Thursday, June 28, 2012

Product Reviews The Easy Way

I picked up a book called Don't Go To The Cosmetics Counter Without Me once and lost myself in the pages upon pages of helpful, informed product reviews. The truth behind Biore Deep Cleansing Pore Strips, the greenwashing of Lush, a pin popping the balloon that is Mario Badescu and the (sad/expensive) fact that you usually do get what you pay for was revealed to me through that book. Now, it was about 4cm thick and this was the kind of resource that I would want to keep forever, but knowing it would get outdated soon enough, I was happy to find a reference to, the online version of the book. I love it so much that I'm dedicating a post to it to share the beautypedia love so that all you dear readers may also partake in the skincare-and-beauty-savvy.

I consult often before I make a purchase, to be wise in buying products, and it's deterred me from potentially wreaking havoc with the odd experimentation. A prime example is that the Lush Cupcake Fresh Face Mask may get rave reviews online, but the breakdown of the ingredients saved me from wasting $16 on a teeny tub of fragrant mud which would probably make my skin worse.

On the bright side, I have been happy to find some products which I have purchased on recommendation receive positive reviews, such as the Neutrogena Healthy Skin foundation, the Maybelline Dream Matte powder and the Korres lip butters. It's relieving to hear a clinical, informed affirmation of a good product and a good purchase.

The good:
  • Updated regularly
  • A number of the brands mentioned are available in Australia
  • Helpful, informed reviews
The bad:
  • Brands exclusive to Australia (Australis, FOA) are not reviewed
  • Not updated to keep up with the trends- new products may not appear immediately
But clearly, the pros outweigh the cons and there's literally no reason not to utilise this resource. :D

Hope that was helpful!
Thanks for reading! Take care! God bless xx

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Tag: Liebster Award

I got nominated for the Liebster blogger award by Sheri, and as it's my first blog award, it's all quite exciting!

1. Each person must post 11 things about themselves
2. Answer the questions the tagger has set for you and create 11 questions for the people you've tagged to answer
3. Choose 11 people and tag them in your post.
4. Go to their page and tell them!
5. No tag backs!

Fact about me:
1. I love sushi. Sushi Deli at Indooroopilly does a great duck maki roll and I love it.

2. I drop things all the time. I have dropped my iPod countless times, my phone, my $200 ClassPad calculator. Surprisingly they haven't broken yet. One of these days...

3. One of my first makeup memories was rhythmic gymnastics in grade 8- the older girls had all their supplies laid out, and I picked up the eyelash curler and asked "What is this?". I remember we had on bright blue eyeshadow, blush, mascara and a little heart-shaped sequin on the outer corner of either eye. That's gym makeup for you. ;)

4. I love reading. I got into reading when my mum wanted me to stop watching so much TV when I was about 6 or 7. Oh, boy. I went from one extreme to the other. I read just about every Enid Blyton book and had to get glasses from reading in poor light, eg. under the covers with a torch. I was just about the ultimate bookworm.

5. I love SPELLING. I was in Extension Spelling in grade 5. I remember the other kids couldn't spell Cyprus and Brunei, and being the proud, self-righteous know-it-all, I remember facepalming. At 10 years old.

6. I'm from Singapore. I love it there. I love my family, I love the shopping, I love the food, I love the atmosphere.

7. I'd like to be a flight attendant for Singapore Airlines one day. They're called Singapore Girls, I believe. I've had a few relatives work for Singapore Airlines. If I apply, I hope my linguistic skills can sway me into employment. You don't find many Singaporean girls speaking 'real' English (as opposed to Singlish) and Italian. Yay.

8. I have yet to try liquid foundation! It's strange. But I'm going to receive the Neutrogena Healthy Skin foundation through a lovely enabler in the US. Goodbye foundation virginity!

9. I work as a waitress at a bistro in Milton. It's my first job, I started in Feb/March, and I'm pretty happy with it.

10. I like a lot of different genres of music. I've had my RnB stage with Jordin Sparks, Rihanna and Chris Brown, I've had the 'emo' stage with Evanescence, the Academy Is and Panic at the Disco, my kpop stage with SNSD, Super Junior, Big Bang and 2NE1, and I've liked mainstream throughout. I'm mixing it all now, and I listen to everything.

11. I'm in my first year of my degree: Bachelor of Regional and Town Planning, and it's really different. I never imagined I'd be studying this. It's interesting though.

