17 December 2013

Review & Swatches: Avon Simply Pretty Lipsticks Haul

It's almost Christmas and a great time to indulge and hoard on lipsticks! Lipsticks are perfect for gift-giving and are great stocking stuffers too! These are all from the Simply Pretty line, made especially for Asians so they have a lot of shades that go well with Asian skin tone. There's a few sub-lines that offer a variety of finishes and colour intensity. Here, I've got Simply Pretty Shiny & Sheer, Simply Pretty Colorbliss and Simply Pretty Spring's Sweetheart Colorbliss Lipsticks. I'm sure I'm not the only one having a hard time trying to figure out what the shades in real life look like so I'm going to share with you what I have. I'll swatch them accordingly.

All new and still in their seals. The excitement of opening them up and seeing how the colours are in real life!  

 Avon Simply Pretty Shiny & Sheer Lipsticks. From (L-R) : Juicy Papaya, Buttercup, Raspberry Sorbet, Cinnamon Red. 

 Taken with flash.

 Avon Simply Pretty Colorbliss Lipsticks. From (L-R): Fresh Melon, Pampering Pink.

 Taken with flash.

 Avon Simply Pretty Spring's Sweetheart Colorbliss Lipstick in Carnation Pink. Gorgeous shade as you can swatches below. But practicality of the lipstick in a shape a flower is close to nil. 

 Taken with flash.

 Avon Holiday Delight Lip Balm in Peach.

Taken with flash. 

 Group photo! Haha sounds as if I'm treating them as school children.

Taken with flash.

 Swatches from (L-R) : Holiday Delight Lip Balm in Peach (clear); Simply Pretty Shiny & Sheer Juicy Papaya, Buttercup, Raspberry Sorbet, Cinnamon Red; Simply Pretty Colorbliss Fresh Melon, Pampering Pink; Simply Pretty Spring's Sweetheart in Carnation Pink. 

 Taken with flash. 

Codes of lipsticks taken in the same order as above. (I don't think there's a code for the lip balm).

Swatches will be done in the same order as above as well. 
Avon Simply Pretty Shiny & Sheer Lipstick in Juicy Papaya (frosty). A lovely pink coral shade with shimmer that makes it look frosty. I'm no fan of frosty lipsticks unfortunately, it makes me look so dated. I would have reached for this more if it wasn't because of the frost. 

 Avon Simply Pretty Shiny & Sheer Lipstick in Buttercup (creamy). A pink with beige undertones. 

Avon Simply Pretty Shiny & Sheer Lipstick in Raspberry Sorbet (frosty). A pretty colour as well. Shame it looks frosty on the lips. 

Avon Simply Pretty Shiny & Sheer Lipstick in Cinnamon Red (creamy). A brick-red with hints of brown. It's a tawny shade. From the bullet it looks intimidating because the colour is so deep. But when I applied it, it's actually very sheer. They make my lips look like they're very natural and healthy-looking. My absolute favourite of the lot! Love it to bits! 

 Avon Simply Pretty Colorbliss Lipstick in Fresh Melon (creamy). A vibrant, orange-coral. 

 Avon Simply Pretty Colorbliss Lipstick in Pampering Pink (creamy). A soft pink with warm undertones. 

Avon Simply Pretty Spring's Sweetheart Colorbliss Lipstick in Carnation Pink (creamy). A hot pink with warm undertones. Gorgeous colour but stains like crazy even after five minutes of wearing! 

 On my lips : Avon Simply Pretty Shiny & Sheer in Cinnamon Red. Look at how natural the colour is and how it compliments my warm skin tone so well!  It brightens up the face in an instance! Love, love, love this to bits. (I will hunt for a dupe!)

On my lips: Avon Simply Pretty Spring's Sweetheart Colorbliss Lipstick in Pink Carnation. Nice hot pink with warm undertones! 

Avon Holiday Delight Lip Balm priced at RM9.90 (S&S RM11.40) each. Got mine for RM3.90 (S&S RM4.50) each.

Avon Simply Pretty Lipsticks priced at RM15.90 (S&S RM18.30) each. Got mine for RM7.90 (S&S RM9.10) each.

They're always on sale so keep a lookout on their website's e-Brochures or you can visit Avon boutiques directly!  

The Verdict 
The lip balm is very smooth. The texture is not waxy at all on the lips and it's lightweight. Though it's peach-flavoured, I feel it smells a lot like starfruit. I used to have lots of fresh starfruit so I know what starfruit smells like. (We had a starfruit tree in our compound until we cut it down due to some ants / pests.)

