Skin Deco

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Para bai Bella Bamba! -- Review: Benefit Bella Bamba

When all the bowls of porridge looked equally tempting, my Goldilocks syndrome would kick in. Benefit has, up until now, come up with 9 Box-O-Powders and having literally tested all of them at some point, I never did find one that I really liked. Dandelion was too pastel, Georgia was too sheer, Dallas was too plum and Hoola was a bronzer. 10 looked odd, Coralista went on powdery, Thrrrob was too pinky and Sugarbomb was barely frosty.

And then there was Bella Bamba… FINALLY!

If I’m being honest, I bought Bella Bamba out of an e-mail shopping frenzy. It’s a PINK blush! What other reason would I have had to buy a PINK blush? With GLITTER! But bought it, I did.

Many had told me that while the blush is very pretty, it is also quite pigmented and may appear clownish when applied too much. I guess what appears clownish on fair skin is just nice for me. Bella Bamba certainly has much better pigmentation compared to all the other Box-O-Powders.

Bella Bamba stood out very much from the other Benefit Box-O-Powders mainly because it is the only box that came with an attached lid and mirror. Not that they make much of a difference but hey, they’re improvements nonetheless.

As for the pink, it is certainly undeniable but it’s a warm pink that flatters my warm complexion quite well! While the gold glitter looked prominent in the box, it simply added a tasteful touch of glow to my cheeks. The more I wear this blush, the more I’m in love with it. These days with not much time to spare in the morning for makeup, I’d reach for foolproof products and Bella Bamba is completely idiot-proof. I can always count on it to look good and add some life to my complexion. The texture may not look too finely-milled but very much on the contrary, this blush blends excellently.

I can’t say I’m a fan of the small scratchy brush that came with the blush but it does deposit the glitter better. That aside, Bella Bamba is easily one of my all-time favorite blushers. Oh, and it smells good!

Retails for RM130. I got mine from the International website for USD$28

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Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Clarins UV Plus HP SPF40 Day Screen -- A Sunscreen That You'd Remember to Use

Sunscreen is important. No doubt about it. However, sunscreen's the kind of product that lacks instant gratification so most times, we use it because we know we have to and not really because we want to.

Well, if you ever get the chance to try the Clarins UV Plus HP SPF40 Day Screen, tell me you don't love it.

It's very difficult not to! Review after the jump!

Looking at the pinky sunscreen fresh out of the bottle, I made a face. Why on earth would someone make a pink sunscreen? Testing out the texture on the back of my hand, it felt runny and light but it left whitish marks. Then and there, I decided that I wouldn't like this sunscreen.

That was until I started using it... Oh, how looks can be deceiving!

Applied onto my face, the sunscreen left no white cast rather it made my skin look... Well, judge for yourself! And that's before foundation! So, it made me wonder if the sunscreen would work as a makeup base and guess what? It does! In fact, it works so great as a makeup base that I'm seriously neglecting my other bases.

The formula is lightweight and since it's runny, I don't need to apply a lot to get sufficient coverage. I'm pretty sure it's sweatproof too. Not only because my makeup would stay on better with this suncreen on but because by the end of the day after multiple washes, I'd still see traces of the sunscreen on the back of my hand.

The unfortunate thing about this sunscreen is the size and the price. At RM158 for 30ml, this sunscreen doesn't come cheap.

Both Paris and I love this sunscreen but it's one of those products that you'd have to try for yourself to appreciate it.

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Apronbay's Name the Look Contest!

How would you like to win RM365 worth of Lotree Cosmetics and RM50 worth of Apronbay's service voucher?

Simply, hop on over to Apronbay's Facebook Page and name this look (done using Lotree Cosmetics).

Check out the full listing of the prizes, more pictures and the tutorial video after the jump!

Lotree Cosmetics set will consist of the following products:
  • Natural Styling Eye Brow Kit
  • Brush Pen Eye Liner
  • Mascara (Mini)
  • Aurora Pearl Point Eye Shadow
  • Reah Lip Trick (Mini)
  • Pearl Glossy Triple Base (Mini)
Terms & Conditions:
  1. Your entry should be in the form of a comment on Apronbay's Facebook Page
  2. Only one entry per person
  3. The comment will not be valid if it is posted on any other page
  4. Contest ends on 21st of June 2011, 21:00 (MYT)
  5. The winner will be announced by the end of the week

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Monday, June 13, 2011

Eyeliners Galore!

15 years ago, I was excited over my set of 36 Luna colored-pencils but since then I've traded them in for eyeliners. You won't be seeing 36 of them here today but I assure you, there are at least 36 of them. Somewhere... scattered in my room...

This post will feature a compilation of all the pencil eyeliners that I've never reviewed because I thought it'd be a waste of bandwidth to just write about one pencil. Also, a few gel (and gel-like) eyeliners that I really like and haven't told you about.

Ready? Read on!

MAC Softsparkle Eye Pencil in Peacocked
This came out with one of those holiday sets, I believer. There's quite a lot of golden-silver glitter in there so it can feel a tad scratchy but the soft teal adds a nice touch to any neutral look.

MAC Kohl Power Eye Pencil in Sense of Style
As much as I like the gunmetal-gray color, the texture of this pencil, although smooth, is too creamy to be of much use. It'd smudge if I use it on the upper lash line and it doesn't hold up too well either on the lower lash line. At least not without setting it with power eyeshadow.

