About Me

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I love makeup but I've never really experimented with it until I started reading other beauty blogs. I love, love colors.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Some stock talk and needed recommendations!

Since I'm traveling for work this week, I won't be able to do any swatches or reviews. I just received my Meow Cosmetics stuff on Saturday and brought it with me on the off-chance that I might have time to review. Looking to be no cigar. In the meantime, I'd love to get some recommendations for companies you guys have been keeping an eye on but for some reason, haven't been able to try out. So please, send some my way! :)


I'm also going to try something new today. If you had $5,000 to trade on stocks and you only had 1 day to make money off of it, what would you trade them on? I am going to keep trading this money as though I had it until I lose it all or by the end of this week. Whichever comes first. :D

Technical info: Scottrade charges $7 for each transaction (so $7 for buying the stock, $7 for selling the stock which makes for $14 total) and Ameritrade charges $10 for each transaction. For the purposes of this exercise, we'll go with Ameritrade.

Here are my picks:

Saks, Inc. (SKS)- Yes, the luxury department store/brand. There's a rumored bid for this company by a couple of private equity firms. Purchase 100 stocks at $8.13 each. Problem I see is that there are no other bidders looking to purchase them but if the private equity deal does go through, it'd be at $11/share. If I wanted to break even with the $20 transaction costs by Ameritrade ($10 for buying the stock, $10 for selling), then I'd have to sell them at $8.43. Total cost: $813 + $20 = $843 Break even: $8.43.

10.09.01- Shares are trading at $8.07. DOWN.

Cogent, Inc. (COGT)- This is a provider of automated fingerprint identification systems (AFIS) and other fingerprint biometrics solutions to governments, law enforcement agencies and other organizations worldwide. 3M offered $10.50 a share for them and the stocks are currently trading at $11.08. There are other offers rumored to surface soon. I would purchase 200 stocks. Risky pick since the bid by 3M is under investigation. Total cost: $2,216 + $20 = $2,236 Break even: $11.18.

10.09.01- Shares are trading at $11.02. DOWN.

Ceragon Networks Ltd. (CRNT)- 4G is huge right now. This company is a provider of of high-capacity, 4G/LTE-Ready wireless backhaul networks which enables cellular operators and other wireless service providers to deliver voice and data services, such as Internet browsing, music and video applications. Their stocks soared after receiving news that it has received new orders for its advanced FibeAir(R) platforms from a leading Indian operator. Sounds pretty hot. Stocks are trading at $8.52 per share after closing at $8.60 per share. Purchase 220 shares. Total cost: $1,874.40 + $20 = $1,894.40 Break even: $8.61.

10.09.01- Shares are trading at $8.76. UP.

Total money left: $5,000 - $843 - $2,236 - $1,894.4 = $26.60. I can buy some gumballs with that. :)

10.09.02 Edit: Just purchased 50 shares of CVLT at $26.17. Let's hope this is another 3PAR situation where I purchased at $23, estimated it would hit it's peak at $30, and NOT sell it at $31 because now, it's at $33. Total cost: $1,306.50 + $20 = $1,326.50 Break even: $26.53.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Lumiere Swatches

Here are swatches from the Lumiere goodies I received recently. Eye shadows up first!

Oh my gosh, I absolutely love how well these pigments go on. It's buttery, there's not that much flyaway, and even though it's highly pigmented (you only need a small amount), it doesn't come off like colors you should only wear at night. My favorite is Allure. It looks so bright in the jar but when you swatch it on, it's actually a very subtle, pretty, pink with gold color. Subtle might not be the right word, makes it sound more boring than it is. It really is a pretty color. I love it. I am definitely going to start integrating this into my daily makeup routine.

The free sample I chose was Silver Rose. Also a very pretty color. It's a bit cool for my tastes but I'm still going to try it out in some new looks.

"Natural Radiance" is a Lumiere face and body enhancer. I got it because I've been meaning to try out a glow for a while, but haven't found anything that made me go, "Wow. Must have." Then I saw a swatch of this and since Lumiere was having this big sale, I figured, "why not?"

