Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Recent Discount Codes & Offers of DOOM

Hello fellow shopaholics!  Have you also been inundated with recent shopping offers tempting you to part with your interest-free loans to the US government (a.k.a. tax refund)?
source: wikimedia.org

Neiman Marcus is oh-so-generously conducting a Spring GC event (code APRILGC).  Spend $200 and receive a $50 GC, $500 get $150, $1000 get $250, $2000 get $500.  Is it me, or do you also see these offers and completely forget you can get things other than beauty products?  Well you can, though many beauty items are eligible for this offer.

One of my favorite luxury niche online retailer, Beautyhabit has a special offer just for today ending midnight (PST).  Spend $75 and get $15 off.  Code is BEAUTYTREAT.  Seems to apply to Chantecaille as well, which is usually a brand exclusion on their offers.  They also stock Rouge Bunny Rouge, Diptyque, and many niche fragrances.

SpaceNK, which also stocks Eve Lom, Ellis Faas, JinSoon, and et cetera is offering $20 off a $75 purchase with the code Discover20.

On a related note, my recent withdrawal from AmorePacific Time Response skincare stuff appears to be a big bust.  Having downgraded (in pricepoint) to a much more reasonable selection of Mandom products I noticed lots of small changes in my skin.  Generally I am much drier, which is surprising since the weather here has become much more warmer and my skin is also showing lines that show more prominantly when my skin is dehydrated.

Adding insult to this injury is that on a recent overnight trip away, I used my travel sized AmorePacific stuff.  The most amazing thing was how my skin reacted: soaking up the products into my skin and becoming almost instantly radiant and plump.  O.o  It's like I'm trying to write a hokey ad copy for something.  "HAVE AMAZE SKEEN!  GLOW & BEUTYMOUS!"  "Magic botaneekil ingreediments to make you're skeen noices!"

Perusing the Neiman Marcus website has me hovering over the check out button on my AmorePacific cart.  Which I didn't PUSH.  I actually have some leftover of each item, so I think I may need to switch back to them ... in defeat.  Poor wallet.  Poor me.  Woe.  Woe!

And worse than that, I feel a lot of need to buy lots of things without any particular real need for anything or even knowing what particular items I am wanting!  I've been pretty good not giving into this weird and overwhelming unspecific shopping urge, because that will surely lead to regrets later.

 I has a woe.  How be you?

Friday, April 11, 2014

THREE Pressed Eye Color Duo in 09 Invisible Ethereal

You know what makes me sad?  When a long anticipated product from one of my most cherished brands don't perform up to expectation.  This is the kind of product if it were your first introduction to the brand or Japanese eye shadows might make you go, "Ehhh."
Which isn't to say that this eye shadow duo is without merits.  I mean, just look at how beautiful the pans looks.  And as is the normal duo format, includes a cream shade on the left and a powder shade on the right.  Each product you can use individually, but layering the powder over the cream often yields some magical complexity in the combined shade.
In Spring, along with the new Velvet Lust lipsticks which I already showed this week (here), THREE also introduced four more permanent eye shadow duos: 07 Let the Happiness In, 08 Third Eye Open, 09 Invisible Ethereal and 10 Dark Eyed Angel.  Seems there might be a reformulation of the cream shade which is imparted with pearls and transforms from cream to powder.  The other duos I have never seemed to completely set (into powder or otherwise).

The colors are:
  • brown-and-grey balanced khaki with a beautiful blend of shimmer particles.  The shimmer is very fine though (in pale cool gold, pink, green, blue, orange that I can tell)
  • cool and grey lavender in a mostly satin silvery finish
Regarding the wear of this duo, I find it to last better than the other duos I own.  Of the other ones I own, the cream tends to fade after a few hours, even over primer which is probably my biggest quibble about these THREE eye stuff.
I had a very hard time selecting Invisible Ethereal over the others.  It would have been really hard to pick two of the four even more so!  Each duo seems to contain a shade from one of the others, either a brown, a lavender or a peach.
I also wondered if Invisible Ethereal looked too similar to the other THREE quads or duos I owned, but upon close inspection the cream and powder shades were unique.
Only thing vaguely similar was the right side powder shade in 06 Winter Love (shown on the right side of the free-form palette, on the bottom), which is more mauve and Invisible Ethereal more lavender and grey.
So what's my problem with such an elegant pairing of colors?
In the wise and immortal words of Clara Peller who wisely declared her famous words: "Where's the Beef?"
The textures are silky and so right on the level of my other THREE eye products and the colors and the shimmer are beautiful.  What I wasn't impressed with is just how sheer the colors were.  Here are the swatches.  I mean it shows, but it shows so sheerly.  The cream is on the right, the powder in the middle and cream+powder on the right.

