Friday, 28 November 2014

Bebe Poshe Sexy Brow Shaper

Oh, this is a drugstore goodie, and another one of my stash of little secrets. Presenting, the Bebe Poshe Sexy Brow Shaper!

Bebe Poshe Sexy Brow Shaper
I bought this close to two years ago at half price or at least 30% discount because the Watsons I went to was clearing stock to prepare for renovation closure. Also, I saw that this brand has cute packaging, and I wanted to try out a brow powder after watching Destiny Godley here.

Before that, I was afraid to use powder because I didn't have a good brush, and I also think my hands aren't the most steady (to draw sleek straight lines).

The little palette this product comes in a almost a perfect square, very angular, and adorned with beauty old English flower-chandelier motifs. It opens and locks well; has a nice click.

The powders themselves are soft, smooth, and incredibly pigmented. They feels like any Urban Decay eyeshadow, very luxurious and high-end.

In fact, they are so pigmented and easy to blend that they can be used as eyeshadows!

For brows, I normally only use the dark brown colour because my hair is jet black, and I simply don't need the lighter brown.

Note: The purpose of the light brown is for you to mix with the dark brown to alter the brown to be lighter. It is good for people who change their hair colour frequently, or people with hair lighter than black.

But sometimes, I do use these powders as eyeshadows.

The lighter brown is just about the colour of my skin, it blends into nothing, and so is good as a blending colour for me, to even out other colours or to blur the edges of other strong eyeshadows.

The darker brown is great for putting in the outer-V and contouring the eye.

Besides, the dark brown is actually amazing for contouring the nose and cheeks as well!!

Use any thin, stiff, angled eyeliner brush to apply. My favourite is by Lauren Luke. I do prefer her angled brush over M.A.C angled eyeliner brush.

This does come with an ah-may-zing brow brush, but I dropped mine down the sink-hole. My heart totally broke and I actually went to buy a whole new palette just so I can have that brush again. Trust me, I own a lot of proper makeup brushes, and that one in the palette is better than all my proper brow brushes.

The usual price is $25 (if I remember correctly). But try to catch a 20% discount and you will find it much more affordable.

Furthermore, the amount of product is huge, and if you use it for brows only, it will last forever. In fact, even if you use it as eyeshadow, it would take a good one year and more to finish.

There is mica and talc. So if you are very sensitive to these, don't put it on your face. As a brow powder, it should be mostly okay.

Rating: 5/5
Perfect! Superb pigmentation, soft and smooth. Offers multiple types of use, does well as matte eyeshadow and contour powder!

You can view my latest use of this powder in my 1950s look here!

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Majolica Majorca Mascara - Lash Expander Edge Meister (Original) and Lash Bone Black Fibre In

The Majolica Majorca mascara replaces my Make Up For Ever Aqua Smoky Lash, and Sasa Super Dolly as my Holy Grail mascara. Let's find out why below!

Majolica Majorca (MM) Mascara - Lash Expander Edge Meister (Original) and Lash Bone Black Fibre In
In the photo below, the one with white cap is the Lash Bone Black Fibre In, and the one in black cap is the Lash Expander Edge Meister. This review will be focused on the mascara in black cap.

The Lash Expander is continually being improved and repackaged by MM, and mine is the original black and gold one from years ago.

MM packaging are all exquisite! The colour coordination is always perfect, and the carvings are intricate; they are just lovely to look at and to hold on to.

Product/ Formula
The MM formula is very black and of just the right wetness.

I know I once hailed the MUFE and Sasa mascaras as Holy Grail mascaras, but not anymore. I just find that the Sasa one is a little too liquid, and clings too much to the brush comb such that I tend to load too much product onto my lashes, to make them all stick together. The MUFE one has too big a brush for my eyes, and I always accidentally apply mascara to my under eye area because of that. With the MM mascara, I never make these mistakes.

As for the Lash Bone Black Fibre In, yes, it works! It is the only one that works besides Maybelline Intense XXL. Many other fibre extensions that I've tried all fall flat.

Wand, Brush, and Comb
The applicator of the MM mascara and Lash Bone Black Fibre In are shown in the photo below. They are basically combs. I think the curve on the combs are just right for Asian eyes.

The wear of the MM mascara is amazing. I have worn this to all my beach-swimming outings, and it lasts through all the sand, sun, and sea!

The MM mascara holds up the curl very, very well, and is jet black, with a standard slightly glossy finish.

Rating: 5/5
My holy grail! This just ticks all the boxes you'd have for a perfect mascara. It is separates, it holds curls, it is waterproof and smudge-proof, it fits small eyes, it looks pretty and cute, and it is drugstore price!

Monday, 24 November 2014

Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum Gel Foundation 16h Radiance-boosting

The Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum Gel Foundation is a little secret I have been keeping for 2-3 years now, because I just somehow never get around to blogging about it.

I am not a foundation person; I much prefer to get BB creams if I need to even out my skin tone and complexion. But, I was convinced by Paris B of My Women Stuff that this is something a BB-cream-person like myself will enjoy too!

Does this foundation stand up to the test for a BB-cream-person? Let's find out!

Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum Gel Foundation 16h Radiance-boosting

I love the packaging (photo below) because it is surprisingly compact, and comes with an awesome pump and cap. This will fit nicely in any decent makeup bag, and I can control the amount of product I want to dispense very well with the pump. I also like the simplicity, and transparent glass make. I find it a very good one to travel with.

Shades/ Colour
There are 3 shades in this foundation line by Bourjois, and they are called 51, 52, and 53. Basically, if you are light, you should be in 51, if you are medium, you should be in 52, and if you are dark, you should be in 53.

