Top 10 Most Popular Blog Posts of 2014, and 3 Honourable Mentions

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

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2014 is ending, and I thought it would be appropriate to do a recap of some of this year's popular blogposts! After making 2013's list of most popular blogposts, there were some unexpected results, so, just for fun, I thought it would be great to do one for 2014, too!

Some of my Top 10 most popular blogposts, as well as the 3 honourable mentions!

Just like in 2013, this year, I have also picked the top 10 by raw number of blogpost views, because it's the simplest way to go about doing things. I've written last year that I feel this method isn't totally ideal because it disadvantages posts that are popular but were written at the end of the year, or "evergreen" posts (like posts on classic topics like skincare, foundation, etc., such as my post on parabens in skincare, as opposed to a more trend-based post, like the latest MAC makeup collection) that may not garner as many initial views, but tend to do very well over a longer period of time. I always feel like counting the raw number of views tends to overlook the evergreen posts and the posts written towards the end of the year. Nevertheless, this seems to be the simplest way of doing things. Of course, if you wanted to be really particular about it you could pro-rate the number of views to the length of time the post was up, but this seems to present its own problems, because not every post follows the same viewcount trajectory - some (like the trends-based posts) do really well for a short time, and then quickly taper off, while others tend to follow a steadier growth trajectory.

But in any case, since we are using raw views, let's get to it, and here's the top 10 posts of 2014! I've also included 3 honourable mentions, which are posts that did well views-wise, but didn't get into the top 10 because they were written in the later part of the year. So let's check out the top 10 posts!

Bellabox December: Skincare and Haircare From Lesser-Known Niche Brands

Monday, December 29, 2014

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So my Bellabox December review is totally going up after Christmas rather than before, but man, the holidays have seem to fly by so fast! Oh well, better late than never! I hope everyone had a great Christmas and are all ready for the new year!

Bellabox December: Skincare and Haircare from a range of lesser-known niche brands

Anyway, I'm sure you're wondering how December's Bellabox was, well here we are! It's mostly skincare and haircare from lesser-known brands this time, so if you're into these types of products, then that's great. Perhaps I've been living under a rock or something, but only two of these brands are brands I've actually heard of before, and I've actually only reviewed products from one of them! So this month's box is really all about exploring new, niche brands for me.

Bellabox December Items
Bellabox December: If you're into finding out and trying new brands for yourself, the range of brands here might just pique your interest

Well, without further ado, let's get this review started!

Etude House My Castle Hand Cream: Review and Ingredients Analysis

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

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Etude House's My Castle Hand Creams are seriously cute, and that's saying a lot because Etude House is pretty famous for its cute, girly, and princessy packaging. The Korean beauty brand has previously put out tons of cute, pretty beauty products (if you don't believe, a quick glance through my Etude House blogposts should convince you of this), and even so, I think these are particularly cute! Etude House has certainly outdone themselves this time!

Etude House My Castle Hand Cream: Etude House has outdone themselves in the cuteness department

The hand creams are called My Castle Hand Cream (perhaps a nod to the cute house-like packaging), and there are four different scents of hand cream, which correspondingly have four different cute little house containers with four different colour schemes - Pink Wish (pink), Ice Frozen (blue), Forever Rose (Green) and Sweet Cookie (Brown).

Etude House My Castle Hand Cream 1
Etude House My Castle Hand Cream: Four colours correspond to four different scents, from powdery to floral to gourmand

So now that you've got a good idea of what the My Castle Hand Creams are like, let's take a closer look at each of them, and what their scents are!

The Face Shop SMIM Fermentation Concentrate Treatment, Toner, Emulsion Special Set Review and Ingredients Analysis

Saturday, December 20, 2014

The Face Shop, the Korean brand known for its skincare and makeup, has released a few sets for Christmas, and one of the sets (which I predict is is going to be pretty popular, if it isn't already!) is The SMIM Fermentation Concentrate Special Set ($69.90), which consists of bottles of The SMIM Fermentation Concentrate Total Treatment, The SMIM Fermentation Concentrate Toner, and The SMIM Ferementation Concentrate Emulsion. If you're wondering what SMIM stands for, it's apparently a shortened way of the Korean phrase "seu-myeo-deul-da", which means to absorb and penetrate, which is what the products are advertised to do. The SMIM product line consists of Yeast Ferment Extract, which apparently is the feature ingredient here.

The Face Shop SMIM Fermentation Concentrate Special Set: Just in time for Christmas, too!

And apparently, I've been told by other bloggers at a previous Face Shop event sometime back (and documented on my Instagram) that apparently, The SMIM Fermentation Concentrate Treatment is very similar to the fabled SKII Facial Treatment Essence, although I've no idea if that is true or not. I suppose that is where all the similarities to SKII come about - after all, SKII has their story about Pitera too (I have to file that Pitera thing for another post - I've been getting some friends asking me whether pitera really works).

