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Friday, February 27, 2009

Beauty Question: Products you regret buying?

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26 comments

What are some of the makeup, beauty, and/or skincare products you have REGRETTED buying and why? (Could be one or more)

For me, I would have to say the MAC Pro Longwear Lipglosses, now don't get me wrong, I actually like these, I just rarely use them. I hardly go out anywhere to where I need my lipstick to last me all night, and on top of that I hate the drying feeling sometimes of ALL longwear lipsticks and glosses of ANY brand, including drugstore or high-end brands. And I pretty much use everything I have bought since I started this blog (at least I try to!), but the MAC Pro Longwear's id have to say are the ones that have been gathering dust sitting there staring at me everyday asking me when they can come out and play. Hmmm, maybe soon...

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Thursday, February 26, 2009

And the winner is....

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27 comments

Randomly Picked Winner:

Madison from Toronto, Canada (my hometown!)

CONGRATULATIONS! I will send out your lovely lipglosses on Monday!

Erica and I have other small prizes to giveaway (will be revealed soon!), so we picked a few more random winners from the comments section and we will announce them shortly (since we are nice like that LOL). As we go along we will be having a lot more contests and fun stuff, including reader fotd's (which I did before, so you gorgeous ladies can send me in your fotd's with a list of the stuff you used), as well as a few reader reviews, fashion posts, and a lot more...

I got promoted at work (started the new position on Monday) and I am now managing our sales team, so it's been a crazy week with all my new duties and stuff that it's been making me super tired and exhausted; so once I get situated with it, I will definitely be doing more fun things on here to make things a lil interesting!

P.S. My sis says thank you to you ladies that greeted her a happy bday (I wish she could be that nice to me! LOL jk)
. The parentals took her to Bucca di beppo for her bday so at least she was able to celebrate a bit since it was a "school night".

Anyway, here is my new desk in which I now have a window! (my old spot was in a room with NO windows), and yes it's been a bit messy with the new move and craziness..which is why I need my Starbucks, lol.

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Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Happy Birthday Sis!

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32 comments

Just wanted to wish my sister a happy 18th birthday since she reads my blog that little brat. I texted her this morning a "Happy birthday" and she responds with "I am officially an adult", and I replied "You are NOT an adult until you have a job and can support yourself!" LOL. Her party is next month and she is celebrating it here in Cali since all her childhood friends are here...and I think she is also bringing a few of her friends from Washington (as if she is on an episode of MTV's "Sweet Sixteen"!), so it should be fun since who else is going to do her makeup! Her big sis! HAHA.

I think she might also be coming out here for college which means her housing might be provided by me as well...oh how I wish I was the youngest! LOL.

Anyway, happy birthday again Lauren Ashley, hope you enjoy your special day!

Love,

Your favorite sis :)

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NYX round l/g's, awesome cremesheen dupe!

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212 comments



Everyone these days are on a tight budget, and since everyone loves a good dupe, I highly recommend NYX Round Lipglosses as a dupe for the MAC Cremesheen lipglosses. I originally did a review awhile back on the NYX round lipglosses and I do love how inexpensive they are ($1.99+ and you can find them on Cherryculture.com for $2) and they are very pigmented in just one swipe! I also have heard that NYX has reinforced their packaging because before the stopper would come off so you were left with globs of gloss on your wand. So that's a plus! (Leave a comment to enter for a chance to win 2 brand new NYX lipglosses!)



Many of the NYX round lipglosses I noticed are matte, no shimmer or glitter, just a nice sheer matte color- similar to that of the MAC Cremesheens. They also have some that have a touch of shimmer. Of course they are not exactly the same, but I think it's a very good dupe for those who don't wanna pay $18, and also the Cremesheen lipglosses are LIMITED EDITION (and most of them are already sold-out according to the MAC website, department store websites and actual stores) where as the NYX round lipglosses are always available. I think the differences among the two other than the price, is that the Cremesheens may stay on a bit longer than the NYX lipglosses as the NYX lipglosses seem more slippery. (I personally have not tried the Cremesheens but based on playing with it I can tell it's a bit more thick and stickier than the NYX lipglosses) so it probably stays on a lot longer.

