Wednesday, July 25, 2012

RMK Cheek Brush: A Multitasking Dream



Once upon time, it took me four, yes FOUR brushes just for powder, contour & blush! Ever since accidentally discovering the many possible uses of my RMK cheek brush, I've managed to cut down my brush consumption by 1/4! Yeah that's right, one brush to apply setting powder, bronzer, contour &even blush. How is this possible? All because of my magnificent RMK Cheek brush.



The RMK brush in all it's glory.

Brush head.
The chic brush measuring a mere 5.5 inches (140mm) in length fits perfectly into my makeup bag for on the go bronzer and blush touch ups. Aesthetically speaking, the classically designed brush has an elegant matte finish with its simplistic emblem printed on the handle. Despite its size, the bristles of the brush are composed of the finest squirrel hairs (I'm tempted to say grey squirrel hairs, but I'm not 100% positive) that glides effortless against the skin. 

With the very lightest of strokes, I can apply and buff any powder onto the skin perfectly. The squirrel hairs pick up just the right amount of pigment to allow for the most natural application of bronzer, contour and blush. With a little patience I can layer and build product on without having to worry about the obvious powdery appearance. 

The only real downsides of the brush are the acquisition process and the price. RMK is a brand exclusive to Asia so it can be difficult to track down. The price tag can be a bit hefty, somewhere in the $60 range I think, but it is worth the price and effort. 


Peep my bronzer pan! If anyone is interested, its GA Sheer Bronzer #1. 

And finally, here's a song that I've had stuck in my head all day:

I am so disappointed that LOLLAPALOOZA tickets sold out well before I knew that FF were performing. 

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Cle De Peau Base de Teint makeup base

Things that irk me: melted ice cream, alarm clocks, smeared lipstick and most of all, product reformulations. Usually because this means a downgrade of quality, and possibly, the loss of an HG product.

A few months back,  I received an overly generous sample of a magical product, Cle de Peau's Base de Teint from a friend in Asia. This luxurious beige tinted primer was nearly everything I can possibly ask for in a primer: creamy, slightly tinted with a subtle glow, superior pore blurring capabilities,  AND managed to keep my makeup in place. After using up my sample, rather quickly, (if I may add) I just HAD to get my hands on a full size bottle. 


When it finally arrived, I could not wait to try it on. To my surprise, this newly reformulated product was no longer a slight beige-y tint, but rather a solid white color. Not only was the color different, the consistency was also off. The newly reformulated product now had a waxier, slippery-er (?) texture that I generally associate with Western brands. In fact, the newly reformulated CdP primer is very reminiscent of HourGlass's Veil primer. 

Regardless of the changes, I still enthusiastically applied it under my foundation and waited to be impressed. Unfortunately, that never came. The primer, no longer awed me the way it once did; it could not keep up with my overly oily skin nor did it add any hint of vibrancy to my face. I'm afraid it made me look rather listless and pale with the matte white tint. 

This is not to say that this product may not work for others; I am just merely stating that it did not work for my oil slicked face. I can actually picture this working out well for dry skinned gals who need a bit of slip in their makeup base. 

Overall, I think this is an okay product, but definitely not worth the effort to acquire. As mentioned before, it is very similar to HourGlass's Veil Primer, (which is also cheaper) so even dry skinned gals can probably skip out on this. 

Any gals and guys out there with some other primer recommendations for a base addict to try out? 


And as usual: a couple songs to play you guys out with. A little bit of  British invasion for you guys. :) 



Till next time!

Tinh

Thursday, June 21, 2012

The Base Games: An Introduction & Round 1

HELLO EVERYONE!

Starting off this post with a NORMAL face of the day (FOTD) before the madness begins: 

Time for another thrilling post of the week. Yeah, this is me using the term "thrilling" loosely. For those who know me, you may know that I have a big ole soft spot in my heart, or rather: face, for all things complexion care. Especially bases. The quest for a new base is a very delicate dance between the hunter and prey; the constant search for the ever elusive 'Holy Grail' foundation. 

Throughout my adventures (and misadventures) of  The Base Games (HA) ,very few will be able withstand all the strenuous tests of shade matching, durability and coverage. The ones that make it out will be the TRUE heroes of the base world; capable of withstanding the torching heat, and even, the dreaded sweat inducing humidity! 

Now... LET THE BASE GAMES BEGIN!

ROUND ONE CONTENDERS: YSL Teint Resist vs. Hourglass Immaculate
Yves St. Laurent Teint Resist
Strengths: Long-lasting, excellent coverage, lightweight feel, satin-matte finish  easily accessible at many department stores.
Weaknesses: Horrid Nair's hair remover-like fragrance, un-natural orange-y undertones. 
Teint Resist, one pump in natural light

Hourglass Immaculate
Strengths: Full coverage, matte finish, fragrance-free, neutral undertones, powder-like finish easily accessible
Weaknesses: Cakey, fades off face within 4 hours, limited shade range, too matte, powder-like finish
 
Hourglass Immaculate, two pumps in natural light

FACE OFF

And.. The Winner Is...

YSL Teint Resist! *Cue epic music* 
While HG Immaculate, is a better match, it is just too matte and flat for my liking. In additon to being flat, it is also very cakey, even with just one layer. This foundation is so flat, that it actually manages to highlight my acne! (refer to pictures) Plus, because of the powder finish, it is next to impossible to add any additional powders onto the face. *twitches* 
YSL leaves the skin with a satin-matte finish that still manages to look normal and remains the same, even at the end of the day. The only real put- off with YSL is the horrid Nair stench. It stimulates my epithalamus in a very unpleasant way. It is something that I can deal with, given the great coverage. 

That's all for now, everyone. Tune in next week for another challenge!
Leaving you guys with some Flo & the Machine this time!

Love,
Tinh

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Summer Foundation Routine, For Now.

Hello again, my dear friends!

It is summer once again, therefore, time for me to once again cycle through "trim the face product fat"of my daily makeup routine. It is SO HOT here in Chicago that EVERYTHING just literally melts off my face within a few hours.  Plus, lately I've actually been busy instead of just lazing around all day like I've been doing the past few weeks. In any case, today is gonna be all about my super quick and lazy foundation routine. For reference, I am very oily and slightly acne prone.

So here are the products I've been trying out with lots of success the past few weeks:


Givenchy Mister Mat primer, Biore UV Brightening Sun Milk SPF50, DiorSkin Forever Compact (shade 030) & Shiseido Perfect Foundation Brush.

Biore UV Brightening Sun Milk
Okay, seriously, I DON'T understand why the word "brightening" is in here because this is definitely one MATTE sunscreen. Prior to Biore, I was using the Sunkiller brand sunscreens which were okay, but much too liquidy for my liking. The Biore, while still a physical sunscreen, is actually a bit of thicker, and has more substantial feel to it. The texture is a cross hybrid between Neutrogena Dry Touch sunscreen and Shiseido Ultimate Sun Protection Face Cream. Yes, this sunscreen, like many other physical sunscreens can act as a primer on its own. And yes, it does leave a visible white cast on the face when applied, but it's not a big deal if you just put a bit of foundation or a slightly tinted powder over it.

Givenchy Mister Mat
Now, generally I am not a proprietor of very silicone-y, slippery primers, BUT this one is perfect underneath powder foundation. Because of the slip it provides my skin, the foundation does not look very cakey or powdery when I apply it. I use this primer SOLELY for powder foundation and I would NOT recommend this for liquid foundations, it does nothing for oily gals.

DiorSkin Forever Compact
This is my very first powder foundation purchase and is the reason I am actually looking to venture out into the powder foundation wild. Powder foundation is the BEST invention, ever. Period. This literally trims down my foundation time by like 75%. Because the powder is a light-medium coverage, it does a wonderful job of evening out my skin and concealing spots in 30 seconds, flat. :D I use my Shiseido brush in conjunction with this powder and I get flawless perfection in under a minute. On the downside, this foundation does get cakey easily so I do recommend a silicone based primer underneath for easier blending.  Even without a primer, the foundation usually settles and melds into my skin's oils after about 20-30 mins and gives a more natural-matte finish. The best thing about this foundation is that it actually looks better the longer it's on. The more the oils from my skin seep through, the more natural it looks. Also, it doesn't oxidize, so I am a happy camper

When I don't get enough sleep, I just add a little bit of my by Terry touch expert concealer to my undereyes. Sometimes I'll spray a bit of my glycerin and rose water tonic to bring a bit of luminosity to my skin as well.  Yes, the entire process takes me about 1 minute which leaves me with a few extra minutes for e/s, mascara and the works.  Yes, this post took a heck of a lot longer to get through than my entire morning makeup routine. :)

Toodles, my friends. Until next time, here is some Childish Gambino (you know, Donald Glover: Troy on Community, form 30 Rock writer  and one of the FUNNIEST stand up comedians, evar) to hold you guys over. Enjoy!




--Tinh


Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Ellis Faas Skin Veil

Whoa, nearly two weeks without an update! I wish I can say that I've been busy with life, but then I'd be lying. I've just been lazing about enjoying the aquatic lifestyle that comes with summer. :) Lots of sunbathing, (with sunscreen on, of course) reading, eating and sailing to the sunset. here's a little candid shot of my week, if it were possible to take a candid shot of water. :)

Now that vacation time is over, here I am once again to share my latest and greatest makeup items with you guys! :D


Today is going to be all about my newest foundation acquisition: Ellis Faas's Skin Veil. This foundation actually comes in two different sizes with different packaging; a 14ml 'bullet' shaped foundation holder with two refillable 7ml inserts and a 30ml foundation in a typical glass jar with a pump. I have the 14ml in the bullet case, which is excellent for traveling, FYI. The bullet shape is... debatable. When I took this with me on vacation, my DBF thought I packed along a "feminine pleasure device." It can make for awkward conversation if you arre not careful. :)

In any case, back to the foundation. Skin Veil is a full coverage cream based foundation. the pigments are so opaque that only a tiny amount is needed to get the job done. The opacity of the foundation is similar to, albeit, not quite as opaque as Kevyn Aucoin's Sensual Skin Enhancer; which is to say VERY opaque. The formula of the foundation itself is very rich, creamy and thick, which I will admit, I am generally not a fan of. The formula is very similar to YSL's Teint Majeur, but without the dryness or mask-like feel.

For the first few days, I experimented with several different brushes (fingers, paddle, flat top, & even a big fluffy powder brush) in an attempt to make this product work to no avail. For sanitary reasons, I chose not to use the attached brush head and instead, opted to decant little bits at a time using a clean spatula. After several different approaches, it struck me to use my handy dandy BeautyBlender sponge and TA-DA, magic happened. With the BB sponge, the foundation just melded into my skin to provide a very natural, luminous,  second skin-like finish. This is the very first foundation I can honestly say is probably good for all skin types, except for maybe the super duper oily. The foundation is very creamy and moisturizing, yet, somehow still manages to be so light on non-greasy on the face. The longevity isn't too shabby either. I can clock in around six hours without primer and eight to ten hours with my Koh Gen Do Makeup Base underneath.

There are, however, a few drawbacks with the foundation. One being, the rarity of finding a counter for a good shade match. As far as I know, Ellis Faas is only available at certain Sephora locations and   online at Ellis Faas's website. However, fear not, as the Ellis Faas customer service team is pretty awesome and will gladly help you find a shade match and even send you shade samples. The second drawback is the price. The 14ml in bullet packaging foundation will run you $65.00USD while the 30ml pump bottle will cost you $90.00USD. Also, if you opt for the 14ml bullet size, you cannot purchase the foundation refill tubes on their own, you would have to shell out another $65.00USD for an entirely new set. I will say that whether or not I repurchase the Ellis Faas Skin Veil foundation, (and as of right now, its definitely looking like a definite repurchase) I will definitely be keeping the bullet and the tubes to decant more foundation into them as I finish the tubes up. As I've stated before, the bullet packaging makes it very convenient for travelling, especially since I won't have to worry about breaking any glass jars.

