Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Tarte Glow Your Way to Gorgeous

I officially admit I have zero will power when it comes to restricting myself from buying more makeup! Total fail! I saw the Muse's post on Tarte's Glow Your Way to Gorgeous set (QVC exclusive) and this baby is just yelling "take me home mama!".  I tried hard to resist, but the deal is just too good to pass!

The set is priced at $49.95 US and $5.95 US for shipping and handling within the States.  Shipping to Canada costs some $13+ bucks.  It includes:
  • Makeup Bag
  • Lights, Camera, Lahses! Clinically-Proven Natural Mascara (Retail: $19)
  • Maracuja Creaseless Concealer (Retail Price: $24.50)
  • Amazonian Clay 12-hour Blush in Peaceful (Retail Price: $25)
  • EmphasEYES Amazonian Clay Waterproof Cream Eyeshadow (Retail Price: $22)
  • SmolderEYES Amazonian Clay Waterproof Eyeliner (Retail: $25)
  • LipSurgence Natural Lip Luster (Retail: $24)
  • Blush Bamboo Brush (Retail Price: $27)
  • Eyeshadow Bamboo Brush (Retail Price: $28)
  • Sharpener
  • FREE Deluxe Mineral Powder Bronzer in Park Ave Princess (Retail: $10)
  • FREE Sample of Tarte’s Pure Maracuja Oil (7mL)
The concealer, blush, and cream shadows are the items I really wanted to get my hands on.  I chose the concealer in Medium for my NC-25 to NC-30 complexion. Base on the swatches online, Tarte's shades seem to run a bit lighter than other brands. Certainly hope I chose the right shade.

This set is under item number A218483 and A219234 for Auto Delivery at  According to the Muse, the free bronzer and Maracuja oil will be included in the first shipment of your set but not in future deliveries if you you go with the Auto Delivery option.  The price is good until July 2.  You can get the set to $60 USD afterwards.

Now, tell me if it sounds logical to fall into this trap? Would you have the will power to resist???

Monday, June 27, 2011

Rock & Republic Haul

If you follow the buzz going around the makeup blogs and youtube videos, Rock & Republic cosmetics should sound pretty familiar. I never knew about the brand, not even their apparel, until youtube reviews started popping up. Most reviews gave a big thumbs up mark on R&R makeup line so I was really tempted to try them out. Alas, the horrendous shipping fee killed my lemmings despite the discounts on Hautelook and R&R website.

I started checking their products again when Hautelook lowered their shipping fees. Horray! So last month, I finally did my first R&R haul through Hautelook. It took almost a month for my order to arrive.  Can you could imagine how the excitement was killing me?!?  Apparently they have to order the products from the supplier and have them ship out the order.  That's one thing everyone should be aware of when purchasing from Hautelook.  Given the valid reasons, I still hope they could cut down the amount of time it takes to process the shipping.

I got 4 eye shadows and 3 eye brushes.  They came in a small box and all the items were nicely packaged. Unfortunately, there was one casualty despite careful handling.  I reported this problem to Hautelook right away and they immediately refunded the cost for the broken item. Thumbs up Hautelook for such great customer service!

Hautelook Rock & Republic Haul

Hautelook Rock & Republic Haul

I have to agree with most reviews with the packaging. They are breathtaking!

eye shadows

These shadows are definitely worth the hype in my books. Texture is the winner here as they feel so fine and smooth.  When I run my fingers through the pan, it actually feels like touching baby powder.  They apply well on the lids and blending is easy-peasy.  I can get away with applying these babies without primer underneath and it takes around 6 hours for me to see some creasing.  With primer, no traces of creasing or color fading at all.  

Now on to the shades.  Alloy is a golden beige that's great for summer as a wash of color.  Sabotage, my fave and the casualty among the bunch, is a cool light brown that's definitely a versatile product for all seasons and skin tones.  Hangover is a nice army green shade that goes well with neutrals.  Revenge is a dark grayish purple which I've been liking these days.

eye shadows

eye shadows

The swatches.... As you can see, the shades I got all have a nice sheen without being too shimmery or metallic.

top to bottom: revenge, hangover, alloy, sabotage

Now to the brushes. I saw very few reviews on these but decided to give them a try anyways.

eye brushes

The 204 definer/pencil brush is my favorite out of the bunch as it works well for the lash line and the outer v.  I haven't tried MAC 219, but this is definitely better than Sigma 219.

The 203 blending brush is very similar to Sigma or MAC 224 except that it's not as dense and the tip is more tapered. It's not as pointed as a Sigma or MAC 226, so I would say it's a hybrid.  I like this brush except that it bleeds like crazy. I've only washed it 2-3 times and I can see the color of the bristles are starting to fade.  This is the only brush that has problem with bleeding.

