1. 6. Grayburn: March 2008 7.


CHANEL - Autumn-Winter 2008/09

Chanel is the essence of Parisien extravagance that most of us can only dream of having. I remember visiting Paris for the first time when I was 14 and entering the Chanel flagship store on 31 rue Cambon. That was an amazing experience that has stuck with me since.

We entered the store, shaking in our boots, hoping to be ignored and trying not to converse in the few words of French we knew. There was to be no such luck. There was plenty of help at hand and we were quickly introduced to a dizzying array of clothing and bags bearing the Chanel emblem. Our assistant however pardoned herself saying that she had to attend to something else. Bien sur! I was flipping through one of the racks of evening gowns when I noticed a very elegant hand to my left doing the same. I looked up and it was Claudia Schiffer! Her milky complexion and bombshell blond hair was quite daunting. She was dressed in a blue Chanel suit and there were 2 bodyguards at stand-by. I thought I was going to faint! Instead of saying "good sale huh?" like I usually do to fellow shoppers who are also trowling, a small embarrassing giggle was all that came out of me. Actually I am not completely sure of what I said because it was an an out of body experience.

I went over to my sister who was looking at sunglasses to sit and recover. She coaxed me into the changing room to try on one of the dresses. What do you know? I looked into one of the changing rooms and there they were Jasmin Le Bon and another girl who also looked 'model-y'. They were Half-naked and giggling. I needed to sit down on that chair to recover from another shock. I later read that Ms. Le Bon likes to collect Chanel ballet pumps because apparently she couldn't imagine ever not having them.

I started this post wanting to share with you why I especially love Chanel in 2008. I guess I got quite caught up in the spirit of Chanel and started reminiscing.

Their Spring '08 makeup collection is to die for and their Autumn/Winter one looks to be just as irresistible. I cannot wait to get my hands on that shimmery gold/bronzy eyeshadow that brightened those model faces at their A/W - '08/09 show. As always, Chanel puts out some original accessories each season. There is always something to look forward to; especially those duo-tone tights in nude/solid black and also in black lace/solid black.

Credits: Chanel.com


Spring Cleaning - MAC & E.L.F. Quad Palettes

left MAC quad, right E.L.F. quad
With the arrival of Spring a week ago, much needed Spring cleaning in my beauty cabinet is at hand. There are piles and stacks of jars, baggies and palettes waiting to be organized, and they all have to be organized in some sensible fashion.

First off, organizing some of my MAC (M) eyeshadows. After having painstakingly de-potted my MAC eyeshadows into the MAC and E.L.F. (E) quad palettes, they are now grab-and-go ready! It is great how MAC and E.L.F. pans fit into each other's palettes. But it is even better that E's quads are cheaper than M's.

The only difference is that the M palette has an easy see-through cover and it comes in the usual sleek black packaging. Though E makes up for it by having a great mirror on the inside of the cover and a duo-ended applicator for eyes and lips.

The tray in the E palette comes off and reveals more space for a 5th pan! You could also mix and match different shapes and sizes of pans and design your own travel palettes with face powder, blush, lipstick, and eyeshadow. Just be careful when placing powdered pans together with emollient lip products as the powder will stick onto the lip product. These are great for when I travel because I can fit all the products I need into one 'day' and a 'night' palette.

Credits: Grayburn


Mineral Makeup Series - Pressing Mineral Shadows

(left to right: Cherish, Hypnotic, Rique, Champagne)

We love mineral eyeshadow for its deep pigmentation and for the range of colors they come in. The price of these good quality and highly pigmented mineral shadows can often be much lower than their pressed non-mineral counterparts. However, some of us find it intimidating to work with loose pigments because it takes a still hand and some familiarizing.

I decided to take the leap and pressed a few of my mineral shadows. I realized that the color and texture of the original shadows may be lost forever but for the sake of experimenting and future convenience, I charged ahead. The four of them are pictured in these photos and are all from Lumiere Cosmetics. Pressing shadows may or may not work with your particular type of pigments so proceed with caution and work with a little at a time. Result may vary of course but my shadows became more concentrated, creamy and vibrant after 'pressing'. This 'pressing' technique that I used actually did not require any pressing at all but you could also add the extra step of pressing them to make them more compressed. So far my shadows have not cracked nor crumbled but have made pigment shadow application more foolproof. Here are the 4-5 easy steps:

4 or 5 Easy Steps:

1. Empty pigments into a palette, pan or pot that you want your shadow to be pressed into.
2. Pour in enough rubbing alcohol to wet the pigments.
3. Stir well with a bobby pin or your tool of choice.
4. Let dry until shadows are completely dried before using (apprx. 3 hours).
5. (optional) Press pigments before they are completely dried using a sanitized coin or spoon.

Do you have any beauty DIY tips to share with us?

Credits: Grayburn


From the Makers of Imju Fiberwig Mascara - Mylash Mascara

The company who makes my favorite lengthening mascara, called Imju Fibrewig mascara, also make another mascara called Mylash. It is said to have the same endurance as Imju but without the fibers that some dislike. The Curious George in me had to hunt this mascara down and see how it compared to my Imju.


Tube - both tubes are the same length but Mylash (ML) is skinnier. That tells me that it will have a skinnier brush head. ML's exterior is printed with "for that young and cute appearance". Imju (IJ) has a bulkier feel.

