May 24, 2012

cheekylicious update.

i was drooling over Jetties Blushalicious Deluxe Tag Post when i noticed that my own last blush-overview is more than 1 year old and a lot has happened in this area. so much that i was too lazy to dig all of them out to do a photographic update but i only did this for the newcomers of my collection.

so here they are, the new additions to my stash within the last year...


1 - Cargo Prague
2 - Cargo Siena
3 - Cargo Key Largo
4 - Cargo SuedeBlush in Gold Coast
5 - Cargo Polynesia

i also did own (and sold) Cargo SuedeBlush in Montebello, Cargo Topeka, Molokai and Louisiana during the last year. am undecided whether to sell Key Largo or not.
i still love the Cargo range - i reviewed each of them, click here to get to the overview page (or on the sidebar). my favourites are (in no particular order) Echo Beach, Siena and Tonga.


only three new Narsies in the last year:

1 - NARS Torrid
2 - NARS Oasis
3 - NARS Luster

here you can get to my complete NARS blush review series. my favourites are Orgasm, Luster and Gilda.


bought 2 of the now 3 Quad Royales: these are Summer In Capri & South Of France.
will review them soon (hopefully).


i also had the pleasure of trying the fabulous blush formula by Burberry - here are No.07 Earthy Blush and No.08 Misty Blush. really really want to get some more!


1 - Parure de Nuit
2 - Météorites Perles de Nuit
3 - Blush 4 Éclats in #05 Rose Plein Vent


Joues Contraste in #68 Rose Écrin
Soleil Tan De Chanel Bronzing Makeup Base/Bronze Universel
Ombres Tissées in Beiges


blush palettes for professional use - well, i just bought them for the price advantage compared to the single pots - but don't they look lovely altogether?

warm/cold palette: upper row - Palace, Close Up, Tibet, Almond Soft Glow
                            bottom row - Poesie, Chelsea, Denver, Bolero, Opera

cold palette: upper row - Stage, Swing, Joy, Vendetta, Lido
                  bottom row - Scarlet, Baroque, Sugar, Cassis, Geisha

big review series in the next month!

EDIT: here it is: Beauty Is Life blushes x 20.


1 - Crème Fresh Tint in Tenné
2 - Crème Fresh Tint in Ginger Lily
3 - CFT in Coral Nymph
4 - CFT in Poppy/Coquelicot
5 - CFT in Mystique
6 - Radiance Powder Rouge in Echo
7 - True Colour Eyeshadow in Tuscan Sunset

another new and addictive brand in my life: Le Métier de Beauté.
i have a review series of their Crème Fresh Tints going on - i own them all ^^.
click here to see an overview.


a few more cream blushes:
1 - Giorgio Armani Blushing Fabric #1
2 - Giorgio Armani Blushing Fabric #3
3 - Daniel Sandler Watercolour Blush in Cherub


1 - Rouge Bunny Rouge Sea of Nectar - sample
2 - Rouge Bunny Rouge Sea of Tranquility - sample
3 - Jemma Kidd Make Up School All Over Radiance Cream in Rose Gold

i'm getting some use out of my samples of Rouge Bunny Rouge's Sea Of Illumination Highlighting Liquids, maybe i should do a comparison to my full size shade in Sea of Showers.


1 - Paul & Joe Blue Horizon Bronzer
2 - Estée Lauder Michael Kors Very Hollywood Shimmering Loose Powder
3 - Becca Mineral Blush in Flowerchild
4 - Dior Healthy Glow Summer Powder in Aurora
5 - Clé de Peau Blush Duo in #4
6 - MAC Blush in Style

i'm surprised that there's only 1 MAC product in this whole year.


a few products i bought during the year but that are already packed for current/future blog sales.

Chanel Loose Powder in Féerie, Smashbox Fusion Soft Lights in Blushing Pink and a Giorgio Armani Face Highlighter.

if i'd compile the past blush-year my highlights were Burberry, Le Métier de Beauté, Dior Aurora and Paul & Joe bronzers. but what truly made my heart beat faster were definitely and absolutely the amazing blush brushes i could try. this was my best brush-year ever. and i thought i was set for life when i went out of a parisien Sephora 3 years ago and held a big bag of MAC brushes in hands ;D
now i have experienced the softest softness there could be as far as brushes go (MAC brushes i would almost consider as quite scratchy now that i'm stuck on squirrel hair ones) and am overly happy to call a selection of probably the best blush brushes on the market my own. could only top it with a range of Chikuhodo Z brushes, but the year is not over yet ;)

unlike Jettie (whose blogpost i linked above) i think it's the experience of the heavenly soft brushes of the best quality pampering your skin that puts my blush application onto a whole other level of joy and delight. for me, it's not only about the final result, but also about the process of applying the refined colour to your cheeks. but that's another ramble. now -


a selection of the best blush brushes of my last year - intimidating that these are not all of them, but hell yeah, i love brushes!

