TechTalk: JBL Under Armour Bluetooth Wireless Earphones

MEDIA INVITE

Hello everyone!

Welcome to the TechTalk, the newly added section on this blog for the technology geeks where you will find honest reviews on the latest gadgets and accessories in the market. Most of these posts will be contributed by my boyfriend, Alphonsus Neo, who is an absolute technology enthusiast. With years of experience in the telecommunication industry, he lives and breathes technology and definitely knows his stuff. so Enjoy!

An invitation was extended to me by JBL a while back as a contributor of this blog to test out their latest offering – the Under Armour Bluetooth wireless earphones. For the uninitiated, Under Armour is an American sports clothing and accessories company that is very popular among athletes for its high quality shirts that helps to keep them cool and dry even after an intense work out.

JBL x Under Armour Headphones Wireless

JBL x Under Armour Headphones Wireless

Fitness buffs definitely should rejoice because Under Armour has joined hands with JBL to create the perfect pair of Bluetooth earphones that is compatible for both iOS and Android users hoping to listen to some music while they exercise. Perfect may seem a strong word to use but trust me, despite some of my gripes that I will share along the way, this product is definitely a beauty and a keeper!

Just look at the packaging, the bright red screams to you as you walk pass it along the aisle.

Pick me! You know you want to!

Pick me! You know you want to!

If the packaging can be an indication of how well made a product is, then the Under Armour Wireless definitely does not disappoint. It reminded me of the packaging of a MacBook Pro, which is not an easy feat by far.

So the packaging looks great, so what? Let’s get into the nitty gritty details that all of you out there are looking for.

For starters, it is extremely light weight which is great because the last thing you need while exercising is a pair of earphones tugging on your ears. The Under Amour Wireless comes with TwistLockTM Technology that helps to keep the earphones snugged tightly into your ears while you run on a treadmill or climbing a mountain. Unlike conventional earphones which you directly insert into your ears, the Under Amour Wireless is placed at a slightly 45 degrees angle at the entrance of your ear before turning it in a clockwise direction to ‘lock’ the earphones securely in. It did feel slightly uncomfortable initially because admittedly, it takes some practice to get the technique right. But once you have mastered it, it stays in your ear! I tried to shake and tilt my head vigorously left and right but it still wouldn’t budge, if I tried to shake my head any harder I am sure I would have to wear a neck brace for a couple of weeks.

The Under Armour Wireless’ cord between the earbuds measures just slightly over 30 cm which might not sound incredibly long, but it gets the job done as it doesn’t impede head movement at all. After all, this is a sports earphones which means that long dangling wires are a big no-no. Does anyone know the feeling when earphone wires starts to get slimy and the condition of the wires deteriorate because of the sweat? Well, the Under Amour Wireless so far hasn’t presented this problem during the weeks of testing because of its IPX5 sweat proof feature. Of course, you still have to be conscientious and do your part in ensuring you wipe off the sweat after each exercise session. Don’t be too overly worried that tugging constantly at the wires as you clean may cause it to become dislodged as during the product briefing, it was shared that the Under Amour Wireless was made to be as rugged as possible which meant all the connections were reinforced to prevent that from happening.

Earphones

Earphones

But the real test for any pair of earphones is not how well it can withstand wear and tear, but its sound quality. And boy does it deliver, JBL has graciously included a solid pair of 5.88 mm dynamic drivers into the Under Armour Wireless. It definitely will not disappoint those who are looking for a pair of earphones with enough bass to help them power through a 10 km run that’s for sure. However, for those who are looking for noise cancellation features, move along because these earphones are not meant for you because the good folks at Under Armour and JBL have the common sense not to include this feature in a pair of sports earphones. Now, the last thing you would want is a pair of sports earphones that cancels out all ambience noise such as the horn of a car that is about to hit you because you were not paying attention while you were running.

3-button mic

3-button mic

The Under Amour Wireless also comes with a pretty standard 3-button mic which allows you to control tracks, volume and calls easily without the need for you to whip out your phone. If you decide that the Under Armour Wireless is your cup of tea, this will set you back $289. This might seem like a hefty amount but if you do your homework, you will also realise that similar earphones by other reputable brands costing around the same price range. However the key difference is the brands behind the product. With Under Armour’s unique experience in understanding the needs of athletes as well as JBL’s brand name for delivering quality speakers, you will be hard-pressed to find another brand in the market that can fully understand the needs of athletes. If it is any comfort, the Under Armour Wireless Bluetooth earphones also come with a 12 month premium membership for MapMyFitness that is available on both iOS and Android app stores.