"Ditto O" on the other hand, is supposedly a dupe for NARS blush, "Orgasm." I've been craving to purchase the NARS blush but couldn't fathom eating $26 for blush (nevermind I did $24 for mascara and eyelash curler EACH). So I shopped around for a dupe. Aromaleigh's Pure Rouge "Verve" popped up a lot. A bit more searching and I found myself some swatches of Lumiere's "Ditto O." I think NARS might have a bit more golden shimmer? Haha, I might need to go to the store and check it out again. Either way, I really like both items and can't wait to try them out.

The had a bit of a problem pulling the tape off the sifters for these two products. The sifter is really flimsy so when I started pulling at the tape, the sifter also lifted up and product started getting everywhere.

This was also another product I received for free since I spent over a certain amount. I love the formula. It doesn't seem too drying which makes it an immediate win. :) Still, whenever you wear gloss, my one tip to everyone is to use some sort of lip balm underneath!

I would definitely purchase from these guys again. LOVED the products.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Lumiere & MAC haul + EOTD

I got my Lumiere and MAC haul today! I thought I only got MAC today but it turns out that Lumiere wasn't too far behind.

Here's the MAC paint pot in "Soft Ochre":

Here's my Lumiere haul. You can find the list here.

And an eye of the day! I am seriously tired of this camera. I can't get it to show the colors very well when I use flash. Understandably, colors tend to wash out in flash but jeepers, I know there's a way to keep the color in. Maybe it's by buying a better camera. Lol.

Products I used:

MAC Paint Pot in "Soft Ochre"
Morgana Minerals in "Coraline"
Aromaleigh Pigment in "Amelie"
Aromaleigh Pigment in "Tea"
Aromaleigh Pigment in "Persephone"
L'Oreal Lineur Intense Eyeliner
MUFE Smoky Lash
Estee Lauder sample palette (eyebrows)

I got my eyebrows done (threaded)! Can't you tell? ;]

Ah...just took another look at the picture. No, you can't see the eyebrow job because it's being shadowed by that hideous fill-in I did. D:

Holy Grail- Estée Lauder Idealist

A lot of the holy grail items I come across in beauty blogs consists mainly of foundation and primer (face and/or eyes). Mine is neither. I rarely, if ever, use foundation. I don't see why I need all that product on my face. I work long hours and if I'm wearing throughout work, my skin hardly has any chance to breathe. Foundation won't ever make it to my list of holy grail items. Same with primer. Extra product and since I do that basic color-on-cheek-and-eyelids thing, why bother with primer? My Shiseido Color Stick is good enough.

I should use a matte-fying product because my T-zone gets extremely oily and shiny. If it gets to the point where I can't deal with it anymore, I just wipe it with a clean, wet paper towel. So primer isn't my thing either. What is my thing...

Estée Lauder Idealist Pore Minimizing Skin Refiner

Enjoy our most dramatic skin resurfacing benefits—faster, more efficiently than ever before. Pores appear 1/3 smaller instantly. See a 69% reduction in the look of pores in just 4 weeks. Repairs the look of uneven skin texture, flakiness and roughness. See more highly refined, virtually poreless skin. More clarity, smoothness and luminosity. Smooth on Idealist and instantly enjoy that soft, seamless, silky feeling you love. Includes 3 times more Glucosamine than original Idealist. Pore Diminishing Technology significantly shrinks the look of enlarged pores. Gentle-acting Chestnut Extract helps free your skin from dry, dulling, flaky skin cells. It's as if you're seeing the skin you were born with, all over again: Virtually poreless. Unbelievably soft and smooth. Incredibly clear and even-toned.

The problem with my skin is not pimples/acne but random spots and the blackheads/pores. I hate, hate, *hate* the blackheads on my nose and chin. Mainly because I don't know how to get rid fo them. No amount of Bioré strips will take that stuff off. Even if it does come off, I don't know how to keep it *away*.

This product is great. I was introduced to it by a sales rep who gave me a sample. Used it and went back to purchase the full-sized product. I put some on before my moisturizer and my skin is immediately smooth. Use it often enough, you will definitely see a reduction in pores along with an improvement in your skin. One night, I remember checking out my skin and thinking, "wow, I think there's a bit of a glow to it." This was without any product whatsoever. I might have been crazy but I remember really liking my skin at that point. The pores definitely shrink.

