Thursday, January 31, 2013

Rosy Clarins Instant Light Natural Lip Perfector

I thought long and hard about whether or not to get this gloss, but when I was at the Clarins counter it was very much a 'fine, I'll just get it since I'm here' decision. A few beauty Youtubers and bloggers say that if you don't like lip gloss, get this one. The Clarins Instant Light Natural Lip Perfector is well-loved and I've read so many rave reviews. The soft, gel formula nourishes, repairs and protects to make the lips visibly more beautiful, or so the box says. I bought the shade 01 Rose Shimmer, and there are also Apricot and Nude variations. The Clarins lady said that 02 Apricot Shimmer would help to neutralise the pigmentation of my lips but when I was contemplating whether to get the pink one or the peach one (or neither), she added that Rose Shimmer looked more natural and that, since I was interested in that one first, I should get that one. A tad pushy, but of course, I wound up buying it. 

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

January Favourites

Today's post features my most used products of January! I'm going to keep busy this year with Uni workload and other commitments and may not have the time to do a favourites post each month. However, since it's still the holidays I've got time in abundance, so here are my January Favourites. Brisbane's been chaotic these past few days with the torrential rain and now the flood warnings, but thankfully my area's held up pretty well and we haven't been directly affected.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Healthy With Bourjois

Since my first foray into the Bourjois Healthy Mix formula, I've since purchased two more products from the Healthy Mix line. Funnily enough, I haven't tried the original Healthy Mix foundation, but this is my little overview of the Bourjois bases that I have.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Favourite Mascaras

Mascara is a product I can clearly remember pining for when I was about 16, as I have puny, stick-straight, short Asian lashes. I've since gone through a few tubes of the stuff, and I think I may have found my current favourites in CoverGirl's Lash Blast Volume Waterproof and Maybelline's Full 'N Soft Waterproof. I infinitely prefer waterproof mascara formulas as they hold a curl so much better, and they don't smudge as easily. I tend to shed a tear or two when I yawn, and having panda eyes would just make a boring lecture worse, so I prefer waterproof mascaras.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Not So Scandalous

I finally understand what it's like to have a love-hate relationship with a product. The Rimmel ScandalEyes Waterproof Kohl Kajal eyeliner pencils were so highly anticipated, and when I eventually located the two shades I wanted, Taupe and Nude, I was torn. On one hand, they're so silky and pigmented, they're lovely to swatch. On the other hand, they're too soft, the liner's tip has a tendency to break off and sometimes upon application, smudge along the lower lashes. Not the lashline, no. The lashes. 

Friday, January 18, 2013

Shiseido Dual Balancing Foundation

When a friend gave me a bottle of Shiseido's Dual Balancing Foundation, I thought she was crazy for being so generous. I'd never tried a Shiseido foundation, and I haven't heard much about this one, but as always, it was so exciting to try out.

L-R: Neutrogena Healthy Skin liquid makeup in 60 Natural Beige, Shiseido I20 Natural Light Ivory, Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum in 53, Skin79 Super+ hot pink Triple Functions BB Cream

Monday, January 14, 2013

Bourjois Liquid Liners: Intuitive Liner and Liner Feutre

I thought this package had been lost forever, as my ASOS parcels usually arrive after 4 days and since this one took a week and a half I'd given up on its arriving at all, but I wasn't too devastated as I'm not really big on eyeliner. While some girls love their crazy-thick cat-eye flicks, I'm someone who usually gets by with a passable line of kohl pencil. When I did decide that I wanted a liquid eyeliner pen, the first one I thought of was Bourjois' Liner Feutre. It received some good reviews, so I thought it wouldn't hurt to give it a go. I bought mine from ASOS, where the Bourjois Intuitive Liner is available (it hasn't been released in Australia yet), and paid less for both than the price of a single Liner Feutre instore

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Hit and Miss

On a recent trip to Priceline, I picked up the Rimmel Professional Eyebrow Pencil and the Face of Australia Lip Quench Moisturising Lipstick in Lychee Crush.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Family Day At The Coast

We're having family bonding time and on Friday, it was decided that we'd go to the Gold Coast for the day. 

We went to Mecca Bah for lunch, which was a little underwhelming. The falafel was almost burnt and the lamb tagine wasn't anything special. The portions were remarkably small. The kofte pizza was decent, and I think the dough was made in-house so that was nice. The stand out of the whole meal was the ice cream. We had Date and Vanilla, Turkish Coffee, and Middle Eastern Halva. I love the Macedonian halva made with tahini, but there's another Middle Eastern halva that's made with carrots and raisins, so when we found out the halva ice cream was the tahini-and-pistachio variation I was so happy. All three flavours were delicious, but the coffee and date ones especially so. :)

After lunch we headed to Broadbeach, and had a nice few hours there. It was a beautiful day and the water so gorgeous. There were lots of surfers and kite-surfers so that was fun to watch. On the way back up we had dinner at Sunnybank Oriental hehe. All in all, a great day. :) 

Monday, January 7, 2013

H&M, My Holiday Fling

There are many stores that I have come to love that are exclusively available overseas, but H&M was my first. I can only shop at H&M when I travel abroad be it in Switzerland, Singapore or China. I remember when I first found H&M in the city of Lugano during my stay in Switzerland, and we would go into H&M almost everyday for the entire two months. After we were let loose in a shopping district in Harbin, we wandered around for a while and inadvertently found H&M! It was Christmas Day, and their sale hadn't been on for long so there were lots of nice pieces to be found. :)

I bought a mint green knit, a cable knit beanie and a matching snood in a neutral sand colour, and two bracelets.
The snood was something I was extremely excited about because I hadn't seen them being sold anywhere in Australia, and the beanie was a bargain at around $5 AUD.
I couldn't leave H&M without some iconic statement jewellery and settled for two bracelets in pastel peach and mint green with some edgy studs and beads. They cost around $3 AUD each and I thought they'd make good presents, or if they really grew on me, I could just keep them for myself. :)
I'm keeping them. I like them too much lol.

There were some gorgeous dresses but we didn't have much time and I try to avoid changing rooms as much as possible. My sister bought a black blazer for something like $25 AUD, and it really suits her, but I passed on that blazer because I just bought the black Simba Blazer from Cotton On during their $30 sale. 

H&M is definitely on my list of places to go to when I return to Singapore in May this year, as are Forever 21 and Topshop. Ours is a relationship that  only gets rekindled once a year or so, but it's definitely worth the wait. :) 

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Best of 2012

My best beauty-product-related discoveries of the year, crammed into one post! I still haven't gotten into Urban Decay or Inglot eyeshadows, or NARS, but I did break into makeup as a whole this year, so that's quite an accomplishment (not really). But considering the hundreds of dollars I've spent on the stuff so far, I think it's fair to save UD, Inglot, NARS, Clarins and the million other gushed-about brands for next year (I mean this year, but I wrote this in 2012 so bear with me here). :p Baby steps. I only really got into makeup in May, so it's been a turbulent 8 months. A hurdle that I finally overcame was my teen acne stage- my skin has greatly improved since the inception of my makeup and skincare habit. :) My blog is still a baby, it's only a few months old, but I'm so grateful to you lovely people that take the time to read my prattles about makeup and skincare and random topics, and Blogger friends and connections have made the past 6 months' experience so much more enjoyable. Thank you!

Cleanser: Dove Cleanser and Toner in One
Serum: Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Synchronised Recovery Complex
Moisturiser: Dove Essential Nutrients Protective Day Cream SPF 15, Nivea Soft
Facial Oil: Bio-Oil
Mask: Queen Helene Mint Julep Masque
Makeup Remover: Dove Foaming Makeup Remover, Face of Australia Gentle Make Up Remover
Supplements: Fish Oil capsules, Blackmores Bio C vitamin C tablets

Primer: Face of Australia Face Base
BB Cream: Skin79 VIP Gold Super+ Triple Functions, Skin79 Super+ Triple Functions (hot pink)
Powder: Face of Australia Translucent Loose Powder, Maybelline Dream Matte

Eyeliner: Essence Gel Eyeliner, CoverGirl Liquiline Blast Pencil
Mascara: Maybelline Full n Soft waterproof, CoverGirl Lash Exact waterproof
Brows: Bobbi Brown Mahogany eyeshadow, Ardell Brow Sculpting Gel

Lip Balm: Maybelline Baby Lips, Korres Lip Butters, Nivea Repair and Protection SPF20
Lipstick: Revlon Colorburst Lip ButtersMAC Viva Glam V
Lip Gloss: Napoleon Perdis

Brushes: Ecotools (Blush brush, Bamboo 5 Piece Set, Bronzer Brush), Real Techniques by Samantha Chapman (Buffing Brush, Contour Brush, Stippling Brush)
Eyelash Curler: Shiseido

Nails: Ulta3 Scarlet, Revlon Cotton Candy, OPI Pink a Doodle, Essence Walk of Fame
Topcoat: Sally Hansen Insta-Dri

