I have been eyeing some Bobbi Brown blushes for as long as I can remember – there are some really beautiful pink shades in their individual blush range. And I am glad I waited that long as Bobbi Brown has recently released a limited edition Cheek Palette in Pink from the Hot Collection that contains all the pink blush shades I have been longing for! Of course I had to get this palette (as it’s a lot cheaper than acquiring the blushes individually), as well as the matching lip Art Stick in Hot Pink.

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The Cheek Palette is housed in a classic Bobbi Brown black glossy case. I was told by the SA that this case was all hand made so I have to handle it with care. I examined the case inside-out and up-side down, and I really couldn’t tell the difference between this case and the other Bobbi Brown non hand made case. The palette contains 3 variations of pink shades in different finishes, which is what I love about buying a palette as I love layering for different looks.

Shade Description (from left to right):

Pale Pink – A blue based bright pink in matte finish. It is non powdery, has a matte finish and is easy to apply and blend.

Pink – A pale pearly pink shimmer with a hint of golden peachy sheen. It can be used alone as a highlighter or layer it over the blush for a subtle glow.

Powder Pink – A neutral baby pink in matte finish. I absolutely adore this shade as it looks so soft and pretty alone , or can be layered with Pale Pink to add some dimension for a more fresh look.

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The Bobbi Brown Art Stick is a hybrid between lipstick and lip liner that comes with a sharpener. It has a creamy crayon-like texture that is blendable, and doesn’t feel heavy to be used over the entire lips. It is not as moisturizing as the good lipsticks, but it’s not drying my lips out either. It applies quite creamy and sets to a semi-matte finish. The pigment is very intense so a little goes a long way, and it lasts a good 6-8 hours on me.

bobbi-brown-art-stick-hot-pink-hot-collection-review-swatch-1The Art Stick in Hot Pink is an ultra saturated neon bright pink.  It may not be the shade for everyone, but as for me I love how it looks against my complexion as it just instantly brightens it up and makes me appear more energized. Since it’s so bright and long lasting, I also love the fact that it fades into a softer pink throughout the day.

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From left to right: Pale Pink, Pink Highlighter, Powder Pink, Art Stick Hot Pink

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FOTD wearing all 3 blush shades layered together, and Hot Pink on my lips.

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bobbi-brown-cheek-palette-pink-hot-collection-art-stick-hot-pink-review-swatch-fotd-2I bought mine at David Jones, and the Bobbi Brown Hot Collection is also available at Nordstrom in the US.

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An under-eye concealer highlighter pen is one product that I can’t live without. For years I have been quite loyal to the renowned YSL Touche Eclat, and it has now been officially replaced by the latest Le Camouflage Stylo Corrector Pen from Chantecaillie.

chantecaille-Le-Camouflage-Styl-corrector-pen-shade-1-review-swatchChanetecaille is known for their luxurious base makeup products. Yes they all have a hefty price tag, but everything I have used so far is truly worth the splurge including the Future Skin Foundation (one of my HG foundations reviewed here), the amazing Loose Powder as well as this new concealer pen. I was immediately sold to this product as soon as I read it contains hyaluronic acid and lots of other hydrating and brightening ingredients. And it totally lives up to my expectations, as this formula feels very hydrating so it makes the skin appear slightly plumped and less dull looking which is excellent for the delicate area under the eyes.  It has a very lightweight milky texture (slightly more runny than the YSL ) that gives a natural and luminous finish. It sets crease-free and doesn’t settle into the lines. As an under-eye concealer, the lightweight formula is enough to take away my mild dark circles with just a small amount of product. And it also works brilliantly as a liquid highlighter as it gives a subtle light-reflecting brightening effect.

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I bought the concealer in shade 1 (has a pink undertone), and fyi shade 2 is very similar to 1 but with a yellow undertone. Here is a swatch of Chantecallie Le Camouflage Stylo Shade 1 against the Chantecaille Future Skin Foundation in Alabaster.