I am running out and this product is something like $73 for 1.7oz worth of product. I stopped using it for a while and now, I'm going back to finish up my bottle. Here is what the product looks like:

It's a nice gel. Not too watery, not too thick, and with a light hint of citrus.

Ack. You can see my pores and blackheads here. D:

This is only something like 5-10 minutes after the fact. You can't see much difference but my skin feels great. When it dries (my skin just sucks it up), it feels super smooth. I don't know if there's silicone in it or some other sort of covering but damn, if your skin doesn't look flawless, it sure feels flawless. But that's just how it reacts to me. It could be completely different for someone else.

My pores and blackheads are still very disgusting so I apologize for that. D:

More product info: Every morning, apply on clean face and throat before your moisturizer. PORES LOOK SMALLER. Idealist's revolutionary Pore Diminishing Technology makes enlarged pores look virtually invisible by treating their appearance from the inside out. Immediately, it begins to dissolve away pore-clogging debris. Dead skin cells are continuously cleared away. A super-potent anti-oxidant—NDGA—also helps shrink the look of enlarged pores by helping reduce the build-up of excess oil deep within pores. SKIN LOOKS SMOOTHER. Idealist banishes flakiness and roughness and helps your skin naturally speed fresher skin cells to its surface. Gives skin an overall more even tone. With 3 times more Glucosamine (a sugar-derived, non-acid refinisher) than our previous formula, it loosens the bonds that bind dead, dulling and flaky cells to your skin’s surface. A proven blend helps fade the look of dark spots and discolorations over time. Underneath the skin you see, is the skin you want. Feel it. See it. Have it now, with Idealist.

That sounds pretty cool. I always try to make sure my skin products have anti-oxidants in them. This has no SPF in this but my moisturizer has SPF 15. For some, that may be too little. For me, unless my computer is shooting out UVA/UVB rays, I don't think I need to worry too much about getting something higher. Besides, nothing beyond SPF 30 works anyway.

I will get more as soon as I finish my bottle! I will also post a shot of my nose/cheek area so you can see how it has worked. I haven't used it in a while, my morning/night skin cleansing process has changed, so who knows? As you can see, there isn't much left so this should be quick. :)

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Skincare Continued...today's MSN picks! And thoughts.

I love MSN. Since I don't watch that much tv (and as such, the news), I keep up to date on MSN. More often, than not, I am surfing their Health & Beauty section. Today, they had a gallery of must-have beauty creams aptly labeled, "Everyday Luxuries." And I say "aptly labeled" because the price tags on some of these kiddies are outrageous. Their description for this gallery is as follows:

A luxurious cream is an easy way to spoil yourself a little bit each morning. We rounded up the most deliciously decadent lotions, whether they're scented with citrus or crammed with yams. Whatever your preference, it'll help start your day off on the right note.

Diptyque Crème Riche Body Butter ($90)- Byzantium an ancient Greek city and an Oriental dream where odalisques pamper themselves to preserve their beauty, basking in exquisite baths. As luscious as a Turkish delight and soft as a Byzantine rose, this deliciously rich cream is a powdery caress after a hot bath. It is a sensual, welcoming contrast, like fresh butter on languid skin. A total indulgence, this Rich Butter is like a lavish, satin comforter. A sumptuous blend of choice ingredients, Rich Butter combines the renowned soothing properties of rose floral water with the radianceboosting effects of organic honey and the long-term protection of argan oil which nourishes even the driest, sensitive skin. It leaves the skin glowing and delicately perfumed. Its Formula Rose Floral Water refreshes, moisturizes and soothes the skin. Organic Honey helps boost the skin's moisture and radiance. It is rich in mineral salts, vitamins and fatty acids. Argan Oil (virgin, organic) is concentrated in vitamin E, fatty acids and sterols. It nourishes even dry, sensitive skin and gives it long-term protection by combating free radicals. Its Fragrance The generosity of Damask Rose melds with the mystery of Myrrh and the strength of Peru Balm.

My face has normal/oil skin. The rest of my body is pretty dry. A thick lotion probably wouldn't be good for either type of skin. :/ If it's too thick, it'll just sit on top of the dry skin. As for my face, well, I'm already using something else, so pass.

