Friday, February 24, 2012

Urban Decay - Hautelook haul

this week i have been dreadfully ill; couldn't get out of bed sick. so i figured i would put up some quick overview and first impression of my Urban Decay haul from if you don't know what Hautelook is it is a flash-sale site where they will have 24 hour - 48 hour sale on high end brands of cosmetics, clothing, accessories, etc. it is a must for a beauty junky like me to browse. the sale changes everyday so it is best if you subscribe to their email newsletter. here is the link.
the 2 items i recently purchased were UD Book of shadows IV (originally $64, purchased at $24) and Shadow Pencil Stash ($34 - bought at $12).
the book of shadows IV contains 16 shadows, full size waterproof 24/7 liquid liner, mini mascara, mini eyeshadow primer cased in a beautiful 3D butterfly motif box. i love butterflies and pretty packaging so it was a nice touch.

so pretty!
 the shadows are all neutral and most of them have fine shimmers (except midnight rodeo and midnight cowgirl - they have heavy chunky glitters). all except crystal shade is buttery and highly pigmented. i swiped them with a q-tip twice onto my arm. i prefer the top two rows of the shadows and my favourite shades are lost (shimmering dark brown) gravity (royal blue shimmer) and sin (shimmering champagne).
Top to Bottom: blue bus, gun metal, cobra, baked, bender, gravity, lost, hijack
Top to Bottom: midnight cowgirl, sin, midnight rodeo, crystal, bust, missionary, skimp, zephyr
 i am happy to see that they included a full size liquid liner - typically these sets have mini sized products. i have not tried this on my eyes yet but the colour payoff on my hand looks great.
the next item is Shadow Pencil Stash.
i already own the full size in Rehab and love it. it makes it very easy to do your eye make up as these pencils are fatter than regular eyeliners and all you need to do is swipe and blend with a finger or a brush. they do stay on the lids more than 8 hours and i use my Shadow pencil very often. the colours in the kit are Delinquent, Rehab, Juju, Sin and Clash - they all have a bit of shimmer. these shadow sticks are also great to wear on the bottom lid to give a pop of color as wearing black eyeliner on the bottom lid tends to close the eyes.
Top to Bottom: Delinquent, Rehab, Juju, Sin, Clash
Sin and Midnight Rodeo 
Rehab on the lower lid 

i won't need to buy any eyeshadow for the rest of the year! wow is that possible? we shall see :) 

Thursday, February 16, 2012

put some color and fun on your face

makeup artists say that the blush is one of the most important makeup items. i didn't really start using blush until about 5 years ago and now i am a firm believer in this great picker upper for the complexion.

i have noticed that as i get older, the sallower my complexion is getting. also me being asian, i don't really have much of a colour in my complexion. as someone with a combination skin, i have found that more of a matte powder blushes work better than cream/very shimmery blushes because the dewiness and the shine eventually looks like oily cheeks - which is not pretty.

on a daily basis i use a bronzer, highlighter and a blush. my favourite bronzer is from Wet n Wild or ELF - really cheap but great non-orange bronzers. i use this under the cheekbones and at the temple as well as the jaw line. this will give you more of a sculpted, slimmer look for your cheeks and face.
(L to R): Lorac blush, Revlon highlighter, Wet n Wild bronzer
as for blush, my favourite brand is Nars - with all the naughty names like Orgasm (peach shimmer), Deep throat (peach-pink shimmer), Desire (matte hot pink), etc.
currently using Lorac (which is discontinued) in Pink Paradise - a true matte baby pink blush, which i love. many say to place the blush on the apples of your cheeks but i find that it is more flattering to put the blush on the sides.
highlighters can be tricky as they tend to be very shimmery. the one i am using is from Revlon - colorstay mineral finishing powder in 010 brighten (this may be discontinued as well). this pink highlighter is so pretty on the eye lids and top of the cheeckbones.
alternatively you could use Benefit 10 (which is a highlighter and bronzer in one). 

also having good brushes is a key for blush application - i have a duo fibre stippling brush for colour and highlighter and an angled brush for the bronzer. with bronzer less is more since putting too much will make the skin look muddy. using a fluffy brush, blend, blend, blend. there is nothing worse that a streaks of bright blush/bronzer.
here are close up pictures of each step. please excuse the smudged eye makeup - it was a long day :)
warning: extreme close ups

Brozer and highlighter
all 3 blended 

Monday, February 13, 2012

manicure of the week

i am sporting a very bright funky manicure this week. first i colored all the nails with Nicole by OPI shade in City Pretty Rose. this nail polish is very opaque so i only needed one coat. then i topped it off with a pink sparkly top coat (from Korean brand, Missha).
then using scotch tape, i created diagonal tips and painted with Sally Hansen hard as nails Xtreme Wear in Black Out.
then i finished the manicure with Barielle Manicure Extender.