That said, the 53 is of a limited intensity, and probably will not suit skins that are more than NC/NW40.

I am NC25, and I am in 52 (photo below). It is just the right intensity for me, but is a tad pink for my warm skin. I do find that the Bourjois foundations go better with pink/cool skin.

However, it is still very near to being neutral, and the slight pink tinge actually gives my skin more balance and lift, brightening my face just the way I like.

I can spread the foundation around very evenly with my fingers. I also find that this works well with a brush or sponge.

A little goes a long way.

There is something about this foundation that seems to make my face glow so radiantly without leaving a trace! If you look closely at my skin in the middle of the photo below, you will see this lit-radiance, compared to my skin in the corners of the photo that is dull. And Bourjois Healthy Mix gives this effect without any detectable shimmer or sparkle specks!

The glow is just right to give that healthy look yet still keeping my face fairly matte and normal.

The coverage is medium. It will even out light sun-damage and scars, but will not fully cover dark under eye circles. I always need a proper concealer for under eye circles. As such, this foundation also feels extremely light on the skin, almost close to nothing, like your everyday moisturiser.

You can see the coverage and finish more closely on my face in the photo below.

In the photo below is the look I did for another dinner that I attended. You will find that my face is a little pink for my neck. I do need to remember to bring the foundation down to my neck when I use this foundation. Otherwise, I love everything else about it.

I do smell a bit of the standard Bourjois makeup fragrance when I bring my hand very close to my nose. There isn't any detectable smell when applied on face.

Sensitive Skin
This is great for my sensitive skin! I didn't feel too good about buying this initially because of the high dimethicone content, but it seems like I am okay with dimethicone, but not so much full on silicone.

Do still check out the ingredients below before buying.

Aqua, dimethicone, cyclopentasiloxane, PEG-10 dimethicone, butylene glycol, aluminium starch octinylsuccinate, phenoxyethanol, sodium chloride, disteardumonium hectorite, disodium stearoyl glutamate, dimethicone crosspolymer, tocopheryl acetate, glycerine, alcohol denatured, parfum, panthenol aluminium hydroxide, lycium barbarum fruit extract, potassium sorbate, sorbic acid, mica, iron oxides, titanium dioxide, and other colourings.

Last but definitely not least, this is such an affordable foundation for the high-end value it gives. At the time I bought it, I remember it to be about $30?

I think this makes real money sense because I know it is something I will empty and love.

Rating: 5/5
I love how this foundation feels so good during application and when on the skin. I also adore the radiant glow it gives me. The price and packaging are bonuses to me. Definitely a good buy if you are just starting out makeup or just want a budget-friendly excellent foundation.

Unfortunately, the shade range is tiny. It also leans pink/cool. Do try this out in store before buying. It also might not suit people with oily/combination skin because of the glow. According to Bun Bun Makeup Tips, people with oily/combination skin will enjoy the Bourjois 123 Correct better. The serum form is really for people who need the moisture boost.

Sunday, 23 November 2014

Miss Dior eau de toilette Originale

The original Miss Dior from the mid-1900s is definitely a classic scent that women enjoyed, especially for dinners and balls, as it is a strong, musky fragrance.

The smell of musk probably underlies the Mandarin phrase, "胭脂水粉", which translates directly as blush-powder, and liquid-powder. The liquid-powder translates by meaning as fragrance, and the smell of musk is the smell of powder.

Wearing Miss Dior throws you back into the mid-1900s immediately.

I love the bottle. It is so simple, with CD carvings on the bottle.

Rating: 5/5.
While Miss Dior wears off very quickly, because it is an EDT, the scent is very strong when it is on. You must love the scent of musk to enjoy this. 

For a less intimidating place to test musk, you may try The Body Shop. Otherwise, you may approach the Dior counters.

Musk is totally my favourite scent ever. I love it in room sprays and candles as well.

Do you enjoy the scent of musk? If not, what is your favourite scent? Jasmine? Lily? Fruity? Citrus? Or woody?

Saturday, 22 November 2014

Revlon Photoready Airbrush Mousse Foundation in 050 Medium Beige

The Revlon Photoready Airbrush Mousse Foundation was released at a point in time when mousse foundation was everything, and people were hot the heels of achieving an airbrushed flawless look. Does this drugstore rendition stand up to the test? Read on to find out.

Revlon Photoready Airbrush Mousse Foundation in 050 Medium Beige

This foundation comes in 8 shades, according to the Revlon website. The 050 Medium Beige here is too dark for me. For quick reference, I am a light medium, NC25, and Urban Decay Naked Skin 4.0, so I should be Natural Beige (one shade lighter than 050) in the Revlon Photoready foundations.

This foundation comes in a beautiful canister with a standard mousse-pump and plastic cap. The pump is slightly hard to press down, and once pressed, it is hard to control too. This does mean that I often dispense more than necessary.

The mousse itself forms well, and the product feels of just the right viscosity. It spreads and blends extremely well, and actually reminds me of NARS Sheer Glow!

Just be careful to be quick and do your face sections at a time, because it does dries down quickly, and will form patches on your face if you are not careful. This is not a problem for me though.

It offers high coverage and is very build-able. Again, I find it almost the same as NARS Sheer Glow. I do enjoy using this as much as I did the NARS Sheer Glow because it makes my face looks flawless and porcelain-perfect. Every time I have it on, I wow at how good my skin can actually look!

The finish is dewy, and semi-jelly-like. It definitely has micro-shimmer in it, and I think it will flash white under flash photography (I have never tried).

