A wonderful surprise

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48 comments

Today something lovely happened. I thought it was so nice I wonder what I have done to deserve it. Today I received a package in the mail sent to me by my mother. And I couldn't believe what was inside.


3 x Dior Addict Lipsticks in 561 Baby Rose, 753 Fashion, and 864 Couture
1 x Laura Mercier Matte Eyeshadow Colour in Coffee Ground
1 x Laura Mercier Eye Basics in Wheat
2 x Laura Mercier Satinee Creme Eye Colour in Cocoa Velour and Rum Satin
1 x Laura Mercier Brow Definer in Warm

The thing about my family is that I almost never see them. My mother lives in Cyprus, my sister in Denmark, and my father moves back and forth between Sweden and Indonesia. I miss them a lot and seeing this kind of thing from my family made me really happy. I've never had anything from Laura Mercier but I know it's a very nice and expensive brand and obviously so is Dior. And the other thing that I think is so sweet is that all the colours are exactly what I use and my momma knows that so she chose them thoughtfully. I don't mean to brag and say oooooh look at all these expensive things I have, I would never spend this much money on my self but it kinda made my heart warm very much because I love makeup and I couldn't have picked a better selection for myself so I appreciate it more in a personal way than a materialistic way. So thank you family, it means the world.

Work Face

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6 comments

I finally have a solid and speedy work makeup routine! I've been experimenting quite a lot because I like to wear a light smokey eye to work, and I want my makeup to be quick and easy to apply as well as long lasting. I also don't want to have to fumble around too much with too many different makeup items/brushes, and just keep to the main essentials. So here is the kit:


Step 1: Apply Milk of Magnesia
Milk of Magnesia?!! Damn straight. I've been using this as my primer for about a month now and I can't believe how effective it is. My skin gets oily throughout the day and my makeup just ends up melting off, but the MoM keeps me matte throughout the day and my makeup lasts so much longer. I have no need to touch up at all. I apply it to my T-zone, cheeks and chin before I put on my makeup and I'm such a fan now. It may sound strange but I love it. And it has no adverse effects on my skin whatsoever, if anything, my skin has never been better. It was actually my mom who told me about MoM (ha!). She told me it's great to use as a deoderant. At first I thought damn you crazy! But then I tried it and it just kept my armpits dry. Since MoM doesn't have a smell I will use a fragranced deoderant too but by using the MoM first it's like your pits are a guaranteed sweat-free zone. Good stuff.

Step 2: Foundation
I'll apply my foundation with my fingers, I'll only take about a minute blending it around as I don't use much foundation anymore and only apply a thin layer all over.

Step 3: Concealer
I'll apply my garnier eye roll-on onto my clean ring finger and pat all around my eyes. I also use this as a concealer on pimples or uneven skin on my face to reduce the amount of items in my makeup bag + to save time.

Step 4: Eyebrows
I like to use Rimmel eye brow pencils because they are not too soft and not too stiff. I fill my eye brows in with fast stroke movements (like I'm drawing hairs) and if needed I'll soften with a brush.

Step 5: Bronzer
I just use a blusher brush to apply bronzer onto my cheek bones, temples and top of my forehead for some glow.

Step 6: Eye Primer
I use Gosh's stick eye shadow primer all around my eye and also on my waterline.

Step 7: Eyeliner
I recently bought Maybellines black gel liner and it definitely does NOT last 24 hours on my eyes but it's probably the most effective thing I own right now in terms of staying power. I apply this on my lower and upper water line and also around the eyes closely following the lash line and finish with a little outward flick. I do this rather quickly and don't care about mess as I blend it next.

Step 8: Eyeshadow
To save space and time I use my bronzer as eyeshadow all over my lid and under my lower lashline. I don't have to be too careful with this as the shade isn't too far off from my skin colour so its very easy to blend. Then I'll use my dark brown Max factor dip in eyeshadow as it's very fast too apply, I'll put this all around my eye close to my upper and lower lash line. Then I'll take my eye shadow brush and blend all this together so it kind of becomes a smokey gradient from the eyeliner to the dark brown eyeshadow to the goldy bronze. Right after I've blended my eyeshadow I'll run the brush down the sides of my nose for some speedy contouring and the excess shadow on the brush is always enough.

Step 9: Mascara
I start with a couple of coats of my favourite Diorshow primer then I'll use any black lasting/water proof mascara (currently using 17 Photo Flawless in Copper Black). Depending on how much time I have sometimes I'll just do one coat of each.

Step 10: Blush
I bought a pink cream blush specifically for work since I can just apply it with my fingers so it's a lot quicker.

Step 11: Lips
I'll usually apply a little bit of lipstain on when I'm on the bus but sometimes I'll skip this and leave my lips natural.

  
That is the finished look. This will usually take me around 15-20 minutes and that's while watching tv, having my morning coffee and doing my makeup in a compact mirror. I'm forced to do my makeup like this because I live with students so I have to go downstairs to the living room to get ready to avoid waking people up. It makes life so much slower! If I had a proper mirror and space to do my makeup this would probably take 10 minutes. And once it's done I don't do any touch ups except for maybe my cheeks or eyeliner on my waterline. Do you have a work/school makeup routine, and how long does it take you?

Thanks for reading ;)

My skincare routine

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4 comments

Wow this is like my second post this month, I hate not having enough spare time. But on a happier note, the blog giveaway will be ending soon! Yaaay! Thanks again to everyone who has taken part, I feel bad for the people who have started following me when I'm not even contributing any content on my blog at the moment. But it's just been a hectic time for me. ANYWAY. So yes at the end of this month I am getting my first pay check which is so awesome. So I'll finally be picking a winner and dispatching the prices. 

Today I wanted to do a blog post about my skin care routine. I don't stick to this religiously, some days I might fall asleep with my makeup (although very rarely) and sometimes I'll just use a face wipe if I'm too tired. But since I started using a certain few products my skin has just been so much better off. About 2 years ago I started to get acne all over my face, mainly on my cheeks. And I don't mean teenage acne, I'd already grown out of that and my skin was pretty clear, then all of a sudden this new sort of acne popped up and my skin was just all bumpy looking. I had these white heads just appearing everywhere and while they weren't the usual red pimples, they were still horrible and there were so many of them. I'd spend ages trying to squeeze the stuff out (ew) and I tried so many different products, and thank god I finally found an awesome skin routine and my skin is now the best it has ever been. For the first time in my life I feel great just wearing tinted moisturizer, in fact I'm hardly wearing much foundation anymore! So onto the routine.

Morning: 

I don't really do much in the morning as I'm always in a rush.

 

 I'll usually just quickly wash my face with Dior Gentle Foaming Cleanser. I really like this cleanser because it's very mild, it doesn't even sting my eyes. But obviously dior is quite expensive and there are lots of cheap alternatives that would do the same job, it's not an amazing product or anything, it's just a regular mild face wash and it does the job, nothing more, nothing less.




 

 Next since I'm in a rush I will use a spray on toner just before moving on to makeup. Currently I'm using Dermalogica Clean Start All Over Clear toner. I LOVE the fact that this is in a spray bottle and I'd urge anyone to keep some of their favourite toner in a spray bottle. In the morning when I'm hurrying and still half asleep it's so refreshing to have a spritz of refreshing toner right in the face! Even when this product finishes I'm gonna clean out the bottle and keep using it for toners.




Evening:

3 Words: HOT CLOTH CLEANSERS. I mean these things are a godsend, my pores have shrunk to pretty much invisible by using this stuff. There are a few different brands e.g. Liz Earle, No. 7, Soap and Glory, Sanctuary, and I think even superdrug have a real bargain version out now as well. The thing that really makes this product is the muslin cloth and I have to say I think the Liz Earle cloth is the best. But as for the actual cleanser, I'm not fussed, they all work for me. I always shower in the evenings since I already have to get up for work at 6, so I usually do my cleanse in the shower. This cloth paired with a cleanser just clears out the grime from your pores and I've never had such smooth skin in my life! I just can't praise this product enough. When I don't use it, I notice such a difference. You know how you have those little bumps/heads on your nose and chin and sometimes around the mouth area? I hate them with a passion, when you put foundation on in those areas you can just see them even more, but using this exfoliating cloth is almost like erasing them. I discovered this product before it became a hit with beauty reviewers online as my housemate had been using it for years and I really wish I'd known about it sooner.

The hot cloth cleanser already leaves my skin moisturized, but if my skin is particularly dry as it gets during winter, I'll put some moisturizer on too, I'm not too particular about this, usually I'll just use what I have at the time. My mom always buys me Olay's beauty fluid so I'll usually have this lying around, I do like this moisturizer a lot because it's hydrating but completely non greasy! At first I didn't like it because it didn't feel like it was hydrating my skin due to the lack of greasiness but don't be fooled, it really is nicely hydrating so I always like to have a bottle to hand.

Finally I'll apply benzoyl peroxide on my problem areas or sometimes I'll put it on all the usual places that acne pops up to prevent any nasties. I didn't know about this stuff until I got my 2nd bout of acne in my early 20's as I mentioned earlier. And this is the only thing that zapped them into non-existence. Seriously this is my acne miracle cure. For when I get a particularly nasty spot, like those that don't have a visible head but are just under the skin and red and painful, then I'll use a hot compress on it for about 15 minutes then apply this. I don't beleive in any other acne products because it really does the job. But when I first starting using benzoyl peroxide, it was frying my skin. This was partly my fault, I was so desperate to get rid of my acne that I chose a higher strength product (now i use 2,5%) and I was slathering it on.  And after the first night of doing this, my acne was so visibly reduced so of course this made me slather it on the next night. Within a few days my skin was peeling. Ouch! So if your skin isn't used to this product then take caution. But paired with the hot cloth cleanser, it's a perfect combo because it exfoliates away any peeling but very gently. And anyway the peeling doesn't happen anymore once you've used it for a couple of weeks. I only like to apply this once a day, right before bed, but if I have something desperately needing zapping I'll put some on in the day too after I've washed my face.

That's it for my skincare routine! I don't really like to spend ages and go overboard with lots of products so I try to keep it quick and simple. I'm definitely not one of those people that was born with awesome skin but now I feel like my skin is probably nicer than most people!
But at the momen't I don't use any eye cream, have fine lines starting to creep up and my dark circles in the morning are god awful so I have yet to find my HG eyecream. If anyone has found a really awesome one for dark, dry puffy under eyes I'd love to hear about it.


Update + Look using giveaway items

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16 comments

Thank you so much to everyone who has joined my giveaway and a welcome to the new faces! I've been reading everyone's nice comments although I haven't had time to respond because of work, but tonight I'm finding some time to let everyone know my appreciation. Also I've been trying to think of some makeup looks suitable for the work place! And I thought what better than to try a look using some of my fave products that I included in the giveaway :D. This look was inspired by this gorgeous lady:



That is some serious O-M-G beauty. I know she doesn't always look like that but she's just got such a gorgeous look in this photo! I wasn't trying to make myself look like her at all with my makeup but I wanted to copy the style i.e. a dark eye and nude lip.


 


For this look I used the 3 neutral MUA shades in the giveaway (shade 1, 17, and 19) and the wet and wild mono in cherub. I love the 3 MUA shades and use them quite a lot for a brown smokey look or understated eye makeup like my above attempt. The dark brown MUA eyeshadow is also awesome for eyebrows since it's quite an ashy dark brown and no shimmer! To be honest I don't use the pearly off white shade as eyeshadow at all but as a highlighter for my t zone and above my cheeks.

I used the Pink Mallow lipstick mixed with a teeny bit of concealer on my lips. If you knew me you would know that this is my HG pink lipstick. I've been using it for years and I LOVE it. Seriously can't get enough of this stuff. Natural Collection do quite a wide range of beautiful lipstick shades and I want all of them! Anyway it's bedtime for me, but more on the weekend and I hope you enjoyed this look!

FOTD 25/2/2012 + Biofinity Lenses

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Yay it's the weekend! Which means I have time to blog :). Today I went for a quick and simple look (taken with my iphone so not the clearest picture). The sun was shining and I wanted to get out of the house for a little bit, but I was only heading out for about an hour so I didn't want to put too much effort into my makeup. I went for light coverage on my face, thick eyebrows, thin eyeliner on my top lid, very sparse amount of mascara and a dark, burgundy lip. Also, I wasn't wearing colored contacts today!

Today I received my prescription contact lenses in the mail. I'm really quite blind (R: -4.5 L: -4.75) so I always wear lenses to correct my eyesight. About a month ago I ran out of clear lenses and couldn't afford to order some more so I was wearing my colorblends in grey everyday! I have chronic dry eyes and my eyes always always always feel dry and I blink like crazy because it's so uncomfortable. Finally this week I could afford some new lenses so I bought some called Biofinity by Coopervision. Apparently you can sleep in them! I never would, but I thought if you can sleep in them then they must be quite hydrating, so I decided to buy them. And I have to day they are wonderfully comfortable. I'm not blinking as much at all and I haven't noticed my eyes feeling dry at all today when usually I can feel it 24/7. I'm super happy with these lenses and would definitely recommend them to people with dry eyes like me. I paid £30.00 for 3 months supply from an online contact lens store which is really affordable too. That's so much cheaper than daily lenses and even those dry my eyes out. So a big thumbs up from me!

So the reason I headed out today was not just to enjoy the lovely sunshine but also to go buy some things for my.....BLOG GIVEAWAY! Hehehe yup I decided to do a blog giveaway and I'm really excited about it. Details in my next post!

Pictures Pictures Pictures

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As I've now got a job I've been dreaming about things that I can buy with my hard earned money :). I've been doing lots of online window shopping for inspiration. I especially love looking on lookbook and asian wholesale sites. While I've never purchased any clothes from an asian wholesaler, I absolutely adore browsing through the clothes and I find the clothes look amazing on the models. Also makes me want to lose some weight! These are pictures of things I like, want, and as inspiration for myself.

Book Clutch 

Wing Wedges
2-Tone Lips

2 Piece Dresses


Bold Color





The Most Natural Contact Lenses?

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27 comments

Argghhh I haven't blogged in too long! It's been 10 days since my last post, I definitely have less time now that I'm working but I'm gonna try harder to keep posting at least twice a week. I've been feeling the withdrawal symptoms for sure. 

Anyway... check out these contact lenses!




I was surfing the internet yesterday and just stumbled across these contact lenses by accident. I never new there was such a thing as hand painted contact lenses, the ones above are by fxeyes. They specialize in theatrical and natural contact lenses, these can be custom made by request and they are available in prescription too. They look too good to be true! It's hard to believe that someone with dark brown eyes could change their eye color to green or blue so convincingly. The contact lenses are FDA approved so are safe to use although when I was doing some research I read that some users thought they were a bit thicker than normal lenses so rather uncomfortable to wear, especially for prescription versions. And how much do these amazingly real looking contact lenses cost?? A crazy $450 dollars a pair! It's not really surprising seeing as these contact lenses are movie industry standard. It is also rumored that some celebrities use contact lenses like these to enhance their eyes. Now that I think of it, how is it that the majority of celebrities have really intense eyes? But maybe it's just because they're celebrities! I'd love to try a pair of lenses like this one day but I couldn't justify spending that much just to change my eye color. 

If you're feeling a bit skeptical about how real these lenses actually look, as I was at first, search for fxeyes on youtube and there's quite a few videos of people wearing them and they really do look like the real deal!

FOTD 9/2/2012

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7 comments


 Praise the lawd for beauty shot. Seriously, I've been thinking that my photos have been turning out better than usual recently and it's because of this badass setting on my camera. I'm just using a standard 10.2 megapixel digital camera, the Samsung PL50, but the beauty shot mode smooths fine lines and blemishes and brightens your complexion. Who needs fancy lighting or Photoshop?!
Anyway, this is today's makeup look. After reading Sally's post relating to ulzzang, I kinda wanted to try the ulzzang look just for fun, but I don't have any circle lenses, so I decided to just do a similar doll-inspired makeup style instead. 


Quick Summary:
  • Foundation
  • Pale concealer to highlight Tzone and under eyes
  • Bronzer to contour sides of nose, temples and forehead
  • Fill in eyebrows
  • Pink blusher on cheeks
  • Little bit of foundation mixed with little bit of light pink lipstick on the lips
  • Thin kohl eyeliner applied around upper and lower lashlines with small outward horizontal flick
  • Line upper and lower waterline
  • Apply brown eyeshadow around eye just on top of kohl and blend with liner.
  • Butt load of lash primer and mascara to upper and lower lashes 
Done!

Healthy Hair Routine

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3 comments

Big news: I finally got a job! I won't have as much time to blog anymore but thank god I can finally earn some mahoney!

