An O.K. Product: NARS Dual-Intensity Blush in Craving (Review)

NARS, to my mind, has always been the cool kid on the block. He’s got the good looks and the “it factor”, but when you dig down deep and get to what’s on the inside — he’s not all he’s cracked up to be. Laura Mercier, on the other hand, is the unassuming, simple girl who happens to pack a punch despite¬†her plain Jane appearances.

Fran√ßois and Laura are the stars of¬†my imagined world of personified makeup¬†(because the token bad boy and sweet girl figures are the bare bones of any clich√® story, obvs), but there’s also Bobbi (Brown) — the clean-cut preppy girl who cares way too much following the rules¬†— and Pierre (Guerlain) — the snooty rich, foreign guy who drives a Lambo and vacations at Turks and Caicos in the summer.

Other than Holy Shit I want it all, I want it aaaallll, this is the kind of stuff that I think about when I’m walking through Rustan’s beauty section. I can’t be the only one… so — care to add some character write-ups in the comments section? I’ve thought the whole set through, including “younger” brands like Benefit and MAC, but it should be fun to her how other people view brands, personified. ;)

DSC01867Anyway, yes. I am primarily here today to talk about a NARS product. The NARS Dual-Intensity Blush ($45 / approx. 2,450 Php) is another one of the products that I picked up from my trip to the U.S. in May. I was seriously considering the dual-intensity eyeshadows as well, but for one reason or another I ended up with this bugger instead.

It looks cool, as is always the case with NARS products, but it’s also got a hefty price tag attached. I’m always hesitant to drop money on NARS’s skin products (only the Audacious lipsticks have fully impressed me), but I thought I would take a chance on the dual-intensity products because they’re relatively new and rated pretty well by other bloggers.¬†

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Swatches of the NEW Happy Skin Lip Lacquer (Hear Me Roar) & Matte Lippie (Pop The Question)

This past Wednesday was apparently “National Lipstick Day” (or was it International? Matters little!) and all over Instagram people were celebrating by posting anything and everything to do with lipstick. To me, that’s a visual feast, so I’m not complaining. I was, however, out of the house all day and those posts spurred an urge to buy a new lipstick. I resisted, mostly because none of the shades I had swatched were particularly exiting, but also because I have all of the lipsticks I need — at least, I thought I did. That changed when I came home to this:¬†DSC02996It’s been just over a month since¬†Happy Skin¬†introduced us to their amazing matte lipstick formula with the Preview x Happy Skin collaboration. Too Cool and Hot Stuff were beautiful shades (I adore Too Cool), but they are sadly limited edition ones that won’t be coming back after stocks run out¬†(unless we petition for Too Cool to become permanent, maybe? hehe). Still, we all knew that¬†Happy Skin would introduce¬†permanent shades in the matte formulation one day — I just didn’t expect that day to come so soon. I’m definitely not complaining and I was so kilig to have been sent one of the new Matte Lippie shades AND a totally new product, the Power Pout Lip Lacquer, to try out. I didn’t have all the lipsticks I needed pala. Hehe.

Along with a beautiful monogrammed lipstick pouch by Bespoke & Beyond, I received the Shut Up & Kiss Me Moisturizing Matte Lippie in Pop The Question and the Shut Up & Kiss Me Power Pout Moisturizing Lip Lacquer in Hear Me Roar.

I am putting this post up a day before the Zalora launch so that you can have a look at these particular shades and decide if you’re interested in them.¬†I’ll include the basic information, but this isn’t a review.¬†Happy swatch-ogling! :)

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A #BetterMe Story, Feat. SkinWhite’s Advanced Whitening Range

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SkinWhite Advanced Power Whitening Soap – 26 Php for 65g, 44 Php for 90g, and 60.75 Php for 125g

SkinWhite Advanced Whitening Facial Cleanser – (Price not indicated)

SkinWhite Advanced Whitening Facial Powder – 67 Php for 20g

SkinWhite Advanced Power Whitening Lotion – 71 Php for 50mL, 123 Php for 75mL, and 235 Php for 200 mL

I tend to¬†like brands that create a community, and really, all brands should strive to do just that.¬†If people are attracted to your products, that’s already one thing they have¬†in common. Why not turn those consumers into a supportive group of friends? Well, that’s exactly what SkinWhite did with their latest batch of girls who formed this year’s Captivate Council.¬†¬†

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Two Looks, One Palette: A Review of Happy Skin’s All Eyes On Hue Eyeshadow Palette

DSC01888The Happy Skin All Eyes On Hue Eyeshadow Palette* (1,299.00 Php)¬†was released with the Holiday 2014 collection (which was called “Save Room for Dessert” in case you’re curious to know) and is, for the moment, the brand’s only eyeshadow offering.

As is always the case with Happy Skin products, the packaging design is adorable.¬†It’s made of that reinforced, coated cardboard that I love so much and it’s held shut by a strong magnet.

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The Sunday Currently Vol. 1

DSC02920I enjoy reading other people’s “Sunday Currently” posts, so I thought I’d give it a go. Can’t assure you that mine will be interesting, but here it goes!

Reading

A collection¬†of Octavio Paz’s essays. I am admittedly unfamiliar with his body of work but am enjoying his litcrit so far. Also loving the Saga of The Swamp Thing for my bedtime read. I’m new to the world of comics (so no, I am not familiar with all the complexities of the different universes — I have a general idea of them though), but already I get the feeling that you can’t go wrong with anything Moore touches.

Writing

Uhm, this post? This is a funny question. Haha.

