Top 10 Posts on Icyabstract (WordPress) in 2014!

Well, I wasn’t intending to do another ‘Most Popular on Icyabstract’ mention again, like I did last year with Onsugar, because I wasn’t sure if WordPress allowed for access to such statistics and all (since I’m on the free account) but as it turns out the WordPress team had sent out an incredibly cute WordPress ‘Annual Report’ for blogs.

It’s a lowdown of the happenings on your blog for the year (those with WordPress would know!) such as posting habits, the number of hits you get, demographic etc. Interesting stuff with a really cute design to boost so that sort of spurred me into creating this round up entry once more.

Though within the Annual Report, WordPress had only indicated the Top 5 entries so I went ahead to search through the statistical page and come up with a Top 10 instead! Because, 10 is more holistic, no?

 

The Top 10!

So anyway, here’s the Top 10 (ignore the home page before obviously that’ll garner most hits).

Now since you can’t click from within and you’re probably too lazy to search up said feature posts should you have missed it, I have them all linked below if you’d like to check them out.

  1.  Sephora’s Color Festival Blockbuster Palette For 2014!
  2. Surratt Beauty At Takashimaya! – Swatches & Pics
  3. New: YSL Baby Doll Kiss & Blush (Info)
  4. First Look: Shupette – Shu Uemura x Karl Lagerfeld (Again!) Holiday Collection 2014
  5. The Lowdown – YSL Baby Doll Kiss and Blush (Cheek & Lip Swatches)
  6. New: Shu Uemura Brave Beauty 2014 (Info & Swatches)
  7. Sephora Hols 2014 – Sephora (The House Brand)!
  8. Sephora Hols 2014 – Tarte Cosmetics!
  9. Sephora’s 2014 Holiday Collections Are Upon Us!
  10. A Throwback LOTD – Lancôme Fraîcheur Rosée Eye Palette

If you ask me, I’m actually a little surprised at the results, especially when a couple of the entries mentioned in the rundown are ‘migrated’ entries.

Which means they were brought over from my Onsugar so I didn’t expect them to have many dedicated views (e.g. the Lancôme LOTD and YSL Baby Doll mentions) but I guess these items are popular enough themselves to garner some searches.

That aside, it’s also quite apparent how hot Sephora mentions are as well. I was a little surprised that a couple of entries aren’t on that list but, given how is calculated, it could be because those posts were rather late in the year.

Ah well, nonetheless, I believe I said it last year as well but it’s so interesting to see statistical things like that and uncover things you least expect.

 

Top Commenters!

That aside, they had also rounded up the Top 5 commenters to the site and I thought that was a really nice gesture.

Given how these days a large percentage of readers prefer to lurk (nothing wrong with that, I do it too actually, heh), comments are all the more precious and to know that you guys have taken time out to actually drop a note and acknowledge my entries truly mean a whole lot to me.

More than you can imagine really when all it takes is a sentence and then hitting the enter button so thank you Genevieve, Sharmaintang, Arielle Tan, doseofrain and mybeautysanctuary!

Do check out their sites as its all about beauty lovin’ too!

 

That said, have a great New Year everyone! We’ve put one foot in 2015 and now all we’ve got to do is just keep walking or running through it! Onward everyone!

I’ll be back with a proper 2015 entry because that contains said cryptic life update that I’ve been hinting at. I wanted to wait one more day at least, and not disrupt the whole festive holiday mood, before announcing it proper :)

Till then! Happy New Year and thanks for reading!

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The Temporary Housing Situation Make Up Bag!

Heyo! So if you pop by my space quite regularly – weekly or even daily (woo, I love you then!) – you would know my current housing situation.

If you don’t perhaps this post would serve well to shed some light on that though I’ll still reiterate anyway.

The place I usually stay at (with the hubs at the inlaws) is currently undergoing some renovation works (which turned out to be quite a tiresome process for all no thanks to sloppy and shoddy workers, bah) so Hubs, Baby K and I moved over to my parents place in the meanwhile because it is a much more conducive environment as far as a baby is concerned.

We wouldn’t want her running about a dusty and broken concrete-slab laden floor where there are dangerous tools lying about everywhere. Not to mention, the rowdy and rough workers banging about with their huge buckets of tiles or conrete. A nightmare really and I’m glad I didn’t have to be a part of that.

It’s just the cleaning up after I’m not too keen on but… you can’t have it all.

So anyway, yes, reno works should be wrapping up this week but I did promise to give a little mention to the Makeup Situation at my parents place. Or to put simply, the pieces I brought with me during this 2 week long stay.

 

Frankly, I didn’t have to bring that much. Just the basics that I rely on daily because as far as cheeks, lips and eyeshadow alternatives, I actually left a good amount back at home-home (what I call my parents place) to sift through and choose from.

But I brought some of my own anyway…

Let’s have a quick look at what I brought okay?

 

The Face Base

I had some issues breaking down what to shoot within a picture and how to categorize them but I’ll say this is the bigger bottles of face stuff, from moisturizer to liquid foundation and sunscreen.

Left to right now,

  • Biore UV Aqua Rich Whitening SPF50 PA+++
    Pretty straightforwad, this stuff is sunblock that I am trying to use up. I think it’s on its last few squeezes now, the end is near…
  • YSL Youth Liberator Liquid Foundation
    A foundation I quite like for daily use when I want a more luxurious glide to the face with a skin-loving and skin-care loaded foundation. I don’t reach for this on days I want to head out or look fresh and nice post-work because it does wear out by evening. Though I still love it because it is comfortable and enjoyble to wear – almost like skincare when it is actually foundation.
  • Dior Diorskin NUDE Liquid Foundation
    This is another foundation I like to reach for regularly but with different expectations from YSL’s Youth Liberator. Unlike that one, which feels comfortable and skin-care like (I want to say BB Cream but it’s not the same), Diorskin NUDE is very much a liquid foundation that lends a second-skin sort of finish. It is easy to wear, light-weight on and wears relatively well through the day. Overall it’s a really nice foundation to use daily to mimic the look of better skin. Coverage is about a medium bit buildable.
  • Biore UV Aqua Rich BB Cream SPF50 PA+++
    This one is more for weekend purposes where I can quickly slap on my sun coverage and also a little bit of skin coverage at the same time. It goes on fairly lightweight without much stick but I do prefer quickly setting it with powder after. The oil control isn’t fantastic but it’s good enough for my weekend use.
  • VICHY Normaderm Tri-Activ Hydrating Care
    Pretty much, this is a day cream. I like the Vichy Normaderm range when I used it awhile back and I particularly liked the day cream from the entire routine I was sampling at that time and while this is a newly reformulated version, it feels and works just as well if not better. I love the Normaderm range for calming my skin should it get irritated or itchy, which was the reason why I turned to this again during that random bout of skin itch and congestion I got fairly recently.

