PHAMExpo: Ten Must-See Brands and Booths

The first ever Professional Hair and Makeup Exposition (or PHAMExpo) will be happening this weekend, June 29th and 30th. Today is the last day to purchase tickets online (prices will depend if you're general admissions, a student, or a professional) but you will still be able to purchase tickets at the door (for a slightly higher price). With 80 booths and even more brands available at the show, needless to say it's going to be an overwhelming experience. To make it a little easier, here's a list of the ten brands and booths that I consider to be must-sees at the show! They're color coordinated to be easier to see but this isn't in any particular order! (I copied the floor plan idea stolen from Phyrra, she has a post up too on what she thinks are must-sees at PHAMExpo so be sure to check it out!)

floor plan

Red: Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics, Booth 601- They will be having their Stained Glosses available for sale and I'm so stoked to pick one up!

Orange: Sugarpill Cosmetics, Booth 601 - Is it any wonder that I list this as a must-see? I believe they're going to be selling their Sparkle Baby colors along with their gigantic Pro Palette so it's worth a scoping!

Yellow: Inglot Cosmetics, Booth 606 - Inglot has become a staple at any trade show and I know I'm thinking about picking one of the Colour Play lipsticks.

Green: Enkore Makeup, Booth 513 - A veteran of the makeup conventions trade shows, his brush soaps, brush treatment candles, and other goodies will be available! (I love his brush soaps, especially the Gardenia and Apricot Freesia)

Light Blue: Hakuhodo USA Brushes, Booth 403 - Admittedly, I don't own any Hakuhodo brushes. Still though, I think it's worth checking them out if you're looking to add some luxury brushes to your stash.

Dark Blue: Bdellium Tools (the 'b' is silent), Booth 406 - Bdellium sells beautifully made pink haired brushes (not the cheap looking or cheap feeling kind either!). I believe the pink brushes will be available in an entire brush set at the show!

Purple: BonBliss Beauty, Booth 421 - I've been waiting months to see BonBliss Beauty at a trade show. I saw them first at ISSE Long Beach but I didn't pick up anything from them (to my chagrin). Their Scrub-2-Go are worth a look!

Pink: Anastasia Beverly Hills, Booth 424 - Their Brow Powder Duo is my must-have for doing my brows and they've expanded their line to include brilliantly bold Hypercolor products in a variety of bright tints for your lashes and brows.

Grey: Embryolisse, Booth 221 - Their Lait Creme being a Parisian staple, the rest of their skincare products aren't bad either! Be sure to check them out and pick up a tube of the makeup artist endorsed cream!

Black: Kryolan, Too Faced, Make Up For Ever, and more at Naimies, Booths 635-835 -(This is a huge huge booth so this would count as more than ten brands but since it's one booth, I'm counting it >>) With so many options available, it's going to be worth perusing just to see what deals they have on your favorite brands!

I hope to see you there if you're going to go! I'll be walking around with Dawn of Make Up By Siryn and probably also Alyson of The Gloss Menagerie!!

Goodbye Google Reader, Hello Bloglovin and Feedly!

If you've relied on Google Reader as a way to read your favorite blogs, you have about a week left (until July 1st) to import your favorite blogs into another reader. I have two suggestions for places to import your feed into, Bloglovin and Feedly!

Bloglovin is more than just a blog reader, it's a feed that allows others to "like" posts they enjoy and that gets listed under "Popular Posts" so you can see some of the best-liked posts under a certain topic.

I've been a member of Bloglovin for quite some time and I really enjoy using it on the computer. If you'd like a tutorial on how to import your Google Reader into Bloglovin, read this post. If you'd like to follow me on Bloglovin, feel free to click the pink "+" symbol in the sidebar, the button below, or the picture below to be directed to my Bloglovin page! There's also a Bloglovin app you can download for your smartphone.

