Saturday, January 31, 2015

First Impressions: Models Prefer SHADOWS Palettes (UD Naked Dupes?)

Here's to another year of blogging! Welcoming the new year (I know I'm a month late with this ahh!) with a beauty post to take me and my readers back to where this blog first started in 2010, as a beauty blog. It's what I feel most comfortable blogging about since it's been an interest of mine for 5+ years and the online beauty community is amazing (shoutout to the lovely ABBM girls and to all my fellow blogger friends).

I have to thank the online beauty community for allowing me to find out about these very inexpensive palettes that look very similar to another brand's eyeshadow palettes... a brand that we all should know because nearly everyone's been talking about them...

Do these ring a bell?

These go by the brand 'Models Prefer' which is only available at Australia's leading cosmetics and skincare store, Priceline. All I can say about this brand is that their products are affordable and the quality is questionable. It's very hit-and-miss so you can't expect a lot from it.

Let's take a closer look at these eyeshadow palettes and how they remind me of a certain brand, which goes by the name of 'Urban Decay' - of course I'm talking about their Naked palettes!

Box packaging of the palettes

The reason why I grabbed both of these variations was because to me they looked most similar to Urban Decay Naked palettes number 1 and 3. 'Day to Night' reminds me of the original Naked palette and 'Nude' reminds me of the latest Naked palette released. Since I own neither of the Urban Decay palettes, I'm unable to carry out any sort of comparison test but what I can do is share my first impressions of these eyeshadows. Could they be a substitute for the more pricier palettes? We shall see...

Models Prefer Nude Palette
RRP $10 AUD



Here's an 'unboxing'/opening of the palette video showing the 12 colours:



L-R: Bare, Naked, Afterglow, Flushed, Nude, Glow, Taupe, Golden, Rich, Burnished, Hazel, Cocoa

As shown, these eyeshadows are looking very chalky and not the most pigmented, especially the lighter colours that are barely showing up on my arm. Although they glide on smoothly across the skin, there's lots of fallout which could really interfere with the application of these eyeshadows. The colours are great for neutral looks but quality-wise they aren't anything special.

Credit: Urban Decay

When comparing these with the colours of the Urban Decay Naked3 palette, they are somewhat similar due to them being neutral colours but this Models Prefer palette is definitely not a dupe as the Naked3 consists of softer, pink shades.


Models Prefer Day To Night Palette
RRP $10 AUD


Again this is the 'unboxing'/opening of the palette and close-up of the 12 colours:


L-R: Deadline, Voicemail, Overtime, Workaholic, Co Worker, Overachiever, Coffee Break, After Hours, Hot Date, Happy Hour, Down Time, Night Time

Once again these eyeshadows are unsurprisingly chalky which makes the swatches inconsistent and lacking in pigmentation. It's a pity because these eyeshadows feel almost as smooth as velvet but just come off as too powdery for my liking, as seen on my finger swatch. 

Credit: Urban Decay

The colours in the Day To Night palette are quite similar to the colours in the original Urban Decay Naked palette however I feel that the colours in the Naked palette are a lot more distinct and versatile. I wouldn't say that the Models Prefer palette is a substitute for the Naked palette but I do see it as a good way to become familiar with the shades of the Naked palette if for some reason, you happen to be on the fence about purchasing it. Those palettes don't sell for cheap!

The Models Prefer palettes have a similar double-ended brush inside with a blending brush end and an eyeshadow brush end:


In terms of Models Prefer product hits and misses, brushes are a hit for me. They do the job well, are soft and have minimal shedding.

Final thoughts:

I can't say that I'm impressed at all about the quality of these eyeshadows and to be honest, I wasn't expecting much from these $10 palettes anyway. I've used Models Prefer palettes and have purchased them in previous years and it's a real shame that there hasn't been any improvements. Although the palettes themselves felt quite sturdy, the overall product didn't make me feel as though the $10 a pop was well-spent because it seemed much cheaper than that. Pigmentation and consistency were the biggest let-downs followed by the design of the case (flimsy, difficult to open at times) and the mirror which was a very thin, bendy material not made from a proper/hard glass. The only thing that I found okay was the double-sided brush. And I'd give points for the names given to the eyeshadows as they follow a theme. I wouldn't encourage or discourage anyone to purchase these.

