Collaboration; Best Beauty Discoveries of 2016!!!

Again, we’re back at it. Fellow blogger Lakshmi (author of Big is Compatible, link here) and Instagrammers, Geetha (@geethavijaymakeup), and Esther (@estherkaurmann) and I have collaborated on Instagram to bring you our best beauty discoveries of 2016.

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I have 9 products all of which I discovered in 2016!

1. Maybelline Micellar Water (makeup remover)

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I’ve already reviewed this, link here.

2. Nature Republic Aloe Vera Soothing Gel Mist

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I really wouldn’t know where to begin reviewing this so I am not going to. If you need a refreshing mist or even something to wet your makeup brush to pack product on, this is perhaps the most affordable mist you could use! Try it! It smells great and refreshes the skin.

3. Catrice Blush Artist Shading Palette in 010 Bronzeclat

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I am not a big fan of the highlighter trend and with that being said the two highlighters in this palette aren’t all that impressive anyway. But the deep matte blusher on the left is absolutely beautiful!!! Have yet to test out longevity but it blends beautifully and is perfect for dark skin!

4. Essence Shading Powder

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I purchased this towards the end of 2015 but only started using this in 2016 so I’d consider this a 2016 discovery. The bronzer is apparently a dupe for the Benefit Hoola bronzer. I’d have to check that out myself in the future. Again, I really don’t care for the highlighter but the bronzer blends easily and is pretty neutral so one could use it to contour as well.

5. Essence Mosaic Blush in 30, Kissed by the Sun

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This is too light to show up as a blush on me but, because the mosaics are made up of both shimmery and matte components, they end up mixing into a perfect highlighter shade for dark skin! It is pretty subtle which is why I love this! I can get away with this even with boy makeup. I was gifted this by Lakshmi for my birthday! Thanks love!

6. Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge

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This is a perfect replacement for my Stila sponge which I had to part with. This one hasn’t torn yet and it does a good job. I do prefer the Stila sponge over this but this is much more affordable if purchased via an IG shop.

7. Makeup Revolution Blush in Sugar

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I got this in a giveaway and it came all the way from England!!! I won this from Rachael, author of Helpless Whilst Drying (link here). Makeup Revolution was previously available in Malaysia but they somehow got lost into obscurity. This blush is amazing!

8. Breena Beauty Eye Essential Kit Makeup Brushes

How gorgeous are those brushes and the packaging too!!!

High quality, vegan, cruelty free brushes! I wrote an entire first impressions post on these brushes (link here). They now offer international shipping!

9. Etude House My Beauty Tool Face Brush 130 Contour

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I bought this in 2015 but only discovered its best use in 2016. I used this first as an eyeshadow blending brush but realised that MannyMua liked using makeup brushes with long loosely packed bristles to highlight, much like this one. Baby, I tried it with this brush and I was sold! I hate using a fan brush to highlight because of its sloppy nature. I don’t own one and don’t think I need to…

So there you go!

My best 2016 beauty discoveries!

PS: There’s one product there that isn’t included in this list but makes two appearances. It is the Essence Make Me Brow eyebrow gel mascara. It’s not here because it made my ride or die list (post link here) and I’ve reviewed it before (review link here).

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Top 10 Most Annoying Things About Beauty Assistants

 

Everyone seem to enjoy what I call my “controversial” posts which aren’t really that deviant anyway.

So here’s another that I am sure you’d either laugh at or laugh with… Annoying things beauty assistants in beauty stores (and even drugstores) do!

Beauty Assistants (BA) are humans too! Well, case and point!

In order of the least irritating/annoying to the worst (for me at least).

 

10. They are not there when you need them and vice versa!

Oh yes, don’t deny it, we’ve all waited religiously around a counter for a BA to help you when every other time you didn’t need them they would be following you around like a pesky fruit fly!!! Especially when you desperately need to ask them if a product has already been restocked.

Image from Popkey.

9. The BAs that bash brands they don’t represent.

This is from personal experience. I’ve used a liquid liner for dance which worked amazingly for me but this little BA had the audacity to criticise the very liner which was already in my small hand held shopping cart comparing it to the brand she was endorsing.

Image from Wikia.

8. BAs with horrible makeup

Sometimes you wonder if some of them are secretly famous YouTubers who were confident enough to walk out the door to their day job after having filmed the No Mirror Makeup Challenge!

Some of them have such cakey foundation I can start frosting it!!!

7. BAs that talk in another language because they think you don’t understand.

YES, this HAS happened to me. Especially the ones that speak Mandarin because they think you don’t understand. I of course can’t understand if one speaks in public speaking capacity but I do understand if you say something conversational in the lines of….

…..”This ‘person’ isn’t going to buy anything. Just look at him.”

So I once caught on to a BA speaking ill of me in Mandarin and on my way out after making a purchase, I said;

小姐, 谢谢 您! 再见!

Which translates to Miss, thank you, good bye!

Image from Giphy.

6. Giving bad advice.

Once, I overheard a BA actually telling a poor woman that she should use foundation lighter than her skin tone!

Image from Giphy.

5. Giving undue advice.

I’ve actually mentioned this before; how a BA tried telling me to try out liquid lipsticks like I knew nothing about lipsticks (link here). Read the post, you’ll enjoy that too…

Image from Giphy.

4. The one that’s always in a bad mood.

Like I said, BAs are human beings, case AND point!

If a humanoid robot was attending to you, it would smile all day long!

Dear BAs if you are working in a capacity to deal with people and your job requires you to be nice to people, LEAVE YOUR PROBLEMS AT HOME!!!

And please SMILE!!!!!!!!!!!

Image from Tumblr.

3. Following you around

This is just downright annoying!!!

Image from QuickMeme.

Image from QuickMeme.

2. The condescending tone

You know they know nothing about what you can do with a liner AND they talk to you like you know nothing.

Not in an eager, ‘let me help you’ way but in a snobbish ‘you’re such an idiot, I’ll show you how it’s done’ kinda way.

And every time they do this, I want to sit them down and ask for a winged liner showdown.

We’ll see who wins!!!

Image from We ❤ It.

 

Before I mention my number one here are two honourable (or in this instance dishonourable) mentions.

  • Overselling something – This is amazing, buy buy buy buy!!!!!!!
  • The statue – Oh you’re a real human… So your job is to just look pretty beside the counter and nothing else???

 

AND

My number 1…

 

*drum rolls*

 

1. The judgemental look.

Often, it isn’t even something they say, it is just the way the look at you.

When you say, “thanks, I will just look around”, they give you a head to toe stare and even an eye roll or two.

A thousand inferences can be deduced from that one stare;

“He’s going to steal something.”

“He’s going to break something.”

“What does he know about makeup.”

“Oh look at that clueless creep swatching eyeshadows. Does he know what eyeshadow is?”

“Ummm, should I tell him this is a makeup store?”

They often think I don’t notice, but I do…

I always do!!!

ALWAYS!!!

Image from Giphy.

My Top 10 Favourite Beauty YouTubers

I thought I’d take a step back from products and share my top 10 most favourite beauty YouTubers. These people aren’t the most popular or the “best” on YouTube but they are my absolute favourites!!! I use the term “best” loosely because being the best is relative especially in beauty and makeup and even more so on YouTube.

I did try ranking them according to my preference but I didn’t want to play favourites with them so I thought, alphabetical order.

So, this is in NO ORDER OF PREFERENCE.

 

1. BeautywithEmilyFox

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She is Canadian and is very well known for her lip product swatches. Short and concise, she gets to the point and does it in a no nonsense manner.

 

2. Chanel Boateng

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She is, to me, the plus sized ebony goddess of YouTube makeup! She’s British and her tips for dark skin women with makeup is very helpful!

 

3. emilynoel83

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Emily Noel has been in the YouTube game since 2008! That’s like one of the originals of YouTube, before anyone even made money from YouTube! Her reviews, tutorials, hacks, tips and tricks are very in-depth and thorough and she is an absolute doll!

 

4. Jackie Aina

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Another ebony goddess, Jackie has been on YouTube since 2009. Her fix it Friday tips and tricks and solutions to makeup problems are almost full-proof! Her parody videos are absolutely hilarious too!!!

 

5. Kaushal Beauty

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Kaushal is another British YouTuber who I stumbled upon searching for Indian beauty YouTubers. She’s gorgeous and does many Indian inspired makeup looks and fashion ensembles.

 

6. Lisa Eldridge

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Unlike the other YouTubers on this list, Lisa Eldridge reached fame as a runway and celebrity makeup artist before she delved into YouTube. This means you get insider tips, and in some of her videos even makeup history tidbits.

 

7. Makeup with Raji

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Raji is a long time YouTuber (since 2010) who, for some reason, isn’t as popular nor has as much subscribers as I think she should have. She is one of my favourites because having acne problems herself, she does a great job at makeup on acne skin and also skin care that has worked for her acne prone skin.

 

8. NikkieTutorials

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Nikkie is the most subscribed YouTuber on this list but that’s not the reason she’s my favourite. Nikkie is one of those YouTubers that is no nonsense, who, when uploads a makeup tutorials, it is all you’re going to see. No fillers, no excuses, no disclaimers and all that crap every bigger YouTubers seem to always start their video with. I posted a very well received blog entry last month about The Power of Makeup (here) which incidentally was courtesy of Nikkie who started the tag by doing a video with half her face with full on glamorous makeup and another half bare faced.

 

9. Tati a.k.a GlamLifeGuru

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Tati is one of the most enjoyable to watch for me because of how she can keep her videos so in-depth yet always manages to be so light-hearted in front of the camera. Her first impressions post are not just fun to watch, they’re also very informative as she brings you around in short updates throughout the day of a particular makeup she is just trying out for the first time. I remember initially watching one of her videos of an under $20 makeup tag she did and I thought to myself, “Meh, another typical Hollywood trash…” However, whenever I’d look up drugstore brands that I love on YouTube, I’d always see her Top 5 Under 5 videos. In those videos there would always be at least one of my favourite makeup products, which was when I subscribed to her and I’ve loved all her videos since!

 

10. TotalMakeupJunkie101

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Her name is Eshani and she is of Indian ethnicity (no la, I’m not racist ok!!! You’ll see in a bit how wrong you were!!! 😛 ). Eshani is another long time YouTuber (since 2010) who doesn’t have too many subscribers considering how long she has been doing YouTube. She made my list, because, out of all the people on this list she has to be the one that has grown the most. From the get-go, one of the most well maintained and well executed aspect of her videos were her reviews. She is very in-depth, speaks well and covers each aspect of a product, from packaging and price to how well a product wears. From initially crappy lighting, poor video quality and not on par makeup techniques to now proper lighting, proper makeup techniques and really fantastic hair, Eshani is one of those YouTubers who started from the bottom and has now achieved great heights with her content.

 

Ok, now, I hear you asking (or perhaps not 😕 ) but Hari, where are the Malaysians on this list??? Well, for that reason I have two honourable mentions.

 

Emily Quak

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Emily is perhaps the most subscribed Malaysian beauty YouTuber and for good reason. She does well rounded reviews and her videos are very concise. I have a special appreciation towards Emily because she has, not just once, but twice, chosen me as a winner for her collaboration giveaways. One was with L’oreal and the other was with The Body Shop. The Power of Makeup tag I mentioned previously was actually a competition that was organised by The Body Shop Malaysia. They collaborated with Emily to do the makeup tag on her channel and pick out one of the three winners for the competition. And what do you know, she chose me!

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Evangeline Hawa

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Evangeline Hawa or Nazurah, is the most fun and funny beauty YouTubers I have ever come across and the best part is, she doesn’t do it intentionally. She edits out long-winded parts in her videos but does not edit out stumbling with her sentences or words OR even dropping things while filming. 😆 Don’t be fooled though, the girl knows her makeup and will give you explanation for almost every single thing she does with her makeup. I have learned some tips from her that has changed my techniques and updated my makeup knowledge!

So I do hope you are encouraged to look up these YouTubers. They’re all amazing to me! ❤

PS: I picked these 10 (+2) YouTubers from 266 YouTubers I follow. I have linked each channel name to the YouTube channel url so you can just click on them to direct you to the channel.

Top 5 Most Common Mascara Mistakes (and solutions)

 

Mascara adds a finishing touch to one’s makeup by emphasizing definition of the eyes and giving it an open and fresh look. Mascaras can also be a tricky thing to handle since it is extremely prone to smudging. However, all you need to handle it like a pro, is a little practice and rectification of some minor missteps.

 

Mistake #1

Pumping the mascara wand

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Hands down the most common mistake! This is widely known and yet I am sure many people still do it or are even unaware that it is detrimental. Pumping your mascara wand in and out of the tube introduces air into it which can cause two things;

  • Dry out the mascara quicker
  • Encourage bacteria growth

Solution: If your intention is to get more product on the wand, stick the wand into the tube all the way and pull it out just once.

 

 

Mistake #2

Head/face positioning when applying mascara

This mascara mistake is perhaps the biggest contributor to mascara smudging. Looking straight into the mirror while applying mascara will increase the possibility of your mascara smudging on the eyelid. The picture below demonstrates both the error and the solution.

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By pushing the chin out and tilting your head back while looking down at the mirror, you can avoid mascara smudging during application.

 

Mistake #3

Not curling eyelashes before applying mascara

This is absolutely debatable but one thing can be agreed upon; very few people are gifted with eyelashes so curled that it hits the eyelid.

Solution: Try an eyelash curler. With the many options available in the market you are bound to find something that suits you. Practice makes perfect and the end result will be well worth the effort.

 

 

Mistake #4

Not taking of excess product off the wand

This is also debatable because there is a preference for heavy mascara application that result in thick eyelashes. However, if your goal is to separate and build volume, taking excess product off the mascara wand is a step that many overlook.

No mascara

No mascara

Without taking off excess products.

Without taking off excess products. Lashes are clumped together

With mascara taken off.

With excess mascara taken off. Lashes are properly separated and volumnised

How to take off excess product? Just run it along the opening of the tube of course! Its how I do it. You can absolutely come up with your own method of doing it.

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Mistake #5

Using mascara past expiration date

Mascara is the one makeup item that should NOT be used past expiry date because ingredients in mascara allow for bacteria growth. We can all agree that no one wants to be susceptible to an eye infection! I have seen several sources citing many different length of time that mascara can be used but according to About.com 4 months is the cut off point. Personally (this is exclusively for me and my eyes ONLY!!!) I can stretch the masara to the 8th month mark after which it usually dries out. So please guys! Using mascara beyond that is absolutely uncalled for! Unless you want an eye infection or even a sty. *cue horror music*

 

Additional info

One final thing that many may not be considered a mistake is not applying mascara on the lower lashes. Some people like the look of a blank lower lash line that isn’t lined and/or without prominent lashes. However, applying mascara to the lower lashes will help the eyes appear larger. A trick would be to use a mascara with a thin applicator. An example would be Maybelline the Falsies Big Eyes mascara (a double ended mascara which has a slim brush on one side).

 

With that, I wish you all luscious, full, voluminous lashes!!!

My Top 5 Most Affordable Drugstore Makeup Brands in Malaysia

I listed the 5 most affordable makeup brands in Malaysian drugstores and then rated it according to five criteria.

Price, Product range, Accessibility, Quality, Packaging and design.

Disclaimer: This isn’t a poll and I rated them myself. Please do let me know if you disagree with any of these ratings or any criteria. This is just my humble opinion and not an ultimatum. I love all these brands and nothing presented here is a reflection of the actual quality of the brand.

I will insert a Table with all the scores and the average score of each brand that allowed me to put them in order of preference.

 

No. 5

IN2IT

IN2IT has similar price tags to Essence and Catrice although some products are slightly more expensive. Where it scores slightly lower is accessibility. Not every drugstore carries IN2IT. IN2IT also does not have the most interesting packaging to my liking and their products are sometimes a fabulous hit or somewhat a miss. And so it gets the fifth spot on this list!

 

No. 4

Catrice

Catrice has fast gained popularity here in Malaysia. However, I have known very few Guardians (the drugstore which the brand is exclusive to) stores that actually carry them and it scores pretty low on that aspect. However, the brand carries a wide range of products (they have makeup brushes, primers and colour correcting concealers!!!) with packaging that is just plastic but looks very sleek. Catrice scored the same points as the next one on the list but it is placed in this position simply for the fact that it is not so easily accessible.

 

No. 3

Essence

Essence is probably one of the more affordable brands in the list however where it scores slightly lower is packaging and accessibility. Essence isn’t so popular because not every Watsons carries it. Although improved upon their packaging is also generally not the most attractive aspect of Essence but it is my 3rd pick for the top most affordable drugstore makeup brand because they have probably one of the lowest if not the lowest price tags in the entire range of drugstore makeup range in Malaysia. Like Catrice, they carry makeup brushes and primers too!!!

 

No. 2

Silkygirl

Silkygirl got the second spot not just because I am a fan of the brand. Silkygirl is one of the more affordable drugstore makeup brands in Malaysia. They have many great products (although some are complete duds for me) and Silkygirl is very accessible! If you buy makeup at Malaysian drugstores, it is impossible to not know about Silkygirl! If you do refer to the table at the end of the post, you’ll see that I rated it lower on the quality and design aspect but it still made second place due to its sheer accessibility and price range.

 

And…

.

.

.

*drum-roll*

 

No. 1

Maybelline

Was there any doubt? They have been in the business for a hundred years as of 2015; if there’s a makeup booth in any hypermarket, supermarket, mall, drugstore etc there’s definitely a Maybelline booth. Maybelline has also some of the best products in terms of quality for the price. And Maybelline’s booths anywhere in the country always has some kind of sales and/or discounts! ALWAYS! At any given point, one product or another would be either marked down in price or offered a purchase with purchase discount. So Maybelline takes the top spot for me!

 

Ratings Table (Preference based on a 5 point scale)

Top 5

 

Honourable mentions;

ZA – It is a very Asian inspired makeup brand and like IN2IT not that popular a brand. But ZA is among the more affordable drugstore makeup brands in Malaysia and they carry skin care products too!

Cathy Doll – Very VERY elusive brand but with very affordable makeup! Thailand based makeup brand.