Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Starter Kit for Makeup Beginner - The Color

This particular post was born from a recent conversion with a girlfriend of mine. She's asked my suggestions for her makeup already and really enjoyed the products I found. Now she wants to build up a simple, easy-to-use, accessible makeup kit for her everyday looks and evening parties. She gave me the honor (and huge responsibility;)) to compose a list that she will just buy everything on it.

I chose the products that my friend can easily find at Sephora, Macy's and local drugstores. She has hooded eyes but is blessed with gorgeous smile. I decided to not playing up with the eyemakeup for now, instead focus on her lips. This kit is all about quick compact and versatile. My favorite items include Bobbi Brown Pot Rouge in Rouge and Hourglass Liquid Lipstick in Icon which she can wear as a stain and build up for full-on glamorous lips. 

It was so hard for me not to recommend a highlighter and a gel liner as I swear by them.  But Bobbi Brown Shimmer Brick in Nectar is a must-have for her as it can be used as a blush for evening looks too. Can't skip it! I also refrain myself from eye primer and eye brushes, and from urging her to try Chanel glossimer, hence the Tarte cream eyeshadow in Bronze. I figured if later she becomes more interested in makeup, she can always add a million pretty girly items to her makeup bag. Regular beauty tools like tweezer, cotton swab and pads are not included here. 

If you were me, what would you recommend for my friend? 

Starter kit for makeup beginner

Bobbi Brown Cosmetics shimmer blush Shimmer Brick in Nectar

Shiseido eyelash curler

Bobbi Brown Cosmetics sheer makeup Bobbi Brown Pot Rouge in Rose

Tarte bronze eye makeup Cream eyeshadow in Bronze

Clarins matte foundation Ever Matte Foundation in Tan 110

Hourglass Cosmetics hourglass cosmetic Liquid lipstick in Icon

MAC Cosmetics makeup brush 116 blush brush

Lancôme Definicils mascara

Urban decay eyeliner 24/7 in Zero

Anastasia makeup brow wiz in Medium Ash

Bobbi Brown Concealer Kit in Warm Beige

Monday, January 28, 2013

Look: Special Occasion FOTD - Vampy Lips with Tom Ford Beauty

Hello lovelies, here is another look that I put together for my upcoming formal party. I'm wearing a dark teal dress and want something to contrast it. 

After twitting about my ideas, my blogger friends voted for 3 looks a) copper eye and bright pink lips; b) bronze eyes and dark lips; c) silvery taupe eyes and nude pink lips. Today's look features dark vampy lips. I decided to use Tom Ford Black Orchid at its maximum seductive dose :D. As usual, please scroll down for full makeup breakdown. 

So ladies and gentlemen, do you think this is a better idea for my teal dress? 

Trying to look seductive. I need to venture out of my comfort zone with posing. When reviewing all of my pictures, I felt my neck hurt :))

Me, holding a tissue to blot my lips :) Cute eh? ;;) 

Makeup Worn

Burberry Sheer Glow Trench  6 (Trench 5 review is here)
Tom Ford Blush Lovelust (to be reviewed)
YSL Touche Eclat 8
Laura Mercier Translucent Setting Powder

Tom Form Golden Mink (Coral glitter) (to be reviewed)
Bobbi Brown Gel Liner Espresso


Sunday, January 27, 2013

Look: Special Occasion FOTD- Coppery Eyes and Bright Pink

The type of makeup I sport frequently tend to be very wearable. So when a formal occasion comes up, I feel a bit nervous about my makeup choices. I still want to look like myself (hence no dramatic eyeliner) and play up one feature on my face. I'm wearing a dark teal dress and also want something to contrast it.

After twitting about my ideas, my blogger friends voted for 3 looks a) copper eye and bright pink lips; b) bronze eyes and dark lips; c) silvery taupe eyes and nude pink lips. Today's look focuses on the bright pink lips. You can find the full makeup breakdown at the end of the post. 

How do you think this against a dark teal dress? 

