Confessions of a Cosmetic Junkie

helping the economy one lipstick at a time

REVIEW: Revlon Lip Butters June 4, 2012

Filed under: Lips — karminaaguilar @ 11:58 am
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I always loved lip balm. My sister can attest to the fact that I finish up lip balms really fast (Flattened out my EOS lip balm in 3 months… true story 😉 ) I love my lip balms but I always wished they had a bit of color on it so I can just wear 1 product instead of layering on the lip balm and my lipstick.

The first tinted lip balm I had was the Blistex Lip Tone… I didn’t feel that it gave enough tint. I felt it just made my lips look even but not enough color for me to forgo lipstick.

The next product I tried was Burt’s Bees Lip Shimmer in Merlot. This is a very pigmented lip balm… however, this seemed more like a lipstick than a lip balm. It did have the minty tingle of the lip balm, however, it seemed to dry my lips out… Although I did use this up until the thin tube was empty as I really loved the color and chose to use a separate lip balm beneath it.

So anyway, I have actually tried several brands which didn’t give me the effect I wanted so when I saw these lip butters launched, I was actually a bit skeptical on how pigmented they are and at the same time how moisturizing they feel on the lips. I have seen multiple blogs raving about the Revlon lip butters… so I decided to give it a go.

I initially bought 1 lip butter – Raspberry Pie. To see if its worth the hype it was getting online… and it was indeed worth it. I loved how it moisturizes my lips and at the same time have lipstick-like pigmentation on my lips. 😀 Yay!!! But I think not all colors have huge pigmentation… there are pretty sheer colors available too. I guess I just chose the colors with a lot of color pay-off when swiped on the lips.

So I ended up having 3 colors on my collection – Raspberry Pie, Sweet Tart and Tutti Frutti

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1) Raspberry Pie – a warm fuschia-berry tone. I love how bold the color is and yet its not screaming for attention. It actually makes my skin tone seems lighter. This is actually my favorite among the bunch.

2) Tutti Frutti – is a bright tangerine color. It’s a wearable orange hue that is flattering for most skin tones. When I use this I only use about 1-2 layers max so as not to make it too loud a lip color.

3) Sweet Tart – On the tube, it seems like a dark salmon color but when swatched, it’s actually a light pink shade (similar to carnation pink on the Crayola box 😀 ). I actually look weird when I wear light pink lipsticks so I was a bit iffy with this color when I swatched it on my hand and quite relieved that it actually looks good on my lips.

Swatches L-R –> Sweet Tart, Tutti Frutti, Raspberry Pie

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On my lips they looked like these:

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1) Moisturizing – They do keep my lips soft and smooth. The lip lines are not that noticeable.

2) The feel light on my lips unlike some lip products where it feels a bit heavy and sticky (I’m not sure if I made sense hehehe).

3) Buildable color – you can choose to have a sheer application (1 swipe) or have intense color by swiping it on your lips several times.

4) Very pigmented – at least from the colors I chose they were really pigmented

5) For a tinted lip balm, they do last pretty well (about 4 hours)

6) It has a faint vanilla smell (like MAC lippies) which I actually do not notice anymore after using the lip butters several times.


1) A little pricey for Php 525 (approx $12… these lip butters only sell for about $7 in the US). But if I am not mistaken, I got my other 2 lip butters at 10% off during a mall-wide sale… So I guess you just need to watch out for those sales to make the price a little bearable.

2) Tube is a bit difficult to open – Not really sure if it’s just me but I tend to have difficulty opening the tube. It has a tendency to slip since the bottom portion visible to hold on to is a little small. So I’m really careful when I open it.

3) It easily melts – I guess it’s living up to its “butter” consistency. You have to be careful not to expose your bag to sunlight or heat or leave your lip butters in hot areas as they easily melt. I know I have limited sunlight exposure when I travel to work and yet, they somehow melt to the sides of the tube. I’m a bit OC on my lipsticks – I hate it when they melt to the sides of the tube and make a mess when I twist it down. 😦

Considering the pros and cons of the Revlon Lip butters, I still love them and have been using them on a daily basis since I got them. If I use them up, I might consider repurchasing them.


