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Category: Complexion

Another Michelle Phan fave – Amazing Concealer

An aunt of mine posted a message for me on Facebook “You have to tell me about that amazing concealer you said was really good, what is it?” , “Amazing Concealer!”  I said.  Confused, she repeated herself “Yes, yes I know it is amazing, but what is it really?”,  I exclaimed “Haha, Amazing Concealer!  That’s what it is, Amazing Cosmetics Amazing Concealer!”…after a long thoughtful pause she said “Ohhhh! Okayy…”

I first learned about this concealer last year after getting hooked on the lovely Michelle Phan’s YouTube makeup tutorials (US-based Vietnamese celebrity beauty vlogger).  In almost every video in her early days she raved about Amazing Concealer and how good it was at covering imperfections.  This is manufactured in California in the US.  They have a cutesy blog called AmazingLand.  Let’s try this little wonder out shall we? 🙂  By the way, I’m sorry to say this isn’t cheap.  This little 0.2 oz tube cost $28.00!  Got it off Amazon last year and sent it to relatives abroad.  However, you only use a super super small amount of product, a little amazing goes a really REALLY long way, half-a drop is enough to cover a lot of spots already.  It’s powerfully pigmented.  You use like this much for all your spots, then one more half-drop like this for all your undereye circles.

What a smidge of product eh?  So, next we have the unimpressive before application shot.

…then we have the after shot.  Sorry the focus of the photo moved a bit towards the ear, but the concealer coverage is still very evident.  I have Amazing Concealer in the shade Medium Beige, but apparently Michelle’s shade is one step slightly too dark for me, so next time around I’m getting a shade lighter.  I dabbed the concealer over my pores and pigmentation spots.  For the spot I concentrated dabs of the product directly on them.  I still left two of my moles uncovered at the bottom.  They’re a well-loved a natural part of me.

The concealer didn’t make me whiter, the camera just caught more light with this shot.  As you can see though the Amazing Concealer does a good job of covering up with a very small amount of product.  I bought that tiny tube last year and I’m still using it today.  Like I said, a little amazing does go a long way.  Here’s one of Michelle Phan’s videos where she uses Amazing Concealer:

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Product Swapping with Lipglossiping :)

My share of the product swap for my UK blogger friend Charlotte of Lipglossiping arrived in Hampshire two weeks ago…here’s a photo of Charlotte.

My friend Budjette Tan carried them on  for me as he is currently taking an internship in Manchester.  Unfortunately Charlotte’s beloved camera went 6 feet under last week and she’s still in queue for a new one.  Oh here’s her with her baby Leila.

But hey, she said she couldn’t wait and she posted the arrival of my meek Filipino beauty haul for her online today using her husbands camera phone to take photos! 🙂  I never opened her site with such a huge smile on my face.   It felt super surreal seeing the drugstore cosmetics I packed in bubble wrap appear on the blog site of one of the UK’s most witty and revered top beauty bloggers (I mean, she has to be that if Urban Decay happens to send her and her alone the Alice in Wonderland palette FREE  weeks prior to its launch all the way to the UK from the US).  Later on she says she will be sending her end of the swap to me 🙂  She’s preparing a mini surprise haul of some of her own favorites from the UK as well.  Aren’t we excited to find out what Lipglossiping loves in that little heap of uber affordable Pinoy cosmetics?  I think she’ll be posting a sequel to that introductory post, once she gets her camera I assume, where she’ll be supposedly swatching and testing the goods I sent.  Click on her site logo below  to  find out what I sent her!

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IN2IT Drugstore MakeUp – Pt. 1 SheerShimmer blush

I made a little almost accidental discovery over the weekend on the way to the cinemas.  I came upon the shelves at PCX Alabang and smiled at what I saw.

I had been hoping to find what could be a possible drugstore blush alternative to Rock & Republic’s Pressed blush in the shade “Call Me”.  I reviewed that pricey blush in the shade “Foreplay”  (how obvious can they get)  a few posts back and I do love my R&R blush in that shade, as a matte blush.  I did still want to have “glowy” version with more sheen on hand for parties or more special looks and I recall exactly how You Tube Guru, Jen a.k.a. blogger FrmHeadtoToe went on about “Call Me” as her favorite blush “It’s a very pretty, peachy, pinky blush with a little bit of gold shimmer.”  Yes it is, but Rock & Republic pressed blush retails for $40.00, isn’t that a teeny bit insane?? It was already enough that I got my R&R blush for $27.00, I didn’t want to be “lemming” for another R&R shade, unless by chance I find it’s dropped to like 70% or 80% off.  The only other close but still costly option currently is grabbing one of the R&R “Tempting” eyeshadow compacts in the shade Corset (an eyeshadow can be used as a blush, it’s still your face right) which are simply smaller size versions of the blush compacts, cute actually.  Well, I found what I was hoping to find at PCX without looking for it, and it cost Php329.00.  It’s another Thai manufactured Asian brand that stands tall beside 4U2 cosmetics.  Yes, believe it.  This is IN2IT’s Sheer Shimmer blush in 03 Plum Pearl.  Doesn’t it look like a lovely, petite, French macaron?  They resemble the now made-popular dome baked blushes you see like those by MAC Mineralize

This  is so close to what Jen showed as “Call Me” and her swatch of it (check her video here) that I want to try and contact her and ship her one of these so she can do a comparison.  That’s how confident I am.  Read more to see these swatched and worn 🙂


Photo Finish with Revlon PhotoReady Foundation

Trigger-happy with your camera?  Be ready to smile for someone who is.

The Revlon people get with the snap-happy crowd on the planet and pour your Facebook-ready face into a bottle available at your local drugstore, Watson’s or PCX for Php925.00.  I picked this up at First Aid (PCX Greenbelt) in preparation for a make-up shoot I did last Saturday with a  model who had a deeper skintone after summer.  This foundation impresses me because of 3 things that stand apart from the photo-tech-whatever-crafted finish it boasts.  Ladies, 3 cheers for:

1.) This being Oil Free, hep-hep hooray for oilees.

2.)  This being Fragrance Free, hep-hep hooray for sensitibs

3.) This having SPF 20, hep-hep hooray for outdoorsies, your mother, and your grandmother.

Keep reading to see Halle Berry and spy this formula slapped on me…

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Praise for Pixi Flawless Beauty Primer

Once in awhile, you come across a product that isn’t too common that satisfies and surprises you because of its effectiveness and individuality.  This was not exactly how I felt when my online purchase of Pixi Flawless Beauty Primer finally arrived and I got to try it for the first time.  I did not gush over the product in an instant.  I had to understand why it was the way it was.  It was not what I expected initially the first time I tried it.  Pixi is a UK brand founded roughly a decade ago by Petra Strand, a Swedish-born makeup artist.

I  first learned about this product after watching one of the Pixiwoo (YouTube) sisters, Samantha Chapman, use it first to start off one of their many extremely cool makeup tutorials.  She raved about it before at the very beginning of this video:

and then again more recently in her “Simple MakeUp Tutorial” posted 2 weeks ago.  In the video I posted above she claimed it gave her pale skin more color, a tiny bit of iridescence or dewiness, simply put, a more healthy glow.  It is labeled as a primer but can be used on its own to decrease dullness in your complexion and lift skin quality with extended use.   It has Vitamin A and E, antioxidants that aid in promoting healthy, soft skin.  It only comes in one color but is labeled No.1 Even Skin.  Petra claims further at the back of the package that this product is 20 year old youthful skin in a bottle.  I commend her for this wonderful product but I think that was a bit pushing it.  I love how this product performs, for me it comes a close 2nd to my Laura Mercier tinted moisturizer, but that remark was a bit of an exaggeration I believe.

First point of praise, the bottle itself.  It comes in a delightfully pretty pinkish copper capped bottle which is made of frosted glass.

It’s a tiny bit heavy, but I quite like the bottle in this way because it gives the product inside some sort of value, and my praise doesn’t stop at the bottle.  Open the cap and lo and behold…

…a pump dispenser! Which is an absolute plus for beauty products like this because you don’t get bacteria going back in once you pump an amount like this onto your hand.

The color is a deep pinkish beige that is absolutely sheer when spread and rubbed in.  This was where I began to get skeptical.  I saw that it was shot through with finely milled gold-ish shimmer, not glitter (thank God), shimmer.  You can’t see it in this photo, it is very very fine, but it’s there alright.  This is the agent that supposedly gives your skin that sheen that Sam was talking about in the video.  It was more obvious in the product than I expected, to my dismay.  So I started to blend it in.

It smells like a very mild sunblock, but don’t be fooled, this has no SPF (which is actually too bad, that would have made it a daily must-have), it only boasts of antioxidants and moisturizers that balance hydration in the skin.  Then came the part I didn’t like, it was somewhat sticky/tacky, just like some moisturizers with SPF are, or rather just like sunblock is.  At first I was like ugh, why!?  What on earth could Sam be raving about?  But I persevered and continued to blend it in on my hand first.  I started to remember that this was initially a primer, and primers by definition are supposed to help makeup stay on your face.  So for a moment I forgave its sudden stickiness.

Ok, a slight dewy sheen.  I wasn’t too disappointed.  This was what Sam Chapman was talking about.  My hand looked less pale.  I looked at the inside of my palms which had most of the product on from rubbing it in, they were covered with a satin sheen (that I didn’t photograph, how smart) that once again started stirring my doubts.  So I tried it on my face and again the somewhat slightly sticky iridescent dewiness got me frustrated.  Then a light bulb suddenly went on. 

We Filipinos live in a very, very humid country.  We have almost double the atmospheric moisture compared to those living in the West.  When I stayed with an Aunt of mine in Hamburg, Germany for over two months, the Safeguard soap bar I brought with me from Manila cracked in several places through the middle.  My face felt tight around my nose and mouth when I smiled in the morning and my lip would split and bleed.  My aunt gave me Nivea cream and told me to use it everyday.  That’s something we don’t need to do here in the tropics.  So I understood why Sam Chapman raved about this product, it probably did wonders for her dry skin there. In light of this, I wouldn’t recommend this product for oily skin as it might only add excessive shine and stickiness in a climate such as ours.  I do recommend it for normal to dry combination skin (though I have yet to meet someone with excessively dry skin from around these parts.)

Still, I wondered, knowing that, how could I make this work for me?  Then it dawned on me:

 …I dusted my face with Laura Mercier loose translucent setting powder (a luxurious hand-me-down from mom) and suddenly the choir sang HALLELUJAH.  I had my FOTD (face of the day).  The dewiness of the Pixi primer peeked from beneath the matte veil of the loose setting powder and gave my face a subtle healthy glow.  So enough with the hand swatches.  The photos above were taken last Sunday, but I didn’t have enough time to do a face review that day so I did one tonight.  Here are the photos I took just an hour ago.  Here’s my face before.  My before face shot is not totally naked, I needed my dignity, I only put concealer here, mainly on my dark circles which were awful.  I used a few finger dabs of Nars stick concealer in custard (another yummy hand-me-down from mom) on my undereye circles, my browbone (it also works as a good cream highlighter), inner eye corners, around my nose and the corners of my mouth.  Other than that there’s nothing else on my face.   I have not used Photoshop on any of my blog photos except for cropping.  So no cleanups or color corrections anywhere here.  I shoot for quality. 

So this is my face before Pixi primer, a bit sallow and pale, and you’ll notice my face is a different tone from my body.  I’m lying down flat on my bed, it was the only way to get my ceiling light to work with me for the proper exposure:

Get ready for a spot the difference challenge, because the changes are really subtle.  Here’s my “after” face, with a generous layer of Pixi beauty primer and a quick dusting of loose setting powder, it’s a very subtle difference, but I quite like it. 
You can see I have a hint more color, like I’m half a shade darker than the photo above and I have a healthy glow across my T-zone and cheeks.  It’s more obvious in the daytime though, I’ll take another comparison with natural light tomorrow.  I know you’re probably like “What is Julia talking about?  There’s no difference!”  Hahaha, believe me there is, it didn’t help that I couldn’t take a sharper picture coz my hand kept moving.
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