My winter holiday long gone, my skin is pretty pale.  I wonder if it would show up more on my more tanned skin in the summer or if it would show up even less.
The pretty sheen on the shades and the texture are beyond lovely.  It's just that the base colors barely show.  These are built up a few times.  Usually on the blog, I swatch with one finger swipe.
It probably would be helpful to show how it looks on the eyes, but I wasn't all that motivated to show something that looks like a wash on the lids.  I will try to show it on other posts or update this in the future.  I wear wash shades because they are swipe and go and easy and fast to do.  As you know, these cream shades take a bit of work to apply (here is my cream application post).  For all that work, I'd like a little more something something than looking just like a wash.

Maybe I am being kind of a picky pain in the ass, but this one really didn't pass the muster with me.  I am looking for divine and skin flattering texture along with pigmentation that actually shows on the skin.  Suqqu's eye shadows also have the (unfair, imo)  reputation that they are sheer, but those tend to show up more clearly on my skin, as do the Addiction singles.  Lately, I've not been as fond of the Addiction singles as they don't look as seamlessly elegant on my lids as the THREEs or the Suqqus.

With other THREE eye stuff I've seen much more intense pigmentation.  I wore the quad Art of Parties (here) yesterday and regretted my overly strong application.

What do I want?  I want the BEEF!

Any recent purchases for you falling way below the mark?  Also I'm very curious if you have any of the new THREE duos and if your experience was similar.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

The Neglected Face - Featuring Addiction

Do you find things you've really liked previously figuratively collecting dust somewhere?  I don't shop my stash when buying urge strikes.  I usually just buy stuff.  I'm afraid that's how I am.  I also have the attention span that spans a season or so of consistent use and then --SQUIRREL!

A topic on makeupalley posed a challenge to use neglected palettes.  I have many I'm neglecting because I am a) testing new things b) stuck in a rut or c) burying my head in the sand about how my feels have changed.

Firmly falling into "c" would be Guerlain Les Fumes.  I don't know what it is.  I sure did love it when I first got it.  After committing to the challenge of using it this week, I still didn't pick it up!  There is a feeling of dark foreboding for this one, isn't there?

Falling mainly into "a" would be my gaggle of Addiction Ready to Wear quads.  I posted on the limited edition Basquiat cases here.  I really like these and I'm coming to realize that I like these palettes more than the singles I own and find the quality more consistent in the quads and I like the brainless ease of color coordination.  With the exception of Soda Lunch, the ones in that post are all permanent in plan black cases.

Addiction Tuxedo Moon is a great basic neutral palette.  While not actually flashy, it has a nice selection of light to medium to dark shades in a mostly matte finish that is really easy to use.

So, up for the challenge, here is my Neglected Face.
This is a very simple neutral eye look with red lips, of course.
Products used are:
base - Suqqu Frame Fix Cream N (002), Suqqu Nuancing Loose Powder (Natural), Ellis Faas concealer (102)
eyes - Suqqu Balancing Brow Palette (Moss Green), Addiction Ready to Wear palette (Tuxedo Moon), THREE Flash Performance eye liner (08 Eye On), Suqqu Mascara Volume Long N (EX-03 Black Navy)
cheeks- Rouge Bunny Rouge blush in Delicata
lips - Rouge Bunny Rouge lipstick in Raw Silence

Maybe tomorrow Les Fumes?
What's gathering dust for you these days that were old favorites?  

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Lancome Lip Lovers - Sephora Swatch Set & Lip Stuff Babbling

I said I'm on a no buy so that I can save up for a new camera lens.  But I lie.  I did go and pick up a few things.  At Sephora, I used my $25 gift certificate to buy two packets of the Boscia blotting sheets and one tube of Lancome Hypnose Drama WP mascara (here) for $18 with the VIB discount.  Not so bad, right?  Then I stolled over to the Face Stockholm and rattled around in their small shop and played with all the various products.  Then walked out.  Hahah!

While I was at Sephora, I did have a chance to take a look at one of the new lip products that I did have a good bit of curiosity about when Mostly Sunny posted about it a little while ago (here).  I'm glad I had a chance to play with them in person, because they felt a lot more like a traditional gloss formula than a lipstick.  I didn't pick any up, but took some pictures of all the Sephora colors.

In store lighting (ew).

Top row (L to R):
313 Rose Ballet, 314 Casse-Noisette, 316 Rose Attrape Coeur, 321 Rose Contre Temps, 332 Beige Adage, 333 Rose Nymphes
Bottom Row (L to R):
334 Corail Cabriole, 336 Orange Menege, 337 Lip Lover, 338 Rose Cygnes, 339 Fuschia Attitude, 355 Framboise Etoile, 357 Bouquet Final, 361 Violette Pirouette

Indirect natural light (indoors):
I generally like being inside Sephora, which is kind of like shopping on line.  There is not a ton of human to human interaction (which I prefer) and I get to play to my heart's content.

The other product I was keen to try out in person was the new Dior Addict Fluid Sticks (as posted by Drivel about Frivol and Color Me Loud.)  I started to casually check at the counters near me and they all said, come back in May.  MAY?!!  What the..?!  Macy's currently has in on line and in counters.  I tried to call the Herald Square location and ring ring... nobody home.

