Beauty

Urban Decay Naked Basics Palette + Sephora Blending Eye Brush #29 Review

Aloha to my humble readers! Today i’ll be reviewing on 2 products i purchased around 3 months back. It’s a pretty nice timing to do a review after 3 months of using products.

First off, let me begin with the Urban Decay Naked Basics Palette. I got it from the Sephora outlet in a new local shopping mall Jem in Singapore. I’m a student so naturally many upscale cosmetic brands especially those in Sephora are considered a splurge to me. So, i shared the cost with my sister.

I decided on the Naked Basics Palette instead of the UD Naked Palette 2 simply because

  • It has a fair number of nude shades that are versatile and natural enough for casual or dramatic makeup styles
  • It is much cheaper than the Naked Palette 2
  • It is handy to carry out for touchups (if necessary) and for travel/vacations
  • It simply meets both me and my sister’s eye makeup needs

I assure you my review on this particular UD palette is neither influenced nor sponsored for okay!

I love love love love this palette! It is definitely heaps better if not way way way better than the eyeshadow palettes from commercial brands (granted they’re available in SG) like Maybelline, Silky Girl, NYX, Canmake, L’oreal. I’ve also tried eye palettes from Kanebo KATE and The Body Shop – they are pretty well pigmented and have a very silky texture. I’m digressing…

The Urban Decay Naked Basics Palette is perfect for you if you’re looking for minimalistic, simple and easy to use eye makeup. The pigmentation is wonderful,  a little goes a long way especially for the darker shades like ‘Faint’ and ‘Crave’. It’s also a pleasant discovery for me that the lighter shades from ‘Venus’ all the way to ‘Naked 2’ are highly pigmented and you don’t even need to load on so much on your lids to be able to see the colours showing. These eyeshadows have a really rich texture to it and i thoroughly enjoyed using this palette. It doesn’t coat excessively on my brush and doesn’t leave stray eyeshadow particles on my cheeks. This means that you can do your eye makeup even after completing your base/foundation, blush and lips without a teeny bit of fear that the eyeshadows are gonna mess your face up! By the way, for all you makeup enthusiasts who adore MATTE eyeshadows, like my sister and i, grab this palette!

I grabbed this picture from Google Images to capture the accurate shades. This are the exact colours you will see with your naked eye (pun intended HAHA!) when you open up the packaging.

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My favourite eye makeup with this palette?

  1. Apply concealer/eye primer all over my lids and on my lower lash line.

  2. With a brush (use your favourite brushes, assuming you have basic knowledge on eye makeup), pat on ‘Foxy’ as a base layer because for me, it mimics my skin color.

  3. Pat on ‘WOS’.

  4. Take a fluffy brush/blending brush, tap a little teeny bit of ‘Naked 2’ and apply it to your socket, just for some depth.

  5. Pat a thin layer of ‘Foxy’ or ‘WOS’ whichever you prefer, below your socket nearer to your lower lids just to whiten that part because i love pinup makeup.

  6. Take a little teeny weeny bit even lesser than before of ‘Naked 2’ and apply on the outer corners of your lash line or however you wish.

  7. Use ‘Venus’ on your inner corners of your eyes, inner lower lash line and tiny dab on the centre of your lids for some dimension and eye brightening effect.

  8. Lastly, use an eye liner brush (i love using a flat eye liner brush) and line/tight line/both your upper lash line with ‘Crave’. Sometimes i like to flick the outer corners for a flirty look.

That’s just an idea of how I like to put this palette to good use. If i’m going for a more dramatic effect, i would incorporate the three darkest shades more! This is definitely a great buy! It costs around SGD43 if i recall correctly.

PROS:

  • Highly pigmented
  • Long wearability
  • A little product goes a long way
  • Palette will probably last you for a long time
  • MATTE
  • Rich texture
  • Very very blend-able

CONS:

  • Smudges a little when you rub your eye hard (only for the darkest shade when you use as an eyeliner and when you DON’T USE an eye primer)

Rating: 9/10

Secondly, i’ll do a quick review of the Sephora brush i purchased. It’s the Blending Eye Brush #29 from the Sephora Professionnel collection. I don’t think it’s available on the Sephora website (Amazon has it) but i’ll get a picture for you guys below. It is a really soft fluffy brush which does not shed! It does not require much product for blending especially the crease. A little goes a long way. This brush makes me wanna purchase more Sephora brushes. However, i find this brush a little too pricey. It costs SGD19. I can honestly get an equally awesome brush with good quality too at a local drugstore for half the price! So, i’ll probably save Sephora brushes for when i’m a working adult 🙂 For those who find Sephora items affordable, I say go for their brushes! They are inexpensive as compared to the high ended brands like M.A.C! I’ve had loads of cheap brushes before so trust me, Sephora brushes >>>>>> cheap brushes! Well worth the money actually!

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PROS:

  • Does not shed
  • Does not need a lot of product on the brush
  • Very fluffy
  • Blends eyshadows easily
  • Dries fast after washing

CONS:

  • A bit pricey for a student or if you’re working with a budget

Rating: 8/10 (I think there are better brushes out there but prepare $$$$)

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NOTE: If you would like me to do a review on other makeup palettes from other brands that i’ve mentioned above/earlier, do let me know! I’ve actually a lot to say on Maybelline eye palettes…

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Beauty

Catrice Nail Lacquer Review

Aloha and good morning! It’s 7.54 AM here today in cloudy Singapore. I’m back with a review, for a certain nail polish brand!

More than a week back, i had the worst manicure i’ve been to. Service was fine but the end results were too disappointing and it surely didn’t last long. I had my nails done at a nail parlour “Nail Buffet” and the newly re-opened Jem shopping mall. I paid SGD12 for the express manicure service, which was the average price of most nail parlours here. The store uses Zoya nail polishes and from what i gather online, it is a brand loved by many. The manicurist did 3 coats on my nails and ended off with a regular top coat and set me up with a very cooling dryer for 15-20 minutes. Honestly, a regular un-branded nail polish would have dried sufficiently after being given extra drying services. Hell no. Mine didn’t.

I mean, do you expect me to whip out my wallet and fish out dollar bills to pay for my manicure with half-dried nails?! After paying, my nail polish had prints from my wallet. Fantastic! I’ve gone for $12 express manicure with much better service and manicure quality. I’m not sure who or what is to be blamed, either Zoya or my manicurist.

Enraged, I decided to start doing my own nails again. As a student i used to collect nail polishes from The Face Shop, since it was really cheap SGD2.90 per bottle and SGD3.90 for a bottle of nail polish that has glitter and effects. Well, i’m still a student but with a greater purchasing power now haha.

Around a week back after a few days living with the horrible manicure, I decided to visit Guardian (a local drugstore) and was pleasantly surprised by the range of nail polish brands they catered to. Brands like Model’s Own, China Glaze, Sally Hansen, Catrice etc. China Glaze to me, is a great nail polish brand with an easy to work with consistency. They were pretty cheap ranging from SGD12.00 – SGD 20.00. I love nude nails so i am pretty anal when it boils down to picking the correct shade or hue of nude nail polish. China Glaze had none of what i was hunting for and that’s a big disappointment for me. I was looking for a quick dry top coat too and after reading about Seche Vite (which cost between SGD12-16 if i remember correctly), i was even more disappointed to realize that Guardian ran out of stock for it. Sigh pie.

Model’s Own had bright coloured nail polishes. Sally Hansen was a little boring for me since i used to use it a lot too. I just wanted to give another brand a try. So i was glad to stumble upon this recent brand Catrice in Singapore. They had at least 5 different shades of nude nail polish and that was good enough for me because they had like really pretty and versatile shades! Each bottle cost SGD5.90 and that’s really cheap! I grabbed the lightest pink nude shade to suit my skin colour! Seeing as Catrice also carried a quick dry top coat i got it too for SGD5.90. Happy with my purchases, i rushed home to give them a try!

Here’s my end results!

With Flash:

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With Natural Lighting:

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With Flash, again:

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My findings:

  • The nude nail polish in shade 02 had a very workable consistency, not too thick and not too runny either.
  • High coverage; 2 coats would actually suffice but i used 3 coats for complete opacity and colour saturation. 4-5 minutes are enough to start on the next coat.
  • Very shiny, an extra shiny top coat wouldn’t be necessary.
  • Lasted me 4-5 days without chipping but only started to peel off a little at the rounded edges nearest my cuticles on a few fingers.
  • For the quick dry top coat, it needs a maximum of 5 minutes to completely dry. That is fast enough for me.
  • Just take extra care not to hit anything with your nails for the next 10 minutes at max just to be safe.
  • You can safely wash your hands after 10 -15 minutes of applying the top coat and drying it out.

Verdict: It’s a very affordable nail polish brand with a pretty good quality and consistency to it. I love the high gloss and shine it has even without the top coat. With the top coat, my nails glistened like water surface! I love it!

Rating: 8.5/10

PRODUCT DETAILS!

  1. Catrice Cosmetics Ultimate Nudes 02 Don’t Tell Mademoiselle!–>   http://www.catrice.eu/products/nails/nail-polish/detail/product/ultimate-nudes-02.html
  2. Catrice Cosmetics Quick Dry & High Shine Top Coat–>    http://www.catrice.eu/products/nails/top-coats/detail/product/quick-dry-high-shine-top-coat.html
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Beauty

Post-IPL Treatment

I purchased a deal on groupon.sg for a 4 session underarm IPL treatment for $38.00. The location of Beau Crystal, which is the place i went to do the IPL treatment, was conveniently located at a 6 min walking distance from Clementi MRT. My first impression of the little spa parlour was that it was very small but clean and simple-looking interior. On that weekday, there were 2 young ladies manning the parlour and they were both rather friendly. The lady who attended to me was a very smiley, chubby lady whose name i didn’t ask for was very patient at first as i was fumbling for the printed voucher in my bag after ending my last day of promotional exams that day. She led me to the first enclosed stall-like area with a bed with pale blue sheets, some racks, a sink, a huge white machine and the entire stall was given privacy by a mere opaque curtain. The lady who attended to me diagnosed my underarm for a brief 5 minutes and concluded that i had very thick hair, well obviously, since i was previously a fairly hairy person for a mixed kid before i started the shaving routine 5 years ago. Admittedly my underarms are pretty fair or white, similar to the skin color on my body when stretch my arms up. Naturally, there is a tendency for the underarms to appear darker when folded probably due to the shadow created. Back to the IPL session, the lady was extremely pushy with the supposedly good student package she had to offer – 200 shots + bonus 40 shots for $200 given that originally, 1 shot = $1. Well on that level it seems that yes it is indeed an offer well worth the money. She was hardselling her package and even introduced another student package for half the price and half the number of shots, like 90% of the time. Ceaseless blabbering of the benefits of the package on my underarms and cost savings. Puh-lease, i’m an educated young adult and i think my math is most probably 100 times better than hers. So, i can confidently say that i can make a better judgment of whether the deal is worth my money. I forgot to explain what IPL treatments are. Basically, in layman’s terms, it is an Intense Pulsed Light treatment that is equivalent or IS a laser treatment to target the skin layers in order to finally terminate the growth of hairs. That is only successful after hundreds of laser shots and $$$$ spent on strategically planned sessions. There is some truth in what the lady had to offer me. I trust her procedural explanations regarding the effectiveness of IPL treatments and how they target the hairs. It is logical that many laser shots are required per session to target the deeper layers of skin to get to the root of the hairs. Here’s my little breakthrough in turning the tables against the lady. I asked her specifically, “How many laser shots are required in each session for the treatment to be effective?” Guess what? She professionally ignored my question and deviated from it by explaining the procedure AGAIN. Excuse me, i think i speak good English, clear and crisp. In short, she does not want me to make my own calculations since then i would be able to automatically scrutinize her so-called fabulous package. It is evidently a sales gimmick, through psychological means. A genuine saleswoman who believes in my benefits would have been more honest and transparent about the frills and hidden costs. Agreed? Furthermore, despite knowing that the package was definitely some form of a sales gimmick, i decided to give her a fair chance to prove a point that each underarm should get at least 20 shots. Under my purchased deal, each session entitles me to 10 shots on each underarm. So i succumbed to topping up $20 for 20 extra shots. That would make it 20 laser shots on each underarm for that day itself. To me, topping up that much of money isn’t a big deal. I just wanted to feel the effects. My take on my very 1st IPL session:

  • Each laser shot hurts. The pain level = a very hot metal rod being placed on your skin for 3 seconds followed by a sudden strike of the same hot metal rod on the same spot. Do that for roughly 20 shots per underarm. Go figure.
  • The lady shaved my pits dryly before applying the gel to begin the IPL treatment. My pits bled, needless to say.
  • After getting 20 laser shots on each underarm, they felt normal. There is no after-stinging pains whatsoever. No redness of the skin either, coming from someone with sensitive skin like me.

I’m no expert on IPL treatments since i was an IPL virgin previously before this 1st trial. I treated this session as a so-called tester to indicate my preference for IPLs. My verdict: I love waxing 100 times better than IPL. Professional waxing at waxing salons that is. The pain is more enjoyable than IPL. I have 3 more sessions to cover under this paid deal and i’m not looking forward to it. Dreading her sickening blabber. Note: The lady advised me that i shouldn’t do any form of waxing or chemical treatments on my underarm other than shaving, after the IPL session. Knowing me, I couldn’t care less. I used shaving cream, plucked and shaved it to my liking :)

Rating for IPLs: 4/10.

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Uncategorized

Aloha!

This is my very first post. I will pretend there is an audience in order to write in a first person’s recount more effectively!

My aim to create this new blog is :

  1. For my personal reference to the items or intangible things that i’ve had experiences with.
  2. Posts should mostly be regarding purchased items like cosmetics, food, services etc. I won’t be posting personal write-ups.
  3. Being a keen web surfer for reviews on various products and services available to me, i see the lack of many quality reviews that are honest, detailed and made for minor products/services that are less popular or less overrated.
  4. I feel many out there, just like me, would like first-hand information and opinions on many things that are not frequently found on the net.
  5. Note: I am just a student and whatever that is written and recounted is solely based on my experiences.
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