Tuesday, March 31, 2009

My Holy Grail (HG) Items

Hello ladies :)

So, I am constantly being asked what my favourite items are. Whether it be skincare, makeup, lotions, anthing at all, I get it asked! Therefore, I'm posting this to shed some light and hopefully explain why I love these products, and why they work so well for me. Hopefully, they can help someone out there too :)

*P.S: These are just my opinions!

1. Shu Uemura- Cleansing Oils

I'm already on my 6th bottle of this stuff. Have been using it for well over a year now, and I've been seeing a lot of improvements on my skin! This has definetely helped keep it clear, since I don't have to worry about my makeup still being on my skin, even after I cleanse it. I simply use 2 pumps of this, rub it around my entire face (and eyes-this stuff even removes stubborn eye makeup), add some water, rub some more and wash it off. Then I follow up with my cleanser.

2. Obagi- Cleanziderm

I was recommended to use this, thanks in part to my dermatologist. I now thank her everytime and wish I had listened to her months prior to purchasing this. To be perfectly honest, I was mainly turned off at the $125 price tag for this system. But after using it religiously for the past 6 months, my skin has changed so much, and I hardly break out anymore. Actually, I don't. All thanks to THIS amazing kit, which doesn't dry my skin up like Proactiv did!!

3. Christian Dior- Diorshow Mascara

Being a mascara addict myself, I have tried NEARLY every mascara on the market right now. I am always on the lookout for the best thing out there. And I've been using this mascara since it first came out, several years ago. So, has any mascara beaten Diorshow?

Quiet simply put: no.

4. Oil of Olay- Complete All Day Moisture Lotion

I've been using this for about 4 years now. This is the best daytime lotion/sunscreen that I have come across that doesn't break out my sensitive skin. It is lightweight, moisturizing, and doesn't make me look shiny or greasy after application. I am on my 4th bottle now, and will continue to purchase it in the future for sure.

5. Lise Watier- Portfolio Concealers

I recently purchased this concealer, and I really really like it!! Please read my review on this product in my previous posts :)

6. Smith's Rosebud Salve (Minted Rose)

This stuff is amazing ....and cheap. I got one (.8 Oz.) for $8. It has lasted me for about 8 months, and I've just recently hit pan on it. I use it every night, and wake up to nice, smooth lips. This is especially important for the dry winter months, when my lips are super dry, this stuff works right away to heal and protect them from further damage. I swear by this stuff!! It has a nice minty smell to it as well :) which I like. A lot :)

7. Jill Stuart Eyelash Curler

I got this when it was on sale...I think for about $20?? But anyways, I've used a lot of eyelash curlers in my days, and this is the best out of them all (I have yet to use the famous Shu Uemura one...so we will see!!). This curles and defines my lashes so well, without making them look crazy. The end result is natural, and I am in love with this!! The fact that is has a 'diamond' jewellery dangling from it makes it super cute!! It's such a cute curler to have, and whip out in public :)

8. Nars- Orgasm Blush

I know, what a cliche! Who doesn't love this blush?! I know a few people say this comes out either more pink, or more coral on their skintone. For me, it comes out more coral, with gold shimmer in it. But not annoying glitter that makes you look like you sprinkled sparkles on your cheeks (think discoball). This blush makes me look more awake and fresh, and it looks very youthful. It doesn't look overdone, but you can overdue it easily (which I have...). Overall, this is the blush I tend to use when I'm in a hurry and can't decide what blusher to use. It goes with nearly every look I do (mostly natural ones). I highly recommend you try this on at the NARS counter before purchasing though :)

9. Aspirin Pills (non-coated)

Ok, who puts pills as one of their HG items, really? Well, if you have used a aspirin mask before, then you know the amazing things it can do to problematic skin. (please read my review on it in this blog). This stuff really works, keeps my skin clear and glowing, and its super cheap!! Who doesn't like that in this day's economy? :)

10. MAC 187 Brush

So, this came out to $50 CND. I was a bit disappointed with its price when I initially bought it. I had heard a lot of great things about this brush. To be perfectly honest, I just bought it because it felt so soft when the MAC makeup artist used this on me. She said some people buy it for applying blush (esp. those, like me, who tend to overdo blushers...).

