Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Anastasia Beverly Hills Modern Renaissance palette


As promised I'm here to deliver my review on my current go-to palette - Modern Renaissance by Anastasia Beverly Hills. Without further ado let's jump into the review! In this palette you will get a total of 14 gorgeous shades that consist of 11 mattes and 3 metallic shades. The colors are the perfect blend of neutral and berry tones which is comparable to Violet Voss' Holy Grail palette. I can't speak for the quality for Violet Voss' palette but if you're not about trashing your money in a beauty product ($120), this is a fabulous choice of quality at $75.


Tempera: matte beige. 
Golden Ochre: matte earthy-yellow matte
Vermeer: metallic iridescent shell 
Buon Fresco: antique lavender 
Antique Bronze: metallic sable
Love Letter: matte raspberry
Cyprus Umber: matte dark coffee 
Raw Sienna: matte neutral amber
Burnt Orange: matte deep orange 
Primavera: shimmery gold
Red Ochre: matte sienna 
Venetian Red: matte crimson 
Warm Taupe: matte earthy grey
Realgar: matte brick

Things I Love: 

The bold color combination was what drove me to add it to my collection, I thought that the mix of berry, orange and neutrals were fresher than the massively produced neutral palettes. It comes as no surprise that the colors I reach out most to are Realgar, Burnt Orange, Love Letter and Antique Bronze. This palette has the smoothest texture, almost feels butter-like. High quality eye-shadows are always a breeze to work with because you wouldn't have to blend until your arms fall off!

Also, kudos to you if you pay attention to what goes on your face by reading ingredient lists behind products. You might recognize that this palette is formulated without parabens, sulfates and phthalates.


Things I didn't like:

The biggest complain for me would be the packaging and the brush that came along with it. It was disappointing because it reminded me of the first Naked palette which in my opinion has the worst packaging out of the Naked series. Similarly the Modern Renaissance palette uses a cardboard box lined with a dusty pink felt and I'm sad to say that this material will never hold up to time. Judging from my Naked palette I know that at the end of the day, dust and dirt would sit and ruin the cover entirely.

Well it's thoughtful for a brand to include a brush for the palette, but for this I feel that I could do without it since it doesn't add value for my experience. While it's a nice gesture to have a brush going along with the palette, I feel for this the expenses used for the brush could be allocated to build a better packaging to house all of these beautiful shadows.


Thoughts: 

It's true that I rarely get excited at new palette releases, this was the only one that I have been looking forward to hold it in my hands. Now I can safely telll you that I love the Modern Renaissance palette with all my heart for living up to my expectations. If only you knew the times I bought hyped up products only to be disappointed, then try so hard to reason and give it some love before realizing that it was a horrible buy that we as consumers have been talked into.

This was my first ABH purchase and I wouldn't mind trying out palettes from this line if they are going to be consistent with their quality but if once I hit pan for one of these I would instantly re-purchase this.


(Colors used: Buon Fresco, Love Letter, Antique Bronze, Primavera) 



(Colors used: Warm Taupe, Burnt Orange, Realgar, Vermeer) 

My social media handles are listed below.. You can follow me on @clariecuppycakes (my personal instagram) or @sweetsx3 that is more makeup-centric. 


Follow on Bloglovin

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Shine Bright





Here's to better and brighter times ahead. Enough of feeling the blues and worrying over things I have no control over, I'm so gonna get myself a cupcake and maybe tinder later! x


Tuesday, June 14, 2016

LIME CRIME VENUS PALETTE PART II [#LOTD]

As a follow-up post from my Lime Crime Venus palette review, below are 2 looks that I've created.


Colors used: Divine, Rebirth, Shell & Aura 

- Using my Zoeva 225 brush, pick up Divine and in a swiping motion apply it on the sockets of your eyes (above your crease).

- Gently pat Shell using an eyeshadow brush onto the entire eyelid.

- With my Zoeva 230 pencil brush, apply Rebirth on the outerV of my eye.

- Using Aura as a highlight color, apply in the inner corners of the eyes and at the center of the eyelids. 

- Draw your cat eye and wing it! 

- Apply mascara or false lashes for extra glam.  

Lip color: Laura Mercier Velour Lovers in Infatuation & Tarteist lip paint in So Fetch.

TIP: Avoid using Rebirth above the crease if your goal is to look as natural as possible. A bright crease color may give you the effects of puffy eyes. 




