Thursday, June 30, 2011

Brow Quest: Nichido Brow Pencil in Dark Brown

Ahhh Brows... We all have it. Some choose to ignore it but some (like me) are obsessed with well groomed brows. Especially in magazines and print ads of faces, I always zoom in on the brows first before taking in the whole look. But you can say I'm a late bloomer when it comes to brow appreciation.

Way back, I HATE, hate, HATE plucking my brows! I couldn't see the point of subjecting yourself to short bursts of pain over and over again but thankfully I never had real bushy unruly brows so whatever shape they would like to be in, I just let them be. My very first tweezer was a gift from a friend (way back in college!) that I never bothered to use. Fast forward a few years later, my very first brow make-up purchase was the Brow Powder trio from In2it cosmetics and I just bought that just for make-up school.

So I also use that to darken or lighten my brows and I knew I should shape my brows according to my facial features but I didn't know how even using the "Pencil Method". So I just let them be and and I'm happy and content until I just discovered to have my brows groomed professionally. 

Diagram on how to shape your brows

I had them done in the Brow Studio in Eastwood City a few months back and I have to say that was one painful but super worth it experience! Now I can really testify that the most important makeover you can give your face would be fixing your brows. You can have flawless foundation, perfectly shaped lips and well blended eye make-up but once you see that the brows are unruly, it really affects the outcome of your make-up. The brows are like the frames of your eyes.

So now, I vow to take care of the shape and always groom my brows from now on. To help me in shaping my brows for make-up, I converted from using brow powders to a pencil. It just shapes it so fast I don't know why I haven't been using pencils before! =D Now that I found something that works better for me, a Quest is in order to find my ONE perfect brow pencil.

My search starts with the very affordable brand: NICHIDO. I don't know why our local cosmetic companies get a bad rep in make-up but some of their products really work great! Plus it's tailor made for Pinoy skin and it's affordable, what's not to like? =D

I like how the cover has a brow comb so you can use it to blend the pencil in. The texture is a bit waxy but I like it that it's not soft that you might over do your brows. It's stiff enough so you can "draw" the little hairs when your brows need filling in. It is also waterproof but not smudge proof.

Best part?? Yep the price! for ₱60 (US$ 1.40) you can already groom your brows! Yay! =D

It comes in 2 colors, this Dark Brown and Black.

Personally, the shade of the pencil matches my hair color so I like that it has a reddish tint, but I know most would like a more neutral shade of brown. With only 2 colors to choose from, you haven't got a lot of options.

 See? It matches my hair! Though I would've liked that it was just a teeny tiny bit darker, but for the price, I could make do with it. My brows need brow gel to set the shape in place but here I just used the pencil so you can it's true color. I just used my very cheap-o Spoolie Brush to blend and brush the hairs in place.
Hehe see? Extremely cheap!! It's only ₱10 (US$0.23)!! Crazy! I thought the only thing you can but for that amount is candy! =P

So far, I like it, not love it as they should at least have more shades to chose from. Do you have good brow pencils or products I can try?? =)

And now, I leave you with a picture circa 2010... Check my brows and see the difference! =P

Haggard Face! Pic from an old post here in my blog.
 Happy Shopping!!!

Unii Palette Love

Hello Lovelies! How's the week been so far? We're so close to the weekend and I'm so excited for our impromptu beach getaway! It would be my first time on the beach for this year! It's crazy but even if there are typhoons left and right, I'm happy that I still get to go! **crosses-fingers for good weather**

Anyhooo, since I'm traveling again, I thought I'd share with you a great way to pack all your make-up in one palette! Presenting...

My Purple Unii Palette! =D

I first heard (or read) of this amazing palette from Jen of From Head to Toe and ever since I wanted one. But as you all well know that we don't get a lot of products shipped here to Manila and if in case they do, shipping would be too expensive. So imagine my surprise when I spied this palette in the Suesh Showroom in Wilson, Greenhills!! I didn't let it go! =)

Inside the box is a tutorial on how you can depot your existing make-up compacts to transfer then into the Unii Palette. But if you can get your hands on make-up refills, it would be much less of a hassle.

