December 22, 2012

FOUND! L'Oreal Caresse Aqua Lacquer Shine Stain (YSL glossy stain dupe)

I had to do a quick post from my phone cuz I got super excited when I spotted these!

As you may know, L'Oreal owns YSL. I heard that L'Oreal released their version of glossy stain in Paris, France couple months ago and I have been waiting for their release in the US, which I wasn't expecting till next year spring. But while perusing at Walmart I found L'Oreal Colour Caresse Aqua Lacquer for $7.97 ( compared to YSL $32)!

I grabbed 4 to test them out. So far they smell very similar to YSL glossy stain. It has the wine grape smell. I put them on right after purchasing it. So far the staying power is good.

I wiped the swatch off and the stain remained! (See last picture)

I can't wait to test and try out all the different colors!!!!

I'm so excited!!! It's like a Christmas present!!! Hahaha

Happy Holidays everyone!!!! ❤

December 11, 2012

Review: Sally Hansen Salon Effects Real Nail Polish Strips

I always prefer putting on my nail polishes rather than these new nail polish strips that have been quite popular lately.  The upside to the nail polish strips is that there is absolutely no drying time and that you get to wear funky nail designs that you wouldn't be able to draw on your nails yourself.

When Sephora was having sales on older nail polish stickers/strips I was able to pick couple of them up for $3 each.  And when I tried those, they were actual stickers and my nails felt weird and restricted.  And the stickers were quite thick so it kept snagging on my hair, and sweaters.  I absolutely hated them and ended up taking them off after 2 or 3 days.

But I never tried the Sally Hansen Salon Effects Real Nail Polish Strips.  And I was thinking they have to be the same as the Sephora ones.  Also they retail for $8.99 to $10.99 each for 16 strips and I didn't want to spend that much on them.  I was browsing through TJ Maxx during Thanksgiving and I actually found a nice design for $3.99, so I thought I give them a try.

I found the design I Love Lacey which is a red background with black laces as the design.  I thought it was hott and worth trying for $3.99.

It comes with:
- 2 packs of 8 strips in each.  One pack is for each side of your hands.
- wooden stick to push back your cuticles
- small nail file
- and instructions

When you open the package there is a strong chemical nail polish smell.  Once you open these, you cannot store them away to use later.  You should find the size that fits your nails, take the clear plastic off the top and white sticker from the back and place them on your nails.  You are going to find that none of them will fit your nails perfectly, but thats okay!  I suggest using bigger size rather than a smaller size.  Then I used the cuticle stick to get it to adhere and take off the excess.  That way your nails are completely covered.  Also what I noticed about these nail polish strips were that they were much much thinner than the Sephora ones.  They are thin, stretchy and much more moldable.  After the application, you fold down the excess at the ends and you can file them off.  Then you are done!  If you are not use to putting these on, it can take as much time as applying regular nail polish and waiting for them to dry.

The best part was that the Sally Hansen Salon Effects Nail Polish Strips did not snag on my hair, clothes or anything!  They lasted over a week without any of them wearing off except the ends of the nails.  I actually took them off before it was ruined.  And you can remove them with regular nail polish remover.

All in all, I actually really liked these.  They have variety of designs, and they lasted well and they weren't annoying like the Sephora ones.  I'm really glad I gave them a try and I will definitely be trying them again.  I highly recommend these!!!!

For some tips, if you wanted to get multiple use of these, then try alternating on some of the nails with one package and applying regular nail polish to the ones you did not apply the nail strips.  Then save the other pack UNOPENED for later use.

Also as I mentioned above, apply the strips that are bigger rather than smaller for your nails.  Personally I don't like my nail bed showing.  And these were thin enough to just cleaning them up with the cuticle pusher.

Have you tried nail strips?

December 10, 2012

GLOSSYBOX (November 2012)

Here's what I got for November's Glossybox.  The theme for November was Tis the Season to be Glossy.

It also came with the Glossybox magazine.

