Makeup Rip-off…not!

I’m always vexed at people who quatsch when the price of a palette is higher than purchasing individual items (in terms of value per volume). Rip off! they say. Well …. no. Look at the higher price as the premium you have to pay for  1) the convenience of having all the colors in one package, which can be convenient for storage and travel; 2) the opportunity to buy more colors at less cost, e.g. if singles are @$50, and a palette of two colors with each half the volume of singles is $60, you are saving having to shell out $100 (for something you don’t know you’re going to really like or will use up, etc). In other words, the $10 is the premium you pay for lowering your risk and/or the opportunity to spend the $40 in something else.

It’s really nice when companies sell palettes at a lower per unit cost than singles, but in some cases, a higher per unit cost still makes economic sense. Like all things, not everyone will value the convenience, but that hardly makes the product a rip off (making it sound like the company is trying to steal something from you) anymore than anything else you don’t value (Hello Kitty anything, why??). Especially if the price and product volume is clearly in the labels – that’ what 2nd grade math class/the calculator on your phone is for. The best you can say is, the company over-estimated people’s values for the convenience.

 

 

Nail of the Week: Chanel Espadrilles…dupe!

I really wanted Chanel ‘Espadrilles’ nail polish after I saw it on Sabrina, but no only is a Chanel counter a few hours away, it’s likely the counter would not have this color yet. Boosted by confidence from past lab mixes, I headed to the lab (aka makeshift space on my work desk) to mix a dupe.

Espadrilles is a bright orange red. So obviously, would would need a red to mix one. I know I have a reliable one in the OPI ‘Over and Over A-Gwen, from the Gwen Stafani, my first red love. Next, perhaps a yellow? After mxing Zoya ‘Creamy’ (a yellow) in the the OPI, and vice versa, I wasn’t satisfied with the results – too muddy and not bright and sparkling.

Next I tried mixing a little of the red OPI into a bright orange cream – OPI ‘Brights Power’ – and…bingo! I got what I wanted, a bright orange red! I really like this combination enough that I am ok with not having Espadrilles, although I did keep a lookout of it in the Chanel Changi counter, though did not see it.

OPI 'Over & Over A-Gwen' mixed with OPI 'Brights Power'
OPI ‘Over & Over A-Gwen’ mixed with OPI ‘Brights Power’

I think I need a back up of Over and Over A-Gwen, it is such a useful one to have!

Left: OPI 'Over and Over A-Gwen' and right, mixed with OPI 'Brights Power'
Left: OPI ‘Over and Over A-Gwen’ and right, mixed with OPI ‘Brights Power’

Bonus: I also like the look of OPI ‘Pineapples Have Feelings Too!’ but didn’t really like the online swatches that I saw – the multicolor glitters are drowned by the yellow – so layered Milani ‘Gems’ over China Glaze ‘Golden Opportunity’ and voila! A big stash of polish is really a useful one!

Milani 'Gems' over China Glaze 'Golden Opportunity'
Milani ‘Gems’ over China Glaze ‘Golden Opportunity’

Makeup as Skin Care

Guerlain Rouge G lipstick
Guerlain Rouge G lipsticks (which tout hyaluronic acid and mango butter for hydration)

When someone mentions a must-do about beauty and skincare, I immediately roll my eyes. Yes, it’s a wonder these eyes haven’t popped out due to so much eye-rolling. But Renees’s list of 5 Skin Care Mistakes Almost Everyone Makes* did not result in such eye movements. I’ve been reading Renee’s tips for many years now. She’s an esthetician to the stars (well, I only mention it because performing artists need to look their best at all times), with non-nonsense and rational approach to skin care and to basic biology, and this list is a classic Renee.

You can read the list of 5 mistakes you probably make (none of which I make, ha!) but want to draw on the most interesting point she makes, and that is makeup as skin care. This is somewhat my approach to makeup to0, nowadays, especially as technology evolved and enabled active ingredients to stay stable. In the article, Renee mentions foundation as skincare, and I find that is true, especially with the higher-end makeup line. Another are lip products, touting hydration, sunscreen and even wrinkle-fighting.

Ironically, people are now flocking to ‘natural’ products, and they’re missing out on these technological advances in makeup (and skincare) products. Not to mention that most people think ‘natural’ is non-chemical (honey, they’re ALL chemicals; it’s a matter of being organic or synthetic, and further mistake is in thinking that organic is safer  – well, not if you ask these regulators). Of course, knowing which is which, and what ingredients benefit you according to your needs, will need you to know about … ingredients! No surprises there.

*Information courtesy of www.ReneeRouleau.com, a website with skin care tips, products based on nine skin types and advice from skin care expert and celebrity esthetician, Renée Rouleau.”