The Face Shop SMIM Fermentation Concentrate Treatment Toner Emulsion Special Set 2
The Face Shop SMIM Fermentation Concentrate Special Set: With Treatment, Toner, and Emulsion

But in any case, you can see why the product set is going to sell well - aesthetically speaking, these are lightweight, lotion-formula products that feel great on the skin, and the Yeast Fermentation concept, are definitely attractive to consumers. The comparisons to SKII can't hurt either! So, I thought it's high time I did my review on this, seeing that Christmas is approaching. I've been so caught up this holiday season that I haven't been blogging about the Christmas things as much as I'd like, but I thought this was worth a review!

And of course, we're going to review this my style, and start at my favourite part of the product - the ingredients lists!

Clio Salon de Cara Review: Mascara That Styles Your Lashes

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Clio, the popular Korean drugstore makeup brand, has launched a line of three mascaras, called Salon de Cara (I suppose Cara is a contraction of "mascara"). The entire collection is touted as being inspired by hair tools that style the hair - these mascaras aim to style the lashes, too. There are three different mascaras, each with different brush heads, and they are supposed to perform different functions - there's Hair Roll Cara 001, which is inspired by hair rollers, Roll Brush Cara 002, which is inspired by hair brushes, and Finger Cara 003 which is inspired by the fingers of hairstylists.

Clio Salon de Cara Review: Mascara in three different styles!

Interestingly, each of the mascaras have different functions, too. Hair Roll Cara 001 (pink) is supposed to mimic hair rollers for extra volume, Roll Brush Cara 002 (yellow) is supposed to mimic a round hairbrush for a curling effect, and Finger Cara 003 (orange) is supposed to mimic stylist's hands with "bristles that part three ways at the tip" to lengthen the lashes. Sounds intriguing, right? I agree that the concept (mascara that styles your lashes the way hair salons style your hair), right down to the collection name of Salon de Cara, is definitely one that's new to me!

Clio Salon de Mascara Hair Roll Roll Brush Finger Cara
Clio Salon de Cara Review: Inspired by hair tools that style your hair, these mascaras claim to style your lashes

So anyway, I figured I just had to put all three of the Salon de Cara mascaras to the test, to see if they really lived up to the hype! But before I start, here are some shots of my bare mascara-less eyes. As you can tell, having long, lush and naturally curled lashes aren't my strong point at all! It's been a long time since I've reviewed a mascara (my mascara reviews are all here), and I think it's because my lashes are so puny and wimpy that even the best mascara doesn't work the magic that you see in the ads - I think I've been complaining about mascaras since my first ever mascara review on the blog from way back in 2010 (the then-super-popular Rimmel Lash Accelerator mascara). In any case, I suppose my lashes are so wimpy, they really do make the perfect test candidate for mascaras of all sorts - curling, lengthening, volumizing. Just bring it all on, goodness knows I need every kind of benefit!

Kiehl's Vetiver and Black Tea Aromatic Blends Review: EDT, Body Lotion, Body Cleanser

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Kiehl's Vetiver and Black Tea Aromatic Blends collection is finally here, and, like the previous Patchouli and Rose Aromatic Blends set of products, this consists of a body wash, a body lotion, and a fragrance - the Vetiver and Black tea Skin-Softening Body Lotion (SGD$43), the Vetiver and Black Tea Skin-Softening Body Cleanser (SGD$33), and the Vetiver and Black Tea Eau de Toilette Natural Spray (SGD$45). I was a fan of the previous Patchouli and Rose Aromatic Blend, so I was definitely keen to check out the Vetiver and Black Tea!

Kiehl's Vetiver and Black Tea Aromatic Blends: Body Cleanser, Body Lotion, and Eau de Toilette

Vetiver and Black Tea sounds pretty exciting, and if you've seen some of my instagram posts (like this photo of my perfume stash), you'll know I'm something of a fragrance-nerd - I love being able to sniff a fragrance and try to discern the various notes in it, so of course this piqued my interest. (And yes, those black things in the background of the photos are tea leaves!)

Kiehls Vetiver and Black Tea Lotion Perfume Body Wash 1
Kiehl's Vetiver and Black Tea: This year's addition to Kiehl's Aromatic Blends range

As you might expect, the Vetiver and Black Tea scent is present in all three products, but all three products have a slightly different take on the same scent, perhaps due to the nature of the product. You can tell they are in the same scent range, but each is slightly different. Like I did with last year's Patchouli and Rose Aromatic Blends review, I'll start by looking at the Body Cleanser and Body Lotion, and then looking at the fragrance! And yes, we will start off, as you might expect, with some ingredients analysis!

Sigma Spa Brush Cleaning Glove Dupe: Daiso Silicone Mat/Pot Holder

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Sigma's Spa Brush Cleaning Glove has been making its rounds in the blogosphere/beauty-guru-sphere, and naturally, being the avid beauty fan I am, I had to check it out. I though the concept was a good one, but I had my doubts over whether a simple silicone glove was worth US$35 or not. Then, I realized - all it really brought to the table was just a textured silicone surface to more effectively dislodge makeup and dirt from the brushes during use. And certainly, this was something dupe-able, right?

