Rock and Republic Spank vs Stila Bud Blush: Dupes or Not?

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

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While plumbing the depths of my makeup stash, I noticed that two of my blushes looked eerily familiar. One was a blush I've raved about before, Rock and Republic's Spank, and the other was Stila's Bud blush, which I had and liked at one point in time, but forgot I had over the years. Oops.

Both appear identical in the pan, and to be sure, they are from the same colour family - both are muted, everyday, go-with-everything neutral pinks.

Rock Republic Spank Stila Bud

L-R: Rock and Republic Spank, Stila Bud

I was curious to see if they were actually dupes or not, so I swatched them side by side. I think they're pretty close, although they're not absolute dupes. But they are close, though, so very close.

Rock and Republic Spank vs Stila Bud

L-R: Stila Bud, Rock and Republic Spank

They're pretty much the same, but Spank is a little bit brighter than Bud, and also perhaps a little bit more cool-toned. But they are both muted neutral light pinks, so the similarity is pretty slight. I guess when you actually wear the colours on your cheeks, they're not going to look too different.

Quality-wise, both were good, although the Rock and Republic was more pigmented than the Stila, and also had a smoother texture. I'm not saying the Stila isn't good though, because it is, but Rock and Republic is better.

So which should you get, if you can only get one? Well, given that both colours are relatively close, I'm going to frame this as a quality vs price thing. Rock and Republic has the better quality, but Stila has the cheaper price. Both are good though, so at the end of the day, your choice could end up being decided by your budget.

Color Club Partners with Amethyst Jeans for the Holidays

Monday, November 29, 2010

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Color Club is partnering with Amethyst Jeans for the holidays, and you could stand to win some items, so here's the scoop for you guys!

Enter to win on of 20 holiday totes given away over the next five weeks!

You and your BFF will each receive an Amethyst Jeans tote filled with a pair of Amethyst Jeans, shimmery lip glosses and a holiday set nail polish set from Color Club and a shampoo and conditioner set from Totally Texty!

Contest runs from November 29th through December 31st, 2010. Go to to enter! Happy Holidays!

FOTD/Review Using an Asian Makeup Tip: Johnson's Powder Pure Essentials All Day Pink

Sunday, November 28, 2010

One of the things I've noticed in my travels and experiences living abroad is that beauty tips are highly idiosyncratic, and I never fail to pick up beauty tips everywhere. I found out about using Monistat Anti-Chafing Gel as a primer from my awesome USA girls (although I was too chicken to try that out), and I learnt about the awesomeness of Sleek and Barry M from the lovely UK bloggers. And now that I'm in Asia, I've learnt another little tip that I thought I'd share with you.

I've been seeing a lot of Asian girls using a Johnson's body powder for their face. The full (and very long) name of this product is Johnson's Powder Pure Essentials All Day Pink. I don't know what it is with Asian products, but it seems like the longer the product name, the better. You know, like an eyeshadow isn't just an eyeshadow over here; it has to be XXX Brand Luminous Shiny Eyes Ultra Light Eye Powder With Pearl Reflector or something like that in order to sell :P

I get my bottle imported for awesomely cheap from Thailand, hence the Thai wording on the bottle. The lady who sold it to me swore that it was TEH AWESOMEZ as a face powder, even if it wasn't made as such. I was very dubious about it's qualities as a face powder, until I googled it and it seemed like she wasn't the only one using that Pure Essentials powder on her face.

The powder itself seemed adaptable for use as a face powder. The ingredients are simple and few - there are, in fact, a grand total of five ingredients (Talc, Dimethicone, Titanium Dioxide, Perfume, Iron Oxide) and all of them are found quite commonly in makeup items anyway, and nothing in the ingredients list seemed pore-clogging or irritating.

johnsons pure essentials all day pink 1

The powder itself is also pretty decent. It's finely-milled, and had a good texture. Maybe not as smooth as it could have been, but it wasn't a major issue with me. The only thing I was worried about was the colour. It was a shade of light pink, which could look potentially quite odd on my skin. However, the good thing about this is that because it's not actually meant as a face powder, the pink tinge in the powder doesn't really show up.

