31 December 2011

Favourite Products of 2011 :)

Oh god, where do I start?! My first full calendar year of blogging has been absolutely mad, and there's no one else to thank but my readers - thanks so much for making this an amazing experience! This year, I've gone past 1,000 readers, I've met so many lovely bloggers in person and on Twitter, I got to go to some great events and like I said last year, I've found a hobby I stick to, which to me, is one of the most important things!

So, I really enjoyed doing this yearly favourites post last year, so I did it again this year! This way really made me choose which products I absolutely loved so while I do feel bad that I left out some great products, these were my best of the best! :)

3. NARS Orgasm

How much longer am I going to go on about this? Forever.

This was my go-to, all-year shade and was probably my most used colour product this year! :) But the reason why it's only in 3rd is because at the end of the day, it's an "extra" - only a superficial change to my looks that I particularly loved!

2. Dior Diorskin Forever Extreme Wear Flawless Make Up

This was my first ever high end foundation I got back in May, and I'm glad it was because I realised the difference in quality from drugstore foundations. But I was also not so glad because it was so good that I've been disappointed with most other high end foundations I've tried since then! :P

This is in 2nd place, because it's my perfect everyday, all year foundation and I want 2 shades of it so I can adjust it to my skintone changes! Getting the foundation perfect for you is so difficult and frustrating but so important, and I'm glad I was fast to hit the nail on the head. It's not in 1st place though, because while the above is so important, it didn't make as huge of an impact for me like the..

1. Shu Uemura Eyelash Curlers

These, like last year's winner, have totally changed my confidence. I was always conscious about my eyes being small, closed and strangely shaped, but these open up my eyes like mad without a single drop of slap - I realise now my eyes and eyelashes are perfectly fine the way they are! :) I can safely say this has made the biggest impact on my confidence about my face this year!

I think any make-up that changes your confidence deserves to be the best product of the year :) Eyelash curlers aren't the most exciting, I'll admit - but if I think about what REALLY changed the way I use, see and feel about make-up this year, it would be this :)

If you want to buy NARS Orgasm, I highly recommend ASOS as they have free delivery - for the other two, I'd recommend Debenham's for the same reason :)

*

I also wanna share something I learnt throughout 2011:
Find products that suit YOU - not the pretty blogger elsewhere, with different coloured hair as you, or with different eye colours or skintones as you, but you personally :) It changes how you buy and use make-up, and it not only makes you look better, but it makes you feel better - remember, beauty comes from the heart :) The slap's there to push you along ;)


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So it's 3AM here in Tokyo - Dad and I went to the shrine as per annual father-daughter new year traditions, and I got a pretty good fortune told if I say so myself! :) The Australia trip was a great way to finish my year - I spotted some turtles and sharks while I was swimming (Did I sh*t myself? Yes, yes I did)! Anyway, that's a whole other post, as I bought an Australian beauty goody to show you guys too! ;)

What are you lot up for New Year's? Parties? Chill nights in? Shrine-age? :)
Whatever it is, have an absolutely brilliant night! And may 2012 be everything you want it to be and more! :)

<3yu

P.S. I didn't really want to do a massive yearly favourites because not all of my make-up is here with me :( If you'd like to see one of those, let me know and I will get one done once I'm back in the UK! :)
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25 December 2011

Have a Holly Jolly Christmas ;)

Merry Christmas everybody! :)

Christmas is just not as big as New Year's over here in Japan, so I do envy you all for having an incredibly festive, family-filled couple of days! ;) But I hope you have all the yummy food your tummy can fit, all the lovely gifts on your list, an incredible time with family and loved ones - and above all a holly jolly Christmas ;) (it's been my go-to Christmas song this year, as I heard a hilariously old school American version a week ago and have enjoyed imitating being a man from the 50's :P)

I'm now off to Australia with my mom to meet up with my dad, so I'll be away until New Year's Eve! Til then, I've posted about one of my Christmas gifts I received yesterday here, and here is a NOTD that I wore for the past week or so to maximize Christmas spirit potential ;)



Merry Christmas again, and see you on the other side :)

<3yu
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24 December 2011

Christmas Scent: Bvlgari Jasmin Noir :)


In 2011 I acquired more fragrances that I'd ever had in all the years before - but this is my first Bvlgari! Today I received Jasmin Noir Purse Spray EDP from my lovely Gran for Christmas - and I'm in love! :) I have to admit - I did go and pick it out with her, she says she can't keep up with my "eccentric" tastes.. lol cheers Gran.


Like I said, this particular version is the purse spray version, which is 25mL and comes with a satin pouch. But before we get that far, let's take a minute to admire the boxing - it's a glossy, pull out drawer that screams, "DON'T THROW ME OUT, I'm here to stay on your vanity!" Indeed you are!


The bottle is absolutely gorgeous, and very different and edgier than your typical Bvlgari bottle. It's a nice weight and size, easy to hold, and I'll definitely be carrying it around in my purse. The satin pouch keeps it from being scratched and protects it to a certain degree - it's certainly not padded or anything like that :)

The scent is probably the most sophisticated and classy one I have! According to House of Fraser..

"Bvlgari Jasmin Noir eau de parfum is a unique, incredibly seductive fragrance, for every moment of the day and night. Beginning with vibrant, fresh notes of gardenia petals and green sap that melt into warm and enveloping aromas of sambac jasmine and tones of satin almond, to unveil its intriguing personality of woody base notes."

***

I'd definitely agree with the seductive aspect and the fact that it's wearable both day and night :) I'd also add how much of a statement it is - it really gives the sense of poise, mystery, chicness and confidence and a whole lot of femme power ;)

I wouldn't say it's something that would be everyone's cup of tea, as it's very floral and woody, but doesn't have any sweetness to it at all really. Because of this, I imagine it's also popular amongst people who are older than me - it's definitely not a youthful or fun scent ;) That being said I don't think it's too strange for someone my age to be wearing it either! I've looked around quite a bit for a non-sweet but floral scent, and a lot of them can get a bit sickly, debatably offensive or just too much perfumey-ness - this is none of the above, and is a great kind of 'transitional' if not a 'non-sweet noob' scent - something a bit more easy on the senses :) If you're up for something 180 degrees from the likes of Paco Rabanne Lady Million, Miss Dior Cherie and all the usual suspects, definitely give this a sniff!

