Benefit Bella Bamba: Swatch, Review, FOTD

Sunday, February 27, 2011

One of Benefit's cult products are their boxed powders, so when Benefit released their latest boxed powder offering, Bella Bamba, I just had to give it a whirl! Most of Benefit's boxed powders have been blushes, and Bella Bamba isn't that much of an exception - it's a blush, but this time, it's 3D!

Yes, you heard me right. Benefit calls this blush a "3D brightening pink" - the idea is that the gold shimmer is supposed to impart a multidimensional look to your cheeks that's not flat.

Going along with the whole 3D, multidimensional concept, the blush packaging also features some cool holographic-ish effect. I don't think my camera captured it too well, but you can tell there's some cool visual effect going on:

benefit bella bamba box

Visuals aside, the blush packaging has also changed in substance this time - instead of a totally removable top as with previous boxed powders, the lid on this one is hinged, and there is a mirror inside too! Not bad at all. I consider it an improvement over the previous design.

As with Benefit's other boxed blushes and bronzers, Bella Bamba also comes with a brush. I'm not too keen on the brush myself, and I personally prefer to use my own blush brushes, but in a pinch (say if you're travelling), this is quite adequate.

benefit bella bamba brush

The colour of the blush itself is actually very pretty, and one of my favourites to date. Bella Bamba is a very pretty colour, with gold shimmer, and Benefit was right in describing it as "watermelon" - I do think this is watermelon pink, with a hint of coral. I love it!

benefit bella bamba 2

The colour is remiscent of NARS Orgasm and all its dupes, but to me they aren't quite the same. I had NARS Orgasm awhile back, and didn't really like it - it came out too peachy and quite "meh" on me, but I really love this colour. I think the key difference is that Bella Bamba is pinker, and less peachy than Orgasm, which helps make it a little bit more universal. Unlike Orgasm, which didn't look good on me (I absolutely detest those ads that proclaim Orgasm as the "ultimate universal blush colour"), I can imagine most people being able to wear Bella Bamba. It's pink, but the coral tinge and gold shimmer help to ensure that it's a pink that would be wearable even for girls who don't normally like to wear pink.

Here's a swatch. On my skin, it's pretty obvious that Bella Bamba isn't an Orgasm. Oh no, it's way better.

benefit bella bamba swatch

The texture of Bella Bamba is pretty good, and also quite comparable to Benefit's other boxed powders. Benefit pulls no surprises with regards to quality on this one - if you've liked their previous blushes, you'll like this too. Another thing I liked about Bella Bamba is it's buildability. You can wear this colour sheered out as a barely-there blush, or you could build it up for a pop of colour on the cheeks. It's actually pretty versatile that way, and I do appreciate that.

Here's a FOTD (Face of the Day) with Bella Bamba. This one features a light-to-moderate application of the blush colour.

benefit bella bamba fotd

I thought the glitter would show up too much in the photo, but it isn't that obvious once applied, which is a plus. The amount of gold shimmer is nicely balanced - there is enough to ensure that it does add some dimension to the colour (so they weren't totally lying about the 3D claims), but at the same time not so much that the blush becomes a glitterbomb. Still totally wearable for work, in my book.

So do you need Bella Bamba? Well, I thinnk you do! For one, it's a great colour I could imagine most girls wearing. For another, it's got a great texture, and nicely buildable pigmentation. And it comes in a cool-looking holographic box! What's not too like? If you've been eyeing Bella Bamba, it's definitely worth checking out.

Beauty Blog Link Love

Saturday, February 26, 2011

1 comment
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Cindy over at Prime Beauty happily referees the Lip Crayon Smackdown! See who comes out on top between NARS, Tarte and Clinique!

Do Revlon creme glosses live up to the hype? Check out Spiced Beauty to see how she scored them for 2.50 each!

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Do men moisturise? Isn't it too macho for them? hellcandy's bf guest posts and reveals all...Click here to read his post.

Katie sounds the dupe alert siren when comparing Kat Von D's Beethoven palette ($34) to the NYX Jazz Night palette ($8) on My Lips But Better.

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Feel like there isn't enough nail polish in your life? Beauty Crazed has a nail bonanza contest going on that you should enter! What are you waiting for?!

Phyrra's Indie Spotlight for February is Sobe Botanicals! Learn all about Lex, and don't miss out on entering the giveaway, too!

Essence of Beauty Crease Brush Duo: BFF of My Small Eyes

Friday, February 25, 2011

Yes, it's official! The BFF of my teeny, puny, tiny little eyes is a pair of crease brushes. And it's none other than the famed Essence of Beauty Crease Brush Duo! I don't know why I took so long to buy myself a pair of these, but now that I finally have them, I have nothing but great things to say about them. In fact, I think I need to get a backup. Or two, or three, or four, or more!

