Friday, December 30, 2011

New Skincare For The New Year - Sponge Skincare

Hello, Hope you are all having a wonderful holiday season!  It has been a busy one for me with family from out of town and overseas, hosting a holiday party, and shopping, etc...I am sure you can relate.  But I am back with a skincare post that I have been wanting to write for several weeks now.

Sponge is a skincare line from Greece. I first discovered it after receiving a couple of samples from Barneys New York and used them during my recent vacation.  My skin was exposed to extreme cold and dry weather while I was traveling and the products did wonders for my tired and dehydrated skin.  The line was originally created by a doctor who offered these products to his pregnant patients.  Here is more on what the Sponge's website says about its ingredients and standards:

Sponge uses only the finest organic and wild-crafted ingredients which are naturally extracted by boiling the plants, herbs and flowers to particular temperatures and times based upon the maturity and the region in Greece it was grown to retain the highest amount of nutrients and vitamins. It is a slow process but it is also very pure to help ensure that your skin will ultimately benefit.

The highest sustainable growing standards are upheld where our plants, herbs and flowers are nurtured and harvested. We have also developed a method of testing products for safety and efficacy that is cruelty-free, which has been accepted by the Dermatological Society of Europe.

I have been using Sponge Illuminating Cream for daytime and Sponge Ladi Avokanto for nighttime.  All of the Sponge creams are chemical free, hand blended, and they all have an olive oil base.  The illuminating cream has a blend of mango, gold, and pearl as its key ingredients.  The mango scent smells amazing, almost good enough to eat.  The cream has a subtle sheen that helps brighten the skin for daytime.  It is light, but it is very moisturizing. 

Sponge Ladi Avokanto is their star product.  They call it a serum, but it is really an anti-aging facial oil made of avocado and olive oils as the main ingredients.  This is the first Sponge product that I tried and I was really impressed.  I am obsessed with facial oils and this one fits the bill for me this winter.  This is a luxurious night treatment that I look forward to using every night.  When I need an extra boost of moisture on some days, I would layer Ladi Avokanto and illuminating cream during the day.  It makes my skin look so plump and fresh when I layer the two products together. 

Thanks to Sponge, these products have really saved my dry skin this winter.  Both products come in a glass bottle with a pump.  Sponge is available at Barneys New York  or its website.  

Happy New Year to you all!  Stay safe.  I wanted to share with you Chanel Wishes 2012!  This segment has fabulous graphics with one of our favorite logos!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

MAC Glitter and Ice Holiday Colour Collection - Six Snowglobe Eye Shadows in Warm, Mineralize Eye Shadow in Snow Season, Technakohl Liner Eye-Liner Kajal in Practice Makes Perfect

Hello, Time flies since I picked up some makeup from the MAC Glitter and Ice Holiday Colour Collection.   I finally got around to trying some of the items from the collection.  As I said before, I was really drawn to the limited edition white packaging and everything about it exudes the holidays upon us.  I find that some of the colors from this collection to be repetitive and re-promos from MAC, nonetheless, there is something for everyone for the special occasions in this holiday season.  Here are some of the highlights from the items that I had picked up before:

Six Snowglobe Eye Shadows in Warm

This is a six neutral eye shadow palette that comes with a brush.  I am a sucker for neutral eye colors, I can't get enough of them.  The color that stands out for me in this palette is Gaelic Gold (Veluxe Pearl) in the bottom right in the picture above.  It goes on so smooth and the gold will make your eyes pop for the holidays.  This palette costs $38 and the other two palettes come in Cool and Sultry.  Karla Sugar did a great job with the swatches for all three palettes here.

Mineralize Eye Shadow in Snow Season

Mineralize Eye Shadow in Snow Season is a neutral champagne eye shadow with traces of brown, gold, and silver.  It appears to be a champagne color once all the colors are blended together.  It is pretty by itself or great to combine with the colors from the Six Snowglobe Eye Shadows in Warm.  This costs $21 and it comes in a total of six shades.

Technakohl Liner Eye-Liner Kajal in Practice Makes Perfect

Technakohl Liner Eye-Liner Kajal in Practice Makes Perfect is a mechanical eyeliner in teal blue with subtle glitters.  I often switch to blue eyeliners for a change from my day to day black eyeliner.  It costs $16 each and it comes in a total of six shades.

All of the products mentioned are still available at MAC, Bloomingdales, Nordstrom, and Macy's.

Thanks for reading.  Until next post......

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The Top 4 Tag

Hello, I was tagged by Hayley from The Flaxen Owl to do the Top 4 Tag.  She has a blog about her experience switching to natural products and she just started her own YouTube channel.  She has the most amazing skin, check her out!  The Top 4 Tag is to show your top 4 makeup items from your collection.  It is extremely difficult to choose just four, so I have chosen four items that I would use on a daily basis and these are also items that I would definitely repurchase over and over again.
And I tag all of you to do this tag, it would be very interesting to read all of your picks.  Here are my Top 4:

1)  BB Creams - My all time favorites are Lioele Beyond the Solution BB Cream and Skin 79 VIP Gold Collection Super + Beblesh Balm.  I did a brief review on these BB Creams here

2)  Black Eyeliner - YSL Dessin Du Regard Eye Pencil in 001 Velvet Black is intense and long lasting

3)  Voluminous Mascara -  YSL Volume Effet Faux Cils Shocking Mascara in No. 5 Black Burgundy.  To me, YSL makes the best color mascaras.  The burgundy color in this mascara is actually quite subtle because the focus is more on black.  You can pick up the burgundy color under certain lighting.  The brush and formula help create the look of false lashes without the hassle.  I also picked up this mascara in two other colors in Deep Black and Black Bronze when Nordstrom's had a sale on mascaras.  I am not sure if this is a limited edition item, I sure hope not!
Via Google images

4)  Tinted Lip Balm - I reviewed the Burt's Bees Tinted Lip Balms here.  They are my most favorite tinted lip balms

Thanks for reading!  Until next post......

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Burt's Bees Tinted Lip Balm

Hello,  I have been wanting to give a proper rave on Burt's Bees Tinted Lip Balm for quite a while now.  I have been a loyal user since they first came out.  They are simply one of the best tinted lip balms I have ever tried.  I wear them religiously all year round, alone or under lipstick or lip gloss.  I have worn them in extreme cold weather recently during my last trip and they kept my lips protected and moisturized.  There are 6 shades to choose from.  The colors are all very wearable and they give just the right hint of color on the lips.  My favorite shades are Tiger Lily (peach), Hibiscus (pink coral), and Rose (sheer red).   It costs $7 each and can be found at most drugstores near you.  

This is a must for lips in the winter.  Do you wear lip balm and what are you currently wearing?  Until next post......

Swatches without flash

Swatches with flash

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Current Favorite BB Creams

Hello, There are so many BB creams on the market and I have tried many of the popular brands.  The brands that came to mind are Hanskin, Dr. G, Kose, Dr. Jart, Lioele, Skin79, etc...  I do like BB cream over tinted moisturizer mainly because they have better coverage and they offer more skincare benefits such as anti-aging, sun protection, and whitening.  My current favorites are Lioele Beyond the Solution BB Cream and Skin 79 VIP Gold Collection Super + Beblesh Balm.

L - Lioele Beyond the Solution BB Cream
R- Skin79 VIP Gold Collection Super+ Beblesh Balm

Both BB creams have really good medium coverage.  I like the color of Lioele better because it is more beige compared to Skin79 which has a grayish tint.  The grayish tint goes away once the cream is blended out on the skin and it actually looks quite natural.  Even though the Lioele color is a good match for me, it is more matte and can look flat on the skin at first. The dewiness is apparent on my skin after a couple of hours.  Skin79 also gives a pretty and dewy finish.  It seems that Skin79 claims to have more skincare benefits such as whitening, UV protection, and wrinkle improvement.   Lioele does not contain UV protection, so I always use a sunscreen underneath it.

My search for the perfect BB cream will continue.  The latest acquisition is The Face Shop HD-Perfect BB Cream in Natural Beige, I might review it once I get a chance to use it for a while.  

Do you have a HG BB cream?  Until next post......

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Best of November Roundup - Skin Care, Makeup, Hair (Travel Edition)

Hello, When I travel, I pack essential products that are almost used up from home and lots of samples for ease of packing.  Below are some of the star products that I used everyday during my trip in the month of November:

Skin Care

1)  Sisley Cleansing Milk with White Lily
2)  Yes to Cucumbers Facial Towelettes (used up, not pictured)
3)  Chantecaille Ultra Sun Protection SPF 50 PA+++ Anti-Glycation Primer
4)  Kate Somerville Goat Milk Cream (used up, not pictured)


1)  Skin79 VIP Gold Collection Super Beblesh Balm
2)  Shu Uemura Eyelash Curler
3)  Dolce & Gabbana Powder Foundation in Warm 100 - I decided that this powder foundation might be better for combination/oily skins.  It was a bit too drying for my skin especially in cold weather
4)  Chanel Le Crayon Sourcils Precision Brow Definer in Soft Brown
5)  YSL Dessin Du Regard Eye Pencil in 001 Velvet Black
6)  YSL Volume Effet Faux Cils Shocking Mascara in No. 5 Black Burgundy
7)  Clinique Bottom Lash Mascara in 02 Black/Brown
8)  Trish McEvoy Little Black Card in Delicate Beauty
9)  Burt's Bees Tinted Lip Balm in Hibiscus
10)  Dolce & Gabbana Passion Duo Gloss Fusion Lipstick in 30 Delight


1)  Josie Maran Argan Oil Hair Serum

I also discovered some good products from the samples that I used such as Sponge Ladi Avokanto.  I was so impressed that I picked up a full size bottle when I came back home.

If there are any products from this post that you would like me to review, please comment below and I will do my best to do so.  Thanks for reading.  Until next post......

Friday, December 2, 2011

Face Stockholm Nail Polish in Ruby Slipper

Hello, Face Stockholm Nail Polish in Ruby Slipper is bold, sexy, and not for the faint of heart.  It is a bright fire engine red that will stop traffic.  It is an eye catcher for sure, ooh la la!  It was a surprise and good find for me at J Crew recently.  This is my favorite red at the moment.  I think this red is universally flattering for all skin tones.

What is your favorite red nail polish?  Until next post......

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Turkey Through My Eyes

Hello, I spent the last two weeks traveling through Turkey and I had the time of my life!  I love the people, the food, and the breathtaking sceneries in Turkey.  Though it was cold, we were blessed to have incredible dry weather while we were there.  I highly recommend you to visit Turkey if you haven't made your way to there yet.  The memories I had from Turkey will stay with me forever. Here are some of the highlights from my journey!

Thanks for reading.  Until next post......

Evil eyes

Hagia Sophia in Istanbul

Blue Mosque in Istanbul

Night scene from Istanbul

Lots of stray kitties and dogs everywhere in Turkey

Yummy fresh fish sandwich in Istanbul

Turkish tea

Local cheeses are so good

Kebabs and rice

Incredible view of Aegean Sea from our hotel in Kusadasi


Yogurt drink

One of my favorites, Turkish pizza made with flat bread for the crust



View from our hot air balloon in Cappadoccia


Turkish army at Ataturk Museum

Friday, November 18, 2011

Quick Update

Hello, Readers,

I will be away from blogging until the end of the month.  Please check back:)  Cheers!

Until next post......

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Koh Gen Do Maifanshi Moisture Foundation and Natural Lighting Powder

Hello, Koh Gen Do Cosmetics is a Japanese brand that was founded 20 years ago.  They are known for their high definition makeup and their products are widely used in the film industry.  I read that the Koh Gen Do products have been used in over 200 international films.  The products are available at Barneys New York, Sephora, and the Koh Gen Do website.

I am excited to share with you my experience on Koh Gen Do Maifanshi Moisture Foundation and Natural Lighting Powder.  I have been using the foundation for over two weeks and the powder this week, so far I really like both products.  I purchased both products from Barneys New York.

Koh Gen Do Maifanshi Moisture Foundation in 113

According to the Koh Gen Do website,  Koh Gen Do Maifanshi Moisture Foundation is a:

"Mineral makeup cream foundation that turns into liquid foundation when applied with 60% water encapsulated into the formula to give you the superior coverage of a cream foundation and a smooth, sheer finish like a liquid foundation."  

Coverage - Light to Medium and buildable.  It is not like other cream foundations that are generally heavier in coverage and feel.  This is not for you if you are looking for a high coverage cream foundation
Color - 113 is a light yellow based color that will help correct redness in the skin.  I was originally matched with 013 which has a pink undertone, the pink undertone was detectable and noticeably different from the color of my neck.  I had to exchange it to 113 which is a better match.  It is just a tad darker for me, but 112 is too light.  The website explains the color numbering system for the different skin tones
Finish - On the box, it says it offers a natural matte finish.  However, it is not matte on my skin, but instead it gives a very natural finish.  It is hard to detect the makeup on my skin even if I apply a couple layers of it
Scent - Fragrance free
Skin type - Normal to Dry
Price - High.  $62 for 0.71 oz..  I am used to most liquid or cream foundations that offer at least 1 oz. of product.  Koh Gen Do offers less product compared to other brands
Lasting Power - I don't feel that it lasts all day for me, it helps if I use a setting powder
Repurchase? - Maybe, I say this only because the price is on the high side.  However, I do like that it has no artificial colors, fragrance, petroleum based mineral oil or paraben.  The formula is comfortable and the finish is natural on the skin.  I also want to give kudos to the packaging because you do not waste product with the tube packaging and it is easy to pack for travelling

Koh Gen Do Maifanshi Natural Lighting Powder

What it is according to the Koh Gen Do website:

"A light beige loose powder that uses a unique, ultra-fine pearl powder formula to camouflage uneven skin tones. The soft, refined pearls diffuse light to cover pores and balance skin surfaces for a natural, luminescent glow. Can be worn by itself for a nice soft glow or as a finishing powder to set your foundation.  Contains natural moisture-retaining hyaluronic acid, making it an ideal powder for those with dry skin."

Color - It comes in one  shade which is a light beige color.  It is perfect for lighter skin tones, probably up to MAC NC25 skin tone
Texture - Finely milled powder, it goes on the skin very smooth like silk.  It does contain silk powder 
Finish - Natural finish with micro pearly shimmers.  The shimmers are detectable only if you look very close at the skin and under certain lighting.  It will give the skin a very subtle and pretty glow
Skin type - All.  It is especially good for dry skin because the powder contains hyaluronic acid
Price - $42 for 0.42 oz.
Repurchase? Yes.  I use this product as a setting powder.  I have been looking for a loose powder with a hint of shimmers for the holidays, this is perfect because it offers just enough shimmers and gives a lovely natural glow to the skin.  I also considered Chanel Poudre Universelle Libre Natural Finish Loose Powder in Feerie, Cafe Makeup did a great post on it a few days ago.  I think it is super pretty, but the sparkles seem to come in big pieces and they are very apparent on my skin.  I would be scared to use it all over my face.  I may still pick it up though and use it as a highlighter in the holiday season instead

Top:  Natural Lighting Powder
Bottom: Maifanshi Moisture Foundation
Powder and foundation blended out.  It is a heavy swatch of the foundation.
After both powder and foundation are blended out more, they blend into my skin very well.

Thanks for reading.  Overall, I highly recommend these products if you are looking for makeup with a very natural finish.  

Until next post......