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Friday, October 28, 2016

5 Great things from October

Too Faced Natural Eyes Palette and Clinique Pop in Berry Pop
All the a/w themed posts all over the internet got me all giddy since I'm a sucker for the season, even though, you might have missed it; I'm living in tropical country. I've only experienced autumn once in my life, and even though I'm not living it anymore, I understand the hype that surrounds its arrival this October.
  1. Clean Brushes; as part of my To do October, I aim to clean my brushes regularly. I do it every Friday night and it's something I should continue doing since it leaves me with clean brushes to photograph at Saturday morning.
  2. Panning my eyeshadow; Can you see in the picture? Yes, I managed to pan 4 of my favorite color from Too Faced Natural Eyes Palette. While I'm happy that I managed to use up my eyeshadow, I'm sad at the same time because they're my favorite colors.
  3. Starting pinterest; though pinterest hype has started since 2012-ish, I've only started using it now, thanks to lovely Paula from Thirtheen Thoughts and her super helpful pinterest guides. Right now it resembles more of a Ted Baker mess more than anything, but I'm slowly learning.
  4. Reuniting with old friends; I stumbled upon junior high friend's account in instagram. We used to be so close on 7th grade, but since I became somewhat of social recluse afterward, we didn't keep in touch at all. I'm so touched that she still remembers me and I'd love to hang out with her some day.
  5. SHINee 1of1 album;  October kicked off with a good start when SHINee announced they're making a comeback with studio album. 1of1 is full with 90s and retro concept, which immediately sit well with me and my friends (ages cannot be denied). Though in term of quality, I still think their 3rd studio album Misconception series is the best, putting that aside, 1of1 might be my favorite SHINee studio album. My favorite tracks are Prism & Shift.
How was your October going?
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Tuesday, October 25, 2016

5 Favorites from The Body Shop

The Body Shop Body Butter Facial Exfoliator Body Mist

The Body Shop is that one brand that everyone must have tried at least once in their life, either their body care product or their makeup. I wasn't a fan of Body Shop until 2012-ish, because I always associate them with too sweet and strong fruity scent, which I wasn't a fan of. Everything changed when I tried their exfoliator and shea body butter. Now that they have revamped their lines, I cannot wait until all of them arrived in my local counter, but until then, I'm going to talk about some of my classic favorites.

Shea Body Butter; unlike the other TBS body butter offering, this one has nutty scent that isn't overbearingly sweet. Enriched with moisturizing agents like shea, cocoa, and beeswax, this body butter is, hands down, the most hydrating body care I have ever used. As I find this too rich for day time, I use them at night before I sleep.

Seaweed Pore Cleansing Facial Exfoliator; this helps both cleanse and exfoliate my skin. It doesn't sting my face as much as its mask counterpart (tho I hope the new clay mask is much gentler), but it makes my face tight if I used too much, so I have to be careful. The smell is very refreshing!

Moringa Body Sorbet; before English Gardenia and British Rose, Moringa is my favorite scent from TBS. This cooling body lotion is heaven for someone who lives in tropical country like me. It's very lightweight and absorbs fast as well. I love the combo of this and Marc Jacob's Daisy.

Wild Argan Oil for Body and Hair; picking this up in a whim might be one of the best decision I've ever made. I only use this dry oil for hair, and it always leaves my hair smooth and shiny. Apply 3 spritz on the end of my hair, and I kis good bye to dry, brittle hair. Not pictured, but I also use the shower gel version and it's such a pampering shower gel which leaves my skin feels really smooth.

Eau de Toilette; for some reason, I ended up with my sister's strawberry's here instead of my Moringa. Weird. Anyways, this small dainty bottle would be perfect for on the go if only it wasn't made of glass. I've run a couple of them, including Moringa, Cherry Blossom, and Shea.

Do you have any favorite products from The Body Shop?

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Friday, October 21, 2016

Brand focus: Kiehl's

Kiehl's Skincares
Kiehl's might be a brand that I just discovered this year, but has quickly became my firm favorite for skincare. The reason is pretty simple; they work. They deliver what they claim without any mumbo-jumbo promise. Each products I bought had helped me tacking all my skin issues; from acne-scars to dull, oily skin. While some product took time to show its wonder, some just worked instantly. In this post, I'm going to introduce you some Kiehl's products I've tried.

