Friday, May 31, 2013

Fill My Life With The Colour Of...

Ignore the MAC background - I didn't think that one through.

With the addition of Mango to my collection of Korres Lip Butter pots, I thought a new post was fitting. These lip butters are 'a buttery lip balm that melts on the lips and offers a shiny, tinted finish. The combination of shea butter and rice wax offers deep hydration and softness. Ideal for chapped lips.' Possibly the best tinted lip balms ever, I have the shades Jasmine, Mango, Pomegranate and Wild Rose. I bought my first three in a Lip Saver pack from StrawberryNet for $12, which was a pretty unbelievable bargain considering they usually retail for $18 each. The fourth, Mango was purchased from ASOS for around $13 but I had a 20% student discount that was all the push I needed to buy a fourth one when I placed an order for Steamcream. Thank you UniDays!

A sheer pale nude, smells like sugar and is hydrating like a lip balm.

Sheer orange-coral with the smoothest, most buttery texture and a deliciously juicy scent.

Sheer natural pink, smells sweet and fruity. This can double as cream blush when times call for desperate measures.

Wild Rose
Sheer blue-based plummy red with a very strong rose scent.

Korres also created the Mandarin Lip Butter sticks which are in a chapstick form but reviews I've come across say those are inferior to the pot versions. The few shades that I don't have are Guava (colourless), Quince (magenta) and Plum (vampy). I'm happy with my four and won't be buying any of the others as I simply won't wear them. I find these, unlike the Revlon lip butters, are hydrating enough to be used in a lip balm's stead with a similar result. I love how these are very high quality products with thoughtful, simplistic packaging (from the box down to the lid and lettering) and don't have a sickly artificial scent. If you could buy diffusers or candles with these scents, I most definitely would.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

May Favourites

This month I travelled to my amazing homeland of Singapore city, ordered quite a few things from the UK and the makeup has drifted away from bronzer and more towards a glowy base and subtle pink cheeks. It's open season for Uni students and the late nights and assignment stress have taken their toll so my skin is not in a good place. I've been trying out new combinations and have settled into a routine to help my skin repair itself. I didn't even see this month's favourites coming to fruition because it's been so hectic, but I'm glad I won't have to miss this month's because I've been using a lot more beauty products than I normally do, of course I feel the need to document these things! (#fwp)

Face of Australia Face Base
Laura Mercier Mineral Powder
The combination of the FOA primer and the LM mineral powder work well together, and the end result is a glowy, medium coverage base that lasts all day. The only downside is not being able to use cream blush with the mineral powder but it's only minor.

NARS Deep Throat
Renewed my love for this peachy pink- I've used it for the majority of the month. When applied with a light hand it gives a healthy peachy flush that makes you look more alive. Possibly my favourite blush, though the Laura Mercier Second Skin Cheek Colour is vying for top spot too.

Ecotools Blush Brush
I'd forgotten about this brush for a while but started using it again and I don't know why I stopped. It's excellent for bronzer and blush. I'm trying not to buy any more brushes because the ones I have don't get used enough as it is.

Caudalie Beauty Elixir
This is possibly the most hyped-up skincare item I've seen but the Eau de Beauté has proved itself to be worth every word of praise. I use it as a calming toner on bad skin days (crazy assignments mean late nights- lots of those lately) and it alleviates the redness and calms the breakouts. Can you tell I like it? I've had it for three weeks and sadly it's already half-empty. 

Antipodes Juliet Skin-Brightening Gel Cleanser
Sticking with skincare, a general monthly favourite is my latest skincare routine posted here. In particular, the Antipodes cleanser has been a winner. It has shown me how foam should be done. It cleanses well without leaving the skin feeling stripped. Great cleanser.

Klorane Gentle Dry Shampoo with Oat Milk
I've been trying really hard to stick to washing my hair every second night even though my Singaporean upbringing has had me shampooing every night for nineteen years, so to keep grease away between washes I spritz a few sprays of this into my roots to freshen up greasy hair and add some volume to the crown.

Versace Bright Crystal
I'm really enjoying this fruity floral. Officially, it's got top notes of yuzu, pomegranate and water (??), middle notes of peony, magnolia and lotus, and base notes of musk, amber and mahogany. Unofficially, and quite bizarrely, my nose picks up the fruitiness of lychee but I may be mistaken. I like the musky, woody base and the scent lasts on me for about a day and a half so I'm happy it works with my body chemistry.
The water notes are supposed to be an 'aqueous, dewy perfumery note that provides freshness and a humid, non dry feel. Opposite to powder'. Thank you, Fragrantica.

Such a junky show and the plot is perpetually twisted and entangled in about six different characters' problems but Emily VanCamp is beautiful and I love the wardrobe and makeup of the cast.

Doctor Who
So sad the season's over. Can't wait for the next one. The finale cliffhanger was so good and my fears about the Doctor's name being revealed were unjustified.

