Monday, December 30, 2013

Best of 2013

2013 has been an absolute cracker of a year. My second year of studying for a Bachelor of Regional and Town Planning, a year of personal growth and change and one of exciting shifts in perspective and development. This year also bore witness to my makeup and skincare obsession plateauing to a point where I reasoned with myself to only buy things I truly need. I came back from a trip to northern China, had a quick getaway to Singapore in May, and am ending it on a high note with a trip to one of my ancestral provinces in China. I believe this will be the last of the China camp trips, which have been memorable and enjoyable but my sister and I have had enough and will opt to travel elsewhere next year. 
Personal recounts aside, I've also enjoyed trying and buying new makeup, skincare and hair care products, and this post will sum up the cream of the crop. Some tried-and-true favourites will have been carried over from last year and most of them will be veterans featured on the blog many a time and some are blatantly obvious if you're a long-time reader so I'll keep it concise.

Skin79 Super+ Triple Functions BB Cream SPF25 PA++
Laura Mercier Mineral Powder in Real Sand and Natural Beige
Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum Foundation in 52 Vanilla and 53 Light Beige
Bourjois Healthy Mix Correcting Concealer in 53 Dark Radiance

NARS Deep Throat Blush
Illamasqua Zygomatic Cream Blush
NYC Sunny bronzer
MAC Mineralize Skinfinish in Soft and Gentle

Kiss Me Heroine Make Volume and Curl mascara
Lioele Artist Auto Eyebrow Pencil in Grey-Black
Rimmel ScandalEyes Waterproof Kohl Kajal in Black
Maybelline Color Tattoos in Bad to the Bronze and Barely Branded
Sofea Colorful Single Eye Shadow in 07
Urban Decay Naked2 Tease, YDK

NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream in Antwerp
Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain in Charm and Sweetheart
MAC Sheen Supreme Lipstick in Bare Again

Ecotools Petite Shader Brush, Angled Blending Brush and Blush Brush
Real Techniques by Samantha Chapman Multi-Task Brush, Blush Brush and Buffing Brush

Antipodes Juliet Skin-Brightening Gel Cleanser
Indeed Labs Hydraluron
Rosehip Oil
La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo
Biore UV Perfect Face Milk SPF 50 PA+++

Revlon Whimsical
L'Oreal Riviera Lavender
Essie Absolutely Shore
Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Anti-Chip Top Coat

L'Oreal Elvive Smooth Intense Anti-Frizz Serum
L'Oreal Hair Expertise EverStrong Reconstruct Shampoo and Conditioner

That compiles my favourite products of 2013! Hope 2014 is better yet, in both the personal and product-related aspects. Have a happy New Year!

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Ready, Jetset

1L clear plastic bag with in-flight-friendly products 

Two weeks in China again and this time we're going to Quanzhou and Xiamen! As always, packing more skincare than makeup. Bought a new cleanser targeted at blemish-prone, congested skin which I'll try out in an attempt to remedy the ice-cream-induced breakouts. I'm trying out one of Original Source's shower gels for the first time, and I'm bringing a small stash of makeup so that if the occasion calls for it, I won't be unprepared. Sorry for being MIA recently, I'll be back with photos and a monthly favourites post. 

Friday, December 6, 2013

Blushing and Charmed

Priceline's house brand Models Prefer has never appealed to me but their latest catalogue sale places a hefty discount on the range so I decided to give it a chance. I opted for the Models Prefer Mystique Multi-Tone Bronzer in Charmed; a boxed powder which bears a striking resemblance to Benefit Hervana

Saturday, November 30, 2013

November Favourites

My November was tumultuous, blessed and almost devoid of makeup. It allowed me some time and space to gain perspective, entrench myself in real life and appreciate other things. Since my last monthly favourites post I've endured exams, picked up reading again and begun my journey to a healthier lifestyle. So much has happened in the past few weeks that it feels like the year's longest month yet. 