Brush - ML is 3/4 the length and 1/2 the width of IJ.

Formula - ML's formula is thicker than IJ's. Both are completely smear and waterproof on me.

Result - ML did not give me thicker lashes, despite its formula which is is thicker than IJ's. My lashes felt stiff to the touch but the stiffness helped in holding a curl. ML's formula looks slightly darker (black) than IJ's. However, I personally prefer formulas that contain fibers for their lengthening effect.

Sometimes I don't know how good I have it until I come across something lesser. Having fun with makeup is about trial and error and not just about finding the right product. The fun is in finding our way there and it is ok to be swayed off the path once in a while!

Credits: Grayburn


It's All Coming Up Roses! - Quick Trend Watch

Moving from the previous trends in fabric-molded flower dresses of Marchesa (2006), flowers now come in prints, imprinted in our makeup and dominant in our perfumes. The theme I see over and over again this year seems to revolve around roses. It is a welcome trend for 2008 because it can be worn as soft as seen in the Chanel eyeshadow palette or as bold splashes of color as seen in the Derek Lam collection. A rose is the symbol of delicateness, femininity and romance, and it captures the feel of our current Spring trends beautifully.

Have you already caved in on any of the flowery trends this year? If so, please share with us!

Credits: Kate edt, Christian Dior, Derek Lam, Chantecaille, Chanel, Marks & Spencer, Valentino


Constance Bennett - Skincare & Beauty in "Daily Beauty Rituals', 1937

A video starring Constance Bennett teaching us a lesson or two about skincare and beauty. Bennett was a woman who adored Joy, a perfume by the distinctive nose of Jean Patou who produced the Ma Collection in the 30's, much like Ms Monroe and Ms. Onassis did. The video is a reminder of how much we have learned about skincare since days gone by. But it presents some of the basics we still hold dear.

The skincare steps demonstrated in this video by Ms. Bennett are:

1. Cleanse using cleansing cream (cold cream) and the waterless method. (Does anyone know what her comment about "not growing fuzz" means?).
2. Application of a 'stimulant' cream. Providing stimulation was what she claimed to be the basis of her beauty.
3. Application of a facial mask for circulation, left on during a bath or breakfast.
4. Application of a 'glow base'. Our version of a tinted moisturizer?
5. Application of cream rouge to the cheeks.
6. Light application of face powder.
7. Application of a long-wearing lipstick. (What brand might that have been?).

Do you feel these steps still apply today? Let me know your thoughts on this or on what your particular skincare steps are today.

"So now goodbye. I wish you all loads and loads of loveliness and good luck!" Constance Bennett.


Lined Eyes (Part II)- Techniques

We have recently touched upon the different tools used for lining our eyes. Here, we will go into the different eye-lining techniques.


Tight-lining - For this technique, having a mirror on your table top will come in handy. It involves using a flat liner brush to push or stamp sections of lines right on your lashline. Rather than placing the line on top of your lashline as usual, find the line where your lashes sprout out from. Lift your lid up and look down at the mirror on your table to do this. This technique gives the most natural and lash-thickening line.

Waterline - This is a bit of a controversial one. Just so you know, some people don't recommend using this technique because you may risk getting an eye infection because the eye product gets very close to your eyes. Others love this method because it gives a seamless finish to your eye makeup. It is done by lining the inner rim of your lower lid. Be careful not to get any product on the inside where it touches your eyes!

In and out - Lining your eyes starting from the inside corner or from the middle of the eye outwards. Use your finger to pull lightly upwards on your upper lid to help the line go on smoothly. This is best used with liquid and cream liners because pencil liners usually have more trouble gliding along the eye.

Out and in - Lining your eyes starting from the outside and working your way inwards. This is best used with eye pencils because you work in sections until you reach the inner corner of your eye.

Connect the dots - Draw very small points along your lashline where you want to place your line. Then connect them from dot to dot to trace the shape you desire. Smooth the line over with a smudge brush to get rid of any raggedy edges.

Arabic Kohl lining method - This method takes the most practice and is probably the most uncomfortable. The kohl powder comes loose in a canister with an applicator. First you dip the applicator into the powder then close the eye you are about to line. Draw the powder along the closing of your eye (yes in between your upper and lower lid!) then blink. The powder will naturally get into your eye and cause you to blink and your eyes to water. Tidy up the smudges using your finger. This method has been used for a long time and creates a lived-in and smoldering eye. I can hardly recommend this method but I know many people who use the Guerlain Terracotta kohl liner swears by it!

Most important thing with makeup is to practice a lot and find the best technique for yourself. Don't be afraid to mix and match the techniques and tools to come up with your own method. Have fun and enjoy looking great!

Credits: adobetutorialz.com


Top 10 Tried & Tested Favorites - Mineral Cosmetics

Tried, tested and then tested some more. In no particular order:

Lumiere Peppermint Pattie (eyeshadow) - a shade that contributes to more complex-looking smoky eyes.

Everyday Minerals Nick Nack (blush) - it does no wrong and you just can't mess this up! I have even swept this over my lids for that brightening pop of color.

Meow undereye concealer - glides on smoothly and covers.

Everyday Minerals On the Phone (eyeshadow) - no thrills highlighting eye shadow with a blendable texture.

Any of Lumiere's Lumi Lips but especially in One and Only - kisses boyfriend without the tackiness but dogs don't love these as much because they are not scented!