I'm so grateful that my gran was kind enough to get this for me - couldn't have asked for anything better, I'm so in love with it! :) It's also so different from everything else that I own - definitely the black sheep of the lot! If you're wondering why I've already opened my gifts, it's cuz my mom and I are off to meet my dad in Australia tomorrow! ;) So expect a bit of a hiatus, as not only will I be associating with strange animals, I'll also be in the sun - writing essays, but still, it has to count for something right?! :P

You can get this Bvlgari Jasmin Noir purse spray in the UK as well, at Debenham's for £36 with free delivery, or other sizes in other department stores and perfume stores :)

Have you had a sniff of Jasmin Noir?
What perfume do you hope will be under your tree for Christmas? :)

<3yu
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22 December 2011

What I Brought Home..

Packing make-up is trickier than most things in life. It's definitely trickier than cooking, manouvering through the London tubes, and the only thing it's easier than is probably figuring out all the new versions of Facebook..

Anyway. I travel at least twice a year back home, and I still struggle! But I've become more and more minimalist with practice, and avoiding the overpacking that all of us tend to do - if I think about all the make-up I brought home this time last year, I was definitely mental and a little bit delusional!

I love looking at what people bring to holidays and trips so I thought I'd do one myself :) I'd like to take this opportunity to mention a friend that is currently in the make-up hospital with no real solutions until its brought back to the UK - my MAC MSF in By Candlelight :( It's gotten a few serious fractures, and I can honestly say that MSFs and MSFNs are THE worst things to travel with - do NOT attempt this! They are so powdery, and the plastic in them are so easily collapsed! /rant over. Here we go!

Foundation


My foundation of choice was the Lancome Teint Idole Ultra in 03, and I only brought one as it's part of my new years resolution to use up a few foundations in 2012. I absolutely ADORE this foundation ever since I figured out the way to apply it a few weeks ago (I intend on doing a video soon!), and can honestly say that I'm prepared to use just this for the next 3 weeks. That being said, I do wish I brought my MAC Studio Moisture Tint, as I'm off to warm weather on Christmas day.. but that's what the make-up stores here are for right? :P

Blushers


In addition to our injured friend, I brought back 3 blushers. It was originally just NARS Orgasm as it's debatably my favourite blush of all time, but whilst in bed the night before my flight, I realised that I didn't pack my favourite winter blush, nor a peach blush for the warm weather. So in came NARS Sin and MAC Melba :)

Eyeshadows


I do love my eyeshadows in the winter, but I did resist as I tend not to go all out on make-up when I'm back home. But I couldn't resist bringing my UD Naked Palette, just to see if it's really "all the neutrals you'll ever need" as many people say! I also brought my NARS Taiga Eyeshadow Duo (AH did not see that chip at the bottom!), as I got a few compliments when I wore it in my recent video, and my MAC Paint Pot in Let's Skate, as it's a good quick no-brush everyday winter shade. My primer of choice was MAC Paint Pot in Soft Ochre because.. well, it's my favourite :)

Lips

Lining these up just sent me in a waft of vanilla, it was gorgeous.

First, I brought my three neutrals: Rimmel Nude Delight, MAC Faerie Glen and MAC Warm Me Up. The first is my peachy nude, the second is a pinky cool nude, and the third is a MLBB nude. Did I need both of the first two? I actually did! The Rimmel is for the summer weather, and Faerie Glen has been in slumber since last winter as it's my go-to winter nude, so it totally deserved an outing.

Second are my two pinks: MAC Creme Cup and MAC Please Me. Creme Cup has also been in slumber, as I'd look like a prozzie with it on my summer skin, and Please Me is a nice bright pink which goes well with my to-be tan.. hopefully.

Third is my latest addition to my lipstick collection: MAC Diva. It makes me feel like a diva, 'nuff said.

I also brought my favourite lipgloss, The Body Shop Love Gloss in 17. It's just an all around gloss that goes with anything or on its own, and it's on its last legs, so I'm hoping to add it to my other 2012 resolution - finishing a lipgloss!


What's Christmas without some choccies? These are the goodies I brought back for my mom and I's extensive desserts and tea session every night :P Can I just say, the M&S chocolate covered hazelnuts are AMAZING?!

Anyway, in addition to the make-up above I brought back brushes, three powders, three eyeliners (a gel, a pencil and a liquid), an eyebrow pencil, my two concealers and a bronzer. Not too bad? :S Err, may take a bit more practicing ;)

How are you at travel make-up? :)

<3yu

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20 December 2011

Japan Wishlist & Make Up Hunt

Hello from Tokyo - I'm back at my parents' house again for Christmas and New Year's! :) The trip back was a little bit hectic. Getting TO the airport was much easier living in London, but as my plane was delayed, I walked off one plane in Vienna, and literally walked on to another at the gate next door - so I had no break at all for 14 hours of flying time!

Now you can imagine how many make-up thoughts crossed my mind during those 14 hours, and I'm determined not to make the same mistake as last summer of buying Western make-up that I can get for cheaper in the UK over here! So I've put together a wishlist of my most wanted Japanese make-up :)

In my mind, Japanese make-up can be summed up in 3 phrases: natural face, glittery eyes, sheer juicy lips. With these in mind, and leaving the Western mentality behind, I've comprised.. well, too big of a wishlist really, making "wish" the key word, on my hunt for the best of Japanese make-up :) (I already have a favourite powder, but I'll post about that some other time ;))

The One & Only..



