British Brands

Pieces of Life: The Currency Edition

Just a friendly note from your Muse about Asian Spring Collections, currency, and other general babblings about saving your money.

I know quite a few of you have recently e-mailed me about how exciting you’re finding the Lunasol Spring Collection and I totally agree it’s very, very nice. I have my eye on a few items from Lunasol at the moment, Jill Stuart, and a few other high street Japanese brands however I am playing it safe at the moment as the yen is very strong.

At the moment a palette of 5,600 yen will be jacked up at nearly $10 with the current conversion rate. Wince. It’s not only USD that’s feeling the brunt, if you’re converting from Singaporean dollar or sterling at the moment it comes to almost the same amount only off by a mere $1 USD and some change. I do urge you to wait if you’re purchasing items that aren’t LE at the moment as the conversion rate really does drain the pockets.

This is of course in terms of direct purchasing from Japan and not going through a secondary online shopping party. I noticed that palettes are racing up to $75 USD at certain online shops which I really find intense and a tiny bit absurd. The Muse loves herself some makeup but $75 per a palette…that’s a bit much.

Korean Won looks particularly gloomy as well but remains at a 100% return on the US dollar which is perfectly fine in my opinion however I do expect a tiny bit more on my dollar when converting and became a bit spoiled with that aspect but at least I’m not losing money during the conversion which is always a plus.

TWD, SGD, and Sterling are iffy at best. Particularly sterling, as always, converts like rubbish but not too severe.

Well anyway I can go on and on I fear but the moral of the story is at the moment if you’re shopping Spring Collections abroad do take into consideration your current conversion rate, stop, think, and ask yourself if you really need it right now or if it can wait until currency conversions are looking a tiny bit better. If it’s LE I do suggest snapping it up but if it’ll be around you can always wait a bit and get it later on.

Of course, I should take my own advice in this but the Muse is known for wanting instant gratification when it comes to makeup and she fears she’ll give in to her urges prior to thinking about it which will bite into a large chunk of her Spring Collection budget! Yak! Groan!

How’s your currency converting at the moment?

Yay or Nay?

Tell the Muse!

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Reader’s Request: Rimmel Sexy Curves Mascara Review

Since it’s debut on my blog a year or so ago, Fairy Drops Mascara (Fairy Drops Mascara Review)is the source of much e-mail to my inbox. The Muse likes to think she’s the one who created it’s cult following among follow diseased Asian cosmetic collectors like herself but she knows she’s not that important.

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Recently a reader asked me to review Rimmel Sexy Curves Mascara because she felt it was so very similiar in style to Fairy Drops Mascara and easier to obtain. Far be it for the Muse to say no to such a sweetly asked favor.

So here is my review of Rimmel Sexy Curve Mascara……

Before I begin my review it deserves to be mentioned I haven’t exactly seen this available outside the British market as of yet. I don’t follow Rimmel that closely but I honestly haven’t noticed Rimmel Sexy Curves Mascara in any of my local drugstores. I have mine for about a month or so now? Maybe less? My best friend Lib who lives in London sent over a box of items for me for Christmas with her husband who was here visiting last month and inside was this mascara.

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Rimmel Sexy Curves Mascara is a good dupe for Fairy Drops Mascara in applicator design as it has the same shape and style. The applicator is plastic and has three curved layers meant for pulling the lashes out and upwards for a “sexy” curl. It does give volume, does curl, and does offer nice length so it succeeds in just about everything it promises.

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When compared to Fairy Drops the “curves” of the applicator are not nearly as large and I felt like I obtained a more natural look with it where as with Rimmel Sexy Curves my look was more of a false lash look. The formula is thick but it also manages to feel light once it’s on so it isn’t weighting my lashes down. I honestly won’t say if it kept my curl all day but I will say a majority of the day it looked lovely on.

I was surprised to hear the reviews on MUA as it was quite wrongfully thrashed in my opinion and only 3.2 out of 5 stars was a surprise and shock to me as I didn’t think it was half bad for Rimmel. The formula isn’t waterproof so much ranting was made about how it flaked and smudged but I didn’t experience either thankfully. I’m quite used to wearing waterproof mascara so I always expect the worst with non waterproof formulas but this wore well all day without raccoon eyes popping up!

I’d personally purchase it again once I was out as it is indeed a solid dupe of Fairy Drops Mascara, easier to obtain, and cheaper too (believe it runs around 3-4).

I’m rubbish at before and after shots when it comes to mascara but this is the best I could do!

Before

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After
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And yes, before you ask, Rimmel Sexy Curves Mascara is Muse Approved for purchase. It does what it promises for a value price. Can’t beat that!

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Questions?

Comments?

Love it?

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MeMeMe Shimmy Shimmers Pink Shimmer Highlighter Review, Swatches, and FOTD

The Muse thinks it’s ok to cheap it up sometimes. Hey, we’re living in hard times here! Cheap is obviously where it’s at!

When Superdrug had a sale on MeMeMe cosmetics the Muse decided to haul it for all it was worth and take advantage of the buy two get one free deal! I’m all about cheap and English makeup!

I recently reviewed MeMeMe Pussycat Cheek and Lip Stain for you and today I’m bringing you a review of MeMeMe Shimmy Simmers Pink Shimmer Highlighter.

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Excited? Read on for more excitement….

If you have a certain love (or an addiction) for Bobbi Brown Shimmer Bricks but don’t enjoy the price you can cheap it up with MeMeMe Shimmy Shimmers. Virtually the same product but just heaps cheaper! We like that don’t we?

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MeMeMe Shimmy Shimmers are a dual product for this Muse as it can easily work as both a blusher and a highlighter. It’s nicely pigmented to create a soft flush to cheeks while adding a hint of frosty shimmer to highlight the face. The palette is made up of five color variations most of which are deeper shades of rose and pink. Together the shades create a soft pink flush that’s quite natural and pretty.

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The powder comes housed in a cute pink flip top cardboard box with a full size mirror inside. I like the packaging as it’s thin and compact which makes for easy travel and most important, easy storage. The formula is pretty silky and nice although it’s name “shimmer” is misleading as I think it gives a bit of a frosty finish. I actually feel that Bobbi Brown Shimmer Bricks have a frosty finish as well so the entire shimmer aspect seems somewhat pointless.

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I think I love this so much because it works well as a blush and a highlighter which I can’t say for many Bobbi Brown Shimmer Bricks. This particular color combination is quite like Bobbi Brown Shimmer Brick in Peony which has long since been gone so if you’ve been lemming it you can replace it with MeMeMe Shimmy Shimmers!

Wearing MeMeMe Shimmy Shimmers as a blush and highlighter

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All in all at 6.99 with a little bit tacked on for airmail charges I thought this was a rather nice little budget option! If you’re in England, lucky you, you can nab this at your local Superdrug! If you’re in the US head onto to your favorite forum and ask a nice Brit for a swap.

The Muse is all about approving this one for purchase!

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Like it alot!

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NuBo Cosmetics

I’m pretty sure I’m too young to take full advantage of the new cosmetic line NuBo or at least I’d like to think so. Debuting at Harrods in November, NuBo claims to offer “cosmeceutical-strength formulations without controversial chemical ingredients, including parabens, petrochemicals and sodium lauryl sulfate”.

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If you’re conscious of what goes onto your face I’m pretty sure the idea of a high street brand cosmetic that promises quality minus harmful ingredients is probably thrilling you to bits and pieces.

At the moment NuBo consists mostly of skincare and I’m unsure if they have plans to further the line into cosmetics. One product that did interest me, cosmetic wise, was the NuBo Voile.

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The product is an invisible veil created to hide lines, correct skin tone, and create flawless skin. This contains Hyaluronic Acid to fill and plump fine lines while offering extra moisture.

Considering I don’t have fine lines as of yet on my face is it terribly vain to admit that I fancy the lilac packaging and that was what really got my attention? Although, if you experiencing fine lines on your face already this sounds like an absolute miracle.

NoBu does look quite interesting but unless you’re willing to pay high street prices (prices range from 30 all the way to a whooping 120) you may find that it’s something you can safely skip on. But hey I’m sure some of us have found staple products that we are willing to dish the cash out for and NoBu may contain some staple products that we all can’t live without.

The Muse may try to get her greedy hands on some NuBo Voile as all the pretty packaging is too difficult to resist.

Visit Harrods for further information about NuBo

What are your thoughts on this brand?

Tell the Muse!

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MeMeMe Pussycat Cheek and Lip Tint Review, Swatches, and FOTD

Contrary to popular belief not everything cosmetic in England is expensive. Truly. Honest. The Muse swears it’s true.

All our friends on the other side of the pond suffer from jacked up cosmetic prices and cry in agonizing woe at the deals we in the US are so very fond of and take for granted. Within the US we enjoy fantastic prices on brands like MAC, Urban Decay, Etc..but these prices aren’t customary in the UK and most times what we pay is 30 to 50% higher in the UK (and other countries of course).

But as I was saying you can find a few cheaper cosmetics that are well worth checking out! Budgeting your beauty in England? Why not!

If you’re not feeling Benefit Benetint’s 22.50 price tag or in our case $28 USD you can always head to your local Superdrug and snag some MeMeMe Pussycat Cheek and Lip Tint and call it a day. At 4.99 it’s a steal and a deal or so the Muse thinks.

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Benefit might be pretty upset if they got their hands on a bottle of MeMeMe Pussycat Cheek and Lip Tint. The product is virtually an exact dupe of Benefit Benetint right down to the rose scent. Although MeMeMe’s version has many of the same characteristics as Benetint one thing remains very different, the price tag. At 4.99 compared to 22.50 you do the math.

MeMeMe Pussycat Cheek and Lip Tint is quite a nice little stain although some may complain that it’s a bit too red (this compliant is legendary in regards to Benetint as well) but personally I think it gives just the right touch of color to cheeks and lips. It sports the same water like consistency as Benetint and only gives a very subtle glow to cheeks, nothing too dramatic, just a very sheer touch of color to cheeks and lips. The similarity in packaging is quite obvious aside from the fact that MeMeMe’s version has a longer bottle where as Benetint is a chubbier bottle. The packaging sports the same nail polish design with brush applicator as well, just like Benetint.

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For the most part I think MeMeMe Pussycat Cheek and Lip Tint is rather a nice little replacement for Benetint. At a great price it gives cheeks just the right amount of a natural flush!

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Getting cheeky with the stain on my lips and cheeks!
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As you can see above the stain is quite sheer and nothing too loud or outrageous just a very natural flush of color!

Yes, yes don’t worry the Muse hasn’t failed to mention that those of us in the US do not have Superdrug nor do we have access to MeMeMe products but the Muse does suggest cozying up to your favorite Brit and asking nicely if they’d buy one for you and send it on over! Plenty of MUA’ers are very helpful as well so do check around your local makeup forum haunts to see who in England is willing to fulfill your MeMeMe wishes!

I do think even with International shipping costs that MeMeMe Pussycat Cheek and Lip Tint is well worth checking out if you’re looking for a nice, natural flush but you’re not willing to shell out $28 USD for Benetint!

As for my UK’ers you’re lucky enough to wander down to your local Superdrug and nab some for yourself! Happy Hauling!

What about you?

Anyone tried this?

Love it?

What’s your favorite stains?

Tell the Muse!

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