Friday, 16 October 2015

Haul Of Fame

Greetings, it's Nicole again and I am here to deliver the beauty haul I promised from my last post.

HSC exams are under way and that can only mean one thing - formal is approaching! Jokesss, but formal is indeed coming up and after struggling with my makeup wishlist for a few months, constantly adding and taking away things, I've finally managed to whittle the list - once worth $500 - down to something more realistic and appropriate. (My parents can thank me for that one). Since then, I've finally begun ticking off some of the items, namely, false eyelashes, concealer and a setting powder. I ordered these products from iKateHouse and Limelight Company and I highly recommend purchasing from them as it only took a week for both orders to arrive! Not to mention how affordable everything was. If you're interested in buying any of these things,  I'll have links throughout this post to the exact place I got them from! Let's begin:

Ardell Demi Wispies

Ah yes, the iconic Ardell Demi Wispies. The once cult-lash of the YouTube world, before the influx of Huda and Lilly lashes and the like, these falsies were the must-have item back in the day. I decided to pick these up because I wanted to elongate my round eyes into more of a sultry, almond, 'feline' shape for formal. The particular shape of these lashes will help me do exactly that as the lashes are shorter and less pronounced towards the inner corners, and fan out at the ends, helping to bring length to the outer corners of my eyes. I also opted for the "wispies" as opposed to the normal demi lashes (which I already own) as this style provides a more natural look with criss-crossed 'hairs', which I definitely prefer over straight, 'too perfect', artificial-looking lashes. I also decided to stick with the Ardell brand of lashes instead of any of the many lash brands out there as I am already familiar with Ardell, trust their quality and love how they apply - plus they're super cheap! Trying them on though, I found them to be just a tad too subtle for my liking, especially considering the look I'm going for. They're still gorgeous, but I'm considering cutting my other Ardell lashes and stacking it on top at my outer corners just for that enhanced effect. Possibly.

Interested in buying the Ardell Demi Wispies? You can get them here.

LA Girl HD PRO Concealer

Now, to the concealer that bloggers and YouTubers have had a lot to say about in the press for the last few months - LA Girl HD Pro Concealer, what's good? If you haven't heard of these concealers, or any of the products in this post, I honestly don't know where you've been because all these products have been featured to death in YouTube videos and blog posts. This is why I'm not doing an in-depth review or any swatches as a quick Google search will bring up hundreds of results and I didn't see any need for me to add to that.
As you can see, I got 5 shades which you might think is a bit excessive but since these were on sale for $2.49USD, I thought why not get extra shades to make sure I got the right colours? Luckily for me, every single shade I got is a good match and I'll be able to get full use out of every one. I purchased three light shades; 'Creamy Beige', 'Pure Beige' and 'Medium Beige', and found Creamy Beige to be the best for highlighting while Pure Beige was better suited for concealing spots as it was super warm and close to my skin tone and Medium Beige was perfect for tidying up my eyebrows. I also got two darker shades; 'Chestnut' and 'Beautiful Bronze' for contouring and absolutely love them! While cool-toned browns are usually preferred as a contour shade to create a more natural 'shadow' effect on the face, I personally found that I didn't like that look on my own face. I much prefer a more bronzy look which is exactly what these darker shades give me. I found them to be more of a warm-toned, dare I say it, orange-ish brown and am very pleased as they give me a healthy, summery glow which I think complements my tan skin tone. I have absolutely no qualms about this concealer and love everything about it - it has minimal creasing (when set with a powder), has a nice consistency, great coverage, a huge colour range and comes in ultra handy packaging with a squeezy tube and in-built brush tip for super quick and easy application. Not to mention that super affordable price point. Highly recommend.

Want to get your hands on these? Here you go!

Ben Nye Luxury Powder

Here's another hugely popular product - the Ben Nye Luxury Powder in the shade 'Banana'. I got the smaller 42 grams as opposed to the 85 gram jar since I didn't want to commit to the bigger size in case I didn't like it. And, well, let's just say that I could've gotten the bigger size. As the name suggests, this super luxurious powder is so finely milled and feels so great on the skin. It creates a beautiful, smooth finish on top of my LA Girl Pro HD Concealer while also setting it, allowing it to last all day (I use the 'baking' method). The yellow-ish colour is flattering on my skin tone and is a much more natural option for me as opposed to traditional white or 'translucent' setting powders which tend to make me look sick and ashy. Even though this is the smaller option, I believe it'll last me a long time as you don't typically need to use that much and it's still quite a significant amount of product. One negative I found with this powder is that at the end of application, you are left with a very noticeably 'powdery' or 'cakey' look, which, honestly, is to be expected. However, I didn't find that to be too much of a problem as a thorough, full-face spritz of my NYX Matte Finish Setting Spray got rid of that powdery look and helped all the products to beautifully meld together and look more natural. So, I highly recommend using some sort of setting or finishing spray in conjunction with this product. Oil-control is great especially on the forehead and under-eye area however my nose started shining pretty quickly which I'm fine with since I've learned to accept my oily/combination skin and actually have come to like the look of it (just as long as my face isn't a complete oil slick). All in all, I also recommend the Ben Nye Luxury Powder wholeheartedly - but if you don't like the cakey look, make sure to use a spray afterwards!

