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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! :)

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Um, what's left of my Sephora VIB Sale Haul... XD Living Proof, Stila, Kat Von D, Bite Beauty

Hi guys!

Sorry it took me so long to write about my haul from Sephora sale... Reason number one, I've been insanely busy =_= all the posts I posted over the last few weeks were all pre-written (good thing I got quite a few in before all the sh** hit, HAHA). Honestly I'm not sure if I will be able to keep up with this weekly blogging thing, because in less than a month, I will forever be done with classroom setting, and go into the real world for rotations for the next year O_o that means I'll pretty much have a normal working schedule. Doesn't help that I'm entering the finals preparation phase. Reason number two, I just had really bad luck with this haul =_= after a lot of back and forth, I actually returned the majority of the things -_- so the testing out/returning process took a while.

So as a follow-up to my wishlist post, these are the items I ordered originally:

1. Living Proof Prime Style Extender
2. Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eye Liner
3. Kat Von D Everlasting Love Liquid Lipstick in Backstage Bambi 
4. Bite Beauty Matte Creme Lip Crayon in Sweety

I ended up not liking the Bite Beauty lip crayon (will explain later), so I went in the store and exchanged for Stila Smudge Stick Waterproof Eyeliner. And I ended up with the haul below 
(including the samples)

But in the end, I returned everything, EXCEPT the Living Proof Prime Style Extender -____-|||||
This has got to be the single biggest return I've ever made at Sephora. Seriously, I was so surprised at how most of the products ended up not working out for me. Sorry Sephora T_____T Feel so bad for returning so many items.... orz....

So since I gave all the items a pretty decent enough of trial time, I figured might as well turn this into haul/review post. Let's look at the Bite Beauty lip crayon, the first product that made it to my "return" list, shall we?

1. Bite Beauty Matte Creme Lip Crayon in Sweety

 So in the last post I mentioned I've tried this in the store and really liked the color. I actually changed my mind -_- see the thing is, under Sephora's lighting, it's hard to tell the true colors of the products. After wearing this product in natural lighting, I just did NOT like the color at all. Under the Sephora lighting, it looks like a subdued, neutral pink, like exactly shown in the above picture. For some reason, it looks so much pinker under natural lighting, and just does not flatter my complexion. Another huge reason why I didn't like the product-- it is SO DRY. It's advertised to be "A moisture-rich, matte-finish lipstick with a delicious citrus scent." I am sorry. There is no moisture. It dried my lips out. $24 for this less than mediocre product? No thank you. Returned. I think I'm officially giving up on Bite Beauty ~_~ (tried their lipstick before too, also meh...)

2. Living Proof Prime Style Extender

So even though I ended up keeping this product, I have to say I'm not completely satisfied with it. I guess it does protect my hair from heat (like I said before, I can never tell), and it does keep the style-- but it doesn't make my hair look any smoother. Like the wavy hair style I created with my Hot Tools Deep Waver, the waves still come out frizzy. Am I just too picky?  It does say "It weightlessly perfects strands while smoothing and correcting hair texture" though, so no one can really blame me for being disappointed when I found that it doesn't give my hair a smoother finish. I might have to go back to the gold standard: heat protectant, then set with hair spray. By the way I do use quite a liberal amount-- about two quarter sizes-- so I will probably run out of this really fast if I use it regularly. But it is very weightless and non-sticky, so I do like that. And it smells like grapefruit to me (I am ambivalent toward the scent). I will use it up but I don't think I will be repurchasing it.

3. Stila Stay All Day Waterpoof Liquid Eyeliner and Stila Smudge Stick Waterpoof Eyeliner
For me, testing out if an eyeliner is good or bad is the easiest thing in the world-- it only takes a day (sometimes just a few hours) for me see if an eyeliner works for me. Let's just let the pictures do the talking:

This was taken in the morning-- sorry it's a bit blurry, was in a hurry to leave the apartment. Top eyeliner (extended out) is the liquid eyeliner. And I used the smudge stick on the bottom eyeliner. I also used a black eye shadow to blend out and set the smudge stick.

The other eye.

About 7 hours later:
Haha. Tragic. Not unexpected though.

