Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Clarisonic Mia 2 Sonic Cleansing System


If you are into skincare, you probably know about the Clarisonic skin care system. A lot of people swear by it, while others feel that this is just another expensive device that feed our obsession with cleansing. With its patented sonic frequency, the Clarisonic's brush rotates back and forth at over 300 oscillations per second to remove 6X more makeup and 2X more dirt and oil than cleansing with your hands alone. Cleaner skin allows skincare products to be absorbed better and work like they should, in this way, the Clarisonic promises to make skin look and feel softer, smoother and healthier.

Clarisonic has several different models. Mine is the Clarisonic Mia 2 which came as a gift  from my sister (yay! for generous sisters). Mia 2 is an upgrade of the the 1st Mia, which is the compact travel-friendly design, it features two speeds, a one-minute pulsing T-Timer® and a protective travel case. The kit also comes  with a universal voltage pLink charger, brush head and 1 oz. trial size cleanser.

Mia 2 is meant to be used for the face, the Clarisonic Plus and Pro models comes with body brush and features a body mode for cleansing areas of the body needing extra care and attention. The brush is meant to be used for a total of 60 seconds. Use on forehead (20 seconds), nose/chin (20 seconds), and both cheeks (10 seconds each). The T-Timer® will pulse when it's time to cleanse the next area of your face.

I have been using Mia 2 regularly in the past 3 months. I used it twice a day at first, but I think it was too much for me. Although, there was no visible sign of irritation, the skin on  my cheekbones started feeling 'raw'. I stopped using the brush for a couple of days and resumed using it once a day only, at the end of the day, to help remove make up, oil and dirt. I initially used the cleanser that came with the kit, but after that ran out, I used whatever cleanser that I had.

My cleansing routine starts by removing my makeup with MAC Cleanse Off Oil and then rinsing my face. Following the instructions, I use the Clarisonic brush to cleanse my face for a full minute paying attention on my T-zone and the sides of my nose . When the minute is up, I continue to massage my face and neck with my fingers for another 30 second or so before rinsing.

The company states that the Clarisonic is gentle enough to be used twice a day, but once a day is best for me. I just need this to help remove all traces of makeup and dirt at the end of the day. The timer helps me not to overdo cleansing, if the time is left on my discretion, I will probably just go on and on. Clarisonic is supposed to be safe for all skin types, and the company have different brush heads to cover your preference. My device came with the sensitive brush head, I don't find it to be particularly soft, but it's not rough either. As with any other skin care tool, brush hygiene is very important. After use, I remove the brush head from the handle, rinse it under running water and let it air dry. Once a week, I rinse it with warm soapy water. Clarisonic recommends changing the brush every 3 months.

The Clarisonic is far from a miracle worker, it did not suddenly give me a finer, younger skin, but I have to admit that's it's a very effective cleansing and exfoliating device. The Clarisonic is not advertised as exfoliator and the experts will protest my statement, but I strongly feel that the brush does exfoliate the skin. Since I started using Clarisonic Mia 2, I seldom used any physical or chemical exfoliants and my skin did well. My T-zone is actually less oily, I had less breakouts and it has kept my nose clear from whiteheads. I'm really happy with mine and if my sister did not give me this as a gift, I would have been happy to spend  money to get one.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Covet: BareMinerals READY Eyeshadow 8.0

I'm seriously coveting these palettes from BareMinerals. I hope my local Sephora steps up and start selling these. Aren't they pretty? I want them all :). What's on your wishlist?

The September Issue

The Star Treatment

The Finer Things

Light Show

bareMinerals READY® Eyeshadow combines our proprietary SeaNutritive MineralTM Complex with powerful antioxidants, cold-pressed borage oil, caffeine and cucumber-ingredients known to deliver anti-aging benefits including reduced appearance of puffiness and antioxidant protection for a softer, smoother, revitalized eye area. It looks like a powder but feels like a cream and delivers a beautifully smooth application of vivid, long-wearing color. This fashion-forward palette of jeweled forest and floral shades delivers this season's standout looks. Learn how to create 3 on-trend looks, then mix, match and experiment for endless effects.
No parabens, no binders, no fillers, no harsh chemicals, no kidding. - bareescentuals.com
Photos and info from bareescentuals.com

