Saturday, April 16, 2011

Cosmetic Review: Besame Classic Color Lipstick

I've been very behind with this blog post but finally I'm glad to be able to share it with you. Part of the delay was in getting some good photos that I was happy with, but the other night I finally managed to get the elements together that I wanted for the photos.

The lovely Gabriela from Besame Cosmetics sent me a 'Classic Color' lipstick to try out for myself. I'd long been an admirer of the range both for its vintage appeal and also the natural pigments- the reds of which are reproductions of the shades used in old Hollywood films. How glam! :)

Of the ingredients, Gabriela says on the website:

Formulations that I consider responsible luxury, non-toxic, natural, and beneficial to your skin, while still retaining the feel and performance of a truly luxurious product. A mix of today's cutting edge technology and some wonderful natural ingredients that have proven benefits to your skin.

Aloe, ginseng, olive oil, green tea, jojoba oil, rose waxes, lavender flower extract, avocado oil, just to name few. Ingredients that go beyond the glamour and contribute to your well being, delivering the quality that has become synonymous with Besame Cosmetics.

The lipstick arrived in my mailbox the morning I left for a trip, I was excited to try it out but had to wait until I got back. It went in my suitcase and gave me something to look forward to when I arrived at the hotel.

This version of their lipsticks comes presented in a cute velvet pouch for safekeeping. The case is a nice metal embossed with the signature chysthanthemums and the Besame name.

It is heavy enough to be substantial but not too heavy. The size is a little bit smaller than my Maybelline Color Sensational, but still plenty big enough.

The lipstick itself is in the old 'blunt bullet' shape which means you can use either the edge for lining or the blunt face for coloring. Very handy actually!

The shade I tried out is called 'Dusty Rose'. It's a nice, slightly dark pinky brown. The Classic Color comes in 12 different shades, with a good range including a coral-type for those girls who like their bright colors.

I also got a pamphlet in the package which tells a bit about some of the Besame range. The Classic Color lipstick includes Vitamin A, E & C as well as aloe and green tea. I definitely noticed this when I tried it out. Felt very moisturising, but not too shiny or slippery- almost like a balm which is a nice change from the usual drying-out feeling I get from some other lipsticks. (The website describes the CC lipstick as "semi matte"). It also has a slight but pleasant fragrance, nothing too strong but quite soothing which I am guessing is from the aloe and other oils used in the products such as jojoba and avocado.

Photo showing me with makeup but before applying the lipstick.

The colour coverage was great; It only took one sweep to get a deep colour. While I didn't do any heavy-duty eating, I did have a drink out of a glass and while there was a little bit of transfer (usual I think with moisturising lipstick) it wasn't anything major. For me, I usually reapply after eating or drinking so personally I wouldn't find it a problem at all had it been more left.

As I don't usually wear a lipliner for everyday (non-work) wear, I tested this the same way, with just the lipstick. I didn't notice any feathering, even though the colour is quite dark on me. I hate it when my lipstick feathers so this was a plus for me. I think for a deep red a liner would be a good idea anyway, but for this shade it wasn't really necessary.

Another way I tried this lipstick was to put it on & then blot some of the colour away, leaving more of a stain and then some gloss on the top for a more understated look. I liked this method for times when I didn't want so much colour. For night time wear, I'd probably wear it right out of the tube. The only negative would be if you don't like a lipstick that's not matte. In which case one of the other formulas might suit you better. For me, I don't like totally matte so this is a nice compromise.

Overall, I really liked this lipstick, and when payday allows will be getting one of the reds for work. =)

Currently the Classic Color is available to purchase online for $22USD. Considering the packaging I think this is very reasonable. In Australia, the Maybelline I used everyday retails between $12-16AUD and my L'Oreal between $22 to $30AUD. Those are lipsticks I don't know the ingredients of and also with plastic packaging. Besame Classic Color comes in a very attractive tube which is more substantial and an accessory in itself!

(For those of you who are eco-conscious, metal tubes are great for re-using once your colour is done- just Google for how to re-make your lipstick using the tubes)

Overall, I was very happy with the product and think any girl would love to have a little bit of glamour back in her makeup bag, without breaking the bank.

Thanks Gabriela!

Be sure to check out the Besame website as there are some cool instructional videos and other vintage-styled makeup products that might be just what you're looking for to complete your look.

(Note: In the interests of transparency; my Classic Color was sent to me as a gift from Besame Cosmetics. All views are my own and aside from the product gift I was not paid for my review. You should read my review in conjunction with the Besame website to decide if this product is right for your personal circumstance.)

Makeup: Cover Girl Advanced Radiance Foundation in Buff Beige, CG Eyeshadow Quad in Country Woods, CG TruBlend Minerals Powder Compact in #2 Creamy Natural, Maybelline The Colossal Volum' Express Mascara in Black & Besame Cosmetics Classic Color Lipstick in C212 Dusty Rose.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

LV = Leave = LOVE!

Finally the day rolled around where that blessed green box appeared on my roster: XX followed by two weeks of 'LV LV LV LV LV'. Woo hoo!!!

I arrived from New York at about 9pm, then right away I started doing my washing and getting my bags ready. Of course, after being so tired on the landing and through to the bus trip back to my apartment, by this time I could not fall asleep. I probably had about 2 or 3 hours of sleep by the time my phone rang to wake me up. I decided to skip getting a taxi to the airport and use the convenient Dubai Metro instead. It was a short walk from my building to a station and then onto the train. It took maybe 15 or 20 minutes to get to the airport. From there it was easy to take my bags and check in. Phew, my bag weighed right on the 30kg limit, lucky!!!

I spent awhile looking around the shops and the airport in general. It's only when on leave that we actually get to see inside the airport; usually we get taken direct to the plane from our crew centre and so miss seeing all the goings on of the airport. I picked up some supplies for the flight (bottled water and some snacks in case I didn't like what was being served) then had myself a quick breakfast before boarding. (See, it's not that hard to do, passengers who tell me you can't buy water in the airport!!!)

I went to the gate as it said boarding, but silly me didn't actually look outside of the window and check if there was even a plane there. (It wasn't there yet). After waiting about 45 minutes, the plane did show up and was cleaned ready for our flight. While waiting, I got talking to a girl sitting by me, as she wanted to plug her iPhone to my laptop to charge it. No problem. It turned out she used to work in a town that one of my previous airlines flew to. We even knew some of the same people. Small world indeed!!!

Once boarding was called for my section I headed onboard, putting the things I needed immediately in the seat pocket (and making sure I didn't block the aisle while I did so). The size of people's carry on luggage still never ceases to amaze me. I had the smallest of small rollaboard bags, others were bringing stupidly large bags plus myriad smaller items, then getting annoyed when there was nowhere to put them. Of course, putting things under the seat in front (in their own legroom) was out of the question. The lady in front of me wanted to put her bags in MY legroom (Um, no thank you was my answer).

Soon everyone was settled and off we went. I was going home!!! Despite being tired, I didn't (or couldn't) sleep. I ate my lunch (which was the fish as they'd run out of the choices) and it wasn't too bad. Of course some people made such a fuss, so when the poor crew got to me, he nearly had to ask me to repeat myself when I said that whatever he was serving is fine. I wasn't using a crew bag so I don't know if he knew I was crew- his reaction said probably not. After the meal was done I watched some movies. "Morning Glory" with Rachel McAdams and "Never Let Me Go" with Carey Mulligan. I quite like her, aside from her cute awards show outfits she has an interesting face.

Anyway, the flight was okay, weird and uncomfortable for me because I'm not used to sitting for so long. Eventually, we arrived and it was nearly time to meet my family. Yay!

After a brief stop in duty free to buy Moet for my sister's birthday, it was out to Arrivals & my family. We got my bags into the car then headed home. Being around 3am by this time, we were all hungry and I requested to make a stop on the way home.

Hungry Jack's!!! For those of you who like Burger King, imagine it but ten times better. I still haven't found any Burger King anywhere in the world that even comes close to Aussie Hungry Jack's- not even in NZ.

Getting home, I dumped my stuff in the foyer and we descended into the lounge to devour our burgers and fries.... man it was sooooooo good!!! All the while watching 'Jersey Shore' (don't ask) re-runs and me answering myriad questions about my life in the Middle East.

I'm not one of those people who can keep a good gift under wraps for long, so of course then the unpacking of bags in the middle of the lounge room floor followed, I like seeing what people think of the presents I got for them. As it was my sister's 30th birthday I splashed out a bit and bought her the new Dior Cannage makeup palette, she said it was exactly what she had been thinking to buy for herself and the cool thing is onc eth emakeup is gone the case can be used as a clutch bag. Cute!!

For my aunt I got an 'I <3 NYC' t-shirt and glass Arabic perfume bottle and for my sister's BF I got him a set of new york shot glasses with the Subway symbols on them which are really cool looking.

The first few days of leave were spent doing boring stuff like Dr's appointments, car service and all that fun stuff. We didn't really do a lot, I hadn't planned much before I left and we just went with the flow.

Most nights we had a dinner together followed by cocktails and watching tv. During the day it was so hot, which resulted in spending lots of time at the local pool or the beach. I loved going to the beach, here are real beaches, not the yuvky rubbish-strewn ones I'd seen in Dubai. I didn't need to worry about creepy guys taking my photo. SOme nights it was so hot that we went to the beach at 10 or 11pm. I'm also kind of ashamed to admit that we did have our fair share of meals at Hungry Jacks or making stops for M&M McFlurries from McDonald's. The last big meal I had in Oz was fish and chips at Peter's by the Sea, in Scarborough. It's been there since my dad was young and was THE hangout by the beach. Happy to say the chips are as good as ever and the fish was really nice, batter golden crispy and piping hot. As always there was lots of chicken salt involved. Yum!!!

This probably makes for a boring post, but just being at home and hanging out with the family was great. While home, I celebrated my 28th birthday, along with my gorgeous nephew who turned 1 on the same day. We had a big BBQ with delicious food and of course, cake- or in our case- cakes :P

The times when my family were working was when I did all those things that one does when on leave- bank stuff, getting my fillings re-done, sorting my boxes which were in storage. That part was kind of fun (despite the heat) and it was almost like shopping as I got to clothes I had wished I'd brought with me when I moved. Now, I have much more choice when it comes to what I wear in Dubai.

Too soon it was time to get on the plane back to Dubai. This time I had to share the row of 3 with a couple, about my age. All through the flight the girl kept going to the bathroom what felt like evry five minutes. She wanted me to trade my aisle seat for the window. Normally, I'd agree but they had been annoying me so much, sticking their elbows into my space, trying to put their bags in my foot space & so on... plus, I hate being in the window as sitting down for that long is hard enough as it is without being trapped. Eventually, I wandered down the cabin and found another seat as she just kept climbing over me without warning, not giving me the chance to move my legs. Win for the inconsiderate passengers! :P

Finally we reached Dubai. I lugged my bags outside the airport but having never come through the arrivals since I moved here, I got lost and couldn't find the way to the Metro (the odd directions from one of the staff didn't help, either). After about half an hour I managed to backtrack & find the right way. Arrived home at the apartment & typically couldn't sleep! It was okay as I had a day before my next flight.

Soon enough it was time to get ready for work again. This time I'd be going back to Bangkok!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Month of Blah

March roster. The dreaded reserve month rolled around. I didn't mind that I'd be on reserve for one month; I figured it'd be fun to be surprised about where I'd be flying to and maybe to get a flight to Sydney (like most of my friends) or to be assigned to fly somewhere new.

No such luck!! I'd finished February with a nice Bangkok trip, and then I waited expectantly to be assigned a flight- any flight. The days went by without any calls, and I was surprised, but just figured that it was the start of the month & not many people were calling in sick yet. Towards the end of the month is when people usually start deciding they're too run down to go to work or can't rally as much as they can at the start to go to work with say, something minor going on.

I had a couple of home standbys, and I was ready with suitcase (almost) packed and uniform ironed & hung up. (I wasn't sure how much notice I'd get if I was called for a flight). I needn't have worried- I still didn't get any calls. Must be a slow month, I figured.

Finally, on the 11th, I was assigned an airport standby. I knew there were several flights short of crew, so on arriving at the standby lounge at the airport I fully expected to either be pre-assigned a flight or to receive one shortly. A London Heathrow departed with another girl on it. The time crawled by. I wasn't feeling too good that day as I'd had a fight with a friend the day before; that wiped out any chance of sleeping in the quiet room until they called me. Finally, I saw the standby officer on the phone. He was mentioning JFK (New York) and kept looking at me. I was kind of tired for such a long flight but the hours would be good. He saw me looking at him, got off the phone then told me they weren't using me for that flight either, even though it was only an hour or less until departure time. They called someone in from home standby. No flight for me!!

I went home & crashed out, exhausted from the tension of waiting and going so long without working. I was starting to worry about not having a good pay next month, but there was nothing I could do about it. One more home standby followed and again without a call. That night, around assignment time at 6pm, my roster changed to - finally - give me a flight. Manchester. It wasn't the best but it'd do. I hadn't been to the UK in ages.

It ended up being a good trip, which deserves a little post of its own, and soon enough I was back in Dubai, waiting to see what woud be next. I had some days off, then some more standby, followed by a New York that appeared a day in advance on my line. Thank goodness, good hours!! Even though that flight has a bit of a reputation, I was glad to get more work. That trip also has a post in the works, so I won't go into too much detail here, but it was fun!

Back again to Dubai, my body clock screwed up by arriving at night, therefore making me unable to sleep which sent me into about a week of being up all night and sleeping all day. Mushroom shift, I call it- only out at night ;P

I waited for the inevitable end-of-month rush, filling my time by reading, cleaning house, sitting at the pool trying not to get burnt, and other things like that. Had the odd outing with friends when I was released from home standby 'prison' (chained to the phone, lol) and yet... no flights. It was excruciatingly boring, especially when all my friends were going to Hong Kong (with a layover) Bangkok or even the long Sydney Auckland trip. I was dying to go back to Oz, and started to get really homesick.

People were flaking on plans made & friends were popping up on Facebook in photos of fun nights out, days at the beach and other fun things, all while not replying to my messages or saying they were 'too busy'. One of two people were reliable but I really got a glimpse of just how flaky life in Dubai can be... the saving spots were a nice dinner with my new Dubai friends Tai & Robert (yummy food as always; I was sent home with dessert carefully wrapped by Tai) and the few little explorations I made into new parts of Dubai I hadn't seen before. And some good books! I finalyl found a copy of Impossiblecat's book here and devoured it in about 2 days (thoughts on that later)

Roster day was agonisingly slow; it was 2 days late and as always, Facebook was full of people asking if anyone had their roster yet. I was anxious to see what I'd be doing in April, hoping against hope I'd have a busy month and maybe a flight to Australia in the mix. Finally, on the 28th, the roster came. Three flights. I got three flights for the whole month!! I'm bracing myself now for the inevitable two months of really low pay packets. I'm a little bit worried; I'll barely make enough to send home to cover my car loan & other bills, but there's no use worrying about that. Hopefully I can pick up more work in May. Fingers crossed!

April had me going once to London & twice to NY. I was hoping for a Hong Kong trip as it's the last month we'll be doing the direct flight, but I didn't get one. Quite disappointing as people in my group were getting two or three each for the last 2 months, even off reserve. I spent hours on the swap system, trying for a Sydney, but either people or were unwilling or illegal to swap. The standby day inserted in front of about half the Sydney trips was really messing with my ability to get a trip - we can't swap standbys, don't ask me why!! I somehow found a guy to swap with, but he ended up having no US visa, so the swap was invalid. I guess I'm just not meant to go to Sydney this month.

Finally, someone wanted to swap my New York for a Hong Kong layover trip. It was a really hard decision, as I'd lose hours, but eventually I decided that I took this job to see new places & I should seize the chance to go to HKG while it was there. I was going to be poor next month anyway, it didn't really matter how much... :P

So, that ends the Month of Blah that was!!! I know it sounds like a lot of complaining, and normally time off would be great... but I wanted to work ;) We'll see what the May roster brings...

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