Saturday, October 31, 2015

Milani Baked Blush in Dolce Pink review

I am a blusher fanatic. Amongst others. So I was really excited at adding a Milani Baked Blush (my first) into my collection after seeing so much of it being reviewed online. Part of my SGDrugstore mini haul, I got the shade Dolce Pink for RM43.

Milani Baked Blush in Dolce Pink: side view, with its protective seal

Milani Baked Blush in Dolce Pink: Comes with a little brush under the pan

Milani Baked Blush in Dolce Pink : Top view

Milani Baked Blush in Dolce Pink: Swatch
The packaging is somewhat flimsy; the plastic feeling a bit frail, hence not something I foresee can be banged about in my handbag or chucked in higgledy piggledy like my other makeup stuff. The brush underneath is a handy plus if you're desperately without a brush when on the move, as long as the actual packaging survives being carried around.

I was so so excited at getting this blush. It looked sooo pretty in the pan. But while unwrapping the plastic seal and flipping over the pan to check the brush underneath, my finger accidentally dug in a little at a corner of the blush. Just a little.

And I was surprised to find that it was all powdery soft, not what I expected a baked blush to be. And so that little corner was dented. Haish.

And then when I swatched it proper, while I expected it so to be somewhat similar to Nars Orgasm, the powdery consistency again threw me off. The glitter in the blush appears a bit too big and the weirdest part is the colour itself doesn't seem to stick. So that pretty pink colour just doesn't seem to stick on to the skin but the glitter. It just looks a tad harsh.

Am kinda disappointed with this product, after all my expectations of it. For that price, I might as well get a Bourjois pot blush for cheaper.

E.L.F Beautifully Bare Blending Brush review

You won't believe this is a E.L.F. brush really, even if it is Limited Edition. It's so luxe, with a solid, high-end feel, that I kept looking it over and holding it in admiration. Part of my recent SGDrugstore mini haul, this brush was a mere RM38.

ELF Beautifully Bare Blending Brush

ELF Beautifully Bare Blending Brush: Side view

ELF Beautifully Bare Blending Brush: Top view

A short-handled synthetic hair brush with a classic stainless steel ferrule, this ELF Beautifully Bare Blending beautiful. It reminds me of Sephora's more pricey pro Airbrush brushes and feels the same way. Soft yet compact and dense at the same time, it's perfect for liquid foundation and picks up quite an amount of powder if used to finish off with powder. I haven't tried it with bronzer yet but looking at its narrow shape, it looks like it'd be perfect for bronzer too and can be used for blusher as well. It didn't shed as well. 

This is another good bargain buy from ELF; totally worth it and recommend this too. 

E.L.F. Studio Contouring Brush review

I've come a long way from the gal who only ever used her fingers to put on foundation to one who have a whole bunch of brushes.

My more recent brush crazes of this year has been contouring brushes. I've been lusting after the NARS Ita brush. But...will not sink in RM300 for one. That's almost a return ticket to Bangkok!

So imagine my joy upon trawling the net and re-visiting a favourite online re-seller SGDrugstore, that ELF has a contouring brush under its Studio line. For a neat RM38. Yay!

ELF Studio Contouring Brush

ELF Studio Contouring Brush - Side view

ELF Studio Contouring Brush - Top View

ELF has really stepped up its game with a brush like this. Why spend so much on big name brushes when ELF comes up with comparable ones at so much more affordable prices?

I didn't experience much shedding and have washed this twice already since I bought it. The synthetic hair is soft, compact and just the right density to pack on some contour. I usually use my large Real Techniques powder brush to buff out any harsh edges but this brush is soft enough to buff out the edges too. A simple and quick demo can be seen here.

I LOVE this brush. It's a fantastic bargain buy and I might get a backup. Totally recommend this.

Re-visiting my E.L.F. addiction

When I first got onto the makeup hoarding and addiction bandwagon, I loved browsing E.L.F products online and wishing I could get them as cheap as in the U.S. And then I also discovered local online reseller SgDrugstore. That started my first E.L.F. binge back in 2012.

Fast forward a few years later, guess what. Am still a sucker for bargains and still scour for worthy dupes of high-end products. I re-visited the SGDrugstore website and got nostalgic looking at the E.L.F. stuff and realised that the brand has some pretty interesting updates, especially its brushes. I'd originally wanted to get the new (apparently cult fav) ELF Studio eye blending brush, but it was out of stock. I ended up getting the Nars ITA lookalike ELF Studio Contouring brush and a so-called Limited Edition ELF Bare Blending brush, plus stocked up on my fav ELF  Duo Contouring powder in St Lucia. And then...I saw the Milani baked blusher. After seeing so much about it online, I thought, why not. And so I had a mini SGDrugstore haul....

My SGDrugstore haul: A lot of EL.F. and a little Milani

As the total damages came up to About RM156, I had a free PosLaju delivery (purchases above RM150 get free PosLaju deliveries). Am always impressed with the speed and efficiency of SGDrugstore posting things out, and these were also adequately bubble-wrapped.

Anyway, will post mini reviews on these lovelies.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

A review of 3 Concept Eyes aka 3CE in Malaysia

The hallyu wave looks like a mighty big one that never seems to end. Starting with the deluge of BB creams and face masks, the Korean makeup/skincare craze doesn't look like it's stopping any time soon.

And thus I got swept up with the recent 3CE hullabaloo. It was the first time I've ever attended a Sephora event proper. Also so far the only time I've rolled out of bed for a Korean brand (so to speak). And sadly. Because I didnt have anything else better to do. 

My take on Korean makeup is that it's typically gimmicky and cutesy with pseudo-English names (Waterful? Glossing? 3 Concept Eyes??), with glitter. Lots and lots of glitter. And ultra-dewy looks  marketed as "glossy" look. That sadly translates as pure oily looks for me. 

I'd seen the brand being hawked over at and so piqued by its seeming ubiquitous appearance online, I thought why not. The worst is just that it justifies how I view most Korean makeup stuff (except perhaps Laneige) . And the best is just a trip to Sephora anyway. I tried looking for the brand's official website but the closest was at Stylenanda. The brand ambassador is Park Sora, who also came for the launch at Sephora Nu Sentral.

I have no idea who she is. But there were  two Korean girls behind the line gasping "Sora Sora Sora..." while struggling to catch a glimpse of the Olive Oyl-like stick-thin figure that was her. As usual there were over-zealous PR girls and event people everywhere, with one trying to command people to clear a path for the oh-so-wonderful Park Sora. Although most of us just wanted to get to the actual makeup. Like seriously. 

Granted, she has very, very good publicity pics from what I saw online but (no offence to her fans or her) she doesn't seem to exude much charisma in real life and unfortunately looks like a painted stick, with no personality. Was expecting a dewy-faced typical Korean beauty but she looked nowhere like her publicity pics, more pasty-faced due to too many layers of makeup, which looked like it was meant to conceal her less-than-perfect complexion. Such is the perils of Photoshop. Because no one can humanly look so perfect. Unless you're Jessica Alba. Or Priyanka Chopra. Or...wait there are truly crazy gorgeously perfect looking beings....but I digress.

3CE products with the freebie mini brush set (brushes touted to be worth RM120)

After the longest time (because we were herded in by batches to get to the makeup counter; the one and only counter for the launch), we find out that they ran out of the limited edition lipstick – one with a square pink casing with black polka dots, compared with the usual plain black ones. It had a beautiful plummy red that looked perfect for autumn and also for the usual berry Christmas looks. But out of stock. Which beggars the question: If we were supposedly the "first" to "view" the collection, how the heck can it already be out of stock? Unless they brought in like...3 pieces...for the whole of Malaysia. So it can be "Limited Edition".

Anyway, all the jostling and waiting, led to more jostling and waiting in order to actually try to swatch the makeup items. Couldn't test most of it as they set up only the actual counter (with no additional temp standalone island just for the launch), so the stampede to test the out the makeup meant it was simply too crowded for people to get to it. Got fed up really and it was just grab and go for a bit.

Which was probably makeup mistake number 1. Because I grabbed a lippie color that looked good swatched on the back of my hand. But was magically unattractively chalky and streaky on my lips, once I tested it back home. UWAAAAA...The color was called (made me guffaw),,,Daily Lady. Naah, no Lady will be going about with chalky, streaky pale lips Daily.

(Top to bottom) Swatches of the 3CE cream highlighter, lipstick and cream stick eyeshadow

I don't get it. Look at it (the middle swatch, the pinkish tone). It looks gorgeous on my hand and in the bullet, (and not frosty as it appears in the pic above, must be the lights picking up on the shine). I was sold on the creamy nude pink with a touch of gloss.

3CE lipstick in the shade Daily Lady
I thought maybe I got a MLBB (my-lips-but-better) lippie. But twas not to be. Now I have to figure out how best to maximise any use out of it.

Next is the 3CE Shimmer Stick in the shade Peach.

3CE Shimmer Stick in Peach with colour watch
It's basically a cream highlighter in stick form. I've only ever had powder highlighters so this was more of a novelty item for me. It has a subtle golden glow, not so much of a peachy glow, and wasn't too sticky. I've tested this a few times since, on the tops of my cheeks and just above my cupid bow; it's not bad, really, lending a subtle glow. For once a wearable Korean makeup item that has an actual subtle glow rather than in-your-face shimmer or oily mess being passed as off as "dewiness".

Another (thank gawd) wearable item I picked up was the 3CE Longwear Eye Crayon in the shade Syrup.

3CE Longwear Eye Crayon in the shade Syrup with colour swatch
This kinda reminds me of the Stila stick eyeshadows as well, exact same concept. I picked up this product because I thought I needed an easy-to-use  inner eye highligher that can also double nay triple up as a brow highlighter and actual eyeshadow. With its pearly sheen, worked out well enough for lazy makeup dummies like me.

3CE Mini Trio brushes
And for getting three items, I got a trio of mini brushes. It's actually pretty cute. And looking at the quality and cut, possibly even usable. The brush hairs for the slanted foundation brush and the powder brush appear to be made from natural hair; very soft and looks good quality. The dual ended eye brush appears to be synthetic in comparison but looks pretty usable. I wont ever bother to buy mini brushes as I dont see the point; however these are a good bargain then, seeing the quality. Believe these were said to be worth RM120; thank gawd they were free for me.

The rest of the stuff that I got pretty much range between RM60 till RM70. Not too bad.

Anyway, these are not so bad overall. I only have these three 3CE items to really test out. But after swatching most of their items (during another separate trip to Sephora KLCC), I don't really see any standout item. In fact I dont really see any compelling reason to go out of  my way to grab any more of their stuff. 'Nuff said on this till the next one!

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Drugstore happiness : Bourjois Air Mat Foundation, Catrice Absolute Matt eyeshadows, Wet & Wild Brow brow powder, Megalast Lip Color

Just a quick post. Only because I quite love these drugstore beauties. This happens to be a combo of different drugstore brands I picked up over the last month during this dangerous sales period.

I should never be left alone near makeup counters. That much I know.

In any case I have been eye-ing Catrice's really cute eyeshadow palettes for a while. They really do look weareable and gorgeous. I couldn't decide between the Absolute Nude and the Absolute Matt; but chose Matt in the end. And surprisingly really loving it. I've mixed and matched them with my existing eyeshadows and gals, I can tell ya, this is a really good bargain buy. Because you can use it on its own or mix it up with your other colours to dress up or down. I especially love the 4th and 5th colours from the left of the palette: I use it to add dimension and depth either for a natural look, or blended in the sockets when using other striking, colours as well. Lighter colours for eyeshadows seem to always be a bit chalkier in general so the first two colours might not get as much love from me. Still such a steal; was around RM22 during the sale.

Catrice, Bourjois and Wet & Wild : Love 'em!
On another impulse, I picked up the Bourjois Air Mat foundation in 04 Beige, for about RM50. I've always been a bit of a Bourjois fan; they do cost a bit on the higher end for drugstore, but I do have staple favs from the brand, like its Bourjois Perfect 123 Foundation  and its little pot blushers. I was feeling a bit of buyer's remorse until I put it on. Like. Wallah. It has a yellow undertone that you normally don't get with drugstore foundations (they're always somewhat with an ashy or too pink or peachy undertone). It was almost like my Estee Lauder Longwear foundation (my shade is Rattan)! Mightily pleased as it's really close to my real skintone. A little goes a long way with this one; probably why it's in a squeeze packaging rather than the brand's usual pump bottle. If you're not careful, it can turn cakey. I still use powder to set as I am the oilslick still at this age (uhuh), so it can last a little longer.

The Wet & Wild Brow Kit is a continuation of my more recent obsession of doing my eyebrows. I never used to do my brows. Until I discovered how much more polished I looked with touched up brows. Confession: I had a RM5 brow powder from Daiso for the longest time before that. Then a smattering of eyebrow pencils. I just realised this must be only my second brow product in powder format; this one was RM24.50. When I tried this, I didnt think the lighter powder would actually be quite dark. The wax was useful to keep the brows in  place for a bit but may be a bit too hard. I foresee my search for the perfect eyebrow product continues...

As for the Wet & Wild lipstick, I just finally caved in to get a second one of my fav Megalast Lip Color in Rosebud. They slightly changed the packaging since my very first Megalast Lip color purchase way back then. Back then I had to buy them online. Now the Wet&Wild stuff are available in SaSa. The plastic casing of the lippie looked a bit sturdier somewhat. I'd bought a whole bunch back then because they were really cheap at RM16 online. This one was RM22 at SaSa though. My fav colours were Rosebud and Cherry Picking. Till today I still gravitate towards lippie colours similar to Rosebud O_O

Old habits die hard. Anyhow, till the next post!

