Sunday, May 12, 2013

In trend cherry red (pink?) lipsticks

I don't know why I ended up with as many as three lippies in a month.

(Or let's give up the pretense of needing any reason to splurge on makeup. Period :P.)

And two being very close in colour too. At least one is more towards a coral peach colour. Whilst I bought three lippies, for the sake of this post, let's focus on the two that's very much in the cherry red category, which are the Inglot lipstick in 140 and the Wet & Wild lipstick in Cherry Picking.

L-R: Loreal Color Riche Lipstick in CR402 Fairy Touch, Inglot lipstick in 140, Wet & Wild Lipstick in 965 Cherry Picking 

I'd taken pics and swatches of all three but didnt have a pic of the Loreal one on my lips. It's also the only one that is a different color altogether, a peachy pink. I suspect I didn't really pay attention to doing an actual lip swatch on the Loreal Fairy Touch because well, it's just not as excitingly striking as the other two :P

Swatches with flash: L-R: Loreal Fairy Touch, Inglot 140, Wet & Wild Cherry Picking

Swatches without flash: L-R: Loreal Fairy Touch, Inglot 140, Wet & Wild Cherry Picking

Top: Inglot 140, Bottom: W&W Cherry Picking in natural light

Inglot 140

Wet & Wild Cherry Picking

Cherry red (or pink, depending which end of the spectrum you're looking at) lippies seemed to be the trend for Spring and yes,  I got carried away. Not because they are supposedly in trend but because am on this weird colour craze still.

The Inglot, if you can tell, has more of a blue tone in it, and the texture is more moist compared to the Wet & Wild lipstick, which is a deeper cherry colour, more to red.  At RM50, it is also more pricey than the RM16 I paid for the Wet & Wild one online. Both however are crazy pigmented, amazing lovely color payoff that stays on the lips. While the Inglot is more moist on the lips, the Wet & Wild has a more matte texture and may be too drying for some (but nothing slicking on lipbalm prior can't fix), both have great staying power. In pictures they look rather pink but really, in real life they are more towards cherry red, especially the Wet & Wild lipstick. The Inglot is almost a bright fuchsia but not quite somehow, probably because it has more of a blue rather than purple undertone?

I love love them both but they still need guts to carry off.

If the Loreal Color Riche in Fairy Touch doesn't seem to get much love from me, I guess that's because it's kinda...boring. Well, it looked really great swatched on my hand in the store, I thought it could be the "My-Lips-But-Better" (MLBB) kind of lippie. Also I was actually on the lookout for that infamous Loreal Fairest Nude that everyone seems to be talking about online as the MLBB lippie of all time. Looks like they just don't have that for the Malaysian market (like everything else that rocks for the drugstore category). Truth be told, am not a Loreal fan at all based on earlier experiences with the entire line (their skincare and makeup just doesn't suit me). But after a long, long time of not having anything Loreal in my stash (except for hair products), I thought, why not just try looking for that nude lippie. And Guardian was having this fantastic sale. So, went hunting, couldn't find that particular shade but thought the Fairy Touch looked pretty close to being a MLBB and so got it. I got it at around RM22 on discount, if I remember correctly.

I have to say the box it came in looks pretty classy, made it look more than just drugstore. The lippie casing is the same as it always has been (gold, square) but Loreal always has had pretty nice packaging. Unfortunately not really into the actual colour on my lips although I've been slicking it on at work for the past week to see if it'll grow on me. It's a coral-ish peach that looks...I don't know...bright? Pale? Pale-ish bright kind of coral? The texture and consistency appears creamy but its not as long lasting as the other two lippies.

And  I also remembered why I've been off Loreal lippies in the first place. Maybe it's just me but then I remembered my sister reporting the same thing before: it makes the lips dry. Not at first but overtime as you wear it over the days. I haven't had dry skin highlighted on my lips for a pretty long time, possibly because I use lipbalm a lot at night or in general. So I was surprised why my lips suddenly had flakiness highlighted on them when I wear the Loreal lippie.

Anyway, thank Gawd it didn't cost me too much. I'll probably give it away to someone who likes the color, so usually my mistake purchases get a home with those who actually likes or looks good in them.

This lippie adventure has whetted my appetite for more lippies though...dangerous! Especially the Wet & Wild RM16 a pop at local online store (, you really can go a bit wild without breaking the bank.

Murad Skin Perfecting absolute HG primer

I blogged earlier about how primers broke me out and I laid off them for a while. Well, that's changed since I picked up a lil something during my trip down to Singapore recently.

