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Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Makeup Is Damn Important - The "No Shit, Sherlock" Experiment Results

I was inspired by this Huffington Post article about the importance of makeup. One of the criticism of that experiment is that the difference was the smile & expression, but after over 8 years working professionally, I know that makeup makes a HUGE difference. I decided to repeat the experiment to see the effect of the "makeup tax" on women, only I decided to use the same, identical picture, just with one edited to give the appearance that I'm wearing makeup. 

The only difference I made is to add a bit of colour to my lips and cheeks, darkened my brows, evened out my skin tone & got rid of my spots, and added a winged liner. So nothing drastic, but probably about 30-45min of work IRL (1h if I'm breaking out really badly).


Methodology Discussion: 
For this experiment, I used PhotoFeeler a site where other users rank you on several qualities based on your photos only. In return for votes, you get credits you can use to get your own pictures voted on. One vote gives you one credit, which gives you 1 vote on your own pictures. I initially planned on getting 100 votes for each picture in every category (so 600 votes total), but I kept running out of pictures to vote for, so I decided to limit the "Dating" and "Social" categories to 40 votes each, while sticking to 100 votes for the Business category since that's what I'm most interested in (360 votes total). 
To ensure no one accidentally sees a makeup & no makeup pic at the same time and realizes something is up, I made sure that there's a space of a day after voting finishes on the first pic before I posted the next pic. I also thought that it may seem unprofessional if people see the same pic that is supposed to be for "Business" in the "Dating" and "Social" categories, so I only posted the same pic into the last two categories after the "Business" voting is over. 


Business Setting

Comments (Left without makeup, right with makeup)

As you can guess, the pic with makeup with immediately ranked higher for competence (10% higher), likability (23% higher) and influence (10% higher). Not only that, the pic without makeup got comments mentioning that I looked "somewhat unconfident" and "a bit uncomfortable", my "smile seems a bit forced", and "something seems a bit odd with [my] eyes...[they look] a little scary". It's called massive eyebags and yes..they're scary. Shows I'm in dire need of sleep and may murder you for coffee. 

The only criticism about the makeup pic is asking for a different post or angle, which is what I got for the non-make up pic as well.

Social Setting

Comments (Left without makeup, right with makeup)

Surprise, surprise...the makeup pic does way better again! I'm rated 25% more confident, 18% more authentic, and 15% more fun when when I'm wearing makeup. 

Generally, people don't really think I'm fun, but hey, anyone using what looks like a professional pic for their social accounts are probably the type who'll only draft HR-approved status updates, so fair enough. I definitely find it funny going makeup-free makes people think I'm less authentic, so for anyone saying that girls who wear makeup look "fake"...the stats don't lie. ;)

I would think going out without make up signals confidence, but nope. People think you're more confident with makeup. Kinda goes against what people like to say about makeup and insecurity. I thought the confidence measurement is important for work too, so now I know I definitely need to wear makeup before a big presentation.

The eyebags definitely made an impression again, since the only comments in the no makeup pic mentioned that I look tired. I find it interesting that I got more criticisms in the makeup pic (4 vs 1), where people told me to fix my posture, pose differently, make eye contact or wear something different. Maybe they thought the same about the no makeup pic, but said nothing since they saw how messed up I looked and felt bad.

Dating Setting

Comments (Left without makeup, right with makeup)

Again, the make up pic does better. Shocking. What I wanted from this test is the intelligence rating, and the sad news is that I'm perceived more intelligent (14% higher) with makeup. Ouch. Also, I'm rated at 6% more trustworthy with makeup. So once again, I have no idea where the people who think makeup look "fake" are coming from.

Without makeup, my attractiveness plummets by 57%, but that's hardly shocking. Whenever people tell me I look pretty, I tell them it's my make up skills and I'm not being modest or lying. 

Again, I got told I looked tired. This experiment shows me that my best makeup investment is my undereye concealers. Interestingly, I got told to wear a different outfit in the makeup pic again. I wonder why no one tells me to wear something else in the no makeup pic. Maybe no one wants to see more skin when my face is a wreck. 

In conclusion:

Sure, your job performance can ultimately counter your first impression, but I'm sure we've all experienced how important a first impression is. So yes, if you need to make a good first impression, definitely wake up an hour early and make your face up. 

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Tutorial: 5-Step Everyday Make up

This is one of my super simple, everyday make up look that's done in 5 steps.

1. Prime your eyes.

2. Apply a brown eyeshadow on 2/3s of your lids, making a rough semi-circle shape.

3. Apply a darker brown eyeshadow on the outer 1/3 of your kid, completing the rough semi-circle shape. Blend inwards. 

4. Use a really thin liner brush and draw a line that goes horizontally out from the corner of your eyes. Connect the line to the semi-circle and blend it. 

5. Line your lower lashline with a light colour and you're done!

For those of you who prefer video tutorials, I've also created one!

Products Used:

Friday, June 3, 2016

Tutorial: How to Modify False Lashes for Asian Eyes

A lot of false lashes aren't designed for my smaller and differently shaped Asian eyes, so this is how I modify them for my eyes. The pic of the original lashes (Esqido's Illumina) on my eyes doesn't look so bad here, but zoomed out, they look like two fuzzy caterpillars have latched on to my eyes. Not a flattering look at all.

