Top 10 Most Popular Blog Posts of 2013, and 3 Honourable Mentions

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Now that it's almost the end of 2013, I thought it might be good to do a recap of some of the most popular posts from the year. Some of the results are expected, some were unexpected, meaning that when I wrote them, I didn't think too much about it - it was just a post I threw together that surprisingly did well among my readers.

I've chosen the top 10 by raw number of blogpost views, because it's the simplest way to go about doing things, but I feel like this method invariably leaves out posts that are popular but were written at the end of the year, or posts (like posts on classic topics like skincare, foundation, etc) that may not garner as many initial views, but tend to do very well over a longer period of time. I tend to think of these as "evergreen" versus "trend" posts, e.g. a post on sunscreen, versus, say, a post on MAC's latest collection. But regardless, every method has its flaws or is just too much work, so I'm just going to roll with the raw views. (As an aside, I briefly thought of roughly pro-rating the number of views to length of time post was up, but that seemed quite problematic because the pro-rating wouldn't be linear for all posts, and assigning linear vs non-linear pro-rating would be an on arbitrary basis, and even with pro-rating, it's impossible to predict posts with long viewership tails anyway.)

Alright, without further ado, let's do a quick recap of what you guys read in 2013!

New Blog Design From Ling Yeung Design!

Sunday, December 29, 2013

If you haven't realized yet, I have a new jazzed-up blog design! This design is from Ling Yeung Design, whose talent has graced some of the loveliest blog designs I've seen to date - she also designed for Noveau Cheap and Chalkboard Nails among others. Her portfolio includes not just website and online work but also print and design work, so yes she not only has mad coding skillz, she also has a good eye for colour, style and function. I love the colour scheme, the nifty bar at the top, as well as the side bars with the sorted labels! And she's really helpful and easy to deal with, even with the fact that I'm literally halfway around the world from her, and I couldn't be happier with my awesome blog template. I'd absolutely recommend her if you're looking for a web designer (although I think just looking at her portfolio will convince you of her talent - you won't need me to convince you!). So thanks Ling! And I hope you guys love the new design as much as I do!

Kiehl's Patchouli and Fresh Rose Aromatic Blends: EDT, Body Lotion, Body Cleanser

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Kiehl's has added Patchouli and Fresh Rose to its Aromatic Blends range of products, and now, you can enjoy the scent of patchouli and rose when you shower with the Body Cleanser, moisturize your skin with the Body Lotion, and spritz on the Patchouli and Fresh Rose EDT (Eau de Toilette). Awesome! A whole bathroom and scent range, and boy, do I get excited by things that make my fragrance-nerd senses tingle with joy!

Kiehl's Patchouli and Fresh Rose: Perfect for Winter!

I realized that the Patchouli and Fresh Rose range covers two product classes, skincare, and perfume, so I'm just going to dive into both the Body Cleanser and the Body Lotion for my typical skincare ingredient analysis (which you guys like, right?), and then I'm going to totally switch modes and put on my perfume-loving hat to review the Eau de Toilette! So if it sounds like I'm switching gears halfway through the post, you guys know why! But I figured it's the best way for me to proceed with this post, because I certainly don't want to either skimp on the skincare analysis, or write less about my thoughts on the perfume, just because I'm dealing with multiple product types in one review. So buckle up, and let's get on with the review!

Beauty Blog Link Love

Monday, December 23, 2013

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If your hair is chemically treated or heat styled, you need to check out Pretty Little Elixir Vegan Hair Masque! It's a dream come true for Phyrra.

Jenn from Spiced Beauty shares her favourite long-lasting eyeliner sets for the holidays!

Musicalhouses looks at the products in her stash that are like 2014's Pantone Color of the Year, Radiant Orchid!

How do you surprise a beauty lover? Over at theNotice, Rae has five gift ideas for the woman who has it all that she'll never see coming -- and three others that are even more obscure.

Lisamarie from Beauty Crazed sparkles with the new collection from Carrie Underwood Nicole by OPI - check out her swatches and see if you'll be adding any to your polish collection!

Jenny creates a soft olive khaki smoky eye with MAC Flourishing and Sumptious Olive at My Funny Valentine.

Excited about the movie American Hustle? Here's how to get the looks from the movie, on Gouldylox Reviews!

Beauty Info Zone is taking some daring steps this holiday season. See what the ladies found from Senna Cosmetics to help them stand out from the crowd.

RiRi Hearts MAC Holiday Collection is an amazing collection that FabDiva20 hauled from. Check out her MAC RiRi Hearts MAC Holiday Collection Haul: lipsticks.

Beauty Reflections feels like a real makeup artist when using the Shiseido Eye Color Bar Eyeshadow Palette! Come see the looks she created with it!

It is the time of year for Festive Glitter, Shimmer, and Sparkle! Find out Pammy Blogs Beauty's Top 10 Picks for Glittery Shimmery Favorites!

Butter London Jack The Lad: Christmas Green Glitter

Saturday, December 21, 2013

This year, I happen to be pretty busy during the Christmas season, so unlike previous years, I didn't get the time to do any Christmas nail art. But, I did manage to squeeze in a little Christmas cheer on my nails! Behold, probably the most Christmassy green ever, Butter London's Jack The Lad!

