Skin Deco

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Review: MAC Select Cover-Up

As much as we try to perfect our skin with religious skin care routines, ultimately, there'll still be something that needs to be covered up. I'm not bothered with a blemish or two but my biggest areas of concern that need extra concealing are my dark eye circles and the discoloration around my mouth.

Said to be "virtually invisible", I was counting on the MAC Select Cover-Up to deliver. Don't you just hate it when your package gets lost in mail and arrives 3 months late?

Read on for the review...

My color is NC35 which is quite beige compared to the MAC foundations that can lean slightly to orange. The rather fluid liquid concealer comes in a handily-sized tube with a nozzle that dispenses a controlled amount of product.

The concealer blends easily and dries to a semi-matte finish so I can wear this without applying powder to set and it still wouldn't crease. I can even apply this over powder foundation and not experience caking. However, the quick-drying formula also means that I have to work quickly with this concealer or I'd have trouble blending once it dries.

If you need a heavy duty concealer, the Select Cover-Up is not for you. Using a foundation to conceal would get you this coverage. It's good enough to even out discolorations but don't expect it to "erase" anything. Personally, I'd use a dark eye circle corrector prior to using the Select Cover-Up to even out the color.

One major downside of this concealer is the fact that it can be drying. If at any point your skin is leaning on the dry side or is not completely smooth, this concealer will accentuate any bumps, flakiness and lines that you may have. In other words, if you have very dry or uneven-textured skin, you may wanna give this concealer a miss.

This is one of the few concealers that I feel comfortable wearing without foundation as it blends incredibly. I use this concealer whenever my skin isn't awfully dry because of the unique texture. However, I don't like it enough to repurchase. It'll probably take me awhile to get through this tube anyway.

The MAC Select Cover-Up delivers but not efficiently.

Retails at RM65/10ml (I think) at all MAC outlets and counters or USD$16.50 at MACCosmetics.com


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Thursday, May 27, 2010

Away for the Weekend

It's going to be a full moon tonight and I'm going fishing! I couldn't manage to schedule any posts for the rest of this week but next week I'll be back with a bang.

Have a great long weekend everyone and Happy Wesak Day :)


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Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Circle Contact Lenses: GEO + Dueba + Barbie Eye

When was the last time you've seen an FOTD of me without colored contacts?

I started wearing colored contact lenses over a year ago and I've never looked b(l)ack ever since. It has come to a point where, according to friends, I wouldn't look "myself" without colored contacts.

While I may seem addicted to contacts, on "normal" days I do wear spectacles. Some may say that I wanna "look more Caucasian" and not embrace my Asian features but I simply feel that colored contacts enhance my makeup and make my eyes look more "alive". Check out the pics and judge for yourself...

My favorite contacts to wear are Circle Contact Lenses. Read on for my views on different types of circle lenses that I've worn.


This would be me without colored contacts. Ahh... such a long time ago

GEO

GEO 3 Tone Grey CM901

These lenses are my staple. They look natural enough on me that most people wouldn't think that I'm wearing lenses. The grey has hints of brown and blue so the color blends very well. They don't offer much enlarging effect, which I prefer, and they go with any type of make-up that I wear.

Tutorial for this look here


GEO Nudy Grey CH625

While they don't look as natural as the previous ones, these lenses are my second favorite to wear. Again, they go with practically any type of makeup. The color can look light blue under bright daylight. The enlarging effect makes my eyes look bigger but not scary. They're also slightly more comfortable.


Tutorial for this look here


GEO Ash Wing

These contacts have a relatively thick black outer rim to frame the pupils so that they appear larger and more prominent. The supposed grey looks quite blue but the color in general isn't prominently visible in real life. I don't wear these often but they're the most comfortable pair of lenses that I own so I usually reserve them for traveling.

Tutorial for this look here


GEO 3 Tone Green CM903

Yeah, I'm not really rocking them, am I? I've probably only worn these lenses five times max. The don't match well with my makeup most of the time. The green is quite fake, making my eyes look witch-like. I'm still looking for a pair of green lenses that would suit me.


Dueba

Dueba MX-21 Brown

The color shown on the chart is so misleading. With hardly any brown, these lenses look almost black. They do enlarge the appearance of the pupils but to a size that I'm not always comfortable with.

