Thursday, 29 April 2010

Jelly Pong Pong: Cherry Pie Eyeshadow Palette Review


Jelly Pong Pong. How quirky is that name? Susan Chyi, the founder, says on the website that the name was born from the notion of wanting to invoke the eccentricity that is innate in all of us. The fascination and awe that we arouse simply by being different and perfectly unique.

Those of you who’ve heard of the brand would know that it’s based in London. Jelly Pong Pong used to have a store in Covent Garden but, sadly, it is no more. They are now concentrating their resources on its online presence through its own website and through other online shops like Zalando (updated).

I bought this eyeshadow palette several months back and didn’t really begin to use it till a couple of weeks ago. I really should be punished for this crime of neglect! Well, this palette is really called just Cherry Pie, with a description of “cherry pie-scented eyeshadow palette”. Taking it literally, I did sniff at the shadows and what do you know? I detected a faint sweet scent!

Here’re my thoughts on this cute palette:

Product
Name: Cherry Pie
Net weight and Price: 6.56g / 0.23oz for £12

According to Jelly Pong Pong
A quartet of eye shadows in wearable, sweet shades of Crust Bronze, Deep Berry, Light Cherry Pink and Cinnamon. Also comes with a superior eye shadow base, formulated with UVA & UVB filters for a protective, long-lasting application.

Bonus : The eye shadows are formulated with jojoba seed oil, vitamin E & aloe vera to nourish the delicate skin around your eyes.


Packaging
Comes packaged in a cute box with some cheerful designs.
The eyeshadow palette itself is quite small, measuring approximately 8.5 x 6 x 1.25 cm. Inside, you will find a mirror, a mini eyeshadow brush and a double-ended sponge tip applicator.

Ingredients
Please click on the image to enlarge.

Contents
The eyeshadow base is in the centre. Encircling it are the four eyeshadows which are essentially matte but with the very slightest hint of shimmer.

Clockwise, from top: Crust Bronze (brown), Deep Berry (dark pink), Light Cherry Pink (very light pink), Cinnamon (orangey brown with a tinge of red)


My Thoughts
Packaging
Hmm, what can I say besides cute? The size of the palette makes it very practical to carry around. It opens and shuts sturdily. I like using the “full-size” mirror and I have no complaints about the applicators. I tend to use the sponge tip applicators more than the brush, by the way.

Eyeshadow base
The eyeshadow base is very soft and creamy. I’ve read that it wasn’t a good base at all but I would have to disagree, partially. I think it’s a decent base. In my case, I didn’t see any creasing after almost six hours of wear (compare eye images right). Granted, the shadows were slightly faded but there was no creasing. However, at the eight-hour mark, the eyeshadow was showing signs of creasing.

Eyeshadows
The eyeshadows are soft and of a slightly creamy consistency. In general, they’ve got good pigmentation but I thought the dark pink of Deep Berry loses its depth very quickly on the eyelid, hence requiring re-application. My favourite colour of the four has got to be Cinnamon. It’s such a curious shade of orange, brown and red mixed together. That’s one shade with character.

Here are three possible looks created with the Cherry Pie shades:

Deep Berry and Light Cherry Pink


Crust Bronze, Deep Berry and Light Cherry Pink


Crust Bronze (the whole lid fold) and Cinnamon

Other products used:
GOSH Velvet Touch eyeliner in Truly Brown
Maybelline Volum’ Express Turbo Boost Waterproof mascara


Final Words
Overall, I love this palette! There really isn’t anything about this palette that irks me. There are only those little issues mentioned above, but nothing annoying.

On the packaging, it says that it’s formulated in Italy and made in Taiwan. I’ve found out that it just means that Jelly Pong Pong’s formulations for the ingredients are done by cosmetic chemists in Italy. These exact formulations are then sent to Taiwan for replication and mass production for retail.

