Skin Deco

Monday, November 29, 2010

Tutorial: Spiced Plum Pie

Some time back, ParisB asked "Does your hair color affect your makeup choices?" and I responded that because my hair was lighter, my usual makeup choices were becoming over-the-top for me. Colors that were once a surefire to look good, no longer did.

Instead, pinkish plums became rather flattering on my seemingly fairer skin tone.
Don't worry! I've darkened my hair since so I'm only gonna look all demure for two more tutorials.

For this look, I've used the limited edition and supposedly rare MAC Spiced Chocolate Eyeshadow Quad which was retailing for $69.99. I have no clue why this palette is worth so much. Sure the colors are pretty but they're not the best colors on me. At least not when I have darker hair and skin tone. Anyway, don't fret if you don't have this quad. The colors are very much dupable.

Tutorial time!

Apply a maroon-colored cream eyeshadow (Benefit Stiletto) as a base. Using a shader brush (Stila #7) sweep a matching colored eyeshadow (MAC Sweet Chestnut) over the base and blend out at the crease.

Apply a copper-colored eyeshadow (MAC Brash) into the crease and blend the color with the lid color as well as blend upwards. With a highlight brush, buff a warm highlight color (MAC Ricepaper) on the area just beneath the brow. Highlight the inner corner with either the same highlight color or you can use something with a pink iridescence (MAC Nanogold).

Take a round crease brush and apply a matte dark brown (MAC Spiced Chocolate) to the outer V. Blend out with a tapered crease brush. Draw a slightly winged line using a black gel eyeliner.

With a precision brush, apply the copper color on the lower lash line and darken the roots with the dark brown. Line the waterline with a dark black pencil or kajal. Highlight the inner lash line with the iridescent pink. Fill in eyebrows lightly.

Items Used:

elf Mineral Eyeshadow Primer
Benefit Creaseless Cream Shadow in Stiletto
MAC Spiced Chocolate Quad (Nanogold, Brash, Sweet Chestnut, Spiced Chocolate)
MAC Ricepaper
Generic Indian Kajal eyeliner
Make Up For Ever Aqua Smoky Lash Mascara
Shu Uemura Hard 9 Pencil in Seal Brown (outline)
Face powder (fill)

MAC Mineralize Blush in Conjure Up
(This came out with Superdupernatural, which is my all-time favorite blush. I was contemplating it and was very glad when I managed to pick this up at the sale. It's a beautiful color albeit a tad cool for my skin tone)

Make Up For Ever HD Foundation in #123
Graftobian HD Creme Corrector in Soft Orange
I Nuovi Undercover Concealer in 4Y
Ben Nye Banana Visage Luxury Powder

MAC Slimshine Lipstick in Bare
Urban Decay Pocket Rocket Lipgloss in Kirk

Read more!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Is the Cellnique Body Plush Emulsion Wash More more than just a shower cream?

Unfortunately, no. To me, it's just like any other shower cream. If a shower wash is to be gushed about, it has to have at least one of the following qualities:
  • moisturizing
  • lingering scent
  • gets dirt out effectively
  • either comes in a big bottle or requires small amount to get a lot of lather
The Cellnique Body Plush Emulsion promised so much with all sorts of scientific backings but in reality, it:
  • doesn't dry out the skin but doesn't moisturize either
  • has an addictive citrus scent but doesn't linger
  • cleans alright. Not as good as soap
  • is a small bottle (250ml -- that's a facial wash!)
  • requires at least 2 pumps to get the lather going
  • is priced at RM59
I'm not bashing. At least not anymore and not without grounds. There's really nothing special about this shower cream to justify its price and I'm not the only person who thinks that.

Read more!

Friday, November 26, 2010

The Hair's to Blame

Another bad thing happened yesterday with somebody getting hurt. Fault was hardly on my part but bad luck sure was. Someone suggested that my new hair color could be to blame and because I'm superstitious, I'll be going back to dark hair tonight.

I went from black to a brassy orange to a dark blond. Not only did my hair get fried, day by day my life got from bad to worse. Enough is enough!

There's more...

I started with Gatsby EX-HI-Bleach and followed with Gatsby Aqua Silver few days later to cool down the color. I'm thinking that Asian hair naturally has red undertones so if you bleach it, you're gonna get orange hair as opposed to blond.

