Wednesday, December 30, 2009

MAC face makeup review

This is a review of the MAC face products that I have tried.

First is MAC Prep and Prime SPF 50. This primer is AMAZING and an absolute godsend in the summer. Summer always aggravates oily skin, which is really annoying in light of the fact that summer is also the time when you need to be extra careful about your sun protection: you end up looking like a shiny greaseball but still need to make sure that you have your sun protection. This product is the answer. It's the best mattifying primer that I've ever tried. When I use this with my EL DW foundation, I have to blot maybe once all day. It's really amazing.

My only complaint with this product is that, for $30, the product is quite small - only 1 oz., which is why I normally just reserve it for the summertime (also bc it's sooo mattifying that I don't need it in most of the other seasons). I would highly recommend this product if you are an oily skinned girl who wants a good primer with SPF.

Next is MAC Studio Fix Fluid, which retails for $26. It has SPF 15 and is a medium thickness liquid foundation that comes in a wide range of colors and provides medium-full coverage. This foundation did not break me out but also did not wow me.

I found it extremely comparable to Revlon Colorstay liquid foundation for normal/oily skin but not as good for twice the price. The Revlon provides fuller coverage and wears off more evenly throughout the day. I felt that the Studio Fix Fluid provided just medium coverage and wore off rather unevenly throughout the day and had a tendency to settle into my pores.

Overall, I wouldn't repurchase this and would recommend Revlon colorstay over this foundation. If you do choose to buy this foundation, though, keep in mind that the colors run dark. I am a C3 in their powder foundation and had to get a NC20 in the SFF.
The next product is their Studio Fix Powder foundation. This foundation did not work for me at ALL, which was extremely disappointing since I have a couple friends who swear by it. It makes their skin look FLAWLESS. On me, however, it oxidized really quickly and left me looking orangey, and clumped terribly when I tried to reapply. I returned this product quickly and would not repurchase. However, since I do know some women on whom it works so well, I would say that this foundation is just one of those you have to try for yourself before you decide.

The next product I've tried is their Hyper Real foundation. It's a pro item but it may have been discontinued - it was really hard for me to find even in pro stores. The MAC MAs explained to me that it was because it was being reformulated but I'm not sure if it's been reformulated yet. The South Coast MAC Pro store in Costa Mesa, California was all out when I asked last year and I had to get this one in the Vegas Pro Store. I use shade 200 but 300 would also work for someone with my skintone.

The foundation is very shimmery - it gives the effect you would get from mixing a medium coverage foundation with a shimmery highlighter lotion. It's not very good if you have a lot of acne or anything like that because it will highlight all the bumps and rough imperfections in your skin. It also doesn't have very heavy coverage so it's not that good if you need a lot of coverage. Generally, it's good if you already have pretty good skin and just want a foundation to even out your skintone and add a glow. I find it can be too shimmery sometimes so I always powder over it. It's wayyy more shimmery than the Revlon PR though, so if you think that's too shimmery, you don't even have to bother looking at this one. It doesn't last that long on oily skintones, but its lasting power is not bad. It's the 2nd to the left in the pic below:

The last product I have tried is the MAC full coverage foundation, which is the one in the middle in the pic below.
It has a hole in the bottom because the plastic insert on the cover fell out and got stuck in the product and I had to gouge it out with a pen. Pretty violent, huh? So the plastic insert is now scotch-taped to my case and, needless to say, my makeup case looks pretty homeless. However, the product itself is amazing. I use this product everyday as an undereye concealer since I think the pinkish shade (NW20) combats the blueness of the undereye circles and also because I personally am a big fan of using a lighter color underneath the eyes as a kind of highlight (Kim K style). I also use this as a foundation when I'm really pale and want SERIOUS coverage. It's great for photo shoots and a great way to apply it is to dab it on everywhere with the foundation brush, then use a stippling brush (like the MAC 187) to blend it into your skin. My friend used to work at MAC and told me this was one of the MA's secrets to a flawless complexion. If you want an enormous pot of concealer or a heavy duty foundation, this is a great place to look, and I would highly recommend this.

