Monday, 28 June 2010

ELLIS FAAS Giveaway: ELLIS EYES Light


This giveaway is now closed. Thank you.

You’ve seen the Lights from ELLIS FAAS. You’ve also seen some swatches. It's unfortunate that the Lights are not yet available in all the countries where ELLIS FAAS products are sold.


Now, how would you like to win yourself a Light?

Good news! ELLIS FAAS is giving away five Lights to my readers! The five winners will each win one ELLIS FAAS Ellis Eyes Light in the colour of their choice. So, which one would you like to win?

E301 (warm silver)
E302 (greenish gold)
E303 (bronze)
E304 (lilac)
E305 (holographic Bordeaux)
A close-up image of the Lights pens (L-R: E301 - E305)

All images courtesy of ELLIS FAAS

Participants who do not win will not exactly walk away empty-handed. As a consolation prize, ELLIS FAAS is offering participants of this giveaway a 15% discount for their next purchase through its online shop (specific information will be given later in the email from ELLIS FAAS; discount does not apply to shipping charges – see No. 8 below).

Here’s what you need to know:

1. Open worldwide.

2. Open to one and all.

Non-followers as seen on Google Friend Connect – one entry.

Followers as seen on Google Friend Connect (see sidebar) – two entries.

In either case, you would need to provide me with a name by which I can address you (for non-followers) or your Google Friend Connect name (for followers).

3. Let ELLIS FAAS know in which luxury store in your city (or in a city near you) you would love to see ELLIS FAAS products sold or a store in which ELLIS FAAS would fit right at home. Perhaps there are stores which you go to to purchase luxury cosmetics and you always thought it’s a pity that ELLIS FAAS products are not available there.

4. Optional: Tweet about this giveaway – one additional entry.

5. Optional: Feature this giveaway on your blog – two additional entries.

6. Please submit your entries by filling in the form below by latest Sunday 25th July 2010 at 11.59pm (Central European Time). This giveaway has been extended for another week.

Please fill in the form only once.

7. Five winners will be drawn randomly using the Ellis Number Generator (yes, the creative genius herself!). I will have the list of entries arranged either in chronological order or in reverse chronological order. Ellis, who will not know how I’ve arranged the entries, will pass me five random numbers.

8. Consolation to all participants who do not win: If you are not one of the five winners, you will receive by email a discount coupon code from ELLIS FAAS which entitles you to 15% discount on your next purchase through its online shop (details will be provided later in the email from ELLIS FAAS). Update from ELLIS FAAS: The five winners will also receive the 15% discount coupon code. However, this discount does not apply to shipping charges, which I've been informed by ELLIS FAAS are the following: Europe - €3.50; US - €4.50 and the rest of the world - €6.50 (these rates are only an indication).

Note: Witoxicity does not stand to profit monetarily from any purchase transactions occurring on the ELLIS FAAS online shop using the 15% discount code.

9. The results will be announced on Wednesday, 28th July 2010. I will contact the five winners by email. If I don’t hear back from a particular winner within 72 hours, another winner will be chosen.

10. The folks at ELLIS FAAS will send the prizes out directly to the winners. Every care will be taken in sending out the packages but neither ELLIS FAAS nor I will be held responsible in the event that the package goes missing in transit or arrives damaged.

Good luck, everyone!

Note: If you’re new to ELLIS FAAS, please have a look at my previous posts on this brand, the ELLIS FAAS website and the ELLIS FAAS Facebook page.

Friday, 25 June 2010

Adorned Nails: KOH Hot Pink


I thought I’d show you something that wouldn’t look out of place on your fingers and toes this summer.


Hot Pink is a dark gaudy pink with a creme finish, not quite fushcia but it gets very close to red. That’s how it looks indoors anyway. A broody Hot Pink. Would that qualify as an oxymoron?

However, outdoors in the sun, Hot Pink shakes off some of its red and becomes appropriately bright and hot. See? Note: This outdoor photo was taken on a different day from all the other indoor photos. The indoor photos were taken without flash photography.


