Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Review: YSL Volume Effect Faux Cils Babydoll

Ah, the never ending quest for a good mascara that holds curl, doesn't smudge, dries fast, separates and lengthens lashes and perhaps gives me some volume. Well, YSL Volume Effect Faux Cils Babydoll $30 for 0.2 oz) does all of the above, except volume! As soon as I saw the brush, I knew it won't do add any volume. The bristles are too short and spiky for the task. But now that I've expressed my disappointment as YSL broke the promise, I must admit that it's a wonderful mascara for me. Here is why.

YSL Babydoll side by side Benefit they're Real!. Benefit bristles are spaced too far to catch my lashes. The formula is too wet. The brush is too large. I receive no benefit (punch intended)
My stubborn Asian lashes are 1) straight like sticks, eyelash curler is a must and drier mascaras generally suit me best for holding the curl; 2) medium length, some lengthening would be nice!; and 3) fine and silky in texture, heavy coats of mascara tend to make them droop quickly. So I usually don't have good luck with volumizing formula as it ain't dry fast enough and the brush is humungous. YSL Babydoll defines every single lashes! My lashes look literally like a pair of natural falsies (of course with the boost of an eyelash curler :D). The brush is a perfect size for my eyes and the bristles are cleverly spaced to coat between lashes. I love it!

Beside the razor shape definition, YSL Babydoll stays put all day until I take it off. It doesn't flakes, fall out, nor smudge for at least 12 hours. What's more impressive is the curl it holds all day for my flashes. Basically, my lashes look the same throughout the day. This alone beats my beloved Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill Stretch mascara.

Now, it doesn't automatically lengthen my lashes. But I've learned a new trick to extend my lashes regardless the mascaras. Problem solved! Although YSL Babydoll isn't perfect, I love it enough to replace Giorgio Armani Stretch. A full size order is being place as we speak.

Another look in the shade
Bottom line. My new favorite mascara. Hands-down. I'll get the full-size mascara once finishing this sample. The quest for volume goes on...

Have  you tried YSL Babydoll? Yeahhh or mehhhh? 

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Beauty Blogazons Weekly Roundup 07/28/2013

Friday, July 26, 2013


Oh my goodness!! It took me forever to pull off a post like this. It definitely put me through a tough discipline: stick to certain products and use them up. It feels good, really good! Now I understand why my fellow blogger lovelies show off emptied containers monthly. It's like an achievement, ones that deserve oohs and ahs. We clear out the used and make room for new found loves :D. I'm so excited to share my first post of this type. 

First thing first, full sizes. 
The most epic finisher is my Clarins Ever Matte Foundation in 108 Sand. I used it pretty regularly and finished in a little bit over a year. My first two high-end foundies, Bobbi Brown Moisture Rich and Dior Skin Nude, got spoiled and dried out half way through the bottle. So those didn't count. This is actually my first time to use up a foundation! Not that it's impossible but rotating between 6 foundations and a dozen of samples at the same time is overwhelming. So I decided to finish one by one. My next target is Tom Ford Traceless Foundation Stick. But since they're 2 of my 3 all time favorites, they also sit on top of my repurchase list and then become a target again. Circle of life :D. We'll see.

Come closed second proudest is Tocca Giulietta perfume. It was my first full size perfume I purchased myself. I have run through full sizes before, but never have I been so excited to switch to new scents. I spritzed Giulietta like 3 times a day since April. I just want to get it done. And there I have it, an empty bottle after one and a half year.

Tom's of Maine deodorant (unscented) also took me about a year of daily uses. It's the best. Organic, effective and last a long time. Priced friendly too.

I also quickly sweep through Liz Earle Instant Boost Toner and Korres Wild Rose + Vitamin C Advanced Brightening Facial in about 5 months. The toner is a must for me everyday, especially in Houston humid, it gives the right amount of moisture, soothes and smoothes my skin! I replaced the Korres cream with Wild Rose 24-hr moisturizer of the same brand. It's a bit lighter and can be used any time of the day.

Kielh's ACAI damage repair serum is quite good for my discoloration but I want a more effective yet gentle serum so I'm on the hunt again. Does this thing even exist? I don't know. Give me a shout in the comment if you know a good one.

Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill mascaras the Original and Stretch. I love Stretch better for the length and long wearing! I've used up several tubes already but decided to switch to YSL Babydoll.

Now comes the samples.
Don't underestimate the small Shu Uemura cleasing oil premium A/I deluxe sample (50 ml!!). It lasts for good 8 months! I love how it removes every bit of residues of makeup and conditions my skin. However, it contains mineral oils, which leaves really heavy oils afterward. A cleanser is a must afterward. So I'm looking for something less oily and still effective. *wink wink* Tatcha one step camellia cleasing oil!