Follow on Bloglovin


Feedly is another option for you to use. Feedly is similar to Google Reader in its setup and is even easier to set up. Just head over to Feedly and click "One-click Google Reader import" to import your feed in. There's also a Feedly app for your smartphone (I like using it over Bloglovin's app although it does take a bit to get used to). You can also click the button to get sent over to my Feedly feed.

follow us in feedly

Be sure to switch over to either option to ensure you can continue getting posts from your favorite blogs!

Project of the Week: Turning my Lip Tars into Lipsticks

Koren/Enkore Makeup is the truly the King of DIY Cosmetics. I've been rewatching his old videos nonstop since school ended and came across these two videos on how to turn your lip tars into lipsticks. One version uses a premixed lipstick base and the other uses a chapstick base. Inspired by this, I purchased a few chapstick tubes and samples of a lipstick base from TKB Trading (I did not use a chapstick base) and went to town on my January Rising and Radiate Lip Tars.

OCC January Rising and Radiate Lipsticks

I do think that once you've made them, you should wait a day for them to set firmly before using them. I made my January Rising lip tar yesterday but I thought they were too soft to use immediately, even after I put them in the freezer to harden up a bit; today though, they were firmer and easier to use.

For what it's worth, I think it will be easier to use a scale and candle method to melt the lipstick base, I found it a little fiddly to use a microwave since I had to be careful to ensure the lipstick base wouldn't boil. 

Just so you can see how the color didn't change, here are swatches I did of the lipsticks.

January Rising

OCC January Rising Lip Tar in lipstick form


OCC Radiate Lip Tar in lipstick form

I hope you found this post useful! I think this is such an easy way to make your lip tars more travel friendly.

Sonia Kashuk Shine Luxe Sheer Lip Colour in Sheer Melon: Swatch, Review, and Photos

I Purchased This

I blame Sasquatch Swatch for this purchase; I saw her recent post on these Sonia Kashuk Shine Luxe Sheer Lip Colours and became super intrigued since she mentioned that they looked and felt similar to the Chantecaille Lip Chics. I personally don't own anything by Chantecaille but I rather like the idea of this being similar to a $35 lip product. Though I don't own any Sonia Kashuk cosmetics prior to this, I am a fan of their eye brushes so despite the $10.99 price tag, I thought I'd give this a try and purchased one in the color Sheer Melon, a bright melon coral with a gold shimmer (that's not very apparent when worn).

Sonia Kashuk Shine Luxe Sheer Melon

Where to purchase: Target stores,* (affiliate link)
Price: $10.99 for 2.7 grams of product
Do they test on animals? They do not test on animals. 
Packaging: The products comes in an long square profiled matte black metal tube with a slant tip top. I like that packaging closes with a satisfying click but it is a little topsy-turvy ; the cap is where I expected the bottom to be and the bottom is where I expected the cap to be. There's a color swatch on the tube (not accurate) on the cap instead of the base. 

My Thoughts on the Formula

I've been racking my brain trying to figure out how to best describe these and I think I can best sum the product up as a combination of the best qualities of a lip balm, lipstick, and lipgloss. These have a moisturizing quality to them like a lip balm (I wore this all weekend and my lips felt super duper plump and not parched at all), the feel and coverage of a lipstick (it's sheer but buildable), and the shine of a lipgloss (it's not ultra glossy but there is quite a shine to them). 

When I think of a sheer product, I think of something that no matter how many layers I've applied, it'll still look sheer. For me, the Shine Luxe is initially sheer but is buildable to medium coverage. The formula is slightly milky so it will stick to any imperfections on your lips though it is somewhat mediated by the fact that I find these moisturizing on my lips. Thankfully I didn't detect a taste or scent. Wear time is surprisingly long, I wore this for five and a half hours and it was still going strong when I decided to remove it.

Sonia Kashuk Shine Luxe Sheer Melon


It is worth mentioning that it looks really milky in the closeup pictures, it looks much less from a reasonable distance so I've included a full face pictures to show how it actually looks overall. As always, pictures were taken in natural daylight.

Sheer application

Sonia Kashuk Sheer Melon swatch

Full Face Sheer Melon

Heavier application

sonia kashuk sheer melon two layers

Full Face Sheer Melon

Would I recommend/repurchase?

Personally, I would repurchase (I'm thinking about getting the Sheer Plum next) because I'm a damned sucker for anything in a slant tip tube and I like the formula. I would typically say that the price is high for a drugstoreish product but considering drugstore prices now, it's on par.

Honestly the biggest deterrent and the reason why I'm most wary about recommending it is due to the fact that they're only available at Target; Target's return policy for used cosmetics is nonexistent (once you open, it's yours). I think the brand would do so well at a place like Ulta due to its price point and quality, plus consumers would be able to take advantage of Ulta's superior return policy. Thankfully since Sasquatch Swatch has swatched them all, you don't have to worry about what the color looks like beneath those matte black tube.


Do you own anything from Sonia Kashuk's cosmetics line? I know they recently revamped the brand into super sleek matte black packaging!

Beauty Blog Coalition Roundup: Week of 6/14

beauty blog coalition

Here's last week's beauty posts from the Beauty Blog Coalition! I hope you enjoy reading them all!

  • Mama Fashionista: Mama Fashionista wants to introduce you to the wonders of royal jelly! Meet Burt's Bees Radiance Collection!

  • My Highest Self: Tina swatches and reviews Eddie Funkhouser Primer, Foundation and Concealer this week!

  • BeautyTidbits: Need help to revamp your makeup and skincare routine for summer months? Check out Harshleen's Summer Beauty Essentials to look your prettiest in the heat!

  • Lola's Secret Beauty Blog: Want unbelievably clean, soft, silky and gorgeous skin? Then meet TATCHA Polished Classic Rice Enzyme Powder- it's amazing!

  • Advice Sisters Beauty, Fashion & LIfestyle WebSite: It’s really a challenge to stay fresh when sweat is literally dripping down the back of your bra, but a good deodorant can go a long way to keeping you smelling like a woman, not like livestock in a freight car. Alas, many of the deodorants have powerful chemicals that can cause irritation and rashes. Even if you’re not normally sensitive, over-use of a strong, chemical deodorant, can cause issues.

  • Painted Ladies: Year 3 of 365 Days of Makeup is complete! Here are Sheila's top 10 favorite looks.

  • Peppermint Lips Beauty Blog: MAC Girl About Town Lipstick Review and Swatches!

  • Portrait of Mai: In need of something to refresh, waterproof, and keep the curl in your mascara'd eyelashes? Check out Anastasia's Lash Genius Waterproof Topcoat review by Mai

  • Beauty by Miss L: Miss L reviewed lovely mineral eye shadows from Candy Minerals.

  • Geniabeme: Take a look at Geniabeme's go to Summer eye look!

  • TheFabZilla: Try it! Summer Bright Waterline for Makeup Dummies.

  • Beauty Professor: The Beauty Professor loves the Hourglass Immaculate Foundation so much that she has swatches of ALL 16 shades for your viewing pleasure!

  • The Advice Sisters Beauty, Fashion & Lifestyle Website: Great heat stylers help make Summer sleeker and sexier without so much frizz

  • D.G.S.Beauty: In need of a simple way to organize your makeup? D.G.S.Beauty reviews her Caboodles Acrylic Cosmetic Organizer Tray in Medium

  • Midnight Manicures: Milani introduces new eyeliners, the Liquid-Like and Eye Tech Bold. See what Jeanie thinks about them in her review.