Santa Maria Novella Body Milk ($74)- This body lotion, specifically formulated for all skin types and hand made the same way for over 700 years, tones and gives the skin softness and elasticity. Lightly scented with locally grown gardenia and rose this luxuriously pure body milk instantly absorbs into the skin without a trace of greasiness, leaving the body toned, nourished, and beautifully moisturized thanks to its hydrating vegetable oils, cocoa butter, white beeswax and avocado oil ingredients. Apply liberally all over the body, use every day. The elegant glass flask is sturdy enough for travel.

I've always wanted to try a skin latte (ie: lotion with milk). The price seems kind of high but it sounds like this would be the 'everyday luxury' point they're try to make. This makes it into my "maybe" list.

Nude Moisturizing Body Cream ($48)- Nude Moisturising Body Cream is formulated with organic cupuacu and hyaluronic acid to nourish and hydrate for beautifully soft skin. Sesame oil deeply conditions while milk proteins soothe and protect against dehydration. Organic shea butter and baobab oil moisturize for skin that's supple and smooth to the touch.

Facial lattés seem to be popular. Here is another product that has milk as one of it's ingredients. It's completely appealing because it's all natural, the price isn't too bad in terms of high-end moisturizers, and it's free of all these chemicals that could possibly clog and irritate your skin. In addition, the texture seems like it would work with both dry and normal/oily skin. Actually, it seems a bit too heavy to use as a facial moisturizer but during the winter? I'd go hog wild. Putting it on my wish list of things to try. :)

Marc Jacobs Lola Body Creme ($50)- Lola is an intoxicating swirl of rich layers, wrapping the skin in sensuous florals blooming with a signature note of fuschia peony. The ultimate indulgence for bare skin, this rich body cream lavishly moisturizes and envelops the skin in pure luxury; it leaves it silky, radiant, and veiled in the sensuous scent of Lola.

Uh...I'm not even sure what this product could do except make you smell good. :/ Pass.

Clé de Peau Restorative Body Cream ($135)- This extravagantly rich body cream provides an intense combination of skin smoothing, firming and energizing effects for a renewed look of youth. Retexturizes skin and helps it maintain moisture all day for a dewy glowing look. Melts into skin and helps reinforce the skin's natural support system to firm and energize. 7.2 oz.

I was really interested in this product. For instance, why does MSN have in their picture (not the one above) a spoon of what looks like orange salt? Also, what could possibly make something that tiny cost over $100? Worst part was, I couldn't find anything on Google regarding reviews on it. I sort of want to get it, just so I can say: "I USE $135 LOTION - WHUT WHUT." I'm extra.

Ren Wild Yam Omega 7 Firming Body Repair Cream ($57)- A rich body cream formulated to actively help nourish, regenerate and firm dry and mature skin. It contains phytosteroids derived from West African Wild Yam which promote collagen synthesis and improve skin elasticity and moisture retention levels. Phytosterols from Soybean boost skin lipid content while rare Omega 7 Palmitoleic Acid from Arctic Seabuckthorn Berry oil helps skin repair and regeneration.

THIS. I have never come across this company but anybody who uses both yams (African yams at that. I'm sure there is a difference.) and soybeans gets two thumbs up from me. I don't even know what Omega 7 is but it sounds so badass. Another addition to my wish list of things to get in the far, far future. :D

Glowology The Balm ($24)- Organic shea butter creates the perfect base for an intensive hand and foot cream. Organic sunflower oil helps to soften and moisturize dry skin. Bilberry, lemon, orange, sugar cane and sugar maple extracts gently exfoliate rough skin. Clinically-tested and hypoallergenic. 6.5 ounce jar. Arrives in signature box.

I think this is the cheapest of the bunch and no wonder. It actually sounds like a body butter to me. Premium body butter. Maybe I'll try a sample but I wouldn't purchase. I can put that $24 towards another item I've never tried before.

Hermes Eau des Merveilles Perfumed Body Cream ($60)- The French brand is the epitome if luxury which makes this moisturizer the Birkin Bag of body cream. Subtle bitter orange and Italian lemon makes the scent as sophisticated as the design house.