Strong bright lighting washes off the warmth in my skin :( I don't have to worry about this during the party but this pictures don't show the correct of the coloring

Slightly warmer lighting

Makeup Worn
YSL Touche Eclat 08
Laura Mercier Translucent Setting Powder

Bobbi Brown Gel Liner Espresso
Giorgio Armani Eyes To Kill Stretch Mascara


Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Review: Tom Ford Brow Sculptor in Espresso

**Warning: This post is packed with pictures as I'd like to show you detailed design of the product. More pictures below the following text.

Tom Ford Brow Sculptor in Espresso ($44 for 0.01 oz) defines the beauty products that brought about the name for my blog. Convenient

Everything from the brow pencil, the brush, and the sharpener is brilliantly packed in a single light-weight pencil. But Tom Ford Espresso functions  more than just a cool gadget. The soft cool brown color compliments both my skin tone and my soft black brow hair. as I want natural looking brows but I also want build up the color for more intense brow looks sometimes. This pencil can do both. When it's on it stays put for at least 10 hours. The design of the pencil tips makes it really easy to create feather strokes. So I guess if you want more accurate tips this might not meet your need. 

Now this is the only mechanic brow pencil I own so I don't want to speak for other brow products out there. Tom Ford Brow Sculptor can't suit me more perfectly. I use it mainly to fill in some little gaps between brow hair for picture-friendly reason. For me, this is a must-have! 

Have you tried Tom Ford Brow Sculptor? If yes, how do you like it compared to other brands'? If no, are you tempted? 

The design. Pencil on one end. Brush and sharpener on the other end. 

The color compared to Chanel Stylo Yeux Espresso (1 stroke). While the color is similar, Tom Ford Brow Sculptor Espresso is much sheer. I'm not contrasting the texture of both because they're designed for different purposes. 

The actual pencil on one end. I've heard you'll use it up in 3 months for everyday. I've been sporting Espresso non-stop 3 times a week and just shortened it for 1 mm!

The tip of the pencil is a sharp V created by two facets from both sides

The brush on the other end that can be removed to expose the pencil sharpener. 

The pencil sharpener helps to maintain the V shape of the pencil 

To sharpen the pencil slide the tip of the pencil along the tube

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Beauty Blogazons Weekly Roundup 1/19/2013

Happy Saturday everyone!! This week we have some really wonderful post from Beauty Blogazons. My personal favorites are the post from Isah x Beauty and Beyond Beauty Lounge! Enjoy!! Joanne x

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Look: Before Chanel Notorious There Was Burberry Taupe Brown

OK. Burberry Taupe Brow is much deeper than Chanel Notorious, I know. But in a moment of uber-frustration while hunting for that mauve-grey sculting veil, I used Taupe Brown to satisfy the craving. I used a small fluffy brush to pick up the color, tap off the excess and very lightly dab it on under my cheekbones. I repeated this about 3 times until the shade looked more realistic. The comments are all yours :D.

Now that I laid my hands on Chanel Notorious, I will do another look for comparison.

But first, ta-da! Any possible dupes for Notorious have you come up with?

Review: Tom Ford Private Blend Lipstick Black Orchid - FOTD

Tom Ford lipstick in Black Orchid ($48 for 0.10 oz) is a classic. It's a chic luxurious and opulent shade of deep cherry infused with ultra delicate red shimmer. The lipstick goes on opaque with two layers but I'd like to wear it at the maximum intensity with 4-5 layers. The red shimmer creates a nice sheen finish on the lips yet no red pigment is visible. How clever Tom Ford is!!! Despite its deep cherry brown undertone, Black Orchid doesn't look like dead old brown thanks to that red shimmer. I also think it will compliment various skin tone and skin depth.

Delicate red shimmer infused in the lipstick
But Black Orchid isn't just a pretty color. Like the rest of Tom Ford lipsticks, it has luxurious and exceptional texture, i.e. ultra smooth and creamy yet not too creamy to break easily. It feels weightless on my lips. It reminds me of Guerlain Rouge G and Edward Bess Ultra Sleek but not exactly identical. It glides on my lips evenly. 

