2013 was a landmark year for me, as it not only marked my first foray into motherhood, but also as a beauty hobbyist. Well, I have always been passionate about skincare, makeup not quite as much… and what started out as a small blog to capture the things that I loved (fashion, makeup and lifestyle) quickly evolved into more beauty oriented. And it really extends beyond just trying products and writing reviews… it has brought new friends into my life, certainly quite a lot of new things… but more importantly, I feel I have evolved somewhat. Certainly I’ve become much more adventurous with color, improved techniques somewhat (still plenty of room to grow of course), and gone beyond the basic.
“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…”
There was plenty to love in 2013… One of my favorite brands as you probably already know was Guerlain… I have come to associate it with quality and taste. It is a brand I can always rely on to be elegant, and yet fresh at every season. Eyeshadows, lipsticks, foundations, powders… METEORITES! All divine in texture, pigmentation, long-lasting, etc etc. And seldom have I seen a brand excel at both skincare and makeup… Guerlain is probably one of the few exceptions out there. The Orchidee Imperiale range of skincare is one of the best I’ve tried in a long time, so painfully expensive for my wallet, yet essential for my skin’s sake! So much so i’m increasingly reluctant to try anything new, partly because it really isn’t going to be a fair comparison, and also because…
My sensitive skin took quite a beating this year as I bravely tried out as many new things as I can get my hands on. I want to be fair to drugstore and luxury branded products, and indeed I have uncovered some gems like Nuxe Creme Fraiche 24hr Soothing & Hydrating Masque. And of course, skincare also takes much longer to form an opinion versus makeup. Which was why as I went along, the number of skincare reviews dropped in comparison to makeup reviews. For next year, my skincare reviews will focus more on cult brands (like Tatcha – review coming soon!), and specialty items like SUQQU masks.
All the new makeup launches kept me on my toes this year! Marc Jacobs Beauty totally blew me away! I really really hope the makeup gods will bring this brand in asap because of the wide variety of colors and oh-so-many different products to try!! Sure, not everything from the line is good, and it is pricey, but i’m thankful that the few pieces I picked out online were worth the long haul shipping!
The other new launch that I LOVED was Charlotte Tilbury! I realized I hadn’t reviewed much from the brand yet (something i’ll rectify first thing in 2014!), but that’s the problem when the items are part of the permanent collection instead of limited edition… there just doesn’t seem to be any sense of urgency (until someone beats you to it and then *drats*). It is a much more limited collection, and truth be told, not all of them are of my personal taste… but I think there’s something there for everyone!
Thanks to a few super resourceful IG gals (you know who you are), I got to explore the world of Japanese makeup – SUQQU has won my heart for ladylike eyeshadows that are super work appropriate and yet be just that little quirky to keep things interesting. THREE had me in awe with its FW2013 eyeshadow palettes, and I can’t wait to see more! Of course, there’s ADDICTION…which is always so much fun to play with!
Back on our shores, there were a number of new brand launches *yay* – Tom Ford Beauty, NARS, and Illamasqua. I hope to get around to experiencing more of Illamasqua in 2014, but based on what I’ve seen, it feels like better quality than MAC at similar price range. I haven’t quite embraced NARS so much because it just doesn’t feel very *me*. I dabbled with it in my college days, and never quite loved it as much as I fell for Stila, and so that kinda stuck. I really loved the bold colors, and very grown-up glitters of Tom Ford. But, I was quite disappointed that we never seem to get the latest releases, and whatever makes it here are so limited in quantity it’s like the hunger games. It is priced out of the stratospheres, but at least for the eyeshadows & blushes, you do get your money’s worth because TF is rather generous with product sizes.
Which brings me to my pet peeve – packaging scams. I get very annoyed when I pay high end prices only to find 3.5gm of product (versus 10gm for TF – which is on the larger scale for eyeshadows, the average is about 5.5gm). Another pet peeve is makeup counters selling old stocks at regular retail price, as in 2 year-old stocks. Not cool at all!
And to round up my makeup “education” this year, I dabbled a bit in brushes. Again, I was so blessed to have the guidance of several brush experts from IG… and went straight for the Japanese ones! Koyudo may forever hold a special place in my heart for being the one that started it all (I’m planning a brief review on my Koyudo brushes in 2014!). Hakuhodo of course is now super popular in Singapore since their brief visit earlier this year. Oh and those notorious Wayne Goss brushes…….
For my own sanity, and the general lack of real estate, I plan to cut back on purchases *fingers crossed*. Quality over quantity! And I also want to dabble a bit more in drugstore makeup… Japanese and Korean! If you have any good recommendations, please shoot them to me as i’d love to uncover new things!!
Here’s to a very exciting and beautiful 2014!!!