1 - Lunasol Powder Brush N sometimes for bronzer
2 - Lunasol Blush Brush N
3 - Hakuhodo B505BkSL Blush Brush M round and flat
4 - Hakuhodo G5519BkSL Blush Brush
5 - Hakuhodo G5552 Powder & Liquid Brush round/angled for cream, gel & liquid formulas
6 - Ipsa Brush 2 sometimes for contouring
7 - Ipsa Squirrel Brush L
8 - RMK Cheek Brush
9 - Chikuhodo Z4 Blush Brush
10 - SUQQU Blush Brush

37 products are gone or almost gone since May 2011 (plus about 15 that i'm undecided about). i have sold them in blog sales, have them prepared for future blog sales or gave them to friends and family. there's also a bunch that i just stored away and now that i see the photos of them again i realize that i don't reach for them anymore and also haven't missed them (mental note for the "to sale"-box). makes my balance quite humble with "only" 37 new blushes - ok, not so humble anymore if you count each Beauty Is Life blush from the palettes individually = 55 products.

and this was my stock 1 year ago...
(copied from my "Cheek product heaven"- post. products that i don't own/use anymore are crossed out, products, that don't get much love are bracketed)

first come the peachy blushes: 

1 - Laura Mercier Second Skin Cheek Colour in Orange Blossom
2 - MAC MSF in Stereo Rose
3 - Chanel Joues Contrastes in Espiègle
4 - theBalm Hot Mama
5 - Illamasqua cream blush in Rude
6 - Estée Lauder Sea Star Bronzing Blush
7 - NARS blush in Gina
8 - MAC Hipness
9 - MAC Melba
10 - Chanel Joues Contrastes in Candy
11 - NARS blush in Gilda
12 - MNY 301
(13 - Kryolan TC 2)
14 - Benefit Coralista
15 - Cargo The Big Easy
(16 - Maybelline Pure Blush in Mineral Coral)
17 - P2 Home Sweet Home Cream Blush Stick in Fresh Apricot
18 - Maybelline Dream Touch Blush in 02 Peach
19 - Cargo blush in Cannes

the red/coral blushes

1 - MAC Highlighting Powder in Marine Life
2 - NARS blush in Amour
3 - NARS Orgasm
4 - NARS cream blush in Cactus Flower
5 - Kryolan blush in R 6
6 - Cargo blush in Rome
7 - Cargo blush in Mendocino
8 - Rouge Bunny Rouge Blush in Orpheline
9 - Essence eyeshadow in It's Up To You
(10 - Max Factor Miracle Touch Creamy Blush in Soft Cardinal)
11 - Yves Rocher liquid blush in Coquelicot Léger
12 - MNY liquid blush in 112A

the neutral blushes

1 - Guerlain Blush 4 Éclats in Rosée du Printemps
(2 - Catrice blush in Light Burgundy)
3 - NYX blush in Taupe
4 - MAC Harmony
(5 - NARS Madly)
6 - MAC Mineralize Blush in Happy Together
7 - NARS Zen
8 - Guerlain Blush 4 Éclats in Caresse de l'Aube
9 - MAC Cubic
10 - Giorgio Armani Sheer Blush in #2
11 - MAC Blushbaby
12 - Giorgio Armani Sheer Blush in #10
13 - MAC Mocha
14 - Cargo blush in Tonga
15 - Cargo Beach Blush in Echo Beach 
16 - Cargo Beach Blush in Cable Beach
17 - Cargo Beach blush in Miami Beach

