Saturday, 27 November 2010

Banila Co. Glam in the Dark F/W 2010 (2nd collection) eyeshadow palette

Gosh, what an enormous title that I have to write down to describe this product, and I haven't even written down 'review/swatches' yet.

Oh, hi again. Last week I had not blogged anything because I could not find anything to blog on that was blogworthy or had not been blogged about before. For the Banila co. eyeshadow palettes I always make an exception, because I often like their palettes a lot.  

Their second Fall/Winter 2010 collection has more than the palette I picked up: a couple of eyeliners, two lipsticks and a lipgloss and a mascara. The Mineral Baking Pact is probably a repromotion of the same product, only in a beautiful sparkly eggplant case.

I found the blush to be incredibly hard to resist as well, but you can understand with an uncountable collection of those cheek-perkifyers I just could not justify on splurging on another one.

Don't mind the Korean spelling...kind of funny name pun: a products that Blurs-her (it blurs her into looking beautiful).

I am happy with the palette only. The holographic letters are embossed on the eggplant purple case, which give it a winter-luxury feeling.

The colour composition is based on rather earthy colours. So I would not call it a festive period palette but more suitable for daytime looks.

The composition is of 3 shimmery colours and 3 matte colours.

The first three on the left: A shimmery mauve brown. A matte purple brown colour and a matte cream colour.

The right part of the palette. A matte camel colour, a shimmery taupe brown and a semi-shimmery deeper brown colour.

I really wanted the palette for the Camel colour only, because the A/W fashion scene is filled with camel coloured clothes and now I have a matching eyeshadow to pair up with.

Swatches with Too Faced Eye Insurance as a primer:

With this selection of colours, finishes and textures I noticed a couple of differences.
First, the shimmery colours have the best texture that I am used to of Banila Co.'s palettes. However, the difference between the mauve brown and taupe brown are not that big. It might be difficult for the untrained eye to see a difference.

The darkest brown on the right is ok, but has not the best velvety texture ever.

I absolutely like the matte colours for shading and highlighting, and the cream colour is wonderful for that unnoticably bit of highlight. As for my favourite colour, camel, I found it a bit hard to swatch. I hope this will be better on the eyes. However, matte eyeshadows often are a bit more difficult to use.

The only matte I really appreciate texture-wise are Becca colours. Not that I have tried a lot of matte colours, but I prefer Becca matte eyeshadows over MAC, for example.

There are some awesome swatches on this Korean blog as well, so check them out if you want to see them (here)

Overall, it is a lovely palette with a lot of potential for people who are into neutral type of colours. It does not really scream 'festive season' or 'glitterparty' but that is absolutely ok. I mean, some days you just want to have a neutral and toned-down healthy look in between all of the debauchery of the festivities.

I bought this palette on over here for ₩25,000 ($ 22.42- excluding shipping). I did not get the gift, but I cannot read Korean so there must be a special cause that spells out what to do for a gift.

Monday, 15 November 2010

Shu Uemura Camillia Silk Oil smoothing Fluid & Kose Salon Style Precious Head Serum

Hair is big has always been that way and it is still these days. Trends come and go, but as hair seems to be the indicator of health (fertility & attractiveness) and the one thing that does not go out of style is shiny and healthy hair.

I have shiny hair, but I have this craving for ridiculously, shiny hair that it would blind anyone that looks upon it. That, so shiny it looks fake. That kind of hair.

So I buy stuff, more hair stuff for me to attain that goal.

So, I have bought a relatively cheap one (Kose Salon Style Precious Head) and a ridiculously expensive one (Shu Uemura Camilla oil silk fluid) to put into the test.

With Kose Cosmeport Salon Style I have been having a good experience with their hair mask in the past. So, during one of my shopping in order to reach that $100 mark for free shipping, I added this in order to see if it could bring that ridiculous shine to my hair.

I was lured into the Shu Uemura because of the raves online and in the magazines. Also, I love Shu's cosmetic line. I have been trying their Tasai Cream in the past, and I did not liked it (I gave it away during my giveaway last spring). Well, I am not one to give up if one items of their line does not work, so I bought this serum that just HAD to work because I paid approximately $30 for it.

I really like the cleanness of Shu's packaging.
Shu Uemura Style Camillia Silk Oil Smoothing Fluid

Mmm, I will keep it short...It does not deliver. Yes, I do get some shine, but it does not make any noticable difference compared to not wearing it at all.

My second goal, untangling my hair (something a serum should at least be capable of) is not reached either. Yes, it untangles a tiny bit, but does not have that quality that some other untangling serums have.

Overal, I would not buy it again.
Kose Cosmeport Salon Style Precious Head extra smooth serum
 So, there is my second product for that...possibly impossible goal of mine. Kose Cosmeport Salon Style Precious Head extra smooth serum. I like the fact of having a precious head, at least, I consider my head to be precious for its thinking qualities, LOL.

It has that similar soapy smell as the hair mask, and according to it has spa water and botanical extracts inside. Interesting.

Another short review: it does not give me that ridiculous shine either.
However, as a detangler it seems to be working a bit better.

I  also like the fact that it takes less cash to purchase this: $8.80 at for 110 ml.

Still, I do not think either products help in order to get that fantastic shine I see on some people (either with virgin or coloured hair).

Conclusion, I do not think these two make much of a difference on the natural state of my hair nor bring out extra gloss, so I could just skip them. The detangler effect of the Kose is lovely, but can be replaced by any other smoothing cream or a good conditioner.

Hourglass Illume Sunset:

Summer seems a long time ago, but the beachy glow can still stay...

Well, we got our wonderful faking-tools these days.

I always fake my glow in summer, however, in winter I feel more at ease making my own, slightly light skin shine through.

But you know, I live in a quintessential western country with those 'wonderful' beauty standards of tan-is-beautiful', so sometimes I fake my glow to face my family, who otherwise would tell me "aww, why don't you go to a tanning bed?" (oh, and tanning beds are evil in my opinion, but somehow I cannot manage to convince them of that idea so I just nod my head and leave it like that, not going to tanning beds...of course...dah).

I got myself a new faker....ehm, beauty enhancer ;D

After reading lots of glowing reviews, and the mandatory celebrity-X-uses-this stories, I decided to venture on a new brand, for me at least, Hourglass.

I think Hourglass is an American brand. I use American brands every now and then. They have lots of $$$ to put into research so I am bound to receive a product that has been put through millions of tests and is marketed for a large audience. I really like some Tarte products, by the way, and L'oreal can have some good items.

Hourglass has finally been made available for the curious Europeans (who had to go through great lenghts to get anything Hourglass before) on I had to wait for a while for the Illume in Sunset to get into stock again, but when it finally was....

 The box of Hourglass is in a sleek, black colour with platina-esque letters.

The back of the box has the instruction list and the ingredients:

 Wonderful, they have listed the ingredients for both the brown, bronzer colour as for the Sunset (peachy) colour:

 Instuctions: They listed them in French as well. That could mean that they target for an Canadian audience...

Out of the box: it is a sleek, dark silver-esque colour in a metallic case. The logo and packaging reminds me of a more conventional sister of Illamasqua.

After struggling to open it for the first couple of times, I found out that you have to slide it to the sides.

 Inside are two equal amounts of a bronze and peach-like colour
 Two gorgeous shades that are bordering on the warm side of neutral:

In this picture you can see that they have a lustry, glowy quality upon them. The left side is the two colours blended:
Tarte Illume Sunset swatches: Left: Sunset&bronze blended; middle: sunset; right: bronze
 Another swatch picture in different light.
Tarte Illume Sunset swatches: Left: Sunset&bronze blended; middle: sunset; right: bronze
I have to say that I am incredibly amazed by the level of pigmentation. The pigmentation is really strong when you apply it on. Those swatch pictures were only one swipe! I almost reminds me of a professional makeup-artist product like Joe Blasco or Graftobian. 

However, it is still normal-consumer friendly as it blends quite easily into the skin. Also, if the first application looks a bit done, wait for a couple of minutes and the fierceness of the colour have blended into the skin as a natural glow.

I believe it is suitable for colours that are darker, going on to NW/C 40. I know that Karen from makeupbeautyblog reviewed and swatched this and it looks really vivid on her NW 40 (?) skin. Actually, the Sunset colour looks really pink on her skin, while it looks like a peachy orange on mine. See, how different people wear their products differently?

After all these raves, I do believe that the colours in the blush palette have a warmer quality, especially the bronzer colour has some red hints in it. 

So, although it is such a lovely and convienient compact for both blush, bronzer or both, I do believe that people with cool skintones will find the bronzer shade a bit too warm. I myself am a neutral bordering on cool, and you can already see the difference with someone like Karen from Makeupbeautyblog of how the colours would show up.

