Friday, April 25, 2014

Tiffany Blue nail polish (I) - Sinful Color in Mint Apple

Tiffany blue is such a beautiful color and I love how refreshing and cheerful it is. Since theshade is registered as Tiffany & Co. 's trademark color, you will not find an exact match unless one day Tiffany & Co. decides to manufacture a nail polish (Yes, one day I hope! how cool it will be!).

Brand and Shade : Sinful Color in Mint Apple
Dry time : About 90 - 120 seconds, so not really fast-drying
Formula : Smooth but thick. Does not chip too easily so it is good
Application : Okay. No too challenging but not the easiest either
Pigmentation : High. It gets almost completely opaque in two coats but perfection in three coats
Finish : Cream. No shimmer / glitter. 
Top coat needed? : Preferably.  The finish is not glossy so a top coat will help to add some shine. 
How close it is to Tiffany blue : Very similar but a touch darker

What do I think about it?
  It definitely looks more like Tiffany blue on my nails compared to how it looks plainly from the bottle. Although the formula and application is not the best I have tried, the shade is really lovely. Affordable price as well. 

Swatch - two coats without top coat

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure - 220 Cafe Au Lait

Shade : 220 Cafe Au Lait
Dry time :Quick
Formula : Silky smooth and not streaky
Application : Easy 
Price : RRP $16, but I got mine for $8 when it was on sale
Pigmentation : Moderate. It achieves an even coverage in two coats, completely erases the white tips in three coats.
Finish : Cream and glossy. No shimmer / glitter. Can get away without a top coat
Top coat needed? : A must, or it starts chipping in the first day

What I think about it?
   It is my perfect nude! Excellent formula and great shade, I really enjoy wearing it <3 nbsp="" p="">

Swatch (two coats with top coat)

Saturday, April 19, 2014

My experience of shopping at BeautyBay

Although I said I wouldn't shop at BeautyBay again, I did!
I realized BeautyBay underwent change of ownership and updated its website.
Things get much better and I placed another order from the sale. Overall, I was satisfied.

1. CS is much more helpful.
As I needed amendment of shipment detail, I emailed the CS and I got replied the next day. It is an improvement considered last time they did not respond at all. Shipping took about one month and it is a bit long for low season (compared to Christmas etc.) but acceptable.

2. More rare brands
Although it does not carry as many mainstream brands as Lookfantastic or other bigger retailers, it resumes to carry some interesting brands hard to look for elsewhere. For instance, they cut off Art Deco once and it is back. Sara Happ, Ellis Faas, Face Atelier, Mario Badescu, Anne Semonin and other smaller brands are also added to BeautyBay.

3. Sale section is back.
There was time they cancelled the sale section which is a fail move! I am happy it is back again :D

4. Nail polishes can be shipped international again!
Great news!

Original post
I still remember how excited I was when I first discovered BeautyBay in 2012. BeautyBay is an online retailer based in the UK and offers international shipping inclusive the selling price. I was absolutely satisfied with my first order and it was once my favourite online store. However, things have changed and I definitely prefer Lookfantastic,, Lifeandlooks and other online retailers over BeautyBay nowadays.

1. Delivery Time
  In the past two years I have placed 6 orders in total. My first order took about 12 days and it was reasonably quick considered the parcel was shipped from the UK to Australia. However, the delivery time ended up taking longer and longer in each order. The last order I placed in mid-November 2013 arrived two and a half months later and I only received my parcel in February 2014. My order was worth over 90 pounds and I got anxious if it went missing or misdelivered. I wrote to CS in January 2014. Yet, I never heard anything from them in that one month time (between jan-feb 2014), not even a reply of whether they had received/ accepted/ declined my request. Really lucky I did receive it at the end. If it had never arrived, I would have been utterly upset by how unresponsive the CS is.

2. Shipping Restrictions and Less Brands!
  BeautyBay used to carry Murad, K√ČRASTASE and do amazing gift with purchases. They also used to ship nail polishes internationally. Once I made a purchase of some OPI nail polishes but they emailed me and told me they had cancelled my order and they discontinued shipping nail polishes internationally :(
  I understand it might due to delivery restrictions, yet having perfumes and nail polishes shipped internationally was a massive attraction and I did enjoy their services.
[[ I secretly wish they would consider it again.]]

3. Free Shipping to Australia/ HK/ the UK ??
  Technically, online retailers from the UK don't need to collect VAT from their international customers if the orders are shipped overseas, so a few online stores actually offer international customers VAT-free or attractive discount in return. It is nothing wrong if retailers keep the same price and contribute the difference into their margin, but it would be nice if they reduced the price accordingly.

