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Face Off! [Part Two]

Continuing with my post on foundations, this post will review and look at mineral foundation (compact), two-way compact foundation as well as pressed powder. So far, I’m only willing to feature products that I myself have used, so my knowledge of these products is likewise limited by what I’ve used :) In this post I’ll be featuring my new-found “perfect” foundation, so I can’t wait to talk about it!

Watsons has been having its 23rd Anniversary recently, so it’s come up with pretty good deals! I simply couldn’t resist from purchasing this mineral foundation (pressed), especially since with my late/hectic mornings, I’ve realised that compact foundations are more efficiently and quickly applied than loose mineral foundations (which til now, had been my favourite). I haven’t used this yet so I can’t give a review, but this mineral foundation claims to be moisturizing, without preservatives, fragrances and oils (suitable for sensitive skin) and will not clog pores due to its micro-minerals. I’m definitely looking forward to using it!

Presently, I’m pretty much hooked onto my Za Two-Way foundation. The term “two-way” simply means that it can be put on either dry or wet. Personally, this is really awesome for me because I dislike how “cakey” powder foundations can get, and by applying this two-way foundation wet, I get the nice flawless, natural result one would see from the tedious process of brushing on loose powder. Though some have recommended wetting the sponge, what I simply do is apply it directly to my moisturized face so there’s really not much trouble. I’d have to say though, that this product leans on the more expensive side, though it does have “treatment benefits” for acne etc., hence my choice to try out and purchase the Maybelline product.

Last but not least – pressed powder, which isn’t really foundation at all. However, it works perfect for touch-ups throughout the day. It is not recommended that you use these as “light foundation”, as they don’t normally hold well to the face. However, a great use for these would be after blotting your face, as most pressed powders do have properties that control sebum production. I wouldn’t recommend layering on too many powders in the morning as it will dry out your face and encourage even more sebum production (to moisturize the face). But, in the middle of the day if you’re feeling oily, do blot and then use some pressed powder to freshen up and stay matte :)

I have tried Elf’s Clarifying Powder – which has minimal sebum control, but goes on easily and is really cheap, for USD $1. I used to use it after exercises, just for a slight cover up of my blemishes. However, the compact was of really lousy quality so I don’t recommend it if you want to bring it out (though its tiny size seems to make it perfectly fit for a purse)

Elf’s High Definition Powder is six times the price (USD $6) and also way better. It goes on translucent, though the powder is white and really makes your face “photo ready” and vibrant. An improper application might make you slightly too fair, but otherwise I like it as a powder. It’s not as portable as the Clarifying Powder, but a worthy investment, in my opinion.

Mac’s Pressed Powder in NC30 is probably the best pressed powder I’ve come across. Sebum control is awesome, but its slightly too pricey, given how often I use pressed powders. The only I problem I had was that with clumsy, excess application, it definitely turned out “cakey” – so I really appreciated the mirror within the compact. Good lighting is needed during application! :)

I hope you found this helpful! I’ve only reviewed products I’ve tried, and these categories are not solely limited by the range of products shown.

Duo Chrome Elf Nail Polish

This nail polish looked so pretty in the bottle, I was jumping up and down in excitement when I finally got to paint it on my nails

I loved the DuoChrome effect created by the combination of peachy-pink (leans closer to pink) polish + micro gold glitter, but somehow it ended up looking very much like a Chinese New Year polish to me, rather than a regular day polish. It’s quite unwearable I’d say, for work. Perhaps it’s my skin tone? I felt it looked extremely orange on me so I removed it regretfully. I’ll be wearing this for Chinese New Year though! My relatives might be intrigued.

Elf Nail Polish in Coral

Colour:peachy-pink polish with micro gold/orange shimmer. duo chrome is extremely obvious at all times.
Opacity: layers on thinly but is opaque by second coat
Dries: Medium
Imperfections: Top Coat is a must as the formula is weak. Scratches etc appear after drying if top coat is not immediately applied.

Elf Nail Polish

My main gripe about elf nail polish is that it’s really weak. top coats are a must but unfortunately for me, i scuffed my index finger before I applied the topcoat, hence the imperfections as seen above. That said, I have NEVER worn any red polish, but I kinda like this tomato red colour. It’s lighter than it is in the bottle.

Elf Nail Polish in Medium Red
Colour: Very light red (1st Coat), Tomato Red (2nd -3rd coat), Darker (4th Coat)
Opacity: Opaque by 2nd coat, but 3rd coat might be necessary to cover up streaks
Dries: Medium
Imperfections: extremely obvious, not easy to cover up and scratches appear quite quickly due to its weak formula. Topcoats are a must.

Now all I need is a Green Nail Polish to go with this, or perhaps a silver/white one to get Christmas nails! here are some pictures I’m getting my inspiration from.

I love the snowman of this one.

Santa Claus is so cute!

the details of these is just mind blowingly awesome.

it makes me want to take a professional nail art course even though I know my parents would freak. I’ll shelve that dream for my retirement plan when I have my savings down pat and kids to support me. *hopefully!*

Elf Asia’s Christmas Promotions!

Since it was post-exams and I detected one teeny tiny chip in my Sally Hansen polish, I decided it was time to change the polish adorning my nails, to elf’s! Given that I had such a huge haul, it was relatively difficult trying to decide which colour to put on, so I let my outfit of the day do the matching

completely awkward pose I know, but hey I was nervous about using other people’s property for my spontaneous need for vain self-satisfaction

I’ve been moving increasingly towards a more muted colour palette in preparation for my permanent stint in the working world, so this dress from Charlotte Russe seemed to suit my needs perfectly (I purchased this online and took this in the dressing room whilst I was trying random things in Forever21). It’s a muted colour, with pretty gold leaf details all over, has a laced racerback (which is easily covered with a cardigan/blazer) and a laced edging – & great for outings too!

Elf Nail Polish in Moonlight

Colour: pale gold with fine micro shimmer
Opacity: layers on opaque within 2 coats
Dries: Fairly quickly
Imperfections: has some streaks if not applied properly, but even so if applied in a similar fashion, the streaks look “normal”. It scratches easily after drying so topcoat is a MUST

When I bought this I was hoping it would be more gold than it actually is in real life – it’s quite a pale shade, and I was worried that it wouldn’t suit my skin tone. However, I was pleasantly surprised with the colour pay off and the quickness at which it dried. It’s definitely WELL WORTH the $1USD I bought it for! Plus, it’s a great shade that is extremely work friendly and sophisticated at the same time. It’s not too loud, but at the same time it brings an elegance and shimmer to the nails that I love.

For those who’re keen on trying elf’s polishes this Christmas season, elf asia has two concurrent holiday promotions going on!

When I saw this promotion, I have to admit that my heart momentarily broke into two. Why? Well let’s do some math

the Elf USA online store (that I bought from) : USD $1 per item

exchange rate: $1.3 (inclusive of credit card charges)

shipping cost + postage to my house = $1+ SGD

Total cost: $3 sgd (approximately)

and here you have, elf asia giving a $1.99 SGD deal! To me that’s pretty sweet, considering that they’re offering this deal on the top favourites from the Elf USA store.

Though I haven’t reviewed them on this blog before, the Candy Shop Lip Gloss is not only super cute in its little tin case, but I love the scent and the feel of its lip gloss. It isn’t sticky or gooey, but more like a moisturizing lip balm. Very handy for carrying around and when I had it a few years back, my friends couldn’t stop gushing over how cute it was. Plus, there’s a HUGE amount of product in this, trust me when I say so because the one I had still contained >50% of product left, though I used it daily in the past. (I stopped using it because I lost it) Moreover, with its pretty design, it’ll be a great addition to any stocking stuffers for Christmas parties this Christmas!

The Shimmering Facial Whip is apparently, one of the best products from the elf store- it’s always sold out and promises to deliver a nice shimmer whilst improving the complexion.

The Custom Eyes/Lips allow you to create your own palette with your preferred choice of colours! To me this is a fantastic idea, it’ll be great for a travel palette or a simple touch up palette for school/work/outings. The problem with most of my eyeshadows is that I can’t exactly bring them out because they’re either contained in huge palettes, or my look of the day contains various colours from various single eyeshadows so it’ll be quite bulky to carry them around. Elf solves this problem in a snap! :)

The second Christmas promotion was initially supposed to expire on 24th November, but great news! Sheila from sales at eyeslipsface asia has informed me that they’ve extended this promotion

Since I haven’t purchased brushes from ELF before, I can’t give my personal review, but two friends of mine, Edeline and Rachel have given me their review of some elf products they’ve purchased before!

  1. The Flat Top Brush is a product Edeline loved because it was extremely easy to sculpt her face and the product applied very well – some brushes do tend to clump and distribute product unevenly, but she had no problems with this brush. The bristles of the brush were not rough and have remained firmly in place to the brush holder despite frequent use.
  2. The Eyeshadow Brush is another brush Edeline purchased, and she enjoyed using it as it helped in her application of eyeshadows cleanly and precisely. I myself have had problems with the application of shadows with brushes from certain brands, so having a brush that gives you a clean and precise application is always great.
  3. Rachel purchased the Blush Brush from the Studio Line. They’ve been some complaints that the Blush Brush from the regular elf line is not as wonderful as its bristles are coarser than desired. However, she absolutely loved the Blush Brush from the Studio Line (black brush handle) as it’s the perfect size for applying blushes. Some blush brushes are either too thick, too wide or too thin – I find this a problem with my Benefit Blush (the applicator is definitely too wide. Either that or my Asian face is too small). This however, isn’t a problem with the elf Blush Brush, and it handles product quite well, without any clumping of the products

The only other negative review I’ve heard (besides the Blush Brush of the elf regular line) is that elf’s Fan Brush tends to lose its shape, and its bristles fall off after frequent use. So that wouldn’t be a brush I’d purchase.

Enjoy your Christmas Shopping!!

Elf Haul!

Remember my post about elf products here? Well my stash finally arrived, so even though I haven’t tested out all the products, I’m still pretty psyched and can’t wait to share them with you guys

I apologize for the low-quality pictures but my camera couldn’t capture its awesomeness given the awful lighting in my room and the unfriendly, reflective packaging. Since excited little me couldn’t wait til daytime to rip open everything, I took the polishes out of the packaging instead to take a much better picture :D

from Left to Right

  1. #1511 Medium Red (slightly darker than pic)
  2. #0073 Mod Mauve (slightly darker than pic)
  3. #80530 Champagne (true to pic)
  4. #80530 Coral (true to pic)
  5. #90324 Moonlight (true to pic)
  6. #00727 Matte Finisher (true to pic)

I honestly can’t explain why only two of the colours are not true to the picture – I suspect it’s because they were relatively darker and non-shimmery perhaps? I took the codes directly from the bottles and not the website, so I can’t explain why polishes 3&4 share the same code. On the website polish 3 is listed as #1506 Champagne and item 4 is listed as #1509. The item I’m most excited about is definitely Coral! It’s not too clear in the picture but it’s this pretty coral pink with GOLD micro glitter in it so fine that I can’t see the definition of each individual speck. Really, really excited to try that polish right after my Sally Hansen begins to chip. *belatedly begins to mourn because the polish I have on right now is Sally Hansen’s Hard As Wraps polish.. which NEVER wears off until the 14 day mark. long lasting is probably an understatement*

Though I’ve never used Elf polishes before, I decided to take the plunge and buy 6 at one go for these three reasons:

  1. They’re $1USD each
  2. I don’t often spree from elf and when I do it takes quite awhile because the person I spree with always waits until she has at least $100 USD in total orders so that means waiting for others to order the 99 other items
  3. It’s been raved by popular magazines
  4. The website description sounded awesome (I know, I know, I’m naive and such a fool for believing a website’s words on its own product..)

Well if you don’t believe me, here’s the website description

This color-lock formula with chip resistant shield gives long lasting nail color with high shine. The aerodynamic bristle design glides color on flawlessly, while the quick dry formula gives perfect application every time. Key nutrients give nails that natural shine, infused with Vitamin E for stronger, healthier nails.

so yup, I kinda threw caution to the wind and bought shades I don’t normally buy (or so I thought at the time). Honestly, the only polish from elf that I read up on was its Matte Finisher, which has been raved to be as good as Essie’s that retails for approx $10 USD per bottle. For one tenth the price, it’s definitely worth the experiment! The only thing I’d complain about is the size, but hey for $1USD if it’s great quality and the colours are awesome, there isn’t much I should complain about :) So here’s a quick comparison with my other bottles of nail polish. It definitely loses out to OPI, which really has a lot of product in its bottle.

Next up is the All Over Colour Sticks

As explained before in my previous entry, these cover sticks are pretty great for anything. I plan to use the lighter, shimmery shade on the left as a luminizer and highlighter, and the skin coloured one on the right as a concealer/light foundation touchups when I’m out gallivanting around with only a tiny cosmetic pouch in my bag. Here’s a swatch of the shades:

featured are: Spotlight #00311 and Light Beige #00618. Codes and names taken directly from product.

I swatched each of them at least twice so the colour would be more visible on camera, but as you can see they blend really well into my skin tone. The luminizing shade leans more towards the white-shimmery side, which is great because I already have bronze luminizers and I wanted to step away from that brownish palette as I’m becoming paler as the rainy season sets in, whilst the apricot colour has quite good coverage and I hope it blends in well with my foundation for extra coverage. The product in Light Beige carries a strong citrus scent, which I don’t mind, but its peer in Spotlight has almost no scent at all, which is unsurprising since Spotlight is a new addition to the All Over Colour Stick family and the most significant and recurring complaint that people have made about the product is its scent, so I guess they phased it out with the introduction of these new colours.

