There are a few brands that are not available in Singapore, but that I wish were.
These include names like Cargo, Physicians' Formula, Hourglass, NIA24, Cover Girl, Kevyn Aucoin, Becca, etc. Funnily enough, several of these brands like Hourglass, Becca, NIA24 and Cover Girl USED to be available in Singapore, but were dropped because not enough of the local crowd was interested in their products at that time.
So I pretty much have to rely on online stores such as iherb.com, luxola.com and allcosmeticswholesale.com (among others) to get my fix of these brands these days. (Then again, honestly, aside from the fact that we often can't access the full range online, things are actually cheaper online even with international shipping cost added in, than they are likely to be with all the insane retail markups in Singapore.)
Just for reference, we pay $30 for a MAC shadow. That's USD22 for something that's USD15 for those of you in America. I also often like to point out that Revlon Colorstay foundation costs about $40 in Singapore. (That's USD29 for a drugstore product. Yeeeap.)
Side-track aside, I did recently purchase some Cargo Beach Blushes, and I'm totally into Echo Beach at the moment, a tawny, coral-red striped blush. It looks way too intense for my light-medium skin, but really - Cargo blushes are always very buildable and easy to control. This goes on as a soft warm blush, and then builds to a more intense reddened-tan tone.
|Cargo Echo Beach swatch|
To be honest, I really don't recommend that you try to split the strips up and use the colors separately. Too much trouble to be worth it. It looks fine all swirled together.
|Cargo Echo Beach blush - separate swatches|
Of course, if you really want, you can try to split them, but with the exception of the red-coral shade, the colors are not SO different that it would be worth the hassle. My preference is just to swirl together, sweep on, and enjoy.
The good thing about these iridescent bronzer + blushes, is that they do give color and a sculpted effect all at one go. They catch the light at the peaks of your cheekbones, and will look more shaded and deep in the hollows, so you almost look like you applied separate products when you didn't.
On lighter skins, use a light hand. It can give that pretty sunburnt effect. On darker skins, I think it would be equally beautiful, and probably a better alternative to NARS Orgasm.
My only beef with these Beach blushes? They break quite easily. Be careful not to knock the tins around or once you find a corner chipping off, it will keep breaking even if you don't carry it around much after that. Mine got significantly chipped, and I've read a lot of reviews online complaining about how easily they shatter and crumble compared to other blushes. If you're the type that brings your blush with you in your makeup bag, this might not be for you. (I'm not certain if it's the same with Cargo's regular blushes; none of mine have chipped yet.)
I also own Sunset Beach and Tenerife Matte, which I love as well. Do you have any Cargo favorites to recommend?
Aside from Cargo's Beach Blushes, I've also been really quite into this modest looking little quad, the Oh So Sexy Eyeshadow Quad from Physician's Formula's Sexy Booster line. I'd picked this up on a whim when I was in California late last year, and I hadn't expected to like it so much. To be honest, it's a bit too metallic for all 4 shades to be pearlescent, and the 2 lighter shades sometimes look too close on the lids to be worn together. But even with all these criticisms, I've found myself reaching for it constantly. Over my Tom Fords, Chanels, NARS, and Diors.
The shadows have a powdery cocoa-vanilla frosting type of smell, and are supposed to be infused with pheromone mimicking ingredients (to turn him on) and horny goatweed (to turn you on).
Honestly, forget all that crap. And it is marketing crap. Even if horny goatweed really works (there is no definitive medical proof that it does) there can't be enough in the shadow to absorb into your skin through a teeny tiny layer of shadow, and cause any impact to your mood.
And pheromones? Oh gawd. The entire idea is ludicrous.
Pheromones in nature are meant for animals and insects to locate their ideal mates because they give clues about someone's general health and genetic makeup. So everyone's ideal mate might be quite different. If anyone can even detect or smell the fake pheromones in your shadow (which is unlikely since human ability to detect and respond properly to pheromones has greatly deteriorated in the last hundred thousand years or so), how would you be sure what KIND of person is attracted to this fake pheromone which a thousand other girls are wearing in the city? Is your date suddenly going to turn around and be equally attracted to the girl at the next table because she is wearing the same quad?
Long story short, buy the shadow because it's good. But forget the other B*****t and try to forgive the brand for insulting your intelligence. We should petition them to cut out all the "Exotic" ingredients and charge a lower price for these. Why are we paying for fancy ingredients that do nothing except drive up cost?
|Physicians Formula Oh So Sexy Eyeshadow Quad swatches|
And that powdery vanillin smell is quite addictive, strangely enough. Not like anything I'd ever want to eat or wear as perfume. But most shadows have no smell so it's an extra bit of fun! But this is just an extra.
All a good eye quad needs to do is look great on the lids. And this one definitely does.