HAUL & REVIEW: Beauty Shopping at the Korean Mini Mart

Wow… It’s been awhile since I last wrote… got so busy with my new work… (ergo: new role, new demands, new responsibilities) technically not so new since I already got my permanency letter yay!!! Anyway, I’m back and I will definitely make more effort to write more about the things that keep me sane and relaxed…

I was craving for the creamy sweet Korean Ice cream – Melona the other day so as I entered the Korean mini-mart, and headed for the freezer, there was this small shelf beside the check-out counter that caught my eye… make-up!!! Korean make-up in general is pretty good. It’s good quality and the packaging is usually really cute 😀 So to cut it short, I checked out the beauty shelf and got myself a small haul:

  • Rucy’s Vanity Auto Eyebrow Pencil – Grey > Php 60.00 ~ approx $ 1.39

  • Rucy’s Vanity Lipstick – Red > Php 120.00 ~ approx $ 2.79

  • Ludon Lipstick – Shade 25 (Bubblegum Pink) > Php 140.00 ~ approx $ 3.25

  • Purederm Make-up Cleansing Tissues > Php 29.00 ~ approx $ 0.67

Total damage: Php 349.00 or $ 8.10

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So were they worth a try?

They are pretty good considering the price point. I think they are pretty comparable, if not better than some drugstore brands.

1) Rucy’s Vanity Auto Eyebrow Pencil in Grey – It’s your regular twist up eyebrow pencil. It’s pretty hard to overdo the application since it comes off as light and you build it up with several strokes of the pencil. Being grey, it doesn’t give a harsh black hue on your brows. It still comes off as natural dark brows. Staying power is pretty good at about 5-6 hours.

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2) Rucy’s Vanity lipstick in Red – This is similar to the Revlon lip butters in my opinion as it comes off pretty sheer. The color is pretty build able but it won’t go as intense as your regular lipstick. If you want a natural looking red lips without looking like a pin-up girl, this lipstick will do the trick. Staying power on the lips is similar to lip balm but it does leave a flattering stain on your lips. This lipstick has this rose-scent about it that I am not so keen about. But the scent does go away after a few minutes… so if you are not so sensitive about smell, then I think you can rock this lipstick.

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Swatches – (Left) on my hand (Top Right) my bare lips (Bottom Right) with the lipstick

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3) Ludon Lipstick in #25 – This lipstick is in a flattering bubblegum pink color. It looks a bit matte but it’s really creamy and has a good feel on the lips. It stays on the lips for a good 4 hours (shorter if you eat or drink) before fading away. This lipstick has a vanilla scent (similar to MAC) that I like and as with the other lipstick, the scent goes away after a few minutes. I love this lipstick actually and I don’t mind retouching after several hours… really love the color… this shade of pink does not make me look washed out or weird (hehehe).

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4) PureDerm make-up cleansing tissues – It gets make-up off pretty well in my opinion. It has a refreshing scent that is not overpowering nor nauseating. I think it’s pretty convenient to carry in my bag as the size is pretty compact and it’s actually an effective make-up remover. I like how it did not break my skin out as my skin is pretty sensitive. So I also love this. 😀

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So I guess these are pretty good. If you are on a tight budget in terms of make-up, these are pretty good and would give you value for your money. So the next time you visit the Korean mini-mart, you might want to check out their cosmetics too apart from the yummy ice cream. 😀

(Extra Note) My friend purchased the Rucy’s mascara and she already got a second tube since she liked and finished off her first tube.


Preview: TheBalm Limited Edition Muppets Cast Your Shadow Palette August 25, 2011

I think by now, based on my blog entries, you would have guessed that I had a pretty happy, normal childhood. I played in the streets, scraped my knees and elbows, knew pretty much all of the famous Filipino street games like Tumbang preso, Patintero, shakto (not sure of the spelling), football with a filipino twist – instead of a rubber ball, we use those plastic balls that were made to look like basketball and were a huge pain when you actually get hit by it (dodge ball style).

I grew up forced to take afternoon naps (which I so miss and want to take every single day hahaha) and in the afternoon, I am glued to watching cartoons like Thunder Cats (which now have a completely gross meaning), Street frogs and Karate Cat. Mornings are spent watching Sesame Street and Saturday afternoons are my favorite because The Muppet Show and Fraggle Rock is up. A lot of kids nowadays are no longer familiar of the Muppet Show and Fraggle Rock.

