Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Les Tendres De Chanel in Les Roses Giveaway

'Twas a short sojourn home - tomorrow I'll be boarding another plane and heading back to the States, this time with my mother and sisters in tow. We'll be visiting a few places on the East Coast and they're ecstatic about the two weeks of unbridled shopping that is about to ensue. I'm just happy to be back. 

Moving on! A beauty blogger should never (completely) shun her duties, so on my way back home I flipped through the Sky Mall magazine, chancing upon a Hong Kong exclusive Chanel face palette. I swear a lightbulb flashed above my head (appropriately, since I had to hail a stewardess over) because I found my first giveaway item.

Said item is a brand new Les Tendres De Chanel in Les Roses. The packaging is the same as the four stripe bronzers from the Spring 2011 Collection but for the brush hairs, which are white instead of brown. 

The top two stripes serve as a highlighter, while the bottom two blend together into a pretty pink.

There are a few ways you can enter to win this Chanel palette.

1) Leave a comment on this article. It can be about anything - what you ate for breakfast, how much you think you might love this palette, how much you hate onions etc. Please leave your e-mail address in any part of the comment so I have a means to contact you if you win (alternatively, you can e-mail me at messywands [at] gmail [dot] com if you don't feel comfortable letting your personal email be known to public).

2) You can earn a second entry by following me on Twitter and tweeting about this giveaway. You have to include @xiaoo in your tweet and link back to this feature for it to count as an entry.

The deadline for this giveaway is September 9 at midnight. I will pick a winner at random the next day and inform her/him via e-mail. The winner will have 72 hours to respond and provide a valid shipping address. If the winner does not respond within 72 hours, the prize will be forfeited, and I will pick another winner.

This contest is open to readers from all around the world.

Good luck, and see you on the 10th!

P.S: I blogged about this some time ago, but as a reminder, I decided to have a bit of fun and join Bobbi Brown's Pretty Powerful 2.0 contest. She's choosing 51 winners (one from each state) and one of them will stand a chance to go to New York for a master class with Bobbi herself, win some goodies, and be the face of the campaign. I will be so honored if you'd like to vote for me, which you can do so here.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Makeup You Want But Cannot Have: Yojiya Red

We interrupt the long hiatus with a short bout of Makeup You Want But Cannot Have, a series made of the unabashedly gleeful smirks of the few within the beauty community who managed to get their hands on coveted-but-impossible-to-get products and lived to snap pictures and tell the tale to yearning readers who cannot but bemoan the existence of such discontinued magnificence (Pink Sith, I'm looking at you). And since that last sentence was far too long I think it's time to quit the words and show you said rare item.

On my family trip to Japan last year, we stopped by Kyoto for a couple of days and my ambivalent-towards-makeup sister insisted on bringing me to this shop called Yojiya that apparently makes oil-blotting papers! and cute mirrors! and did she mention their makeup was what the geishas of yore used when preparing their elaborately painted faces? 

I didn't really need persuading in the first place, but that last morsel of information was the tipping point from excitement to feverish frenzy. When we spotted the modest little shop I insisted on staying in it for over an hour. I wasn't about to leave till I played with everything.

My mother was with me at the time so I forced restraint when it came time to purchase. I only managed to procure a blush brush, some blotting papers, and a brick red lipstick, the latter of which is featured here. 

One glide was all it took to achieve opacity. It's smooth but not slippery, moisturizing, and (dare I claim?) universally flattering. This lipstick flew off shelves when I was at the store. It astounds me that even my mother (who frowns at me on the regular for wearing "so much" makeup) and my sister (remember the ambivalence?) snatched one each for themselves.

In its defense, the lipstick is not a discontinued product so it is possible to still obtain it. However, Yojiya is only available in Kyoto and select airports in Japan. Needless to say, I am devastated that I let rationality and my mother's pleasure limit me in my purchase. Next time I'll leave them both at a (comfortable) teahouse so I can fulfill my beauty junkie duties to the fullest extent.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Deborah Lippmann Brick House

I'm home! A celebratory dance should ensue but every muscle in my body is aching like you wouldn't believe. I'm still jet lagged (which isn't all that surprising since it has only been two days) and decided not to unpack since I'll be flying off in a week. Let's just say I've been using the same shade of eyeshadow for the past three days because it's just so hard to dig through the luggage. Eek!

