Sunday, April 24, 2016

NYX Cosmetics Illuminator


Nyx Cosmetics says,

Brighten up your complexion! The radiant shimmer of this illuminator diffuses light so your skin looks vibrant and refreshed while adding a subtle glow.



• PACKAGING •


The packaging is very sleek, it reminds me of Smashbox. I never had a smashbox product, but I see always see the brand whenever I visit The Beauty Bar Store. 
The packaging feels sturdy, and it does have a mirror inside --- very handy especially when I’m doing my makeup somewhere else. 



• FORMULATION/PERFORMANCE •


The formula is slightly dry and not powdery at all – hence I’m pretty sure that one compact of this will last me for a very, very long time! 
I have it in the shade called “Enigmatic” which is a described as a pink with golden shimmers. On the compact, Enigmatic appears like a pink blush with golden shimmers, almost the lighter version of Nars Orgasm. But upon swatching, I can definitely tell that this is a highlighter as I can barely see the pink color.
Honestly, my standard for illuminator was set to a pretty high level ever since I’ve tried The Balm MaryLou. Perhaps, that’s the reason why I didn’t like Nyx Illuminator at first. But then, I realized that this product is different to Mary Lou in so many ways, and it all comes down to your preferences on a highlighter. 
As it promises, Nyx Illuminator gives a “subtle” glow, a “lit from within” kind of glow. That is in contrast with MaryLou, which gives my skin a more obvious or intense kind of glow. 
Enigmatic has pink shade, whereas MaryLou has champagne. Hence, unlike MaryLou which you can use in some high points of your face, Enigmatic is more appropriate as a cheekbone highlighter. 
Enigmatic is a very sheer highlighter, but can be built to certain intensity. However, I noticed that the more I apply/build up the product, the more it emphasizes the pores on my skin. 



• OVERALL •


Overall, this is a nice highlighter if you want a “not-so-obvious” kind of highlighter on your face. It is far affordable than The Balm, but has less wear-time. I really like that it isn’t powdery – though, I find the formulation quite dry. 

Have you tried this highlighter? What is your favorite highlighter?


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Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Fashion21 Ultimate Cover BB Cream + Concealer

Though Fashion21 has been around since ages, I have only discovered the brand just few years ago when their Fashion21 Double Up Mascara became one of the most highly raved mascaras for Filipinas (review HERE). In fact, until now it is still my Holy Grail mascara! Hands down, the best Local mascara I have ever tried in my life!

Anyways, this week I’ve been testing out a “new” (new to me) product from Fashion21. If you want to my thoughts on it, keep reading!


FASHION21 ULTIMATE COVER BB CREAM+CO NCEALER


Fashion21 says,
There’s no need to look far for a great BB cream and concealer—it’s all in the Ultimate Cover. Our lightweight formula provides excellent coverage that maintains its color even in the face of sweat and humidity. Both products can either be applied separately or combined for the smoothest evenly-toned and blemish-free look, and our three-color range fits any skin tone. It comes with SPF 30+ (Made in Taiwan)


• PACKAGING •


The product is housed in decent looking box that is sealed at the top. But you can always open it at the bottom if you don't want to cut off the seal.
The box itself has everything you need to know about the product. It says here that it contains 20g of BB Cream and 5.5 grams of Concealer. I'm quite surprise to know that Fashion21 Ultimate Cover is a taiwan-made product that is imported and distributed by  Cosmetics Revelation Corporation. 
I also appreciate that it has a manufacturing date stamp on the tube itself. 
When Fashion21 emailed me the name of product that they will be sending me, I thought that it’ll just be a bb cream that has a very good coverage, hence, "Ultimate Cover."
Apparently, Ultimate Cover is 2-in-1 product, in a sense that you'll get two separate products for the price of one.
The BB Cream comes in a squeeze tube, as shown above. Unfortunately, I received a damaged nozzle for shade 1. Nevertheless, I didn't have trouble squeezing out some product from the damaged nozzle since the consistency of the bb cream is quite thick and not runny. 
 The concealer is nestled atop in the squeeze tube cap. Honestly, I am not  happy with how the concealer was packed. 
The concealer is covered with a twist-to-lock transparent plastic cap. Since the product itself is sticking out of the packaging, it can get messy when putting back the plastic cap. 


• SHADE •


Ultracover came into 3 shades: 1- lightest, 2-medium, 3-darkest. 
The lightest shade suits my skintone, about NC25 in Mac. Unfortunately, the lightest shade available is still dark on much lighter skintone. The BB cream swatches are at the left, while I swatched the concealers are the right.

