Monday, February 20, 2012

review: make up for ever eyeshadow in 92

People who know me know that I have a fondness of all things purple.

Exhibit A:

I have tried many purple eyeshadows, most of them are too light, sheer or red for my liking. After browsing hours on end for purple eyeshadow swatches on temptalia, I decided to try the Make Up For Ever Eyeshadow in #92.  Christine from temptalia says that it is the brand's most famous shade, so you know I HAD to check it out...

(FYI, I bought mine for $19 USD on sephora's online shop, then used a mail forwarding service to deliver to Australia with a whole bunch of other stuff...)

The eyeshadow has a sleek black packaging with a small window to see the product inside.

The lid is magnetic which is pretty cool.

Inside, there is 2.5g of product which is reasonable, given that it is quite pigmented.  The formula is very easy to pick up with a brush or fingers, gentle dabbing is sufficient.

To maintain its epic vibrancy, I like to pat rather than sweep this on with an eyeshadow brush, or just go at it with my fingers.  With an eyeshadow primer, the colour lasts all day long.

Here is a quick look (more like rushed job, sorry) that I did with this shadow, I also used Urban Decay's Naked 2 Palette: Bootycall for the highlight, Busted and Blackout for the outer corner.  I felt like I overblended the darker colours, ideally I would have preferred it to be a bit darker...

This is probably the best eyeshadow I've used in terms of the quality of the formula.  If you have a hard time finding a good eyeshadow for a particular shade (especially vibrant shades), I would definitely check out this brand.

Monday, February 6, 2012

review: lancome artliner in noir

I've had a love-hate relationship with eyeliners since I first started experimenting with makeup at 15.  Back then, I had a very very limited budget so I used cheap pencil eyeliners.  After about an hour of applying it, most of it would have disappeared or migrated below my bottom lash line and I would look like this:

(ok maybe not as cute as this little guy =P)

Throughout the years I've mainly been putting up with sub-par eyeliners, and it wasn't until last year that I discovered how to use liquid and cream eyeliners.

Most Asians with monolids like myself know how difficult it is to find an eyeliner that stays on all day.  Because the area that I draw the eyeliner on is constantly folding over itself, people with monolids have extra difficulty making eyeliner stay on the upper lashline (or even be visible for that matter... but I digress...)

So onto the review...

Lancome Artliner is Lancome's most newly released liquid eyeliner.  I'm not sure how much it costs at the Lancome counter at Myer and  David Jones, but the US RRP is $29 USD.  The general markup in Australia is around 200-300% so I'd assume it costs around $50-70 AUD...  Fortunately, you can buy it from for $32.50 AUD!  Bargain!

It comes in a sleek black container that contains 1.4mL of product.  I know it doesn't sound like much, but one tube usually lasts me 2-3 months or so with daily use.  Like most liquid eyeliners, it has a long handle to help with application.

It also comes with a little metal ball inside the container that you can hear when you shake the container.  It's not that essential until you come down to your final few drops, and then it saves your life haha...

Besides its staying power, what I like most about this product is the applicator.  It made out of a foamy material, is stiff but flexible and slightly tapered.  I find this a lot easier to apply than the brush type applicators like the Urban Decay or MAC liquidlast.  It takes 30 seconds to 1 minute to dry and I usually keep my eyes closed during this process to prevent any smudging.  However I sense this is only an issue with monolids, people with a visible fold in their eyelids can generally let it dry with their eyes open.

The formula is opaque with one swipe, so there's no need to keep tracing over the same line to get a dark line.  The following swatch is just one gentle swipe:

Because liquid eyeliners take a bit of practice to master its application (unlike pencils) it might take a few days of funny looking makeup before it looks decent (well it did for me, I'm assuming some people may have fine motor skills than I...).  However, once it goes on and dries, it will last all day!  Even during hot and humid summer days.

This is what it looked like on me a few hours after initial application.  Please excuse the blurriness, I took like 10 of these and this was the clearest one...

I like to wing my eyeliner to elongate my eyes =)

A simple tip to draw a better wing: With your eyes open, try to imagine the wing as an extension of your lower lashline.

That's all for today folks!  Nars Blush review coming soon!

Monday, January 9, 2012

much loved hair products!

As my hair is getting quite long these days, I've been using a few more products to keep it nice and healthy.  Here are some of the new additions to my hair care routine that i've been loving!

After ordering the Biosilk Thermal Shield Spray from, I loved the smell of it so much that I decided to give the Silk Therapy Shampoo and Conditioner a try as well.

I bought the smaller 350mL bottles for $11 (shampoo) and $13 (conditioner).  I think it worked out to be a dollar or two less after bulk and loyalty discounts.

As expected, these products smelled AMAZING.  I can't really put my finger on exactly what the fragrance is, but it reminded me a little of jasmine and some other floral smell...

Performance wise, they were decent.  The shampoo cleansed well without being too harsh.  It is of a slightly thinner consistency than i'm used to, so I accidentally dispensed too much the first time.  Having said that, a little goes a long way.  I only needed a small amount for my whole hair to foam up.

