Skin Deco

Monday, September 29, 2008

RMK Weekend With Tatsuya and Hideki

Despite having complained so much about how tired I was from work, the past weekend was definitely a rewarding one because RMK had invited two makeup-artists from RMK Japan that have even been trained by the creative director, Rumiko, herself. Tatsuya Kaneko and Hideki Tanaka are two of the most patient and not to mention, proactive makeup-artists that I've ever met and I've definitely learned quite a lot about makeup, RMK products and how to serve customers better, from them over the weekend. I was also very pleased to have met Yokie, one of the interpreters, for we had quite a lot to chat about to make the time pass easier and also for becoming my walking buddy to the monorail station after work.

I've picked up quite a number of tips and techniques on make-up application from Tatsuya and Hideki which I will share in a future post. Please check back for them. All tips have been tried and tested by yours truly.

A little bit about Tatsuya and Hideki from a personal point of view...

L: Tatsuya Kaneko, R: Hideki Tanaka

Read on to find out more!

Tatsuya is very caring person. His pictures really doesn't do his bubbly character any justice since he gets excited quite easily and usually with big reactions to match. Over his travels, he picked up several words in different languages and he'd record it in his little black book with the pronounciations. During lunch, he was asking us for the meaning of the words that he has picked up including "Wahlaueh" which was quite a challenge for us to explain to him! He sings as he walks (flamboyantly if I may add) and his accessories never seem to match: think ankle-high leather boots, shimmery belt, plastic watch and pink rubber wrist band. He also had a habit of topping up other people's mascara every 10 minutes. "More! More!"

RMK Style Makeup by Tatsuya. He trimmed my brows too. Yay! Great timing. (Excuse the washed out look since I only managed to get pictures at the end of the day)

Hideki is slightly more reserved probably because he doesn't speak much English at all but he's definitly a master, treating make-up truly like an art. And you don't rush art. It took him a good 5 minutes to curl my lashes so that he can get them P-E-R-F-E-C-T. He likes to tease the customers by applying two dots of any cream product right on the apples of the cheeks (Pikachu!) and snickers to himself before blending. He is very open to the customer's requests and even tries to make the customers see makeup in a new light. He's also a major fan of the "kawaii" look.

Yokie, Tatsuya and I

I really enjoyed working with them this weekend. They are the kind of people who ackknowledge you when you've done something right and have never acted as if they have a higher status just because they're invited guests. Their humbleness and well-mannerisms should truly be applauded and adopted. I've come across many people whom I've worked with who look at the promoters (especially part-timers) as if we're of lower classes than they are. They have definitely made my working experience more valuable and I'll definitely miss them.


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Saturday, September 27, 2008

Rimmel Is Now In Malaysia!!

Yes! Not only Majolica Majorca!

Rimmel London
is quite a popular drugstore brand in the US and Britain, well-known for their mascaras and pencil eyeliners with Kate Moss as their spokesperson.

I had no idea that the brand was coming into Watsons as well so when you're popping by to gawk at Majolica Majorca, do check out Rimmel! The prices are comparable with Maybelline so definitely affordable. MJ's prices are more towards Revlon prices.

I promised myself that I wouldn't get anything but I gave into temptation. I picked up one product from both Rimmel and Majolica Majorca. I got the Glam' Eyes Mascara (RM32.90 + 15% Discount) from Rimmel and Skin Lingerie Makeup Base (RM39.90 + 10% Discount) from Majolica Majorca at Pavilion's Watsons. I heard from the MJ promoter that over at Sungei Wang they had sold over 30 mascaras by noon!

What other drugstore brands do you wish will come into Malaysian stores?
I would love for Milani to come.


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Incredibly Soft Synthetic Kabuki Brush and CHEAP!

I was walking around Sungei Wang and look at what I found!

The regular price is RM35.90 but it was 50% off so I only got this brush for RM17.95. That's a really good price for such an incredible brush. I couldn't believe how soft the synthetic brush was. It felt ticklish on the skin kinda like how satin feels. I say satin because when compared with the Everyday Minerals Flat Top Brush, EDM is like silk. Nevertheless, this brush should be the closest to the softness that you can get in a closer proximity and for a steal of a price.