I received the Incoco Nail Polish Appliques (Nail sticker strips) in full size (retails for $8.00 for 16 strips) in a neutralish brownish taupish color.  I'm not fond of this color, but I'm excited to try this brand of nail polish strips.  I have tried the Sally Hansen and the Sephora one, and while I loved the Sally Hansen one, I absolutely hated the Sephora stickers.  So I wonder which category these will fall into....

Illamasqua LTD, Lip & Eye Medium Pencil in the original size (Retails for $20).  I love Illamasqua products (if you haven't heard of this brand, it's a UK brand, and their nail polish, foundations, and anything pigmented are amazing).  This is supposed to be dual for lip and eyes and while this is a beautiful color, I don't think I'll be putting this on my lips any time soon.  My friend got this pencil in a red color, which I doubt she'll be putting that on her eyes.

Skin &Co. Roma Truffle Serum- Hydro-Toning Face.  I'm not sure of the size I received, but definitely it's a deluxe size not full (Full Size retails for $36.00 for 1.01 oz.)  Very intrusted to find out what truffle will do to my face. kekekeke

NUME Style Arganics by Nume Argan Oil and I received the 10 ml size.  (Retails for $5, and $59.00 in full size which is with 4 oz).  This is argan oil for your dry damaged cuticles.  I have tried Josie Maran hair oil, so I will be comparing this to Josie Maran oil.

Kryolan for Glossybox Blusher in Rosewood and I received the full size of 2.5 grams (retails for $17).  And the swatch below.  It's a nice dusty pink, and it reminds me a lot of Benefit's Dandelion.  Very natural slight pink.  Texture was silky smooth and you can tell it was finely milled.

Then the last two items I received were coupons/gift certificates.  This one was a free coupon for something if you signed up for their website, but when I went, I did not see that option, so I guess this one is a waste.

This one sounds awesome.  $100 gift certificate towards professional styling tools and hair extensions.  However, their products are in the $180- $200 something range, so I guess if you really like their products you can get something for half off.

So that's it for the November's Glossybox!  The value of this box is about $70, and if I were to use the gift certificate, it'd be valued at $170!  Good value huh for $20 with shipping?

While I found this box to have a lot of products that I can use, other than the Illamasqua eyeliner and the Kryolan blush, I wasn't that excited... but we will see once I use the products. 

Hope everyone is enjoying December and getting in the spirit and having a blast celebrating whichever holiday you celebrate! :)

December 3, 2012

Review: L'Oreal Infallible 8 Hour Le Gloss

Hello all!  I can't believe it's December already! So many things going on including my birthday!!!

I wanted to do a quick post on L'Oreal Infallible 8 Hour Le Glosses I got awhile back.  I have been really into drugstore makeup lately.  L'Oreal also owns YSL (Yves Saint Laurent), and a lot of the times you see a cross over or similarities between the brands, so I thought I give these lip glosses a try.  And I got three of the new formulated colors (it'll say "new color" or "nouveau" on the handle).

It comes with a doe-foot applicator with a pointy end at the top which is very similar to YSL Glossy Stain, but Infallible Le Gloss was less sturdier, but still gave you enough control to apply precisely.

I got three different colors- a classic red, pink, and deep plum color.
Classic Red - #320, Red Fatale
Pink - #140, Pink Topaz
Dee Plum - #240, Glistening Berry

Swatches on a piece of paper (which showed up better than on my lips or hands)

Swatches on my arm (without flash)

Swatches on my arm (with flash)

The formula is on the thicker side.  But understandable since these are supposed to last you for 8 hours.  It's not too sticky. After an hour or two, if you keep rubbing your lips together, it does form this strange film that looks sticky.... so the formula seem to change in time.  It does have slight scent, but didn't bother me too much. 

Red Fatale, #320 was very opaque, and super shiny.  This was my favorite color of the three I bought.  It can be worn completely alone and hide your natural lip color.

