31 March 2016

Makeup Illustration for Purpletale

News on the makeup illustration front before the month is over!

Because I went to Seoul over the weekend, this month's end is coming on way too suddenly! I'd planned to get at least one more makeup review up, but yeah, here's a quick work update instead. 

While what I call my monthly salary as a freelance illustrator comes 90% from things like textbook illustrations, coloring books, layouting and other large serial orders from companies, there's also these fun little projects in-between that I love so much! 

This is another example - an illustration for new skincare brand 'Purpletale'!

Check out their international website here, or their Korean one here

The illustration depicts their current product range - 8 products in total, mostly in the skincare department, but there's a BB cream and primer, too.

We went for a 'flatlay' look, and as the brand's names are all (really adorably!) inspired by stories, books and fairytales, I added details like book pages and book illustrations in the background. 


Which gave us the possibility of featuring the main ingredients in the form of a textbook-like illustration beneath the products. Nifty, right?

Patterns on book covers! I had so much fun with these, especially since this time, I didn't use any sort of outlines except faint pencil guides. It makes for a softer, polished look.

Adding color on a large format (and for watercolor and me, anything beyond a postcard is a large format) without the paper going all wavy or the overall color scheme falling apart requires layering. 

As in, I started with mostly gray and sepia hues, and then slowly added blues (the pigments for those are softer than most purple tones) to define shadows and lights. 
You can't 'erase' what you've already put on paper, so a careful and slooow approach works best. 

Only when the general form of all individual objects and the lighting are sorted out, the brand's name-sake color came into play. 

While I wanted the overall look to be soft and elegant, I still needed the borders to be crisp or the whole thing would just look like a mint-and-purple cloud. :')
So my smallest brush carried the picture on its, maybe, three hairs. 
(I've since bought a new one, it got all worn out over the year. RIP.)

For the digital close-ups, I scanned the A3 picture on 600 DPI, did the whole post-processing marathon in Photoshop, and then added additional color layers to play up the purple and mint.

I was especially excited for the shiny, sleek packaging design of the brand in combination with the more subdued book pages in the back. 

Writing with a brush is always fun, too!

Purpletale Korean Skincare Brand Neck Cream Illustration

The Neck Cream has to be my favorite part. I wanted to let the page in the background look like something out of an illustrated fairy tale book or a high-fantasy novel, and am happy with how the white spaces turned out. 

For some of the white-on-color details I used a white pigment with a nib pen to get a cleaner result.

This is the banner collage for the website. I didn't know about the precise format ahead of time, so there was a quite a bit of cutting, masking and moving about involved. 

I got the real thing, too! 
These sheetmasks are HUGE. Seriously, have a comparison picture with my grumpy cat Hedwig.

Already excited to use this multi-faceted product. The 5 Steps To Lovely Skin includes a Cleansing Foam, an Ampoule, a Sheet Mask (of course!), a Facial Cream and a Neck Cream, so it's like a deluxe sample set perfect for traveling.

.... now I need the time to go traveling, though.

That's it for this little look at work! See you again in April!

Just a little preview for the next sticker set here:

A spring edition, but psst! ;) Should be ready and printed in about two weeks.

You can find my previous stickers on my Etsy shop here~

13 March 2016

Review: Etude House 'Berry Delicious' Color in Liquid Lips and Curl Fix Mascara

My first Etude House review!

I thought that I'd kind of 'grown out' of this brand. I'd tried several of their products back in ye olde days when I still had to order online - mainly bought them because their packaging was cute, but wasn't really blown away by the quality, to put it mildly.

But BERRIES. I can't resist berries! Etude, you've got me, hook, line and sinker.

I'm a sucker for everything strawberry, so I actually started to do a little drawing inspired by this line without the intention of buying anything... and then caved when there was a sale.

As I already have a liquid lipstick in red that I love dearly, I didn't get the main color of this collection of Colors In Liquid Lips. Instead, number PK014 'Berry Cherry To Go' caught my eye. On the official swatches, it looks like a warm pink.

As my old mascara was all dried up, I also got the Curl Fix Mascara I'd been eyeing for a while - in the limited edition packaging, of course.