I love Nars pro prim smudge proof eyeshadow primer so much that I purchased a full size not too long ago. Great stuff! It's lightweight and guarantees me no creasing or smudging.

Then Molton Brown Body Wash Patchouli and Saffron. Right now I'm debating between this and Black Pepper. Any recommendation?

The three mascara samples were just so so. Benefit BAD gal does nothing for me. Both Bobbi Brown Extreme Party Mascara and Clinique Lash Doubling Mascara define my lashes yet no lengthening nor volumizing. And both clumps my lashes a little. Decent yet fall short for a full size order.

That's it. Now your turn my friends. Any empties this month or this year?

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Review: Sephora Collection Contour Eye Pencil 12-Hour Wear Waterproof in No 14 and No 19

I wanted a very deep forest green pencil that didn't scream green or teal. No idea how that adventurous thought got in my mind and I couldn't shake it off. Something deep and dark enough to blend in with my natural hair color (a brown black). It must be soft and waterproof too. So I went to Urban Decay, Bobbi Brown, Nars, Tom Ford, Dior, Chanel, blah blah blah you named it. And a sale associate at Sephora highly recommend the Sephora Collection. I do love other brands color but none offered a deep enough forest green AND a creamy waterproof formula.

After much swatching, I settled down with Sephora Collection 12 hr wear eye pencil ($9 for 0.04 oz) in #19 Go for a Ride. In fact, I love it so much I went back for #14 Cocoa. Guys, I'm blown away! 

 #14 Cocoa is a deep chocolate brown with very fine shimmer that adds some glam and softness to the color. When I use it to create a crisp line, Cocoa doesn't look too harsh. And it's almost an exact dupe for Tom Ford eyeliner in Metallic Mink! When I wore this baby to the counter, the girls there thought it was Metallic Mink. I swatched them side by side and was in awe!

#19 Go for a ride is THE green that I've been hunting for. It's deep forest green with shimmer, although the shimmer isn't as visible as that of Cocoa. Stunning!! I couldn't be happier with the colors!

Direct sunlight

Another look at the shimmer
I have worn both in various weather conditions, mostly hot and muggy. They stay put no matter what for 12 hr. They look exactly the same all day, no fall-outs, no smudging of any sort. So durable under the heat and humidity in Houston. On the other hand, if you want to create a creamy base, these pencils are up to the task. Once they set, they won't move yet you can remove them with a standard oil-based makeup remover. 

How Cocoa looks on my eye lids

Bottom line. If you haven't tried these pencils, you're missing out guys. The color is gorgeous. The formula is superb. The price is friendly. What else can we ask for? 

Monday, July 15, 2013

Review: Tom Ford Lip Color No 13 Blush Nude

Finding a nude lip color that doesn't wash me out has been one the most challenging tasks in my beauty journey. I often play safe with nude rose (Dolce and Gabbana Soiree) or beige (Chanel Biarritz) or a my-lip-but-better color family :D (Laura Mercier Audrey, Edward Bess Tender Love, Chanel Mademoiselle, Tom Ford Indian Rose). The challenge doesn't just lie in a right color for my skin tone but also a moisturizing formula. Most of the times, I found nude lipsticks either too chalky or too dry to look sexy. 

Until now, I have the most luck with Tom Ford lipstick in Blush Nude ($48 for 0.1 oz). It's a creamy pinky nude that looks brown nude in the tube yet leans toward light pink on my lips. Still, it's the first true nude lipstick that works for me. Phew! 
And the formula also suits me too. Like other Tom Ford lipsticks, Blush Nude has a creamy hydrating texture. It feels weightless and very comfortable. No sticky no sliding whatsoever. I always need a lip balm before any lip colors and Blush Nude glides on more smoothly with it. However, if you have healthy lips, no lip balm needed to make it work. 

The ingredients
Blush Nude goes on opaque in just one layer but I prefer at least two layers so it completely mutes my natural lip colors over a lip balm. In the lip swatches below is the two layers of Blush Nude over a EOS lip balm. It settles just a bit into my lip creases but overall the finish is smooth and lovely. Blush Nude stays fresh on my lips for 5 hours with lunch and drinks and can stretch as long as 7 hours with little drinks and no meal. Impressive for any lipsticks based on my personal experience!

Two layers on my arms and lips
I'm working on a look that features my recent Tom Ford haul. Stay tuned to see Blush Nude in action! 

Bottom line. Nude lipsticks is such a personal choice that I think it's best to test them in person and actually makeup you want to pair with them. I highly recommend Tom Ford Blush Nude for light to medium skin tone. If you're on the lighter side then Tom Ford Nude Vanille might work better. Overall, love! 