Pink Topaz, #140 was very sheer, and I had to apply 3 layers just to achieve this color worn here.  It had iridescent shimmer, the rainbowish color that looks different from different angles.  It was quite shimmery with flash.  But this definitely needs to be worn over something else, like a pink lipstick.  As you can see, even with 3 layers, the color is very uneven.

Glistening Berry, #240 was also sheer.  Less sheer than Pink Topaz, but again definitely needs to be worn over lipstick.  I was hoping this was going to a deep plum, berry color, but it wasn't the case. It was more deeper pink on the lips. This also had shimmer in it.  This looked slightly darker than the Pink Topaz, but very similar.

It didn't last quite 8 hours, and I kept wanting to take it off to reapply because it does transfer, and in an hour or two, the formula seemed to change and didn't feel stickier, but when you kept rubbing your lips together, it formed a slight layer.

Overall, for $7.99 ( at Harmon inside of Bed Bath & Beyond, and for me it was about $5 each with coupons) it is a good lipgloss.  But I wouldn't say it's my favorite.  Also it also depends on the color.  And as it claims for the 8 hours, I don't think it really last 8 hours since it transfers so much.  I think the Red Fatale is gorgeous, so I may wear that again, but I'd have to be careful how I eat, and drink or touch stuff, since this pigmented lip gloss can end up everywhere!  I have been loving YSL glossy stain, and I find myself comparing all lip products to that (review coming up next), so these were good, but I don't see myself buying anymore of these.

November 26, 2012

Sephora Pantone Color IQ- Perfect Foundation Match

I was in Northern California over the Thanksgiving weekend visiting my family.  I luckily had time to visit a friend in San Francisco, and I had been dying to visit the Mothership of Sephora (Sephora's headquarters is in San Francisco).  So I dragged my friend to Sephora in Union Square.  The reason I wanted to go to this particular store is because they offer foundation match with a special gadget that is only in this location and New York Time Square location.  I heard about this special foundation matching that's done in London through Boots, No. 7 Brand, and I knew they had to offer this service in the United States, so when I searched, Sephora came up.  Sephora started offering this service in July of 2012 and will be testing it in the two - SF and NY location first before launching it else where.

If you are confused as to what I'm talking about.... Pantone is the master of color matching.  If you have painted your house, you'd have most likely heard of it.  If you were to take a piece of fabric and wanted a paint that color, Pantone will be able to match it or produce that color for you (I believe.... ).  Also recently Pantone has been collaborating with Sephora to create beautiful colorful makeup.  Now, they have created a hand held tool based off the Pantone X-Rite Spectrocolorimeter used in the design world.  This device takes image of your skin, analyzing and assigning you an official Pantone skintone number.  With that number, they will be able to give you a list of foundations carried by Sephora that will match you perfectly!  I have tried numerous amounts of foundations of EACH BRAND, just to achieve that, and it was not an easy task.  So I knew if I had a chance to go to SF location, I had to try this out.


SEPHORA + PANTONE Color IQ Handheld Device:
  • Image takes 1.8 seconds to capsure
  • Produces  27 photographs in black and white using 8 different visible LED bands and 1 ultraviolet band
  • COLOR IQ measures only in red/green/blue
  • Ultraviolet and three split spectrums
  • Grid of 100x100 pixels across skin sample which then becomes one color composite
  • New method of color measurement, including texture and surface sample variables, allowing for the most accurate color positioning

Cameras vs COLOR IQ device for pigment precision:
  • Traditional cameras uses ambient light (huge pigment variables)
  • COLOR IQ can measure pigment in pitch darkness, does not require ambient lighting for precision matching

SEPHORA + PANTONE Color IQ Skintone Library:
  • Ethnicity isn’t relevant when color matching- there are more factors in the physiology of the skin that determine color (hemoglobin, sun exposure, freckles, skin conditions, sun burn, excess or absence of melanin)
  • 110 colors are mapped out by the Pantone Color Institute that comprise the SEPHORA + PANTONE Skintone Library
  • Colors are based on SEPHORA’s current foundation landscape and can be expanded as more brand offerings are added, making the most comprehensive foundation library available at retail
  • iPad app platform, exclusive to SEPHORA
  • only available in SEPHORA stores