Read on to find out where to get this brush!


I have not taken this brush for a spin yet but from the resilience and density of this brush, I would say that this would not be very good for buffing on mineral foundation but it should be great for applying loose powder, glow powder, blush and bronzer. The bristles are longer than my Pink Kabuki so it's less resilient although it's quite dense. The handle is longer that a regular kabuki so it gives a better grip.

Size wise, it's bigger than the EDM brush but smaller than my Pink Kabuki.

There is also a bigger full-sized powder brush (RM49.90 and 50% off) of the same type of bristles.

You can find them at Blink on the First Floor of Sungei Wang Plaza. From the outside of the shop, they seem to be selling a lot of hair accessories like Chamelon and Sinma but walk to the back and you'll find a bunch of cosmetic products including Manly palettes (expensive though), VoV cosmetics, BB cream and a whole lot more. Ths staff there are friendly and helpful. They were not fussy when I asked if i could open the box to feel the brush. The cashier even told me that their boss will be bringing in more cosmetic products from Korea on the 1st of October so that would be a good time to check out the store!

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Thursday, September 25, 2008

My Little Birthday Treat

Fine. I used my birthday as an excuse to get M.A.C.'s Mineralized Skin Finish.
But it's pretty! Besides, I've been wanting to get one and I finally managed to get a brand new one for RM70! (from Beauty4Less) Not bad right? Right? Right?

Rocking the glowy cheeks.
Btw, how do you like my new grey Geo Angle Lens?

Read on for the review and swatch.

For those of you who don't know what a M.A.C. Mineralized Skin Finish is, it's basically baked powder: "luxurious velvet-soft powder with high-frost metallic finish. Smoothes on: adds buffed-up highlights to cheeks, brows, anywhere on the body: provides an ultra-deluxe polish to the skin".
Unlike regular powders, mineral-infused water is used as part as the baking process. When the liquid slurry is formed, pigments are added and the mixture is carefully shaped and then baked for 24 hours. The water then evaporates and leaves this unique powder behind. -- Makeupforlife.net
Don't be mistaken with M.A.C. Mineralized Skin Finish/Natural which is "a luxurious domed face powder with minerals, slowly baked to provide a dimensional yet natural-matte finish. Provides perfect low coverage. Use to set and fix foundation or as a touch-up throughout the day".

Mineralized Skin Finishes are all limited edition and can be quite the investment with some colors going for up to USD200! Unfortunately, cosmetics are hardly ever investments for me. More like liabilities. I have this urge to collect. Anyway, the color that I got, Light Flush, is from the N Color Collection.

Light Flush is a soft pastel pink with deep bronze veining. It gives my mid-toned skin a fine pinkish glow that is oh so sweet *bats lashes*. It's not very noticeable but it adds rosiness to liven up the bronze/coral blush shades that I usually go for. Just the right amount of pink so that I don't look like a China Doll. It's not so much a color but more of a sheen. The huge pan of powder can be used for a very very long time.

I'm really glad I made this purchase. This is not something that gives a va va voom effect but it's just something very satisfying although subtle. Kinda like my Clinique Lash Power Mascara. Sometimes the things that you love don't necessarily have to be perfectly wonderful. They just have to hit you in all the right places.



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Review: Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser

As gentle as a cleanser can get...

"Cetaphil® Gentle Skin Cleanser is great for daily makeup removal or as part of a skin care regimen to treat the dryness caused by topical medications used in the treatment of acne, fine lines and wrinkles. Originally formulated for dermatologists, it is gentle on your skin and sensitive to your skin’s needs. Cetaphil® Gentle Skin Cleanser will not strip the skin of natural protective oils or emollients, or disturb the skin’s natural pH balance. It is fragrance-free and non-comedogenic, making it an excellent choice for daily facial cleansing. Recommended by Dermatologists for years for people with special skin needs like acne, rosacea, or eczema because of its gentleness. Cetaphil® Gentle Skin Cleanser is gentle enough for children, teens and adults. " -- www.cetaphil.com

Read on for the review.

