Friday, March 27, 2009

EOTD - Coffret D'or Trance Deep Eyes 04

Coffret D'or Trance Deep Eyes in 04 Gray Variation

(A) White line
(B) Purple line
(C) Black line
(D) Gray line

1) Apply B in the crease
2) Use C to apply a thick line above the top lashline
3) Apply D to the inner corner of the eye, just a little bit in the crease right above the top lashline and on the inner 1/3 of the lower lashline
4) Apply C to the outer 1/3 of the lower lashline
5) Apply B to the middle of the lower lashline, smudging the edge out a little where it touches colors C and D
6) Use the big brush in the palette (or any small, loose brush) to sweep A lightly above the crease, on the browbone, and below the eye
7) Curl lashes

The result is a very elegant and radiant look. The lavender shade (B) is not too obvious so this palette is perfect for a spring/summer look that's office-appropriate. For a more dramatic look, you can apply the lavender shade higher and/or line more of the lower lashline with the pewter shade (C).


Please click here to read my review on this quad.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

EOTDs - MJ Majolook BR751 & Kate Deep Trap Eyes GY-1

I did two eye looks today with the MJ Trick On BR Majolook on one eye and the Kate Deep Trap Eyes GY palette on the other eye. I've included schematics with the product pictures to help you visualize what I applied and where, but note that the sometimes the lines I drew aren't completely accurate. Please refer to the directions I wrote out to get the most accurate description of where each color was applied. For reference, all of the pictures were taken under natural light.


MJ Trick On Majolook in BR751

(A) Gold line
(B) Gray line
(C) Brown line
(D) Pink line

1) Apply B in the crease
2) Use C to line the upper lashline, extending a little beyond the lashline and flicking up slightly
3) Use any remaining powder of C on the liner brush to line the outer 1/4 of the lower lashline
4) Apply D all over the inner 1/2 of the crease, and blending out slightly above the crease
5) Apply D to the inner 1/2 of the lower lashline
6) Apply B to the outer 1/2 of the lower lashline slightly below where the line was drawn with C and overlapping slightly with D
7) Apply A to the brow bone and the area above the crease
9) Curl lashes

The effect is an understated, warm neutral look. I only used the MJ palette and curled my lashes using the Shiseido eyelash curler in this look to give you an idea of the effect of the palette alone. Normally, I would line my eyes with Urban Decay 24/7 in Bourbon and pat D over the liner to bring out the color in D since it's not very pigmented.


Kate Deep Trap Eyes in GY-1

(A) Gold line
(B) Brown line
(C) Gray line
(D) Black line
(E) Peach line

1) Draw a line above the top lashline with D
2) Apply C in the lower half of the crease, smudging the line drawn with D
3) Apply B in the top half of the crease, overlapping slightly with C
4) Apply A in the lid area above the crease including the brow bone, overlapping slightly with B
5) Pat E on lightly over the center of the eye in the crease
6) Use C to line the outer half of the lower lashline, starting from the outer corner of the eye
7) Use A to line the inner 2/3 of the lower lashline, overlapping slightly with C
8) Curl lashes

You can see that this look is more pigmented and dramatic than the MJ look, but still light enough for work or just going out during the day. As with the MJ look above, I only used the Kate palette and curled my lashes. Normally, though, I would tightline with my L'Oreal Lineur Intense brown eyeliner to complete the look.


Please click here to read my review on this MJ quad.
Please click here to read my review on this Kate quad.

Friday, March 20, 2009

New Base Items - Aqua CG Smoothers & L'Oreal True Match Powder

Because my Mentholatum tinted moisturizer (Asia exclusive) hasn't been working for me since winter, I looked into alternative options for a tinted moisturizer and decided to get the Cover Girl Aqua CG Smoothers about a month ago. To go with my new tinted moisturizer, which isn't as matte as the Mentholatum one, I also got a L'Oreal True Match Powder. Now that I've had some time to try out both products, here is the review.

I rather like the consistency of the Aqua CG Smoothers since it feels light yet still moisturizing (at least more so than my Mentholatum TM), like a normal moisturizer but with a little coverage. The color is cooler than my natural skin tone, but I don't think it really matters since the coverage is very sheer and the color doesn't really show up. All I'm looking for in a tinted moisturizer is sun protection and pore coverage, and Aqua CG Smoothers has both. However, this TM disappears from my face by the end of the day, which is a problem for me. Also, despite what the packaging says about being non-comedogenic, I think it still clogs my pores. The TM doesn't cause any pimples on me, but I do notice these little white heads on my nose and forehead after I wash my face. So this is not HG quality, and I'm still looking for something better.

