elta MD UV Shield Broad-Spectrum SPF 45

Dec 26, 2014

I can wear those Japanese waterproof sunscreens pretty much all year round, or so I thought.
It suddenly felt different this winter. I used my trustee Sofina Perfect UV daily when I was in San Francisco, but I had to stop after I came home because the combination of the Sofina and New York winter literally hurt my face.
I have been curious about elta MD sunscreens for some time, and it seemed a high time to try this sunscreen with cream formulation.

elta MD UV Shield Broad-Spectrum SPF 45
elta MD UV Shield Broad-Spectrum SPF 45

Revlon Ultra HD Lip Lacquer Pink Ruby

Dec 20, 2014

The look is deceiving in this case, but Revlon did not lie about Ultra HD Lip Lacquer being "Lip Lacquer", because it ain't lip gloss. I can tell you right here that Revlon Ultra HD Lip Lacquer is a super saturated liquid lip color. Or at least the color I got, Pink Ruby is.

Revlon Ultra HD Lip Lacquer Pink Ruby
Revlon Ultra HD Lip Lacquer Pink Ruby

Old Almay Eyeshadow Trios & My First Z Palette

Dec 6, 2014

This is one of those useless blog posts, because I am going to talk about some old drugstore eyeshadows that are now completely reformulated but not necessarily for better, in my humble opinion. Which means I am not going to recommend the new version for you nor are the old ones readily available anymore; hence "useless".
I have been extremely busy with work and feeling quite stressed out lately. Blabbering about random beauty things that are not sparkly new is all I want to do today, and it feels quite relaxing, actually.

The old Almay eyeshadow trios are probably the last drugstore eyeshadows I was enthusiastic about. For some reason, Almay has tweaked the packaging quite often, and it seems the quality has changed as well, which is a real shame.

These are the first generation of the various Almay i-trio series.
Weirdly enough, these simple ones are the best out of all I've tried.

Tatcha The Ritual Discovery Kit

Nov 28, 2014

Sorry about the long hiatus!

My business trip to San Francisco was supposed to be only a week long but I ended up staying there for more than 2 weeks. San Francisco is a great city but it would have driven me absolutely crazy if two of the lovely local ladies (Liz and Catherine) had not rescued me out of my hotel room and shown me all the pretty spots. They even introduced me to the Tatcha staffs at Barneys SF so I could receive the most lovely (and much needed) facial. (Elena is a really amazing esthetician. If you're a local, I recommend you rush to Barneys and speak to her.)

I had received the Tatcha Ritual Discovery Kit before the trip and of course I made sure to pack it along. This beautiful set turned out to be another sane part of my rather insane trip!

Tatcha Ritual Discovery Kit
(+ mini Ageless Revitalizing Eye Cream)

FOTD - Ruby Woo

Nov 2, 2014

As promised, here is a very simple look with MAC Ruby Woo Lipstick.
Please see my overview on the MAC Keepsakes Red Lip Bag for swatches and comparison.

Ruby Woo FOTD

MAC Keepsakes Red Lip Bag

Oct 31, 2014

I am not a huge fan of MAC cosmetics. I've only bought a handful of things, and my last trip to a MAC counter was years ago - It was to get the limited edition Cyndi lipstick a year after it had been sold out, and the rep gave me that pitiful "you don't know anything, do you?" look. She advised me to search on eBay (and to act faster next time) so I did only to find out Cyndi was sold at $55 at that point. I think that was it for me. I'm quite done with the brand, to be honest with you. I'd rather pay more for higher-ends or buy two of my favorite drugstore lippies.
With that opinion of mine unchanged, I still had a soft spot for MAC Ruby Woo. Infamous for the extremely drying formula, but to me it is such a special red. In fact, it is the Retro Matte formulation what makes this blue toned red so special. I had a stick a while ago, and despite the love-hate relationship that I had with Ruby Woo, deep down I wanted it again.
Then I saw the MAC Keepsakes Red Lip Bag.