This cleanser is famous for being the go-to cleanser when your skin condition goes bonkers. Indeed, this cleanser is extremely gentle and trust me, I've had my fair share of "gentle" cleansers and nothing compares to Cetaphil. There's no distinct smell and it can literally be rubbed into the eyes and there will be no stinging at all.

Cleansing with Cetaphil feels like rubbing your skin with aloe vera gel. It's soothing, very slippery but not foamy. Skin feels as soft as a baby's butt and not taut at all. Don't expect any deep cleansing action though as this cleanser is meant for gentle daily cleansing. I use this in the mornings when I don't like harsh cleansing (prior to this I just wash with water) and when my skin feels irritated.

Only a tiny dollop is sufficient for the whole face so one bottle should last you quite some time.

Available from Watson pharmacies for RM24.90 (236ml)



Image Credit: www.allure.com



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Review: L'Oreal Telescopic Clean Definition Mascara

Do you know why it's called "Telescopic"?
Because you'll need a telescope to see those teeny lashes.

"L'Oreal Paris Telescopic Clean Definition mascara combines the flexi brush with a smooth, lengthening formula to provide a mascara that lengthens and magnifies lashes one by one. The brush head features 168 elastomer teeth which coat even the finest lashes smoothly. The formula contains a positive charge adhi-plus polymer, which allows the mascara to take hold and extend right to the tip of the lash. A new adhesive and flexible contouring polymer instantly moulds to lashes to lengthen them." -- Lotsa talky, no walky.

Read on for comparison pictures and review.

I clearly made the wrong decision when I chose this over a second tube of Maybelline Volum' Express. The long telescope-shaped tube only barely fits into my makeup pouch. The formula did nothing whatsoever for my lashes -- no curl, no volume, no length. The only thing I liked about this mascara was probably the thin and small flexi-brush that's great for reaching miniscule lashes and seperating them. Thank goodness my mom was willing to adopt to lost-hope since she's all for natural-looking lashes.

Do you see any difference?

Note the short review? I really couldn't be bothered with this mascara.



Image Credit: www.stylefinder.com

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Tutorial: Fall Inspired - Golden Cranberry

Hayley, this is for you. A fall-inspired look using gold and cranberry eyeshadows with a brown liner. I was gonna use my mom's Bobbi Brown Chocolate Shimmer Ink which would be so much prettier with this look but I forgot to bring it with me where I was doing the tutorial. This look is in tandem with RMK's Fall/Winter Collection.

I'll post the directions for the tutorial later on because I am crazy tired. I just got back from work and I've been out for 15 hours. I'm totally parched. Tomorrow's another long day of work for me as well. -- UPDATED!
Meantime, enjoy the step-by-step pictures. I need to sleep. My head is pounding like crazy.

Read on for the tutorial, pictures and description of items used.


Items Used:
Eyes:
L'Oreal De Crease
Global Face Paint in Metallic Gold (review coming soon!)
Sweetscents Mineral Pigment in 24K Gold
Manly 80 Color Palette (2-I3, 1-I3) -- Post on how to label your palettes coming soon
Qianyu 9-Color Warm Palette (Dark Plum, Sunny Beige)
Shu Uemura Glow On Blush in P Gold 91
Indelible Gel Eyeliner in Chocolate Mousse
Bloop Eyeliner Pencil in Black
Maybelline Volum' Express Mascara
Canmake Extra Long Curl Mascara

Face and Cheeks:
L'Oreal True Match Foundation
Giorgio Armani Loose Powder
e.l.f. Luminance
Niks Blusher in Not Quite Terracotta
M.A.C. Mineralized Skin Finish in Light Flush (my bday prezzie from myself!)

Lips:
Cat Cosmetics Lip Liner in Naked Lip
M.A.C. Lipglass in Florabundance
M.A.C. Lipglass in New Flame (dabbed)


Apply L'Oreal De Crease all over the lid up to the brow bone. Get a tiny bit of Metallic Gold Paint and swipe+pat up to the crease with a synthetic brush (I've used my concealer brush).

