October 24, 2013

25 Birthday Gifts

Last month I celebrated my 25th birthday, what a milestone! I got so many beauty and fashion gifts and if I have to be honest, most of them were on my wishlist but I'm excited to share about them on my blog.

I've always wanted to try the luxurious Tom Ford Beauty, so I went with my mom to Neiman Marcus pick out the products.

  • #13 Orchid Haze Eye Colour Quad: A powder eyeshadow palette consisting of wearable, neutral tones. The shades are a frosty ivory champagne, shimmery warm taupe, shimmer-satin pink-y mauve and a matte dark purple-brown. They have an ultra smooth texture and great pigmentation, it hardly takes any buffing with a brush for the colors to blend seamlessly.  You can easily go from a simple day look to something dark and dramatic at night. It's an all around great quality palette that will get many uses.
  • #02 Frantic Pink Cheek Color: A shimmery light pink-y peach powder blush. This is probably the lightest and softest shade from their collection and it's wearable with any look. It's light in pigmentation but still buildable and could probably show up on tan skin-tones. Anyone darker might use it as cheek highlight. There's no chunky glitter or frost to the finish, just a super fine shimmer that imparts a luminous glow.
  • #11 Eye Shadow Brush: TF brushes are no exception to the high quality. I wanted to get the most versatile eye brush so I asked the counter's SA and she recommended this. It reminded me of a hybrid between a M.A.C 252 and a M.A.C 217 brush. It has the large paddle shape size of a 252 but a better quality goat hair than a 217. It's a versatile eyeshadow brush that can be used to apply an all over wash of color as a base, apply color just on the lid and brow bone, and apply color in the crease using the tip of the brush. If your someone that uses only 2-3 eyeshadows of the same color  to do simple eye looks everyday, you could get away with just using this brush to do all the work. The bristles are super soft on the eyes and it also doubles to be able to apply emollient products such as cream eyeshadow or concealer. The gold metal ferrule and length of the handle is quite long and has a bit of weight to it that makes it sturdy and elegant to hold.

The compacts are sleek with magnetic closings and are carried in velvet pouches. Using the brush makes me feel so posh and gives a different experience when applying my makeup. I'd say the hefty price tag is worth it for this high-end brand and it's beautiful to pull out of your makeup bag or just to look at on your vanity.
    The next four products are also from my mom, they were on my wishlist that I heard about from Makeup Artist and YouTuber Jaclyn Hill.

    • Hourglass Diffused Light Ambient Lighting Powder: After raving about the Ethereal Light, I wanted to get another powder. Diffused Light is a pale golden-white shade that is used to reduce redness, take away shine and give skin clarity. With its barely there shimmer, it gives a velvet-satin finish on the skin. I mainly wanted to use it on my clients with medium-to-tan skin tones to set and brighten their under eye concealer since Ethereal Light would be too white for them, as well as it being raved in Jaclyn's August Favorites video. I have also been using it on myself as an all over setting powder since it has the right amount of yellow in it and has a sheer coverage that doesn't look cake-y or too light on my skin. It has become one of my staple powders in my kit.
    • Benefit Stay Flawless 15-Hour Primer: A face primer that is supposed to help makeup last for 15-hours. I've tried many traditional primers that claim to help makeup wear all day but they've never really done much for me. This one however I noticed a difference when I used it and when I didn't. There's a bit of a learning curve to applying this but once you get the hang of it, it just becomes a part of your routine. Just swipe it on your face working on one area at a time, then immediately apply your foundation. If you apply it all over your face first then apply foundation, the primer will dry out on your face as you're blending other areas. Sometimes the foundation can look a little cake-y so make sure you buff it in well. I've even used it with mineral makeup on a client and it works just fine, just be careful not too apply too much powder all at once. I call this gluestick for your makeup because it really makes your foundation stick on your face and not budge. I've never worn makeup for a full 15-hour day but I do notice my face still looks great after 8-10 hours, I just needed blotting sheets in between. Even though it's a yellow beige-y color in the tube, it pretty much goes on invisible on the skin and doesn't alter the foundation color. This also is an essential product in my kit.
    • Urban Decay Anarchy Revolution Lipstick: These have been out for a few months and have been circulating blogs and YT beauty videos. UD has completely revamped their lipstick line and Anarchy being one of the brightest shades, it's a vivid fuchsia pink. The formula is super creamy and intensely pigmented, it only takes a few swipes on the lips to get full opaque coverage. A blend of Jojoba Oil, Avocado Oil, Cocoa Butter and Shea Butter helps keep it feeling moisturizing on the lips, while Maxi-Lip helps plump and defines lips with hydration. The cool gunmetal packaging is fun to pull out of your purse and to use. With over 20 shades to choose from, I definitely want to pick up more.
    • Josie Maran Argan Infinity Cream Intensive Creamy Oil: A multi-purpose cream-oil that can be used on the face, body, hair and even in your makeup. With its signature 100% Argan Oil, this product also includes these natural ingredients: Shea Butter, Aloe Vera, Coconut Oil,  Kukui Nut Oil, Macadamia Nut Oil, and  no petroleum. Like the name states, it has infinite possibilities to use it:
      • apply it on dry, chapped, sunburned and irritated areas
      • moisturize the body and face
      • soften cuticles
      • smooth flyaways and brow strays
      • mix it with powder makeup products to turn them into a cream eyeshadow, cream blush and a tinted lip balm
      • mix with shimmer powders or use on its own to highlight the face and body
    As you can see, it's safe pretty much anywhere on the body and face. The consistency is creamy but not greasy although sometimes the cream and oil separates so I make sure to shake the tube every time I use it. This is the first thing I grab for when I need extra hydration.