There was no description on their website so I pulled that description from the MSN feature. I would not purchase. For $60, I can get better skincare products that smell just as good, if not nicer. At least provide some idea of what it does? Or maybe, not doing so is the new 'chic.' I don't know. Never been too fashion forward and am too lazy to start. :P

Beauty Blogs & Skincare

Since I'm waiting on a couple of things in the mail, I will take this time to do some skincare reviews. I want to get through what products I do have before I buy anymore. I have such a strong spending urge (every day) that this will definitely be a challenge. So without further ado, here is a history of my skincare.

When I read other beauty blogs, I am always puzzled to find out that people have skincare issues and this is mainly coming from someone who has rarely had skin issues. When I was younger, I did a brief stint at McDonald's even though my parents owned their own business.

This was also during my years where I started getting all those funky teen hormones. So yes, I broke out. Working around that much grease and eating all that nasty food- also bad for the skin. I don't remember much about my skin routine then but I think it eventually cleared up because of these reasons:

- Washing my face constantly (mid-day, I'd be wiping my face down with a clean, wet paper napkin)
- And not touching my face with my hands or anything that had touched something else

I was pretty anal about these 2 things. Between now and then, I experimented. Drug-store products, high-end products, basic soap and water, etc.

I don't remember regretting anything except for the one time I used Colgate toothpaste on a huge zit. It didn't help any, just made it bigger and more painful. Yeah, if you come across that tip, IGNORE it. I also had this thing about popping my zits too. D: D: For some reason, popping them actually kept me from scarring as much as it did when I just left them alone. Yes, I have left them alone but they just got bigger aand when they finally stopped growing, it would take WEEKS to go away.

Would you believe I've only started using moisturizer in the last 2 years? And I hated sunscreen - STILL hate sunscreen? Not that I needed it because I hated the sun and stayed inside but still didn't use it on the off-chance I did decide to spend it in the sun. Now, my routine consists of a few basic items (because I've realized that once you start living on your own, food and rent takes priority over beauty products):

- CVS Energizing Facial Cleanser (Preview) - $3-$5
- Merlot Grapeseed SPF 15 Daily Moisturizer (Merlot Shop - review to come!) - $15-$20
- Merlot Moonlight Radiance Night Cream (Merlot Shop - review to come!) -$20-$25
- Almay Moisturizing Eye Makeup Remover (Walgreen's Link) -$5-$6

Once in a while, I will use my Queen Helena Mint Julep clay mask and this moisturizing lavendar mask I got in Taiwan. I will review the second one (since the Mint Julep one has been done so many times already) when I get the chance to take some pictures.

Do I get any breakouts? A tiny pin-prick of a zit here and there. :) Even when it's my monthly, it's a tiny bit. I'm not sure what I'm doing that keeps me from breaking out but I'd like to think it's something with keeping it simple versus just being lucky and born with good skin.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

EOTD - Fyrinnae, NYX Purple & Blue

I am not joking when I say that this looks better in pictures than it did in real-life. And if you think it looks bad in pictures...well. Ha! I am not at all used to bright makeup. I use it here and there. It's barely noticeable then. Tonight, I was bored and trying to learn how to use my camera. I STILL don't know how to use it and I also realized that I'm not that great with makeup. Heh. :D

So anyway, this is what happens when you don't coordinate your colors, when you stick your hand in a bag of eye shadows and pluck out the first four colors your fingers land on. You trade 2 because they were too similar to the other two but other than that, there wasn't much thought.

You take this:

Transform this:

Into this!

I tried to do one of those artsy side-views. But it didn't really pan out. D:

I have never washed my face off faster. D:

Meow Cosmetics Preview

I couldn't help myself. Even though money has to stay in my bank account because I am getting ready to make some big purchases, I figured a few dollars here and there wouldn't hurt. I mean, it's a big change from my days at Sephora when I'd blow $200 each time I wanted to purchase something(s).

Meow Cosmetics has been on my radar for a while, mainly due to the fact that they have this beautiful Egyptian collection. Studying boring numbers was a bit of a drag at times so I often amused myself by taking all the Ancient Civilization classes I could during undergrad. From various reviews, I heard that the colors are all too similar to one another. Not a big deterrent since the colors looked so pretty in pictures and swatches; it only made me want to purchase more but it did keeping me from purchasing in that instant.

