Sunday, December 30, 2012

Vlog: My 10 Favourite Products of the Year!

Hello! Since we are approaching the end of the year, I thought it would be a good idea to list 10 of my favourite beauty/skincare/makeup products of 2012. I couldn't decide on an actual top 10 (i.e. number 1 being my favourite product) so I have just picked 10 favourite products in no particular order.

In 2012 I've only made a video once thus far, all the way back in January with my ASOS haul. Now it is December and I am back with a new video! Apologies for the crappy quality and rather choppy editing... I'm still a newb when it comes to filming videos (always getting tongue-tied!) and I'm not a vlogger :P Please bear with me ^^

If you'd rather skip the video, you can read below about what I said in the video and also some additional bits.

  • Revlon Lip Butters

As I said in the video, these are really smooth and creamy :) I love packaging and the smell of these too - so sweet! I wouldn't say that these have incredible lasting power though, however I do see why they were such a big hype. The only downside for me was that they tended to be too shimmery for me, especially the Peach Parfait one. Perfect colour but wished it had little or no shimmer!

  • Felt-tip black Japanese liquid eyeliners (Dolly Wink and K-Palette)

These aren't brand new; I just happened to have kept the packaging!

I knew that hoarding packages would come in handy, haha. Anyway, I love these pen-like liquid eyeliners!! So perfect for my small eyelids. Only a very thin line is needed to make all the difference, hence I struggle to use and enjoy using those liquid eyeliners that are in a 'pot' with a thick brush tip. I also find that it's really easy to wing out my eyeliner with these felt-tip pen liners. They're smudge-proof and waterproof too! Unlike this one that I reviewed recently~

  • Brow products (Ardell, Dolly Wink Red Earth and Tony Moly)

Over the years I have collected eyeshadow palettes, blushes, lipsticks, nail polish and so I decided to collect products which I hadn't owned previously - brow products! It was only this year that I had realised the importance of filling in brows. I have quite dark/full brows naturally and because of this I thought that it wasn't necessary for me to do so. Also I guess HyunA's appearance in Gangnam Style MV made me want to do something about my brows lol... even though they're no where near as faint.

Tempted to draw over them

Red Earth Absolute Brow Perfecting Kit (Discontinued)

I picked this up for $2 at Priceline whilst rummaging through a discount/bargain box. It can be a little embarrassing but this product was a gem to find! And come on, for $2 this is amazing. Love the different shades of brown and textures to help fill in my brows, and of course the tools that come with it. I reckon this kit will last me for a while.

Ardell Brow Sculpting Gel (Clear and Brown)

These brow mascara gels are so quick and simple to use. They were roughly $6 each again at Priceline and I had to pick up both because they sort of have different purposes. The clear one is good for keeping your brows in place without needing added colour, days where you just want a more natural look. I also like to see it as a gel 'seal' for after pencil-ing in my brows or after using the powders from the kit.

The brown one is more for colour. I know the brow kit is brown and that gives me colour however this brown gel is lighter and suits my brown hair better. There are Asian brand ones like this and I have seen that they are around $15-$20 each and I can't justify paying that much when I could buy one that does the exact same thing for half the price.

Tony Moly Lovely Eyebrow Pencil and Dolly Wink Eyebrow Pencil in Dark Chocolate 

 Again, kept the packaging haha

I bought the Tony Moly one and it's one of those automatic twist eyebrow pencils that don't need sharpening (very convenient). Then I got the Dolly Wink eyebrow pencil from a giveaway (yay) and I really really like it! Not just saying that because it's Dolly Wink hehe... it definitely is good and I like it more than the Tony Moly one. It seems to glide better on my brows and I don't mind that it will require sharpening (I actually haven't sharpened it before despite using it for over 6 months). They both have the spoolie on the end as most eyebrow pencils do.

  • Shiseido Eyelash Curler

I bought this from Sasa for around $12 I think. Not too expensive for a branded eyelash curler. It's definitely worth the investment because compared to curlers that are not branded or are much cheaper, this does a much better job in my opinion. Works incredibly well for my short, straight Asian lashes as it effortlessly curls my lashes and the curl holds even without the help of mascara and until the next day after removing eye makeup and washing the face. Unbelievable!

I'm still curious about its competitor brand, Shu Uemura and how that compares to this eyelash curler. Apparently it is just the curvature that differs according to Kitty but still want to try to see what all the hype is about. I would have gotten the Shu Uemura one instead if it were in stock but luckily I am happy with this Shiseido one and I have no complaints about it.

