Since I started blogging, I’ve been opened up to just how vast the world of makeup is. There’s so much product out there and now more than ever we have access to so much options for makeup. Although complexion products are still a failure here in Malaysia, efforts have been made to be more inclusive in the past 5 to 10 years than ever before.
I’ve discovered so many new and fabulous products that this list was warranted! 4 years of so many new products unveiled. And if you love makeup, here are 5 of the BEST products money can buy you. Two of them are actually CHEAP!
And yes, they are in order. The no 1 is my all time best discovery!
Disclaimer: I am not judging these products based on the company, the brand, its ethics, the ingredients whatsoever. All these products are from reputed brands.
No. 5 MAC Lipsticks (Matte finish)
The one I have here is the MAC Viva Glam I lipstick. You can find my review of this lipstick here. This one would have placed higher but since I can only, personally, speak from one shade it is 5th on my list. They are THE BEST lipsticks money can buy you! I only have experienced the matte ones, like the one pictured above but I haveconstantly heard ONLY good things about these lipsticks, regardless of its finish. And at MYR 80 they are not too expensive considering the fact that they are MAC products. Before Sephora, discount for MAC products were unheard of. Now, with the Black Friday and VIB sales, MAC products can be bought at a discount from Sephora! YES! With a 20% discount they would cost only MYR 64!
No 4. Sephora 10Hr Wear Perfection Foundation
This was one of the very few foundations I’ve tried but would come to realise that everyone who’s ever tried it loved it. This is one of Tati’s favourite foundations (yes, THAT Tati, drama aside, her suggestions have worked for me on so many occasions). You can check out my review here. This foundation is amazing! It gives you a semi matte look that is natural with coverage that can be built on! It lasts very well and it sits beautifully on the skin! In my review, it is written that it costs MYR 78 and it now costs MYR 73! A price reduction!!! How often does that happen??? With the Sephora 20% it comes to MYR 58.40! That’s drugstore price! In fact, cheaper than some drugstore foundations!!!
No 3 Essence Make Me Brow Eyebrow Gel Mascara
This product would have placed higher if not for the limited shades available. Considering it’s a drugstore brand, two shades are plenty for a brow gel. But we’re talking about my very best here, so number 3 is high praise. You can read my review here. This lasted through a party night out! I love it! It has tiny microfibres which would be a blessing for people with sparse brows and it is the cheapest of its kind at the drugstore.
No 2 Rimmel Stay Matte Long Lasting Press Powder
For being my latest review and immediately making it into my top 5 best list is saying something about this product. You can read my review here. Let me first give a shoutout to Rimmel. They made a banging comeback to Malaysia and I was so happy! They are THE ONLY makeup brand at the drugstore with a concealer that matches me (my skin tone, not lighter) AND with a foundation line that runs two, TWO shades darker, DARKER than mine (did you read that? DARKER!!!). And Rimmel is one of the CHEAPEST brands, cheap enough to rival Essence and Catrice! I’ve tried out a lot of powders and powder foundations from the drugstore. Higher end powders tend to be expensive (I love MAC and it doesn’t compare to this). I’ve tried Maybelline, Silkygirl, Pixy, L’Oreal and Revlon because powder foundations are easy to use and handy for touch ups. Often these products I can only use on stage and they’d always either crease or become cakey or something along that line. This is the best with a shade to match me. The only brand that can rival this is Maybelline and that powder is three times more expensive than this one (not including discounts)!
No 1 ~drumrolls~
Urban Decay All Nighter Makeup Setting Spray
You can read my review here. I SWEAR BY THIS!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I have had someone I know tell me that this didn’t work for them over Instagram and I, VERBALLY, let out this to myself, “Ouh…. that’s so sad for you….” This is a great makeup setting spray. One of the best! There’s no drugstore equivalent! TRUST ME!!! And the best part is, if you like and use makeup, this is something you can use in your collection. It will help your base and even your eyeshadow last longer. 30 ml costs MYR 69, 118 ml costs MYR 137, not too bad for an Urban Decay product.
As of June 2019 Over 1000 Subscribers. Over total 285000 views. Over 250000 views on my most popular video (Indian Dance Makeup; Eye – link here). Over 25000 views on my next most viewed video (Indian Dance Makeup | The Power of Makeup – link here). And over 1000 views on two other videos (Indian Dance Makeup Re-imagined | NYX Face Awards – link here; and; Top 5 MOST Affordable Drugstore Makeup Brands in Malaysia – link here).
Since then I’ve uploaded a couple more videos!!! The one I’m most proud of is a breakdown of Miss Universe 2018, Catriona Gray’s Vogue makeup tutorial in terms of products she used!
The rest are just unboxing videos and other fun stuff. Do check it out!
Second Rimmel review! I loved the previous product (Rimmel Scandaleyes Waterproof Kohl Kajal – link here) and let’s see if I love this too. Today, I review the often talked about Rimmel Stay Matte Long Lasting Pressed Powder in the shade 010 Warm Honey.
The product. Very simple packaging.
Description on the back.
A closer look.
Swatch. About half a shade lighter than my skin tone.
Description: Pressed powder that comes in 14 grams or 0.49 oz of product. Here in Malaysia there are about 6 shades which is pretty good because I believe 010 is one of the darkest! Sure enough, 010 is difficult to find because it seems to be sold out.
Update 17th June 2019: Prices have been revised for these products. Check under each product review section.
Another day, another Althea review! Yeay! Althea launched a new collection called A-Bloom and let me tell you that the adorable factor is 10 out of 10. You’ll see in the pictures below.I was sent all these products but opinions are all mine! None of the links are affiliate links either!
SO the collection comes with the following; 1. BHA Blackhead Blaster 2. A’bloom Giant Meringue Puff 3. A’bloom Baby Meringue Puffs 4. A’bloom Moisturizing Watermelon Mask Sheet 5. A’bloom Nourishing Avocado Mask Sheet 6. A’bloom Brightening Lemon Lime Mask Sheet 7. A’bloom Anti-Blemish Peach Mask Sheet I will be reviewing the blackhead blaster as a unit, both the meringue puffs as a unit, and the masks as a unit.
First up, the Blackhead Blaster.
Description: Cleansing stick targeted at managing and removing blackhead, excess sebum as well as pore cleaning. Has charcoal as an added ingredient and hence the black colour.
Pros: -Cleanses pores and excess sebum really well. -Easy to use. -User friendly packaging. -PRICE! -Skin felt clean and fresh.
Cons: -Dries out the skin a tiny bit. This typically happens with me when tea tree oil and charcoal is involved. (But I only used it on and around the nose and forehead area). -The grit that is supposed to clean the pores does dissolve but not fast enough and so it does scratch the skin! First time I used it I actually felt the grit on my skin and not in a good way. The grit is a little sharp. Take note that I don’t have the most sensitive skin or delicate skin for that matter.Althea website says that it is supposed to be gentle so I guess it would depend on your own skin and how you handle exfoliation.
Rating: 6.5/10 As effective as it is I was not a fan of the grittiness of the stick.As much as it made my skin softer and really exfoliated, I did notice one or two tiny zits around the areas I used it which is something I’ve noticed, happens when I use a really strong exfoliant. I doubt this product would be something I’d willingly purchase.
Next up, the Meringue Puffs! Trust me, this is the most adorable thing you’ll see in this review!
Description: High density latex free makeup sponges that come in two sizes.
Note: I can’t attest to longevity of the sponges just as yet, since this was sent to me for my honest review, I agreed to post the review within a prescribed time limit but I will definitely keep you posted.
Pros: -Blends out cream and liquid product beautifully. -Blends out product in RECORD time because the giant sponge is so big! -The baby sponge helps with the nooks and crannies. -Soft sponge! -Bouncy and that’s really important in makeup sponges. -CHEAP!!! MY GOD SO CHEAP!
Cons: -It EATS product. First time I used it I had pumped out enough to cover my face and when I dipped the sponge into the foundation it completely disappeared into the sponge. I thought it might just dispense onto my face and it did but not all of the product came out. Because of this, I tried dotting on my face and blending it out and this worked much better. -Although it has a teardrop shape, the tip tapers off to the base on an angle too wide rendering it not that useful for going into the corners for more precise blending. The smaller ones are much more useful for this but since they have the same shape I get more use from the base than I do from the pointed end. -Holds too much water so the sponge needs to be rung out properly lest the face becomes wet (unless of course that is your desired look).
Rating: 6.9/10 I am torn with this. It’s soft, blends well and is CHEAP but at the same time, the cons are pretty serious. Sponges are good because they should take away some product off the face so one doesn’t look caked on but at the same time it shouldn’t eat up your product. I feel like people doing body paint might get good use of out it because the giant sponge is so big it would cover a large portion of the skin with a base grease paint fairly quickly. Perhaps even faster than a large brush.
Last up, THE FACE MASKS!
Description: Face masks that come in four different variations.
Price: MYR 2 (each)!!!!!!!!!!!!!! YASSSS!!!!!!!!!(no change in price, THANK GOD!)
Pros: -All four masks worked beautifully. –Mild scent. Fragrance is not an ingredient so perhaps the only scents I caught were from the ingredients. -The mask is very wide which is ideal for me because masks rarely cover my big face properly! -Avocado – It is supposed to balance pH; I don’t know if it did but this was my FAVE out of the four. -Watermelon – This lived up to its name; it moisturised my skin and made it bouncy. -Lime – Brightening is something that takes time. Hardly something that will be obvious in a single use. However, I loved how this mask makes my skin feel! Peach –This was the only one that didn’t do much for me except hydration.
Cons: None (RARE, INDEED)!
TIP! Squeeze out the serum/essence from the face mask and use it on your legs and feet to get the most out of it!
Rating: 9/10 Out of all the products in this collection, it’s funny that I loved the masks the most because I don’t really believe in masking except for the soul therapeutic effects it parts. So I was surprised to see an actual difference and a glow to my skin! At RM 2 it’s a STEAL!Would definitely repurchase!
There are few things in this world that gives my soul fulfillment like dance does. Music feeds my needs too, but music to me is meaningless without a moving visual. Even when it seems I’m only listening to songs my mind is, without fail, off on a tangent, vicariously living a fantasy in dance for those specific tunes. During my teenage years, I would, very discreetly, learn choreography just by watching some of my favourite dance videos and mimicking their moves.
Aal Thottha Bhoopathi song from the Tamil movie Youth (2002). Yes, I learnt this choreograpy! Gif made with Giphy with video from YouTube.
As a child, I had a strong affinity to Indian classical dancing and was almost enrolled in bharathanatyam classes but when the day came, the dance teacher told my parents that I was too young. For unfathomable, enigmatic reasons, I never made it back. It wasn’t my parents’ fault. I was enrolled into martial arts instead, specifically Tae Kwon Do (TKD). I would progress in TKD right up to a step away from a black belt, then drop out. Twice! From ages 8 (or 9) to 12 I would progress right up to a black belt and then give it up just before being evaluated to earn that coveted milestone. Picked it up again at 17 on my own free will, worked myself right up to that same level, and then dropped out when I was 19. Never mind the absence of the black belt, I can still beat you up if you attack me!
Bharatanatyam, clip taken from documentary Phantom India (1969) from YouTube. Gif made with Giphy.
There has and never been regret learning martial arts.
Anyway, during my first and second years in university I would put my aptitude for choreography to good use and become one of the most exciting male Indian dancers to come out of the university during my time! I would eventually appear on TV in an Indian dance competition and the irony was, I was studying for a bachelor’s degree in Biotechnology. It made up for all the missed opportunity in my adolescence. However, learning Indian classical dance would only come to fruition during second year of university when a friend introduced me to my very first dance teacher. Through him, I learnt the fundamentals of odissi dancing; my ultimate calling, something which would become very close to my heart. I would also go on to perform extensively, in important events and programs and even choreograph a couple of performances and competitions (and WIN!). It was through him that I learnt that there were eight distinct forms of Indian classical dance (odissi, bharatanatyam, kuchipudi, kathak, kathakali, mohini attam, manipuri, sattriya). His name was Ravishanker and yes, that implies he’s now the late great Ravishanker.
This picture belonged to him. That was him in the middle.
After graduating my Bachelor’s degree, I came back to my hometown (Penang) and about a year and a half later, I enrolled into an Indian performing arts institution called Temple of Fine Arts to learn, yes, you guessed it, odissi. Being back in Penang initially was rather depressing because it felt like I left a big chunk of myself back in my alma mater. It left an abyss in my being I could not fill and a deprivation I could not comprehend. In my part of the world, discussion about depression and mental health is in its infancy. For a long time, depression was viewed as a fault, not caused by anyone or anything but brought upon by the victim on him/herself. And as difficult it is for me to admit that I was almost a victim, odissi swooped in and solved that for me, silently, effectively and seamlessly. This endeavour took me all the way to Sri Lanka in 2013 to perform for our founder’s birthday celebration; an annual international affair involving representatives from USA, Australia, Malaysia, Singapore and even India. Our team of four (me being the only guy) received praises!
This is a collage I got from a friend but the original pictures in proper definition is available on the artists Instagram page below (https://www.instagram.com/p/Bs5bkbTA-cA/)Would love it if you could visit their page. If not follow, at least drop a like… Thanks guys!
All this would come crashing to the ground in December 2013 when I sustained a knee injury; a tear in my left meniscus. By then, I had already gained substantial weight due to my masters thesis writing. This injury did nothing but worsen it. By the time I had recovered enough to walk without crutches (about 3 months later) I was already 30 kgs (approximately 67 pounds) heavier than I was when I performed in Sri Lanka. Losing odissi to the knee injury, inadvertently plunged me into the very chasm it pulled me out of leading to some self destructive habits. I thank God and my lucky stars that I didn’t fall down too hard into something irrevocably detrimental.
2012 (left), now (right)
What would pull me out of it was a series of unfortunate events AND, eventually, BLOGGING. With a Masters degree in 2015, no odissi and aimlessness stemming from indecisiveness to either work or pursue a doctorate degree, I NEEDED purpose, I NEEDED passion and I NEEDED fulfillment. YouTube was what first put this idea into my head. Before the whole brand of satisfying videos compilation on the Internet I already realised what watching makeup tutorials did to me. Makeup, the application, seeing how colours blend into one another regulated my heartbeat and blood pressure. And if someone slayed a wing liner…….. just consider me enjoying a feeling better than orgasm (I AM NOT JOKING!). What evaded me all those years was the fact that I’ve done it and could probably do it a lot better than a lot of those videos I keep watching. The light bulb would go on in February 2015 and FiercePaint was born.
When I first started, I was walking into it completely blind; what platform to use, what good layout was, how to photograph products and edit them. It was like learning a whole new language with no one to teach me. Videos were far more unattainable than just writing so a blog just made more sense. To be honest, I am still learning to this very day. Sometimes I feel like it never goes anywhere.
My first review is still there and believe it or not those pictures were shot with a DSLR! As bad as it is, it will always be there, as a reminder of how far I’ve come.
Throughout 2015, I had to keep tweaking my writing several times over to get to a place where it would be comprehensible to me first. To top it off, my blog layout didn’t make sense AND I had an unreasonable posting schedule! I would also make the idiotic decision of initially NOT sharing my posts via social media. I had an agreement with myself to only do it when I complete publishing a substantial amount of content (BIG MISTAKE!).