Want it? Get it.

All up, everything cost $65.85AUD which is amazing to me as I managed to get five concealers, lashes and setting powder for about $7 more than the Laura Mercier Loose Setting Powder which I was originally planning to get. I am so happy that I chose to get these particular products instead of the pricier, 'high-end' brands since I saved a significant amount of money but am still completely satisfied with what I got. To all you people out there - don't be lost in the haze of fancy expensive makeup like I was! Cheaper doesn't always mean cheaper quality! Try some things out, you might be surprised! Agh! Exclamation marks!!!

Anyways, that's about it from me and I hope you guys enjoyed this post. Stay cool and stay frugal. But splurging is cool too. Sometimes. Just be smart m'kay?

Thursday, 8 October 2015

Adjust Your Tracking

'Sup. It's Nicole.

Me again! Angel and I sincerely apologise for the absence but we are 4 days away from starting our HSC exams and things are getting heated. Excuses, excuses, I know - but it's true! I'm very sorry to have failed to post for my babies but I'm back with more art for you all. This is something I made a few months back but I wanted to share it with you guys. For this work, I decided to let go of the line art/illustration style for something different. I'm really intrigued by the whole 'cyber' art thing going on, namely the cosmic force that is Dom Sebastian, so I took inspiration from that movement and made this:

Such Furby. Much aesthetic.

This image consists of a whole load of manipulated, distorted layers and bright, electric colours which you can see layer by layer in my Instagram post. As you can see there's an '80s theme going on with the Furby and VHS tape effects and this is mostly due to my interest in the style and nostalgia of that decade (says a kid born in '97). Even though this piece is by no means the greatest thing ever made, I certainly had a great deal of fun while making it as I essentially made it up as I went along and it was great to experiment with this new style which I had never really tried before. I think that's a really important thing to remember as an artist* - to always remember to play, try new things and have fun. You don't want the craft you love to become a chore - though it is inevitable at times... And that's okay!

That's all for now but worry not, I'll have a fun little beauty haul up soon as I've recently ordered some makeup for my upcoming formal! Can't wait to post that one.

Missed you all and take care! xx Nicole

*just wanted to go off on a little tangent here: Don't be afraid to call yourself an artist! I'm saying this because I used to have the sad idea in my head that I couldn't call myself an artist because I'm "still a kid" and "not that good". But that's a load of bulgogi. If you create and show it to the world, you are an artist. Actually, scratch that, if you create, period, you are an artist - although I must say it sure is a waste if you don't show anyone!

Tuesday, 14 July 2015

Culottes in the cold

Hey everyone! It's Angel again with my 2nd outfit post which is quite different to my first. No sneakers or casual wear this time. I decided to play with silhouettes because I am quite short (5"2 lyf) so I wore my new pair of culottes from Glue Store which vertical stripes to make myself look a little bit taller despite the shin length pants. I've been putting off wearing this outfit since it has been extremely cold in Sydney and these pants aren't made for this shivering weathering! Until today, the sun decided to reappear and hang around for a while. This was taken a day before I return for my last term of high school so I took this chance to spend the entire day outside and temporarily ignore my studies! 

OUTFIT ITEMS (click on some they have links!!1! if u want)
- Duster Coat: Lee Jeans 
- Knit Crop Sweater: Sportsgirl 

Social Media:

Sunday, 28 June 2015

Holy Moly Tony Moly!

Hey everyone it's Nicole and Angel here with our latest Tony Moly purchases!

Nicole: Although Tony Moly products are kind of limited for me since I ain't no light-skinned Asian (those porcelain white BB creams tho) and not everything is suited to my taste (I can't do bright lip colours), I have still managed to find some pretty good items.

Angel: Every time I enter a Tony Moly store for the past three weeks I always leave with at least one new item. It's driving me insane with how affordable and great quality these items are, and how cute the packaging is too.

