Thursday, June 12

Not Dead. AND Beauty Product Updates

So yes, just a quick note to let everyone know I'm not dead. (Wouldn't it be extremely coincidental if I drop dead right now? Yes, COINCIDENTAL, not ironic. Rick Castle taught me well.)

I know you're all like, "What but it's been 6 months you could totally be dead where in the world did you go?" Not like anyone would say that really, since no one really reads this blog but hey.

I've gotten a new job in an industry that I love, but it requires sligtly longer hours and is further from my place so I get home much later now. Adding to that, my husband got himself a new job as well with way better work-life balance so I don't have the same amount of alone time I used to have.

Anyways, excuses aside, I'm not going to be doing a review per se, but more of speed one-liner updates on some of the beauty items I've acquired recently (hahaha ok, not that recent if it was 6 months' worth). I may do more in-depth reviews, but I shan't promise anything in case it's radio silence for another 6 months again. :D

So be ready because there are absolutely no pictures.

Here goes:

HOLY GRAIL
  • Majolica Majorca Line Hunter: Wow, this shit is amazeballs. Blows all pen liners out of the water.
  • Urban Decay Naked Palette 3: NAKED 3! Rose gold colours! Nuff' said.
  • Soap & Glory Beauty Sleep Accelerator: Helps to prevent dry flakes around my mouth and nose. Smells delicious.
  • Too Faced La Creme Lipstick in Honey Bear: So smooth, moisturising and such a gorgeous nude colour with slight shimmer. Has a slight shea/cocoa smell which may put some people off though.
  • Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush in Exposed: The colour doesn't look much in the pan (some muddy brown) but it's a beautiful dusky rose on the cheeks, and it lasts a really long time in this humid weather.
  • Benefit Zing Brows: YES to convenient flat packaging, good quality wax and natural-looking brow powder.
  • Rachel K Mineral Colour Control CC Cream in Neutral: This has completely overtaken my previous favourite Etude House CC Cream - it has a matte finish and covers light blemishes well.
  • POPBeauty Peak Performance Mascara: You gotta get used to it but it coats lashes so evenly and smoothly with the product, there are virtually no clumps!
  • Daiso Detergent for Puff and Sponge: This $2 beauty miracle cleans your makeup brushes so well, you might as well just throw away all those expensive specialised brush cleaners, like right now. I'm serious. I've stocked up about 5 more bottles because these babies run out so quickly at Daiso.

AWESOME (just mildly short of Holy Grail)
  • Too Faced La Creme Lipstick in Coral Fire: Really smooth, colour goes on opaque in just one coat, but it doesn't feel as moisturising as Honey Bear, to be honest.
  • Beautymaker BB Mineral Concealing Cream: This is a tiny tube of goodness, and I use it more as a concealer than a BB cream but its thickness covers dark circles effectively.
  • Sigma Highlighting Pencil: The shimmer end is perfect for the brow bone and the cupid's bow as well.

MEH
  • Korres Mandarin Lip Butter in Peach: Expected too much from this - it isn't half bad but for its price, it isn't all that great either. Colour is too subtle and it has an overwhelmingly sweet scent.
  • Sephora Waterproof Universal Lip Liner: Well, it's cheap so I can't complain but it doesn't exactly keep the lip colour within the lines. It makes you feel like there's no lip liner worn at all.
  • Tarte Naracuja Creaseless Concealer: GODDAMIT why did they make it almost impossible to squeeze the product out of the damn tube?
  • Hada Labo Moist Eye Cream: Doesn't feel like my eyes are being hydrated - still have dry inner eyes where my shadow primer clings to.
  • VMV Hypoallergenics Ooh-La-Lash Mascara: Why does this smell like peanuts? WHY?
  • Philosophy The Microdelivery Exfoliating Facial Wash: This was expensive, but I didn't feel like it sloughed off dead skin as well as my cheap St. Ives Apricot Scrub did. Sigh.
  • La Roche-Posay Anthelios AC SPF30 Matte Extreme Fluid Sunscreen: Oh god it smells, and has this weird, chalky, powdery texture. Ewch. Going back to Uriage Hyseac Fluide SPF50+ because I have learnt a very important lesson - why fix what isn't broken?

WTF GIMME MY MONEY BACK
  • Eyeko Skinny Liquid Eyeliner in Brown: So I did like this eyeliner in black but how can the same eyeliner in brown have such a vastly inferior performance? The colour payoff is weak, and it dries up SO quickly. It was almost darn impossible to draw an opaque line after just using it twice.

