Tag Archives: competition

Beauty Spot: MAC Viva Glam makeover for World Aids Day plus giveaway!

How many companies make a huge fuss about ‘giving something back’ only for you to read the small print and discover charitable donations are limited to a small percentage of profits or a tiny fraction of the selling price?

Well, not MAC. I was invited to be part of their World Aids Day initiative to coincide with the launch of two new Viva Glam lip products fronted by Lady Gaga – where I discovered that every single penny/cent from the SELLING PRICE of their Viva Glam items goes directly to the MAC Aids Fund. Pretty impressive… and in Hong Kong alone, they’ve raised over $5.3 million over the past five years.

But a bit more about that later. On December 1, World Aids Day itself, MAC artists around the world gathered to distribute red ribbons and condoms to raise awareness about HIV – and I was amongst them! Alongside two of my beauty besties, Danielle and Jenn, we braved the elements (and the indifference of the general public) to hand out condom packs to passers-by outside iSquare in Tsim Sha Tsui.

An interesting experience to say the least. Given I generally get ogled if I expose just one inch of general chest area, I knew we’d be in for a bumpy ride – Danielle even more so when she decided to station herself outside Chungking Mansions! The high/lowlight was one man coming up to ask for seven packs ‘one for each day of the week… every time I change my clothes, I change my women’; oh well, at least he was planning on using condoms! Then there was the man that put his arm round Dani and asked if they were for use with her (balk)… and then there were the Muslims we managed to insult by insinuating they might have sex before marriage.

Having done the best we could, we were then led into the much safer waters of the MAC Training Studio, for a Viva Glam masterclass and make-up demo by MAC artiste extraordinaire, James Molloy.

I think I may love this man. In the past, I’ve found MAC staff somewhat scary and intimidating with their wild make-up looks, but James was so down-to-earth, lovely to chat to (gotta love hearing a Northern accent in HK!) and, most importantly, a dab hand with make-up! He demonstrated three looks using different Viva Glam lipsticks and lipglasses – the latest, Viva Glam Gaga 2, a creamy peachy nude lipstick with an ‘amplified finish’ and a matching beige-nude lipglass; mine and Dani’s favourite, Viva Glam I, a classic matte old-Hollywood scarlet and the very first creation in the Viva Glam line; and Viva Glam V, a neutral pink with a slight shimmer.

He stressed the importance of priming the lips first (using Mac’s Prime & Prep, a soft lip balm-like product that smoothes the surface and makes the colour last longer), advocated the use of blotting and reapplying to create a colour that stays put and generally made Queenie, the model, look rather fabulous (even if she doesn’t look too happy about it in the photos!)… and made it all look very easy!

We also had a chat about Viva Glam in general – in case you didn’t already know, Nicki Minaj and Ricky Martin are the most recently announced spokespeople (and I’ll put money on Minaj doing a bubblegum pink) for the line and Gaga had definite creative input into her choice of colours. I also learnt that ALL of Viva Glam sales, not just profits and not just some piddling percentage of the price, goes towards the MAC Aids Fund, which supports HIV sufferers worldwide and helps fund direct care, prevention and global fight against the disease. Whatever you think about MAC and its products, I don’t think anyone can doubt that this is a really brilliant initiative for such a worthy cause.

No-one else being up for it, I offered myself as guinea pig to James’ capable hands for a quick make-up demo! I rarely wear lipstick (instead going all out on the eyes front), so if I do, I want to make a splash with it – hence my choice of the Hollywood red Viva Glam I! We learnt from a Chinese journalist that local women generally steer clear of such bright lip colours, as they think their lips are too big, and that the colloquial phrase for wearing this lipstick colour is ‘a big basin full of blood’ (血盤大口, ‘huut pun dai hau’), like a monster who’s gorged on some animal! Great!

I personally loved what James did. It might be a little bit more vampire than vamp given how pale my skin is and how long my very dark Morticia Adams hair has become, but it was such a striking look that immediately made me feel gorgeous, glammed-up and red-carpet ready! I usually have difficult finding a red that doesn’t lean pink or orange on me, yet Viva Glam I seemed to do the trick nicely! I will say that I do think you need real confidence to wear bright red lipstick as it tends to magnify any other blemishes or flaws in your complexion and in Hong Kong especially, I’ve noticed it gets you many more stares than usual (or maybe I just notice them more?!).

Dani mentioned that whenever she wears red lipstick, it never lasts the distance and instead, ends up all over her face (what’s she been doing?!). So I decided to put Viva Glam I to the test and wore it for the rest of the day post-makeover. My photos show it after two hours wear, where it’s clearly as strong and saturated as ever. I then went to the Jack Wills opening party later that night; it was still very obvious, if not quite as freshly bloody, so I spruced it up with a slick of Lanolips Lip Tint (in Apple, an amazing product that I will be reviewing properly later) – you can check out some photos of me at the event on Jasmine’s fab blog here, which shows how Viva Glam I was holding up some 4-6 hours after application. If you can’t be bothered to look, the answer is pretty bloody well! By 8-10 hours, it was wearing off, but my boyfriend was still able to detect I had some red tint to my lips. Viva Glam I is obviously intensely-pigmented and boasts a gorgeous matte finish, but the downside to this is that it’s slightly drying – one coat of Prep & Prime beforehand does help matters significantly!

