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

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Sweet & Sassy Saturday: April Haul

So you know about the Sigma makeup brushes that I bought but those weren't the only things that I bought this month.

One fine day, when I should have stayed in the library to study for an upcoming quiz, I went to David Jones. I'm sure a number of the staff there know me by face now. I think I visit that place way too frequently. Anyway, I was avoiding the Bobbi Brown and MAC counter as much as I could (although I did stop to enquire about a MAC lipstick) because I've been to their counter so many times I feel bad for not buying from them more often. I headed over to the Laura Mercier counter, which I had only ever been to once and never met the counter manager there before. Also, I've heard Sam from Pixiwoo praise LM products on a few of their videos and I wanted to look at their famous tinted moisturiser.

I was swatching their tinted moisturiser on my hand when the LM lady approached me. She was so friendly, talking to me about the product, colour matching me and applying some on my face to get a feel of it. It was so light that I could barely feel it but pigmented enough to cover the redness on my nose. She said that my colour is Sand and it really was a perfect match for my skin, even my boyfriend agreed. At first, I went away to inspect beauty products at other counters, choosing to buy the tinted moisturiser another day. Then, as I discussed about it with my boyfriend, he said that I should get it if I liked it so much. Plus, Laura Mercier has had a price drop and it made it all the more a good deal. So I went back and told the LM lady that I changed my mind. She was more than happy to sell it to me.

That day, I also stopped by Estee Lauder. They had set up a display promoting their Idealist Even Skin Tone Illuminator. As I was examining a bottle when the counter manager, who was also very friendly, came over to talk to me about the product. I was really curious for I've heard and read some good reviews on it, particularly from Emily (Emily's Anthology). The lady was so kind to give me a couple of samples to trial it for a few days. I have yet to give it a go. I'm hoping that it will remove the acne scars that I have and even out my skin tone in general. Getting a radiant glow out of it would be a bonus. I will post a review once I've trialled it, so stay tuned.

I've been wanting a hair donut for a long time now. I finally bought one from Price Attack because it was the cheapest I could find ($10) compared to other stores. I could have easily bought one from eBay for $2 but I'm keeping my promise. I apologise for the terrible photo. I've also made a sock bun and I will be doing a comparison between a store bought and a homemade hair donut soon. I will probably accompany that with a tutorial.

  • Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer gives a lovely sheer coverage. Sheer enough to feel like but pigmented enough to even out skin tone.
  • Estee Lauder Idealist Even Skin Tone Illuminator sounds very promising. Will trial and review it.
  • Hair donut: Store bought versus homemade review and tutorial to come.
Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Wicked Wednesday: Sigma Brushes

It's been a while since I posted about a haul. Well, that's because it's been a while since I had a realy haul! So I ordered some makeup brushes from Sigma at the end of March and it arrived a week ago. I know what you're thinking and I can hear a loud gasp or tsk from you already. I bought something online! Well, if you must know, I did this prior to my buy-from-local-stores-vow.

I purchased an Angled top Kabuki brush (F84), an Eye Shading brush (E55) and a Small Tapered Blending brush (E45). I shared the shipping cost with a friend who bought a stippling brush. I also used the March discount code for 10% off. Anyway, the purchase came with a gift: a small blending brush (E25). I have yet to try them out yet but running my fingers through the bristles, I'm only truly impressed with the Kabuki brush. The others are a bit disappointing for me. So far, I've washed them, as recommended by Sigma and the tapered blending brush has been shedding a fair bit (before and after the wash). From one look, you don't think it's a good quality brush at all. The shading brush has been shedding a bit as well. It has hairs sticking out here and there. Not only does it look ugly and of lower quality, those hairs are bound to come off: more shedding. The small blending brush has completely lost its shape after the wash, with a lot of hairs sticking out.

These are of lower quality to me because I've been using Bobbi Brown, Benefit and Urban Decay brushes and they are of high quality. They've either shedded only one hair or never sheded before. They always go back to their original shape after every wash (yes, I do know how to wash brushes, in case you think I don't). I bought the Kabuki brush based on Jen's (frmheadtotoe.com) recommendation. There hasn't been any shedding and it looks and feels like a good quality brush. It maintained its shape after the wash.

Since this is just my first impression, I will update my review on these brushes somewhere down the line. I guess you get what you pay for. You buy cheap, you get cheap. I probably won't be buying any more items from Sigma. I rather take my money to MAC, Bobbi Brown, Benefit and Urban Decay. You could say that I'm fussy and you're right. Others might be really happy with Sigma brushes but that's them. Unfortunately, I have high standards when it comes to things that I buy. 

