October 19, 2013

Empties: October 2013

As I am returning to the UK this weekend, today I want to share my final thoughts on the products that I finished this month while visiting the US.

October 16, 2013

US Beauty Haul!

I am flying back to the UK in a few days and that means my shopping in the US have also come to an end. As I have previously shared my two Sephora orders from this trip [Read Here and Here], today I want to share the rest of the beauty products that I picked up in the few weeks that I spent on the US east coast.

October 12, 2013

Weekend in Montreal: Food Edition

Turn back the time two weeks and I could be found wandering the streets of Montreal. It was so wonderful to spend a couple of days in one of my top 3 cities and today I want to share my trip experience. If you have ever read one of my travel posts, you would know that I usually document my days through food and drinks. Let's get started with this Montreal travel edition.

I arrived the city almost two hours behind schedule and somehow still managed to process my paperwork, check into my hotel, and then make a coffee break with a friend that I had scheduled following my original itinerary.

I stayed at the Best Western Ville Marie in downtown Montreal. Although dimly-lit with air-conditioning on the strong side, I love how the room was decorated with Monet prints. The bathroom door is a mix of solid and frosted strips, so if you stay with an acquaintance, I imagine it may be a slightly awkward experience. This is my second stay at this hotel and I found it pleasant overall, although I wish they would provide liquid handsoap instead of bar soaps.

October 8, 2013

NOTD: Essie Sleek Stick (A to Zebra)

I received this Essie Sleek Stick in A to Zebra as part of my July Glossybox. Although not in a pattern that I would have picked out myself, I was very curious regarding how well these strips would work on the nails. Today I want to share my thoughts on the experience.

This kit comes with 18 nail strips and a nail file along with the instructions. I spent 30 minutes working on both hands and the result was still not satisfying. While it was easy to match the nails with similarly-sized strips, the product refused to stay flat on my nails. I found it difficult to shape the strips since they were limited in malleability. I ended up trimming off the excess with nail scissors instead of filling it down as suggested.

Few of the strips did not make it past an hour before starting to peel. I think this is partially attributed to the lack of a top coat. As the pattern involved contrasting finishes, I could not apply a top coat without ruining the texture.

The easy removal seems to be the only positive aspect. I only needed to tug at the strips until the entire thing peeled off in one piece. I got rid of mine within a day and my nails were completely clean. I do imagine longer wear of these strips would result in some sticky residues on the nails once removed.

Perhaps my nails are oddly curved or perhaps I just had bad luck regarding the application. In any case, I do not believe these nail strips are worth the £9.99 price tag.

Have you tried any recommendation-worthy nail strips?

October 4, 2013

Review: ELF Mascara & Shadow Shield

I picked up this ELF Mascara & Shadow Shield around a month back in hopes of alleviating the fallout problem for my beloved glitter eyeshadows. With its lack of harsh edges and a supposedly ergonomic design, I had high hopes of replacing business cards in my makeup routine. Today I want to share my final thoughts on this little tool.

First of all, the silicone disk is flimsy and difficult to control. I find it difficult to keep the shield directly against my skin, which implies that the roots of my upper lashes often miss out on swipes of mascara. I never had much trouble with mascara smearing anyways, so I kept my fingers crossed that the shield would perform better against eyeshadow fallouts.

However, I was once again disappointed in this tool. This shield does not contour the curvature of my eyes. Although from the packaging, it looks like it was never intended to fit perfectly. While the silicone material does attract fallout, the reversible design backfires. When I flip the shield over for the other eye, the fallout-infested side would be directly against my skin, resulting in some fallouts transferring to my face. Giving the shield a good wipe in between does alleviate the problem somewhat, but I find it too much of a hassle to pause and clean a tool in the middle of makeup application.

I gave up on this tool after a couple of trials. It does not deliver results much different from when I hold a tissue or a business card around my eyes. Luckily, I did find an alternative use for it in cleaning my makeup brushes. Instead of swirling the brushes in my palm under running water, I can move the brushes gently around the surface of this shield to remove the pigments. My brushes end up as clean as usual and I can postpone getting my hands wet until I have to reshape the brushes.

I would definitely recommend a pass on this $3 shield unless you are with me on the brush-cleaning idea.

What are your tips for handling fallout?

October 1, 2013

Review: Soap & Glory Sexy Mother Pucker Gloss Sticks x 3

I debated about purchasing these Soap & Glory Sexy Mother Pucker Gloss Sticks for months before picking it up in three shades. I initially resisted the purchase because I found the product name to be quite rude. I gave in to my curiosity when these gloss sticks went on sale for £5 in mid-August.