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Look Feature: Tarte 12 Hour Amazonian Clay Blush in Blissful (the pink one)

By icyabstract · April 24, 2014 · 0 Comments ·

The other woman blush, Blissful is the equally beautiful but slightly less loved of the two Tarte Amazonian Clay Blush I own.

Incase you haven't caught up on my little Tarte blush overview or seen the Look Feature of Blissful's peachier sibling within my stash (Achiote), you can head on over to catch up with those first.

Don't worry, I'll wait.


So... about Blissful.

Tarte describes this universally flattering shade as a warm peach, which again is quite far from what I see in the pan but oddly enough, Blissful does turn up a little peachy once on my skin.

Though my skin has this ability to make all true pinks look similar on and make all borderline peachy-pinks warm, ditching all sense of pink-ness in them.

On me, I would say Blissful is best described as a pink-coral. I do see nuances of pink, definitely more so than Achiote but it's got that warmth coarsing in it.

I believe that warmth is also what makes this blush a bit of a chameleon and while pink, would be a shade that warmer and deeper skintones can pull off as well.

I would say Blissful is quite a good place to start if you are completely new to Tarte's Amazonian Clay Blushes, or if you are completely new to blush in general and want that one shade you know would suit you no matter.

I don't see how you can go wrong with this because even here, I have layered Blissful on a fair bit so it wouldn't seem too washed out once the camera flash hits it and even then, it still doesn't look clown-ish.


The versatility of this shade coupled with the ease of use of these Amazonian Clay Blushes, I think they would be perfect for some one new to cheek color be it if you are hauling it for yourself or getting a gift for a friend!

Tarte Amazonian Clay 12 Hour Blush retails for S$45 each and is available at all Sephora Singapore stores. This is a permanent item.

Thanks for reading!

Look Feature: Tarte 12 Hour Amazonian Clay Blush in Achiote

By icyabstract · April 23, 2014 · 0 Comments ·

Remember how I mentioned in my little Tarte blush round-up (of my wee collection) that the 12 Hour Amazonian Clay Blushes look a lot better worn as opposed to swatched on the hand?

Well, here you go, a little look at how I like to wear it on my cheeks.

As far as blush goes, I personally prefer a soft touch of color, nothing too intense.

That's an odd statement because a smack of blush isn't always the best look for anyone anyway, but some people can get away with more prominent sweeps of color... Though sadly, I'm not one of those.

The pictures snapped here are taken indoors with harsh camera flash to light it up, hence it could wash some color out. Thankfully you can see a good amount of it still, but lets just say everything looks nicer in person. Heh!

Tarte describes Achiote as a shimmery golden pink, though in my terms I feel it leans more coral than pink.

On me, Achiote wears as a very natural healthy flush – a good mix of pink and coral thrown together.

As a personal preference, I like to wear corals on my skintone because they are more flattering or perhaps easier to wear, as opposed to pink. Sometimes pink feels a little 'dressy' to me, unless it is a soft cool pastel wash, but eitherways corals give a more effortless and casual look. A look I usually prefer.


So anyway, with all that said, this is how Achiote wears on me.

If you are a fan of natural coral flushes, this could be a shade to look into if you don't already have it. The 12 Hour Amazonian Clay Blushes aren't total wow-ers but they are nice to have should you be looking for a blush to rely on.

Tarte Amazonian Clay 12 Hour Blush retails for S$45 each and is available at all Sephora Singapore stores. This is a permanent item.

Thanks for reading!

Tarte Amazonian Clay 12 Hour Blush – Blissful & Achiote (Swatches)

By icyabstract · April 21, 2014 · 0 Comments ·

Heya, throwing up some entries I have done up but left sitting in my 'drafts' since this is going to be a busy busy week (weeks?) for me at work but I didn't want to leave this space empty.

More Japan mentions and new / upcoming things to come when I get time back on my hands. Till then! :)


I'll be frank, don't kill me but... prior to the Tarte package from Sephora, I have never gotten my hands on these widely popular Amazonian Clay 12 Hour Blushes from the brand.