  • Face moisturisers for sensitive skin (Sukin and Purist)

For someone who has sensitive skin, it is very difficult to find the perfect face moisturiser that won't irritate my skin. Thankfully the Adelaide Beauty Conference provided us with amazing skincare products that were proudly Australian owned and suitable for my sensitive skin! Not everyone got the Purist one on the right though - long story short, we were playing a game and our group and another went off to the 'waiting room' and this was where the presenters of Purist were packing up their gear after they did their presentation. They happened to have a few spare products and kindly offered them to us :) I was happy to be given a face moisturiser for my sensitive skin ^^ It's been such a joy to use!

The sukin one has shea butter and therefore smells sweet whereas the Purist one smells like some sort of tea. I'm not tea expert so unfortunately I can't name what type of tea it smells like xD It isn't an unpleasant scent but I do gravitate more towards the Sukin one because of its sweet scent and easy pump bottle. The Purist one is more purse and travel friendly.

  • Real Techniques Core Collection Brushes

Now to something that I did review this year, and won from Priceline's Twitter competition. These brushes are simple love. They're so unique and I especially like the contouring brush (far left) which is perfect for blending powder or liquid. They are high quality and the case is smartly designed. At first I wasn't too fond of the small-headed foundation brush but I eventually got used to it and started liking it :)

  • Dolly Wink Eyelash Glue 
Package hoarding once again~

Favourite Favouriteeee eyelash glue right now and probably forever unless something even more incredible takes over (which I doubt). I much prefer this over those typical squeeze-tube ones... those are just too messy to deal with. This has a thin applicator brush (like liquid eyeliner) where you use it to 'paint' the glue onto the lash band. The glue quality is A+ because it goes on white but dries clear and I believe that it is waterproof. But the thing that I like most about it is that it comes off all in one strip off the lash band. Which makes reusing falsies (if you choose to) so much better. Some glues are terrible and remain stuck to the lash band even after trying to remove with makeup remover etc. Those ones are typically the ones that come with a pair of lashes (unless the tube is branded). Chuck those out because they're useless!!

As for the scent... it is bearable. To me it smells like sweet diluted hair dye lol.

These are the squeeze-tube glues I was talking about. They're ok but as I said before, messy to deal with. The tube ones I have tried and liked are the LashGrip (pictured) and DUO adhesive but unfortunately that didn't smell pleasant. The Koji one one the left was only a few dollars on Sasa and well... I guess I got what I paid for. It could just be mine that was dodgy but seriously, the glue didn't become sticky... it stayed watery? To be honest, I hated it! That's why I purchased the Dolly Wink one right after and I am so glad I did :D Though I am confused as to why Koji Dolly Wink and this Koji eyelash glue aren't similar despite having the same brand... sort of?

  • Loujene False Eyelash Case
Ahaha yes that's right, a box has made it to my 10 favourite beauty/skincare/makeup products of 2012 :D This was gifted to me by the lovely Jen and it was just what I needed. I've always wanted a box to store my falsies and glue, especially for my handbag. And the design is super cute and girly which I adore - pink, white polka dots and a butterfly ^_^

It's also perfect for fitting any other knick knacks I want to bring along with me such as a nail file (and I chucked in a powder/blush brush for the lolz). I love the separate compartments and the mirror. Thanks Jen!!

  • Wotnot Facial Wipes

Again this was a product provided by the sponsors of ABC. Sadly I only have a couple of wipes left, nooooo! 20 wipes is not enough and I haven't been able to find a stockist to purchase more of these :( They are fragrance free, suitable for sensitive skin and even removes my waterproof mascara. This is the travel pack version with a hard case and mirror at the back. I love it and will definitely purchase these if I see them!

  • La Glace Rose Chamomile Sensitive Care Toner
Last but not least is this face toner which I got from Sasa back in winter (summer for those of you in the northern hemisphere). It was my first time using a toner and I know that there are probably many of you out there who can't live without their toner (maybe I'm just exaggerating) but the only reason I hadn't purchased a toner previously was because most of the ones in stores don't specify that they're for all skin types or suitable for sensitive skin and so I decided to be on the safe side and not use any at all to avoid any irritations. Luckily I was able to find this one on Sasa and so far so good! Doesn't give me any irritations and removes all traces of excess makeup after cleansing. Pump bottle is efficient but not travel friendly.

And that's a wrap! 10 items that I particularly liked this year *_* Hope you found this post informative/interesting. Perhaps some of these items are your favourites too, or ones that you hadn't discovered before. Would love to hear your thoughts on any of these!

Also just wanted to include my current eyeshadow primer that a few of you were asking about in my previous post:
  Australian brand - Australis Eyeshadow Primer

It's great for around $12 and the metallic hot pink is gorgeous. I found it similar to my previous eyeshadow primer, the Urban Decay one:

The old packaging. It's all dried up now but I couldn't chuck this away!! Life of a hoarder...

They're both good and I wouldn't compare them because they aren't that similar apart from the stick-sponge applicator and the creamy beige texture. I would say that Urban Decay is 'better' only because of its price (I paid $30 for it). If you're not willing to pay that much then for you Aussie girls, I'd recommend the Australis one.

This is my last post for 2012! Hope you all have a fabulous new year. See you in 2013 :)

Bahaha Flower Power!

Leave you now with SNSD's Flower Power. Relax, it's not their comeback song but yesss the girls are coming back on January 1st (also when I come back from my short trip)!

Jen xx

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas ♥ Maybe I'll see you...

Hello, hope you have a fantastic Christmas (for those who celebrate it) and that you have a lovely day filled with joy ^_^ And yay we survived the 'apocalypse' lol jk, I don't ever want to hear about that again; I never believed it!

For Christmas this year, I don't have a tree up but I do have this lovely pink tree:

I'm dreaming of a white Christmas...

That was actually part of a gift given to me by my Kris Kringle. Blogger Kris Kringle that is :) In case you missed it, Melody and I hosted the Aus Blogger KK which was yet again a success. Thank you again to those who participated in it and for getting the packages sent out on time.

I had Chloe as my KK and Vonny had me as her KK. They're such sweet girls! Should definitely check out their blogs if you haven't already ^^

I was live tweeting when I was unwrapping Vonny's gift, it was really exciting with all the items individually wrapped *O* I've never received a gift like this before!!

Thanks Vonny

Melody sent me a surprise Christmas gift~

Thanks again!
My mother is currently away on holidays in Vietnam and so this is the first Christmas without her! I really miss her and her cooking~ But thankfully the bf has invited me over to his to have lunch and dinner.

We both got each others' Christmas gifts early as we have been planning for a trip (will reveal more about it soon) and this was what I got from him...

I know these are probably over-hyped and such but I don't careeee, they're super comfy and go well with most outfits. Happy to have gotten these brown woven ones because there are too many inspired leather version and this style is more one-of-a-kind. Big thanks to him for the Litas

As for the trip... we're only going interstate for a few days to... MELBOURNE!! I'm so excited to finally visit this city. Last year I was in Sydney and this year I'll be in Melbourne for 4 days - December 28th and coming home on the January 1st.

I'm planning to meet up with Melb bloggers on Sunday the 30th - if you're in Melb and would like to meet up, just let me know and I'll tell you more about it :) Maybe I will see you hehe.

Remember this Personal Planner diary that I reviewed a few months ago? I can finally start using it and I'll be bringing it with me on my trip...

Personalised diaries are fabulous and if you're interested in grabbing one for yourself or for someone else, I have a special discount code for you:

I'll have another post later in the week (scheduled) - it'll include a vlog so keep an eye out if you're curious.

Take care and stay safe you awesome people~~ And release your inner dancing queen ♔ *does the cat paws move*

  Jen xx

PS: What did you get for Christmas this year??

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Beauty Blogger Xmas Party!

On the 10th of December, the ABBM girls had a Christmas party at Violet's Hair, a cosy salon found all the way up to level 10 of a King William St. building. I didn't know such a hair salon existed until I got the invite for the Xmas party.

All of us attendees including the sponsors~

I was worried about coming late (was late to ABC!) so I made sure that I prepped and left extra early, especially as I was catching public transport again. I ended up being very early and only Anna-Lisa (the owner of Violet's Hair) and Kitty was there sitting on the sofa. Early is definitely better than late!!

The first workshop we had was a hair demo by Anna-Lisa where she used a ghd straightener to make curls. While she was demonstrating, she also went step by step through each process and gave us tips along the way. This demo was done on Monnie's hair.

Sorry, not the most flattering pic of you guys but in Anna-Lisa's hand is the gorgeous fruit-scented hair spritz - pretty sure it's from the brand 'Evo'

A smiley pic of the two :)

Next we had guest speaker Calvin introducing Paul Penders Natural Cosmetics and Skincare products. Calvin and Bee from Paul Penders had flown from Perth just to come talk to us! It was very lovely to have them join us in our Blogger Xmas party and I enjoyed hearing about Paul Penders for the first time.

Calvin did a really good job with speaking about the company and products despite being the accounts person of Paul Penders!

Next up we had the sassy Kitty, our resident makeup artist do a festive look on Monnie. Lucky Monnie with the hair and makeup done!

Despite being quite makeup savvy myself, I did learn a few new tricks from Kitty ^^

Afterwards we had a little competition where we had to pair up and do a makeup look on each other with only 5 minutes! I paired with Rebecca and ended up using the whole 5 minutes on her lol~ It was quite difficult and I had trouble working with loose mineral eyeshadow and limited colours AND time!!

