Saturday, July 25, 2009

Review: E.L.F Studio Brushes

I've gotten a couple of the E.L.F Studio brushes and I've tried my best to take pictures. As they are black, it's really extremely hard to capture any details. I'm skipping photos for these. I think they show up better on E.L.F site. :(

Overall, I really like these brushes. They are made of taklon and I think they're really neat and not poorly made. They're worth every penny paid. (Oh my god, I just realised they have new brushes again! -.-) So if you have a chance to pick them up, don't hesitate. At least pick up the first two brushes mentioned below. The Complexion brush and Powder brush are must-gets. They are so cheap and so useful.

Powder Brush
This is a flat-top brush that's slightly flared out. It's very soft and dense. It's very good for applying mineral foundation and very easy to buff it out on the face. Also good for anything that needs blending. I find it similiar to Everyday Minerals Flat Top brush just that EDM's brush is more dense and it isn't flared. Personally I prefer ELF's version as EDM's flat top brush has been irritating my skin. This has taken over as my favourite flat top brush after using it.

Complexion Brush
Oh. This is one of my favourites too. It's a dome shaped fluffy brush. It's not a rounded brush if you look at it from the top. It's just a flat brush (from the sides) like The Body Shop blush brush, but more fluffy at the top. It's super soft on the face and I love it. I find it good for when you need a light dusting of loose powder all over the face or when applying blush or bronzer. I like using this, especially for pigmented mineral blushes (mineral blush that comes in loose powder form which can be a pain to work with if I use the TBS blush brush, as the brush is slightly flatter and would cause all the blush powder to stick together). It'll go onevenly on the brush and go on light-handed on the face like a sheer blush. Perfect!

Concealer Brush

The ELF Studio Concealer Brush is just flat and dense. I find it really good for applying and blending creamy concealers.

Small Angled Brush
This brush head is really small. I think it's half the size or maybe two-third of the size of a normal small angled brush. It worked decently in applying gel-liners or for using it to apply eyebrow powder to the brows. It can also be used to line eyeshadow along the corners or along the lower lids. I really like it for applying gel-liners. What I hate about this is the handle is really long so it's a hassle to keep.

I still have a couple more brushes which I haven't tried. Will get to it and continue with part 2. ;)

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Tips: Application for Different Eye Shapes

I've been experimenting with the "defining your crease" method on my eyes.
It was all right. It worked for some colours but when I go a little darker on the colours, it got messy. Still trying hard to grasp it.

I don't think it really suits all Asians' eyes (-gives face-).

But if you are interested, here's a pretty good read on it..

Bookmarked from here!

There are 6 basic eyeshapes:
  1. Almond/average Deep Set
  2. Prominent
  3. Wide Set
  4. Close set
  5. Hooded

Then i feel there are a couple more to add that i feel are also pretty basic that i will also throw in:
  • Small
  • Asian
  • Down set

Identification: Looking straight ahead with head straight forward (not tilted up or down) the classifications are as follows.

Almond/Average eyes: this also known in the beauty world as the "perfect eye shape". Basically the proportions of your eye are the ideal quantity of 1/3 lid and 2/3 brow area. So in the mirror if the amount of lid seen is 1/3 of the rest of the eye area above the crease you have almond eyes. Also there is little drooping of the upper or lower lid... like the shape of an almond!

Deep set eyes: with this type of eye, you commonly see that the eye is set back farther into the socket and the brow is extended farther out away from the face. The crease is deep set and often times when you close one eye the crease can still be seen.

Prominent eyes: Many text books call this shape "bulging" eyes but i greatly dislike that term... so i just like to say that with this shape your eyes are the most prominent feature of your face! Usually the eyes protrude from the socket slightly more than most eyes... a great way to determine if you have this eye shape is to place a pencil or brush vertically across your eyebrow and letting it rest on your cheek... if your eye can touch it (or in my case i cant even get the pencil to rest on my cheek without my eye being in the way) you have prominent eyes. In the same sense if your eye doesn't come close to touching the pencil (or your eyelashes bat it) then you have deep set eyes!

