Saturday, February 22, 2014

Beauty Tag: Colors of the Rainbow

Lip Swatch on Top Right Taken from BeautyLish (where I purchased it)
Color-Accurate Photo of Fyrinnae "Cuddlefish"
I was tagged by one of my favorite beauty bloggers Nicci, of A Different Face. She's a much more dependable blogger than me and has definitely inspired more than a few purchases (why must you tempt me with more Tom Ford quads!?).

Red: Guerlain Rouge G in "Garconne"
My favorite red product is sadly not one that I use a lot just because I tend to wear more neutral-toned lipsticks. I love the Rouge G formula, it's creamy, opaque and wears well on my lizard-prone lips.

Orange: Tangle Teezer
Until a couple weeks ago, this would have been an obvious choice. While I still think this brush does a good job of getting out surface tangles it would struggle to get through all of my hair. Also, I can't even count the number of times it's slipped out of my hands and ended up at the opposite end of my bathroom. I prefer the Wet Brush to the Tangle Teezer, but there are plenty of people who feel differently.

Yellow: Emma Hardie Amazing Face Lift and Sculpt Moringa Cleansing Balm
I'm coming to the end of my second tub and just ordered a new one this week from Bath & Unwind (free shipping to the U.S.!). I don't think there's anything I could say about this blogger-favorite that hasn't already been said. Suffice it to say, it's my absolute favorite morning cleanser. End of.

Green: Fyrinnae Loose Eye Shadow in "Bitey Tyrannosaur" (self-pressed)
Honestly, how could I not choose this?! It's a vibrant green color that I use traced next to a black liner or along the lower lash line. Not exactly a daily look but something that's fun on occasion.

Blue: Inglot AMC Lipgloss in "541"
This gloss is one of my all-time favorite makeup items. I don't know what it is about iridescent/prismatic/holographic things but I'm just drawn to them. Maybe I was a raver in another life? The gloss itself is really comfortable, not very sticky, and hydrating. The color can be topped over just about any other lip product to add a subtle, cool effect. I plan on doing a My Favorite Things post and I'll include lip swatches. In the swatch it appears really purple but on your lips it takes on a blue cast that is really flattering for teeth and makes them appear whiter. The only possible down-side would be that it can collect in lip lines if you apply too much and it has an artificial cherry smell-- confirmed by my significant other.

Indigo: Fyrinnae Loose Eye Shadow in "Cuddlefish" (self-pressed)
The pictures on their website are incredibly misleading... This one is described as a purple on the website but I find it has more blue than purple in it. Enough for me to consider it an indigo. For whatever reason this color was impossible for me to get a color accurate picture of. The pictures kept capturing it as more of a true blue, which it's not. This shadow takes a little more layering than than others to be opaque but it's so worth it. I use it as a top coat on other shadows to add a little complexity but wouldn't recommend it as a stand-alone eyeshadow.

Violet: Velour Lashes "Are Those Real"
I've never really "loved" fake lashes before but in an attempt to find my "wedding lashes" I decided to give these mink lashes a go. I actually hauled these here. I've worn them a handful of times and really love them. The band is a little thicker than I'm used to but shockingly, it's not noticeable to me at all. They look really natural and my friends were actually surprised when I brought up that I was wearing fake lashes... They're more expensive but provide 25 uses. Putting the cost-per-wear below the much-loved Ardel lashes. I ordered some lashes from Esquido to try, so I'll let you know how the two mink lashes compare.

By now you've probably started to question my ability to see color... looking back I'm questioning it a little myself. But everything I included I love and would recommend whole-heartedly.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Philip B. Review

I purchased a gift set from Gilt that contained all three products from the Amber Imperial line. I'd heard a lot about it, primarily how expensive it is. As the name suggests, all three products smell strongly of amber. It actually reminds me a lot of the body spray from Victoria's Secret called "Amber Romance". 