Core features

Core features

Thanks for reading!

Zap Those Unruly Upper Lip Hair with IPL by EXPRESSIONS

SPONSORED

Hey everyone!

No matter how nonchalant a lady is about her appearance, the last thing she would want to see in the mirror is a face marked by masculine features such as facial hair especially on the upper lip. Not only is it embarrassing for a female to have a moustache, it is also as socially unacceptable as women who don’t shave their armpits.

womoustache

photo credit: flickriver

Apart from aesthetic and hygiene reasons, I personally detest facial and androgenic (body) hair because they, especially pubic hair, prick the skin and cause it to itch! I count myself really lucky to have abnormally high tolerance for pain because that has enabled me to master the art of plucking and waxing at a tender age of 11. Believe it or not, I’ve been plucking my own armpit and pubic since puberty with my tweezers because I hated the aftermath feeling of shaving. Crudely put, I’ve been baby-smooth down there for as long as I can remember and the feeling of being hair-free is truly orgasmic. Perhaps I’m weird, but there’s a therapeutic quality to pubic hair plucking just like pimple popping 😉 (yes, in case you’re wondering, I’m a poppaholic too! *fist bumps*)

But of course, a lot of time has to be invested every week (not forgetting the tendency to get ingrown hairs) to ensure that they don’t strike back with a vengeance so it’s always good to have a time-efficient alternative that does an equally great job at removing unwanted hair.

Expressions (Orchard branch)

Expressions (Orchard branch)

I recently came to know about the IPL (Intense Pulsed Light) hair removal programme at Expressions and was drawn to the fact that there’s even a portable device now that you can use at your convenience. Called My IPL, it comes in three different packages aimed at removing hair, clearing acne and rejuvenating the skin for as low as S$169! But being terrible at electronic gadgets myself (as I keep spoiling stuff), I opted for an in-house IPL session for hair removal because I heard that it’s more effective per session as compared to using the mobile IPL device too!

In-house IPL

In-house IPL

Expressions was kind enough to provide me a demo session, albeit an impromptu one done on the same day I had my weight assessed after undergoing the three-day detox juicing programme. Hence, I hadn’t allowed my armpit hair to grow out prior to my visit. The IPL treatment was carried out on my upper lip area because that was the only hairy spot I could think of 😆

Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) is the transmissions of highly-wave dependent light passing through the skin. These filtered bands of light consist of various wavelengths that penetrate deep into the skin and thereby effectively removing unwanted hair.

My eyes were shut the entire time because a sudden beam of light would be emitted from the device each time the button was pressed. The whole process was generally painless save for the slight tingling sensation which lasted for a split second upon every zap. They actually felt like static shocks so my body would kinda jerk a little every time a laser shot hit my skin. Lol, embarrassing much. But if it was the My IPL device, I would be able to choose the energy level of the shot according to my preference.

With cream applied

With cream applied

Following the treatment, a clear moisturising cream (Hair Inhibitor Essence) was applied on the affected area to sooth the skin and avoid irritation. The cream somehow accentuated the appearance of my upper lip hair (which otherwise would be unnoticeable) so I could still see some.

Post-IPL

Post-IPL

From what I understand, IPL is meant to weaken the roots and they will only be effectively eliminated after a few sessions. I would probably need to go for more sessions to see results in that case!

In-house IPL prices (image courtesy of Expressions)

In-house IPL prices (image courtesy of Expressions)

If you’re unable to find time to make an appointment with Expressions for an IPL session, remember, you can buy My IPL online for just S$169 (before discount – scroll down for 10% discount code)! The My IPL device offers up to 60,000 shots per cartridge which can be replaced with a new one (at S$80) once the shots have been depleted. On average, you would need 40-50 shots to remove hair on the arm completely. The device can be used practically anywhere on your body – your forehead, underarm, legs and even your bikini line if you’re too shy to do it in the salon.

So what are you waiting for? Get yours now and feel your baby-smooth skin once more! I guarantee you’ll not want to stop touching yourself after that LOL.

