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Laura Mercier Smooth Finish Foundation

Hands down. The best powder foundation ever. Quote me on that. I've searched all my life for the best base and I think I have found the one. Because Laura Mercier showed me what flexible means. And you'll know what I mean below.

SRP: PHP 2250
Availability: Rustan's Department Stores

Laura Mercier Arabesque Baked

When it comes to baked eye shadows - meaning, eye color that's more pigmented and less powdery - one of the best in this category would be Laura Mercier as you can see in my review of last year's baked shadows. Below is another interesting product, this time not too glittery and pigmented, but soft, ethereal yet rich. Let's check it out!

Laura Mercier Arabesque Baked Eye Color Palette (limited)
SRP: PHP 2250
Availability: Rustan's Department Stores

Laura Mercier Free Spirit Baked Eye Colour Palette perfectly pairs five baked eye colours into one convenient compact and includes a double-ended Eye Colour/Crème Eye Detail Brush for flawless application. Below is the photo.

The Free Spirit Baked Eye Colour Palette includes:
  • 5 Baked Eye Colours Wet/Dry (new limited edition shades are exclusive to this palette):
    • Blue Zen – (Dark greyish blue )
    • Soft Cloud – (light blue)
    • Satin Ribbon – ( Brown )
    • Bare Yoga – ( Nude Beige)
    • Pink Tutu – (Pink Shimmer )
  • Double-Ended Eye Colour/Crème Eye Detail Brush
Swatch of Laura Mercier Arabesque Baked Eye Color Palette - 2 coats, with flash, DRY
Swatch of Laura Mercier Arabesque Baked Eye Color Palette - 2 coats, with flash, WET
(+) Versatile formula can be applied wet or dry - wet makes it more intense and dramatic and full
(+) When dry, based on above, of course, it has a lower consistency level but the pigment is already OK
(+) Finish is shimmery / glossy / metallic (differentiates with color) with a very soft texture
(+) Colour stays true and does not fade especially when wet
(-) On eyes, Blue Zen is not too pigmented and Soft cloud is not powdery but is whitish for me
Swatch of Laura Mercier Arabesque Baked in Blue Zen and Soft Cloud - 2 coats, with flash, Dry
(+) Nonetheless, when wet, Blue Zen gives a very good quality and color pay off with a metallic finish
Swatch of Laura Mercier Arabesque Baked in Blue Zen - 2 coats, with flash, Wet
(+) Long-wearing when used wet (8 hours)
(+) Crease- and smudge-resistant
(+) On eyes, Satin Ribbon, which is my favorite, gives a very dynamic finish - something 3D that makes brown outstanding.
Swatch of Laura Mercier Arabesque Baked in Satin Ribbon and Bare Yoga - 2 coats, with flash, DRY
(+) Closely, Satin Ribbon is best with Bare Yoga and they give a pinkish sub tone which can be seen clearly in the pearly shimmer.
Swatch of Laura Mercier Arabesque Baked in Satin Ribbon  - 2 coats, with flash, DRY
(+) On eyes, Bare Yoga is quite grey but it's not flat. The pink shimmer as you can see below is also impressive with its high level of shine despite whitish pigment
Swatch of Laura Mercier Arabesque Baked in Bare Yoga - 2 coats, with flash, DRY

(+) Blendable; applies smoothly and evenly
(+) Lightweight, comfortable
(+) Dermatologist and ophthalmologist tested

Overall, while the lighter colors are quite whitish and the whole product works better when wet, I cannot discount the beauty and uniqueness of the 4 colors present in this palette. The formula is perfect for such kind of liquid state which is always outstanding in Laura Mercier baked products. This is just a limited edition so I recommend you visit the Laura Mercier booth and check it out.

L'Oreal Paris True Match

In the L'Oreal TVC, Jennifer Lopez said that True Match wasn't her first (meaning, foundation), but for me it was and have been ;) Seriously, ever since college (or early high school), up until now,  this is my go-to and everyday brand in terms of tints and let's see why...


RiRi Hearts MAC

I told myself that I will never buy a lipstick again because I wanted to invest on other beauty stuff but here I go again with my addiction! 