Everyday Minerals In the Garden (eyeshadow) - comforting and sultry at the same time and just so lovely!

Everyday Minerals foundation in Matte or Meow Cosmetics Pampered Puss foundation for less makeup days.

Meow VandalEyes in Sexual Misconduct (eyeshadow) - because I finally have an eyeshadow with a naughty name and it gives me a seductive glance.

Lumiere Island Sands (silk radiance) - as the name implies, it makes me look like I've been basking in the sun's radiance and feeling pretty happy and healthy!

Meow Firefly Shimmer (blush) - glow naturally and bare.

Feel free to share what your favorite shades or brands of mineral makeup are. I would love to check out your suggestions!

Credits: Grayburn

Bloggers' Game of Tag

Things I"m Passionate About
1. People close to me
2. Cosmetics
3. Fashion
4. Dancing
5. Cooking
6. Art, especially oil paintings.
7. Health & wellbeing
8. Culture

Things I want to do before I die
1. Visit India & Tibet
2. Visit Vietnam
3. Visit Peru
4. Visit Brazil
5. Learn to dance Argentine tango
6. Find one face product that actually does all of these things: diminishes fine lines, wrinkles, sagging, sallowness, clogged pores, flackiness, uneven skintone and protects it from the sun & environment.
7. Find one body product that actually does all of these things: tones, reduces, plumps, slim, gets rid of cellulite & stretchmarks, evens skintone, and smells good.
8. Accomplish my dreams but not forgetting to appreciate the things I have and those around me.

Things I say often
1. What?
2. Okay..
3. Really? That's so cool!
4. Bedankt (thanks in dutch)
5. What's that eyeshadow you're wearing?
6. Wow, I love that!
7. I'm tired :(
8. Hiya!

Books I've read recently
1. The Dirt on Clean
2. The Crystal Cave
3. Memoirs of a Geisha
4. Sushi for Beginners
5. The Alchemist
6. Angels
7. White Teeth
8. The Blind Assassin

Songs I could listen to over & over
1. D'Angelo Cruisin
2. Norah Jones Sunrise
3. Mary J Blige Just Fine
4. Patsy Cline Crazy
5. Nelly Furtado Give it to me
6. Amy Winehouse Valerie
7. Mutya Buena B Boy Baby
8. Duffy Syrup & Honey

Things that attract me to my best friends
1. Sincerity
2. Passion for life
3. They take me as I am
4. We laugh and feel sadness together
5. We share some similar interests, but even if we don't, it doesn't interfere with us.
6. We might not see each other often but we can just pick up where we left off.
7. Sometimes we don't need to say anything but just know what's up.
8. We learn from each other.

On that note, I think I will learn from others by tagging other bloggers that I don't already know. Please feel free to participate as you like as well.

Credits: Grayburn
Tagged by: The Seeker


Coastal Scents Duo Fibre Stippling Brush, Chisel Fluff/Pointed Crease Duet

A recent friendly sale at Coastal Scents has led me to a rather friendlier discovery. I said friendly because it was 20% on makeup brushes and it was only for the span of a weekend. The sale had come at the precise moment of my own growing dependence on the MAC #187 brush and the realization that I need more than one of them in my daily routine. It was also the precise moment that I realized I would be too spoiled if I had another such brush.

I am glad that some of you shared that same excitement as I had when I found out about the sale at Coastal Scents. I also saw that most of you took more advantage of it than I did! I think the time has come to have a look to see what I think of them as I have had more than enough time to give the two brushes I bought, my wear & tear tests. The two brushes I bought: Duo Fibre Stippling Brush and the Chisel Fluff/Pointed Crease Duet.

The stippling brush from Coastal Scents is pretty much the exact copy of the MAC #187 brush. It has an extremely long plastic handle and the two grooves on the metal part which fastens the brush head to the handle (as do MAC's). The hairs on both brushes have the renown softness and shape that any stippling brush should have. However, CS's version is slightly less full and more bendable than MAC's. The softness in CS's version may pose an as an obstacle when used for stippling liquid/cream products. For me, this difference is not a major hindrance and will not deter me from purchasing another one (unless much changes in the long term). There is no "stink" if you have wondered about that. The handle is perfectly steady (no wobbliness) and easy to manipulate if you don't get too close to the mirror. The only minus points are given to the shedding I experienced during my first 6 washes (so it all happened during my first week of testing).

Coastal Scents' duet eyeshadow brush is the brush I currently prefer to use to apply eyeshadows. The brush has duo-ends with one flat rounded side and the other a rounded point. The two ends are efficient and it is a quick go-to because I don't have to dig out 2 separate brushes. The rounded pointy end applies my crease colors whilst the rounded flat end smudges and blends the colors together. The bristles are certainly soft enough that they treat my sensitive eyes with respect. There has so far been no shedding and only slight mothball smell from the flat end of the brush, which I should say is diminishing over time.

If you don't already own either one of these brushes and know how little I paid for these two versatile and useful brushes, you may start to wonder yourself why you haven't already gotten your own. CS has also recently released more new makeup brushes (lots of candy pink brushes).

