For Awake fans, the surprising lack of a Christmas makeup set for 2008 was an ominous indication that all was not well with the brand's makeup line. Things definitely did not look good when I visited Tokyo in early December and found that the counter in Shibuya's Tokyu department store had closed down while the counter in Ikebukuro's Seibu department store now carried only the skincare line. The counter in Isetan in Shinjuku was barely half of its previous size. Awake, which is owned by Kose, also pulled out of Taiwan awhile ago.
Now, the news from 2Channel is that Awake has decided to discontinue its color makeup line so there will be no spring makeup collection although there will be three new loose powders released. Awake will re-focus the brand on skincare and base makeup. This is a huge disappointment as Awake is one of my favourite high-end Japanese brands, especially for their eyeshadow palettes and distinctive glossy red packaging (reminiscent of Inoui ID, another line that bit the dust in early 2007). Fortunately, I have built up quite a good stash of Awake palettes to keep me going for the next couple of years. While there won't be a shortage of other brands competing for my attention, I will miss collecting Awake palettes and the excitement of seeing a new collection.
Thanks for the memories, old friend.
I took advantage of the Becca Friends & Family 20% discount code earlier this month to place an order for their holiday collection. I had the package shipped via Borderlinx.
This was my second order through Borderlinx and the process was just amazingly hassle-free and fast. I placed the order on 17 December; Becca shipped the order on 19 December by FedEx; the parcel arrived at Borderlinx in Ohio on 23 December; and DHL delivered it to me this morning (29 December)! The 20% code more than covered the cost of shipping as I saved US$29.20 on my order and paid US$6.28 (FedEx) + US$12.18 (DHL) =US$18.46 for shipping. There was a cheaper option for shipping by USPS on Becca's website but I decided FedEx was the safer option as it had online tracking, which was handy given the heavy mail traffic in the Christmas season.
I got the new limited edition Aurora palette (US$65), Beach Tint in Watermelon (US$25), Eye Tint in Baroque (US$24) and Soft Touch Blush in Songbird (US$32). The prices were much cheaper compared to Sephora in Singapore where the Beach Tint is S$55 (US$38).
I was quite worried about the Aurora palette as after I placed the order, photos of how it looked in real life started surfacing on Makeupalley. Most of the reviews were that it was a disappointment and worse, that it looked nothing like the picture on Becca's website.
Here's the picture from Becca's website.
And here's the palette in real life! It contains an Eye Colour Wash in Madras (bronzy plum), a Compact Eyeliner in Aubergine (eggplant), a Crème Blush in Terracotta (neutral apricot), a Crème Eye Colour in Ametrine (smoky mauve bronze) and a Nude Lip Gloss in Hibiscus Tea (neutral rosy nude), plus a dual-ended brush. The Latin-inspired palette features the vibrant tones of Peruvian and Spanish Colonial textiles and pottery.
The Aubergine Compact Eyeliner is described as an eggplant shade but to me, it is a muted dusky pink. Haven't the folks at Becca seen an eggplant before? It's deep dark purple, not pink! The most misleading pic is that of the Madras Eye Color Wash (extreme left) which looks like a vivid magenta in the promo pic but instead turns out to be more of a plum-toned brown with some sparkles. How did Becca's photographer get it so wrong?
Similarly for Songbird blush which looks like a bright coral peach on the website but turns out to be a semi-matte deep coral.
Baroque Eye Tint was the most disappointing item as I had been hoping for a nice metallic shade but this turned out to be a boring creamy tan with some shimmer. The Watermelon Beach Tint is one of Becca's bestsellers and winner of many magazine polls so I have high hopes for this.
I haven't tried any of the products yet so I can't give a full review. The misleading promo pics aside, the Aurora palette actually turned out to be nicer than I was expecting and I can probably make the blush work too. The shades look easily wearable, if not the most exciting.
After my 3-year old Casio Exilim EX-Z500 went all wonky on me following my recent Tokyo trip, I decided it was finally time to shell out for a new digicam. I decided on Canon, after reading some reviews that proclaimed Canon to be the best brand for digicams. At the Best Denki store in Ngee Ann City, the SA recommended the new Ixus 870IS which came with a 28mm wide angle lens, 10 mega pixels, 4x optical zoom etc. For the price of S$549, I also got a "free" 8Mb SD card and case.
I'm still playing around with it, trying to get the hang of which setting produces the best shots. So far, I must say that it is quite impressive and produces much crisper shots with greater definition than my Exilim which had only 5Mb. Finally, I can take some decent EOTD photos but it's still a very tricky process, so please don't expect shots like what you would see on on other blogs such as Temptalia.com.
Here are some shots to show off what my new baby can do!
Pop Beauty Rose Belle
Visee Aqua Shining Eyes GY003
Visee Jewel Crush Eyes E5
Today's EOTD using Jill Stuart Illuminance Eyes #4 Aqua Crystal
I started out with a small blob of T'estimo Eye Bright Up Base #1. This gives just a very pale pearl sheen without any loud obvious glitter bits.
Apply over the entire eyelid area.
Using the narrow sponge tip end of the applicator, line the eyes with the dark grey shade, tapering to a upward-slanting fine end at the outer corner.
Layer the purple shade in the crease, blend with the dark grey shade.
Finish with the light pink shade as a wash over the brow bone area and the inner corners. My usual way of applying eyeshadows is the opposite of what virtually every makeup book/artist teaches (i.e. start with the base and finish with the liner shade) but it works for me.
This is what the palette looks like. I didn't use the green shade.
Just spotted this as a new arrival on the Plaza Style website! It's a collector's edition Tenderheart Bear in Gold (2415yen). It has the face and shape of the original Care Bears from the 1980s, which I adored.
Check out more great close-up photos here!