Essence of Beauty is a US-based drugstore brand, and can be found in CVS. The brand is pretty much loved for its range of brushes, but the Crease Brush Duo is definitely my favourite out of the various EOB (Essence of Beauty) brushes I've tried. The Crease Brush Duo, as the name suggests, consist of two small crease brushes in a tiny little plastic ziplock packaging:

Essence of Beauty Crease Brush Duo

Both brushes have black ferrules and light handles, and both brushes are marked "Crease", which I think is kind of cute. These brushes are actually smaller than your average crease brush, which I think makes them perfect for small eyes which don't have much lid space.

The larger of the two brushes is a domed brush for blending, while the smaller of the two brushes has tapered bristles resembling a pencil brush. The larger domed brush is great for blending out eyeshadow, while the smaller one is great for applying eyeshadow to tight areas, or applying eyeshadow as eyeliner, or even blending out very teeny tiny areas (like the corners of your eyes).

essence beauty crease brush duo 1

The brushes themselves are made of natural hair. It's not particularly awesome quality natural hair, to be honest - the bristles are a little stiffer than some other brands that have good quality bristles (e.g. Stila). However, they're pretty good for the drugstore price, and definitely comfortable to use. They're just not, you know, THE best out there.

But the quality of the bristles isn't what makes this duo so brilliant. It's the fact that the brush tips have a rounded shape, and that the bristle length and density are just perfect. The larger domed crease brush is one of my major loves right now - it has enough bristles to feel firm to the touch, allowing it to pick up and apply eyeshadow to the crease, and yet, the bristles aren't so tightly packed together that it makes blending difficult. The pencil brush is also the right length, allowing for bristle flexibility that still retains some brush firmness.

essence beauty crease brush duo 2

Another thing I love about these two brushes is that they're small, so they fit very nicely into the contour area of my puny little eyes. I still love my Stila #9 All Over Blending Brush, but for small or tight spaces, when the Stila brush is too big, I find the EOB brushes give a more precise application that is still blended. It's much easier blending smaller areas of eyeshadow with the EOB brushes, as the smaller brush surface mean that the risk of overblending areas you don't wish to blend is lessened.

Here are the brushes next to the Stila #9 for comparison. As you can see, they are a lot smaller, and the bristles are more tightly packed together.

essence beauty crease brush duo 3

So do you need this? Of course you do! If you, like me, have small puny eyes, then you need this for blending colour in your contour or crease area. If you like to do precise work with your eyeshadow, and need a brush to blend out small areas of eyeshadow, then you need this. If you find the average blending brush too large, and wish for a smaller blending brush for your eye area, then you need this. I mean, what's not to like? It's cheap, it's good, and it works a treat. My eyes are totally in love with this brush duo. It's definitey worth a shot - and if you don't like it, send it my way, because I'm looking for backups!

Lancome Etoile du Soir Palette: Day to Night Eye Looks

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Ah, eyeshadow palettes, and my undying love for them. There is just something about palettes that always tempts my wallet - the packaging, the sheer prettiness of seeing a nice choreographed set of shades neatly lined up side by side, the fact that you feel like you could be getting more value for money with more shades - whatever it is, I end up buying palettes, even if I don't even use them all that much.

The latest palette to capture my eye is the Lancome Ombre Absolue 3D Eyeshadow Palette (which I've swatched before) in Etoile du Soir, G10. It's a set of five varying shades of greys, from white-grey to black, and it's absolutely gorgeous. It's also my personal favourite palette right now because it's just so versatile.

Lancome Etoile du Soir Palette

The palette comes looking much like any other Lancome compact, complete with shiny sleek back packaging and the Lancome rose at a corner. Very classy, and very nice looking. There are a couple of small tiny travel eye brushes inside, consisting of sponge applicators of various sizes, as well as a tiny natural hair shadow brush. The shadows inside are arranged from lightest to darkest, and my favourite shades are the three greys in the middle row.

lancome etoile du soir palette 2

It appears that this palette was created partly with the Asian market in line, as part of it's marketing is that it provides you with shiny, glittery eyes, which tend to be more a staple of Asian market eyeshadows than Western ones. For some reason, Asian eyeshadows tend to be a lot sheerer and contain larger, chunkier glitter - both of which are often viewed as traits of "bad" eyeshadow in the West. I don't know why this is the case, but it just seems to be a difference in market preferences.