First on my list, as with any time I come back to Japan, is my Softymo Deep Cleansing Oil. My HG make-up remover since I was 16/17 - it's still the best of its kind, and like.. £4. (It's actually better than a Dior oil cleanser that I've sampled!) AND they do refills - eco warrior Yu like.

Foundations


I have no idea where to start with these! They all sounds so amazing - light to medium coverage, sheer natural finish, makes your skin look translucent and pore-less. It's like the skin that all Japanese people (except me lol) seem to have! I'm on a quest for one foundation that'll give me that skin, and the above are the ones I intend to choose from :)

Other Products
I have no need for any of these products.. and this is actually my condensed list! But the packaging is just SO lush, I can't help but just stare and drool.

The black cased lipgloss intrigues me greatly - it's actually a liquid lipstick. Coffret D'or also have ridiculously pretty packaging, but I think you can tell I'm going MAD over Lunasol products! The blusher you see in the corner actually has a matching bronzer and highlighter.. if only I was made of money.

I've always been told that KATE was good for eye products, but after having a nightmare with their famous eyeliner when I was like 15, I never went near them - but they have still maintained their reputation with eye products so I'm hoping to be proven wrong at a second attempt! They actually started the gel eyeliner years ago, so I'd definitely try that once my Clinique runs out!

And the one that got away..
I hate being sensible sometimes, I really do! I walked away from this beauty (Clarins Prodige Blush in Miami Pink) at Duty Free, as I was like: "It's not at the top of your wishlist, and you don't have £20 to spare." Well it's at the top now! I thought about it so much during the 14hr flight, I was so tempted to grab the man next to me, shake him and tell him of my misery.

I've been focussing on Kanebo (the mother brand) lines, as they appeal to me more than the others, so I'm excited to visit their counters soon, hopefully before I jet off to Australia on holiday! :)

Coffret D'or has an English site if you wanna check it out here, Lunasol has one here and KATE has one here :) Koh Gen Do is available from Sephora, and Clarins is available with free shipping from good ol' Debenhams ;) I couldn't tell you a reliable place to get the Kose Deep Cleansing Oil, but DHC has an equal in quality but more pricey alternative on their website here :) I also haven't mentioned them in this post as I'm trying out different brands, but one of my favourite Japanese drugstore brands is CANMAKE :)

Do you have any Japanese make-up favourites, or things you've seen that you want on people's blogs/YouTubes? :)

<3yu
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18 December 2011

US Make Up Swap with DazzleLikeGlitter!


This time last year, Mandy from DazzleLikeGlitter and I did a swap - and we did it again! :) It's such an exciting thing for us because we specifically send each other things from brands that we can't get in our own country - so last year, she sent me loads of stuff from Cover Girl, Hard Candy and NYX that you can check out here :) She's such a nice girl, and she ALWAYS chooses things that I end up loving so I'm always up for a swap with her!

So this year we kind of put in a few "requests" so to speak, as well as left some to each other's intuitions ;) So here is what she got me - I was spoilt rotten!




Left to Right..
- Milani Baked Blush in Rose d'Oro
- EOS Lipbalm in Strawberry Sorbet
- Hard Candy Fox in a Box in Spicy & Sweet
- Milani Liquif'eye Metallic Eyeliner Pencil in Black
- Wet n' Wild Eyeshadow Trio in Silent Treatment
- Hard Candy Nail Polish in Beetle

I tried a few things out after I filmed the video, and I absolutely ADORED them! Rose d'Oro is a dupe for MAC's Stereo Rose MSF, and I applied it at night so I couldn't really see the colour yet but it looked pretty from what I could see ;) The Milani Liquif'eye is undoubtedly THE best pencil eyeliner in the world, it literally does not budge off your waterline, it's mad! I also layered the Hard Candy Beetle on top of my new OPI Honk If You Love OPI, and it literally looks exactly like it does in the bottle, as multi-dimensional, chrome-y and sparkly - SO cool!

So thank you SO much Mandy for doing this swap with me - you got me some AMAZING things that I am so happy to have in my collection :) I cannot wait to try the rest and tell you guys about it! If you ever do swaps with people in the States I'd definitely recommend any of the things Mandy got me! ;)

You can check out what I got her from the UK in her video here! :)

Have you ever done a swap?
What's your favourite "foreign" make-up brand/product?

<3yu
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15 December 2011

Beauty Box: Feel Unique December 2011

I finally subscribed to a beauty box! :) The one I chose was the Feel Unique Beauty Box which retails at £9.95 a month. It's probably the cheapest one out there, and I'm not going to pretend that didn't sway me!  I also think they have been consistently savvy about their product picks too.


Anyway, before I babble on I did a bit of a "thoughts" video on this month's box so you guys can see what's in it and my first impressions on the box :)


Products Included..
Living Nature Skincare Routine Sachets
TIGI Bedhead Candy Fixations Sugar Dust
Nails Inc. Oxford Circus Nail Polish
Clarisonic Cleanser
Figs & Rouge Sweet Geranium 100% Organic Balm
Annick Goutal Mandragore EDT

So all in all, I really appreciated this box. I thought the products were well chosen, the brands are a mix of familiar and intriguing, the price is reasonable and I'd recommend this to anyone who is not sure which box to pick - this one definitely caters for a wider audience than the rest.

The only thing I'd say about this is that unlike the other box companies who really interact with their customers through Facebook and Twitter, I feel that Feel Unique is a bit distant. Now there's nothing saying that beauty boxes have to be personal, but it's something that would complete the Feel Unique Beauty Box experience, so to speak :)

Did you get Feel Unique's box this month? What did you think?
What's your favourite beauty box? :)

<3yu
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14 December 2011

Christmas with Clarins 2011: The Passion Collection

At the Clarin's event I told you guys about a while back, we were sent home with their Passion Make Up Collection, which is their limited edition holiday line. And as the holidays are fast approaching, I thought I'd give you my 2 cents on the line - potential gifts to others or to yourself of course ;)


Eye Quartet Mineral Palette in No7 Smokey Passion


Now I've been eyeing up the permanent shades of these eyeshadows for MONTHS now so you have no idea how excited I was when I heard that there was a new colour coming out - and that I was going to get to test it out!


