February 28, 2014

Review: Tarte BB tinted treatment 12 hour primer #Light


Ever wanted the PERFECT product to brighten and even out your skintone? For all you lovelies who have normal - combination - oily skin, I might just have found the perfect solution for you!

It's been a good couple of months since Tarte cosmetics sailed its way to our local Sephora counters in Singapore and I finally made my first purchase two months ago and its all thanks to Sam's friend Charmaine! I've always wanted to try out BB creams from brands like..  Skin 79, Laneige, Dr jart, all because of the benefits that its said to come with but haven't jumped aboard the bandwagon till now!

I tried the sample out for 2 -3 days and absolutely fell in love with it, from the texture to the coverage, I can honestly say I do not own any face product of this sort. Even after putting it on for the first time, Sam was already telling me that how amazing it looked on, and when you've got a reaction of that sort from your best friend, you know you gotta hit the stores! So here's a more in-depth look into how the product faired for me ;)

Product Claims
"Indulge and nourish your skin with tarte’s innovative BB tinted treatment which offers multiple skincare and makeup benefits in one eco-chic tube. This powerfully pure formula not only works as a skin-soothing treatment, but as a moisturizer, sunscreen, primer and foundation that visibly improves skin’s overall appearance for a youthful-looking glow. 

This 12-hour longwear, anti-aging, oil-free tinted treatment primer offers light-to-medium buildable coverage that helps even skin tone and conceals discoloration, acne and other skin imperfections. The creamy, silky formula goes on smooth, hydrates skin and blends easily leaving you with a natural, flawless finish while the broad-spectrum, chemical-free SPF 30 offers ideal protection from the sun’s harmful UVA/UVB rays."


Packaging

There's honestly not too much going on for the packaging, I do wish that the packaging wasn't white as I'm pretty sure it'll get stained from other makeup products in my makeup drawer/bag. It already has lines going on the back of it, from something scratching up on it.  The graphics around the packaging have stayed put thus far unlike some that flake off almost instantly after a week or two.

Texture

The texture resembles a primer + a BB cream put into one, so you can expect that the texture resembles more of a gel + mousse consistency and it blends like a dream. To the point where no matter what product you use ( brush/ hands ) to blend it in, it gives you that airbrushed look.

I truly wish I could put out a sample of the product within this post for you guys to actually feel the texture for yourselves, but I assure you, you will fall in love with the texture.It has a matte finish and there's absolutely no dry time at all!

With matte products I find that there's always the tendency of there being a chance that the product flakes off your face or enhances your dry spots. This just comes down to the weather of the country that you're in and the type of skin you've got. On its own however, I recommend this for people with Normal- Combination / Oily skin types.

Application

There are two ways I like to go about doing this, I either blend the product in with finger tips or with my real techniques expert face brush.

I love using real techniques expert face brush when I want a little more coverage, say for an event or when my skin isn't looking its best. I like to buff the product into my skin in circular motions to get an even and almost airbrushed effect.








Before & After






Once the product is applied, it is as if there's a slight blur to cover your imperfections to reduce the appearance of pores / spots. This photo was taken without concealer to cover my spots or undereye cirlces at all and I must say... it does a pretty decent job of giving a natural light-medium coverage on its own!

Overall thoughts



I absolutely LOVE this BB cream for its texture and finish in humid weather Another thing to note is that,  in the cooler countries when the weather is a little dry, my skin doesn't fair too well against it. I'm pretty sure it's because of my skin being a little parched on its own, but flakes start appearing and lets be real, its not particularly attractive when that happens am I right?

So I personally up the moisture within my skincare routine and make sure my skin is moisturised before applying this in the drier months (i.e.. when I'm in HK). If you have extremely dry skin, you can opt for a hydrating mist before hand to prep your skin or perhaps look for a tinted moisturiser instead :)

There have been reviews saying that it comes with a scent, personally I didn't notice it at all. It gives my face a very natural, matte coverage enough to hide uneven skintone. You guys seriously have to swatch it the next time you make a trip to Sephora, you will fall head over heels for the texture!

Recommended for:
- Anyone with normal - combination/oily skin.
- Anyone looking for a BB cream that keeps your skin matte with a natural coverage
- Anyone looking for a long-lasting BB cream
- Buildable coverage

Stockist
Any Sephora Counters in Singapore
Price: SG$54 

Overall Rating: 8.5 / 10
*Would have given it a 10/10 had it not enhance my dry areas when my skin is having its dry spell.



What's your favourite BB cream ?
()
 Ash
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February 27, 2014

Youtube: HeadsUp! Singapore Edition






















Helloo there beautiful faces,

What comes to mind when you think of Singapore? The food? The tourist hot-spots? How would you be able to describe that particular word to someone? We decided to take on the challenge of playing the HeadsUp game which you often see on the Ellen DeGeneres show or you might even have downloaded the app.

We did a little bit of a twist though! Instead of racing against a clock to get the most number of places items unique to Singapore, we decided to each write 5 things that were within the Singapore context and have each other guess what they were! Without further ado..... here's our lovely rendition of the HeadsUp game!


The video




Leave us a challenge
 for our next video in the comments!
()
Sam & Ash
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February 25, 2014

Review: Guerlain Bubble Blush in 02 Cherry

Hello everyone! Now that we are on our holiday, we are a little more free to post! Okay it's actually more of our Project Week and we are supposed to be cramping all the school work we can now (eeps!) and if our lecturers see what I just wrote we are dead. *hung from ceiling*
But to be a little less macabre, I'm going to blog about this very new and fascinating blush just issued from Guerlain not tooooo long ago (probably much earlier in the States though), and just how much I love it. It was a Valentines present from my beloved friend, Abu, because we had a Secret Valentines going on within our clique - juuuuuuuust in case you were wondering, hehe.