Here's a quick look at Brick House, one of Deborah Lippmann's fall offerings, which I thought I should post up while it's still available in stores.

Brick House is a metallic orange-red that personally feels more appropriate for Christmas. (That said, a little bird told me as long as you dip your nails into anything metallic or foil-y you'll be right on trend for this fall.) This is my first Deborah Lippmann polish, and I was glad it lived up to its name. Application was so smooth I could have sworn the color glided right into place on its own.  

I didn't put a top coat over this and went to sleep before it completely dried and took the pictures the day after, which might explain why the polish looks scratched. I believe with a layer of top coat (or longer drying time) that wouldn't have happened. The entire Deborah Lippmann nail line as a whole has a wonderful reputation. Now that I had my first taste, I'm almost afraid of what's to come after.

Once again, I apologize for my current lack of updates. I am/will be traveling for the next three weeks so it'll be really hard for me to update frequently, if at all. I added a new Tutorials page on top for easy access to my previous tutorials if you would like to visit/revisit them. I will also be hosting my first ever "I'm sorry for being MIA" giveaway soon! Check back within the next two weeks for more details on how to enter and what's the prize. I promise it'll be worth the hiatus.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Do you put on makeup when you travel?

I've been hinting for the past few posts that I will be having luggage problems (and turns out I'm accurate. Overweight fees here I come), which is my way of letting you know I will be flying out of the States tomorrow. Unfortunately, this also means I will be updating less for the next three weeks. After my 30+ hour flight, I will be lingering in Malaysia for a mere ten days before hauling my bags over again for a two-week trip with my family on the East Coast (Miami-Niagara Falls-New York-Boston). Never have I been so full of excitement and dread to go home. Those 30 hours of stale cabin air is going to ruin my skin.

Which brings me to my question: do you put on makeup when you travel? I may be an absolute fiend about makeup but when it comes to long haul flights I refuse to get decked out in any way. I've seen women with mascara while crossing the Atlantic Ocean, and at the back of my mind I wondered if they removed it when they went to sleep and reapplied it after, or had them on all the way. Wouldn't it be uncomfortable? Isn't sleeping in your makeup a sin

However, my luggage is grossly overweight. As per @poseylass' suggestion, I should wear red lips and look for a male agent when I'm at the check-in counter.

But I think my situation is so bad no amount of makeup can help. Ah well.

Speaking of red lips (actually it's totally unrelated), I decided to have a bit of fun and join Bobbi Brown's Pretty Powerful 2.0 contest. She's choosing 51 winners (one from each state) and one of them will stand a chance to go to New York for a master class with Bobbi herself, win some goodies, and be the face of the campaign. I will be so thrilled if you'd like to vote for me, which you can do so here

If you would like to know more about the Pretty Powerful 2.0 campaign, visit

Now I have to go board my plane. Have a good weekend and see you when I'm on the other side of the world! xo

Friday, August 12, 2011

Giorgio Armani Fall: Jacquard Woven Eye Color #1 Swatches, Photos, Review

It should come as no surprise that this fall's color du jour is variations of deep blue. This came as a relief to me because I'm not partial toward that tone when it comes to placing it on my eye. I thought it could be a money-saving season - to ensure enough resources for inflicting heavier damage when holiday collections hit stores. (However, I just saw Chantecaille's fall offerings. I was wrong about the whole saving thing. But did you really believe me before? Ha.) 

Blue has been so ubiquitous in my radar that I found myself already bored of fall. To make up for that, I inspected items from select brands that doled out different hues. One such example is Giorgio Armani Beauty.

Giorgio Armani Beauty's fall collection comprises of three Jacquard Woven palettes (two for eyes, one for face), two blushing fabrics, and a number of Rouge d'Armanis in beige, mauve, and red tones. The only item I picked up from the collection was the Jacquard Woven Eye Color #1 ($59). 

Swatched top to bottom

Note: I feel like I should preface the review portion by letting you know that I've returned the palette. There's nothing inherently wrong with it, the colors just didn't suit my tastes. 

Jacquard Woven Eye Color #1 contains four frosty tones: silver gray, seafoam green, moss green, and dark purple. While they look intimidating on the hand swatch, the shimmer does not appear when applied to the eye area. Instead, it delivers a subtle glow. In the pictures below, I used the silver gray as the base, seafoam green on the lid, moss green on the outer corners, and dark purple as the liner. All of the colors were used dry.

