[Music] Miley Cyrus and Ariana Grande Being Actually…. Lovely?

Skanky is usually the word that comes to mind when I hear either Miley Cyrus or Ariana Grande. I don’t know why they choose to present themselves as if they’re hanging out in the red light district but hey, whatever get their juices going. They CAN be perfectly lovely selves reflecting their age, as the video for the song Don’t Dream It’s Over demonstrates below. Their voices really mesh together beautifully, and this is a perfect song for them to sing together. The key to enjoying their music, I have finally figured out, is to never see a video of the music. Just enjoy the music. And I am off checking their albums – who woulda thought.

Review: Illamasqua Hydra Veil Rehydrating Gel

illamasqua hydra veil2As an Illamasqua fan, after having tried various products, the one remaining item I really, really wanted to try was the Hydra Veil. Described as “part hydrator, part primer”, Hydra Veil essentially collapses moisturizer and primer into one step. I love me some time saving, especially when it comes to makeup and skincare. So when the chance to grab the Hydra Veil at about half price came across my way, go grabbing I did.

Now I know this product was not a good fit for me right from the starts, because my skin is oily, and this is not a product that claims to control oil. But for the sake of research, I have to try this product which is one of Illamasqua’s flagship product. I thought I could just layer something else atop this to control the oil. The list of ingredients for this product can be seen here.

The format of the product is interesting; it is a gel, but rather than put it into a squeeze tube form, Illamasqua places it in a pot, albeit furnished with a spatula. That is a strike against hygiene and convenience, in my opinion. The feel on the skin is nice and gives a slight cooling effect. It absorbs right away, so that’s a plus when one is in a rush. While it does not smooth skin as well as silicone-based products (e.g. the famed Smashbox primers or even the Monistat anti chaffing gel), it does the job of evening out the skin’s surface bumps quite well, I thought. Oil control is indeed very poor, even non-existent.

Bottom line: not for oily-skin gals, but those with normal and dry skin should at least give this a try if the price does not deter them.


[Music] Isyana Sarasvati, New Indonesian Vocalist/Songwriter

The last Indonesian vocalist I really loved must be Astrid. Since then, I haven’t really found anyone worth listening to. Until today, when I heard this singer on the car radio: Isyana Sarasvati. In addition to having an awesome voice, she is a songwriter and plays a host of musical instruments. I’ve been searching and compiling Youtube for her videos. She does not have an album out yet, but there’s a slew of cover videos. And? She also seems to be a makeup aficionado – check out her blue nail polish on the Happy cover video.



DIY Skincare: Left-over Tea Scrubs

20150704_135529I’m a fearless MacGyver when it comes to concocting meals and potions, including skincare and makeup. Having a non-sensitive skin is a plus for these kinds of experiments. One of my favorite thing to do is to use left-over tea mix as face scrub. I was recently gifted a delicious box of teabags from Germany. It is a delicious winter-warm blend of berries, cinnamon and oranges, and upon inspection, the left-over mix looks nice as a face scrub – large particles still somewhat fragrant. So I’ve been collecting them in a small pot, stored in the refrigerator for use whenever needed.

It’s a bit messy, so I use them in the bathroom mixed with a bit of cleansing gel, where any fall out can readily be swept away with water. Alternatively, mix with some honey and apply after cleansing, leaving the mixture on face for a few minutes while you brush your teeth or attend to other matters.


Ingredients: Hibiscus, Rosehip, Cinnamon, Apel, Aroma of spekulas, Orange peel, Blackberry leaves, Elder leaves, Lemon peel, Cloves.

Review and Swatches: ColourPop Lippie Stix “I Heart This” (and a Comparison with 10 other Red-Based Fuchsia Lipsticks)

ColourPop Lippie Stix 'I Heart This Lippie'ColourPop has been creating so much buzz that as a card-carrying (or rather, product-hoarding) makeup aficionado, it’s getting embarrassing not to have tried something of theirs. So, when the chance to snap up a lightly-used ColourPop Lippie Stix came up (retail US$5), snapped I did.

Colourpop lippie stix‘I Heart This’ (not to be confused with the ColourPop eyeshadow with the same name) is described as a ‘red based fuchsia in a matte finish.’ Red-based fuchsias make up about a third of my lip stash, and most times when new to a brand and buying sight unseen, this is the color I get (and thus, the comparison galore with what I thought were similar ones).

This lipstick does not disappoint. It is opaque with one swipe, very comfortable on the lips, long-lasting, and the pen-like format is really nice for precise applications. One drawback for me is that it’s slightly drying after a full day non-stop wear.

Bottom line though, I like this lipstick, and thinking of trying out another color, perhaps a mauve-y beige that is my natural lip color. My collection is missing a long-lasting, nude matte color.

Compared with other red-based fuchsias in my stash

Compared with other red-based fuchsias in my stash, under direct natural lighting/sunlight (click to enlarge)

The same line up as above, but in indirect lighting

The same line up as above, but in indirect lighting





Review and Swatches: Chanel Mediterranée Nail Polish

Chanel Mediterranee (2)When I first saw the Chanel Mediterranée nail polish online (summer 2015 collection), I headed straight to Michelle’s blog (aka the nail polish library) to check if she thinks there are dupes –  similar colors in non-Chanel price would be awesome. She did not, and I perfunctorily ordered one. Love blues, and this one looks like a stand out, therefore prone to quickly disappear from counters.

And ta-da! Here it is. It’s a wonderful blue indeed, not too bright and in low light there is a dusty quality to it. The closest similar thing I have in my arsenal is OPI’s Suzi says Fengshui.

The formula of my bottle is a bit thick, but nothing that a few drops of Seche Restore can’t help. I did two coats here, but in a jam, one coat should be fine. I’ve had mine on for 6 days and there is very, very minor chipping.

Now, it seems that I love this BUT in truth I am on the fence. It’s a bit off with my skin tone, especially on toes. The dusty quality that makes it unique seems to be working against me. I’ll play with it a bit before deciding whether I’m keeping it since the color is indeed quite unique.

Chanel Mediterranee (3)

Chanel Mediterranée OPI Suzi says Fengshui

[Music] Time for Three

I’ve been drowned in work last week, topped with some travel. I always enjoy them – there’s something new to be learned each time. This time, my most memorable souvenir is discovering Time for Three band, courtesy of the Garuda inflight entertainment system. I can’t believe I’ve just discovered them now, given that violins are my favorite musical instrument, and I’m crazy about classical – pop crossovers. Anyway, better late than never, and I’ve had them on non-stop for a few days now.

Check their cover of Katy Perry’s ‘Firework’. I’m also loving their new album, featuring collaborations with singers.