About


I was going to take the brief introduction from Guerlain's official page.. but it seems that not much information is given there, so I'll try my best to do the brand some justice here.

Aptly called the Bubble Blush, the product itself is round and is kept within this nice bubbly packaging. Though encased in a plastic cover and base, both look sturdy enough to be brought out anywhere and (dare I say it?) even able to survive a few drops now and then.

A few people seem to have some issues with the packaging, saying that it looks cheaper and not as luxurious as the Meteorites, but I've personally no problems because I can bring it out wherever without worrying I'd damage the packaging. The blush itself kind of reminds me of those roll-on sunblocks I once used when I was young! Any of you guys remember those?

Anyway, the Bubble Blush is described as a "Light Cream" that gives a "Fizzy Healthy Glow" and ends with the most beautiful satin finish. There are two colors for this: #01 Pink and #02 Cherry. The Pink is a little more light and dainty, very suitable for fair to very fair skin tones. Cherry is more of a Fuschia, which may look bright on the outside but blends out to a healthy flush, and seems to be more suitable for slightly darker skin tones.


Color and Texture


I decided to get the Cherry shade because I'm not that fair, kind of an in-between, and I do tan easily especially when I go overseas; hence I thought a darker color would be a safer choice. 


Above are the swatches, both light and heavy; also, a picture of what it looks like blended out. The swatches were applied straight from the "bubble" onto my hand. The color payoff still looks rather intimidating and very strong. However, you don't need to worry at all because it blends out like a dream! I was so shocked when I just used my index finger to even out the swatches, and they just MELTED (!!!) into my skin, leaving only a nice powdery texture behind. 

The bright fuschia was now a healthy flush of pink that was not over the top at all! In fact, if you're looking to mimic that "after-exercise" glow, I think you'll find it in this perfect little bottle. If you seek a stronger color, no problem, just go ahead and layer it up.


Application

I'm using two different methods here. One will be with buffed in with a brush, specifically Lovebelle Eclipse Range's Angled Blusher Brush (so soft and luxurious by the way!) and with my fingers.



How I apply it is by drawing in some short strokes of the blush on each side and then proceed to blend it in with quick stippling motions in an upwards fashion.

On my right, you can see how it works out with the brush, and on my left is with my fingers. I really think both work out well because the blush is as soft as mousse! If you reallllllyyyyyy want me to nit-pick, however, a brush will work out better because it has better control over the area you want it blended in. I find that fingers can sometimes end up tapping too far front or high on the cheeks and you can end up looking sunburnt instead.

It takes a bit of practice but this blush is very forgiving! ;)


Lasting Power

I have combination skin with dry cheeks, so naturally this kind of stays on better for me. It doesn't slip, it doesn't slide, it doesn't budge. It leaves the most beautiful stain through the day and only ever so lightly fades away (what a pretty rhyme lol). 

The sales assistant at Guerlain did promise me though that this still works on oily skin types due to its cream-to-powder consistency, and does not/will not disappear as quickly as others do! He did assure me that it will DEFINITELY work as well either way... but I'm having a little trouble believing that to be honest.

I suppose if it works 100% well on normal skin types, those with oilier skin might find that it performs 80%. It will still be better for you to go down to the counter and try it on personally - wear it on through the day and then make your decision!


Overall Thoughts
Is it clear yet that I'm in love? So suiting, considering that this was for my Valentine's, hehe. If it isn't too obvious above it's because I blended it out to be as natural as possible! You can definitely pack on the color to any extent you'd like.

It kind of reminds me of those I used from Canmake quite awhile ago.. you know those pot rouges? But for some reason at that time, those kept breaking me out... Luckily this isn't the case for me this time! Woohoo! *Cue happy yays from all around*

I really like everything about this. From the portability to ease of application, to how easy it is to blend and how pretty the final look is... it's just an A+ in my books. Definitely, definitely. 

I think the picture above even shows how happy I am, lol. Because I am happy! It's the holidays!!!!! We have an exciting event to attend this Friday, so this will definitely make a star appearance!


Overall Rating: 9.5/10




Do you guys have a dream blush too? :)
Share them with us!
()
Sam
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February 24, 2014

First Impressions: Tarte Colored Clay CC primer


Helloo there lovelies,

As you all seemed to have liked our previous first impressions post, we decided to take you on another quick trip down to Sephora with us! Tarte just launched their Spring 2014 Colored Clay collection at the Sephora's here in Singapore just a couple days ago and seeing as we both adore the two tarte products that we currently have at hand, we knew we just had to check it out. 

Ps: There are a quite a number of products to the new collection, but we will only be doing quick overview on the Colored Clay CC primers because CC creams are fairly new in the market and we thought Tarte did a rather interesting take of it. 

About

Here's a quick overview at the display as soon as you head straight for the Sephora at ION. They've got the Maracuja Concealers (SG$39), the Amazon CC clay matte palette which is a beautiful palette with a light bronzer along with a couple of taupe and neutral matte eye shadows (SG$69) and of course, lets not forget the Colored Clay CC pirmer!

Thanks to the antioxidant-rice formula (includes, Amazonian color, Pomegranate, Acai, vitamin E and mineral pigments) , the Colored Clay CC primer provides, the CC primer sets out to even skin tone, texture, make your skin appear smoother and softer and even! Reduce the size of your pores whilst providing colour correction! 

Hold up. I'm sorry. does this not sound like a little bit of miracle product to you already?

Product Claims

Buff your way to complexion perfection with this revolutionary correcting stick. Infused with Tarte's new color-correcting Amazonian colored clay, this powerful, skinvigorating™ primer blends easily to help brighten skin, even skintone, blur imperfections, and neutralize redness and discoloration. Use this multitasking corrector before foundation as a color-correcting primer or alone as light coverage for an allover flawless look. Its antioxidant-rich formula delivers the perfect balance of color correction and coverage with a soft, matte finish

Packaging



Being design students and a girl, we are often drawn to a product first and foremost through its packaging. Unlike most CC creams, this primer is packaged much like the Benefit Stay Flawless 15-hour primer as opposed to being in a pump or a tube. Once the plastic cap is removed, the product comes out through a twist-up mechanism, which makes it easy for quick application on the go. 

I know... I know, you hygiene conscious people out there might not find this as appealing, but you can definitely always give the stick a wipe on a tissue right after use in fear of any bacteria lingering on the product overtime!

How it works





The Tarte Color Clay CC primers come in 4 different shades, Fair, Light, Medium and Tan (For some reason the Sephora at ION did not carry the last shade). The website shows the availability of a 5th shade but the sephora's here in Singapore do not carry the shade in Deep. I'd also like to point out that this product doesn't include Parabens and phthalates and that Tarte cosmetics is also well known for being a cruelty-free brand :)

What makes this CC primer so special is that it not only gives you the coverage that you need but conceals redness and brightens at the same time! Who doesn't want to get ready a little quicker in the morning? I know I'd like to have one product that does it all... Check out the photo of the model in the before and after shot too! that's pretty amazing as it is!

Application & Texture


It is recommended that the product be applied directly onto your skin to get the most out of the product. The method you choose to blend the product out is entirely up to you! You can either buff it into your skin with your faovourite buffing brush or with your finger tips! Personally whilst trying this product out, we felt that even with our finger tips, it gave really natural and smooth coverage without any of the green/ purple pigments showing at all ! They all blend to create a perfect canvas on your face!

The product has a velvety-powdery finish and is (being a clay) very matte on the skin. Nothing that looks scary or unrealistic at all. The purple clay helps brighten your complexion which helps give it an incredibly natural finish. The coverage and finish is absolutely perfect for Singapore's humid weather.

Swatches
Initial Swatches
Once applied onto the skin you can tell where the pigments of the individual coloured clay lies, the colour itself is really pigmented, and doesn't flake or fade off into nothing once blended out completely as you will see! 
Blending 
Blending in was the part where Sam and I were just in awe, it didn't take much effort to blend the product in with our fingertips and the coverage itself is beautiful and oh-so natural! As you can see, none of the pigments are too overpowering, they all come together into a beautiful blend to enhance your skin tone to give you a brighter complexion! After all, the slogan for Tarte's Spring 2014 collection is "To Brighter days!. 

We were also saying how the CC primer in tan can even double up as a lovely matte bronzing stick! 

First impressions


It's definitely an innovative and interesting invention from Tarte, the coverage is amazing, there's almost no scent to the product and with all the given benefits mentioned throughout the post (evens out skin's texture and skin tone, reduces the size of pores, makes skin smoother and softer) I might have made an impluse buy that day had I not got the Tarte BB Cream a month and a half ago!  

The Tarte Colored Clay CC primer will most definitely speed up any girls getting ready process in the morning! and *Hint hint* Valentines day is long over guys, but if you'd like your significant others to get ready quicker in the mornings, perhaps making this little purchase for her couldn't hurt! ;) 

Do let us know if you've given this product a try or are thinking of getting it in the comments!

Stockist: Any sephora outlets
Price: SG$54 



To brighter days!
()
 Ash


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February 21, 2014

Tag: Not my arms makeup challenge


Helloooo lovelies,

We've seen Zoella, PVP (Prank VS Prank), Missglamorazzi and so many other youtubers try out this fun filled tag and who better to do this tag with than of course, my partner in crime, Sam. This video is pretty much self explanatory, ThatcherJoe (Zoella's brother) came up with this lovely idea where a person's hand would be "replaced" with the others while they carry out their usual routine (makeup / getting ready).

We had so too much fun filming this video and we hope you like it just as much as we do! If you guys like what you see be sure to let us know and we'll definitely film more videos for you guys. Without further ado, here's the 16mins and 15 second video of awesomeness for you all to enjoy!

P/S: We do realize the video is longer than most NMA Makeup Challenges on youtube, but we promise it's worth watching! xx



The Video




Much love,
()
Sam & Ash
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February 20, 2014

Sponsored Review: Portagram

Hey there loves, it's TGIF!!!! WOOOO!!! This Friday we're talking about something very close to our hearts.. INSTAGRAM!

Except that it's more like Real Life Instagram, and it's this amazing new service called Portagram!! It's pretty famous by now, and has actually been used by TONS of people I know! So what is it exactly?


It allows you to have your favorite Instagram photos printed out in HARD COPY! That's right! Always wanted one of your favorite photos (or make that 12 for a full roll!) printed out so you could keep it in your wallet or diary? Well now you can! :)

How to Order

All you have to do is follow these easy steps:



At the end of it, you just have a make a very small payment of USD $6 and it'd be mailed to your house! That's  not a lot to ask for isn't it!?

Imagine doing it on your own; you'd have to travel to a print shop, choose the paper, wait for the printing and go back and collect it. Believe me, I'm speaking as a Graphic Designer who has had to go back and forth to collect my work for submissions. It's a long tiring process and it sometimes doesn't feel worth it at all.

With Portagram, I'm now able to do all of it with some quick clicks. For those busy ones at work, this deserves an ALLELUIA! Am I right!?

If you're wondering about the paper types, I've taken photos to show you guys the differences:

Standard


For the Standard paper type, you get something very vintage looking! It's so cute because you get this unique paper type that looks aged and yet very new! For those seeking a more special take on their photos, or hoping to create a more special "Instagram Filter" effect, this would  be for you.


Classic


The Classic paper type is what it is: Classic. It is smooth,white, and matt. It is straightforward - no special effects whatsoever. But that does not mean that is a bad thing; no, indeed it is quite the contrary. The Classic paper type is white, and therefore brings out your vibrant photos the best. I foresee the use of this in creating mood boards or pinning onto your refrigerators so you can always remember the most colorful moments in your life.


Premium


The paper used for Premium is glossy and slightly sparkly! It's not called premium for no reason right!? It isn't quite white in color due to the glazed effect, but it does create a dreamy kind of effect on the photos. Perfect for photos which you'd like to scrapbook and give to your special other or best friend.


Portagram is both easy and fun to use, so I'm not quite sure what you're waiting for!? Get it today, and enjoy passing on the photos to the people that you love! :)



Portagram all the way!
()
Sam

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February 19, 2014

Lifestyle: Manicure/Pedicure Bargains in Singapore!

We have decided to section off a lifestyle portion in our blog to add a little flavor, and to bring a little excitement! As you can see, 2014 is a new start for us and we've been thinking of various ways to spice up this humble website!



We've been taking in some comments and suggestions, and most of them involve us talking about our daily lives! We never knew we were that interesting really, lol, but it seems many people want to know things like where we get our makeup from, where's the cheapest makeup haunts, and where are the best beauty services!

So to begin this new section *cue ribbon cutting*, we're starting with cheap manicure and pedicure places for students likeeeeeeeeee us! Of course, if you're just someone who likes a good bargain, just join in! ;)

Nail Status


Ash and I discovered this place awhile ago, and I personally think it can be defined by the quote "old is gold". A lot of bloggers also seemed to have visited this tiny nail haven tucked away on the fourth floor of Far East Plaza, and have left with nothing but good things to say! For us, Ash and I aren't too big on designs and the like. We're pretty simple people but mostly it's because we're broke lol who just want our nails to look ever ready!

I would say though, that this is the preferred choice for students, up to tertiary level, only because a student pass is required for...... $3 EXPRESS* MANI/PEDIS!

*Express: Just painting only, no shaping no cutting no nothing. For those, you have to pay an extra $5

Ashley and I were doing our pedicures that day, so these were taken whilst we were looking through colors before deciding on one! Don't we look abnormally happy? LOL, I guess it's because we just hadn't gotten our nails done for ages and my self-painted ones (done 3 weeks ago) were starting to look so pathetically sad....

Just a heads up.. it turns out that it's better not to refer to the nail charts and to just go straight up to the shelves with rows and rows of nail polish bottles on them (as seen behind Ashley in the above pictures) because that's the fastest way to ensure the color you want is in stock. The colors we chose from the "color wheels" were all out of stock, so we just took the shortcut haha.



Anyway, we watched some Revenge on the TV they had on screen at the shop (Ash loves that show) and just basically kind of gossiped our time away. There are magazines behind the chairs in case you ever go alone and would like something to read as well!

There you go, here are our final nail colors! I went with a pretty wine red and Ashley went with a nudish-taupe. In case you're wondering, these are our safe colors. We seem to be characterized by these nail colors for some reason...

The whole process was pretty quick because we didn't shape or remove our cuticles. Literally painted and went! It took about 15 minutes (mainly because the drying nails portion took about 10 minutes) and we were out the door! Very quick and convenient for students who have last minute dates or functions and just want to look good! ;)

BTW: Do remember to make appointments! Even 30 minutes beforehand would be good because they're usually packed to the brim! They even end up turning away customers sometimes, so if you're really IN NEED of a mani/pedi do book them in advance!

#04-83, Far East Plaza
14 Scotts Road
Singapore 228213

Phone: 6836 2005

Mon-Sat: 11am - 9.30pm
Sun: 11am - 7pm



Lily Nails Salon

I found out about this place from one of my close friends, and it's a GEM. I almost do not want to share this because my favorite place will be jam packed - but hey, all good things have to be shared.

I go to to Lily Nails Salon for.... *drum roll*.... $16 EXPRESS GELISH MANICURES (free soak offs included)!!! And this is without even a need for the student pass, should some of you pretty working ladies be interested in going!



They have pretty interesting designs, and I believe their nail artists are really quite talented! I once went during the CNY period, where tons of people were requesting for the Fortune Cats/ Goldfishes/ Coins, etc, and the nail artists managed to pull them off! I was just watching at the sidelines going, "whoaaaa....." (Sounds so creeper-like lol)

I would say that the time taken for this whole process is quite difficult to determine because it really depends on the time of day you choose to go. If you go during lunch/after work hours, the queue will naturally be longer. However, if you go at odd timings, say about.. 4.30pm, you might not even have to queue at all! And the whole thing will be done in a maximum of 30 minutes. Truly not bad.



