August 30, 2012

First Impression: Shiseido Radiant Lifting Foundation

If you follow me on facebook, you probably saw my status update about this.  And if you follow my blog, couple months back, I reviewed the Shiseido Perfect Pore Refining Foundation.  Unfortunately, I did not get a chance to wear that too much because the girl at the Macy's counter did not match me correctly.  So after seeing horrendous pictures of my ghostly white face, I decided to stop using it.  I liked it, but color mismatch was a big no no.  Then recently, I was talking to the lady at the makeup counter at Macy's, and told her about my situation and she said just bring it back.  I told her I no longer had a receipt nor the box.  She said as long as they can look it up on my Macy's card that I purchased at Macy's, they will take it back.

Yesterday, I took it back, and to find out that Shiseido pulled the Perfect Pore Refining Foundations off the shelf to re-formulate the product. I don't know why, but they said it's to make it better.  So I decided to try out their newest released foundation, Radiant Lifting Foundation ($45 for 1.2 oz) (released early August 2012).  I checked on the web to see if there were any reviews, but it was too new.  So I kind of bought this blind.

I just wanted to give you a glimpse and my first impression.  I'll do a full review later, but I was so excited, I wanted to do a initial quick review.

I love innovative products.  Whether it's something stupid as a straw, cleaning product, detergent, etc... but when it comes to makeup and I think it'll work, I'll go for it.  Which is what I did with the Radiant Lifting Foundation.  Definitely this foundation is geared towards women of age... but I think you can start at 30 (or when you start to see fine lines).

Briefly, it claims:
Revive your skin with light. A revolutionary anti-aging foundation with innovative light technology to eliminate shadows and give skin a radiant, youthful glow. Radiance Reflecting Powder provides a soft-focus effect and luminosity to wrinkles for a more youthful, lifted appearance. Offers a smooth, radiant finish for 12 beautiful hours and a rich moisturizing effect for 24 hours.

My first impression:
1. Great full coverage without being heavy
2. Very natural (which is insane because it has full coverage)
3. Semi-matte but still very hydrating
4. Glowy and hydrating on the skin
5. Lasted 6 hours without budging or separating or lifting off my skin... (so far)

I think this might be love at first sight... BUT... I will keep testing for a full review...

Picture of me wearing it today at the 7th hour... looks like this can be an HD foundation...

Watch this video to see what it is supposed to do... you might think this can't be real... LOL

UPDATED Review: Urban Decay Naked Skin Foundation

My apologies my readers... I have been using this foundation wrong.  I forgot to shake it and apparently that separated the foundation and I've been applying the non-pigmented portion.  Please see the crossed out part and my updated review... THIS CAN HAPPEN! We must read the instructions!!!  I'm kind of glad, I gave this foundation another chance....

For the last couple of months, I have been trying out all sorts of foundations.  I'm on a mission to find the perfect Summer, Winter and Night Time foundations.... (if you are wondering, how I'm trying out all sorts, I've been going into stores to try them on, or getting samples at Sephora.) So on this journey, Urban Decay released their Naked Skin Foundation ($38).  I quickly went into Sephora and got samples of three different shades.  I used their skin match system which consists of this clear plastic bookmark looking sheet.  You put it onto your skin and the one that disappears is the one that matches you.  Unfortunately, this system did not work.  Half of the shades looked like they disappeared.  So I went with good 'ol fashion way of trying them on.  And also testing it against other foundations that I knew that matched my skin.

Urban Decay also launched a optical blurring brush ($24) along with this foundation.

What it claims:
Urban Decay claims it's weightless and virtually invisible liquid foundation that creates a luminous, demi-matte finish. 
What it does:This formula helps skin achieve a natural, illuminated and bright finish— like the beautiful skin you were born with. Naked Skin is formulated with light-diffusing spheres, transforming you to look professionally retouched. Buildable coverage allows women to customize their look. Available in a meticulously calibrated range of shades, Urban Decay’s precise shade numbering system does poetic justice to both warm tones (ending in “.0”) and cool skin tones (ending in “.5”). The finish is matte, never flat, and luminous, but not shiny.

What it is formulated WITHOUT:
- Parabens
- Sulfates
- Synthetic Fragrances
- Phthalates
- GMOs
- Triclosan

What else you need to know:
This makeup loads skin with a list of nourishing ingredients including: Matrixyl 3000 (a powerful anti-wrinkle peptide), protective and brightening Litchiderm, antioxidant Green Tea and Sodium Hyaluronate for optimal skin hydration and nutrient absorption. Naked Skin is suspended in a sleek, sophisticated pump bottle, allowing more control and less waste of product.

