Review and Swatches: Too Faced Melted Kisses and Sweet Cheeks

Too Faced Melted Kisses Sweet Cheeks (3)The Too Faced Melted Liquified Long Wear Lipsticks and Love Flush Long Lasting 16-hour Blushes have been getting good reviews online. At US$21 and US$26 they are expensive for me, so I waited patiently until a travel set come around. It recently did, and at $36 for the set ($6 per item) it is very good value. This limited edition set is packaged for gifting, with individual boxes for each sub-set of coordinated blush and lipstick, so that might be an added convenience if you are giving these away.

Too Faced Melted Kisses Sweet Cheeks (1)
Packaging of the Too Faced Melted Kisses and Sweet Cheeks Holiday 2015 set

There are 3 sub-sets of coordinated blush and lipstick: a peachy pink blush with a beige lipstick; a pink blush with a soft warm pink lipstick; and a maroon blush with a berry lip color. All the colors are in the permanent line, so you could get full sizes of these if you like them enough.

I really like all three blush colors in this set; they are easy to use and blend, relatively opaque, and have very good lasting power (at least 6 hours before fading, on my oily skin). Tarte’s 12-hour blushes still outperform these in the lasting power, but these are still very good. The pan is tiny – below I’ve given size comparisons – therefore very convenient to take with you daily for touch-ups, or to take during your travels.

Too Faced Melted Kisses Sweet Cheeks (5)
Comparison of Too Faced Sweet Cheeks blush pans with other blush brands

The lipsticks I really, really like, especially the colors Peony and Fig – I might need to get full sizes of these! Nude, the beige brown lip color, is just not for me as it washes me out, but the quality is as good as the other two. I like the applicator (a squeeze tube with a sponge applicator attached), the texture, and the lasting power of these lipsticks. There is a noticeable scent, but it doesn’t bother me.

Bottom line, this is a beautiful, useful and fun set that I have no regret purchasing, and would recommend to anyone.

Too Faced Melted Kisses Sweet Cheeks (4)Too Faced Melted Kisses Sweet Cheeks (2)b




Color Palette: Sixties Inspired?

Androgen – Forbidden Flower – Delicate Hummingbird – Blue Roan

There’s a color palette that I’m loving the past few months. It’s a combination of mauvey purple on the lids (I used Rouge Bunny Rouge ‘Delicate Hummingbird’), with a navy eyeliner (Rouge Bunny Rouge ‘Blue Roan’), bubble gum pink on the cheeks (Illamasqua ‘Androgen’ which translates warmer on my yellow tones) and peachy beige lips (Edward Bess ‘Forbidden Flower’, as close as can get as my HG nude beige color). It’s a fun color palette that is still work-appropriate.

fotd rbr blue roan delicate hummingbird

Review and Swatches: Mac Ripe Peach Blush Ombre (Ruben and Isabel Toledo Collection

MAC Ripe Peach Blush Ombre2I missed MAC’s Ripe Peach Blush Ombre twice before, and almost missed it this time with the Toledo Collection. I did not like the packaging and that made me indecisive. In the end, I decided to just get it.

First the bad news. There is a little bit of film you have to scrape off until you find the ‘real’ stuff. If you don’t scrape it off, you will find that the color payoff is poor. I’ve read online of people scraping off the top layer carefully, but I just don’t have that kind of patience. My way is to scrape with my nail; once there is enough from the scrape for blush, I use it. And continue another bout of scraping the next day. I guess I’m done with the scraping this morning, as my fingers touched down on the g spot: the soft, pigmented blush that is easily picked up with a swipe of a finger.

Now the good news: the color is beautiful. I really like the pink part, a coral on my cheeks. The orange part is also pretty good, I use it almost like a highlighter, layering it on top of the pink on the upper cheekbones. The staying power is also pretty good for MAC blushes; the other day I was wearing it under gusts of rain, and had to walk a kilometer or so due to bad traffic, and in the evening my cheeks still glow from the Ripe Peach flush.

Bottom line? No regrets.

MAC Ripe Peach Blush Ombre

MAC Ripe Peach Blush Ombre1MAC Ripe Peach Blush Ombre3



Review and Swatches: Nars Rotonde Blush

nars rotonde6Remember Nars Rotonde from the Pierre Hardy collection a couple of years ago? I was really lusting after it and its sister Boys don’t Cry. But alas, priced at $41 big ones, plus shipping and other fees, it was too much for my budget. One day a couple months ago, I saw Rotonde on Ebay aka my wonderful enabler, for about $35 including shipping. I did not think twice, and now it’s here rounding up my small, but beloved, Nars family.

Rotonde unblemished, with its full on zig zag pattern, is beyoootiful. I’ve managed to use just one side of the blush to retain the gold pattern on half of the palette. On me, Rotonde is a bronze-y orange; it is not the most pretty-fying blush in my arsenal, but the lasting power, blendability and general awesomeness, makes it a loved piece these recent weeks. It’s a great, neutral color paired with bright lipstick or dark smokey eyes.

I’m still keeping my eye out for a reasonably-priced Boys don’t Cry. Fingers crossed!

nars rotonde9nars rotonde3nars rotonde12

Review & Swatches: Korres Rice & Lecithin Blush Number 44 Orange

korres orange blush3I’ve never shied away from used makeup. When you think about it, if on an average day you’re  out and about with thousands (or even tens of thousands) of people in the city — touching doors, chairs, toilets seats where hundreds have put their grimy hands on — it’s a bit irrational if you’re afraid of makeup which only one or two people have used before. Moreover, there are steps you can take to sanitize the makeup, for example by taking out and throwing way a bit of surface area (easily done with used lipstick and other cream-based products) and/or swirling alcohol for a few seconds on the surface of your new acquisition. Voila, all good! You’ve satisfied your craving for a shiny new thing without spending too much; save products from being thrown away and filling the landfills too early; AND have something to blog about.

A few months ago I acquired a used Korres Rice and Lecithin blush in the shade Orange (number 44) just to satisfy a shopping itch. I googled the color online and it looked promising and, at less than $10, a very good bargain for something which have been used less than a handful of times. Previously, I got a Korres eyeshadow as a gift with purchase, and really love the color, texture, and staying power of it (a peachy gold shimmer eyeshadow), so I was also interested in getting my hands on more Korres makeup.

This blush turns out to be a major winner: it is very easy to use and blend, has a silky texture and good lasting power, and the color is actually a neutral peachy brown on me, which is hard to achieve most time as peaches tend to carry over to orange on my very strongly yellow-toned skin. This blush has become a favorite neutral blush that I reach for whenever I go berserk on eye color. Recommended!

korres orange blush


Review and Swatches: Stila Color Me Pretty Lip and Cheek Palette


stila color me prett lip and cheek palette3
Kitten – Peony – Gerbera – Rose – Petunia

Stila’s convertible lip and cheek creams have acquired something of a legendary status, but my sole experience with them was from one color in a Stila palette from long, long ago (and which have sadly expired). But I really liked that one, it was such a great peachy coral on me, and I’ve seen online pictures of other beautiful colors on people’s FOTDs. They’re a bit pricey though, so when a whole palette of 5 colors went on sale, snapped it up I did.

The Paint Me Pretty palette contains 5 colors: Kitten, Peony, Gerbera, Rose and Petunia. I have no idea what to do with Kitten — it’ll probably be mainly used for the eyes, or layered over other lip colors. It’s not something I will use on my cheeks — too shimmery for my oil slick of a face. The other colors, however, are absolutely lovely on lips and cheeks. As a blush, the finish is relatively matte for me, blending is not difficult (though not as slippy as the Illamasqua’s cream blushes, which are my favorite cream bush in terms of texture), and the lasting power is great. Overall, they are better quality than those overpriced Chanel cream blushes, which all seemed to disappear on me. As a lip product, they’re true to color and not drying, though I’d still rather use my lipsticks and lip products from bullets. But these are great for coordinating looks. Overall, highly recommended, especially at the price of about $25 for which I got them.

The slight con is the packaging. Definitely not travel friendly, and I’m considering de-potting them. The tin case will be useful to store knicks and knacks.

stila color me prett lip and cheek palette2 stila color me pretty lip and cheek palette

Review and Swatches: Kanebo Media Blush OR-1

Kanebo Media Blush OR-1
Kanebo Media Blush OR-1

I’m a late bloomer when it comes to Japanese makeup and skincare. I can’t say I’ve ever been into them. One reason is not being able to decipher product ingredients and technical information. Another is the sometimes nonsensical names that do not lend technical credibility. I mean, Girly Whipped Cheek? (Lavshuca, a cheek tint). Powderless Liquid? (Kanebo Kate, a liquid to powder foundation finish, I think, which you’d think is powder-more, not less? Unless it’s a liquid foundation that lets you skip powder? See my quandary?) Medicated Acne Emollient Supplizer? (Shiseido Ettusais. I’m not even..).

But indecipherable names aside, I know there are some great products out there that I’m missing if I don’t join the fray. I mean, my most sacred oil control apparatus is a Japanese miracle: Biore UV Perfect Face Milk, a sunblock that absorbs sebum like there’s no tomorrow.

So, Japanese makeup. One day, I saw an online deal for Kanebo Media blush, which has some very good reviews online. It’s not too expensive, and there is the color OR-1 which seems like a nice soft orange that I am missing from my stash. All my orange blushes are divas.

However, when the blush arrived, it might as well be PC (peach). Which? Actually works. I like. It is a peachy pink that I do not have a dupe of amongst my 80+ blushes. It will take serious effort to overdo, but is a really effortless exertion for a statement-lip look. There is a pronounced shimmer that does not translate to the cheeks (my problem with Nars Orgasm and the like).

Kanebo Media Blush OR-1, swatched heavily on the bottom and blended out at top.
Kanebo Media Blush OR-1, swatched heavily on the bottom and blended out at top, taken in the morning sunlight.

Bottom line: with its relatively cheap price (about $10 online at Ebay, Icibankao, etc),  a soft and usable brush, requirement of minimal effort, affinity with statement lips (OR-1, that is), compact size and transparent packaging for ease of color selection, there’s not really a con to trying one. However, I won’t be picking up more colors from this line as they’d be too light for my skin and I am not missing pale pinks/reds.

The pictures below were taken at different days, on different time of day, with natural lighting, so excuse the wide variation in skin color. But this really is a versatile blush color.

Kanebo Media Blush OR-1 with NYX Morocco (left), MAC Viva Glam Nicki (middle) and a random lipstick that looks lovely but for the life of me, I can’t remember. Might be an Illamasqua cream blush with some lipgloss….