Sunday, 31 October 2010

Lip Treatment: Treat Candy Color Lip And Cheek Stain


Here's a treat for the lips from a brand called Treat.

The Brand
Marnie Massie is the creator of Treat, sometimes also known as Treat Beauty. As is so often the case with many brands, Ms Massie started by creating a product for herself to help solve her problem and in this case, it was her dry and sensitive skin. She wanted remedies that use delicious and nourishing natural ingredients that were also good for the skin. Her first creation was a Chocolate Truffle bath melt and so, Treat was born. A point of interest: the name Treat was chosen by Ms Marnie on her birthday, which happens to be on Halloween!

Treat now has a range of scrumptious-sounding products for facial, body and hair care. Treat says on its website that its products are free of paraben, mineral oil, sulfate and phthalate. The brand is also cruelty-free and it uses recyclable packaging. Some of the products are made with organic ingredients too.



The Basics
The Candy Color Mineral Lip & Cheek Stain featured here is in the shade Plum. The colour is indeed true to its name. In fact, it looks almost black in the little tub. O yes, it is indeed a tiny tub, all of 0.20 oz. This tiny tub comes packaged in a cute little paper giftbox.

So, what’s in the tiny tub? In plain words:

Sweet Almond Oil, Beeswax, Palm Christi Oil, Orange 5 Lake, Shea Butter, Cocoa Butter, Jojoba Oil, Meadowfoam Oil, Evening Primrose Oil, Avocado Butter, Vitamin E, Rosehip Oil, Aloe Oil, Rosemary Extract, Neem Oil, Essential Oil Fragrance Blend.
May contain Mica, Iron Oxide, Titanium Dioxide, Carmine, Red 40, Red 28, Yellow 6, Blue 1, Orange 5.

In my opinion, the scent of this Candy Color Stain in Plum is a pleasant mix of faint fruity sweet, cocoa and something that strangely reminds me of talcum powder. As the name implies, it can be used for both the lips and the cheeks. As I have problem skin and trust only Jane Iredale for my face (and I’m not saying using this stain would break me out!), I use this stain exclusively on my lips. In the swatch photo, you will have some idea how it looks faded out on the skin: a nice flush of colour.


The stain’s texture is very soft, so the colour is very easy to pick up and apply on the lips. Dabbing colour on the lips with a clean finger is the easiest way but it is slightly messy, given the dark shade. I prefer to use a lip brush for more precise application.

The Good
I love the colour! The colour intensity is easily buildable. Dark as it is in the tub, it ends up like a berry shade on the lips. So, fear not! Pile it on further and it would look more purply.

I love its moisturising properties! I mean, have you had a good look at the list of ingredients? It’s literally a coloured lip balm. That’s a very handy two-in-one (well, it would be a three-in-one if you also use it on the cheeks). The stain-cum-balm sinks into the lips, so one good application would keep the lips moisturised (and coloured) for at least half a day, in my experience. There is some colour transfer from eating and drinking, but I didn’t think it was that bad. Thumbs up!

The Not So Good
I’m not that fond of the tub form. I would need to dip my finger/brush into the stain, which means I have to be extra careful about keeping the contents clean.

This stain costs US$18, which is pretty expensive for a tiny tub. However, to put things into context, it will last quite a while as you don’t need to use much each time. It’s very pigmented.


The Last Word
Call it what you want: a great lipbalm with pretty longlasting colour, or a great moisturising lip stain, this product is to be loved. This stain was my own purchase. Frankly, I wouldn't at all mind trying more of this stain in the other shades available: Raspberry, Black Cherry, Poppy and Beaches & Cream.

Have a look at

Update
Treat has changed the packaging and the 'flavours' for these Lip & Cheek Stains which you can see on the Treat website.
Treat has a webstore on Amazon.com.

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Adorned Nails: Skin Food Nail Vita VI408 Violet Stone


Here’s another brand from the Far East. Skin Food is one of many (and I do mean, many) South Korean cosmetics brands targeted at the budget-conscious. It’s got a slew of products covering makeup, skin care, body care and hair care. The products are usually housed in classy-cute (could it possibly be anything else?!) packaging and have catchy names to reflect the star ingredient in each product.

Here’s what I mean: Salmon Brightening Eye Cream, Gold Caviar Nutrition Mask, Seaweed Cleansing Gel, Eggplant Waterproof Mascara Remover, Agava Cactus Toner. Get the idea?

This is what Skin Food says: We believe in beauty within food. It takes a long time for us to produce products from cultivating the ingredients to making them into actual cosmetics, but our products manifest effects for a longer time.

Interesting philosophy. I was intrigued by it all. It's a pity that the brand suffered a blow to its reputation recently. You see, in a test carried out by the Hong Kong Consumer Council on some samples of nail polishes from various brands, it was found that two of Skin Food’s nail products contained benzene and methanol. Ouch!

One report said that Skin Food has refuted such claims while another said that Skin Food Hong Kong announced that they would offer full refunds to anyone who had purchased the two products. If anyone’s interested, the two products in question were the Jojoba Pure Nail PK004 and the Milk Creamy Nail Base Coat (from that cute range that girls have been cooing over – their bottles are shaped like baby milk bottles). Read more about it here.

Right, let’s move on. This polish I'm featuring today comes from Skin Food’s Nail Vita range (its bottle design is surprisingly plain, no?). It’s actually called only VI408 on the bottle and I found out its other name, Violet Stone, from Skin Food’s website. The Nail Vita range is supposed to contain vitamin and keratin nutrients.

Uhm, Skin Food, you've neglected to tell us which vitamin??

I tried looking for its list of ingredients but couldn’t find it anywhere, not on the bottle and not on the website. So, I really have no idea if it’s 3-free. I suspect not, as the report about the random testing mentioned above also stated that the two offending products contain toluene (but they were below the limit set in the EU’s Cosmetic Directive). I wouldn’t know if the same may apply to this Nail Vita range. [shrug]


The formula was on the thick side. I skipped the brush-draining step and applied with the brush drenched with polish. If I didn't do that, I found that the brush got too dry and getting the nail tips coated with polish was a problem.

Oh, did I tell you that this polish stinks? I have a pretty good tolerance for nail polish smells but this one is [gag] for the initial few minutes.


The colour is....oh, how should I put it.....spellbinding. Yes, the name says it’s violet but I think there’s a very fine line between violet and blue when looking at Violet Stone. To top it off, its shimmers are stupefyingly pretty. Violet Stone is like a violet night sky densely filled with faraway pink, red, blue and aqua stars.




Being the party pooper that I am in this post, I have one more gripe. This polish, gorgeous as it is, started chipping a bit within 12 hours. It’s Day Two today and the chipping has progressed. Sigh, I suppose this is what one sometimes gets with a €2 bottle of nail polish. And gosh, you know what? I have two other Nail Vita shades in my drawer!

Curious? Have a look at the website of Skin Food, even if it's just to coo over the baby milk bottles!

Sunday, 24 October 2010

ELLIS FAAS: Eye Look With Light V


It’s been some time since I last put together an eye look using ELLIS FAAS products. Today, I’ve combined my three favourite shades from ELLIS FAAS. These were the products I used:


L-R:
Creamy Eyes E106 (matte light brown with a tinge of lilac, taupey)
Milky Eyes E203 (dark blue with a hint of shimmer)
Light E305 (holographic Bordeaux)
Mascara E401 (black)



Creamy Eyes E106 has certainly grown on me. It’s such a curious shade of light brown, like hot chocolate with lots of milk mixed in. Taupey. But then, look at it again and this light brown seems purply, like lilac. I like how it gives the lid a nice wash of colour: a safe, unobtrusive brown without being the staid, conventional brown.

