Wednesday, January 30, 2013

YSL Spring 2013: Jade Imperial La Laque Couture

You know how you lose something precious and there is a hole in your heart that cannot be filled and it's a little hard to admit because jeez, it's just nail polish, but it's still true? That's how I feel about Rescue Beauty Lounge Diddy Mow. I've only ever lost two beauty products in my life and one of it had to be a limited edition, sold out indie nail polish of the most dreamy green ever. It's frivolous and #firstworldproblem of me, but I want to weep when I think about it.

Anyway, I impulse bought YSL La Laque Couture in Jade Imperial from their spring collection because it looked similar to Diddy Mow in the bottle. Pictured below with Essie Luxeffects Shine of the Times because that's what I applied to the tips of my left hand (shown in top picture) and right ring finger.

Jade Imperial is a cloudy jade green creme. Application was smooth and could easily have been a one coater, though I did two. The formula is just a tad thicker than I would've liked, but in no way does it impede or mar application.

While there is no right or wrong when it comes to nail polish pairing, I think Jade Imperial serves well as a complement to this spring's palette of punchy pinks (I am willfully ignoring its dainty counterparts). I purchased mine for $25 from Nordstrom.

Products Used:
Shu Uemura Retractable Eyebrow Pencil in Seal Brown
Rouge Bunny Rouge Time Defying Foundation in Wheat Cream
Guerlain Meteorites Perles du Paradis
Le Métier de Beauté Peau Vierge Correcteur in Light/Medium
Le Métier de Beauté Eye Brightening and Setting Powder in Revive
Le Métier de Beauté Dualistic Eye Pencil in Tamarack
Dolce & Gabbana Femme Fatale Smooth Eye Color Quad
THREE Flash Performance Pencil Eyeliner in 08 Eye On
Annabelle Le Big Show Mascara
Suqqu Balancing Cheeks in 02 Mukuge
Paul & Joe Lipstick Case CS 006 and Lipstick Refill CS 080 Manège
Le Métier de Beauté Clearly Brilliant Lip Gloss
YSL La Laque Couture in Jade Imperial

Jennifer Zeuner Mini Bar Necklace
Catbird Alphabet Ring

Monday, January 28, 2013

How I Clean My Makeup Brushes

Picture taken from Instagram

There are many ways to clean brushes. Many brush-centric (MAC, Shu Uemura) companies sell accompanying brush cleaners while some make brush soaps (Becca). I've always shied away from them because the cleaners include alcohol, which I believe damage the brush hairs in the long run. My method takes longer, but ensures that my brushes are baby soft no matter how many washes they go through.

I treat brush maintenance with the same zealousness as my haircare routine. I use whatever shampoo and conditioner I have in my current rotation to clean my brushes. Just wet it, lather up, rinse under warm water, condition, then rinse again. Be sure to hold your brush head down while washing so water doesn't seep into the ferrule and weaken the glue that holds the hair together. I dry my brushes over the edge of a table to maintain the shape. If you think about it, the process is almost exactly like washing hair.

Since I wash my hair with Shu Uemura Cleansing Oil Shampoo (we have to talk about this one day. For now, one word: awesome), I have perhaps the world's most pampered brushes.

I took an hour to thoroughly clean thirty brushes. Bending over the sink wasn't fun, but the waking up to a row of like-new brushes the next morning? Priceless.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Paul & Joe Spring 2013 Collection

The Paul & Joe Spring Collection is so full of whimsy and cute. I knew this even before I went to the counter; I've seen the press releases. Yet, there remained much squeeing and dancing little jigs in front of the SA, who thankfully was already familiar with my ways. There are elephants on that lipstick, guys, tell me you can resist.

Alright. On to the formalities:

Paul & Joe Pressed Powder CS 001 Swirl

I didn't take a picture of the powder because there was a seal over this product and it wasn't a tester so I couldn't mess with it. Think pastel green, pink, cream, and white in a dense lollipop swirl. It makes for an understated highlighter that's definitely much less glittery than what I've come to expect from the brand. This is a good thing.

L-R: Eye Color CS 082 Calliope, 083 Montmartre, 084 La Belle Epoque

L-R: Eye Color CS 082 Calliope, 083 Montmartre

084 La Belle Epoque

L-R: Lipstick Refill CS 078 Carousel, 079 Merry-Go-Round, 080 Manège

In case you missed it, Paul & Joe announced last fall that they will start selling their lipstick components in two parts, which means you'll have to purchase the bullet and the tube separately. This amounts to a $2 increase in their (complete) lipstick prices, but as compensation, the company doles out mega-cute limited edition lipstick bullets to soothe the pain off that couple extra dollars.

I had to. I just had to. Nevermind that the color is fantastic and I don't actually own a fuchsia lipstick (and notice the carousel horse detail printed on it!), there are elephants on the tube. That is, unabashedly, my real reason for buying it.

Paul & Joe Spring is already available online at Alternatively, you could give my friend Alex Runciman who works at the P&J counter a call at 212.872.8648. I swatched and purchased the above at Bergdorf Goodman.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Burberry Spring 2013 Swatches

These are iPhone pictures! But swatches! So apologies (again) for the blurriness of my guerrilla swatching post, but I've been repeatedly told that you guys would rather see something than nothing. Here are the blushes and lip glosses of Burberry Spring 2013.

L-R: No. 19 Mallow Pink, No. 20 Sweet Tea Pink, No. 21 Fondant Pink, No. 22 Coral

L-R: No. 09 Coral Pink, No. 10 Hydrangea Pink

Basically, various shades of pink, but not of the marshmallow and cotton candy variety (which in my book is a fantastic thing). I tried on Mallow Pink (see it in action on Getting Cheeky) and Sweet Tea Pink and they make my heart flutter, and I haven't felt that way about pinks in a long time.

The lip glosses retail for $27, while the blushes go for $42. I swatched the above at Saks Fifth Avenue in New York, but the collection is also available at Nordstrom.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Clinique Chubby Stick for Eyes

Perhaps you've heard about the Clinique Chubby Stick, arguably the most popular item to come from the company since the 3-step system. While we know it originally to be a lightweight lip tint, the Chubby Stick has actually evolved into a franchise, with a recently released intense lip version and in February, the eye version.

The Clinique shadows are pigmented, smooth, and easy to blend, which I never thought I would say about cream eye pencils. I did not experience creasing or fading and they last impressively long even without a primer.

I applied the shadow below (Whopping Willow) exactly the way I did here, using the exact same tool. Recently, I've been needing to simplify my regimen for travel while still looking presentable, and I find that cream eye pencils offer the best of both worlds. One simple stick allows me to achieve a decent look, and when the formula is as good as this, it actually becomes a pleasure to apply (unlike this).

In short, when this launches in February (for $16 apiece), everyone should head to a counter and play and then wave your fist at me because then you'll want to have one (or four) of your own.

Full disclosure: This entry contains sample products sent by PR or the manufacturer for editorial consideration.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Editorial: Purple Smoke with Rouge Bunny Rouge

INSPIRATION is such a beautiful word. While it's been said true artists/writers are the ones who slough through regardless of its presence, I'm sure we all can agree that when it's there, life is a million times easier.

I've been meaning to feature a trio of shadows Rouge Bunny Rouge sent to me, but just couldn't figure out how to use them together, until I stumbled upon this photo.

The eyeshadows in question are Snowy Egret, Lilac Reef Curassow, and Eclipse Eagle — an icy gold mint, a lilac, and a purpled brown.

L-R: Snowy Egret, Lilac Reef Curassow, Eclipse Eagle

Here you can see them housed in a nifty little case (RBR' Trio Eye Shadow Keeper)

As you can see, I switched up the colors from the original photo (which are breathtaking, by the way. I want everything used on her), but conformed to the same shading shape. Basically, think of your eyelids in thirds. After applying primer, I patted on Lilac Reef Curassow to the center (2/3) of my lids. I then applied Eclipse Eagle to the inner and outer lid (1/3 and 3/3), making sure to blend, but not overly blend into the lilac. More detail went to shading the inner lid, as the makeup artist extended the shade to the side of her nose bridge instead of stopping at the edge of the lid. I applied Snowy Egret to the inner corners of my eyes and smoked out the bottom lash line with Eclipse Eagle.

I could discern only the faintest inkling of a line on the model's eyes, so I tight-lined using a black pencil liner. Two coats of black mascara, and done.

The Look

Rouge Bunny Rouge products are available internationally on and

Products Used:
Rouge Bunny Rouge Time Defying Foundation in Wheat Cream
Tarte Maracuja Creaseless Concealer in Light
Guerlain Meteorites Perles du Paradis
Shu Uemura Retractable Eyebrow Pencil in Seal Brown
NARS Pro Prime Smudgeproof Eyeshadow Base
Rouge Bunny Rouge Eyeshadows in Snowy Egret, Lilac Reef Curassow, and Eclipse Eagle
THREE Flash Performance Pencil Eyeliner in Eye On 08
Pop Beauty Peak Performance Mascara in Blackest Black
Addiction Blush Mix in Brown Toast
Cle de Peau Enriched Lip Luminizer in #201

Necklace from Intermix, dress from Free People.