Personally, I do enjoy this kind of slightly shimmering, glowing finish because I have dull, dry skin. I do prefer the finish of Revlon Photoready over that of NARS Sheer Glow, because the latter finishes matte and powdery, and feels like it could crack on my dry skin. Still, I will steer clear of this if I know I will be photographed in flash.

Below, you can see how good the coverage is, and how glowing and lit this foundation makes my skin look. On the left half of my face in the photo, I have the Photoready foundation on. On the right half, it is bare skin.
It covers half the darkness of my under eye circles!

The smell is pungent, and I dislike it.

I apply this with brushes. Pretty much any synthetic brush will do. Below, you see a dense tapered small kabuki foundation brush. But really, something like a Sigma flat top or Sonia Kashuk flat top will do the trick.

I do not like using my Beauty Blender with this as it is too gel-like and watery. Comparatively, the Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum and NARS Sheer Glow are drier and more powdery, and so more suitable to be used with a sponge.

Shake before use.

The ingredients are as below.

Sensitive Skin
The alcohol content does make my skin tingle a little every time I use it. As such, I don't think it is suitable for people who often break out from standard drugstore foundations.

For what it gives to the face, I find the price fair. Not cheap, but fair enough.

Rating: 4/5
If you can look pass the pungent smell and are not sensitive to alcohol, I'd say this is worthy of a holy grail. The coverage is so good and the finish is healthy and glowing. Product itself spreads and blends well too. Much of it reminds me of the NARS Sheer Glow, so if you are on a tighter budget, you really might want to pick this up. Beware of flash photography with this.

Note: There is quite a bit of product-wastage and mess with the dispense. And you need to clean every time after use to maintain the hygiene.

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

[Outfit of the Day - GREASE inspired] 1950s High School

This is the continuation of the Grease movie-inspired look. Here, I am featuring the wear and accessories.

First, girls in that era tend to have a sheer scarf tied around their necks. I chose a checkered bright pink and pastel yellow scarf.

Second, tops tend to be simple white button-down shirts with collar, and a bit of details, such as lace. I couldn't quite find a girlish button-down top, so I went with a white top with broad shoulders. The material and cutting (v-neck) is too modern.

Third, the skirts tend to be pastel, milk colours that are more feminine. I think I got this one right, with a mint pastel green skirt with some what polka dot pattern.

Last, the watch is a simple black leather thin ladies strap one, with gold rim, intricate design, and black face.

For my bag, I got a leather forest green shoulder tote with baked maple syrup brown straps. It isn't exactly 50s, so I wouldn't feature it.

I also put on mary-jane platform heels of fair nude skin colour, but made of plastic. While the style is on point, the plastic material really isn't 50s, so I wouldn't feature too.

That's my wear and accessories for this theme! Thank you for reading.

Monday, 17 November 2014

Save or Splurge: Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge vs. Beauty Blender

The Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge had been on my shopping list since it was released, but it had always been out of stock on love-makeup.co.uk, whenever I log in to buy something, so I never had the chance to pick it up.

However, I saw it at Guardian pharmacy the other day, and it was really affordable, so I got it.

Now, here's the big question, can it replace the Beauty Blender?

Let's take a look at the two sponges below. On the left is the Beauty Blender, and on the right is RT Sponge.

They are definitely very different in shape. The Beauty Blender is a tear drop shape, and the RT one is like a blade of leaf, and flat on one side (the side that sits on the table).

I find both shapes equally useful. The flat side on the RT one is useful for pulling foundation along the cheeks/sides of your face, but it isn't essential for me. I do prefer to bounce the foundation when using a sponge (I thought that's the purpose of using sponges?).

The sharp end on both are equally good for the inner corners of the eyes and sides of nose.

The bounce of any makeup sponge is definitely my top evaluation criteria. A good makeup sponge should spring right off the face when it is pressed slightly onto the skin. In this aspect, the Beauty Blender wins hands down. The RT sponge has a very normal bounce that is slightly better than the traditional white triangles. This means that the Beauty Blender buffs in foundation more effectively and efficiently than the RT sponge.

This criteria is about how much the sponge soaks water, swells, lets go of water, and soaks up foundation. In this aspects, the Beauty Blender wins again. The Beauty Blender expands just that little bit more YET lets out more water. Whereas, the RT sponge swells lesser, but holds on to a lot of water inside (that I can't squeeze out no matter how I try). Essentially, this means that the Beauty Blender somehow soaks up less foundation product than the RT sponge. The RT sponge always seem to "eat up" all my foundation, so much so that the same dollop of foundation disappears to almost nothing on my face. My face also has a far-too-wet feeling whenever I use the RT sponge.

On the other hand, the Beauty Blender soaks up just the right amount of foundation, such that it is perfect for using with medium-full coverage foundations (e.g. Revlon photo-ready, Bourjois Healthy Mix), especially those liquid-to-powder ones. It just works so well to spread these kind of foundations evenly without streaks.

Both sponges are not so suitable to use with very fluid BB creams/ foundations, such as UD Naked. Those still work better with your own fingers or a synthetic flat top kabuki brush.

Size of RT sponge with water.

Size of Beauty Blender with water.

That said, the way the RT sponge soaks up more product makes it extremely good for blending in creamy concealers and creme blushes. I love using the sharp end of the RT sponge to tap-out my Sonia Kashuk Hidden Agenda Concealer, because it ends up removing just the right amount of moisture while blending out, such that the concealer doesn't crease along the day. (A lot of under eye creases are due to excess amount of product, be it excess concealer or excess under eye setting powder. Removing excess under eye product is the No.1 step to preventing creases.)