MAC RiRi Hearts Fall-Winter Lipsticks
SRP: PHP 1100
Availability: MAC Counters (Trinoma, Glorietta, Eastwood, Megamall - newly opened!)

I visited MAC counter when the Rihanna-MAC Holiday collection was launched last December 5. Of course, I start with the lippies!
Swatch of MAC RiRi Hearts Fall-Winter Lipsticks - 2 coats, with flash. 
(+) There are 3 SKU's in this launch. Of course, RiRi Woo is a staple, with a retro matte finish. But the new ones as you can be above, Bad Gal Riri and Pleasure Bomb, have matte finishes which I think is quite good to give us more options in this aspect =)
(+/-) The texture, finish and consistency are consistent across the lipstick launches. Read more here
(+) But since the two new products are matte, it has a less dry formula and texture which is perfect for the holidays. 
Swatch of MAC RiRi Hearts Pleasure Bomb (Matte) - 2 coats, with flash
(+) However, more than above, the color is exquisite for both thus worth it to be in the limited edition set. Pleasure Bomb is like Girl About Town, with a cool under tone and less intense fuchsia colour (and neon effect). While Bad Gal RiRi is a neutral taupe color that's wearable with a warm brown-red hue. 
(+) What I like about these new lippies are that they're wearable for the season, and for any outfit. Not too intense or dramatic.
MAC Pleasure Bomb press sample from MAC and Bad Gal RiRi that I bought from Trinoma
(+) Last but not the least, who wouldn't notice the rose gold color in the packaging of these? I think it's the best in all the RiRi launches!

So I also checked the other items in the collection. Top pick is lipstick. But also, I can recommend the nail polish which I really adore because that RiRi Woo color is so unique and intense. Next is the bronzer, eyeshadow and eyeliner in that order! Let's take a look!
MAC RiRi Hearts MAC Holiday collection in Trinoma Philippines
MAC Veluxe PearlFusuon Eyeshadow in 2X DARE
(+/-) What I really like about this eye shadow is the high-shine finish it gives. While the colors are not so unique, the combination of them all spells Rihanna really. I can see this colour set on her eyes and wardrobe!
(+/-) Consistency and texture are good, though the glittery one in the middle falls off through time. Nonetheless, the less glittery colors give good pay off and overall pearl feeling and finish. There's another palette called Phresh Out (I like this song!) with a more gold-yellow set of neutral hues.
MAC Veluxe PearlFusuon Eyeshadow in 2X DARE - 2 coats, with flash

(+) Now the eyeliners are unique. With a frost, high-shine and glittery finish combined in one, this eye liner (in rose gold and white) can be placed on top of anything to provide luxurious contrast and detail.
Swatch of MAC Super Slick Eyeliner - 2 coats, with flash

(+) Now on my wish list is the Bronzing Powder. I still have a lot but if given the chance, I would buy this as well. It's neither too shimmery/glittery nor matte, which makes it good as both bronzing and contouring powder with a soft brown-gold tones.
Swatch of MAC Bronzing Powder LOVE RIHANNA - 2 coats, with flash

MAC Trinoma

The nice and accommodating counter manager and artists of MAC Cosmetics Trinoma. I usually buy here because I live in the North and the level of service isn't compromised even if it is a pop-up store. 
Whenever there's a limited edition, I usually call the store first to check on their availability (because they phase out so fast!) For trinoma, it's 6234725 and don't be shy to approach your MAC Makeup Advisor!
Overall, I like the Fall-Winter Collection. It's less intense and bold in color choices than the summer one but this one is more luxurious with its wearable finishes and texture. What do you think?

Kanebo Freshel BB Creams & Foundation

I've been reviewing a lot of makeup and bases in this blog but not so much from Asia. Find out more what makes them different.
Let's start first with BB creams which became really famous in the region. I have never tried Kate/Freshel before by Japanese brand Kanebo so this one gave a first impression on this premium Japanese brand.