MAC Keepsakes Red Lip Bag
MAC Keepsakes Red Lip Bag

Chanel Rouge Allure Envoûtante + Soft Halloween FOTD

Oct 27, 2014

Chanel Rouge Allure Luminous Intense Envoûtante was introduced as a part of the Spring 2013 collection. I thought it was quite a misplacement. To me it is a perfectly autumnal shade, so I bought it this year as soon as the air started feeling cooler.

Chanel Rouge Allure Luminous Intense Envoutante
Chanel Rouge Allure Luminous Intense
116 Envoûtante

Butter London Nail Lacquer Ladybird

Oct 23, 2014

I often share my NOTDs on Twitter but not everything makes a blog post. Honestly I don't feel that passionate about nail polishes any more. I can't believe there was a time I changed colors daily (both on toes and tips). I still enjoy painting nails but maybe in the bigger sense of "grooming and polishing myself", not on its own.
However, this gorgeous red polish from Butter London has taken me by surprise, and certainly is worth talking about.

Butter London Ladybird
Butter London Nail Lacquer Ladybird

KOSÉ Visée Smoky Rich Eyes GY-7

Oct 19, 2014

A while ago, I ordered this eyeshadow quint from Ichibankao. I know many beauty bloggers recommend this online seller for Japanese goodies, but unfortunately I never received my order. After the frustrating lack of communication, I got my refund and the case was closed. Maybe that was the sign that I shouldn't have gotten it. But what did I do? I went ahead and ordered another one from eBay. Sometimes curiosity is worse than the lemmings themselves.

KOSÉ Visée Smoky Rich Eyes GY-7

NARS Lip Gloss Bad Education

Oct 13, 2014

It is a shame Bad Education didn't make the cut when NARS decided to reformulate their lip gloss range. This complex and universally flattering red should have been at least reincarnated, but I do not see any comparable shade from the current NARS Lager Than Life Lip Gloss lineup.
I only opened my tube recently and do not detect any funky smell or a change in consistency, but please note it is officially a discontinued color. We have to assume it would be at least a year ago when these tubes were manufactured.
Some of the discontinued shades including Bad Education are sold at a ridiculous price on eBay, but you can still get them at $25 on Amazon or Beauty.com if you're interested.

NARS Lip Gloss Bad Education
NARS Lip Gloss Bad Education

Current Deep Cleansing & Exfoliation Routine

Oct 12, 2014

To be honest with you, my skincare routine is borderline lazy. My skin is not all that sensitive and usually quite tolerant of this laziness merely consisting of the very basics - moisturize, protect, and cleanse, but it does show especially when I neglect the "cleanse" part.
As I am aging and the air is getting cooler, my skin does not seem to produce oil as much as before. So maybe I have been lazier to exfoliate and deep-cleanse my skin, which is quite a mistake. I still use a waterproof sunscreen that easily causes clogged pores. Evidently, I broke out in a few spots. This was hormonal but clearly encouraged by negligence as well since I had not broken out for a while.
The situation was quickly resolved as I resumed my deep cleansing & exfoliation routine, maybe this time a little more diligently.

Deep Cleansing & Exfoliations

Revlon Colorstay Moisture Stain India Intrigue

Oct 10, 2014

Hope you're not bored by my consecutive lippy posts not to mention they are all about bright colors. But I have quite a few lippy drafts sitting on my dashboard at the moment. Plus I am resolute not to buy any more lip product until I publish all of them. I want a new lipstick. I had to do this.

I have briefly reviewed on the first two I bought - Barcelona Nights & LA Exclusive, and decided to pick up another one, India Intrigue. My opinions on Revlon Colorstay Moisture Stains are unchanged. It may not be the smartest move for beauty blogging, but adding more colors makes sense to me as long as I find the formula satisfactory.