Thanks for reading! 🙂

In-House IPL (as low as S$48)
My IPL (S$169.00)

Click here to purchase individual or bundle mobile sets!
Enjoy 10% off all products on Expressions.co when you apply the code “GIVEME10” and quote “FIONASEAH” in the comments at checkout

Expressions (Orchard)
121 Penang Road #01-02 Regency House
Singapore 238464
Tel: 6235 9890
E-mail: orchard@expressions.co
Operating hours:
10:30 am – 8:30 pm (Mon – Fri)
10:00 am – 5:30 pm (Sat – Sun)

Expressions (Upper Thomson)
2 Sin Ming Road #01-06 Sin Ming Plaza
Singapore 575583
Tel: 6358 1555
thomson@expressions.co
Operating hours:
10:30 am – 8:00 pm (Mon – Fri)
10:00 am – 5:00 pm (Alternate Sat – Sun)

[NEW] REVIEW: Sigma Beauty Brow Goals Brush Set, Brow Wax & Brow Powder Duo in Medium

MEDIA PREVIEW

Hello everyone!

Over the past few years as a beauty blogger, I have reviewed mainly cosmetics such as lipsticks and eye shadows but never beauty tools like makeup brushes because apart from the silly thinking that they weren’t all that important, they are also not as visually interesting and fun to write on. In fact, makeup brushes are pretty much the unsung heroes of the beauty world. Although we depend greatly on them to create winning looks, our #makeupoftheday is often accredited to the cosmetics used instead. I think it’s time we give credit where credit is due!

Like many makeup rookies, I mainly relied on brushes that came with my eye shadow palettes when I first started out because I wasn’t ready to invest in professional brushes yet. It was only after a series of minor eye infections caused by the prickly and stiff bristles that I switched to using proper ones from Sigma Beauty, an international online beauty store founded in 2009 in the United States.

sigma

Sigma Beauty is no stranger to the local beauty scene as they have been available for a couple of years on websites such as Sephora (previously Luxola) already. They are best known for their high quality yet relatively affordable face and eye shadow brushes which are usually bundled for the convenience of beginners who don’t know where to start. Now, adding to the makeup essentials is the Brow Goals Brush Set which has every brush you’ll ever need to achieve perfect brows!

Sigma Beauty

Sigma Beauty (Brow Goals Brush Set + Brow Wax + Brow Powder)

The Brow Goals Brush Set (US$63 value) consists of four versatile brushes perfect for your brow needs. It will be launching on 18 April 2016 and will retail for just US$50. The brushes are:

Sigma Beauty Brow Goals Brush Set (US$50)

Sigma Beauty Brow Goals Brush Set (US$50)

To create a pair of natural-looking and neat arch, these brushes work best with Brow Wax and Brow Powder Duo by Sigma Beauty.

Brow Wax (US$11)

Brow Wax (US$11)

Brow Powder Duo (US$14)

Brow Powder Duo (US$14)

Brow Powder Duo in Medium

Brow Powder Duo in Medium (for dark-haired people like me)

Brow Powder Duo (under natural lighting)

Brow Powder Duo (under natural lighting)

Brow Powder Duo - the darker shade

Brow Powder Duo – the darker shade

Brow Powder Duo - the lighter shade

Brow Powder Duo – the lighter shade

Brow Wax helps to keep runaway brow hair in place while Brow Powder enhances the natural colour of your brows for a fuller appearance. As a rule of thumb, opt for a (fill-in) brow powder that is one shade lighter than your hair colour because powders tend to look harsher and more pigmented than say, gel.

Rather than doing a review on each brush like how I would usually do for my lipsticks, I thought it would be more beneficial if I demonstrate the steps I take in creating my everyday brows (because I prefer my brows to look as natural as possible without forcing them too far off their original shape).

1. Groom

My natural brows, unfilled. I have rather sparse brows as they were once wrecked by an inexperienced beautician when I was in Chengdu. It took me nearly three years to regain some hair on both ends of my brows.

My natural brows, unfilled. I have rather sparse brows as they were once wrecked by an inexperienced beautician when I was in Chengdu. It took me nearly three years to regain some hair on both ends of my brows.