What I love about this brush is that it is so versatile. You can apply loose/pressed powder with this. I mostly use it to apply my liquid/cream/BB cream foundations, or a sheer wash of pressed powder. I think that applying those with your fingers is sorta unhygienic (even if they are clean!). The application is flawless; this brush makes the product go on so nicely and evenly; i simply dab the product onto my skin (like pixels) then I move the brush in a circular motion until all the product is blended onto my skin. The end result is so natural and flawless; it doesn't even look like you have foundation on. I absolutely love this brush, and I can't imagine using the traditional foundation brush, sponges, or my fingers for foundation application. Once you use this brush, you will not go back!! haha.

And yes, it is so worth the price!! Trust me!! If you take good care of it, this should last you for decades.

11. Pür Minerals 4-in-1 Pressed Mineral Foundation in Light

They say, if it isn't broke, don't fix it, right? Well, since I am always on the lookout for the best foundation out there, I am always looking for something that will work better than this foundation. And to be honest, I can't find that one item. This foundation is simply amazing (check out my review on it!). I don't even know why I keep wasting my money on new foundations; this stuff is truly amazing. I LOVE IT!!!!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Shiseido • Majolica Majorca Lash Enamel Glamour NEO mascara

I brought this since I wanted to try something new, other than the usual Dior Show [which I always use]. Needless to say, the brush is like a comb, and sometimes it does clump my lashes, so I usually end up going over it with my lash/brow comb [which is time consuming. The mascara is waterproof, which makes it a little harder to take off, thus I spend more time on removing it with my Shu Uemura cleansing oil.

Overall, I will probably not repurchase this, since I did not like the effect it gave my lashes. They were longer, but the look was more natural, but I prefer more of a dramatic look [as I get with my Dior Show mascara].

Shiseido • Majolica Majorca Automatic Eye Liner

Firstly, I think this liner is by far the best I have ever used. This one overtook my current liquid liner, which was the Shiseido one. The Majolica liner gives a really nice black color, which is dramatic, and gorgeous. It is much more blacker than the Shiseido one [or anyone that I have tried, for that matter]. It has a good consistency, but can be a little runny in the beginning, which is why it is recommended that you do not turn the twist at the top more than 2 times, or else it will let out a lot of the liner.

Overall, I plan on purchasing more of these. I currently use BLK999, which is the blackest shade they have. They have excellent staying power too.

You can can these for a very cheap price at www.adambeauty.com [for around $7US each; don't buy them at other places, which may charge up to $20 for one [which is what happened to me :( ]

HIGHLY recommended.

Shiseido • Maquillage Double Liner

This is a liner from Shiseido's Japanese line, Maquillage. It comes in several colors, and you can chose 2 from which you may put on the pen that they sell, or just have one, which is what I have in my case. The color comes out when you twist the top, and you don't have to worry about sharpening it.
I brought this off of adambeauty, and needless to say, I was expecting more, since I am a huge Maquillage fan myself. The pencil, so to speak, is very dry, and took a while for me to draw a nice line along my upper lash line. The color, I got black, was very faded, and not as dramatic as I would have liked it to be. I am glad that I did not order 2 different cartilages, since I am not happy about the one I have. It hurts my eyes when I apply it, and takes forever to get it to do what I want it to do: draw a basic fine line.

It also comes with no cap, which means that it sits on my counter, and I wonder about all the germs that it is collecting! Yuk!
Overall, I don't recommend anyone getting these. They are a major disappointment from the Maquillage line; which do have awesome products, don't get me wrong!
If you are looking for a great liner, try the Majolica Majorca liquid liner, which is also sold at adambeauty for dirt cheap.
Hope this helps! :)

This is my favorite everyday base to use. Since I don't like to wear eye shadows on a regular basis, this is perfect for a natural look. It conceals the darkness that I have on my lids, and I top it off with MAC's Brule eyeshadow which sets it. I even use MAC's Phloof! eyeshadow sometimes, if I want to look more "awake".
I highly recommend this for anyone who wants to try out a Paint Pot, but doesn't know which one to use. These things are like butter! So easy to spread, and they last all day and don't crease.
I plan on getting more shades in the future for sure! And they're not that expensive :)

My MAC brush collection

In order, from left to right: 190, 189, 116, 187, 224, 227, 219, 217, 252, 194, 209

And in my opinion, they are all worth the money. These brushes have amazing quality to them, and I would highly recommend them to anyone. Don't waste your money on cheap brushes that fall apart after a few months. These will last for years!

