Sunday, April 28, 2013

Beauty Blogazons Weekly Roundups 04/28/2013

Review: Tom Ford Eyeshadow Quad 01 Golden Mink

Tom Ford Eyeshadow Quad 01 Golden Mink ($75 for 0.35 oz) is one of the only two eyeshadow quads in my collection from the brand. It's a more neutral palette than Cognac Sable and I have seen it complement more skin tones too. However, I have mixed opinions about it. 
Golden Mink, housed in a signature Tom Ford brown case with large mirror and two applicators, features four stunning rather neutral to warm shades. You'll have two glitter shades, one light lime yellow and one bronzy peach. The others two shades are a frosty warm taupe and a shimmer neutral brown. I love the color theme of this quad and all shades work well together. Don't be shy of the shimmer in Tom Ford powder products as it's ultra delicate and wearable. The shimmer creates a sheen rather than sparkles on the skin and it merges well with the pigment. The two bottom shades alone can create a beautiful everyday look. The colors, I heart!!!
Tom Ford is one of a very few brands that execute shimmer/frost/glitter brilliantly, in my opinion. It thoroughly impresses me with Cognac Sable and I was expecting the same phenomenal quality of the two glitter shades in Golden Mink. Unfortunately, they're noticeably drier in texture and less pigmented than the bright bronze glitter in Cognac Sable. So 50% of $75 was spent on the less-than-excellent glitters that I don't use often. Ouch. I'm not happy. Although the glitter is still of high quality than the rest that I've tried, it doesn't live up to the Ford standard. For that price, I want perfection. 

Comparison swatches. Golden Mink is neutral, soft, and less pigmented. Cognac Sable is richly warm, and opaque
What questions my affection with Golden Mink the most is the wearing. I know many people experience the consistent long-wearing of 8 hours with Golden Mink. I don't. For some odd reason, it stays put that well in certain days and doesn't in others. Puzzled! Same primer, same activities, same weather, different wearing. 
Golden Mink under direct sunlight
Now, Golden Mink isn't a trashy quad. It delivers good quality that's in line with other high-end brands and offers beautiful wearable colors even the glitter. However, it's priced considerably higher per item (for discussion of price per quantity please click here) and since Tom Ford does have outstanding eyeshadow quads, Golden Mink should have been phenomenal. 

Bottom line. Like but not love! Good but not great! I'd rather trade one of the two glitter shade for a highlighter peach or ivory. Since I don't use glitter very often, Golden Mink doesn't maximize my investment.

Any thoughts on Tom Ford eyeshadows? Do you experience the same wearing inconsistency like me?

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Preview: Tom Ford Beauty Summer 2013 - My picks

***Update: Review of nail lacquer Vapor is here. Review of Escapade and Pink Haze can be found here.

What a day today! Hectic, exhausted, nervous, and satisfied!!!

I'll dedicate a whole post for the first part of my day. Let's fast forward to my beyond satisfying purchases of Tom Ford Summer 2013. I didn't have as much time as I wanted to test out the collection thoroughly. Beside the two powder bronzers repromoted from the permanent line, we have two illuminating sticks, one illuminating liquid, a lip lacquer, a nail polish, and two cream eyeshadows.

Here are my picks.

Vapor is my first high-end polish. I didn't expect to love it at all. It's pearl white and apply smoothly on my nail. I'll report back to you guys how well it wears on my nails but for now: ADORED! 

My first instinctive choice was of course Escapade cream eyeshadow. It's a shimmery light peach that has excellent buttery texture and stunning color that is both subtle and intense enough to be worn alone. The biggest wowing item from the collection is Pink Haze. It has bronze/golden shimmer that keeps the pink wearable. Trust me, I have the toughest time to pull of pinks and just recently reconciled with the color. I'm completely obsessed with Pink Haze. Give it a try ladies!!!! 

I also grab Tom Ford eye brush #13, the perfect eye blending brush. It created the chaos today. More about that later! :D
Now, I (temporally) skipped all the illuminating sticks and liquid as I feel like they're a bit too sheer and redundant, especially with my Tom Ford Illuminating Primer. I mix the primer with foundations too and it creates fabulous glow. The lip lacquer was so-so in terms of color and quality so I decided to save my wallet for one of the new stunning bronzers from other brands. 

In the next few weeks I'll have more time to test them out. I'm going on a trip tomorrow and still have laundry, packing and cleaning to do. Talk to you all soon.


Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Haul: Sephora VIB Sale

Sephora discounts always attract me. Having said that, I must admit my makeup-ban determination has really toughened me up. I used April Sephora VIB sale to procure only basics for daily uses and for my upcoming trip. No eyeshadows, blushes, lipsticks since last December!!

Korres wild-rose 24 hour moisturizer. It feels light and comfortable on my skin. I love to use it for both day and night treatment to brighten up my skin in place of my running-out Korres wild rose + Vitamin C moisturizer. The later acts  more like a mask for night time and feels a bit heavy for day time. After few uses, I think I made the right decision.

Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer in Custard. It's light weight, opaque, and dry in a satin finish that looks natural and blends seamlessly into my skin. While I love YSL Touche Eclat, Nars Custard does the job better. I now use YSL Touche Eclat for like a highlighter, the use recommended by the brand.

Nars Pro-prime Eye primer. I've used up my sample of the Sephora's 500-points gift from last year. I love it so much that the full-size version dropped unavoidably into my shopping cart. It keeps my eyeshadows in place longer than Urban Decay Primer Potion and Laura Mercier Eye Basics.

Josie Maran Argan Facial Oil. I won't be able to stuff 6.7-oz spraying toner in my carryalls and I've wanted to try Argan Oil for ages. So there I have it :D. It feels a bit heavy on my skin in Houston weather. Maybe, it suits the cold weather up north better. We'll see.

That's it.

Did you catch Sephora sale? Or did you choose other retailer's gift with purchase? What have you rewarded yourself? Any thoughts on the items mentioned here. I'd love to hear about it all. xx

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Review: Tom Ford Ultra Shine Lipgloss 02 Rose Crush

Tom Ford Ultra Shine Lipgloss 02 Rose Crush ($45 for 0.24 oz) is a rosy brown that goes on opaque in one layer. I particularly love Rose Crush to create nude lips that don't look dead. It gracefully tones down bright lip colors while retaining the characteristics of the colors. Rose Crush adds a healthy shine to my lips. All in all it's a flattering shade for my skin tone (light warm yellow undertone). While I adore the color, I don't think it's insanely unique to deserve the price. So let's explore the texture and the packaging of Rose Crush.
Like other Tom Ford lip glosses (and almost all other lip glosses from any brands), Rose Crush feels a bit sticky on my bare lips. Layering it on top of lip balm or other lipsticks reduces the stickiness and facilitates even application. I don't particularly bother with prepping my lips but it'd be nicer if the texture were more comfortable. However, I think the stickier texture allows Rose Crush to stay put longer on the lips. 
Close-up of the applicator

Tom Ford Rose Crush comes in a chic and elegant square tube with golden trip and the brand's signature brown cap. The applicator is surprisingly user-friendly. It's small and narrow yet possesses the right stiffness that helps the glosses glide on smoothly and evenly. I love the case and the applicator! I'm  glad it's not the typical doe-footed shape as I have more control of the gloss amount with the brush.

Swatched under direct sunlight. Rose Crush appeared warmer than actual shade.
Tom Ford Rose Crush last good 5 hours on my lips on top of lip balm or lip sticks. When worn alone, the wearing extend to hour 6 but feels sticky and thick on the lips. For all this, I don't think Rose Crush lives up to the price. I'd prefer it in the 30s range. 

Bottom line. Love! Rose Crush is a high-quality nude-but-not-dead lipgloss that would flatter many skin tones. The shade isn't that original and the price could be more wallet-friendly, though. 

Friday, April 19, 2013

Beauty Blogazons Weekly Roundup 04/19/2013

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Review: Dolce and Gabbana Eyeshadow Duo in Laguna

Two things I really appreciate about Houston: Tom Ford and Dolce and Gabbana counter access. Huh? Yes, I'm a beauty enthusiast. What can they be? While Tom Ford has quickly won my heart right from the get-go, I remain skeptical with Dolce and Gabbana. It's because of their eyeshadows. Although I wasn't particularly impressed with any of their eyeshadows in the store, my excitement after reading Temptalia's glowing review of Laguna Duo won me over. I took it home with anyway and barely used it since then. 
Dolce and Gabbana eyeshadow duo in Laguna ($36 now $42 for 0.17 oz) features two stunning a color, a blue with teal shimmer and a deep forest green with gold and green shimmer. I love both of the colors so very much. The powder is silky and smooth. It reminds me of a more refined version of Nars duos. It feels like loose powder is pressed in layers. The duo is housed in an chic and luxurious metal case with sponge-tipped applicators. My admiration for Laguna pretty much stops here though.
I have a the hardest time to make both of the shades stick on my primed lids. Both shades fade as soon as I finish my eye makeup. Even opaque base like Laura Mercier eye basics doesn't help. The sky blue teal is beautiful while the green looks muddy on my lids no matter how intensely or lightly I apply it. I also experience serious fall-outs. My eyes turns to raccoon sexy every time. Wonder why I don't gift it away yet? See how stunning and vibrant it is in the swatch. My heart melts. I couldn't depart with Laguna (yet).

Another look at this stunning duo. Oh my broken heart. 
Dolce and Gabbana has just raised the price for their duo from $36 to $42 since last year. It's still in line with Nars duos ($34 for 0.14 oz) but what a big skip! If Laguna offers Nars' quality, I won't be bothered with the price. But I don't get much beside pretty golden case and eye-candy colors that only look good in the pan.  

Bottom line. A total miss for me. While the color and mix finishes are absolutely gorgeous, everything else quality-wise fails short. 

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Review: Tom Ford Blush 05 Ravish

Long time no see guys!!! From time to time, The Convenient Beauty experiences quiet moments, which is weird given how much I love talking! I wasn't feeling well and had to restrain myself from sitting long at the computer. Now that I get better, I hope to go back to my usual posting schedule. Today's focus is my beloved Tom Ford Ravish, a sophisticated blush color that's surprisingly edgy and wearable. 
Tom Ford Cheek Color 05 Ravish ($55 for 0.28 oz) is a luxurious pinky brown with cool pink undertone that looks similar to that of Narcissist. When applied sheerly on my cheeks, it resembles Savage only pinker. In the pan, Ravish seems to wander far from my comfort zone. It's too red to be a contouring powder or bronzer for my skin tone. It turns out to be such a wearable rosy tan when applied lightly. I LOVE paring it with Edward Bess lipstick in Tender Love. Incredibly flattering for work days. Although Ravish has cool pink shimmer, it produces a natural sheen on my skin. My cheeks look glowy and healthy. 
Ravish is buidable and would compliment loads of skin tones thanks to it exquisite blend of warm brown and cool pink. However, I think Ravish shows off the edgy and unique side when applied more intensely. I personally like Ravish on deeper skin tones. 

Like the rest of Tom Ford powder products, particularly his blushes, it has velvety texture that feels so silky smooth. But it's not over powdery. The blush blends seamlessly and effortlessly into my skin, producing a second-skin layer. Some bloggers have reported not-so-smooth texture of Tom Ford blushes on the skin. I, however, have been beyond happy with all the blushes. I checked them in magnified mirror and didn't see them emphasize pores, lines or my skin texture. I'm not sure it's because my skin has improved dramatically or my magnifying mirror doesn't zoom in enough. May be my standard for smoothness is simply not as high :D

Heavy swatches against Savage and Flush

Some rosy tan blushes I own

Swatched under direct sunlight. 
Tom Ford Ravish is the reddest. Burberry Tangerine has more orange. Tarte Exposed is the pinkest. 
Tom Ford blushes come with a velvet pouch and large mirror. I love the case design but will prefer a more sturdy/luxe material. And usually with a price like this, I expect a nice quality brush like Burberry's. It doesn't mean that I'll use it. It's more for the convenience on the go. 

Finally, I want to discuss the price point. You pay $55 for 0.28 oz of product or about $196/oz. This is double the amount of a standard blush. How does it compare to other high-end blushes?

In terms of price per quantity:

Burrberry: $42 for 0.24 oz ($175/oz).
Chanel: $43 for 0.21 oz ($205/oz).
Guerlain Duo: $50 for 0.21 oz ($238/oz).
Dior: $42 for 0.26 oz ($161/oz).
Le Mertier de Beaute: $30 for 0.13 oz ($230/oz).

Tom Ford blushes are priced in the higher range among the designer brands yet not the most expensive. Some may argue that Tom Ford Beauty enters the market recently while the others have been there for decades. It might not be reasonable to price the products at that range. I've tried all of the above except for Le Mertier de Beaute and the quality of Tom Ford blushes, Ravish included, is extremely competitive to the other brands.

Bottom line. What can I say? Get it ASAP. 

Tuesday, April 2, 2013


My husband's love of golf must have had certain effect. I was surprised the other day when my friends ask me the hottest players at the Shell Houston Open this year. I can name good 20 dudes who are currently under the radar!!! For those of you who don't follow the sport, Shell Houston Open is an annual professional golf tournament. We earned some free tickets as my husband volunteered for the event. While the hubs was marshaling the spectators near the green, I spent much of last Saturday beside him sunbathing and cheering his favorite golfers. Well, I do like Louis Oostheizen for his effortless powerful swing and calm manner. I also like Keegan Bradley. He's such a cute kid. Still, watching a bunch of guys hitting tiny white balls never sounds appealing idea to me. So I piled on sunscreen, put on sunglases, and scrutinized the makeup and outfits of some particularly well-dressed audience. Got some really good ideas from them!

Back to my recent love. I've been really enjoying the Real Technique brushes. Affordable, decent quality and great result. 

As usual, Sephora Birthday Gift this year is a sweet little treat. The retailer has been upgrading the gift recently. I remember about 5 years ago, it was just Sephora lipgloss duo. I didn't even use them. This year, I received deluxe sample of They're real mascara and What's up highlighter which has the same amount of product as Edward Bess full size highlighter. Not bad right? Both have good quality, too

After much pondering and testing of Tom Ford fragrance, I settle down for Santal Blush and Black Violet (I think :D). However, I must admit that I prefer those little sample than the full size bottles. I can't really choose which to get from Tom Ford. With only few exceptions, I love all the scents I've sniffed.

Hope you're doing fabulous! Any plans for April? 
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