Archive for 05/2011 - 06/2011

review: rain diva eyeshadow quad in legends

Remember that Rock & Republic cosmetics counter in the Aria Hotel/Casino (Las Vegas) I told you all about? Well, I was right. They were clearing stock so that counter is gone now. In its place is now a brand called Rain, which originates from Sin City itself.

I wanted to see what this brand was all about so I swatched up a storm. Thinking back, I should have taken photos of that. I rarely take photos at cosmetic counters because I feel self-conscious doing it. It makes me appreciate Karlasugar's work that much more! Back on point.. I bought their Diva Eyeshadow Quad in Legends. I did buy a few other things just to try, which I will eventually post reviews for when I can. The MUA at the counter told me that Rain cosmetics was inspired by Vegas and made for Vegas. It's supposed to be long-lasting makeup that can stand up to the rigors of Vegas nightlife and the desert heat.

I'm kind of.. ehh about the blue, metallic quilted packaging. I'll give it that it's unique. Most of their products have similar packaging.

The shadows are very pigmented and smooth. Is it possible to be too pigmented..? I don't know, but that white shadow is crazy pigmented. Legends is all satin finish according to their website, but the charcoal and white shadows feel more matte to me. The colors aren't terribly unique (smoky eye material), but I actually didn't have these colors in my stash at the time. Also, I liked this combination more than the others they offered. I always need to use a eyelid primer, so I can't offer much of an opinion on the long-lasting claims.

I think that it's a decent eyeshadow quad for the price of $38US. The bad thing is that most of the locations that sell their products are in Vegas (all are listed on their site) so it's not easy to get to a counter. However, you can buy direct @ Rain. I think I will revisit this counter the next time I'm in Vegas just to see if maybe I missed something or if I will change my opinion on some of their other shadows.

review: jill stuart jewel crystal eyes in 102 amazonite dazzle

Jill Stuart is one of those brands that I know I probably shouldn't like as much as I do. Their blushes are great, but I have such limited use for all the other glittery products. I know this, and yet I can't help but pine for their new releases anyway. I told myself that I wouldn't purchase another JS eyeshadow palette unless the colors are really unique. I've stayed true to my word.. until I laid eyes on 102 Amazonite Dazzle. I thought this was one of the most interesting JS palettes I've seen. I don't think they've done anything remotely similar before, and so I had to have it.

Amazonite Dazzle is limited edition and part of the Dreamy Garden Collection (Spring 2011) exclusive to Hong Kong and Taiwan. The packaging is slightly different for this palette. There are butterflies across the front. I don't hate butterflies, but I thought JS packaging design was princessy and kiddie enough without them. I've talked about it previously.. JS packaging really grew on me so I don't mind it now, but I do not prefer it.

The colors in this palette are rather atypical as far as JS palettes go. Those two middle colors are soooo pretty. I'm happy to say that these shadows are not super shimmery. They are still a little shimmery (especially the first color on the left) since it wouldn't be JS without some shimmer, but it's a lot more subdued in this quad. The texture, while improved from my last palette, still isn't what I hoped it would be. There is a touch of fall-out so I'd suggest using a eyeshadow primer (as I've done in the swatch photo) to help the shadows stick and to bring out the color.

This cost me $390HK, which is about $51US. The only online store I could find that carried this quad was Yesstyle with some markup.

Special thanks to Jennifer!!

notd: dior electric tropics catwalk duo in aloha

I'm usually a color-safe girl. My wardrobe colors mainly consist of grey, black, white, and cream. In terms of makeup, I get bouts of courage now and then so I have a few more "out there" colors in eyeshadows and nail polishes. "Out there" for me that is. I was ready to pass on the Dior Electric Tropics Catwalk Duo nail polishes when I first saw them popping up on other blogs because I had decided long ago that fluorescent anything was definitely NOT for me. Then out of curiosity, I stopped at a Dior counter at Saks and did a swipe or two on my nails (while the BF grimanced at the colors lol). Needless to say, I went home with Aloha (Paradise was sadly out of stock).