The L'Oreal True Match Powder is very finely milled, and the coverage is matte but light if applied with a powder brush (more specifically, with my new trusty super-soft Ecotools powder brush ^_^). To be more specific, my face doesn't look cakey matte with this powder, but rather matte with the natural luminosity of my skin still showing through from underneath (satin finish?). The lasting power, however, is also not the greatest; I don't think applying the powder prolongs the staying power of the Aqua CG Smoothers at all, but I'm not sure if I'll count this against the powder.

I got the color in N3, to match the color of the foundation I previously bought. However, since I apply the powder really sheer-ly, I don't really see any color from the powder.

All of the pictures in this entry were taken under natural light.

In short: Aqua CG Smoothers has a great texture and sheer coverage, but unfortunately, it has poor staying power and clogs my pores. L'Oreal True Match Powder is finely milled and can be applied sheer-ly to achieve a natural matte look, but also has poor staying power.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Coffret D'or: My First Japanese Dept Store Experience

My beautiful cousin who had a cameo role in my last post also bought me a Coffret D'or eyeshadow palette while in Malaysia. I've been eyeing Coffret D'or palettes (as well as other Japanese dept store brand palettes like Maquillage's) for a long time, but haven't actually bought one since they're too expensive online >.< So imagine my excitement when I saw this classy palette in the bag of gifts she gave me!

This Coffret D'or palette is one in the Trance Deep Eyes line. I love the pretty silver with pink rhinestone packaging, though it does get dirty easily from fingerprints. The palette comes with two dual ended applicators, one wider and one thinner, and each with a brush on one end and a sponge-tip applicator on the other. The brushes are very soft, and the sponge-tip applicators work well to pack on the color, so you really don't need to have another brush or applicator to work with this palette. The eyeshadows are very finely milled, with gorgeous shimmer that is not tacky. The colors are sheer but buildable. However, these eyeshadows crease very easily, pretty much within 1-2 hours without UDPP. Therefore, you definitely need to apply these over UDPP to get long-lasting color.

My cousin got me the Trance Deep Eyes in 04 Grey Variation which is a silver and lavender palette. The palette contains a shimmery white (A), a shimmery cool toned lavender (B), a shimmery dark gray (C), and a very shimmery silver (D). I was pleasantly surprised that C was as shimmery as A and B since in most palettes, the darker liner color will usually be less shimmery. Also, using the brushes to apply A and D, I really couldn't tell the difference between them as they both just look shimmery. However, if I pack on the color with my fingers or an applicator (as I did in the swatch), I can see that A is whiter than D and a little bit more subdued with the shimmer. The overall finished look of this palette is a ladylike, cool-toned neutral look with a touch of lavender. Although the shimmer is very obvious in all 4 shades when I'm applying the shadows, from a distance (about how far you would normally stand apart from someone when talking), the shimmer just gives radiant glow as opposed to looking glittery.

The following is the suggested method of applying the shadows, which I followed and had great results.

All pictures in this post were taken under natural light.

In short: I love my first encounter with Coffret D'or! The Trance Deep Eyes palette in 04 Grey Variation is gorgeous, glowy, and not garish. I'm not sure I love it more than my cheaper drugstore palettes, but it's well worth your money if you don't have or don't want to use separate applicators.


Please click here to see this palette used in an EOTD.

Majolica Majorca: The Original Drugstore Princess

As I've previously mentioned in the Lavshuca post, Majolica Majorca can be hailed as the originator of princessy brand image in the Japanese drugstore. My first MJ (a short form of Majolica Majorca) product is a Shadow Customize that was a magazine's gift with purchase. I instantly fell in love with the texture and pigmentation of the eyeshadow, so I ordered more online. Unfortunately, I was not that happy with the new colors I bought so I swapped them away. Since then, I've been tempted by more MJ products (mostly eyeshadows) but haven't had a chance to order anything. Then came my savior cousin who, on a recent trip to Malaysia, was kind enough to get me a Majolook (as MJ's eyeshadow palettes are called) and the famous SV821 Shadow Customize that has many a beauty blogger raving. So today, I will be reviewing my 2 Shadow Customize and the Majolook I have.

Most of Majolica Majorca's shadows are pigmented (compared to other Japanese drugstore brands), finely milled, and beautifully shimmery. However, sometimes it's a hit or miss since some of the Shadow Customize are hard and not very pigmented, as I have experienced. In addition, I have heard that the general quality of the shadows in the Majolooks are not quite as nice as the good Shadow Customize. In any case, if you are considering buying MJ's Shadow Customize, I would recommend you to look over fleckenschnitte's notepad on Makeup Alley since she has a detailed breakdown of which shadows are nice and which are bad. You should also search for reviews online of the Majolooks you are looking to acquire to make sure they are of good quality.