As mentioned above, Jelly Pong Pong now sells online through its Jelly Pong Pong website and websites such as BeautyBoxx and Zalando. On its website, it states that all orders are charged a standard shipping fee of £3.95 to UK and EU destinations, and USD6.95 for USA and Canada. As it wasn’t indicated on the website, I’ve inquired if they also ship to Asia and Australia. Basically, they ship worldwide and shipping charges would be roughly the same as to the US (this is, of course, only an indication).

Jelly Pong Pong products are also available through several country-specific retail stores and also online stores (please check their website for more details). I’ve been informed that they will also soon be available through Urban Outfitters.

Update

In Europe, Jelly Pong Pong can be purchased through websites such as BeautyBoxx and Zalando: UK, Nederland, Germany, Austria.

A little tip: Jelly Pong Pong also offers the Deluxe Gift Bag which contains two full-size products (there are several combinations) and these are priced at £13 per bag. For example, it is possible to get Set C which contains Cherry Pie and the Wakeup Makeup kit for only £13! That’s quite a bargain, if you ask me.

To find out more about this quirky brand, have a look at the Jelly Pong Pong website. There, you’ll find products with the most amazingly decorative packaging and the zaniest names to boot. My Cherry Pie would be considered quite “normal” in comparison.

Sunday, 25 April 2010

Adorned Nails: KOH Matt on Rain Forest


Let’s revisit an old friend today. Some of you might remember KOH Rain Forest. It was my first ever KOH nail polish acquired at a time when my relationship with nail polish hadn't reached addictive proportions yet and when nail art stamping was about as foreign to me as Greek is.

I thought it would be nice to shine the spotlight on it again but this time, with a different look: matt. On its own, Rain Forest is a glossy medium green with yellow undertones. Pictured left is a comparison between Rain Forest on its own, and Rain Forest with a matt top coat (surely you can tell which one's which).

KOH has finally released its version of a matt top coat, naming it simply KOH Matt!. This is what KOH says on the packaging (excerpts):

The top coat has a matt effect on any nail polish colour and creates a protective layer, shielding the nail polish from scratches, chipping and flaking.....It has been enriched with bamboo extract and vitamin E for improvement of the nail condition.

KOH Matt retails for €19.95 and it's housed in a 10ml bottle. Note: KOH Matt was sent to me by KOH to try out. KOH Rain Forest was my own purchase.

Now, I've come to the conclusion that green isn't a much loved nail polish colour and neither is matt a favourite finish. Combine both together and I’m beginning to wonder what you might think! To me, Rain Forest on its own is like a glammed up golden army green, which I do like. The mattified Rain Forest loses its glamorous gloss and some of the yellow undertones but consequently, it becomes a very subdued, nonchalant and unpretentious green. I actually like the matt version even more. If you’re not that into green or feel too self-conscious, I’d recommend applying a matt top coat and suddenly, it becomes very wearable and is much easier on the eye.

Next, I did some stamping on it. The image used is from the Fauxnad image plate T05 from Chez Delaney and the polish was a yellow Konad stamping polish. With the dull lustre of the mattified Rain Forest and the thin lines of the image, the end results were very subtle. I’m not very sure what plant the image is. It looks like an innocent plant but I do wonder if it’s actually hemp! All images were taken in daylight.

Just for the record, I wore this for five days (I don't usually leave polish on for so long). I thought this matt top coat was pretty hardy against scratches. Chipping began on the fifth day.

Anyway, this is what I came up with:




Here, I thought the images looked like engravings on the nails.

Friday, 23 April 2010

Beauty Shopping In The Netherlands: Branded Stores


Updated 18 May 2011


In this third instalment of the Beauty Shopping in the Netherlands series, we will explore the branded stores. The first two names are home-grown brands, what I would proudly categorise under Much About Dutch. Again, I do not claim this to be a comprehensive list as there may be other stores that I am not aware of.