  • Baking Beauty: Baking Beauty reviews Revlon Colorstay foundation and shares her before/after pics

  • Endless Summer: Great eyebrows on a budget with Rimmel Professional Eyebrow Pencil

  • Lipgloss Break: Lipgloss Break reviews Inglot AMC lipgloss and matte nail polish.
  • Anastasia Lash Genius Clear Waterproof Topcoat Review and Trials


    I was not blessed with wonderfully curly eyelashes. Instead, I have eyelashes that are stereotypically Asian, stubbornly straight but very inclined to point straight down. Unfortunately, this combination means I can't wear nonwaterproof mascaras because nonwaterproof mascaras don't hold the curl in my lashes after I've taken an eyelash curler to them. This used to mean that I would have to wait for waterproof versions of mascaras to be released before I used them and while they held the curl, they never seemed to live up to the nonwaterproof versions.

    Not so anymore with the Anastasia Lash Genius. This is a product that is a "topcoat" for your lashes that "protects, waterproofs, and refreshes any mascara all day without clumping". I not only wanted to see if it waterproofed my mascaras but also whether it'd be able to keep the curl in my lashes when used with a nonwaterproof mascara. Does it live up to its claims?

    Anastasia Lash Genius Waterproof Topcoat

    Anastasia Lash Genius Waterproof Topcoat

    Where to purchase: Sephora* (affiliate link), Ulta* (affiliate link)
    Price: $21.00 for 0.19 oz.
    Do they test on animals? I do believe they do not test on animals. 
    Packaging: The product comes in a mascara style tube, black with silver accents.
    My Thoughts on the Formula/Performance

    The product is not clear per say, the color is more of a cloudy grey. I've read a few reviews where people said that it made their mascara turn grey after application and that did happen to me but only at the tips of my lashes where some of the product had settled so be sure to brush the product fully through. 

    The instructions for the product are simple, "Apply one or two coats on top of mascara to waterproof and refresh" but I wanted to try it a few different ways to see how it would work best on me. My goal was to try to find a way that lead to my eyelashes staying curled and my mascara waterproof. I also wanted to see if using a waterproof mascara would do the same thing as the Lash Genius.

    (I used the Make Up For Ever Smoky Extravagant mascara as the nonwaterproof and the Maybelline Lash Stiletto Volumptuous as the waterproof mascara)

    Trial One: Using a waterproof mascara to "topcoat" a nonwaterproof mascara. The "Before" is immediately after I topped the nonwaterproof mascara with the waterproof mascara and the "After" is after five minutes to see if it worked to keep my curl. 

    Waterproof mascara trial with waterproof mascara

    You can see that the curl is slightly deflated after a few minutes though it's some still remains.

    Trial Two: Applying Lash Genius after applying a nonwaterproof mascara. The "Before" is immediately after I topped the nonwaterproof mascara with the Lash Genus and the "After" is after five minutes to see if it worked to keep my curl.

    lash genius trial

    You can see that more of the curl is maintained, better than with the waterproof mascara but it's still somewhat deflated.

    Trial Three: Applying Lash Genius first before applying a nonwaterproof mascara and then applying it again afterwards. The "Before" is immediately after I applied the nonwaterproof mascara and the "After" is after five minutes to see if it kept curl.

    lash genius first

    The curl is mostly maintained in my eyelashes.

    Hopefully you can tell that I got the best performance for retaining my eyelash curl and keeping my eyelashes waterproof by sandwiching the Lash Genius before and after applying nonwaterproof mascara. My eyelashes aren't crunchy or dry however as a result of this but they are a little stiff. I previously tried only applying the Lash Genius as a base but my mascara wasn't as waterproof (though it was improved over wearing the nonwaterproof mascara by itself).

    Not only does it keep my curl but the Lash Genius does exactly what it says it does when it comes to keeping my nonwaterproof mascara waterproof. 

    In case you're wondering, I have tried many a mascara primer to try to retain the curl in my eyelashes but it's never worked out. The ones that are white never got covered well by mascara and still didn't keep the curl when used in conjunction with nonwaterproof mascara. I'm glad that there's a product that exists that makes it so I can partake in some of those awesome nonwaterproof mascaras (like the Jordana Best Lash Extreme Volumizing Mascara)

    Would I recommend/repurchase?

