Corals and Browns Using Mineral Shadows

Here is a look featuring coral, bronze and brown mineral shadows. This is the first time after a long while that I used my Bare Escentuals shadows, and I was really pleasantly surprised that they really apply well even without foiling. I have had Bare Escentual shadows for two years now, but I got sidetracked by mineral shadows from smaller mineral companies. Now I can't wait to play with my Bare Minerals shadows. Also, today I went to the mall with the family and I went inside the Bare Escentuals boutique that had just opened a few months ago in our area. I had a lot of fun playing with the beautiful eyeshadow glimmers and glimpses. We have Sephora and ULTA where one can also play with BE colors, but the BE boutique has a hundred times more colors and selections so it was definitely mineral makeup heaven right there.

Anyways, here is my look featuring Bare Minerals shadow in Radiant Rebecca.

Apply UDPP on lid and smoothed on brows. Apply MAC Perky Paint pot on lid. Using Loew Cornell 3/8 Maxine's Mop 270 brush (MAC 239 dupe), apply Radiant Rebecca dry on the lid using patting motions.

Using Stila #9 blending brush, apply MAC mineralize shadow in Inter-View on outer lid and crease (used dark brown side).

Using a fluffy brush (I used Studio Tools medium shadow brush), apply Silk Naturals mineral shadow in Superstar to blend with Inter-view and Radiant Rebecca.

Apply more Radiant Rebecca as needed. Blend the darker color into the lid color using Stila #9 blending brush. Apply MAC Sweetjoy eyeshadow to highlight. Apply Almay liquid liner in Brown. Fill in brows, apply mascara. Apply Radiant Rebecca on inner lower lashline using Sonia Kashuk pointed pencil brush, and Inter-View brown shadow on outer lower lashline. Use UD 24/7 glide-on eyeliner in Zero to tightline and on waterline.

Monistat gel as primer
Adorned With Grace mineral foundation in Hope 3.5 and Hope 3.8 mix
UD 24/7 pencil concealer on undereye area
Bare Escentuals Well Rested over UD 24/7
DreamWorld creme topping (finishing powder) in Butterscotch (silk formula)
MAC mineralize blush in Nuance

Jordanna lipliner in Nutmeg
MAC lipstick in Mellow Flame
MAC lipglass in Splendid!

Lippmann Collection: Nail Color Swatches

I got so stoked when I received my new Lippmann colors in the mail today. I found this really nice lady who owns a nail spa/salon that sells Lippmanns for less than retail price with free priority shipping within the United States. I asked her if she had my most coveted Lippmann colors. She said she did, and I quickly put in the order. I got my babies in just two business days (Thursday was a holiday so that didn't count). I love everything!!!

I have long been coveting Bitches Brew, and I am so glad I got one at long last. Nefertiti is so beautiful in swatches online, and the rave reviews made me take the plunge and snag one. Satin Doll is also a beautiful neutral polish made for Mariah Carey. Lastly, Superstar is indeed the superstar among all my nail polishes. I have never owned a polish as outlandish yet gorgeous as that.

Nefertiti has the same gorgeous shimmer as Believe, but of course is yellower and gold-toned. I never liked yellow gold on my nails, but Nefertiti doesn't look repulsive on my tips. This is such a fun color, especially for the holidays.

Satin Doll is a beautiful, subtly shimmery beigey cream color that is such a pretty neutral. I can totally imagine Mariah Carey wearing this. Sweet and unassuming but definitely makes a statement.

Bitches Brew!!!!! Ahhh, such a gorgeous vampy color. I'm running out of superlatives to describe these nail lacquers. The deep winey burgundy color is also very festive and is the perfect fall shade.

Now I have definitely run out of superlatives. I just stared in awe of my nails after swatching this. The glitters are not the cheap kind you see in lower end nail polishes. This finish was a tad gritty but it was nothing a couple of applications of top coat couldn't fix.

I am really glad about this nail polish haul because these are the Lippmann colors I'd been really dying to get. I can't wait to try these out especially for the holidays.

Thanksgiving Look Using Aromaleigh Bete Noire Shadows

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! I am so stuffed eating two different kinds of turkey- my DH's pineapple juice marinated deep-fried turkey, and my friend's smoked-then-baked turkey. We had lots of side dishes and really yummy desserts.

DH's fried turkey. He marinated it in pineapple juice, spices, onions and his secret ingredient for a day. He dry-rubbed it with spices and let it sit for another day, then today he made this contraption made of a couple of pieces of wood tied to one of our patio's posts and rope. He was able to lower the 21-pound turkey in the pot from afar so he wouldn't get drenched in boiling hot oil. He used a thermometer to check the inner temperature of the bird. The house smelled SO good when he took it out from the fryer. The outside was crispy and delicious while the inside was juicy and moist. Absolutely divine.

Our friend's smoked-then-baked turkey. Someone couldn't wait and shaved off part of it.

stuffings and fixin's

Part of our thanksgiving spread. The honey-butter sweet potatoes were soooo good.

honey-baked ham

Fresh-from-the-oven pecan pie

The yummiest dessert - the "Dirt Cake". It actually consists of two layers of soft cream made of cream cheese, vanilla pudding packets, butter, Cool Whip, then three layers of crushed up Oreos. Sinful, but so delicious.

Here is my look for Thanksgiving using some of Aromaleigh's Bete Noire shadows. I really love this collection from Aromaleigh - the pigments are so vibrant and they blend beautifully. I also included a step-by-step illustration.

Prime lids with UD Primer Potion. Apply MAC paint pot in Cash Flow using a concealer brush on the lid. Smooth and blend in with finger. Apply AL Bete Noire shadow in Amarante on the lid wet (I used MAC water-based mixing medium) using MAC 239 brush.

Apply Urban Apothecary pro pigment in Wicked wet on inner half of the lid over Amarante using MAC 239 brush.

Using different 239 brush, apply AL Bete Noire shadow in Solange on crease and outer V. Blend into Amarante using Japonesque blender brush.

Apply AL Rocks! Sonic eyeshadow in Rock Bottom dry on outer V and crease with MAC 239, blending into Solange using MAC 224 brush.

Apply more Darcelle and Solange to blend into Rock Bottom.

Highlight browbone and inner corners using MAC Ricepaper shadow, use UD 24/7 liner in Zero to tightline and on waterline, curl lashes and apply mascara, apply falsies in Red Cherry #1, fill in brows, apply Amarante wet on inner lower lashline and Solange on outer lower lashline. Line upper lashline using Almay liquid eyeliner in Black.

The glue was still drying when I took the photo, so pardon the mess!

Monistat gel as primer
EG mineral foundations in Deanna and Helena (50-50 mix)
UD 24/7 pencil concealer on undereye area
Bare Escentuals Well Rested over UD 24/7
DreamWorld creme topping (finishing powder) in Butterscotch (silk formula)
Ocean Mist mineral blush in Vanora
Dayna's mineral glow in Violet Vesper over blush

Jordanna lipliner in Nutmeg
Estee Lauder Pure Colour long lasting lipstick in Rose Tea
MAC Sugarrimmed dazzleglass

Aminogenesis Tripeptinon: A Review

EDITED 03/23/09: Check out my AminoGenesis Really, Really Clean facial cleanser review HERE

We've always had our own version of how to achieve long-lasting, even eternal youth. Because of this, each one of us has created our own beauty regimen that we believe can delay the adverse effects of aging. Skin care and cosmetic companies milk this innate desire of every woman to be perpetually young to the fullest extent, touting "miracle anti-aging" products here and there. For me as a consumer, however, I am more concerned about what goes into the product, the entire process of concocting their own version of the fountain of youth. I want precise, succinct, and scientific explanation of how and why this product can be good for my skin.

This scientific approach is attempted by Aminogenesis, a company specializing in amino acid skin care products. It painstakingly explains on the site how the ingredients in their products can optimize skin elasticity and firmness, and retain moisture instead of letting it sit on the surface of the skin:

Amino acids are the basis for all living tissue on Earth. The skin is a living, breathing organ and needs an abundant supply of amino acids to function properly. These “natural miracles” are the very building blocks needed for the creation of important skin proteins like collagen and elastin. Without amino acids the skin simply cannot function properly.

The 17 selected amino acids in AminoGenesis are essential to healthy skin. These are exactly the same amino acids found in collagen and elastin. Each amino acid in AminoGenesis is made from plant sources and is painstakingly purified. These amino acids are then carefully blended to match the optimum amino acid composition in collagen. By utilizing the unique delivery system in AminoGenesis, the skin now has available the amino acids necessary to beautify and repair itself on a daily basis.

Amino acids are the main moisture retention factors in human skin. Topical application of amino acids has shown to dramatically increase moisture content while decreasing visible lines. In addition, amino acids help in the production of collagen and elastin, regulate sebaceous gland activity and decrease discoloration.
There are lots of skin care products in the world. One could argue, pro or con, on the merits of different ingredients. However, no one can doubt the importance of amino acids to the health and beauty of your skin. Period. With that in mind...

Why wouldn't you have amino acids in your skin care products?

As a backgrounder, AminoGenesis Skin Care was founded in 2000 after creator Ron Cummings, a longtime sufferer of dermatitis, was recommended a cream for his skin condition. Once he learned everything he could about that cream he used, Ron decided to make the life-changing decision to end his existing career and enter the unfamiliar business of skincare. He learned that the cream was actually a potent mixture of amino acids, essentially the building blocks of all life. All living things, plant or animal, that grows on this planet share exactly the same amino acids – it is the arrangement of amino acids that makes everything and everyone unique. They are the building blocks of every structure in human skin; vital skin proteins like collagen, elastin, lipids and all cellular tissues are made from amino acids. The basis of the AminoGenesis philosophy is that skin functions fantastically when it is properly nourished and it is with amino acids that skin becomes properly nourished. Several years ago the team of world class doctors, chemists and researchers that Ron enlisted set out to harness the power of amino acids. After about a decade of research and testing, the original AminoGenesis formula was born and the results astounded even those who created it.

I've had some of their products for a while now but I took my time in making a review because I wanted to give the product a chance to work. I am already down to my last seven capsules of Tripeptinon, so I guess I can now give my informed opinion about the product and its effect on my skin. First of all, what is Tripeptinon? It is a night skin treatment that are like vitamin E capsules that you break and apply on your skin and neck. It is claimed to lift, firm and strengthen facial connective tissues giving the skin the most youthful appearance possible. It combines Ceramide 2, Ubiquinone (claimed as one of the most powerful anti-oxidants in the world), and Amino-acid Ogliopetides, together with their base 17 amino-acids to create the concoction in the capsule.

My take on Tripeptinon:

I was a bit iffy because it looked like vitamin E or fish oil in a capsule. You need to twist the little head or snip it with a pair of scissors to release the potion. The amount in each capsule is more than enough for my face and neck, thus I feel that I am wasting precious serum because I don't get to use everything in each capsule. However, the results were mostly pleasant for me.

Upside: It made my skin very supple, hydrated and basically softer and smoother when I wake up in the morning. I couldn't believe it too, but I am wearing better-looking, smoother skin now than let's say three months ago. I also loved the fact that this didn't break me out, not once, which is remarkable because I have acneic skin, and would especially break out if I am trying new products that my skin is not used to. I can't really pinpoint the exact way my skin is better, but it looks healthier and more hydrated, without being greasy enough to create a zit farm on my chin like it did a couple of months ago. The feeling is a little greasy when you apply it, but the icky feeling dissipates a minute or two later as the substance is absorbed by the skin. Ever since I started using this, I've never had any problems with scaly skin, which was a perennial problem for me since I deal with flakies caused by my retinoid regimen. It's just basically amazing in a quiet, unassuming way. It holds my pimples at bay yet makes my skin hydrated, supple and overall skintone even and smooth.

Downside: While I may see remarkable improvement on my skin, I don't see any "face lift" as touted by the company. I do see better skin, but not an earth-shattering change like let's say abnormal tightening or something along those lines. I want to stress, however, that my skin is better now that it was before I used Tripeptinon, so I do believe that it contributed to my smoother, silkier skin now. Improvement is better than none at all, so I still give props to Tripeptinon. I also don't like the packaging because it wastes a lot of product especially when the amount in the capsule is more than enough for one application. The concoction also spurts out in blobs if one is not absolutely careful, so that is a let-down as well. I would prefer this product in a pump bottle for easy, sanitary and economical application. The pump gives the consumer more control in using the product. The price is a hindrance as well. $79 for a 40-day use is not really that economical, especially when most skin care moisturizers guarantee at least a full 60-day consumption.

All in all, I feel that Tripeptinon is a worthy product to try, and would give results like it did on my skin. I just hope that this would eventually come in a pump bottle instead of messy capsules so that consumers can really use the product more effectively without wasting it.

Lippmann, OPI, China Glaze and MAC Nail Lacquer Swatches

Finally, as promised, here are some of the swatches of my latest nail polish haul (with the exception of the MAC one). I still have some more polishes to swatch, but I really want to do this during the day so my photos can use the benefit of natural light. However, my schedule doesn't permit me to do that most of the time. I will really try to make swatches during the day.

Love this color that was created with Mary J. Blige. I was a little surprised that this wasn't as flamboyant as Ms. Blige sometimes is, but I am not complaining. This is a beautiful light milk chocolate with bronzey shimmer that can be used at any occasion.

I was a little iffy about this color but it turned out to be such a beautiful shade. Love how clean it looks on the nails.

I have several holos and this is a pretty one, and reminds me of my China Glaze holo in Tickle My Triangle (don't you just love the name?). This is a pretty mauvey-pink color with lots of bling-bling, so if you like glitz, this is for you.

I am in love with China Glaze's Rodeo Diva collection, and Golden Spurs is one of my favorites from that line. Yellow gold shimmer on my nails makes my nails and hands look sick, but this one doesn't because the gold is infused with a warm bronze.

I swear, this is SO much prettier in real life. I love the dark brown-bronze-copper nuances, and it looks so classy.

The phenomenal star of the Rodeo Diva collection. Everybody has gushed about how gorgeous the black with gold iridescence is. Absolutely beautiful.

Finally, here is MAC's Whirlwind, a widely acclaimed, highly coveted limited edition nail lacquer that is hard to find. The reason nail polish addicts are going ga-ga about this is that it is one of the prettiest teal polishes ever, especially when it's under natural light. It's very beautiful and makes the hands look clean and fair. Too bad I am not into blue/teal polishes on the fingers, but would totally use this on the toes.

Which are your faves? Mine would be the Lippmanns, Opulence, and all the Rodeo Divas I have. Haha, I actually enumerated everything I swatched in this entry (except Wildfire), but those are my favorites among my newest polish hauls. China Glaze really has a winner collection in Rodeo Diva.

MAC Monogram: Product Information and Promo Images

I cannot wait to try the lipgloss and the sheerspark pressed powder. Will the lipgloss be better or similar to the dazzleglasses?

Create a signature. Gather up these limited-edition collectibles for
lips, face, eyes, and go global. Monogram flacons and packaging
are all sinewy, sleek curves, red and gold like your favourite room
at the Ritz, Paris.

This luxury formula is smooth and rich. Silky lipstick that glides on with ease for medium buildable to full coverage with satiny shine. Lips feel soft and look rich and lustrous. When paired with the Monogram Lipgloss, the look is high shine and multi-dimensional.

Flourish Frosty mid-tone red
All Mine Creamy mid-tone blue pink
Marque Soft light neutral pink
Status Symbol Warm midtone reddish brown with pearl

High shine, super sheer lipgloss provides comfort and cushion. feel soft and look lustrous. Brilliant gold sparkle flecks give a lustrous effect. A patent leather slick of shine; beautiful alone or paired with Monogram Lipstick.

Posh Life Mid-tone bright pink with gold pearl
Identity Pale baby pink with gold pearl
Distinguished Sheer yellow beige with gold pearl
Monodramatic Bronzy brown with gold pearl

New shimmer powder for both eye and cheek.

Commemorate Frosted pale gold with gold pearl
Keepsake Frosted pale pink with gold pearl
Personal Touch light peach with pink pearl
Old English light bronze with gold pearl

An ultra-fine, super sheer, and very sophisticated pressed powder. “Mysteriously” silky-soft in texture, glides on to give skin a velvety matte, slightly luminous and altogether flawless finish.

Light Medium Pale ivory
Medium Plus Tan beige
Dark Secret Deep caramel
Suggested Retail Price: $50.00 U.S./ 60.00 CDN

Two 15mL Air of Style fragrance bottles elegantly paired in one faux patent pouch

Top Note White pepper, dried red dates, wild peonies
Middle Note Tuberose, orange blossom, jasmin, ylang-ylang, orris
Bottom Note Touch of leather, antique woods, vetiver, amber crystals, tonka beans

Suggested Retail Price: $70.00 U.S./$80.00

129 Monogram Special Edition Brush Powder/Blush Brush (NOT SHOWN)
Suggested Retail Price: $45.00 54.00 224
Monogram Special Edition Brush Tapered Blending
Suggested Retail Price: $35.00 U.S./42.00 CDN

Suggested Price: $65.00 75.00

North America November 26, 2008 at M·A·C stores, all Saks locations, select Nordstrom locations and Henri Bendels 1.800.588.0070

International December 2008 in select distribution 1.800.588.0070

Weekend Nail Polish Hauls: Lippmann, OPI and China Glaze

I meant to do this entry last night but I was so pooped after shopping and preparing for this week's Thanksgiving holiday. I got these last night but I couldn't wait to blog about them as I was really excited that all of them came at the same time in the mail, and all of them related to nails! So here are my hauls, one by one:

My Lippmann nail lacquers arrived after only 2 days in transit! I got these from a nice lady who is into nail polish as I am into makeup. She won this big auction of Lippmanns for a lot less than the retail price, so she decided to resell them for less than salon or online prices, just to share some nail lacquer love. It turned out though that I didn't have to pay a cent for these as we eventually settled for a swap. These are pure love. =D

Believe is a beautiful sparkly champagne beige that was created with Cher. I will be wearing this shade for this coming week. Believe was also Marion Cotillard's nail polish of choice when she won the Best Actress Award during the Oscars this year:

No More Drama is from Mary J. Blige and it's one of my favorite colors- a milk chocolatey brown with bronzey/copper shimmer that is just soooo gorgeous. This would definitely suit and complement my warm undertones. Whatever Lola Wants was created with Kelly Ripa and is a shimmering pink lilac and was named after Kelly's daughter Lola. I read that it's more on the sheer side so I will have to layer it over a creme opaque color to add some lilac shimmer to it. A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square is a pretty opalescent silver that has beautiful iridescence when light hits it.

Then on the same day I got my Lippmanns, I also received my 8ty8 haul. It's like an early Christmas present.

Look who greeted me when I opened my package - a cute and cuddly OPI stuffed puppy - for free! (I read that this is part of the OPI Holiday in Toyland 2008 Dog-gone Sweet set).

Not Shown: China Glaze in Branding Iron

I got mostly OPIs from the France and Holiday in Toyland collections, and China Glaze Rodeo Diva collections, with the exception of Emerald Sparkle, a beautiful shimmery emerald green from the Sleigh Ride trio set. I can't wait to swatch these beauties, and swatches will be posted up very soon.

Then yesterday, I went to ULTA and claimed my free item. I accumulated enough points on their rewards card for an OPI nail polish of my choice. Then I realized all OPIs were buy one get one free, so I bought one and got two free! It's like I only paid $3 for each polish. I also loved the fact that I got those from the newest collections. Louvre Me, Louvre Me Not from the France collection is a beautiful purple with shimmer, and Baby It's "Coal" Outside is just a little darker than Brand New Skates but with the same multi-hued speckled shimmer that is so pretty. As the name suggests, it's charcoal colored but the speckle makes it a lot more interesting. Crepes Suzi-ette is a pretty rose-brown-mauve that I can't wait to try.

Lastly, here's another item that came in the mail - my freshly oiled and sharpened Mehaz nipper. I bought this at too, and Mehaz has a lifetime sharpening/maintenance service for every implement they sell. I just sent it to them with a $3 check for shipping and it came back to me in just a week, as good as new. I don't usually cut my cuticle as it is technically not recommended, but the nipper is great for taking out hangnails and generally to take out unsightly dead skin.

There you have it, my weekend nail polish haul. Swatches of these are coming up.