Review: Cargo cosmetics marbled blush im Barbary Coast

My first post post-baby with post-baby pics! I’ve lost quite a bit of weight because I’ve been too busy and distracted to eat much. My face looks fatter in photos which is a bit distressing, but at least I’ve got my waistline back (almost!!) My laptop charger fried, so I won’t be able to do nice linking and other things like that on my phone.

Remember I swapped out my Dior palette and never got my Nars Demon Lover duo and Body Shop shimmer cubes? The nice person was nice enough to send me something else, so I chose this Cargo Marbled blush in Barbary Coast.



It was discontinued some time in 2012 I believe, which is a shame. The tin is relatively pretty and elegant while being super functional, so it gets approval from me. It looks easy to depot if you want to depot as well.

Cargo cosmetics is pretty unknown locally. I think Sephora sells them but they’re hardly a hot brand. The quality of this blush is very nice – finely milled and not powdery, which is something I complain about Sleek blushes sometimes.

In the pan it looks like a dusty peach with marblings of mauve and a little bit of gold. It also had shimmer bits if you look closely. The pan is HUGE, it’s a blush you will never hit pan on. I hope the tin is up to a beating though, cos you know how I can be…



Cargo blush on face. It ends up as a pretty, natural flush that’s slightly mauvey brown. The shimmer translates as a slight sheen that is neither overdone or unnatural. It almost negates the need for highlighter!

It reminds me of my Kiko blush that got destroyed except with shimmer, which is great, but that makes it kind of boring. It’s flattering for sure, but not really something I would utterly rave about, because I kind of already have that colour.

Herein lies my ambivalence on marbled blush kind of products. Like MAC mineralize skin finishes/blushes etc, they’re super pretty in the pan, but on your face it’s just one boring colour after all. In my Kiko blush pan, the colours are clearly separated, so I can choose to layer or contour how I want to. But with these, you can’t really pick and choose if you want more of this colour or that.

Pigmentation: on the sheer side but buildable. Actually blushes shouldn’t be super pigmented. This is also easy to blend. The shimmer/sheen doesn’t fall or and results in a very nice, less shimmery than Mary Lou Manizer kind of highlight.
Colour: nice dusty rose that looks like a really natural flush. Not very exciting though. I’m still looking for a hot pink blush, hehe.
Wearability: if blushes were men, this would be the friendzoned guy you use as a back up plan. Nice for everyday, perfect if you’re looking desperately and are out of better choices because you know it won’t let you down.
Staying power: was still there about 8 hours and many chores and sweating later. Not bad!!!

I am pretty impressed with the quality of Cargo blushes, just wish I got a more exciting colour, but its a good replacement for my Kiko blush, if not an exact dupe.

Should Yellow and Blue eyeshadow go together?

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My brushes are here! Which means I have no more excuses to not do my eyeshadow and eyes!

Truthfully though it’s because I’m scared. I think I’m down with the bold lip look, but the bold eyeshadow look is infinitely scarier.


Another wonderful inspiration from


Holy shit! I have to adjust my expectations, though, because the writer looks like Zooey Deschanel (cue mad jealousy) and I obviously, don’t. But I love her post, which is about how colours that shouldn’t go together actually do. I think her execution is lovely as well. Time to start paying more attention to make up at fashion shows. Last time i only looked at the clothes!

Breakdown of the make up look:

  1. Done brows (of course)
  2. Baby/powder blue eyeshadow on outer half of lid up to crease
  3. YELLOW eyeshadow on inner half of lid
  5. Cool-toned pink flush, naturally pink lips. 


This is what I tried to do:

2014-08-18 17.48.03This is Face Zero. Foundation and brows and other necessary is done. Time to start painting!


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I, being extremely unintelligent, did not take any in between shots. So here is the finished product.

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Oops, not a very good replica. The yellow also doesn’t show up very well on photo.

The writer used matte colours for both the blue and the yellow. I don’t have matte version of either, so I resorted to shimmers. My yellow is more of a lemon yellow than the fierce primary yellow on her lids too. Dayum. I also do not have a super cool toned pink blush, so I just fudged something. I apparently did not notice her natural pink lips, so I used a pink-gold kind of nude lipgloss. I believe I also went a little overboard with the highlighter. The only thing I intended to do slightly different from the start was the addition of brown gel liner at the corners of my eyes, because Chinese eyes do not look good without liner.

This is… not very close to the inspiration, but it’s a look that I wouldn’t mind wearing (on slightly more daring days.) I think matte shadows make it infinitely more wearable (and more ethereal) and I spotted close enough dupes for the matte blue and yellow in the Sleek Shangri La Supreme palette (justification for buying it!)

I tried out a LOT of new stuff on this look today. The brushes for one, and my NYX HD Eyeshadow base primer. I think I didn’t use it correctly, which made my eyeshadows a little bit patchy and difficult to blend, so I will be trying that out again. I will definitely do a version 2 of this look when I have more practice.

But brushes mean that finally, I might get around to do some eye looks on this blog!


FOTD Wood Nymph + Fancy Make up

I love funky looks. As I’ve established, the same nude face everyday is BOOOOOORING.

I was reading yesterday and stumbled upon this:



And also because August is super BLOODY warm and humid and sweltering and I need to have less products coating my face.

Let’s go through their look:

Winged white liquid liner


Brows are done (NO SKIPPING BROWS PLS)

Very bright flush

No lip products

This look TOTALLY makes me want to go platinum blonde. I mean seriously. I am SERIOUSLY SERIOUSLY considering it. I have a few months of breastfeeding and all which I can’t do my hair to think about it.

This is my version. Unfortunately I don’t have the same pretty lighting, i have a swollen patch on my upper lip which hurts, and it’s FUCKING HOT and my hair looks like shit. Also my blush doesn’t show up so good and my fucking straight eyelashes droop down so you don’t see the mascara. So…. a really bad version.

2014-08-17 15.23.07 2014-08-17 16.04.20It looks better in real life, I promise! It looks ethereal and I feel like a wood nymph and I could wear flower petals and prance around in the forest. It’s actually a good look and I think I could do it everyday!

I do not use liquid liners, so I subbed a white pencil, which, after dusting of translucent powder, turned off-white (see, darned translucent powder, you’re not so translucent!)

Which got me thinking. There are actually a lot of make up looks I hope to try, and I should really keep a collection of them on a page on the blog. One more project!

I’ve been lagging behind a little bit (which nobody will know, because I write lots of posts and schedule them in advance, harh harh) because my internet has been shit lately and nobody feels like doing anything when internet is shit amirite?


NYX Haul

I find it very sad that US drugstore make up is so well-loved here. I mean, most people in the US is like meh about e.l.f and NYX and the like but WE GO CRAZY HERE because we have no such thing. Just as a reference, in Singapore Sephora, NYX Round lipsticks which are USD4 (around SGD5) are SGD9. Absolutely there is not much difference, but it’s practically TWICE the price!!! And we all think it’s DIRT CHEAP because Maybelline/Revlon/L’oreal lipsticks are almost $20!!!!!!

So please pardon me for going crazy over NYX. I know it’s just a meh drugstore product to most Americans, but to us it’s like MAGIC.

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This is the stuff I hauled purely for myself.

1. Push Up Bra for your eyebrow

(what seems to be a total dupe for Benefit Highbrow and also Lancome Le Sourcils whatever pishposh eyebrow pencil. I mean, come on it’s just a goddamn pencil! Do you really need to spend $30 on a Lancome one?)

2. Wonder Pencil in Light

Because it looked cool. And because I wanted it to compare against the Push up Bra. This costs $4 and the Push up Bra costs $10. What’s the difference? We’ll find out. Also, I hate pencils (the sharpening! The waste!) so cheap pencils are good.

3. HD Eyeshadow Base 

Bought because of this experiment. And also because I have no good primer.

4. Cream Blush in Natural

I have no cream blushes, and I know cream blushes tend to melt/drip off in heat and humidity, but a few dollars to try one out won’t hurt right? Plus this is such a pretty natural flush!