  • Happy with F84, Kabuki brush.
  • Not impressed with E55, E45, E25. 
  • You get what you pay for.
It's ANZAC Day today. What is everyone up to? Do you commemorate the ANZACs in any special way? Comment below! 
Saturday, April 21, 2012

Sweet & Sassy Saturday: Hair Extensions

Sorry about this really late Triple S post. Like I mentioned before, I had assessments this week and have been really busy but I'm keeping my promise: to post on every Wednesday and Saturday without fail. Anyway, on with the post!

I've been obssessed with the idea of clip-in hair extensions lately. As you know, I've been trying to grow my hair out for a while now and it's still not the length that I want it to be. It doesn't help that my hair is falling out a fair bit, since I want my hair thick too. So I thought, why wait around for long and thick hair when you can have it instantly... well, after you buy the hair extensions from the store, of course.

Daven has put together a video on hair extensions. It's a run down on what types are available out there but I feel that it's not as informative as I would have liked it to be. Sorry, Daven. But you're still my favourite hair guru!

The Luxy Hair sisters also made a number of videos on hair extensions but of course, it's mainly about their hair extensions. I find them really good because it's gives me an idea of what I have to deal with if I get a set of hair extensions.

After watching all their videos, I was really tempted to get my hands on some Luxy Hair Extension. Then, I recalled the vow I made. I promised to not buy from the internet and support fellow Australians and the economy whenever I can. Hair extensions are something that are readily available where I live, so I have no reason to look or buy from the internet... Except it's at least $100 cheaper if I buy it from the Luxy sisters. I went from store to store to compare quality and prices. If they are as good as the testimonials claim them to be, Luxy Hair has the best deal by far.

I'm holding it off for now and weighing my options carefully. The most practical thing to do is to not buy any. I'd save myself anywhere from $120 to $299! After all, it's not an essential item and I won't die if I don't own hair extensions.

So now, I'm reaching out to all of you who are reading this and who have some knowledge and experience in this area. Do you have or have you tried hair extensions? Who and where did you buy it from? What advice do you have for me?
Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Wicked Wednesday: Cat Eye & Red Lips

I hope that everyone had a good Easter break, especially for those of you who are at school or uni, now that it is well and truly over. I apologise in advance that my posts for the next two weeks will be increasingly short because I'll be sitting for exams.

I was in Melbourne towards the end of my one week break. The great news is I got to buy some really nice clothes and eat wonderfully delicious food! The bad news is I hardly studied at all. I lugged two heavy textbooks all the way there, only to have read one section from one of them.

Anyway, while I was there, I noticed a lot of girls (Asian ones in particular) rocking the cat eye and red lip look. They looked simply exquisite! I've yet to pull off a perfect cat eye (usually the angles on both my eyes don't match up) but I vow to practise until I achieve it. Until then, I will not post up a photo of me wearing that look.

Source: corallista.com
Adele has the cat eye look down pat.

Source: jennysuemakeup.com
Megan Fox is wearing the perfect red lips. 

Source: bisanation.blogspot.com
Oui, tres chic.

Please let me know if you need links to tutorials for red lips and/or cat eyes but I'm sure you're capable of finding really good ones yourself. Or maybe, you're so good that you're already teaching others!

Do you rock the cat eye and red lips look?

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Sweet & Sassy Saturday: The Thing About "Drugstore Makeup"

In case you don't already know, I'm more of a high-end makeup person. YSL, Bobbi Brown, Shu Uemura, MAC, you name it. Luxury should be my middle name. I rarely buy makeup from pharmacies or drugstores, as the Americans call them. I just love how high-end makeup gives off a good quality feel. I'd like to think that I'm getting what I'm paying for. I'm also trying to practise the "quality over quantity" way of living, especially when it comes to makeup.

I found this Youtube video (below) through the Luxy Hair sisters' Facebook page. It's of a makeup artist/Youtube beauty guru explaining why she doesn't use/buy "drugstore makeup". 

I felt enlightened after watching this video.

What's your take on "pharmacy makeup"? 
Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Wicked Wednesday: Shopping Online vs. Retail

Source: livingnotesfromnyc.blogspot.com
 Like a lot of women, I'm a self-confessed shopaholic. I'd like to believe that I'm not as bad as some, seeing as I am able to walk away from a good bargain or refrain from buying something I don't need. So for someone who is big on shopping, I am very much aware of the great shopping debate: online vs. retail.

There is an increasing number of consumers hopping on the internet to shop. I'd know because people around me, including myself, have hopped on the online shopping bandwagon. Now, I'm trying to get off it and it's a bit hard. Why am I trying to get off it? After all, there are so many advantages to shopping online.