This quad has a really strange combination of shades - a shimmery copper, a gel silver glitter, a dark cool shimmery taupe, and a black with shimmer. I only say these shades are strange because 1) the 2 mid-toned shades are at the opposite ends of the spectrum of cool and warm and 2) there's no highlight.

The gel glitter is more like something I'd pat on to a colour or put on my inner tear duct rather than something I'd use to highlight my brow bone, and in this sense I was a bit disappointed. However, I like that you can cover a warm or cool look with this one palette, which I think is quite handy if you are out or if you are on holiday where you will be out a lot, especially with the option of glitter! Yes, I did criticize it for being impractical, but it is much easier to use than loose glitter so for those inclined - this is good stuff.

While I feel the taupe is a bit too dark for everyday, the copper has flung me out my discomfort of copper shades - it is TRULY beautiful, and makes eyes pop like mad. I'm really surprised at myself, as this has been the shade that I've reached for the most out of everything in the collection! :)

Now I haven't tried these wet, but I find they work well with brushes, but for an extra boost of colours, the provided sponge-tip applicators are the best! And this is something you don't often hear from bloggers ;) The formula is so soft, blendable and lovely to work with - up there with MAC eyeshadows, no complaints at all!

Would I buy this for myself? At £30, I think I would pick the permanent shades just because I'd get more use out of them and I already know the formula is impeccable. But the Smokey Passion is definitely a great palette to have. If you are a party-goer and could do with a small palette just for that - look no further, this is it! :)

Passion Face Palette


I must have repulsed a bit when they told me they were giving us a pearly all over powder - I am scared of anything glittery all over the face, as the risk of looking like a disco ball is something I don't take my chances with. But in the name of blogging, I gave it a shot - and it's lovely.


As you can see, I'm much too impatient for photographs and give products a go as soon as I can - but the engraved areas were once sprayed with gold. Now THAT freaked me out, but I surprisingly appreciated the highlighting effects. But once that was gone, I wasn't quite sure.

There isn't any doubt that the powder is weightless, silky and gorgeous. I had a couple of weeks where my skin looked dull and lifeless, and a pop of this over the cheeks, forehead, chin and nose lifted everything up a bit. It just kind of adds a bit of light and is much more "all over" than a highlighter. Highlighters also tend to make parts protrude, whereas the minimal sheen of this powder illuminates more than anything!

That being said, I don't think the effects are £35 noticeable. I think I noticed only because I knew that was what it was meant to do, and sometimes I did feel that it was a bit pink for my liking, and wondered how it would pull on very pale people or very dark people.

You could probably guess that at £35, I would never have gotten this for myself. The effects just aren't noticeable enough, and as a person who rarely has dull skin, I don't think I could justify spending that! I think a better alternative would be to get a face powder with a slight sheen in a few shades lighter than your skintone, and personally, I'd prefer to go all out with a highlighter :)

However, I would recommend this for people who do struggle with dull skin or who are looking for a gift or a little Christmas treat with something a little bit special than other things on the market ;) It's definitely a luxury product - not a necessity, but lovely to have!

Rouge Prodige in No131 Passion Rose


Probably the most uncontroversial for me in this line, is the lipstick in Passion Rose. A very autumnal shade, it pulls a very warm rose shade with a slight shimmer. It's darker than my natural lip colour which always makes me go plain on the eyes (which is something I don't often do in the winter) so it's something I have to plan to use.

That being said, I LOVED the formula! It's really easy to wear and top up without a mirror because it's sheer, but pigmented enough to call a lipstick and make a difference to your look. It's also perfect for the weather because it's moisturizing, AND it smells good - Idk what it is, marzipan? Anyway, to me, they are very similar to the Dior Addict lippies in formula!

I think this is the most universally likeable out of the collection - the shade would suit everyone and may not already exist in a lot of people's collection. It's very mature and lady-like, and it would be handy for days where you just cannot be bothered but still want to look polished.

For £17 it's not cheap, and I would probably have gone for another shade that I would wear more often - but that only goes to show that the formula is absolutely lush! :) Definitely a better-packaged and more affordable version of the Dior Addict lippies!

L to R: Lipstick, Powder, Eyeshadow Quad.

If you needed to pick one for a gift here is what I would recommend:

* For someone that loves the luxury and is well into make up: Passion Face Palette

* For someone that loves to get ready for a night out: Eye Quartet Mineral Palette in Smokey Passion

* For anyone, but particularly someone that loves a natural look: Prodige Lipstick in Passion Rose

All in all, I think this is a unique collection with great pieces. May not be to everyone's taste, but I think all three products bring something to tackle the harshness of winter, or complement the darker shades associated with the season :)

You can probably tell that these aren't things that I would've bought myself, but having received these as a gift, I can tell you now that they are 100% appreciated and absolutely loved! So if you do decide to get these as a gift for someone, I'm sure they'd feel the same as I do. If you're looking for something practical for yourself, the formulas of the eyeshadow and lippies are great - but go for a shade you'll use, and don't be mesmerized by the fact it's limited edition. As for the powder, it's a luxury and a gift to you or anyone else - no question ;)

Have you tried any of the Clarins Passion line?
What's your favourite make-up from Clarins? :)

You can buy Clarins make up from Debenham's with free delivery and at the moment, 10% off :)

<3yu
*Received for consideration.
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13 December 2011

Honk If You Love OPI!

