Review: Labiotte’s Wine Lipstick

Brand: Labiotte (Chateau Labiotte)
Product: Wine Lipstick Fitting
Shade: 4
Price: 19.51 AUD
Bought from: W2Beauty

First impressions: The colour is more discrete than I anticipated and a bit more matte than I thought it would be. It’s still a nice colour, so I’m not disappointed, just a bit caught off guard. The packaging is awesome. It feels really nice on the lips, it’s lightweight and not very drying.

Packaging: It’s a wine bottle. I like wine bottles. Especially when they’re comfortable to hold, stay closed, and stand up on their own.

Usage: I wear it without lipliner or lip primer. It stays on pretty well but if you want to keep the bottle on your desk, you can probably use the need to reapply the lipstick as an excuse. The cut is slanted rather than pointed, so you might find some parts of your lip need to be painted with care.

Value for money: 20 AUD is pretty mid-range for lipsticks and I’d say the price is fair considering the extra work that was put into the product. It’s fine but doesn’t make me giddy with what a steal it is.

Would I buy this again? Maybe. It takes me a while to get through lipsticks and this shade is nice but not amazing. I might consider picking it up in a different colour the next time I buy from W2Beauty.

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K-Beauty Haul – W2Beauty

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So, this morning, my long-awaited package from W2Beauty arrived! Naturally, I thought I’d let you know what was in the package.

Above is the main skincare items I got. The Innisfree essence and the steam balm from TonyMoly are old favourites of mine. I’ve been wanting to try the Etude House Bubble Tea sleeping packs for ages and opted for one that is based on green tea. The avo in the middle is a lip scrub from SkinFood that even smells of avocado. Lastly there’s a peel off Pokemon pack with a Digglet theme. I’m assuming it’s similar to other peel off masks, but I haven’t tried it yet. You can get a better look at the Bubble Tea sleep pack below, along with a hand cream from the Saem that I’m extremely keen to try.

On the left, you can see the hair products I got. Firstly, a conditioner and a hair mist from Innisfree that are designed for coloured hair. Secondly, an argan oil type essence that’s meant to be curl-enhancing (hoping it can boost the little bit of natural wave I’ve got going) from SkinFood. On the right we’ve got two body masks. Firstly, a parafin hand mask that I just tried (it’s awesome). Then to the right is a classic foot mask that’s meant to be peeling.

 

In regards to lip products, I ended up getting three things. A lipstick from Chateau Labiotte (also seen on the right), a lip tint from the Saem, and a lip balm from 3CE. I only ended up getting two eye products, two different liners. Firstly, a gel liner from Innisfree in a dark brown. Secondly, a cushion eyeliner that’s designed to look like an inkwell and feather-pen. I’m so excited to try it.

Lastly, I thought I’d show all of the amazing samples I ended up getting included in the order. It seems like a lot if you’re used to Western stores, but it’s really common for Korean stores and brands to include heaps of samples when you purchase things.

This cost me a total of 153AUD and shipping from W2Beauty is free when you spend more than 60 dollars.

100 of My Favourite Things 1/5

So the idea of listing things you enjoy isn’t exactly new, but I did steal this format from the wonderful YouTuber Toxic Tears. Because this post would be massive if I did all 100 things at once, I’ll be splitting it into 5 parts. Oh and these aren’t ranked.

1. Coffee
This shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone. Coffee is love, coffee is life. It’s the finest organic suspension ever devised.

2. The Tony Hill & Carol Jordan series by Val McDermidwp-1494841600167.jpg
I have to do so much heavy reading for my thesis and every now and then it’s just great to have a break and read something light. It’s a series of psychological thrillers with flawed but relatable characters.

3. Mushroom Soup
Anything with sautéed mushrooms is a big win for me and mushroom soup is essentially that flavour taken to the max. It’s the perfect winter treat when you’re feeling a bit crook or down.

