About Me

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California, United States
Hi! Thanks for visiting ^_^ My social media platforms: Instagram: meowmier Youtube: http://goo.gl/U5SnNM (formerly under the username francesvlogs but I don't have access to that anymore). I don't really do videos anymore simply because I think blog posts are more informative. Hope you enjoyed your time here! :)

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Cuz I was having a good hair day =P

So I decided to cam-ho a bit XD



It was sunset lighting :P I love how my grown-out roots didn't really show up in these pics XDXD

okay... I'm sorry about the cam-ho'ing............. 囧

by the way I don't have good hair... my hair's been super dry since the last time I dyed it :( my ends are all dry and tangled... sighhhhhhhhhhh but I want to dye my hair again >_< I'm not done going light yet! >< or maybe  I should just grow it out and embrace my natural black hair... double sighhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

<3 Frances

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Hakuhodo Brushes Review... and other brushes

Hi guys =)

So today will be my review for those Japanese, Hakuhodo makeup brushes

WARNING: Super, record-breaking LONG post ahead!!! (reason why I put off this review hahaha...)
This post isn't purely about Hakuhodo brushes, but I also include some information that I think is worthwhile mentioning.

I heard about Hakuhodo brushes from MissChievous

Before I purchased those Hakuhodo brushes, I never had a complete set of brushes, I only had some random brushes here and there and I really wanted a complete set of brushes where I can apply complete face makeup. Originally I was gonna purchase the Sigma brushes, but I heard really mixed reviews, then I heard about these brushes, and I was like, they're Japanese brushes, I cannot possibly be let down lol!

But before I get into my review, I want to first I talk about how you should pick out makeup brushes for your eyes.
When you're at the store, actually try patting the brushes on your eyelid, or anywhere close to your eye, instead of trying to test the softness of the brush on the back of your hand. The skin of your hand or the rest of your face is nowhere near sensitive at all compared to your eye area. To really be sure if the brushes are soft enough for your eyes, test them on your eyes.

The reason why I specifically wanted to bring this up is because I got very disappointed brush purchase from MAC. I only tested the brushes on the back of my hands, and I thought they're soft enough for my eyes. HELL NO!!!

I usually love MAC but I'd been very disappointed in their brush quality. MAC 217 and 219 scratched the hell out of my eyes, that I actually had to run them on sandpaper to get rid of the harsh brush hairs before I can even use them. For the amount of money I paid for the brushes (~$25 each), the brush quality is nowhere worth it.

After the horrible experience I was determined to buy really soft brushes for my eyes, so I decided to go ahead and buy the basic 10 pieces brush set
*** images taken from the Hakuhodo site***

This set which contains 10 brushes retails for $219.
It is VERY pricey I know, but I thought about $22 for each brush? that is not bad for good quality brushes right? Cuz one brush at MAC probably costs more than that.

In addition to the brush set, I also purchased two more eyeliner brushes. (shipping was $9 by the way)

I'd say, if you have the money and love to collect sets, sure, go for it.
However, while I am happy with my brushes, I WILL NOT recommend anyone to buy this set. I will explain as I go along.

I got these brushes about 7 months ago.
The packaging was very oriental in my opinion lol!

The brush set, plus 2 other eyeliner brushes


So here are the 10 brushes:

1. Face Powder Brush
- It's a great brush-- super soft, and picks up powder well
- As far as I know, a powder brush individually retails for $41~70+
- Is it worth it? ... well as much as I do love this brush, I honestly don't think it's worth the money if you want to purchase it individually. I owned a NARS brush, and while it wasn't not as soft as this brush, I really don't think it makes a difference cuz the skin of your face isn't as sensitive, and I honestly think if you already have a good powder brush, you don't need to invest in an extra soft one.
- When I first purchased this brush it didn't bleed at all, but for some reason it has started to bleed black
(by the way I threw away that NARS brush because it bled so bad that it actually got onto my face even when it was dry!)

2. Blush Brush
- A great brush as well. Before this brush I had a Sonia Kashuk angle blush brush which was soft but too flimsy. This brush is firm and doesn't pick up too much pigment. By the way I use blush brush for both blush and contour application.
- Individually a blush brush retails for $26+ on the website. 
- I'd say the same for this brush-- while the brush is super soft, your cheek can't tell the difference... (and I have very darn sensitive skin too) so if you have a good blush brush already, you really don't need to invest in an extra soft one.

