Friday, May 28, 2010

Illamasqua Intense Lipgloss

I’m a big fan of lip glosses with strong punchy colors and always on the look out for them. I don’t like lip glosses that are too shiny, glossy and sticky as they can look unnatural and after a while sink into fine lines on my dry lips. When I heard about Illamasqua, which many people referred to as the MAC of UK, I was firstly drawn to their cream blushes, not to its lip glosses.

I recently got my hand on one of its Intense Lipgloss in Follow, which is a bright blueish red gloss which is low in shine and more opaque in color. The lip gloss has a diagonal plastic applicators (similar like juicy tubes), which makes it more hygienic than other lip glosses with wand applicators and easier to apply on the go.

In the tube it looks shockingly bright. Thus, I tried applying it really sheered out on my lips and I fell in love with the color. It gives enough punch of color to my lips, but still safe enough for work make up. Then I tried layering it to get the intense color like the tube. I don’t usually wear really bright red lips, but I love it. It’s the right blueish red color for my skin tone. Unfortunately I’m not confident enough to walk around during the day with really really bright lips… maybe soon though…

I swatched it quickly at night, so it wasn't perfect ;)

I have tried wearing it sheered out for work a couple of times and it lasts around 6 hours throughout morning coffee and lunch without any touch up. I had another round of coffee after nearly 8 hours wearing it and being ever forgetful, wipe my lips with tissues. It does fade a bit after 6 hours, but you can definitely still see the color on my lips.

Texture-wise, I love its slight glossiness and the fact none of my hair sticks to my lips during the day (which always happen when I have MAC lipglasses on). Also, it does not sink into fine lines at all! A big YEAY for my dry cracked lips.

Overall, I have nothing bad to say about Illamasqua Intense Lipgloss, except for its price ($19 from sephora or £12.50 from Illamasqua website for 7ml or 0.2oz of lipgloss). But I guess for a high end lip gloss, it’s definitely worth the price. I’m hoping to get my hands on more color (and more Illamasqua blushes) when I visit my sister in June…


Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Coral for Summer Holiday

With summer on its way, I’ve noticed a colorful array of clothing, shoes, bags, and cosmetics. I gotta say that CORAL is my favorite color for summer. Mixing coral with turquoise on top of a white palette is my perfect idea of dressing up for the summer.

Items in this set:
Marc by Marc Jacobs brightest coral cosmo print cotton-silk ruffle..., $215
Light Coral Triangle Bikini, 89 EUR
Coral Lace Insert Cami, 22 GBP
Coral Faux Leather Braided Gladiator Flat Sandals, $17

I’m compiling a list of my must have coral beauty and fashion items of all times. Some are just released for 2010 summer, but some have been my staples beauty and fashion item.

1. Bobby Brown Pot Rouge in Calypso Coral

2. Guerlain Giulette (#63) Rouge G Lipstick (image credit: temptalia)

3. MAC Powder Blush in Hipness - Repromote from MAC To The Beach Collection (image credit: temptalia)

4. Coral underwear or bikinis (to be worn underneath a sheer white top)

5. Marc by Marc Jacobs brightest coral cosmo print cotton-silk ruffle dress (I don’t usually wear ruffles, but for summer everything goes!)

6. Coral Faux Leather Braided Gladiator Flat Sandals from

7. OPI Teal the Cows Come Home (a teal polish) or There’s China Glaze’s Turned Up Turquoise

8. Reef bracelet in turquoise and coral by Gerard Yosca from

9. Badgley Mischka Platinum Label Bead-Neck Jersey Dress from

10. Last but not least, my all season my have… oversize sunnies :)


Monday, May 24, 2010

New Widget & My First Attempt at IUI

First thing first, I added a new Widget for those who would like to follow my blog. I didn’t want to use the follower widget before since I’m not sure anyone would actually read my blog. But I noticed people do read the blog and I started to make friends through the blog, so I guess putting a follower widget will make it easier for some to access the blog.

Now, all widgets aside, I’d like to share my first attempt experience at IUI (Intra-Uterine Insemination). I know that there are hundreds if not thousands blogs dedicated for fertility issues online, and you can probably find whatever I write here somewhere else. But as it is currently one of the biggest struggles in my life, I just thought sharing my experience would empower others facing the same issues or coming from the same background as I am.

I’ve been trying for babies since my wedding day, which is nearly 2 years ago. I love babies and kids. And my friends always said that I can do baby talk, which simply means that I can communicate with babies/kids better than most adults. So I want a big family, with at least 4 children… hahaha… (I’ll probably change my mind after the first one, but it’s 4 children is the target right now). Everyone of my married friends have either had a baby (or two) or are currently pregnant. Only a few are still trying hard to conceive.

So far I’ve seen 3 fertility doctors. The general consensus is that I have two ovarium cysts that are small enough that I don’t need to operate on it yet, but do reduce my chances of getting pregnant. My last fertility doctor told me to do an IUI.

Before the IUI, I was given medicine and shots to improve the quality and quantity of the eggs. For me this was the hardest process since I wasn’t allowed to buy the injections and do the shots my self at home. So I had to drive back and forth to the clinic about 4 times a week to get myself injected. Nearing my ovulation period, the doctor gave me a different injection (I think it’s called HCG injection) to help trigger the release of the eggs. The next day after HCG, HY went to the clinic to give his sperms to be used in IUI. The sperms are washed and good ones are selected to be inserted directly to my womb.

I was told to drink lots of water before hand as I need to have full bladder before the doctor performed IUI. When my bladder is full, the doctor inserted the washed sperms directly to my womb. Afterwards, I was tilted back and was kept in that position for about 30 minutes. When everything was done, I was given another medication called Crinone, which is a progesterone gel to help the implantation process.

This was my first attempt at IUI and it wasn’t successful. I felt so down on the first day of my period, especially since HY was out of town on business and I had nobody to talk to.

Before I underwent IUI, I shared my intention to some of my friends. Their reaction varied from being very supportive and comforting to advising me to 'just do it the natural way'. The thing is, I’ve been trying ‘the natural way’ for nearly two years and I was ready to try almost anything to get results.

I’ve come to realize that there are still people who think that getting pregnant from fertility treatment or any artificial insemination is less than getting pregnant the natural way. For me, wanting to get pregnant and trying your hands on almost anything simply shows how badly someone wants it.

With the increase of women’s role in family and workplace, getting pregnant is more difficult nowadays. However, not enough people are sharing what they went through or willing to go through to get pregnant, and when they do get pregnant they don’t acknowledge how difficult it is to get pregnant. I want to have an open attitude about what I’m going through in life, because I do not feel so alone when I now that there are women out there going through what I am going through.

I realized that I still have a long journey to motherhood ahead of me. At the end, getting pregnant will simply be a blessing from God, but I’m willing to go the extra mile to get there. I hope whoever’s reading my post and going through the same process does not feel so alone and will continue their effort in TTC.

Just a note, I also read Giuliana Ransic’s website/blog and she posted about her IVF journey. I’m glad a celebrity is actually open with her effort to conceive. I truly wish her all the best with her IVF treatment…

img source:


Saturday, May 22, 2010

FOTD - Feelin' the Blues for Work

I work in "one of the world's largest professional service firms". I'm serious, I coppied the quoted text out of wikipedia! Anyway, everyone are expected to wear dark colored suits, light colored shirt, closed toe shoes, and wear toned down conservative looking make up to work. So basically, no silver glittery shoes allowed and matching silver glittery eye make up is definitely frowned upon. It's a pity cause I love dressing up, doing my hair, and wearing lots and lots make up...

I usually wear minimum make up to work and compensate this by spending hours getting all dolled up on weekends. But then I realized that I've got enough make up to last me a life time (or maybe more). This year I made a commitment to use more make up, so that more are applied on my face rather than thrown away as they passed their shelf life. So I've been spending an extra 10 minutes in the morning... dolling up for work... but still too lazy to grab a camera to do FOTD. Since I got a new Nikon SLR D5000 for my birthday, I made another commitment to a lot of picture, even if the object is completely crappy (like my dolled up lazy face in the morning).

So, here's my first FOTD ever! \(^o^)/
I'll start with an EOTD actually, I'm a bit shy to show my face.... ~__~
Eeepss... Sorry I wasn't standing straight! That Nikon SLR is damn heavy...
I think I need a new tripod...

