Sunday, December 19, 2010

Viva La Nails!

I was made aware of Viva La Nail's sample packs back when Sparkled Beauty did her review a few months ago. Unfortunately, by the time I got around to checking them out, the sample packs were out of stock! So I put myself onto their waiting list and alas a few weeks ago they were back in stock!
I ordered their "Free sample product pack" which contains 3 packs of nail stickers and 3 packs of water decals which normally retails for £12 but is free to bloggers and youtubers (is that actually a term now?!) I only had to pay a £2.95 shipping and handling fee.
The samples took about 2 weeks to get to me.
I believe they have different sample packs every time, the one that Sparkled Beauty got also had sample packs of things like sequins, crushed shells and rhinestones and was worth a retail value of 20 quid whereas my pack only contained stickers and water decals. 
In addition to things like stickers and water decals, Viva La Nails also sell an incredible variety of nail supplies such as tools, acrylics, gels, fimo stick slices, konad plates and polish and they even have a whole cache of nail tutorials. They're based in the UK and charge in Sterling so keep the currency exchange in mind when purchasing.
I did a NOTD using the butterfly stickers:

The stickers were really easy to use, I just lift them off the backing sheet using a pair of tweezers and stuck them onto wherever it was I wanted on my nail. I had to lift and reposition a few them and they didn't take off any of my polish which is a huge plus for clumsy folk like me. 
Most of the stickers have little accent stones on them for that extra bit of bling. It does, however, require quite a few coats of top coat before it stops sticking out of the nail surface.
The water decals work in a similar way as fake tattoos; you cut out the design you want, soak them in a bowl of water, slide them off the backing sheet and press onto your nail.
The polish that I'm wearing is Color Club's Revvvolution, a black holo. Very pretty to look at but a pity since it chips off in chunks :(

In other news, I recently got an ostentatious new camera! Now if only I get around to reading the manual and figuring out what exactly is the different between an "f-stop" and a Stop sign, you might actually see some decent photos around this here blog.
Allow me to regale you with a photo I risked the toes of my right foot for:
 I hope I will be able to get at least one more post in before Christmas, however, if I don't, I wish you all a very Merry Christmas (if you celebrate it). Keep safe and I expect lots of posts on what you all got for Crimbo!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Even more things your Asian parents say.

  1. "Giving birth to a piece of char siu is better than giving birth to you."
    This is because if she'd given birth to a piece of glazed BBQ pork she could at least eat it and be full.
    P.S. Running away from the chicken feather duster only results in being hit harder for longer.
  2. Confirming the fact that you look bad/fat/did something stupid.
    Come home looking like crap after a month of exams? Forget about making you feel better, you can count on your Asian mum to comment on how big your pimples are, how dark your panda eyes are and how chubby you've become. After 30mins of this, they will shove enough food to feed an African village in your face and declare that you've been starved.
  3. "You study so much and you don't know what this means?"
    As far as Asian parents are concerned, the fact that you went to school means you should be all knowing. What do you mean you don't understand what's on their medical prescription form? What did you go to school for? If I had the privilege to study as much as you did, I would understand this!
  4. Bargaining
    My grandmother tries to bargain inside DEPARTMENT STORES. The extra cringe factor comes when I tell you she does this in Chinese in a Western department store ToT.
  5. "Why are you always comparing yourself with the worst?"
    Said when you tell them 60% of the class failed the Stats exam that you scraped by in. This is usually accompanied by...
  6. ...Chinese Proverbs. 
    Getting scolded is 100 times worse when its done through Confucian sayings.
  7. Repeating things. Ad infinitum.
    You know the pain of this one. My mum is STILL telling people the story of how I peed my bed one night when I was 7. (I dreamt I went to the toilet ok??!! Gees!) If they're not repeating age old yore to embarrass you, they're repeating things 20 times over to "remind" you to do or refrain from doing something.
  8. Scare tactics.
    This is the Asian parents' form of reverse psychology. Scare tactics always contain "facts" which your parents will quote to you in order to "substantiate" their claims. All scare tactic scenarios end with gruesome and painful death or whatever other terror they've succeeded in creating in your fragile young mind. These "facts" are either, complete and utter BS that your Asian parents dreamed up, used with permission from other Asian parents, or were recently published in the Asian newspaper (see below)
  9. Quoting from the Asian newspaper.
    Anything published in an Asian newspaper might as well have been chiselled on a mountain onto two stone tablets. Do not dispute with the Asian newspaper. They form part of the reference list of "facts" and will be whipped out whenever the need for scare tactics or "suggestions" (in other words, orders which must be followed) arises. My parents still don't own a microwave because they read that they leak radiation, my dad refuses to do any form of online banking or even use the ATM for fear of "hackers", and you should stop eating sushi because someone in the newspaper had their brains sucked out by a worm after eating sushi.
  10. And lastly because it's so true: 
In addition, Asian parents also possess other charming traits such as a refusal to wear socks of any colour other than white, although on special occasions, Asian mums will wear flesh coloured ankle socks made out of pantyhose material, which are, by the way, only sold in Asia.
I hope you all understand that this series of posts weren't meant to be racist or disrespectful. I adore Asian parents. I have two of them myself and I love them despite their crazies.