Full disclosure: This entry contains sample products sent by PR or the manufacturer for editorial consideration.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Dior Twin Set Eyeshadow Duo in 090 Fishnet Black

Dior Twin Set Eyeshadow Duo in Fishnet Black ($30) is a new, I wanna say, thingamajig the brand introduced for spring. It is a double-sided eye pen housing two eyeshadows of different textures intended for layering. One side is basically a cream stick, while the other is a sponge that dispenses a sheer wash of color.

L-R: spongey side, creamy side

both layered

While the creamy side can stand alone (apply onto lid, then use finger to gently smudge out for a simple smokey eye), the sheer spongey end of the stick barely shows up on the skin. I had to pack on the pigment for it to show up in the photo above.

The duo makes for a beautiful smokey eye, but it takes much effort to achieve. In my mind, the main uses for a product like this is: 1) to simplify things for beginners or 2) as a one-stick-fits-all for travel/easy touch ups throughout the day. However, this duo is not particularly easy to work with. It actually takes me less time to do a smokey eye with eyeshadow compared to using the duo, because I have to carefully apply and blend out the cream, then rigorously pat down the eyeshadow to smoke it out. The only good thing is since so little pigment comes out of the spongey side, you create a natural smoked out gradient.

Also, while I believe most of us already wear primer as a necessary step in our routine, I think it's worth mentioning that this eyeshadow will not last on oily lids without a primer. By the end of the night, my right lid was completely mangled.

That said, with some patience and practice it could be a really good traveling companion. You won't achieve terribly sophisticated looks, but it is decent for a quick smokey eye, especially when you won't need a brush!

I received my Fishnet Black Twin Set from my internship and a quick search online suggests it's not for sale at the usual department stores, so I'm not entirely sure where you can go to purchase it. When I swatched the collection at Saks, I only saw the pink and gray duos. Perhaps this is an as yet released Sephora exclusive?

Products Used:
Tarte Maracuja Creaseless Concealer in Light
Dr. Jart+ Black Label Detox BB Beauty Balm
Guerlain Météorites Perles du Paradis
Shu Uemura Retractable Eyebrow Pencil in Seal Brown
Dior Twin Set Eyeshadow Duo in 090 Fishnet Black
Giorgio Armani Eyes To Kill Waterproof Eye Pencil in Black #1
Eyeko Black Magic Mascara
Korres Lip Butter in Quince

Friday, January 11, 2013

Guerlain Spring 2013: Météorites Perles du Paradis

Guerlain Météorites Perles du Paradis ($70) are – how shall I put this delicately? – giant balls of lightly colored pearls meant for highlighting the face. If you've been reading Messy Wands for some time, you'll know that pink is not my favorite color. Pink doesn't propel me into throes of I need them all like, say, dark blues sometimes do. But apparently there is a dainty little girl that isn't all that dormant inside of me, because I was enamored by the cotton candy pink box (never mind that it's made of cardboard instead of a sturdier material) and positively squealed when I realized it included an actual fluffy puff instead of the regular sponge.

Was it functional? Maybe. I didn't wait to find out before I bought it.

Perles du Paradis contains silver, light pink, dark pink, and lilac pearls. While Guerlain's météorites products are meant for color correcting and highlighting, I believe this particular iteration serves another purpose. Because the pearls are so large (twice the size of regular météorites), it is simple for me to use a dense blush brush to pick up certain pigments (darker pink and lilac). The result is a light lilac pink on my cheeks. For highlighting, I use an extremely fluffy brush (like the Suqqu Powder brush) and gently sweep it around the box, careful to target the lighter shades, then apply it all over.

Like all other météorites, Perles du Paradis casts a veil of glow over your face. It's a finishing powder that just makes you look better even though you can't pinpoint exactly why. Larie, my fellow bandit and shopping Jiminy Cricket, asked me if I thought it was too pink, but you can see from the shot above that it just adds radiance to the skin.

I will be the first to admit I didn't need this. After all, I already have Teint Beige, Perles de Nuit, and Perles d'Azur, and while the imparted effect is different, it's not so different to the naked eye that would justify the purchase. But there's just something about these boxes of pearls that's hard to resist, especially when it comes with a giant puff. I mean, there's no harm in collecting pretty things... right?