Here are a list of what I use.
- MAC Studio Sculpt concealer in NC15
- MAC Mineralized skin finish natural powder in medium
- Shu Uemura translucent loose powder

- Illamasqua cream blush in Promise
- MAC Petticoat Mineralize Skinfinish

- MAC Prep + Prime eye shadow primer (as I was planning to go out on a movie date with HY after work...)
- MAC eye shadow in Electra (all over lid), Freshwater (blended on crease), Contrast (for outer V)
- L'oreal HIP gel liner in Midnight Blue
- MAC Technakohl liner in Greyprint for my waterline
- Cover Girl Lash Blast Mascara in Very Black
- Anna Sui eye brow powder in 02

- MAC Slimshine in Pleasing

And here is my dolled up sleepy face, ready for work… NOT! (I didn't even blow dry my hair... geez...)


Friday, May 21, 2010

MAC Viva Glam Cyndi

I’ve always been a lip gloss girl rather than a lipstick girl. There is no apparent reason of why I prefer lip gloss over lipstick. Even when I do a full eye make up, I’ve rarely reach for my lipstick. So I tend to splurge on blushes and eye shadow in the past.

But lately I’ve been getting more and more lipstick and getting used to the idea of lightly applying lipstick before getting off my car to work. So when I heard about MAC Viva Glam Cyndi and Gaga, I was determined to get my hands on either one…. or BOTH!

I hunted Viva Glam lipstick by calling all MAC counters in Jakarta, and finally went to MAC counter in Grand Indonesia, which is the closest to my office building. They only had 2 Viva Glam Cyndi lipstick left and none of Viva Glam Gaga. Oh well, one is always better than none…

So, here’s my take on Viva Glam Cyndi…

Color: Bright reddish coral with slight luster finish. As coral seems to be THE color for summer, I’m loving the brightness of this lipstick.

Texture & Application: I don’t usually go for MAC lipstick other than slimshine because they’re too drying on my lips. But I find that some luster and cremesheen lipstick can work on me, with the help of my trustee Lancome Vinefit Lip Nectar. Viva Glam Cyndi applies easily and smoothly. I didn’t even need a lip brush to apply it on my lips.

Packaging: It comes in a black and red lipstick tube for Viva Glam collection. But MAC printed Cyndi Lauper’s signature on the lipstick and its box. As I’m a sucker for cute and limited edition packaging, I’ll be keeping the empty lipstick box in my closet!

Now... If I could only find Viva Glam Gaga somewhere....


Thursday, May 20, 2010

MAC Mini Haul

I was feeling down this week, as I failed my first attempt at IUI. So to cheer myself up, I did a MAC Mini Haul. I know I promised myself that I’m not going to anything from MAC at least until end of May , but nothing can cheer me up better than a pile of new cosmetics to play with (or new shoes)…

So, here’s what I bought.
- Viva Glam Cyndi (I actually hunted this lippie all around Jakarta!)
- Slimshine lipstick in Gentle Shimmer and Funshine
- Blush in Pinch O Peach
- Eye shadow in Shimmermoss, Freshwater, Electra

I’m loving my new Viva Glam Cyndi. I’ll write a review and post picture and swatches soon…

I also asked my friend who went to Singapore for a weekend to get me some MAC shadow and blush palettes so I can finish my depotting project… So I guess I managed to shift my TTC obsession to cosmetic obsession for the week…. It’s also much cheaper than cost of the doctor, injections, and medications as well. Teehee…

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Review - Cover Girl Lash Blast Volume Blasting Mascara

I love buying mascaras, but I have a principle of only having 1 mascara open at any time. Thus, I don't have any favorites when it comes to mascara as I don't get to compare whatever I am currently using with other mascaras.

Anyway, I recently tried Cover Girl Lash Blast Volume Blasting, which was ordered online since we don't have the Lash Blast where I live. Here's my take on my new mascara...

Formula: It's unlike many other drugstore brand mascaras, CG Lash Blast is not clumpy, even if you apply it in layers. I tried the non waterproof Lash Blast and it really does not smudge.

Brush: The brush is what made me wanted to try the mascara in the first place. The bristles are kinda HUGE, firm and ORANGE. Teehee..

sorry for messing up the mascara all over my eyeliner. I applied them in a hurry...

