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    Affordorable.com

    is a virtual space where Liyana Aris documents her evolving modest personal style, which is based on the art of looking casually stylish while still remaining modest and doing it all on a budget; about 93% of her closet are filled with affordable things. (PS: The remaining 7% has a lot to do with her secret addiction to Adidas shoes and her occasional splurges on discounted high-end bags and clutches, shhh.) [+]
    31.10.12 .

    I already knew i was going to get an overweight bag - so what's new? - so i had to be smart about picking out which makeup to bring.

    And i personally feel i did a good job.

    At first glance, it didn't seem like a lot. A small bag, my brushes kit and something in a bubble wrap.



    And this is what you see when the small bag throws up and the bubble wrap is unwrapped.


    For the record, i still think this isn't a lot, but as Rina said before i came here, "Um, awak punya 'sikit' tu tak sama dengan orang lain OK."

    Here are my brushes. I stuffed all my important Real Techniques brushes in the compartment here, since i didn't want to bring a separate brush holder.


    My eyeliner pencil and lip liner pencil sharpener - one from Stage and one no-brand - and a pair of tweezers.


    There are days when i feel too lazy to tweeze every single little eyebrow hair, especially at the places that don't need shaping. So that's when a shaver comes in handy! Then i have my Stage and The Balm Time Balm concealers for my undereye area and my versatile MAC Studio Finish Concealer. I also brought Inglot's Makeup Base, that i've only used about once and don't use anymore because here in Paris, i just put on Embryolisse and that's it for my base. My MAC Strobe Cream in its free-gift size has also been unused here; i feel Embryolisse gives me enough "glow" from underneath.


    My Avon compact to powder the face and Stage lash curler. Sometimes i skip mascara and just curl my lashes to prevent smudging of mascara, which oddly i find inevitable nowadays. How annoying is that?


    My Urban Decay Primer Potion is a must! I'm into drawn eyebrows at the mo, so i have my Avon Eyebrow Glimmersticks in Dark Brown and Revlon Matte in Sable Brown for that. I also just had to bring something to do crisp black eyeliner, so Maybelline Gel Eyeliner is it. I also brought some eyeliner pencils, like this Silkygirl bronze one and Rimmel's one in Forest Green, both of which i have not used either since coming here. But just in case!


    And a couple of black eye pencils from Maybelline too. There's also my Avon glittery blue liquid liner when i feel like colour. There are only two mascaras in my beauty bag when i first came here, but with my purchase of Maybelline Great Lash the other day (not sold in Malaysia!), now i have three!


    Two blushers: the bright peachy pink Frat Boy and a warm peachy-orangey-red from Silkygirl. I brought my Bahama Mama bronzer as well; i seem to contour a lot here and i don't know why. Paris just makes me want to contour.


    One nude lipgloss by The Balm and one Stage pink lipgloss.


    So, i brought five lip liners. It sounds like a lot, but my idea was, i should bring lip colours in the nude, berry, soft pink, bright pink and red families. So i did that with my lip liners and lipsticks.


    One interesting fact: I had my Silkygirl lip liner in Maroon in my handbag when Shah and i went to see a movie the other night, and we saw TIM BURTON at the mall! He was promoting Frankenweenie, and it was ah-MAY-zinggg, since i watched his movies since forever! So since Shah and i didn't have a pen on us, guess what ended up being used by Tim Burton when i asked for his autograph?

    Huh. I have 8 lipsticks here. But let me just tell you, my MAC Morange isn't for my lips, but it's what i use to mix with concealer for my undereye circles. It cancels out the darkness better, like a corrector, when mixed with my regular concealers.


    The safest eyeshadow colours to bring anywhere in the world would be a neutral palette, so my Nude'Tude came with me. And for the days when i feel like adding colours, i've brought all three Shady Lady palettes with me too.


    So that's all of them.

    People in Paris generally wear neutral makeup, or probably no makeup at all, so that's why a neutral palette is especially handy here. I feel like if everyone here wears makeup, then it is mostly very, very natural "no-makeup makeup". I did see one person, only one, mind you, wearing bright pink eyeshadow. I'm not talking soft sparkly pink, it was this reeeally dense almost hot pink that took over the space of her entire crease. NOT a good look, but if you're into that stuff, why not, right? That woman doesn't care what i think of her makeup. And i don't care what she thinks of mine either. It's another form of "freedom of speech". Except it really isn't speech, of course.
    I've also seen coloured lips here in Paris, mainly reds and berry hues, which i'm sure is deemed totally appropriate for the cold autumn season.

    See, in Malaysia, it's hot all around, so you're free to wear whatever colour you like, which is fantastic! Here, it's your choice, to fit in or to not. Sometimes i choose not to, but then again with my tudung and bright clothes, i don't know why i should bother to look like Parisians at all. After all, i'm not one of them, and that's OK!

    By the way, no, i will not be using my Silkygirl lip liner in Maroon anymore. I'll have to get a new one, as the one i have will probably go into the same frame as Tim Burton's autograph soon!

    follow @theliyanaaris on Instagram

    31.10.12 .

    I already knew i was going to get an overweight bag - so what's new? - so i had to be smart about picking out which makeup to bring.

    And i personally feel i did a good job.

    At first glance, it didn't seem like a lot. A small bag, my brushes kit and something in a bubble wrap.



    And this is what you see when the small bag throws up and the bubble wrap is unwrapped.


    For the record, i still think this isn't a lot, but as Rina said before i came here, "Um, awak punya 'sikit' tu tak sama dengan orang lain OK."

    Here are my brushes. I stuffed all my important Real Techniques brushes in the compartment here, since i didn't want to bring a separate brush holder.


    My eyeliner pencil and lip liner pencil sharpener - one from Stage and one no-brand - and a pair of tweezers.


    There are days when i feel too lazy to tweeze every single little eyebrow hair, especially at the places that don't need shaping. So that's when a shaver comes in handy! Then i have my Stage and The Balm Time Balm concealers for my undereye area and my versatile MAC Studio Finish Concealer. I also brought Inglot's Makeup Base, that i've only used about once and don't use anymore because here in Paris, i just put on Embryolisse and that's it for my base. My MAC Strobe Cream in its free-gift size has also been unused here; i feel Embryolisse gives me enough "glow" from underneath.


    My Avon compact to powder the face and Stage lash curler. Sometimes i skip mascara and just curl my lashes to prevent smudging of mascara, which oddly i find inevitable nowadays. How annoying is that?


    My Urban Decay Primer Potion is a must! I'm into drawn eyebrows at the mo, so i have my Avon Eyebrow Glimmersticks in Dark Brown and Revlon Matte in Sable Brown for that. I also just had to bring something to do crisp black eyeliner, so Maybelline Gel Eyeliner is it. I also brought some eyeliner pencils, like this Silkygirl bronze one and Rimmel's one in Forest Green, both of which i have not used either since coming here. But just in case!


    And a couple of black eye pencils from Maybelline too. There's also my Avon glittery blue liquid liner when i feel like colour. There are only two mascaras in my beauty bag when i first came here, but with my purchase of Maybelline Great Lash the other day (not sold in Malaysia!), now i have three!


    Two blushers: the bright peachy pink Frat Boy and a warm peachy-orangey-red from Silkygirl. I brought my Bahama Mama bronzer as well; i seem to contour a lot here and i don't know why. Paris just makes me want to contour.


    One nude lipgloss by The Balm and one Stage pink lipgloss.


    So, i brought five lip liners. It sounds like a lot, but my idea was, i should bring lip colours in the nude, berry, soft pink, bright pink and red families. So i did that with my lip liners and lipsticks.


    One interesting fact: I had my Silkygirl lip liner in Maroon in my handbag when Shah and i went to see a movie the other night, and we saw TIM BURTON at the mall! He was promoting Frankenweenie, and it was ah-MAY-zinggg, since i watched his movies since forever! So since Shah and i didn't have a pen on us, guess what ended up being used by Tim Burton when i asked for his autograph?

    Huh. I have 8 lipsticks here. But let me just tell you, my MAC Morange isn't for my lips, but it's what i use to mix with concealer for my undereye circles. It cancels out the darkness better, like a corrector, when mixed with my regular concealers.


    The safest eyeshadow colours to bring anywhere in the world would be a neutral palette, so my Nude'Tude came with me. And for the days when i feel like adding colours, i've brought all three Shady Lady palettes with me too.


    So that's all of them.

    People in Paris generally wear neutral makeup, or probably no makeup at all, so that's why a neutral palette is especially handy here. I feel like if everyone here wears makeup, then it is mostly very, very natural "no-makeup makeup". I did see one person, only one, mind you, wearing bright pink eyeshadow. I'm not talking soft sparkly pink, it was this reeeally dense almost hot pink that took over the space of her entire crease. NOT a good look, but if you're into that stuff, why not, right? That woman doesn't care what i think of her makeup. And i don't care what she thinks of mine either. It's another form of "freedom of speech". Except it really isn't speech, of course.
    I've also seen coloured lips here in Paris, mainly reds and berry hues, which i'm sure is deemed totally appropriate for the cold autumn season.

    See, in Malaysia, it's hot all around, so you're free to wear whatever colour you like, which is fantastic! Here, it's your choice, to fit in or to not. Sometimes i choose not to, but then again with my tudung and bright clothes, i don't know why i should bother to look like Parisians at all. After all, i'm not one of them, and that's OK!

    By the way, no, i will not be using my Silkygirl lip liner in Maroon anymore. I'll have to get a new one, as the one i have will probably go into the same frame as Tim Burton's autograph soon!

    23.10.12 .

    I've been eyeing a few things since i arrived in Paris, and i'm so happy i got my hands on some of them!

    The legendary Maybelline Great Lash mascara in Blackest Black


    Bourjois 123 Perfect foundation, shade 57 Hale Clair

    Bourjois Delice de Poudre Bronzing Powder - famously known as the Chocolate Bronzer, shade 52


    Essence Eyeshadow Brush and Essence Gel Eyeliner Brush


    Maybelline Master Drama Kohl Liner in Dark Brown


    Rimmel Kate Moss Lasting Finish Lipstick in shade 022


    And i'm already on my second tube of Embryolisse, my goodness. One tube gone in less than a month!

    I've tried out some of them, so i'll get into details soon.

    Happy happy =D

    20.10.12 .


    My L'oreal True Match was purchased in Paris, hence the oh-so-fancy French letterings.

    Let's go ahead and break down the good and the bad.

    18.10.12 .

    How to make your lisptick lasts longer? It's a question that has yet received one surefire answer. I know there are a lot of methods out there which guarantees long-lasting lip colour; so many that the only way to find out is to personally try each method and decide for yourself!

    I now basically would (1) start with filling in my entire lips with a lip liner, (2) apply lipstick straight from the tube and with a lip brush, spread it around my lips (3) blot gently, (4) add more lipstick with a lip brush, (5) blot again, and finally add lip gloss. And then blotting it again slightly.

    There is no miracle lipstick or formula. Yet, anyway; one can hope. But in the three years i have been experimenting with makeup, i have found some useful tips online. I know these tips have been repeated too many times. But let me stress on this: i'm merely commenting on these tips as how i personally found the effectiveness in them.

    Tip 1: The lipstick does matter
    More expensive doesn't mean better, but it is usually the ones that cost an arm and a leg that provide a better result. Or half an arm and half a leg. It doesn't mean you should go out and buy a Dior or Burberry one straight away, no, but it's about researching. Websites like MakeupAlley and Total Beauty have been very helpful to me in deciding what not to buy. I do think Revlon's lipsticks are of good quality. And no i don't use a lot of high end products, and i don't think that makes me any less of a serious makeup user than those who do, but to each her own.

    If i were to splurge on more expensive lipsticks, i would go for MAC ones, definitely. One of my best friends wear a lot of MAC lipsticks, and she usually applies straight from the tube. But the colour lasts satisfyingly long. I know MAC has quite a range on lipsticks, but if i think she might use the Cremesheen ones. I only have one MAC lipstick, in Morange, but i use it for my undereye circles. I did try adding the orange on to my red lips the other day, and i loved the result. And the orange did last too!

    Tip 2: Use a lip liner; not just to line the lips, but to have it act as a base as well
    I always colour in my lips with a lip liner before adding lipstick or gloss. Lip liners can be very drying, so the creamy, more wet formula works better for this. It's like colouring in kindergarten or early primary school: line the outer line first, then fill in the rest! It's also better to use a lip liner that is of the same colour or same family colour as your lipstick.

    I find that as the day goes on, after i've eaten or drank, my lip colour might disappear a little but the liner is still visible, so i could quickly apply more lipstick on top if i need to.

    Tip 3: Conceal your lips first
    This is especially handy if you're doing a look with nude lips. Just apply the same concealer you use for underneath the eyes or on your spots all over your lips to "cancel out" some of your natural lip colour. I use to conceal and apply lipstick straight from the tube, but i personally find a lip liner works as a better base for my lips.

    Tip 4: Use a lip brush!
    I've only started to do this very recently, and let me tell you, this works wonders for me. Lipstick straight from the tube goes away fast on me, but when applied with a brush, it does last quite a while longer! But instead of dipping the brush onto my lipstick and apply it to my lips, i actually do apply my lipstick straight from the tube, but instead of leaving it like it is, what i do is i distribute it all around my lips with a lip brush. Kind of really smudging the colour onto my lips and into the creases on the lips. I think it works just as well if you use your finger to do this. If i do the dipping-applying-dipping-applying again motion with the lip brush, it'd take me forever to finish my lips, hence the straight from the tube method.

    I don't know why i've put this method off. Lisa Eldridge made a video of her getting ready for a party, and she taught her viewers how to make your red lips last all night. I tried looking for that video but can't remember important Googling details. I kind of remember her wearing this gorgeous red lips ring, which i LOVE. I'm sure she teaches the same thing in the videos where she does a strong lip colour, so just head over to her official page or YouTube channel to check them out.

    Tip 5: Blot and reapply
    Another useful tip i learned from the very same Lisa Eldridge video. Blot gently using a tissue, and i mean gently.

    I used to clamp my lips over a piece of tissue and called it "blotting", but i don't think that was the right way. Instead, i now carefully place the tissue above my lower lip and sort of 'touch' my lower lip with it. Then with a clean side of the tissue, i gently touched my upper lip as well, making sure to blot the inner part of my lips too. This is important as if i don't do that, i get lipstick smears on my teeth more easily.

    Tip 6: Pat on some powder and reapply
    A tip that i think works, but rarely use. This i picked up from Lauren Conrad's makeup artist, on their beauty website The Beauty Department. I've tried this method before, and if i remember correctly, my lipstick did last a little longer, but i just prefer lip liner more. I would dip a finger onto my face powder and apply that on my lips, but it's icky for me to dip the same finger on the powder if i need to add more of it. I imagine some of my lipstick would transfer into the powder, and i don't like that idea. Of course, i can just use different fingers, but it's a hassle for me. But that's just me.

    What you do is, after applying the first layer of lipstick, blot a little, and then pat some powder on top. Then another round of lipstick goes on top of that. The powder should be "holding" the layers together.


    So those are the methods that i've tried and liked. I hope you've find your way of making your lip colour last longer!

    8.10.12 .


    UPDATED: It's been about four months since my skin got introduced to Embryolisse. And four months later, it is still on my beauty shelf, ready to be used every morning, every night before i sleep and anytime in between. Not the same exact tube, of course not.

    I definitely love this moisturiser. My combination/oily skin gets horribly dry in autumn/winter here in Paris, and this product soothes it. The consistency is quite runny, and that's a really good thing; it spreads nicely on the skin and penetrates the skin well. A small amount is enough to cover my whole face. Some people said a "pea-sized" dollop is enough, but not for me, especially now that it's winter. A "slightly-smaller-than-cherry-tomato" size is good for me, but now that winter is ending, hopefully i can get away with using less. 

    The instructions that come in the box gave a few suggestions for its usage, such as (1) apply a generous amount at night for it to act like a mask and (2) use it as a makeup remover. Once in a while i practise (1) , leaving my skin soft and moisturised when i wake up in the morning, but i never tried (2). It sounds like i would be wasting a good amount if i use it for removing makeup. My usage rate is already about two tubes per month practically, or three tubes in two months. Something like that. All i know is since i started using it. i've run out of quite a number of tubes. 

    I also use this currently as my makeup base. My foundation goes right on top of it, and smoothly too. In Malaysia i worry about face primers but here in Paris, i don't even think about using a face primer, as my foundation doesn't stray any more than usual on top of Embryolisse. Major plus!

    My combo/oily skin can get shiny after using a generous amount, but it's certainly manageable and not to the point of being overly oily. It's a different case in Malaysia though; i went back home for almost a month in November armed with one and a half tube of this, and it was near impossible to have this on during the day. My face gets covered in the most terrible layer of oil-slick. I would only use it at night in Malaysia, and even then i used it sparingly. Maybe even a pea-size portion was enough! 

    So it's definitely not for my skin in my hot and humid home country, but while i'm here in Paris, and the temperature is still below 15, i'm happy to have this on my shelf.

    I still get the occasional breakouts, but none has been from this moisturiser. In fact, Embryolisse helps keep my breakouts at bay, i think it really does; it's just amazing, this seemingly simple and straightforward cream.

    The only bad point i would give to Embryolisse is its metal tube. As i go along using it, the shape would start to go wonky, with a pinch here and a fold there. Unlike a plastic tube, a metal tube doesn't spring back into its shape after you squeeze it. After a while - usually when i'm nearly finishing a tube and have to squeeze it in different parts to get the cream out - cracks would occur at where the folds are. So when i take off the cap and try to squeeze some cream out, the cream would not only come out from the mouth of the tube, but from all sorts of holes as well. It gets annoying, but i just bear with it, since i love Embryolisse so much. 

    Yes, my tube is incredibly wonky
    I'm now experimenting on how best to squeeze the tube. So far i've learned not to squeeze from the top from the very moment i start using a brand-new tube, because that's how i get the most holes. We'll see how it goes...

    I have to admit, i'm a little worried about having to switch moisturiser as the seasons progress. In the meantime though, i am definitely, 100% continuing to purchase this for every day use.

    Previous review (8/10/2012):

    Let's forget about my pursuit of the perfect foundation for a moment and talk about the skin. Just like when i first arrived in New Zealand, my skin here in Paris are drying up, which resulted in tiny bumps, then resulted in spots. 

    I had brought my Topicil, a clindamycin based medicine applied topically to reduce pimples and my L'oreal icy gel moisturiser; both worked beautifully for me in Malaysia. But the same routine just doesn't do it here, not in the dry weather. I knew i had to use a better moisturiser, as it's possible the bumps are the result of dryness. So i Googled about Embryolisse.

    Again, like Bourjois, i knew about Embryolisse from the Pixiwoo sisters. Further research (using Google) shows that Embryolisse has pretty much formed a cult of its own. Supermodels and beauty experts "swear" by it. And they're all talking about one product in particular, the Lait Creme Concentre Nourishing Moisturizer.

    I read up more on Embryolisse Lait-Creme Concentre in MakeupAlley. One girl even claimed that it cleared out her acne. And since Embryolisse was born right where i am currently at, it's only befitting for me to try it, in my condition.

    I looked for the range in the pharmacie nearest to our apartment; it wasn't there. So home i went and Googled for distributors in my area. Thankfully there's one right in the station where Shah and i always take the train. So off we go to purchase one!

    No-fuss packaging
    What the product promises to do for your skin, and its composition
    Advice on how to use it, and its ingredients
    Made in France!
    It looks simple enough. Unlike most moisturisers, this one tells you to simply apply on your skin without massaging it in; just leave it be and it will "penetrate" your skin.

    It looks like a normal plastic tube, but the tube is actually made of some kind of metal, so as you go on and use it, your fingers will leave dents on the tube. Not that it's a problem.

    I've only used it for about a week and a half, so i feel like it's not my place yet to say how effective this is. BUT, i can tell you that so far the darkening spots that were beginning to form on my forehead have "calmed down". I can't really say if there are no more bumps coming out, but overall, my skin does look better, and feel better too.

    I know that it's possible to want a beauty product to work so bad that you start to imagine it doing wonderful things to your skin. But that's not the case here, as my husband also commented that my skin looks a lot better now. So let's hope i'm hoping it's not just my imagination or some kind of wishful thinking.

    I do think though that this moisturiser would not feel so good on my skin in hot, humid Malaysia; i'll probably go back to my L'oreal Icy Gel once i'm back at home. But i might still give it a go anyway, i just might, just to experiment. With Lait-Creme Concentre, my face looks sort of oily and slicky whenever i put it on, but then again, true to their word, the lotion "penetrates" and the oiliness goes away after a while. By the way, translated, Lait-Creme Concentre is "Milk-Cream Concentrate".

    I'm really, really hoping this is THE product for me in this cold, dry weather. I'll come back to this Embryolisse product in the future to offer more of my insights on it. In the meantime, i can just hope!

    Not all pharmacie in Paris sells this, as i've found out. The best thing to do is GOOGLE FIRST. Embryolisse Lait-Creme Concentre is priced at 9.99 EUR.
    5.10.12 .

    I know, i know, i've been slacking off here. Shah and i were distracted by moving (we have FINALLY moved into our house, thank God), by Raya and right now, i am in Paris. In PARIS, people!!! I'm so HAPPYYYYYYY.

    OK, that's over and done with.

    I was excited to check out the makeup stuff they have here. So far makeup is very accessible here; Monoprix is a supermarket that stocks various "drugstore" makeup brands. I can't say many nice things about the prices though. The makeup in Malaysia is cheaper, kind of a lot cheaper too. For instance, Revlon Colorstay Soft Flex foundation here is 19.90 EUR, equivalent to roughly RM 80, whereas it's only about...hm...i bought all five shades available in Malaysia but i can't remember how much each cost... I think at most it's RM 65. But it should be lesser then that. RM 55 maybe? Around there, yeh. Quite a vast difference in pricing, i would say.

    Diorskin Forever foundation is another example. In Malaysia it's RM140 if i'm not mistaken (Googling confirms this) and here it's priced at 41 EUR, roughly RM 164 after conversion.

    So you see that it is important to purchase things that aren't available in Malaysia.

    I've seen a few brands i'm not familiar with. Deborah Milano is one of them; this range is found in Monoprix, and there are two or three other brands that i haven't heard of, but i was too busy being distracted by Bourjois.

    Bourjois, OKKK. Yayyayyayyy!

    Like everyone who lives in a country that doesn't sell Bourjois, i knew about it from Youtube's makeup gurus. My gurus include Lisa Eldridge, Sam and Nic of Pixiwoo and Tanya Burr, who have all talked highly of Bourjois.

    The two things that i really want from Bourjois are the Healhty Mix foundation and the chocolate-shaped bronzer.

    The raved Bourjois Healthy Mix Foundation (bourjois.co.uk)

    The chocolate bronzer comes in two shades (tanyaburr.co.uk)

    But since i just blew 100 EUR yesterday on clothes-shopping (whoopsie), i'm not getting any shopping money from Shah anytime soon. So i'll just have to wait.

    I do have a problem with picking out foundation shades though. I have yet to find my exact match. Very frustrating. To those who have found their perfectly spot-on match, you are LUCKY.

    I'm an NC43-44, and i know there are others who have the same shade as i do and go crazy about looking after their perfect foundation match.

    I'm considering L'oreal True Match in W7, but i'm worried it might look a bit too dark. I would love to have Bourjois Healthy Mix but there darker shades available are 56 and 58, and i know 58 is too dark for me. 56 on the other hand seems to suit NC40-42 from what i've read online. So, yeh. It's all confusing, really.

    And i really like Revlon Colorstay foundation for Combination/Oily skin, but the shade 360 Golden Caramel, which i think could be my shade, isn't available here in Paris. They have 350 Rich Tan, and as tempting as it is for me to get it, it does look a little pink for me; i have quite a warm undertone.

    Yesterday on my shopping spree, i stopped by Sephora and immediately went searching for Nars. I don't know why Sephora Malaysia chose to omit Nars from their list of brands to sell. Anyway, I did find Nars here, yippee. Their Sheer Glow foundation looked so tempting, but it's quite pricey, 40 EUR. The shade Med/Dark 1 seem to suit me when i first tried it in the store, but when i came home, it looked a little white-ish. There was no Med/Dark 2, only 3. Whyyy.

    Anyway, that's my foundation dilemma. I'll just keep on searching and trying. As dramatic as i sound sometimes, i do understand that it is very far from the end of the world if i don't find/buy any makeup from Paris.

    Hoping for the best!