It is the Murad Skin Perfecting Primer from its Hybrids range, and for my skin type, I picked up the variant for Blemish and Shine Control. It's also available in Dewy or Matte variants.

Murad Skin Perfecting Primer...about RM165 in Sephora Malaysia for a 30ml pump bottle. Apparently you can buy it for the same price at online store, Zalora.

I actually got it at a Murad kiosk in a mall in Singapore during an offer for SGD50, which was a "steal", considering it is RM165 in Malaysia. Still, for me, it is steep. In fact, this primer is probably the single most expensive makeup product I may have in my collection (discounting my Smashbox eyeshadow pallette, which is totally different as it is a pallette full of colours rather than one single item).

Yet it is truly one buy I do not regret at all and am glad I did.

Because this primer ROCKS. Yes, it does. I don't normally give all out positive reviews on things but I have no reservations whatsoever to give full points for this Murad primer. The only thing that detracts is its price point but then it is really worth the moolah.

It is super lightweight, has no silicone feel to it whatsoever, has no SPF either and blends into your skin like nothing I've seen before. And really, truly makes your makeup last all day long. AND it did not break me out at all but made my skin look better too. I've even taken to sometimes going out without makeup but still putting this over my moisturiser before rushing out the door.

My complexion has improved to the point that I've taken to not really wearing all that much makeup these days actually, and this primer seems to help too.

Truly a Holy Grail product for primers and worth every cent.

My Anti-Acne Facial Cleansing Routine...

Just a note on my facial cleansing routine for the past one year. I used to break out all the time and for reasons am not sure of either. I'd usually break out at the sides of my face like near my jawline or forehead. Also I broke out during the time I was trying out new products, especially primers, something which I never wore before. Or new foundations.

Then I changed my facial cleansers (yes, I used different ones for different reasons)  and added on using a non-alcoholic toner. For my oily combination skin, I'd been using a  makeup remover and a scrub/mask cleanser, before putting on moisturizer. I kept breaking out at one point and had added on a salicylic acid-based pimple cream as well but nothing seemed to stop the outbreaks.

Then I realised it was probably because of the primers I was using and also maybe my makeup cleanser wasnt thoroughly cleaning off the makeup? Anyway in the process I stopped using primers except for the days when I really needed the makeup to last and look perfect. I discovered the (expensive) Biotherm primer just wasn't working for me and gave it away. I was also using the ELF Mineral-Infused primer, which feels more silicone-based and didnt break me out as much, but I only used it to finish it up. And once that was finished, I just took a break from primers in general.

Meanwhile I switched my cleansers. Was walking around Sephora and loved Soap & Glory's cute packaging (yes, sucker for pink and catchy copy). And saw their "Scrub Your Nose in It" cleanser, a "multi-tasking scrub and mask marvel". It claims to help refine large pores and prevent blemishes, and has a special fruit-acid formula.  It was RM39.90 and I figured I have nothing to lose so I got one. One year later and am on to my perhaps fifth tube of it with no regrets.

My facial cleansing regime these days...nothing fancy, mostly drugstore and works for me so far.
The Soap & Glory cleanser is essentially a scrub, which can be used as a mask if left on the face for about 3 minutes. Pretty easy and pleasant to use and I love the results from the first use till now. From the first use, my face cleared up and brightened up. Maybe because the cleanser's fruit-acid ingredients did it. I even use it on my back which had some acne and it cleared that up too.

On top of that I started using the Biore Cleansing Oil. I used to have all these reservations about it as I cant imagine getting rid of makeup without the traditional good old swipe with cotton-wool. Then I just gave it a try. It really is a make-up remover wonder. Not only is it cost-saving (I've never paid full price for this, always stocking them up during Guardian or Watson's sales at about RM19-ish each), it is planet-saving in the sense that you don't need to use cotton-wool as well. And time-saving. You just pump out the amount you need to massage the makeup off your face while you're in the shower, and then you just wash it all off under the shower.

And then I'll use the Soap & Glory scrub. And after out of the shower, I'll pat on the O'Slee Rosehip Beauty Solution Advanced Formula III...a mouthful for what is essentially a rosehip-based moisturising toner. I discovered this toner when I was desperate about how to put back the moisture and glow to my face and to close the gaping pores. Getting older, those are the things that one will see the most, even for combination faces. I was amazed that upon using this rather non-descript (even with bad English on its packaging) product, it actually did help to smoothen my face, closing the pores a bit more and prepping the skin for my moisturiser. This is the only constant item I use from the brand, being onto probably the fifth bottle of it too.