Here are some swatches of the Ellis Faas SV on its own and next to YSL Teint Majeur:

EF Skin Veil on its own. You can see how creamy the foundation is based on the fact that there is a huge blob up top that isn't migrating downward.
BTW, there is enough foundation in that swatch for two complete "faces."


SV is noticeably peachier than TM, which is fine because it brightens up my face just a little bit.

Overall, I am definitely enjoying Skin Veil foundation right now. The coverage is flawless, the finish is beautiful and the color match is actually perfect for my face. Dry, Normal-combo and oily gals, I HIGHLY recommend you give this foundation a try. EXTREMELY OILY GALS, maybe try a sample first.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Chanel Le Crayon Kohl #69 Clair and Chanel Stylo Yeux Waterproof #86 Beige Clair

Hello friends,

It has been quite a few days since I've last blogged. So school is over & summer break has finally arrived! Now that classes are over, this seems fairly appropriate:
Yep, that is pretty much how I'm feeling right about now. :D In any case, I have a month off, then its back for summer courses and afterwards, nursing school. Yadi yadi yada... enough about my life, let's get back to reviewing things!


So now that spring/summer is in full bloom, my allergies are acting up like crazy; sniffles,  drug induced slurred speech, non-stop snot filled sneezes, the whole -shibang. Don't even get me started on my eyes. Oh, the horror of blood shot swollen eyes! Trust me my darlings, it is NOT a pretty sight. Every spring, I always pick up a couple flesh toned liners to cover up my monstrous red waterline. *shivers* This year, I decided to delve into the world of Chanel flesh tone liners and I didn't end up with just one, but two. Without further ado, here they are: 


Bottom: Chanel Stylo Yeux Waterproof #86 Beige Clair (Asian Exclusive), Top: Chanel Le Crayon Kohl #69 Clair.
** As far as I know, the Chanel Stylo Yeux is an Asian exclusive. I was able to get my hands on it through a dear friend in Asia. 

Now, the formulation of these are absolute polar opposites. While the Stylo Yeux Waterproof is creamy and opaque with just one swipe, the Le Crayon Kohl is drier and deposits less pigment upon the initial swipe. That's not to say that the Crayon Kohl isn't great, because its pretty freaking amazing that a dry pencil liner manages to NOT tug against my skin or irritate my already allergy ridden eyes. 
The Stylo Yeux on its own is just amazing and has been my go to rim brightener the past few weeks. Its creamy, opaque and just glides onto my waterline easily without any irritation whatsoever. An overall superior quality pencil. I am actually contemplating trying out some other colors of the Stylo Yeux all because of this baby. 

As far as prices go, the Chanel Stylo Yeux is going to run you around $78.00MYR or around $25.50USD for 0.30gram/0.01oz of product, whereas, the Chanel Le Crayon Kohl is only going to run you $28.00USD for 1.4gram/0.05oz of product. Clearly, if you are in search of a value (and easier accessibility,) the Chanel Crayon Kohl is the way to go. 

Not only are the formulas different, but also the colors also vary. The Crayon Kohl is a muted apricot color that matches my skin tone perfectly and the Stylo Yeux is a highlighted peachy pink shade that brightens up my eye beautifully. It gives me that awake look without the starkness of a white liner. I do find that the Stylo Yeux waterproof lasts a bit longer the the Crayon Kohl, although, the longevity of both is pretty impressive. I can probably clock in a good 4-6 hour with the Crayon Kohl and maybe 7-8 with the Stylo Yeux. 

Here are some swatches for you guys: 


Natural light no flash: Le Crayon Kohl in Clair on the left, Stylo Yeux in Beige Clair on the right 


 Artificial light, no flash. Le Crayon Kohl on left, Stylo Yeux Waterproof on right

Overall, these are both great eyeliners, but my personal preference for brightening the waterline is the Stylo Yeux if only because I like a bright waterline. 

Oh, and FTR, I purchased everything. 

Do you guys wear flesh toned liners? If so, what are your favorites? 

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Ramblings

Sorry guys, as its finals week, I think I will be MIA for a few days. Not to worry, I will be back with a vengence to review all the fun stuff! I will leave you guys with  a bit of Jack White AWESOME-NESS. <3








Love,
Tinh