Alrighty so here goes.
1. Favourite song to dance to?
To be honest, I don't have a favourite. I have a lot. A few that I can name right now, are... Equilibrium by Jackie Boyz, Forever by Chris Brown, Genie by SNSD, Like This by the Wonder Girls. 
2. Do you have any pets?
I have a dog. His name is Toby and he's a moody Maltese-Shih Tzu cross and he's adorable. He just turned 7 last week. He's a cute little puffball when we let his fur grow out in winter.

3. Go up to a door. What's your first instinct: push or pull? 
I hate pulling door handles. Hate it. Part of it's the OCD side of me, part of it's the effort. I always push doors if I can. Of course, if the door says pull, well what can you do?

4. What foreign language would you like to learn that you don't already know?
I would like to learn French, Cantonese and Korean. I would like to learn French because it's gorgeous, and so widely spoken, much more so than Italian. I would like to learn Cantonese because my family speaks it (aunts, uncles, grandparents) and it would be a useful skill, for communicating with both my family, and when I travel (HK!). And Korean because I can read Korean, I taught myself inadvertently last year. I can speak Italian and basic Mandarin Chinese.

5. Would you rather move schools or move countries?
I would definitely rather move countries. Done it once, done it twice. Done it again. I was born in Singapore, moved to Darwin when I was a toddler, moved to Bangkok when I was 3, moved back to Singapore when I was 4, started school in Singapore, and migrated to Australia when I was 9.
I've done a 2-month-long student exchange to Italian-speaking Switzerland, so I find culture shock is manageable. If you have to make new friends at a new school anyway, why not go for it and enjoy a new experience with a new culture and environment? Maybe even learn a new language, if you're up for it? I love Europe and Asia. I want to live in the US, Singapore and Switzerland/Italy at some point in my life.

6. Which is more important to you: Mascara or Eyeliner?
I used to say eyeliner, but I would definitely say mascara now that I've found one that works for me. Hopefully this will spur me on to find others that work even better. Eyeliner can look more heavy than I'd like and I prefer the no-makeup makeup look for everyday, what with Uni and all. Mascara adds to the look and doesn't make it look overdone. I like the fluttery lash look, and mascara is as far as I go with it. Fake lashes are unthinkable for me. Oh, and I have uneven lids. Eyeliner is such a pain. My monolid tucks under itself and I've just about given up on eyeliner for that one. I do like this tutorial for uneven lids but it's too dramatic for me to wear out and about.
7. Concealer or foundation?
Foundation. I like both, but I don't need concealer for eye bags, as I have been blessed with a lack of dark undereye circles- if they're there, it's self-inflicted from lack of sleep. I have acne-prone, oily-combination skin and I get hyperpigmentation from acne scars very easily, so I rely on foundation to mask it.

8. Do you prefer taking photos or videos?
I wish I did videos! They look so fun. If I was going to do videos, I would need my old camera, which was stolen in China. SO, I have to say photos. Simply because I haven't tried filming. :)

9. Favourite beauty guru on youtube?
I like essiebutton, even though she doesn't adhere to the 'guru' title, and I like Jen from frmheadtotoe. They're both fun to watch and SO helpful. I think I've watched every one of Jen's videos. Except the circle lens ones. I just. I can't do circle lens ANYTHING. To me, they're about as interesting as. Huh. I can't think of anything that's as uninteresting as circle lens. Well, there you go! Essiebutton is my new favourite, having taken Jen's spot in first place. She's hilarious and her videos are really good quality, and SO MUCH FUN to watch. Oh, I love her! And she uses a lot of Body Shop and Lush and mainstream products which are really easy to get, as opposed to US-only or Asian products.

10. Best dream and worst nightmare ever?
Is this dream/nightmare that I've HAD? I can't remember a lot of my dreams. I do sometimes have vivid unpleasant dreams, I guess they're nightmares? of complex situations involving running away from antagonists. 

11. Why do you like blogging?
I LIKE THIS QUESTION! I like blogging because:
(1) It's a fun way to vent and rant and broadcast my thoughts to likeminded people. This is directly related to point number two.
(2) It's a great way of getting to know other likeminded people
(3) It's so helpful for learning tips and recommendations for new products, in the case of beauty blogs.
(3) It's good for regular writing practice and maintaining a capacity for good grammar.

I'm not sure which of my favourite bloggers have done this award tag and which haven't, so I tag anyone who's managed to plough through my mess of a response? Consider yourself nominated. ;D

If you do choose to respond to this, my questions are:

1. Why did you start blogging?
2. Favourite lip product, and Why?
3. All-time favourite comfort food?
4. Book that's made the biggest impact/impression?
5. Dream migration destination?
6. If you had to colour/perm/rebond/streak your hair, what would you do?
7. Nude, Red, Greige or Bright nails?
8. What is your nostalgia-inducing makeup/skincare/fragrance product?
9. If you had to pick one high end product, what would it be?
10. Favourite blogger?
11. If you could pick another first name, what would you pick?

Hope you enjoyed reading this!
Take care and God bless! xx

Monday, June 18, 2012

Current Favourites

I'm procrastinating, and I decided I would do a Favourites post! And since it's kinda mid-June, I couldn't really label it May or June Favourites, but I've just been really liking these products.

I've been LOVING my Ecotools, in particular, these three brushes. The Blush brush, the Eye Shading brush which is really a blending brush, and the mini kabuki. I do think my Blush brush was cut a bit funny, but it works fine so I shouldn't be as bothered as I am.

I've been reaching for my Mary Kay Dual Coverage powder foundation in 300 Beige a lot more now that my BB cream is finished and the new one has yet to arrive. As you can see, I've hit pan significantly, but I love this so much I'll use it to the end. And it's been discontinued so I'm sad about that. I'll conceal blemishes and spots with the Face of Australia stick concealer in Neutral, and apply the Mary Kay with a flat round sponge and the powder foundation just helps even out my skin tone. 

How I love this mascara. The Maybelline Full 'N Soft waterproof mascara is easily my current favourite. I liked the Essence Get Big Lashes mascara but after a few wears I found it to flake and I've stopped using it completely since getting this one. Full 'N Soft waterproof doesn't flake, it doesn't smudge after application, it separates and gives a really clean defined look, it holds up through my very frequent yawn tears and I really like it. Clearly. Hahaha.

Swatches: Korres Wild Rose, Essence Glammy Goes To..., Bourjois Rose Ambre

I've also been really liking the Essence Stay All Day long lasting cream shadow in Glammy Goes To... because it works really well as an all over lid wash. I love this cream shadow!  It's really pigmented and a light touch will pick up enough product. It's kind of a light gold  PACKED with shimmers.

I've also been loving my Bourjois Little Round Pot blush in Rose Ambre. After I got it, I didn't use it for a couple of weeks. I don't know why I didn't use it, but I picked it up last week and I couldn't put it down. It works great with the Ecotools Blush brush. And I love the strong powdery scent. I just open it up sometimes to take a big whiff.

And how I can not include one of these? Korres lip butter in Wild Rose is perfect for adding some colour and it's just as moisturising as a balm. I love these!

For my brows, I've been loving the wax from the Chi Chi Celebrity Secrets Eyebrow Enhancing kit. It was a gift from my brother and he got it from someone else and it's in the wrong shade- it's in Blonde/Taupe. As you can see, the powder colour is a light brown so I don't use that, but the wax is dark enough for me to wear, and I've been loving it to kind of shape my brows into the arc that I want. I don't pluck a thin, sharp arc because I don't think that suits me, what with the high-maintenance image connotations of a sharp arching brow, but I do want a slight arc. I went through a period where I shaped my brows more straight, and it was when I heard from somewhere, I think it was kpop/drama related because all the Korean celebrities have dead straight brows, that straighter brows make you look like a kind and gentle person. But I had a little reality check and realised that I couldn't pull off the straight brows especially with my natural brow shape, and reverted back to the natural arc.

These are the only two Chi Chi products I own- the eyebrow kit, which I think has been discontinued, and the double-ended smokey eye brush. I bought this brush on sale at the beginning of February or March, and it was about $6, and I got it because I didn't want to get the Essence gel eyeliner brush without getting the Essence gel eyeliner, but I wanted an angled eyeliner brush and I figured this double ended brush was the way to go. Turns out, it kind of sucks. The blending end of the brush is cheaply made and not at all suited for any type of eye makeup application. It's stiff and badly cut and does not compare to any of the eye brushes I own, not even el cheapo 'QVS' brand that costs pittance. I do use the angled eyeliner brush end though, for my brows. It's really hard to spot clean the brow wax off the brush, and I don't want to ruin the brushes that the kit came with because they're handy for travel, so I use this one. I sometimes go over the wax with my Bobbi Brown shadow in Mahogany if I want a stronger brow, but mostly I just shape them and leave them uncoloured.