Sigma Beauty Brow and Lash Brush

Sigma Beauty Brow and Lash Brush

Sigma Beauty Brow and Lash Brush

Sigma Beauty Brow and Lash Brush

Sigma Beauty Brow and Lash Brush

Sigma Beauty Brow and Lash Brush

It is necessary to comb through the brows to flatten and smooth them before applying any colour. Featuring a spool-shaped tool, the Brow and Lash Brush grooms not only the brows but also helps to pull through lashes for separation and exactness. The width of the spool is slightly greater towards the bottom to capture more brows at the thicker area so I only had to brush through them once.

2. Wax

Sigma Beauty Brow Wax

Sigma Beauty Brow Wax

If brushing does little to tame the brows, applying wax may do the job. This brow wax from Sigma contains a clear wax formula that stays pliable after application. It can be used before adding colour to the brows to keep them in place, or after to give them a smoother finish. It can also be used on bare, unruly brows for an effortless off-duty look. Wearing this wax gives my brows a neater appearance without even having to apply any colour to them.

3. Line & Fill

Sigma Beauty Brow Powder Duo in Medium

Sigma Beauty Brow Powder Duo in Medium

With three different shades (Light, Medium and Dark) to choose from, there is bound to be one that matches your hair colour. Each Brow Powder Duo contains two shades of eyebrow powder that blends to create a seamless effect.

Sigma Beauty Brow Powder Duo in Medium

Sigma Beauty Brow Powder Duo in Medium

Sigma Beauty Angled Brow Brush

Sigma Beauty Angled Brow Brush

Sigma Beauty Angled Brow Brush

Sigma Beauty Angled Brow Brush

Using an Angled Brow Brush, I dabbed on some of the darker brow powder and proceeded to line my lower brows with it. The brush has a short and slightly stiff angled brush head for greater control. The lines around the brows will serve as a guide to prevent them from looking overdrawn with excessive amount of brow powder. Nobody wants to look like a drag queen, am I right? Then, with the same brush, I applied the lighter one to the tail of the brows because too much of a uniform colour would cause the brows to appear stark. I certainly don’t want all the attention to be on my brows!

Once the outline of the brows have been established, I filled in the brows using sketching motion, starting from the head, to achieve a more natural, hair-like effect. The same technique is likewise applied on the tail, albeit with the lighter shade.

Sigma Beauty Winged Liner Brush

Sigma Beauty Winged Liner Brush

Sigma Beauty Winged Liner Brush

Sigma Beauty Winged Liner Brush

Sigma Beauty Winged Liner Brush

Sigma Beauty Winged Liner Brush

Define your eyes with the small, steeply-angled brush head of this Winged Liner Brush which enables precise control of eyeliner on all eye shapes. I had used this on my brows instead to give it a subtle extension at the tail.

4. Highlight

Sigma Beauty Highlight Diffuser Brush

Sigma Beauty Highlight Diffuser Brush

Using Urban Decay Naked Eyeshadow in Sin

Using Urban Decay Naked Eyeshadow in Sin

Sigma Beauty Highlight Diffuser Brush

Sigma Beauty Highlight Diffuser Brush

The simplest trick to make the brows “pop” more is to highlight the outer half of the brow bone beneath it. The Highlight Diffuser Brush used for this step features an angled dense brush head that flawlessly blends the highlight to the eyeshadow shade.

Opt for a highlighting shade that is shimmery yet also corresponds to your skin colour, just like the shade Sin I have picked out from one of my all-time favourite eyeshadow palettes from Urban Decay. It really does make a truckload of difference to your eye makeup because it somehow brightens up your eye area further, giving you a more refreshed look.

5. Even out

Sigma Beauty Brow and Lash Brush

Sigma Beauty Brow and Lash Brush

Finally, blend out all the products you have applied to your brows with the Brow and Lash Brush once again to soften any harsh or uneven edges. Once you’re done, you will get a perfectly sculpted pair of natural-looking brows!

Completed look

Completed look

Completed look

Completed look

With an inexpensive price tag and superb quality brushes, Sigma Beauty has proven time and again to give other premier brands a run for their money. I’m glad buying basic makeup tools like brushes has become less of a privileged affair, so every penny-pinching beauty addicts are able to afford them now!

After spending long hours outdoors.. the brows are still pretty much intact!

After spending long hours outdoors.. the brows are still pretty much intact!

