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Archive for the ‘Makeup’ Category

What it is:

A tinted lip balm from the Kiss You Off: Color Rich Lip Balm range.

What it claims:

According to the Darling Girl (DG) website,

Kiss You Off: Color Rich Lip Balms have all the color and pigmentation of a lipstick, varying from sheer to completely opaque, but are made with skin-loving moisturizing ingredients.

What is noteworthy:

Susan, the owner, has launched a new website and shop, and the Sugar Rush lip balm listed there has been reformulated to be more pigmented than my swatches.

My impressions:

“WHY IS MY LIP BALM BRIGHT PINK?!” was my initial reaction when I saw the colour of Sugar Rush in its tube. When I put it on however, I was relieved.

Sugar Rush is a warm-toned, sheer baby pink lip balm with fine gold shimmer. My pre-reformulated (I made that word  up :P) lip balm is so sheer, it barely shows up on my lips. Believe me when I say it took many coats to get the swatch to look like this. Based on the swatches on the DG website, it looks like the pink in the new Sugar Rush would be just a tad more visible. I think I would like the reformulated version, as I prefer my tinted lip balms to be sheer yet give a hint of colour at the same time.

I love that the gold shimmer in the lip balm is extremely fine and doesn’t stay behind on the lips. There is nothing I hate more than finding huge chunks of sparkly stuff stuck on my lips after a meal. The gold shift really complements warm tones and I find that it helps to polish up my look. This is a great everyday colour, and it is perfect for ladies who do not like wearing a lot of make up. I put it on whenever I need to go downstairs to buy food or run some quick errands. It just adds that extra little something and makes me feel less sloppy in my t-shirt, shorts and flip-flops.

The texture is quite waxy, and I have to glide it over my lips a few times to coat them. I honestly do not know if the lip balm is long-lasting, because I keep licking it off my lips! I know the website states that it is bubblegum flavoured, but it smells and tastes like burnt sugar to me. Absolutely delicious!

I do find that I cannot use this for many days in a row, as it causes the edges of my lips to become really dry, like they’re about to peel. I have never had this problem before and I have no allergies that I know of. I’m not sure what causes it, but I’m not too worried as the lip balm has been reformulated, and the ingredients seem to be slightly different.

I adore the see-through packaging, the vintage label and the oval tube is just too cute. However, I do prefer slim tubes as my lips aren’t thick, so I tend to end up with lip balm on the skin around my lips (might explain the dry ring around my mouth).  I’m happy to read that the reformulated lip balms will be packaged in slim tubes instead.

Size (reformulated version):

0.07 oz or 1.98 g

Price (reformulated version):

USD $5.25

 

Ingredients (reformulated version):

Prunus Amygdalus Dulics (Sweet Almond oil), Theobroma Cacao Seed Butter (Cocoa Butter), Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Persea Gratissima oil (and) Hydrogentated Vegetable oil (Avocado Butter), Hydrogenated Polyisobutene (and) Ethylene/ Propylene/ Styrene Copolymer (and) Butylene/ Ethylene/ Styrene Copolymer, Sunflower Wax, Ozokerite Wax, Soy Lecithin, Vitamin E

I know, I know. What is the point of doing a review of a product that has already been reformulated? Well, I only realised it after I’d already done most of the work, so I didn’t want the blog entry to go to waste! 😛 No doubt the reformulated version will be more pigmented than what you see in my swatches, but I do think that the new Sugar Rush will still be sheer – just perfect for me.

 

xoxo

 

Disclosure: This product was not given to me by the brand for review purposes.
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Abbamart’s Service Recovery

Following my recent post about Abbamart no longer shipping to Singapore, they have emailed me to apologise and offer an explanation on why they had to stop shipping to Singapore. Unfortunately, it was not due to shipping costs, which was what I’d originally thought. 

I felt so ashamed to discover that there have been cases of fraud originating from Singapore, which resulted in them having to suspend shipping.

After this incident, I am utterly blown away by the level of customer service at Abbamart. That they took the time to reach out to me and apologise for something that is not their fault whatsoever is just extraordinary! On top of that, in view of my long-time patronage and to thank me for being a trustworthy customer, they have offered me alternatives to ensure that I will receive my packages if I do intend to make any purchases during the time that shipping is suspended.

Once again, Abbamart has shown that making their customers happy is their top priority. I am very impressed and to be honest, so relieved that I have even more reasons to continue shopping there. I adore their Toray brushes and would hate to stop buying from Abbamart.

To the culprits who caused this – you are assholes, cowards and no better than thieves. You are a disgrace and I am ashamed to call you a fellow Singaporean. Your actions have given your country a bad name, and affected not only the company and their staff, but also me, my friends and other customers of Abbamart. May karma bite you squarely in the genitals!

 

xoxo

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I’ve just returned from a short vacation, where I had no access to the internet whatsoever. I felt like I had been completely isolated from the modern (and virtual) world, which is both a good and bad thing. I wasn’t even able to access the wifi in Starbucks; I guess the place was too secluded!

Anyway, after checking my email when I got back, I received some bad news from Abbamart:

Abbamart had to make some hard decisions, and we are not shipping to Singapore at this time.

WHATTTTTTT! Was this even announced anywhere? There is nothing on the info page or Facebook about this. I don’t understand the reason at all, and I am not happy about this. Singapore isn’t some third world country where packages get lost all the time. Besides, WE are the ones paying for shipping, not them – it is well within their right to retract the free international shipping offer.

I’m not sure if I ought to bother trying to get my American friends to help me with future Abbamart purchases. This is one very upset ex-customer here. 😦

 

[Edited 17 May 2012: Abbamart has contacted me to apologise, and they explained that shipping had to be suspended due to cases of fraud originating from Singapore.]

 

xoxo

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Abbamart – Flat Top Powder Brush

What it is:

A brush typically used for mineral foundation.

What it claims:

On the Abbamart website, the flat top is described as,

Blunt cut powder brush made from soft and dense high quality goat hair. Works well with mineral makeup to build foundation in sheer layers from light to heavier application where necessary. Flat top buffs away lines and seamlessly blends edges.

What is noteworthy:

The Abbamart brushes are extremely reasonably priced, as they explain on their website,

Because Abbamart is owned by its supplier, you get true factory-direct pricing, just like the high-end brand names that buy and resell brushes under their own label.

My impressions:

I have always loved synthetic brushes, and the synthetic (or Toray, as they call it) brushes offered by Abbamart are incredibly soft and of good quality. As the flat top brush did not have a Toray version, I decided to grab this goat hair flat top on a whim when it was on sale a few months back. 

As far as first impressions go, I was nicely surprised. Many companies simply slip the brushes into a plastic sleeve and do not bother with a box. The brush is well-made and a good size. The natural wood handle is sturdy and its finish is sleek and smooth.

I don’t use foundation so I can’t comment on how well the flat top buffs. I do use it for stippling and overall concealing, and I find that the brush is decent. The goat hair picks up powder and holds it in its bristles quite securely, so I didn’t have to deal with fallout on my clothes.

Unfortunately, I did not like the goat hair fibres at all. It was spiky (or pokey?) and scratchy, a far cry from the wonderful Toray brushes I’m so used to. The brush was easy to wash, but once dry, the bristles flared out and I was left with what looked like a mini feather duster.

I am hoping that Abbamart releases a Toray version of the flat top. I really love their ever-expanding Toray range, but I will not try their (or anyone else’s) natural hair brushes again.

Note: I do apologise for the terrible photos. The lighting is all funky and I can’t seem to fix the colour imbalance.

Size:

Hair length – 2.1 cm

Total length – 10 cm

Price:

USD $4.20 (I paid $3.60)

Abbamart is one of my favourite companies. Their customer service is fantastic, and Lana, whom I’ve corresponded with a few times via email, is really helpful and quick with replies. Their turn around time is fast and international shipping rates are very reasonable. They are also generous and I always receive a couple of extra items tucked into my package. Every shopping experience with them is a delight!

 

xoxo

Disclosure: This product was not given to me by the brand for review purposes.

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What it is:

A neutral highlight colour from the Holiday 2011 collection.

What it claims:

The Silk Naturals (SN) website describes Demure as,

A light, pinkish lavender shimmery pearl… The lavender tone is so light that it’s nearly neutral and it makes a fabulous one color wash with a little winged liner.

What is noteworthy:

For the first time ever, SN introduced eye wands – eyeshadows packaged in the same applicator tubes as their lip glosses and lip stains. SN’s owner, Karen, described the eye wands in her blog as,

Travel friendly, and super easy to use – with pre-designed looks to make your life easier. To use them just pull the wand out of the vial, give it a little tap and apply. It’s not a product that everyone is going to love, and it might take you a little bit to warm up to it. BUT that first busy morning when you needed to leave the house 5 minutes ago – you’ll fall in love.

My impressions:

The packaging is perhaps the most obvious new thing but I want to talk about the least obvious first – the addition of Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride to an SN eyeshadow. More commonly known as Fractionated Coconut Oil (FCO), this ingredient is odourless, adds slip and has a very long shelf life, thus making it highly desirable in the cosmetics industry. In the forum I frequent, FCO is a popular pressing agent. 

Karen had stated on the SN forums that to make the eye wands easier to use and also to minimise flyaways, she had added a few drops of FCO  to keep the minerals clumped together on the wand applicator. Thus, the result was an eyeshadow that applied like a dream come true. The texture of Demure is creamy and very easy to blend. As the eyeshadow is slightly ‘wetter’ than loose minerals, those who do not use a primer would notice that the eyewand shadows are more vibrant, with similar colour payoff to foiling. However, I strongly recommend using a primer even if you don’t have oily lids, because otherwise, you are wasting the full potential of the eyeshadows, and SN eyeshadows are stunning!

I am not going to bother describing Demure other than declare it GORGEOUS. Instead, I’m going to bombard you with swatches so you can see for yourself. There is something very special about this colour. These are the same swatches but every time I tilted my arm differently, the light would hit the swatches in varying angles and the shadow would morph from white to off-white to lavender.

In order to be a better blogger, I am constantly learning from other bloggers to improve my own skills. Aud once mentioned before that most blogs tend to show swatches applied very intensely, and I totally agree that it is completely unrealistic as we don’t apply them this way on our eyes. Therefore on the left, I’ve applied the eyeshadow the way a normal person would on their eyes – lightly and blended out. On the right, the eyeshadow was applied very thickly, the way one would perhaps during Halloween.

I couldn’t resist including a blurry close-up of Demure. Check out the pink and green shimmer! As Barney Stinson would say in his falsetto, AWESOME!

Okay, so the eye wand. I HATE IT, yes I do. It may be travel-friendly, but so is a jar with a cotton ball stuffed on top of the sifter, and I get lesser mess with the latter. After reading scathing reviews about the eye wand on my forum, I was prepared and ready. I held the tube upright and tapped it to settle the minerals to the bottom. I then gingerly unscrewed the cap over a large sheet of paper with my right hand while holding it steady with my left, and slowly inched the cap upwards with my first 3 fingers, while holding onto my last 2 fingers with my left hand so that the cap didn’t separate too quickly from the tube. All was good. When I felt the wand applicator hit the stopper, I slowed down and used a little bit of force to pull the wand out of the stopper, all the while maintaining an iron grip with my left hand. Despite the care I took to prevent a powder explosion, that little bit of force caused the minerals that were coated on the cap tube and wand applicator, to fly everywhere. I had sparkly things on my arms, my thighs and in my nostrils. That was not cool.

I also tried applying Demure with the doefoot, and it was an epic fail. I had to use a brush to apply and blend it properly, which defeated the purpose of the wand applicator. For a product that was supposed to save time, this took me a lot more time than it normally would. The concept was good but the packaging just did not deliver. It reminded me of a certain blacklisted company and their brilliant eyeshadow roll-ons.

These eye wands cost more than a normal eyeshadow, so I was very glad that Karen generously allowed it to be picked as our free eyeshadow. I wouldn’t have gotten it if I had to pay for it, because of all the reviews I’ve read about the impractical packaging. I will most probably empty it out into a 10g jar, as one of the ladies from my forum who emptied hers out mentioned that the eye wand tube contains more product than a 5g jar can hold.

