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Friday, April 24, 2015

Beauty Trick: How To Create Crisp Lines On Glitter Adhesives

As you guys know, I think glitter adhesives are awesome. The problem is that you can't blend out the edges of it at all:

....and erasing mistakes lead to an eraser dust-like remains like this:

Now the 2nd one is a bit of a problem for me, since my favourite look is the lazy ombré where I blend messily & erase everything to create the line:

Tutorial for this look here.

Some time ago, /u/seashells15 mentioned this one weird trick to help erase glitter adhesives cleanly:

I have more experimentation to do before I can call this a true success, but I think I might have a lead on blending out that sharp line of demarcation you sometimes get at the edge of your Pixie Epoxy. I recently tried rubbing over that line with a damp, dense brush (I think it was a smudge brush) and actually got some results. My completely unsubstantiated theory is the damp brush diluted the Pixie Epoxy enough to smooth out the edge, but who knows! Has anyone else tried this before?

I decided to give it a try and guess what? It works!

I just dampened my brush and swiped!

Check out how neat my wings are now!

Unfortunately, no, this trick doesn't work for blending out the edges.

TL;DR: Use water to erase glitter glue cleanly to create crisp lines, but this trick doesn't work for blending out edges.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Getting Flawless, Dewy Skin in Photos...

I decided to try that trick where you buff your skin with a finishing powder after your make up sets. I used Make Up Store's Wonder Powder in Kalahari and check out how glowy my skin looks!

 Omg,'s so radiant!

.....until you see the close up:

My bf was freaked out.

Conclusion: Will do again to look hot in pictures, but will carry a broom to make sure everyone keeps their distance IRL so they can't see the cakey mask that's on my face.

Eye close up:

Just a simple brown smokey eye

Monday, April 20, 2015

Ombré Lips featuring Eccentric Cosmetics' liquid matte lipsticks in Uluru & Aurora Australis

I did ombré lips today using Eccentric Cosmetics' liquid matte lipsticks in Aurora Australis & Uluru! I love the result!

Full face:

Sorry about the patchiness, using Glory Boon's foundation and the formula's a nightmare.

Eye close up:

Review: Glory Boon Highlighter, Concealer, Foundation & Lip Scrub

Some time ago, I ordered from Glory Boon, and while I swatched them ages ago, I've been procrastinating on compiling everything into a post. I finally did it. So proud.

Here's what I got from them:

  • Natural Liquid Foundation samples: Fair/Light, Luna ($2 each)
  • Heal & Conceal Concealer ($12)
  • Howdy Highlighter ($12)
  • Popcorn Lip Scrub ($8.99)

International shipping was $11.74.

This is how my order arrived:

Yup, something exploded.

Most of it is gone.

Not sure if you can see it, but this leaked too and the whole tub is oily. This frequently happens with scrubs though, so it's nothing new for me.

As you can see, everything came leaking. I love the fact that all the products except for the foundation samples came shrinkwrapped, though!

Everything's shrinkwrapped so that's a plus.

Customer Service

I contacted Glory Boon about the leaking products and Alexandra gave me a coupon code for free shipping on the next purchase.

Here's the TAT:

  • Ordered: 26 July
  • Shipped: 30 July

For reviews, let's start with the good parts first...

 Popcorn Lip Scrub Review

I love this scrub. It tastes like buttered popcorn and is so delicious! It comes shrinkwrapped, and as you can see from the previous photos, it's pretty generous in size. I do notice a waxy aftertaste in the scrub, but I'm not sure if it's from the flavouring or the scrub formula.

So on to swatches:

The formula melts easily, so this is just 1-2 swipes with minimal pressure. 
None of the foundation shades were a match :(

Foundation Formula Review

I didn't find my match, but mixing both colours together gets me relatively close to my skin tone. I noticed a lot of separation in the formula when I first got it:

And yes, it's very oily.

The foundation is pretty oily so it hates the oily parts of my combination skin. I had a hard time applying it, because it just slips around on my face and ends up like this when I applied it with a foundation brush the way I usually apply my liquid foundations/BB creams:

See my gross face.