I know these were quite a hit the moment they were launched and I was intrigued, yes, but given that Tarte wasn't available locally (then) and the hassle it took to acquire them... I guess I just passed them up. After all, there was enough makeup distraction otherwise.

Now that Tarte is easily available to us, all it takes is a run to Sephora (which is conveniently scattered across Singapore too), so here I am finally giving these superstars a go.

The 2 shades I have on hand are Blissful (the more pink-toned one) and Achiote (the peachier pink).

While, from the case, they look fairly distinctive and different, they actually are pretty close from the pan and when swatched.

The key-point of this product, aside from its cute product-packaging matchy-matchiness, is the long-wearing claim.

I didn't notice a 12-hour long wear during my short and few experiences with this blush, though that could be due to me layering them too lightly on for a more natural look.

Though I do notice these sticking around a little longer than some of my other powder blushes, still lending a flush even after a warm and icky lunch session where it always feels like my makeup is melting away. I have read that the deeper and more intense shades tend to stick around longer, so perhaps it is because these are the more natural and lighter shades – as with the nude-lip logic, deeper and intense colors tend to 'stain' better!

Apart from the long-wearing aspect, these Amazonian Clay 12 Hour Blushes are also nutrient-rich, infused with natural clay harvested from the Amazon River – hence its name!

While skincare benefits are the more immediate thing I look for when scouting for a blush, it is still something nice to know and consider.

Those with oily skin will be pleased to know that Amazonian Clay minimizes oil in and around the pores, allowing this blush to combat sebum and stick on for a little while longer.

On the otherhand, dry skin users will benefit from the nourishing and hydrating properties found within the clay.

On top of all that, the Amazonian Clay 12 Hour Blush is also free from Parabens, Sulfates, Synthetic Fragrances, Petrochemicals, Phthalates, GMOs, and Triclosan. Phew!

Now, lets get to the colors shall we?

I did some hand swatches with these and for some odd reason, these blushes didn't swatch very potently and well via finger-swatching thus the intensity seen here is a few layers combined. Though they do, somehow, pick up and blend well with a cheek brush.


Blissful –

Blissful is a soft pink shade that leans a little warm, so you don't get a frosty cool dose of pink if you are wary of shades like that.

It seems to warm up a little more on my skin and ends up blending out to be a very natural shade, fool-proof almost.


Achiote –

The slightly peachier sibling of Blissful, Achiote looks very similar in the pan and while it doesn't look a mile of a difference once swatched it is notably a little peachier on. There is a stronger hint of warmth as opposed to a flush and I find myself reaching for this a little more often – I'm quite a peach-fan, as opposed to pinks.

Overall,

I don't know what I was expecting with these and for some reason (note: I never really read reviews or searched these up), I expected the Amazonian Clay 24 Hour blushes to be a little more pigmented as opposed to being natural and sheer - which they are. Though I don't mind this, I was just a little taken aback.

The sheer and natural quality allows for you to easily blend on a soft flush without ever having to worry about overdoing it. Though if you are layering this you could.

I think they are nice to have around in one or two shades you will reach for on a daily basis to use since they are quite no-brainer and they seem pretty hardy to throw about in your makeup pouch if you're doing your makeup after the gym and such.

I can't say I am super impressed by these and I am still a little perplexed over the hype they kicked up but... they are not bad products. Nice natural and soft flushes that are available in quite an array of shades, not bad and worth a look!

Tarte Amazonian Clay 24 Hour Blush is available at Sephora Singapore for S$45. These are permanent

I'll post up some face shots with these soon, to better showcase them! Thanks for reading!

Makeup I Packed for Tokyo!

By icyabstract · April 17, 2014 · 0 Comments ·

Hello again everyone!

I'm back with a bit more of a proper entry as opposed to the quickly churned out mention about Summer Blues earlier. I was catching up on my feed and couldn't help but notice that color being so prominent this Summer I just had to do a quick share, even if I didn't have much time to do up a proper one.