    Sunday, December 5, 2010

    Christmas party FOTD and OOTD

    Last night was the boy's company's annual Christmas dinner. Due to my lack of social graces, I'm generally kept out of gatherings with more than 3 people, but, since it's Christmas they relaxed the rules of my parole.
    Of course 3 days before the event I developed a cystic zit of epic proportions on my cheek which wouldn't go away despite the 4 layers of cortisone cream I put on it so I had to go around introducing it as my parasitic twin Mandy.
    Make-up wise I tried to copy a look done by The Glitter Geek. It was only half a fail.

    I basically applied a matte black shadow (MAC Graphic Garden) from my upper lash line up to just below my crease, a dark teal (MAC Birds & Berries) to my crease then blended it into the black and just slightly above my crease. I also patted a bit of a lighter teal (MAC Botanical Blue) to the middle of my lid.
    Tight line and line upper and lower lashes. Apply more of the black shadow to blend out the liner. Mascara.
    Contour using NARS laguna, highlight with NARS Copacabana (Thanks Justine!!! <3), blush was MAC Shell Pearl Beauty Powder, and lippie was Chanel Rouge Laque in Ming (Thank you again Justine!! I love love love the colour!). Everything was set with Anna Sui luxury loose powder (<3 Sheila).

    Say hello to Mandy.
    Why do I look cross eyed in this photo? Dress: Le Chateau. Faux fur stole: H&M. Shoes (not like you can see them): Michael Kors
    The buffet.

    The event itself was meh, boring speeches, the food was lacklustre and let's not start on the music. Ah well as least the drinks were free and I had a grand view of all the hoochie dancing.
    Lunasol 2010 Coffret and Anna Sui haul coming up next!

    Wednesday, November 24, 2010

    Me Nads.

    Nothing naughty, just my first Konad.
    I must be retarded because for some reason I can't to do something 12 year olds can do. IT.JUST.WON'T.PICK.UP.IMAGES!!
    After 30mins of furiously scraping, rolling the stamp back and forth on the plate, removing polish from plate, reapply polish to plate, shrieking like a banshee, scaring the cats and sending the boy scurrying back to his man cave, an angel on Twitter finally suggested that I lightly file the stamper with some sandpaper.
    Bazinga! It worketh!!! Kinda, sorta. It still won't pick up an entire image but I managed to do a half arsed "Konadicure" with it.
    Yes I screwed up the thumb and I couldn't be bothered to go back and redo it.

    What I used:
    • Color Club - High Society
    • Konad special polish - White 
    • Konad plate - m71
    • Konad 2 way stamper
    Konad polish and plate are courtesy of this pirate's favourite Old Cow. For a daily dose of wonder, visit her blog.
    If you have any tips on how to konad, please share them!
    No FOTDs lately cos the sky has been getting dark at 4:00pm -____-"
    10cm of snow tomorrow. Joy.

    Thursday, November 18, 2010

    NOTD - Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear Emerald City

    I grabbed Emerald City together with Mystic Lilac when the X-treme Wear line was on sale at Rexalls for $1.99.
    I own several other X-treme Wear polishes and have never been disappointed with the formula, however, for some reason Emerald City bubbled like mad on me even though I didn't shake the bottle and waited more than 15mins between each coat :(

    See all the bubbles? le sigh :(
    NOTD is 3 coats of Sally Hansen Emerald City plus 1 coat of China Glaze Fairy Dust with some 3D nail stickers for accent. 2 coats is really all that's needed for bottle colour but I'm an obsessive 3 coater.

