Friday, August 30, 2013

The Silliness of Buying (US) drugstore brands in Milan

Hi Ladies (and Gents'?)

I would like to share with you something funny ever since I have moved here in Milan (makeup-wise, what else?).  I discovered that for those ladies from the US or anywhere else in the world (Philippines?) who has a passion buying makeup from major "drugstore" brands such as Maybelline, Revlon etc (I guess I should also include the brands Rimmel London and NYX, amongst other fab, affordable brands) and has since moved to Milan or other parts of Europe should be warned and be advised to buy as much as they can from said brands due to, gasp, the ridiculous price they have here, not to mention the exchange rate from USD/whatevahcurrency to Euro

As much love I have for Chanel and Tom Ford, who can resist drugstore makeup when they are raved by make-up artists for being fabulous?  I saw a video of the fantabulous Charlotte Tilbury (for Grazia magazine: link below) with her using Maybelline's Color Tattoo EyeStudio in this super metallic blue color and I thought, WOW.

A few months ago (when I was still slightly blonde), I had the chance to go to the San Diego, Calif. and the day we arrived, me and my (super sexy) husband and our little boy decided we should raid Target and Costco (which my husband actually thought was a fictional supermarket from the movie "The Watch", with Ben Stiller, oh goodness.) and I have satisfied my Maybelline obssession (or, just a bit of it).

Color Tattoos in Edgy Emerald, Tough as Taupe, and Inked in Pink,  Lasting Drama EyeStudio Liner in Blackest Black, MegaPlush Volume Express in Black and Dream Bouncy Blush in Hot Tamale.

Picture Overload and Quick Review:

MegaPlush Volum'Express in Black:  I LOVE THIS!  SERIOUSLY!  I have given up on Maybelline mascaras in the late 90s (hmmm) with Great Lash, it didn't work for me, but then again I didn't know I have to curl my super short, super straight asian lashes before I apply (any) mascara.  This one is the real deal: it lenghtens, slightly volumizes my lashes and it really gives that bright-eyed, doll look that is just so pretty.  I only saw a vid of Ms Tilbury using this and made a note to myself to O-W-N.

US$ Price is about 6$; Local price here is 11.99euros (ouch)

Color Tattoo 24hr in Inked in Pink

Color Tattoo 24hr in Tough as Taupe

Color Tattoo 24hr in Edgy Emerald.

I believe that the day we went to Target I am pretty sure some ladies have raided the Maybelline section because I only found about 6 available colors and the Teal/Blue color I wanted wasn't there so I settled to these 3 beautiful colors.  They are highly-pigmented, creamy eyeshadows that I use personally alone or as base for other colours.  They are easy to blend and when given a short time to set, they stay in place.  I guess most of them have high-shimmer factor (NOT glitter) although the taupe seemed not to have any shimmer which is absolutely gorgeous as a base color.

US$ at around 4.99; Local supermarket price is 8.99euros (F$#k!)

*Note that when shopping, careful to inspect every single thing you buy or you will end up with your little jar opened with a finger mark by some crazed makeup fanatic, hehe (see Inked In Pink above).

Dream Bouncy Blush in Hot Tamale - This is a fantastic little cream (mousse? bouncy thing?) blush that is light as air, highly pigmented and true to colour when applied to cheeks.  I don't know how similar this is to the new Diorblush Cheek Cream but the color is so similar to Diorblush's Bikini so I'm pretty sure it could be a great alternative (not to mention the price difference between the two).

US$ price was about 4.99, I haven't seen this in my local supermarket so no idea.

Lasting Drama 24hr in Blackest Black - the only thing that I would say I am sort-of disappointed about.  I own 2 Lasting Drama in Brown and Black Gold and they were both marvelous.  Both are super smooth and does not move or budge after application.  But this Lasting Drama Liner in Black that I've got is different.  It is inky (now that sounds bad) that you have to be careful where you place the color or it would transfer upon application.  It is a hot mess.  If it weren't for the lovely brush that all Lasting Drama Liner comes with, I would really thing this belongs straight to the bin.  In any case, just yesterday I decided maybe I could use this liner as a black base so I used it at home and did what I can with it and I guess I can say, blended well it works great as a base for powder eyeshadows.  Not bad after all.  (This comes as you see in the picture, the other two I bought locally and comes in a sort of carton packets, I don't know what the difference is, maybe just the packaging?  Both says gel eyeliners.  The one I bought in the US applies more as cream than as gel, just my opinion.)

US$ price at 5.99, locally it is 11.89.

So there you have it.  Ok, it may not be so silly after all, it is just a matter of equation (you earn euros, you spend in euros, same with dollars and whatever currency).   When you want something, you get them regardless of price (and it is not as if we are talking of an Hermes bag here).  Prices may vary in most countries, there are import taxes etc to consider and hence the huge price difference.  It is also true that Milan offers fantastic options regarding high-street makeup, we have Kiko Milano and Madina (Chic and Shine Stick anyone?) which are both super affordable and have colors that calls to you when you walk pass by their stores.  The prices are more "human" (haha.) since for example I believe Kiko sells their lipliners for only 1.99euros and eyeshadows sticks that are comparable to qualities by ByTerry etc since most high-end makeup houses have their manufacturing companies based either in Italy or France so the technology is available for Italian brands as much as their US/European counterparts.

So like I said, I have enjoyed my US mini haul and still enjoying them and would get more whenever I can.

Thanks for reading, y'all!


That's me at the bar across our hotel enjoying a late-night Mojito after my supermarket makeup-raid.


Charlotte Tilbury: Pop Art Inspired Peacock Eye -
Kiko Milano Cosmetics -
Madina Milano -


Sunday, August 25, 2013

What's In Your Make Up Bag?

Hey Dolls!  Truthfully it has not been a long time since I have started carrying a beauty/makeup bag,  I mean, it is ANOTHER thing to carry.  Cannot we just chuck in the bag (apart from the notebook, ipad, phone, pens etc) our favorite lipstick or two, lipgloss, powder, handcream, lipbalm........errrr, yeah, you get what I mean?

(Answer: No, you cannot.)

Apart from incidents of loosely-capped lipgloss (gross), face powders breaking up and making a mess inside your precious bags, I just really got frustrated with the fact that even if most bags have smaller pockets inside and that's where you keep your makeup in, chances are when you REALLY need that blasted lipbalm it would still take you about a minute to finally retrieve it. Oh well.

So I decided, yeah, keep a mini beauty bag inside my bag.  How difficult is that? Not so much.

So this is actually the smaller of a Prada beauty bag which normally includes:
3.pressed powder
4.moisturiser (face and body)
6.other stuff (freebie hotel pen/hair ties+pin/mini lip brushes)

These are mine, what's in yours?

Lots of Love x

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Le Blush Creme de Chanel in 65 Affinite and 61 Destiny

Hi dolls,

Chanel has just released six creme blushes for Fall 2013 called Le Blush Creme de Chanel and even though I have had two of the colors for months, I am now only writing a review of them now.  Here are they in Affinite (65) and Destiny (61):

They are lovely.  I picked up these two colors because based on the previously released swatches from other sites, the other ones would be too pale for me or would just not suit my coloring.  I just mistook the fact that I thought Affinite was the most intense color in the bunch (apparently not, there is also 66 Fantastic), but the mistake wasn't all that bad, I just always preferred my blushes to be either intensely pink or intense in any other color. hehe.

65 Affinite is a pretty creamy pink color that works and shows up pretty nicely in my bronzed (ie. my summer) face.  61 Destiny is a warm tan/bronzy blush which is a curious purchase since I did not believe this color could be a "blush" (funny how makeup houses label strange colors as "blush", no one blushes in THIS color, but there it is.)  but then again I could say that I use my BRONZER as a contour and slightly on my cheeks, I use Destiny the same way although not as pronounce as a contour color.

Let's have a closer look, shall we?  Taken without a flash indoors:

The photo above is, I can say, true to color.  They both apply creamy and then dries powdery.  I am not very curious with my makeup (once it is on, I do not touch it) and so after applying it, you get the ease of forgetting it and not worry about it since they last quite well (around 6 hours? I guess during the night one might one to pile a bit more on, not that it fades but one can say this is a very buildable color).  I can only compare it with the YSL creme blushes (the only other creme blush that I own) and I could say that the YSL applies more lightly, as in if you are crazy you would just pile it on and on without feeling heavy at all, YSL creme blushes applies sheer in a non-powder sort of way (silicone-y?) the Chanel ones are makeup-y, not that makeup-y is bad, it is just that you know and you see what you pile on and I have noticed that you have to blend VERY well or else it would look like makeup, now THAT is bad.

Here is the one swatch I have taken of both and you will see what I mean:

This is a heavy swatch without flash and in daylight.  Destiny fades (sort of) away with my skin colour (my body is darker than my facial skin) and Affinite is in it creamy pink glory.  I love them, what is not to love about Chanel makeup?  I was practically brainwashed only to love Chanel makeup when I started getting into makeup from when I was in high school (hehe).  I just do not understand why I do not grab these blushes whenever I put makeup on (maybe I should place them where I see them, hihi)  in any case, these blushes are a great addition to any make-up as they are easy to use (fingers, anyone?) and the result is always pretty anyway (oh and the packaging is smaller than the normal Chanel blush/eyeshadow quads) so they are easy to pack in your daily beauty bag.  So get yours now and be pretty!

Thanks for reading!  x

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Tom Ford's Viper Nail Lacquer.

Hi beauties, the other day the weather has SLIGHTLY changed and there was a bit of a cloud and grayness and with the weather in Milan trying to remind me that summer will never end (I just feel like a wilted flower and wearing make-up became a freaking challenge to the point that I would rather not wear any), that little chance of me to wear something that does not scream "summer" I immediately went on full Tom Ford mode of wearing Black Orchid on my lips and Viper on my nails.  I had to do 3 coats (*gasp* never have I done 3 coats with a Chanel nail lacquer) to have a sort of even-ish, deep eggplant color.

That was the other day.  The next day (when the photo was taken, it's pristine condition didn't last long, it was sort of thinning around the edge already but I don't mind), the sun was/is now back in full force and I found myself lounging by the pool, loving my unmade-up face and still rocking my Viper nailpolish.  Love. It.

Thanks for reading! x

Monday, August 12, 2013

All the prettiest things I (currently) love!

Hi dolls!

It has been a long time since my last post and all those time I have acquired a couple of things and/or have been using old favorites, the new ones need more test-driving (hah!) before I give my personal thoughts about them but in any case here are a few of the things which have been in my regular makeup routine. Enjoy the photos!

All from Chanel:

Clockwise from left: Le Mouche de Beaute, Le Blush Creme de Chanel in Affinite and Destiny, Les Beiges Poudre Belle Mine Naturelle No. 40, Stylo Yeux Waterproof Eyeliners in Marine, Violine and Beryl, and Joues Contraste Powder Blush in Ultra Rose).

All from Tom Ford and Yves Saint Laurent:

Clockwise from left: Tom Ford eyeshadow quad (new!), YSL Babydoll Liquid Liners, TF Blush in Savage, TF lipstick in Violet Fatale, TF Nail Lacquer in Viper and YSL Rose Babydoll Glossy Stain and YSL lipstick in Le Fuchsia.

No black liners there folks!  I love having colors on my face and I would even tightline my eyes using any of the two liners from Chanel (it looks beautiful, specially Violine, it gives the eyes something really special that a black can't give) excluding Beryl because...doh?

So there you have it, reviews regarding several of these beautiful things in my next post.

Thanks for reading!