Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Tatcha Gold Collection

That guilty smudge in the pot of lip balm is mute evidence of my enthusiasm in being able to try the new Tatcha Gold Collection. "Enthusiasm" being that I tore the two products out of their beautifully wrapped boxes and immediately set to rubbing the contents on my face. I've sang praises about every single Tatcha product ever created (all reviews can be found under the Tatcha label) so I didn't have any reason to expect singing another tune, and of course, Vicky Tsai does it again. Could she please start a Japanese-inspired makeup line?

First, the Tatcha Camellia Nourishing Lip Balm. Forgive me for sounding like a saleswoman, but this has the whole package: feel, taste, smell, look. The camellia-oil infused formula has a delicate scent, and goes on lips just like how a lip balm should—I don't know if i can be more specific about the feeling. It's just really really comfortable and moisturizing. It also looks like a very mild gloss when applied, and elevates bare lips to a certain degree of polish. The gold leaf is what I think of as a beautiful accessory. It's not needed, but definitely adds charm to the whole package by being there. When crushed and applied, the resulting effect is little morsels of shimmer on your lips.

I've tried some of the more popular face oils in the market, and the Tatcha Camellia Beauty Oil is my favorite so far, again because it possesses the whole package. I apply a couple of drops onto my face and neck, and usually smooth the remnants on my fingers onto my hair. I do usually use it over a serum, because I realized that beauty oils are better substitutes for moisturizer (to retain moisture) than a moisturizing serum. Somehow, the Tatcha oil is oily but not oily—it's closer in texture to the Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Concentrate, which means it dries down relatively quickly, but feels more moisturizing like the Rodin Olio Lusso Luxury Face Oil. Camellia oil also smells fantastic.

Tatcha Camellia Nourishing Lip Balm retails for $36, while the Camellia Beauty Oil goes for $125, both available at

Full disclosure: This entry contains sample products sent by PR or the manufacturer for editorial consideration.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Lipstick Bandits: A Flailing Pick

Like all Lipstick Bandit posts, the idea came from a Twitter conversation. The details by now are fuzzy in my mind, but the outcome was a curiosity among us bandits — what does the opposite sex have in mind when they think of our lipsticks? And if they had to choose, what would their "ideal color" be?

I brought this up with my boyfriend months ago, and I remember his reaction being one of the flailing sort; we avoided a conclusion then. A few weeks ago I asked again, and he said "classic red," to my surprise. I said, "really?" And he sheepishly said, "that should go with smokey eyes, right?" Apparently, his idea of ideal makeup is 100% bombshell (though I did try to explain that I wear nudes with smokey eyes more often).

Then finally, with an answer worthy of a Bandit Boyfriend, he named a specific lipstick I once had on that he really really liked. It was Chanel Rouge Allure Rouge Noir, which I wore to the Gatsby party a couple of months ago. In the pictures below, I cheated by adding a layer of Dior Black-Tie Plum Gloss because my eternally dry lips make dark colors look patchy.

You haven't seen me in a while (hi, *sheepish wave*) and my hair has grown a fair bit. Remember how I looked like a 13-year-old Chinese high school boy in my pixie days? I can now pass as an emo Korean rockstar. Case in point:

But I assure you this is how I look like usually.

The hair is now at the awkward stage of trying to be a bob but is just not quite there yet. I usually just tuck the excess behind my ear and call it a day. As for makeup, this is kind of the most I've been wearing in months. Usually it's a brows, conceal, and blush situation, which I'm oddly pleased about. I've never felt like I needed anything else for daily life, except perhaps a fuller set of brows? I may seriously consider feathering when all this shading in gets old.

Anyway, there were rumors that some bandits had really unexpected feedback from their other halves (green lips, anyone?) and I can't wait to see if those rumors are true!

Products Used:
Shu Uemura Retractable Eyebrow Pencil in Seal Brown
Le Métier de Beauté Peau Vierge Correcteur in Light/Medium
Le Métier de Beauté Precision Liner in Noir
Burberry Sheer Summer Glow Natural Highlighting Compact
Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder in Dim Light
Guerlain Noir G Mascara
Make Up For Ever Aqua Lip Waterproof Lipliner #13C
Chanel Rouge Allure Rouge Noir #109
Dior Addict Ultra Gloss in Black-Tie Plum #982
Illamasqua Raindrops