Saturday, July 26, 2008

Laura Mercier Pressed Powder Review

I have combination skin and have been addicted to buying all the pressed powder I can get my hands on, to find the best possible. Along the way, I have also encountered a few that I would not recommend to anyone. Laura Mercier's Translucent Pressed Powder is one of them, though Molly Sims love it. I was very excited to try this product because Laura Mercier is known for her amazing line of foundations, concealers, powders, etc - everything you need to achieve the perfect flawless face for your makeup application.

I bought this because I am a fan of her Translucent Loose Setting Powder, which contains absolutely no pigment and is made from pure talc, thinking I could get the same results on the go and in a more user friendly format.

Unless you plan to carry around a big fluffy brush to powder yourself with the Translucent Pressed Powder, you are stuck with the sponge. I made one of my few - I would like to think - beauty faux pas when I blotted myself lightly using the provided sponge without looking at the mirror. I was horrified when I went to the bathroom half an hour later to find some white powder streaks on my face! Imagine my horror. I was thankful it only took me half an hour before I checked myself in the mirror and since then, I never powder without looking at the mirror.

In spite of this, it did keep my T-zone matte throughout the day. Do not get me wrong, I still love Laura Mercier, but I just would not buy or recommend this product unless you plan on using a brush with it, and in that case, it works great. For my purpose, I wanted a pressed powder on the go, that I can blot as needed and not worry about visible streaks on my face.

If you still want to buy it, you can find it at for $30.

Vogue Beauty Giveaway

Special thanks to my online supporter, Tiffany, who offered the following samples to one lucky Vogue Beauty's reader! Leave a comment about what you would like to see and which articles you have enjoyed for your chance to win all of the following:

Vogue Beauty's Samples Giveaway:
1. Estee Lauder Hydra Bright Skin-Tone Perfecting Moisturizer, 7ml
2. Clinique Continuous Rescue Antioxidant Moisturizer, 15 ml
3. Estee Lauder High Gloss Ultra Brillance, 7ml
4. Stila All Over Shimmer Liquid Luminizer, 3ml
5. Oscar Blandi Hair Serum Olio Di Jasmine, 5 ml

This giveaway ends 7/25/2008!

Bliss Triple Oxygen Instant Energizing Mask Review

Featured in the November 2006 issue of Instyle, and a best buy, this mask delivers on everything that it promises. It is no wonder that this mask was a top seller in 2007 and a beauty insiders' favorite. I am addicted to the triple oxygen treatment at Bliss Spa. but for $160, excluding tips, I cannot afford to go as often (which is everyday) as I would like. Bliss' Triple Oxygen Mask allows people like me, who are limited by the power of our wallet size, to enjoy the glow we get from the actual facial itself, everyday =)

I highly recommend this product, even for people with sensitive skin. I like exfoliate my skin before this mask and to follow with my regular mask! I especially love how the pink/peach colored cream reacts with your skin to form white bubbles that deliver doses of oxygen into your pores. Your skin is left feeling invigorated after just one application! At $52, compared to the $160 facial, you bet this is a steal. I have to admit, although this comes close to the actual facial, I still like going in once a month for that professional Bliss dose of oxygen. This mask is the next best thing which then helps me extend and prolong my glow. Use it 3 times a week and your skin will be thanking you.

Buy yours today for $52, at Sephora: Bliss Triple Oxygen Instant Energizing Mask.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Kai Fragrance Review

Kai...I have been in love with this fragrance since 2000 when I discovered it on my first trip out to LA. Created by a Malibu boutique owner, this fragrance catapulted her into the limelight over night. It was not long before Kai, the fragrance, became her main line of business.

This fragrance, a pretty blend of white flowers with a strong note of gardenia, reminds me of all my summer vacations in Hawaii. And when I want to escape the harsh New York winter, I wear Kai. The highly popular and sought after perfume oil is extremely concentrated and a little dab will have you smelling like a lovely gardenia from morning to light. All my boyfriends have loved it. Many secretly confided in me that they wished more women wore fragrances like Kai - lightly-scented and fresh; as opposed to overpowering and pungent!

Needless to say Kai has a long list of celebrities die hard - Naomi Watts, Julia Roberts, Oprah Winfrey, Mariah Carey, Debra Messing, Reese Witherspoon, Miley Cyrus, Tommy Lee, the list goes on. Hey, at $65, what is a better way than to smell like your favorite celebrity. This unisex fragrance will have strangers, and dogs, sniffing you out for more.

Hey, after all, it is one of Usher's favorite scent on a woman =)

Buy it today at for $65: Kai Eau de Parfum. Or try the perfume oil for $45.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Revitalash Review

"Are those lashes real?" I get asked this question on a regular basis and up till a year ago, I would fess up about having eyelash extensions every two months. Thanks to Revitalash, those days are gone. This product is truly amazing and it makes my eyelashes grow and grow - thicker, longer lashes like I always dreamed of having since I was a little girl. This product takes time and patience. I was about to give up at 6 weeks, but I was determined to find a solution to those expensive extensions. I started noticing a huge difference around week 8, my bottom lashes started growing. All of a sudden, I have to apply mascara on my bottom lashes?? LOVES IT!

Finally, after years and years of praying, I have those amazing set of lashes I always dreamed of! My hairdresser even commented how gorgeous my lashes looks without any mascara on. I must admit that it was weird when they first started touching my sunglasses, now I know how people with thick full lashes feel like. Before Revitalash, I have tried ALL, I literally mean ALL lash juice on the market and none of them worked!

Extra’s Dayna Devon took the Revitalash challenge and after 60 days, she has longer, fuller lashes. Check this video out for yourself:

Revitalash has a cult-like following in Hollywood and among models. Celebrities love this product! Marcia Cross, check! Even Kim Kardashian, who has naturally has to die for lashes swears by it. This is what she has to say on her blog about Revitalash "It's amazing! It makes your eyelashes grow soooo much!"
Check it out at:

$150 might be a little steep for some people, but for me, that is money well spent! Lovely lashes without having to use mascara! Get yours today at

Special thanks to Dr. Brinkenhoff who changed my life and made me give up my daily starbucks for a tube of Revitalash.

Note: Dr. Michael Brinkenhoff created this product as a gift to his wife whose eyelashes were damaged from intensive chemotherapy. Who knew that the gift Dr. Michael Brinkenhoff gave his wife would change the life of so many around the world.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser Review

Being on Allure's Best of Beauty, Hall of Fame, is by no means easy. Yet Cetaphil® Gentle Skin Cleanser managed to do just that! This is one product that you can find in most celebrities', beauty editors', models' bathroom, Molly Sims swears by it!

This is a great daily cleanser, and I love to use it to remove my makeup. I used to suffer from bad acne when I was young, knock on wood, and as part of my daily skin care regimen, my dermatologist recommended this cleanser to me. Fast forward 10 years, my skin has cleared up and I am still hooked on this drug store product.

As noted by the maker, Cetaphil® Gentle Skin Cleanser will not strip the skin of natural protective oils or emollients, or disturb the skin’s natural pH balance. It is fragrance-free and non-comedogenic, making it an excellent choice for daily facial cleansing. Some days I apply it to my face and remove it with a cotton pad, there are also days where I remove it using water. It is really up to each individual, though I think I much enjoy the feel of my face after removing the cleanser with a cotton pad. Just be sure to thoroughly clean the face! It might take 2-3 application if you are wearing heavy makeup.

I really feel that for a product like this, with a price like that, I need not say more. Just go and try it. Most drugs stores have a good return policy, if you do not like it, simply return it for a full refund! My guess is you will be going back for more.

Buy it today at or any drug store near you for $11.99: Cetaphil® Gentle Skin Cleanser. And for those with oilier skin, try Cetaphil® Daily Facial Cleanser, Normal to Oily Skin for $11.99, also available at!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Stila Smudge Pot Review

I recently purchased Stila's "the perfect face kit", mainly because I am a sucker for their convertible color and smudge pots. I figured with the savings, I could have all the products for a bargain price!

Overall, I would rate this product an 8, on a scale of 1-10. I would recommend this product for someone who is looking for the dramatic liquid liner look, but has yet to master the application technique. This creamy, gel-like product is easy to use, goes on smoothly, and dries instantly for a semi-liquid liner look (minus the clean line of a liquid liner.)

Some reviewers have said that this product tends to bleed mid-day. After years of usage, including many 20 hours day wear, I have yet to experience that problem. As I mentioned in an earlier post, Urban Decay's Primer Potion really does the trick when it comes to preventing migration of eye makeup, and I credit it for helping my smudge pot stay on all day! The smudge pot blends easily, or smudge, my upper lash line for dramatic, smoky eyes!

I have been using this product for years and would recommend people who want to try it out to purchase it whenever Stila's has one of these promotional offers because the smudge pot comes in a smaller size. Some of my smudge pots in the past have dried up, while some lasted until close to the very end, so I always jump at the opportunity to buy it in smaller quantity! When it does dry out, I usually mix it with a wee bit of eye cream, any would do!

The only thing I would recommend against, is using this product for tightlining because of how the texture is. And if you think black is too dark, give brown a shot!

But it now at Sephora for $18, Stila's Smudge Pot.

Or buy the smaller version as part of the Perfect Face Kit, $45.

Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion Review

The Urban Decay Primer Potion, known to all beauty insiders as the UDPP, is a must have for all makeup wearers. I have often been asked why my eyeshadow, liner, and mascara do not run (note: the panda-eyed look is so out) and the UDPP is my answer.

This is the ultimate primer for your eyes, prepping it for a long-lasting, smooth, crease-and-run free eyes makeup application. The potion goes on sheer and totally nude to create a flawless canvas for colors to be painted on.

I recall before I discovered this magical wand, I used to suffer from cakey, creased up, makeup runs. That might have been acceptable in high school when we were all experimenting with makeups, and before Sephora became my temple of worship. However, now that I have discovered this baby, those days are over, and oh yes, so high school-ish!

As I mature with my makeup purchases, I realized many of my problems back when I first started playing around with makeups had a solution, but no one told me! This is definitely one of those products that I wished I had been aware when I first ventured into collecting makeup! This is a staple in my makeup bag and one product I cannot live without. When I do not use my UDPP, my shadows would crease and fade by midday. The UDPP ensures vibrant, crease-free colors that last long into the wee hours of late night partying - yeah baby!

Buy this today for $16 at Sephora: Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion.

Nars Blush: Orgasm Review

This is one blush that needs no introduction, Nars Orgasm Blush is the holy grail of all blushes. This is a soft sheer, peachy pink blush with shimmery hue that is universally flattering. Nars blushes are known for being highly pigmented and goes on the skin beautifully as if you are naturally blushing! Although at $25, it might make most people scream, but once you try it, like I did, there is no turning back! This blush, a beauty editor/fashion insider favorite, and a staple in Marcia Cross' makeup bag, will replace all your blushes and just for that, the steep price is justifiable.

Few of its accolades included:
  • Best Powder Blush in InStyle "Best of Beauty" 2007
  • Best Powder Blush in Instyle "Best of Beauty" 2008

Buy it at Sephora for $25: Nars Orgasm Blush.

You can also get this product, along with the much-coveted Laguna bronzer, for $37: Orgasm and Laguna Blush/Bronzer Duo.

This blush also comes in a creamy stick form, The Multiple Orgasm, for those who might prefer cream-based blushes. The texture is easily blendable and the stick is designed for multiple usage, such as application to your lips, cheeks, eyes, and even to contour your face. I love to apply this product with my fingers as it warms the product up before dabbing and blending it onto the apples of my cheeks, followed by the Orgasm blush for an all day long lasting blush! I also love to use this as a highlighter above my cheekbones when using a darker colored blush.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Mirenesse: Secret Weapon Mascara - Original Review

Mirenesse is an Australia-based brand that is slowly, but surely, gaining a cult-following in the US! I love my mascara; and I really believe that every girl needs to own at least one mascara. I apply my mascara religiously, even if I am going makeup-free for a day, I will not skim on mascara. It really makes my eyes pop, and brighten my face. As with all mascara-wearers out there, my only complaint is the removal process. Every night, I have to use a makeup remover, in my case Lancome Bi-Facil, to completely stripe my eyes of all traces of the mascara I have piled onto my lashes throughout the day.

One day, I came across an online posting talking about a water removable mascara, Mirenesse: Secret Weapon Mascara - Original; I had to give it a try. Mirenesse's Mascara indeed lives up to its promise. Every night, I would jump into the shower, wet my lashes before I gently "combed" the mascara off with my fingers. No more panda eyes while removing my mascara!! My only complaint, since this formula dries easily, is that it is hard to build on prior application for truly eye-popping lashes! However, for the ease of removal, I can live with that. I use this mascara for everyday wear, and save my favorite (review to come shortly) mascara for those special nights out! This mascara has a secret underground following for all those beauty junkies who are in the know! =)

This newcomer has been awarded many accolades, including:
  • "Best Mascara Ever" (Good Medicine Magazine, Australia)
  • "Most Innovative Mascara" (Real Simple Magazine, USA)
  • "Best Prestige Mascara" (New Woman Magazine, Australia)

An added incentive to try this mascara out?
Mirenesse offers a full refund if you are not 100% satisfied with your purchase. To return a product you purchased online for full credit, simply send it back within 30 days of purchase.

Note: This product is not available in stores in the United States, and is only sold on home shopping network.

Buy it today online at Mirenesse for $27: Secret Weapon Mascara!

Guerlain 'Terracotta' Moisturizing Bronzing Powder Review

If you are looking for the perfect bronzer, look no further than the Guerlain 'Terracotta' Moisturizing Bronzing Powder. This is the original bronzer that started it all - the ultimate authority for all bronzing goddesses out there! Formulated with moisturizing agents, this bronzer will not dry out your skin! The application goes on light and its silk-like texture will give your complexion a healthy glow! This is the bronzer to ensure an all-year round tan. And the best part, it leaves the skin with a lingering sultry scent!

I would be here for days if I had to list out all the awards, best of list, hall of fame mention that this amazing time-tested bronzer has been on, so here are a few:
  • Winner of Allure magazine's 'Best of Beauty' Best Bronzer Award for 2007.
  • "Best Brozning Powder" in InStyle magazine's "135 best beauty buys" (March 2002 issue).
  • 2006 Best Beauty Buys: Bronzer
This bronzer comes in three shades:
  • Shades 1-4 elegantly bronze the skin, in ascending degrees of intensity: Shade 1 is best for fair skin; Shade 2 for medium skin; Shade 3 and 4 are for darker complexions.
  • Shade 20 is a caramel-beige tone that blends into the complexion to discreetly enhance its radiance and color for a more "healthy" look; may be worn by everyone.
  • Shade 00 (only at Sephora) is a matte golden tan that works well on all skin colors, as it illuminates your face with a warm-dewy golden glow.
1. Using a large fluffy brush, I like to use my Shu Uemura Natural Brush 18R, swirl over the compact.
2. Tap off excess powder from the brush.
3. Go over each side of your face in a 3 motion, starting from the top of your forehead (in the center, close to your hairline), brush the bronzer on with a light hand and dipping into the hollows of your cheeks and then beneath your jawline.

Buy it today at Sephora for $42: Guerlain 'Terracotta' Moisturizing Bronzing Powder!

Dior 5-Color Palette Incognito Eyeshadow Review

Featured in the April 2008 issue of InStyle as the gorgeous Brit Kate Beckinsale's (and America Ferrera) favorite eyeshadow, Dior's 5-color palette in Incognito is truly a must-have for every makeup junkie. Having read that, I immediately purchased this at my local Sephora store, hoping - wishfully - that this 5-color palette would transform me into the natural beauty that is Ms. Beckinsale. Although that did not happen, I did, however received many compliments the next day. This eyeshadow palette is completely fool's proof and the colors blend easily to achieve a natural nude look for the day. If you are looking for a dramatic night look, simply line your upper lash line with a black eyeliner!

Step-by-step guide:
  1. Apply the beige color (top left) to the entire eyelid.
  2. Highlight under the brow bone using the lightest color (top right).
  3. Apply the pink color (center) from the lash line to the crease.
  4. Using the mauve-gray color (bottom right) contour the crease, focusing on the outer conner of the eyes.
  5. Apply the brown color (bottom left) to the eye socket to give depth.
  6. Line the upper lash line with a liner (liquid or pencil) for a more dramatic effect!

As with all makeup application, blend to achieve a seamless natural look that will wow everyone! This eyeshadow palette will give you that barely-have-makeup-on look! There are many ways of wearing this palette, so have fun and be creative!

This palette has been named the best eye makeup in Instyle magazine's "Best of Beauty" April 2008 issue!

Buy it now at Sephora for $54: Dior Incognito 5-Color Palette!