Raving about makeup, skincare, hair and other little obsessions... A Beauty Blog

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Heads Up

Image source: homespuntoronto.blogspot.com

I will be busy the next few weeks, studying and preparing for a big exam (possibly one of the biggest in my life!). So here I am now, apologising in advance for going on hiatus. Fear not! The giveaway will continue to run while I'm away (refer to banner on the top right corner of this blog). So keep those entries coming in people!

Hopefully, when I get back into posting for this blog, I will have more beauty, art and life insights to share with you. Before I go, I would like to introduce a few of my favourite quotes to you, to carry you through my absence.

"Have a heart that never hardens, and a temper that never tires, and a touch that never hurts." - Charles Dickens.

"It's a fine thing to be honest, but it is also very important to be right." - Winston Churchill

"Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever." - Mathama Ghandi

"Education is what remains after one has forgotten what one has learned in school." - Albert Eistein

Coming soon

Tips on preparing for GAMSAT 
My overall experience

Shopping: Online vs Real Life 
Where I stand

Makeup, books, movies, you name it!


Monday, February 20, 2012

Giveaway Update CLOSED

I know I said I will add more products to the prize pool if the number of entrants to my giveaway hits 50, 100 and so on. We're not at the 50 mark yet but I've decided to replace one item and add two more as well!

I will be replacing the Natio eyeliner with a Maybelline Master Precise Liquid Eyeliner. I'm also adding a small eye shadow palette, Maybelline Hyper Diamonds. If you've followed my blog long enough, you'd know that this blog isn't just about beauty. It's about arts and craft (and basically anything that I fancy). I'm now throwing a rub-on sticker pack into the prize pool.

So if you weren't already excited about this giveaway, now's a good time to start! To enter my giveaway, click here and follow the instructions!


It's For Sale!

Hey ladies, just letting you know that I am selling a couple of Valley Girl dresses and a Benefit foundation brush.

If you're interested, please click on the following links. It will take you to my Trading Post Ad.
Valley Girl dresses
Benefit foundation brush

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Review: Urban Decay Lipstick in Naked

I haven't posted for quite a number of days because I've been busy working and my internet had exceeded its download limit. To keep things short and sweet, I'm going to jump straight into the review.

Remember my complain about how short the lipstick is? Well, maybe I was exaggerating a little. You can't blame me. If you read this post, you'd understand. I compared it with my MAC lipstick and it actually isn't that much shorter. So you do get a fair amount of product. (Is it just me or did lipstick lengths shorten over the years?)

I did a swatch. At certain light angles, you can see sparkles or minute glitter in it. I didn't expect that. I thought it was just going to be a simple matte lipstick. I don't know if you can see it but there's definitely shiny bits in this lipstick.

Here's another shot at a slightly different angle. It looks more matte here.

Here's a "Before" photo (of my bare lips).

Here's an "After" photo with one coat of the lipstick. 

It's a very pretty nude pink. I'm very happy with it. It's creamy and much less dehydrating than my MAC Plink! lipstick. It's very pigmented. As you can see it shows up even on my very pink lips. You can just tell it's a good quality lipstick. It has no funny chermical smell to it. One down side to it is that it's very bulky and heavy, not something you can stuff into your tiny evening purse. For more on the packaging, read my previous post on this lipstick.

I purchased this lipstick from beautybay.com at AUD20 (excluding shipping). If you have any other questions, feel free to drop a comment!

Monday, February 6, 2012

How to Start a Blog: a Guide

It's been a while since I had an epiphany! Out of nowhere, a thought struck me that perhaps I could write my very own version of How to Start a Blog.

Please note that the following guide is based on the assumption that you wish to start a blog with Google’s Blogger.

Interested in starting up a blog but not sure how to? Or maybe you already have but it’s only been a few weeks and you’re stuck! I’ve been blogging since 2008. I may not be a successful blogger (well, it depends on your definition) but I’ve picked up nuggets of blogging “wisdom” over the years. I hope to impart whatever useful although meagre knowledge that I have on anyone who’d like to venture into the World of Blogging.

Who am I writing for? That’s the first question you must ask yourself.

For yourself (plus a few friends and family). Some blogs are for amusement. It’s writing for the love and the fun of it. It’s a form of expression that you can easily share with people close to you. Of course you could have saved yourself the trouble and sent an email but the feeling is different. A blog is perhaps less imposing and people can choose to read what you’ve written whenever they like. It can be a private blog or one for friends and family but open to everyone.

