This fall, I didn’t have as much interest in the fall makeup collections as the old times. Mainly because there aren’t that many stand out items that I don’t already have 10 of! I even passed on the entire Chanel Le Rouge collection as I didn’t think they would suit me. Anyhow the only collection and the star product that took my breath away was the Dior 5 Couleurs Eyeshadow Palette LE (bought here in Australia) from the Dior Skyline Collection 2016. I chose the color 506 Parisian Sky as I liked the two neutral colors of this palette more than the other color 806 Capital of light. Other products from the Skyline Collection are reviewed here and here.

Dior-5-Couleurs-Eyeshadow-Palette-review-swatch-skyline-collection-2016-506-parisian-sky

Love the lacy design of this palette which makes it so desirable, as the intricate detail makes it look super luxurious and brings out the colors more. As usual the color payoff with Dior eye shadow quads is at the middle end – neither too sheer nor too intensely pigmented. They work well with natural hair brushes for application, and the colors apply and blend easily and they have a translucent finish so the colors won’t look too cakey and heavy on the eyes. Texture is superbly smooth and silky, and all shades apply with no fall-out.

Dior-5-Couleurs-Eyeshadow-Palette-review-swatch-skyline-collection-2016-506-parisian-sky-2

Color description (clockwise)

Top Left: This is the most beautiful shade of the quad. It is a medium sandy taupe color with shimmer in satin finish. Looks amazing over the eye crease.

Top Right: Another beautiful neutral color. It is a sandy champagne with shimmer in satin finish. It particularly compliments the taupe color.

Bottom Right: Dark chocolate brown with shimmer but applies to a semi-satin finish.

Bottom Left: Aqua Tiffany blue color with shimmer in satin finish. I like the sheer finish of it as it doesn’t look too opaque and blue on the skin. I mainly use this color along the lower rim and it looks fresh and makes the eyes pop.

Middle: An icy dusty blue color with a hint of grey undertone. A lovely highlighting shade that goes well with the color theme of this palette.

Dior-5-Couleurs-Eyeshadow-Palette-review-swatch-skyline-collection-2016-506-parisian-sky-3Dior-5-Couleurs-Eyeshadow-Palette-review-swatch-skyline-collection-2016-506-parisian-sky-4

{ 0 comments }

I always include an eye cream in my skincare regime, particularly for the morning when I like to use a light eye gel/lotion for hydration as well as for anti-puffiness. One of my favorites is the La Prairie Cellular Revitalizing Eye Gel which really does its job as it claims, and the price tag is not as jaw-dropping as the other products from the line! This is my third bottle and as you can see it’s nearly half way through.

la-prairie-cellular-revitalizing-eye-gel-review

The eye gel has a refreshingly aqua blue gel texture that feels non-sticky and is absorbed into the skin immediately. It mildly hydrates and smooths out the delicate skin around the eye areas, and it doesn’t leave a film or make the skin too slippery so it makes a good base for under the eye makeup. What I love about this eye gel the most is that it gives an interesting sensation upon application. It feels very cooling on the eyes, which is expected from most eye gels for anti-puffiness. However this eye gel also gives a warm tightening feel at the same time, and it makes you feel that it is doing its job by eliminating the excessive fluid from the applied areas. After 2-3 minutes the sensation disappears, and my morning ‘tired looking’ eyes look visibly more ‘awake’ and less puffy with the skin appearing slightly tightened. Best of all, it doesn’t cause milia (the stubborn white heads around the eye areas if the eye cream is too rich). If you suffer from puffy eyes in the morning then I highly recommend to give this eye gel a try!

la-prairie-cellular-revitalizing-eye-gel-review-2

 

 

