Weight.

Today I want to talk about weight.

This was inspired by an article on Cracked.com, which I love on the whole. However I really, really hate it when they try to be ‘liberal’ and defend sub-groups that get picked on.

I guess I’m posting it here because it’s kind of related to beauty, I suppose.

Now, I want to get some terminology right:

  • Fat. Every human has fat. I in fact, have more fat than quite a few other local girls though on the whole I am pretty skinny. At my normal state, I am not as lean as my model friends. I also have bigger boobs, so that’s a plus. This slight chubs (subcutaneous fat) is what I’m referring to as fat.
  • Frame. Some people have huge frames (think broad shoulders and chest, wide ribcage, etc.) I have a relatively small frame. Not necessarily related to height. Caucasian women generally have larger frames. People with larger frames are naturally heavier, I guess.
  • Diet. Now this is a trigger-word. I do not consider crash/fad diets to be diets at all. When I talk about diet, I refer to things you eat day-in, day-out, as per normal. A diet that you can sustain for a year, at least.
  • Carbohydrates. Another trigger word. Every fucking food item has carbohydrate, even meat (in tiny amounts.) What I mean by carbohydrate is actually: grain, bread, rice, pasta, etc. Those starchy foods have a LOT of carbohydrate as their main nutrition. (Also includes anything made with floor, noodles, cakes, etc.)

So. I’m obviously quite thin, although not as lean right now as I would like to be. I don’t exercise much or regularly, but I have a very good diet. When I was eating a lot, I also exercised a lot. I did quite a few 10ks and even a 21k run. Now, I am definitely weaker physically since I do not exercise regularly, but if I were to do the same amount of exercise as then, I would be even leaner than I am now. So weight =/= fitness, since I was fitter when I was fatter than now, but I could be thin and fit if I tried harder.

There’s also an issue with where women store fats. I have a friend who doesn’t get much fat on her body but her cheeks become humongous. I myself store fat in my thighs, sometimes when my shorts don’t fit right I know it’s time to exercise some self control. You may look more or less unsightly deepending on where you gain the fat, but I think a good goal to go for here is an increase in leanness overall.

Fatshaming is a terrible thing. Since I try to be nice to anything except mosquitoes, including plants and all, I abhor fat shaming. If I had a fat friend who wanted to lose weight, YES I would totally help her (plus I would use it as motivation to get myself to exercise more.) I don’t think being nasty accomplishes anything in life. However, I believe that 99% of people can get slimmer if they make the correct choices, the 1% of course for true medical exceptions.

I have very, very good self control, at least in the weight/diet/health area (and also in the personal finance area.) It’s all down to willpower, people. Since controlling diet is much more efficient than trying to lose all the weight by exercise, I will be talking about that.

Fat is basically our body’s energy reserves. Like seals and whales who have blubber, and camel humps which store fat. When a camel goes without water and food for many days, his hump gets smaller, because he uses up his reserves. If you consume more than what your body requires, you will put away some of it as reserves ie fats.

Now, there is talk of calorie-in calorie-out. I strongly advocate this method, but it is frequently abused by people who do not understand how it bloody works. The science is simple. Every gram of fat has 9 calories. That’s why it is easy to get fat on fats, and why fried food has lots of calories, because you need to each much less fats than other nutrient types to get the same number of calories. Every gram of carb has 4 calories. Every gram of protein has 4. Alcohol has 7/gram (that’s why drinking can make you fat.)

The Cracked article states that humans’ metabolic rates are understated by the guideline of 2000 cal/day. I find that to be complete bullshit. At least for Asian women, since we are smaller in general stature, we need far less than 2000 calories. I have not kept track of my calorie intake for a looooong time, but believe me my portions are very small. I estimate my general daily intake to be around the 1500 level, and of course I am maintaining my weight well. However this probably does vary very greatly from person to person. Most foods have a lot more calories than people think, and that’s why many people underestimate their calorie intake. Common high-calorie culprits are anything involving dairy, starchy foods, and meat. My recommended method is: just use common sense, find the appropriate amount of food that helps you achieve your goals, be it losing or maintaining (or gaining) weight.

This article for example, talks about artificial sweeteners (which have no calories) causing people to be fat anyway. This is because artificial sweeteners do not satisfy your craving for sugar and people with less self control tend to go and consume sugar even after drinking soda with artifical sweetener or whatever, negating its intended effects anyway. If you can negate the consuming of actual sugar after consuming artificial sweetener, you will be fine.