Hot Pink is a fairly new purchase and I’ve already worn it twice (also on my toes). Seriously, this is a one-coater and application was problem-free.

To adorn it, I’ve used the relatively new Nail Art Stampy Design plate from Essence: 02 Style It Up!. It’s great that Essence finally released these new plates as I was getting tired of the designs from the two Essence Nail Art Stampy Set boxes. Essence released four new design plates in May (they are only €1.45 per piece!) but the funny thing is that two of them are numbered 01 and the other two 02. Now, why couldn’t Essence have called them 01, 02, 03 and 04?

The plates also have two layers of protective plastic foil. I think plates generally have only one layer of protective foil but Essence has somehow decided to put two on. So, if you’re new to these plates, do remember to peel off the second plastic foil.

Here, I’ve used the design on the left in the middle row and a navy blue Konad stamping polish. It’s not subtle adornment, this one. Although I should have, I didn’t use a top coat on this.

Oh, check out the KOH case. Sweet pink with a little bow. I think of all the KOH cases I’ve seen, this one’s got to be the sweetest looking of them all.



Monday, 21 June 2010

ELLIS FAAS: ELLIS EYES Lights Review


ELLIS FAAS’ Human Colours concept is built around the idea that makeup created using colours that naturally exist in our body (think blood, a bruise, veins, etc) would go well with any skin tone, no matter who you are. When I first saw the colours of the five newly launched Lights (in ELLIS FAAS’ words: warm silver, greenish gold, bronze, lilac and holographic Bordeaux), I was stumped as to how these five high shimmer shades fit into the Human Colours concept.

Well, they don’t.

The Lights are, in a sense, a departure from the Human Colours. They are meant to complement the existing eyeshadow collection of ELLIS FAAS and can be used to build drama with a play of shadow and light.

You’ve seen the swatches of two of the Lights – E301 (warm silver) and E305 (holographic Bordeaux). Here’re my thoughts on them.


Product
Name: ELLIS FAAS – ELLIS EYES Light No. E301 & E305
Description: Liquid eyeshadow with heavy shimmer
Weight and Price: 2.5ml / 0.085 US fl oz for €32.00 / £25 / USD42


According to ELLIS FAAS (excerpts)
Ellis created Lights that are more than merely highlighters. Like practically all ELLIS FAAS products, these are liquid, but they dry upon application, and then the Lights give the illusion of having a small metallic sheet on the eyelid. Because the particles in the product are so fine, it will appear from a distance that the shiny texture is oily or wet – even though it is perfectly dry with a smooth finish, so you won’t feel any stickiness on the eyelids, and they will not build up in eyelid creases.

....To apply, use the brush to paint on the Light over any ELLIS FAAS eye shadow – although it can also be used on its own. For the strongest effect of metallic intensity, let the Light dry where you have painted it on the eyelid. For a more subtle effect, dab it with your finger before the Light has dried completely.


Ingredients
Please click on the image to enlarge.



Packaging
Comes delivered in a silver box.
The pens are basically the same as the Creamy Eyes pens. It has a pull-out pen cover and the twist-click mechanism at the bottom of the pen. The Lights pens have a flat-ish brush applicator, just like Creamy Eyes.

Contents
Description: Heavy shimmer fluid eyeshadow with a thick consistency. The shimmer particles are indeed very fine. I thought a blob emerging from the pen rather resembled a drop of mercury.

Colour E301 has been described as a warm silver by ELLIS FAAS. It’s like metallic light beige.




Colour E305, described by ELLIS FAAS as holographic Bordeaux, has two tones: a base of matte burgundy with a shimmery turquoise green layer.




Swatch on tissue paper


The colour of E305 changes depending on the angle from which you’re looking at. When viewed upfront, you can see the burgundy and the metallic turquoise green simultaneously. It’s as if the turquoise green is a layer on top of the burgundy. Moreover, at some angles, you see the metallic turquoise green and at other angles, it is a matte burgundy shade, or half-and-half.