{ 4 comments }

I Found the Perfect Kaftan

August 22, 2016

August and September are popular vacation months. If you are planning a relaxing holiday where you will spend most of the day around the water, then the most important clothing item to have is a nice piece of Kaftan/Coverup. I was on the hunt for the most perfect Kaftan for a long time, so glad I found one by Melissa Odabash before my trip to Phuket which happens to be my favorite beachwear brand. It ticked all the boxes as it had to be white, flowy, delicate but not too frilly and girly; mid length, and not too sheer so I can wear it inside the resort as well. As usual, the quality of Melissa Odabash is superior as the fabric feels so soft and airy, and the embroidered flowers with the tassel fringe makes it look expensive in real life with a touch of boho vibe.

melissa-odabash-irene-kaftan-coverup-ootd

 

melissa-odabash-irene-kaftan-coverup-ootd-3melissa-odabash-irene-kaftan-coverup-ootd-2

Sunglasses (pic1) Karen Walker / Sunglasses (pic3) Ray-Ban / Necklace Cartier / Shoes Prada (similar here)

{ 2 comments }

I had a wonderful vacation at Phuket for 10 days which I am currently organizing some pictures to post soon. It never feels long enough but that’s what makes our vacations so special in our lives (well unless you are a celeb or a global jet setter blogger!) As for me, I am happy with our holidays every 6 months, and I thoroughly enjoy the entire planning process including what to pack! This post is for sharing the skincare products that I brought with me on holiday. Since the destination is a hot tropical island, I brought lots of lightweight hydrating and brightening serums/lotions, and because I love taking pictures I like to have products that keep my face looking firm and lifted so more photogenic… Last but not least, lots and lots of sunscreens are a must.

My favorite beach bag is bought here

acation-holiday-beauty-skincare-products-2

vacation-holiday-beauty-skincare-products

CLEANSERS

Using the Bioderma Micelle Water (travel size) for makeup removal. I love the Ren Rosa Centifolia Cleansing Gel so much so I bought a full size of this. It’s a rose-infused gentle gel cleanser with a fresh rose smell that feels extremely soothing and refreshing which makes it a perfect morning cleanser. It doesn’t strip any moisture off, and keeps the skin supple and fresh. Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant is one of  my HG cleansers for night time use, so I have to bring a travel size along with me. It’s a cleanser and an exfoliator in one that purifies the skin and deep cleans the pores without feeling harsh and drying on the skin. The Clinique Clarifying Lotion 1 is a refreshing toner for sweeping away any dead skin cells, and completely removes last traces of dirt and oil collected in your pores. In such a hot weathered place, I prefer to use multiple cleansing products just to keep my skin very clear and clog free.

SERUMS and MOISTURIZERS

I prep my skin with the Sulwhasoo First Care Activating Serum – it’s a highly potent treatment lotion that immediately hydrates the skin and boost the benefits of other skincare products, (detailed review here). Followed by the luxurious Chantecaille Bio Lifting Serum (reviewed here). It’s hydrating, soothing, anti-aging and provides a lifting effect to the face. During the day, I also apply the Tracie Martyn Face Resculpting Cream which is their signature product from the line. This is the travel friendly size which was made exclusive for Net-A-Porter. It can be used on the face as well as on the body for an immediate sculpting and firming effect. I have quite mixed feelings about it, as it works much better on the body than on the face for me. If you are after a face firming lotion for less than $100, nothing beats the famous Clarins Shaping Facial Lifting Total V Contouring Serum.

MASKS

I have dozens of paper masks with me (a mix of high and low end) on holiday, as the plan is to use at least one per day. As ironic as it sounds for spending most of the day at the beach and the pool during vacay, I don’t want to be tanned because my skin is prone to pigmentation! So every 2 nights I use the Sulwhasoo Snowise Ex Brightening Mask (reviewed here), It’s the best brightening mask I’ve ever used, as it definitely prevents my face from being tanned under long time sun exposure, and it helps to brighten up by one to one and a half shades after long term use. For hydrating and instant radiance boost, I like to use the SK II Facial Treatment Mask. A budget friendly brand is the Korean SNP Masks. I have used lots of theirs animal masks and liked them all. My favorite has to be the rabbit – it’s a multi purpose product that serves as a brightening beauty mask as well as keeping my 3 year old entertained by having a rabbit-faced mommy!

