Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Just wanted to let you know that you might notice some (live) design tweaking on the blog for the next couple of days. We're working to make Messy Wands look better and hope you'll enjoy the makeover too!

Those Tarte Liners Work As Shadows Too

As if the Tarte 6-piece SmolderEYES holiday set wasn't already a steal, I find another way to use it. While the pencils are originally eye liners, their crayon-like tips and buttery textures make them perfect for shadow work as well. Observe:

1. Apply on lid
2. Blend with crease brush
3+4. Adjust shape accordingly by applying more toward the crease and blending out

That itself could be a complete eye look, but I took it further by applying and blending out champagne at the inner corners of my eyes, lining the top lash line with onyx and the bottom lash line with gunmetal.

And since these liners are waterproof, they're budge and crease proof as well. That deserves a happyface for sure! (People with oily lids should still use primers, but I'm sure you already do, right?)

All the colors mentioned in this post are a part of the Tarte Holiday 2012 Eye Catchers 6-Piece SmolderEYES™ And Skinny SmolderEYES™ Collector's Set, which retails for $39 and is available at Sephora.

Products Used:
Face -
Chantecaille 'Future Skin' Foundation in Camomile
RMS Beauty "Un" Cover Up #22
Paul & Joe Face Powder 001 (from the Holiday Make Up Collection 2012 001 Set)
Korres Cheek Butter in Eros Coral

Eyes -
Tarte SmolderEYES in Gold, Champagne, Gunmetal, and Onyx (from the 6-piece set)
Pop Beauty Peak Performance Mascara in Brilliant Black
Shu Uemura Retractable Eyebrow Pencil in Seal Brown
Le Métier de Beauté Eye Crease Brush

Korres Lip Butter Glaze in Raspberry

PS: Thank you everyone for the well-wishes in regards to Hurricane Sandy. I am extremely fortunate to be living in a neighborhood that was unscathed by the storm, but there are plenty of New Yorkers who need help. For those who would like to give aid, you can donate $10 to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief by texting REDCROSS to 90999 or visiting directly.
The products in this post was sent by the company for editorial consideration

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Butter Makes Everything Better, Of Korres

I'm sorry. I had to.

Cheesy titling aside, recently I've been enjoying the Korres Eros Coral Cheek Butter and Raspberry Lip Butter Glaze. Fortunately (or unfortunately?), neither made of real butter. 

L-R: Eros Coral Cheek Butter, Raspberry Lip Butter Glaze

I used to be a staunch powder everything girl. Certainly, my powder stash is still much larger than the rest, but I think it's about time I expanded on the cream front. There will be a separate post on this, but let's just say creams can be much more varied in feel and texture than I previously thought, and I find that discovery very exciting.

As far as the Cheek Butter goes, I'm used to much more... well-oiled textures from my cream blushes. In comparison, Eros Coral feels dry (let me clarify that while it feels dry, it's not actually dry) and oddly like powder as soon as you apply it to the cheeks. A finger dab's worth is all you need for each cheek, though you can always layer for more intensity. For best results, your first point of contact should be where you want the color to be most intense, then blend out from there. 

Eros Coral is a bright coral pink. When blended out, it produces a healthy, natural flush.

peeled lips (weakness, sorry!) make for patchy application

The Lip Butter Glaze is a follow up to their signature Lip Butters (for the uninitiated, they are potted balms that come in various shades and scents). To me, that suggests that it's more balm than gloss, but I think it works well as both. (Side musing: what category does glaze fall under? It's glossy but not gloss-like. I always found anything named "glaze" looks more watery, whereas glosses look stickier. Does anyone know what I mean?) The color of the Raspberry glaze is actually darker than what you see in my pictures. For some reason, gloss just doesn't translate well in pictures. 

This lasts for about four hours, but any food and drink in between will completely wipe it off. It also smells a bit like crème brûlée on the lips, and the fragrance doesn't wear off till much later. I wasn't affected by the scent, but I thought you'd want to know.

Korres Eros Coral Cheek Butter and Raspberry Lip Butter Glaze retail for $25 and $14 respectively, and are available at Sephora.

The products in this post was sent by the company for editorial consideration

Monday, October 29, 2012

Addiction Winter 2012: Arabian Nights Makeup

I have never been persuaded to purchase an entire look because of an ad, till now. When I saw the picture for the Addiction winter makeup campaign – and it doesn't help that I'm already an ardent fan of the brand – something in me snapped. Before long, I was sending an embarrassingly long shopping list to a dear friend in Japan, who was kind enough to get everything I wanted for me.

The Swatches
Mustard Tree Eyeshadow

Brown Toast Cheek Mix

L-R: Argan Tree and Tea Rose Cheek Sticks (blended, unblended)

Saffron Lip Crayon

The Look
Arabian Nights, Winter 2012

I mean, not that I have anything against it, but it's mustard yellow eyeshadow. I must have been feeling adventurous... or trying to dig myself out of a serious makeup rut. Either way, I have no regrets whatsoever.

The nifty thing about Addiction is they publish a complete step-by-step on how to achieve the look. I had to improvise because I didn't have a couple of products, but otherwise I stayed true to the instructions. You can take a look at the original tutorial here.

I needed flawless skin, so after concealing under eye circles and redness with my RMS concealer, I applied a thin layer of Chantecaille Future Skin around my t-zone and on my cheeks. Recently my skin gets oily very quickly, so I patted on a Paul & Joe translucent face powder to set.

I had the most fun with the cheeks, mostly because I found another contour color that works perfectly. I applied Addiction Argan Tree to the hollows below my cheekbones and blended it out with my fingers, then Tea Rose on the cheeks, blending it into the contour shade. I applied the brown shade in Brown Toast over the contour color, below the jawline, and to the sides of my nose. I lightly went over Tea Rose with the orange shade, and applied the highlighter shade down the center of my nose, above my cheekbones, and on my cupid's bow.

For eyes, I patted on Addiction Mustard Tree all over the lid, stopping just as I reached the bottom of the brows. I made sure to feather the edges so it wouldn't look harsh. With an eyeliner brush, I pushed Shu Uemura ME856 right into my lashes. I also applied ME856 to my waterline and created a slight gradient at the lower lash line with Mustard Tree. Finally, I dabbed the lilac shade of Le Métier de Beauté Penelope at the inner corners, combed on mascara, and applied Addiction Saffron to lips.

Individual reviews of the items above (hopefully) to come. I know it would have made more sense if I talked about those first, but I just really really really wanted to share this look!

Addiction makeup is exclusively available in Japan, though at a mark-up we in the States have access to it through


Products Used:
Face -
Chantecaille 'Future Skin' in Camomile
RMS Beauty "Un" Cover Up #22
Paul & Joe Face Powder 001 (from the Holiday Make Up Collection 2012 001 Set)*
Addiction Cheek Sticks in Argan Tree and Tea Rose
Addiction Cheek Mix in Brown Toast

Eyes -
Addiction Eyeshadow in Mustard Tree
Shu Uemura Pressed Eyeshadow Refill in ME856
Le Métier de Beauté Penelope Kaleidoscope Eye Kit
Pop Beauty Peak Performance Mascara in Brilliant Black

Lips -
Addiction Lip Crayon in 008 Saffron

The product marked with * was provided by the company for review

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Witchy Vibes for All Hallow's Eve


Funny how things happen retroactively: When I took these pictures I wasn't thinking of Halloween. I think it was right after photographing Burberry Military Red and I was experimenting against the saying that you can't pair a statement lip and dark eyes. I wanted an accessory, so I chose a black capelet hanging in my closet.

(Just fyi, I have an inordinate amount of witchy clothing that I never wear in my wardrobe. It was a very long and expensive phase. For those interested, most pieces I own are from Sumie Tachibana, who also has an Etsy shop.)

The eye makeup was wonderfully simple due to the multidimensional shimmer of the pigments in Giorgio Armani ETK Intense #3. I just patted it onto my eyelid with a flat eyeshadow brush (Shu Uemura 10) and lightly blended out the edges. A flick of black eyeliner and two coats of mascara, and done.

The lips were a mix of two colors. I liked Military Red but wanted the color to be darker to fit the overall look, so I used Chanel Rouge Noir with a crease brush to line my lips, blending it into the red.

I curled my hair with the one-inch Sultra Bombshell Curling Rod and forgot how messy it would look without some sort of styling product after. Might have worked in favor of the witchiness though.

That said, I wouldn't have made a good witch anyway, because that was my face most of the time while photographing. There was another one of me flapping the hood like it was my wings, but I'll leave that up to your imagination.

Happy Halloween weekend, everybody! Stay safe if you're partaking in the celebrations.