Every now and then I use the Cetaphil cleanser as well but usually in the mornings since the face just have the night's moisturiser on it and so won't need such deep-cleansing. I used to use Cetaphil when my face was breaking out before and I didnt want to overly aggravate it with scrubs all the time. Now its more of a once-in-a-while in the mornings or when my face feels a little dry.

All in all, that's my cleansing routine. Simple, fairly cheap, and so far works for me. Small changes to my products went a long way in clearing up my spots.

As for primers,  I didnt totally swore off them...I finally found one that worked...but that's for another post.. :D

Saturday, May 11, 2013

The Body Shop Nutriganics Smoothing Night Cream

I've been subconsciously looking out for more natural, at least paraben-free, skincare products these days. While I did attempt some Yves Rocher products, apart from the Elixir 7.9 serum, most are a tad bit oily for me. Origins seemed really enticing but its just outrageously expensive so have been putting off getting anything new until I'd was totally down to the last dollop of my freebie night cream.

Then I'd wandered into The Body Shop to browse around as a makeup/skincare geek would and lo and behold I saw a line I haven't seen before - Nutriganics. The line claims to be made of ingredients that are 98% of natural origins and contains no parabens nor silicones. Plus its basically half the price of an Origins night cream at RM95 for a 50ml pump bottle. So I was sold.

Nutriganics Smoothing Night Cream: Pump bottle makes its easy and hygienic to use
The cream claims to be "extra rich, softens and reduces the appearance of lines and wrinkles." It also lists itself to treat the first signs of ageing. Well, that sounded good to me, even if (cross my fingers) I dont actually have wrinkles as yet, but at 30 plus, I am ageing. Among its other claims:

- Moisturises up to 12 hours
- For a more energised and healthy-looking complexion, organic red grape and plantain plus Community Fair Trade organic olive oil and coconut oil are included. Also contains organic babassu oil.

After using this for the past two weeks, I have to say I really like it. It has a slight herbally smell, which I don't mind, and I dont need much to cover my face and neck. I usually do a half pump, and it's sufficient. The cream itself isn't too heavy and absorbs well into my skin, and I have combination skin. And when I wake up in the morning, even if I didnt have enough sleep, it somehow gives my complexion a refreshed look. And that is amazing, I have to say.

A colleague even asked what I've been using because apparently my face glows. So yes, very highly recommended. A good buy for me, hurrah!

The pudding-like Revlon Colorstay Whipped Foundation

Okay. So I've been sort of dying of curiosity about the Revlon Colorstay Whipped Foundation for the longest time.

The infamous glass jar: Revlon Colorstay 24H Whipped Foundation in 250 Medium and with SPF20

As always, this swatch addict kept swatching it out whenever she passes by the Revlon counter. The pudding-like consistency really grabbed my attention; it's nothing like I've ever seen before. It may have been out in the market for some time now but I took my time with it as I remember I havent really been a fan of the cult 24H Colorstay liquid foundation in the first place. And this happens to be from the same variant but different formula, while still upholding its 24  hour staying power claim.As an Asian with some yellow undertone, Revlon liquid foundations haven't been a good match for me either.

But as usual, I succumbed. Time after time I tested out that delicious pudding-like consistency with its silky touch, and I finally caved in. I figured why not try it in Medium? Sand Beige appears a bit too white for me while Warm Golden turns out to be a misnomer as its not all its cracked up to be either with its decidedly pinkish undertones. What Warm Golden? More like a Rose Gold. I don't know why NC30 peeps all over the the webworld claims its a fit for them, it really has a pink undertone. Anyway Revlon has great stuff but it still hasn't done much in the colors to suit Asian skin colors dept or maybe for some strange reason they don't put out as much color choices in Malaysia.

Trial run of the Revlon Colorstay 24H Whipped Foundation

Without further ado, once purchased I gave it a whirl. I love that smooth, creamy feel but one should use a spatula or a Qtip. It's horrifyingly unhygienic to be dipping your fingers in there each time although it does bring back memories of being a child and dipping into the condensed milk.

Blended out...see the slight whitish cast? Maybe its the SPF?