very fun to wear! 

post suggestions?

i would like to see what people are interested in reading about. would you comment below with your post suggestions? thanks!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

my skincare routine

i have a combination skin with hormonal break outs on my chin area. my skin is far from great. there are many freckles and enlarged pores and discoloration from previous break outs. but it does feel supple and smooth, thanks to some of my staple items. most of the products i am using can be found at Shoppers drug mart.

cleansing oil: since i wear foundation and waterproof eye makeup, this is the first step. i have been using cleansing oils for over 6 years now. this type of oil does not create more breakouts or clog pores; rather it helps remove oil from my skin.
there are several brands you can purchase (Shu Uemura, MAC, DHC, Dermatologica) in north america. the brand i use is Kose (speedy cleansing oil) from japan, as it is the fraction of a cost to the other brands (about $10 vs $30+).
massage a pump or two onto dry skin with dry hands. then emulsify by adding a bit of water and rinse.

cleanser: i like foaming cleansers and have several different ones on rotation. currently using Skoah and Vichy. they are not my holy grail cleanser (Shieseido white lucent - very expensive at $48) but doing their job.

Clarisonic brush: this is what makes mediocre cleansers great. it is a very expensive gadget that i use daily. think of an electronic brush for your face like the sonic toothbrush. the pulsating brush head really cleans out pores and makes the skin feel super soft. initially your skin will expunge impurities and therefore may feel like you are getting pimples. this will go away after about 2 - 3 weeks. Clarisonic can be found at Sephora or Essential day spa online store. i would suggest the Mia which is smaller (but regular brush head) and is cheaper by about $75.

toner: i like the toner from Skoah - alcohol free and smells so fresh. currently using the Vichy white line (was on sale).

moisturizer (day): Olay complete spf 15 or spf 30 is a very good drugstore day moisturizer. currently am using Vichy and Cetiphil spf 15. both are non greasy and light.
as for my monthly breakouts, i always use Benzoyl peroxide as other acne meds do not seem to work for my skin.
(night): i like night moisturizer to have retinol as retinol helps with plumping the skin and shedding dead skin cells. all time favorite is Neutrogena anti-wrinkle intensive night cream. makes your skin extra soft and supple. Olay night elixir is also a good choice. remember it is much cheaper at Target ($18 vs $28 cdn).

what do you use? what are some of your go-to products?

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

this week i am obsessed with...

michael kors rose gold watch called "bradshaw". i have been eyeing men's style watches for a while - i don't want to follow the trend too much but the popularity of rose gold has really been on the increase.

if you google 'rose watch' you will get tons of blog posts and images... oh but they are so pretty. if you asked me last year if i would consider getting a rose gold watch, i probably would have said no. but during my holidays, my dad bought me a rose gold bracelet/watch that i have fallen in love with.

like makeup i like to have multiple accessories; watch is no exception. i have one in white, a couple in silver and one with a black strap. mind you i have had most of these watches for well over 5+ years.
what's holding me back right now is the price ($250 usd and over $300 cdn). maybe a fairy will drop it off for my birthday :)
here are some pretty pictures of my coveted item.
Bradshaw watch
similar rose gold watch

Monday, February 6, 2012

nails - dot manicre tutorial

another post you ask? i am transferring the posts from my previous page...

one of my favorite polishes to wear is You don't know Jacque by OPI. then I saw a post of a beauty editor who likes to wear dots on her nails... and here is my attempt.
1. paint all your nails with 2 - 3 coats of polish
2. i created a dotting 'tool' with a pin and an eraser (see picture)
3. using the dotting tool, dot white polish at the base of your nail once the main color is dry
4. wear really good top coat (my favorite is Barielle Ultra Speed Dry Manicure Extender)
5. you are all done!

maybelline baby lips

i really like tinted lip balm since my lips are pretty devoid of color. i saw these Maybelline lip balms at Target for $3 each and had to grab them. Firstly the packaging is very cute and reminiscent of elementary school :)
the colors i picked up are Grape vine (purple tint - last picture) and Pink punch (bright pink tint - 3rd picture). they go on sheer but you can build up the color with more swipes. they are moisturizing but feel like a lip balm. the package claim quite a number of benefits. i am not so sure about all of them except the moisturized lips with color.
each one has a yummy scent (grape and berry). overall they are a pleasure to use.

current drugstore favourites

here are some of my favourite drugstore make up items - tested and tried by me :) my favourite drug store make up brand is Maybelline. i tend to buy drugstore products in the states as the price difference can be up to $5 (cheapest at Target or Walmart) or Superstore or Walmart in vancouver.