Wide set and close set eyes
: Basically everyone is a little wide set or close set... no one has perfectly spaced eyes... but the way you determine whether you are a little wide set or close set is to see if you can fit the length of one of your eyes in between your eyes. Odd sounding i know but take your pinky finger and hold it horizontally under your eye... it should be the same legnth from the tip of your pinky finger to the middle knuckle (not the one closest to your nail or the one closest to your hand) as your eye! then set that across your nose. Line up with the pink of one eye. If your knuckle overlaps the other eye, you are slightly close set, if you have space to spare you have wide set eyes!

Hooded eyes: Unfortunately we all need to know how to apply makeup to this shape generally because it's the shape of mature eyes... in other words as you get older your eyes will start to have this shape. This eye shape is classified as having a fold of eye skin that usually hides the crease diminishing the lid (when looking forward) or all together hides the lid and touches the lash line.

Other types:
Small eyes: usually the eye appears smaller in comparison to the proportions of the face... Usually these eye shapes have little to no crease.
Asian eyes: Not to be confused with small eyes. Asian eyes still have a crease however the lid area is half the size or width of almond eye shapes.
Down set eyes: Also known as "droopy" eyes, the outer corners usually tilt upward for most eye shapes, however with this eye shape the outer corners of the eyes slant downward in a "droopy" fashion... but never fear, this is one of the easiest and most dramatic of fixes!

Application Techniques:

Remember the one rule of thumb- lighter colors bring features forward and into focus, while dark colors push features back and diminish lines.

Almond: This eye shape can pull off any look however the most flattering look for this shape would be a smudged smokey look. Eyeliner on top and bottom smudged to blur and neutral medium shadows for the lid.

Deep set: This eye shape needs little contouring... so though you shouldn't wear too dark of shadows or go heavy with the liner, you can however pull off almost any color! For these ladies i'd suggest liners in many shades like gold, silver, blues and greens. Try to avoid a lot of blacks and dark browns. If you just can't part from the dark liner, be sure to only apply a very thin line to the lashes or just stick to the waterline. Remember the darker colors will only make deep set eyes look even more recessed than they are... light colors will bring them forward and balanced.

Prominent eyes: This eye shadow technique is all about making the lid more diminished. Darker eyesahdows are your friend and will minimize the "bulging-ness" of the eye. However use caution. NEVER go above the natural crease or you will end up with deep set eyes. Also with most prominent eye shapes, the under eye area can cast a shadow making it appear as though you have under eye cirlces, so be sure to stick close to the lash line.

Wide set eyes: with wide set eyes you want to create the illusion that your eyes are closer by creating a crease and liner that widens as it gets closer to the eye. So you want to stay away from cat eye looks and keep the crease color to a minimum at the outer edges of the eye.

Close set eyes: Application is just the opposite! Liner and crease should widen as you reach the outer corners of the eye. Cat eye looks are the perfect answer for this!

Hooded eyes: for many women the technique may seem daunting but as long as you keep to the rule, application will be a breeze! Keep lighter shades at the lash line and under the brow. Medium shades at the inner 1/3 of the lid... and forget the natural crease... apply darker crease colors only on the skin that seems to "hood" over the rest of your lid and blend well... this dramatically diminishes the part of the eye that seems to sag over your lid.

Small eyes: soft looks are the best when it comes to small eyes... dark colors just close the eye area and often lead to making the eyes look even smaller. Use brighter colors and contour with soft shades above the natural crease... this gives the illusion of open bright eyes.

Asian eyes: Liner is your friend! Just make sure its thinner in the center and widens at the outer and inner edges. Keep the colors bright and apply neutral shade for contour at the inner corners of the lid add dimension.

Down set eyes: Lift outer corners by applying shadows and liners that move in upward motion away from the downward edge of the eye... make liner much thicker at the ends and blend crease color into what would be a cat eye on most other eye shapes. add balance by contouring the inner corner of the lid with a darker shadow effect (unless eyes are also close set)

ETA: Now deep set eyes and hooded eyes most likely won't touch the pencil on the pencil method, however the main difference is determined on if the lid becomes covered by the skin above the crease... More often than not hooded eyes will cover 1/3 to over half of the lid when looking forward.

And remember ladies this all just a guideline! All eye shapes are beautiful and when make up is applied right every eye shape can be enhanced!

Other entries:
1. Tips: Eyeliner and Eyeshadow for Different Eye Shapes

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Review: E.L.F Studio Blush & Bronzer Compact

Another E.L.F haul. Finally got it. So happy with it.

I bought a couple more brushes but I keep forgetting to take pictures of those. I'll try to do a post on E.L.F STUDIO brushes as soon as I can. :D

And I finally got the USD$1 Eyeshadow Blending brush. It is amazingly soft. I used to blend with those normal eyeshadow brush and would get irritated over it cos it seemed to scratch my eyelids so much. I was starting to worry about saggy eyelids. Worry no more. I can use this. It actually looked better than I saw in pictures. I wonder if they change the way it's made.

And I also bought E.L.F STUDIO Blush and Bronzer Compact, the Translucent Matt Powder and the Eyebrow Kit in Dark.

The packaging is really nice. These come in cardboard boxes and when you open it, you'll see a piece of black cardboard paper keeping the compacts in place. The compacts are very smooth and sleek. However, they are a pain to open. They are not made like those drugstore 2-way foundation compacts where a push in the button will unlock the clasp and the compact will open easily. For these compacts, you have to exert some force to "force" it open. :\

The mirror for the bigger compacts is a good size. However, I was a little disappointed with the size of the pans in the compacts. They look a lot bigger in the cardboard boxes above or other photos posted online. They are actually smaller than the size of the pans for drugstore 2-way foundation(think ZA, L'Oreal, Maybelline). The blush and bronzer duo is still all right for the size (I guess). But no wonder people feel cheated when they bought the translucent matt powder (since the size of it looks like it wouldn't last long).

The Contouring blush and bronzer powder in Blushed/Bronzed is gorgeous. It looks darker in real life. It looks like a peach blush but I don't think it really is. Have tested both and the blush is really really gorgeous. I think maybe it is a coral peach with gold shimmers that are not over the top. Very natural for everyday. It's pigmented and yet I didn't overdo it with my The Body Shop blush brush (I always overdo it if I use it on pigmented blushes). I don't have NARS blushes so I don't know how this compares to them. However I have a few NARS Orgasm's dupes like Majolica Majorca Blush in RD255 (which is my favourite blush!) and The Body Shop Cheek Blush in 04 Golden Pink (which I bought because of this review but it didn't turn up well on my cheeks). I did a swatch with the 3 of them but photos didn't turn up well. (sighs) Basically they look like they come from the family with the same amount of golden shimmers in the following order from lightest to darkest: TBS blush in 04, Majolica Majorca in RD255, ELF Studio Blush duo.

04 Golden Pink didn't turn up much with one swipe that's why it's the lightest. :P

A significant difference between Majolica Majorca Blush in RD255 and ELF Studio Blush duo is the former is more peachy while ELF Studio Blush is darker and obviously more reddish.

Majolica Majorca Blush in RD255 used to be my favourite blush ever since I got it because it's so wearable everyday. But what I don't like about it is that it does not give me enough of a glow. Now my favourite is ELF Studio Blush! Holy Grail!

If you are not interested in reddish blush, you might want to consider Milani Blush in Luminous, another NARS dupe which I heard is more pinkish. :) I have not bought it yet, not yet. ;P

As for the bronzer, it is really quite a dark shade. It's super pigmented. I think it's more suitable for those with skintone NC30 and above. I'm between NC25-NC30 and it's super obvious on my face. But I think I still might be able to use it if I'm super light-handed. I would recommend getting the E.L.F STUDIO Complexion Brush for bronzer as it's pretty good for applying pigmented blushes or bronzers and making them appear more sheer. I haven't tried it on the bronzer yet but it works pretty well for my pigmented blushes.