My first try of the 250 Medium Beige was a bit of a downer. It still had a whitish cast over my complexion (which is typically a NC30-35 for Mac). While it was fun to slide on the foundation with my fingers (I havent been using my fingers for foundation ever since I discovered the flat top kabuki and the stippling brush), I dont see how this foundation can be easy to use for  a get-up-and-go-in-the-morning kind of person like me. With fingers being the best applicator for this foundation, and the way that it's packaged (in a glass jar), it has a tendency to get messy too.

I have combination skin that veers towards being oily so this creme-like foundation, for me, needs to be set with some powder. At my first try I'd probably put on a bit too much and it had a mask-like effect even after extensive finger blending. Boo. I also waited out for the foundation to set on its own for a bit before patting on powder. And even after setting with powder, it actually turned into a virtual oil slick at the end of the day.Probably our tropical weather here doesnt help.

That was my first impression. Not too impressed at all.

Then I tried it again. And again. But as an undereye concealer when I was rushing out the door. And then when I had a bit more time, as a foundation again but with very little being dabbed and blended on. That's when I found that its wearable for me. Because of its creamy, polymer-ish feel, I found it perfect as an undereye concealer as it doesnt highlight any creases or fine lines, and as it does have a whitish cast, it helps hide undereye circles. I guess because it has dimethicone as its top ingredient.

As a foundation,  I find I only need to use very little blended into parts of my face that needs a little more help. Then it didnt look so mask-like. And I could even skip the powder-setting bit when I was in a rush although it would help to set it a bit more. The foundation's meant to be more for a dewy look though since it is a creme makeup. It claims to be talc and paraben-free, and with SPF20, so I quite liked those ideas. Am not sure about it being able to last 24 hours though because I use my fav Dr Murad Hybrids primer anyway.

So, not bad, but not a must-have to me.After all that lusting and reading glowing reviews about it, I'd  expected a lot out of it.If you can find a match for your skintone and if you have drier skin, it could work way better probably.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Bourjois Healthy last

After all my Youtube beauty guru stalking, you can imagine how I'd lusted over Bourjois Healthy Mix foundation. It's been loved up by so many online I naturally had that at the top of my things-to-get when I came down to the land of many fines (i.e. Singapore, and hey, they have fridge magnets proclaiming themselves as that).

It was pretty steep for drugstore...hence my initial hesitation when I ran into the counter at BHG Bugis Plaza (I think thats where it was but definitely at Bugis St). My first take was..whoa tiny bottle and steep price for drugstore! I tested and tested and hung out there so long the SAs must have thought I was some bug-eyed idiot (or in local speak: jakun). I ended up with some other items (which I will duly talk about later on). I eventually did cave in and got it at John Little over at Marina Square (which btw had a bigger collection and other interesting drugstore brands) for around SGD34.00 (methinks its thereabouts, or was it SGD34.90).

Tada! Costed me an arm and a leg in drugstore terms...damyou Youtube beauty gurus :P
I had tested it so much at BHG, where they only had three shades (51, 52 and 53), which to me then looked rather light. I couldnt decide if I was a 53 but then I found a 54, which said Beige, at John Little's. Am typically a beige for most foundations and it seemed to match me so I bagged it.

New Bourjois Healthy Mix Foundation in shade 54
After blended in. The formula is rather watery and very blendable and I love the floral smell.
And so I testdrove it once back home.

ALAS! Turns out the colour appears a bit too dark for me even after I've taken in quite a bit of sun with my outdoor activities. The consistency of the foundation is such that it sheers out so I could probably winged a 52 even (since my neck is actually quite fair).

In any case I still love the foundation itself though probably because I love the floral fragrance and its blendability and texture. On my combination skin and in this humid weather however, this mix is just a bit too "healthy" as I ended up looking a bit too "glowy" aka oily. Patting down powder helped a bit but the oil peeked through three hours in, for me.

I think this formula would be great if I were to use it in drier, colder climates but in our tropical heat, all that "radiance" would probably translate into an oil slick for oily, combination skins. Perhaps dry, mature skins can pull it off here too.

I love the bottle actually and the pump dispenser and truly love the floral fragrance too. Some might find the fragrance a bit strong but to me, it's quite comforting, and it doesn't stay on in any case. For 30ml of product and no SPF, its a bit steep. I foresee myself passing it on to my mum as she'd might be able to pull off the colour and formula.

I haven't given up on Bourjois yet! I got the blusher....heheh...