So anyway, thank you all for being patient with my absence and I am afraid I will request for even more patience to come, since returning from a (fairly) long trip always means a crapload to clear at work.

Le sigh.

To tide you over, I figured I would quickly share some makeup items I had packed along with me on my journey to Tokyo.

Though I know a lot of you are probably shouting at the screen saying, "Why pack? Buy it all there!".

Yes, in an ideal situation where money grew on trees and drawers are bottom-less, I would love to.

Alright, maybe the money on trees part is an exaggeration since their cosmetics can be considerably priced as compared to Singapore's cosmetics but... I really didn't need more (and then there's the haul to come...), so I would rather pack as well as I can and if I happened to forget anything there is always Matsumoto Kiyoshi!


First, let me introduce you to my makeup space, which I am so happy for because it's by the window with daylight!

So many times I've been to hotels and all they offer you is that horribly dim and orange vanity light.

Who in their right mind would install dim orange lighting for the vanity, I have no clue... Well, it was the same for this hotel but I liked that they offered a 'table mirror' and a ledge by the large windows (overlooking the train rails too, so interesting) to perch that mirror on.

Well, no trains in the background at the time of the shot but check out how awesome the daylight is (for makeup)!

Pardon me if I sound a little deprived but back at where I stay, a daylight lamp is all I have to keep my makeup in check as I slap it all on in the morning. So now, a little sun is quite liberating.

Randomly snapped about mid-way done with the Lancôme Fraîcheur Rosée Eye Palette, pre-liner.

Right, where were we?

Yes... my makeup pouch, here we go!


Covering the Bases...

From Left to Right (sadly not application order...)

Urban Decay NAKED Skin Ultra Definiton Loose Powder
Talk about a long name... I brought this along because it was the only trusted loose powder (for keeping make up on and oilies relatively at bay) I had open in my stash at that time. Though given the amazingly cool weather in Tokyo, I think any of my other pretty okay powders would have worked just fine too.

Lancôme Mat Miracle 24H Liquid Foundation
Also one of the reasons for long-lasting fresh-face-ness would be another trusted base product. In Singapore, I feel I don't give this enough love because I seldom yearn the need to look flawless for over 12 hours. Though when you are abroad and snapping images all the time, the last thing you want is for your skin to look ashy and dull! While the coverage is more than I require, it doesn't feel heavy on and I would rather be 'safe' in case my skin started acting up while abroad (which it actually did by Day 4 – the weather is a little dry in Tokyo).

Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage in SC03
A concealer palette I reach for very often, it gives long-wearing coverage to conceal those pesky spots and blemishes without caking or appearing dry on the skin. I also like that it comes with a corrector tone if I feel my undereyes need a more heavy-duty touch.

YSL Forever Light Creator CC Cream in Rose
It's funny how I haven't posted a proper entry about this yet am using and featuring it all over the blog. I brought this along as a substitute for SPF given its SPF35 protection. Aside from that, I also like how nourishing and moisturizing this feels through the day which could sometimes mean mid-day blotting in Singapore but I figured in Tokyo, it would be the perfect answer to keeping my skin 'supple' under makeup.

MAC Moisture Cover Concealer
A concealer I typically reach for for my undereyes (on good days) because it is light-weight and doesn't cake or crease though it provides only subtle concealing and minor brightening.


And then the Cheeks...

YSL Baby Doll Kiss & Blush in No 9 Rose Epicurien
I found myself reaching for this a lot during the trip, mainly using it as a flush of color on the cheeks. I believe I had only used it on my lips on one occasion. It's a perfect soft and brightening pink glow that looks natural yet present. There's something about wearing cream cheek products (without setting) in a chilly and dry climate that just works, as compared to the humid heat we have here...

