Sunday, March 25, 2012

Favorites: Makeup Brushes For The Eyes

Not only do I love makeup, but I also love the brushes used to apply them. I can never walk past a brush display without checking out every item. Whether you are a makeup artist or  just love to apply makeup on yourself, investing in good quality brushes is always a smart choice. Aside from your skill, brushes can make or break your eye makeup. Some looks are not possible without the right tools. Having said that, you don't need to own every single brush from MAC, Sephora or whatever brand you prefer. Most brushes can be used for more than one purpose, you just have to experiment to discover what your brushes can do. Your needs will also depend on the kind of eye makeup you go for and your personal preference. I own and use a lot eye brushes, but for the list below, I narrowed it down to the brushes that I use the most and will keep if I'm forced to purge my brush collection to just the basics.

If you scroll down, you'll find the list of my favorite brushes for the face. My description for the MAC 217 was cut here, you can check out the complete description and follow my lists on SkinnyScoop here.

Related Article: Drying And Maintaining The Shape Of Your Brush

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair Serum

I have been wanting to try Advanced Night Repair Synchronized Recovery Complex for ages. It is considered to be one of the best serums in the market, and the bloghosphere is full of raves for this product. I finally caved in and got one three weeks ago after I ran out of my MAC Prep+Prime Brightening Serum.

Estée Lauder claims that the serum is:
uniquely formulated to work in a way no other treatment can, this patented complex is advanced with our exclusive Chronolux Technology. So innovative, so effective, this remarkable recovery complex actually supports the natural synchronization of skin's repair and protection processes. It's mission? Repair the appearance of past damage and address the damaging effects of environmental assaults before they become permanent. Use it everyday to help continuously repair the appearance of past damage, help prevent future damage and deliver high levels of hydration.
The serum comes in an opaque brown bottle with a dropper. The fluid has a slippery yet light consistency. I take 3-4 drops, and use my fingertips to massage the serum into my face and neck. The product is easily absorbed and does not leave any oily residue. For my nighttime regimen, I follow the serum with my Dermalogica moisturizer (reviewed here).

My love for serums was born a few months ago  when I started using MAC Prep+Prime Brightening Serum (reviewed here). I love this serum because it addressed a lot of my skin issues. I purchased  Advanced Night Repair to appease my curiosity more than to anything. Estée Lauder claims that the serum works in 3-ways: repair the appearance of past damage, help prevent future damage and deliver high levels of hydration. I don't know about the first two claims, but I certainly noticed that my skin is better moisturized in the past three weeks that I have been using the serum. On the nights that I use the serum, I wake up the next day to 'dewy' looking skin. I also noticed a difference in texture and appearance between the skin around my eyes and the rest of my face. I don't use the serum around my eye area, and the skin around it is not as hydrated as the rest of my face. I also stopped using Prep+Prime Brightening Serum for the meantime, and so far my hyperpigmentation issues remain at bay. A  few pimples started coming out to the surface after I started using Advanced Night repair, I'm not really sure if this is due to the serum or my own hormones. I can't call it a breakout because the pimples are few (five to be exact) and they did not come out at the same time.

Purchasing this serum is an expensive way to satisfy a curiosity, but I'm glad that I tried it anyway because the product contains antioxidants and cell-communicating ingredients that are good for the skin. I will continue to use this as a part of my nighttime regimen, but I will probably go back to using Prep+Prime Brightening Serum for daytime. Advanced Night Repair also has an eye cream to go with the serum.

Water, Bifida Ferment Lysate, Methyl Gluceth-20, Peg-75, Butylene Glycol, Bis-PEG-18 Methyl Ether Dimethyl Silane, Arabidopsis Thaliana Extract, Tripeptide-32, Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate, Lactobacillus Ferment, Cola Acuminata (Kola) Extract, Retinyl Palmitate, Pantethine, Caffeine, Glycereth-26, Sodium RNA, Squalane, Oleth-3 Phosphate, Oleth-3, Oleth-5, Bisabolol, Choleth-24, Ceteth-24, Hydrogenated Lecithin, Anthemis Nobilis (Chamomile), Sodium Hyaluronate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Lecithin, Xanthan Gum, Tea-Carbomer, Trisodium EDTA, BHT, Phenoxyethanol, Methylparaben, Benzyl Alcohol, Green 5, Yellow 5, Red 4

Friday, March 16, 2012

Favorites: Face Brushes

Tools are essential in makeup application, and the use of right brushes is key to flawless makeup. Whether you use high end or drug store brand, you can get the most out of your makeup product if you have the right tools to apply them. Here's a list of my current favorite makeup brushes for the face. What's on your list?