The wide assortment of gelish/classic manicue colors is also pretty impressive I must say! Ash and I both took quite awhile before actually deciding on the ones we wanted! In the end... to match what we had on our feet already.. I went with a dark plum and Ash went with a grey-toned lavender.

We were both pretty much in-and-out customers because we had no special requests and we didn't do any nail art... I think it was a fast job for the ladies there haha.







Here you go! Our final nail colors! Do you like them as much as we do? We thought they actually suited our characters quite well! :) The price chart is up for Lily's Nail Salon, but we kind of missed out on The Nail Status' one.. you can always call them to find out more if needed! 

#03-135
3 New Bugis Street
Singapore 188867

Phone: 6338 4131
Mon-Sun: 12-10pm





We hope this post has been helpful to you guys!
Let us know what you think about this
new column! xx
()
Sam & Ash

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February 18, 2014

Review: NARS semi-matte lipstick in "Funny face"


Hi lovelies,

As if you didn't see this post coming your way, I've been raving about this beautiful lipstick for quite awhile now and its due time I got the review up to share the wonders of this baby and it has, might I add, made it into my list of holy grail products ;) This product was stumbled upon during Sam & I's visits to ROBINSONS's orchard - our 2nd home.

The lasting power is incredible, the pigmentation is amazing and the colour? absolutely beautiful. There's not one thing I don't like about it and I'm usually really picky with my lipsticks, they all have to pass the following criteria before I deem them as my holy grail.

1. Retain enough moisture so that the lipstick doesn't tug on my lips through application.
2. Pigmented lip colour that doesn't flake off
3. No / non-noticeable fragrance.
4. Strong lasting power
5. Doesn't transfer onto cups / straws

So with that key criteria in mind, allow me to share the wonders of this amazing lipstick :)

About

Having claimed the titled of the Best overall lipstick by InStyle in 2011, The NARS semi-matte lipstick line carries some amazing high-fashion hues that provide a full-coverage and long wear finish. The product claims to have a  a patented blend of conditioners and antioxidants hydrate, nourish and protect lips

There are also a wide range of intensely pigmented shades for you to chose from and I've put together a little collage of the colours with their swatches take off the NARS site for you to make an easy referral to the colours ;)

beautiful shades aren't they ? I'm already wondering which colour I should grab next! any suggestions ?

Packaging




Just like the other NARS packaging's if comes In a super sleek matte rectangle tube. I've had this product for over a month now and I've got no issues with the logo fading or the material wearing and being prone to scratches. Having something as sleek as this just makes the application more glamorous don't you think ? ;)

Prior to buying the lipstick, I felt that the name was just telling me to get it! As a kid, I was known for pulling a lot of funny faces in photographs or just being a little cheeky in general so when I told my aunt the name of the lipstick, She agreed that I HAD to get it, also taking into consideration the beautiful colour payoff.

Color payoff

The colour payoff is stunning and despite have a blue undertone to these bright magenta shade, I've had no issues with the colour coming off looking/ smelling cheap or uneven. Even with a light swatch of the product, it's still incredibly pigmented.

Texture
I love the texture, despite it being a lipstick with a semi-matte finish, it still retains sufficient moisture to make your lips look like it's been applied professionally. Here's a plus, I know we might not all have time to exfoliate your lips, but have no fear, this doesn't highlight or settle in the cracks of your lips! Though if you have terribly dry lips, and extra layer if lip balm 14 mins prior to application could make the difference!

Application

You know how models are always rocking the flawless, evenly pigmented lips on the covers of vogue? This lipstick gives me the perfect red carpet-esque look. The shape of the lipstick it self helps by it having a decently pointed tip  to firstly shape the area of my lips before filling it in.

There's nothing too fancy about the shape of the lipstick, the tip was definitely a lot more pointed to aid easy application to begin with but having used it for a month and a little more now, I'd say that the shape is holding up fairly okay, to the point where it hasn't rounded out completely.

Of course, with bolder colors as such, it is always recommended to do either of the follwing:

1) apply the lipstick with a lip brush (here I'm using Loveybelle's lipstick brush made with synthetic hair)  to achieve a precise shape
2) apply a concealer on your entire lip area , followed by step 1 ( this is so that the colour shows up true against a neutral background.
3) apply the lipstick and follow up by cleaning the edges with a concealer brush with a tad of concealer to create a polished look.

Before and after

I wanted to show you guys just how versatile this colour is, it can become a lighter hot pink candy shade by concealer your lips to provide a lighter canvas for the colour the show up on! Here I'm using yet again, a loveybelle brush to conceal my lips and the lip brush later to apply the lip stick on.





Here's the before and after without concealer as a base.




Lasting power & Transfer 

Here's the part that will win over your hearts as it won mine. Within less than 2- 5 mins after to application, the lipstick has already set into my lips and doesn't transfer on your glasses , cups or straws at all! For me this is pretty important, I'm not a fan of leaving traces behind on my cups having being scarred by my primary school Chinese teacher who constantly did and it wasn't particularly attractive to cut the story short.

As far as lasting power goes, it holds up extremely well and would go stay for at least half a day without having to touch up. However, upon the consumption of food, like most lipsticks, it will require re-application.

I think the fact that I've yet to come across a lipstick that has stayed put and doesn't feather out upon consumption of food has lowered my expectations in that category and as they say, the key to happiness is not to expect anything at all! So having it stay put through a meal would be the ultimate miracle, but not a mandatory to make it into my holy grail list.

Overall thoughts

I think i've pretty much said it all! :) I'm in love with the lipstick and I'm not sure I'll be able to find another beautiful matte lipstick of this sort for awhile. It does meet the description that's being described on their website and it's definitely the perfect shade to spice up any outfit that you've got. Even for girls who aren't afraid to take the big plunge into the world of bolder lipsticks, this is a good stepping stone for you! You'll be surprised at how wearable it is.

Believe me, I've thought long and hard the past couple of days through wearing the lipstick over and over to find a problem with it but I've got nothing. No complaints, no nothing about it. Even if I've not exfoliated my lips for a week, the lipstick doesn't highlight any dry areas at all.

There's definitely so much more that NARS has to offer that just their foundation and blushes and there's no reason why you shouldn't check them out at your local Nars counters! Try them on for a day even, as the makeup artist to let you try the colour on and see how it fairs for you throughout the day! That's kinda how Sam and I decide on our next purchases (if not an impulse purchase haha)

Recommended for
- those not looking for a matte lipstick that floats on top of your lips to act as a layer
- a very pigment lipstick with a strong lasting power
- a perfect dressy lipstick


Will I repurchase
 Yes. Yes yes yes yes, there's no doubt about it.

Price
SG$38


Stockists
NARS counters in singapore (TANGS / ROBINSONS Orchard)

Overall rating: 9/10

What's your favourite shade?

()
Ash





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February 13, 2014

Sponsored Review: Allure Beauty's Face of Love Package

Helloooo lovelies,

Valentines day is in one day! Have you not planned a surprise for your significant other yet? Well here's a suggestion for you - A pamper session at Allure beauty!  A little while ago, the PR for Allure beauty, Mistical, sent us an invite to try out the Face of Love package (A Valentines Day Promo) and we could not resist! We made an appointment the following week!

After all, it couldn't hurt to fit a pamper session for the both of us with our busy schedule! Not to mention, I've been starting to break out on my cheeks to some apparent reason (To which I've narrowed the possibilities down to either my time of the month/ hormones or the overload of heaty food over CNY) and seeing that I've tried everything to rid my skin of them, I thought I'd let some professionals handle the matter.


About Allure Beauty & the Face of Love package







Established in April 2002, Allure Beauty Saloon is a complete one stop beauty boutique for all your beauty needs from head to toe; making sure all you are always well and professional taken of. Their philosophy has always been to enhance their customers’ physical looks and bring out the natural beauty and confidence in them. 

The Face of Love Package 

"Forget the conventional roses in a bouquet; skip the usual expensive dinners and oh so cheesy gift cards! This Valentine’s Day, surprise the love of your life with a pampering treatment package from Allure Beauty! A deliciously enjoyable treat, relax and rejuvenate comfortably away from the hustle and bustle, with your loved one right beside you in one of Allure Beauty’s couple rooms! " 

What The Package Includes



For Him

ATACHE OILY SK combines active ingredients for effective deep cleansing and to balance localized sebaceous secretion. The ingredients aid in healing, anti – inflammation and restoration of skin moisture.

Pores are cleansed and detoxed for a breather in this purifying facial therapy. Using soothing essential oils, salicylic acid, glycolic acid as well as Shock Serums which contain highly active ingredients concentration, it is to prepare the skin for better and effective absorption of the purifying mask formulated using Zinc oxide, Menthyl lactate, Allantoin. OILY SK helps to give the skin a matte, healthy and fresh look after treatment. 

For her

Allure Beauty introduces SOFT DERM FACIAL THERAPY – a wholesome treatment suitable for all skin types.Revel in this treatment where you will enjoy soft, protected skin free from irritation; reinforcing its evenness and boosts its skin defenses. Skin is soothed, repaired and protected. Products used are formulated with careful

Selected ingredients such as thermal water, aloe Vera, seaweed extract, jojoba oil and avocado oil; to ensure that skin is well taken of. Pores are instantly minimized and skin is soothed and calmed. Say goodbye to tired, dull and exhausted skin – the usual look of a harried urbanista. Revel in glowing, radiant and healthy skin – the face of love, after just one session. 

- Taken from the Allure Beauty press kit


ATACHE Products
ATACHE SCIENTIFIC COSMETIC is backed by 30 years of experience in the field of Dermatology with a highly trained team of skin experts. Since its foundation in 1983 and with the backing of the ASAC pharma, pharmaceutical group, Laboratories Atache has always had a clear definition of its mission: Ongoing research and the most stringent requirements. 


Continuing its wide experience in the professional cosmetic sector and as a pioneer in the use of Retinol and Vitamin C in Europe, ATACHE SCIENTIFIC COSMETIC reinforces its cosmetic and scientific endeavours in order to go on offering the very best to the world of beauty. It is backed up, as always, by the technological and scientific expertise of the ASAC pharma pharmaceutical group.

A Session at Allure Beauty

When we stepped into the facial house, we were seated within the waiting area and offered a cup of chrysanthemum tea whilst we wait for our beauticians to escort us to our rooms.

One thing that both Sam & I liked about Allure beauty was that once you are assigned with a beautician, she will be the only one looking after you throughout your session and next couple of visits. This not only creates a bond but also ensures that exclusivity where she knows what's going on with your skin and nothing will be prescribed that wont suit your condition.