I got home a little earlier than normal today so I rushed to take photos, but I guess I didn't rush enough because my light faded fast. So the color of the polish didn't come out as vibrantly in these photos as I hoped. Pictured is one coat of Aloha and one coat of the Dior Top Coat. The instructions say to use two coats of polish, but I'm too lazy for that lol. Aloha's formula is very good. It applies very smoothly and is decently pigmented. I was surprised at how quickly it dried with the Dior Top Coat. I'm not sure how long-lasting it is. I've only had this polish on for a couple hours and I'm already getting tip-wear. Although, to be fair, I'm rather hard on my nails. It's probably too late to get my hands on Paradise, but if I can find it I'd definitely get that one too!

Okay, so.. I'm supposed to be on a makeup-buy-ban. I lasted around maybe two weeks before I caved to get some limited edition items that I knew were going to be gone soon. But here is the reason for my ban..

My single most expensive purchase ever..

My very first Chanel. I'm terrified because I think I'm addicted.

review: shu uemura uv under base mousse in bb beige

updated: 6/05/11

I didn't really get a chance to play with shu uemura products before they pulled out of US department stores. So I can't say that I'm really familiar with the brand outside of their very popular eyelash curler. The Sakura Collection by Mika Minagawa for shu uemura came out this spring, and I was immediately intrigued by the BB Beige UV Under Base Mousse. Normally, the shu uemura Under Base UV Mousse is meant to be a primer. Shades Beige and Pink are permanent, while BB Beige is limited edition. I have not tried the others so I cannot compare, but according to other bloggers, BB Beige is different in that it can be worn on its own like a BB cream.

This is not like any BB cream I've ever seen or tried. The product is packaged and dispensed almost like a hair mousse. You have to shake it up (something will sound like it's rattling around inside), and it comes out as a light, fine foam. I just pat this gently all over my face with my fingers, blending as I go. A little goes a long way so be careful not to dispense too much. I feel like you gotta work fast to blend it in the skin cause it seems to dry down quickly to a matte finish. It gives light coverage although I guess you can layer it (I don't like to do this with base makeup though). It smooths and evens out my skin nicely, but it will not cover things like blemishes so you may need additional concealer for that. I have tried this with and without setting powder. I don't feel like there is a huge difference with or without?? I have to blot after about 4-5 hours either way, which is pretty typical for me, but I find that this breaks down the slightest bit towards the end of my work day (depends on how dry or how hot the office is). I'm not sure I'd recommend BB Beige for anyone darker than NC25. I'm kind of in between NC15 and NC20 right now so it works for me. It doesn't oxidize on me, meaning it doesn't get darker or turn orange. It has SPF 30 PA+++, which is adequate for work days or days I don't plan to be out in the sun much.

I suppose the name makes it easy to want to associate it to BB creams, but I hesitate to call this product a BB cream. I don't think its coverage is comparable to the actual BB creams I've tried. It's not moisturizing for my combination skin, so I would have to make sure I moisturize well before I use this otherwise I get dry patches. I think it would be better if treated as a light foundation or maybe like its siblings, a primer.

If you're interested in this product, I don't know of any online store that carries it. It would be handy to have a connection in Asia to help you get it. Otherwise, there's always eBay. The cost should be around $45US. If you want it, I would advise trying to get it soon because it is limited edition. Otherwise, shu uemura is coming out with the Face Architect Sheer Refining Mousse Foundation. You can read more details about it here @ the make-up blogette. It's most likely a different formula, but it looks really similar to the UV Under Base.

Special thanks to Jennifer!

review: kanebo lunasol party coffret 2010

I had this post in the works for a long, long time. Had the photos done and everything months ago! I've been so busy and distracted, but I finally got around to polishing it up. It's only.. four or five months late.. lol. Sorry about that! I had contemplated scrapping this review, but I really liked this coffret so I posted it anyway. 2010's Kanebo Lunasol Party Coffret reaffirmed for me why I was so right to be so enamored with the brand. In my opinion, it blew away 2009's coffret (see my review here).