I can tell you guys that it took less than 7 hours for it to smudge like this. Probably 2-3 hours?

Asian eyes, beware! Especially if you have the eyeliner-always-smudging-on-the-outer-corner problem. To be fair I think both are nice eyeliners and probably would've worked really well for non-Asians.

Conclusion: I'm stuck with using MAC Liquidlast and Milani Infinite Liner forever. Haha

4. Caviar CC Cream Leave-in Hair Perfector

Can someone explain to me why a brand would name its hair product CC cream? =______= Don't they know CC stands for color correct? What the eff. I guess they try to play with it and make it stand for "complete correct". Should I say they're creative or misleading.... lol. Anyway, it was a 100 point perk and I saw that it has heat protection, so I thought I'd give it a try. Haven't tried it as a heat protectant or for its "light hold" and "smoothness". I shall report back. As far as moisture and manageability, it's nice-- kind of reminds me of my Phyto 7 Hydrating day cream.

5. Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lipstick


So originally I got the color Backstage Bambi, which is a bright fuchsia pink. Exactly like the problem I had with the Bite Beauty lip crayon-- it looks so much brighter and pinker under natural sunlight. Like a shocking pink. Me no likey. So I went to the store to exchange it. Actually ended up exchanging it for Jeffree. Seriously though, at that point I should have just returned it and not be bothered with exchanging for another color, because the few times I tried the product out, it was SO drying. But I ignored my instinct and told myself maybe it would work out better with a color that suits me.


Here's Jeffree on my lips

I really like the color! It has a baby peachy finish.


Pic is kind of washed out but you get the idea (I also only used a very little amount as you can see... that's prob why it didn't show up that well lol). By the way I was using the Living Proof Style Prime Extender in this pic... as you can see.... it did NOTHING for the frizziness.

So like I said-- I ignored my instincts telling me "you know you might not like this product anyway it's too dry".... and I TRIED. I tried using a lip balm before, tried using a lip balm over it... DID. NOT. WORK. It dried out my lips so badly that it made my lips crease. This product is even worse than the Bite Beauty one. I COULD NOT TAKE IT. I was going to keep it because at this point I already returned so many products, but then I thought when am I ever going to use it? =_= So project matte lips, my friends, so far is an epic fail. 

I hope I didn't bore you guys to death with this post... so as a little bonus review, I tried out the popular Diorsnow White Reveal UV Shield.

I was actually quite surprised with the formula. It's REALLY thick. I don't know why but I was expecting it to be thin and easy to spread?

It also leaves a sheen-- or you can call it glow/dewy-ness. For people with darker skin tones, it probably can qualify as a white cast.

Just to demonstrate it's a thick sunscreen-- not the thin and runny kind that will slide down your face. You have to really rub it in and work it evenly across your face. Because it's so thick/not as easy to spread, I found that I use A LOT of the product. I wouldn't be surprised if I ever purchase this, it'd prob only take me half of the normal time to finish the tube.

When the sunscreen is first applied, it leaves a very obvious sheen/glow. But after a few minutes it gets absorbed-- you're still left with a glow, but it's more subtle.
You guys prob can't really tell the dewy finish/glow from this sunscreen. I tried my best but the glow is just too hard to be photographed.

My thoughts on this sunscreen?

When the MUA who was helping me with the sample found out I have normal/oily combination skin, he warned and warned me that this sunscreen might be too thick for me and might make me super oily, and suggested the best time to try it would probably be winter. And to be honest, after swatching it on the back of my hand and seeing how dewy it is, I was really worried myself. So when I first tried this sunscreen, I braced myself for an extremely oily face at the end of the day. To my surprise!!!!!!!!! It absolutely did NOT make me extra oily (let's take a moment to be shocked with Frances), on the contrary, it actually balanced my oiliness O_o I wouldn't say it kept me matte-- because of its dewy finish, my foundation just doesn't look matte even after setting with powder-- the dewy-ness does peeking through. I have worn the sunscreen 5-6 times and I can tell you guys it wasn't a fluke-- it does control my oil. I notice I am a lot less oilier compared to when I don't use this sunscreen. I would say for people who love luminous primer but struggle to find one that doesn't make you a hot oily mess by the end the day, look into this! Get a sample a try it out =)
Damn it, now I'm tempted to buy this sunscreen... but I can never imagine myself spending $58 on a sunscreen -_-a  So I think I will stick with Anessa. That one controls oil too. Haha.