Recommendations for the best SEPHORA + PANTONE Color IQ match:
  • No workout 30 minutes prior to match
  • No chemical or harsh peels 3-6 days prior to match
  • Drink more water and less caffeine prior to match, caffeine restricts blood flow, affecting flush of skin
  • If you are wearing self tanner, disclose to the Sephora artist for a better match
As soon as I walked into Sephora, I asked for the Pantone Color IQ, and I was directed to a little kiosk in the middle of the store.  It had a mirror on both sides, with an iPad placed in each of the sides.

They gave me and my friend face wipes to remove the makeup off our faces.  Then they realized I had freckles on my face, and they said there's a chance the images would pick up my freckles too much and I'd end up with darker shade than my face.  So I asked them to get images off my decollette, neck area because I like to match my neck and chest area anyways to get more even/natural foundation finish.  They thought it was a good idea, so I didn't have to remove my makeup.

You see the device on my neck.  This took about 30 seconds to accomplish.  Then the little device spit out a color number, which for me was, 4Y06 (medium skintone with yellow base).

Here's the partial color chart that they use.  They they put the color number into the iPad, and it spits out the results for the foundation matches for you.

This wasn't my results, but this is a sample of what you'd get on the iPad.

If you see on the left side, it says, matching shade, lighter, redder etc..., so you can get results of other shades that are very similar to that. And change the formula, coverage to narrow your results.  Then you can e-mail yourself the results!

The shades/brands I got "perfectly matched" were very limited.  It gave me 3 shades from bareMinerals Foundation, Josie Maran Matchmaker Serum Foundation, and NARS Sheer Matte Foundation.  And from the NARS Sheer, and bareMinerals foundation that I have already used before, it sounded like the matching was spot on.  I also e-mailed results from lighter of my shade since my neck is still a little more tanned than my body, and a little yellower shades.  After going through the list of the foundations I have used, the results were spot on.  I wish I'd have taken off my makeup and got a reading on my face too, just to see what results it would have given me.   So after this FREE service, they offered to make me samples of the foundation.

But overall, I was very happy that I got to go and experience it for myself.  It's such a genius device.  I hope this goes nationwide to all the Sephora stores soon!  It'd make our lives so much easier!!!

November 14, 2012

Winner of 100th Post Giveaway!

Hope everyone is having a wonderful week so far!!!
I meant to do the announcement earlier, but due to some personal circumstances, it was delayed till today.
And I was trying to use the random generator on-line but it did not work for some reason, so I did it the old fashion way and put names into a box and had a friend pick out the name!

And the winner is.... drum roll please.... Gracie with Google Friends Connect/ Blog Comment entry! 

Congratulations Gracie!  Please contact me anyway possible (privately), so I can ship you the items!

 Here are some of the things you will be receiving!  It's missing few things as I forgot to put them in one place! But will be included when I send it out!

 Thank you all for entering the giveaway and for your wonderful comments and feed backs!  Please be on the look out for more giveaways and my blog posts!!!

November 5, 2012

Review: Giorgio Armani Maestro Fusion Makeup

This new revolutionary makeup, Giorgio Armani Maestro Fusion Makeup ($62), 8 years in the making, was released in the US early October 2012.  I've seen few reviews and it was a very mixed review.  But I really wanted to try it.  It sounded like something revolutionary and unique.  And I'm all about the next best thing. Linda Cantello, International Make-up Artist for Giorgio Armani Cosmetics says, "It's not a foundation, it's a complexion perfector."  It is made of 60% oil and 20% pigments, unlike the traditional foundation that consist of 80% oil and 20% water.  This product contains five volatile, semi-volatile and non-volatile oils that evaporates at different rates.  Sounds really cool doesn't it?  I knew I had to try this!

Benefits:  A formula that is easy to apply with unified distribution, and covers imperfections.  An ultra-fine oil-pigment suspension that perfects the complexion, instantly igniting skin's natural luminosity.  A water and powder-free base.