Like any dark lipsticks, Black Orchid emphasizes every little imperfection of the lips. So I would highly recommend a good exfoliation and moisturizer to prep your lips. The lipstick will feather more easily on top of well-balmed lips though. To prevent feathering, you can use a lip pencil to line your lip liners, creating a surface for the lipstick to attach to. 

Black Orchid stays fresh for 5 hours on top of my lip balm without drinking or eating. It stays on about 8 hours with lip pencil. This wearing is remarkably better than another favorite of mine, Bite Beauty Mulberry. I'm impressed and very pleased with the quality. 

Tom Ford lipsticks come in a golden-rimed brown square case. It shuts tightly and securely. The case certainly looks luxe but don't weight as much as Burberry's. So if you are one of those who carry 15 lipsticks in your purse, you won't injure your arms. 

Now there is always a question about Tom Ford's price tags. For this exceptional quality but average amount (0.10 oz), I myself don't think Black Orchid is worth $48. You can find another outstanding vampy lipstick that works for your skin tone from other luxurious brands. I love the color and the quality so much that I actually overlooked this fact :D. 
 Swatches, overcast

Swatches, under direct sunlight, no visible shimmer
Bottom line. Totally in love! Tom Ford Black Orchid is more like a splurge than a necessity for my makeup stash. But it's more than just a good liptick. However, other designer brands offer relevant vampy lipsticks at two thirds of its price.

I love Black Orchid on Reika of Front Row Beauty! It also looks stunning on very pale complexion here. Below is a casual look featuring Black Orchid, Shade and Illuminate Intensity 2, Golden Mink Eyeshadow quad. Not the best look and photos but I'm pleased with how the lip color turns out. In two layers, Black Orchid has more red than brown but it's still a deep cherry color. As usual, please scroll down for full makeup breakdown:) 
Warm lighting

 Cool lighting
Look breakdown

YSL Touche Eclat No 8
Laura Mercier Translucent Setting Powder

NARS Pro-prime eye primer
Tom Ford Brow Sculptor Espresso
Tom Ford Eyecolor Quad Golden Mink
Bobbi Brown Gel liner Espresso
Giorgio Armani Eyes To Kill Stretch Mascara

Fresh Sugar Gentle Lip Scrub
EOS Lip Balm
Tom Ford Black Orchid (2 layers)

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Look: Blushing pink with Tom Ford Narcissist

Ever since Tom Ford Narcissist blush became a staple in my makeup collection, I've wanted to do a natural look with it. It's a vibrant blue-based red pink that can make anybody look like a clown with just one swipe. But it is that blue and red undertones that match those colors on my skin (and many others' I believe). So I can create a healthy blushing cheeks at ease. 

I opted for natural sheer foundation (Burberry), pink lips (Tom Ford Indian Rose) and eye makeup (Edward Bess Mirage and Intimate) to balance out the strong cheeks. I myself think this look is a bit overly sweet, especially that white button-up shirt. When reviewing the photos, I thought I looked like trying too hard to be 17 again ;;). Anyway, next time a  little black dress should solve the issue.    

How do you like the soft pink theme of this look? Please scroll down for the makeup products I used. 

 Posed under direct sunlight, hence that look :D. Can you see the glow on my cheeks? The more I wear Tom Ford Shade and Illuminate (#2), the more I love it!

 Another shot to show you the satin finish of Edward Bess eyeshadows in Mirage and Intimate 
and the glow, yes of course :)

Make up breakdown

YSL Touche Eclat No 8
Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage SC 3
Laura Mercier Translucent Setting Powder

Edward Bess Ultra Luminous Eyeshadow Mirage and Intimate
Bobbi Brown Gel Liner Espresso
Giorgio Armani Eyes To Kill Stretch Mascara
Tom Ford Brow Sculptor Espresso

Tom Ford Lipstick Indian Rose

Friday, January 11, 2013

Beauty Blogazons Weekly Roundup 1/11/2013

The first roundup of 2013 that I was able to attend. Hope you enjoy! Have a great weekend everyone x

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

2012 on The Convenient Beauty

2012 was the year of changes on The Convenient Beauty. After a few months pondering on whether to keep up this blog, I rolled up my sleeves and worked toward building a blog for beauty lovers. It hasn't been a smooth ride yet I've made friends along the way and learned so much about blogging. Below are a few highlights from the year past.

