Monday, February 28, 2011
Who says brown is boring?
Meet my favorite custom-blend pigment, which I’ve named “Goddess”. It’s earthy, but it’s a strong, gold-flecked high-sheen metallic brown which is never boring to wear.
In fact, it’s not always appropriate for the day, especially if you work in a more formal corporate environment where too much sparkle is frowned upon.
Ah, well… I’ll look forward to the weekends.
I mixed this up on a whim and then realized I didn’t note down what pigments I used and in what proportion, so now I’d be very hard-pressed to replicate this ever again.
Sunday, February 27, 2011
- too matte
- too bright
This is the less-mentioned cousin of You Don’t Know Jacques. I love it. When I’m too lazy to think about what nail color is going to match every outfit for the week, I reach for this. It always looks just neat enough, subtle enough, smart enough and cool enough.
I love how it chips and cracks less than other nail polishes. I can’t say for sure if it’s the formula or just this particular one, but it always lasts a long time for me.
Some scratches on the surface and the root has grown out a bit, but you can just apply top coat or another layer of polish, and extend it for another 3-4 days without any problem.
What’s YOUR current nail color?
- Silica acts as a non-sticky surface which prevents powder from sucking up the moisture or oils in your skin and darkening in the process. This is especially important for areas where you tend to apply more products, such as zits and under the eyes. It also helps to prevent overly-strong blush as you’re forced to slowly build up.
- After you apply your powder foundation, etc, don’t forget to use a clean brush or powder puff to buff off any excess. Because you have a layer of silica, the excess will slip off easier, leaving you with just enough product. If you skip this step, it’s likely that there is too much powder in areas of your face, which will oxidize and cake over the day, and look horrid in photographs, regardless of what you use.
Saturday, February 26, 2011
Revlon Ravish Me Red is part of the Super Lustrous Lipstick line, and I’m not sure how close it is to the original Ravishing Red (above). Still, it’s a brilliant creme tomato-red (below) which should actually look good on many skin-tones.
|Top-to-Bottom: Bourjois So Rouge #32 Fashion Rouge, Revlon Ravish Me Red|
This would look lovely on golden or uber-pale skins!
1. Healthy Mix Foundation
VERDICT: BUY IT!
PROMISES: 16-hour, perfect coverage, semi-matte, oil-free, sensitivity tested, glowing and toned skin
This is a highly-rated foundation on MakeupAlley and Youtube, and I’ve been using it almost exclusively for a little over 2 months, in both de-humidified chilly air-conditioned environments, and sweltering, rainy tropical weather.
I’m pleased to say that this IS a great foundation, but there are a few things that you need to note before you take the plunge.
- What I think it is? This is semi-matte, oil-free, caused zero breakouts and sensitivities for my slightly-reactive skin, and does not clog pores.
- What I think it’s not? Full coverage, 16-hour, or toning in any discernible way.
- Best Applied With? Fingers. Really work it in for the most natural look.
Do note the below images are taken with flash, and the foundation will be less visible in natural light.
Best thing? This looks good in natural light (below), where so many foundations tend to look unnatural. See how the darker “spots” (which are my hair follicles) are no longer visible?
2. Healthy Mix Concealer
VERDICT: Ok if you your circles aren’t too bad,
PROMISES: Radiance, anti-fatigue, activates micro-circulation
- What I think it is? This is powdery, medium coverage undereye concealer that does a fair job, but is only slightly build-able. Like the foundation, the powdery silicone-based formula just spreads and sheers out if you try to apply more.
- What I think it’s not? A good cover-up for zits and serious dark circles.
- Best Applied With? Fingers.
Do note that the concealer is ever so slightly lighter in shade than its coordinating foundation, and like the foundation, I experienced no oxidization over time, so don’t buy anything too much lighter than your skin-tone unless yo need to neutralize dark spots.
Recommended for those with normal to oily skin and mild to medium dark circles, as it is a matte finish concealer, medium-opacity, and is not peach enough to correct significant blue or purple undertones in the skin.
- Base, Powder, Primer
- Soft brown shadow [MAC Patina]
- Black liner [Any smudgy black liner will do]
- Mascara [Canmake Gokunobi mascara]
- Contour shade [MAC Mineralized Skin Finish Natural in Medium Dark] and Coral blush [TheBalm Hot Mama]
- Nude-coral creme lipstick [Maybelline Watershine Pure #B32]
Friday, February 18, 2011
Topshop A/W 2010 campaign visuals. I love the the smudgy black kohl liner and wet flash of glitter under the eyes and down to the cheekbones, while the lids are a soft cashmere brown. Very grungy but pretty at the same time.
- Oil-based makeup removers: Like removes like. Nothing else removes makeup and post-workout grime quite as well as massaging with an oil-based cleanser. Just make sure to follow with a normal foaming cleanser to remove all traces of residue. I’m using DHC Cleansing Oil. Cheaper and just as effective as Shu Uemura’s, which I previously used for a couple of years.
