. You need the smallest amount for a rich foam. Can be stripping if used too often so I only use it once a day. I must include a cleansing oil as well since I discovered they are a staple in my skincare routine. My favorite I tried this year was Boscia Makeup Breakup Cool Cleansing oil.

No surprise here, my HG CeraVe Moisturizing Lotion. Sinks in quickly, non-greasy, non-scented and easily available at the drugstore.

No change here either since it is also my HG. La Roche Posay Efflaclar Duo. I tried living without it and it was the pits.

I am still in disbelief with how much I love LUSH's Mask of Magnaminty. My skin noticeably loves this gunk. And I am pleasantly surprised how much I enjoyed using my Clarasonic Mia. It is fun and cleans thoroughly.

WHEW. I must wipe my brow after typing all that, I hope you all made it to the end. I sense a lot of skimming was done :) Now on to the beauty goals section. Let's reflect on last years first, shall we?

1. Stick with quality over quantity - Check. I didn't go crazy with drugstore OR MAC releases leading to me not having piles of unused makeup.
2. Stop buying so much nail polish - Check. I avoided my cheap nail polish retailers and argued with myself multiple times that new colors looked very similar to old colors that I already owned.
3. Explore brands that I never have tried before Check. I tried Burberry, Becca, Chanel, Koh Gen Doh, Giorgio Armani, LUSH, and various other brands which I had never tried before.
4. Attempt a blog sale - My only goal that was not fulfilled.

So...I followed through with 3/4 of my goals. I am content with that. Perhaps 2013 will be the year of the blog sale. New set of goals for me to revisit in 2013:

1. Attempt a blog sale. I seriously need to suck it up and just do it! Is it weird that PayPal intimidates me?
2. Buy at least one Chanel polish. I've been dying to own a shade. I'm looking at you, Black Pearl.
3. Hit pan on a blush. This will probably be my hardest goal as I rotate my blushes quite often.
4. Organize my makeup station. I already have plans for this so it is a very achievable goal.

What are your beauty goals? Congrats to making it to the end of my post. I hope you all had a happy holiday. Here's to the New Year!

Saturday, December 15, 2012

cargo blush collection roundup

cargoblushcollection Just a little round up post for your reference on my CARGO blush collection. Feel free to click the shade names to link back to each corresponding post:

The Big Easy | Mendocino | Laguna | Key Largo | Lyon | Tonga | Catalina

Hope this helps with decision making in all your blush purchasing needs.

Friday, December 14, 2012

cargo blush: catalina

Finally, I am wrapping up the CARGO blush collection posts I had started back in September. My last blush shade that is left to talk about is Catalina.


Catalina is a matte bubblegum pink. I am not a huge fan of bubblegum candy, but looking at this shade invokes fond memories of Bubble Yum gum. It has been said that the head makeup artist for the show Gossip Girl touts this as one of her favorites. I can see why as it is a pretty shade that could work for paler girls as well as darker complexions.


Catalina is very brightening on the skin. It is easy to blend and easy to layer if a stronger look is what you are after. Although it is a cool pink, which is normally a shade I have difficulty making work on my complexion, Catalina still is flattering on.

cargoTBEandcatalinaswatchFrom left to right: CARGO The Big Easy, NARS Deep Throat, MAC Well Dressed, CARGO Catalina

Catalina is the brightest pink out of the four but not the coolest as Well Dressed takes that title. It has no sheen or shimmer.


I would definitely recommend Catalina. It gives a nice dash of color with ease. If you are looking for bubblegum pink to add to your routine Catalina would be a great choice, especially since the texture is tough to beat.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

butter london marrow


Current manicure at the moment: BUTTER LONDON Marrow. It is a unique shade that is apparently named after the appearance of dried bone marrow (it dries purple?) It has VERY fine silver shimmers that are nonexistent at a distance. I really like this color. It is dark enough where it isn't too loud of a color yet still manages to be fun. So far I own only two BUTTER polishes and have been satisfied with application and the colors. Wear time is a little less than average since at about the 3 day mark I start seeing minor chipping and wear.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

my mac blush palette


There is something about a filled out MAC blush palette that looks so appealing, don't you think? Albeit my palette looks a little worse for wear due to my shoddy job of depotting a couple shades but I still prefer this easy way of storage over the pot form any day. Here is a rundown of the shades I own and my thoughts:


A PRO item which you can (finally!!) buy online at the official MAC website. It was about time MAC made their PRO items available online for purchase. This is an intensely pigmented punchy pink with a satin finish. It may look stark and hard to wear but as you can see from my blended swatch, it has the possibility to be sheered out into a beautiful flush. I did a comparison swatch with this and CARGO Key Largo blush. You can check that out HERE. Salsarose looks pretty similar on my face as Key Largo.