I’ve gushed about the other two shades previously, so I shan’t repeat myself here.

To get this look, I:
1. Applied with fingers the light brown/lilac of Creamy Eyes E106 all over the lid.
2. Dabbed with finger the dark blue of Milky Eyes E203 on the middle and outer part of the lid. Fade out the colour so that there aren’t hard edges.
3. Dabbed with finger the metallic turquoise / Bordeaux of Light E305 on the outer corner of the lid, some parts overlapping with the blue in the middle section.
4. Lined the upper and lower lash line with E305 with an angled eyeliner brush.
5. Then tightlined and waterlined using the blue of E203.
6. Curled lashes and applied Mascara E401.

Just from looking at the colours used, I expected it to be quite a neutral look but in fact, the end result is a metallic look edging towards the dark side. It's definitely a night out look. It does look quite dramatic in person.

Thursday, 21 October 2010

Adorned Nails: KOH Neon Roze



You probably think you’ve seen this before. You’re quite right. I did show you something very similar back in June: KOH Hot Pink.

Both Neon Roze and Hot Pink are crèmes. At a glance, you wouldn’t be able to tell the difference. Neon Roze (bottle on the left) is a tad lighter and brighter. Hot Pink (bottle on the right) has just that bit more red in the mix.

I bought each of these at different times this year, not realising that they are so similar. Yeah, I know, where was my brain?

Lost somewhere in Foggyville, I'm sure.

Well, I’m done kicking myself and so, here I am showing you KOH Neon Roze. Psst, I feel like Barbie with this colour on.

What you see here is with two coats (but I had to do three on my thumbs – my nail tips were more obvious there). The formula was on the thicker side. I had difficulty getting a nice, even, second coat on some nails. It required re-doing and re-doing and re-doing. Not fun. I don’t know if it might have had something to do with the dryness indoors.



The stamping image this time around is from the Essence Nail Art Stampy Design Plate: 01 Have Fun. It’s big and not subtle. Psst, for some reason, I suddenly feel like Hello Kitty! And, yes, I know that's a flower and not a bow.

The weather here has been insanely erratic but I managed to take some photos of BarHelKit basking in sunlight. Within three minutes, the sun disappeared again behind the clouds.



Stay tuned for more. I'm not done yet with my story about Neon Roze.

Monday, 18 October 2010

Majolica Majorca: Perfect Automatic Liner


The Brand
I can’t help but laugh a bit every time I see, say or hear the name Majolica Majorca. Firstly, it has a certain sing-song ring to it. Secondly, it’s such a preposterous name. Thirdly, it’s about as Spanish as I am a North Pole explorer.

If you’ve never heard of this brand, you’d think it has some kind of Spanish roots, wouldn’t you? It’s in fact Japanese. It’s in fact a little sister brand of the giant cosmetics company, Shiseido.

Majolica Majorca has been around for quite a few years now but I came across this brand only recently while holidaying in Asia. Such a curious name, I thought. Majolica Majorca the brand simultaneously embraces opulence and kawaii. Quite fairy tale-like. Makeup in ornate packaging to create doll-like looks. Unfortunately, the ornateness dropped a few notches when I saw this:


Puh-lease, what’s with that tacky plastic outer packaging?!

Anyway, I bought myself its liquid eyeliner called Perfect Automatic Liner. It comes in a choice of seven shades including green, red, blue, brown and black. I paid the equivalent of about €10 for this 1.3ml liner. Thankfully, after getting past the plastic outer packaging, the pen itself looks pretty cool.

Majolica Majorca says:

The secret to its evolution is the bold black base and subtle pearlescent colors.....A precise line every time without fading or smudging.

The Pen
A brand new pen comes with a stopper, dividing the body of the pen from the cap. At the bottom, there is also a sticker to prevent any accidental clicking. Instructions are given on the back of the plastic packaging.



To start using the pen, all one needs to do are the following:
• Pull out the pink stopper and push the cap into the body of the pen so that there is no more gap.
• Pull out the sticker at the bottom of the pen.
• Shake the pen well.
• Remove the cap and soften the brush tip.
• Turn-click the bottom of the pen about a dozen times.
• The liquid will then be released into the brush.

The pen is now ready for use.

For subsequent use, just give it a shake and simply click once or twice. The clicks come with a springy thnnggg sound. I’ve found the mechanism to be very good. Just one or two clicks and just enough liquid flows reliably into the brush. No need to second-guess.

The Brush
Gosh, I love the brush! It’s soft and yet it’s stiff-ish. It looks like it’s got a certain waxy coating which, I suppose, gives the brush structure. It’s beautifully tapered which means you can draw a thick line or a thin line with one stroke.

The Colour
It’s not quite matte. It’s certainly not shimmer. It’s got a slight hint of pearlescent sheen.

I wanted something different and so, I chose RD605 – Red Garnet. Majolica Majorca means it to be dark red. I expected maroon. Instead, I got brown, which was a bit of a disappointment. I’ve swatched it, I’ve applied it on my eyes, I’ve scrutinised it and still, I couldn’t see the maroon, let alone the red. It looks simply brown to me!

The only way to see the red is by scrutinising the swatch in direct sunlight (image left). Then and only then would you see hints of red pearlescence (can you spot it?). But, sigh, what's the point?!

The Ingredients


The Perfect Automatic Liner
The brush draws well but I find that sometimes, it drags colour totally off the lid if I drew over the still-wet line twice. I say sometimes, as at other times, it works just fine. So, I’m stumped here (Has it perhaps something to do with my eye cream?). Image right: simple, unexaggerated eyelining

It’s waterproof. It does flake a bit after half a day of wear, but in general, its staying power is all right. On many days, I’ve had it on for ten hours and except for some minor flaking, it stayed put. I remove with eye makeup remover for waterproof makeup. The eyeliner comes off in thin flakes.



Conclusion
Overall, this is an above average eyeliner, but to give this product the name ‘Perfect’, is kinda stretching it. The pen itself works well and I totally love the brush. It’s great for beginners and those with shaky hands (me, me, me!!). The liquid liner is lasting enough, by my standards. The other available shades are vivid and gorgeous. It’s just a pity that my Red Garnet turned out looking so brown. Hmph!!

For more seriously cute fairy tale dreams, have a look at the Majolica Majorca website.

Friday, 15 October 2010

Adorned Nails: SpaRitual Epicurean



Rich, broody, vampy. That’s SpaRitual Epicurean for you.



Red wine, burgundy, ordinary. Ahh, that’s also quite true.

Epicurean has a shimmer finish. While I do see its general shimmer, the individual shimmer particles that give it an inner glow aren’t so easy to discern. Unless, of course, you viewed it with flash. It’s ordinary because well, it’s no special burgundy, but still, I think it’s beautiful. I’ve always had a soft spot for burgundies.

Just like all other SpaRitual nail polishes that I’ve tried, Epicurean went on beautifully – no streaks, no fuss. Just two coats. Lovely.

I thought I’d do a bottle comparison (sorry, ladies, I’m simply too lazy to do a comparison on my nails) showing the difference in the shades of three SpaRitual colours.



L-R:
Drop Dead Gorgeous is daring, a fuschia with shimmer .
Epicurean is vampy, a burgundy with shimmer.
I Feel The Earth Move is somber, a crème blackish maroon-brown.

I thought I’d spice things up a bit with some stamping. Epicurean.....doesn’t that also mean lavish, luxurious? I must seem audacious for calling Epicurean ordinary (oops, another oxymoron!), but never mind. I’ve paired it up with a gold nail polish from SpaRitual, appropriately named Gold Digger. For the image, I’ve used the only full-nail image I’ve got, one of a viney plant. It’s from a Fauxnad plate, H28.





Well! I think Epicurean looks most suitably epicurean now!