Revlon Colorstay Moisture Stain India Intrigue
Revlon Colorstay Moisture Stain 
India Intrigue (001)

Chanel Rouge Allure Extrait De Gloss 58 Émoi

Oct 8, 2014

Chanel Rouge Allure Extrait De Gloss Émoi is one of the recently acquired "off red" lippies. And I believe I have been wearing this most frequently, too.
I usually get disappointed by Chanel lip formulations although I still get sucked into buying them because of the beautiful packagings and the colors. I was pleasantly surprised to find out I even like this lip gloss formula. This is a big yay for me since I cannot force myself to wear lippies with unsatisfying formulas any more. (Maybe I will suffer the formula for a shade like MAC Ruby Woo, but that's about it.)

Chanel Rouge Allure Extrait De Gloss Emoi
Chanel Rouge Allure Extrait De Gloss

L'Oreal Colour Riche Extraordinaire Liquid Lipstick 303 Rouge Allegro

Oct 2, 2014

This is my third Extraordinaire. As you can tell from my previous reviews on the other two - Purple Prelude and Pink Tremolo, I am quite smitten by these drugstore hybrid lippies despite of shortcomings like the excessive floral scent or the rather thick consistency.
I did not wear these often during the summer because it feels quite heavy and the color never really sets. But now it is undeniably autumn here and the ultra-moisturizing formula actually works in favor, so I decided to add another one to my little collection.

L'Oreal Extraordinaire Rouge Allegro
L'Oreal Colour Riche Extraordinaire Liquid Lipstick
Rouge Allegro (303)

Revlon Colorstay Gel Envy Roulette Rush (620)

Sep 30, 2014

It has been a while since the last time I bought a nail polish. I have been just stash-shopping my old polishes lately.
I love Revlon classic polishes and they are quite a big part of my sizable nail polish collection. However, I disliked the previous Colorstay polishes since they all stained my nails and smelled like burnt rubber. So naturally I was a bit skeptical to try the new Gel Envy from the same line, but it turned out to be nothing short of amazing.
I chose Roulette Rush which is a bright red with blue undertones.

Revlon Colorstay Gel Envy Roulette Rush
Revlon Colorstay Gel Envy Longwear Nail Enamel
Roulette Rush (620)

NARS Sheer Lipstick Roman Holiday

Sep 23, 2014

NARS Sheer Lipstick Roman Holiday is "the light pink" lipstick for me.
I regret that I ever wandered away from this gorgeous pink that instantly brightens up my complexion.

NARS Sheer Lipstick Roman Holiday
NARS Sheer Lipstick Roman Holiday

Laura Mercier Caviar Sticks Sapphire, Pink Opal, Grey Pearl

Sep 17, 2014

The recent Laura Mercier sale (Buy 2 Caviar Sticks Get 3) was too nice to pass up.
I had a couple of Caviar Sticks a while ago but I ended up giving them to my sister who enjoys minimalistic eye makeup. I have wanted them again since now I almost always base my eyelids with cream type eyeshadows for more color depths.
I picked up Sapphire, Pink Opal, and Grey Pearl this time.

Laura Mercier Caviar Sticks
Laura Mercier Caviar Sticks
Sapphire, Pink Opal, Grey Pearl

Koh Gen Do Makeup Color Base

Sep 12, 2014

After I whined about how great Koh Gen Do Maifanshi Moisture foundation is but maybe lacking 2% to become a perfect foundation for me, the team Koh Gen Do reached out and sent me a generous sample set of the Koh Gen Do Makeup Color Base to try.
They suggested a sheer makeup base with subtle color correction might solve the issue without having to sacrifice other good things going on with this foundation.

Koh Gen Do Makeup Color Bases (and powder samples)

Zoya Lael

Sep 11, 2014

For some reason, I have been quite lazy about doing my nails lately.
I was just rotating nudes, reds and light vamps all summer long - mostly Essie Ballet Slippers, Butter London Come To Bed Red, and Essie Bahama Mama.
I would easily go on for more than a week without refreshing my manis, too. The fact most polishes stay very well on my nails only with minimal tip wears didn't really help, either.

