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Review: MAC Viva Glam Cyndi


Hi,
This is an overdue post.. but I finally gathered myself to edit the pictures :p I guess I'm slacking a bit on my blogging lately since my personal life seems to be getting busier than before.

But, here it is. The missing half of the Viva Glams 2010 - the Cyndi lipstick.
Gaga is sold out in many stores, but Cyndi seems to be in stock in most of the individual stores, so if this review interests you - you should go check it out and swatch it at the store.

So here's how the lipstick looks like. The mac website describes it as a high-lustre finish and a light coral-red color.
I do admit it does have a hint of coral, but a hint is all. The color is heavily loaded with redness. It looks bloody red in dark lighting but the coral tint shows when you have a lot of light going on.

Since it's a lustre finish the pigmentation isn't harsh when applied on smooth surfaces. It also has that semi-transparent sheen that most lustre finishes have.

I pulled out a couple of similar shades from MAC (L-R: Creamsheen "crosswires", Viva Glam "Cyndi", Lustre "Lady Bug" and Frost "Crazee")
all lipticks were swatched directly on my skin, three strokes each.
As you can see Cyndi doesn't seem to show that much of a difference from other reds, so it's hard to justify yourself to buy this lippie if you already have a similar color.

Also, it's more of a wearable red, rather than a light coral-red.
You can see what I mean on the lip swatches below.
(from top to bottom: bare lips, half applied, fully applied)

I do think it's a cute, flirty red color which won't make you look old. But on the other hand, it's hard to say that it's a special color. It doesn't have that "wow" factor, it's just a cute red lipstick with Cyndi Lauper's name to it. Also, the lasting power isn't great (well, most lustres seem to have horrible lasting power) and you have to wipe out the residue with a tissue and reapply it every now and then. And although the lipstick applies with a nice sheen, when it starts to wear off - it makes you lips look and feel dry (lustres in general are like this).
Don't get me wrong, I don't hate this lipstick. I am going to keep this to use for some occasions and I do think it's a cute color. But I just wouldn't consider buying it again.

I forgot to take a full shot of how the lipstick looks. I borrowed a picture from Cynthia - you guys should check her blog and YT channel out - or just simply click on the picture :)

* Cynthia is a shade or two darker than my skin tone, and I think it blends in with her wayyyy better than me :p

* I didn't compare it with the Gaga lipstick since both are totally different colors.

:)

Catalina
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Revitalash Week #12



Hello all :)

Errr... I'm sorry I skipped week 11. Anyway, I feel like my lashes have reached their maximum length and I am wondering if I should just apply revitalash occasionally to maintain what I have right now.

They look pretty full don't they? :)

but my profile shot doesn't seem so dramatic. weird huh?

and here's my new angle!!!! :D
with and without mascara!

left eye (right eye on the picture) is still a bit shorter than the right (left on the picture) eye.
* you can see the trail of lashes on the lower side of the left side -
the lower lashes have grown out quite long but this angle doesn't seem to capture it.

Let me know if you guys have any questions
:)

Catalina

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Review: Bobbi Brown Foundations


Hi all,
Sorry I've been putting this off for a while. I wanted to use the skin foundation for a while before making a verdict on it.
I'm going to review only three of the eleven foundations Bobbi Brown offers. You can go to her site and check and see what type fits you. My reviews are going to be based on the oily-skin type foundations (because that's what I am :p)

* All Products are in shade 2 Sand *

So the reviewees are (L-R)the skin foundation, the stick foundation and the oil-free even finish foundation.

The Bobbi Brown Skin Foundation

The Bobbi Brown Skin Foundation is described as a foundation that looks like skin. It fits all skin types and provides medium to light coverage, which means.. on the one hand, it's going to look really natural, but on the other hand it's not going to provide enough coverage for those that have a lot of blemishes like me.

I mean, I guess it does make sense. There's not a lot of people with perfect, flawless skin and it would look natural to have some blemishes here and there.

The foundation is a liquid type that is quite watery (you can read my first impressions here). It comes with it's own pump attached and contains 1 Fl. oz (or 30ml). It seems to be the best bang for the buck since other foundations have lesser volume, but I don't think that's the case with this foundation. Since it is so sheer and light, you really have to pile up a bit if you want coverage and it usually doesn't happen with one pump. Even if you want to even out your skin tone, you will need at least a minimum of 1.5 pumps.
The recommended usage period is 24 months after it's first application.

The retail price is $45.00 excluding tax. Bobbi Brown counters are usually located in department stores such as Saks, Bloomingdales, Neiman Marcus, Berfdorf Goodman, etc.
I believe Bobbi Brown is one of the Estee Lauder companies, so if you know a Estee Lauder store (CCO) - it is most likely that they will have Bobbi Brown products at a discounted price there too.


So here's a demo of how much coverage this foundation gives to an average NC20, yellow undertones, tons of blemishes and uneven skin tone person.

As you can see I have old acne scars down my cheek and a lot of red spots.

The middle picture is purely the skin foundation with no additional products. I have applied it with a foundation brush evenly. My uneven skin tone has been corrected (under and around the eyes and nose) a bit, but the overall coverage isn't impressive. The camera failed to capture it, but the strongest selling point of the skin foundation is actually the natural glow that it gives to your skin.

Now the third picture is Missha Perfect Concealer (light beige) applied on the blemishes. Coverage has drastically improved, yet the surface of my skin has lost that "natural looking" touch and looks a bit caked up.

If you want a natural and glowy, dewy looking skin, yet you could care less about blemishes showing then you should try the skin foundation out. If you are not okay with freckles and scars apparent on your skin, no need to bother unless you are willing to pile up a bit. This foundation only provides minimal coverage.

Pros:
Extremely light weight
Reflects light, which makes your skin GLOW and look shiny & healthy
Comes off easily when removed
Comes with its own pump and cap
Provides SPF 15

Cons:
Minimum coverage - you have to really build up if you want coverage from the foundation alone
A bit too watery
Gets a bit oily and clumpy after a couple of hours (if you are an oily skin type)

Overall Impression:
I do have to admit that this foundation makes your skin look amazing in videos and/or pictures (if it's not taken in macro mode). It also doesn't make your face look ghostly white when flash is used, so if you like to take pictures in low-light setting or at clubs, this will make your skin look shiny and healthy. :) The only catch is you have to build up a bit or combine a concealer to make your skin look flawless. All in all, the Skin foundation is a bit disappointing since it doesn't seem to live up to other good foundations from Bobbi Brown. But then again it could purely be so because I'm an extremely oily person and I'm comparing this "for all skin types" to "oily skin type" foundations. If that's the case, they should change the recommended skin types for this foundation.


- Bobbi Brown Stick Foundation -

The Bobbi Brown Stick foundation is for those that are busy and that need an on the go foundation. It is an extremely compact (a bit bigger than a single lipstick) and is retractable. The formula is cream and the coverage is medium to full.

The price is $40.00 for a .31 oz/9g, which seems to be a rip off compared to the skin foundation. However, you only need to use a couple of strikes to cover your whole face unlike the several pumps of skin foundation. On top of that, the coverage and consistency is extremely good so all you have to do is blend the foundation evenly - which is really easy too.

Unlike the Skin foundation, this foundation doesn't clump and oil up through out the day. Out of all three foundations, it is the stickiest one, but if you like to buff your face with power, that isn't going to be a problem.

I rarely use concealer with this foundation, so if you like things done at a fast phase, this is the foundation that could suit you. It has the least shine of all three foundations, so if you want that dewy look this isn't going to provide much of that feature.



Here's a demo of how the foundation applies on my bare skin
Haha, yikes. Yes, this is how my skin looks like :p That's why I'm often embarrassed when people tell me I have good skin. I have old acne scars and disconnected veins under my skin that gives me a reddish look on my cheek.

I applied the stick foundation on the second picture and spread it around a bit with my fingers. The foundation color came out really yellow, but once you blend it out - it matches your skin tone like your second skin.

The third picture is the foundation evenly spread out. Can you see how great the coverage is? I didn't even have to use a concealer! The "Bobbi Brown glow" is still there, but not as prominent as the other foundations.
The color of the foundation is exactly the same as the skin foundation. (maybe it's because both are targeted for all skin types)

Pros:
Very compact
Amazing coverage
Easy to blend
Minimal usage
Doesn't oil up or melt through out the day

Cons:
Has a tendency to collect dust on the surface
Quite pricy
The foundation stick gets shaved off on the rim when you retract it

Overall Impression:
I would definitely prefer this foundation over the skin foundation since coverage is super important to me. However, if you like light weight foundation, this is going to feel a bit on the thicker and heavier side. You have to be careful with the blending. It's a bit ambiguous when it comes to what tools are the best to use with this foundation. I have used the conventional foundation (flat) brush, but that leaves streak marks. You have to either use your finger or a sponge (but keep in mind, if you use a sponge it will defeat the whole purpose of this foundation. it will add more tools and eliminate the "on the go concept". It will also force you to use more foundation than when it is applied with your fingers, which make the foundation relatively expensive).
So if you are okay with using your fingers and don't have a lot of time to put your makeup on, this is for you :) If you like the more natural and dewy look - this might not be suitable.


- Bobbi Brown Oil-Free Even Finish Compact Foundation -

This Bobbi Brown foundation is specifically targeted for normal to oily skin people. If you have dry or combo skin, you shouldn't try this. The comparable one for dry/combo people is the Moisturizing Cream Compact Foundation.

The container contains a mirror, the foundation and a sponge that you can use as a applicator. The amount that you get for its $40.00 price is .31 oz / 9g (the same as the stick foundation) - which is extremely little.

The most noticeable aspect of this foundation is its finishing. It has an incredibly matte-satin finish once it is blended in. There is no stickiness and a bit of the "Bobbi Brown Glow" makes your skin look healthy and not drenched in oil. The foundation is buildable, but there's not a lot of touch up to do through out the day. A small amount can cover one's whole face while providing full coverage.

The foundation tends to make your face have that whitening effect when a picture is taken with the flash on, so be careful with the shade you choose. And for some reason, shade 1 (warm ivory) seems to be darker than shade 2 (sand).

The Oil-free compact's shade 2(sand) does not match the skin foundation and stick foundation's shade 2 (sand). The compact's shade is much lighter, so if you are matched to the skin or stick, you should still get your shade checked out when you buy the compact (or vice versa).

Here's a comparative swatch of the three foundations
As you can see the oil-free compact is a bit lighter than the other two.. or the other two are a bit more yellow than the oil-free compact :)

Here's a demo of the foundation on my skin
So my bare skin on my left face isn't as messy as my right cheek. I have a scar, freckles and some old acne scars on the cheek. The redness on my cheeks are the biggest problems.

The second shot is just to show how the color is like when applied to the skin without being blended out.

The third shot is the foundation blended out without any concealer. The scar and some big blemishes are slightly noticeable. The coverage isn't as powerful as the stick foundation, but it is definitely better than the skin foundation.


Pros:
Great coverage with a healthy looking glow
Extremely soft and satin0ish finish
Doesn't cake or clump
Nice packaging (mirror, foundation, sponge)

Cons:
Shades are a bit difference from the "all skin types" foundations
Very small amount per container
Collects too much dust and small stuff in the air
Dews up when temperatures change drastically

Overall Impressions:
If you are used to using a concealer, this foundation has the best compatibility with concealers. You only need to dab a little bit of concealer on the bigger blemishes. Since the foundation isn't too light (like the skin foundation) - the combination with the concealer is utilized to its maximum potential and you won't have that cakey look.


Woah, that was quite a long review :p I hope this helped those that were wondering how the Bobbi Brown foundations are.

I'll see you guys in my next post :)

Catalina

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Revitalash Week #9 & #10


Ekk, I'm not sure if it's week 9 or 10
I've been taking pictures of my lashes every Sunday, so I will edit and merge the past two week pictures with this post once I find them.

These are Pictures from March 7th
I haven't missed a single day :D yay!!



I was putting mascara on, and I noticed how long my lashes were, so I decided to do a comparison shot.
left is Mascara (2 coats, I believe) and right is just bare lashes

I know, I know.. The mascara is clumpy. It's mostly because I was mixing all sorts of mascaras and it clumped up really bad.

So far, I haven't had any weird signs.
I noticed that someone asked me about the lid darkening on my last Revitalash post, and yes I do think there has been a slight darkening on the rim of the lid (where the formula is applied).
Also, new hair is growing out!
Mostly on the lower outer corner of my eye and a few have started to grow on my lid -_-;;
I am planning to pluck them if they are too noticeable.
The only thing I am waiting for is the curling part. I know it's not guaranteed but that's the thing I'm still crossing my fingers about :p

Other than that - I'm happy about the growth progress :D

What do you guys think? Do you think my 10 weeks of effort was totally worth it?
Also, when should I stamp the end date? I don't think this is sustainable in the long run (or is it?)

Catalina
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Sigma Brushes Review



Hello Everyone!
So I received a press package from sigma a while ago, and I promised that I would post a review on the brushes and other stuff I got.
I'll start with the brushes today, since they are the most talked about items.

So for those that are not familiar to Sigma makeup - Sigma is a fairly new brand that launched last year or so (not sure) and has brushes that resemble MAC brushes. The selling point of these brushes is -I think- their marketing image as "affordable MAC dupes".

So I tried to use all the brushes and here are my final thoughts

Pros:
1. Very dense bristles.
- all of the brushes are jam packed with bristles!! and I liked that. especially the Kabuki brushes were so tightly packed it didn't have that empty, light feeling while I was using them. If you run your finger through the bristles, it goes on and on and on.
I think some brushes are even denser than Sephora brushes (which, btw, I recommend!! they are really great, quality brushes) which makes applying makeup easier and quicker.
Here's a small comparison between the most famous 187 dupes (Sigma v. Coastal Scents)
Sigma is superior in density and the white fibers are rigid compared to CS's soft, flimsy white bristles. You can also see that there is a difference in how the bristles fan out


2. Soft bristles.
- I couldn't help but compare these sigma brushes with the other low-priced brushes (mostly Coastal Scents brushes or elf studio line ones) and at all aspects Sigma seems to be much better. If you have the money to buy three Coastal Scents brushes, I think you are wayyyy better off buying one sigma.
I always had the scratchy feeling when I used my CS brushes, but sigma doesn't have that itchy, scratchy feeling. I love how these bristles feel soft and gentle against my skin .

Cons:
1. The black bristle brushes all leak color.
- I know this is pretty common in many brushes (even MAC brushes - start watching from 4:30) when they are washed, so it doesn't shock me, but I do think it is a bit excessive.
this is my first wash of SS187 and I was surprised at all the color leak

this is SS224 after 2 washes
there's still some color bleeding after washing and pressed with a white towel.

this is the SS150 after 4 individual washes in one day
I pressed it with the towel, and yay! finally no more color leaking!

So if you're impatient with brushes, I wouldn't recommend the black, natural bristle brushes, but if you don't mind washing them a lot before using it, I think they are really impressive :)

Other than the black bristle brushes (the goat hair and brown bristle ones) don't leak colors.


2. The smell
- All of the brushes come with their own brush guard, but there's that yucky smell to it when you first take it out. I don't know if it's coming from the plastic sleeve itself, or the bristles.. but the smell is definitely there! And it is very hard to get out :'(


Something else is the price.
Now this I think is subjective - since the price issue really depends on one's financial situation and how much brushes are worth for a person. Personally, I have a very low threshold for brushes. As long as they don't suck too bad, I am pretty okay with any brush.

I do have to say Sigma brushes are somewhat in the midrange. It's not as soft and amazing as the expensive high end ones (price ranging 30-50 dollars/brush), but it's not as harsh and shoddy as the cheap ones (price range 1-10 dollars/brush). So I do think its price is priced just enough for its quality and what it is worth. I don't think it's cheap because the quality isn't really comparable to MAC brushes. So don't trick yourself into thinking that you are getting a MAC brush for a deal. I don't think it works that way.
MAC brushes are either made in Germany or Japan and Sigma seems to make their brushes in China (or not? they don't state this anywhere and that was a turn off. Other than that, I don't think they can get their prices cheaper than what it is). I'm not saying every made in China product is inferior, but usually labor costs and material quality are higher and better for good reasons. I took two Sigma brushes to the mac store and compared them to the "comparable" ones, and honestly I think there are many different qualities in small details (bristle length, thickness of the bristle barrel, etc) which could overall change the experience with the brush.

So my final verdict?
If you want a MAC brush, you should just go ahead and get a MAC brush. It's like designer bags.. If you want a Louis Vuitton, you might as well save up and get an authentic one since no fake could ever level up to an authentic one. But if you want a good quality brush and don't care if it's a MAC or not - then definitely go for the Sigma brushes since the quality is amazing itself. I had very low expectations for the Sigma brushes so I was very surprised at its good quality when I first used them, and I can not emphasize enough how they have great qualities that don't need to be compared to MAC brushes.


Brushes I like: SS187, SS252, SS190, SS182, SS194
- Overall good quality and impressive performance

Brushes I'm Okay with (on the fence): SS150, SS209, SS275, SS239, SS224, SS109, SS266
- Good, but each comes with a catch (flimsy bristles, continuous hair fallout, bristle length..etc)

Brushes I'm not a big fan of: SS197, SS188, SS291, SS168, retractable Kabuki (princess Grace)
- Okay, but wouldn't pay my money for it (uneven cut, hair fallout, bristles bending excessively)




Anyway,
Sorry there were more words than pictures. I couldn't demonstrate the subtle differences with pictures and the only thing that could be photographed was the color leaking.

:p
Sorry about the text heavy post.
Let me know what you guys think about the brushes if you own any! :)

Catalina

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It's been a while!


Hi everyone :)

it's been a while, and I just wanted to warm up by posting a vlog video (It's literally random babbling for a couple of minutes - I just wanted to say hi and share some frivolous stuff in my life). I'm sorry I haven't been making videos or posts lately - I have an extensive list to go through so I guess I'll be busy with that for a while.

Okay, I'll see you guys more frequently on my blog and youtube :D
(Let's hope I don't jinx myself.. usually what happens is I end not being able to do whatever I say in public :'(... Hope I double-jinx myself so I can do what I said I was going to do)

Blush: MAC Well Dressed
Earrings : EkiLove Earrings

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