Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Malaysia haul Part I

Greetings all from Malaysia! Sorry for the lack of updates - I've been shopping, eating and resting well for 2 days and almost don't want to do anything but that. However, I thought of all of you and decided to share the spoils. Let's check the damage done thus far... after the jump!

Friday, 16 December 2011

Presenting... The Solitary Book Club - You don't have to be a "Literature Geek" to read these books

What in tarnation is a Solitary Book Club?!
I'm sure you've heard of Book Clubs where people sit down and discuss the books they've read, like the famous Oprah's Book Club. Clubs are a social activity, so there's no way there could be a club of one, right? Well, I bet you've never heard of a Solitary Book Club where the only member goes on and on about the books she (yours truly) has read. Those are called reviews, right?

Wrong. I'm not just reviewing books that I'm currently reading/have recently read/are my perpetual favourites. The social aspect of my club lies in the way I'm opening up the (comments) floor to discussion from all my readers, whether you're avid literature geeks or sporadic book flippers. By doing this, I intend to transform your perception of books that people dismiss as "high-class literature" (as they say in our uniquely Singaporean brand of Singlish) into a worldview that embraces literature as an accessible way of learning about other cultures and worldviews. Literature is not just confined to books on the Times bestseller lists, and I take up the job of introducing you to books you may otherwise not have read. Some of these are on bestseller lists, some are relatively obscure, but I'm sure that after reading what I (and the commenters) have to say, you'll know whether they're worth the read or not.

A few ground rules. I welcome all comments except

1) Inflammatory comments that are personal insults
2) Comments that are not Spam, but are non-related to the book
3) Spam

I will not publish your comments if they are any of the above. Commenting on how you find the book is completely okay, even if it's just to say "I think this book sounds cool! I'll check it out." Comments that request for more information on the book or that attempt to clarify certain details of my review/the book are welcome. Just no flamers, no spammers and no trollers.

That said, welcome to my Solitary Book Club where I sit behind a screen of anonymity and share my latest and greatest reading exploits with all of you and provide recommendations for everyone. Don't be afraid of reading, don't be afraid of participating in this Book Club! Sitting behind a screen of anonymity has its benefits - there's a lower possibility of being embarrassed at a slip-up - but just a reminder to Keep It Nice, everyone.

Disclaimer: My Solitary Book Club posts are for people interested in literary fiction (e.g. by Jeffrey Eugenides, Haruki Murakami etc.), science fiction (I am a huge Ray Bradbury and Philip K. Dick fan), dystopian fiction (1984, Animal Farm, and the classics (blame the fact that I'm a literature major). Even if you're more used to reading chick lit and other genres of fiction, I suggest you read some of my reviews and give these genres a shot! You may be pleasantly surprised.

Stay tuned for my soon-to-be-published reading experience of the wonderfully quirky and fun... part science fiction, part dystopian fiction... Shades of Grey by Jasper Fforde!

Front cover
Picture credits: Lightbox

Front and Back
Picture Credits: Lightbox

P.S. "But... what does Literature have to do with Beauty?" Oh it has everything to do with beauty, my friend. A well-crafted piece of prose or poetry is a work of art, and beauty is found in art, no? Plus I wanted to show the intellectual side of Cherchez Beauté. I am a literature major who has loved reading since I was little. I sing, I play the piano (well, if I may say so), I write poetry... My life is about so much more than nail polish and make up - why dumb down the content just to fit into certain typecasts? I want to be different, and here goes!

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Nail Polish: A teaser...

Just a teaser on what's coming up soon on Cherchez Beauté...

Red shimmer and
multichromatic glitter

Look at the colour gradient!

This is no ordinary gold glitter...

The gold glitter reflects blue!

For the first 2 pictures I layered two glitters over a black base. The glitters are from an Asian brand. For the next 2 pictures, I layered one sheer shimmery polish over another creme polish. Both are European brands. For the last two pictures, I layered a sheer shimmery polish over a creme polish. One is from Asia and one is from the UK.

Anyone want to guess what polishes these are? :)

Because there's beauty in humour too

Disclaimer: This is a funny post to perk up your day, ladies and gentlemen. No offense intended to anyone, so if you're offended by a funny parody video... Lighten up, live a little! :)

Ladies, have the guys in your life complained about how you always talk, talk, talk, talk and end up repeating the same things?

Men, do you find yourself tuning out after the first few words of a few very familiar sounding diatribes that your girlfriends/wives/female friends tend to spout?

Shit Girls Say (pardon the language) is a new twitter account (just set up on 12 December and already has 90 000+ followers!) that rehashes the familiar questions, comments, criticisms that females often say with a dash of humour and a sprinkling of parody.

There's even a related video that is the funniest thing I've watched in a while:

I hope you laughed very heartily because I sure did! As a female, I must admit I'm guilty of saying many of those things, and many of them don't even make sense. Heh I never realised how ridiculously funny I must sound at times. Though of course I don't think I've said 50% of the stuff the "girl" in the video said... Right guys? Uh, guys?

Right. So all the guys ran off before I could give them a piece of my mind. Anyway, I got wind of this (and the video below) from Thought Catalog (affectionately known as TC), which is a pretty awesome site with lots of articles on all sorts of topics. I usually read the Life and Love tagged posts from TC when I'm looking for short articles to fill the empty tracts of time in between going out, sleeping and waking during the holidays. TC was also my go-to for some quick entertainment when I was in the midst of my exams earlier in November. Go check it out for your daily dose of entertainment - TC updates very regularly and there's already a repository of articles which you can start exploring. You can follow TC on twitter for new article updates as and when they come along.

Enjoy your day, friends. Victor Borge was right on the money when he said "Laughter is the shortest distance between two people". Though you may be reading this from across the globe, I hope that the video made your day just a little funnier and better and brought you just a little closer to me :)

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Naruko Marjoram and Lavender Brightening Eye Cream and Classic Whitening Night Eye Gelly Review and Pictures

Hi lovelies, firstly, thanks for all the encouragement and praise - I'm really just soaking in all the positive energy and channeling it back to you wonderful readers in the form of more posts. I would really be posting less if not for your constant reminders that you enjoy reading what I write about!

Some news: the nail hauls/swatches/art can wait because I'm quite busy at the moment so bear with me while I free up my time a little before showing off/presenting to you some vignettes of my ongoing nail polish/art obsession.

On to the main point of my post! I've been getting comments, questions and emails about Danielle Laroche Purifying Gel which I recommended a while ago. Just an update in my quest for the perfect facial wash - I've just found a really great and affordable facial care line and am really excited to share it with all of you! I split this post into 3 parts because I realised how long it would be once I started writing about the eye cream. I have lots of useful comments and tips, so read on after the jump!

Saturday, 10 December 2011

A few confessions about blogging

Hi all you regular readers and random passers-by! This post is more of a wordy, reflective post on the past 10 months of my blogging experience. You don't have to read it as it's partly for me to reflect through the process of writing. I have some good news that I will be announcing soon though! So if you want an early heads up, go ahead and read it :)

1) Since the inception of this blog, I realise I haven't been very consistent with my updates. This is partly because I had a lot of other activities going on - school, my piano exam (diploma; I think I did well, fingers crossed) - and also because I lacked a consistent motivation to keep posting.

Before the idea of this blog was even realised, many people, including my parents and friends, questioned whether it would work. They thought it lacked a focus, say on nail polish, or make up, and that as a result, it would not garner a dedicated readership. Still, I stubbornly insisted on doing things my way. I told them that even if no one read this blog, I'd still write posts. I'd still chronicle my experiences and put them into words, creating new memories as I continued my exploration into what the concept of "beauty" entailed. That's my manifesto and blog title after all - cherchez beauté, a French phrase I coined, means "looking for beauty" in English.

However, many a time I have doubted myself. I have questioned myself about the reason for the existence of this blog. Originally I thought it would be a kind of hobby to chronicle my forays into blogging about beautiful things that could even earn me, a college student mired in poverty (I kid, I kid), some pocket money on the side. Later on it was more focused on reviewing products. And yet later on I grew lax in posting and it became a convenient place to post giveaways. To be honest, this would have stayed the same had something incredible not happened to me, courtesy of a number of kind people. These people really inspired me to do more with my blog, and I began to realise the potential I had at my fingertips! Great things are about to happen to me and this blog and I am really excited! It's a surprise at the moment, but I'll keep you posted as soon as possible.

2) To you faithful readers who've been reading my posts (Hitoshi I know you subscribed so I'll give you a shoutout here. Thanks for believing in me!), I promise that over the next year I will be updating a lot more. Even while I'm on student exchange from next September to February. Yes, I'm heading to Switzerland for 6 months and I have lots of exciting plans in the pipeline... I'll give you a big hint: It has something to do with nail polish and other beauty products, travelling and food. Don't groan - I'm a total nail polish addict; I'll admit it! When I'm overseas I'll still be blogging here, but stay tuned for something different.

3) I may be planning a giveaway some time next year. Hurray for giveaways! I've participated in a few so far (check out Giveaways) and it's really been fun even if I didn't win. I'm still crossing my fingers for those that have not ended, but honestly, the real fun is in participating, finding new and cool beauty blogs and just appreciating the generosity of these awesome people.

I guess that's all I have to get off my chest. I'll keep everyone updated soon, so just check back soon!

P.S. In the near future I hear whisperings of...
- A haul post of The Face Shop nail polishes
- Posts on certain nail polishes including Cult Nails Clairvoyant, Glitter Gal Lizard Belly and a few others I've been wanting for ages which I just managed to get my grubby paws on!
- Christmas nail art - this would be the first time I've tried nail art. I have some fantastic ideas which I hope can be translated onto my nails!

Alright I'm signing off for now. Thanks for reading this post if you did.

... You really read this post. All of it?! You deserve a prize, my friend.

Thursday, 8 December 2011

Featured: SG Nails - Don't Panic, Don't Blink, just buy now!

I am breaking my "hiatus" of writing proper posts to do this because I just couldn't stop myself.


Oh gosh oh gosh as I speak bottles are flying off the... (metaphorical) shelves!

There's a new kid on the block and boy is he ever so tempting.

SG Nails is so many kinds of awesome I cannot even start without gushing on about it. Helmed by a husband and wife team, SG Nails has brought in a collection of custom-blended nail polish made by the talented Amanda of NerdLacquer fame at 25 SGD a bottle (excluding 3 SGD for registered mail) that reminds one of Lynnderella's glitters.

Everyone knows just how hard it is to get ahold of NerdLacquers because they keep selling out. Harlow & Co. has a wide range of NerdLacquers too, but they sell out very fast! That is where SG Nails steps in to help us local polish addicts.

SG Nails' nail polish offerings from NerdLacquer include polishes named "Don't Panic", "Hyperspace Bypass", "Entirely Unlike Tea" and "Regeneration". If those references just went over your head, I'll explain for your benefit: The first three make not-so-subtle references to Douglas Adams' cool, wacky, crazy book The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and the last makes a very obvious reference to Dr Who and the regenerations of the different doctors. When I first saw the lovely colours sitting in their geekily labelled bottles, I almost cried for joy. Here at last, someone who understands the needs of geeky nail polish lovers and brings such an awesome range of polish!

If you were wondering, I just bought a bottle of "Hyperspace Bypass", described as

a massively glittering big yellow something that hovers on your fingertips in exactly the way that bricks don’t. Packed with pale gold glitter, medium and large golden hex glitter, and small and medium black glitter, plus a sprinkling of holographic hex sparkles, it’ll disintegrate every other polish in your collection.
The description brings a tear of geeky joy to my eye. I am so upset I can't snag "Don't Panic" and "Exterminate" as well, in addition to currently out of stock nail polishes "Don't Blink" and "All of Time and Space", partly due to my current lack of funds and also due to the fact that there are so many nail polish lovers out there grabbing those lovely bottles.

Here is "Hyperspace Bypass". Feast your eyes upon it (it looks like a yellow kiwi to me hm)!

 Credits to SG Nails

Credit: SG Nails

Just look at that. Convinced now? Visit SG Nails without further ado and be transported to a world where nail polish and geekdom coincide. But like I said, do it quick, because many of the most gorgeous colours are already sold (within the same hour of the store's opening) to people who either appreciate 1) awesome local small businesses 2) awesome geekiness 3) awesome nail polish colours or all of the above. I snagged the third last bottle of "Hyperspace Bypass" so that's one less beauty for you to grab. Oh and there's a discount ongoing - just use the discount code of "WELOVESGNAILS" when you checkout to get 10% off.

Final thoughts: I just adore the selection at SG Nails, and I can't wait to get "Hyperspace Bypass" on my nails. I guess no matter how much nail polish and girly make up implements I have, I'm still a huge geek at heart. Remember: Don't Panic, just grab the bottles you want that are available, and Don't Blink - you may not live to regret not getting these beauties.

P.S. Like SG Nails on Facebook as well to show your appreciation :)

EDIT: SG Nails is selling NerdLacquer at 18 SGD per bottle now. Yay for more affordable polish! Amanda is currently missing in action and no longer produces NerdLacquer, so grab all the available bottles you can before you don't have the chance to!

Disclaimer: This was not a paid advertorial. The views expressed in this post are 100% my own.