    Blurred to show the holo qualities of Fairy Dust.

    Overall a gorgeous green shimmer that applies very easily, such a pity about the bubbling!
    Rexalls Pharmacies has X-treme Wears for $1.99 and Complete Salon Manicures for $4.99 until Thursday (18 Nov, 2010)

    Tuesday, November 16, 2010

    Latest aquisitions and the spouse thing

    After my nail polish collection post, a lot of you expressed interest in seeing my makeup collection.
    Alas, that cannot be, as I do not wish to be confronted with my addiction, it's like asking Lindsay Lohan to do a documentary on cocaine.
    I can, however, show you pictures of my latest acquisitions.
    Just a mixture of gifts, things bought by me, things I shamelessly begged my friends to help me buy and uh...things the boy does not know he bought xD mwahaahahahaa!

    I won an E(vil)Bay auction for a bunch of Aube products. Price was good at $20 for the lot but shipping cost me a ridonkulous $9 -__-"
    Swatches in order of display
    The lipsticks are simply amazing! they're very pigmented, what you're seeing is 1 swipe, and the formula is extremely moisturising. The lippies have since gone on to live a better life with my mum lol. Try looking for these in ebay lot sales, they'll often come 2 or 3 together at a really good price. Retail price is something ridonk like $20ish each. I was unimpressed with their shadow and liner duo (the first two swatches on the left) it was impossible to get to the eyeshadow powder, the included applicator is absolutely useless, but even if you get the powder out, good luck trying to get it to stay on your eyelid.

    The Anna Sui loose powder and the Christian Dior quint were sneaky bday gifts from Sheila, the Canmake and L'Oreal glosses were part of an unexpected gift from Kay (Thanks so much Kay!!!) and the two MAC Venomous Villains lip products were the results weakness.
    The Anna Sui powder is heavily rose scented, like my ouma's bloomers drawer, but it gives your skin a very flawless, almost airbrushed effect without caking. The powder is shimmery, so don't be too heavy handed with this unless you want to look like Eddy Cullen. I got the purple one which I think helps with redness.
    I love Canmake Nudy Glow glosses, I'm so happy that Kay got me the newest colour in Peach Milk xD

    Kate palette, Lunasol Nature Summer Blue palette, Jill Stuart mixed blush in Candy Orange and Rose Fairy, Dior Skinflash Radiance Booster pen, Sonia Kashuk Circle Around A Cause brush set.
    Apart from the brush set, all products were courtesy of a CP by the lovely Sheila. The two JS blushes have become my go to blushes. Rose Fairy varies from a light pink to a dark rose and Candy Orange varies from a light pink to a dark coral. Depending on how you swirl you swirl your brush around, you can get a a range of different colours. Although cute, the brush that comes with these blushes is kak. I believe both blushes are from the 2010 Spring collection. The Sonia Kashuk brushes were acquired with the help of Dao. It's for charity and it's pink, 'nuff said.

    This is my favourite brand of shampoo & conditioner. 
    I've been using Lux Color Shine for black hair for the past 6 months and I'm in love. I'd given up with Western brand hair care, it all seems to weigh my hair down and make it waxy and greasy, and Tsubaki, although easily available, is quite pricey.
    Lux Color Shine gives me soft, shiny hair that isn't weighed down and smells gooood! This is also the first shampoo & conditioner system where I can get away with only washing every other day (although I'm quite OCD about washing my hair and as long as there's running water, I'll wash it every day!). I got this boxed set which consists of 200ml shampoo, 200 conditioner and 50ml rinse-free treatment for $7.99 plus tax from T&T Superstores. I believe this is available at most big Asian supermarkets.

    Lastly, a HUGE thank you to those of you who have congratulated on me being spoused! I purposefully left that statement rather cryptic because in reality we are not yet married xD
    The reason why I said I became someone's spouse instead of saying that I got married is because I recently received this:
    That's my extended healthcare card, I'm covered under the boy's company's medical plan. Apparently I am now a "spouse" lol.
    Lastly, my NOTD:
    Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear in Mystic Lilac. A dusty lilac with green shimmers. In shade it looks almost like a taupe, but it's definitely lilac. Formula applies very sheer and is only opaque in 4 coats. Wear is fantastic, this photo was taken 3 days after application.