The Palette also comes with a magnetic sheet that you can adhere to the back of your make-up pans.

One of the things I like from this palette is that it has a large mirror for applying your make-up!

But the best part is that you can bring eye shadows, blushes, bronzers, face powder, even concealer or lip color in one palette! (If you can manage to find concealers and lip color packaged in make-up pans)

Just mix and match! Then when you decide to change your make-up, just remove the pans then refill with a different one! =) It is also said that you can also fit travel size brushes! Just make sure you do the "Roll Test". It just means that when you put your brush inside, close the latch and tilt it from side to side. If you hear your brush roll back and forth then it's a perfect fit! But if you can close the latch but couldn't hear it roll, then it fits now, but can seriously damage your palette in the long run and it can break apart from the hinges.

The material is a made from real sturdy plastic and I love that it has a latch lock rather than being just magnetized so no chance of this one opening inside my purse with make-up rubbing on all of my things. And also a plus for me is that it can be dismantled so that it can be cleaned properly. It has a rubber tubing like those seen in air-tight jars and you can pop it off to remove the steel plate where all the magnets stick on! =D But even if it's made from sturdy plastic, I wouldn't want to drop this as I think it can break apart from the hinges.

Strong Magnets! =D

The only thing I didn't like is that you really have to put an effort into sticking magnets on the back of the make-up pans. (Yep I'm lazy like that..=P) and also only a few companies are selling refill pans. In this palette, I used Mary Kay, MAC and Pro Make-up I bought from my make-up school. Also the price is a bit steep for ₱1,700. It retails in the US for $29.

Tee hee.. no magnets yet!! =P

When I checked, it's not available in Suesh's online website but try to inquire if they sell it online or if you're interested, drop by their Wilson Showroom. =D

I just wished I knew how to press my mineral make-ups as I'm addicted to them right now! I wanted the ease of seeing them in one palette than opening several jars. If you know where I can purchase empty pans and a pressing medium or machine locally, please do share?

For more info check out their website.

Thanks and Happy Shopping!!

Friday, June 24, 2011

A Beauty Blender Dupe???

Zzzzzzzzzz.... That's what I feel like doing right now with this bed weather. I just hope everyone is safe at home away from the rain, floods and heavy traffic.

Lazy days give me time to blog so let's get on with it shall we? One of my beauty haul from Taiwan is this sponge I bought from an unsuspecting bookstore that also sells beauty products! It's so strange but surprisingly I've found great inexpensive items here! =D The one thing I've been so excited about is this make-up sponge.

Belle Madame Make-up Sponge


See the shape? doesn't it remind you of this?

Beauty Blender

Though the sponge I bought is sexier with the cinched waist while the Beauty Blender is plump and cute! =D

I'm so excited to use this since I still can't find the will or the budget to spend ₱1600++ on the Beauty Blender so imagine my delight in finding this in an unsuspecting bookstore in Taiwan.

It comes with it's own instruction manual but yet again it's in Chinese but the pictures are self explanatory. As what I've figured from the pictures, you can use the pointed tip to reach areas under the eyes and the sides of the nose while the broader side is used for the whole areas of the face.

Disclaimer: The following pictures may cause nausea, vomiting or headaches 

Get ready to see my face! =P

Haha! Say hello to my bare face! =D I'm so excited to try this sponge out!

First I'm going to apply my liquid foundation with this wet sponge.

Based from what I know from watching Beauty Blender tutorials, once you wet the sponge, it would expand. I tried soaking this and guess what??? Nada. Didn't change in size and also the sponge is so firm. For sponges like this, it's best to use the bouncing method so that you will minimize lines and it would give you an airbrushed look but with the firmness of this sponge, it won't bounce. =(

Now use the pointy end of the sponge for hard to reach areas of the face like the eyes and the nose areas.

You can also use the sponge for cream blushes.

Blend, blend, blend!!

That's my face with foundation and blush only!

