Wednesday, July 1, 2015

June Favourites

If last month was anything to go by (echoing sentiments in my June 2014 Favourites), the middle of the year seems to be when I start becoming intensely more interested in clothing than makeup. I've blown my #treatyoself budget many times over on recent wardrobe additions, no thanks to relentless mid-year sales, re-obsessing over Gorman (what is it about that brand that makes me want everything?) and my inability to walk away from pale, lilacy-pink things. Still, there were some makeup and skin care favourites amid all the crazed clothing stalking and shopping. A few tried and tested products I dredged up, inexpensive new items I've been putting to good use, and an expensive (but worth it) perfume love.

Caudalie Divine Oil + water in spray bottle
I call this my DIY glowy finishing mist. This isn't the first time I've featured this lil invention of mine on the blog, but something inspired me to revisit it in June. Probably because I was regretting omitting the Tony Moly Luminous Goddess Aura Makeup Mist from my Korean makeup/skin care haul, so I had to make do with my own creation. I take my Daiso spray bottle, fill it up with tap water that's been boiled and cooled down (staple in any Asian household), then spritz some Caudalie Divine Oil into the water. It's a bit of trial and error how much Divine Oil I need to put in, but at least 7-8 sprays. Enough so that when I mist my face (shaking the bottle to combine the oil and water before each use), there is a distinct but subtle dewiness coming through. I honestly think the effect is very similar to something like Caudalie Beauty Elixir or MAC Fix+, though I haven't tried the latter personally. It's not going to set my makeup and make it last longer, but it brings some life back into my face if my makeup's looking a little heavy and cakey or over-powdered. Works great on bare skin as well for a pick me up and injection of radiance.

Rimmel Glam'Eyes Day 2 Night Mascara
Finally cracked open this mascara after it was sitting in my makeup drawer for an age. Surprisingly, it hadn't completely dried out. The opposite — the wand is loaded with product. This could be problematic if the brush didn't work as well as it does. It loads the mascara on so there's instant definition and volume, but then combs through the lashes to get rid of clumps and separate the lashes. This is one of those newfangled mascaras with dual functionality thanks to a "2-in-1 magic cap", where you have the choice of your mascara wand coming out of the "Volume" or "Length" section. I've photographed the "Volume" mascara — the "Length" one basically has a more defined, separated wand with much less mascara gloop on it. I'm not a fan of the "Length" (mainly because it seems devoid of product), but "Volume" is a winner. The only slight negative is that if you're thinking of multiple coats, do it while it's still wet. It will flake onto your face if you try another coat after the first has dried.

Narciso Rodriguez Narciso EDP
I caved and bought this after wanting it for half a year (interestingly, or perhaps not interestingly at all, the only other item on that wishlist I've bought is the Zoeva rose gold brush set). In my defence, the 50ml bottle was on sale in a set with a 75ml body lotion for $82.60. Not the bargain of the century, but acceptable considering the 50ml bottle on its own is $118. Despite my bloated perfume collection, I honestly don't have anything like Narciso. It's perfect for this time of year; the cold air, rugging up in knits, trying to keep cosy and warm. It smells rich, intoxicating, evocative of skin, musk, cleanness. Radiant and refined. It's woodsy, soapy, powdery, floral. Top notes of gardenia and rose, heart of musk, base notes of vetiver, black cedar and white cedar. I get why it might not be everyone's cup of tea, but I find myself increasingly drawn to powdery, soapy perfumes despite their potential granny factor. I had to even scour the internet to find a backup bottle of my beloved but tragically discontinued ChloƩ Love, ChloƩ. In the end, I paid a pretty penny to have one delivered to me, though the transaction wasn't entirely above board. (That's a totally different story, suffice it to say sells perfumes with the serial number etched off and then insists it's standard industry practice to prevent fraud.)

Simple Cleansing Facial Wipes
Yes, I know. Shudder. Caroline Hirons and Sali Hughes would be horrified I'm including makeup wipes here, not that either know of my existence. But I can't help it, I've been using these wipes to remove my makeup when I get home from work, and they've probably knocked off Swisspers Cucumber Facial Cleansing Wipes as the best wipes I've used. I like that they're decently wet so it's not like you're scrubbing your face with a paper towel. Vitally, they don't sting or irritate my skin, despite some vigorous, repeated rubbing. They also get everything bar eye makeup off (still need Bioderma for that). I know, because when I start on the Bioderma for my eyes and then use the other side of the cotton pad for my face, not much comes off. I still follow up with a cleansing milk (trying out the Innoxa one that I scored from the Priceline skin care bag, not hating it, but definitely not loving it), and the end result is refreshed, clean-feeling, balanced skin.

Benefit Creaseless Cream Shadow/Liner in Busy Signal + Ecotools Bamboo Angled Eyeliner Brush
Back to this old faithful and not entirely sure why I stopped. Busy Signal is truly one of the best makeup purchases I've made. It's been years and it shows zero signs of drying out, unlike pretty much every other cream shadow I have. It hasn't even slightly shrunk around the edges or changed texture in any way. It's still soft, smooth, emollient and ultra pigmented. The colour is complex and beautiful, it lasts all day and doesn't budge. I've used it consistently over the years and the surface is only mildly scratched. Not sure if I'll finish it in the next decade. If that isn't value, I'm not eating chocolate every day like it's good for me. I've been reaching for the Ecotools eyeliner brush to apply Busy Signal to my lower lash line every single day. Lately, I've also been playing around with a slightly longer, subtly flicked up shape for my liner using my Dolly Wink Liquid Eyeliner, and the precision of the Angled Eyeliner Brush is ideal for joining the lower lash line to the upper for an overall larger, more extended eye.

Rosebud Perfume Co. Rosebud Salve
I've actually had this lip balm since my trip to New York in late 2012, but only opened it recently. It's brought welcome relief to dry, chapped lips during winter. It's powerfully perfumed which I don't mind, though I can see why it would be off-putting to some. While it's basically fancy Vaseline, it does feel soothing and relieving on the lips, and I like that it imparts a fresh, easygoing shine to my naturally pigmented lips which makes it look like I'm wearing a tinted gloss.

And now ... I don't ever do this, but I simply had to include one non-beauty favourite. Because the joy it's brought me at least deserves a mention on this blog.

Gorman Pom Pom Pom Scarf in Grey
Words can't capture my love for this scarf. It is my dream. Because BALLZ. Look at those colourful spheres of fluff and tell me perfection doesn't exist. Whoever said money can't buy happiness hasn't bought this scarf. And I'd understand, since it was damn hard to acquire. Not to mention the kind of expensive that can only be justified in a crazed state. Bank balance says I'm poorer, heart says I am oh so richer.


  1. I absolutely love the Narciso Rodriguez fragrances. I had the Narciso Rodriguez For Her & couldn't get enough of it. They do have a very distinct scent that makes them stand out from the rest.

    Best wishes,

  2. That Scarf is sooooo cuteeee ;__;
    Hide the Wipes, Hide the wipes :P ( I'm kidding obviously!)
    That cream shadow looks really nice! I've been working on being able to do a decent eyeliner - both with pen and gel liner during this months. I'll blame it on kpop stars who always look amazing with eyeliner.
    And your DIY looks really nice :o I mean, the caudalie elixir is so expensive....same goes to the MAC Fix+. Although personally I tend to just use my UD De-Slick setting spray ( which is okay, but won't repurchase since Korean Beauty has better and cheaper setting sprays)

    I haven't done a favourites post...mostly because I've been rotation things and I haven't made my mind about what a true favourite and what's not. But at least I finally wrote the Blush Tag! :3
    Take care*

  3. The Simple wipes are my favorite as well! I don't think they beat the feeling of having a freshly washed face, but I still use them all the time.

  4. The scarf is so pretty! It looks very comfy and I can understand why your heart is richer :P, LOL.
    I see the simple wipes everywhere, I think I need to give it a go..

  5. I love Narciso Rodriguez too, I don't own any full sized fragrances though, just a few samples. The Caudalie oil is aptly named because it is divine! I like using a tiny bit in my hair if it's too pouffy after being blow-dried. One of my favourite go-to easy eye shadows is the Benefit creaseless cream shadow in Flatter Me (but that doesn't seem to be available anymore! Boo).

