31 March, 2014

pink gradient lip

lioel blooming pop pinky tint rimmel apocalips stellar

Bright lips are pretty much the hottest thing in East Asia right now, and it's all thanks to Korea's superstar, Jun Ji Hyun. Famous for her role in My Sassy Girl, Jun Ji Hyun recently starred as Cheon Song Yi from My Love from Another Star (별에서 온 그대), and sales for almost every beauty related item she used in the drama sky rocketed at one point or another. I was never really into K-dramas before, but this was highly addictive — a great combination of romance and comedy, with just a touch of fantasy. (Plus, Kim Soo Hyun is perfect).

In the drama, Jun Ji Hyun had very natural makeup, with the main focus being her lips. The two most popular shades that she used would have to be IOPE Color Fit in #44 Forever Pink, YSL Rouge Pur Couture in #52 Rosy Coral. (Master list here). As much as I want to jump on the bandwagon and purchase ALL the lipsticks she used, it's almost impossible to track down these products without having to pay an absurd amount. (Seriously?!) Instead, I picked out two lip products I already had: Lioeli Blooming Pop Pinky Tint and Rimmel Apocalips in #501 Stellar, in hopes of creating that perfect Korean gradient lip.

Jun Ji Hyun inspired pink lip

I started off by applying Lioeli's lip tint all over my lips, making sure not to use too much. The more you layer it, the brighter it gets — which doesn't seem to flatter my skin tone. The texture of this is a bit thicker than your standard watery tint (think Benefit's Benetint), and has a milky consistency. I like that it's moisturising, but I did notice a slight tingly effect on the lips when wearing this (nothing too bothersome). Next, I dabbed Stellar onto the centre of my lips and blended it out with a finger. It's super pigmented, so I only applied a small amount and made sure it didn't overpower the rest of the lip. If worn as a full on lip, the Rimmel Apocalips lip lacquers tend to fade and leave a highly unflattering ring after eating. I love the colours and formulation otherwise, so I'm willing to let this aspect slide, but it does require maintenance on the wearer's part. 

In true Korean gradient lip fashion, concealer or foundation is generally used along the edge of the lip to further enhance the gradual effect. I skipped this process because Jun Ji Hyun's lips are painted perfectly right to the edge. While I won't be getting my hand on any of the lipsticks she used any time soon (the two mentioned above are already on my wishlist), I will at least be able to imitate the trend using what I have on hand. Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to indulge in another Kim Soo Hyun drama. 

26 March, 2014

topshop nails: boy next door

topshop nails boy next door
Ever since Essie's Mint Candy Apple release in 2009, the mint green/blue trend has been going strong. I've wanted to carry that colour on my nails for as long as I've been into painting my nails, but shelling out $24 for a bottle of nail lacquer isn't something I'd like to do. Then I saw this beautiful shade while (casually) browsing at Topshop and just knew I had take this baby home with me.

Topshop's Boy Next Door ($15) is something I didn't intend on purchasing, yet it seemed like the right thing to do. The packaging is sleek, super cute, and fits nicely amongst the few polishes that I have. With 8ml of product, it's smaller than OPI (15ml) and Essie (13.5ml); accompanied with a cheaper price tag. I prefer it this way; because finishing a bottle of nail polish before it becomes too thick and goopy seems virtually impossible. (On the other hand, it's tempting me to buy more...)

Based on swatches online, Mint Candy Apple falls right in between green and blue, and can gravitate towards either shade depending on the wearer's skin tone. Boy New Door however, is definitely a duck egg blue. (Excuse the wrinkly hand above; it's an Asian gene thing). The consistency is thinner than OPI polishes, and this took about three coats for a complete opaque finish. I am super impressed with the formula; it took no time at all to dry between coats, and I was able to get back to my usual activities within 1.5 hours of painting my nails. That might sound like a long time, but I've had experiences where my polish would dent after many hours of careful handling. Not cool. I'm on day three and the tips only just started wearing off. 

This looks amazing on the toes during spring/summer, and I'm really hoping the weather stays warm enough for me to continue rocking these brighter shades. Oh autumn, please be good to me...