Both available online
Duo Fibre Stippling Brush available for 7.95
Chisel Fluff/Pointed Crease Duet retails for 3.95

Credits: Grayburn


Thierry Mugler Cosmetics

The man who is known for his icy and theatrical designs has launched a line of cosmetics under his own name. Thierry Mugler calls his new creations "Dare the Metamorphosis". His fashion shows are crammed with drama and other worldly 'sci-fi', the new makeup line bare the same futuristic theme in its packaging and formulations. Mugler has a very successful house of perfume with Angel (1992) and Alien (2005) as two of his most loved products. Mugler was involved with directing George Michael's "Too Funky" music video as well as Cirque De Soleil's "Zumanity" in 2003.

A few intriguing items from the line:

Cils Vinyle (Vinyl gloss for eye lashes)
" ..black liquid vinyl gloss for lashes with super stretchy...worn on its own or over mascara for vinyl-coated lashes...wet-look. "

Comes in Black only

His love for vinyl and shine shows when it comes to dressing lashes. It claims to have a unique formula but will it be that mascara that delivers the drama we have been looking for?

Hyper Tension (Tightening Face Cream)
" firming, mattifying youth serum...lightly applied over foundation...vinyl polymers, smooths, firms ...gives skin a new radiance. "

Interesting concept of applying something over foundation to mattify and firm the skin. It probably should have a silicon formula which will pose less of a problem or interfere with the applied foundation.

Bleu Glacis (Cooling Effect Concealer)
" ...moisture-rich texture, cooling sensation to minimize dark under-eye circles, redness and imperfections ..silky-smooth melting texture and beneficial cooling effect neutralize localized redness and imperfections, ..even before foundation is applied. While the hight-tech blue pigments capture light to mask imperfections with radiance."

A product that sounds like it should come as GWP (gift with purchase) with our Blue-Ray machine, it uses light-diffusers and blue to counter-balance tiredness under our eyes. The description of the texture sounds amazing and could spell the end of our search for that all-powerful item for our under-eye baggies.

Lip Color (Lip Pen)
"...slanted felt tip, ...just-bitten "

3 shades - Nude, Rosewood, Brown

Flash Lips (Lip Foundation)
" ...smooths, evens and plumps the lips. ...Acacia microspheres, a soft-focus pigment and a subtle pearly mineral pigment to give lips extra fullness and radiance."

2 shades - nude, rosewood

Plexi Gloss (Lip Lacker)
" ...dazzling, futuristic ultra-violet lip gloss. ...liquid crystals which create an unusual, holographic effect for attention-seeking, ultra-shiny lips. "

3 shades - Blue effect, Pink effect, Coral effect

I like the look and feel of this 3-step process as it seems to be an even more elegant way of applying long-lasting lip color than with MAC's Pro Longwear Lipcolor. The lip foundation sounds amazing as the keyword is "plump" rather than "drying" like most lip foundations/concealers tend to be. The second step of applying the lip stain to achieve the "bitten" look sounds light and non-intrusive. The final topping of their Plexi gloss (see the intoxicating shine on the model's lips above) gives it that final Mugler signature of vinyl and ice. I cannot wait to get my hands on these!

Blush Brush
" ...angle round brush will sculpt your face like nothing on earth. "

A new take on the "skunk" brush literally! It looks to be a pretty decent blush brush in quality and style. Will it deliver the steel precision that we would expect from Thierry Mugler?

More on these and other items from the Thierry Mugler Cosmetics line is available at thierrymugler.com
Credits: thierrymugler.com


Mineral Makeup Series - Foundations

A good foundation, much like a good partner is hard to find. I think that sometimes we're so eager to get to the end that we forget that we can have a lot of fun along the way. A good foundation has to fit with the condition of your skin and help bring out the best of it. Once in a while, you need to re-evaluate the situation at hand to see if it is still doing its job. And finally, remember not to settle for second best.

I have given the following mineral foundations a good test run for the past month and more. They were tested based on their wear, texture, packaging, and their range of shades. I thought it would be interesting to put them all side-by-side to see how they do against some of their competitors. Of course, do try them out and judge for yourself, but here is what I think about them.

Lumiere Cosmetics
Formulas: Flawless, Veena Velvet, Luminesse, Cashmere
Range: 6 (from fairly light to deep)
Tones: 5 (cool, neutral, beige, golden, warm). The swatches on their website looks ashier than they do in real life.

**Veena Velvet
Ingredients: premium grade serecite (colorless mica), titanium dioxide, avena sativa, zinc oxide, iron oxide, magnesium stearate.

Wear - starts off on the dryer side then settles in as it wears. Lasted the day for me with only one touch-up.
Texture - sheer with no sheen. Light to medium coverage which takes 2 light layers to cover skin imperfections. Works even better worn with well-prepped skin (moisturizer & silicon-based primer).
Packaging - Works well and looks classier than many other companies'. I prefer transparent over opague labels on the bottom of these jars.

Ingredients: silk powder, serecite (colorless mica), titanium dioxide, zinc oxide, boron nitride, iron oxides

- starts off on the dryer side then settles in. Lasted the day for me with no touch-up.
Texture - with slightly more of a sheen than Veena Velvet. Medium coverage which I use sparingly and a moisturizer underneath. Works even better worn with a silicon-based primer.
Packaging - Works well and looks classier than many other companies'. I prefer transparent over opague labels on the bottom of these jars.

