Sephora Play May 2017!

21 May

Come with me to explore all the goodies I got this month from Sephora’s makeup subscription.

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It’s like a monthly pick me up!

This month’s box adopted the theme The Rising Stars. The bag design strayed away from the regular drawstring style and took the shape of a plastic square instead. Additionally, they included some extra tips and tricks on their monthly brochure, which is definitely a sign that they’re trying to spice things up.

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1. Sunday Riley Ceramic Slip Clay Cleanser

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Yesssssss. I’ve been eyeing Sunday Riley for some time now and always hesitated to make the purchase. Now, I can finally get a feel for their products before drawing a conclusion on whether or not to add them to my skincare collection. Can’t wait to slip this into my routine later tonight!

2. Nudestix Magnetic Matte Lip Color in Greystone

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Meh. Although I’m a fan of Nudestix, I’m not too excited about this dark brown shade being paired with my yellow undertones, since it would most likely clash and result in my looking like a zombie from Walking Dead. Therefore, I’ll probably stash this in my eyeshadow section.

3. Grande Lips Lip Plumper in Clear

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Am I the only one who thinks that this brand is started by the singer Ariana Grande? Well, after checking the brand page from Sephora, it’s not. Instead, it was founded by Alicia Grande, who may or may not be related to her? Who knows. I’m not really a fan of plumpers ever since I tried the one from Too Faced and ended up with my lips on fire. But, still going to give this a chance.

4. Trestique Highlight Stick in Maldives Luminescent

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Yaaaaaassssss. Glow, baby! That’s what I’m talking about. Who can say no to highlighters? I can’t wait to apply this to my brow bones, bridge of my nose, above the cheeks, etc. to achieve that luxury effect on my face. Hopefully, this can beat Benefit’s Watt’s Up stick.

5. Christophe Robin Cleansing Purifying Scrub with Sea Salt

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I’m starting to see more of this brand lately. I’m not too keen about the plastic packaging that has yet to lure me into using it. The smell is good, however.

6. REPLICA Beach Walk

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And of course, the perfume choice of the month. A little spritz of this transformed my wrist with notes of flower, cedar-wood, and pepper. The scent is reminiscent of someone walking along the shores towards a beach house in the breezy Summer.

Overall, I would give this box a rating of 3 out of 5 stars. It’s not the best box I’ve received due to some of the shades and skincare products.

What did you think of this month’s box? Let me know in the comments below. Find me on Instagram @Alleyhanai. Thanks for reading!

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Ipsy Glambag May 2017

14 May

The May glambag–equipped with a summer theme–can’t get any better! Ever since I’ve been reviewing my monthly items on the Ipsy website, I’ve been receiving products that are better suited to my interests. So, if you’re tempted to skip over that email asking you to review your bag

Don’t!

The more feedback you provide them, the better they become at tailoring your monthly bags to your beauty profile.

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Without further ado,

1. Pacifica Island Life Eyeshadow Palette

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The first thing that caught my eye was this small palette with beautiful neutral, copper and gold colors, which would be perfect for everyday wear. It even comes with an applicator. I can definitely see this item in my travel bag. A great portable pick!

2. Adesse New York Nail Lacquer in Surfer Girl

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Next up, a cute nail color ideal for the summer. I’ve had experience with this brand before (in a different color) and I have to say that the nail polish does stay put! And the only reason for removal is that my nails were growing out of it. Other than that, it did stay on, without signs of chipping or flaking.

3. Manna Kadar Cosmetics Radiance Split Pan Bronzer/Highlighter Duo

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This is the first time I’ve encountered this brand. I haven’t been much of a highlighter person until recently, when I discovered that glow does eliminate years off your face. So, I’m excited to try on this product. Expect it to hit pan soon.

4. Mellow Cosmetics Creamy Matte Lipstick in Posh

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Who can say NO to lipstick? You just don’t say no to lipstick, especially when it’s in a perfect nude shade, which is what I received here. The lipstick came in one of two colors this month: Nude or Posh. The latter came in my bag. Another thing I like about this product is the detail. If you look closely, you can see the mellow engraving on the side of the lipstick.

5. Luxie Beauty Dreamcatcher Precision Foundation Brush 660

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Last but not least, I got a foundation brush. I’m already familiar with the brand Luxie since I received a pink angled brush from them in a previous glambag. I find that applying foundation is done best with a sponge (Beautyblenders, etc) because brushes tend to leave streaks on your face, whereas the porous surface on the sponge is too minuscule for that effect. Therefore, I’ll use this brush for bronzers and highlighters.