Kanebo • KATE Glam Trick Eyes

I bought these shades in BK-1 (absolutely LOVE this one) and BR-2; a little too brownish for me; gave it away to my mom :) Anywho, I was surprised at the quality of these shadows, keeping in mind that these are a Japanese drugstore brand. Needless to say, I wish the drugstore brands in North America were as great!! The shades are absolutely gorgeous and shimmery. You can wear the colors for the daytime, and intensify the look with the darkest shade that comes with each of the palettes. They come in various colors, and I will definitely order more in the future!! And on a final note, even the brush that comes with it is great! Soft sponge applicator on one side, and a soft small brush on the other. I use them sometimes when I'm too lazy to find the proper MAC brush for the colors :P

Lise Watier • Portfolio Professional Correctors

Edit: So, months after typing this entry in, I discovered the Lise Watier Correcteur-Camouflage brush ($18CND) which is recommended to be used specifically with this concealer palette. Originally, I thought this idea was silly, and I used several brushes I already had in my collection. They did a OK job. But only recently did I cave in and got the brush. And I feel like an idiot for not buying it all along. It is amazing. Synthetic bristles, soft, and not too hard (great for the eye area). And it makes the product look natural on your skin; it's hard to over-apply with this brush. I wish I had bought this from the beginning :(

OK, so I was suckered into this product while watching MichellePhan's videos on Youtube. She is constantly using this palette. I decided to try this out when my beloved Shu Uemura pro concealer changed its packaging and lost 1g of product (1.5g now, still the same price though...yeah I know..) This Portfolio, however, comes with 5 colors, each at 5g *gasp*. And all for the same price as I used to pay for ONE Shu Uemura concealer!!
I mostly use the Ivory shade for my undereye circles (make sure to moisturize A LOT before using this there, or else it will look obvious!!) and it works even better than any other concealer I've used in the past. I also use the Green shade for red spots that I might have. The Lilac shade is great for under the brows, to make them pop, and anywhere else you might need extra
highlighting. I use the Yellow Beige shade on top of my Ivory shade, for days when my dark circles are in need of more concealing. And lastly, the Brown shade I haven't used yet, but it is primarily used for contouring your face.
I recommend using a brush for this. I use my Anna Sui concealer brush for this, but any small concealer brush will do the job. Just make sure to pat on the color to the areas, not rubbing too much or that can ruin the look. Then i gently pat the area under my eyes with my ring finger, and dust some loose powder to set it. If you are applying this on spots, I recommend dabbing only a SMALL bit of the green, pat it in with your finger, and apply loose powder. I find that whenever you rub this product in, the result is usually bad.
I would highly recommend this for anyone looking for a good quality concealer palette, but doesn't feel like spending a lot for each single color. I got mine for $29CND at London Drugs.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Shiseido • Tsubaki Shampoo + Conditioner (Red Version)

My L'oreal Vive Pro shampoo and conditioner were not doing what they were suppose to be doing, and my hair was still looking damaged [thanks to bleaching, straightening, and everything else you can imaged].

I asked my best friend what shampoo/conditioner she used, and she recommended this. It also didn't sound bad that this is the best shampoo line sold in Japan.

Luckily, one of the Asian malls I visited at my town had this, so I picked it up.

Getting to the point: this is my HG shampoo. My hair has completely changed after using it. It is silkier, shinier, smoother, and overall BETTER. I LOVE THIS SHAMPOO.

I love it so much, I even got my mom into it. And she loves it too. I even restock on it whenever I see it, just in case [it is usually sold out too].

Get your hands on this if you can.

I am also reviewing the Shiseido Tsubaki conditioner, which I use right after my Tsubaki shampoo.

I absolutely love this conditioner, and these 2 items have completely changed my hair. I actually like my hair now! haha. It smells wonderful, and I get so many compliments on my hair. It lasts forever, and I only need 2-3 pumps [I have long hair that reaches the middle of my back]. Before, with my old conditioner, I would use double the amount, and still not get the same

Getting to the point: you must absolutely get these! Alongside its' shampoo. You can get them at specialty Asian malls, or online at ichibankao.com. You will thank me, I guarantee it!

Shiseido • Maquillage Climax Moisture Powdery Foundation AW

After trying out almost every foundation known to mankind (high and low end brands), I decided to venture out into Asian brands, instead of the usual Western brands. I discovered Shiseido's Maquillage line, and decided to get their pressed powders. Keeping in mind that most brands (this includes Chanel) color ranges (their lightest) are even too dark for mine. Not drastically, but dark enough for me to see it, and I'm sure for others as well. I found my perfect shade in OC00 (the Maquillage line for this foundation comes in 6 shades), and it blends PERFECTLY into my skin. It is truly amazing. It covers my uneven skin tone (i apply my favourite Lise Watier Portfolio concealer under it for areas that need more concealing) and glid this on top with the sponge that comes in it. Needless to say, even the sponge is great quality! The pressed powder itself is silky and glides on like butter!! It doesn't make me look like I'm wearing a ton of foundation; it's very natural looking. And you don't need a lot of this stuff, a little does go a long ways! Just don't overdo it, or it can look obvious (I usually just brush my MAC 189 on top of it to blend everything out).
Oh, and did I mention it DOESN'T break out my ultra sensitive skin?! Everytime I try out a new foundation (liquid, cream, powder, you name it) my skin tends to thank me in return with a huge zit. And this is not the case with this foundation! This is truly my HG!!!