Result: It does quite a good job. It volumises my lashes, but not sure it does anything to lengthen them. Since my main concern is finding a mascara which volumises and does not clump when applied, CG Lash Blast does the job perfectly. I also love how the firm plastic-ky bristles lift and separate my lashes, making it looks thicker and natural. It's suitable for every day office make-up. An extra point from me for having a non-clumpy formula, as I usually applied my mascara while driving to work (on the red light of course). So clumpy and messy mascaras are big no no for me.

In the past I lean towards higher end brand like Lancome or tubing mascara like L'oreal Double Extend, but most clumps really really badly when applied in layers. So I'm happy to find an alternative drug store brand mascara for everyday use...


Friday, May 14, 2010

Beauty Routine - Lemon

I love using natural ingredients as part of my beauty routine. I love to scour my kitchen and garden to find something that I can use in conjunction with my current skincare. I’ve previously written about my favorite natural ingredients, Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Now it’s the turn for my trusty lemon and lemon juice.

I’ve been using lemon as part of my beauty routine for a couple of months. I started realizing the benefit of vitamin c for my skin when I underwent a laser eye corrective procedure about 6 years ago, which requires me to have 1000mg of vitamin c on a daily basis to help the scars on my retina heals. Vitamin c did not only heal the scars, but my complexion was noticeably smoother and fairer. Since then, I’ve been consuming vitamin c supplements and buying vitamin c serum for my face, which practically cost me my arms and legs. So when I went back to Indonesia, I resort to a cheaper alternative, lemon juice. Here’s how you can use lemon and its juice as part of your beauty routine.

1. Skin serum - I usually take half of a smaller sized lemon and rub them on my face after it has been cleansed. Make sure to avoid any open wound or inflamed pimples as the lemon juice can irritate your skin. After rubbing the lemon on to the face, gently massage the remaining lemon juice on your skin until it dries completely. Usually I do this right before bed and went straight to bed without washing my face afterward. But if your skin is sensitive, wash your face before going to bed, or you might wake up with red spots or irritated skin in the morning. Try not to do this too often though; twice a week should be enough.

2. Skin lighteners – I got dark elbows from slouching in front of my laptop at work every day. I’ve stopped slouching (for now), but my dark elbows were not getting any better. So I use half a lemon (usually after I use them on my face like in the point above) and rub the remaining juices on my elbows and knees. I’ve been using them for nearly 3 months and I can see the difference. My elbows and knees are a tad lighter (and smoother from my daily dose of EVOO).

3. Hair rinse – I mix 1 jug of chilled tea with the freshly squeezed lemon juice from a large lemon and use it as a hair rinse after I’ve shampooed my hair. As I don’t wash my hair with water afterward, I always make sure I strain my lemon juice so I don’t end up with lemon pulp all over my hair.

4. Mask – I do this in a variety of ways. I usually mix tablespoon of sugar, honey, and freshly squeezed lemon juice together to a pasty consistency and scrub my face gently with it. I was feeling experimental when I first tried it, but notice that my skin was noticeably smoother and suppler. After a couple of times, it my complexion looks slightly brighter. I only wished I took some before-after photos so I can actually compare the difference. When I’m lazy and not feeling like squeezing some lemons, I just cut two slices and put the slices next to my nose at night. It helps tighten my pores.

I’m still thinking of other ways I can use Lemon as part of my beauty routine, especially since it’s cheap, easy to get, and fully loaded with Vitamin C. Actually, I wonder whether kiwi would have the same effect. They do higher concentration of Vitamin C than Lemon…

images: google image

Monday, May 10, 2010

MAC May's Spree

May is MAC Spree month for me, but I didn’t get anything new or exciting. Everything that I got is from the permanent line and was either given to me or bought by me to as additions to my collection.

HY bought me some blushes, pigments, and a technakohl liner. I know he thinks I’ve got too much make up already, but he still bought me MAC for my birthday. In addition, I’ve asked a good friend of mine who is going on a short trip overseas to get me some MAC in Singapore duty free. He sent the goodies through another friend who was returning to Jakarta on Thursday. So, I ended up getting my MAC purchase on Friday and HY’s present on Sunday.

