Saturday, January 21, 2012

YSL 5 Colour Harmony For Eyes (02) Indian Pink


Indian Pink is part of Yves Saint Laurent's 5 Colour Harmony For Eyes range. The palette consists of 5 colors from the pink/plum family with finishes ranging from high shimmer to matte. 

1. Top left - shimmery violet
2. Bottom left - light violet with microglitter
3. Middle strip - creamy whitish pink with sheen
4. Top right - matte light pink
5. Bottom right - deep plum with slight sheen

The powders are finely milled with very little fallout including the light violet with microglitter. The color pay off are very good for shades 1,3 and 5. Shades 2 and 4 need some work, but I think they are meant that way.  Shade 2 is beautiful when placed on top of the others, it gives the eyeshadows a whole new dimension. I can do without the matte light pink (5) as the color is almost non-existent when placed on my lids and the texture is not as soft as the other 4.




I prefer to apply my eye shadows with a brush, but with Indian Pink, I find that I get better results when I use the applicators that came with the palette. I have this palette for more than a year and I've worn it only a handful of times. The reason is that, the eye shadows fade throughout the course of the day even with a primer. I don't have time reapply makeup at work, so I prefer to use products that I know will last the whole day. 

Although Indian Pink is not a favorite of mine, it is still a beautiful palette and I'm glad to have it in my collection. Making this post actually made me realize that it's the only makeup item I have from YSL. Hmm... maybe, I need to remedy that and try out some more. What are your favorite products from YSL?

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

MAC Studio Fix Fluid SPF 15 Foundation

maccosmetics.com

Studio Fix Fluid is an oil free medium to full coverage foundation with SPF. It is promoted as a matte foundation, but I find the finish to be between matte and satin. When used properly, the effect is a beautiful soft look.

It took me a long time to appreciate this foundation mainly because I was matched with the wrong shade. I have this in NC 40 which is too dark and too yellow for me. I got this at a MAC store and was matched by the resident makeup artist. She applied it on me and it looked fine under the store's bright lights, but when I checked my face a few hours later on natural light, I saw the 'real' result of her quick work. The foundation was cakey, there were streaks from the brush and my face had a yellow tinge. I was disappointed (and embarrassed), but I decided to keep the product hoping that I would have a better result if I do my makeup myself.




My optimism disappeared after the first use. I could overlook the shade being a lit bit dark, but the strong yellow tone made it difficult for me to work with this foundation. The only way I could use Studio Fix Fluid was to dilute it by mixing with Make Up Forever HD foundation (a tad too light for me). Mixing foundations is a good way to get a perfect color match, but I don't always have the time to do this, and I still prefer to use just one foundation. When it comes to coverage, it does an excellent job of covering blemishes and other imperfections. Most people appreciate a full coverage foundation, but it is not the first priority for me. I use foundation mainly to even out my skin tone, not to cover or conceal. The foundation also has a tendency to be cakey and look heavy when not blended well.




I was about to ditch this when I found the talented Lisa Eldridge on YouTube. On her videos, she would use the least amount of foundation, and only on places where she needed them. I followed her technique with Studio Fix Fluid and it worked. It turns out, I was using too much. A very thin coat of this foundation is more than enough. When blended in the skin, it gives a nice soft finish, not too flat or glowy. The shade is still a little bit dark, but I can get away with it and the strong yellow tone is controlled.

I read about Studio Fix Fluid oxidizing and even causing breakout on some people, I have not personally experienced this. It lasts the whole day and as long I don't use too much, there is no caking. The foundation comes in a glass bottle without a pump. After shaking the bottle, you pour the product out, this can be messy and a lot of the product will inevitably go to waste. You can buy a foundation pump from MAC if you prefer using one. It has a sort of 'industrial' (I really don't know how to describe it) scent which might not be appreciated by some people.

I get the most compliments when I'm wearing this foundation, and despite having spf, I never had problems being photographed wearing this. I have come to like and appreciate this foundation, but I'm not sure if I want to go ahead and get one in a lighter shade. The strong yellow tone of the foundation is discouraging me. If you are looking for a foundation with medium to full coverage, this is a good one. I suggest getting a sample first to try out for at least a day. You'll want to make sure that you don't end up with a yellow or orange face :).

Unfortunately, my search for the 'holy grail' foundation does not end here. If you found your 'holy grail' foundation, please share on the comments below.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Resolutions For The New Year

image from the web

Happy 2012 everyone! I hope that the new year is treating you right. My year started with hectic days at work, and it seems like its going to be that way for the rest of the month. On top of that, I have a nagging sore throat and generally feel crappy. Not the best way to start the year, I hope that things will be better next month.

The blogosphere  is teeming with blogs on resolutions. There is something about the new year that makes us want to have a fresh start or make changes in our lives. Like most people, I make my resolutions every January and by the second week, I'm on my way to failure. I usually have so many resolutions that it is hard to keep up. Last year, I decided to have just one specific and realistic resolution. It made all the difference, because for the first time, I was able to achieve my goal.