The 201 large shader brush is a big and flat brush that can be used to apply colors on the lid and brow bone.  I was hoping this would be similar to MAC or Sigma's large shader brush but apparently this is not as big.  It applies color sheerly on the lids and can be used to blend out colors as well.  I would say this brush is the product I liked the least in my order.  Although it's the bristles are not pokey, but they are not soft at all.

Overall, I'm very satisfied with the products I got from this haul.  I guess I won't be hauling more from R&R unless the famous blushes come back in stock again!

Friday, June 24, 2011

dotting away!

Since my first attempt at doing more than just one color nail polish, I've been so hooked into watching youtube tutorials on cutsie nail arts!  Well, everyone has to start with simple techniques so I decided to give dotting a try.

I never realized you could use almost anything around the house with a pointed tip as a dotting tool!  Search youtube for "DIY dotting tools" and you will be surprised with crazy ideas!  Anything from bobby pin, toothpick, ballpoint pen, needles, skewers - use your own imagination! :)

For this attempt, I used Sally Hansen Insta-Dri in Petal Pusher as a sheer base.  The bottle definitely shows peach but on the nails, it looks more pink. After the base color is applied, I then dotted the flower pattern using Joe Fresh's nail polishes in Fig and Butter.  I used an old ballpoint pen that ran out of ink as a dotting tool so I can do the dots with more control.  To finish the design, I used Art Deco nail art lacquer in white to draw in the twigs. Uhm... it's not noticable in the photos but it's definitely there.  Everything is sealed using Seche Vite top coat *fave*. I'm so happy with the results!!!

Warning: photo spamming ahead... I just couldn't find the right angle to show all my finger nails in one shot! And I hate that my hands look so dry - like Sahara desert dry - in the photos... I wonder why....

simple flower nail art

simple flower nail art

simple flower nail art

simple flower nail art

simple flower nail art

simple flower nail art

It definitely takes practice to do even dots.  Painting and dotting using the left hand is another challenge I need to overcome... it's just so hard to maneuver! I only show photos of my left hand coz the flowers on the right hand are actually bigger... LOL

I thought the design looks very familiar.  Dug up photos from our pre-wedding pictorial and it's indeed similar to the nail art which I had professionally done at a salon. I can do nail art after all! :)
nails on our prenup photos

I saw a few nail art designs in youtube that I want to do next... can't wait!

Note: I don't have photos of the Joe Fresh polishes but do check out these blog posts for swatches - Fig & Butter.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Beauty Survey

Snagged this from Larie :)

blush or bronzer? - blush all the way...
lip gloss or lipstick?  - lipstick
eye liner or mascara? - eye liner (I can live without mascara but I just have to curl my lashes at the least)
foundation or concealer? - concealer (how do I live without you?)
Liquid Foundation or Powder? - liquid (I reach for compact powder more often due to daily rush but I definitely prefer the finish of liquid)
neutral or color eye shadow? - neutral (I like to add a pop of color to make the eye makeup a little more interesting)
pressed or loose eye shadows? - pressed (I can't deal with the mess of loose eye shadows)
brushes or sponges for foundation? - prefer using my fingers whenever I can... otherwise I will use foundation brush... for special occasions, I use MUFE's ellipse sponge.

OPI or China Glaze? - China Glaze (but I love OPI as well)
Long or Short? - short
Acrylic or Natural? - natural
Brights or Darks? - neutral and darks...

perfume or body splash? - perfume
lotion or body butter? - lotion
Lush or other bath company? - haven't tried lush body products yet...

jeans or sweat pants? - jeans definitely...
long sleeve or short? - short
dresses or skirts? - I seldom wear skirts or dresses... but skirts are more comfortable I guess...
stripes or plaid? - stripes stripes stripes...
flip flops or sandals? - sandals
scarves or hats? - neither...
studs or dangly earrings? - both
necklaces or bracelets? - em... both!
heels or flats? - I love heels but I can only wear flats :(
cowboy boots or riding boots? - both!
jacket or hoodie? - both!
Forever 21 or H&M? - Forever 21
Abercombie or Hollister? - none (Aeropostale I like...)

curly or straight? - Curly!
bun or ponytail? - neither... I like my hair down...
bobby pins or barettes? - bobby pins...
hair spray or gel? - none...
long or short? - long... as long as I don't suffer from hair fall...
light or dark? - I like light hair...
side sweep bangs or full bangs? - side sweep
up or down? - Down...

