Saturday, March 16, 2013

Best of February and March Roundup - GlamGlow, Chanel, Serge Lutens, Deborah Lippmann

Hello, This is a Best of Roundup post for the month of February and March.  I have been testing and using these beauty items for the last month and a half.   I am very excited about every item here, let's get started...

Skincare - GlamGlow Super-Mud Clearing Treatment

As early as I can remember when I started my beauty journey, my first facial mask was a mud mask.  I used to have combination/oily skin when I was younger, so mud or clay masks were perfect for deep cleansing my skin back then.  Over the years, my skin has become much drier and more sensitive, I can't use a lot clay or mud masks on the market because they can be drying and harsh for my skin now.  

A few months ago, I first sampled GlamGlow Tingling Exfoliating Mud Mask (shown in the small black tubes in the picture above) from Sephora and I liked it, but I thought the granules in the product can be hard on my sensitive skin.  Then I discovered GlamGlow Super-Mud Clearing Treatment during a more recent trip to the store and I was intrigued.  I was completely sucked in by the advertisement on the packaging.

Here is a brief description of what is does from the Sephora website:

This formula was clinically developed by GLAMGLOW® dermatological chemists to help fight all common skin concerns, including breakouts, discoloration, black and white heads, razor bumps and in-grown hair. 

It is clay and charcoal based and it contains six types of acid, Glycolic, Salicylic, Lactic, Mandelic, Pyruvic, and Azelaic.  I am familiar and have used products with the first three types of acid, but not the latter three.  One can use it as a full mask or spot treatment.  I experimented with it on my T-zone weekly for the last month and a half.  Although my skin is dry, but my T-zone can get very congested and I get occasional breakouts due to stress and hormonal changes.  This product is a good at-home substitute for professional extractions, it cleanses the pores on my nose like no other.  It also cleared up my zits in a day and Mr. Rola enjoyed using it as a spot treatment too.

It is not drying and actually quite soothing to use.  I have left it on anywhere from five minutes to twenty minutes, I always get a super nice glow afterwards.  I highly recommend it for combination/oily, oily, and skin prone to breakouts.

Makeup  - Chanel Precision Eyelash Curler and Serge Lutens Tient Si Fin Compact Foundation

Apart from Shu Uemura, Chanel Precision Eyelash Curler is my other favorite eyelash curler.  I have been using this tool for over a year now.  The width of the Chanel eyelash curler is slightly wider than Shu Uemura's, so it is very comfortable to use and easy to adjust for many eye shapes.  Unlike some other eyelash curlers, I do not have a problem pinching my eyelids with the edge of this one. 

I raved about Serge Lutens Tient Si Fin Compact Foundation on Instagram ever since I picked it up from Barneys New York.  I was initially matched with O40, but it turned out to be a tad dark for my skin.  I immediately exchanged it for I20 which is a much better match.  

I have been wearing it over liquid foundation every day, it is a great topper over any liquid foundation.  It gives good and buildable coverage with a finish that is semi-matte and natural if that is possible.  If you need less coverage or have oilier skin, you can certainly wear it alone.  This product is meant to be worn dry, not wet.  I haven't used the sponge that came with the compact.  I prefer to use a traditional powder brush with this product.  Flat top powder brush does not work with this product because it cannot pick up the powder.

The initial investment for the case and powder is pricey, but it is worth it.  The refill is half the cost of the initial price.  This is the most finely milled powder in a compact that I have ever used and I will be repurchasing the refill when I hit pan.  

If you are not familiar with Serge Lutens, please read this fascinating bio on him.  He was first a master in cosmetics and worked with Shiseido in the 80's and 90's and then he went on to become a legend in perfumes.

Nails - Deborah Lippmann Gel Lab Set

Image via

I first read about Deborah Lippmann Gel Lab Set on Instagram.  The nails photos looked amazing, so I had to get the set.  The set comes with a base coat and top coat that is supposed to give your nails the effect and shine of gel nails, but you get it without using UV or LED lamp and there is no need for acetone to remove the gel polish.  The set is meant to be used with regular polishes and easy removal with regular polish removers.