"Proper" picture courtesy of Rinnah

I actually liked how the color turned out. It complemented my skin tone and allowed me to wear colors that I don't usually look good on me (even did a tutorial). But in many ways, besides attracting bad luck, it wasn't a right fit for me. Some of my usual colors would look too strong or plain off. My room lighting makes my hair look brassy and with flash, it'll look red.

My intention was to match my hair color to my extensions and even though it was still rather warm, it blended in well.

I've had my "fun" with this hair and I'm ready to give up on it. Let's just hope that it's my hair color and not something else that's causing all the bad luck. I don't think I have time to figure it out before the next bad thing happens.

Read more!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The Blog's Not Dead

Though I can't really say the same for myself.

Many things have happened in just a week. I'm not gonna go into details because I'm not too keen on revealing how stupid I can be and believe me, I can get pretty stupid.
Let's just say whatever happened resulted in lots of tears and regret as well as new philosophies. No, I didn't break up with my boyfriend if that's what you're thinking =.= And no, nobody died.

If you've been following me on Twitter you would've noticed that I whine a lot about my housemates. Well, they finally ran away. I'm not upset. In fact, I'm overjoyed. Except for the fact that I need to look for new housemates and have the locks changed.

There's a new project that I'm working on. Not exactly related to the blog but what I do here has definitely contributed. It's a new job actually and I'll "reveal" it soon enough. So, I've mostly been busy working and dealing with schoolwork.

As much as I feel terrible about not updating, I feel even worse that I'm owing companies left and right reviews that were supposed to go up weeks ago! Trust me, I'm really trying my best to sort everything out.

The past week has been a roller coaster ride. This week would be the aftermath so please give me some time to gain back control over my life and I'll be back. Thursday, to be exact :)

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Monday, November 15, 2010

Tutorial: Fall Easily

Fall in Malaysia is basically rain, rain, and more rain. You feel lethargic with the longing to sleep for longer hours but life, unfortunately, wouldn't let you slow down.

Warm and cozy greens and golds with bronze cheeks work well for Fall. This tutorial shows how to get this quick look. No new techniques but just a new color combo idea. Okay, maybe not that new...

*Sorry about the red eyes. I removed my contact lenses immediately after taking the pictures.

Apply Paul & Joe Eye Gloss in 03 Champagne Brown to the entire lid. Any other sheer shimmery flesh-toned cream or powder shadow would work as well. With an eyeshadow brush (elf Eyeshadow Brush), take the sheer gold from the Anna Sui Eye Color in 03 Cool Green Nuance and sweep it onto the lid up until the crease.

Next, take a blending brush (MAC 217) and blend a mid-toned matte brown (NYX Brown) eyeshadow into the crease to add depth. After that, apply a warm highlight color (MAC Ricepaper) with a dense highlight brush (Crown) right beneath the brows.

Blend out any harsh lines using the blending brush. Create a slightly winged-out line with a warm olive green gel eyeliner (Physicians Formula: Shimmer Strips Custom Eye Enhancing Gel CreamLiner in Green Eyes. Tightline the upper lash line using a black eye pencil.

Use a warm brown shade for the browsw and finish off the eye makeup with several coats of dark black mascara.

On my cheeks, I used MAC Mineralized Skinfinish in Sunny by Nature to add warmth. I used Stage Wondergloss in Sophia on my lips. No reason but I think it works.

Cyber Colors Botanical smoothing Hydro-base
Shu Uemura Nobara Cream Cover Stick Foundation in 754
Benefit You Rebel Tinted Moisturizer (to darken)
Shiseido Natural Finish Cream Concealer in Medium 3
Ben Nye Banana Visage Luxury Powder

Read more!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Having Cold Feet?

Warm them up with a pair of Whooga Ugg Boots!


A friend of mine recently expressed her interest in purchasing a pair of ugg boots she saw online for when she travels to a cold country. I was looking at the boots and found it amusing that the wooly material was made of "synthetic sheepskin". I suppose it's not that odd when you think of "faux leather" but my instincts were right on the dot as I later found out that authentic fleece in ugg boots makes quite a difference in the well-being of your feet.

Read on for giveaway and discount details!

Look how thick that fleece is... Makes me wanna cuddle it

Whooga prides itself in creating sturdy, durable and well-fitted ugg boots lined with thick Merino (breed of sheep prized for producing the best quality of wool) fleece that:
  • Improves circulation
  • Contains traces of Lanolin oil to moisturize and soften skin
  • Cools feet when they get too warm to prevent sweating, food-odor and bacteria build-up
I've always thought uggs to be short for "ugg-ly" but I take it all back. Blair Waldrof rocks the uggs which makes me want them except I live in Malaysia, not New York, and I don't own a trench coat *sighs*.

Giveaway & Discount

Each month, Whooga selects a winner for a pair of Whooga Ugg Boots and you can stand a chance to win simply by signing up for their newsletter. Open worldwide!

If you can't wait to win and would prefer to purchase a pair, here's a 10% discount code (860DECO) that you can use for the next week.

Read more!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Review: Lancome Teint Miracle Foundation

Or in Lancome's words: Natural Light Creator, Bare Skin Perfection. Because "foundation" is such a layperson term.

Internationally, there has been a lot of hype going on for the Lancome Teint Miracle Foundation (I'm calling it what it is!). Glowy foundations to me are like fat juicy worms to a hungry fish. I was definitely keen and I probably shouldn't have been. Don't you just hate Murphy's Law?

You can already tell from my tone that I have me a few not-so-good things to say, can't you?

Let's ignore the product description for once because the fancier the brand, the fancier the words used to gasconade, leading us to pull our expectations way up.

Lancome Teint Miracle Foundation basically claims to give a lightweight glowing finish, hydrate the skin for 18 hours and provide up to 12 hours of wear without looking powdery.

Note: I have combination-dry skin. Relatively strong yellow undertones. Exposed to air-conditioner on average of 4 hours a day.

First time

Oooh.... My skin looks superb! Looks a tad pink though. But the beauty consultant insists that it's the correct shade... Maybe it's just the loose powder or the blush that's making it pink. Or the lighting?

Second and third time

I think it's time for a tan. The foundation's looking pretty dark. I couldn't have gotten that much fairer in a week, could I? Why am I turning pink? *Applies yellow loose powder* Better? Still pink! ARGH!!

4 hours later...

Must... have... facial wipes!

Fourth time

*Rummages through stash for a lighter and yellower foundation* Maybe an oil control makeup base would do the trick.

The Good: Blends like a dream by simply applying with fingers using circular motions as recommended by Lancome. Insanely smooth texture that feels very lightweight and makes the skin look luminous. Diffuses the appearance of imperfections. For the first hour, at least.

Adjusted with products mentioned below to fix shade and staying power

On its own, Teint Miracle looked fantastic upon application (aside the mismatched shade). However, it turned uncomfortably greasy in a matter of hours and by the end of the day, most of my foundation would have melted off. Mixed with half-part cheapo foundation from Tesco and used over Shu Uemura UV Underbase Mousse, followed by Ben Nye Banana Visage Powder, the color matches a lot better and holds up longer.

When it comes to reviewing foundations, I scrutinize objectively and if I can help it, I would make it work. "Work" being the operative word here. Why can't a foundation be great on its own without needing so many adjustments?


My biggest issue with this foundation is the shade. I was matched to shade O-045 Sable Beige, which I believe is a neutral tone thus, looking pink on my relatively beige skin. So I don't like looking pasty but it's not pretty for my face to not match my neck and chest either. I haven't been tanning so my skin color now is between NC30 and NC35 for MAC and O-045 is like an NC37. Get my frustration? I should've insisted on a more accurate shade and save me an extra step. All because I didn't wanna seem like a diva. Or perhaps I should start tanning again.

Many have raved over the Teint Miracle and I don't doubt that it does work fantastically on them. Nevertheless, I'm still flabbergasted at the fact that a glowy, hydrating foundation is making my dry skin oily. My face wouldn't look utterly greasy but it'd feel so clammy that I can't wait to get it off me. Maybe it's because of my moisturizer? Maybe it's because I don't stay in air-con long enough? I really don't know and it's upsetting because I had high hopes for the Teint Miracle. I'd still use it (adjusted, of course) but not as often as I'd use the Lancome Maquiliquide.