1. Rituals
Rituals is a lifestyle brand. The first brand in the world to combine Home & Body cosmetics. Founded by Raymond Cloosterman around a decade ago, Rituals is a Dutch retail chain that offers pampering products for both the home and for personal care. Rituals coined the word “masstige” which refers to products of quality on par with prestigious brands but offered at accessible prices. In other words, chic and luxurious products available at around, say, The Body Shop prices.

Basically, Rituals’ product offering encompasses body care, facial care, gemstone makeup, home perfumes, kitchen care, tea and even bath towels.


The underlining philosophy of this brand is to turn everyday routines into special pampering rituals. It advocates self-awareness and savouring the moment. Such rituals can be practised in the comfort of your own home using Rituals’ products. However, Rituals has expanded its business model with the opening of several City Spas in the last couple of years, two of which are in the Netherlands and one in Belgium. In these City Spas, facials, massages, manicures and pedicures are offered for both men and women. I had a look at their City Spa brochure the other day and I must admit that the treatments all sound fabulously pampering.


Rituals has expanded rapidly in the last few years and has a store in just about every city in this country. The products are also available in some parfumerie stores and departmental stores. Rituals also has a retail presence in Belgium, Germany, Czech Republic, Kroatia, Lithuania, Portugal, Spain and the UK.

To have an idea of what its products are like, you might like to read my overview and extensive review of the Rituals Hammam line of body care products.

2. KOH
You would already know about the KOH Experience Shop, better known as the nail polish heaven. If you still don't, I suggest that you check my previous articles on the KOH brand that was founded by Margreet van Roemburg, and the shop.

I’ve been informed that the KOH Experience Shop has recently moved to a different location, just a short distance from the previous spot. It is still on the Second Floor of de Bijenkorf in Amsterdam. I haven’t seen the new shop yet, but I bet it’s got yet another facelift. It’s getting quite hard to keep up!

3. MAC
As far as I know, there is only one dedicated MAC store here and it is in Amsterdam. I’m warning you. It’s one tiny, narrow shop. Fortunately, MAC is also available elsewhere: at de Bijenkorf departmental store in several cities and in some of the bigger Douglas parfumerie stores.




4. The Body Shop
The legacy of the late Dame Anita Roddick needs no introduction here, I’m sure. Its shops are ubiquitous! In the Netherlands, they can be found in just about every city.




5. LUSH
Ahh, Lush. Surely you would have heard of the UK-headquartered Lush before. Did you know that long before the Lush identity was born, the founder Mark Constantine, together with a partner, were already making bath and beauty products using natural ingredients for other companies, the most noteworthy being The Body Shop?


Lush has retail presence in more than forty countries around the world. In the Netherlands, there are six stores, two of which are in Amsterdam.

6. L’Occitane
L’Occitane en Provence is another lovely brand with cosy-looking stores that always smell so so divine. L’Occitane was founded in Provence by Olivier Baussan at around the same time when The Body Shop was launched. I doubt I need to say much here as L’Occitane is present in around 85 countries. L’Occitane is available in six cities in the Netherlands.


7. Yves Rocher
This is a name that I don’t see that often in beauty blog world. It is a brand that has been in existence for a little over fifty years and with sales points all over the world. It has its roots in Brittany, France, started by the late Yves Rocher who was very passionate about producing beauty products using plants as its main ingredients. This is a company steeped in history, strong ethical values and botanical expertise and with its own botanical garden and laboratoria to boot.

Yves Rocher offers products in the area of skincare, haircare, perfume and makeup, among other things, all available at very budget-friendly prices. In many ways except for the prices, this brand and its ethos remind me of L’Occitane.

It was also a pioneer in beauty mail order shopping. Moving with the times, it is now active with its online shops serving many countries around the world. In the Netherlands, there are now also Yves Rocher stores in several major cities. I've come across only one such store and I thought the ambience in the store rather reminded me of The Body Shop.

