Tina Tries: Contouring Angst and the Face Shop Designing Dual Shading Pact

October 2, 2012 § 4 Comments

Dad has a habit of saying that our family’s lucky, because even if / when we lose weight, it’s never really obvious because of our full faces. I’m pretty sure that he’s (and maybe my Momma) the only one who thinks that.

My sisters and I all dislike our round faces, although mine’s a lot more squareish than theirs. We’ve got cheeks that give us a hard time in photos – I for one haven’t found that perfect angle yet. In fact, so much fat obscures my cheekbones and the hollows, it’s crazy.

Enter contouring.

I’m not well-versed in this at all – most of what I know, I learned from my youngest sister, who took a makeup workshop when she was only 15, and is obliging enough to fix me up for special occasions and give me tips. Once, she was so proud of herself that she started gushing over her work, and I quote, “OhmyGOD I gave you cheekbones! And I made your nose look so nice, I’m so good at this!” And the difference was noticeable!

So I thought I’d pick up a matte bronzer and try out a bit of contouring for every day. The Face Shop was the most convenient choice, since we happened to be in SM Megamall then. Haha!

For those who aren’t familiar with it, The Face Shop is a natural skincare and makeup line (though I’m not exactly sure how natural all their products are) from Korea that claims to “bring together science and the perfection of nature to deliver the best products for your skin.” I’d say that this, and Etude House are the most popular Korean makeup lines in the Philippines – in fact, their biggest endorsers are Korean pop stars, actors, and male models! Must be good, right? The Face Shop opened in the Philippines in 2006 – and I’ve been a fan of their products since then, especially their nail polishes, blushes, and highlighters. So it made sense to try out their bronzers as well.

The Face Shop Designing Dual Shading Pact in 01 Blending Brown

Packaging: The bronzer comes in a standard round compact – the packaging and color are very simple, which I love since I rarely gravitate towards cutesy packaging. Flipping the top open reveals the inside of the compact, which includes a mirror, and a brush that clicks onto a plastic shield that covers the bronzer, which is housed in the bottom half of the case itself.

I like this style a lot more than let’s say my Face Shop blush, which, when you open it, reveals the blush in a shallow compartment right away. That flips up to reveal the brush in a hollow compartment below. The packaging of the bronzer seems a lot more sanitary since the product is actually protected by a shield, and I don’t have to worry about the sides of the pan and the mirror getting messy!

The included brush is softer and of better quality than most others of it’s kind – it’s not what I prefer to use, but I’ve held on to it because it’s good to use in a pinch.

Colors: You get 12g of product in the pan; and there are two shades – a lighter caramel-tan, and a darker, muddy brown. Both seem darker in the pan than they do when swatched.

The instructions that came on the box (which I threw away, sorry!) say to use the lighter color in the hollows of the cheeks and on the jawline, and to use the darker color on the temples. As you can see below, the muddy brown color is much too dark for me, so I’m avoiding it for now. The lighter shade makes for a good contour shade against my skintone.

The top swatch is the darker color in the pan, and the bottom swatch is the lighter color. I went over both twice, to get the color to show up well.

Product: I’ve only been using this for a few weeks, but I can say it’s pretty long-wearing. How do I know? It’s kind of a makeup-mishap, rookie-mistake kind of story, but what the hell. No shame right?

Anyway, the first time I used this, I was, to say the least, overeager: I picked up a lot of product, contoured the hollows of my cheeks and the jawline, stepped back from the mirror, and was HORRIFIED. Blending furiously, I tried to remedy the problem, but ended up spreading it over more of my face. And there was no time to remove everything, so I went with a muddy look for the day (which was crazy stupid), and was saddened by how brown the tissue paper was at the end of the day when I removed my make-up. And by the thought that I probably looked very, very stupid that day.

Lately, I’ve been using spare amounts – for a barely there effect – but it still lasts the whole day, which is good, right? Also, despite my early, HUGE failure, I’ve found that it is actually very easy to blend, and it does help to bring out the planes of my face more.

Finally? I’d say this is a good starter bronzer for those who’re just getting into contouring – it wasn’t the bronzer I would have wanted to get, but I feel it’s impractical to buy something expensive when I’m just starting out. Also, this cost just below P1000 ($23, thereabouts) – but for me, it’s a small price to pay because Face Shop products have never broken me out, and you get a lot of product anyway.

Hey, I’ve just realized that this isn’t a real review – a tried & tested – at all. Because I’m still trying.

On that note, let me show you the initial draft of this post, which was marred by a lot of hormone-induced negative thoughts, immediately following my muddy-faced story:

“I think I’m going to spend a good part of tomorrow morning practicing in front of a mirror – I’ve been looking at tutorials by Chriselle of Cosmetic Fixation here, and by other bloggers like Nikki of Askmewhats, and Xiao of Messy Wands.

I still get a frustrated sometimes because I’m still unable to do a lot of what I want to do, makeup-wise. Damned if I’m going to give up though!”

I’ve had this for a few weeks now, and I’ve been practicing, and, you know what? I’m doing better. Not enough to give myself beautiful cheekbones yet (a daunting task given how chubby my cheeks are), but yeah, I think I’m getting there! Yay for practicing right?

Favorite bronzers (or contouring tutorials, haha!)? Have you ever had any contouring mishaps?

