Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Fresh Release: Ricky Martin and Nicki Minaj for MAC Viva Glam

Recording artists Ricky Martin and Nicki Minaj for MAC Viva Glam 2012

I was super excited when I read this a few weeks ago. Not because I'm a fan of Ricky and Nicki (love the rhyme!), but simply because I love the Viva Glam collection. The colors are always great. The one that Nicki wears in the ad is just too adorable to miss, so I'll surely grab one when it comes out this February. (Update: I heard that Ricky's is actually a balm, and Nicki's a bright yellow pink. Nice!)

I was really disappointed when I missed Cyndi Lauper's, though I rarely wear bright red lipsticks anyway. I've read good reviews about it being a wearable red shade, so it would have been nice if I got one. Hopefully, MAC will re-release it one day just like what they did with Lady Gaga's.

And speaking of Gaga, luckily, I managed to snag the Glam Gaga II when it first came out. I preferred the nude color over the Glam Gaga I which was of a light pink shade. When MAC re-released the collection, then I picked up the Gaga I as well. 'Twas a worthy buy. ^_^

Eccentric Divas Cyndi Lauper and Lady Gaga for MAC Viva Glam

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Of Fun Beauty Ads

Ads like this will definitely get whacked if aired here in my country, but I really find this fun and cute. And no, it's not just because it's Crazy Sexy King Kimura Takuya (though, of course, he's a huge factor <3), but I love how it's rightfully wrong in so many adorable ways. Haha.

 Err... this thumbnail isn't giving his royal sexyness all the justice in the world, so you MUST click it!

So there's a facial wash that can dye and grow your hair, sharpen your facial features, and give you some awesome tanning in seconds. How's that? Haha!

But in all fairness, some of my male friends who use Gatsby products totally love them. ^_^

Hair Affairs: My Curent Hair Color

I've only started dyeing my hair about 3 years ago when I finally got the courage to do so. Not because I'm scared that the color won't turn out as I wanted it to, but because I have always heard that hair rebonding and hair coloring do not exactly mix. I have a naturally curly, kind of weirdly textured hair. My mom wasn't exactly fond of it, so she brought me to a salon at age 9 to have it fixed. AGE 9. Of course the hairstylist turned us down. Haha. He said we should wait 'til I'm atleast a teenager.

So my obedient, rule-abiding mom waited for a good 4 years. Yup, I have been straightening my hair since I was 13. :)

But it was just in 2009 when I finally gave hair dyeing a shot. It took me about 3-4 attempts to finally find the product that really satisfied me.I've only been to a professional salon for hair coloring once but was never satisfied with the result. The stylist freaked out a bit in the middle of the dyeing session, so he had to make certain adjustments to the mixture. The result was not the color I wanted. Pfft.

I don't know the exact length of my hair (Is there anyone who even knows his/her own? LOL), but it reaches around the chest area. It takes me about 3-4 boxes of hair dye to fully dye my hair, and I usually leave it on for more than an hour or so.

I have tried Revlon Colorsilk in Strawberry Blonde and a L'Oreal one but I couldn't remember what exactly it was. I was quite okay with Revlon the first time I used it, but when I had to touch up on my roots a few months later, I was shocked with the result. My hair was completely damaged (even if the product says it's ammonia-free), and I had to deep condition my hair a lot more than usual. I even had to keep my hair in a ponytail all the time. With L'Oreal, I don't exactly remember experiencing too much damage, but I wasn't satisfied with how the color turned out. So, I had to look for another alternative.

At last, I think I've found it. My current favorite and certainly the one I'd be using from now on is Clairol Nice 'n Easy Permanent Hair Color Level 3. I took the lightest shade available (Natural Extra Neutral Blonde #98) because my hair is naturally dark. It is actually black to dark brown (I believe it turned out like that because my hair is really dry and damaged), so even if I wanted a drastic color change to make it lighter, I had to do it gradually.