A cheap alternative to the Sigma Spa Brush Cleaning Glove: A $2 silicone mat from Daiso

I had also seen other bloggers suggesting various dupes for the Sigma Brush Cleaning Glove - all the way from simple silicone textured place mats, pot holders, laundry scrubbers, and even silicone pet care gloves for pet hair! Of course, this prompted me to make a trip to my nearest Daiso, where I came across this

Sigma Spa Cleaning Brush Glove Dupe 1
A cheap alternative to the Sigma Spa Brush Cleaning Glove: US$35 vs SGD$2, worth a shot!

I'm sure you're wondering, how does it perform? Does it really work? So I gave it a go, and I think it does work!

Etude House Pink Wish Tree Holiday 2014 Collection: Old Favourites, New Packaging!

Monday, December 1, 2014

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Etude House's Christmas 2014 offerings are its Pink Wish Tree Collection, which is quite a comprehensive collection - it has everything from some of Etude House's bestselling makeup, skincare, handcare and lipcare. All of these are permanent items, but they have been specially dressed up for the holidays, so don't worry about falling in love with a limited edition product. This includes their Moistfull Collagen skincare line, their Precious Mineral Any Cushion, their Petit Bijou body care line, and their Hand bouquet and Kissful handcreams and lipbalms respectively.

Etude House Pink Wish Tree Holiday 2014 Collection: Makeup, skincare, hand cream, bodycare, and lipcare!

The best thing about the Etude House Pink Wish Tree Collection is that, in addition to being totally presentable and gift-worthy, the collection also supports charity. Etude House will donate ₩100 (100 Won, or around SGD$0.10) for every Pink Wish Tree item purchased to the School Me Campaign by Save the Children, which will help to provide educationa opportunities for African girls in Sierra Leone, Liberia, Cote d'Ivire and Uganda. An additional ₩100 will be donated if shoppers endorse the Pink Wish Card that comes along with the product. It may not seem like a lot of money per item, but the products themselves aren't expensive either (the sets are anywhere from SGD$8 to SGD$32), and Etude House does deal with pretty large volumes of sales, so the final amount donated will hopefully be an amount that can make a meaningful contribution to the campaign.

Etude House Pink Wish Tree Christmas Holiday Sets 1
Etude House Pink Wish Tree Holiday 2014 Collection: ₩100 from the sale of each item is donated to charity.

Anyway, let's take a quick look at the Pink Wish Tree items! This is just a quick run through, and I will get around to reviewing some of the individual sets in more detail hopefully!

Bellabox November: Sleek Makeup, Nuxe, Coastal Scents, and More

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

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It's been awhile since I reviewed a beauty box, so it was with some interest that I rediscovered the beauty box! I've almost forgotten what it was like to receive these little cute boxes with tiny samples and miniature products to discover. This month's box had mostly skincare, but fortunately also had a good mix of popular and niche brands, with some fairly well known names like Sleek Makeup and Coastal Scents, as well as some niche brands like Skeyndor and Intercosmo.

Bellabox November: Features some well-known brands like Sleek, Nuxe, and Coastal Scents

Like most beauty boxes, Bellabox has a theme for every month, and this month's theme is Insta-Glam, although that has more to do with the contest that Bellabox is running with this one. Simply put, you snap a photo of your favourite product in this month's box, and upload it to instagram (with the hashtag #bellaboxasia) and you stand to win a bunch of prizes. So that'

Bellabox November Close
Bellabox November: What's inside my box this month!

Anyway, chances of winning prizes aside, you're probably wondering what's in the boxes? Well, let's start now!

Elizabeth Arden Untold Absolu Perfume: A Vanillia Fragrance Perfect for Fall/Winter

Sunday, November 16, 2014

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Elizabeth Arden's Untold Absolu is the latest fragrance flanker added to the brand's Untold line, which is supposed to represent sophistication. Previously, Elizabeth Arden had released Untold (the original perfume that started it all) last year, and then followed up earlier this summer with Untold Legere, a lighter, more citrusy version tht was supposed to be more of a hot weather scent. Now, with Fall and Winter around the corner, it makes sense that Elizabeth Arden should then follow up with a scent befitting the season - and here comes Untold Absolu to fill that gap.

Elizabeth Arden Untold Absolu: The new addition to the Untold range of perfumes

Untold Absolu, a you might expect of such an offering, is a "deeper, more sensual interpretation of Untold", with "luxurious floral absolutes, red plum and black raspberry accents" and a "magnetic amber base". Sounds like a fruity-floral on an amber base to me - let's check out the actual perfume itself and see how it goes!

Elizabeth Arden Untold Absolu Fragrance Perfume 1
Elizabeth Arden Untold Absolu: A warm fragrance in time for Fall/Winter seasno

Etude House Color Lips Fit PP501 Brave Fit Berry: My Perfect Fall Colour

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Fall is the perfect time for deep berry lips, and I think I've found my perfect one - the Etude House Color Lips Fit in PP501 Brave Fit Berry! This is a new addition to the Etude House Color Lips Fit range of liptints, which I've reviewed previously. At Etude House's flagship store at Wisma Atria, I noticed this pretty shade and just had to have it, and so I bought it!

Etude House Color Lips Fit PP501 Brave Fit Berry: Couldn't resist the gorgeous berry colour!