Colors used: Creation, Divine, Icon
(3ce one color shadown: Gold Shower) 

- Place Creation slightly above the original double eyelid and map it out using a flat brush. By drawing a 'new' crease that cuts from a higher point, gives an illusion of a deeper set of double eyelids.

- Using Divine blend away any harsh edges

- To complete the cut crease, apply Icon on the outer corner creating a wing that connects to the cut crease.

- Using my Zoeva 225 brush, blend out to blur out any harsh lines.

- Using a flat eye shadow brush, pat in to fill the spaces on the entire eyelids using 3CE's Gold Shower. On the same brush pat some of the glitter on to the lower lash line.

- Draw a thin line closest to your lashes and give it wings.

- With an angled brush, add Muse on the lower half of your lash line

- Coat lashes with mascara or add false eyelashes for a dramatic look.

Lip color: Gerard Cosmetics - Serenity & Colorpop Ultra Satin Lips - Echo Park

I had a good time creating the looks! Let me know your thoughts and the palette down below. Touch me at my social media handles, you can follow me on  @clariecuppycakes for personal updates find me @sweetsx3 for more makeup posts. Love you. 

Follow on Bloglovin

Tuesday, June 07, 2016

Lime Crime Venus Palette



Oops I didn't managed to get hold of the recent hyped palette - THE Too Faced Sweet Peach palette. Instead I'm gonna review a palette that was released two years ago! (still not too late to jump onto the Lime Crime bandwagon.) 

Just like everyone else, I was beyond excited to hear that Too Faced is launching its first peachy toned palette. In fact I was 100% sure in getting it because my make-up collection is lacking in the orange department. But ever since its release in Singapore it has been out of stock at Sephora island-wide. Truth to be told, I've yet to see the palette in real life. Talk about legend.
At first I was so bummed because I got to know that there will be no further restocks, but now that I've dedicated some time on researching the palette, I'm thankful that the shortage actually helped kill any chance for impulse buying that I initially had. 

It's easy to go about finding dupes to the Too Faced Sweet Peach palette but most recommendations are single eye shadow pots which I didn't want the hassle to build my own. My game was just to experiment coral/peachy tone eye shadows and see how it works for me. After nights spent swimming in the sea of google searches, the Lime Crime Venus palette came to my attention and I thought it could be something that I was looking for. 


Swatches 

All the swatches are done using a brush instead of fingers for a more accurate gauge of the color payoffs. In fact the darker shades are obvious when swatched against my forearm as compared to the two opalescent shades (Shell and Aura). Even though they seem faint on my skin, it definitely looked better when applied directly on the lids with a layer of primer.  

The Good 

1) The palette consists of only 8 shadows. Personally I do enjoy this streamlined and small palette, I feel it's more cost-effective for consumers to go with a smaller palette knowing the purpose in every shade rather than paying for 18 shadows palette when most of the time it isn't fully utilized. With that being said, the practicality for this palette is a win for me.

2) For people who care about the planet, this palette is certified cruelty free! Yay!

3) The colors were all highly pigmented and smooth to blend out.  It's surprising that even for the shimmery shadows, it has zero to no fall-outs. 

4) Compact and fancy packaging. The cover of the palette is an illustration of Sandro Botticelli's famous painting (The Birth of Venus) which is also the name of this palette. I thought that the fancy packaging would be nice to be displayed on the vanity table. 


The Not-so-Good

1) Fakes. When you're not buying directly from the Lime Crime site, you risk paying for a fake product with a price tag of the original palette. This video by Tonia Lives brought a comparison between the real Venus palette versus a fake. Just be wary against rip offs when you're buying from places like Carousell. 

2) The only problem I had was with Aura, it seems like its the only color that creases after long hours of wearing despite having a base layer or Urban Decay primer potion. So for that, I've learned to only use Aura in small doses, like as a highlight color in the inner corners of my eyes or the center of the lids.
  
3) In my opinion, Muse & Venus (shades with red undertones) are the two colors that I don't see ladies holding a corporate day job would necessarily reach out to. Both colors looked too grungy for a workday look and I don't think anyone could get past an organisations' strict dress code if there is any. That would then leave you with 3/4 of the palette to play with. 

Overall, I love this palette for its aesthetics and its unique color combination. I would probably not repurchase it because I believe that Lime Crime would have more exciting new releases in future. But for now, I would be open to try out liquid lipsticks from their brand. 

Stay tuned for a makeup tutorial using the Venus palette on my next post. 

My social media handles are listed below.. You can follow me on @clariecuppycakes (my personal instagram) or @sweetsx3 that is more makeup-centric. 

