Monday, January 25, 2010

A Product Rave: Lush Tea Tree Water Toner

Just a quick post this afternoon about one of my favourite products at the moment. It looks unimpressive and smells a bit strange (like medication, in a way), but this toner is great! My skin has never looked this nice and the only thing I've done differently is add this in my routine. My breakouts are less frequent (from 5-7 in a week to 1-3), it isn't drying and it doesn't sting. It's quite pricy, I paid about $10 (incl. tax) for the little bottle and it barely lasted a month. The bigger bottle is a better value so I'll be getting that in the next couple of days. I just wasn't sure if I would like it and opted for the small bottle to start.

Anyways, if you are on the market for a new toner and you have combination-oily, acne-prone skin like me, give this a try! I spray it on a cotton pad and wipe it on my face, or sometimes I spray it directly on my face after cleansing and apply moisturizer right away and it just glides on... sometimes I do both. I have found that my skin is significantly more balanced and not as extremely oily in spots; any dry flaky parts just go away after I apply this.

Have you ever tried this? Please feel free to share below.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

1, 2, 3 things I'm lusting for so far in 2010

1. Alexander Wang Sunglasses

Ever since I saw this amazing picture of Dree Hemingway on Jak&Jil, I knew that cat-eye sunglasses had to be mine.

The Alexander Wang ones are so much fun, and his other designs are great as well. They are ridiculously expensive and I probably won't come near them but hey, you never know what the year will bring. As of right now, I'm drooling over them.

2. The entire Prada Spring/Summer 2010 campaign

Prada also seems to be on board with the cat-eye sunglasses this upcoming season, albeit a more toned-down version.

Their entire ad campaign is so gorgeous, I love the neutrals, the stones, the strange bleached out brows and the make-up. I didn't like much of Prada in 2009, but 2010 looks lovely so far.

3. Nikon D60

Perhaps the most attainable of all, I've been wanting a DSLR camera for ages and I'm currently saving up for this one. I'm a total novice to SLR photography so I'm looking for a basic, entry-level camera. This seems to be my best option. Feel free to weigh in if you have experienced otherwise :)

So that's what's been on my mind for the past few weeks. My list of lust-worthy items is ever-changing, so be sure that I'll be doing more of these posts in the future, if you like hearing about it.

What's on your list so far this year?

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Products I'm using right now - edition 2.0

I did this before a few months ago, but since things are always changing, this type of tag is always a fun read. Thanks to the beautiful Muhsine (BUBBLEGARM) for reminding me of this great tag.

On to the goods:

Shampoo: Frederic Fekkai "Advanced Glossing"

Conditioner: L'Oreal Professional "Absolute Repair"

Shower gel: Happy Hippie shower gel by Lush (smells like citrus heaven)

Styling products: Chi Silk Infusion, Aveda Volumizing Tonic, Frederic Fekkai Glossing Cream

Body moisturizer: Bath and Body Works "Twilight Woods" body butter... smells divine

Deodorant: Mitchum Smart Solid for Women... the scent is Waterlily

Fake Tan: St. Tropez Bronzing Mousse

Foundation: Nars Sheer Glow in "Santa Fe" or Chanel Mat Lumiere in #30

Cleanser: Cetaphil

Exfoliator: None (I use the Clarisonic twice a day)

Primer: None

Foundation Brush: MAC 190 or my fingers, or both

Powder: lately NO powder, just bronzer...

Concealer: Bobbi Brown Creamy Concealer

Blush: NARS Mounia

Bronzer: Benefit "Hoola"

Highlighter: MAC Redhead MSF

Eyeshadow Base: lately I haven't been wearing any, but if I do, the only one I use is Urban Decay Primer Potion

Eyeshadows: NARS Eurydice Eyeshadow Duo, MAC Style Snob, NARS Mykonos

Eyeliner: Feline Kohl Power by MAC, GOSH Bananas eyeliner

Lash Curler: Shu Uemura

Mascara: Chanel Inimitable & YSL Singulier

Lipstick: MAC "Marquise'd", MAC "Feelin' Good" tinted lip conditioner

Lipgloss: none, I've just been using the lip conditioner like crazy

Nail colour: "Can You Tapas This" by OPI

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Foundation Talk

Foundation is one of the most important parts of one's makeup routine (unless of course you were blessed with perfect skin - in which case I hate you haha)

I've searched high and low, tried a myriad of different brands, formulas and techniques. Here is a short summary on what I've tried and what I enjoyed, as well as things I'd like to look into in the future...

Before I start, I will re-iterate that I have oily, acne-prone skin that breaks out hormonally 1-2 times a month on my cheeks/chin. Just when I think things are dandy, the breakouts start again so I always seem to have those pesky post-acne red marks and scars that need medium, yet buildable coverage.

Clinique Superfit (Liquid Foundation)
I used this foundation for a year and a half in high school and it was just average. Nothing good, nothing bad, just average. Packaging is nice and it didn't cause any breakouts, however it did not hold up the oils in my skin very well which is why I tried a powder foundation after I had used this up. Mind you, they have reformulated it since then, so it may provide different results now.

Would I repurchase this? - No.

MAC Studio Fix Powder (Powder Foundation)
This is the first product from MAC that I ever bought, and it's the one I have been repurchasing since then. Ironically enough I do not have it in my possession right now since I wanted to give Bare Minerals a try, but my love for this still prevails.
Offers great coverage, takes minimal effort to apply. I use a kabuki brush for a heavier coverage or a fluffy powder brush for light coverage in the summer. I set it with Fix+ spray by MAC on a MAC 187 brush to relieve from the "powdery" look. It also works well as a setting powder over liquid foundation when used with a fluffy, big brush. This is a summer essential for me.

Would I repurchase this? - Yes. I've been repurchasing this for years.

MAC Studio Fix Fluid (Liquid Foundation)
Despite the nice things I had to say about the powder counterpart, Studio Fix Fluid was a big bust for me. I hated the smell, the consistency, the way it spread across the skin. It just felt heavy and uncomfortable. I bought it once and almost used it up because I didn't want to waste it, but I hated every minute of it.

Would I repurchase this? - No.

MAC Select SPF 15 Foundation (Liquid Foundation)
Not as bad as Studio Fix Fluid, but a bit of a nightmare to blend, oxidized easily (which made it hard to get a proper colour match) and the coverage was medium. It is water-based and it did offer reasonable oil control.

Would I repurchase this? - No.

MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Natural (Powder)
This product can work as a light coverage powder mineral foundation for some. For me, it just doesn't give enough coverage, so I use it as a setting powder. I really like it, very natural finish and gives a nice glow. I use it in Medium Dark and use it to frame my face. I liked it better when it came in the half matte, half shimmer but they discontinued it unfortunately.

Would I repurchase this? - Yes.

Bare Minerals Mineral Foundation - Original (Powder Foundation)
I loved this. I loved the coverage and the finish. It was perfect for summer. Unfortunately I must have some sort of allergy to one of the ingredients (I'm thinking Bismuth Oxychloride) because every time I used it it made my face itch like crazy. It didn't break me out or give me a rash or anything, it just burned and itched. I wanted it to work so bad because I really loved the results, it would have been the perfect summer foundation for me. Unfortunately it was just too uncomfortable for me.

Would I repurchase this? - No (unless they take that itchy ingredient out)

Bare Minerals Mineral Foundation - Matte (Powder Foundation)
This does not have the itchy ingredient. It requires more product to offer the same coverage as the original formula, and while the original formula gave a natural, glowy finish, with this one I just feel dull. It oxidizes and becomes a bit too pink. With Fix+ it doesn't look as cakey but it doesn't go on evenly and to be honest I prefer MAC Studio Fix Powder to this. Same effect, less hassle. It's a good foundation, I just don't love it as much as other things I've tried.

Would I repurchase this? - No

Bobbi Brown Oil-Free Compact Foundation (Cream Foundation)
How much did I hate this? Let me count the ways... haha... this just did not work for me. It says it's oil free, yet I still felt like I was putting grease on my face when using it. The coverage was medium at best and it had poor staying power. It didn't break me out at all which is probably the only good thing I have to say. I love my Bobbi Brown Creamy Concealer and I thought this foundation would be a nice counterpart but it was just unimpressive. Made me feel very greasy. Also, it was expensive and I hit pan after about 3 weeks? Unacceptable.

Would I repurchase this? - No

Dior Nude Foundation (Liquid Foundation)
It's a shame that I had a shade that was too light, because I really loved this foundation. I lost the receipt and couldn't exchange it. It smells amazing, like roses. It is made up of 80% water yet it wasn't runny and it didn't irritate my skin. It went on evenly, but with this foundation you cannot use a brush. Fingers are the way to go. Offered plenty of oil control and gave good coverage. I ended up having to mix it with a darker shade of Chanel Pro Lumiere or with MAC Luster Drops to get the right match. Mixed with Pro Lumiere it was even better!

Would I repurchase this? - Yes (in a shade that matches me, this time)

Chanel Pro Lumiere Foundation (Liquid Foundation)
I still have this lurking in my bathroom, it is now too dark for me since I got it after last year's trip to Florida when I had a nice tan. The coverage was great and it didn't look caky. The only problem is that my skin was sometimes just too oily for it. After 2 hours I looked like an oil slick and it was sliding off. Mixed with Dior Nude, however, I really enjoyed it. It also worked nicely when I was having a drier skin day. It also photographed beautifully. I may repurchase this just for going out. Also, packaging was my favourite.

Would I repurchase this? - Yes... maybe...

Chanel Mat Lumiere Foundation (Liquid Foundation)
Smells of roses, just like Pro Lumiere and Dior Nude. Great packaging as well. I prefer applying it with my fingers since with a brush I find that it dries too quick and is a bit tricky to blend. Using my fingers I feel that the foundation gets that extra warmth and can spread easier on the face. This foundation has great lasting power on me and controls oil very well. It doesn't even need to be set with powder. The finish is not completely bland matte, it is more of a satin-matte finish. Doesn't photograph as nicely as Pro Lumiere and does tend to oxidize a tiny bit. It is my favourite foundation out of what I have tried so far, however.

Would I repurchase this? - Yes

NARS Sheer Glow (Liquid Foundation)
The best colour match I've had. I am "Santa Fe" in this range. Also, this foundation was the most easy to blend out of all the ones I've tried. The coverage is good - medium. I'd like a bit more coverage sometimes, but it's not too bad. Despite the name it does not have a "glowing" finish, which is good news for me. Finish is similar to Chanel Mat Lumiere - a matte satin.
I thought it broke me out at one point because I was wearing it every day, but I stopped, my skin cleared up, and I started using it again and it's been fine. Strange.
I really love this foundation but not sure how it will be in the summer with my oily skin, but mind you, it's not a foundation intended for oily skins. I still bent the rules and tried it, and I am glad that I did. It may just be my winter go-to.

Would I repurchase this? - Yes

I hope you found it useful/enjoyable to read my opinions on some of these. Feel free to share your experiences as well as any recommendations you may have for me.

In the future, I would like to try out the following:

Bobbi Brown Skin
Giorgio Armani Lasting Silk
Clinique Even Better
Make Up Forever HD
Make Up Forever Mat Velvet +
YSL Perfect Touch
Estee Lauder Double Wear Light

Have you tried any of them?

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Happy New Year!

What better way to start off the blog posts of 2010 than with an outfit post?
New Year's eve was spent with my boyfriend and some friends out to one of my favourite restaurants for some good food, wine, champagne and dancing (well, I didn't do much dancing but I had a great time observing two Jersey Shore-eque guys doing the fist pump for a few songs haha)

I finally got to wear the pretty dress I bought in Germany earlier this year! I have this weird tendency to hoard "special" clothing purchases... I buy something and keep on waiting to wear it because I often think it's too nice to waste on just a regular night out. I am going to work on that in the new year. Things just keep building up otherwise and I never get to enjoy them enough. Does anyone else have this problem or am I the only strange one out there like this? :)

The dress is by Joana Danciu, and she has a boutique in Munich on Maximillian Street. She is a Romanian designer which made this purchase that much more special for me, since I was born and raised there.

I also wore black nylons, which are not pictured, and a pair of simple round-toe black patent pumps by Guess.
The clutch is Marc Jacobs, from his 2008 resort collection. I found it hidden in the racks of a Nordstrom sale a few months ago and it's been my baby ever since :)

Bracelets are by Tiffany's, nail polish is Essie "Mint Candy Apple". I've been obsessed with this colour all winter.

I hope you all have had a great start to the new year so far and I'm looking forward to what 2010 has to offer. I am still hanging along with "Project 10 Pan" - although I mini-cheated and bought some MAC Power Kohl eyeliners and a tinted lip conditioner with Christmas gift cards... oops :)
So far I have not finished anything, 0/10, but I am working on it... I just hope my concealer doesn't run out first because going without it will not be a pretty sight haha



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