Ultra Facial Oil-Free Toner; while some people find toner to be a moot product, that's not the case with me. Having oily skin, a toner is a must, both to remove dirt residue and refresh my face, it also promises removal of excess oil which is what my skin needs. This toner is both paraben and alcohol free, so, it clarifies my face without drying them. I think this can work for dry and normal skin as well, seeing as the gentle formula is so universal.

Ultra Facial Oil-Free Cleanser; Trivial as it is, I'm a believer of same series product work well together, so, when I ran out of my Perfect Whip Cleanser, I picked this up. I love my cleanser to be creamy without drying, and this does exactly like that. Enriched with imperata cylindrica that helps skin to retain and store moisture effectively, this cleanser is even suitable for sensitive skin.

Blemish Control Daily Skin Clearing Treatment; was the very first product I bought from them and what made me their follower. This cream treatment is formulated with Sulfur for acne-clearing and Vitamin B3, it helps reducing acne scar without stinging nor drying. After I started using this, my acne scar faded a lot faster than before (2 months from the usual 4 months). After 5 months of usage, my skin becomes so clear to the point I feel comfortable without makeup. Nowadays, I'm not using it every night but only after I had period acne.

Midnight Recovery Concentrate; this cult favorite reigns supreme in my skincare stash for it's amazing ability to brighten, clear, and improve my skin at the same time. This oil works by replenishing skin at night when it is at its most receptive. I religiously massaged three drops of this to my face every single night without fail, and wake up with fresh looking skin. I don't think I will ever try another facial oil, seeing how effective it works on me, I literally noticed a change on my skin in a week!

Facial Fuel No Shine Moisturizing Lip Balm; while this is actually marketed toward male audience, I picked this up for it's non-glossy finish which is friendly for matte lipstick. A couple of post ago, I mentioned how difficult it is for me to find a lip balm that works, and this is one of the rare ones that do. It's not thick and doesn't feel like a film of moisture sitting on my lips, dries fast after application without actually drying them.

Rare Earth Deep Pore Cleansing Masque; actually, I'm slathering this all over my face while writing this. Clay mask is something that is always recommended for oily skin for its ability to absorb oil and dirt from your skin. While clay mask can be drying sometimes (I'm looking at you, TBS old clay mask), this one is enriched with aloe vera to prevent it from happening. It's very huge, so it can last you a really long time.
Kiehl’s favorite skincare
What do you think of Kiehl's? Do you have any favorite from them?

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Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Review Tuesday | Makeup Forever Artist Shadow

mufe artist shadow review in chesnut, pinkbrown, and espresso
Having oily, small eyelids and hooded-eyes, eyeshadow is really tricky for me. I need my eyeshadow to be matte and stay put throughout the day, plus, vibrant enough to show up on little space on my eyes. There was a point in which I ‘gave up’ eyeshadow, thinking it wasn’t for me, but then I bought myself Too Faced Natural Eyes Palette, and ended up discovering the fun of eyeshadow. For a while, it was the only eyeshadow I used, then, hundreds of youtube tutorials later, I thought; hey, let’s get myself another matte color!

There are so many brands to choose from, and so many palettes, too. But I wasn’t too keen on the idea of palette at the time, so single eyeshadow then. My final options fell to MAC and Makeup Forever, but researches led me to Makeup Forever Artist Shadow.
mufe artist shadow review in chesnut, pinkbrown, and espresso

While Makeup Forever foundation and base product is often talked about, I feel like fewer spotlights have been given to their eyeshadow ranges. The Makeup Forever Artist Shadow comes in huge color range; around 210 shades with 5 different finishes. Price wise, it’s pricier than MAC but comes with more product (MAC is 1.5 g, MUFE is 2.2 g), which was quiet a deciding factor for me.

I picked three matte colors; Pink Brown (M-600), Chesnut (M-656), and Espresso (M-618). I use Pink Brown and Chesnut on the crease, while Espresso as eyeliner and outer corner of my eyes. MUFE claim high color pay-off, which I found to be true, they show uup well and true to color on my eyeslids, which color is somewhat darker than the rest of my face. Compared to my Too Faced eyeshadow, they last so much longer on my oily lids, around 4 hours before creasing. For matte eyeshadow, they’re exceptionally creamy and non-chalky, plus really blend-able. They do kick a little dust but since the pan is huge, you wouldn’t notice them even making a mess. In short, they perform like a dream.
What do you think of Makeup Forever Artist Shadow?