Follow on Bloglovin

Sunday, June 05, 2016

[WHAT TO WEAR?] Black Tie Events

To receive an invitation to a black tie event could be incredibly frustrating, especially for women who doesn't have evening gowns sitting around in the closet. Unless fairy god-mother is on your side to magically transform your basic dresses or you're Olivia Palermo who I believe has an amazing wardrobe ready for every event. But I guess we're neither, so let me introduce Sherry London to you. Sherry London, an online boutique based in the UK, has wide ranges of evening dresses for formal event. It isn't exactly fairy godmother but its close enough, at least it'll save you from potential fashion headache.

For a black tie event the first rule of thumb is to be dressy. According to veteran fashion guru Tim Gunn, black tie event doesn't necessarily mean going in a floor length gown. As opposed to traditional standards, matching separates and cocktail dresses fits perfectly in a formal setting today. One thing to always keep in mind, luxurious textiles are a great deal to making a formal looking dress. What if the invitation doesn't explicitly states the dress code? Simply factor in venue, time & purpose of the event when determining the length and style of your dress. They may be huge clues that could help you in your dress selection process. Now, if you don't wanna run the risk of being under-dressed, here is a guide to some dresses for a black tie event.






2) Pastel Evening Dresses  

 "It doesn't have to black, colors and prints work too"- Martha Ward (Stylist)



3) For my curvy ladies, there is a curvy section just for you! 





Good luck! Hopefully you'd find a dress that suit your body type for the occasion. 

Monday, May 30, 2016

[OOTD] Cropped Talks



Denim jacket: Dorothy Perkins Crop top: h&mPants: Zara Furry earrings: Louvisa Pointed flats: PazzionBag: Tocco Tenerro 


As a larger girl, I tend put myself in a box when it comes to clothing. I have this unrealistically long list of clothes to avoid versus another that ideally fits what a fat girl should wear. Growing up, I was shamed because my size was always on the larger side of the scale. Over the years of being conditioned by society and people around me that I should cover up - crop tops, tanks tops, bikinis, tulle skirts essentially became part of this avoid list. Along the way, I've unknowingly only wore pieces that covered or somehow hide body parts I didn't want people to draw attention to. I could vividly recall from my younger days dressing from head to toe in black just to stay hidden and because they say loud colors and fat people don't go well together. All of that background noise sure didn't help in positively projected my body and my self-image at all.

Fast forward to today, I'm still working on myself. There'd be days that I accidentally let myself slip into that downward spiral because of what someone said but I've learned to not dwell on it for days anymore. Through this process, I've discovered one of my favorite YouTuber & body positivist Meghan Tonjes. She's one of my role models and this video was what inspired to put together this outfit, everything that I have illogical fears of. The next time someone makes an unwanted comment about your body, you can choose to ignore it or just end it in a true Tonjes style 'Congratulations, you have eyes.'





My social media handles are listed below.. You can follow me on @clariecuppycakes (my personal instagram) or @sweetsx3 that is more makeup-centric. 

Follow on Bloglovin

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

📍 Tokyo; Japan

Every time I return from a trip I feel compelled to pen a post on my experience as a keepsake for memories or perhaps to seek closure closure as I guide my heart back home. Don't get me wrong, I love how routine brings stability but this wave of emotions is real and I need to get sorted out.

Tokyo is like a whole new world. Clean and green pink, it was spring and the sakura trees in full-bloom lined up on the side walks and painted the city pink. Everything is amazing at Tokyo! Their efficient but slightly complicated metro, high standards of customer service, garbage disposal system and a personal favorite - cool high-tech public bathrooms. Imagine the joy of having a warm toilet seat on days at 10 degree Celsius~ Read on to more photos and places I hope you visit for your trip. 



Shinjuku Gyoyen


One of the parks that I'd strongly recommend for hanami - Shinjuku Gyoyen. Never mind the entrance fee because this is where you will get the best photos of sakuras. Sure, there're free parks like Ueno or Yoyogi but be prepared for crowds and expect picnic space constrains & long bathroom lines. Then again, Japan has great parks and should you have time, check them out. If not just Shinjuku Gyoyen would do. 





Monzen Nakacho 
The best secret place for sakura viewing

When the well-known parks are flooded with tourists and locals, there is this gem Monzen Nakacho hidden from the crowds. It's a goal for me to find less touristy spots at a country that I'm visiting and it has became unconsciously important over the years as I travel. The novelty of discovering new places that were less sought out and having good shots with no photo bombs is what motivate me to spend hours combing through Google pages and refining my search. 




