Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Holiday Beauty Haul

If you follow me on Instagram, you may have seen I recently spent 2 weeks in Singapore and Malaysia. I've become a lot more measured with holiday beauty purchases (compared with previous years), especially if the products overseas are barely any cheaper than where I live. However, it's not a vacation without splashing some cash in Sephora, so I still allowed myself a few new additions. The most expensive item I bought (and what I'm most excited about) was actually a set of 5 diptyque 7.5ml EDT travel sprays, but I didn't photograph them for this post.



Yay: compact flashes purple. Nay: scratch on the lettering already.





Fenty Beauty had just launched when my holiday started, so naturally I had to get something from the range. I was able to get a good look and feel of pretty much all the products, and quickly decided that if I allowed myself just one thing, it would have to be one of the standout highlighters. I deliberated over the shade choice, but in the end opted for Girl Next Door/Chic Phreak. The duo wasn't too light on my skin and I have a preference for pink-based highlighters as opposed to conventional champagne/gold. Trophy Wife was way too yellow gold and outright glittery, and the others except for Ginger Binge/Moscow Mule looked really pale against my skin. I also was drawn to the Match Stix Shimmer Skinstick in Confetti, but I'd probably never wear it and I feel like I could get something similar from Colourpop for a fraction of the price.

The one thing that immediately became apparent about the Killawatt highlighters is that they don't shy away from glitter. If Fenty Beauty is anything to go by, glitter is making a comeback. No longer considered a liability, it's cool again to load a product with glitter. It used to be that people would criticise or steer away from highlighters with visible glitter, but glitter seems to be en vogue again. Personally, I'm enjoying glitter. Who needs subtlety anyway when you can have pretty pretty SPARKLES.

l-r: Girl Next Door, Chic Phreak


The duo has 2 distinct halves with different colours, finishes and textures. Girl Next Door is more smooth and creamy to the touch (almost like one of those bouncy feeling/cream to powder products), with a subtle metallic finish. On my light to medium skin, it actually applies quite whitish. Chic Phreak is more chunky/sandy to the touch and more obviously glittery. It's a much darker peachy-pink colour with more visible sparkles, especially in direct sunlight or bright artificial light. Having said that, the glitter adheres to your skin, doesn't fall down and get everywhere, and is fine enough to wear on a daily basis in the office (at least in my opinion). I did try both shades on the eyes as you can wear the Killawatt highlighters all over the face, but the colours barely showed up and just produced a glimmering effect.

l-r: Napoleon Perdis Highlight, Girl Next Door, Chic Phreak, theBalm Cindy-Lou Manizer

Here, you can see how bright/shimmering/vibrant the Fenty Beauty shades are compared with the more satiny and subdued Napoleon Perdis (from the Ultimate Contour Palette) and theBalm highlighters. However, the shades themselves are fairly similar, to give you an idea of what kind of colours Girl Next Door and Chic Phreak are.

The vibrancy and glitter factor (especially of Chic Phreak) remind me of Colourpop eyeshadows. Really, from my experience with the highlighter and general first impressions of the brand, Fenty Beauty is reminiscent of Colourpop (youthful, contemporary, "fun", urban, for different skin tones), but with proper quality control in terms of packaging, formulation and performance. It will be interesting to see how the brand develops over time, especially when the initial hype from its launch invariably dies down.




I've heard good things about the Too Faced Hangover primer (favourite of KathleenLights) for a while now, so I bought the 20ml travel size to try. I appreciate the hygienic and useful pump packaging that dispenses just the right amount of product each time. They could have just gone with a squeezy tube but they put in that extra functionality so the travel size is like a miniaturised full size version, which is what really sealed the deal for me. I've used it a couple of times and while it's nothing earth-shattering in terms of improving how my foundation goes on or prolonging its wear, I do like that it's soothing and comfortable on the skin, and the light, tropical and refreshing coconut scent.