Just to reiterate, these are my first impressions and for that reason I haven't been able to do a full, in-depth review. If anyone's interested in finding out more about these palettes, I have one to giveaway! I bought a third palette as a giveaway prize on my blog, seeing as I haven't done a giveaway in a really long time and since it's the new year (my first post of 2015 - apologies for my irregular updates!) I thought why not :)

This is to show that I have 3 palettes - 2 opened and 1 brand new on the left

The palette that I'll be giving away is the Day To Night palette and I'll be drawing a random winner in two weeks (February 14)! A very easy giveaway to enter - just comment below and you're in the draw! If you can also provide an answer to this post's questjen, that would be fab :)

Questjen for you:

What's your favourite eyeshadow palette?

To be honest I'm not that big on eyeshadow but I am thinking of investing in a good quality, basic/netural eyeshadow palette like the Urban Decay Naked Basics, a Lorac Pro Palette or a Too Faced one! Keen to hear any suggestions/recommendations :D


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Disclaimer: Products were purchased with my own money. This is not a sponsored post with any monetary compensation, nor am I affiliated with the companies mentioned in this post. All opinions stated by me are 100% honest and are free from bias. For full disclaimer, see http://www.questjen.com/p/disclaimer.html

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

My Modelling Experiences

Like I have mentioned in my previous posts this year, 2014 has been a year of many 'firsts' or new experiences for me, and today I wanted to share one that I had considered for quite some time and fortunately the opportunity came up in 2014. It's modelling - purely for fun. A fellow blogger and friend, Celeste, started her makeup artistry course earlier this year and I was interested in being one of her makeup models for her portfolio. That's where it all started for me and since then we have done two photoshoots!

I have to admit that this wasn't the first time I had makeup applied by a MUA and photos taken afterwards - my first experience was in 2011 when I auditioned to become the Asian model for FOA cosmetics (Face of Australia). I had a very natural look applied on me and had a few test shots taken. They were only looking for one Asian model and unfortunately that wasn't me. I wasn't surprised that I didn't get picked because the model who was chosen is so gorgeous with lovely features and has had experience in modelling (I think I would've been way too awkward at the time, being only 18). I never received the photos in the end and I do remember taking a few selfies afterwards but I have no idea if I still have them. You can check out the girls who were chosen for FOA's models here.

Here's my first makeup look done by Celeste where she re-created the look on an Asian model, found on Pinterest. This is my favourite photo that was taken:

MUA + photographer: Celeste

I fell in love with this concept when I first saw it and was very excited to have it done on me! My features are almost completely opposite to the model despite both of us being Asian so it was interesting to see how it was going to turn out on me. It was great how Celeste went to the effort of picking out props to match the model's and I can certainly say that I am pleased with it overall :)

This next one was my first proper photoshoot with photographer, Bhas for a TFP shoot (time for print) with Celeste as the makeup artist. A fun shoot for their portfolios (and also mine if I ever want to model for future TFPs etc.) where Celeste decided on the theme being Korean fashion/bohemian chic. As many of my blog readers know from seeing my inspired makeup looks over the years, I love dressing up and I'm always happy to try new styles. I don't have many chiffon/flowy items in my wardrobe but we made do with what I had and Celeste managed to bring along some items for the shoot too.


 Natural/messy hair for the look since it was an outdoor photoshoot

We headed to Mount Lofty/Waterfall Gully to get some nature-ish photos alongside waterfalls and parklands and here are just a few of the photos taken. I wore two different outfits and altogether it took around 2-3 hours.

Behind-the-scenes photo taken by Celeste
Photo by Bhas
MUA + photographer: Celeste
I applaud all full-time, part-time, freelance models out there because it isn't easy stuff! I was really awkward with my poses even though I was given some direction with the above shots. It was tiring having to hold them and not lean or have my head in a certain position/angle and not be tempted to smile too much as it was best to have a straight face (this was really difficult for someone who is very smiley). A pose that feels natural for the model may not look that great on camera - it takes effort to look effortless, that's for sure!

The weather was worrying for our shoot that day with the on-again-off-again spitting rain however we managed to keep dry and get some great shots done. After this shoot I contemplated modelling again for fun and/or freelancing as Celeste and Bhas brought up this idea which really got me thinking, should I take it up as a thing to do on the side? Despite it being a tiring process, I had a lot of fun and I do enjoy getting my photo taken (when I'm all done up), plus I felt that this experience helped raise my confidence a little. With more practice, I'm sure I'll become less awkward with posing and more free to express myself.

Not long after this shoot, Celeste contacted me about another with a budding photographer Jacqui and MUA/hair artist Mel and of course I took up this opportunity to model once again. This concept was a little more cray-cray than the last however I was totally up for it! Before I share my photos from the shoot, have a look at the inspiration photo:

!!! Isn't it just amazing?? What would this look even be called??