I find that the best application is to dab it on with a sponge, and patiently wait until the first layer is dry if you want to build it up. As you can see from the previous pictures, the coverage is pretty sheer and streaky, so you do need to build it up a bit to get even coverage. Here's the result with dabbing:

I'm personally a bit impatient, and way prefer my Dior Hydralife BB cream that has smooth & even coverage even when applied with my fingers, so I'm not a fan of the work I have to put into making this foundation work.

After a few months, it dries to this cakey texture:

It's cakey.
It actually becomes easier to apply when it's cakey. I tried it out again at the cakey stage and it's definitely far less streaky. I compared it side-by-side with my usual Dior Hydralife BB Cream by using Glory Boon's foundation on half my face and the BB cream on the other half. Left is before, right is after:

Sorry about the different lighting, I only realized there's better lighting available after I was done putting on make up.
From afar, it's hard to tell which side is which, but zoomed in, you can really see a difference:

The Glory Boon part is 3-4 layers, dabbed on using a sponge (took 5 min). The Dior Hydralife part is one fast swipe applied with my fingers (took less than 30 seconds). 

Despite my slapstick application of Dior's Hydralife BB cream, it ends up with a much better coverage than Glory Boon's. Honestly, I can't see a different IRL in my complexion using Glory Boon, and my red veins are still just as prominent. The only difference is that my face is now more cakey.

Heal & Conceal Concealer Formula Review

So here's what Glory Boon says about their Heal & Conceal concealers:

Screenshot taken on Apr 20, 2015

As you can see from the swatches above, it's so not true. It's much darker than my skin tone and as a result it doesn't conceal much for me. The formula is also really oily, so it ends up sliding around and being hard to build up on my oily face. When I do build it up, it ends up getting cakey on me. This is the foundation dabbed on top of a concealer used in an attempt to cover up some pimples:

Ok, so maybe that pimple was really bumpy and makes concealing harder, and the oils on my face didn't help either. So I tried concealing a light brown discolouration I have on my upper thigh (0 oil!) and  here's the result:

Closely cropped to prevent accidental porn.

Yup, it doesn't cover much.

Howdy Highlighter Formula Review

As you can see from the swatches, the colour is pure white, so it may not be suitable for all skin tones. Again, the formula is really oily & melty, so it ends up really streaky on me:

 It's a bit better after I pat it down with a sponge:

Troubleshooting Advice

If you want Glory Boon's highlighter + foundation to look really smooth, I suggest dipping a kabuki brush in finishing powder & really buffing your face. Here's the result of buffing with a finishing powder:


So, final B&A!

The before pic is with eye make up done...I prefer doing my eye make up before foundation and stuff.
The after pic is with Glory Boon's foundation, concealer & highlighter, and Tarte's Park Ave Princess Bronzer.

And here's my finished look:
Using my fringe to hide most of my break out XD

Friday, April 17, 2015

Swatches & Recommendation: Fyrinnae's Lip Lustres (11 Colours)

I bought some Fyrinnae lip lustres ages ago, and Cheryl from Midsummer Dreams Apothecary sent me more as part of the IMAM gift exchange. Here's how my stuff arrived:


Bonus pic of Cheryl's gift exchange packet for me!

Lip lustre minis vs full-size:

Hand for scale:

Customer Service Review

Fyrinnae experienced some controversy last year, when an employee went nuts on Twitter and started being rude to customers. There's an entire reddit thread with screenshots of the tweets here. However, Fyrinnae has apologized for the mess, fired the employee behind the crazy tweets, and /u/Dorian_Gray_, the Fyrinnae owner has been a great IMAM contributor. Unlike a lot of brand owners who see the IMAM sub as a marketing/market survey platform, /u/Dorian_Gray_ doesn't push Fyrinnae products nonstop. I actually like having him around since he has given free cosmetic chemistry advice many, many times:

In my eyes, they've definitely redeemed themselves, and I went from wary of the brand to enthusiastically supporting it. With all the cosmetic chemistry knowledge /u/Dorian_Gray_ displays, I also feel reassured that Fyrinnae's products will be solid quality-wise.

Oh, and /u/Dorian_Gray_ is awesome too. He was destashing some Cult Nails nail polishes and I bought them from him. At that time, Fyrinnae's website was closed, so I asked him if I could put an order personally through him for just 1 tub of Pixie Epoxy, Fyrinnae's famous glitter adhesive. He didn't reply for a while so I thought he forgot about it....turns out, he gave me the tub for free. Yup.