Tutorial for this look here


Barbie Eye

Barbie Eye Super Nudy Pink

Pink! How cute, right? I couldn't resist owning a pair of pink lenses even if just for novelty purposes. Surprisingly, the color turned out to be quite wearable. Depending on the lighting, they can sometimes look hazel or lilac. These lenses are insanely huge though. I was worried that I wouldn't be able to fit them into my eye! Also, they can make my eyes look unfocused and subsequently, crazy. From far, they look fine. Just don't stare into my eyes up close.


Some other GEO contact lenses that I've tried: Nudy Golden Blue, Angel Grey, Angel Brown

Lately, I've been purchasing my lenses from Miss Lens. Her prices are quite reasonable but more importantly, she's reliable.


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Tuesday, May 25, 2010

You Sure You Wanna See My Stash?

It's not completely obscene but it's not exactly modest either.

Please don't think that I'm showing off, flaunting or bragging about my "collection" because that's not my intention at all. It's just that many of you have requested that I do a post on my stash and how I organize my makeup. I figured now would be the best time to show because I've just moved into bigger room, have my own table, new drawers and within 2 weeks my table will be in an utter mess. Basically, now or never.

If you insist that I'm showing off then you can simply not proceed reading. Otherwise, feast your eyes, ladies ;)

On this tray rack, I have all my skin care stuff. I segmented the trays with boxes and a basket. I got the tray rack from Carrefour for RM17 I think.

At the back of the top tray would be all my body stuff; moisturizers, mosquito repellent, stretch mark cream, firming cream, self-tanners, baby oil, underarm whitener, aloe vera gel. The box on the left holds sample tubes of products that I'm testing out and on the right are my sunscreens, masks, treatment creams and eye creams.

On the bottom tray there's a pink container (from Ikea) of lip balms at the back, boxes containing contact lenses, a pack of facial wipes and a tin of Badger Balm. In the basket is where I keep the rest of my skin care products like serums, toners, moisturizers and some of my masks and scrubs.

I bought this 4-tier drawer that has a covered compartment and slots at the top for RM21 from Carrefour.

The left slot holds my eyeshadow primers then moving to the left are my eyebrow stuff. I didn't really know what to put in the covered compartment so I just have some of my loose powder eyeshadows in there; Barry M, Ben Nye, Everyday Minerals.

In the drawers, I store my single eyeshadows. First drawer contains MAC, second has NYX, I Nuovi and Stila in the third and miscellaneous brands in the fourth. Previously, I categorized by color but that method took up too many segments and I don't exactly color coordinate.

I'll go into detail of the picture on the left in the next set of pictures. There's another box underneath the white container at the back and the gold box holds my cotton pads.

In the box underneath I have all of my mineral pigment samples in bags and jars. Then, in the white container you'll find cream eyeshadows, gel liners and MAC pigments in segments. I got the white container from Ikea for RM19.90 (should be).

I store my lipglosses, lipsticks and frequently used mascaras and pencil/liquid eyeliners in this huge segmented acrylic container. I can't tell you where it's from because it used to be a store display unit for a very famous cosmetic brand :p For liners and mascaras that I seldom use, I keep them in the drawer that you may be able to spot behind my mirror in the first picture. That's also where I keep my miscellaneous tools like tweezers, sponges, scissors, nail clippers, mixing medium, etc.

I have two brush holders containing my brushes. The black one from Etude House (gift from Xin!) holds mainly eye brushes and the Stila one holds cheek and face brushes.

Let's see what's under my table...
An A4 sized 4-tier cabinet. Picture on the right shows the "before" of my blush drawer. Cabinet purchased from Tesco for.... RM25?

I reorganized everything and added these slotted corrugated plastic dividers that I bought from Daiso.

First drawer contains eyeshadow/blush/makeup palettes, a few random single eyeshadows and some loose powder blushers. Second is my blush and bronzer drawer, which I believe is self-explanatory. My foundations and powders are stored in the third drawer. Finally, I have my makeup base, tinted moisturizers, liquid illuminizers and concealers in the last drawer.

I didn't take pictures of my nail polishes, hair stuff, sheet masks and my box of faux lashes. They're not that interesting, I believe.

I'm not very creative with my organization ideas so if you have any suggestions or great ideas to share, please do! I tried the cutlery tray thing, didn't work :(


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Friday, May 21, 2010

Review + Promo: Madara Regenerating Night Cream

Another product that was recommended for my dry and sensitive eczema-prone skin is the Madara Regenerating Night Cream.