What did you guys buy from the Sephora sale??? Or if there's no Sephora where you are... what did you buy recently?? =D

Thanks for reading guys! I feel like my posts are getting quite boring these days... lol. Maybe I should do a tag post or something just to spice things up? Also thinking about doing an updated fitness/weight loss post... or a dieting post. Partly because I've been struggling so much with my diet these days =( I feel like writing about it will really help motivate me to stay on track. I'll see how I feel haha (or if I have the time...)

Until next time, take care guys and have a wonderful weekend!

<3 Frances

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

All About Brows! Makeup Forever Aqua Brows, Anastasia Brow Powder Duo, Za Ever Brows Swatches & Review

Hello guys!


So today! I want to do a little comparison and review on all the brow products that I currently own. So let's just get started shall we? ^_^

Pictures for each eye brow product were taken on different days, so just keep that in mind that the lighting is going to be a bit different. 

Let's look at my naked eye brows! 
LOL my face is uber unsymmetrical.... -_-.... it's like the right side of my face is more lifted XD

Anyway my eye brows are naturally pretty arched... they're okay on the inner half, but toward the arch there are those bald spots XD 

bald spot MAGNIFIED

This side is better, muehehe

Okay, now let's look at how different eye brow products look on me!

MUFF Aqua Brows
I have the shade #25

As you can see, this shade has a lot of red in it.





As I mentioned before, I have the shade #25. To be honest, I feel like it can look a little too dark on me if I'm not careful/use a heavier hand. I feel like my ideal color will be in between #25 and #15, but #15 looks a bit too light on me =_= oh well. Since my hair is on the darker side and I currently have no plans to lighten it, I decided #25 will suit me better.

So I mainly bought the MUFF Aqua Brows because I wanted something water resistant for my vacation last month. And I'm pleased to announce that yes it is water resistant and stayed on all day despite spending quite some time under the water ^_^ Major thumbs up for that! I do recommend it for those who want a brow product they can use for underwater.

I also have to say, I was very surprised at how natural is product looks. Because it's a liquid, I was worried if it's gonna look harsh. But nope! It looks super natural ^_^ As long as you use the right tools. My only complaint is the limited shades! I wish they have a shade that is this dark, but less red and more ashy!

I found the best way to apply this brow product is either with a Q-tip, or a shader brush like this (this one is by Sonia Kashuk, which you can find at Target). If you like the diffused brow look like I do (I don't like the super defined/drawn on eye brow look), I highly encourage you NOT to use an angled brush with this product, cuz the application can be a bit too harsh (angled brow brushes tend to deposit the pigment/product in a more concentrated manner, which I find a little bit hard to control)

Any small brush with brush hairs that are not too packed/dense should work.

Anastasia Brow Powder Duo in Medium Ash/Medium Brown
 You can see it's an old product LOL the new brow powders have been repackaged. I also believe the new packaging this shade is called "Medium Brown-- taupe based brown".

Don't know why I never did a review on this product since I use the crap out of it O_o I've had this for YEARS and look how much I still have left! Totally worth the price tag. As you can see, I like to mix the two shades, but I do use the darker shade a bit more :) My favorite thing about this product is that it's basically fool-proof, and it has no red in it :P 



Anastasia brow powder is my everyday go-to brow product. Simply because it's easy and fast and lasts all day even if I work out :) the only time it doesn't last is when I swim-- which I don't expect it to anyway. My favorite tool to apply this powder is with my MAC... I believe 266? Just a regular angled brow brush. The reason why I like it is honestly because it's super old XD the brush has become quite frizzy, but also because of that, it kind of applies the product more diffusely? It looks more natural with this brush compared to my Hakuhodo brow brush. But really, I don't think it has anything to do with the brush quality... it's the age of this brow brush that makes it awesome XD 

You can see how bushy/frizzy the brush hairs look.... and there's a piece of lint stuck to it -_-"



