Month: August 2014

Ten Current Favourites

I was originally going to call this ‘2014 Favourites’ or something along the line, then realised the products I mention are permanents and aren’t dependent on the year. Which could be misleading for those searching for 2014 releases.

I stopped doing the monthly favourites cos a lot of the times it’s whatever shiny new toy I happen to have my paws on, plus some staples. It wasn’t really honest, like I was doing it for the sake of doing a favourites post. And it got boring for everyone.
So now I’ve decided to do these only when I feel like I have used/tried/like ’em enough to share. Ten is a good number, and I feel that a lot of what you’ll see are at the top of the categories list.


1. Too Faced La Creme lipstick
This was the biggest discovery of 2013. I’ve never tried Too Faced before, kind of ignored it really because I lumped them with Benefit (similar packaging vibe) and I’m not a huge fan of Benefit. Prejudice/judging a book by its cover etc etc. This lipstick surprised me. I loved Spice, Spice Baby so much I went back and bought a second one (Naughty Nude). They are just so creamy and so comfortable to wear. Pleasant lemon pie scent. Great colours, nicely opaque. Spice, Spice Baby is a great everyday colour and it’s the lipstick I’m counting on to be my first used up lippie. I’ve never used a shade so often. I took it on my holidays, wore it to a wedding. Love it.
I’ve started paying more attention to this brand on the strength of this lip formula. The Pretty Rebel eye palette (LE but still available on Sephora US website) is nicely put together. (more…)

2014 Mid-Year Re-view

By that I mean looking back rather than critiquing releases. I know I tend to repeat this but it’s crazy how time flies. Carpe Diem.


I can definitely do more … if only I’m not so tired/lazy/procrastinating.

We’re halfway through 2014 and have just started seeing Fall collections trickling into blogs [at the time when this post was started – now you can buy the collections]. [Ed #2: now we’re seeing Winter collections …] I have a few favourites that I reach for often during the last six months but that will be for another post (sorry!). For this one I want to tie up some loose ends. Like how since I’ve completely ignored Christmas/New Year on the blog, I still have the resolutions for 2013 hanging in the air.

If you’re too lazy to read that, understandably irrelevant post, first on the list is hitting pan. I accomplished this with two products last year, a powder foundation and my Chanel Tissage blush. I tried to hit pan with NARS Deep Throat but couldn’t manage. I s’pose I kind of grew out of that shade and it made using it a bit of a chore. These blushes are like, 7 years old. *gulp*


All the pans I have at home at the moment

1. Chanel Purete Mat Shine Control Powder
This was purchased when the Purete Mat first launched, like 10 years ago or something like that. It’s kinda blah and doesn’t really keep you shine-free. Nonetheless I’m still plowing through this and hope to get a real, empty Chanel pan. 15g of product here!
2. Sofina Primavista powder foundation
Reviewed here. This is one of the two products I hit pan on last year, and (for me anyway) a recent product too. I haven’t been reaching for this as much though, only because the shade is a little too dark for me now. I didn’t get a chance to get some sun at all since last year.
3. NARS single eyeshadow in Blondie
Again this is from way back. I used to use this for my brows back in those days when I coloured my hair. This sits mostly in neglect, even though I could have reached for this as an eyeshadow but I just don’t as I associate it with brows. 3.5g of product!
4. Bobbi Brown eyeshadow in Saddle
This is my current brow powder. 2.5g – I thought this has more product than the NARS but colour me wrong. Maybe 3-4 years old, can’t remember.
5. Chanel Blush Duo Tweed Effect in 50 Tweed Sienna
Gathering dust since I hit pan on it, this poor thing. 5.5g of product so I still got quite a bit to go. Honestly one of the most easy, no-brainer go-to blushes. But I need to give some love to my other blushes too.

The second thing on the list was to avoid the lure of LE products and be more selective… I think I was more selective in 2013 than 2012, and I’ve been doing good this year only really succumbing to Alluring Aquatic from MAC. Improvement! Last year, every time I bought a makeup product (which ended up like every other month) it was almost always for something LE (which was an escape clause I allowed in my project 10 pan). This year they were mostly staples (like black eyeliners, oil cleansers etc), or items from permanent lineup that I hope will be my regular standby (in other words possible HG material). Interestingly, I don’t have anything LE that’s a HG for me. Discontinued yes but not LE releases.

Continuing on, I did fulfill #6 & 9 – taking care of my skin and washing my brushes. But I’m afraid everything else was sadly lacking in effort. I still haven’t tried Patyka either, going for cheaper pharmacy products instead. I’ll see what happens this year.

No resolutions, just hopes for 2014:
1. More pans. And maybe try to finish a lipstick this year?

2. Manage my stash – the size of my stash is a speck of dust in the world of beauty bloggers, maybe just above average ‘in the real world’. I knew someone who bought one lipstick and one foundation at a time and would use them until they were almost gone. Only then would she go and buy a new lipstick. I will never be that person but maybe I can try to control and pare down my stash in a more reasonable manner. Sometimes I look at all those pretty things and I wonder how I got here/for what purpose.
I just depotted some eye shadows, I suppose that counts towards this?

They’re sort of the same thing aren’t they?

