Declaring Project Make a Dent - 1st Edition

It's a new year! Happy 2015 everyone ^_^

As usual school got the best of me. But! I was also working on a side project thanks to one of my graphics professors. All-in-all I am glad I decided to agree to the opportunity and not be a scaredy-cat of all the if's, and's, & but's that could have happened.

Now is, well actually yesterday was, really the start of my last winter break of my undergraduate years. Cannot believe it is already here. I really wanted to go somewhere for a long holiday to make the most of this but don't think it'll work out (kinda late for anything but impromptu trips now).

Otherwise...I haven't set resolutions or goals for the year yet. I find that I forget most of them by the time the next week comes around anyways. (Honestly!) Better to come up with them and deal with it as things come up. Life and reality are so dynamic, I'm just going to resolve, for now, to be more open and to figure things out as they come.

Project Make a Dent, Benefit highlight, Nanoce BB Cream, Hada Labo BB Cream, MAC Cream Colour, Etude House blush and bronzer, Esprique Precious palette, Maquillage palette, Lioele lip balm, Clinique chubby stick

I guess my first goal of the year would be to start tackling my much too massive stash of beauty goods. It's always hard for me to keep to the habit of using things but I find that I have it a bit easier with skincare items than makeup. I've seen "Project Make a Dent" on several blogs before and thought it'd be a nice way to give some attention to neglected goodies.

I'm not really sure what the official rules are or anything but these are just a few things that I honestly haven't touched in a while, have just had for way too long, or have too many of that type of product. As others who've done this project have said, I think it's much harder to focus on a set of products if these are the only things that can be used. With that in mind, I am going to keep these are my go-to items but still allow myself to "cheat" on these guys with other products or colors, etc.

Hada Labo BB Moist Emulsion, Nanoce BB Cream, Canmake Cover & Stretch Concealer UV, Benefit Highbeam highlighter
L to R: Hada Labo BB Moist Emulsion SPF50+ PA+++ in Natural Ochre, Nanoce BB Moist Cream in No.2, Canmake Cover & Stretch Concealer UV in Shade 2, Benefit Highbeam
Oyy I can't even remember exactly when I bought all of these but I think it must have been before college. They don't have any strange smell or anything so hopefully I will be able to empty them.

(I have already rid my drawers of most of the older BB creams I hoarded way back when. Was bored one day and had a fun dumping spree but forgot to snap any pics. Really opened my eyes to how much stuff I wasted...)

Asian makeup, Korean makeup, Japanese makeup, Etude House blush, Etude House bronzer, Maquillage Face Creator, Esprique Precious eye palette, MAC cosmetics cream colour blush
Top going clockwise: MAC Cream Colour Base in Virgin Isle, Maquillage Face Creator, Esprique Precious, Etude House Lovely Cookie Blusher in 5 Lovely  Pink, mark Powder Buff Natural Skin Foundation in Powder Buff, Etude House Model Face Color in 2 Model Shade
Colored products and powdered items like these are so hard to complete! I can't remember the last time I finished a powdered product. Looking forward to see more pan bottoms.

Mark Powder Buff Natural Skin Foundation, Project Make a Dent
mark Powder Buff Natural Skin Foundation in Powder Buff
Something that I don't really like or dislike. It's alright but can be a bit too matte for my liking. I tend to use a fluffy brush so I don't see much coverage effect and can't vouch for that aspect.

Etude House Lovely Cookie Blusher, Korean cosmetics, Project Make a Dent
Etude House Lovely Cookie Blusher in 5 Lovely Pink
These were so popular a few years back! I think Etude House still has these but with new colors and names. It isn't bad for the price but it is a bit difficult to pick up product (at least for this older version).

Etude House Model Face Color contour, Korean cosmetics, Project Make a Dent
Etude House Model Face Color in 2 Model Shade
I really like that this is matte shading color. But it has a pretty strong flowery scent that takes some getting used to. I am not sure if this particular item is still sold by Etude House or not anymore because I received this as a giveaway prize a couple/few years back. If it is and you're a person who likes a more pigmented shading product this isn't what you're looking for. It'd say that it works but either for more subtle/natural look or with much effort and layering.

MAC, MAC Cream Colour Base, Virgin Isle, cream blush
MAC Cream Colour Base in Virgin Isle
Please please excuse the nasty state of my blush. But surely this is the realty of cream blush pots: dust and brush hair collectors. (No it isn't my facial fuzz or eyebrow hairs.) I love how pigmented this blush is! Don't worry about looking like a clown because a little goes a long way. I prefer to use a denser brush and just dab it on my cheeks.

Maquillage Face Creator palette, Japanese cosmetics, Project Make a Dent
Maquillage Face Creator
I have been really loving this item lately. Don't remember if it was last January or some time before or after that, J from lilladylife passed this on to me to use. I don't have very many powder highlighters and am quite satisfied with these for now. Not too sparkly and chunky while doing it's job. If I can hit pan or finish, I'll think about those Hourglass Ambient highlighters that have been all the rave lately.

Esprique Precious eye palette, Japanese cosmetics, Project Make a Dent
Esprique Precious eye palette
Another goodie that J gave. It is simple and natural enough that I think I'll be able to reach for regularly. If I can even make a dip in these I'll be quite happy.

Project Make a Dent, Clinique Chubby Stick Lip Balm, Lioele Donut Glo-Stick, Livin Nature lipstick, Korean cosmetics
Project Make a Dent before, Clinique Chubby Stick Lip Balm, Lioele Donut Glo-Stick, Living Nature lipstick, Korean cosmetics
L to R: Cinique Chubby Stick in Woppin Watermelon, Lioele Donut Glo-Stick in Milky Pink, Living Nature Lipstick in Sandstone
Oh...lip products and eye products are ultimately always the ones that are left in the dark for me. I can deal with bolder/brighter cheeks and can hide my neck if my face is too light but I am never confident enough to wear colored lip or eye looks. Maybe because these really scream "Makeup wearer!" yet I have a ton of lip balms, stains, and sticks that are unloved. These are just a few subtle colors that I would have a better chance of grabbing in the morning. They practically look untouched!

For the following 2015 year these goodies will sit out near my getting-ready-area for easy access. Let's see what results I can get by this time in 2016! I am not sure if I will update monthly or quarterly yet but an update will come.

Is anyone else embarking on a similar plan? What are your other goals (if you have any now)?

Red Texture Nails - Not the typical matte look

Can't believe it's been almost a year since my last nail post! Truth be told it took my nails this long to heal from all of last year's experiments. Yes, they were that weak for that long (unfortunately).

Now that my nails have shown improvement, I have been a little over excited to try new designs or just have them painted in general. Bad move for the next few months? Probably...

sally hansen 610 red zin essie matte about you shiny stamping plate sh225

I haven't done anything matte in such a long time. I have seen these not-quite-all-matte designs floating around the internet here and there before. It was an easy decision for me to incorporate my nail stamping kit into this experiment since I just didn't feel like cutting up strips of tape at 11PM. (Late-night nails session at it's finest.)

sally hansen 610 red zin essie matte about you shiny stamping plate sh225

I started the process with a layer of OPI's Base Coat, then 2 light coats of Sally Hansen's 610 Red Zin, and 1 coat of Essie's Matte About You.

sally hansen 610 red zin essie matte about you shiny stamping plate sh225

After going through the different image plates on hand and choosing a design, I used the same red polish to stamp the image onto each nail. I am nowhere near perfecting the nail stamping technique but I am much better at it than when I first got them. Definitely something that takes some practicing.

sally hansen 610 red zin essie matte about you shiny stamping plate sh225
Close up of the texturing created

It is difficult to see without really taking a close look but hey it is still atypical. It isn't just all shiny or all matte. The mix of the two makes it a little more interesting, at least I like to think it is. The only negative to this whole matte thing is having to forgo a top coat. The edges of my nails are already starting to lose polish.

Does anyone have any tips for making matte designs last longer or is this something that just can't be avoided?

Navy Keyhole & My Dress Dilemma

Oh dresses... They're such a sight to behold but still quite uncomfortable for me to wear.
Although! I have muster enough courage recently to go out and about in a dress a few more times than usual (which is typically never).

My dress "collection" is minuscule. I have a total of 2 by the time this Fall season hit so I was pretty excited when I saw the opportunity from to add to my closet.

Since I don't really know my preferences for dresses yet, I typically like to try a bunch of them on before making a purchase. With eShakti everything is virtual so it made my decision pretty difficult. Nonetheless I was determined to make a choice because the customization option they offered really intrigued me.

eShakti custom dress

Even though I don't have many dresses, I have tried many on in stores before. Often times my usual size would be too tight for my body, especially around the waist and tummy area, yet the next size up would be too loose. If the sizing was right, the (back) length was usually compromised because of my rather big derrière. When at the worse, all is wrong.

I was hesitant on providing my own measurements for fear of inaccuracy but I was also unsure whether the site's "Medium" or "Large" would fit me better. After much thought I found a tape measure and recorded away.

eShakti custom dress eShakti custom dress

eShakti has a plethora of dresses, tops, skirts, and even jackets - ranging from retro to classic to modern styles. (Pulling most of my fashion vocab here!) I browsed without a concrete idea of what I was looking for but ultimately decided on the Keyhole Front Colorblock Poplin Dress. The dress has a simple yet unique enough design for me. Since this was a custom piece that would ideally fit my body the best, I decided the dress I chose should at least be something I could wear often.

Other than the custom measurements, I also chose to personalize the length of the dress and went with the "Above Knee Length". At the time I ordered there were four color options: Black, Navy, Red, and Green. It seems that it varies depending on the fabric they have in-stock. If there is a dress you like but aren't too smitten with the color range, perhaps wait a bit to see if new ones appear.

eShakti custom dress

I had almost forgotten that I placed the order request. The mail came more or less a month later. According to their website's About Me all pieces are made to order. Plus, my dress came all the way from India. These would explain the long wait time for the package to arrive.  It isn't too handy if you're looking for something right away, but if you want or need a custom piece for a future date do plan ahead.

eShakti custom dress

My dress did fit certain areas of my frame nicely with a few things that could have been better. The chest area felt a bit loose. My waist and tummy area has enough room for me without having to suck things in but since I subconsciously do that anyways it was roomy there as well. Other than those measurement errors that I probably made, I would have liked the skirt of the dress to be a tad shorter as well. The length didn't seem to go too well with the partially-revealing top portion. (But that could just be me.) However, this particular style doesn't offer any length shorter than "Above Knee".

One thing I was not really expecting was the fabric. Now I can't say this for all of their selection, but the fabric on my dress in particular was on the thinner side. It also felt stiff yet it held a lot of wrinkles (if that makes any sense). This material wouldn't have been something I would pick out to try on if I saw it in a store. The pleats in my dress made it a little difficult to straighten out and "tidy" the skirt.

I really appreciate the, pretty much hidden, pockets. They are very handy and I wish that more dresses/skirts that can have such a feature do have it. It isn't just small coin pockets either, it's roomy even with my hands placed fully inside.

For anyone who is interested in ordering from the site do keep in mind that most of their selection is on the pricier side, with most items running $50+. (This is just the price for a piece sans any customization.) If you would like to provide custom measurements and/or custom neckline, sleeves and length, there is an additional charge of $7.50 overall. There is a tiered shipping price system which increases with your order total. There does seem to be a discount/coupon for first-time purchases. I am not too sure of how frequent other future deals will be but I would assume that there might be coupons offers as well.

This was definitely a pleasurable experience. It might not be necessarily my first pick for my next dress purchase but it is nice to know that an option like this exists. Plus, now I have a better idea of how to measure myself for future custom orders here or for any site that offers such a feature.

The hunt for more perfect dresses continues!

Quick question: Would the length of this dress look better shorter?
I am debating whether or not to ask my mom to alter it for me.

*Disclaimer: This piece was provided to me by for free to review. Everything I have stated is my honest opinion and written as objectively as possible. I was not compensated in any other way.