Apparently PP501 Brave Fit Berry is a new addition to the Color Lips Fit line of lip tints - this shade was not available when the Color Lips Fit liptints first came to Singapore. When it was first launched in Singapore, the shades were mostly bright reds, bright pinks, or nude beiges. They didn't have any plum or magenta shades, so I was excited to see such a gorgeous shade. And on top of that, it had this little sign next to it that said "NEW", so I decided I would get it!

Etude House Color Lips Fit PP501 Brave Fit Berry 2
Etude House Color Lips Fit PP501 Brave Fit Berry: One of two new shades added to the lineup

And since I've gotten it, I've been wearing it pretty often, since it's so perfect for Fall season. So I figured I should get around to reviewing it for you guys!

Kiehl's Super Multi-Corrective Eye-Opening Serum Review and Ingredients Analysis

Monday, November 10, 2014

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Kiehl's latest skincare product is the Super Multi-Corrective Eye-Opening Serum, part of the "Super Multi-Corrective" range. Kiehl's claims that this product is "formulated with botanically-derived Rhamnose and Sodium Hyaluronate to lift, firm, smooth, hydrate, and restore youthful shape of the eye", so I guess that's what Kiehl's is referring to when they call this an "eye-opening" product.

Kiehl's Super Multi-Corrective Eye-Opening Serum: It claims to open your eyes and give you a youthful-looking eye

Kiehl's Super Multi-Corrective Eye-Opening Serum is an accompaniment to its Super Multi-Corrective Cream, and both are packaged in little purple-and-silver packaging. Kiehl's also recommends that you can use the two together, if you want. For some reason I thought I had a review of the Kiehl's Multi-Corrective Cream up on my blog (I mean, I do have quite a few Kiehl's skincare reviews up), but it turns out I don't, much to my chagrin, so I'll definitely be reviewing that further down the road. But in any case, first things first, and I'll just look at the Super Multi-Corrective Eye-Opening Serum for this post.

Kiehl's Super Multi-Corrective Eye-Opening Serum Cream
Kiehl's Super Multi-Corrective Eye-Opening Serum: The two key ingredients advertised are Rhamnose and Sodium Hyaluronate

And as you might know, first things first with a skincare review always means going straight to the ingredients list! Let's take a look at the ingredients list, and see what it tells us about the formulation (with all the fancy Rhamnose and Sodium Hyaluronate in it).

MUFE Holiday 2014 Studio Case Review and Swatches!

Friday, November 7, 2014

MUFE (Make Up For Ever), the brand famous for its artistic sensibilities, large range of colours, and high-quality products, has launched their Holiday 2014 Collection! Their holiday collection includes various sets and kits, from makeup brushes to eyeshadows, and a mix of makeup products. One of the standouts this Holiday season if you're an eyeshadow lover is the MUFE Studio Case, which I've reviewed for you guys today!

MUFE Holiday 2014 Studio Case: One of several sets MUFE has put out this holiday season

The MUFE Studio Case comes with 12 mini-sized eyeshadows, with a travel-sized eyeshadow brush. The eyeshadows are 0.024oz/0.7g, as opposed to the usual 0.7oz/2.0g of product in a full-sized pan, so each shadow is roughly about a third of the size of a full-sized eyeshadow. The 12 shades are grouped into 4 groups of colour stories - there are Natural shades, Smokey Shades, Bold shades, and Chic shades. It's like a little box of colourful gems and treasures!

MUFE Studio Case Open
MUFE Holiday 2014 Studio Case: 12 eyeshadows and 1 eyeshadow brush in a compact case

If you're wondering how to use the shades, the MUFE Singapore Facebook Page even has little tutorial images for each of the looks (natural, smoky, bold, chic). But first, let's take a look at the Studio Case itself, the eyeshadows and the brushes!

LJH Cosmetics Tea Tree 90 Essence Review and Ingredients Analysis

Sunday, November 2, 2014

LJH Cosmetics (or LeeJiHam Cosmetics) is a Korean line of skincare (and some cosmetics, like BB creams), and is a line that is fairly niche, and fairly new to me - I've never heard of the brand until now! LJH apparently stands for LeeJiHam, and is the last names of its three founders, Lee Yu-Deuk, Ji Hye-Gu, and Ham Ik-Byeong (last names are all listed first as per Korean convention), and the three founders are also all doctors, hence the billing of some of the LJC Cosmetics product ranges as "Doctor's Care". LJH Cosmetics also likes to bill itself as a "cosmeceutical", rather than a cosmetic company, so it does seem to me that the company has a lot of its marketing riding on its "doctor" credentials. You guys know I'm all about skincare that's backed by science, so this brand piqued my curiousity.

LJH Cosmetics Tea Tree 90 Essence: A Korean product that targets blemishes

One of the first things I tried was the LJH Cosmetics Tea Tree 90 Essence, because it was one of their more popular blemish products. And although I'm going to be turning 30 in a few years (time flies!), it still seems to me that my acne and pimples are still partying like it's 2004 or something. Anyway, this was the first product that caught my eye, and I thought I should review it on my blog!