My thoughts
Packaging
Same pens, same twist-click mechanism. You would need to turn the bottom portion a few times before the fluid emerges through the bristles.

Application
How you apply would depend on how shimmery you would want your eyelids to be:

• Intense and heavy shimmer, covering a wide area of the lid: directly apply on the lids using the brush applicator. Using your fingertip to apply and build intensity is also an option.
• Subtle shimmer, only a small section of the lid: use finger to dab the fluid bit by bit on the lid.

In my opinion, the finger method allows better control of the shimmer intensity and helps to fade out the edges.

Pigmentation
Super-pigmented, just like how we’ve come to expect from ELLIS FAAS.

Texture
Like the Creamy Eyes and Milky Eyes, the Lights come out liquid but it dries on the skin. Because the Lights are high shimmers, it’s like having a layer of metallic paint on the eyelids. Once dried, it feels a teeny tiny bit sandy to the touch but other than that, it just feels lightweight, non-sticky and the eyelids don’t feel stiff at all.

Durability
Compared to the Creamy Eyes and the Milky Eyes, the Lights are easier to wash off. A normal eye makeup remover (or even soap) would do.

I tried rubbing a swatch with my finger and found lots of super-fine shimmer particles on my finger. The swatch however is still as shimmery as ever.

When I discovered these two facts, I began to have doubts that it would be as longlasting as Creamy Eyes and Milky Eyes. Well, the strange thing is, the Lights are surprisingly lasting! And there is no creasing at the end of the day. I do find though that if you rubbed your eye a lot, some bits of the Lights (if it was only thinly applied) would fade or get rubbed off. If just left alone, the Lights should stay put for many hours. The photos below were taken eight hours apart. I decided to use E305 to demonstrate how longlasting it is. Please note that I did not use any eyeshadow primer as a base. E305 was applied on bare lids.


Eight hours later


Products used:
Ellis Faas Light E305 on lid
Ellis Faas Creamy Eyes E104 to lightly line the eyes
Ellis Faas Mascara E401


Uses
In coming weeks, I will be showing different eye looks using this E301 and/or E305 combined with other Ellis Faas eyeshadows. There are different possibilities, anything from creating a wash of colour to lining the eyes.

Conclusion
Another amazing creation by Ellis Faas! I know, it's pricey, but let's look at the pros:

• heavy pigmentation
• quick application, needs no eyeshadow primer
• it’s liquid, so no mess with pigment powders
• E305 – cool 3D effect (it's obviously my favourite!)
• no creasing
• long-lasting
• easy to wash off

I think all the five colours are gorgeous and I'm aware that colour preference is a personal thing. However, if you have budget constraints but would still like to get yourself a Light, I would certainly recommend going for the funky E305.

The Lights range should be making its debut in Europe (outside London) this week. If you’d like to find out more, please have a look at the ELLIS FAAS Facebook page. In September, the Lights will be launched in Australia and Bergdorf Goodman (during New York Fashion Week) and in October, the rest of the US.

New tip gleaned from its Facebook: To welcome summer, ELLIS FAAS is currently offering temporary free worldwide shipping for purchases through its
online shop!

You may view all my ELLIS FAAS articles here. More to come soon!

Friday, 18 June 2010

Catrice: Absolut Moisture Lipstick Review


If you didn’t know already, Catrice is actually a sister brand of Essence from Germany. While Essence, through its style of packaging and pricing, is targeted towards teenagers and young adults (Oops, I am neither but I still think Essence is cool!), Catrice is supposed to appeal more to the older set, errr, yes, myself included. Its prices are slightly higher than those of Essence, but I'm talking about a difference of only about €0.50 to €1.00.

Truthfully, I used to think that Catrice was too staid, too ‘old’ (I’m such a hypocrite, aren’t I?). The packaging was nothing spectacular and it seemed that there were always the same old products on the shelves all the time. It was so ‘constant’ that I eventually stopped looking at their shelves!