My Thoughts:
(As I always mention, I have combination skin with dry cheeks and slightly oily in the T-zone.  I am in my 30s, so I don't like foundations that will accentuate my fine lines and I need coverage for my sunspots.)
From the sound of this foundation, it sounded heavenly.  I really like light textured, natural looking foundation.  So I thought this would be great for summer and winter. 
The feel of the foundation is pretty liquidy.  But when blended you can see the pigment.  Packaging is beautiful and sleek.
As of the foundation itself, I was not impressed with the staying power.  Even with a primer and powder, this foundation lasted about 4 hours before it started to lift off my skin and started bunching up on my cheeks, and almost completely gone on my nose.  And I was indoors in my AC blasting office the whole time I tested this.   UPDATE: When you apply it, I think it's best to apply with your fingers.  I've tried different foundation and buffing brushes like the one they recommend, and I found that it applied the best with fingers.  I think it better warms up the product and makes it easier to apply.  I was able to build the coverage with this technique and apply 3 layers. @.@  (Make sure you shake the bottle before applying... as this is the reason why my foundation did not stay on the times I applied before doing this updated review.)  After you are done applying, it had a dewy finish for quick second... then it had more of a powdery, demi-matte finish.  I didn't even have to apply powder.  It's been about 4 hours now, and still no shine on my nose, and still pretty semi-matte.  And foundation is still intact.  (what a difference shaking the bottle can make!)  However, because my cheek area seems to be a bit on the dry side, I feel a little pulling on my skin.  So definitely not for those with dry skin. 

With 3 built up layers, the coverage was decent.  I'd say closer to medium coverage, but almost on full coverage side.  It worked great with the Urban Decay 24/7 Concealer Pencil on my dark spots.   

Before I said this is foundation for dry skin, but I have to take that back.  It's actually not for dry skin due to the demi-matte finish.  And foundations tend to get more dry as the day goes by.  It's good for normal to combination oily. 

Coverage is pretty good.

Stay power is pretty good.

I'm about NC30 if I'm matching to my tanned body, and I wore shade number 4, along with Urban Decay 24/7 Concealer Pencil in NSA and it was a perfect match!

I have to take my words back from previously on not recommending this foundation.  I would recommend this foundation for normal to combination oily skin looking for natural but buildable type foundation and not worrying have to powder. 
However, I don't think this is the best foundation EVER, and certainly not exactly on the cheap affordable side.

  Once again, I apologize for applying this wrong and doing a horrible job at reviewing it the first time around.  Hope this updated review helps and perhaps you should give it a shot if this is what you are looking for.

I have to agree, that it is natural, and illuminating and with demi-matte finish at first....  But this is almost sheer to light coverage foundation.  I was also not impressed with the coverage either.  They do have 18 shades available, from light to dark, which is a good range of colors.
I really wanted to like this foundation, because I love Urban Decay.  But by making this virtually invisible, it does not do what it needs to do as a foundation.  You might as well stick with tinted moisturizer or BB Creams.  And the lasting power was the worst part. If it didn't last indoors, I can't imagine what it will do in outdoors.
I cannot recommend this foundation to anyone unless they are looking for something sheer and you have dry skin that will keep this sucker without coming off.  But for $38, you can get something better, and I still don't think it's worth $38.
I have seen good reviews on Sephora and other blogs.  So check them out before making a determination for yourself.

If you are looking for a foundation and have combination skin, and looking for good but natural looking coverage, keep following me.  I'm on a hunt, and I have found few that I've been really impressed with.  More foundation reviews coming soon. :)

August 29, 2012

How to: No Heat Beach/Voluminous Waves

Thanks to Daven Mayeda everyone's hair bff, I got to try making my hair beachy wave with volume without any heat.  Best of all, I was able to do this in my sleep!

Here's what you need:  Bobby Pins, water spray (optional), Styling cream (optional)

1. Brush your hair and section it off.  Apply styling cream if you want.  More sections and less hair = tighter smaller waves.  Less section and more hair.  Section does not have to be neat.

2.  Make sure your hair is fully dried.  And start twisting your hair from roots to all the way down to the tips.  Create a bun and pin it like so.  Make sure to tuck in the ends of your hair.

3.  Continue to the rest of your head.  I created 5 different buns.  One on each side, two on the back, and one on the top of my head.  I tried to pull them up to the top of my head for all the buns, so it won't be uncomfortable while I sleep.  Why does this remind me of Shrek? LOL

4.  This step is optional.  I lightly sprayed water from a spray bottle.  And I mean lightly.  I sprayed 3 times from a distance.