Rain or shine? - Shine!
Summer or winter? - Summer
Fall or spring? - Spring
Chocolate or vanilla? - Vanilla
East coast or west coast? - haven't been to the west yet...

Friday, June 17, 2011

Joe Fresh Eye Shadows

eye shadows
Top: Cactus (Cream Shadow)
2nd Row: Pebble, Chocolate
3rd Row: Pale Pink, Pagoda

  • Cactus - These cream shadows are new products released last Spring.  I got one to try as I've read good feedback from Makeup Junkie.  Let's say, it's not good but it's not that horrible either.  The shade is nice and pigmentation is sheer but buildable. Staying power is not the greatest.  I'm pretty sure it creased on me even with primer.  Honestly, I haven't found any product or primer that stays crease free on my lid after 8 hours of wear. So, I'll give it some slack in the creasing aspect.  I use this as a base most of the time to make eye shadows pop.  But, I would much prefer my NYX jumbo pencils as a base compared to this product. - My Rating: 2/5
  • Pebble, Pale Pink, Pagoda - I have one common review for these 3 shades - disappointment.  Pigmentation of Pale Pink and Pagoda are terrible.  I love the shades but they just look so sheer when swatched. And doesn't even stay on my lid at all.  Pebble is a little bit better but still sheer.  I find that it's best to use a sticky base with these shadows and finger application is the best.  The powders just wont stick on my shadow brush. I can only make the color show well with NYX jumbo pencil in Milk as a base - and that's just to make the color show... not even vibrant. Sigh, total waste in my opinion. - My Rating: 1/5
  • Chocolate - I have to do separate review on this one as it's definitely a gem among the crap.  Chocolate is a nice deep brown color that's pigmented on swatches as well as on the lid.  It's a little powdery but not that bothersome to apply. I usually use a pencil brush with this shadow and use it to soften the eye liner.  This is not the best brown shadow, but it's not bad. - My Rating: 3/5

Friday, June 10, 2011

NARS goodies

I got my first NARS blush in Deep Throat more than a year ago. The pigmentation and staying power is superb so I've been wanting to get more.  I've been wanting Angelika, Madly and Luster, but I couldn't find any excuses to cave into temptations due to the overflowing amount of blushes I have in my stash. An easy excuse could be - I don't have something similar.  But then how many cheeks do I have to use up these products anyways?  Anyhoo.....enough rambling. What I really want to say is, I finally succumbed and purchased not one, but THREE blushes! ... and more  (*guilty*)

Without further ado, here's my recent NARS acquisitions that joined the family in the past months.

NARS Oasis Blush
Nars Oasis blush
These are the type of blushes I would normally skip.  It certainly doesn't look appealing on the pan, at least for me.  Dark berry shade with chunky glitters, that's my first impression.  So, what why did I buy this blush then?  As I said, I want to get a new NARS blush, but I don't want duplicates of what I already have.  I did my homework and checked a lot of blogs for swatches and reviews.  As dark as this seems to be on the pan, the cheek swatches actually shows a kind of sophistication that looks really appealing.  So I decided to get this from Sephora while I still have my 15% VIB discount.  If it doesn't work out, at least I can return it.  After 2 months, I happily report that this baby is still in my drawer and not back to the store.  I really like it and even wore it on my son's birthday party.  I guess, sometimes mature pink does look good... at least for my age. Well, I'm not saying I look old with this on, but I certainly don't look like a doll with this type of pink.  The chunky glitters that I was dreading, isn't so visible after all when applied on the cheeks.  It's certainly a "like" for me!

Here's how it shows on my cheek on my son's birthday (sorry for the blurry photo). I used a stippling brush to apply this for a light touch and  also not to get as much glitters on my cheek.

NARS Makeup Your Mind - Cheek Kit
Nars Makeup Your Mind Cheek Kit

Nars Makeup Your Mind Cheek Kit

Nars Makeup Your Mind Cheek Kit

Nars Makeup Your Mind Cheek Kit

I saw the release of NARS' Makeup Your Mind kits on various beauty blogs but I didn't think of owning any of them coz it's a Nordstrom exclusive. It WAS just an eye candy for me and I quickly forgot about it.

One day, we went to Yorkdale mall and I decided to check the Shu Eumura counter and ask if I can get my eye brow pencil sharpened even if I didn't get the product from Canada. They agreed and so that was the end of my objective. I was browsing through the products from different brands and accidentally laid my eyes on NARS' Makeup Your Mind kits near the NARS counter. I was like, OMG!!!! I gotta get this! I got the cheek kit which comes with Orgasm/Angelika blush duo, Laguna bronzer and Copacabana multiple - all full sizes!!! The SA at the NARS counter was surprised as well. She said NARS rarely come up with kits with all full size products. My wallet hurt a bit when I paid for this kit, but the deal is all worth it!

