Beauty Blog Link Love

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

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Musicalhouses tries out a summer staple (yellow nail polish), and thinks she just might like it!

Phyrra brings you all of the new Silk Naturals Chromatics Cream Eye Colors. Will you fall in love with them?

There's makeup bases, and then there's makeup bases. Don't miss theNotice's review of the super-cool shu uemura POREraser & Brightening Mousses -- these are definitely the latter!

DIY Chalkboard Manicure Tutorial: Cheap, Easy and in 3 Steps!

Sunday, April 28, 2013

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Ciate has recently started promoting their Chalkboard Manicure, which involve nails that, look like chalkboard doodles on your nails. If you recall, Ciate was previously famous for their "I-claim-to-be-first-with-this-trend-although-I-wasn't" caviar manicure, and then threatening bloggers with legal action because they DIY'ed their own caviar manicures (not because they were trying to pass off their own nail art as Ciate's, by the way). Despite the issue with the Caviar manicure, I remain somewhat grudgingly impressed by Ciate's interesting innovation - I have to admit I haven't seen any other brand doing this yet, and it looks cool. (Okay, if I were to be more frank, I'm not just grudgingly impressed, I'm pretty impressed.)

Ciate's newest nail trend - Chalkboard manicure! (Source: Ciate Facebook)

Anyway, I realized when looking at Ciate's promotional materials, that 1) the Chalkboard Manicure kit wasn't available for sale yet (unless you were, of course, a Big Beauty Magazine Editor who Got It Free), and 2) actually, it just all looked like matte nail polish. Thus, an idea struck me - I could DIY my very own Chalkboard Manicure, using colours and stuff that I already had at home - because, really, who needs to buy a kit to acheive this effect? Besides, even if my polish-lemming self wanted to buy the damn set, it wasn't even available yet. Come on, you're telling me I have to wait to spend my money on an overpriced nail art set (this is assuming a girl like me in Asia can somehow get my hands on it)? Awww, shucks, but I want to wear it now, like the impatient consumer I am. *taps fingers impatiently*

wait to buy overpriced nail set
Impatient Ilya understands how I feel. Totally.

So began my quest to do my own Ciate-inspired Chalkboard Manicure. (Disclaimer before Ciate tries to sue me: I'm not claiming I'm using Ciate products, nor am I claiming to sell Ciate products, I'm just providing a tutorial to show how you can get a similar effect using DIY techniques at home, and I'm doing this out of my interest in beauty. I'm not making any form of money or payment as a result of sharing my own DIY techniques.) This what I used.

MUFE White Definition Instant Brightening Powder Foundation: I (and my Pimples) Get Made Over

Thursday, April 25, 2013

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MUFE launched its White Definition Instant Brightening Powder Foundation SPF30 / PA++ sometime back last month. I'm a little slow on this, because colour products are easier to get excited about, but every now and then, it's always great to be reminded that even in a slew of attention-grabbing colour products, a good base is paramount. That, and, well, this makeover was really quite something, because it managed to cover my pimples. Initially I was feeling a lot of inertia to write this post, but when I reviewed my crappy I-forgot-to-bring-my-camera-so-I-took-pics-with-my-iPhone photos of the event, I realized that this was reallyl something. So I just had to share it with you guys!


MUFE's White Definition Foundation is clearly suited to the Asian market - it's a foundation that aims to give your face a brightened, transluscent, yet natural finish. I got to give the foundation a test run, and even got to try out contouring my face!

Laqa & Co Fat Lip Pencil in Wolfman Review and Swatch

Monday, April 22, 2013

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Laqa and Co is a very specialist beauty brand - its only products right now are the lip pencil, as well as nail polish pens! It's definitely one of the most niche brands I've seen, and fortunately they do pretty nice products. I've written briefly about both the Laqa & Co Fat Lip Pencils and Nail Polish Pens before, and they were pretty good when I tried them out in store. So, now I'm FINALLY getting around to actually reviewing the Fat Lip Pencil I have in my stash - Wolfman.


