Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Beauty PSA: Le Métier de Beauté John Barrett Salon Exclusive Nail Lacquers Now Available Online

Longest Beauty PSA title ever, but sums it up!

The huge coincidence is I was already planning to post a picture of Kona today:

I sound like a broken record by now considering the amount of times I've posted about Le Métier de Beauté nail lacquers. A quick recap: absolutely no complaints about the formula, usually two coats needed for opacity, yummy colors. I have to say Kona didn't survive on my nails for long (started chipping on day three), but I've been using my nails excessively the past few days and I doubt even the best of polishes would last a second longer.

For those who missed it, I've also done tape swatches of the entire John Barrett Salon Exclusive collection:

Le Métier de Beauté John Barrett Salon Exclusive Nail Lacquers retail for $18. Click here for your fix! 

Monday, January 30, 2012

Guerlain Spring 2012: Meteorites Cruel Gardenia

Much deliberation went to my purchase of Guerlain Meteorites Cruel Gardenia. Much more than I thought was necessary for something that was a) so pretty, b) what is seemingly so universally lauded. But all I had in mind when I saw this at three different counters was "but I already have so many highlighters!" Ah, rationalization. I must be growing up.

As an aside, can I say how pleased I am that I was able to snag this (albeit the last one at the counter) almost a month after it came out? I'm glad Guerlain learned from the Blush G fiasco, where the blush sold out nationwide literally a week after it hit counters. 

So why succumb at the fourth visit? I suppose peer pressure is the answer (so much for growing up). Every blog I was reading was hurling praises at this aesthetic marvel, and I thought long and hard and figured I didn't own an opal pink highlighter with such a marvelous texture. 

Based on online swatches, I thought the highlighter would be too frosty for my taste. But makeup works in mysterious ways, or perhaps our skin is just different from arm to face. This subtle powder fits well into my "Asian makeup" routine, but I don't know if this is everyone's cup of tea. For example, if you're a fan of really pigmented shimmer powders such as Dior Shimmer Stars, or have an intense need for highlighters to "show up," this is not the product for you. Think veil of luminescence when it comes to this Guerlain powder.

Guerlain Meteorites Cruel Gardenia retails for $67. I think plenty of places would be sold out by now, but check your local counters and you might just be a lucky, lucky girl. While it is sold out at pretty much everywhere online, saksfifthavenue.com curiously still has it for pre-order.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Dior Spring 2012: Rosy Glow Healthy Glow Awakening Blush

I never pegged myself as a cool pink blush type of girl, but this winter I've been purchasing one artificial flush after the other (damage so far: Le Metier de Beaute Creme Fresh Tint in Mystique, NARS Gaiety, and a Sleek one, though its name currently eludes me). Ever since I saw the promo pics eons ago, I knew without a doubt that I wanted Rosy Glow, so I bought it sight unseen along with Waterlily.

Supposedly this blush "reacts with moisture in each skin type" and changes color after initial application to suit every complexion. I haven't seen another person wearing this so I couldn't quite press my cheeks to the poor soul to see if the statement holds true. Regardless, it is a pretty color on its own. Another pleasant surprise is that it does as it claims and remains on my cheeks all day long. Not many of my blushes can boast that.

Rosy Glow on cheeks, Guerlain Cruel Gardenia to highlight, Burberry Light Glow in Earthy to contour

Dior Rosy Glow retails for $44 and should still be available at major department stores. I purchased mine from dior.com but it looks like it is sold out there. Sephora.com still has it in stock though!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Suqqu Blend Color Eyeshadow 08 Mizuaoi

As promised, more Suqqu! I bought four out of the available eight of these babies (yes, my heart is content), and the lucky first on Messy Wands is the Blend Color Eyeshadow 08 Mizuaoi


There is a set theme to all the Suqqu Blend Color Eyeshadow palettes. The bottom right shade is the base color, usually a matte white; the bottom left shade is for lining, the top right shade for the outer corners, and the top left shade for all over the lid. I applied it as such in the photos below, with a smidgen of the purple and blue on my bottom lash line. 

Perhaps it's a Japanese makeup thing. Like my experience with Cle de Peau, the Suqqu quad is super smooth and a pleasure to apply. It imparts a light veil of color on your lids - I don't want to use the word sheer because that's not an accurate description. It's more like their eyeshadows are meant for subtlety, which I suppose is true for "Asian makeup" in general. 

Ingredient list (I know this is not the box for Mizuaoi, but except for the colors I think the rest are the same):

If you like this, you're in luck. Suqqu Blend Color Eyeshadow 08 Mizuaoi is available at dollyleo.com for $71 (though eep at the price!).

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Dior Spring 2012: Waterlily Vernis Parfumé

Before we talk about this magnificent color, I need to confess I'm feeling a slight panic about not purchasing its counterpart Forget-Me-Not. Should I have? Is it possible that I don't need that beautiful purple creme?! I'm trying to cut down on nail polish purchases because of the sheer amount that I haven't even begun to use in my stash, so help me dear readers: will I regret not doing it?

