Monday, 31 January 2011

Adorned Nails: KOH Metallic Red on Hot Pink



Here's something to break the monotony. Adorned nails of a different kind! Photos taken at the beach on a much, much warmer day.

I've hesitated for a long time about exposing my toes to international scrutiny. Some people might find it icky, in which case, please click it away! And oh, I beg you not to alert the military foot police (cheesy pun intended). Fantastic-looking feet I do not have, but burying them in sand can produce some very forgiving pictures.

Here's a quick look at the two polishes used and how Metallic Red looks on its own:

L: KOH Hot Pink (bottom) and KOH Metallic Red (top); R: KOH Metallic Red

This was my first experience with layering: two coats of KOH Hot Pink and one of Metallic Red on top. The end result: a richer, glowing red.


Well, never mind the nails, I had a lovely day at the beach with hubby.

Listen.......can you hear the waves crashing?

More pictures:
KOH Hot Pink
KOH Metallic Red

Saturday, 29 January 2011

GOSH: Eye Look With Funky Violet And Purple Stain



A look done with only two eyeliner pencils and a mascara. It's simple and yet, it stands out because of the vivid blue-violet.

I used the following for this look:

L-R
GOSH Velvet Touch Eye Liner (Funky Violet)
GOSH Velvet Touch Eye Liner (Purple Stain)
GOSH Wonder Volume Mascara (not shown)

To me, Purple Stain looks violet. When applied thickly, it comes across as a blue-violet. With a thin, smudged out layer, it looks purple-violet. On the other hand, Funky Violet looks plummy. It's funny how brands name their colours sometimes.

Getting this look:
Top lid
1. Colour thickly the eyelid fold with Purple Stain and smudge out the edges with finger. Do it quick as the colour dries fast on the lid.
2. Lightly apply Purple Stain in the area above the intense colour of Step 1, and on the outer corner of the eye. Again, smudge the edges with finger.
3. Line and tightline with the plum shade of Funky Violet. Wing it. Smudge the wing slightly where it meets Purple Stain.


Bottom lid
4. Line the inner half/three-quarters with Purple Stain and the outer half/three-quarters with Funky Violet.

5. Curl lashes and apply two coats of mascara.


I'm not terribly fond of using too many products for my looks, so for this one, I totally meant it when I said that it's simple.


More information: GOSH Velvet Touch Eye Liner Review

Thursday, 27 January 2011

Palmer's: Cocoa Butter Moisturizing Lip Balm Review



I can actually summarise my thoughts on this lip balm in just one word.

However, for the benefit of those who would like to know more about this lip balm, I will go about it my usual verbose way.

The Product
Palmer's Cocoa Butter Formula Moisturizing Lip Balm with SPF 15, 4g / 0.15oz. I don't remember now how much exactly I paid for this, but it must have been in the region of €2 - €3.

According to Palmer's
A convenient balm with SPF 15 and Vitamin E. Medicated to help prevent and temporarily protect chapped, cracked or wind-burned lips. Smooth application and convenient size make this the perfect year-round lip balm.


What I Think, What I Really Really Think
The truth is, I didn't check the ingredients list before buying it. I had wanted to try it for a long time because of the cocoa butter formula. What I discovered later was that, oops, it's got paraffinum liquidum. Mineral oil! As one who used to be a hard-core Vaseline addict (for many years), I wasn't too keen on going back to it. Still, I made this an exception.

Ingredients:

The texture is all right, not too waxy. It glides on the lips nicely. It definitely smells of cocoa butter, much like the scent of Palmer's Cocoa Butter Body Lotion. The SPF is, of course, a good thing.

I bought it half a year ago, tried it for two nights and had to stop. The lipbalm was banished to a dark corner in my cupboard. I figured it might have been a fluke then, so to be sure, I tried it again yesterday and also before going to sleep.

This is what happened both times: my lips swelled. It started out all right, but in the few hours after application, I gradually felt a mild burning sensation especially in the upper lip. It got bad overnight. I woke up in the morning with swollen lips and with the skin red above the cupid's bow.

I must be allergic to this lipbalm. I'm not sure which ingredient I'm allergic to though. It could be one of the first three (active) ingredients on the list. Anyway, I didn't find this lipbalm that moisturising. Even plain ol' Vaseline did a better job in the old days!

Final Words
I know everyone's different, so I will concede that this lipbalm may agree with you. But me, I'm sitting here typing this now with swollen lips. So, no prizes for guessing how I would conclude this. I doubt I have ever used this word on a product before in my writings, but okay, just this once. That one word that would suffice for this review: crap. I wouldn't even think of including this in my Lip Treatment series. I'm tossing this lipbalm in the waste of money bin.


My first non-petroleum-based lipbalm: Alima Pure Nourishing Lipbalm

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Adorned Nails: Etude House Petite Darling GR603



I believe the official name for this polish is Etude House Petite Darling Nails HD Beam GR603.

[catches breath]

Oddly, that already mouthful name does not include a non-digit name for this green (not that I could find anyway). Unfortunately, I can't read Korean, so I can't tell what's written on the label. I did some checking on the internet and this is supposed to be a 7ml bottle.

This is another one of those polishes that I got last year while on holiday. Just like Skin Food that I talked about some months back, Etude House is a Korean brand. Just like Majolica Majorca (not Korean, but Japanese), it's got a koochi-koochi cute brand image.

The brand plays on our little girl fantasy of being princesses. In their own words: Etude House resembles a princess's private room; a romantic interior full of ornate trinkets imagined and inspired by her dreams. Their white and pink stores ooze sticky sweetness. Even their sales assistants are dressed like little girls.

Hmm, right. I won't kid myself here. I was born too early to fit into Etude House's target market, but hey, who cares. I zoomed in on their nail polishes all the same. GR603 is a dark green leaning slightly towards blue and is dense with beautiful shimmers. The formula was on the thin side, but application was superb. You are looking at three coats here.

I think the Petite Darling nail polish range has been discontinued as I don't see them on Etude House's website. Pity, as I love this polish. Instead there are now Dear Darling nail polishes housed in slightly re-designed but still curvy bottles.






Check out the Etude House website for its current range of nail polishes.

Posts of interest:
Skin Food Nail Vita VI408 Violet Stone
Majolica Majorca

Monday, 24 January 2011

GOSH: Velvet Touch Eye Liner Review


It's funny when I think about it. For many years, I never owned a single eyeliner. Not pencil, not liquid, never even heard of gel!

So, isn't it weird that I now have these to show you?!


These are all from GOSH. The first GOSH Velvet Touch Eye Liner that I bought about a year ago was in the shade Metallic Brass and I remember being very taken by the gorgeous, unusual colour. Other colours gradually followed as there were often enticing deals to be had at Kruidvat. That's the Dutch drugstore chain that stocks GOSH Cosmetics products.

For the longest time, I never had any plans to write a review on these eye liner pencils. It seemed to me that GOSH Velvet Touch Eye Liners have been featured and swatched to death on the internet. In fact, my measly lot of eight here is nothing compared to what some others have. I've however had a change of mind recently when I realised that I was using these pencils more and more in the eye looks that I feature here. So, I suppose it would make sense to share my quick thoughts on these pencils.

The Basics
GOSH Velvet Touch Eye Liners are available in twenty-odd shades, which is a mind-boggling range to choose from. Price: €6,49 each, 1.2g / 0.04 oz US.

According to GOSH
• Extremely waterproof and durable
• Fantastic colour pigmentation
• Contains vitamin E and jojoba oil
• Contains no perfume

In order to protect the pencil from drying out it is most important to put the cap on the pencil again after use.

Ingredients


My Thoughts
Texture
These pencils are creamy and quite soft, allowing for easy application. There is a little dragging, but nothing too annoying. Because of the softness, one has to be careful not to press too hard especially if the tip is sharp. It might break at the tip.

Durability
Before it dries on the skin, you can still smudge it a bit, but do it quick. Once dried, it stays put. Personally, I find using the finger to smudge to be easier than using a brush or a sponge-tip applicator. I love it that it is waterproof. It doesn't fade or smudge. It resists creasing for a reasonable period of time - in my case, I see the first signs of minor creasing in the inner corner after six to seven hours. That's good enough for me.

Tightline
I do use it to tightline. I may have used it once for my waterline, but my eyes didn't like it that much.

Swatches
These Velvet Touch Eye Liners are very pigmented, but I can comment on only the dark/dark-ish shades that I have.


Pencil Shavings
My friend, Gail of ooglemakeup, loves this eyeliner pencil too. If my memory serves me correctly, I think I had chosen Metallic Brass in my first ever GOSH purchase based on Gail's recommendation in one of her Youtube videos a long time ago. I believe it was also Gail from whom I got the tip about picking up the colour from the pencil shavings, to be used on the eye. Waste not, right?

I thought I'd demonstrate how much you'd waste from throwing away the shavings. Shown on the right is what you'd get from one round of sharpening. I smudged out the shaving of Black Ink with my finger and I got this one-inch-diameter patch of intense colour. That's not bad at all!
A note however: If you haven't used your pencil for a long time and you're now sharpening it, it's best to throw the shavings away. They say, the best way to sanitise your eyeliner pencil is by sharpening it.

Removal
Obviously, as it's waterproof, you'd need to use an oil-based eye makeup remover to wash it off.

Conclusion
These eyeliner pencils are close to perfect. They would be perfect if they resisted creasing for several more hours. They're reasonably priced for the quality you're getting (get them when they are on offer). I love the amazing range of colours available. Metallic Brass and Funky Violet are my personal favourites.

This is the simple eye look that I wore yesterday. Only two products were used: GOSH Velvet Touch Eye Liner in Black Ink (a matte black) and GOSH Wonder Volume Mascara. I suppose this look would work best for Oriental eyelids.

I will feature more eye looks later using these eyeliner pencils, with more detailed description of the individual colours.


See Metallic Brass in a previous look: Rituals: Another Eye Look With Double Jade
More information: GOSH Cosmetics website

Thursday, 20 January 2011

Adorned Nails: KOH Black Matt



I actually bought this a year ago and I'm only doing a post on it now. Yikes!

Well, this is what I've been wearing this week and as the name suggests, it's black and it's matte. Actually, it's not that super matte. Like the one other matte polish from KOH, Flamingo, the finish looks like a rubbery surface.



The formula was thick but it applied nicely. It does need a minimum of two coats though to achieve evenness. With mattes, any unevenness in coating would show through when they dry. I have two coats on here.

I suppose some of you would find black nail polish a bore, let alone a black that is matte. Even though I like it as it is (I have a dark soul, remember?), I couldn't resist spicing it up. So, I borrowed the idea from KOH themselves. They had a box set of three KOH products and on the packaging, there was a nail picture with a French manicure. The box was called KOH Complex (image right, taken when I visited the KOH store a couple of months ago) and it contained KOH Black Matt, KOH China and KOH Top Coat Bamboo.

So, this is what I've done. I haven't got the gold of KOH China but I do have KOH Bronzation which I bought recently. I free-handed the thick line. It's not quite the classic French manicure style as the line is straight.




It adds more bling this way, no? Anyway, in case anyone's wondering, KOH Bronzation will be featured on its own later.

Posts of interest:
KOH Flamingo (the other matte)
KOH Experience Shop: A Revisit

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

ELLIS FAAS: Eye Look With Light VIII



Hmmm, another eye look in less than a week? You wouldn't mind, would you?

I thought I'd show you one with mainly ELLIS FAAS products today. These were the products used:

L-R:
Creamy Eyes E106 - matte light brown/lilac, almost taupey
Creamy Eyes E104 - matte dark brown
Light E304 - metallic lilac/medium purple
Mascara E401 (black)
GOSH Velvet Touch Eye Liner in Truly Brown (not shown)
A note about the ELLIS FAAS pens: The E104 was my own purchase while the other three were provided by ELLIS FAAS for me to review and/or try in the course of last year.



L-R: Light E304, Creamy Eyes E106 and E104

Here's how I got this look:

1. Applied a thin layer of the light brown/lilac of E106 all over the lid, except for the inner corner. As usual, fade out the edges with finger.
2. Lined the eye thickly with the dark brown of E104 using an angled eyeliner brush, and winged it.
3. Used the remaining bits of E014 to line the lower lash line (outer two-thirds).
4. Dabbed a second layer of E106 on the outer corner, above the winged section, smudging it on the line a bit.


5. With a small detail brush, applied Light E304 on the inner V, also drawing a thin line on the lower lash line.
6. Used GOSH Velvet Touch Eye Liner in Truly Brown to tightline (the upper lash line).
7. Curled lashes and applied three coats of Mascara E401.

Monday, 17 January 2011

I Love Thee: Essence Nail Polish Corrector Pencil


If there is one thing that you must know about me, it would be that I have unsteady hands. Tasks like nail polishing and lining the eyes with liquid eyeliner don’t come easy for me. The more I have to hold a brush steady, the more likely I would mess up! The mind sure works in mysterious ways.

It’s obvious that I love to polish my nails. However, Nail Polish + Unsteady Hands = Mess. There are several ways to clean up the nails after applying polish. Some find using a small brush and pure acetone to be a very effective method. I’m wary of using pure acetone, so I have tried this method before, but with acetone-free nail polish remover. Unfortunately, it didn’t work well for me. It may have been the brush that I used or it may be that this method works best with pure acetone.

Another way is to use a cotton bud with nail polish remover. I don’t favour this method as (a) I find the tip too fat for precise cleaning, and (b) I hate lint!