I like that my polish can remain chip-free for over a week.  Or course the chipping is more noticeable on darker color polishes compared to lighter colors.  The topcoat lays on thick and it is harder to remove compared to other regular topcoats.  The shine effect from the top coat does not last as long as gel, the finish becomes dull in less than a week.  

Overall, I am impressed with this set for being what it is.  There seems to be more and more gel topcoats on the market.  If there are other brands of gel topcoat that work better than this one, please let me know.

What are your current favorite skincare, makeup, and nail products?  Thanks for reading.  Until next post......

Saturday, February 23, 2013

All About Brows

Hello,  I am lucky to have born with full brows.  But as time passes with over plucking and tweezing, I am left with some miniscule bald spots.  For the most part, I can live without filling in my brows.  But there are times when I want to achieve a more polished and youthful look, having fuller brows to frame the face is key. 

Image via Google
Image via Google
Image via Google
Image via Google

I mostly rely on brow pencils over the years.  Occasionally, I also like using brow powder or eyeshadow because it creates a natural look that is not as harsh looking as you would get from pencils.  Therefore with pencils, I prefer to use ones that have a powdery finish to achieve a softer look.  I have been using three different brow pencils lately and they are all great in their own little ways...

Same order in both pictures:

Top - Rimmel Professional Eyebrow Pencil in 002 Hazel - Warmest brown out of the three pencils.  Great for brunettes with warm or golden highlights or redheads

Middle - Tom Ford Brow Sculptor in 02 Taupe - Cool grayish brown.  I blogged about it here last year.  The flat slanted tip is the best.  This sculptor is also the most water resistant

Bottom - MAC Veluxe Brow Liner in Brunette - Neutral brown that leans warm.  This is the softest and has the most powdery finish out of the three

From drugstore to high-end, I currently love all three.  They all come with a brush on one end for blending.  Have you tried these brow pencils?  What is your HG brow product?

Until next post......

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Up and Coming Beauty Bloggers Weekly Report


Lola of Lola's Secret Beauty Blog showcases how she stores her lip products in a special by request post.

Rachel from Rachel's Makeup and Skincare tries out La Licious Bath and Body Collection in their new Valentine's Day Scent and finds she is in love!

Olivia of The Unknown Beauty Blog has a fabulous giveaway featuring Luscious Argan Oil products from Eden Allure!

Rola's Fountain of Youth is now on Instagram, go see what she has been loving and doing lately!

Lindsay of The Beauty Think Tank shows off an oldie but a goodie in MAC Illegal Purple nailpolish, perfect vampy tips for Valentine's Day!

If you would like to be featured in a future Up & Coming Beauty Bloggers Weekly Report, please e-mail Lindsay at beautythinktank(at)gmail(dot)com!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Collective Instagram

Hello, Since I started Instagram three weeks ago, I have been very active and posting pictures almost daily.  

Inspired by so many beautiful things around me, I think I found my new playground...

Come follow me on Instagram!  Thanks for looking!

Until next post......

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Up & Coming Beauty Bloggers Weekly Report

Lola of Lola's Secret Beauty Blog reviews Alba Botanical's Natural Very Emollient Body Lotion.

Jeneille of Beauti by Jinjer swatches all of her extensive Nude lipstick collection.

Harriet at Little Miss Student Beauty shares her tips on how she thickened her fine hair!

Rachel from Rachel's Makeup and Skincare compares Burberry's Velvet and Luminous foundation. Which did she like best?

Olivia of The Unknown Beauty Blog wants us to sweeten our cheeks with Manna Kadar Sweet Cheeks!

Rola from Rola's Fountain of Youth had Random Sightings of Spring 2013 Makeup Displays and the colors are gorgeous!

C.Jazmyne reviews both Loose and Pressed NARS Light Reflecting Loose Powders.

Lindsay at The Beauty Think Tank talks about finally purchasing YSL Rouge Pur Couturs Vernis a Levres Glossy Stain in Pourpre Preview.

If you would like to be featured in a future Up & Coming Beauty Bloggers Weekly Report, contact Lindsay at beautythinktank(at)gmail(dot)com.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Best of January Roundup - The Organic Pharmacy, Kevyn Aucoin, Tres Semme

Hello, Beauties, Hope you are all doing well.  January flew by too quickly, but I had fun venturing out and tried some wonderful new products.   This is just a sneak peak of the best in the bunch, let's see what made me such a happy camper this month...