Anyway, all the Lancome Ombre Absolue palette fortunately doesn't make the mistake of imparting heavy craft-style glitter into its shades. Instead, most of the shades are kept glitter-free, with the exception of the black liner shade, which has specks of glitter, and the shade imprinted with the Lacome rose. The shade with the Lancome rose on it is just purely a glitter shade, and is meant to impart that "fairy eyes" look so popular in Asian makeup. Which is a good thing to me - if I don't feel like fairy eyes that day (e.g. if I have to work), I can just skip that particular shade, instead of passing over the entire palette. Perfect.

lancome etoile du soir palette close

Etoile du Soir, consisting of grey-based neutrals, is thus very work-appropriate (if you don't wear the glitter shade), and suitable for virtually all occasions. And just to prove the point, I've done not one, but two(!) EOTDs (Eye of the Days)!

Here's the first EOTD. This is the day look:

lancome etoile du soir day eye 1

For this look, I just used the three lighter shades. The off-white shade on the top row was a highlight, while the lightest grey shade in the second row was used on the lid. The middle grey shade in the second row was used to contour the eye.

lancome etoile du soir day eye 2

As you can see, this look is very soft, simple, and girly. Very appropriate for any occasion where you don't want to look like you're wearing too much makeup, yet still want to bring out your eyes. This look would also be totally appropriate for Spring, since grey eyes seem to be all the rage lately!

lancome etoile du soir day eye 3

Now, here's the night look, created using the same palette, but just a different array of shades:

lancome etoile du soir night eye 1

For this look, I used the middle shade in the second row as a lid shade, and used the black shade to contour the eye. The white shade was used as a highlight.

lancome etoile du soir night eye 2

I really love this look. It's a smokey, sutry, sexy look that is still very wearable - perfect for a smokey eye without being too dark. I would absolutely wear this out even during the day, although I'm sure most girls would probably only wear it out at night.

lancome etoile du soir night 3

Although a palette of greys might look a little bit boring to some people, Etoile du Soir really stands out in its versatility. The quality of the palette is also pretty good - the shadows start off moderately pigmented but are buildable, and have a soft texture that makes it easy to blend. I love this palette, and if you love neutrals and greys, and are out on the market for a palette that can take your eye from day to night, this could be worth looking into.

(Product sent for review. Review is my honest and complete opinion. I am not compensated by/affiliated with the company.)

I'm Featured in Allure Korea Feb 2011!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Anyong-haseyo! Yours truly has been featured in the February 2011 Allure Korea! And its in the print issue, no less, so I'm pretty darn excited - it means that my freaking face is in a magazine!

The article I'm featured in is (in typically Korean fashion) entitled "Worldwide Power Beauty Bloggers", and features seven bloggers, of which yours truly is one! What can I say, I'm excited!

Allure Korea February 2011

Here's the page I'm featured on: I'm blogger #7. It wasn't actually all that glamorous though, and to be honest, it was quite a lot of work. They basically sent a long list of questions (more than 20 of them), and asked me to answer all of them, then picked a few for the article. The questions were sent in English, and the answers were translated into Korean. I hope nothing got lost in translation!

They also asked me to send over a few pictures of myself, but they ended up using just one per blogger. That's cool, my face ain't that great looking anyway. My physical copy of the magazine is evidently happily getting lost in the mail, so thanks to Jade Musing (also featured) for the scan!

I don't understand a word of Korean, but I'm hoping someone does! Can anyone help me translate? I'll pay you in makeup! For real! Drop me a note and we'll work something out! :P


And just to ensure that nothing is lost in translation, I've includeed all 23 questions sent to me. I wanted to put up the entire transcript because not everyone can read Korean (I know I can't!), and because I made a few points in my interview which I strongly believed in - like how every girl is beautiful, and how beauty isn't just about being thin and so on.

Where I live here in Asia, there is immense pressure on girls to be thin, because being thin is considered beautiful. And the sterotype of Koreans is that they tend to be under this pressure a lot more than the average Asian girl, and they tend to get plastic surgery a lot more than the average Asian. In fact, Korea is partly infamous in Asian culture because so many of its lovely actresses and actors commit suicide, often for varying reasons (slave contracts, too much pressure, depression etc). Just google "korean actress commit suicide" and you'll get lots and lots of results. And it's really sad that people who are so beautiful and should be so happy can be driven to kill themselves. So I was hoping that if I managed to sneak some of my "everyone is beautiful" spiel into the magazine, some girl who felt unhappy or unpretty would read it and feel better about herself. Does that sound weird coming from a beauty blogger? LOL.

Allure Korea Feb 2011 Feature

Anyway, here's the interview, unedited, uncut, and thus, very long. There are some grammar errors in the questions, presumably because English isn't their first language, but those are preserved as is. I mean, given thay they're probably more comfortable using Korean than English, it must have taken them quite a bit of effort to reach out to us for the feature!

My answers are a bit clumsy-sounding in some parts, but I didn't want to use words that were too long or sentences with grammar structures that were too convoluted, because I was worried about how it would get translated. And also, ^^ is the Asian version of :) - they're both smileys - so if you come across any ^^ just take them as smiles!

