My US shopping list

Since I won’t be travelling much with a new full time job, and the US is on the other side of the world and it has so many things that Singapore doesn’t, I HAVE to buy some stuff. I try to keep it reasonable, though.

 

Non beauty stuff: I’m not a big shopping person. I already have tons of nice clothes that are classic and fit me well. My mum also helped me tailor some dresses recently, that I couldn’t fit as well as some of her own clothes so that I could wear them, so I came into a crapton of clothes in the past week. Mums are amazing creatures. I still have a general lack of tops, so I may buy a shirt or two, ever since I’ve lost my absolute favourite dress-up-or-down-or-anytime shirt from H&M.

I might buy some food back. Food is SO CHEAP in the US. Maybe some heavy cream?!? Don’t laugh at me, I would like to bake more but can’t because dairy is CRAZY expensive here. Or TORTILLAS? 😀

 

Beauty stuff is split into mainstream and indie categories:

Looking through the Sephora website has stunned me. Everything is so goddamn expensive. I haven’t spent that much on single item since forever. I mean seriously, I’ve been totally spoilt by the 2nd hand make up market. :S No wonder people can spend $1000 in Sephora. I’ll be keeping my spending to a minimum and anyway I really don’t need more make up… lol.

For mainstream:

  • I’m thinking of getting Maybelline Creamy Mattes in Touch of Spice. It’s unavailable here and I don’t think I have a colour very similar to it. I will be on the lookout for coupons and other deals at my first attempt at couponing!
  • I’m also planning to get ONE Besame lipstick, because Agent Carter. The problem is, I love bright reds but Agent Carter wears a dark red… Argh! Deciding between Besame Red (my favourite kind of bright red) and Red Velvet, the Agent Carter red. Besame claims that Red Velvet is an everyday red…. I wonder what people will think if I wear red lipstick everyday 😀

 

For Indie:

  • I have quite a large Cocoa Pink order planned out. I will be getting 6 sample drams, a shampoo and conditioner (I’ve always wanted a vanilla shampoo!!!!) an intimate cleanser because I want a Cocoa Marshmallow smelling hooch, and a vanilla body lotion thing to use as handcream. I might narrow it down a bit but that’s the idea for now.
  • Geek Chic Cosmetics Pie Hole solid scent set. LOVE the show and I could do with cheap and easy to carry around perfumes. And a couple of eyeshadows.
  • The Charming Frog soaps. SO pretty.

 

The Power of Makeup

This is for a project on r/MakeupRehab!

This is me literally just out of bed, in my PJs. I have nice featurers and nice skin, just a small zit on my chin and a fucking mosquito bite on my cheek. FUCKING mosquito.

(I’ve also got really chubby recently I think :((( TIME TO WORK OUT AND EAT LESS)

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This is with base and the essentials done, like foundation and concealer, brows, I think some blush. I think I got eyeshadow and mascara done too but I’m going to work so I can’t exactly do something dramatic. Still haven’t fixed the hair.

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Realized I forgot lipstick previously – I hadn’t eaten breakfast and I usually apply lipstick afterwards. Also added some finishing touches like highlighter and finishing powder.

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What do you think?

PS. If I did liner or smoky eyes my eyes would look HUGE. Like, sometimes creepily huge.

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My One Night make up bag

I’m not one for special days (like, at ALL, I didn’t remember my own birthday) plus my husband is currently overseas over this weekend, so my Valentine’s was spent staying over at my parents’.

(We also had the best mango sponge cake we’ve ever had for my birthday. Which is not saying much because I detest fruit in dessert, but I actually ate a sizable portion of the cake.)

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Anyway, here’s what I brought for a 2 day, 1 night stay at my parents. I wasn’t going out or to meet anyone, only to teach this kid who I’ve been teaching for the past 6 months or so.