Ingredients: premium grade serecite (colorless mica), titanium dioxide, zinc oxide, iron oxides, boron nitride, silica, magnesium stearate, squalane

Ingredients: premium grade serecite (colorless mica), boron nitride, zinc oxide, avena sativa, titanium dioxide, iron oxide, tocopherol (vitamin e)

I have tested both Veena Velvet and Cashmere. They go on slightly dry at first, they becomes more natural after couple of hours of wear. I find the Veena Velvet formula sheerer and more flattering on my skin. Those with dryer skin may find these two formulas a little dry initially. I would use a silicon-based primer to help the foundation glide on and to make it more dewy-looking. Color range is fair and it can be difficult finding the right shade based on the colors on your computer screen. Do purchase a sample first before commiting to a full size.

Everyday Minerals
Formulas: Semi-matte, Matte, Intensive, Original Glo
Range: 6 (from fairly light to deep)
Tones: 6 (warm, golden, cool, beige, buff, olive). The swatches on their website looks more ashy/pink than they do in real life.

Mica (CI 77019), Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Zinc Oxide (CI 77947). May contain: Iron Oxides (CI 77492, CI 77499, CI 77491), Ultramarine Blue (CI 77007)

Wear - No color change and no touch up for me at the end of the day. May not control oiliness well enough for those with oily skin.
Texture - Quite creamy and seems to smooth over face. Very slight sheen.
**Packaging - The best I've seen. Samples come in small jars with sifters. Regular size jars have a wide mouths (wide lid), great for swirling a big brush in (see picture). All have clear bottoms with clear labels which make it easy to see through. They are also stackable (see picture).

Wear - No color change and no touch up for me at the end of the day. This formula is not more matte than semi-matte. May not control oiliness well enough for those with oily skin.
Texture - Not chalkier or that much drier than semi-matte. There is slightly less sheen as well.
**Packaging - The best I've seen. Samples come in small jars with sifters. Regular size jars have a wide mouths (wide lid), great for swirling a big brush in (see picture). All have clear bottoms with clear labels which make it easy to see through. They are also stackable (see picture).

Wear - Too intensive for my liking, so no touch-ups for me whatsoever.
Texture - Thick and chalky on my skin so it will cover well if that is what you're looking for.
**Packaging - The best I've seen. Samples come in small jars with sifters. Regular size jars have a wide mouths (wide lid), great for swirling a big brush in (see picture). All have clear bottoms with clear labels which make it easy to see through. They are also stackable (see picture).

Wear - It feels lighter and sheerer than other formulas and did not last as long on my skin.
Texture - It definitely has the glow factor which I am not too crazy about. Even if it looks natural, I don't enjoy the way it emphasizes flaws on skin.
**Packaging - The best I've seen. Samples come in small jars with sifters. Regular size jars have a wide mouths (wide lid), great for swirling a big brush in (see picture). All have clear bottoms with clear labels which make it easy to see through. They are also stackable (see picture).

Overall: I like all the formulas (but the Matte version the best) I have tried and will use them depending on the day. The color choices are average and it seems to be lacking for those who have darker skin tones. I believe though that EM is looking into fixing that. I find that it works best on well moisturized skin. It is great that the jars are stackable and have completely see-through bottoms.

Meow Cosmetics
Formulas: Purrr-fect Puss, Pampered Puss, Flawless Feline
Range: 6 (Lightest (almost white) to Very dark)
Tones: 13 (peach, peach/yellow, soft yellow, yellow/peach, golden beige, yellow/beige, neutral, warm, beige/pink, warmpink cool pink, cool beige, oliver/beige)

Purrr-fect Puss
Ingredients: Mica, Titanium Dioxide, Iron Oxides

**Pampered Puss
Ingredients: Mica, Titanium Dioxide, Zinc Oxide, Iron Oxides
Wear - Lasted the day with one touch-up at the end of the day.
Texture - Veerry sheer and light (very finely milled). I needed 3 layers to get medium coverage. More work for days when you may be rushed.
Packaging - Both 'munchkin' size and 'full size' have wide enough mouths for a good swirling of the brush. Full size is huge!

Flawless Feline
Ingredients: Mica, Zinc Oxide, Titanium Dioxide, Boron Nitride, Iron Oxides

Overall: I only tried Pampered Puss. I like this for days when I don't need much coverage and don't feel like wearing a primer. There is an impressive array of colors to choose from, which can be good and bad as well, as it can be overwhelming to find the right shade.

Formulas: 1
Range: 10 (Light ivory to Cocoa)
Tones: 4 (Ivory, beige, buff, tan)

1st formula - kaolin, iron oxides, mica, copper, boron nitride, calcium, manganese, magnesium, bismuth, titanium dioxide

2nd formula - Talc , Boron Nitride , Dimethicone , Carnauba Wax - Copernicia Cerifera , Cetyl Dimethicone , Trimethylsiloxysilicate , Triisocetyl Citrate , Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice , Tocopherol , Panthenol , Titanium Dioxide - May Contain , Zinc Oxide - May Contain , Bismuth Oxychloride - May Contain , Iron Oxides - May Contain

This is my review for the 1st formula -
Wear - Didn't control oiliness and emphasized dryness as well! The color changed at the end of the day.
Texture - Chalky, thick, shiny and just sat on top of the skin.
Packaging - The brush it came with is coarse and so it did not feel very nice to buff the product into the skin with it.

Overall: Not for me! I am too clumsy to work with this type of packaging and I did not find the right shade for me. It also does not come in different formulas to choose from.