Here's a swatch of the powder on my skin. You can see that you need to really apply a lot before you get any major pink showing up. I do feel like this could still look ashy on more tanned girls, however. But for relatively fair girls (NC/NW20 and lighter, perhaps?), I think this would be fine.

johnsons pure essential all day pink 2

And of course, the review wouldn't be complete without an FOTD showing how the powder looks on my face, so here's a shot of my face with the powder. Here, I mixed the Johnson's Pure Essential Powder with some of my own silica powder to give the powder better mattifying and oil-controlling properties, since the Johnson's All Day Pink Powder wasn't very mattifying on its own.

johnsons pure essential all day pink 3

This is just concealer and powder on my face. Here's the breakdown for anyone interested:
MAC Select Cover Up Concealer (spot applied on face)
MAC Studio Finish Concealer (spot applied on undereye area)
Johnson's Pure Essential All Day Pink mixed with Coastal Scents Silica Powder

I actually thought it looked pretty decent. Firstly, I was worried about the pink tinge in the powder, but when it was mixed with another transparent powder (the silica powder, in my case), it didn't leave a pink cast. I suspect that even if I had used it alone, it wouldn't have left a pink tinge either, since it was quite sheer colour-wise. Which brings me to my second point - don't expect this powder to provide any coverage or any skin-transforming properties. It's good as a basic powder, and that's it. I think this will be good for setting makeup or for people who don't need too much coverage.

So, if you're looking for a cheap, cheery basic powder that doesn't offer too much coverage, this is worth a go. If you're worried about the pink tinge, mixing with a clear powder, as well as a light hand, will help prevent the powder from appearing ashy on your face.

ManGlaze Fuggen Ugly vs Orly Iron Butterfly: Dupes or Not?

Friday, November 26, 2010

Awhile back, I was gushing over ManGlaze Fuggen Ugly, the ubercool matte tar grey polish. I mentioned in the post that there were similar colours, so I thought I'd do a comparison post today swatching Fuggen Ugly side-by-side with one of its sisters, Orly Iron Butterfly.

Here are comparison swatches:

ManGlaze Fuggen Ugly Orly Iron Butterfly

L-R: First 2 fingers ManGlaze Fuggen Ugly, last 2 fingers Orly Iron Butterfly

As you can see, there are similarities and differences. The similarities are that both are matte, and have the same black-grey base. Both also apply very well, although I feel like Fuggen Ugly applies a bit better, because it goes on in thinner coats.

The differences are that Iron Butterfly has much bigger silver glitter than Fuggen Ugly. Fuggen Ugly isn't totally matte - there are very minute silver shimmer that adds a dimension to the colour, but the shimmer isn't visible on the finger, unlike in Iron Butterfly, where you can clearly see the discrete pieces of silver shimmer.

So, which one should you spring for? A lot is going to hinge on the shimmer for most people. If you want a more matte shade, then ManGlaze is the one to go for. But if you want some bling, then Orly's version will be your preferred choice.

Beauty Blog Backstage: Retro Urban Rainbow

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Today's post is an interview with Rachael of Retro Urban Rainbow! She's got an awesome blog, as you'll discover from the interview:

1. What made you start your blog?
At the time I got laid off work and had all this extra time and nothing to do with it. It got me playing with my cosmetics more and doing my roommates makeup everytime we went out. A friend said to me "I like when you post your makeup on facebook." It was that statement I thought I should start my own blog!

2. Your blog features a lot of very vibrant, sometimes-bordering-on-almost-crazy makeup looks. Do you wear these looks out, or are they just for your blog or for experimentation?
When I first starting doing them, it was just for fun. But they quickly became a favorite of mine to create. I was never one to not be myself and I thought, what the hell...I'm wearing it out. I have gotten some weird looks in the past. For example when I went out for my friends birthday looking like Ke$ha in her "Take It Off" video the bartender asked me if he knew I had paint on my face. I just laughed. I'm crazy and have no limits! :)

3. You've written a very notable post regarding Marie Claire's article on the perception of larger-sized girls. Is this issue something you generally feel strongly about?
Sadly, not until recently this year. For the longest time I tried different diets and exercising. . I was ashamed of how I looked. And reading all those magazines growing up I just wanted to be a stick. That article lit a fire up under my ass to voice my opinion in the matter. I still workout, but I'm not hating on myself for being plus sized. Starting my blog actually changed my view on myself and seeing others like me out there all over the world. I know Marie Claire isn't and wont be the only magazine or person saying/feeling that way. Why should someone get away with making another feel badly about themselves?

4. What do you like best about blogging?
I love being able to vent, educate and ramble my opinion. It's also so amazing the people you can meet in the blogging community.

5. What do you like least about blogging?
It can be time consuming when your working and going to school all at once.

6. Are you more of a budget beauty, or a high-maintenance girl?
I'm high maintenance that is purely the truth! Lately I've been getting into indie brands, they cost less and sometimes have great products. But I'm true to Urban Decay, MAC and Chanel.

7. Lastly - I just HAVE to ask - any favorite beauty products you absolutely can't live without?
Urban Decay 24/7 eyeliners. It's the only eyeliner I use and I have it in all colors!

