Friday, January 30, 2009

I'm Blusche-ing: Blusche Minerals

I saw this website on Mineral Makeup Worldwide, listing many (but not all!!) MMU companies around the globe. I came across an entry on Blusche Minerals, listed as a Canadian company, so obviously I had to check it out.

After reading a positive review from trusting Shades of U and this review, why not! Samples were only 75 cents, 3 for $1.75. As my mom says, "You can't go wrong!" Right you are, Mom!

Although a Canadian company, Monica at Blusche intended for her target audience for The Philippines as there are no dominant MMU companies catering to them. When I read that in one of the reviews, I figured that SOME of her foundation colours must suit filipinos, therefore myself (I didn't fail Logic in university...LOL)

For the three samples of foundation I chose the obvious Medium Warm Creme Brulee, and chose the lighter Brazillian and darker Mocha Java to give me some custom mixing if necessary.

I figured since shipping was $3.50 for the samples, I'd add a few more items to the cart.

I bought a 3-baggie sample of Primer in Medium and a Phoebe Mineral Veil in Matte (there's a Glow formula that's more lustrous), a neutral colour, and Shelley Mineral Veil in Matte, a slightly yellow colour.

I threw in baggies of Medium Concealer, and a Yellow and a Green Corrector too.

$5.75 later (+the shipping), the samples came out to less than $1 per bag, and in Canadian dollars to boot!

I promise, this is the last thing I'm buying....this month. Oh look at that: is tomorrow the last day in January?

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Slightly sM.A.Cked!

It was like the world was in slow motion as pushed the stroller closer and closer. Like it was a dream, fate, karma, if you will. Yes, I was so close, as my eyes widened in amazement, a sight I haven't seen in years, it seemed...the M.A.C. counter!

My toddler in tow, I managed to convince him that we go in the store "just for a little while".

- Mom, that's girl stuff!
- But Mom is a girl...
- No, you don't need makeup...

I sighed and blushed as the SA looked up and greeted us with what probably would have sounded like an "aww!" if I were any closer to her. Either that or she was telling herself, oh shit, don't come any closer.

I browsed around staring at all the new items I have only seen online, while constantly removing pans of concealer and foundation out of my son's hands. What should I buy today? Concealer? Lipstick? Hmmm....

I didn't know how to select a concealer so I asked the SA about the various kinds. She tells me that on February 5, M.A.C. is revealing a new line called Studio Sculpt that provides full-coverage yet won't crease or fade. The current products, she said, either provide medium-coverage and don't crease or full-coverage and can crease. The Studio Sculpt coming out would be the best of both worlds.

I looked up more information and found out this on Makeup and Beauty Blog :

Studio Sculpt Concealer: Inspired by the needs of M·A·C makeup artists, who demanded a full-coverage concealer that never becomes dry and cakey, the gel-based cream formula slips onto skin, effortlessly hiding imperfections. Its silicone coated pigments help retain color purity for superb coverage that blends easily yet covers completely with just a small amount of product.

It'll probably cost around $20 CDN since it will be $16.50 USD. So I booked an appointment next Thursday to try it out. And maybe, while she's at it, she can colour type me too...and try some other products that I'll be tempted to buy!

So I bummed around the place a bit more. I fondled the Paint Pots (how lovely! Groundwork would look great as an eye base with my skin colour), and tickled a few of the lipsticks.

Before I left, I picked up a pot of Lip Conditioner SPF 15. I heard great things about it, and although it was $15, at 15g of product, that's about on par with the Kiehl's lip balm I used to use, and that was just "ok". So far, I love the slight vanilla taste and it applies smoothly. A little bit goes a long way. Right away, I can tell it'll work better for me than my current pomegranate Burt's Bee balm.

I can't wait until next Thursday!

Re.Edit. Karen at Makeup and Beauty Blog posted a review on the Studio Sculpt Foundation and Concealer....check it out!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

LaurEss Pure Minerals

Ok, I'm weak.