What are your thoughts about Sigma brushes? Will you be getting this set when it launches? Share them with me in the comments below! 🙂

Thanks for reading!

The Brow Goals Brow Set by Sigma Beauty will be available on SIGMABEAUTY.COM from 18 April 2016 at only US$50.

REVIEW: OFRA Four Shades of Romance Collection Long Lasting Liquid Lipsticks – Paris Rendezvous, Venice, Santa Ana & Atlantic City

Hello everyone!

While hopeless romantics eagerly anticipate the arrival of Valentine’s Day every February, shopaholics like myself look forward to sales as well as new releases that complement the special occasion. OFRA, a brand I’ve been keeping tabs on ever since purchasing my now all-time favourite liquid lipstick in Miami Fever, launched the Four Shades of Romance collection in January to give ladies ample time to prep for their Valentine’s date. Featuring four versatile and romantic shades, this Valentine’s Day-inspired collection includes one that is limited edition and exclusive to this set.

OFRA Four Shades of Romance Collection

OFRA Four Shades of Romance Collection

OFRA Four Shades of Romance Collection

OFRA Four Shades of Romance Collection

Packaging size

Packaging size

Housed in a dark purplish-pink drawstring mesh bag and cushioned from inevitable knocks during transit by shredded pink paper, the liquid lipsticks looked set for the celebration of love in a visibly smaller packaging – about 2 cm shorter than the regular-size ones – and a shiny silver cap instead of the usual matte black. The slimline design also makes it very handy to carry around in a clutch purse.

SAMSUNG CSC

Swatches

Among the four shades shown above, Santa Ana, Venice and Atlantic City are repackaged from the permanent line. Given that OFRA has been consistent in naming its liquid lipsticks – Miami Fever, Las Vegas, Dubai and other names of cities around the world (would love to see one named after an Asian city like Singapore though), it’s definitely not surprising to see that the shades picked out for this bundle are of two of the most romantic cities in the world. All of them have a matte finish.

(Pardon my ignorance but why Atlantic City and Santa Ana if not for the shade? Perhaps my American readers can enlighten me on this one!)

#1 Atlantic City

OFRA Atlantic City

OFRA Atlantic City

OFRA Atlantic City

OFRA Atlantic City

OFRA Atlantic City

OFRA Atlantic City

OFRA Atlantic City

OFRA Atlantic City

OFRA Atlantic City

OFRA Atlantic City

OFRA Atlantic City

OFRA Atlantic City

OFRA Atlantic City

OFRA Atlantic City

Vivid red lipsticks are a staple for the romantic season so it would be silly not to have one in this collection pack. This classic red has blue undertones which exudes sophistication and confidence on your first date with the guy you’ve been really interested in. The formula ensures full coverage to reduce the appearance of your lip lines and it also leaves a creamy and hydrating texture on the lips before drying down to a matte (but still moisturising) finish.

#2 Venice

OFRA Venice

OFRA Venice

OFRA Venice

OFRA Venice

OFRA Venice

OFRA Venice

OFRA Venice

OFRA Venice

OFRA Venice

OFRA Venice

OFRA Venice

OFRA Venice

OFRA Venice

OFRA Venice

If you’re bored of your classic red lipsticks already, try this bold orange-red for a change! Like Atlantic City, Venice goes on slick and evenly and coats the lips with intense pigment and high-impact colour payoff which guarantee to get you noticed among a crowd of other dolled up women (so singletons, take note!).  A little of this product goes a long way and one swipe is all you need to fill the lips. The texture, however, felt slightly tackier than other shades.

Atlantic City and Venice swatch comparison

Atlantic City and Venice swatch comparison

I couldn’t tell Venice and First Class apart because they looked too similar! Since ColourPop carries a more extensive range of shades, it won’t be difficult to find dupes at a fraction of OFRA’s price if you’re willing to compromise on the quality. 😉

#3 Santa Ana

OFRA Santa Ana

OFRA Santa Ana

OFRA Santa Ana

OFRA Santa Ana

OFRA Santa Ana

OFRA Santa Ana

OFRA Santa Ana

OFRA Santa Ana

OFRA Santa Ana

OFRA Santa Ana

OFRA Santa Ana

OFRA Santa Ana

OFRA Santa Ana

OFRA Santa Ana

Not fond of heavily saturated brights? Don’t worry, OFRA has got you covered! Santa Ana brings out the gentle side of you with its gorgeous berry rose colour – an ideal neutral shade for everyday wear which also gives the lips a healthier-looking flush. It has an apparent buttery texture with fairly good colour consistency because some areas appeared thinner on my lips and thus required reapplication. But I don’t really see it as an issue. I absolutely love Santa Ana because it blends so well with my natural lip colour! I can totally see myself wearing it to death.

