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Favorite Fragrance: Elizabeth Arden Green Tea

December 23, 2015 at 1:00 pm

Elizabeth Arden Green Tea

As far as my all-time favorite scent or perfume goes, this one doesn’t need much of an introduction. I fell in love with Elizabeth Arden’s Green Tea Spray from the first time I caught a whiff of it years ago and it has remained my favorite perfume to this day.

From their website, Elizabeth Arden’s Green Tea has the following notes:

Top Notes: Caraway, Fruity Rhubarb, Lemon, Orange Zest and Bergamot

Middle Notes: Cool Minty Peppermint, Green Tea, Sweet Jasmine, Spicy Carnation, Fresh Fennel and Crisp Celery Spice

Base Notes: Oakmoss, Musk and Amber

I’ve always been attracted to the scents of citrus, green tea and peppermint. In fact, a good number of the products I use on a daily basis contain at least one of those scents. I suppose it didn’t come as a huge surprise to me that this perfume was infused with my favorite scents.

I don’t know why, but this gives the impression that it is such a clean scent. It’s not shower-fresh by any means, but it’s light enough that you can wear this every day. The scent stays a bit longer on the body than cologne, but not as long-lasting as perfume. While the scent doesn’t stay all day on me, I still love it because I really do find it very pleasant.

What is your all-time favorite perfume/scented product? Share them in the comments section below. 🙂

Let Your Hair Down: My Favorite Hair Serum

December 20, 2015 at 1:00 pm

I am shamefully guilty of the fact that when it comes to my hair, I was essentially the equivalent of a deadbeat parent. Actually, I’m probably worse than that. Not only did I not care for it, I also put my hair through a lot of abuse over the years. Despite being aware that I was not blessed with the genetic makeup that gifted some of my friends with thick hair strands, I still naively though that my hair could put through as much as theirs did and still come out relatively healthy.

Boy, was I wrong.

When the straightening iron trend first emerged in here, I was so excited to finally get the chance to have straight hair. I observed that hair seemed to straighten better when it’s damp, so I used the iron on damp hair. I know. I could shriek at myself for doing that now. Heat protectant sprays? Never heard of that until about two years ago. And so my hair suffered a lot and turned itself to this frizzy curly mess that resembles a bird’s nest on better days.

It was really only this year that I started getting into hair care. Working from home has at least alleviated some of the damage my hair could have gotten from sun exposure, but it still has to go through color damage. I figured since I’m already getting into skincare, I might as well include hair care into it. And it was while I was online browsing/window shopping that I found my current favorite hair serum – the Mise En Scene Perfect Repair Serum.

Mise En Scene Perfect Repair Serum

For those of you not familiar with the brand, Mise En Scene is a brand that was launched in 2000 that belongs to the Amore Pacific Group. They offer a wide array of hair products from hair serums to bubble hair color. This particular hair serum retails for about $11-$13 for a 70ml bottle.

Mise En Scene Perfect Repair Serum 2

The biggest thing I noticed when I first used this serum is the consistency of it. Looking at the bottle, you would think that the serum would be oily. Instead, what you get is a slightly viscous liquid that absorbs well into your hair strands and would never leave your hands greasy and sticky. I have a couple of other hair serums in my hair care “wardrobe” now, but this remains to the one I use most often.

I apply the serum on days when I wash my hair while it’s still damp. Mise En Scene Perfect Repair Serum is equipped with a pump. I dispense about two to three pumps of the product into my palm, rub my hands together to spread the product and run it through my hair. This has helped make my hair soft and it dries. My hair also does not dry as frizzy as it used to be when I use this.

And there it is – my favorite hair serum. Do you have any particular hair product that you love?

Share them in the comments section below. 🙂

Brush Up II: My Top Three Favorite Face Brushes

December 19, 2015 at 1:00 pm

I will admit that although I have a huge love for eye brushes, I consider them less essential than face brushes – at least with the way I apply my products. As I’ve mentioned before, not having eye brushes can be tricky, but one could make do with sponge tip applicators and create a decent eyeshadow look. On the other hand, if I were to apply face products without brushes – and it has to be brushes because I’m hopeless with a face sponge – I would end up with a lot of streaks and gross fingers.