I love my Sleek palettes and don't use them enough, but I have discovered a few colours from the Storm palette which I like for everyday neutrals. Almost all the shadows are shimmery or frosty, which I find I'm not liking as much as satin finishes, but they're so pigmented and smooth that I can't help loving them anyway. I particularly like the colours I've marked out, in those combinations, and I like to blend them out/together with the Ecotools eye brush mentioned above. I've been watching Essiebutton videos and she's just amazing. I love the looks she does for her videos with Stila Kitten, and although I don't own Stila Kitten, she's inspiring me to try more light, natural eye looks and cut back on the eyeliner.
Swatches below: the brown/bronze, the gold, the frosty champagne, the matte brown which reminds of Buck from the UD Naked palette that I use for crease blending, and the light gold.

Here's one of my favourite Essiebutton videos:

Thanks for reading, take care and God bless! xx

Friday, June 15, 2012

Sportsgirl mini haul

Here are my Sportsgirl buys! I love June EOFYS! Do you remember that FOXTEL advertisement where EOFYS was conceived, where they're all singing "Happy EOFYS!"? Well I do, because we had semi that year and all the girls were buying their semi dresses and posting photos on Facebook with "Happy EOFYS!". But it's so great to have End Of Financial Year Sales with all the make-up sales and clothing sales EVERYWHERE.

Since everyone's posting mini hauls from Sportsgirl and whatnot, I thought I'd contribute my two cents' worth. Here's what I bought from Sportsgirl. When I went, I actually only wanted to see if they had any more of their blushers in Peach but they didn't! And the salesgirl was really nice and we had a little chat. Fortunately the Peach blush is a permanent item so they'll be restocking. Unfortunately I'm putting myself on a buying ban until I'm in a better financial position and my bank balance looks more agreeable. So ironic that this is a haulage post.

So like I said, I didn't mean to buy anything when I wandered in! I was only meaning to check out the blushes but I ended up walking out with these:

Two knitted hats for $4.95 each, marked down from $24.95 - I've been meaning to buy one but everywhere I went (Jay Jays, Dotti) was selling them for $10. I like that these aren't the normal knitted ones with the crochet style, but they're something a little different, and I like the colours and the bow. From the tag placement, I think the bow's supposed to be worn at the front but, heck no, I shall wear them however I choose.

Sleep and water posted about the eye brushes she uses and I saw something that somewhat fitted her description (dual ended brush for $2.95) marked down to 95c so I picked up one of these Brush With Fame eye brushes to try. There were more, but I didn't know anything about the quality of the brush so one was sufficient. I'll try them out and if I like them I'll return to pick up a couple more. Wait no, buying ban resolution.

You guys have to hold me to my buying ban resolution! Though if I see a Bourjois 50% off sale I might pick up Healthy Mix because those sales don't come by very often... Gah- no. BUYING BAN RESOLUTION!
Hahaha I'm hopeless. I'll pray for self-control. Take care and God bless! xx

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Haulage: Late, as usual

I know I'm a tad late to the party, but I finally got my brushes from iHerb! Precious Ecotools! I put an order into iHerb a fortnight ago and when they didn't arrive last week I got a bit worried, because most people said their iHerb orders came after about a week. But they arrived yesterday, and I am stoked to try them out.
I got the Ecotools Blush brush and the 5 piece Mineral Makeup set. I love them. The blush brush is bigger than I expected, and it's so soft. And it hasn't shed yet! Always a good sign.  The 5 piece set was satisfactorily travel-sized, but still usable. The baby kabuki is tiiiiiinyy. I do like the softness of the bristles. Ohhh, how soft they are. I was sitting in front of some essiebutton videos last night sweeping the (clean) brushes across my (clean) palm, marvelling at the softness. Altogether, very happy. Will be content with these until I decide I need the Real Techniques. I'm under a bit of a no make-up spell at the moment since I ran out of BB cream, if anything, I'm settling for my Mary Kay Dual Coverage Powder Foundation which I apply with a sponge and I'm not needing much in way of brushes, so I'll put off ordering more until I do need them.
I think the Blush brush was $6 and the set was just over $9. Delivery was $6 but I found a code for $5 off so that was basically covered. 
Oh, and they issued me a code to give to all of you lucky ones who haven't ordered from iHerb for the first time: OVO135. Although I don't get any more $5 off codes because I've already ordered from them once, I will definitely order from iHerb again, for the Real Techniques blush brush, the Core Collection or the Expert Face brush, I haven't decided, and the 6 piece Ecotools set. I really only want the 6 piece Ecotools set for the angled eyeliner brush, the travel sized blush brush and the case thingy. I think the travel sized blush brush is slightly smaller than the standalone blush brush, and I would then use the full sized one for powder or something. I want the brush roll case thing because I was browsing the cosmetic cases at Sportsgirl and realised that I'd be happy with something simple since everything I own gets battered up anyway. I know it's odd because a lot of people would just throw the complimentary cases aside and not give them a second thought, but, well let's face it, I'm Asian. And I like boxes and ribbons and gift bags and if it's functional and I can score it for free, why not? Wow. I sound old. I'm only 18! Why do I sound like a hoarding cat lady?!

