Friday, July 24, 2009

the BEST wedding entrance ever

ok, this is kind of random but this has got to be THE BEST wedding entrance ever.

thanx to my sis for fwd'ing me this cool vid. i didn't know Minnesoooota ppl could be so cool. (sorry, future mrs. tyree!) jk

Thursday, July 23, 2009

30% off tarte cosmetics

get 30% off at just for signing up for their newsletter!

tarte has been one of the brands that's grabbed my attention lately. why? because i love their eyeshadows (they have wonderful palettes), and because many of their products are:

  • fragrance free
  • petro chemical free
  • paraben free
  • phthalate free
  • GMO free
  • sulfate free
  • dye free

  • enjoy!

    Wednesday, July 22, 2009


    my board exam is this weekend!!!

    will have MUCH more time and sanity afterwards. =)

    Friday, July 17, 2009

    foundation update

    it's been about a couple of weeks since i started this mission to find the BEST.EVER. foundation, but unfortunately, i haven't found it yet. there are a few that i'd like to keep testing but none that screams out HG.

    here are my first impressions of the ones i've tried so far:
    (btw- i have combination skin, which is oily t-zone after a while + somewhat normal-to-dry everywhere else.)

    MAC face & body: the MUA @ the MAC Pro store in Costa Mesa was so~ for this foundation but i found it a bit too sheer for me. he said he uses it on a lot of brides, and that it's "buildable" to full-coverage but i beg to differ. i'm think you can build to medium but i don't know about building to full. building to medium would take a while too. what i did like about this foundation was that it is water-based (meaning less pore-clogging); but overall, i thought it was too watery and sheer. i don't have the patience to wait a while after each application in order to build more coverage either. also, at the end of the day, i think my face just ate up the foundation.. or at least it looked like it. (yes, i was wearing makeup base.)

    MAC studio sculpt & MAC studio tech (creme): i found these two foundations to be pretty decent and somewhat similar in coverage. the studio sculpt is a mix of a gel/cream/liquid. it's not as liquidy as pure liquid foundation yet it's definitely not a creme either. this is MAC's newest foundation. it offers medium coverage (and i'm sure you can keep "building" as well). MAC studio tech is a creme and it comes in a compact-like package. what i liked about both of these is the coverage that doesn't look too cakey. from my experience, studio tech (creme) looked better on me. it gave me good coverage (with one coat) and a nice powdery finish. studio sculpt (gel/cream/liquid) offered more of a dewy finish; but for some reason, it didn't look as good on me than the studio tech. both foundations oxidized a little after several hours but i think i could fix this by either buying a shade lighter OR by setting the foundation with a sheer blot powder or baby powder. (yes! i've been setting my foundation w/ a light coat of baby powder after a light coat of mineral powder - seems to work well but will continue testing.)

    MAC full coverage: coverage is awesome; however, after hours of wear, it tends to look cakey and a bit dry (e.g., if you smile, the area around your nose that stretches looks dry). you can thin out the cakey look by adding MAC fix+, but that kind of defeats the purpose of using this full coverage foundation. either way, i think w/ more practice, this can be a good full coverage foundation for special events (definitely not for every day). one downside is that the colors are quite limited for asian skin. colors jump from NC20 to NC30. i am more like an NC25/27. btw- this is only available @ the MAC Pro stores but it's the same thing as the studio finish concealer that comes in the tiny pot.

    Clinique repairwear: this foundation has pretty good coverage for a liquid. when i put it on, i feel like i'm painting my face, which is good if you want fuller coverage. it also has anti-aging properties (of which i can't comment on right now because i don't have the bottle in front of me). immediately following application, your face looks flawless (like almost all medium-to-full coverage foundations);however, after a few hours, you can start to 'see' the foundation on your face. overall, not bad. Clinique actually exceeded my expectations.

    La Mer the fluid: this foundation was very sheer. some people like it (i.e., makeupalley people) but i can do without. i feel like i get more coverage with my Perriocone tinted moisturizer.

    Chanel mat lumiere long lasting luminous matte fluid: i had high expectations for Chanel because it was recommended by a friend of mine, but the mat lumiere was just OK. i didn't think it was any different than the other liquid foundations i've tried (e.g., MAC face & body, La Mer the fluid). when the MUA applied the initial coat on me, my first reaction was, "did you put any on?" it was totally not enough coverage. another "buildable" foundation that didn't meet up.

    Make Up For Ever HD foundation: i am still testing this product and i really WANT to like it. at first application, it was very liquidy. i thought it was going to be like the rest of the liquid foundations i've tried... BUT it actually covered decently well after a few coats (yes, "building"). it's definitely not a full-coverage foundation but it can build to medium. after the 2nd coat, it didn't feel as sheer. (i don't like having to build more than 3 coats - that's too much product, work, and time). what i liked about this foundation was that it didn't look cakey after several hours and oil control was pretty good. i didn't have to blot oil for the whole day!

    Illuminairé extra coverage: i really wanted to like this foundation too because it had great reviews on makeupalley (4.6/5!). i am currently wearing it right now. what i like about this product is that it is a liquid mineral foundation that doesn't have any harsh chemicals (and isn't supposed to clog pores). the company also doesn't test on animals (woohoo!). my first impression of this foundation (day #1 of wear) is that it has good coverage, doesn't look too cakey after a few hours BUT it does make me a little oily. also, i noticed some of the foundation break apart after a long day. with this foundation, you definitely need to blot if you have oily or combination skin. i'll continue to test this foundation while changing other variables (e.g., modifying setting techniques).

    maybe i'm too picky in what i want in a foundation. i think i need to give all of the foundations (above) another test with different application combos (well, except for the ones that really didn't perform). so far, i am liking the powdery finish of MAC studio tech creme (applied w/ MAC fix+) and the dewy look of Make Up For Ever HD (liquid) foundation. both have pretty decent coverage and provide a 'flawless' look. i am a little worried about the MAC one though - a lot of people have reported breakouts of cystic acne after continued use of the MAC foundations (thus, the lower lippies on makeupalley); and if i plan to use it on my friends, clients, etc., i'll need to be extra careful. i will continue to test, however.

    recommended extras:

    MAC fix+ - helps moisturize your face if used before foundation, and helps set your powder/foundation if used after. also used to make your finished look more "dewy." LOVE this stuff!

    MAC 191 square foundation brush ("paintbrush") and 187 dual fibre brush

    i LOVE these two brushes. the bristles of the 191 are quite big so it allows you to cover a lot of your face with one stroke, and it is relatively thin compared to other foundation brushes i've tried; this is good because less material gets stuck in between the bristles, meaning less product wasted and less product to remove when cleaning. i prefer this brush over the 190 brush, which has a rounded end.

    the 187 dual fibre brush is awesome as well but you have to know how to use it in order to appreciate it. i used to use it after powder only (it was OK) but i just found out that it works wonders with foundation! after applying your final coat of foundation with your primary foundation brush (e.g., the 191), use the dual fibre brush in a quick circular motion (without adding additional foundation to it) and work your face into a feathery finish. if done well, you end up with a nice, airbrushed look w/ no evidence of "painting" (foundation streaks). i like to use this brush to blend in fix+, and with my setting powder.

    by the way, my current korean powder foundation (Temptation sel coenzyme Q10 twincake SPF28 PA++) outperformed about half of the liquid foundations listed above! it also smells like baby powder. =)

    Thursday, July 9, 2009

    Illuminare Cosmetics: FREE SHIPPING 24 HRS ONLY!

    for the next 24 hours - beginning tonight (July 9th) at 6pm PST and ending tomorrow night (July 10th) at 6pm - Illuminare Cosmetics is offering FREE SHIPPING on all orders (within US). FYI - this is the brand that i am about to test; i received the trial pack yesterday but haven't tried yet. it has pretty good reviews on what's good about this coupon deal is that Illuminare will pay for you to ship it back if you don't like the product. check out the site for more info. =)

    Wednesday, July 8, 2009

    mascara primer

    i never really considered buying mascara primer because (1) didn't think i needed it (therefore, considered it a waste of money), and (2) didn't think it did much other than weigh your lashes down while "protecting" them.

    boy was i wrong. well, kinda sorta. one of the very few mascara primers i've used in the past was the one by Clinique, which i tried because it was part of a free gift. it did exactly what i thought it would do -- coat my lashes a little and weigh them down. ehh. BUT from time to time, i'd come across a good review on the mascara primer/base by Shiseido which got me interested in giving mascara primers another try.. so i did.

    Shiseido: The Makeup - Mascara Base

    first of all, the color of the base is an opaque white and you don't see an even coat around the brush, so it LOOKS like it isn't going on to go on well. because of that, you don't even feel like enough is getting on your lashes during application... OH, but it is!

    what i found most interesting about this mascara primer is that you DON'T HAVE TO OVERCURL!! this product keeps your mascara from weighing your lashes down even if they normally do. this is an OMFG moment for me because i discarded many mascaras because they couldn't hold a curl (e.g., MAC Zoom Lash, L'oreal Voluminous), and now, i can probably USE them! however, i noticed that my mascaras go on better/smoother without it. maybe i just need more practice..?

    here are a few pix from today. i'm wearing the Shiseido mascara base under L'oreal Voluminous on the left and Dior Blackout on the right (click for closeup):

    btw- i know my lashes are outta control esp. on the right outer end.

    oh, and did i forget to mention...I DID NOT CURL MY LASHES!!

    why does L'oreal look better than Dior now?! whoa... (well, Voluminous is the most raved-about drugstore mascaras, but still). i may give Voluminous another try, but ONLY w/ the mascara base and more practice to reduce clumpiness. it doesn't look that clumpy here, but i usually have that problem when using Voluminous. for some reason, Blackout looks just as clumpy in these pics but it's actually less spidery in person.

    ok, to wrap it up:
    PROS: keeps lashes UP and protects your lashes from getting over-dried (although i didn't really have that problem in the first place -- maybe more noticeable when using waterproof mascara?); provides the extra layer of thickness that allows you to use less of your actual mascara.
    CONS: didn't notice a difference in lengthening; creates a slightly rougher surface area for your mascara to go over (because there's another coat of something dried on your lashes); EXPENSIVE!! $25 (i was thinking a mascara base would help me use less mascara, but it's the same price as Dior Blackout!!)

    Where to Buy: any department store
    Overall Rating: 4/5 stars
    Tip: don't overcurl!

    Wednesday, July 1, 2009

    currently testing

    foundation, foundation, foundation!!

    i don't wear foundation every day (i've actually been wearing BB cream w/ SPF + powder OR sunscreen + full coverage powder) but now i'm on a quest to find the best-ever liquid/creme foundation. nothing beats the baby soft look that a good foundation (+ good technique) can offer. what i'm looking for is medium-to-full coverage THAT LASTS.

    currently testing:
    - MAC full coverage
    - MAC face & body
    - MAC studio sculpt
    - MAC studio tech (creme)
    - Clinique repairwear
    - La Mer the fluid
    - Chanel mat lumiere long lasting luminous matte fluid

    just ordered (will be testing!):
    - Illuminairé fantastic finish
    - Illuminairé extra coverage
    - Illuminairé ultimate all-day

    if anyone has an HG foundation you'd like to share, please do! remember, my blog is a place where i can share my knowledge as well as receive!

    beauty junkies uinte! ^__^