LJH Cosmetics Tea Tree Essence Bottle
LJH Cosmetics was apparently founded by three doctors, and "LJH" are their last names' initials.

As usual, we start off with the ingredients list, which is always my favourite place to look, because you know, beauty science is pretty fun. After all, if the brand was started by three doctors, it should be pretty impressive ingredients-wise! So that's the perfect place to start

Benefit Bathina Body Mist Review: "Just Confess, You're Obsessed"

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Benefit's Bathina All-Over Body Mist, with the cute tagline "Just Confess, You're Obsessed", was launched in Singapore in October. I thought it was about time I gave this little baby a review!

Benefit Cosmetics already has existing products called Bathina. There's a Bathina Body Oil Mist, and a Bathina Body Balm, so it looks like this is a new addition to the Bathina body line. Unlike the others though, there isn't any heaviness or oiliness in this Bathina Body Mist - if anything, it seems a bit more like a light, moisturizing fragrance than anything else!

Benefit Bathina All-Over Body Mist: "Just Confess, You're Obsessed"!

Isn't the bottle pretty, and the box just so adorable? One of the things I really love Benefit's bath and body products (and actually their entire line) is the cute, girly, flirty and quirky packaging. And, the products are usually pretty solid as well - in the course of my 5 years of beauty blogging, I've encountered their lipglosses, eyeshadows, blushes, primers, and foundations, and they've all been really good. So I had high hopes for Bathina Body Mist too!

Benefit Bathina Scented Body Mist Box
Benefit Bathina All-Over Body Mist: The packaging is the pin-up girls beloved by the brand.

I know you're wondering about the fragrance in the product, so I'll just cut to the chase and start the review!

Etude House Disney Princess Happy Ending FOTD: Purple Lipstick, Here I Come!

Saturday, October 25, 2014

In my previous post swatching the Etude House Disney Princess Happy Ending collection's makeup items, I mentioned that I wanted to do an FOTD (face of the day) post with some of the items from the Disney Princess collection. Well, I did! And it turned out to be my first-ever time wearing purple lipstick, too!

For this look, I used the following products below. I used the Snow White Precious Mineral BB Cream in shade No. 2 (the lighter of the two shades), the Belle Rose Cheek Blusher in #1 Pink Rose Shine, the Cinderella Fairy Glitter Shadow in #3 Evening Party, and the Belle Purple Rose Lips Lipstick. I've neatly assembled all the products below, so you can take a look at them! Because the collection didn't have an eyeliner, but I wanted to wear one, I ended up wearing my Etude House Play 101 Pencil in #50 (swatched and reviewed, and also FOTD'ed before, too), which is a deep neutral brown. I also used my Shu Uemura Hard Formula (previously called H9) Brow Pencil in Stone Gray (which I've been using even before I started blogging, but I've never reviewed - I'll need to do that sometime!).

Etude House Disney Princess Happy Ending products I used for my FOTD: BB Cream, eyeshadow, blush, and lipstick.

I figured I couldn't go wrong with these products. Sure, the purple lipstick might look a little unconventional to some (although on me it's a bit more like a purply-berry shade, as seen in the previous swatch post), but I figured that it's hard to go wrong with a good colour of BB cream, a neutral deep brown eyeshadow (with glitter and sparkles, too!), and a pink blush, right? Turns out, this look was actually quite pretty, if I do say so myself!

Etude House Disney Princess Happy Ending Swatches and Review!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Etude House's Disney Princess Collection, Princess Happy Ending, recently launched in stores. If you've been following me on Instagram, you'll know how much I love this collection - I feel like the Disney Princess theme really fits in very well with Etude House's girly, innocent, princess-like aesthetic. So this is definitely bound to be a match made in heaven! I mean, just look at all that gorgeous boxes and packaging!

Etude House Disney Princess Happy Ending Collection: That's a big collection this time round!

There are a lot of products in this range - three glitter eyeshadows, two blushes, two lipsticks, one mascara, four nail sets, and two BB creams. The colours in the collection are inspired by some of the Disney Princesses - there are colours after Jasmine, Belle, Cinderella, and Snow White. What you see above in the photo is the entire collection - which I will review in stages, but I thought, since I've been getting requests for swatches and reviews, I thought I'd do some swatches of the makeup items in one post first, so that the post will be just in time as you guys contemplate what to buy from the collection.

As usual, packaging is Etude House's strong point. I can't quite think of a brand that has packaging quite as girly and as cute as this, without venturing into girly-overdose territory. For the Etude House X Disney Princess Collection, the packaging has been made to look like story books - the nail sets. Everything except the eyeshadows and lipsticks have these super cute boxes. Just take a look below!

Etude House Disney Princesses Collection Boxes
Etude House Disney Princess Happy Ending Collection: The packaging looks like cute little fairytale books.

But I know that this is supposed to be a swatch post, not an ogling-over-the-packaging post (again, if you've been following me on Instagram, you'd have seen that already), so without further ado, here are some swatches of the makeup items in the Etude Disney Princess Collection!