SUN PROTECTION

Using the french drugstore brand LA ROCHE-POSAY as they are rated very highly in a Japanese beauty magazine. Overall they are pretty good. The UVIDEA XL Melt In Cream SPF50 PA++++ is for the face that has a milky lotion texture and is non-greasy and feels light weight on the skin without feeling like having sunscreen on. The Anthelios XL Ultra Light Fluid SPF50 (best seller) is for the face and the body. It is slightly richer, so I use it on my body as well as for my son as the formula is made for sensitive skin and feels light on the skin so it doesn’t clog the pores and leave a white film on the skin.

BABY

Highly recommend the LA ROCHE-POSAY Baume B5 Soothing Repairing Balm for babies/toddlers. It helps to heal sensitive skin, rashes and insect bites.

 

 

 

{ 4 comments }

I know it’s true love when I keep a makeup product in its original packaging in my favorite drawer, and use it with ultimate care for fear of spoiling the design – that was my relationship with the Dior Glowing Gardens Illuminating highlighter (reviewed here). So when I spotted this gorgeous Diorskin Nude Air Luminizer Shimmering Sculpting Powder 001 from the Skyline Fall 2016 Collection, there was not a second of pause before I added it to my basket (bought here in Australia)! It is just as pretty as the Glowing Gardens release with a slight difference in color, so can also become my backup.

dior-Diorskin-Nude-Air-Luminizer-Shimmering-Sculpting-Powder-001-review-swatch-2
Texture wise, it is consistent with the limited edition highlight powders from the previous releases. The powder is extremely finely milled, buttery soft and silky smooth to apply. There is no fall-out during application, and the powder is easy to blend to create a soft glow, or can be built up for a more glamorous sheen. The powder blends into the skin seamlessly, so it doesn’t enlarge the pores, and it illuminates the skin without visible shimmer and glitter.

dior-Diorskin-Nude-Air-Luminizer-Shimmering-Sculpting-Powder-001-review-swatch

On first glance, it looked quite similar to the Glowing Pink from memory, but after I have seen them side by side, this powder is more peachy and a tad warmer than the Glowing Pink. I would describe it as a champagne color with a hint of peachy golden undertone. It is a universally flattering all-purpose highlighting color for most complexions, as well as for the eyes. On my NC15-20 color, it goes on translucent with a glow if applied sheer, otherwise it adds a hint of peachy color if applied heavily, but it doesn’t appear to warm on me and still goes well with pink blushes.

Shimmer degree is about medium, as it’s not too shimmery (ie Becca and Nars) but one swipe is enough for creating a visible highlighting effect. This is not a powder that can be used all over the face for an illuminating glow.

Swatch with 1 swipe

dior-Diorskin-Nude-Air-Luminizer-Shimmering-Sculpting-Powder-001-review-swatch-3

Comparison

Clockwise: Dior Luminizer 001; Chanel Perles Powder (reviewed here); MAC Dunes At Dusk Gleamtones Powder (reviewed here); Becca Champagne Pop (reviewed here); Dior Powder 001 Glowing Pink

dior-Diorskin-Nude-Air-Luminizer-Shimmering-Sculpting-Powder-001-review-swatch-comparison-glowing-pink-gardensdior-Diorskin-Nude-Air-Luminizer-Shimmering-Sculpting-Powder-001-review-swatch-comparison-glowing-pink-gardens-2

Bottom Line: Must have! Particularly for those of you who missed the highlighters from the Glowing Gardens collection – the good news is this item will be added to the permanent line.

