Kelly Moore: Bags and Blog

kelly moore bags

I first heard of the Kelly Moore Bags from Rhee. I have yet to own a Bag, but one day, one day, the Libby (in orange or green) will be mine.

In addition to designing functional, pretty bags, Kelly also blogs. I love her posts. This post, about her adopted daughter, is especially poignant. You will be left inspired and optimistic about the World.

[And damn fanatics for censoring Vimeo!!]


Review and Swatches: NARS Phoebe Dual Intensity Eyeshadow

nars phoebe (3)I had seen the NARS Dual Intensity Eyeshadows being favorably reviewed in various blogs but it was not until I saw Phoebe on Jaa’s Blog that I really paid attention. A word of warning before you click over that way: Jaa has got the best pictures of makeup on the blogosphere. Whatever craving you already have, will be magnified.

nars phoebe (2)Anyway, I didn’t think there’s anything else I can add to the already stellar review of this particular eyeshadow online, but it’s just such a FIND that I can’t let it go unmentioned. Saying that Phoebe is a purple, misses the complex shifting it does with various applications: brown, reddish brown, purple, plum, bright purple.

In the picture below, I only have Phobe over primer (a MAC beige paintpot whose name escapes me at the moment), applied all over the lid and buffed towards the crease, wet application of Phoebe along the upper lash line, and buffed as liner on the lower lash line. It can be an everyday work color, yet you can push it to a glam slam (like Jaa did). The lasting power is very good with primer, and obviously it’s a great friend to travel with. It’s been a long time since I’m completely wowed by makeup, and if the rest of the Dual Intensity Eyeshadows are like this, good job NARS!


[Local] The Importance of Reading the Ingredient List (or, How Mustika Ratu is Fooling You)


I have been using virgin coconut oils on my scalp and hair for a few years. My current favorite oil is made by Blue Stone Botanicals; it is deliciously fresh and rich in aroma, although no additives are added.

Recently, however, I wondered whether I should diversify the oils I use, and picked up the Mustika Ratu Cem Ceman Hair Oil. This oil has been in the market for a while, but one time I took a whiff of it and decided the scent is not appealing, so never purchased it. The other day, on a whim, I picked it up, thinking that I might add some orange oil to make the scent more pleasant. I am already using the Mustika Ratu Cem Ceman Hair Mask, and it was ok, so I thought why not have variety and try the Cem Ceman Hair oil.

Here’s a surprise. Even though this product has been around for years, making the same claims (as far as I remember, as this is a very popular product), Mustika Ratu has actually been misleading consumers. The product touts coconut oil as its ingredient, and even put a picture of coconut on the packaging, but looking at the ingredient list, I don’t see any coconut. What is there is palm kernel oil (the first ingredient, Elaeis guineensis). True, in Indonesian that would be called minyak kelapa sawit, but really, I think it is still misleading to say that oil palm is the same as coconut. Frankly, I think it’s a conscious effort to mislead by Mustika Ratu, since obviously they know that Cocos nucifera is coconut, as it is a content in the Cem Ceman Hair Mask.

A closer look at the claims and ingredient list

Bottom line: lesson learned! Always read the ingredients list, as even big companies can get away fooling you. What is the Indonesian food and drug agency (BPOM) doing when they put their stamp of approval on this product? This episode strengthens my suspicions that BPOM is only administratively reviewing products (and not actually testing products for touted ingredients). And they’re not even doing these administrative reviews well, if this is an example. Perhaps they should focus on their job more, instead of whining and refusing import by individuals of well-known foreign products (on the premise that they are not imported by those licensed to import). BPOM seems to be interested only in protecting businesses (e.g. in this case Mustika Ratu), rather than the interests of consumers. Bah!

So, tell me, do you think Mustika Ratu at fault here, or is this a normal marketing ploy that I shouldn’t be making a big deal of?

Brand Round-up: Illamasqua


brand round up illamasquaJakartan makeup addicts are all abuzz for the opening of Illamasqua in town next week. No more squinting through online swatches or a frantic visit to an overseas counter amidst business trips – now we can ogle the goodies up close in leisure.

Due to its frequent online sales and generous international shipping policy (free for purchases over £50) on the Illamasqua UK website, over the past few years I’ve actually been able to try quite a few items from the brand. My take on all the products I’ve tried is below, listed according to level of satisfaction from highest to lowest (and numbered in the picture above).