Last but not least, the Therapeutic Lip Conditioning Balm

Having tried this for the past 4 hours, I can safely and GLADLY say that I LOVE this product. It’s a sweet pink but layers on almost colourlessly on the lips and has this wonderful berry-like scent that isn’t like cough medicine at all. Moreover, I love its small cute size which fits perfectly in my cosmetic pouch, and it really moisturizes the lips. It applies creamily and smoothly but leaves no sticky or greasy feeling. In fact, it actually feels as though it isn’t there at all – something which I began to worry about, until I gradually realised that my somewhat chapped lips didn’t feel as dry as it did before! Re-applications may be needed but this product works for me and I’m happy to see that the dry skin on my lips isn’t as obvious? as before. The only point for improvement would be that it slides very quickly up the tube, but seems to be incapable of sliding back down by itself, so fingers will be needed to push it back down. Not a great problem, just a tad inconvenient.

and so with that, I’m going to sleep a very happy girl :D Shopaholics ftw! (tmrw another shopping post will be up. haha!)

Lipstick Love

I’ve never been a fan of lip gloss. Somehow, the sticky, gooey texture never sat well with me – I would restlessly keep smacking my lips together (quietly) trying to get over the feeling. Lipstick on the other hand, was the horror of my primary school choir days. It tasted icky, made me look like a circus clown, and was generally something we all collectively frightened each other over. SHE’S GONNA PUT MAKE UP ON YOU! THAT SCARY WOMAN IS COMING!! <– our make up artist was a very enthusiastic, rough handed and wrinkled woman who took ultimate glee in bashing our faces with dirty sponges until we were covered in makeup. our instructor even had to tell her to tone it down. that’s how much make up we had on. yucks.

well 15 years or so after that horrific experience, I began to reassess my aversion to lipstick. So I bought one, then another, and another. Fast foward to the present, I have quite a number of lipsticks and though I haven’t tried every single brand out there in the market, I’ve been curious enough to try a number of brands, so I thought I’d put together a full review of my entire stash before it balloons and becomes too large. Lipsticks are reviewed in no particular order:

my lipstick collection, minus the l’oreal/maybelline haul of 15th Nov

(1) Sephora Rouge 0098A Lip Attitude Series $24 SGD (retail store) or $12 USD (online)

The picture on the left shows the lipstick colour as it swatches, with flash, but the pic on the right shows the colour as it actually looks in real life, a deep, dark purple. When I first saw this instore my eyes actually skipped over it, but my friend picked it up and gleefully swatched it on my hand and I was instantly won over. It’s a very pretty, great colour and goes on creamy smooth. Like all Sephora lipsticks it has a very nice perfumed scent, which is not overpowering but very subtle and nice. As it’s an opaque lipstick it covers any lip colour completely so you don’t have to worry about your natural lip colour (which is an issue with other lipsticks). This colour is gorgeous & goes perfectly with black eyeliner and a rock chic look.

(2) Sephora n01 0174A Long Wearing Maniac Lipstick $20 SGD (retail) or $12 USD (online)

This is a very pretty, sweet pink – a colour I’ve been hunting for ages because I’ve always been wanting to try out the “pink lips” look done by many kawaii girls, though not to the extreme. I love the long slim tube of the lipstick, and the colour goes on well, though not as opaque as (1). Unfortunately for me, light pink doesn’t seem to suit me, but I do love its scent and it does feel awesome on the lips. Instead, I tried out layering this with my elf lipstick in barely bitten, previously reviewed here and it turned out great! What I did was put a layer of this lipstick all over the lips, then I dabbed the elf lipstick in the inner middle portion of the lips, before rubbing my lips together slightly. The end result was better than what I hoped for, and I’ll definitely be constantly trying out new combinations pairing up this lipstick with other colours.

(3) and (4) Revlon Shiny Sheer Series in 825 Sheer Glistening Rose and 810 Sheer Afterglow

I bought these lipsticks during the 1 for 1 Revlon sale at Watsons about 2 years back – then I wasn’t too keen on lipsticks but I still liked to have the hint of colour, without the stickiness of gloss. Cue in these lipsticks. They’re great for just a school day as they’re not very obvious and not very shimmery, but can be layered over to give a nice finish for an outing later in the day. My only complaint is that they melt slightly when the weather is hot & will have some difficulties sliding out of the tube. Both lipsticks last about 3 hours each and do not last past a meal.


Here’s a swatch of the lipsticks:

swatches for (1)-(4) as you can see the first two are more opaque – both were swiped on the hand only once each, but (3)-(4) were swatched 2-3 times to get the colour as seen above Read the rest of this entry

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