Tastebuds can be trained and bettered. Nowadays, I rarely eat outside food because I find it too damn salty usually. And I don’t drink drinks anymore outside because the super high sugar content actually make me thirsty or my throat dry. I was not like this previously, but due to many years of better choices my body reacts like this now. I also used to be super picky about vegetables, and I hated celery, but now I eat celery in almost everything. Tastes can and do change for the better, especially when you maintain good habits for a long time. 

My ideal diet and the one I would recommend for people trying for a better diet, is to eat lots of vegetables and fruit, with little meat, a little bit of carbs, and minimal processed food, sugar, and salt. I actually eat very little fruit, but I think my vegetable consumption makes up for it. I always stock up on veggies that last for a long time in the fridge, such as celery and carrots. Skip the lettuce and shit. Go frozen if you need to. I don’t skimp on anything I feel like eating. I sometimes eat fried chicken, skin on, but my usual meal is rice, celery and some cheap mushrooms. It’s sustainable because I don’t ban myself from anything I want to eat, I just eat everything in moderation.

The problem with a western diet is that it revolves around potatoes/bread (carbohydrates) and meat. Vegetables always take the main stage for me. I only throw in meat (usually) for some flavour as a side character in a dish. I don’t even eat much carbs (like rice.) That’s the Chinese way, we don’t often have lots of meat as a standalone dish. Vegetables have a lot of fiber, water, and cellulose, which makes it a lot less carb and calorie dense than potatoes (which are packed with starch.)

I live in an expensive city, and I buy dirt cheap vegetables at the local supermarket. What, you don’t have a supermarket/grocery store near you? REALLY? I mean, come on, I don’t fucking believe you unless you live in a cabin in the woods, you’re in the fucking most developed nation on earth and you have an internet connection. Some stores can have items that are more expensive, sure, but that’s why you shop smart. I have a premium high-end supermarket opposite the road from me, but I never, ever go there. I always walk 1km each way to the super budget supermarket. (For the record, I have a Fairprice Finest which is the high end version nearer me, but I choose to go to the budget one instead. COME ON.) I always buy a shitload of vegetables (filling 1.5 baskets) and always only spend around $50 SGD even with lots of other expensive shit thrown in. I skip things that are very expensive that trip (egg prices are sky high now so I reduced my egg consumption.) It’s MUCH cheaper to cook at home, and yes it does take some effort, but it’s a skill, people. You don’t need a full functioning kitchen. You just need like 1 pot and a single (even portable will do) cooker, a couple of plates and bowls and that’s it. You can even use the microwave to cook a meal.

My diet is I eat whatever I want, HOWEVER, due to years of eating well I’m naturally trained to eat decently no matter how much rubbish I try to eat. I never, ever eat ‘snacks’ like chips or popcorn or bullshit because I simply don’t like it. These chips and whatnot are addictive, sure, and my husband always predicts I won’t stop eating them if I ask to have a few of his chips. But I always prove him wrong, and I always stop after a few. Dairy makes me feel generally unwell so I also avoid too much dairy. However a couple of days ago I made biscuits with 300g of heavy cream (that’s 900 cal over 12 biscuits from the fat in heavy cream ALONE) and I ate them, because I know how to eat two and stop, not eat all 12 at one go. I stop eating when I’m feeling semi-full, like any decent person should. I do not stuff my face.

And there is no such thing as starvation mode. If you do not eat, you will starve, yes, and therefore get thinner in the process. You will definitely lose muscle mass, since they will break down the muscle for energy eventually, but you will also lose a ton of fat. This only actually applies if you starve for many days on an end. The other day I had stuff to do the whole day outside and I didn’t bring food from home, so rather than buy food outside I told my husband I would simply not eat from 9am-4pm, and I think I even forgot to eat breakfast, although I did have my morning tea. He didn’t believe me, but I sure as hell did it. (I did drink a bottle of something with sugar in it though.) Even after I got home I did not immediately eat anything, and had dinner at 8. That day due to quite a lot of activity and the no eating, I lost the bit of chub I put on recently. If you go and run non-stop for 1 hour, you burn around 800 calories. That is quite a lot of calories, and so long as you don’t eat that all back, usually within the next day you can see immediate effects, most noticeably on the loss of chubs/getting leaner even if there’s not much actual weight loss. This is due to the fat being used up by your body.