YSL Touche Eclat Swatches!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

YSL Touche Eclat by now needs absolutely no introduction. It's one of the famous concealers of the world, and apparently works wonders on the undereyes, due to its luminous properties. Now I'm not sure if a simple click-pen of concealer is worth so much, but evidently tons of people do. So here are swatches! Unfortunately, my store didn't have the entire range, and they didn't stock the darkest colour. That makes me sad. But I hope this photo helps whoever might look at it!

01 Luminous Radiance is a light pink-toned beige.

02 Luminous Ivory is a light yellow-toned beige.

03 Light Peach is a warm orange-y tan shade.

If I'm not wrong, I've been told that pink counteracts brown eyebags, and yellow counteracts blue/purple undereye circles. I'm sure there are all sorts of theories, contradictory and otherwise, going on out there, but I believe that's the general rule of thumb if you're absolutely clueless and have no idea where to start. Of course it's not going to work 100% for everyone, but it's just a starting point, like all other makeup 'rules'.

To be fair, although I keep hearing complaints about how sheer Touche Eclat is, I didn't feel that they were really that sheer when swatching, although they definitely weren't as pigmented as some of the more pigmented products on the market. I guess if radiance is a main concern, and your undereye circles aren't too dark, and you don't mind the fiddly click-pen dispenser, this would be ideal.

Rock and Republic Seduce, MAC Flirt and Tease, First Light Cosmetics Sundowner: Dupes or Not?

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Since First Light Cosmetics is currently having a 20% off promotion for OFAF (Of Faces and Fingers) readers, I thought some comparison swatches would be in order. The last time I featured First Light's blushes, I mentioned that there were some very similar colours for a higher price, and that Sundowner could potentially be a dupe for some of those.

Rock and Republic Seduce MAC Flirt and Tease First Light Sundowner

Here's what I dug up from my makeup stash for comparison - the much vaunted and raved about Rock and Republic Seduce, the one-with-the-fangirls MAC Flirt and Tease, and First Light Cosmetics Sundowner. All three of these were powder blushes, and they were in the same colour family. All three are plummy blushes with a hint of brown - a bit overwhelming to look at in the pan, perhaps, but lovely if applied with some caution on the skin. And yes, I do think fair girls can wear these colours too! (I'm NC20, and these happen to be some of my favourite shades.)

Anyway, enough with my gushing about plummy blushes. On with the swatches:

MAC Flirt Tease Rock and Republic Seduce Firstlight Sundowner swatch

L-R: Rock and Republic Seduce, First Light Cosmetics Sundowner, MAC Flirt & Tease

Now, first off the bat, you'll notice that these are very similar. Very, very similar. They aren't 100% dupes for each other, but I guess once worn it's a little difficult to tell the difference. But there are some small differences.

The first small difference is that Sundowner is a lot more shimmery than either Seduce or Flirt and Tease. It doesn't have huge glitter bits, but it's more light-reflective than either the Rock and Republic or the MAC colour.

The second tiny difference is Sundowner is more plummy and rose in colour, while both Rock and Republic's Seduce and MAC's Flirt and Tease are more brown. But as you can see in the photo, the difference isn't very great.

The last difference is that of pigmentation. Rock and Republic had the best pigmentation, while MAC was the least pigmented. Now before I get lynched by all the MAC fangirls for even daring to suggest that MAC can be less pigmented than another brand, let me offer an olive branch by saying that Flirt and Tease is a Sheertone colour, anyway, so it isn't meant to be super-duper pigmented. It isn't sheer by any means, though, and you can definitely build it up to the level of kabuki clown cheeks, but it is a little sheerer than Seduce and Sundowner.

So, are all three blushes dupes for each other? Colour-wise, I think the Rock and Republic and the MAC blushes are more similar to each other than the First Light Cosmetics version. So if you want the closer dupe of Seduce, then Flirt and Tease is the one to get, even if it's a tad sheerer. But they're all similar enough that I can't tell you which one to pick definitively - it's going to depend on your brand preference (high or low end?), budget (cheap or expensive?), and other preferences in terms of form (loose powder blush or pressed powder blush?), pigmentation (more pigmented, or less?), and colour (more red, or more brown?).

20% Discount Code for First Light Cosmetics!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

You've read my raves about the brand, now you can try it for 20% off! From now to 28th November, enter the code "First1040" when you checkout at the the First Light Cosmetics website and viola! A 20% discount! And the minimum order size is a measly £5, so if you haven't been tempted to try out the brand yet, you really should. It's rare to find a small indie brand with great product great service, great packaging and generous sizes. The packaging is sensible and sturdy, and for your money you get a lot of product.

For the indecisive, here are my recommendations, which I've previously reviewed before. I've included swatch pictures from previous posts, but I've also included links for those who would like to read the entire review:

Blushes: Sundowner and Kohilo:

first light cosmetics sundowner kohilo

Sundowner is a gorgeous plum shade, in the same vein as Rock and Republic's Seduce and NARS Sin.