PENDING TESTS
  • Sephora Smart Liner: Bought this on a whim - have not tried it so can't say for sure if its curved design helps create winged eyeliner easily.
  • Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil in Perversion: Heard this is the blackest black (well, it was but I think there's an even blacker black than this blackest black. UD, why you messing with our heads?), and is really smooth but have not tried it yet. Not impressed with the other 24/7 pencils I have though.
  • Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eye Liner in Black: Is this going to usurp the Majolica Majorca Line Hunter? IS IT?
  • Stila Perfecting Concealer: Too many concealers - will only get to try this after my arsenal of concealers are used up.
  • Tarte Lights, Cameras & Splashes Waterproof Mascara: I hope this does stay waterproof when it comes to crunchtime (i.e. while cable skiing hahaha).
  • Anatomicals Regenerating Eye Cream: Aside from the adorable tagline ("eye cream, you scream, we all scream for eye cream"), I hope this does a better job than the Hada Labo's.
  • Rachel K Youth Eye Complex Eye Cream: If it performs anything like the CC Cream, I will officially be a Rachel K fan.
  • Soap & Glory Wish Upon a Jar: I sure hope it's everything that the online reviews are making it out to be.
  • Laura Mercier Loose Setting Powder: I've had this for a while now, but haven't broken it out to use yet since my e.l.f. Studio High Definition Powder is lasting me forever.
  • Mario Badescu Silver Powder: Saw great reviews - have high hopes for this one!
  • Maybelline Baby Skin Instant Bright Transformer: Why did I get this when Baby Skin Instant Pore Eraser was a disappointment? Because I'm a sucker that's why.
  • Maybelline Hyper Sharp Liner: Well, it was cheap but I definitely don't expect to be wowed by this as I did for Majolica Majorca Line Hunter.
  • Barry M Flawless Matte Finish Foundation: Got this a while back too, but with my two bottles of FACE atelier which are lasting forever (I'm only still 1/3 into my first bottle), I have no idea when I'll be able to start on this.
  • Sigma Spa Brush Cleaning Glove: You expensive little bastard - I can't believe I'm actually excited to wash my makeup brushes this month!

Wow, will you look at the time. That took longer than I expected.

So I hope this quick update will help in you making your decisions if say, you're looking to purchase any of the above.

I'll be here again when I am. :)

Tuesday, November 26

Review: FACE atelier Lip Glaze in Cameo

Between losing photos and feeling the post-vacation blues, I just haven't gotten around to resuming blogging. Everytime I look at all my messy photos and think of all the cataloging, I cry a little inside.

But I'll start with a shorter review to eventually get back into the swing of things.

Luxola was having an awesome sale (up to 35% off if you purchase a certain amount) so I bought a new bunch of stuff! At the rate I'm purchasing makeup, I have enough to last me a lifetime + 3 generations after me.

One of the best items I got off my haul would be the FACE atelier Lip Glaze in Cameo. FACE atelier, as you may remember, is the pricey makeup brand that produces the highly-raved about Ultra Foundation. The Lip Glaze, which usually retails for $38 was going at $9 so I bought it for the hell of it.

The product came in the usual underwhelming grey box, which I didn't bother to take a photo of. If you know the box that the Ultra Foundation comes in, you'll know what I mean.


I was a little surprised at just how large a tube the Lip Glaze is.

From their website:

Impossibly shiny and smooth as glass, our non-sticky, moisturizing formula is a cinch to apply with its sanitary, slant-tip applicator. Highly concentrated and pigmented, long-lasting Lip Glaze gives a high-shine effect while hydrating and mositurizing your lips. And as per usual (for FACE atelier), a little goes a long way.

Size matters! Our Lip Glaze is up to 60% larger than other lip glosses. Small wonder that it's an enduring PRO Favorite.

60% larger! Is that true?


Well, my Elizabeth Arden High Shine Lip Gloss is a mere 6.5ml compared to FACE aterlier Lip Glaze's 15ml!


Unscrew the cap for a slanted applicator - I actually prefer this over a doe-foot sponge as the sponge soaks up bacteria/grime which you can't do much about but this slanted tip is easy to wipe down with a piece of tissue paper.


The colour is pretty much a dusky rose, and is perfect for nude lips. I wouldn't say the texture is completely non-sticky but compared to the usual lip gloss, it's about 60% (my own estimate) less sticky and just a little more watery than the usual tacky gloss which makes for easy application.

For those of you with sensitive olfactories, you'll be happy to know that it's fragrance free. There is a very mild smell of chemicals since there isn't any fragrance to mask it, but it doesn't bother me because it isn't overwhelming.

I wouldn't say it's incredibly moisturising - the hydration can't compare to lip balm - but it isn't overtly drying either. It has shea butter as one of the ingredients so for a gloss, it can actually be lauded as moisturising.

As per most gloss, the staying power isn't going to be as strong as say, a lip stain or a lip stick but I still got a good 3 - 4 hours out of this before the need for reapplication.

Dammit, I hate my lips - there's an unnaturally thick rounded upper lip and I have a humongous chin.
Anyways, here's what it looks like upon a thin application. It's not high-shine but makes for really pretty nude lips, plus it's one of those "my lips but better" shade.


It's great for when you don't want to look overdone or would like subtle lips to bring out strong eyes.

I have never been a fan of gloss, I'm more of a lip balm or stain person and if I must, then lipstick would do just fine. I hate the stickiness of lip gloss and getting hair caught in it, the white line that usually forms where your lips meet and the generally messy application of it all.