Personally, it's not even a close dupe of the Beauty Blender. It's just your regular sponge shaped that way. I could let it pass that it's not soft and bouncy as it should have been but the sponge just absorbs the makeup even when used wet so you use more product. Also because of the sponge's firmness, it's hard to clean and I even feel that I didn't clean the sponge very well as I feel like I'm squeezing a stress ball. =P

Even for the price of NT99 (₱150) it's not worth it because I know I won't use this again. It just made putting on foundation a lot longer than if you use a regular wedge sponge or a foundation brush.

Thankfully I didn't shell out more money for this. Sad to say I still haven't found a dupe for the Beauty Blender but I'm not about to buy the real one soon. So to conclude this Made in China sponge was a bust!No dupes found! =(


Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Bioré Cleansing Oil

Hallooo! June pretty much whizzed past as it is the most busiest month of my year as my schedule is packed! June is my birthday month, it's also the BF's birthday, our Anniversary, Cousins' and Aunties' and friends' birthdays so yes, I've been busy not to mention poor from all the gift buying and celebrating! =P

So now that things have died down a bit, let's get back to regular programming. I've hauled quite a bit of stuff from Taiwan so please forgive me if the products I'm featuring is not available locally but hopefully you can still find my posts useful. Maybe traveling soon? Let me help you on what to haul overseas. =D

I've run out of a good make-up remover and my goal was to find one in Taiwan as I've read that Asian skin care is better compared to western brands as these are specially formulated to match our skin types. I first went to Watson's and my Jaw dropped at the choices. So many brands that I'm not familiar with so I just chose the most familiar brand which is the brand Bioré by Kao.  

From Biore Website:

 "Biore Cleansing Oil effectively dissolves and removes stubborn makeup, including waterproof mascara, while lifting away dirt and impurities. Unlike other cleansing oils, it leaves no greasy film on your face and maintains the skin's natural moisture balance. It does not emulsify upon contact with water, thus maintaining its optimal cleansing performance at all times. Just apply with dry or wet hands and rinse off with water for that clean and fresh feeling!"

I didn't have a wide range of make-up with me but I slathered on the darkest eye make-up I could from all the things that I brought with me plus I used the notoriously difficult to remove Majolica Majolica Lash Expander Frame Plus Mascara to really road test this cleansing oil.

I don't normally wear eyeshadow this dark but for review purposes let's pretend I'm a drag queen. =P
2-3 Pumps is enough to cleanse the whole face with heavy make-up. For normal cleansing, less product would be enough.

The oil is very runny so be careful as it may spill from your hands. Gently massage onto the face. I'm not really sure if you should use it on a dry face but you will tend to use more product with a dry face. For me I wet my face with warm water before massaging this.

For the Majolica Majorca Mascara, it was a challenge to remove as you really need to get the oil in the lashes to soften and remove all the fiber and mascara debris.

After a few minutes, rinse well and you now have a clean face to smile about! =D

What I like:
  • The scent. It smells fruity like green apples.
  • It leaves the skin really soft and supple and not greasy at all!
  • No tightness on the skin.
  • It effectively cleanses the face from eye make-up and even sticky lipgloss.
  • Affordable as I got it on sale for NT199 (₱298.5) for a 150 ml product.
What I don't like:
  • It was a challenge to remove the Majolica Majorca Mascara. =D
  • After cleansing the eye area, it gave me cloudy vision. =( but only for a few seconds.
  • The nozzle is just fitted with a plastic stopper so if you lose it, you can't bring it for travel because the pump doesn't have a lock.

I won't hold the Majo Mascara thingy against this cleansing oil because that mascara is infamous for it's staying powder but since it's my current HG Mascara, it does disappoint. But I really like how my skin feels after cleansing and I love how my skin is much clearer from dark spots and I notice how my skin feels like it's glowing after cleansing so I'm really torn about this.

Would I purchase again? Hmmm, lemme think about that when I finish it off. Part of me wants to find the Ultimate Perfect Make-up Remover Cleanser but part of me is also happy about how it leaves my skin so soft, clear and glowing. I'll cross the bridge when I get there yes? =D

This is my first time trying Cleansing Oils and I quite like it. I'm smelling a Cleansing Oil Quest brewing in my head... What brand should I try first?


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