Since I haven't been in Barneys New York in a while, I dropped in to see what's new on the shelves in 2013.  They had switched around the counters and displays in the cosmetic department in order to make room for new brands.  Excitement sets in...

I circled around not looking for anything in particular, then I stumbled upon The Organic Pharmacy line.  I have seen some write ups on this UK line before, but it was the first time for me to touch and feel the products.  I was really pleased to find another organic and natural line at Barneys, so I decided to give it a go.  

I have heard from many bloggers rave about Rose Hip Oil, the hype surrounding this oil peaked my interest.  Honestly, I have been using The Organic Pharmacy Virgin Cold Pressed Rose Hip Oil for a little more than one week and I am convinced that this is the best thing you can add to your skincare regimen.  Especially for those with dry and sun damaged skin.

Here is a brief description of The Organic Pharmacy Virgin Cold Pressed Rose Hip Oil from  the company website:

This amazing oil is imported by us directly from Chile. It is well known for its rejuvenating and repairing properties both for the skin and hair Because it is organic and virgin cold pressed, it retains its precious actives that make this oil so special. A high percentage of Essential Fatty Acids, Tretinoic Acid and major carotenoids Betacarotene, Lycopene, Rubixanthin, Gazaniaxanthin, Betacryptoxanthin and Zeaxanthin are largely responsible for making this oil fantastic for scarring, acne scars, sun wrinkles, sun spots.

I add a few drops of this oil to my favorite moisturizer and apply the cocktail to my face and neck.  I get an instant glow to my skin.  Not only that, the oil absorbs quickly and it smooths, hydrates, and plumps my skin more so than using a moisturizer alone.  This oil has truly transformed my skin and nursed it back to health in a short time.  It can also be used on hair.  I highly recommend it!


My love for Kevyn Aucoin continues, this time in the form of The Sensual Tinted Balm.  Thanks to Beauty Professor for tempting me into this one!  Check out the sleek packaging, very cool and good for travel.  It comes in only four shades and I have it in the color, SB01.  When I swatched the colors, SB02 is actually lighter and more yellow than SB01.

Here is a brief description from the Space NK website:

  • Treats with botanical rice extract, rich in peptides
  • Increases cell longevity
  • Induces a delay in ageing
  • Derivative of liquorice soothes and calms the skin
  • Conceals imperfections with light-weight pigments versus dense compounds
  • Protects against UVA and UVB rays with a theoretic SPF 20
  • Oil-free, paraben-free and D5-free  

  • The creamy formulation provides sheer to light coverage, it will not cover major blemishes.  If you want more coverage and flawless finish, you can mix in a tiny amount of The Sensual Skin Enhancer (Amazingly high coverage foundation and concealer in one!).  The tinted balm by itself provides a protective barrier for the skin with a wash of color, I like using it on causal days.  It has a natural finish, not too dewy or matte.  The downside is that it lacks SPF in the product, but it does not bother me that much because I can always layer it over a sunblock. 

    Here are some swatches of SB01:

    Hair Care

    Via Google images

    In 2012, Tres Semme Split Remedy line was a favorite amongst bloggers and beauty editors alike.  I have been using the shampoo, conditioner, and leave-in conditioning treatment for a few months.  The line is really amazing because it does what is claims.  I used to have a huge issue with split ends from over processing and my hair looks so much healthier and better after using this line.  I definitely see a reduction in split ends which used to be quite obvious and unsightly, virtually unnoticeable these days.

    Tres Semme Split Remedy line is accessible and affordable, why not give it a try?  It is available at most drugstores near you.

    What were your holy grail products in January?  I would love to hear from you.

    Until next post......

    Wednesday, January 30, 2013

    Random Sightings of Spring 2013 Makeup Displays

    Hello, Spring is in the air, here are my favorite Spring makeup collections as of late.  The romantic colors are beautiful and perfect for Valentine's Day coming up!  

    Clarins Spring Makeup Collection

    Revlon Naked Tips and Neon Lips

    Flower Beauty Cosmetics by Drew Barrymore

    Yves Saint Laurent Spring Look 2013


    What is your favorite makeup collection for Spring?

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

    Saturday, January 26, 2013

    Up & Coming Beauty Bloggers Weekly Report

    Lola of Lola's Secret Beauty Blog reviews Le Metier de Beaute Empress Lip Kaleidoscope.

    Harriet at Little Miss Student Beauty has reviewed her Crown Brush set!

    Olivia of The Unknown Beauty Blog shows us how she "flosses between the pans" and depots without using heat!

    Missed your chance to snag Sally Hansen's iconic blue shade Pacific Blue?  Kelly over at The Reasonable Blonde has found an alternative that is nearly identical.  Check it out here, and happy polishing!

    Rola at Rola's Fountain of Youth shares her Current Favorite Winter Facial Moisturizers and she is now on Instagram!

    Jeneille of Beauti by Jinjer spills the details of another photoshoot she worked on.

    Lindsay at The Beauty Think Tank reviews the shades she thinks stands out from the rest in the Colorglide Lipstick range offerred at The Body Shop.

    If you would like to be featured in a future Up & Coming Beauty Bloggers Weekly Report, please e-mail Lindsay at beautythinktank(at)gmail(dot)com.

    Thursday, January 24, 2013

    Current Favorite Winter Facial Moisturizers and Instagram

    Hello, It has been a very harsh winter in the Bay Area.  Though the weather here is not as severe as other parts of the country, but it is still extremely cold and dry which is very unkind to our skin.  Temperature and environment like this call for heavy duty moisturizers that can banish dry and flaky skin.  My current favorites are:

    Perricone MD Face Finishing Moisturizer has been a staple in my bathroom cabinet.  This is my third purchase.  Unlike the scents of other Perricone MD products, this is a rose scented anti-aging moisturizer packed with Alpha Lipoic Acid, DMAE, and Vitamin C Ester.  It feels airy light, but it is very hydrating.  I reach for it a lot in the winter time.  It is very lightweight, so it can be used anytime all year round.  I am in love with this moisturizer!  

    When I went to my dermatologist's office last year, I was introduced to Skin Medica Dermal Repair Cream.  This is another excellent moisturizer for dry skin.  The texture is slightly thicker than Perricone MD Face Finishing Moisturizer.  The scent reminds me a lot of Pond's Cold Cream.  It contains a lot of antioxidants including high levels of C and E.   I have dry vascular skin that needs extra nourishment from antioxidants, thus this was highly recommended for my skin type.  I am also using Skin Medica TNS Recovery Complex in conjunction with this cream, it is the dynamic duo that gives my skin that boost it needs most.  Skin Medica is available at most dermatologist offices and, a new favorite website of mine that offers a vast variety of pharmaceutical grade skincare products. 

    Last but not least, I have been trying out some Lancer Dermatology products and they are impressive!  Dr. Lancer is a dermatologist to the stars with an office in Los Angeles.  After Oprah (his client) made a request that his products be made available to the general public, he complied and since last year Nordstrom carries his line exclusively.

    The packaging of Lancer Dermatology products is simple, but it is the synergy of the ingredients in the products that really matters.  Lancer Dermatology Overnight Rescue Relief is housed in an air-tight container with a push down type top with a hole that squeezes out the right amount of product, very sanitary compared to dipping your finger into the product.  The product contains placenta serum (I was intrigued by this ingredient), collagen, and other potent antioxidants.  It is a night treatment that can be used up to three times a week.  I like it so far, my skin definitely feels more rejuvenated and smooth when I wake up.  I am hopeful and will further investigate this brand and its products.  

    I am now on Instagram and it is addicting, go check it out and follow me!

    What are your current moisturizers?  Until next post......

    Sunday, January 20, 2013

    Up & Coming Beauty Bloggers Weekly Report

    Jeneille of Beauti by Jinger showcases her laptop case, a piece by designer Jeremy Payne of Fashion is Payne.

    Lola of Lola's Secret Beauty Blog reviews her Rouge Bunny Rouge Eyeshadow collection, by request.

    Emily of Mrs. Wasp tells us about her top picks from Laura Mercier's Arabesque Collection.

    Harriet at Little Miss Student Beauty has been reviewing the Maybelline Superstay Lipsticks!

    Barbara at Barbara & 1923 reviews the Fashion Fair True Finish Refining Mineral Foundation.

    Elizabeth at Love.Life.Beauty gives us the scoop on the NARS Spring 2013 collection.

    Olivia of The Unknown Beauty Blog asks us - Is Your Makeup Life A Bit Boring? Stimulate It With a Touch Face Vibrating Sponge.

    Rachel from Rachel's Makeup and Skincare has jumped on Pammy's wagon and started building a core MAC collection with $21 a month. See what she bought for January!

    Come see the last installment of Best of 2012 Roundup - Body Care, Hair Care, Etc. at Rola's Fountain of Youth!

    Lindsay at TheBeautyThinkTank wonders if the new Revlon PhotoReady BB Cream is a glitterbomb or not?  And if it's not, then what is it!

    If you would like to be featured in a future Up & Coming Beauty Bloggers Weekly Report, e-mail Lindsay at beautythinktank(at)gmail(dot)com.

    Friday, January 18, 2013

    butter LONDON Nail Lacquer and Lippy in Come To Bed Red

    Hello, Thanks to butter London, I received their nail lacquer and matching Lippy lip gloss in Come To Bed Red last year.  This bright red creme nail lacquer is one of their classic best sellers.  When I can't decide on a color on my nails, I almost always go for red.  In my opinion, this is a very classy and chic red.

    Swatch of Lippy

    The matching Lippy is a lip gloss, but it is almost like a liquid lipstick due to its heavier consistency and excellent pigmentation.  The patent shine of the gloss is lovely and just right.  It has a delicious vanilla scent and the lasting power is not bad either.  This is my first Lippy and I am sure it won't be my last.

    Check out both products on butter London's website.  Have you seen their Spring 2013 nail colors?  Gorgeous!

    Thanks to my fur model!

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

    The above mentioned products are sample products sent for consideration by PR.  All review posts are expressed with complete honesty.

    Sunday, January 13, 2013

    Best of 2012 Roundup - Body Care, Hair Care, Etc.

    Hello, We already talked about my 2012 picks on skincare and makeup in the previous posts here and here.  This is the last (but not least) installment of the Best of 2012 Roundup, let's get on with it...

    Body Care

    It looks like soap, but it isn't!  Lush Body Butter in King of Skin is a skin conditioner that is meant to be used after cleansing on wet skin in the shower.  Be sure to keep it in a closed container or you will lose product if it is in contact with water.  It is so convenient to use, I can even skip lotion if I use this.  It is very moisturizing and nourishing.  There are five types of body butters available online at  I was informed in store that King of Skin is the most hydrating.  It smells creamy and really good!  Some of the ingredients are avocados and bananas, good enough to eat.  I highly recommend it!

    Caudaline Divine Oil was my favorite all-purpose dry oil in 2012.  Read more about it here. Try it!

    Hair Care 

    When it comes to hair, it was year of Oribe for me!  My hair is thick, dry, and chemically treated constantly.  The Oribe products really keep my hair in tip top shape, my hair has become better conditioned and more shiny.  If you have similar hair to mine, you should consider trying Oribe Masque for Beautiful Color, a deep treatment for colored hair.  Oribe Supershine Moisturizing Cream is a leave-in conditioner that will tame and add shine to your hair.  Lastly, I am on my second mini bottle of Oribe Apres Beach Wave and Shine Spray, still loving it!

    Also, Ombre is still my favorite hair color look.  I like it because you can always tweak and customize your own look.  I am inspired by Song of Style, her hair is always beautiful...

    Image via Song of Style


    Gel nails has been on my radar in the last few years, but I actually started getting gel nails in 2012.  Do I love it?  Yes and no.  I love that the polish is super shiny and it can remain chip free for two weeks, but it is very drying for the nails and can look artificial.  

    From my experience when I am wearing gel polish, it helps to use cuticle oil or any emollient oil on the entire nail and skin around the nail every day.  And if you can find nail salons that use non-toxic gel polish removers instead of Acetone, that will save your nails from becoming further dried out and damaged.  If you are in the San Francisco Bay Area, check out Nova Nail Spa.

    Thanks for reading, until next post......

    Gelish after one day
    Gelish after two plus weeks
    OPI Gel