Saturday, December 19, 2009

Pretty In Pink's BEST OF 2009 LIST!!! PART ONE.

All right guys, are you ready? I'm going to talk about my favorites in different categories that were released this year. These are products I had the pleasure to try out and found them keepers and HG for life.

Face Products

1 &2 Make Up For Ever All Mat Primer and Duo Mat Powder Foundation I have been using the Make Up For Ever HD foundation for a long time, but I never realized how amazing their matte face products are. I'm in love with both the primer and the powder. They have amazing setting powers, and it keeps my HD make up looking fresh and beautiful all day. I hardly need to touch up, ever. Except during the very hottest days of summer. Now that we're into the drier season, I don't need to touch up at all.

3 Laura Mercier's Illuminating Tinted Moisturizer. I've been shying away from full on make up days as I enter a busy busy year in my life this fall. For days when I simply do not have time, this has been perfect. It stays on, it provides a tiny bit of coverage, and keeps my face luminous without making me look oily or like a disco ball. It's pricy for what it is, but it does come with a ton of product (1.7 oz for $42).

4 Make Up For Ever HD Foundation I've been using this since last year, but it remains a fond favorite. It provides tons of coverage, and a little goes a long way. It applies evenly with my hands to warm it up, and it requires very little work to achieve a flawless but natural look. People say that can't even tell I have make up on when I wear this alone.

5 MAC Mineral Skin Finish in Refined This is a lovely product that is the perfect highlighter. It provides very little pigmentation, and in fact applied with the 188 or 187, just gives me the right candlelight glow. Compared to other MSFs we've had from MAC and compared to the Bobbi Brown Shimmer Brick powders, this is a gem and much more subtle and suitable for daily use.

Cheek Products

I'm known among my friends to be absolutely blush obsessed, and here are my favorite releases this year.

1 Dior Harmonie Blush in Coral Riviera and Rose Brazilia The perfect blush. No really. It lends life and warmth to the skin, and both colors have their own beautiful qualities. I've done a more complete review here.

2 Benefit SugarRush Powder Oh my gosh, not only does this work great as a cheek powder to highlight and to give a luminous pink-peach flush, it's also a great all over powder, and the lavender part works great as a color for the lids on a "me but better" day where I just want to give my eyes a bit of glow but very little color. It is perfect. I got this late in the year but it is becoming a favorite favorite.

3 Bobbi Brown's Illuminating Bronzer in Maui and Antigua I love this powder a lot. It's great for easy days, and it's effortless, especially with Bobbi's brush. There's not much to say about it except that it gives me color and glow all in one and makes me feel like it's summer still.

4 MAC Blush in Blushbaby This is not a new release, but rather a new discovery for me. It is just this amazing my-cheeks-but-better look. It has little to no shimmer, and it is finely milled and stays on forever, and looks like a kind of dusty pink that's so natural and perfect on all skin types.

5 NARS Orgasm Every year Orgasm is still a favorite. There's not much to say about it except that it's a universally flattering gorgeous blush and I love, love love it.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Review: Benefit Sugarbomb

This is my first foray into Benefit powders. I've heard both good things and bad things about them, and I have been wanting to try the luminizing ones (such as Dandelion or Georgia) out for a while. However, when Sugarbomb came out, I thought I'd try it for review purposes so that people could read a review about a new product. Everyone's written about Dandelion and Georgia, so I'll save these two for another time.

First of all, the packaging. It's sleek, it's small. I like it well enough, but it's not outstanding. It seems durable and it's very portable AND it packs tons of products in. In fact, you may have to work with it a bit with a brush before it'll show up. Speaking of brushes, I am not a huge fan of this one. It's streaky and kind of rough.