Also, I got the LE Christopher Kane case version, (black case with sparkles on top) but the original is a cute pink case. Same pressed powder though!

Hope this helps!! :)

Christopher Kane with all the lovely Maquillage models.

Guerlain • Ombre eclat 4 couleurs in Perle D'Argent 480

I bought this palette with the hopes of finding the best quad for a smokey eye. Needless to say, this palette does deliver that effect for myself.
The colors include a matte white, a matte light grey, a shimmery light Grey, and a deep black that has tiny sparkles in it. Needless to say, the top 2 colors [see image above] don't show up that well on the skin; I found that I had to pack it on. The bottom 2 shades show up much better and have a bigger impact than the other 2 shadows above them.
The palette comes with 2 sponge applicators, which were of no use to myself. I used one of them to apply the white shadow, and it ended up staining the white eyeshadow with black! Never has this happened to me before! So, to be on the safe side, I keep those away and stick to using my MAC brushes instead.

Overall, I enjoy this palette, but I don't use it as much as I had hoped to. In the future, I don't see myself getting a different quad from Guerlain; the Dior ones do a much better job, and are about the same price [and those come with 5 shadows].

Hope this helps!! :)

Here are the main colors Guerlain offers.

Christian Dior • Iridescent Quint - Petal Shine 809

CThis is my first eyeshadow palette ever from Dior :) Bought it as a birthday gift. There was a makeup tutorial going on at my Mall, and the lady used this palette on me. I loved the results, it is very wearable, both for daytime and nighttime. I'm not a fan of intense colors for my eyes, so the shimmery colors from this product are amazing. You can do a simple light pink look for the daytime, and intensify it with the middle brown and the dark purple on the bottom right. The great thing about this product is that all the colors work so well with each other, that you can't possibly mess it up!! Looks gorgeous on brown eyes, by the way :)
And I also think it's totally worth the $60 I paid. And I also plan on getting more colors in the future!!

Kanebo • KATE Gradical Eyes S

I have these in BR-1 and GD-1. Both are great quality and not too intense when it comes to application (i like my eye shadows that way!!). The BR-1 is a great everyday pallette. Wheres the GD-1 is a little more gorgeous, which I like to use for night when going out. You can easily wear all these sets for daytime, and then use the darkest shade (on the left) on the crease to amp the look up for nighttime.
They aren't that expensive; I got each for $15CND online, and am planning to getting more in the future :)

Kanebo • KATE Select Eye Colors

This was part of KATE's 2008 Christmas Holiday collection. It comes in 4 shades, in 2 different palettes. One is called "Black Selection" (this is the one I own) and the other is "Brown Selection".
The Black Selection comes with a shimmery white, a light silver, a taupe, and a dark shimmery greyish black. The palette design itself is different from all other KATE palettes in that it comes with a decent sized mirror and the usual 2 sided brush application (sponge, brush). The quality of these shadows are really nice. They are not too shimmery, but more of a pearl-esque payoff. They have good color payoff, and are easily blendable. I think this is a affordable smokey eyes palette that all girls should have!! I highly recommend it, if you can still get it (last I checked, it is still on adambeauty.com's site).

Why blog?

Hi everyone, So, I've decided to start blogging. Yeah, I know, who isn't these days? But the reason I want to is because I constantly get asked a lot of questions related to beauty. And products. And what I like to use. You get the idea. So, why not open up a blog and share all my secrets with everyone? I love helping people out, and can talk about beauty at anytime! :-) In terms of the items I'll be covering, I will mostly be discussing my favourite brands, and those are usually all the way from Japan. I love Asian cosmetics, and I feel that they are somewhat unheard of here in North America. Hopefully I can shed some light on some of the brands because they truly are amazing! Thanks for checking out my blog! Please comment or question if you have any!! :o) <3>

P.S: Random...but for anyone who wants to know what I carry around in my bag...here it is: