Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Review: NARS Sheer Glow Foundation

You know, I actually got people stumbled upon my blog researching for this foundation so I figured it's probably time for an in-depth review. My "first impression" post is here along with photos of me wearing the foundation. It has been three months since then and my opinion has changed dramatically.

NARS Sheer Glow Foundation

Product description: A glowing, satin-finish foundation with sheer and buildable coverage. This Sheer Glow Foundation enhances, without masking, your overall natural complexion. The weightless formula hydrates the skin while complexion brightening properties improve skin brightness, radiance, and texture, leaving skin with a luminous, sensual glow.Suitable for normal, normal-to-dry, dry, and very dry skin types.

Price: $42/30 ml at Sephora
Shade
There are 15 shades available to choose from at Sephora and I have to say I like their shade selection a lot better than MUFE's. I think NARS did a great job with the colors as I find them quite realistic. I got mine in Stromboli which is accurately described as "medium with olive undertones." Compared to MAC Studio Fix Fluid Foundation in NC37, it definitely is a greener shade of yellow which happens to mimic my actual skin's undertone. I was so happy that Stromboli matches my skin color perfectly. Unfortunately, my love for this foundation stops right there.

Application & Consistency
It's thin and it resembles MAC Studio Fix Fluid in terms of consistency. It spreads out easily but it dries and becomes creamy way too quickly so you're gonna have to be fast when blending it. It also doesn't necessarily set or sink into skin. Rather, it just sits on top of the skin like a layer of mask; a light touch with a finger can easily smudge and ruin it.

Application will be streaky and troublesome if you insist on using your fingers. I find the stippling method using a flat top or a skunk brush to be the best way to apply this foundation.

For the price, I kind of expect something better than this. I personally think that a good foundation should "melt" into the skin and be easier to apply. I guess this consistency is only good when you're a model and has to look perfect in front of camera doing photo shoots (because the mask-like finish does make your skin look flawless on pictures), but for everyday-wear, I think it's just too much.

Ingredients are printed at the back of the carton box

Coverage
This might not be for you if you have discoloration on your skin because yes, it's sheer. I can see right through this foundation my redness and acne scars. In the end I find myself having to apply more product to get a better coverage but it results in tacky, unnatural finish. Perhaps this foundation is more suitable for people with flawless skin to begin with.

Finish
The finish isn't glowy or dewy whatsover. It's matte and it comes with a slight greasy feel. I really don't enjoy the greasiness so I always use finishing powder on top of it. My skin type is oily but since I've been using topical acne treatment, some parts of my skin became quite dry. This foundation definitely emphasizes dry and patchy skin. However, it doesn't seem to accentuate fine lines.

Oil Control & Staying Power
I'm not impressed at all with the staying power. My skin is oily and I live in a tropical country so you should count those into your consideration but really, I thought it would hold up a bit longer. It fades at the tip of my nose and on my chin within a couple of hours and that is with the aid of primer. Without primer, I'm sure it would slide off of my skin even faster. It doesn't offer much oil control either. I'm not sure which type of skin would benefit from this foundation; too greasy for oily skinned people yet it emphasizes dry skin? If you have normal, balanced type of skin, you might be one of the lucky people that can actually pull off this foundation.

Packaging
It doesn't come with a pump which is a big minus considering its price. It definitely can get messy if you're not careful with how much you pour the product out. The cap is also made out of the same rubber material that other NARS products have which make it so easy to get dirty. I wish NARS would reconsider the packaging because it sure can use some improvement.


Pros:
- wide range of shades,
- no offensive smell,
- easy to spread out on the skin,
- smooths out pores and fine lines,
- looks great in pictures if applied right.

Cons:
- doesn't contain SPF,
- application can be tricky,
- feels heavy and greasy,
- sheer coverage,
- tends to look unnatural/cakey when more product is applied,
- weak staying power,
- packaging gets dirty easily,
- doesn't come with a pump.

wearing NARS Sheer Glow Foundation in Stromboli


Overall
This foundation really reminds me of Make Up For Ever HD Foundation which I'm not a big fan of either. Both foundations offer the same type of coverage and finish (though NARS might be a little less matte than MUFE HD) but both are probably only good for photo-ops. I wouldn't necessarily recommend this for daily wear as it feels heavy on the skin and might eventually cause breakout. In my case, it did cost me little bumps on my chin (go ahead, scrutinize the picture above and I bet you'll see them, haha) so now I only wear it when I go out for short periods of time.

NARS Sheer Glow Foundation can be purchased at Sephora or NARS' website. I purchased mine through a seller at Female Daily Market Plaza.

Have you tried it yourself? What do you think about it?

Sunday, February 26, 2012

That was then. This is now.

Is there a specific scent that you used to love but eventually grow out of? For me, it's The Body Shop Oceanus edt. It has been discontinued for a while now but I still have more than half a bottle left.

Top note is water lily; middle notes are violet, jasmine, lily-of-the-valley, rose and geranium; base notes are sandalwood and musk.

When I first got it I thought the scent was so fresh and uplifting. It always sets me up to a good, industrious mood and makes me want to play volleyball at the beach or something. Haha. It was definitely my favorite summer holiday fragrance but sadly, now it just smells offensive to me. I rarely ever wear this anymore and guess what, the last time I wore it, my friend actually said the same thing: too sharp and annoying! So, back to eternal oblivion it went (I mean the shelf).

How about you? Any fresh-scented fragrance you'd like to recommend maybe? I'm listening. ;)

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Cutey Charm Bracelets

Cutey, a UK based jewelry store, kindly sent me a couple of charm bracelets to review. I really love charm bracelets because they usually go with any outfit. Whenever I go to the mall I like to stroll through the small jewelry shops and stare at their cute charm bracelets, haha. Inexpensive jewelries are such treats!

All Cutey charm bracelets are uniquely named after the gods in Greek mythology. The two charm bracelets they sent me are called Aether and Oneiroi.

Aether

Oneiroi

Both are such beautiful and well made pieces. The chain looks like real silver and is closed with a secure clasp. You can choose the chain length too to suit your preference (18 or 20 cm).

My favorite is obviously Aether. The pink glass beads are gorgeous especially when the light hits them. I like to wear it next to my silver watch just to spice things up.

Revlon Lip Butter in Creme Brulee on the lips ;)

These charm bracelets are only $20 a piece and can be purchased through their website (they ship worldwide). I think they would make adorable gifts as well. :)

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Review: Revlon Colorburst Lip Butter in Creme Brulee

Revlon Colorburst Lip Butter gets so much hype lately and here I am being the party pooper. I was going to get Tutti Frutti (based on online swatches) but the soon I saw it in real life, I chickened out. The color's much too bright for me. In the end, I decided to play it safe by picking up a nude shade called Creme Brulee.

I don't have swatches of the other two nude shades (they didn't allow cameras, sadly) but Creamsickle is more of a whitish nude shade with peach undertone while Brown Sugar leans more towards brown with a hint of bronze. Creme Brulee, the one I picked up, is somewhere in the middle. It has more of a frosty finish than cream, I think, but not as frosty as Brown Sugar.



In my opinion, this isn't a cross between lipbalm and lipstick at all like most people seem to think. This is a full on lipstick with shiny finish and moisturizing feel. It reminds me of MAC Slimshine or Maybelline Watershine Pure (Asia exclusive) lipsticks. In other words, this kind of product isn't something new at all. They just came up with a better, more attractive name to catch our fancy.

Though so, I can understand why this line managed to be such a big hit among women. Many of the colors are bright and bold but they are definitely easier to pull off than most conventional lipsticks. They are less opaque in terms of coverage but at the same time are quite buildable. This makes them suitable for women who normally don't wear much makeup but are curious to try out challenging lip colors.

The lip butters also give that moisturizing feel most conventional lipsticks don't. But really, they don't actually moisturize your lips the way lipbalms do; you just feel that way because of its lipbalm-like texture. They might feel nice on the lips for a good couple of hours but then your lips will feel quite the same, if not dryer. In my experience, my lips become dry and a bit chappy after having this lip butter on for 2-3 hours. I have to wear lipbalm underneath it to prevent that from happening.


So, do these lip butters are highly moisturizing like some people say? I would say no. They are just lipsticks with fancy features. You know, like the iPhone 4S is a bit fancier than iPhone 4. Haha. These lip butters are just like any other shiny-finish lipsticks but with better formulated texture (thank you, makeup scientists!) and apparently, more playful colors.

All in all, I think the Colorburst Lip Butter is an okay product for the price. Because of its texture and barely there pigmentation, I bet I will finish this up quite fast. I have to apply a significant amount of layers to get the color to show up (probably not the case had I picked a darker color, though). And since it doesn't last very long on the lips, I have to reapply a lot throughout the day.

my Colorburst lippies :)

Revlon Colorburst Lip Butters are now available in stores and priced reasonably at Rp 75,000. Have a go at it if you're curious because they sure are fun. But beware if you have pigmented lips, you might find the ligther shades to look almost the same once applied. I personally prefer more opaque lipsticks than them so I don't think I'll go back to grab more. I'm glad I restrained myself and bought one first to try out.

Oh and by the way, sorry for the nonexistence of lip swatches in this post. I'll wear it some time tomorrow and take some FOTD pics for you to see how this looks on me. :)

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Piccasso Makeup Brushes!

The best way to improve our makeup skill is of course by practicing. That's kind of a no brainer, right? But I also think the right tools can really help us achieve the look we want to go for.

If you're currently looking for makeup brushes to complete your kit, I suggest you look into Piccasso brushes. Piccasso is a company from Korea which specializes in making professional makeup brushes and premium quality fake lashes. Their products are heavily endorsed by professional makeup artists in Korea, Japan and other Asian countries. If you live in Korea, you've probably seen them being featured in magazines before.


I was lucky enough to be given the opportunity to try them myself. Kim from Piccasso sent me this set consisting of four pieces of brushes and a sleek brush case. He also sent me three pairs of false lashes which I'll be reviewing soon in a separate post. Thank you, Kim!


Before I used these brushes, I washed each of them first with brush cleanser mixed with a bit of dish washing liquid. To my surprise, none of them shed more than 1-2 strands of hair and none of them bleed. They dried quickly except the face brush which did take more time to dry. They didn't lose their original texture and shape after that first wash either.

Piccasso 106 Cheek Blusher Brush ($44)
Made of mohair
This brush is incredibly soft! You can see yourself how fluffy it is, can't you? The bristles are 4.5 cm long and a bit tapered. Even though this is not the densest blush brush I've ever owned, surprisingly it's not flimsy at all. With repetitive patting motion, it can definitely pick up powder really well. It's hard to overdo blush application using this brush because somehow the bristles prevent the color to be deposited altogether. This is the perfect tool to invest in if you often work with pigmented blushes. Since the size is rather small, it can also deliver precise color placement on the cheeks. That way you can even use it to apply highlighter or to contour.

Piccasso 208 Eye Smudger Brush ($28.60)
Made of grey squirrel hair
This one is also very very soft, I almost can't believe how soft it is! The bristles are 1 cm long and dome-shaped. I like to use this to smudge my pencil eyeliner on my upper and lower lashes for a fuss-free smoky effect. It blends color effortlessly as well, so if your eyelids are small, you can even use it as a blending brush.

Piccasso 206A Eyeshadow Brush ($28.60)
Made of grey squirrel hair
This shader brush is slightly bigger than the smudger brush above but is more flat and has a round tip. It's quite dense so it can pick up pigments/powder and apply them evenly with only a few swipes. The bristles are, again, very soft so they won't scratch or tug your eyelids at all. I also like to use this to blend highlighter on my brow bone. This is a good brush to invest in if you wear eyeshadow daily as it's very versatile.

Piccasso 401 Eyeliner Brush ($24.20)
Made of Japanese synthetic hair
This brush is very thin and firm! It's able to apply eyeliner with sharp precision. I highly recommend this especially if you often use gel eyeliner. I've tried using it with my Stila smudge pot and it was a breeze, fool-proof application.




All these brushes have sleek black handle that feels sturdy and comfortable in my hands. Honestly, I really am impressed with these brushes. I was once skeptical of expensive brushes but now I can finally understand why professional makeup artists insist on spending so much cash on them. I think I'll be checking out other face brushes by Piccasso!

***

Piccasso makeup brushes and Eyeme Premium Faux lashes can be purchased through Piccasso's website (they ship worldwide). If you live in Indonesia, you can contact Kim yourself through his facebook account or his cellphone (081586618330).

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Laura Geller The Real Deal Concealer Review

This is the review I've been meaning to write since two weeks ago but didn't get the chance to until now. I bought this concealer through Female Daily Forum's Market Plaza (an Indonesian lifestyle web forum) some time at the end of last year. I get puffy eyes but not really dark circles so I don't have the urge to always wear concealer. But! I still have a few post-breakout scars on my jawlines that could use some extra cover.