    Friday, November 12, 2010

    Nunu's Kitchen - Grilled Halibut

    I have nothing witty to put here.

    You will need:
    • Approx 500g fresh or defrosted Halibut steaks
    • 2 1/2 tbsps densely packed light brown sugar
    • 3 tbsps light soy sauce
    • 1 tbsp cooking sake
    • 2 cloves garlic - minced
    • 2 tbsp minced ginger
    • 1 stalk of spring onion - chopped
    La Methode:
    • In a pan over medium heat, mix the sugar, soy sauce, sake, garlic and ginger together. Once it starts to reduce and thicken, remove from heat and cool fully.
    • Wash and dry the halibut, once the sauce is cool, allow the fish to sit skin side up in the sauce for 20-30mins.
    • Oil a grill pan over medium heat, once grill is hot, place the fish skin side down, cover with lid.
    • While the fish is grilling, keep basting the fish with the remaining sauce.
    • Grill the fish without flipping over for around 13mins depending on thickness.
    • Once fish flakes easily, switch off heat, add remaining sauce into pan and chopped spring onion.
    • Nom.

    And Maru video guaranteed to put a smile on your face =^..^= 

      Wednesday, November 10, 2010

      My latest obsession

      I've never been a nail girl, and I honestly don't know what set off this new addiction but lately I've just been buying bottles and bottles of nail polish. My friends haven't been helping either, instead they've been encouraging this addiction by sending me oodles of polish. A prime example being Rasilla, a fellow Canadian beauty blogger and dare I say friend sent me a GIGANTIC box stuffed with nail polish including the elusive Sally Hansen Hidden Treasure. I have yet to thank her properly but rest assured my dear, it will come back 3 folds. At least xD.
      So in the space of one month I have gone from 5 bottles of nail polish to just over 50 bottles.
      Anyway! moving on!
      I promised my friend Jaq that I'll take photos of my stash once my 8ty8 Beauty order came in, so here it is, in all its glory.
      I've previously received some flack for showing photos of my vanity collection, but Jaq taught me a great come back in the event that I receive more of those "you have too much stuff" comments.

      It all fits nicely inside this wooden box xD

      Yup, so there it is. It's not the biggest collection by a long shot but I'm sure it's a lot more than what most "normal" people have xD
      For the Canadian girls, if you're wondering where I got all the China Glaze, I got it from an online shop called 8ty8Beauty. Prices range from $2.88 to $3.58 a bottle, shipping to Canada is $15 for 1 to 6 bottles of polish, $30 for 7 to 12 bottles, and $36 for 13 to 24 bottles via USPS Global Priority shipping. There is no sales tax and the seller is willing to mark the package as "gift" so you MIGHT not be charged customs.
      This means if you order 24 bottles, you'll be paying $1.50 shipping for each bottle. This might sound rather hefty but considering  that a bottle of China Glaze from Sally's Beauty sells for $5.99 plus tax, you'll only be paying $4.50 a bottle. Obviously if you're only going to be buying 1 or 2 bottles, it's cheaper to go to Sally's. Keep in mind though that Canadian Sally's don't really stock much of the LE or special polishes.
      In addition to 8ty8Beauty, there's also TransDesign (they still stock OPI polishes) and Head2toebeauty. Of the two, I've heard that TransDesign is the kindest in terms of Canadian shipping, although I haven't tried it out personally yet.
      Expect to see lots of NOTDs in the future! and let me know if you'd like a swatch of anything you see in my stash xD

      Extra NOTD pic:
      O.P.I. At your Quebec and Call. This was part of Rasilla's gigantic gift package xD. It's a gorgeous shimmery golden olive which flashes more golden in the sunlight with dark olive corners. Formula was on the thin side, total opacity requires 4 coats. Brush is a wide flat brush which was very easy to control and required no clean-up.

      Monday, November 8, 2010

      Warning: cute kitteh photos ahead.