Anymore more about that later, this blog post is a follow up of my previous one about my hair and the after care that went into restoring it. I only started this routine a month ago but it has made a huge difference (even my boyfriend can tell and he's oblivious to any changes to my looks whatsoever). So this is what I did to repair my damaged hair:

Phase 1: Causes of Damage
My first step was to avoid doing anything to my hair which would cause a lot of damage. And because I wanted to stop coloring my hair, I had to color it just one last time, to it's natural color, so that I wouldn't have to do any root touch ups and I could just leave my hair to grow. So no more chemical treatments whatsoever!

I also avoid everyday processes which are known to damage hair:
  • I don't use straighteners, curlers, or blow dryers on a hot air setting . In fact, I left my blow dryer at my moms house, so now I just let my hair dry naturally; if I have somewhere to go and my hair needs washing, I allocate time for my hair to dry at home or wash my hair the night before. If I want to style my hair differently, I use heat-less methods such as velcro rollers for volume or soft curls, or use the hair band curl method.
  • I try to wash my hair less, apparently you should only wash it twice a week to retain the hair's natural oils. I still wash it 3-4 times a week at the moment, but gradually I'm going to try to reduce it to 2. I know it sounds gross but if you wash your hair less, it is less prone to get greasy quickly.
  • I  only brush once once or twice a day. Too much brushing causes breakage. I will only brush when my hair is dry as the hair is more elastic while wet so breaks easier. I don't know what the best brush is or if such a thing exists, but I like to use a wide set brush with soft synthetic bristles. I've heard that tangle teezers are awesome but I don't own one yet. I also use my hands and stroke downwards instead of brushing if it needs a bit of smoothing out in the middle of the day.
  • I try to avoid hair products containing a lot of alcohol. Hairspray is the biggest culprit here and I can't completely stop using it, but I definitely use less and in some cases replace hairspray with mousse. I'm also generally using less products so that I don't have to wash it as often.
Phase 2: Trim Your Split Ends.
This article is copied from wikihow, I thought it would be a much clearer explanation than me trying to describe the process myself:


1.  Obtain a pair of hair shears. Normal scissors will gnaw through your hair and cause you more split ends. You can purchase them online or at a local beauty supply.





 2. Cut perpendicular to the hair strand. This will keep the end stronger than a slanted cut would.






 3. Make the cut about 1/4” above the split to ensure a healthy end.




4. Try trimming against a light background if you have dark hair and vice versa.




Yes, it is time consuming but really rewarding. Without getting rid of the damage, your hair cannot recover! I've been in denile so many times and avoided getting my ends chopped off at the salon but then I'd always give in because the quality of my hair would just be unbearable. But now, by trimming my split-ends myself, I don't lose any length. When I started, it felt kind of pointless and like I would never run out of split-ends to cut off but eventually they begin to lessen and now I have to look harder to find them. I do this in the daytime while watching tv once or twice a week. You can only really see split ends in good lighting, and I have a window just behind my couch, so I always get a lot of good natural light to see the splits in. Otherwise, just a table lamp will suffice. And only do this with shears and not kitchen scissors or whatever you have at home. I bought a pair of shears from  my local boots for about £20 and they are very useful to have. This is the most important step in this whole after care process and if you don't want to get a trim at the salon and lose a lengthy portion of hair, this is the only other option.

Phase 3: Nourishment

First of all I'd like to mention that I no longer wash my hair with hot water, even though I love hot showers, after doing some online research I have read that it is best to rinse your hair with luke warm water. I don't know the scientific reasons behind it, but again heat is damaging to the hair even in water form. 

I'd never stick to a particular shampoo or conditioner and I'd usually just grab any random bottle or brand when I went shopping. However, recently I've decided to stick to the same shampoo and conditioner suitable for my hair type. I'm on my second pair of bottles of Schwarzkopf Gliss Oil Nutritive Shampoo and Conditioner which are supposedly for longer hair prone to split ends. Now I know that there is no product which can actually repair split ends, only reduce their visibility temporarily, but I still think this is a very very good shampoo. And each bottle only cost 99p from the 99p store! The smell is absolutely amazing and I do think that this shampoo has strengthened my hair and put a lot of moisture back into the ends.
I also use a second conditioning treatment after the Gliss conditioner, once or twice a week, and leave it in for about 10 minutes. My absolute favorites are Boots Coconut & Almond Intensive Hair Mask and Pantene Pro-V Color Seal Concentrate. They really make such a difference to my hair! It becomes so soft and supple and it's very difficult to choose a favorite between the two. The Pantene Concentrate is suitable even for non-colored hair and it's just a little miracle worker, although I'd say the effects of the Coconut Mask are longer lasting (as in the hair stays super smooth for longer). I will definitely keep using these products for a while and they are also very affordable.

So that has been my hair care routine for the past month or so and I see big changes already, not just to the outside of my hair, but also it's general healthiness. I will keep this hair care routine until I discover something better, but right now this is the best thing that has happened to my hair.

Big Hairy mistakes

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191 comments

It's a brand new week and I have 2 job interviews lined up, yay!  ANYWAY. Today I wanted to talk about hair. I wanted to share some of my previous experiences so that others wouldn't make the same mistake >__<. As some of you may be aware, I want to grow my hair, it's already quite long as you can see in the photo but I want it to be like Nicole Scherzinger long or like in the photos of my earlier post "Hair Woes". In those photos I actually had extensions. I have never had my own natural hair at that length simply because of split ends. I hate them. They ruin everything and I always have to get my hair chopped off at the salon to get rid of them, and in the process my dreams of long hair are crushed.

So, back to my bad hair experiences... I have died my hair a stupid amount of times in the past 2 year. I went through a phase of experimenting with vibrant shades (about the same time everyone else did when Cheryl Cole was on X factor with dark purple colored hair) but my tastes kept changing and I must have tried half the range of Schwarzkopf XXL Live Color hair dyes. I went back and forth from black to mahogany brown, plum, then finally in the summer of 2011, I got bored and wanted to go lighter. I didn't want to spend lots of money in a salon so I went to a supply store and bought hair stripper, bleach and brown hair dye. BAD IDEA.

My hair was left brittle and super dry. The photo to the left was just taken in early January this year, and even though it's been about half a year since I bleached it, the condition was still very poor. And because my roots were growing out I had to keep dying my hair. Now if you want to achieve this kind of color DO NOT USE STRIPPER OR BLEACH. You can achieve this color just by using a professional hair dye in a light ash blonde color. Big big kudo's to StyleSuzi on youtube for the video below. This even works on non-virgin, dark hair. If I'd just done this in the first place maybe my hair wouldn't be so bad now :(.I used the same products as Suzi except I went for 8NA which is Light Natural Ash Blonde.


So! The moral of this story is don't strip or bleach your hair when you don't have to! I'd also like to say that my hair is now in much better condition but I'll talk more about how I achieved that in my next post :).

Thanks for reading!


Diorshow Maximizer

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I wanted to show the effects of the Diorshow Maximizer plumping serum on my eyelashes because I'm so impressed with it. This was another Christmas present I received, and I use this every day prior to applying mascara. In the photos above and below I am wearing the serum and some mascara applied on the left eye. 


As you can see there's a huge difference. I know that a lot of makeup brands produce these lash primers such as the L'Oreal double extend lash boosting mascara which I have used a few years back, but I don't remember seeing such a visible increase in the length of my lashes. At £22.00, the Diorshow Maximizer isn't the cheapest primer available but I think it's worth the money. My dentist actually asked me where I got my eyelash extensions done while I was getting a filling! For a slightly cheaper price, at £20.00 the Lancome version, Cils Booster XL, works just as well which I was using prior to the Dior one. I would have continued with Cils Booster but my sister got me the Dior version for Christmas instead so it's great news that it's equally as effective.


FOTN 1/2/2012

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For Christmas I got a Dior eyeshadow palette in 708 amber design and I haven't used it once so I thought i'd test it out and do a makeup look together with my new Natural Collection Moisture Rich lipstick in Cranberry.




I wanted to make my eyes look more Asian and more almond shaped. I don't know if it really worked, it just looks like a regular smokey eye :/. ANYWAY, I wasn't actually going anywhere looking like this, I was just home alone, a bit bored, and felt like experimenting with my new makeups. I don't know if I'd wear it out, because the lip color is quite dark I'd wear it with lighter eye makeup. Also I'm wearing my airfoam foundation in these pictures and I didn't even apply concealer anywhere so the coverage definitely isn't light.