Butter London Jack The Lad: My Christmas green this year.

Butter London isn't actually a UK-based brand, despite the brand name and the colloquial British names. Butter London is actually based in Seattle, USA, and if you look at their About Us page, you'll notice that also, the top C-suites of the brand are all people from the US, too. It seems like the only vaguely British thing about the brand is that was founded by a British person, Sasha Muir, who now lives in the USA. I've never pointed this out before, but as the brand picks up in popularity, I realized I was coming across people who actually thought it was a British brand (doesn't help that esteemed fashion publications like Elle UK, no less get it wrong, too), and they seem so surprised to think that a US brand could capitalize on the world's Anglophilia. It's not the first time I've seen brands trying to masquerade as coming from another country - if you recall, my post on Elianto cosmetics noted that the Korean stylings of the brand really belied a Malaysian origin.

Butter London Jack The Lad 1
Butter London Jack The Lad: Just so you know, Butter London isn't actually a British brand.

But let's proceed. Brand image and marketing aside, I've honestly been slower than most nail bloggers to take up Butter London with significant enthusiasm. Part of it is the price. $25 for a nail polish is just not really splurge-friendly - not that it has stopped me from racking up a tiny Butter London stash of my own. The other part of it is the fact that, well, Butter Londons seem to vary highly in quality. Some shades are really excellent, some are four-coats-and-there's-still-VNL kind of less excellent.

Pantone Colour of the Year Radiant Orchid: Look at the Radiant Orchid-ish Stuff I Already Have!

Monday, December 16, 2013

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Pantone has officially announced Radiant Orchid as the Colour of the Year 2014, and this time, I'm actually pretty excited for it because, as I've been saying in my previous blogposts, purple is my favourite colours. If you've been reading for a while, you'll also know that I think that this whole Colour of the Year thing is just another means of making them companies more $$$ through commercialization of a single colour shade, and those feelings still hold, but hey, at least this year I'm going to have companies try to make money off me with a colour I actually can get on board with! I wasn't feeling last year's Emerald or the previous year's Tangerine Tango, so FINALLY! Come get my money with a colour I actually like, companies! Haha.

Radiant Orchid is Pantone's Color of the Year for 2014. Here are my Radiant Orchid-ish makeup items!

Anyway, before I get all ready to get my commercialization on (yay retail therapy!), out of curiousity, I thought I'd just run through my beauty stash and pull out all the Radiant Orchid-colour-alikes I already have in my stash, and show them to you guys - and really also to myself, as a reminder to not bust my budget when Sephora puts out their Sephora X Pantone Radiant Orchid Limited Edition Makeup Set with Unicorn Whiskers, or whatever they have up their sleeve. Just a little reminder to myself. So here we go!

All the Radiant Orchid products we'll be bombarded with soon in the coming months! LOL! (Source)

Polish Addict Nail Color Jellyfish I: Like Glitter and Snow (and Jellyfish)!

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Continuing my thing for indie polishes, today I have to show you another indie polish - Polish Addict Nail Color's Jellyfish I! I bought this from Mei Mei's Signatures sometime back when the brand was on sale. Apparently Jellyfish I is so named because there are multiple Polish Addict Nail Color shades named Jellyfish. There's Jellyfish, Jellyfish I, and Jellyfish II. Looking at other photos and swatches I've seen, they all follow the general formula of a white crelly base that flashes some other shade, and varying colours of contrasting glitter.

Polish Addict Nail Color Jellyfish I: White crelly base with purple and blue glitter bits

Jellyfish I is a white crelly base that flashes gold, and has small round purple and blue glitters in it. It does kind of remind me of jellyfish, but with this season, it being Christmas and all, I'm also vaguely reminded of snow when I look at the nail polish. Snow with bits of dirt and rock in it. Slushy snow.

Polish Addict Nail Color Jellyfish I 1
Polish Addict Nail Color Jellyfish I: Reminds me of jellyfish, reminds me of snow

MUFE Midnight Glow Palette Swatches: Officially My Favourite Holiday Eyeshadow Palette!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

MUFE has come out with the Midnight Glow Palette for the holidays, and I am absolutely in love with this palette and it's gorgeousness! I always love MUFE's releases because their makeup is consistently of high quality, and the lovely Midnight Glow Palette is no exception. There's an Aqua Rouge too, in a really lovely universally flattering shade that works on all skintones - but I'll get to that in another post! For today, we're found to be just all about the eyes!

MUFE Midnight Glow Palette: Eyeshadows with glitz and glitter for the holidays!

If you're tired of seeing the same few shades incorporated into holiday palette releases, you'll be pleased to know that six of the eight shades are new and exclusive to the palette. The six new shades boast a new "diamond" formula, specially created for an extreme shine. The other two remaining shades are good ol' basics that everyone needs - there's Matte Black and Metallic Taupe 127.

Olay Aquaction Long Lasting Hydration Gel Review and Ingredients Analysis: A Light Moisturizing Gel

Monday, December 2, 2013

Olay has launched its Aquaction line, and one of the key products in the line is the Long Lasting Hydration Gel. As a woman in my 20s, I always remember Olay as the brand my mum used, but looking at their products and displays, I'm always impressed how a brand with such a heritage has managed to keep its image and products modern, relevant, and up to date!