 

More Base, Samples & All

  • Sephora Tub – Dior Star Liquid Foundation
    Housed within that little tub is a sample of the Dior Star Liquid Foundation which I have been loving to bits. I have a full sized bottle now (thank you Dior!) so I’m trying to finish up this sample. I brought it along because of my picks above, I don’t have a proper long-lasting foundation so this was handy to bring.
  • Dior Capture Totale Base de Teint Multi-Perfection
    I failed to realise how much Dior base I brought along with me (it’s not a lot but mentioned consecutively, it sure sounds like it) but I had a sample of this base and I just had to bring it. This is a Dior base I had been lusting over ever since I read raving reviews about it a good while ago. It wasn’t till recently that I discovered I had samples of it lying around, which I took to using almost immediately of course. This is a beautiful base and it deserves an entry of its own. Maybe once I buy the full size!
  • Lancôme Teint Miracle Corrector
    I brought this along to give it some use but of late I haven’t been reaching for it too much either. I don’t generally incorporate this into my routine and only use it on days I look completely zombiefied and could use the extra brightening under my eyes.

 

The Setting & Concealing

  • Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage
    I loveeee this concealer duo and have some hitpan action with the blemish side of it (I don’t always use the undereye corrector side cause it’s pretty heavy duty). It’s really high coverage so a little goes a long way and I know I’m always covered with this (hurhur)
  • Urban Decay NAKED Skin Loose Powder
    The one loose powder to set them all (erhem, see reference)
  • MAC Select Moisturecover Concealer
    This little guy is for the undereyes and I’ve got a review / mention of it coming up soon so I’ll elaborate more on there!
  • MAC Mineralized Skinfinish Natural in Medium
    The weekend dusting for quickly refined and illuminated skin. I don’t use this daily because the shade is a tiny bit pink and light for me but not so noticeable when used as a light buff across my face.

 

The Eye Basics

  • Lancôme Aquatique Eye Base
    A slightly shimmery and emollient eyeshadow base from Lancôme that’s great for the everyday use because majority of the base shadow I sweep on all over my lids have some shimmer quality to them. Plus given the emollient and smooth nature of this, it’s really easy to blend over the lids!
  • The Body Shop InstaBlur Eye
    I brought this along to give it a go and some use too but it’s not reached staple level just yet though I will admit it is nice to reach for and use. I have some fine line concerns and mildly crepe-y skin where my undereye is concerned (genetics I believe…) so a little priming there is nice when I have the time.
  • Dior Backstage Eye Prime
    This one is another eyeshadow base I really like too, for the matte finish and while I don’t reach for it as often, (as the Lancôme) because it takes a bit of work and blending to get on, it’s beautiful when I want that satin or matte lid look.

 

 The Rest of The Eye Army

Now… I realize I don’t have to bring this many (if you consider this many) eyeshadow palettes for 2 weeks away from home but you gotta have options, right?

  • Lancôme Hypnose Eye Palette in Brun Au Natural
    The warmer neutral cousin of the Fraicheur Rosee palette within my stash, I’ve been giving Brun Au Natural more use (than Fraicheur Rosee) these days because creamy soft warm browns are quite a thing I’m into these days. The warm brown bit, mainly because when am I not into neutrals, right?
  • Make Up Store Marbled Eyeshadow in Rosso Asiago
    I’ve declared my love for this little pot already (here) and it’s no wonder that I’ll pack it along with it. It’s a beautiful glistening champagne, warm and auburn-ish eye look all in one. So easy to slap on and all you need is this one pan.
  • Shu Uemura’s Brave Beauty Orange Palette
    This one I packed along to give it some use so I can hopefully feature some looks from. It should still be available (if it’s not sold out already) and I’m liking it for the options of going warm, pink-hued or even going a little sultry-neutral with some cranberry hues.
  • Maquillage Palette in BR722
    The only seemingly cool-neutral palette of the bunch. I often find myself benefiting more from cool and taupe-y colors, probably because I was all about warm browns way before and a little change in taste is nice too, but these days I seem to have gone back to the warmth though even then, this palette is still HG status and I can always count on it to whip up an eye look.

 

Finishing & Contouring

Some slightly miscellaneous but still important face products to bring along!

  • Make Up For Ever Contouring Kit
    Featured within this is a 2-pan kit for contouring and highlighting though what I like about this is that the highlighting portion isn’t shimmery, glittery or too fair so it makes for a great product to set the edges of my eyeliner without making my undereye area look ghastly or shiny (eeps). The contour is a nice brown that straddles between warm and ashy so it perfects the look of a shadow and is versatile enough for most skintones.
  • Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette
    Once in awhile, or more often than once in awhile, I like to dust my skin with some finishing powder. Some days I feel I need more glow, other days more radiance (the healthy color sort) and sometimes absolutely nothing except a little skin perfecting / blurring so this palette is perfect to tout along.

 

The Cheeks

On hindsight, I really didn’t have to pack any blushes given I have a drawer full here… but just in case.