Technology:  An unforgettable and unique texture created by patented Fusion Technology.  The Fusion makeup technology delivers the thinnest color film that blends perfectly and corrects skin imperfections without buildup.

-A water and powder-free base
-Totally non-comedogenic
-Five time-released oils evaporating gradually
-Smart pigment technology
-Easy, fast, fresh and flawless application
-SPF Broad Spectrum UVA/UVB 15

This complexion perfector, (as the Giorgio Armani Cosmetics Make Up Artist calls it) comes in 12 different shades.  3 shades for fair skin, 6 shades for medium skin, 3 shades for dark skin.
I am MAC NC20-25, and the lady matched me to #5.5.  And it might be a tad on the darker side for me.
Eventhough it comes in all different shades, this product is made to color match your skin.  So I think it's a lot forgiving even if you choose the wrong shade.

Maestro Fusion Makeup is in a frosty glass bottle with a dropper.  It contains 1 fluid oz., the standard foundation size.  Quite different from others since it's not a pump.

The consistency is very liquidy.  You squeeze the dropper once in the bottle, and pour a drop in the back of your hands, and you can see it run.  The most liquidy foundation I have ever seen.  One drop is enough to cover your entire face with a thin layer.

This foundation, or complexion perfector, or fusion makeup is nothing like I have ever tried.  When you first drop this on your hand, you see the color, and you see the pigments.  When you start blending into your face it disappears.  It is very sheer but only enough to correct minor skintone issues.  It does not cover.  As you are blending into your face, you can see that the feel of this liquid is changing.  You can feel the oils evaporating.  It feels absolutely silky smooth.  And you cannot tell that you have makeup on.  From other reviews I have read, it says that it's best when you let this sit/adjust on your skin for 5-10 minutes, because it can look a little powdery at the beginning.  For me that wasn't the case.  It looked just fine immediately and the same 5-10 minutes later.  This did not cover anything, as the coverage is very very sheer.  It was only enough to slightly even out the redness.  I layered it 3 times, using my fingers.  Coverage was the same as it was the first and second layer.  Finish very very natural and slightly glowy.  It remained natural and sheer all day like I wasn't wearing any makeup on my face.  But when I accidentally put a paper on my face (at work), I saw that it transferred onto the paper.  Strange because it didn't even look like I was wearing makeup yet I saw color on the paper.   It didn't make my nose, T-zone any oilier than normal without powder.  It also did not dry out my face.  It seriously felt like I was not wearing anything! 

Before & After without flash- in natural light.  You can see that it covered up minor redness.  Note the pimple on my chin.  You can still spot it.  And for some strange reason, it photographs better than it actually looks in person.


And this is no makeup, with eye makeup, and full makeup with flash.  I think it even photographs even better with flash! LOL (is it me or does this look like a mug shot? hahahaha) mental note: smile next time.

Before use, you must vigorously shake the product to mix up the pigments.  I have tried my fingers and a foundation brush.  I liked the feeling of my fingers better as it will warm up the product and help the oils evaporate.  But as it claims, you can't go wrong with any method of application.

Actually it's not like anything I have tried before.  And this is exactly what Giorgio Armani Cosmetics was trying to accomplish.  A foundation, complexion perfector, fusion makeup as they call it, is one of a kind, revolutionary type make up.  Which is the main reason I wanted to try it.

I think this would be great for someone who doesn't like the feeling or the look of wearing makeup.  But someone who already has great skin, and doesn't have much to cover up and wants a little extra help.  Because if you have scars, zits to cover, you'd have to cover it up with concealers and that'd defeat the purpose of wearing undetectable makeup.  I think this would be fine on all types of skin- oily, combination, and dry.  I think it'll be fine on all ages, as it does not accentuate any lines in particular.  Some reviews said it accentuates dry spots, or fine lines, but I'd have to disagree for my skin.  But I also keep my skin hydrated and exfoliated at all times.  Also this contains silicone, and octinoxate if you are allergic to any of these ingredients.

