Eight months ago, Paris itched us with the news that Smashbox Cosmetics will be in Malaysian shores and finally, it's here.
October seems to be a celebratory month with enough outings to wear me out. Two birthdays, one graduation and a regional competition -- all in company of awesome people whom I care about.
Read on for more... I may not be a Smashbox devotee but the sheer excitement that a new American brand has graced Kuala Lumpur is exhilarating. I'm already envisioning brands like Urban Decay and Philosophy coming in. Who knows? Perhaps Sephora will make it here someday! The sole counter in Parkson Pavilion carries practically the full line of products with very well-equipped testers. To my surprise, the products aren't heavily marked up either. For instance, the Photo Finish Lid Primer ($20 in Sephora) is RM76. I foresee that they'll mark up the prices in the near future so if you've been wanting to get any Smashbox products, make haste.
Last Friday, we celebrated Paul(in white) becoming a doctor at The Library in e@Curve, Mutiara Damansara. Btw girls, the doctor is single and very eligible *coughs*. Downing a bottle of Chivas with awesome 80's (some 90's and current too) music playing in the background resulted in a dude puking his head off at the end of the night... Good thing we had doctor's supervision :D Congrats, Paul! We're all very proud of you.
The next morning, the girls and I executed a birthday surprise on Paris at Bangsar Village II's Marmalade. Pinkelle was the brain behind the somewhat discrete operation. The crew consisted of Bee (decoy), Pretty (postponer), Lisa (pretender), Joanna (early bird) and Rinnah (spy). If there's one perk that I cherish the most from blogging, it's the group of friends I've made over the year. Great company makes waking up early on Saturday morning well worth it. And the expression on Paris' face! Absolutely priceless
All those food and 5 hours of chatting went by too soon... more to come!
On the same night was another surprise for Olivia's 21st birthday at Renaissance's Sagano. I'm pretty sure she didn't suspect a thing. She came over in the afternoon for me to do her makeup simply as a "birthday gift" then I went over to Renaissance shortly after in a different car. We had a pretty close shave because she arrived the same time as we did. With merely 5 minutes of being ahead, the surprise was a success. Hope you had a good one, Olly!
Bee, Paris and I found a reason to dress up a little more than usual for the Shu Uemura Beauty Art Make Up Competion 2009 at Pavilion. Despite being "media", we were more engrossed by the hors dourves (OMG, the scallops!) and wine (ok, that was just me). Well, the colorful makeup, talented contestants and gorgeous models too of course... hehe. The winner for the competition was Adeline Yeoh representing Singapore.
Old skool matte is back! The Revlon Matte Collection reminds me of the era when women looked polished and not-to-be-messed-with as they move up the ladder of a man's world. It's the kind of beauty that means something. Check 90s Madonna out and you'll understand. Since we've passed that era, shimmer and glow are here to stay so don't freak out just yet. Nevertheless, mattes shan't be forgotten.
Read on for reviews of the Blush, Eye Shadow and Lipstick. Without a doubt, Revlon Matte Powder Blush is the favorite from this collection. So, I'm not bothered with the pop-out mirror and the teeny brush (not to say that they're not functional because they are!). Just as long the size of the blush pan is not compromised, I'm good to go.
I'm comfortable wearing matte eye shadows but when it comes to blush, getting that healthy glow is always the ultimate goal. You can imagine my surprise when I discovered that I can not only tolerate a matte blush but like it to bits as well!
It may be a matte powder but it blends so seamlessly onto the skin. The powder is tightly pressed causing little to no mess from brush swirls. Perfectly Peach is an uber sweet neutral peachy pink for everyday use that's subtle yet buildable. This is one of those rare universal colors that will work on most skin tones -- fair, medium, tanned.
Retails at RM42
As I ventured deeper into makeup, I realized that shimmery eyeshadows can sometimes look a bit much. Think swollen and reflective lids... Matte eyeshadows eventually made their way into my makeup collection and helped create depth in my eye makeup. Thus, I welcomed the Revlon Matte Eye Shadow with opened arms.
Comes with mini sponge tip applicator which I don't use to apply eye shadow. I don't toss them out though. They come in handy for blending cream or wet eyeshadows. While the texture is soft and smooth, I question the pigmentation of these eyeshadows. They go on vibrant at first but the color fades after a few hours even with a base. When applied sheer, the color actually stays on better. I'm not a fan of sheer eyeshadows so go figure.
Rivera Blue: Muted deep blue. Good for outer corners and smokey effects
Venetian Blue: Bright turquoise. Good as primary color or under eye
So, Jenn said that Venetian Blue looked like a possible dupe of MAC Electric Eel (which is one of my FAV ES from MAC, btw) and whaddaya know!
Kahani loved the Revlon Matte Lipstick in Really Red but of course, red simply doesn't agree with me. I'm pretty bummed that Nude Attitude wasn't brought in :( My tamer and more adaptable shades were
Mauve It Over: Pink-toned MLBB (My Lips But Better) shade. Goes with most makeup but looks especially great with browns
Cocoa Craving: Warm brown. A rather grown-up shade
If you're worried that matte lipsticks will dry out your lips, rest assured that these won't. The formula feels comfortable albeit not particularly moisturizing. They go on smooth and stay puts so there's really nothing much at all to criticize.
Retails at RM33
*The products used in this review were provided by Revlon Malaysia for review on Skindeco.Net
Aesop is one of those brands that either disappears in your beauty radar or keeps intriguing you from the side line like the nerdy math whiz in school. In my case, it's the latter -- from the old laboratory feel to the aroma therapeutic scents to the generously-sized products. My first Aesop experience was with mere samples but they confirmed that Aesop has got the goods. While I was impressed with the Oil Free Facial Hydrating Serum, I decided that I needed a moisturizer more urgently and bought the Camellia Nut Facial Hydrating Cream, which I sampled and equally liked.
Read on for the review... The invigorating scent heightens the senses as you take a whiff of Aesop Camellia Nut Facial Hydrating Cream. I seriously can spend hours smelling this custard-like cream and won't get nauseous. Formulated with dry and sensitive skin in mind, ingredients that tend to aggravate the skin were omitted from this formulation. Although the cream doesn't trigger any sensitivities, it doesn't help to treat them. Nonetheless, it's soothing and comforting.
At the sight of "cream", one would think "sticky", "oily" and "heavy" but that's not the case at all with this moisturizer. Despite the fact that it sits on the skin for 2 seconds more than the average cream does, this water-based cream absorbs well leaving very little shine and stickiness. In comparison with most creams, this one's lightweight enough to be used for day time, which is what I do. Keep in mind though that I have sponge-like skin so reserving this for the night would be better for normal and combination skins. If you have very dry skin or live in dry conditions, you'd probably want to use this in tandem with a hydrating serum to yield better results. In the morning you should have supply soft, comforted and hydrated skin. When used under makeup, the cream doesn't cause any greasiness that may make foundation appear oily throughout the day as with most creams.
If you don't already know, I like value-for-money packaging and Aesop's beaker jar is definitely one. Unfortunately, it lacks convenience and hygiene. Dipping your fingers into the jar every day will probably make the product go bad before you can even finish it (within 12 months, please). My suggestion would be to transfer the cream into a smaller jar or if you're lazy like I am, simply shake the jar before use and scoop up the cream from the lid.
All in all, it's a good moisturizer that gets the job done without any side effects. Don't expect any miracles though.
Dressing up in costumes and trick-or-treating on Halloween night may not be a part of Asian culture but it's not to say that we're lacking of spooks. In fact some of the scariest ghost stories originated from Asia and people from this part of the world are often believers of spirits and other supernatural beings.
Share a short scary story that's either fictional or based on a real-life incident
Submit your Halloween-inspired look created with makeup or costume or both!
This contest is opened to ALL readers (international and local)
Just as I was grieving over the fact that I wouldn't be able to find a substitute for the discontinued Stila Perfecting Foundation, Shu Uemura came to the rescue with it's Nobara Cream Cover Stick Foundation. As a new and improved version of the cult-favorite Nobara Cream Foundation, the Cream Cover Stick offers convenience without resorting to compact powder foundations. Now you can get a pro finish even with the most basic skills.
Read on for the review... Trivia: Did you know that Britney Spears wore the Nobara Cream Foundation in her "Boys - Remix" music video? (source)
My 2 cents: The stick version has replaced the original Nobara Cream Foundation which was packaged in a pan. Makeup artists loved the older version because they could snap together the plastic casing to form a foundation palette with different shades. To a typical makeup user however, a solid cream foundation in a pan may not be all that practical especially for those who use their fingers to apply foundation. Having to use a sponge or brush may tend to pile on too much foundation for some. The Cream Cover Stick is definitely more suitable for the mass market but not so much for makeup artists anymore. The last thing they'd wanna do is rummage through a bunch of white tubes and squinting to figure out which number refers to which color... Not quite the win-win situation but I suppose business comes first and though Shu may lose some of their makeup artist fanbase, at least they'll gain more sales from this user-friendly version.
During the preview workshop, Feddrick demonstrated how easy it was to blend the foundation simply with his fingers. If you require better precision, a sponge wedge would be ideal. My tool of choice is the kabuki brush (TBS Mineral Foundation Brush), buffing the fine-textured foundation that leaves no patches nor streaks. While it feels comfortably lightweight, the foundation provides adjustable coverage from medium to full. With this, you'll never get the feeling that you're wearing foundation.
It is claimed to work as a concealer as well but I find that when it's used as such, the foundation will gather into lines especially around the eye area. Despite its cream formula, this foundation isn't one that adds moisture to the skin thus, I'd suggest using a moisturizing primer beforehand if you have dry skin. The satin glow finish makes this foundation look very natural on my skin even after a full day. Touch-ups aren't really necessary and I love how little this foundation oxidizes. However, it does tend to flake on dry areas such as my forehead and under eyes.
Shade 754 was matched to my skin tone which is as close as it can get. I was told that the darker shades can be used for contouring areas like the temples, cheeks, jaw and nose. It's blendable formula makes shading quite effortless and seamless compared to shading with powders. The solid foundation stick is packaged in a clean and sleek white plastic twist tube.
The Nobara Cream Cover Stick is available in 10 shades. The chart below explains how Shu Uemura's foundation shade numberings work. Jojoba did a few observations on her part regarding the HVC Color System. Bee too professed her love for this foundation.
"You being nude is an inspiration to me..." I'm not gonna tell you who that quote is from but I am gonna drown you with pictures of the Clarins Autumn/Winter Collection of 2009 -- Nude Inspiration. Bee, Paris and Hui Xin were way ahead of me with their posts so consider this a refreshment rather than an introduction.
Glowy cheeks, groomed brows and pouty lips add oomph to the no-makeup look. Don't be fooled by models! Looking naturally beautiful is more than just having great skin.
Read on for collection details, reviews and swatches.
The people from Clarins Malaysia were kind enough to offer me a few products from their new collection for me to try... Before I gush about them, let's take a look at what else is in the Nude Inspiration Collection.
“A complete Eyebrow Kit “Pro” Palette to enhance the natural beauty. A perfect kit for shaping and shading eyebrows and eyes. Comprises of three eyebrow shades (black, brown and blond) to shape and beautify brows. Apply a single shade or combine to achieve the desired color. The black and brown shades can also be used as eyeliner while a beige-pink eye shadow can be used to illuminate eyes and highlight a beautiful eyebrow line. The slanted brush of the double applicator is perfect for applying the eyebrow shades. The foam tip is used to apply the beige-pink eye shadow. Also, a wax to set eyebrows all day long. Use alone or after eyebrow make-up. Inclusive of a large mirror for easy application and an eyebrow brush for applying the wax, grooming the eyebrows and mini tweezers for perfect results.”