Kohilo is one of their best sellers, and is a neutral pink suitable for everyone. It's pretty universal.

Eyeshadows: Golden Bronze and Storm Grey

first light cosmetics golden bronze storm grey

Golden Bronze is a bronzey brown that's gorgeous, and particularly suited to warmer-toned girls.

Storm Grey is one of my favourites right now. It's a taupe. Oh - did I not make myself loud enough? IT'S A TAUPE, PEOPLE! AND IT'S ON SALE! TAUPE ON SALE! (You know I love taupes.)

Here's an EOTD of Storm Grey that was previously posted, just because I love it so much:

first light cosmetics storm grey

Anyway, normally I don't bother to engage in promotion when a brand has a discount (I just post the code on my blog in a realy short post), but I'm making an exception for this since I've actually tried the products myself and really like them.

Rock and Republic Spank Blush: Review, Swatch and FOTD

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Rock and Republic has been making huge waves in makeup fandom. Although they're very steeply priced (and I say this with no exaggeration), people have been clamouring left and right for their makeup items, because they are of undeniably good quality. It also helps that they go on sale at Hautelook and Editor's Closet every now and then in the USA (Ahem - there are invite links in the "Like Shopping? Join Me!" sidebar to both online stores if you need them). But whatever the reason, be it hype, product quality, or discounts, you can't deny people have been raving about them.

Rock and Republic Spank

That said - I'm pretty sure packaging plays a part. The blushes themselves come in a huge pan, and the mirror-like casing is substantial and has the R&R logo elaborately decorating the cover. And to top it off, the entire huge compact comes in a big black paper box - yes each blush has its own paper box container. It looks really luxe, but it takes up a lot of space, and not to mention, the environmentally-conscious will bemoan all the trees that had to die for fanciful packaging. But otherwise, ostentatious presentation aside, the packaging is alright - the flip-top lid is sensible, it's got a good-sized mirror inside the lid, and the blush pan is big enough for your brush to comfortably make swipes across the product.

Spank is one of the more celebrated colours from Rock and Republic's blush line, because it's a universal, flattering pink. Honestly, it's pretty subtle, and if you're a NARS blush kind of girl, Spank might look pretty disappointing at a first glance, because it just looks like your everyday subtle pink blush. I mean, it's a neutral light pink. Sure it's a universal colour, but it does sound a little boring...

Rock and Republic Spank

Upon swatching, you realize why this thing has been getting all the raves - its smooth texture and awesome pigmentation take the cake. Of course, neutral light pinks along the lines of Rock and Republic's Spank are a dime a dozen, but where Spank outdoes the most of them is in quality. One of the pitfalls of light-coloured blushes is that often, companies formulate them in such a way that they are chalky and unpigmented. So if you're looking for a light-coloured blush, finding one that is of decent pigmentation and quality can be a challenge. But Rock and Republic has made sure that Spank didn't fall into that trap. It's smooth, silky and finely-milled, and very nicely pigmented indeed.

Rock and Republic Spank Swatch

Wear time on this blush was also good, and it pretty much lasted the whole day. I really liked this blush a lot, and while it's not a particularly exciting colour, I think it's a good basic. It's also one of those no-brainer colours that goes with everything - perfect for those days when you don't know what colour to wear.

Here's an FOTD (Face of the Day) with Spank. I urge you not to look at the pimple. Repeat, do not look at the pimple. Aww shucks. I knew you'd look anyway...

Spank Blush FOTD

I guess the idea of paying Rock and Republic prices for a blush so basic might make some girls gag, but I suppose if you are looking for quality basics to spend on, Spank is a really good option. It has everything I look for in a blush - soft texture, good pigmentation, and great lasting power - so if you do end up buying it, you won't regret it. But of course, if you already have a colour like that and are happy with it, then perhaps Spank would be a nice addition to your makeup stash, but not one that is strictly necessary. My advice, if you are located in the USA, would be to wait til it goes on sale at Hautelook and Editor's Closet to make your purchase (Ahem again - don't forget the invite links in my sidebar :P ). Spank is a great blush, so if you can get your hands on it for a decent price, I think it's worth it.

Cheap Dupe: Becca Prairie Moon Eye Look with Superdrug MUA Shade 1

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Becca is one of those brands you'll never have heard of unless you're a beauty addict, and even then, it usually takes a little while to get over the shock of how expensive tiny vials of makeup can be. That said, almost all their items are of very good quality - I personally am a fan of the Pressed Shimmer Powders (or PSPs if you know the lingo) and Loose Shimmer Powders (or LSPs). Every season, they also release palettes containing eyeshadows, cream blush and eyeliner that get a lot of good press. This season, they released the Prairie Moon Palette, which consisted of a lip/cheek creme, and some eyshadows.