A soft mauve with a matte finish. This was one of the first MAC blushes I owned that I picked out at the store in person on a whim. It is a pretty standard blush color that goes with most looks and looks natural on. I wore Mocha in my most recent FOTD post.

I would venture a guess this is one of MAC's top selling shades. I like how it is a more brown and muted peach as it makes it blend nicer into most skin colorings. This is also matte. Sometimes this shade looks nice, other times I feel it shows up too orange. Overall it isn't life changing on me (see below). It looks phenomenal on Barbara (persianbabe on YouTube) though!


Another peach shade but compared to Melba, Peaches is much cleaner of a color. Also quite a popular shade, especially for peach lovers. This is a sheertone finish. I don't reach for this often if I am being honest.

A cool and shimmery delicate pink. This is one of those "bloggers/youtubers made me buy it" items. Very often you will find this listed in beauty blogger's favorites. I don't see the big hype with it. It is very sheer and doesn't add much to my complexion. I still keep it around though...I suppose I am waiting for my "Aha! I understand why this is popular!" moment with it. Here's to hoping...

Definitely my favorite shade out of this palette which might be surprising as it has the most boring swatch. Tenderling is a beige pink. The more blush I own the more I find how much of a weak spot I have for these boring/blah shades. They go with everything and make complexions look so healthy! I featured this shade in my nude blush ramble post.


MAC certainly does well at offering plenty of finishes and shades of your choosing in their blush range. While their blushes aren't my favorite out of my collection, I give it merit for the color range, fool proof application, and sleek storage system. Tenderling, Salsarose, and Mocha are my most worn out of these shades and are what I would recommend if you are my coloring. Orange based peaches never look quite as flattering as I'd like on me which is why I don't reach for the peachier shades often.

What are your favorite MAC blushes? I certainly don't need more but I always seem to have a soft spot for Cubic, Rhubarb, and Fever whenever I browse new shades to try.

Monday, December 10, 2012

lazy makeup: mac constructivist & tempting

It feels like I haven't posted a FOTD for quite some time. My latest posts have been mostly focusing on products themselves sans my face. Have you missed seeing my mug? I truly doubt it but it looks like I am giving you no choice as I wanted to share a look that I have been wearing consistently for the past couple weeks. I am noticing I have started falling into routines with using certain products. By all means, I am not complaining! I actually like this new found "routine" feeling. It makes me feel like I am actually putting a dent in the amount of makeup I own. Anyway, enough of my ramble. Here is the breakdown of my lazy and fast look:


Theme of this look is smudgey, subtle shimmer, and most importantly EASY. I just have not been in the mood for perfectly polished eyes. You know how everyone has (or strives to have) their signature makeup look? Mine is definitely smudgy, messy eyes done right with lots of kohl liner and layers of mascara. Not for everyone, I am sure of it, but there is something about the "worn in" look I find very appealing. The fact that the look is easy and fast to accomplish just adds bonus points in my book.


First I use a thin layer of contructivist paint pot by MAC all over the lid. I then haphazardly line the outer half of my upper lid as well as my waterline with a black kohl liner. Lately I've been reaching for either the Giorgio Armani eyes to kill waterproof eyeliner or Urban Decay 24/7 liner in perversion. I soften the kohl with MAC's tempting eyeshadow, the only MAC shadow I have hit pan on. Last step is curling my lashes (finally bought the shu uemura curlers, what a difference) and adding plenty of coats of Maybelline's falsies flared mascara (I actually like this).

**NB: Paint pots have a bad rep for drying out before you are able to finish it up. As of right now my constructivist is still as fresh and perfect as when I first bought it. BUT my paint pot in the shade quite natural is starting to show signs of drying out. I'm not sure if it depends by shade? My oldest paint pot is indianwood and it has shown no signs of drying out whatsoever. And so is the mystery of the paint pot. If you have any insight/experience on the matter I'd love if you could sound off in the comments. I am curious as to if there is a pattern to the madness.