3W Clinic Intensive UV Sunblock Cream: Just reviewed this sunblock after near 2 years of use, I LOVE IT and I would never buy any other sunblock ever again until they DC it or my skin needs change for some reason. Great light day moisturizer with super sun protection all in one.

Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer in Honey: My daily undereye concealer. My undereye circles have been really shitty lately, just like my sleep patterns.

Random Eyebrow Pencil: I normally only use the spoolie on the end, but I keep the pencil around (it’s a tiny nub left) for travel purposes.

ZA I have no idea what this is, maybe the True White, in #20: literally, it was an unopened powder refill left behind by a tenant, so I thought okay might as well use it. It doesn’t feel very smoothly milled in the pan, but it performs pretty well on the face. Not the most exciting product but okay, and easy to travel in that ugly plastic casing.

The Body Shop Kabuki: The first brush I have ever bought. I still like it for apply powder foundation, it really buffs it into the face well without cakiness. It’s soft and it’s held up well over like, the 3 or 4 years I’ve had it.

Mentholatum Sugarlip Watercolour tinted balm: my HG tinted balms, easy colour and super moisturizing. I brought 03, for no particular reason. I also touched a bit to my cheeks.

Clinique deodorant: God this thing never ends, my husband has had it for years.

Etude House Moistfull collagen sleeping pack: It has a very tacky, gluey (or like… semen too, I guess? Lol) consistency, but I’m nearing the end of this travel size and I use it like a night time moisturizer.

PS: I’ve grown 2 more milia over the past couple of months, and I don’t know what caused it but I suspect it’s… this? DDDD: I really need to get them extracted one day.

 

Obviously I also used a cleanser, plus I also used a BHA last night because EW MILIA, but I used my sister’s stuff.

So that’s it! 2 skincare items (4 if you count the stuff I used from my sis), 1 brush, 4 make up items and deodorant. Very minimalistic! A little too minimalistic if I say so myself, but it’s not like I had to impress my own parents 🙂

My HG Sunblock: 3W Clinic Intensive UV Sunblock Cream

I tend to go quite light on the skincare, no complex 20 step regimen for me. Now I’m swimming in a surplus of samples and shit, but my ideal regimen for morning would be like: water cleanse, pat dry, er, most likely this sunblock, and then make up. So like, a one step routine since I would wash my face when I brush my teeth.

So what’s this magical sunblock?

(Sorry it’s a rainy day today, bad lighting.)

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3W Clinic is a very budget, no frills brand from Korea. They don’t have particularly nice packaging, and they produce a large range of make up and skincare. They’re not very exciting, brand wise, but if the other stuff are like this sunscreen, it absolutely delivers.

The exterior first…. it comes in a no nonsense tube with a nozzle. Great for dispensing precise amounts.

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For the actual product, it’s a water-based cream, or a thicker lotion. This means that it’s not thick or greasy, but still undeniably a cream and not watery like the Biore sunscreens. It has a faint errrrr, light flowery and clean scent, but it’s not very strong at all. It absorbs pretty fast, moisturizes well, and leaves only a slight white cast if you really cake it on (because we’re supposed to.) Plus, (and this is a super huge plus) it is one of the few sunscreens I can apply to my eyelids indiscriminately without issue. No stinging, no irritation. In fact, this sunscreen is very soothing on my skin.

A look at the ingredients:

Water, EthylhexylMethoxycinnamate, Titanium Oxide, 1.3-Butylene Glycol, 4-Methylbenzylidene, Camphor, Dicapryl Carbonate, Beeswax, Cetearyl Alcohol, Polyglyceryl-3Methylglucose Distearate, Stearyl Alcohol, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceridde, Glyceryl Stearate, Dimethicone, Methylparaben, Tocopheryl Acetate, Hydrolyzed Collagen, Xanthan Gum, Aloe Barbansis Leaf Extract, Morus Alba Bark Extract, Red Ginseng Extract, Propylparaben, Disodium – EDTA, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate, Allantoin, Arbutin, Betaine, Perfume.

As you can see, it’s a water based cream which makes it very light. The main suncreen actives are Ehylhexyl Methoxycinnamate, which is a slightly unstable chemical filter, and Titanium Oxide, a physical filter. The EM, which probably gives it SPF 50 with its characteristic light texture, is not ideal as it is unstable and degrades over light exposure. However, it has SPF 50+, which is plenty for everyday use, so I don’t mind that too much. Plus, the texture is very light, so I use a pretty large amount every time, which gives me closer to actual SPF50 rather than the 1/3 protection that you usually get from a standard application. You may want to religiously reapply should you be using this for a day at the beach, for example, but for everyday it is perfectly fine.

Other than that, there is nothing much of note, mainly boring cosmetic ingredients. There is Camphor, for some unknown reason, but I have never felt any irritation from it even in my eyes. There is actually Allantoin, Arbutin and Betaine, which are all great skincare/brightening/lightening ingredients, but they are all in tiny amounts.

So this is a pretty nice sunscreen, but what makes it my HG is the PRICE. You can’t beat it. I bought mine at ~$3 previously but our exchanges rates suck now so it’s slightly more expensive. I have used up at least 1 or 2 tubes so far and you can see this tube doesn’t have too much left. I have a couple of backup tubes, and I will definitely repurchase when those run out. I seriously have not felt a need to look at any other sunscreen ever since I found this. I guess that’s what it means by a HG product 🙂

For my daily routine in humid here, it’s plenty moisturizing enough. This may or may not be true in my dry office, IDK, I have yet to test it out since I’m finishing up another sunscreen. It works beautifully under make up too! When I use powder foundation (usually on the very light make up weekends) I always make sure to apply this sunblock liberally to give me a good moisturized base to apply powder on.

You can purchase it here [affiliate] for $4.50 SGD + $0.99 shipping for Singapore. I have purchased multiple times from this seller and have always been satisfied.

Not Makeup: Help me find this very specific style of top.

I actually love love love fashion. I still do, but I also know that I’m lazy, so I try to make conscious choices about my clothes. I unfortunately also lost a TON of clothes (some very expensive, and my favouritest favouritest dress in the whole world too) in my move in May, so my wardrobe is… okay, but you know.

Anyway, this is a dress I used to have.

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Single shoulder, wrapped around the neck. A little bit TOO form fitting for my taste, but very nice for evening. Gosh was I chubby. And can’t believe I carried a <$50 bag?! Lolz, srsly, so much has changed. But my love for the dress remainsssssssss.

Anyway while browsing etsy around I saw THIS:

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It’s the EXACT SAME DESIGN as my dress. Maybe slightly more opaque, idk. And in a top form it can be dressed up or down. LOVE.

Unfortunately it’s EIGHT SEVEN FREAKING SINGAPORE DOLLARS as of now. My dress originally was from ASOS, and it probably cost something in the realm of $30?

So since I found the design on ASOS before, it must have come from China right? Off I went to Alibaba to dig for this very specific one-shoulder style.

 

This is the only thing I’ve found so far. Pros: it’s $14.40 USD with free shipping. Cons: the shop is pretty new and has few feedbacks, and there is no real life picture of the product soooooo it’s kinda sketchy. It’s also a long asymmetrical dress, which is not as great because it instantly spells formal. Although I could always hack the bottom off and hem it up into a top.

 

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Note that I don’t actually need anymore clothes, my wardrobe is filled with gorgeous and carefully curated pieces that are classic and stand the test of time. Many dresses I’ve had for 5 years, some even more. So I am looking for this one very specific style of top/dress.

I don’t know if I will end up buying either. I don’t really want to buy from the etsy seller when it is not all that unique and costs >$100 with shipping. But I also think that the China seller is dodgy.

 

Any other places you can find?

 

Catrice Kaviar Gauche collection and nail polish review

I didn’t buy any make up in January except on the veeeery last day.

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This LE collection from drugstore darling Catrice is actually from July 2015. For some reason, the display in my drugstore just changed to it. Meh, we are probably getting older stock, but whatever, I’m used to Singapore lagging behind lol.

I bought the Blurring Powder Pearls, Gentle Lip gloss, a top coat (mine’s running out) a nail polish, and a mint eyeshadow with gold (that I’ve been wanting for agesssssss.)

For 5 items, the total was $32, which is an INSANE steal. Catrice is one of the cheapest make up brands in Singapore, after Essence, their sister company.

The item that drew me in was obviously The Ballz. If you recall, last December I was lusting after these Guerlain Meteorites Perles des Neiges…

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And I’m still utterly enchanted.

I was like 95% sure I’ll end up buying them. However, when I was near a Guerlain counter one day, I went to take a look and swatched them. HOLY SHIT were they glittery, there was literally chunky glitter up and down my arm. When I went out into the daylight, my arm was like Edward Cullen. No, no, no.

Luckily, these balls are MUCH less glittery. And for $8 instead of $112, they are very satisfying. Also, how AWESOME is the packaging for EIGHT DOLLARS?

I don’t have a swatch today, but I will get one as well as a performance of it on my face.

Suffice to say, I find that it’s slightly shimmery, but not highlighter territory. It’s completely acceptable as an all over face powder, it doesn’t look like you fell into a vat of glitter. You can also use it as a subtle highlighter on cheekbones, but nothing near to strobing here. It’s absolutely lovely and I will have to put up pictures documenting it soon.

I won’t be opening up the lipgloss yet until I’ve finished up a couple (which should be soon, because I slather on lip gloss like no one’s business in the office, the air is SO dry.) I have a sheer cream gloss that I’ve been topping over nearly any lipstick, and it’s going to be running otu soon. I read that it has a buttercream flavour, and it was $6 and it looks SO PRETTY. Yay!

Now, onto nail polish:

Other than that, here’s a swatch of the nail polish (I can’t remember which colour is mine…)

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This is after 3 days of wear. You can see some slight tip wear especially on the index.

The colour of this polish is gorgeous. It’s a greyed out lilac, very nude, but very interesting. If you notice, all the Luxury Nude polishes have a slight duochrome thing going on. You can’t actually see much of the duochrome shimmer, but it adds a nice glow to the colour. It’s not a cream, but definitely not shimmery, so maybe a satin kind of polish. It reminds me of MAC Vex, which is why I bought it, lol.

Formula wise, it’s on the thick side. I find that it doesn’t layer very well, so I prefer applying 1 thick coat over several thin coats. It’s nearly opaque in 1 coat, to be frank, so that’s a plus. Not the easiest polish to apply, but decent.

 

Now, a review of the Quick Dry and High Shine top coat. I bought it because of the speed drying factor, I hate waiting for polish to dry. It’s a very thin top coat, very watery. It’s very easy to apply.

I find that it doesn’t give a very shiny finish due to the very thin nature of the top coat. I had to add 2 coats of top coat, actually, to get the level of gloss I wanted. It’s not really a problem because it dries at TOP SPEED, within 30 seconds it’s more or less dry.

As for longevity, I’ve recently been wearing all my polishes for around 1 week. There is more wear than I’m used to on the 3rd day, but I’ve been harder on my nails this week because I’ve been doing a bit more housework than recent weeks so I’m not sure it’s a fair comparison. Overall it wears well, but probably not the best at keeping wear. There are no chips though so it’s a good thing.

Overall, I think the top coat is worth it because it’s so easy and foolproof to apply and it dries like a dream, no more weird dents on your top coat!!! Plus it’s dirt cheap. I will be testing it out more extensively with other polishes as well, since it’s my only top coat.

 

I don’t have swatches of the eyeshadow yet either, so hopefully I’ll be updating with it soon!

 

Do check out Catrice! They have some real gems, and are so cheap 🙂