Please excuse the blank expression and weird color combo

Apparently, ParisB too had a similar experience with this foundation.

Coverage is light to medium which is great for day but I'll only ever dare use it if it's only for a few hours and I know I won't be doing much sweating.

Lancome Teint Miracle retails for RM130/30ml at all Lancome counters and boutiques.

*The product featured in this post was provided by Lancome Malaysia for review on Skin Deco

Read more!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Because I'm My Biggest Fan

If you've been following the Skin Deco Facebook Page updates and my Twitter or you may have just come across it by chance, you may have noticed that my very much photoshopped face and body appeared in this month's issue of Female magazine.

Because I'm my biggest fan, I've created a special "Features" page dedicated to showing you that Skin Deco and I have been featured? Oh dear, I am self-centered. I guess if I wasn't I wouldn't have started this blog in the first place, would I?

Read on to find out where else I've recently been featured in

Female Magazine contacted me several months back and deemed me beauty-obsessed enough to grace their glossy page. The photoshoot was a surreal experience as I posed awkwardly and held my smile for about 80 frames. Although, the tiring part was having to pack all of my makeup into suitcases so that I can bring them to the shoot and the worst was having to unpack...

The article made me seem rather self-indulgent, partly because they only published certain quotes, and they photoshopped off my BCG vaccination scar (which I personally think gives my arm character!). For your information, I didn't do my own makeup which would explain why I look "different".

Gosh, I sound really ungrateful, don't I? Well, I'm flattered that someone took notice of my obscenely huge stash of makeup but it's not necessarily something to be proud of, I suppose. Nevertheless, it was a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

It was a great honor for me to share a page with two of my blogging-turned-real-life friends, Xin and ParisB, in an interview with theSun newspaper . We talked about how we got into blogging about beauty and our experience overall. The quotations were not completely accurate but hey, it wasn't a taped interview so anything goes!

Looking through the list of referrals, I came across this feature on and was pleasantly surprised that out of so many makeup tutorial blogs out there, they shortlisted Skin Deco.

Another unexpected feature was through the Pantene Makeover Party that ended up being an editorial shoot. There's a picture (two in the actual paper) of me in the The Malay Mail so yeah... weird.

Read more!

Tutorial + Review: Bright-Eyed and Bushy-Tailed (featuring Shiseido Makeup)

Makeup boosts confidence but it doesn't have to be about having the perfect coverage and using complicated techniques.

Simple steps done right will brighten up your eyes and make you look awake in a jiffy.

Read on for my tips and reviews of two Shiseido Makeup products that will be featured in this post -- Natural Finish Cream Concealer and Perfect Mascara Defining Volume.

Step 1: Complexion

Apply a tinted moisturizer to even out your complexion without looking like you've applied foundation. My favorite to use is the Madara Tinting Fluid and I don't think I need to be telling you why! I dust a light layer of loose powder just to set and blot off any excess shine.

Step 2: Conceal

One of my go-to concealers recently is the Shiseido Makeup Natural Finish Cream Concealer. You only need just a wee bit of the cream to achieve a natural coverage and you can build the coverage up as desired.

This concealer adheres well to the skin and doesn't crease nor flake throughout the day. In fact, it's probably one of the longest-wearing concealers I've tried so this one's a no-brainer when I know I'll be wearing makeup for long hours or in warm conditions. It can appear slightly dry upon application, but the natural oil from my skin fixes that. The squeeze tube packaging is simple and hygienic.

Because I'm not wearing foundation, I opted for a lighter coverage under the eyes just enough to take away the tiredness. Also, the 03 Medium shade that I'm wearing is yellow-toned, which is a great neutralizing shade for the under eye area without looking unnatural.

Step 3: Bright Eyes

Key Points
  • A sheer wash of lightly-shimmered eyeshadow all over the lids and slightly concentrated under the arch of the brows will even out discoloration while still looking "dressed". My eyeshadow of choice for this purpose is the Paul & Joe Eye Gloss in 03 Champagne Brown
  • Blue eyeliner does wonders to make the eyes look brighter as it whitens the "white" of the eyes. Err... hope you caught that. MAC Fluidline in Blue Peep is perfect for this task
  • Some people may not agree with this but I find applying dark eye shadow just in between the roots of the bottom lashes really adds definition and also adds contrast to the color of my waterline. Personally, I dislike the whole white-eyeliner-on-waterline thing because it looks unnatural. Regular dark eye pencil may be too "solid" so an eyeshadow that's softer than black, smudged on with a brush, would do the trick
  • Use a mascara that's both volumizing and lengthening that holds up a curl well so that you'd immediately look awake. A black color that's really dark will add contrast to the blue liner to make the eyes pop. Playing around with contrast is more effective when doing minimal makeup looks. The mascara used for this look; Shiseido Makeup Perfect Mascara Defining Volume (review below)
  • To bring even more emphasis to the eyes, groom the brows well but keep them soft so that the focus will be on the eyes. Kind of like having a soft frame for a bold painting will make the painting stand out more and not distract people from the main attraction. Nevertheless, it doesn't mean that the brows should be ignored completely. Ungroomed brows can be just as distracting as overly groomed ones. Here's a mini tutorial on how you can soften the look of your eyebrows
Step 4: Cheeks & Lips

Once again, the focus is on the eyes but having the cheeks and lips look slightly tinted will bring the complexion to life. My pick for the most natural cheek and lip combo; MAC Blush in The Perfect Cheek + Shiseido Luminizing Lip Gloss in BR302

You can often count on Japanese makeup brands to come out with really good mascaras. And I've used the Shiseido Makeup Perfect Mascara Defining Volume often enough to know that I like it a lot. The brush is slim and narrows down at the tip so you'd be able to coat practically every single lash. If you look closer, you'd notice that one side of the brush has shorter bristles and the other has longer bristles. I use the shorter side first to build up the volume and then the longer side to extend and separate. The effect is dramatic enough for night use but not the most dramatic mascara that I own. However, because the black (BK901) is so dark, it still makes the lashes stand out.

My initial concern about this mascara is that it was too wet. I'd get mascara all over my lids if I'm not careful. I assumed that it'd get better as it dries up a little but then it started to get a little clumpy so this mascara isn't foolproof. 8 out of 10 times I'd get a very nice effect but for the other 2 times, I'd get very unflattering crispy clumps. By then I know it's time to clean the brush (with a wet wipe) and the opening of the tube (with a cotton bud) so that it wouldn't pick up the solidified mascara and deposit it on my lashes.

This formula is very much smudgeproof that it might as well be waterproof. No flaking or smudging and the curls stays up the whole day.

Natural Finish Cream Concealer and Perfect Mascara Defining Volume retail for RM99 and RM89 respectively.

*Shiseido Makeup products featured in this post were provided by Shiseido Malaysia for the purpose of review on Skin Deco

Read more!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Giving Thanks + Beauty News: Kenzo, Max Factor, L'Oreal, Kanebo

Four kitties found new homes at the Pet Epicure Adoption Drive. Of course, we had hoped for more but nonetheless, we're grateful. Just because the drive is over, doesn't mean that there won't always be furried ones looking for a home. 32 to be exact. Thank you to everyone who made an effort to spread the word in support of the drive including sponsors; Apronbay, MyLipStuff Malaysia and Serendipity.

At the drive, I unexpectedly met sweet Truffles and immediately thought of my mom. Mom has then met with her and she'll be in her new home next week -- our home :)

Read on for something else that I'm thankful for and also beauty news of some latest offerings!

Two months after my birthday and only now I'm thanking my blogging buddies! Well, to be honest, what goes on as friends need not be publicized but I have to tell you the oddities of this year's pressies. They're all perfect for me!
  1. Plue got me the Shiseido Luminizing Satin Face Color in RS302 which gives my cheeks a healthy flush
  2. ParisB remembered that I liked the Rootote Avion De Papier pouch in Gâteau (it gots kitties on it!) and the Dior Addict Ultra Gloss Reflect in 127 is SO my color
  3. I don't frequently wear perfume but I bring the Crabtree & Evelyn Pink Grapefruit and Cucumber Body Mist that Bee got me whenever I go to school. My campus is big, I have to walk, I sweat... the light refreshing scent certainly helps!
  4. The two OCC Lip Tars in Memento and Petty Beige, courtesy of the So Loverly girls, may look weird on their own but when mixed, the color's divine...
  5. Xin knows that the nude lip is my thing so it was no surprise that I was psyched over the Victoria Secret Perfect Lipstick in Malibu she got me. It'll look so hot with a black smoky eye -- tutorial in the works!
  6. Jenn checked the Shu Uemura Glow On Blush in M Orange 55 off my wish list. I love how contoured the blush makes my cheeks look
What's New?