(first 3 photos are from MAC's website -

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas!

I'm in Toronto freezing my buns off and meeting my bf's family. I hope everyone has a wonderful safe holiday season and fills up on lots of cookies and treats!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

What's Inside YOUR bag?

I'M SNOWED IN!!!!! FML - I was supposed to fly out today but since the east coast is being bombarded with the worst snowstorm in a decade (or whatever it is), I'm STUCK. Guh.

So here's a post I've been wanting to do for a while: what's in my purse!

I always love these posts. I think women are just born snoops; I get such a thrill when I get to peek into other women's purses! It feels like I'm getting an insider's peek at their private lives.... so here's mine!

My everyday purse is a LV Damier Neverfull in Medium - I love it because it really lives up to its name - it NEVER gets full. I can throw everything in there and the kitchen sink and it still manages to carry everything around stylishly. The straps are thin but they are very sturdy.

The contents of my purse:

(That wonderbread case houses my craptastic digicam. I have a sucky one because I had 3 nice Nikon coolpixes.... but I broke them all! -_____-)

The little gold mesh case houses my rosebud salve (which I use on my cuticles and lips) and eye drops.

The red satin case carries the MAC travel brushes that I use for touch-ups:
It has a 129, 219, and a 239 brush.

The bigger red case holds the rest of my makeup:
I carry with me the following:
* NARS laguna/orgasm duo
* blotting sheets
* MAC Angel l/s (HG)
* MAC l/g in Flusterose and Prrr (Prrr is a total HG for me)
* Rimmel l/l in addiction, Maybelline l/l in toast (I don't like this one... I should throw it away!), and Ulta l/l in Flesh (great d/s dupe for MAC subculture)
* Etude powder compact
* UD e/s in Midnight Cowgirl and Oil Slick (one to darken, one to lighten)
* Japonesque travel lash curler (I'm obsessed with full fluffy lashes - this lash curler is petite and works amazingly well)

Etude is a Korean makeup brand that has very cute packaging that seems to be heavily inspired by Anna Sui. I got this pressed powder because it is adorable and the powder has little shimmers in it! Here are some close-ups of the powder:

As you can see, the mirror is small and not very useful, but thankfully my NARS compact has a nice large mirror for when I need one. Etude is a very cheap brand in Korea and seems to be mainly used by teenagers and young college students, but I just had to get this for the adorable packaging.

I should get a hand cream with SPF for my bag. Any recs?

Anyway, I hope more bloggers do this because I absolutely LOVE seeing what other girls carry around. :)

Monday, December 14, 2009

Shiseido Pureness Foaming Cleansing Fluid Review

I got this face wash at the Sephora FF sale and have been using it for about 2 weeks now. Shiseido skincare does not always agree with me, which is weird because it works amazingly well for my mother. Their white lucent line doesn't work for me at all. This Pureness line, however, is targeted at younger, acne-prone skintypes. I figured I would give this face wash a try since most foaming face washes feel too drying and harsh on me.

I have to say that this face wash is really nice. I have oily, acne-prone skin that gets very dehydrated and flaky during the wintertime. This face wash is a pearly liquid that foams up quickly and rinses off easily. It's great for my skintype and I think it's gentle enough for normal skin as well since it doesn't leave my skin feeling dry or tight - just soft and smooth. It is a little pricy at $21 but a little goes a long way (you only need one pump for your whole face) and it works so well that I would recommend this product.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

lash haul!

Final exams suck.

So to relieve my stress, I hauled some lashes from (my haul pic sucks). I've ordered from them numerous times and they've always been superfast. Their prices have slowly been rising on the Ardell lashes though. :(

I got the Ardell lashes in 103 because i'm obsessed with thick fluffy lashes and I can't find these in any stores. I also got some Elise lashes because they're made by the same people who make MAC and Shu lashes, and Elise lashes were on sale for only $2.50 each. The thing that sucks about Elise is that they don't put the # of the lashes on the box, and I threw away my receipt so I'm not sure which I got... but I'll try to look them up on website. One of the criss-cross ones has sparkles on the lash band... but you can't see it here. :( I'll try to post some FOTDs with these over winter break. :)

And here's a comparison pic of the Ardell 103s (top right) with the Ardell 101 (top left) and Andrea 33. It's a tiny bit longer and denser than the 101 and like a mini version of the Andrea 33.