Beauty Clinic 2 Step Ampoule Mask Review: Trouble Smart Laser and Hydra Smart Filler Masks:

Friday, April 19, 2013

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I'm usually a person whos in a hurry with my skincare - if I have to wait forever for it to sink in/absorb/massage in, it's not a product I generally would use very often. The exception to that rule are face masks, which I love because it just feels so pampering and luxurious. And what's more luxurious than a face mask? A two-step face mask! Beauty Clinic has a series of 2-Step Ampoule Masks, which target various skin concerns (whitening, troubled skin, hydration, and so on).


I've tried Beauty Clinic before when they were known as Leader's Clinic, and I had generally very favourable impressions of the masks. So naturally, I expected to like the Beauty Clinic masks too, and I wasn't wrong. I tried the 2 Step Trouble Smart Laser Mask (which is meant for problematic pimply skin), as well as the 2 Step Hydra Smart Filler Mask (for hydration).

Sleek Haul: Mostly Blushes and one Eye Dust!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

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I hauled from the Sleek Makeup website sometime back, and now I'm the proud mama of four Sleek blushes and one Eye Dust! I'm pretty excited! I actually really liked ordering from the Sleek website, the swatches provided on skin really helped to visualize the products (although there are already tons of Sleek swatches out there, including mine). But it was the delivery that was a little bit problematic. I have no idea what went wrong, but the order had to be shipped out three times before it got to me. Fortunately I was third time lucky! But all this was back at the end of last year, so I hoped whatever caused that snafu has been cleaned up.


Anyway, let's get to the haul. My previous experiences with Sleek blushes have all been good, so I was really very excited to get ahold of these babies! I'm just going to spend some time drooling over these now, because they just look so gorgeous. The photos below are provided for you to join in the gratituous drooling! Take that, overly-expensive, crappy makeup! Sleek's got your ass kicked!

Kiehl's Cuts Prices on 21 Customer Favourites - Yay!

Monday, April 15, 2013

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I'm a little slow with the news, but yes, in case you haven't heard (or in case you've heard but haven't acted on the news), Kiehl's has lowered the prices on not one, two, or three, but TWENTY-ONE of their products. Many of them are customer favourites, too, such as the Midnight Recovery Concentrate (down from $90 to $80), Ultra Light Daily UV Defense SPF50 PA+++ ($68 to $52) and Calendula Herbal Extract Toner ($78 to $58).

(Source)

All in all, the price drop gives you a discount of up to 30%, and this discount is permanent! I'm glad that at least there is ONE brand that isn't charging exorbitant amounts for useless products. Kiehl's products are known for their ability to actually work, so with the price cut, now is a good time to try out something new, or just to refuel on your favourites. For a full list of the 21 products that have undergone a price cut, do check out the Kiehl's SG website.

K-Palette 1 Day Tattoo Real Lasting Eyeliner Review: New and Improved!

Saturday, April 13, 2013

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K-Palette has improved their already-popular 1 Day Tattoo Real Lasting Eyeliner, and now it boasts longer lasting power, faster drying time, increased resistance to water, sweat and sebum, and easier removal. The blurb that came with the product even said that the product had ingredients like hyaluronic acid and Swertia Japonica essence to to boot! That sounds like a good deal, so of course I had to try it out!


Nivea UV Whitening Body Serum Review

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

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Nivea has recently released its Body UV Whitening Body Serum SPF25 PA++, which claims to be "the first body serum for intensive whitening and repair of accumulated dull and sun-damaged skin". Sound awesome, right? Of course, since I'm a shade-worshipping, sunscreen wearing (and don't forget sunscreen-blogging) kinda girl, I naturally had to check it out!


Emerald Colour of The Year Eye Look (And Random Thoughts on this Colour of the Year Thing)

Sunday, April 7, 2013

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So, Emerald has been officially declared the colour of the year for 2013. Speaking of which, who on earth decides these things? Fortunately Wiki has the answer: "Twice a year the company hosts...a secret meeting of representatives from various nations' color standards groups. After two days of presentations and debate, they choose a color for the following year...the color for summer 2013 was chosen in London in the spring of 2012." So I guess this means they chose a colour for the future nearly a year before it has arrived, LOL.

Regardless, companies are always quick to jump on the Colour of the Year bandwagon - Sephora's contract with Pantone means they release a bunch of "Sephora x Pantone Colour of the Year" makeup every year. And the fashion brands and houses? They're all over this like white on rice. I always thought fashion involved creativity, but seems like every year these companies just try to put out different iterations on the same old trends. (That said, I still love peplum. That frilly thingy in front hides my tummy so well.) Just look at my artfully-created below diagram (yay for fiddling around teh interwebz!), and you will know what I mean.