The iconic fragrance, Flower by Kenzo, now comes in a refillable bottle! This eco-friendly effort aims to reduce the amount of resources (-69%), energy (-68%) and greenhouse gas emissions (-66%) generated by the production, transport and use of the fragrance.

In conjunction with the launch was the prize-giving ceremony for a photography contest themed "With a Touch of Red", in collaboration with Malaysian Nature Society, Nikon and Digital Camera Magazine. The grand prize winner brilliantly captured a poppy flower reflected in beads of water (bottom left).

Amidst the serene surroundings of Spa Village in Ritz Carlton, L'Oreal launched a new product from the White Perfect range -- L'Oreal Paris White Perfect Day & Night Spot Corrector (RM39.90), which is a spot treatment that conceals and corrects day and night.

A panel of celebrities which included Sarah Yap (Miss Universe Malaysia 2010), Andrea Fonseka (TV-host), and Sasha Bashir (TV-personality) shared their experiences with this new product, as interviewed by host, Angel Wong.

After the L'Oreal media launch, I headed over to the Kanebo International Salon in Starhill Gallery for a pampering (albeit a tad sore from the massage) facial experience, where I was introduced to the Impress Gramula range which will be officially launched to the market in December.

If you thought La Mer has a "prestigious" price tag, think again. More on this later.

Max Factor has finally launched in Malaysia with counters in selected department stores (Isetan Lot 10, Parkson Sunway Pyramid, Metrojaya Sungei Wang, and Metrojaya The Curve). The launch event held in Luna Bar showcased the new Max Factor False Lash Effect Mascara (RM66). I'm looking forward to trying out their Miracle Touch Liquid Illusion Foundation (RM72) as well.

Thanks to the observation by my personal counter spy (Cecobi!), while the prices are marked-up about 20% from the UK prices, nothing's over RM100. Also, there's an ongoing buy 1 free 1 promotion for their mascaras.

Read more!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Usher in the New Month with New Hope

For this year's Halloween, I was the invisible woman. Boo! And I'm back.

New Reads

For some of you who haven't checked out these awesome posts from October '10:
  • Yani (RedLusciousLips) rocks a tricky eyeshadow trio
  • Eli (SoLoverly) reinforces that a single product may work differently on different people
  • Bee (BeetricesReviews) shares my love for the Biore Oil Cotton Facial Sheets
  • Xin (PrettyBeautiful) appreciates Apronbay's gentler and blood-free method of threading
  • Nikki (Askmewhats) shows off her pearly whites after using Close Up White Now
  • Jenn (Lipglosseater) makes an awfully cute villain
  • ParisB (MyWomenStuff) tells us that we do not need the Urban Decay Naked Palette. Doesn't stop us from wanting it though!
Read on for my New Hope and New Hair Color!

New Hope

First off, thank you to everyone who have been showering me with encouraging words, very helpful advice and also some nagging.
My laptop's gonna cost me at least RM400 to fix so I'm just gonna let it be until I have extra money aside to get it fixed. The Boy managed to get all my files out so that's a HUGE relief. It's just a tad annoying to be alternating between my netbook and his desktop.
On a very much lighter note, I've just received my student loan *WOOHOO!!* which means I can start shopping for a new desktop :D Um, aside paying for my school fees. I'll be back in full swing in no time!

My hair didn't grow overnight. They're clip-on hair extensions

New Hair Color?

Over the weekend I went on a hair coloring rampage. Yes, I know I've just spent several hours having my hair dyed by professionals but the color came out transparent. Not at all ideal. I've been somewhere between a blonde and a redhead for 3 days. My hair's attempting to be a cooler shade as I'm typing this, in hope to match the color of my extensions. I have no idea how it's gonna turn out. We'll see. No lectures on how I'm totally destroying my hair, please! It's just hair. It'll grow back ;)

Read more!
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