Overall I think this is a pretty good buy. Get it if you are interested! I think it should be a flattering shade for most ladies. It might not work as well for those who are too fair (since it's darker than in the photo I posted).

Reviews of the other 2 compacts will be done when I've tried it.

And I just realised E.L.F Studio released new products on their site again -bangs wall-

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

New on Shelves: NYX Eyeshadow Palettes

NYX has new items up on shelves. And they are eyeshadow palettes (There are new single eyeshadow shades, lippies and pigments but I'm not really interested at the moment. lol.). Pretty palettes with 5-10 shades in it. And at a very good price.

The Carribbean Collection - 5 Color Palette

The Runway Collection & For Your Eyes Only - 10 Color Palette

I'm wanting these so bad. The prices look so tempting.

I've strayed to look for other sites selling NYX at better prices since there was feedback that is currently taking longer to sending out packages as they are experiencing higher business traffic flow.

Prices on this site really looks good. (Click banner for site)

NYX Runway Collection (removed link)

NYX Eyeshadow For Your Eyes Only (removed link)

NYX Eyeshadow Carribean Collection (removed link)

I've not tried ordering from that site yet but prices for some of the items I'm interested in are cheaper than Cherry Culture or MsCuppyCakes. Well, it looks good until you hit the "checkout" button and click "shipping to Singapore". Then you'll start wondering how the shipping rates are generated. That's the part where I got bummed whether or not to order.

If you are based in USA, you are in for a treat for there's free shipping for orders above USD$50. -sulks-

If you are not, like me, what should I do?

I need a solution. :(

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Free stuff: Kao Laurier F. Sample Pack

If you are interested to try it, you can redeem it here. It's free! :)

Can't review it lah because I don't think anyone is interested in a sanitary pad review. :P

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Review: Jason Natural Vitamin E Oil 5000IU

I purchased this product after reading endless raves about it on Everyday Minerals forum.

It's supposedly all organic, containing 5 different types of oil.

Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil*, and/or Carthamus Tinctorius (Safflower) Seed Oil*, Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E), Natural Tocopherol (Natural Vitamin E), Oryza Sativa (Rice) Bran Oil, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, Prunus Armeniaca (Apricot) Kernel Oil, Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil, Triticum vulgare (Wheat) Germ Oil, Lecithin, Essential Oil Blend. *Certified Organic

You can read this for more information.

This product doesn't look like an oil. It seems really watery in the bottle. The cap is terribly frustrating to work with. It's those cap where you just press one edge and the other edge will pop up for you to pour it out. However, the oil doesn't come out that smoothly. And when it does, it overflows and gets the cap oily.

It smells really good. It smells of sweet almond oil, a really nice sweet scent. When I used it, I just pour a drop or two, rub it in my palms and pat it gently all over my face. And because we're in Singapore, I was advised to spritz some toner before using any form of oil. So I spritzed a lot and used the oil on my cleansed face.

It goes on really well, oily but you wouldn't feel your face is greasy to the touch. I do feel the skin is plumped. I used it on and off for a while now and my verdict is....

It is overrated.

Although this Vitamin E oil works all right as a moisturiser, it doesn't seem to improve my complexion. I don't feel any different. Definitely not as miraculous as the other ladies raving about it in the forum. And I did end up with breakouts. I haven't gotten new acne in a while and this Vitamin E oil left me with a new pimple after each use. :(

I headed back to the forum to look at the thread again and suddenly I saw a few other ladies having the same problem. There was a discussion regarding the ingredients and apparently wheat germ oil is rated as HIGHLY comodogenic and rated a 5 out of 5 (List of acne causing ingredients).

I wanted to scream :( at myself for not doing my homework.