the pink blushes

1 - NARS Deep Throat
2 - Guerlain Blush G
3 - Benefit Bella Bamba
4 - MAC Dollymix
5 - P2 Home Sweet Home Cream Blush Stick in Soft Pink
(6 - NARS Angelika)
(7 - Top Shop Cream Blush in Pinch)
8 - NARS Desire
9 - MAC Mineralize Blush in Gentle
10 - oops, i somewhat forgot this number, so we'll go on with:
11 - NARS Mata Hari
12 - MAC Pink Swoon
13 - MAC Well Dressed
14 - MAC Pinch O'Peach
(15 - Top Shop Cream Blush in Flush)
(16 - Top Shop Cream Blush in Neon Rose)
17 - Clinique Tuxedo Plum
18 - YSL Crème de Blush in Powdery Pink
19 - Bobbi Brown Pink Coral
20 - Chanel Joues Contrastes in Pink Explosion
21 - MAC MSF in Petticoat
22 - Essence eyeshadow in Go All Girlie
23 - MAC Mineralize Blush in Dainty
24 - MAC Mineralize Blush in Rhapsody in Two
25 - MAC Mineralize Blush in Hang Loose
(26 - Maybelline Pure Blush in Moonlight Mauve)
27 - Cargo Beach Blush in Sunset Beach
28 - Cargo Blush in Catalina
29 - Yves Rocher liquid blush in Corail Nude
30 - Essence Blossoms etc. Liquid Blush in Flowerkissed
31 - MNY 111A
(32 - Max Factor Miracle Touch Creamy Blush in Soft Pink)

some bronzers

1 - Edward Bess Ultra Luminous Bronzer in Daydream
2 - Chanel Bronze Rosé
3 - NARS Bronzer Multiple in Cap Vert
(4 - Terra Del Sol bronzer in #4)
5 - Rimmel matte bronzer in Sunlight
6 - Benefit Hoola
one is still missing and on its way - the Dior Aurora Bronzer.

highlighting products + some shimmery finishing powders

1 - Dior Amber Diamond
2 - MAC Beauty Powder in Shell Pearl
3 - MAC MSF in Blonde
4 - Laura Mercier Shimmer Bloc in Mosaic
5 - MAC MSF in Perfect Topping
6 - MAC MSF in By Candlelight
7 - Kanebo Transparent Loose Powder
8 - Chanel Poudre Libre Universelle in 50 Peche
9 - Guerlain Météorites Pressée in 01 Mythic Parfait
10 - Guerlain Météorites Pearls in 01 Teint Rosé
11 - Guerlain Météorites Pearls in 03 Teint Doré
12 - NARS Albatross
13 - MAC Beauty Powder in Too Chic
(14 - Lorac Perfectly Lit highlighter in Spotlight)
(15 - Shiseido blush in BE206 Soft Beam Gold)
16 - Essence eyeshadow in Mystic Lemon
17 - Manhattan highlighter from a LE
18 - Rival de Loop young highlighter pearls
19 - FAKE benefit high beam
20 - The Body Shop Tinted Glow Enhancer in 02
21 - real Benefit High Beam (to go version)
22 - Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector in Pearl
23 - Rouge Bunny Rouge Seas of Illumination Liquid Highlighter in Sea of Showers
24 - Guerlain Perles D'Or Highlighting Pearls
25 - Guerlain Terra Inca
26 - MAC Magically Cool Liquid Powder in Truth & Light

May 22, 2012

new header & i'm on twitter now!

i wanted to re-photograph my header for a while but since last time i painted the motif onto very thin japanese calligraphy paper, it scrunched up after it completely dried. and because i didn't want to chase new visitors away with a wrinkly looking "welcome", i repainted the whole thing, this time actually with a hummingbird ;)
(psst: see how i've almost hit pan on some of my colours? ^^) 

so when this post goes online, in a few minutes the header will look like this:

it's basically the same thing as the old one, just in a new arrangement and with the little hummingbird. and it's painted on thicker paper. maybe i should intensify the writing a bit...
if i knew how to use photoshop or something similar, i would eliminate the shadows around the lipsticks. EDIT: ha! the wonderful Natty of Miss Natty's Beauty Diary has quickly helped me out - thank you!
but if i knew how to use it, i wouldn't have gone the archaic way and painted my header manually from the beginning.
so what do you think? old header or new header?

here's the old one to compare and to remember:

well, what else to do other than some handicraft if you want to procrastinate and forget about the pile of books and scripts for uni ? ... at least it's more productive than watching k-dramas hehe.
ah, yes i know what else one can do: join twitter! in my case, finally activate an account i have had for maybe 2 years?

you will find this little hummingbird detail as my "follow me on twitter"-button on the sidebar. (yes, lame me used scriptina font, i know. but i don't have another that suits better. gosh, am i the scriptina-type, then?)

whatever, i still am getting into it, i would be happy if you'd come over and say "hi/hej/hallo/annyong/hola/salut/ni hao/shalom/ciao/priwjet" or whatever :D
if you have a short question, i'll surely be able to answer it on there, too.

click on the picture or here to get to my twitter page/to follow me! i'm @tweetingketo on there. see ya!