I puzzled over why I disliked this palette so much I had to return it. The pictures turned out great, though I suspect a huge part of the credit should go to the lips. It's texturally sound - shadows are smooth though not as finely milled as I would like - but quite sheer in pigmentation (which, who knows, may be intentional). I guess I personally found the colors bland. I feel like all four are reiterations of such basic shades that we already have an abundance of in the market. While I can say that about a lot of palettes, those probably feature interesting color combinations or superior textures, and on all those accounts this palette is subpar. The woven feature is nice, but not worth my $59.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Quick Fix: Le Metier de Beaute Empress

The Le Metier de Beaute Empress lip kaleidoscope has arrived at Bergdorf's and like a child playing with a long awaited gift for the first time I greedily swiped it over the back of my hand (I apologize for not getting pictures of the kit itself). This is how Empress looks layered bottom to top.  

I can't recall the exact shades, but I think it goes from an aubergine to a mauve-pink to a blue-based red and finally, a blush-beige. I love that it adds up to this luscious plummy red. I think Empress is my favorite lip kaleidoscope of the line yet, but I can only get it in two weeks - more on why tomorrow.

Le Metier de Beaute Empress retails for $95. To reserve yours today, call the Bergdorf counter at 212-872-8612!

Quick Fix: Le Metier de Beaute Nail Lacquer in Anatolia and Urban Dweller

Anatolia and Urban Dweller are two of the four Le Metier de Beaute Fall Silk Road Collection nail lacquer offerings. I skipped on Dynasty because the fuchsia just didn't appeal to me (and I needed to start thinking about luggage allowance for my flight home). The one I was most anxious about, the copper Silk Road, hasn't arrived at counters. Any day now.

L-R: One coat of Anatolia, two coats of Anatolia, two coats of Urban Dweller, one coat of Urban Dweller

Anatolia is described as "a rich plum illuminated with bronzy, golden shimmer." I feel like plummy red-pink might be a better description of the color. I guess in my mind plum has more purple tones, and I definitely see more pink in Anatolia. Application is brilliant as per usual, but you will need two coats to enjoy the full intensity of the gold shimmer.

I found the formula for Urban Dweller slightly thicker than Anatolia's. The brush also didn't seem as tightly packed compared to my other Le Metier de Beaute polishes. While those aspects didn't significantly impair application, I felt Urban Dweller did take longer than usual to dry. While it's possible to bring it to full opacity in one coat, something about having two coats of polish makes me feel... secure.

These retail for $10 each.

For more pictures, check out The Ultimate Makeup's in-depth review on Anatolia, Urban Dweller, and Dynasty.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Guerlain Ecrin 4 Couleurs in Les Gris 05 Swatches, Photos, Review

I haven't had a complete look of Guerlain Fall yet, but so far I have to say I'm pleasantly surprised by the newly launched 4-color palettes. I've fallen prey to my share of the 6-pan palettes of yesteryear, and while I reveled in its luxury and construction, the textures of the colors itself often left me in disbelief that I was gullible enough to dish out $84 for it. 

When I heard about these new palettes, I was curious but not too excited, thinking it would be more of the same thing, and was secretly relieved I will be saving some money. Of course that wasn't the case. Guerlain tweaked the formula of these shadows, making them texturally superior to the 6-pans. I find them much more pigmented, blendable, and finely milled than before. I haven't played with the rest, but in Les Gris' case, there isn't a problem child in the bunch (something not all the 6-pans could boast).

Note: If this piques your interest, Amy of Cafe Makeup has a fantastic preview of the complete Guerlain Fall collection.

To showcase Guerlain Les Gris' full potential, I decided to emulate the Guerlain Fall promo picture of Natalia Vodianova. Needless to say, with my level of expertise (and features), I couldn't recreate the exact look featured on her, but I hope you enjoy my version. Since I don't have the new Rouge G Garconne, I used the only other red I thought could match up to it.

Guerlain Les Gris on eyes, Chanel Dragon Rouge Allure Laque on lips

These new 4-pans are $59 a pop, though you will be getting two less colors than before. Still wince-worthy, but not as painful to stomach in one go. Also, they're so much more worth it with this new formula.