I appreciate the fact that Simply Pretty is made for Asians and the colours would suit Asians / warm skin tones very well. This way I feel a little more carefree in choosing the colours and I don't feel like a misfit. At times when I'm at major / high-end cosmetic counters I feel like a misfit because the colours just wouldn't go with warmer skin tones! 

The lipsticks are of good quality for the asking price. Bear in mind the Simply Pretty Shiny & Sheer line is supposed to be sheer as the name suggests. They perform well for what they are. I have rather pale lips, so a very sheer lipstick would be fine with me, so no problems about that. I wish they would state which shades are frosty / shimmery / creamy as there used to be indications on their brochures. I don't think they have it anymore. It'll be easier for customers to choose their shades based on the finish as well - I, for one would definitely avoid the frosty finishes like the plague. The Colorbliss line offers more solid colours. Some are sheer but colour payoff is still good. Spring's Sweetheart is meant for spring, I suppose. These are usually seasonal and the last I saw they are having a huge sale on them so, they're probably going to be discontinued. The shade I got (Carnation Pink) is so, so pigmented but it stains like crazy. I just don't understand why they shaped the lipstick in the form of a flower (looks like it's meant for kids), yes it may be good to look at but they're so impractical! If they say it's meant for very young girls, I still don't think girls that young would suit such a vibrant colour. (Other colours that were offered were even deeper) They would still have their mums behind their backs telling them what to wear and what not to, and these shades would definitely not be what a mum wants her young daughter to put on. Too much for a young age! That's just my opinion. 

That aside, the texture of all the lipsticks are almost similar, it's got this waxy feeling that is fine with me. A little sticky and leaves lips a little dry but that doesn't really bother me. What bothers the most, and I have to be honest, is the fragrance that comes with the lipsticks. It's strong and pierces the nose when I apply them. They give me a headache too. (Specifically the Avon Simply Pretty lipsticks, I have no problems with their Ultra Color Rich lipsticks.) And if I'm not mistaken, I noticed that these lipsticks make my lips and jaw numb at times. So, for those with sensitive skin just beware. You may just get one or two just to try and see if it works for you. The colours are gorgeous but based on my experience with the fragrance,  I don't think I'll be reaching for these very often. (I'd really envy those without sensitive skin as they have so many shades to choose from and yet very affordable!) 

And oh, a minor peeve, their names are soooooooooo long for a simple lipstick. It's was tiring typing them all out.

I hope my review and swatches has been informative and helpful to you. What do you think of Avon's Simply Pretty Lipsticks? Have you tried them? Do you find it hard to determine the colours from the brochures? Do tell me and leave a comment below! 


10 December 2013

Dark Vampy Lips - The Reveal : Avon

The best places to source for pigmented and a wide array of lipstick shades would be stores like Inglot or MAC. (Think of the makeup-academy-like stores) They carry colours from one end to another in the spectrum. However, I don't have a store like that anywhere near me. The nearest would be 1,863 kilometres away separated by the sea.

I'm almost at my wit's end on finding deep reds, berries and plums for my lips in my hometown for the holiday season. There are no departmental stores carrying higher-end brands here so that limits my options to drugstore brands. Most drugstore brands sadly don't carry darker shades anymore either. Even if there were, they wouldn't be as pigmented as I want them to be and wouldn't give me the effect that I'm looking for.

I almost gave up until...

I heard a voice telling me, "Why don't you try Avon?"
I went to their franchise, I flipped through their attractive brochures and lo and behold found the most amazing colour. They coincidentally had sample sizes for sale for the particular colour I wanted so I picked it up, brought it home and couldn't believe my eyes when I applied and saw the colour on my lips. The Avon Ultra Color Rich Lipstick in Cherry Jubilee (featured in my previous post). I read some reviews online about it and apparently it has its cult followers - one reviewer even said that when people found out the Cherry Jubilee she is wearing which she receives tons of compliments for is from Avon, their eyes bug out. My sentiments exactly. (Surprised and impressed at the same time)

Long ago, I've used their lip glosses and they didn't work out for me. I felt stinging sensations right after I applied it and had to quickly remove it. I tried several other lip glosses from Avon at some point but still was allergic to them. So after several disappointments I never really bought any of their products anymore until now. And I'm really impressed! Thankfully I'm not allergic to my new-found love Cherry Jubilee or I would have kicked myself. (Though I can't really take the scent that comes together with the lipsticks which sometimes give me a headache especially from the Simply Pretty line) I very soon bought some other shades from boutiques that carry both current and discontinued products (but are still safe to use as the expiration dates are printed on the package). One of which I love lots as well, as featured in my previous post, Avon Simply Pretty Valentine Brights Colorbliss Lipstick in Pure Plum.

Quick fact : Simply Pretty is a line under Avon that formulates shades specifically for Asian women and is sold in Asian markets. So, rest assured if you're Asian, they almost certainly will not carry shades that are too blue-based that make you look washed out.

One thing about Avon is that they have attractive brochures that show you the shades but unfortunately don't tally in real life. They don't provide testers, so it's a hit or miss if you buy their products. To be on the safer side, it's best to just see swatches online but there aren't many reviews and clear swatches especially for the Simply Pretty line so it's hard to tell just by looking at the brochures. They also change and replace their shades pretty often so it's hard to keep track and actually annoying for those who want consistency.

Here are the pictures:

Simply Pretty lipsticks are housed in purple plastic casing. It's even more inexpensive than the Ultra Color Rich line. Pigmentation wise it's decent, but not as pigmented as the latter.

(L-R) : Simply Pretty Colorbliss Serene Red, Simply Pretty Colorbliss Rich Terracotta, Simply Pretty Valentine Brights Colorbliss Pure Plum (discontinued), Ultra Color Rich Cherry Jubilee (sample size), Ultra Color Rich Berry Nice. 

Swatches in the same order as above. 
(L-R) : Serene Red, Rich Terracotta, Pure Plum, Cherry Jubilee, Berry Nice.

Avon Simply Pretty Colorbliss Lipstick in Serene Red. Pink with a hint of red. It looks somewhat frosty in real due to the shimmer. 

Avon Simply Pretty Colorbliss Lipstick in Rich Terracotta. A brick red brown that leans more towards brown.

 Avon Simply Pretty Valentine Brights Lipstick in Pure Plum. A rich, plum shade with purple undertones. 

Avon Ultra Colour Rich Lipstick in Cherry Jubilee. Still my favourite. The colour is really suitable for Asian / warm complexions and gives colour to the face. A deep red without looking goth-like. 

Avon Ultra Color Rich Lipstick in Berry Nice. A bright red with a hint of coral that is absolutely gorgeous. Reminds me of geishas and everything Oriental. (This looks totally different from the shade in the catalogue.)

 This is the sample size Cherry Jubilee I first bought and immediately fell in love with. I've read somewhere that it's similar to MAC Media but I've yet to confirm. 

I hurried to get another two of the same shade in Cherry Jubilee. They were on a Buy 1 Free 1 promotion and I couldn't seem to choose another shade. I'm fixated on this. RM21.90 (S&S RM25.20) for both lipsticks. At this point, I wouldn't trade these for anything else!

The Verdict
There are people who swear by Avon lipsticks and I now see the reason why. They're Affordable (with a capital A), pigmented and long-lasting.

Simply Pretty is targeted at younger consumers (teens to young adults) so for the lipsticks they have a lot of wearable everyday shades to choose from. Two of the shades I chose are a little too dark for my liking (for everyday) so I've yet to find something I'm truly comfortable with. I prefer something barely there for everyday. It's either barely-there shades or strong, bold statement lip colours but nothing in between. (Can't stand the feeling of being neither here nor there, haha) I'd probably try the Simply Pretty Shiny & Sheer line for more sheer colours next!

As for the Ultra Color Rich line, they are smooth, very pigmented, packs a lot of colour in just one swipe - they're comparable to high-end brands! They have a lot of deep, dark shades that most drugstore brands don't carry and is hard to find for similar prices. Also, they don't seep into lines or dry patches on the lips which is a major plus point. This can't be more perfect for those of you who are beginners or wanting to try new shades but hesitant to fork out a lot of cash because you don't know if it works for you. Also you'd want to collect as many shades as possible with the same amount of money that may only be good for a single high-end item without compromising on quality! For the price and quality, it's definitely a steal! I highly recommend these and will definitely be purchasing more!

You can keep a lookout for promotions on e-Brochures which can be found on Avon's website. Try them to see if you like them!

Hope you enjoyed my review. Have you tried Avon products? Were they hits or misses for you? Do tell me!