    The last three things my mom got me was these crop tops from Nordstrom. On the left is a taupe-grey lace box-cut top with gold metallic foil accents. It's a fun trendy top for a night out but still classic and wearable for any occasion.

    The two tops below are by one of my new favorite brands, Leith. They have long-sleeves, a scoop neck, in solid colors of black and purple. These are nice basics for all year round but the purple is especially perfect for Fall/Winter because that's the "in color" for this season. I like that the material is a soft jersey fabric, you can layer it over tank tops or wear them under jackets and coats for a warmer outfit.

    My sister got me accessory type gifts, one that was on my wishlist and the others were a surprise.

    I had tried a sample of Elie Saab Le Parfum Eau de Toilette and instantly loved it. It has a blend of Mandarin blossom, gardenia, jasmine, patchouli, cedar wood and honey rose. I'm not good at describing scents but it has a fresh, rose-y scent at first but then slightly woodsy at the end. It's feminine and young but elegant at the same time that's not overpowering. Finding the right perfume is so personal and has to compliment your own body chemistry and style. I've bought other perfumes but this is the first time I've felt it really matched me and is now my signature scent.

    One of my favorite stores for purses is Genius Outfitters and so my sister got me this fuchsia clutch from there. It has two sides that actually can fit quite a lot. The interior has blue and yellow paisley print which is an interesting contrast to the exterior. The clutch also opens wide to reveal space to fit cards, I.D., and cash. It's a great clutch for a night out that can still fit a few essentials. The fuchsia color can contrast against greens and warm orange tones clothing, make it pop by wearing neutral colors like black, white and greys, or compliment an outfit with blues and purples.

    The last accessory she got me was hair ties set by Emi-Jay. These are popular right now because they are supposed to feel comfortable and not cause creases in the hair compared to traditional hair elastics. This set is mix of a glittery white, black with a silver crystal bead, and a glittery black. They only wrap around your hair twice but are still able to feel secure. You can also wear them as a bracelet and they're just generally more nicer looking than regular hair elastics.

    This year, a couple of my friends asked me what I wanted for my birthday. I guess since I'm very specific in the beauty products that I like, it's hard for them to get me something that I might not like. Well my friend Hikari got two nail kits by Ciate plus a polish remover, since she knows I've been doing d.i.y. nails a lot lately.

    • Ciate Denim Manicure Set: Exclusive to Nordstrom, this set contains everything you need to create denim pattern nails. The box includes: full size Paint Pot in Regatta, a medium-deep shimmery grey blue; gold and white stitching design water transfers; studs in gold, bronze and copper; and nail glue. It took a bit of trial and error to get the hang of it but after doing a few nails, it was pretty easy. The hardest part was getting the studs to adhere to the nails and not get the glue on your fingers. Photo below is what I posted on Instagram the first time using it and really liking the results.
    • Ciate Sequined Manicure Set: A set containing sequins in Harlequin, mix of red, green, blue, and silver;  Sequin Glitter Grip polish; and a Little Black Brush to create sequin designed nails. This is a much easier kit to use because all you have to do is paint your nails with the grip polish, let it dry, then dip your fingers nail side down into the jar of sequins. After pressing the sequins onto your nail, you can sweep off excess with the brush then seal it with a top coat. I haven't used this set yet but I think it would be great for the holiday parties during Christmas or New Years.

    • Nordstrom Enriched Nail Polish Remover: Hikari said this was one of the most popular nail polish removers at Nordstrom, they were nearly sold out of them. It's protein and botanical based remover that keeps your nails healthy and nourished. It actually takes away polish very well, even with dark colors and glitter, with just few swipes and minimal rubbing with a cotton pad/ball. You don't need to waste a lot of the remover so the large bottle will last for a long time.

    The last few gifts that I got was from my friend Yuri in Japan. We actually only met once when she visiting here but she sent me a present that told me she knew me so well. She got me a makeup bag, notebook, stickers and even tape covered in kiss print! I love anything with lips on it and these are just cute things to have.

    She also got me a ring and necklace set that has a red lipstick and red lips. Photo below is a close up shot of it. I've been wearing the ring all the time and it has become my signature accessories to wear. It just goes to show that you don't need to know someone for very long to really know what they like.

    I knew this was a really long post to write about birthday presents but I received so many awesome products that I wanted to give them  proper reviews. This by far has been the best birthday, not because of the gifts but the friends and family that I celebrated with and I feel that 25 is a turning point in one's life.

    Here are a few highlights of my birthday weekend!

    Brunch with family and family friends:

    Dinner with the girls:

    Makeup cupcakes thanks to my sister!

    Looks like me, no? ;)

     Glamour Girl

    1 comment:

    1. Happy Birthday! You look gorgeous. All the best.


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