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Bottom Line: The best highlighter pen I have used so far! If you love the Future Skin foundation, you would absolutely love this one! The Chantecaille Le Camouflage Stylo is available at Nordstrom in the US, SpaceNK in the UK, and Net-A-Porter with worldwide shipping.

 

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Chanel has recently launched the newly reformulated ROUGE COCO Ultra Hydrating Lip Colour, and they tick every check box for a perfect lipstick. After playing around with 6 colors at the counter, I decided to bring 426 ROUSSY and 444 GABRIELLE home. The old me would have probably purchased them all,  but I am definitely a lot more “choosey” with colors now and more sensible with makeup shopping lately..

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The new formula is divine – it is ultra pigmented with a firm texture (not balmy), and feels extremely silky and luxurious to apply. As a full coverage lipstick, it is quite moisturizing, and feels exceptionally weightless and comforting on the lips. Both colors are on the vibrant side with a satiny finish that has a touch of jelly sheen depending on the angle you are looking at. They apply true to the actual lipstick colors, no feathering and one to two swipes gives a full opaque finish. For a more sheer finish I suggest to use a lip brush for application. Lasting power is about 4 to 5 hours wear time.

The Rouge Coco in 426 Roussy is my sort of color. At first glance you would think it’s a cool pink (almost bordering barbie pink) but once you apply on to the lips, there is the warmth that comes through which makes the color very wearable and pretty (if you love pink)!

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The Rouge Coco in 444 Gabrielle is the color to buy from this new range (it is the color that Keira Knightley wears in the ad)! I was debating between a few reds and in the end I decided to go with Gabrielle. It’s a saturated deep military red, and since I am obsessed with the utility trend I thought this would be the perfect color to match with my clothes! In my swatches I have shown two ways of wearing it. The full coverage is more sophisticated and fashion-forward, whereas the gradient look is more girl-next-door, youthful and makes the lips appear uber juicy and kissable! I have done a tutorial for this look , and in this swatch I was using the Charlotte Tilbury Liquid Eye Pencil in Eye Cheat (reviewed here) for concealing the lip lines.

new-chanel-rouge-coco-ultra-hydrating-lip-color-444-gabrielle-swatch-review-1Full Coverage

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Gradient

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I bought mine at David Jones , and the new Chanel Coco Rouge lip colors are also available at Nordstrom in the US.

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Resort wear, is obviously made for wearing at resorts (my interpretation!). I have this habit of buying a piece of resort wear every time I go on holiday as my “souvenir”, so overtime I have an archive of beautiful dresses that bring back the fond memories of my past holidays! This year, I got myself this special piece from Zimmermann Resort Collection. It is one extravagant piece that I would only wear at foreign places. It inherits Zimmermann’s signature dreamy design with an Australian beach vibe, and I love the vintage print and the sheer lace hem around the skirt. zimmermann-dress-1zimmermann-dress-2

Dress – Zimmermann (bought mine here but sold out, few left at Harrods)

Shoes – Prada (similar here)

Sunglasses – Karen Walker (bought here)

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I have been wearing makeup for as long as I remember, but I’ve only started wearing lip liners recently! So I decided to get some Charlotte Tilbury Lip Cheat Lip Liners as I have heard nothing but good reviews about them. Just like my lipstick colors, I picked up a red (Kiss N Tell) and a pink (Pink Venus), so they match most of my lip stick colors. Along with that, I have also got the Charlotte Tilbury Liquid Eye Pencil in Eye Cheat. It is the item that I have been looking for for years since Guerlain discontinued theirs, and I am glad that I finally found the replacement!

