Summer Bronzing: Barry M Natural Dazzle Bronzer Swatch

Sunday, May 30, 2010

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It's summer, so I'll be attempting to swatch more summer items, like bronzers! Now personally I'm not a fan of bronzers, as being Asian I've spent my entire life being indoctrinated with the kooky belief that fairer=good, and as a result I always want to be that shade of pale that's always out of my range. LOL! Nevertheless, I can certainly appreciate a beautiful tan on another girl. And why not? A tan is so summery, and it makes a lot of the seasonal colours so in vogue now pop a little more. So while I'm intent on sloughing on all the sunscreen I can lay my hands on, for everyone else who is more normal (LOL!) I'm swatching a couple of bronzing items for you guys!

Today we start off with a cheap but good one - good ol' Barry M. Barry M strangely only has one (yes, one) shade of bronzer, and this is called Natural Dazzle. So that makes the Barry M Bronzing line easy to swatch, hah! Anyway, given that this has to be a one-size-fits-all shade, I think they've done a pretty good job. The bronzer in question is a nice shade of medium neutral brown, although there still is a teensy hint of orange that might make it not too great on very pale girls with cool undertones. It also has some shimmer, but not enough to be horribly distracting or OTT. I think it's a good amount, and the shimmer is fine enough to not be too obvious.

Here is the swatch:

Barry M Natural Dazzle

As you can see, the name "Natural Dazzle" is a bit of a misnomer, because the shimmer isn't THAT dazzly. But tht's what makes it good, in my opinion. I think the level of shimmer is just nice. This would make a good bronzer, although I doubt anyone would want to contour with it (the Sleek contour palettes are probably better for that), because in general contour shades used to shadow your face (the ones that are darker than your skintone) should ideally be devoid of shimmer. But for light and medium girls with neutral-to-warm undertones, this would probably work well as a bronzer.

Giveaway: Win a SkinCareRX $100 Voucher!

Friday, May 28, 2010

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If the title of this post didn't excite you, I don't know what will :P Basically, SkincareRX.com is giving away a $100 voucher! And it's open internationally! SkincareRX.com is an online store that carries a whole lot of awesome brands of cosmetics and skincare, in particular the La Roche-Posay Anthelios line. I don't know about you, but it's really popular in Europe and Asia. In Asia particularly there's a lot of buzz about their sunscreens. When I had to see a derm in Singapore to get a sunscreen for my photo-sensitive skin, La Roche-Posay Anthelios was one of the lines he recommended.

Anyway, enough with my chatter. On to the giveaway!

Rules:

1. Must be a follower of this blog.

2. Fill out the form below. Please DON'T comment on this post!

Entries:

You must do one or more of the following for the number of entries specified:

1. One Entry: Becoming a fan of SkincareRX on Facebook

2. One Entry: Following @skincarerx1 on Twitter. If you also follow @musicalhouses on Twitter, you get an extra entry.

3. Two Entries: Tweeting about the giveaway. Include @skincarerx1 and @musicalhouses in your tweet, as well as a link to this post.
Feel free to use this text: 2 entries if you tweet about the giveaway linking to this post. Include @musicalhouses and @skincarerx1 in your tweet. Feel free to use this text: "Giveaway: Win a $100 @skincarerx1 Voucher by entering on @musicalhouses blog! Link: http://goo.gl/fb/OLSB2"

4. Five Entries: Signing up for the SkinCareRx Newsletter (found at the bottom of the SkinCareRx.com's website)

5. Ten Entries: A blog post of minimum 100 words, with the text-link "La Roche-Posay Anthelios" linking to the SkinCareRX La Roche-Posay page.





(Note: Form is embedded above. If form isn't working on this page, it should be accessible HERE.)

Are They Dupes? GOSH Bourgogne vs MAC Sweetie Lipsticks

Thursday, May 27, 2010

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In my last post swatching the GOSH lipsticks HERE, I mentioned that GOSH Bourgogne 66 was a more punched-up, pigmented version of MAC Sweetie. I thought they were similar because they were both plummy pinks with shimmer, so here are actual lip swatches for comparison!

Now that I actually swatched both of them side-by-side, I realized that while they might both be in the same plummy-pink-with-shimmer category, in terms of intensity these are two very different creatures. GOSH Bourgogne is a helluva lot more pigmented and intense than MAC Sweetie, so if you're looking for a pigmented lipstick, the GOSH is the obvious winner.

Here's a swatch of my bare lips for comparison:



Here's a swatch of MAC Sweetie. I love this lipstick:

MAC Sweetie Lipstick Swatch

I really like MAC Sweetie, it's a very work-appropriate colour, and it's a very sweet-looking pinky-plum with silver shimmer, and it's a slightly cool-toned colour. It's shimmery without being frosty, and it's not too sheer although it isn't totally opaque. This is one of the no-brainer shades I like to use when I can't think of anything else.

Here's a swatch of GOSH Bourgogne:

GOSH Bourgogne Lipstick Swatch

GOSH Bourgogne is like MAC Sweetie, but really revved up. It's also a slightly cool-toned pinky-plum, but really pigmeneted, to the point where it's a very bright colour. It also has a blue flash duochrome going on, which makes it really cool. I don't know if you can see the blue flash on the lips, but it's more obvious in the tube. The blue duochrome is more diminished once applied on the lips, so the net effect is shimmer that just ever-so-slightly flashes blue. It's not noticeable once it's on the lips, but if you look at the lipstick in the tube, its a lot more obvious.

Formula-wise, I found the two lipsticks to be similar. On me, both of them were a little on the slightly dry side, although the GOSH was slightly more dry than the MAC. I'm one of those weird people who find all MAC lipsticks drying (even the Lustres and Cremesheens), but if you aren't one of those, then you might find the MAC substiantially less drying.