(Picture courtesy of Northender on MUA)

As usual, I was drooling over those pictures, in particular the beautiful silvery-green eyeshadow. It's second from the right, and it looked absolutely gorgeous. I was thinking - since it was that silvery-green eyeshadow I wanted most, surely in my massive stash, there must be something similar, if not a dupe, for it?

So I rooted around in my makeup stash, and voila. This is what I found. Not a dupe, but pretty, nonetheless.

Yes, that's the £1-a-pop Superdrug MUA line. They have a series of loose eyeshadow powders, called the Eye Dusts, which I found a little bit overrated, to be honest. But for £1, what's not to like? This is Shade 1.

Shade 1 is a silvery-green with gold shimmer, much like the Becca version. I really like this colour - I think it leans cool, but the gold shimmer warms it up so that it's not unwearabble if you're a warmtoned girl. It's very pretty, and it was the colour that made me buy it in the first place.

Superdrug MUA Shade 1

This looks quite close to the Becca version to me, only that the Becca version isn't as glittery. I have to admit, the glitter in this one is in rather large chunks, while the Becca version isn't. Also, I think the Becca shade is a bit more brown, leaning khaki, while the Superdrug MUA shade is a more simplistic silver-grey shade, without the khaki hints. So it's not a dupe. But it's still a pretty shadow in a similar colour family.

So, with that in mind, I decided to attempt an eye look with this shade. Here is how it turned out. Firstly, you'll have to excuse the lashes - I had an incident with my eyelash curler, which chopped off a good 4-5 lashes, leaving me with a bald spot along my lashline:

Becca Prairie Moon Look Dupe

Here is a breakdown of the eye look:

Superdrug MUA Eye Dust Shade 1 on lid
Urban Decay Twice Baked in crease
Milani Snow Frost on browbone
Covergirl Lashblast mascara
Urban Decay Yeyo 24/7 Eyeliner Pencil in inner corner
GOSH Velvet Touch Eyeliner Pencil in Metallic Brass in outer lower lashline

For this look, I foiled the Superdrug MUA Eye Dust. The Eye Dusts are only of medium pigmentation, so if you really want that wet look you'll have to foil them. And when you foil them, it's a good idea to use a sticky base, instead of just water like I did. These loose powders have little staying power, so a good base is necessary.

Here is a picture of the eye look with my eyes closed. You can see the Eye Dust falling off onto my lashes already without a base. You can also see the stumps of lashes where my eyelash curler brutally chopped them off:

Becca Prairie Moon Palette Look dupe

So, was the dupe-the-look attempt successful? Not really, because the Superdrug MUA Eye Dust isn't really a dupe for the Becca eyeshadow in the palette. But I guess for £1, it's the cheapest way possible to get a similar look. So I imagine if you're on a budget, and don't mind the blingy shimmer in the Eye Dust, it would probably be worth a go for you. But if you hate big chunky shimmer, and don't want to deal with loose powder fallout, then the Becca palette will bring you much more enjoyment.

Giveaway: Win a Karmin G3 Salon Pro Flat Iron!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Yes it's a giveaway - the Christmas spirit is in the air! This time, OFAF is giving away the queen of flat irons! Stand a chance to win a Karmin G3 Salon Pro!

Giveaway Karmin G3 Salon Pro Flat Iron

Want to win that awesome looking flat iron?

To enter this giveaway, all you have to do is:
1. Follow my blog
2. Fill out the form below

You get extra entries for:
1. Following @musicalhouses on Twitter and RTing about the giveaway,
2. Adding my blog to your blogroll
3. Blogging about this giveaway

This giveaway is only open to US/Canada residents. This giveaway ends on 15th December, 11.59pm Singapore time. (Google "time in Singapore if you've no idea what time that is locally.) So enter early, and good luck!

(If form does not show up on the blogpost, it can be access directly here.)

(Giveaway is sponsored. I am not affiliated with or compensated by any companies or brands mentioned.)

Makeup Tips for Resume and Other Professional Photos for Work

Friday, November 12, 2010

Which beauty blogger on the face of the earth does a post on looking good in professional photos? I mean, most beauty bloggers I know of don't even work, and the ones that do don't want to blog about work! :P But if you follow me on Twitter, you'll know that I've just started working (and am feeling very poor having to live off my own meagre pay), and I've had to have some photos taken for things like staff passes, resumes, name cards, and other generally professional stuff.

And I came to realize that there isn't actually any very comprehensive post on makeup for resume or work photos, or other photos where you have to look professional for your job, so I thought I'd do one! I know the subject matter is a little dry, but I hope you find this post useful.

To make up for the fact that this post is going to be a tad boring, I'm going to show you, as an example, my very own white-collar mugshot!

Tip #1: Keep your makeup natural

I can't stress this enough, and this really should be common sense, but work photos are not the time to stick rhinestones all over your face, or try out that awesome smokey eye. So stick to what the beauty industry calls "straight makeup" - basically, makeup that is just meant to enhance your features naturally, and doesn't have any artistic value.

The best and easiest way to do this is to stick to colours close to your natural skintones, and don't attempt any dramatic contrasts. So if you naturally have dark lips, don't try to do a nude lip all of a sudden, and vice versa. You can go a couple of shades darker or lighter, but don't do anything too drastic. It will look a little odd in photos.

Tip #2: Keep your makeup matte

I know having an "etheral" glow is all the rage right now, but glitter and shimmer shows up like nobody's business in photos. What looks like a soft glow in real life will be a discoball oil slick in photos, especially if the photographer is using flash (and most of them do use some sort of flash). So keep it matte. I didn't use any highlighting/shimmer/glitter products at all, but it doesn't look flat or one dimensional in the photo, does it? In fact, I think it would have turned out worse if I had added in some glitter.

If you absolutely have to use some sort of highlighter, pick something that does not have any discrete pieces of glitter or shimmer, and is not too frosty, so tht the shimmer doesn't reflect any light. And apply it only on specific spots on your face, and not all over. That will minimize the chances of you looking like you rubbed KFC chicken all over your face. But my honest advice is to really just keep everything matte and not use a highlighter at all.

Tip #3: Wear blush!

A lot of makeup lovers I know of are afraid of blush, which honestly perplexes me. They can rock a dark eye, or a vampy lip, but attempt to deepen their blush colour and they scream that they'll end up looking like a clown. However, if you are taking professional photos, the lights in the studio often end up making your face look a little washed out, so a fair amount of blush is necessary to prevent you from looking like Edward Cullen in your photograph. In fact, for my own photo above, I overdid the blush but it just showed up as a slight flush, so don't be afraid to use it!

If you're wondering what colour to use for blush, I'd advise you to stick to universal neutral pinky-brown shades, like MAC's Blushbaby, Bobbi Brown's Slopes, Stila's Lilium, etc, because they are pretty much foolproof when it comes to photographs. I believe I was using Bobbi Brown's Blushed Rose Pot Rouge in my own photo. If you want a brighter or deeper blush colour, feel free to try it out, but be careful that it doesn't end up looking odd in the photograph. And of course, no shimmer.

Tip #4: Wear mascara

This is another common sense tip, but everyone needs to wear mascara for a resume or professional photograph. I also personally prefer brown or black mascaras as they show up better in photographs, although very pale girls with light lashes might choose to disagree with me. I do think mascara is a must when taking that important photo for your job application, as it really does have a subtle effect in making the eye appear more awake.

As for false lashes...I'm ambivalent about those for a professional shoot. I think a lot depends on the lashes. Some are obviously too way out there for a professional photograph, but there are a few that might work. I personally don't advocate wearing false lashes for a professional shoot myself, though.

Tip #5: Shape and fill in your brows

This is a much-overlooked tip, but it makes a huge difference to your look. If you have sparse brows, or light brows, or barely-noticeable ones, fill them in! I myself have a really awesome set of gorrila eyebrows, but when I take photos, I always make sure to shape and fill them in. It does make a huge difference, because the strong lighting and flash in the photography studio does tend to wash out your face, and that includes your brows as well. That said, I didn't really have time to shape my own brows before the shoot, so my own brows aren't a great example. But you get what I mean.

On that note, it's important to choose the colour of your brow powder or pencil. Don't go too light or dark, or it will show up in the photograph as being invisible, or too harsh.

Tip #6: Wear lipstick, not lipgloss

Now, you know I love all my lip products equally, but for work or job-related photographs, I tend to prefer lipstick instead of gloss. The rationale for this is because the studio lights and camera flashes will make your lips look very reflective if you use gloss, and it won't look reflective in a good way - it's definitely not going to look like those lipgloss ads! So to be on the safe side, I try to pick lipstick that doesn't have any shimmmer or glitter.

If, like me, you rush to a photo-taking appointment only to find you only have lipgloss on you, then pick a lipgloss that isn't too glossy or reflective (creme-finish lipglosses are my favourite for photo-taking), and doesn't have any huge bits of shimmer or glitter. In my own photo, I had forgotten to bring along my lipstick, so I used a less-reflective, non-glitter lipgloss. I don't really like how the light is reflecting off my bottom lip in a rather distracting manner, but I guess it's still alright.

