Tuesday, 31 July 2012

FeelUnique Sale

FeelUnique.com is having a flash summer sale with the following codes. Hurry, these are just valid for less than another day until midnight BST Tuesday 31st July 2012. The codes cannot be used on Stila, Gatineau, ghd, Ole Henriksen & Lily Lolo but you can use it on many other brands like Astalift.

Sunday, 29 July 2012

Weekly Photo Challenge All Star Makeup Edition

This week's photo challenge by Yumeko is the All Star Makeup edition.

1. The Super Star: Something you have used for over a year and will still be using.

For my daily routine, concealers, eyeshadow primers and eyebrow pen are essential. For these, I rely on Too Faced Shadow Insurance, NARS Smudgeproof Eyeshadow Base, Lunasol Under Eye Base, Bourjois Healthy Mix Concealer and K-Palette Lasting Two Way Eyebrow. Of these, I have re-purchased the K-Palette eyebrow pen at least five times. It lasts much longer than eyebrow powder, despite my oily skin, and is easy to clean up if drawn unevenly.

Rimmel Lasting Finish Lipstick by Kate Moss are hands-down the best full coverage lipsticks by a drugstore brand. The color intensity, shade range and lasting power are well above what one would expect of a budget brand. This October, there will be a new line of matte shades in red packaging. Can't wait to try those!

2. The Fast Rising Star: Something you have used for over 6 months and will still be using.

Technically, I've had several of these products for less than six months, but I find myself reaching for them all the time: Laura Mercier Turquoise Caviar Stick, Tarte Lipsurgence Lip Tint in Spirited, Stila Sparkle Luxe Gloss in Dazzling, Suqqu Nuancing Cheeks EX03 Akanemizu and YSL Glossy Stains. The Physicians' Formula Fashionista palette is a recent acquisition that has worked well for me.

3. The Number 1 Draft Pick: Something you just started using and am loving it.

Ever since I started using Pixi Endless Silky Eye Pens, I have hardly touched my liquid eyeliners. No. 1 Black Noir is as intensively black as Urban Decay Perversion but without the problem of the lead shrinking from the wood. No. 9 Oyster Glow is a staple for lining the lower lashline for making the eyes look more awake. The 2nd Star Twinkle from the Tinkerbell collection is a lovely shimmery olive.

4. The FAIL: Something you tried recently and does not work for you.

Both the Soap & Glory Thick & Fast Super Volume Mascara and Accessorize Lenthening Mascara in Ultra Black failed to impress me. The former felt too dry and did not hold the curl of my lashes well. The Accessorize mascara took several coats to build barely decent length and had virtually zero volumising effect.

5. The Experiment: Something you bought and am going to try next.

Thanks to Mag, I just received the two Majolica Majorca Puff de Cheek in Cherry Macaron and Raspberry Macaron, and the Popping Shower Powder from the Psychedelicious summer collection. From Sephora, I picked up a Tarte Clean Slate Deluxe Primer Trio (US$9) and Stila All Over Shimmer Liquid Luminizer Set (US$20).

My new Shu Uemura palette of shades from the recent Color Atelier collection, consisting of mainly glitter finishes.

If you would like to join in the fun, just leave a comment on Yumeko's post and here with a link to your blog post, and I'll be sure to check it out!

Saturday, 28 July 2012

Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain Adore and Crush

Following the Colorburst Lip Butters, Revlon has another superb winner on its hands with the new Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stains. Designed to be a lightweight lip stain and moisturising balm in one convenient twist-up crayon, these are much more affordable alternatives to Tarte's Lipsurgence Lip Tint and Clinique Chubby Stick.

I purchased the Kissable Balm Stain from drugstore.com, where they usually retail at US$8.99 (2.7g) with a 'buy one, get one 50% off' offer. The Tarte and Clinique versions retail at US$24 (3g) and US$16 (3g) respectively. Both the Tarte and Revlon versions are made in the USA, while the Clinique Chubby Stick is made in Canada. Currently, the Balm Stains come in 12 shades, according to the Revlon website. These were recently launched in the UK as well, where they retail at £6 but with just 7 shades available. They are scheduled to launch in early September in Japan at 1260yen with 6 shades available. I'm not sure if/when they will be released in Singapore.

I love the Balm Stains as they wear comfortably without drying out my lips and several shades have impressive color payoff, certainly much better than Clinique's Chubby Sticks which tend to be very sheer. Thanks to the peppermint oil, these have a light tingly feeling when first applied but this wears off quite quickly. There is no discernible taste. Although there is some transfer to a cup when drinking, the lasting power is impressive through meals.

05 Crush is an intensely pigmented deep berry red that managed to survive almost completely intact through a pasta meal. When I blotted it off, it left a berry stain that was slightly more noticeable around the external edges of the lips.

55 Adore is a more work-friendly brown-toned red. Like Crush, its tenacity is surprising and it took several wipes with tissue to remove it completely.

Below are swatches of my Revlon, Tarte and Clinique lip balms and tints.

The Clinique Chubby Sticks tend to be too sheer for my liking, although they are non-drying as well. Tarte offers the widest range of shades in shimmery, glossy and matte finishes but it's the most expensive. Spirited, a skin-brightening coral orange, has become a fast favourite of mine.

While it's not an original concept, Revlon's Balm Stains are well worth checking out as they are surprisingly well pigmented, long-lasting and easy on the wallet. I'll definitely be picking up a couple more, and hope that Revlon will introduce new shades in the future.

Below is the list of ingredients.

Essence Miami Roller Girl

Miami Roller Girl is the new 'trend edition' by Essence for July/August, with sporty bright shades of yellow, coral and pink. The display at my local supermarket was sadly virtually wiped out by the time I came across it, with some products from earlier collections stuck in it. You can see swatches of the blush and four nail polishes on Parokeets.

The collection includes three shimmery powder eyeshadows (CHF2.75).

There are also clip-on hair extensions in three shades, of which two are shown here.

Fortunately, there was one final piece of the blush in 01 Dates On Skates (CHF4.50), which was what I really wanted from this collection.

The gradational tones in orange, coral and pink feel quite smooth to touch, but they apply very sheer with a brush. The blush is a soft matte. It contains 8g, which is very generous (versus 6g for MAC powder blushes).

I swatched the three shades individually with my fingertip in the left half of the pic below, and blended all three shades with a blush brush on the right half.

I also picked up the eyeshadows in 01 Bienvenido a Miami and 02 Vice, Vice Baby (Essence comes up with the funniest shade names at times!). Embossed with a raised palm tree pattern, this looked pretty easy to wear with a gentle shimmer. These are made in Poland. I'm not swatching these as I'll probably gift these to a friend.

The Body Shop Sale

The ever-popular Body Shop sale is back again on 31 July to 3 August at Concorde Hotel.

Dahlias in bloom

Last weekend, we went for a walk in a small town where the dahlias were abloom in dazzling variety. Ranging from seductive scarlet to sunny yellow and every shade of pink, the dahlias are in season from mid-July to October.

Reveling in these pom-pom shaped beauties alongside the lake, this was simply the perfect lazy summer day.

Have a great weekend!