Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Asian Benefits and new hair cut picture!

As mentioned a while back, I was invited to attend my first beauty blogger event by Vex in the City. It was hosted by Benefit and aimed for people with Asian/darker skin tones.
To be honest, I’m rather fair (I’ve been colour matched as NC 20, 25 and 30 on three separate occasions at a Mac counter, to my exasperation). However, being ethnically Chinese, I am definitely yellow. Anyone recall the old Pink Panther movies where Peter Seller always referred his Japanese lodger Cato as his ‘yellow friend’? So whilst I’m not in the same spectrum as the Simpsons, I am pretty far away from the classic English Rose complexion. However, good news is Benefit will be bringing out a large range of colours soon. I think the launch will be sometime in April, but don’t quote me on that.
It was lovely to meet some other beauty bloggers on the night and I’ve included some makeover photos as Head Makeup Artist Lisa demonstrated some products.

I also had a mini-makeover done by a lovely MUA (but I’ve forgotten her name now…*bangs head*. I’m blaming my revision cramming here). She focused mostly on my face and lips. Originally, I really wanted a perfect red pout that Jasmine from Benefit showed us. It was on the runway during London Fashion Week and was completed with red glitter. However, it was deemed unsuitable for my complexion (I was rosy red by that time due to downing around 5 sips of the white wine… that’s the Asian flush for ya!), so she went for a pink instead, and I experienced Posey Tint for the first time. Here are some photos of the finished look once I got back home.

I wore an ASOS navy dress and a vest underneath. For my eyes, I played around with the Naked Palette since I distinctly remember having labs that day and was rather rushed in getting ready – I headed for the train station right away and didn’t have time to get changed. That’s how bad it was! Cue lots of makeup touch-ups in the ladies room of the station.

Anyways, since my headshot included the length of my hair before my London cut and haul a week later, I thought to include a photo of my new cut so you can compare the two. Apart from length, not much was changed since I’m trying to grow it out a la Elena-from-Vampire-Diaries.

Whaddya think?

Monday, 28 March 2011

Nails of The Day: Cracked coral

With so many different cracked nail polishes of various colours coming out soon (for example Barry M is bringing out more colours and 17 has already released a few colours like gold), I wanted to dig out my pot of the cracked nail polish from Barry M that I bought last year and only used once.

Since I've only opened the bottle once, I haven't experienced any changes to the formula in the five months of neglect. I applied it over a coral pink MUA shade I picked up recently in my quest for a pretty coral colour. The effect is rather nice. What do you think?

Also, sorry for the photos in the last post - I'm not sure why they're not coming up. If you click on the little boxes, you should be taken to the picture. I've reloaded the photos quite a few times to no avail.

Sunday, 27 March 2011

Nyx round lipgloss in Doll Pink

Ever since my Cherry Culture haul, I feel like I’ve been raving about their products – the quality of their lipsticks and eyeshadows are simply divine. I also got three round lipglosses from Nyx and have tried them out long enough to give a good balanced review.
The price is so good that its almost non-existent: $2 sale with added 20% discount equals roughly £1. Even the glosses at Asda’s George range are £2.75 now! Of course there’s the £7 P&P, but I prefer to think of it as the ugly step sister determined to ride Cinderella’s ball gown train – something you ignore with the best possible poker face (no grimaces!).
Like all Nyx round lipglosses, the applicator comes in a slightly bent doe foot sponge wand. A slight grievance is the fact that the stopper around the neck of the tube isn’t very good at its job and always lets out a little too much product each time. This can be the other ugly stepsister in my fairy tale analogy.  The colour Doll Pink is a pretty bright fuchsia with very small lilac shimmer particles that are only visible only if you stare very closely at the tube for extended periods of time and risk going cross-eyed. It could certainly be Cinderella’s lip colour by choice.

Application-wise, the product glides on smoothly and easily with no hint of drag or uneven colour application. The formula is very light weight and runny. A comparison that comes to mind is the Jemma Kidd Makeup School Hi-Shine Silktouch lipglosses, which are similarly thin. So if you’re a person who dislikes the heavy feeling Mac lip dazzleglasses or Revlon Superlustrous lipglosses give, this would be the perfect lipgloss range for you. Alternatively, if you’re a true beauty addict and like to mix and match things, I’d recommend you go for it anyway.

The pigmentation of the gloss is very good despite the fact that you’re not caking on the product at all. In terms of wear, I would say I got at least 4 hours from it, although the glossy effect started to fade towards the end so my lips were more pink than shiny, as the pigmentation remained like a stain on my lips. It’s harder to judge for after 4 hours, as I had to eat then. Due to my rational dislike of having food crumbs stuck to my lips or ingesting too much chemicals, I always remove my lip products before eating, so it’s rather hard for me to comment whether the gloss would have lasted beyond the 4 hour mark for me. Judging by its performance, I dare say the pigmentation would have definitely lasted, but don’t quote me on that.
All in all, this is such a fantastic product, even discounting the price. There are so many colours to choose from on the Cherry Culture website, ranging from nudes to pastels to brights. I’m firmly on the Nyx bandwagon now and whilst I’m constantly bemoaning the lack of Nyx in the UK (more expensive online Nyx distributers here in the UK does NOT count!), I confess part of my fascination with Nyx also stems from its limited availability. It was ever so much fun researching all the different colours online and reading up on swatches/reviews before making my choices on whether I should go for the eyeshadow palettes or singles, the lipsticks or the lipglosses, the Megashine range or the Black label range…

Thursday, 24 March 2011

Stila eyeshadows review in Sparkle and Cloud

I really wanted to try Stila after reading rave reviews and hauls around the web and when I saw two new shadow pans up for grabs on Ebay, I couldn’t resist.
The colours are in Sparkle and Cloud, and each pan is pretty big. The outer packaging is the typical Stila brown paper box that I’m not too keen on – it suggests a cheap eco-friendly brand that places more emphasis on hugging trees rather than what it should be all about – makeup quality. Mind you, I’ve nothing against the environment in general. I simply wish for sleeker packaging.
However, the products themselves are nothing like the wishy-washy, nondescript brown outer packaging. The pans were snugly situated in plastic and well protected. Sparkle is a beautiful rich brown/golden duochrome colour with lots of frost. Cloud is equally beautiful and swatches a gorgeous silver with a hint of grey/blue. The colour is duochrome too, so changes according to the light.