    If you've been looking for that miracle product to use with nonwaterproof mascaras, this is it. If you're like me and want to wear those dang nonwaterproof mascaras without deflating the curl in your eyelashes, this is it. It is a little pricey but considering how many GWP items always seem to come with a nonwaterproof mascara and how touted the nonwaterproof formulas always are, it's worth it.

    Disclaimer: I received this product as a gift from when I attended Generation Beauty. All opinions are my own. The links marked with an asterisk are affiliate links that give me a commission when you use the link to make a purchase. Feel free to use a nonaffiliate link.

    OCC January Rising Lip Tar: Swatch and Comparison

    I Purchased This

    OCC's January Rising was a special limited edition lip tar only available as a perk from a donation as part of an Indiegogo campaign by January Hunt to raise money for her gender confirmation surgeries. Only 1000 were made and I believe this color won't be sold in stores.

    If you weren't able to donate to January's campaign, don't fret because it really isn't as unique to the other Lip Tars available in the line. January Rising was said to be a mix between Anime and Pretty Boy lip tar and while I don't own Anime, I do have Pretty Boy and was able to compare both. 

    OCC January Rising

    But first, here's a swatch of January Rising on its own. This swatch was taken in natural daylight and January Rising was applied using my finger.

    OCC January Rising Lip Tar

    Now January Rising vs Pretty Boy. In my humble opinion, it looks way more different in the swatches than it does when worn. Relative to Pretty Boy, January Rising is maybe a shade lighter and more neon.

    Here is a hand swatch of January Rising and Pretty Boy, in natural daylight.

    OCC January Rising vs Pretty Boy

    And here's how it looks on my lips. My top lip is January Rising, my bottom lip Pretty Boy. Any real discernible differences you see on your computer screen are negated when seen in real life. Both colors are beautiful but you'd really be hardpressed to see the difference if both were worn (I nearly forgot which was which in the picture).

    OCC January Rising vs Pretty Boy

    The moral of the story is not to fret if you missed out on January Rising, Pretty Boy (and possibly Anime) will be close enough. I am glad they went this route, having a color that's relatively common because it means those who weren't able to donate won't have missed out on anything.

    Silk Naturals Summer 2013 Collection: Lippiepalooza and Preview Swatches

    Silk Naturals has just released their new Summer 2013 Collection consisting of twenty (!) new lip products, eight in a new vegan lipstick formula that's been formulated to have a longer shelf life and staying power and twelve in the Slick Stick formula (similar to their Amplifying Lip Glaze formula but without the mint and plumping ingredient). They've also added a new color to the Chromatic Cream Eye Colors (I reviewed one of the colors, Gotham, in this post), and also several skincare and gadgetry items.

    All images are sourced from

    The new lip products. The first eight are the vegan lipsticks in the new formula, the last twelve are the Slick Sticks. The new vegan lipsticks retail for $4.75 currently and the Slick Sticks retail for $4.50.

    Silk Naturals Summer 2013
    Here are swatches of the eight vegan lipsticks.


    The new Chromatic Cream Eye Color in Marvel. This is actually the Chromatic Cream Eye Color version of their popular eyeshadow, Doubloons!

    Silk Naturals Summer 2013
    and here's a comparison of Marvel against the other Chromatic Cream Eye Colors.

    The new skincare and general gadgetry items. The blackhead remover is $2.25, the epistick hair remover is $1.25, the Konjac sponge is $5.99 (I have one myself though not from Silk Naturals and I quite like it), the Magic Hair Bun Maker is $.99, the Japanese Style Scrubby Towel is $4.99, and the Strap Perfect Bra Strap Holders for four for $.99.

    Silk Naturals Summer 2013
    I've yet to try the new Slick Stick formula so I'm rather tempted to purchase one to give it a go. I'm also very tempted to try the new Chromatic Cream Eye Color because I've seen swatches of the eyeshadow it's based on and it looks very beautiful.

    Are you thinking of getting anything from Silk Naturals' Summer 2013 line?