Beautysets - Pantone Commmercialism

Vanity Trove April: Elizabeth Arden and Dr Ci:Labo

Thursday, April 4, 2013

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My monthly Vanity Trove has arrived, and although I'm a little late to the party, better late than never, right? Let's jump right into it - this month's trove is rather uncomplicated, and really only has two brands - Elizabeth Arden, and Dr Ci Labo. Of course, this can either be a good or bad thing depending on your preferences, so let's take a look, shall we?


Did You Guys Fall for My April Fools' Prank?

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

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(Image source.)

Didja guys fall for my yesterday's prank? Happy April Fools!

You guys know that I love pulling these pranks right? :D Yesterday's post was a classic example :P Well, I'm actually not launching a BB cream. I'm not planning any cynical attempt to con unaware consumers out of their money with cute packaging, crappy formulation, and K-pop stars. It's just a jest. I love you guys, and I definitely do my best to remain an honest and trustworthy blogger - I've given PR samples frank reviews, even if the reviews are bad, I've turned down advertising and affiliate programmes that I felt compromised what I wanted my blog to be (e.g. Some affiliate programmes require you to shill the products), and I've not always been the most obliging blogger to PR people (I don't, for example, take part in "Vote-for-me" blogger competitions that require you to shill the product), because I want my blog to be honest. Sure it's easy to say, but blogger neutrality sometimes gets sacrificed in a blogger's (or YouTuber's, for that matter) attempt to monetize their blog/channel, and maintain good relations with PR people. I've never felt tempted to do any of these (I guess for once my laziness to shill and canvass for votes is a good thing!) , but I do see other blogs or YT channels doing so, and it makes me a little sad inside.

Regardless, let's not conclude with my rambles, but get back to the occasion at hand, which is April Fools! You know, given that my fake and crappy Sweet Pink Shiny BB Magic Cream SPF 50 with Sweet Almond Oil and XYZ-Random-Plant Natural Extract sounds a lot like some of the actual BB creams offered on the market, I can't help but wonder - are some of these BB cream companies trying to pull an elaborate prank on us, and make us waste our money on poorly-formulated products for their profit? Who knows, right? Happy April Fools!

I'm Making My Own BB Cream!

Monday, April 1, 2013

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Now, recall back when I wrote my post a few months ago, comparing BB creams ingredients versus their actual skin benefit? I was pilloried for that post, as I might have guessed. Nevermind that in my original post, I had caveated, "I'm not saying ALL BB creams suck, and I'm not saying ALL BB creams will aggravate sensitive skin. Some brands have better formulation than others, and some brands have more restrained marketing than others, so like any other beauty product, you will find those that live up to the hype, and those that just plain suck." A lot of people thought I was unfairly criticizing their beloved product. After all, I sometimes see a very cult-like following for BB creams. You can't really tell from the comments on the original blogpost of course, as I felt even the ones that disagreed with me posted respectful comments. So it's not like everyone who disagreed was a childish troll, and yes, I do appreciate constructive criticism, and respectful debate (hey, what do you think I spent my time doing at University?). But elsewhere on the web, there were critical posts full of sarcasm, and people just dissing me as stupid or gullible. (Because a gullible consumer looks past the marketing and hype and reads the ingredients list and does her own research - yep!)

(Image source. Text by me.)

So anyway. I figured, as the adage goes, if you can't beat them, join them! So, based on all the really crappy but popular BB cream formulations there are out there, I plan to launch my very own BB cream, have it made in a standard private label cosmetics manufacturer, put some Korean celeb on the ads, and voila - make LOTZ OF MONEEYY! Because, after all, that's what the BB cream companies are doing. As another ex-industry beauty blogger put it, "Can you really imagine MAC [having] its own brush factory or Shu Uemura [having] its own curlash making machine? They don’t. In fact, no cosmetic company does. We all source from brush manufacturers, [who] offer no exclusivity, except of course that they will not stamp the MAC brand to another brush customer." She was talking about brushes specifically in her post, but a similar principle applies to cosmetics as a whole, too - anyone recall Napoleon Perdis?

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