I was a bit surprised when the order arrived, as the packaging color of the liquid lipstick looks more like a bubblegum pink than the website indicated. If a pink shade has too much 'milky' undertones in it and is too cool-toned, it normally doesn't suit me. (The swatches themselves surprised me positively, though!)

The 'Color in Liquid Lips' range by Etude House has a lot of vibrant shades in their color selection, so I expected nothing less from this limited edition. I heard that the 'Berry Delicious' products spread easier and are more moisturizing than the originals, but as I don't own any of those, I can't confirm it.

I do own a similarly packaged product in the innisfree Real Fluid Rouge, though. While the packaging does look similar, the formulation is actually very different! Where the innisfree Real Fluid Rouge is very, very creamy and resembles a lip oil, the Colors in Liquid Lips act more like a lip tint fused with a (liquid) lipstick finish.

How cute is that packaging, anyway?!

The packaging quality surprised me! I remembered Etude House's products as kind of cheap to the touch back when I last tried them about three years back. The plastic here feels comparably luxurious, the screw lid closes securely and effortlessly and the applicator is easy to work with, too.

... which is good, because this product is intensely pigmented and I really don't want to mess up when applying!

To my relief, the swatch itself has nothing of the 'strawberry milk' look the packaging made me fear. It's close to the official swatches, too, but I wish it was just a bit warmer and lighter - then it would be an exact match! A very bright pink, just shy from going all hot pink thanks to some rosy, warm undertones. I really love the color! It does look a bit darker on my lips than on my skin, though...

No idea why there's a 'cherry' in the product name, though. I'd rather say it's a 'Raspberry To Go'.

One layer of color

The finish is glossy, but the texture is not overly creamy or oily. It does transfer onto cups and the glossy layer will be destroyed by eating, but it does leave behind a pink stain.

Sadly that stain wasn't very regular, especially after eating: stronger on the outer rim of my lips and nearly non-existent on the inner part, which is not a very flattering look. This is a product that needs to be reapplied or at least blended out with some tinted lipbalm after meals. I'm not too picky about long-lasting products, but sensitive about products that fade irregularly. :/

Two layers of color

It's moisturizing at first, but after a few hours me lips did get dry and a bit chapped. I do have terribly dry lips regularly though, so that might just be me.

This is so crazily pigmented! I didn't find it necessary to do more than one layer to get the color I wanted. But what a second layer did help with was the overall finish. I'm able to blend it more evenly if I first apply a very thin layer, tap it in with my fingertips to get a stain, and then go over it a second time.

One layer only~
This color makes me feel very girly, haha.

As for the mascara:

If I'm informed correctly, the only difference between this one and the 'normal' Curl Fix Mascara is the packaging. There's a second color, though, called 'Strawberry Chocolate Fondue'. Really, REALLY wanted that one because of the name (and the color looks like a pretty, warm brown, too) but it was sold out when I was ordering.

How to even use this brush?? Seriously, if anyone knows, tell me!

I rarely wear black mascara, because it looks harsh on me. Especially clunky, heavy lashes aren't my thing. Most of the time I just use the brown Microcara by innisfree (the tiny one that's for under lashes, but I love it for my upper lashes!) but I wanted to try something new.

Without curling! Yay! There's something there!
THIS BABY ACTUALLY GIVES ME LASHES. But still, I'm a bit disappointed.

I've got super droopy lashes that look invisible because they just go out straight or downwards, no matter how much I curl (I've mostly just given up) but this mascara holds them up well for about five to six hours. Which is good compared to many others I've tried in recent years. It does feel kind of heavy, though, and is difficult to apply.

It is a bit of a messy process to get individual lashes instead of clumpy groups - at least for a mascara noob like me. The black liquid is a bit gooey and dries quickly, so you have to work fast to get the individual lashes seperate. I did seperate them up with a clean spooly, that helped a bit! Maybe I'm just not used to this stuff.

I do prefer the Microcara because I'm just not a mascara person (eye rubbing! Smudging! Cleaning that stuff in the evening!) but I do see the appeal of this one when it comes to curled lashes... I have used it on several occasions combined with heavier eyeliner, but I don't like how it makes my lashes look in general - a bit too clunky.

