iAm: Louisa Koh

SHILLS Aqua Skin Moisturizing Spray

A 30-something from sunny Singapore who's tried her hand at lots of things, such as selling skin care & make-up, working in a (boring) corporate setting, trying to carve a singing career, giving private tuition, being a fitness instructor, writing/editing etc...

Besides exasperating her parents to no end, she loves experimenting with new make-up looks, uncovering the best make-up & skin care products, modelling for herself before the camera, singing at the top of her lungs (with preferably no one to hear it), and writing whatever, whenever (as you can already tell).


louisa [at] louisakoh [dot] com

Australian Swaps Part II: Easter International Swap

Hey lovelies! I’m back with my Easter swap post, kindly organised by beauty blogger Angel Diamante from the Philippines. She contacted me sometime in February this year, to ask if I was interested in joining in this international swap. I said yes!

She paired me up with beauty blogger Meg Bernardo who was previously known by the handle “Absolutely Stumped”.

Meg and I corresponded sometime in early March, to determine what each would like. We decided to up the budget of USD25 for the swap (excluding shipping) to USD50, so that we could each sample more products from each of our countries.

Being a crazy nail girl, I requested for nail polishes from home grown brands, like Australis, Face of Australia and Models Prefer. Meg also suggested helping me get a Chi Chi Cosmetics palette known to give the Urban Decay Naked palette a run for their money! She also offered to include a tube of Beauty Essentials BB cream for Fair to Medium Skin.

I, in turn, got her mostly makeup items from NYX, Za, Canmake and a Luview BB cream, plus a Nanoce BB cream sample. You can read her swap post here!

The Swap Box

Here’s a preview of the box:

Thank you Meg for spending so much on shipping! πŸ™‚

As you can see from the picture above, these were my requested polishes! L-R: Face of Australia Foxy Roxy (taupe greige creme), Australis Cosmetics Glitter Strikes Back (glitter topper in clear base), Australis Milky Way (white crelly with multicoloured hex glitters), Australis Spek-tacular Crystal Colour top coat (rainbow flakie), and Models Prefer All That Glitters (glitter topper with blue, red and silver hex glitters).

This was the Chi Chi Cosmetics Glamorous Nudes palette that is said to be a cheaper dupe of Urban Decay’s famed Naked palette. I put them side by side to show you what they look like. Read on for swatches! Beauty Essentials BB cream is beside the palettes on the right.

Last but not least, as this was an Easter swap, we were also asked to include Easter candy for the swap, in the spirit of Easter! Meg included a chocolate bunny but unfortunately it didn’t survive the journey too well as it was not wrapped tight and arrived broken πŸ™

Thank you for the wonderful swap box, Meg! πŸ˜€

The Swatches

On to the swatches now! Let’s start with a comparison of the Urban Decay Naked palette with the Chi chi Cosmetics Glamorous Nudes palette (this was taken with flash):

Top row: Swatches from UD Naked palette. Bottom row: Swatches from Chi Chi palette

Here’s a non-flash photography comparison (click photo to enlarge):

In both photos, the swatches in the top row are Urban Decay’s Naked palette. The bottom row swatches are from Chi Chi Cosmetics’ palette. Unfortunately, I did not keep track of how many swipes I used for each. I would say though that on the whole, the texture of Urban Decay is smoother and softer, and most of the shades’ payoff was better in one swipe. Chi Chi Nudes palette didn’t fare too badly either, as the shades were also very pigmented, but I would have to wear them before making any further comments.

On the whole though, I would think the Chi Chi palette would make a very good duplicate if you are looking for something more affordable as UD can be expensive.

Here are the BB cream swatches:

For the above photo, I compared the BB cream shade to the foundation I currently wear: Bobbi Brown Long Wear Even Finish Foundation SPF 15 in 2 Sand. The top colour is Beauty Essentials BB cream while the bottom colour is my Bobbi Brown foundation.

You can see though that the BB cream looks darker than the colour I am using for my face. It’s probably not my colour unless I go tanning πŸ˜› Moreover, we need to factor in oxidation as well (my Bobbi Brown foundation tends to turn even darker than this after oxidising).

Now on to polish swatches! I’ve only done 3 macros for Australis Cosmetics’ Milky Way, Glitter Strikes Back and Spek-tacular crystal top coat, as I haven’t had the chance to do full swatches for all the colours:

Australis Milky Way glitter crelly polish macro

Australis Glitter Strikes Back glitter topper in a glitter sandwich with Megan Miller’s Lemon Ice

Australis Spek-tacular Crystal Colour top coat on top of black polish.. it’s a rainbow flake

Please excuse messy cuticles as macros tend to amplify imperfections and I don’t have the software (or the skills!) to edit the photos.

It has been a great experience doing the swap! Thank you so much Angel Diamante for the opportunity and Meg for being so sporting πŸ˜€

My Easter Manicure

Before I end this post, I’d like to share my Easter manicure with you guys! This was one of the best manis I’ve done recently, very swatch-worthy! Also, I was using my new bottle of Poshe top coat, and we all know new top coats give great swatches! πŸ˜›

This was my left hand (refer to the photo caption for the colours used):

Colours from thumb to pinkie: Illamasqua Load, OPI Gargantuan Green Grape, Color Club Take Me to Your Chateau, OPI Rumple’s Wiggin and Avon Pastel Pink

This was my right hand, an indie polish equivalent of the left (although I did switch up the order of the ring and pinkie colours):

Indie polishes from thumb to pinkie: Candeo Colors Jelly Bean, Smitten polish Mint Chip, KBShimmer Snow Way, Darling Diva Polish Channeling Coco and Serum No 5 Shrinking Violet

Love this look I did! It was meant to be a pastel rainbow skittles manicure, also to mark World Autism Awareness for SGSwatchFest, something that we tag and do for certain occasions on Instagram πŸ™‚

Here’s a comparison photo of both hands:

Top row is left hand pastel rainbow skitttles mani, while bottom row is the indie polish equivalent

My next post is going to be a giveaway post for my readers! Hint: 2 readers will get discount vouchers for Nail Vibe SG, a shop in Singapore selling nail polish brands like OPI, China Glaze, Orly, etc, and even gelish starter kits and polishes! Be sure to stay tuned!

Leave a Reply

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>