Swatch comparison

Swatch comparison

I think I may even like it more than Bumble now.

#4 Paris Rendezvous

OFRA Paris Rendezvous

OFRA Paris Rendezvous

OFRA Paris Rendezvous

OFRA Paris Rendezvous

OFRA Paris Rendezvous

OFRA Paris Rendezvous

OFRA Paris Rendezvous

OFRA Paris Rendezvous

OFRA Paris Rendezvous

OFRA Paris Rendezvous

OFRA Paris Rendezvous

OFRA Paris Rendezvous

OFRA Paris Rendezvous

OFRA Paris Rendezvous

Following very closely behind Santa Ana on my colour charts is Paris Rendezvous, the limited edition coral pink shade that was specially created for this promotional bundle. It feels exceptionally comfortable and lightweight on the lips and does a satisfactory job in filling the lips entirely with its fairly opaque and somewhat streaky coverage. It is hydrating but does not dry down completely. Therefore, this shade isn’t transfer-proof and won’t be as long-lasting as the rest. But looking on the bright side, it doesn’t demand a lot of effort to be removed. Moreover, this shade is too pretty to be tossed aside, don’t you agree? 🙂

Swatch comparison

Swatch comparison

With only ColourPop’s Instigator bearing the closest similarity (but far from being a dupe) to Paris Rendezvous, it is essentially a unique shade on its own.

OFRA has undoubtedly become one of my go-to brands for liquid lipsticks because of its incredibly soothing and comfortable formula that does not dry out my already-chapped lips. They generally last for at least four hours before fading evenly all over the lips. This bundle is really value-for-money and I would certainly recommend anyone who’s still contemplating to try this brand to get it. I assure you that you will love their liquid lipsticks as much as I do!

What do you think? Leave your thoughts in the comments below! 🙂

Thanks for reading!

OFRA Four Shades of Romance Collection is now available on OFRACosmetics.com. Quote “LIPLOVE” upon checkout for 30% off Storewide.

REVIEW: MAC Viva Glam Ariana Grande Lipstick

Hello again, fellow beautyholics!

Since 1994, MAC has been actively involved in the fight against HIV and AIDS with its Viva Glam campaigns whereby every single cent made from the sale of the products in the Viva Glam line would be donated to its own AIDS fund. To further raise awareness of the cause, every Viva Glam campaign is endorsed mostly by controversial famous personalities (many of whom are also AIDS activists themselves) from the music industry. This year, joining the ranks of past ambassadors like Lady Gaga, Rihanna and Miley Cyrus is none other than.. *drums roll* ..Ariana Grande!

mac-viva-glam-ariana-grande

The announcement of the new face for the latest Viva Glam campaign had undoubtedly caused a stir among MAC fans considering the amount of bad press Ariana Grande had gotten for her “donut lick” incident as well as her unpatriotic remarks that were caught on video. But putting those criticisms aside, the Dangerous Woman hitmaker has performed a series of philanthropic work from supporting homosexuality to promoting animal rights and veganism despite being only in her early twenties. That’s very commendable if you ask me, so I have never once felt that it was a terrible decision to bring her on board.

MAC Viva Glam Ariana Grande

MAC Viva Glam Ariana Grande

MAC Viva Glam Ariana Grande

MAC Viva Glam Ariana Grande

MAC Viva Glam Ariana Grande

MAC Viva Glam Ariana Grande

Encased in a black tube marked by her signature on the inner cherry-red surface, the packaging of the lipstick is no different from the Viva Glam lipsticks released previously (apart from Viva Glam Rihanna which had a red rubber-textured tube). A shimmery pink Viva Glam lipglass has also been launched alongside the lipstick for those who are not fond of dark, matte lipsticks.

