Confessions of a Cosmetic Junkie

helping the economy one lipstick at a time

HAUL & REVIEW: Beauty Shopping at the Korean Mini Mart June 4, 2012

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.


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: Wet N’ Wild Color Icon Trio Palettes August 8, 2011

“The beauty of a woman is seen in her eyes, because that is the doorway to her heart, the place where love resides.” – Audrey Hepburn

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I am a big fan of Audrey Hepburn. She embraced her fame with a humble heart and simplistic view of life in general. She did not let her fame get to her head and instead, lived the rest of her life being a Unicef goodwill ambassador. Her beauty is timeless and her eyes, are probably her most memorable feature. Her eyes actually inspired me to really play with colors and experiment more on what I can possibly do to change how my eyes look with just a play with color and different make-up products.

The eyes, for me, is the area in your face where you can be most artistic in. You can play with colors, control the shape of your eyes (make it bigger or smaller), make it look brighter, dramatic etc. You have unlimited possibilities in terms of what you can do and what colors to combine to achieve the perfect eye make-up for almost any occasion.

MAC, Urban Decay, and Too Faced are my personal favorites given their awesome pigmentation, varied finishes (mattes, shimmer, metallics to name a few), their buttery and very blend able consistency. However, they fall under the high-end mark in terms of price and availability (except for MAC which is available in a lot of malls) is quite limited here in Manila. You have to gamble on reliable online sellers to actually get your hands on UD and TF.

I discovered a new favorite. Something that can actually compete with the brands I mentioned above with a much much lower price tag. It competes in terms of pigmentation, consistency and blend ability (for the colors I chose at least… so you still have to swatch on the store in case you want other colors). I now introduce you to the… Wet N’ Wild Color Icon Trio Eye Palette! 🙂 I initially got myself 2 palettes: “I Got Good Jeans” and “Walking on Eggshells”.

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What are they? They are 3-color palettes whose colors are supposed to coordinate with each other. The colors are actually labelled for their purpose – eyelid, crease, brow bone. But don’t let the label stop you from actually using it for other eye areas. For the make-up newbies, these labels are very useful and turn the palette over, and lift the sticker label, you would see detailed instructions on how and where to apply the colors. Neat huh? 😀

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I liked how sleek and compact the packaging is. No frills, no drama. simple. On the package, it has 1 tiny brush (completely useless though lol!!!) and a sponge-tip applicator. Then you have the 3 eye shadows.

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These shadows are definitely cheap @ Php 299/palette ~ about $7. (They also have a 6-color palette with 3 matte shades and 3 shimmer shades @ Php 499) They definitely cost only a fraction of what you would spend for a single shadow from MAC, UD or TF. You can definitely play with the colors and get different palettes at this price. So if you are not brand conscious or have any bias against cheap make-up (but definitely good quality) this could fit your collection very nicely and not break your wallet indeed.

In terms of staying power, since I use the Urban Decay Primer Potion or commonly mentioned as UDPP* (another review altogether), these lovely colors lasted me the whole day without fading or creasing. This is a big plus for me because I have oily lids and eyeshadows usually crease and fade on my lids if I don’t use an eye shadow primer. Without an eyeshadow primer, they tend to fade and crease a bit on me on the 4th hour or so… on dry lids, it would probably last longer.

In terms of pigmentation and texture, these would not disappoint you as they are very pigmented and have a silky, buttery texture into them which makes blending of colors a treat. 🙂 The palettes I got were:

1) I Got Good Jeans – colors are light sky blue with silver shimmer, bright shimmery gold and metallic navy blue

2) Walking on Eggshells – colors are creamy vanilla with hints of white shimmer, chocolate brown with bronze shimmer, shimmery taupe-ey flesh


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I Got Good Jeans

  • “brow bone” = MAC Moon Reflection (WnW is slightly lighter in shade)
  • “crease” = MAC Deep Truth
  • “eyelid” = MAC Goldmine
  • Walking on Eggshells

  • “browbone” = MAC Shroom; UD Virgin
  • “crease” = MAC Cork; UD Buck
  • “eyelid” = MAC Naked Lunch; UD Sin
  • PROS: Good pigmentation, texture, quality and blendability; Varied color choices – from nudes to loud colors; available in most beauty sections of SM and selected Watson’s branches; slim, compact and simple packaging; good dupes for pricey brands; very reasonable price.

    CONS: cheap, useless brush (I think 2 sponge applicators would have been better); given their reasonable price, sometimes its hard to control the urge not to get everything from the collection hehehe.

    I think Wet n’ Wild did a very good job in revamping their collection. It looks more stylish now and the quality is actually very good. Their color names are quite catchy and cute too. These are a true gem specially for those just starting with make up or are make-up addicts on a budget or otherwise practical and would like to build their collection slowly but surely. With a bit of research and swatching, you may find more dupes of high-end shadows at a fraction of the cost. I am very happy with my purchases and would most likely get more in the future 😉

    * If you don’t have UDPP, a very good and cheaper alternative is the Palladio Herbal Eyeshadow Primer which is available at Beauty Bar for about Php 300-ish. 😉


    Reviewing the Popular NYX Round Lipsticks July 9, 2011

    Filed under: Lips — karminaaguilar @ 7:26 pm
    Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

    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
    NYX Swatch3

    (L-R) Doll, Gardenia, Snow White
    NYX Swatch4

    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.


    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 🙂

    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… 😉

    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. 🙂

    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.


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