Formulas: 1
Range: 6 (Fair to light to Bronzer)
Tones: 3 (ivory, buff, tan)

Ingredients: Mica, Bismuth Oxychloride, Iron Oxides, Titanium Dioxide, Polymethyl Methacrylate, Retinyl Palmitate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Ascorbic Acid, Pantothenic Acid, Soybean Flour, Silk Powder, Zinc Stearate, Sodium Dehydroacetate, Methylparaben, Propylparaben, may contain: Ultramarines, Carmine, Manganese Violet.

Wear - I gave up before I could tell.
Texture - Sheer
Packaging - The powder is dispensed through the brush by shaking and tapping the brush itself. It took a lot of work to get any powder out. The amount that I did get out was too sheer to cover anything on my skin.

Overall: I got so tired from shaking this thing plus it didn't look right on the skin. I don't think I really had a good chance to give this a proper test run. If you managed to try this, please let me know what you think.

Credits: Grayburn, lumierecosmetics.com, everydayminerals.com, meowcosmetics.com, lorealparis.com, neutrogena.com


Lined Eyes (Part I of II) - Tools

A very sweet reader recently asked me if I could talk about how to line eyes: the different types of eyeliners and techniques. A sort of "Eye-lining for beginners", I would say. Thank you for this wonderful suggestion and I hope these points will help you!

Let's have a look at the
tools and techniques (coming next) available to us and have some fun with them!


Mirror - Place one mirror in front of you to see straight ahead and/or another on a table so you can look up at the base of your lashline. This lets you see exactly what you are doing clearly and easily.

Eyeliner Pencil - A basic tool for lining eyes. They come in many many colors, formulas and textures and are so portable. These need to be sharpened often and can tuck a little at the delicate skin around our eyes. Soften up the tip a little before use by warming it up gently between your fingers.

Cream/gel liner - These cute little pots of colors are designed to be used with a liner brush. They pack nice color and glide on smoothly over our eyes. They also produce a line that is more natural looking than liquid liners but cleaner looking than pencils.

Eye Shadow - Not only can you use these to shade your eyes, you can shave some of the powder off to produce a liner to match the shadow you are wearing. Mix the powder with a sealant (see next tool) or Visine (or any artificial eye drops) to produce a liquid liner.

Sealant - Refer to this article to see why I love sealants so much! This is one of the best thing I have found to produce a liner that stays put. You can adjust the amount of powder to liquid depending on how thick you would like the final product to be.

Liner brush - These come in different varieties; pointed tip, slanted, or flat top. My personal preference is a medium length, thin slanted tip because it allows me to apply the liner at an angle whilst still allowing me to see what I am doing. Play around with different varieties and you will find your own favorite!

Liquid Liners - All-in-one liner liquid and brush. This is my least favorite of all the different types of liners because the brush that it comes with is usually too flimsy or too thick for my taste. A lot of these liquid liner formulas are too wet as well so the line smudges before it has a chance to dry!

Self-sharpening Liners - A creamy liner that is so portable because it is as the name implies, 'self-sharpening' (so you don't need to take your sharpener with you). If you like to touch up your line frequently during the day, this is the one to bring with you. Just make sure that you have some powder shadow with you to set the line to prolong its wear (especially if you get oily lids).

Automatic Liners - They come in a sharpie like pen and has a stiff pointy tip that dispenses a quick-drying liquid. They are easier to use than liquid liners.

Fat Liners - Are wonderful if you want to do a quick thick rim around your eyes. Of course remember to smudge the line a little to soften hard edges!

Loose Kohl Powder - This is the Arabic way to line eyes to give them drama. The original powder used back in the old days contained lead but has since been discontinued. It looks dramatic on the eyes but takes a lot of practice to get right because it is messy!

Part II Eye Lining Techniques to be continued....

Credits: style.com, bobbibrown.com, maccosmetics.com, urbandecay.com, thebodyshop.com, bareescentuals.com, benefitcosmetics.com


Mineral Makeup Series - Meow Cosmetics

I am so overwhelmed with all these little baggies and sample jars of colored mineral powders that I am seriously in need of one of those rotary business card holders to help me get organized. If anyone knows of any better way to organize them, please drop a line!

The pictures you see below are samples of eyeshadows, foundations and blushes from Meow Cosmetics. Sometimes a company can become so overly "themed" that they might risk coming across like a Versace pillow. Makeup should sometimes be fun though, so all the cat pictures on Meow Cosmetics' jars are fun indeed. Their leopard-print tissue papers add an extra spice. All in all, Meow Cosmetics produces some very finely milled mineral products and probably the largest mineral foundation (review coming) collection I have seen.

From left to right:
First row - IdealEyes Sourpuss, VandalEyes Sexual Misconduct, VandelEyes Embezzling, CatEyes Skinny Bitch, Firefly Glint, Firefly Firecracker, Firefly Shimmer, Firefly Glisten, Tickled Pink
Second row - Frisky Korat, Sleek Angora, Sleek Korat undereye, Frisky Angora, Sleek Abyssinian, Frisky Kora undereye, Sleek Korat, Sleek Manx

IdealEyes Sourpuss (eyeshadow)- Medium olive with very fine gold and peach shimmer. It has a nice sheen to it that is not overpowering.

