Friday, April 29, 2011

Review: Brazen Cosmetics

Around a month back, I was lucky enough to win a St. Patrick's Day-themed giveaway over at Le Gothique and sponsored by Brazen Cosmetics. I was able to pick up the package at the Q.C. Central Post Office, and it was a very calm experience compared to the horror stories I've been hearing about customs taxes and all. Then again, I only received a small bubble mailer, so I ended up paying only 40php. I was so excited that I opened the package in the car, took photos as soon as I got home, and tried a look while watching the royal wedding! (Did you watch? I love Kate's dress!)

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Look at all that green. So pretty! Also note that each single pot is sealed, which is one hell of a blessing for 1.) screw-top pots and 2.) internationally mailed packages. And this is coming from an indie makeup company! I am pleasantly surprised.

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More pictures after the jump! (You can tell I am trying to improve my photography. :p)

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The Second Project Vanity Clinique Party

When I first read about the Clinique party on Project Vanity, I wanted to sign up right away but couldn't because I had things to do that March. Good thing there was a take two, and I was so excited I immediately sent an email without giving my name and contact details! I really wanted a chance to get to know the brand especially after I decided to pay more attention to (a.k.a. invest in, hehe) my skincare routine.
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This is a picture-heavy post, so if you and your internet connection are ready, click on the jump!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Review: Etude House Henna Fix Proof 10 Mascara

Working in a casual business environment has made me lazy in my makeup routine. When I am in a hurry but I feel like looking a little more presentable, I choose mascara over eyeliner and blush. Mascara opens up the eyes, doesn't make me look too overdone, and mistakes I make with it are easier to correct. I've been reaching for Etude House's Henna Fix Proof 10 mascara for those times. I've used it so much that I've rubbed out the "Proof" label AND left mascara stains on the tube (see picture). Oops. Time to give this product some love.

Description: Formulated with henna extract, Henna Fix Proof 10 Masara supplies precise lash definition and weightless volume with its unique waterproof formula that won't budge to tears or sebum.

Price, Amount, Availability: Php628 for 10g (0.34 oz), locally available in Etude House stores across the country. The shade I have is #1 Henna Black, but there is also a #2 Henna Brown variant.

Packaging: I admit, the packaging drew me to this out of the many mascaras EH offers. The tube has a very girly, Victorian design, and the hot pink color stuck out in a sea of dark-colored mascara tubes.The henna-like design on the box is really pretty too. If you look for this in Etude House stores you might find it in its 2NE1-themed packaging, with the henna-printed box inside.

Review: One of the reasons I bought this mascara is the wand, yet again. I like trying out different kinds of wands to see what effect they give. The wand is a swirly affair, like so:
I like the wand as it does its job in separating lashes, and there is enough product left in between the bristles that you can wiggle at the base of the eyelashes for a bit more volume, even if you blot it with a tissue before application. It's also small enough to maneuver around the corners of the eyes and along the lower lashes without being too unwieldy.
Hello wonky lower lashes

The formula, #1 Henna Black is a nice dark black, which can clearly be seen with the well-defined look the wand gives. It does make lashes longer, but gives only a little bit of volume. You really have to utilize the wand if you want fuller-looking lashes since the formula by itself won't give you that. However, it doesn't clump as much! Two to three coats will still give you reasonably separated lashes, which can be followed up with a spoolie brush if you're still not comfortable with the overall result. I have also read in some other reviews that the formula doesn't hold a curl for very long, but I put mine on without using a lash curler (I forgot) and it still held after 6-7 hours. Long enough for almost an entire workday.
After 6-7 hours. Tired eye, but still-perky eyelashes.

While I did not notice any smudges--the formula is waterproof--I did see a little flaking towards the end. This could also be because the formula is pretty dry, and it shows: this is my newest mascara and a few other tubes I own look better than this one after a couple of months. This does make the mascara less value for money, and chances are high that you'll find better ones out there for a little less. All in all, I do like this mascara and it's a good one for everyday, but I would advise that if you buy a tube use it until you can't anymore since it dries up quickly.

