Monday, March 24, 2014

Review: Beau Skin Darling Girls Lip Tint in Dark Red Orange

 I'm so excited to bring yet another Korean cosmetics product which secures my love for all things Korean. This time I'll be reviewing Beau Skin's Darling Girls Lip Tint in the shade Dark Red Orange.

'Lip Tint' is the Korean anglicised term for a lip stain and the Darling Girls Lip Tint is just that, a water based lip stain. This shade is a rich red that looks mostly blue based on the lips despite the name being 'orange'. In classic Korean fashion colours are numbered. There are more shades available and I also have two other colours.

I purchased this at half price for 4,000 Won (~AU$4) which is a real bargain. The packaging is really beautiful and reminds me of a lot of high end products like Lancome Color Fever Gloss because of the thick bottle and silver lid. The doe foot applicator is just slightly slanted and straight but is quite big.

 But this lip stain is really good! One coat will give you an adequate stain effect. I usually apply 2 coats and it gives me a very pigmented 'oomph' to the colour of my lips. Even after eating I find that it is still lingering and doesn't just rub off.

Left: 1 coat, Right: 2 coats

The lip stain is matte and needs a couple minutes to dry and although it is watery it's not going to give you any moisture after drying. The trick is to apply it evenly over all your lips and not to press your lips together until they dry so that you don't just get the inner part of your lips stained. This is as good as ELF's Essential Lip Stain without the added hassle of having to throw the whole stain away after 5 days of use.

Above: Residue stain

One specific letdown I had was to do with the image on the box. It depicts a lip gloss and that led me to believe it was a lip stain and gloss combined but that definitely wasn't the case. Because of this if you want moisture you'll have to put it on top of this lip stain. This seems to be a common 'issue' for Korean lip tints since my Castledew Over Setting Tint also doesn't contain lip gloss.

Have you heard of Beau Skin before? Do you like other brands that are not known as well worldwide?

Love Porcelaine.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Review: Sugarpill Addicted to Pretty Burning Heart Palette

I admit that despite being an insane beauty addict with eyes for only the most bright and spectacular colours I took a hell of a long time catching onto the Sugarpill craze. Mark my words when I say that I have carefully watched this brand from before it was first realised till now. When the timing felt right, a Cyber Monday sale, I jumped at the opportunity and now this beautiful palette has come with me on my travels!

The Addicted to Pretty Palette in Burning Heart is a coordinated 4 colour palette. It's obvious what these colours are about. They are bold and all matte, basically a true yellow (Buttercupcake), orange (Flamepoint), red (Love +) and purple (Poison Plum). The product lifts easily from the pan packing an intense punch. It has great staying power, is finely milled and blends easily.

The only letdown would be Buttercupcake as it has a slight translucency that makes your skin colour peek through and must have a white or light base for it to really show up true to pan (basically the darker the colour the better the coverage). Each pan is huge, over 3.5cm wide. At US$34, that's about $8.50 each shade, it's reasonably priced especially considering the value but I snapped it up at $25.50 which made this even sweeter. Each shade can be purchased separately at $12 each which is definitely more on the high end price.

Nevertheless I think buying this palette or any Sugarpill products is all about the whole package. The palette itself looks amazing and with the mirror inside it's a handy but compact toolkit that has made my travels easier. Would I buy this again? Certainly, however the other palettes available has not wowed me as much though I'm still optimistic with what Sugarpill will release in the future.

Are you a Sugarpill fan? For you how does this compare to other big brands like MAC and Inglot?
Much more to come as you can see above!

Love Porcelaine.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

NOTD: Goldfish & Mint with Ulta3's Atomic Oj, Corsican Rose & Precious

 This nail of the day comes from last year after I did a crazy swatchfest with 10 nail polishes.
Out of the swatchfest two colours caught my eye, immediately I thought 'Goldfish!' and was inspired to do this interesting geometric nail art.

 Why Goldfish? The Ulta3 shade in Atomic Oj is such a rich yellow orange and reminds me of a bright goldfish and the Ulta3 shade in Corsican Rose is a minty greeny blue which can lean more green or blue depending how it is paired with but I find it reminds me of shallow waters.

Initially I thought that I could do a real goldfish on my nails over Corsican Rose but I quickly realised that my nail art skills were way under par so I decided to simplify my nail design to just orange segments like a goldfish tail and lined with a metallic gold (Ulta3's Precious which is an awesome gold or silver depending how you use it). The results were a simple but fun design.

Love Porcelaine.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Ebay Finds: Battle of the Skeleton Hand Hair clips (Kreepsville666 Dupe)

Ebay is usually very good at keeping up with the latest trends but this time it's a obscure fashion accessory that has been given the dupe makeover. Here I've bought 2 different designs and will compare them and see what kind of quality I received! 

Candidate A: Low End Glow in the Dark Skeleton Hand Hair clips
Basically these are plastic with alligator style clips. The good thing is that you can often request a matching pair of one left and one right hand. The quality is fairly cheap and the clips are small and just glued on, the glow is faint unless subject to bright light, but most details are there. I could see this breaking easily after repeated use. It doesn't stay in the hair as well as I'd like so you will need extra help if your hair is slippery or in good condition. There are many different colours and designs available from additional flowers, bows or eyes at the base.

Price: AUD $1.54 for a pair.
Shipping: Free
Key search terms: Skeleton hand hair clips glow
Out of 5: 3.5 = You get what you pay for but the price is truly worth it!

Candidate B: "High End" Rhinestone Skeleton Hand Hair clips
This design comes in a small variety of colours with clear rhinestones or red/black tips and there are a small amount of sellers. I bought a pair consisting of an aurora borealis rhinestone body with blue 'fingernails'. There is only a right hand type probably because of the low production numbers and more expensive technical manufacturing costs. The base is all metal and the alligator clips are larger than the low end version. This also has a problem latching on but because it is heavier it's a bigger issue. I have to tie my hair is a half ponytail and clip these in at the sides. Nonetheless the crystal nature makes it elegant and a real showstopper.

Price: USD $4.99 per clip (around $10 for a pair)
Shipping: Free
Key search terms: Skeleton hand hair clips rhinestone
Out of 5: 4/5 = If it weren't for the price it would get a full score but this is particularly unique.

So even though I have both I do prefer the crystal type mostly because it's one of a kind, interesting and of a better quality. It's also the one that Kreepsville themselves haven't released. In the end it's about what design you like best and there isn't a dud that I would suggest you avoid!

What eccentric items have you bought on Ebay?

Love Porcelaine.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Review: Parafait Pomegranate Hand Cream (Target)

I'm always on the lookout for fresh and interesting scents and when I tried Parafait Pomegranate Hand Cream ($3.99) from Target there was no going back. Though time has passed this has still remained a favourite!

Funnily enough I've sort of given this cream my seal of approval already because when I first tried it (thanks to a friend putting this on and the scent wafting to my nose inducing curiosity whereby I bought it straight away) I added it to my list of reviews and gave it a star of recommendation even though I hadn't reviewed it yet.

And I still love it! While the scent, as wonderful as it is with the fresh fruitiness and slight sweetness, had caught me in raptures the texture of the cream was also beautiful and didn't let me down. It was light, moisturising and when rubbed into my hands didn't impart too much oiliness absorbing right away.

I'm not sure if this product is being sold anymore but I thought it would be of interest anyway because Target often releases these in house lines with similar formulas, themes and scents. The Heathcote & Ivory Wild Daisy and Elderflower Hand Sanitiser (where a hand cream was also available) is an example of the common floral scents used, the similar palm sized packaging and price. I've always found that at least a couple products catch my eye when passing by and these are as great as gifts as it is for yourself!

Have you tried any brands like these from Target?

Love Porcelaine.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

The Guide: To Ebay Fashion, Jewellery & Cosmetics

Ebay is almost a sinful place, a dirty word and traversing it is quite a task. But how does one get the best out of Ebay and not get duped? Here is an easy and quick guide to buying cheap Ebay products and not get burnt! This guide is a prereading for my new series of reviews called "Ebay Finds"!

