You have to be odd
to be number one.
Dr. Seuss

Saturday, April 27, 2013

NARS 'And God Created The Woman' Set

You must believe me when I say I tried my very best to resist purchasing this palette. For one, I only ever wear neutral eyeshadows on a daily basis, so I have a fairly decent-sized collection of eyeshadows and palettes....definitely enough to last me at least a few years. I really didn't have a good reason for buying this (does anyone ever?) yet here it is in my possession. I saw it first on the Sephora website, and then featured on both Kate's (gh0stparties) and Anna's (ViviannaDoesMakeup) Youtube channels and blogs before I decided errr, maybe I do really want it. A bump in the road and a bit of a wild goose chase later, it was mine. Behold, the NARS 'And God Created Woman' limited edition palette for Spring 2013. 

Let me start by saying that this palette was $68. I know what you're thinking - that's a lot of moolah - but allow me to convince you, like I did myself, of why this is actually a pretty good deal especially for a NARS set. This set comes with three separate items: (1) A mirrored compact containing six NARS eyeshadows (0.03 oz each) - Top L-R: Alhambra, Bellisima, Kalahari; Bottom L-R: Galapagos, Coconut Grove, Night Clubbing, (2) a mini #3 eye shader brush, and (3) a medium size (0.09 oz) of the Pro Prime Smudgeproof Eyeshadow Base.

You all know that when it comes to expensive products I like to be thorough with my reviews so that you can have the best idea possible of what you're buying can do for you. So as usual, here is my 'extremely long rambles' warning - and also as usual, I've tried to separate my thoughts so you can jump between sections and just read up on what you're interested in.

Why it's good value for money:
(1) Let's start with the obvious, which is that you're getting three products in this set, worth a total retail value of $121 for $68. 
(2) For the dinkiest little compact, this palette contains a whopping six shades (although yes, the pans may not be all that big), and an amazing variety of light and dark shades to create both day and night looks. I think this palette is really versatile and you can get a lot of out it in terms of eye looks.
(3) There are 2 matte shades included! This is a must for me because I always go for a matte crease contour, especially for everyday. The lighter of the two matte shades Bellisima looks like it has some shimmer particles in the pan, but it is barely visible when applied. 
(4) I don't know if any of you have noticed but NARS tends to choose some crazy colour shades for their duo combinations which I'm not too big a fan of. I love how this palette essentially takes NARS's most gorgeous six neutral shades and slams them into one compact. The palette's excellent shade selection is definitely what initially won me over.
(5) NARS shadows are known in the industry as some of the best quality-wise!

(1) The eyeshadow base is fanflippintastic! I had wanted to try it out ever since Ingrid (missglammorazzi) raved about it on her channel as the best eyeshadow base for oily lids (which I have). I've used this a few times and can definitely vouch for its ability to make eyeshadows stay on forever in pristine quality (aka no creasing!). This base is really thin and blendable in consistency but slightly tackier, compared to something like Urban Decay Primer Potion. I think the property differences between this primer and others is what makes it superior in how it works.
(2) The shadows themselves are an absolute dream to work with. The shades are so complementary and they blend together so easily to create seamless eye looks. They also appear amazing and silky on the lids - I feel like some shadows can look chalky and patchy. From the two instances I've used the shadows, I experienced little to no fall out, but I'd still be careful with the darker ones.
(3) The eyeshadow brush is definitely the wallflower of the group. It's decent and functional but not the best I've ever used. It's sort of a hybrid between a shader brush and a blending brush in that it's pretty dense overall but quite fluffy and tapered at the end. This quality about it, I feel, makes it not amazing at either job, although it is better at blending than packing on colour.

Whew, I need a breath.

I apologize I didn't include any arm swatches. I don't know why, it just completely slipped my mind. But I do have something better! Photos with the shadows applied, woohoo! I used all six eyeshadows for this look just so you could get a feel of them all, although I'm sure some are barely noticeable because they all blend in to each other. Hey ho, it's just so you have an idea of what you can do with so many shades. If enough of you would like maybe I could do a tutorial on the look? Just say the word, my lovelies!