The Aquaction Long Lasting Hydration Gel is just such a product of the brand's ability to modernize. It's a light, gel-based moisturizer, that still touts itself as being able to provide hydration and moisture to the skin. A weightless feeling while still providing moisture? Sign me up!

Olay Aquaction Long Lasting Hydration Gel: The latest deep hydrating product from Olay

As you guys know, I always like to start off my skincare analysis by looking at the ingredients list - it really helps to cut through all the review preliminaries and gets straight to the point. So here we go!

Collection Cosmetics Swatches and Review: Collection Arrives in Singapore!

Friday, November 29, 2013

Collection Cosmetics, a UK-based drugstore brand (you'll find them most commonly in Superdrug) has now come to Singapore! I recall this brand quite fondly from my days as a student in the UK, back when the brand was still called Collection 2000, and I guess life has a way of coming full circle, because now the brand is coming to Singapore!

Collection Cosmetics Stand
Collection Cosmetics is now coming to Singapore!

Collection Cosmetics is one of the top 3 UK drugstore brands with their young, fashionable image, and they have steadily been expanding into Asia (you will also find the brand in Hong Kong and Philippines). The line is cheap, with prices running from S$9.90 and up - this isn't as cheap as in the UK, but is still drugstore pricing. As always, I've done some swatches of some of my personal favourites from the line, and if you want to check out the brand, these would be, in my humble opinion, the items to start off with!

MUFE Pro Finish Powder Foundation Review and FOTD

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

MUFE recently launched their Pro Finish Multi-Use Powder Foundation, and I had the chance to give this a try! Again, I'm a little slow to post, but this one is definitely worth waiting for. Remember how in a previous post I mentioned that if you wanted to know what foundation I was wearing, I would blog about it soon? Well, now you know!

MUFE Pro Finish Powder Foundation: MUFE's latest foundation, and an excellent product.

The MUFE Pro Finish Powder Foundation provides high coverage with a non-cakey, smooth finish, and a great formula that is right on, as with most of MUFE's products. You can really tell when a brand spends the time and effort to perfect its products before launching, rather than just jumping onto every trend-based product bandwagon every three months, or slavishly copying its nearest competitor, and from the looks of it, MUFE's Pro Finish Foundation has definitely been formulated with care. Ever the perfectionist, MUFE founder Dany Sanz spent six years (yes, six!) developing the foundation, in order to arrive at the best possible formula that would work on all skin types.

Perhaps, as a result of the fact that this foundation took six years to perfect, I have to say, I have absolutely no complaints at all. From the colour match, to the formula, to the coverage, to the finish - while I can sometimes be pretty critical, right now I only have good things to say!

Activated Charcoal and Charcoal in Skincare: Does It Work to Purify Your Skin?

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Recently I've been seeing lots of charcoal-based skincare products around, along with claims that would make anyone sit up. The main argument is that applying charcoal to your skin will help to purify your skin. Thus, marketers tend to stress charcoal as pore-clearing, acne-reducing, skin-detoxing wonders. There are so many products out there, all with the same marketing talking points. Some products even stress that they have activated charcoal, no less (all it really means is that the charcoal is more porous and thus allowing a larger surface area for adsorption, but by and large its chemical properties will be the same). Just take a look at the graphic I've helped you guys put together, and you'll know what I mean:

Lookit all those charcoal-laden products! If such products work, why don't we all have awesomely detoxed skins?

So there is a lot of charcoal-laden skincare out there. But is there any truth to all the claims these products make? That's a question that's worth answering.

Cirque Epoch Review and Swatch: Deep, dark duochrome nail polish!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

As I might have mentioned in a previous NOTD (nail of the day) post, yes I am absolutely into indie nail polish right now! One of the brands I've been trying out is Cirque (and if you've seen some of my Instagram posts you'll see some of those bottle shots and NOTDS already), and the polish I wanted to show you today is Cirque Epoch! I bought these online from Luxola when they were having a sale (although I rarely buy from them now - they're kind of overpriced compared to alternatives such as Mei Mei Signatures).

Cirque Epoch: Here it looks forest green, but the duochrome becomes more apparent in different lights and angles.

Cirque Epoch is a forest green glass-fleck-ish polish, mostly, but it does have very lovely duochrome in the right lights. I get blue and purple from it. It's this flash of other colours that made me swoon for this polish. I had to work pretty darn hard to capture the duochrome, because the lighting and my camera just weren't cooperating with me. I have no idea how those other nail bloggers do it, but darn they are good.

Juju Aquamoist Moisture Lotion Review and Ingredients Analysis

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Lotion products have been really popular over the past few years, and new to me is another one - Juju Aquamoist's Moisture Lotion. Juju is actually a Japan-based brand of drugstore products featuring hyaluronic acid. Over time, Juju has expanded to include not just the moisturizing range, but also a whitening range, as well as a range geared towards natural product customers.

Juju Aquamoist Moisture Lotion: One of the key products from Juju's range.

Despite these new developments, the Juju Aquamoist Moisture Lotion still remains one of the hero products in the Juju Aquamoist range, and so I thought I'd take a look at it, and also take the opportunity to delve into the ingredients!

John Frieda Luxurious Volume Review: Shampoo, Conditioner, Mousse, Hairspray

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

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John Frieda, the well-established UK haircare brand known for its innovative solutions for all hair types, has officially launched in Singapore! And I am totally getting a sense of déjà vu just writing about John Freida again!

You see, back when my blog was still relatively new and when I was still a student in the UK getting my Masters degree, I had done a review on John Frieda's haircare products, namely the Luxurious Volume range, and I really liked it. Well guess what, it looks like this range is coming to Singapore now, and reviewing this range (or rather, re-reviewing this range) feels like seeing an old friend again!

John Frieda Luxuriuos Volume Range: Four awesome products for full hair!

The best part? This time, I don't just have the shampoo and conditioner only - instead I can bring you a bigger, better review with two more products! This time, I have the Touchably Full Shampoo, Touchably Full Conditioner, Building Mousse and All-Day Hold Hairspray. So if you want to know how they hold up to my fond memories of the product, do read on!

Benefit Rockateur Review, Swatches, and FOTD

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Benefit launched its Rockateur powder, which is a blush and highlighting powder in one! Rockateur is supposed to be a blush-cum-highlighter, much like their other boxed powders. I've always been fond of Benefit's boxed powders (they're one of my favourite items from the line), so I had to write about this and give you guys a review!

Benefit Rockateur: Rose gold blush and highlighter

One of the things I really love about Benefit is their excellent ability to find a colour that is universally flattering, while still being interesting (think Bella Bamba and Hervana as particularly good case studies), and I do think this is part of the reason why there is such a following behind their boxed powders.

Benefit Rockateur box
Benefit Rockateur: Even the box is fancy with a textured lid! Love the lace print.

Pretty box, check. Nice scented product, check. Enclosed brush? Check. Talk about stunning presentation - this has definitely upped the ante on their boxed powders! Now let's open the box and take a further peek!

Black Cat Lacquer Just Like Honey NOTD: Indie Polishes

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

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As you guys may know from my "OMG I bought nail polish AGAIN" posts on Instagram, I've recently been into indie polishes. I know I'm pretty slow to catch onto the trend, but man, all those darn nail blogs out there just keep making me want to buy myself a few indies so bad! And so finally I did.

Black Cat Lacquer Just Like Honey

For this post, I'm showing you Black Cat Lacquer Just Like Honey. Black Cat Lacquer, as you might guess, is an indie brand of nail polish, and like most indies is only available online. One of the things I really like about indie polishes is that they have the most interesting glitter combinations in bases that are just the right level of opacity/translucence, as well as pretty holos. I bought mine from Mei Mei Signatures, which ships internationally.

black cat lacquer just like honey 1
Black Cat Lacquer Just Like Honey: A sweet-like-candy colour

Laura Mercier Foundation Primer + Smooth Finish Foundation Powder Review and FOTD

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Laura Mercier has recently released not one, but two new products, the Smooth Finish Foundation Powder, and the Foundation Primer - Protect with Broad Spectrum SPF 30/PA+++. Both have been getting all sorts of raves recently, so I thought I should get you guys a review on this! As you probably know, Laura Mercier is known for her "Flawless Face" concept, so her foundations, concealers, and primers tend to be excellent. The Secret Camouflage is always one of my favourite concealers ever for heavy duty work!

Laura Mercier Foundation Primer - Protedt and Smooth Finish Foundation Powder

For my test, I paired both the Laura Mercier Smooth Finish Foundation Powder and the Foundation Primer - Protect with Broad Spectrum SPF 30/PA+++ together, since both are supposed to work optimally together. And while I know that Laura Mercier's primers tend to be a either love-it-or-hate-it affair because of the diversity of skintypes out there, I thought I'd just put forth my two cent's worth of opinions. And I'm glad to say, I think this worked pretty well for me! And as usual, if you want to start off with an analysis, where better than the ingredients list? In particular, let's look at the sun protection offered by the Laura Mercier Foundation Primer - Protect.

Hada Labo SHA Hydrating Light Lotion Review and Ingredients Analysis

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Hada Labo has launched the Hada Labo SHA (Super Hyaluronic Acid) Hydrating Light Lotion, its newest product in Singapore recently. The Hydrating Light Lotion is a variant of its existing Super Hyaluronic Acid Lotion (which I've reviewed before), with a twist: this version of the product is formulated for oily skin.

The new Hada Labo SHA Hydrating Light Lotion

To be honest, I've found all the Hada Labo lotions I've used to be pretty light and oil-less to begin with, so I couldn't imagine coming out with a special version for oily skin - it seemed to me that even oily skinned-people (like myself) should be able to use the original version. But, I guess if there is demand, then there will be supply! And voila, now we have the SHA Hydrating Light Lotion, and I'm glad to be able to bring you a review!

Halloween Manicure: Neon Orange, Glitter, and Stripes (aka I recycled an older nail look)

Monday, October 28, 2013

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Remember my previous Halloween nails? Well, I decided that they could use a little more something - glitter! So I decided to glitterify them to my heart's delight!

Halloween Manicure: Neon, glitter and stripes!