I have to start by saying, this photographs a lot better than it looks to the naked eye.  As you can see in the pictures above, it looks as tho it blurrs out the imperfections in photos and looks to make my complexion brighter.  But this is not the case in real life (which is unfortunately the world we live in.)  I can see all my freckles and sun spots shining through as if I have nothing on.  And that's even with 3 layers of undetectable coverage. 

I love trying new products especially that's the next up and coming.  And from what I heard and tested, it is a one of a kind makeup and this is something that has not been done before.  But I definitely need more coverage than what this is giving me.  I really really love that this makeup is undetectable, but that'd be great if it actually had better coverage and was undetectable.  If it doesn't cover anything, I hope that you can't see anything. LOL  Only those with one or two spots to cover and wants to slightly even out their skintone should use this.  It was definitely not what I was looking for. 

Don't get me wrong, I think it's a wonderful product (not the greatest), but I don't think we were meant to be. :)  Whatever Giorgio Armani claimed to do, it does just that.  And as Linda Cantello states, this is not a foundation.  So don't expect the typical foundation results.

Because it photographs beautifully, I'm really on the fence, but I like my face to look flawless in person, and not only in photos.  It's a great complexion perfector, but I wouldn't keep it to be used as a replacement for my foundations. I'm glad I tried it though.  And when my sun spots get better, I may reconsider then.

Also I'd not recommend using any kind of water based product as moisturizer or primer underneath this makeup.  Because it's an oil based product, it will not mix well together.  It can ball up, or slide all over the place.

That would be a no.  I'm actually going to return it.  I can't justify keeping this since I know it's not for my needs.  Especially for $62 and when I know already I won't be reaching for this when I know I want that extra coverage.  Unless miraculously my skin becomes perfect. hahaha  Sorry Maestro Fusion Makeup... we just weren't meant to be....

Nordstrom, Saks, Neiman Marcus, Barney's, Bloomingdale's or Giorgio Armani USA (Online)

November 1, 2012

GLOSSYBOX (October 2012)

Got my October 2012 Glossybox!  This month's theme is SpaLuxe. 

It came with a Glossybox Magazine.

I love getting Glossybox! It feels like I'm receiving a gift every month! :)

Listing of the contents.  Received 5 items with 2 full size items. 

Contents of the box.

Received half size of Carols Daughter's Coconut Shea Souffle. I never heard of this brand until couple months ago, but it looks like it's an up and coming company.  Saw few products at Sephora.

Alterna Bamboo Luminous Shine Mist.  It's a spray to help make your hair strong and glossy.

Alessandro Int'l Pedix Feet Heel Rescue Balm.  I have something like this from Julep and I absolutely love it, so I'm gonna have to try this out to compare to Julep's.

Secret Garden Exfoliating Loofa Soap in full size.  I think this one is going to be my favorite.  It's a loofa built into the soap! Genious!  And it smells like grapefruit, and it smells absolutely wonderful!

Last but not least, Modelco Lipduo, lipstick and lipgloss.  Not sure of the color.  This one was also full size and was valued at $39, so definitely got my money's worth with just this one alone.  I like the consistency and the color of this lipduo, but I'm not quite sure of the mirror situation.  The mirror is in the middle but the lipstick and lipgloss wand is attached to it, so you can't really look at it while putting this on, which I feel like defeats the purpose of having a mirror on it in the first place.... but whatever the case, this is what I got. :)

Swatch of the lipstick

Lipgloss on top of the lipstick

Overall, I was happy with the items received.  I think last month's was better, but I can't always love what I'm getting blind.  But the quality and the value of the items received is very good.  Second month and still loving Glossybox.

If you want to try it, click here my referral invitation .  And don't forget to go through  They give you I believe 12% rebate off your purchase.  You should also check out gazillion stores you can get cash rebates from.

Also want to remind the readers to check out my previous post for the giveaway!  Last day to enter is November 11th, 2012.  Check post here for the details.