Monday, 24 March 2014

Green and gold shimmery eyes, using RMK, Nars, KATE and Catrice

When it comes to eyeshadows, I think I have reached saturation point. 

I have (finally) reached a happy medium where my collection is big enough for me to experiment, but small enough for me not to feel overwhelmed and wasteful.

One of the most exciting parts of makeup application is challenging myself to 'shop my stash'. It's a prime opportunity to wade through the masses of products that I've accumulated, then I take to the job of creating the most pleasing combination of colours, textures and placements. 

L-R: Nars Eyeshadow in Night Porter, RMK Ingenius Powder Eyes ME-05, KATE Deep Eyes GN-1, Catrice Don't Touch My Mosserati!, KATE Super Sharp Eyeliner BK1, Solone Smoody Caviar Black

First of all, I reached for Catrice Don't Touch My Mosserati!. Ever since a dear friend gifted it to me, I've always wanted to wear it in a look where it would be the sole showcase. So it made sense to start with that eyeshadow. Almost instinctively, I then paired it with NARS Night Porter, a colour I favour for its deep, black base and soft gold shimmer. 

RMK ME-05 really made it all come together though; this cool minty gold-green beauty is one of my favourite 'topper' shades for extra gleam and is absolutely perfect for a centre lid highlight. 

My failsafe eyeliners for this look are KATE super sharp liner for the wing and tightline, and Solone Smoody in Caviar Black for extra sparkle and blend ability.

Now, I have to apologise in advance for scaring you. Somehow, my pictures turned out much more dark and grainy on Blogger than the files really are. I hope you can still see the textures and colours clearly.

Bottom to top: champagne colour from KATE quint, Catrice, Nars, RMK

As for cheeks and lips, I kept it very simple. The main reasons being practicality and competition - the former because I was heading out to a bar, and the latter because I was wearing a very distinctive sweater. I've also dyed my hair a deep, violet-red, so too much colour on my face would be very chaotic indeed. 

MGPIN Luminous Silky Blush M03, Visee Creamy Lipstick RD401

You can see the pearlised creamy finish of the MGPIN blusher below; it imparts a glow similar to my HG, Shiseido PK304 Carnation, but the lighter, clearer MGPIN shade is much more girly and prettifying on my skin. I reach for Carnation for an effortless, natural blush, but for a slightly more brightening and youthful look, the MGPIN blusher is the one I choose. 

The texture of the RMK ME-05 eyeshadow is the complete opposite to that of the MGPIN blusher - loud sparkles, and a dusty, scaly texture. Yes, thats right. Scaly. But somehow, the eyeshadow binds together when pressed onto my lids with the warmth of my finger. It still leaves a very even, shimmery finish on the skin that does not emphasize fine lines or dryness at all. 

Bottom to top: RMK, Solone, MGPIN and Chanel

Remember these eyelashes I bought during my trip to Taiwan? So far, I am loving this set of eyelashes. They are extremely good value, and the quality is not bad either. 

For more dramatic, extended winged liner looks I can technically get away without trimming these lashes at all, and they will still look good on my rather small eyes. Nevertheless, I still feel more comfortable trimming them by 1-1.5cm or so. 

Princess criss-cross lashes no. 6

I went for this set because even the tips of the lashes look delicate and wispy, and I love the layered effect from the shorter criss-cross lashes on top, which you can see here:

flared and layered criss-cross lashes

Okay, enough rambling! Here is the overall look. Apologies for the ghostly head and flash pictures:

I also has new hair!

Whoops, I kind of skipped over base products... The most noteworthy point is that I used a soft, shimmer-less cream highlighter (also from MGPIN) all over the centre of my face - I  applied it over my nasolabial lines, around my mouth, on the bridge of my nose and across the tops of my cheekbones. This is one of the reasons why my skin looks line-free, especially in flash photography. Perhaps I will write a separate post on my base makeup and contouring sometime. :)

See the RMK sparkles? They are soooOooOoo pretty! And the false lashes do not look that unnatural on my eye shape, which is something that I am very picky about. It's so easy for false lashes to look 'fake', and whenever that happens, it's as if makeup is wearing you and not the other way round. I think I've tamed them decently here. ^^

Also, for those interested, the sweater I am wearing is from Manoush. I've loved that brand for many years, though I only own a couple of pieces from them. The items are hit and miss, but the ones I do like, I fall utterly in love with. It's angora and somewhat scratchy on my delicate skin, but I am still willing to sacrifice comfort for fashion at this point.

Thanks for reading! I am planning to do a step-by-step pictorial on exactly how I do this eyeshadow look. Would that be interesting? Let me know! :)

Manoush sweater, closeup

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Visee Creamy Lipstick RD401: Two Ways

I very nearly cancelled my order of the Visee Creamy Lipstick RD401. My reasoning at the time was that I could abstain from excessive purchases by learning to mix colours using my existing collection. But before I could cancel my order, it had already been dispatched. I am very, very glad that I went through with this purchase. 

The unique thing about this lipstick is that it is one of those effortless, skin-brightening shades on my skin. I am flabbergasted that it does not draw attention to the red, high-contrast hyper-pigmentation on my cheeks, like some other more fuchsia-toned lipsticks do. It's bright, vibrant and makes my skin look better than ever. 

Some pictures:

with flash

Indoor, daylight (L: three swipes, R: one swipe)

Indoor, with flash

Bright daylight, no flash
My lips are not very pigmented and do not have a strong mauve tone, so most lipsticks are true-to-colour on me. In the afternoon smoggy light, Visee RD401 looks more red. However, in bright daylight the colour does take on a more pink tone, as shown here: 

RD401 as a nude stain:
RD401 applied to the centre of my lips, blended out with fingers into a light stain
I think the reason why this lipstick looks brightening on even my flawed skin is because its tone is very similar to my natural lip colour. When blotted down to a stain, it's completely harmonious with the rest of my colouring. I am actually quite surprised at exactly how 'nude' this lipstick can look.

