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!
The Muse was totally cheapin’ it when she seen that Sasa got some Innisfree products in stock. The price jack was around $4-$5 from regular Korean retail so I really wasn’t feeling the need to indulge…so indeed I was being total cheap about it. After fighting with myself I realized if I had a friend in Korea airmail it over that it would probably work out to be the same price anyway so I decided what the heck and snagged myself the InnisFree BB Mousse.
The product originally caught and captured my interest because I’ve used BB Mousse’s in the past and really like them. Etude House actually makes one as well which I adore so purchasing one from Innisfree really wasn’t too hard a decision although the formula isn’t suitable for everyone.
Read on to find out more!
I’ve tried a few products from the Innisfree makeup and skincare line up prior to this and all are of good quality so I didn’t doubt in anyway that the Innisfree BB Mousse would be just as good. Please do read my article on BB Creams if you’re clueless at the moment about what they are.
All the BB Mousses I’ve tried including Innisfree BB Mousse share one common flaw which would be pigmentation of the product. BB Mousses have a knack for offering very sheer coverage but honestly they aren’t technically supposed to offer coverage anyway so I guess this is only a minor problem.
Basically using a BB Mousse simply offers a very light, brightening finish with the benefits of a high SPF of 30. This particular mousse by Innisfree also supposedly tightens pores and makes skin look fresher and clear. I can’t speak for pores as my pores are barely visble however the mousse does offer a fresher look to my face and a brightening effect however it is NOT full coverage but more of a prepping primer for face.
I can easily use Innisfree BB Mousse as my foundation as it brightens my face, erases dullness, and preps my face for my other makeup items such as blush and highlighters. This is typically why I use foundation anyway as I do not have problems with my skin aside from dullness which I seek to erase with the use of foundation so using this mousse does just that plus it offers a nice, fresh look to my skin. The formula of the product is a silky, foaming mousse which has little pigmentation but it does manage to offer a somewhat white like finish after application which quickly tones down to suit the shade of my skin. Interestingly enough the product distributes from the can as a wet texture but quickly absorbs into the skin leaving behind a powdery, silky, almost matte finish. In terms of color it’s a very pale ivory shade which does tone down a little bit once it’s on the skin however I do not think darker tones can really use this as it doesn’t adjust as well a regular BB Cream does.
I think the product is particularly good for those days you want a very light application of makeup. A little of this, a bit of cheek stain, and some gloss will make a rather lovely Summer day makeup. I’m unsure if I’ll make full use of the product on days that I am going for a full makeup look because the staying power isn’t fabulous and by 3 hours in my face is already looking dull again and in need of a pick me up. For days that I want a really minimal look or days I’m just running around doing small errands this is an ideal product. It happens to be an oil free formula which makes it particularly good for Summer as the coverage is not only light but also oil free, lord knows we don’t need anything to make our faces shiny in the Summer!
If you’re inclined you can use the mousse as a prep prior to foundation as it’ll work at providing SPF plus the promise of tighter pores and the brightening effects are a nice primer for your other coverages.
Who needs this?
- Anyone with tired, dull skin that needs a bit of a pick me up!
- Those who want a minimal look for hot Summer days.
- Anyone who wants a minimal, natural makeup for on the run days.
Those who should avoid it:
- Anyone who needs medium-full coverage in foundation
- Those who use foundation to cover serious skin problems
All in all I really liked the product in general but it didn’t really have any added benefits or extras that any other BB Mousse I’ve tried had. The price is $14.90 USD and it normally ranges at around $8-$9 USD within Korea so it’s not too bad a deal but there are cheaper options available in mousses for sure but as hard as these are too get I do believe the price of nearly $15 USD is a fair deal. I do think it’s worth checking out for yourself if you’ve never used a BB Mousse prior to reading this post.
You can see me wearing the InnisFree BB Mousse and no other foundation in this morning’s Urban Decay Midnight Cowboy Lipstick post.
You can grab it at Sasa who ships worldwide and free with your purchase of $75 USD
in Bare Escentuals
, Beauty Babblings
, Etude House
, Fab Favs
, Japanese Brands
, Korean Brands
, Urban Decay
Happy New Year to us all! Let’s hope is shiny, new, and gives us all hope for the best things to come! I’m a bit late with this post but it’s here now.