 I was so focused that I didn't even realise a picture was taken!

We didn't end up winning the Paul Penders mini hamper but it was still fun to play around with makeup on the night.

It was all good fun and I want to thank all of the lovely ABBM attendees for being there and bringing nibbles! I particularly liked Neena's Oreo cupcakes - yum!!

And big thanks to the venue sponsor Violet's Hair - Anna-Lisa and Paul Penders - Calvin and Bee :D

Massive thanks to the ABBM organisers, Celeste and Stacey. None of these events would be possible without you two ♥.

In case you were wondering, this was my look for the night:

(My Twitter and Pudding followers probably would have already seen these)

Vibrant eyeshadow - my festive look. A little uneven as I was rushing haha

 Pastel/rainbow nails. Couldn't decide on one colour for all :P

Oh I also have the 4 winners of my Sigma/MukuCHU giveaway! They already know who they are but for the rest of you, here are the winners:

Thank you to everyone who entered, the support meant so much to me ^_^

I'll be back with a questjen of the week next week :)

Take care guys,

Jen xx

Friday, December 7, 2012

Can a Liquid Eyeliner Last 36 hours?!

Hi I'm going to be reviewing this new liquid eyeliner that I've been testing out called Yanqina 36 Hour Lasting Waterproof Precision Liquid Eyeliner. This is yet again another one of those unknown and unpopular Asian brands (and there is a reason why it is so). I'm not afraid to be honest with my reviews (including both positive and negative points) so here goes...

RRP $8 @ KKCenterHK

What this product claims to do according to the description on KKCenterHK (the eyeliner itself did not come with packaging - just the liquid eyeliner in shrink wrapping):

  • Smudge-proof and waterproof for 36 hours
  • No tugging, no dragging
  • Elongates your lash line to shape and define eyes like never before
  • Flexible felt tip glides on smoothly for the most precise control

I don't disagree with the bottom two points however with the first two, I can prove them wrong. It's not that I wanted to but from my experience of using this eyeliner, I discovered that it does not do all and exactly what it claims.

Claim 1: Smudgeproof for 36 hours

Here I've used the eyeliner to write on a piece of cardboard (texture is in between matte and glossy)

And after a few seconds, I test out its 'smudge-proof-ness' and voila, there is smudge. Ugly smudge.

I did the same test on the back of my hand.
By the way that is a swatch of the different line thicknesses that this eyeliner can produce

Doesn't smudge as bad and the lines are still clear... but I see greyness (50 Shades of Grey lol jk) so... I don't know. Would this pass as being smudge proof? I'll let you be the judge.

Claim 2: Waterproof for 36 hours

How about I just show you a picture because I really have no comment on this. All I can do is sneer and go pffffft.

Oh look, a few drops of water and the lines are already vanishing before my eyes. What is this sorcery...

But wait... if you look closer... the lines are still there though very faint? WAHHHH

Okay this is probably the most bizarre product review I have ever done in my two and a half years of beauty blogging. It looks like it does do some of what it claims but at the same time it doesn't because you can clearly see the smudging and the non-waterproof-ness. The heck is this formula and why do I not have any information on its ingredients?!

Claim 3: No tugging, no dragging

Personally I didn't find the felt-tip to be very soft or smooth to use. I felt that this required more effort when I applied it to my top lash line. My eyelids are very thin (If you look closely you can see small veins :/) and hence is more prone to tugging or dragging. With this eyeliner, the tugging/dragging wasn't as bad as using a pencil eyeliner but for me, it definitely wasn't tug/drag-proof.

Not too obvious here however you might be able to see that the line is not crisp (a little bumpy)

Now to the verdict... can this particular liquid eyeliner last 36 hours and does it pass the test? My simple answer is NO. To me this was not 'ink-y' enough to flow nicely from the felt tip and create a crisp line that was smudge and waterproof. On its own, no way did it stay on nicely for several hours on its own let alone 36 hours (not that I tested but it's pretty obvious right?)

I have one important thing to add though...

This liquid eyeliner lasted surprisingly well with an eyeshadow primer underneath!!

There you have it folks, that is the solution to making your liquid eyeliner last longer. Of course! Amazing product, great investment and it definitely makes a difference. No matter what type of liquid eyeliner you use, it will stay on with the help of a primer.

Even though this review seemed to be mostly negative, there are some positives to the product. I like how there has been effort made to the packaging design. It isn't plain; in fact it's quite pretty with the metallic red and black combination. The felt tip looks nice and the ink is a nice jet black.

Questjen of the week:

Which is your favourite type of eyeliner - liquid, pencil or gel/cream?

My answer: Well if I had to pick one only, I'd choose gel because it can be used for the top lash line and the waterline :D

Jen xx

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