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The Wonders of Makeup

I think I need to spend more time picking up make-up skills because I am just so inspired (and slightly freaked out) by the transformations illustrated by this taiwanese girl

I felt quite oh-my-god and this-isn’t-true-it’s-all-photoshop when I first saw this, but after several google searches and forum pages after, I had to acknowledge the truth of her awesome skill.

I think her main tools are

  1. hairstyle
  2. fake lashes + coloured contacts
  3. knowing how to pose.

so i’m going to go cut my hair and fill my weekend with videos of michelle phan. hahaha.

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More than one of everything…

In my makeup box, I have more than one shade of foundation. Why? Well I do believe that when it comes to make up, it just makes sense to match everything in a colour palette. Blame it on my obsession with always being matchy-matchy, but I personally swear by using different shades of foundation for different make up looks. & by “different” shade i don’t mean shades that are a few tones apart, I mean shades that are pink-based, brown-based or yellow-based, but all almost the same colour.

Everyday minerals’ Kaolin Powder in Soft Bronze is pretty much my default au naturale shade for the day. With it, I usually match with soft gold, or varying tones of brown eyeshadow, with a muted mauve mascara and nude lips. This foundation looks great in yellow light, but isn’t so awesome in white light, where it tends to look slightly more pale. So I prefer to wear it in the day rather than at night.

Undeniably, certain women look better in certain clothes, mostly because they also have the makeup to match. Besides my au naturale set, I also have a set that’s for a tanner look – mostly for when I’m off for picnics, or am wearing beachy clothes, etc. With this, I do an extra step of using bronzer to sculpt the hollows of my cheeks and I also prefer coral lipstick. Za’s two way foundation in 22/32 (yellow base/pink base) is my go-to foundation for this look. Mostly also because everything in this set is slightly darker than the first, facial blemishes look less obvious and it’s more flattering in harsh white light.

Last but not least, the snow white set! For this I use maybelline’s compact foundation in the lightest shade, which isn’t discernably far from my natural shade, just a tad lighter. With this, i hardly ever go for soft or nude complements, as they would just make me look washed out. Instead, I go for dramatically lined eyes, mascara and red lips, with a touch of pink on the cheeks (see why I call this the Snow White set?) Of course, at times I do just go easy on everything, except the eyes.

So you see, there’s no such thing as a makeup “look” that won’t suit you – it just really depends on knowing how to match the colour palette for the look! so go experiment! step a little out of your comfort zone of routine make up colours & discover a whole new face to show the world :D

Mind the Expiry Date!

It’s common knowledge that girls love stocking up on makeup supplies. However, paying attention to the expiry dates of products is extremely important, particularly when they’ve been already exposed and have oxidised/reacted with the air. Here are some expiry dates to note:

Bad after 4 months: Mascara

Good Up to 1 year: Concealers and Cleansers

Okay for 2 years: Powder and Bronzer

Lasts up to 3 years: Pencil eye Liner and Eye shadows

Do note that these products mostly reach the above mentioned expiry dates after opening. If you do have products that have not been opened, checked the manufacturer’s expiry date stated on the packaging instead. Bearing these in mind, it might be advisable to purchase smaller-sized products if you’re the type who loves changing the products you use. In that case, here are some great small-mid sized products that are great in quantity, quality and value!

see details of featured products here

NYX triple shadow review

As Ruth mentioned yesterday, we went to recce the Mega Flea Market at Expo and I bought two items: A polka dot dress for $10 (what a steal right?!) and a NYX eyeshadow palette in TS34 Team Spirit ($8).

Swatch courtesy of Shimmerkisser.

I wasn’t exactly looking for an eyeshadow palette but my regular spree organizer, Smoochiezz also has great deals that I can’t resist. She has round lipsticks and lipglosses from NYX ranging from like $3-5 and loads of e.l.f nail polishes, brushes and some other studio line stuff, all around the range of $3-8. And if you are looking for higher end stuff, she has some Mac eyeshadows and blushes too. If you’re interested, her booths at the Mega Flea Mart are I07 H07 I08 and H08. That’s in Expo hall 3B, the event runs from 10am-10pm. It’s only for the 27th-28th though so you better hurry before all the good stuff gets snapped up.

Anyhow I got through her booth pretty much unscathed (phew! didn’t spend as much as the last time), purchasing only this NYX eyeshadow trio. I bought this mostly for the fuschia pink/purple and the gold because I don’t have these colours in my makeup arsenal yet. So what did I think of it?

Well, to be honest, it didn’t wow me. Unlike the swatches, the colour payoff wasn’t that great. You really have to layer on the colour for it to be visible. I got quite frustrated initially because the pink despite numerous layering, was only a light pink at best. It never turned out to be that vibrant fuschia that I wanted. But then again, I didn’t try it with a primer underneath so hopefully the colours will show more and be more long lasting with a good primer on.

You see what I mean? It’s light pink/lavender. Not bright fuschia. Oh well. To comfort myself, I went heavyhanded with the blusher hence that bright pop of pink lol. So if you are thinking of getting this palette to create bright vibrant eyes, then I think you should give it a miss. The colours definitely turned out more pastel on me than I would have liked so I will most likely use this for blending the outer corner, or for days where I want a more neutral eye. Sigh. Quite disappointed actually. Oh well, the quest for that hot pink eyeshadow continues!

On the upside, the dress I bought fitted perfectly. A tad short, but given my height, it’s hard to find a knee length dress anymore.

I really like the ruffles at the sides and the button detail down the front. It’s cinched at the waist as well so it gives off this feminine girly vibe (which I don’t mind wearing on weekends. Weekdays it’s back to shirts and trousers!) and ooh! Its in line with the nautical trend! Haha see… here at Quirkychic, we practice what we preach!

Actually, I think this dress would work better as a romper. Maybe when I have the time, I’ll just stitch up the bottom and turn the skirt into shorts. That way I wouldn’t have to be so self-conscious whenever I have to bend over to pick up something.

All in all, the flea market at Expo was not bad. Ruth bought some rub-ons to decorate her planner and special socks with padding to cushion your feet against blisters (only $3 a pair). There was also a booth that sold My Beauty Diary masks for $10 a box and of course, alot of apparel from blogshops so if you’re free this weekend, do head down to check it out!

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

The L’oreal Breakdown

Since the L’oreal Christmas Sale is coming up at the Singapore Expo, I thought I’d do a breakdown & review of all the L’oreal Products I’ve ever owned, because a shopper forewarned is a smart shopper indeed :)

5 Products I’m Loving

1. L’oreal’s Skin Genesis Pore Minimizing Skin Re-Smoother

This moisturizer promises to smoothen the pores of your face, tighten them and give your face a more flawless complexion. Certainly, it didn’t produce instant results in a week – but I continued applying simply because I was busy and didn’t have any other moisturizer on hand… surprise surprise two months later when I was looking at older face shots (I take these so I can track the effectiveness of my products), I realised that though my pores didn’t really change in size, but the depth of my pores had become shallower. Moreover, my blemishes had decreased. This product does not give me a greasy feel, & moisturizes without being too oily. I’ve re-purchased this product twice, because it’s better than most of the other oil control moisturizers I’ve used, with the exception of one (also from L’oreal)

2. L’oreal 2 in 1 Kid’s Shampoo, extra gentle, Burst of Strawberry

I LOVE the scent of this shampoo! You must be thinking – kid’s shampoo? Well for a person who bathes awfully lot in the hot & humid climate we have, washing your hair too often with salon products or specialized shampoo products is NOT good for your hair – hence my use of baby shampoo whenever I bathe too often. It cleans the hair without being too chemically harsh. Most importantly, kid’s shampoo is wonderful for cleaning make up brushes. Particularly since this formula is both extra gentle and a 2 in 1 formula (containing conditioner as well), I don’t have to worry about drying out my makeup brushes when I use this product for cleansing purposes.

3. L’Oreal Feria  Multi-Faceted Shimmering Colour

Ever since I decided to stop trimming my hair because I wanted it to grow out even longer, I’ve resorted to hair dyes whenever I needed that extra oomph or got bored with the hair I had. I’ve tried a huge number of hair dye brands, from Bigen, Revlon, Liese, even henna dyes! L’oreal’s Feria range remains one of my favourites because the colour payoff is great and it’s really affordable. Moreover, the conditioner contained inside the box works wonders on coloured hair, I love it!

My only complaint would be that this hair dye kinda stinks due to its ammonia content, which most hair dyes contain. So do use it in a well ventilated area and be careful of getting any product near your eyes, which stings really badly. trust me on this one! I’ve repurchased this product four times.

4. L’oreal Hydrafresh Anti-Shine Mattifying Gel

Bearing in mind that sleeping or staying in an air-conditioned area for several hours is extremely dehydrating for the skin, I apply this moisturizer twice a day and it has really helped in keeping my face mattified for longer hours. Of all the moisturizers I’ve ever tried, this is the best one I’ve ever had. I really love it! I am DEFINITELY repurchasing this product if I see it at the sale on Monday, especially since the jar I have at the moment is already running low. This product has lasted me approx 3 months. My only gripe is that as a jar there are pros and cons – in opening it’s exposed and might get contaminated (you never know, even though I think my room is very clean!), however you can really get ALL of the product out of the packaging. I do however, prefer it to the push pump, because I can control how much I put on my face. The amount of moisturizer applied differs from individual to individual and for this product, I apply a pea sized drop to my entire face.

5.L’oreal Hip Chrome Eyeliner

As a new product range that’s been brought to Singapore (even though it’s been out of the states for the past 3 years or so), I’m really excited to purchase this, particularly since everyone online is raving about how great their staying power is. Colours I’m gunning for? ALL OF THEM except the black because I have waay too many black eyeliners haha. The silver for widening eyes, the gold to go with all my brown/neutral shadows – just to give them a pop of shimmer when I need to change my look from “day” to “night” or “school” to “girls night out” and the purple simply because I am a DIE HARD fan of that colour.

5 Products I won’t be Buying

1. L’Oreal Micro Liner Ultra Fine Eyeliner

I cringe with a sense of nostalgia whenever I think about this pencil eyeliner. This was the very first beauty product I had ever purchased (besides my skin care) & I was all up and raring to “widen” my eyes and “accentuate” the shape of my eyes. Well, the young girl I was then spent hours in front of the mirror painstakingly attempting to create some sort of improvement to my looks – and when I say painstakingly, I really mean there was alot of pain involved. It may be Ultra Fine, but it also means that the edge is extremely sharp. Moreover, when it came to lining my waterline, though it did stay on for a few hours without problems, it caused quite abit of eye irritation at the time, even though I hadn’t started using contact lenses yet. So yeah, even though it was relatively cheap, it definitely wasn’t worth the money.

2. L’Oreal Wear Infinite Single Eye Shadow

Despite the lofty ambitions of its name, this shadow is nothing close to “infinite wear” – trust me, I bought two of this babies, one in the matte formula and one in the rich formula. Neither of them stayed on past 3 hours on my lids (without eyeshadow base) and with eyeshadow base they barely made it through 4 hours each, which is quite bad wear for eyeshadows, considering that I’ve cheaper brands that last far longer than these. That said, the colour payoff is great, it’s highly pigmented so it would be passable for say, a two hour outing but definitely not for a girl’s night out. The colour does not crease, which is another good thing. L’oreal also sells these in quads though they have a very different casing, but generally I’d steer clear of L’oreal’s eye products. Revlon trumps its ass in eye products anytime.

3. L’Oreal Studio Line Amped Up, Mega Volumizing Mousse

I still have this, though mine is a white bottle. There was a certain point in my life where I was really bored with my naturally ultra-straight hair so I bought this hoping that it would help keep the curls I made from my (poor quality) hot iron. Unfortunately, either I didn’t use this properly or I got a faulty bottle (damn you, Watsons! lol. I’m kidding I LOVE Watsons) because the mousse that came out was at times, liquidy and at other times, very creamy. Essentially, inconsistent and the staying power was likewise. I also didn’t like that after application, there was a greasy feel to it and it seemed like the perfect dust attractant – so specks of dust would stick to my hair *urgh* I shudder in recollection of that memory.

That said, the staying power was pretty awesome, but there are better products out there in the market for the same price that do as well a job as this product does, so nope, I’m not repurchasing this one either.

4. L’oreal Infallible Lip Colour

I haven’t actually purchased this product but having heard reviews from friends and seen what online reviewers have had to say, I’m definitely steering clear of this for the following reasons: (1) doesn’t stay, even though it’s “infallible” – L’oreal you need to STOP making these claims! It just ruins your reputation when they don’t work. (2) Colour payoff is not what it seems. There is colour, but it isn’t the desired colour that one sees upon purchasing the product. I would suspect that it’s due to a combination of the two sides of the lipstick.

And on a rather superficial note, I dislike the shape. One essential thing I always look for in a lipstick is its length and shape, because a compact lipstick is very easy to carry around, even in the smallest of purses. This lipstick definitely doesn’t fall under this category, and its promise of “no touchups” does not materialise.

5. L’oreal True Match Powder Foundation

Having heard some great reviews about this product, added on with the extensive advertising it received, I was quite excited when I received it as part of a hamper for a magazine subscription. The name for once, wasn’t lying. It was indeed a “true match” for my skin tone! However, 4 hours later it became streaky (i.e. visible streaks in make up, the horror!) and turned ORANGE on me. I’d previously heard of various foundations turning orange on some people, but I’d never thought I’d see it for myself, on my face no less. So while it does blend very well with one’s skintone and also gives quite a flawless complexion, it’s definitely not good for those with oily/combination skin.

Yup! So that’s it for my breakdown of L’oreal products :) I can’t wait to chiong to the sale tomorrow!

Neon Technicolour

As seen on Karl Lagerfeld’s runway this season (Fendi Spring 2011), Neon Technicolour lips are in at the moment

With hot shades such as pink, coral and orange, neon lips draw attention to the shape and sexiness of the lips, so a more natural look is advised when worn with this makeup trend. For the Fendi 2011 Spring runway, makeup artist Peter Phillips created this look by drawing out the shape of the lip “with a strong pink, orange or coral – basic shades you can easily find”. He also mixed lip colours to create the vivid shades you see above on the models. Most of the lipsticks he used were matte, but he didn’t hesitate to use a touch of luminizer in the middle of the lips and the cupid’s bow for highlighting purposes (see lips above). For the face, he used a luminizer to create that illusion of an “inner glow” to match the bright lip colour. I’m quite a fan using luminizers to give that subtle shimmer & glow. It’s quite surprising how much more awake & healthy one seems just with a touch of extra shimmer. It does however, take some practice – when I first used luminizers, I ended up using too much & became quite sparkly.

collages courtesy of polyvore – click on images for details of featured products

As a simple guideline, for liquid/semi liquid luminizers, the appropriate amount for the entire face would be a pea-sized amount on the finger. Mix it with your foundation before applying it all over the face for an even glow. It is advisable to use a neutral colour shimmer instead of a shimmer with a bold colour, e.g. brown or dark pink. peach, or light pink colours are advised because they look more natural & light colours also accentuate the highlights of your face. For powder luminizers, apply foundation & lightly dab the shimmer with the provided sponge, before using a brush to apply your setting/finishing powder/blush/bronzer. The brush will also help to further spread out the luminizer.

On the Fendi runway, these neon lips look like they could go with any outfit. I absolutely love how they’ve each been paired with a plain yet bright coloured sandal

images courtesy of Style.com

It definitely brings a fresh, floral vibe to the collection. In fact, my first thought when I saw the first few pictures of the runway was, hey! it’s easy, breezy, beautiful! Haha well, Covergirl wasn’t their sponsor, but the loose fitting (yet well cut) clothes cling and float away from the models beautifully.

Will you be trying out this runway look for your daily wear? Fashion blogger Taylor from SterlingStyle loves rockin’ the bright-lipped look on a daily basis.

image courtesy of sterlingstyle.net

Tips to rock this look:

  1. Neutral colours for face, with a luminizer for that “inner glow”
  2. Matte lip colours
  3. Add a dab of luminizer/lipgloss on the cupid’s bow and centre of the lower lip to highlight
  4. use a lip pencil prior to lipstick application for defined lips
  5. experiment with lip colours!
  6. accessorize with your lip colour for an extra oomph to that outfit (with my love for neon, bright nails, i’m definitely going on a hunt for a bright lip colour to match my nail polish shades!)

MAC halloween face-off

Happy Halloween everyone! To kickstart this awesome holiday, I bring to you a MAC makeup special. It is a 2-part halloween series, reality-TV style that pits 3 makeup artists against each other and in 3 hours, they have to come up with a halloween look each (its kinda like Project Runway). The winner is determined by votes. I assure you, you will just be floored at how talented these people can be.

So here we go, parts 1 and 2:

And the winner is… Read the rest of this entry

Beauty on a Budget

As a student, my pockets are inevitably shallow – so til the day I join the ranks of the regular salaryman, I’m afraid I’ll be constantly on the lookout for Beauty Bargains.

Certainly I DO get quite a generous amount from both my parents and my tuition kids (I teach two students and get $30-$35/hr) so sometimes I can indulge a teeny tiny bit XP That said, I can’t help but feel excited whenever bargain beauty stores such as ELF has new additions instore.

Read the rest of this entry

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