April 17, 2015

PSA: Don’t buy Benefit’s Roller Lash Mascara

God it makes me so angry when overpriced, overhyped mascara grossly underperforms.

So angry that I’m reviving SoLoverly which has been slumbering happily for over a year now to warn people not to buy this travesty of over-marketing.

Maybe it works for girls with naturally long, curly lashes, but let’s face it, what doesn’t?

Here’s what’s wrong with it:
  1. It’s too wet, it takes forever to dry. Sneeze 5 minutes after you’ve applied it and voila you’ve ruined your eye makeup.
  2. You definitely DEFINITELY need an eye curler
  3. If you don’t scrape it off properly, you’ll have a bad eyelash day. No. Really.
  4. It smudges. Smuuudges.
  5. It doesn’t lengthen at all or voluminise much.
  6. I get better results from ZA and even Maybelline. So WHY am I paying US$24 for this thing?
  7. It’s even more expensive outside of the US. Urgh!
This is one Benefit disappointment too many (I'm looking at you Stay Don't Stray). Am tempted to boycott this brand that’s clearly pouring more money into its marketing than it is into product development.

Yes Benefit. You and me. We’re breaking up right here, right now. You've failed to deliver on too many promises. 

August 26, 2013

Daily faves: Pixi Tinted Brilliance Balms

Just before unboxing!

I'd been eyeing these lovelies for awhile now as I do just about ANY balm-stain formula. While my love for Revlon's affordable offerings is well-documented, I found myself longing for more wearable, fresh, easy colours in summer. Revlon's berry and bright pink shades are unrivalled but their neutral lip, Honey, had just a bit too much brown in it for me to be completely happy with. It's not too bad in winter but seems too dark and heavy for summer.

But at a full price of US$16 they were just too pricey to buy on a whim and a prayer. So when I spotted these on sale at Asos some months ago (yep, sorry) for HKD100 each (about USD$12) I POUNCED like a starving lioness on three shades: Unique Pink, Baby Bare and Rosy Red.

I haven't stopped using these babies since. In fact, I've worn Unique Pink down below the top of the pencil (they're twist-up btw) and Baby Bare is headed in a similar direction.

August 19, 2013

Update on SoLoverly & Tangle Teezer compact styler review

There's a lot more beach in my life now
Hello all!

Gosh it's been simply ages hasn't it? In case you're wondering what's happened to the three of us, don't worry it's nothing bad. We've just been occupied with well, the more major things involved with life and decided individually to take a break from blogging. 

Syen's got a new house to play with (she'll share it with you when she's good and ready) and Eli's off in another country, getting educated and seeing the world. 

As for me? Well I've been moving house, very busy with work, and generally getting out in the sun more (see above for proof) rather than sitting at home blogging. In short, I took a break from blogging and it felt so good that I decided to wait till I genuinely wanted to write again before coming back. As some of you know, I'm an editor now and the amount of planning, thinking, writing, creating and editing I do on a daily basis wasn't leaving me much juice to work with for the blog. But I'm back for now! Let's see how much I can keep going without getting strained. =)

About the beach, I've never been much of a beachgoer. But I now have someone(s) to go to the beach with and that, combined with a Vespa and living on an island, has turned me into far more of a beach babe than I ever anticipated. With new environments come new beauty needs so I've been stocking up on suncreen (will get to that later). But one thing I really really hate about the beach is what it does to my hair. Sticky, matted, urgh!

So when I saw a promo on BeautyBay for a compact, travel-friendly, Tangle Teezer I impulse bought it. As soon as I got it, I tore it out of its box, ran it through my straight hair and... meh. It's just like any other brush! I thought! Indignantly! With many !!!

Note to self: black may seem classier than hot pink but it's a boring photograph

April 29, 2013

Review of silicone-free Cargo blu_ray activating face primer

I may have finally found the only primer I can use all day that doesn't break me out, and I'm not sure that it really does anything, or anything much anyway.


I picked this primer up from BeautyBay some time ago and have been oh so cautiously testing it ever since. My skin's been relatively good of late, so instead of leaving well enough alone I start testing stuff on it. Of course. (Bad Me!)

I was really excited to learn that BeautyBay sold it and shipped it for free because I've been on the hunt for  silicone-free primer since forever. As an oily skinned girl with big nose pores it's just something you want to work for you. 

April 16, 2013

As others see us

There was once a time when the idea of seeing yourself as others see you was aimed at humbling the ego, of making you less proud of yourself.

Not anymore it seems.

Our vanity-focused culture has bred discontent and made every woman feel less attractive than she truly is. 

We seldom post promotional videos but I think Dove deserves a pat on the back for this one. The use of an FBI forensic artist to sketch self-perceptions and your looks as other see you was inspired.

Thank you, Dove and Ogilvy Toronto for this.

April 03, 2013

Korean-style Skincare Basics

My friends and I have realised that most Korean and Japanese women really do have gorgeous skin and great makeup skills. I felt like the Ugliest Duckling in the country when I visited Korea and Japan – well, at least I had my sister with me in Seoul so Ugly here had company.

I was curled up with in bed last week with the flu when I decided to embark on a virtual quest of the Great Korean Skincare Secret. Most of the results on Google repeated the same old stuff we already know: Koreans are big on sunscreen, love their masks and have access to what seems like an unlimited choice of skincare products. Throw a rock in Seoul and it will probably hit a cosmetic outlet.  

I did find a few snippets of a Korean beauty talk show called “Get It Beauty” on Youtube. They are subtitled in English, thank goodness, and I did find some interesting things to take away from the videos they had on taking care of dry skin.

March 25, 2013

Testing new skincare or foundations

With my finicky skin, testing skincare, primer or foundation is... well... it's an act of either courage or desperation which is why unless I'm on the hunt for a solution I've stopped accepting skincare for reviews. 

When I do have to test something though, here's what I do.

  1. I wait till my skin is either completely or mostly clear OR it's been breaking out for awhile and I can't stop it (this is desperation). The problem is if my skin IS clear I hate to disrupt it at all and sometimes will hold off trying a new product for ages because of this.
  2. When I finally get the guts to try it out, motivated by curiosity or some form of mild insanity, I apply a light layer for a night event. Why night? Because it's cooler and shorter and thus less likely to greatly piss off my skin.
  3. I wait a week and watch my skin anxiously for breakouts. Because these things can take a few days to surface, it's best to wait a week. 
  4. If I DO breakout, I clear up again and repeat step 1 to be sure it's the product.
  5. If nothing bad happens I test it for a day. Then stop again for a week.
  6. If nothing happens again I move on to alternate use. The idea here is that if I DO breakout, it won't be as bad or last as long.
  7. By this time I'm pretty sure if my skin likes the product or hates it and I either dump it or use it daily. 

The entire process takes a month and is fraught with fear.

I'm hostage to my own skin. Damn.

How do you test out new products? Hope you're having an easier time of it than I am!