Apply 24K Gold pigments onto the gold base with a fluffy eyeshadow brush. Pick up some 2-I3 with the tapered crease brush. Start at the corner of the eye and start doing little circles.

Then you'll get a blob of color. Blend the blob into the crease using circular back and forth motions. Go back to the fluffy eyeshadow brush and blend the pigment residue on the brush on top of the 2-I3.

Using the round crease brush, get some Dark Plum and apply it half way into the crease. Blend the Dark Plum with the tapered crease brush.

Apply P Gold 91 under the brow bone as highlight color. Using another round crease brush, apply Sunny Beige into the inner corner of the eyes.

Get your eyeliner on. Smudge some 1-I3 on half of the lower lash line.

Finish off by tightlining and applying mascara.


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Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Tutorial: Watered Down Jasmine


As inspired by xsparkage, this is a "watered down" version of the original Princess Jasmine inspired look.
xsparkage aka Leesha is one of my favorite YouTubers. I've learned so much about blending eyeshadow and she certainly inspires me to wear colorful looks. I love her bubbly attitude on camera and she's just plain adorable. And she loves cats!

Anyway, I hope y'all will enjoy this tutorial. I really suck at doing video tutorials so please pardon the horrible lighting and the awkward presentation.

My cold sore hurts so bad. Got any foolproof remedies?

Read on for pictures and description of items used.

The Original Look

The Inspired Re-creation

Items Used:

MAC Paint in Stilife
MAC Paint Pot in Rollickin'
Sweetscents Mineral Pigment in Peacock
MAC Pigment in Dark Soul
Matte Black Eyeshadow (from Manly 80-Color Palette)
MAC Eyeshadow in Ricepaper
MAC Fluidline in Blacktrack
Smashbox Dual Eyeliner - Black
Flamingo Mascara
Clinique Lash Power Mascara
Jordana Powder Blush in Coral Sandy Beach
Origins Once Upon A Shine Lip Gloss in Sheer Fig




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Days of using fingers for eye makeup are long gone

Brushes give precision application and blend eyeshadow seamlessly. My reason to not use fingers anymore is that the heat on our finger tips can sometimes be too warm which causes the eyeshadow to smudge. Also, the slight moisture on our fingers may tend to lift up too much eyeshadow and cause it to stick on the fingers instead of the lid.

I got myself 3 new crease brushes from Coastalscents which includes the Italian Badger Doe Foot Stippler, Sable Blending Brush and Tapered Crease Eye Brush.
I'll also be reviewing some of the eyeshadow brushes that I've acquired over the past few months from e.l.f., Elianto and Ianti.

All the brushes featured are very affordable and would be great for anyone who wants to start using brushes but don't wanna pay a lot for them.

Read on for the reviews.


Coastal Scents Brushes




A - Italian Badger Doe Foot Stippler (USD3.89)

Site Info:

Like a crease brush but with an angle and a bit more blending ability. The handle is shiny black along with the ferrule.

From top of hairs to bottom of handle - 6 3/8 inches

The hairs are 1/2 inch at the highest point

The hairs are 1/2 inch at the widest point

Although I've seen beautiful makeup done with brushes similar to this one, it just isn't suitable for me because my crease is not very defined and I have a small lid space which makes it difficult for the brush to get into. I definitely like this better than the other slanted stippler brush that I got since this one's smaller but it's not really a brush that I really fancy. I've been using this to apply highlight and blur out shadow lines in buffing movements but its not as comfortable because the bristles are kinda flimsy compared to the Bobbi Brown's Eye Contour Brush. I'm still in love with that brush and I guess I've just been trying to find more affordable substitutes for it. No doubt though that the bristles are very soft.

B - Sable Blending Brush (USD2.90)

Site Info:

By customer request, we have added a brush that is very comparable to the MAC 224 at an affordable price for everyone.

This brush gently deposits a light application of powder products, it has a matte black wood handle and shiny nickle plated brass ferulle.