While I pace back and forth before the metaphorical Dior counter in my mind, let us sigh at the marvelousness that I did immediately snatch up. I purchased Waterlily sight unseen, in fact before I even returned to the States (bliss is having a package waiting for me fresh out of the plane).

And why not. I can say without a doubt I have nothing like this in my stash. I don't care for the overwhelming scent that accompanies application, which lingers on your nails throughout the day. After that you'll have to hold your fingers to your nose to detect a faint whiff. It's unpleasant for me but I'd apply it again and again for this gorgeous mint green, which for some reason, makes me crave mint chocolate chip ice cream.

Dior Waterlily retails for $23 and is available at major department stores. I purchased mine from dior.com. Get it. Get it now!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Suqqu Creamy Glow Lipstick #12 Hiwada

Finally. Fi-nal-ly. While I won't deny that there are perks to not having a functional computer, after four days my fingers were starting to get withdrawal symptoms. These digits need to run across a keyboard on a regular basis! Anyway, here we are again, and it is my pleasure to introduce on Messy Wands the highly sought after Japanese brand: Suqqu. 

I've read about this brand time and time again, from bloggers such as Jamilla Camel, Joey Chong, and The Black Panties, and with each post comes a new agonizing longing. Near the end of my winter break, I had the opportunity to transit in London for a few days before I headed back to the States, and you should see how I jumped at the chance. I didn't even make a list of things I had to do/see/eat when I was in London. All I had was "go play with Suqqu."

The result was hauling in epic proportions, and what emerged (among many things) was a lipstick formula I am pretty sure will be the standard from which I measure all my lipsticks. The verdict so far: nothing beats it.

The formula in question is the Suqqu Creamy Glow Lipstick, pictured above in #12 Hiwada. You know that frustrating yet delectable feeling of stumbling upon something you've been searching for the longest time? I've been looking for a pale nude lipstick that didn't wash me out to no avail, and this just falls into my lap.

The lipstick is extremely emollient, but not in the way that threatens clown lips if you aren't careful. One swipe is really all you should do, because any more than that might get a little heavy (and at those prices, you should save every bit of lipstick you can). After it settles, the lipstick feels so weightless that I often forget I have it on till I glimpse a lip mark on a discarded napkin. I wanted so desperately to get one of every shade after using this for the first time, but since one hue to another from the brand's permanent line is so similar, I couldn't justify having more than what I currently own.

Ingredient list for those who might need it:

A little Googling led me to this site, which contains swatches of all eighteen of Suqqu's permanent Creamy Glow Lipsticks. I don't know if it's entirely color accurate (in my opinion, the colors are too light in those pictures), but I figured it's at least some kind of resource. Consult at your own risk!

The Suqqu brand is very limited in availability. Other than Japan, the only other two places with counters are London and Bangkok. Thankfully, we poor souls are still able to get our hands on select pieces from websites like ichibankao.com and dollyleo.com. The latter features better pricing, and 10 percent off your first purchase if you subscribe to their newsletter, but the former stocks a larger array of products. 

As fair warning (before you use that precious 10 percent coupon), I should let you know I will be featuring more Suqqu items throughout the month. Do stay tuned!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Happy Chinese New Year

Hello all. Apologies for the silence. I just moved to a new place this weekend and amidst the scramble of making it liveable, I left my laptop charger in my boyfriend's bag and to my chagrin, only found out as his Boston-bound bus was pulling out of the sidewalk. I considered purchasing a replacement, but $70+ can be put to much better use (like, um, buying makeup), especially if I only needed to wait till Tuesday to get said charger back.

So while I gnaw my fingernails (figuratively. Never bite your nails!) in anticipation of repossessing my now-defunct laptop, let's talk. I want to know what everyone thinks of the Spring collections at counters now. My damage is very minimal for this season. I only acquired three items: Dior Rosy Glow, the Waterlily polish, and Guerlain Cruel Gardenia. As ever, and especially due to the daily braving of biting cold, I am now looking forward to Summer.

Also, Happy Chinese New Year everyone!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Ellis Faas Mascara

There are some reviews I hesitate to do, like foundation, skincare, and well, mascara, just because those items belong in such subjective territory (and if I were to be completely honest, because those are hard to photograph too. I tried taking a million before/after pictures when it comes to foundation but it looks the same). Nevertheless, consider this a shaky first step into expanding product reviews to a broader range.  

Along with the lip products, Ellis Faas sent me some eye products as well, which includes a mascara. I was surprised then because I didn't know the comapny made mascara (or blush, the packaging gave me the impression that it was strictly a lip/eye/skin thing). The Ellis Faas Mascara is said to do three things: coat, lengthen, and separate. It is housed in the same bullet-type packaging, but it's the most "normal" of all its products in that you screw the top open to find a regular mascara wand waiting to make an impact on your lashes.

