Friday, March 30, 2012

Two New Brushes

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I have been eyeing the new Chanel brush collection ever since I watched one of MissHanaG's hauls. 

Chanel revamped their brush line a few months ago and I am loving the streamlined collection.  I think Hakuhodo got the contract to make these brushes, but I'm not sure. At any rate, the new brushes have a slightly different look to them and they've all been renumbered. 

I'm only really interested in the face brushes, so I picked up the No.1 Powder brush and the No.4 Blush brush.

No.1 Powder Brush

Right out of the box, the brush hairs were quite condensed and tapered. Once it's washed, the hairs relax and the brush takes more of a dome/round shape. The brush hairs are densely packed, which makes it great for applying powder and for buffing.

The hairs are quite soft. I've only had it for a couple weeks but I've been really enjoying it.

Also, I have washed it twice already and there has been minimal shedding. Practically zero shedding, actually. Only two hairs fell out when I first washed it and nothing the second time around.

At $70, this brush is definitely a splurge, but one that I think any brush enthusiast will find worth while.

No.4 Blush Brush

I love blush and I'm always looking for new brushes to apply it. I like the size and shape of the new blush brush. It is flatter and smaller than it's predecessor. The hairs are so soft and I love how it feels against my skin.

There was minimal shedding with this brush, too.

Also, I love how this brush feels in my hand. It is a "short handle" brush, which is great for every day use and for travel.

A Comparison...

Both brushes were made in China. Actually, all of the brushes in the collection are made in China, except for the eyeshadow brush and the large tapered blending brush, which are made in France.

I'm only telling you this because, after trying and comparing the different makes, there isn't a noticeable difference. You're still getting the same quality.

Like I said, the Powder brush (excluding tax) is $70 CDN and $65 USD. The Blush brush (excluding tax) is $52 CDN and $54 USD. Strange how the pricing works.


(Below): This is what the #1 Powder brush looks like right out of the box. It is more tapered but once washed, it fluffs out.

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Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Some Products I Don't Like...

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I always rave about products I'm loving but rarely talk about products that I dislike.

So, here's a hodgepodge of products that are in my current collection that I wouldn't purchase again. Keep in mind that I may not like these products but they may work differently on different skin tones, skin types, or just different people in general.

1. Amazing Cosmetics Amazing Concealer

* I only used this as an under eye concealer (that's the only reason I use concealer really)
* It creased -- even when I used only a little bit of product and set it with a powder
* It felt/looked a little greasy under the eye
* It's pretty pricey at $42 for 15ml (0.5 fl. oz)

2. Vasanti #7 Blush Brush

* I like the shape of the brush -- it's small and flat
* The brush sheds quite a bit though
* I also find the hairs to be a little scratchy on my face

3. SpaResource Eye Contour Brush

* The hairs are soft but structured
* The reason I don't like this brush is because I don't have any use for it. I don't wear too much eye makeup and the shape of this brush is unusable to me
* However, I occasionally use it to buff out concealer, which seems to work nicely

4. Maybelline Fit Me Blushes

I purchased three of the colours (L-R: Deep Rose, Medium Coral, Medium Pink) and depotted them because I found the packaging to be too bulky

These blushes were awful:
* Hardly any pigmentation to them (the most pigmented being medium coral)
* My blush brush would barely pick up any colour (even with the MAC 109 that can seriously pack on the colour).
* I found them to be chalky
* The color payoff in the swatches below is after 10 seconds of rubbing the product -- no noticeable pigment was picked up by a MAC 109.

Left to right: Deep Rose, Medium Coral, Medium Pink

5. Philosophy Hope in a Jar

* I didn't feel that it moisturized my skin enough
* The dry areas on my face still felt dehydrated after immediate use
* It does have a funny smell but it didn't bother me that much

6. Philosophy Microdelivery Mini Peel

* Did not exfoliate my skin
* I found the pads to be overly saturated with liquid
* The pads left a sticky residue on my skin

7. Seche Natural Matte Finish Base Coat + OPI Ridge Filler

* I didn't like the formula on both of these base coats
* They look kind of unnatural on the nail

8. Mario Badescu Drying Lotion

* There was a lot of hype about this product but it didn't work for me
* It didn't dry out my breakouts
* I much prefer the drying cream from their Acne liner

9. PUR Minerals Pür Radiance

* Too pink for a highlight
* Has a lot of chunky glitter
* Feels a little chalky

What I'm Wearing:
Top: The Gap
Face: Avon Tinted Moisturizer + Chanel Bronze Universal
Cheeks: Benefit Hoola + NARS Orgasm + theBALM Mary Loumanzer
Lips: Chanel Glossimer #159 Pétillant

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Monday, March 26, 2012

NARS Taj Mahal

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I have had my eye on this blush for a while now but I told myself that I wouldn't purchase it until I had finished the NARS Orgasm blush in my Project 10 Pan.

Well, that day has finally come. It took forever though. NARS blushes have great pigmentation so you don't need a lot of product. The good thing is you definitely get your money's worth because it lasts.

NARS Taj Mahal is such a beautiful colour! It's a bright (burnt) orange with a hint of golden shimmer. It can be a little intimidating but it's applies beautifully.

It is very pigmented but still wearable (just apply a little at a time). It looks really lovely on and adds subtle luminosity to the skin. Love.


Natural Light

With Flash 

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Friday, March 23, 2012

Project 10 Pan

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October 12, 2011

I came to the epiphany that I have too much makeup. So much so that there's no way I'd ever be able to finish any of it in my lifetime -- especially if I keep buying instead of using up what I already have.

So I'm going on Project 10 Pan. If you don't know what it is, basically you pick 10 products in your collection and use up each product completely before purchasing a new product.

It's quite a challenge. Especially if you're a makeup hoarder. But I am determined!

Here are the products I'm going to pan (hopefully):

  • Moisturizer (Nivea Visage Day & Night)
  • Stila Tinted Moisturizer
  • Amazing Cosmetics Concealer
  • NARS Orgasm Blush
  • NARS Orgasm Multiple
  • NARS Lipstick in Bell Du Jour or Honolulu Honey
  • At least one Benefit box powder
  • Stila Lip Gloss/Lip Glaze
  • Mac Pressed Powder
  • NARS Pressed Powder 
  • Princess Vera Wang fragrance (limited edition)

I noticed that there's actually 11 things. Well, aren't I ambitious?

I will be updating my progress here, as well as on my channel.

Wish me luck ;).

November 14/11 - Update #1

I have been very good since I started this challenge. I only sort of slipped up once. A tiny Danmari-sized bump in the road. But other than that, I've been very good.
  • I've put a significant dent in the moisturizers. Probably because it's something I've been trying to use every day.
  • I hate the packaging on the Stila Tinted Moisturizer. It's too stiff and difficult to squeeze product out of.
  • I've been using the Amazing cosmetics concealer every day this past month. I don't know how I feel about. I'm starting to really dislike it. It's almost too much coverage. I find that it's creasing more often than not.
  • I am convinced that finishing a Benefit box powder is near impossible. Maybe I should just pick one and stick to it. Having several to choose from makes it seem like an unclimbable mountain.
  • I haven't used Princess Vera wang in over a month. Funny how that happened. I've been using every other fragrance except for the one I'm supposed to be using.
But so far, it is going well. I am committed :).


December 12/11 - Update #2

I took a little bit of a stumble. See haul post here.

Before I went off the deep end, I did manage to put a dent in my Project 10 Pan. I managed to finish the following:
  • Two Stila lip glosses
  • Amazing Cosmetics Amazing Concealer
  • Princess Vera Wang fragrance
  • Both Stila tinted moisturizers
  • Both Nivea moisturizers
Other updates:
  • I finally hit pan on my Benefit Hoola bronzer (which is the one I've decided to finish off)
  • I've been using my NARS Orgasm multiple every single day as a highlight and I still haven't managed to put a dent into it. I'm beginning to think it's impossible.
  • The Orgasm blush, on the other hand, is being much more cooperative. I can actually see light at the end of that tunnel
That's all for now. Despite my little shopping bender, I'm still determined to do my best.  :)


January 27/12 - Update #3

I only have two significant updates... I finished the NARS pressed powder (such a challenge -- but there wasn't as much product in it than I thought) and I finished one of the NARS lipsticks (in Honolulu Honey -- will not repurchase. It's not a great look on me).

I still have four products to finish off:

* Benefit Hoola bronzer - Like I said before, I finally hit pan and I'm slowly working away at it.

* I haven't hit pan on the MAC pressed powder yet but I think I'm close. I use it in conjunction with the NARS pressed powder.

* Still working on the NARS Orgasm blush and multiple

I haven't been as dedicated to this project as I should've been, that's probably why it's taking so long. But I'm still determined and motivated to complete it :).


February 29, 2012 #4

I have one more product that I can proudly report to have finished. The MAC pressed powder is no more. I only have three more products to finish (Benefit Hoola, NARS multiple, and NARS blush). Happy days... Ps, today is also the leap day of the leap year!


March 23, 2012 - Update #5

I finally finished the NARS Orgasm blush. Finally. I've had this blush for years. It was the very first NARS blush that I purchased, so it's fitting that it's the first NARS blush I ever finished. The packaging has certainly seen better days and I'm glad to see it gone!

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March Luxe Box 2.0

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No, you're not seeing things. I did receive two boxes this month. I have no idea why but it was a lovely surprise. The box came the day after my first one arrived. Check out my first box if you haven't already.

I received two of the same products in my last box (i.e. the Cargo Lash Activator and the Chi Silk Infusion). The other two products were new:

* J.R. Watkins Hand and Body Lotion - This is an organic lotion which is made of 10 natural oils and extracts. It's nice on the skin and it's moisturizing.

* China Glaze Flying Dragon (Neon) - This is a full-sized bottle and the colour is beautiful. I don't have a colour like it in my collection. It's a bright neon purple with blue microglitter. It has a matte finish, so a topcoat may be necessary.

The nail polish was my favourite product this month. Overall, I was still a little disappointed that there wasn't the wow factor I had hopes for but I like the variety of products.


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Storing Makeup Brushes

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I've been looking for a new way to store my brushes and this is what I have come up with.

First, this was the criteria I was basing my choices on:

* Something transparent
* Something that could stand on my dressing table
* Something with a lid

Answer, an old school cookie jar!

The reason I wanted something with a lid is because I've noticed that my brushes get pretty dusty sitting out in the open all day long. I guess it never really bothered me until I started using the Chanel Bronze Universal. It's a cream bronzer that attracts all kind of brush hairs and brush dust. Ick.

I bought this glass jar from Crate&Barrel. I'm told that you can also find it at Williams-Sonoma but I wasn't so lucky. They come in various sizes (half a gallon, one gallon, even two gallons). I bought the gallon size and it was only $13.95 (plus tax, of course).

I used stuffing pellets (like the kind you find in beanie babies) from a craft store to hold the brushes. I used to use vase fillers but I found that they scratched the brush handles over time.

How do you store your brushes? xx

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Thursday, March 22, 2012

A Few China Glaze Hunger Games Polishes

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I've been trying to get my hands on the China Glaze Hunger Games collection for a while now but all the stores around me are either sold out of the entire collection or just sold out of the colours I wanted.

I ended up finding them online, so here are some of the colours I picked up. There are a couple more colours that I have my eye on but they were sold out when I placed my order.

Each polish in the collection represents one of the twelve districts of Panem. So from left to right:

Dress Me Up (District 8 - Textiles) - Dusty rose. Creme polish.

* Foie Gras (District 10 - Livestock) - Dark mauve. A mix of greige and purple.

Harvest Moon (District 9 - Grain) - Metallic. Burnt orange/copper. Differs with lighting.

* Electrify (District 5 - Power) - Sparkles of red & gold glitter.

Dress Me Up

Foie Gras

Harvest Moon


In case you're wondering.. I got these polishes (with my own money of course) from NailPolishCanada. It was my first time ordering from them and the experience was good.

Each polish was $7.75 (depending on where you get China Glaze, the prices can range from $6 to $10, so I thought this was reasonable). Also, the site offers free shipping on orders over $29 and a flat rate of $5 otherwise. They ship from Vancouver, so, it took about 6 business days to reach me in Toronto :).

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NOTD #28: China Glaze Electrify (Hunger Games Collection)

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I paired Electrify with Harvest Moon as an accent nail. I usually do the opposite, i.e. glitter as an accent nail, but I just fell in love with Electrify. It reminded me a lot of the "Girl on Fire" theme and of the costume Katniss and Peeta would have worn in the parade.

Electrify is pure red and gold glitter. It applies evenly on the nail and it takes two coats (as shown) to reach opacity.

Harvest Moon is a beautiful copper/burnt orange colour. It has a varying degree of orange to it depending on the lighting. It also applies beautifully without streaks.


Colour: ♥♥♥♥♥
Application: ♥♥♥♥♥
Lasting Power: ♥♥♥♥♥

Harvest Moon:
Colour: ♥♥♥♥
Application: ♥♥♥♥♥
Lasting Power: ♥♥♥♥

Have you picked up any colours from the Hunger Games collection? xx

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Wednesday, March 21, 2012

March 2012 Luxe Box

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Yes, I resubscribed to Luxe Box...

For two reasons:

1. I had said before that I was planning to resubscribe for their March box because it's their One Year Anniversary! I had high hopes that the box would be spectacular to commemorate the milestone.

2. I noticed that I gained enough referrals for two free boxes. So I had to reactivate my subscription to 
claim them. I still had to pay the $12 + tax for the initial box but got three months worth of boxes.

So here is what I received in my box:

There was a nice card from Loose Button. At first I thought it was on rice paper but it turns out it's a special paper with seeds that when planted will grow into a plant.

* MyScent which included three sample fragrances - Forbidden Euphoria by Calvin Klein, Purr by Katy Perry, and Daisy Eau Fresh by Marc Jacobs. The samples weren't anything special but I did particularly enjoy the Daisy Eau Fresh.

* Chi Silk Infusion - I really like the Silk Infusion on my hair but I've already received this product in a previous Luxe Box a few months ago and I haven't even finished it yet.

* Consonant Ultra Moisturizing Organize Face Cream for Dry Skin - I like that it is the perfect size for travel and it feels nice on the skin. Leaves a bit of a residue in the beginning but it quickly absorbs into the skin. With this product came an exclusive invitation to a shopping event at the Consonant flagship store and 20% off.

* Cargo Lash Activator - A mascara that is supposed to help your lashes grow and also strengthen the roots to help prevent your lashes from falling out. It has a plastic bristle brush but I have yet to try this.

I was kind of disappointed with this box. Maybe it's because my expectations were too high -- I was expecting something really special this month. Maybe it's because I missed out on the First in Line*** to reserve a product. Nonetheless, this box didn't wow me.

Oh well, I'm not too upset considering that I technically only paid $4 for this box.

Did you enjoy your Luxe Box this month? xx

*** P.S.,

The products in the First in Line this month were two (full-size) Cargo products and a haircare product, I believe. Unlike previous months where Loose Button would just send out a surprise email about the First in Line, this month Loose Button advertised in advance when they were going to be starting reservations.

So when the time came, Loose Button's page crashed because so many users were logging in at once to reserve a product. When the page didn't load for me, I refreshed a couple times but then I just gave up.

I didn't really care enough to keep trying, so I didn't get to reserve anything. I reasoned that perhaps I would receive an equally satisfying box. Maybe I would've been happier with my box if I had gotten one of those products.

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Sunday, March 18, 2012

Week in Photos

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Hi lovelies,

A little snapshot of my week...

* I finally found a cookie jar! I've been looking for one for weeks now... I scoured every Williams-Sonoma to no avail.. I ended up finding this beauty at Crate&Barrel. Stay tuned for a post on what I plan to use it for ;).

* Enjoying an ice cream cookie sandwich on a sunny afternoon (while wearing Essie Brazilliant).

* Bought some fun accessories from J.Crew. I went for the Pixie pant but I didn't like them on :/.

* Re-purchased a MAC 109 brush and I'm so happy with it! I love this brush and I can't believe I waited this long to pick one up again. It's probably my favourite MAC brush. Great for blush, bronzer, anything really. It can really pack on the colour if you want it to.

Hope you all had a fabulous week(end)! xx


Ps, you may have noticed that my layout has changed slightly (again haha).

I was originally using the Classic Blogger Template with html. I was really pleased with it until I found out that there are so many limitations :(.

So I went back to the new blogger with xhtml/xml. I did some tweaking though so it looks very similar to my previous layout.

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Saturday, March 17, 2012

March 2012 Topbox

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Here's what I received in my March Topbox...

* Redken Color Extend Shampoo and Conditioner - I have used Redken products before and I really liked it, so I am happy to try this (even though I don't have color treated hair).

* Make Up For Ever Sens'Eyes - This is a mineral oil-free, gel makeup remover for the eyes and lips. I'm currently using a makeup cleanser from Bioderma but I'm looking forward to trying this. I am quickly falling in love with MUFE products.

* mark. Nailed It Mini Laquers - A duo of mini nail polishes. Violet Daze is a pretty violet and Tickled Pink is a pastel lilac. I forgot to take pictures of swatches but I will probably feature it in a NOTD soon.

* mark. Gloss Gorgeous Stay on Lip Stain - Lip stains are perfect for Spring/Summer. The color I received is in Frilly and it's a shimmery orange colour. I love the applicator, too. It dispenses the gloss with a simply click of the pen. The colour is beautiful, the packaging is so convenient, and it has a minty scent to it that makes my lips tingle a little.

Also, instead of the customary four products, members received a bonus product in celebration for Topbox's 6th Monthsary. Some people received a Cargo eyeshadow, but I received this instead...

Simple Cleansing Facial Wipes - This is a UK brand that I have never tried before. I haven't used makeup wipes in a while but they are quite handy for travel or late nights.

Violet Daze (left) and Tickled Pink (right)

mark. Gloss Gorgeous in Frilly

I was quite happy with this month's Topbox. I like the assortment of products! Also, I've never tried a mark. product before so I was happy to receive two. Overall, I'd give this box ♥♥♥♥♥.

What did you get? xx

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