Like I said, face brushes are a necessity for me when it comes to makeup application.

Unlike my eye brushes, my collection of face brushes is quite small. Most of them came from the affordable brush sets that I’ve bought in the past and a few were individual ones. Like my eye brushes, there are a number in my collection that I often gravitate toward to when I apply my makeup. In this post, I will share to you my top three favorite face brushes.

3. ELF Complexion Brush

ELF Complexion Brush

ELF Complexion Brush 2

I bought this based on a recommendation from Emilynoel83 if I’m not mistaken. I mainly use this for powder and I have to say it’s ideal for that type of application. The appeal of this brush comes from the fact that it’s not too large or too dense. Compared to most powder brushes, this has a slightly flat look to it; it’s not just round and fluffy. That makes it ideal for those who lightly pat powder into their faces. The hairs of this face brush are also splayed quite well, which makes this a great tool when you prefer just dipping your brush in the product and lighting running it all over your face.

2. ELF Small Tapered Brush

ELF Small Tapered Brush

When it comes to drugstore makeup brushes, I am generally a fan of those in ELF’s studio line. For the most part, their eye and face brushes perform well and the price is quite good. One of such brushes in the studio line is the Small Tapered Brush, which was created for reaching small crevices.

ELF Small Tapered Brush 2

1. Angled Kabuki Brush

Angled Kabuki Brush 1

When it comes to applying liquid foundation on my face, nothing compared to this Angled Kabuki Brush. This was modeled from a famous brush from a certain brand, but I bought mine off eBay for around $10. I couldn’t compare this to the original one, but I can definitely say I’ve been satisfied with the way this performed.

Angled Kabuki Brush 2

As you can see, the brush is densely-packed. This helps apply foundation evenly on the face through a buffing motion and creates a smooth finish. I have washed this brush several times and have had minimal to no shedding.

There you have it – my top three favorite face brushes.

What are your favorites in this category? Share them in the comment section below. 🙂

Brush Up! My Top Three Favorite Eye Brushes

December 18, 2015 at 1:00 pm

As someone who loves eyeshadows, it’s easy to see why I’m drawn to eye brushes. While sponge applicators are usable and in some cases, they are the perfect thing to use, they don’t always work for me. And in those cases, eye brushes are my go-to tools.

If you’ve followed this blog for some time, you might have seen my reviews of the brush sets in my collection. While I do have a collection, there are certain eye brushes that I find myself gravitating toward every time I put on eye makeup. In this post, I will share to you my top three favorite eye brushes.

3. Tapered Blending Brush 224

Tapered Blending Brush

If you’ve ever browsed eBay for affordable makeup brushes, I’m sure you’re no stranger to this brush. Modeled after a popular brush from a certain makeup brand, the tapered blending brush is ideal for blending transition shades on the crease. The brush hair is soft and I haven’t had any issues using these.

Tapered Blending Brush 2

I bought this for around $1 on eBay and while I admit the quality can be hit or miss on these, mine has performed quite well. I own about 7 of these and none of those has shed too much even after several washes.

2. Eyeliner Brush

Eyeliner Brush 1

This is another brush that has obviously been modeled after one of the brushes from another widely-known brand. This brush may be tiny, but its size is its biggest appeal to me. I’ve mentioned several times that I have very limited lid space because of my hooded eyes and this allows me to create a thin line on that limited real estate.

Eyeliner Brush 2

I find that this brush works so well with a gel liner. As you can see, the tip isn’t as perfectly sharp as it should be, but when dipped into a gel liner, the product coats the hairs and glues them together. That will then create a sharper tip that is ideal for applying gel liner to the lids.

1. Ecotools Angled Brush

Ecotools Angled Brush

I have several angled brushes in my collection, but this one from Ecotools is my absolute favorite. As far as brushes are concerned, this one made it possible for me to create the ever-so-popular cat eye – and in the easiest way possible, too. After creating a thin line on my lids, I dip this brush lightly into my gel liner and stamp it in an angle on the corner of my eyes. The only thing left to do after that is to connect the tip of the line to the existing line on the lids and fill the space with more gel liner.

