Nars Larger Than Life Lip Gloss Place Vendome swatch /review

Nars Larger than Life lipglosses were released in early 2012, comes in an array of shades between light to dark, I picked a few shades and Place Vendome was the darkest shade I have at the moment. Nars describes this shade as 'strawberry pink'.

They RRP for 26USD.

Comes in a standard lipgloss tube, again the handle is Nars signature semi-rubbery plastic which is probably going to disintegrate and attract a lot of dust in no time.

Under different lighting:

Features a really short point bristle tip- it's a brush tip but it's a lot shorter and pointier than most other brush bristled lipglosses.

Here are a few swatches:

You can see it's a brightened strawberry pink, more red than pink I thought. It has a slightly sticky texture but not more so than a lot of other glosses out there. It's high shine and very pigmented. Obviously it applies sheerer than it looks in the tube but the pigmentation is a lot better than expected.

Under different lighting:

Overall this shade turned out a bit too deep colored and bright for me, while it does build to a lustrous shine and glossy finish and you get that pouty lip look, I find it very hard to wear with my other makeup look as I usually wear very neutral or minimal eye makeups.

I did realise something unique about these Nars glosses, they have a unique texture where it almost feels a bit like gel-gloss, which means I can actually apply a bit and dab on my lips to get same effect as using a lip tint. You get some color but minimal shine. So it looks like I just got more pinker lips naturally. (same theory as Benefit's Benetint series )

Rating is 3/5. $26 USD is quite hefty for a lipgloss (though I would categorise these are liquid lipsticks due to the high pigmentation). Separately it does require a decent amount to build to that glossy lustrous high shine look. On the plus side I believe these are unscented , there is also no taste to it.


Lancome x Kate Winslet Golden Hat Foundation Le Vernis Nail Colour Polish 26 review/ swatch

This was the collaboration bewteen Kate Winslet's golden hat foundation and Lancome.

They come in same polish design as standard Lancome nail polishes, other than the box is different, you get a nice matte black box with golden hat foundation prints on them.

Comes in 3 shades, 26, 27, 28 , which are all limited edition to this collection.

In the bottle it looks like a medium muted rose pink shade, full creme and no shimmers or glitters or iridescence.

Here's a swatch with 2 coats + seche vite top coat. On the nails I thought it looked a tinge darker in real life, particularly compared to what the shade looked like in the bottle. I thought I was getting a medium pink rose, but what came out was really a muted berry rose, like a dusty berry rose. My photos are darker than the shade in real life.

A few more angles- see even in picture below I think it looks darker on my nails (about 1 shade darker) than the polish in the bottle.

It photographs quite well and glossy looking, in real life as the shade has a creme finish (it's not a starke strange creme finish but rather a soft, creamy and buildable full coverage creme finish especially with just two coats). It almost looks like it has a certain sheen in photos.

Overall I think 3.5 out of 5 for this shade. It's a lovely shade and really understated, but it's in that 'dusty/ muted' berry rose family where some people will find it meh when they actually wear the shade. I wore this to a wedding yesterday and after I put it on I was a bit worried I was a bit surprised since I didn't think it would've gone with my dress (which is a lighter nude pink chiffon).  However this shade just kind of blends in- I didn't get any compliments on the day (usually my friends would notice my nails and comment on how they love particular colors), but this is one of those shades which you wear and just isn't a "stand-out" shade.

I can't think of dupes in OPI or Essie or anything else I have on hand, it's in the 'dusty/muted' shade category like OPI Nuntucket mist (but not the same shade and this #26 is certainly darker). It's not like OPI a dozen rosas either which is brighter and pinker and has a pearly sheen. It's not like Essie bootleg (which is paler and more mauve).

It is as good quality as OPI nail polish in terms of ease of application and consistency, however it didn't wear too well (about 2 days) and some bits were flaking off- it could be that Lancome just doesn't react well with my base coat or topcoat or something. (Base coat was Paul & Joe base coat, nothing to rave about, topcoat is Seche Vite which is what's giving the shade a glossy shine).


Shiseido Ma Cherie End Cure Milk review (hair treatment)

Ma Cherie is a drugstore brand under the Shiseido Group. There are so many drugstore lines of Shiseido hair products under various names, even Ma Cherie alone has tonnes of variations of hair treatment products.

I got mine from Taiwan which was like around $5-7USD equivalent. The "End Cure Milk" is meant to be a leave-in hair treatment, after shampooing and towel drying your hair, then apply to ends of your hair focusing on any damages.

Comes in a cute squeeze bottle, it's sort of flat-ish and oval shaped. 100ml content.

It's just a flip top opening and you squeeze the plastic body of the bottle and product would easily come out.

Here's the product itself- has a light floral scent. It doesn't really linger about 1 hr after application unless you sniff your hair really close up. It's a pleasant sweet floral scent that is easy to wear.

The consistency is much like a hair conditioner, not fluid but not thick-cream, just a light cream that spreads easily. It doesn't feel oily or sticky.

I've used it a lot of times on towel dried hair, honestly I do not feel it 'repairs' already damaged ends, but seems to prevent against heat damage from blowdrying. 

I also use this on already dried hair, usually when I wake up the next morning, my ends tend to feel a bit dry.

Picture below is before application.

I use about a pea sized amount on end of hair, here's the result: You can see that slightly 'dry hair' look is gone. It seems to smooth down hair especially at the ends quite well.

If I add a tiny bit more product, it almost looks like glossy healthy hair right here. However I don't usually tend to apply this much as if you didn't apply it evenly, it can look almost like "streaks" of hair where some bit can look a bit oily. (It doesn't feel oily once applied to hair).

However, as mentioned, it's a rather weak leave-in treatment. I believe the finished result is more superficial as opposed to making a long-term difference to the health of your hair. I ended up using about 70% of the bottle then got bored and moved on.  

If you are looking for a cheap leave-in treatment this is not a too bad option. (I'm still looking for other new favorite leave-in treatments so do not have any recommendations at this time).

Another thing is it doesn't seem to do much in terms of "styling" your hair, I get a bit of a slightly frizzy look on the top of the head or those baby hair that wont sit properly, this does nothing for it. Best used on only ends of your hair for a smoothed down look.

Have also tried this and probably not suitable to be used with hair curlers as it almost loosens the curls.


Chanel Ligne Extreme Liquid Eye Lines eyeliner 307 OR (gold) review/ swatch

Every year it seems Chanel goes back to doing a slightly gold themed collection (same with a neutral / earth toned collection). For 2011 Christmas again, it was the ligne extreme eyeliner liquid in shade number 307 "OR", (which means gold).

It comes in a standard elongaged box packaging about similar size to the twist-up eyeliners.

There's a very elongated handle on the narrow side, the actual liquid eyeliner is on the thicker end only. Essentially most of the actual tube is just the handle.

Here it is - comes in quite a small, fine brush tipped bristle. The bristle is not hard, on the slightly softer side. The brush seems to hold up reasonably well and doesn't splay. You can see despite the length of the handle, the actual  brush section is quite short.

Here are a few swatches , on the top I smudged it out, in the middle less so, then on the bottom is a full application which had a bit of product on it.

The shade is as the name suggest- gold- it looks like 24 carat gold color (not as pale as 18k gold, so it's more 'yellow' gold). It is not like bronze or orange or brown, just simply liquid gold. The shimmer factor is more obvious in real life. 

Unfortunately it's a really hard shade to wear- it doesn't really work blended out to be a liquid eyeshadow, yet it's too dark a gold to be worn as an under-eye liner or in the inner rim for highlight, best worn I thought was using a black pencil eyeliner to lightly line the top eye, then apply the liquid gold liner over it. If you want to apply any eyeshadow , this shade will need to be touched up as once you press an eyeshadow over it, it loses that liquid gold lustre.

It stays on reasonably well and doesn't seem to "flake" off like a lot of colored liquid eyeliners do.

Overall I wish it was a more wearable gold like a champagne gold, but it serves its purpose and would look nice if you really had a lot of time to do a proper eye make up. I cannot think of any dupes in other brands  (not sure of MAC) but at least of any Japanese brands I can think of.

Rating is 4/5. It does take a few seconds to dry, otherwise it could smudge.


Dariya Salon De Pro Hair Color Bubble Foam Dye 5MK mocha brown reviews / swatches

Apologies for lack of blog posts these 2 weeks as I've been drowned with work.

I've previously reviewed Salon de pro hair color bubble dye in shades 4A and 3 already. Here's shade 5MK (Mocha Brown)'s review. 5MK is meant to be on the darker spectrum of the series, MK being less red toned and more ash toned as opposed to shade "5" alone.

These retail about 15USD each online before shipping, various websites all stock this plus ebay. Exclusive to Japan in terms of retail and maybe a few Asian countries. This particular one I think I got from HK so there's actually instructions in Chinese included, which was handy since my Japanese was never that great so I was always scared I missed some instructions.

Here's the color card for 5MK.

Rest of the box, on the bottom there's a color chart (it's probably an older chart as it is missing shade "4A", which is lighter and even more ash toned than 5MK).

Other instrucitons etc:

Here's the instrucitons in Chinese:

I've kept the color card of my last hair color, which was another Japanese bubble dye brand "Blaune" in shade "2AH" (ash brown). I placed the shade 2AH's color card above 5MK to show you the difference. 5MK definitely looks slightly more mocha and a tinge lighter and less ash based than 2AH in the Blaune brand.

Here's the instructions, along with pictures, click to enlarge:

Here's the content of the hair dye pack, all you get are a pair of rubber gloves (which fits very snugly and I like that), plus the metal bottle and the "nozzle" head to be fitted over the bottle. You don't get any hair conditioner or treatmetnt included in the pack like other hair dyes typically do.

Once you fit the nozzle on and squeeze the bottle, a steady lot of foams come out. According to the instructions you get "eight to nine tennis ball sized foams". Which is probably true. On my hand is far bigger than a single tennis ball as I was just greedy. Part of the foam will appear like grey or brown while the rest is white- the instructions say don't worry it's all the same once applied.

Ok here's my gripe about the bubble dye- I truely only got about 9 tennis ball (or maybe 10 balls) sort of size- which was far less than needed for my hair which is about half way down my back now. The added problem is I realised how badly Salon de pro's hair dye performs during colder weather. I used this on a particularly colder night in Sydney (around 13 degrees at night), and the foams clearly dissipate really quickly once applied to hair. That factor aside together with the lack of sufficient foam, anyone with long and thick hair are likely to need two bottles.

Back when I used the other two shades of salon de pro in shades 4A and 3 on separate occassions I was struggling to get enough coverage already, now my hair is about 10-15cm longer it is clearly insufficient.

Here's what it looked like after I applied all the foams. You can see the end of the hair section which I had up in a bun got literally no foam. The foam on the rest of the head dissipated really quickly too, I couldn't even work it through my head evenly as it was just drying up quickly.

Here's my hair BEFORE using the dye- 2AH Blaune hair color which has faded after about 8 weeks.  I was getting some grey hair regrowth plus I found the condition of the end of my hair to be a bit bad and no matter what awesome hair product I was using, my hair felt a bit dull and crunchy quickly. Then I knew it was a sign I needed to dye  my hair again.
Here's the hair color under different light without flash- you can see the dullness is more visible and at the ends there is clear color fading and looking a bit more brown orange.

Pictures BELOW are all after using the Salon de pro 5MK hair dye. I found it looked surprisingly mocha under flash light which is not too bad but I generally prefer ashed dark dark brown look as opposed to a slightly red tinge. You can see at the end of the hair it is very uneven.

Here it shows the "darker" shade overall without direct flash.

Next morning, outdoors in the sun (the strange white stuffs on bottom left corner was just me blurring the ugly garden hose in the back lol).

And this is where it upsetted me the most! My ends are still just as uneven and looking dry and slightly brown orange especially under direct sunlight.

Overall was very unhappy with the experience with this one. Next time I will need two bottles when I use salon de pro and definitely need to becareful with the temperature (p.s. most bubble dyes dont do great when the weather's super hot too).

In addition I noticed the instructions said keep the foam in hair for 20 minutes (once you have applied the full head) then rinse thoroughly and shampoo. I usually do a solid 40 minutes as my hair do not take colors that easily, but given this is meant to be one of the darker shades in the salon de pro line I expected it to turn dark quickly. 

It took me 15 minutes to apply all foam to my hair, then I waited another 25 minutes, and the color still clearly didn't take (maybe because the foam dissipated so quickly this time due to the cold weather or just the lack of foam). My grey roots were still there, I still have a slightly obvious regrowth line at the roots which shows 1 patch black at the regrowth and then remaining more brown (usually the that regrowth look is very blurred or totally even after application since I focus a lot on the roots). In addition obviously the ends aren't dyed at all either.

Overall clearly it is not my day- I'm trying to nurture my hair back to a slightly better condition before I dye over it again =(