- Browns: Am rediscovering all the warmer browns in my eyeshadow collection. I like gold browns that aren’t too coppery or brassy. Current faves include L’oreal Chrome Intensity “Magic Amber” Quad (wear an equal blend of all 4 shades) and Make Up Store “Savanna” Microshadow
- TheBalm Hot Mama: I don’t know if I’d call this “sexy” but it does give a healthy coral glow to the cheeks.
- Revlon Pink Pursuit Super Lustrous Lipglosses: Just discovered these gems. They are not too sticky, don’t leave an odd taste at the back of the throat, come in a nice range of shades (although I wish more shared were carried here). My favorite is “Pink Pursuit” (left), a soft neutral pink that is not too shimmery, not too sheer, not to sticky, not too runny, not too deep and not too pale to go with most things.
- Elizabeth Arden 8 Hour Cream: It might be over-priced petroleum jelly for some, but this remains the best intensive under-eye treatment which never causes milia or breakouts for me.
- Everyday Minerals Compact in Golden Medium: I gave up trying to make the gritty, lumpy texture and dull texture work for me. Stick with the loose, matte version, which is great.
- Using a stippling brush for foundation: You end up using more and getting less coverage. And it does still look mildly streaky if you’re not careful. It’s still my favorite tool for applying liquid and cream foundations, but it can’t beat your fingers.
- I Nuovi Undercover concealer #3Y: It’s still one of the best concealers around in terms of giving good correction for under-eye circles without settling into lines or caking, but the shade I have is a tad too deep at the moment. I’ve just been reaching for my Bourjois Healthy Mix more lately.
- MAC Taupe Brow Pencil: I love the shade still. But the darned tip keeps breaking off when I’m sharpening - I don’t know how much of the pencil I’ve wasted. It’s just as well that the local MACs don’t seem to carry it anymore. I’ll be switching to the automatic Eye Brows in Fling.
- Lip-liners: I don’t like how they change the consistency and opacity of glosses, somehow. I prefer just applying a lip primer to mute my lipcolor and keep my lip-line clean, without altering the lipgloss over it.
I’ve always known myself as one of the “tanned ones”. I sunned myself prodigiously as a kid, swimming and playing and roasting myself to a deep bronze with nary an ounce of sun protection.
When I hit my teen years, I became more intensely aware of how highly-prized unblemished, alabaster skin was in Asia. All the sunblocks I ever applied in those days were a sticky, greasy mess that left a streaky-white cast and clogged reactive teenage pores to boot. Plus, no matter how much you applied, you still got tan.
It was something to be avoided unless absolutely necessary. And needless to say, I never did get any fairer.
I still remember the very moment when I realized there were different grades of sunblock. I was 14, and my best friend at the time was a Taiwanese-Vietnamese girl with the sort of translucent, porcelain skin that I would have sold an organ for. We were hanging out at her place before a 3.2km phys-ed run, and her mother threw us a small cyan-blue bottle of Shiseido SPF30 sunblock to apply.
I remember the lack of greasiness, and how amazing it was that after about an hour sweating and exercising in the searing afternoon sun, I stripped off my exercise shorts to shower and found no tan lines.
Me and my circle of friends spent our share of time basting ourselves in the sun with tanning oil. I’ve always tanned very easily, so in place of tanning oil, I had to slather SPF50 all over my body just to control how dark I got. Since I couldn’t be fair, I might as well just get very tan.
It wasn’t until some time later, when I really got into skincare, that I realized just how much long-term photodamage I was doing.
I began to buy daily moisturizers with some measure of sun protection (usually SPF 15-19 since higher SPFs in those days still gave you a white cast). Two of my favorites in those days were Olay White Radiance lotion SPF19, and the first incarnation of Estee Lauder’s Daywear Cream SPF15. These did not leave my skin feeling heavy or greasy, and I could apply makeup over them.
Due to general availability of information and technology advancements now, my routine has been fine-tuned to a degree.
I now know that:
- Your sun protection must contain UVA filters as UVB blocks (Titanium Dioxide) are inadequate to prevent dna damage
- Common UVA filters deteriorate very quickly, so photo-stable UVA filters like Mexoryl and Helioplex are necessary for real protection
- Sunblocks prevent damage but, not 100%
- UV rays can penetrate curtains and windows
- Antioxidants are necessary to repair the damage caused by the rays that make it past your sunblock
My current anti-UV routine:
- Avoid long periods of direct sun-exposure
- Wear an antioxidant serum or lotion daily to prevent damage from stray rays: I like Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair on hot days as a light humectant in place of moisturizer
- Wear a sunblock of SPF30-50: I have a range, from La Roche Posay Tinted Creme to L’oreal UV Perfect Mat SPF30, and Neutrogena Fine Fairness Lotion SPF50
- Apply a second dose of antioxidants to your face at the end of the day: I usually apply a richer antioxidant or repair cream like Egyptian Magic, or NIA24. If I’ve been in the sun, then I will use a stronger repair serum like Prevage, or Advanced Night Repair Intensive before the cream.