Tip #7: Wear eyeliner - but not too much!

How much eyeliner one should wear for a professional photograph is a very tricky question, because there isn't a one-size-fits-all answer. Different people have different eye shapes, sizes, and contours, so some people can wear more eyeliner than others. As long as it looks natural and the line isn't, you know, one inch thick, it will probably be alright. In my own photo, I just lined the outer half of my lower lash line. I didn't bother with the upper lash line, because of my hooded eye shape and drooping lid, but I generally think that if your eye shape can accomodate liner on the upper lashline, it's a great idea to put a little bit of liner there too.

In fact, I suspect that a huge challenge for this tip is to get people accustomed to the right amount of eyeliner for a work photo. I know of people who are so used to piling on the eyeliner that they feel naked wearing nothing less than a thick, winged line that ends at the sides of their head, and I also know of people who don't wear eyeliner at all, and even a smidgen of eyeliner makes them feel uncomfortable. So if you're one of those, I encourage you to go outside your comfort zone a little.

Of course, there are going to be more tips that I haven't mentioned, but I didn't want too long a list,so I kept it to the tips that I found most useful. I hope this has helped some of you - and if it hasn't yet, your turn to enter the working world will come soon, so you'll need it eventually. :P *Evil cackle*

And the Winner is....

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

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

Random.Org has spoken, our winner is Gina from Prim and Polished! Congrats to Gina, and thanks everyone else for taking part!

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

Pretty Purple Eye Look: Gabrielle Faust/Overall Beauty

Monday, November 8, 2010

I love purples, and I especially love sultry, smokey purples. So I thought I'd do a simple EOTD (Eye of the Day) post using my recently-acquired sultry purples from the Gabrielle Faust Collection for Overall Beauty. This is just a simple purple look, but hopefully it'll allow you to see what the colours look like more clearly on.

I guess this is what I would consider a sultry look, because it does look quite intense on my NC20 skin, but a more tanned girl might feel this could work as an everyday look for her.

Here's a shot of my eye open:

Sultry Purple Look

And here's a shot of my closed eye:

gabrielle faust overall beauty purple look

As usual, here's a breakdown of the eye look. All the eyeshadows used are from the Gabrielle Faust for Overall Beauty collection:

Hourglass Sand (medium matte cream) used as a base
Sanctified Snow (shimmery vanilla) used as a highlight
Misanthrope (dusty midtone lilac) on the lid
Karmic Knight (dusty eggplant purple) and a bit of Aftermath (dusty grey-brown) in the crease/contour
Covergirl Lashblast mascara
Urban Decay Rockstar 24/7 eyeliner

Application of the eyeshadows was good - these were well-pigmented and smooth, and blended quite well. I quite liked these shadows, and I think they were well made.

Beauty Blog Link Love

Sunday, November 7, 2010

1 comment
Krasey Beauty tells a tale of tartan with MAC Cosmetics' Holiday Collection, A Tartan Tale!

Jellyminx puts together a smoky purple look for a night out.

Melissa of Lovely Android is still recovering from extreme cute overload after seeing this new perfume from Happ and Stahns.

Check out Audrey Dao's Lipstick Diary as she takes the 30 lipstick colors in 30 days challenge!

Amy Antoinette writes about her experience with DIY Ombre Hair.

K from Beautifully Addicted To shows her naturally glam wedding makeup in her FOTD!

Sarah from IHeartCosmetics shows off John Frieda's brand new Precision Foam Hair Colour.

Over at Eyelining Obsessions, Claire strays out of her black liner comfort zone with some rather fab ELF Cream eyeliners.

Hot Beauty Health shares an easy way to keep your perfume scent lasting longer.

Phyrra debuts Alima Pure's new LE Holiday Collection, Fairy Tale.

It's a classic product! Lipgloss86 shows some love for Liz Earle.

Musicalhouses shares a pretty darn awesome dupe of Orly Galaxy Girl nail polish!

Want a little bit of Lush luxury? The Lip Print tests out Lush's Creme Anglaise Body Creme for smooth-skin goodness.

Curious about the Clarisonic Plus? Sophie has a in depth review of it on her blog. Check it out!

Jeweled Thumb trials a new mascara which held up to a sweaty workout (and she has proof!)

theNotice shares The Lazy Lady's Guide to the Holidays, an easy-to-use compilation of many of this year's Holiday collections, sets, and exclusives.

Been looking for some decent purples to wear, but can't figure it out? Aijuswhanakno has some beautiful swatches she'd like to show you.


Always wanted to smell like Kim Kardashian? Here's your chance! Enter the Beauty Crazed Perfumania contest!

Jenn from Spiced Beauty celebrates 600+ followers with a great MACgiveaway!