The conditioner is quite thick and left the lovely fragrance in my hair for over 24 hours after washing.  It did a good job at softening my hair, but it wasn't super excellent like a hair masque.

All in all, I think the price of these products are reasonable for their quality (and awesome smell!) and I will be repurchasing the 1L bottles of these after I'm finished.


Another product I decided to try (and threw in my strawberrynet cart) was Bed Head by Tigi "Ego Boost" Split End Mender.  I bought a 200mL bottle for $17 on the site (plus discounts).

The first thing I noticed when I opened my package was how big the bottle was!  For $17 this is definitely a bargain.

It comes in a pump bottle and the product inside is quite runny and has the typical "hair product" smell (which I personally like).  I really like the fact that this is a really light leave in conditioner unlike a lot of other which leave a residue or feel heavy after only half a pump.  I generally use 1-2 pumps and only apply to the mid-lengths and ends of my hair after towel drying and before blowdrying.


I hope you found this post informative, I've added all the links to strawberrynet if you are interested to try any of the products =)  I am big fan of strawberrynet because of their free and fast delivery and their loyalty discounts.

If anyone is interested in a review/post of the rest of my hair care routine, let me know!

Friday, December 30, 2011

review: covergirl lashexact waterproof mascara

Covergirl's mascaras are probably the brand's most celebrated products in their entire line.  There have been many raves and reviews of the Lashblast mascara (the one in the fat orange tube), but today I'm going to talk about my current favourite mascara.

From the Covergirl website: Get long-lasting, no clump, no glob, beautifully defined lashes. The LashExact brush uses a patented technology with bristles that are aligned and flexible, so you get the Exact look you want.

Covergirl LashExact Waterproof mascara is the perfect everyday mascara for me because it holds curl so well and doesn't budge, even if I rub my eyes (which I never do anyway, haha...)

From what I've learned and heard over the years, waterproof mascaras tend to contain more wax, which dries more stiff, which is why those formulas tend to hold curl better than the regular/non-waterproof versions.

For me, a mascara's curl holding ability is probably one of its most important performance factors (unless I'm wearing false eyelashes). I have quite short Asian eyelashes, and if my lashes aren't curled, a mascara that gives volume and length don't look very impressive on them.

The brush head is medium sized with flexible rubber bristles, which I like because it coats my top lashes well without being too big to apply to my bottom lashes.

 No makeup, lashes curled.

With Covergirl LashExact.

The downfall of this mascara is that you can't really build up very much volume or length, but for an every day makeup look, I don't need it to.  It gives enough definition and colour to be enough to slightly open up the eye.  It stays on all day without smudging, even on a warm summer day! 

Thursday, December 22, 2011

review: mac paint pot in rubenesque

From the MAC website:
"PAINT POT: A highly pigmented eye colour that goes on creamy but dries to an intense, vibrant finish. Long-wearing, colourfast. Creates seamless coverage without weight or caking. Blends smoothly over the lids. Cream-based, can be mixed with M·A·C shadows and liners."

I bought this paint pot not long after I subscribed to Catalina's youtube channel (cl2425).  She mostly uses this as an eyeshadow base in her videos, and it makes her eyeshadows look really vibrant and luminous, especially against her skin tone.  Because I am a MAC NC20 just like her, I figured the shadow should look good on me too!

The first thing I noticed was that the packaging is very well made. It is stored in a very nice and thick glass jar and has a sturdy black plastic lid with a foam lining inside to prevent the shadow from drying out.

I hope you've all noticed that I'm a sucker for nice packaging by now! =)

"Rubenesque" is described on the MAC website as being a "golden peach with gold pearl".  I'd say that is a pretty accurate description of the shade.  Because it is a frost finish, this cream shadow is quite shimmery without being overly so.  This is the first (and only) paint pot I've tried, and it really is a very well performing product.  It is creamy and opaque enough that I can pick up enough product with one circular swipe of my finger, but firm enough so that I don't displace any product when I push down.

I like to use my fingers with cream products because it helps to warm the product up before applying to your face (as I've mentioned in previous posts).  But once again, using a small synthetic brush will also work with this versatile product.

When I reach for this product, I usually use it as an eyeshadow base to give my eyeshadows more warmth and glow.  However, I do also use it as an all over lid colour, simply because it is such a pretty golden peach colour.  I think it would also work well as an inner corner highlight colour because it is very shimmery.

The staying power of paint pots are excellent.  I like to let these dry for a few seconds before I apply product on top.  Paint pots stay on my lids all day and don't fade at all, which is phenomenal considering it is a cream eyeshadow.

I was so impressed with this product that I plan on trying some more paint pots in the future, maybe "Treasure Hunt" or "Hyperviolet"?  Let me know if you have tried them!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

review: face q red pomegranate + co q10 mask

For those of you who know me, you will know that I have a bit of a sheet mask obsession.  I order about 2-3 boxes from sasa every time I place an order because they are quite affordable, and I'm always out to try new ones.