You know sometimes you feel really hungry and you get hunger pains but after awhile it goes away? I call that the phantom pain. It makes you feel like you are hungry as fuck, but think, the last time you had a meal was probably a few hours ago. It’s not a real hunger. Most of us carry around enough fat and muscle reserves to last us at least 1-2 weeks without food. I mean, how bad are our hunger pains compared to people starving in rural third world areas?

The thinnest I was in my life was about 2 months after I gave birth. I didn’t have time to feed myself, literally, so I rarely ate for weeks, maybe once or twice a day at most. Maybe there is no culture of ‘instant’ food for me. At that time, if I didn’t manage to whip something up, I just didn’t eat. It’s not like I simply went out to buy take out, microwaved food, or ordered delivery (which I totally could have.) This mindset is great for anything in life, be it finance, mental health, or yes, weight.

I totally understand drugs and depression making people fat. I am clinically depressed and was on many drugs too, and there were periods where I definitely craved food. Just last week or so I ate like 5 meals in a day because I felt like it, and I did get a bit chubbier than usual. But remember, it’s all about appetite. The drug/condition DOES NOT make you fat. It either slows down your activity (such as by making you more relaxed or sleep more) or increases your appetite and makes you consume more calories. You can control your food intake even with increased appetite, although it is definitely hard.

Hunger and dieting is not an inherently bad thing. This is the first time in history that we had such an unprecedented access to all sorts of instant gratification, food-wise. It’s like we totally forgot how to go hungry once in awhile, which I am sure many people who are more unfortunate can relate to.

Some steps that everyone can do to lead slightly healthier lives

  • Install a pedometer app on your phone. You SHOULD walk 10,000 steps a day as a rough guideline. I rarely hit it. Your physical activity is much less than you think it is, honestly.
  • Do not put salt in 1 dish that you make. I frequently don’t salt my veggies at all.
  • Reduce portion sizes. If you do it a little by little you’ll hardly notice it. Maybe eat 1 spoon less of pasta day, or something.
  • Cut out/reduce all drinks with calories. Nowadays I enjoy tea with a little sweet condensed milk, but for many years I drank tea as is. Drinks can be a nasty, surprise source of calories. Cut out any drinks bought off the shelf especially.

I do not wish to start a war regarding health and obesity and whatnot, but I urge you to examine your lifestyle honestly and critically before commenting. I used to think I was just larger than other girls when I was 6+ kg heavier, but I grew to realize it was just because of my love for eating. Nowadays I am much thinner, with almost no effort. It requires a lot of training up, changing mindsets and your set of tastebuds, and a lot of willpower, but for most people I believe it’s possible to become thinner and healthier, sustainably. I want to become a better version of myself, which is why I exercise, and I hope that you also would want to do the same and shed some fat.

Powder Foundation: How to use

If you’re like me, you’re confounded by powder foundations. Most people use them as a topper powder or to mattify, few people actually use it as foundation.

Recently, in my lazy no make up days when I had to go out to face the world (boooooo) I slap on a quick bit of make up and skincare. Usually it’s just my sunblock, a little bit of concealer, my brows, and the powder foundation.

(photo not taken by me, my compact has been smashed since long ago and I just keep the pan in my make up box to use.)

My skin is quite normal, and it’s only oily on my nose. Previously, when I used powder foundations, I kind of just slap it on, and it would look really cakey and fake. I’m totally not down with that, so I kinda ignored powder foundations for a long time. Recently however, I find powder foundation to be perfect for those low maintenance, sheer coverage days.

Any powder to me will do. I don’t think talc and some pigments should cost $80++. What nonsense. This handy 17 Soft Touch BB powder (the lower end, teen targeted Boots housebrand) costs something like SGD8 in Bangkok in Boots.

A good powder must:

  1. Be finely milled. I’ve touched some coarse powders in my lifetime. You wouldn’t really know the difference until you touch a sublimely soft powder. This is one of those sublimely soft ones. I’ve used powders from Maybelline and Za previously, and both were nowhere as good as this 17 one. Coarse powders look cakey easily and of course, don’t feel as good.
  2. Not be a sheer pressed powder. This powder semi-sheer, it offers definite coverage but nothing too much. You obviously won’t be getting any coverage out of a sheer or translucent product.
  3. If you have oily skin, you will probably be concerned about oil control. The 17 BB powder unfortunately has quite bad oil control power. Thankfully I’m not super oily all over, but it’s something to think about. It doesn’t bother me too much, since if I’m using this powder only I’m not expecting to look picture perfect.