The pouch or clutch the set came with is made of a soft material. The slight ruching detail and soft creamy color with pale gold fleck is really cute. As you can see, there is a little pocket inside and the lining is a soft gold. I think this pouch is much better looking than last year's. I imagine I could actually use it as a clutch if I wanted to.

2010 Party Coffret includes a mascara, lip gloss, blush, and an eyeshadow palette. I found everything in this set to be very usable making it a really good value!

Lunasol Party Eyes 2010 in EX01 Sheer Gold Beige Brown. This palette is unique to this coffret, though you may find this "style" in other color combinations in Lunasol's Aurorized Eyes line.

As always, the star of any Lunasol coffret is the eyeshadow palette. Their eyeshadows are very nice hence their popularity, but they are not the best if what you're looking for is intense pigmentation. From my experience (as limited as it is), Japanese eyeshadows tend to be more subtle. Others may describe them as being sheer. They also tend to be shimmery. This Lunasol palette is no exception, but I find that it's still very wearable. It has nice neutral shades that aren't overly shimmery unless you use that center shade, which is a glitter-bomb. I avoid this one, but the rest are quite lovely! The packaging is the brand's usual copper unlike last year's shimmery white.

Lunasol Color Cheeks in EX01 Sheer Gold Beige Pink. Sorry about these photos. My light sucked when I took them. So it was hard to make the colors show on camera. I may retake these when I have the time.

The runner-up star of this coffret is the blush. The compact is adorable. I don't have other Lunasol blushes for reference, but I believe it's smaller than the usual blush packaging because they left the brush out. However, the blush pan itself is still full-sized. The blended color is a pretty soft pink with tiny golden shimmers. You can barely see the shimmers on the face, but it gives you a soft glow. For the swatch photos, I swatched each color individually first, then did a blended swatch in the last photo. The pan photo is pretty awful so I apologize for that.

Lunasol Full Glamour Gloss N in EX18 Sheer Gold Beige Pink.

The lip gloss is a nice sheer pink with some fine gold shimmer. It's nothing super special in my opinion, but nonetheless it's a very wearable color. The formula is decent as far as lipglosses go. It's not sticky but doesn't have too much slip. I used to be a lipgloss only girl, but I wear lipsticks almost exclusively now. I'm not certain if this is a full-sized product.

Lunasol High Stylized Mascara N in 01 Clear Black.

I usually go for a very natural look for my lashes so I think this mascara isn't bad. The brush has very short bristles, and the mascara formula has fibers for lengthening although I'm not sure you can see that in the photo above. It hasn't clumped or flaked on me. The only bad thing that I've noticed so far is my lashes droop a little (lose curl) after wearing the mascara for a couple hours.

If you want this coffret, I'm sorry to say that I'm not really sure if it's still available. I got mine from Imomoko in December 2010, but they don't list it any more. If you can still find it, I think this would be a very good set to pick up if you're new to Lunasol and is interested in trying it out. It was $106US when I bought it.

Phew. Finally got that done! I have soooo many things I still need to write about and show you guys! I just gotta buckle down and do it. I'm also considering changing the layout/theme of the blog, but.. one thing at a time I guess. :) Enjoy Mother's Day with your families, everyone!

review: le métier de beauté true color eyeshadows

I'm alive!! Kind of.. For the last few months, work and life in general have run me ragged. But ever the obsessed makeup junkie, rest assured I will always come back to my blog albeit a little worse for wear. I hope you can forgive my slacking. My last post from months ago was about some LMdB gifts I got. Finally got around to taking decent swatch photos of some of those and some other things I bought. I decided to lump all the LMdB eyeshadows I have into one post so sorry this will seem rather lengthy, but it's actually not. Just a lot of pictures!