Happy tangerine nails... Essence Colour & Go

I was down in Singapore recently and had done a bit of damage (not inclusive of my numerous damages before or since btw). I'll start slow though and kick off with a nail polish I got at the local Singapore Watsons for SGD6.90, if am not mistaken. I just loveee the colour when I saw it on the rack and although I keep telling myself enough of nail polishes, couldnt help it. Consoled myself saying its just a drugstore brand..Essence...and even after conversion into Msian Ringgit, still not breaking the bank.

Essence used to be available in Malaysia and had its own standalone kiosks (in Midvalley and along Bt Bintang near Lot 10) and I don't know why they all seemed to have disappeared! I used to adore browsing through their products and not feeling guilty if I got anything from there as they really were very well-priced, reasonable quality drugstore products (although in Malaysia they seem to open kiosks rather than be in actual drugstores). In fact, in my earlier post, I mentioned I got my first beauty blender lookalike sponge at their Bt Bintang outlet.

Anyway, this one's on the Essence nailpolish from it's Colour & Go range in the colour 117 I'm So Very. Interesting name, yes? Took me a while to locate it too, very tiny print near the barcode. It's  a beautiful orange, almost burnt sienna colour; or in the fashion parlance of all things orange:  a tangerine shade. Interestingly the nailpolish is even made in France; imagine how super cheap it really is in the EU.

Ain't that pretty? Essence Colour & Go, people

The nail polish brush doesnt disappoint, in fact better than Revlon's, or it's just me who loves those firm, flat type nailpolish brushes as they really make application a breeze. The colour payoff was pretty amazing as well; one coat and it was practically done although I always do two coats regardless. I applied it just like my usual routine ala my happy coral nail routine with one tweak:  I used Sally Hansen Insta-Dri quick dry topcoat.

Sadly the polish seems to peel off pretty easily. I loved the colour so much I repainted them again a second time round thinking maybe I was too rushed in proper application the first time. But peeled off just as easily after three days. Therefore I'm So Very...sad that it doesnt last at all really. Love the colour and the ease of application but no staying power. Can be worn for three days max and then change it up.

Still loving it; even if it doesnt last. Hmm...sounds like some relationships, no?

Wanted to share on the Matte Bronzer I picked up as well but for the life of me, cant seem to find it. Will post it up once I find it.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Eyeliner flick

Okay so I haven been writing as much as I really want to. Anyway posting this eyeliner flick that I did on my eyes, some time back admittedly, but I havent had time to post things up.

It was one of my rare free days where I dabbled with makeup. I was watching Doc Martin, a British show I accidentally discovered while channel surfing, and got hooked not just on the show but also the fresh makeup on the character played by Caroline Catz. Especially the teeniest bit of cat-eye flick that the makeup artist does on her eyes. It's not overdone, nothing super extraordinary but it gives her  such a nice subtly pulled-together look, coupled with subtly flushed cheeks and lips. A pretty look.

Anyway, inspired by that, I pulled out my eyeliner pen and gave it a go.

Simple eyeliner flick...the kind I like for every day
I have a love-hate relationship with eyeliner. I can never get it done hands get shaky, I draw them all over the place, it gets smudgey etc etc etc and so when my attempt yielded a fairly smooth result (by my standard), I was truly ecstatic.

The teeniest flick, and am done! Decided to line my lower inner rim with a lighter eyepencil to perk up the eyes a little.
It was one of my best attempts yet, so decided to post up the effort for posterity. It may seem like nothing much to most but trust me, for clumsy me who just cant get her eyeliner thing down pat, it was like climbing a personal makeup Mount Everest...hahhaha.

Loving it. Curled eyelashes, added some mascara, darkened the eyebrows a little, a light wash of eyeshadow, eyeliner, lightened inner lower rims and done.

I should probably replicate this more often for my day look but dealing with eyeliner so far still leaves me exhausted (haha). Practice practice practice is the order of the day (and week and year..).

Stuff I used were pretty simple stuff, just whatever I had on hand. Maybelline Hypersharp eyeliner in black, a single light shade of Inglot eyeshadow (dont know the number as its in the pan), Clinique Superfine Liner for brows in Soft Brown 02, my fav Fibrewig extra-long mascara, Yves Rocher 3-in-1 Couleurs eyepencil in 08 Blanc (for the inner lower rim), my Elf eyelash curler...and thats it!

For My Cat Eyes Only...yeah yeah..just stuff I used for the eye look above.

Have fun doing your eyes! Am going to keep practicing...

A good how-to tutorial would be Michelle Phan's