The hardness and density of the RT sponge also makes it ideal for bouncing, buffing, blending, and tapping out creme blushes. Use the sides of the egg for this. You want to use your finger to pull a streak of creme blush along your cheekbones, then use the side (long "edge") of the RT sponge to tap along the perimeter of the blush streak, going around the perimeter in circular motions. After blending out the perimeter such that the blush streak is no longer a streak, you can tap on the center of the blush (where the colour concentration is highest), to soften the colour by absorbing some of the creme blush. Stop when colour is of your desired intensity.

RT sponge is way more affordable than Beauty Blender.

Rating on RT Sponge: 4/5.
Bought it expecting to use it for foundation, but it does not work as well as I'd like for foundation, so I had to find alternative uses for it. That pulled down the score.

Final Verdict: It is a terribly close call, but I'd have to say Save.
While the rating for RT Sponge is not as good as that for Beauty Blender, I do think the price difference renders it worth the buy. It is a little less good for use with foundations, but it does make up for its own shortcomings by being good for concealer and blush, especially because of its shape.

Comparatively, I actually find the shape of Beauty Blender less suited for blending out creme blushes. (I use the fatter bottom of the Beauty Blender for blush, rather than its long sides.)

If your budget allows, I'd say get both. The way I see it, they actually serve different functions, though you can choose to live with it if you only have one or the other.

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

[FOTD - Grease Movie Inspired] 1950s High-school x Pinup Makeup

Grease (1978), the original movie, is an American romantic comedy musical film starring John Travolta as Danny Zuko, a local boy then known as a greaser, and Olivia Newton-John as Sandy Olsson, an Australian girl. In the plot directed by Randall Kleiser for Paramount Pictures, Danny and Sandy met in Rydell High School in the summer of 1958. (Ref: http://www.fandango.com/grease_256/plotsummary)

The movie is a spin-off from Broadway, and had several remakes in the decades that followed. (Ref: http://www.greasethemusical.co.uk/history.php)


I interpreted the look as 1950s high-school girl with a spin of glamour, because I was to attend a dinner.    And the final look is a culmination of a lot of research into the mood of the 1950s, and the factual parts of that era in terms of the hair, makeup, fashion, shoes, bags, nails, and even scent.

First, I will dive into the face of the day, as this blog is primarily on makeup, and continue on the other details in the next blog post.

The finished face is shown below.

The general guideline to 1950s makeup/look is feminine. It was the decade after World War II, and women walked out of wearing jeans and overalls to work during the war, right into the post-war industrial boom. Also, the men were back from the war, people were much happier, and babies were on everybody's minds. In the history of the fairer sex, that era was all about accentuating what makes a human a woman. (Ref: Lisa Eldridge's chat with Madeleine Marsh, Make-up History - 1940's to 1970's, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QBbAqfIxUNM&list=PL820467D574C54128&index=3)

Makeup, in order of how I used each product:
(click on links provided to view review of various products)

1. Bounce on a matte finish foundation, Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum Gel Foundation in #52, using a Beauty Blender. Girls of that era go for matte flawless look. There should not be sunburns or freckles showing through.

2. Bounce on a face primer, Benefit That Gal Brightening Face Primer, for last-lasting effect. Benefit That Gal also gives my dry and yellow-tone skin added perfection because of its micro-luminous pigments with pink tones. That makes my skin looks more moist, healthy, and colour-balanced.

3. Bounce on another layer of the same foundation to make the look extremely long-lasting for the night. This is a modern, added step, that is realistic and practical.

4. Lay down under eye concealer, Sonia Kashuk Concealer Palette in #07 Hidden Agenda, using Sigma Concealer F75 brush, and blend it out by bouncing motions from the Beauty Blender. Remember that the 1950s face is a flawless one.

5. Tap on some cream/gel blush in peach colour, Maybelline Jelly Glow in #04 Sweet Momo, and blend it out by bouncing the Beauty Blender around the edges of the blush. This acts as a cheek primer, and will help the colour to last the whole night.

6. Spread a thin layer of eye primer of skin colour, M.A.C Soft Ochre Paint Pot, all over both eyelids, and blend out using the Beauty Blender. This will conceal any darkness on the eyelids, and also cancel redness if you have redness. Using a standard colourless eye primer will also do, if there is nothing to conceal on your eyelids.

7. Sweep a flattering gold eyeshadow, theBalm Mary-Lou Manizer, all over both eyelids, up to the crease, using a M.A.C 217 brush. I chose Mary-Lou Manizer because it is a pale yellow gold eyeshadow that looks like my skin, but in metallic glam. 

Ladies of the 1950s tend to go with a single neutral colour on their eyes. Ombre and smoky looks are not as popular, especially when it comes to red-lips pinups. That said, "bad" Sandy in Spandex actually wears a smoky black eye.

8. Contour the eye just a little bit using a brown, Revlon Colourstay Shadowlinks in Chocolate, that is suitable for your skin tone, with a M.A.C 217 brush.

9. Dust matte loose powder, Skinfood Red Orange Sun Pact SPF50+ PA+++, all over the face using a Sigma Large Powder F20 brush. Make sure to push the powder all the way up into the hairline, and under your chin.

Actually, the Bourjois Gel Foundation has settled into powder finish by now, and is good enough because I have dry skin. But just for added long-lasting effect, I decided to finish with loose powder. This is a good enhancement if you have combination/oily skin.