Products Used:
Face -
Mistura 6-in-1 Beauty Solution*
Le Métier de Beauté Peau Vierge Correcteur in Frais/Cool
RMS Beauty Living Luminizer

Eyes -
Suqqu Balancing Eyebrow in Moss Green
Giorgio Armani Eyes To Kill Intense #3

Lips -
Chanel Rouge Allure in Rouge Noir

Sultra Bombshell Curling Rod (1")

The product marked with * was provided by the company for editorial consideration

Friday, October 26, 2012

Swatched: My Le Métier de Beauté Lip Crème Stash

Once upon a time, I was a blogger with a modest stash of six basic lip cremes. That was the wardrobe – they were all a girl needed to concoct almost any color she might have wanted to wear.

A little over a year later, that stash tripled in size. This, ladies, is why a gloss purchase for me is a rarity.

Incidentally, this is how Messy Wands got its name

Since the beginning of this blog's existence over a year ago, I have consistently proclaimed my love for Le Métier de Beauté Lip Crèmes. While I have enjoyed plenty of other lip formulas, I've never found one that rivaled my love for them. For the uninitiated, the lip crèmes are lipstick/gloss hybrids, so they are heavier than regular glosses and quite pigmented when applied to the lips. The best thing about the lip crèmes is while they can be worn alone, they are also meant for mixing and layering together or with other lip products. I've written about this a few times in the past, with concoctions here and here.

Today's post is purely about updating my swatch gallery of these pretties (taking advantage of the swanky new lighting!) and um, providing eye candy. I just love seeing them all lined up.

The lip crèmes marked with * are limited edition. The only two lip cremes from the permanent collection I don't have are Toffee Creme and Papaya Creme, which I am confident I can get by mixing two of what I already own. For those interested, I think Toffee Creme = Chocolate Creme + Creme Caramel; Papaya Creme = Peche Creme + Creme Caramel + Fraise Creme.

Out of all these, Peche Creme gets the most use (I'm almost done with my tube). If you're pondering a first purchase, I think Peche Creme, Fraise Creme, Purple Haze, and Creme Caramel are good bets. I personally found them the easiest to layer and mix with other colors.

Le Métier de Beauté Lip Crèmes retail for $36 and are available at Bergdorf Goodman and Neiman Marcus, as well as select Saks and Nordstrom locations.

Some products in this post were provided by the company for editorial consideration

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Swatched: Tarte Holiday 2012 Collection Sets

Unless you've been living under a beauty rock, you must have heard of these fantastic Tarte Holiday Sets. From what I've seen and heard, they've been flying off Sephora shelves so fast it's like UD Naked all over again. Looking at them and how little they cost, I totally understand the frenzy. With most of these sets, you're essentially paying a little over the price of one item for multiple products. The best part? Aside from the blush set, they aren't even mini-sized

A portion of my face has been rather odd lately so I haven't been able to take photos of myself wearing makeup. For now, here are swatches of the three sets I have, in case you were hesitating on your purchase (but seriously, why are you?).

Fantastic Foursome 4-Piece Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush Enthusiast Set ($35 for $60 value)
L-R; Angelic, Fantastic, Magic, Stellar

L-R: Stellar, Magic, Fantastic, Angelic

The colors are all exclusive to this set! Angelic is an ivory highlight, Fantastic is a matte cool pink, Magic is a pink-leaning coral, and Stellar is a shimmery light bronzer. Out of the four, Fantastic was slightly chalky (since it's matte) while Stellar required some packing to show up, but I think that's a good thing in a bronzer shade. 

5-Piece LipSurgence™ Collector's Set ($34 for $120 value)
L-R: Escape, Enchanted, Exposed, Sweet, Elite

Tarte included three different formulas in this 5-piece set. Escape and Sweet are Lip Lusters (sheerer, more shimmer), Enchanted and Elite are Lip Tints (more pigmented), while Exposed is a Matte Lip Tint. It's fantastic if you've been hankering to try out a variety of Tarte lip offerings without breaking the bank. My only caveat is it's mostly comprised of warm pinks. I would have liked to see a wider color selection, maybe switch two out for a red and a nude.

Eye Catchers 6-Piece SmolderEYES™ And Skinny SmolderEYES™ Collector's Set ($39 for $144 value)
L-R: Ash Violet, Rainforest Black, Champagne, Gunmetal, Gold, Onyx

Again, the colors are exclusive to this set and not available in their regular line. I can't even begin to explain how awesome swatching these liners felt. Gliding butter! Yet they won't budge! Look at those colors! And that black! I mean, that's what I call a black

I guess it felt like a lot of exclamation points. I think the colors are pretty self-explanatory from the swatches and accompanying names, except Gunmetal, which is a taupey brown and not a steely gray as the name would suggest.