The product itself is filed into the bronzer category on Sephora, which I think is inaccurate. On my NC35 skin, it does more like what Dior's Diamond powders do (such as Rose Diamond). It's an even more finely milled powder than the Dior, and shows up as this amazing pink/peach highlighter. On my skin it shows up as the barest peach-pink, but it lends such a soft and pretty glow. I think it's really good for people with my skin tone or lighter as a natural my-face-but-better day make up as a bare hint of blush. Otherwise it's good as a lightly shimmering all over powder/highlighter, or as a way to diffuse your blush and blend out your blush and give your skin a healthy glow.

Comparing this to Dior's Diamond powders or Bobbi Brown's Shimmer Bricks... I think this is the best of them all. Seriously. I'm not a die hard fan of shimmering powders, since I have pretty big pores and they really accentuate pores, but this is the most finely milled shimmer I've seen in a while, beating even Dior's powders for a subtle and soft glow rather than a disco-ball face. I love it!

I would use this with a kabuki brush or with a fluffy but dense bronzer or blush brush (ie. MAC 169 or Bobbi Brown's bronzer brush). Review of all of the above brushes here.

To sum it up...

The Pros:
- Amazing glow. I've gotten compliments!
- Is buildable to being a light blush on light-to-medium skintones.
- Portable packaging, lots of product packed in for the price.
- Very finely milled.
- This is a pretty universal shade, I think.

The Cons:
- The brush is useless to me.
- Can be considered too sheer for many people, including me for a blush.

The final verdict: A-
Great product, but I would probably like Benefit's actual blush powders instead of just these sheer powders better. I have several highlighting powders. Good value for price. Get it if you are looking for a great highligher or all over powder that's subtle and pink.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Aimee's Sephora Friends and Family Haul.

In case anyone was curious, I hauled a lot during the Sephora Family and Friends sale which started last night! In anticipation for this sale, I've been crunching numbers and squeezing the last drops out of my products and skincare for a month trying not to buy stuff until now and I went crazy when the sale did start. Most of them are refills/staples of things I need and ran out of, and some are just fun things. :)

The following is a list of the things I hauled and my comments/thoughts about them (whether I've used them before or not!). Some of these are old favorites so I may make a note on what you definitely should get.

Lancome BI-FACIL Eye Makeup Remover
This is a Holy Grail item for me. It's the most efficient and gentle eye make up remover ever and I cannot use anything else!

Guerlain Eyeshadow Palette in Brun Mordore
I couldn't find a picture of the actual palette I bought, and these are different colors, but I bought them in lovely neutrals and browns! I haven't even swatched this but I have heard lots of good things about it so here's hoping. :)

Urban Decay 24/7 Liner Super Stash
OK, guys, I am way excited about this. I love love love the Urban Decay liners. They stay on me like nobody's business and all the pretty colors are exciting! A side note: I also got the full size liner in Dime, which is like a silvery glimmery color. :)

Lancome OSCILLATION Mascara
I've always wanted to try this famous vibrating mascara, and what better time to do so than during the Friends and Family sale? :)

Make Up Forever All Mat Make Up Primer
I swear that one day I will do a real review of this, but suffice to say that I've gone through several bottles of this stuff and I still cannot live without it.

Too Faced NEutral Eye Collection Palette
I have too many neutral eyeshadows for my own good, but this one is just so pretty and so well rounded that I couldn't resist! I highly recommend this. I swatched it in store and the texture is smooth and the colors are fabulous and universal.

Well, that's it for now. I think I have a Philosophy haul coming up also during the F&F sale, for some bath and body and exfoliating products, but here's the full extent of my current haul.

The Sephora Friends and Family sale will lats until November 2nd. Use code FF2009 to redeem for 20% off entire cart.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Givenchy Prissime Poetique Blues

I recently purchased the 9-color eyeshadow by Givenchy in Poetique Blues for their fall collection. I'm wearing it for the first time today, and so far so good! The colors are amazing and the formula buttery and smooth---the colors practically blend themselves and have a lovely but not too-frosty shimmery finish. Pictures and a full review forthcoming.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Urban Decay 30% off sale.

Urban Decay has a Friends and Family sale for 30% off (Code: FNFF1) until August 20th. Are you getting anything?