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The Charlotte Tilbury Lip liners are ultra pigmented, and feel soft and silk smooth to apply. Even if you use it over your entire lips like I do sometimes, it does not dry them out. And best of all, if I apply a lipstick over the lip liners, they really help to extend the color wear time by hours. As I always apply my lipstick straight from the tube, the lip liners play an important role for creating a perfectly defined pout, and these liners are effortless to use for drawing a precise line. It is also easier for creating gradient lip with a lip liner. I just color the center of my lips with a lip liner first, then apply a semi-sheer lip stick all over the lips for a super fresh and cute Korean inspired gradient lips.

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The Charlotte Tilbury Kiss N Tell is a true scarlet red, and the Pink Venus is a muted rosey pink that blends with most variations of pink lip stick colors that I own.

charlotte-tilbury-lip-cheat-lip-liners-kiss-n-tell-pink-venus-kohl-eye-pencil-eye-cheat-swatch-reviewSwatch From Left To Right: Kiss N Tell; Pink Venus; Eye Cheat

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I use the Charlotte Tilbury Liquid Eye Pencil Eye Cheat as a multi-purpose concealing pencil. It’s an ultra pigmented flesh-colored pencil liner that has a creamy and soft consistency. When it is used for lining the waterline, it glides on like silk without tugging the skin nor does it irritate the eyes. I love using this on my waterline for a more fresh and awakened look. In addition, it also does a wonderful job for altering and concealing the lip lines or even a breakout as it is much more pigmented than a normal cream based concealer !

The Charlotte Tilbury Line is available at Nordstrom in the US, Selfridges in the UK, and I bought mine at NAP which ships internationally.

 

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All About Sunscreens

March 14, 2015

I have been road testing a lot of sunscreens in recent years, and in this post it covers some of my absolute favorites. As we all know, there are two different types of UVS – the UVA and UVB . What you probably aren’t aware is that UVB rays can burn the skin, whereas what we women really have to watch out for on a daily basis is the UVA rays that causes aging and pigmentation. SPF is only for blocking UVB. In most western brands, if the sunscreen also protects you from UVA it is indicated by the word “Broad Spectrum”, however how much coverage it provides is unknown. I personally prefer the Asian standard of labeling for UVA protection as it is denoted by the PA+. The more plus signs there are, the better job it does for blocking UVA which is valuable information for those who are sensitive to the sun.

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1. Estee Lauder CyberWhite HD Advanced Brightening UV Protector SPF 50 PA+++: My top favorite and I would repurchase it over and over. It has all the protection I need, and the texture is like a lightweight gel cream that feels invisible and hydrating on the skin. It is neither greasy nor drying. And unlike other gel sunscreens, this one does not flake up and sits well under makeup. Highly recommend! (Asia version here)

2. DIOR DIORSNOW White Reveal UV Protection SPF 50 PA+++: It’s a sunscreen with moisturizing and brightening ingredients, so it doubles up as a makeup primer as it helps to brighten up and even out the skin tone. The texture feels very rich upon application – almost like a heavy moisturizer for dry skin but it absorbs into the skin after a few minutes without the oily residue, leaving your skin supple and slightly dewy. A lot of my friends who have dry skin really love this sunscreen because of the dewy finish. (Asia version here)

3. Lunasol Control Essence UV SPF34 PA+++ : It feels just as good as the Estee Lauder -very lightweight, and has a luxurious serum-like lotion texture that feels refreshing and hydrating on the skin without changing the skin color. I would rate this one as my second favorite because it has a lower SPF.

4. BECCA Mineral SPF30 Face and Body Sunscreen: This is a mineral sunscreen so it is better for sensitive as well as acne prone skin types, and more importantly, they become effective immediately upon application as opposed to the classic sunscreens that should be applied at least 20 minutes before exposure to the sun. The texture of this is lovely – it is creamy but non greasy, feels refreshing on the face but it might leave a white cast if your skin tone is darker than NC30.