Viva Glam Ariana Grande is a deep dark plum with Matte finish (US$17)

Viva Glam Ariana Grande is a deep dark plum with Matte finish (US$17)

MAC Viva Glam Ariana Grande

MAC Viva Glam Ariana Grande

MAC Viva Glam Ariana Grande

MAC Viva Glam Ariana Grande

MAC Viva Glam Ariana Grande

MAC Viva Glam Ariana Grande

MAC Viva Glam Ariana Grande

MAC Viva Glam Ariana Grande

MAC Viva Glam Ariana Grande

MAC Viva Glam Ariana Grande

Contrary to expectations, the finish isn’t matte at all although it does tug at the lips a little upon application. The product felt slippery and it leaves a sheen on the lips like a Satin lipstick. With streaks and patches of darker plum colour all over the lips, it is obvious that the lipstick is unable to provide an entirely opaque coverage even after multiple swipes. The colour tends to gather at the indentations on the lips but it was near-impossible to even our the texture. Due to the inconsistent payoff of the lipstick, the lips have to be lined before being filled with the colour or else they would appear messy and undefined.

Swatch comparison

Swatch comparison

The closest dupe I have to Viva Glam Ariana Grande is probably Living Legend which leans more towards maroon than plum. As compared to other Mattes like Eugenie and Smoked Purple, Viva Glam Ariana Grande clearly seems to have a creamier but patchy formula similar to those of the newer Matte shades these days. I kinda hope MAC would revert to the drier Matte formula because I’m not diggin’ the so-called improvements made to it.

But since all proceeds from the sale of this lipstick go to helping women, men and children living with and affected by HIV/AIDS, I’m going to encourage you to buy it nonetheless 😉 This is, as how Ariana Grande had put it, guilt-free shopping because you actually get to shop with a purpose!

What do you think of the lipstick? Share your thoughts with me in the comments below!

Thanks for reading! 🙂

MAC Viva Glam Ariana Grande lipstick is now available on MACCosmetics.com and at all local MAC outlets.

REVIEW: MAC x Dita Von Teese Lipstick in Von Teese

Hello everyone!

When it comes to red lipsticks, no one wears in better than Dita Von Teese. Sporting a Marilyn Monroe-esque vintage makeup all the time, the renowned burlesque dancer completes her look with a striking red lip colour which stands out from her porcelain white skin and silky black updo. With red lips already ingrained into her image, it wasn’t hard to guess the shade of her lipstick with MAC even before it was announced.

mac-dita-von-teese

Having worked with MAC on their Viva Glam campaign almost a decade ago (alongside many other celebrities), Dita Von Teese is certainly no stranger to the brand. But unlike the first partnership in which Dita Von Teese probably had little to no involvement in the decision of the lipstick shade, this latest collaboration sees a distinctive style of the said artiste – her trademark red lipstick, inspired by the launch of her new book, Your Beauty Mark.

MAC x Dita Von Teese

MAC x Dita Von Teese

MAC x Dita Von Teese

MAC x Dita Von Teese

MAC x Dita Von Teese

MAC x Dita Von Teese

The packaging was clearly designed to grab attention. With Dita Von Teese’s seductive eyes staring back at you from the box, there is no way you would miss it amongst the black boxes for MAC’s regular lipsticks. Encasing the lipstick is a typical shiny black plastic casing commonly used for limited edition lipsticks, but with the words “Dita Von Teese” printed on it in red.

Von Teese is a vivid tomato red with Matte finish (US$18 / S$34)

Von Teese is a vivid tomato red with Matte finish (US$18 / S$34)

Dita Von Teese's name imprinted on the bullet

Dita Von Teese’s name imprinted on the bullet

MAC Von Teese

MAC Von Teese

MAC Von Teese

MAC Von Teese

MAC Von Teese

MAC Von Teese

MAC Von Teese

MAC Von Teese

MAC Von Teese

MAC Von Teese

Pardon my messy hairdo.. I was trying to channel my inner Dita Von Teese by attempting at big luscious curls. Obviously that didn’t work out because I was having a bad hair day and furthermore, I don’t have that much hair to achieve the plumped-up effect to begin with 😦 My red lips are probably the closest I’ll ever come to being like the burlesque queen.

The lipstick, although Matte, has a glossy texture and glides on smoothly that imparts a pleasant, moisturising feel with its creamy consistency. It has a pigment so bold that it managed to conceal my lip lines with only a single swipe, thereby instantly giving them an impeccable pout. There’s virtually nothing to rant about this lipstick.

