Saturday, April 20, 2013

Best Discoveries of 2012 - Part One

...better late than never, right?

I have made so many new additions to my stash in the last several months that NOT blogging about them drives me crazy because I'm unable to use them until they are photographed. This also means a very embarrassing percent of my stash is untouched. =_=

Note: Anything marked with a (*) will be reviewed soon. 

Here are some of my favorite discoveries from twenty-twelve; the year I *really* got into refining my collection and purged whatever didn't work for me. Some of these may seem absolute basic (i.e. something one discovers early in their makeup-obsessed journey) but these have now become products I call favorites/go-tos/the bombdigity/holy grail -- sorted by category and broken into 2 parts (soon to follow):

1. Face:  

The ideal 1-minute face includes a dab of the Bobbi Brown Corrector in Light Peach to cancel darkness as well as sallowness. To brighten the under-eye as well as the face, a few dots of the Garnier Anti-Darkness Roller (the lightest (not light enough, obviously) shade is perfect for NC20-25 skin, IME). To finish the under-eyes and to help prevent creasing/migrating eyeliner the Laura Mericer Secret Brightening Powder in #1 (*) has become an OBSESSION. I literally recommend this everywhere I go and have depotted it for several people who then became believers, too. The perfect brush is listed below with the rest of the tools. 

My two favorite concealers are the Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage Concealer in SC-3 which is a waxier concealer for a long-lasting dryer formula to stay on spots. For overall concealing, particularly redder spots and general blemishes, the Kevyn Aucoin Sensual Skin Enhancer (*) in SX-06 is amazing. I've added the shade SX-07 (lighter + more neutral/less yellow) to my collection recently for the under-eye/all-over foundation. 

2. Lips:  

Yves Saint Laurent, Y U SO AWSUM? YSL has become my go-to brand for lip products. The two standout formulas being the Glossy Stains (shade shown in #13, reviewed here) and Rouge Pur Couture (*) (pictured in 03 Saadi//possibly getting discontinued?!). I went on to add several more Glossy Stains because they are perfect to mix and cocktail your own shades with. Hourglass Rouge Femme Velvet Cream lipsticks (shown in my favorite MLBB color Fresco) have a fantastic velvet finish which leaves your lips looking + feeling supple. Guerlain Rouge Automatique (shown in shade Nahema, reviewed here) is another favorite formula.

I've become semi-obsessed with tinted balms over the last few months and my favorite has to be the Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment in Sugar Rose which adds the perfect pink tint while moisturizing my lips while Sugar (colorless version) is more hydrating and perfect for under lipsticks. My favorite hydrating balm/salve after a lip scrub is the Vaseline Lip Therapy (NOT Vaseline in a mini pot).

3. Eyes:  

Shiseido eyeshadow trios (shown in Fire (*)) were, for me, the best find in this category by far. The textures are amazing, the color story always unique (in the case of Fire, the color-story was Dick Page's take on fire with the black being charcoal; the orange being flame; and white being ash. Kind of genius, no?); for a stand-alone shade and yummy buttery texture Rouge Bunny Rouge does it right (single pan in Abyssinian Catbird, reviewed here). MUST. GET. MORE. Also discovered the apparent classic MAC pigment in Vanilla (reviewed herewhich makes for a great wash on the lids, and a killer highlighter for the cheeks. 

My favorite mascaras were the Maybelline Full & Soft (perfectly soft, fluffy and separated lashed) and for volume, the slightly more wetter formula of Armani Eyes to Kill does the job well. Not shown but note-worthy: Lancome Hypnose Drama in the waterproof formula. 

why so over-exposed? =<
Another Armani eye-favorite was the Armani Eyes to Kill Waterproof eyeliner pencil. Tested its longevity by accident when I was unable to wash my face for 4 days straight (long story) and this stuff DID NOT BUDGE. Sephora's Long-Lasting 12HR liquid eyeliner in #13 Fancy Blue is the perfect hue of cobalt blue while the Max Factor Eye Kohl in Natural Glaze is the perfect nude for the waterline; never stark-white but brightening enough. 

For vibrant colors and longevity on the lids NARS Smudge-Proof Eyeshadow Primer is the best eyeshadow primer on the market. 

4. Cheeks:


Rouge Bunny Rouge Liquid Illuminator in Sea of Clouds (reviewed here) was my go-to highlighter for year-round; blush in Naked Rose by IllamasquaOrpheline by Rouge Bunny Rouge (reviewed here) and the Sleek blush palette in Lace were favorites in color but also texture; and my favorite pressed highlighter of ALL time? Kevyn Aucoin's Candlelight (reviewed here). 

5. Tools:

These 7 are the only brushes I'd ever need. (Left - Right) For crease-work and specific placement (cut-crease or inner-corners) the Shu Uemura 5R is cut to perfection; Shu Uemura 10N for lid colors, wash and light blending; and for blending and diffusing the Hakuhodo S142 is blue-squirrel perfection. 

The Hakuhodo Misako Portable Lip Brush is not only beautiful-looking, it also happens to have the right amount of stiffness I like in a lip brush to create a beautiful application. 

For setting under eye concealer (using the Laura Mercier Secret Brightening Powder mentioned above) the Real Techniques Setting Brush is the perfect amount of stiff + fluff + width; the Chikuhodo Z-2 Highlighter Brush for being my go-to highlighter/contouring/bronzer/errythang brush; and the Hakuhodo K020 for having the softness to diffuse the most pigmented of blushes into a seamless soft flush while also distributing powder in a thin even veil. 

And now, moar favorites (6-11) to follow in the upcoming post. =* 

Monday, April 8, 2013

Inglot O2M Nail Enamel (The "Muslim" Polish?)

I know this appearance after 2 months of being MIA is embarrassingly-lame but long story short: a massive tragedy hit extremely close to home in February so blogging was the last thing on my mind. But thankfully it will now be keeping me sane. :)

I'm sure many of you heard about the new nail polish formula released by Inglot called the O2M (oxygen and moisture) Nail Enamel which has now become synonymous with the term "Muslim polish". Inglot's attempt at creating a "breathable" and healthier alternative to nail polish also ended up answering the prayers (no pun intended, har har) of many Muslim women who avoid using nail polish (unless it's TOTM) as it prevents water from passing over the nails during wudhu (the ritual of washing before prayers) and in order to make wudhu properly, water *must* touch the nails. 

Unlike regular nail polish which prevents oxygen and water from penetrating to the nails (almost creating a seal over the actual nail) the Inglot formula is designed to allow water and moisture to penetrate to the nail through a technology which uses polymer (found in contact lenses) to make water permeable. O_O

I was going to buy a few to test it out...for science (you know, swatch some on a cloth and see if water went through etc) but SOMEBODEH beat me to the punch. :P This blogger, Mustafa Umar, actually had it tested on a coffee filter and the Inglot swatch was able to absorb water whereas the water pooled on top of the standard polish's swatch. 

Credit: Here // Pink = Regular Nail Polish // Purple: O2M Inglot Polish

It's not surprising that these polishes are literally flying off the shelves here in Saudi Arabia  where the makeup-savvy girls are probably buying by the bucketload since they are usually out of stock. However, I know for a fact I have to get some for myself but also my mom, aunts and cousins who will be AWL OVER THIS, so I will be stalking the Inglot stores to pick up a few. A review to follow whenever that happens, of course. 

They are available online in 53 shades, retail for $14/each and can be purchased HERE. A base and top coat using the same formula are also underway. 

Wojciech Inglot, Polish Chemist and founder/creator of Inglot, passed away on Feb. 23 at the age of 57.