Morning cleansers play a very important role in my daily skincare routine. Not only do they have to gently cleanse the skin and provide skincare benefits, I also like them to be soothing and uplifting to make me feel better as I am just not a morning person.  This is a review for some of my all time favorite cleansers for morning use, and they are all lotion/cream type as they are gentle enough for all skin types without stripping the moisture off.

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Elemis Rehydrating Rose Petal Cleanser -  I am a big fan of this luxury spa brand, and this is my favorite product from this line (my 5th bottle!). If you love rose scent, you would absolutely fall in love with this cleanser. It smells like the most delicate fresh roses just cut from your garden, and makes you feel so relaxed and pampered when you use this cleanser in the morning. It has a very lightweight milky texture, and feels very gentle on the skin and makes your skin feel silky and supple after use. It is not a heavy duty cleanser (not for removing full makeup), but good enough for taking away the oil and dirt build-up from overnight.

THREE Balancing Cleansing Milk – Another heavenly scented cleanser that I am obsessed with. THREE is a luxury organic Japanese beauty brand, and this cleanser is made with a blend of premium skin nourishing essential oils and purified bamboo and rose flower water. It has a creamy milky texture, does a great cleaning job (can also be used as a makeup remover) that melts away all the dirt and makeup and replenishes the skin’s moisture at the same time. It is gentle but also has some purifying properties that help to balance the oil and moisture of the skin. My skin feels supple and hydrated after use. More information can be found on THREE website.

IPSA Premier Line Cleansing Creamy Paste – I love exploring premium Japanese skincare lines, and this is another luxurious cleanser that I splurged on. It is a lather free cleanser in an interesting creamy paste texture. Though this premier line targets at anti aging and face lifting, I find this cleanser to be very refreshing and hydrating. It feels creamy but light weight on the skin, and it has a slight minty sensation which helps to make me feel uplifted in the morning. It contains enzymes so it helps to dissolve dirt and provides a very mild exfoliation to the skin.

Antipodes Organic Hallelujah Lime & Patchouli Cleanser -  Last but not least, I wanted an affordable and readily available cleanser that is just as good as the expensive ones as mentioned above.  After testing a whole bunch of them, my favorite is the Antipodes. It has this expensive invigorating aromatic scent, and it cleans and cares for the skin at the same time which makes it a great morning cleanser. This product is best to be used within 3-4 months, as with most organic products that have a heavy base of oil, the scent changes slightly over a period of time after it opens. This is normal (just like cooking oil) and is probably a good indication that this product is all natural and contains no preservatives! Currently 40% off in Australia here.

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My other recommendations that are not shown in the picture include the Decleor Aroma Cleanse Essential Cleansing Milk and the Sunday Riley Ceramic Slip Cleanser. They all work very similar to the other ones – gentle, soothing, and rinse off without residue which is what I look out for in a good cleanser!

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On my nails today is the beautiful Chanel Le Vernis 767 FRAÎCHEUR that is exclusive to Chanel Online. It was released together with the new Chanel Chance Eau Vive Fragrance Collection, and Le Vernis FRAÎCHEUR matches with the Chance Eau FRAÎCHEUR. Chanel always make everything elegant – even for the most tricky colors like green. Remember the mint color that was released years ago and it was sold out literally within a minute world wide, this trending beauty is probably the second best green nail color from Chanel that you can add to your collection.

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FRAÎCHEUR is a neutral green that leans slightly warm (depending on the angle you are looking at). It has micro gold shimmer, and as with most Chanel polish, it applies to a cream glossy finish. The texture is smooth and applies streak free and opaque with 2 coats. It is a fresh and fashion-forward color that will definitely compliment your spring outfit if you are in the northern hemisphere, but as for me this color adds a playful spin to my rather neutral and boring winter outfit!

chanel-le-vernis-fraicheur-767-swatch-review-2Swatch with 2 coats

chanel-le-vernis-fraicheur-767-swatch-review-3chanel-le-vernis-fraicheur-767-swatch-review-4Rings (from left to right): Vita Fede Mini Ring, Vita Fede Titan Ring, Cartier Juste Un Clou Ring (similar here for under $100), Vita Fede Mini V Ring

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There is a buzz going on around the cushion foundation which is another brilliant invention from Korea in the wave of BB and CC creams. I got myself the Sulwhasoo Perfecting Cushion Foundation Compact which has won the best reviews amongst all the other Korean beauty brands, and I am loving this foundation to bits!