Source: mamamia.com.au

  • It is much cheaper. 
  • It's easy. Just a click of a mouse without getting our butts off our seats. 
  • It's time-saving. Don't have to drive anywhere or walk for hours. 
  • Access to brands or items that are not available locally. 
  • It's much cheaper. 
  • Delivery is not always guaranteed. Just like a lot of things, mail can get lost too.
  • Fakes. The internet is crawling with them. 
  • Does not always come with warranty. 
  • No physical samples. Not from the online store anyway*.
You're probably think "blah, blah, blah, I've heard all of that before." Most of us are willing to take the gamble. Here the pros outweigh the cons. I mean, real stuff that we want at a cheaper price! Why not? Well, there's a lot more to it than that. Here are two big reasons why buying online can be a really bad thing.

Source: en.wikipedia.org
The Damage
  • Retail is dying. This means that more and more people will lose their jobs or there will be fewer jobs available. 
  • We're losing money. Whenever we buy things from/in other countries (whether online or physically), our money/currency flows out. The other country becomes richer and ours becomes poorer. That's why we're always encouraged to buy locally.  
 It doesn't sound like it will affect you (or maybe it already has). Try thinking back on those summers when you were in high school, you worked in shops to make more pocket money. It is thanks to those retail store owners that you had a job to make money from. The simplest solution is to get retail stores to compete with online prices but most can't or won't. Online stores are usually one-man-shows, running with very little cost. Retail store owners have to pay for staff, rent, equipment, furniture, renovations and tax. All those are expensive, particularly in Australia. 

Source: jugglingair.blogspot.com
What do we do now? 

If retailers want to survive, they should also stop being so greedy and lower their mark-up price. It is understandable that they need to make a profit (otherwise you can't live, can't buy food to feed yourself) but it should still be reasonable.

As Australian consumers, we should support our own economy by buying products locally whenever we can. Not only will we be helping those who work in retail, we'll be helping those who work in factories. We do not want any of our factories moving to China or Vietnam.

As people who work in the retail sector, we must do our best to give the best service we can. This justifies our high labour cost. The more we can sell, the less likely our bosses will go bankrupt and the more likely we can keep our jobs. Service is a powerful weapon. It's something that online stores cannot easily provide.

Lastly, I would like to clarify that I am by no means admonishing you for buying things online. As a consumer, it is your right to buy what you want wherever you want. Now, I only purchase things that I can't obtain locally online. Everything else that is available in shops/stores, I buy from them... unless they give me terrible service! I am only encouraging you to support your fellow Australians, just like how you'd like them to support you. Don't be afraid to ask for a good deal or a discount from retailers. Subtly remind them that you are here to support them! 

Disclaimer: I am by no means saying that everything in this post is 100% true and correct. These are merely my opinion at this point in time with the knowledge that I currently have (hence the bias that is evident in this post). If I've offended anyone in this post, I sincerely apologise.

What's your take on this? 

Featuring Ellen DeGeneres

Source: noorfashionhouse.blogspot.com
 I am a big fan of Ellen DeGeneres. If I could only choose one talk show to watch for the rest of my life, it'd be hers. Well, that's assuming her show will continue for as long as I live of course. I decided to feature her today because I received an interesting email.

No, Ellen did not send me an email to say that she's sending me VIP tickets to her show. Although, that would be very nice of her. Okay, so what is the email about? Pinterest sent me a notification to say that Ellen "liked" one of my pins! I know it's not a big deal and it might be an imposter (which I really hope it isn't the case) but I'm such a huge fan of hers that I suddenly felt closer to her upon reading the email.

So here's a print screen shot of the email. I had to blot my name out for privacy purposes (because there are lots of bad people lurking on the internet these days). I was a bit stunned and surprised when I read it. Normally, I'd get people whose name I don't know or recognise, liking or reposting my pins.

So there you have it. On the lower left hand corner you can see that Ellen likes my floral Forever New shoes! I knew those shoes were a good investment! I even clicked on her avatar/icon which led me to her Pinterest page. It looked pretty convincing to me. Anyway, the point is I'm just happy with the prospect that Ellen liked one of my pins!! I hope to one day watch her show live in LA.

If you've never watched Ellen (her show) before and you like something with lots of humour, I highly recommend you start watching it. If you need convincing or some proof that it's a great show, look no further, below is a hilarious video of an interview with Kristen Bell.


Do you share my love for Ellen? What talk shows do you watch?
Saturday, April 7, 2012

Sweet & Sassy Saturday: Dandruff Drama

Hooray! It's finally Saturday! Okay, I know there's nothing sweet or sassy about dandruff but I really wanted to post about it so here we go. Dandruff has been a long time enemy of mine. It's been popping in and out of my life relentlessly. I've been plague by it again these past few months (since the end of 2011). I've been trying, in vain if I must add, to get rid of it.

Source: xpress.onlinegrocery.my
In December, I tried TBD's recommended Listerine treatment. My scalp becomes comepletely dandruff-free for a day or two, which is great until it comes back. The other drawback is that the baby oil component leaves my hair extremely greasy. It looked like I haven't washed my hair in months. It's not because I didn't rinse the treament off. It's just really hard to wash the baby oil off and it usually takes me up to three washes before my hair gets back to its normal non-greasy state. I only recently watched Andrea's video on Listerine treatment. She did it without the baby oil and maybe that's what I should have done.

