Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Dust And What It Can Do To You!

We have been subjected to extreme amounts of dust in our new office with workers drilling, moving, adding, cutting and laying down carpets around us as we are trying to work. Everything is 'work in progress' and nothing seems to be done yet.

I noticed the effect this had on my face when I got up this morning and mind you I have been here for only two days. I got up to visibly enlarged pores and the redness on my cheekes had deepened. My eyes felt gritty this morning too and god know what is going on in my lungs.

Could being in a dusty office have caused this?

Monday, March 29, 2010


Hello dear readers,

There will be a severe lack of posts these next few days due to the fact that I (and my colleagues) will be moving office. We are moving from a place most call godforsaken (on most maps, this place is formally named Putrajaya, Malaysia) to Kuala Lumpur. This is where all the action is at and the best food can be found. Also because we are in the heart of the city, it's pretty much where EVERYTHING is at!

There will be no posts for a while because of these reasons:-
  • I will be too tired to put anything on my face at the end (or start, for that matter) of every day until we are settled in - hence, trials of all the products I am currently in the midst of testing for you (the things I do for my craft!) will be hereby suspended until life as it were resumes.
  • most of my decently long nails will be broken or chipped by the time I unpack my stuff and decorate my work space - hence, any Konading or showing off of nails colors will be disrespectful to serious nail lovers.
See you in a bit! Cheers!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

My First O.P.I and Some New Konad Plates

Love, love, love these O.P.I polishes and they are my first O.P.I.
The cutest quad on the block!

Meet Mauving to Manhattan, Brisbane Bronze, Royal Rajah Ruby and Malaga Wine.

Some swatches of the quadruplets.

From the top now....
  • Royal Rajah Ruby is a deep red that has a delicious dose of shimmer worked into it
  • Malaga Wine is the perfect shade of red and RED is my absolute favourite color!
  • Brisbane Bronze - orangey brown and also has shimmer worked in
  • Mauving to Manhattan - a sweet pinky purple
Royal Rajah Ruby and Malaga wine are difficult colors to wear in a corporate office. If your nails are kept super short then it would be totally wearable as it won't seem OTT. If you have long nails on the other hand, I would stay away from these two babies and keep them for weekends.

Brisbane Bronze and Malaga Wine on the other hand are more office friendly and totally wearable because your nails won't scream "Look at me!"  

I also picked up some Konad plates (S6, M69, M70 and M72) which means only one thing - you, dear readers can look forward to some nail porn! 

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Beaded Blue Chain

I scored this sweet lil' thang last week on a trip to a nearby mall. Got it for about 30 Malaysian Ringgits (a discounted rate from the tag you see) and I love how these little touches can jazz up a plain outfit.

There was a time in the past when I did not like accessories such as these and preferred to wear a plain gold chain and some gold earrings. Now I realise that adding accessories to complement your outfit can freshen your look instantly! It takes a little more time in the morning but with a helpful husband  (who provides the extra pair of hands to help put on the chain) - anything is possible!!

I plan my outfit for the next office day the night before so I don't waste precious time thinking of whether this goes with that. I then think about what accessory or accessories go with the outfit. Oftentimes it is just the addition of a bold ring or a small pair of earrings or a chain. Never all three together and only two at most.

What are your favourite accessories, dear readers?

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Smart Storage for Eyeshadows

This is where I store my single eyeshadows.

This storage box from Beautilicious is so cheap and fits six Elianto eyeshadow singles.

I actually bought this compact storage box thinking that my single eyeshadows might fit....was not really sure. However, when I got home, it was a perfect fit. I was really pleased.

In order to get your eyeshadows into the case, gently (and I mean with the gentleness of a lamb!) remove your shadow pan from the original casing. In the case of Elianto shadows, there is a glue from hell which sticks the metal pan to a clear plastic case. It is really difficult to remove. Don't pull your shadow pan out - use a pair of sharp scissors to cut the casing off and then try to pry the remaining plastic from the pan. I tried to do it witout a pair of scissors the first time and I lost a perfectly wonderful deep blue shadow. The pan that held the shadow bent a little and the product popped out in a million little specks! Sad really.

Once you get your shadow out of the casing, remove the strip that covers a small piece of double sided tape that is stuck inside each circle holder and pop your pan in. It sticks very well as far as I am concerned. I have a Dymo (labelling tool) which I use for labelling anything and everything and I have meant to print out the names of the colors and stick it right above each color - nope, haven't gotten round to doing it. Just like me to be lazy!

As you can see in the close up, there is a slim area to store a brush or a sponge tip applicator. The case did not come with one, you are expected to insert your own. I just use a brush to apply the shadows that I need.

The names of these colors are from top left:-misty gray, scarlet purple, jewellery green. Bottom left:-copper brown,rich blue andmaya blue.

When before I had these eyeshadows in a horrible plastic case which oftentimes did not close properly, now I have a smart way to have my colors in one place.

Where do you store your singles?

Dark Lip Colors Will Not Do You Justice

If you saw my recent purchase of the super cheap Uptown Visions products, you would have seen two really dark lip colors in there. I picked those out because I did not have much of a choice and the store was running a BOGOF (buy one, get on free).

The two colors I chose were Raisin and Eggplant and from the name you would guess that Raisin is reddish and Eggplant is purplish in hue. Not really colors that I like these days.

The colors that I love now are mid to darker pinks and mild reds because I find them most flattering (see picture below on one of the pinky reds I am currently rockin' ). When I was younger, I did love dark reds and when you are young, you are able to carry that off well.

The thing with dark colors is that they tend to make the lips look smaller and it ages you somewhat. Try it in front of the mirror (like I did) and you will be able to see the difference.

I found it really hard to come off my dark lipcolor obsession as I transitioned into my thirties - just goes to show how you fall into a makeup rut and hold fast to the stuff you are used to!

I, for one, never thought that what I deemed as 'light' colors would do my face any justice. I was wrong and in a perfect world, you will get a lip color straight out of the tube that really, really looks good on you. In reality, to achieve a near perfect color that is just right for your skintone requires the mixing of at least two colors and also a complimentary lipliner that 'holds' your color in.

This could just be me as I am really picky about lip colors because many colors leave me looking washed out. I have tried practically the whole range of Bobbi Brown lipsticks at a workshop and did not find one that suited me! Granted their colors are more of the natural to nude tones. 

So, of the two colors, I like Raisin but I have not used it on its own yet. I added a lighter pink layer on my lower lip to tone down the intensity of it. It would work better for an evening out.

As for the Eggplant....thats a tough one to work with as it looks almost black on my kissers! I may use it but not without layers of lighter colors on top and I did consider using it as a liner. That remains to be tried.

As for the quality of these lipsticks....

  • strong oily smell

  • felt a little thick but went on super smoothly

  • rather strong pigment that stained my lips after using it for a few minutes
Not a product I would reach for neither will it be one that is on my list of favourites.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Revlon Beyond Natural Smoothing Primer - Yay or Nay!

My first primer is this one by Revlon. I admit I was persuaded by a very flawless looking Jessica Alba to buy this. She made me do it!

I have had this for months and have only used it a couple of times. I used way too much of this product the first time, in my pursuit to achieve Jessica's smooth skin. The second time, I used much less.

This is a clear gel primer with silicone as the agent that provides smoothness as silicone sits on the lines and pores of your face. It is also advertised as having a clean fresh fragrance that is supposed to refresh the senses. 

Unfortunately, I did not like much about this primer, which is sad really as I had such high hopes. The feel of the silicone primer was something that I was not really used to and when I applied it on to my face, it felt like it was sitting there and my skin could not breathe - you know the feeling right? But then again, thats what it is supposed to do, sit on your face!

Thankfully though, I did not suffer any breakouts. If you have oily skin prone to breakouts, then you might want to approach this with caution.

To my horror also, my t-zone became an oily battlefield within 3 hours of using it which is not good because I work long hours and most times am too busy to be bothered with blotting every few hours. Sad to say, my make-up faded really quickly.

As for creating a smooth canvas by covering pores and fine lines, I did not see that happening. Another thing that I did not like was the fragrance which the product claims will refresh the senses.

Here is a list of the ingredients, which I must say was not contained on the product itself. 

Trisiloxane, Dimethicone, Cyclomethicone, Peg/Ppg-19/19 Dimethicone, Aqua ((Water) Eau), Glycerin, Dimethicone/Silsesquioxane Copolymer, Alcohol Denat., Citrullus Vulgaris (Watermelon) Fruit Extract, Pyrus Malus (Apple) Fruit Extract), Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Fruit Extract, Euterpe Oleracea Fruit Extract, Tocopheryl Acetate, Ammonium Polyacryloyldimethyl Taurate, Saccharomyces/Zinc Ferment, Saccharomyces/Copper Ferment, Saccharomyces/Iron Ferment, Saccharomyces/Silicon Ferment, Saccharomyces/Potassium Ferment, Polysorbate 20, Polysorbate 80, Silica Silylate, Parfum (Fragrance), Limonene, Caprylyl Glycol, 1,2-Hexanediol.

Perhaps one tiny plus point is that it contains Pyrus Malus or apple fruit extract which is an anti-oxidant and aids in toning and exfoliating the skin.

At RM55, I will not repurchase this product again and it gets a big Nay from me.

Have you, dear reader, had a better experience with this?

Monday, March 15, 2010

Futterwacken Anyone?

Tim Burton is a genius because Alice in Wonderland turned out to be such a wonderful movie under his directorship. Since the Hubs was on an out-of-state work assignment, I took my little girls to watch it last Saturday.

What an awesome visual feast it was and I found myself being transported back to my childhood as I remembered reading the book and wishing the white rabbit would visit me in my backyard! I believe I may have seen him once.......
Johnny Depp was excellent bar none! Can you ever imagine anyone else doing the part of the Hatter? I loved when he told Alice that she has lost her 'much-ness'......I wonder if I have lost my much-ness.......

Did you jive to the Futterwacken and wish it would go on and on? Johnny at his best, I tell you!
Matt Lucas (of Little Britain) as the Tweedles was cool to watch also.

Did you manage to catch this movie, dear readers? Let me know what you thought of it.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Avon Ultra Luxury Eyeliner

My mother was an Avon lady in the 80's! She was a teacher in a primary school and some of her friends persuaded her to do this business and it is the only "business" she has ever done!

So you see, my introduction to the world of makeup began at a very young age indeed. My mother never went out of our home without putting on her makeup and I must say that when she was young, she was quite a looker (still is, if I may add).

Every so often, she would get a big box of cosmetics sent to her by the Avon man (that's what we called the delivery guy). And we would eagerly dig into the box to see what the products our friends and neighbours had ordered looked like. Mum would be issuing warnings after warnings to be careful not to open or spoil the boxes which fell on deaf ears of course.....It was the smell of new cosmetics and perfumes that was so wonderful and I believe it was this that got me hooked on makeup.

It must be said that the Avon products of the 80's has changed dramatically from the quality of the products now. Sadly, it is my opinion that the quality has dropped to that of the 80's when I think it was manufactured in the US and imported and sent to the doorsteps of many a Malaysian woman.

There is one product which I still use and think is the best in the market - their underarm deodorant. I have tried many other brands and I always end up with moist underarms at the end of the day. With the Avon deodorant, my underarms always remain dry and comfy! It must contain a helluva lot of chemicals to get that eh! Oh well, thats another story altogether.

Another product that I purchased recently was its Ultra Luxury Eye Liner. When I was younger, I loved to line my eyes and taper it out at the end for a cat eye look! I still do but I now find that I can achieve this look better with a liquid eyeliner.

I purchased this eyeliner in black one day and I think it is fairly decent. It is soft and I am able to apply it without pulling at my lids and I love how it is a deep and dark black. Also, it cost slightly less than RM10 during a promotion.

This is what it looks like on my lids.

Although Avon is not as as famous as it used to be back in the day, I still think there are several gems in there that are worth looking at!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Mediterranean Olive, Almond and Sage Wonderbalm

Meet the Mediterranean Olive, Almond and Sage wonderbalm that my lips are currently in love with. This comes from Boots and is such a great addition to my nighttime routine. My husband is not too crazy about it on to find out why!

The smell of this balm is out of this world. It is a soothing and pleasant smell that is great for helping you move into a state of peaceful slumber. It is called a wonderbalm because the ingredients are all organic and I have to say, I would never have thought that a mix of olives, almonds and sage would work together so well. I personally do not care for the strong smell of almonds especially in baked goods and I was a little apprehensive as to how this would smell. A quick whiff of the tester and I was sold!

This balm has a lovely spreading consistency which looks solid in the bottle but thins out a little upon contact with warm fingers. Spreads like a dream and keeps lips wonderfully moist. In the morning, I wake up to soft lips.

This does its job well but then again there are so many lip balms out there that does just as good a job. I merely happen to like this one as part of my routine at night.

As for my husband, well, lets just say that he hates to get it on his lips and wipes it off as soon as he gives me a kiss before I sleep!

Uptown Visions - Blusher in Bordeaux

I am pleased as a peach with this blush in Bordeaux from Uptown Visions!

Admittedly, I was a little apprehensive at the product value I would be getting for RM4. That was unfounded.

I picked this color which I almost mistook for a dark creme foundation until the light hit it and I realised that it was indeed a blush albeit on the darker side. Do remember that Uptown Visions is targeted at women with olive to dusky and darker skintones on which deeper colors really pop.

For starters, the pan of blush is quite big. It is also very color intense and is a good payoff in terms of value for money.