I'm sure all of you with other halves know the puzzled look on their faces when you mention things that go on in the beauty blogging world, like "hauls" or "Illamasqua" or "swatching", and my boyfriend's no different (he likes to entertain me by saying "MINERALIZED SKINFINISH!" :P). But I think it's super sweet when they support your blog like mine does, and this time he's given me something to post about! :D

He was off to Amsterdam with a bunch of work friends, and he knows that whenever I stop by Schipol Airport, I always get myself some OPI - so he said he was going to bring me one back and to choose one. What's the fun in that? I told him to pick one for me :P

OPI Honk If You Love OPI



OPI Honk If You Love OPI (I can't help but notice the symmetry there lol) is a gorgeous dark, almost black purple that has a very strong red undertone - like a really dark magenta, and it is SUCH a classy winter shade. It's a cream finish so there's no shimmer, but as with any OPI, the glossy finish adds some oomph to the colour. The colour's a bit more feminine than a black, and you can really see the magenta-y shade when the light hits your nails. And it goes amazingly with glitter top coats!

As usual the formula is flawless - pigmented, fast-drying, glossy, easy to apply brush. It will take a lot for a brand to knock OPI off my favourite nailpolish spot! :) I think the name is very apt for me as well ;)

I also felt like I wanted to give Ben, and other other halves, a bit of credit here on the blog cuz he does trudge around department stores with me, deals with my tweeting obsession and listens to me babble on about MINERALIZED SKINFINISHES! but he's so very supportive of my blog and I'm sure many other halves are. It's easy to forget how slow it can be to listen through things you have no idea about, so I think they all deserve a pat on the back, a great big hug, and a blog post once in a while! ;)

You can buy OPI from ASOS with Free Delivery and with 10% off if you have an NUS Extra card :)

Do you have this OPI shade?
What's the funniest thing your other half/friends have said about blogging? :P

<3yu

P.S. I may be a bit MIA in the next week or so as I have a deadline coming up and I'm spending a lot of time with Ben and Christmas shopping as I am back home in Japan on Sunday! Will still be checking Twitter and my email though ;)
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6 December 2011

Mini MAC Haul + A Thank You :)

We've all had the MAC Attack right? We've been there or you're going through it now - it's a REALLY fun time. Mine wasn't as costly as it could have been, but I remember it as a really exciting time and while the hype has died down quite a bit inside me, they are still the first brand I approach for eyeshadow and lipsticks.. I had a mini-MAC Attack last Wednesday, and I'm really excited about the fact that I did so I thought I'd film it! Enjoy :)


I didn't get a chance to put it in this video, as this was pre-recorded but I just want to take the time to say thank you to Vivianna Does Make Up for mentioning me in her Favourite YouTubers video - not only have I had a constant wave of subscribers since then, it means a lot for the girl that made me want to start to blog to say she loves my YouTube! I'm so flabbergasted (and a lot more conscious about what I look like and say lol!)! Did I mention my first ever MAC lippy was one I bought off her blog sale? Little trivia there :P So thanks Anna! :)

And here are the swatches! :)


L to R:
- MAC Diva Lipstick (Matte)
- MAC Fig 1. Eyeshadow (Matte2)
- MAC Sable Eyeshadow (Frost)
- Urban Decay Toasted Eyeshadow


Here is the look I'm wearing in the video :) I've got Sable all over the lid, with a wash of Woodwinked from MAC and a UD Half Baked dotted on the inside. The outer crease is Fig 1.. *swoon*. And the liner is Creep from the UD Naked Palette :)

What was your MAC Attack like?
What is your most recent purchase? :)

MAC can be bought online at Debenham's for 15% off & free shipping :)

<3yu
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5 December 2011

NOTD: Cheap As Chips Taupe

I have an unhealthy obsession with taupe - especially when it comes to eyeshadows, dresses, and especially nail polishes. The variety of taupes I have in my collection is slightly appalling! Yet I've added a new one to my collection a couple of weeks ago, for a grand total of £0.99 from H&M - and I think it's actually one of my favourite taupes!



And it's excellent quality! It has a nice gloss to it, the brush is round but has enough give to become flat when painting, it dries relatively fast, it stays on for a lot longer than the likes of Rimmel Lasting Finish or Lycra Pro, and you really only need 2 layers to get that opacity. As you can see, it's not a huge bottle - but that means you're more likely to use it up before it get gloopy :) Did I mention the colour is the prettiest milky taupe?


I also found that having a gold glitter polish is a great thing - it helps to bling up and kind of liven up a gorgeous cream shade :)



Have you tried any of the H&M polishes? :)
Who's as much of a taupe feind as I am?!

<3yu
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4 December 2011

November Empties!

If you guys remember, earlier this year on January 1st, I embarked on a Project Pan. My obsession with finishing products, although without very much success, is still very much on! I absolutely adore the feeling - it's like crossing the finish line (as if I ever race lol), and it's fun whether you loved or hated a product! So as a self-motivation and a mini-review for you guys, I decided to continue my monthly empties post - but this time in a video :) Enjoy!


Are you guys fast finishers?
Or are you as slow as I am? ;P

<3yu
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3 December 2011

My Fall/Winter Blush Picks

Last week I asked people on Twitter if they had any requests or suggestions for upcoming posts/videos that I could pop in my new blog notebook, and the one I'm taking up today is one I got from Kelly at A Blog of Vain Pleasures who suggested a post on my favourite fall blushes - but I struggle to distinguish between fall and winter when it comes to make-up so I decided to just merge them! So here they are :)

Top Left Clockwise:

* MAC Blush in Buff (Matte)
This is one I haven't really talked about a lot, but have used on several occasions and all for the same reason - its subtlety. In the autumn and winter time, I always tend to go a bit heavier on the eyes, or heavier on the lips, so something really subtle and not too showy is perfect - like a matte brown/pinky peach :)

Do I really need to say more? :P It's the perfect natural pink on the cheeks, which is a step up from Buff in terms of subtlety. Yes it does have shimmer, but when you still want to add some colour to your face, say if you also have a nude lip, this is perfect!

This is a great fall/winter blush, not only because of the nature of it being such a unique mauvey shade, but also because it doubles as a contour. Sometimes bronzers/contour can feel a bit out of place in the winter so this is a great 2-in-1, as well as being such an essential colour to have for this season ;) I also assume that I don't need to reiterate my love for NARS blush formulas ;P

Left to Right: NARS Sin, MAC Buff, Benefit Bella Bamba.

Some runners up would definitely be MAC Melba or Benefit Coralista - something peachy to add some warmth if you are wearing lots of cool tones, but subtle enough again to not take away from accent lips or eyes.

I think missing from my collection is a super light baby pink! I do have Well Dressed but it tends to pull redder and darker on me, so I'm hoping to maybe go for Illamasqua Katie or the MAC Azalea Blossom Ombre blush which they are releasing in a collection in January - step aside ladies, if I don't get my hands on this, I will be very grumpy! Jk ;) Not really.

What are you favourite fall/winter blushes? :)

The products are linked to places you can buy these - both Debenham's and ASOS have a free delivery option, and the former has 10% off atm! :)

<3yu
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2 December 2011

Event: Clarins

Clarins is one of those brands that I feel aren't talked about enough, even amongst us who prefer high end brands. I've approached them so many times over the last year, for lipgloss, eyeshadow, foundation and cleanser out of pure curiousity, but I never know what they're really about. So when Anna invited me to be her plus one for the Clarin's blogger event, I was more than happy to join her!

Now I haven't even been to that many events (i.e. I've been to 1), but I felt it was such an informative event! It was hosted in their head offices in Cavendish Place - needless to say, our jaws kind of dropped when we rang the bell and the heavy wooden door slowly opened automatically.. FANCY! (I didn't tell Anna this but my inner Sherlock Holmes fan girl was squealing as this is where Dr. Watson moves out of Baker Street to :P)


There was a lot of swatching going on, but that's a given at a beauty event. I think the thing that set it apart was how engaging the hosts were. Not only did they entertain us with Jini's Michael Buble stalking expeditions, but she told us so much about all the products we were oo-ing and ah-ing over. It was kind of like, "Ooo what's that?" "How about this?" "And this?!" and they'd be like a little encyclopedia for us! :P The most interesting things I found out were..

1) Clarins' make up is also skincare. They will always have incorporated some sort of their skincare technology into the make-up products.

2) They are all about natural finishes - even the hottest pink lipstick is sheer and wearable.

3) The products centre around plants and their natural power (however they never seem to explicitly claim their ingredients are all natural - so a bit confusing/misleading with all the plant pictures - that's marketing for you I guess! :P However, I've found out they never test on animals! :))

4) They have a fragrance section, of which Thierry Mugler and Swarovski is under! As a Mugler noob, it was so interesting to hear about how revolutionary he actually was! He was the first one to dye the liquid, and he doesn't use a single floral tone?!

Thierry Mugler atm has several limited edition EDPs of Alien, Angel and Womanity. One of the sets is Taste of Fragrance, where he's added a food to the original formula! Swarovski also has limited editions of their Aura perfume, including one with a refillable bottle (which will be good for all you faithful Aura lovers - eco warrior mode!) and a whopping jeweled shell-like bottle with concentrated Aura sold for £950 - caj ("casual".. in case that wasn't clear :P).

The event was arranged in such a great way and in an appropriate sized space for the amount of people there. There were 2 full stands of Clarin's make-up, a wall of Thierry perfumes and an empty space in the middle for us to congregate in, which was nice so we could have a chat with each other and with the staff.



One of my favourite things at the event was the individual consultations we all got with their head of treatment, Marie. She walked us through this Skin Care Planner pamphlet and told us what products would suit us, what the product does and how often we should use them and how. I really appreciated this because it was so individually tailored, relaxed and really informative as to how your skin technically behaves.


All their displays were brand spankin' new and I couldn't help but feel guilty swatching everything and making a right mess! But after all the trying and testing, swatching and speculating I've come up with a list of favourites/potential purchases..

Skincare:
*Gentle Foaming Cleanser for Oily/Combo Skin
*Lotus Face Treatment Oil
*Water Comfort One-Step Cleanser with Peach
*Gentle Exfoliator Brightening Toner
*Body Treatment Oil "Relax"

Make-Up:
*Everlasting Compact Foundation
*Blush Prodige Illuminating Cheek Colour

Perfume:
*Thierry Mugler Alien Taste of Fragrance EDP


We were absolutely spoilt rotten with goodies, which they took the time to customize for us - and I must say they did an amazing job! I'll be sure to be posting about my favourites soon! :)

Usually the sheer amount of product, and simple labels being too simple and not too descriptive, and the French being well.. French to me (har har), I never knew what anything was, or how they were organized. But seeing it in a pamphlet and having them talk us through it was really helpful and it really organized the brand out in my head. If they had something like the pamphlet on the counters, I think it'd be loads more approachable, cuz looking at the range, it's clear they've thought through every potential skin problem incredibly thoroughly! :)

So thank you to Anna for inviting me, and the Clarin's team for having me - I had such a great evening, and it was such a good opportunity to learn more about the brand!

Have you tried anything from Clarins before?
What are your favourites? :)

<3yu
*PR Event
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30 November 2011

November Favourites!

I cannot believe November is over - that was SO fast! It's surprising how 2011 has gone by in a blink of an eye though, and I almost feel like monthly favourites are to blame cuz I look forward to the end of the month so much :P NAUGHTY!

Anyway, have put together a video of my favourites as usual ;) Hope you guys like it!


I know November JUST ended, but I've been internally celebrating since the 5th of November fireworks finished.. Evidence:


Gingerbread Man Christmas Ornament from Harrod's - £4.95
Biscuiteers Reindeer Biscuit - was a gift ;)
Christmas Pudding Mug from Sainsbury's - £3.95-ish

Honestly though, I really enjoyed November. I saw my friends from high school, my boyfriend's parents' and sister came to visit us, we went to see his aunt in Kent, I met up with Emma and Anna, I went to several events, I met some academically significant people that I wont name because I'll just look ridiculously lame and nerdy, I rode on the London Ghost Bus Tour (?!) anddddd I got to experience an internship interview!

 How was your November?
Any beauty faves? :)

See you in December!

