Wednesday, 31 December 2008

Awake Color Makeup Line

For Awake fans, the surprising lack of a Christmas makeup set for 2008 was an ominous indication that all was not well with the brand's makeup line. Things definitely did not look good when I visited Tokyo in early December and found that the counter in Shibuya's Tokyu department store had closed down while the counter in Ikebukuro's Seibu department store now carried only the skincare line. The counter in Isetan in Shinjuku was barely half of its previous size. Awake, which is owned by Kose, also pulled out of Taiwan awhile ago.

Now, the news from 2Channel is that Awake has decided to discontinue its color makeup line so there will be no spring makeup collection although there will be three new loose powders released. Awake will re-focus the brand on skincare and base makeup. This is a huge disappointment as Awake is one of my favourite high-end Japanese brands, especially for their eyeshadow palettes and distinctive glossy red packaging (reminiscent of Inoui ID, another line that bit the dust in early 2007). Fortunately, I have built up quite a good stash of Awake palettes to keep me going for the next couple of years. While there won't be a shortage of other brands competing for my attention, I will miss collecting Awake palettes and the excitement of seeing a new collection.

Thanks for the memories, old friend.

Monday, 29 December 2008

Becca Shipment!

I took advantage of the Becca Friends & Family 20% discount code earlier this month to place an order for their holiday collection. I had the package shipped via Borderlinx.

This was my second order through Borderlinx and the process was just amazingly hassle-free and fast. I placed the order on 17 December; Becca shipped the order on 19 December by FedEx; the parcel arrived at Borderlinx in Ohio on 23 December; and DHL delivered it to me this morning (29 December)! The 20% code more than covered the cost of shipping as I saved US$29.20 on my order and paid US$6.28 (FedEx) + US$12.18 (DHL) =US$18.46 for shipping. There was a cheaper option for shipping by USPS on Becca's website but I decided FedEx was the safer option as it had online tracking, which was handy given the heavy mail traffic in the Christmas season.

I got the new limited edition Aurora palette (US$65), Beach Tint in Watermelon (US$25), Eye Tint in Baroque (US$24) and Soft Touch Blush in Songbird (US$32). The prices were much cheaper compared to Sephora in Singapore where the Beach Tint is S$55 (US$38).

I was quite worried about the Aurora palette as after I placed the order, photos of how it looked in real life started surfacing on Makeupalley. Most of the reviews were that it was a disappointment and worse, that it looked nothing like the picture on Becca's website.

Here's the picture from Becca's website.

And here's the palette in real life! It contains an Eye Colour Wash in Madras (bronzy plum), a Compact Eyeliner in Aubergine (eggplant), a Crème Blush in Terracotta (neutral apricot), a Crème Eye Colour in Ametrine (smoky mauve bronze) and a Nude Lip Gloss in Hibiscus Tea (neutral rosy nude), plus a dual-ended brush. The Latin-inspired palette features the vibrant tones of Peruvian and Spanish Colonial textiles and pottery.

The Aubergine Compact Eyeliner is described as an eggplant shade but to me, it is a muted dusky pink. Haven't the folks at Becca seen an eggplant before? It's deep dark purple, not pink! The most misleading pic is that of the Madras Eye Color Wash (extreme left) which looks like a vivid magenta in the promo pic but instead turns out to be more of a plum-toned brown with some sparkles. How did Becca's photographer get it so wrong?

Similarly for Songbird blush which looks like a bright coral peach on the website but turns out to be a semi-matte deep coral.

Baroque Eye Tint was the most disappointing item as I had been hoping for a nice metallic shade but this turned out to be a boring creamy tan with some shimmer. The Watermelon Beach Tint is one of Becca's bestsellers and winner of many magazine polls so I have high hopes for this.

I haven't tried any of the products yet so I can't give a full review. The misleading promo pics aside, the Aurora palette actually turned out to be nicer than I was expecting and I can probably make the blush work too. The shades look easily wearable, if not the most exciting.

Sunday, 28 December 2008

New Camera!

After my 3-year old Casio Exilim EX-Z500 went all wonky on me following my recent Tokyo trip, I decided it was finally time to shell out for a new digicam. I decided on Canon, after reading some reviews that proclaimed Canon to be the best brand for digicams. At the Best Denki store in Ngee Ann City, the SA recommended the new Ixus 870IS which came with a 28mm wide angle lens, 10 mega pixels, 4x optical zoom etc. For the price of S$549, I also got a "free" 8Mb SD card and case.

I'm still playing around with it, trying to get the hang of which setting produces the best shots. So far, I must say that it is quite impressive and produces much crisper shots with greater definition than my Exilim which had only 5Mb. Finally, I can take some decent EOTD photos but it's still a very tricky process, so please don't expect shots like what you would see on on other blogs such as

Here are some shots to show off what my new baby can do!

Pop Beauty Rose Belle

Visee Aqua Shining Eyes GY003

Visee Jewel Crush Eyes E5

Today's EOTD using Jill Stuart Illuminance Eyes #4 Aqua Crystal

I started out with a small blob of T'estimo Eye Bright Up Base #1. This gives just a very pale pearl sheen without any loud obvious glitter bits.

Apply over the entire eyelid area.

Using the narrow sponge tip end of the applicator, line the eyes with the dark grey shade, tapering to a upward-slanting fine end at the outer corner.

Layer the purple shade in the crease, blend with the dark grey shade.

Finish with the light pink shade as a wash over the brow bone area and the inner corners. My usual way of applying eyeshadows is the opposite of what virtually every makeup book/artist teaches (i.e. start with the base and finish with the liner shade) but it works for me.

This is what the palette looks like. I didn't use the green shade.

Tenderheart Bear Gold

Just spotted this as a new arrival on the Plaza Style website! It's a collector's edition Tenderheart Bear in Gold (2415yen). It has the face and shape of the original Care Bears from the 1980s, which I adored.

Check out more great close-up photos here!

Kiss Website Update

The Kiss website has been updated with the new Chocolat Collection 2009.

The Lip Chocolat Treatment (1050yen) is a moisturising beauty treatment for the lips with a strawberry chocolate scent.

The Dual Chocolat Eyes (1260yen) contain a pearl cream base with a powder eyeshadow. #1 Strawberry is described as a pink x natural brown while #2 Bitter Chocolat is a chic beige x chocolate brown.

Here's how the Dual Chocolat Eyes are applied on the model, who is also wearing Rouge Melty Syrup #6, Venus Eye Impact #1, Pure Bloom Cheeks #1, Moist Base UV Nuance Color #1 and Fairy Veil Pact #2.

All the items in the Chocolat Collection 2009 are limited edition and due out on 24 January in Japan.

Saturday, 27 December 2008

Maquillage Dramatical Gel Eyeliner GY831

For those ladies interested in knowing more about the Maquillage Dramatical Gel Eyeliner GY831 which I had recommended in an earlier post, do check out this post on Makeupalley for swatches and close-up pics by MUA member, Albion, as well as the review with pics by Fleckenschnitte on her blog,Lotus Palace.

Here are my own pics of it. GY831 is a metallic smokey gunmetal grey. If you have access to a Maquillage counter, I highly recommend checking it out in person.

Lunasol Website Update

The Lunasol website has also been updated with the new Floral Purification collection. Nothing from the collection has caught my eye yet but hopefully the palettes will turn out to be more attractive in real life. Hope the collection launches in Singapore soon!

The new promo visual for the Modelling Water Liquid Foundation.

Jill Stuart Website Update

The Jill Stuart website has been updated with the new "Blossoming Pink" collection! I can't get the News page to load for some reason but the new products can still be viewed individually on the Products page.

Clarins Nature Temptation

Pics from Clarins' press event for its "Nature Temptation" spring collection from the Voce website.

Above is the Nature Temptation Eye Palette (6300yen). Below is the new UV+HP Multi-light Powder Foundation that will be released in March.

My Dress Collection

I will probably remember 2008 as the year in which I shopped and shopped... and shopped some more. Most of it had to do with a new-found liking for dresses, which probably accounted for 70% of the clothes I bought this year. Unfortunately, several of them ended up hardly worn or not worn at all as I just didn't have any occasion to wear them to. And don't even get me started on the shoes I bought this year ;-p

This is my latest buy from Etsu, a Singapore label, from Tang + Co. at Tangs department store. It was 50% off so I got it for S$200. It was a dress that I knew I wouldn't have many occasions to wear it but it was just so beautiful with the wispy white ribbons with raggedy edges around the lower half of the skirt that, as Sarah Jessica Parker says in her Covet ad, I *had* to have it. I think of this more as a collectible piece of fashion art.

I also developed a soft spot for anything with a star print this year. This was a long silk top from a sale at Miss Selfridge a couple of months ago.

A super comfy GG<5 dress which I've worn several times, always with black leggings.

Silk dress from Topshop. Bought this with the intention of wearing it to my brother's wedding but chickened out in the end as I hated the "scallops" (those bulges of flesh near the armpits). Need to lose some weight before I can wear this!

Very comfy cotton dress from Zara's TRF line.

Cotton dress from Miss Selfridge.

Another sale find from River Island.

From Mu at Bugis Junction. Love the dark magenta colour and shape but just haven't had the mood to wear it.

Prom dresses from Dorothy Perkins, sadly both of which I have yet to wear. I really have to stop buying dresses just because I like the prints!

Cotton dress from Yen by Arthur Yen at Robinsons. This is one of my all-time favourites, an elegant silhouette that is surprisingly comfortable to wear.

Casual dress from Esprit.

Hope you've enjoyed this peek into my closet! :-)