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Friday, October 14, 2016

3 Things to do for Juicy, Hydrated Lips

3 Steps for Juicy, Hydrated Lips
If you are like me and constantly struggling with dry, chapped lips, you must be feeling antsy under your skin right now because cold and dry months are coming. I live in a country where it's humid all-year-around, yet I'm still scuffling with dry lips. My lips are probably the pickiest part of my face, for a balm that everyone swears to work on their sahara dry lips still leaves my lips feeling dry. Recently, I've started to take more care on my lips, and they're not as horrible as they're before.

Scrub Your Lips

Scrubbing your lips will leave you with smooth and even lips. Lip scrubs exfoliate the dead skin cells and flakes from your lips, plus giving you hydration from the oil it is usually enriched with. You can easily make one with sugar and honey, but make sure the sugar is very fine, or you'd end up with even more irritated lips. Or you can buy from stores, nowadays, they come in every variation of taste, making the scrubbing even more enjoyable.

Use Non-heavy Duty Lip Balm/Color

Let's face it, how many times have you ended up with dry, cracked lips after wearing your matte lipstick? When it happened to me, I switch to lighter and more hydrating lip product. If you are like me, and cannot do without lip color for it washes your feature out, try colored lip balms or sheer lipstick.

Treat Your Lips with havy-duty Balm at Night

Like the rest of your cells, your lips also regenerates at night. When is the better time to nourish your lips other than when you're sleeping? While Lip-sleeping Mask is something that start getting hype in Korean market, in fact, you don't have to find a specific lip-sleeping mask to pamper your lips at night. Any heavy duty lip balm will do, apply them before you sleep and you will wake up in the morning with soft, plump lips.

Are you struggling with constant dry lips? What do you do for hydrated lips?

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Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Jill Stuart Beauty Talk #03 Nail Polish Base & Top Coat

Jill Stuart Base Coat & Crystal Top Coat
I feel like base and top coat are something that is as important as the nail polish itself when it comes to manicure. Maybe because they're beige and clear, not exactly exciting color, that people tend to overlook them. But they're incredibly useful for protecting your nail and makes the polish application easier, plus, they're good for heightening the wear time of your polish.

Jill Stuart Repair Base Coat comes in beautiful frosted bottle with clear beige liquid inside, when applied, it comes as clear, transparent film that instantly smooths the uneven surface of my nail (I have horrible habit of picking at my nails). When I wear this, not only my polishes apply more evenly, it also makes the removing process easier. This base coat also stops the color from staining my natural nail color. It contains peach kernel oil as emollient, and moisturizing agents such as lavender oil and rosemary extract. While I cannot tell if they really strengthen my nails, I can tell they certainly do a great job of keeping my nails from being dry and ugly-yellow. 

Jill Stuart Crystal Top Coat is a joy to apply, not only for reason as silly as the 'cold' sensation it gives my nails, but also because it does help in increasing the wear-time of my polish. The coat uses a newly formulated polish glow polymer that helps it dries faster, while I don't know how exactly it works, I can swear to you this polish dries very quickly. I love rubbing my fingers on my nails after I put this one because its lustrous finish leaves my nails very smooth.
Jill Stuart nail polish is something from the brand that I'd recommend to almost everyone, because unlike their makeup, their nail polish has never been a miss with me. Their polishes apply like a dream; non-streaky, quick drying, and apply evenly. They have the typical floral bouquet scent of Jill Stuat, which I personally find makes applying them more enjoyable.

What do you think of Jill Stuart Nail Polishes Top & Base Coat? What nail polish coats are you using right now?

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Friday, October 7, 2016

Get Bright & Crisp White Background Photo with these 3 Simple Tools

How to get bright & crisp white background photo with these 3 simple tools
Have you ever struggled with taking picture on white background but got grayish and dull background instead of clean, crisp, and bright white? Congratulation, you are in the right post! During those frustrating times, post-processing or editing, is my savior. I feel like this step is often overlooked in many photography tutorial posts, when editing is so powerful and I personally find it to be fun part of whole photography process. Psst, these tools are also the one responsible for changing my blog photos quality from June.

Maybe because we fear things when it got to technical, but trust me, these three tools I'm going to introduce to you are simple and easy to use! They will give your image instant lift without altering the actual color of the product too much.