I don’t need anymore of these (and I’m writing this down to help drill the message inside my head):
– eyeshadows (enough – but maybe I’ll allow myself a matte palette? or LORAC Pro? Urban Decay? the new Guerlain? YSL? Aarrghhh)
– lipsticks/glosses (enough – I mean if I’ve never even used up 3 grams of product I don’t think I deserve to buy new ones)
– bronzers (enough)
– highlighters (enough – I have four, all textures: powder/liquid/cream stick/ and one of them is HG Candlelight)
– concealors (enough)
– foundation (happy with what I have now and it’ll take ages to finish)
– primers (enough and not that much of a fan anyway)
– makeup brushes (enough, and I’m not really an aficionado. But I will consider if and when the opportunity arises that I can get my hands on some Hakuhodo/Chikuhodo …)

The only things I’ll allow myself to buy are:
– eyeliners (I do go through a lot now that I’m back to pencils)
– blushes (this is my weak spot so ONLY IF they are really really really exciting)
– perfume (another weak spot. My collection is however, very manageable)
– mascaras, of course.

Yes the voice of reason. But we all know how it goes when you’re innocently clicking online or just happened to be in Sephora.

That’s it for now!

July & August Empties

Another month of silence on the blog. In my defense I’ve started a new job, returning to the kitchen since my two years’ of rest working at the front. It’s quite challenging for everyone involved at the moment since the place is one of the newest openings in the city that’s gathering a lot of buzz in the industry. All eyes are on us, and we’re doing crazy hours across all sections. There are still a lot of wrinkles needed to iron out and we’re tackling them as we go.

Since I’m back in my whites, I no longer wear base makeup (they just melt) or colour makeup (inappropriate) and limit myself to eyeliner and mascara. My makeup playtime is now limited to my days off, and even then I’m so tired I usually just want to stay home and don’t see the point of wearing a full face of makeup.

Having said that though, I still try to read blogs and new releases and have my eyes on a few items coming for Fall/Winter. In the meantime, here are my combined empties for the last two months:


Glysomed Hand Cream (150ml) – Made in Germany
This is the perfumed version, housed in a tub that lasted me for quite some time. I kept this at home, usually around the kitchen. I paid perhaps 9 euros for this. As mentioned in the June empties post where you’ll find the unscented tube version, I really like their formula and budget-friendly pricing. They are my go-to and never disappoints. I should add this to my holy-grail page. Here are the first 10 ingredients:
Aqua, Glycerin, Cetearyl Alcohol, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Octiydodecanol, Petrolatum, Dimethicone. Sorbitol, Sodium Cetearyl Sulfate, Phenoxythanol.
Repurchase? Yes!

Avène Cleanance Spot Treatment (0.25g) – Made in France
Cleanance is the acne treatment range from Avène. I got this on a whim, thinking I could use something like that in my makeup bag. It never left my dresser. Anyway from the back of the box:

Targeted at oily, blemish-prone skin, this spot treatment is ‘formulated to help eliminate skin imperfections’ and is ‘drying and purifying’.
For drying, ‘powders and clay’ to help absorb excess oil; Glyceryl Laurate (patent) regulates its over production
For purifying, Key ingredients reduce bacteria growth
For exfoliating, BHA known keratoregulating ingredients help reduce skin blemishes.

They recommend applying 2-3 times a day and warn that it may cause a tingling sensation which never occurred to me. It is odorless and the tip is colourless so it goes on invisible. I will say however that you can’t apply foundation on top of the areas where you spot treated. It just doesn’t go on smoothly and you’ll see straight away the areas where you have the Cleanance.

I actually quite like this little pen which surprisingly worked well on me. I apply this maybe morning (if not wearing foundation) and in the evening, rather generously. It’s efficient in reducing redness and calming a blemish before it gets to be big and angry. I had a look at the ingredients and the first 5 are mostly waxes and oils. So who knows why. The only thing I’ll say is that it doesn’t come with much product and I went through the pen rather quickly. I paid 7.25 euros for this so it is actually rather expensive for what you get. On the beaute-test website it’s one of those YMMV products.

Repurchase? I’ve just bought another to confirm its effectiveness. We’ll see.

Kate slim gel eye pencil (0.12g) in BR1 in BR1 brown – Made in Japan
I used up one of these last month in black. Click here to read what I wrote. In one word: love.
The brown is obviously more subtle, just quietly defining the eyes. I do prefer black in general but brown is a nice change. This is a warm, mid-toned milk chocolate brown. The darkest brown eyeliner I found is Armani’s Smooth Silk Eye pencil waterproof. The ones that used to be LE.

I’ve read that Hourglass recently came out with their version of these type of pencil gel liner. These ones from Kate (and SANA, and apparently shu’s as well) contain 0.12g, or 0.004oz. Hourglass’ is 0.002oz. I don’t know how they compare as I won’t be getting the ones from Hourglass, all I can say is it’s way too pricey.

I’ve been wearing these type of gel pencil liners for a while and have had good experience with the ones I’ve tried. I admit from time to time they transfer a little to just under my eyes but 99% of eyeliners do that on me, and most of the time they perform really well and are the least smudging/transferring liners I’ve used. YMMV of course.
Repurchase? Yes

Fancl Mild Cleasing Oil (120ml) – Made in Japan
Reviewed here.
Repurchase? Yes, I have received 2 more backups!

Clinique Cream Shaper in Egyptian (1.2g/0.04oz) – Made in Germany
Laura Mercier Kohl Eye Pencil in Brown Copper (1.2g/0.04oz) – Made in Italy
These are more purges as I rarely reach for them now that they are nubs. I’ve had these for years and in a way am glad I can finally ‘move on’. I really like the Cream Shaper formula and have one ready to go in the same shade. Black Diamond is also a nice alternative.
I love the colour of the Laura Mercier pencil but it didn’t perform as well as I want it to. Good for smudging out for a smokey eye look but if you want a clean line and for it to stay that way, you might be disappointed.
Repurchase? Yes; No.