It's certainly one of the better night moisturizers that I've used and should work for most skin types. Plus, it's certified organic by ECOCERT!

Read on for the full review and a special promo!

"This is a must-have! Prevents skin aging processes at any age by stimulating cell renewal. Smoothes out fine lines. Repairs damage caused by stress, sun and environment. Hydrates and nourishes with natural plant vitamins and antioxidants. The result? Soft, smooth and plump skin!" -- Body Bar

As with the other products in Madara's range, the Regenerating Night Cream is packaged in an attractively sleek and clean tube with a pump. Very lightweight too which makes it ideal for traveling unlike most night creams that come in bulky and heavy tubs.

The cream is light and spreads very easily like a lotion but don't let the texture fool you. This cream offers very intense moisture to the point that it can look oily if you apply too much. If you have very dry skin, you can probably take one full pump but I only go for a little over half and for those with oilier complexions, you may want to use even less. As suggested, I spread the cream between my finger tips and pat onto my skin while it's still a little moist from my toner. If I'm using any serums, I'd spritz my face with a face mist or toner before patting on the night cream. Of course, you can still use it on dry skin and it'll work fine. There's a distinct floral scent but it's not overbearing.

Despite the fact that the product claims to be for all skin types, I'm not sure how it'll affect oily skins. I personally did not break out from this moisturizer nor did my skin get oilier the next day after I've washed my face. It simply moisturized my skin very well and I've woken up to comfortable-feeling skin every morning ever since I've started using this moisturizer. Makeup seems to sit better on my skin too, on most days.

This has also been one of the gentlest formulas that I've used, beating the Aesop Camellia Nut Facial Hydrating Cream that I was previously using for my sensitive skin. If I happened to have eczema outbreaks, usually on my cheek and eye area, the Aesop cream would still cause stinging but I experienced none at all from the Madara night cream. Having used this cream combined with the Madara Deep Comfort Toner for the past month, I've also experienced less *hugs a tree!* eczema outbreaks and didn't need to rely on my steroid ointments to help relief any minor rash. Say, I might get them at night and by morning they'd be gone without the aid of any "drugs".

Check out some of the awesome ingredients contained in this night cream:
  • Tomatoes - Red pigment lycopene protects against free radicals and slows down aging processes
  • Barley sprouts - Destroy toxins, improves elasticity
  • Hop - Strengthens skin's tissue
  • Sea buckthorn - Enriches with vitamins, acts as anti-oxidant
  • Seaweed, Plantain, Chamomile and Calendula - Moisturising combination
  • Hyaluronic acid - Natural Moisturising Factor (NMF). NMF is a water-binding ingredient that is naturally present in human skin’s intracellular matrix. It reinforces skin’s natural ability retain moisture and function normally
In terms of lifting and smoothing out fine lines, I didn't see any drastic results but it's overall a great night moisturizer for dry and sensitive skin.

Madara Regenerating Night Cream retails at RM138 for 50ml at Body Bar outlets in Tropicana City Mall, Sunway Pyramid and Pavilion as well as their online store.

From now until the 13th of June 2010 is probably the best time to make your purchase of this night cream because Body Bar is offering a 10% off the recently lowered price, which brings the price down to RM124.20. If you're a member of Body Bar, you get an additional 20ml tube worth RM55.


*The product featured in this post was provided by Body Bar for review on Skin Deco


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Clarins Cares + Review: Clarins UV Plus Protective Day Screen

I've mentioned before that I'm not one that buys into the whole "for charity" products because more often than not, the companies are using charity as a gimmick. And of course there are sorts that use charity as an excuse to spend the money that they could've used to actually donate. Seriously, how many "for charity" eco-bags do you need?

Some time ago, I was having a discussion with the people of Clarins Malaysia and came to realize that perhaps not all companies use their corporate responsibility acts as selling tools (though indirectly, these acts do become selling tools). That day, I gained a new found respect for Clarins.

Read on to learn more about Clarins' commitment to social and environmental responsibility and a review of the Clarins UV Plus Protective Day Screen that I've recently been using

Some activities by Clarins:

Globally
  • Supports fair trade business
  • Does not harvest plant species in danger of extinction
  • Provides direct support to improve education and local living conditions of the area in countries they harvest from
  • Analyzes plant life to indicate where harvesting can take place without harm to ensure sustainability
  • Uses safe, environmentally-friendly formulas that are processed with reduced emission of green house gasses
  • Uses lighter packaging made from simple and recyclable materials
  • Supports and honors men and women who have devoted to protecting children in danger and saving our planet through preservation of plants
  • Supports development of bioenergy ie. Bertrand Piccard and the Solar Impulse, which promotes renewable energy by creating a solar-powered aeroplane
Locally
  • Established "Clarins, We Care" charity campaign that aims to continue providing children with education and instill knowledge in the importance caring for the environment
  • Raises funds to support underprivileged children and children homes
  • Raises funds to support the Bandar Harapan Organic Farm for the disabled that aims to educate the general public and children on going green
The fact that many of these efforts have not been loudly shouted about in ads, banners, etc. makes me believe that they're genuine*. It seems that there is a lot more to Clarins than just a brand that uses plant-based ingredients and I admire Clarins for that.

*This does not mean that I think brands who actively promote their charity acts are not genuine. However, there are many many brands that use charity as a PR and marketing tool when in fact they do not contribute much at all to charity


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Clarins has recently launched an improved formulation for their White Plus HP range with Sea Lily extract. My "guinea pig" has not been able to test out the products yet so the review will not be out so soon.


One supplementary product that I've been using is the Clarins UV Plus Protective Day Screen SPF40 PA+++, listed as one of Clarins' essential products.

The peach-colored fluid is quite runny and applies smoothly. Because of the texture, I didn't seem to need a lot of product to provide me with sufficient protection. It feels very lightweight on the skin and comfortable worn under makeup.

The slight tint brightens and slightly evens out my skin tone immediately without leaving a white cast. As you can see, it doesn't add any shine or greasiness to the skin either. The formula's also gentle enough to be used around the eye area (this time, the product claims so). Additionally, it contains white tea extract as an antioxidant to protect skin against free radicals.

The only thing I don't like about this sunscreen is the price for the size. RM158 for 30ml is quite a lot to pay for a product that requires liberal application.
Available at all Clarins counters and outlets.
Retailing at Sephora for USD$42/1 oz

*The product featured in this post was provided by Clarins Malaysia for consideration


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Thursday, May 20, 2010

Review: St. Ives Skin Firming Advanced Body Moisturizer

Body product reviews make rare appearances on this blog so if I'm dedicating a post to the St. Ives Skin Firming Advanced Body Moisturizer, it has to be awesome right?

It's cheap too! Read on!

The water-based lotion has a great texture that's not too thick and not runny either. It spreads well and absorbs readily.

My way of applying this lotion is fresh out from the shower without drying off first. This method really helps to seal in the moisture and make it last. I also spend less time massaging the lotion in and still get the same well-moisturized feeling. Keeping the bottle in my bathroom makes me remember to apply the lotion, which I'm usually not so diligent with. I use about two pumps on each leg, one pump on each arm and two pumps for the rest of my body. With the incredible price for the size, I can afford to be liberal.

Firming wise, I don't think it made much of a difference but then again, I'm not very *coughs* at all *coughs* firm to begin with. Nevertheless, it's an excellent light body moisturizer that helps keep my dry skin soft and supple throughout the day. I know for sure that it works because prior to using this, by the end of the day I'd be able to play tic-tac-toe on my shins.

St. Ives Skin Firming Advanced Body Moisturizer is available at major healthcare outlets (Watsons, Guardian, etc.) for RM19.90/525ml. The prices may vary as it occasionally goes on sale so you can expect the price to be between RM17 to RM21.

I'm not sure if this product is readily available in the US because I don't see it on any online healthcare stores (except Wallmart but it's "currently unavailable"). It's on the St. Ives website though.


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Wednesday, May 19, 2010

New and Improved: Shu Uemura UV Under Base Mousse

One of Shu Uemura's iconic products gets a makeover! The coveted Shu Uemura UV Under Base Mousse and a personal favorite, now has new and improved packaging, formula and price.

Read on for the changes and review...

First released 20 years ago, Shu Uemura has now produced the 8th edition of the UV Under Base Mousse. I was already a huge fan of the 7th so let's take a look at what's different, shall we?


To understand the concept of mousse, the folks at Shu Uemura had me whip an egg and as you can see, the thick runny liquid became soft fluffy peaks. It represented "mousse" that will feel lighter and more comfortable on the skin as opposed to liquid or cream.


Read my review of the previous UV Under Base Mousse

The biggest difference would be the pump. Now, doesn't that look a whole lot better than the straight nozzle that they had previously? The pump allows a lot more control in the amount dispensed and there's no longer a need to position the nozzle at a specific angle to get the mousse out. Funny how they took 20 years to figure the pump out... Newly discovered technology, perhaps? ;) I didn't have to spend so much time shaking the can either.

With a higher sun protection level of SPF30 PA+++, the mousse is even more lightweight than before. It also dries quicker.


While the mousse (in Beige) did manage to even out the ruddiness on my skin and make it somewhat smoother, it gave lesser coverage, which I'm not too happy about. It's not necessarily a bad thing if you're going to apply foundation on top of the base.

Even though the new formula claims to be more moisturizing, I had trouble using this base with powder foundation, which I never had with the old one. It didn't dry out my skin so it was perfectly fine for me to use liquid or cream foundation over it. You see, when I wear powder foundation, I'll need my natural oils to surface before it can look good. For those of you with oilier complexions, this is a good thing because this means that the new formula offers better oil control.

Here comes the best part. This new UV Under Base Mousse has a new reduced price. You get the same amount, 65g, but at RM108 instead of RM135 for the old one. How cool is that?

Shu Uemura UV Under Base Mousse SPF30 PA+++ retails for RM108/65g at Shu Uemura counters and outlets. Available in two colors; Beige and Pink.

*The product featured in this post was provided by Shu Uemura Malaysia for the purpose of review on Skin Deco


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Triple Giveaway!

As promised, I'm giving away a few goodies to celebrate the new Skin Deco blog design!

There are three giveaways:
  • 1 on Skindeco.net
  • 1 on You Tube
  • 1 on Facebook
For the blog giveaway, you will stand a chance to win a full-sized Stila Lip Glaze and a mini Stila Convertible Color.

Read on to learn the rules and how you can enter.
You won't want to miss the You Tube and Facebook goodies either!








Tasks:

  1. Be a follower/subscriber of Skin Deco. Please state your e-mail username if you're an e-mail subscriber
  2. Complete this sentence in the comment section: "I visit Skin Deco for..." (eg. "I visit Skin Deco for the reviews!")
  3. Share this giveaway on your blog to get an extra entry. Please include a link to your blog

Rules:
  1. Get your entries in by 11.59pm (GMT +08:00), 26th of May 2010
  2. This giveaway is open worldwide!
  3. Entries that do not fulfill tasks 1 and 2 will be disqualified
  4. Check back on the 27th of May 2010 to see if you've won. Your username will be announced and you will be required to e-mail me to claim your prize within 24 hours or I'd have to pick another winner







Tasks:
  1. Subscribe to Skin Deco's You Tube channel
  2. Watch this video






Tasks:
  1. "Like" the Skin Deco page on Facebook
  2. Follow the instructions on the giveaway wall post
  3. Get an extra entry by sharing a tip to fight acne



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Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Two Random Looks with Mini Tuts

Look #1: One day, I asked on Twitter what color eyeshadow I should wear and got green, purple, pink and black with silver shimmer...

Look #2: Testing out a new purple gel eyeliner and fuchsia pink lipgloss (L'Oreal Glam Shine)

Read on for the mini tutorials...

Okay, I'm not gonna list down everything I've used because I really can't remember so I'll just mention whatever that comes to mind...

Look #1

I whipped out my Sleek Original Eyeshadow Palette for this look. First, I applied the Green blended the Olive into the crease. Then I used a warm salmon pink from one of my big palettes and applied it lightly over the Olive. I highlighted the area beneath the brow.

Using Revlon's Matte Kohl in Very Violet as base, I then applied the Purple from the palette over it. After that, I lined my upper lash line with Milani Eyeshadow in Storm. Finished off the look with filled brows and several coats of mascara.

Look #2

MAC Pigment in Mauvement went on first. I really really can't remember what I used for the crease but I think it's just a dark satin brown It's NYX Eyeshadow in Gunmetal. I highlighted the brow and then blend Gunmetal over.

This purple gel eyeliner is call Infinity Gel Eyeliner, which I bought from Ebay. I wanted more pop so I lined my bottom lash line with blue pencil liner from Bloop and went over it with MAC Eyeshadow in Stormwatch (I think). Then, I highlighted the inner corners with my usual MAC Ricepaper Eyeshadow.

Excuse the horrible eyebrows. These looks were before I got my brows shaped. I was growing them out.
I do play around with colors a lot when I do unplanned looks so that I experiment to see which colors would go well together.


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