Eyes: MGPIN Sculpture Bright Eyeshadow, light taupe from KATE Deep Shiny Eyes BU-1, tight line and slight outer lash line definition using darkest shade in KATE Deep Trap Eyes BR-1

A couple of layers of RD401, paired with defined, bright-looking eyes with minimal eyeshadow:

Eyes: champagne colour from KATE Deep Trap Eyes GN-1, L'Oreal False Lash Telescopic Waterproof

I can't actually believe that in the above picture, I am not wearing any foundation. My acne has been volcanic for the past few months, and though I still have plenty of dark pigmentation marks, my skin texture overall is quite nice and luminous. More specifically, I attribute the controlled, pore-less glow in this photo to Guerlain Meteorites, which I hauled at Hong Kong Airport after my trip to Taiwan.

Base products, for those interested:

For sunscreen, I used the brightening Biore UV Milk sunscreen (pink bottle).
I then half-heartedly concealed some spots as well as my under-eye area using the Maybelline Age Rewind Under-Eye Concealer. Lastly, I dusted the Guerlain Meteorites Blanc de Perle all over. With gusto. I probably went overboard because you can see the powdery residue up-close. It seems to photograph very nicely though!

I've come to the realisation that, for me at least, the magic of the Guerlain Meteorites is most perceptible when used over skin with little-to-no makeup. Heavier foundations such as the SUQQU Frame Fix Cream already impart a wonderful satin finish, so it's hard to see the difference with Meteorites on top.

But when dusted lightly over translucent, semi-naked skin? My god. That's when the Meteorites really shine. I think I am a convert.

Monday, 10 March 2014

Taiwan makeup purchases - Chanel, Guerlain, Solone and My Beauty Diary

I recently came back from a short yet regenerating trip to Taiwan, where both cultural and foodie intakes reached all-time highs. After only 3 days, I have probably returned five pounds heavier - in makeup AND in weight! 

So, here are pictures of my Taiwan cosmetics weight gain: 

The Chanel box got a little smooshed in my tiny suitcase. I am so glad I packed lightly; I had no idea I would be buying so much! Got to admit, I was tempted to go all out and buy another suitcase for my makeup purchases, baller style. 

Clockwise L-R: Le Blush Creme de Chanel in Chamade, Guerlain Blanc de Perle Meteroties, Armani High Precision Retouch concealer no.3 and Solone Smoody Pencils in Black Caviar and Blue

I have tried the Armani concealer (above) only once before, and was sold immediately. It took a lot of restraint not to buy it at the inflated Chinese import prices! These are an elegant upgrade from my Garnier BB eye roll-ons and Maybelline Age Rewind, and do not cake or crease underneath my eyes. The coverage is also far better, and number 3 is a lovely natural colour on my skin. My dark circles are becoming harder to cover up with 'brightening' shades, so I am very grateful for what Lisa Eldridge would probably describe as a 'meatier' concealer. No pictures, because I favour colour products, haha. 

Speaking of colour, I succumbed to the beauty that is Chamade:

Le Blush Creme de Chanel in Chamade (#67) - aaahhh look at the colour!
The blush itself looks insane when I dot with fingers, but it blends out into the most natural red flush on my cheeks. Since I have acne marks on my cheeks, I actually appreciate the cream blush formula since it allows me to mix concealer on top of the blush, which I then blend out with a sponge for a truly flawless finish. With powder blushes, it's much harder for me to conceal retrospectively and I just end up with a blotchy application where pigmentation still shows through. 

For someone who still suffers from acne scarring and hyper pigmentation, cream blush really allows me to have the finish and coverage that I desire. 

Guerlain Powder Meteorites Perles Illuminating Powder - # 00 Blanc De Perle

I've been using this on good skin days, after spot concealing. I wonder whether it will also look nice as a very very subtle, sparkle-free highlighter in the centre of my face. Hmmmm.

Swatches of all the colour products below:

Two swipes of each in daylight, no flash (L-R: Solone Black Caviar, Blue, Chanel Chamade, Guerlain Meteorites Blanc de Perle)

The Solone Smoody pencils are nicely complex, although not as much as THREE Eye Pencils I am sure. But, they do however wear like iron and remove easily with my cheap Watson's brand oil cleanser. I bought one in caviar black, and the other in blue. I’ve come to realise that my eyes do not suit thick liner, and so it can’t showcase these liners to their potential. On my small eyes and tiny, hooded mobile lid space, there simply is not enough visual ROI.  :D 

Next up, false eyelashes! I purchased several boxes of false eyelashes, some made in Taiwan, some from DUP Japan. The pink set on the left is apparently the 'designated brand' used by Taiwanese popstar Jolin Tsai, and a Taiwanese you tuber whom I follow called Ariel (inset) is also a spokesperson for the brand. 

These all look very, very delicate and extremely well thought-out; there’s lots of nice criss-crossing at the inner corners, and they gently flare out at the end with the volume slowly increasing at the outer edges also. 

My Beauty Diary face masks (L-R: oil-control, soothing)

Lastly, I purchased these face masks are from a cheaper sub-range under My Beauty Diary. The packaging looks closer to Korean brand Too Cool for School than My Beauty Diary’s famous girly packaging. Each box also contains one of their more popular black pearl brightening masks, and I'm quite excited to try them all!