Sunday, October 28, 2012

Giveaway - Dior All-in-one 5-color Palette in Smokey Design



My blog has changed my social life, definitely. I find an outlet to express my passion for beauty and makeup. I meet other like-minded, and have learned so much not only about makeup but also about beauty blogger community. My experience has been fun, I mean really really joyful. That's thanks to you all, my dear readers.

So, as a little thank you, I'd love to give you one of my all time favorites - a brand new Dior All-in-one Artistry 5-color palette in Smokey Design. I thought it'd be nice for the up coming holidays or any nighttime looks you want to create. And it's very easy-to-use (review is here). The palette was purchased specifically for this giveaway by myself. Hope you'll like it :)

Click on the pictures to enlarge
At this time, I can only host giveaways for US readers. I will do international giveaways at a different time.

Some rules

  • You have a US address
  • You are at least 18 years old. If you're under age, please ask your parents or guardians for permission.
  • Open now until November 9, 2012 at 11:59 PM CST.

Here is how you can win this pretty

  • Follow my blog by through google friend connect
  • Leave a comment on this post. Please tell us one thing you love about yourself/your life. It can be anything, for example, my straight hair, my sense of humor, my DIY projects, etc...
  • Leave me a way to contact you, email, twitter account, facebook page, any part of your comment
  • (OPTIONAL) You can earn extra entries by also following me on facebook or twitter or pinterest (or all if you wish) and leave your comment there using hashtag #giveaway. If you use twitter, please make sure you also include me @convenientbeaut in your tweet so that I can keep track of your tweets. 

You may comment as many time as you want. A winner will be selected randomly. I will announce the winner on my blog on November 11, 2012 and will contact her/him the next day. The winner will have 48 hours to claim your prize, otherwise another winner will be chosen.

Good luck to you all!

Joanne xx

Friday, October 26, 2012

Styling Friday - Feeling Blue Fall

Finally I can write Happy Friday to you all! This past week has been rough and exhausting. I managed to sleep a little and stay awake for work without coffee. It's time for another episode of styling dream, i.e. Victoria Beckham blue dress.

I think a smokey eye and warm complexion will compliment the vibrant blue. And there's a pair of spiky heels to add some edge. However, I want to keep the outfit chic, so yes, lots of gold jewelry. I hope you enjoy it.
Feeling Blue Fall

Review: Nars Eyeshadow Duo in Cordura

Certain beauty goodies sit on your vanity counter nearly untouched yet you can't let them go. They're stunning and high-quality, and most importantly right up your alley. You open the case from time to time staring at them then close it. They just don't look good on you. That sucks! That's the story of Nars Cordura in my beauty world.
Nars Eyeshadow Duo in Cordura ($34 for 0.14 oz) consists of a gorgeous warm rich brown and a deep brown. Both have golden shimmer that blends seamlessly with the pigment. It definitely gears more toward dramatic looks but you can use either or both shades to define the sockets, outer V or lash lines. It works well with other palette thanks to the brown theme. I can only see myself using it for the lash lines. I rarely rock dramatic brown eyeshadows because it falls into the abyss of my brown eyes, dark hair, warm medium complexion. It's just too much.

Cordura is highly pigmented and the texture feels rich and soft. They last for good 8 hours with a standard primer. Like the rest of Nars line, Cordura is housed in sleek rubber case. It's sturdy and tiny, a great traveling companion but it attracts dust easily.
Bottom line. Nothing about this duo can I complain, only it turns my eyes into panda's not even as cute. My eyes look heavy and tired. Still, I highly recommend you give it a try.

I'd love to hear your thoughts on this palette or if you have an item like this in your stash. You love but you can't wear. 

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Review: Yves Saint Lauren Rouge Couture Lipstick No 27 Fuchsia

Fuchsia lipstick stuck in my wish list for years. I didn't have the gut to rock this color in public nor couldn't find a color that flatters my warm skin tone. When Ms. Lisa Eldridge created this look, I knew it was the one.