I happened to buy a bottle of China Glaze Glitz Bitz 'n Pieces from Beauty Asia 2013 earlier this year, so I thought that would do it perfectly for glittering up my existing manicure.

Halloween Nails Neon Orange Glitter Stripes
Halloween nails: Neon orange, glitter and stripe designs.

The thing is, I'm not sure if I love the result more than the original. I have mixed feelings about it.

Kiehl's Ultra Facial Cream Review and Ingredients Analysis

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Kiehls has recently tweaked and re-tested the formula for its classic Ultra Facial Cream, and I got to put it to the test, with myself as guinea pig! The Kiehls Ultra Facial Cream has certainly got a reputation as one if THE face creams for hydration, and is one of Kiehl's most iconic products. So of course as you might imagine, I was excited to give this a go and subject this to (what I imagine is) my rigorous testing!

Kiehl's Ultra Facial Cream: The facial cream with a big, bad reputation.

I did say the Kiehl's ULtra Facial Cream is famous. The moisturizer is known to provide 24-hour hydration, and in fact, Kiehl's partnered with adventure explorer and polar guide Doug Stoup, on his recent expedition to the North Pole in the Arctic Ocean. So if it is the cream of choice for someone making an expedition to the North Pole, it's gotta be good, right?

Explorer Doug Stoup uses Kiehl's Ultra Facial Cream! If it works for him in the North Pole, it would probably work on me too! (Kiehl's website)

Because of the Ultra Facial Cream's reputation for being used by explorer to the North Pole and such, when I tried the Ultra Facial Cream, I expected it to be all thick and heavy and greasy. But to my surprise, it wasn't. In fact, it fared much better than I expected!

BCA Manicure: Pink and Girly with Illamasqua Loella and Etude House WH901 Cotton Candy Kiss

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

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One of the things I love about nail bloggers is the fact that every year, they do a BCA (breast cancer awareness) initiative in October. This year, it is #polishuspink on Instagram (if you search for the hashtag, you'll see lots of pretty pink manicures from bloggers doing their bit to raise awareness). Since here in Singapore, breast cancer is actually the top cause of deaths in women, I thought another BCA mani wouldn't hurt!

My pink and girly BCA nails this year!

This time around, my mani is a simple one - no nail art, just glitter on top of pink. I had bought the Illamasqua polish in Loella during one of Illamasqua's online sales (the haul post for that is still sitting around in my Drafts folder, oops), and I had also bought the Etude House nail polish, WH901 Cotton Candy Kiss from their Dear My Nails range when my colleague went to Korea (they were cheaper there, and I couldn't resist asking her to get me a few bottles).

BCA manicure Illamasqua Loella Etude House WH901 3
BCA manicure: Illamasqua Loella and Etude House WH901

Benefit Porefessional Zero Shine Powder Preview and Ingredients Analysis

Saturday, October 19, 2013

I got to take a sneak peek at the soon-to-launch Benefit Porefessional Zero Shine Pro Powder, and I can't wait to share my thoughts on it with you guys! The Zero Shine Powder will only be launched next year in February, but hey, it's never too early to take a first look, right?

Benefit Porefessional Zero Shine Pro Powder: A sneak peek before it's launched!

So what is this Porefessional Zero Shine Pro-Powder? Initially I was a little confused, especially since Benefit already has a Porefessional product that is a primer. Turns out, this new addition to the Porefessional family of products is totally different. The new Porefessional Zero Shine Powder, as the name suggests, is first of all not a primer, but a finishing powder. So unlike the existing Porefessional, which you use before applying makeup, this is used after makeup, for shine and oil control. It promises to banish the shiny, oil-slick look from your face all day long.

Benefit Porefessional Shine Vanishing Powder agent zero shine
Benefit Porefessional Zero Shine Powder: Oil and shine control all day long.

If you don't have the patience to wait until 2014 for this too look, and want a closer look at the Porefessional Powder right now, you're in luck! I've managed to try out this powder, and I do think this is worth checking out.

Halloween Nail Art: Neon Orange, Purple and White Stripes

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Halloween is coming, and part of the festivity means that a Halloween manicure is a must! This year, I happened to buy a neon orange nail polish, Illamasqua Gamma (which was also featured in a chalkboard manicure tutorial), and as you might expect, I couldn't wait to use it!

Halloween nail art - a very Halloween-y colour scheme!

I combined this with a purple, Illamasqua Baptist, and a white (a random LA Colors white striper, which was last seen in my Easter manicure), and I got this! I've been seeing this stripey design around lately, so I thought, why not try this out with some Halloween colours?

halloween nail art orange purple white stripes 3
Halloween nail art: orange, purple, and white colours.

Etude House & Rose Review and Swatches: Rosy Lip Tint and Flowering Nails

Monday, October 14, 2013

Etude House's & Rose Collection has just launched, and it is indeed a gorgeously girly collection. Etude House claims that the & Rose Collection is inspired by the fairy tale ‘Sleeping Beauty’, and is supposed to capture the magical moment when Princess Rose is blossoming out into a alluring lady from a pure little girl. So that explains the name of the & Rose collection.

Etude House & Rose Collection: Pink and Pretty!