Only a single swipe is needed to achieve such a pigmented swatch. The texture is buttery soft. I would compare it to my Urban Decay shadows in terms of pigmentation, but say that it’s even softer in texture. Despite the softness, there’s no need to worry about powdery fallout in my palette – a major bonus when moving between university accommodations and home.

With flash

No flash with horrid yellow lamp light
Overall, I wouldn’t mind owning a few more of these little gems at all. I hate paying jacked up prices here in the UK when it’s so much cheaper in comparison over in USA, so I’ll probably be scouring TKMaxx and Ebay for more Stila bargains. I saw a trio set at TKMaxx a while back but they’ve seem to have gone now, so it’s all based on luck really. Nevertheless, I’m not desperate for makeup anymore, so will happily let serendipity reign.
I’ve got two of their famed lipglosses to try in my stash of unopened goodies too. Can’t wait!
Anyone have good Stila recommendations?

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

RIP: Elizabeth Taylor (1932-2011)

One of the last of Hollywood's golden age giants has died at the age of 79 today. Elizabeth Taylor became a child start in National Velvet and had a career that spanned decades. Her violet eyes, legendary Hollywood history, and infamous marriages will live on in the history books, as the Fossil children aspired in Ballet Shoes.  

Let's also not forget Elizabeth Taylor from Sex and the City, a valiant little dog Charlotte York named after her favourite actress in order to remind her of the strength and courage Elizabeth Taylor possessed.

Monday, 21 March 2011

Nyx eyeshadows in Luster and Golden Bronze review

I fell in love with Nyx after my first Cherry Culture haul and snapped up two more eyeshadows from Ebay recently in the colours Luster and Golden Bronze.

Pigmentation-wise, they are very, very good. In fact, I have been impressed with all the products I’ve tried from Nyx so far and have to say the pigmentation is top notch, regardless of price. I would happily place them in the same range as Mac or Urban Decay for some of the products, if not better, as in the case of the round lipsticks.

Luster is a light olive green colour with golden shimmer, whilst Golden Bronze is browner and contains similar olive undertones, along with shimmer. Golden Bronze is definitely the more wearable of the two, but the two are very complementary and would be a great duo for spring/summer. They’re unique in my collection as I own a stack of true browns/taupe singles, along with the Naked palette, but nothing olive-based.
These blend out nicely and last a long time with UDPP – no creasing for me for at least 8 hours, which is very nice. Of course, my shadows rarely crease as long as I use primer. It’s important to note that only a thin layer of primer is needed (this goes for cream eyeshadows used as base too) – overloading the lids with product is guaranteed crease-city.
With the whole range of colours Nyx offers, I’ll definitely be hitting Cherry Culture or Ebay soon. Any good colour recommendations?

Sunday, 20 March 2011

Moroccan Oil review

I bought this hair treatment oil from a salon as part of my London Haul around two weeks ago and have used it more than half a dozen times now – enough to warrant a good short-term review.
I bought the original version as opposed to the light one that’s recommended for people with fine hair. The key ingredient here is Argan Oil and I wanted the highest concentration of this in the ingredients. The stylist couldn’t tell me what percentage of the Argan Oil was in the original and light versions, so it made sense the original contains more. For me, one pump is enough for my entire head of medium-thick shoulder length hair. Two pumps was needed using the light version, so even economy-wise, the original was the better choice for me. You rub the oil between your palms and smooth it into damp towel dried hair from midway to the ends, followed by heat protectant and hair drier. The oil should sink straight into your shafts and start working its magic on your locks.

My hair is naturally very straight. It’s thick and never frizzes. The texture is smooth and it’s quite easy to work through any tangles from wind or the shower. Following usage of the Moroccan Oil, my hair is even silkier and softer than before. Frankly, that’s saying something. My strands are ridiculously soft, even after tongs and hair spray – so much so that when I dared a friend to stroke it, she couldn’t stop. In combination with my quick trim and the oil, my slightly frazzled ends are history. It would be interesting to see how long I can maintain that state of healthiness.
It is also easier to comb through me hair. Normally, after curling using heat and copious amounts of spray, my curls get tangled and hard to comb through. This is no longer a problem since I started using Moroccan Oil. It also eliminates my non-existent frizz problem, so I can imagine girls with such problems will find it even better than I do.
Overall, I am very impressed with the short term results I’ve seen so far. I was informed by the stylist that the salon had tried several brands of Argan oil treatments before, but that Moroccan Oil was by far the best and is selling like hot cakes. After trying it, I can imagine why.
The 100ml bottle costs £30.45 and is pretty good value for money considering how little I use each time I wash my hair. Truthfully, my hair care routine is pretty low maintenance and I go for the types of shampoos and conditioners you find on the expensive aisles of Boots (i.e. £5 to £10 range). This is the most expensive hair care item I’ve splashed out on, and I’m definitely seeing the results. If you’re unsure, I would recommend finding a salon that offers this treatment and try it there, if you’re due for a trim sometime soon. Alternatively, you can purchase a smaller sample size (I think it’s 15ml for £15). That’s not as cost efficient, but cheaper so you can see how well you like it before committing to a full sized bottle.  
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