My preferred fuss-free application method is to use a buffing face brush. I use the Real Techniques Buffing Brush but you can also use the Face Brush, or any similar brush. I also use a kabuki on occasion. Must be dense and bristles slightly stiffer, not so floppy.

  1. Start with a moisturized face. If you’re not super oily, you MUST have something underneath. Powder on dry skin is cringeworthy. Your skin should be slightly tacky. I have used it over moisturizer, my sunblock (which is the thick cream kind) and even a serum and it is fine.
  2. Pick up product with your brush. Since it’s going to be buffed in and there’s no other base product, it doesn’t matter if you’re heavy handed.
  3. Buff the powder into your face! I use circular motions to really work it in. The tacky skincare underneath will prevent it from looking cakey. It’s similar to using a powder foundation damp, but with much less mess and fuss.

Since then my powder foundations have had a new life! I used to use just the tiniest bit of powder to mattify my T-zone but now I finally figured out the best way to use powder foundation as an actual foundation!

Even so, there is barely a dip in my pan and I’ve had it for like, 1.5 years at least. It’s the powder that I’m using most of the time at home, because it’s divinely soft and because I want to finish using an exposed pan as fast as I humanly can. God, powder sizes are WAY too big.

Hope you found this tip useful! I love the simplicity and quickness of it for the times I have to pop out of the house for something.

Semi-mini-hiatus

I realize that I have a very obsessive yet short attention span. My hobbies wax and wane in waves. For example, I have not bought a single make up item since like, August or something (I was too horrified by my indulgent Life’s Entropy and Colorpop splurge) and I am completely 100% okay, I don’t even have lemmings.

I’m also very obsessed with Marvel Future Fight right now and I DON’T EVEN KNOW WHY. I mean, I like Marvel, comics/graphic novels and the Avengers, but I wouldn’t call myself particularly a fan. (But I’m a huge fan of Chris Evans. And Chris Pratt. But not Chris Hemsworth.) I also like gaming but mobile games generally are a once in awhile thing, not this level of obsessiveness.

So yes, anyway, my interest right now being with MFF, I have not been very make-up focused lately. Some nights I didn’t even bother with skincare, lol.

I am not really going on a hiatus: I like talking nonsense about my interests, but there might be more sporadic posting from now on, or until I figure out some way to reinvent my make-up life. Consider this a rut of some kind.

Indie Make up Rabbit Hole

It has FINALLY HAPPENED.

I have fallen down the rabbit hole of Indie Make up. SAVE ME!

I only started really getting into cosmetics some time early last year, when being pregnant was absolutely boring. Prior to that I bought make up like a normal person, so I basically had only 1 of each product type. Anyway, it took me close to 1.5 years of make up obsession to finally get into indie make up.

I guess I’m having mainstream makeup fatigue. At this point, I’ve basically seen every colour of eyeshadow possible. I also own close to every major shade of lip colour possible. I don’t collect make up for collecting’s sake, but to use them, so I really need my make up to be functional. Right now I’m all for duochromes, innovation and COOL THANGZ. That’s why I keep experimenting with the make up I have, from mashing lip colours together, finding ways to use my bad liquid liner, and reusing my exploded mascara.

Indie make up manages to fill this niche.

I have a few complaints about indies however:

  1. TAT for indie can be annoying. I WANT MY PRETTYZ AND I WANT IT NOW!
  2. International shipping is usually on the expensive side, at ~$8 USD.
  3. Most things are loose powders. I HATE loose powders. I might buy a pressing kit just to press everything. Or maybe just get used to loose powders, lol.
  4. If you don’t realize it, a lot of indie companies put out the same few products. Some of them have cool names and themes, but if you look beyond that (which is actually just marketing) they’re just loose eyeshadows and blushes and sometimes weird lipstick colours. That’s why I was so happy with Life’s Entropy for making something really cool ie LIP THEORIES!