{ 4 comments }

Rag and Bone is definitely my go-to fashion brand each season, as I find their styles are classic, wearable yet with a cool and modern edge that is right on point. Currently obsessed with this ultra cool quilted black bomber jacket made with satin twill. It is slightly oversized but not too much, and the black and white pinstripe trims add a sporty spin to it. It goes perfect with your favorite jeans and sneakers, or you can go sexy wearing a tight dress inside the jacket. It is selling out fast, and there are a few other similar but budget-friendly pieces for under $150 including this one and this one!

hermes-birkin-etain-rag-and-bone-bomber-jacket-legging-skinny-jeans-ootd-chanel-white-sneakers-2

hermes-birkin-etain-rag-and-bone-bomber-jacket-legging-skinny-jeans-ootd-chanel-white-sneakers-3hermes-birkin-etain-rag-and-bone-bomber-jacket-legging-skinny-jeans-ootd

Jacket – Rag and Bone (bought here, also available on Shopbop and FarFetch with worldwide shipping)

Jeans – Rag and Bone (bought here)

Sunglasses – Tom Ford (available here)

Sneakers- Chanel

Bag – Hermes Birkin in Etain

Lipstick – Kat Von D Love Sick (reviewed here)

{ 2 comments }

This fall my top favorite makeup collection has to be the Dior Skyline Fall 2016 Collection, as I can never resist a beautifully designed collection with a neutral color theme (check out my picks on my insta)! There are also some really great practical products from the collection which have been added to the permanent line including the Diorblush Light and Contour Sculpting Stick Duo (bought here in Australia). I got the shade 001 Soft Contour, and it goes well with my skin color (NC15).

dior-diorblush-light-and-contour-sculpting-stick-duo-01-soft-review-swatch

First of all, I love the design of this dual-ended contour and highlight stick, as it makes the application much easier and is portable to carry around. It will be my go-to product for a fuss-free contour and highlight application when I’m on holiday next week! I know lately we are spoiled with lots of choices, but for a fresh and clean look, all you need is one contour color that suits your skin-tone, and one highlighter to bring out the features. The Dior is such a perfect simple product that delivers the results.

dior-diorblush-light-and-contour-sculpting-stick-duo-01-soft-review-swatch-1

Between the contour stick and the highlighter stick, I definitely think the contour is more superior.  It has a creamy consistency without shimmer, and is silky smooth to apply. It is very pigmented, so one strip is enough for shading one area such as the cheekbone. It is very easy to blend – almost like a stick foundation as the color is blended into the skin seamlessly without any visible edges and patches.  It gives a cream-matte finish which is perfect as a contouring product. You can use it for sculpting the cheekbones, jaw as well as the nose bridge.

dior-diorblush-light-and-contour-sculpting-stick-duo-01-soft-review-swatch-2

The highlighter is a pale champagne color with fine shimmer which reminds me of the famous Nars The Multiple Copacabana. As with most shimmer sticks I have used in the past, I find them to be a little challenging to work with. It imparts a beautiful subdued gleam to the complexion that looks dewy and glowing but not shiny.  For application it only works well on top of a moist base. If your skin is dry, or apply the highlighter on top of the powdered face, the product won’t blend in, and looks like it is sitting on top of the skin. It also tends to enlarge the pores a little over the cheek area, but on top of the cheekbone it is ok. Having said that I have yet to find a shimmer stick with a texture that melds into the skin. My tip is to press some loose powder with a velvety puff into the skin which will then remove the enlarged pores look. Overall I think the texture and the finish is very similar but a tad more hydrating upon application than the Nars multiples.

dior-diorblush-light-and-contour-sculpting-stick-duo-01-soft-review-swatch-3

I included some of my preferred brushes for application with this product, including the Marc Jacobs The Shape and Contour Blush Brush (absolutely my HG, reviewed here); Tom Ford Cream Foundation Brush (reviewed here);  CHIKUHODO GSN-5 Brush. For applying an opaque product in cream formula, it is always recommended to use a firm and dense brush.

Swatches at different angles

dior-diorblush-light-and-contour-sculpting-stick-duo-01-soft-review-swatch-4dior-diorblush-light-and-contour-sculpting-stick-duo-01-soft-review-swatch-5

{ 0 comments }

I color my hair quite frequently, as I normally go for quite light balayage (FYI light ashy chestnut is the colour I ask for), so my hairdresser has to add bleach to the color which tends to damage and dry my hair a lot. It is very important for me to treat my hair with extra care, and I use tons of good hair care products for repairing and protection. This post is to  share some of my favorite hair care products , including some new discoveries, and some of my old favorites which I have kept repurchasing.

The Hair Damage Test

Hair dye and bleaching tends to destroy the protein in your hair, and with the loss of protein you will notice your hair starting to look dull, breaks frequently and has no resistance. A simple test is to cut a strand of your hair and pull them from both ends. If they stretch and bounce back to the original length, then you have very healthy hair. If they break while stretching, that means your hair is severely damaged. If your hair is stretched but does not return, it shows your hair is damaged and dry but not severe, which is the case for my hair. My experience is that some responsible hair colourists performs this test for  your hair when you go for a hair consultation, and they will work around your preferred color depending on your hair condition.

Full Protein Treatment

If your hair is severely damaged, or bleached to a very light color (such as blonde or pastel pink) if you have naturally dark hair, then the only effective treatment that will totally repair your hair is the salon-only OLAPLEX. You can have the treatments done at a salon, and they will also recommend you to get a OLAPLEX home-kit. So if you see your salon has the big OLAPLEX sign on the door/window, you know your hair is in safe hands!

The Half Protein, Half Moisture Treatment

If your hair is not very damaged, then applying a pure protein treatment will give the reverse effect as it will make your hair feel straw-like and crunchy! You should instead go for products that repair and moisturize at the same time which is recommended for my hair condition.

– My current favorite includes the Label M Age Defying, which is raved by a lot of hairdressers. It has all the latest advanced hair care ingredients including protein, collagen and nourishing oils to bring your hair from lifeless to stronger and healthy. Label M products are available here in Australia at discounted prices.

Label M Age Defying Shampoo/Conditioner; Recovery Mask

label-M-age-defying-shampoo-conditioner-mask-review

Alterna Caviar is my all time favorite. They are on the expensive side, but they are so luxurious and nourishing, and they transform your hair after just one wash. Your hair will feel instantly more healthy and manageable.  I have recommended this range to a lot of my friends, and none of them can go back to other brands!

Alterna CC Cream; Alterna Replenishing Shampoo/Conditioner; Heat Protection Spray; Moisture Mask;

Alterna-caviar-anti-aging-haircare-review

– The Kérastase Resistance Collection is also really good. This range has less protein than the above two, and it makes your hair feel softer and more moisturized. If your hair is not as weak but still need repair, I highly recommend this range.

kerastase-haircare-review

Weekly Deep Conditioning treatment

I love using hair masks, normally twice a week. The hair masks are more intensive, and they make the hair feel deeply nourished and conditioned. Some of my favorites include the Amika Nourishing Mask (love everything from the range, bought here in Australia), Shu Uemura Shusu Sleek Masque – very moisturizing and good for making hair super sleek and glossy. Can’t stop gushing about the Original&Mineral Seven Day Miracle Moisture Mask – this is a quick intensive treatment that you can just leave on for 2 minutes in the shower, and you will definitely feel a difference after a few uses.  All of these treatments are not too heavy, and they don’t make your hair feel greasy.

best-hair-masks-for-dry-damaged-colored-hair

Color Treatment

To prevent hair color from going brassy, it is vital to incorporate a silver shampoo/treatment into the routine. It acts like a hair toner, the purple tone counteracts the brassiness and redness in your hair, and makes your hair stay blonde and ashy longer. I’ve tried several silver shampoos and I find them to be too drying for the hair, so I opted for the purple treatments. I like the ID Color Bomb Silver Hair treatment and a custom-made purple treatment shampoo that I got from my local salon.

bes-haircare-products-for-colored-damaged-dry-hair

{ 2 comments }