Beauty Blogazons
I usually stay away from anything girl group, especially a group of those who love makeup so much so to talk about it 24/7. You girls know how it goes. But Beauty Blogazons has brought me nothing but positive energy. We got each other's back. I've learned so much from Blogazon sisters like selecting blogging platform, photo editing softwares, how to run a giveaways to blogging ethics. It reminds me why I started my blog in the first place. I love to share my hobby, to learn and make friends with like-minded people. 

Twitter, facebook, pinterest and polyvore

2012 was the year I took a step up in setting up social media channels for my blog. I can connect and interact much more easily and quickly with fellow bloggers and my readers. Viva twitter and facebook! I used to collect pretty pictures from internet. These picture folders grow too big, threatening my computer memory. Now that I can organize pictures on pinterest I save that memory for personal photos only. There's also polyvore where I try and practice different outfits and makeup coordination online. 

No seasonal makeup, really

I skipped most limited editions with a few exceptions like Nars trio Ramatuelle, Chanel Jouse Contraste Blush Rose Initiale, and Tom Ford Blush Narcissist.  I spent 2011 chasing Paul & Joe's, Dior's, Chanel's and Guerlain's seasonal releases. It was fun :)
After a while though, I began to feel saturated with repeated color themes AND designs. I'm not saying that those collections didn't bring anything outstanding (Guerlain Liu or Tom Ford Jardin Noir were phenomenal). I just changed. 

Burberry and Tom Ford

Part of my annual fund goes to exploration of beauty brands. In 2012, I went crazy with Burberry and Tom Ford beauty. Both deliver excellent quality and incredibly beautiful products.  My favorites from Burberry are their sheer luminous foundation and their single eyeshadows, then come their blushes, lipstick and lipglosses. Burberry is my favorite classic chic brand. Tom Ford, on the other hand, executes shimmer/glitter and powder products brilliantly. I love his blushes, eyeshadow quads and lipsticks. I was surprise and so thrilled when discovering that Tom Ford can be wearable and chic besides hot bold sexy. I do think Tom Ford beauty shows its best if you rock it confidently, mixing colors and textures to create unexpected combinations. I can't wait for what these two brands have to offer in 2013.

Le Mertier de Beaute, Becca, Rouge Bunny Rouge, Jouer 

These are the brands I'm dying to try out. I have a local Le Mertier de Beaute and Becca (just found out thanks to Lipstick Boulevards) but the other two are not within my driving distance. So again, I will have rely heavily on my trusted beauty bloggers. If you're reading this post and know anything good from any of those brands, please kindly give me a shout in the comment. Thank you thank you!

What are the highlights from your 2012? Any big plans for 2013? 

Monday, January 7, 2013

Accessories for my niece

Of course my one-month-old niece needs accessories. Actually, I'm already thinking about what fashion style and beauty trends she might enjoy. She already owns a closet of baby clothes and necessities so my sister suggested something to go with them. Knowing my sister doesn't fancy pinks, I decided to go with a mix of colors. Shopping for her was the best part of my holiday.

Giraffe pacifier clip. I didn't really check the quality of the pacifier itself. She can use this for any pacifier in her collection. Just thought it was too cute to pass. 

My niece definitely has my eyebrows ;;) I've never seen a baby with such a defining eyebrows. Her eyes are bright and big. The eye creases are stunning and so well defined. I imagine smokey looks or winged eyeliners will suit her perfectly. Anyway, I picked up this pair of leopard slash flowers sun glasses that I thought would accentuate her features. 

My niece has thick silky hair so some head bands are must-haves. Remember, I don't opt for pinks. I want some classic chic designs mixed with some modern edgy patterns. 