      I'm a terrible blogger.
      A couple of MONTHS ago, CSN sent me one of their products for review, and I'm only getting around to it now 
      -__-". Ah well, better late than never no?
      So what did I get?
      Usually I'm the guinea pig on this blog when it comes to testing out new things, however, this time...
      Oh, hai!
      *sniff sniff* is it nommies?
      Wot are you doings? I helps?
      Oh look a camera! I do maneki neko pose?
      Follow the ball...
      OMG!Pucky you didn't clean properly after doing your business!
      I come up there too ok?
      See! we fits! we are not fats!
      *swat swat*
      Ooooeh...lookit all the upside down people!
      I'm shy now
      I go hides.
      As you can see, the kids clearly love it. From my perspective, shipping took quite a while, around 3 weeks for it to get from Boston to Vancouver. I also had a bit of a snag when making my order, CSN wanted to charge me $41 for "international fees", however their customer service was absolutely amazing, one phone call to their call centre and they had everything sorted out for me.
      The post came in a box and assembly is required, the boy had no problem putting it together following the Chinglish manual using some basic tools.
      We'd seen a lot of posts where the base was poorly made and resulted in a wobbly post, thankfully this post was nice and stable.
      The only complaint I have about the post is that the platforms are a little too small, my cats are only 7 month old kittens but 1/3rd of the their body would dangle off the platforms. This is definitely not suitable for bigger cats. In addition, the basket at the top of the post is pretty much useless as there is no way they can get up there.
      The price of this cat tree is just under $80, for those of you who have shopped for cat trees will realise this is a very good price for a cat tree of this size. This item also came with free international shipping, which makes it an even better deal.
      In conclusion, this is a solidly built cat tree suitable for kittens/smaller cats. 
      For those of you who are interested in trying out CSN Stores, keep an eye on this blog! I will be hosting another giveaway from them sometime this week!

      Saturday, November 6, 2010

      Hadalabo Arbutin Whitening Lotion Review

      *Creeps back in*
      Oh herro! Fancy seeing you here! *fidgets*
      So I'm back from my month long hiatus from blogging, why the hiatus you ask? partly (mostly) because I'm too lazy and also partly because it's now Winter here in the Northern Hemisphere which makes it almost impossible to take photos.
      In the span on this month I've managed to:
      1. Become someone's spouse;
      2. Gained enough wisdom to grow ONE wisdom toof;
      3. Had to remove said wisdom toof;
      4. Picked up a new obsession; and
      5. Finally buy dining chairs.
      All this makes for great blogging material so you SHOULD be hearing from me quite regularly from now. Anyway, onwards to today's product review!
      What they say:
      "HadaLabo SHIROJYUN Arbutin Whitening Essence contains the effective whitening & anti-ageing ingredient -arbutin- which penetrates deep into skin and effectively inhibits the formation of melanin, dark spots, and freckles, leaving you a bright skin tone with high translucency. The vitamin C derivatives help improve uneven skin tone, and effectively improve the skin dullness. Essence and lotion are more easier to be absorbed. Weak acid, no fragrance, no alcohol and no oil."

      What I say:
      I'd previously used Hadalabo's Super Hyaluronic Acid Moisturising Lotion (click to read my review) and was really impressed with its ability to hydrate my under eye area, so come winter I gave Hadalabo's whitening lotion a try.
      Being a Somalian pirate, I hate being pale and usually avoiding whitening products like the plague, but since it's already Winter and I can't possibly get any paler, I thought I might as well, but this means I can't really speak to this product's whitening claims xD
      This whitening lotion is more watery in texture compared to the moisturising lotion which was more viscous. On application, this lotion is much less sticky than the moisturising lotion and doesn't take as much patting to be absorbed.



      Again for the past few weeks I've been slapping myself silly day and night with this lotion, and as you can see, it did hydrate the area under my eyes and the lines under my eyes are less visible. However, I feel that it's not as hydrating as the moisturising lotion from the same product line. My skin also feels less "bouncy" and less "plump" compared to when I was using the moisturising lotion.
      As to its whitening properties, I really can't say I've noticed any whitening per se, but then again I'm currently a ghostly NC15-20 and probably can't tell if my skin is any whiter.
      $11 for 170ml from
      If you're looking for hydration, you're better off with the moisturising lotion. If you're looking to whiten, you can give this lotion a try, it still does a pretty fair job of hydrating. This is especially worthy of a try for those who found the moisturising lotion too sticky as this lotion absorbs very quickly with very little work.

      Bonus pic: