Friday, February 15, 2013

Make Up Store : My First Foray

Have you ever heard about Make Up Store? If you haven't, well, let me introduce you a little bit about it from a fellow laywoman point of view.

When I first lived in Singapore a few years ago, Make Up Store (MUS) had already entered the market here. To my knowledge, they have only boutiques or stand-alone stores and always located in the big malls in the city, not the small, suburban ones. Their image is somewhat reminiscent of MAC or Make Up Forever with the all-black packaging and fashiony backstage-feel.

I'm not sure how popular it is among Singaporeans here, and to an extent, among people in general. Honestly, I've never really seen their stores being frequented that heavily by shoppers and I literally never stumbled upon any article or blog that features this brand unless I happened to google it, which I never did. I've seen their products being featured in local magazines, at one time they even sponsored an event about jobs and career for women but that's about it. Yet, they manage to survive here for all these years.

Every time I walked past an MUS store, it always intrigued me but I never followed through. Today however, due to my intention to rein in my spending and to be less of a brand snob this year, I decided to take the plunge. I'd like to brag a little that I came in with a list of what I needed and I stuck by that list, somewhat...

Here's what I bought:
Clockwise from top : Lipstick in Fairy, Microshadow in Sibiria, and Blush in Sugar Muffin
There were only two things on my list, actually: a base color eye shadow and a matte pink blush on. I ended up getting three items only because they were having this promotion bundle, blush on + lipstick for $49. It was still within my budget and I needed the blush on anyway...lols.

First up is the eye shadow, or as they call it, Microshadow in Sibiria.

Sibiria (I don't understand this name, though, is it 'Siberia' in another language? does it even mean anything?) is a soft shimmery light taupe. I'd call it a shimmer wash because it provides you with a soft wash of color that is perfect as a base color. Here's how it looks swatched:

Check out the look I did with Sibiria below:
The color is perfect for office, which is exactly what I was looking for. Here's what I used in the look book above:

- Urban Decay Primer Potion Original
- Make Up Store Microshadow in Sibiria all over lid
- Chanel eye shadow in safari on the crease
- Chanel eye shadow in Magic Night as an accent on the outer crease

Next up is a blush on currently holding the title as a blush with the prettiest name ever: Make Up Store blush in Sugar Muffin.

It is a matte dusty pink blush on with silver sparkles sparsely dusted all over. The sparkles won't show up once you apply the blush, though. It's very pigmented and versatile, I think this shade suits every complexion as well, from dark to super pale. All that bullshit aside, to be honest I didn't think twice when I bought it because I wanted to tell people I wear Sugar Muffin on my cheeks.

And last but not least, the extra item I got that was not on the list: Make Up Store lipstick in Fairy.

Fairy is aptly named, though. On the container it is this pale pink pudding-looking stick with pink and purple sparkles. The SA told me it's a 'clear' lipstick and I thought to myself, what a fancy way to call a lip balm. Ha! It is more of a lip balm, when you put it on on its own you will only get shiny lips because it doesn't have any color.

The SA told me you can put it on over lipstick to touch it up, bring back the shine. I actually think it's very good to be used over lipsticks that are too drying. I have one lipstick that I have from Savoir Faire cosmetics called Grace, I really love the color but it is very drying. I can't wait to try it with Fairy, maybe I'll show you guys on the next post!

I don't know what are the ingredients but Fairy is very moisturizing. After I wiped it off with a tissue, my lips felt so soft. It's perfect for topping off matte / drying lipstick when you only want to make them more creamy instead of glossy. Here's how it looks worn over Chanel lipstick in Venise:

Overall, I find the quality of the products is OK. They're not bad but nothing to write home about, and the price feels a bit steeper because of that. The texture of the powders is somewhat coarse, no complaints on the lipstick. One good thing is that the products don't have any noticeable scent, which I like.

FYI, MUS has extensive range of products and their prices are more affordable than department store's brands. I didn't check them out though, because the only SA in the store was the pushy and overzealous kind. She was actually very sweet and nice, not the obnoxious, rude, and arrogant kind of pushy but many times do I need to say it in order for her to comprehend that no means no?? She was the type that was so quick to pose as your best friend, she disregarded my words the whole time and kept trying to make me buy more, it was uncomfortable! >.< And after so many refusals she still dared to escalate into trying to convince me to get two promotion sets!

These products are made in Canada, same as MAC. Packaging, while nicely designed, is made with light plasticky material that feels super cheap. The hinge in the eye shadow / blush case is flimsy and I worry if I opened it too fast/careless it'd break. The lipstick case is the opposite, it snaps shut so tightly that you have to put a little effort to open it. So not elegant.

In summary, I would recommend not to get carried away when you visit the store. Come with a list, buy only what you need, buy less, see if you like it.

P.S. Anyone from Canada wanna tell me the deal about this brand?

Zou Bisou Bisou : A Little Eyes Inspiration

I am one of those people who were smitten by Jessica Pare when she sang that little French song on Mad Men. I love her look as well, especially that decadent thick eye liner that is so '60s that made her look like a nightingale every time she batted her lashes. Here's the look I'm talking about (image nicked from somewhere on the internet):

These winged eye liner are with a twist, though. On Mad Men, the makeup artist traced the crease of her lids instead of the lash lines. I was so smitten by this look, I recreated it using Bonavoce liquid eyeliner pen in black. Only, I used my own interpretation and traced my lash lines instead but with a great exaggeration.

Pardon the smudged eye lids but because this was done on a whim, I didn't bother using any primer. I just picked up the pen and started drawing. I think it didn't smudge that bad, considering...

For all my readers from the western hemisphere, I seriously recommend you to check out the vast array of liquid eye liner, mascara, and falsies lines from Japan. Japanese girls have crazy eyes fetish so eye-enhancing products are ubiquitous, with state-of-the-art formulas and adorable packaging. They are not exactly cheap but they're cheaper than department store brand but you get better products.

I loved it so much, I couldn't help but singing a little Zou Bisou Bisou myself all around my living room...;->