So between the two, which one should you pick? Once again, it depends on a number of factors. If you love bright, pigmented lipsticks, then GOSH Bourgogne is definitely the one to pick. But if you want something less flashy and more work appropriate, or if you want a lipstick that's more sheer, then MAC Sweetie is a better choice for you. And if you want the less drying of the two, then MAC Sweetie is probably your best bet.

NOTD: Nails Inc Diet Coke Paris: A Lovely Berry Creme

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

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I'm sure you already know this, but for this month, whenever you buy 2 500ml bottles of Diet Coke, you get one bottle of Nails Inc polish free, out of a choice of four colours. The colours are all named after fashionable places - London, Paris, New York, and Milan. In one of my previous posts I featured Nails Inc London, with some comparison swatches HERE, and this post I'm featuring another colour - Nails Inc Paris!

Despite being a freebie, Nails Inc Paris, as with Nails Inc London, applied beautifully, was well pigmented, and totally opaque in 2 coats. It has a lovely creme finish, as does Nails Inc London. But while Nails Inc London is a greige-y nude, Nails Inc Paris is a bright but still muted berry-toned plum creme. I really love this colour, it's perfectly in between plum and purple. It looks really delicious, it reminds me of berries and jam. Yum. Berries.

Ooh, stubby fingers:

Nails Inc Paris

And here's a picture with the bottle. I know it's blatant product advertising, but I actually think the Diet Coke logo on the bottle is kinda cute:

Nails Inc Paris Diet Coke

This is actually similar to Nails Inc Piccadilly Circus (which I used in a very unfortunate and ugly KOTD HERE). Both of them are cremes and of similar colour and depth, but I think Paris is a lot more purple than Piccadilly Circus, which is a more straightforward berry pink.

My First Ever Nail Swatches!

Monday, May 24, 2010

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Today is nostalgia day! These are my first ever nail polish swatches - and as you can see they're the lousiest possible swatches anyone could make. They're made on a paper towel, and these were a bunch of swatches made at the Nails Inc store, and I made them on a piece of tissue paper because that was all I had to swatch on, and I couldn't do it on my own nails because they were painted with something else at that point in time. LOL!

Nails Inc Swatches

Here are the names by rows:

1st: Belgrave Place, Maddox St, Regents Palace, The Thames
2nd: The Serpentine, Kensington Palace, Bruton Street
3rd: Hanover Square, Jermyn Street, Berkeley Square
4th: Victoria Caviar, Victoria Gate, 80 Fulham Road
5th: Instyle Bare, New Bond Street, Belgravia
6th: Burlington Gardens, The Mall, Basil Street
7th: Dover Street, Hampstead Heath

I can't believe I started out making swatches like these, because they really are quite craptastic! I just posted them here for a laugh more than anything else, so I hope they've entertained you!

Eyeshadow Tutorial for Asian Eye Shapes: Round Prominent Hooded Eye

Saturday, May 22, 2010

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Today, we are continuing what I started some weeks back in this post HERE: my series on eyeshadow tutorials for Asian eye shapes! In this series of tutorials, we look at different Asian eye shapes, and suggest eyeshadow placement for that particular eye shape.

I know there are currently tons of eyeshadow tutorials for Asian eyes, but the problem with those is that they often assume that there is only one generic Asian eye shape. However, Asian eyes come in various shapes and sizes too, just like Caucasian eyes, so to give a generic "eyeshadow tutorial for Asian eyes" is a bit misleading, as it implies all Asians have the same eye size and shape. Thus, any generic Asian eyeshadow tutorial is bound to help some girls, but not others. What we need is a series of eyeshadows geared to different types of Asian shapes, instead of just one generic tutorial. (For more information, check out the first half of THIS POST - it has more information on the misconception that all Asians have the same eye shape.)

Thus, in this series of posts, I look at a different type of Asian eye each time, and suggest eyeshadow placement for that specific eye shape. Hopefully this will help some girls out there!

Today, we are looking at Blair's eye. I really need to apologize for the pictures, they aren't great but they were the best I could get. As you can see, Blair's eye is very different from Wendy's eye (which we looked at last time HERE). Here are the main features of Blair's eye:

Asian eyeshadow tutorial

1. Blair's eyes are actually very round (by Asian standards, anyway). She also has pretty large eyes. I know you can't see this because it's not a full-face shot, but her eyes are her most prominent feature because they're big and lovely.
2. Her eyes are very prominent - you can see the entire eyeball's outline in the eye socket (this is particularly obvious if you compare it with Wendy's eye).
3. Like Wendy in the previous post, she also has hooded eyes.

I know most people would think that having prominent eyes and hooded eyes sounds like a contradiction, because they are thinking about the typical Caucasian prominent eye, which rarely comes with a hooded lid. However as you can see in the above photos, although her eyeball is pretty prominent, she also has a hooded eyelid, because when she opens her eyes, you can see that half of her lid space is covered by the crease area, and the crease kind of folds over onto her lid.

Another thing I'd like to point out is that although Blair's eyes are prominent and large, they don't resemble the typical Caucasian prominent eye shape. This is why it is difficult to transpose techniques for prominent Caucasian eyes onto Blair's eyes, although both eye shapes can be classified as "prominent". Blair's eyes are prominent - as you can see the eyeball kind of "sticks out" and is not sunk into the eye socket, and if you looked at a full-face photo of her (unfortunately this isn't available), this would be very obvious because her large eyes are her dominant facial feature. However unlike prominent Caucasian eyes, which in general tend to be really contoured and defined, Blair's eyes don't have the sharp, defined contours often associated with prominent Caucasian eyes, although they are the dominant feature of her face. Thus, because the Asian prominent eye is sometimes slightly different from the typical Caucasian prominent eye contour-wise, it requires different treatment when it comes to eyeshadow placement.