I went to the Dior counter at Macy's (Herald Square is generally too frenetic and full of humans for me to prefer) and saw the display right away.  I did not find the experience very agreeable.  First of all, all the testers have a giant "TESTER" sticker on the bottom which covers up the numbers.  I guess I could have peeled them off or asked for help.  Oh yes, I did ask for help, but didn't find the particular SA very helpful.  In the end I did buy 575 Wonderland.  Lovely bright color.  (side note: must get reading glasses pronto)

Further research clicky-thon:
  • Do check our Xiao's swatches at the same Macys's counter!  :)  Looks like she did much better than I did trying to get these swatches.  (here)  <--  All the US shades.
  • Sara's swatches of the EU shades (here), and detailed post of Mirage, Aventure and Wonderland (here)
  • Kate the Driveller's rave review of Wonderland, Pandore and Mona Lisette (here)
  • Bubby Michelle showing all the Asia swatches (here)
No buy be danged.  I did buy Wonderland 575 and trying it out.  So far... innnnnnteresting.

This week's retail damage:
$18 Sephora + $38 Macys +$43 Z Palette = $99

Hmm, that's some no buy.  Have you been taking advantage of the Sephora sales event in the US?  Any new things catching your eye?

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

THREE Velvet Lust Lipstick in Cosmic Flow 02

I have been enjoying my THREE purchases so much so, especially the eye shadows in quads and duo formats, and blushes that I was keen on trying out some other things.  Namely, when for SS 2014, they released a new range of lipsticks called Velvet Lust, well, let's say some lustful thoughts ensued.
All objects of lust should look so sleek.

Pursuant to its natural philosophy, THREE packs this lipstick with argan oil, shea butter, jojoba oil, and beeswax.  (Good to know in case you have sensitivities to any of those ingredients since about half the content are these things) 

The colors are meant to be translucent with a certain saturated vibrancy.  The color offering does indeed look incredibly tempting.  I'm guessing Cosmic Flow is the one in the front row, middle from the brand's product image with the appropriate subtler colors and brights.
I chose Cosmic Flow, which looked from the brand site as a clear, bright cool pink.  The English language website described it as a "rose pink with just the perfect hint of blue."
 The brushed metal surface of the case reflects light and turns darker brown to soft glowing bronze.
 In the tube, it looks rather like a pink red.
 Here is a swatch of color on my skin in bright natural direct light.  You can see the gleaming shine as well as a distinct warmth in the shade.  This is one swipe, so relatively decently pigmented, but you can see on the edges that my skin is showing.
 As it would in indirect light, you can see hints of coolness in the shade.  It is medium in pigmentation and can be built up, but not to complete opacity.
 I've swatched some other bright pinks and medium pinks to compare to THREE Cosmic Flow.  It's funny to me how colors I always thought were on the cooler side of the spectrum look positively warmer compared to more cooler brethren.

Several of these colors are on the sheerer side so my yellow skin tends to skew colors to warmth.  The only color I would nod my head and say "COOL!" would be the limited edition Visée Creamy Lipstick in PK804.  That is also very white based, so less likely to be altered by my skin tone.
The Velvet Lust lipstick is very lightweight, with an easy slip.  It's a relatively thin formula.  It glides really nicely without any hint of drag on the lips.  Of course, a nice perk is that it is unscented and has no taste.

I have mixed feelings about the formula though.  While it looks great and feels fantastic upon application, there seems to be something my lips are sensitive to.  I can't tell what it is.  The color wears away the shiny finish in the first hour and the color remains 3 hours on me.  The second reapplication makes me feel like I'm slathering the light, slightly balmy formula onto very chapped lips.  My skin lately is very dry, so I'm having a hard time discerning if it's ME or IT.

One thing I noticed pretty much right away was that the rosy warm pink in the bullet and swatch does not translate exactly on the lips!  Because the color has a good dose of translucency, my cool mauve lips really bring out the blue in the color.  The morning I put this on recently, I had to double check that my swatches looked accurate in the above pictures while it looked so blue on my lips.  When I swatched again on my hand, same warm rosy pink while still distinctly cool on my lips!

That would be one thing to consider if you are planning to pick up any of these Velvet Lust lipsticks which is that if your lips tend are pigmented, it may skew the bullet to lips translation a bit!

Above face, wearing: Chantecaille Future Skin foundation and Suqqu Nuancing Loose Powder in Natural.  Suqqu eye brow palette in Moss Green.  Color products are all THREE: Velvet Lust lipstick in Cosmic Flow, blush in Love Kick, eye shadow duo in Winter Love, Flash Performance eye liner in Child of the Moon (LE).
Have you had a chance to try out any new lipstick formulas that you were dying to try out?  What was it and how did it work out for you?

(Oh yes, the Japanese brand THREE is available in person in Japan, Bangkok, Taiwan as well as Ichibankao with a markup)
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