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Clinique Take The day Off Cleansing Balm

I am very particular when it comes to cleansing. I don't have sensitive skin, I don't suffer from acne, but I can breakout like crazy if I don't cleanse my face properly. For this reason, makeup remover is a must in my routine. I am a fan of the MAC Cleanse Off Oil, I've been using the product to effectively remove my makeup close to two years now. So why switch to Clinique's Take the Day Off Cleansing Balm? I'm not really switching products, Clinique's Cleansing Balm is very popular and is consistently voted as one of the best makeup removers in the market, I just wanted to give it a try and see how it compares with MAC's Cleanse Off Oil.

The product is solid in the jar but turns into oil when applied and rubbed on the skin. It dissolves face and eye makeup including waterproof mascara. Even though this is a balm, it is not greasy at all. It feels light and smooth, and rinses off completely. After removing my makeup with this, I wash my face using my regular cleanser.

Take the Day Off Cleansing Balm and MAC Cleanse Off Oil are both great in removing face makeup. Both products are supposed to remove eye makeup too, and this is where I have issues. MAC Cleanse Off Oil will remove all my eye makeup including waterproof mascara and the thickest and darkest eyeliner, BUT when some of the product gets into my eyes, it makes my vision blurry for a minute. It goes away after I rinse my eyes thoroughly, but I know this will bother some people. I don't have the blurring vision issue with Clinique's Cleansing Balm, but it does not consistently remove all my eye makeup. Most of the time, it can remove only about eighty to ninety percent of my eye makeup. I have to use a separate eye makeup remover and Q tip to wipe off the makeup close to my lashline and inner corners of my eyes. 

I will be going back to the Cleanse Off Oil after I finish this jar ( if I'm not trying out another product ). I'm really not big on using a separate remover for my eye makeup, and besides,  I already learned to use the Cleanse Off Oil in such a way that the product don't get INTO my eyes. I also prefer the bottle and pump packaging of MAC, I just think it's more sanitary compared to scooping the product with my finger. 

Have you tried any of these products? Which do you prefer? What's the most effective makeup remover you used?

Monday, September 24, 2012

Recent Haul: Hair Products And Skincare

When I ran out of moisturizers and cleansers last week, I decided to stray from my usual staples and try new products instead. I have a loooong list of  products I'd like to try, but most are either too expensive or not available in my city :(. After some deliberation, I went with good ol' MAC and Clinique. I got MAC Studio Moisture Fix SPF 15 to use at daytime, and for night, I decided to go with Clinique Super Rescue Antioxidant Night Moisturizer. I'm still very much into antioxidants in my skincare and this is a huge factor in my decision to purchase these moisturizers. I also bought Clinique's popular makeup remover Take the Day Off Cleansing Balm, I just want to find out if this is as good or better compared to MAC Cleanse Off Oil. For my face wash, I went with Olay Gentle Cleansers.

I'm also into hair products thesedays, and very much in the trial and error phase. I haven't found any 'holy grails' yet. My recent hair product purchases from The Body Shop are the Rainforest Moisture Hair Butter, Banana shampoo and Banana conditioner. While at mall the other day, I went to this shop that sell random hair and beauty products. I'm not familiar with any of the brands but I bought a Cristal Serum for my hair and Nature's Bounty Argan Oil hand and body lotion.

No makeup purchases for me this month (yay!), but I did buy two eye brushes from MAC, the 217 blending brush (lovely brush, my second) and the 213 fluff brush. I can't believe that the 213 is not more popular, I'm loving it! 