When Celeste showed me this I was thinking WOW this is going to turn out epic if the team can pull it off. And guess what? After about 3 hours of fiddling with hair and makeup, we shot for about 15-20 minutes due to time constraints and it was done and dusted! The look was the most important thing overall and the girls did a fantastic job. Originally the idea was the follow the same colour scheme and Mel decided that a green/khaki look would better suit my skin tone/hair and be better for everyone's portfolios, seeing as pink is a popular colour on female models. Pink is my favourite colour but I was happy for the colour change so good call, Mel!

My tri-toned hair using hair pieces - none that are showing are my own! 



Mel did an incredible job with the hair and it reminds me of those classical hairstyles from the olden days - I'm sure some would know what I'm talking about! As you can tell I'm not that great with history haha. I found it amusing having these hair pieces weaved into my hair (not clip-ons) and having about 50 bobby pins in my hair and many elastics. It wasn't fun having to get them all out but it had to be done and my head felt much lighter afterwards hehe.

Before and after pic! And a pesky pimple decided to show up on the day...

I LOVE the way it turned out omg, so much creativity!! Those additional details with the flowers in my hair on on my wrist/back of my hand looked superb - I felt as though I were a queen from a mystical land as I stepped out to the photography studio with this ensemble, wearing a puffy white wedding dress.

Jacqui did an amazing job with the shoot due to her professionalism in showing me directions and making me feel really comfortable whilst posing. The photos and editing she did for them are so stunning that I can barely recognise myself (in a good way, because she made me look absolutely flawless). I've got the pictures to share but first, let me take share a selfie.

The green/earthy colours make me think of Lisa Simpson saying "I am the lizard queen!" because lizards are green. Lizard queen is me

The beads and hair pieces on my head weren't the heaviest-feeling - it was actually the double-lashes that made my eyes feel super heavy! It made them difficult to open as I always felt like keeping them half open or completely shut and I haven't worn double-lashes (two sets of falsies) in a long time. They really added to the effect though :)

Photography by Jacqui, Makeup by Celeste, Hair and makeup assistance by Mel 

Saved my favourite shot 'til last

Now this second photoshoot really brought out my confidence and looking back on it makes me look even more forward to my next one whenever that will be! Hopefully in 2015 I will have some more TFPs done as I'm not looking for any monetary benefit from modelling (yet) while still being an amateur. If and when I do another shoot, I'll be sure to tweet about it and possibly write up another post on my experience/s. It's been so awesome to have worked with and met such creative, artistic people through these shoots this year, they're seriously inspiring. Happy to help anyone who would like to get in touch with any of them!

It's great to be able to tick something off my list of 'things I'd like to try' before the year ends which makes me feel quite accomplished. I know anyone can do these types of photoshoots as it isn't like fashion runway modelling or magazine prints but hey, I think it does take a whole lot of guts to put yourself out there in this way and not have complete control of the way you're presented with the makeup, concept and outfit choices. Although I initially did this to help out a friend, it also benefited me in more ways than one. I've always been a shy, self-conscious girl so doing photoshoots has been a big step for me. Challenge accepted, challenge succeeded.

Questjen for you:

What would you like to try or take up as a hobby in 2015?

You don't have to wait until the new year to start something, you can start today!

I hope everyone had a great Christmas and I wish you all a safe and happy new year! 2015, bring it on ^_^


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Sunday, December 14, 2014

kikki.K Pre-Christmas Haul

Hey guys, it's almost Christmas which means that many of us will be and are already spending lots on our loved ones. And while we've been shopping for gifts, I'm sure we've all been stuck on ideas and that's okay, it's the thought that counts in the end! While this post isn't really going give many gift ideas, I thought I'd share one of my recent hauls with items that are useful and can appeal to many different kinds of people.




For those who follow me on Twitter, you may have seen this image that I uploaded when I shared my post-exams haul where I made an online order during the time kikki.K had a 20% off storewide sale and as a way of treating myself for the work I had done in the semester. This sale also gave me the chance to get my hot little hands on items that I've been eyeing for a while. Disclaimer: I am not sponsored by kikki.K (if only I was) nor am I affiliated with them and all of these items were purchased with my own money :)

Firstly I just want to mention how cute the parcel box is! It might look familiar if you remember seeing the following picture of me holding it for the Bloggers Kris Kringle post:


Credits to Melody for the editing!
And now the 'KK' can stand for kikki.K :D

I've called this a 'Pre-Christmas haul' because I ordered these items with no intention of it being a Christmas present to myself however, once I saw it sitting on my doorstep, I couldn't help but think of it as an early/pre-Christmas present judging by the way it looked! It didn't have the ribbon but the snowflake print on the box along with the catalogue and note inside made me feel even more into the festive season! kikki.K could've easily used a standard cardboard box so I'm really pleased with their efforts towards the packaging's designs now that Christmas is fast approaching *_*