  • Lancôme Blush Subtil in 030
    This is a go-to blush shade for me so I packed it along for situations where I’ll need to brighten my cheeks and add a soft flush of pink at the same time.
  • Dior Blush in Rose Diorette
    I don’t give this enough use at home since it’s tucked away in a corner in my drawer. It’s a lovely soft-pink on the cheeks and given the soft pigmentation of this, it’s quite hard to go wrong in the bleary-eyed mornings.
  • YSL Baby Doll Kiss & Blush in Corail Affranchi
    This was a just-incase thing but I actually haven’t used it yet the whole week and a half I was here. Heh!
  • Laneige Styling Romantic Blush
    This one is something I brought to rediscover and boy do I love it! I forgot how pretty a shade this is to lend a healthy flush that threads between pink and coral. The soft golden sheen (even softer than Lancôme Blush Subtil 030) gives a nice glow to the cheeks as well.

 

The Lip Service

To make it a point to discover and use The Body Shop’s Color Crush lippies which I didn’t give enough attention to otherwise, I brought the set (and minimal lip alternatives) along with me so I can focus my attention on these! I’m giving them some use right now so expect a mention (finally) about them soon!

TBS Color Crush aside…

  • Lancôme Lip Lover (forgot the shade!)
    Because I never know if I want a casual and glossy lip look over the weekends. I truly love these Lip Lovers and have converted so many friends.
  • Rimmel Apocalips in Apocalyptic
    There isn’t a alarming ringing hawt blue-pink within the TBS shades so… just incase I wanted to rock that look, I brought this along.

Grey Divider

Now I know this entry is as long as it gets, and unnecessarily so, but looking back at my hastily grouped and snapped product pictures I realized I missed out a whole bunch of them, liners to be exact, so here’s a point form mention of the heroes I forgot to shed light on.

  • Shu Uemura Hard 9 Pencil in Walnut Brown
  • Shu Uemura Brow Manicure in Honey Glaze
  • Starlash Lightning Waterproof Liquid Liner
  • Lancôme Artliner in Black
  • MAC Powerpoint Liner in Engraved

Et voila~

 

That aside, this isn’t all because I brought along a bag of products to shoot during my stay (so at least I get some productivity going too) and from there I have picked out, shot and also placed a couple of items into the pile of things to use just so I can give them some use during this period.

Yes, it’s not the best shot but low lighting conditions during the night time isn’t the best time to shoot. I didn’t manage to finish shooting everything I brought (and we should be able to move back this weekend already!) but I’m glad I did get some shooting done and I have given a few of the items above fairly regular use to form opinions about how they wear so expect some reviews and mentions soon!

 

Pardon the length of this post, I got a little out of hand with rambling about why I brought what. But what’s new, right?

I think it’s best I round it up here and I hope in some way this ramble has been interesting and informative to give you an idea about some of the items I use on a daily basis and some I am (re)discovering right now. If you have any questions about any product, feel free to drop me a comment about it!

Thanks for reading!

LOTD: A Lancôme-y Weekend

The last weekend was quite a Lancôme-y affair as I decided to pop by the Grandiôse mascara launch event that was happening at Sephora ION.

I know I often spotlight Lancôme on here but it isn’t for any reason other than the fact that Lancôme’s brand people are generous with their press pieces and are truly looking to spread the makeup love.

It also helps that the new makeup pieces that Lancôme has been putting out have been a joy to use and most of them manage to make their way into my list of daily used items, or even staples because of how easy they are to use (such as being lazy and skipping SPF with Blanc Miracle) and effortlessly polished a look they give (like the Blush Subtils with their soft radiance and flush).

 

So anyway, back to this!

I don’t often attend events over the weekend because it is hard to slot that in amongst errands and family time but because there was a fairly special significance to this event, I decided to pop by and join in the celebrations!

I didn’t put much thought into my outfit given I expected it to be a quick run-by so I did feel a little under dressed amongst all the other very glammed up people, but I wasn’t going to run my errands (after the show) in high heels, a skin-tight skirt along with a baby in tow so… such is life!

Seeing as it was a Lancôme event, I did have a mind to put together, as much as possible, a Lancôme face and it was also a good time for me to finally break into the Hypnôse Star Palette in Brun Au Natural which I have had sitting around but haven’t explored.

This palette is quite a run-of-the-mill neutral palette but leaning towards the golden and warm browns this time instead of the cool ashy taupes I seem to prefer these days.

I am also fiddling about with my new camera so if you do notice a difference to pictures here, that would be why.

The whole process of finding the right lighting, angle, position and way to snap face shots is a whole lot tricker and more of a transition than product shooting, which seems to work so long as the set up is right.

For the lips, I wanted to reach for my trusty Lip Lovers but decided to give some love to a dearly beloved but forgotten product, the Rouge in Love lipsticks.

BROWS
Shu Uemura Hard 9 Brow Pencil in Walnut Brown
Shu Uemura Brow Manicure in Honey Glaze

FACE
Vichy Normaderm Anti-Imperfetion Hydrating Care
Lancôme Blanc Miracle Liquid Foundation
MAC Select Moisturecover Concealer
Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage Palette (concealer)
Urban Decay NAKED Loose Powder (to set)

EYES
Lancôme Aquatique Eye Base in 01
Lancôme Hypnôse Star Eyes in ST7 Brun Au Natural
Starlash Lightning Waterproof Liquid Liner
MAC Powerpoint Liner in Engraved

CHEEKS
Lancôme Blush Subtil in 030

LIPS
Lancôme Rouge in Love in 132M

Purple Divider

About the Lancôme Grandiôse launch event, I didn’t snap many pictures of it because I wasn’t very well-equipped and all I had on hand, baby girl aside, was my iPhone which normally works great but just isn’t the best at zooming.

This little fella was so excited about the show, clapping away and so transfixed on the models walking up and down the miniature runway.

The turn out for the event was tremendous, which is all fab for Lancôme but we were quite far from the stage to capture decent pics without the right gear but it was a fun experience all the same with the outrageous and rule-bending makeup looks, couture fashion pieces and whatnot.

A very lively and edgy event all the same, that added a nice touch of glam to my otherwise very homey weekend.

Wrapping it up, Lancôme’s Grandiôse mascara is already available for sale at Sephora stores islandwide and it retails for S$60 a piece. I am still collecting my thoughts about it so I will share them soon, once I pick up words too…

Ha! Yes, I am still battling that word-block situation. I can still write entries but they are just not as fluid as I would like and take far, far too long.

 

Thanks for reading, the weekends are almost here again and I can’t wait for it. I need sleeeeeeep!

Do share, what are some of your Lancôme makeup loves?

NEW: Lancôme’s Grandiôse Mascara – Bend the Rules of Mascara!

I am running around with my hands empty here (I have only previewed this but I haven’t got my hands on it – long story short the press piece is at my parent’s place) but I am still so stoked to share information about this new Lancôme innovation, and also stoked that we (Singapore) are amongst the first few people to get our hands on this product!

Typically items make their way around the western part of the globe before it eventually lands on our laps but… I think, and I could be wrong, that we are getting it first this time around?

Yippee!

So anyway, yes, the talk of the town right now is surely Lancôme’s latest mascara introduction – Grandiôse, which as its name implies is grand and elegant in alls means and ways.

 

Innovation for Effortless Technique

With a trademarked and unique Swan-Neck™ wand, this mascara is set to redefine and also very literally bend the rules of mascara usage through the elegantly displaced neck of the wand, which bends at a calculated angle of 25 degrees.

I am assuming that this whole train of thought of a bent wand was probably sparked from observing make up professionals at work backstage because if you ask around, some of the make up artists actually like to bend their mascara wands a little upon removing it, just so it is easier to work around.

I haven’t tried bending a mascara wand for myself to know but I have seen it being done.

Thus with that mind-bending idea, years of research and development went into place to find the perfect angle and also perfect way to execute this thought, which resulted in this 25 degree swan-neck™ that is touted to be able to maneuver around crevices of the face and also get intimate with the shorter and harder to reach lashes.

With that said, here is a little diagram from Lancôme on how to best angle this little guy about to leave no lash uncoated!

I haven’t tried the product on myself to see how accurate or simple it is to werk this wand but I certainly can’t wait to.

Even though my relationship with mascara does need a little rekindling (we used to be BFFs and all until an eye irritation broke us apart), these days mascara just doesn’t work with my frames though I have been told this formula is softer and doesn’t leave your lashes feel firm and crisp so… maybe, just maybe frames and Grandiôse might be able to work together.

Also, it is possibly because this formula isn’t waterproof but with my experience with Lancôme’s non-waterproof formulas, unless you’re caught in a downpour or thinking to swim with this, it shouldn’t matter too much.

 

Ultra Black & Smart Formula

What’s more, this unique applicator aside, the formula is said to have received a boost and is capable of ticking the three major boxes of Volume, Length and Curl.

I don’t want to get my hopes up, especially where Curl is concerned because while my lashes aren’t stick-straight they do need cajoling from a lash curler. Thus, I would be curious to explore how this applies on without that tool but I wouldn’t expect much either… check back to find out what I think about it once I get to it!

Where volume and definition is concerned, Lancôme has your back covered with a color-amplifying polymer for an intensely rich and ultra-black color.

 

Lash-Loving Benefits

Of course you can’t talk about Lancôme without at least a little mention on skincare so, aside from the aesthetically aiding aspect of the Grandiôse mascara, this seductive little siren also comes enriched with Lancôme’s exclusive Native Rose-Cell extract.

Giving my lashes a little pampering boost while I beautify them? I’m down for that!

Grey Divider

Though with all that said and done there is a little downside to packing so much cool, so much innovation and all these lash loving / amping qualities into one gorgeously designed tube of mascara – the price point which is a little step higher than their usual at S$60 a pop.

I can’t justify if that price is worth it or not based on usage because I haven’t given this a go but if anything, Lancôme mascaras have always been consistently priced at S$50 (for most pieces) over the years that I am not too taken aback at the price tag of S$60 for the amount of innovation, novelty and also promising aspects of this mascara.

My point of this entry is to introduce the product so I can skip out the technicalities when my actual opinions and thoughts are formed, so do check back for that once I’ve gotten time to give this a go!

I guess I’m just way too excited about this intriguing mascara launch that seems to be fanning the dimming mascara flame of mine. It’s been way way too long since I have associated mascara with excitement given I rarely wear it now with my frames (eye irritation and all that’s still not going away…). Though that is a story I will tell in my review, if even necessary so keep a look out for that!

Make Up Maestro Demo @ Sephora ION

All this aside, one thing you can keep a look out for if you wish to get in on the Grandiôse hype and happening is, do drop by ION Orchard’s Sephora tomorrow from about 2.45pm onwards because Lancôme will be doing a little demonstration with the maestros of the makeup realm!

From what I have heard they will be showing how they incorporate Lancôme’s Grandiôse into their makeup rule-bending way so that should be quite an event to look out for!

It’s 2.45pm (onwards) at ION Orchard Sephora, the exhibition area!

I’ll see you then if I manage to pop by!

 

Till then, thank you for reading and I can’t wait to pick up and play with my Lancôme Grandiôse! It looks so promising from what I have heard!

I feel in a rambly mood, of some sort but this entry is long enough so… perhaps I’ll save the ramble for another time!

Are you excited for this launch? Are you a mascara fiend?

Lancôme’s Grandiôse mascara retails for S$60 and is a permanent item.
It is currently available at Sephora ION and will launch island-wide sometime start September.

Press File Disclosure

LOTD: All Lancôme-d Out (Plus Site Migration Thoughts…)

I’m giving myself a little pat on the back for being more regular about LOTDs / Looks (ha-ha, as if it is truly deserving of a pat) because at one point I was primarily featuring products and diverted my attention to more ‘look feature’ entries. Which still feature my face, yes, but it isn’t as casual, rambly and ‘anything goes’ as my old-style LOTDs are.

While this look seems somewhat geared towards the ‘Look Feature’ segment, trust me I wasn’t keeping tabs on what I was putting on my face and it wasn’t until the last minute, sweeping across the products sprawled out on my vanity, that I realized….

oh hey, this kinda looks like a very Lancôme themed look so… let’s roll with that.

So, here you go – a Lancôme-ish face!

(pictured are the Lancôme products, I didn’t include the other non-Lancôme stuff)

If I had a mind to be more Lancôme about this, I would have truly kept everything to one brand but since the revelation was only made just before I donned my lipstick, I think some products kinda sneaked into the mention a little.

For the eyes, I didn’t have a color scheme in mind but I did know that I wanted to try to incorporate some Lancôme Monos because they have been sitting untouched in the drawers for awhile now and I remember they were pretty colors too, so it was about time I revisited them.

The eye look itself isn’t out of the ordinary – my usual neutral eye, this time leaning a little maroon with some shimmer and shine thrown in. Overall, still good enough for the day and fairly understated.

Though the difference this time was me exploring the Lancôme Kohl Liner (in Noir) as I used that to line the entire of my eye, not just my lower lashline so the overall effect is a much softer rim around my eye. Not as harsh as the usual sharp black liquid liner.

I’m going through a bit of a gloss-loving phase – not necessarily loving lipgloss, but loving that sheer-and-shine finish – so the Lancôme Lip Lovers are absolutely perfect for that with their balmy texture, glossy shine and lovely pigmentation.

The summer bug is not letting me loose and the killer weather these days – so warm and so dry – isn’t helping. I am constantly craving to put on a fresh and light face everytime I sit down to do my makeup.

Products Used:

BROWS
 Shu uemura hard 9 pencil in Walnut Brown
 Shu uemura brow manicure in Honey Glaze

FACE
 L'OCCITANE Hydra Vital Gel (moisturizer) 
 Biore UV Aqua Rich Whitening Sunscreen SPF50 
 Lancôme Blanc Miracle Liquid Foundation 
 Urban Decay NAKED Loose Powder (to set)

Eyes 
 Lancôme Aquatique Eye Base on 01
 Lancôme Alber Elbaz 5 color palette - smokey eyes 
 Lancôme Alber Elbaz mono in I106 
 Lancôme mono in violine tresor P209
 Lancôme Kohl Hypnôse Waterproof in Noir

CHEEKS 
 Lancôme Blush Subtil in 032

LIPS
 Lancôme Lip lover in 318

There you go! A simple little LOTD mention while shedding some accidental light on Lancôme.

Then again, given how generous the folks over at Lancôme are and how far we have come (from when they first contacted me and all), I do have a good amount of Lancôme within my stash and I don’t think it is all that hard to be all ‘Lancôme-ed out‘.

Thoughts of blog migration…

Either ways, a little off tangent rambling but I have noticed some, well okay, a lot of issues with Onsugar’s site of late. Aside from the whole RSS-issue, which to date I’m not even sure if it is solved or not, apparently there are also some site-script security problems. Which in turn has been affecting how my site (and probably all onsugar sites) shows up on search engines. Which is not at all.

To cut out the whole technicality of it, while yes I don’t crave to be number 1 on the search engine but if someone were to even google ‘icyabstract’ directly, there are instances where my blog doesn’t even show up. Probably the instances where the script’s security has lapsed but it is too glitchy and unreliable for me and has once again brought about thoughts of migrating.

I know I’m not for the whole ‘fame’ and being a widely recognised blogger. I am happy enough with my own pool of readers, some of which that have stuck with me through time but if the glitches are going to continually affect my blog to the point that even these readers do not know of content I have posted and information that I am sharing cannot even be found by those who wish to read about it, then it truly defeats the whole purpose of beauty sharing and such.

So yes.

Long story short, this time around I truly am considering options to move and while I can’t say I am keen on the whole dot com approach (I know, it is quite awesome to have your own domain, plus that is what I do for others at work… hurhur), because it’s a little too much time and effort etc right now. I am thinking it through on whether a move to wordpress (maybe?) is sufficient enough for what I want or should I genuinely consider a dot com.

It’s all in the works and research right now but I thought I would mention it to you all so when I announce a URL shift, you would have seen it coming ;)

 

All that lengthiness aside, I hope everyone is having a great weekend! This long weekend is especially awesome to me because there is a whole lot of fun and bonding involved and I absolutely can’t wait~

Thanks for reading!

Nails: Bridging Spring and Summer (Lancôme Vernis in Love 343B)

Guess what! I am finally back with some nail polish!

I can’t even explain how amazing it feels to have colors painted on your nails after leaving them bare for so long.

For those who haven’t been following my skin rants, I had (and actually still sort of have) a pretty bad bout of eczema breakout on my hands and that caused me to stay off painting my nails because it was a total Bi— to remove.

Even an acetone-free nail polish remover (liessssss) would sting my wounds so I guess I would rather just do without all that fancy schmansy for a little while.

But it’s so good to be back to the land of painted talons and what better way than with a pop of pink – perfectly cheery but still so wearable!

I actually have a bag of Lancôme Vernis in Love sitting in a corner of the room, not receiving as much love as it should. I think I may have forgotten about them in the flurry of everything when I first got them but recently, while tidying the room, I uncovered these and fell (Vernis) in love with this beautiful pink.

Lancôme’s Vernis in Love in 343B Rose Pitimini is a perfect sort of brightening pink to wear that isn’t stark yet doesn’t go unnoticed.

You don’t need to prepare your heart to wear it since it isn’t a neon shade that could only work on some occasions, yet I did have some reservations before I thought ‘oh what the heck, I want me some color!’.

I love this color because of how cherubic it is, it just seems to put a smile on my face with how cheery, statement yet feminine it is.

For those who haven’t tried Lancôme’s Vernis in Love, these polishes are generally pretty good. They do not have as glossy a finish as Dior’s Gel Effet polishes but the creaminess and opacity of it is good and it paints on beautifully.

Not forgetting, the bottle is really dainty and feminine as well.

I had no issues working with the brush though for observation purposes I did find the bristles were a little softer than some so a steadier hand would be required.