Two layers of the Color in Liquid Lips - this makes them look very plump, doesn't it? :D
By that point in time, my lashes were already a bit droopy (about five hours after applying the mascara)
No smudging, though!
I will be reaching for this lip color more once spring actually feels like spring, I think! At the moment, I'm still in my neutral-coral-red phase - need some real flowers and strawberries outside to go over into pink phase!

As a fazit: I quite like the product overall, but it isn't a favorite of mine. For that, it's too much of an in-between: Not as long-lasting as a true liptint, a bit too drying in the long run despite being neither a tint nor a matte finish - and while the shiny texture is very pretty at first, the stain it leaves behind was a bit too splotchy for my taste. Minor complaints, but I've got other lip products that I adore more.


I had so much fun drawing this, too! Though now that I own the product, I know that that's one way too huge macaron in the background. :') The Color In Liquid Lips is quite large (containing 3.5g of product)

Check out my instagram for a little video I made of the drawing process!

I really want to do more of these makeup illustrations without outlines, especially combined with other objects! It's great practice and the end result is automatically cute, no matter how much I mess up. Hah.

Thanks so much for reading! My reviews are wayyyy too long! (just look at the pictures pls...)

6 March 2016

FEBRUARY FAVORITES: Audiobooks, Tea and Aritaum - Review of Color Lasting Tint #2 Baby Wink

It's been forever since I've done a monthly favorites round-up! I've got a great mix of Korean makeup (one being more of an actual review!), food and book recommendations for you.

Edit 2017.02.07 : This post contains affiliate links (additionally marked with an * asterisk in the blog post), meaning I will make a small commission from anything you buy. View my 'About' page for the full disclaimer and my review policy! All products are purchased by me.

February was spectacularly unspectacular when it comes to makeup. I had so much work piling up that kept me inside, so my daily routine to look more (or less...) presentable consisted mostly of just sunscreen, lip tint, (terribly drawn) eyebrows, maybe eyeliner or eye shadow if I was feeling fancy, and some concealer.

But what a concealer!


The SAEM Cover Perfection Tip Concealer is quite famous in Korea for being cheap (retailing for only 5,000 Won which is about 4 USD) and very high quality for that price. I caved last year while visiting Seoul and bought a little tub of this magic potion in shade #1.
I love it.
It's creamy enough to work on dry under-eye skin to cover up dark circles, but it's also high coverage (bye, acne scars) and stays in place over the day, no fading or creasing.

Also, the shade is really light! Lighter than the lightest shade from most of the other road-shop brands I've tried/swatched. It's the only concealer I own that works on TOP of my foundation without being too dark or beige.

So if you're a #13 for most Korean foundations or cushions, this should be the right shade for you!

Beware: The packaging isn't the best. If you're not careful, some of the product might smear - I clean it sporadically with tissues.

Now on to the lip tint that saved me this month!

Korean Makeup Favorites Review - Aritaum Color Lasting Tint #2 and Mono Eyes Shadow


Whenever I'm really busy, I fall back to coral lip tints. They are easier to pull off (for me) than pinks or reds, I can apply them more smudgy because they are basically just a more saturated version of my normal lip color, and they go well with a bare face.

My current favorite is the Color Lasting Tint by Aritaum in Shade No.2, Baby Wink.

Korean Makeup Favorites Review - Aritaum Color Lasting Tint #2 Baby Wink Swatch
Aritaum Color Lasting Tint No.2 Baby Wink - Direct Sunlight

Isn't that name so cute?

I've previously reviewed two other shades from this line. One is a true red, the other one a bright fuchsia. So, both of those aren't really natural, everyday colors. But as I really liked the formulations of the Color Lasting Tint, I went back to get a more neutral shade. This one actually works better than the other two colors, which have a tendency to leave behind irregular, sloppy lip stains. The #2 Baby Wink fades evenly.

(If you want to read more about the packaging, please have a look at the two linked reviews! As this is just a favorites-of-the-month post, I don't want to make this too long)

Korean Makeup Favorites Review - Aritaum Color Lasting Tint #2 Baby Wink Swatch
Aritaum Color Lasting Tint No.2 Baby Wink - Indirect Daylight

As you can see on the swatch pictures, the texture has the same shiny finish as the other shades. Baby Wink is a lighter color, so the stain it leaves behind isn't that strong, but it still stays put for hours if I don't eat. The shine disappears upon drinking or eating, but the color itself remains behind.

One thing I really like about the Color Lasting Tints is the stain color: It's exactly the same as the product color itself. Some tints that are, for example, bright red upon application, leave behind a pinkish stain instead... If you're sensitive about colors and hues and harmony that can be quite annoying, so I love the color permanency of these!

Korean Makeup Favorites Review - Aritaum Color Lasting Tint #2 Baby Wink Swatch
Aritaum Color Lasting Tint No.2 Baby Wink - Artificial Light
Aritaum did well with these! Baby Wink would be in my January Favorites as well, if that blog post existed...

Korean Makeup Favorites Review - Aritaum Color Lasting Tint #2 Baby Wink Swatch & Mono Eyes Shadow

Arm swatching! Isn't the shade pretty? It's a peachy coral hue that makes me look instantly more alive while still looking really natural!

The swatch below the tint is for my third and last February makeup favorite: A cream eye shadow by Aritaum.


Part of the Mono Eyes range, the shade No.112 'Airy Play' is a creamy, shimmery light brown mixed with gold. In any case: It's just about the most natural shimmer eye shadow I've found so far!

Aritaum Mono Eyes No.112 Airy Play

It works really well on a sunscreen-only or bare face, or when used together with cushion foundation that's dewy in finish. The result looks a bit like I just applied my cushion foundation on my eyelids and that's it - but instead of the easily creasing and smudgy mess foundation can make on lids, this cream shadow stays in place for much longer and has some extra shimmer, too!

Tightline and eye shadow, indirect sunlight
I reach for this to brighten up my eyes (thanks, shimmer!), cover up some of the red arteries (thanks, biology!) on my lid and, at the same time, don't need to worry about dryness. Matte shadows can sometimes be a bit taxing on my lids, but this really just feels and stays creamy. It does budge a bit into the crease after some hours, so maybe I SHOULD be setting it with powder - but it's just so easy to re-blend it with a finger, so I don't bother.

Favorite drink this month: MATCHA POWDER TEA

Green Tea Latte! By some strange, beautiful twist of fate we currently own three bottles of green tea powder, and I've made it my mission to finish at least one over the course of the next weeks!

~70C water, add powder, stir until slightly foamy and deep, dark green, add some almond, soy or normal milk aaaand perfection!

Also, green tea powder is supposedly much more potent when it comes to health and skin benefits compared to brewed tea, so this is my counter-move when I hit the fourth or fifth cup of coffee each day.


So many! Whenever there's a lot of patient but kind of brain-dead drawing to be done, I finish about two or three audiobooks per week... 
That sometimes leaves me out of new books (or rather, Audible credits...) so in February, I was re-listening to some of my all-time favorites: Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice, as well as Emma... These two books just make me so giddy and romantic (and a bit dramatic), and whenever I re-read or re-listen to Jane Austen's work, there's new details that catch my eye/ear.
Pride and Prejudice on Audible (*)

Also listened to Mansfield Park for the first time. I actually enjoyed how loooong and meandering it was, but didn't like the ending. At all. Or where the characters ended up both physically and mentally and all in all, no recommendation for this one. But still:

Sense and Sensibility has to be my least favorite Austen book, though. I just can't with the characters, and not even Alan Rickman (;__;) in the TV series can keep me from wanting to slap or shake people. Especially when re-listening to this. Rah.

The Pride and Prejudice 2005 movie is so, so gorgeously shot.
I want to draw it all.

After my Jane Austen Binge, I needed something short and sweet, and a friend (on the same Austen Binge) recommended 'Daddy Long-Legs' by Jean Webster to me.

Still historical fiction, still infused with romance and mundane but lovely details and sentiments, but at the same time very light-hearted. It fit the mood perfectly! The whole book takes only about 4 hours in audio form and is composed nearly entirely of letters, which are so perfectly read by the narrator (Anne Hancock) that I was just giggling most of the time. Can only recommend it (and the follow-up 'Dear Enemy', which was even more snarky and had wonderful Scottish accents thrown in) - these are really perfect as a listening experience!

Daddy Long-Legs by Jean Webster on Audible (*)

That's it for February! I hope you had a great month and will be back soon with a 'real' review! Thank you for reading! <3