Thursday, November 26, 2015

So I Went to A Masami Shouko Outlet...

...And brought home a few things.

I have always had my eye on the Bobbi Brown and MAC eye brushes but they're not the most affordable things to purchase. The much cheaper alternatives like the Makeup Geek and the Morphe ones are also on my wish list, however they're not quite easy to get hold of. Lucky you US gals who are able to get your hands on them with the offered affordable price benefits, not to mention the generous discount codes. We do have a few online shops/resellers here that have got some Morphe brushes in stock, however they cost twice the price. Thanks to the shipping cost, taxes, and all that jazz. Aside from brushes, I've also been meaning to get the ever so popular Beauty Blender. But again, it's way too pricey for a sponge. I mean, how can a makeup sponge be so ridiculously overpriced?! 

Now, on to the research question; is there any brand that offers makeup brushes and sponges with decent quality and price point? After conducting a thorough observation at my local mall, I might have come with Masami Shouko as an answer. And here's what I got:

#216 S Dome Brush  a.k.a The 'Good' Purchase  It looks like a regular, small crease brush to me. I mainly use this to define the outer V and smudge the lower lash line. The bristles feel stiff enough to pick up a lot of product, yet fluffy enough to blend the product in. The plastic handle makes holding it feels so light, but not at all flimsy.

#210 Small Blending Brush a.k.a The 'It’s Good, But there's one thing though...' Purchase Is the one with the longer plastic handle as seen on the picture above and basically, as the name would suggest, a blending brush. I’m not really sure on how I feel about this one. It gets the job done, but I find that the bristles often shed.

Beauty Blender a.k.a. The 'Best' Purchase, The 'Game-changing' Purchase and/or The 'Thank God I Found You' Purchase Is a straight up Beauty Blender dupe. I mean... look at the shape! So identical. Simply wet the sponge until it expands, squeeze the excess water until it's damp, then it's ready to use. This sponge makes any liquid foundations/cream products possible apply seamlessly! It makes my foundation blends into my skin so well and makes me look like I have second skin. I think I’m a sponge gal now. Thanks to Shirin! I feel like I could get the pleasure from stippling/tapping my face with this thing.

In conclusion, if you fancy yourself some affordable makeup tools, I'd say try paying a visit at your nearest Masami Shouko counter. Maybe, you might as well discover some hidden gems there, if you're lucky. However, if you're a bit unsure, I suggest doing a preliminary research beforehand ;)

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Oops, Kathleen Did It Again

There were times when my ‘Explore’ page on Instagram was filled with photos of people with their dusty, mauvey-pink lip on. Probably because I had spent too much time searching for hashtags like #ColourPopLumiere and #KathleenLightsLumiere before I managed to get myself one─plus 692375 other lippies with similar shade. You see, the said lip color definitely has its moment these days. One person puts it on, then the rest of the world follows. Kinda like a spreading fever.  But there’s also another ‘fever’ that’s been all over the place pretty recently, and it’s known as #MiamiFever.

No, I’m not actually talking about a contagious disease here. I’m talking about a liquid lipstick shade that Kathleen Fuentes created with Ofra Cosmetics. So yeah, she did it again. Beautifully.

Miami Fever reminds me of bricks, color-wise. It’s a terracotta red–the kind of red that doesn’t look intimidating when put on. So it’s good for people who are beginning their red lip repertoire (or anyone, really), because it’s the kind of red that’s easy to pull off at any time—which makes a great excuse for me to get something that’s not mauvey-pink. Sneaky. I’d say, it’s like a summer in a tube. Hence the shade name. The actual product is packaged in a tube with a doe-foot applicator, has a texture of a mousse that is much moussier than the Sephora Cream Lip Stain. Once applied, it quickly dries to a matte finish, which is the effect you’ll get from typical liquid lipsticks.  

When I put it on for the first time, it wore well for around 7 hours. I did eat some greasy meal after 5-hour mark, then the color began to fade from the center of my lips. I also drank a lot of water and it did transfer to my cup. 2 hours later, the color completely disappeared. One thing I’d like to say is that it kinda felt a bit drying on the lips during my first time wearing it. After that, however, I have worn it for a number of times and haven’t experienced any issues. Oh, and it left that “butthole” lip after lots of drinking and eating, if you know what I mean. It’s a common thing with liquid lipsticks, I guess. (I heard that the Kat Von D liquid lipsticks won’t do that to your lips. Too soon?)

So, if you are searching for an alternative to the classic Taylor Swift red, or wanting to start wearing a red lip but at the same time unsure about which one to get, or simply just trying to find an excuse to do some retail therapy, then why not consider checking this one out? It’s got great color, impressive staying power, and the brand also offers a myriad of other gorgeous shades as well. I fancy me some Mocha.

I know.

Old habits die hard.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

The Gal's Guide

Before you buy that one makeup product you can’t wait to get your hands on, say, a lipstick, it’s best to search for swatches on the internet. We all know that sometimes, what the models wear on the advertisements can look totally different in real life because advertisers use Photoshop, and we don’ get photoshopped as we walk fearlessly with that bold, red lip on. So, don’t get fooled easily. There are tons of realistic lipstick swatches online so just type and click away on Google. Or better yet, watch those lipstick swatches videos on YouTube. There, you’ll find lots of videos where girls (or guys) describe what lipsticks she (or he) is about to swatch, put one lipstick shade all over their lips, do some poses, remove the lipstick, then do the same thing to the rest of the remaining shades all over again. There are also YouTubers who don’t say anything at all on their lipstick swatches videos and just pose, pose, and pose some more. But they do put some informative descriptions on it and/or add some voice over, plus some background music. I used to think that those techniques were very commonly used among YouTubers from all over the world. Until, I discovered a YouTube video titled the Urban Decay Matte Revolution Lipstick Swatches, which is the brainchild of Mariah Leonard, the woman behind The Gal’s Guide.

When I first saw that video, within seconds, my jaw instantly dropped in awe. I expected this video to be like other videos I had seen, but it wasn’t like those at all! The way she presented that lipstick swatches video was unlike any other. She had her own ways and added her own unique artistry in creating that astounding video. Her editing skills and techniques deserve all the ‘thumbs up’ in this world. Not to mention her selection of background music. If there was an Oscar for “Best Lipstick Swatches Video ‘, then she would have taken the trophy home. She totally raised the lipstick-swatching video bar to a whole new level!

The 25-year-old aspiring YouTuber/mother of an adorable 3-year-old boy also did a swatch video of the Urban Decay Vice4 and the Urban Decay Spectrum eye shadow palettes. Usually, typical eye shadow swatches videos show you a person dips her (or his) fingers onto some eye shadow shades and swatch them on their forearms. But you won’t see the same on the said swatches video. Go check it out and surprise yourself.

Of course, she not only does product swatches videos, but also makeup tutorial videos as well. Her one of a kind way of thinking that she puts into her makeup tutorials is another thing that I love about this woman. They are always sleek and minimalistic-looking, which I’m all about. She makes sure that all the attention goes to her face in a non-eye-sickening way by choosing the proper background color and outfit to wear – it’s the small details that matter the most! I also feel like her videos got this hazy, grayish vibe that I somewhat adore. It’s another thing that distinct her from others. She often gives useful and educative information as well. So, besides watching visually captivating short motion picture, you can actually learn something from her videos.

Most of the time, she doesn’t follow the trend that every other YouTubers is following. But even if she does, she always puts her own unique little twist to it. Believe me when I tell you that her makeup skills are all kinds of amazing. It’s like she puts the ‘art’ in ‘artistry’, and that is manifested through her stunning videos and Instagram photos. Or shall I say, works of art.

Now, as my fingers dance across the keyboard, she has got 43k YouTube subbies and 33k Instagram followers. I cannot wait for the rest of the world to see the wonderful works of Mariah Leonard.

And now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m gonna re-watch that Urban Decay Matte Revolution lipstick swatch video and let myself drown into the pool of amazement for the umpteenth time.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

It's a Liar

I’ve had a fair share of mauvey-pink lip products and  now I’m very keen on trying other shades within the color spectrum, like nudes. But I don’t want a cadaverous nude, I want a nude that still leans more... pink (a very bold move to step out of that comfort zone). I also want that nude to be wet-looking. So, I opt to go for the lipglosses this time ‘round and I suppose the Urban Decay Revolution High-Color Lipgloss in the shade Liar ticks all that boxes.

The packaging has a badass-looking gunmetal cap engraved with the Urban Decay logo on the either sides and on the top of it. But my favorite part of the packaging is the artsy, see-through tube made out of glass with the word “Revolution” carved on it. Also, it feels heavy when I hold it with my hand, which for some reason, I like. I have nothing much to say about the doe-foot applicator except for the fact that it has quite an unusual shape compared to other regular doe-foot applicators. It gets the job done without causing me any fuss, though.

I’d describe the color of the gloss as a  warm, nude peachy pink that pairs beautifully with a smokey eye. The color payoff is highly pigmented, hence the “High-Color” claim. One layer is enough but I usually apply 2 layers because I just love applying it. This lipgloss applies evenly over my lips, makes my lips look a bit plumper and feel moisturized after applying it. I haven’t thought about testing the lasting power of this product because lipglosses doesn’t have that long-lasting formulations unlike matte lipsticks and the fact that I drink water from glass in every 15 minutes, but I can assure you this stays so well on my lips, even after lots of drinking. It obviously transfers into my glass, which is normal.

I think I’m slowly transitioning from a matte lip-gal into a gloss-gal now. I’ve been eyeing the Marc Jacobs Beauty Enamored Hi-Shine Lip Lacquer and the Buxom Lip Polishes. Oh just give me all those wet-looking glosses.

PS: Much love for Adani, the one who helped getting this for me!