It took me years to realize that having well-groomed brows is the key to making the nude look work. Eyebrow powder generally gives a more natural effect when enhancing less-than-perfect eyebrows. This kit is by far the most complete one that I’ve come across.
RM135 “To achieve a flawless looking complexion, this concealer with a handy stick with slanted tip instantly hides dark circles and small imperfections. It is easily glides on, melting into skin while protecting the delicate eye contour area thanks to Vitamins A and E. With ultra-fine pearl boosts the reflection of light to help minimize shadowy areas.”
The concealer stick looks promising enough with sufficient coverage and creamy texture that doesn’t sink into lines.
RM88 “For the perfect beautiful eyes, an eye palette of filled with beautiful array of beiges with gold and iridescent reflections to enhance and highlight the natural luminosity of eyes. Comes in brown with gold reflections, iridescent peach with a touch of pink and light beige with a satin shimmer.”
All four shadows in the Colour Quartet for Eyes: Nude palette can be worn alone, combined together or with other colors of eyeshadows. This palette should suit those who are looking for day-to-day colors.
“Brighten your eyes with the addition of new shades of Single Eye Color. This ultra-fine, soft and long-lasting texture blends easily to the eyes. It instantly leaves a supple film of color to create any effect and intensity desired for smooth, even, flawless make-up.”
I was quite impressed with the pigmentation and the texture of these shadows which vary with the colors.
Pink frost : Slightly frosted pale pink. Creamy texture Mystery grey: Grey with silver iridescence. Powdery with sparse yet distinct silver shimmers Pink sugar: Luminous pearl pink. Creamy texture Ice blue: Slightly pearly pale blue. Sheer and powdery Midnight plum: Intense burgundy plum. Satin finish Beige shimmer: Shimmery golden beige. Satin finish highlight color Midnight blue: Shimmery midnight blue. Satin finish and deeply pigmented. My favorite out of the bunch Silver green: Silver pearl almond green. Creamy texture. One of those fail-proof colors Hot chocolate: Deep brown. Matte
“Dress up your lips for any occasion with Clarins Joli Rouge, a perfect lipstick provides comfort, veiling lips in a sensuous texture and lasting color”
Simply nude: Yellowy-beige with subtle gold pearl Pink earth: Pinky beige with gold and silver pearl Heather pink: Soft pink with a silver shimmer Gold plum: Deep plum illuminated with golden pearl Fig brown: Warm deep brown Red terra: Deep brick red
I can’t begin to tell you how much I adore this lipstick. Accompanied by its pleasant scent and taste of berry, Joli Rouge gives creamy and moisturizing color that makes lips look oh-so-kissable. Albeit a little heavy, the chrome-colored casing is uber classy. Did I mention that the color lasts on the lips for hours?
"Introducing the Face & Blush Duo Compact, a limited edition collector compact. The new perfect two-tier palette comprised of a face powder compact and blush duo. Designed with sparkling gold ears of wheat, the soft, subtle powder and blush shades enhance the natural colors of the face. The ultra-fine, silky-soft textures leave an incredibly light veil on the skin. On top layer, the subtle beige of the face palette enhances the complexion with an even, luminous, natural veil. Underneath, the iridescent coral and satin chestnut tones of the blush duo add a hint of pretty and radiant color to the cheeks. Presented in a compact with silver cover and translucent red base in a chic red suedette wallet."
Even after a month of looking at this gorgeous duo, I still can't bring myself to deface it. The colors are highly wearable and should suit anyone at all with fair to medium skin tones. It probably won't show up too well for darker complexions. This one's limited edition so get it while you can!
**The selected products featured in this post were provided by Clarins Malaysia for review by Skindeco.Net