Elizabeth Arden Ceramide Boosting 5-Minute Facial Review and Ingredients Analysis

Monday, October 13, 2014

Elizabeth Arden's Ceramide Boosting 5-Minute Facial is a two-step skincare product, that is supposed to give you glowing skin (like a facial) in just five minutes! This is a really interesting product, and one that is pretty interesting, too, owing to its two-step process. I was pretty excited to try it when it was first introduced in the first half of this year, but I just never got around to writing about this until now - well, good thing skincare is evergreen so better late than never, right?

Elizabeth Arden Ceramide Boosting 5-Minute Facial: A two-step product to give you glowing skin

The first step is a Ceramide Self-Foaming Mask, which you apply on your face and let it sit for five minutes while it foams and exfoliates your skin. I'm told that it also works as cleanser, so you don't even have to take your makeup off before use if you're lazy! You just apply it, leave it on for five minutes, and then rinse it off. The second step is a Ceramide Replenishing Serum, which you apply to your skin after you have rinsed off the Mask. The instructions tell you to leave the Mask on for 2-3 minutes, so including rinse-off time and serum-application time, the whole time you need for this facial is really just five minutes!

Elizabeth Arden Ceramide Boosting 5-Minute Facial 2
Elizabeth Arden Ceramide Boosting 5-Minute Facial: It really does only take 5 minutes from start to finish!

Now I know what you're thinking - will this work? How does it work? And how effective are these ingredients, anyway? In order to do that, let's start off with my favourite place in skincare products - the ingredients list!

MUFE Artist Shadow Swatches Part 2 of 2: Pinks, Reds, and Neutrals

Friday, October 10, 2014

MUFE's (Make Up For Ever) Artist Shadow range of eyeshadows is certainly impressive, as my previous swatches have shown. This time, I'm back with part 2 of the MUFE Artist Shadow swatches! And again, these shadows are smooth, very nicely pigmented, and have a wide, wide variety of colours. If you're an eyeshadow junkie, you can definitely go crazy over the shadows, and if you're not - then there are still at least a few shades that will catch your eye!

I mentioned that there are 5 finishes in the Artist Shadow range (Matte, Satin, Metallic, Iridescent, and Diamond), and you can tell which shade is which as it is denoted by the letter in the eyeshadow name - mattes start with M, satins start with S, metallics, start with ME, iridescents start with I, and diamonds start with D.

Because this bunch of swatches consists mostly of browns and pinksk (along with some reds and oranges), you'll notice that there are a ton of neutral shades. Almost every kind of brown (light, dark, cool, warm, shimmery, matte) is in there, which will certainly please neutral lovers, and there are a few choice taupe shades too! The pink and coral shades are also great as blushes - certainly a number of those look more blush-like than eyeshadow-like to me. But enough with my rambling. Without further ado, let's move on to the swatches!

MUFE Artist Shadow Swatches Part 1 of 2: Blues, Greens, Yellows and Neutrals

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Make Up For Ever's (or MUFE's) Artist Shadow, its new eyeshadow line, has been causing quite a stir since it launched, and for a good reason, too. First, there's the sheer number of colours - 210 shades, in 5 finishes. And secondly, there's the quality - MUFE is known for the excellent quality of their products, and I honestly can't think of a single MUFE product I dislike - I've tried their eyeliners, lip liners, lipglosses, lipsticks, eyeshadows, powder foundations and cream blushes, and across the board, every one has consistently been of great quality. That's quite a rare feat in the beauty world, as I find most brands tend to have some products they're strong at, and some they're weaker at, but MUFE seems to be a great all-arounder.

The Artist Shadow Eyeshadows are also no exception - there are 5 finishes (Matte, Satin, Metallic, Iridescent, and Diamond), and all of them are smooth in texture and very nicely pigmented. I think across all the 100+ shadows I've swatched, only a few (like, maybe less than 5) shades had lighter pigmentation. So the consistency is great across the range, too.

Today, the first half of my MUFE Artist Shadow swatches are here! Yes, that's everything in that huge palette you see there! These are over 50 shades, and the shade names are prefixed by a letter that indicates their finish (M for Matte, S for Satin, ME for Metallic, I for Iridescent, and D for Diamond). I've included both their colour codes and colour names for easier ogling! The swatches are all swatched dry with my finger on my unprimed skin. Without further ado, let the swatches begin!

Etude House Haul: Highlighter, Lip Tint, Nail Sticker and Steel Balls!

Sunday, September 28, 2014

You guys know by now that I own quite a number of things from Etude House, and that I like their makeup and nail polish products. I do tend to have a soft spot for some of their products, so when there is a sale, I usually can't help buying a few things! This time, I was pretty good with the self-control and walked away with just a few items!

My little Etude House Haul - it was all on sale too!

I got a liptint, a highlighter, some nail stickers, and steel balls! And I think I got these for under $20, so that made me doubly happy too!

Guerlain Ecrin 4 Couleurs for Fall 2014: Kiss Kiss Collection

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Guerlain's Kiss Kiss Collection for Fall 2014 consists of three new Ecrin 4 Couleurs eyeshadow palettes, and being the shameless swatcher that I am, I have swatched them for you! The Ecrin 4 Couleurs consists of Les Sables (browns and warm beiges), Les Violines (purple shades) and Les Aciers (smokey greys). Looks like the most popular looks - neutral and wearable, subtle colour, and deep smokey - have all been touched on for this Fall season!

Guerlain Ecrin 4 Couleurs for Fall 2014: Kiss Kiss Collection

I know the swatches aren't perfect, but they were taken in indoor lighting in the evening at an event, which kind of messed up with the swatch colours. I've tried to edit the colours to make them look better, but this was the best I can do.

Kiehl's Hydro-Plumping Re-Texturizing Serum Concentrate Review and Ingredients Analysis

Monday, September 22, 2014

Kiehl's Hydro-Plumping Re-Texturizing Serum Concentrate is their latest product launched this year, and already this has been getting a few raves online. Kiehl's bills this as a serum which "utilizes next generation liquid-to-serum technology to intensively hydrate skin's deepest surface layers", and "correct the signs of age-related dehydration". So naturally, with plump, moist-looking skin a popular thing here in Asia (and elsewhere in the world), this product is definitely bound to catch the attention of any

Kiehl's Hydro-Plumping Re-Texturizing Serum Concentrate: The latest skincare product from the company!

One of the things that the Hydro-Plumping Re-Texturizing Serum Concentrate boasts is 15% glycerin, along with Shiso Leaf Extract. I know what you're thinking: "Musicalhouses, this sounds fantastic, but why is this advertised as such a new product when glycerin is already in virtually all the moisturizers out there? And 15% doesn't sound all that high to me, is it really a significant percentage to advertise?" And that my friend, would be a very intelligent question to ask indeed, if you did indeed ask it (if you did - you have awesome critical thinking skills, yay!). So I thought I'd start off by exploring what exactly is so new about the Hydro-Plumping Re-Texturizing Serum Concentrate? And of course, to do that, we start off at the ingredients list.

Kiehl's Hydro-Plumping Re-Texturizing Serum Concentrate Box
Kiehl's Hydro-Plumping Re-Texturizing Serum Concentrate: With 15% glycerin to hydrate skin.

Benefit Majorette Booster Blush Review and Swatches

Friday, September 19, 2014

Benefit's Majorette Booster Blush, its first-ever cream blush offering, has been making waves online, as people have been raving about it. And if you've seen this Instagram post of mine, as well as this post, you'll know that I've been testing it out and have been meaning to write a review on it for awhile! Now that it's finally Friday and I can settle into the weekend, here's the review!

Benefit Majorette Booster Blush: A cream-to-powder blush

The Majorette Booster Blush is billed as a "cream-to-powder" blush that can be worn either by itself as a blush, or under a powder blush of your own choice. Benefit also describes it as having a peach-pink colour, but the colour appeared more like a nice wearable coral to my eye.

Benefit Majorette
Benefit Majorette Booster Blush: With majorette-inspired packaging!

Like almost all the Benefit Cosmetics products I've come across, Majorette is just full of quirky girly cuteness, packaging-wise. From the marching, baton-twirling inspired name to the little drum-like packaging, it's cute from the moment you open it.

Etude House Wonder Pore Freshner Review and Ingredients Analysis

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Etude House's new Wonder Pore Freshner (yes it is actually spelled wrongly, as in "Freshner" not "Freshener" (which would be the correct spelling) - don't ask me why!), billed as an "Ultra Pore Solution" with "10-in-1 benefits" already seems to be getting a lot of interest from people. Etude House claims the new Wonder Pore Freshner is an improvement over Etude House's existing Wonder Pore Product (also called Wonder Pore Freshner, but with a mere 7 in 1 benefits instead of 10), and the moment I posted about this on my Instagram and Facebook, I immediately got comments on both sites asking me how it was, and how did it compare to the original Wonder Pore Freshner. So I suppose there's no better time for a review than now!

Etude House Wonder Pore Freshner: New and improved with 10-in-1 benefits

Etude House's Wonder Pore Freshner (gosh I just want to type "Freshener" sooo badly throughout this review!) comes with pretty high expectations which the product sets for itself. The blurb on the back of the product claims that it is a "total solution product", and there's another line that says, "I'm the Wonder Woman for Your Pores, More Powerful!" (again, this is me quoting verbatim from the product - I'm assuming something got lost in translation, but you get the point). You're supposed to use this much like a toner - after cleansing, but before other skincare products, you apply this to a cotton pad (Etude House also sells this in sets with a special type of cotton pad that has holes on the surface to better exfoliate the skin), and you do this twice a day, and it's supposed to help your pores.

Etude House Pore Freshner Bottle
Etude House Wonder Pore Freshner: Not sure if you can see it from here, but the cotton pads have special holes in them to aid exfoliation

Sounds like a lot for one product, right? I guess if it even does half of what it says it will, it would be quite an interesting product. But let's take a deeper look at the product itself, and see if it lives up to the hype!