LMdB's True Color Eyeshadows have become some of my favorites in my stash. The quality is top-notch. They are highly pigmented with a wonderful complexity that photos (well, at least MY photos..) just can't capture. So wonderfully silky and soft but not so much that they crumble when you touch them with a brush. They layer beautifully with each other; LMdB calls this technique "Couches de Couleur". The shadows layer in such a way that instead of turning muddy, each color still shines through. I'm not very good at describing this, and even worse at trying to photograph it. So I encourage you to go to a counter if you can to check it out for yourself. Their makeup artists are quite friendly and approachable (not to mention gorgeous!). Kayla is one that I've met on a couple of occasions at different counters. She has a Youtube channel that features tutorials using many LMdB products so give it a gander if you so desire. :)

Kaleidoscopes are probably the first thing I think of when I think of LMdB. The top of the Kaleidoscope opens to reveal a mirror (I forgot to edit that particular photo.. sorry about that!). Each palette has four pans of product that swivel out. When you swivel them back in, they click to lock in place. I currently own three (mainly) Eye Kaleidoscopes: Le Cirque**, Splendid Frost, and Sterling Beauty (this one cost more than the others because one pan is a lip gloss). Usually the product in the pans is unique to that particular Kaleidoscope, but sometimes they use colors available in their permanent line. The packaging of a Kaleidoscope, though gorgeous, is not unique. Vidi Vici, a brand from Korea, apparently utilizes very similar packaging for some of their products. Not that it really concerns me.

LMdB is a high-quality brand with a price tag to match. As I've said in my previous post, a regular LMdB single eyeshadow is $30US. LMdB Kaleidoscopes are not cheap by any means. However, one thing to consider is that a Kaleidoscope comes with four pans of product whose size is the same as their full-sized eyeshadows (which is 3.8g). So an eyeshadow Kaleidoscope running at about $95US takes each shadow down to almost $24US. I know that not everyone is willing to shell out that much for a single shadow, but I think LMdB is worth my hard-earned money. The Kaleidoscopes are usually limited edition items, but as far as I know some of the ones I will talk about in this post may still be available. Please check their website for locations inside and outside of the US.

LMdB Le Cirque Kaleidoscope Eye Kit: my current favorite Kaleidoscope. I believe this is limited edition for fall, 2010 (not entirely sure though). The names of the shades are noted in the bottom right-hand corner of each photo.

LMdB Splendid Frost Kaleidoscope Eye Kit. This was limited edition for winter, 2010. I use the third color as a blush (using a very light hand), but I'm sure it's fine as an eyeshadow.

LMdB Sterling Beauty Dual Kaleidoscope Kit. This is another limited edition Kaleidoscope, but I couldn't find information as to what season or even the names of each shade. Sorry about the condition of some of the pans. >< They got a little dinged up because I wasn't careful. And maybe my lighting was wonky.. that last pan is actually much darker than it looks as you can see in the swatch.

The packaging of the single eyeshadows are plain and simple. If you dislike NARS packaging, then you may not like these. It has that matte rubbery feel that you know will probably attract dust, powder, and fingerprints (as you can see in the picture above). I am not crazy about it, but it wouldn't stop me from buying it. You can depot them if you so desire (the pans just pop out via a tiny hole on the bottom), but I do not know if they fit in MAC palettes or etc. Of the singles, my favorites are Corinthian and Jojo.

My current collection of LMdB True Color Eyeshadow Singles: Spicy, Chameleon**, Corinthian, Jojo, and Thunder**.

I have a lot of new things to blog about! Ya.. what makeup-buy ban, right?? Well, I prescribe to "retail therapy", and I bought something recently that has to account for my "therapy" for at least the rest of this month haha. It's worth it to me though. Maybe I will do a post on that too! :)

*Just to make sure we're clear: I am not affiliated with LMdB or any store. I am not compensated for blogging.
**This was an item gifted to me (by LMdB as I talked about in my last post). It was not sent to me for review.

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