1. What is your specialty in the beauty? (make-up how to, or nail care, or cosmetic criticism?)

Most of my posts are product reviews for makeup and nail polish, although I also do some how-to posts for makeup and nails.

2. What caused you to be a beauty specialist (blogger)?

It happened by accident, actually! ^^ I used to live in the USA for 3 years, and then I moved to the UK for 1 year. When I was in the UK, my friends in the US would ask me to help them take photos and swatches of makeup items which were only available in the UK. I would take those photos and put them up on my blog, and over time more people started reading the blog. That's how it started.

3. What are your frequently visited beauty places and beauty sites? And would you tell me full address and why do you like these sites?

My two most favourite beauty sites that I visit all the time are MakeupAlley and Specktra. MakeupAlley is e at and it's an American website, with lots of product reviews from the members, and various forums for beauty categories (e.g. skincare, nail, perfume, makeup, etc). It's really quite comprehensive. It's a bit American-centric, but I really like the huge listings of product reviews and the forums, especially the makeup forum, the skincare forum, and the nail forum. I learnt a lot about nail care from the nail forum. My other favourite site, Specktra, is at It's similar to MakeupAlley, but it's a website and forum specially for MAC Cosmetics fans. My favourite part is the forums, because you can see product pictures and swatches of upcoming collections. There are some very dedicated members on Specktra who own every MAC eyeshadow, or can remember the name of every MAC blusher colour...they are a really good resource for information not just on MAC, but also on makeup in general.

4. Where do you visit beauty places on your trip?

I go everywhere! If I see a store selling beauty products, I will go inside to browse for awhile. Whether it's a Western or Asian brand, I can usually find something I like. For Western brands, I like to look at eyeshadow and blush colours. For Asian brands, I really like the nail polish colours, as well as the cute bottles and packaging. I always love showing photographs of Asian beauty products to my friends in the West, because they always marvel at how beautifully our products are packaged.

5. What is the best beauty item in your lifetime?

For me, it has to be oil-absorbing powder! My skin is oily, so it starts looking shiny very quickly. Right now I'm using common cosmetic-grade silica powder as an oil absorber. I mix it in with my loose face powder to give it some oil-control properties. It's cheap but very effective.

6. What do you like the most among the hottest beauty item? And why do you think so?

I have so many favourites, it's hard to choose! Sadly, some of the latest beauty items I like haven't come to Asia yet! An example is Illamasqua, it's a UK brand that has been getting lots of attention in the West. I really like their blushers, becasuse they're very pigmented, and have a very good texture. I always end up asking my friends in USA or the UK to buy them for me!

For my favourites that are available in Asia, a lot of people here have been talking about the Urban Decay Naked Palette. It was launched awhile back, but continues to be popular. Urban Decay has very good eyeshadows, and the palette has shades that would work for most people. I think it's one of the nicer eyeshadow palettes I've seen recently.

7. Which skincare item would be best suited for you? Choose one, please.

A good moisturizer. A lot of moisturizers tend to be too heavy, too oily, or not moisturizing enough, so I always have problems finding one that is just right.

8. What is beauty trend in makeup and skincare? And why?

I personally find beauty trends tend to vary from place to place. Asia and the West have very different beauty trends. In Asia, a lot of the focus is on highlighters, foundation products, and BB creams. In the West, people are more excited by unusual colours, like a new shade of eyeshadow, or the new range of lipgloss shades. So the emphasis in different countries is different too. I guess it just depends on the environment and the culture of the place. In Asia, I think there is a lot more focus on skincare, whereas in the West people are more interested in the latest colours. Also, I always find it funny that girls in Asia always want to be fairer, while girls in the West always want to get a tan. When I was living in the USA and the UK, my friends could not understand why I didn't like getting darker, because they were always using self-ta nners and bronzers, but here in Asia, you can't find a tanning salon anywhere!

9. Which make-up change women dramatically? And do you have tips for these like this make-up?

A good concealer, especially for the undereyes! Nowadays, with everyone working hard and sleeping late, everyone seems to have dark circles, including me. So I find undereye concealer very important, as it makes me look more awake and less tired. My tip is to pick the right undereye concealer colour for your dark circles. If the concealer colour is chosen correctly, it helps to hide your undereye circles better. Most girls like to use yellow concealer for undereyes, but that's not necessarily always the best colour to use. The right colour is determined by the colour of your dark circles. Most people's dark circles are either brownish, or blue-ish, or some shade of blue-purple. I find that for brown-based undereye circles, a concealer that's peach-based is better, as the peach helps to neutralize the browness in the circles. But for blue-ish or purple dark circles, then yellow is better, as the yellow colour cancels out the blue tones.

10. What is your favorite beauty specialist? (make-up artist, hair artist, manicurist, brand manager etc.)

I don't have one, unfortunately.