5. ORBIS UV Cut Sunscreen FACE SPF34 PA+++ – A Japanese drugstore brand and their UV CUT line that is highly raved about and just blows the western drugstore sunscreens out of the water. This is a mineral sunscreen with titanium dioxide and zinc oxide. It has a watery milky lotion texture with more than 80% moisturizing ingredients that just melts into your skin and prevents oxidization. It sets immediately to a semi-matte finish without feeling drying nor powdery. I love using this one on days I don’t wear makeup, as it is tinted with a pale beige color that makes the complexion look really fresh and clean. My top pick for an affordable sunscreen!

6. ORBIS UV Cut Sunscreen SUPER SPF50 PA++++:  Offers maximum protection, and the texture is very similar to the face product without the beige tint, so it can be used for both the face and the body without leaving a white cast as it goes on invisible. Since it has the highest PA protection, it is great for prevention from being tanned.

7. Peter Thomas Roth Instant Mineral: Another mineral sunscreen but in powder form! I thought this is a brilliant idea as I like to re-apply sun protection every few hours without having it messing up my makeup! It applies pretty much like transparent loose powder, but the brush feels coarse and it doesn’t fit into the cap so it can get messy for carrying it around.

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Swatches from left to right: Estee Lauder; Dior; Lunasol; Becca; Orbis Face; Orbis Super

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I am always on the lookout for a good eyebrow product and recently I have been very impressed with the BBrowBar Brow Pen. While I was placing an order for some Charlotte Tilbury products on NAP, I came across this interesting product which I was curious to give a try. A brow pen is quite common amongst Japanese drugstore brands but this is the first time I have seen it from a western brand.

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If you are not sure if a brow pen would suit you, I would say that the benefit it offers is the same as how an eyeliner pen performs compared to an eyeliner pencil. It’s much longer lasting, and provides a more intense and precise finish. I can’t live without it (as mentioned in the tutorial post) because I have naturally thin and sparse eye brows, so I really need this to define the brows to make them appear thicker and more bold, and most importantly it lasts a whole day! It is a little more sophisticated to use than a pencil because of its intensity, but if you are not a makeup newbie it won’t take too long to master the skill required!

What makes the BBrowBar Brow Pen better than the Japanese ones I have used (all very sheer imo) is that it has the perfect balance of pigmentation – it’s not too dark neither too sheer. And it has a long, very sharp and thin flexible felt tip, which makes the application super easy as it allows you to control the intensity and the thickness of the stroke. The ink dispenses smoothly and consistently for an even and smooth line. Lasting power is at least 8 hours on me (non smudging and it’s waterproof)! To me such a product is a must have as I hate to redefine my brows throughout the day!

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I bought this in color Indian chocolate – it’s a dark chocolate brown that has a dominant red tinge to it once it’s applied on me. It’s not my preferred color (I prefer more ashy) but it can be fixed by applying ashy colored brow powders such as the Suqqu Balancing EyeBrow (reviewed here) over it.  I will definitely be buying it in color cinnamon spice next time because I absolutely love the formulation.

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I have not been posting about nail polishes for a long time so a quick post on the Dior Lady 294 Nail Lacquer today. The reason I have not been writing about nail polishes is because I completely stopped wearing them for several months. My nails became so damaged after having shellac gel several times – they became very brittle and thinner, and the surface got very rough as I had to sand them off each time. From this experience I would probably never having them done again (sorry shellac!).

Dior Lady is a muted dusty pink with flesh undertone in cream glossy finish. It’s a very classy and elegant shade and would suit most skin tones. The quality of Dior nail polishes is the best in the market – 2 coats give you a smooth, streak free, and opaque cream finish with a gel-like shine. Unfortunately for this post I still can’t take close up shots of my nails as they have not returned to the tip-top conditions, hope you get the idea of what the color looks like when it’s painted!

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I bought mine at David Jones, and it’s also available here in the US. Other products featured in the pictures include Vita Fede mini bracelet; Vita Fede mini v ring; Vita Fede mini pearl ring; Diptyque mini candle from the mini candle set.

 

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