For my generation, let me refresh your memory… For the younger generation, let me introduce you to these magical and very entertaining group of puppets.

FRAGGLE ROCK: They live in caves and are simply a crazy bunch of muppets that love to sing and dance and from time to time get into mischief.

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THE MUPPET SHOW: These are at channel 9 think around 5 or 6pm. It’s a show with different hilarious segments.

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My favorites are the Swedish Chef (i honestly don’t understand everything he says but he is so freakin’ hilarious)

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and the 2 grumpy men on the balcony

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Anyway, I love them. They never cease to remind me that I absolutely had a grand time as a kid. So I do read a lot of tweets and beauty blogs so imagine my excitement when I heard that one of my favorite make-up brands – theBalm (locally available at the Beauty Bar), is actually releasing a make-up palette to commemorate the Muppet Movie being released this year I think.

TheBalm is probably one of the brands that do not get that much attention but are actually releasing very good quality make-up. They are comparable if not better than Urban Decay and MAC on the texture of their shadows, blushes, powders and even lipsticks. Their shadows are very buttery and soft. The color pay-off is very amazing as well. I honestly can’t say anything bad about their products as they are really of good quality. So the next time you visit Beauty Bar, try taking notice of theBalm’s counter so you can see for yourself how great their products are.

Here is a pic tweeted by @cardellino:

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On theBalm site, its described as:

“The perfect cast with the perfect shadows! Our Limited Edition palette contains all of your favorite Muppets in one multi-use face palette. With 16 gorgeous shadows/liners, 2 lip/cheek stains, and 1 lip gloss you’ll be able to create your best looks. With colors such as “Wocka, Wocka” and “Great Gonzo”, you’ll feel the Muppet Frenzy with every look. Complete with mirror and dual-ended brush, this palette has everything you need to get you ready for your starring role.”

Its an awesome, creative palette. You get a ton of product and the packaging is absolutely adorable. The color choices are a good mix of neutrals with a few pops of color thrown in. Muppet + Make-up + TheBalm = Heaven for me. 😀 The palette costs $44.50.

Since it’s a limited edition palette – only 1000 sets will be manufactured. So I’m not quite sure if the muppets palette will actually reach our local beauty bar stores. 😦 I already resigned myself to the fact that I will not get my hands on that palette when I first saw the promo photos.


Thank God for twitter, yesterday, theBalm announced that it is opening 300 sets for pre-order by simply sending an email with your name and how many you plan to purchase (limiting 2 per household). So excited as I was, I immediately sent an email with a prayer that I am part of the first 300.

When I got home from work today, opened my email and there it was… the lovely email confirming that I got in the list (Hurray!!! woohoo!!! back flips several times over). The email gives me a one-time link and when I click on the link, I am led to theBalm page which enabled me to pre-order for the set:

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So I ordered up, paid (after which I semi regretted for ordering just 1 palette… should have ordered 2 so a friend could have gotten her hands on the palette too… got too excited and did not think… dang!)… and now I shall comfortably wait for its delivery by early October.

For those who are not able to pre-order, do not fret as theBalm announced that they are releasing the same palette colors and contents for the holidays and it would be called TheBalm & The Beautiful. 😉 I was after the Muppet theme and packaging, hence, the effort of really ordering and patiently waiting for the delivery. So if you’re interested in the color combinations, you can then wait for the holiday release in December – where Beauty Bar always seem to get a stock of.

So I will definitely review as soon as I receive this by early October. :):):)


Musings: Catalogue Shopping – Avon Haul August 14, 2011

Avon has been in the cosmetic industry for as long as I can remember. They were actually the company where I first knew about catalogue shopping. I would stay at my mom’s clothing shop when I was little and there would be avon catalogues lying around. I would painstakingly browse each page and actually focus on the “kid’s” make up pages which would simply be pretty lip balms in fruit flavors packaged in strawberry shortcake like cartoons that had matching body powders and colognes. The lip balms smelled of strawberries and they would actually give you a hint of color similar to what cherry chiclets would do to your lips when you swipe them on your lips before actually chewing on them (I was a very resourceful child – if I can’t have lip colors, I find ways on normal kids’ sweets that have too much food coloring on them i.e. cherry chiclets and lipps candy…hehehe).