For the readers. There are those who take blogging more seriously. They churn out posts quite consistently, taking on a magazine editor type role. Each post is carefully thought out, planned and beautifully crafted. Although I must say there aren’t many people who are like that. It’s good for the readers because they are getting what they would like to read. It’s bad for you if you’re just obsessed with readership numbers and no longer enjoying it.

For yourself and the readers. Personally, I think this is the best road to take if you want your blog public. I’m guessing you’re someone who wants to have fun blogging at the same time, cater for your readers. When you’re preparing a post, just think “Would I enjoy reading this?” If you won’t even read what you wrote, who else would? It’s natural to want many followers but don’t worry too much about it. If you’re good, readers are bound to find your blog, all thanks to search engines.

Source: unfortunately, I did not keep track of it.
Theme and Audience

If you want your blog to reach out to many people, it’s a good idea to determine the theme and audience of your blog. Love cooking? Blog about food and recipes. Love makeup? Start a beauty blog. Enthusiastic about technology? Write about the latest gadgets. The possibilities are endless. You can even blog about interesting little things that happen to you every day.

Deciding on a theme does not mean that you cannot blog about other things. By all means, branch out a bit on the occasional post. I just find that blogs with a set theme tend to be more successful because birds of the same feathers flock together. Beauty bloggers attract beauty buffs. My blog is a very good (or should I say bad?) example. I try to cover too many things. I don’t have a specific theme and so it appears to lack purpose.

In general, if you set a theme, you’ve already more or less chosen your audience. For example, recipes and beauty blogs are mainly visited by women, I think. If you’re writing a fashion blog, you may or may not be targeting females in their twenties or teens. You should also consider, would your audience (young or old, local or foreign) understand the “lingo” you are using?

Source: lookbook.nu
 Find Your Style

Just like how authors each have their own unique writing style, as a blogger, you’d have to find a style too. I don’t mean you must decide on one and carve it in stone. You may want to experiment. Over the months, you’ll find yourself settling into your own style. If being witty or humorous is your strong point, I think you’d do very well to incorporate that into your blog. One thing is for sure, never attempt to copy another blogger’s style (even if he or she is a very successful one). Because it’s not you, it won’t come out the same. What you want is your own personality shine through your words.

Another style of blogs is the minimalist type. Your posts can be filled with beautiful photos with only a few sentences accompanying them. Kind of like the idea behind Tumblr and Instagram. This type of blogs work very well, especially for people who don’t have a lot of time to read and are very visual. Blogging doesn’t have to be a lot of complicated writing (like this post). It can be sweet and simple. I mean, a picture can speak a thousand words, right?

Source: home-designing.com

The appearance of your blog isn’t necessarily the most important element. Theoretically, your blog could look plain but have great content and still attract a lot of readers. After all, we shouldn’t judge books by their covers, right? Unfortunately, I’m one of those people who do. I gravitate towards good-looking blogs. I might be generalising but I think it is human nature to like things that we think are pretty or good-looking. So if you agree with me, I suggest you style up your blog. You have no idea how many times I had to “revamp” my blog (over the years) before I finally found a look that I was happen with. It takes a lot of experimenting. But the main point is: remember to choose a font style, size and colour that are easy for everyone to read. If it’s hard to read, no one will bother. Also make sure, the design is functional and simple. Having lots and lots of decorations is useless.

Source: yourheroicjourney.com
 Any other tips?
Some people just have a flair for blogging. Others, like me, don’t. However, don’t fret. If you’re a young blogger, I find that we improve as we age and mature. I’ve weeded a lot of my old posts out because they were pointless and immature. It takes practice. You’ll find yourself getting better and better at it. 

Learn how Blogger works. It really makes blogginer easier and the whole experience better. 

Don’t take my word for gospel. Do more research if you like. I could be wrong about something. Never stop learning. You can keep improving your blog as you go along.

If you have any other questions, feel free to leave a comment! Good luck and enjoy blogging!
Saturday, February 4, 2012

My First OPI: Bubble Bath

I told myself that I would not buy anymore nail polish. For a few months, I kept my promise. But then, I caved and bought the most popular and universally flatteringly OPI nail polish: Bubble Bath because I've been wanting it for a year now. This is my very first OPI nail polish!

OPI polishes are not cheap but I must say that this was worth my money. There was very little fuss in terms of application and it doesn't have that powerful horrid smell that some brands have. Bubble Bath is a beautiful soft neutral colour. It is nude beige mixed with a bit of pink. The best way is to apply two thin coats, waiting at least 15 minutes for the first coat to dry before applying the second. That's the general rule is you want your nail polish to dry quickly. It's not gluggy and the formula allows it to smooth itself out even on your nails.