From swatching and some light testing, all the items in these sets hold up to the usual Tarte standard. I've been a longtime fan of their blushes, Exposed being my go-to browned rose, and am happy to rediscover their lip pencils and eye liners. I was once a staunch devotee of SmolderEYES in brown and only put it away because I went back to wearing black liners. 

These Tarte sets are available at Sephora and, and I say they're all worth it. Even if you only like one color out of the entire set, you can split them up and give them as Thanksgiving/Hannukah/Christmas/I-Don't-Need-A-Special-Reason gifts. After all, what girl doesn't like receiving makeup?

The products in this post were provided by the company for editorial consideration

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

There's Always Time For Yourself

As I grow older and busier, I realized that I tend to prioritize obligations so much that I forget about myself. I skip lunch because I want to finish up an assignment. I eschew a fun board game night or table tennis meet-up because I think I should be taking pictures of products. I bought a bento cookbook, an introduction guide to calligraphy, and printed out Japanese hiragana and katakana lists to refamiliarize myself with the language, but I haven't touched a single one.

A few days ago, just before I went to bed I picked up a copy of Nylon that's been on my desk forever, and read the interview with Emma Watson, Logan Lerman, and Ezra Miller that I bought it for (PSA: please go watch The Perks of Being a Wallflower). I felt absolutely inspired and rejuvenated despite the weariness that seems to hover over me.

The next day, I finally read an article that's been an open tab on my browser for a week (about Edward Albee, I think) and again, happiness. I realized that I can't fight having more stress and obligation throughout the years, but I can learn to love myself and feel beautiful through little actions that I can slot in throughout my day.

1. Regular Skincare 
I can't recall where, but I remember reading an article claiming that women who have a regular skincare routine are happier compared to those without because they are constantly touching, and thus pampering and giving attention to, their faces. I don't know if that can ever be scientifically proven, but for a split second after reading that, I thought makes sense.

click here for the tutorial on how to achieve the look
2. Hair
This one is pure vanity, but my day is always better when I take the extra ten minutes out of my day to make my hair look impeccable. Now that I actually have to style my short hair to look like a respectable human being, it's twice as important.

3. Longer Showers 
As much as I'd like to draw a toasty bath every night, I can barely find time to do it once a weekend. What's worse, I used to play music during my shower to keep time so I know by the end of the second song, I have to get out. Now, I go in sans phone and relish the water running down my neck. You'll be surprised how long a short shower actually feels if you don't worry about the time.
4. Inspirational Reading
I grew up holding books - at the restaurant, in the car, just before going to bed. I actually believe the reason I have such deep lines on my neck at my age is because of the horrible posture I get into after hours of reading. I still read a lot, but now they're for work, usually short magazine pieces about frivolous things, and while fun, it's not fulfilling. I'm trying to pick up this habit again by subscribing to and surrounding myself with reading that stimulates me. Current loves are Interview magazine, Business of Fashion, and NY magazine.

5. Smile
Growing up, I used to envy my elder sister because I thought she's easier to love at first sight. I still think it's true, but I realized it's because my sister has naturally upturned lips. It's amazing how much happier I am throughout the day when someone smiles at me. It really doesn't take much, perhaps a Starbucks barrista who's just extra nice. I don't know if everyone else feels the same, but at the off chance that people do, I decided I'll smile more too.

hopefully this makes you laugh!

I'm writing these daily self-care actions down as a reminder to myself, and I hope you'll share some of the things you do for yourself too!

This post is part of BlogHer's My Beautiful Moment series, made possible by Olay.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Butter London Fall 2012: Dodgy Barnett

Butter London Dodgy Barnett is part of their Fall 2012 collection, and while I may be a little late to the party (the holiday collection is already on their website), it's still well worth a look-see.

I wouldn't have done this polish post justice without a close-up of the holographic goodness in the bottle. Dodgy Barnett is a holographic confection of gray and silver suspended in a clear base. The shimmer is very packed, so two coats will cover most of the nail. 

Truth be told, Dodgy Barnett feels more like a holiday shade to me, but that's a tiny detail that doesn't really matter as long as it's available for purchase! It was easy to apply and the end result is smooth. In the pictures above, I am wearing two coats, which if you hold your hands against the light and squint, you'll be able to catch a glimpse of barely visible nail line. Why you'd want to do that instead of admiring the holographic rainbow, I will never know.

So far, I'm happy to report impressive wear – four days in and nary a chip, and the bonus of indescribable, irrational happiness from staring at my fingers.

Butter London Dodgy Barnett retails for $14 and is available at and Nordstrom.

This post features product(s) sent by the company for editorial consideration