I guess it’s time to go on a MAC diet for the remaining 21 days in May…


Sunday, May 9, 2010

It's my bday! And happy mothers' day!!

It's my b'day and I've got some of the things I love for my b'day presents. My dear HY bought me a pile of cosmetics (Gosh, that's why I love him..), my parents bought me some really nice clothings and a new nikon SLR!!!

I guess I just wanna thank God from the bottom of my heart, since I've got everything I ever need and more! I'm so blessed with a wonderful and loving husband (ok, we do have our moments, but being married to him is probably one of the smartest decisions I've ever made), a loving and supportive family, and my exceptionally crazy group of friends, which do make life much more colorful. I have a good job in a place that I love... So what else can I ask for? (Babies maybe, but I guess it'll happen in due time...)

Last but not least... Happy mothers day to all mothers out there!!! Hope this will be a great day for you and enjoy...

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Tuesday, May 4, 2010


I discovered the brand Sohum on my last trip to Melbourne on 2009. We were walking through Melbourne Central and I couldn’t help my self when I saw an island counter filled with bottles and candles, as I love anything that smells delicious.

The sales assistant showed various products and everything smell divine. I decided to get one lotion, despite HY’s complains of the zillion bottles of perfume and moisturizers I’ve got on my vanity table (and bedside table… and bathroom cabinet.. and some travel size bottles on my car. Well, you get the idea). But since its an Australian product and only sold in Australia, I made a point of not knowing when I’ll be able to return to Australia. Plus Melbourne air is sooo drying on my skin, he wouldn’t like it if my skin looks dry and wrinkled since it cracked easily. So one extra bottle wouldn’t hurt. (Ha! I actually ended up buying 5 bottles at the end of our trip!)

Anyway, I bought Sohum Crème De Luxe in Cotton Flower (AUD 29.95 for 250ml/8.4oz) and Crème Royale in Fleur de Methe (AUD 24.95 for 400ml.

Crème De Luxe contains love (yes, it was the first ingredients listed), jojoba and chamomile. It claims to condition and tone the skin. I wasn’t gonna buy until the sales assistant apply it on my arms and when she was rubbing it in lightly, I can see the dead skins are actually coming out! I’m not really sure how it works, but it was great (also kinda gross and embarrassing. She must’ve thought I don’t wash my self well everyday!) She said most people will always have dead skins on your body, unless you scrub your self every single day, which then will be too drying on your skin. I later find out the best way of applying Crème De Luxe is by putting it on like a normal moisturizer, wait for about 5 minutes, and start rubbing it in gently. You’ll be amazed of the result.

The Creme Royale is a rich moisturizer, which smells stronger than Cotton Flower, but I absolutely loved. I usually just wear a little bit of it on my body, so it won’t be too overpowering.

The textures of both lotions are creamy and non greasy, as it's made using shea butter. However, it does not get absorbed by skin quickly. I prefer my Palmers Olive Butter Lotion for everyday use. But on special occasions and when I do have the time to get dressed, I use Sohum instead. The perfume last for hours even when you only use a tiny bit of it. I leave a jar next to my bedside table so I can put them on before bed, as the wonderful smell helps me sleep better.

I really wish I can try some of the floral scents like frangipani and peony roses.. Too bad Sohum doesn’t do international shopping, cause I can see my bottles, jars, and candles collection piling up if they do… For now, I'll have to rely on the generosity of my friends and families who are travelling back and forth between Jakarta and Melbourne.


Sunday, May 2, 2010

Budget Brushes Part 1 - Make Up Show

I’ve always lean towards high end brushes as it’s my principle that cosmetics will only be as good as the tools used to apply them. MAC, Bobbi Brown, and Napoleon (an Australian brand) are the only MU brushes I own, and I own quite a lot of them. All of these brushes have great quality and some have been used everyday for more than 6 years. When I started working full time (back in Melbourne), and I continued to splurge in high end cosmetics and make up brushes (and a zillion other fashion items).

Then reality sets in, I moved back to Indonesia to be with my then bf (and now husband), and started getting paid in Rupiah instead of AUD! The agony!! I was so used to wearing Scanlan & Theodore and DVF dresses, MIDAS and Zomp shoes, CUE suits, Sass n Bide jeans, Simone Perele and Pleasure State lingeries…. and suddenly I can only afford one pair of MIDAS shoes with my entire month basic salary. I nearly went mad! (just browsing for the links even make my eyes all watery....)

Luckily, I quickly learn to adjust my spending pattern (and my bf help funded some of my cravings for high end fashion items every couple of months or so).

So, I’ve searched high and low for good quality brushes with a fraction of high end brushes’ price, and here are my favourites.

  • Make Up Show (MUS)
  • Masami Shouko
  • ELF Studio Brushes
  • Sigma brushes

I’m not gonna bore you to death by reviewing all of my ‘budget’ brushes at once. But I’ll try to finish reviewing them all by year end… teehee…

Make Up Show (MUS)

I discovered this brand through an Indonesian community website and forum. The seller said that it’s made from natural hair, but I’m not entirely sure about her definition of natural hair. I’ve bought the duo fiber blush or skunk brush (dupe of MAC 187), buffer brush (not sure of its equivalence in high end brush), blending brush, and angled blush brush.

~My Review~

I just love the stippling brush. It’s not as dense as MAC 187, but it’s a good substitute for its price (Rp 180k or approx US$19). I use it to blend in my foundations (in the rare occasions that I do apply foundations), apply really pigmented blush like NARS mounia, lightly apply my cream blushes so I can layer it with powder blush without looking like I've been badly beaten up, and finishing powder. I know coastal scents is probably cheaper, but decided not to try it (for now) because its mixed review.

Buffer brush (Rp 130k or approx US$14) is another of my favorite to when applying foundation and pigmented blushes. Its small head allows better blending on small areas or to highlight just the apple of my cheek. I can’t really compare it to other brushes as this is my one and only buffer brush.

I bought this blending brush (Rp 90k or approx US$10) so I have an alternative to my MAC 217 blending brush. When it arrived, I realized that it’s not even close to my MAC 217! It’s huge!! When I blend my eye shadow with it, it literally merged all the colors together. So you have to be really really light handed when blending using this brush. I think I’d love it more if it’s slightly smaller..

I've never owned an angled blush brush (MUS for Rp 140k or approx US$15) before, as I wasn’t sure whether using it will make any difference to the end result compared to using a normal blush brush. But I found out a good angled blush brush helps you to disperse the right amount of blush dengan rata across your cheek. It also helps me to do contouring with brownish and peachy toned blushes. But I won’t trade my MAC 116 or MAC 129 with it :)

I’m still adding more brush to my MUS collection. Overall, the brushes are fluffy and soft, but still firm enough for contouring and placing the colors where I want it to be. I’m thinking of stocking up on extra buffing brush and duo I like its fat black handle as it gives an illusion of high end brushes, though it takes up quite a bit of space on my brush holder.


Saturday, May 1, 2010

NARS Multiple Tint

I was browsing the NARS website as I'm planning to order a few lippies and glosses, and noted new release of NARS Multiple Tint on May 1st (which is today!)

I know there are mixed reaction when it comes to NARS multiple. Some people loves it and some doesn't. I'm somewhere right in the middle. I don't completely love it, but I do like how multiple give me the flush of color and glow to my cheek. I also like the idea of popping the multiple in my hand bag for touch up, and not having to carry a huge blush brush with me (mind you I've got no travel size blush brush... if anyone care to donate one for me ^__^).

Good things aside, I don't like the gritty texture of some of the multiple I've tried on. And the price tag is also unjustifiable! Personally, I'd rather have a less multiple for cheaper price as you only need a teeny winy bit. That's why I don't collect multiple since I know there's no way I can finish the whole thing in a life time...

But I do love the colour of new NARS Multiple Tint
It comes in 3 colours:
- Beverly Hills: bright red tint
- Cadaqués: bright fuchsia tint
- Turks & Caicos: bright orange tint

I'm deciding between Beverly Hills and Cadaqués. They'll be perfect for my summer holiday as I'll be spending 2 weeks cruising Eastern Europe... Yeaaay.... (I kinda wish that we'll be cruising Greek Isle... but I guess Eastern Europe is better than no cruise at all). I'll be putting my order in tomorrow and hopefully I'll get my hands on it soon... Geez, sometimes it's a pain living here... good cosmetics are hard to get and when it's so expensive to order...