However, I love the two colours in the mix and the quality of this product is just fantastic. Another plus for me: no glitters and shimmers are in the two colours! That makes it a more convincing faker for me.

I bought my palette at British site It was my second order and they were as fast as ever (just a couple of days).

Friday, 12 November 2010

Pre-Xmas gift musings...

This necklace would make a perfect gift for the pug-loving people...

I personally like dogs myself, but they can be a bit much to take care of.

So, are you a dog person or a cat lover...or do you like both?

(spotted: Michellechangjewellery on Etsy)

something sweet and something a bit naughty

Meet my new little friend who is going to live up a space in my home...

♥ I love her heart-shaped mouth ♥

Proudly she stands...
And she has a heart...

And if you think crotchetting is a domestic and boring thing to do....think again...

Then you have never been crotchet-i-fied by Kimberly Tia...

She  made me a special new friend...

But, beware...

if you are still a little girl or boy at heart...

Although it can be seen as the sweetest little fellow, his shape is absolutely...

Ohh, la is definitely the happiest and cutest coloured one I have seen...

Yeh, not talking about the one on the right...

Sweet KimTia gave me that Panda Bear for Free....♥ and she needs some attention too, even though the coloured P-boy will draw most of the attention to him (just a lucky guess :D)

Now ms. Panda Bear and mr. Cocky are friends! Who could have thought about that?

Have a brightly coloured and happy weekend ;D

Monday, 8 November 2010

wishlist: a happy print

I have been harvesting a slight  crush on this happy print:

Description: "She's in love with music wich makes her hair polka dot colored :)"

Now I want the print, and polka dot coloured hair!

(spotted on Etsy from seller Rosiemusic)

Friday, 5 November 2010

Brow-sing Etude House goodies: Etude House Color My Brows in Rich Brown

I have to be a tiny bit strict on myself for showing my readers my latest Eude House haul, and absolutely not reviewing my favourite product of the bunch. Ok, I will be mellow on myself, because I had to test it for a couple of days to see if it really is...(to use a 1990s expression)...all that.

By the way, I love the nineties, especially the music...that eighties stuff was just a pre-warmer for the nineties. I liked the grunge, the new ravers, Friends..and Clueless ofcourse...

Oh, and the nineties had the natural brow look going on...Somehow this strong brow is coming back.

Etude Color My Brows comes in a paper foldable packaging.  If you are a person who likes to keep the packaging with their products, then the packaging will not really be so handy to you. Simply, because a box is easier to carry around.

Gladly, the instructions are clearly illustrated with animation pictures. I might miss an instruction because I cannot read Korean at all, but the animated instructions are clear.
  1. Brush in the product in the opposite direction of the growth of your eyebrows, probably to get the colour evenly distributed around the hairs.
  2. brush and style your eyebrows in the right direction.

The backside has some information in English as well:

Description of the colour I picked, and an alternative description than the one that was shown on the picture before.

Color My Brows has a mascara wand type of form. It is a relatively small tube with 4.5 g of content.

The brush is in a form that is wider in the middle and smaller on the ends.

Do we call that a cone-shape?

The colour is a neutral mid brown with a tiny hint of warmth in it. It does not contain obvious reddish tones, but it has a tiny bit of lustre and sparkle in a golden undertone. I like this a lot, because I have tried some ashy, cooler browns and they do not match my slightly warm brunette hair at all. I would still qualify it more of a neutral than a warm.

Etude House CMB in 01 Rich Warm: golden shimmers and a neutral mid brown tone
 The wear of this product is delightfully light. Still, it is able to tame slightly stubborn eyebrows in a more manageable form, without feeling that you have put some heavy gel-like product on it. 
It colours the hairs of your eyebrows. In my case, they turn a notch darker than they were before. So, it is quite Caucasian friendly (that sounds weird, but I have light skin with light eyes so I cannot do dramatically dark brows). I think it would suit a variety of complexions/skintones of people who dye their hair a bit lighter, because I do think the pigmentation of the colour is strong enough to lighten up the original colour of the brow.

I believe it will look quite natural on blonde caucasians or redheads too. I say that because most eyebrow wands often look too dark on me, and this one looks natural when applied with a light hand. However, they have a lighter shade in 2, light brown, which might even suit natural redheads and blondes even better. It just depends on how you would like to see your eyebrows, stronger and deep or naturally defined.