4. Geeky Kitchen Gadgets
If you can make something functional and funny or geeky, then chances are I’ll like it. My tea pot is a Tardis, most of my mugs change design when hot or have some geeky slogan on them, some of my dishes have planet prints on them. It just makes life a little bit better to have things like that around.

5. Fire places
Want atmosphere? Get a fireplace.

6.  Dogs
They are happiness on legs. There are few things that instantly put a smile on my face, but dogs absolutely have that effect. I currently can’t have my own dog but even just seeing one walk past outside does make my day a bit better.

7. Fluffy Socks
Nothing says comfort like a pair of fluffy socks. I wear them when writing or just relaxing after a long day. It’s just one of those small things that helps brighten your day.

8. Smashed Avo on Toast
Apparently this is why I can’t buy a house.

9. Good Wifi
Do I really need to explain why I like good wifi more than bad?

10. The theme for Where On Earth Is Carmen Sandiego?
Holy crap is that a catchy theme tune. As far as themes for kids’ shows go, this is one of the best.

11. Batman.
Batman is one of my childhood heroes (thank you Batman: The Animated Series). Actually, scrap the ‘childhood’ part. Batman is one of my heroes.

12. Swimming
It’s one of the few forms of exercise where you can’t actually feel like you’re sweating – at least most of the time. It’s also just a nice thing to do when it’s hot outside.

13. Sunscreen
See point 12. It’s also the best skin care item there is.

14. Personal Styles
I love it when people manage to develop their own personal badass and flattering style rather than following trends.

15. Jeggings
I don’t care what you say, but with the right fabric they can look amazing. Not to mention that they’re super comfortable.

16. Sabaton
Gotta love a band that uses history as an inspiration for some pretty epic metal songs.

17. Sheet Masks
They’re just super convenient and a good way to look after your skin. Not to mention that they’re super cheap compared to most other alternatives.

18. Dark Green
It just happens to be my favourite colour.

19. Comfortable high heels
Finding a pair of comfortable heels that fit just right is absolutely amazing. Plus, they make you taller – which is helpful since you can look over other people’s heads in crowds and know where things are.

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Review: The Infectious Madness of Doctor Dekker

This is the first time I’ve written a review of a video game on this blog. So why did I decide to write about an FMV game with an inconveniently lengthy title? The answer is honestly that I think the game deserves a whole lot of appreciation and that I thoroughly enjoyed it.

What is it?
The Infectious Madness of Doctor Dekker is a lovecraftian murder mystery. You assume the role of a therapist trying to figure out who murdered you predecessor whilst treating his patients. It consists fully of FMV sequences and on a very basic level, the core mechanic relies on you typing in responses and questions to the people you’re talking to.

How much would you have to pay for this thing?
8.99 USD on steam

Which platforms is this game available on?
I’ve played it on a MAC laptop. It’s also available for PC.

Is there any re-playability?
The murderer is randomly decided at the start of the game and thus the answer to the main question keeps changing every play through. Despite this, I’d say the re-playability is fairly limited since a majority of the content remains the same. Some pieces of evidence change along with the identity of the killer. I’d recommend doing one straightforward play through and one in which you attempt a completionist run and aim to get all possible responses.

FMV, really?
Yeah, the full motion video style of gaming is back. Thankfully, this time, most FMV developers decided to hire people who can actually act. Furthermore, the developers seem to have developed an understanding of the nature of the medium and it’s audience that allows for interesting twists and turns. The interview format used by this game works very well with an FMV type game and you don’t really feel like this game would have been better if it had skipped the FMV and instead relied on animated characters.

Is it fun?
I had a good time with this game and also watched a Let’s Play or two. It’s the type of game I’d recommend playing whilst enjoying a glass of wine or with a friend. It’s what you make of it. The game is fairly self-aware and does allow for a fair few tongue-in-cheek moments.