  6. I started using the Simple wipes again and it's probably the best drugstore makeup wipe out there at the moment.

  7. Ooh that Rimmel mascara reminds me of a MAC one I had years ago! Ahh memories! Your scarf is also the best I've ever seen! xx

  8. That scarf is happiness. The mascara looks curious. Are they two separate wands, or does the same wand undergo some process for one of the steps? All of my cream eyeshadows have dried up now- I remember when you got Busy Signal so that is a real feat! I'm thinking of trying the MaxFactor Excess Shimmer cream shadow in Bronze but I think it might be so dark that it requires a heck of a lot of blending to be passable!
    You've cast some doubt over the Innoxa cleanser. I'll see how they go when I crack them open!

    1. To be honest I can't actually tell for sure, lol! It looks like they're two separate wands though. Not sure how that works out, but I guess that's why I don't design stuff :p I tried one of those Max Factor ones ... not the bronze one but the other one that's popular that looks kind of taupey with pink shimmer. It was very frosty in some light and super pretty in others. But it was the silveriness/frostiness and lightness in general that put me off. I think Bronze is similar to Busy Signal but Busy Signal is more opaque and less shimmery.

  9. So many amazing things Lena ! You make me wanna try the Benefit creaseless shadow so bad, its so good to know that it hasn't dried up. My Maybelline tattoo is in bad shape. The scarf is super cute !!

  10. I am obsessed with that Eco Tools brush as well! It's so thin, it's perfect for precise lines. x

  11. That's a really smart way of using the Caudalie oil! I love a bit of glow on my winter skin as well because I tend to look duller or just about dead once winter comes along. I've been using Dr Jart's Most Moist Water Act Skin Mist which is great for giving the skin a dewy finish. My skin actually feels softer after a few sprays and I actually prefer it to the Avene mist.

    1. Woah that's high praise for the Dr Jart indeed! May have to check it out :)

  12. I love Smith's Rosebud salve, too! The original is still the best but I also really like Minted Rose. I've thought about upgrading to Dior or By Terry, but these work so well for me that I can't bring myself to spend so much on lip balm.
    And I'm interested in trying Narciso. I love the EDT of original (Narciso Rodriguez for her) and wonder how this one compares.

    1. I've thought about upgrading to By Terry as well, but there's just something within that's stopping me from forking out $60+ for a lip balm, lol.

      I did recently buy the strawberry scented version in a tube - I wonder how it compares to the rose and the minted rose variations. Hopefully I won't be disappointed!

      I have the EDP of For Her, though I actually prefer the EDT. They're too similar to me to justify having both (the EDP was a present years ago). Narciso is similar to For Her in some aspects, and entirely different in others. It's more soapy and floral I guess, not as "sexy"/musky/dirty as For Her.

  13. I lol'd when u mentioned the scarf! It's super adorable haha, I can see why there is so much happiness in there! I've always been a bit skeptical on Rimmel mascaras - but since you mentioned it as a favourite I'll be sure to look into it. Also, your DIY oil sounds pretty amazing! :)

  14. Oh my that scarf is really cute :D
    I feel like I'm one of the few that haven't tried Simple face wipes yet! Maybe I'll try them out when I run out of face wipes..

    Ling | The Cosmetic Critic

  15. Great favorites!!!!

  16. Firstly that scarf is adorable!

    I haven't tried any of your favourites, aside from the makeup wipes! I've just added a bunch of things to my wishlist though! xx

    Sweetaholic Beauty

  17. That scarf screams happiness, I agree! Love the idea of a DIY mist - I have a can of water I want to use up but now that it's cold I'm avoiding it, ha!

  18. Heard of the grey market?
    What about parallel importing?
    Where do you think discontinued products go? Or how business like Target, Priceline or Chemist warehouse can offer the prices they do......Without the grey market and parallel importing we'd all be paying ​DJ & Myer prices for all perfumes or designer makeup product. Not to mention have a much smaller range available in Australia. What you experienced with Chloe Love code scratched is common ​for authentic perfumes ​and has been reported online since before 2004 - heaps of examples in various forums ​here is just a couple.........!


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