As I mentioned, I'm recently into hair care, but I'm tired of jumping from one product and one brand to another. I would love to get suggestions from you gals and guys on which products to try. I have long, thick, wavy, dyed hair. I don't have split ends but my hair is dry. I want something that will effectively deal with the dryness. Thank you all in advance!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

No Love Affair With MAC Fix Plus

An aqua-spritz of vitamin and minerals, infused with a calm-the-skin blend of green tea, chamomile, cucumber, topped off with the fresh, natural, energizing scent of Sugi. Adds radiance, finishes makeup. Spray it on. Skin drinks it up! - mac cosmetics
I bought my bottle of Fix+ to use as a setting/finishing spray. I did not buy this on a whim, before my purchase, I read reviews and watched countless videos on Youtube. The 'mostly' positive feedback convinced me that I needed this in my life :). Because I use and love a lot of makeup and skincare products from MAC, I was sure that I was gonna love this too. Fans of Fix+ use it as a setting/finishing spray, a refreshing spray, a toner, as a mixing medium for makeup and even as a hair detangler. With all this uses, what's not to love about Fix Plus?

I don't know if I'm doing something wrong, but sadly, Fix+ is not working for me. First of all, the nozzle does not spray a  fine mist, but will spray big droplets of the liquid in a concentrated area. This is not a problem as long as I am not using Fix+ as a finishing spray.  If I do I use it as a finishing spray, I end up with patches and streaks on the areas where the product hit my face. I tried spritzing my MAC 187 brush and then stippling the brush on my face to have a more even distribution of the product, but I was still unhappy with the result - I ended up looking greasy, not dewy. As a setting spray? No way did the Fix+ extend the wear of my makeup (I think it even did the opposite).

After repeated failed attempts, I've given up trying to make Fix+ work as a finishing spray. I only use it now as a refreshing spray when I don't have any makeup on and sometimes I spritz Fix+ on my hair. It's not working miracles, but it's not doing damage either so I'll continue to use it this way until I finish the bottle.

I was so sure that I was going to love Fix+ as the product has mostly raving reviews. I guess this just show that even a great product is not for everyone. What's your experience with MAC Fix Plus?

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Kanebo Sensai Eye Shadow Palette In Kigiku (ES01)

This is my second eyeshadow palette from Kanebo. I got this a few months back, and ever since, I've been wanting to post a review on this palette. My review of my other palette Kaede Momiji is here.

Like most Japanese makeup, the Kigiku palette is all about being subtle. Although the colors are pigmented, you're not going to get that 'in your face' color pay off. Even the glittery accent shade in the middle is toned down. Lovers of neutral, earth tone colors will surely appreciate this palette, not only for the flattering colors, but also the formula. The eyeshadows have silky smooth texture and all are a joy to apply. I never had issues with fall out even with the glittery shade.  

Kigiku has an iridescent cream color, a gold-flecked bronze, a glittery gold, and a dark gray-brown. My favorite here in the glittery gold shade. I'm not into glittery eyeshadows, but I have to make an exception with Kanebo. I love the the glittery shades in both palettes that I have. Kanebo has a way of making glitter look good, never over the top, and this is consistent in all their eyeshadow palettes. 

Kanebo is fast-becoming one of my favorite brands. Last month, I purchased a BB cream from Kanebo's Kate, this is my first BB cream so watch out for my review. What are your favorite products from the many brands under Kanebo?

Forgive the crappy swatch pic above. I had a really hard time taking swatch photos of the eyeshadows. I think (?) the colors were blending on my my skin a little too well. I tried taking photos with two different lenses, but my camera had trouble focusing, and the windy condition outdoors did not help at all :(.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Product Rave: Goody Simple Styles Spin Pins

I'm loving these suckers! I have long, thick hair and it's impossible for  me to have a decent updo without an arsenal of hair accessories and hair products. I've seen the Spin Pins on display at stores many times, but never bothered with them. I was skeptical that a pair of coiled metals will secure an updo. But eventually, I got tired of claw clips and bobby pins and decided to look for alternative hair accessories from Goody.

I initially opted for the Simple Styles Bun Spiral, but when I tried one, the circumference of the Bun Spiral was not big enough for my hair. The sales assistant suggested I try the Spin Pins instead. Like I said, I was skeptical that they would work on my hair, but I tried them anyway. Two minutes later, I was walking towards the counter with the Spin Pins stuck in my hair. These coiled  metals are amazing! A pair of these kept  my bun secured the whole day - no claw clips, hair clips or bobby pins! I now wish that I got these earlier because this is one product that is worth all the hype - Goody!

How To Use Goody Spin Pins
  • Gather hair into ponytail (no elastic bands needed). You can have low, high or side ponytail depending on your preference.
  • Twist hair into a tight bun and tuck in the ends.
  • Twist the first Spin Pin through the top of your bun. Twist clockwise to insert and twist counterclockwise to remove
  • Twist the second Spin Pin through the base of your bun opposite the first Spin Pin, taking care not to interlock the pins.
  •  Wah-lah you're good to go!

The Spin Pins come in two colors, blonde and brunette. The one I have is brunette. 

Here's a video from GoodyProducts on how to use Spin Pins. Happy Spinning!

Friday, August 24, 2012

The Makeup Story

I'm often asked why I have a thing for makeup. As far as I can remember, I have always been interested in makeup. As a kid, I used to play with my older sister's makeup whenever she was at work. To stop me from messing with her stuff, she took me shopping and bought me my very first lipsticks. She bought me TWO (such a big deal to me at that time) and I was over the moon. Ever since that time, I dreamed of having my own drawer full of makeup. In high school, I would scrimp my already meager allowance and use whatever I saved to buy cosmetics. In college, I briefly sold Sara Lee cosmetics but I did not make any profit because I bought more than I sold :).

I don't have an artistic bone in my body, but I've always admired creative people. I always wonder where they get their ideas and are amazed by their talent in expressing those ideas. Whenever I read an article or watch a program on makeovers, I gravitate on how the makeup artist achieved the 'look', the hair and clothes are secondary for me. The first makeup artist I admired was Kevin Aucoin, I remember seeing him in Oprah years ago and was amazed by how he transformed faces with his brush and makeup. I often wonder what the beauty industry would be like if he is still alive today.

Makeup represent different things to me on different occasions. Some days I use makeup purely for vanity; on other days, I use it to hide my perceived physical flaws or enhance my appearance to help boost my mood or confidence; but most of the time, my makeup are my toys. Yup, I play with them. I spend many happy hours trying to recreate looks from magazines and tutorials (mostly by Lisa Eldridge) and give them my own spin. More often than not, I end up making a mess (and can't be seen in public), but I always enjoy myself and it relieves my stress.

I collect makeup and makeup brushes the same way that other people collect figurines, memorabilia, bags or shoes. I'm into makeup the same way that other people are into gadgets. I'm aware that makeup eventually expires and all that blah, but I don't care and I make no excuses for my passion. My interest in makeup is not just on wearing them, on most days, I don't even wear makeup. I also love looking at the colors and touching them to feel their texture. My interest extends to the beauty industry as a whole. I started this blog in part because I wanted to be a part of a community that have the same interest as I do. Any blogger knows that it takes a lot of effort to maintain a blog (even small ones) but we do it anyway because for so many of us, blogging is the way to express our passion. For my efforts, the sharing and enjoyment are the only reward that I need.

Please feel free to share your makeup story. Your links are welcome. Happy blogging everyone!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Back To Blogging With Artdeco Eyeshadows

 Alloo! It's good to be back after four weeks of absence from the bloghosphere. I'd like to apologize for disappearing without a single word and neglecting my blog. I have no excuse except that 'life' got in the way and I had to prioritize. I really missed blogging during the time that I was away and hopefully I could go back to making posts regularly. My appreciation to those who kept visiting barefoot ambisiosa even if there were no updates - Thank you!

Back to the blog.

I was surprised to come across an Artdeco counter a couple of months ago as the brand is not well known locally, infact I will not even know of Artdeco if not for the beauty blogging community and makeupalley. The counter is small and they carry mostly products from the permanent collection. After browsing, I bought an eyeshadow base (reviewed here) and some eyeshadows to try.

from bottom: 820, 835, 840, 14

I bought 3 Pure Mineral Eyeshadows and one from the Pearl line. The eyeshadows came in small rectangular pans that were designed to be stored in Artdeco's refillable Magnetic Boxes. The magnetic boxes are sold separately and there are various sizes to choose from. Artdeco designed the boxes in such a way that, with the bigger boxes, you can mix and match eyeshadows and blushers in one box and create your personalized palette (check out the magnetic boxes from Artdeco's site).  

