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The Patron Saint of Makeup

The life and times of a growing university student's stash.

Review: Etude House Vital Firm skincare collection and Secret Time Eye Balm

June 22, 2010

I'm terribly religious when it comes to skincare.

I have never gone to bed with a smidgen of makeup on my face and I'm glad to say my face (and neck!) are showing the results! For the record, I'm approximately NC20-25 (can you believe I'm getting lighter in the summer!?), with combination/oily skin, and I haven't had a breakout in two years.

Part of it can be attributed to genetics, as well as the BCP, but a lot of it is due to a regimented skincare regime. As a teenager, I could get by with facial wash and toner, but now as I'm getting older (21 years!) I want to make sure that when I hit my 30s I still look great.

So while my skin is clear and blemish-free, I still cope with certain problems, namely:

- Undereye circles

- Slight uneven-ness around the jaw where you can see capillaries blooming

I've been using Etude House's Vital Firm range, namely the serum and lotion for about three weeks now, along with the Secret Time Eye Balm at night. The former is supposed to contain a super-fruit combination of anti-oxidants and what-not, and the latter adenosine, which I presume is to help with preventing wrinkles. According to the Etude House USA site description (also where I got the images from), it is described as:

"Skin nourishing complex is a combination of pomegranate, mangosteen, gogi, and acai berries that boosts skin health and vitality with essential vitamins and nutrients. Also contains N-acetylglucosamine (NAG) which plays an active role in hyaluronic acid synthesis in the skin. Daily use facial serum."

Bells and whistles, much?

(From the Etude House Vietnam website)

I'm pleased to say that the regimen that I have been following so far has been quite successful, leaving me with the following results:

GOOD:

- Fewer blackheads especially around the nose area, and tighter pores

- More even skintone, with a firmer appearance

- My pet wrinkle has disappeared :3

BAD:

- Takes a longer time to be fully absorbed into the skin, and is a little frustrating especially when applying the products in layers

Product Texture:

The serum is packaged in a glass bottle with a dropper. About 3 to 4 drops of the golden-yellow, slightly viscous liquid are more than enough to provide a layer for the face and neck. This is meant to be massaged in, and goes on quite smoothly, especially on freshly-washed, still-moist skin. The serum dries down to a dewy, very slightly tacky finish, and should be used before moisturizer.

The lotion is a bloody headache. The bottle is generous and heavy, but there is no bloody pump. The only way you can get this out is by heavily tapping the opening (which is a tiny hole, by the way), into your palm. Think ketchup bottles. It's also the same bloody thixotropic solution, but applies smoothly anyway. I'm not sure if I will repurchase this one, or try the cream next, which comes packaged in a jar. As usual, a kidney-bean sized amount is sufficient for face and neck, but unless you know what a squished kidney-bean looks like, you might want to try the cream instead. The level of frustration is just keyboard-smash worthy.

The eye balm is quite light, and is packaged in a small purple/lilac jar. A little goes a long way, massaged over the entire eye, concentrating on the lower parts. In the morning, my dark circles look more diminished, and applying concealer is considerably easier.

Each product has a very light scent, quite pleasant, but takes a while to dissipate, so scent-sensitive ladies beware!

Will edit to put up prices tomorrow!

DISCLAIMER: This product was purchased, and not sent by PR representatives. Reviews will always be honest to give you, the readers, the best insights possible into the products you may consider purchasing.

Review: MAC Paint Pots and Shu Uemura Cream Shadow

June 20, 2010

I thought I would open with a post that is as colorful as possible, using some of my new, and favorite items.

Overview:

I like the idea of cream shadows because they're incredibly simple to use: swipe a thin layer on your eyelids with a brush or fingertip for a soft wash of colour that can be built up by tapping on more product. They're versatile because you can shape them for a soft diffusion, a feathery-light suggestion of color, or you can paint on sharp, defined shapes. Many of these are also multi-purpose, so you can use them on your cheeks and lips as well.

MAC Paint Pots are wonderful for lazy days, when you're heading to school or for a quick trip to the mall. It takes all of twenty seconds to put on a single color wash, and another thirty to do liner and mascara. On more complicated days, I like layering washes over each other, like watercolours, to really build up the depth and intensity.

