Monday, September 15, 2014

Behold the cuteness! Etude House Missing Me Hand Cream Review

I'm a sucker for cute packaging.

There, I said it. 

As much as I like the clean and simple lines of, say, NARS products, or the beautiful aesthetics of a YSL lipstick, there's a part of me that will always melt when I see something cute, or kawaii.

And having stumbled into the world of Korean and Japanese makeup, I've definitely fallen into the rabbit hole!

I came across these Etude House Missing You hand creams on a Reddit forum, and I was so curious I had to try them...because, I mean... for science?

The Missing You line refers to certain animals that are currently endangered, and how they would 'miss us' if they, well, went missing :-/

The variants are:

  • Panda Story
  • Fairy Penguin Story
  • Harp Seal Story
  • Pink Dolphin Story

Each of these have their own signature scent, as indicated on the bottle.

The Panda has a peach scent. It's a lovely soft, peachy scent that lingers for a little bit after application, but not too long.

The Fairy Penguin has a baby powder scent. I thought I would hate this scent, but it's actually one of my favorites! It smells just like a baby!

The Harp Seal has a mint scent. This isn't your run-of-the-mill mint fragrance. It reminds me of mint leaves muddled with some flowers? In any case, I'm very meh about the scent.

The Pink Dolphin has a floral scent. It smells heavily of rose to me. And not a sophisticated rose, it's the rose scent that reminds you of grandmas. It's heavy, cloying, and not very pleasant to my nasal palate.

The cream itself is light and airy. It spreads very easily, but it doesn't feel greasy. It doesn't feel like it's loaded with silicones, either. It feels quite cooling.

Most importantly, it's absorbed quickly and doesn't leave any weird residue behind. This means you can reapply and go about your day. I absolutely loathe any cream or lotion that feels like it's sitting on top of my skin, and this doesn't feel that way at all. My hands also don't feel slick when I have to wash them at some point (usually indicative of the product not being completely absorbed).

It leaves my hands feeling moisturized, and soft and smooth. The scent is quite heavy and as previously mentioned, does tend to linger for a few minutes. If you are bothered by heavily scented products, this one is not for you.

However, if you're looking for a hand cream that's light, easily absorbed, and comes in the cutest packaging ever, then you need to give these a try!

BGMM Rating: A

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Lust List - The Holiday Edition

It's barely September but brands are already coming out with their holiday sets, which is making me SO excited (and my wallet so terrified). Still, given that the quality on holiday sets can be kind of iffy, I've decided to be a lot more discerning this year over the holiday sets.

First off we have the Tarte Brushed With Destiny 5- piece Bamboo brush set. This set includes
• contourtionist™ bamboo cream blush & contour brush
• the balancing act™ bamboo foundation brush 
• the buffer™ airbrush finish bamboo foundation brush
• double-ended bamboo eyeshadow brush
• undercover lover™ bamboo concealer brush
• limited-edition collector’s brush & makeup bag

I love how the set looks, especially with the bamboo handles! I've also heard good things about Tarte brushes, so I'm looking forward to this set in my grubby little hands.

Next, we have the very, very droolworthy Lorac Pro Mega Palette. Details about this palette are few, but rumor has it it will be out sometime in November at a price point of about $59. Given that the Lorac Pro palettes are $42, this is a great deal!

A few days ago there were whispers in the wind about a new Vice palette from Urban Decay. Well, those have been confirmed! The Urban Decay Vice 3 palette will be out on September 13th on the Urban Decay website. Sephora and other online retailers will have the palette on the 25th of September. I was unfortunately not makeup savvy when the original Vice palette was released, but I have the Vice 2 palette and really like it, so this definitely goes into my stash!

I'm not sure I've spoken about my love for the Tarte blushes often on this blog, but suffice to say they are one of my favorite formulas ever, which is why I'm completely thrilled about the Tarte Chic to Cheek deluxe Amazonian Clay blush set! It has four new and limited edition shades, which are
• amour (candy pink)
• classic (soft apricot pink)
• prim (plum nude)
• daydream (rosy pink)

Umm yes please with a cherry on top!

I'm sure my list is going to get longer the closer we get to the Holidays, but in the meantime, these are definitely things I'm asking Santa!

Which of the Holiday releases have caught your eye? Comment below and let me know!

Monday, September 8, 2014

Help! I'm New To The Makeup World - Let's Talk Concealers.

As part of my 'Help! I'm New To The Makeup World' series, I'm going to be talking about *dun dun dun* concealers today.

So, what's concealer?

Concealer is a product that looks similar to foundation - in that it's a tinted product - but it's main purpose is to cover under eye dark cicles, and blemishes. It's a great way to hide fatigue, illness, or just to brighten up your face.

Concealer can be worn under, or over foundation. Most of the time, I wear concealer over foundation, because I find that foundation gives me a certain amount of coverage, and I can use concealer only on those areas where I want more coverage. However, certain formulas of concealer and foundation might need tweaking - that is, sometimes applying concealer over foundation causes the concealer to slip and slide about, or causes the foundation to wear off, in which case it needs to be worn under foundation. You'll know how a foundation and concealer work together only with practice.

That being said, concealer can also be worn on it's own! This is what I do most days, as I don't have the patience to put on a 'full face'. I use concealer under my eyes, over blemishes, and I'm done!

Concealers come in two main formulas - liquid and cream. Liquid concealers will either come in a pump (like the MAC Pro Longwear concealer) or in a tube with a doefoot applicator (like the NARS Creamy C\concealer, or the Maybelline Fit Me concealer) or even as a brush-type concealer (Maybelline Dream Lumi Touch Highlighting concealer). Cream concealers tend to come in a pot (theBalm Time Balm concealer, Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage). Some cream concealers even come in stick form (L'Oreal True Match concealer crayon).

Neither formula has an advantage over the other. Cream formulas tend to be more moisturizing and easy to blend, but they can also be prone to creasing. Liquid formulas are easy to blend and (in my personal experience) less prone to creasing, but they offer slightly less coverage than cream formulas.

I do tend to prefer liquid formulas over cream formulas for the under eye region, because it's easy to apply and blend out. That being said. I have cream formulas I adore, too!

Let's move on to some concealer tips and tricks:
  1. Different parts of your face require different shades of concealers.
    Under eye concealers tend to be a shade lighter than your skin tone - this helps to highlight and brighten up the area. I also use this 'highlighting' concealer under my brows, and wherever else I might want a subtle highlight (down the bridge of the nose, and my cupid's bow).
    On the other hand, if I want to cover up any blemishes, I use a concealer the same shade as my skintone. As an example, I use MAC Pro Longwear concealer in NC35 under my eyes, and NC42 (my skin tone) to conceal blemishes.
  2. Certain issues may require color-correcting.
    Some people are prone to really dark circles under their eyes. Others are prone to redness. Depending on your issue, you might need to apply a color corrector before concealing. This helps to neutralize the color, so that your concealer is better able to conceal.
    Let me explain. For example, I have dark purple-y blue under eye circles, and sometimes my concealer can't cover them. In that case, I use an orange color corrector to neutralize the color of my dark circles. Once that's done, my concealer is better able to hide them!
    As a general rule:
    Purple, or blue (usually in under eye dark circles) require an orange corrector (opposite on the color wheel). Light skins should go for a peach, or salmon color, while deeper skins need a more vibrant orange shade.
    Red (usually in inflamed areas, certain bruises, or even regular skin) require a green corrector.
    Yellow (called 'sallowness', usually comes with illness) requires a lavender/purple corrector.
  3. Prep, prep, prep!
    Your under eye are also needs some TLC! Try to prep the skin with a moisturizer, or hydrating primer. This helps to 'plump up' the skin, making the concealer less prone to creasing (or pooling up) in the fine lines under your eyes (hey, everyone has them!)
  4. It's all about the location.
    Under eye concealers don't go only under the eye. Apply it in a triangular pattern under your eye, and also to the inner eye corner .
    Here's a picture to give you an idea:

    Yellow - highlighting concealer; Red; to cover redness
    And yes, I've never looked more appealing!
    As you can see, 'under eye' concealer is more than just under your eye.
  5. Apply concealer all around the area to be concealer for easier blending.
    Concealer can be thick sometimes, and hard to spread. The easiest way to get the coverage you want, without much effort, is to lightly tap a little bit of concealer all over the area to be concealed, wait a few seconds for your body heat to warm up the concealer, then pat to blend out.
  6. Pat, not smear!
    Concealer should always be patted out, not smeared around! Patting will ensure that the concealer stays in the area its supposed to, and won't reduce coverage. Smearing will reduce coverage, and also isn't good for the delicate skin under your eye.
  7. Make a cocktail of concealer!
    Okay, so this one isn't necessarily a must-do, but sometimes I mix my concealer (if it's too thick) with some hydrating primer. This helps me to give some moisture to my under eye area, which can be a little drier than the rest of my face. You can also mix in a little bit of your color corrector, for when you have dark circles that aren't very pronounced.
  8. Set your concealer with powder.
    Powders help to set your concealer and help it last longer, but you can also use different powders to brighten up your undereye area (e.g the Hourglass Ambient Lighting powders) or you can use colored powders to give some additional color correcting (Ben Nye Banana powder). So don't skip the powder!
  9. Concealers make a great subtle, everyday-appropriate highlight.
    In the picture above, you can see all the areas I apply concealer - under my brows, down my nose, on my chin. Using concealer is a great way to add a subtle highlight for your face. This is especially helpful for those with oily skins like myself - using concealers allow for a matte finish for your highlighting, so there's a lower chance of your 'glow' being attributed to excessive sebum production! Alternatively, use a concealer in a darker shade for contouring!
  10. Play around with tools and applicators to discover what's best for you.
    I used to apply my concealer with my fingers (still do!) but I've discovered that the Real Techniques deluxe crease brush is really great for blending out concealer (for me, at least). Some people use fingers, others use concealer brushes, and beauty blenders, and most people use a mix of fingers and brushes. That's okay. Try different things to see what works for you, and what doesn't.                        
I hope this has been a helpful post! Comment below and let me know if I missed out anything!

Sunday, September 7, 2014

BGMM is now on Bloglovin!

That's right! You can now follow my blog on Bloglovin. I don't know why I didn't think of it sooner - I'm a little rusty when it comes to social media, I suppose!

You can find the button on the side. See you there!



Friday, September 5, 2014

MAC A Novel Romance Blushes Review

As the final part of the MAC A Novel Romance collection, I'm reviewing the blushes. I have both the blushes from the collection here for review. The shades are:
  • Animal Instincts
  • Fun Ending

 Now, if you've seen my preview, you know that my first impressions of the blushes was not the best. I thought that Animal Instincts was a little hard to work with, and did not pick up color easily, while I thought Fun Ending had a great texture. After using them for a while, I have a better idea of how they work, and how to work with them.

Animal Instincts, Fun Ending

Animal Instincts
 is a lovely muted plummy-mauve shade, with a slight sheen finish (there's no glitter or sparkle in it - it's just a soft sheen!). It's a very pretty shade, and I fell in love with it the moment I saw it (heh, a fitting sentiment for a collection titled 'A Novel Romance', yes?). At first, I had a hard time picking up color when I was swatching it, but when I used a slightly scratchy brush to 'swirl' around the surface, it became easier to pick up color. This did not give me any issues with application or blending, and wore for four and a half hours on me.

Fun Ending is a pretty, light, warm-toned pinky-peach blush with a satin finish. I was impressed with the texture when I was swatching it, but then I discovered, when using it, that it kicks up a lot of powder when you take a brush to the pan. The texture, though, was soft, and it applied smoothly and blended out easily. I expected it to be a lot lighter on my skin than it actually was; it seemed to darken a little bit once it was on the skin (in about ten minutes or so). This means that it's actually quite appropriate for deeper skins, since the color in the pan is lighter than how it appears on the cheeks. It also wore for four and a half hours on me.

Animal Instincts, Fun Ending
Here's how it looks on me:

Left: Fun Ending; Right: Animal Instincts

Overall, I'd recommend Animal Instincts for deeper skins, and Fun Ending for lighter skins. Don't be put off by the initial hard texture of Animal Instincts; once you get a little bit of the top layer off, it works fine. Fun Ending has a great texture, if a little on the softer side (which means fallout) so make sure to tap off your brush to get off any excess.

BGMM Rating: Animal Instincts - B+
                    Fun Ending - B+