I often come across as a bit of a glitter and glimmer phobe, and that is often the case when I want to wear natural makeup. Anyhow, the glimmers are not visible as glimmers when wearing this on the eyebrows. It is simply that bit of lustre that you might see.

Who will like this product? 
Well, me! In general it will be suitable for when you want a bit of definition on your eyebrows, but do not want/need/or have time to use a eyebrow pencil to pencil in the shape of your eyebrows. Or, you can add the eyebrow wand as an extra fix of colour (and fixation) after you pencilled in your eyebrows. It suits people who want to have a relatively lighter eyebrow with a neutral undertone. It is also a quick way of fixing the brows, so it is time-efficient.

I bought my Etude House Color My Brows in Rich Brown on gmarket (here) for ₩6,000 ($ 5.57). I have also spotted it on ebay but the seller has a low positive feedback rate, so I will not give you that link. (still, it is your risk to take so feel free to look it up).

Thursday, 4 November 2010

trial and error: Mac Pro Blush in Cantaloupe

Isn't it funny how sometimes the slightest difference of colour makes the difference between looking good or looking off...?

Most us my readers will know this, because we are trained in seeing that little bit of difference between a mauvy nude or a nudish mauve colour.

For me, I had a new quest on the field of looking good. I often make the combination of a really subtle bronzer, and top up the cheeks with a bit of blush. I also noticed that a corally blush brings out the spark in my eyes.

So, logically I sought for a colour that would be
  1. matte, or at least without shimmer sparkles
Oh, that has to do with the fact that some 'sisters' (aka other girls or sometimes gay men) are so wonderfully nice (ahum) to comment me on my face when there is a sparkle on all know these girls, they are the smug times who always want to let you know that they are able to see you wearing makeup. Well, keep it for you, because I can see your makeup (or lack of it) as well.

Ok, so I know they might see my matte blush/bronzer hybrid as well, but at least I will not get that "owww, there is a sparkle on your cheek/lip/whatever" remark so fast

    2. A combination between a neutral brown and a coral colour.

I thought I would hit the jackpot with MAC blush in Cantaloupe.

It is a PRO blush, so I had to go the extra mile and go to the pro-shop in  Amsterdam (the city of doom...ha ha, well it is a boring city, people, especially when you are sober like me).

After being served by a subtly mean way by a male SA, * you so-called compliments that are actually meant as an insult * ("at least you have beautiful eyes" - hinting that the rest is total shit, "well, thank you, mr or ms Sales Assistant"), I sauntered off with my new blush/bronzer.

At least, I hoped that the trip to our 'city of boringness' Amsterdam would satisfy my craving for that hybrid product I described earlier.


I tried it on, and...oh dear....

I reminded myself of the colour my mum used to wear in the eighties.

Well, in the eighties that was a brilliant colour. She always wore the cream blush from Max Factor in an orangy colour. I think they still have that one!

And on her, it looked quite ok. She was that bottle blond (but a convincing bottle blonde that looked like a real one, my mum knew what she was doing!) look with that sunbed complexion. I know, sunbeds are EVIL, but those were the eighties and my mum thought there was nothing wrong with sunbeds. So, that bit of orangy bronzer cheek look looked good for her time, and her personality.

Anyway, that colour never looked good on me, and in its MAC pro powder blush, it still doesn't.

Let's compare with one of the most flattering coral blushes in my assortiment: My Jemma Kidd cream blush in Paw Paw (top of the picture)...The MAC Cantaloupe in beneath that...

top: Jemma Kidd Cheek Colour Paw Paw; Bottom: Mac Cantaloupe

You can even see the difference on my arm! It is that little bit of colour difference that makes me look
a. glowy and healthy (and a couple of years younger)
b. overtanned and aged, made up and unnatural.

Moral of the story:
I shouldnt' have strayed from you, Jemma Kidd Paw Paw!

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

The infamous mr/ms kittyhead

After months of doing the "should I, or shouldn't I" debate I finally ended up with the infamous Kittyhead lipstick of Paul & Joe.

That is Clair de Lune, the mauve based nudish lipstick.

I thought it was too wonderfully weird to pass it up.

It was finally available on ASOS, and somehow got added to the rest of my cart. Isn't that strange how these things just jump in your cart? ;p

The good thing about waiting for such a while is that you will be able to read plenty of reviews on it. I have to agree with most of them, that it is a really sheer lipstick, even for my liking.

Doesn't matter, the oddity factor makes it fun.

I will use that lip brush a lot with it, avoiding it to loose its head...(pun intended).