Name aside, I've had a chance to try the & Rose Rosy Lip Tints and & Rose Flowering Nails from the collection. Both have really impressed me! Both have really impressed me, and I think they are worth getting! I'll start off with the & Rose Collection Rosy Lip Tint and then move on to the & Rose Flowering Nails sets.

Etude House Rosy Lip Tint Collection
Etude House & Rose Collection Rosy Lip Tint: A range of 8 shades of pinks and roses.

The Thing About Applying Face Masks When You Have A Guinea Pig

Friday, October 11, 2013

Last weekend, I tried applying a face mask to relax. And I realized that guinea pigs really influence the effectiveness of your face mask. No, really! As you know, I also now have a guinea pig (I introduced him in this post, but he is a lot bigger now). And I realized that before Blondie joined our family, face mask time was spent applying the face mask, relaxing on my bed/in front of my computer/doing my nails/doing whatever relaxing girly solitary activity I felt like doing. I apply the mask, wait, and wash it off. Like so:

But then, after Blondie came, face mask time became an-extra-half-an-hour-to-sit-around-Blondie's-cage-and-pet-him-and-coo-over-him-or-play-with-him-because-he-just-gave-me-that-cute-begging-look time. So now I apply the mask, scuttle over from the bathroom to wherever Blondie is, pet him/play with him/feed him/whatever Blondie wants. And my mask will start melting off because I'm moving around. And then Blondie will pee (it's quite hard to toilet train guinea pigs, so if you do get one, they may or may not be able to learn where to potty - just sayin'!), so I will have to clean up after him. And pet him some more after that (no point scolding him since you can't potty train him anyway). And then the however-long-period-of-time-I-was-supposed-to-leave-the-mask-on-for will be up, and then I will wash off my face mask. But since I just played with/petted/cleaned up after Blondie, my hands probably shouldn't touch my face. So I will go back to the bathroom, give my hands a good cleaning, and then wash off my face mask (which was already starting to drip off my face because like I said, I've been moving around).

So, what's that about guinea pigs influencing the effectiveness of your face mask? You never sit still enough to let it dry if you're attending to them. And you have to be prepared that your face mask will drip off your face while you're doing so. That's all I really wanted to say today. Obviously I have products to review and beauty trends to write about, but sometimes you just gotta take a step back and enjoy the little things. Including cute little guinea pigs! Sorry if you're not an animal person - regular programming will be back with the next post. Promise!

PS - if you want to see what Blondie looks like now, I have photos of him on my Instagram feed. Because you can't keep a guinea pig who is SO SUPER CUTE without posting a few photos of him. Just not possible. (I now understand parents who post copious pictures of their babies online. I try hard not to do that with my guinea pig. He is kinda like the baby of the house now.) But anyway, here is a photo of Blondie (plucked from my Instagram) anyway, because OMGZ LOOK AT THAT CUTENESS!

Breast Cancer Awareness Month Manicure: Pink Gradient Glitter Nails

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and I thought I'd do a BCA-themed manicure because breast cancer is actually the 5th top cause of deaths. If you're in the at-risk age group (50 to 74), the best way to detect breast cancer is to get a mammogram once every 2 years. And as with all illnesses, early detection helps!

My BCA manicure that's pink, shimmery, and IMHO, awesome!

Skincare and Makeup I Actually Used Up! Pan Porn (OMG!)

Saturday, October 5, 2013

One of the utterly pathetic first world problems I have is that as a beauty junkie, I have more makeup and skincare than I could ever use up in my entire lifetime. But, sometimes strange things happen, and I actually, actually, use up a complete product. Yes. For real. No lie. And because it's not that often that this happens, I just have to blog about it. Behold! (And that photo's not all, by the way! There's still more!)

Stuff I used up: MAC Dazzlelight, LipIce Lipbalm, and Milani Snow Frost

In the above photo, you see not one, not two, but three products! Yes. Let me just italicize it. Three. So let me start on a little mini-review of each of these products (if I haven't reviewed them already), and see where that takes us!

L'Oreal HydraFresh Review: Mask-in Lotion, Spa Water, Supreme Emulsion, Creamy Foam (With My Ingredients Geekery)

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

L'Oreal has launched its HydraFresh line, which is meant to restore moisture to the skin. The range contains French Grape Seed Extract, for 50X anti-oxidant power, French Vosges Spa Water, which has 16 minerals to strengthen skin’s moisture barrier, and Double Hyaluronic Acid.

The L'Oreal HydraFresh line: with French Vosges Spa Water and Grape Seed Extract.

I've been trying out the products in this line, and I have to say that the entire range is pleasant to use - most of the products in this line feel light on the skin, absorb fast, and do make my skin feel hydrated. The HydraFresh line also seems to be fragranced with a fruity-floral smell, that while a little on the stronger side, isn't unpleasant. I imagine some consumers would like the smell.

So now that we've done some of my initial thoughts on the L'Oreal HydraFresh range as a whole, let's do a blow-by-blow review of every product in the range! And because I'm a huge skincare nerd, you'll also get to see me talk about the ingredients in each of the products. So, here we go!

Beauty Blog Link Love

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

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Addicted to Beauty geeks out over teenage ninja turtles and time lord nails.

Phyrra shares her all time favorite cruelty free beauty items! From hair to skincare and makeup, she's got you covered!

This week at theNotice, Rae's found a high-end eyeshadow palette that isn't worth shelling out for. Find out what it is, and why you shouldn't fall for its beautiful presentation!

All-natural, luxe skincare that will seriously change your life? Head over to Makeup Morsels for the scoop on Osmia Organics.

FabDiva20 has done it again with another sunset look, but this time it's purple with a hint of glitter!

Inspired by this season's runways? Musicalhouses shows you a fall nail art look inspired by NYFW!!

Jessika from polish insomniac doesn't own many MAC products, but there are two she never leaves the house without. Find out which ones they are in her What's In My Bag Top Ten post!

Kim Porter reviews Valentina Assoluto. See if it will be your new fragrance.

Have you scoped out any new Fall beauty collections? Pammy Blogs Beauty shares her favorite fall beauty items from Target!

Gouldylox Reviews tried more than 15 irons to find which one gives the longest lasting curls. (Even on hard to curl hair!)

Lacking volume in your hair? Prime Beauty found the Moroccanoil Volume Line plumps up her tresses nicely and smells fabulous!

Do you like hexagonal glitter? Check out what Fleurissante thinks about the Born Pretty Nail Art Glitter Set.

Beauty Reflections shows you why you need a red eyeshadow for fall!

If you could pick every lipstick from one line would it be Lipstick Queen? Learn what lipsticks from Poppy King made Lisa from Beauty Info Zone pick LQ as her favorite.

Jenn from Spiced Beauty has swatches of the new RiRi Hearts MAC Eye Shadow Palette in Her Cocoa! Do you like it?

Lisamarie from Beauty Crazed can't decide whether she likes the insides or the outsides of the new Anna Sui lipstick and polish collections - check out her swatches and decide for yourself!

DIY Wearable Version of the Super-Embellished Libertine Fall 2013 Nails

Sunday, September 29, 2013

So after I went all out and blinged out my nails for my DIY version of the Libertine Fall 2013 look, I decided to try and come up with a more everyday-wear-friendly version of it. Basically, it didn't seem realistic to carry that much rhinestones on my nails, so I thought - what if I replaced them with glitter? And so, I proceeded to see how I could flatten out all the awesome 3D bling into a 2D version, while hopefully keeping the original look! And I eventually came up with this:

NYFW-inspired nail art - a much more wearable version of Libertine's Fall nails!

First, I had to choose the appropriate glitter. I thought of mixing various bits of glitter, but then I got lazy and settled on Deborah Lippmann's Happy Birthday, which I've previously featured in this post, and as a jelly sandwich! Anyway, I settled on Lippmann Happy Birthday because it had the same multi-coloured, jewel-y effect that the original gemstones had.

Gold and Glitter Libertine Fashion Week inspired manicure 3
A 2D version of Libertine's NYFW 3D nail art, embellished with colourful jewels: here, sequins are used instead.

Benefit Gimme Brow Swatches and Quick Review

Friday, September 27, 2013

Benefit Cosmetics will launch Gimme Brow, its latest brow product, in October. But until then, I thought I'd show you guys a few quick sneak peeks! Gimme Brow is meant to give you fuller brows with volume, so if you like a bit of drama for your brows, then this product is a good one.

Benefit's Gimme Brow: A brow mascara to give your lashes colour and volume!

Gimme Brow is essentially a brow mascara, a product which is quite popular in the West. As you might guess, it naturally comes in mascara-like packaging - there is a small tube, and a small, sharp mascara-like brush and wand for application.

Benefit Gimmie Brow Tube Brush
Benefit's Gimme Brow comes with a mascara-like tube and brush packaging.

Libertine Fall 2013-Inspired Nail Art: Gold and Gems (AKA So Much Bling!)

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

As a total fashion noob, I've never heard of Libertine, but when I saw their nail art for NYFW (New York Fashion Week) Fall 2013, I just KNEW I had to try it. It was gold. It was full of gems. It had bling. And, it didn't require a heck-lot of precision. And look at what I came up with!

Libertine-inspired embellished manicure on gold base with gems!

Isn't it lovely and all blingy and stuff? This might make better sense if I showed you the original, at the runways of NYFW. The polish looks kinda gold-olive-muddy-a-bit-brown here, but it's described as gold (and it looks more gold) in the comments and in some other photos.

Libertine's Embellished manicure at NYFW Fall 2013 (Source)

When I saw this manicure, I thought, hmmm...blingy gems and jewels and stuff over a gold base. I can do this! So I decided to check out my stash of gold polish to see which one looked the most similar to the polish in the photos I was seeing.

Elizabeth Arden Untold Perfume Review: A Modern, Well-Rounded Fragrance

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Elizabeth Arden's new fragrance, Untold, is no-doubt going to be a crowd-pleaser. After all, this is the same brand that is also known for its other perfume classics, Red Door and Green Tea. Unlike Red Door and Green Tea though, which trade heavily on the brand's well-known heritage and legacy, Untold aims for a scent and feel that is a little more contemporary, while still retaining the company's brand name.

Untold: A modern, soft, and feminine fragrance that isn't too sweet or cloying.