Speaking of Fyrinnae's website being closed, some people complain about Fyrinnae often being closed with no news of when they'll reopen. I understand that it can be annoying, but they do it to keep their turnaround time (TAT) from going far too long, and I have a lot of respect for shop owners who prioritize taking care of existing customers instead of sacrificing existing customers for new customers. It's much better than my experience with Victorian Disco, where the owner continued hosting sales even though many people, myself included, were still waiting on orders placed as far back as a year before.

With regards to their TAT, I've purchased from them twice, and this was the TAT for my orders:

  • Purchased: June 27
  • Shipped: July 3
  • Purchased: Sep 28
  • Shipped: Oct 5

So it's 6 days & 7 days to ship out orders. Definitely way better than the "8-10 weeks queue time prior to shipment" stated on their website.


Anyway, today I'm only swatching the lip lustres. I got 12 of them (1952, Burrowing Owl, Chickadee, Ghost's Kiss, Ghostly Voice, Isis, Masala, Narwhal Nuzzles, Ominous, Saloon Girl & Sexy Nerd) so I ended up procrastinating a LOT on swatches.

Arm swatches:
1952, Burrowing Owl, Chickadee, Ghost's Kiss, Ghostly Voice, Isis, Masala, Narwhal Nuzzles, Ominous, Saloon Girl & Sexy Nerd

Lip swatches:

1952, Burrowing Owl, Chickadee, Ghost's Kiss, Ghostly Voice, Isis, Masala, Narwhal Nuzzles, Ominous, Saloon Girl & Sexy Nerd

Face swatches:

1952, Burrowing Owl, Chickadee, Ghost's Kiss, Ghostly Voice, Isis, Masala, Narwhal Nuzzles, Ominous, Saloon Girl & Sexy Nerd

Formula Review

The texture of the lip lustres is more like a "creamed lipstick" sort of lipstick mushed up repeatedly until it has the consistency of creamy, but not runny, mashed potato that's still stiff enough for you to sculpt into potato landscapes (I get bored during dinner).

Like most non-sticky glosses, these are not built for longevity. I personally don't mind it, since it's what I expect from non-sticky glosses and would happily trade longevity for comfort. Oh and these are super comfortable. They're not drying at all, and stays non-sticky without going too slippery or feathering like crazy. I noticed I reach for these lip lustres more often than any other lip products because they're just so comfortable to wear.

I do notice some patchiness in the non-traditional colours (Ominous & Burrowing Owl most of all), but as you can see from the swatches, they're easily built up to a smooth & even texture. 

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Review & Recommendation: 7 Scents from Arcana's Hieronymus Bosch Collection

Well, apparently the full name of the collection is the Hieronymus Bosch's The Seven Deadly Sins and The Four Last Things series, but that's too long for a title. Thanks to the wonderful /u/Saffrin, I got to try 7 scents from this collection! Before I go on to the reviews, I need to get all of you to appreciate how amazing this woman is. This is how she sent the sniffies:

Yup. Name, Year, Brand, Collection, & General Collection/Limited Edition. AND handwritten.

Oh and she also sent me a bag full of Fantales, so I love her forever.

For the uninitiated, Fantales are awesome and Australia's greatest contribution to the world. Koala's are cute and all that, but Fantales are delicious. As far as I know, I can't eat a freaking koala so in my book, they're useless but cute balls of fluff.

They're pretty dumb too. If they weren't so cute, they'd be extinct.

Anyway, enough about my koala tangent and on to the scent reviews. As always, they're done blind until the TL;DRs are written.



"Sloth. Ripened figs, thick vanilla, languid kush smoke, beehive dross, frankincense, bergamot, and citron."

When I first put this on, this scent went nuts, morphing for a fruity tartness that lasted too short to identify to something vaguely cough syrup like, to a minty vanilla –this is all within the first minute. Finally, the scent that settled on my skin is this sweet, icy complex citrus. The icy bit is cool and light, not searingly icy like eucalyptus or tea tree oil, but definitely more icy than mint.

Now this scent is very dependent on my hormones. When I'm on my period, there's the smell of something waxy and something old underneath. It's mild and adds to the rich complexity of the fragrance. The citrus is also less prominent and smells more like vaguely sweet, tart fruits. When I'm not on my period, the smell underneath is waxy and old cardboards and it grosses me out. The waxy old box bit also thankfully disappeared after about 15 min, thought there's still hints of something old and cardboard-ish.

TL;DR: Icy, complex citrus vanilla with hints of old cardboard or icy complex vanilla tart fruits with hints of something old.

Overview: I'm guessing it's the frankincense and kush creating that old cardboard bit.



"Greed. A grabby, voracious mix of blueberries, salal berries, pomegranates, strawberries, and red currants over a base of creamy musk and white amber."

Delicious candied red berries. After about 10 min, there's this clean, yet cozy scent that makes the scent more wearable as a perfume rather than something that belongs strictly on the dessert table. The scent still stays light though! The scent is definitely very young, feminine, sweet, fun, yet elegant.

I somehow get reminded of winter, but maybe it's because it has those red berries scent that a lot of winter/Christmas scents seem to have. It's not a cozy, nostalgic sort of winter/Christmas feeling though. It's more of that giddy, giggly, excited feeling that you only get as a kid or as a grown up spending your first Christmas with a new love. Though maybe it's more fun as a grown up because on top of presents, you get to smugly be all nauseatingly cute and annoying everyone around you. And your family can't ask you why you're still single anymore.

Admit it, doing this in front of that annoying family member who's still single is much more fun than doing this in private.
Gorgeous photography by Olga Ordashevskaya

TL;DR: Giddy, giggly berries.

Overview: On second sniff, I do smell the blueberries. I normally hate blueberries but this goes great! I'm so impressed by Arcana's fruit notes.



"Envy. Green apples and winesap cider with bright Oman olibanum, white amber, pearl musk, and the biggest slice of cake."

This smells like cola with sugarcane juice at first, but after 5 min, it becomes the most fragrant, crisp green apple with champagne, mixed with a sugarcane sweetness. As the scent dries down about 40-50 min in, I get this most comforting warm musky scent at the base that makes me think of being wrapped in a soft, cashmere shawl. It's really the most gorgeous musk. There's just something so satisfying about this's like drinking a fresh, cold apple soda while wrapped in a warm cashmere shawl. It's an odd combination but oddly comforting.

TL;DR: Drinking a fresh, cold apple soda while wrapped in a warm cashmere shawl

Overview: I had to go for a second sniff and now I think I can smell the Arcana yellow cake note, only when blended with the fresh apples and winesap cider, it ends up being that sugarcane sweet bit.



"Pomegranate seeds, dragonsblood resin, black musk, and a smoldering lake of fire."

In the beginning, I got a burst of what seems to be nag champa, but it's gone pretty fast, blending into the scent. The scent settles into a red candy with clean smoke, and old wood you can find in Chinese temples. The red candy part is the same one as what I've sniffed Arcana's Murder Ballad Blues, so I think the two share similar notes. I describe the smoke as a "clean smoke" since it just smells like smoke –not a BBQ sort of smoke or a tobbaco smoke. It just smells like the scent left behind in romanticized smouldering ruins (the kind that's free of dead bodies, burnt plastic, etc.). The old Chinese temple wood is fortunately not so prominent on me, and just sits in the background.

I still feel like I'm eating red candy while walking through an old Chinese temple in winter (when the cold weather doesn't make the smoke unbearably searing), and passing by someone burning organic plant matter in the garden.

The scent left lingering on your skin when the perfume fades is that game-y incense smell NAVA loves using, with traces of red candy.

TL;DR:  Muted smoke, game-y incense & red candy.



"Heaven. An ecstatic blend of fresh tuberose, tiare, blackberry, raspberry, grapefruit, angelic musk, citron, and lavender."

This has that clean, floral-citrus that unfortunately reminds me of a bathroom freshener. Fortunately, it's not the searing sort of citrus that reminds me of air fresheners, but it's definitely one of those bathroom scents that's in the form of an oil that you just leave sitting there. There's a berries scent that blends into this scent to make it smell like a clean, high end oil diffuser in a 5-star hotel, but it's still something I personally associate with room fragrances rather than perfume. I blame the citrus.