Friday, November 22, 2013

Pyramids of Terracotta

I regretted not getting this a couple of weeks ago but thankfully amid the ravaged NYX stand, I could find a NYX Powder Blush in Terra Cotta. It's described as a 'rose gold' shade, and an alleged dupe of MAC's limited edition Mineralize Skinfinish in So Ceylon and comparable to NARS Luster though I think Luster may be a touch less apricot with a more refined shimmer.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Rosapene By Day, By Night

I've never ventured into Trilogy territory, and I've always dismissed it as a brand in the vein of Sukin, but its comparatively pricier offerings never enticed me. It wasn't until I ran out of rose hip oil a couple of months ago that I decided to try their version. When I saw the Limited Edition Rosapene Day & Night Collection which costs $35.95, but is supposedly valued at $69.95. First impressions: I like the packaging. A lot.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Most Worn Things | Spring

I'm bringing all the old tag blog posts back- I wanted to recount a few of my favourite things from the past few months and this tag is the perfect way to do it. With spring fading away and summer heating things up, there's no better way to sum up the star products and pieces of spring months (and the previous two seasons) because they really are the better part of the year.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Gold, Silver, Bronze

Switzerland got it right with the neutral standing- you can't go wrong with golden bronze flecked with metallic frost. 

The MaxFactor Wild Shadow Pencil 2-in-1 Gel Shadow + Liner in 05 Caramel Rage is something I purchased with my upcoming trip to China in mind. I like the idea of cream eyeshadow sticks and though I've tried and liked the Revlon Colorstay Smoky Shadow Sticks I wanted something in a shade I am likelier to wear. Though truthfully I bought it for no reason other than the fact that it was on sale. I don't think it suits me all that much; it's probably best paired with a warmer shade, the way Lena did.

The L'Oreal Colour Infallible shadow in 021 Sahara Treasure is a product that I've persistently refused to buy for almost a year now, but when I saw it in Target for $4 I was sold. I have one Colour Infallible shadow in Tender Caramel and I rate the formula very highly- it's fiercely metallic, pigmented, smooth and just a little bit spongy to touch. Unfortunately I don't think this shade wholly agrees with my skin tone either. These two products are an underwhelming pair.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Almost Halfway

I can't believe the 2013 University year is over! I'm almost halfway through my Bachelor of Regional and Town Planning and time is flying by. I sometimes reconsider my choice and whether I made the right decision. Law/journalism and hospitality were on the cards but I'm finding this field of human geography, urban planning and development extremely interesting and incredibly applicable. Whether this interest can be sustained remains to be seen.

Gluten-free brownie with sizzling chocolate ganache sauce, macadamia praline and vanilla ice cream at work. 

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

The Makeup Audit

The 'How Much Does My Face Cost?' tag did the rounds this time last year, and I thought that it was a simple, easy yet purposeful type of post. List the products used for a face of makeup and do the maths- how much did it cost you?

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Spring Culling

The satisfying feel of finishing products is matched only by the 'eureka!' moment when you find something that works spectacularly for you. This post recounts products which I've finished up and includes things that I'm finally throwing out because they're veritable elders in my collection and it's time to retire them. I've loved some and neglected some- amassing the empty packaging for this post was the effort of a few months. 

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Skincare Routine: PM

I'm pretty happy with where my skin's currently at, and I posted about my morning skincare routine a couple of months ago. I'm still using most of the same products, and thought I'd better finish what I started and get the evening skincare routine blog post up as well. I have combination skin- dry cheeks prone to uneven tone and oily t-zone- that is acne-prone and pigmentation-prone.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Glazed Over

There's been a lot of buzz about NYX rolling into Target stores around Australia so when I found myself in the city after an exam I paid the stand a visit. The NYX Australia Facebook page has enough information about which branches and this blog post helpfully includes photographs of the stand, which products are available and how much they cost. I've only tried their Soft Matte Lip Cream in Antwerp so this kerfuffle is exciting indeed.