Some picks from a very discerning and fussy consumer:

  • Fyrinnae’s lip lustres seem cool. Some colours like Sexy Nerd are also really awesome. Of course they have some cult eyeshadow colours like Worksafe Blue and Rapunzel Had Extensions. I wish they were still selling their pressed shadows though *sadface* I will also probably grab their pixie epoxy.
  • Meow Cosmetics fascinate me because I absolutely detest loose powder/mineral foundation. I mean how can loose powder be full coverage?! But reviews online have convinced me and I’m totally for the billions of undertones. Will definitely be buying some samples and getting my colour match.

I also like Shiro’s geekery very much, and I love the Avengers, but yknow, bright… purple…. eyeshadow? I just don’t use bright blue/green/purple eyeshadow that much, you know?

Recent Empties

I has EMPTIES!!!

1. Za Dark Circles Gone (free event gift)

These came in a pack of 4 or something, and for some reason I hoarded the last one until recently. So I finally finished my last pack up. I don’t believe any product can get rid of dark eye circles, so whatever. At least they felt nice and squishy.

2. The Body Shop Vitamin C microdermabrasion

One of the old school so harsh it hurts face scrubs. I repurposed it as a neck and hands scrub, and it worked great for that. It also works great for around my ankles where I seem to accumulate dead skin. It’s seriously harsh. No repurchase ever.

3. Boots Keep It Sweet Vanilla Smoothie Shower Scrub

To be very frank this is terrible as a scrub, it’s simply not very scrubby. It is very rich and moisturizing though, and it rinses off very clean, no residue. I love this because of the DIVINE vanilla scent, and the very budget pricing (I believe you can usually get this for something like $10 SGD for 2 in Boots in Thailand.) I have many bottles of the same scent shower gel left, but I think I might repurchase this when I’m back in Bangkok.

VANILLA SMOOTHIE ME.

4. Dr Morita Moisturizing Essence Facial Mask (sheet mask)

I bought this way back in Taiwan in…… 2012. Like what the fuck am I doing, right? What’s so difficult about putting a sheet mask on your face?!

This comes with a LOT of extra essence, which I pour into a small bottle with a dropper. I used the extra for like 2 weeks after that, day and night. It has a very mild fragrance, and sinks into the skin easily, which is why it was great to use it as an essence/lotion first step, it is hydrating yet is absorbed super fast. I like it, but seeing how long I take to finish sheet masks, I won’t be buying more anytime soon. (I got a pack from some other brand of 6 for 10HKD (around $2 SGD) at some special sale in Hong Kong, so that will probably last me a year.)

So that’s about it. I’m very, very happy to finish up stuff. I would love to finish my make up but I don’t know why it takes SO LONG. My SANA Pore Putty primer is on its VERY last legs but just won’t quit dispensing, and my Chanel Vitalumiere is still going strong after I spent more than a YEAR trying to use the fucking thing up.

FOTD: Glossy Red Lips

Found this FOTD in my photos folder.

I’m not in love with this look, but it’s pretty experimental.

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The red lips should be L’oreal’s Shine Caresse in Juliette.

I love this formula, and the colour is good too. It’s not one that I reach for very often, since I can’t wear red every single day, but it’s pretty for sure. It’s a warm-toned red, that’s warm enough to look warm, but not orange enough to look like an orange lipstick, which is what a lot of warm red lipsticks tend to do on me. There are gold shimmers in the tube, but I can’t really see them on my lips.

I’m not so sure about the orange red liner though, does it look like an eye infection?

New Kiko Midnight Siren Collection picks!

DISCLAIMER: Once again, I am still 6000 miles away from the nearest Kiko store. These are simply the items that get me excited, since Kiko generally has very good products even across their limited editions (giving you the side-eye, MAC…) and the whole range is very affordable for the quality.

Although Kiko releases LE collections on the regular, they still have a very large core collection. If you don’t find this collection very exciting I’m sure something in the main line will catch your eye!

Even though the concept of this collection was not as exciting to me as Rebel Romance (STEAMPUNK 4EVA) the actual products are, IMO, better.

The concept of midnight siren is ‘shine after dark’, which makes it sound like a party-esque collection. Since I don’t party, that’s not so applicable to me, but the description of Petroleum blue, emerald green and opalescent silver contrast with the delicate sheen of mother-of-pearl. OMG mother of pearl gets me every time! I love iridescent shimmering fancy effect makeupz. Also, the model is HOT! She looks like a slightly less Chinese version of Olga Kurylenko (I always thought she looked just a little bit Chinese.)