<3yu
*ELF Studio Eyebrow Kit received for consideration.
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28 November 2011

The Make Up Wipes of All Make Up Wipes?

About a year ago I wrote about the worst make-up wipes I've ever tried - the Superdrug cucumber wipes. But I'm guessing I'm not alone in saying I've tried about 10 different kinds of make-up wipes and I'm always up for new brands, and it genuinely depends on my financial state or which is the nearest pack when I'm in store and realise I need more.

As dramatic as it sounds, I didn't really think make-up wipes could be perfect until I tried these - you never instinctively think about the different aspects of the wipes, as long as it takes your make-up off at the end of the day. But as the year's gone on, I'm now pleased to say I've found the other end of the spectrum! I can now write about the BEST make-up wipes ever:

E.L.F Studio Make-up Remover Cleansing Cloths


Like I said earlier, you never think about the different aspects of make-up wipes until you realise they ALL hit the nail on the head like this one does! It's seriously the right moistness without being too wet, the cloth is so soft and never scratchy or have clumped up bits, and the packaging is so sleek and very effective because the lid is so easy to shut and open the lids. There's no faffing with stickers that lose their sticky-power, and the next sheet never awkwardly sticks out when you've pulled out the one at the top.

So what about what it's actually meant to do? I can say that these wipes remove 98% of my make up on the first go. I could never see make-up left on my Liz Earle muslin cloth, and the wipes are soft enough to lightly rub on eyelashes to get mascara out (granted I used non-waterproof mascaras!), AND the eyeliner in between eyelashes - actually insane! :P

In fact, sometimes when I used these, I actually forgot to use face wash because it felt so clean and nourished, and there is no residue whatsoever - no shine, no greasyness or wetness! This is obviously very handy on the drunken/late nights ;)

I think the only issue with this product is the same issue with the rest of ELF's products for us in the UK - you can only get it online. The product itself at 20 wipes for £3.50 isn't the cheapest of make-up wipes, and if we don't want anything else from the ELF site, you're looking at paying about £3 for shipping - they're great make-up wipes, but not £7 great! So really the best way to go about it is to stock-up when there's a free shipping offer (usually a minimum spend of £10), or if you're already shopping about on their site :)

Wow I never thought I could write so much about make-up wipes! :P

Which make-up wipes have you found yourself going back to?
Or are you a make-up wipe hopper? :P

You can get these from the Eyes Lips Face Cosmetics website for £3.50 :)

<3yu
*Received for consideration.
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26 November 2011

November Haul & Glossybox :)

It's closing towards the end of the month, and I thought I'd do a little collective haul series each month to show you guys what I've gotten! :) Being a person that shops bits and bobs, I hardly ever do big hauls so hopefully this will fill the gap ;) That being said, I'm also a forgetful person, so I may have forgotten bits.. next month I will keep an exhaustive list if you guys like this series!

This month I've decided to include my Glossybox* in (whether I'll do this next month Idk! - let me know what you think), because it's a monthly thing and I thought it fit in well for now. But I do want to clarify that this section isn't REALLY a haul, cuz the team are lovely enough to have sent me the box for consideration - so thank you to the Glossybox team!

Anyway, enough jibber jabber - here's my haul! :)


Geez, and I honestly felt restrained this month! I thought I'd wait til the end to tell you - I was actually on a self-inflicted 3 make-up product ban! :P How much of a fail was THAT?! Oh well, another attempt starts in 4 days..

Were you naughty or restrained this month?
Anything topping the wishlist for December?! :)

<3yu
*Received for consideration
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25 November 2011

Review: Multiple Uses of Lumiere Eyeshadows

Loose powder and I are not often friends, and they are probably the one thing I steer clear from when I'm in a store, but when Lumiere Cosmetics were looking for people to sample their goodies, I thought - why not?

They were kind enough to tailor what they sent me to what I wanted, and I ended up with 3 eyeshadows, 2 foundations and 3 blusher/bronzers. My favourite of the lot are the eyeshadows - they are absolutely gorgeous! You can see the three and a blusher below..

Top Left Clockwise: Vanilla Bean Eye Pigment, Bon Bon Eye Pigment, Adobe Sunset Blush, Cappuccino Eye Pigment.


I was so impressed at how blendable and soft the eyeshadows look compared to pressed ones. In this particular look, I love how seamlessly Bon Bon melts into the light mocha Cappuccino shade. In real life, the contrast is much stronger (as you can probably see in the product pictures above), but it somehow still manages to look so soft, which I think would be difficult with pressed eyeshadows!

These were so easy to work with, pigmented and finely-milled and uncrumbly. The powder picked up easily, and there was no fall out once you tapped your brush a few times into the lid. Even after initially placing the powder, it was still blendable so you can blend it out into a shape you want :) The two shades also blended together nicely and created a natural, soft gradiation!


Now the blusher and foundation were the things I couldn't warm to. No matter how hard I tried, I couldn't get the majority of the colour to move from where I first lay it. So after I was done blending, I would still have one area darker than the others because that was where my brush touched first. However, I will persevere! If anyone has any tips, please do let me know! :)

On the topic of face products, however, I did a bit of experimenting! If you notice the glow that I've got going on, you'll be surprised that I had a fairly matte foundation on, but decided to experiment with the stark matte white Vanilla Bean eyeshadow as a highlight, after the soft glow it created on my brow bone. It manages to turn out relatively translucent and so just slightly lightens what is underneath it, therefore creating the most natural highlight! Definitely a great alternative to your typical shimmery highlights!

Personally, I think loose eyeshadows are still a bit messy and time consuming for everyday, but they're not something I'll never use! Lumiere Cosmetic's eyeshadows are amazing to work with and very multitasking, especially to people like me who haven't yet completely warmed to mineral products. On the website, you have a choice of buying the smaller pots like the ones I have, which I think is great because you don't waste money or product :)

Their colour and finish selection is incredibly wide, and they are incredibly affordable at $2.50 for 1g, and I think I'd definitely go back to them over the Barry M Dazzle Dusts! Obviously the only problem is that you will have to rely on swatches, but the photos are really representative of the actual product (wish MAC would take a leaf out of their books!) So if you are struggling with loose eyeshadows and want to know a product that could start you off, I'd definitely recommend Lumiere Cosmetics!