To those of you who are not familiar with the brand, Sulwhasoo is a high-end Korean beauty brand that is known for their ultra nourishing Ginseng infused skincare products and they have also released some popular makeup products including this one. It is owned by Amore Pacific which is the biggest beauty company in Korea, and is probably the most well-known and popular high-end Korean brand that is available internationally (you can find them at Nordstrom and Neiman Marcus).

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The Sulwhasoo Perfecting Cushion Foundation is housed in a round ivory compact case, with a full size foundation and sponge refills. The case is sturdy and looks quite elegant, and it has two compartments and the sponge is placed on a divider so it’s more hygienic. The foundation has a liquid texture, and is protected under a mesh. For application, you gently tap the sponge on to the mesh to dispense the foundation.  Cushion foundation comes from the concept of applying foundation with a damp sponge, so the texture is more sheer and watery, and it goes on more dewy and natural. If this is your preferred way of application, then cushion foundation is your ideal alternative to a conventional foundation that is more convenient and fun to use.

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The coverage of this foundation is on the low side, as it only helps to blur out the unevenness and the pores, but it does not cover much imperfections or redness. I normally wear a sheer layer of BB cream or tinted primer underneath the cushion foundation for a flawless yet natural looking finish. If you have good skin to begin with then wearing this product alone is suffice for a ‘your-skin-but-better’ finish.  It has a translucent, semi-dewy finish and adds a ‘filter-like’ radiant glow to the skin, and because of its high water content, it makes the complexion appear more hydrated and plumped. Instead of calling this foundation, I would say this is more of a skin perfecter as it further enhances and improves the appearance of the complexion. I have worn this over all sorts of base products including foundation, powder, and also used it for retouching my makeup throughout the day, and it never fails to make my skin appear more refreshed and glowy without caking up. Lasting power is about 6-7 hours on me in an indoor environment, and is SPF50+.

I bought the Sulwhasoo foundation in shade No23 which is quite similar to NC20. I am currently NC15 so this shade is a tad warmer for my complexion, but overall I can still wear this without a noticeable mismatch.

Swatch

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A very late review for the Chanel Les Beiges Healthy Glow Multi Colour Powder in MARINIÈRE N01 (right) from the Les Beiges Summer 2015 Collection as I have had it for a while now.  I have also included the Healthy Glow Powder in N01 (left) from a previous collection in this post as it is very similar to the MARINIÈRE in terms of finish and color when it is applied on to the skin. Both powders are limited edition, so if you missed out on the first one, be sure to grab a shade from the 2015 collection!

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The Les Beiges powder is designed for enhancing skin’s natural beauty with a healthy glow and a hint of color.  The powder has a lovely delicate “classic Chanel” rose fragrant – I love the smell of this every time I open the case. The ultra silky and creamy powder applies like a dream as it never looks cakey no matter how much you apply, and helps to blur out the pores with a touch of coverage. It comes with a high quality high moon shape brush, that is versatile enough for applying the powder over the entire face, or for shading and highlighting purposes.

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MARINIÈRE contains strips of light peachy beige color and  pinky lavender color with very fine silver shimmer. The finish is very natural, and it goes on semi-translucent with a brightening effect when applied 2 colors mixed together. On my NC15-20, I can use this as a setting powder that adds a touch of warm glow to the complexion without the visible shimmer. The hint of lavender tone helps to counteract the dullness as well as for brightening. I love a setting powder with a subtle brightening effect, especially with a lavender undertone for my yellow skin as it really helps my complexion to appear more fresh and youthful. (For Asians, the older you get the more dominant the yellow tone!)