Ecotools Angled Brush 2

The appeal of this brush comes from the fact that it’s so thin. It’s the thinnest angled brush I have in my collection and that makes it possible to create an ideal wing for me. It’s also the reason why this is so unique in my collection that if I were ever to lose this, I would absolutely have no brush in my collection that could replicate the level of perfection that this could do.

So there you have it – my top three favorite eye brushes. What are you top picks in this category? Share them in the comment section below. 🙂

Nailed It: My Top Pick for Nail Polish

December 16, 2015 at 1:00 pm

I will be the first to admit that when it comes to nail polishes, I’m a complete newbie. Sure, I have applied the stuff several times in my life and occasionally browse through nail polish racks at the beauty section in department stores, but for the most part, it’s not something I would consider good at. I think it’s partly due to the fact that except for my index fingers and thumbs, my nails have been cut in a straight line for as long as I can remember. On top of that, I only have one centimeter of real estate to cover. Yes, my fingernails look like that.

Fortunately though, my toenails aren’t such train wrecks, at least compared to my fingernails. And it is only through my toenails that I get to sample the wonderful world of nail polishes and enjoy the look of my pretty nails post-pedicure. It was in one of my hunts for the ideal toenail polish for me that I discovered my favorite – Caronia’s Touch of Beige.

TouchofBeige

Image Source: Corinthian Distributors

I would describe this shade as medium beige in a classic crème finish. This mostly resembles a concealer or foundation shade as it sort of blends into the skin. I have a decided preference for neutrals and classic looks and Touch of Beige fits the bill for me.

Now, I know this won’t be everyone’s cup of tea. There are perhaps a thousand options of nail polishes at the department store with varied shades and finishes. With such a plethora of shades to choose from, there’s always something for everyone. Frankly, my love for this shade may have been borne out of the fact that I only paint my toenails. Beige goes well with almost every outfit I wear and it brightens my feet. Had I been one of those people with slender fingers and perfectly-shaped nails, I might have had a different choice. Who knows, eh?

What about you? What’s your favorite nail polish shade and finish? 🙂

Not All That Glitters is Gold: My Favorite Drugstore Shimmery Eyeshadow Shades

December 7, 2015 at 1:00 pm

Ah, shimmery eyeshadows. What makeup-loving woman hasn’t had their eye on them? Some have been sprinkled with micro glitters. Others seemingly intensified with that polished metallic look while some were made to catch that iridescence and luster that pearls have. You may have them in your endless collection of eyeshadow palettes or just have a few select shades for those special occasions, but one couldn’t deny the extra lure they have during the holidays.

I have always had a love-hate relationship with them. I enjoy their presence because they are so good at brightening the inner corner of my eyes – making me look like I actually slept on time and had a good night’s rest. As someone with hooded eyes, they’re perfect to use for my oh-so-limited lid space, creating the illusion that I have more of that prime real estate than I actually do.

On the other hand, drugstore shimmery eyeshadows are not as easy to use as matte ones. In my experience, they tend to have two factors that bring them down: fallout and uneven pigment. While I can definitely say that not all drugstore shimmery eyeshadows are created equally, there are some that perform so well that I find myself gravitating toward them often. So, for Day 7 of the Beauty Blog Advent Calendar, I share to you my top picks for drugstore shimmery eyeshadow shades.

Getting Your Bases Covered: My Top Pick for Eyeshadow Primer

December 2, 2015 at 1:00 pm

Hey guys!

So I’m back for Day Two of the Beauty Blog Advent Calendar 2015. For this post, I will share with you my top pick for eyeshadow primer. But first, a little background story…

Using primer was a completely foreign concept to me for the first 28 years of my life. In fact, it wasn’t until I saw my first Youtube makeup tutorial that I had a clue that there is such a thing as an eyeshadow primer. While I have used eyeshadow before, I have always put it directly into my lids without any thought of whether the surface of my lids was even in its ideal state. Yes – I was a complete and utter noob.