11. What do you think about advantages and disadvantages as a beauty specialist?

I think working as a beauty specialist requires you to have a lot of patience! I don't work full-time in beauty, but I get a lot of girls asking me what makeup colours would suit them, or what their undertone is, or how should they apply eyeshadow if they don't have a double eyelid. It can take quite a while to answer all their questions in detail. So I think a disadvantage is that you have to be patient with people, even if they are rude to you. On the plus side, I feel happy when people tell me that my beauty tips have really worked for them. I feel like I have helped them a little.

12. What kind of products do you apply in this morning and yesterday evening?

My routine is actually quite similar every day. Every morning, before I go to work, I apply the following products in order:

1. Moisturizer
2. Sunscreen
3. Concealer on undereyes
4. Face Powder
5. Eyeshadow (because my office is quite formal, usually I just do very simple eye makeup, like a beige eyeshadow over the eye)
6. Mascara
7. Eyeliner
8. Blusher (Usually, it's a neutral shade of blusher, like a neutral pinky-brown)
9. Lipgloss (Also usually a neutral shade)

Sometimes if I'm more adventurous, I will change the colours I use, like I might replace my neutral lipgloss with a red lipstick. Or I might do more elaborate eyeshadow. But the basic routine is the same.

13. What is your special know-how for cleansing?

Cleansing is very important to me, because my skin is very sensitive and gets pimples easily. Right now, I use Shu Uemura's Cleansing Oil. I take some oil, and I massage it into my face, and then I rinse it off with water. Usually after that, I will follow up by washing my face again with an ordinary face wash, to remove any residue from the cleansing oil. After that, I will apply toner to my face, just to make sure all the makeup and all the cleansing oil has been removed.

14. In your opinion, what is the 2011 beauty trend? And what is the most popular beauty item? Guess what.

A lot of colours for 2011 look really beautiful, especially for Spring. Pink - all the shades of pink - looks set to be a trend for Spring makeup this season. The pinks I've seen tend to be combined with other colours, like greys, lavenders, violets, golds, and even corals for some brands. My favourite beauty trend is that of pink and grey eyeshadow colours, as showcased by the Dior Spring 2011 collection. I love pinks and greys on the eyes, I think it makes the eyes look define but feminine at the same time.

15. What is your favorite food and beverage for skin?

I think drinking lots of water, and eating a lot of fruits and vegetables are good for not just the skin, but the body as a whole. But other than that, it's really best to have a healthy, balanced diet. Eating too much or too little of any food group is not very good for health in the long run.

16. Have you heard any cosmetic procedure or cosmetic surgery in these days?

No. In general, I don't actually know much about cosmetic procedures or surgery. I like makeup and beauty items, but my interest doesn't extend to surgery. I guess I'm only interested in looking at pretty products! ^^

17. What is your favorite beauty icon? Why do you think so?

I really like the look of the classic 1940s Hollywood starlet, exemplified by people like Ava Gardner, Betty Grable, Bette Davis, and of course, Marilyn Monroe. I think they looked glamorous and beautiful without trying, which is actually a look I love! In a lot of their photos, it just looks like they had fabulous skin and gorgeous eyes, and all they did was put on a bit of eyeliner and wear a red lipstick, although of course I'm sure they wore more than that! But it's that image that I like. Also, none of them were very skinny. In fact, if Marilyn Monroe were alive today, she would be considered too fat to be a model! But although they were not skinny, they still looked beautiful and healthy. I think in a time where there is so much pressure to be thinner, it's important to remember that even if you are not skinny, you can still be bea utiful.

18. Do you have a item that you’d like to recommend to people in every cloud?

I really like MAC Cosmetic's blush in Blushbaby. I think it looks good on just about everyone! Also Stila Lilium cream blush is a colour everyone can wear.

19. When you buy a cosmetic item, do you have a check list surely? (expiry date, ingredient, texture and etc.)

Yes, my checklist is very long! ^^ For cosmetic items, I look at the texture, formulation, and pigmentation level of the item. After that, I look at the ingredients list. My skin is very sensitive, so I have a list of ingredients that I avoid.

20. What your favorite fragrance? And why?

Yes, my favourite fragrance is Infusion d'Iris by Prada. I love it because it's floral and clean, while still smelling unique.

21. Do you have tips for dry skin?

Drink enough water, use a good moisturizer, and avoid washing your face with scrubs or face cleansers that are very harsh, as those can strip your skin out.