First of all, I measure how much of the lashes I need to cut off. For Asian eyes, I find that letting the lashes cover your entire lash line often ends up looking odd (think lashes pointing in weird directions thanks to how your lids bend them), and it's sometimes even uncomfortable. I personally find it most comfortable and flattering for my eyes, to only cover 2/3s of my lashline.

So after you've cut your lashes, you may end up with a pretty sizable chunk left behind. What I normally do with this is that I attach it with a lash glue to the outer edge of my lashes, so that its thicker in the outer corners. Make sure the longer lashes are on the outer edge. I also personally like to nudge the 2nd lash layer to the side, so that the bottom and top lashes aren't perfectly overlapping each other —its looks fuller and more natural that way!

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Review: 4 Scents from Magenta's Blood

I was recently offered four free samples to review by Magenta's Blood. I've never tried this brand before, so I was definitely curious.


Perfume Oils General Review

In general, I find that the throw of these scents go only up to intimate whispering distance. You get wafts if single notes around faux whispering distance, but you definitely need to get closer to get more of the scent. The scent gets pretty faint in about an hour but doesn't fully fade until a few hours later.


Review Notes

As always, reviews are done blind until the TL;DRs are written. If any of the notes surprise me, I write an overview. I've also started adding a "Final Verdict" section to help me keep track of my perfumes and figure out what to destash, since my perfume collection is starting to get messy. Here are the categories I came up with for my "Final Verdict":

  • Love: Most awesome perfume ever. Need endless supplies of it and will swap my first born child for the last drops of it if it's limited edition. 
  • Like: I like it and may buy a full size of it, but it's not urgent. 
  • Interesting: I don't really like it or I don't think I  can wear it in public, but I appreciate the artistry of the scent. It's like a beautiful but unwearable runway piece you won't buy on your own, but don't mind owning.
  • Ok: It's okay. I like it enough, but may destash for a good price to keep my collection manageable. 
  • Destash: Kill it with fire.
  • Age it: Maybe it will smell good one day. One day. Just wait.



"Head notes: tuberose, Gardenia, Frankincense, Tobacco Leaf."

Clean, powdery white florals. It's very clean to the point where I think more of room fragrances rather than perfumes. It does make me think of bright, clean, British East Indies plantation style homes with gleaming white walls and dark wood furniture. Something like this:

Design by Gil Walsh Interiors

As it dries down, there's this soapy scent that makes me think of high end soaps to high end room fragrances. I really like it as a soap, but I'm not really feeling it as a perfume.

TL;DR: Clean, slightly woody white floral soap/room fragrance you can find in grand British East Indies plantation style home.

Final Verdict: Ok


Lost souls 

"Head notes: violet, jasmine, Gardenia, laudanum."

My dad grabbed this vial going, "What's this? Banana?"

He flinched immediately after he sniffed it from the vial and I can kind of see why. It's a very kiddy scent. On me, it made me think of some creamy, fruity bubble gum. I don't know if it's the suggestion from my dad, but it smells like banana cantaloupes to me. There's hints of crushed leaves and play-doh too. Full disclosure, I kinda like artificial banana and cantaloupes, so I like this scent. I know it's not for everyone though.

I don't know how my dad decided it's banana from the vial, but this is the pic the scent comes with:
Image courtesy of Magenta's Blood
I guess he's hungry, zoomed in on the yellow and decided it's banana perfume.

Around 5-10, it smells like artificial sugared violets, with this herbal green scent that always struck me as "itchy". It's one of those sharp, spicy, stringy sort of zesty green scent that makes me think of traditional herbal oils my Indonesian nannies used to put on my mosquito bites. I kinda like the combination, it keeps the scent from getting way too sweet on me.

Unfortunately, by 15 min, it's all soap. Sugared violet soap. With hints of play doh.

I think I'm still going to age it since it smells really great in between!

TL;DR: Sugared violet soap with hints of play doh.

Final Verdict: Age it



"Leading notes: Argarwood, funeral roses, vanilla and sandalwood."

Oh. I love this. Ok, just putting out there, this is really, really weird, but my nose is so jaded, I love it. It smells like a thick explosion of petals, and musky buttery popcorn. The buttery popcorn fades more  to a buttery, yellow vanilla after about 2-3 min, but it's still gorgeous.

It's definitely a luxurious scent, and somehow, this scent really evokes the colour yellow. It's a heavier sort of scent, but still delicate and young. I definitely recommend it for people who like heavier, muskier florals but still want to keep it young –it's a scent I see on someone in their mid-20s.

After about 20 min, the scent lightens up on me to the point where it still feels buttery, but it's also cool and milky at the same time. When initially, it makes me think of demure girls in layers of chiffon, now I'm thinking of someone more seductive. This is cool, seductive, and dangerous buttery florals. It's such a weird combination but I love it!

If I'm picking a picture to capture this scent, this is it:

You know she can strangle you with those ribbons..
Image courtesy of Maria Bashko

TL;DR: Cool, seductive, and dangerous buttery florals.