Would like to throw in the fact that Real Techniques brushes made it into Taylor Swift's '22' MV. Probably old news, but it's news to me. I must admit- seeing the RT Blush Brush make its cameo in the music video validates its place in my collection just a tiny bit more.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Mineral Foundation: Revisited

Mineral makeup is messy. It's expensive. It's wasteful because it flies all over the place and probably settles in your carpet. On the upside, it's easy to apply, it's lightweight, and the Laura Mercier powder is said to be 'composed completely of natural elements with 15 active amino acids to promote radiant skin, and diminish the look of fine lines and wrinkles'. 
One of the products I splurged on when I was in Singapore is the Laura Mercier Mineral Powder SPF15 in the shade Natural Beige. I already have the shade Real Sand, but being gullible and not having the sense to head down to the Laura Mercier counter (I didn't know we had one at the time), I ordered a shade too light for my skin tone. When browsing in Sephora I did a quick conversion of the SGD to AUD and since the Mineral Powder was the same price as StrawberryNet ($58 SGD), into the basket it went. 

l-r: Real Sand, Natural Beige 

Natural Beige is almost a perfect match, but as it's a fraction too dark I mix it with Real Sand. I haven't changed techniques since my first post, I'm still using the Real Techniques Buffing Brush to apply it and it's provides different levels of coverage depending on how it's applied- swept on it gives light coverage, buffed in it gives medium and packing it on certain areas gives full coverage- I have some scars from hormonal cheek acne and I packed the powder on that area and it concealed the scars completely. When used in tandem with concealer on problem areas it's (and I say this tentatively) flawless. Big claim for a small product.

Once applied, it has a luminosity suited to all seasons. In summer it looks radiant and healthy while during winter the glow is great for perking up dull skin. I don't have dull skin because I have naturally glowy (read: oily) skin so I've learnt to smooth a water-based primer over the t-zone before applying the powder. Laura Mercier makes a mineral primer geared towards use underneath its mineral powders and it's got a whole list of good things in it- the LM lady was throwing the words 'colloidal silver' around and she was getting very excited and quite pushy and wouldn't give me a sample so I left without buying anything from her. A primer or moisturiser is necessary for people with oily skin because the powder needs the barrier to sink into, because without a barrier,  the powder just moves around on the surface. People with dry skin will probably benefit from a well-moisturised base to prime the skin. I've never used any other brands of mineral makeup so I can't compare, but I won't be trying any others- when it comes to mineral foundation I've got a HG here.

For someone on casual wages this was an unnecessary splurge purchase. I definitely didn't need to get started on mineral powder. I'm not entirely sure what spurred me onto this mineral makeup madness but it was probably the rave reviews of Estée and Barbara. Laura Mercier does a pressed version of this powder but I don't find I need to blot at all with this powder when inclined to use a primer. For anyone who already uses powder foundation, wants a powder with good coverage, or is just feeling adventurous with some cash to burn, the Laura Mercier is definitely a good pick.

Not Quite Naked

When a dupe of the Urban Decay Naked Palette was first brought to my attention, I brushed it off, thinking I'd buy the real thing sooner or later and I didn't want to waste my money on a cheaper copy. However, after spending $80SGD on the Naked2 at Sephora for the sake of a select few shades that I wanted badly, I decided to settle for the original Naked's dupe as I currently don't wear eyeshadow often enough to warrant having both Urban Decay Naked palettes.

The Chi Chi Glamorous Nudes Eyeshadow Collection palette is slightly smaller in size than the Urban Decay palettes, and is much flimsier. The line-up of the shades is very very similar to the original Naked palette- the most persuasive post I found was Amanda's, as she took the time to swatch and compare each shade, brand for brand.

The quality of the shadows is poorer, with weaker pigmentation and a more powdery texture than the Urban Decay formula. The fiercely shimmery quality of the Urban Decay formula has not been copied but the softer, satin finish isn't bad either. 

l-r: Chi Chi's Virgin copy, UD Bootycall, Chi Chi's Sin copy

l-r: Chi Chi's Half Baked copy, UD Half Baked

l-r: UD YDK, Chi Chi's Toasted copy

These are the closest dupes I found- naturally because they're supposed to be complementary palettes, there won't be many dupes. 
Chi Chi's Virgin copy is very close to UD's Bootycall, though Bootycall is slightly warmer. Chi Chi's Sin copy is more pink.
The Half Baked copy is less saturated than the real Half Baked, but the colour is very close. Because of the insane pigmentation, the UD Half Baked looks more orange. 
UD YDK is one of the shadows that drew me to the Naked2 palette despite its being on the cooler end of the spectrum and its having shades like Pistol and Chopper which I didn't see myself using at all. Again, the Chi Chi shadow has a more satin finish than the shimmery YDK, but the colour is similar.
Chi Chi's done a wide range of these palettes- this was the only notable dupe but there are some lovely lighter shades in the Bases palette, and a good choice for beginners is the Classics. There are lots of brights and bolds in the coloured palettes but I'm very much a neutral girl.