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Swatches

chanel-les-beiges-healthy-glow-multi-color-powder-n01-MARINIÈRE-2015-summer-collection-review-swatch-5comparison swatch between the two LE powders

chanel-les-beiges-healthy-glow-multi-color-powder-n01-MARINIÈRE-2015-summer-collection-review-swatch-6The Chanel Les Beiges Healthy Glow Powder from the Summer 2015 Collection (LE) is currently available here and here.

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A quick skincare post for the transition season from Fall to Winter. As always moisturizing is the core of my routine. I opted for some richer face products to cater for my very dry and sensitive skin in this weather. This post only covers the basic moisturizing products that I use daily, and I combine these products with a lot of other skincare products accordingly that target at specific skin conditions such as pigmentation, brightening, anti aging etc.

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La Mer The Radiant Infusion – is the most hydrating serum-like lotion I have ever used. It instantly re-hydrates and plumps up the skin upon application without the tackiness, and helps to improve the luminosity of the skin overnight.  And on a lazy day, I can get away with only using this lotion as it keeps my skin supple and hydrated for many hours. Not happy that this product is being discontinued, so next on my radar is the La Mer The Treatment Lotion!

Decleor Aromessence Angelique Nourishing Serum – I am a big fan of face oil, and after trialing tons of new oils I decided to go back to the old but good Decleor. Love the pure essential oil smell, as it helps to sooth and wind down the day for me. It does a great job for moisturizing and nourishing my dry skin for the whole day with only a drop, and I wake up with a glow. If you like the foundation to appear more dewy and radiant on the skin, this oil also serves as a good base.

Trilogy Organic Rosehip Oil – Every model raves about rosehip oil – often found in affordable organic beauty brands. The Trilogy oil was completely sold out in UK after The Duchess of Cambridge credited her ultra radiant complexion to this oil upon receiving a bottle during her tour to New Zealand. I am quite neutral about it, as it does help to moisturize the skin but the oil is not as finely milled as the expensive ones so it tends to sit on top of the skin. Otherwise it is a lovely and affordable oil  to use for both the face and the body, and I like rubbing a thick layer on the scar areas with the use of derma roller and I have seen a great improvement.

FRESH Creme Ancienne Anti Aging Treatment – I have had the FRESH cream for over a year now and I am finally using it up! It is ultra thick, rich and heavy. It has a wax-like texture and you only need less than a pea size of this cream for the whole face. It feels a little heavy on the face, and forms an invisible barrier on the skin that traps the moisture for the whole day, and protects your skin from external hazards. This would be the perfect cream for very dry skin types, or if you live in an extreme cold weather condition. Otherwise it would be way too rich and may clog your pores. A lot of people compare this cream to the Creme de la Mer, but I personally prefer the latter for everyday use.

Jo Malone Vitamin E Gel (reviewed here) – This is my second tub – a multi-purpose luxurious vitamin E balm that can be mixed with other moisturizers that deeply nourishes and helps to repair the skin.  It can also be used as a lip balm and mixed with other products for a makeup base. This gel is more heavy duty than the face oil, and I normally go for this one at night if I want a boost of moisture and radiance the next day.

 

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Today’s review is for the Marc Jacobs Beauty The Shape Contour and Blush Brush No 15 that is perfect to go with the Light Filtering Contouring Powder (reviewed here), or any bronzing powder for contouring purposes. If I could only pick one beauty trend of this year it would be contouring, and as you would have noticed there are many beauty brands have released a makeup brush that is designed specifically for contouring. I am still in the process of trialing some others, and this thus far is my favorite brush.