Have you tried Etude House mascaras? If yes, how did they fare?

Monday, April 04, 2011

From the Owldrobe: Skintone Heels with Ferretti

I stand at a very petite 4'11", with a very petite shoe size to match. Now that I'm semi-working, I have to let go of my college wedges and replace them with a pair of sensible heels. It's already annoying to try to look for good-fitting pair of flats, but more so with heels! Insole measurements for heels seem to wear bigger than that of flats despite having the same size label, so I am constantly on a quest for a snugger fit. I also look at the arch of the shoe, the heel (stilettos for work, no), and the quality. I don't mind spending a little more for a good pair, but it's also because of that willingness that I'm particular with my choices.

I heard from Kira and Liz that Ferretti made shoes fitted for small & narrow Pinay feet, so I dropped by their spot in Landmark Trinoma last Sunday. Liz had mentioned that Ferretti specializes in flats and wedges, so my only purpose there was to check out the range of designs, styles, and prices. Behind their standalone shelves, however, were these:

I read from petite fashion blogs (Extra Petite is my favorite) that skintone pumps elongate the legs and give height, but I had given up hope of finding a good pair that wouldn't involve pre-ordering online--and for petite sizing, that's a huge gamble. I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw these, and in a size 4.5 no less!

I tried them on and was amazed at the fit. It was pretty darn snug! I quickly ran off the rest of the checklist in my head: Arch? Relatively low but still height-inducing. Heel? Thick but sleek, relatively stable, three inches. Quality? Not bad at all! Needless to say, I brought these home.

The style is a classy pointy pump, perfect for the office. Strictly speaking the color doesn't blend completely with the skin even though it's "skintone", but they're not too shabby for my first pair, no? These are part of the new arrivals as of last Sunday, but Landmark was having a sale and I got these at 10% off. Sweet.

I'm glad I found Ferretti, because I tend to stick to certain brands for shoes due to the sizing and fit. It doesn't hurt that they have a good variety of shoes and sizes (4.5-9) to choose from. The summer sandals were going for Php599-799, and I don't think I saw a style over Php2000--expect change with your purchase. Petite- and budget-approved!

I also can't wait to try dressing up the pumps despite the lower heel. 
(Photo credit: P.S. I Made This)

Ferretti in Trinoma is located inside Landmark, level M2. Just walk past BreadTalk and stay on the left side, it's easier to spot since their place is by a wall and not just on standalone shelves. A list of their other locations is on their Facebook page. They're also running a contest where you can win a pair of shoes just by guessing the price. You can even visit their stores for an exact guess! Well worth the research, methinks. :)

P.S. I tweaked my layout a bit, please do tell me if anything's out of place!

Friday, April 01, 2011

Review and Comparison: Blemish Balm (BB) Creams

Note: This is a long review. If you are ready, read on!

Blemish balm cream or BB cream: wonder products that promise to give you the world and a cup of tea. BB creams claim everything from whitening, anti-aging, anti-wrinkle, acne healing, moisturizing, sun protection, good coverage, oil control, brightening, scar lightening, to evening skin tone, and honestly, it's easy to get caught up in it. (If you don't need any of what I just listed, can you give me your skincare routine? :D) It's convenience in a tube... kind of like fastfood.

BB creams for me are a type of foundation with added properties, and they may actually be more traditional than most people think. Considering the many virtues extolled by BB creams, they would probably need quite a combination of ingredients to achieve those. But I still... can't... stop... buying... them...
The Face Shop Quick & Clean Oil-Free Blemish Balm: Formulated with our enhanced Quick'n Clear Complex and Malt extract, this oil-free protective moisturizer soothes the skin while providing natural coverage to hide flaws.

The Face Shop Hydro Splash BB cream: Skin tone correcting moisture rich formula protects, soothes and gives natural coverage.

Skin Food Red Bean BB Cream: A hydrating BB cream with red beans that nourishes and moisturizes rough skin while providing natural yet flawless coverage even when applied in a thin layer. (I have this in #2, Natural Beige)

Jump for the review!