I chop and change shampoos and conditioners all the time, and thus haven't got many stand-outs. 
Shampoo: Pantene Pro-V Aqua Light
Dry Shampoo: Klorane,  Batiste Tropical
Treatment: N.P.P.E RD Protein Cream

That's it for 2012! It's so satisfying to round off the year with a Best Of. I'm keeping busy this year, but I'm still going blogging- I'm going to be posting a little about personal life in addition to makeup and skincare in 2013! I want my blog to be balanced, instead of claiming to be a personal blog that's mainly focused on makeup and skincare. But like I said in the previous post, I'm veering away from makeup and more towards skincare. I guess it's only natural- to mend the damage that any traces of makeup may have done to the skin. :S Anyhow, hope you've had a great start to 2013! Til next time :) xx

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Starting 2013

I love kicking off the year with a new diary- I bought this one from Typo for $10 and it's perfect for me. It's a pretty green shade, and it's compact but not too hard to write in and the day to a page layout is good because I like writing in what I did at the end of the day for keepsake's sake. 

My first purchase from Mecca Cosmetica! I finally caved and bought NARS Deep Throat. The MUA tried it on me with the Yachiyo brush (which is so cool!) and I wasn't very impressed because he packed it on dreadfully (calling it the 'natural' look) so I stepped out of Mecca in Queens Plaza, pretty purchase in hand, wiping off the clown cheeks. It's very pink in the pan but pulls much peachier on the skin. I didn't really question my judgement until I was on the train home and I thought I was mad for paying that much for a single blush. It's still beautiful, and extremely pigmented, and blends easily, but I don't find myself thinking 'I've got to get my hands on more right now' so that's slightly better for my wallet. :)

I also bought a couple of Revlon Colorburst Lipsticks from the Cosmetics Fragrances Direct in the city for $7 each in 096 Petal, a sheer medium dusty pink with shimmer and 075 Peach, a more opaque red-based coral. I've been wanting Peach for the longest time but it's been discontinued and it wasn't even available in Australia, so to find that lipstick randomly like that was a little surreal. I've tried them out and they exceeded my expectations. Both shades are really wearable and the formula is really nice.

Although the purchases won't exactly emit this feeling, but I can feel my interest in makeup waning, especially after my Harbin trip. My skin had never been better and all I did was use Advanced Night Repair and Nivea Soft and Dove Essential Nutrients Protective Day Cream. I'm still into skincare though! Alpha-H Liquid Gold will be mine soon enough. :)

We had some family bonding time and went to see Life of Pi (in 3D hehe). The cinematography is beautiful and the storyline is intriguing. After the movie we went to San Churro for desserts and I tried their Spanish hot chocolate with white chocolate ice cream and it was nice- it was very similar to the Italian Thick Hot Chocolate that you can find in cafes in Italy. And we went to the Greek grocery store in West End and I got my hands on Macedonian Halva cake. :D

Hope you're all having great starts to the new year, and aren't blowing the Christmas bonus as quickly as I am! :) If there are any other NARS things I absolutely have to try, let me know! ;)

December Favourites

It was such a whirlwind of a month to close the year with. I didn't wear makeup for the second half of December, but I did draft up a few makeup favourites before I left for China because some products were definite stand-outs. :)

Rimmel Mono Blush in 001 Santa Rose
I bought this after reading Temptalia mention it was similar to MAC Blushbaby. The Santa Rose sold in Australia is one of those blushes that only proves itself when applied on the cheek. In the pan, it's a sort of boring peachy beige, and it appears more pink when swatched, but on the cheek it's different. It's a no-makeup blush for me, because when I'm just going for a really simple look, I don't want to have pink or apricot cheeks. I wanted something more natural and Santa Rose is a very pretty buildable nude-pink that warms the face without looking orange-peach, or too pink. Admittedly it's no substitute for Blushbaby, but for the price, it's a beautiful little product and I have a feeling it's going to be a long-time favourite. :)

Laura Mercier Second Skin Cheek Colour in Lush Nectarine
I posted about this earlier in December, and although it's a gorgeous peachy coral, I'm over corals and am more into peaches at the moment. Nevertheless, this is still a gorgeous blush, and with the Ecotools Mineral Powder brush, it can impart a really glowy, healthy flush. It's definitely one for summer though- I can't see it fitting winter complexions as nicely. The packaging is so luxe and the softness of the powder makes it so easy to apply.

Maybelline Color Tattoo in Bad to the Bronze
This is a product that I will always love using. I usually blend it out all over the lid on its own, but recently I've been using it as a base for eyeshadow after seeing MissGlamorazzi wear it under Stila Kitten in a few of her videos, and the effect is quite nice.