Am I the only person who finds MAC's baroque boudoir collection ugly? I think the packaging is kind of nast. It looks like vines growing all over the lipgloss. No thank you!

Monday, December 7, 2009

The Face Shop

The Face Shop is another Korean boutique brand of skincare and makeup. A large percentage of their products are premised on using ingredients from flowers, so their products tend to be fairly heavily scented with flower scents.

This brand opened up a boutique in Koreatown (in Los Angeles) in the 6th Street Center Plaza (or whatever it's called... the newer one across the street from Bleu Cafe), which is why I started buying it, and I also purchased some more of its products in Korea. The consensus in Korea seems to be that this brand is not that popular, though, as most of the girls I talked to much preferred Skin Food over The Face Shop.

For what it's worth, though, here's my review on a few of their products.

This is the Flebeaute Collagenic rich Skin Toner and Emulsion:
I have a very sad story about this product. I started using samples of it and fell in love because they left my skin feeling very moist and soft, so of course I bought the full-size set for approximately $30 USD and I hate it! It feels sticky upon application and it's been breaking me out!! I have tiny pimples all over my face from this product. I don't know if it's because the product is too rich for me since it is marketed towards more mature skintypes, but I've never had such problems from using other lines targeted at more mature skintypes (like Shiseido's) so I think the product is just not compatible with me. So this line gets a thumbs-down.

The next product I got is "The Flower Loose Powder in NB23." Once again, I got suckered in because of the adorable packaging:
It looks like a giant peach and the puff is so cute! The powder itself is supposed to have flower-based ingredients, so it has a fairly strong floral scent, but it doesn't linger after application. It has a nice texture and is finely milled, and is a good match for my C3 skintone. It doesn't control oil as well as the Ben Nye powders I use but I really like this powder overall.

I also have their Recovery BB cream, which is the leftmost product here:

As most of you know, BB creams are all the rage in Korea because they're like skincare that also provides coverage and evens out your skintone. They were originally created for after-care for laser or burn patients, so they're meant to be very soothing. The variety of bb creams in Korea is mind-boggling but I got this one because it has SPF 25 and was attractively priced (about $15USD). I really like this product because it has a light gel-like texture. It looks whitish when it's first applied but kind of melds to my skintone, making it look really even while covering up most imperfections. I wear this on my "no-makeup" day when I still want to look presentable, and it always gets me compliments on my skin. This is a great bb cream for people who need a little more coverage.

The last product that I've tried from the line their Honey and Black Sugar scrub:

I really like this scrub. Like I mentioned in my post about Skin Food, I find this scrub preferable to Skin Food's scrub. It's very gentle and smells delicious - like brown sugar mixed with honey! I always get tempted to lick it off when I'm washing my face with it. The scrub particles are grainy and kind of "melt" as you scrub along - my only complaint is that sometimes I wish the scrubby particles would last longer because they melt kind of fast. Other than that, though, it's a great gentle scrub that gets the job done without being too abrasive.

Have any of you ladies tried/liked anything from The Face Shop? I'd love to hear!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

are you a Sephora VIB?

I got the $20 off $35 purchase coupon today for being a Sephora VIB and of course I *had* to give in. I got the Too Faced neutral eye palette that I've been lusting after for months and a Clinique pencil sharpener, and got to use my beauty insider points for a mini deluxe sample of dior miss cherie perfume, which I love. So excited to get this soon! I'm going to go broke from all the crazy Internet hauling I've done lately, but I'm soooo excited. :D

Link to swatches of the palette from the always helpful Karlasugar:

How pathetic... I don't even know how to link things on here. I'm SO bad at technology!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

RAVE for Fyrinnae Pixie Epoxy!