To shake up this boredom, I broke out one of my favorite vamps (it doesn't really make sense, I know), Zoya Lael.
This is another deep vamp with creme finish, but I can certainly appreciate the difference in the undertone.

Zoya Lael
Zoya Lael

Perfume Diary - Burberry Brit Sheer, Joie Folle De Joie, Versace Bright Crystal

Sep 6, 2014

I figured I would never reach the bottom of my fragrance sample box at this rate, and I was also inspired by Larie's "Scent Of The Week" series. So here is another installment of my Perfume Diary featuring three different scents at once.

Burberry Brit Sheer, Joie Folle De Joie, Versace Bright Crystal (samples)

NARS Blush Deep Throat

Sep 1, 2014

The ridiculous name aside, NARS Blush Deep Throat looks quite harmless and even boring. I mean, just look at it. It is a slightly shimmery peachy pink - tame and plain.
I usually much prefer cool toned pink and think there are many more interesting blush colors that NARS offers. I would have never picked it up for myself if it wasn't for the GWP deal.

NARS Blush Deep Throat
NARS Blush Deep Throat (mini)

POPSUGAR Must Have Box August 2014

Aug 31, 2014

I was offered to experience POPSUGAR Must Have Box, which is a subscription box that has a little bit of everything - full sized beauty, fashion, and lifestyle items.
Here are what I received in the August box. (This post is picture heavy.)

NARS Sheer Lipstick Damage

Aug 21, 2014

For a sheer lipstick lover who prefers cool-toned colors like me, NARS Sheer Lipstick Damage can easily achieve an "essential" status.
Dolce Vita seems to appeal to a bigger mass supposedly being a "universally flattering" shade, but unfortunately "Life isn't so sweet" on me. If you find Dolce Vita too warm on you, do take a look at Damage instead. It is the Dolce Vita for cool/neutral complexions.

NARS Sheer Lipstick Damage
NARS Sheer Lipstick Damage

FOTD - Rivoli

Aug 20, 2014

I have been reaching for the Chanel Les 4 Ombres Tissé Rivoli (reviewed) quite often, but that is usually for the deep metallic taupe shade which is my favorite. I thought I should show some love for the other colors, too - especially the warm copper, plus I remembered I had Chanel Rouge Coco Rivoli (reviewed) as well.
A quick "Rivoli" face was in order.

FOTD Chanel Rouge Coco Rivoli Tisse Rivoli
FOTD - "Rivoli"

NARS Blush Unlawful (Fall 2014)

Aug 17, 2014

NARS has managed to bring out yet another unique blush color for this fall.
NARS describes Unlawful Blush as an "amber pink with silver pearls". Gotta love their no-frill-get-to-the-point description of the color, because Unlawful is exactly that.
From the online swatches which looked quite warm and yellow, I did not expect NARS Blush Unlawful to be as flattering on my neutral complexion. I wanted it anyway since the color seemed so unique and complex. Easy justification this time.

NARS blush Unlawful
NARS Blush Unlawful

Giorgio Armani Eyes To Kill Waterproof Mascara

Aug 14, 2014

Giorgio Armani Eyes To Kill Waterproof Mascara is an excellent choice if you have naturally beautiful lashes and lots of money.
Unfortunately, I am neither, so this high-end mascara purchase for the first time in years totally bites the dust.

Giorgio Armani Eyes To Kill Waterproof Mascara
Giorgio Armani Eyes To Kill Waterproof Mascara

Dior 5 Couleurs Eyeshadow Palette 056 Bar

Aug 11, 2014

Dior has brought out gorgeous new quints this season. They are reformulated and repackaged boasting a wide variety of colors and textures to create different effects. All of the new Dior 5 Couleurs Eyeshadow Palettes are just beautiful to look at, but I picked up 056 Bar which is a smoky palette with cool grey and taupe.

New Diot 5 Couleurs Bar 056
Dior 5 Couleurs Eyeshadow Palette 056 Bar

My current sunscreens (Biore, Shiseido FT)

Aug 6, 2014

Sunscreen is a serious business to me.
I went through a brief yet crazy sunscreen phase a while ago. I lived on the skincare board searching for a highly photostable sunscreen that is also cosmetically elegant. It was a painful time, let me tell you. In reality, no such thing exists, so I had to compromise a little bit.
There are at least three things we should take a look at when it comes to sun protection - SPF, PA and PPD, which indicates the level of UVB, UVA protections and photostability.
Unfortunately, SPF is the only thing indicated on the surface (plus whether it is broad spectrum or not) in the U.S. No wonder even the educated beauty bloggers still measure their sunscreen by SPF numbers only.

I see I am already boring you, so let me just show you these three different sunscreens that I am currently using. They are all affordable and provide broad spectrum protection with decent photostability that are also cosmetically elegant and non-greasy.

My current sunscreens (from L to R)
Biore UV Aqua Rich Water Jelly Water Base SPF 30 PA+++
Shiseido FT Senka Mineral UV Gel SPF50 PA+++
Biore UV Perfect Face Milk SPF 50+ PA+++

Chanel Rouge Coco Shine 95 Viva (État Poétiques Fall 2014 Collection)

Aug 2, 2014

I picked up Rouge Coco Shine Viva from the new Chanel État Poétique Collection (Fall 2014). This sophisticated yet rich-in-hue collection is rather well done in my view, and Viva is a standout of the bunch.
Some of you might know I am a big fan of sheer lipsticks in general, but Chanel Rouge Coco Shine is just an okay one for me formula wise. I prefer Dior Addict if I'm to spend over $30 on a lipstick, for instance.
However, Chanel never fails to bring out such great colors in every collection. Viva is just another example.

Chanel Rouge Coco Shine Viva
Chanel Rouge Coco Shine 95 Viva

Review - California Naturel Balancing Complex & Nourishing Cream

Jul 31, 2014

2014 has been wonderful so far in terms of experiencing new skincare items. I have tried some great drugstore classics as well as higher-ends, not to mention the all natural products from California Naturel which has been a delightful eye-opener for me.
I must say that I have nothing but love for this up-and-coming natural organic brand. Everything I have tried from California Naturel is wonderful, but these two facial moisturizers that I am going to review today get my special love.
(I have reviewed some of their offering in my previous post.)

California Naturel Skincare Products

Review, Swatch - Koh Gen Do Maifanshi Moisture Foundation 112

Jul 23, 2014

I initially fell in love with this foundation but ended up sending it to my blogsale pile.
No real issue here. In fact, I feel torn about it and might retrieve it back because I still think this is an excellent foundation.
I took some swatch pictures when I first opened it, so I decided to review on it after all. It does not seem there are many swatches of Koh Gen Do Maifanshi Moisture Foundation in shade 112, which is "a natural light ochre for yellow undertones".
Hopefully this post will help you out a little if you are planning an online purchase.

Koh Gen Do Manifanshi Moisture Foundation
Koh Gen Do Maifanshi Moisture Foundation 112

Swatch, FOTD - Chanel Les 4 Ombres 226 Tissé Rivoli

Jul 19, 2014

When the new Chanel Les 4 Ombres Multi Effect Eyeshadow Palettes were introduced, I was sure I wanted Tissé Gabrielle which is a smoky quad with variations of grey, but ended up buying Tissé Rivoli instead. I might still get Gabrielle, but Tissé Rivoli seems much more versatile and suits better for my current color preference.