My proudest gift for her is these little sparkling boots. She lives up north where winter is brutally long. This pair will be perfect for a lunch date or a fun morning out. I think it'll keep her warm and add some glam to her outfits. 
That's it. I can't wait to see her playing with my gifts. I'm excited to see her grow up and live a happy life. And don't tell my sister and my brother-in-law that I secretly pray that she'll love makeup at least as much as I do. Or maybe someday she'll start her own beauty blog. Now that'd drive my sister crazy but I'll be her number one follower. 

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Review: Tom Ford Eye Color Quad 02 Cognac Sable

Tom Ford beauty line fully launched with 10 eye color quads ($75 for 0.35 oz). At the first glance,  I thought none of his eyeshadow quads would suit my taste. And I must admit his ad photos featuring the Dutch goddess Lara Stone, Mr. Ford himself and alluring eye makeup gave me the impression that his line were tailored for bold sexy makeup lovers. It turns out his entire beauty line is actually quite wearable when played down.

I picked up Cognac Sable and Golden Mink and already have a list of the must-haves :D (Crushed Amethyst and Sahara Haze wink wink). They come with a large mirror and two applicators. The Cognac Sable quad I purchased mistakenly contains two identical applicators. The sale associate gave me the correct one on my second trip to the counter.
Cognac Sable has a coppery color theme that is designed so cleverly. Oh and it suits my coloring perfectly! I have light medium skin with yellow undertone (about MAC NC 25). You have a frosty light peach, a coppery glitter, a shimmery coppery brown and shimmery plumy deep brown. Don't be scared by the words "glitter" or "shimmer". The shimmer is beyond sophisticated that I can wear it everyday. I apply the coppery shade on two thirds of the lids and use the peach shade to highlight the one third inner corners of my eyes. Then I blend the plumy brown onto my outer V, along the lashlines. The result is natural, chic and soft.

 The ingredients
The kicker of the palette, though, is the coppery glitter. It reminds me of the highlight shade in Dior All-in-one palette. Dior's has creamy texture while Tom Ford's is a pressed powder glitter. Both are delicated and stays on well although they do move around on the lids throughout the day. Tom Ford glitter, however, doesn't fall down onto my cheeks or under eye areas like Dior's. Overall, I think Tom Ford's glitter has excellent quality and exceed that of Dior's. The best tool I've found to apply the glitter shades is my clean finger. I pick up the color then dab it on my lids sans blending. The glitter will move after a few winks. 

Blurred image to show the shimmer and glitter
Tom Ford powder products in general have velvety texture that blends flawlessly and effortlessly into the skin. His eyeshadows are no exception. I'm blown away by the phenomenal texture, the very best I've ever tried. Now, some bloggers have reported inconsistency and low pigmentation. The peach shade and the coppery glitter have higher consistency than the other two. However, I don't see the two deeper shades as lower quality. They're great, only not as exceptional as the two lighter shades.

Cognac Sable stays fresh for 10 hours on top of standard primer. Yes even the glitter look the same by the end of the day. Wonderful indeed but I expected it to perform this well for the price. The wearing is also typical for other designer brands, which brings me to the hefty price tag.

My favorite eyeshadow brand Dior delivers 0.21 oz of 5 eyeshadows with $59. If you desire the glitter in Dior All-in-one palettes, you receive only 0.15 oz with the same payment. In order to get 0.35 oz of product like Tom Ford quads, you'd either need to spend $96 for Dior's regular formula or $135 for Dior's all-in-one formula. That doesn't include Tom Ford large mirror. So if this quad were made by Dior, it'd cost you about $96 - $135.

Bottom line. Cognac Sable hits the sweet spot for warm skin tone. Nothing quality-wise needs improvement in my opinion. You pay more for not only excellent quality but also decent quantity. If you want to try out the brand and still are unsure where to start, I would highly recommend Cognac Sable. It's truly a must-have for me.

Have you tried any Tom Ford eye color quads? What is your favorite?
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