I discovered Za Cosmetics (parent company: Shiseido) while overseas in Asia since shelves of the brand’s lipsticks, concealers, BB creams, foundations and more seemed to line the walls of every corner drugstore. I’m a huge fan of drugstore beauty products, ones by Asian brands even more so because of the quality: they tend to be gentler on skin but yield rich pigments. Also, their names crack me up. Below are a few products that have me going “rah-rah” for Za.
Cheeks Groovy in Apricot Pink.See what I said about the names? It’s a subtle peachy color that’s similar to a Covergirl Cheekers color (I forget the name) but with stronger pigment. Think somewhere between Cheekers and MAC’s Sheertone Blush in Peaches.
Cheeks Groovy in June Bride. A subtle highlighter that I wrote about in a previous post on my favorite highlight hues. I haven’t put this one to the (camera) test yet but it’s so pearly and pretty, I couldn’t resist picking it up.
Groovy Smoovy Oil-Blotting Powder. Again with the names. A light hand with this translucent powder blots away shine with staying power comparable to Make-Up Forever’s HD Microfinish Powder. Use too much, though, and it can come off opaque which is why I don’t use the mini powder puff that came with it, opting for a small powder brush to apply product instead. But gosh darnit, is that mini-puff cute.
Concealer Perfection in #2. This is hands-down my favorite Za find. Enriched with Vitamin E, the formula yields full coverage and blends easily with a rich smooth finish. I usually squeeze a drop on an empty palette or on the back of my hand, pick up color with a small concealer brush and dab, then smooth it out with a wedge sponge lightly spritzed with lavender water.
While I was in Asia at the end of last year, I stocked up majorly on Biore Pore Strips. Essentially, they’re the same strips as the ones sold stateside at CVS, Target, etc. but as with many beauty products sold overseas, these had a little something special: aromatherapy! Well, actually a subtle jasmine scent that makes the usual sebum-extracting process just slightly more enjoyable. One downside I’ve noticed: they’re slightly less potent in the blackhead-vacuuming department than the ones I’ve bought at home. Still, I’m all for a little jasmine-infused skin-clearing.
Through all of my beauty shopping jaunts in Southeast Asia last year, there was one product I just couldn’t pull the trigger on, despite basically being in the motherland where it was born: BB cream. It seems that every beauty brand, from the high-end counter brands to cheapie drugstore ones, has a BB cream out. Of course, this all-in-one combination primer-sunscreen-foundation-blemish treatment-skin smoother has been hugely popular in Asia for decades before making it over stateside.
Yet, I hold out. Work days tend to be filled with pore-clogging maquillage, hot lights and long hours, so on days I’m not in front of the camera, I tend to be gentle to my skin. As much as I’m a total beauty product junkie, I’m still a minimalist at heart. An everyday look usually consists of sunscreen-moisturizer, some concealer (maybe), dark brown eyeliner and mascara.
Recently, I was flipping through a magazine and one of those coupon-sample cards popped out, the ones that contain a little sample of some product under plastic flap on one side and usually some kind of promo or coupon on the other. I’m a sample hound and decidedly not too cool to rub some magazine parfum on my wrists, so of course I tried out Smashbox’s Camera Ready BB Cream sample in Light/Medium. Verdict? Impressed. Just a smidge matte-ified my troublesome t-zone and provided adequate coverage for my undereye area.
So, this little test has me more and more tempted to jump on the BB bandwagon. Could it be the ultimate lazygirl’s beauty product? I’ve even read some fellow on-camera ladies swearing by it for work, using it in place of traditional foundation.
Have you BB’d? What are some of your favorite brands? What do you like the most about it?
If you’ve been following this blog for awhile, you know that I’m a Shiseido-holic. Before discovering Shiseido’s Urban Environment UV Protection Cream SPF 40 for Face/Body, I was a huge fan of the iconic beauty brand’s Oil-Free UV Protector for Face (SPF 42). The formula was thin and liquid-ey with smooth finish.
In comparison, the Protection Cream is considerably thicker in consistency and when applied comes off way more opaque. I found myself really having to blend it into my skin as to avoid that lovely “ghostface” look. I have a lot of faith in Shiseido products, opaque residue factor notwithstanding, so I’ll stick with it until I run out. Why? Because I’m stubborn and have drunk the Kool-Aid of the storied Asian beauty line. With the thickness of the formula, it might be one of those “little goes a long way” products - and I’m not opposed to that.
The annual Met Ball Gala is dually a feast and nightmare for the eyes. As a fashion fan, I love it all because unlike the traditional red carpet event, Hollywood fixtures are obligated to dress for fashion and not for what will get them on the Best Dressed list. Well, in theory anyway. This year’s “punk” (in quotes) theme was interpreted with spikey coifs, cutouts and, for some reason, wearing trousers under dresses (???). I don’t get that last one either, but here are some of my favorite looks nonetheless.
Allison Williams channeling ’90s goth in this long, lacy gown.
I love the blonde pixie cut on Anne Hathaway! It looks fresh, doesn’t wash her out and contrasts nicely with this faux-shreddy long-sleeved cutout number.
Blake Lively combining elegance and whimsy.
I know Cameron Diaz’s royal blue gown will be polarizing but I LOVE it: the cape, the shape, the color. Fabulously futuristic and retro at the same time.
Cara Delevingne plunges in something appropriately punk-inspired. Dig the studs.
Looking ever the ladylike muse, Carey Mulligan in this all-black ensemble is cute and coquette-ish.
Adorable Emma Watson sasses up an elegant black gown with cutouts.
Midriff bare, don’t care. And that is why Gwen Stefani can wear anything.
Jaime King in a sleek pantsuit. So glad she opted out of attaching a giant skirt to this, contrary to some of her Met Ball peers.
Say what you will, but January Jones always dresses for fashion and I appreciate her for it.
I like about 90% of Jessica Pare’s combo trouser-gown (trown?. Had the peplum been longer and the trousers lost, I would’ve been on-board 100%.
Like only J. Lo could.
Punk? Not even in the slightest. Still, I love Lana del Rey’s old-school glam, compete with cape. Drama!
Both Miranda Kerr and Olivia Wilde reminded me of Leeloo from Fifth Element in their bandaged-cutout numbers.
The zippers seal the deal for Rooney Mara’s structured mullet-cut dress.
Jacket. Punk. Want. And rocked in that insouciant British way that only a Brit like Sienna Miller could.
Sources: Vogue.com, GoFugYourself.com