I’ll have separate swatches and full reviews for the two new Gaga Viva Glam lip products, but first I have a fantastic MAC giveaway for you all! You lucky devils can win the MAC goodie bag shown below for your make-up pleasure – including a fluid line gel eyeliner, mascara, mineralize blush, duo eyeshadow, lipglass, lipliner and a MAC World Aids day t-shirt. All you have to do is leave a comment saying who would be your ideal Viva Glam spokesperson and make sure you enter a valid email address in the comment form (so I can contact you if you win!).

The winner of the giveaway was Miss ChicMcMuffin – congrats girl, and enjoy the make-up!

Beauty Spot: Elemis new Sp@Home range and Starlight Collection

Following my lovely facial at Elemis Day Spa, I was lucky enough to be invited to check out their latest range of new products – the Sp@Home body-care range and the Starlight Collection of fabulous Christmas gift sets.

The launch was held in a model apartment (complete with fake views!) in Tai Koo Shing and the place had been piped through with Elemis’ trademark scrumptious scents! We were introduced to the complete Sp@Home range, which includes 13 brand new products alongside old Elemis favourites (but in swish new packaging), and got to sample a few for good measure too!

Sp@Home – designed to bring luxurious spa results into your daily life and totally free of nasties like parabens, artificial colours and silicones – is divided into five handy categories to fulfil all your skincare desires! Body Exotics includes ten of Elemis’ most indulgent products (like their Frangipani Monoi and Camellia Oils) and all smell divine; Body Awaken is all about revitalising and energising, thanks to invigorating ingredients like thyme, sweet orange and mango; Body Performance is a unisex range designed for body-sculpting, detoxing and fitting into your fitness regime and Body Anti-Ageing is full of collagen-packed products to keep those wrinkles at bay.

However, my favourite was the Body Soothing range and, targeted at de-stressing, nourishing and relaxing, I think it will be many others’ favourite too! Firstly, there’s LOADS of lavender in this line, which is absolutely one of my favourite scents and perfect for getting me into that peaceful frame of mind. Secondly, there are lots of really neat new products to play with – the Quiet Mind Temple Balm is handbag-sized and ideal for keeping in the office and whipping out at particularly hectic moments for a quick soothing rub on your pressure points. Similarly, the Quiet Mind Room Mist is a really light but lovely scent that infuses its way around the room and makes you feel calmer and more serene with just a few spritzes!

Meanwhile, the Treat Your Feet Foot Cream is an intensely moisturising, shea butter and jojoba-oil packed cream that boasts amazing user feedback (98% users felt that their skin was noticeably softer) – and as my dry manky callused feet attest, I have been searching for a good foot cream for ages!

The Starlight Collection… well, I think the pictures say it all. Christmas gift sets are my absolute weakness and more invariably end up in my own shopping bag than as presents for others, but trust me when I say ANY lady (or gent) would be happy to receive these come December 25th! The sets are totally luxe, well thought-out, can save you up to 50% on buying products individually and are just generally freakin’ fabulous.

The starburst-embossed toiletry bags and vanity cases (I’m crossing my fingers for either the dove grey one in Rejuvenating Stars, the periwinkle one in Stars Of Spa or the charcoal grey one in the Jewels Of Elemis sets!) are practically worth the price alone, never mind all the lush Elemis goodies you get stuffed inside! Expect to see these filtering into shops in October and be warned, these babies sell out fast!

I received the Treat Your Feet Foot Cream and the Revitalise Me Shower Gel in my goodie bag so expect to see reviews for those soon!

Also in my goodie bag was a $300 voucher off any Elemis Spa treatment – and out of the goodness of my own heart, I have decided to give it away TO YOU. Well, one of you anyway!

So here’s the bit most of you are interested in… the give-away! A few terms and conditions first: the voucher is valid until the 31st October, cannot be used on Saturdays or in conjunction with any other promotions and is available at either the Elemis Day Spa in Central, the Beautiful Skin Centre in Admiralty or the Victorian Spa at Disneyland (I have been assured Mickey Mouse will not turn up as your masseuse, promise!).

To be in with a shot of winning, just drop me a comment below (so use a valid email address, or include your Twitter username in the comment form please!) telling me why you want/deserve/need an Elemis treatment.

The competition is now over! Thanks to all who entered… and the winner is (picked from a hat, at random) *drum roll please* – CA! Congrats, and hope you enjoy your treatment!

Elemis products are available at Lane Crawford, Joyce Beauty and all Elemis spas.