Chanel Les 4 Ombres 226 Tissé Rivoli

Swatch, FOTD - L'Oreal Colour Riche Caresse Wet Shine Stain Stubborn Plum

Jul 17, 2014

My adorations for this drugstore hybrid lippies are well documented here on this blog.
I won't be reviewing this in details since it's been done so many times. Basically L'Oreal Wet Shine Stain is an affordable and sheerer version of the Yves Saint Laurent Glossy Stain.
I ended up with 7 shades after giving one away and replacing a lost one. I think Stubborn Plum is my 6th one. Honestly, I would have bought it sooner if it had a different name. I mean, Stubborn Plum?  ;-/

L'Oreal Wet Shine Stain Stubbron Plum
L'Oreal Colour Riche Caresse Wet Shine Stain Stubborn Plum

Review, Swatch - Maybelline Master Kajal Cream Kohl Eyeliner Navy Night

Jul 14, 2014

This impulse pickup from downstairs (there is a drugstore) turned out to be a total letdown.
I use hybrid kajal pencils (L'Oreal Voluminous Smoldering Liners) daily to base my eyeshadow colors. These have ideal texture that is not too dry nor too creamy, so I got all three colors from the line - black, brown, and grey. I have wanted something like this in blue color as well, which is why I decided to try Maybelline Master Kajal in Navy Night.

Maybelline Master Kajal Cream Kohl Eyeliner Navy Night

Swatch, Comparison - NARS Blush Super Orgasm

Jul 12, 2014

Supposedly NARS Super Orgasm is an amplified version of the famous Orgasm.
Instead of the fine shimmer of the Orgasm that gives you the golden glow, Super Orgasm has gold glitters.
It is darn pretty to look at, and in this case it is also very cute being a mini.

NARS Blush Super Orgasm
(GWP mini)

Review, Swatch - Chanel Les 4 Ombres 41 Fascination (US version)

Jul 8, 2014

The whole thought process that led me to purchase the Chanel Les 4 Ombres Fascination is rather ridiculous.
I did not think I needed another Chanel Quadra to begin with, and even if I did, wouldn't it have to be one of the new Tissé Collection? No. I do wish my brain worked that way, though.

It actually started with the Transat summer collection of Dior. The only thing I was interested in was the navy eyeshadow single (it made my heart sing, by the way), but of course, it did not make its way into the U.S. market. (Who decides these things anyway?! I am angry.)
Still thinking I needed a good blue palette, I looked at the Dior Transat quint which I eventually thought too warm for me, then a couple from Yves Saint Laurent that were nice but did not make my heart sing.
I did seriously consider the blue quadra from the new collection (Tissé Riviera), but I couldn't justify getting another purple/pink tinged blue palette. What I wanted was something more complex, something maybe a little salty and dusty (I mean, if that makes sense to you).

Still following and sympathizing with how my poor makeup brain works? Thank you.
Anyway, that is how I ended up with Chanel Les 4 Ombres Fascination.
Sorry for the long intro, but I thought this weird agony of mine deserved some documenting here.

So, ta-da.

Chanel Les 4 Ombres 41 Fascination
Chanel Les 4 Ombres 41 Fascination

Review - California Naturel Gentle Cleansing Gel, Sunscreen SPF 30, Lip Balm SPF 8

Jul 5, 2014

For someone who has been always skeptical about "natural and organic" skincare products, experiencing California Naturel has been a pleasant eye opener.
I have been more conscious about adding naturally derived things in my beauty routines both internally and externally, but it is also true that I feel tired of hearing all the hypes. 
It is not that I have anything against natural products, but simply that the first thing I would want from my skincare items is for them to function properly. However, many of them I've tried seem either ineffective or even irritating to my skin, and often they come in flimsy packagings that are not so user-friendly.
California Naturel has officially banished all my stereotypes away, and I think they may have converted me as well.

There are two other facial moisturizers which I will soon review, but I feel I need more time to dedicatedly use them to produce useful reviews, although the initial impressions make me want to sing for them.
Today I want to share my opinions on California Naturel Geltle Cleansing Gel, Sunscreen, and Lip Balm, on which required a little less time for me to gather my thoughts.

California Naturel Skincare Products
(From the beginning, I was won over by the wholesome and clean packagings.)

Review - L'Oreal Voluminous Miss Manga Mascara

Jul 4, 2014

Patience is a virtue. I should have waited for the waterproof version of this to come out, which has already happened.
Of course, I have my excuse for buying another mascara with regular formula. My excuse consists of equal parts of hope, curiosity and sale. I have pretty much given up on non-waterproof mascaras because every single one of them uncurls my curled lashes right away, but I still have a faint hope to find one that keeps my curls intact yet washes off easily. Plus there are so many good things said about this new mascara with the cutest name and packaging. Finally, you cave in if there is a 40% off sale going on.
So there, you have it - my threefold academic excuse.
I hate to tell you that L'Oreal Voluminous Miss Manga is another mascara that bites the dust, although it may not be a total loss.

L'Oreal Voluminous Miss Manga Mascara
L'Oreal Voluminous Miss Manga Mascara in Blackest Black
(Another failure with such potentials)

Review, Swatch - NARS Lip Gloss Priscilla

Jul 3, 2014

I adore NARS Priscilla. She is so hot.
I received a GWP mini (finally!), and I adore it even more because it is a mini. I even wonder if NARS is kidding with those longer tubes. Not only the mini is so cute, but also the shorter wand is so much easier to control. You might be surprised to hear this mini tube holds about 2/3 of the full sized one, too.

NARS Lip Gloss Priscilla (a GWP mini)

FOTD - Softly Bronzed

Jul 1, 2014

Believe it or not, I used to self-tan every summer but I stopped for a couple of practical reasons. It was fun to play with darker shades of foundation and bronzers, though.
I can't say a warm bronzed look is the best bet for me (one of the reasons why I stopped), so all the beautiful new bronzers came out this year have not really reached out for me on a realistic level. 
Still, I should have a bronzer or two somewhere, right? I do, and last Sunday, I felt like playing with them. 
(BTW, I have realized that Sunday is a perfect day to play with neglected makeup and challenge myself. I know, I am incredibly late to join this "Sunday Stash Shopping" party.)

Cargo Beach Blush (Coral Beach), Cargo Eyeshadow duo (Sardinia) and Bbia pigments (02) were used for the "softly bronzed" look.

NOTD - Essie Shelter Island

Jun 30, 2014

Essie Shelter Island is one of my favorite blue nail polishes.
This vivid cerulean blue polish comes in the signature Essie gel-creme finish. The color has a tinge of green but clearly belongs to the cooler side of the spectrum that looks amazing against my skin tone.

Essie Shelter Island
(under direct sunlight)

Perfume Diary - Marchesa Parfum D'extase

Jun 28, 2014

I thought I would start a small series and see where it goes.
Fragrance is one of my first love and I have a pretty extensive perfume wardrobe, but lately I haven't felt all that enthusiastic. I still buy full bottles occasionally and I almost always pick fragrance samples if freebies are offered with purchase. So eventually I ended up with a boxful of perfume samples as well as some minis that are begging to be spritzed on.

This is my effort to more diligently and consciously try out new scents and have records of them. I'd like to write them in simple and casual words (mostly because I do not know the big poetics ones that seem to be required for good perfume reviews) with my very personal thoughts.
Yeah, more like a diary.

First up is Marchesa Parfum D'extase.

Marchesa Parfum D'extase (sample)

Review, Swatch - Bbia Pigments

Jun 26, 2014

Today I want to show you some pretty bling-y things.
Not too long ago, my friend Pauline (she has this awesome YouTube channel, btw) sent me the whole set of Bbia pigments from Korea.
I have not really followed Korean makeup trends lately, so I did not know about the brand at all. Apparently this hip and affordable brand called Bbia (삐아) and its pigments are very popular in Korea.

Bbia Pigments
Bbia pigments "Flavor" series (맛대맛 시리즈)

Bbia Pigments
Bbia pigments "5 light" series (5광 시리즈)

Review, Swatch - NARS Blush 413 BLKR

Jun 24, 2014

I recently visited the NARS store on Bleecker street in SoHo with a friend.
Naturally I was drawn to the exclusive BLKR collection displayed in the center, took a long time examining every particle of shimmer in the eyeshadow duo and comparing the BLKR single to Lhasa. I did not pay much attention to the 413 BLKR blush, however, thinking it was "too bright, too rosy". So I left the store empty handed while my wise friend grabbed a BLKR blush.
I managed to kill my lemmings especially for the single eyeshadow because it is close to my beloved Lhasa, which I concluded to be a better and more complex grey color for me (reviewed here).
On the other hand, this bright rose blush kept haunting me whispering, "you don't have anything like me, do you?".
So I finally caved in. (Plus it came with minis, you know.)

NARS 413 BLKR blush
NARS Blush 413 BLKR

Review - Radical Skincare Advanced Peptide Antioxidant Serum

Jun 21, 2014

Antioxidant serum is one of the few things I believe in preventing photoaging. A good stable sunscreen would be another, but it always works better with the help of antioxidants - The sunscreen antioxidant synergy.
For this reason, I am always on the look out for a nice serum that I can wear underneath my sunscreen. It is not easy to find one that I really like because I find many serums either unstable and irritating, or not moisturizing enough to be used alone (vitamin C serum, for example).
Radical Skincare Advanced Peptide Antioxidant Serum checks off most of the things from the list I have for an "ideal serum".

Radical Skincare Advanced Peptide Antioxidant Serum Review
Radical Skincare Advanced Peptide Antioxidant Serum

Review, Swatch - NARS Lip Gloss, Orgasm

Jun 17, 2014

It took a really long time for me to finally warm up to this cult favorite called "NARS Orgasm". (Well, I bought my Orgasm blush (reviewed here) almost 10 years after it was introduced.)
Although I ended up liking the blush much more than I expected, I didn't think it was "the blush color" for me. So naturally, I was not interested in the lip gloss with the same name thinking it was too frosty and warm for my light neutral complexion.
I still ended up with a full size NARS Orgasm Lip Gloss, though. Why? Because I always fall for legit mini makeup items (The key word here is "legit", btw).
I ordered a couple of (unnecessary-but-they-come-with-minis) things from NARS and was supposed to receive a mini NARS Orgasm Lip Gloss as a part of GWP, but they must have been out of minis because they sent a full and long Orgasm to me.

NARS Lip Gloss Orgasm
NARS Lip Gloss, Orgasm
(A generous GWP from NARS)

FOTD - Strawberry Pink

Jun 16, 2014

This season, I have been enjoying brighter and more intense pink with subtle warmth. It could best be described as strawberry pink (or red) as it always reminds me of those ripe strawberries.
I think the color is just perfect for this time of year with such refreshing and perky hues, and also a nice break from the demure neutrals. If you already love wearing reds, this would be an interesting twist as well.

Today I put together a face with a single color scheme - Strawberry Pink.

FOTD with Strawberry Pink
(and my bobby pin)

Review - Boots No7 Beautiful Skin Oil Free Eye Makeup Remover & Botanics All Bright Soothing Eye Makeup Remover

Jun 14, 2014

After my less than glowing review on Boots No7 Beautiful Skin Eye Makeup Remover, I was sent two other eye makeup removers from Boots. I appreciate the opportunity to take another look at their eye makeup removers because I doubt that I would have otherwise. I might have just concluded that Boots was a brand for my favorite toner and exfoliator, but not for eye makeup removers. Luckily, that opinion of mine is quite different now.

Boots No7 Oil Free Eye Makeup Remover Boots Botanics All Brights Eye Makeup Remover
Boots Botanics All Bright Soothing Eye Makeup Remover (L)
Boots No7 Beautiful Skin Oil Free Eye Makeup Remover (R)

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