  • Face Mix Oil Paper Powder:
Nicole: When I first bought this product, I raved about it and recommended it to everyone. But, now that I've had it for a while, I wonder why. Maybe it was the cuteness of the packaging, how fun it was to use a puff (I've never owned anything that used a puff before!) or maybe it was just the excitement of finally buying new beauty products. Whatever it was, I have come to my senses and realised that this product isn't that great. I mean, it does mattify your face... but not for long. I just come back to my normal oily, shiny self by the end of the day - and that's even with a touch up! Also, the salesperson claimed it was a transparent colour and for the most part it is, but there's no denying it makes the colour of my face a little weird. Also, for an unemployed child like myself, paying $19 for this product hurt me a little bit. In conclusion, I don't think I'll be buying this product again. Who knows though, it might work for you!?

Angel: I bought this after Nicole and I've become really attached! It does mattify the face well and I think it works well if you are using a Tony Moly bb, cc cream or foundation as it holds the powder well for a good few hours until you touch up again. So I guess Tony Moly products work well together. I wear it to school and work when I have make up and it lasts for quite some time before having to powder up again which is great since I usually work 5 hours shifts. It isn't as translucent as we hoped so we try not to over powder our faces. Although it does make our faces feel really soft and smooth which, as well as getting rid of the oily shine.

  • Kiss Lover Lip Master in Nude Pink (5) and Orange (6):
Nicole: I swatched the nude pink shade on top of my nude brown lipliner instore and, holy moly, I instantly knew I had to buy it. Nude lip colours are my absolute favourite and what I wear on an every day basis so when I saw how good it looked, I didn't even have to think twice about buying it. I'd even go as far to say that it's a perfect MLBB shade (ooh blog jargon) - at least for me.When applied, the consistency is wet and stays that way for a while but eventually dries to a demi-matte.
After the good experience I had with this product, I ended up buying another one but in an orange shade. Look, I don't know what possessed me to do such a thing because I know that I can't pull off bright colours... But I did. And, well, instant regret. I think I was feeling adventurous and thought I should probably try something other than a shade of nude so I decided to go for orange. I've seen it on other people, it looked great on them and it was on sale so why not? Welp, I later realised why not. I have no qualms about the Kiss Lover Lip Master as an actual product, I love it, it's great, but this colour is just not for me. I can't get used to the way it looks on my face. It doesn't even look orange on my lips either - it's a sort of translucent-ish red colour and it looks like what happens to your lips after you eat an ice block. I am 120% it would work on other people but it's just not my taste. I might come to suddenly love it in the future but I'm not holding my breath.
Oh - and something to note, these products don't really look like lipstick, they have a stain-like effect.

  • Crystal Blusher in Coral and Hot Pink:
Nicole: I eyed out the coral shade instore because I thought it would complement my tan skin and, coincidentally, the saleslady came up and said just that. So I bought it. The thing is, either it's so lacking in pigment or my foundation is that orange that the colour is virtually invisible on my face. I find myself having to pick up a ridiculous amount of product and take my brush from blush to cheek repeatedly before I even get some semblance of payoff. However, I did notice that once I began becoming lighter because of winter and I started using my lighter-toned BB cream, the orange colour did show up on my cheeks - subtly - however, much more than it did with my summertime orange foundation (MAC Matchmaster Foundation, shades 5 and 7 mixed together).

Angel: Nicole recommended me to get the hot pink and I was unsure at first because I didn't want to look like I was blushing all the time. Though when I tried it, it wasn't as pigmented as I thought so when I applied it on it showed up as a very light hot pink so it wasn't as confronting as I imagined. The product comes out nicely and looks a lot more natural.

  • Lovely Eyebrow Pencil in Brown and Grey:
Angel: A natural brown shade for your eyebrows to create more dimension and it is amazingly long lasting! The product comes with a super soft spooly as well to brush your brow hairs into place without scraping your skin. Since I coloured my hair ash blonde and I didn't want to buy extra for an eyebrow mascara due to my black eyebrow hairs, I apply the eyebrow pencil and put eyebrow glue and it becomes slightly lighter so it really suits my hair. So keep in mind if you do want to use this product and you're going to add colourless eyebrow glue, it'll be a teeny bit lighter than when you originally applied!

Nicole: I picked up the grey eyebrow pencil simply because they ran out of brown (otherwise I would've gotten brown like I originally planned). Nonetheless, I absolutely love it! I would say this pencil seems to be a super cheap dupe for the Anastasia Brow Wiz since it's very similar in terms of the thinness and hardness of the pencil, it's mechanical and is double sided with a soft spooly. For people like me with natural black eyebrows, it's perfect at filling in eyebrows as it's a super understated grey colour and makes it look like you don't even have product in your brows. I used this pencil for a good few weeks but I couldn't deny my love for brown brows so I'm not really using this product at the moment. But I know I'll come back to the grey pencil soon!

  • Crystal Lovely Eyes:
Angel: This double purpose stick comes with a sparkling crayon liner for your lash line to make your eyes pop a little bit more, it's great as it is long lasting (I've worn it for a whole day and it has stayed on my lash line without irritation!). It also comes with a sparkly cream eyeshadow for your eyelids to add some brightness. The cream eyeshadow adds a natural sparkle to your eyes without excessive amounts of colour so this product is great for everyday wear. I use this product for my school make up to lessen my drowsiness and seem somewhat gleaming hahahah.

Friday, 26 June 2015

13 Year Old Indie Girls Rejoice!

Heey, it's meeee Nicoleeeee. Sorry for the hiatus (ugh, trials exams) but Synila is back in full-force! Promise!

The Last Dinosaurs have finally emerged from their hibernation on some farm in country New South Wales and they bear gifts. geddit

Artwork for the new single "Evie"

Or, a gift.

Ah yes, the lovable boys from Last Dinosaurs have finally released a single from their much awaited new album. (I don't know what the new album's name is. I think it's still TBA. I think.) Released on their YouTube channel, the new track "Evie" is everything we could expect from the band - tropical, poppy, fun, dancey, and all that good stuff. I played this song to death when I first heard it because it just stays so true to what we know the Last Dinosaurs to be - the song sounds like it could easily fit in with the rest of their songs on their last album "In A Million Years" (2012) without a hitch. Some may criticise them for sticking to a 'formula', and yeah, they're not exactly making shockwaves in the music world - but who says they have to? They make some good music, they're young, having fun and doing what they love so we love them all the same.

A recommendation from "In A Million Years":
Was in love with this song. Brings back good memories and the guitar at the beginning gets me every time without fail.

I'm also thinking about going to one of their gigs when they go on tour for the new album. Just a bit iffy about all those girls in flower crowns and Docs. Haha, just kidding. Sort of.

That's all for now. See ya!

(edit: The music video for Evie was released three days ago on their VEVO channel! Check it out! Not my cup of tea but it was aight.)

Saturday, 23 May 2015

Beginning To Be Unhealthy

Hai guise, itz neckh0le.

I've been on a Photoshop kick lately and I've just really been enjoying doing digital art, more than ever before. Sometimes I actually sit here trying to think of what else I should create because I'm just itching to design something. As a result of one of those times, I came up with this:

Taken from a shoot for Beenzino's song "Dali, Van, Picasso"

Of course, I chose a picture of Beenzino, who I have talked about before in a previous post. I was drawn to this particular photo because I thought the pink and blue light on his face would be really interesting once I apply my line art style to it. I left the rest of his body as normal and didn't illustrate over it because the combination between the illustration and photograph juxtaposed with each other but worked together to create a really cool effect. I segmented his chest/shoulder area to break up the photograph aspect and lend it some interest and surrealism. Inspired by the song "Dali, Van, Picasso", I used Dali's "The Elephants" (1948) as part of the background and replaced its original red colour with blue so it would fit with the rest of the image.

While working on this piece, my main concern was picking how I should finally present it. As I progressed, I found myself stopping numerous times along the way since so many variations could be made from this one image. Here are two examples:

Naturally, I just ended up asking Angel which one looks better and she helped me choose. The one on the left is what I uploaded to my Instagram while the one on the right is a concept I thought of where I would just leave his head as an uncoloured line drawing. It was a cool idea but I couldn't bring myself to just leave it like that!

Ta-ta for now - I've still got more to show you guys!

Sunday, 17 May 2015

Not To Be Confused With Electric Light Orchestra

Greetings, it is Nicole once again. And yes the title of this post draws from a true story.

Unknown Mortal Orchestra are back again with a new album under their belt and I am 100% ready to let the groove wash over me.

Album artwork for Unknown Mortal Orchestra's "Multi-Love" (2015)

As of right now, the Jagjaguwar YouTube channel has uploaded 2 new songs from Unknown Mortal Orchestra and both are sounding real good. My personal favourite, "Can't Keep Checking My Phone", a groovy, infectious ditty, is sure to get stuck in your head like it did mine. I also listen to it when I get ready to go to school in the morning and it definitely helps to brighten up the day (I mean, you just can't not sing and dance to this one). The second song, the titular "Multi-Love" is a dynamic song, starting with you hanging off Nielson's every word until the beat comes in and energises the atmosphere - only to reel it back in and leave you hanging once again. Also, the music video for this song, uploaded on UMO's VEVO channel, reminds me of a first-person shooter game on acid. It's pretty cool.

New to UMO? Have a listen to "So Good At Being In Trouble", from their album "II" (2013).

Toodles, I'm outtie.

- Nicole