AND THIS WEEK IS FOA AND AUSTRALIS $3 OFF! At Kmart. Yay! So I bought the following:

Face of Australia
-Face Base Primer - $8-
-Translucent Loose Powder - $9-
-Concealer in Neutral - $6-
-Barbados Nail Enamels in: You Blue Me Away and Another Daiquiri Please - $1.75 each-

I wanted the Let's Go Scuba Diving nail polish too but they didn't have any left. I also spotted a stray Molten Metallics polish in Verdigris which reminded me of both the Chanel Peridot polish, and an oil spill. Have a look at the FOA website. After much scrutinising, it didn't have the gold flash that Peridot has and it wasn't green enough for my liking. So I gave that one a miss.
There were plenty of Sheer Gloss Lip Crayon sets left and the Winter Eyes kits too, so I'm not happy that I bought those two full priced last week.
More tardiness: I'm doing the catch-up-on-basics thing again, and bought my first face primer and translucent loose powder. I thought I would suit the concealer shade Warm, but that proved too pink, so I got neutral instead. Surprise surprise, it's appropriately neutral. It's my first stick concealer, so I'm not used to the fact that it's not emollient, in fact it's quite the opposite and kind of waxy, so I guess that's better for blemishes because when you conceal pimples you don't want the concealer shifting. It reminds me of the Revlon Photoready Concealer except that one costs $25 while this one costs 6, and the Revlon's a little bit creamier and easier to blend. I didn't intend to pick up the nail polishes because unlike the others, I hadn't been wanting them for a long time, but they're limited edition! I don't know if I'm alone in this, but when something is limited edition, I get anxious, and there's a sense of urgency and I have to scramble and get my piece of the pie. The figurative pie. Also, when I saw they were that cheap, the only thing I had to think about were which colours to get. I ended up going with You Blue Me Away and Another Daiquiri Please. I don't usually wear blue polish, or glitter polish, for that matter. I feel so adventurous! The Kmart I was at didn't have some of the shades I liked better, but come on. Come on. These are cheaper than Essence and its measly 5mL bottles, and they're even cheaper than Ulta3 and N.Y.C. How can you not? I'll see how they go with application.

I was going to get the Australis eyeshadow palette in Snap Attack because the Kmart I was at had boxed sets of the palettes in Snap Attack or Frock and Roll with a free Australis eyeshadow primer. Naturally, I leaped for it. However, I had to stop myself several times. I felt like I had split personality disorder. 
*picks up box*
"Cherie. Cherie. YOU DON'T USE EYESHADOW. You have two Sleek palettes at home that you haven't touched. You're not buying anymore."
"But, free primer!"
"You bought the Essence eye base, and you got the Revlon creme shadow palette just this week."
"But $3 off!"
"They have these sales all the time."
"But they're preeeettyyy. And the Sleek palettes aren't pearlescent."
"You don't wear eyeshadow."
And that was that. 

One more thing! I wandered into Target on my way home and decided to try my hand at finding my colour match for Bourjois Healthy Mix. Another wishlist item. I haven't tried any foundations (the shock! the horror! the obligatory gasp!) but I was able to swatch sufficiently to find that I suit shade 53 Beige Clair the best. Yay. I'll keep that in mind for when I next run out of face makeup. I've got the Skin79 hot pink BB cream on the way over from Korea, and that'll keep me supplied for about 2-3 months, I think, guessing from the time it took me to use up the gold one. But after that, maybe I'll try Healthy Mix?! It's definitely pricier. I resolve to buy only if there's a fantastic sale like 40% off, etc.

Anyway, thanks for reading, take care and God bless! xx

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Eye Spy

I present to you the fruits of having $20 in my wallet, no self-control and a veritable hate for buyer's regret. I was at Indooroopilly Shopping Town today and picked up this Revlon Illuminance creme shadow palette and a Maybelline EyeStudio mono eyeshadow in Silken Taupe.
Yes, Silken Taupe. For those who don't know, it's a shameless copy of MAC's Satin Taupe. Did anybody else find that laughable?

(credits to MAC)

The Maybelline EyeStudio mono in Silken Taupe (still chuckling to myself) is a gorgeous colour- a mix of purples and a hint of browns and greys with a silver satin finish. It's smooth and pigmented and was super easy to swatch, given its buttery texture. I happily add it to my collection. Yay for the perfectly complementary neutral shadow. At $4 from Kmart on clearance, how could I resist? There were other EyeStudio shadows on clearance at $4 too, so check our your local Kmart for the stocktake sales. (This is the 'buyer's regret' purchase, I'd put it down last week but decided $4 for a MAC 'dupe' was too good to pass up.) I found a good post (with good photos) about the dupey mcdupeness of this shadow here
EDIT: I've swatched this in a FUTURE post here. I forgot to swatch it in this post so I included a swatch in THAT post! 

The Revlon Illuminance creme shadow palette in Seashells 11 was $9.95 at Cosmetics Plus. I wasn't really after anything in particular but I saw that the price wasn't bad, and when I considered my new Sleek palettes, all the pretty colours a-shining, and realised I didn't have any decent products to serve as a base for them, I caved. I kind of regret it now. I could have bought a Real Techniques brush with that $10. But it is Revlon, and the pure colour bases would allow the colours to shine more true. truly. Eh, grammar.
There are four variations: a pale pink, a white, a peach and a pale taupe. The first two are shimmery and the second two are matte. I like to think of them as mini paint pots!

Here are swatches of the four Illuminance creme shadows, in the same order as the palette.

They provide a good opaque-ish base for the shadow's true colour to show. Though I don't wear eyeshadows on a day to day basis, it's a handy palette to have for event makeup. And by event makeup I mean the occasional opera/party/dinner. Hah. But seriously though, I wish I had more occasions for makeup! 

Anyhow, thanks for reading (up to here! Good job!), take care and God bless! xx

Monday, June 11, 2012

Face of Australia Winter Eyes Kit

As much as I love my Essence gel liner, I've quickly gotten tired of cleaning the brush every time I used it. I even bought a new brush because the first died of overhandling from cleaning. R.I.P, Brush. It was such a pain that I decided I would try liquid eyeliners just because they wouldn't mean cleaning the brush. I tried Essence's eyeliner pen, but that's not what I'm talking about in this post so we'll leave that for another time. No, this post is about Face of Australia's liquid eyeliner. 

I denied myself FOA's liquid liner just the day before, but when I spotted the Sheer Gloss Lip Crayons next to this set, I talked myself buying it. Horrible, I know. Especially when I don't need another mascara.

This set is called the Winter Eyes Kit. On the back, it says 
Create sultry, bold and dramatic looks this winter with this kit. Or something to that effect.
I was unaware that winter meant eyeliner and mascara. I honestly thought that eyeliner and mascara were worn throughout the year. When I was really into kpop, I observed that the artists' makeup varied greatly to the Western world's take on it. Contrary to the Western world's conception of makeup, where smokey eyes and statement lips reign, Koreans lean more towards 'natural' face makeup, valuing milky fair skin, natural pink lips ,and dramatic eyeliner, with little to no visible eyeshadow most of the time, as shown below in a handy little collage.
However, apparently to the rest of the first world, eyeliner and mascara only really shine in winter. Hence FOA's dedicated Winter Eyes kit.

It includes an Eye Definer, Impact-full volumising mascara and Liquid Eyeliner, all in Black. The cincher is that the mascara is a free gift. The gimmick is, basically if you buy the liquid eyeliner and the eye pencil, you get the mascara free. They just place the whole shebang in a box so that you get marketed into thinking that it's a much better deal. Although I would much rather try the Impact-Curl mascara than this one, I just went with it because it's still a $12 mascara AND a $8.50 liquid eyeliner and a $7.50 eye pencil for $16.90. I could always, I don't know, throw the mascara into a giveaway or something. Harhar aren't I original. Either way, I'm not cracking it open because I have 2 mascaras to finish. And they're going nowhere fast. I use up products at the slowest pace. Though my BB cream ran out the other day and I was just staring at it disbelievingly thinking "how on earth did that run out so fast?" That's the only negative point about Skin79 BB creams- you can't see or feel how much is left and I'm going to start buying backups of things now because I didn't like that feeling of having no more BB cream. I ran out of Aveeno moisturiser too but I had a backup and my initial reaction was joy at finishing a product. I'd bought some Manicare jars and depotted (de-tubed?) my Aveeno into the jar and it was satisfying to finish. Though I discarded the tube when I depotted (again, de-tubed?) the Aveeno so I don't have anything for an Empties post but the Skin79 canister. Anyhow. I digress.