Thankfully, all of the MJ eyeshadow products I currently own are awesome, though the color payoff of the Majolook is a little sheerer than that of the Shadow Customize. Nonetheless, the shadows in all three products are soft, finely milled, reasonably pigmented, and contain gorgeous shimmers. In addition, these shadows are all fairly long-lasting, though not quite as good as the Lavshuca shadows in this department, if applied without UDPP. A crease-less finish is guaranteed, though, if applied with UDPP.

The Shadow Customize are packaged in these cute little plastic drawers so the shadows will slide out when you pull on the gold part on top. You can purchase a separate case to hold 3 Shadow Customize together, but since the original packaging is so cute, I don't feel any incentive to buy a case. As the Shadow Customize don't come with applicators and neither does the case, you have to purchase any applicators you want separately (MJ sells them).

The Shadow Customize I own are 16 and SV821. 16 seems to be discontinued, and I'm not sure which collection it was released with since I got it as a gift with purchase from a magazine a couple of years ago. 16 is a shimmery metallic pinkish brown, whereas SV821 is a complex shimmery metallic taupe. The two colors look very similar in the swatch, but in real life, SV821 is brighter and distinictively cooler than 16; I just couldn't seem to get the colors to show up more accurately on photo.

Equally pretty as the Shadow Customize packaging, the Majolooks are housed in a shimmery but classy off-white case (see the first picture up at the top for the beautiful design on the front). In addition, unlike the Shadow Customize, Majolooks come with a dual ended sponge-tip applicator, which I personally really like since they seem to be more compact and smoother than most sponge-tip applicators.

The Majolook I have is one of the Trick On in BR751. This line of Majolooks is called Trick On because of the Trick On powder on the bottom right that's supposed to provide a radiant, shimmery finish to the look. BR751 contains a shimmery light gold highlighter shade (A), a shimmery taupe crease shade with a hint of lilac/lavender (B), a slightly less shimmery brown liner shade (C), and a white Trick On powder with a lot of pale pink shimmer (D). The B shade in BR751 is close to SV821, but SV821 is still a bit brighter and more pigmented. Also, the B shade looks a lot more brown on my arm than it does in the swatch picture or on my lids. On the lids, it's a more lilac-y silvery taupe than the brown taupe that I see on my arm in real life. Still, the finished look of this palette is an neutral look that's understated but still outstanding.

Here is the English instructions on the back of the box. Usually the instruction are in Japanese, but because my cousin bought it in Malaysia, they put a sticker with the English instructions on the back and covered up the Japanese instructions. You can even see its price at Watson's! =P One complaint I have with buying this product at Watson's is that they stuck an anti-theft strip right on the back of the Majolook (not on the box but on the palette itself). I was able to get the strip off, but there is still some glue stuck on the palette that I can't get off, which is so annoying as it's defacing my beautiful palette ~><~

All of the pictures taken for this entry were taken under natural light, thanks to the currently beautiful weather here ^^

In short: I love MJ shadows for their soft texture, nice pigmentation, and beautiful shimmer. Be careful about picking the colors, though, because not all of the MJ shadows/shadow palettes were created equally. Make sure to read a couple of reviews on the specific color you want to acquire before actually buying them!



I've taken a comparison photo under a mix of white and yellow light to better illustrate the difference between my two Shadow Customize and the B shade in the Majolook. All of the shadows were swiped once to show how pigmented each is in comparison to the others.

This photo is much better than my previous swatch of the Shadow Customize under natural light in showing that SV821 doesn't look like 16 at all; the prior is a cool taupe and the latter is a brown. In fact, SV821 is much closer in color to shade B in the Majolook as both of them are taupes. However, when viewed in real life, SV821 has a pinkish lilac-y undertone, whereas B has a yellowish-green undertone, so they still can't be considered dupes of each other. In terms of pigmentation, SV821 > 16 > B. SV821 and 16 both show up fairly opaque on skin with one swipe, while B is pretty sheer when only swiped once.


Please click here to see the above MJ quad used in an EOTD.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

L'Oreal HiP Metallic Shadow Duos (+1)

These L'Oreal HiP Metallic Shadow Duos were all the hype when they first came out. Unlike the first two series, the Concentrated Shadow Duos and the Bright Shadow Duos, which were not very consistent in the quality of each product, all of the Metallic Shadow Duos are smooth and pigmented. That is not to say that these duos are perfect. They definitely are not.

