Monday, November 23, 2009

Zoom In On: Nyx Round Lipsticks


I knew I was going to get the Nyx Round Lipsticks the first time I read the glowing reviews from many beauty bloggers. I’m not very particular about lippies in general but I just found these irresistible. I even contemplated on purchasing some of these online since apparently, nobody from the Philippines was selling it middle part of last year. I pondered on ordering from Makeup Masala but frustratingly, I discovered that the Nyx shades I was interested in were always OOS. I did not lose hope however, because I knew sooner or later, some enterprising Filipina kikay would start selling these babies. I was not mistaken since I was able to buy 5 of these babies from two local Ebay sellers. Their prices were also reasonable at Php 215 to Php 220. The ones I got were Louisiana (which I assume is one of Sis Khymm’s favorites), Tea Rose ( which is often featured by Sis Nikki in her FOTDs), Indian Pink (a favourite of Sis Shen), Narcissus, and Thalia.
Apologies for my unkempt appearance in the photos. I was sans makeup in these except for the Nyx lippies I'm featuring. (I'm even donning one of my rattiest house shirts when I took these pics.)

When I got the items, I was surprised that the packaging of the Nyx lippies I got from one seller was not the usual one that I saw on online pics. Hers came in a squarish purely black casings. Anyway, I gave Indian Pink and Narcissus to my friends because I did not like how they looked on me. I’m loving Tea Rose, Louisiana and Thalia however and I usually wear them to work. Last month, I scoured White Gold, a local department store since I learned that Nyx is sold there. I was not able to locate it the first time I went there but I struck gold during my second visit. Nyx round lipsticks is only Php 100 a pop in White Gold. The eyeshadow trios are priced at Php 250 while the round glosses cost Php 150. These prices are significantly cheaper than that of many online Nyx sellers. But then again, the selections in the store are limited and some of the items on display have minor damages. When I went there, I was not able to help myself and so I got a Fig round lipstick, an eyeshadow trio, and a round lip gloss in Mauve. ( My Fig lippie as you can see got broken. I did not notice that when I bought it because I thought that the item was sealed. When I saw it, I was already home and it was already too much of a hassle to go back again to White Gold. Now, I have to use a lip brush to apply it.) 
All in all, I love Nyx lipsticks as they are cheap yet very highly pigmented. It also moisturizes to some extent. But since I was scared of having cracked lips as many reviews revealed, I always make it a point to apply a lip balm on my lips first before the Nyx lippies. Its staying power is not that awesome but I don’t really mind retouching since these items are not costly. So, I would highly recommend this brand to every kikay who want an inexpensive yet quality lippie in her stash.

Zoom In On: Cargo Catalina Blush

As what had been made obvious by my previous posts, I am so in love with blushes. Cargo blush in Catalina is one of my serious blush loves. The photos of my Catalina will show you just how much I love it. I used it almost every day during the months after its purchase. I remembered feeling so happy when I hit pan on it. ( I usually feel this way for all of my makeup items. Maybe because “hitting pan” is an affirmation that the money I spent did not go to waste as I was able to use the product a lot of times.) I sort of neglected Catalina since I was buying new blushes almost every month this year.
Catalina is a matte bubblegum pink shade that is perfect during those days when you just want a barely there makeup and a natural light pinkish flush on your face. This shade is always likened to Nars Desire although many said in reviews that the latter is brighter and a lot warmer than the former. Nevertheless, I love Catalina because it flatters my skin tone so well and its staying power is also superb.
I also like Catalina for the following reasons:
  • The blush is so finely milled and it seemed to be packed so tight on its container that you don’t see a lot of powdery left-over when a brush is used for application.
  •  I LOVE its utilitarian tin containers as it is very unique. It is also easy to ply it open. Because the case is made of tin, it is sturdier compared to that of Everyday Minerals pressed blushes. The product also adheres well to the casing even if I have hit pan on the middle.
  •  Very pigmented and because of its staying power, there is no need to retouch very often.
  •  It contains more product at 8.9 grams which is a lot bigger than other high-end brands.
It does have limitations however. These are:
  • It is not locally available. Some online stores sell it but it is not always available.
  • Pricey. Retails around Php 1,400 – Php 1,600.
  • Its casing tends to rust or discolor as is evidenced by the pics I included. This happens however, to the exterior part of the packaging only.
  • It isn't travel-friendly. The packaging does not include a mirror and a brush. When you use this, you would have to bring a separate brush and mirror with you.
  • The shade, in particular, may not show up easily on some skin tones as its shade intensity is very light.
  • The shade is very “dupeable” ( if such a word exists lol).             
  • It turns a little “peachy” on my oil mine of a face especially during really humid days.
Despite these limitations, I love Cargo blushes to bits. I would be collecting these blushes if only it has a distributor here in the Phils.
Thanks ladies!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Zoom In On: Loreal Blush Delice in Fresh Papaya

Before I knew of MAC, Nars, and other mainline makeup brands, I thought that drugstore brands like Loreal, Revlon, etc. were the cream of the crop. After all, they are more expensive than other readily available brands say, Avon. I particularly remember saving up for a Loreal blush delice blush. I wanted to own one because that time, it was hailed by Cosmopolitan Phils. magazine during its annual beauty awards as the best among the tons that they have tried. It was not exactly cheap ( I remember it was around Php 700++ then) and it is the last thing that you would expect a fresh graduate to prioritize. When I finally got one, I remember being so impressed with it. After all, I was not able to try that many blushes then. And the ones I’ve tried were so inferior in quality. I used it almost every day and I felt that it was a part of my arsenal as I faced the challenges of my first job. It was the first makeup item that I finished till I hit pan.
I only have one Loreal blush in my stash now. I have it in “Fresh Papaya” variant. I noticed that Loreal had made some changes in the packaging. Though their current blush is in the same size as before, there had been some modifications in the product that I observed. Anyhoo, despite the fact that I have found better blushes in terms of quality, this brand would always have a special place in my heart.
Swatches: Loreal Blush Delice in Fresh Papaya
What I like:
  • Just a few swipes of this blush on your cheeks will make you look instantly perky and radiant. With proper application, its shimmer can be very eye-catching.
  •  Its compact packaging makes it travel-friendly. 
  • It comes with a mirror and a brush so it can be used even when you are on the go.
  • Easily available in major department stores in key cities.
  • This would really work as a highlighter.
What I don’t like:
  • I noted changes in the packaging as mentioned earlier. Now, there is a transparent layer that encloses the layer with the casing. The shade of the blush variant is reflected through the color of the casing. While I think Loreal is doing this to make the item more secure, it has now made this blush very difficult to open. In fact, if my friends would want to use its mirror, they would always let me open it because they just can’t seem to.
  •  Its staying power is not much. So if you’d expect to be on field work the entire day, this is not the best blush to use.
  • IMO, this is expensive. It now retails around Php 975 if I’m not mistaken. For a drugstore blush, I think that is too much. A few hundreds more and I could already afford a MAC or Nars blush which are way better in quality.
  • I noticed in the product label that the item is made in China. I don’t want to come off as a snob and I don’t want to disparage China but there had been many lapses in the standard of quality that they observe ( melamine scare, etc.)
Thanks! Hope you would find this review useful.