The shades are:
  • 820 - pure golden sand
  • 835 - pure dessert sand
  • 840 - pure primodial brown
  • 14 -  pearly italian coffee
L-R: 820, 835, 840, 14

The names of the eyeshadows also give an apt description of their shades. The ones I have are well pigmented and they all have creamy texture. When used with the brand's eyeshadow base or Two Faced Shadow Insurance, they stayed on my lids up to 12 hours without fading, creasing or smudging. Needless to say, I'm quite happy with my purchases. Next on my list are their mascara and liquid liner.


 Product recs from Artdeco fans are much appreciated :).

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Barefoot Ambisiosa Turns 1!

Today is barefoot ambisiosa's birthday. It is on this same day, a year ago, that I wrote my very first blog post. When I started this blog, I had no aspirations or plans, all I wanted was to share my love for makeup and have some fun; and what a fun year it was! Maintaining this blog has proven to be a wonderful outlet for me. For a few hours each week, I get to do something that I love and enjoy (penning this blog and reading your blogs), on top of that, I made the acquaintance of some amazing people!

I'd like to thank everyone who visited, read my posts, left comments and followed my blog. Although I am not very active in the social network, I read every comment and appreciate your kind words. I  hope you guys continue to support my blog and I hope to make the acquaintance of more amazing people! I'm now all excited for a second year of happy blogging :).

birthday cupcake image from pinterest.com

Friday, July 20, 2012

Travel: In Flight Essentials

Next Thursday, I'm taking a 12 hour flight to visit my family. Although the trip is always highly anticipated, I never liked the long hours spent in the plane. I try to reduce the stress by packing with my comfort in mind. For long haul flights, my tip is to wear comfortable shoes, dress in layers and bring these essential

View this SkinnyScoop List
What are your in flight essentials?

Friday, July 13, 2012

Mascara Empties

Do you use one mascara at a time or do you have several tubes open at the same time? I belong to the later group, and the four tubes above are the ones I've gone through in the last 3-4 months. I receive enough mascara samples that I don't really have to buy a full-sized tube, but for some reason, I still do. I have this compulsion to buy  mascara, hoping that my latest purchase will be the 'one', and to be honest, I don't even know what I want in a mascara :(.

Is there a product that you keep on buying even if you don't have to? What's your favorite mascara and what do you love about it?

Friday, July 6, 2012

Artdeco Eyeshadow Base Review

This Artdeco Eyeshadow Base is one of the products I picked up on my little makeup haul a few weeks ago. Since its purchase, I have put this eyeshadow base through its paces, I set aside my Two Faced Shadow Insurance and used this daily instead. 

This cream product comes in a cute little black plastic pot. The one I have is heavily scented. I don't know why Artdeco decided to do this on a product that is applied on the eyelids, but they did. There is a link on the Artdeco website for a fragrance free version, but when I clicked on the link, it says that the page cannot be found :(. The scent don't bother me as long as I don't put the pot directly under my nose. I got a headache when I tried to smell the product this way and it almost turned me off. I'm not so good at describing scents, but for me, this smells like some kind of a plant (?). I don't find the scent offensive, in fact, I don't even notice it when when using the product on my eyelids. I just don't advice sticking your nose on the pot :).

L-R: Heavy swatch on my finger and applied and blended on my inner wrist

On sight, the product looks dry, but it actually has a soft, creamy texture and is easy to apply evenly on the eyelids. It has micro shimmer which can further enhance an eyeshadow. According to the Artdeco website, the eyeshadow base contains Bisabolol which neutralizes the color of the eyelid and Vitamin E to nourish and protect the sensitive skin.

As a primer, this one really works. In more than two weeks that I have been using this as a base, my eyeshadows stayed in place even after 12 hours of wear. No matter how many layers of eyeshadows I have on, I never experienced any creasing or fading, even on this summer weather. It's like this base grabs the eyeshadow and never lets go :). The downside is that, this grabs color so well that it makes blending a little tricky. To prevent this, I suggest applying the thinnest layer (really thin!) that you can and make sure that the product is distributed evenly on your eyelids.

