Raving about makeup, skincare, hair and other little obsessions... A Beauty Blog

Saturday, June 29, 2013

First Impression: Bobbi Brown Sea Pearls Collection

Bobbi Brown recently released a new collection called Sea Pearls. I thought I'd share with you my first impression of two products from the collection: Shimmer Nail Polish in Pink Pearl and Shimmer Brick Eye Palette.

If you're a fan of Bobbi Brown, chances are you know about her highly acclaimed Shimmer Bricks for the cheeks. So I was pretty eager to see if the Eye version would live up to the name. The packaging is gorgeous as usual. Upon opening the palette, I was greeted with a lot of shimmery powder and glitter everywhere. A chunk had chipped off one of the eyeshadow tiles during its journey in the mail. I carefully swept it all off the plastic and the mirror with a brush. The instructions on the box said to be careful with this delicate product, it was handmade in Italy.

 I swatched the colours on my arm and found the eyeshadow to be smooth and relatively pigmented, considering they are pale and shimmery colours.

I immediately spotted some colours that I liked. There were some that I felt that I would not use either because I don't know how to use it or because I think it would not look flattering on me. I will have to experiment with this palette for a while before I'm confident enough to write some form of tutorial on it. Please leave me a comment down below if you're interested to see one.

As for the nail polish, this is the first time I've tried a Bobbi Brown one. It is really easy to apply. I am usually a messy applicator and I go back in with a cotton bud dipped in remover to clean up afterwards. With this nail polish, I found that the brush was easy to control. I swept it on my nails with very little mess left to clean up.

I wore it for three days without any top coat and it didn't chip. And it takes a fair amount of remover and working to get every last bit of the polish off. From there, I deduced that it has good staying power. But I could be wrong.

Without flash
The nail polish has a shimmery and pearlescent finish. To me this shade of pink looks elegant and sophisticated; I would use it for special occasions, like to a wedding or a formal dinner/event. I personally would not wear this as an everyday colour.

With flash

Bobbi Brown products are of high quality and these products did not fail to meet that standard. At this point, I cannot say that they are must-haves in your makeup collection. I can, however, say that they would be luxurious additions.  The Shimmer Brick Eye Palette retails for $99; the Shimmer Nail Polish in Pink Pearl for $26.
Saturday, June 22, 2013

A Night with GHD + Oscar Oscar

Source: ghd.com
I attended one of Oscar Oscar Salon's GHD VIP Nights a few weeks back. I've been wanting to go since last year and finally got the means to attend this year. I was hoping they'd still do the "trade in your old straightener for a new GHD styler" deal again but unfortunately they didn't.

The event kicked off with a demonstration of how to create the runway hair looks from Sydney Fashion Week 2013 (If memory serves me right!). I managed to take a lot of photos on the night. Hope you like them! 

Demonstrating the new GHD Eclipse Styler

Styling a romantic ponytail

End result

The "blow dried curls" look is coming together

I would like to thank my housemates Ann-Marie and Mengying for coming along with me! Unfortunately, Mengying didn't join us for a photo. After the demonstration, we were given the chance to be styled by the Oscar Oscar hairdressers.

My hair was styled by a GHD Gold Styler
I picked up a couple of tips on the night and would like to share them with you. 

Tip #1: To achieve volume when curling with a straightener, make sure you hold your lock of hair up vertically and clamp your straightener/styler as close to the roots as you can and start from there. It will give your hair near the roots a lift. 

Tip #2: To set you curls and make them last, clip them up (with either alligator or pin curl clips) immediately and let them cool. If you are in a hurry, blast them with your hairdryer on COOL setting.

Goodie bag!

We were sent home with a goodie bag each. Inside were samples of Kerastase products, a GHD Tail Comb, a $20 Gift Voucher, a discount code for Talulah, a cookie and a couple of Kerastase pamphlets. 

Overall, I think it was an interesting and eye-opening event. Will I be going back next year? Probably not. I do not mean any offense to GHD or Oscar Oscar. I just think that going once is enough. I will not be gaining anything more out of it by going year after year. It'd be a waste of my time, energy and money. Having said that, I think a lot of the attendees thoroughly enjoyed the event and I think that it is definitely worth going once to experience it. Sorry GHD, I am not a convert as of yet.
Saturday, June 15, 2013

My Microdermabrasion + Facial Experience

I've never had a facial before prior to this experience that I'm about to divulge. I spotted a special deal on microdermabrasion and facial by a salon, not far from where I live, on one of those "deals websites". I couldn't resist. I bought a voucher. I was keen to try out microdermabrasion, especially since Zoe Foster swears by it. I've been wanting my skin to glow and my acne scars to fade. It's still something I desire and haven't achieved.

I took a "before" photo prior to the session. I was excited and slightly anxious at the same time. What if something goes wrong or my skin has a horrible reaction to the treatment? Will I be going to uni afterwards with a red and puffy face? Sharon, the beauty therapist, reassured me that salon-type microdermabrasion only remove the dead skin cells; because there won't be any tissue injury, inflammation won't ensue.