Well, I take my words back. Catrice seems to be having an image revamp with restyled packaging and has been releasing cool limited edition collections lately. I can’t say though that these limited edition collections are released as frequently as those of Essence. I mean, Essence has been releasing ‘Trend Collections’, ie limited edition theme-based collections at an obsessive rate in recent months and I do find it hard to keep up.

But I digress.

Catrice. I’m here to talk about Catrice today. Just a few months ago, they overhauled their nail polish collection – changed the packaging (the bottles now resemble those of GOSH) – which now consists of an impressive permanent range of 32 colours. Moreover, at the start of spring, they released a makeup collection with lots of pastel shades. Not too long ago, they came up with a collection called Oceana which also had two matte nail polish colours in packaging with very cool and younger-looking designs. Catrice seems to be more lively now.

Anyway, I really just want to show you a lipstick that I have from Catrice. As far as I know, it’s not a revamped product. Catrice calls it the Absolut Moisture Lipstick. Of all their non-revamped products, I thought this lipstick looked the least staid. The casing is pretty heavy compared to those of lipsticks from other brands. Well, I would actually go as far as to call it stylish and sturdy.

This is the only Catrice lipstick I have and the shade is 070 Luxury Red. It’s pin-up girl red and it’s not for the faint-hearted. I am faint-hearted and would just apply a thin layer but, just for you, I’ve piled on this colour to show how rrrrrred it is. Personally, I didn’t think it was that absolutely moisturising, so I would recommend using a lip balm as a base. In my photo, I applied this colour over bare lips and nothing else.

If you’d like to see its list of ingredients, it is available on the Catrice website. This lipstick does contain paraffin and propylparaben but it also has jojoba seed oil and shea butter, if it makes you feel any better.

It's not a perfect lipstick, but I ain't complaining. Why? Because I do love the red and it costs only €2.99!

Sunday, 13 June 2010

Adorned Nails: SpaRitual Fall In Love


I know that you know that I’m smitten with SpaRitual nail lacquers. I don’t have many, but I have been slowly and steadily adding more of them to my little collection. I think it’s a combination of different things about SpaRitual that has attracted me to this brand.

• The visually pleasing bottle design. Let’s face it. It looks different and it stands out. I found out that it was specially designed for SpaRitual by the designers of Ferrari!

• The bottles are made from up to 50% recycled glass and they are fully recyclable.

• The nail lacquers are 3-Free (ie. free of DBP, touluene and formaldehyde).

• The brand is vegan. Well, you must first know that SpaRitual’s range of products extends beyond nail lacquers and nail care products. It has a range of body care products as well (which I have yet to purchase and try). So, if you’re wondering what being vegan has to do with nail lacquers per se, it’s really referring to lacquers with shimmers. For the beautiful shiny particles floating playfully in nail lacquers, many brands use guanine that is acquired from fish scales. I'm not a vegan, but if you are one, then that would matter to you. SpaRitual, on its part, uses mica for its shimmers as mica pigments are essentially tiny reflective minerals.

• Its nail lacquers are pretty hardy, in my opinion. I mentioned before that I don’t usually leave nail polish on for many days (as I like to give my nails a rest sometimes) but I have noticed that its lacquers can withstand knocks and scratches quite well.

Right, let’s move on to what I really want to show you today. This is SpaRitual Fall In Love. SpaRitual describes it as “shimmer flip”. O-kay, ladies. I know what shimmer is but what in the world is flip?!

Fall In Love is what I would describe as a dark copper shade with tiny flecks of gold shimmer. In the bottle, I see a dark copper colour with rolling golden hues.


This is what it looks like indoors (I know, the photo looks rather dull here, but I promise, it gets better!). It’s like brown with a tinge of red. I checked the SpaRitual website for this colour and I have to say that what I saw there didn’t look like what I have on my nails at all. All the pictures shown here are with two coats of Fall In Love, without top coat.