Have you tried their products before? :)
What are your faves?

<3yu
*Reeived for consideration.
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23 November 2011

My Winter Scent of Choice :)

In general, I'm a very fresh-scented kind of person - my favourite scent being Gucci's Envy Me. However, with the winter, I wanted something less fresh but sweeter and heavier, and I pulled out a perfume I'd got in May as a birthday gift from my boyfriend's parents - I'd loved it but I didn't feel it was quite right for the warm weather. Now, I've been wearing it every single day religiously, and without any diminishing love for it!

Paco Rabanne Lady Million


Top Notes:
Neroli, bitter orange, raspberry.

Middle Notes:
Orange flower absolute, arabian jasmine absolute.

Base Notes:
Honey, patchouli.


First of all, the packaging is to die for. It is a lot bigger than it has to be, but the 30mL bottle is small enough to fit in your fist, and pulling it out of my bag is definitely one of the delights of this little gem! It's such a bold yet classy look - I love it! My only concern (here comes to eco-warrior) - what a waste once it's done! :(

The scent is one that is very heavy, but not sickly sweet, musky nor spicey - it's just a really heavy fruity scent. I think it's one of those scents that few people would find offensive or unlikeable, because as a person who generally likes fresh scents, this is still a do-able winter smell.

Aside from the scent, my favourite part about this perfume is that it literally lasts throughout the day. I do carry it just in case, but the most I've sprayed on is twice in one day. I imagine it's one that you don't notice yourself too much! Sometimes when I'm getting cozy warm, I can catch a whiff of it wafting from my neck and scarf area :)

It's definitely one worth a sniff, especially for those like me who are quite new to perfumes, not sure what you quite like, what's appropriate etc., etc., Personally, this is undoubtedly my winter HG perfume, and it has joined the ranks of "perfumes I always want a bottle of" with my Gucci Envy Me :)

At the moment you can get this from Debenham's with 20% off and free shipping with the code SHBC :)

Have you tried this perfume?
What's your HG winter scent?

<3yu

P.S. I hope you guys liked Roseanne visiting my blog yesterday! If you haven't seen her lovely winter tutorial on my blog yet, check it out here!
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22 November 2011

Blog Visitor: Roseannetangrs!

Golden Gleam Fall Make-Up Tutorial By:
Roseannetangrs  


Hello Yu’s Readers! 

Yu and I have decided to do our first beauty blog collaboration together! We decided that since I’m currently in Australia and it’s approaching summer and since Yu is in London and it’s approaching winter, we decided that I would do a fall/winter make-up tutorial for you and Yu would do a beautiful bronze look for Summer on my blog! My name is Roseanne and you can check out my hood at http://www.roseannetangrs.com :D 
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Whenever I think of fall and winter, I automatically think of pumpkin pies, beautiful fall leaves in a pile of red, golds and yellows. The beautiful colors of fall inspired me to do this look, which is great for everyday or those awesome Thanksgiving parties you’ll be having. Here we go! I’m also going to be using primarily the Urban Decay Naked Palette so if you’re looking for a tutorial on how to use this, look no further!  


Step 1: Start Bare. I put it my contacts in just to mimic the leaves of the fall. I already have my foundation routine down pat.Your browser may not support display of this image.


Step 2: Apply your eye-primer. I’m using the Face of Australia Eye Primer in Matte although the UDPP would do great! Your browser may not support display of this image.


Step 3: Gather a frosty cranberry on your brush  - or the shade in “Toasted” from the Urban Decay Naked Palette. Your browser may not support display of this image.

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Step 4: Apply this frosty cranberry all over the lid 


Step 5: Using a fluffy brush like the MAC 217, take a matte brown or  “buck” on the brush Your browser may not support display of this image.

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Step 6: Blend this matte color into your crease 

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Step 7: Using a pinpoint brush, take a metallic gold or “half-baked” onto the brush 
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Step 8: Apply the gold to the inner corners of your eyes 


Step 9: Using a pencil brush, take a dark plum or “Hustle”



Apply this shade to the outer cornersYour browser may not support display of this image.


Step 10: With a pencil liner, line your waterline and tight line Your browser may not support display of this image.

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Step 11: Get your favorite liquid liner ready – I’m using the Benefit Magic Ink Liner


Step 12: Line your lid line! 
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Don’t forget to add a little shadow to your waterline – take the dark plum with a pencil brush and go over and set your waterline liner


Step 13: With your fingertips, get a bit of shimmering cream color like “Virgin”…


And apply this shade to your brow bone!



Step 14: Blend away with a fluffy blending brush!Your browser may not support display of this image.


Step 15: Define your brows

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And add your mascara and false lashes! I love the Ardell Natural lashes in 110!



Don’t forget your blush! I’m using Illamasqua in Ambition!  Your browser may not support display of this image.


and a berry lipstick like  Benefit Raisin’ Cane! Your browser may not support display of this image.


And you are finished!


I hope you liked this tutorial! It was so fun doing a collaboration with Yu!



Much Love,
Roseanne.

Roseanne Tang is the woman behind 
www.roseannetangrs.com - one of Singapore's top beauty blogs aiming to empower the everyday woman. Join her for idiot-proof beauty tutorials, giveaways, reviews and inspirational tips on her blog, facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/roseannetangrs) and Twitter (http://www.twitter.com/roseannetangrs)!Your browser may not support display of this image.




How talented and gorgeous is she?! Hope you guys enjoyed Roseanne's visit to Let's MakeYuUp! :) If you wanna check out Roseanne's blog, and the summer look I did for her readers - click here!Your browser may not support display of this image.



<3yu
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