They sent me a $10 'welcome' voucher (I'm not a new member but I'll take it - it must've been because it was my first online order!) via email after I made my order and I decided to use this instore to save me the shipping fee (shipping is only free for orders over $50+ and I wasn't willing to spend that much again lol). This is what I bought with my voucher:

And even their store's bag is Christmas-themed and so pretty! Looks like a paper gift bag :)

So let's run through each item I purchased, starting with the one I was most excited about:

2015 TIME PLANNER: LIVE BRIGHT (RRP $49.95, purchased for $39.96)

Yes I admit, it does sound rather pricey for a planner but I can justify spending that much for one from kikki.K. I've been a fan of their products for quite some time and although there are cheaper alternatives, I feel that their products are of high quality and to me that's what makes it worth the price. Not only are they of great quality but also of great style - I adore their themes and colour schemes and it's purely eye candy for stationery enthusiasts like me. 

Really liking the quote on the cover of this one! Something to remember to live by :)

I usually purchase the kikki.K diaries like the one I showed in my February Favourites at the beginning of the year. No doubt, it's still one of my favourite types of diaries to have but after having two of these, I decided it was time for something new, hence the planner :) To be able to fully open the pages and lay them out flat was what appealed to me the most and also the fact that I can reuse the planner each year by simply taking out and refilling it with new pages. In a way this does save me money so I thought why not invest in one.

Planner does not come with the pen

The planner comes with a plastic ruler and a notepad at the back

I could go on and on about how much I adore this design and the pink/lilac colours used for this planner! They're very soft and delicate colours that are very pleasing for the eyes and since these are my favourite colours, I don't think I'll ever be bored of using this every year. I'm a huge fan of the gorgeous shiny gold ring binding too.

Each dashboard has a different design/quote

All I can say are good things about this planner. It's a medium size which I find is perfect and this is also one of the more affordable medium-sized planners from kikki.K due to its material not being leather (in fact it's made from wool). Although leather may give the appearance of a more polished, sturdy look, the fabric cover is a good option if you're strapped for cash, while still being able to have all of the benefits that comes with using a planner.

And since I've spoken so much about the planner, I'll keep the rest fairly brief. I didn't end up taking individual photos for these so I will be using the ones on the website:


SAMSUNG GALAXY 5 GLOSS CASE: LIVE BRIGHT (RRP $9.95, purchased for $7.96)
 

Another product from the 'Live Bright' range that I just had to get! Ever since I received my phone cover, I haven't taken it off and switched back to any of my other ones, which is something I do quite often as I tend to get bored with using the same one. It has a simplistic design, it's glossy and thin so that my phone doesn't feel bulky. It fits on nicely and isn't difficult to take off. There's also a screen protector in the package and that'll definitely come in handy. Thanks kikki.K for designing an S5 case because there aren't many around compared to iPhone cases. They also have a minimalist design one which I'm liking too.


EVERYDAY BALLPOINT PEN 3PK: CUTE 2015 (RRP: $9.95, purchased for $7.96) 


As a sucker for anything cute, how could I have passed on this (especially the pen with cats wearing party hats as the design, eep)!! These types of ballpoint pens only come with black ink which is a bit of a downer for me as I mostly use blue ink. I guess this means that these pens will last me quite some time before they needs refilling (yes, these pens can be refilled to be used for many years!)


FELT TIP PEN - BLACK (RRP $1.50, purchased for $1.20)


I think I added this to my cart because I was only about a dollar or so off of getting free shipping so I thought eh, why not chuck in a pen. Something useful. And it has been very useful indeed :) I keep it in my planner's pen holder and I love taking it out and using it because it glides very smoothly on paper. This is definitely one of the best felt-tip pens I've used and I highly recommend getting your hands on one, or a few, or a handful...


FELT TIP PEN 10PK (RRP $12.95, purchased for $2.95 with a $10 voucher)


A handful of these felt-tip pens is exactly what I got a couple of days after receiving my order! I loved the black felt-tip pen so much that I wanted to get them in every colour available. That $10 welcome voucher really helped so thanks once again kikki.K! $2.95 for a pack of 10 felt-tip pens sounds like an absolute bargain to me, hehe. They're highly raved about and I can certainly see why - they make decorating my planner even more fun :)

Any of the above items would be suitable as Christmas gifts or stocking fillers, especially the pens. Nice, good-quality pens are always great to have!

My questjen to you:

Are you a fan of cute stationery?

I don't think anyone could ever be too old for it either!


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