10. Draw the brows with a black or dark brown powder, Bebe Poshe Sexy Brow Shaper, using an angled liner brush by Lauren Luke. Make a strong arch in the middle, and thicken the inner corners. Swirl your brush over your brows in the inner corners to soften the look there, and also to make the inner corners circular. Keep the tails sharp.

Brows were a standout feature on the 1950s women, always thick and arched in the middle. Everyone wore dark brows regardless of hair colour.

11. Brush on lightly some brow gel, Essence Lash and Brow Gel Mascara, to set the powder in place for the whole night.

I did not use brow pencil because it simply is much easier to shape eyebrows using a precise brush and good powder.

12. Wing-line the eyes using Le Metier de Beaute Precision Liquid Eyeliner in Noir. Any black eyeliner that allows you to draw a sharp black wing will do. Maybelline Gel Liner and Stila Stay-all-day Liquid Eyeliner are good alternatives.

I did not wing out too much as I still wanted to keep the schoolgirl feel there. If your dress is much more glamorous, then go ahead and do a full blown wing, as a big black wing eyeliner is not uncommon of the 1950s.

13. Use a pen or gel eyeliner, Marc Jacobs Highliner in Blacquer,  to rim the top waterline. This step serves to define the eyes more; outlining to make the eyes sharper.

14. Curl the lashes with NARS eyelash curler, and apply a lengthening waterproof mascara by Majolica Majorca, Lash Expander Edge Meister, to hold the curl up through the night. Your favourite curler and mascara will do too.

15. Tap on peach colour long-lasting blush, Essence #01 Be Flowerful (limited edition from Floral Grunge range), on the high of cheek bones, using Sigma Tapered Face F25 (it is an egg-shape brush). Pull the blush right up the cheekbones, towards the top of ears and into hairline. This is signature of 1950s makeup.

In the 1950s, it is common to go without blush, especially if you are a young schoolgirl or a young adult. However, I chose to put a little because of the red lips.

Also, I chose peach over rose because it fits the pastel colour that I chose for my skirt. Pastel is a common palette in that era, as it screams feminine.

16. Contour under the cheeks and also the jawline with Benefit Hoola Bronzer, using the brush that comes with the bronzer. This is an added step to make photos looks better. You can skip it.

(For beginners, you can suck in your cheeks, and draw a straight line down from the middle of your ears into that hollow, but stop right under the outer corner of your eyes. Do not pull the contour down to your mouth. For jawline, face the mirror straight, and keep brushing powder right on the jaw bone, starting from under your ears, down to the chin. Do it until you see one side "thinner" than the other, and do the other side to match.

For those with wide forehead (which I don't have), keep brushing contour powder along the hairline, starting from where the hairline is above the outer corners of your eyes, down to the temples of your head.

If your face is wide in general, you can keep brushing powder in a C-shape along your hairline on one side until one side looks smaller, then do the other side to match.)

Change into theme costume now lest the red lipstick stains your clothes.

17. Outline the lips using Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-on Lip Pencil in Illegal (it is a nude rose colour). Draw a cupid's bow into sharp peaks. I did not draw outside my natural lips.

Nowadays, girls get flak for drawing lip lines out  of their natural lips, but in the 1950s, it was common to line the lips outside where it really is, in order to create the look of thicker, more voluminous upper and lower lips. So if you find the need to, don't be afraid to over-line!

18. Fill in the lips using a red that matches red nail polish which you have, using a lip brush, M.A.C 318. I used NYX Round Lipstick in #536 Eros. It is a pearl finish, lightly-blue-toned bright red. (For beginners, be sure to use a lip brush!!)

Matching nail colour to lip colour was typical pinups and also typical of the era. I went about this by first choosing a red nail polish that compliments my yellow skin tone, and that is limited edition Rita Ora red by Rimmel. After that, I went looking for a matching lipstick.

There are many good reds out there. The brighter ones are M.A.C Ruby Woo and Lady Danger. Dior 999 (or 666?) is nice too. NARS Audacious Lipstick in Annabella is also a good one, but slightly too dark for my nail colour. From the drugstore, you can check out Maybelline Colour Sensational line. I did not use those as the red is a tad too dark for my nail polish.

To make the lip colour extremely long-lasting, you can do the following:
- blend foundation onto the rims of your lips
- use lip liner
- blot off lipstick after first application using a single sheet of tissue, and matte loose powder
- reapply lipstick and blot off again
- dust loose powder onto the lipstick
- reapply lipstick and do a final blot

It is elaborate, but worth it.

19. Finally, mist over whole face using Urban Decay All-nighter Long-lasting Makeup Setting Spray, to set. Hold the nozzle at least 30 cm away from your face.

With all these steps, the makeup is not only historically accurate, but will stay put throughout the dinner, and longer.

All makeup products used are shown in the photo below.

My 1950s face in a bowl.
The list of products is as follows,
(I have reviewed most of the products in this bowl, but not all. You can roll your mouse over them and click to read my reviews of each product.)

Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum Gel Foundation in #52
Benefit That Gal Brightening Face Primer
Sonia Kashuk Concealer Palette in #07 Hidden Agenda
Skinfood Red Orange Sun Pact SPF50+ PA+++
Benefit Hoola Bronzer
Urban Decay All-nighter Long-lasting Makeup Setting Spray
Beauty Blender
Sigma Concealer F75 brush
Sigma Large Powder F20 brush

Maybelline Jelly Glow in #04 Sweet Momo
Essence #01 Be Flowerful
Sigma Tapered Face F25

M.A.C Soft Ochre Paint Pot
theBalm Mary-Lou Manizer
Revlon Colourstay Shadowlinks in Chocolate
Le Metier de Beaute Precision Liquid Eyeliner in Noir
Marc Jacobs Highliner in Blacquer
Majolica Majorca, Lash Expander Edge Meister
Essence Lash and Brow Gel Mascara
M.A.C 217 brush
angled liner brush by Lauren Luke
NARS eyelash curler

Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-on Lip Pencil in Illegal
NYX Round Lipstick in #536 Eros
M.A.C 318

Rita Ora red by Rimmel

Some more picture references includes,

In the beauty industry, it is always reliable and accurate to reference against editorials and cross-reference with international manufacturers, because the editorials will set the trends, and the manufacturers will only make what is in, and earns money. So these three pictures summarises the face of the 1950s, from dark, thick and eyebrows, right down to the over-drawn big lips.

That is it! If you've lasted till here, good on you! Thank you for reading, and I hope this helps for when you want to recreate the 1950s!

Have you ever done your face or anybody else's to look like that from another era? How did you find the experience? If you are new to icon and time period makeup, are you willing to try? Why or why not?

Bvlgari Omnia Crystalline EDT

This is a little secret I have been keeping for a long, long time - my all-time favourite scent is Omnia Crystalline by Bvlgari.

I first got Omnia Crystalline as a sample when I bought Aqua by Bvlgair (for men). I tried Omnia Crystalline, and it smelled amazing. I checked it out and found that the bottle is gorgeous so I took the plunge and bought it in full size. I have never looked back after that.

It smells of … … I am not sure. But it is neutral and very inoffensive, absolutely appropriate for work, and will do for everything else. It is the end all be all for me, one and only for years.

Along the way, I got others. But I have always turned back to this one.

So that's it! That's my first full-size, bought-with-my-own-keep fragrance.

PS: Bvlgari just launched its entire Crystalline range in eau de PARFUM! Longer lasting, in the same quality. =D

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Innisfree Forest For Men Serum

Innisfree offers a good range of good quality products at affordable prices. And I got this serum as part of the For Men Forest Set, that consists of a toner, cleanser, and this serum.

I am going to say straight up that this serum is a winner!

Innisfree Forest For Men Serum

The serum comes in quite a small translucent forest green squarish cylinder with a pump, that is quite typical of serums. The pump controls the output well, and dispenses a little at a time.

The serum can be seem in the photo below.

It is colourless translucent and feels somewhat thick, as a serum should be.

This bit of serum spreads well over my whole face to give me a powdery feeling and a matte look, without drying my skin at all.

It also smoothes out the look of light lines and dents on my face.

Altogether, it makes for a very, very effective face primer for foundation, and I find that my makeup lasts longer with this beneath, as though I were using a regular face primer.

I am not sure what the serum itself costs as I got it as part of a 3-in-1 pack. But I do know that Men products are less costly. And in general, Innisfree is an affordable brand. The anti-aging range for mature people are more costly though (something standard in the beauty industry).

Rating: 5/5
I love it and I actually think I might get this on its own for myself, as a face primer for longer-lasting makeup, even though it is in the men's range.

The cleanser and toner review will come shortly.

Sunday, 2 November 2014

Pears Oil-clear Soap Bar

I bought the Pears soap because it is clear transparent, large, and very affordable. I wanted a clear soap because it means that the glycerin content is high enough, and so it will be moisturising rather than drying.

My skin is quite sensitive, and does react to drying body cleansers. I will get tiny little red dots of rash if the cleanser is too dry or contains a lot of sodium lareth sulfate.

Pears Oil-clear Soap Bar

I like the old-school no-frills packaging that consists of a straightforward paper box and clear thin plastic that wraps the product.

Yes, I do think it makes me feel clean without being squeaky. My skin also stayed neutral, not dry. I even used it on my face sometimes.

This is so affordable. And the large size means it lasts a nice period of time, at least 3 months.

Sodium cocoate, sodium stearate, sodium palmitate, sodium laureate, water, glycerin, perfume.

Rating: 5/5
I think it does what it promises - plain old simple cleanses your skin. I will repurchase if I need a new soap bar. As of now, I am busy trying to finish many other soap bars.

Sunday, 26 October 2014

LUSH Ultra Bland - The most thorough of all cleansers

The Lush Ultra Bland was bought because I stumbled upon it and found the idea of an all-oil cleanser intriguing. The fact that it is made of all natural ingredients save for a couple of preservatives, also appealed to me. Now, it's time for the review!

LUSH Ultra Bland - The most thorough of all cleansers

You may actually read what's on the cover.
The Lush Ultra Bland comes in a very functional pot just slightly smaller than my palm, and has a twist-to-open cover. The design is Lush's signature semi-matte black, with their sticker on the top and bottom of the tub. The sticker on top appeals to me because it shows the product description and also instructions for use. The sticker underneath shows the ingredients and has the "face" of the person who made it. These help Lush to achieve a very authentic and pure feel, which I enjoy.

You can bring back 5 of such Lush pots to exchange for a free Fresh Face Mask.

Product Texture
The ultra blend is a white, rather solid cleanser that will flow nowhere no matter how long you leave it standing. On the face, it requires a significant amount of effort to spread to all nooks and crannies of the face.

This is a very useful feature for travel as the pot and texture are both very safe regardless of how the product is being thrown around in your luggage.

For home usage, it is not my favourite, since I prefer cleansers that flow and spread more easily. It is more time-saving compared to trying to rub and work a waxy solid over the face.

Almost finished!
The large amount of almond oil in this cleanser helps to dissolve makeup effectively. It is best used on light makeup, as it will not remove strong waterproof/smudgeproof eyeliner, mascara, or red lipsticks.