Vera Wang's Anniversary takes Cindy back to a special memory of gardenia flowers. Enter the Anniversary giveaway on Prime Beauty and make your own special memories.

Kim Porter and Yagolicious are giving away Paint Quads and tickets to the Yagolicious Beauty Affair in December.

On a recent trip to France, Hellcandy picked up three travel sized bottles of the HG cleanser...Bioderma Crealine H20! Click here to enter the giveaway.

Gabrielle Faust by Overall Beauty Collecttion Swatches!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

You know when something has officially become a cultural phenomenon when even your makeup is influenced by it. The Gabrielle Faust Collection, by Overall Beauty, is a goth-themed makeup collection, and is benefiting from the Edward Cullen and Twilight wave. Now, the craze has gotten to such an extent that when I first heard "makeup" and "gothic" in the same sentence, I automatically assumed that it was going to be really lousy. Fortunately, it isn't.

There are eight colours in this collection, and they run the gamut from your shimmery vanilla highlight to your deep smokey grey, but the standouts of this collection are the purple and grey-based shades. And those who love smokey and purple shades are in luck - half the collection is made up of such colours. The only catch is that all of these are matte, and while this won't be a problem with some people, those who have a strong preference for shimmery or glittery colours may wish there were a few shimmer shades.

Gabrielle Faust Overall Beauty

L-R: Aftermath, Indiscretion, Karmic Knight, Misanthrope

Aftermath is one of those browns that would be perfect for cooler-toned girls. It's a dusty grey-brown with no hint of red or orange whatsoever.

Indiscretion is a matte smokey inky grey. I guess you could sort of call it a soft black?

Karmic Knight is a dusty deep eggplant purple. Very pretty and smokey.

Misanthrope is a lighter purple than Karmic Knight, and also a smokey, greyed-out type of colour. It's like a dusty midtone lilac.

All of these are my favourite shades, and definitely the standouts of the entire collection. The quality of these is also much better than I thought it would be. When I saw that this was a vampire-themed collection, I thought, "Oh, it's so gimmicky, it's going to suck so bad," but it isn't. The texture is finely-milled and smooth, and the pigmentation is excellent, and the colours are also quite blendable. Over the next few days, I'll be doing a couple of EOTD (Eye of the Day) looks with these colours to show you how pretty they are. If you like these sultry, smokey colours, these are really worth a go.

Liz Earle Deep Cleansing Mask

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Liz Earle has established itself as a premier source of all-natural skincare in the US and UK. Not all of their skincare agrees with me because some of their ingredients irritate my skin, but I think I've finally found a skincare product that I really love. And it's none other than their Deep Cleansing Mask.

Like all Liz Earle products, the packaging is simple and fuss free. The Deep Cleansing Mask comes in a squeeze tube, and you even get two sponges to use for washing the mask off your face. However, do be warned - when you first open the tube a whole bunch of product is going to gush out of the opening of the tube. I guess this means you're getting your money's worth of product, LOL!

Liz Earle Deep cleansing Mask

The first thing you'll notice about this mask is that it's an odd greyish black colour, which might surprise some people who are used to seeing masks in light colours. Also, the next thing you'll notice about this mask is that it's runny. Very runny. I'm not sure if the picture below conveys the texture of the mask, but this isn't your thick, oozing face mask. instead, it has a texture I'd probably call watery. This makes application a little harder because you have to be careful, but otherwise it doesn't bother me. Finally, the last thing you'll notice about this mask is the smell. I can't quite describe it, and it seems to get mixed responses from consumers - I'm just going to call it herbal.

liz earle deep cleansing mask 1

On the face, it has a tingling sensation. Some people may not like it, but I didn't have any complaints. Also, it's a good idea to use the sponge to remove the mask from your face, as it does take a bit of effort to wash off. Once the mask is off, however, I really liked how my skin looked and felt. My skin was clean, there was no residue, but it didn't feel stripped of all its moisture. I was very impressed, because most natural skincare tends to leave a film of product on the face due to the formulation, but this didn't at all.

I think this mask is best for oily and problem skin. It really cleans the skin, and absorbs excess oil from the face, and it doesn't leave behind any film, so for those who like their faces to feel fresh and clean after a mask, this one will definitely worth trying. However, if you have dry skin, then this mask may not work so well for you, and it's probably a good idea to follow up the mask with a moisturizer after use. I think this mask will appeal most to young skin, as well as people with oily skin.

Last Chance to Enter my $70 Giveaway!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

1 comment
If you're in the US/Canada, there's still time (two more days to be exact) to enter my giveaway! The rules of this giveaway are straightforward - no convoluted steps here, so go ahead and enter if you haven't yet!


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