Philip B. Russian Amber Imperial Shampoo (full size is $140 from BeautyBar): Somewhat of a cult classic, this definitely seems to get the most attention. It's supposed to be suitable for all hair types but especially those with color-treated/damaged hair. It appears almost identical to honey, except that this suds up (very little) and loses it's stickiness when wet. It's taken a bit of experimentation to get to the point where I enjoy using this. I found I could get through the roots of my hair with about a tablespoon of product, one pea-sized amount at a time. I lather it up in my hands (as much as possible) before working it into my hair. The directions on the bottle recommended leaving it in for 3-5 minutes for "best results". I found that it did leave my hair feeling a little cleaner when I did. Basically, if you use too little product you won't get through your hair (Captain Obvious, here). But if you use to much your hair doesn't ever really feel clean. In fact, it felt weighed down and like it had too much leftover product. The amber scent in this is really strong and lasts all day on my hair (especially when I follow with the rest of the line). The shampoo promises to:
  • Reconstructing shampoo formula
  • Repairs hair on a cellular level
  • Moisturizes for weightless hydration
  • Increases hair elasticity and strength
I haven't noticed any visible changes in my hair but this is a good shampoo that cleansed without stripping my hair. Dare I say, it actually was kind of hydrating. I found that I still needed to use a clarifying shampoo once a week but this definitely grew on me. Paraben and phthalates free.

Philip B. Russian Amber Imperial Conditioning Creme (full size is $150 from BeautyBar): My least favorite item in the kit. It's not nearly hydrating enough for my dry, thick, coarse (somewhat horse-like) hair. No matter how long I left it in (the label recommends up to 5 minutes)... it just did little-to-nothing. It's not as strongly scented as the shampoo/dry shampoo but still, there's no mistaking the fact that you're using an amber-scented conditioner. 

Russian Amber Imperial Dry Shampoo (full size is $40 from Philip B): Not the best dry shampoo, but not the worst either. It did freshen my hair but it really only gave me one to two extra days of wear, unlike my favorite dry shampoo, Blow Pro Faux Dry, which can get me through 4+ days (Don't worry Mom, I still bathe between hair washes). It's similar in formula to other aerosol dry shampoos. It's a white powder that leaves a slight cast on darker hair (not as badly as some though). I appreciate that this doesn't leave my hair feeling "gritty" like Big Sexy Hair Volumizing Dry Shampoo or some of the other volumizing powders.

Philip B Lasting Shine & BounceCleansing Conditioner with Oud Essence: I think this has since been discontinued and replaced with this. This was also purchased from Gilt (still available) for almost 50% off of the 7.4 fl oz size. This caught my attention because it's basically a more expensive version of a shampoo/conditioner hybrid. It's advertised as a "6-in-1 formula [that] acts as a shampoo, conditioner, deep conditioner/masque, detangler, leave-in conditioner and shine spray". This also is supposed to be suitable for all hair types. I found that it was a much better shampoo than conditioner. It's easy to use and suds up about as much as newer sulfate-free shampoos. It didn't strip my hair but I didn't notice it making it look better either. It smells like a mix of a Glade plug-in (I can't place which one) and a very mature perfume. As unflattering as that description sounds, I actually liked this... just not as much as my Pureology Hydrate Shampoo. Free of sulfates, phthalates, paragons, formaldehyde (aren't all shampoos free of this), propylene glycol, and sodium chloride.

I would definitely recommend trying the sampler pack from Gilt if possible. Not only because of how expensive these products are, but also because the formula is unique and won't appeal to everyone. Ultimately, I prefer my current haircare products from Pureology's Hydrate line and don't plan on repurchasing any of the Philip B products I reviewed. 

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Sunday, February 2, 2014

So Hauler: Japan

If I could only get makeup and brushes from one country... I'd choose Japan. I'm sure a big part of the allure is the exclusivity of it, but mostly, I just love the unique textures and complex (often shimmery) colors. So when someone offered to pick somethings up from Japan while they were visiting I jumped at the chance. Makeup and brush shopping in Japan is definitely on my Bucket List... and yes, I know that sounds really a little crazy to the general population.

