The Makeup Brushes I Can’t Live Without

Allow me to begin this post by saying that as of my last count, I have over 50 makeup brushes. I don’t have all of them out and in rotation on my vanity simply because there are so many of them, but I have tested each and every one. As such, I know which ones I like enough to use everyday and — as many as there are — I had no problem at all picking out my absolute favourites. These brushes don’t necessarily form a complete set and they aren’t even all expensive brushes, but they are the best at what they do and I cannot imagine living without them.
DSC03659Sonia Kashuk No. 1 Brush – Sonia Kahsuk is a brand that sells exclusively at Target and I make it a point to pick up at least one brush from her line whenever I get the chance. The regular brushes with the white handles are OK, but the black, curvy-handled ones are the best. They range in price from 15-20 USD. This No.1 brush is the most amazing fluffy powder brush.

Sonia Kashuk (???) Brush – This one was from a special collection and the number has rubbed off, but it’s just a smaller version of the No.1 Brush. I use it to apply heavier powder foundations. Like the larger No.1 Brush, it’s incredibly soft.

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Getting To Know Laura Mercier’s Smooth Finish Flawless Fluide Foundation

P1160985At 2,250.00 Php, the Laura Mercier Smooth Finish Flawless Fluide is one of the pricier foundations that I own — it comes second only to my beloved Koh Gen Doh Aqua Foundation (2,750.00 Php). The bar was set high for this product not just because of the hefty price but also because Laura Mercier is one of my favourite makeup brands ever. Like, ever. Here’s what the Flawless Fluide claims to do: 
The description is short, but LM has packed many a promise into that little space on the back of the box. Most of it is what any good foundation should do, but the part that says “perfect for all ages, all skin-tones, all skin-types” kind of makes me pull back and say: Reaaaally, now? Unfortunately I am of one age, one skin-type, and one skin-tone, so you’ll have to look to other reviews to confirm if the foundation works for all kinds of women. For now you’ll have to settle for this 24-year-old, combination-skin-typed, and medium-olive-skin-toned girl’s opinion.

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Deals & Steals Alert: Laura Mercier Mini Caviar Sticks Holiday Set & VMV Christmas Promo

P1160918Can you believe it’s nearly Christmas? I’m not sure where 2014 went, but I’m quite glad to be rid of it (not such a great year for me– though I believe I said the same about 2013. Life, please give me a break). On a happier note, I am genuinely glad that Laura Mercier’s Holiday sets are finally available. They are always the best value for money in my opinion and I have never regretted picking up at least one set. This year I bought the Mini Caviar Stick Colour Collection (1,950.00 Php). 2013’s set had four mini caviar sticks, while this year’s set has six. I already own three of the shades in the set (Rosegold, Amethyst, and Moonlight) so I’m giving those away, but I am keeping these three:P1160927Copper, Khaki, and Cocoa. The mini caviar sticks come out to 325.00 Php each for 1.00g of product. That’s not bad at all considering that a full-sized caviar stick only has 1.64g of product and will set you back 1,250.00 Php. This set is such a steal, so grab it before it sells out! You can see swatches of my other caviar sticks in this post.

The new Smooth Finish Flawless Fluide Foundation is also finally available. I haven’t tested out a new base product in ages, so I’m definitely picking that up soon too.
P1160970Here’s another product I also recently picked up on offer: VMV Hypoallergenics’ Skintangible “BBBB Cream” (1,060.00 Php) I’ve used this base before and liked it well enough, but the packaging has always bothered me. It’s difficult to get the last bits of the cream out of the bottle and you end up wasting quite a bit if you don’t put in the extra effort. I paired it with VMV’s Ooh La Lash mascara to avail of the 30% discount.

I’m not too sure when the promo on makeup items ends for VMV, but their Holiday sets are also worth checking out. I know I’d love to receive their Creams de la Creme (490 Php) and My VMVery Favourite Things (1,000 Php) sets for sure. VMV is also offering their facials and skin services on a crazy discounted package until December 24. If you buy 10 facials from their Skin Services Menu, you get 70% off the total price. You can take your time using up the services as there is no expiry date either. That’s probably the sweetest deal I’ve come across this Christmas season yet.

What deals have you guys come across while Christmas shopping this year? :) Bonus FOTD after the jump! 

