Tuesday, September 16, 2014

My Top 5 Tinted Lip Balms

Right now I'm crazy about tinted lip balms. Lip balms which have hydrating and moisturising properties and leave a hint of colour on my lips is like my all-in-one product, my go-to product for everyday use and I make sure to always bring one with me. I find that wearing bold-coloured lipsticks, especially during the day can be a bit much when I'm opting for a natural look and can be a little drying after a while. And while clear lip balm helps to soften and smooth dry lips the best, it doesn't do a lot for my overall look in terms of enhancing my natural lip colour! This is exactly why I'll be needing and using tinted lip balms for a lifetime.




Even when I'm wearing lipstick out, the colour tends to fade and my lips become a bit dry so I want to re-moisturise my lips and at the same time, add colour without having to use two different products. I will always stay loyal to clear lip balms and repairing balms like Blistex, Carmex, Burt's Bees etc. because tinted lip balms cannot replace regular lip balms or lipsticks. They're simply a substitute for when my lips are in mint condition. In no particular order, here are my 5 favourite types of lip balms:


1. Maybelline Baby Lips - Color and Glow

L-R: Cherry Kiss, Pink Lolita, Baby Pink, Pink Blast

I know I'll be using these for pretty much the rest of my life (that's if they don't become discontinued)! I love the scent of these and I've collected as many as I can of them in Australia. The colours vary slightly as seen in these swatches:


They remind me a lot of my childhood where I was obsessed with those 'Lip Smackers' - the packaging closely resembles those which brings back lots of memories. They're really easy to identify based on their colours and designs on the tube. I found that the 'Color' ones predominantly give off a nice colour to the lips whereas the 'Glow' ones with the silver packaging give more of a stain which lasts for a great number of hours.

A negative would be that I haven't found them to be as hydrating as other brands of lip balm and I feel as though the clear versions of the Baby Lips are a tad more moisturising, probably because there's no colour component, hence a slightly different formula overall. Another would be that the balm itself is likely to get stuck when twisting up or down. Not all of mine are like that but for the ones that are, it can be annoying to have to physically push it back down.


2. Clinique Chubby Stick Moisturising Lip Colour Balm*

05 Chunky Cherry


I've raved about this before in my February Favourites post earlier this year and I'm still as obsessed with it as I was back then. Gotta love these crayon-like chubby sticks which are so easy to apply. The colour is sheer when applied on the lips and only looks pigmented on paper due to its texture. I'd say that this one is the most moisturising out of the five tinted lip balms. It's the priciest one out of them all too but it's definitely worth it.


3. The Face Shop Lovely ME:EX Happy Chu Lip

PK101


This is my latest purchase of a tinted lip balm. The shade on my lips is like a bright red-pink and it goes on nice and smoothly. The scent is very fruity and smells very artificial which is not really for me however I still make use of this product for its moisturising properties. I have trouble with the twist tube where the balm gets stuck so I have to push it down myself. Twisting it up is fine, just twisting down doesn't seem to work properly.


4. Etude House Shini Star Lip Balm

#5 Guava T


This is actually discontinued (it was limited edition) but I thought I'd mention it here anyway, since I like it a lot. I included this in my HK haul post and I definitely wish I had bought more when I could've. It smells amaaazing and the pink tint is too pretty. I noticed that Etude House has some similar ones called Dear Girls which also look very cute. I admit that I prefer tube lip products over tins and tubs however for me it comes down to how well the lip balm works for my lips :)

The consistency for this is smooth and glossy, just like a lip gloss so it gives a really nice wet look with a hint of colour. I rarely use lipglosses on their own because many aren't long-lasting, nor do they nourish my lips but with this glossy lip balm, it seems to give me supple lips. I can't say that it can do the same for everyone as I feel that with extremely chapped lips, a different texture and formula of lip balm may do a better job.