Anyway, Avon’s make-up collection has evolved through the years and they are now actually coming up with good but relatively affordable make-up products. As I grew up, I would save up my allowance to get one or two pieces of make-up from the catalogue. As I started working, I admit, I somehow snubbed Avon for Maybelline, L’Oreal, and Clinique… not because I thought these brands were better but more because I found these brands easier to purchase at the malls as opposed to Avon where I need to order it from an Avon agent and wait for the delivery… key word there is… wait. I’ve always been impatient and I hated waiting.

So lately, I’ve come across the newest avon catalogue from my mom’s friend and thought of hauling a few stuff… to see if they are worth the proverbial waiting time. They are still reasonably priced (Whole haul cost me Php726 ~ $17 for 4 items).

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I got the following (Detailed review on future post):

1) Dual ended eyeshadow + eye liner in Sunbeach sunshine : Php 199

2) Ultra Moisture-rich Mini Lipstick berry collection in Blushing Berry : Php 129

3) Ultra Moisture-rich Lipstick in Sheer Spice : Php 199

4) Ultra Moisture-rich Lipstick in Barely There : Php 199

Initial Swatches:

L-R Blushing Berry, Sheer Spice, Barely There and Eyeshadow/liner in Sunbeach sunshine

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Initial thoughts:

1) I think Avon products are hit or miss. In one collection, the texture of one product may be different from the other color (as with my experience on the Ultra Moisture Lipsticks that I got) although I was aware of the differences in terms of finish, still, I expected the texture to be somewhat similar if not consistent.

2) Ordering from a catalogue is a big risk in terms of the actual product you would be getting. The colors on the catalogue may look very lovely however, actual products may differ in a big way which is also the case with this order. Also, you would not be able to test the product itself to sample on yourself. This is the big advantage of buying from a counter where you are able to test the product and decide wether or not the product suits you before actually letting go of your money at the counter.

3) I still prefer buying my products from the cosmetic counters or shops. I was only happy with half of what I bought and I actually might give away the products that simply did not work for me (I still believe these may look better with other girls and maybe they just did not work for me)

Tips for Catalogue Shopping:

1) Search, search, and search – Use the internet. Ask friends. Search for reviews and swatches. If you read anything negative about it, search for other reviews. Do not be biased with one negative feedback if there are probably 5 more which says the product is acceptable.

2) Weed out – You have the tendency to overspend on catalogues because honestly, the pictures are just too inviting! and usually, catalogues have the promos which encourage you to buy more! Again, weed out!!! Pick out the color that you like the most and not end up getting all the colors available. 🙂

3) If, in spite of searching, you wanted to take a risk on a product, choose just 1 color to try. If you like it, then get the other colors the next time you buy, if not, then you only wasted your money on 1 product. 🙂

4) Enjoy… Have fun shopping.


REVIEW: Clinique Chubby Stick in Whole Lotta Honey July 19, 2011

Filed under: Lips,Tinted Lip Balm — karminaaguilar @ 7:02 pm
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When I was in college, my mom gave me my first make-up palette… A Clinique travel palette which had a cheek color, 2 shadows, a lip gloss and a lip color. I can never forget the lip color – “Baby Kiss” since it was the perfect lip color, in my opinion, at that time (a million years ago hahaha). I loved how moisturizing it is and how it nearly matches my lip color. Also, I adored the name – “Baby Kiss” it seemed so innocent and sweet… almost bordering on adorable. If I am not mistaken, i finished the lip color way ahead of the other products in that palette. I even had my mom buy me the lipstick after I finished the one on the palette. I loved it that much.

Fast forward to 2011, Baby Kiss now long forgotten, Clinique launches Chubby Stick – moisturizing lip colour balm. In short, a tinted lip balm in a unique packaging. 😀 The chubby sticks, at first glance, looks like a jumbo pencil with a snazzy silver pencil top. When I initially saw the pictures, I was already thinking if I still need a sharpener for that pencil size…BUT NO… It’s a twist up balm that looks like a pencil (Whew, I was glad it was a twist up balm and not a lip color pencil since lip color pencils of this size are usually a pain to sharpen as the product ends up making a mess of your sharpener making you waste product as well as effort in cleaning up your poor sharpener).


I wanted several of the colors from the collection. I’m so not good with the exact names but I wanted the watermelon, grape and strawberry. However, by the time I reached Rustan’s all the chubby sticks were already sold out. When I asked when they would be available, they were not sure when they would have more. So I just chalked up chubby sticks as something not meant to be mine (along with the MAC venomous villains collection.) So imagine my joy when I went to the duty-free mall and saw that they were available in all the colors I wanted. I swatched each color and ended up getting something that was not on my original short list – “Whole Lotta Honey”. The color on the tube looks dark – similar to NYX’s Hermes only darker, a cross between plum and old rose – definitely not attractive to me.


However, when swatched, it’s a sheer color which seems like dark beige with peachy pink undertones. It was “Baby Kiss” reincarnated… 🙂 My ultimate MLBB color.


On my lips, it was “Baby Kiss” reincarnated… 🙂

The formula is very moisturizing and as with most tinted lip balms, the color is sheer and staying power is not that long. It lasts 2-3 hours, shorter when you eat or drink as the color would wash off. Although this balm is said to be scent free, when I initially swatched the balm, it smelled old. When I opened my chubby stick, it was the initial smell – like a bad old lipstick. However, upon application, you really would not smell or taste anything and the “old lipstick” scent somehow disappears.

PROS: Handy packaging, twist up mechanism, moisturizing, I love the color, lots of product @ .10oz.

CONS: Initial smell, availability, though i love the twist up mechanism, I think it would be difficult to maintain the pencil-like tip as you use it. Having the rounded-out tips might make application less precise for some.

I loved Baby Kiss then, I am loving “Whole Lotta Honey” now. This is a perfect summer lip color which you could pair with a bit of bronzer on the cheeks for that fresh, summer and effortless look.


REVIEW: Lush “It Started with a Kiss” Lip Tint July 14, 2011

Filed under: Lip tint,Lips — karminaaguilar @ 7:47 pm
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When I want the “no-make-up” make-up look, lip tints are my go-to lip products. They last longer (even if you eat and drink a lot), they don’t transfer on your glass, tissue or the cheeks of your man 😉 Given the right shade, you can pull-off a “i-was-born-with-red-lips” quite easily.

A quick lesson on lip tints:
1) As the name implies, its a tint. It’s a sheer wash of color on your lips which has better staying power than lip gloss or lipstick.

2) Lip tints, are not moisturizing. I still use lip balm as I go through the day to keep my lips moisturized and to prevent them from chapping or peeling.

3) When you use a lip tint, make sure you exfoliate your lips (TIP: After brushing your teeth, run your toothbrush across your lips to remove any dead skin) otherwise, the peeling skin (should you have any) are magnified as the tint usually tends to cling more color on them.

I made a review earlier on the Lush lip tint in snow fairy. I was not that happy with the pigmentation of snow fairy as it was too light and did not do much on my slightly pigmented lips.


Lush released another lip tint a few months later – “It Started with a Kiss”. This lip tint is seriously pigmented. It looks scary on the pan as it is bright red. But fear not, it doesn’t go that rich on the lips. With just one sweep, it gives the lips a nice “just bitten” or “just kissed” shade of red. It smells like sweet cinnamon gum… for those sensitive to scents, this might turn you off but personally, as long as it does not have that waxy taste, I am perfectly fine with scents.


I know this is labeled as a lip tint but I also use it as a cheek tint… it works and my very sensitive skin did not react to it at all… it gave me a natural looking blush which lasted me a good 6 hours or so.

notice on my lips, without balm underneath, it shows the lines more prominently as the color goes to every crease or crevice they see :S

@Php325, it’s pretty reasonably priced considering the fact that it can double as a cheek tint.

It’s perfect for those hot days where you want to avoid make-up because of how sticky or oily your face can get. Simply swipe the color on your lips and blend a bit on your cheeks and you’re fresh-faced and ready to go.

These are available at all Lush stores.


Reviewing the Popular NYX Round Lipsticks July 9, 2011

Filed under: Lips — karminaaguilar @ 7:26 pm
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I guess among all make-up products, I am most addicted to blush and lipsticks/ lip balms. My lipstick collection is vast and probably ranges from drugstore to high-end… thanks to my very supportive mom and aunt… who always seem to remember me when they see make-up products. hehehe.