As you can see from the swatches, it is a deep brownish red and will look great on darker skin. My mistake the first day I used it was to use an angled blush brush to pick up the powder. I ended up with too much color on my cheeks because the product itself is highly pigmented. I am used to wearing lighter pinks and peaches as opposed to such an intense color. However, I decided to perservere and use a fan brush instead the next day. This proved to be better because for one, the color is lighter and it looks more natural on me that way.

This will be really appropriate for evening make-up when you want something that is more intense and will pop in the softer lights. I see this going with gold shadows on the lids and heavier liner as opposed to a day or office make up. I will still work this into my day make up as it lifts my face and gives it a wonderful flushed look. I tend to look sallow when my blusher fades a little at the end of the day because of my yellow undertones and this color helps to counter the yellow-ness.

Another use for a darker blush like this is for shading - this is to create shadows and bring out your cheekbones. One way to use this would be to sweep the blush below the apples of your cheeks, from the hairline near your earlobe towards the corners of your lips very sparingly. Then add a lighter blush on the apples of your cheeks past the lower corners of your eyes towards the hairline. The two colors need to be blended well until the two stripes of color are seamless.

If you have dusky skin, please think of giving Uptown Visions blusher in Bordeaux a go.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Small Uptown Visions Haul

Most of you would know that I spied Uptown Visions which had a very small display in Guardian Pharmacy at KLCC some time ago. I again bumped into this brand at another Guardian store and thought it would be great to try out some of the products so my sisters out there can have a feel of it.

From the picture above you would be forgiven for thinking that I purchased lip and nail colors in black! Tells you how crap my picture taking skills are! Please do forgive.....I have swatches to testify that these are indeed deep reds and purples.

Price wise, these 5 products cost RM 4 each which is as good as giving it away for free in Malaysia! What a haul for next to nothing! From a quality perspective, its another story altogether. Of course, it must be accepted that there would be a little compromise if you are paying so little for a product. The blush and nail color seem to be the items with slightly better quality. I have not tried the lip colors on my lips yet so that remains to be seen.

Overall, there was no luxe feel to the packaging which I can understand. The products themselves have colors which tend towards deeper reds and darker purples which will show up well on darker skin tones. This is wonderful seeing that there are or will be more options for us in the future.

I have taken some swatches and will report back on how they fared.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Get Up and Move!

I recently received the shocking news from my doctor that I was not in good shape. I have copious amounts of a nasty thing called cholesterol and another choice item ominously named uric acid that was swimming around in my joints….lots of it!

That I figure, accounts for the reason I was feeling pooped by the end of the day and had joints that were not performing as they should. And here I thought my daily jog in the rat race would keep me in shape….clearly this corporate job ain’t workin’ out.

I knew something was not right when the nurse took two vials of blood to be tested instead of the usual one when I complained to the doctor that I was tired and in pain recently! She said, the other one was just in case they lost the first one! Not funny when you have a syringe the circumference of a tree trunk stuck in your arm!

So the doctor tells me that I have to do this thing called exercise. I needed a thorough explanation of what exactly this would entail and he made it very clear that I would need to cut down on time spent lying on my belly playing games on my Iphone and instead put on music and MOVE.

Not everything in the world is fair, I quickly learn.

My husband kindly reminded me, later that evening after I had spent time thinking about the doctor’s findings over a quick game of word search on my phone, that we do have a treadmill. I took off the clothes from what I assumed was a place to hang clothes and indeed it was a treadmill that was there. He looked at me with a look that suggested that he had an evil plan cooking in his mind and tells me after a long pause (for added effect) that I should consider actually using the treadmill and to make it ‘fun’, I should listen to music while walking on the darn thing. Did you ever hear of a more evil plan? But of course, this got me thinking of what type of music would actually motivate me to want to get off my butt and move…..

So here I am, spending time choosing what I should listen to while I walk on the dread-mill! And I have to do this for one whole month! How awful!

I have a list and if you feel you have other songs that gets you jigging….please let me know.

• Everybody Dance Now – C & C Music Factory
• Pump It - Black Eyed Peas
• Crazy In Love - Beyonce and Jay Z
• Thanks for the Memories - Fall Out Boy
• Stronger - Kanye West
• Maniac - Michael Sembello (from Flashdance)
• Tearin Up My Heart – Nsync
• Hips Don't Lie – Shakira
• Call Me – Blondie
• Mambo #5 - Lou Bega
• Turn the Beat Around - Gloria Estefan
• Kiss, Kiss - Chris Brown
• Bailamos - Enrique Iglesias
• Promiscuous - Nelly Furtado
• The Way I Are – Timbaland
• Kiss - Prince
• Damn Girl - Justin Timberlake
• Superstition - Stevie Wonder
• Love Game - Lady GaGa
• Stronger - Kanye West

I hope, dear readers that your health is better than mine!