P.S. Shout out to my lovely friend Angela who made me this amazing slouchy mustard beanie to keep my ears warm! I look at her handiwork and wonder why I even bother with store bought knits. I should just pay her to make them for me.

Products Used:
Shu Uemura Retractable Eyebrow Pencil in Seal Brown
Clinique Chubby Stick for Eyes in Whopping Willow (out February!)
Giorgio Armani Eyes To Kill Waterproof Eye Pencil in Black #1
Eyeko Black Magic Mascara
Tarte Maracuja Creaseless Concealer in Light
Dr. Jart+ Black Label Detox BB Beauty Balm
Guerlain Météorites Perles du Paradis
Clinique Chubby Stick Moisturizing Lip Colour Balm in Graped Up

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Pretty Little Things

image from my Instagram

While being sick is generally an unfun thing to do (I say "do" as if it's something one actively pursues. Uh, no), as a beauty blogger it comes with a specific territory of challenges - redness, dry and flaking nose and mouth - on top of the general malaise. My body decided to stick it to me all at once too, so on top of that, I have a huge pimple above my mouth and, I kid you not, one on my bottom eyelid that's basically on my eye. Who has energy to think about makeup when they're so busy feeling sorry about themselves?

Not me. I have been on-and-off almost sick for a week (hence the silence. Sorry) it's like those diseases are taunting me. Perhaps I should be grateful I'm at the stage where I'm not sick enough to warrant being in bed all day, but being on the brink for this long quickly gets old.

I have nothing to give you beauty-wise, except I have been makeup free for an entire week, and as much as I dislike admitting my mom is right, my skin does fare better from this imposed holiday. My skincare routine is also nonexistent, basically only three drops of Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Concentrate at night to soothe the dryness.

The ring above was one of those little indulgences that turned out to be so worth it considering its increase to my personal happiness. Throughout the years I've accumulated tons of jewelry that I barely wear, even though I was tempted to procure it at the time, so by now I am well-versed with avoiding those purchasing pitfalls. While the majority of rings on Catbird make me clutch my heart for both pretty and monetary reasons, this dainty alphabet band is a (relatively) palatable $96. It has not budged from my finger for the past month, and though it becomes a problem when in contact with knitted sweaters, I continue to take my chances.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

2012 Introspection

I know I'm super behind on this, but I just simply can't get on with the usual until I "look back" at 2012. My 2011 Introspective was one of the best things I've done for myself, because throughout the year I kept going back to that post to remind myself what I learned from the year before. I told myself I had to do one every year, so here goes:

I experienced so much change in 2012. For the first five months, I was a beauty intern at Vogue and was lucky enough to even have two published pieces on (here and here, if you wanted to take a peek). I also met my girl crush/idol Eva Chen, who gave me wonderful advice about everything from working at Vogue to career to life, really.

I graduated in May and moved to New York City in September. And if my exultations through my posts and social media accounts aren't apparent enough, I am absolutely head over heels in love with this city. I don't think I'll live here forever, but for now and (hopefully) for a few more years to come, this is where my heart will be.

Funny story! My roommate and I met each other on Craigslist. We were both in desperate situations and had to find whatever we could, but we ended up in a great neighborhood and a nice apartment and are now having the time of our lives. Everyone who knows us tell us they would never ever have paired us up to live together, but it works so well that she's now one of my best friends and confidantes. I was never really a big believer in soul mates, but now I am pretty sure she and I are meant for each other. The picture above is a good representation of how it's like living in our apartment. I love that girl.

I ended a 5-year relationship in November, and since then what I've been trying to do is make more friends and expose myself to new food, new adventures, new things, new people. I've been posting less recently because a huge part of me wants to take the time to relax and enjoy life outside the screen. For the past year, my daily schedule had Messy Wands stamped on it, and while I love it like it's my child, I have to say it's pretty liberating to actually feel like a girl in her early 20s.

That said, Messy Wands has grown too. I love the new lighting and new design, and I'm hoping to diversify content in 2013. I am still very thankful and grateful to each and every one of you who took the time to comment and give me ideas when I was in my rut. It seems that some of you would like to read lifestyle/fashion posts (feel free to share your thoughts below!). I can't promise that I wear very interesting things, but I do like other pretty things besides makeup, and I would love to share them with you moving forward.

People say some of biggest changes you'll go through in life is after high school and college graduation, and I guess they're right. For 2013, I would like to be proactive and reach for what I want, because if there's one thing I learned by now, it's that you won't get what you want if you don't ask/fight for it. Nicely, of course.

Have a good year ahead, lovelies!