 



Disney Sea 

Disneyland or DisneySea? The dilemma that I was stuck in before the trip, it's almost impossible to make a decision but C and I came to a conclusion that Disney Sea was a better choice because of its exclusivity to Tokyo. At the planning stage for the trip, both C and me were super positive and adventurous that we could conquer both worlds in a day. HA! Let me tell you we never did.
Trust me on this, if you wanna get the best experience at Disney, the plan would be have two days reserved for both parks each.



Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building 

The best place for skyline shots is at the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building and even more awesome, it doesn't require you an entrance fee! Well, didn't they say that the best things in life are free? With that you get an overview of what Tokyo looks like from above and if the skies are clear, spot some of the iconic landmarks of Tokyo from above. 


 Tsukiji Outer Market

Sadly the fish market was closed when we visited, but the morning hasn't gone to waste. We roamed the outer market and had the freshest tuna maki, tamago on a stick and sashimi don. Of course I'd encourage you to go on a empty stomach, you certainly don't wanna miss out on the delicious food and snacks. 









Shibuya 

Your one stop shopping and food heaven and this was where C & I spent our nights eating our way through Tokyo. This is also where the famous pedestrian scattered crossing (aka Shibuya crossing) is at, if you're up for people watching, head up to the Starbucks and get window seat for the view. 
As we talk about shopping in Tokyo, the iconic Shibuya 109 building, Don Quijote and famous drugstore Matsumoto Kiyoshi are all found in the Shibuya district. Keep a lookout at their drugstores because they carry special products that you wouldn't see in your regular Watson's or Guardian. 



Food 



Being a huge fan of Japanese cuisine, I had absolutely no issues with having it every single day. The food scene in Japan is pretty affordable, a good SGD$10 can buy you a decent meal to fill your tummies. Pricing wise it's comparable with Singapore but taste wise, Tokyo wins hands down.


Getting Around 

The subway system can be a little confusing, you gotto know if you're taking the subway or the JR line. Some place might be accessible by JR lines while others may only be accessed through the subway. For this trip, we got 2x 72 hour ticket passes and a PASSMO card for a six day trip. A pro-tip from me is to always have a pdf version of the subway map stored somewhere in your phone so that you can always refer to the station names to prevent you from getting off at the wrong stop. Also, have the Tokyo Subway app installed on your smart phones because this helps you with finding the fastest routes from stations to stations and lastly, never fall asleep on the train (don't miss your stop and start panicking).






Budgeting

Now here comes the most important part- budgeting. The total damage which includes air fare, accommodation & transportation was capped at 2.4k. We could have went for a stricter budget but it was the peak period we're travelling on, so air fare and accommodation costs significantly higher. Now, you've got to be wondering what other ways are there to stretch a dollar, here it is.

1) If you decide to give Disney a miss, you're most likely be saved from throwing your money on expensive merch. I'm embarrassed but I did went a little crazy at the Disney store but just the park tickets alone costs SGD$90! But if you still made it to logically holding tight to your finances in the Disney store, then I'd say kudos to you. 

2) Summer Japan 2016/17. Ah summer is when you'd most unlikely to need sweaters in your  luggage. Oh and if you're a person who travels light (which I'm obviously not), good for you because if you can fit everything you need in a hand-carry luggage, you're good to go. Flying on a low-cost carrier means you save on the money that's needed for having luggage checked in.

3) When booking your flight, always check out different combinations for timing and departing airport for your flights, they do affect the prices of your air ticket. Well, many chose to fly in & out via Haneda airport because it's closer to Tokyo and nobody would probably wanna deal with travel journey back to the city after a long haul flight. I remembered frantically searching for flights that fits my budget and discovered that flying into Haneda airport and departing from Narita airport would lower the cost of air tickets. That is when the golden opportunity presented itself that turn my sakura dreams into a reality... TOKYO 2016!

That's all I've got to share. I think everyone should go to Japan for its high-tech toilet, for its fatty salmon or even their silent morning train crowds. It has been a month post-trip and I could still remember the immense hospitality from kind strangers when Google maps failed, the beautiful days that I could wrap myself in layers and fortuitous food finds round the corner in a train station. You'll always have a special place in my heart. Till next time.

On a side note, follow me on my new Instagram account @sweetsx3! I'd be posting makeup of the day photos as well as makeup mess photos, if that is what interests you, seeya there! And if you don't, you can touch me at my social media handles below. 

Follow on Bloglovin