I made another online purchase today to try out LaurEss foundation.

I got my second order from Buff'd Cosmetics today, with the darker shades of foundation. I thought the Caramel was darker than I needed, so I thought I'd mix 50:50 with the Saffron I had. Once applied, it gives off a darker finish, but it's a little bit too tanned for me. There's almost like a faint peachy look to it. Sigh. Should I try 75:25 Saffron:Caramel? Maybe tomorrow...but for the meantime...

I googled around for "Buff'd" and "filipino" thinking, just maybe, someone out there actually found a good colour match, other than Christiana. I bumped into a forum discussing the differences between Buff'd, LaurEss, and Monave.

I hit the LaurEss website and was instantly drawn. I don't know if it's the case with all MMU, but the LaurEss website claims that its makeup is water and sweat resistant. And they have free shipping to Canada! I thought perhaps their shipping was free for only samples, but I put in 3 full-size items in the cart and shipping would be free. Granted, the samples are a little more expensive, at $2.50 each and the foundations and powders run around $22. Hey, if I can get a match, great!

These are the colours I chose for samples, with swatches taken from the website:

Pure Gold - Medium Golden with Yellow Tones
Pure Yellow - Medium Yellow Tones
Fresh Gold - Dark Medium Golden with Yellow Tones
Warm Gold - Medium Dark Gold with Yellow Tones

The Warm Gold could be too dark, but at least I'll have a sample to mix with if I need a more intense shade.

LaurEss' foundation shades come in 3 formulas: Minimalist, Elemental, and Ethereal. Minimalist is the sheerer formula but buildable, Elemental is their medium coverage, neither flat or shiny, while Ethereal has a creamier, heavier coverage. All the shades come in any of these formulas. I believe I counted 54 available shades, at 10g for a full-size.

And since I was purchasing 4 samples already, I figure I'd try out a primer and a finishing powder, just to complete the look.

They have 3 primer formulations: Kick Start, Fresh Start, Jump Start. Kick Start is for dry complexions, Jump Start for oily complexions, and Fresh Start somewhere in between. They have shades Light, Medium, Tan, Dark for each of these formulas, each shade matching the foundation you choose. Since most of my samples were from the "Fresh" or "Pure" colours, Jump Start Tan would compliment well.

They have similar formulas for their finisher powder. Finishing Touch for dry, Fantastic Finish for oily, and Ultimatte Finish is probably somewhere in between. Obviously, I got the Fanastic Finish in Tan.

So, $15 later, free shipping, I ordered 6 samples? Worth it? We'll see. Hopefully I'll get a chance to do a proper review.

I guess I should post a better pic of myself, to show you what colour skin I'm dealing with here. Another day, I guess. Hmmm....thinking of checking out Monave now...

Re.Edit. Monave sounds promising but they don't offer USPS First Class Mail. It's USPS Priority for $19, as high as $55 UPS Worldwide. For a $5 cart! Yikes....forget it! I guess I'm done shopping for now!

Re.Re.Edit. Turns out that after reading a few forum posts, Minimalist Foundation is for normal to oily skin, as most closely resembles their Original formula which was discontinued not too ago. Elemental is best suited for normal to dry skin. I shot an email to LaurEss to see if they can switch my order from Elemental to Minimalist. Keeping my fingers crossed that they'll be able to do that! Maybe I'll give them a call tomorrow!

Monday, January 26, 2009

My Beauty Realization...and Purchases!

Being a mom gives me a certain badge of which I don't wear proudly. The badge of "ugliness" comes to mind. Yes, as a mother, I am now to look a certain way, my hair having not seen a hairbrush in weeks, nevermind my straightener, my bare-all complexion of past acne scars of yesteryear and impending wrinkles foretelling my doom into motherhood greet me in the mirror; yes, I am a mother now.

Mind you, I have been a "mother" for almost 4 years now, though just having a newborn around makes it seems like a "rebirth", so to speak, into motherhood again. I grew out of this phase I'm in at one point in my life, but here I am again, faced with the challenge of beautifying myself to prove to all, and especially myself, that I am one of those wondrous females who can have her looks AND kids too.

So where do I start? This past week has been an awakening for me, as I stumbled upon a beauty blog by Miss Christiana - Memoirs of a Shopping Addict. As I read through her blog, her makeup reviews, application tips, I realized I was old. Christiana just turned 22 years old, about a dozen years younger than myself, and she is young and beautiful and has a passion about beauty, showing how much confidence and poise a 22 year old should rightfully have. What does this 30-something have to show? I found her blog not only interesting but inspiring, so I decided to search online for products that would beautify me on the outside, in the hopes of convincing my inside to glow too.

So, I'm no virgin when it comes to online shopping. I don't have any hangups. Yes, I've been somehow caught in online identity theft, but that won't stop me from shopping online, since I keep track of everything on one online-only credit card (I used to before, and it still happened, but I remain diligent).

I thought I could pick up something new at Everyday Minerals, where I've purchased a couple of sample kits to test their foundation colours, in addition to some blushes and concealers, but then I thought I'd start shopping elsewhere for a bit, to see what's out there.

Before coming to this whole epiphany on Christiana's blog, I was going to make a purchase on Franchesca's website, Adorned With Grace Minerals. Franchesca had developed the foundation mix of Buttered Tan at Everyday Minerals, a colour that can suit most filipino girls, being Filipino herself. I found out that she has developed her own line of mineral makeup, focusing on colours for the yellow/olive undertones in Asian skin. Buttered Tan never suited me, and I hadn't quite determined my exact shade at Everyday Minerals. I decided to buy AWG's "15 for $12" sample kit, where I could sample 15 colours for one price. I chose 14 colours from her foundation palette to test out (I reserved one sample for a blush, I believe).

Also I ordered her Divine Oil-Control Primer, which would help me keep the slick away. I'll try anything that will do that! And since she had a 3-day special on 12 eyecolour baggies for $7, I couldn't resist and pick that one up to. I plan on doing some swatches when the haul comes in. Oh, and the bonus couldn't be any cooler: 8 samples/baggies of the new shimmering blushes she will release next month. They are super nice! The following swatch is found on Franchesca's blog, Defining True Beauty:

Meanwhile, on Christiana's blog, I stumbled upon a reference to Buff'd Cosmetics, where she finds her HG (holy grail) foundation. Turns out the company is from Prince George right here in BC! How I could I not order something from a MMU (mineral makeup) company so close to home?!? Well, no duty or cost conversion, that is. So I purchased 5 foundation samples in Moccasin, Almond, Buff, Warm and Saffron to try. They came in and right away I knew Moccasin and Almond were too light, Buff being ok, but Warm and Saffron looking more my tone.

I'll post swatches when I have a chance. I put Warm on first and it was too pink for me. I have a lot of yellow undertones and although there is a balance of yellow and pink in Warm, I guess I don't have much pink in me all. I tried Saffron, which looks really yellow. After a few days of wearing the sample, I think Saffron could use a LITTLE bit yellow, as I am still a bit chaulky looking after applying. It's not perfect, but so far is the best match I've found in MMU.

I went and put in another Buff'd order to sample Caramel and Camel, which might be too dark for me, but perhaps they have a better level of yellow. Since I was ordering, and the shipping was free, I added samples of Midnight (an eyebrow colour), Canvas (an illuminating dust), Whisper (a pure white blush for highlighting), and Mais (a translucent yellow setting powder). I think that's what I samples should arrive tomorrow. I'll try and post swatches of these too.

I couldn't help but browse Christiana's site for more helpful info, and she refers quite a bit to Silk Naturals. Another MMU company, but this has fantastic shipping prices to Canada! I put in a $40 order and shipping was only $3.50! Ok, so what did I order?

Fiber Optic Blush Brush
Premium Synthetic Flat Top Brush
Climax blush (NARS Orgasm clone)
Birthday Suit lip gloss (a nude tone)
Bliss lipstick (Bobbie Brown Brownie clone)

With my order, I'll also get a free eyeshadow of my choice, which I picked Brown Sugar, and Melange, a silvery plum eyeshadow, their choice of bonus.

First time purchasers get 5% off their order. I practically got shipping free as a result! What's not to love?

I didn't stop there though. I hit my all-time favourite place to shop: ebay! There I bought a very coveted Ben Nye Powder Cheek Rouge in Contour No.1, recommended by Christiana as her favourite contour powder (and, boy, do I need contouring, LOL). Also I decided to spring for a tube of Urban Decay Primer Potion, since I've been wanting to try it forever. I bought a second tube for my sister too, since she prefers using a primer but has never tried UDPP before.

So, there, my January haul! With any luck, there will be a February haul, probably with full-size items, if not a few more samples to try out. The other sites I wanted to shop at were Coastal Scents for their 28-pan Neutral palette, and JW Cosmetics, just because.

Now all I do is wait. Sigh. A little shopping therapy is already making me feel a whole lot better!

An Update...and a New Blog

I really should have kept up with my blog....but haven't. Things have been crazy in the past, what 5 months?

First is first, I'm updating this blog to include my posts from, just so you know a little bit more about myself, and that, in fact, I have been a regular blogger, just not recently. So, if you check back often, you'll find more of my older posts flooding in, as I import my other blog in, starting from the oldest post.

Where to start? Hmmm...let's itemize some categories:

Pregnancy: I'm no longer pregnant! No, not a miscarriage...I actually gave birth in December to a 6 lb, 15 oz baby boy we named Braden Daniel. Yes, another boy...I guess I should hide the pink sleeper I brought to the hospital (I was so sure it was going to be a girl this time!). His big brother loves him dearly, though he's acting up a lot more than he used to. (And with him almost 4 years old, I fear I'll be the only mom on the planet who hasn't been able to potty train by 4!) Other than lack of sleep, and feeling fat (more on that later), I'm relatively happy and content to have another beautful baby to take care of. In regards to his "big feet"....they're a little big, but nothing that would take you aback. Maybe I'll post a pic sometime, of Braden, and not of his feet. If you want to read up on my pregnancy blog, password is vancouverbaby. I still have to post my birth story, so if you're looking for it, check again later.

re.edit. here's the pic I promised...ain't he cute?

Weight Gain: I gained 40 lbs during the pregnancy, again. It's almost 2 months later and I still have 30 lbs to lose. Not that I've been doing anything to help it along. I've used my dad's treadmill once, watched a Turbo Jams exercise video (I'm reviewing I can try it out later, when I have time!), walked around the neighbourhood a couple of times. Nothing strenuous, so obviously there will be no drastic weight loss...yet. I am, however, supporting my husband as he's on his 2nd week of P90X. Ok, it's not the same as actually doing the program, but my heart's in it, and I'll follow it sometime soon too.

House Painting: Got the house painted a muted heritage green with "beigey" trim and dark red doors. Looks like a heritage house now, quite nice I think. I'll post a pic if anyone wants to see it.

Photography: I haven't done much with my Canon 20D. I received a 50mm prime lens for Christmas from my sis and bro, and practiced a bit with it. No serious photos taken yet. I hope the weather warms up so that I can take some nice outdoor shots.

I thought I would have a lot more to write about the last 5 months, but I guess I don't. I swear it was more interesting than this, but I guess that's what I get for not blogging more frequently. Now that I"ve transferred my old blog over, I can "start fresh", and build this blog up to what I envisioned it to be. It will remain called "The Mystery Of Me", because, frankly, I haven't figured myself out yet. I still hope to discover that along the way. Join me?