Right now, though my hair looks healthier than what I imagined it would be after several coats, I'm still a bit unsatisfied. Not with the product, but with the extent of what I can actually do with my hair. I wanted it to be in a lighter shade, not platinum blonde but more like on the golden side. I've already scrapped the idea of bleaching my hair (I cannot afford any more hair disasters), so I guess I'm going to have to stick to this light brown color for a while. Will post pictures soon. :)

Hair companies, please come up with a product that would solve my dilemma. Thank you. ^_^

All images belong to their respective owners.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Beauty before Bedtime: My Evening Skincare Routine

Asian girls (like me) are skincare junkies. On the average, they use 9-12 products at night to maintain their flaw-free skin and youthful glow. Though some argue that piling on tons of products can actually defeat the purpose, many girls still swear on the effectiveness of their tedious skincare routines.

As for myself, I rarely use several beauty products on my face before going to bed, but I make sure that I have gotten rid of all the face products I used throughout the day before I go to sleep. My skin is acne-prone, oily to combination type. Though it looks a lot better now that I'm in my 20s, like most girls I used to suffer from terrible acne problems back when I was a teen. Some acne scarring and hyperpigmentation are still visible (THAT time of the month that causes a few spots every now and then is something that some girls have to live for for several decades), but they're somehow more manageable now. 

I don't spend much on skin care compared to my makeup purchases, but the best products aren't usually the expensive ones anyway. I opted for those that have ingredients that work well for my skin-type.

So, here are the simple steps I follow:

1. Removing my eye makeup. This is the most challenging part for me. Haha. That is why I do not use waterproof mascara every day. Removing it at night is such a pain. For now I'm using either Human Nature Sunflower Seed Beauty Oil or my DIY Extra Virgin Olive Oil makeup remover. 

2. Getting rid of my face makeup. The uber popular Clarisonic Mia Skin Cleansing System is definitely an essential for me. After reading several rave reviews about it, I decided to give in and purchase one for myself. I absolutely love it! I got the Nordstrom exclusive one in fuchsia pink that comes with two brush heads, a charger, a Clarisonic Gentle Hydro Cleanser in sample size (I haven't tried using it), and a hot pink pouch for travel use. It's no longer available though there are other designs and colors you can choose from. I use it in the morning and at night along with my Olay Clarity fresh cleanser for oily to combination skin.

Do NOT use the Clarisonic Mia to remove your eye makeup. Just don't.

3. Drying up the face. I wipe my face with a soft tissue, not a towel. Towels can be some sort of a breeding ground for bacteria (LOL. weird wording). At least with a tissue, I can easily toss it away when I'm done. I don't use too much, though. Gotta care for the environment. ^_^

4. Applying a toner. The one I'm using right now is Human Nature Balancing Face Toner. It is a 100% natural, no-alcohol toner that contains orange and elemi with sugar beets. I used to use the Balancing Face Wash paired with it, but it contains tiny bamboo scrubs that aren't ideal for my Clarisonic Mia, so I switched back to Olay.

5. Skipping moisturizers. I haven't found the perfect night moisturizer because all that I've tested so far either broke me out or made my skin even more oily. So, at the moment, no night moisturizers for me. But I really need to find a good one soon because we all know how important moisturizers are. Hopefully, by the next time I update my routine, I can already recommend one.

6. Applying Eye Roll-on. I use Garnier Brightening Eye Roll-on. I can't say much about it's brightening effect, but it does work on getting rid of puffy eyes. Most of the time, I just massage it under my eyes over and over again while looking downwards to avoid too much product out pour. It's cold, so it can relax tired eyes.

7. Putting on some lip balm. This, of course, is to prevent chappy lips when I wake up the next day. I use EOS lip balms or Nivea A Kiss of Flavor Lip Care.

Once or twice a week, I exfoliate my skin with Human Nature Super Fruits and Black Rice Facial Scrub. It smells really good and does a good job in removing dead skin cells. After using it, my skin feels really fresh.

I also use Queen Helene Mint Julep Masque once or twice a week. The label says to leave the product on for 15 mins., but I let it dry on my face much longer than that. I love how my skin feels afterwards.

As you can tell, most of the products I use are really pocket-friendly (and chemical-free!), except for the Clarisonic Mia. I still highly recommend it like the rest of the other beauty buffs because it is worth the price. It is a really good skincare investment.

These are what I do at the moment, but I'll surely make a few changes every now and then since the skin becomes immune to products after using them for a while. Gotta purchase an eye cream, too.

Disclaimer: This is a non-sponsored post. All products mentioned were personally purchased by the author.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Recent Purchase: Eyelashes Produced by Ayumi Hamasaki

Another product I bought because I love (and of course, trust) the endorser. Haha!

Seems like Ayu is still keeping the yens coming despite a rather seemingly quiet presence in the music scene recently (She was still in Kouhaku, though). These really cute sets of fake eyelashes were actually released late last year, but I've never really gotten myself into buying them since I still have a bunch of other fake eyelashes I haven't even opened yet. Hihi.

But hey! It's Queen Ayu! I HAVE TO HAVE THEM!

So I got three sets, one from each of the three available varieties - Natural Days, Royal Days, and Gorgeous Days.

I wonder how they would fair against Masuwaka Tsubasa's Dolly Wink and the ones Kyary Pamyu Pamyu released with Eyemazing? I have tried both and they're amazing. I hope these ones are really good, too.

All images owned by their respective owners.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Beauty on a Budget: My Top 5 Non-High End Makeup Products

We often hear from makeup experts that a product's price does not always reflect its quality. Experience tells me this is true, for as long as you know how to rummage those shelves and counters, a good find definitely awaits.

These products are usually referred to as "Drugstore Products." However, here in my country, these aren't usually sold in drugstores (except Watsons) but in department stores, so I won't call them as such. They are actually considered to be more "right in the middle" - not too expensive but not too cheap either.

So, here are some of my favorite non-high end makeup products that are both face and pocket-friendly:

1.) Revlon Colorstay Foundation
My everyday foundation! I like this a lot better than the Photoready one which makes the face look "glowy" but not in a good way (It's for photography use, after all). It gives medium to full coverage, light so it's perfect for those humid days, and stays for long hours as long as you use a good setting powder (I'm yet to find a good drugstore setting powder, though. Any recommendation?). I'm in the shade "Buff."

2.) Maybelline Pure Cover Mineral Concealer
I mainly use this to reduce the dark circles around the eyes. It's creamy, easy to blend, and has the consistency of a liquid foundation. I use a Sigma blending brush or just my forefinger to apply it. I actually chose a shade that's a tad bit lighter than my skin tone since I want the area around my eyes to appear brighter and more awake. I have tried other drugstore concealers but so far, this is my absolute favorite. I use this every single day.

3.) NYX Jumbo Eye Pencils

I absolutely love these products. They're affordable but of really, really good quality. I use them as base for my eye shadow for dramatic evening looks. They do crease, though, so you need  a good lid primer before application. Another downside of these for me is that you cannot use any other sharpeners as they won't fit; thus, you have to purchase a NYX sharpener, too. (It's cheap, I know, but still...)

4.) Revlon Colorstay Liquid Liner

This is actually what I used to learn how to do the cat eye look. Kind of like my practice tool. Haha. It dries up really fast, but if you make a mistake, it can be wiped off easily with a cotton swab and makeup remover. However, the felt tip can be quite tricky after some time (It sort of sheds? Or maybe I've just overused it. Haha.). I still prefer my more expensive liquid liner over this, but for it's price, it does a pretty decent job.

5.) Essence of Beauty - Deluxe Duo Set for Face

I only like the Foundation and Concealer brush in this set, but it cannot be bought separately.  The other two aren't that bad, but I have other brushes that I prefer over them. I seldom use a Foundation Brush to apply my foundation (I prefer using a Stippling Brush), but this one is a really good dupe for MAC 190. Sometimes I feel that it does an even better job than the high-end one.

All images owned by their respective owners.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Recent Purchase: FASIO Ultra Curl Lock Mascara

Ordered this mascara because of Matsujun.
Yup! Celeb-based ads often work on me. Haha!

KOSÉ announced in December 2011 that they'll be launching new mascara and eye shadow products comprising three items in nine product varieties, which includes this Matsujun-endorsed (and Mirei-chan, too!) FASIO ULTRA CURL LOCK MASCARA. I think the tv spot first aired in Japan last January 16, 2012. I didn't know that Matsujun would star in another CM for Fasio (He's been Fasio's mascara endorser since 2011), so I guess seeing him on the latest CM made me finally give the product a try. Haha! I'd say you've done a good job there, Fasio!

I'll probably receive the product in 2 weeks. Will definitely post a review as soon as I can. 

Watch the 15sec TV spot below:

Images taken from: KOSÉ Official Website

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