The Z-Series as a whole is definitely lust-worthy. The practical side of me knew I shouldn't spend 71,610 yen for the complete set so I settled on two, Z-2 & Z-8. To be honest, I'm already plotting my next purchase (MK-2 & Z-1) but I'm holding out for now. I'd debated whether or not to do a full review on this, but in all honestly, I don't think I could do them justice. However, Sonia of Sweet Makeup Temptations has an amazing review here and here... just be prepared to apply for a new credit card. Suffice it to say both brushes I purchased are absolutely dreamy. Essentially, the Z-2 is a sharper, more luxurious & expensive version of the Wayne Goss 02 or the Hakuhodo J5521. I use it for contouring, highlighting, and sometimes even blush. The Z-8 is actually smaller than I imaged it would be but just as soft as I'd hoped. I don't think it's as soft as the LE Koyudo Red Squirrel, but that's not necessarily a bad thing.

Addiction by Ayako
Kohl Eyeliner in "Night Dive": This is the only powder eyeliner I own. I've got mixed feelings on it. Yes, I like it, but it takes a few passes for it to become opaque, especially with the black shade. I have other black eyeshadows that I would imagine would work the same. That said, both shades in this duo are densely-packed powders with a bit of complex shimmer running through it.
Eyeshadow in "Rigoletto" (ME): In the few shadows I've tried of Addiction, they definitely excel at those with metallic (ME) finishes. This shade is no exception. It's complex, pigmented, and densely packed. One of my all-time favorite eyeshadow formulas.
Eyeliner Pencil in "Sugar Blond": This came highly recommended by one of my all-time favorite bloggers. It's a more yellow, flesh-toned pencil that I plan on using on my waterline. It has a very fine amount of shimmer in it, just enough to give it more of a satin-like finish. I know some people use this for highlighting their cupids bow as well. I'm anticipating this will be very long-wearing as it required a makeup cleanser to remove the small swatch on my arm.

Flash Performance Eyeliner in "07 Eye Doll": Definitely check out the review by Kate of Drivel About Frivol for an in-depth review and swatches. 
Eyeshadow Duo in 01 "Love Fascination": So THREE's line of duos is all about layering a powder over a cream. The results is a beautiful, complex color. Again, I'd recommend checking out Kate's post on a few other shades from the line. In this duo, the black shade is full of complex sparkle. In terms of formula, the black is a a silky, powdery, cream (not really moist/emollient). The lighter shade is a silky powder that's a sheer, somewhat complex taupe. When the powder is applied over the cream, the color is somewhat reminiscent of the THREE liner in 07... no complaints here. I'm actually scouting out the other colors from the same line, especially 03 and 06.
The dark shade broke a little. I'll see if it's able to be re-pressed with alcohol... wish me luck.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

So Hauler: U.K. & U.S.

So Becky of Cosmetic Debris, enabler extraordinaire, messaged me a couple weeks ago hinting at doing another swap. Of course, I already had a mental list of things I "needed" from the U.K. so within a day we'd pretty much settled on what we'd be picking up for each other.

RMK "Strawberry Pink" MT-03
Suqqu Creamy Eyeliner in "04 Brown"
Velour Lashes in "Are Those Real?"
Suqqu Creamy Glow Moist Lipstick in "02"
Makeup Atelier Paris HD Airbrush Foundation in "Air2B Clear Beige" (For reference, I'm an NW20/25 in MAC.
Philip Kinglsey Elasticizer
Shu Uemura Silk Cushion Eye Shadow from the Bijoux Collection in "Amber Brown"
Wayne Goss 06 (Purchased on Beautylish)
Z-Palette: (Inside) Row 1-Addiction Eyeshadows in "Fudge", "Flash Back", & "Sand Dune", Unknown Shiseido Shadow. Row-2- Nakedology Pixie Blush in "Amber Sky", Stila "Kitten", LMDB (counterfeit) "Lapis" & "Tamarack", and last but not least, LMDB "Corinthian".

A little more info on the two counterfeit shadows: I purchased "Lapis" from Ebay seller luxunadidi and "Tamarack" from what_a_wonderful_day. Both sellers advertised their products as "authentic" but unfortunately, neither were. Ebay has so far been good about resolving the issue but in the future I don't think I'll be purchasing much makeup from Ebay.