The reason I wrote plus one in the title is because I am including the review of all Metallic Shadow Duos plus a Concentrated Shadow Duo (the purple one in the bottom right of the picture). I will focus first on the quality of the Metallic Shadow Duos. The major selling point of these duos is that they are very pigmented and require little layering on your lids to get the intensity of the colors in the pans. The powder in these duos are pretty fine, but the darker shades of the duos are a little rougher, and I do get a lot of fallout when applying the darker shades. These duos also don't last long on my oily lids. I can make them go without creasing for maybe 7-8 hours if I apply them over UDPP, but without UDPP, they only last about 3-4 hours at the most. The one Concentrated Shadow Duo I own is of pretty much the same quality as the Metallic Shadow Duos, except the darker shade is much less pigmented than the darker shades of Metallic Duos when applied on the lids.

All of the duos (Metallic and Concentrated) include a sponge-tip applicator that work pretty well in applying the shadows. The applicator is kept in a lower compartment with a mirror. The mirror included is pretty much useless since it's on the bottom so you'd have to flip back and forth between swiping the shadow and looking at the mirror if you want to use it. Also, the cover for the bottom compartment is a little looser in some duos so you may accidentally open the bottom compartment when you actually mean to open the top compartment where the shadows are. This little design flaw doesn't bother me much, but it can be considered a major nuisance to some users.

The first two Metallic Shadow Duos I own are Gilded and Platinum. Gilded is a gold-themed duo with a vivid yellow gold and a black with gold shimmer. The shimmer in the darker shade in Gilded is a little bigger than the shimmer found in the darker shades of the other duos. In contrast, Platinum is a silver-themed duo with a white silver and a black with silver shimmer. The darker shade in Platinum is a little more matte (i.e., contains less shimmer) than the darker shades in the other Metallic Duos.

The next two Metallic Shadow Duos are Sculpted and Gunmetal. Sculpted is a pink-themed duo with a shimmery warm peachy pink and a black with pink/red shimmer, which appears more like a black with a hint of red rather than a dark red. On the other hand, Gunmetal is a green-themed duo with a shimmery olive green and a black with green shimmer that appears like a dark forest green.

The last Metallic Duo is Magnetic, which is a blue-themed duo with a shimmery icy blue and a black with blue shimmer that appears like a navy blue. The one Concentrated Shadow Duo I have is Charisma, which is a purple-toned duo. The lighter color in Charisma is a shimmery pinkish lilac, whereas the darker color is a matte eggplant that needs several layers to get it to the intensity in the swatch.

All of the photos in this entry were taken under a mix of yellow and white light.

In short: The pigmentation in these shadows are excellent (except for the darker shade in Charisma), but the powder quality of the darker shades is not the greatest. There is also a little design flaw with the compact. Overall, these are a steal if you love playing with colors and can get them during a buy one get one free deal at a local drugstore.


Please click here to see Gunmetal and Charisma used in EOTDs.

L'Oreal Wear Infinite Eyeshadows: The Basics

In contrast to the previous post, L'Oreal Paris's Wear Infinite Eyeshadow line is cheap and not exactly top quality. The packaging isn't particularly cute and neither are the colors. However, they are pretty good for basic, office-appropriate, daytime looks.

I have one single shadow and two duos from the Wear Infinite line. There is an applicator included in each compact that works fairly well at applying the shadows. The Wear Infinite shadows don't crease on me, but they do fade a little as the day progresses. These shadows are also not very pigmented, but I don't find that to be a major problem since I use them for office-appropriate looks. One major problem with the Wear Infinite shadows is that they will accentuate any dry patches or fine lines and get chalky if layered on too thick, so be very careful in those cases. Although the powder of the shadows are fairly fine, the shadow itself is rather hard but not well packed-down since it tends to get all over the inside of the compacts. Along the same lines, one thing that really annoys me is the fallout I get when applying the darker shade in Sterling, the gray duo.

The single shadow I have is Shroom Shimmer, which is a basic shimmery pale champagne gold that works well as a highlighter or a base. Bronze Star, one of the duos, contains a warm shimmery peachy tan and a medium shimmery bronze. This duo works great with my skin tone and can be used to make a less dramatic smoky eye in addition to the daily office look. The other duo I have is Sterling, which contains a light shimmery silver and a medium shimmery gray with a hint of blue. This duo is a little harder to use for me because it's so cool toned.

All photos in this entry were taken under a combination of yellow and white lights.

In short: The L'Oreal Wear Infinite eyeshadows are great as an inexpensive alternative for a basic office look. However, those who are looking for major pigment and intensity should definitely look elsewhere, and those with dry skin or fine lines around the eyes should also stay away.