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the make-up blogette

A place for me to share all my make-up ramblings...enjoy!
December 07, 2013

Red Blushes: Comparisons & How to Wear Them


This entry started with NARS Exhibit A - I recently received it as a gift from NARS for being one year in Singapore. And it is one of the NARS blushes that somehow got away.  I had gotten it for a few of my friends, played with it at the counters, but somehow never bought it myself.  So when the chance for me to make a wish for a NARS product, it was easy for me to wish for this.  

NARS Exhibit A is easily one of the brand's most infamous blushes (other than the more wearable Orgasm and Deep Throat) - simply because it is such a stunning shocking red.  How to rock such a bold red blush on your face, right? 
But it turns out I have a couple more reds in my stash already - which probably explains why I didn't get it along the way.  

My first red blush is Illamasqua Panic - which is since discontinued.  I bought it when the brand first launched, and it was described as a cherry red, the formula is smooth and never chalky.  It is so pigmented, you just need to gently tap the brush, and lightly dust on your cheeks for a pop of color. 

My next one is a MAC blush - Devil - a blush that I bought for the name, and quite blindly.  Someone had CP it for me while in the US.  It is an orangey red blush, and also very intense.  It is a PRO shade, which means you can only get it at the PRO stores (we have none in SG). 

I have included Dior NEW RED - because of the name... and it is also one of the bolder shades in the new Dior blush range. 

All four reds here are matte, perhaps with the exception of Dior which has some very very slight sheen that translates into a velvet finish on the skin.  I guess when it comes to bold cheek colors, matte is the way to go.  You won't want a shimmery finish to mess up the intense color. 

Heavy swatches - 
Here you can see the undertones of the NARS, MAC and Illamasqua. 
NARS and MAC look very very similar while illamasqua is cooler toned. 
They look almost like matte lipstick swatches!  

and blended out, here's when you can see how they might look like upon actual application - 
I don't have any LOTD pics unfortunately.   You can see that the MAC blush is redder than the NARS, even though in the pans, it's the other way round. 

<strong>Tips on Application:

</strong>1. Use a light fluffy brush.  For example, NARS yachiyo brush, Hakuhudo yachiyo brush, MAC 187  or 188 brush.  These brushes have a very soft touch, and perfect to deposit color where you need it.  Again, just tap the blush pan lightly, and a little goes a long way.  
2. Start with the most little... and add more color if you need it. 
3. Avoid over highlighting and contouring.  Just let the bold blush speaks for itself on your cheeks. 
4. Add a pop of bold lip color to match the cheeks, but just define the eyes with liner and lashes.  It's all about focusing on a couple of facial features at the same time. (cheeks & eyes/ eyes & lips/ cheeks & lips... you get the idea)

Hope this has been helpful!  Do you have a fave bold blush in your collection?

Happy Sunday!  Thanks for reading! 

November 16, 2013

Illamasqua Nailpolish in Charisma

Hi hi!!

I am sure many of you know by now that Illamasqua is now available in Singapore at the newly opened Robinsons Orchard...the nailpolish retails for S$19 each, pretty reasonable considering the colors and quality of these polishes.

Here I have Charisma to show you (in the background is a whole bunch of Illamasqua top selling products which I can't wait to feature, soon!!)

Meanwhile, enjoy this stunning red (with a mauvey tone).  I love love this color and application is a breeze, as always!


Happy Sunday!

Thanks for looking!

September 27, 2013

ILLAMASQUA, A New Generation of Make-up, Hits Singapore!‏

Like finally!!  You would have read on and on about my Illamasqua coverage on the blog, ever since its debut way back in UK several years back (my first haul from 2008, and subsequent collections... love everything I have from them!)  and finally, they are coming to Singapore!  I am sure you need no more introduction, but here's the official deeds -  Read on for more details! 

Illamasqua is a new generation of make-up. An independent British brand that empowers through self-expression. We deliver market leading, colour-intense, professional make-up for all. We champion individuality and creativity, fighting injustice and intolerance, energised by our impassioned fan bases who embrace the same principles of fairness, equality and acceptance of all. Constantly challenging convention, we stand for freedom of expression.


Illamasqua launched in 2008 as the brainchild of Founder Julian Kynaston and marketing agency Propaganda, Illamasqua has created a super-strain of professional make-up. With a top team, including Creative Director Alex Box and Agent Provocateur Founder Joseph Corre, the independent beauty brand constantly challenges the status quo with avant-garde imagery featuring models of all ages. With a cult following worldwide, Illamasqua is available in more than 100 outlets globally and is now available in Singapore.

Illamasqua Singapore FACEBOOK 

April 26, 2013

YSL Tie & Dye Pearly Coloured Top Coat: 02 Pop Coat

Inspired by the Couture Tie & Dye, YSL nail lacquer plays colour in gradation effect just like a sophisticated total look. The coloured base is covered by a "pop coat" for a sugary glossy result. Top Coat can also  be used alone for a “sheer” glittery result on the nails.</p> <p>I have here 02 POP COAT to show you.  There are four shades released in this range, available (or not, seeing as quantities are super limited, everything might have been sold out since this entry is up) - a blue, purple, lighter pink and this darker pink. </p> <p>The ultra fine shimmer in this top coat is beautiful.  It is very pearly, with just the slightest touch of golden.  I applied two coats over Illamasqua Pink Raindrops to give it a more interesting pink pearly pop. 

Swatches here: 

And one more over Illamasqua Cameo: 

If you like this beautiful chic glow to your manicured nails...you need to check out the rest of the shades. 

Hope this entry has been helpful.  Thanks for reading!  

January 19, 2013

Illamasqua Hemlock Nail Varnish

Hi hi!

This is Illamasqua's Hemlock - described on the site as "pale opal green iridescent" - and that's a very accurate description.  A word of warning though - it is a sheer formula.  In these pictures, I painted 2 coats over OPI Skull & Glossbones. </p> <p>
It has a pale base, rather off white, and the opal green is really interesting.  There is also a hint of a pink and grey sheen to this shade.  
Even though it is sheer, the consistency is rich and creamy.  I love it. 

A few more pictures:

and one more taken with my iphone5 cos I thought the green opal goodness isn't showing up enough - in real life, the green sheen is more obvious. 

Love illamasqua polishes! 

That's all, and thanks for looking!

November 27, 2012

Top Five Jewel Toned Nailpolishes

Hi hi

Just dropping in with a quick entry on my top picks for nailpolish this season - all rich deep jewel toned shades which are party appropriate, and very sophisticated. 

There's something for everyone - deep purples, red and metallics.   I have featured them all before on the blog, and have included links, do check them out! 

</p> <p>Chanel Malice  - one coater, and super on trend this season</p> <p>NARS Tokaido Express - a warm purple with shimmering shine

Illamasqua Baptiste - deep royal purple with multi-color shimmer, and very similar to NARS Purple Rain</p>

Rescue Beauty Lounge Under the Stars - deep blue with blue glitter bits

<p>YSL Bronze Aztec - deep metallic bronze with gold sheen

and just to share with you my new boots, which I can't wait to wear.  Collected them from Amy this morning. </p>

Ordered from Piperlime  (link here!)

Thanks for reading!

September 22, 2012

Illamasqua Powder Blushes in Naked Rose & Kate [Photos & Swatches]

Sometime back, I managed to got myself 2 illamasqua blushes - in separate orders... and I have gotten Katie with me for a long while.. but it was sitting in the box along with a whole bunch of other unopened blushes (which I hope to feature later today).  

Illamasqua blushes are one of the most pigmented, and smooth on the market, in my experience.  They are also very long lasting, and smells awesome, like a cupcake.  Though the colors can look too chalky and pale in the pale, but trust me, they show up a more flattering tone when applied on your skin.  The bright ones (like my first Illamasqua blush Panic - a true red blush) takes a super light hand and a fluffy brush to apply but you are guaranteed a beautiful shade of blush that will last the whole day on your cheeks.  My advice is if you are starting out with Illmasqua as a brand, start with their powder blushes, and I highly recommend shades like Lover, Tweak and Tramble.  I do own a sizeable stash of these blushes, do let me know if you want to see a collection overview. 

Illamasqua blushes are not usually Limited Edition.. so you can kind of wait and see, and also wait for when they have international shipping promotions and when they have sales (and they often do).

Naked Rose s a dusty muted rose shade.  It is from their latest color collection. 

Katie is a very milky cool toned pink. 

See how they look slightly chalky when swatched?

but once on the skin, they blend into such a smooth clean finish.

Hope this has been helpful, and thanks for looking!

July 21, 2012

Four Illamasqua Nail Polishes [Photos & Swatches]

It's been sometime since I made an Illamasqua makeup purchase... and I am not disappointed.  Firstly they have a sale going on, then they have a new collection out (Naked Strangers), and finally, we have a 10% off, and bought enough to qualify for free shipping.   I went straight for the nailpolishes (they are my absolute fave after their blushes). 

Regular prices for Illamasqua polishes are 13.50 pounds, and after the 10% I think each costs about $25.

If you are unfamiliar with illamasqua nail polishes - they are all awesomely pigmented, creamy, and the color range is just amazing.  I love that they have bold quirky colors, and also when they do the classics, the colors turn out incredible as well.  I have quite a bunch of these, and I love them all. 

I got both the nailpolishes from their Naked Strangers collection.

Faithful - which is a coppered metal with a metallic finish - it is a taupey shade that has a coppery sheen and shimmer.  It is quite unique, and very wearable. 

Monogamous - which is a creamy flesh pink, with a matte finish - but I really much prefer it glossy.  A super pale skintone nude, that had peachy undertones.  It is gorgeous.  The formula is very creamy and a one-coater. 

The only one I skipped is Swingers, a platimum gold - not really my cup of tea. 

Here they are: 


Monogamous - Matte

Monogamous with Seche Vite topcoat

Perfection, in terms of the quality.


Quite a unique finish.  Not quite frosty, and not quite shimmery either.  

A very warm tan with that coppery sheen. 

These are from their permanent range.  

Obsess - bright fuschia pink, glossy finish.  In real life, they are almost neon.  In these pics, the color blinded my camera lens.  It POPS like no other.  I call this Jo'mina's neon magenta sister.  (If you don't know which is Jo'mina.... look it up, it is gorgeous, and one of my fave neon pastel purple!).  The bonus?  It is another one-coater.

Snap - which I snapped up because it is in their 5 pounds sale section.  Hur hur.   It is a molten looking liquid silver metal shade. It dries a little matte too, and I applied Seche Topcoat over. 


Stunning in real life!


That's all, and I hope this has been helpful.  Thank you for reading!

</p> </p>
May 27, 2012

DIOR Summer Mix Vernis Gloss Cosmo 178 & Lagoon 198 [Photos, Swatches & Comparisons]

This summer Dior is releasing a collection of four new nail polishes which have sorbet like colours, ultra glossy - and slightly translucent.  I was curious to see how sheer the colours are, so when I received two of the vernis earlier last week, I quickly swatched them on my bare nails.  But I didn't have time to sit down and properly take pictures and do some comparisons until this weekend... so here we go.

I have previously blogged about the collection in this previous entry:


Dior has released some innovative nail polishes this Spring/Summer - their scented ones for the spring collection, and now these sheer polishes.

Here are the two colors:

198 Lagoon - a medium warm toned blue

178 Cosmo - a deep bright pink

All swatches are two coats of colour - I didn't apply any topcoat, to show you its natural glossiness.

My nails are still recovering from being buffed and roughened post extensions removal, so if you see any bumpiness - that's why...

Some quick comparisons

Dior Blue Denim vs Dior Lagoon

Not dupes in terms of color, obviously but you can see Lagoon is not all that sheer at all,

it's actually quite opaque in two coats.

and here we have Illamasqua Brigitte & Dior Cosmo

two jelly sheer pinky reds

The illamasqua shade is actually sheerer but in the pictures, both are looking almost exactly the same...


There is a bright orange in this collection - Calypso - that I might be keen to swatch and play with when the Summer Mix collection releases at counters from 1 June 2012.


Hope these swatches have been helpful, and thank you for reading.



March 02, 2012

Illamasqua.com Reborn...

Click HERE to check out the new site

(p/s the product swatches are 129083902890 times better now, major PLUS!)

The new collection sneak peek looks wicked, as usual.  That shade of bronzer (or liquid metal? or cream pigment? With Illamasqua, you never quite know!)  is gorgeous!

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My name is Sophia!


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Reviews: Foundations

Click to check out my foundation reviews

2011 Foundations & Powder Overview

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2009 Liquid Foundations Overview

Estee Lauder Double Wear

Shu Uemura Mousse Foundation

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Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua

Clarins Hydra Luminious Powder Foundation

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Cle de Peau BEAUTE Silky Cream & Concealer

Clé de Peau BEAUTÉ Brightening Base & Powder Foundation

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DiorSnow Base Routine

Giorgio Armani Maestro Foundation

Giorgio Armani Face Fabric

Illamasqua Skinbase

Kevyn Aucoin Sensual Skin Enhancer

MUFE Mat Velvet+

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Laura Mercier Overview

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NARS Sheer Glow

NARS Sheer Glow [Revisited]

Rachel K BB Cream

Shiseido Sheer & Perfect Foundation 

Shiseido Natural Finish Cream Concealer 

Shiseido Radiant Lifting Foundation

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SUQQU Frame Fix Lasting Pact Foundation

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Clinique Age Defense BB Cream

Dior Capture Totale UV Base 

Bobbi Brown BB Cream

Freshel BB Cream

Laneige Snow BB Cushion

Ettusais Mineral BB Cream

Ettusais Quick Fix Powder

ZA True White Liquid Foundation



About Me

My name is Sophia, and I am in my early 30s. I am from Singapore and I am the sole writer of this blog.

About this Blog

I started this blog in 2006, I like to use a wide range of brands though I seem to have a growing preference for higher-end brands in recent years. I also like to share interesting things I have come across about makeup and beauty.

Currently The Makeup Blogette receives 39,000 unique views monthly or 2,238,932 views and counting.

My Makeup Style

I like classic looks (neutral tones on eyes, anything goes for lips & cheeks), though occasionally I try out dramatic/ statement looks.  I believe that a flawless base is the key to achieving great makeup looks.  I also believe that if you don't have great skin to start with, fake it with a good foundation routine, and even greater skincare.  I am currently loving Clarins & Lancome skincare products, and Vichy NormaDerm for tackling with breakouts.

What Cameras do I use?

Most of the pictures you see in post 2010 entries are taken with my Canon G-11.  Previously I was using Canon Ixus 80.  I do post some pictures which are taken with my iphone4 which I will state in that particular entry.  I have stopped watermarking my pictures as of 2011, because I think watermarks are ugly in general, and does not prevent people from stealing my pictures if they wish to.  I just take it as a compliment that my pictures are even worth stealing in the first place. I might look into getting a Canon EOS next year, not just for blogging purposes, but I also like photography in general.

My Favourite Makeup Brand(s)

It is hard to name just one, but I like NARS, Chanel, Illamasqua and the ocasional Guerlain, Dior & Urban Decay item.  I own quite a stash of MAC items, but recently I have stopped catching up with their collections, and I much prefer to splurge on a few really outstanding items.

Where to find me

Twitter (link button above!)  Email (stated above!)  Instagram (makeup_blogette)

I have no official Facebook fan page, and currently have no intention to start one at all.  The Makeup Blogette remains my personal hobby and property, so as such, I don't believe in having a Facebook fanpage for it.

Final Disclaimer

I bought/ paid for all of the products mentioned in this blog. I am not affliated to any company. If certain products are sent to me for review purposes, I will say so and express my honest opinions about them. In any case, I will only review and showcase the products which I have personally tried and tested, and enjoy using. I do not get paid to review anything.

No ads, no paid links etc please.  I am in charge of all content and pictures here.

I am not a makeup artist, nor do I have any professional training in makeup.




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