A Tart for Tarte

Yes. I am a Tarte-aholic.

Tarte is only available in Sephora in Malaysia, so on any given weekend, one might see me lingering at the Tarte counter in the nearest Sephora.

I was devastated when I missed out on the Rainforest palette. But really because I thought the colours were gorgeous and I 'd definitely wear them. And then the Tarte Noir palette came out. I still prefer the Rainforest colours, but this was too pretty to pass up. And while at Sephora, of course, the Tarte Slenderizer caught my eye as well.
Tarte Noir and Tarte Slenderizer: Too pretty to pass up

As always these Tarte purchases are in pretty and luxe packaging. The gold accents brings up the luxe factor quite a few notches.

Tarte Noir: Isn't that gorgeous?
The palette was just soo pretty to look at; and like the name, gives off a very Noir impression. Dark, purplish plums, with an iridescent highlighter and dark, matte liner, and a neutral blusher that I love. Though I really love Tarte blushers in general :)

The lighter matte colours were a bit chalky though, needed harder work to get the colour in. And these colours will most likely suit a cool, fair complexion more than my olive undertones, I have to admit. But it's soooo pretty to look at in the pan! (Yes, symptoms of a makeupholic and hoarder). I still enjoyed playing around with them though. Those who have other Tarte palettes might want to give this a miss though, as there may be similar colours there. For me, this is my first palette with eyeshadows, so that's okay (yes, justifying my makeupholic tendencies...but true!).

As for the Slenderizer, I couldnt pass it up. I thought the idea of a contouring shade on one end, and a highligher on the other, pure genius. For lazy klutzes like me..who was also coincidentally looking to test out a contouring crayon or cream, but not really into splashing out too much for it, this was just right. I started my shading/contouring curve with the Elf duo once upon a time, when I first started out being a true makeupholic. That duo is still one of my all-time favs, btw.

The Slenderizer is easy to use, a natural colour thats easy to blend and gives just a touch of a contouring shade. Am quite conservative when I use it still as I prefer a natural contouring. Nothing Kardashian about this one.

Tarte me up any time!

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Online beauty bargains at Hermo

Online shopping is quite dangerous.

Wait. Shopping is dangerous. Period. Making it so easy to click and buy online just multiplied the dangers for a compulsive shopper like me.

In any case, the online campaign that has waged for months sure worked at click-baiting me. Gullible me got reeled right in with its recent cybersale. But I have to say, it was worth it.

My first ever purchases on Laneige firming sleeping pack, Clean It Zero and BH Cosmetics brushes
After hemming and hawing over the stuff I clicked into my shopping cart, doing mini researches and price comparisons, I finally settled on getting the Laneige Firming Sleeping Pack, Banila Co Clean It Zero and the cutest ever BH Cosmetics 11-pieces Polka Dot Brushes Set.

I've been using the Laneige Water Sleeping Pack and have gotten kind of hooked on it. A lazy gal, slapping it on at night makes me feel like I actually have a "night time skincare routine". Ha.

But really, I kinda like it because it does hydrate my combination skin without making it oilier or break out. In fact it helped to calm down any pimples threatening its way up my face. I've never tried the firming version and seeing it at about 30% off its usual price on the Hermo website led me to add it to my shopping cart. It's typically the more expensive among the Laneige stable of sleeping packs, so getting it at such a decent price (RM98.10), was quite the motivator.

As for the Banila Co Clean It Zero, I've been seeing so much of it being raved about online, that its RM49.90 deal gave me the impetus to add it in.

As for the BH Cosmetics 11-pcs Polka Dot brushes set...come on. Look at it. It's pink. With polka dots. Like its the biggest girlie mind-f@ck ever. I've been seeing it online for the longest time. Via local online resellers, it's usually about RM120 thereabouts. As am into my Real Techniques brushes (cheaper than the coveted Sigma but works well and are hardy), I've always ogled at them as pretty nice-to-haves, but not really something I'd splash out on. But then....oh It was a mere RM79.20 on sale. So in it went into my cyber shopping cart.

I also plonked in It's Skin - Babyface It's Natural Eyebrow pencil (RM11.90) and Revlon Emery Boards (was 10 pieces for RM2.50!)...(both not in pic)..and finally proceeded to pay after sleeping over my cart choices. 

The package came in a neat little box, with the products all bubble-wrapped neatly about 5 days later. It may have excited the receptionists as they hurriedly sent it over :D sure excited me!

The products came in perfect form and am really happy with the bargain prices I got them at. Will get around to reviewing them at some point. Right now am quite happy ogling my pretty new purchases like an addict.