Monday, November 29, 2010

Guest Blogger: My Husband and His Review on Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1

Hi everyone, my husband insisted on doing a guest review on my blog. As he doesn't use beauty products, he's decided to review a movie we've recently watched. So, introducing my first Guest husband.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by Weng-Tak (contains spoilers)

My wife and I went to the cinema last week to check out the new Harry Potter film. I'm not ashamed to say we are both quite big HP fans, and have read all the books so far, (although I cant remember much about the last few books).

I'm not known for my memory, and I'm struggling to think how the film starts. Nothing is ringing any bells, so I'm going to say the start wasn't fantastic, certainly not as good as the opening scenes from other HP films. On an aside, I watched "momento" with Guy Pierce last night, which is an excellent film about a guy with no short term memory who is trying to investigate his wife's murder. My memory isnt as bad as his.

Back to HP.. The main storyline revolves around the 3 main characters: Harry, Ron and Hermione, and their quest to kill the evil wizard Voldemort. To do this they have to destroy several horcruxes. Irritatingly, Voldemort has split up his soul into 7 or 8 different pieces, and fused them with these horcruxes, so in order to kill him, they first have to get rid of his horcruxes. For the majority of the film, the 3 of them are in hiding in a tent. One of the best things about previous films was when they were at the magical school Hogwarts as there were loads of random things happening e.g. moving staircases, and enchanted dining hall with replenishing food etc. The latest film misses out on all of this stuff. I cant really blame anyone for this, as it's part of the book, but the location aspect is certainly less entertaining. The film is quite dark, and certain scenes will be scary for young children. Those over 15 have no excuse for being scared though. Its important to point out that the final book is split into 2 films, so this one ends on a bit of a cliffhanger. If you cant wait for the next film, just buy the book.

My final comment is on Ron Weasley, aka Rupert Grint. For those who dont know what he looks like, he is the boy with a large mop of ginger hair and lets just say not known for his good looks.

His only other film to note is "Thunderpants", I was the unfortunate recipient of this many years ago and was suitably unimpressed. Now, up until we saw this film I had nothing against Ron, however as we exited the cinema my wife had the audacity to say that she thought he was quite hot. This brings up several issues:

1. Why Ron Weasley, there are plenty of other good looking characters in the film.
2. Maybe she is trying to annoy me.
3. If she is being serious, then she certainly has questionable taste in men, what does this say about me?
4. Should I make her watch thunderpants and see if she changes her mind?

So... In conclusion. Yes the film is good, but not as good as previous Harry Potter films. Amazingly Ron Weasley has a female following, and should maybe be entered for Heat magazine's weird crush competition next year. (Yes I read Heat magazine, dont judge me).

If you like this blog entry, please comment and I'll write another one next month. If you dont like it then read it again, maybe it will grow on you.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

New Kerastase Elixir Ultime: Versatile Beautifying Oil Review

I recently purchased Kerastase's Elixir Ultime, and here is a quick review on how I've found it so far.

I've finished my Shu Uemura Essence Absolue and Aveda Brilliant Gloss, and was looking for a new oil that smoothened my hair whilst giving it nourishment. Said to give nourishment, condition, shine and softness to the hair, I decided I had to give this oil a try.

In real life, the packaging is very nice, but not quite al luxurious looking as in the promotional pictures. The oil is housed in a 125ml plastic bottle with a gold coloured pump.

According to Kerastase:

" Our first versatile beautifying treatment enriched with a complex of four precious oils. Maize, Argan, Camellia and Pracaxi oils combine to create a luxurious Elixir for all hair types.
-with a few drops of elixir Ultime, hair is transformed into silky, weightless matter
- applied before cleansing, hair is instantly nourished and visibly regenerated
- applied before styling, hair is incredibly supple and protected."

1. Pracaxi Oil: Celebrated for its rich conditioning properties
2. Argan Oil: One of the rarest oils in the world, famed for its nourishing benefits
3. Maize Oil: A Kerastase heritage oil used in their first ever masque
4. Camellia Oil: A luxurious a fragrant oil extracted from camellia flowers

My thoughts:

The oil is pretty light as compared to thick and greasy. It also had quite a runny consistency. A little goes a very long way and spreads easily onto the hair, so only a tiny amount is needed.

To me this oil smells like an exotic beach holiday, with a hint of coconut. I like this scent alot, and so does my husband!

What did it do for my hair?
As a precleansing treatment on dry hair, you have to be careful not to apply too much as it is difficult to wash off and my hair felt a little oily afterwards. I tend not to use this as a precleanse much, and instead use it as a leave in conditioner/serum and finishing gloss.

As a leave in conditioner on towel dried hair, it made my hair feel more nourished, softer, smoother, and less dry looking. It works well as a serum to control fly-away or frizzy hair and to smooth the ends. Unlike alot of serums, this feels nice and really weightless in my hair. Used as a serum, it doesn't affect the volume of my hair.

It works beautifully applied sparingly as a finishing gloss on towel dried hair, leaving it extra super soft and sleek. I like using it this way the most because of the glossy look it gives my hair.

How does it compare to Shu Uemura's Essence Absolue?
Shu Uemura's famous Essence Absolue is a very very good oil, and has been identified as the secret behind Jeniffer Aniston's gorgeous hair. Like other Shu Uemura Art of Hair products I've tried, I absolutely loved it and used up every last bit of it. Both Essence Absolue and Elixir Ultime smoothed my coarse hair whilst providing it with treatment, leaving my hair soft and sleek. The Shu Uemura packaging appeals to me more than Kerastase's. The Essence Absolue is packaged in a sleek bottle which looks ever so slightly of higher quality.

However, the Shu Uemura oil has a thicker consistancy than the Kerastase Elixir and thus was much easier for me to apply too much and be left with slightly too greasy hair. The Kerastase Elixir is a lot lighter, and easier to apply & spread throughout the hair. I felt that when comparing the two, the Elixir made my hair softer and shinier than the Essence Absolue did. I also preferred the scent of the Elixir. Shu Uemura's oil is also slightly more expensive at £39 for 150ml.

I much preferred both these oils to the Morrocanoil which contained a lot of silicon and weighed my hair down.

Would I recommend it?
If you don't mind spending a little extra for shiny, sleek hair, then I would recommend it. However, there may be cheaper products out there that do the job just as well. What I especially like about this oil is that it is silicone free and does feel weightless on the hair.

- silicone free
- multi-functional: can be used before shampoo as a precleanse treatment, on towel dried hair as a leave-in conditioner/serum, as well as on fully dried hair as a finishing gloss
- left my hair feeling nourished, shiny, soft and sleek whilst not weighing my hair in the slightest
- a little goes a long way, so the 125ml bottle would last quite some time

-pricey at ~ £32, though I have seen it sold for ~£26 online

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

November Haul

Hi everyone, just a quick post to share with you items that I have bought this month. As I'm getting older, I've started thinking about anti-ageing skincare. I wanted to get a serum which contained some form of retinol, as well as peptides and antioxidants (all of which are thought to be good anti ageing properties), so my skin can look young for longer.

Philosophy's Miracle Worker Miraculous Anti-Ageing Concentrate contains all the ingredients. The retinol is in the form of retinyl palmitate, it contains a couple of peptides and multiple antioxidants including vitamins a, c and e to help protect the skin against environmental attack. Here is the ingredients list:

The serum is in the form of a dark yellow gel which smooths over the skin easily. It doesn't feel too greasy. It makes my skin glow when I put it on, but after a few days I've noticed a few tiny breakouts- which is unfortunate as otherwise it's a rather nice serum.

I also purchased the Diorskin Nude Natural Glow Fresh Powder Makeup. I'm in love with it already, and it's everything I'm looking for in a base.

It comes with a small flat top brush.

I bought it in the shade 020 Light beige. This foundation gave me an amazing healthy glow, and I'll definately be doing a review on this later.

Also from Dior, I bought their Skinflash Radiance Booster Pen.

The shade I bought was 002 Candlelight, which was perfect as an undereye concealer as well as a highlighter. I love how it brings instant radiance to the skin.

I bought N.Y.C's Color Wheel Mosaic Face Powder in Pink Cheek Glow.

The colour comes out as a beautiful apricot-pink, and I use this mosaic as a blush.

I bought this Avon SuperShock Eyeliner after reading a glowing review from A Model Recommends.

I've tried all sorts of pencil liners including Urban Decay 24/7 liner and MUFE aqua eyes eyeliner. In my opinion, the Avon eyeliner is alot better then the rest. It's got a longer staying power, and is extremely smudge proof. It's inexpensive too!

This eyeliner is so smudge proof that it's extremely difficult to remove, you need a REALLY good eye makeup remover. I love the price of this liner. It's normally sold for £6, but I got it on offer at £3.

Lastly, I bought these cute bedroom slippers from Accessorize. They are so warm and comfy for winter!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Blogger Award and Tag

Thank you very much pinkstrawberrielove for this award! Please check out the blog of this beautiful blogger who features a lot of cute Asian makeup.

The rules of this award are to pass this along to 7 blogs you've recently discovered and enjoy, aswell as share 7 things about yourself.

Seven things about myself:

1. I never talk makeup with my friends or family, as most of them don't wear any. So no swapping of beauty tips in daily conversation for me :( Annoyingly, eventhough they don't wear any makeup, they are still the most beautiful people i have ever met.

2. I started wearing makeup at 18, and love they way it can be used to enhance everyone's natural beauty.

3. I love reading. My favourite genre of books are historical fiction, psychological thrillers, sci-fi, and ...Harry Potter.

4. I LOVE British comedy, my favourite being the Inbetweeners. The show can be pretty crude and terribly cringe-worthy at times. I watched it with my mum one, what a mistake. Non comedy shows I enjoy are Downton Abbey, and the following U.S. shows; The Vampire Diaries, The Event and Gossip Girl. (My husband enjoys watching the latter 3 with me).

5. Another great thing about Britain are its tea rooms. I love afternoon tea! My favourite tea room is Betty's located in different parts of Yorkshire.

6. I enjoy outdoor activities such as hiking, though the weather is currently too cold to do any of that.

7. My best friend is a gorgeous, super intelligent Iranian girl whom I met 10 years ago in boarding school. She's funny, klutzy, and was my maid-of-honour at my wedding last year.

The 7 blogs who I pass this award onto:

He call me 'Mara'
I Heart Cosmetics

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Shu Uemura Abracadabra Fantasy Aya Takano mini haul

Shu Uemura's Holiday Collection 2010 has finally reached the UK. It's called Abracadabra Fantasy, and all the products look super cute and pretty! Aya Takano is a Japanese artist who draws inspiration from science fiction and Japanese manga.

The main attractions of this collection are the adorable palettes shown below.

The Shu Uemura website also includes a little guide on how to achieve the makeup looks of the 2 girls featured in their promotional poster.

From this adorable collection, I bought the Reindeer Kiss Palette xxxx as well as the Miracle Cherry Blush Tint.

The packaging of the Reindeer Kiss Palette is gorgeous. The palette is encased in thick, chunky, good quality plastic.

This is the side view of the case. The plastic is pink on the bottom layer, and clear on the top.

What's in the palette:

The palette contains 3 eyeshadows, one eye liner, one highlighter, one blush and two double-ended brushes.

Here are swatches of the eyeshadows. There are two icy blue colours and one silver shimmer.

Below is a swatch of the chocolate brown eyeliner and the cream/gold shimmery highlighter.

I especially love the palette's blush. It's a cool tone bright pink. I like this palette so much, I bought an additional one as a gift for my sister.

I couldn't resist getting this Miracle Cherry Blush Tint. It's inspired by the blush on the cheeks,elbows, and legs of Aya Takano's cute and sexy characters.

The tint is housed in a small pink squeezy tube.

The tint is in the form of a watery gel, and the colour itself is a strong pinky-red.

Once blended out however, the colour becomes a lot more subtle resulting in a pink tint to the cheeks with a tiny hint of peach.

I'll now leave you with a piece of artwork from Aya Takano!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Fresh Soy Face Cleanser Review

Hi everyone, this is just a quick post to share with you my new HG cleanser, Fresh Soy Face Cleanser. I bought it on my recent trip to Toronto. I have sensitive skin which gets even more sensitized during the colder months. I find that quite a lot of cleansers dry out my skin, making it come out in a slight rash. So I'm so glad I came across this cleanser which cleanses so well whilst being gentle on my skin. Sadly I'm on my very last dregs of this product and don't know what to do as they don't sell it where I live!

According to Fresh:
'Ideal for all skin types, this ultra-gentle cleanser contains nourishing amino acids, rich soy proteins, and soothing botanicals to hydrate, calm and tone. Effectively removes every last trace of makeup, even around the delicate eye area.'

My thoughts:
- It's housed in a simple squeezy tube with flip cap. I have taken this product along quite a lot for travelling and it has never leaked or spilled
- the cleanser is a thick gel which is so silky smooth and applies like a dream
- it doesn't lather as much as other gel cleansers, which might give the impression it's almost too gentle on the skin
-I found it cleanses my skin really well, but gently without stripping off too much natural oil from my skin
-It gets rid of face make up, but I would still use a separate eye make up remover to remove eye make up
- after cleansing, my skin felt very supple to the touch
- after a week of use, my skin started to feel very soft and smooth
- the cleanser had a strange organic scent, of maybe soy or cucumber. I got used to the scent after a couple of days, and ended up quite liking it
- It also contains antioxidants. I love this product so much it's now my HG cleanser
- The tube lasts me just over a month

- I love how soft and smooth this makes my skin
- cleanses the skin really well and even removes makeup
- it's gentle and does not irritate or dry out my skin
- texture of the cleanser is silky smooth and luxurious
- fragrance free
- contains antioxidants

- pricey at $38 (US dollars) for 150ml. I don' know the price in pounds as I have yet to buy it in the UK
- smells a bit strange
- quite difficult to get hold of for those of us in the UK. They have one store in London.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Soft and Sweet FOTD with new Jill Stuart Blush Blossom

I've been using a lot of darker colours this Autumn, so I decided to do something different and do an FOTD with softer, sweeter colours. Today's FOTD makes use of a couple of Jill Stuart products, including the new JS Blossom Blush which I've just purchased and done a post on.

Jill Stuart Blush Blossom im Lady Amaryllis

Products used for this FOTD are shown and listed below.

Jill Stuart Smooth Silk Powder Foundation
Jill Stuart Blush Blossom, 03 Lady Amaryllis
YSL 5 Colour Harmony, 8
Bobbi Brown Gel Liner, Black
YSL Faux Cils Volume Effect Mascara
Bobbi Brown Lip Sheer, Pink Berry
Bare Escentuals Buxom Lip Polish, Katie

This is the eyeshadow palette I used. I chose the light grey and pink shade for today's FOTD

For extra pink glossy lips, I layered a pale pink lipgloss over the Bobbi Brown lip colour

Monday, November 8, 2010

My Haircare Routine

Hi everyone, I thought I'd do a post about my current haircare routine. My hair was pretty dry and damaged before switching to this routine, so I wanted to share it with those who may have similar hair type to mine.

Brief breakdown of my hair type:

I know alot of oriental girls (my sister included) have beautiful, silky straight hair. I'm not one of these girls. My hair is naturally extremely thick (bushy?), wavy and can get quite coarse if I don't look after it properly. Hairdressers in Malaysia would complain about how long it takes them to dry my hair, and my dad would forbid me to buy any hair products with the words 'volumising' on it.

In the past year, I've dyed my hair a few too many time. My hair is quite long (~2 inches above the waist), and was damaged from all the colouring, so I needed changed my haircare routine in order to redeem the look of healthy hair.

Products in my current routine:

Shampoo/conditioner - Liz Earle Botanical Shine Shampoo (for all hair types)
- Liz Earle Botanical Shine Conditioner (for dry and damaged hair)

Occasional use: serum and shine spray - Aveda Brilliant Emolliant Finishing Gloss
- Morrocanoil Glimmer Shine Spray

Liz Earle Botanical Shine Shampoo and Conditioner

I bought these after reading numerous glowing reviews about this from British beauty bloggers.
'High performance, colour safe formulation with innovative, naturally derived cleansers for a rich, creamy lather'. It's SLES (sodium lauryl ether sulfate) free, using naturally derived gentle cleansers. (SLES has been shown to cause skin and eye irritation).

Natural active ingredients includes:
aloe vera, west African shea, sweet orange essential oil, rosemary essential oil, vitamin E and apple fruit extract

I LOVE the shampoo! It has the most heavenly, gorgeous scent that I would describe as sweet and fruity. It doesn't lather as much as traditional shampoos, so it takes a bit to get used too. Only a little amount is needed, so I get more from this 200ml tube of shampoo than other formulas.

The conditioner is really rich and moisturising. Again, only a little conditioner is needed (with other conditioners, I usually have to use a lot of it to achieve smooth hair). After using the shampoo and conditioner, my hair is very shiny, super soft and smooth, and smells delicious!

Aveda Brilliant Emmolliant Finishing Gloss
I use this on clean, towel-dried hair whenever I want my hair to look extra polished an smooth. This gloss smooths ends and imparts a great glossy shine. The gloss is very thick and can be a bit greasy, so only a very small amount is needed.

Morrocanoil Glimmer Shine Spray
I really love this product. It gives my hair an amazing shine. To limit the amount of product I use, I try to use this product as little as possible, so end up only using it on special occasions. The scent is a little overpowering, so am not too keen about that. (I was not using this shine spray in the above pics of my hair, and it makes my hair a whole lot shinier than in the photos).