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The Marc Jacobs Beauty brush is very similar to the MAC 125 Split Fibre Dense Face Brush, but better in terms of quality in my opinion – it is more weighty and feels more luxurious. The handle is coated with high gloss enamel that feels sturdy and looks expensive. The brush is made of the finest antibacterial synthetic bristles so it is suitable for even the most sensitive and acne-prone skin types. The bristles feel ultra soft and plush on the skin.  It is very densely packed with a flat top in an oval shape, and it works similar to a kabuki brush – it picks up maximum color and it helps to blend and sheer out the product into the skin with minimum effort. The best thing about this brush is the relatively large oval shape brush head, as it just fits perfectly under the cheekbone, as well as along the jaw line. It allows for even pigment deposit on to the skin, and a more precise and quicker contouring application as opposed to a smaller contouring brush or a tapered brush.

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Bottom Line: An excellent higher end brush investment that allows for an easy and precise contouring application even for the makeup novice. Highly recommend!

 

 

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I picked up the Marc Jacobs Beauty Instamarc Light Filtering Contour Powder from the Sephora in Stockholm which has become an absolute necessity in my makeup kit now. The matching Shape Contour and Blush Brush is also fantastic and works really well with the product.

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My first impression of the palette was that it was huge. It is housed in a very large pan with a big mirror, and each bronzer/highlighter contains 0.31oz of the product. Compared to the other contour kits in the market, this set is absolute great value for money. It comes in 3 colors – Dream Filter 20, Mirage Filter 40 and 60 HiFi Filter. The bronzer shade in the 20 and 40 are very similar, and for my complexion (NC15-20) I could go with either of them.  The main difference between them is that 20 has a stronger pink hue in the highlighter shade and 30 has an dominant undertone of yellow/beige. Since I have a cool complexion and I have an affection with pink colored makeup I went for the color Dream Filter 20 in the end.

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The powder of both the bronzer and the highlighter is very silky and finely milled. When they are applied with a kabuki brush, they are blended into your skin seamlessly like a natural shadow and highlight effect without looking cakey and powdery. The bronzer is pigmented and is easy to blend (no bronzey patches on the skin!), and it is a medium neutral brown that would work as an ideal contour shade for most fair skin types without looking too warm or muddy. It is also completely matte so it mimics a natural shadow effect for sculpturing the jaws, cheekbones and the nose bridge as well as creating a slimming effect. The highlighter has a silky and creamy texture and is slightly opaque which can be doubled as a setting powder, that provides a subtle brightening effect with a hint of pink hue, and some coverage that helps to blur out the pores.

Heavy Swatch:

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Bottom Line: An easy to use high quality contour kit that creates natural looking definition and contour. I also highly recommend the Shape brush for application which will be covered in another post. The Marc Jacob Beauty line is currently exclusive to Sephora only.

 

 

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Back Home

June 15, 2015

It’s been a while since my last update – I am finally back from the business trip and I decided to spend some quality time just with my family and put everything else aside. My 6-weeks stay in Stockholm was interesting and extremely valuable to my career development. However I probably could never do it again as I missed my family so much towards the end of the trip and was on the verge of a breakdown. I am so happy to be back and I miss blogging!

Haven’t had the time to take pictures for all the new beauty products so I went through my photo archives and found this OOTD shoot. This fitted long sleeve dress is perfect for the cold weather in Sydney now, and I always love the touch of military influence from Rachel Zoe’s design. I went for my normal size and it ran a little large so I would size down. It looks great wearing it alone or with a blazer over. As always I only had 10 minutes for an un-interruprted photo shoot until my boy lost his patience. I thought it was timely to include a candid shot of him (in his uncoordinated pjs dressed by daddy) dragging me out to play!

On a side note, NAP has started its SALE! I just received this absolutely gorgeous dress by Boutique MOSCHINO (40% off) within a day of placing the order.

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rachel-zoe-marra-drop-waist-dress-aquazurra-cutout-booties-ootd-1rachel-zoe-marra-drop-waist-dress-aquazurra-cutout-booties-ootd-2Dress – Rachel Zoe

Shoes – Aquazurra (reviewed here)

Bag  – Hermes Birkin Etain (similar style by YSL)

Sunglasses – Thierry Lasry

 

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