So how should we treat Blair's eye?

First, as always, we put on a highlight and lid colour. For Blair, because her eyelid is hooded, although she has a crease line, it doesn't coincide with her actual contour area of the lid. This is actually really common in Asian eyes, and is also seen in Wendy's eye.

Thus, for Blair's eye, as with Wendy's eye, we place the base shade all the way up to the eyebrows, and the lid shade stops not at the crease, but above it.

Here's an eye diagram showing the placement of base and highlight shades on Blair's eye:

Asian eyeshadow tutorial

Because Blair's eyes are relatively large in size, and her eye is prominent, she can actually get away with dark lid colours. In fact, they help to recede her eyelid area a little, making it less prominent and more contoured. However I didn't use a dark colour for this tutorial, because Blair wasn't very into dark eyeshadow. So this is the result:

Asian eyeshadow tutorial

We now look at the placement of the crease shade for Blair. Once again, as previously emphasized, when applying the crease shade, we would like to place the crease not in the crease line of Blair's eye, but further up, in the contour area, where her eyeball meets the eye socket. This enhances Blair's eyes. If we had placed the crease colour right in the crease line, we would be applying the crease colour somewhere in the middle of her eyelid, and this would just make her eyes look really odd.

Here's what I wrote in my previous post in this series, on the issue of crease line vs contour area in Asian eyes. I'm repeating it here, because I think it applies to this eye shape, too. (for the full text, see the previous post in this series):

What we are trying to acheive with the lid and crease colour is to contour the eye. In most Caucasian eyes, the crease happens to meet with the contour of the eye, which is where the soft eyeball ends and where the socket bone begins. Thus, when you look at a typical eyeshadow tutorial that assumes a Caucasian eye shape, they often tell you to put a dark colour in your crease, and if you had such an eye shape, that would be correct, because your crease would coincide with your contour. The only exception to this is Caucasians who have hooded eyelids. However, in Asians, often our crease isn't where our contour is. Here you can see that the actual contour of the eye, where the eyeball meets the eye socket, is much further up than the crease, which happens to be somewhere in the middle of the lid. This is like a hooded eye, but not quite the same thing. In Caucasians it often happens due to aging, where the eyelid just tends to droop down with age, and when this happens, there is a lot of skin where the fold is. In Asians, it's just our genetics, so we don't really have as much skin in the fold, but we do get a similar end result which causes our crease line to lie below our eye contour area.


Thus, when applying Blair's crease colour, we apply the crease colour in the contour area, not in the actual crease line:



So on Blair, this is what it looks like. I do admit the blending could be better, but this is just a rough guide to placement:



This is more or less the basic for Blair's eye - base, lid, and crease. However, because Blair's eye is prominent and round, we can add a little more definition to it by adding a darker colour in the outer V area.

Here is a diagram of where the outer V colour can be placed:



This is how the outer V shade would look on Blair's eye. Once again I think the blending could be better, but as with the previous picture, this is just a rough guide so you can see the placement of eyeshadow:



The key when doing an eye like Blair's is to remember that her eye is prominent, and is quite round, and in some Asians (as is the case for Blair this time), runs the danger of potentially looking contour-less if eyeshadow is applied badly. Thus, we use the shading of the contour/crease colour and the darker colour of the outer V to give her eye a little bit more contour and dimension. We should also be careful to apply the crease colour in the actual contour of the eye socket area, instead of the fold of lid that lies in the middle of her eyelid, in order to enhance the contour the eye. I didn't really use a highlight colour here, because my main focus today was the placement of crease colour and the outer V, but a good highlight colour would also help.

And that's it for today! I hope this post helps someone!

Lusting After: Barry M Mushroom Nail Paint - Where Is It?!

Friday, May 21, 2010

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Okay, Barry M, hand it over. I KNOW you have it. I KNOW you've released this fabulous new shade of nail polish called Mushroom, and we both know it's right up my alley, since it's another one of those brown-grey mushroom shades I love so much. And you know I'll buy it. In fact, you know I'll probably buy TWO, because right now Superdrug is having a 2 for 5GBP promotion on Barry M Nail Paints.

So WHY can't I find it any of my Superdrugs?! I've been to 2 or 3, and I've seen all the other new colours - Strawberry Ice Cream, Berry Ice Cream, Blueberry Ice Cream, and Lemon Ice Cream - and I think they're alright, but where's Mushroom? That's the one I really want!

And don't tell me you don't have it, Barry M. I know you do. Your website HERE has a really tantalizing, teasing picture of Mushroom. I want I want I want. Maybe it's not quite the epitome of a mushroom griege shade, because from the picture and from swatches I've seen, it's a little too heavy on the brown and doesn't have as much purple as I'd like, but I want it anyway. I mean, it's a greige, right?

One day I'll get my hands on it. In the meantime, Barry M, can you please replace the picture of the model on your website HERE. Seriously, something's a little unsettling about that picture - is it because the girl is too skinny, too skinny, or too skinny? I seriously hope no young impressionable minds get body image issues looking at that photo. (Okay, I know there's more to body image issues than looking at photos of stick-thin girls, but you gotta admit this ain't helping.)

GOSH Lipsticks Swatches: Part 2

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

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Today, we're doing part 2 of our series of GOSH lipstick swatches, after getting interrupted by a reader's request swatch! (Don't you just love my non-existent organizational ability?) Anyway, I really like these lipsticks very much, they're well-pigmented (most of them, anyway), and relatively emollient. Like a lot of strongly pigmented lipsticks, they're a little drier than my ideal, but I think they're still pretty awesome nevertheless. Without further ado, here are the swatches!

GOSH Lipstick Swatches

L-R: Nougat 122, Mulberry 127, Mocha 128, Amethyst 131, Darling 134, Hot n' Sweet 139

Nougat 122 has been swatched before, but I thought I'd just put it beside the rest of the swatches for comparison purposes.

Mulberry 127 is a bright deep red, very pretty and wearable (as far as red lipstick goes anyway), and this one is a nice neutral red.

Mocha 128 is a brown colour with a hint of pink and tan. This is on the warm side.

Amethyst 131 is a frostly lilac. This is a little bit odd, because most lipsticks I've seen up to this point are bright neon type of lilacs, but this is much more muted and grey. I'm not sure how it would look on a lip, the grey tones in this look a little bit odd.

Darling 134 is a nude, and is one of the more acclaimed shades - everyone seems to be raving about this one. This is a nude with pinky tones to it, and it's very pretty. I've heard that it's a dupe for MAC's Hue lipstick (also another acclaimed nude) but I've never owned Hue so I wouldn't know.

Hot n' Sweet 139 is also another colour I really love very much. It's a jewel-toned red that's cooler-toned than Mulberry 127, and has more purple to it. This one will be the perfect standout red lipstick for cool-toned girls, while warmer-toned girls might want to go for Mulberry 127 instead.

Alright, that's it for the GOSH Lipstick swatches!

Tarte Cosmetics is on Hautelook Now!

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My US girls are getting lucky - Tarte is on Hautelook now! Check it out HERE!

I am not affiliated with, paid or compensated in anyway by any of the companies mentioned. The sign up link provided is my own members sign up link.

RBL Grunge, Nails Inc Diet Coke London, Instyle Mink, Jermyn Street: Any Dupes?

Monday, May 17, 2010

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While I was wasting my youth on that infernal time-sucker called Twitter, I was chatting with Liloo (who is @tsunimee on Twitter - PS you should follow her because she's really awesome!), and she was asking me if the Nails Inc Diet Coke London shade was similar to the Nails Inc Instyle Mink shade, and she wanted to know if I could do swatches to compare the two.

For those of you who are non-UKers, Nails Inc is a luxury brand of nail polish in the UK, and every now and then they have promotions that allow you to get a bottle of their polish for cheaper than the really pain-inducing retail price of 10.50GBP. As luck would have it, this month in the UK, there are not one but TWO Nails Inc promotions - one that allows you to get a free bottle of Nails Inc polish with a purchase of Instyle Magazine, and another one that allows you to get a free bottle of Nails Inc polish with a purchase of two bottles of Diet Coke. And as is usual with Nails Inc, the colours released for both promotions were right on trend.

In fact, so right on trend that people thought two of the colours from both promotions were dupes. The colours in question are London (from the Nails Inc Diet Coke promotion) and Mink (from the Nails Inc Instyle promotion). Both of them are the classic, yet still-edgy mushroomy, taupey-brown greige shade I absolutely love. They looked similar, so people started speculating that they were dupes.

Fortunately, because I am a mushroomy-taupey-brown-greige hoor, I bought both Nails Inc Diet Coke London, as well as Nails Inc Instyle Mink. So if you have been wondering if they are dupes, wonder no more! The mystery will be solved!

And because I love you guys so, I thought I could do better than that - and I found two similar colours in my stash, RBL Grunge, and Nails Inc Jermyn Street, to compare both of them to as well! Aww, don't you love me now?

So without further ado, let's begin our comparison post with the requisite bottle picture:

RBL Grunge Nails Inc London Instyle Mink Jermyn Street

L - R: RBL Grunge, Nails Inc Diet Coke London, Nails Inc Instyle Mink, Nails Inc Jermyn Street

Ooh, photos like this just make me drool all day long. I am SO loving this greige/mushroomy trend. Also, I got really excited when I was doing bottle comparisons, because when I saw how close RBL Grunge was to Nails Inc Diet Coke London, I was like, "OMG YOU HAVE GOTTA BE KIDDING!!" Seriously. Something that us UK girls can get free (with two bottles of Diet Coke) is a dupe for something the US girls pay USD$25 for?! Is Nails Inc London really a dupe for RBL Grunge?

There was only one way to find out: nail swatches! Unfortunately, because my nails were already painted with an NOTD I didn't want to remove yet, I was forced to make do with swatching on fake nails. (Note - I don't wear fake nails, have never worn 'em, will probably never wear 'em. I just love my real ones too much, LOL.)

So here are the swatches:


RBL Grunge Nails Inc London Mink Jermyn Street

L - R: RBL Grunge, Nails Inc Diet Coke London, Nails Inc Instyle Mink, Nails Inc Jermyn Street

Aww shucks. As you can see, nothing is really a dupe for anything else, although RBL Grunge and Nails Inc Diet Coke London are really close. The main difference between London and Grunge is that London is more purple. They aren't dupes, but they are similar. Nails Inc Instyle Mink is a lot more brown than any of the colours featured here, and Nails Inc Jermyn Street is darker than any of the colours here. I'm so glad I don't have any dupes, it allows me to keep them all. And I LOVE these colours, they are my favouritest colours to wear on my nails. And for some reason Nails Inc looks really really dark, but it isn't that dark - I think it's because all the other colours are relatively light in comparison, so my camera's contrast settings made it look darker than it really is. I don't know why though. I had to take this picture multiple times to get a decent effort. Anyway, I did a previous NOTD with it before, and you can view it HERE.

So here's the question I like to answer at the end of every comparison post - which one should you choose, if you aren't a mushroomy/taupe/brown/greige hoor like me and think four nail polishes from the same colour family is too excessive?

Well the answer would depend, as always, on your skintone, and colour preferences. Skintone-wise, I personally feel that these greige/mushroom colours are pretty neutral, and have the ability to flatter a wide range of skintones, but for the sake of comparison, relatively speaking, shades that have more brown in them tend to flatter warm tones better, while shades with more purple or grey tend to flatter cooler-toned ladies. And of course, your preference for colour - whether you want your greige mushroomy shade to have more purple, grey, or brown, is also going to play a factor.

Out of all of the 4, RBL Grunge is the most beige, so for girls who don't really like the mushroom trend, but want to dip their toes into it, this is a good way to go. Nails Inc Instyle Mink is by far the most brown, so that might be good for warmer-toned girls, or girls who want a colour leaning more brown. For cooler-toned girls who are averse to any hint of brown, it's a good toss-up between RBL Grunge and Nails Inc London. For someone who wants a colour that's equal parts brown, purple, and grey, Nails Inc Jermyn Street is probably your best bet.

And the Winner is...(And a Jergens Video with Cute British Accents!)

Sunday, May 16, 2010

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Thanks everyone for taking part in my Jergens giveaway! We have a winner!






Random.Org has spoken! Congratulations to Sweet Miss Jo! And thank you everyone for taking part! And thanks Jergens for sponsoring the giveaway!

Don't forget you can still check out Jergen's "Skin and Bare It" series! They have those totally HAWT British accents my American friends are always drooling over! In fact, they've released Episode 2. This one is really funny, and even better than Episode 1. In Episode 2 a girl who loves pampering swaps skincare with a girl with just ONE skincare item! This totally made me laugh, especially the girls' look of horror after swapping their skincare.



Anyway, that's it for today! I hope everyone enjoys what's left of the weekend before Monday rolls around!

This giveaway was sponsored by Jergens Naturals. I am not affiliated with the company. I do not receive any compensation for hosting this giveaway.

GOSH Lipstick Swatches: Part 1

Saturday, May 15, 2010

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GOSH is fast becoming one of my favourite drugstore brands in the UK, and in particular I really love their nail polishes, lipsticks and eyeliners. They aren't the cheapst drugstore brand around, but they have a really good range of colours, and some kickass products. Today, I bring you part 1 of 2 of the GOSH lipstick swatches. While these aren't as pigmented as the Barry M Lip Paints, they're definitely not sheer, and they're still pretty pigmented. They also smell of vanilla and crayons mixed together - they smell sort of, but not quite, similar to a MAC lipstick.

Here are the first of the swatches:

GOSH Lipstick Swatches

43 Tropical Pink, 60 Lambada, 66 Bourgogne, 77 Romantic, 86 Kitsch, 122 Nougat

43 Tropical Pink is a bright, neon, lavender pink. This is NEON okay, although my swatch doesn't quite show it (stupid camera).

60 Lambada is also a bright neon tomato red, and if you wore either Tropical Pink or Lambada down the road, you're definitey going to be stopping traffic.
Bourgogne is a very pretty pinky-plummy colour, and it's like a much more pigmented and brighter version of MAC Sweetie - I likey! This is definitely one of my favourites. I've no idea what Bourgogne is, but someone told me it's a geographical place. Hmm.

77 Romantic is a pinky-brown with a hint of peach, which makes it warm-leaning.

86 Kitsch is also pinky-brown, but without the peach, so it's not as warm, and more neutral. This is also one of my favourites, it's a universal workhorse colour like MAC's Twig.

122 Nougat is a very browned pink, and not as pink as Kitsch, or as peach as Romantic.

Next time, I'll be posting the rest of the GOSH Lipstick Swatches, so keep a look out :)

Revlon Colorburst Lipstick: Lip Swatches and Reviews!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

9 comments
EDITED TO ADD: After receiving some feedback from readers, I realized I was stupid, and mad a typo error. I checked my tube, and the colour names of the lipsticks I have are Soft Rose and Rosy Nude. So all the times I wrote "Soft Nude", I really meant "Soft Rose"! What a silly goose I am, thanks for correcting me guys! This post has been updated to reflect that change:)

Revlon is set to launch its Colorburst Lipstick range in the UK - FINALLY, after they've been in the USA for months! I'm so excited - but there's only one snag to the story. It's that after I went through all the trouble of getting my US-based friend to buy and mail the Colorburst lipsticks to me from across the Atlantic, I find out that Revlon is launching these babies in the UK! Thanks a lot, Revlon. Advance warning next time please? Oh well, I guess it's just my enthusiasm to have pretty lipsticks that got me into this. I do hope Revlon brings them to Asia though, because the colour selection is pitiable when it comes to Asian drugstore lipsticks. We could use some good wearable colours.

Anyway, the Colorburst Lipsticks caused a little bit of a buzz when they first launched in the USA - it was as though every other blogger was covering them. And I can see why. In general, I do like these very much. The two shades I bought (all the way from the US, too!) were Soft Rose and Rosy Nude.

First up, here are pictures of the lipsticks in question:

Revlon Colorburst Soft Rose Rosy Nude

Top: Revlon Colorburst Soft Rose, Bottom: Revlon Colorburst Rosy Nude

As you can see, they're pretty similar, although they aren't identical. Soft Rose is more brown, and Rosy Nude is a tad more pink and, well, rosy! And I wouldn't actually call these nudes, despite the name. To me they're more like My-Lips-But-Better (MLBB) colours. Which I prefer to nudes, actually, since nudes can wash out some people and visually age them. But with MLBB shades, you can't go wrong, and they go with everything! Also worth noting is that these are a cream finish. No shimmer, no glitter, nada - just the way I like it.

Now for lip swatches. Here's a picture of my bare lips first, so you'll have something to compare to when evaluating the level of pigmentation in the lipsticks. And now the whole world knows I know I have fish lips. What can I say, it's in my DNA:



Here's a lip swatch of Soft Rose:

Revlon Colorburst Soft Rose

As you can see from the photo, Soft Rose is definitely not a nude shade on me. But I really like it! This is a perfect neutral pinky-brown with a hint of rose, very work appropriate, and very wearable.

Now, here's a lip swatch of Rosy Nude:

Revlon Rosy Nude colorburst

Rosy Nude is a pinker, rosier version of Soft Rose, and it's less brown than Soft Rose. Rosy Nude is also a tad cooler-toned, but only by a smidgen. Once again, this is perfect for office wear.

Both lipsticks were very nicey pigmented, and surprisingly emollient, especially since they're drugstore. I really liked the smooth, creamy finish too.

Here are comparison swatches of both Soft Rose and Rosy Nude beside each other, just so you can see the subtle differences more clearly:

Revlon Soft Rose and Rosy Nude

L - R: Revlon Soft Rose, Revlon Rosy Nude

I really liked these lipsticks overall, and I can't wait to check out the other colours there are once these enter the UK. (Revlon, please bring in the entire range, and not just a few wimpy colours when you come to the UK, OK? Ditto for Asia.) The only snag is that these smelled a bit off to me. Maybe I got a bad batch, but mine smelled a little plastic-y. However, as far as I can tell, no one else seems to have a problem with the smell, so perhaps it's just my over-sensitive nose. But the smell is bearable, and dissipates fast, so I don't have a problem with that.

Nail Bling: Nails Inc Dover Street Market and Nail Crystals NOTD

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

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I like my bling and I cannot lie! You other fellas can't deny! OK, I'm going to stop channeling my inner Sir Mix-a-Lot right now. LOL. But you gotta love that song (and if you don't know it, go on youtube and search for Baby Got Back - it was like THE song of the 1990s at some point...Gee, I'm old). The bling in question is from today's NOTD, which is my first attempt at using little crystals on my nails.

I have to say, it does take a bit of practice. It isn't as hard as running regressions using Stata (haha!) but it requires a LOT of attention to detail and patience. I didn't use nail glue for these. I just used a pair of tweezers and popped the crystals onto my nail when they were still wet, then sealed them in with two coats of topcoat - I used a random slow-drying one under Seche Vite to prevent shrinking while still ensuring a fast dry time. For me, the really difficult part was positioning the crystals on your nail in the right spot, and nudging them to where you want them to be without messing up the still-wet polish on your nail.

The base is Nails Inc Dover Street Market, a much-vaunted medium-to-dark purple creme, and I can see why this is so popular among nail fanatics, and was all the rage like a year back. It's smooth, gorgeous, and applied well. The crystals were some random no-brand plastic ones my friend brought over from Asia because they're a lot cheaper in Asia than elsewhere for some reason - thanks Rachel! I just chose a simple pattern of three crystals down the nail, like coat buttons, because I didn't feel up to doing intricate flowers and hearts and shapes, since it was the first time I was trying them out. I really really want to try making shapes one day though.

Here's the NOTD pic. So, how'd I do? Fail, or yay?

Nails Inc Dover Street Market

As you can see from the picture, when I was moving the crystals around on my ring finger, I accidentally got some purple polish onto the crystal, which is why it doesn't look white like it should.

While I'm not really a nail art fanatic (the really intricate nail art is too impractical for my lifestyle, which involves lots of typing and cleaning my own toilet LOL!), I'm really liking these. In fact, I LOVE them, and for the past two days I've been shoving my nails in the face of all my friends. So far, I'm on my third day of wear, and the crystals are still holding up fine, even though I haven't refreshed my manicure by putting on an extra layer of top coat. I think the key is to seal them in with two layers of topcoat - one didn't seem quite enough to me.

I know this bling isn't quite everyone's cup of tea, but I'm really loving this one! Have you ever tried using nail crystals? Did you like how they turned out?

Boring Neutral Everyday FOTD with Bobbi Brown Pot Rouge

Sunday, May 9, 2010

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I had to get some photos taken for the University yearbook (which reminds me - since when did Universities have yearbooks, or is this just a UK thing?) on Wednesday. I decided to go with a boring neutral look because I am pretty boring when it comes to makeup colours, and because I figure it's always best to go with a neutral look if the pictures are going to be around for posterity...I don't want to be cringing at my dark blue smokey eye, copious amounts of bronzer and purple pastel lipstick 10 years down the road!

I know you can't really see any of my eye makeup, but that's partly because 1. I have small eyes, and 2. I didn't use much eye makeup, and 3. I wear glasses. Yes I'm such a dork I even wear glasses when I take a photo for my University yearbook! OMG A DORK POSTED AN FOTD! *Gasps* Darn nerds shouldn't post FOTDs with their ugly glasses! Ewwww! :P I did try taking a couple of pictures without glasses, but none of them turned out clear enough to post. (Stupid camera.)

Well, here's the darn nerd with ugly glasses:




And as always with FOTDs, here's a list of things used:

Eyes:
Benefit Creaseless Cream in Recess as a base
Majolica Majorca Eyeshadow SV821
Covergirl Lashblast mascara
Urban Decay 24/7 Eyeliner in Rockstar (outer lower lashline)

Face:
MAC Studio Finish Concealer NC20 (undereye area only)
MAC Select Cover Up Concealer NC20 (spot application on face)
Agnes B Radiant Loose Face Powder Lumiere D'aurore mixed with some CS Silica Powder
Bobbi Brown Pot Rouge in Blushed Rose

(I know, I don't wear foundation. I personally prefer concealer with loose powder to set, but I'm weird like that.)

Lips:
Sally Hansen Smile Brightening Lipgloss in Luminous

This is pretty much my daily routine, and as you can see it's a simple one. And sadly, it also features some favourite products that I'll never be able to get again, ever. Like the Agnes B Face Powder. I wish Agnes Bwould bring back their makeup line! That powder was my Holy Grail! It smelled like roses, which wasn't very nice, but it was finely milled, blendable, and didn't break me out. And I liked the yellow tint, which neutralized the redness in my face perfectly. But I'll never be able to get it again. I know there are other alternatives, T LeClerc and Bobbi Brown being two of them, but they're just not the same. T LeClerc is waaay too expensive for a loose powder, and the Bobbi Brown Pale Yellow Loose Powder just isn't finely milled enough - I once tried it, and it just looked chalky compared to the Agnes B powder.

Another product I'll never see again is my dear Sally Hansen Smile Brightening Lipgloss in Luminous. A lot of nail bloggers like to say that Sally Hansen is a hoor, and we often say that because Sally Hansen often releases nail polish colours that are really hard to find or available in some countries only (say Canada or the USA), prompting people to go on a treasure hunt to get them. Well, I can tell you Sally is also a hoor when it comes to makeup. That Smile Brightening Lipgloss is my Holy Grail of lipglosses, and it's only available in the USA. Please Sally, if you bring them to the UK and Asia, I promise I'll be a good girl buy up every tube of Luminous I see, and you'll be able to turn a profit just from all the lipglosses I buy!

UK Girls: Don't Forget to Enter my Giveaway!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

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Most giveaways, if you haven't noticed by now, tend to be US-only. I know, life isn't fair, is it? But by a strange twist of fate, I have a giveaway that's UK-only! So UK girls, don't forget to enter my giveaway HERE!

Rimmel Blue Me Away and Nails Inc Trafalgar Square NOTD

Thursday, May 6, 2010

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Sometimes, you just want to wear something weird. And clashing. And really ugly. And sometimes, it ends up sort of growing on you.

Like this NOTD, from a few weeks back. It all started when I decided I suddenly wanted to wear blue nail polish. If you know me, you'll know I'm not THAT big a fan of blues, for some reason. I don't even know why, especially given that I LOVE purples, and purples are essentially half blue? But that day I decided I wanted to wear blue. So I dug out Rimmel's Blue Me Away. It's a beautiful blue with fine red-orange shimmer. It's pretty cool, actually - it's rare to see a blue with shimmer of a contrasting colour, since most blues I've seen have silver shimmer.

So I put it on. While I like Rimmel's Lycra Pro Finish range, and their Lasting Finish Pro Enamel range, Blue Me Away was from the 60 Seconds Nail Polish range, and applies less well. I also don't like the brush as much - while the other two ranges have brushes with a curved end (which I particularly like), the brush on this one is cut across horizontally, and it is a little stubby. But it's nothing that can't be dealt with.

After putting it on, I decided that it wasn't weird enough. So I decided to put glitter on top of it. And I thought, why not put a red glitter on top, since there's already red shimmer in the polish?

So I dug out Nails Inc Trafalgar Square (which does seem quite a lot like China Glaze Ruby Pumps, another cult colour), and applied it on top. And as usual, this applied like nearly all the other Nails Inc colours I've tried before - without a single flaw.

Rimmel Blue Me Away Nails Inc Trafalgar Square

There. Are your eyes begging you to spare them the sight of my nails yet? I don't know why I like it, but I do. But I'm pleased to tell you that this lasted for a good 4 days before the first chip came on :P

Orly Foil FX Rage and GOSH FrouFrou: Are They Dupes?

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

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So the Orly Foil FX Collection, launched a couple of months back, has met with general aplomb from bloggers and nail polish lovers alike, being right on trend with its metallic take on golds, silvers and pinks. But of course, for us who aren't in the US, Orlys (is it me, or is it just that everytime I see the brand Orly I think - O RLY?!) are hard to come by, and when they are, they aren't cheap either. I know, doesn't it just make you want to cry? But I was lucky. One of my friends agreed to buy it for me and mail it here, so I have both Rage and Shine (I'm still trying to get my hands on Luxe). But not every girl could be so lucky, so I thought maybe I'd see if there isn't a dupe for it yet.

And sure enough, I found something I thought was dupey - GOSH FrouFrou! Actually, I had already done an NOTD with that colour! (Come to think of it - is it a NOTD? Or an NOTD? I know grammar rules say that if the first letter is a vowel, or has a wel sound, then it should be 'an'. So I guess since N sounds like a vowel, it should be an NOTD. But I always feel like typing 'a' because I'm seeing it in print, not hearing it in my head when I type...) Anyway, that NOTD was done waaay back when the only reader of my blog was my imaginary pet dog, but you can see it HERE. Wow, I never knew I was so ahead of the curve! Weird, I know.

Anyway the big question all my UK ladies want to know: are they indeed dupes?

Here are bottle comparison pictures:

Orly Rage Foil FX GOSH FrouFrou

L-R: Orly Rage, GOSH FrouFrou

They look pretty similar, don't they? They could be dupes!