Top of hairs to bottom of handle measures 6 2/8 inches long.

The tapered sable hair measures 3/4 inches long.

The ferulle is round at the top holding the sable hair.

I've never owned a MAC224 so I have no idea how that fairs compared to this. The bristles are really soft and full enough to beautifully blend eyeshadow into the crease. The handle is also not too long so you can get a good control with this brush. Despite the fact that this is a good brush, I don't reach out for it as often because it's still a tad too big for my eye unless I'm blending in soft colors.

C - Tapered Crease Eye Brush (USD2.49)

Site Info:

Comparable to M.A.C., by customer request, this brush has a matte black handle with nickel plated aluminium ferrule. This is a crease blending brush.

From top of hairs to bottom of handle - 5 6/8 inches long

Hairs are just over 1/5 inch long

The bristles are not quite as soft as the Sable Blending Brush but not to the point that it's scatchy. I love this brush. I'm using this almost everytime I can. It deposits eyeshadow into the crease so seamlessly. I find it quite effortless to control and you get well-blended colors just with continuous circular motions. The size of the dome is just right for my eye and a good (I wouldn't say perfect) fit to the crease. I've been looking for such a brush for the longest time and I'm so glad that I've finally found it. This is an excellent brush and I highly recommend it.

Here's an example of an eye makeup done with the Sable Blending Brush and Tapered Crease Eye Brush using just my Prescriptives eyebrow powder set. With these brushes, it's like applying color and blending at the same time. Great for quick makeup looks.


Eyeshadow Brushes


A - Large Eyeshadow Brush from Ianti (RM19.90)

Very soft but not as dense as I would like it. Great for applying one wash of colors and to apply soft highlight.

B - Eyeshadow Brush from e.l.f. (USD1)

Soft and dense with a perfect dome shape. Great for smoothing on eyeshadow and blending out harsh edges. Picks up the right amount of color and deposits without a lot of fall-offs. My only problem would be that it's slightly bigger than what I would normally like so I'd only use this brush if I'm working with 1 or 2 colors.

C - Small Eyeshadow Brush from Elianto (RM9)

Unlike Elianto's face brushes, the bristles on their eyeshadow brush is very soft. This is a fluffy eyeshadow brush but dense enough to blend. Also picks up and deposits shadow well and I find myself using this more because it's smaller compared to the e.l.f. brush thus easier to work with.

D - Small Eyeshadow Brush from Ianti (RM19.90)

Has similar texture to the large eyeshadow brush. Quite fluffy and may cause some fall-offs during application. I use this brush if i'm working with a lot of colors. I'm still looking for a brush that's more dense and less fluffy but in the same size.




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Sunday, September 21, 2008

Addicted to Lip Balms

Lip balm is definitely something that I cannot live without since I have sensitive lips that crack and peel under stress with the occasional cold sores. Here are some reviews of the lip balms that I've been using a lot of recently (including some that I've stopped using).

When determining a good lip balm, what I find most important is how well it soothes irritated lips. A high moisture level is important as well but not too greasy. I'm usually a sucker for minty lip balms and ingredients that attract me are Shea Butter, Jojoba Oil and Cocoa Butter. Since I've had a couple of horrific incidents of allergic reaction towards lip products that coincidentally contain beeswax, I would tend to avoid lip balms with high content of beeswax. There's no confirmation of my allergy though as they don't always flare up. For this reason, lip balms are trial and error products for me. When they cause an allergy, I'd just have to chuck 'em aside despite how good they are thus I try to go for drugstore brands.

Read on for the reviews.


Mentholatum Natural Ice Medicated Lip Protectant SPF15


"Helps prevent sunburn. High SPF gives more sunburn protection. Helps prevent and temporarily protects dry, chapped, or windburned lips."

The first thing I noticed about this lip balm was the scent which is a very strong menthol almost like medicated menthol oil (aka Minyak Angin Cap Kapak). You could probably double it as a vapor inhaler. The lip balm gives a cooling sensation to match its scent. Although it feels slightly greasy than what I'd prefer, the balm glides smoothly and sufficiently moisturizes the lips. Chapped, peeling lips are immediately smoothed and lips are softened within a few hours. Since the product is high in Dimethicone, the lip balm doesn't wear off easily even after drinks. I like this lip balm very much and I'll definitely repurchase it.

Available from Drugstore.com for USD1.59. Other flavors/formula: Cherry and Sport (SPF30)


The Natural Source Caramel Lip Balm Bubbles


"Deliciously scented lip balm bubbles to thoroughly protect and moisturise delicate lip area.
Contains sunscreen to protect from damaging UVA and UVB rays.
There are 6 varieties to choose from to suit your mood!"


I got this off a clearance rack for 70% so it only came up to RM8.70. The "bubble" is very huge so you'd actually have enough lip balm to last you for quite some time! It looked cute at first glance but once you remove that lip-shaped collar, the bubble jar looks plain without any labellings or writings whatsoever. It's also bulky and you can probably cause a concussion with it. I like things in jar because it allows product maximization but the rim of the jar is quite deep so you gotta reall stick your finger in to get the product. The balm itself isn't too bad. It doesn't smell so much like caramel instead there was a distinct smell of castor oil which is also its main ingredient. It works to keep the lips feeling soft and moisturized (compliments from the boyfriend!) but not too much when it comes to soothing. For some reason, this balm seems to reduce the swellings of my cold sores though.

Available from The Natural Source outlets or www.ozwin.com.my (Malaysian e-store) for RM29. Other flavors: Banana, Spearmint, Strawberry, Vanilla and Pure Natural.


Blistex DCT: Daily Conditioning Treatment SPF20


"DCT combines moisturizers, vitamins and protectants to provide a daily maintenance regimen for your lips."

DCT has good jar packaging where the product is filled to the rim, which is almost the same width as the rest of the jar. This makes it convenient to get the product out of the jar. The scent is like a blend of mint and cocoa butter (which the product contains). I quite like the scent but not everyone would (Carmen, Danielle and Andrew didn't). The balm is not as moisturizing as I would like it since I have to keep applying the product over and over again just to get the right amount of moisture on my lips. There's a slight minty feeling but it sometimes irritate the lips rather than soothing them.

Available from Watsons for RM10.80


Clinelle Lip Solution SPF36


"A moisture-rich lip solution especially formulates to gently moisturize, soother and protect lips from harmful ultraviolet rays."

Colorless and scentless, this creamy balm moisturizes the lips excellently without feeling greasy. Dry lips are effectively relieved and softened while protected from frequent chapping. The balm is packaged like a lipstick so the product doesn't stick to the sides of the tube like how regular lip balms in tube packaging would. This product contains Shea Butter which is definitely a plus for me. All in all, a good lip balm to have around. It doesn't do miracles but it keeps the lips well-conditioned.

Available from Watsons or Guardian Pharmacy or www.clinelle2u.com for RM19.80


Elizabeth Arden 8 Hour Cream Lip Protectant Stick


"Elizabeth Arden's renowned Eight Hour Cream in a super-protective, portable stick for lips. Enriched with emollients, protective sunscreen and vitamin E."

When I started to use this lip balm, I thought I had found my savior and I could finally eat crab without worries. This lip balm relives very chapped lips and even a rash although the texture is slightly oily. The scent is exactly like the 8 Hour Cream which is kinda like lemongrass. The lipstick packaging is classy and the balm is available in several sheer shades. It was like some sort of a miracle when my lips were smoothened after just a few hours of application. And then I became allergic to it after 3 days. *SIGHS* I hate when this happens to me. Thankfully the original 8 Hour Cream works really well for me but the tube is just too big and messy to carry around.

Available from Elizabeth Arden Counters and Watsons Pavilion for RM68


Nivea Lip Care Hydro Care


Can I just say that it feels like putting lard on the lips and smells like oil that has gone bad? I just plain did not like this. It did nothing for me.

Available from Watsons or Guardian Pharmacy for approx. RM7. I got mine after discount, RM5.


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