Confessions of a Cosmetic Junkie

helping the economy one lipstick at a time

REVIEW: ELF Contouring Blush and Bronzing Powder June 30, 2011

Filed under: Blush,Bronzer — karminaaguilar @ 10:12 pm
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ELF (acronym for Eyes.Lips.Face) is probably one of the most budget-friendly brand in the cosmetic industry. I actually have several of their items on my collection and so far, I have not gone wrong on the pieces that I have. Bear in mind that I am a very meticulous shopper… I really try and test before I actually let go of my money at the check out counter. ELF can be a hit or miss brand. They have a lot of winner pieces on their “Studio Line” collection as opposed to their regular pieces.

The newest member of my ELF collection is the Studio Line Contouring Blush and Bronzing Powder

ELF box

Packaging of these blushes is very similar to NARS at first glance sans the rubberized texture from the NARS version. The ELF version are housed on hard plastic. Similarity to NARS ends at packaging πŸ™‚

ELF Blush container

The size is very much reasonable to its price tag of Php249 (About $6). These are 2 full-size blush/bronzer so I definitely think this is a good deal.

In terms of color pay-off, they come off as a bit on the sheer side. I had to layer several times before the swatch I made became visible when I took the picture. The blush is a subtle peachy pink shade with a hint of gold shimmer while the bronzer has this light cocoa shade with bronze shimmer. When swatched, the blush is a little lighter version of the MAC sheertone shimmer blush in Peachtwist while the bronzer is lighter version of Benefit’s Hoola.

ELF bronzer Swatch

I think it being that sheer makes the color intensity more buildable and somehow makes application safe from over bronzing or messed up… πŸ˜‰

In terms of powder quality, they are finely milled and very blendable. They are not as intensely pigmented as the high-end brands but nothing a good layering won’t fix. At this price point, you can’t go wrong with this blush/bronzer.

If we look at wear time, since its pretty sheer, I get about 3-4 hours before I need to retouch… so pretty average in my opinion.

PROS: Easy on the budget, Color is buildable and friendly to both light and dark-skinned. Hefty size, convenient slim packaging, easily available in most department store beauty counters.

CONS: The packaging in smooth hard plastic makes it a little accident prone (specially with clumsy ol’ me), since this blush does not come with those small brushes like benefit or loreal, it’s a little inconvenient to bring for mid-day touch ups as you have to make sure you have a pocket blush brush as well.

TIP: Use the bronzer the normal way (blending it in areas where the sun normal “tans” your face. Blend in the peach blush at the apples of your cheeks and a little bit on the nose. Color resembles to how one normally looks like after a fun day at the beach – tanned but you have this pink glow going. πŸ™‚

Well even with those minor issues with packaging and lack of a pocket brush, I definitely still think that this is blush/bronzer worth buying.


Nailing It with MAC Wonder Woman Nail Polish in Obey Me June 29, 2011

Filed under: Nails — karminaaguilar @ 4:38 am
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I have always been amazed at my mom’s and my aunt’s nails since I was a little girl. I loved how pristine and long their nails were and how they always seemed perfectly manicured in these classic beige color. I remember Sundays at my grandparent’s house after lunch, when everyone gathered by the TV and watch, chat, gossip. My mom and aunts would have their regular manicurist do a home service and they would get their nails done… I would watch intently as the manicurist clean, paint the nails and make it look all pretty.

While my sisters and cousins would run out to play, I would stay on and watch (much to joy of my nanny since she would not end up running after me or pick me up after i trip over something… which usually happens since I was a pretty clumsy kid hehehe). I would watch until the manicurist would be done and would indulge my curiosity by painting my tiny nails with those pink tints to make the nails look rosy while she trims my nails. I would be smiling ear to ear while she does that. I was happy at the thought that someday, I would also have those long perfect nails like my mom and aunts.

As I grew older, as reality sets in, I realized that my nails were never meant to be long. They grew in a weird way that is far from how my mom’s nails look like. I always ended up having them trimmed really short. However, I still had them painted with nail polish. I always used classic colors such as beige, pink and if they successfully grow a few cm., I had them have those french tips. I thought those were the only proper colors for nails… I was wrong!

When I started working, I always had them done in my favorite color – The Nars Jungle Red polish. It was the perfect shade of red in my opinion… not too loud to be called slutty, and not too dark to be mistaken as dried up blood. This will always be my go-to nail color… I would try other colors but I would always go back to my Nars Jungle Red.

My next favorite shade of red is the MAC Wonder Woman Nail Polish in “Obey Me” (Pretty powerful name… almost hypnotic)… This is a tad bit brighter than Jungle Red. The packaging is pretty cool too if you ask me. Since these limited edition MAC polish easily gets bought on the launch date, my sister actually woke up early on a Saturday to line up at the local MAC store and snag me a bottle… I was jumping with joy when she called me from the store to tell me that she got it πŸ˜€ It was worth the hype (even my sister thinks so) because I have been using this polish a lot.

MAC Polish

PROS: It dries easily, it applies evenly and the color is true to it’s bottle color (some polishes look pretty on the bottle and sucky on your nails). The color complements varied skin tones. The bottle is lots of fun too (adds to the charm of the polish) What I love best about it? It looks so good on my very short nails.


CONS: It’s limited edition. They stock an obscenely small volume here in Manila. It’s quite pricey for a nail polish @ Php600 ~ about $13. (Well NARS is definitely more expensive @ Php900/pop ~ about $20 but my nail salon carries that color so I actually don’t need to buy my own bottle of NARS).

Other than the availability and the price, I am quite sold on my Wonder Woman polish. I say, I nailed this color πŸ˜‰


My Comfort-Me Habit June 26, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — karminaaguilar @ 4:52 pm

A lot of people deal with a bad day, bad news, or simply feeling under the weather by what you call “Retail Therapy” which, oftentimes end up spending a lot of money on a pair of awesome heels, or that much-too-expensive-dress, or sometimes a gadget that when you get home, you feel awfully guilty for spending that much on something you don’t really need.

I am guilty of the same habit but with a twist – I don’t buy much. My therapy is going through the department store beauty area and scour aisle per aisle for what is new may it be that new Wet N’ Wild Color Icon Palette or that new Majolica Majorca blush… It can even be the new Etude House nail polish. I limit my comfort-me therapy to swatching new stuff, going through the aisles… and if something stands out from my swatching, I might end up buying (if my budget for the month permits) it to be part of my collection.

When I went to Sephora in Singapore, I was in Cosmetic Heaven. I was in Bliss… Too bad there is no Sephora here in Manila. Otherwise their Sales people would probably know me by name by now hahaha.


I guess I’m just sharing… Cause I absolutely feel bad at this moment and at this late hour I can’t rush to the mall and get myself comforted. 😦


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