8. Sabon
This is another brand offering bath and body products in very elegant, cosy stores quite like L’Occitane’s but with a different colour scheme. Sabon had its humble beginnings in 1974 in Israel when a couple started making soaps using a blend of local herbs, flowers and fragrant oils. Well, they’ve come a long way since then and its glorious range of products currently also includes shower gels, bath salts, body oils and lotions, foot creams, scented candles and perfume. There are currently stores dotted all around the world and in the Netherlands, I believe there are seventeen dedicated stores.



Updated: 21 December 2010

9. Make Up Store
A new addition! Make Up Store is a Swedish brand begun by Mika Liias. His first store opened in Stockholm in 1996 and today Make Up Store has 160 stores in 22 countries. We, in the Netherlands, are a bit late but the brand finally opened its maiden store here in mid-2010. This one store is located in the heart of Amsterdam’s main shopping area, funnily enough, just two doors away from the MAC store. Address: Heiligeweg 9.

As the name suggests, the brand has a full range of makeup products, anything from foundations to nail polishes, one of which is shown here. Make Up Store also offers makeup lessons/courses – both private and in groups. If I’m not mistaken, the space upstairs above the store is where they conduct the lessons.



Updated: 18 May 2011

10. Inglot
The Netherlands finally has an Inglot Cosmetics store!

Inglot is a Polish brand that has been around for more than twenty years. It's an established brand in its home country but over the years it's been steadily gaining popularity overseas with the opening of more and more stores. There are currently more than 200 Inglot retail stores worldwide.

The founder, Wojtek Inglot, was a chemist by training. I read that, in the early days, Mr Inglot went to New York to attend a convention for cosmetic chemists, mainly for the purpose of networking. He learnt a lot from those he met there and from their laboratories. In fact, his first nail polish was made using an American formula.


The Inglot store in Amsterdam opened for business in early May 2011. It has pretty much the standard Inglot store interior - sleek, large and spacious with rows and rows of colours of nail polishes, eyeshadows, lipsticks, etc.

Its location is quite a distance from the main shopping area in Amsterdam (where say, MAC and Make Up Store are located). Instead, it is closer to the Rijksmuseum and PC Hooftstraat (Amsterdam's chic area filled with luxury brand stores). Address: van Baerlestraat 8.


The other instalments in this series can be found here.

Sunday, 18 April 2010

Adorned Nails: SpaRitual Hope Springs Eternal


After letting my nails have their first ever lick of a SpaRitual nail polish with I Feel The Earth Move, I just knew I had to have more of this brand. While that first one was dark and quite foreboding, this second one that I’ve bought is very bright and screams of boundless happiness!

This cheerful polish is one of six spring colours that was released a while back by SpaRitual. Hope Springs Eternal is the name. It’s truly a bright, rather gaudy fuschia-like pink, but I wouldn’t call it offensive. After all, I can’t fault it for being happy.

The formula is thick (at least, that was the case with my bottle). The finish is metallic and I thought that the paint strokes were conspicuous if you looked close enough. But then, because it’s bright and it's got so much shine, you would tend not to see the lines. So, let’s just not dwell on that.

Each of the six spring colours comes with a little silver charm with inspirational words like Yes I Can, Shoot For The Stars and I Believe In You. Mine says simply Hope.

Shown here are with two coats of Hope Springs Eternal. I just couldn’t resist taking a couple of pictures of my pink nails with some real cherry blossoms. Hey, it’s spring! I took these pictures almost two weeks ago when the cherry blossoms were in full bloom in my garden. As we all know, once they bloom, they don’t stay proud and beautiful for very long (well, they're all shrivelled up and dried now). All images in this post were taken in natural lighting.





And then, there’s the stamping, predictably with cherry blossoms, I’m afraid. I used my first ever Konad stamping plate, S9, a plate with many cute cherry blossom images.

Using an old white nail polish, I took a portion of this image and did the stamping on all nails this time. I don’t think it looks OTT here because the nail polish is so shiny that, at one glance, you wouldn’t easily notice the stamping. View it at an angle, as I’m showing here in the following images, and only then will you see the cherry blossom images. That’s subtle enough for me.