Monday, April 23, 2012

Kanebo KATE Brow Gel Liner in BR-3

As a woman with very dark hair that has little to no red tones, I find it very hard to find good brow products that don't lean too warm on my skin. I spent quite a few years using a brow pencil by Dior in the shade Sable, until I realized it turned a tiny bit reddish in contrast to my skin (I still have to say that it's one of the most neutral-toned darker brown high end brow pencil available in Estonia, so if you have chestnutty hair, you might want to check that out!). I'd heard quite a few good words about Japanese brands' brow products, so I figured it'd be the perfect time to try one out.

The concept of using a gel liner type of thing for your eyebrows might seem like a weird idea, but I can assure you, it really is the best thing ever if you don't want to mess around with powders, cannot find a good match in pencils, and liquid type pens seem like too much work.

Don't be afraid, though, the texture of this gel brow liner isn't like your typical gel eyeliner - while eyeliner is muuuuch more creamy and pigmented, truly for painting on lines, KATE brow gel has a drier, slightly powdery texture. Since I've used mine for quite some time already before deciding to share its greatness with you, you can easily see the differences in formula.

As for pigmentation, it offers good colour payoff - not so much that your brows look painted on, but enough to not need a lot of product when doing your makeup. You can also wet your brush, should you need extra coverage in some areas.

Because of its form, you do need a brush to apply it. I use KATE's angled brow brush for this and it does the job wonderfully.

Like most gel eyeliners, it comes in a (surprisingly) small frosted glass pot with a plastic screw on top. You get 2.5 grams of product that might not seem a lot, but keep in mind you don't really need a lot of it, especially if you only want to define and fill them in slightly, so I imagine it would last you for quite some time.


I bought mine from adambeauty for HK $69 (slightly less than 7€). There are two lighter colours available, plus a top coat. 



Since we all like pictures:



You can see the powdery texture here:

Finally, how it looks swatched on my skin



See you next time!
Maria



Eestikeelne tõlge lingile klõpsates!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

POTD - Products of Today

So I was really happy with my makeup today, so I decided to share the products and shades I used for my look. I'm notorious for my camera shyness, so no pictures of my face (at least not just yet), but I hope you'll be getting a general idea of my makeup and the colour combinations.


I decided to pair greyish-purple with taupe on the eyes and coral-peach on the lips and cheeks. I figured warmer corally tones would be a bit more interesting and springy, instead of the regular cooler pinks we usually see with greys and purples. I also highlighted generously (RBR allows me to do so without looking like I've been dipped, face-first, into sparkles) to distract from my dry skin, and used no powder - I'm very curious to see whether my skin will change back to combination-oily once the weather turns warmer.

Base:
9 - Rouge Bunny Rouge - Sea of Clouds highlighter
10 - Illamasqua Rich Liquid Foundation in RF 100 as a mixer to make my foundation and concealer match
11 - Bourjois Healthy Mix foundation in 51
12 - Too Faced Absolutely Flawless Concealer in Vanilla
13 - MAC blush in Melba

Eyes:
2 - Chanel Illusion d'Ombre in Illusoire in a thin layer on my eyelids
8 - Kanebo KATE Wide Edge Eyes eyeshadow palette - lavender shade in my crease area, and taupe in the outer third of my lower eyelid
4 - GOSH Velvet Touch eyeliner in Blueberry Ice - an absolutely beautiful, beautiful shade. I used it in my inner corners and on the inner two thirds of my lower eyelid
5 - Chanel Stylo Yeux Waterproof eyeliner in black to add definition to my waterline
6 - Dior Diorshow mascara in black
7 - Maybelline Gel Eyeliner in black
3 - Kanebo KATE Eyebrow Gel in BR-3

Lips:
1 - GOSH lipgloss in 0084

Monday, March 26, 2012

Illamasqua Rich Liquid Foundation in RF100 White review + swatches


Those who know me in real life, probably also know about the biggest thing that irks me about the selection of beauty products in Estonia. It's too small. Brand-wise I think we're doing pretty okay - I mean, I'd love to see some Burberry, Revlon, Illamasqua...around here, but what annoys me the most, is the lack of shade variety in base products, especially when it comes to pale colours (I've gotten much-much paler and am now around N/NC10, if MAC made that shade). Every single foundation I've tried has been either too dark or too pink, or even worse, both
As my awareness of the shade difference between my neck and face grew, I decided to do something about it. 
Enter Illamasqua Rich Liquid foundation.