Bobbi Brown Creamy Eye Pencil in Dusk
Despite the name, it's more crayon-like than creamy. The color payoff isn't very good but it's sufficient for smudging onto the lower lash line. But because the formula is kinda dry, it may tug a little. Staying power is average.

Stage Eye Liner in Oscar Olive and Teal Theater
Stage makes pretty awesome pencil eyeliners. They go on smoothly... they're pigmented... they stay on reasonably well... they don't smudge...
Oscar Olive adds some smokiness without looking too harsh and Teal Theater is simply a gorgeous deep teal. I'm a sucker for teal. I love this on the lower lash line and sometimes I'd use it on the upper lash line and smudge it out a little for a quick look.

I Nuovi Fluidliner in Light and Noir
I'm a big fan of Noir for tightlining. It's dark, goes on smooth and doesn't smudge. There's really not much more I can ask for. Light is a pearly white, which I don't use often but it's just as smooth as Noir.

Lotree Chic Black Smoky Pencil Eyeliner (from Apronbay)
I love the I Nuovi Fluidliner but I love this one a little bit more. It has all the goodness of the Fluidliner except the black is darker, it's slightly smoother and more water-resistant. Best pencil eyeliner I've tried/owned to date!

Revlon Matter Kohl Eyeliner in Very Violet
The finish is matte so it may look dry but it's in fact quite smooth and the color payoff is excellent. The purple is very vibrant and I'd love to use it more but it isn't really my color. They need to come out with a teal!

Now, let's take a look at gel eyeliners. Yes, I know one's a pen but I'll tell you why I grouped it here in a bit...
Physician's Formula Shimmer Strips Gel CreamLiner in Green Eyes (not available in Malaysia)
The pots of 3 colors are stacked in a set. Out of three colors, two were marvelous while one was total crap, as you can quite obviously see. The first color is a black with dark green shimmers -- gorgeous, gorgeous color. The dark lime green with golden olive flecks is great to be worn alone or with light brown eyeshadows. Both the colors have excellent pigmentation with a texture that's really smooth and creamy. On top of that, the liners have excellent staying power and doesn't budge. The purple is everything horrible. Based on the swatches I've seen, the purple's really rich so I guess there was a problem with my stack in particular. Just my luck! Nevertheless, they're great value for money considering the quality.

Smashbox Jet Set Waterproof Eye Liner in Midnight Blue
You can count on this liner to not smudge or budge. I feel confident curling my lashes right after applying this liner, not worrying about my liner disappearing. Midnight Blue is a very deep almost purplish blue. The formula could be a little bit more creamy though. Even in the pot the liner dries up quite fast.

Lotree Easy Touch Design Brush Pen Eyeliner (from Apronbay)
I've had my fair share of pen eyeliners including MAC Penultimate and K-Palette Tattoo Eyeliner. All of them did not live up to my expectations with the exception of Lotree. The brush size is great for both thin or thick lines. It's firm enough to offer sufficient control. The color's pigmented but gives the effect of a gel liner (slightly subdued and more matte). It stays on pretty well but it isn't waterproof so it will fade a little and come off with water. Regardless, this one's a favorite and I carry it around for touch-ups.

Urban Decay Ink for Eyes in Zero
I didn't like Binge but I got Zero anyway because I love the packaging... I don't have a better reason. Lucky for me, Zero turned out to be more functional than Binge. It doesn't have the best staying power and it does smudges. However, Zero is well pigmented and great for smudging. I'd use it for a less precise tightline and also as a base for eyeshadows. To smudge the liner close to my lash line, I use it with the Sigma Short Shader E20 Brush.

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Monday, June 6, 2011

Mother's Day with a Garnier Surprise

Mom and I have always kept Mother's Day low-key. Having been very close to my mom growing up, it seemed like we had bonding time practically everyday! It didn't have to be Mother's Day for us to spend time together.

But a few years back, mom moved to the outskirts while I remained in the city to continue my studies. Drowning in new commitments and now work, I haven't been able to spend time with my mom as much as I want to. Since then, I've tried to make Mother's Day just a little bit more special.

This year, Garnier was my "partner in crime"...

Mom's usually busy on Sundays so we celebrated Mother's Day on Saturday instead. I asked her where she wanted to go for lunch and she chose Chili's. I won't say it's a tradition but Chili's was a place that we frequent as I was growing up and we always ordered the same thing (the mushroom jack Fajitas) to share. We also made appointments to get our nails done after lunch.

The plan with Garnier was to surprise mom in the middle of lunch at 1:30pm. I got to Chili's earlier to inform the staff that I'm expecting flowers so that he could direct the delivery person to our table.

At 1:30pm with no sign of the delivery person, I was starting to get anxious. I had to excuse myself (loads of white lies!!) to make phone calls and talk in circles when I got a call from the delivery person. We had to leave for our appointment which was in another location so I had to stall...

Ultimately, I got the delivery person to change his route and go to our 2nd destination. When mom and I arrived at the salon, he was there waiting with a bunch of roses. Mom was very surprised indeed!

Thanks, Garnier!

Last year, mom and I went for a mother-daughter photoshoot. A fun for rather odd experience (not good with the poses!).

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