Monday, March 26, 2012


The delightful Makeup Morsels recently posted this and I thought it'd be fun to do as a tag.

1. GREED: What is your most inexpensive beauty item? What is your most expensive?

$0.50 Balea lip balm

$100 Dior Tailleur Bar Palette
(included a Dior Serum de Rouge)

2. WRATH: What beauty products do you have a love/hate relationship with? What product has been the hardest to get?

I don't do love/hate. It's love OR hate. I've hated this and this. (Design fails make me see RED.)

I don't jump through hoops to get stuff that are hard to get. There are already too many choices already. I'd love to get my hands on some Becca, though.

3. GLUTTONY: What are your most delicious beauty products?

I also either love food OR beauty products. Not too many overlaps there. If I have to choose, it'd be the Etude House Milk Tea cleanser.

4. SLOTH: What beauty product do you neglect, due to laziness?

I'm not lazy anymore, thanks to the empties addiction. But eye makeup removers are a hassle. From now on, it's all-in-one makeup removers for me!

5. PRIDE: What beauty product gives you the most self confidence?

Foundation! I usually don't leave the house without it.



6. LUST: What attributes do you find most attractive in the opposite sex?

Superficially: Tall, lean, dark hair
Deeply: Kind and generous by choice*

*Meaning it's not his default to be kind and generous but a conscious choice he makes to be a better person despite other inclinations. Along with it comes strength and wisdom, naturally.

7. ENVY: What items would you most like to receive as a gift? 

Basically everything in my Colours! post. ;)

YOUR TURN. Do the tag!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

2012 Empties Part 2

I'm thinking it's time to come up with an "empties" song. Like the national anthem, we'll save it for special occasions like this when you take the empty containers out to the trash! HURRAH!

Cover FX SkinPrep FX Foundation Primer & Anti-Aging Serum - More like a serum than a primer. I think it's actually quite good for even oily skin despite its oily look and feel. I used it during winter nights and didn't require a moisturizer. But it's a hot mess as a primer since it turns me into an oil slick within the hour. However, possibly a great primer for dry skin. It does smooth out your face for a nice base application but I can't say that it keeps the foundation on longer.

Bath & Body Works Warm Vanilla Sugar Anti-Bacterial Moisturizing Hand Lotion - "Moisturizing" is redundant since that's what a hand lotion is supposed to do, duh. But it doesn't really. I don't believe in these anti-bacterial things. Nothing beats soap and hot water. Since it neither cleans nor moisturizes, I'm done with these hybrid lotions.


Sephora Collection Super Shimmery Lip Gloss in Bronzed Beauty - Sephora's birthday gift from March 2010. This is only half the size of a regular lip gloss yet it took two years for me to finish. Still, it counts. One lippie down, four more to go before the lippies ban lifts.

(I know it looks like there's a lot of product left in the tube, but when the attempt to squeeze out the remainder begins to resemble a wrestling match, it's time to call it.)

Bath & Body Works Warm Vanilla Sugar 3-Wick Candle - Why, yes, I really like the Warm Vanilla Sugar series from BBW. It smells toasty and comforting on cold winter days. I'm switching up the candles for spring but will probably repurchase this in the winter again.

Fruits & Passion Monoi Nourishing Butter - This is quite a small jar and rather expensive. However, I love the smell, the feel and effect, so I'm a bit torn. Fruits & Passion is like the older sister of The Body Shop and nowhere near as popular. A part of me fears for their demise and am tempted to stock up on the Monoi series. But the rational part of me says to wait and finish up the other stuff in my arsenal first.

Bath & Body Works Warm Vanilla Sugar Moisturizing Shampoo - Moisturizing, my ass. Terrible shampoo though it smells great. As you can see, I'm working my way through the accrued stash from last year. I'm quite proud of finishing this one. You'll see the matching conditioner in the next round of empties.