1. Precision Ink Eyeliner

My favorite Illamasqua item by far is the Precision Ink Eyeliner, especially the color Havoc, a dark plum which has become something of a must have for me. You’ll always find it in my makeup travel pouch as it is handy-sized, and the color is versatile for both day or night. It is long lasting, non-smudging and very easy to use. Wisdom, a golden olive, is also a favorite.

2. Cream Blusher

Illamasqua makes my favorite cream blush texture: creamy, slippery, easy to blend, sparkling colors and great for the lips too! They are not the longest-lasting cream blush around (Bobbi Brown Pot Rouges or MAC Cream Color Bases last longer on me), but they are such a pleasure to use even on my oily skin. The finish is somewhat dewy but really natural. I have it in Dixie, Rude and Seduce. Recommended!

3. Nail Polish

I only have got 3 Illamasqua nail polish (Boosh, Rampage and Muse), not because I don’t want more, but shipping is more expensive for these. All three colors are fantastically opaque, almost self-leveling, and long lasting. This is probably the item I would most likely buy locally now that the brand’s in town.

4. Liquid Metal

This was the product that introduced me to the brand. I tried a friend’s gold liquid metal and fell in love. The texture is out of this world: thin yet creamy and smooth, and application so, so easy. It’s quite expensive though, but when there was a sale on a palette of 4 liquid metals, I quickly purchased one. I don’t use it often because it’s such a glam product for day-to-day use, but every time I dab my finger in the pot, I’m blown away by the texture and opaqueness of color, see for yourself in the picture below. The name ‘liquid metal’ is so apt. This is really something you have to experience first-hand to appreciate. They’re also great as eyeshadow base though not really extending your shadows’ life by that much, in my experience. One other thing: I must have had this item for at least 2 years, but the creamy-ness is still the same as the day I got it. Ah-mah-zing.

illamasqua liquid metal palette
Liquid metal palette (left to right): Enrapture, Surge, Electrum, Phenomena

5. Fine Pencil

The Illamasqua Fine Pencil is for eyes, lips, face and body. I have it in Peace, a dark brown which is pretty good for brows, dark enough and not reddish. The texture is a bit too hard for around the immediate eye area, so brows are all I use it for, and for this it excels: long lasting, great color, easy to use.

6. Sealing Gel

This is sort of a mixing medium to turn your eyeshadows into eyeliners. And let me tell ya, once you mix the eyeshadow with a little of this Sealing Gel, the shadow won’t budge until you take it off. It also works with other eyeshadow brands. A small but powerful tool for your arsenal.

7. Cream Pigment

The Illamasqua Cream Pigment is designed for use on the face, eyes, lips and body. I have it in Androgen, a cult color it seems, that I mainly use as blush. Such a great color with a ’60s Twiggy vibe that is long lasting and true to color on cheeks. It’s not as creamy as the cream blush and slightly harder to blend, but the result of Androgen is so worth it. It’s also great as an eyeshadow base, though due to its dryness, takes a bit of dabbing to put on.

8. Eyeshadow

I bought Illamasqua eyeshadow in Apex mainly to use as blush. It is a rich orange red with a matte finish, and the texture is so, so soft, even softer than the powder blushers.  If I have a money tree, I’d get more Illamasqua eyeshadows, it’s really very good.

9. Freak Perfume

I forgot to include it in the family picture, but Freak is Illamasqua’s signature fragrance. I have several in tester vial form which came free with my purchases. I love the scent for parties and indoor cold weather use. It’s especially nice because no one else in town uses this, though that may change with the arrival of the brand in town. Oh well.

10. Powder Blusher

The Powder Blusher in my opinion is so-so, not very special. A bit chalky and powdery, and the lasting power is just average. I have tried a few but only kept two colors: Tremble,  a bubble gum pink which looks strangely natural on me, and Lover, an apricot color. Unless the brand releases a color I really, really love the color, I probably won’t be getting anymore powder blushers. I also have to mention that the powder blushers are prone to breaking. My Tremble broke during air travel, though I put it in my carry on bag (with laptop, tablet etc., so I definitely was very careful with the bag). I’ve heard people also experience the same thing, some having the blush broken even at home. I think it’s due to the fact that the blush is not dense enough, so there are pockets of air in the powder, so when you move the blush, the powder also has room to move and that leads to the whole blush breaking in the pan.

11. Skin Base Foundation.

I reviewed this specifically here. It’s an ok product, potentially great and worth looking into if  you have dry skin.

