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.


Friday, May 4, 2012

MAC 217 Blending Brush

MAC 217 brush has been around for years and is very popular among makeup artists and makeup lovers alike. It's officially called a blending brush, but it's really more than that. This brush is one of the best multitasking brushes around. 

The brush head is made out of white goat hair. The bristles are dense enough to apply color, and at the same time, soft and fluffy for excellent blending. I use the 217 to apply powder and creams, including concealers, and I find it to be very effective with both products. I use the brush to apply and blend eyeshadows on my lids as well as on my crease. The oval shape and tapered tip is very useful when applying color on the crease and outer corners of the eyes. When it comes to blending, the 217 is great at blending two colors together as well as softening the edges of eye makeup. I use small circles or the windshield wiper technique to blend.

side view

I've said it before, if I'm to keep only one brush from my collection of eye brushes, I will choose the 217 as I can do my entire eye makeup using only this brush. There are a lot of dupes for 217, but I have not personally tried any of them, so I don't know how they compare. The Office Chic made an excellent post comparing MAC 217 with dupes from other brands, you can read her her post here

If you are looking for a blending brush, I recommend you check out MAC 217. I've had mine for a couple of years and it's still doing great despite being one, if not the most, hardworking of my brushes.

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