Revlon Photoready spf 20 (liquid) : this is the go to foundation for me currently. it has very subtle specs of shimmer, which you don't see on the skin. it is very easy to blend and can be built up; only need one pump of the foundation and is more than enough to cover the whole face. i love that it comes in a pump form so you don't waste the product. staying power is about 5 hours on my combination skin. approximately $13

Neutrogena Healthyskin spf20 (liquid): this is definitely comparable to Nars Sheerglow without the hefty price tag. Nars is $55 CDN while Neutrogena is $12 USD. the coverage is medium and can be buildable without looking cakey. the best part is that it has a substantial SPF without making your face look ghostly in pictures. the staying power is less at about 4 hours.

Maybelline Dream Smooth Mousse (creme): perfect for the cold, winter months. easy easy to use, just swipe a sponge and blend away. no need to concealer and it is my weekday makeup. takes 2 minutes tops. will need some powder after 4 - 5 hours but which foundation doesn't? it is $12 CDN (under $10USD). CVS or Walgreens usually has buy one get one 1/2 off.


Neutrogena Healthyskin spf 20 (compact): yup, they have a powder version in this. it's great for summer - the only thing is the shade selection is very limited at 3 shades :( about $10

Maybelline Dream Matte Powder: never cakey and so soft. I don't like the small puff it comes with - so I use a big fluffy brush to set my foundation. $9 - 11 CDN. Again, much cheaper in the States (around $7)


Maybelline Dream mousse (mousse): very fun to use - mousse consistency blush that stays on without fading. I tend to use my blush brush, not my fingers. the very best baby pink blush I have found at the drugstore. about $6 - 8

Wet n wild color icon(powder): wet n wild has upped its game in the last little while. the blush can be as cheap as $4 in the states. the powder is finely milled and the color pay off is very good. currently enjoying their new bronzer.


Maybeline age rewind undereye circle eraser: this comes in an interesting tube with a non detachable sponge applicator. quick and easy to use; i don't use concealer all the time but this seems to do the trick to hide and brighten my under eye area on a daily basis. about $9


Wet n wild: awesome palettes for under $5. the powder is almost buttery and when properly worn, will last all day. they do have quite a bit of fall out so be careful not to over apply. i love the trio in Silent Treatment.

Maybelline (quads): a huge range of colour combinations. $6 - 9


Maybelline Falsies: love this mascara since I love volume in my lashes.It volumizes AND lengthens. I always use waterproof but I think the regular one is just as good. About $6 - 8CDN

Loreal Voluminous: I always have a tube of this in my drawer. It gives the best color pay off (Carbon Black) and full lashes. but it does smudge after 6 - 8 hours. Well all mascara smudge on me except for the Japanese brands...


Revlon super lustrous: not sticky but has great color selection and moisturizes your lips very well. even the clear one has pretty sparkles. About $8 - 9 CDN but goes on sale often.

Maybelline Color Sensational: GREAT color range. love their pinks and reds. has a vanilla scent that you may or may not like. $7 CDN

Loreal infalliable (glosses and lipstick): colors are very wearable and they STAY ON for more than 4 hours! $9

lashes, lashes, lashes I

these are my two favourite make up items: MASCARA and EYE LASH CURLER
like most asian women, i have straight, downward drooping lashes. however, no one would know since i have discovered the art of curling lashed and wearing WATERPROOF mascara.

SHU UEMURA curler is the only way to go. it is sold at sephora for $24. it is well worth it. with this curler, you only need a bit of mascara. SHISEIDO also makes one that is very similar and is cheaper. i have had mine for over 6 years and is still going strong. the trick is in how to curl the lashes. instead of clamping just at the base of your lashes, it is best to separate lashes into 3 sections - base, middle, tip and curl each section.

i use WATERPROOF mascara all the time. i have tried every brand of imaginable (maybelline, loreal, revlon, lancome, chanel, bourjois... )

some reviews say they are harsh on your lashes, but if you use the right cleanser (cleansing oil/bi-phase eye makeup remover) it is not a problem. the reason this works is because it drys quicker than regular mascara (where WATER is the 1st ingredient) and holds the curls. the first ingredient for waterproof mascara should be ISODECADINE.
2 of my favourite are LANCOME DEFINICIL($32cdn) and JAPANESE mascaras from Shiseido or Kiss me or Maybelline Japan (
some drugstore doubles are LOREAL VOLUMINOUS and MAYBELLINE FALSIES (my favourite drugstore mascara), ONE BY ONE. revlon mascaras are the worst; do not waste your money.

in my next post, i will do more in depth reviews on each mascara and other options. till then, have fun with your new found tips~
have a question/suggestion/comment? comment below :)