(Clockwise from top left)
Shiseido Natural Finish Cream Concealer in 2 Light Medium
MAC Chromographic pencil in NW25/NC30
Benefit Some Kinda Gorgeous foundation faker (round record compact)
Sasatinnie BB Cream Sakura fragrance SPF35+
MAC mineralize eyeshadow trio in Blue My Mind
Benefit BadGal lash
MAC lipglass in Jealous
Sephora professional brush #45
Benefit Sugarbomb blush
I'm going to include swatches and reviews of the following products
(except for the Shiseido concealer, which I only bought yesterday and want to use regularly for a little while before I review it...... OK FINE I also forgot to swatch it).
MAC mineralize eyeshadow trio in Blue My Mind
This was a Christmas present and is quite far off from the sorts of shadows that I would normally choose for myself! I'm more attracted to browns and purples but I might branch out to more crazy colours in the summer months (corals and turquoises anyone?). This came out with the Into the Groove collection.
Anyway, these mineralize eyeshadows are creamy and pigmented and there is some fallout so they are best used over an eyeshadow base. They can be used wet to intensify the colours. Temptalia has a great picture of how these shadows look when used dry HERE and foiled HERE (why do I even bother, haha).
Benefit Sugarbomb blush
Subtle, glowy, shimmery and ever so pretty. My swatches are slightly useless so I hope you can make out something on my cheek. In real life this looks like a flush of pinky, rosy, purply, peachiness (obviously! but that's honestly what it looks like). I swirl a huge eco tools powder brush into it and swish it all over my cheeks.
If you hate shimmer in your blushes then this is NOT for you as there is detectable sheen on the face but I personally am loving it as it acts as a highlight, gives the face a healthy glow and flies in the face of the typical dark berry "winter" cheeks! I don't want to look frostbitten, I want to look glowing!
MAC Chromagraphic pencil in NW25/NC30
I actually have the lighter version of this pencil back in the UK which I often use on my waterline to brighten up the eye (although I'm currently using Benefit's Eye Bright pencil). This pencil is lovely and creamy, just like the lighter colour and would work equally well on the waterline. I will also probably use this as a concealer for precision concealing.
Sasatinnie BB Cream - Sakura fragrance SPF35+
Some of you may be asking - what is a BB cream? Until very recently (ie. Christmas), I had no idea either! However, the craze for these creams is hard to avoid in Hong Kong and I was intruiged enough by these so-called "miracle" creams to purchase one to try out myself. I chose a mid-range one by SaSa's own brand sasatinnie (SaSa is the asian version of Sephora/Boots/Superdrug).
Incidentally, I usually prefer to buy a drugstore's own brand product if I am unsure about a new product with lots of choices of brands because I believe that a huge drugstore empire have more money to invest in research and development, compared to a smaller independent brand who may try to plaster their products with enlarged claims of their positive effects without actually backing up the claims with research and proper testing. Large drugstores also often come up with great products that cause huge crazes - case in point: Boots No7 Protect and Perfect serum!
BB stands for Blemish Balm and BB creams are marketed as a moisturiser, sunscreen and foundation all-in-one product. They were apparently developed to be used by patients after plastic surgery to help them to heal as well as providing some coverage but became big news in Korea (with the craze spreading throughout asia) because of korean celebrities claiming that it was what they used to achieve their flawless, porcelain skin.
This particular BB cream is one of many (I must have swatched about 40 different types) and so far, I am fairly pleased with it and enjoy using it but am not exactly singing its praises from the rooftops. It has the slightly runny texture of a thin cream and spreads easily over the skin. It is light beige in colour (BB creams often only come in 1 colour but there are so many different types within different ranges within different brands that there are quite a lot of beige and yellow and peachy undertones to choose from) and is a little bit lighter than my skin but applying a thin layer helps to brighten up my face.
The sakura fragrance that this claims to have is not very strong and the SPF35+ is definitely a bonus. I started off using this as a foundation but found it a bit too light and too shimmery!!! This is my main gripe with this product - it is just too shimmery for anyone with less than perfect skin. There are BB creams available that have a more matte finish but this particular one has a slight shimmer to it. I now use this as a base with my Benefit Some Kind-a Gorgeous.
Benefit Some Kind-a Gorgeous, the foundation faker
I've nicked a swatch off the Beauty Bite (one of my favourite make up blogs) as I forgot to swatch this too. I'm going mad! Anyway, when I first discovered Benefit & started wearing make up (around 2002), I was sucked in by the glossy kitschy packaging and tempting product descriptions and this was one of my first purchases. I remember liking it and using it all up, but after a while I thought it was a little dark for my skin and stopped buying it.
However, I decided to give this another go and have been wearing it over a thin layer of my BB cream. It is a cream to powder product and I use my Sephora #45 brush (LOVE LOVE LOVE) to apply it - it actually feels like I'm not putting anything on the skin! It is still significantly warmer than my skintone but I'm kind of into a slightly tanned (or should that be orange/tangoed) skin to warm up my complexion as I am feeling like death frozen over in this cold weather! It does get oily after a few hours so I just powder it with a little Rimmel Stay Matte powder.
Benefit BadGal Lash mascara
Just a quick scary close up to show you how one coat of this mascara looks. This product has the most scathing reviews on Makeupalley (ditto with the Some Kind-a Gorgeous) which upsets me as I regard Makeupalley as having the best advice, as long as you read enough reviews, ignore the useless ones that say "this is crap but i found my perfect shade and i'm nc25" (and what might that shade be, in case other nc25ers are reading?! like I said, USELESS!!) and keep in mind your own beauty needs.
BUT I disagree - I love the big brush, I love the formulation and how it makes my lashes look, its buildable and gives my lashes both volume AND length and doesn't irritate my eyes (I have been allergic to the last 2 mascaras I've tried - Clinique High Definition lashes and a random japanese brand that I can't read the name of). I would highly recommend this to anyone looking for a mascara that gives a bit more oomph than an everyday mascara but isn't clumpy and spidery and scary (Maybelline the Falsies I'm talking about you!).
Hope that was useful :)
What products have you been loving recently?
Are you still enjoying the dark berry shades of winter or have you dug out the coral nail polish and self-tanner in preparation for the warmer months/denial of the cold?