Final Verdict: Love


The Sea Wolf 

"Head notes: rum liqueur, Amaretto, licorice, sweet cinnamon, black pepper, Patchouli."

This smells like a very familiar taffy sort of candy on me. I'm trying to figure it out. Oh. I got it. Fruit Roll Ups and Gushers. It smells like a perfumed version of the dark purple Fruit Roll Ups or Gushers. There's a bit of a zesty orange soda, but my skin is not amping it up at all.

It starts smelling like one of those generic citrus autumn candles to me by 20 min, so I'm not a fan. I mean, it's objectively a pretty scent, but it reminds me too much of a common Yankee candle and I smell it so often in malls all over America September onwards, that I can't get too excited over it.

TL;DR: Fruit Roll Ups/Gushers turning into Autumn candles.

Final Verdict: Ok

Overview: Maybe the booze, cinnamon and licorice just takes over on my skin, turning this scent into an Autumn candle scent.

Monday, May 2, 2016

Tutorial: DIY Low Commitment Rainbow Highlighter

If you guys are planning on just using a rainbow highlighter for a one off event and don't want to pay $20+ for it or DIY it, here's a really easy way of doing it!

1. Pick your eyeshadows/pigments/micas of choice. If you're using a pressed eyeshadow, scrub hard until you create a lot of powder. 

2. Collect the fall out on your brush

3. Brush it onto your flat, stippling brush in a rainbow layer

4. Swipe once on your face. That's it!

Saturday, April 30, 2016

DIY: Lazy Highlighter-Blush-Contour Combo

Yes, I've seen the rainbow highlighter trend, and while I'm in LOVE with it, it's just not practical for my face. So what I made instead is a Highlighter-Blush-Contour Combo. Check it out!

So here's how to do it. What you'll need is just:

  • Micas/oxides of choice. I buy mine from TKB Trading, and most sample sizes cost only $1.50 for 6g. You'll definitely only need sample sizes for this. To put how much 6g is in perspective, an average eyeshadow pan contains 0.5-2g of eyeshadow, and an average blush/bronzer pan contains between 3-5g of products. So if you opted for 6 colours like me, you'll have enough for at least 14 large blush pans (since we're adding fillers too). The ones I got were:
    • Ivory Lace 
    • Sparkle Rose
    • Mermaid's Gold
    • Apple Blossom
    • Aurora
    • Cinnamon Matte Tone (I think this has been renamed to Brown Oxide Matte Tone)
With the exception of the oxide, which is $1.75/6g, everything is $1.50/6g. On hindsight, I should've nixed  Ivory Lace & Sparkle Rose, and stuck to just Mermaid's Gold, Apple Blossom, Aurora, and the brown oxide instead. So total cost for micas: $6.25-9.25.

  • Zinc Stearate. Again, a sample size is enough, but if you want to use up all 24-36g of micas & oxides, then you'll need 8-12g of this (2 sample sizes). This is $1.50/6g, and it's cheaper to get 1 oz ($2.80) than 2 sample sizes (though 2 sample sizes may be cheaper if you factor in shipping costs). So this will cost you $1.50-2.80.
  • Sericite Mica. Pick whatever you want, I went with L-Lysine since that's what's available to me. This costs $1.50/6g. While 1 sample size can get you about 3 blush pans, you'll need 16-24g of this to use up all your micas and oxides. If you need 24g, it's pretty close to 1oz (28.34g), so I'd get the 1oz option ($2.80-3.50). So this will cost you $1.50-3.50.
  • TKB Trading's MyMix Clear Pressing Medium. $2.50 for 0.5 fluid ounces. 

Total cost of project: $11.75-18.05.

Now here's how to do it….

WARNING: If you're attempting to stamp cute designs onto your pressed product, do NOT use a stamp that's smaller than the pan. I did that and everything exploded out. I only got it right in the 2nd attempt T.T

IMPORTANT: Sterilize everything.

1. Place the micas and oxides in separate small ziplock bags. Mix 2 parts sericite mica with 1 part zinc stearate.

2. Mix 1 part mica/oxide with 1 part sericite mica + zinc stearate mix.

3. Mix the pressing base with the powders until you get this clumpy, wet sand sort of texture. Make sure you add the pressing base drop by drop in so you don't get it too wet.

4. Place in layers in your pan & drown in alcohol.

5. Wait 1-2h until the mixture is nearly dry. To check if it's the right dryness, dip the tip of a tissue on it. If the tissue lifts the mixture off the pan, it's not dry enough.  When you lightly press down, this should feel compact and not squishy. If if feels squishy, you may need to add more powder in. I definitely had to:

After adding more powder, add a bit more alcohol. 

6. To press it, place a tissue (you may need 2-3 layers so it doesn't tear) or a piece of cloth over it, and push down. Make sure you press evenly. If you go to hard in the centre, everything will spill out.

7. Optional step: After you press, you can draw and stamp patterns on it! I used a stamp and a nail dotting tool to get my design!

And here's how it performs on my face! Left is unblended, right is blended: