Beauty Swatch Helping you find your way through the lipstick jungle Sun, 13 Apr 2014 20:00:42 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Chanel Le Blush Creme de Chanel Revelation #63 – Review, Photos, Swatches Sun, 13 Apr 2014 20:00:42 +0000 Yishan CHANEL Cream Blush - Revelation 63 1

The first time I heard about Chanel Le Blush Creme was on Lisa Eldridge’s Youtube channel, where I was intrigued by her description of the texture as “a hybrid between a cream and mousse”.   The idea of a hybrid texture appealed to me, and I imagined it to be easy to control in application, having seen it effortless blend into a soft flush by Lisa herself. I was given the opportunity to try Revelation 63, a soft peachy apricot that’s perfect for my fair neutral skin tone.

CHANEL Cream Blush - Revelation 63 3

What they say

This innovative powder-cream formula offers an enticing new way to blush with sheer yet vibrant pigments for instant luminosity. The silky texture offers a long-wear satin finish—soft and comfortable for every skin type—and is simple to apply with fingertips or brush.

CHANEL Cream Blush - Revelation 63 2

It’s easy to apply with fingers, but since I’m so used to brushes I find I have better control with it.    It’s cream to touch but quickly sets into a powder finish. Once blended out, it transforms into a beautiful diffused finish as shown below.

CHANEL Cream Blush - Revelation 63 4

Revelation is the perfect shade to pair with a bright coral lip.  Overall, Le Blush Creme de Chanel was fun to play with but with my flat facial features, I have a fair bit of “cheek” to cover so powder blushes are still easier to control myself from applying blush on half my cheeks.

Link Love: Do check out Front Row Beauty’s swatch of this shade on her cheeks.

RRP: $60 AUD

This product was provided for consideration.

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I’ve found the ULTIMATE Holy Grail waterproof eyeliners with Solone & Dasoda Sun, 06 Apr 2014 20:00:19 +0000 Yishan SOLONE Pencil 1

As I mentioned in my previous post, I have retreated away from lipstick back to my obsession with finding good waterproof eyeliners, and after hearing rave reviews about Solone from bloggers and vloggers I decided I’d give it a go to see what the hype is all about.

In my first round of purchases, I bought Solone 30 Second Dry Gel Like Smoody Pencil for Eyeshadow and Eyeliner (Brown and Champagne) and Solone Automatic Auto Waterproof Eyeliner Shining Eyepencil 2mm (Black).   I love the whimsical paper packaging, which is refreshing change from that of other eyeliners at similar price points.

SOLONE Pencil 2

The texture of all three formulas was very smooth and creamy without tugging on the skin, and there was no need warm up the product at all for best results.  Pigmentation is intense at immediate application.

SOLONE Pencil 3

As testament to how waterproof all three are, I ran the tap on my arm  tried to rub off the swatches with my thumb and it didn’t budge at all.  Not even with cream cleanser.  The only thing that would get rid of it was eye makeup remover, which thankfully removed it quite easily.  It also stayed on my waterline very well.  I find that the product doesn’t transfer on my mobile lid as long as I use a good budge-proof concealer and set the eye area with powder.

SOLONE Pencil 4

The only downside is that the retractable liner lasted me only 3-4 weeks with daily use, as there’s not much product in it at all.  So I decided to purchase the Solone Magic Waterproof Eyeliner Smudger Shining Pencil in Black.  The packaging wasn’t as exciting but it did come with a sharpener.

SOLONE Black Pencil 1b

The pigmentation is slightly more intense than the retractable version possibly because it’s a larger surface area than the 2mm tip of the rectractable one.   I find that it is less prone to transfer as long as you blend the excess with a cotton bud seeing as it’s so creamy and easy to over apply.

SOLONE Black Pencil 2

This was just as waterproof as the other three eyeliners, and here’s proof of me splashing it with water and trying to give it a good rub but the intensity is just as good as the “before” shot.  This was the same result for the other three eyeliners.

SOLONE Black Pencil 2b

Next on my holy grail list is the Dasoda Mega Liquid Liner which I decided to try after seeing it on the top recommended list on  The packaging leaves much to be desired, but the pink metallic lid makes it easy to spot amongst my myriad of eyeliners. DASODA 1

The pigmentation is not as intense black as Dolly Wink or K-Palette, but it’s black enough to intensify my eyes (which need a lot of definition).  Having tested it in the peak of summer in Australia, I can say hand on heart that this is transfer-proof, smudge-proof and waterproof.    The Dasoda Mega Volume Mascara is also smudge and transfer proof, however it does clump easily on my thin sparse lashes and I end up having to remove half of it with a cotton bud for clean separated lashes.  Nevertheless it’s still my go to mascara for work since I can’t take any chances with panda eyes when I’m at meetings for most of the day.


Have you tried Solone or Dasoda products?

What’s your holy grail eyeliner?


I purchased the Solone products from ebay here and Dasoda from ebay here.

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Currently Using: Skincare (March 2014) Sun, 30 Mar 2014 20:00:37 +0000 Yishan Currently Using - Serums Mar 2014

It’s with mixed emotions that I wrap up my final skincare post for 2014 as I prepare to say goodbye to Beauty Swatch and the beauty blogosphere.  I have been very fortunate to be at the forefront of trialling new skincare products before they release, and thanks to beauty blogging I have found the perfect customised skincare routine that I know works for me, regardless of whatever hype I see.  For my skin type that’s prone to dehydration and dullness, it’s a cocktail of AHAs, nourishing serums and masks, rich moisturisers and cream cleansers. I now know that eye serums suit me better for day time, and I have also come to terms with graduating from starter serums to needing a bit of oomph to look alive and well rested.

I hope you have enjoyed my skincare posts over the past 5 years! If you ever feel like browsing through my old skincare posts, I’ve saved them under the “Popular Posts” section (the link is also located on the top right hand corner).

La Mer The Lifting Contour Serum* & Lifting and Firming Mask* ($410 / $300 AUD)

La Mer has been one of those products that have taken years off my mum’s visible age before, so when I got the chance to try The Lifting Contour Serum and Lifting and Firming Mask I shipped them to mum to trial on my behalf.  The Lifting Contour Serum was a winner, with the cell renewing properties visibly softening her wrinkles and sculpted her skin into a smoother, softer and well rested finish.  The other most striking result mum experienced was how moisturising it was and kept her dry skin soft throughout the day.   This is thanks to the Listing Ferment™ ingredient, made from a combination of Perennial brown algae, copper-rich blue algae and marine peptides, to increase the skin’s natural collagen production for a more refined silhouette.

As for the Lifting and Firming Mask, the keyword mum repeated when she described this mask was how nourishing it was, improving her skin density and elasticity and rejuvenated.  Mum was also surprised by how well this “leave on” mask absorbed into the skin, and how easily it was to apply her skincare on top of it.  As for me, with the dollop that I saved for myself, my skin was more refined, also nourished with a “post facial” glow.  The key ingredient in this mask is a blend of brown algae, marine peptides and active marine plant stem cells, to enhance the skin’s support structure and increase density and elasticity.  A great gift idea for mum’s birthday, mother’s day or any special occasion.

Clarins Extra-Firming Eye Lift Perfecting Serum* ($72 AUD)

This morning eye serum does an fabulous job of de-puffing and firming the under eye area, thanks to Albizia extract, Caffeine, Escin and organic oat sugars, which together provide a lifting effect, encourage micro-circulation, elimination of glycated protein build up and release of fats under the eyes.  The serum also contains corrective pigments to illuminate the eye area, and on my very dark circles the results were subtle, requiring slightly less concealer than before.  I find it hydrating enough to use it on its own during the day in mild weather, but for more mature skin or winter weather I’d recommend topping off with an eye cream.  Works a treat for refreshing tired eyes.

Clarins Extra Comfort Anti-Pollution Cleansing Cream* ($48 AUD/200ml)

Imagine a buttery cleanser that applies like a massage cream with water, that’s what I felt Clarin’s newest cleansing cream, which is designed to protect and calm the skin from pollutants.  It not only gently cleanses, but also contains Moringa Seed Extract to cleanse the pollution particles, Camomile extract to soothe, Bioecolia to restore the skin’s biological balance and Jojoba oil / mango and shea butter to prevent dehydration.  My favourite thing about this cleanser is that it doesn’t lose its creaminess even with water, smells of delicious mango and leaves absolutely no residue whatsoever. Best of all, skin has never looked better after cleansing than before, it looks smooth, bright and kinda peachy.

Paula’s Choice RESIST Daily Smoothing Treatment w/ 5% AHA ($39 AUD/50ml)

Say hello to my new favourite AHA daily treatment.  It contains 5% glycolic acid plus pore-penetrating salicylic acid0 of 5%, which together renews skin texture, evens skin tone, smooths fine lines, and stimulates healthy collagen production via daily exfoliation.  Even though I already use AHA’s on a regular basis, the results are still immediate, with a noticeably more radiant, firmer and smoother complexion in just the first few days.  I recommend avoiding layering other serums on top of this, as it will cause other skin products (Eg. foundation) to ball up.

RESIST Intensive Wrinkle-Repair Retinol Serum ($43 AUD/30ml)

This is my first foray into Retinol & boy am I hooked.  Best applied at night time, it has a silky oil-like gel consistency that’s best massaged into your palm & finger tips and pressed into skin.  The morning after, my skin was noticeably less tired, tighter, firmer and dare I say it – younger.  In my long list of beauty products that are mandatory before I walk out the door (eg. concealer, sunscreen, brows), Retinol is definitely one ingredient I won’t go to bed without. For the amazing results it delivered, it’s very affordable & even better still -  Paula’s Choice is stocked in Australia via their website.

AHC Vital Complex C-15*

Having experienced amazing results with the AHC Hydra B5 Soother 6 months ago,  this time I decided to try the Vital Complex C-15.  Unlike the Hydra B5 Soother which was really viscous and clear in appearance, the Vital Complex C-15 was runny and dark amber, making it easier to pat into the skin without needing to massage.  The results on my face was not really noticeable as I have been using my fair share of skincare, but when I tested it on my arms I noticed it was immediately smoother, more supple and looked renewed.  Therefore I recommend this as a starter serum for anyone that is still relatively new to introducing serums into their skincare routine.

Elemis White Flowers Eye & Lip Makeup Remover* ($49 AUD / 150ml)

This makeup remover will appeal to those that love to unwind their day with a touch of luxury, with soothing white peony extract and cooling white tea to refresh and hydrate whilst removing even the most stubborn of makeup.  It’s gentle on the eyes and leaves the skin feeling fresh and comforted without much residue.  A little goes a long way & removes even the most waterproof eyeliner & mascara.  Simply shake before use.

 Hope you enjoyed my last skincare round up!


Products marked with an asterisk were provided for consideration.  All other items were purchased by me.

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BOBBI BROWN Long-Wear Cream Shadow Stick (Tuxedo Black) & Luminous Moisturising Treatment Foundation Sun, 23 Mar 2014 20:00:05 +0000 Yishan BOBBI BROWN Long-Wear Cream Shadow Stick - Tuxedo Black 1

Not so long ago, I got to play with two new products from Bobbi Brown – the Long-Wear Cream Shadow Stick in Tuxedo Black and the Luminous Moisturising Treatment Foundation in Sand #2.

After being impressed by Bobbi Brown Long Wear Eye Pencil back in 2012, I had equally great results with the Long-Wear Cream Shadow Stick which worked really well as a cream shadow base under eyshadow, and as eyeliner when applied with an eyeliner brush.  It applies creamy at first and is easy to blend into a wash of colour, but once it sets it stays on really well throughout the day without much fading.

What they say

Effortless and high impact-that’s the essence of NEW Long-Wear Cream Shadow Stick. This do-it-all formula glides on tug-free and can be used to shade, define, smoke up and highlight eyes. In subtle to eye-popping shades that last for up to 8 hours without creasing, flaking or fading, it’s a stroke of genius. Just swipe on and go.

Normally I’m not really into cream shadows, but after reading Paris B’s cream shadow stick comparison post I’m intrigued to try Laura Mercier next.

BOBBI BROWN Long-Wear Cream Shadow Stick - Tuxedo Black 2

It has been many years since I last used Bobbi Brown foundation, as the last formula I tried didn’t agree with my skin.  But I really can’t help myself when a new foundation arrives in the mail and decided to give it a go.

I wasn’t brave enough to wear this continuously, but on the days that I did try the Bobbi Brown Luminous Moisturising Treatment Foundation, I was impressed by how well it concealed redness and gave my skin a luminous glow. The coverage is quite sheer and Sand #2 is a little too warm for my complexion, but nevertheless the before & after pic shows how fresh it makes my skin look afterwards.

Bobbi Brown Luminous Moisturizing Treatment Foundation 1

What they say

Foundation meets skincare. Bobbi’s revolutionary 2-in-1 foundation utilizes Light Reflecting Technology to instantly give skin natural luminosity without traditional pearls. The formula’s effect: skin looks instantly radiant, plumped and moisturized with flawless wear that never looks cakey or dry – a long wearing foundation that’s great even for dry skin. Glycerin, sodium hyaluronate and muru muru seed butter boost skin’s moisture immediately and long-term, while milk thistle extract and natural collagen stimulators visibly lift and firm for suppler, smoother skin.

Bobbi Brown Luminous Moisturizing Treatment Foundation 2

Have you tried Bobbi Brown or Laura Mercier cream shadodw sticks?


These products were provided for consideration.

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Facebook Marketing for Blogs: The Anatomy of Beauty Swatch’s 250K Likes Mon, 17 Mar 2014 19:00:07 +0000 Yishan Beauty Swatch Facebook

I can remember the early days when I first created Beauty Swatch’s Facebook page.  I used to wonder what was the point of creating a Facebook page for a blog, and the thought of replicating content on multiple social media platforms seemed like overkill and frankly a chore.

As my blog traffic grew by the tens of thousands (and my Facebook page barely moved a digit or three), I became increasingly frustrated at the low number “Likes” on my blog Facebook page and there was even a time when I was hesitating whether to even bother including it in my media kit / blog business card, for fear of the thought that my successful blog traffic would be downplayed by the dismal Facebook traffic.  But like many things I have experimented with Beauty Swatch, I persisted anyway to see if I could prove myself wrong.  And so I dabbled with a bit of Facebook Ads and Marketing.

Please note that Facebook advertising is not the same as “buying likes”, which are a big no-no.  In simple terms, Facebook advertising is like purchasing ad space on Facebook, where the cost of the ad depends on how long you run it for, how many people you target and the ad placement (eg. side bar or news feed etc).   Facebook advertising is one form of Facebook marketing, which includes strategies that don’t necessarily incur a cost to achieve successful results.

I know I’m the odd one out in the blogosphere by sharing the anatomy of the traffic of their beauty blog.  That’s because the difference between me and other tight-lipped bloggers is that blogging and social media is my digital sandpit for me to play, experiment and learn in.  The nerd in me gets a buzz from seeing the results (good, bad and mediocre) from SEO, Facebook marketing strategies and the like.   This is also the reason why I persist with trying different things, and I also know when it’s time to wrap up when I have done everything I have aimed for.

Without further ado, here are the 3 main Facebook campaigns I have run on Beauty Swatch that are most worthy of a mention.   By “campaign” I’m referring to a defined period where I trial a marketing approach.  The first two cost me money, whereas the third (and most successful) campaign didn’t cost me a cent.

Campaign #1 – The Lip Swatch 

My first ever attempt was a simple Facebook Ad campaign that was targeted at virtually every age and country in the world.  The image I used was similar to the one below – one of my standard lip swatches, with the following caption ” Beauty Swatch – lipstick blog helping you find your way through the lipstick jungle”.

I capped the ad campaign to a strict budget and I only needed to pay if someone actually clicked “like”.  If no one liked my page, the budget would remain untouched for the duration of the campaign period.

From memory this approach got me to around 30,000 likes over several attempts, and I believe this was due to Beauty Swatch being a niche blog with an eye-catching lip swatch.  30,000 likes may sound like a great result, but in hindsight this was the poorest performing campaign in terms of Return on Investment (ROI).  Both engagement and the conversion from Facebook to my blog traffic was low as I wasn’t optimising my Facebook page with my blog content to drive referrals.  More on this later.

Moral of the story: Facebook advertising has limited Return on Investment (ROI) in terms of engagement and driving referral traffic to your blog if you don’t optimise your Facebook page.

BLOOM Super Glossy Lips - Patent 2

Campaign #2 – The Lip Tutorial + Targeted Facebook Marketing

It didn’t take long before I got the itch again to try something new and decided to run another Facebook Ad campaign, this time changing the image to a “lip tutorial” style photo to illustrate the concept of Beauty Swatch as a place for lipstick tips.  I also changed the header image to an array of lip swatches, knowing that this is the first thing people see once they land on your Facebook page that drives the next call to action.  I wanted new visitors to immediately get a sense of what to expect when they arrived at my Facebook page.

This time the Facebook Ad was targeted to fewer regions (based on my research on which countries perform well in the cosmetics industry), placed in the news feed (as this location outperforms the side bar) and most importantly – targeted it to Facebook users who “liked” pages of similar nature to Beauty Swatch (hint: think heavy weight beauty related Facebook pages).

This approach worked like MAGIC and for the same amount of money as campaign #1, my Facebook “likes” skyrocketed to approx. 80,000 and grew organically to around 100,000 until I stopped counting.   Talk about value for money, considering I paid the equivalent of a foundation (Australian prices LOL) for this campaign.

Moral of the story: Choose images wisely for your Facebook ad & remember to customise your header page to welcome new visitors to your Facebook page to drive referrals.   I know it’s basic, but targeted marketing concepts apply to Facebook just like any other form of advertising.

6 THEBALM Pink My Lemonade - Facebook Ad

Campaign #3 – Facebook Marketing tips I learned from Amy Porterfield

The most successful campaign of all was the one in which I didn’t pay a cent.  Having tried paid advertising a few times already, I was now ready for a new challenge and was determined to apply what I had learned from Amy Porterfield when I attended her Facebook marketing seminar at Problogger Event 2013.   Essentially, Amy’s secret for building engagement and quality referrals on Facebook comes down to:

  • Post regularly  (she recommends 3 times a day, mixing it up with Instagram posts, content and conversations.  I barely manage 3 a week!)
  • Post engagement content  (eg. behind the scenes, or show your best drool worthy content)
  • Upload images with links as captions, as opposed to posting links
  • Ask engaging questions.  The best are those that compel people to share their opinions and only require one line responses.

This approach took my Facebook likes from 100,000 to the next milestone of 200,000 without paying a cent, and at time of writing it has now grown to 250,000 and counting.  The success of this approach stems from the new Facebook algorithm where pages and posts that you “like” are visible to your friends.  If one person “likes” your image and their friends share similar interests, chances are they will like your post (and hopefully your page) too.

My most engaging posts are those of lust-worthy products such as the MAC Nocturnals Glitter Collection which drives my followers crazy.  The next is swatches.  To overcome language barriers with my followers from around the world, I would keep them engaged by asking simple questions, such as which shade lipstick they voted for in a featured swatch.  The pic below is my most successful “lipstick swatch” post, where the choice between a pigmented red / nude / pink lipstick is clearly a universal question.

Not only was this approach successful in terms of organic growth, but engagement and blog referral traffic has improved.  It’s still by no means the highest source of traffic for my blog (predominantly driven by Google), but I now treat my Facebook page as a standalone social media platform for people to engage without necessarily needing to read my blog post in its entirety to engage with me.

Moral of the story: Facebook marketing achieves greater ROI than ads alone. Get onto Amy Porterfield’s Facebook Marketing free webinars. My little summary doesn’t do it justice.

Beauty Swatch Facebook Page

I suppose you could argue that each campaign may not have necessarily been “successful” had it not been for the learnings from the previous campaign.  Which is why I believe in giving things a go rather than holding back in fear of getting it perfect the first time.  I hope you enjoyed snooping in the anatomy of my Facebook following and I wish you all the very best for your Facebook pages!

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