To get the most out of this, you also need to use a good face towel (I got a micro fibre towel from Daiso) soaked with hot water, to scrub and wipe the cleanser off your face. I find this process very draining and takes up extra effort. So I only use this cleanser at night, when I have more time, and also on days on which I also want a scrub/ gentle exfoliation.

It is quite a shame that such a good cleanser needs that much extra effort to maintain.

Sensitive Skin
It should not be a problem for people with sensitive skin. Unless of course, you are allergic to almond oil in particular. Do check out the ingredients list in the photo below!

There are parabens in this product. The amount is enough to preserve this product until now. It is supposed to expire in Feb 2013, but I kept it sealed until about June 2014. And it is still okay, no changes in texture or smell.

This is rather expensive. The 45g lasts me about 2-3 months if I use every night.

Rating: 4/5.
Lush has done a good job coming out with an almost au naturel cleanser that is great for sensitive skin, and doubles up as a makeup remover. However, I find it takes up too much effort daily and I also find the cost a little high to maintain, especially since cleansers are used at least twice a day, and will run down quickly. I will not repurchase as I have no real need for it.

For those who have the Lush Helping Hands cream, this is basically a much thicker version.

Saturday, 25 October 2014

Hada Labo AHA+BHA Exfoliating Face Wash

This was bought for my significant other, because of three reasons, i) I trust Hada Labo's products to be of the high quality, ii) we have always wanted to try an AHA+BHA exfoliator, iii) it is big, and that makes it value-for-money.

Together, we have finished up the whole tube, over a few months, and it is time for me to evaluate this product.

Hada Labo AHA+BHA Exfoliating Face Wash
This face wash comes under the Exfoliating range of Hada Labo, and claims to be able to remove blackheads, dirt, and dead skin cells.

The simple baby-turquoise tube is sturdy and has an opening that is just the right size. It can dispense the rather firm product to a precision of 1 mm. I normally dispense about 3 mm length for my whole face. Males with larger face would do better with about 5 mm to 1 cm length of product, especially if they are taking the product down the neck.

Product Texture
The product is firm but rubs out and spreads well. A little goes a long way. It is also non-foamy. 

There is a foam dispenser version of the same product that you could purchase. I have not checked if the ingredients are exactly the same, but I will not purchase that because I am not fond of foam washes since they tend to dry out my skin.

It cleans my face well. My significant other also has no issues with it. His criteria for evaluation is that the product prevents pimples consistently. And yes, Hada Labo is one of many face washes that does indeed prevent pimples from forming.

As for the AHA+BHA exfoliating properties, it is not significant for the both of us, as we were expecting some kind of visible peeling. 

That said, I personally am very happy with the way this face wash seem to be peeling my skin and clearing up dirt and grime (therefore no pimples), while still being incredibly mild and gentle.

On the other hand, my SO is still expecting some kind of visible peeling effect from this (which you will not get) as his skin is thicker and more oily, and really would like to have a face wash that is a little harsher.

Sensitive Skin
As you might guess by now, this is okay for mildly sensitive skin. You still want to be careful if you are eczema-prone.

Please see ingredients in the photo below.

I do apologise that I do not know the exact price of this. But it is very affordable and value-for-money. It lasted both of us a good 3 months.

Rating: 4.8/5
It has helped both of us stay acne-free for the most parts of the time, so I find that it does live up to its claims. Also, it always makes me feel clean, but never drying. If you are looking for a daily gentle exfoliator that is non-drying, this is the one to get. I find it much better than the standard moisturising face wash by Hada Labo (the white one).

It is much more suitable for ladies, regardless of skin type. For men, it might not be comfortable for those with oily skin, especially if they are used to very harsh (compared to female skincare) male products.

Monday, 28 July 2014

Benefit Hoola Bronzer

Yes, I am on to contouring!

I have known of the magic called contouring since way back in high school, when I introduced to makeup for prom. My makeup artist back then (a friend's friend) said that she will not do it because we were in a rush for time. But ever since, I have been very intrigued by this concept of slimming your face with some brown powder.

I have never found the need for contouring and/or bronzing because of two things,
i) I was much slimmer back then, perhaps almost underweight (probably slightly under), and
ii) I am too tanned. I have so much sun here in Singapore, and I enjoy it; I enjoy swimming since young.

But of course, makeup videos have their influence on me. And I bought Benefit Hoola, JUST IN CASE. This is still the only contouring powder I've got. I am behaving myself; I am resisting the urge to get NARS Laguna.

So how does it fair for people who aren't the most interested in contouring/bronzing?

Benefit Hoola Bronzer
I adore the packaging. It's Benefit, 'nuff said.

These are the ingredients. I like how simple the list is. Stay away if you're allergic to talc.

And I enjoy the Benefit brushes. They are actually highly usable! In fact, I do use the Benefit brushes most of the time.

And here is the product. Hoola bronzer is a light-medium cool latte brown.

According to many, this kind of cool latte brown is the best contouring colour you can ask for, because they imitate shadows the best.

The powder is very soft, pigmented, and applies well with the brush provided. It is slightly powdery, because the primary ingredient is talc. It stays long on my skin, such that I can still see the contour in photos 3-4 hours into wear.

It is highly build-able into a bronzer. I can easily use it to give myself a fake tan. But I love it better as a contour.

It costs about $40 at Benefit counters.

Rating: 5/5.
I am able to live on this alone, with minimal urge to get another because this is simply too good! It is well-worth the hype - only bronzer you ever need!

Saturday, 12 July 2014

NOTD: Marc Jacobs Enamored Hi-Shine Lacquer in #110 Gatsby

Marc Jacobs Beauty arrived on the shores of Singapore in April, through the giant beauty retailer, Sephora. Ever since, the Marc Jacobs Beauty line has won over many Singaporean fans, myself included. At one point, the much-hyped The Lolita eyeshadow palette was out of stock in a couple of Sephora outlets. Today, I bring to you a review of a lesser known product, that is, the Marc Jacobs Enamored Hi-Shine Lacquer.

Marc Jacobs Enamored Hi-Shine Lacquer in #110 Gatsby

What's there not to love about a curvy minion-like bottle that fits snugly into your palm? This is the bottle of MJ's nail polish, absolutely sensational.

It works like many high-end nail polishes, where you need to pull up the cap to reveal the screw cap, as shown below. The brush is attached to the screw cap.

Ease of Paint
The MJ polish paints very smoothly. The brush is big enough to cover the nail on my pinkie at once.

Paint Quality
The paint quality is to die for - paint does not streaks, dries in no time at all, and shines so brightly. What you see in the bottle is what you get, as seen below.

Length of Wear
My major gripe is that this nail polish chips in 2 days.

I am head over heels with this particular colour (Gatsby) though, so I keep repainting, over and over again. I actually had this colour on for 4 weeks straight before I got tired of repainting.

Cost: $32 at Sephora.
Considering how costly this is, this is actually not a very good buy. I went back many times to check out the other colours. But I couldn't bring myself to dump any more money in MJ polishes because I know how poor the staying power is.

Marc Jacobs, you've got to do better if you're charging at this rate.

Rating: 2.5/5.
I like the range of colours, and Gatsby that I've got is very unique; I have nothing quite like it in my massive collection of nail polishes. I don't think I have seen such colours with such beautiful metallic finish in other brands. If you have, let me know!!!

However, I find them ridiculously expensive for something that only last 24 hours. This polish is not for everyone.

Do you own any MJ nail polishes? How about MJ items? What do you think of the MJ line of cosmetics?

Check out my haul of Marc Jacobs Beauty items here. I have been using most of the items consistently, and will be happy to bring forward review on them for you.

M.A.C Lipstick Collection from Permanent Line - Nudes

Angel (Frost) is very pale blue-based slightly dusty, slightly rose, pink. The tone of it reminds me a lot of carnation pink, but Angel is much, much paler. Angel also has a frost finish, but is one of those that is less frosty within the M.A.C collection, such that the frost doesn't even show up on my lips.

Creme Cup (Cremesheen) is very similar to Angel, and some say the only difference is in their finish, that Creme Cup is a cremesheen while Angel is a frost. But I beg to differ. Creme Cup is a tad more peach and a tad more blue than Angel, whereas Angel is more pink. This becomes very clear when I wear them on my lips.

I do not like both Angel and Creme Cup because they are way too blue and way to pale for my skin tone. But of the two, I prefer Angel because it is slightly warmer. Creme Cup turns my lips grey, literally.

High Tea (Lustre) is a copper lipstick. It really is just copper, like the 5-cent coin in my country. As it is a lustre finish lipstick, High Tea is very sheer. Lustre finish M.A.C lipsticks are much less pigmented than cremesheen ones. Hence when High Tea is applied on my lips, you can still see through and see the natural colour of my lips (which is quite dark). This is definitely one of the least flattering lipsticks on me.

Syrup (Lustre) when swatched, is a beautiful cranberry red. It is also sheer since it is a lustre finish lipstick, so when applied on my lips, Syrup actually looks like a standard plum tone nude. It is borderline wearable for my warm medium skin tone.

Naked Proof (Cremesheen) is a light-medium peach flesh tone lipstick. It is very pigmented, as it is a cremesheen lipstick. Like Syrup, it is borderline wearable for my warm medium skin tone.

Angel (Frost), Creme Cup (Cremesheen), High Tea (Lustre), Syrup (Lustre), Naked Proof (Cremesheen).
Angel (Frost)
Creme Cup (Cremesheen)

High Tea (Lustre)

Syrup (Lustre)

Naked Proof (Cremesheen)
Of the 5, I definitely like Syrup and Naked Proof the best, because they are dark enough for medium skin tone. I strongly advise that people with medium skin tone skip Angel, Creme Cup, and High Tea altogether. This is regardless of whether you are warm/yellow, cool/pink, olive tone, or neutral. They are way too pale, and I bought them because I watch a lot of Caucasians on Youtube.

What I have learned is that people will make rave reviews only about the things that suit them (you're probably going, "duh"), and they will say that those things suit everyone. But in actual, "everyone" to them really means fellow Americans or fellow British, without meaning to (be exclusive), because they are seldom in contact with people who are very different.

What I have also learned is that buying lipsticks is like buying shoes - one needs to go down to the counter and get the sales assistant to try it on. One NEVER really knows if a colour will suit or not because a lipstick swatched on the hand can appear way different from the same lipstick applied on the lips. My hand swatches and lip swatches are witness to this statement.

What this really means, is that no amount of online research I could have done, could have stopped me from thinking these lipsticks are pretty, unless I see a review by an author with the exact natural lip colour and skin tone as mine. Wouldn't it be nice if all the lipsticks show up on my lips exactly like what they look like on my hand?

I hope this has been helpful for you, especially for all of you out there with warm and/or medium skin. =D

What is your favourite nude lipstick from M.A.C or other brands? It will help if you state your skin tone too. =D

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