Nivea Daily Essentials Refreshing Facial Cleansing Wipes - I picked this up in some basement bargain store in Singapore Chinatown. Maybe it was old but it was a bit on the dry side and not very effective in removing makeup. I used it to "wash" my face on the plane on the way home and mostly to wipe my fingers with in the morning after makeup application. By the way, I don't buy wet wipes anymore. They're a waste of money.

Shiseido Facial Cotton - I had to try this after getting fed up with the regular round pads sold at Shoppers Drug Mart. They're always leaving fibers on my face and basically coming apart in my hands. But these Shiseido ones? AMAZING. Read Kristie's review and see if you don't want to convert. They used to be CAD$8 but are now sold for $9. Still, it's good value for the amount you get and I think it amounts to the same as buying three packs of the cheaper ones. I'm already working through my second bag of these.

Random samples that didn't impress.

Herbacin Hand & Nail Balm (Jumbo) - It's my cheap go-to hand lotion. It has that lotion smell but otherwise doesn't smell like anything. This is the second one that I've finished. I keep it on my desk at work and probably apply it about 10 times a day after every washroom break and trip to the kitchen. It's statistically proven that I go through one of these every two years. Because today is my fourth year anniversary at the firm and the first bottle of this lotion was also finished at the two year mark. I would buy it again except that I've managed to stock up a lot of hand creams lately. So I kept the bottle and refilled it with the Cake Beauty Milk Made that Larie loves so much.


Today's Total:
Jumbo: 1
Regular: 7
Travel/Sample: 4

2012 Total:
Jumbo: 1
Regular: 13
Travel/Sample: 13


Please do not hoard the empty bottles. They belong in the garbage/recycling bin once you're done, thank you. (But good job on finishing those!)

How are your empties going?

Friday, March 23, 2012

Without Words

For once, I'll not ramble but let the pictures do the talking.

More and more I feel like this:

To offset that, I'll focus on other -- better -- things:


Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Today I'm 34... but I don't feel like it.

We're having the most bizarre weather here in Toronto. Today is supposed to be 26-30C when historically, the second day of spring is marked with wild winds and even snow. I've attempted to throw myself birthday parties before, only to be thwarted by the dastardly weather. Hopefully some of the patios around work have opened up and right now I'm chilling at a table full of drinks during an epic 3-hour lunch. ;-)

I guess spring was in the air a month prior, because I started to do some early spring cleaning. While emptying out some bankers boxes full of old crap, I stumbled across a hidden treasure. My old Body Shop perfume oils from the '90s!!!

My favourite was Dewberry. Now that I think of it, it was sort of the first signature scent I adopted. Even back then when I was a teenager with very little allowance, I hoarded perfumes. My mother never wore perfume and everyone else in my family are sensitive to strong scents. Yet I dabbed and spritzed to my heart's content even while getting yelled at.

I think a part of me was so torn at the time that I put it out of sight but didn't throw it away. They were bundled up in a plastic bag and sealed air tight. One sniff of these guys and I was sent whirling down a time warp... to the days of frizzy hair, giant glasses, pimples, celebrity crushes and gossip fests by the lockers and sneaking out during lunch hour recesses to go to malls...!!

The first perfume I ever loved was Coty's Exclamation. I treasured the bottle that was passed on to me by an older girlfriend who was like an older sister I never had.

Then it was Tribe. It was the signature scent of the popular girl whose locker was next to mine, who always spritzed liberally and checked her reflection before sauntering into class. It wasn't long before everyone else had a bottle of Tribe in their lockers!

I was a '90s kid: that era was my adolescent and teenage years. For a while my beauty role models were Kelly and Brenda from 90210:

I didn't do the heavy front bangs but I did try to keep my hair as long for as long as possible! And the debate between brunettes and blondes made me sad because as an East Asian, bleaching my hair blonde was out of the question. I was always Team Brenda, how about you??

I think Kelly and Brenda made me want to wear lipsticks. My mom used only one Lancome but had a few extras laying around. I stole her Elizabeth Arden GWP that was a dastardly shade of orange. (Perhaps this is where my fear of bright lips stems from.) Then I "borrowed" a Marcelle lipstick in some sort of sheer plummy shade that turned out to be a MLBB, which is the first time I realized such a concept existed. I think I've been on a hunt for the perfect MLBB ever since.

The '90s also brought us brown tone makeup. My best friend and I went on a hunt for brown lipsticks and Revlon Toast of New York was as good as it got, until I discovered MAC Spice Lip Pencil a few years later. (Check out Toast of New York on Makeup By Sands!)

And while chatting on Twitter with Dovey of Cute and Mundane, I started watching some Spice Girls videos and came across one that gives you a good idea of what that brown lip liner phase was like. BEHOLD:

Umm... I still know the words. And I saw a woman in the subway yesterday who's still sporting the outlined lips look. Clearly the era had a lot of impact on us! I had a nasty habit of picking up ugly brownish lipsticks that I only gave up several months ago.

Liz in 1992: Shy, awkward, secretly loved beauty and excess, a monster waiting to be unleashed.

Liz in 2012: Temperamental, dry, not so secretly loves beauty but secretly loves excess, a monster when she doesn't get her ice cream and cheesecake exactly when she needs them.

Looking back on my beauty history, I think it makes perfect sense that the repressed teen became a beauty addict and the beauty addict wants to become a simpler being that she never actually was. Lately I've been pondering the usefulness and success of this Reductionista venture and have been tempted to just toss it all aside now and then. I said that I was going to stick by the beauty bans even during birthday month but my March haul is so embarrassingly huge that I'm forced to declare this month exempt after all. (Thankfully most of my fellow ban members have allowed it and even sent me extra things to enjoy!)

What will 34 bring me? Definitely more makeup. But I hope it will also bring me a sense of peace and acceptance about who I really am, the decisions I have made and the goals I want to pursue. One resolution I made recently is to embrace experience rather than acquisitions. But sometimes you need the acquisitions for the experience. As cautious as I can be, I don't think that the drive and desire to experiment will ever fade. So, this season, I venture into brighter and bolder lips, more globe-trotting (Australia, here I come!) and one last semester of academics before I quit my unsatisfactory day job and venture into something more fulfilling. The world is wide open.

What were you doing in the '90s? And admit it: you also sang along to STOP, thankyouverymuch.

Monday, March 19, 2012


When spring arrives, I usually long for sheers and nudes and pale things that whisper delicate romance. This year, I want juicy, vibrant COLOURS!



My Ferragamo, Holt Renfrew

YSL, Holt Renfrew

Valentino, Holt Renfrew

Manolo Blahnik, Holt Renfrew

Again, I seem to be running on a colour theme. This year I'm boarding the orange/coral/red + aqua/turquoise/blue train. To begin, I'm breaking in the red pumps and rocking matching red nails:

Pumps from Aldo

I'm also venturing into bright lips with Revlon Lip Butter in Candy Apple. (Yes, I broke the lippie ban but... this is birthday month!)

I also needed a makeup bag that I did not want to throw into the garbage for being drab and ugly. (Coming up: an update on "What's In My Makeup Bag".)


I'm all for Pantone 2012 Colour of the Year, which is dubbed "Tangerine Tango." Oh, look! Sephora is ready to take all your money.

I may also need one of these blue dresses:

Diane Von Furstenberg


Diane Von Furstenberg

For those excited for summer makeup collections, here's a glimpse at Chanel Summer 2012 and Dior Summer 2012. Those Dior nail polishes are right up my alley. (Hey, don't shoot the messenger. Ready your wallets or gird your loins!)

And if you love bright colours, you'll want to check out this fantastic blog called Color Me Katie. It always cheers me up on a drab day!

I can't wait until summer! This year promises a more colourful Liz. :) What are your colour picks for this spring/summer?