I don't have one 'big' resolution this year. Instead, I have 'mini-goals' that I plan to stick with for 2-3 months. I feel that this time frame should give me enough time to achieve my goals, but not so long that I end up getting bored.  I will work towards one goal at a time. I'm starting the year by learning a new behavior - the goal is to become a wiser spender. 

I'm not out of control or anywhere near that. I don't have debts and I don't borrow money just so I can shop, but I still feel that my spending habits needs some work. I'm going straight to the root of the problem and putting myself on a makeup budget. For a makeup junkie and for someone who blogs about makeup, it's not going to be easy. Starting this month until the end of March, I will only spend within the budget. The budget covers what I need and my wants. If for some reason I did not use the money, then it goes to savings, it will not be added to next month's budget. At the end of March, I will decide if I will stick with the budget or if I need to modify it. The idea is to continue having a budget, but at the same time, not deprive myself by being flexible. Note that I will only modify my budget after sticking with it for 3 months, this will prevent me from being 'flexible' whenever I feel like it. I will then stick with the new budget for the next 2-3 months and then review. 

In a way, I started on my resolution last November. I banned myself from buying any makeup product starting the first of November until the end of December. I'm proud to report that despite the temptations of the holiday collections, I was able to hold out. In the past, my short lived 'no buys' always ended with binge shopping. I can't do that now, because I'm on a budget, and strangely enough, I'm not in a hurry to break my 'no buy'. 

For some reason I feel optimistic towards meeting my goals this year. I think this is partly due to my 'no buy' success. I know it will not be easy, but I'm willing to work and I'm ready. What about you guys? Do you have any resolutions (makeup related or not) this year? Do share on the comments below.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Inglot Eye Makeup Brushes

This is the second part of my Inglot Brush review. If you scroll down, you can read my review on the foundation and blush brush. This post is all about eye shadow brushes and I'm happy to report that some of my 'most used' eye brushes are from Inglot.



Inglot 5FS is a big flat topped brush with bristles made of fine squirrel hair. I got this brush with the idea of using it to apply a wash of color on my lids. I thought that since the the brush is so big, I can do the job with just a swipe or two (lazy girl). Well, it turns out that this brush is fine if I only want a light wash of color, otherwise, Sephora's large all over shadow brush is better for the job. The bristles of 5FS are too soft and not firm enough for packing color. The shape also makes it hard for me to work with this brush. The Sephora Professional #21 brush is even larger than Inglot 5FS, but the bristles are dense and the rounded corners and tapered tip conforms with the natural shape of my eyes.

I tried working with this brush in different ways without success. I saw from watching you tube videos that this can be used to contour the nose. Well, I don't do contouring, so it's not much of use to me. I have a suspicion that I'm not using this brush the right way. If you have any ideas, please let me know on the comments below.



Inglot 6SS is a blending brush. The bristles are made from squirrel substitute ( probably fine goat hair). The Inglot website photo shows a tight narrow brush with a pointed tip, but the brush I got is fluffy and the tip is not so pointed. It is very soft, which is good if you want to blend out a color, but not so effective in blending two colors together. It is a little bit longer and bigger compared to the MAC 224. The size again is the problem with this brush. I don't have small eyes, but I still find the brush too large for me. I find myself using this brush more often to blend out concealer under my eyes. It's not perfect, but it gets the job done.



Inglot 80HP is a pencil brush. As you can see from the photo above, the tip is almost blunt. I want my pencil brush to be pointed and the only reason I got this is due to the strong recommendation of the sales associate. The bristles are made from ox and pony hair and the brush is amazing at packing color. The tightly packed bristles can grab and deposit powder eyeshadow anywhere. I find this especially useful in applying color on the outer V and the crease. If you are into intense eye looks, then you should really check out this brush.



Inglot 17TL is a brush I use on a daily basis to apply brow powder. The bristles are a combination of synthetic taklon and ox hair, they are longer and less stiff compared to MAC 208. The softer bristles of the brush grabs less pigment which gives me more control. I can also use the brush to blend out the powder if I need to. I find that I get better results with this brush (soft and natural looking brows) compared to a stiff brush.



Inglot 30T This angled eyeliner brush is the best I have tried. It is made from synthetic Taklon fibers. The bent feature makes application of gel eyeliners so much easier, and the pointed brush tip is perfect if I want a very fine line. Despite numerous washing, the brush tip has remained pointed and the fibers never splayed. I love this brush and if there is one brush I can recommend from Inglot, this is it.

When I got these, I did not know much about brushes. I thought I had to have at least one of everything. I know better now, and if I have to do my purchases all over again, I know that I will make better choices. In choosing brushes, there are so many things to consider. Quality is of course always important, but I realize too late that size and function matter too. Quality wise, 5FS and 6SS are good brushes, it's just that, they are not the best choices for me. It's also very important to consider your makeup routine. It's useless to own the best brushes if you're not going to use them.

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