5. Innisfree 98% Natural Tint Balm

#2 Camellia Pink


This Innisfree lip balm, hands down, lasts the longest out of the five. A lip balm that leaves a pretty pink tint and smells like sour skittles (I'm a fan!). It has a thick consistency which some may like and some may not, depending on one's personal preference. I would prefer it to glide on a little smoother so that it can accommodate for dry lips. Because of this, I don't see it as a repair and care type of lip balm but more a lip balm to help prevent the dryness on well-conditioned lips. If my lips are dry already, I wouldn't pick this as my first choice. The packaging is appealing yet sturdy and I have no real issues with the lip balm itself.

My questjen to you:

Do you use tinted lip balms?

I'm on the lookout for any others out there that tick the boxes of being moisturising, hydrating and has long-lasting colour. Would love to hear any of your recommendations~


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Disclaimer: Products were purchased by me unless marked with a * which has been provided for consideration, with no obligation to share or review. This is not a sponsored post, nor am I affiliated with any of the companies mentioned in this post. All opinions stated by me are 100% honest with no bias. See more at http://www.questjen.com/p/disclaimer.html for full disclaimer.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Review: Perfumes from SC Perfume

Hey hey, if you know me well you'd know that I love fragrances and items such as scented candles, diffusers, lotions and more. Recently I had the opportunity to try out some perfumes from SC Perfume, an Australian-based company providing perfumes and body lotions made by the Saigon Cosmetic Company (SCC) who are renowned for winning many awards and collaborating with top French perfume and cosmetic houses.


I received two full-sized perfumes and five samples

Each perfume came with a description card which I found to be quite helpful for my own knowledge and for writing this review. Generally when perfumes are purchased in stores, there are no pamphlets or any information provided about the actual scent broken down into top notes, middle notes and bottom notes. I'd assume that most sales assistants couldn't give you very descriptive information either besides telling you that the perfume smells nice. For a lot of my perfumes, especially the branded ones, I wouldn't know how to describe the scents besides saying whether they're fresh, sweet, fruity, floral or woody.


Mariana No. 18
$14 for 18ml, $2 for 3ml Tester
My first impression of the Mariana No. 18 based on its packaging was that it looked very vintage and chic. I could say the same for the scent as well. The floral/green scent is certainly what stands out the most and it reminds me of a mature, warm and motherly lady. The bergamot and strawberry scents cut through to give a sweet and citrus-y, refreshing scent followed by the warmth of caramel and honey. It's not a bad scent however I prefer something a bit lighter and more youthful/playful. I think my mum might like this one though since it's said to be reminiscent of Angel by Thierry Mugler (which she likes) so I'll pass it onto her :)

Cindy Classy
$24 for 50ml, $2 for 3ml Tester
Just like the name says - classy! The packaging is very vintage and I could tell that this scent was going to be woody based on the colour scheme on the box. I'm not much of a fan of woody scents but this is unlike others because there's a sweet fruity scent to it too! I can definitely smell the peach and jasmine in this and also a hint of  raspberry, or it could just be combination of notes that create this raspberry-like scent. There is also this hit of subtle bitterness reminding me of licorice which I'm assuming comes from the base notes of cedarwood and patchouli. It's exotic, screams 'sophisticated' and I feel that this would be best suited to females in their 30s and 40s.

The following fragrances are 3ml samples which I picked directly from the site, based on their descriptions. I tried to find ones that sounded most like the perfumes hat I currently use i.e. floral, fresh, fruity and fruits/flowers that I'm familiar with. They were all neatly packaged in individual zip-lock bags with their corresponding description card.

Essy Beautiful Dream
$29 for 60ml, $2 for 3ml Tester
The reason why I picked this one was because of its simple description with only fruity notes being the top notes unlike other scents listed with 2-3 top notes which to me can be a little overpowering. It sounded fresh and something that I could see myself liking. This turned out to be true as it was light, crisp, refreshing and easy to wear daily as it wasn't heavy at all. The scent reminds me of a shampoo that I used to use from a brand called Palmolive. I recommend this if you're into sweet, floral scents that are very clean and feminine.

Sabrina Candy Love
$15 for 135ml, $2 for 3ml Tester
I could tell from the bottle's design that it would be sweet, girly scent that would be quite pleasant. This body mist would definitely appeal to female teens and those in their 20s as it is extremely fruity and youthful with a fresh watermelon and rose scent, making it perfect for the warmer weather. It reminds me of my teenage years where I used 'Impulse' body sprays and this scent closely resembles those.

Diana Spring
$25 for 50ml, $2 for 3ml Tester
I picked this one purely because the packaging was floral and pretty. This reminds me so much of the Mariana No. 18 and it turns out that the descriptions are pretty similar. It's mature, classy, elegant with a heavy yet well-balanced caramel and honey scent. A little goes a long way with this warm, woody/musky number.

Fantasy Blue
$14 for 18ml, $2 for 3ml Tester
Here we have another perfume that has a lovely design consists of fruity notes and the first scent that I got from this one was an apple scent. It's everything I want in a perfume - light and refreshing, clean, youthful, floral and feminine. If you're looking for something that simply smells nice without having a muddle of scents thrown together, I would recommend this one for daily use.

Fantasy Pink
$14 for 18ml, $2 for 3ml Tester
I decided to also try the Fantasy Pink which smells sweeter than the Fantasy Blue. I can see myself wearing this one often as it is more floral than fruity and more feminine which better suits me and my personality. Although it's very sweet, it's not to the point where it's sickening, if you get what I mean. It's really pleasant to the nose and it makes me feel refreshed and revitalised. The scent gives off a bit of a romantic vibe too! A real confidence-booster and my favourite one out of them all.

~

All of the fragrances from SC Perfume are really affordable and the uncluttered layout on the site allows you to specifically find the types of perfumes that you're after as they're categorised based on their descriptions. It's great that they have Testers so you can be more at ease when purchasing perfume and to help you decide whether it's the right one for you. I found that shipping was quick and received them in a couple of days, even by road transport. This means that they can only ship within Australia which is unfortunate for my international readers! :(

For anyone who is interested in purchasing from SC Perfume, I have a 30% off coupon that can be used for any full-sized perfumes - simply use questjen at the payment section of the checkout page :) This code can be used multiple times and is valid until the 9th of September 2014. Alternatively there are testers available at just $2 each and you can receive $1 store credit per tester purchased.
My questjen to you:

What are your favourite perfumes?

I'm a fan of the Marc Jacobs range and I also really like Lancome's Miracle which has an amazing lasting power~


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Disclaimer: Products were provided for consideration with no obligation to review or share. This is not a sponsored post, nor am I affiliated with the company mentioned in this post. Clicking on the links or using the coupon code does not benefit me in any way, shape or form. All opinions stated by me are 100% honest and are free from bias. See more at http://www.questjen.com/p/disclaimer.html for full disclaimer.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Benefit They're Real! Push-Up Liner - Hit or Miss?

One of my favourite cosmetic brands, Benefit, has released their highly-anticipated 'They're Real! push-up liner' which follows in the footsteps of the best-selling 'They're Real! Mascara' along with another product, the 'They're Real! Remover'. After trialling this eyeliner for just over two months, I can finally share my thoughts on it. Now I know that there are already many reviews for this but I reckon I might be able to offer something different (at least, that's what I think).

To be honest, I wanted to review this product within days of receiving it because I was that excited and that keen on sharing my first impressions. So then you might be wondering... what happened, and why is this review up two months later instead of days later? Let me walk you through my thoughts and experience...


The eyeliner itself looks great, and even better when surrounded by jewels

This all sounds and looks very exciting

I wonder if I can make my eyeliner look this awesome

A handy instruction leaflet in the box

So here's the eyeliner with an orange tip protector which needs to be removed and discarded first

The base is twisted to 'push up' the gel eyeliner. The excess is wiped off and you're left with the gel liner sitting right on top of the Accuflex tip

Something that I found to be a bit difficult was making sure that I didn't twist the base too many times for too much product to come out (this actually happened a few times). It doesn't always go by how many times the base is rotated as there tends to be a delay after each twist. You twist, you wait, nothing comes out so you twist again and then all of a sudden a chunk of it comes out instead of a small amount which you were hoping for. It may sound dramatic but that is what really happens. When this happens, the excess can't be pushed back into the tube so it gets wiped off and straight into the bin. I wish it could be helped! If only it had the same mechanism as those automatic twist-up eyeliners and eyebrow pencils - at least the product goes back into the tube and nothing goes to waste.

The swatches look great

I was quite pleased with the swatches on the back of my hand as the black was very pigmented and matte (perfect for oily lids). However I was a bit concerned about its consistency with slight parts of the lines being lighter than the rest. I think it's noticeable in the bottom line where it's lighter at the top on the right. This can also be seen on the first swatch image of the horizontal lines where the line becomes lighter and less crisp.

Gel eyeliners can be difficult to work with due to their thick, cream consistency which requires a more effort when applying/pressing right above the lashline compared to say, liquid eyeliner. I have very thin eyelids so the gentlest motion can cause minor tugging (even when I try to hold the sides of my eyes taut), thus the gel liner pen doesn't allow me to achieve crisp lines as a result of the tugging. It works better on the back of my hand because the skin on the back of my hand is less thin and fragile compared to the skin on my eyelids, hence less tugging and smoother lines.


You can see how the line is jagged and not smooth

I'm getting better at applying it but still I can't make the lines look super-sleek


I'm really envious of those who have no issues with applying this eyeliner! I've seen many reviews and images where the eyeliner is applied well and no matter how many times I try, I can't perfect my eyeliner with this which to me feels like such a fail for a beauty blogger :( I have no problems with 'stamping' the wing and connecting it - it's just the lining itself being a very fiddly, time-consuming task.

So to answer the question as to why it's taken me so long to put up a review... it's all to do with me. Initially I was thinking of posting a negative review because I was quite unhappy with this product not working as well as I hoped but then I realised that it doesn't feel right to blame the product itself for not catering to my thin eyelids. After all, I am part of the minority (thin eyelids isn't common and MUAs have pointed it out) and this is a newly-released product that may have its flaws/room for improvements. Not every product is for everyone and this happens to be one that isn't for me, unfortunately.

Although I can't personally rave about it and tell you how amazing it is, I can still find positives in this product and I know that others can and do too. I truly believe in the saying that there is always a positive to every negative, even when it seems impossible to find:

Pros:

+ Matte black, superb pigmentation (tick tick, impressed)
+ Accuflex tip allows ease of alignment with its angled shape (achieve the perfect wing)
+ Smudge-proof, waterproof, long-lasting (it doesn't budge)
+ Neat, attractive packaging (sleek, criss-cross pattern)
+ Innovative, creative design (the first ever gel liner in a pen)
+ Hugs the lashes as it claims (it pretty much goes into the lash line, if that makes sense)
+ Stamping method the assist with connecting the lines (for accuracy)


Cons:

- Inconsistencies with line smoothness (refer to swatches)
- Can be tricky to use and may cause tugging (especially when having thin eyelids)
- Particular eye makeup removers required (dual-phase ones or the They're Real Remover)
- Troublesome to remove excess before/after each use (a bit of wastage)
- Unable to create very thin lines (would need an additional tool like a brush)


Hit or Miss?

Based on my review, the answer to that question should be obvious. However that's only my answer from my own experience and I can't speak on behalf of everyone. It may not have been favourable for me but for you, it could be exactly what you're looking for :) So what will I do now, you might wonder? I might try using it with a brush like I would with regular gel liner or I'll just stick with my liquid pen liners.

If you are interested in trying this product, I would suggest that you try going to your nearest Benefit counter and have them do a demo on you, if they can.

Questjens for you, yes more than one:

Do you use gel liner?
Would you/have you used the Benefit Push-Up Liner?


Occasionally I would use gel liner if I want my eyeliner to last all day/night without flaking i.e. for special outings and I have been using the Tony Moly one with a very thin brush to make it glide on smoothly. It takes time to apply but the results are worth it. My go-to eyeliners will always be liquid ones because they're so quick and easy to use. With the help of an eyelid primer, liquid eyeliner can stay on for a number of hours.



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Disclaimer: Product was provided for consideration with no obligation to share or review. This is not a sponsored post, nor am I affiliated with the company mentioned in this post. All opinions stated by me are 100% honest and unbiased. See more at http://www.questjen.com/p/disclaimer.html for full disclaimer.

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