Listening

Listening to my neighbour’s fountain, I suppose. And the random sounds of my house at 12 noon on a Sunday. I rarely ever play music in my room and I don’t like having the TV on in the background. (Silence is my friend.)¬†

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Review: Kat Von D Shade + Light Eye Contour Palette

DSC01895This, dear readers, is the Kat Von D Shade + Light Eye Contour Palette (46.00 USD). It was the first thing I dropped into my shopping basket when I hit Sephora back in May and I had been ogling it online prior to that for months. I knew even before getting my hands on it that I would come to adore it. Its sister, the Face Contour Palette, seems to be the more popular of the two palettes, but I thought the idea of a contour palette for the eyes was much more interesting and original.

Plus: look at that packaging. How could anyone resist?

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What’s On My Bedside Table

I was watching some home organisation videos on YouTube the other day¬†and came across a few dedicated solely to nightstand / bedside table organisation. I was so engrossed in the videos (it’s like watching “What’s in My Bag” vids!) that I definitely lost a few¬†of hours of my life, but it was totally worth my time, methinks. Different people keep very different things in and on their nightstands¬†and it’s totally¬†revealing of one’s personality and pre-sleep priorities.

I thought I’d share my own nightstand¬†on here because most ladies keep some skincare by their beds and I am no exception.¬†My bedside table isn’t very large and I don’t use the drawers to keep things I need at night (they get stuck easily so I just don’t bother to open them much), so everything important sits right on top. Here’s how I have it set up:
DSC02557I have a stack of books, a Wesco Peppy can peeping from behind that stack, a coaster, and a reading lamp. This corner of my room looks extra nice at night when all my lights except for the reading lamp are off. Now that I think of it, I should have taken a photo of it at night, but I’m so used to waiting for sunlight so that I can photograph makeup that I just…didn’t. Oh well.

Anyway, like I said, the drawers don’t house anything I need at night because they’re a pain to pull open. But in case you’re curious, the top drawer holds some of my notebook collection and the bottom drawer is where I store old hard drives. Everything I do need right before bed is within arm’s reach.¬†

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Confession: I Like Pens (And These Are My Faves)

This is admittedly very random, but I’ve been going back and forth on doing a post about this for a while and I figured it couldn’t hurt. And I really wanted to talk about this. I love books, I love to write, and I love good paper/notebooks. So it’s only natural that I should have pen preferences as well, right?

I’m no expert when it comes to writing instruments, but I am particular about what I use. I still write notes on paper before beginning any major piece (be it a blog post or a school paper) and I also do write in a journal occasionally. For those things, I have two different types of pens: the¬†“workhorses” and my “fancy pens.” Let’s start by having a look at my utilitarian babies:

The Workhorses

These are the pens that I use for day-to-day writing. They’re what I carry in my bag and use to take notes when I have to. Before I actually start talking about the pens, allow me to apologise for the crappy photo quality. I had to use a lightbox because of the incessant rains and I am also not used to photographing pens. (Funnily enough they behave quite differently from makeup under a camera lens.)P1190198 Ok, so these are the black pens that I use on a daily basis. Up top is my LAMY Rollerball. I’m fairly certain that this writes with a 0.7 mm¬†point, which is a bit thick for my taste but the pretty matte black exterior of the pen is too sexy to give up. When I eventually run out of ink I can buy a refill.

The second pen is a Uniball Vision Needle with a 0.5 mm point. It is also a rollerball (it makes¬†use of water-based ink as opposed to ballpoint pens which use oil-based ink) and it writes like a dream for such an affordable pen. I make it a point to have two of these in my life at all times (because it’s the pen I lend to people when they ask to borrow one and you know how some people just never return pens…).¬†

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Checking In

Hello – it’s been a while!¬†I didn’t want to jump right back into beauty reviews after the little unintended hiatus I took, so I thought I would do a little catching up post first.

Life (outside of beauty blogging) has been quite chill and all sorts of happy of late. Allow me to remind anyone who missed the news¬†that I officially¬†found myself free of the clutches of¬†law school in March, but I began moving my life’s direction away from it in October of last year.¬†I still often think of life in terms of “when I was¬†suffering¬†in law school” and “life after the inferno law school” because it was that traumatising.¬†But! I did slowly start to feel more like myself again once I allowed myself to really let go.

I had forgotten, while in law school, how good life can be. I started reading again — and I mean really reading, because six hours a day dedicated to reading cases is nothing compared to a solid hour or two with some real literature. I have time to write now, and along with reading that nourishes my soul. I can also finally focus on¬†my health by making my yoga practice a priority for the sake of both my physical and spiritual wellbeing. And thanks to all of those things,¬†I stopped being so angry all the time.

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A Gem of A Palete: Lorac Unzipped (Swatches)

DSC01858The Lorac Unzipped palette ($42) has been on my radar for a few years now. YouTubers talk about it a lot, but not half as often as they rave about the Lorac Pro palette. The Pro comes with eight matte and eight shimmery shades, while Unzipped comes with just three mattes seven shimmers.

Last year I excitedly added the original Pro (there is now a second version) to my collection and learned the hard way that more eyeshadows and a greater number of matte shades does not a  better palette make. I wrote about it in this post and since then I have been able to use the Pro palette, but not very often.

Despite the so-so experience I had with the Pro palette, I couldn’t get the Unzipped palette out of my mind. The shades looked so buttery, so vibrant… and much more interesting than¬†those of¬†the popular Urban Decay NAKED 3 palette, which also features rosy pinks heavily.

DSC01863As you may have surmised by now, I did finally go¬†and get my own Lorac Unzipped palette. It’s beautiful, as you can see, and¬†OMG guys — wait until you see the swatches (if you haven’t seen them on other blogs yet, that is). You’ll be drooling over this palette fo shizzle.¬†

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