3. Short Eye shadow brush
- Personally kind of find this brush useless... it's good for applying eye shadow on lower lash line, smudging, and highlighting, but as the set includes a pencil brush, it's kind of like having two brushes that do the same thing (except personally I like pencil brush better)

4. Flat eye shadow brush
- This is the only brush in this set that pokes my eye!!!!! Even now I can still feel that ONE hair poking at my lids!
- good for packing colors or highlight

5. Pencil brush
- This pencil brush is wayyy softer than MAC 219!!! seriously, this brush doesn't scratch my eye at all. I HATE the MAC 219...
- Individually retails for $18, which is even cheaper than MAC 219...

Here's a comparison of MAC 219 and Hakuhodo:
- You can also see Hakuhodo pencil brush is also more tapered, which allows more precision to work.
- I definitely prefer pencil brush over that short eye shadow brush cuz with this brush you can swirl and blend, whereas the other one you can't really blend with it as it create harsher lines. 

6. Concealer brush
- It is a good concealer brush, which is very soft and doesn't leave streak marks. But I just like applying concealer with fingers better.... so... yeah... another useless brush for me.

7. Brow brush
- Does its job. Only issue: it's not worth $22 =_=  you can definitely find something cheaper and does the same job.

8. Foundation brush
- I really dislike this foundation brush. Personally found this brush very useless. And I found the pic on the website very misleading-- I thought this brush was gonna be a lot denser and bigger. But this foundation brush is too small for my liking. While it's soft, it's also too thin, and the streak marks it leaves takes too much effort to blend out. A good foundation brush in my opinion has to be denser, so there will be more hairs to adhere to your face, leaving less streak marks.

***  So I contacted Hakuhodo and this brush actually turned out to be an eye shadow brush O_O sorry for the wrong information! (Updated on 1/12/2011)

*** I was pointed out this is actually highlight brush! If I'm wrong I'm sorry, cuz I cannot find a number that matches for this brush and I still don't see this brush in the cheek & highlight section. Actually I don't see this brush in foundation & concealer section either, so... I have no idea what this brush is for***

A foundation brush I like is the Sephora one
it costs like $30 though -___-
As you can see, the Sephora brush is a lot thicker, denser and bigger than the Hakuhodo. 

9. Spoolie
-Issue: is a spoolie worth $22? NO. It is essentially the same thing as those free/disposable ones provided at makeup counters with nice handles =_____= even if you want to buy a nice spoolie with a nice handle it should at most only cost you only $11.

10. Brow brush
- Does the job. It's up to you if it's worth $22... the MAC #208 does the same job and costs $19.50... a tiny bit cheaper but you know, still cheaper :D

Conclusion for the brush set:
So after I actually received the brush set and thought more about it, I felt really stupid spending that much money on this brush set -___- I mean the quality of the brushes are really good, but it definitely comes with some brushes that aren't worth the value.

Another important thing is, the eye shadow brushes aren't the best in terms of the function. To me, this set cannot be called a "basic" set.  Any brush set without a fluffy blending brush is NOT complete. The most basic brush set just needs to have a blending brush, come on! And also how do you call it a basic set when it doesn't even have an eyeliner brush....?

And as I said earlier in the post, as soft as the powder/blush brushes are, the face skin isn't that sensitive so I really wouldn't say it's unnecessary to spend the money just to buy extra soft brushes  (for example, MAC 187 stipling brush is soft enough, and suffices for powder/foundation/blush application).

This is MAC #187 in case you don't know. By the way I think for foundation application this brush isn't the best cuz it's too big to get into smaller corners (yeah I am SUPER picky lol...)

However, I do LOVE the eyeliner brushes from Hakuhodo!!!
top: G522 Eyeliner Brush D2 ($15)
bottom: 291 Eyeliner Brush round ($12)
The quality of these brushes are AMAZING. Not only they're soft, they actually feel good and super comfortable on my eyes. I have used eyeliner brushes from MAC, Chanel, Bobbi Brown, iQQU, KATE, and nothing beats these brushes. (And I guarantee you they're cheaper than any MAC/Chanel/Bobbi Brown eyeliner brushes!)  At first I didn't like the 291 brush cuz I thought it was too flimsy, but I had come to really like it =) I guess it's just a matter of getting used to? However for beginners I def. recommend G522-- it's small, precise and firm =) another thing is G522 comes with a cap, which is great if you need to throw it in your bag for touch-ups =)

Conclusion for the eyeliner brushes: 
I really do recommend the eyeliner brushes-- they are AWESOME and totally worth the money. Otherwise I think you can find cheaper alternatives for the brushes for the rest of your face (can't say the same for other eye shadow brushes cuz I never tried them lol).

There are so many brushes of all kinds/grades on the website, so take a look if you're really interested :) my experience with Hakuhodo is very limited to the brush set and the two eyeliner brushes.

From my own experience, I recommend the eyeliner brushes, and the pencil brush. Those I think truly worth the money (except the only downside... shipping of $9!!!!!!  #@$%^)

Lastly, I want to mention a drugstore makeup brush that has excellent quality and as soft as Hakuhodo brush lol!

It's the Sonia Kashuk crease eye shadow brush, which is under $10 and can be found at Target
And I have to tell you and I'm not even kidding... this brush is as soft as Hakuhodo, and is actually my very favorite eye shadow brush :) (also the brush I always use for my tutorials XD)

I think that's all I have to say! Sorry for this excessively long post... but I really wanted to cover everything :) I will clap my hands for you if you actually finish reading this XD
So I hope some of you found this helpful, and tks again for taking time reading my posts :D

<3 Frances

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Smokey Eye #7 Gold

Hello beautiful ppl!

So I think we've come to our last smokey eye in this series... XD I've done taupe/brown, purple, blue, silver, bronze, green, and my last one is gold :D Or what other colors should I work on? lol????? I'm thinking about doing some autumn looks... we'll see :P

Before I get into the tutorial, I want to mention that for any smokey eye or any looks that involve dark shadows or glittery shadows, you should do foundation and powder AFTER you do your eyes, that way the fall-outs are easier to clean. 

Items used:

1. Anastasia brow powder in Medium Ash
2. Too Faced Natural Eye Palette
3. MAC lip pencil in Naked Liner
4. Fiberwig Mascara
5. MAC dazzle glass in "Smile"
6. Stila Smudgepot gel liner in "black"
7. MAC eye shadow in "Honey Lust"
8. Urban Decay Alice in Wonderland Palette
9. MAC mineralize blush in Love Joy
10. Stila Convertible Color in Marigold (for contour)
11. MAC mineralize skin finish

MAC "Honey Lust" which I broke :( this is why I never buy customizing palettes from MAC anymore. I broke two eye shadows in that palette when I dropped it *sobs*
Cocoa Puff (red brown) and Sexspresso (dark chocolate brown) from Too Faced
Of course you can use the gold from this palette... I just liked the MAC one cuz it has less yellow tone than this one. But really any gold would work :)

Now onto the tutorial:

1. I used a wet brush to apply MAC "Honey Lust" all over my lid to minimize fall outs and to intensify the look (yeah it should say "Honey Lust" instead of "Goldmine" my bad :P)

2. Apply Cocoa Puff on the outer corner. I chose a red brown because red brown really complements and goes well with gold in my opinion :) I also used a wet brush to line the lower lash line with the same red brown shadow to make the look more intense

3. Add Sexspresso to the outer corner to intensify the look. I didn't use black because I think black will be a bit too harsh next to gold. And as always, I brought Sexspresso to the outer 1/3 of lower lash line. I also added Honey Lust to the lower inner corner


4. I was going for a very glamorous look, so I went for very strong, defined eyeliner, instead of smoking/smudging it out.

5. Add mascara :D

For my lips:
1. I applied the nude pencil liner all over my lips to mute out my lip color (reason why I didn't use a nude lipstick cuz lip pencil is thinner, so my lips wouldn't feel too heavy after step 3)
2. Apply the peachy lip gloss
3. Using my finger, I dipped it into the rosy gold shadow in the Alice in Wonderland palette, and gently pat it onto my lips. The shadow will adhere and blend in to the gloss. Remember always go in with clean finger!


major color wash-out -___-||||


I really really like the effect of the gold shadow on my lips ^__^ what do you guys think? I think I'm gonna try to use this method more often

That's all, thanks again for stopping by to read my blog :) I appreciate your time ^_~

I need a new project to work on now lol! Any suggestion besides autumn looks? lol!