Is it difficult?
Yes and no.
Finding the right key words or questions is sometimes a struggle. Most of the time you’ll move along just fine only to get stuck. Thankfully, the hint system is quite good. You can set a cool-down period for the hints and thus control your own frustration levels.

Is this a new game?
Yes, it was released in May 2017 and has received regular updates since then.

Who would I recommend this game to?
Anyone who enjoys story-driven games, FMV, and/or lovecraftian horror.

Should you give it a go?
Hell yeah, it’s a truly unique game. Even if you don’t think it’s your thing, 8.99 USD isn’t much to pay for giving something a go.

Fall Empties

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For the last few weeks, I’ve really tried to get rid of some of the things I’ve had for years.

The Green Tea essence from Innisfree is one of my all-time favourite skincare products and I’m probably going to re-purchase this at some stage. The Etude House body wash smelled wonderfully like chocolate but wasn’t very moisturising. The Apple hand creme from TonyMoly was excellent and I thoroughly enjoyed it. The cleansing foam from the Face Shop got the job done but wasn’t spectacular and I suspect it expired, so I’ve decided to replace it. I’ve only got positive things to say about the Moksha sheet mask called Dear, Bamboo. The rest of the items aren’t really too noteworthy and are either just regular stuff being replaced or things I decided to get rid of because I was really bored with them and had other things lined up.

Hidden Gems

This post is about brands and products that I think are underrated, underestimated, or just not as well known as they should be. They’re not necessarily small indie brands and this is not a hipster post. It’s just about things I think you should look into. Last thing to consider is that products and brands may be well known in one part of the world but not in another.

The first brand I’d like to draw some attention to is Palmer’s. It’s a brand you can find in most drugstores in Australia and they specialise in skin care. It’s not necessarily unknown, but I almost never hear people talk about it. The cocoa body butter included in the photo above is wonderful, smells nice, and is really moisturising. In terms of affordable skincare, look into Palmer’s the next time you’re considering a purchase. I use their exfoliator, body butter, and they used to make the best lightweight moisturiser I’ve ever tried.

Geek Chic Cosmetics is one of my all-time favourite indie brands. Their solid perfumes are some of the very few perfumes I actually like. They’re not overpowering and they don’t stink up the entire house. Furthermore, they make my favourite powder foundation. It’s in the shade Kahlan and I’ll have to re-purchase it soon. They’ve also got a great body lotion that references Silence of the Lambs, which is amazing. They’re mostly known for their eyeshadows, which come in geek themed collections. As a bonus, the brand is cruelty free and at least mostly vegan.

SkinFood is a great Korean brand that never seems to get much attention in the west. They make my favourite eyebrow powder, the gummibear shaped hand cremes I rave about, and some truly awesome skincare products. If you love cute packaging, high quality products, and like brands that try new things – then SkinFood is for you.

TonyMoly – this is a brand you’ve probably heard of. However, it seems to be underestimated by most people I’ve chatted to. This brand makes a mind-blowingly good liquid eyeliner for like 10 dollars. Their steam balm in their egg pore series is one of the best products I’ve tried when it comes to fighting blackheads. Furthermore, their Pokémon themed collaboration that you can still find in a lot of online k beauty retailers was really good. The Psyduck cheese firming cream contains gruyere (seriously) and can be used on your body and face. I typically use it on my legs after shaving and it has been really helpful.

Innisfree – Innisfree is my holy grail skincare brand. If I was only allowed to use one brand for all of my skincare, then it would be Innisfree. They are famous for combining natural ingredients with scientific innovation and the result is gorgeous. In addition to their skincare they also have innovative products in haircare and some really solid makeup products. Their no sebum compact powders are perfect in humid climates.

Guerlain – You’ve probably heard of this brand. However, very few people seem to actually purchase things from them. Out of all the luxury brands, Guerlain is the one given the least attention in comparison to how good the brand really is. I’ve been a fan of their Rogue G de Guerlain lipsticks for years and currently use a light-medium coverage foundation from them. I’ve never tried a Guerlain product that I found lacking in quality, the only time a product hasn’t worked for me was when it was made with a pink undertone in mind.

Paint – I’ve only ever seen this brand in one Terry White’s. It’s honestly on par with OPI in terms of quality even though their range is a bit smaller. I remember buying 5 bottles of nail polish for 10 dollars and not a single one of them disappointed me. The shade I’m showing in the photo above was simply called ‘red’. This means that it’s hard to search for the brand online since both the brand name and shade names are really generic. If you have a Terry White Chemist near you, see if they carry this brand.

BH Cosmetics Galaxy Palette – I don’t know enough about BH Cosmetics to be able to recommend the brand as a whole. However, their galaxy themed palette is heaps of fun. It’s great for creating unusual looks and the colours can be used both wet and dry. If you’re looking for a fun palette that’s really affordable, check this one out.

Review: Wine Lip Tint from Château Labiotte

Brand: Labiotte
Product: Wine Lip Tint
Shade: RD01 – Shiraz Red
Available: MIK Australia, W2Beauty
Price: 14-15 USD
Note: I actually won this product (and a few others) in a Facebook competition that was open for everyone on W2Beauty’s FB page.

Packaging: If Cersei Lannister had a makeup line, this would be her star product. From what I can tell, all products from Labiotte (also called Château Labiotte) are wine themed. Considering they’ve got mascaras, fragrances, eyeshadows, and lipsticks, that’s quite impressive. Seriously though, this is some of the most awesome packaging I’ve ever come across. It’s lightweight and yet sturdy. Practical and fun.

First Impressions: The applicator is good and easy to use, it has the right amount of precision and the unusual shape of the handle doesn’t have a negative impact on how it controls.  I’ve used this product a handful of times and the colour is gorgeous. It’s a very flattering deep red that could be worn by most people. I can’t help but think this item would be a great conversation starter in any scenario where you’re around people who wear makeup. Or like wine.

Cons: The first time I wore this lip tint it was one of the best tints I’ve ever come across. However, it doesn’t seem like it has the best staying power. It’s on par with some good lip tints, but you’d need to top it up if you wear it on your entire lip as opposed to in a gradient lip.

Pros: Given that the product is really small, it’s easy to carry around in your purse or keep on your desk. That somewhat mitigates the issue of it wearing off throughout the day. The two best aspects of this product are without a doubt the colour and the packaging.

Value for money: Good. It’s not the cheapest lip tint I’ve come across, but it’s really opaque and you only need one layer of product.

Would I recommend it? Yeah, if you’re into lip tints and like fun packaging – then this is the product for you.

 

Things You Should Know: PTSD

This is probably the 15th draft I’ve made when it comes to posts with this theme. I write them and never post them. I’ve tried writing humorous ones, rambling ones, lists, formal ones, and who knows what else. Yet here I am, giving it another go.

You should know that PTSD does not make me less capable. My PTSD doesn’t run my life, it spends most of the time in the passenger seat criticising my driving. As with so many things, PTSD exists on a spectrum. In general mine is mild. When it flares up, it can be anywhere from ‘really inconvenient’ to ‘how the hell am I still alive?’. But in general, it does not affect my ability to live a productive life.

You should know that PTSD does not make me less intelligent. I have an old Mensa membership card in my possession. I have excelled academically and professionally. I grasp new logical systems fairly easily and can generally read people. I enjoy learning about new things and often take the time to consider things from different perspectives. Sure, I say some pretty stupid things sometimes and don’t fully comprehend the finer philosophical aspects of Donnie Darko, but who the hell does?