Laura Geller The Real Deal Concealer in Medium

Product description: "Real Deal Concealer is the ideal antidote to those flaws that you have always plagued you--childhood scars, dark under-eye circles, birthmarks, uneven lip lines, even that no-longer-relevant tattoo. It's the perfect counterpart to Laura Geller's sheer Phenomenal Foundation, in a shade that's matched to your skin. This silicone-based, smooth-gliding formula is long-lasting, water-resistant, oil free, and chock full of healthy vitamins."
Price: US$20/20g
Shades: Fair, Light, Medium, Medium Deep, Deep
Ingredients: Active Ingredients: Octinoxate (7.0%), Oxybenzone (3.0%), Titanium Dioxide (5.0%)
Other Ingredients: Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Silica, Cetyl Dimethicone, Beeswax, Octyldodecyl Neopentanoate, Euphorbia Cerifera (Candelilla) Wax, Propylene Glycol Laurate, Polyethylene, Nylon-12, VP/Hexadecene Copolymer, Octyldodecanol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Cetyl Palmitate, Tocopherol, Tocopheryl Acetate, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Centella Asiatica Extract, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Sorbitan Sesquioleate, Water, Phenoxyethanol, Caprylyl Glycol, Hexylene Glycol May Contain: Mica, Titanium Dioxide, Iron Oxides

This concealer comes in a small and practical packaging. It's pretty sturdy so I won't worry about the product leaking or anything like that. As comparison, MAC Select Cover-Up costs US$17 for 0.33 oz of product, while Laura Geller The Real Deal Concealer costs US$20 for 0.70 oz. It might be on the expensive side but I can assure you, this concealer will last you a long time. It's highly concentrated and pigmented that you would only need the tiniest amount to cover any imperfection.

The shade medium is suitable for people of NC30-35 skin. The undertone is quite yellow which I'm happy about. Other than MAC concealers, all concealers I've tried had beige or pink undertone.

As you can see, the consistency of this concealer is paste-like thick. I usually put a few tiny dots under my eye and blend them with a fluffy brush. For blemishes, I mostly just use my fingers to apply and blend.

I can safely say that this is so far the best concealer I've tried in terms of coverage. Compared to my MAC Studio Finish, I think it looks less cakey and is more buildable. It's also waterproof so it stays on even when you sweat.

My single complain about this concealer is that it takes quite some time to really 'set.' I have to pat and pat before I can be happy with how the concealer looks. Otherwise it'll just look like I'm putting a yellow gunk on my skin. I also notice that this concealer tends to sink into fine lines a bit.

Overall, this is a good concealer if you expect medium to full coverage. I will continue to use it both as under-eye and blemish cover-up. I'm glad I picked it up.

Have you tried this concealer or any other Laura Geller products?

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Raisa Andriana: Brand Ambassador Baru Sunsilk!

Surprise surprise! Posting kali ini aku bakal pake Bahasa Indonesia karena emang beritanya khusus buat cewek-cewek Indonesia aja. Sebenarnya rada canggung juga sih karena sudah terbiasa ngeblog dalam Bahasa Inggris, tapi ya aku anggap aja ini bagian dari proses memperluas audiens, hehe. Silahkan lho kalau ada yang mau kasih feedback. :)
photo courtesy of Andra Alodita
Baru-baru ini aku sering banget denger lagu “Serba Salah” di radio. Ternyata penyanyinya adalah Raisa Andriana yang tahun kemaren baru ngerilis album petamanya. Video musik “Serba Salah” juga sempat viral di Youtube, jadi kalau kalian sering main-main ke Youtube, mungkin sudah nggak asing lagi dengan wajah Raisa.

Setelah kudengerin beberapa lagu dari album perdana Raisa, aku jadi kagum sama talentanya. Suaranya memang bagus, pas banget sama genre pop R&B, dan ternyata 90% lagu di albumnya itu ditulis sendiri. Menurutku itu patut diapresiasi karena seorang musisi memang harus bisa mengekspresikan kreativitasnya secara mandiri.
Kalau kalian lihat rambutnya Raisa, mungkin pada penasaran kali ya dia pake shampoo apa? Selain panjang, rambutnya juga kelihatan lebat dan terawat. Ternyata rangkaian produk shampoo dan conditioner dari Sunsilk Soft & Smooth ini yang dipakai Raisa untuk merawat rambutnya. Tertarik nyoba? Atau malah udah pernah nyoba? Aku sendiri excited banget pengen nyobain terutama karena rangkaian Sunsilk Soft & Smooth ini bisa bikin rambut lebih halus dan lembut. Rambut panjangku ini kadang susah banget diatur, jadilah hampir tiap hari ku-curl asal-asalan yang penting kelihatan cakep, hehe. Tapi mulai tahun ini aku serius mau ngerawat rambut supaya lebih gampang diatur. Lagian siapa sih yang nggak pengen punya rambut sehat ala Raisa?