<3 Frances

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Lancome Teint Idole Fresh Wear Foundation Review

Hi everyone =)

Today's a really overdue review... on Lancome TEINT IDOLE FRESH WEAR foundation

Price: $32 (0.8 fl. oz.)
My shade is in Bisque 2C
- super watery, easy to blend
- for me, the best result comes from blending with my fingers. I found that if I just use my hand, it looks less cakey/powdery and actually lasts longer. I'm not sure why when I use a brush the foundation looks slightly cakey.  
- Very thin and light, light to medium coverage.
- Coverage is buildable
- Gives matte finish with a healthy glow which I really like :)
- SPF 15
- you can smell the alcohol, and feels a bit cooling on skin
- now... does it last 18 hours? I actually don't think this thing even last 8 hours... which I think is super ironic as it advertises for 18 hours of wear... mine starts looking cakey around 6-8 hours. So I wouldn't wear this if I were going out all day. A shame cuz I love the consistency and the shade...  even it isn't the longest lasting it's still my current favorite... I just need touching up.
- while it does cake up the staying power is pretty good... if it make any sense at all?... cuz I actually went swimming in the pool with this foundation on (not planned =___= I was pushed into the water by a friend... #@$%^... good thing everything on my face was water-proof)

- I wish it was in a container with pump- I don't like the fact that air get sucked into the tube during each use
- the tube is a bit hard to control in my opinion-- be sure to hold it upward when getting the product out of it, cuz I once have the product come gushing out when I tried squeezing a bit for touch up -___-

Overall if you're looking for a thin and buildable foundation... this works well.  If you have oily skin and looking for oil control... I really don't think it controls oil any better than my other foundations... 

Remember you can always ask for samples from Sephora to try out before purchasing :D

Hope this review is helpful to some of you =)

<3 Frances

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Smokey eye #6 Green

Hello hello =)

Thanks for everyone who liked the last smokey eye =) <3 some of you said you like it because it's warm and not intimidating... today... I'm switching to the intimidating side XD you're warned :P

And today I'm using one of my fav eye shadows... also my very very first eye shadow in my life XD Lancome's "Dazzling Steel" :) I remember buying this eye shadow along with some eyeliner pencil and mascara at Lancome with my mom about 5 years ago =) first time ever makeup shopping haha. I remember looking for this kind of shade because I saw Rainie Yang wearing some color of this sort in her drama "Devil Beside You" so that was my very first makeup inspiration :P

Items used:
1. Lancome Color Design "Dazzling Steel" (#502) eye shadow
2. Urban Decay Alice In Wonderland Palette "Absolem" eye shadow
3. Urban Decay NAKED Palette "Gunmetal" and "Creep" eye shadow
4. Fiberwig Mascara
5. MAC Slimshine Lipstick in "funshine"
6. Stila Smudgepot eyeliner in "black"
7. MAC "Light Over Dark" blush (I used the "light" one)
8. Anastasia brow powder in "Medium Ash"

Close-up on eye shadows:
If you decided you like this color and decided you want to get it, I have to warn you this eye shadow falls out like crazy. So I suggest doing foundation/powder AFTER eye makeup, which is what I did :)

This eye shadow is totally optional. I will explain in the tutorial :)

1. Apply "Dazzling Steel" over lid, packing the color intensely under the fold, and bring the shadow a little past the fold. Bring the shadow up in a round shape on the outer corner, so it should be very visible above the fold.
By the way I already applied eyeliner on upper waterline

2. Apply "Gunmetal" on outer corner, and bring it on the lower lash line as well

3. This step is optional. If you don't like it too green, you can leave out this step. I used my ring finger to take a bit of "Absolem" eye shadow, and gently pat it on the center of the lid to bring a pop of green to the eye
You don't need much at all, this is all I have each time I dab my finger into the eye shadow. The key is to build up the green to the intensity you like, and I didn't use much at all (remember to use clean finger before you dip it in!! lol)

4. Apply "Creep" the outer corner to intensify the look. Bring a little down to the outer 1/3 of lower lash line. And you can see the pop of green by adding "Absolem" in the center :) I usually just leave out step 3 though hahaha.

5. Line your eyes. I like to make my lower liner a lot thicker than I usually do when I wear light, shimmery shadows to balance it. I don't know, to me it's like when wearing clothes, if you wear light top, you should wear deep colors on the bottom to balance the look if you know what I mean? XD

6. Apply mascara and you're done with eyes :D


For the rest of my face, since wearing green eye shadow can really wash you out, I wear a very warm blush on my cheeks (MAC "Light Over Dark") and I decided to wear peachy lips this time instead of nude.

the eye shadow is super shimmery XD




That's all! I really like green shadows I dunno why... but I hope you guys enjoyed it =D

<3 Frances