I'm using Photoshop CS4 but you can find similar tools in pixlr editor (free).

1. Screen Layer
Is the most simple and almost no-brainer step when you want to brighten your image in general. It gets tricky when you have bright-colored product on top of white background, but if you products have solid color, then fingers crossed, all you need to do is set your layer to screen, and you're done!

2. Levels
I know people recommend using 'Curves' all the time, but I find when my problem is just getting brighter background, 'Levels' give me more control. There are five variables you can play around, but ignore the two on the bottom and focuses more on the upper three. The first left 'solidifies' your object, the middle one brightens the whole image, and the last one brightens your background.

Either play with the slider or change the variables by manually inputting them. If you just want brighter image in general, play around with the last two by dragging the slider to the left side. They compensate each other, so if you happened to end up with too bright image that takes away the intensity from the object, enters large number in the first left variable. My safe bet is with '10 - 1.23 - 245', works every time ;)

3. Selective Color
So, your product is on point, the picture is bright enough but the background is too dull? Selective color is the magic tool that will transform the grayest of background into white. Open the selective color layer and changes the color mode into white. Pay no attention to cyan-magentas-yellow, and go straight to 'black'.

On the variable box, enter any number begins with -/minus (I usually start with -50), it will takes away all the bleak gray from your white background/any white object without altering the other color. Neat, right? With this tool, you don't have to make your actually dark red lipstick into something brighter than it actually is.

Below I lined up how each processes alters the photo, in screen - levels - selective color order. Notice the differences on the shadow and the brightness of white background, but not on the actual product itself? I personally like to combine all three, but depending on the picture, sometimes, I'm satisfied with only using one.

How to get bright & crisp white background photo with these 3 simple tools

Will you try using these tools? If you have any question, feel free to leave it in the comment box below! As someone who's enthusiastic in editing as much as in photographing, I'd love to hear your thought!

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Tuesday, October 4, 2016

4 Autumnal Lipsticks for Different Ocasion

4 Fall/Autumn lipsticks with Burberry, Clinique, Fresh, and Makeup Forever 
I consider autumnal shades such as wine-red, burgundy, and pink-brown nude to be my favorite lipstick shades. There is something with their pigment that complements my skin tone really well. For that, I hoard quite a number this shade to the point that more than half of my lipstick stash is made of this color. Here I’m sharing you 4 options for autumnal lipsticks with 4 different formulas.

Makeup Forever Artist Plexi Gloss in Burgundy (full review); my very first berry lip product. This gloss is incredibly pigmented and glossy, always giving me a dramatic – in a good way -  bold lips without bringing my face down. For being a gloss, this lasts surprisingly long, fades into a lovely dark strawberry color after 4 hours mark. If you love juicy looking lips instead of matte ones, I highly recommend this.

Burberry Lip Velvet in Oxblood; If you are a regular reader of this blog, you’d know how emotionally invested I am in this lips, I think I’ve talked about it a hundred of times already. To save you from boredom, I will quickly list things that makes me love this lipstick; comfortable matte formula, incredible color, long-lasting, non-transfer, luxuriously classic yet modern packaging. Perfect for a night out when there’re lots of kissing cheeks involved.

Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment in Ruby (quick impression); I’ve been whipping this out a lot lately since I’ve been feeling lazy with my makeup. My fail proof, no brainer lip product for the moment because it is so easy to use, doesn’t even need a mirror, great when you need a quick instant boost to your face when you don’t feel like wearing too much makeup. Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment is known for its nourishing and hydrating formula, I’m not lucky that my lips aren’t going well with this, but if you found their formula to work well with you, this one is a lovely pick for slightly more autumnal shade.

Clinique Pop in Berry Pop; if you are looking for lipstick that is creamier but long-lasting and non-drying at the same time, this one is for you! With built-in primer, this lipstick is sure to last you a whole day, its creaminess might fool you to think this fades easily, but I found that’s not the case with this one. Berry Pop is simply described as ‘violets in Clinique official shade, if you want similar color that leans more toward pink and a tad bit brighter, you can try ‘Punch Pop’ instead.
4 Fall/Autumn lipsticks with Burberry, Clinique, Fresh, and Makeup ForeverWhat’s your autumnal lipstick pick? Have you tried any of these?

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