08 December 2013

Dark Vampy Lips

It's the time of the year again! Time to flaunt those dark, vampy shades of reds, wines and plums on your puckers. It's only normal during autumn / winter seasons. Though I live in a humid country, these bold lips make a statement especially for attending dinner parties that are aplenty during Christmas and the end of the year. I think the lip colours would definitely go hand in hand with the season's heavier fabrics paired with ornate patterns such as velvet, brocade and jacquard. I love, love, LOVE these dark lip colours and would wear them everyday if I could. There's an air of mystery and sophistication about these shades. Let the pictures speak for themselves :

 First up. A bold, deep berry red with slight brown undertones. Looks really good on Asian (yellow-undertone) skin, right? 

Same lip colour with heavier eye makeup as compared to the picture above. I've always read that the only way to balance out a bold lip, is to go easy on the eyes. But I think we need to add on a little drama instead to balance the whole look. We don't have features as distinctive as our European counterparts so the heavier eye makeup would do us justice. (For those with smaller eyes) By heavier eye makeup I mean pile on the neutrals but skip the glitter. 

You wouldn't want your lips to stick out like a sore thumb, would you? The trick is to add depth to eyes; this will create a more balanced look. Skipping eye makeup altogether will make the rest of the face look washed out so beware! 

Another lip colour. This is a very, very dark plum with purple undertones. There is a difference between this and the lip colour above. It looks distinctive in my phone but on my computer screen it's rather similar. Anyways, this is much darker and especially at night, this looks close to a brown-black. But you'll still see some reddish tones due to the purple undertone. Gorgeous colour that brings out brown eyes! 

And you'll never guess where these lip colours are from! You'll be pleasantly surprised just like I am!

Click here for The Reveal!


02 December 2013

The Experiment - Pencil Eyeliners Under Rather Extreme Weather Conditions

These are the two eyeliners I use very frequently. One being Estee Lauder Double Wear Stay in Place Eye Pencil in 01 Onyx and the other Chanel Le Crayon Khol Intense Eye Pencil  in 61 Noir. I used one on each eye - Chanel on my right eye and Estee Lauder on my left without eye primer. I knew how these liners would work as I have used them numerous times but today it's going to be interesting - they were tested in rather harsh conditions. I put these on at 1.30 pm and went about my day. I think afternoon's the best time when we sweat a lot and our faces somehow produces a lot of oil at this time. Coincidentally, it was really hot outside, then it was raining, then the sun came shining so bright, and then it was drizzling again. I was caught in the rain twice. It was like in those soaps where the heroin goes into her melodramatic phases - sad, then happy, then depressed for I don't know what reason. That was how the weather was. I kid you not. So this was actually a great opportunity to try eyeliners to test their longevity and durability! I also tried and took off on a lot of clothes in boutiques - which increases the risk of smudging / smearing. For accurate results I didn't put any mascara on. So whatever smudges and smears were caused by the eyeliners themselves. These were tested for a period of 5 hours, I took pictures at 6.30pm to see what the results were. 

Left : Chanel Intense Eye Pencil ,  Right : Estee Lauder Double Wear Eye Pencil 

Left : Estee Lauder Double Wear Eye Pencil ; Right : Chanel Le Crayon Khol. The Estee Lauder is darker colour, creamier and slightly heavier. It's a true black. The Chanel one is more like a very dark gray black, not as intense as the Estee Lauder one but is lighter in texture.  

Both swatches rubbed vigorously with a cotton bud. Almost nothing is left out of the Chanel liner. 

 My right eye with the Chanel liner. (Just remember the eye with the mole for the Chanel liner)

 Left eye with Estee Lauder liner. 

Finished look before I headed out. Other products used: Chanel Perfection Lumiere Foundation in 10 Beige, Naked Palette's only matte shades Naked and Buck, and Estee Lauder Pure Colour Crystal Lipstick in 301 Crystal Baby.

This is the interval where there were raindrops on my face, followed by direct sunlight. Then there were drizzles. And strong gusts of wind. Changing more than 10 tops in the boutiques. You name it. 

After 5 Hours of Rather Extreme Weather Conditions

Chanel Intense Eye Pencil : Colour a little faded - and there's a lot of smudging compared to the Estee Lauder eye liner. 

Estee Lauder Double Wear Eye Pencil : Colour is still very dark and intense.

Chanel : A lot of feathering (inner corner of eyes) and smudges along the whole under eye. (Plus the mole doesn't help). You can also see the line on the upper lid isn't as perfect anymore.