Top-bottom: Bare Lashes, One Coat, Two Coats

As far as its coating and separating and lengthening qualities, all is well. I mean, this is mascara. If it gets the job done on my straight nonexistent Asian lashes (seriously. did you see that first picture?), I'm happy. I prefer using this mascara on top of another, like one with a volumizing formula, to get the best use out of it.

Without EF Mascara

With EF Mascara

I know this mascara comes at a shocking price, but the one thing that justifies it for me is at the end of a long day, my lashes remain curled as if it just went through a round of pinching. 'tis a novel feeling, that.

Ellis Faas Mascara retails for $34 and is available at ellisfaas.com, sephora.com, and Space NK.

The product in this post was sent from the company for review purposes.

P.S: I've picked a winner for the Lancome Erika F giveaway!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Gloss d'Armani #400

Back to the grind (or not, Happy Martin Luther King Jr. Day everybody). I had a wonderful trip back home and my few short days in London was nothing short of perfect. I don't think I've ever been so happy for a full entire month. I also obtained a few covetable items from London that I cannot wait to show you, but jetlag and cleaning and certain preparations for my first day back of school necessitates new pictures to take a step back. 

Some digging through the folder of unused pictures ensued and I stumbled upon these of Gloss d'Armani #400. With Chinese New Year coming up in a week, it felt like the ideal item to feature.

L-R: Rouge d'Armani #400, Gloss d'Armani #400

Longtime readers might recognize this eye look from the Rouge d'Armani #400 feature from two months ago. I used Giorgio Armani Eyes To Kill #13 (black) as my liner, then placed Burberry Midnight Brown on the lid and blended it into the liner. Continued with Burberry Rosewood in the crease, blended that into the lid color, and finished off with Burberry Trench as my brow highlighter. It was very gradient-y and involved much blending.

As for the gloss, it's the longest wearing gloss I've tried in my life. The Gloss d'Armani formula is one of my favorites: the applicator is squishy in a super fun way (you have to try it to understand what I mean), the gloss itself is long-lasting, super comfortable, and (very important) doesn't dry out my lips like some glosses do. The only downside is it smells like ink.

Gloss d'Armani #400 retails for $28 and is available at giorgioarmanibeauty-usa.com.

P.S: Nine hours left to join my Lancome Erika F giveaway!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Giveaway: Lancome Erika F

Update: I picked a winner and she responded in record time. Congratulations Kayla (whose tweet as @Officially_Kay nabbed her the prize) for winning your very own Lancome Erika F. Thank you to all for participating in this giveaway!

The last time I came back home I gave out the Hong Kong exclusive Les Tendres de Chanel in Les Roses. This time, a lucky reader will stand a chance to win one Euro/Asia exclusive Lancome Erika F

Here's to hoping that my first foray into Rafflecopter is a smashing success. Just follow the instructions as laid out by the widget below to enter the contest. You'll have to comment on this post to be eligible for the giveaway, but you can earn additional entries by following me on Twitter or Facebook or GFC, and tweeting about the giveaway. Since this is an Asia/Euro exclusive, the giveaway will only be open to readers from the US and Canada.

UPDATE: Of course I made a mistake - my twitter handle is @xiaoo (i inputted the wrong name sigh).

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, January 9, 2012

Makeup You Want But Cannot Have: Lancome Erika F

This hello is accompanied by a bashful wave. I know I haven't been on my regular posting schedule, but I will be soon! My holiday's almost over. I'll be flying for the next few days and back to the States on the 15th. I have the most exciting semester ahead of me, and though my heart (and my body heat) does not want to leave home, I really can't wait to get back into the grind.

Today's feature is the infamous Lancome Erika F, a shimmery green-gray eyeshadow that has reached cult status among beauty bloggers and makeup users alike. It is unfortunately a Euro/Asia exclusive, and I thank my lucky stars that I chanced upon it during my transit in Rome.

The way some bloggers describe this, it might as well be a candy-making unicorn leaping above a rainbow. And well, it really is. The swatch is pretty but no one prepared me for how it will look on the eyes. The pictures below do not do it justice. You know how certain types of books always has a heroine with a glimmer in her eyes (which doesn't make sense in real life)? Well, this is that mysterious abstract glimmer on the eyelids, and a multi-dimensional one at that.

I've been wearing it alone on my lid as I find that the color stands well on its own. On occasion, I might add a deeper shade in the crease, but I actually prefer it by itself. 

They're not kidding about Erika F. I'd tell you to run out and get it but I know most of my readers are from the US and don't have access to it. Luckily, I have a way for you to get your hands on a piece of this magic, but more on that tomorrow (yes, I'm dangling that carrot).

Several readers have asked what's on my lips and I'm abashed to say (ah, laziness showing through) it's actually the same lip from the most recent Lipstick Bandits post.

P.S.: Messy Wands is now on Facebook! It's not a robust page by any means yet, but it'll be a better medium for me to share links (especially those with pictures) compared to Twitter. I hope to see you there!