Now, my picks:

Cream Radiance Highlighter:

OMG the packaging is TO DIE FOR. Like can you imagine this amazing thing costs EUR11 ?!?! Looks like something Estee Lauder would be trying to do for their super high end lines. The product is a cream/gel-to-powder highlighter, unfortunately only in 2 relatively boring shades (which is the only bad thing I have to say about Kiko’s highlighters: the really small shade selection.) I have their normal stick highlighter and it’s in a really light gel texture that I love, so I hope this will be as good. It definitely looks a million times prettier though.

Moon Shadow Water Infused Eyeshadow:

Kiko’s cream shadow sticks are one of the best in the market for the price. I own 2 in the normal line and they are FANTASTIC. They really stay put all day, are creamy and easy to blend, and last well. At EUR 8 for this limited edition version, it’s a total steal, when Laura Mercier’s are USD$28 each. The plum and chocolate look great. The turquoise is also really pretty, although I’m sure we get less use out of turquoise than brown and purple. The gold, although not really up my alley, looks great too. As with all stick eyeshadows they are super easy and brainless to use, you can use a finger also I use a fluffy brush to blend it out. It’s my go-to for a hardcore, long-wearing crease colour.

Matte Muse Lipstick:

Aaaaand Kiko has dediced to do matte liquid lipsticks! According to the description they dry down, but are transfer resistant, not transfer proof. Apart from the gorgeous packaging, I don’t think there’s anything that can be said that hasn’t been said already about matte liquid lipsticks, BUT the reason I selected this was for THAT AMAZING RED. Like LOOK AT THE EYE-SEARINGNESS OF IT! This is what I hoped every brand would do: make a BRIGHT FUCKING RED (it’s called GAUDY red woohoo I’m a gaudy whore!!) instead of those boooooring dark glam siren reds.

This is a really exciting collection! I’m not sure if I’ll get to buy any Kiko this year but I absolutely love this collection, plus the model’s eye look in the campaign pic is to die for. 🙂

Nails dump

I am not big on nails, you hardly see me mention nails like ever. My nails are almost always painted, especially now when I need pretty hands for jewellery and the like, but I am the opposite of an addict.

I also don’t paint my polishes very nicely, because I’m human, I can’t sit still, and I type a lot, and peel my lips a lot, etc.

All my polishes are cheap, random brands. I’m much too cheap to spend on name brands like OPI, etc. My couple of OPI shades were minis and like $2 each. I find that many random brand polishes can be very nice.

I own nudes/near nudes in a few different shades (lilac, champagne, pale pink, grey, etc) that I use the most. These are shades that look ‘neutral’ enough to let me wear the hell out of them, have huge chips in them and still look vaguely passable. I love my nude shades, they let me be the lazy fuck I am.

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Catrice Lilactric in the picture.

I have a few shades in non-nude colours, like Tiffany Blue, red, and other generally more muted and tasteful colours.

I used to love glitter nail polish, but it is a bitch to remove, and I’ve grown up. Some of the more tasteful, smaller glitter or shimmer-and-glitter polishes I still use, but I’ve stopped using those with huge glitter bits. I’ve just discovered how to do a sandwich mani of sorts, which allows me to play with my glitter polishes a little bit.

That’s all the nail pics I’ve took for now. I actually quite like this, I’ll probably take more nail pics in the future until I exhaust my nail polish collection (which is like 10 bottles and maybe 6 minis, a comparatively small stash.) I also don’t buy new nail polish.

Life’s Entropy Liquid Illuminator review

Yet another LE review! You can view my service/brow theory review and lip product review too.

I got 2 sample of illuminators, Celestial and Nebula. LE makes quite a few shades of highlighters, and Celestial and Nebula are the fancy duochrome K-Pop-SFX ones. The rest are straight colours. While pretty, I already have a golden highlighter and a pink-champagne, so I only go for all teh special effectz now.

The full size is $12 for normal ones, and $14 for the special effect ones. It sounds just a little bit pricey,  especially for indie products. The quantity of product is also not stated. The samples are a very wallet friendly $1.50/$2, and come with enough for many, many uses.

Here I compared it with Colourpop’s Monster,

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All swatches are: L-R Celestial, Colourpop Monster, Nebula. Nebula appears green/pink, while Celestial is rosegold/pink. I can still never remember which is which unless I look it up.

I swatched them against Monster because I thought they would be a dupe, and I much rather support LE anyday over Colourpop. Turns out they are not dupes, but LE’s highlighters have even more shift than CP’s. MOAR SFX ROAR!

LE’s highlighters are like a lotion, or very light cream consistency, which make it hard to swatch, and also sheerer, but easy to pat on the face with a brush or finger. They sheer out and build up easily as well. It’s not the easiest formula to use (liquids are always the hardest!) but the formula is solid.

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Celestial on my face. (GAWD or is it Nebula. I think it’s Celestial.) I find that it emphasizes pores just a little bit. It’s nice and glowy and not at all glittery, just with a very nice sheen. It also lasts pretty well, but then it’s a very obvious colour/highlight, so I’m not sure if it’s just more obvious to my eyes. I sweated and stuff, and it was still there.

(Btw I’m also using Variable Matte Theory as a blush, just to prove that I can. YOU CAN TOTALLY USE MATTE LIQUID LIPSTICKS AS BLUSH. JUST SAYING. But you do need to blend like crazy and lightning quick.)

Overall I’m very happy with the 2 highlighters. Highlighters are next to impossible to use up, though, so I don’t foresee myself going for a full size even though I love them. I would recommend you to grab a sample of a colour you like!

The BEST budget brush EVAR!

I don’t count lip brushes because…. come on! They’re so tiny, how much can it cost to make one?! Plus their job is really very non-brainer, I can technically use my fingers for the same job.

Long ramble aside: If you have exactly 0 brushes, or only using those nasty cheap free brushes, this is the one brush that will make your life just a little bit more awesome.

Ecotools BLUSH BRUSH!

I bought this at a wholesale supermarket place. If you’re in Singapore, it’s at Lorong 19 Geylang, called UK Fish Village. It’s freaking awesome, and it sells 15kg bag of onions at $15. Apart from the usual supermarkety stuff it also has a small beauty section, where it sells Silky Girl cosmetics (at no reduction from retail price, sadly) and an unbranded beauty tools section. I’ve bought mini shavers from there, but I’ve always been eyeing this Ecotools blush brush they had. They sell it for $6.99 SGD. That’s cheaper than the official retail price of $6.99 USD!!!!

[I was worried about it being fake as well. That’s why I un-bought it for like, 2 years. I did check, and to my untrained eye, it appears to be authentic. Here is a guide to spot fake ecotools.]

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All the signs of it being completely authentic are there!

Frankly speaking my brush’s shape is really weird, you can see the bristles flare out more than the stock picture, and the cover was very dusty: I think it has been there awhile and it wasn’t stocked anymore cos most people who frequent there (migrant workers, actually) probably don’t have a clue what ecotools is. They seemed to have revamped the design, the review I could find of this design was way back from 2009.

The new design is much swankier, and I presume the bristles remain similar. The shape however, has changed a little bit. I’m not sure that this greatly affects the performance: I was never a brush snob. I always thought the original Ecotools look cheap, and I’m glad for the new design, it looks SO much better, like the superb quality brush it actually is!

And it is a SUPERB brush. Despite how cheapo it looks, it’s actually weighted so it doesn’t feel like it’s going to get blown away by the wind (and I assure it, it looks like it will be.) Everything is well made, the ferrule doesn’t jiggle (which happened with one of my cheapo brushes.) I’ve washed it a couple of times and it hasn’t shed at all. (Anyway, to me, one or two hairs shedding is okay.)

And the BRISTLES. They are like the SOFTEST THING I HAVE EVER TOUCHED. Okay, I haven’t molested really top-end animal brushes like Hakuhodo before, but these are MUCH softer than my (already soft) Real Techniques brushes. If RT was like stroking your cat, this is like stroking a tiny kitten belly.

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I know it looks un-soft!!!! That’s what I hate about the look and the packaging. Trust me it’s SUPER SOFT.

It’s fluffy, domed, and not flat, and picks up colour really well. It’s dense, well sized, and not super floppy, just enough to give you good control. It picks up powder well: I went heavy handed with my Sleek blush (one of the most pigmented blushes out there) and it went practically opaque on my face.

I don’t think you can buy this specific one anymore, since it’s so old, but I have no doubts that the new designs are of comparable quality. I’ve always passed up ecotools because the bristles looked scratchy, but the universal praise for it is that it is SO SOFT. While that may not be always ideal for eye brushes, for face brushes, it is perfect.

For the price, this beats many, many higher end, branded brushes. Definitely at least try one out!