Here are the comparison swatches:

GOSH Froufrou Orly Foil FX Rage

My index and ring fingers are Orly Rage, while middle and last fingers are GOSH FrouFrou. That means L-R: Orly Rage, GOSH FrouFrou, Orly Rage, GOSH FrouFrou

Ooh, so close, sooo close. They're not total dupes though. Although both colours are metallic foil pinks, Orly Rage is a more beige, making it a beigey-pink, while GOSH FrouFrou is pinker. But otherwise, they're entirely alike - the way they apply is similar, the finish is similar, and both are just good metallic foil-y goodness that can be worn to work despite the bling, because the colour is so innocuous.

So which one should you pick, if you somehow have access to both but only wanted one? (I think this is purely a hypothetical scenario though, since Orly is available in the US only for most part, and GOSH is only available in Europe for the most part.) Well if somehow you could buy both but only wanted one, then it would depend on your undertone, and how beige or pink you wanted your colour to be. I think the beige tinge in Orly Rage would suit warmer girls better, especially if they find GOSH FrouFrou too pink and unwearable, while the pink might work better on cooler-toned girls. I don't think it really makes that much of a difference though; both colours are neutral enough either way.

Barry M Dazzle Dust Swatches: Roundup Post

Monday, May 3, 2010

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Here is a roundup post of the Barry M Dazzle Dust swatches I've been doing over the past couple of weeks. They're in 6 parts, so I thought a compilation post would be good. Don't forget to click on the links provided to the individual reviews!

Part 1: LINK TO FULL REVIEW

Barry M Dazzle Dusts

L-R: Silver Irisdescent 8, Lime 75, Parrot Green 95, Aqua Gold 92, Mint 82, Emerald 72, Khaki 14, Aqua 15

Part 2: LINK TO FULL REVIEW

Barry M Dazzle Dust Swatches

L - R: Baby Blue 20, Block Blue 93 (New), Teal 94 (New), Kingfisher 78, Crystal Blue 81, Bright Blue 22, Midnight 23, Petrol Black 93


Part 3: LINK TO FULL REVIEW

Barry M Dazzle Dust Swatches

L-R: Burnt Orange 71, Orange 77, Cherry Red 84, Winter Cherry 88, Pearly Mauve 90, Cherry 34, Purple Passion LE2 (New), Pretty Pink LE1 (New)


Part 4: LINK TO FULL REVIEW

Barry M Dazzle Dust Swatches

L-R: Pale Silver 9, Grey 10, Rust 25, Chocolate 53, Dark Chocolate 97, Silver 91, Charcoal 11, Black 66


Part 5: LINK TO FULL REVIEW

Barry M Dazzle Dust Swatches

L-R: Yellow 76, Gold 96, Gold Iridiscent 27, Tan 39, Bronze 44, Old Gold 24, Mushroom 51, Oyester Grey 89


Part 6: FULL REVIEW HERE

Barry M Dazzle Dust Swatches

L-R: Sapphire 69, Lilac 59, Lavender 31, Ice Pink 1, Candy 58, Pink Gold 3, Pink Shimmer 86, Neon Pink 85

Becca on Hautelook Today!

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Oh me oh my, one of my favouritest brands ever, Becca, is on sale at Hautelook today! Wow my US ladies sure are lucky! Sale opens at 8am PT. I bet stuff will fly off the really popular items for this one - powder highlighters, powder eyeshadows, and cream blushes, as well as brushes. Check it out HERE to sign up!

I am not affiliated with, paid or compensated in anyway by any of the companies mentioned to release this information. The sign up link provided is my own members sign up link available to all members, and does not award me any benefit outside of their usual membership programme.

Barry M Dazzle Dust Swatches Part 6 of 6! (Whew!)

Sunday, May 2, 2010

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Phew! That was a long series of swatches, but we're at the end! But I STILL have more up my sleeve, because following this, I'll be swatching the Barry M Fine Glitter Dusts as well, since they're similar to the Dazzle Dusts. But first, the Dazzle Dust swatches.

Today's swatches are the pastels, and the feminine colours. A lot of purples, pinks, and things you'd want if you were going to do a makeup look for Valentine's Day.

Here are swatches. Please ignore the dirtied makeup wipe in the background, I was using those to clean my arm between swatches (and yes, as you can tell from how dirty the wipe is, I have been swatching a lot).

Barry M Dazzle Dust Swatches

L-R: Sapphire 69, Lilac 59, Lavender 31, Ice Pink 1, Candy 58, Pink Gold 3, Pink Shimmer 86, Neon Pink 85

Sapphire 69 isn't really sapphire. It's a purple-blue, and it doesn't have as much shimmer or frost as the other colours.

Lilac 59 is a light purply shade that's very reminiscent of spring. It has small bits of glitter.

Lavender 31 is a lighter, whiter, more pastel version of Lilac 59, with similar glitter. Lilac 59 and Lavender 31 are both very pretty pastel purples, and which one you prefer is entirely a matter of preference and depth of skin colour.

Ice Pink 1 is a white with a tinge of pink. It has a slightly frosty finish.

Candy 58 is a pastel pink that's similar to Ice Pink, except that it has more pink and less white. It also has the same frosty sheen.

Pink Gold 3 is really gorgeous. It's a light orange gold with a pink duochrome. It reminds me of the sunrise! This is very unique, especially considering it's drugstore.

Pink Shimmer 86 is a frosty, sheeny pink. It's not pastel, but it's not hot neon pink either. It's a cool-toned bright pink that's been diluted a tad with white, and with shimmer.

Neon Pink 85 isn't really neon. But it's a bright hot pink that leans cool. This one also has some shimmer in it.

And that's it for the Barry M Dazzle Dust swatches! Don't forget to stay tuned for the Barry M Fine Glitter Dusts swatches! It might take me a few days to get them up, but they'll be there soon, hopefully :)

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