As Illamasqua is not available here, I had to order it online. It arrived quickly and safely (I've ordered from them a few times, and they've always arrived on time - 7 days, give or take -, nicely packaged and with no damage, though the shipping is a tiny bit high). 

The shade RF100 is pure white that's great for mixing - it doesn't alter the undertone of your regular foundation in any way, just lightens it to your liking. For reference, I use it with Bourjois Healthy Mix in 51, and haven't had any issues with it (I've also mixed it into my concealer, and it worked equally well). 
I also love the packaging. It's very functional, the plastic bottle isn't heavy and is great for travelling. Another great thing is that it's a squeeze tube - I'm really not a fan of wide-necked screw-top bottles, like MAC Studio Fix Fluid is, for example.

The main issue I have with this foundation, however, is the very dry texture - as you can see from the swatch picures, it's not runny at all. I happen to like the texture of Healthy Mix very much, so it bothers me a bit that it turns much-much drier and has less slip than before with the addition of Rich Liquid. Because of its consistency, I find it clings to dry patches, so you really need to moisturize well before applying, and exfoliate regularly. After a few hours, my natural oils seem to show though a bit, and the foundation turns much dewier, oilier girls would need to blot by then, I imagine.
Also, I'd recommend using it sparingly and buffing it in well, because using a generous amount could make your skin look cakey.
What could also be a good thing or not, depending on how you like your foundations, is its coverage. It's very opaque, the tiny dot I had on my arm for pictures covered an area of 7x3 cm. I personally prefer to sheer/lighten it up a bit with adding liquid highlighter into the mix.

To sum up, I'd say it's a good foundation, but very high-maintenance. Illamasqua has one of the best shade lineups I've seen amongst beauty brands, but I wish they'd release a sheer-medium coverage foundation at some point.








Until next time,
Maria

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Shiseido GD804 Opera Luminizing Satin Eye Color Trio - and, a hello!

 Hello, dear readers. It's been a while since I last blogged - my personal life went through many-many changes and this blog, sadly, was not a priority anymore. Hopefully I'll be successful in trying to get back into blogging and offer you even better posts!

I picked one of my absolute favourite eyeshadow palettes to write about as my first post after a long hiatus.
Opera is not my first experience with Shiseido - it's actually one of my favourite brands, and has been for a few years already. Unfortunately, at least on the western markets, Shi tends to be overlooked in favour of the more 'flashier' brands. A shame, since they offer beautiful quality and interesting, wearable colour combinations.


The eyeshadows are housed in a surprisingly small and lightweight palette - the bottom is almost see-through when you open the lid. Nevertheless, the packaging is nice and sleek and doesn't look cheap. A note to those who like to depot - I've heard that they're quite easily removable.


I am not the one to come up with spot-on descriptions for shades (I feel my English is inadequate to do so), but I'll try my best and hope that the photos are good enough.
All of the shades are satin, with a very silky texture, they're smooth I've never experienced skipping. I would have to say that the shadows are very soft, pigmentation-wise, but can be built up quite easily. 
The darkest colour is a grey-olive shade, with subtle gold shimmer that serves to add dimension - no individual sparkles are visible once applied to the skin (that also goes for the gold shade as well).
The middle colour is a gorgeous gold that's quite neutral and thus easy to wear on my skin. I find warm golds quite unflattering on my cool yellow-olive skin, although I can wear them, only paired with neutral and cool tones.
The third colour, the 'highlight', is a beautiful sky-blue. The payoff is the poorest, I think my skin eats it up somehow, so I always need to build it quite a bit for it to show properly. The sheerness is not entirely a bad thing, as I can use the blue as an interesting take on a traditional highlight.. although not exactly under the brow, rather at the upper part of the browbone, much like on the promo picture.