My list was short. I contemplated a lot of the eyeshadow sets/palettes for a while, but realized that I'd rather buy the new Givenchy sets. Plus, I really don't need MORE eyeshadow.

I ended up with:
- Liquid Liner in Perversion and Radium
- Grind House Pencil Sharpener (mine's getting kind of nasty)

For a total of $38 shipped. :)

Friday, July 31, 2009

Tutorial: Dior Stylish Move Quintet Tutorial

Products Used:

- Make Up For Ever All Mat Primer
- Make Up For Ever HD Invisible Cover Foundation
- Urban Decay 24/7 Concealer Pencil
- Make Up For Ever Duo Mat Powder Foundation (to set)
- Dior Harmonie de Blush in Rose Brazilia

- Dior Stylish Move Quintet Eyeshadow
- Regular drugstore Japanese liquid liner pen
- DiorShow Iconic Mascara and DiorShow Blackout

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Outfit of the Day: Summery Florals

Lately I've been really loving a light summery dress out at night. I wore an outfit somewhat similar to this for my birthday and to lots of other nights out this summer, which is what probably got me so sick.

Dress, necklace, and cardigan: Forever 21
Earrings: Juicy Couture, a gift from my brother for Christmas.
Shoes: Nine West, though I have a different pair from Taiwan, this one comes close.
Eyes: Dior Quint Eyeshadow in Stylish Move
Cheeks: Dior Harmony Blush in Rose Brazilia. My favorite!
Lips: Clear gloss or MAC C-Thru (slightly milky).

Monday, July 20, 2009

No posts for a while...

I've been in complete bedrest for almost a week now due to a particularly nasty flu, and no sign of getting completely better any time soon. This is me, wearing only very light powder and some bronzer in preparation to trek into the real world for half an hour (Blockbusters rental trip). When my friend saw me today to give me a ride to Blockbuster his first words were "you look terrible."

Thanks dude.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

FOTD: Coastal Scents, easy soft purples and pinks.

Eyes: UDPP in Sin, Coastal Scents 88 palettes in matte and shimmer, Bobbi Brown Gel Liner in Violet Ink, DiorShow Iconic and Blackout layered, MAC Blanc Type to highlight, Bobbi Brown Eyeshadow in Gray for brows.

Cheeks: Bobbi Brown Illuminating Bronzer in Maui.

Lips: The Body Shop Hemp Lip Conditioner/Balm.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Review: Christian Dior Harmonie Blush in Rose Brazilia and Coral Riviera

I've always heard good things about the Christian Dior blushes, and when their summer collections came out this year, I thought I'd give it a try. I had read rave reviews of these new Bronze de Harmonie blushes, especially the shade in Coral Riviera, and after swatching both at my local Sephora, I purchased this peachy, corally shade.

Normally I am not the biggest fan of coral/peach shades. They turn out kind of orange on me, and I am definitely a pink blush kind of girl due to my cooler Asian coloring.

According to Dior, the product is...

A palette of multi-effect shades to sculpt and illuminate the face, featuring new gold Cannage-style detailing and a blendable formula for an easy and flawless application. In two universal and easy-to-wear shade harmonies: Rose Brazilia and Coral Riviera.
At $42.00 each, this is not a blush for the faint-of-heart.

Yes, the gold glitter goes away after one or two applications. This is a plus, because I wear these blushes daily and I like to keep it natural. Both shades are lovely, applying flawlessly (I like to use M.A.C. 187 or a fluffy blush brush, depending on the intensity I want). It's super fine-milled, easy to blend out, and doesn't create any harsh lines or streaks like some of the M.A.C. blushes do. You really do get what you pay for. Truly it is an amazing buttery formula that takes the work out of blush application.

The Coral Riviera is surprisingly good on me and looks quite natural. It's good for the lazy days. It's an amazing peach-coral shade with the bronze sheen built into it so wonderfully. I'm not very good with bronzers and this is one of the first I've tried that's worked on me.

The "bronzing" aspect is not so apparent in the Rose Brazilia shade. It's a lovely and slightly warm pink on me, and is incredibly wearable. It's replaced M.A.C.'s Dollymix as my favorite baby-pink blush. This one has less of the bronzing sheen, like I said, and it's more matte than the other color. While Coral Riviera departs a lovely sheen that is more obvious, the sheen in Rose Brazilia is slight, subtle, and brings out the sparkle in my eyes.

Rose Brazilia on.

My favorite shade is Rose Brazilia, because of the texture and quality of the sheen, as well as the lovely subtle warm pink (with the slight touch of peach!), but I know many people who prefer Coral Riviera.

Whichever you choose, this is an excellent product. Both shade are perfect for everyday use in the summer.

FOTD: Aquadisiac and Rollicking.

Everyone in the make up community probably knows that Rollickin' Paint Pot with Aquadesiac eyeshadow over it is an amazing combination, but I decided to do this look as it's an easy summery pop of color.

- Make Up For Ever HD Invisible Coverage Foundation
- Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Concealer Pencil
- Make Up For Ever HD Powder to set.
- Dior Harmonie Blush in Rose Brazilia

- Urban Decay Primer Potion in Sin
- MAC Rollickin' Paint Pot
- MAC Aquadesiac Eyeshadow
- A little of MAC Freshwater in the corner
- MAC Tete-a-Tint eyeshadow in crease to blend out the blue.
- MAC Blanc Type to highlight
- Generic Asian drugstore liquid eyeliner
- DiorShow Iconic layered with DiorShow Blackout (Sorry I screwed up and it's clumpy!)

- MAC Bare Slimshine
- MAC Smile Dazzleglass

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Review: Bobbi Brown's Illuminating Bronzer in Maui

I never thought I'd come to love Bobbi Brown or bronzers as much as I do this summer. I saw talk of this collection really early in the blogosphere, but I wasn't that interested as I am not a huge fan of bronzers. The Bobbi brown Illuminating Bronze collection just did not draw me... or so I thought.

After reading review after review, I still wasn't convinced. It wasn't until I saw Karlysugar's swatches that I was convinced I truly and absolutely needed this product in the Antigua shade, pictured above. It is just this amazing dusty pink, and I may go back to get it yet.

When I tried both on my cheeks though, Antigua did not show up quite as well as I had hoped. The saleslady tried to talk me into Maui since it's brighter, and I am glad I listened to her, because on me, Maui is an amazing coral-bronze that is so subtle, so lovely, and perfect for the light-make-up days where I don't want to pile tons of blush on. I still can't stop thinking about Antigua though, which means I'm probably doomed to go grab that.

The packaging is awesome, classic Bobbi. It does not waste any space, but it is a wonderful compact with 9 grams of product in the hefty casing, and a wonderful wonderful big fat mirror in the compact lid. As always, very chic and simple upscale packaging from Bobbi Brown.

Now, the product.. it imparts a beautiful but natural sheen. I had thought with my oily skin tone it would not go well and because this product is so pink, I did not think I could apply it all over. However, with Bobbi's new and improved Bronzer Brush (I will review this separately), I apply two or so dabs of it (after shaking excess off) on the apples of my cheek, blending back to my temple, across my cheekbone, then use the remainder on the brush (maybe one more tap on the product) all over to contour the edges of my face. It imparts a lovely glow, and the pink actually helps even out my yellow complexion!

At $33 this is not cheap, but the texture is soft, finely-milled, and it goes on wonderfully. It is really easy to apply and just an amazing product.

I have plans to be utterly bored with my life this summer, taking Ancient Greek classes at UCLA and working my butt off at work after class. My make up will need to hold up well and be minimal. The model in this picture, in fact, is exactly what I want to look like. Bright. Happy. Well-slept. Perhaps she just came back from a walk on the beach. She certainly has that lovely sun-kissed glow.

I went on over to Bobbi Brown's website to find out how to obtain this look. This is one of my favorite things about Bobbi Brown--her looks are easy to replicate and clearly outlined on the site. Asides from basic foundation/concealer make up, the look is described thus:

1. Metallic Eyeshadow in Burnt Sugar on the lids ($20)
2. Illuminating Bronzer in Maui (hey! That's what I have! $33)
3. Mascara (I use DiorShow Iconic and Blackout, layered together)
4. Shimmer brick for the body (I just do a little bit of the regular ol' Bronze shimmerbrick on my shoulders, collar bones, and across my chest if I'm wearing something summery and low-chested).

Burnt Sugar is a lovely mid-tone brown in Bobbi's amazing metallic formula. I love it, it blends wonderfully, and it has incredible depth for just one color. It's a perfect color for those lazy days when you only want to use one product on your eyes.

I replicated this look when I got the bronzer and the eyshadow, and it's beautiful and simple and gives me that look I desire so much! With a bit of tinted moisturizer, black/brown tightlining (to open up the eyes more) and some tinted lip balm (try the L'Oreal HiP jelly balms.. delicious shades and very pigmented), I am good to go for the day. Don't forget Urban Decay Primer Potion (I have it in Sin!) if you don't want any smudges all day!

If you are minimalist kind of person, theoretically you can slap on some sunscreen, swipe on some of this product with your bronzer blush, and be good to go! Don't forget to bring your lip balm with you.

The whole thing together.. it imparts a lovely glow on my cheeks!
The perfect make up without looking like make up look.

The Bottom Line: If you're looking for the perfect pick-me-up product to make you look bright, well-slep, happy and awake this summer (without actually feeling any of the above), this is it.

Antigua review forthcoming.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Top 5: Face Brushes

Welcome to the first of my top 5 series, where I will tell you 5 of my favorite products of a category or type.

Today, I'm here to tell you about my favorite face brushes. This is kind of a lumped review of my favorite 5 face brushes. As you can see, most of them are from MAC. There is no particular foundation brush here, because I like to use my hands and a sponge for foundation.

MAC 182

This kabuki brush is one of the best on the market. It's soft and dense and just.. ahhh. It deposits powder so evenly and amazing. I would imagine this to be amazing for mineral foundation, but I like to use it to set my foundation with powder, and also to blend out the edges of products (like blush and bronzer) to avoid harsh lines.

MAC 187

Perfect for everything. Foundation, blush, bronzer, you name it. I like it for a light sweep of more pigmented blush shades, and also to blend out edges. I used to use this for foundation and it was the only thing that made MAC Studio Fix Fluid with SPF15 bearable for me, before I found my HG in Make Up For Ever HD.

I also prefer this brush for lighter applications of MAC Mineralized Skin Finishes or other highlighters. If you find the brush is too big for this purchase, you can pinch the black parts to make the white part go together in a fan shape. Something about this stippling brush is just so perfect. The combination of natural and synthetic bristles is just.. ahh.

Another favorite use of mine of this brush is for cream blushes. In fact, of all my brushes, I think this is the most hardworking and multitasking. I love it so much I have TWO.

MAC 168

This ties with the 187 as my favorite brush. It has extremely AMAZINGLY OOH LA LA soft white goat hair bristles, and it has the perfect angle shape. I apply blush and bronzer with it, and I know people who even apply foundation with it flawlessly. My favorite use for this though is contouring. It is just the absolutely perfect shape to get in the hollow of my cheeks and around the edges of my face. *sighs happily*

I think I need another one of these in my life.

MAC 129

This is perfect for blush application. It has soft bristles but they're dense enough to deposit enough pigment, and it's just big enough to cover my whole cheek in one sweep so I don't have uneven application. It's also good for powder when you're in a pinch.

This is a great basic and a must have.