22. As you are a beauty specialist, is there a difference between now and before life?

Now, I'm very good at picking out makeup colours for myself, or for other people. I can look at a product, and I can guess immediately whether it would look good on me or not. And I think I am better at co-ordinating colours too, not just for makeup, but also for clothes, and even funiture in the house. I guess I just pay a lot more attention to colours now! ^^

23. Do you want to say something to readers those who are interested in beauty?

Every girl is beautiful! When I was young, my mother used to tell me this Chinese saying, "There are no ugly girls, only lazy girls". And I think there is some truth in this statement, because every girl can look her best with a bit of effort. Maybe not everyone can look like a movie star, but I firmly believe that every girl naturally has a beautiful side of her that can be revealed.

Zuii Organics Floral Lip Tint in Hibiscus: Wearable Red Gloss

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Looks like the term "mineral makeup" is now officially passe with the rise of organic and natural makeup and skincare brands. There are plenty of natural skincare brands (Liz Earle being one I'm more familiar with, although there are others), but I have rarely come across a natural or organic makeup line I wasn't skeptical of, because every other brand seems to throw out the "organic" label on its products, even when the ingredients list clearly shows otherwise.

However, I'm convinced by Zuii Organics. The brand hails from Australia, and is still owned by one lady. And the best part? It's the only makeup brand I've ever seen to be Certified 95% Organic by the USDA, and the Australian government, so it's got all the credentials to back it up. It's even certified cruelty-free, although that's pretty much a no-brainer, seeing how almost all its ingredients are plant derived.

Zuii Organics Floral Lip Tint Hibiscus

The ingredients lists of Zuii Organics also makes for very interesting reading. You know I love reading my ingredients labels due to my over-sensitive skin, and for Zuii Organics, the ingredients aren't pore-clogging or comedogenic. Mostly, as I've mentioned, they're plant-based ingredients, and the usage of these ingredients is pretty creative - they use coconut oil, rose hip oil, and orange oil in their lip glosses, and the petals of various flowers (rose, jasmin, chamomile) for their eyeshadows. For a cosmetics-ingredients freak like me, this is all very fascinating.

zuii organics floral lip tint hibiscus

Alright, you say. So the brand is certified organic by two governments, is cruelty-free, and has an ingredients list reading like a botanical essential oils shop. But is it any good? I thought this post was about lipgloss!

Okay, let me get down to the lipgloss. They're called Floral Lip Tints due to the plant oils in the product, and the shade I have is Hibiscus, a gorgeous slightly red with gold glitter. The Floral Lip Tints comes in a tube with a doe-foot applicator. It's quite similar to the normal lipglosses out there in terms of packaging.

zuii organics floral lip tint hibiscus 3

Hibiscus is a red that leans warm, but isn't so warmtoned that cool-toned girls can't wear it. In fact, I've enjoyed wearing this gloss very much, and on me it's pretty neutral - no weird orange undertones at all. Also, there is some gold glitter in the lipgloss, but while it consists of discrete specks of glitter, it doesn't look like a glitterbomb on my lips at all. I really do appreciate glitter in moderation when it comes to makeup, since a little glitter goes a long way.

The best thing about the lipgloss is that although it's red, it's actually very wearable, because the colour of the gloss is slightly sheer. As you can see, the gloss can be worn sheerly, or more heavily. When it's worn sheerly, the base colour of the lip clearly shows through, and all you get is a little bit of red and some glitter. When it's worn more heavily, it starts looking a bit more like a traditional red lip gloss, with awesome gold shimmer thrown in.

Here are some swatches as a demonstration:

zuii organics floral lip tint hibiscus swatch

And here is the lipgloss on my lips. As you can see, it's red, but it's not "OMG BIG RED LIP!" Very wearable, and perfectly fine for the office, even if you're colour-shy.

zuii organics floral lip tint hibiscus swatch 2

The Lip Tints have a very nice non-sticky texture, due to the fact that they're formulated mainly using plant oils, as opposed to heavier waxes. The feel on the lips is light, fluid, and not tacky at all, while still being very moisturizing. I could see some people thinking that the glosses are too wet or slippery, but I personally really like the feel of these glosses.

Lasting power is also pretty decent. It isn't as long-lasting as a waxier, more sticky gloss might be, but given the formulation, I think it does a good job. It stays on for a few hours on me, and the colour fades a little bit by that time.

And because I love Hibiscus so much, I've even devoted an FOTD (face of the day) just to show you how pretty and wearable it is. I love how it gives some shine, and a bit of red colour, and the glitter doesn't show up in a distracting way on the lip.

zuii organics floral lip tint hibiscus fotd

Please forgive the straggly hair, I took that FOTD just after a shower, and my hair was still pretty damp. I'm also wearing Zuii Organics eyeshadows on my eyes, but you can't see too much of the colour from this photo, so I'll be reviewing the shadows in a separate post.

So would I recommend these Lip Tints? If you've been searching for a line of organic makeup, this is pretty much THE brand to look at - they're the only brand I've seen to actually be certified organic by a regulatory body. But even if you don't particularly care whether your makeup is organic or not (like me), these are still worth looking into if you like lipglosses that are light and moisturizing, and offer a hint of colour.

