Some of you may remember that I have a thing for red lipstick. Or bold lipstick at any rate. It’s sort of my trademark. But I went through a phase not very long ago, when I’d only wear safe lip colours. Near-nude, neutral, rose tinted lip colours that were polished… but safe. It kind of coincided with a phase of my life where I just wanted to be, well, neutral and safe.

But a week ago, I decided I’d revert to my roots. I cut my lipstick wearing teeth on red lipstick and I’ll be back! (I also have a drawer full of red lipsticks that need some loving!) So I’ve been back wearing red lipstick for a week now, and I love it!

You might hear people say that it takes confidence to wear a red or bright lip and it’s true in a sense. It stands out, it makes you stand out and sometimes, because it does, you stand up a little taller and perhaps, feel a little better about yourself.

fave red lipstick

And while I’m at it, here are 4 of my favourite reds that I’ve been wearing most often in recent times. I’m going to tell you that yes, they are from high end brands. But I have a reason for picking these. For the most part, I find a good red lipstick needs a high quality texture, strong pigment and good hydration. Red lipsticks can be drying, and something that won’t travel and yet won’t leave your lips looking like a prune is important. For me, I find that these are more easily found in a higher end product than in the pharmacy/drugstore.

Also, with the accompanying glamorous packaging, it makes me feel a helluva good slicking these on – instant mood booster! 😀

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Some time last year (2014) I showed you a new lipstick from Estee Lauder called Pure Color Envy Shine and I said how much I liked it. Estee Lauder lipsticks and I go way back… back to the days of Tea Rose – because it was in every GWP I ever received! haha! If you too remember using that, please holler!

But even as I was raving about Pure Color Envy Shine, our friends in the other half of the world looked at me in a little puzzlement. They didn’t get any shine lipstick, what they got was Pure Color Envy. I read that it was a beautifully creamy formula with lovely bright colours. Naturally I wanted what I couldn’t have. Don’t we all?

estee lauder pure color envy lipstick - envious, dominant, rebellious rose

However, early this year, Estee Lauder finally brought in the Pure Colour Envy Sculpting lipsticks and I finally understood why these come highly raved. They are fabulous lipsticks, if you like creamy, pigmented, opaque lipsticks that come in lovely packaging. I have 3 shades and I wouldn’t say that any of them have any shine or gloss to them, but they aren’t matte either.

They are… adult lipsticks. I know, that sounds weird, but this isn’t a lipstick you’d buy if you were younger, I feel because you’d still be put off by the more mature vibe that Estee Lauder and the texture of these lipsticks give off. I know, I’ve been there. When I was younger, I’d go “Estee Lauder? That’s for aunties!” Now that I’m an aunty, I buy Estee Lauder – don’t judge me LOL 😀

But before I finished up the tube of Rebellious Rose that you see in the foreground of the picture above, I thought I’d better tell you why I like these :)

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Here’s a funny thing. Bio-Essence is a brand from Singapore available locally in most pharmacies and has been available for years and years. I’d actually watched the brand launch from Day 1 (almost) and truth be told, knowing their origins, I was never very sold on their products or claims so I’ve never tried their products.

Yet, when I saw that this very same product was being sold at almost TRIPLE its price online in the UK, and been given cult status by “gurus” no less, I had to see what the fuss was about! Tsk. The power of suggestion eh?

bio essence hydra tri-action aqua droplet sleeping beauty mask

This, which to give it its full title, is the very wordy Bio-essence Hydra Tri-Action Aqua Droplet Sleeping Beauty Mask *takes deep breath* and the cult status product in question. This is sold at £29 online here which at today’s exchange rate is about RM172. It retails at local pharmacies at RM70 (£11) or so and it could even be much less when it goes on sale, which is often. I purchased this at about RM55 (£9) or thereabouts!

I basically stood in the aisle at Watson’s pharmacy giggling dementedly to myself when I saw the price. I think the sales person left me alone because I looked off my rocker LOL! 😀 This must be what people must feel like when they go to Europe/France and see how cheap French pharmacy skincare is, and how much more expensive they are in other parts of the world or online.

But the big question isn’t about the price, it’s about whether I feel this deserves its raves as a cult product.

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Is this going to be yet another rant or post about losing my blogging mojo? Goodness knows, I go through these phases a lot.

But no, to be honest it isn’t. What it is about really, is that feeling of ennui and disenchantment with blogging and what it’s brought about for many of us who have been doing it for a while, or even not for a while, but who are a little more particular in our coverage.

beauty blog ennui

It’s no surprise to me that in a short few months, I’ve come across a number of blog posts from different bloggers in different parts of the world touching on the same or similar subject matter as to how I felt. I’m actually seeing a lot of what I label “beauty fatigue” out there in many blogs in recent times, and I just as readily confess to experiencing that sort of ennui. A small sampling of the posts I’ve read are on British Beauty Blogger, London Beauty Queen, Beauty Reflections and Sway Beauty and even as far as back as 2014 on Rocaille Writes; and while different in subject matter, the underlying theme seems to be a sense of disenchantment with the business, and a fighting desire to not be just another face in the crowd.

Beauty blogging is a huge business. I use the word “business” loosely because for some, it’s their livelihood, and for others, it’s a means to share. Run a search for “beauty blog” on Google and as of today, Google throws up 578 MILLION hits. So, you want to make your mark? You have to stand out, in a crowd of at least 500 MILLION people. That’s about 16 times the population of Malaysia. Puts things in perspective eh? :)

But what that also means is that it’s hard to stand out and be different, and above all, honest. You see, many bloggers, myself included, have to depend to a degree, on the brands to feed us information on what’s new and what’s the latest, in order for us to trickle that news out to you, the reader. The problem, as I see it, arises when news or launches go out in a huge social media blitz, but without critique. In a manner of speaking, a lot of the essence of beauty blogging is lost because of this lack of critique and that is, for me, my biggest disenchantment of all.

I’m really curious about how you feel, whether as a blogger or reader, and whether it’s a phase we’re all going through or if there’s something much bigger going on.

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