For the BB Creams, Shade #1 fits my skintone. Though, it has a pink undertone. #2 is slightly darker. #3 is really dark and warm compared to #1 and #2.
For the concealer, #1 fits NC20-25 skintone. #2 is quite dark, I'm guessing NC30-35 on Mac. While #3 is a really dark shade, I like using this as a contouring cream.



• FORMULATION •


The consistency of the BB Cream is quite thick compared to most BB Creams. Though it’s thick, the product blends easily with brush, fingers or sponge. 
For those with oily skin, rejoice as the finish is quite satin, and not dewy at all.The coverage is very sheer, hence, you still need the conceal imperfections with your concealer or with the concealer that came with the bb cream.

Contrary to its claim, the cream concealer isn’t as full coverage as the name implies. Though, it can cover minor imperfections like acne marks. Just make sure to use the “spot” concealing technique when you opt to use this product to cover your acne marks. 

In the photo above, I use concealer #1 on my undereye, then I mix #1 and 2 to cover acne mark, and #2 and #3 to contour. 

Longevity-wise, the concealer is pretty long lasting.  I already washed off my hands but I can still the trace of the swatches of the cream concealer on my arms, especially the dark shade. 

Also, the other day, I used the bb cream and concealer on my face. I walked under the sun without umbrella. 
After 3 hours, I took the photo above. As you can see, my makeup is still intact, my skin looks fresh and radiant. I did retouch my lipstick, though! 


• OVERALL •


Overall, it's an okay product to try especially if you have strict budget for makeup. 

Most of its claim are true, although I don't think it's an "ultimate cover" bb cream. The coverage is in between sheer to medium. The concealer isn't too opaque to achieve full coverage (ultimate cover). 

Nevertheless, Ultimate Cover has a good longevity, and feels very light on skin. I do like that it blends easily, and provides natural finish on skin. 

PROS
  • Affordable
  • 2-in-1 product
  • Light coverage, buildable to medium
  • Feels light as air on skin
  • Good longevity

CONS
  • Does not provide ultimate/full coverage
  • Limited Shades


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Sunday, April 10, 2016

Kracie Hadabisei All-in-1 Facial Mask

Last month, I got so obsessed over Face Masks to the point of having face mask nightmare! Have you also experienced that? When you want something so bad, it follows you even in your dreams!! Kaloka! Anyways, I asked my boyfriend that I really, really need to try this face mask from The Beauty Bar. It was quite pricey at Php 795. My boyfriend was like, “Ang mahal naman niyan for a mask.” And I was like, “Hey, it contains 40 pcs no! Do the math. I normally buy Php 50-80/ pc, but this one contains 40 pcs. Roughly around Php 20 each mask.” Lol. Oh the victory of convincing my boyfriend, though I know that he knows he can’t do anything anyways! I always win. (evil laughs).

I got it and went straight home. I opened it, used it, and began reading while waiting for the mask to dry on my face. I was freaking disappointed that I did not noticed that manufacturing date of the product was 2 years ago! Come on, The Beauty Bar, I trusted you! How can you sell something that has manufacturing date of 2014! It hurts, you know! (enough of the drama, lol). But then, I decided to still use it because it’s so pricey! Thankfully, it didn’t break me out! 


KRACIE HADABISEI ALL-IN-1 FACIAL MASK

Kracie says,
Hadabisei is a skincare series that provides intensive care to reduce dryness that causes wrinkles and other skin problems.

A one-step facial care that is used daily right after washing the face. Its triple collagen-filled mask completes the steps for: toner + moisturizer + beauty serum + facial mask. 


• PACKAGING •


Kracie is a Japan-brand. All the masks are inside the resealable pack, neatly folded together. 
The mask itself is quite thick yet soft, just like a typical face mask. Unlike most Korean mask, Kracie’s mask is wider and too big for my face. But that’s okay with me so that those with wide face can also use this mask. Sometimes, I wonder why mask can’t come in different sizes, right?


• FORMULATION/PERFORMANCE •


The scent reminds of a toner. The consistency isn’t too oily nor too watery. I like putting the pack in the refrigerator because it feels nicer on my face. And also to avoid the serum from evaporating since all 40 pcs are not separately pack. 

Kracie recommended to leave the mask for 5-10 minutes, and wiping of any excess liquid after. In my case, I normally leave it for 15 minutes at least. I don’t like wiping off the excess kasi sayang naman, db? That’s what you paid for. The serum will easily be absorbed by my skin anyways.

My skin feels soft and supple the next morning after using the serum. A pack of Kracie mask contains 3 kinds of collagen that penetrate the inner and outer skin layers, and 30 kinds of beauty essences that moisturizes and nurture skin.
Honestly, it’s not the best mask I’ve tried. I still prefer Korean mask (snail) over this. However, since I use face mask for everyday, I think it’s more economical for me to purchase this. You see, Korean mask would cost around Php 50 at least. That’s a minimum of Php 350/month, or Php 1,500/month. Hence, to save up, I use Kracie as my face mask for daily use then I treat my skin with other much more expensive face mask every once in a while. 

BEFORE PHOTO

WITH KRACIE FACE MASK

AFTER



• OVERALL •


Overall, I recommend it. But make sure to check the manufacturing date of your Kracie mask before buying it over The Beauty Bar store. It’s affordable and it works great. It made my skin appear softer and supple. The texture of my skin has improved as well. 




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Sunday, April 3, 2016

Real Techniques Complexion Sponge versus Beauty Cosmetics Egg Sponge

Having good tools is just as important as having good cosmetics. Sometimes, we keep on looking for the “perfect” product that we tend to overlook the importance of choosing the right tools for you. From years of blogging, I’ve learned that it is not always about the “brand” or the “formulation” of the makeup that matters. It is equally vital to find a good quality tool. However, price doesn’t always guarantee quality. There are really great yet affordable tools in the market that you might want to try. Today, I’ll be sharing one of my favorites tools for liquid foundation and for baking.. my Beauty Cosmetics Egg Sponge.


REAL TECHNIQUES COMPLEXION SPONGE VS BEAUTY COSMETICS EGG SPONGE

Beauty Blender is like the mother of all egg sponges. I know some who can’t live without it. As for me, I have not really convinced myself yet to shell out that amount of money for..well..a sponge. I still feel that it is way too pricey! So, I did look for “dupes” or cheaper alternative. And the best, and hands down, my favorite of all the sponges I’ve tried is the one from beauty cosmetics. 

I have tried many sponges from different brands like Etude House, Real Techniques, Daiso, FS Cosmetics, unbranded sponges and of course, the Beauty Cosmetics. As far as I can remember, I like the way my foundation applies with Real Technique Sponge. The shape was quite unique; I have not seen anything like it from any brand. It has the “typical” egg shape with pointed top but the other side has flat surface. The only issue I have with Real Techniques Complexion sponge is that it is not durable. I’ve only had it for 3 months, or a little more maybe, and the sponge starts to breakdown. I’ve seen couple of chunks missing until I cannot use it anymore. Given the price, it’s not cheap for the amount of time I was able to use it. 
I remember having the Beauty Cosmetics Egg sponge back in 2012, I actually reviewed in on my blog HERE. I really like it before, so I decided to repurchase it again to replace my Real Techniques Sponge.

Not surprisingly, I fell inlove again! They are now available in 2 sizes: small and regular size. Unlike before, they don’t come in a cylindrical plastic container, rather in just a plastic. 

The BC has no odor, which is a thumbs up for me! Although, I noticed that the regular size which came in the hot pink shade bleeds a lot compared to the small size (pale pink). I had this for more than a month now, and the hot pink (regular size) sponge still bleeds every time I wash it. The middle sponge, shown in the picture below, used to be a hot pink color, and now it appears like an almost pale pink shade.
I got myself 3 sponges: 2 in regular size (I use them alternately, kasi tamad ako to wash my sponges) and 1 in small size. 
I mainly use the regular size for liquid foundations. You can actually use it for dry or wet application. In my case, when the foundation has thick consistency or meant for medium to full coverage, I like using it wet as it will sheer out the coverage and make it appear more natural on my skin. But for foundation that is already runny and has sheer coverage, I still prefer using brush for the application. Also, make sure to squeeze out the excess amount of water on the sponge before using it, otherwise, you’ll end up with very uneven application. 

Oh, I also do not it wet when applying Kate Tokyo Powderless foundation. I noticed that that foundation doesn’t work with wet egg sponge. 

As for the mini size egg sponge, this is the bomb for baking!  After applying my base, I use the “dry” mini size to set the base with loose powder especially on my undereye area. The size is just so perfect for that application, I swear!

Overall, I highly, highly recommend Beauty Cosmetics Egg Sponges over Real Technique Complexion brush. You can already get 3 Beauty Cosmetics sponges for the price of one RT Complexion, and they basically give the same effect on my skin. 
I find BC Egg Sponge more durable as well. The only issue I had with Beauty Cosmetics was that the regular size egg sponge keeps on bleeding. Other than that, I have nothing bad to say to Beauty Cosmetics Egg Sponge. It's really a good buy! 




For Inquiries, suggestions and sponsorship, you may contact me thru:
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Saturday, March 19, 2016

NARS Orgasm

I have never really understood women who spend a lot of money on blushes. I feel like, all pink blushes look exactly similar on cheeks! Plus there are really tons of good drugstore blushes in the market! Boy, I was so wrong! Nars orgasm really changed the way I think of blushes. I’ve tried many popular dupes for Nars Orgasms, but nothing really compares to it. Nars Orgasm is Nars Orgasm, honey! 


NARS BLUSH IN ORGASM


NARS says,
The ultimate authority in blush, NARS offers the industry's most iconic shades for cheeks. Natural, healthy-looking color that immediately enlivens the complexion. A light application of even the highest-intensity hues delivers a natural-looking flush.


• PACKAGING •


While the packaging feels super nice to hold, it can also attract dirt like crazy! Hence, I try to be careful as much as possible when I’m using this one. 
I make sure to remove foundations on my hands before touching it, and I use the black carton it came with when storing it in my makeup kit.

• SHADE •



Boy 1: You’re glowing! 
Me 1: really? Thanks! I just had an orgasm.

The name of this shade says it all. Orgasm is a medium-warm pink shade with golden shimmers that will look stunning beautiful on any skintone! I just absolutely love the glow it gives my skin. The shimmers are visible on cheeks – but not too crazy! 
This blush somehow reminds me of Elf Blush in Glow but Glow is peachier while Nars is pinkier.


• FORMULATION•


The blush is very finely milled and not powdery at allI noticed that different brushes create different effects on my cheeks. Loose slanted brushes tend to add more golden shimmers while dense brushes intensify the pink-shade of the blush.
For me, I get the best effect on my cheeks whenever I use my Marionnaud N32 Brush. 



• LONGEVITY •


The reason why I always choose liquid tint over powder blush is because liquid tints are more long lasting than powder blushes. On the average, powder blushes have staying power of 2-3 hours. 
However, this stays on amazingly on me! I normally do my makeup at 5:30 am, and I can still see it even after my work at around 5:00 pm. Though, I think that my primer has also contributed in its longevity.

• OVERALL •


I think I have found my new Holy Grail blush and I will definitely repurchase it if ever I’ll run out of it.  It gives me nice glowing yet natural looking cheeks, plus it has a really excellent staying power. 

The only thing I hate about it is the hefty price tag of this product. Although, I still think that it’s really worth it!
 
By the way, I actually purchased 4 pans of Nars Orgasm and 2 pans of Nars Deep Throat from a Makeup Artist. I still have 2 pans left each for Orgasm and Deep Throat. I’m selling it for only Php 950, that’s Php 500 cheaper than Rustan’s price. If you want to order, please message me at my facebook page: Kikaysimaria. 


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Tuesday, March 8, 2016

FEBRUARY FAVORITES!

“Favorite products for the month” is my one of my favorite posts to read for an obvious reason… because it’s the list of the products that really stands out among the rest. As a blogger, I really don’t like doing monthly favorites just for the sake of uploading one for a month. I don’t oblige myself to post because everyone’s sharing their favorites already. If I found things that are worth mentioning, then, that’s the only time I’ll do post like this. Hence, I usually end up doing maybe at least 3 monthly favorites for the entire year already! LOL.

Last month, I shared with you my January favorites and I have to say that almost all products featured in that post are still amazing; I love them and will continue to use them. But because I’ve tried a lot of products in February, my makeup routine has changed a little and some products became my instant favorites.


FEBRUARY 2015 FAVORITES!


•SKINCARE•


For the month of February, I have not tried, nor even touched any other skincare moisturizers other than Olay Anti-aging and Whitening Cream. It’s my Holy Grail moisturizer, and I still have a bottle as backup.
My friend, Dina of Hot Stuff (facebook), sent me Dr. Alvin Professional Skincare to try. I’ve seen Dr. Alvin products almost everywhere, but beware, as there are fake Dr. Alvin products! The skincare I received is called “Dr. Alvin Professional Rejuvenating Set.” I honestly think that these are very effective! Rejuvenating set has anti-acne, anti-aging and whitening benefits. I’ll do a detailed review on this next time! (Photo taken from professionalskincareformulabydralvin.blogspot.com)
My Human Nature Sunflower Oil has got to be my best buddy while I was still using the Dr. Alvin’s set. My skin was really dried out. But using this before I go bed makes my skin feels a lot better and more moisturized. It somehow minimizes the effect of the peeling, plus it’s an all in one product.  I use it on my face at night to moisturize my skin, I use it on my hair, I use it on my body… I use it a lot! I will definitely repurchase when I run out of this. 


• MAKEUP•


I've been really enjoying this 10 pcs Unbranded Brush (that I sell, will review it soon) set! Yes, this is not the best brush set ever but the brushes included in this set are not the usual brushes you'll see in a set. The small brushes are great for concealers and applying setting powder on my undereye. 
Also, the flat top brush included in this set is currently my favorite tool to apply my Kate Tokyo powderless foundation (still my favorite foundation ever!). The reason why I love this flat top brush is because the brittles are a bit loose compared to normal flat top brushes (or even Real Technique buffing brush) but still has that "dense", hence, makes the foundation appear more natural on my skin.  
For setting powder, I’ve been really loving my RCMA No Color Setting Powder. I’m not a powder foundation type of person, I enjoy liquid foundation then setting it with a loose powder. 

Between 3W Clinic, Ben Nye Banana Powder and RCMA No color powder, I like RCMA a bit more.  But it doesn’t mean that the others were not good or less better. It's just that RCMA fits my makeup routine today. If I had BB Creams or Foundations that appear too light, too grayish or too pinkish on me, I will definitely reach for Ben Nye Banana Powder. Nothing can fix it like Ben Nye Banana Powder. But it terms of longevity and oil control, Ben Nye is the least among the 3 setting powder. 

As for 3W Clinic vs RCMA, I would say that both are really, really good as setting powder! In fact, I did test them out at work by applying RCMA on the half of my face and 3W Clinic on the other half. They did not settle on my dry parts of my face, they both take some of the shine out and really cling on my face until the end of the day. The only reason why I like RCMA a little more than 3W Clinic is because I like “Baking” recently! Since RCMA has that “white” color in it compared to “pink” color of 3W Clinic, RCMA appears more intense and obvious when I use it for “baking” and gives a better effect especially under my eyes. (Photo taken from marikapurena.wordpress.com)

For liquid blush, EB Advance Lip and Cheek Tint is still the best ever! But for powder blushes, surprisingly, I have two new faves! It’s very rare for me to like two powder blushes in a span of one month. But I really enjoyed using Nars Orgasm and Ever Bilena in Amethyste for the whole month of February. Though, I have to admit, I use Nars Orgasm like mad a woman ever since I got it!
Nars Orgasm is such a gorgeous shade, it’s really really really gorgeous! I thought I like matte-blush but I realized that blushes with shimmers are the bomb! I will do a separate review on EB Amethyste and Nars Orgasms. 

For me, choosing the best lipsticks in a collection is like choosing which of all the “top notchers of different courses” is the best. It’s really difficult as one is good for certain purpose/reason. Since I have too many favorite lipsticks, I trimmed it down to top 5 most used lipsticks! 
Menow Kissproof #6 which reminds me so much of LA Girl Matte in Fleur. It is beautiful most especially with coral blushes like Milani in Luminoso.
Ofra Liquid Lipsticks in Laguna Beach. Such a beautiful pinky nude shade! While I like liquid lipsticks, I don’t like how most of them wear off during the day. Very uneven – not pretty especially after meal! Hence, I like Ofra liquid lipsticks. It’s not drying at all and doesn’t look weird on my lips as it fades. The only thing I hate though is the packaging! The packaging sucks bigtime! It's so cheap looking and not sturdy at all. It frustrates me knowing that a tube of this is about Php 900! 
Colourpop in Solow. Why are you so beautiful and yet so drying, whyyy?! This has got to be my fave shades of all the lipsticks I have, but sometimes, I cannot wear it because it’s so effin’ drying on lips. But the color….gorgeous! I love it so much!
Revlon Balm Stain in Sultry. Never thought I would like this for everyday. I rarely wear deep reds, but this one feels so nice on my lips that I cannot resist not wearing it! It’s matte yet non-drying, and it’s amazing! I especially like the minty-feel it gives my lips!
La Splash in Ginny. I really like LA Splash formulations. I’m actually torn between Latte Confession and Ginny since I only have one spot left for my top 5 for February. But I believe I used this even more than the Latte Confession since I’m a “my lips but better” kind of person. I like light and nude-ish pink or color shade than brighter or darker shades. 



What are your top picks for February?


For Inquiries, suggestions and sponsorship, you may contact me thru:
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