Tried&Tested: Haus of Gloi pumpkin butters review

September 12, 2012 § Leave a comment

I’m pretty sure I first heard of Haus of Gloi over at Claire’s Beauty–specifically, this Indie Interview post with Evonne of Darling Clandestine, who mentions that she uses her own scent concoction mixed into Aether Pumpkin Butter. Aether. Pumpkin Butter.

Aether pumpkin butter: it sounds pretty, appetizing, and luxurious all at the same time!  Ok, there you go, curiosity piqued: I visited Haus of Gloi.

The Haus is an indie, vegan bath, body, and fragrance line based in Oregon. It’s run by Matt and Britton — all the scents are crafted and blended by hand, so you’re pretty much assured of getting interesting and unique products, whether they’re pumpkin butters, body emulsions, soaps, emulsifying scrubs, bubbling scrubs, and perfume oils.

I like that they put a lot of thought into their “branding.” For example, the website’s overall theme changes with the seasons – right now, it’s autumn, as you can see from the screenshot.  Whether it’s spring or autumn, the site reflects their aesthetic (a mix of quirky and arcane come to mind), is really easy to navigate, and only has the essentials.

BUT browsing the catalog is difficult, because everything sounds so appealing! Check out the pumpkin butters here and be tempted.

Since this was my first order, I decided to order pumpkin butters in the sample sizes (2oz) so I could get a variety of scents: Elevenses, Troika, and Twice is Nice. I also ordered a perfume oil sample in Honeysuckle Lemon Curd (which I’ll review in another post). I received my little haul – with a free sample of Picaroon – thanks to my aunt’s obliging friend (who allowed me to ship this to her) and to my aunt (who brought them home from her business trip).

Here they are, a little worse for the wear, after I’ve used them a few times.

The pumpkin butters come in little plastic jars with screw-on lids — and as a bonus, they’re sealed, which I didn’t expect from an independent business. Once you open them, they look like whipped butter, close to the pictures in the catalog.

I scooped a small amount on the back of my hand to show you the texture – doesn’t it look thick and luxurious? Be warned: a little of this product goes a long way; it was enough to cover my entire forearm. I’ve used them each a number of times for my whole body (usually after I shower to lock the moisture in), and I can tell you that these pumpkin butters also go on smoothly and sink well into the skin. If you use a little too much, you might feel a bit more stickiness on your skin, but that’s not really a bad thing for me, as these are all so moisturizing.

On to the scents (official description in italics, my impressions below):

Twice is Nice: Sweetest offerings of opulence! Buttery sugar cookie, with shavings of creamy coconut and topped with toasted almond slivers!

– I’ve found that with the Haus, scent descriptions are generally spot on: this smelled to me like a freshly-baked, buttery coconut macaroon. The almond’s also there upon initial application, but fades away behind the buttery, coconut smell. I thought I smelled delicious, honestly – but my younger sister also said I smelled like virgin coconut oil. She got the scent right, but not in the way I would’ve liked!

Troika: A trinity of soft milks, almond, oat and coconut, lashed with sweet agave nectar and the ethereal scent of clean white.

– This is the most subtle of the scents I chose – it smells clean and soft, not too overwhelming at all. The prominent notes are really the milk and almond, with a hint of the coconut. I can’t really distinguish the other scents, but they’re there to keep the fragrance from being TOO simple and boring. At first, I thought this was exactly similar to Vanilla & Co’s Milky Almond buttercream, and then I compared the two – yep, Milky Almond is Troika’s more boring sister.

Elevenses: Not quite breakfast and not quite lunch, its the little snack in between. Bring out the old cracked china! Tiny, little, fluffy orange cakes, sugar coated toasty almonds and a wee steaming cup of black tea!

– This was my ABSOLUTE FAVORITE of all three scents. It makes me feel like I’m in Hobbiton, having second breakfast in Bag End – astringent black tea, orange cakes flecked with spices, and something creamy tying it all together (must be the almond). I love this so much I’ve only used it twice – on days that I need a pick-me-up.

The packaging’s pretty nice as well – it reflects the site’s quirky-arcane aesthetic. Labels are also printed with a complete list of (vegan) ingredients and the descriptions of the scents. I like these so much that when I’ve used all of these up, I don’t think I’m going to throw these jars away!

I thought that these were such tiny, tiny jars, but you get a surprising amount of use with these products – I’ve used Troika five times, and there’s still a little over half the jar left.

See – there’s still a lot of product left

I did a little sleuthing around Google before I ordered these, and I found out that Julia of Bless My Bag has also ordered from the Haus. You can read her post about them here, especially if you’re wondering about shipping to Manila.

I should add that Matt and Britton have great customer service as well – when I sent them an email to correct my shipping address, they responded promptly.

As a bonus, they include a free sample of perfume oil with every order. Turnaround time (the time in between placing your order and them shipping it out) is also very fast – it took 2 days for them to ship out this order.

PROS: packaging, generous sample sizes, very moisturizing, spreads and sinks into skin well, amazing scents, scents linger for 3-4 hours, affordable prices, fast turnaround time, great customer service, they ship worldwide, and all products are vegan-friendly

CONS: none that I can think of!

Try? I would recommend these products to everyone, whether they’re from the general collection (as all 3 of mine were), or they’re from the themed seasonal collections (Autumn is up right now). Right now, Elevenses is the only one I would repurchase in the full size – not because I didn’t like the other products, but because I want to try everything else. Yes, everything.

(and in fact, the entire Autumn line of pumpkin butters is on their way to me!)

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