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At Last

NMNew makeup (that I bought with my own money)! ♥ Just wanted to show you guys what I got since my makeup ban was lifted. New nail polish was definitely high on the priority list. I used to post NOTDs on Instagram a lot… maybe I’ll get back into that! That Revlon nail polish in Persuasion a beautiful plummy red with a gel-like finish. So beautiful.

New base products were also very high on my (long) list of new things to get. Is it just me or is the idea of living with just one foundation throughout an entire year a little crazy? My skin seems to change a lot and I’m not just talking about skin tone. Hmm. Anyway, I’m on the hunt for a good full coverage foundation, but the Koh Gen Do Aqua Foundation was on offer at Beauty Bar (45% off until the 18th!) so I grabbed it. It gives light to medium build-able coverage and is a fave of Rae of The RAEviewer. The concealer in the photo is Laura Mercier’s Secret Camouflage in SC5. Going to save everything I have to say about it for the review! ;)

I’m rolling into midterm exams season right now so posts will be few and far between, but this is a little taste of what you can expect. Any new acquisitions on your end? :) Also let me know what your fave full coverage foundations are, pretty please! :)

The Beauty Bee Awards: Best of 2013!

BBAIt’s time to go through my Beauty favourites for 2013! :) I had a difficult time choosing between products, so I thought it would be fun to present the “winners” alongside the other products that nearly made it. I love everything shown here, but the winners have been consistent faves throughout the year (or at least since I acquired them).

I didn’t limit myself to any number of categories, but I ended up with a nice round number: 10. The winners/faves are named in the photo and my little bee mascot can be seen hovering close to them. Let’s have a look! :) 

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Christmas “Haul” 2013! :)

Hi guys! I hope everyone had a great Christmas this year, whether you celebrate it or not. :) For me, the best part is getting to see my family all in one place. I’m pretty close to my cousins and it’s really fun to spend time with them and exchange gifts once the clock strikes 12 on Christmas day. :) This year I got most of my friends and family little leather keychains from Katre with their initials monogrammed on. I ordered all of them way back in October to minimize Christmas shopping stress. I still had to scramble for a couple of gifts, but it worked for the most part. :)

As for the gifts I receive, I usually get a lot of practical things because if I’m lucky enough to be asked, I tell my titas (aunts) what I need. For example, last year, I asked for a safe box and a hairdryer and received both of them exactly as I had specified. Other than that, all my other little presents tend to be useful things like electronics, books, organizational tools, or clothes… I guess what I’m getting at is that I don’t usually get makeup as a present. This year was different, though. I got a nice little bunch of beauty-related presents, so I thought it would be nice to do a little “haul” to share them with you guys. :)
CH3The first (and the sweetest) thing is this travel size Sigma E75 blending brush.

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My Holiday Collection Wishlist + Beauty Chit Chat #2

Hey guys! How are you all doing? :) I’ve been super stressed at school, but I can really feel the Christmas spirit creeping up on me! The Christmas songs and decor are slightly distracting, but it’s definitely the holiday makeup collections that are always on my mind these days. What an exciting time of year to be a beauty enthusiast (lol)! I personally get most excited for Fall collections in general, but holiday collections are just so pretty, festive, and are also often a great way to snag a deal by buying makeup sets. Who doesn’t love them!

I still can’t buy any makeup until January 1 (if you’re not a regular reader,  you can read about my makeup ban here), but browsing is definitely allowed. It kills me to walk by counters, swatch products, ohh-and-aahhh over products, and not be able to pick them up, but I do have the one Christmas item that I’m allowed to pick out for myself. I haven’t seen all of the collections or studied them very well, but these are the things that have caught my eye so far.

I present to you my (incomplete) Holiday Collection Wishlist:

mac_nocturnalssilverviolet0021. MAC Nocturnals Pigment & Glitter Set in Silver and Violet (2,100Php) – Of course I have to start with something MAC. Every year I tell myself that I won’t be that interested in the MAC holiday collection, based on the promo material–but every year I fall in love with something at the counter. This set includes three pigments and two glitters. I’ve never owned a MAC pigment but I have only heard great things about them. This set includes the ever-popular Vanilla pigment as well as a pearly pink shimmer called Kitschmas. I love that– Kistchmas! Click on the photo to see a review by Temptaliamac_divinenightgroup0042. MAC Divine Night Lipstick in Private Party (1,100 Php) – Private Party is the second from the right and is the one shade in the line that Temptalia rated with an A. It was also the one that I fell in love with when I swatched it. It’s a dirty plum mauve with a satin finish. The colour is right up my alley and I am dying to get my hands on it. Again, click the link to see a full review! This goes for the rest of the items on this list, too. :)lauramercier_merlot0023. Laura Mercier Creme Smooth Lip Colour in Merlot(1,100 Php) – Ok, so this is part of a Fall collection and it will be in the permanent range… but ugh, it’s such a beautiful deep burgundy red that I would totally wear for Christmas and New Years parties. A friend of mine has this exact shade and she reports that it doesn’t stain (fine by me) but it does wear comfortably.

Stila-Color-Outside-The-Lines-Smudge-Stick-Waterproof-Eye-Liner-Set4. Stila Colour Outside the Lines Smudge Stick Waterproof Eye Liner Set ($34) – Stila’s smudge sticks are incredible. They are, however, in a twist-up mechanism and they run out quickly, so buying them in sets makes a lot of sense. This is a set of five full sized eye liners. lauramercier_artistpalette0015. Laura Mercier Artist’s Palette for Eyes for Holiday 2013 ($48) – So this palette leans toward being cool-toned, but I think it will work for me because of the purples and taupes. I’ve checked this out at a counter and the packaging is not top quality, but I just about died over the quality of the shadows. Last year’s LM holiday eye palette (see Carina’s post on that one!) was also a wishlist item, but I did not end up getting that one… maybe because this one is better suited to me? Hihi. Also, this is supposed to be “exclusive to Sephora” but you can definitely get it at LM counters in Rustan’s locally.

So that’s what’s on my wishlist for now. Do let me know what you think about my picks and feel free to share if you are also lemming after a few Christmas collection items. :) I also want to chat a bit about the soon-to-be-released Urban Decay NAKED 3 palette.

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Loving Laura: A Slight Case of Brand Obsession

It’s very rare that a cosmetics brand can get everything right. Some have got it down when it comes to foundations (Bobbi Brown, Lancome), some have the best lipstick formulas (MAC, NARS), and others have totally covered the field with their blush selection (NARS)… but a brand’s formulas almost always falter in some area–wether it’s hit-and-miss eyeshadows *ahemNARSahem* or inconsistent products overall, depending on the collection *ahemEsteeLauder*. LL1Recently, I noticed that the number of Laura Mercier products that form a part of my makeup routine has shot up. When I say recent, I mean beginning only this year (2013).The only item pictured above that I had before 2013 is the oil-free tinted moisturizer. The radiance foundation primer, silk creme foundation, caviar eye shadow stick, and metallic creme eye colour are all new to me– and they are awesome.

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A February Treat

LMRSThe first February was a Friday last week and I thought that the combination of the beginning of my birth month and a long weekend was just the perfect (albeit slightly irrational) reason for me to get a new lipstick! A pink lipstick in particular, it being the month of love and all. ♥ I initially wanted one of the new Bobbi Brown matte lip colors, but the shade I had my heart set on was out of stock so I had a little browse at the Laura Mercier counter (loving LM lately; more on that another time). I had never tried one of their lipsticks and their color selection looked pretty good. It didn’t take me long to find the Shimmer Lip Colour in Raspberry Sorbet. I knew that it was the colour I was looking for the second I swatched it! It’s a “berry rose shimmer” according to the LM website, which is just all things that I love together in one lippie– berry, rose, and shimmer (in the right amount). Hello, perfection.

Now I have no idea why LM lippies don’t get more hype, but they definitely deserve it. The formula of this lipstick is comparable to MAC lustres, which are my fave finish from MAC. LM also offers Creme Lip Colours as well as Sheer Lip Colours, which cover the heavy and sheer finishes respectively. The Shimmer Lip Colours fall in between those, offering great colour pay-off with a nice, healthy shine. The formula wears on me for just under three hours. Nothing great but it doesn’t fade in patches so you just have to remember to reapply more often. I have my eyes set on another colour (also a pink) from the Creme Lip Colour line. Maybe I’ll pick that one up closer to my birthday. :)

Laura Mercier lipsticks are available at Rustan’s for 995.00 Php. Have you tried anything new on a whim lately? :)

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