I also purchased a travel size of Ouai Dry Shampoo Foam. Playing around with the tester in Sephora was what sold me. This stuff comes out in a ball of aerated mousse and you vigorously apply it to your dirty hair, focusing on the roots, until it dries up and starts doing its thang. Essentially, it's a dry shampoo that comes out as a wet cloud of foam and forces you to get your hands dirty. Something about the novelty of it and the fact it's almost like giving your hair a wash without water was hard to resist. I'm sure it's not as effective as my beloved Klorane dry shampoo with oat milk, and admittedly it kind of leaves your hair slightly grimy/crunchy/crispy/more brittle, but it does make it less oily and look cleaner, at least for a day. I'm also hoping the travel size will last a long time (since my small cans of Klorane seem to only last about 4-5 liberal uses), since I'm hopeful about a more economical conversion of liquid to foam.


I came across a H&M Beauty stand in Malaysia (to my knowledge not yet launched in Australia), but didn't spot any cream eyeshadow pots that I wanted to try. I have been searching for a mustard nail polish ever since I saw one in Urban Outfitters two years ago but passed on it, so I didn't hesitate to buy Golden Tumeric. The polish itself surprisingly exceeded my expectations — really nice, smooth formula, great wide brush, opaque in one coat but I did two just in case. I just wish there was more product in the bottle and it was cheaper.



Finally, I bought a Victoria Beckham x Nails inc nail polish in Bamboo White. I have no idea about the state of the polish given the collaboration was ages ago (the nail swatch is from a picture I posted on Instagram in July 2015), but the bottle definitely hadn't even been opened, so I figured it should be fine. I believe the original price for one of these polishes was $35, but I managed to get this one on sale for 40 Malaysian Ringgit or $12. It's hard to come by a nude polish that isn't thin, streaky, difficult to work with or boring/blah on the nails, and I remembered liking the colour and the polish quality, so at that price I gave in.

10 comments:

  1. Ive been wanting the Too Faced Hangover Primer for so long now, definite adding to my Christmas list. The Fenty Beauty products look gorgeous too, the packaging is stunning

    CharlotteSamantha // www.charlottesamantha.co.uk

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    1. The mini size is a good way to go if you can't bring yourself to spend on the full size! I really like the Fenty highlighter but watched a few YouTube views of the rest of the range and it seems not much else was getting consistent love.

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  2. Ah great post, I love H&M nail polishes and that mustard yellow is perfect for autumn. One of my all-time favourite nail polishes is a vivid blue colour from H&M. I think they changed the packaging since I bought mine but the opaqueness still seems spot on. :-) xx

    Helen | Helen’s Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle Blog

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    1. It's such a unique nail polish colour - I only realised how rare it was when I noticed I didn't even have one and I have 100+ polishes :') I'm glad to hear that the formula has been consistently good!

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  3. The Fenty Highlight is sooooo stunning! It is everywhere at the moment too.

    Sarah | More Than Adored

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    1. True, the hype with those was pretty prevalent, but I think it's died down now a bit. At least until the holiday collection :p

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  4. Nice haul! That Fenty Beauty highlight duo is very pretty xx

    Carolina's Makeup Life

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    1. Thanks Carolina! And yes the highlighter is one of my fav things from the haul by far.

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  5. How well-behaved you were! The Ouai dry shampoo sounds interesting - might be worth a try if there's no risk of white cast. And the Too Faced primer doesn't sound exceptional but the travel size is adorable!

    I feel like the Fenty hype came out of nowhere! I'm just out of the loop but I feel like it turned the beauty product world upside down overnight.

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    1. They were hyping the launch on social media for at least 2-3 weeks before it officially was released to Sephora and online ... I guess with the tremendous celeb power of Rihanna it had to be a success, plus it wasn't an el cheapo line so one would expect some kind of quality.

      I wasn't that well behaved given that I wasn't supposed to be holidaying in the first place :P

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