For the most part, the facial was very relaxing. It involved slathering on product, massaging it into my skin and then removing it with a wet cloth; and hot steamy towels in between certain products. Then comes the microdermabrasion. The device itself looked like a metal pen attached to a machine by a wire. It basically involved scratching the skin with many small diamond tips and suctioning away the dead skin cells at the same time (that's what the machine was for, to create a vacuum). The treatment wasn't uncomfortable however I would not describe it as pleasant.

If I thought microdermabrasion was bad, the worst was yet to come! Sharon decided that she wanted to throw in a free extraction upon seeing the number of milia I had on my face. It was a horrifically excruciating experience! I literally thought I was going to die. Tears were streaming down my face and I did my best to be brave. Time passed really slowly as Sharon pierced and pressed out each one of my milia. I kept apologising for the pain she was inflicting on me and reassured me that it was going to be worth it. Relief washed over when she was (FINALLY!) done. A couple more facial product application and a hand massage followed before the session ended.

The first thing I saw when I looked in the mirror were these horrible little red spots on my face. They were wounds and when I touched them, blood smeared. As much a torture the extraction was, I wished Sharon had kept going for a bit longer because I noticed she missed a couple of milia. By the end of the day, the bleeding stopped but the wounds were very red and obvious. And it remained so for a week.

 So overall, was it worth it? My housemate said that my skintone appeared slightly more even. My boyfriend said that I looked a bit more "glowy and shiny". I think he doesn't know that "shiny skin" is bad in the beauty dictionary. But I understood what he meant. I was hoping my acne scars would lighten significantly but I think it only did so marginally. The only huge difference I felt was in my neck and chest area. The skin there was much softer and smoother.

The verdict? I don't think I'm willing to spend money and time on facials anytime soon. I'll look into more when I hit 30. Sharon kept commenting how "young" and "gorgeous" my skin is and she also mentioned that I may not see as a big a difference post-treatment as compared to an older lady. I guess she's right. I'll stick with at-home masks and treatments for now.

Have you had microdermabrasion or extractions before? What was your experience?
Saturday, June 8, 2013

Bump It Up! A Review

My hair is very difficult to tease and doesn't not hold volume very well. It's coarse and heavy and drops faster than a hot potato on bare hands (did that analogy make sense?!?). I've tried it many times at home with a rat tail comb and a couple of different hair brushes but to no avail.

I even asked a hairdresser for advice on how to tease my hair. She gave me a sympathetic "Yea, hair like yours is very hard to tease". She grabbed a rat tail comb and said, "you use this!". Then she proceeded to yanking a lock of my hair up vertically and tugging the comb up and down against my hair vigorously. She was so distracted and rough with what she was doing that I swear I was going to be bald by the end of the appointment. I stopped her after she gave it a couple more goes. It was really hurting my scalp and ineffective at giving my hair more volume. Despite this unpleasant experience, I was not deterred from teasing my hair. 

I decided that I needed to cheat if I wanted to get my hair anywhere near as voluminous as Bridgette Bardot's. Enter Scunci Hi Styles... and Double Lift  & Tease Comb. The former was specifically requested by me; the latter was unexpectedly thrown in by the PR agent. I am impressed with this comb. It has been the only comb so far capable of getting my hair teased. Of course, the effect created on my hair still isn't as prominent as those with fine hair but still! It has made a huge difference! So I have the PR agent to thank for adding this extra goodie to my parcel.

As for the Hi Styles, I must admit that despite being an "easy to use" item, I struggled with it. I had trouble hiding the teeth and my hair kept falling down on the sides. Anyway, I persisted and kept practising. Soon enough, I figured out my own method of making this tool work for me. So I'm pleased with this product as well. Below is a photo of the end result after using the comb and the Hi Styles.

What do you think?

 Both these products are available at Priceline. The comb retails for AUD5.95; and the Hi Styles AUD9.95, which I think are very reasonable prices. I will be creating a tutorial for these two items very soon. The question is, would you guys like it in written (with photos) or video form? Please let me know if you have a preference!

Thanks for reading. Have a lovely day!

Please note that although this is a sponsored review, these opinions are honest and solely my own. I will not falsely write a good review on "bad products" or "products that I do not like".
Saturday, June 1, 2013

Philips Lumea Precision Plus IPL Hair Removal System Review

I've recorded a video review of the Philips Lumea Precision Plus IPL Hair Removal System. Hope you find it useful!

On a side note, I recently saw this product on sale at The Shaver Shop for only $599! And they now come in purple/lavender too.

Since the recording of this video, I have found that my right leg has fewer hairs now. I will post another update once my right leg is hairless (as promised in the video).

Please let me know what you think of the video. Your feedback is much appreciated. Thank you for your time!