Overall it shouldn’t be hard to grasp painting these on, here’s how the radiant Rose Pitimini looks on my currently chopped short nails.

I am currently embracing short chops because should I subconsciously or accidentally scratch a rash, it wouldn’t end up being that bad – because nails this short is fairly harmless.

That aside, somehow I feel a whole lot cleaner and lighter, almost like that feeling you get when you chop your long locks off. I am guessing it is mostly all in the mind but having shorter nails also mean lesser dirt and whatnot ‘trapped’ under them, yes?

Doesn’t this just look like Spring and Summer dancing about on your nails? So cheery, bright and fun, yet at the same time relatively work-friendly too (depends of course on your line of work…).

Lancôme Vernis in Love retails for S$30 at Lancôme counters island-wide
343B Rose Pitimini is a permanent color.

Thanks for reading!

LOTD: That Nude-Ombre Lip Obsession

So, even though words are failing me now, makeup sure isn’t and I have been going through my own fair share of… makeup phases. You could call it that.

One that I have been dabbling in for awhile would be the Nude-Ombre lip look. I have sported this on numerous occasions be it a more dressy variant or a more subtle one for a natural / daily look. It’s just that I haven’t quite gotten around to talking about it on here, word block and all.

Until now that is!

So… for those who may not have seen it, what is a Nude-Ombre lip?

Well, frankly it isn’t a very new look because I’m sure this has made its rounds on runways and the editorial makeup scene.

It is only of late that it is brought to the mainstream makeup scene, possibly by some K-Wave but eitherways I am not here to debate its origin or how this lip look got its shot to stardom.

I am simply here to express my love for it and in a very dramatic LOTD, no less.

I assure you, there are more natural ways to wear the ombre lip but lets start with a bang, shall we?

I will give you a product breakdown but if you must know, like right now, what I used for my lips is MAC’s Lip Erase in Dim (Pro) and Lancôme’s Lip Lover in 362 Bordeaux Tempo.

I happened to be in a dramatic crimson-toned eye makeup phase as well… hence the dramatic eye and equally dramatic lip mix up. Heh.

Well, makeup is about bending the rules, yeah?

If you ask me, what is it about this Nude-Ombre lip look that I like… it would be a little hard for me to explain. But something about them gives this slightly natural (ironic for a dramatic look), sensual and yet girly vibe. That, and I have always liked the ‘berry-stained’, post-kool-aid or ice-pop sort of a lip gradient.

Except this is doing it in a whole new and deliberate way with a pretty clear nude and color portion. As opposed to a gradient lip look with varying intensities.

As much as these give a ‘effortless’ (I don’t care to apply my lipstick properly y’all) look, it actually requires a little more effort than the usual color-within-the-lines way of slapping lip color on.

Depending on how dramatic you prefer it to be, there could be some lip concealing involved, blending after the color goes on and even more concealing to perfect the look.

So it isn’t as effortless as it seems… but it sure looks it!

BROWS
Lancôme Le Sourcil Pro Brow Pencil

FACE
YSL CC Cream in Apricot
Urban Decay NAKED Skin Loose Powder

EYES
Lancôme La Base Paupières Pro in 01
MAC Eyeshadow in Real Drama
L’oreal Infinite Wear Eyeshadow in Brazilian Duo
Star Lash Liquid Liner in Black
MAC Powerpoint liner in Engraved

CHEEKS
Model Co Cheek & Lip Tint

LIPS
MAC Pro Lip Erase in Dim
Lancôme Lip Lover in 362 Bordueax Tempo

Frankly, this look would have been a lot more ‘put-together’ and not as avant garde-ish as it looks right now if I had thrown on some proper lashes or maybe even false lashes but with me and glasses these days, lashes just get in the way of things.

I have also noticed that, maybe it is due to me skipping out mascara for a good while but wearing it again seems to irritate my eyes a little. Grr. It isn’t expired / old or gross either.

Ah well.

Though enough of me and this, for now. I’ll probably be back with more nude-ombre lip looks that I have done and snapped during the peak of this obsession.

As of now, while I still love nude-ombre lips, I haven’t been throwing them on all that often. I have a bit of a new phase creeping up on me and that is the pink-red-hued eye sort of a look.

Almost like you’re tired, but it is kept edgy with a slick of eyeliner but overall not over the top because I still need to look normal for work.

So anyway, that will come soon so until then, thank you for reading!

The After-Hours Chronicles of Lancôme's Artliners

Okay, I know I did mention in my earlier Lancôme post that when I obsess over some brands and recently used items I could talk about them all the time, non-stop, forever.

But I assure you that initially the plan to ramble on about Lancôme (for now) had stopped in the earlier post and I was all ready to start painting a new picture and ramble on about other stuff but as it turns out, I forgot to give some mention to the long-wearing ability of these Artliners, which rightfully is one of their selling points.

Thus, here I am checking in sheepishly to plop on some less-than-flattering close ups of my eye but hey, it’s all in a days work.

If you haven’t already checked it out, head over to see how these Artliners wear when they are all fresh and beautiful in my Lancôme Artliner Look Book feature.

Now, if you are ready, here is how a couple of them look after hours, which frankly isn’t bad. It’s just my mildly greasy skin and creased (lower lashline) liner that I am a little ashamed of.

Pretty good for 10 hours of wear, if I say so myself.

When everything else looks a little worn, fatigued and faded, these are still going strong with their pigmentation, sparkles and pristine shape! Check out the tips of my flick looking as sharp as they did when I first drew them on in the morning.

These definitely do live up to their claim of being long-wearing though I have a teeny tiny bit of a complaint, which I forgot to mention in earlier entries too.

Slight Con…

These ‘peel’ or ‘flake’ off because of their vinyl / film like quality that actually enables them to stick and hug the skin well. Though this also means that the best way to remove these would be to rub in one direction. This way, it prevents the little bits and pieces that ‘peel’ off from getting into your eyes. I am having a rather sensitive eye moment right now so little flecks that accidentally fall into my eye can irritate my eye a lot so I have noticed this and taken extra care during removal.