(Product was sent to me for review. Review is my complete and honest opinion. I am not affiliated with/compensated by the company for this review.)

Lancome New Eyeshadow Swatches: Ombre Absolue Impact 3D Palette

Thursday, February 17, 2011

One of Lancome's hot new Spring 2011 items are four eyeshadow palettes that will be released in March, in addition to the Maqui Miracle Foundation. These are the Ombre Absolue Impact 3D Palette eyeshadows. Lancome is the manufacturer of some very famously beautiful eyeshadows (*ahem* the ever-desired Erika F), so when Lancome does eyeshadows, beauty fanatics like us all sit up and take note!

You know I couldn't come across a hot new release and not swatch it for you right? So here are swatches!

First up is A10, Rubis Delices, which is a pink palette. Pink, pastel, and girly - perfect for spring. I didn't manage to swatch this one, but it's very pretty if you love girly pink shadow.


C10, Reve du Jardin, is a slightly more daring mint green palette. The mint green shade in the eyeshadow palette reminds me of Chanel's Jade nail polish, only in eyeshadow form, which is pretty cool. I love the olive green shade in the middle:


lancome ombre absolu 3D C10

We also have F10, Noisette Lumiere, a palette of warm browns. I suspect this one is going to be very popular due to its versatility:


lancome ombre absolu 3D F10

And last, but not least, is my favourite of the bunch, G10, Etoile du Soir. This is a grey palette that to my eye leans a little green. I love this palette, the colours in it are very complex and nuanced, and very pretty. I bet this is going to be a bestseller along with F10:


lancome ombre absolu 3D G10

All the shadows were very soft and silky when swatched, and pigmentation was pretty good. I'll be doing some EOTDs soon with Etoile du Soir, so keep your eyes peeled!

(Information and swatches taken at a beauty event. Opinions on products are my own. I am not affiliated with/compensated by the company.)

Lancome Maqui Miracle Foundation Swatches and Spring Sneak Peek!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Here's a sneak peak at Lancome Spring 2011! Aren't you excited? I sure am! They do have some pretty darn awesome stuff coming up, and I have some exciting swatches and pictures! Prepare for bombardment!

First up of course is the much anticpated Maqui Miracle Natural Brightening Creator Compact Foundation, which imparts a smooth finish and a lit-from-within aura glow. It launches in Singapore on March 1st (book your calendars, ladies!) and will be retailing for S$65 (the case is another S$27).

When they say that the foundation glows from within, they weren't kidding! Although the foundation promises to impart radiance to tired complexions, there's not a trace of glitter in this foundation, so you don't have to worry about looking like a glitterbomb exploded in your face.


Maqui Miracle foundation comes in 8 shades, and like Teint Miracle before it, the shades are very nuanced and actually look like the skin colours of people I know. So many brands make the grevious mistake of thinking that warm-toned foundations have to be hidiously orange, and cool-toned foundations need to have barbie pink thrown in. Lancome, however, has managed to come out with nuanced shades that still reflect cool, neutral, and warm undertones, without ever veering to a pink or orange extreme. That is a pretty big plus in my book!

For those wondering about how the Lancome numbering system of shades works in Asian countries, this was clarified at the event. PO colours are geared towards pinker undertones (cooler undertones), while O colours are neutral. BO are yellower colours for warmer undertones. Simple!

Here are some product pictures of the pans, along with swatches taken by yours truly. I hope they help some of you ladies out there in matching yourselves!

Here are the 3 lightest shades: PO-01, O-01, and BO-01:

Lancome Maqui Miracle Foundation

lancome maqui miracle swatches 1

As you can see, the shades gradiate from being more pink to less pink as we move from PO-O1 to BO-01.

It's more apparent with the medium set of shades, PO-02, O-02, and BO-02:

lancome maqui miracle foundation 2

lancome maqui miracle swatches 2

Strangely enough, although I'm NC20, I matched myself to O-01, which wasn't what I thought when I took a look at the shades at a first glance. I had expected that I would be BO-01, but O-01 was a much better fit. I think most Asian girls would probably be wearing shades in the O and BO range.

In additon to the colour selection, I also really liked the texture of the Maqui Miracle Foundation. It was very finely milled, and went on very smoothly. And it didn't settle into creases and lines, which is a bonus. I'll definitely be reviewing the foundation soon, so you'll hear more about it!

Next, we have the colour makeup items, which excite me greatly. First up are the lipglosses, the L’Absolu Rouge Crème de Brillance. We're getting in three shades, 180, 285 and 320. Here's a sneak peek at the lipglosses:

lancome rouge creme de brilliance lipgloss

The glosses have a very nice non-sticky texture, and aren't full-coverage, but they definitely aren't sheer either, and even the red shade is very wearable. So for anyone looking for a wearable red lipgloss, 180 is totally worth checking out.