PSA: The One-Woman Fashion Show is Back on the Road!!

Kate India Bhutan tourI do not use the double exclamation marks lightly – this is probably only the second time in my adult life. Or thereabouts. But! The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are on a royal tour of India and Bhutan! Only two places I’ve always wanted to go to.

So far, the fashion does not disappoint. I love the very interesting Alexander McQueen red dress (above picture, left) – peplum and a split skirt, two of my favorite dress elements. Practical, to boot!

The Anita Dongre dress (middle) is both ethnic and contemporary. I love the color. I do wish she had opted for a shalwar kameez – that would have been practical for the cricket bout she’d have in that dress. But pehaps that would be too costume-y, too early, and too Diana-ish. Check out the story on how the dress had been altered and in turn, the altered version being offered by the original designer. What economic power house! *swoon*

The striking blue Jenny Packham evening dress is a lovely if too-safe option, especially considering she’s mingling with Bollywood elites.

For an engaging discussion of Kate Middleton fashion, check out the What Kate Wore Blog – the best blog ever on personal style.

Aaah, it’s going to be an enjoyable week. Bring on more of the one-woman fashion show!

kate middleton india bhutan tour
Source: The Telegraph

 

Cuteness Overload [NOT beauty-related]

Most times, I think social media is the dumps, all kinds of obviously uneducated imbeciles proffering all kinds of imbecile comments filled with curses and filth. What a waste of oxygen. But thank you to Charleston Girl for referring me to these cuteness overload! Live camera action of a nesting family of bald eagles in Washington, DC. They’ve been my online highlights these past couple days. This is technology I can get behind. Their feeding time is my favorite.

Watch them here.

2bald eagles in dc
© 2016 American Eagle Foundation, EAGLES.ORG
bald eagles in dc
© 2016 American Eagle Foundation, EAGLES.ORG

 

MAC Ellie Goulding Halcyon Palette: Review and Swatches

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My Halcyon Days palette from the MAC and Ellie Goulding Collection has landed! I’m a big fan of Ellie and there’s a few posts here on her music, but it was a pleasure to support Ellie’s makeup collection too. And one that I am liking a lot!

I chose the Halcyon Days palette ($44 from MAC but about $60 through purchase order) mainly because I love MAC cream color bases (CCB). I have a few in red and pinks which I use as blush and lip color – they are very pigmented, true to pan in term of colors, long lasting, and just an overall pleasure to use. I also wanted to try MAC’s blot powder, included in this palette.

Let’s go over the CCBs first.  MAC was relatively accurate describing the colors as they translate on my skin. Color #1 Wish I Stayed is a light cream pearl and #2 Tint is a peachy brown, and both are good for eyes and lips in my case. Note that I don’t use highlighters – I have my own internal glowing mechanism i.e. my oily skin – otherwise #1 and #2 would also be good as highlighters. Color #3 Root is a taupe brown with shimmer, good for the eyes. Color #4 Everytime You Go, is a peachy pink, suitable for eyes and cheeks, but washes out on my lips if on its own. I double it up with #2 for a more wearable look.

All the CCBs are nicely emollient, sparkling in color, and blends easily. Using fingers are best for these, I find. The one downside of these is that they are not as long-lasting as my other CCBs. Without primer, on eyes, these fade noticeably after a couple of hours, and after 4 hours, only about 50% remains on my eyes. As blush, #4 lasted a bit longer but again, not as stellar as my other, full-size CCBS. I have not used them with primer yet.

The blot powder is describe as ‘medium dark’, and it’s really not that dark. I think even darker gals (NC 45) can use this – it is very, very sheer. A really good match for my NC25 face. This is definitely great for blotting, and for dusting over the CCBs to tone down the shimmer without sacrificing color. However, it’s not very good in controlling oil.

Overall, no regrets in this purchase. I really enjoy using the CCBs and the blot powder together, and if I may say so myself, it gives a very ‘Ellie’ look. My eye area has gotten drier as I age, and using these CCBs as eye color is a real pleasure. This palette would also be great for travel and I can’t wait to take it places.

Bottom line: no regrets even at the inflated price I obtained it for, and recommended for those who want to try MAC’s CCBs, and those with dryer skin.

MAC Halcyon Days palette
MAC Halcyon Days palette

MAC Halcyon Days Ellie Goulding (4)

Kelly Moore: Bags and Blog

kelly moore bags

I first heard of the Kelly Moore Bags from Rhee. I have yet to own a Bag, but one day, one day, the Libby (in orange or green) will be mine.

In addition to designing functional, pretty bags, Kelly also blogs. I love her posts. This post, about her adopted daughter, is especially poignant. You will be left inspired and optimistic about the World.

[And damn fanatics for censoring Vimeo!!]