Finally, I've added some on-arm swatches. The olive turns much greyer on my skin, but the two other shades are true to pan. I also didn't want to build the colours up too much, since their softness and delicacy are my favourite things about them.




Hopefully, there will be a much shorter wait between posts now. :)
Maria


Eestikeelne tõlge lingile klõpsates!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Two Of My Absolute Favorite Highlighters (plus two honorable mentions)!

I love highlighters. I do. However, things have not always been this way - a mere year ago I couldn't really see a point of it. I'm kind of oily, I'm acne prone, it'll just make me look greasy or, worse, break me out. How things change... Highlighter has grown to be an essential part of my everyday makeup routine, especially in the winters, and I've found it really gives the look a certain je ne sais quoi. Since I'm still oily-skinned, I have to be careful as to which products to choose, so these are the ones I've really liked.

Christian Dior Poudre Shimmer (Shimmer Powder) in Amber Diamond

Image from: strawberrynet.com


 This product I found completely by accident - I was just looking around on some beauty message boards and discovered that loads of people recommended it. Next day, I decided to check it out in person, and it was love at first sight.
This highlighter gives me such a nice, subtle glow - it really is hard to overdo, and it's great for daytime. I apply it with my MAC 188 brush, and I actually have to swipe a few times to build up the intensity. It may seem quite dark in the pan, kind of bronzy even, but I assure you, it only gives my pale NC15 skin a hint of colour, nothing over the top. The packaging is beautiful: deep dark blue compact that opens easily, and my favourite - no brush! The compact comes with a velvety sleeve that is such a horrible dust collector. The packaging seems sturdy enough, but I'll have to warn you to take extra care of it when traveling, as I've read a few reviews where people say they've put it in their bags when packing for a trip, and it has shattered.


BECCA Shimmering Skin Perfector in Pearl
 Image from: zuneta.com

I love this. Plain and simple. This is much more noticeable on your skin than the Dior one, but it really is a great choice for somebody who doesn't like messing around with powders. Since it's a liquid, it can be blended seamlessly with your foundation, providing sometimes a more natural finish than powders, and it works beautifully when a tiny bit is mixed with moisturizer. The shimmer particles are very tightly "packed", so no individual glittery bits stand out, and the shade (white) is perfect with my skin tone. The liquid doesn't dry down, instead it provides a very dewy glow that you can minimize with simply dusting a little powder on top - it'll still shine through, but the effect will  be much more subtle. 
What I also like about it is that you get an incredible amount - 50 ml - so considering the fact that you only need a tiny bit every time, it'll last you for a long time. 
The packaging is great - it has two caps, one bigger, and a smaller one that's transparent. When I'm traveling with liquids in my bag or suitcase I'm always scared the caps will come off or the packaging will spill somehow, and this two-cap-system prevents that.
It is a bit harder to find than the Dior one, but zuneta.com sells this, and they have international shipping. If you want to try it out before buying, just ask them for samples - I did, and they were happy to provide them!


I thought I'd include two more products that I like, but not enough to justify buying or I just don't find myself reaching for (AKA The Honorable Mentions).
Rouge Bunny Rouge Liquid Highlighter Sea of Clouds
  Image from: makeup4all.com

Rouge Bunny Rouge is the current bloggers' favourite brand, and I have to admit that I'm completely smitten with them as well. The packaging is absolutely gorgeous, and very high end, and the formulas seem to be very-very good. It comes in an artfully decorated glass bottle with a hygienic pump dispenser. I tried it out first at my local RBR counter and, perhaps because the bottle was only half full, too much of it squirted out, despite me trying to be very careful with it. The consistency is wonderful, very spreadable, and it dries completely matte. The shimmer particles in this are much more noticeable, because it isn't so tightly packed with them. On the skin, I didn't notice that much of a difference, but honestly, I kind of prefer the BECCA 'tightly packed' version. One thing that made me like BECCA more, is the amount - you get 30ml vs BECCA's 50 ml, yet it costs 15€ more. 
It still is a lovely product, but I recommend trying it out before you buy, since it's such an investment - once again, zuneta.com stocks it.