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Inglot Freedom System Lipstick Palette

This is my customized lip palette from Inglot's Freedom System. I have a 5 lipstick palette, but Inglot actually has different options to choose from. You can have a palette with 3 lipsticks or as many as 10 lipsticks. Each pan contains 1.2 g of product, and according to their website, there are 90 shades to choose from. The Inglot store in my area don't carry all 90 shades, I don't think they even have half of that amount.

I filled my palette with neutral colors, the reason is that, these lipsticks are so pigmented; I was afraid that the bright colors will be too much and I will end up not using them.

The lipsticks are creamy but thick, they definitely don't have that 'glide on your lips' texture. I need to prep my lips with lip balm prior to use as these can be drying. As for the wear, I cannot complain, the palest shade lasted up to three hours without fading.

I say that the finish is somewhere between matte and satin. I love the soft sheen that the lipsticks give my lips. Sadly, the sheen does not stay for long, and when it goes, my lips start to feel dry.

The lipsticks are scented. I really don't know how to describe the scent. The scent don't linger and I don't find it offensive, but I would have preferred if it is not there.

Whether you like neutrals or bright colors, Inglot will have a lipstick for you. With the Freedom System, you can mix, match and create your own custom-made palette. For more on Inglot's Freedom System, you can check out my review of the blush palettes here and my swatches of the eyeshadows here.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Inglot Freedom System Blush

I'm a huge fan of Inglot's Freedom System Eyeshadows. I have two 10-Pan palettes and I love them. The quality of the eyeshadows are definitely one of the best. I was so impressed with them that I decided to get a blush palette too.

Inglot's freedom system allows you to custom fill your palette with the colors of your choice. The blush palette can contain four 7g (each) pans of powder blushes. Inglot uses the number system to identify their shades. The number and expiry date are printed at the back of each pan. I suggest noting down the information, together with a swatch, on a piece of paper before putting the pans in the palette. Inglot uses strong magnets and once the pans are in the palette, it's difficult to pry them out. Even if you are careful, you might end up damaging your stuff.

back of the palette

The cover and the main case are held together by four strong magnets on each corner. The only way to open the palette is to slide the cover on the side. The magnets are supposed to be so strong that you can stack up to four palettes together and carry them around by holding only to the top palette. I don't  really advice doing this, but the palettes do look nice and neat when stacked.

Now, to the blush review. As with the Inglot Freedom System Eyeshadows, the blushes are pigmented. Sadly, that's the only merit that I can find. I don't find the overall quality of the blushes to be good. The powder is so soft that there's a lot of fallout and there are powder particles all over the pan after each swipe of a brush. I also have trouble with blending, if I'm not careful and I forget to tap my brush, I end up with very uneven color that I can't blend out. They also last only about a couple of hours on my cheeks. This is true for all the blushes in the palette. I don't know if I got a particularly bad set, but this is my experience, and for this reason, I rarely use this palette. 

I really wanted to like this palette, because as you can see from the swatch pic above, the colors are really pretty. Sadly, I can't make it work for me. Even when I was making the swatches, I had to blow away the excess powder. I still love the eyeshadows, but the blushes are a total miss.

Do you own any Inglot blushes from the freedom sysytem or the regular line? What's your experience with them?

Friday, March 2, 2012

Dior Celebration Eye Palette

The Dior Celebration Eye Palette came out with the Holiday 2011 Celebration Collection. I wanted the the palette at that time, but I was in a no-buy, so I missed it. As soon as I ended my no-buy, I went on a hunt for the palette. Luckily, I was able to find one at a local Dior counter.

I have so many neutral eyeshadows in my collection, but it's so easy for me to fall in love with this palette. Beautiful is the only way to describe it, from the packaging to the contents. The case is made of cardboard that is bound in leather-like material with a cloth lining. A ribbon and a round silver charm completes the classy look.

The palette has 3 eyeshadows and a cream liner. The powder eyeshadows are all shimmery, but not frosty. Dior is very good in making subtle shimmer and this palette is no exception. All the shimmery shades can be worn at the same time. The cream liner is also lovely, it complements the powder eyeshadows perfectly.

Except for the shine color, all the shades are very pigmented. I personally don't mind the shine color not being pigmented because I don't like my highlight color to be obvious. The pigment of this shade is just right for me. The eyeshadows and liner lasted on me for more than 12 hours without creasing or fading.

Base -  shimmery golden tan
Colour (accent) - shimmery dark bronze
Shine (highlight) - shimmery ivory shade
Liner - chocolate brown shade

Dior included some leaflets for application techniques

This is currently my favorite Dior palette. It's just beautiful and also perfect for traveling as it has all the essentials.  If you love neutrals like me, this palette is calling your name :).

Thursday, March 1, 2012

The Skinny On My Beauty Wishlist

What's on your wishlist? Do you own any one of these? Should I take the plunge or am I just falling for the hype? I'd like to know your thoughts.
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