Thursday, March 29, 2007

J.Lynne Latin Rhythms Blush Collection

I received some lovely blush samples from J.Lynne Cosmetics' fab Latin Rhythms collection, and I am SO SO in love with them. Some of them are matte, which I absolutely love, and some have shimmer but the latter is very subtle, you almost can't detect it until light hits your cheekbones, and even then, it isn't garish. Here are some swatches. These are applied dry using a Q-tip. I used a heavy hand so as to make the color pop against the glare of the flash. Keep in mind though that it is very easy to create beautiful glow-from-within looks using these gorgeous blushes; it's all in the tool used and in the application. I personally use either my MAC 187 stippling brush which picks up and applies color very subtly, or my Sonia Kashuk angled blush brush to apply lightly at an angle, and buff it with my flat-top bronzer brush.


Top to Bottom: Samba, Mambo, Pasa Doble, Chacha


Top to Bottom: Rumba, Flamenco, Bolero, Tango

Monday, March 26, 2007

J.Lynne Foundation Match

Eureka! I finally found my exact shade in J.Lynne! I think. I got a sample each (in sample jars filled to the brim) of the Ivory Golden 1.5 and Ivory/Light Golden 1.9, but since the labels were on the lids and not at the bottom of the jars, I might have interchanged the lids, hence I don't know if I switched them. The shades are also so close that I was having a hard time figuring out which one is lighter/darker. In any event, I believe I used Ivory/Light Golden 1.9 in these pictures because the color in the jar was a smidge darker than the other.





Face:
Pure Luxe cream eraser as primer
J.Lynne Smooth mineral foundation in Ivory/Light Golden 1.9
Mary Kay undereye concealer in Ivory topped with
Bare Escentuals Well-Rested
Monave finishing powder in Angel
MAC Pearl Sunshine Beauty Powder as blush
MAC Refined Golden bronzer to contour

Lips:
MAC's cremestick lipliner in Whirl
MAC Viva Glam V lipstick

Eyes:
MAC Beige-ing shadestick as base
MAC Ricepaper eyeshadow to highlight browbone
Fyrinnae Professional Color pigment in Macabre as wash
Fyrinnae pigment in Kung Pao crease and outer V
Fyrinnae pigment in Sake and Sashimi used with MAC mixing medium as liner
Maybelline Intense XXL mascara

Saturday, March 24, 2007

My Fabulous Fyrinnae Fix

I just got several samples of some Fyrinnae pigments, and boy, was I rendered speechless! The pigments have such intense pigment, some even slightly stained as I was trying to take them off by water and soap! The texture is exceptional, staying power is fantastic (heck, I had to scrub my arm before it all came off!), and the colors were all unique and amazingly beautiful. These are everything I'd hoped MAC pigments would be and so much more. I am going to order more and I'm really a fan for life now. I am also amazed at how generous the samples are. They are at least 1/2 tsp for a mere $1.50 ($1.75 for their Professional Colors that are SO freakin' gorgeous). They don't come in annoying baggies but in 5g screw top containers (I chose this option because I need the lids to mix the mixing medium in should I prefer to use them wet). Here are some swatches; most of them have been applied wet except Macabre, which really elicited a loud "Wow!" from me after I applied it on my wrist. It was like a better version of MAC Goldenaire pigment (and more pigmented, as well). The darker colors can also be used as beautiful liners, such as Lousy Tip. Nice names, huh?


From top to bottom: Macabre (professional color), Sake and Sashimi, Kung Pao, Peach Buns, Lousy Tip


Top to Bottom: Solstice, Awakening, Apparition, Kimchi, Shrouded in Gold (professional color)

Friday, March 23, 2007

LaurEss Report Part 2

Here's part 2 of my LaurEss roadtest. I'm wearing the new Elemental foundation in Soft Gold. It's not as sheer as I thought it would be (I heard that it's supposed to be sheerer than the original formula and less matte). I liked the Elemental - the finish is almost the same as the original formula, though I did notice that I became a wee bit oilier as the day went by. It was nothing a few oil blotting sheets cannot erase, and the Elemental is still superior to many MMU I've tried, but personally, I prefer the original formula as it is more matte (which does not look matte on my oily skin). Overall, though, I would still use this formula - it feels soooo light on the skin, even at the end of the day when natural oils would have mixed with the makeup. Coverage is very buildable, finish is flawless, slip is great and texture is ultra-velvety.











Pure Luxe cream eraser as primer
LaurEss Elemental mineral foundation in Soft Gold
Mary Kay undereye concealer in Ivory topped with
Bare Escentuals Well-Rested
Monave finishing powder in Angel
J.lynne Latin Rhythms blush in Rumba
MAC Refined Golden bronzer to contour

Lips:
MAC's cremestick lipliner in Beurre
Monave sheer lip glaze in Petticoat
MAC lipglass in Be-In

Eyes:
MAC Beige-ing shadestick as base
MAC eyeshadow in White Wheat on lid (Inventive Eyes quad)
MAC eyeshadow in Twillery on lid (Inventive Eyes quad)
MAC eyeshadow in Inventive on outer V and crease (Inventive Eyes quad)
MAC fluidline in Graphic Brown
Maybelline Intense XXL mascara

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Eating My Words re: LaurEss and A Silvery Grey Look

Way back in September of last year, I wrote a review of the mineral makeup company called LaurEss and was published in my good friend Sophie's mineral makeup blog. Though I have provided the link to that review, allow me to reproduce it here:

"It was a tiring weekday afternoon when I pulled into our driveway and did my usual routine of checking the mail. I was surprised when I saw a hefty Priority Mail box together with all the usual mail. It said it was from LaurEss Cosmetics, and I finally remembered I was supposed to expect some samples that they were sending my way as the Mineral Makeup Blog arranged it for me to review their products. I just didn’t realize that the “samples” I got were actually full-size containers of not less than six of their products! I was floored. I carefully opened the package and marveled at how generous the amount of product was. I received the following: foundation pots in Gentle Beige, Light Natural, and Subtle Beige, a pot of Fantastic Finish in Light, Blushing Lights in Serendipity and Lip Gloss in Treasure. The products were technically gifts that I was quite thrilled to receive.

What I did have a little difficulty in though was finding the correct shade for my skintone. Light Natural was too light, Gentle Beige was too dark, Subtle Beige a tad dark as well. It took me a couple of days to find the right shade for me: 2 parts Light Natural with 1 part of Gentle Beige. I have my own unique way of applying mineral makeup: I spritz my blush with a moisture spray like MAC Fix+ for a longer-lasting, flawless finish. I decided to apply the same with my LaurEss mineral foundation, and I was just amazed with the results. I mix Light Natural with Gentle Beige, swirl the minerals in my MAC 182 buffer brush, tap excess, and spritz some MAC Fix+ moisture spray on my brush, and buff as usual. The effect: flawless, creamy, beautiful buildable coverage, amazing texture. LaurEss is the most velvety of all the mineral makeup I have tried. Running my knuckle along my jawline is like running my hands on plush velvet. It doesn’t have the drag I expected with mineral makeup that lacks the bismuth oxide ingredient. It has a very lightweight feel, and doesn’t even feel that I have any makeup on.

Their finisher is also a remarkable product. I received their Fantastic Finish in Light and I was amazed on two points. One, the texture of the product is unlike any other finishing powder I have tried, even those of other mineral makeup brands I’ve tried. It doesn’t have the powdery texture I’ve been used to, instead the Fantastic Finish is almost creamy, like the foundation itself. Point number two: the clay ingredient. The secret in the texture is the kaolin clay, which is used instead of the usual cornstarch. Needless to say, the finish is flawless and the oil-absorbing properties are outstanding.

The Serendipity blush,on the other hand, barely showed on my skin. Maybe I needed a darker shade to make it show on my skin. The blush size is very generous, however; I can’t imagine how I can ever finish it all.

The lipgloss in Treasure is nice; it has a pleasant chocolate scent and taste, and the color is an opaque shiny pinkish mauve that looks so pretty on the lips. I am a chocoholic and having a pretty shade of gloss with a definite chocolatey taste is such a treat for me. I’d love to try out more of the shades and it really complements my skintone.

Is there a drawback to this mineral makeup line? I would say all things being equal, yes, and that is, the price. I was amazed to find out that this is even more expensive than the leading mineral makeup brand (just a dollar difference; however, the leading brand uses 9g pots whereas LaurEss has 8g pots). I have also discovered another mineral makeup brand that is sold for less than half the price of the leading mineral makeup, and it is slowly gaining fans all across the globe for their outstanding makeup quality, excellent coverage and flawless finish. Other lower-priced mineral makeup brands have sprouted all over the internet and a good number of women in makeup boards has attested to their beauty and outstanding coverage. I am just concerned that a company like LaurEss might end up fading into the woodwork because of its high prices. Sure, it does not contain bismuth oxide, nor cornstarch, but the lower-priced mineral makeup brands do not have bismuth as well and are starting to eliminate cornstarch in their finishing powders, which leaves LaurEss offering nothing new. Bottom-line is, the price is a major drawback for me despite the excellent properties of LaurEss mineral makeup, mainly because there are other mineral makeup brands that offer the same flawless finish and excellent coverage or less than half of LaurEss tag price. I’d love to patronize LaurEss products should they make their prices more competitive. As it is, however, given the global economic crunch and given great mineral makeup brands sold at less than half the price of LaurEss, it is indeed very tempting to buy lower-priced mineral makeup brands that perform quite good, as well. LaurEss is one of the best brands of mineral makeup I’ve tried, however, and it’s such a shame on my part to let go of it based on the price. Hopefully, LaurEss makes its prices a little bit more competitive, and I’m pretty sure it will convert more loyal patrons of the “other” brands because pound for pound, LaurEss feels better on the skin and looks wonderful, as well.”


Fast forward to six months later, I am eating my words (pass the ketchup, if you please), especially the ones I wrote in the last paragraph. First of all, LaurEss' finish, slip and ultra-lightweight feel are exceptional; I have not encountered another mineral makeup brand that feels as light and as velvety as LaurEss. I can safely say this after trying out close to ten different mineral makeup brands. Second, LaurEss has lowered its prices, in fact Lauren (the owner) is sending out free samples of the minerals, you just pay for shipping. Also, the new Elemental foundation is only $22 for a 10g pot as opposed to the $26 for an 8g pot of the original foundation. Price issue aside, pound for pound, LaurEss' look and feel are way up there with my other HG mineral foundations. And anyways, I'd come to the conclusion that I'd pay whatever price it takes for my skin to look this good and feel this great. $22 for a full pot of glorious foundation that diffuses light so as to soften fine lines and evens out skintone is a steal .

I had the wrong shades when I made that review, and now that I've discovered the Yellows and the Golds in LaurEss, I feel that my quest is over. I cannot rave enough about this brand. My cousin's FOTD a few posts below proved how great this makeup brand is, and I hope my pics with this brand convince you as well.









Face:
LaurEss original mineral foundation in Radiant Gold
Mary Kay undereye concealer in Ivory topped with
Bare Escentuals Well-Rested
Monave finishing powder in Angel
J.lynne Latin Rhythms blush in Samba
MAC Refined Golden bronzer to contour

Lips:
MAC's cremestick lipliner in Beurre
Monave sheer lip glaze in Maple
MAC lipglass in Pas-de-deux


Eyes:
MAC Beige-ing shadestick as base
MAC eyeshadow in Summer Neutral on lid
MAC eyeshadow in Surreal above crease blended to browbone
MAC pigment in Gold Dusk lower lid
MAC pigment in Copperclast crease and outer V
MAC eyeshadow in Cork on mid and outer lid
MAC fluidline in Graphic Brown
Maybelline Volume Express Turbo Boost mascara

And here's a silvery-grey eye look:



MAC Beige-ing shadestick as base
MAC pigment in Vanilla on browbone
Lumiere eye shimmer in Silver Lining used with MAC mixing medium inner to mid lid
Taylor Made mineral eyeshadow in Galena mixed with MAC mixing medium outer V
MAC fluidline in Nightfish
Maybelline Volume Express Turbo Boost mascara

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Belated St. Paddy's Day Look

Since my son is named after an Irish saint (Saint Aidan), I feel that it's apt for me to join the bandwagon and sport a St. Patrick's Day look in honor of this widely followed tradition, despite being a few days late. So come and bring on the greens!







Face:
Pure Luxe cream eraser as primer
Monave mineral foundation in Teporah
Mary Kay undereye concealer in Ivory topped with
Bare Escentuals Well-Rested
Monave finishing powder in Angel
Valerie Beauty illuminating finishing powder in Centerfold
Lumiere veena blush in Terra Cotta
MAC Refined Golden bronzer to contour

Lips:
MAC's lipliner in Spice
Monave sheer lip glaze in Honey

Eyes:
MAC Beige-ing shadestick as base
MAC Ricepaper eyeshadow to highlight
MAC eyeshadow in Lucky Green inner to mid-third of lid
MAC pigment in Kelly Green inner to mid-lid
Fyrinnae pigment in Elven Dagger mid to outer lid
MAC pigment in Green Brown on crease and outer V
MAC fluidline in Shade to line upper lashline
Maybelline Volume Express Turbo Boost mascara

Friday, March 16, 2007

St. Tropez Weekend

Wish I could be at the place for real, but for now, this lovely color will do. I have searched far and wide for a copper shade that would suit me, and I didn't know I would end up loving an obscure mineral eyeshadow brand. Valerie Beauty is not a mainstream mineral cosmetics company, but it sure churns out beautiful mineral shadows that last. St. Tropez is the only coppery shade that suits my complexion, and the texture is fabulous as well. It came in a huge eyeshadow pan (it is not loose which I love), and best of all, it came from Valerie's Bargain Bin (a few bucks for a gorgeous color, what more can you ask for?). I love it applied wet because it really brings out the beautiful pigmentation, and it makes it last a long time, as well. As a sidenote, Lumiere's Driftwood eye shimmer is such a gorgeous crease shadow, both color and texture-wise. Lumiere's eye shimmers also have top-notch quality like Val's - amazing pigmentation and blendability.







Face:
Pure Luxe cream eraser as primer
J.Lynne Smooth mineral foundation in Light Golden 2.5
Mary Kay undereye concealer in Ivory topped with
Bare Escentuals Well-Rested
Monave finishing powder in Angel
Bare Escentuals blush in Flowers
MAC Refined Golden bronzer to contour

Lips:
MAC's lipliner in Spice
Monave sheer lip glaze in Butterscotch
Revlon Superlustrous lipgloss in Toast to Shine

Eyes:
MAC Beige-ing shadestick as base
MAC pigment in Vanilla to highlight
Valerie Beauty mineral eyeshadow in St. Tropez used wet inner to mid lid
Lumiere eye shimmer in Driftwood on crease and outer V
MAC Graphic Brown fluidline to line upper lashline
Maybelline Volume Express Turbo Boost mascara

Thursday, March 15, 2007

My I-Don't-Tire-Of-Neutrals Look







Face:
Pure Luxe cream eraser as primer
J.Lynne Smooth mineral foundation in Light Golden 2.5
Mary Kay undereye concealer in Ivory topped with
Bare Escentuals Well-Rested
Monave finishing powder in Angel
MAC mineralized skinfinish in Stereo Rose
MAC Refined Golden bronzer to contour

Lips:
MAC's lipliner in Spice
MAC lipstick in Role Play
MAC lipglass in Viva Glam V

Eyes:
MAC Beige-ing shadestick as base
MAC eyeshadow in Shroom to highlight
MAC eyeshadow in Jest inner to mid lid
Lumiere eye shimmer in Cocoa on crease and outer V
MAC Graphic Brown fluidline to line upper lashline
Maybelline Volume Express Turbo Boost mascara

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Lumiere Veena Blushes

I just got to rave about Lumiere's wonderful veena blushes. I am leaning towards matte blushes right now because I love the fact that these do not make me look like a discoball especially on humid and warm days. These blushes are also the perfect blushes to go with illuminizers because they do not clash with each other but fully complement the illuminizers' glowy effect. Lumiere's matte blushes are special because the colors are amazingly rich, decadent, and the texture is fantastic. These beautiful blushes remind me so much of my gorgeous Laura Mercier blushes, at less than 1/5 of the price of the latter if I get the 10g jars. I got almost every color and I don't regret it. They really are top-quality mineral blushes for a fabulous price (even with the price increase, they are still almost dirt-cheap).







Face:
Pure Luxe cream eraser as primer
Everyday Minerals foundation in Light Intensive
Mary Kay undereye concealer in Ivory topped with
Bare Escentuals Well-Rested
Monave finishing powder in Angel
Valerie Beauty illuminating finishing powder in Centerfold
Lumiere veena blush in Foxy Brown
MAC Refined Golden bronzer to contour

Lips:
MAC's lipliner in Spice
MAC lipstick in Touch
MAC lipglass in Vital Spark

Eyes:
MAC Beige-ing shadestick as base
Bare Escentuals glimmer in Morocco as highlighter
Lumiere eye shimmer in Neutral Plum on lid used wet
Lumiere eye shimmer in Deep Plum on crease and outer V
MAC Nightfish fluidline to line upper lashline
Maybelline Volume Express Turbo Boost mascara

Friday, March 9, 2007

Mineral Makeup Before and After

So I played the Before and After game with my lovely cousin Ruby who's with us on vacation. She has beautiful features and I did my best to accentuate them. Here are some before and after pictures and the products I used on her. I swear she'd become a mineral makeup convert after she saw how beautiful and flawlessly it covered. She also raved about how clear my skin had become, and of course I let her know it was all because of mineral makeup.


Before


MAC Beige-ing shadestick as base
MAC eyeshadow in Ricepaper to highlight browbone
Valerie Beauty mineral eyeshadow in Miranda applied wet from inner to midlid
MAC eyeshadow in Mulch crease and outer V
MAC Graphic Brown fluidline
Maybelline mascara



Face:
Lauress mineral foundation in Golden Yellow with MAC Fix+ to set
Mary Kay undereye concealer
Bare Escentuals Well Rested over concealer
Lauress foundation used with concealer brush to spot-conceal blemishes
Everyday Minerals finishing dust
MAC Refined Golden bronzer to contour
NARS blush in Sin
MAC mineralize skinfinish in Petticoat

Lips:
MAC lipliner in Spice
MAC Viva Glam V lipstick and lipglass

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