MAC Eyeshadow in Ricepaper

 Image from: luuux.com

I really like products you can use for different things, and in ways it necessarily isn't meant to function. It really is an old makeup artists' trick to use a light coloured slightly shimmery eyeshadow as a nice highlighter on the cheekbones, but I discovered it back when I was graduating 9th grade. I was doing my makeup and decided my base needed something more, and this pot caught my eye, so I experimented. The outcome was very nice, nicer than I'd actually expected, and I got many compliments on my makeup that day. It also photographs beautifully, since it's not extremely shimmery. 
Since it is quite a warm shade, it might not be suitable for cool toned people, since the yellow undertone would clash against pink (however, it depends on the look you're going for!).


Do you use a highlighter? What products do you like best?



Eestikeelne tõlge lingile klõpsates!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Favourite Body Lotions and Moisturizers for Summer!

Now, the weather in Estonia is extremely sunny and very warm right now, so it's not really necessary to wear body lotions all the time, but my skin tends to get dehydrated quite fast, even on summer days, so I need something light yet sufficiently hydrating. These are my picks:

The Body Shop Shea Whip Body Lotion

Image from: thebodyshop-usa.com

I actually like most of The Body Shop's body lotions and body butters, and I find they work well on my skin. I'm a huge fan of the wonderful creamy scent of this and the formulation makes it perfect for light summer hydration (as I prefer the heavier body butters for winter!).

Garnier Body Repair Cream
Image from: buduaar.ee

Now, I know this is geared towards very dry skin in need of rescue. However, I don't find this product actually this moisturizing to use in the winter when my skin really is in that condition (maybe just for during the day on top of a more powerful body cream). I love this during the summer and mostly use it on my arms and as a hand cream before going to bed - it preserves the moisture in my skin beautifully.
Note: this cream also comes in a bottle and in a tube, but I prefer using this one from a small tub, for some reason. But it's nice to know you can choose the packaging you're most comfortable with.

Garnier BodyTonic Lotion
Image from: garnier.co.uk
 
As the previous two ones have been with more moisturizing properties, I wanted to pick a product that would suit people who find them a bit too heavy. The BodyTonic lotion is very light and non-greasy - it sinks in almost immediately. It has a nice citrus smell with a hint of herbs, which is actually really appealing to me. It supposedly has a firming effect that I honestly haven't really noticed, probably because I don't particularly need it yet, but hey, if the effect works for you, it's a great bonus to an already great lotion!


Do you moisturize regularly during summer or do you find it to be a bother in hot weather?


Eestikeelne tõlge lingile klõpsates!


Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Shiseido Shimmering Rouge Lipstick in RS310 Brocade

Shiseido is, in my opinion, one of the most underrated makeup brands. It offers great quality products and I've liked everything I've tried from them and I'll definitely continue to discover that brand.
I recently stopped by my local Shiseido counter to see if they had anything new to try out and spotted the new Shimmering Rouge lipsticks. These are Shiseido's answer to this season's trend of sheer lipsticks. Like the name suggests, all of these shades are quite shimmery, some more than the others, so I'd say even people usually very of shimmer can find a suitable lipstick from this line. All of colours in this range are very nice and wearable.

 Image from: blondycandy.com


The shade I eyed first was PK407 Stiletto which is also the lipstick chosen to represent this line, but I thought I'd be too cool-toned for me, so I chose RS310 Brocade (gorgeous name as well, isn't it?).
I find that the swatch on the website is pretty accurate in terms of how it is on my lips - I've read a couple of reviews on this particular shade and I've seen it look much more rosy in those reviews, but on me, it's a gorgeous berry shade that leans either more cool or warm in different lights - such an unique efect!

It's very long-lasting on me, which is a bit of a surprise really, considering that it's supposed to be a sheer lipstick. Speaking of which, it isn't that sheer on me either. This lipstick applies almost opaquely at the first swipe - perhaps it's because the texture is very creamy, so I use more product. I applied this before going out and after about four-five hours it was still there, albeit slightly faded. As it fades, the shimmer becomes more apparent and it emphasizes flaky lips more than when it's first applied, so I'd say you should take care of your lips beforehand, though it's not an extremely capricious lipstick.