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Favorite Combo: Burberry Lip Cover Devon Sunset and Nars Lipgloss Easy Lover

Not sweet like a pink or soft like a peach, water melon is my new favorite color for this summer. It feels fresh and cool like the taste of the fruit itself. I also want to walk out of my non-stop hot pink lips for every summer. To create the bell de jour peach base I applied Burberry Devon Sunset on my prepared lips. Then I topped it with Nars Easy Lover, a sheer hot pink shiny lipgloss that complements warm skin tones very well. The result is a juicy pair of lips, or I thought at least!

(Click to enlarge) Swatched under direct sunlight

On my lips

At the below angle, you can see more hot pink on my lips. 
For full makeup list of this look please check out my Sans Eye Makeup post

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Beauty Blogazons Weekly Roundup 07/07/2013

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Haul: Sephora Collection and Tom Ford

It's been a while since I wanted to get some new makeup. Usually I crave. Not for the past 6 months *gasp*. Except for a few items from Tom Ford summer 2013 and Chanel Affinite cream blush, I didn't find anything impressive enough to splurge. Yes, even the galore of new beautiful bronzers!! I wasn't able to locate a single Chanel Affinite. So weird!! It appeared that most counters had the tester but not the actual blush. It's definitely my next purchase.

This haul all started with the idea of strong yet wearable eyeliner that make a statement in place of eyeshadow. I have no clue where it came from! After browsing through several department stores and Sephora, I settled for Sephora Collection 12 hour wear eye pencil in No 14 and 19. The first is a deep cocoa with subtle plumy shimmer. The later, also a shimmery shade, is a very deep forest green. Both are saturated colors, soft and creamy and glide on my lids effortlessly. Plus, they do look fresh for 12 hours! Phenomenal! 

So the rest of the haul just followed those eye pencils :D. I need a good eyeliner and smudging brush. Tom Ford #15. Then pale pink blush and nude lips. Tom Ford Blush in Frantic Pink and Blush Nude lipstick. Easy eh? Tom Ford Eye Color Quad Cocoa Mirage was under my radar for a long time. I didn't have any palette this neutral, perfect for both understated chic and smokey eyes. Don't ask me why I chose Tom Ford. You already know I'm obsessed with the brand, and it fits my hauling purpose. OK I just told you why.

I'm working on reviews of these amazing goodies. Stay tuned!!

So my beauty enthusiast friends, any shopping lately? And what's your favorite purchase? 

Thursday, July 4, 2013

New Hair Cut in a Decade

Happy 4th of July!

If you followed my pinterest, this new do probably didn't surprise you. I dedicated an entire board for it! Can you believe that I stuck with simple long straight hair for the past 13 years? Although I didn't have a particularly horrific hair cut night mare, I've never had a favorite hair dresser ever in my life. The results usually turned out OK yet far from satisfying. About 3 years ago, I just stopped seeing one. I trimmed my hair myself when it reached my waist line, usually within one year. Yes all by myself! My hair was too heavy for a pony tail but I was too lazy to style it. Basically, I have no-style style. This year I was simply so tired of giving myself a hair cut. I decided to test one of Toni and Guy salons and prepared to intervene the cutter. Turned out it wasn't a necessity.

My decade-old hair style

10 inches, 2 washes, no styling what so ever later......
I feel so much better!!! Lighter head. Dry faster. Less shampoo. And best of all, it appears that I have some sort of style and it doesn't require a million styling steps. 

My stylist at Toni and Guy did an excellent job. I showed her the picture and specifically requested a low-maintenance version of it. OKed then cutting she did! She then blew dry my hair then applied hair spray to get it in the magazine-cover-shot quality and it only looked better than my careless hair above in the back. After washing my hair, I combed and fluffed it and it felt into its place except for those baby hairs at the top of my head. OMG, I love it! 

What is your happiest hair experience? Do you have a favorite hair dresser or like me you trim your hair yourself?

p.s: If you know a hair donation organization, please give me a shout in the comment. 

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Look: Easy Smokey Eye with Dior 5-Color Smokey Design

Smoldering bedroom smokey eyes is one of the techniques I aspire to conquer. Sounds oh so serious eh? I don't have defined eye sockets so the popular techniques that define the creases don't work on me.  And neither do warm browns. I usually pick neutral to cool color family and various finishes to create depth. Dior 5-color All in one palette in Smokey Design is one of the best I've come across for the job. 
I wanted a very natural bronzy based and soft rosy lips to balance cool grey smokey eyes. I thought the shimmer shade (shade 4) in the palette was a nice touch for this look. Enjoy guys! 

Close-up of the shimmer!! 

Makeup worn
Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer
YSL Touche Eclat #8
Laura Mercier Translucent Setting Powder

Bobbi Brown Long wear Gel liner Espresso


What is your go-to smokey eye shadows? How do you coordinate your look? 
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