For great pictures of Les Gris and some other palettes, take a look at The Beauty Look Book's preview - the woman makes me want to buy everything.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Tutorial: Mixing Le Metier de Beaute Lip Cremes

I feel like my entire week has been leading up to this point, and here we are. Remember in the first post I told you Le Metier de Beaute Lip Cremes are meant for mixing and layering? Well, this epic Lip Creme feature wouldn't have been complete without me showing you how it's done, would it now.

Let's begin with why. I mean, these lip cremes (like Fraise? Swoon) are near perfect as they are. Why should I hope for more? 

Mixing the colors together adds dimension to your lip color. Dustin's motto when it comes to getting a good full lip is to mix/layer a warm and cool hue to balance them out. This also applies to picking out glosses to go with lipsticks. In fact, his exact words were, "never be matchy-matchy with your lip gloss and lipstick!" 

Another reason I'll add is whatever you create will be unique. I love the idea that no two mixtures will ever be the same and no one else will have my lips for that particular day. It's the reason why I never had the urge to buy NARS Schiap. It's no doubt a beautiful color, but so many people already own that exact shade of fuchsia. There's nothing like saturation to diminish intrigue.

On to the fun part! The beauty of the lip cremes is you are free to play with any combination and they'll probably still turn out great. However, I understand the words you can do anything may actually create more anxiety than experimentation, so I asked Dustin for some of his favorites to share with you. All of the below are combinations of warm and cool hues:

Sweet Creme + Toffee Creme = Pink Tan

Peche Creme + Cocoa Creme = Perfect Gold

Chocolate Creme + Framboise Creme = Deep Red Plum

Vanilla Rose + Creme Caramel = Perfect Nude

Fraise Creme + Papaya Creme = Shimmering Coral

Fraise Creme + Creme Caramel = Pink Opal

A smidge of Uma Paro Lip Brilliance + Sweet Creme + large portion of Creme de la Creme + Creme Caramel = Lavender Nude

We had fun picking out names for each of these colors, which we both struggled with toward the end. At one point, I conceded that there are just so many dimensions in some of the colors that typical adjectives fall short. After all, what's a mere coral/pink/nude compared to these?

I thought you might like to see how some of these look on the lips, so I took the few colors I owned and had some fun of my own. Remember, you can choose to mix them together OR layer them on top of each other. You don't even have to worry about not owning a lip brush (though you should own one) because you can use your fingers too.

Creme Caramel with Fraise Creme layered on top

Creme Caramel with Fraise Creme layered on top

Peche Creme + Cocoa Creme (mixed and applied with a lip brush)

Peche Creme + Cocoa Creme (mixed and applied with a lip brush)

And pardon my application but I have to show you Lavender Nude (see why I said you need a lip brush?):

A smidge of Uma Paro Lip Brilliance + Sweet Creme + large portion of Creme de la Creme + Caramel Creme (blended and applied with finger)

A smidge of Uma Paro Lip Brilliance + Sweet Creme + large portion of Creme de la Creme + Caramel Creme (blended and applied with finger)

A smidge of Uma Paro Lip Brilliance + Sweet Creme + large portion of Creme de la Creme + Caramel Creme (blended and applied with finger)

Tip: Always remember when using any applicator, the first point of contact of said applicator to skin will be where you deposit the most pigment. For a full pout, you want the center of your lips to have the highest shine. The best way to achieve that is to begin your gloss application at the middle of your lips and sheer it out to the side. This way you also avoid looking like you have too much gloss on.

So, are you inspired to concoct some new shades? I would love to know how it turns out. If you've been doing this all along, feel free to share your favorite combinations in the comments.

If you don't have a Le Metier de Beaute counter you are loyal to, I urge you to give Dustin Lujan of Bergdorf Goodman a call at 212-872-8612 (tell him Messy Wands sent you). He'll give you the best and most interesting recommendations and will offer you great advice in makeup application - half of the content on Messy Wands wouldn't exist without his willingness to share his knowledge. As a side note, Bergdorf's also provides international shipping.

To view the complete array of lip creme shades, feast upon Karlasugar's amazing swatches.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Le Metier de Beaute Lip Cremes in Cocoa Creme and Fraise Creme Swatches, Photos, Reviews

We're on our last leg of lip creme swatches! Thank you for following along on this journey. Without further ado, here's Cocoa Creme and Fraise Creme.

Cocoa Creme

Cocoa Creme

As you can see from the swatch, Cocoa Creme has the most shimmer out of the all the lip cremes I've featured. While I wouldn't call it chunky, it just isn't as fine as the shimmer in lip cremes like Peche Creme. Also, I would like to apologize for this terrible lip presentation. I have a penchant for sheering out lipglosses - evidently, I was a little strong-handed (ironic, really). I'll see if I can upload a better picture this weekend.

I've been told multiple times that my coloring does not suit brown lipstick, which irks my compulsive streak because I just have to have all colors in my collection. Cocoa Creme is a perfect concession to this dilemma. The gold flecks in the gloss lightens the brown base and makes it much more wearable (on me) than the typical earthy brown.

Last but certainly not least, we end the weeklong lip creme feature with Fraise Creme. I've been dying to show you this beauty for the longest time. I almost broke down on numerous occasions throughout the week, vacillating between sticking to my self-imposed color chronology or showing you Fraise! The stuff of dreams! Is it not obvious that I'm jumping up and down on my chair right now? Yes? Okay.

Fraise Creme

Fraise Creme

Fraise Creme is strawberry red magnificence infused with gold microshimmer. I feel like the pictures below should suffice as the explanation. 

It's a beautiful - not too dark, not too light, not too daring, not too safe, NOT BORING AT ALL - red, period. Every red lover needs to have this in his/her stash.

As previously mentioned, Le Metier de Beaute Lip Cremes are creamy, lightweight, and faintly sticky. They feature a heavy vanilla scent that initially put me off, but over time I've learned to enjoy it. Lip Cremes are as easy to apply as your typical doe foot swipe-and-go gloss. Since Cocoa Creme and Fraise Creme are darker colors, they typically enjoy a longer run (5-6 hours) on my lips. Lip Cremes retail for $36 a pop.

For those who are just joining us, welcome to the final installment of Messy Wands' weeklong Le Metier de Beaute Lip Creme feature! I've already reviewed Creme de la CremeSweet Creme, Creme Caramel, and Peche Creme. Tomorrow, I will feature a special Lip Creme tutorial that I've been itching to write all week. I hope you enjoy!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Le Metier de Beaute Lip Creme in Peche Creme Swatches, Photos, Review

Ah, this brings back memories. Peche Creme was my first ever Le Metier de Beaute purchase. It was one of those spur of the moment decisions. I was placing an order for Splendid Frost and threw in Peche Creme... probably to reach free shipping.

I have to be honest. When it arrived, I wasn't all that impressed. I remember reading rave reviews about this being a magical wand and it turned out to be just a peach gloss with a very strong vanilla scent. What gives? 

Peche Creme

All I can say about that slip up is bad lighting isn't a friend to details (whereas Abercrombie & Fitch dressing rooms benefit greatly). Peche Creme is what I reach for when I'm trying for My Lips But Glossier And So Much Better But You Don't Quite Know Why. The secret, of course, is within the fine microsparkle that comes with the gloss. Observe:

Peche Creme on lips

Sweet Creme on lips

I inserted a picture of Sweet Creme so you can see the difference between the two. As a reminder, Peche Creme is a light peach gloss with microshimmer, whereas Sweet Creme is a clear gloss with a hint of pink. Based on these pictures, dare I say Peche Creme makes Sweet Creme almost bland in comparison?

Definitely one of my top favorite of all the lip cremes.

As mentioned in previous posts, Le Metier de Beaute Lip Cremes are creamy, lightweight, and faintly sticky. They feature a heavy vanilla scent that initially put me off, but over time I've learned to enjoy it. Lip Cremes are as easy to apply as your typical doe foot swipe-and-go gloss. Peche Creme has a decent weartime of about 4-5 hours on my lips. They retail for $36 a pop.

For those who are just joining us, welcome to the Messy Wands weeklong Le Metier de Beaute Lip Creme feature! I've already reviewed Creme de la Creme, Sweet Creme, and Creme Caramel. Please stay tuned for swatches of the other two I have left in my arsenal (Fraise Creme and Cocoa Creme). Also, I will have a special Lip Creme tutorial slated for this weekend. I hope you enjoy!