The packaging is sleek, like always with Shiseido. The tube is tall and thin and it sits very well in hand. It's also surprisingly lightweight (the bullet is bigger than regular MAC lipsticks, yet weighs a bit less). You also get less product, which might be a thing to consider - Shiseido Shimmering Rouge contains 0.07 oz (bit less than 2 grams) of product, compared to MAC (0.10 oz /2.8 grams) and YSL Rouge Volupté (0.12 oz /3.4 grams), yet it costs more than MAC (around 25€ here, 25$ on Sephora's website).


8/10


Eestikeelne tõlge lingile klõpsates!


Sunday, July 17, 2011

Guerlain Terracotta Loose Powder Kohl Liner - Instant Seductive Eyes!

I'll have to warn you - this is going to be a wordy review, so if you don't feel like reading through it all, I've provided a small bulletpoint summary below the text!

Image from sephora.com

As long as I can remember, I've been a fan of traditional arabic kohl lined eyes - it has always seemed so beautiful, yet mysterious and seductive at the same time. A couple of trips to Dubai have only renewed and reinforced my love for it. Until now, I've always thought that that kind of makeup would look too harsh on me(despite my dark hair and relatively dark eyes).

I've wanted to try the Guerlain Loose Powder Kohl Liner for some time now, but the price has always scared me off - 'what if it doesn't work? what if I end up raccoon eyes or just look ridiculous?' have always been my main arguments.
Recently, I got over my fear and went ahead and finally purchased my long-coveted eyeliner and tried it out the next day.

Let's start with the packaging - it's gorgeous, through the golden top should be metal, not plastic, for such a steep price. The eyeliner measures around 9 centimetres (3.5 inches) with the top screwed on, so it is not, by any means, a big product. You get 0.03 ounces, which is slightly less than 1 gram of kohl powder, which may not seem like a lot, but you use a minute amount every time you apply it, so it should last a long time.

It comes in several shades - Sephora's website lists 3 - Black (dark with small shimmers that serve to make the shade a bit more interesting, less flat), Brun (a deep golden brown), and Blue (deep teal blue). Guerlain also has come out regularly with different limited edition shades over the years as parts of their seasonal collections.

The black shade I ended up getting is deep and nicely pigmented, and it stays on for a long time on the waterline, and doesn't turn gray in the process. As the time goes by, I find that it migrates slightly to my lashline, but it does it in a good way, so I get the 'bedroom eyes'-look, not the 'I'm-actually-part-raccoon'-look. The colour does not have any blue undertones in it, which I find great, because I'm not a fan of blue-black tones.

The box the liner comes in also has a piece of paper explaining the ways of applying it - the traditional, eastern way and the western way. I prefer using it the traditional way since it does have the wand applicator and it works better this way, I find. However, if you don't like touching your eyes all that much, you may find the western way a bit more comfortable, at least at first.
The traditional way of applying it is roughly like this: you unscrew the top, take out the wand and make sure that it's evenly coated with the powder. To ensure that you don't get too much, tap it slightly so that the excess falls back into the container. You put the wand on top of your waterline, very close to your eye, shut your eye and drag the wand towards the 'end' of your eye. The wand should touch your eyeball - I know, I know..it sounds gross, but it doesn't hurt at all, since the powder is specially formulated that even when small particles of kohl get into your eye, they won't harm you.

Since it's a loose powder, you might get a bit of fall out if you're not careful. To avoid this, place a tissue on your undereye area when applying or just do it before your foundation, because it really is tough to clean up afterwards (personal experience!).

My last point of this review is hygene. You absolutely cannot share it with anyone! Unlike eyepencils that you can use on other people and then wipe the top off and sanitize it, the applicator on this product is tough to sanitize. I know most people don't mind it, since they aren't planning on doing makeup on other people, but it might be a point to consider.