Specifics:

I love the variety of colors that MAC has put out in its permanent line: you can get a lot of great basic colors and some fun ones as well. The ones that I own are:

- Bare Study (highlight, inner corner, lid wash) A pale, off-white, almost champagne shimmer.

- Indianwood (lid wash) Golden-brown with slight coppery undertones.

- Rubenesque (lid wash, blush) Coral-gold shimmer, perfect on warm tones.

- Coral Crepe (lid wash, blush) Orange-based coral with a touch of shimmer; rather warm.

- Blackground (lid wash, liner) Black with multicolored sparkles.

- Groundwork (lid wash, primer) Taupe, with slightly more yellow undertones.

- Greenstroke (lid wash, liner) Blue-ish teal green, almost like a more modest version of Delft.

- Moss Scape (lid wash) A lighter, yellower forest green.

- Shu Uemura Cream Shadow (liner) A true neutral red, but may show slight blue tones when sheered out.

Other colors include Delft (bright sea blue with gold shimmer), Artifact (cranberry-plum), Constructivist (dark brown shimmer), Soft Ochre (matte yellow-based skintone), Painterly (the NW version of Soft Ochre, pink undertones), and limited edition releases.

The texture is mostly creamy, with enough slip to prevent creasing when applied to the eyelid. Having said that I have also noticed that some Paint Pots may be a little dryer than the others, especially Bare Study. I find that the best way to apply is either with your ring finger, or a flat synthetic filbert. Load up the brush on both sides with some colour, and stroke the color onto the lid with short strokes that go in one direction. To blend out the color, use sweeping, windshield-wiper motions at the edge of the color. For some, blendability may be a bit of a problem as these things dry pretty quickly, so you'll have to work fast. If you're a bit more ambidextrous like I am, you can apply to both eyes at the same time using your ring fingers.

They are all decently pigmented, and can be built up for stronger intensity. The staying power is brilliant, with or without a primer underneath, and doesn't crease by the end of the day on me (although your mileage may vary). Shadows layered on top of the Paint Pots are emphasized and more intense, and take on the undertone of the color beneath, so it really depends on what you're going for!

The packaging is also gorgeous, with the shadows housed in a heavy glass container with a matte black cap. The labels at the bottom are also transparent for easy viewing. They feel sturdy and strangely, rather comforting to hold in your hand!

Similar to the MAC Paint Pots, the Shu Uemura cream shadows have a good slip to them, and are slightly thicker in consistency. They are both 5g a pot, though the Shu retails for slightly more. I use the red to line my eyes to create a kabuki-styled eye, and it's a true neutral red. This being said I still wouldn't wear it on days I'm feeling sleepy because red will echo and reflect any red in your eyes. As far as I know, the zombie-look is still not in fashion.

Versus:

I picked MAC primarily because they're the only brand that carries such a wide range of cream shadows: comapred to Shiseido or Shu Uemura, you have considerably more variety, as well as a cheaper cost overall. Majolica Majorca (which can be found in your drugstore) has only pastel shades available, which are predominantly chunks of glitter. They're not the cheapest around, but they're certainly affordable if you want to try out one or two at a go. These are also permanent, so don't worry about them ever running away!

Swatches: with flash, night-time, in order mentioned above:



MAC Paint Pots retail for SGD33 each, Shu Uemura for SGD40 each.

Like them? Hate them? Want more info before you try them? Leave me a comment or message!

DISCLAIMER: This product was purchased, and not sent by PR representatives. Reviews will always be honest to give you, the readers, the best insights possible into the products you may consider purchasing.

Oh hello lovelies!

June 20, 2010

I guess it's about time I started blogging about face-paint, ever since I started really getting into it in late 2008. My stash has grown rather substantially since then, and I rather enjoy shopping my stash and adding new, special items to it on occasion. I'm a university undergraduate living in Singapore, so I hope to cover as many brands as possible that some of my overseas counterparts lack!

I'm not a huge hauler, neither do I own a lot of high-end products, but I just thought I'd share with you the bits and pieces of my ever-growing, and very precious collection. I hope to do reviews, routines, FOTDs and EOTDs as regularly as possible, and most of all, I'd like to know what you think!

And I leave you with a photo of my MAC Paint Pot collection! Reviews coming soon. <3

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