I don't have too much time these days so this post is very bare with no photos or anything, but I just *had* to post to share my latest find with you guys. If you like vibrant eyeshadow, you MUST get Fyrinnae's pixie epoxy. They are an Internet-based site that sells loose eyeshadows an they made Pixie Epoxy so that you could get the effect of "foiling" your e/s (applying it wet) without going through the hassle of it. I use this primarily with pressed shadows, and it majorly intensifies all the colors, AND the BEST PART OF ALL - it keeps the glitter from my UD e/s ON MY EYELIDS! If you like glittery e/s, you MUST get this base! This is definitely a new HG for me.

I'm not affiliated with the website in any way. I'm just a new fan!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

The Skin Food goodies!

The Skin Food is a hugely popular low-end skincare line in South Korea. I was just in Korea this a few months ago and all my cousins and friends who are in their early 20s swore by this line. The line is very cheap by American standards and has some really great products. It's also very easy to find in Korea because the boutiques are everywhere.

I have to admit that I'm a huge sucker for cute packaging which is part of the reason I LOVE Korean and Japanese beauty lines. They are just sooooo adorable to look at! Thankfully, with the Skin Food, their products are affordable and actually work well too! Another thing I love about this line is that they really take their name to heart. The products all smell DELICIOUS and live up to their names. I didn't get to try out too many products but just about all the ones I've tried have ended up being winners.

Below is a pic of the peach sake toner:
I got this because of the reviews that said it was good for oily, acne-prone skin, which pretty much sums mine up. I was worried it might smell alcoholic, but it just smells like tasty peaches. It has a pleasant toning effect that leaves my skin feeling tightened and toned but not uncomfortable at all. During the humid Korean summer, I would swipe this on my face to freshen up. It smells delicious and works great and costs only 9000won, which is around $8USD.

Next is The Skin Food's most popular product, their Black Sugar scrub:
They call it a mask, but everyone I know uses it primarily as a scrub. It's a knockoff of Fresh's brown sugar scrub but it's so wildly popular in Korea that a lot of Koreans think it's the original. I was personally kind of underwhelmed with this product (the only item that I don't love from this line, actually) because I felt that the scrubbing pieces were too sharp and that were scratching my skin. It smells delicious (like brown sugar) but I much prefer The Face Shop's black sugar scrub to this one (which I will be reviewing soon). This item is also very attractively priced, at only 7700won (approximately $7USD.) If you like a harsher scrub, you'd probably like this one.

Next is one of my favs - their Black Sesame Hot Mask:
This stuff is awesome! You apply it on your damp face and leave it on for about 10-15 minutes, then wash it off. It heats up and feels really nice on your skin, and leaves your skin feeling healthy and moist when you wash it off. This is another one of those masks I like to use when my skin is acting up or getting dry patches. It smells like toasted seeds (really warm and delicious). My only complaint is that it can get a bit drippy, which is really obnoxious, but I'm willing to put up with that for softer skin. This product is super cheap too, only 8600won, making it about $8USD.

The last product I got (which I use religiously) is their salmon brightening eye cream:
I got this cream because I need a nice basic eye cream that won't give me milia (heavier, richer eye creams all give me milia, which grosses me out). My friend raved about this one's ability to wipe out undereye circles, so I decided to give it a go. Honestly, I have not noticed that big of a difference in my undereye circles, but it is a nice, light eye cream that creates a good base for eye makeup and concealer. It's 17,000won (about $16 USD) and it's pretty big (30g), so it will last me a loooong time. All in all, I'm pretty satisfied with it because it moisturizes my eye area without giving me milia (ew).

All in all, if you can get your hands on some of this stuff, definitely try it out. At these prices, you can't go wrong - the products smell delicious, look adorable on your dresser, and actually work! Of course, the only problem with this line is that it's so hard to find in the US. Have any of you ladies tried anything else from this line? I'm dying to get my hands on some more!

(all photos from