Sunday, December 31, 2017

Nars Eyeshadow Duo in Hammamet

2016 was the year that I fell back in love with Nars (no, I still don't know how to deal with the compact) and the love didn't stop in 2017. I now have several more of their duos and need to go through them one by one.

Hammamet was released back in spring 16 and with the growing popularity of burnished orange and matte finish, it's more relevant than ever before.
The duo includes a matte warm spiced beige and a coppery rose gold on the right (the matte beige looks blotchy swatched but so much better worn).  
The copper rose is every bit as special as I expected: Smooth, blendable, melty on the skin with no patchy boundary. The matte beige is very wearable on its own as well, it gives a subtle warm definition that looks polished but not heavily made up.  The texture of both pan are superb and I couldn't have asked for a better shade combo.
A quick look with matte beige allover and copper to shade, picture was taken a while back when I still got a bit of sunlight. The purple down below is Lunasol Purple Gradation (that I tried very hard to wipe off but failed) .
So...I like it a lot and will get some masking tape (to wrap the compact) so I can reach for it more often. 

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Lunasol Full Glamour Lips 02 - Cherry Red

It's getting cold in here (below freezing for the next 10 days it seems) so it's time to dig out all the cream, yarns and moisturizing lipsticks. 

Cold weather is one of the main factors driving me into a lipstick snob: When proper winter is in session (clearly the one in Texas doesn't count), it usually takes a pricier formula to not sink into the dozens of lip line. While many lipsticks are shiny or balmy, not many of them are truly winter proof.  Luckily I can always count on Lunasol.
Lunasol Full Glamour Lips in 02 was purchased alongside with her pricier sister (Chicca Mesmeric Lipstick in Lucent Red ) and had since been overshadowed. I had to remind myself to play with it as the formula is superb, especially when you are a lover for jellies.
Packaging is beautiful as always: A sleek metal tube that's on the slim side. Not too heavy but still substantial on the hand. For something this shinny, it doesn't attract too much finger print or scratches. 
02 Cherry Red is a slightly cool red jelly, a rare find among Lunasol's sea of boring neutral (50 shades of fleshy rose). 
Bare lips for comparison
Cherry Red is a beautifully clear and juicy with an actively moisturizing formula. While there is every reason to love it, I didn't reach for it all that often because it's doesn't work magic on my skin. In contrast, the cheery cherry actually makes my winter skin a bit more sickly.

For a few bucks more, I can get Chicca that's is more brightening (for skintone) and less heavy. If I were to wear it during warmer seasons, I ended up forgetting about it as Coffret D'Or has more flattering brights to chose from. It's a great lipsticks actually, it's just that I have better chemistry with other Kanebo brands.

Wednesday, December 06, 2017

Dr Wu Daily and Intensive Renewal Serum with Mandelic Acid

Beside moisturizing my flaky dry skin, the biggest skincare concern I have is hyper pigmentation. I consider my cheeky sunspots hopeless (I had them since third grade), my acne scars have been getting out of control the last two years. Basically, it has gotten so bad that I had to start to wear foundation to look presentable (I would rather not spend to much finding the perfect foundation because I like to waste money on fancy eye shadow and lipsticks instead).

Spot-removal is a tricky business because most of my spots were result from irritation from sunscreen and...anti-pigmentation, exfoliating and/or brightening products. A good deal of the dark marks I have are from products meant to remove them. 

I first heard about Dr Wu Mandelic Acid serum from Driveler Kate (who stopped blogging three years ago). The AHA serum supposed to have large, non-penetrating molecule that it does whatever AHAs do while being super gentle. 
I first got the 15% Mandelic Acid Intensive Renewal Serum (Mandelic Acid 18%, Tinocare GL, Sodium Hyaluronate, Biophytex)two years ago, while it was immensely effective when used as a serum (I used a few drops allover cheeks and the lighter marks are literally gone overnight), it was actually very stripping on me. I either get thinned out skin or breakout allover. It was more user-friendly when I use it as spot treatment once every 10 days or so, it became hard to remind myself on such an odd schedule that I ended up using it whenever I remember. 

Later on, I got the 6% Daily Renewal Serum (Mandelic Acid, Salicylic Acid, Pyruvic Acid, ABS Desert Blend, Pentavitin). The much lower percentage means that it's less potent (to have visible effect after a few uses but) can be used daily. AHA generally requires some wait time before I use other products, something I don't have time every night so I didn't have much use with this bottle either. 

At the end, I mixed up the two and the result is an effective target spot treatment that I can use weekly. All I need to make sure is to have a great sunscreen during the day and layers and layers of oils and moisturizer after application. While I count on vitamin C and niacinamide for the daily spot fighting, Dr Wu is a valuable little boost to my routine. 
The texture of the serum (in both percentage) is a light liquid that's just a bit sticky. It smells like callery pear (so it stinks a little) but nothing unbearable. This would be a great stuff to get when you are in Hong Kong or Taiwan as the prices on American sites is generally 10 bucks more expensive.

Sunday, December 03, 2017

Jill Stuart Rouge My Dress in Berry Tutu

After holding off my desire for Jill Stuart for years, I finally gave myself the A Okay last summer. It started with the glosses then went to the photogenic blush compacts (will review eventually, I have long lag time for those), eyeshadow...Finally, why not lipstick, the type of makeup I reach for the most?

While I am too unhip for the actual Pokemon game, I generally have a "Gotta catch them all" rule when it comes to interesting lipstick design (and symphony cycles) ... That plus "Buy now regret later", I never feel bad having a pretty (useless) lipstick to stare at. 
Here comes Rouge My Dress, their second newest line of lipstick released Fall (techincally late summer) of 2015, with the most ornate design to date.  Two years later, Jill Stuart simplified their lipstick line up into something rather classy (classical Greek style) and I decided to stop hoarding here...
For spring 2016. Jill Stuart released a limited edition Rouge My Dress with four limited colors, watercolor boxes and tube that matches the color of the lipstick. And out of the four, I picked the coral pink as it looked the least pastel...
Gem cut bullet again.
When I first opened the box, I did a = =.... with my eyes. I am not sure if this design is hedious (no it isn't, the 2018 revamped Anna Sui tube is though) or I am too old for this...Even as a fan of their overkill aesthetics, I thought this was too much.
At the same time, I am impressed with the details (in a light weight and admittedly cheap material), no seam and not a chip-prone bit in sight. 
As for the lipstick, the promo image deceived me... I was expecting a coral pink cream jelly but I got a medium pastel (with obvious white base) pink that's semi sheer (reads: blotchy) and infused with a truck load of obvious white shimmer... 

While it might look good on a pale princess of Shibuya (is it still a thing or is it too 2005?), the color is just ick...
I guess I didn't completely hate it as I wore it out (to a freebie violin recital). While the color wasn't too clashing under the night light, by the end of the night it sank into every single lip line and smeared everywhere...

Surprisingly I don't hate it (because I have had lipsticks that are far worse), I guess the packaging designers are doing their job.
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