Anyway, I’m going to show you my photos in reverse order this time – first with stamping. Frankly, I hit a dead-end when I was trying to decide on a design to use on my nails. Sometimes, it is easy to feel what design I should have on, but for some reason, this one got me stumped.

In the end, I looked at my Fauxnad plate T25 (the one with Chinese characters) from Chez Delaney and it suddenly struck me. Love. I will use the character for ‘love’! It probably comes across cheesy, considering the name of this lacquer, but I went for it anyway. Image left was taken outdoors, in the shade.

The rest of the photos you see here were taken in sunlight. It would have been a waste not to capture this lacquer in the glorious sunlight. Almost red, it looks.



This is how it looks when it doesn't catch the direct sun rays


.....and when it does.



If you’d like to read further about SpaRitual, do have a look at my post featuring the first SpaRitual nail lacquer I bought, I Feel The Earth Move.

Wednesday, 9 June 2010

ELLIS FAAS: ELLIS EYES Lights - A First Look


Liquid metal and holographic eyeshadows. Very intriguing.

As you know, ELLIS FAAS launched a range of liquid eyeshadows end of last year. All the eye products are collectively called ELLIS EYES. For eyeshadows, there are two categories:

Creamy Eyes (numbered E103 to E109) are mattes and mainly neutral shades.
Milky Eyes (numbered E203 to E209) are essentially mattes but with the slightest hint of shimmer, and has a more colourful shade range than Creamy Eyes.

To say that they are all amazingly longlasting eyeshadows is like giving you old news now.

Anyway, there is this sentence on the ELLIS FAAS website that has always caught my eye:

In the near future, ELLIS FAAS will also provide you with shimmery powders, holographic and metal shimmers, plus various glosses to give your look a more festive appearance.

Well, ladies (and gentlemen), part of that future has arrived.

These are the new ELLIS EYES Lights (image courtesy of ELLIS FAAS). Dutch makeup artist extraordinaire, Ellis Faas, has created the Lights to go hand-in-hand with the existing eyeshadow collection, to create "infinite possibilities to play with shadow and light - which is exactly what applying makeup is all about". Ahh, even the great Rembrandt would nod with approval.

But that word 'holographic' still baffled me. On the web, I've seen the word 'holographic' used on eyeshadows before, but most times, they just fell short of expectations.

I received two sample pens of the Lights from the good folks at ELLIS FAAS yesterday. Given my curiousity, I eagerly swatched them on my arm and what followed was a moment of suspended animation. Almost. Have a look at these dried swatches:


The one on the left is E301. It looks like having a metallic sheet on skin. I tried a bit on the eyes and it felt lightweight.

The one on the right is E305. This was the one that knocked me off my feet. It's holographic! Holy moly! I mean, watch how the colour changes as I rotate my arm towards the camera.

[speechless]

I shan't say more for now. I will, of course, need time to properly test them out. A review on these eye-popping Lights will follow soon.

Here's a closer look at the five gorgeous shades, again using ELLIS FAAS' image of the pens above:


L-R:
E301 (warm silver)
E302 (greenish gold)
E303 (bronze)
E304 (lilac)
E305 (holographic Bordeaux)


Unit retail price:
Europe €32
UK £25
US $42

Apologies to my Australian readers. I haven't got the official retail price in AUD yet.

The ELLIS EYES Lights range launches today in Liberty, London. In Edinburgh and Europe (including the Netherlands), it will be available starting 21st June. For ladies living outside Europe, the launch dates in the rest of the world are yet to be confirmed, but it will be sometime after 21st June.

To find out where ELLIS FAAS products are available, please check the list of stores on theirwebsite.

For more specific and up-todate information, especially about the launch dates of the Lights outside Europe, ELLIS FAAS advises joining them on Facebook (there, you'll see fabulous pictures of E301 - E305 applied on the eye, by the way) and/or subscribing to their e-newsletter. These are the most convenient means of receiving accurate updates from them.

Stay tuned for more!