In short:
+ gorgeous packaging
+ you use a tiny amount every time
+ beautiful colours in the permanent range (and also limited editions!)
+ long-lasting
+ non-harmful (since it doesn't contain lead)
- pricy
- non-sanitizable
- might be tricky to apply at first

All in all, I love this product and I'm so glad I finally got it!
9/10


Eestikeelne tõlge lingile klõpsates!


Saturday, July 9, 2011

YSL Anti-Cernes Multi-Action Concealer

In my makeup wearing years I've tried numerous concealers, most of which have been drugstore ones. Now, I don't have anything against drugstore makeup (in fact, recent discoveries have opened my eyes considerably and I've seriously warmed up to it), but for some reason I've never had much luck with cheap concealers. Frustrated that yet another product had turned horribly orange on me, I decided to look into more pricier products. And so I discovered my current favorite.

 Image from sephora.com

The YSL Anti Cernes Multi Action Concealer does its job remarkably well - it covers up both blemishes and my terribly dark undereye circles with relative ease and doesn't look cakey. It's not particularly matte, perhaps because it has light diffusing particles in it, yet they're subtle enough not to highlight red spots. Its consistency is solid, yet creamy and is very blendable.

As with all concealers, you do need to set it, but I find that once you've done that, it doesn't really move, unless you rub your face. It looks quite natural, and one of the factors to thank for this is the colors. The selection isn't good for dark skins, as it has only four shades (I've only seen the three lighter shades in stores around here), but the existing colors seem quite wearable. I use the lightest shade (1 Ivory Beige) and while it has a yellow tone to it, it's definitely not overpowering and it really is a good match (I'm an NC15- NC20, for reference).

YSL says that this concealer has good pigmentation, and I'd have to say I quite agree with them. However, since I prefer quite a flawless base for my makeup on most days, I go through them more often than I would like to, which isn't a particularly good thing, considering that's it's quite a pricy product for the small amount you get in the container (2 grams/0.07 oz).

The packaging is gorgeous - a gold column that's a bit weighty. It sits well in hand and is quite comfortable to hold when using it.

All in all, it's a great concealer, and its only cons are the price and the amount you get. I'll keep using it until I find a similar one that does its job just as well and has a better size vs price value.

7/10

Eestikeelne tõlge lingle klõpsates!


Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Chanel Poudre Universelle Libre Natural Finish Loose Powder

Image from: chanel.com


Chanel.com describes this as: "Ultra-soft loose powder provides sheer, light coverage with a soft matte finish, setting and perfecting makeup as it evens skin tone. Photo-reflective pigments help disguise imperfections without emphasizing lines.".



I use this as a setting powder over my liquid foundation (Chanel Mat Lumiere - see my review here) and concealer, and this does its job beautifully - it sets it properly, giving it a natural finish. I find that you can alter the finish slightly using different techniques - for example, using a powder puff (I use the one the powder comes with, it's of great quality), pushing the product it and knocking the unnecessary off with a powder brush makes it more matte than it would be when applying it with just a brush. As the day goes by, it gradually melds into my skin, making it look more and more natural as the day goes by.
By the afternoon, I find I need a bit of touching up as the first bits of oil starts seeping through - keep in mind that I'm not extremely oily, so some people might need touching up a bit earlier.

The color selection is great for light to medium-dark skins. A couple of lighter shades are supposed to be translucent, and don't give much color, so I imagine they're quite universally usable without the danger of looking ashy. However, it might be that extremely light skins and very dark skins may find it difficult to get a color match or find that the "translucent" shades give a tiny bit of unnecessary color.

The product is housed in a large sturdy round plastic pot, which sits comfortably on table and is usable without the fear of knocking it accidentally over. One of the most positive things about the packaging is that it really doesn't break easily - I've used up around three of four of these and have probably dropped each one of them to the floor at some point, yet none of them have broken.
The sifter is covered with a piece of clear tape to prevent powder from spilling before first use - I'd recommend not pulling it off completely, because it prevents you from shaking out too much powder. You also get 30 grams/1 ounce of product which I think is a great value for money, even when considering the price ($52.00 at chanel.com) because it'll last you for some time.

10/10

Eestikeelne tõlge lingile klõpsates!