In that way, the drive towards modernity for this particular perfume launch means that it will be its own fragrance, and nothing quite like Red Door or Green Tea. Red Door was powdery and heavier, perhaps a reflection of how perfumes were in the 80's, while Green Tea was a lighter, citrus-y wisp of a fragrance. Untold, while different, is by no means a bad fragrance at all. In fact, I have to say, after a few weeks of sniffing, I quite like it - it is indeed modern, soft and feminine without being cloying, or annoying.

Canmake Lip Concealer Swatches

Thursday, September 19, 2013

So these swatches are a little old, but hey, better late than never right? One of Canmake's items sold (not sure if it's still current stock, but I'm sure you can find it online via eBay and such) are their Lip Concealers. The idea is that if you want an all-out nude lip, or need to blank out your lip for artistic makeup, then you can use these Lip Concealers.

Canmake Lip Concealer Swatches

There are only two shades, so this is a short post.

01 White Pink is a pale beige that has some pink in it. A pale, cool-toned beige. A concealer shade, really.
02 Nude Beige is a tan beige, also with pink. Also a concealer shade.

As far as I can tell, the main benefit of using a specialized Lip Concealer over a typical concealer meant for face is the taste. These don't have any taste, whereas using a real concealer would taste really nasty. Although these are lip concealers, I'm sure there will be those who are game enough to use them as actual lip colours.

Pond Manicure: My First Attempt at a Blue Pond Manicure

Monday, September 16, 2013

Recently, I saw a few pond manicures online, so I thought I'd give the pond manicure a try! For those who need an explanation, a pond manicure basically involves layers of a sheer polish, with designs (dots, flowers, or whatever you want) in between the layers. I'm not sure exactly how the pond manicure got its name, but to me, it's an apt name because the layering of sheer polish gives the designs on your nails the impression of being submerged in a pond. Kinda like they're underwater and you're viewing them from above the water.

My first ever attempt at a Pond Manicure!

For my first ever pond manicure, I decided to use Nicole by OPI Somebody Teal Love. OMG yes I have a Justin Bieber polish, and I bought it from TJMaxx when I was in California for a holiday! I bought it because it was cheap, but after I bought it, I didn't know what to do with it because it was so annoyingly sheer. The level of pigment in the polish was quite non-existent, kinda like Justin Bieber's musical talent, I guess. (Well, I guess since I'm above two decades old, I'm just too old and creaky to appreciate the wondrousness that is his singing.) But aging teen popstar jokes aside, this polish sat unused for a long, long time, because I couldn't bring myself to apply the 4-5 coats that was necessary for full opacity.

Pond Manicure Nicole OPI Somebody Teal Love 2
Using Nicole by OPI Somebody Teal Love (ugh, really bad name) as the "pond" colour.

Beauty Blog Link Love

Sunday, September 15, 2013

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Phyrra brings you the Urban Decay Holiday 2013 Collection. You don't want to miss this!

A pigmented lipgloss that's lighter that air? It exists! Head over the Makeup Morsels to get the scoop now.

Jenn from Spiced Beauty has swatches of the new, nude L'Oréal Paris Collection Privée by Colour Riche! Which set do you like?

Do you love a great glow? If you do, Rae's found two breathtaking baked bronzer/highlighter duos that you NEED to try. Find out what they are at theNotice!

Always been curious about epilators? Hop on over to melovemakeup to check out Sophie's first thoughts on the new Remington 4 in 1 epilator!

Have you ever been swept away by a makeup item? Have you ever wanted to wear one item and one only? See which is the item that has done that to Marcia of Beauty Info Zone. Hint: it might have the words Marc Jacobs in the title.

Fleurissante has the swatches of Essie's fall collection, For the Twill of It. Check out if she likes the collection.

Jenny blogs about her new favourite deep pink matte- Burberry Lip Velvet in Pink Azalea at My Funny Valentine.

Lisamarie from Beauty Crazed has done the worst nail art ever for the Nicole by OPI Perfect Prom Mani challenge but wants you to vote for her anyway - she understands that they will mostly be pity votes and is totally cool with it!

Wondering what's the difference between the Dior Lip Glow, Sephora Color Reveal Balm, and other colour-changing products? Musicalhouses analyzes the ingredients of ten different colour-changing lipbalms, lipsticks, and blushes to see exactly how these products work!

Who needs that expensive Dior Bonne Etoile Palette when you can get this more affordablemark On The Dot Eye Color Compact in Smoky/Sensuel? Check it out at Beauty Reflections!

Prime Beauty brings you her Top 10 Eyeliners along with 10 other bloggers on Top 10 Tuesday!

Thinking about trying one of the barrel-less curling irons everyone is talking about? Gouldylox created a tutorial that includes tips, tricks and what happens when it eats your hair.

Vanity Trove September: Just What My Skin Needed (in Full Size, too!)

Friday, September 13, 2013

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I'm sure you know by now that you can choose your own samples for Vanity Trove. So let me cut to the chase and show you what I picked this month! There was this awesome serum that I just had to have! As always, I tend to choose my Vanity Trove items during my lunch on Mondays (because that's when they restock), for best results. Don't say I never share my tips with you! ;P

Vanity Trove for September


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