Make Up For Ever Sculpting Kit
Genius of me not to photograph the inside but it's basically a contour and highlight shade within which was perfectly compact enough to slip into my makeup pouch for this trip. While I have been easing out of the contour phase of late (I somehow like the whole glowy fair and less sculpted / tan look these days), I still feel dependant on lightly carving in some cheekbones to be that much more picture-ready. Heh.

Tarte Amazonian Clay 12H Blush in Blissful
I brought a powder brush along, just because, though I only used this once or twice, often ditching it for Rose Epicurien instead.


All about the Eyes...

Dior Backstage Eye Prime
An eye primer fairly new to my stash that I have been trying out. I have a love / hate relationship with this fella, which I will explain in its proper review but it works well enough to keep my shadows and liner lasting through the day.

MAC Powerpoint Eye Pencil in Engraved & Star Lash Automatic Gel Eyeliner
Okay... this is excessive because I use both of these on the same area (my lower lashline) but let me explain. The Star Lash Gel Eyeliner lasts incredibly well on but isn't dark enough while the MAC Powerpoint Eye Pencil is a nice rich black but lasts only decently well, smudges a little by evening. So I would draw Star Lash on first, to 'prime' the area and then darken the look with MAC. In the end it all works out and it is not as excessive as it sounds, trust me.

Lancôme Hypnôse Doll Eyes Palette Fraîcheur Rosée
I have mentioned it before but yes, this is one of my favorite all-in-one palettes and the sleek compact (and really nifty magnetic bit) makes it easy to travel around with. This truly is a palette that first pops to mind whenever I am packing my makeup bag for travel.

Helena Rubinstein Lash Queen Mascara Feline Blacks (Waterproof)
This is reaching its end of days, given how much I have used and love it, but for this trip I mainly used it on my lower lashline as a 'back up plan'. I've noticed that having mascara on helps keep my liner from fading or smudging. In the scenario that such tragedy still manages to happen, the mascara-combed lower lash will offer enough definition so my eyes don't disappear in a picture. See, the woes of having watery eyes that devours eyeliners...

Shu Uemura Calligraph:ink Liquid Liner
I bought this on the trip without having used it prior, but trusted in Shu Uemura for having a kick-ass liquid liner that can deliver a rich black as well as stay on all day and I wasn't disappointed. Though I actually did a double-take when using this liquid liner for the first time because of the unique brush tip – truly like a calligraphy pen – but it worked well to draw a nicely defined cat eye. Not too thick nor thin, my favorite sort.

Shu Uemura Hard 9 Brow Pencil & Brow Mascara
My trusted eye brow sidekicks! Though I have strayed a little of late and going back to the Shu Uemura Hard 9 Pencil I get a little frustrated at the sheer pigmentation (which is a good thing for control) but I'm getting the hang of it again... I am sorry to have strayed! ha.

Make Up Store Marble Eyeshadow in Amarillo
While I do love Lancôme's Fraîcheur Rosée, I brought this marbled pan of shadow along incase I wanted to throw in some variety to my looks. After all, while I can do 6 days with the same eye palette it is in our nature to stray, mix and match and play around with more. Hence our ever-growing and ever-exploding stash.


Let's Talk Lips...

Dior Lip Glow
This hot favorite needs no explanation, I stashed this in the bag I carried about incase my lips felt like they need a slick of moisture any time of the day.

Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick in Fiore
The last time I used this I remember it lasted and lasted and lasted, not even showing signs of giving up after lunch! Thus I figured long-wearing lip colors is the way to go when you're on a holiday and never know when you may need to snap a selfie after a meal! The bright hot pink was also a fun color to bring along, incase I felt up for a hawwwt pink.

NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Mysterious Red
I can't forsake my reds so I just had to stash one long-wearing (see a pattern here) smooth and perfect red lip color. While not everyone is fond of how matte the Velvet Matte Lip Pencils can be, I actually love the finish – so bright and bold without a sheen or shine. It's almost retro but definitely not dated.