Yves Saint Lauren No 27 Fuchsia Innocent ($32 for 0.13 oz) is a gorgeous bright fuchsia. It feels spring, summer, party, young, bold, fresh, lively, dynamic, and modern! Fuchsia Innocent not only brightens up your face but will also add excitement to neutral, subtle outfits. I normally would think a bold fuchsia like this would turn my complexion ashy. What I figured was I actually need a deep enough fuchsia to create strong contrast on my medium warm tone. If it matches the depth of my skin color too closely, I'll look really cheesy and old-fashioned.
I also love the creamy finish and texture of Fuchsia Innocent. Since it's a statement color, a more glossy/shimmery finish would draw too much attention to the lips, in my opinion. Fuchsia Innocent goes opaque with just one layer, and that's how I love to wear it. You can build up to the max with 3 layers as the pictures below. I never wear it that boldly though. I feel like it will looks too purple on my skin tone. Two thin layers are sufficient for me.

Fuchsia Innocent wears well for 3 hours then it starts drying out on my lips, especially with drinking or eating. I always use a lip balm before lipsticks and this is a standard wear for a bold lip color on my lips. To reduce dryness throughout the day, I have to exfoliate my lips thoroughly. I also recommend apply Fuchsia Innocent in thin layers, blotting after each. That the color stays on better and less chappy. When I wear it this way, it lasts for good 6 hours.

Bottom line. Fuchsia Innocent is one of those lip colors that requires a bit more patience and preparation but it's well worth it. Highly recommended! 

Beauty Blogazons Weekly Roundup Week 10/20

A little bit late due to some technical issues, the weekly roundups is back with some really awesome sharing. Hope you enjoy xx


Guys, I'm still alive. If you follow me on twitter, oh well, you probably don't assume that anyway. I don't have much time for my blog lately. And when the swatches don't do the justice or the product isn't tested thoroughly yet, I don't feel comfortable sharing my thoughts. It's just who I am. So here is a glimpse of what's coming up on The Convenient Beauty.

I have collected samples of several new foundations launched this fall. So far I've tried new Dior Skin Nude, YSL Touche Eclat foundation, Giorgio Armani Maestro. That new Burberry long-wearing foundation is still out of my reach :(. But I'm unsure if I'm interested in a full-coverage foundation for the winter. Beside those, I'm also trying out Tom Ford Traceless Foundation - the liquid formula; Bourjois Healthy Mix and Healthy Mix serum; and Givenchy Airy-Light Mat Radiant (the name suggests conflicting traits ?!?). So I'm planning on an updated and thorough version of my foundation comparison now that I understand much more about my skin and foundations.

In the past months, I also did some mini-adventures with Bourjois, actually a re-discovery of the brand, and Dolce & Gabbana. The latest obsession is Tom Ford Beauty. Since his line is heftily priced, I'll have to carefully test a few popular products before jumping into the next. The girls at my local Tom Ford counter already warned me that they would see me back there in the matter of days, though. They thought I'd love the brand so much. We'll see.

Oh, and there will be a giveaway for The Convenient Beauty's readers. I really appreciate your readership and have so much fun sharing my hobbies with you guys. Hopefully the prize will glam you up for the up-coming holidays ;;)

And, I will host a blog sale. Many items in my stash barely got used. You know how it's like when you're a makeup junkie ;). So I hope they'll find new owners who'll hit the pan or the bottom of the tubes/bottles.

That's all for now. On a random note, here is a picture of Zen Mobile. It puzzles me what they sell in there. You do zen while browsing the store or you must be zen mode to use their mobile phones? I mean how zen and mobility can happen at the same time? FYI, The store is located at the corner of Beechnut and Beltway 8 in Houston.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Styling Friday - Ruby Fall

Outside my windows are the shinny sun and cool breezes that remind me so much of Southern California. We don't really have the fall in Houston but the weather has cooled down quite a bit. Today,  the sun even rewards us with some gorgeous soothing sun rays. I don't want the summer to end yet I can feel the fall vibe in the air. Hence the red accent color for this outfit. Have a great weekend! xx

Ruby Fall

Review: Burberry Lip Glow Natural Lipgloss in Cameo

Lipglosses tend to grab the last spot in my beauty wish list. I can't find many lipglosses that feel lightweight, non-sticky and stay-put. When I tried out Burberry, I was uber skeptical on a lipgloss splurge. This glowing review by temptalia really gave me the kick to order Cameo.