I have tried a wide range of drugstore lipsticks. There were misses of course and there are those hidden gems that would not burn your wallet to oblivion. One of those gems is NYX.

I did a bit of research on the NYX site to see the reason behind the name as it might be similar to ELF – Eyes Lips Face or to MAC – Make-up Art Cosmetics.

NYX /niks/ noun (Greek mythology) Goddess of the night.
NYX was named after the ancient Greek goddess who ruled the night. So it’s not an acronym for anything but the name of the greek goddess.

Anyway, NYX produces quality make-up products and I would be reviewing my small collection of NYX round lipsticks.

The Round Lipstick is their basic lipstick so to speak. The colors are very pigmented and wear an average of 4-5 hours on me. It does not feather or bleed in terms of colors. It has a creamy, non-drying texture so you may or may not place a base of balm before applying the lipstick. Their color variety is absolutely massive!!! I counted 169 colors on their site and the range of colors is amazing from white (Helio), nudes to crimson red to black (Penelope). Choosing what you want to buy can be very tricky as you would want to buy most of the colors.

NYX is available at some mall retailers at jacked-up (but still reasonable) prices (Php260-300 ~ $6-7. On the NYX website, it’s priced at $4 or Php168). However, an alternative way to get them is through credible online stores (I will list my tried and trusted online sellers below) where they sell the round lipsticks from Php150-160 each. So yeah, I got mine through those sellers so I got them really cheap. 🙂

Here is my collection of the NYX round lipsticks and what I think about them:
1) Creamy Beige – nude beige shade. I don’t think this color alone looks good on my lips. It makes me look so pale (even sickly lol!) so I use this as a base and mix it with another lip color to mute down a loud lip color.

2) Hermes – pinkish nude beige…similar to milk chocolate in terms of shade. I like wearing this shade when I have dark or loud eye make-up. It gives enough color to make my lips look alive but not too loud as to steal the limelight from my eyes.

3) Thalia – milky pink beige; Similar to Hermes…only more on the pink side. This I also find a little too light for my skin tone. I also layer this shade with a darker colored lippie.

4) Doll – loud coral pink shade. It has orange undertones which make it a good color for tan-medium toned skin. This is a fun color for summer.

5) Gardenia – muted fuschia… leaning towards dark berry

6) Snow White – dark crimson blood red. I love this shade. It’s my favorite among my NYX lippies. It’s a blue-based red so it seems to match most skin tones. I love how this shade makes my skin look brighter. When I use this color, my eyes are nearly bare (skin-tone shadow, eyeliner and mascara) so as to make my lips the highlight of the look.

NYX Swatch2

(L-R) Creamy Beige, Hermes, Thalia
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(L-R) Doll, Gardenia, Snow White
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On my lips, here is how they look like:
TOP L-R: Creamy Beige, Hermes, Thalia
BOTTOM L-R: Doll, Gardenia, Snow White

NYX Lip swatch

To compare the pigmentation of these lipsticks, here is a pic of my bare lips. Notice how opaque the colors were on my lips above.


PROS: Wide variety of colors, creamy texture, long-lasting, good pigmentation and very affordable.

CONS: The scent in my opinion seems a tad bit strong. Too perfumey for a lip product although it’s tasteless, the scent may be an issue specially for people who are sensitive to scents. Availability in malls is sparse. I only know of 2 stores that sells these and both are in Glorietta, Makati. So for those uncomfortable in buying online, you might need to look for these stores in Glorietta.

At this price-point, I think NYX is a good brand. If you take out the scent from the equation, I think NYX can compete with high-end brands specially with their color variety (169?!?!?!), texture and pigmentation.

As promised, I got my lippies from 2 trusted online stores:
1) Get Sophisticated Online Store – I actually got a whole lot more than my NYX lippies from her. I also got my Urban Decay, Too-Faced Cosmetics and EOS balms from her. I probably had over 5 transactions with her and I never had any problems. You can also search for her on Facebook.

2) Vanity Room – I only bought from her once but the transaction went so smoothly and I was happy with my purchases.


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