Smashbox Eyeshadow in Pronto
I bought this in a blog sale for a steal and it's the first product I've ever tried from Smashbox. On its own, the pinkish champagne is a bit pale but I've been using it over Bad to the Bronze and I like it.

L'Oreal Color Infallible eyeshadow in 033 Tender Caramel
I posted about this a while ago, and my appreciation for it has only doubled since. This is such a pretty taupe and I've been running some of it on my lower lashline, just on the outer half, when I'm wearing Bad to the Bronze and Pronto. I've been staying away from eyeliner this month, but this adds subtle colour and definition.

CoverGirl Lash Exact waterproof mascara
This is on its last legs, and this past month was its final hurrah. I've enjoyed using this as it's adds a bit of length and a bit of volume and it has good separation. It holds a curl for ages too- 10 hours after application and it was still there. I'm going back to Maybelline Full N Soft waterproof to see if it's just as good as I remember, but I'll be sad if Full N Soft can't beat this because Lash Exact isn't available in Australia.

Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Synchronised Recovery Complex
This was a skin saviour throughout my stay in China. Between -20 degrees to 20 degrees and constantly walking between the below-freezing outdoors and overly-heated indoors, and an odd patchy redness on my cheek one night, ANR got my skin through it and it would be visibly better the next day. My skin's improved so much since using this every night and though it's definitely pricey, I think my skin needs the stuff. :(

Nivea Soft
Dove Essential Nutrients Protective Day Cream SPF15
I used both these moisturisers daily over the past two weeks. Nivea Soft was amazing, especially when I got a violent cold and got that annoying dry skin around the nose from using tissues so often.

Nivea Repair and Protection SPF20 Lip Balm (forgot to photograph it, but it's the mint green one)
This trumps Maybelline Baby Lips- it's so effective and the texture just won me over. It's such a good lip balm. Fun fact, my Carmex actually froze in Harbin, so I couldn't use it at all. It was a funny moment when I found it in that state.

Keep an eye out for a Best of 2012 post! I've seen people doing the 'Top 12 of 2012' but I've got too many favourites to cut them down to a mere 12! :S

Friday, January 4, 2013

Sofea Eyeshadows

When I was in China, we had to take dance classes, and we were told to do some makeup for the performance. Unfortunately, I hadn't brought any eye makeup stuff so we went to the shops to get some. There was a good range of brands at the mart, like Maybelline, Garnier, The Face Shop and a few Chinese brands. Although my friend chose everything from Maybelline, I only really wanted to get a Color Tattoo cream shadow in Bad to the Bronze and they hadn't been released in China yet! The prices are standardised so it would have cost the same as buying it from Priceline back home. I didn't like the look of any of Maybelline's other eyeshadow offerings so I wandered off to check out the other brands. I ended up choosing a quint from Sofea, and threw in a baked single eyeshadow after swatching it while waiting for the salesgirl to take the order. 

I bought the 'Glaring 5C Eye Shadow' in 01 and the 'Colorful Single Eye Shadow' in 07. The eyeshadow quint contains a white highlight, a warm chestnut brown, a shimmery gold-bronze which was the clear stand-out and the reason I chose this quint, a cool taupe-brown and a gunmetal grey. All five shades are shimmery and have incredible pigmentation. Unfortunately they're so soft that they almost rival the Wet n Wild Color Icon shadows in fragility. The white shade broke a little after I swiped at it with the sponge applicator. This was a real bargain- around 29 yuan, which converts to a little under $5 AUD. For the quality of the shadows and the pigmentation, I'm not looking back. :)

L-R: Sofea 07, WnW Comfort Zone Left Eyelid Shade

The single baked eyeshadow is a gorgeous peachy champagne shade and it's such a pretty swirled dome in the pan. It's also amazingly pigmented and the packaging is reassuringly sturdy. It may be a bit too shimmery to wear on its own though. This one was about 15 yuan, which converts to about $2.50 AUD. I thought the shade resembled MAC All That Glitters, which I don't have, or the Eyelid shade from the Wet n Wild Comfort Zone palette, but the WnW Eyelid shadow is darker and leans more pink than the apricot Sofea shadow. 

Fun fact, I didn't end up using these in China at all, because I was sick and didn't take part in the dance performance. The lack of any of my eye brushes put me off trying them out until I got home, but I'm glad I bought them. :) Hope you're all having great starts to the new year, and remember to wear sunscreen! (I'm learning that the hard way after a beach trip today.) :p xx