  The thing I am not very happy about BeautyBay is what they call "FREE SHIPPING". Unlike Lookfantastic,, ASOS and other online retailers which offer the same price for customers from anywhere, BeautyBay's system adjusts the price based on the delivery destination. Yes, it is still FREE shipping but the price has been adjusted. Again, it is nothing wrong for businesses to try to absorb the costs but I do feel it acts a bit sneaky (HK and Australia are both in zone 2 so shipping should cost the same )

Let's use Urban Decay Naked Palette as an example
To the UK (including VAT), 37 pounds.
To Hong Kong, 36.52 pounds.
To Australia, 44.1 pounds.

Another example - Anastasia Beverly Hills

  It is very unlikely I will purchase anything from them anymore. However, I agree that they have a good selection of brands which some are really cool and might be hard to find elsewhere. For examples: ArtDeco, Le Metier De Beaute, Louise Young, Ellis Faas. It is still a online store you can consider if you have products you cant find elsewhere and you understand there is a risk the delivery might take long where refund/exchange might not be given.

  (Sidetrack:::: Feelunique has the most restrictions and lots of brands cannot be shipped internationally, including Bareminerals, stila and other brands most stores offer :S SakFifthAvenue and Nordstrom dont ship 90% of beauty products overseas. Sad!! Sephora just started shipping beauty products to Japan, South Korea and the UK, hopefully one day they will ship to Australia! )

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Essence Long-Lasting Pencil - Tu-Tu Tourquoise & I Have A Green

Pigmentation: Soso, not comparable to my favourite Prestige Total Intensity Eyeliners or Milani Eyeliners.

Finish: Shimmery but not metallic.

Longevity: Excellent. I normally use them on my bottom lash line and outer wing, they are still visible after 8 hours.

Packaging: automatic/ mechanical pencil, travel friendly and hassle free! 
(I hate to sharpen my eyeliners all the time! )

Price: RRP $2.5 each! The cheapest eyeliner I have seen from Priceline!!!

  Essence Long-Lasting Pencils in Tu-Tu Tourquoise & I Have A Green are not intensely pigmented or metallic so using either of these two shades solely might not give enough definition to your eyes. I recommend using a black/ dark brown eyeliner near the lash line/ tightline for more definition and only adding the turquoise or green as a accent color. The shades are refreshing and beautiful, especially suitable for summer season!

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

MAC Paint Pot Bare Study* Any dupe?

  When I was at MAC counter in February and tried to get a new Painterly paint pot, I got told MAC was turning all paint pot into Pro Longwear Paint Pot. I visited the official US MAC website and YES they only carry Pro Longwear Paint Pot nowadays :( 
Besides a bit more expensive with the same volume, I am not sure if the product itself has been reformulated.

  Since my Bare Study is almost completely dried up, I have been trying all drugstore eye shadow stick/cream in these two months.

Top - MAC Paint Pot in Bare Study
Champagne color with gold pearl shimmer. I used it as my base through the whole 2012 n 2013. Good staying power so I can wear it alone or as an eye shadow base.

But now I do not plan on repurchasing it when there are so many gems hiding in drugstores. 
I dislike the packaging. I scooped out my BareStudy into a light plastic container so I did not need to travel with that heavy bulky glass pot. Not to say hygiene problem, the more air exposure the product has, the quicker it dries up.

Middle - Rimmel Scandaleyes Eye Shadow Stick in 002 BulletProof Beige
Very subtle shimmery light peach. No it cannot be a dupe of Bare Study because it does not show up on my skin, however it works the best as a base. It enhances pigmentation of powder eye shadow and extends its longevity. From my experience, my eye shadow still showed up well after walking in rain and crying. Also, the product does not dry up as quick since crayon formal reduce exposure.

Bottom - Models Prefer Infinite Color Shadow Pencil in Pop The Bubbly
Very similar to Bare Study but a touch warmer. The difference is so mind on eye lid that they are almost the same :)
I love this one very much since it shares all the benefits Bare Study offered but in better packaging and more affordable price point! Recommended!

Right - Maybelline Color Tattoo in 70 Barely Branded
Light champagne with silver shimmer, similar to Bare Study but lighter. The most shimmery out of all.
It is not my favourite since the longevity is not as good as the others and it runs if you have moisture on your eyelid. I can never wear it alone or it creases in an hour or two. I have 10 color tattoo eye shadow purchased at different points and some of them had had cracks and half dried up when I bought them. Always a bit of a gamble when you try to purchase gel eyeliner / cream eye shadow in pot.

So... Is there a dupe?
there is nothing exactly the same if you just swatch the products I talked about on your hand.

Products in this kind of shade really dont look much different on eyelid one from the others. Regarding performance, Pop The Bubbly definitely outgrows Bare Study.