Above: Two pairs of Skeleton Hand Hair Clips (Kreepsville666 Dupes)

  • Use the Right Keywords
 One of the biggest problems is that product listings are usually made by foreigners (yes, mostly Chinese people). They either lack the really proper language skills ending in what we know as Chinglish (and other '-glish' forms) or they use different wordings and descriptions that are off or don't match the item at all. Because of the copy and paste nature of Ebay sellers you are likely to find that they all use similar or the same words to describe a particular product. 
Say I want a something with spike studs. I could search 'spike' or 'stud', but what I found was that a lot of listings use the work 'rivet' to describe this attribute. It's not the first thing I would have thought of but this tends to be the word that the sellers like to use more than spike or stud. Sometimes the sellers will translate too literally. They will call something 'leather' but actually mean it looks like leather but is synthetic. People see 'cat fur' but I have doubts they are actually made of that.
Another example is titles with lots of imagery. I've come across lots of listings that call things "ancient wind...", "personality" and other weird words that are just not a search criteria.
  •  Check Locally
There are many items that are now available locally and are similar or the same price as buying overseas. Buying locally gives you several advantages like shorter shipping times, easier communication and more buyer protection. For example phone screen protectors can easily be found in Australia for virtually the same prices.
  • You get what you pay for
If something is cheap it will probably be of cheap quality. If you do find a similar item at higher prices then there's a better chance it is better quality. The reason why this so strongly corrolates is because most prices from the "cheap nations" reflect the actually manufacturing costs.

 In Front: A Brush Holder from Ebay holding Ebay nail brushes and other brushes
  • Be extremely discerning
When you buy online you can never see the real product and sellers often use stock photos or highly photoshopped images to sell their items. If you can see even the slightest defect, crease, glue marks, etc. you best avoid these products because you may often find that when you receive them the problems magnify.

  • "Free Shipping"?
The main reason most sellers provide free shipping (especially from Asia) is that it secures them full ratings for shipping when it comes to feedback and it can make their prices look more appealing. Their shipping costs are low and easy to hide but not negligible. So be aware that if you buy multiple items you may be overpaying on shipping.

  • Be prepared to wait it out
Often you'll find that the same item will cost less over time. The more they sell the lower the manufacturing costs by the unit, or potentially a lack of interest will give the sellers cause to clear out excess stock.

  • Try to buy back from the same seller if buying multiple items
Sometimes you just want to buy one of an item to see if it's good or not. On Ebay the use of stock photos often leads us to believe that a range of sellers sell exactly the same items. Sometimes that's the case but other times you'll find a cheaper version arrive and you might be severely disappointed. That's why if you've bought from a particular place and you are pleased with it you might want to buy from the same place again if you want to buy more.

Above: Filigree Ear Cuff

  • Check the details
When it comes to fashion one of the biggest problems is sizing. Clothing and shoes that come from China in particular tend to run small because the average person is a smaller frame. The good news is that the oversized look is right in fashion at the moment and if you're lucky you might find something that will fit you.
  • Beware of fakes
People have been conned by fake MAC, Urban Decay Naked Palettes, Benefit products and lots of other famous brands even from places like USA. There is no way of telling online if you are getting the real deal because even the photos may be pulled from websites. (Even Target accidentally sold fake MAC in the past which just goes to show how easy it is to get tricked by high quality fakes).
  • My Big No-Nos
I absolutely do not recommend buying shoes from China *period*. They are often hard, lack the necessary grip on the base, are narrow or too small a size and are of disastrous quality. I've had shoes die after one use even after paying $20-40. Platforms are the worst contenders. It's not worth the risk!
Avoid synthetic clothing as they are often unbreathable, smell chemically and shed or peel easily.
Avoid makeup if you haven't heard of it and especially if they come from third world countries. There is a high potential for dangerous chemicals to be used because there are no regulations and it will be hard to chase them up if something goes wrong.

 Above: 7 Piece Nail Art Brush Set

These are just some of the tips that have come to mind and I'm sure there are lots more which I may update later. My new series of posts called Ebay Finds will be reviews of products I have bought on Ebay. There are a few things I would like to mention:
  1. There generally won't be links to actual shops. The customer service of shops is another matter altogether since multiple shops sell the same item and buying one item does not accurately reflect whether the store is good or bad. 
  2. There will be a simple set of criteria and ratings including: Price, Shipping, Relevant search terms, Score out of 5
  3. There won't be information about shipping, order processing or the online experience. This will differ from person to person and the Ebay system is the same whoever you buy from.
Thanks for reading and I hope you will stick around to see the reviews to come!

Love Porcelaine.