After swatching every blush at the stand and being tempted by Terra Cotta and its gorgeous rose-gold goodness, I decided that I didn't need any more blushers, lipsticks or eye pencils but couldn't walk away empty-handed so I chose a Butter Gloss in Tiramisu.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Month of October

A personal one today! Photo and caption update. My last exam is on the 14th and I'll be halfway through my degree! I feel like it's passed so quickly. Happy SWOTVAC, fellow students! Good luck with those pesky exams.

tea bar's large is actually large | pork and sugar cane prawn noodle salad from the best Viet restaurant in Inala | 'lemon and lime' dessert at work- the kaffir lime marshmallow is so good

Thursday, October 24, 2013

October Favourites

How is it almost the end of October? Where has the whole year gone?! I feel like I've been left behind in August- mainly because that's when I felt like I was up to date with my studies- and the rest of time is just racing ahead. October was just okay for me, not great. It hasn't been the best month- my clean eating resolve has jumped out the window, I've had way too many bowls of tom yum instant noodles and Tim Tams, been stressing out over Uni assessment and the green tea is not having any Zen effect. I did enjoy going ice-skating and a short lull where I slacked off a bit before plugging into study mode for final exams (watched plenty of the Black List, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Doctor Who *happy dance*). So this month's favourites post is going up a week early because I plan on being a veg-munching study zombie for the next 4 weeks.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Bioderma Hype

Bioderma, the darling of the French pharmacie. It's finally made its way in the world and has landed on Australian soil. The shop where I found Bioderma products was out of the Crealine H2O (now renamed Sensibio H2O) but they had one bottle of the Bioderma Sebium H2O left so I decided to try it. 

Friday, October 18, 2013

Spray on the Rocks

With summer coming up and anticipation of beach days out, sea salt sprays seemed like a trend I might be interested in. In fairness to my hair, I'm happy with the way it normally is; its tendency to dry in natural waves is great, but I wanted to see what the hype was about. As it turned out, sea salt spray was not the way to go.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Napoleon Perdis x InStyle GWP

Remember last year when the magazines went a little wild throwing Becca Eye Tints and Napoleon glosses up for grabs? Well they're at it again! The November issue of InStyle Australia has a Napoleon Perdis three piece gift with purchase valued at $82 happening- I heard about it yesterday, and I bought it first thing today. InStyle isn't usually my choice of magazine- when I'm in the mood for light superficial reading material I gravitate towards ELLE and Glamour UK, but this issue isn't bad. I thought the beauty section might have included an advertorial about the products but they've posted it online instead. 

Saturday, October 12, 2013

The Edit | Summer

"You say goodbye, and I say hello." So spring's all but gone, and stinking hot days and scorching sunshine means summer's here. I'm learning a few ways to deal with the 36-38 degree days. An item which is notably missing from this year's summer products is blotting paper- to be honest I haven't needed it since I started using the sole skincare item included in this post.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Mid-Sem Unwind

Happy Labour Day?! I'm going to post a personal today- some food, some friends, some getaway. I had a good mid-sem break; I made apple pancakes, worked some, read some. 


The first cookbook I bought for myself. Pulled it out this holidays and reminded myself to cook out of it. For birthday cake with choc chip icing and pandan chiffon cakes? Heck yeah.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Odd and Even

I consider trios and quads the cutest, most handy of eyeshadows- 'I'll get plenty of use out of them'- 'the colours complement each other', 'it's so compact and travel-friendly'. And yet I could do without all of these small palettes- but they've managed to evade capture each time I have a culling session; for either sentimental or hoarding reasons.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

September Favourites

September Favourites time! I don't want October to come- the jacarandas are blooming, which is a sure sign that exam season is bearing down upon us all. Gone are the leisurely brunches and lazy days. On the upside, I'm planning a trip to China again in December! This time we're going to China camp in Quanzhou, to a Shaolin martial arts school, which is a far cry from my Harbin experience last year but definitely a good experience to look forward to. 

SLS-free Hair Care

Switching from sodium laureth/lauryl sulphate shampoos is the best thing I've done for my hair. I've been using the Organic Care Normal Balance Shampoo and Conditioner line since the start of the year but when I looked into trying something new, all the brands I'd heard good things about- Schwarzkopf, Organix, John Freida, Clear Scalp, Pantene and Dove had sls's. So I repurchased Organic Care but L'Oreal's Hair Expertise line recently popped up and has started gaining momentum and I bought the EverStrong Reconstruct line to try.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Skincare Routine: AM

Cleanse, hydrate, treat, protect. 

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Scrubby Business

Spotted in Coles: a brand dupe for Soap and Glory. Dirty Works is also made in the UK, and has very similar packaging and brand design. The Australian product release is limited to scrubs and body butters in two ranges- this blue line which smells exactly like the Soap and Glory Hand Food signature scent; and a purple coconut line- which I personally didn't take to- but it was completely sold out a few days later so its popularity is tried and true. Best of all, nothing from the collection is priced over $10.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Loves Me, Loves Me Not

Unlike makeup and skincare, my interest in perfume is only just taking flight. On those fronts my interest has well and truly peaked and the amount I own is plateauing but somehow over the past 18 months I've managed to keep my perfume collection to a neat three. Target's 50% perfume sale a few weeks ago caused me to add a new member to the family, Marc Jacobs Daisy EDT. If you follow me on Instagram you'll have seen me harp on about this and I thought a post was due. 

Friday, September 13, 2013

Shade and Illuminate

Contouring isn't something I do regularly because I rarely wear a full face of makeup and contouring would look out of place on a minimal makeup face. However, despite owning more bronzer than I care to use, I had a contour void in my collection and naturally the solution lay with Sleek.

Friday, August 30, 2013

August Favourites

I had a good August- Uni kicked off to a fast pace and I cannot believe how quickly this year is flying by. This month's favourites is lacking in the makeup because I shared my everyday makeup routine and I'd prefer not to repeat the products in this post.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Everyday Makeup Routine

I mostly stick to the same old products but I love reading everyday makeup routine blog posts because I'm nosy and like seeing what other girls use. I'm normally super lazy because there's no pressure to dress to impress at my University (even in winter the guys rock up in boardies and Havaianas carrying a single exercise book) but lately I felt like putting in some effort so I'm putting on some of the slap that I've spent the better part of 18 months hoarding. I haven't posted about my everyday makeup per se, but I'm using a couple of new products so I thought I'd share.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Wispy Pink

The sheer lipstick has become a handbag staple and Maybelline's solution to the Revlon Lip Butter, CHANEL Rouge Coco Shine and L'Oreal Rouge Caresse is the Maybelline Color Whisper lipstick. I've resisted Maybelline's lipsticks until now, but in Priceline's 50% Maybelline sale I allowed myself one, and I settled on Lust for Blush

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Juliet and Apostle

My experience with Antipodes has been good. Bearing in mind that not all natural skincare is good skincare, I like the New Zealand brand's organic approach to skincare science and their very green aesthetic. Each product draws on various plant and fruit extracts for their beneficial properties. The brand ethos is reminiscent of Aesop, but more whimsical and with more emphasis on organic ingredients. I've used a hefty amount of both of these products and it's high time I posted about how good they are.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Tedium and Shopping

It felt strange to take a little break from blogging- so I thought I'd share a personal, even if I'm not feeling in the swing of things to blog about makeup. I'm unsure of whether I should pick a side- personal blogging is fun but somewhat unprofessional on a beauty blog. What do you guys think? This is more of a photo and caption update than a legitimate post, just comprised of snapshots of what's been going on. In between the first three weeks' worth of lectures, tutorials and pracs, I've been reading, spending my meager earnings and herding teenagers around Rocks Riverside Park.

Baby bottle of Moroccanoil, Essence cheap-n-cheerfuls 'Cappucino Please!' and 'That's What I Mint!'

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Cocktail Coral

I'll bet Clinique didn't anticipate the veritable wave of jumbo lip crayons that would ensue their famous Chubby Stick. The latest brand to hop onto the bandwagon is Bourjois, whose Colour Boost lipsticks have just hit Aussie shelves.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

July Favourites

For me, July was about mostly sticking to the same products, cooking and sleeping late. In addition to the increase in my caffeine intake from practising making coffee at work, the latter has made me break out badly so I'm making an effort to go to bed earlier and layer on the Effaclar Duo. I've been sticking to the same makeup bases: the Bourjois concealer, the Laura Mercier Mineral Powder and the Skin79 BB Cream. I'm not experimenting with anything new there because makeup takes a backseat when skincare is a bigger priority.