I had wanted to try this Vitamin E oil to see whether it was really that miraculous and it disappointed me greatly. I had wanted to see whether it would help with fading scars but I don't see any improvement.

So the answer is clear. Do not get it.

This has probably worked for ladies in cold dry climates but I've given it enough chances. Getting your pores clogged is not fun. I can't deny I love the feeling of it on the face but I'm never going to try it on the face anymore. I've even tried dabbing it under my eyes to see whether it helps to "reduce fine lines" as claimed. I ended up with milla seeds about to surface. :(

Think it would be banish it into Cold Palace. Or probably just use it on my neck or body. I'll update again if anything miraculous happen.

New Hauls: The Body Shop Atrium Sale

Went to The Body Shop Atrium Sale and picked these up.

Wanted to stock up my Tea Tree Oil Facial Wash as it's running low. Luckily they have it. It's a full size. I think it can last me a while.

Tea Tree Oil Facial Wash - $16.90 with 30% off
Wild Cherry & Passion Fruit Shower Gel - 2 for $14.90

Guess it's a pretty good deal. I almost bought it off their stores at 20% off instead. :P

Oh, and Wild Cherry smells wonderful. I thought Passion Fruit was nice but Wild Cherry is way better. Can't wait to use it. I don't find their shower gels particularly moisturizing or whatever. I just love the scent. Currently using the Strawberry Shower Gel, which just keeps me happy everyday.

And I miscalculated so my purchases weren't over $30 so I didn't get the stamp. Boo.

If you are a The Body Shop member, you would know why you get obsessed with their products. Their membership and "collecting stamps" system makes you addicted to buying them whenever you see a sale.

I'm lemming for something from their Hot Brights Summer collection. Waiting for a discount in stores or a voucher to drop my way.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Review: Joppa Minerals Lip Twist in Melon Crush

Had a swop with a forumer for this tinted lip balm - Joppa Minerals Lip Twist in Melon Crush. (And she gave me a bunch of stuff too. :) Thank you. :P)

The ingredient list alone makes it sound yummylicious.

Ingredients: Caster Oil, Iron Oxide, Mica, Bees Wax, Candelia Wax, Avacado Oil, Shea Butter, Cocoa Butter, Jojoba Oil, Titantium Dioxide, Zinc Oxide, Carnuba Wax, Cranberry Seed Oil, Olive Squaline Oil, Liquid Silk, Vitamin E, Essential Oil Blend, Grapefruit Seed Extract

As you can see from the packaging, it's very much a homemade lip balm. Like someone just poured heated lip balm in it and let it cool. I've checked the whole tube and found a dent in the balm, so don't expect it to be perfectly made as there's bound to be errors (or bubbles trapped) when they cool the balm in the tube.

Upon opening the cap, I cringed. This Lip Twist doesn't smell all that good to me. It has this "wood"-ish smell. Something like perhaps how musk fragrances smell. Or maybe not. It annoys me quite a bit because I've never dealt with lip balms smelling like that. I've checked the ingredient list several times but still couldn't figure out why it smells that way. Wish they could change the smell of it. I think the evem the Joppa Minerals Tinted Concealer Base smelt better. (That one smells like shea butter.)

This Lip Twist goes on really smoothly for me. The colour looks dark but on my lips, it's like a muted rosey shade. There's this blue-toned pink iridescence in this lip twist which initially I was annoyed about. But after wearing it for minutes, I fell in love with the colour. The iridescence was visible on the lips but it didn't make it look that bad. It gives my lips a really nice shine. It wasn't loud and is very natural like I've got healthy plumped lips. Plus the lip twist is very moisturising and goes on really well. It's almost like a lipstick and lip balm. :D

Overall, I loved it despite the "wood"-ish smell. I can bear with the smell since it doesn't linger too long. I would purchase it again if there are nicer colours. Melon Crush was like the neutral lip colour among the rest. If you want something more visible, opt for the darker shades. I find the price of it at USD $7 steep. Sit out and wait for Joppa sales before grabbing this. :)