VandalEyes Sexual Misconduct (eyeshadow)- Light olive base with very fine gold shimmer. Buffs out to a metallic green gold that has is a cooler tone than Sourpuss (above).

VandelEyes Embezzling (eyeshadow) - A light green that is warm because of the gold shimmer it sits in. Slightly more sparkly than the IdealEyes serie.

CatEyes Skinny Bitch (eyeshadow) - This matte shadow brightened up my entire lid with its apricot/beige tones. Reminds me of a color-correcting undereye concealer which hides bluish circles.

Firefly Glint (blush) - Powerful fine shimmer that starts off slightly iridescent, then buffs out into a light bluish/silver pink. The shimmer is truly so fine that they are hardly noticeable. Universally flattering.

Firefly Firecracker (blush) - Woa! The real thing looks nothing like the picture on their website! In the little sample bag, it looks like pure red/brick pigment. On my skin however, this turns into a deep raspberry (no mauve) with gold shimmer. The shimmers in this one is by no means huge but is more noticeable than those in Glint (above). Works best on darker skin tones I would say.

Firefly Shimmer (blush) - In the little sample baggie, this looks like a muddy orange. Out of the bag and on my skin, it looks like a true peach with gold shimmer.

Firefly Glisten (blush) - Mid-tone brick/peach that is quite pigmented. Adds more of a punch than Shimmer (above).

Tickled Pink (blush) - The name is as cute as it looks in the sample baggie. This shade is almost the same but slightly darker and more intense than Glint (above).

Credits: Grayburn


Mineral Makeup Series - Everyday Minerals

The craze for mineral makeup was most certainly started by a company called Bare Escentuals. As celebrities and magazines all raved about their glowy foundations, the market saw first a few and then a flood of mineral makeup companies.

Those who didn't like Bare Escentuals (either because their foundations contain bismuth oxycloride or that they had a hard time finding the right shade), moved onto these other companies to hopefully end their search for the right formula. That search almost always led them to Everyday Minerals. There must indeed be something very special about Everyday Minerals, because from reading MUA, an average of 75% of people who have tried their products say that they will purchase them again.

I was fortunate to have Melissa at Everyday Minerals organize some of their best sellers for me. Thanks Melissa! I am very pleased with her selection as all of the colors are very wearable and the texture of their minerals can only be described as creamy.

Click on images to enlarge
From left to right & top to bottom: Apple, In The Garden, On The Phone, Cookie Sheet, Nick Nack, Once and Again, Favorite Hoodie.

Individual Product Reviews:

Apple (blush) - A creamy blush that starts off as a medium pink but then buffs out to a sheeny rose. Stipple this on and then buff out with the flat top buffer to get that nice flushed sheen.

In The Garden (eyeshadow) - This particular shade has become my staple because it proved itself to be easy to blend as well as being neutral enough to go with almost anything. It really packs a punch for a smoky eye and I would describe this as an intense shimmery brown with gray.

On The Phone (eyeshadow) - First of all, I love all of these names. This packs skin tone/silver shimmer in a beige base. It provides a nice wash of lid color if applied lightly and works nicely as a cool-tone highlighter.

Cookie Sheet (blush) - A plummy blush with very fine light-blue shimmer. This one really brings warmth to the cheeks and made them 'pop' a little more! It is a sophisticated shade that looks grown-up.

Nick Nack (blush) - Is so sweet and innocent! Because it has no shimmer, it is natural-looking. This is a definitely good choice for those with lighter skintones or layered on top of a darker color to add dimension to the cheeks. A nice neutral shade that reminds me a little of Benefit's Dandelion blush.

Once And Again (blush) - Muted wine color that is a little too intense for my cheeks. I can see that this may work for the lips as suggested on their website.

Favorite Hoodie (blush) - Do I detect some very slight green shimmer in this? This reminds me of the color I refer to as a St. Tropez tan. St. Tropez's self-tanning product is so famous because of the green tint in their product. This "blush" from Everyday Minerals can be used as a bronzer or as an eye color. It would look beautiful against medium to dark complexions.

Coming up, side-by-side review of foundations from Everyday Minerals, Lumiere Cosmetics, Meow Cosmetics, Neutrogena, and L'Oreal.

Everyday Minerals foundations & concealer from left to right & top to bottom:
Farily Light, Medium, Olive Fair, Golden Fair, Olive Medium, Sunlight, Light Olive & the Flat Top buffer brush.

Credits: Grayburn


MAC's Latest Beauty Powder Blushes in Amsterdam

Yep, it seems MAC international stores have finally released a collection ahead of time! Here in Amsterdam, we are seeing Fafi, Strobe and the Beauty Powder Blushes collections all together. I realize that there is still a lot of frenzy surrounding the Fafi collection at MAC. However, if you can't decide between the two blushes (Hipness and Fashion Frenzy) from the Fafi collection, may I suggest that instead you glance at the new beauty powder blushes first?

I saw them side by side today at the Bijenkorf in Amsterdam. Aside from the cute/girly packaging that is Fafi, its blushes pale in comparison to the ones in the Beauty Powder blush collection. These Beauty Powder Blushes buff out radiantly (they have MAC's satin finish). My pick is the hot-bright, yet sheer and completely buildable 'Sweetness' (which I was lucky enough to get). Its texture feels somehow softer than the others. It gives me such a nice feminine glow that I should only be able to get from having done something healthy.

This picture is from an ebay seller, who seem to have the most accurate picture of it that I have seen online.

Have a great weekend!


Mineral Makeup Series - Lumiere Cosmetics

My makeup cabinet is a complete confusion right now. Had I known that getting into minerals would mean that my former method of organizing my makeup would become obsolete, I might have hesitated a bit more. It's not that I don't welcome more makeup into my collection, but I had just finished organizing! I am now going to have to think of a new system to either incorporate or divide. For the time being, I have a section devoted to Lumiere's cosmetics.

All the colors you see below were
handpicked by Ms. Heinrich at Lumiere's Mineral Cosmetics. They were personally chosen for me and I was told that they include some of their best sellers and limited edition items. Thanks Lumiere and Ms. Heinrich!

I was also told that one item is chosen out of each of their LE collection (based on popularity), to join forces with their permanent collection. Lumiere's silk blushes and silk radiances are to die for! They go on like as a sheer flush of color and make skin look as if it is lit from within!

Click on image to enlarge
Picture above from left to right:
First row - light medium beige foundation (review coming soon), light medium cool foundation (review coming soon), I love you, Starstruck, Hypnotic, Cherry Blossom, Mimosa

Second row - Peppermint Patti, Halo, Seduction, Cherish, Island Sands, Heiress, Risque, Soulmate

Third row - Be true, Bare Beauty, Champagne

Individual reviews

I Love You (Valentine's '08 LE blush) - To me, this is a very shimmery light but bright pink. The blue and gold shimmer looks "party", if you know what I mean!

Starstruck (silk radiance) - A lovely pop of healthy cherry wine color for the cheeks. The shimmer is subtle in silver and purple. It is not clowny at all, in case you were wondering!

Hypnotic (glitz) - It contains larger flecks of shimmer in gold in a shimmery dirty rosy-brown base. Best packed on the lid for nighttime.

Cherry Blossom (silk blush) - A weightlessly sheer and blendable wash of rose-peach with some nice, flattering glow.

Mimosa (silk blush) - Apricot & beige base with fine gold shimmer. Great as a blush for light to medium skin tones or as a warm highlighter for darker skins.

Peppermint Patti (Glitz Eye Colors) - Fun, complex shimmery eye color made from a base of brown and dark-gray, and enhanced with aqua shimmer. Wonderful packed along the upper lashline then smoked outwards.

Halo (Multi-purpose) - This was a LE favorite that Lumiere customers have demanded to be brought back! This is a complete shimmer made of silver and skin-tone sparks. It buffs out to an angelic dust.

Seduction (Valentines '08 LE Multi-Purpose) - A satiny powder great for contouring or intensifying other colors with. This is a cocoa-taupe shade with a slight sheen that is alot warmer and darker than my MAC Emote.

Cherish (Valentine's Collection '08) - I recently read an article in Allure where they were praising the look of shimmers on eyes. This is the color I immediately thought of when I was reading the article. I would pack on this bronzy/gold shimmer with flecks of green shimmer, to get that look I saw in the Allure magazine!

Island Sands (silk radiance) - One of my musts when I want to highlight the top of my cheekbones. This one is really universally flattering because it is a neutral-to-cool peach/cream.

Heiress (shimmer) - This provides a fine iridescent wash of bluish/purple soft pink. The same texture as their eyeshadow but with a little more kick of shimmer.

Risque (Valentine's Collection LE '08) - A deep purple with red shimmer that is fine textured. Can be great for a sultry nighttime do but not one I would wear often.

Soulmate (Valentine's Collection LE '08) - Charcoal/dark gray base, sprinkled with light-blue and silver shimmer. The chunkiness of the shimmer makes it a little difficult to blend evenly so this is best used packed on for lots of drama or as a liner (with a sealant).

Be True (silk radiance) - Sheer with some nice color payoff. It can be used as a bronzer for medium to medium dark skin tones. Its color can be summed up as rosy brown with fine gold shimmer.

Bare Beauty (silk radiance) - Really silky and like all silk powders from Lumiere, they are finely milled. This one would work wonders with summer skin to give it that 'glow' or as a light pink/peach blush that reminds me a little of the Luster blush from Nars.

Champagne (eyeshadow) - A mid-tone yellow beige with silver & gold shimmer. The shimmer in this is slightly chunkier than those in their silk blushes. However, it is not so much chunkier that it is not blendable. This is a great highlighter because of it is yellow-based and not too loud.

Lumi Lips (see picture left): Lumiere has developed a great line of lipglosses called Lumi Lips. They are my pick of lipgloss to wear to the hairdresser (because your hair doesn't get stuck on your lips with this on), or if you are like me, like the look of glosses but hate the stickiness. They are great toppings for lipsticks.

One & Only (LE) - I cannot be without this one (including my MAC 3N lipstick)! If you are reading this Ms. Jones, please make this a permanent item, please! This neutral pink is the glossy that is the exact topping I have been looking for my 3N. It is slightly lighter than 3N so it lends interest and dimension to lips.

Hot & Ready Red - A warm red that is sheer enough to wear during the day.

Coming up:

Review of Meow Cosetics, Everyday Minerals, Neutrogena Mineral Sheers, L'Oreal Bare Naturale Gentle Mineral Makeup, and my pick of the best for foundations, eyeshadows & blushes!

Credits: Grayburn