But the FACE atelier Lip Glaze has completely changed what I know about gloss - I think it's the only gloss I'll ever buy. Lemming for it in Peach which is just a gorgeous orange with gold shimmer, but it's completely out of stock on Luxola. Crossing fingers for a restock now!

Rating: 9/10

Tuesday, October 15

On vacation!

If anyone's wondering where in the world Sam is, I'm in Europe, that's where. I'm on my honeymoon and will only be back at the end of October so consider this a mini-hiatus.

Will be back with the programme soon!

Saturday, October 5

Review: Kate Eyebrow Colour N

You've always used mascara for your lashes, how about mascara for your eyebrows?

That's what Kate Eyebrow Colour N is - it's essentially an eyebrow mascara, which, according to the Kate website, helps 'change your eyebrow colour to your hair colour'.

My hair colour is black so well...that's not going to help. The mascara comes in varying shades of brown so I went with a darker brown to complement my dark hair.


This is in BR-1, and it comes in a 6.5g bottle. Looks like a concealer, but isn't a concealer.


The top unscrews a mascara spoolie, and the formula goes on wet and a little sheer. Which is good since I don't intend to have Zhong Kui eyebrows.

Zhong Kui
The wetness helps tame the eyebrows, so eyebrow wax is no longer required if the Kate Eyebrow Colour N is used.


If you're not careful, the formula does come out in blobs so you have to use the spoolie to blend and sheer it out a tad more. I use a clean spoolie/eyebrow brush to comb through after applying the Kate Eyebrow Colour N. But note that it dries up pretty quickly and thereafter, the formula becomes stiff on your brows and difficult to blend or comb through without it looking patchy.



Before picture on top, after picture below. The Kate Eyebrow Colour N is simply used to fill in any gaps between the hairs. The end is filled in with an eyebrow pencil as the mascara spoolie isn't the most precise.


Above shows right eyebrow after 12 hours. The eyebrows stayed on for most part of the day. Well, unless you scratch at it, which will then cause dried-up flakes of the formula to come off.

Overall, I do like this because it makes filling in eyebrows an easier process. Eyebrows also look full and natural without looking too overdone. However, the colour range can do with some shades of grey for raven-haired women like me.

Rating: 9/10

Wednesday, October 2

Review: Zoeva Graphic Eyes+ in Close to Heaven, Nude Reflection and Mr. Marvelous

A continuation of the Zoeva review from the last post...

Zoeva Graphic Eyes+ are said to be:

The Graphic Eyes+ Collection combines the smoothness of a liquid liner with the ease of application of a traditional pen without compromising in quality or makeup result.

One thing's for sure - the texture of the pencils is amazingly smooth and pigmented.

Let's start with Nude Reflection:


Described as 'champagne beige with crystal shimmer' - I thought this would be perfect for the inner corner of the eyes but the shade turned out to be a bit darker so it's much better for the lower waterline to make eyes appear bigger and brighter.

Next, we have Close to Heaven:


This is 'iridescent light lilac/blue', which is pretty true although I don't know where the blue came from since it is 100% lilac.

It's a very pretty colour, perfect for teenagers but probably too pastel for women treading on the wrong side of the 20s like me.

Lastly, we have Mr. Marvelous, which colour of 'black base fine purple fine glitter' made me really excited. It sounds so pretty, doesn't it?




Swatches from left to right: Nude Reflection, Close to Heaven and Mr. Marvelous

The colour is strongly pigmented and goes on smoothly, but this means the pencil goes blunt very quickly. One swatch was enough to blunt the pencil. I foresee frequent sharpening and unnecessary wastage.


Above photo is after intense rubbing. They mostly faded, but I don't think this is an accurate representation. Perhaps I didn't let the swatches set longer, but I have better photos proving the staying power of the eyeliners coming up later.


Add some water...


Nope, it didn't fade anymore than it already did so it's mostly waterproof.

A better representation of the staying power of Close to Heaven below:

 


In the second photo, you can evidently tell my forearm has been rubbed raw but the iridiscent shimmer of Close to Heaven stayed on. And the funniest thing is, I went out with this on my arm, forgetting I swatched it. Realised it when I was at the mall and I tried washing it off with soap but it wouldn't budge. -__-


With Close to Heaven on upper lashline.


Above shows 9 hours later (albeit with a very oily face hahaha) - no transfer, no smudging, barely any fading.

I don't have pictures of the other two solely on my lids, but I have definitely worn them. Alas, Mr. Marvelous, pretty as the colour is with its very subtle glitter hurts my eyes. I suspect the glitter bits fell into my eyes and they felt irritated and uncomfortable all day.

Again, don't think Zoeva is really suitable for contact lens wearers. However, with the shimmery ones like Close to Heaven and Nude Reflection, I didn't have any trouble at all.

With its reasonable price ($9.20 at Luxola!) and quality of strong pigmentation and staying power, the Zoeva Graphic Eyes+ would have gotten a 10. But due to it not being made to suit contact lens wearers, it's going to get points docked.

(But good for you, perfect-sighted people.)

You can purchase Zoeva Graphic Eyes+ from Luxola.

Rating: 7.5/10