What did you think of this month’s bag? Leave your comments below! You can also find me on Instagram @Alleyhanai.

My Current Skincare Routine

3 May

It’s tempting to forgo any skincare routine after a long day. Take, for example, this picture: you walk into your house, you’re hungry, you’re tired, the cake of makeup is still sitting on your face. Just the thought of summoning whatever energy you have left to wash your face is already taxing enough, never mind applying the toner, mask, serums, creams afterwards…

There were many days/nights when I decided to cheat, thinking that once or twice wouldn’t make a difference. At times, I made myself believe that toner alone would suffice. I learned the hard way when craters of clogged pores and blackheads started to accumulate on a face that was once clear and bright.

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Long ago, I discovered a Korean skincare routine that, overtime, just proved to be too lengthy to fit into the schedule of a busybee like me. So, instead of abandoning it all together, I decided to adopt and tweak it into my personal routine while still keeping the philosophy in tact.

Step 1: Remove makeup

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If you don’t wear any makeup (all the power to you), then you can go ahead and skip this step. For those of you who apply foundation on a typical day, you should understand the importance of investing in a good makeup remover to minimize the daily tugging on your face as you remove the makeup. I currently use the Shu Uemura Cleansing Oil (green tea antioxidant version), which I consider to be the best makeup remover by far because the formula is so excellent at removing all the traces of makeup that I never have to follow up with a cotton ball or q-tip. Using two squeezes of the pump, I massage the oil onto my dry face (still full of makeup) first, followed by wetting my face with a small amount of water just enough to emulsify the oil. You will know when the emulsification process has begun because the oil will become slightly foamy. As you massage the oil around your face, make sure to get your eyelids also to remove the eyeliner and mascara. The last step includes a thorough rinse with H2O. Then, viola! Makeup-free.

2. Facial Cleanser

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For some people, the cleansing oil gives their face an adequate amount of cleansing. However, I like to follow up with a foamy face cleanser in the shower to remove any further impurities. I bought this Sumi Charcoal Facial Cleansing Foam from Daiso. I underestimated this cleanser until I saw how clean and refreshing my face became after using it. You can tell my enthusiasm for this product by how little of it is left in the tube!

3. Exfoliate

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Next, I follow up with the Skinfood Black Sugar Mask or Omorovicza Refining Facial Polisher, depending on my mood. Tbh, I enjoy using the sugar mask a bit more. I tend to leave my face a little damp. Then, scooping up a dollop around the size of my thumb, I spread and massage the product until it evenly covers my face. Rinse off after 15 min. and the result is a smooth canvas free of the dead skin cells that weighed down your complexion previously. I suggest you wrap up your hair in a scrunchie because sticky hair strands covered in sugar is not something that you want.

4. Tone

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Next, I apply the Innisfree Green Tea Moisture Skin–which have been mentioned countless times in my other posts–with a cotton pad onto my face. I’m almost out of this product and would definitely buy another one when the time comes. The refreshing feeling, combined with the heavenly scent, puts you in a better mood almost instantly.

5. Serum

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Sometimes I’ll use a moisturizer or coconut oil, but nothing can beat the BareMinerals Active Cell Renewal Night Serum. A few drops of this essence is enough to bring out the best of your complexion in the morning. It’s just too bad that the company no longer sells or restocks this product because it’s one of the best serums I’ve ever laid my hands on. I suppose I better ready myself for another serum when this bottle runs out (which is definitely happening soon).

6. Eye Cream

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I’ve got a drawer full of eye creams. But the one that I find myself using a lot is the Ole Henriksen Ultimate Lift Eye Gel, which serves to depuff your eyebags after a tiring day. And yes, it does work (for me, at least). I take a small amount with my ring finger and gently apply it to underneath my eyes. A moment later, you should feel a slight burning, which means that the formula is working. The only bags I like are Louis Vuitton ones!

7. Face Mist

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Then, to top it all off like the frosting on the cake, I like to spray a few spritz of the Omorovicza Queen of Hungary Mist, which I got from my last Sephora Haul. I find this mist really hydrating for my face and can also be used as a great pick-me-up at anytime during the day.

What are some skincare products that have worked for you in the past? Leave your comments below. I would love to hear about them. Thanks for reading!

Follow me on Instagram @Alleyhanai.

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