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Jealousness Lipgloss in J06 Honey Barbie

So many things to review but let me start with this lipgloss for a warm up! It was kindly sent to me by Mari Mari Indonesia, a local online retailer who carries various Jealousness products. Their prices are very reasonable and you don't have to wait a couple of weeks to receive your goodies unlike if you order them from overseas. As for international readers, you can find Jealousness products at Sasa.com though the last time I checked I didn't see this lipgloss being sold there.


Jealousness is actually a Taiwanese brand but it looks to me like they are heavily inspired by Japanese lines. The pretty pink packaging really gets me! I also love the fact that they list the ingredients in English (you can click on the second picture to read the ingredients listed). I wasn't surprised when I saw Avocado Oil in it because this gloss sure feels moisturizing on the lips. It doesn't leave my lips feeling dry or uncomfortable at all.

I thought the color Honey Barbie would lean towards brown or coppery red but it turns out to be a bright watermelon red. It applies sheer though, so it's very suitable for everyday gloss. I like to pair it with minimal eye makeup because the color of the gloss itself already seems to brighten my face. :)

The shimmers aren't gritty at all even though they look quite intimidating in the tube. I usually prefer cream finish glosses to shimmery ones but this gloss is an exception. I quite enjoy the texture even though it's rather thick and sticky. Honestly, stickiness I can handle but not gritty texture.


The only thing I could complain about this product is the small doe foot applicator. It makes it harder for me to apply the lipgloss evenly.

Jealousness J Type American Style Lipgloss costs IDR 105k (approximately $11) for 7g of product. Not bad at all. You can go to Mari Mari Indonesia FB store to check out the rest available colors. :)

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Skincare Lemmings

You know you've got too much time on your hands when you start scouring for beauty products online for no apparent reason. I don't have much to complain about my skin condition lately but it's still fun to make a wishlist once in a while.

I browsed Strawberrynet.com and came up with a few products I'd like to try in the near future. They surely aren't cheap but I don't plan on buying them altogether anyway.

I often get asked by Indonesian readers if I would recommend Strawberrynet.com and my answer has always been yes. They have fresh product policy and so far I've never had any bad experience with them. The last time I made a purchase they shipped out my package very quickly and the products I bought were all in top notch condition.

Onto my lemmings...

1. Dior Instant Gentle Cleansing Oil
I've always wanted to go back to using cleansing oil again so that I won't have to use a separate product to remove my eye makeup. This one comes in sort of a gel-like texture and is capable of removing waterproof mascara. I really think it's worth the shot especially since I've had nothing but pleasant experience with Dior makeup. It's quite pricey (I mean, it's Dior, right?) but since the bottle is pretty big I think the price is still reasonable.

2. Clarins UV Plus HP Day Screen High Protection SPF 40
My skin is pretty sensitive towards sun protection but this product gives me major hope. It is made of 100% mineral screen and can be used under makeup. Sounds perfect, right? I've read many good reviews about it already but I haven't taken the plunge yet as it's such a steep at $38/30 ml.


3. Estee Lauder Idealist Pore Minimizer Serum
I've got huge pores on the sides of my nose that I've pretty much given up on. I then came across a really convincing review about this serum and started contemplating if I should give it a try. Perhaps I'll get a sample of it first before committing to a full-size bottle.

4. Dior Hydra Life Youth Essential Hydrating Essence-In-Gel
I haven't encountered many reviews on this one but it sure sounds like the ideal product to add into my night regimen. My skin is oily but dehydrated so I'm thinking maybe this essence would be able to provide long-lasting moisture to my skin and improve suppleness. Again, this would make my purse weep but oh man I wish to try it at least once!

 
5. Laneige Multiberry Yoghurt Peeling Gel
Last but not least, a very famous peeling gel by Laneige. It's used to be the strawberry peeling gel if I'm not mistaken but they recently upgraded it into "multiberry". A lot of people have been raving about it already including one friend of mine. Sounds like a really yummy product if you ask me.


In the mood to try out new skincare products as well? What's in your current wishlist?

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