12. Intense Lipgloss

The Intense Lipgloss is one of my first items from Illamasqua. I just fell in love with the color Bella Donna, a rich berry pink. It’s more of a liquid lipstick than a lipgloss. I also have it in Temper, an orange red. They are a bit sticky, though not as sticky as the MAC lipglass, and the lasting power is average. Unless there’s a color you really love, I’d recommend you look elsewhere for your liquid lip color.

13. Masquara

It’s a black mascara. The black color is nice, and you’ll definitely get the thickening effect. But it comes out a bit clumpy from the tube, and you really need to wait until it’s completely dry before moving your eyes, otherwise it smudges. I’d give this a miss.

14. Sheer Lipgloss

Nothing to rave about, a very standard product that I have in the color Divine, a transparent pink which I often use atop pink and red lipstick to give it a bit of a dimension.

15. Lipstick

Now, I thought I still have it but after much mucking around, I could not find Sangers, a rich red lipstick. I must have sold it or given it away. To be honest, the formula was a bit dry, and there was nothing special about the finish. The red of Sangers is quite opaque though, so if you’re looking for that specific shade of red, may worth a look.

16. Cream Foundation

I used to have one, but it really was too heavy and thick for my oily skin. The coverage could be excellent though, and if your skin is dry and you’re thinking of trying cream foundations, might worth a look. But there are better cream foundations in the market at similar prices I think, Bobbi Brown and Edward Bess come to mind. So I sold mine.

17. Light Liquid Foundation

No kidding about the ‘light’ part; given my penchant for full coverage foundations, this was like water to me. Absolutely no coverage. No SPF and not even that moisturizing. What is the point, I wonder. Sold.

There you have it, my round up. Illamasqua, welcome to Jakarta!

[Local] Aburizal Bakrie orang paling berbahaya di Indonesia saat ini?

Saya pernah bilang Aburizal Bakrie orng paling berbahaya di Indonesia saat ini. Ini salah satu buktinya. Dan saya selalu bilang, tidak otomatis pengusaha ‘sukses’ akan menjadi pejabat publik yang sukses. BEDA cara mengelolanya. Di sini Aburizal sudah menjadikan partai seperti perusahaan peribadinya. Bahkan Gerindra saja, yang anggota partainya mendukung Capres lain, gak heboh memecat (atau paling tidak, mereka lakukan diam-diam).

Anyway, isu lain adalah Ruhut yang sekarang mendukung Jokowi-JK, padahal kemarin-kemarin mencela2 Jokowi. I despise this man, he is an embarrassment to civilized Bataks. Tapi apakah dia menjilat ludahnya sendiri kali ini? Saya pikir tidak. Tapi pemilu adalah waktu untuk mengambil pilihan yang sulit, memilik yang terbaik dari yg terjelek, dan rekam jejak menunjukkan orang ini pragmatis. Jelas dia menunjukkan bahwa alternatifnya lebih jelek, hanya saja tidak berani dia caci maki, nyawa taruhannya hahahaha.

Free Shipping on Books! To Indonesia!

"Dear Life" by 2013 Nobel Prizewinner for Literature Alice Munro
“Dear Life” by 2013 Nobel Prizewinner for Literature Alice Munro (Source)

In the 7th grade one summer school, we were asked to write reviews of books we read. The student with the most review will get a prize.

I was all excited, the little bookworm. Our family trips to the local library already resulted in a car trunk full of books. I would borrow 8 books at a time and revel at the luxury of the United States of America. I was sure I could win.

At the end of summer, I handed over my assignment. Upon receiving my bulk of papers:

Mrs. Matsushima: “Books you read this summer, not your whole life!”

Me: “But those are books I read this summer!” *rolls eyes*

Mrs. Matsushima: “Well, here’s your prize.”

Me: *Accepts the can of Sprite with mouth open*

Yeah, good thing I did it for the love of reading, not cans of soda. But I get out of it a good story to show just how much I LOVE READING! And that I was ecstatic, BEYOND ECSTATIC, when I found this site: The Book Repository. It has FREE SHIPPING TO INDONESIA! On everything!

Well, excuse the exclamation marks, but I. am. ecstatic. I just ordered a few stuff. One by Alice Munro, this year’s Nobel Prizewinner for Literature. I am sure I’ve read her works before, but I can’t recall which. So for now I am ordering Dear Life, I believe her latest work. In an interview (I don’t remember where, as I read several once the news broke, as I wanted to know if I’ve read any of her works), Alice herself recommended this to start.

Happy weekend!