Your eyeshadows with poor color pay off will benefit from using this base. It significantly improved the pigmentation of some of my eyeshadows, the ones with poor color pay off, like MAC Sketch and MAC Steamy. It made very little or no difference with the eyeshadows that were already pigmented or had no issues with color pay off like Bobbi Brown Rose Gold.

MAC Sketch and MAC Steamy
Bobbi Brown Rose Gold

The bottom line: this is a great eyeshadow base/primer. It works really well and is way cheaper compared to other popular primers. If you have issues with scented products, I suggest you stay clear of this one as I'm positive this will not work for you. If you are on the lookout for an eyeshadow primer and scent is not an issue, Artdeco Eyeshadow Base is definitely worth a try.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

A Little Makeup Haul

While I was out shopping last Friday, I picked up another eyeshadow palette from Kanebo's SENSAI line. I also found a counter for the makeup brand Artdeco, there was no sales associate in attendance, but the SA from the nearby Collistar counter was more than helpful. After swatching and testing, I bought my own custom made eyeshadow palette and an eyeshadow base. To show my appreciation to the SA, I also bought an eyeshadow duo from his counter. The rest of the SENSAI items were samples and the two Madina eyeshadows were giveaways from the place where I bought the Artdeco makeup.

L-R, top row: custom made Artdeco eyeshadow palette, SENSAI Kigiku eyeshadow palette, Collistar eyeshadow-eyeliner duo. Middle row: SENSAI silky purifying cleansing cream, SENSAI cellular performance cream foundation, Artdeco eyeshadow base, SENSAI cellular performance essence. Bottom row: Madina sexy star eyeshadows . 

gifts with purchase

I'm always on the lookout for good bases, so I'm really looking forward to test the cream foundation from SENSAI. I already started using some of the eyeshadows and will be sharing my thoughts in future blog posts. 

That's my little makeup fix for this month, I hope it lasts me for the rest of the month :). If you own any products from the brands on this haul, please let me know your favorites on the comments below. Thanks!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

MAC Paintpots In Bare Study, Rubenesque And Groundwork

Paintpots are described on the MAC website as highly pigmented eye colour that goes on creamy but dries to an intense, vibrant finish. Long-wearing, colourfast. Creates seamless coverage without weight or caking. Blends smoothly over the lids. Cream-based can be mixed with MAC shadows and liners.  

There are 9 permanent shades in four different finishes offered by MAC at the moment. The shades in the permanent line are mostly in the neutral/natural color range. More colorful shades are often released in one of their never ending limited edition collections.

Paintpots are usually used as bases, but the more pigmented ones can be worn by themselves as eyeshadows. When used as bases, paintpots can help to bring out the color in eyeshadows, giving them deeper and more vibrant appearance. For some, paintpots even take the the place of a primer. I am not one of those people, my eyelids are neither too dry or too oily, but I still need a primer underneath this one. In fact, even with a primer, MAC paintpots will begin to crease and cake on my lids after about six to eight hours of wear. This is the reason that I don't use my paintpots more often. I have a 12 hour work shift and have no time to redo or retouch my makeup in between. I'm usually better off wearing my eye makeup with only Too Faced Shadow Insurance as a primer.

Paintpots are not my favorite MAC products, but I still managed to accumulate three different shades from their permanent line. The ones I have are Bare study, Rubenesque and Groundwork.

Bare Study is a soft beige with gold pearl. It has a frost finish. This paintpot is pretty sheer and works best as a base or as a highlighter. Powder eyeshadow applies and blends easily on top of this one. Among the three paintpots that I own, this is the one that last the longest before it starts to make my eyeshadow crease.

MAC paintpot in Bare Study

I'm most disappointed with Rubenesque. This frosty golden peach shade is beautiful in the pot, but for some reason, on my lids, the color is just blah. It is so sheer that even when using it as a base, I need to apply more than the usual to make the color show up. Piling on the product makes it difficult to blend powder eyeshadow on top, but if I use a small amount, the color does not show up at all and I'm better off without a base. This also has the least longevity and has the tendency to accentuate every line on my eyelids.

MAC Paintpot in Rubenesque

Groundwork was the last paintpot that  I picked up. I debated between this and Constructivist. In the end I picked Groundwork because I thought it would be more wearable. It was described on the MAC website as a mid-tone neutral taupe with satin finish. This one is pigmented enough for me. I can use it both as a base or by itself if I'm going for a neutral eye makeup. It applies easily using a brush or my fingers and I have no problem applying and blending powder eyeshadows on top. The problem with this one is the same with the other two - creasing and caking. No matter what how apply them, all my paintpots crease on me.

MAC Paintpot in Groundwork

Like most cream product, paintpots can dry up. I don't keep mine open for long periods and I make sure that the caps are on tightly. I also store mine upside down (as per youtube gurus instructions). I have had my paintpots for awhile and so far, I have no problem with them drying up.

To be fair, Bare Study and Groundwork did improve the appearance of my eyeshadows when I used them as bases. However, the improvement was not so much that I would want to bother with the extra step all the time and overlook the creasing issue. I'm open to the possibility that I'm not using this products properly. Any tips on how to make them last longer is much appreciated. Thank you for reading and have a nice day. 

Monday, June 11, 2012

Kanebo SENSAI Eyeshadow Palette In Kaede Momiji (ES02)

SENSAI is a brand owned by the Japanese cosmetic company Kanebo. The company markets different brands of cosmetics in different parts of the world. SENSAI is available in leading department stores in Europe, US, the Middle East and South Africa. The brands Lunasol and Kate are available and popular in Asia.

SENSAI eye shadow palettes have 4 different combinations, the one I have is ES02 Kaede Momiji. The palette consists of 3 peach shades and a chocolate brown shade. The peaches are on the sheer side, but the brown shade is very pigmented. My favorite shades are the metallic, shimmery peach in the middle and obviously the brown. The shimmer in the metallic shade is definitely not subtle, but it is not glittery either. I love how it brightens and adds a different feature to my eye makeup. Despite the high shimmer, the eyeshadow is smooth and applies well, there are no worries about glitter falling or transferring all over the place when using this one.

The chocolate brown is probably meant to be a liner, but I like to use it as an outer V and crease color. I even use it as a lid color for smokey eyes. The eyeshadow is soft and smooth with very subtle shimmer. Unfortunately, this shade can turn muddy and messy if not applied carefully.  The trick I use is to apply the a little of the powder at a time, building the color slowly. This is not an eyeshadow that I would use if I have very little time to apply my makeup.

It took me awhile to appreciate the peach shades on top and on the left of the palette. Although the textures are also smooth and soft, the colors are just too sheer for me. When applied on my lids, the colors are non-existent. I still use the top shade as a subtle highlighter under my brow and the peach shade on the left, I use as a base color or to blend out the chocolate brown. It surprisingly works well for me as a blending color.

I don't have a lot of experience with Japanese makeup, but from the reviews and blog posts that I read, Japanese makeup have the best quality. This palette has certainly made me want to try out at least more of this brand. I also would love to try out palettes from Lunasol, and more makeup from Shu Uemura and Shiseido. I know that there are some gals out there who are into Japanese makeup. What are your favorite Japanese brands and what products do you recommend?

Kaede Momiji Swatch

Friday, June 1, 2012

MAC Cream Colour Base In Luna

MAC Cream Colour Bases are multitasking products that can be used alone or as a base to enhance makeup. I have the shade Luna which I use mainly as a highlighter. Luna is icy white with pearl sheen. I apply it on my cheekbones, browbones, inner corners of my eyes, down the bridge of my nose and on my cupid's bow. It gives a beautiful subtle sheen once it is blended into the skin. Sadly, the glow does not last long, it disappears after a couple of hours or so :(.

I tried numerous times to use Luna as an eyeshadow base and it made my eyeshadow crease everytime, even with a primer underneath. I have not tried this as a base for blush or lipstick. I find that my fingers are the best tool to apply and blend the product. 

a closer look


Luna is really beautiful as a highlighter, I just wish it has a better staying power. How do you use your cream color bases? Tips on how to make this work as an eyeshadow base is much appreciated.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

My Photography Wishlist

My recent purchase of a Canon DSLR Rebel T3i/600D camera has sparked an interest in photography. As my interest grow, so does my wishlist. I need to win a lottery to get all these stuff, but I can wish right?