Estee Lauder : Upper lid liner still very precise. A little smudging but not much - barely visible. The eye still looks neat and tidy. 

 The difference between both eyes. 

The Verdict
The Estee Lauder Double Wear Eye Pencil really stays put and delivers what it promises. It's long lasting, doesn't smudge, and gives off a very intense colour. However it can be a little tough to remove due to the heavier texture. For the Chanel Intense Eye Pencil it's alright if you wouldn't mind checking in the mirror once in a while to wipe off smudges in intervals. I wouldn't recommend this for those with very oily eyelids as you can see it turned out to be a mess and if you sometimes don't bother to put on eye primer. The first time I got the Chanel eye pencil I was amazed with how easily it lined the water line - with so much ease that it doesn't hurt anymore compared to previous eyeliners. I really loved this about the Chanel eye pencil. I do find that the Chanel eye pencil is very gentle on eyes and  highly recommend it for daily use because of the light texture and it's easy to remove. It's so smooth it doesn't tug on your eyes when you apply it. Then again, if you find it too troublesome to wipe of smudges you can always go for a more smudge-proof eye pencil.

What do you think? Would you go for a pencil that is gentle on your eyes but at the expense of smudging? Tell me your thoughts and comment!


01 December 2013

FOTD for Avicii Live in Malaysia 2013 - Sepang International Circuit

No, I won't be going. I'm back in my hometown enjoying a semester off with all the good food, warm people minus the hustle and bustle. This is a quick post on a look you can do for rave parties and such. A few things to keep in mind for such events would be a suitable look and smudge-proof & water-proof make-up. Usually raves would be done open air and one can never predict the weather. If it's hot outside, you would want your make-up to be smudge proof because your face may turn oily (for those with combination and oily skin). And as for the water-proof make-up, if it rains, you wouldn't want your mascara to melt and make you look like you went for a Marilyn Manson concert instead of a rave.

Avicii is spinning live and I'll be missing all the action! Though I can't be there in person I'll channel my excitement to doing a face of the day (or in this case face of the night).

I made sure to pick an eyeliner that is smudge-proof to minimise smudging risks. I created this look without putting any foundation on. I just applied some highlighting cum concealer under eyes, blemishes and discolourations on the face to make it look flawless. I need my skin to breathe when I know I'll be out for such long hours AND when I reach back to my place I know I'm definitely going to pass out due to exhaustion. There is a possibility I'll be too tired to remove my makeup, so to be on the safe side it's better to just leave my complexion as it is. I did put primer on for the sheen that it gives - and swept highlighter on parts of my face for that glow. Imagine how the lights will shine upon your face when you're in the arena. The lazer lights in all its glory penetrating the air making the night sky unbelievably bright, all the while dancing to the beat of the music. And all of the lights, the beats, they take you on a journey where you've never been before. Who knew that it all can be so majestic? Oh boy, just thinking about it makes my blood pump. Just embrace the moment with me. Embrace it.

Okay back to topic.

A look that is fun is great - think winged liner and bold lips. If you think it's going to be too much - it doesn't really matter because it's going to be dark out there and nobody can really scrutinize your imperfect liner or your bold lip colour that may be a little too much for daytime. Most importantly, just look good to feel good and have fun!

Products used (lip products will be listed as captions just below photos as there's one for the faint-hearted and another for the not so faint-hearted) :

Face : Guerlain Meteorites Perles Light Diffusing Perfecting Primer, Etude House My Wish Cheek (Highlighter) in #1 Gorgeous Snow, L'oreal Lucent Magique Light Touch Up Pen

Cheeks : The Body Shop Nature's Minerals Cheek Colour in 03 Warm Copper

Brows : Shiseido Maquillage in some brown shade

Eyes : Urban Decay Naked Palette (Sidecar and Creep), Estee Lauder Double Wear Stay in Place Eye pencil in 01 Onyx, Revlon 3D Volume Mascara in 001 Blackest Black (Waterproof)

  Lips : Chanel Rouge Coco Hydrabase Creme Lipstick in 81 Rouge Peche

Or you can just dab the bold lip colour gently on your lips for just bitten lips. In the above picture I just tissued the bold colour off. You can achieve similar effects by dabbing the lipstick gently and then even out with fingers. 

For the faint-hearted. Lips : Dior Addict Lipstick in 422 Tokyo. 

Of the two different looks I prefer the one with bold lips - it screams fun, energetic and ready to party! Which look would you prefer? Do tell me and comment below!