Luckily, after about 20-30 min, the citrus part faded and now it's this heavenly soapy, musky tart fruits scent. Tart fruits are often light and sweet, but this one is more warm and heavy. It's like a florid, heavy, powdery sort of tart fruits scent. The powdery bit usually makes me think of old lady powder rooms, but this scent is definitely not old lady. Older, but not old.

While the scent's not for me, I'm still impressed how well they blended a typical fresh, light sort of scent with a heavy, old lady sort of scent and somehow make them work so well together. If you're looking for a fruity scent that smells not too young but aren't ready to go full old lady yet, this is it. It's still fresh, but grounded, with the sort of texture that's similar to soft cashmere. I wonder if this has the same musk as Invidia.

The heavy powderiness is the first to go as this scent dries down, and after an hour, the scent is more of a slightly musky tart fruits sort of scent.  

TL;DR: Powdery, musky tart fruits.



"Lust. Wild, carnal musk with blond tobacco, vanilla, dark resins, and sugared peach."

There's something sweet and delicious, lightly musky in this scent, that I can only describe as angelic.  It's warm, musky enough to be comforting, but light enough that it feels like you're being hugged by a bundle of feathers. The sweetness is complex and fragrant –it's some fleshy fruit I can't really identify since it's so blended into the scent. This smells like getting hugged by an angel while being bathed in the warm, evening light.

You know you want to be here.
Gorgeous photography by Anka Zhuravleva

Unfortunately, underneath it, I got that acrid, bitter, medicinal wood that can be a black tea note gone wrong. I'm kind of sad because this scent is amazing if not for that acrid, medicinal wood part. The acrid bit disappeared after about 5-10 min, but there's still this medicinally bitter wood at the base of this scent. It's like being hugged by an angel while being bathed in the warm, evening light....and knowing that any moment, she can drop you and send you plummeting to your death.

Enjoying a post-homicide smoke.
Gorgeous photography by Anka Zhuravleva

Fortunately, after close to 30 min, the bitterness finally completely disappears, and it becomes this powdery, musky, fleshy fruit scent that reminds me of another Arcana scent –Little Man on the Boat.

TL;DR: Darker version of Little Man on the Boat.

Overview: Here's the notes from Little Man on a Boat:

"Peach nectar and delicate musk dripping with Tupelo honey, Clover honey, and one dainty tuberose petal."

I'm guessing it's the peach & musk combo creating the similarities. I tried both of them together and I find that they're so similar but so different at the same time. Little Man on a Boat (LMOB) starts off as lighter, fresher and sweeter than Luxuria. Luxuria also starts off as a more powdery sort of scent. By 15 min both of them have this same comforting yet seductive fruity musk scent, only with different twists.  LMOB stayed more fresh and clean, and ended up having this twee sort of powderiness that makes you think of cute boudoirs that's most likely very, very pink. Luxuria has that dark, "dirty" and bitter bite to it –it makes you think of darker, more dangerous sort of boudoir where you want and don't want to be seduced at the same time. They're like the opposing sides of the same scent.



"Pride. Opulent vanilla musk and virgin coconut with Mysore sandalwood, neroli, cubeb, and petitgrain."

I got a burst of green when I first put it on, but it then gets enveloped in this cozy, amber-like vanilla note. After about 10 min, I got coconut too, but it's not a dessert sort of coconut. It's rich, creamy coconut oil, and more of a soothing rather than an edible smell. Eventually, the scent settled into the richest, most amazing coconut scent ever. This is the kind of coconut you want to bathe in and slather all over your body. It's buttery, rich and scented with opulent, warm vanilla and woody amber.

It's such a rich, decadent scent. It makes me think of languishing in chaise lounges, while a hoard of servants attend to my every needs. If I didn't know Invidia was sloth, I'd guess this was sloth. It's just an expensive, lavish yet sensual and cozy scent. I love this!

It does get very heavy at times, almost sickeningly so, but somehow it's a nice sort of sickening to me, if that makes any sense at all. It's the feeling of indulging in too much pleasure, but having no regrets despite the hangover/stomach ache/sore bodies.

Totally planning on indulging in gluttony only.
Gorgeous photography by Black ICE Studios

TL;DR: Rich coconut scent for someone who can live their entire life perched on a chaise lounge while getting pampered by a hoard of servants.