In the photo, from left to right : Pamela (Branch Manager), Belle , Ashley, Sam, Jess 

We both opted for different facial treatments due to our different skin concerns for the moment, Sam opted for the Soft Derm treament and I, the Oily SK treatment and with that we were assigned our lovely beauticians, Jess & Belle respectively.

Having not been to a facial for at least 8 years (for me at least) , we'd thought It'd be interesting for me to share a first timer's insight on the entire facial process to get a better idea of what you'll be expecting. Sam will also be sharing her experience and process towards the end of the post as well!


Beginning the Facial


The room was cozy and the lighting when I first stepped in set the atmosphere for relaxation with the dim lights and the sounds of calming and gentle spa music playing in the background. Once we were introduced to our individual rooms ( Couples can request to be put in the same room upon making the appointment), we were handed a sarong to change into and lay down on our beds.

Prepping & Consultation 

Seeing that we had just come from school, we started off by removing our makeup to examine our skin conditions to appropriately assign us with the specific treatment that would cater to our skin concerns and needs.

My skin concerns were my dry cheeks, pimples that I had across the side of my cheek and black heads on my nose. With that, I was assigned a mixture of the Oily SK treatment with the addition of the depil comfort gel that would help quench the thirst of my dry cheeks. Upon hearing that I was able to relax knowing that the Belle knew the right combination of products to overcome my concerns and my existing skin conditions.

Ps: Due to the fact that we were placed in different rooms, we did not manage to get our photos taken together. Hence, the procedure photos will be completely mine, though Sam will show her before/after at the end. :)

Extraction

Extractions are not compulsory for all facials, you can most definitely opt out of getting an extraction depending on your skin type and the skin concerns that you might have. Here's a short excerpt that I found helpful while reading up on extractions.

"Different people have different pain thresholds. People with thicker, oiler skin are usually less sensitive, while people with thinner skin are usually more sensitive. Estheticians also vary in how aggressive they are. Speak up if it hurts too much."

Extraction Tools


 Depending on the size and the depth of the oil within your pimple, they will either use their fingers tips with a tissue or a disposable sterilised needle to pry out the the dirt and oil.


We started off by using the Atache renewal therapy gel to soften the skin and to allow the pores to open up as an alternate method to using steam like most places do. This process made my skin itchy and it did come with a biting sensation, but was told it was normal that it wasn't my skin acting out against the product. I had a mixture of surface pimples and one's that were deep in my pores and hence Belle used both her fingers with a tissue and a sterilised disposable need to extract my pimples.



Here's what my face looks like after the extraction process (a very attractive angle up close.. i know lol). It did hurt, but nothing that wasn't bearable and the redness didn't subside till the next morning so I'd advise not planning any formal and important events right after!  Right after this, Belle wiped my skin down and pat in the ATACHE toner to close my pores.

OH! Another thing, at Allure, they will also help trim your brows and hence the really clean and neatly presented brows in the photograph above :)!

The Cold Facial Ball treatment


A highlight of facials at Allure beauty would have to be the Cold facial ball treatment. Despite the fact that the toner closed my pores and here's a unique way that helps to minimize the appearance of large pores especially after extractions.

It was honestly one of the most relaxing and soothing part of the facial.. I secretly wished that this portion of the facial would have lasted longer haha.  I'm not sure I'm doing it any justice at all with the description thats about to come, but it just brings about a soothing and calming sensation as opposed to using just a toner to close up the pores.

Purifying Mask + Gel 

Taking into consideration that my skin is a mixture between combination and dry skin, Belle mixed together the Depil Comfort gel along with the Oil SK purifying mask to ensure that the properties of the Oily SK mask would be able to target my oily T-zone whilst the gel ensure that hydration was restored to my cheeks.

The teal mask that was applied with a facial brush , initially had a slight itching/ biting-into-your-skin sensation due to the sensitivity of the skin upon extraction, but about 3- 4 minutes later, the mask initiated a cooling sensation (Nothing menthol/ absolute sub zero feeling) and it felt that way even after I walked out of the facial room.

Shoulder massage

Ahhh~ who doesn't love a good shoulder massage? I know I'll take one any day and it was definitely much needed to wind down for the week. Belle applied a ample amount of lavender oil and gave me shoulders and the back of my neck a good rub down whilst awaiting for the mask to dry. 

Removing the mask
Instead of using a regular towel to remove the mask, at Allure beauty they use these incredibly soft (kind of resembles a more cotton based lens cloth) facial cloths to gently remove the mask.

Quenching your skin's thirst


From having done at home facials, I know it is mandatory to restore moisture to re-hydrate the skin after a clay mask and this is exactly what belle did. I got to enjoy a lovely facial massage to help the serum sink into the pores a lot quicker. Belle used Atache's balancing shock serum II  from the Oily SK line which is targeted to bring back mositure and to balance the ph within my skin.

Treating my pimples


To help my pimples heal quicker, the Atache Balancing Shock serum I,  was applied to my problem areas regenerate and tackle acne prone skin. Belle mentioned that it serum is a little drying and because my skin is already quite dry, she would only apply this to areas in which were required :) I didn't feel like my skin was taught or anything after the application.


Ashley's Results
Here's what my skin looked like fresh out of the facial! Its' definitely a lot brighter and the black heads around my nose area have been cleared up too! I was really content with the condition of my skin, it didn't feel taught but still had the cooling yet hydrated sensation from the clarifying mask.



This was the result of extraction. Yes, from the photo it looks like my skin has gotten worse but I assure you thats not the case. The process of extraction is to push out the dirt lying deep within your pores and it will naturally turn red. Pamela, the branch manager advised us to apply our own pimple creams onto the areas that are red at night to help reduce redness and swelling through the night.

Sam's Results
Here's Sam's skin after the facial. The lighting is quite different because we took her photo in the toilet! We thought the white light would make things clearer! We both felt her face was smoother, softer and definitely brighter! Her pores were also almost invisible. Similar to me, the blackheads on her nose were successfully removed and her skin was silky smooth after!



However, whilst Sam's skin is generally free from acne, she faces the issue of hormonal chin acne. The "Before Extraction" photo is a little unreliable because she had some slight covering up with the help of her Dr Hauschka Cover Stick, but there were two bumps that were much more obvious in real life. They were well extracted and were rather red straight after treatment but Sam mentioned that she was so happy with how much flatter her headless bumps had gotten.


Overall thoughts

My Experience

I really enjoyed it and felt like time went by really quickly throughout the facial. Although the pimples looked as though they've gotten worse, they were slightly flared up due to the extractions but was promised that it would tone down by the next day.I did feel that my skin wasn't completely stripped of everything but that my impurities deep within my pores were removed, leaving my skin feel refreshed and definitely a lot brighter looking at it now.


Here's what my skin looks like two days after the facial! My spots have reduced in size and are now just waiting to fade! I was so happy to see results after about two weeks of having dealt with pimples flaring up all the time!

However, he only slight downfall was that I started to see that a patch of skin beside my nose started to feel and look very dry two days after the facial and Sam had the same sightings of the dry patch too, oddly enough, in the same area..

We believe its due to the fact that the renewal therapy might have been too drying for our cheek areas. So definitely double check with your therapists before the application of the renewal therapy, it might not be suitable for your entire face, just the areas that are needed :)

Sam's Experience


Sam's skin, as mentioned above, only experienced a patch of dry skin.. Her nose area also started to get quite flaky. She also stated that the "biting" mask might have been too strong because her cheeks felt a little "vulnerable" when she got home, and that her skin would sting ever so slightly when she put on her products.. I did not experience this though, but I would attribute it to her having very thin skin.

Besides that, she said that she felt an overall matteness in her skin's texture and that she no longer felt oily even during humid weather! Her skin tone also evened out more, making her skin more "normal" than "combination". But the part she's most happy about is how her pesky little chin pimple, which had been "festering for weeks" (her words), finally showed a head and was easily pushed out with her fingers! What made it even better was that it only required a very gentle push! She was very impressed. :)

We are both very impressed, really - with the dry skin patch aside, though it disappeared within two days.



Your questions answered 

1. Are extractions compulsory within a facial?
Extractions are definitely not compulsory by any means, it is just down to what your skin type is like and your skin concerns of the moment.  If you're in doubt you can read the short excerpt that I found here on extractions. It is completely ok for you to opt not to have the extractions done, the key thing that you have to do through any facial is to Communicate with your therapist! Don't be afraid to ask if something feels odd or if you'd like to know the purpose of a particular step throughout the facial. You have every right to know what's happening :)

2. Are extractions painful?
Yes, I personally think I can withstand a decent level of pain and it wasn't the kind of pain that sends a shock to your nerves but is equivalent to you squeezing your skin to pop a pimple. The needles that they use at allure beauty are thin and sharp, so you wont feel the needle poking at your spots at all.  The pain of popping pimples can vary depending on the location, for me, the pimple right below my mouth hurt the most even after the facial. The pain lasted through the night but like the redness, subsided in the morning.

3. How do I take care of my skin after the facial?
Do remember that a facial helps remove dead skin cells, removes dirt within pores to reveal glowy skin and you do still need to follow up with your usual skincare regimen after a facial.  I figured it would be great to allow my skin to feel more soak up some essences and hence applied a sheet mask after a shower to hydrate my skin. Following that I applied my Jurlique blemish cream on my spots to reduce the redness and the swelling by the morning.

In the morning, my spots had flattened out and weren't red nor swelling any more. Everyone's regimen after a facial is different, its all down to knowing what your skin really needs and giving into it after the dead skin cells have been stripped. If you think about it, a facial helps removes the dead skin cells to allow the essences and products to penetrate deeper into the skin.


A Big Thank You
We had such a relaxing time at Allure beauty and a huge thank you goes out to Mistical and the Allure beauty ladies at Tiong Bahru for making us feel so welcomed and for giving us clearer skin to wake up to in the morning!

It is one f the perfect valentines day gifts for you and your signifcant other, and I'm personally so glad my pimples have finally faded into flat spots! Nothing like a girls day out getting our facials done for us!  If you guys are interested in being pampered this valentines day, Allure beauty is having this promotion all through the month of February :)


Location

#05-04A, Tiong Bahru Plaza
302 Tiong Bahru Road, S(168732)
Telephone: 6270 8845

TIP: It's right the mall above the MRT station, look for the lifts that will take you up to the 5th floor. The escalators are not helpful at all in this case.


Price

The Face of Love package is available at all beauty outlets. Usual price per treatment is $280 per session for each treatment. From the 1st feb - 28th feb 2014, Allure beauty is offering a special 1 for 1 deal - pay only $180 for the price of 2 sessions. Simply show up at any of their outlets with your partner to enjoy!




If you have any further questions, feel free to leave them and we'll reply you asap!
Have a lovely Valentines day! 
()
Ash


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