5. Powder Blush in Taupe

For contouring purposes. Because having orange stripes down the sides of your nose is Not Pretty. I will be posting a Bronzing/contour powder comparison soon.

6. Free gift of Lip liner pencil in Nectar

It was nice of NYX, but I don’t have much bleeding problems, and erm, this is glittery…. Lol. I’m selling this off for cheap on Carousell. You can comment here to get it if you want (preferably local only.)


I will be hauling NYX every once in awhile, and my prices are MOST DEFINITELY cheaper than anything you will find off resellers/Sephora in Singapore. If you’re interested do drop a comment, or check out my carousell profile michelle.qiu.92



Baby’s here

My baby was born about a week before the due date and I’m a mummy now!!!!




Babies are all kinda ugly to some extent but I think (possible parental bias here) that mine’s acceptably un-ugly!

I looked like shit for the few days in the hospital, because I was in too much pain to bother. Still trying to recover from c section and its not very nice. Operation downtime is suuuuper long and I hate not being able to do anything. It’s really smarter to opt for natural birth if you can (i couldn’t.)

Today is the first day since the birth that I had energy to put on some make up, but since I’m not supposed to go out anyway because of all the confinement nonsense…. 😦 so there’s not much point in looking too great either.

I’m still trying to fit the baby into my daily life so the posts might be coming slower but I definitely want to continue on this because I really like having this  blog around. After I bought more stuff recently I think my ‘need/want to have’ are more or less complete and the rest is just ‘nice to have’ which means I’ll only buy if its a super unpassable up deal. I actually collected a Guerlain lipstick a few hours before birth, and finally received my Kevyn Aucoin SSE dupe yesterday, haha.

Review: Revlon Lip butter in Strawberry Shortcake

2014-08-14 14.21.40I hate cool toned pink lipsticks but i love good deals. I figured $2.50 was okay to spend on an experiment, so when I saw someone selling 2 lip products including Strawberry Shortcake I took the plunge.

As I have said before, I like dramatic lips (I have a mini collection of that) and I like nude, easy lips (loads of stuff too.) What I don’t like is what’s in the middle: stuff that is pale and particularly statement making, but is obviously not natural-lip colour.

(I really have a lot of nudey lip products, will do a comparison post soon.) Cool toned pinks are one of these hated colours, because obviously no one’s lips are a cool toned pink. They always remind me of Barbie, which is not necessarily a bad thing, but Barbie pink was never a good colour to me.

Let’s talk about the packaging. It feels a bit flimsy to me, even for a drugstore lipstick, and I don’t really get the ‘cuteness’ of it. I like elegant, remember. So it’s a no go for me.

2014-08-14 14.22.01

Anyhow, here is Strawberry Shortcake on my lips.



The colour does tend to stick to my dry areas/lines (but then again, my lips are in a particularly terrible state right now where few things don’t) so that’s forgivable to some extent.

It can be be built up to a pretty opaque colour, which is basically a super cool toned… Barbie pink.

Barbie pink anyone?
Barbie pink anyone?

It’s really not a colour I would wear daily. Yet. I could try to love it; it actually doesn’t look too bad! But personally I think it makes me look a bit… air-headed, of all things, if make up could make you look airheaded. In this look (which I did to only go to the gynaecologist, of all things) I paired it with a no-effort smudgy kind of brown liner (kind of like, I just had a good make out session or something) which I think seriously makes the whole look a bit… bimbotic.

Colour: Do you love pink? Do you love cool tones? Do you love Barbie? If you do, you’ll probably like this enough. I say no to the first two and maybe to the third, so this colour is really not the best for me, but like I said, in the name of experimenting! It didn’t turned out too bad either. I would wear it again.

Longevity: Okay, this part really, really sucks. I had an apple yesterday after putting it on and it was basically gone. An apple is not significant eating damage. Most glosses can last through an apple with some pigment leftover. This, clearly, cannot. I think it can probably last 4 hours on someone not eating or drinking much, but…..

Other Necessary Lipsticky properties: It’s moisturizing enough, sure, but it feels rather heavy on the lips. Probably from all the pigments. It definitely feels more than the Za Pure Shine Lips I reviewed previously. It doesn’t taste too bad and doesn’t smell like much.

People have mentioned that there are 2 kinds of lip butters. One is more like a lipstick (eg Strawberry Shortcake) and the other is more like a tinted lipbalm (eg kind of like my Pure Shine Lips, I suppose.)

You can get it off Amazon at USD6.50 (approx) here. In Singapore it retails in stores at a crazy SGD17.90 (seriously, WHAT?)

Personally I always buy my imported cosmetics (aka EVERY SINGLE BRAND) either from local sellers, or shipped in directly from the US (like my NYX stuff!) unless the markup in Singapore is not too ridiculous.

Anyway, this is just my one-person-one-colour review of a cult product that already has billions of reviews so I don’t think I’m personally adding much here, except I hope you had fun reading.

FOTD + notice on Lip and Eye make up

I’m not quite sure if you’ve noticed,  but I seem to post a lot of lip related stuff here and so far, barely any eye related stuff, especially eyeshadow, which is usually a perennial blogger favourite.

My reason for this is because I have no proper eyeshadow brushes. Yes, seriously all the while I’ve been using my fingers. While I would still call that impressive, I would say it’s as comparably impressive as say, eating a steak with only a teaspoon.

But I have bit the bullet and bought a nice little set of brushes from Real Techniques, and coupled with a decent eye shader brush (the pack-on-the-colour kinds) that I already have, I think we may be able to get something eye related here very soon. Soon being once I get my package, which I’m starting to get antsy about. I do have a large and growing collection of eyeshadows, so I need to give them some airtime as well. It’s just that colourful looks don’t quite go well in our climate + conservative society so, I don’t wear funky colours out very often. Unfortunately funky colours in my opinion as seen by my society includes basically any colour outside of the spectrum of brown.

In any case, here’s my FOTD, which in recent days I have been thinking as Foto of the Day somehow, which is slightly idiotic of me.




This is my I-am-not-wearing-makeup-except-my-red-lipstick look, the one you’re supposed to run errands in jeans in. It looked ghastly when I first tried it on, and I think the photos still look ghastly – there’s something about a lack of liner that doesn’t translate well onto photos, especially with a bold lip. In person though, I think it’s looking better, and may be something I will try more often. My eyebags are from a late night plus the not-yet-arrival of my full coverage concealer that’s supposed to be a dupe of Kevyn Aucoin Sensual Skin Enhancer (which I’m super excited and definitely will be blogging about.)

The red in the picture is obviously, my much talked about red, The Red, Giorgio Armani Lip Maestro 400.

This is the first time I have worn it since the last review, mainly because I have just been picking it up and caressing it instead of applying it. It’s beautiful and super long wearing, but it is SUPER difficult to put it on. I needed a lot of concealer around my lips, 2 Q tips and a tissue. After it’s on your lips it’s easy. Except I took a nap in my make up ( i frequently do that) and I have to be very, very careful about staining the sheets. It’s like a temperamental supermodel wife or something.

I’m also more conscious about eating, not because I’m worried the colour will fade (it completely doesn’t) but I’m concerned about just how much pigment I’m ingesting. if there is enough to stay on my lips for 9 hours ++ and enough to smear all over my bread while I’m eating, will I become a radioactive mutant???

Unveil + Review: Viktor & Rolf Flowerbomb


So, if I was the one reading a blog now I’ll totally skip this entry. I mean, fragrances, purlease.

Visual example:


Top 3 shelves are the husband’s, while the fifth one is… a wedding present + my fragrances. I had to put a shoebox of his fragrances into the cupboard because they wouldn’t fit onto the shelves anymore, while my collection is small enough to share the shelf space with a giant snowglobe. Can you spot what fragrances he or I have that’s recognisable?

It’s rather pointless asking about mine really because I only have 3 after today, not counting the 1/4 remaining bottle of Elizabeth Arden’s Fifth Avenue that we found in the house when we moved in. My family has always been weird on perfumes. My mum sprays her Chanel can’t – remember-what into the toilet bowl. It’s the quintessential toilet fragrance for her.

Anyway the ones that I do have are all gifts, in order of acquisition:
1. Jo Malone English Pear and Freesia Cologne
2. Versace Yellow Crystal
3. And now, V&R Flowerbomb.

So let’s ignore the others and talk about Flowerbomb first. I didn’t even want to buy this at first because it’s so so so expensive. In fact, that’s the only reason I was intrigued by it – why the hell is this perfume so expensive? And since when did Viktor&Rolf do fragrances? (Since like 8 years back apparently – see, I know nothing about perfumes.) 3.4oz (100ml, my size) costs 165 USD from Sephora USA… just – wow. I believe locally it can be found in Tangs for 199 SGD.

I told my husband to grab a sample but he got a full bottle because it was much cheaper in Hongkong, but now that I do the math I realised it’s more expensive than I originally thought it was because I used the wrong currency exchange rate. So it’s still really expensive, at HKD860, about SGD140. FML. Oh wow, now I see it on Amazon for USD112 with free shipping, which sounds like a great deal for people who don’t travel.

In comparison, at discount perfume stores, you can buy Versace Yellow Crystal at around SGD90. It just struck me that the Jo Malone is also incredibly expensive, actually, at around SGD200 per 100ml as well, so I have no idea what I’m talking about, but at least the mark up for that in Singapore is very high – it’s USD120 on Jo Malone International. In fact you can find it for USD130 with free shipping to Singapore on Amazon.


So pwetty!


More pwetty


The bottle is…. okay? I personally think my Versace looks snazzier.

Now onto the smell, which is the important part.

I have no nose for fragrances. At all. I know roughly, what kinds I don’t like (anything that smells vaguely like Chanel No.5, anything too sickly sweet like all the stupid Victoria’s Secret bullshit, anything with too much rose in it) and what I do like (not-too-sweet florals, clean and fresh.) So all I can tell you is that Flowerbomb is pretty floral (it has to be), much sweeter than the other 2 I own, but not sweet enough to make me gag, and stays very, very long. I would say it would probably be pretty universally pleasing.

What I imagine when I smell it is a classy girl from a rich family who is slightly haughty but very admired by all. Like um, Astrid Leong from Crazy Rich Asians (what an obscure chick lit reference that no one will understand anyway.) Or maybe a slightly better-liked version of Gwendolyn from The Importance of Being Earnest. It makes me feel young (as compared to the more elegant side I try to lean to) but not young enough to be silly. And somehow it’s also a little bit musky and sexy. So maybe, a slightly sexy classy rich girl?

Is it worth the money?

Seeing as I never bought any fragrance for myself and all my fragrances are gifts from male admirers (that’s how long I’ve had them and they’re still not halfway through) I would say that I’m not one to spend on fragrances. Still, as evidenced by my husband who must have close to 50 bottles at a conservative estimate, obviously people do. If you’re one to spend over a hundred dollars on fragrances, I would say go for it. It’s sweet and sexy and young without being too much of anything.

Also, the box is REALLY PRETTY. I’ve been keeping the stupid cardboard box around just to look at it and the black wax seal print and ribbons and everything. The actual perfume bottle I don’t really care for.


Note: I realise there is an EDT version. Mine is the EDP, which is more concentrated (and more expensive.)

FOTD Bronzed goddess

Goddess is probably just my hubris.





I really like this look!

I think I used too much moisturizer today, which made me very glowy, so I put more loose powder, which is actually darker than my face skin colour (same colour as neck/body), which gave me a glorious beach-tanned look! I kept everything else pretty nude and added a ton of bronzer and an orange blush.

I didn’t even use concealer today, my undereye circles have been alleviated by lots of sleep. Lol. I wish I had a highlighter pencil though, to really contour subtly (it’s on its way!)

Lipstick Review: ZA Pure Shine Lips in OR3 Apricot Nectar


First off, I don’t believe in orange. I had a orangey coral lipstick by Kiko previously, the formula which I loved but looked horrid on me.

I got this Za Pure Shine Lips lipstick in OR3 Apricot Nectar as a gift at an event, and I didn’t even want to try it on at first, such was the trauma of the Kiko lipstick that I gladly traded off.

Just as a background, Za is by Japanese cosmetics giant Shiseido, usually made in Taiwan (and oodles cheaper there, of course) and is basically your average Japanese drugstore level product. Many people have said many good things about Za, but I’ve never personally owned anything from them.



It has obviously been used a lot and I’ve only got it for a few weeks!



As you can see it’s a pretty shade of nude-peachy orange on my rather pigmented lips. I actually like wearing it in place of lipbalm because it is the first and so far only lip product that is actually hydrating (versus drying or normal) for my terrible, terrible lips. And also because I don’t actually have lipbalm, I only have Vaseline lip treatment which is basically a lot of petrolatum. I wear this practically everyday for just that swipe of sheer glossy colour which still makes me look like I’m not wearing (much) make up.


It’s like a nudey lip colour, except it’s not nude! That’s the best I can describe it as. It’s just a bit glossy too but not crazily so. There are glittery bits inside the lipstick but they’re not very visible/feelable on the lips. But I guess if you’re really going for the super un-madeup-I-rolled-out-of-bed-gorgeous look the glitter doesn’t make it happen.

(I left my pretty blue wallet inside because although it has no relevance it looks so pretty there~!)

Swatched twice on left, once on right, because only after i did the first swatch did I realise that it is not smart to swatch lipstick onto your veins. Colour is slightly buildable but not by much. I don’t know about the prismatic red pigment that Za is claiming, but it doesn’t matter because the lipstick basically functions like tinted lipbalm with more colour. Except maybe better because there’s no mentholatum or rubbish inside which dries out my lips.

I like the formula much more than I expected (normally I turn my nose up at sheer lipsticks, purlease) but i wonder if I like the colour only because I haven’t tried out the others. Maybe something from the red/pink range would be even more my cup of tea.

Pigmentation: Lousy, but it’s supposed to be, because it’s a sheer lipstick. So no faults given here. I actually like the translucency of it that let’s the natural lip colour show through.

Longevity: Ah, this. Clearly something so sheer and moisturizing is not going to stick around for very long. I usually eat it up with my lunch/tea/etc. Without eating/drinking I think it can last 3-4 hours though, but it definitely fails at the meal obstacle.

Scent/other properties: None whatsoever! At least, not to me. Also, super moisturizing. My lips are crying in joy! BUT, for all the subtleness of the glitter, sometimes I find bits of glitter around my lips.

Price: I believe it retails for SGD17.90 or so in Watsons and miscellaneous drugstores, which is around 10 more dollars than I would pay for something so sheer, because. If you don’t mind though, by all means. It’s normal priced by Singapore drugstore standards, it’s just that I am extremely cheap when it comes to such sheer lippies (and why pay so much for something you’re gonna reapply like crazy?) Thankfully, if you’re in Singapore, I have seen many people selling them around 5-10SGD on my favourite online flea market Carousell.

I would probably think about repurchasing this in a different colour (maybe a pink or a red) when I’m done with mine. Thumbs up! I am completely unable to find this online for purchase though, either on Ebay or Amazon, so your only option is to go to somewhere which sells Za stuff.



I went to look at them in the drugstore recently, and you can see from their official site here that they have changed their packaging and colour naming. ALSO, from my swatching, I also determined that THEY HAVE CHANGED THE FORMULA. It’s no longer translucent, it seems to be more lipstick-y than before. I ISH SAD. I will revisit the drugstore to confirm this though.


I have determined that the colour I revied, Apricot Nectar, essentially stayed the same. HOWEVER, it would appear that the consistency of other colours ARE NOT. I think it’s somewhat similar to the Revlon Lip Butters where some of them feel like moisturizing lipsticks while some feel more like sheer transparent balms. So, the conclusion is, GET SWATCHING!