YSL Glossy Stain in Bourgogne Artistiq
Aside from bold reds, I have a love for slightly deeper vampy reds too, thus the YSL Glossy Stain in Bourgogne Artistiq. One of my favorite vampy-er reds that I own. While glossy and slightly translucent on, it leaves a nice stain long after the initial glossiness wears off. The slight vampy edge throws a nice twist to an otherwise girly and soft get-up.

Dior Fluid Sticks in Pandore
Another red lip I had recently acquired. I brought this for the trip to get better acquainted with the Dior Fluid Sticks and I do love how glossy, lightweight and easy these are to wear. My only gripe is that they don't stain or last as tenaciously through the day but... all the better to whip out and re-apply?


And there you have it! I forgot to snap the brushes I brought along but figured, they really aren't all that interesting either (as compared to the makeup) because I do pack quite minimally and light as far as tools are concerned.

I have this OCD about fraying or damaging my brushes with transport hence only the hardy and (ahemahem) slightly cheaper ones get to tag along.

So, with all this talk about the makeup I bring, why don't I actually show you how I wore them through the days, yes?

Day 2

Cheeks: YSL Rose Epicurien (layered)
Lips: Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick in Fiore


Day 3

Cheeks: Tarte Blissful blush
Lips: Dior Fluid Stick in Pandore


Day 4

Cheeks and Lips: YSL Rose Epicurien


Day 5

Look 1

Cheeks: Tarte Blissful blush
Lips: YSL Glossy Stain in Bourgogne Artistiq

Look 2
(because we went back to the hotel to put stuff down and refresh ourselves before heading out for dinner in Shibuya)

Cheeks: YSL Rose Epicurien
Lips: NARS Mysterious Red


I skipped out on pictures for Day 1 and 6 but generally, these were the looks I wore!

This post turned out to be way lengthier than I had intended but I hope it is informative enough and interesting enough a read! I will have a couple more mentions of my trip, namely a haul entry on here, and post a travelogue on the shared blog that hubs and I both share – recently renamed (again, hurhur) to icywhims.wordpress.com .

Something about writing a travelogue is just such a perfect way to wrap up a trip, revisiting the moments and keeping it all alive on a platform so I can go back to it when I feel wanderlust creeping up.

So yes, stay tuned to that! In the meanwhile, hurray to the long weekend ahead!

Thanks for reading and do ask away if you have any questions about the products or Tokyo!

Summer Blues – Across the Board With Brands this Summer!

By icyabstract · April 14, 2014 · 0 Comments ·

You know Summer is here when the ocean of makeup is painted a bright and brilliant canvas of blues from the deep dark tones to lovely sea-foam, baby blue, you name it!

Any sort of blue be it purple-infused, green-infused, so long as it's blue, it's a perfect fit for Summer.

While I used to favor the occassional smack of blue on the lids, I think I have become a lot more conservative (aka neutral) and less smokey with my eyelooks these days and thus the days of blue shadows were a little long past.

Though blue is still a gorgeous color I would like in an accent liner, or most definitely in a nail polish.

If you are a fan of blues be it in the form of polish, on your lids or perhaps the whole get-up, then this Summer is looking perfectly blue-sy for you!

Here are some blues that are rolling out from varying brands this Summer:

I've saved the best for last and they are these stunning YSL La Lacque Coutures. I love the look of both of them, one so cheeky and bright and the other so perfect for night (see, I rhymed there...).

The matching Eye Pencils to go with are beautiful too, great for when you need a lift to your look.

I'm sure there are more blue pieces lurking about in Summer and then again Blue isn't a color new to Summer since it signifies all things nautical, which brings to mind Sun, Sand, Sea and Summer!

Though for some reason the offering of blues this time around seem especially rich, vibrant and bold. Or it could just be me paying more attention this time around, for some reason.


Either ways, are Summer Collex your kinda thing? Or do you prefer the deep dark and sooty hues of Fall?

I personally can't decide myself, I like... a little of every season? Heh!

Thanks for reading!

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