In spite of all this, blogging was the next best thing that would happen to me after odissi. So, I am grateful everyday that I get to do this!
Right now, I can’t imagine not being able to call myself the following;
A PhD student.
A beauty blogger.
So when I say, I thank all of you from the bottom of my heart when you like, comment, engage and appreciate my reviews, you have no idea, NO IDEA, how deep that gratitude runs…
Edited 17th April: Added two pictures because there was something I missed on the product. Scroll to “Description”.
New products from Althea Korea; an online beauty shop from, obviously, Korea! There are country specific iterations of the shop in several countries including the USA. I am an Althea ambassador but that has no influence on my views on their products. I was sent these two together so I decided to review them together. Opinions are all mine! None of the links are affiliate links either!
One comes in a tub and the other in a tube.
Both descriptions were in Korean.
I review the Waterful Green Bamboo Pads first.
Notice the word “Pads” that will make sense in a second…
Safety sealed! Love it!
Yes, they are individual sheets that dispense product.
Comes with this teeny tiny prong to pick it up.
This is how each sheet looks like.
Description: They are moisture pads that come in 80 sheets per tub and contains about 100 ml product. The special ingredient in this product is bamboo, as its name suggests.
Update 17th June 2019: Prices have been revised for these products. Scroll down to see changes.
*Disclaimer: None of the links in this review is an affiliate link. I am an Althea brand ambassador but I am NOT paid to write this review or test the product. The product was something purchased with free Althea store credit.
B-Lab is a Korean cosmetics brand whose sole purpose is to create cleansing products hence their entire line is only made up of, well, cleansers. With very simple, no fluff packaging they focus on good quality natural ingredients and effective cleansing methods.
I got the smaller one to test but because Althea was so generous to give me store credit, I went for the large 500ml one. It is a simple squeeze bottle and the black cap can screw all the way off so one could definitely reuse the bottle for something else.
Ingredient list is in Korean so I did have to refer to Althea and Google translate for information.
Description: Cleansing water that comes in 100 ml and 500 ml bottles.
Oh, another Maybelline review. What can I say, I love a lot of products from the brand. It is perhaps the first makeup brand people know here in Malaysia and today I review the Baby Skin primer.
The product. Comes in an outer plastic box.
Ingredients list and some instruction on the side of the box.
The product. Clear silicone-y primer.
Blended out. It does fill up the pores and blur the skin as seen here.
Description: A dimethicone and silicone based primer that comes in 22ml product.
Ingredients: DIMETHICONE, DIMETHICONE CROSSPOLYMER, STEARYL HEPTANOATE, CAPRYLYL GLYCOL, SILICA SILYLATE, PROPYLENE GLYCOL, PENTAERYTHRITYL TETRAISOSTEARATE, PRUNUS CERASUS EXTRACT / BITTER CHERRY EXTRACT [+/- MAY CONTAIN / PEUT CONTENIR CI 73360 / RED 30 CI 77492 / IRON OXIDES]
Where to buy: Major pharmacies/drugstores nationwide.
Price: MYR 28.21
After about 7 hours.
I used it with the Maybelline Fit Me foundation, keeping with the brand. No primer side.
It isn’t so apparent in the picture but the side of the primer did break apart while the unprimed side stayed intact. What is obvious from the picture is the primed side is way oilier than the unprimed side.
It does fill up pores.
It does blur skin texture.
Generous amount of product for the price.
As evident, it didn’t hold up even with my not so oily skin.
Foundation breaks apart and patches of skin shows through when facial oils come through.
It moves too much underneath the foundation and so the foundation does not sit well.
The scent is nauseating to me.
Feels rather uncomfortable on the skin to me.
One expression; ‘meh’. Such a ‘meh’ product. Had it for over a year and it is not even a quarter used.