I'm glad to have both the Chi Chi Nudes and Urban Decay Naked2, because for someone who rarely wears eyeshadow, the two are more than enough. Most beauty girls already own one or the other, but the Chi Chi is a great alternative for people on a budget, or if you just hate waiting for online shopping orders to arrive. I bought mine for just under $15 on sale, though its RRP is $19.95 and it's available at Myer and Target.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Souvenirs, Mostly

My brother called it 'The Mountain' and I'm mostly happy with the drawer system but it's kindof ugly and lip products need a new home | New Shanghai came to Brisbane! Don't need to wait til we next go to Sydney for awesome 小龙包 | David and Goliath mirror my best friend brought back for me from Hawaii - hilarious | Parents brought back keyrings with our Chinese surname on from Malacca | The best present for a Rubik's Cube fan, no? | Winter skincare

Bought the Chi Chi Naked palette dupe but forgot to photograph it before sticking my swatchy fingers in so that post will go up sometime.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

The Magnetic Palette

I haven't mentioned this magnetic tin since my previous experience with depotting and it's now filled, which is why it's making another appearance on the blog. I found it to be a good way of saving some space and sorting through which products I wanted to keep and which ones I didn't foresee using.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Skincare Overhaul

I've done the predictable drift from being interested in makeup to focusing on skincare. The catalyst for this was considerably clearer skin overall, but instead of the teenage acne I was used to dealing with, I've been getting localised hormonal cystic breakouts that cropped up every few weeks and left a scar that lasted for months. Nothing I used- La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo, Origins Super Spot Remover, Tea Tree Oil, Lush Grease Lightning- would help so I've resigned to letting the blemishes complete their cycle and I've been waiting it out and concealing as much as I can. I considered turning to OXY but I want to do more research on it because their products are befuddling. I was spending so much money on serums and masks but never thought to switch my cleanser. Everyone's going on about Michael Todd Organics skincare and I thought I'd make the switch too, instead with Antipodes in mind. 

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Makeup Edit | Winter

I'm really liking the idea of editorials as they can encapsulate the aspect of makeup that I like the best- just how good a product is. I'm hopeless at tutorial style posts and I'm not up for FOTDs so my favourite posts to do are editorial. Today I'll share with you my picks for winter. On truly cold days I don't bother because I'll wear a scarf and there's nothing worse than having makeup rub off onto your jacket or scarf, but on nicer days these are the products I'll turn to.

5 Minute Face

I'm trying to get into the habit of filling a makeup bag and using all those products up in an attempt to start finishing makeup items so here's what's been in my makeup bag for the past week. I've gotten into the habit of an everyday routine for work and Uni and it's nothing special but it literally takes about five minutes so I thought I'd blog about it.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Collective Haul

Before and after my Singapore trip I did a bit of shopping- and I thought I'd round up all the products I bought to do a collective haul.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Wishlist and New Blog Name Idea

1. Smashbox 15 Hour Cream Shadow in Quartz
I swatched this at Mecca today and I want it. Shimmery, smooth pink champagne-coloured creamy shadow. You, cream shadow lover, you; I know you want it too.

2. Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Concentrate
Kiehl's prices are lower than I thought. When I finish my bottle of Bio-Oil, Kiehl's I'll come for you.

3. Longchamp Le Pliage long handled tote in... I'm thinking Chocolate or Taupe or another classy boring neutral
I'd like to join the masses, please ma'am. Every second girl at my Liceo in Switzerland had one of these and I'm seeing them increasingly often here in Brisbane. When I graduate from my Colette bag (that I got not long ago, sadly), I'll move on up in the world... to this cliche.

4. Pandora Gingerbread Man charm
I received some new charms for my birthday from my brother and my parents and this lil cookie cutter and the fairytale book are next on my list. Adding to the bracelet I received from my parents for my sixteenth birthday is so joyous and meaningful.

Also, thinking of changing my blog name to Cherry Picking. A play on words that I thought of at church the other day, funnily enough. I recall somebody saying 'you need to make your blog more interesting' and a name that's marginally easier to remember would be a good change so I'll get around to doing that sometime soon.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Singapore Haul

My five days in Singapore were honestly some of the best of my life- reconnecting with family and eating great food always makes for a good time. We spent a couple of hours in the lounge of the Shangri-la hotel where I got to have my first Singapore Sling, ate the best homemade dumplings at my grandparents' house and took too many tourist photos walking around the Marina Bay area. But I know you want to see the makeup and skincare so I'll just get to it. I don't have thaaat much, but I'm pretty happy with the amount I bought because I didn't spend any of my own money- instead I was using the ang pow money that relatives generously gifted for my birthday, Chinese New Year and unjustified 'have fun in Singapore, you only have two days left to spend it!'. I miss Singapore so much!

Friday, May 10, 2013

Five Days in Singapore

The Esplanade- performing arts hall with numerous hotels in the background
l-r: Helix Bridge, Marina Bay Sands hotel, ArtScience centre

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Most Used | Blush

My stash has seen more blush than anything else- I border on 'addict' status. I've thrown out or given away the ones that I don't use, because apparently that's how I like to waste my money, so these lucky few have made the cut. I don't know why I like blusher, because I have a tendency to flush easily so in all honesty I don't really need blush unless I've got a full face of makeup on and you all know I don't do that often. But clearly I love the stuff, because I've only got two bronzers and three foundations compared to this pretty little collezione.