Source: oliveoil-akash.blogspot.com
In January, I gave olive oil a try. I thought I might be flaking because my scalp was too dry. So everytime before I washed my hair, I would massage my scalp with olive oil and let it sit for about 15 minutes or more. Perhaps I didn't employ this treatment for long enough but I didn't see or feel any difference. My scalp was still itching and flaking, making second-day-hair unbearable. My hair was still falling out more than usual.

Source: growing-herbal-remedies.com
In February, I decided to use a garden plant. That sounds crazy but it isn't. I applied aloe vera gel straight from the plant to my scalp (this is as organic as it gets). I did this at least 15 to 30 minutes prior to washing my hair. It really soothed my scalp and reduced itchiness but it did not help with my dandruff. On a separate note, fresh aloe vera gel is very good for the hair. It gives me shiny and bouncy curls when I use it as a hair styling product. Just slice off a stem/leaf and you will get its gooey goodness oozing out from the cut. Peel it open as you use it. I apply it on wet hair and then blowdry. Don't forget to remove the spikes first or it's a one-way ticket to ouchville!

Source: beautydirectory.com
By the time March rolled around, I was too busy and lazy to bother with any treatments. I've been living with my horrible dandruff condition until about a week or two ago. I bought myself a Head & Shoulders Scalp Massage Cream for Anti-Dandruff Care. It's been keeping my dandruff and itchiness at bay so far. I will have to use it for a few more weeks before I can post a proper review.

So I have my fingers crossed for the H&S product. I'll post a review and a dandruff update in a months time (hopefully). You're probably thinking "why isn't she worried that she might be balding?" I'm not because I'm still growing hair; I have tons of baby hair sprouting out from my scalp, which is ironically annoying yet comforting to see.

Edit: Happy Easter! 

Have you ever had any dandruff dramas? What was your method of treatment?
Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Wicked Wednesday: Featuring Andreaschoice

Source: wmich.edu
Greetings! I hope everyone's been having a good week so far. From now on, I will be posting regularly. Expects posts every Wednesday and Saturday. "Why?" you might ask. Well, I think people generally love routine and consistency. By doing this, you don't have to constantly check my blog, wondering when my next post will pop up!

I chose Wednesday because it's in the middle of the week. I'm calling it Wicked because it's the most tiring day of the week; it's two days after the last weekend (when you got your fun and rest) and it'll be another two days before the next weekend (when you get more fun and rest). Hopefully, by reading my posts on Wednesdays, it'll help get you through the week!

I also chose Saturday because everybody loves weekends! And you're more than likely to have time to read blog posts. Okay, maybe you don't because you're probably too busy partying or out having fun on a Saturday (how was I supposed to know that?). If you're not doing anything wild but just winding down or resting at home, rest assured that my posts can help keep you company. I'm going to call it Sweet & Sassy Saturday or Triple S. Neat huh? Okay, not really. In addition to Wicked Wednesday and Triple S, I will be posting on other days, whenever I feel like it. They will be the extras. 

So for today's Wicked Wednesday, I'm featuring my newfound favourite Youtuber Andreaschoice. She's currently one of the stylists on myglam.com. I found her through a link on a friend's Facebook wall. She's really sweet and funny and, let's not forget, pretty! I love her DIY videos the most. I'm learning new things just from watching them.

Source: http://www.andreaschoiceonline.com
Videos by Andreas that I like:
Lighten your hair with honey! Who knew?
Pimples be gone! With a salt scrub?
Make your own hairspray! No, not the musical. 

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Announcement: Winner of My Giveaway

Good Sunday morning, everyone! It a beautiful day today (or at least it is where I live). The skies are blue and the birds are chirping. Can anyone ask for a more perfect Sunday? Anyway, I better stop rambling on about the weather. I bet you're all dying to find out who the winner of my giveaway is. I also bet that some of you thought that I had forgotten all about it but no, I haven't!

So I got the random number generator on random.org to cough up a random number.

So without further ado, I'd like to announce the winner of my blog giveaway is...


Jacqueline! Congratulations!

I've already contacted the winner and if she doesn't reply within 5 days, I will redraw and a new winner will be announced. I'm happy to say that this giveaway was a success!... I think. If you did not win this giveaway, don't fret. I promise you I will be throwing more and better giveaways in the near future!

I would like to thank everyone who has been reading my blog. Thank you so much for the feedback that you've given me through the giveaway entry form. I'll keep what you have said in mind. In fact, I've already implemented some changes. I hope I can continue to write blog posts that you enjoy reading.

Have a great day!

P.S. I know it is April Fool's today but this post is not an April Fool's joke.