Hopefully this palette is still available by the time you read this. Because they're limited edition, they sell out within a day (or something outrageous like that) in Sephora stores but I believe the Sephora website still has them in stock.

Finally I get to say what you have all been waiting for: that is all I have for now! If you got to the end of this post, I commend you!

Twitter: @jemcheng
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Friday, April 26, 2013

Bumble and bumble Brilliantine

I'm a pretty low-maintenance gal when it comes to my hair. Being of Asian descent, I've been blessed with naturally straight hair that almost takes care of itself on the daily (my former roommates liked to make me feel bad about it, haha). But after 20 years of the same straight, flat hair, you start to want a bit of a change. I mean, a bit of bedhead, volume, and thoughtful mess never hurt anyone. So I decided to shoot a tweet to the Bumble and bumble connoisseur Miss Chelsea Henry. If you've never heard of Chelsea, you need to head on over to her blog because it is simply amazing - this girl is a master of photography and the written language.....aaaand making you go broke. ;) Haha! Seriously though, I love reading her blog - it's super casual and easygoing, and (I would maybe go so far as to say) has some of the loveliest photos on the internet! Back to my hair. I asked Chelsea what styling product she'd recommend for lightweight, tousled bedhead hair and she pointed me to Brilliantine, so I got a hold of it the next time I was at the mall.

What this product does for you is hard to put into words because the change is so subtle it's almost unnoticeable ... but it's there. Brilliantine is a lightweight, low hold product that just bumps up your hair game without being too flashy, if that makes any sense. I loved the natural effect and extra shine I got with it. After all of that, the smell is just a bonus. It isn't particularly floral or musky, it just smells of salon freshness. Haha! I don't know how else to describe it but it's as if I had my hair done by the professionals.

How I use Brilliantine. Squeeze a dime-size dollop onto my palm, rub my hands together to get the product all over and just work my hands through my hair, lightly scrunching relatively large sections at a time. If I find I want a bit more, I repeat. I start off small because too much can make your hair appear greasy. I also like to concentrate the product more from the mid-shaft to the ends because my roots tend to get oily pretty quickly.

Sooo I may have went to town with it in the photos below. Lots of hand scrunching on second day hair will give you a more piecey look like this (first and second photos). But if you use the product on freshly cleaned hair the results are more subtle (third photo), so just style as you please.

There you have it, folks! I'd say my first foray into hair styling was a smashing success. If you want that done undone look, try this one out for size because it is amazing!
(BTW: Chelsea also has her own review on Bb's Brilliantine over here.)

Twitter: @jemcheng
Tumblr: withscienceandfaith
Instagram: jemcheng

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

A GOOD morning, indeed! Best Dressed Reader of the Day

I was just going to sneak this into my next post, but excitement overwhelms me! I woke up this morning to a bombardment of tweets and Facebook notifications from a bunch of my friends telling me that I'd been featured as Teen Vogue's Best Dressed Reader of the Day. 'OHMAGASHHHH' - this was me. I submitted a photo and didn't think much of it - I just figured there would be thousands of other submissions that they'd like better and choose to feature. So waking up this morning to the news was truly a pleasant surprise!

I submitted this photo, which you may recognize from my Light As Air outfit post months back. This really is one of my favourite outfits and as spring was just around the corner (when I submitted it) I thought it would be perfect! If you want to check out the feature, link is right here: Teen Vogue Best Dressed Reader of the Day.

Thank you for all the people in my life that have supported me through Jemaroons' baby steps. Sending my love to you all... x

That's all for now - I just wanted to write up this quick post to share the exciting news with lovely readers. :) New posts coming soon, just got to get through my final exams for the year. Thanks for your patience, as usual.

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