Foundation: YSL Touche Eclat. Why is it that every single time I put this foundation on I'm blown away by how amazing it looks XD it never gets old hahaha. I don't use YSL TE every day  because it's expensive and I'll be sad if I run out T_T but actually I think I need to increase my usage for this foundation because it's going to expire next year X_X

Za Ever Brows
I bought it thinking it'd be more natural than brow powder, because for a while I noticed my Anastasia brow powder was looking a little too powdery. But later I realized it's because I used too much of the light color -_- so of course if a lighter powder is sitting on top of dark hairs it's gonna look powdery. I use less of the light color now and it's completely fine. I actually have 2 of the Za brow pencils... and I kind of wish I only bought one. At the time I liked it, but after using it for a while, I just prefer the Anastasia one for the ease of use. I feel like out of all my brow products, Za has the weakest staying powder? Don't worry it won't disappear on you-- but I do notice it fades more easily compared to my other brow products after working out, or if I rub my eye brows (I rub my brow bone sometimes when I get headaches). This is the only brow product I have noticed fading with, although it doesn't happen that often either. By the way, Za has a slightly waxy feeling to the application.

Anyway I feel like the price is expensive for this product for what it (around $10 USD ish). For a meager 0.17g (which doesn't mean much to me XD just refer to the pic below), I feel like this product is quite expensive. Especially in comparison of my MUFF Aqua Brows... which is $20, and there's a TON of product.
I believe if I am diligent with this and use it everyday, I can probably finish it in 2-3 months? Maybe I should do that lol but it's just not a product I reach for.

The shade I have is in 03 Natural Gray

I like to use the pencil in short strokes to fill out the eye brows, then use the spoolie end to brush out the edges only (by the way I try to use the spoolie to comb my brows in place first before applying brow product-- that tends to work better)

Foundation: MUFF Mat Velvet+

crazy dark circles =_=

The spoolie in the back. Honestly I have no idea how to tell a good spoolie from a bad one? They're all the same to me XD Except some feel more plastic-/rubbery to me. But it works *shrugs*

Jealousness Eye Brow Pencil
So Jealousness is a Taiwanese brand. If your scroll all the way up to look at the first pic you'll notice it says "USA" on the pencil. LOL. Taiwanese ppl and their false marketing -_-||| Incidentally, I don't know if they named the brand Jealousness to sound cute, or they actually don't know the noun for jealous is jealousy XD


The shade I have is in light brown. It has some red in it too. Not as red as MUFF, but I'd say it leans more orange/yellow?? Probably more suitable for those who dyed their hair light brown/blond.

Ummm... I wasn't wearing any makeup that day and was too lazy to put on a full-face makeup just to take pictures of my eye brows, so please don't mind the bareness XD 



I'll admit when it comes to eye brow products I really don't know a whole lot about them... mainly because the first brow product I ever got was the Anastasia one and it works perfectly, so I never really feel the need to go out and try a lot of products. But with this pencil, I definitely started to understand what the gurus mean when they say certain brow products contain a higher wax content XD this pencil definitely feels very waxy. Since this brow pencil is in "light brown," it is pretty light, and contains a lot of yellow. I reserve this product for when I colored my hair. By the way, between Za and Jealousness, Za is easier to use because it has less wax. Jealousness can sometimes be a bit tricky because I found sometimes the wax can "plaster" the brows down if you apply more pressure. So my advice will be to be patient when you want to build up the intensity. I do feel like Jealousness is more long lasting than Za though. Between all four products, longevity MUFF > Anastasia ~ Jealousness > Za (Can't really tell if Anastasia or Jealousness last longer-- generally I don't have any problems with either. It's only ever with Za that I notice some fading).

Lastly, thought I'd include a comparison swatch:
Left to right: Jealousness, MUFF, Za, Anastasia (dark and light)

Jealousness and Za were hard to swatch because of the wax content-- you can see they swatch rather blotchily. I'm quite surprised at how dark Jealousness came out-- but I did press pretty hard for the color to show up. Just keep in mind it is a yellowish brown.

That's all I have! Hope some of you found it helpful. What are your favorite brow products? I'm pretty happy with my products thus far and not planning to buy more =P

<3 Frances