Here's a swatch of both 320 and 180:

lancome rouge creme de brilliance lipgloss swatch

320 is a creamy mauve pink, while 180 is a semi-sheer red with tiny bits of sparkle. You can't really see it in the swatches, but the sparkle is there.

After the glosses, of course we have the L’Absolu Rouge lipsticks. I personaly love Lancome lipsticks, so you know I'm going to love these:

lancome labsolu rouge lipstick

The lipsticks are also semi-sheer. So although the red lipstick looks scary in the tube, it is also very wearable once applied. The texture of the lipstick was also great - they glided on, and weren't drying at all. And as you can see from the swatches below, they have a very nice sheen when applied. I love how the lipsticks look on, they kind of just glow a little.

lancome labsolu rouge lipstick swatch

285 is a muted midtone neutral pink, and 180 is a sheerish red that is very wearable. Both of these shades are the kind of universally flattering shade every girl needs in her makeup collection. These colours would go with just about any outfit or any makeup look since they're pretty neutral.

I don't know about you, but all these releases are making me pretty excited. For my Singaporean ladies who wish to find out more about the foundation before it launches March 1st, here's how you can do so:

1. A visit down to any Lancome Beauty Counter islandwide for a 2-min Aura Bright flash foundation touch-up and shade matching of Maqui Miracle as of 17 Feb.

2. Check out the Lancome booklet in the March issue of Cleo, Singapore Women’s Weekly, Harper’s Bazaar for more details which will be available at the newsstands as of 17 Feb.

3. The Lancome website, will feature Maqui Miracle as of 17 Feb. Participants can get their complimentary Maqui Miracle trial size compact foundation by registering on our website and participating in our “My Miracle Foundation” online poll. Limited while stocks last.

4. Shoutouts on Facebook as of 21st Feb - there are weekly contests!

Whew, wasn't that a boatload of information? But it's all good, because this is so exciting. I'll be reviewing the foundation and lip products in the near future. Yes, you haven't heard the last of this yet! :P

And to end off for fun - a photo of myself and some of the lovely ladies at the event.

(Picture taken from the lovely Rouge Deluxe)

(Information provided at PR event, Opinions on products are all my own. I am not affliated with/compensated by the company.)

Rihanna Who's That Chick Eye Look Dupe!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

I was watching Rihanna's latest music video, Who's That Chick on Youtube lately (oh yes, I do watch pop music on Youtube!). And while I was singing along, "Who's that chick, who's that chick", I was also ogling her eye look in the video:

Image from Great Black North, credited to

There I was, marveling at the stunning eye look, when a thought struck me: Hey, I have all those colours in my stash! So why shouldn't I try out that look?

Of course, I couldn't possibly wing my liner all the way out like that and wear it out, and my very different eye shape necessitated different eyeshadow placement, but I did try to stick to the colours and adapt them to my tiny, puny, contour-less Asian eyes. And this is what I arrived at:

Rihanna Whos that Chick Eye Look

Okay, fine. So my eyes don't look anything like Rihanna's. What can I say, I'm not gorgeous! For this look, I used the cheap but still awesome BeautyUK palette I got awhile back. Yes, it so happens that the main colours used in Rihanna's eye look were all found in this palette - how lucky is that? The photo below shows which of the colours I used:

BeautyUK Eyeshadow Palette Day and Night 5

For the lid area, I used the yellow shade. On the crease/contour area, I used the light brown to blend in. And the shimmery white shade was used as the browbone highlight. And I finished off with mascara (this time, I'm also using the BeautyUK mascara, which I really need to get around to reviewing soon), and eyeliner. I used MAC Ostentatious Fluidline, which has sadly been discontinued. *Kicks a rock and mutters* Darn MAC, making stuff I like limited edition...

Anyway, here's a shot of my closed eye, so you can see the colour placement and blending. Looking at these shots, I really envy Rihanna's gorgeous peepers!

rihanna whos that chick eye 3

The thing I really liked about this eye look is that while it's certainly the kind of look that adds a pop to any outfit, it's not terribly difficult to do, and can be done with just three simple colours - yellow, brown, and a white highlight. I love using browns in makeup looks. You can't muddy up a brown look with overblending, because it's already brown!

rihanna whos that chick eye 2

Obviously, I can't sing, dance, or pull off outrageous brightly coloured outfits like Rihanna. And my eye look doesn't even end up making me look any closer to her! (Darn.) But by adapting her Who's That Chick eye look to my eyes, I guess I can now channel my inner (if a bit non-existent) pop star!

(Product provided for review. Review is my complete and honest opinion. I am not affiliated with/compensated by the company for this product.)


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