Bobbi Brown's New Bronzer Brush

I can wax lyrical about this brush. It is so pefect for blush OR bronzer, and it has beautiful, soft dense bristles in that lovely perfect rounded shape that somehow imparts the most perfect glow in combination with Bobbi Brown's Illuminating Bronzers. This brush is so thick and big and dense and just luxurious to use. Ahh, love.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner

My first eyeliner was one of those automatic pencil liners by Maybelline. You know, the ones you can twist up and down. The Maybelline Unstoppable.

Thankfully, I have learned better since then. With the Maybelline I had to drag it back and forth across my lid, tugging and tugging before the color would go on! And boy, did it skip. It was impossible to create a thin, even line.. Finally, I discovered the beauty that is a gel liner.

I have used gel liners far and wide, starting with MAC Fluidline in Blitz and Glitz my first happy year in college. Gel liners were an amazing discovery for me---no tug, easy application, and super easy winged eyes with an angle liner. Everything I wanted the drugstore pencils to be.

I used Fluidline for many years with no qualms, until I one day heard the good ladies over at say that the Bobbi Brown gel liner is such and such, so much better, etc etc. Of course, being the Specktraette I am, I immediately sprung for it.

According to Bobbi Brown, this product is:

Awarded: "Elle" ‘Genius Award’ (April 2008), "In Style" 'Best Beauty Buy' (2008), and "Allure" ‘Reader's Choice Award’ (2008).

Our popular long-wearing eyeliner offers the precision of liquid liner and the ease of a gel-based formula.

It's awesome, as it turns out. Everyone was right. Here are some comparisons with other brand eyeliners:

- It stays put with some UDPP until the end of the day. Yesterday, for intance, I wore it for something like 17 hours and it didn't budge. At all. I have problems with MAC Fluidline in this area.
- It's really easy to remove at night, despote the way it doesn't move on your eyes normally. I like the similar look of the Urban Decay pencils but those are not as easy to remove as the Bobbi Brown.
- It doesn't skip or clump up on my brush like the L'Oreal gel liner does (though I have that one in the midnight blue color and it's gawwww-geous).
- It applies really easily, and smooth. I only have to go over the line once or twice, whereas with Fluidline I often feel like I have to scratch at my eyes forever to get the color to impart from my brush. (Same brush.)

For me, the long wear on this alone is worth the increased price tag. At $21, it's $5 dollars more than MAC Fluidline, but it comes in a variety of colors. I've only tried the matte varieties, and not the shimmer ink ones, but I have lots of faith. Bobbi Brown never fails to produce high quality (if a little boring, sometimes) items, and I highly recommend this product!

I think everyone knows what gel eyeliner looks like but I might as well post an example. Please excuse the badly applied falsies in this picture!
As much as I highly recommend this product, there's one thing I don't really use this for, and that's the waterline. For some reason it just doesn't stick to the waterline upon application as well as the Urban Decay liner pencils, but at the same time, the UD 24/7 pencils also smudge on me if I use them to line normally (not water line), but the Bobbi Brown stay put. So I keep one of each in black (or Zero, in UD language) for those purposes.

Run, not walk, to get one of these! I recommend applying them with Smashbox's bent eyeliner brush, or a small angled brush from any brand you like for a thicker line.

Another note---MAC's Blacktrack dried out on me after a few months, but my Bobbi Brown gel liner has stuck with me for over a year without a sign of drying out. Hmm.

Welcome to Pretty In Pink!

Hi there!

In my several years of make up obsession and learning to use make up effectively, I have learned so much from other bloggers (my favorites are Temptalia, Musings of a Muse, and The Daily Cookie!). I have decided to give back to this wonderful community and begin a make up blog to post about things I love, and perhaps a look or two, even though my skills are nowhere up to par with some of the other beauty bloggers!

For now I want to focus on things that I have used for a long time, the tried and the truth, new things I'm loving, as well as focus on Asian skin and eyes.

Coming up are some posts with looks, favorites, and reviews! Please look forward to them.

For now, enjoy this very easy and neutral look I did for church a while ago!

This is a very simple look using Mauvement pigment and MAC Fluidline in Blacktrack. It's an easy daily look!