I was looking into eye pencils recently because my Estee Lauder Softsmudge wouldn't last forever (sadly) and I didn't use any other pencils for the upper lid. Essence kajal pencil liners don't quite cut it- they just don't work as well for some reason. I looked at CoverGirl LiquiLine and kicked myself for not getting anything during CoverGirl's 50% off sale a couple of weeks ago, not even realising FOA had a pencil range (though what kind of respectable cosmetics company wouldn't have one?) so it's handy that a pencil was included in this set. I like that it has a black pencil part. It looks classier. It's pretty average- the pigmentation of my Estee Lauder pencil is better and it has a sponge smudger on the other end as well, but it also costs a lot more money. This glides on easily and you can't go wrong with pencil liners so for the price, I do like this.

FOA eye definer on the left, liquid liner on the right.

I tried out the liquid liner on my lashline last night and it kind of stung. I didn't expect it to sting! My eyes aren't sensitive and neither is my skin- both can take any products I've used before. After Michelle's touting this liner post after post after post, I had very high expectations of it. Disappointing. But I will try it again. As a complete novice without the steady hands required for smooth application of the liner, I'm going to need some practice at liquid liner before I get it right. Even though it wasn't the best experience, I'm not going to rule it out just yet. After all, I did buy the whole kit mostly for this liner so I feel like I should at least prove its unworthiness fully before canning it. The liner itself is promising. It has a very fine tip and it's pretty pigmented and black. I wouldn't say it's easy to apply but hey, practice makes perfect.

Bottom line, if you need to fill some gaps in your collection (like I did), I recommend trying this out. They're not amazing enough to warrant the purchase if you've already got liquid liners or pencil liners that work for you. And the deal's not super great value that you've got to run out and buy it straightaway. But they're solid products so if you need these products, I do recommend them.

Thanks for reading, take care and God bless! xx

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Colouring Inside The Lines

I'm a proud owner of Face of Australia's Sheer Gloss Lip Crayons! Released as FOA's answer to the popular (and overpriced) Clinique Chubby Sticks, I have been scouring my local FOA stands (multiple locations!) for these since I read about them on blogs. A few bloggers won them on a Twitter competition and reviewed them, and said they would be released in June. I've been checking FOA stockists since the 1st, in vain. I finally saw them on Friday (the 8th), and snatched them while I could. At $14.95, they're incredibly good value and I highly recommend picking up yours while you can because they're limited edition and are bound to fly off the shelves, just like the FOA Face Base Primer and Translucent Loose Powder do (I can never find them in stock!).

They come in an adorable patterned box and the banner and font reminds me of the stereotypical American diner, with sundaes and apple pies and the whole Route 66 shebang.

They come in a pack of three. As shown, in red, pink and nude-brown. The names are adorable. Just like the Clinique Chubby Sticks, they're named after foods, but I must say these names are much more scrumptious than the fruit which Clinique has chosen.

I love the crayon idea. Although Clinique made an effort to innovate the traditional lip product with their Chubby Stick, Face of Australia has gone further with the crayon idea and these lip crayons are bear more resemblance to the humble wax crayon than Clinique's Chubby Sticks do, what with Clinique's fancy schmancy metal lid and base (as you can tell, I don't regard the Chubby Sticks very highly. I have no real excuse. I'm just petty because I'd really like one but they're way too expensive to justify the purchase. Especially now, when I own these babies!). The crayons are accordingly sheer and glossy, so they're not perilous to apply on the go. I love the idea of colouring in my lips with crayons (ahem. Lip crayons). And they're very wearable! The texture and pigmentation is somewhat like a tinted lip balm. Slightly glossier but just as moisturising and slightly pigmented. While I'm singing their praises, I'll add that they smell divine. They're vanilla-scented. I love. Compared to Clinique Chubby Sticks which sell for $35 apiece, these are an amazing buy at 3 for $15. 

Swatches L-R: Macaron, Cupcake and Sundae

While they won't get as much use as my Korres lip butters, I do love these and don't regret the buy. An added plus is that they're limited edition, and that basically cinched the deal for me. Grab them while you can! Go go go!

Thanks for reading- take care and God bless! xx

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Sleek: Double Whammy

Hello gorgeous new Sleek baby palettes! Meet Original on the left, and Storm on the right.

I'm sorry about the awful photos in this post- I got these about an hour ago and I really wanted to get these photos in before the sun set, because if not, I would have to use artificial light or wait another day to take the pictures and make the post. To make it worse, my camera was running out of battery and it was low lighting and when it's low lighting the camera doesn't focus properly, urgh. Anyhow. Onwards, to the post!

I heard about Sleek for the first time EVER from Michelle at, and she spoke about the i-Divine palettes, and I kind of shelved that thought, but Sleek kept coming up in beauty blogs and Youtube videos, sleep and water posted about it, and Tezza at myteefine talked about how she was content with her Sleek Storm palette standing in for the Naked palette and after reading her posts, I decided I wanted to try some for myself. You can't get these at a brick-and-mortar shop in Australia, it's only available online: I've seen it on Crush Cosmetics, on the Sleek website, and eBay.  I hopped onto eBay and whizzed a search for Sleek palettes and a UK seller came up. Since it was the only listing, and the price was okay, I decided I would get the Storm palette. After some pondering I thought, hey, why not get the Original palette too, since it had some colours I was wanting and was looking at in the NYX Single eyeshadows. So I ordered both, and they've arrived!

The Sleek website says they've updated the packaging and that the shadows now come pressed flat, as opposed to the waffle print in the photos. But wait, what's this?

Waffle print? What is this?! If you noticed in the top photo, or if you look at the photo below, you'll see that the two palettes are from two different eras. Reign of the old packaging and shadow embossing on the left, and reign of the new packaging and shadow embossing on the right. I guess this seller's turnover of the Original is slower than the Storm turnover.
 I'm happy to report that the shadows held up through the postage from the UK, and that the seller packaged them quite well. Always room for improvement with the padding and bubble wrapping, but these held up okay.

This is the Original palette. It has a matte black, a purple, two blues (one very dark, one turquoise), a teal, two greens (one forest, one olive), a bronze, a copper, two pinks (one pink champagne, one shell pink) and a yellow that's sadly too shimmery to be a highlight. There's a good mix of satins and shimmers in this palette, and its size and thinness is both travel friendly and easy to store. Despite the palettes being rather small, the shadows are reasonable and it's affordable for repurchasing. I love this palette already. I particularly like the bronze in the bottom row, second from the right, the two greens on the right and the purple. I was looking at a similar purple by NYX, and I was happy enough with the swatches online to purchase this instead. Realistically, this purple is so bright that you would not be able to finish an entire NYX single eyeshadow pan, so this palette is much more reasonable.

Here's Storm. This clearly has more neutrals, but with a couple more mattes than the Original. The colours in this are much more wearable than the Original palette above, and this is bears some resemblance to the original Urban Decay Naked palette, with the two matte browns, the shimmery beiges and the two on the left kind of duping Half Baked and Smog. Like the Naked palette, it has two matte browns, and like the Original palette above, it has the same matte black. For those on a budget like me, this is a much more ideal substitute for the Naked palette because not everybody can afford to, or needs to, fork out $60+ for the Naked palette. Especially when Uni doesn't necessitate eyeshadow, as lovely as the Naked palettes look, I would rather pay $30+ for these two babies and be content with them for now.

I'm not swatching these, partly because there are so many good swatches already available up online, and partly because I was running out of daylight time and my camera battery was running out. A noteworthy post + swatches is by Lena at sleep and water, who did a great post about the Storm palette here. (Her swatches were very persuasive.)

I prefer the old packaging to the newer packaging, personally. I think the bigger font makes more of an impression, but the newer one certainly has class. I'm really happy I have both to see the difference. :) The waffle print makes touching the shadows less evident- you don't see the fingerprints like you do in the flat press shadows. It also makes the bright colours even more interesting to look at, while the neutrals in the Storm palette aren't enhanced by the flat press. 

Both palettes are travel-friendly, as evidenced by their enduring both the flight here, and my mum's rough handling. I treat this babies as though they're going to break with the slightest touch, but hey, they're not Wet 'N Wild Colour Icon palettes, so they'll hold up in a holiday makeup bag okay. They're pretty small and thin, but have substantial mirrors, and no doubt the matte black shade will be welcome when you don't want to carry an additional liner pencil.
I'm very very happy with these Sleek palettes, apart from the fact that they say on the back "produced in China". I know a very very large percentage of items are manufactured in China but if I'm putting this on my face, particularly near my eyes, I would better faith in Sleek cosmetics as a UK brand, or any other cosmetics company for that matter, if they were manufactured in a more trustworthy place with more reliable quality control and healthy and safety standards.

Thanks for reading, take care and God bless! xx