It isn’t totally a con because this is just how the formula is and most of the time our eye cleans itself out anyway but if your eyes are easily prone to irritation, you might want to take note of this.

So, with that said, I think I’ll put a lid on Lancôme on here for a bit. I still have a lot of Lancôme loving to give but I’ll shift the spotlight a little for now, alright?

Thanks for reading and if you haven’t checked out my recent Lancôme swatch-fests and look books, follow the links below!

Look Feature: Colors of the Rainb- No, Wait, I mean Lancôme 24H Artliners

Hello y’all!

I know I’ve been giving a fair bit of Lancôme lovin’ of late because… I seem to have this problem.

With new releases (of a particular brand) I tend to obsess over every single bit and incorporate it into my every day which means the pictures I snap on a day to day basis is well, a whole lot about that brand and right now it’s Lancôme!

I’ve had my NARS days, my Dior days and also the mish-mash days where I am a lot better at being diverse but for now just enjoy the Lancôme lovin’ because these items are pretty fancy and dandy!

So… all about these Lancôme 24H Artliners!

I’ve done a (relatively) detailed introduction about the product, colors and also what to expect with their new presence (better formula and better applicator), so go read that if you haven’t!

In this post, I will be spamming you lots of pictures of my very unimaginative eye looks – I’m sorry I love neutrals and am in a neutral rut – to showcase how these liners look on!

A lot of them are absolutely gorgeous and I tried to wear them and show them as well as I can and I can only hope these pictures do them justice!

The Looks –

I didn’t bother taking note of what I used per eye look (Lancôme liners aside) because I didn’t think it was very important. Though if somehow you are interested to know what I used for a certain eye look, you can enquire below and hopefully I remember it enough to let you know!

Black Diamond

Starting it off with the staple, the signature and a color you probably can’t live without as far as eyeliner goes – black. Black Diamond is an extremely rich and intense black that can draw (hurhur) drama and intensity to your eye like no other.

Definitely not for the weak but if strong and boldly lined eyes are your thing, I dare you to take on the challenge and embrace this diamond, you probably wouldn’t look back after.

Emerald

Now, if you kinda like it dark but yet still want a little something something to your look (perhaps a glint of green?) then Emerald is looking perfect for you!

This shade came out a little darker than I expected – almost black even – but the minute it hits the light, the green tone within shimmers and shines for all to see. Beautiful for brown-eye ladies *ahem myself*

Jade

If you like your green a little mossy, a little murky and dirty than Jade is probably the right color for you. This shade doesn’t have as much depth as Emerald does and almost looks a little like a olive-pewter at angles but it is a lovely shade all the same.

Good enough if you like light definition or like to top the look off by tightlining with black after using this.

Amethyst

For those that love to spice their look up with a pop color, Amethyst would be a perfect shade for you.

A vibrant shade of blue-purple that seems to shift depending on the lighting, Amethyst is bright and bold but not so much so that it is stark on. There is enough dimension and sparkles to it but is kept sophisticated as a whole. If there is one color that you would need to check out from this range, it would be this (though frankly you probably should check all of them out).

Gold

Now, moving on to the more classic and regal of things, here is a very common accent liner shade – Gold!

Lancôme’s variant is, needless to say, very intense and saturated enabling the Gold to truly show up in all its sparkly and golden glory – a wee bit metallic even. Though I can’t help but feel very cleopatra-esque everytime I try to wear an accent gold liner on my lids. Given gold is quite a light tone, this doesn’t offer a lot of depth so if you want some definition to your eye area, tightlining or using a mascara would certainly help.

Silver

After Gold, comes Silver! This silver isn’t just any ole silver, it’s a very pretty pink-sparkle-ified version of silver that almost leans a little grey-ish-lilac under certain lights.

Okay the lilac portion is probably my eyes playing tricks on me but due to the pink shimmers within, it does seem to have more to it than just metallic silver alone, absolutely gorgeous if you ask me!

So there you go, all 5 beautiful Limited Edition colors along with a classic black that is in the permanent range.

I had previously mentioned that my pick of the lot would be Amethyst, Emerald and Silver but truly, I can’t say that I don’t like the other colors either. I feel they all serve a particular purpose and crazy as this might sound they all have a place in the stash and would work perfectly will for their own type of looks.

Given they are Limited Edition, do hurry down to Lancôme at Sephora to pick your picks today!

Lancôme’s 24H Artliners retail for (I believe) S$30.

The black is available islandwide and permanent. The colored versions are Limited Edition and only available at Lancôme Sephora

Thanks for reading! Which is your favorite of the lot?

Lancôme 24H Art Liners – Go Bold or Go Black! (Info & Swatches)

Celebrating 20 years of perfectly rimmed and flicked cat eyes at Lancôme with the help of the good ole classic 24H Artliner, Lancôme has to do something modern and fun by throwing out an array of pop (yet still wearable) Artliner shades!

Typically the 24H Artliner is only available in Black in Singapore.

While I can’t be sure about the offerings in the US, I do see quite a few shade selections on overseas websites that showcase the Artliner (e.g. Lancôme USA and Sephora USA).

The First Encounter (My Liner-Noob days)…

It’s a story I never told but my first encounter with liquid liners actually began back in the day with Lancôme.

*cue an unfocussed reminiscent stare*

As far as eye essentials are concerned – mascara, eye makeup remover and eyeliner – Lancôme was my first proper experience, probably due to a set of items my Mother-in-law (then: bf’s mom) had gifted to me; knowing my love for makeup and given her love for Lancôme.

Though I’ll be frank and say that for someone who is a complete liquid liner noob, Artliners aren’t the best to kickstart this eyelining journey.

Why?

With my initial experience, I gathered that Lancôme Artliners were really wet so you get a liquid-loaded brush each time. The foam-tip applicator was really soft and flexible as well, which spells bad news for shakey / non-experience liquid liner hands. Plus I wasn’t used to liquid liners enough to master wand applicators so the whole thing just worked out to be a mess and I swore off wand-applicator liquid liners after that (all me though, nothing on Lancôme).

Though I am glad that I eventually got back to liquid liners, even if it took the training wheels of a pen-style liquid liner to get me there, heh!

So… after that long backstory, onward to these newly improved (and reformulated) 24H Artliners!

Now that I am equipped with well-trained eyeliner hands and liquid liner know-how, what do I think of these Lancôme 24H Artliners?

I would say aside from looking downright gorgeous, these are mighty fine too!

Perfectly lasting (by my standards) on the lids with a glimmering light-catching quality.

The bright jewelled color, shine and definition is all done with a sophisticated air, nothing jarish or gritty about these pearly pretties. They are nice way to add a soft glimmer of color to your look without being too self conscious about it.

Now, here comes to the science.

Afterall, someone’s got to explain how these buggers can be water-proof, budge-proof, essentially life-proof lasting 24 hours looking fab and yet is so easy to swipe off with the ease of a gentle eye makeup remover at the end of the day.

Lancôme recommends Bi-Facil Eye Makeup Remover though Bioderma Micellar water (what I use right now) works just fine.

New Formula, New Tip –

Featuring a bolder and better formula (infused with Flex Polymer Complex) to turn the spotlight to your eyes and give you an alluring gaze. Lancôme’s 24H Artliners feature a newly improved formula for longer lasting color vibrancy and easier control be it if you prefer a thicker stroke or a refined flick.

After all, you should be concerned with how to wear your liner look and not how your liner look will wear!

The improved precision foam-tip applicator is firmer and denser, allowing for easier control with this sleek wet formula that promises no skipping, only intense and saturated color with every stroke!

With all that essential and important product information related, let’s get on to the fun part, all da COLOURS!

The Black (Black Diamond) is permanent and easily found at all Lancôme counters island-wide, though the vibrant and bold colors are sadly Limited Edition and only exclusive to Sephora.

I know right… Why? Why Limited Edition?

Sigh!

Anyway, Lancôme mentioned that they brought in a good amount to meet the demand so everyone should be able to get their hands on it! Though don’t take that for granted and do head down if a particular shade catches your eye!

Black aside, we have 5 colored variants to choose from depending on your preference – be it purple hues, jeweled emerald or a regal gold.

If you ask me, I think all 5 shades are equally stunning making it almost impossible to pick from the lot. My suggestion, get them all! It is Limited Edition after all…

Amethyst is a funny shade, doing that whole ‘tricky to photograph’ color shift, being blue sometimes and purple in others. In person it is quite an ultra-violet shade but given that, it isn’t stark either and gives enough depth on the eye while maintaining its pop of color.

It truly is beautiful and one of my favorite of the lot.

Following close would be Emerald and Silver, it’s a little tricky picking a favorite from here on.

If you are familiar to the Artliners, perhaps having used them before, you would know that one trait of theirs would be how incredibly wet they are.

These do require some ‘wiping down’ at the mouth of the bottle before you apply them to your lids for fear of a huge wet glob of color wherever the brush first lands.

Though the ‘wetness’ hasn’t changed because it does provide for a smooth and undisturbed sleek line, I feel the improved and firmer applicator does help to control the liner application a whole lot more.

It is still flexible enough to wing out a soft flick or get really close to your lashline and yet it possesses enough resistance to draw a steady line without bending or flopping all over. That was one of the issues I had with this back in my noob-days.

Given how ‘wet’ these are, the formula is bound to separate so Lancôme recommends shaking these up before use and also recommends against putting these on their side (especially when they are open).

Here’s a swatch of the colors to show you how intensely saturated they are:

Upon initial swatch, they feel wet, watery and glossy but as they set and dry down, they start to hug closely to your skin giving it a patented vinyl-like finish. Almost like a second skin conforming to your first, the film that these
Artliners dry down to allows for them to last perfectly well through the day.

If you pay some attention to it while it dries, which does take a short while given how wet they are, you can almost feel the ‘wrapping’ effect as it dries and adheres to your skin. Almost like the liner is infusing itself into you but of course nothing of that sort. I’m watching too many superhero-mutation movies these days…

The shades are all intensely pigmented with a pearly (metallic for some) finish, save for the black which is just a glossy patent and intense shade.

Here is a comparison of Lancôme’s 24H Artliner’s Black to a softer black in my stash, to show you how smooth and dark Black Diamond is.

I especially love the depth to all these colors as they do carry some ‘pop’ but also lightly define the eyes in the process, it is all about the ‘jeweled’ finish of these shades.

Here’s a better shot of the sparkles in dimmer light.

To help you understand how these function as a film over the skin that enables them to wear for a long period of time and yet remove easily, here’s what happens if you really get in there and rub at these.

Of course you would never apply the same sort of pressure to your eye area and given that the skin around the eyes aren’t as taut as the back of the hands, it wouldn’t be an easy task to do this sans water either.

I have been rotating these liners since I got my hands on them, and will come back with a post about how they look on the eyes and how I prefer to wear them (nothing revolutionary though, given my neutral makeup rut). If you are interested to see how they look on, do check back!

I’ll also talk about how these wear through the day with an end-of-day shot and such but if you want to take my word for it, these are tenacious and lasting little buggers!

Though to disclaim, I only use liquid liners on my eyelid (no undereye / waterline and you shouldn’t too) and I typically don’t have issues with liquid liners on there! Only the one or two that seem to disintegrate upon bare contact with water of any sort – case in point Lancôme Plume’s liner, quite the opposite of Artliner.

If you’re in need of a good, saturated and long-lasting liquid liner than look no further! Especially so if any of these pop of colors catch your eyes because they are Limited Edition so grab them while they last!

Lancôme 24H Artliner in Black Diamond is permanent and found at all Lancôme counters island-wide.

Lancôme 24H Artliner in other shades (Jade, Emerald, Amethyst, Silver & Gold) are Limited Edition and available at Lancôme Sephora only.

Thanks for reading!