Now let's dig the goodies that comes with the kit!

NARS Orgasm/Angelika blush duo
Orgasm/Angelika blush duo

We see Orgasm/Laguna most of the time, but I often hoped that NARS would come up with a duo that contains two blushes instead of one blush and a bronzer. Imagine my excitement when I saw this kit - NARS granted me my wish! LOL I was more into Angelika coz I already have a lot of Orgasm dupes in my stash. But it doesn't hurt to get both! Turns out, I've been using Orgasm more than Angelika. Don't get me wrong, they're both pretty. I guess peaches are my go-to looks so Orgasm fits most of my looks. I love everything about this duo but I just find that I get a lot of loose blush pigments on the pan when I use it. The blushes doesn't seem to be as packed as my other single pan NARS blushes. That being said, the blush powders tends to mix up with the other side of the blush.

NARS Laguna Bronzer

Laguna bronzer full size

I'm currently using another NARS Laguna bronzer in mini size that I got a while back with a kit. I will not touch this until I finish my mini size bronzer. I'm normally not into bronzers as I like to look as fair as I can (Asian thing). I tried a couple bronzers in the past year - Hoola, ELF Bronzers, Annabelle Zebra bronzer - and Laguna is by far my favorite. I like that it's not too pigmented which makes it more natural and easier to work with. I also love the golden tone which doesn't make me look dirty (Hoola makes me look muddy). I've been using Laguna religiously since the warmer months and so far I'm loving it. I don't know if I will keep applying bronzer as it is an optional step in my makeup routine. I just might put this full size bronzer in my future blog sale.

NARS Copacabana Multiple (forgot to take a photo of this)
This is a multi-purpose highlighter (hence the name multiple) which can be used on the brow bone, cheek bone, nose bridge, cupid's bow, lips and lid.  I could easily love this product, but I have so many highlighters in my stash that I don't need to add more.  So, this might also end up in my future blog sale.

Do you love NARS products?

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

What to do with a week old nail polish?

I have OPI What's with the Cattitude on my nails for almost a week now. I'm so impressed with how it lasted without any chip at all!  I buffed like crazy prior to applying nail polish though (tip I got from TiffanyD)... that also prolongs the wear. It was all perfect until I accidentally nicked one fingernail while chopping green bell peppers. Before you start to gross out, no... I didn't cut myself.

So, it was a decision between taking off or fixing it.  I decided to spice it up a little bit using another shade. I chose Orly Country Club Khaki coz that's the only thing I have in my drawer that's opaque enough in one application.  And the combination looks nice too.

spicing up a week old nail polish
Orly Country Club Khaki
OPI What's with the Cattitude?

And the result?  Damn... I need more practice :)  Looks nice from afar though LOL
spicing up a week old nail polish

Lust List - 1

It doesn't hurt to lust over a few things even if I'm on no-buy mode right now. I realize it's nice to list down what I'm lemming at the moment, and then re-evaluate if I still like them after some time.  If certain item sticks in my list for a while, then it's enough justification for a purchase. LOL

Bare Escentuals Prime Time Primer Shadow in Urban Nature - awesomeness! I really need to at least swatch this in store once it comes out.
photo credit:

China Glaze Sea Spray or Eyeko Rain Nail Polish - This is the kind of blue that's wearable in my books. Still in the search for cheaper dupes.
photo credits:,

Sigma Premium Professional Brush Kit - I've been wanting this for a while now but kept holding off coz I really don't need more brushes.
photo credit:
Sigma Dry'n Shape - Again, this is not a must have for my current needs. I have enough brushes to rotate while I wash and dry the used ones.
photo credit:

Naruko Magnolia Products - I'm starting to see fine lines and expression lines on my face (*cry*).  Age spots and freckles propagate like weeds.  Skin tone has been dull and sallow for the longest time.  I really miss the glow I had when I was pregnent :(  For my skin issues, I need a skin regimen that brightens and smooths fine lines.  I've been wanting to try Naruko products and I found that Magnolia line focuses on brightening and firming, which seem like the right product range to target my skin concerns.  I'm also interested in their anti-aging products from other lines.  I need more research to find the right products.  I might order from Taiwan if I get the chance to go back.  The shipping cost is crazy!

Inglot eyeshadows - I attempted to order several times but the wide range of colors and numbering system makes me so confused!  Certainly hope Inglot will open (or shall I say re-open) stores here in Toronto so I could see the actual products.  I'd love to hear some recommendations!

That's all for now! :)