Fast forward to a few months after seeing that first makeup tutorial, I purchase my first primer. It was nothing fancy; it was that $1 ELF Eyelid Primer. But my oh my, it was a revelation. I have oily lids and didn’t realize how valuable an eyeshadow primer is in actually keeping the pigment on them.

Eventually though, my $1 ELF Primer had to take a final bow and be replaced with something better – and it was then that I found my current favorite – Lorac’s Behind The Scenes Eye Primer.

BehindTheScenes_EyePrimer-mediumImage owned by Lorac Cosmetics

If you’ve purchased a palette from Lorac, then you’re no stranger to their Behind The Scenes Eye Primer. Lorac describes it as a gentle, lightweight, oil, fragrance and paraben-free formula keeps your eye shadow picture-perfect from daytime to Prime Time. They claim that it is crease-resistant and provides silky-smooth color that lasts.

Aside from my lids being oily, they happen to also be hooded. My one issue with ELF’s primer is that while it does manage to keep my eyeshadow on, it does not totally prevent creasing. When it’s very warm, I notice the unmistakable signs of creasing on my lids at the end of the day, even when I’m using my beloved Too Faced Chocolate Bar Palette. So far, it has not happened with Lorac’s primer.

So that concludes my post for today. What are your top picks for the primer category?

Don’t forget to visit the Beauty Blog Advent Calendar 2015 and see what the other lovely ladies picked for their favorite primer. 🙂

Beauty Blog Advent Calendar 2015

December 1, 2015 at 1:00 pm

beauty-blog-advent-calendar-2015

…And I’m back!

This year, I am participating in the Beauty Blog Advent Calendar 2015 – a yearly event hosted by the lovely LiAnn of Sparklecrack Central. Now on its fifth year, Beauty Blog Advent Calendar aims to help beauty bloggers interact in ways other than posting link-lists to their sites. LiAnn was kind enough to send me an invite and I was stoked to be included in this year’s roster of beauty bloggers.

To kick off this event, we will do a recap of our favorite posts from this year. I was mostly on hiatus, but these two posts not only made it to my favorites, these gained the most attention with my readers as well.

I’m talking about my Authentic VS. Fake series. In these two posts, I compared the differences between the authentic and knock-off version of two widely-known eyeshadow palettes – Too Faced’s Chocolate Bar and the Lorac PRO Palette.

As I mentioned in those two posts, the intention was to help buyers determine if the palette they bought were authentic or not. The market is almost saturated with fake palettes that I found it important to let others know the differences.

So those are my two favorite posts for this year. You can view the Beauty Blog Advent Calendar 2015 here. Do visit the blogs of the other lovely ladies participating in this year’s event and get to know them more here. 🙂

Milani Bronzer XL in Fake Tan Review

May 17, 2015 at 6:00 am

Milani Bronzer XL 1I first heard of this Milani Bronzer XL All Over Glow palette from Emily Eddington of Youtube a couple of months into building my makeup collection. Prior to that, I had no idea that contour and bronzing powders are different products and that one does not necessarily work as a substitute for the other. Since this came with a recommendation from Emily, I decided to take the plunge and add this to my holiday orders last year.

My Favorite Neutral / Natural Lipsticks

May 10, 2015 at 6:00 am

Neutral Lipsticks 1I’ve always been a fan of neutral or natural lipsticks. Since I prefer my eyes to be the focal point of the whole look, I usually wear a lipstick shade that doesn’t take the attention away from my eyes and would instead complement the eye makeup. Aside from that, lipsticks generally have a shorter shelf life than a good number of other makeup products. While it’s nice to try a handful of unique and wild lipstick shades, you will probably end up throwing a good amount of the product away when they expire assuming you don’t use them on an everyday basis. Neutral or natural-looking lipsticks tend to get used more often than other wilder shades. Even when they do expire just as quickly, there’s a good chance you have already used a good chunk of the product and would only throw perhaps less than a quarter of the actual bullet.