5.  Go to sleep with it.  I woke up, got ready, brushed my teeth and washed my face.  It was nice cuz this do kept my hair out of my face already.  Then release the bobby pin and brush your fingers through the bun.
And this is what you get! 

I absolutely love that I can create beautiful waves without having to use heat.  Of course, you need the overnight to create this, but I absolutely love that I don't have to do anything to my hair in the morning.

Watch Daven's video here:

No Mirror Makeup Challenge

I've been seeing the No Mirror Makeup Challenge Tag around the web, and I was curious to find out how I will do.  Basically you do your makeup without looking at the mirror at all!!!

Since I don't do videos, I took periodic pictures of me doing the makeup.   A little embarassing, but here it is....

I really messed up on the eyes... I'm sure if you don't look at me up close, you can't tell... but I will know!
I think the hardest part was the eyebrows. Cuz I think the brows take more precision when filling them in.

(I darkened these pictures, so you can see where my eyeshadows were... a little bit too high... as you can see)

It was kind of fun.  I might try doing it another time but attempting really dark smokey eyes.  I may even attempt to put on some false lashes. LOL

You should try it when you are bored too.  Let me know how you do!

August 7, 2012

Review: Chanel Natural Finish Loose Powder

I don't have any preference on powder.  I feel like it doesn't do much for my face other than keep my face from getting super oily in the T-Zone for maybe an hour at most.  It seems like that is the trend no matter what kind of face powder I use.  I frequently use Bare Mineral's Mineral Veil, Face Shop's Face-It Loose Powder, recently tried Rimmel's Mattifying Pressed Powder, Makeup Forever HD Microfinish Powder(which I hated the most), etc... and I feel like they all do the same thing.  And when I take pictures I always have a glowy look (sometime can be too much glow that it looks oily).  If I pack on too much, I look like a ghost because it catches so much light! The frustration!  So since it really never made a diference, I just pick up whatever powder I see.

I guess what I'm looking for in a powder is:
1. Natural Finish, so I don't look like I'm wearing powder
2. Doesn't catch too much light
3. Doesn't dry out my face
4. Keep my T-Zone less oily
5. Set my makeup

Recently, I really have been falling in love with Chanel products again, so I decided to give the Chanel Natural Finish Loose Powder ($52.00) a try again.  Yes it's pricey, but you get tons of product and you can probably use this for about 2 years.  I bought in color 20 Clair. It regularly comes in 3 colors and currently there is one limited edition color.

The description from Chanel: Ultra-soft loose powder provides sheer, light coverage with a soft matte finish, setting and perfecting makeup as it evens skin tone.  Photo-reflective pigments help disguise imperfections  without emphasizing lines.

I thought 20 Clair was going to be too light for me in the summer, but it was quite transluscent but with a hint of color.  The packaging is beautiful as it is with any Chanel products.  And you get 30 grams or 1 ounce of product.  In sheer finely milled powder, that's a lot.  Believe me.  Here's the packaging against my face.  You could see how big it is.

This is the product on my hand. Looks way too light for my hand!

And this is lightly patted in.  Still a little chalky against my hand.  But my hand is way darker than my face.  But what I noticed just from this demo is that the product did not settle above the wrinkles and actually made it look much smoother.

My Thoughts:

First thing I noticed about this powder is the staying power.  I wore this outside for 7 hours in my convertible in the broad day light underneath the sun, indoors, but mostly I was outdoors during those 7 hours.  My nose did not appear oily or shiny after those 7 hours.  I first didn't believe it, so I tried it again and observed.  It still looked great.  And it kept my foundation from separating and bunching up on my skin. And as time passed, the powder looks more and more natural like your skin.  I like that it has a nice semi-matte finish.  I also took pictures with flash and it did not make me look like a ghost!!!! SUCCESS!!!!
I think this might be everything I've been looking for in a powder.  And I'm just kicking myself for not trying it out again earlier.  Can't believe I forgot about this!!!
Just for your reference, I have combination oily in the t-zone and dry on my cheeks kind of skin.  I don't even know what to call that. LOL

Here's a picture of me after those 7 hours!

I think the only bad thing about loose powder is that you can't carry it around.  But I think given the staying power, I really won't need to touch up, so guess that's moot. :)

If you have skin like me and is looking for same thing as me, I give this two thumbs up and two big toes up!  I think it's worth every penny!!!

I have another Chanel item I'm reviewing... so that'll be up soon.

Also if you follow me on Facebook or Twitter, you know that I just tried the no mirror makeup challenge.  That should be up shortly too.  Follow me on Facebook and Twitter... And stay tuned for my 100th post giveaway!!!