I completely adore Demure, it is utterly gorgeous and I will be reaching for this colour often. While I do loathe the eye wand packaging with a passion, I am willing to overlook the absurd doefoot applicator because the colour and texture of Demure makes up for it. If I were to buy Demure again (and I definitely will!), I intend to write to Karen to request that the eyeshadow with the FCO addition be put in a jar instead, and to forgo the eye wand.

Size:

3.5 ml

Price:

USD $4.50

Ingredients:

Mica, Titanium Dioxide, Iron Oxides, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride

You can request for these eye wands as your Gift with Purchase if you spend $30 and above.

 

xoxo

 

Disclosure: This product was not given to me by the brand for review purposes.

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What it is:

Eyeshadow palette in the Color Icon Eyeshadow Trio collection.

What it claims:

According to the Wet n Wild website,

Coordinating trio shades takes the guesswork out of creating the perfect eye look. The “how to” palettes are created to highlight, define, and accentuate specific eye colors to create unique looks.

What is noteworthy:

If you don’t know which colour you’re supposed to use on each section of your eye, the Wet n Wild Eyeshadow Trio takes the guesswork out for you. Each eyeshadow has a text imprint telling you exactly where to place the colour, and just in case you don’t know what a crease, eyelid or browbone is, there is a labelled drawing of an eye at the back of the palette. I’m not trying to be sarcastic, but I really did find it quite amusing!

My impressions:

Cait, from Swatch Storm, organised a contest on the MMF and Silent Treatment was the prize. This was the first time I’d ever heard of Wet n Wild, as this is a US drugstore brand and it’s not available in Singapore. After doing some research, I discovered that this product has a huge fan base, and many beauty bloggers who are used to high-end stuff have raved about Silent Treatment.

Browbone

The browbone colour is a pale and shimmery light pinky-peach shade which is absolutely glorious. In fact, I’d even go as far to describe it as the perfect highlight. It blends wonderfully into my skin to give it that slight glow, and is extremely flattering. 

Crease

The crease colour is cool-toned dark brown with tiny bits of gold glitter. The glitter is utterly pointless actually, because it didn’t show up on my skin. That being said, I experienced no fallout from the glitter flecks either, so no undereye cleanup was necessary. While the texture is great, dark brown is dark brown so it really wasn’t anything special, and I wasn’t impressed by the hide-and-seek glitter.

I should point out though, that I did not particularly appreciate the eye diagram that came with the palette, because it implied that it’s the ‘normal’ eye. I have monolids, meaning I don’t have a crease at all. Yup, and on top of that, I have tiny, tiny eyes. In my part of the world, my eyes are extremely normal, yet girls like me have trouble using eye makeup because we are born single-lidded. Thank you, Dad (my mum is double-lidded and my dad is single-lidded). I can’t even blame recessive genes, because it was a 50-50 deal.

Oops, didn’t mean to digress. Anyway, my point was that because I don’t have a crease, I had to improvise. Therefore, I used the crease shade as an eyeliner, and it was decent. It would probably have turned out better if I’d foiled it, but I didn’t want to contaminate the eyeshadow.

Eyelid

The eyelid colour is a silvery, plummy-taupe colour and on my skin, looked purplish-brown for some reason. It had been hailed by some as the best taupe of all time, and I did find it quite pretty. However, the colour was unflattering on my skin tone and it made my eyes look bruised, like I’d just been punched in the face. Also, the colour payoff was pretty bad. I had to really pack on the shadow to get it to show even the slightest hint of colour.

The Eyeshadow Trio palette comes with a squee-worthy sponge-tip applicator and an angled eyeshadow brush. These mini things are the cutest little brushes I’d ever seen! They’re useless, obviously, and it’ll be a pain trying to blend with them.

Size:

0.12 oz or 3.5 g

Price:

USD $2.99

For the price, the Silent Treatment Eyeshadow Trio shades are surprisingly complex. The colours are interchangeable and versatile, and can easily be layered to create several different looks ranging from subtle to dramatic. The texture of the eyeshadows are also smooth and easy to blend. My makeup lasted for many hours… what more can one ask from a USD $2.99 product?

 

xoxo

  

Disclosure: I won this product in a giveaway.

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Jennifae has another giveaway up on her blog, and this time, the prizes are from SN’s 2011 Spring Collection! Check it out and good luck!

.

xoxo

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