Freshel BB Creams (by Kanebo)
SRP: PHP 1000+
Availability: Leading Department Stores nationwide (e.g. Rustan's)

Laura Mercier Matte Radiance Bronzing Powder

I love contouring, especially because I have healthy (err chubby) cheeks and a very manly face structure. But one should be very careful with making it look like punched-in-the-face or pageant-looking with intense colors (I learned this the hard way haha). Some resort to bronzing powders, darker hues of foundation, or shimmery brown eyeshadows which might just defeat the purpose because as I've mentioned in the matte theory, contouring should make the face hollow by absorbing light which glittery pigments won't achieve. And now, I think I have THE solution.

Laura Mercier Matte Radiance Baked Powder (permanent)
SRP: PHP 1650 
Availability: Rustan's Department Stores

Now this has been really a favorite of mine since I got it last summer. You can even check my LOTD credits. ;)

Laura Mercier Matte Radiance Baked Powder in 03 (bronze shade; permanent)
Laura Mercier Matte Radiance Baked Powder is defined as an ultra-smooth baked face powder that provides natural colour with soft matte radiance to skin for a “bonne mine” healthy glow. 

(+) Now this set has both bronze shades that give skin a soft matte finish and a hint of warmth and highlight shade that give skin subtle sheen and natural luminosity. I prefer using both on different areas of the face to make it look better. I only got Bronze 3 though which I think is the safest shade among the different intensities.

Laura Mercier Matte Radiance Baked Powders

Swatch of Laura Mercier Matte Radiance Baked Powder in 03 - 2 coats, with flash
(+) Bronze 3 on skin, I love that it has a modern, multidimensional matte finish with a hint of soft luminosity. It's not too hard on the skin and you can still see through. Not too shimmery, not too dry.
(+) It is indeed matte compared to other bronzers that I have. Laura is in the middle below.
(+) The color is the brown that suits my skin tone - a middle/neutral tone, with a yellowish under tone. 
(+) Non-dusty - pure color; non-drying formula
(+) Coverage and color payoff is good - it's true to the color and consistency is above average as it provides very even application.
(+) With just one coat, it wakes up” the skin, providing natural colour with a radiant, healthy glow for a flawless, no-makeup look as you can see in my sister's face.
Swatch of Laura Mercier Matte Radiance Baked Powder in 03 - 1 coat, with flash
(+) What I love the most is the sheer, buildable coverage that lets you customize your glow with building up possible. You can achieve a very contoured face without looking fake.
Swatch of Laura Mercier Matte Radiance Baked Powder in 03 - 2 coats, with flash
(+) Now despite the matte texture, it can be applied smoothly onto skin and blends effortlessly for a natural look and feel. It has a smooth, silky, velvety texture feels comfortable on skin
(+) Ultra lightweight formula, feels weightless on skin
Swatch of Laura Mercier Matte Radiance Baked Powder in 03 - 2 coats, with flash
Here's a photo of my sister contoured in different areas.
Swatch of Laura Mercier Matte Radiance Baked Powder in 03 - 2 coats, with flash
(+) Dermatologist tested, fragrance-free, Suitable for all skin types, even sensitive
(+) I love that it has Vitamin and Jojoba Ol for moisture and spherical Powders that allow for increased comfort and blendability
(+) I love that the packaging won't allow the product to crack or loose. It's quite compact even when it's about to be finished.
(+) product is worth the value for money because as for me, I use contour powders everyday and I have been using this product for 5 months already and counting.

(-) Only thing I would comment on is the lasting power. It doesn't stay for about exactly 8 hours, but enough probably for 4 hours. Nonetheless, this is just acceptable with one retouching that gives you an excellent finish and final effect.
Laura’s techniques for the bronze shades is this: Using the Bronzer Brush, lightly tap on top of domed bronzer, making sure to cover all edges of brush with product. Tap off excess product. Using the tapered head of the brush, apply to areas where the sun naturally hits, like cheeks, nose, brow bone, forehead and chin, creating a natural “sun-kissed” look.

Overall, gosh, I think I have found the perfect product for contouring my face with an effect that I've been looking for ever since I started doing makeup. All qualities - price, THE QUALITY, packaging and everything about it is just to die for. This is one contour powder that I think can finally compete with NARS. I would definitely repurchase and recommend to everyone.