Amazing Discovery of Clio Gelpresso

I like swatching drugstore stuff and not buying anything.

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The top row is a various assortment of lipsticks that stained my skin. I want to draw your attention to the bottom row which are various swatches of Clio Gelpresso liners. This is after about 10 hours and many many hand washings. They don’t smudge and have barely faded!! And best of all, they are twist up pencils which means no horrible pencil shaving and wasting product (hate that shit), and MUCH cheaper than Urban Decay 24/7 eyeliners! I can already spot a couple of dupes, like the purple one that is a total dupe for Tornado, although the various red liners veer dangerously into eye infection territory.

There are also a bunch of Revlon lipsticks I wanna get, like Icy Violet, Siren, Fire and Ice, matte balm in shameless, etc. I think I’m becoming more and more adventurous in lip colours. Which probably is scaring the husband.

I’ve spent wayyyy too much on cosmetics this month (I constantly remind myself I am NOT A MAKE UP ADDICT so I have a very small budget for cosmetics) so I’m on a spending ban until the next! When I will probably go grab a few Gelpresso pencils and those lippies I’m lusting after!

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FOTD with Giorgio Armani ETK

Topshop has a make up line that seems pretty decent by most beauty blogger standards although nothing really called out to me. But today I saw their newest A/W offering and IT ALL CHANGED.

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OMG LIKE WOW.

These are Chameleon Glows, duochrome pressed pigments that shift colour. Whatever Topshop wants to market these as, I am reminded of my beloved Giorgio Armani Eyes To Kill intense eyeshadow pots.

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Collection has not yet grown 😦

However at $19 each in Singapore these are ridiculously cheap in comparison. ETKs are $44 each… I know.

I haven’t bought any yet, although they have inspired me to do this look today:

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Hi there new haircut...

Okay, the nice sheen is not so well captured… but I was using Madre Perla and Pulp Fiction. Madre Perla has the same gorgeous green-pink iridescent shift, if not the same in colour, it’s the same in concept.

And note how my skin appears GORGEOUSLY PORELESS like I turned on the auto beauty function or photoshop or something. NONE OF THAT I PROMISE. It was the work of Giorgio Armani master fluid primer which is horrendously expensive. I am left wondering if all silicone primers are the same and if something cheaper will give me the same effect. Because seriously, I love Mr G. Armani, but I’m not stupidly paying for his name for no reason.

Red lip is Revlon Lacquer Balm in I Can’t Remember Maybe 145, which I slapped on using a drugstore tester because I have been on the fence about it for months and I want to see how it looks on me. Still can’t make up my mind.

This is a look I would wear often because it’s really pretty, doesn’t look overdone and insanely simple and quick. I haven’t been giving my ETKs much love because of my lingering obsession with collecting Sleek palettes, but every time I want eyeshadow that clings tenaciously onto my lids I know what to reach for.

Review: The Face Shop Arsainte Eco Therapy skincare

The Face Shop is a popular Korean drugstore price point brand. I say popular referring to others – I never quite liked it very much.

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I had this travel kit for awhile, and finally got round to using it, experimenting with skincare and using up old stuff before settling on a proper routine.

Straightaway I can tell you that I never used the moisturizer in the far right because the tub was dried up by the time I got to it. It was like 2 years old though, so fair enough. I can’t comment on it but I like the tub for holding other depotted stuff. Lol.

But overall, the line is supposed to be made from mostly natural ingredients (from 85% -97%) and alcohol free (i think.) It is fragranced (most skincare stuff is) but it’s a nice, clean, crisp and not overpowering scent. It smells a bit like rice and bamboo and I believe bamboo water is a key ingredient in this line.

The tonic with essential, the first item from the left, is my favourite out of the 4. It is, as it says, a toner with some essential oils from bamboos, I think. I don’t use it as a normal toner (like with the cotton pad and all) but instead just slap it all over my face. It’s cooling, refreshing, and on really humid days (basically everyday) the only thing I apply before I sleep. In the mornings this is the only thing I use before sunscreen. My skin always feels gorgeously soft after this, even without anything else because it absorbs quickly with no residue.  For people who don’t have super dry skin this is a good enough moisturizer by itself.  I would seriously consider purchasing this in a full size bottle. The only thing that’s stopping me is that I have 2 huge half used bottles of toner remaining.

The essence is meh. It’s quite thick and viscous and it feels sticky on my skin. It also makes me sweat around my nose, which is a sign that its a little too rich for my skin. I don’t know how effective or good this is but the feeling itself puts me off. I primarily use this when I want some more dewiness under my make u in the mornings cos I can’t stand sleeping in it ugh.

The daily moisturizer is also meh. It’s a lotion kind of consistency, but I suspect mine might have separated a little from prolonged storage (and that’s why you should USE your stuff, not Hoard it.) This travel bottle is very stupid and does not allow me to get product out effectively because its too thick to come out by itself and I can’t squeeze the bottle. End up shaking the beejeesus out of it. It’s also too thick and sit-on-my-skinish to be comfortable. Guess I prefer gel-creams kind of consistency.

So in conclusion, from the products I’ve tried, I can say that the tonic with essential is something worth spending money on, the essence and moisturizer maybe if you have dry skin, and the travel size tubs are great to keep and hold other shit in when you finish it up (hehe.) TFS is pretty cheap anyway, so it might be worth a shot.

Rocking the mod look

OMG I did something daring today!

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Its a bit more dramatic in real life. Its basically a wearable mod eyeliner. Winged cat eye + that additional swipe across the crease. Because I don’t have the traditional crease of caucasian eyes, I took it up only to my eyelid crease. I tried it on my orbital bone crease (the part where it dents in) and it was wayyyy too dramatic and weird. Lip colour is a bit patchy because this is actually a few hours after application and I am not bothered to fiddle with it yet.

This is totally a possible way to fake double eyelids if you don’t have any, but you’d have to be super daring. In my opinion, skip the bottom liner because the top should do all the talking. I just lined my waterline with a bit of white for contrast.

I actually used a mix of brown and black for the crease line because I chickened out, but its totally possible to do a super graphic full black (and I will the next time!!)

Foundation is Giorgio Armani Lasting Silk foundation, which is fast becoming a favourite except I applied it with a brush today and it was a NO NO. Fingers is the way to go!

Also the best lighting in my place is at 2-4pm. Which sucks because nobody freshly applies make up at that time.

Sheet masks and how to max them out

WARNING: HOARDER LEVEL MAX ALERT.

I unabashedly admit I am a hoarder. I can’t bear to use stuff even though it wouldn’t make sense to keep it (make up is for usage!!!) And this, although very effective, truly showcases my hoarderness.

So, this is about sheet masks. Unbeknownst to me (unbeknownst looks like such an ungrammatical word) sheet masks are apparently a very Asian thing, and only recently the western world has caught on (is that true???)

Sheet masks range from the cheap drugstore:

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My beauty diary is ever a popular brand. They go for about $20 for a box of 10 in Singapore. Bought directly from drugstores in Taiwan (place of origin) they can be significantly cheaper, close to a dollar each (or is it less??) They have many different flavours to whet your marketing appetite, whatever it may be. I like the caviar and black pearl ones because they sound posh, no matter how suspect the caviar/black pearl content is.

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On the other end you have SK2 masks, which, on Sephora US, are (holy shit) 135USD for 10 masks. That’s practically daylight robbery.

Personally I really like MBD masks, even though I don’t use masks often (plus with a baby now, who has time to lie on the bed for 30 min with a mask on your face??) I use it for a pick me up when my skin needs it, like after illness or if it feels especially dry. Though as always I am skeptical about skincare – how much of the effects are placebo effects, and how much is real?? But still, with MBD you can’t really go wrong. They’re cheap, the mask size is just nice for me, it feels good, and a quick perusal of ingredients show no alcohol (yay) although there is also no mention of black pearl/caviar etc, lol. I’ve tried several different random brands of masks, and they tend to be huge – i dont think my face is small, but the eyeholes and mouth holes never match up to mine. MBD ones though are quite good with that, and the essence absorbs well without leaving sticky residue on skin. They’re just so so cheap and readily available in whatever flavour makes you feel happy that day too. Yay for drugstore win!

Whatever mask you use, whether it be fancypants SK-II with its fancypants yeast piteraness, or drugstore staples or Korean drugstore staples, how do you maximize its goodness?

The simplest way is to wipe the mask on your neck and arms after you’re done with it. You’re never going to absorb ALL the essence soaked in the mask, but you can make sure your hands and neck stay young and smooth along with your face. I usually manage to wipe down my entire body too, because there is just SO MUCH EXTRA.

Now we turn a bit more hoardery.

Do you have sample/travel bottles of stuff? If you’re anything like me, it’s a yes, and if you’re a hoarder like me, you’re never going to throw them away for fear that they might ‘come in useful one day.’ And now they do!!

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Aforementioned random mask brand.

There is still a lot of essence left in the packet after taking out the mask. Please put this to good use by depotting it into an appropriate container. As an illustration, this mask that I used yesterday contained about an extra 2ml of essence, filling about a fifth of my Chanel make up remover sample bottle of 10ml. Yes, I washed and dried it very very thoroughly.

If you want to know,  this LAC taut gold standard collagen infusion mask is also damn expensive,  but I believe hubby got it free with purchase. It suffers from the same too big mask problem, but sinks in quick and leaves no residue. However as collagen molecules are too large to penetrate skin when applied topically I would say this is rather gimmicky. It makes my skin nice and soft, but seriously, buy MBD instead.

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2ml may not sound like a lot until you realise your eye cream tubes tend to be about 15ml and your essences/serums are around 30ml. My serums last me FOREVER. I tend to get around a week of use with my teensy 2ml. I use this in place of my normal serum in my skincare routine. Of course, since the product is exposed to light and air since the depotting, please use it up ASAP.

Containers that used to hold liquid stuff works best to hold this liquidy.. stuff. Of course. You will need to slowly manipulate your packet to drip the essence into your container from one corner, which is easier than it sounds because essence is thicker than water.

Having done this with various masks, I must say that some masks have insane amounts of extra serum (like 10ml) while most give around 2-5ml. More is not necessarily better because it’s just increasing the cost per mask without more effectiveness or product, UNLESS you depot it like me. Some serums are also WAY too thick and rich for daily use even as a pat on serum, or leave that gross sticky residue I hate. MBD avoids all these pitfalls. It yields adequate serum without going overboard, while being great to use on a daily basis.

What do you think? Is this too hoardery? It definitely maximizes each mask I use though!

Why I still put on make up even though I am a temporary stay at home mum

I am now a temporary stay at home mum, because of the traditional confinement where the woman can’t do anything for a month (or more.)

Even then, I’ve been putting on make up (no matter how light) everyday. Except today when I ran a fever. Sorry. But still, every other day. But why bother when I don’t go out, barely even to walk the dog?

It’s about respecting myself and making an effort to feel more put together.

My make up has been streamlined a LOT, no more eyeshadowing or lining (takes too much effort to wash off) and no bold lip colours even, because I’m staying home after all. But concealer, foundation, brows and just that little bit of colour in my face is a must. Sometimes I even put contour and highlight.

If you suddenly drop by my home, I look like I know what I’m doing and I’m very put together, not that I’m frazzled and stressed and had 4 hours of sleep. And with fake confidence and poise I almost have the real thing. And it makes me feel more like the picture of a radiant, happy new mum with a happy gurgling adorable baby, instead of the nasty screaming monsters we all know they can be.

Tomorrow I am going out, and I will be stepping up my make up because I have a Guerlain lipstick I haven’t even tested yet (HORRORS) but for at home days, just enough to cover my battle scars and make me look glowing is good enough. And not to mention essential.

I’m almost back to my old size, so soon I can fit into all my sexy gorgeous old clothes, which will do even more wonders for my self esteem and happiness. Bye Bye boring maternity clothes! (I had like, 8 outfits which means I basically wore the same thing every week.) and it might mean OOTDs to go along with FOTDs!

Review: Giorgio Armani Face Fabric in 01

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Received this nice little sample of Face Fabric in 1 when I bought something from a seller.

This is a foundation with 0 SPF (which is something I do not actually have, lol) so be careful about applying it during the day.

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It looks like this squeezed out.

It’s actually like a tinted silicone primer. It’s very silky siliconey, but also has some colour.

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On human face. It’s a little white for me.

It gives light coverage, but as all silicones go it pills up if you try to layer too much. It managed to cover most of my problematic places, although I don’t have much. I also find that I get really sweaty real fast, as if my pores are kinda being suffocated. It feels a little bit uncomfortable in sweaty weather and gets patchy after awhile.

It also doesn’t quite feel like the second skin Armani purports it to be. Maybe it’s the slight colour mismatch, but I find that this REALLY doesn’t do much for my skin. I’ve worn it a couple of times already and I’m not blown away and for the kind of price Giorgio Armani foundations go for, I better be blown away.

If you think my skin looks amazing, do let me know, because I don’t think so. Haha.

Be informed about Sunscreen! Part 1

Sunscreen/sunblock isn’t exactly the most exciting product out there. Nobody went OMG SUNSCREEN.

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When I was in school, I was in archery and I loved general sports, jogging, swimming, etc. I also happened to be in a particularly rebellious phase. Chinese people love being fair, so of course I had to be as tanned as possible. And obviously I didn’t care about sunscreen.

Now that I’m older, vainer and generally wiser, I slather on sunscreen everyday. But what is it and why do you need it?

In Singapore especially when its summer year round and the only seasons are hot or hotter, sunscreen is SUPER important. The sun’s UVA and UVB rays damage our skin cells and the DNA inside, causing aging, wrinkles, sunspots and burnt skin and in extreme cases, skin cancer. This is extremely anecdotal and unscientific (sorry, science teachers) so feel free to read up more if you want.

Basically, the best thing you can do for your skin is AVOID THE SUN LIKE A PLAGUE.

Based in my anecdotal experiences though, of course tans (to a certain degree) are sexy and make you glow (it isn’t called a sun-kissed glow for nothing.) I also notice that for example, when I swim more in the afternoon sun my facial skin tends to get better, with less spots etc. But what we must remember is that these are all good when we are young, and it will bite us in the ass when we’re 30 and beyond and getting dark spots and wrinkles and whatever else.

Obviously we can’t avoid the sun 24/7, so what we can do is reduce sun exposure and wear a lot of sunscreen.

Sunscreen is a confusing thing, I know. I am haunted by greasy white lotions from childhood memories when going to the zoo or similar. That’s why I’d rather tan. But nowadays sunscreens have become very advanced and nice!

In the picture above I have the 3W clinic intensive UV sunblock. It blocks both UVB (burnt skin) and UVA (skin cancer) rays, meaning it’s broad spectrum and something you should be using on a daily basis. A quick perusal of the ingredients show Titanium oxide and Zinc oxide, which are physical sunscreens.

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And this is Paula’s Choice skin balancing Ultra Sheer daily moisturizer with SPF 30. It’s a chemical sunscreen using avobenzone and some other chemicals I haven’t heard of but are basically sunscreen.

Titanium Oxide is blindingly white, so physical sunscreens tend to have a white cast, which isn’t too much of a deal breaker for me because by not being able to go out after having my baby I am getting even fairer. I can dedinitely see how it would be a hindrance to darker skinned people though. They generally stay on your face as a physical barrier until broken down/worn off by environmental factors,; face oil, water, sweat, etc. Chemical sunscreens generally wear off after about 2 hours and need frequent reapplication, and you’re supposed to let them sit on your skin for half an hour before make up (ain’t no time fo that shit.) So both of them have their benefits and downfalls.

Next part of this post will be comparing the two and which might be better for you!

Of Bronzers, Contours and Babies

Having a baby is WAY more work than I expected. If any of you are going/planning to have a baby take the number of things you expect to do along with taking care of the baby, and divide it by 5. That’s approximately how much got done in the last 2 weeks.

In any case, I finally have a new post!

I love my bronzer/contour powders. I usually use it most days (even light make up days!) Because it only takes a few seconds to sweep it on and it makes a world of difference.

I used to think they were interchangeable.  But THEY ARE NOT. cooler toned bronzers MAY work as like, nose shaders but in general should NOT be put on noses unless you want orange sides to your nose.

My collection:

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left column top: some kinda Shiseido face kit thingy bought from Taiwan. Obviously I shade my face very, very much.
Bottom: NYX blush in Taupe.
Middle column top: Illamasqua Cream pigment in Hollow
Bottom: Body Shop Honey bronzer in 03 medium matte with super ultra banged up packaging
Right column: custom Shu Uemura blush duo. The nice lavender shade is obviously a blush, and I bought the bronzy brown shade (P740) initially as a bronzer.

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All swatched:
L-R Shiseido face kit, Nyx Taupe, Body Shop bronzer, Illamasqua Hollow, Shu Uemura P740.

Straightaway we can see that Shu Uemura looks more like a nice soft browny pink blush. It’s gorgeous and slightly shimmery, just like, not a bronzer. Unless maybe you’re super white. I’m only NC20, so nope. I still use it as a blush though cos it’s gorgeous.

The Shiseido face kit and the body shop bronzer both are super orange. It’s only really apparent when you swatch them together with cooler toned stuff. Ive seen the body shop bronzer touted as one of the not too orange matte bronzers in the market, and its true. It doesn’t make me look like an oompa loompa, and in a pinch I can apply some down my nose and not have it look too atrocious. The Shiseido face kit is cooler toned than the Body Shop one and I used it very lovingly as shown, but even then they’re both suuuuper orange. And kids, this is why you don’t contour with bronzer because.

It’s a toss up between Nyx and Illamasqua. NYX is ever so slightly warmer but I’m not particularly cool toned so it still works okay. I don’t fancy powders that much though because i always feel like they sit on the skin rather than really absorb to make A Look.  Hollow looks absolutely gorgeous on face, and the cream consistency means better ability to carve out hunks of cheekbones. Unfortunately cream stuff in this weather is Not Smart, so even though I love it I only try to use it if I know I’m going to be assiduously avoiding the sun. Hence, since I’ve got NYX Taupe I’ve been using it almost everyday.

I would say if you want a sun kissed, bronzed goddess look, go for bronzer (but no no no no on the sides of your nose NO NO unless you have literally 0 other choice and even then use as little as possible.) But if you want real sexy cheekbones and a nice thin straight nose, use contour powder (duh.)

For the extremely lucky like me who actually have existing cheekbones and not too flat a nose bridge, it’s not too essential how warm/cool the colour is because you already have actual natural shadows, you’re just enhancing them. But remember, for proper contouring, always pick the contour powder!!!!

I hope I have showed how different powders can look vastly different when swatched next to each other. Next time take note before you make a purchase!