You should know that PTSD is not just flashbacks. It’s rare for me to get flashbacks and when I do, it’s mainly physical sensations or emotions that don’t fit with what I’m actually doing. My PTSD specialises in nightmares. I have nightmares maybe 97 percent of the time. They suck and they’re probably even harder to control than flashbacks. I hate sharing rooms with people out of fear I’ll talk in my sleep or wake up crying. I’ve honestly started to focus on lucid dreaming to prevent that type of thing from happening. It makes it easier to wake up in a somewhat controlled manner.

You should know that PTSD sometimes overrides well… me. It usually happens a few times a year, but when the condition is more active, overrides happen more often. This is when the condition jumps over from the passenger seat to the driver’s seat and has a serious case of road rage. My usual self is reduced to that voice you have in the back of your mind that you seldom listen to. It’s really scary when it happens and you’re not in control of what you’re doing. It’s humiliating, degrading, and undignified. This is the part of the condition people often hear about and when they see it in person… Most people don’t understand it. It’s scary and illogical. Sometimes ridiculous. If you do see it happen, realise the other person isn’t really in control right now. Don’t take it personally and walk away. Try talking to the other person a day or two later. Chances are they’ll apologise profusely for their behaviour. This is the time when you need to remember that PTSD is a mental illness and that sometimes it can’t be controlled. Think of it as an epileptic seizure. However, do draw boundaries. PTSD is not an excuse for physical violence or endangering another person. Just be aware that they might say and do things they don’t actually mean or want to say. In some scenarios, they might not actually fully remember what they said or did. It’s a really strange experience and it’s kinda like getting blind drunk. Your normal self knows that this isn’t right, but something else has taken over and makes you make an ass out of yourself.

You should know that PTSD does not automatically equal veteran or sexual assault survivor. These two groups are common among people with PTSD, but they are far from the only reasons why people develop PTSD. Please don’t ask people with PTSD what caused their condition, they’ll probably tell you if they want you to know. Whatever you do, don’t be the asshole who tried to assess if what they went through was ‘traumatic enough’ for PTSD to develop. You’re probably not going to be told everything. Asking someone about what’s very possibly the worst moment in their life is extremely personal. They might even lie because it’s too painful to talk about. It’s also really common to be unable to remember parts of the experience or even the entire thing. There are examples of people who developed PTSD from watching live coverage of 911.

You should know that PTSD is not a sign of weakness. Trauma breaks a lot more people than there are people who develop PTSD. PTSD is like having a wound heal with a scar instead of neatly. It’s not about who breaks and who holds it together, but about how your brain heals after a trauma. You can’t tell mid-trauma who is going to develop PTSD and who is going to be fine.

You should know that PTSD is really bloody complicated.

 

 

You Know What Really Grinds My Gears?

Yup, straight up stealing from Family Guy.

 

  • “Nukular” – it’s nuclear. Nu-clear. And no, it’s not a matter of ‘accent’. You’re pronouncing the bloody word wrong. I bet you also say expresso.
  • Referring to adults as ‘boys’ or ‘girls’ – well at least you’re being honest about being a big man-child. Grow the fuck up. I’m closer to 30 than I am to my teenage years, I’m not a little girl, kindly don’t equate me to a child.
  • “Are you REALLY gluten free?” – I was diagnosed in my late teens after a biopsy and would give anything for a real bowl of pasta. I don’t have to make shit up to feel special and I don’t know why people do lie about this. And no, a gluten free diet won’t benefit you unless there’s a real actual medical reason you need to eliminate it from your diet. And if you put gluten in my food because you think I’m ‘faking it’, then firstly, fuck you. Secondly, it’s not a nut allergy – I’m not going to choke to death. I will have severe stomach issues a few hours later and a fucked up immune system for six months.
  • People who look down on swearing – fuck off.
  • People who haven’t read my research or researched any similar topics/fields trying to explain my own research at me – Darling, your hypothesis didn’t hold up against even minimal testing, that’s why it’s not in the conclusion. Come back when you’ve ACTUALLY done research beyond looking at your own opinions. The theory isn’t flawed or wrong just because it’s not what you wanted it to be.
  • “You can’t loose weight through exercise unless you go on a diet” – Twice in my life I’ve lost decent amounts of weight through exercise while barely changing my diet. You just have to do a lot of it. Typically this is said by people who are trying to lose weight but aren’t succeeding. Go rain on someone else’s parade.
  • “What’s it like to be a woman in geek culture/academia/politics/literally anywhere?” – What exactly are you expecting me to compare it to? My secret life as a dog in which I’ve also tried all these things? Fuck do I know, I’m not a token woman who experiences all womanly things and speak for all women. I’m me, I can tell you a lot about what it’s like to be me. You know, the actual person you’re talking to. I don’t get any secret memos on What It Is Like To Be Female In This Field.
  • If you show cleavage you are trying to find a man – I’m showing cleavage because the outfit I picked that day showed cleavage. My process of clothing selection typically goes: find something somewhat clean, make sure it matches the weather, check if you’re doing anything that day requiring specific clothing, pick the remaining option you like the most. You, or any random men for that matter, are not even in my mind when I pick what to wear.
  • Women who grab other women’s boobs – you’re not excused from committing sexual assault because you’re the same gender as the person you’re grabbing. You’re not entitled to groping people regardless of which gender you are. Consent still bloody matters. Have the courtesy to at least ask for permission.
  • People who don’t indicate.
  • “Why are you so quiet?” – Because I don’t have anything to say right now.
  • “Why do you talk so much?” – Because I have something to say right now.
  • “Clean” eating – people aren’t dirty or eating dirty because they have a burger now and then. You are not cleaner or more pure than they are.
  • Elastane – I’m allergic to it. Can’t wear it. Same thing with lycra/spandex….
  • Early access games – I really just like buying finished products
  • Beige
  • “Your tattoos won’t look good when you’re older” – nor will your un-inked skin. Skin ages, regardless of if it has tattoos or not.

Upgrading Manicures

I’ve got a passion for nail polish. It’s actually why I started this blog in the first place, hence the name Polished Cryptids. These days, I don’t often have the time to sit down and do my nails. Thus, like so many others, I reserve manicures for when I want to treat myself. Not to mention when I had to cut my nails in a rush and messed up, that’s when I go to a salon. However, I’m incredibly picky when it comes to polish and I am almost never satisfied with the outcome. Salons tend to be airconditioned and when you walk out of them (and live in a humid/hot climate), your polish is likely to start bubbling.

In order to disguise this and any minor smudges, a good old effects polish can be a lifesaver. It also extends the lifetime of the manicure by adding another protective polish.

The first photo shows my manicure shortly after walking out of the salon, if you enlarge it, you can see how the polish has started to bubble. In order to address that issue, I used an effects polish from OPI that contained black particles and larger metallic glitter. Because the regular polish is rather bright and metallic, meaning that a more muted effects polish is a good option that prevents you from blinding people with the sheer shininess of your nails.

The photo featuring the pink nails are based on an at-home manicure. When doing this at home, I typically make sure that the entire nail is covered as opposed to the more limited cover of a salon manicure. This helps the polish stick to the nail longer and minimises the risk of the edges of the base polish catching on something and thus flaking. Due to the weather here, bubbling still happens sometimes but to a lesser extent if you let your manicure dry in the same temperature the entire time. In these instances, playing with texture is a great way to trick the eye into focusing on something other than the small bubbles. That’s why I opted for gold flakes rather than a more traditional glitter polish. This is also a great option if your nails are a bit fragile and you’ve found that glitter polishes are difficult to remove smoothly.

Another option is to skip the glitter, but keep the particles. The photo on the far right shows an effects polish with matte particles that are a good option for hiding minor imperfections. It works great on both metallic and regular polishes.

For smudges, try an effects polish that cracks. You paint it over the entire nail and it then shrinks to create cracks in the nail. When that has dried, add a clear top coat to make the look more polished.