Thursday, October 6, 2011

Foundation Face Off

Now I know it's been a while and there's really not much I could say about me being a mushroom (popping out every now and then) except that I've just been really busy with my studies. I won't bore you with the details of my grueling, migraine evoking school stuff, so let's go on with this exciting, hopefully entertaining post shall we!

We all know how difficult it can be to choose the right foundation. There's just so many to choose from and let's face it, finding the right one can be discouraging especially for a makeup newbie. I was once in that situation and trust me when I say that having to shell out so much money to play foundation guessing game was tough and I would never wish anyone to go through it.

If I could break down what I think is the best kind of foundation, I would say to just be aware of some key factors when choosing the right one.

1) Know your skin type. (Oily, Dry, Normal, Combination)

2) Let the seasons guide you.
    Now I know this may sound funny and at this point you are probably thinking, "What the heck does this girl mean?" Well it's actually simple. Foundations come in different formulas and consistencies (like matte or one with a dewy, glow effect) so you want to match it up according to the seasons, all while keeping your skin type in mind.
    If you are oily and it's want to steer clear of oil based foundations and go for mattifying ones instead. If you already have dry skin, you can imagine how much dryer your skin will be during winter time so choose a foundation that is oil based or a hydrating kind.

3) Swatch baby! Swatch!
    Drug stores, department stores, and makeup stores (like Sephora and mac) will actually let you or help you swatch foundations, but make sure you don't apply foundations prior to coming to the stores and if you forget, no need to despair because they can remove it for you too! Also keep in mind that some foundations will oxidize (get darker) after a while so be sure to stick around for a little bit or swatch one shade lighter.

4) When in doubt, ask for a sample
    Although the sales person may be the nicest, most helpful one knows what you like other than yourself so try not to get pressured into buying something unless you are 110% happy with it!

5) Don't be afraid to read the label
    There is nothing wrong with being concern of what you are putting on your skin. If the label doesn't say, animal-cruelty free or no animals were harm/tested in the process then odds are they were. If you don't know what a word means, look it up or ask a makeup salesperson. It doesn't hurt to ask...remember knowledge is powerful and in many cases beneficial in the long run for saving you time and money.

Now to highlight some foundations that I've tried and have been happy with (at least at one point in time).

Ah my first foundation love, MAC Studio Fix Fluid. 
I like this foundation. It has great coverage that is buildable and delivers a natural (semi-matte) finnish. I have combination skin but I have used this for both the summer and winter. It does not come with a pump but you can buy one. 

The optional pump also has a small tip cover. The container itself is a clear, heavy glass. The only issue I have with this foundation is that it makes me break out. 
NARS Sheer Matte Foundation
It is exactly what the name says, sheer and matte. I wasn't too crazy about this foundation to tell you the truth which was kind of a bummer since I paid so much for it. Nowadays, it collects dust but I am hoping to one day find a primer that might make it work better for me. I use this one for the summer, when I get oilier than usual. 

Lancome Teint Idole Ultra
This is another great foundation. It's pricey but works pretty well. It doesn't feel heavy at all and goes on smoothly. It's an oil-free formulation so I don't get break outs at all whenever I use this. This foundation dries quickly so be sure to blend it right away. You won't need much powder with this either, so you can skip on piling on powders. The coverage is also buildable. It comes in a frosted glass bottle with a pump and a cap.

Last but definitely not least is Makeupforever HD foundation.
This reminds me of MAC studio fix fluid but with a smoother, more liquid consistency which is hard to believe because it's actually OIL-FREE! This is a foundation that was specially designed for flash photography. It looks great in real life however, it does leave a white cast in pictures which I am not too crazy about. I don't breakout with this foundation but it is also on the expensive side. I like to use this foundation during the winter because it hydrates. The only issue I have with this is that, if I have dry flaky areas on my face, it can settle in those areas and you actually see a separation in my skin color and the foundation color. Therefore, I would almost always use a foundation primer with this one. 

Other foundations that I've used and loved are (left to right) MAC Studio Sculpt, Laura Mercier Silk Creme, and Cover FX Total Coverage cream foundation. 

MAC Studio Scuplt is another hit foundation for me. It's great for the summer because it's waterproof and it feels cooling to the skin because of it's gel consistency. It also gives great buildable coverage and it's not too pricey. Another great thing about it is that it's in a sanitary-conscious tube. 

This Laura Mercier Silk Creme foundation (click link for more info) is also one of go-to summer foundations. It's compact, great for travel which also makes it costly for the size. It is also waterproof and doesn't break out my skin. 

Cover FX Total Coverage cream foundation
This to me is the one foundation that gives me the FULLEST coverage I have ever had so I actually try not to use it as a foundation. Instead, I use it to spot conceal my acne scars and redness. It's a great foundation, especially for people with acne-prone skin. Cover FX products are formulated by dermatologist and skin specialists. Once applied, you may get a dewy medium to full coverage. 
It comes in a compact, with a mirror and a sponge. The sponge is encased in a hidden compartment in the compact and is reusable, washable and antimicrobial. 

I hope you find this post helpful and informative. If you have any questions, please feel free to comment below or e-mail me. Thanks for stopping by!

 (wearing Lancome Teint Idole Ultra foundation)

Take care!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Penny Pincher Tuesday: Protein Box

I have been going to Starbucks for breakfast since school started. I love their Peppermint Mocha with a shot of expresso. However, I really hate the fact that I spend almost $15 on breakfast alone. It sucks but what can I do?

Well I will tell you what I can do! I can go to good ol' Costco and buy the ingredients to a Starbucks Protein Box and put it together myself. Did you know that our body is made up of mainly protein? Protein is important for our bodies to heal and it is a natural source of energy. 

Here is my version of a Protein breakfast box but minus the packet of peanut butter. The only thing I did was slice the apples, slice the flat bread, and boil eggs. I don't have school today so this one is hubby's healthy, hearty breakfast!
This is such a great way to save money and eat healthy. Pair up with a good drink and you've got yourself an awesome breakfast worth smiling about for the rest of the day. =D

Happy morning!

Friday, August 19, 2011

August Birchbox & Etc.

Hey there! I know I've been a bit MIA but I'm going to try to update as much as I can. So here are the contents of this month's Birchbox minus a couple of items...Stila Tinted Moisturizer and Twistband.

After reading the card listing all the box contents, it dawned on me that I am missing an item...the twistband! and trust me it can easily be overlooked and chucked in the garbage.
This is a wonderful elastic band that is simple and sturdy to tie your hair with yet fashionable enough to wear on your wrist! What a versatile item!
Now here is a brand that I have never tried before. I'm all into natural, organic products these days so I will most likely give these items a go and let you guys know how I like it.
I recently went on a family weekend trip to Kings Dominion water park and although I missed out on using these towelettes, these would be perfect as a skin refresher after being in a public pool or beach. No more worrying about sunscreen coming off when you use these babies to take off impurities and put on a fresh application of SPF 30+ sunscreen!

I used the small tube of Stila tinted moisturizer right away and it was a typical tinted moisturizer, nothing extraordinary
I rarely rave about a product as it is rare for my hubby to notice a new product that I am using but these...well these he loved! After one of my workouts, I took a shower and used both the shampoo and the treatment and not only did my hair look it's best and healthiest, but my hubby couldn't stop smelling my hair! 
The treatment is like butter on my hands but once I applied it to my wet hair, it started to change in texture and consistency. It was as if my hair was drinking it up or something! I'm usually not into floral scents as much as I like clean, fresh scents but this treatment is like a merger of both in my opinion. You can get about 3 applications out of this small container too.
(I apologize for the upside down pic >_< )
So this one is the shampoo. It has a stronger floral scent but the scent is not as long lasting as the treatment. It's really just like any other shampoo I have tried before, goes on smoothly and lathers nicely.

Aside from getting my birchbox, I went to my fave nail polish store at the mall and purchased some nude, basic colors for my growing nail polish collection.

Alpine Snow, Sweetheart, Sparrow Me The Drama, and Dulce De Leche
On another note, I have lost 14 lbs and month one of my Insanity workout regimen is ending this Saturday. I have come such a long way and I've noticed a lot of difference. Yesterday, I went shopping for basic clothes to wear for school, which will begin on Monday. I'm excited but at the same time nervous about leaving my baby daughter for the first time, but I have to finish my studies. 
Anyways, I hope you all have a wonderful weekend. TGIFFFFFFF!!!

Oh and by the way...I have a review coming up on my new Lancome cleanser...and no it's not the Clarifiance Gel cleanser that broke me out like crazy.
Can you guess which Lancome cleanser has stolen my heart?

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Insanity Progress 15 Days

So as promised, I am letting you guys in on my progress (so far) with the Insanity Workout. Above is a picture of my Fit test results from Day 1 (first day) and Day 15 (yesterday). As you can see, there is much improvement.
Above is a picture of the more challenging exercise moves. In day 1, I couldn't even do a single push up jack! It may not seem like a lot but doing at least a couple more than before is great! It's really all about the form when doing these exercises. If you don't do it the right way, it won't matter how many times or how fast you do it.

The following are pictures of my progress so far, from Day 1 to Day 15....this is a 60 Day program.
You will notice that I have a lot of stretch marks due to the pregnancy. I tried to be as diligent as I can when it came to slathering stretch marks prevention creams and oils but it wasn't as effective, but I did carry an 8 lb 6 oz baby in my tummy so can imagine. Besides they are normal during pregnancy and symbolize motherhood. =)
Right now, I am using Bio Oil which has plenty of Vitamin E and it's helping fade out the stretch marks. Drinking plenty of water and toning up through exercise helps get rid of them as well.
I have lost 11 lbs in 15 days
This is a lifestyle change and no, I am not doing this for vanity's sake. I am doing this to get healthy and most importantly for my daughter, Mia. She motives me to better myself and try my best everyday.

Feel free to ask me any questions that you may have. Take care and have a wonderful rest of the week!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Quick Shoe Haul at Nordstrom Rack

Look what I purchased yesterday at Nordstrom Rack! I've always heard and seen Nordstrom Rack but I've never actually set foot inside this alien of a store, so yesterday was the first of many trips to come! I dropped off hubby for his soccer game and began my drive by shopping journey. Initially, intending to head to the mall...I noticed a plaza on my right and decided to go ahead and make a not so legal, abrupt turn. There I found curiosity beckoning my name at the sight of the huge lit up words...Nordstrom Rack.

After literally 5 minutes of just stepping inside, store closing was announced. Having had a chance to work in retail, I knew that once that announcement is made it is almost always customary to kindly leave the store as a gesture of consideration for the store employees aching to go home.
As I made my way out of the store, nonchalantly glancing about the shoe racks and particularly paying attention to the flats...I saw these gunmetal colored shoes that I knew I just had to try.
Ooooo Anne Klein....Size 8...nice...$49.90 even nicer! It was such a great deal in my opinion because these are probably the most comfortable, fashionable flats I have ever seen and tried out.
I didn't even notice the style name right away but it is AK7 JULIE <<<< My name! Clearly a sign that I was meant to have it.
It fits me like no other shoe and I love the rubberized outer sole that was also intricately designed with what looks like sunflowers. I also love that it has a little heel unlike most flat shoes out there.

I really appreciate all the detail that went into making and designing this shoe. The inner sole has small glitters, the outside glistened in that wonderful gunmetal color and the chain style on front gives it a more modern, edgy look.

I love my new shoes!
My feet are happy ^_^

You know what else makes me happy. . . .
Lychee flavored Pocky! Delicious as they were, I had to eat this stuff with restraint because it had 760 calories in one box! In fact, they are currently sitting in my fridge. (^_^)

How about you...what's your favorite snack?

Here's some pics of my Mia as we wait for our bubble tea...

I hope you are having a wonderful weekend so far.

Friday, August 5, 2011

B&BW Haul & FOTD

Hey there peeps! So here I am again with a haul. I went to to B&BW (Bath and Body Works) the other day, on a mission to find some nice smelling, moisturizing body butters that I can actually stand. I am very finicky when it comes to scented products that I put on my skin because I have sensitive skin. That and the fact that it certain scents just irk me period!

I love going there for the liquid soaps that come in an array of scents that each come in 3 forms; moisturizing, foaming, and deep cleansing. I got 5 for $15 but you can buy 7 for $20 as well. I was ecstatic when I saw that they had a new Mint Chocolate one. I smelled it and it was spot on the scent of real mint chocolate.

I purchased some body products as well, 3 tubs of my new fave body cream. I also got this Peach Citrus Body was for free after getting a coupon for it from the salesperson.

At first, I was ready to just go ahead and settle with the warm vanilla, sweet pea, and twilight woods body butters but lo' and behold I found my perfect scent! It's from the True Blue Spa collection and it is called Shea Cashmere Body Cream.

According the the website, the scent is a creamy vanilla and it contains African shea butter with luxurious cashmere extract.

It's thicker than a regular lotion, as you can see from the peaks, but it's not too thick that it would be hard to blend or be absorbed by the skin. It goes on smoothly and feels like heavenly goodness! The scent is described as a creamy vanilla, but to me it smells like yummy cake batter.

I had a doctor's appointment today so I wanted to look fresh but not overly done up. I used a lot of my lancome products to achieve this look.
For my eyes, I used my Lancome Le Crayon Khol pencil in Black Coffee on the outer half, top lash lines. I then curled my lashes and applied Covergirl Lash Blast Mascara, my ultimate fave mascara!

It is a very minimal look, but I love it! It looks and feels like I have no makeup on. Since my skin is continuously improving with each day of using Lancome Genifique, I was able to apply a small amount of Laura Mercier Silk Creme Foundation. I used a damp sponge to stipple and blend the foundation for a more natural look. 

I then applied a little bit of salmon colored concealer under my eyes (Makeupforever/MUFE 5 Camouflage Cream Palette). 

My t-zone tends to get oily during the summer so I used my MAC 189 brush to lightly sweep and press my MSF Natural powder.

For my cheeks I used MAC Mineralized Blush in Love Rock. I usually use my 129 or 187 brush for blush application but this time I decided to use my big, fluffy face brush-- MAC 150. I think by using a fuller brush like this, I was able to disburse the blush pigment nicely, giving me a more natural looking flush.

To add some ethereal glow on my tired looking face, I dabbed a little bit of Lancome's Eclat Miracle --- Serum of Light Complexion Illuminator on top of my cheek bones (orbital bone area), my brow bone, inner corner of my eyes, bridge of my nose, and cupids bow.

For my brows, I lined the top and bottom with my MAC eye brow crayon in Spiked and then filled the sparse areas with two shades of MAC brow powder....Cork on the inner brows and Espresso on the midway to outer part of the brows. I then applied Ardel brow sculpting gel.
For my lips, I moisturized first with my EOS lip balm and then topped it with my Lancome Juicy tube in Berry Bold.
Well that's it for now! Take care and have a wonderful rest of the week. If it's Friday for you, then Happy Friday!!! TGIFFFFF ^_^

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