Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Current: Nail Color (Sally Hansen Diamonds & Rubies)

Sometimes, you just need red.

And not just any red. Fire-engine red. Or “Diamonds & Rubies” by Sally Hansen Diamond Strength.
Sally Hansen is one of my favorite nail polish brands. Besides having my favorite Insta-Dry base and top coats, they have a good range of colors. Maybe not as many as O.P.I., but all the classics are there.
And the best thing? The enamel is really tough with base and top coat. I find the opaque colors by Sally Hansen tend to last much longer than other brands. After 3 days (below), I usually have minimal chips and cracks, and the shine is still there.

All you need then is another layer of top coat to bring out the shine once more, or if it has grown out at the cuticles or worn off at the tips, another layer of color.

Current: Everyday Eyeshadow (POP Beauty Trio in Park Avenue)

POP shadows are a bit hit and miss with me. This is because their textures are so inconsistent from palette to palette. I like the Smoky Eye Palette, and the Pretty Puzzle palettes, but not some of the others.
The small little trio in “No. 3 Park Avenue” is great though. The neutral combination of opalescent pink, rich taupe, and black is flattering and easy to wear. The highlight/allover color (right) tends to look a little chalky so you might want to avoid it if you have darker skin, but the eyelid color in the middle is a perfect metallic taupe/mocha. The liner shade (left) is also very pigmented and easy to work with.

The shadow initially comes with “lid”, “brow” and “line” stamped on the corresponding shades, but mine has worn off with use.

Above are the three shades in one single swipe. As you can see, the pink tends to come off as off-white most of the time, and since I’m not for over-highlighting the brow-bone (i.e. too pale and unlike my skin), thats the only bad point about this palette to me. Otherwise, most POP palettes are good value for money, and pretty good quality.

Texture-wise, this is grainier and less fine-grained than MAC, and with a proper primer underneath, it’s always lasted me a full 8 hours without much obvious fading.

Out of the Box: Base (Revlon Colorstay with Softflex + La Roche Posay Anthelios SPF50)

Combine a heavy-duty foundation with a heavy-duty sunblock, and you get…

… a smooth, sheer foundation that has great sun protection, feels lightweight, finishes to a natural velvety (semi-matte) texture, and no longer has the following cons:
  • Colorstay’s paint-thinner fragrance
  • an SPF50+ broad-spectrum sunscreen’s white cast
  • a mask-like and overly-matte foundation texture
  • an SPF product’s greasy-looking sheen
Depending on the proportion of foundation to sunblock, it also could work as a satiny tinted moisturizer (my formula of choice), or a semi-sheer foundation.
Things to Note:
  1. If you are going for a semi-matte, semi-sheer foundation look, mix 1 part sunblock with 2 parts foundation. Buy a matte foundation 1 shade darker than your skin (i.e. NC30 if you are NC25).
  2. If you prefer a sheerer, more satin tint, you will need to mix about 1 part sunblock with 1 part foundation or less. Buy a matte foundation 2 shades darker than your skin (i.e. NC35 if you are NC25).
  3. Never pick a foundation that is more pink-toned than you are. This is because sunblocks tend to make gold shades less gold. If you start out with a shade that’s already pinker than you naturally are and add sunblock to it, you’re just going to look like you have calamine all over your face.

Smoky Doe Eye

Attended an evening party and was wearing a 20’s style flapper dress, so I thought I’d do a dark smoky-eye, but reminiscent of the 20’s doe-shape, rather than the modern winged-out cat-eye one.
It might not look all that apparent, but it does create a rounder eye and a more doll-like expression, by deliberately applying strong color on the inner part of the socket line.

This was done by priming the lids, applying a layer of matte black shadow within the lid area, then a metallic dark gray to shade that up and into the socket.
The key to the doe eye look is making sure:
  • not to contour your socket line with the darker shadow. The color is darkest around the lashes and center of the lids, then fades outward in a more rounded shape.
  • to bring the color downwards at the outer corners of the eyes (instead of winging up and out) so that it peaks at the center of the lid, and toward the nose.
  • not taking the color too far into the inwards that you hit the sides of your nose. This keeps the look modern and more wearable.
  • you do not have very hooded eyes, close-set eyes, or an eye shape that is already drooped downwards at the outside corners.

Product used: POP Beauty Smoked Out Silver Palette [Pretty Puzzle series]

Review: Maybelline Long Extreme Stiletto Mascara

I’m not sure why cosmetic companies like to change names and packaging in different regions. It might have been targeted marketing in the past, but in the Age of the Web it just impedes social/viral marketing as it unnecessarily confuses and segments people.

But oh well.
Whatever it is called in your area, the mascara I’ve just started trying out is Maybelline Long Extreme Name - I mean - Stiletto Mascara.

And I’m going to give it a firm thumbs-down.

It applies fine initially, but it dries way too fast for you to do any building, and I had such a hard time trying to comb my lashes out after that with a spoolie brush, because the mascara was SOOO stiff I couldn’t run the bristles through my hairs.

It also doesn’t lengthen or voluminize well, which means it’s pretty blah for a company that engineered so much hype about another of its mascaras. And it’s also one of those annoying mascaras that tries to build onto the ends of your lashes for length, but fails because somehow the formula and the brush makes the false “lash tips” bend in every direction but up.

While it’s not expensive, it’s definitely not worth the money for me. Next time, I’ll heed the warnings on Makeupalley.

Good If: You are the type that wants to just sweep mascara over your lashes once or twice and go.
Bad If: You like to work at your lashes, and build up or comb out your mascara.