May 21, 2012

quick tip: dirt cheap Brush Guard dupes!

a few months back the lovely Sarah @ Saloule shared this tip which i immediately followed and now want to pass forward to you. there are actually many dupes for The Brush Guard on ebay, for dirt cheap (about 1-3$ a pack) and mostly with free shipping. just enter something like "cosmetic brush cover" and various sellers will pop up. they all are shipped from Hong Kong or China, so please calculate some weeks of waiting.
the original Brush Guard is basically a flexible tube of plastic mesh which sleeves your brushes and can be used to protect them generally and/or especially after washing to help them maintain their shape, minimise splayed hairs etc.
in my brush-care-guide i already mentioned that i'm not a fan of covering the just washed, damp brush hair because the circulation just is not as good as letting them hang free. this may cause mould or loosen up the glue in the ferrule due to the stagnant moisture and damage the brush. with the 10€ drugstore brush maybe i'd try to see the long-term results, but with a 200€ Suqqu one i'd rather not risk it. smoothing the damp brush into shape is totally fine.
i recommend to use such brush covers on the dry brushes, though. especially if you store your brushes standing up in an open glass, circulating dust and powder will fall on the surface and inbetween the bristles of your unused brushes (i keep my used/dirty ones separate). this not only contaminates your clean brushes, but it also can cause harm to your brushes in a long-term perspective.
in this case i think it's fabulous to just cover them up with these "brush guards" to have less surface for any environmental influences to attack. i admit though that they will look less attractive in your brush holder on the dressing table.
another good use is as a packaging-layer if you sometimes sell or swap your brushes. for travelling purposes only, if you pack the brushes really tight, because if the brush guard moves around, it would cause horrible splaying to your brushes and in the end the opposite of what we wanted.
so all in all i think such brush guards have a reason to exist, but the price for the original version is just way too high. i mean 5€ for averagely 6 tubes of crappy plastic net? are you kidding me?
with the ebay-version, which i believe to be nothing different from those scam-guards, you pay 1.50€ and get 15 tubes. or, as a DIY-version, 1m length of product.

here the set-version. ignore the asian-english and you'll get a pouch which contains 15 tubes of brush covers in 3 different sizes, large for bigger powder brushes, medium for blush brushes and small for eyeshadow brushes. my test objects were a Hakuhodo B509BkSL Powder Brush M round (not reviewed yet) - a classic round, big and fluffy powder brush, Hakuhodo B110BkSL Blush Brush round and flat (not reviewed yet) - your typical rather big fluffy blush brush and the MAC 217 as the eyeshadow brush everybody wants to get into the right shape.
the medium size had the best fit and tension and the eyeshadow-size is ok to keep some shape, but quite loose (in fact even looser than the medium size). the powder brush size is a bit loose, too, and could also be used on bigger brushes like face kabukis.

the other version available is a 1m band of plastic mesh. pro: you can cut it the length you want it (i found the other tubes a bit too long and wasteful). contra: there's only one size, no slimmer tubes for eyeshadow brushes.
but: i actually prefer this version! it's a medium size you could fit both your powder and your blush brushes in and the material is much more substantial compared to the version above. there's a good tightness when i insert my brushes and the tubes get back into shape better if i don't use them.
with a 1m length i can get about 11-12 brush covers.

hope that helped! will you buy some for yourselves? have you bought the original Brush Guard before? share your experiences!

May 20, 2012

new Catrice eyeshadows.

i recently picked up some new Catrice eyeshadows that i want to show you today. i'm very happy that Catrice became more readily available since they are now sold at dm. definitely the best drugstore-line at the moment with fantastic eyeshadow selection, great nail-polish shades, solid base make up and various other gems. quality is great for the (low!) price and sometimes generally amazing, the products are very on trend. the packaging is far better than some expensive drugstore brands.

