Makeup and Beauty Product Reviews and Swatches

MAC Studio Finish Concealer ($14.50) was the first concealer I ever purchased. It comes in a little black pot and promises to provide full coverage so you can hide those dark circles, blemishes, moles, tattoos and even birthmarks.

Like MAC foundations, the concealer comes in a HUGE variety of shades in both warm and cool undertones. I can use both NC20 and NC30 on my medium yellow-based Asian skin, depending on the area.

Just as it claims, the concealer is super pigmented. However, it is on the dry side and does have the tendency to settle into fine lines and highlight dry patches. The texture also seems to change really quickly. Mine hardened after a few uses and became impossible to blend. I never touched this again.

I first came across the famous Yves Saint Laurent Touche Eclat ($38.50) during a makeover by a European makeup artist in Taiwan. The Touche Eclat is a clickable luminizing pen that claims to banish shadows and perk up tired eyes by bringing light and radiance to the skin. I was introduced to #2 Luminous Ivory, a light color and the yellow-based shade out of the 3 shades they have.

The texture was very creamy and blended easily. The light-reflecting particles were definitely great for highlighting purposes but the coverage was sheer and did not cover up undereye circles completely.

The biggest thing that bugged me though, was the packaging. Although the pen dispenser allowed great portability, it was very hard to control how much product that came out. Plus since the product is cream-based, it is easy for bacteria to grow on the brush. Mine started growing mold only after a month so I ended up throwing it away. Ugh!

* Update: I came across the Touche Eclat again in 2010 during a makeover session by runway makeup artist Christopher Kam while I was in Hong Kong. This time, #3 Light Peach, a peachy shade a bit darker than #2, was used on me. Maybe it was the color but I seemed to like this much better than the first time. I also made sure to clean the brush with rubbing alcohol every now and then and I have not see mold ever again.

Have you ever wondered how models in magazines score that bright eye makeup or what celebrities use to make their eyeshadow stay on even after hours and hours of partying? The answer is simple. With MAC Water Base Mixing Medium, we can all get eye makeup that stays vibrate for hours.

The Water Base Mixing Medium is a transparent liquid made to dilute or mix with powder or liquid makeup. One tiny drop of this gem and your eyeshadow will stay on all day. The Mixing Medium can also be mixed with powder to create sheer to full, opaque coverage. Plus you can use to it to help make glitter adhere onto your skin.

To use the Mixing Medium, just squeeze one drop directly onto your eyeshadow brush. Dip the brush into your eyeshadow and do your eyes as usual.

One note on purchasing the Mixing Medium though. Make sure you get the water-based one if you are going to use it around your eyes. MAC also sells one that is alcohol-based, which can only be used for the body.

Eyecon, Benefit’s newest eye treatment, contains extracts of sweet almond and apple fruit and claims to nourish, smooth, depuff, and fade dark circles. Since I was running low on my Juvena Ulti-max Eye, I picked up this cute little gem from Sephora and decided to give it a shot.

I have been using it day and night religiously for two weeks. The texture is just like most eye creams – not too thick nor too watery – and sinks right in. Although it didn’t do much fading my dark circles, it is definitely moisturizing and soothing.

My biggest complaint is the packaging. I hate eye creams that come in a jar – it just feels so insanitary to scoop the product out using your fingers! But other than that, this eye cream did what a basic eye cream should do. Plus at $26, it is definitely affordable.

Bottom line, I probably would not repurchase when I run out and I recommend this only if you’re not looking for something heavy-duty.