If you read my blog daily you probably remember last year when I did a round up of allllllllllllllllll my very favorite bits and bobs that I loved over the course of the year. Honestly it’s difficult for me to pick and choose favorite items and do Beauty Award style posts because I have way too many favorite items that I love. For me it’s best to round up items that I’ve used all year and have grown to love. Considering the Muse’s “favorites” change so often it’s hard to nail down exactly what sort of products I’ve come to love over the course of the year.
Being the Muse means that products come and go out of my life at a rather constant and alarming speed. Makeup is like crack and what once got me high an hour ago probably isn’t giving me the same high in this present hour.
Alas you can see the dilemma of creating a list of items that I would award the best of it’s kind. However, instead of rounding up a massive amount of product the way I did last year (damn straight I was excited about alot of crap last year!), I decided to give myself a tiny bit of breathing room. I stepped back, I contemplated, I thought (don’t worry the thought process didn’t blow out any light bulbs or cause any world crisis that I know of. No that wasn’t me that caused the stock market crash!) and I decided that a few things have become really favorite items of mine. These favorite items are what I’ll share with you today!
I hope you enjoy this look at some of the Muse’s very favorite items of the year. These items aren’t necessarily released in 2008 but they are just generally awesome items that I either use daily or have used many a time that they are now considered a favorite.
I hope after you’ve read my favorites you’ll share some of your own with me!
Favorite Cosmetic Collection of the Year
There have been SO many collections released over the course of the year but none have thrilled me more than the inexpensive Spring Collection from Etude House entitled Lovely Face aka “Peach” Makeup Collection.
The collection consisted of some of my very favorite items released thus far from Etude House such as the amazing Pore Erasing Peach Base! Truly this was love! This collection makes a daily appearance in my looks especially the pressed powder and base.
My raves and excitement were so loud they reached the ears of Etude House and the Muse was featured on Etude House’s official blog
and later featured in the Etude House Newsletter
which is given out at Etude House stores in Korea. You can imagine my excitement over this! The Muse felt like she made a guest starring appearance in the New York Times on the front cover or something! For her appearing in this newsletter was actually better!
Upon reading her review you can obviously see why this Muse was so excited about this collection and deems it her very favorite of the year! Cheers Etude House! The Muse is looking forward the Spring 2009!
I won’t deny that it hurts me so many people thought that NARS Blush in Super Orgasm was a let down. I sob in agony when I hear a bad word against it. It was my ideal image of what I wanted the original orgasm to be and upon it’s release I couldn’t sit still as I wriggled in excitement at the prospect of chunks of golden glitter and a peach sheen! Understandably all that glitter is what makes it my favorite however I find once it’s blended the glitter goes away and a deeper color is revealed that is, in my opinion, perfect and a favorite. NARS Blush in Super Orgasm is definitely a Muse fav (#1)!
2. Pop Rose Belle Blush Palette
3. Bobbi Brown Pot Rouge For Lips and Cheeks in Raspberry
4. Sugar Cosmetics Sweet Cheeks in Gingerbread
5. Lola Blush in Mistress
6. and 7. Jillian Dempsey for Avon Horizon Blush
Favorite Face Powder/Highlighter
Seems like just yesterday that I was ohhhhh’ing and ahhhh’ing over Benefit Thrrob! Almost a year later and it still tops my favorite list but I have a feeling it won’t remain there long as it’ll be quickly replaced by Benefit Coralista soon I’m sure! For now though Benefit Thrrob (#3) is a Muse fav!
1. Estee Lauder Shimmering Jewel Powder
2. Lancome Elephant Bronzer Powder
Favorite Single Eyeshadow
Lord knows last year I had a slew of shadows that were my favorite! This year I cut back drastically simply because I had fewer favorites plus I found one that I really loved so much that nothing else came close to topping it!
Now it may be unfair to deem it a single shadow since it’s actually two shadows in one but the Muse thinks that Jelly Pong Pong Venus Magical Pearls in Worship (#2) is absolutely the best shadow she’s used all year long! Shimmering golds mixed with copper created a stunning Summer look that the Muse favored well into the months of Fall and beyond!
Although Jelly Pong Pong Venus Magical Pearls in Worship are my very favorite I had a few shadows that I reach for almost all the time and they are truly worth mentioning for this round up!
1. Urban Decay Eyeshadow in Kiddie Pool
3. Milani Wet/Dry Sparkling Eyeshadow in Beach Sand
4. MAC Eyeshadow in Antique Pink
5. Bare Escentuals Glimmer in Azure
Favorite Eyeshadow Palette
Lord knows I have a serious addiction when it comes to palettes. Would you believe at one time in my life I was only ever collecting single shadows? I avoided palettes like the plague simply because I was at a lost how to best use all the shades! Later in life I realized the joy I was missing and started to stash every palette I came across. A hundred years later and I’m the proud owner of one too many palettes and possibly out a year’s tuition of my future unborn child’s education.
Although the formula isn’t particularly amazing I name the DuWop Crush Trio my very favorite of the year (#1)! I’m still puzzling over how three simple shades can make any number of different, stunning, unique looks! It was my total go to palette for sizzling Summer eye looks and worked well into the cooler weather for a perfect sparkling Autumn look! It was a hard choice to deem this as my favorite considering it was up against my all time biggest crush, KATE Glamtrick Palette in GN1 but the Muse decided that she had a tiny bit of extra love for DuWop and thus it became her favorite.
2. Laneige Darling Big Eyes! Trio
3. KATE Dual Carat Eye Duo in GD-2
4. Clarins Colour Quartet in So Chic
5. KATE Glamtrick Palette in GN1
6. Lunasol Geminate Eyes Palette 01
Favorite Liquid and Cream Eyeshadow
I didn’t think anything could take away from my deep love and appreciation for Visee Aqua Shining Eyes. After all these were the liquid shadow that single handedly changed my mind about liquid and cream shadows! But after trying out Coffret D’Or Fluffy Shine Eyes (#1) my emotions turned and soon all that love and admiration was being poured all over Coffret D’Or for creating such an a gorgeous, shimmering shadow that this Muse thinks of as a fond favorite!
2. Visee Aqua Shining Eyes
You already know what the Muse’s favorite gloss is dontcha? I’ve mentioned about 5 billion times since picking it up with the MAC Neo Sci-Fi Collection….yes….you got it….MAC Lipglass in Pink Grapefruit!!!!!!! Although MAC Lipglass isn’t really a favorite gloss of mine I can’t deny that it has incredible staying power, is nicely pigmented, and wears well however MAC Lipglass in Pink Grapefruit is possibly my most favorite lipgloss shade EVER! Peachy, Orangy, glorious! It is, was, and shall remain a personal favorite!
2. Stila Lipglaze
3.Lipstick Queen Sinner Shine Hardcore Gloss
4. MAC Lipglass in Cult of the Cherry
5. NARS Lipgloss in Orgasm
6. Majorca Majolica Rouge majex in PK338
7. Love Clover PopChu Gloss
8. Too Faced Mirror Mirror Lipgloss
Without question I was thrilled to pieces with the release of MAC Lipstick in Kiss Manish (#1) which went perfectly well with my MAC Lipglass in Pink Grapefruit! Obviously it’s not hard to see why I choose it as my favorite lipstick this year!
2. Urban Decay Lipsticks
3. Fafi for MAC Lipstick in Flash n Dash
4. Avon Ultra Color Rich Lipstick in Charmed Rose
5. Armani Lip Wax
Favorite Cheek and Lip Stains
The Muse is a big lover of cheek and lip stains! Anything to make her look flatteringly flushed is always good in her book. One of her very favorites of the year was of course Benefit Posietint(#1)! Fancy, flattering pink to make her flush a pretty pink shade was the order of business with the release of Posietint! Truly a favorite this year.
2. Missha Tinted Lip Markers
3. Etude House 55 Kissful Tint Chou
Without a doubt my discovery of Bobbi Brown Gel liner(#1) was instant love! It applies beautifully well the first time, every time! The Muse thinks it’s well worth your time and it’s her favorite of the year!
2. Urban Decay 24/7 Eyeliner Pencils
Favorite Eyeshadow Primer
There isn’t any doubt in my mind that my favorite primer is, will be, and shall remain Urban Decay Primer Potion (#1). The Muse is doubtful she’ll ever find a better primer that keeps her shadow fresh and long wearing all day and well into the night!
2. MAC Paint Pot in Soft Ocher
3. Benefit Lemon Aid
Favorite Eyeshadow Palette
It’s difficult deciding on just one palette but the Muse was quite pleased with Prescriptives Fall Dimensions Eye Color Quad (#1)! Creating two unique looks using this palette made it a fond favorite for the Fall and well into the Winter!
2. Bobbi Brown Holiday Lip and Eye Palette
3. Bobbi Brown Shimmering Nudes Palette
It never really changes and this year remains the same, my favorite mascara that is. My absolutely fav mascara for a few years now is Majolica Majorca Lash Extender (#1). Any formula and this Muse is all over it for fatter, longer, and prettier lashes!
2. Lorac Visual Effects Mascara
3. Givenchy Phenonmen Eyes Mascara
Favorite Face Primer
I’m run across some great primers this year but I truly adored and favored Make Up For Ever HD Perfecting Primer (#1). Available in a wide variety of formulas and shades for correcting skin tone while priming, the Muse thought this was one hell of a primer!
2. Tricia Sawyer Skin Balancing Water Primer
3. Lavshuca Perfect Base Moist
Without a doubt the most reached for concealer of the year for this Muse was the Bobbi Brown Concealer palette…it took a while for me to love it but when I finally did fall in love it was for keeps! Bobbi Brown Concealer Palette (#1) tops this Muse’s list as a fav!
2. Laura Mercier Undercover Concealer Pot Duo
3. Benefit Boi-ing
4. Urban Decay 24/7 Concealer Pencil
5. Make Up For Ever Lift Concealer
Favorite Beauty Tools
The Muse thinks nothing can top the simplicity of a sponge applicator (#1) for packing on color, blending color, and creating a great eye look! Cheap as day old chips, sponge applicators are a top favorite with the Muse!
2. Bare Escentuals Eye Buki Brush
3. MAC 183
4. MAC Baby Buki
5. Bobbi Brown Mini Blush Brush
6. Smashbox #60
7. Aromaleigh Fiber Optic Blush Brush
8. Bare Escentuals Dual End Smudge Brush
The Muse has stashed away quite a few foundations as of late but she must say that this year she was pretty happy with Clarins Instant Smooth Foundation (#1). Instant Smooth was like no other foundation product I’ve tried and it became a fast favorite this year for beautifully perfect skin!
2. Lavshuca Creamy Liquid Foundation
3. Lancome Absolute Makeup
4. Etude House BB Magic Cream
5. Giorgio Armani Face Fabric
6. Kevyn Aucoin Sensual Skin Enchancer
7. Benefit Playsticks
Favorite Facial Moisturizers
The Muse was quite happy with the newest facial moisturizers released from Lush this year and she was absolutely thrilled with Lush Vanishing Cream (# 1). Vanishing Cream was this Muse’s ideal moisturizer for soothing her skin while offering a light formula that was easily absorbed into skin! Brilliant and a favorite!
2. Philosophy When Hope is Not Enough
3. Lush Skin Nanny
4. Lush Paradise Regained
Favorite Facial Scrubs
The Muse is a big lover of Lush Ocean Salt but she does so admit that after trying MAC’s amazing Volcanic Ash Exfoliant (#1) she was convinced it was her new favorite! Volcanic Ash played an important part is scrubbing away old dry skin and revealing softer, fresher skin! A true fav!
2. Lush Ocean Salt
Best Makeup Removers
The Muse has been known to brag about how much she simply adores Kose Airy Whip (#1) but she’ll keep this one short and say after all that bragging it remains a tried and true favorite for whisking away all the Muse’s makeup in one gentle wash without drying out my skin! Perfection!
2. Lush Ultra Bland
3. Mandom Cleansing Express
4. Jill Stuart Cleansing Oil
The Muse wasn’t really thrilled with the Etude House Aqua Sherbet Skincare line but one favorite did come out of it! Etude House Aqua Sherbet Ice Toner became an instant classic (and favorite) this Summer! Icy, cool, and refreshing it toned the Muse’s skin with a burst of coolness while prepping her face for foundation! T’was love!
2. Lush Breath of Fresh Air
2008 was a fabulous year for makeup, skincare, and general beauty bits and bobs and the Muse had a fab time discovering new products. She hopes that 2009 brings a slew of new options to adventure into and with it a new favorite list will be born.
Please enjoy her favorites list from 2007 as well to see what came back this year as a favorite and what made the list last year!
Do drop a comment below and tell the Muse what your favorites of the year were! She’d love to hear all about them!
Happy New Year everyone! Thank you for being apart of my life the last year!
It’s probably terrible of me to reveal that I was relieved that the Laneige Spring Collection Art Play holds little appeal for me. My Spring Collection list is getting huge and I knew that Laneige would introduce some awesome collection that I’d want to add to my list but upon seeing the promo images I experienced utter relief that I could cross one thing off my list at the least.
Jump ahead to read more about Laneige Art Play….
Might I say the art work they choose for the above promo image is so strangely festive, I’m tuned in to the right channel here right? This is Spring Collections 2009 correct? Not Holiday ’08? Laneige is legendary for including it’s signature snowflake theme on everything but I just get a Christmas vibe with that image.
Secondly, I must have not been awake this morning because when I seen the model on the left hand side of the promo image I thought it was Lee Da Hae…is it me or does it look like her a tiny bit? Can’t see the resemblance? The Muse highly recommends trying it through sleep deprived eyes and you’ll see it! Maybe it’s because I used to have a great love affair with Le Da Hae prior to seeing Sweet 18. Anyway……….
The line up includes four total palettes coined in the usual “Secret of the Snow Crystal” Collection name. Do you heart Laneige in a major way for that name? “The Secret of the Snow Crystal…” cue the dramatic music….
Two of the palettes are a quad of eye shadows and the other two are lip palettes which include six shades.
The palettes look very nice but just not for me. For one I’m not interested at all in the strange design displayed on the emblem. I’d imagine I’d be all over these if the packaging was nice but sadly I’m just not into it at all and secondly the color combos aren’t appealing in the least as they look very washed up.
Although I do not have prices on anything as of yet I can guest-timate that they will probably range in the $20-$25 range as most Laneige color palettes are around that price. From what I’ve seen and heard Singapore has Laneige for even cheaper in some cases than Korea.
All in all I’m actually quite relieved that I can finally cut something off my Spring list as it was getting rather long and outrageous!
What do you think of Laneige Art Play?
Tell the Muse!
It feels like the year virtually flew by doesn’t it? It’s been a great year for makeup that’s for sure! My year end favorite post is upcoming shortly but I thought we could reflect on a few things first!
Some of the questions I asked myself as I was reflecting were the following:
The Muse will place her answers here and you can answer, if you like, in the comment field below! Can’t wait to hear your thoughts on this!
I think I have to take myself all the way back to Spring 2008 to get a good idea of my very favorite collection of the year. The Etude House My Lovely Face Collection (aka Peach Collection) was my absolute favorite of the year! And it’s no wonder with it’s great packaging, fresh peachy shades, and incredible Pore Erasing Peach Base! This was by far my fav of the year! Etude House Spring 2009 I Can’t Help Smiling is simply adorably but in the Muse’s opinion it isn’t nearly as kawaii as last year’s collection!
In reflecting on my tastes and whether they have changed or not from last year I’d have to say a loud YES! I embraced more natural looks this year, got really excited about nudes and neutrals, and just dramatically altered my normal bold looks to include some very mature ones! So yes indeed my tastes have changed a tad bit. This doesn’t mean I don’t still adore bold looks but I have to say I’ve surprised myself with the amount of natural makeup I’ve taken on lately!
Unquestionably my greatest cosmetic find of the year was NARS Blush in Super Orgasm! I’ve heard rants and I’ve heard hate but I simply adored it. For me it was pure perfection! Not that it tops Super Orgasm but discovering that Urban Decay Primer has a SLEW of product left in the bottle after slicing it open is definitely a highlight of my year as well!
I can’t say so much if I embraced any trends this year. I kinda march to the beat of my own drum and I’m not one for embracing a trend but more along the lines of doing my own thing! One trend I definitely couldn’t get a handle on, no mater how hard I tried, was the vampy lip! I tried with MAC Binge and tried again with the Lancome Piha Collection but it just didn’t work on this Muse!
I’d be a liar if I said I wasn’t somewhat excited about the MAC Hello Kitty Collection! Although I made up my own little ideas about how this collection should look, I do find myself getting more and more antsy for it’s release as I am eager to see it in person for myself. Yes, I know I’ll be disappointed but I just can’t seem to shake the feeling that maybe, just maybe, it’ll be great! I’m also excited to see what the Summer has in store for us! Summer releases are a great time to stock up on bold shades so of course I look forward to what MAC, Urban Decay, and other brands have on the menu for the warmer weather!
Now it’s your turn…..
Tell the Muse all about what you loved and hated in 2008?
What your greatest find was?
What trends you embraced?