Catrice Oh, It's Toffeeful!

this shade was all over my dashboard a few weeks ago, it seems to be one of Catrice's new releases from their last range-extenstion/revamp that i never particularly noticed. it's a great neutral, though, so i was surprised that i didn't own it yet ;P
the first time i spotted good swatches of Oh, It's Toffeeful!, i suspected that it would make a great affordable dupe for Burberry's Pale Barley. i already owned Pale Barley at that point so i bought this purely out of curiosity and maybe i could be of help for someone if i were to "discover" a dupe. and eventually and obviously i am not able to say "no!" to a great neutral - in this case i would be mad to do so since it's only 2.49€.
Oh, It's Toffeeful! is a pearly medium beige, quite sheer but with good pay-off (means this is an intended sheerness, or a unintended one that makes the shade prettier). what makes it so special is what makes it seem a possible dupe for Burberry Pale Barley: a beautiful opalescent sheen created with gold and pink shimmer particles. it changes colour from a tan to a taupey beige to a cool rose gold and a golden champagne depending on the angle you look at it and how it's hit by the light but is always paired with a transparency that makes it look like a sheer, glowing veil.
the texture of this is rather on the dry side but it's fine and silky. it applies lighter than in the pan, so i either use it in the inner part of the lid or if i'm going for just some glow i also buff this all over the lid. but i actually prefer this layered over a light tan cream shadow (for example the bronze one by Maybelline) for a complex, dimensional but subtle shimmer, or, my favourite everyday-combo of the last weeks, layered over Le Métier de Beauté eyeshadow in Corinthian. this is soo pretty i feel like it deserves its own post or at least FOTD.
Oh, It's Toffeeful! blends seamlessly and without noticeable fall out. lasts all day over NARS Pro Prime Eye Shadow Primer without creasing or fading.

so how does it compare to Burberry Pale Barley in the end? well, no exact dupes, sorry. they're sisters but not twins. Pale Barley is deeper, its golden sheen stronger while it's a sheer shimmery golden veil with the Catrice shadow. also, PB fuses with my skin more naturally but OIT! can seem a bit dull when packed on. for an average person they are probably the same, but i'm definitely higher-than-average obsessed with make up, so for me these serious (!) differences mean that i need to own both!
all in all this is one of those drugstore-must-haves, a no-brainer shade that you can't go wrong with.
i don't need to stress out the fact that i really dig the packaging although it's a rip-off of Shu Uemura's anymore. makes owning a ton of them really fun.


MAC Patina - Burberry Pale Barley - Catrice Oh, It's Toffeeful - NARS Kalahari duo (left side)

MAC Patina - Burberry Pale Barley - Catrice Oh, It's Toffeeful - NARS Kalahari duo (left side)

Catrice Vanessa's Paradise

Vanessa's Paradise on the other hand was a totally spontaneous purchase in a trace of exuberance. as i never really wear such shades i don't own any nice brights, so i wanted to try this intense turquoise especially because i was feeling overly summery the day i bought it. i'm having a phase where i want to try the (for me) most unusual colours anyway. if they don't work, layering is the key to tone them down and make them wearable again, so thanks to these endless possibilities there's basically no risk in a bright orange or pink or for the start, intense turquoise.
Vanessa's Paradise is a deep turquoise with beautiful blue shimmer and silver flecks. although the shimmer appears quite chunky, the texture doesn't feel gritty at all but rather refined and silky. it's a bit dry but surprisingly it blends well without any fall outs. the swatches don't do it justice and rather show its shimmery qualities, i was amazed at how buildable this eyeshadow is, how intense it translates onto my lids and how bright it maintains to appear on and against my skin. to be true, i expected this to be a fun one to look at but easy to blend out and wear as a soft wash of turquoise shimmer...
i haven't worn it in other combinations really, so i need to figure out which shades to combine it with to make it look more wearable and less flashy, but thanks to it's intensity it will be a great accent shade (on the outer lower lashline, peaking through the eyeliner on the upper lashline etc.) for a neutral-lover like me.
over a primer, this wears without any problems and is easily removed in the evening (i've had some very finely milled teal shadows before that ended up staining my lids after the whole make up was removed!).
bottom line this is a fun shade to have and it doesn't break the bank either.


Catrice Vanessa's Paradise - Rouge Bunny Rouge Mysterious Tinamou

Catrice Vanessa's Paradise - Rouge Bunny Rouge Mysterious Tinamou


a quick eye make up with both shades: Oh, It's Toffeeful on the inner half of the lid & lower lashline and Vanessa's Paradise on the outer parts. dark blue liner, slightly smudged with dark blue shadow (Contrast by MAC)

natural light

with flash

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