Here are some swatches:




CLICK ON IMAGE TO ENLARGE:




Lorac also came out with their new line of Couture lipglosses ($22), and I saw these at Sephora in which many of the shades are also matte or a bit of shimmer. My favorite is the one called "Haute", it's a nice soft baby pink.

Overall, if you are a beauty gal on a budget, definitely check out a few of the NYX round lipglosses!

ENTER THE CONTEST! ENTER FOR A CHANCE TO WIN 2 BRAND NEW NYX ROUND LIPGLOSSES IN "MAUVE" AND "REAL NUDE". SIMPLY LEAVE A COMMENT ON THIS POST (AND AN EMAIL OR A WAY TO CONTACT YOU FOR THOSE OF YOU WHO DO NOT HAVE BLOGGER OR AN ID) AND THE WINNER WILL BE CHOSEN AT RANDOM TOMORROW!

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Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Prod. Review: Dior Forever Liquid Foundation

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21 comments

I have had this for months and for some reason I totally forgot to do a review on it thinking I already did a review on this! LOL. Anyway, better late than never!

Product: 4 out of 5
Packaging: 4 out of 5
Quality: 5 out of 5
Overall: 5 out of 5
Where to purchase? Sephora or any Dior Cosmetics Counter
Price: $44, 1 oz.
Shade I bought: Medium Beige
Would I buy again? Hell yes!

What they say:
DiorSkin Forever Extreme Wear Flawless Makeup SPF 25
Extreme wear for extreme beauty. This luxurious foundation stays flawlessly smooth and looks naturally perfect in any environment. With two unique innovations: an exclusive nano-stretch network inspired by nano-textile technology to insure makeup will fit like a second skin and a unique hydra-gel moisture-stabilizing system, Dior takes smoothing, wear, and comfort to the ultimate extreme of beauty. Non-transfer and waterproof.

Active ingredients: octinoxate (4%) and titanium dioxide (2.64%)

My experience with it: I love this foundation! I was interested in buying this foundation because for one, it has SPF25, which is a big plus, and because it claims to be waterproof and transfer proof (so the BF has no more dirty shirts LOL!) I tried the "Medium Beige" simply because my neck is darker than my face so of course I have to match with the shade of my neck, and also because it looks a lot better in photos for me to go a few shades darker to avoid that "ghost effect" where your face is super white. I wore it a few times already (I will do more FOTD's with it) and I love it because it really lasts for me and OMG my face looks flawless and airbrushed with this baby on! The only thing I don't like is the smell, it's not bad or anything, but it's a really strong perfume-y smell that you might expect to smell from an old lady! I don't use it daily because for one, this costs $44, so it's my "special occasion" foundation LOL, but I use it when I want that airbrushed look and I need something to last all day. Also to prevent breakouts I alternate and use my mineral foundation on a daily basis.



PROS:
- Has SPF25
- Many shades to choose from
- Really lasts long, all day!
- Gives the most amazing flawless coverage without being overly heavy or cakey
- There's enough in the bottle to last you a long time
- Definitely good for those with dry skin (like me!) but also great for those with all types of skin because it's not

CONS:
- I am not too fond of the smell, it's a strong perfume smell that's a bit overpowering for me
- The pump (which is why I docked a star!), the spout is too small and short so when you dispense it some of the product falls back on the bottle which can be a waste of product (and at $44 a pop you don't want to waste a drop!) I wish they had it protrude out a bit more like other liquid foundation pumps to ensure that it pumps out as much as you need.
- The price, it's a bit steep I know, but totally worth it since it gives you amazing coverage, it lasts all day, and has SPF25.
- Consistent use may cause breakouts depending on how sensitive you are to liquid foundations in general, I know if I were to use this daily a pimple will pop up outta nowhere...

So how does it compare to the MUFE HD Foundation? I love them both to be honest, they both give amazing coverage and they both work well for photoshoots and where longer lasting wear is needed. However the Dior foundation doesn't rub off and it feels like you have nothing on since it goes on somewhat thin where you don't feel cakey (not like the MUFE makes you feel that way) but to me the Dior foundation lasts longer than the MUFE Foundation...

Overall? This is my favorite liquid foundation (although MUFE is right up there as well!) I love how my flawless my face looks with it on because it hides any blemishes or discolorations. It feels light and non-sticky and worth every penny!



FOTD using the Dior Forever Skin Liquid Foundation:

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Monday, February 23, 2009

MAC "Pink Fish" vs. L'Oreal Lip Balm in "Plush"

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16 comments

A reader asked me to compare the MAC Tinted Lip Conditioner (TLC) in "Pink Fish" to the L'Oreal HIP Lip Balm in "Plush" to see if they are the same- but as you can see from the swatches, they are considerably different.

L'Oreal HIP Lip Balm in "Plush"


On the lips by itself:


MAC TLC in "Pink Fish"




Side by side comparison:


The differences? Other than the obvious differences such as the price and size (the TLC has more product); MAC's TLC in "Pink Fish" is more pigmented and has more of a cooler blue-based pink whereas the L'Oreal HIP Lip Balm in "Plush" is more transparent in color. The consistency of "Pink Fish" feels like a normal potted lip balm where it's not overly sticky and provides moisture to the lips; it also has SPF15. "Plush" has no SPF protection and is a bit sticky (and sweet!) and is also great over lipstick.

Overall, these two are pretty different, "Pink Fish" is pretty pigmented for a lip conditioner and is wonderful by itself to give the lips a nice soft and natural pink lip. Not to mention there's enough product to last a really long time! And for those of you that love lip products with SPF, MAC's TLC delivers in that aspect. If you are looking for something a bit more sheer, then L'Oreal Jelly Balms might be more for you.

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Sunday, February 22, 2009

Product Review: P.Roth Sulfur Cooling Masque

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6 comments

Product: 3 out of 5
Packaging: 4 out of 5
Quality: 2.5 out of 5
Overall: 3 out of 5
Size: 5oz.
Price: $40
Where to buy: Sephora
Would I buy again? No

What they say:
Sulfur Cooling Masque was specially made for those who prefer an aromatic medicated mask. With eucalyptus, sulfur, and purified clay, this mask is designed to exfoliate dead skin cells. Great for cleansing oily skin, the T-zone area, and clogged pores. Dries and clears blemishes and helps prevent their return.

Ingredients: Active: Precipitated Sulfur U.S.P. 10%. Purified Water, Bentonite, Kaolin, Propylene Glycol, Glycerin, Aloe Vera, Zinc Oxide, Eucalyptus Oil, Polysorbate-20, Titanium Dioxide, Diazolidinyl Urea, Methylparaben, Carbomer 940, Sodium Hydroxide, Propylparaben.



My experience: I had an annoying and painful pimple on my forehead and applied this mask on it. I left it on overnight and in the morning I noticed it was less painful and has shrunken in size. It does not get rid of pimples completely as it is not designed to do so, but rather to help clear blemishes and exfoliate dead skin cells. Based on reading reviews on both Makeup Alley and Sephora, many women use this as an all over face mask, and others use it as a spot treatment; and they both have had positive results. The reason I gave it a 3 out of 5 was because I think after awhile it starts to lose its affect (like the product stops working after continuous use), because I noticed personally that it wasn't working as well as the first time I used it but of course it may be different from others who have tried this product. :) It may work great as an all over mask to take out dirt and oil which I have not tried using it as...

PROS:
- Similar to the consistency of the Queen Helen Mint Julep Mask, in which it goes on as a cream, and dries cracked to absorb oil and impurities.
- Minimizes pimples little by little drying it up as well as making it less painful
- You get a lot of product, comes in a huge tub that will last you a long time! If you are worried about contamination, I use a Q-tip to apply it directly on blemishes.

CONS:
- $40, although you get a lot for your money, I wished they had a smaller size for half the price (just like MAC pigments!)
- Strong smell, smells like a creamy version of Vick's Vapo Rub
- Stopped working for me in which I noticed other blemishes did not shrink in size.

Overall: This may work for those with acne-prone skin, and as a spot treatment for some; but for me this product just didn't work as well as I wanted it to. Even though I noticed a huge difference the first time I used it, there were no significant results thereafter, therefore I would not buy again.

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Storage: Lipstick Holder #2

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26 comments

Since I am a self-professed lipstick and lipgloss addict, I started running out of places to put some of my stash, so I decided to get a lipstick box from www.sharodan.com, which is a beauty supply site mainly for consultants (such as Mary Kay and Arbonne). Their site itself is not user friendly at the moment (as in some links don't work and you can't go back to the previous pages) but I think they are slowly but surely making their site easier to use. But for now you pretty just have to find your way around the site. You can always call or email them if you need additional assistance.

The reason I got an actual box, is because in case I ever need to travel and take multiple lipstick and glosses, I can do so with ease without having to worry about them falling out all over the place. It was around $18.90 with shipping (which to me is a lot for just plastic, but hey it does the job! LOL).

The box itself is clear and comes with flexible and clear plastic dividers. The lipsticks fit with the styrofoam at the bottom of the box, however the lipglasses do not (boo!) BUT it DOES fit WITHOUT the styrofoam so that the box can completely close.

To see my previous post on another lipstick holder I got awhile back, CLICK HERE.

PREVIOUS LIPSTICK HOLDER:















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Friday, February 20, 2009

Reader Questions:

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8 comments


Q: How to get a MAC PRO card, etc...

A: Must provide proper documentation such as a makeup or cosmetology student, and the like, please go to the www.macpro.com website for more information and what is needed.

Q: Vanessa do you still have an online store or are you/will you be selling stuff?

A: I do not have an online store nor will I be selling much since it's a bit of a headache because people would say they want to buy and then they don't, and if something breaks during transit it's another headache because once it leaves my hands it's out of my control (and it is bubble wrapped and has fragile or handle with care on it), and people then want a refund and it's a bit unfair to me because I still have no money and no product. Now if I was a store and had more than one item of the same product, I would happily replace it; but because I would sell things simply because I don't use them anymore and to help those of you who don't have easy access to such items,(not to solely make a profit). I was losing more of my own money trying to service others. Also there were those that felt the need to complain about prices- if you don't wanna pay a certain price then simply look elsewhere simple as that. And lastly, because I don't have the time to do custom purchases or even ship any items.

Also, some of the items that were being sold that were MAC were items I personally bought BEFORE my pro discount, meaning yes I paid FULL price for them, and some of them were also items from my friend Erica who had a few things she hasn't used and wanted to sell- but of course with every success, there's someone that tries to take you down without knowing all the facts, but they didn't succeed. :) I have a few friends that probably do have a few things to sell but since none of them don't dwell online much, many of them don't know what paypal is and how it works, therefore I was selling some on their behalf and just giving them money out of my own pocket if anyone bought anything they were selling, but I believe they are making their own little blog so you can feel free to buy stuff from them in the near future.... :)

Q: I saw you were born and raised in Toronto, so how did you get to move to California, for instance was it difficult to apply for a visa and such?

A: My mom was born in Hawaii, and because I was born in Toronto, Canada; I have/had dual citizenship so I was both a Canadian and an American citizen and I am now free to move about the country! LOL. I came to California because my grandma was diagnosed with breast cancer and had a mastectomy; and to help her through a difficult time, my family sent me to California first to attend school, and they followed 6 months later.

Q: Is your lips naturally pigmented? I kinda have the same skintone as yours, but my lips are mauve pigmented. So, most colors look diff on me unless I put lip base/concealer.

A: My natural lip color is a very pale light pink, but I still use a lip base at times such as MAC l/s in "Myth" or MAC Lip Erase to neutralize color to truly capture the effect and color of the lipstick or lipgloss I am wearing.

Natural Lip Color, no chapstick, nothing:



Q: I hear many claims that the Ly-Na Pearl Cream contains mercury in it, what are your thoughts on this?

A: Many people have asked me about this product containing mercury, and I personally have not found anything on the actual box or online to support that claim, other than just hearsay; nor have I personally have had a bad experience with it for me to think it does, considering I have really sensitive skin. Of course I do not condone the use of this product if it DOES indeed contain mercury, but until the proof is in the pudding I am still using it (luckily I don't use it often to begin with!)

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Thursday, February 19, 2009

Skincare: Pretika Facial Care System

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30 comments



Everyone yearns for great skin, and those of us who do have great skin- want to maintain it. I get a few compliments on my skin but let me tell you, I do have pimples that come outta nowhere at times and it's not easy maintaining nice skin!

I was browsing through Sephora a few months ago and came across the Clarisonic Facial Brush and was interested in trying it until I almost fell outta my chair when I saw the price! $195!

Clarisonic Brush:


Now don't get me wrong, if it was a little miracle in a bottle and did wonders for my skin, I eventually would cough up that much for it- however, with tough economic times and the fact that the BF and I are getting our own place, $195 isn't in our budget. So what is a girl to do??? I did my research!

I looked at several facial brushes (even manual cheap ones) and hours later I found myself wandering the aisles of my local Rite-Aid and stumbled upon Pretika SonicDermabrasion Facial Care System for only $30! What a steal! You can find more info on it in various sites online, and find other products from Pretika here on the Rite-Aid website.

I read a few reviews on it from makeup alley in which it was highly praised and just as good as the Clarisonic brush (mind you I have NOT TRIED the Clarisonic Brush so I can only speak for the Pretika brush), and that it prevents the amount of breakouts and helps keep skin clean and clear. The other Facial Regimen Brush also from Pretika was not as good as many claimed that it stopped working after a few months (my guess is because it's cheaply made and battery operated); but the one I bought has its own charger and plugs into the wall.

Product: 4 out of 5
Packaging: 5 out of 5
Price: $30, 5 out of 5!
Quality: 5 out of 5
Overall: 4 out of 5

What they claim:

* Sonic frequency technology produces 630 rotations per minute that works with the natural elasticity of the skin to deeply and gently cleanse
* Step 1 Microdermabrasion Scrub. Before use, cleanse skin with a mild, soap-free cleanser and pat dry skin.
* Step 2 Hydrating Firming Complex: Dot your face in four (4) areas with Hydrating Firming Complex: forehead, cheeks, chin and nose
* Step 3 Clean Applicators. After each treatment, thoroughly clean Micro-Fiber Exfoliating Bristle Applicators using hot water
* The new Microdermabrasion way to rejuvenating skin

So how was my experience with it?
Once you get it, charge it overnight before use. You can use it with your own facial/skin regimen products such as your current facial cleanser, etc. It's a fun little machine and has a BUILT IN TIMER and beeps every 20 seconds (4 times only) so you know how much to spend on each area of your face (cheeks, forehead, chin, nose), then automatically turns off; AND you can control 2 speeds, one for normal and sensitive skin. I really feel like it's exfoliating my skin, loosens up the natural oils and dirt on my face, revealing a smoother looking and even-toned face.

The bristles are a little rough on the face (even on the sensitive setting) and I am guessing because it's still new and hasn't 'soften' yet, or my skin is just too sensitive to the slightest things (and yes I am using super light pressure to where it's barely even touching my face). So please use it with CAUTION the first few times until you and your skin are used to it. Also, it's waterproof obviously so you CAN take it in with you to the shower (just dry the bottom charging poles at the bottom before you place it back into the charger to prolong its life).

How much and where did you get it?
$30 (before tax) at Rite-Aid (don't know any other actual stores you can walk-in and get it at sorry)

What does it come with? It comes with the charger, a replacement brush head, a brush head already attached to the actual device, the microdermabrasion scrub to exfoliate, and the Hydrating Firming Complex.

Where can I purchase more replacement heads? On their website www.pretika.com or you can search other distributors online.

What's cool about it? It has a built-in timer that beeps every 20 seconds (4 times only) so you know how much to spend on each area of your face (cheeks, forehead, chin, nose), then automatically turns off.

Can you take it in the shower? Yes, it's waterproof!

How do you use it?
Turn it on, and like any normal facial brush or sponge, rub gently in circular motions over entire face.

Overall?
I love this brush, and I love the price even more. It's definitely at a good price and it's great quality. My skin has never looked more radiant! I say save/use the other $165 you would have spent on the Clarisonic brush on other things (like more makeup! LOL)



The kit fresh out of the box!


Comes with:


...and replacement brush head!








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Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Barbie Loves Stila Collection

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15 comments


Say whaaaa?? Barbie loves MAC...err...I mean Stila?!

Yes my lovely ladies, Barbie is celebrating their 50th birthday and Stila has come out with their version of Barbie-esque makeup, featuring tin can sets of iconic Barbie that includes a 3 pan eyeshadow, a lipgloss, and a mascara (one with an eyeliner and they are all different); each tin with its own unique Barbie on it ($40 a set). Check it out on Sephora.com.

So whatdya ladies think? Would you buy a barbie set? Why or why not?



1959 #1 Ponytail Doll

* 3 Pan Palette with a deep blue eye shadow with white shimmer, a matte black eye shadow, and a luminous coral cheek color
* Lip Color in Ponytail (matte cherry red)
* Liquid Eye Liner in Black

1971 Malibu Doll

* 3 Pan Palette with a soft shimmering pale pink eye shadow, a sky blue eye shadow with white shimmer, and a golden bronze bronzer
* Lip Glaze in Malibu (pale pinky peach)
* Lash Visor Waterproof Mascara in Black

1980 Foxy Doll

* 3 Pan Palette with soft wheat eye shadow with white shimmer, mid-tone brown. with gold shimmer, and matte soft berry cheek color
* Lip Glaze in Foxy (sheer tangerine color)
* Lash Visor Waterproof Mascara in Black

2000 Jewel Doll

* 3 Pan Palette with a tan eye shadow with pink shimmer, a brown eye shadow. with gold and brown shimmer, and a shimmering pink cheek color
* Lip Glaze in Jewel (shimmering vivid pink)
* Multi-effect Mascara in Black

Stila Talking Palette

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FOTD: Using "Fashion Mews" l/s

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30 comments

**Answered C-Box Questions :)

This is a look I did last Friday sporting the "Fashion Mews" lipstick from the Hello Kitty collection. It's a light pink with a nice undertone in it so it's not dead looking on your lips. I have done a teal & black smokey look before, but it wasn't as vibrant as this one...

For the eyes I used MAC "Too Dolly" e/s on the inner corner of my lid, Ben Nye's Eyeshadow in "Jade", BFTE (Beauty From the Earth) Mineral eyeshadow in "Jaded", Purely Cosmetics e/s in "Spring Green" and MMBB (My Minerals Bath & Body) Eyeshadow in "Smokey Green" (even though it's a nice shimmery black to me!). I also used Urban Decay eyeliner in "Electric" on my lower lashline for a little pop of color.









What I used:
[Face]

- Purely Cosmetics Mineral Foundation in "Olive Beige"

[Cheeks]
- MAC Fafi "Hipness" Blush

[Eyes]
- MAC "Too Dolly" e/s (LE) on the inner corner of the eye
- Ben Nye e/s in "Jade" on lower half of the lid
- A bit of PC e/s in "Spring green" blended with BFTE "Jaded" on top of Ben Nye e/s (applied slightly wet using a sponge tip applicator)
- MMBB "Smokey Green" applied dry on the outer-V and contour
- MAC e/s in "Ricepaper" as highlight
- Urban Decay Eyeliner in "Electric" on lower lashline
- MAC Fluidline in "Blacktrack"
- L'Oreal Telescopic Mascara in "Blackest Black"

[Lips]
- MAC lipstick in "Fashion Mews"(LE)
- Touch of "Fleur de light" lipglass from the MAC Holiday Lipgloss set

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