DKNY MYNY Perfume Review: A Fragrance For Fall

Thursday, September 11, 2014

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DKNY has recently released their new fragrance, MYNY (My New York, if you're wondering what it means), and as the name implies, this is meant to celebrate all things New York - the eclectic, unique individuals and the urban, carefree, spirited vibe of the city. I suppose it makes sense, since DKNY is itself a New York-based brand.

DKNY MYNY Perfume: Inspired by New York and its people

The bottle for DKNY is pretty cool tool, with a heart shaped bottle top. You can also see that the bottle has a very interesting cubic design on the top - these are supposed to represent the skyscraper-filled skyline of New York. DKNY says that the MYNY perfume consists of top notes of raspberry, galbanum, and pink pepper, middle notes of Egyptian jasmine, freesia, and orris, and bottom notes of patchouli heart, vanilla absolute, creamy musks, and ambergris. It was billed as a modern patchouli by some of the PR people I met when I learnt about the perfume.

DNY MYNY Perfume 2
DKNY MYNY Perfume: Even the bottle is inspired by the New York skyline!

Guerlain Kiss Kiss Lipstick Swatches: Re-launched, and Still as Gorgeous

Monday, September 8, 2014

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Guerlain's Kiss Kiss Lipstick was one of the brand's iconic products with its cube-like packaging, and now for Fall 2014, the brand has re-launched these! There are 25 shades in all, and during the Guerlain X StyleXStyle workshop that I attended (where I got to meet local celebrity Sharon Au and the famed local makeup artist Andy Lee), I managed to shamlessly swatch almost all the shades - I swatched a total of 23 out of 25 shades, so you should thank me for the effort! That said, I don't know if I'm ever going to be invited to another Guerlain or StyleXStyle workshop again - I hope the Guerlain and/or StyleXStyle folks weren't too super-horrified at my maniacal arm-swatching, haha. Ah well, I simply couldn't pass up the chance to swatch these babies!

Guerlain Kiss Kiss Lipstick: Yes, I shamelessly swatched all these!

The lighting was indoors, so it wasn't the best, so a lot of these look way better in person. Nevertheless, the quality of the lipsticks is pretty good. All are nice and moisturizing, and the pigmentation is also great - a couple of coats gives you full opacity for almost all the shades. The finish varies depending on the shade - some are cream finishes, some have slight shimmer, some have glitter you can feel when you wear the lipstick, but nothing too sparkly or disco-ball-y. Alright, enough of my rambling, let's get to the swatches proper!

Stuff I Used Up! Skincare, Makeup and Nail Empties

Friday, September 5, 2014

I think I've been pretty good this time round! I've actually used up a whole lot of stuff with this round of empties! There are 6 products in here, so perhaps numbers-wise this isn't the most, but 3 of them are tubs of moisturizers, so I get some credit, right?

As an aside, though, I've always felt like the "empties" post is perhaps something only the beauty junkie can appreciate. I mean, normal people with like, 3 eyeshadows and 1 blush and 1 powder foundation and 2 lipglosses don't go around telling people, "O Hai I finished up my eyeshadow! So happy! Squeeee!" because they pretty routinely use up their stuff - and go back to get the same (or similar stuff). So to them, it isn't particularly spectacular when they use up something. But the beauty junkie is slightly different. When you have literally have a few tens of blushes, eyeshadows, lipglosses, and so on, even as you keep lemming the new collections and makeup that gets put out, then every empty that you use up, every pan you hit, becomes a cause for celebration. To me, it's sort of a way of saying any one of the three messages: "Look, I actually use up my stuff - see, I don't have that much stuff, you're kidding, stuff, who me?", or "Look, I actually use up stuff! I get to buy more!", or "Look, I used up this stuff, because it's awesome/although it sucked, and I want to tell you about it!" And hence, the empties post.

Look at all those empties! This is some serious using up of products, guys!

But don't let my existentialist comments on empties bother you, let's get down to the good stuff - what did I use up this time, and what do I think of it?

Elizabeth Arden Flawless Future Review: Caplet Serum and Eye Gel

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Elizabeth Arden has launched its new Flawless Future Powered by Ceramide skincare line, and this line is actually geared towards younger women in their 20s and 30s looking to treat the first few signs of aging, as well as to keep the skin in top condition for future years (hence the "Flawless Future" tagline, I suppose!). This certainly is something a little different from what Elizabeth Arden is known for, since the brand is probably best known for its anti-aging products geared towards more mature ladies.

But don't let that deter you from checking out this range, because this range is actually quite pleasant to use. Elizabeth Arden has taken care to keep the range lightweight and easy to use (which people our age will probably want in their skincare), but at the same time, they've managed to keep in the Flawless Future range some of the ingredients from iconic products that made Elizabeth Arden's brand so famous, such as the the Elizabeth Arden Ceramide Capsules (which I've reviewed before). In fact, Elizabeth Arden explicitly makes this link to their mature-market Ceramide range, labelling the Flawless Future range "Powered by Ceramide".

Elizabeth Arden Flawless Future Caplet Serum Eye Gel (2)

Let's take a closer look at the two products I have - the Flawless Future Caplet Serum, and the Flawless Future Eye Gel, and see if their ingredients really live up to the brand's much-vaunted reputation for skincare!


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