Burberry Lipgloss 08 Cameo ($27 for 0.2 oz) is a beautiful pink peach with the most subtle hint of shimmer. It feels incredibly comfortable on my lips, almost weight less. It's not goopy or sticky at the slightest. You know how your flying hair can stick to your lip gloss (like Edward Bess lipgloss, Bobbi Brown high shimmer lipgloss, Nars lipgloss, MAC lip glass, Laura Mercier lip glaze, Chanel Glossimer and many others)? I don't have that problem with Burberry Cameo.
At first, I thought I already had a frostier version of Cameo - Laura Mercier lip glaze in Bellini, one of my fav for years. They look rather similar in the tube. However, Burberry Cameo has higher consistency, more opaque and also pinker. Laura Mercier Bellini is a softer peach and highly shimmery.
Burberry Cameo stays fresh for 3 solid hours, then it starts to fade but still retains the stain at hour 5. I think that's decent. This lipgloss isn't meant to last long or to be super pigmented anyway. It looks great by itself, a soft pink peach with a natural sheen. It also works well to tone down any bright lip color and give it a boost with some sheen. I give Cameo two thumbs up for being great quality and truly versatile.

Bottom line. Love! Phenomenal lipgloss, and I don't even like lipglosses. Highly recommended!

Have you tried Burberry lipglosses? Any recommendations or should I just go with their lip mist? 

Review: Burberry Sheer Luminous Foundation

Aahh, foundation always challenges my application skills and patience. I have the toughest time to find a great foundation. My skin turns all foundations into red-based color either orange or muddy or pink. An ideal foundation for me will smooth out my skin, dry in natural finish and will not turn orange.

Only Clarins Ever Matte has grant all my wishes for the summer. It however leaves little dry patches when the dryer weather hits Houston. And it leans pink, although at the slightest, enough to get me unsatisfied. So here I test and test again. I've been collecting samples of some the new foundations coming out this fall. Let's start with what used to be Burberry's only foundation.
Burberry Sheer Luminous Foundation ($52 for 1 oz) comes in 9 shades. It seems like the odd-numbered shades are yellow-based and the even-numbered leans more neutral. Trench No 5 lies between the shade of my neck and my face but is closer to the first. My face skin is one shade darker than my neck. Yeah, troublesome I know. And Trench No 5 solves this problem. It doesn't turn orange through out the day either.
Burberry Sheer Luminous covers my green veins quite well with 2 layers. 

I don't find it luminous to the level that mirrors the description. It's really natural and weightless. My face feels naked! However, it becomes shiny at hour 5 on my T-zone. That's not particularly bad compared to Clarins Ever Matte (hour 6), Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk (hour 3), Chanel Mat Lumiere (hour 5), Dior Skin Nude (hour 5), Bobbi Brown Moisture Rich (hour 5), and Bourjois Healthy Mix and Healthy Mix Serum (hour 5).

Although designed as a sheer foundation, it can be built up to full coverage and somehow still look like second skin. Love love love it! Better yet, it stays on for 6 hours when applied sheerly without setting powder and 8 hours with two layers and a bit of powder on the T-zone.

The texture is so heavenly smooth and lightweight. You can feel the silicon slip through your fingers yet not as much as Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk does. It's also less liquidy and more like cream type of foundation.

Bottom line. It might be the one for me. Highly recommended! Since so many new foundations have been released this fall and all promise revolutionary technology and exceptional finish, I must try them, especially Giorgio Armani Maestro, before declaring Burberry Sheer Luminous is the winner for me.

Have your tried Burberry Sheer Luminous Foundation? Any thoughts on how it compares to your favorite?

*****A side note on my skin and foundations*****
 I have medium yellow undertone (MAC NC 25-30) with some redness on the cheek and dull skin on the chin. My face skin is nearly one shade deeper than the neck. I look for a foundation that match my neck skin to create a seamless transition from face to neck. I don't classify my skin as good but I don't have break out or major skin problems. Loads of foundations turn orangy or muddy on me within one to three hours of wearing. This is the frustration of finding a good foundation for my makeup. 

Four must-have traits of a good foundation for me
  1. doesn't turn orange or muddy throughout the day
  2. dries in natural finish
  3. evens out the color and smoothes the skin (finely milled texture)
  4. covers veins, discoloration, redness and minor dark spots

Why do I wear makeup?

"You look good already. You don't need makeup!"
"Your nose is too flat, otherwise you'd be so beautiful."
"Try a few shades lighter. Your skin is a bit too tan. You'll look prettier with paler complexion."
"You're short, you know, so don't wear floor-length dresses."
"You're too this or that, so wear this don't rock that."
"bla bla bla"

Does any of these sound familiar to you guys? Or this one is worse to me - "Men don't like women wear makeup. Why do you do it?"
My bare face at Johnson Space Center. Not the best no-makeup shot but I remembered I was happy.

Every girl, no matter how confident, feels insecure at least one time in her life because of those kind of comments. I struggled through out my childhood to accept how I looked. My face, my body, my eye color, and almost every other features of my physical appearance used to bother me. It wasn't because I didn't feel pretty myself but the standards that the culture and society created for people. I believed everybody was beautiful, in different ways. You don't need to have hour-glass figure or perfectly symmetrical face structure to feel it. I believe we, women and man, shouldn't let what so called beauty standards dictate our view of beauty. And yet those "standards" put such a pressure on my younger self. Being different in my culture (I'm Asian in case you couldn't tell) is not encouraged. Those days were unhappy.

Until I decided I can't be anyone else but myself. So heck, I'll do what make me feel happy.

My love for makeup started at very early age, probably 7. I still remembered eyeing my mom's lipsticks.   I was thrilled when discovering how to use mascara. I used to want to grow up fast so that I can wear makeup too. With all those insecure feelings about myself, strangely enough, I never thought of makeup as something will make me look prettier or more up-to-date in someone's eyes. It has always been a way to express different aspects of myself. It has always been fun. It has never meant to please anyone but myself. I also have faith in a healthy lifestyle, healthy diet and proper exercise. I believe they work better than an anti-winkle serum or a dark-circle eraser.

Do I look more/less beautiful with makeup? You guys decide.
Do I feel more/less beautiful with makeup? I decide.
Do I feel more/less confident with makeup? No. Makeup is one of my hobbies.
Do I listen to my man if he says he doesn't want me to wear makeup? No. In fact, he has told me more than a dozen times that makeup is redundant for me. But he understands it's something that I want rather than a necessity.

Now, I don't undermine the power of makeup nor advocate for inappropriate makeup. When people compliment on my makeup, I am certainly flattered. Makeup helps me to express how I feel. And I truly appreciate people's recognition of my feelings. How do I define inappropriate? Say, I wouldn't bring red lips to work. But if I had the same "job" as the Kadashians, I would need to wear a heck lot more to stay employed rather than just smokey eyes or red lips. I think when makeup is done in the way that fits your personality and your purpose, it can change the way you feel about yourself, and therefore your life.

That's my story. I would love to hear about your opinions on wearing makeup. I understand everyone's different. So please don't argue over what's right or wrong. Please just focus on what you think.

Joanne xx

Friday, October 12, 2012

Styling Friday - Changing-leaf Fall

Polyvore has become my latest obsession, well, second after Tom Ford Beauty. It's so fun and helpful to pull together outfits. I absolutely love to mix and match different brands, texture, and "try" them without worrying about errors. Here is another complete look for the fall. I hope you enjoy it.
Changing-leaf Fall

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