I was first introduced to face q masks after reading my favourite blog by pink.  I bought some things from her blog sale and she threw in some complimentary face q masks for me to try.

I bought a 10 pack of Red pomegranate + CoQ10 mask from for $12.70 USD.  At $1.27 per mask, I don't feel too bad about using one every few days.

Like I said before, there are many, many different kinds of Asian sheet masks and I'm always out to try new ones, so I'll never buy the same one twice.

Having said that, this mask is my favourite, thus I am currently on my second box =)

These masks come in a pretty cardboard box:

~I haven't had a chance/been bothered to decipher the chinese on the back of the box yet...

Inside, there are 10 individually packaged masks in foil sachets.

To use these, you just open the sachet, gently unfold the mask, remove the plastic backing of the mask and gently smooth onto your face.  I tend to leave these masks on for 20-30 minutes.

After I peel them off, I rinse the excess serum off if I am putting on makeup straight aftewards.  You can choose to just rub the residual serum into your skin if you use this at bedtime.

My skin always feels brighter and very moisturised after I use these sheet masks.  The effect is only temporary, so it would be great to use before an event, night out, or if you just feel like giving your skin a treat!

Friday, December 16, 2011

bellabox december

I'm so happy and excited about my December Bellabox that I'm going to skip my introductory blurb and go straight into it! =)

This month there were TWO full sized products! (although I counted it as 3, because the nail polish bottle is pretty big for a "sample size" and also I've never finished a bottle of nail polish before)

As usual, I will only be reviewing in detail my two favourite products, however I will post some close up photos of the rest of the box!


Savoir Faire Concealer Pack in Light ($35 for 1g concealer plus 2g finishing powder)

This concealer is like a "three-in-one" product. It contains 0.5g of a lighter cream concealer, 0.5g of a darker cream concealer and 2g of a finishing powder. The whole set is house in a plastic flip top container which reveals the cream concealer. The complete top part of the housing screws off to reveal the finishing powder with a sift opening to dispense the product.

This concealer has a super creamy and opaque texture.  The formula reminds me of Benefit "Boi-ing", but it has two shades, half of the pan is lighter and the other half is darker.

I got sent the shade "Light", but the concealer also comes in "Medium" and "Dark".  I find it colour matches very well with my skin (I'm a MAC NC20).  Since there are two shades, it's easy to play around mix the two shades to help get a close match to your skin tone, or to use the darker shade if you get a bit more tan in summer.

Since this is a cream pan concealer, I like to use my (clean!) fingers to apply so it warms up the product in the pan and allows for better application.  However if you are less inclined to put your fingers into your cosmetics, it is creamy enough for you to use a synthetic concealer brush too!  I applied with my ecotools concealer brush, and the application was just fine.

This concealer works really well to conceal my under eye circles.  I used the lighter shade only under my eyes and non only did it conceal well, it also helps to brighten up the area.  I only used a small amount as this product is quite pigmented.  I mixed the two shades together to conceal redness and pigmentation on the rest of my face and it does such a good job that for an every day look, I don't need to put foundation afterwards.

The setting powder included is just a loose translucent powder which compliments the cream concealer.  Since the container is quite small (about 4.3cm in diameter) a powder brush isn't very practical.  I like to tap some powder into the lid, swirl a large fluffy eyeshadow blending brush around the lid and tap off the excess before patting the powder on top of my concealer.

I can see this concealer pack being convenient to throw in my handbag, being a three-in-one product and also having a compact packaging.


Ozotic Pro Elytra Nail Polish in #530 ($14.95 for 16mL)

I think this is my favourite product this month. Shade 530 is a multi-dimensional fine glitter polish with pink and gold duochrome in a clear base.  Bellabox suggests that this be layered over a black nail polish for the best effect, but I only had a black blue polish, so that's what I used.

This polish is SO PRETTY, it's beyond description and since a picture speaks a thousand words, I'll stop typing now and just post my pictures!

Because I took these photos at night under incandescent light (instead of natural light.. boo...) some parts of my nail look like there's glitter missing, but it's all there.

For the swatches above, I used 1 layer of L'oreal Resist & Shine Titanium in Navy Velvet and 3 layers of Ozotic Elytra in 530.

I am definitely going to buy some other shades from the Elytra collection, but I have no idea where to buy these nail polishes, even though Ozotic is an Australian brand...

If anyone knows, please tell me!


Here are the rest of the products in my December box that I haven't had a chance to try yet.

Elemis Enzyme Peel (3mL sample)

Phytomer Souffle Marin Energizing Oxygenating Serum (3 x 3mL samples)

Eylure Naturalite Intense Lash - 140 (One pair)

I generally only use half lashes with a criss cross design because my eyelids tend to push the inner half of false lashes down and it looks pretty bad haha...  I think I may just give these away to a friend who has better eyelids than me!


Anyway, I hope you enjoyed this review, I know it was a bit long winded, but I just loved this month's box so much!