The rest of my face:

Kevyn Aucoin sensual skin enhancer (shade sx06)
Dior skin sculpt concealer
Laura Mercier secret camouflage concealer
Maybelline dream matte powder
theBalm betty loumanizer bronzer
MAC mocha blush
Estee Lauder modern mercury highlighter
Nuxe balm on lips

I think with time I will eventually revert back to my cleaner liquid liner looks but for now I don't foresee my smudgy look going anywhere anytime soon. Of course if the inner OCD in you can't stand the smudge this look could easily be done with cleaner liner and primer to make the paint pot last longer (this look slightly creases on me which I like as it adds to the "worn in" look).

I have been having quite the affair with MAC products. I think it is because I feel bad for neglecting the brand, I own quite a bit from them when I take a good look at my inventory. Look forward to a future post talking about my MAC blush palette as that is all I have been wearing lately.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

review: kevyn aucoin sensual skin enhancer


kevyn aucoin is a brand i have always wanted to explore. the first product i heard about and wanted to try was the creamy moist glow cream blushes. then i heard about the magic of the celestial powder in candlelight. both products are still on my mind but i have not picked them up since i already have enough highlighters for a lifetime and we all know i do not need to add anymore blush to my collection. i then heard quiet murmurings of kevyn's sensual skin enhancer. with only a few reviews out there (most being positive) and it being such a unique product i was intrigued. my interest plus cyber monday deals = me finally being able to try out one of kevyn's products.


the sensual skin enhancer can be used as a foundation, concealer, and highlighter. it retails for $45 USD. bergdorf goodman's website gives great details on the different ways it can be used: link! i personally have only used this as a foundation. this is a VERY concentrated thick cream. seriously. don't let looks deceive you. you might think $45 is a lot for a dinky little pot (think the size of the blue blistex lip medex pot) but it is so concentrated that you need the tiniest smear so it will last a LONG time. you have complete control over how much coverage you want/need. figuring out how much product i needed for the coverage i liked took me THREE tries. third time really is the charm (where did this saying originate?)


i read different ways on how people used this. some used it with a damp beauty blender, others used it as a base to cover scars/blemishes, and others used it mixed with their moisturizer. i chose the latter way as i do not own a beauty blender and using it as a base seemed too heavy for me. as you can see from my (fancy?) animation, i just mix the tiniest amount, enough to smear across the tip of my pointer finger, with a blob of my moisturizer (cerave) until it is an even consistency. then i just apply with my sephora platinum 55 brush.


i ordered my shade blindly (Sx06) and it is a little dark for me since i am at my palest right now but since i mix it with moisturizer it isn't noticeable. as i said before, coverage is completely in your control. i prefer a lighter coverage as i like the "my skin but evened out" look. i don't go for the completely full and flawless finish as i think it looks unnatural. all preference! with the ratio i mix together i get a really nice and natural skin finish. the first time i used this i used WAY too much product and it looked very cakey and jarring to me.

with concealer, powder, bronzer, blush, and highlight. FOTD post coming soon :)

i feel as though i can't judge the lasting power as i mix it with moisturizer and i think that dilutes the true lasting power. as for oil control, in normal situations i have to blot halfway through my day; this product is no exception. i have a feeling this will slip off faster during warmer months.

the one thing i will mention that annoys me a bit with this product is the scent. it smells if that makes sense. it disappears once applied so it isn't a huge deal but if you are sensitive to smells you may want to take whiff yourself before buying.

also, the first and main ingredient is mineral oil. i will admit i did hesitate in buying this when i saw that but curiosity got the better of me. here is the full ingredients list if that is a priority to you:

Mineral Oil (Paraffinum Liquidum), Polybutene, Diethylhexyl Succinate, Polyethylene, Quaternium 18 Hectorite, Calcium Carbonate, Dextrin Palmitate, Honey, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil (Jojoba), Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E), Beeswax (Apis Mellifera), Butylene Glycol, Cholesterol, Lecithin, Talc, Triethylhexanoin, Methylparaben, Fragrance (Parfum) (parfum), May Contain (+/-): Iron Oxides (CI 77491, 77492, 77499), Mica, Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891)



i would recommend this if:
+ you like having control over your coverage
+ you like multipurpose products
+ you are curious about kevyn aucoin and want to try something unique
+ you like a natural looking foundation and don't mind making your own mixture

i would NOT recommend this if:
+ you don't want to put extra work into making your own coverage
+ you are sensitive to scents
+ you do not like products with mineral oil/parabens

i really like this and would recommend it if you don't mind putting a little effort into your routine. i like how it is a multipurpose product and i love the natural skin like finish. i would consider buying a much lighter shade to use as an under eye concealer/brightener as the coverage would be phenomenal. i think it would suit all skin types and the shade range is pretty nice.

what do you think? is this a product that would be too much work for you or are you curious to test out the different possibilities? i will post up a separate post on what i am wearing on my finished face. i didn't want to make such a picture heavy post. happy saturday!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

lip care: pots, tubes, & sticks


i will admit that even though i am a full blown beauty junkie (acceptance is the first step, yes?) i still neglect a certain area: the lips. even though i am starting to venture tentatively into the world of lip colors, on a realistic level i skip out on applying any color to my lips and instead heavily rely on some trusty clear balm. even if you aren't a beauty junky, you most likely have had some kind of balm experience. it is practically toiletry basics 101. so here i am, dedicating a ramble on some balms in my stash. some tried and true while others being brand new.

DSC_8262 the easiest form of application.

this is the first chapstick i ever used since my mother always had a huge stock of these. after being exposed to the beauty world and all it has to offer i can safely say i won't be returning back to using this any time soon. it is very affordable, a whopping 99 cents, and it moisturizes pretty well. however the scent is very "grandma" and probably the worst characteristic of all is it gives me the dreaded lip ring residue. my sister to this day still enjoys this. to each his own!

a cult product. i enjoy the peppermint tingle and the way it absorbs into the lips quickly. this is a VERY waxy balm which isn't everyone's cup of tea. i feel as though men would enjoy this product since once applied it doesn't stick around like most balms do. i don't love this nor do i hate it. at times i actually appreciate the way it doesn't give my lips some slip. sometimes i like the matte yet moisturized and soft look.

DSC_8258the most unsanitary yet usually yields the most product.

the little magic blue pot. i usually apply this at night before i go to bed or when my lips need some intensive work. i love the menthol tingle, the way it makes my lips feel, and how long a pot lasts for me. i think this will always be in my lip care forever and ever. i don't particularly like to apply this during the day though. a bit too medicinal.

this is ok. nothing revolutionary. it works and smells like lemons which is a plus. i find the nourishment doesn't last long enough for my liking. the texture is a bit firm and tacky in the pot but once smeared on the lips it thins out.

my sister just picked this up so i have only used it a couple times. i will have to update you on how it performs. so far it seems like a less intensive and medicinal form of the lip medex.

i recently picked this up since i have heard such great things about the brand. it smells like lemons and has a surprisingly more emollient feel to it than i thought it would. perhaps it will show up in one of my future vain rambling posts...

DSC_8261the annoying applicators. i always squeeze the product onto my finger rather than direct application. personal preference!

another item i recently picked up to try. i almost got the original formula but i love lemon scented things too much. will update you guys on my opinion once i use it.

i briefly gave my thoughts on this in THIS post. i still feel the same way.

i am probably in the minority here when i say i am not a fan of carmex. i will only use it in emergency situations (aka no other balms present and my lips being in desperate need of rescue.) although it DOES work and relieves my chapped lips, i really can't stand the taste. which is weird since i normally don't mind medicinal scents. perhaps it is a certain chemical that deters me?

i have tried other balms that aren't pictured (nivea milk and honey, blistex medicated lip ointment, soft lips, and of course lip smackers) and they aren't pictured because i don't have them on hand and wouldn't buy any of them again. lip smackers WERE fun though. collecting the flavors was the best part :)

what are your favorite balms? any you wish to try? i am curious about laura mercier's lip silk...

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

cleasing oil ramble

i feel when it comes to cleansing oils people either can't stand them or they love them, myself being in the latter category. my first taste of the oily concoction was a couple years back in the form of a mini shu uemura bottle that was conveniently located in the train of bins by the checkout counter in sephora, a section i always enjoy taking a gander at before leaving. presently i have tried versions by shu uemura, mac, and boscia. here are my thoughts on what i have tried:


MAC CLEANSE OFF OIL(not pictured)
i currently do not have this in my stash but i have bought this a few times and have enjoyed it. however, since boscia is slightly less expensive and feels a bit better on my skin, i doubt i will return to this. i would recommend it though if you are curious about it. it gets the job done and breaks up makeup well.

i recently bought this and have been using it for about a week now. so far i like this more than mac's version. it feels nicer and rinses off easier.

i have only tried some green version(shown in THIS post) but i am unsure which formulation it was since it wasn't stated on the box. i remember loving the scent (cucumber) but that is about all i remember. i recently picked up the pink fresh pore clarifying version and will try it after i finish up the boscia. i am very curious to see how it performs.

overall i prefer using oil cleansers for face makeup removal which i then follow up with another cleanser + clarisonic. for eye makeup i find the best method of removal is with a cotton round + remover since i wear lots of kohl liner and mascara. but, since i do have my lazy moments (it happens from time to time :P), i have used oil cleansers to remove everything. for all three brands i still ended up with makeup residue the next morning around my eyes when used this way.

why do i like oil cleansers? well i suppose for one i think they are neat. i visualize all the makeup particles breaking up and being lifted from their job of being stuck on my face for the day and being emulsified gently away into the milky residue it was meant to be.

besides me thinking the whole washing mechanism is neat, my skin loves cleansing oils. it doesn't feel stripped and it helps with my winter dryness. i was very skeptical of the "like dissolves like" theory but my skin seems to agree with it. my skin has returned back to its normal hydrated (and oily) self which i welcome with open arms. oily is easier to deal with than dryness, at least to me!

what are your thoughts on cleansing oils? are you afraid to try them, hate them, love them, or are you in the middle ground? if you hate them i'd love to hear your reasoning. my guess is because of the unorthodox feel as it does take some getting used to. and if you love them i'm expecting to hear any favorites you have :)

Sunday, November 25, 2012

005 items used up

time for another installment of items i've used up. i got through a good amount of products this time around so i feel very accomplished.


love the smell of this and it makes my hair super soft. doesnt really add much shine or a significant amount of volume but it did keep my hair pretty healthy.

sprays out evenly, smells good, and cheap. i have only tried this and tresemme's version. im not sure what to try next, any suggestions?

a bit of a herbal scent and a thick consistency. i didnt see much of a difference in terms of "damage reversal" so i wouldnt really recommend this. it is also expensive.

i have tried organix's coconut milk conditioner and that dried out my hair horribly. i decided to try out the brazilian and moroccan lines as i heard so much about them. this conditioner was nice. i liked the scent and it made my hair super soft. i would get this again, but not right now. i want something that adds more moisture and shine to my hair.

this was ok. i dont like shampoos that are difficult to lather up and this didnt lather very well and i felt like it made my hair a bit dry. i wouldnt buy this again


i've rambled enough about this. it is my HG moisturizer. but i must mentioned that during the winter/colder months this does not cut it, my skin becomes too dry and this isn't enough to help my poor dehydrated skin. so this is my HG moisturizer under normal conditions. with that being said, i would assume if your skin type is very dehydrated all the time this might not be the best option for you.

i've already written my thoughts about this soap. i love using it for dry patches on my body. i did not like this particular scent so i will try other scents instead. i have already picked up the almond version (smells much much better). i will always have some version of dr bronner's soap in my shower.

this came with my clarisonic mia when i purchased it. i really enjoyed this cleanser. it didnt overstrip, it foamed nicely, it smelled nice. i wouldnt buy the full size though. i like my clarins cottonseed cleanser more than this.

i really enjoyed this scent. i would definitely repurchase. i always enjoy caress body soaps. they smell good, lather up/clean well, and are affordable.

i briefly touched on this in my skincare ramble post. i dont like this, wouldnt recommend it, and will not repurchase. it doesnt clean thoroughly, it smells like chemicals, it broke me out. toss!

i liked this. i would not buy it full price but if it was on sale i would consider it. i didnt notice any moisturizing benefits but it was refreshing and helped set my makeup. if you see it on sale try it!


this was ok. nothing special but nothing horrible. it clumped a bit and didnt really give enough volume for my liking.

this is a decent drugstore foundation. not very good at oil control but it looks nice on the skin. if i wasnt able to purchase any high end foundation i would most likely pick this out again.

FINALLY! took me over 2 years to use this up but i feel very accomplished for doing so. i liked this. but i dont plan to try it out again, i am too curious about other brands. but i would recommend it if you are eying it.

i won't be repurchasing ANY mac lipglosses. not sure if all formulas are created equal but this one was awful. shame since i liked the milky color. it is sticky and it leaves a horrible residue ring on my lips with time. can i back to mac this? hmm..

that's all for this round! here's to hoping i have more makeup items used up to show for next time...

Thursday, November 22, 2012

sephora VIB sale picks

i loved seeing everyone's picks from the sephora VIB sale. i am nosy like that :) i thought i would post a quick blurb on my picks this year.


i know not everyone is a fan of cleansing oils but i personally really love them. i dont mind using it for taking off all makeup, eyes included, but my preferred method is using it pre-cleansing. i will use a couple pumps of this to take off my face makeup and follow with my clarisonic + whatever cleanser i am using at the time. so far i really like this! it has aided in adding much needed moisture to my face.

boring purchase, but i picked up the deep pore brush heads. so far i have only tried the original.

i have been wanting to try these out for quite some time now. i picked the deepest and darkest shade in the range. i figured if i wanted a stain product i should pick a darker color! i have worn this once. need to test it out some more before i give my final thoughts!

i did a review on this product already. link! but i really like everything about this foundation except the high price and not so great wear time during the hot months. i picked up shade OC-2 this time.

i was intrigued by this. i have been obsessed with skincare lately. i keep picking up different things and storing them away to try! i need to rein myself in. this will be my first hyper-pigmentation focused product. hopefully it will help with my skin's texture and scarring.

i have talked about this before. finally picked it up! check out THIS post to see me trying it on at sephora.


interesting mix for me this year. no blush, all skincare and lip products! for my USA readers, have a happy thanksgiving! i'm off to stuff myself with turkey and pies :D

so my VIB readers, what did you pick up this year?

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

fall makeup routine as of late


remember when i did THIS post talking about my parched skin? well it looks like this is becoming a yearly occurrence. to accommodate my drier skin, i am back to wearing no powder and all cream products. here is what i am using this time around:

i touched on this briefly in my post about facial sprays. i like to use this to seal in my makeup and it prevents my face from looking like a complete oil slick throughout most of my day.

the product name is quite a mouthful. i have been using this religiously under my eyes. easy to apply and it lasts all day. it does crease if you apply too much so applying the right amount is key.

not really a cream product, but i have been reaching for this daily. it is pretty and flattering all on its own all over the lid and under the lash line. such an easy product to work with.

my only cream bronzer. i previously didn't reach for this often because finding a brush to apply it is hard! but i discovered using the sephora platinum 55 brush works great (though it is a bit big for the job). i still really enjoy this product, very natural on.

when i first starting using this, i was in love with it because it made my lips look so plump and nourished when first applied. it smells like mangoes and it has the texture of a more emollient petroleum jelly. however, the more i used it the more i didn't like it as much. after time (a few hours) the product just sits on my lips and doesn't feel very hydrating anymore so i feel the need to wipe it off. i wouldn't recommend this, it is expensive and i think cheaper lip balms perform better.

this has really been great during these colder months since i am not as oily and it doesn't slide off my face. the coverage is perfect for during the day since it is light but still does a great job at blurring my pores and imperfections. i am almost done with it so i am debating if i want to pick up another bottle from the sephora VIB sale or if i want to try something else.

i snatched this up before bobbi brown repackaged the pot rouges. i knew i wanted a darker color since my collection is mostly summery or natural colors. i wont babble anymore about the pot rouges (my favorite cream blush formula so far) since i think i have done that countless times already. this is a nice fall color that isnt too intense.

i picked this up in NYC at sephora (while i was with/met J :D). i must say i am really enjoying this. it is so subtle and natural. im surprised i enjoy this as much as i do since i usually like my highlighter to be very noticeable. i definitely preferred moonstone over the other shades, it matches my skin the best.



i have been really digging dark lips. it is so typical for this time of year but not typical of me since i normally am not a lipstick wearer. if i am not wearing the kiehl's balm i am either wearing revlon color burst lipstick in plum (left) or mac's media lipstick (right). both equally stunning on, but unfortunately both are very drying. mac is a bit more forgiving but revlon's colorburst really sucks my lips dry. shame since i love the color.

so my readers, i leave you with a request. what is your favorite winter/heavy duty moisturizer? i am currently using la roche posay toleriane but i still feel like my skin could use an extra surge of moisture. i would love to hear your suggestions!

NB: for some of the products mentioned above, there are links available for you to click to get to posts i have done already in the past on my blog :)

Monday, October 22, 2012

makeup inspiration: becca

(image source: becca

time for a little inspirational post. out of all makeup brand promotional pictures, becca cosmetics advertisements are my absolute favorite. the above picture showcases exactly why i love becca girls. the makeup is flawless, from the chiseled cheekbones to the rich berry shade on her lips. i really love her dark hair with this lip color. i feel like it just works, you know?

in case you were wondering, she is wearing the ultimate color gloss in berry twist. if you click the image source above you can see a complete breakdown on what they used on the model. or if you wanted to see it action on a blogger, xiao at messy wands just did a post with it and it looks so great on her.

what is with my bold lip fascination lately? i need to satiate this "need". so many products to choose from! hmm...

Thursday, October 18, 2012

facial sprays

i have noticed a little trend within my beauty stash; facial sprays. i seem to have accumulated a variety of bottles, all with different purposes and promises. i have only been using sprays for about a year but they are addicting! something about a quick mist to the face is so refreshing. here is a breakdown of what i have and my thoughts on each product.


i am about finished with this. this is nice. refreshing and didn't break me out. i don't think it really had any rehydrating properties so if that is what you are looking for i wouldn't recommend it. it is nice as a makeup setting spray though. i don't plan to repurchase, only because i want to try out other products.

i picked this up in new york, mostly out of curiosity. i am a bit of a skeptic with this since it is literally just spring water in a bottle. it is refreshing, but other than that, are there any benefits from this? anyone who loves this i'd love to hear your reasoning. not that i don't like it, but it's just...water.

make sure you read the bottle directions, as i didn't in the beginning and i didn't understand why it wasn't working well. you must spray your face before AND after makeup application for the true effect. this was nice to use during the summer months when my skin is extra oily. i haven't been reaching for it lately as my skin has gone into dry mode due to the cold weather change.

i also bought this in new york and have only used it once so i can't give any concrete opinions on it. i was going to get the small bottle but i figured it was a better deal to just suck it up and buy the huge one.

so far i like all of my choices, for different reasons and occasions. once i am done with TBS spray i might replace it with a more hydrating version by skindinavia. i think setting sprays aren't a necessary product but they are fun and a luxury for the face :)

what sprays have you tried and enjoyed?

Monday, October 15, 2012


i recently took a trip to new york and during my stay there i ended up taking a couple days away from the big apple to explore the historical city of philadelphia. i am not a huge history buff if i am being honest, but i can respect our country's roots and can say overall i had a pleasant time. it is worth a day trip if you are near the area and want to experience part of our country's origins. some food spots are really great, not to mention the old buildings are stunning and are at every corner you turn.

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a few things:

+ the famous love sign! this was in JFK Plaza, aka Love Park. the fountain normally isnt pink, they changed the color for the day for breast cancer awareness.
+ being in philly and a huge foodie, i HAD to try out the philly cheese steak sandwiches (with cheese whiz of course). we tried the two top competitors: pat's king of steaks and geno's. pictured above is pat's, which was my favorite of the two. the meat was juicier and the bread was more flavorful. the cherry peppers were free (and yummy!)
+ the famous rocky steps are picture below the cheese steak. can you believe i have never seen the movie?
+ my favorite part of my philly trip (besides the food i ate) was visiting the eastern state penitentiary. it was fascinating! the surgical light pictured is the actual authentic one used that was left behind due to the bulk
+ the japanese house & garden was closed when we went unfortunately. i bet it would have been really neat inside.
+ if you are ever in philly you MUST try Barbuzzo. i was very skeptical of the place as the menu seemed a bit "healthy" and not very meat lover friendly but every single thing we ate here was so fresh and delicious. highly recommend the goat cheese dishes!