I've been doing a lot of housework and so far, not even a single chip! And I didn't even put a top coat on. I am very impressed with OPI and look forward to buying my next nail polish from them!
Thursday, February 2, 2012

The Big Giveaway CLOSED

This is it everyone! I've finally launched my first giveaway! I will be giving away a sample-sized Dove Triple Moisturing Body Wash, a Sunsilk Frizz Control Light Cream, a Dove Gentle Exfoliating Facial Cleanser, a sample-sized Agent Provocateur perfume, a Rimmel London Moisture Renew Lipstick in Latino and a Natio Liquid Eyeliner in Bronze/Black. Below is a photo of the prizes. Edit: more prizes have been added. Here's an update.

I'd like to add a Natio eyeshadow palette into the prize pool. However, there's a big scratch on the case and I'm not sure if you guys would want it.

Here's a photo of the scratch. I think I will let the winner decide if she wants the palette.

To enter, simply fill out the form below (and don't forget to hit "Submit")! The rules are as follows:
1. You must follow my blog (via Google Friend Connect).
2. You must be an Australian resident.
3. You must be 18 or above (or have your parents/guardians consent if you are under 18).
4. Only one entry form per person. Submitting it multiple times will not increase your chances.

I apologise to international followers, for this is my first giveaway. If this giveaway goes well, I will open the next one to everyone!

Giveaway closes on the 30/03/2012 (Friday) at 11.59pm.

Up till 30/03/2012, I will add more prizes as I see fit. That means, the more people enter, the larger the prize will be. For example, if we hit 50 entrants, I will add another product. If we hit 100, I will add two more on top. So spread the word if you want more prizes! I will post about any new additions. Don't worry, I will not be removing any prizes if there are few entrants.

Winners will be chosen with random.org and contacted via email. The winner must respond within 5 days from notification or I will redraw and a winner will be announced.


Good luck, everyone! Enjoy!

Please note that this giveaway is not sponsored by a third party and I am by no means paid to advertise for these brands/products.

Giveaway On Its Way

Remember me contemplating about throwing a giveaway? Well, I actually said that I would if I hit 100 followers. Now, I've changed my mind. Who cares whether I have a 100 or a 1000000 followers? I want to thank my loyal readers/followers whenever I want!

So, tomorrow, I will officially post up the giveaway. It'll either be a video or a regular post with photos. You'll get to see what's in the prize pack! But here's a hint, you'll get:

- Something for your hair
- Something for your face
- Something for your lips- Something for your eyes- Something for your body

Here's another thing or two that you should know.
1. You must follow my blog (via GFC) to enter in this giveaway.
2. You must be an Australian resident.
3. Winners will be chosen at random (with random.org)

So make sure you look out for the next post!

On a side note, here's the photo of my Shu Uemura lashes that I promised!

Have a lovely day!

Birthday Online Haul

I went on a frenzy shopping online for my birthday last year. The items finally arrived two weeks ago but I didn't get around to taking photos and posting them up until now. I won't go through all of them because you can already see them in the photo. The box between the false lashes and brushes is a lip liner from Benefit. The big black box contains a Good Karma crease brush from Urban Decay. All Benefit items were bought from their website and all Urban Decay items were purchased from BeautyBay.com

I was really excited about the UD lipstick. I loved how pretty and purple it looked, especially in it's box! I bought the colour "Naked" because, apparently, it's one of the best nude colours around.

Now it saddens me to report this but uncapping the lipstick the first time was agony! I spent half an hour trying to open it. The little dagger thing doesn't give you a lot of room or grip. It was capped on so tight that my fingers turned red from pulling at the dagger. I even tried running some warm water over the cap to get it to expand. I had to Google it to see if anyone could shed some light on how I can pry the thing open! I was really really frustrated. I twisted and pulled at the thing for a long time. Finally, after LOTS and LOTS of twisting and turning, I pulled and it gave. I managed to open it! Hoorah! But wait, as though I wasn't already put off by the whole experience, the lipstick itself was very short, compared to MAC and Rimmel. They did not give me a lot of product!

It was such an anticlimatic and exhuasting experience that I put the lipstick away afterwards, without swatching it or trying it on. I've been really busy so I still haven't had the time to try any of the products that I bought. I'm not joking. That's why there are no reviews for this post. I'll definitely be reviewing this lipstick (in terms of its quality) when I have the time.