Visit SkinnyScoop for more details on this list and while you're at it, check out the rest of my lists :). Thanks for reading.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Rediscovering My Stash: Cargo Coral Beach Blush

Coral Beach was one of my very first blush purchase. I was new at makeup at that time and would not buy any product without first reading reviews, but I went ahead and bought this blush because I loved it on sight.

Coral Beach is from Cargo's trademarked beach blushes. The concept is to have a product that is both a blush and a bronzer. It has four stripes of peach bronze shades that can be used separately or combined depending on the user's preference. The lighter top two shades can be used as highlighter/blush and the bottom two shades can be used as bronzer. I prefer to swirl my brush in the pan and use all the colors together as one blush. The two bottom shades are too warm for me, but combining them with the top two shades gives me the perfect coral blush.

It is not visible in the photos, but the powder has very fine gold dusts in it that give a nice shimmery (not glittery) effect. It has a reasonable staying power, and depending on my application, it can last up to four hours on me before the natural oils of my face and the environment starts to fade the blush. Cargo's beach blushes are packaged in their signature round tin and Coral Beach contains 9g (317 oz) of product. 

Below is a heavy swatch of the individual shades as well as a  heavy swatch of the all the shades combined. I used my finger in swatching and the swatch of all the shades combined came out more bronze than coral. On the last swatch pic, I used MAC 165 brush to swatch the blush on my inner arm.

L-R: Coral beach swatched from top to bottom. The last one is a heavy swatch of coral beach with all the shades combined

All shades swirled and applied with MAC 165 brush

Coral Beach is one of my 'go-to' blushes. I sometimes stray when I discover or buy something new, but I always come back to this one. A  beautiful staple in my blush collection.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Giorgio Armani Maestro Eyeshadow Quad in 02 Floral

I am a huge fan of Giorgio Armani Cosmetics. So far, I have been very happy with all the products that I tried from their makeup line. From foundations, blushers, highlighters, lipsticks, mascaras to eyeshadows; I have yet to meet an Armani makeup product that I did not like.

The Maestro Quads have been around for years, but it was only last year that I was introduced to these lovely palettes. It started when I purchsed the limited edition 2011 Mediterranean Eye palette. I  was so impressed with the colors, texture and overall quality of the palette that I decided to get another one from the permanent line. The Maestro line has six different quads (Armani calls them harmonies) to choose from, and after some deliberation, I chose no. 2 Floral.

The Armani website describes the Maestro Palettes as:
Inspired by the rich colors of the rocks, earth, sea and natural vegetation of the Italian coast, these maestro eye shadow harmonies range from the classic armani matte shades of grey, black and navy to rich, iridescent hues of lilac and gold. The maestro eye shadow palettes are the first armani eye shadow palettes to be enriched with light Micro-fil™ silk powders that melt perfectly into the skin to layer transparent and iridescent effects.
No. 2 Floral has colors described as pink orchid, black rose, magnolia and day lily. I tend to use this palette more often than the Mediterranean Eye palette because the colors are softer and more wearable. I use either the top or bottom shades all over my lid, the second or darkest shade close to my lash line or on my crease and the third (lightest shade) as a highlight. The shimmer in the powders are very, very subtle which gives a nice iridescent effect. The eyeshadows on this quad will not give an intense color payoff on the first swipe. You will have to build the intensity by adding more layers. This allows you more control, but not very convenient when you are pressed for time. All the powders have soft, buttery texture and blend really well. I always use this with Too Faced Shadow Insurance as a primer and never had problems with creasing, although, I noticed that the eyeshadows sometimes fade after ten to twelve  hours of wear.

indoors, under fluorescent light

I love using this palette for work. The soft colors and subtle shimmer are always appropriate and gives me a break from my usual browns. If you love neutrals or simply looking for eyeshadows to wear at work or school, I highly recommend that you check out this palette, as well as the rest of Armani’s Maestro quads.

Here is a closer look of the palette.


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