Swatch comparisons

Swatch comparisons

I chanced upon a lot of comments about Von Teese being potentially similar to Ruby Woo, which is one of the burlesque star’s all-time favourite reds. Based on the swatches above, not only is Von Teese more opaque and hydrating (the Ruby Woo seen here contains the old Matte formula which tends to tug at the lips), it also appears to have bluer undertones as compared to Ruby Woo. So if you’re still contemplating on getting Von Teese because of scepticism that it might be an exact dupe for Ruby Woo, well, I hope this clears your doubt!

Nevertheless, I wish MAC had done something differently with Dita Von Teese, like a fuller collection with more variety of products such as brow pencils, falsies and whatnots.

What are your thoughts? Share them with me in the comments below!

Thanks for reading! You have been really awesome 🙂

The MAC x Dita Von Teese lipstick in Von Teese is now sold out on MACCOSMETICS.COM. It was available locally only on the TANGS E-STORE.

REVIEW: MAC x Mariah Carey Lipstick in All I Want

Hello everyone!

Did you know Mariah Carey once enrolled herself into a beauty school when she was in the eleventh grade because she wanted to try her hand at being a hairdresser and a make-up artist? That, however (and obviously), didn’t materialise as the Queen of R&B later revealed that she dropped out of the course due to her demanding schedule in the early days of her music career. But with all the fortune she has amassed as one of the most successful singers in the world now, she certainly doesn’t need any credentials to start her own cosmetics line!

Mariah-Carey-MAC

Every December without fail, the enchanting voice of Mariah Carey infiltrates shopping malls around the globe as everyone gears up for Christmas with familiar tunes like “All I Want For Christmas Is You”. Last year, the holiday icon (Queen of Christmas is also another honorific nickname bestowed upon Carey) decided to take her hit song to the next level by transforming it into a tangible product! Teaming up with MAC for the first time on a new lipstick (and an impending collection due out later this year), the music goddess stayed true to her penchant for nude lips but added an extra dose of festive sparkle to her aptly-named All I Want lipstick that was released in December 2015.

MAC x Mariah Carey

MAC x Mariah Carey

MAC x Mariah Carey

MAC x Mariah Carey

What let me down, of course, was the plain packaging adopted for this limited-edition lipstick. Being the first product borne out of the collaboration between Mariah Carey and MAC, surely we would have expected something more than just the regular black MAC box. I mean, look, even the relatively unknown Brooke Candy (no offence) got better treatment on the design of her lipstick packaging :\

All I Want is a champagne shimmer with a Frost finish (US$17)

All I Want is a champagne shimmer with a Frost finish (US$17)

MAC All I Want

MAC All I Want

MAC All I Want

MAC All I Want

MAC All I Want

MAC All I Want

MAC All I Want

MAC All I Want

MAC All I Want

MAC All I Want

Everything about this lipstick screams “celebration” – from the alluringly muted gold hue to the sparkly finish which altogether simulate the appearance of champagne. The shimmers stuck out for this one as light is clearly reflected at most parts of the lips. You don’t actually need to apply the lipstick multiple times to achieve this sparkly effect because all it takes is one swipe. You know how the colour of your lipstick can sometimes directly affect your mood? Well, wearing All I Want made me feel like I was wandering around a quiet street on a winter’s night because those shimmers made my lips look really frozen pale 😆

On the downside, it doesn’t have a smooth consistency as the texture felt a tad powdery on my lips. Still, it’s a very pretty lip colour to have to commemorate Christmas and what’s more, a shade that was put together by Mariah Carey herself! This lipstick is also perfect for parties, especially those dimly-lit ones. Those lips are guaranteed to stand out from amidst the darkness.

MAC All I Want swatch comparison

MAC All I Want swatch comparison

I’m not a fan of Frost finish to begin with, thus explaining the very limited number of shades I could compare All I Want with. But as you can see from the above swatches, the Frost finish is a more sparkly and gorgeous version of Lustre.

Boy, I can’t wait to see what awesome stuff Mariah Carey and MAC have in store for us this year! What about you? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below! 🙂

Thanks for reading!

MAC X Mariah Carey All I Want lipstick is an online exclusive, now available on MACCosmetics.com.