This brings me to the next best solution: corrector pens. Corrector pens are nothing new and some of you may have been using these for a long time. I discovered these in the store just under a year ago and little did I know then how much I would come to love these pens. More precisely, the Essence Nail Polish Corrector Pencil.


Essence says (excerpts)
Acetone-free. With 3 replacement tips to precisely erase nail polish mistakes. With jojoba oil and cherry fragrance.

Ingredients
Alcohol Denat, Butyl Acetate, Isopropyl Alcohol, Water, Ethyl Acetate, Jojoba Seed Oil, Caprylic/Capric Trigylceride, Tocopheryl Acetate, Tristearin, Trilinolenin, Triarachidin, Tripalmitin, Fragrance, Benzyl Alcohol, Eugenol, Cinnamal, Coumarin, Geraniol, Linalool, Citronellol, Limonene.

This corrector pen(cil) imparts a strong sweet fragrance, perhaps more sweet than chemical. It costs only around €2.50.

How it works
Somewhere inside, in the centre of the length of the pen is where the remover is. I think stuffed inside is a kind of soft cushy material that has been pre-soaked with nail polish remover. The white pen tip is damp to the touch as the other end has been pushed in to touch that material soaked with the remover. Essence advises to close the pen tightly after use to prevent it from drying up.


How to use
As you can see in the images, it has a tip that is curved and doe-foot-like. The tip is stiff-ish, which makes it ideal for cleaning up the cuticle area and the sides. I usually do this when the nail polish is almost dry. It’s really as simple as just running the tip in small repeated strokes along the sides of the nail to remove the excess nail polish. It’s inevitable that the tip would take on the colour of your nail polish while it cleans, but it would help to wipe the tip often with a piece of tissue, especially if there is gunk stuck to the tip.


I have found that I can get a lot of use from just one tip – it definitely lasts me through at least three manicures.

Tip replacement
The pen comes with three replacement tips, housed inside the other end of the pen. To replace, just pull out the old tip and push in the new one. Usually, the tip sits very tightly in the pen, so when I have problems pulling it out with my fingers, I would cover the tip with a piece of tissue paper and pull out the tip with a tweezer. It’s best to wait for a few hours to give the new tip time to absorb the remover from inside.


My personal tips
• If for any reason the pen dries out, the tip can still be used for its purpose. Just get it damp with your normal nail polish remover and the tip will do its job just fine. I do however advise getting a nail polish remover with a small hole opening. The one I have is an acetone-free nail polish remover from Etos that didn’t cost a bomb.


• If you want to extend the use of the tip even more, try turning the tip around. I’ve tried cleaning my nails with this end before and I’ve actually found that it does an even more precise cleaning job! It may be a blunt end, but the cylinder shape has a useful angular edge that is very stiff.

Last words
Different people have different methods, but this is how I clean up my nails after applying polish. This pen is indispensable. I love it – it’s acetone-free, it delivers on its promise and it’s value-for-money. I highly recommend it. If you haven’t got access to Essence, you could try a similar corrector pen from a brand like Sally Hansen.

More information: Essence website

Sunday, 16 January 2011

Jane Iredale: Eye Look I



You might have noticed by now that I like smokey looks. My excuse would be that I'm a creature of habit, but my reason would be that I haven't got deep-set eyes. Smokey looks add the much needed depth.

I wore this look yesterday. It's an uncomplicated one using mainly Jane Iredale eye products. The simple gradation is light on the inner corner and darkest on the outer corner. I used:


L-R:
Jane Iredale Daytime Eye Shadow Kit
Jane Iredale Eye Gloss - Wine Silk
Jane Iredale Eye Pencil - Basic Black
GOSH Wonder Volume Mascara

The three colours used were:
• Off-white - Oyster, the leftmost shade from the Daytime Eye Shadow Kit
• Burgundy - Eye Gloss in Wine Silk (lightly swatched here)
• Black - Charcoal, the rightmost shade from the Daytime Eye Shadow Kit


You've seen this Eye Gloss before in a previous post. Then, I had deliberately applied it very thickly for high colour intensity. This time, the burgundy of the Eye Gloss doubled as an eyeshadow base too. I applied it very lightly on the inner corner and gradually darker towards the outer corner. After that, I added Oyster on the inner corner (also on the bottom) and Charcoal on the outer edge, leaving the burgundy of Wine Silk exposed in between.

I then lined the eyes and applied two coats of mascara. Simple!



My previous reviews:
Jane Iredale Daytime Eye Shadow Kit
Jane Iredale Eye Gloss