Since I don't like to buy small to save on shipping, I got a bunch of samples from all the collections currently up. They're usually $1.00 but with the 25% off coupon, they're $0.75. It's a steal!

Simple Pleasures: Barefoot, Cookie Dough, Purpose, Passion, Silence

Guilty Pleasures: Chocolate Truffle, Those Heels, Retail Therapy, Fried Chicken, Soft Porn

Rainforest: Torch, Forest Flame blush, Anana blush, Ginger Torch blush, Morpho glow, Phantoma glow

Caribbean: Aruba, Coconut, Cayman, Papaya, Ocean Spray, Seafoam, Calypso blush, Limbo blush

Wild Child: T T Y L, Sexy Time, BT Dubs, Sexy Pants, My Bad, W T F, Sexting, B F F, R O F L M A O, G A L blush, Snarky blush, Hang Up blush

Egyptian Treasures: Royal, Temple, Tutankhamun, Sand Dune, Artifact, Ra, Miw, Isis blush, Cleopatra blush, Deity glow, Immortal glow

Ooo! I got a notice from Lumiere saying that my order has been completed. I hope this means I'll be getting it soon! :D

Edit: Also purchased a Mac Paint Pot in Soft Ochre. Boy, this is not what I had in mind when I went into a low buy spree. D:

Saturday, August 21, 2010

EOTD - Sassy Minerals Purple & Pink

I really like pink and purple looks because they look the best on me. Plus, I've only started recently experimenting with makeup so I haven't learned all, if any, tricks of the trade.

Sassy Minerals Eye Shadows: Legendary (highlighter), Fake It (inner lid), Vixen (outer lid), Fatal Beauty (crease)

Other Materials: Rimmel "Exaggerate" Waterproof Eye Definer, Rich Defining Eyeliner in white, Fyrinnae's Pixie Epoxy, Make Up For Ever Smoky Lash, L'Oreal De-Crease Eye Shadow Base, Estee Lauder Eye Liner pen in brown

Tools: Ecotools Smudge brush, Ecotools shade brush, Ecotools highlighter brush

I'm still learning to use my camera so these aren't the greatest pictures. :(

Sassy Minerals Swatches + Review

Finally got around to doing my Sassy Minerals swatches. Here is the swag:

Here are the swatches:

The ones I really liked are Fake It, Vixen and No Rules. Fake It looked gorgeous as a pigment and even prettier swatched. I had issues with Panache and Talking to Myself because they looked so similar swatched on. Talking to Myself might have been a bit more yellow? I don't know. It didn't seem like it though. They're still very beautiful colors. :)

Quality of the product was awesome. I loved the variety of the colors and at $0.75 a sample, they're a *bargain*.

Note: don't use lotion (especially Haus of Gloi) as a primer. It made these weird clumps and sort of ruined my brush for the other swatches. I used L'Oreal De-Crease Eye Shadow Base which, even though it was drying out, worked pretty well. I have learned that if you are wearing lotion, don't put this base on until your lotion has completely absorbed. Otherwise, the base will also clump.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Lumiere Haul #1 Preview

Long time no post. Been busy with job, house hunting, and extracurricular activities that (unfortunately) did not include makeup. I have also been on a spending freeze and am still on the spending freeze. However, I've been looking for a Nars "Orgasm" blush dupe. Aromaleigh apparently sold one in their Pure Rouge collection called "Verve" but considering they stopped that line and now are closed, that was not a choice. I have found another company, Lumiere, that sells a dupe called "Ditto O". So of course, with a 35% off sale and free gifts, I ordered. :)

Blush - Ditto "O"
Radiance - Natural
Eye Pigments - Butterfly Blue, Turquoise, Allure, Light Plum, Jade

As for my 2 free gifts, I picked out a Lumi Lip in "Tahitian Coral" and another eyeshadow pigment, "Silver Rose."

Very, very excited about my order. I just got paid, just paid my bills, shouldn't be spending money so I better stop typing before I really start whining.

(And really, it's nobody's fault but mine. LOL.)