The matte and ultra long-wearing foundation is certainly making a comeback this year. There are a lot of brands releasing a new version, and the cult favorite Lancôme Teint Idole UltraWear 24H Foundation (available here in Australia) is my favorite. It has been their signature foundation for over a decade – it was actually my first bottle of high-end foundation! To mark the 20 years of the product, Lancôme has revamped their iconic foundation with a newer and better formulation in a wide range of shades. I have been wearing it every day throughout the chilled winter days in Sydney as well as the scorching summer with high humidity in Japan, and the formula is near flawless for me in both extreme seasons!

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Texture and Finish

It has a fluid creamy texture that blends into your skin seamlessly. Surprisingly as an ultra long wear foundation, the formula feels very lightweight on the skin and your skin still feels breathable. It looks very natural (not cakey and powdery), and it gives a semi-matte finish with a hint of glow that just looks like your own fresh skin. No powder is needed if you have normal to dry skin, and your complexion stays fresh-looking for at least 10 hours without creasing and fading!

Formula

The formula is suitable all year round for my normal to dry skin type. It has the right balance of consistency that wears comfortably on my skin without feeling dry nor greasy. In winter, the foundation applies smoothly without looking patchy and enhancing any dryness/fine lines. If I want to boost up the radiance or hydration, I normally add a layer of hydrating primer underneath. In summer, this foundation wears even better and looks better over time with no oxidation! Unless you have ultra dry skin, the formula of this foundation is friendly for most skin types and weather conditions!

Coverage

The coverage is medium and buildable to high – it blurs out imperfections, evens out skin tones, and covers the pores naturally.

Lasting power

It stays put the whole day with amazing oil control power when I am in Australia. I decided to bring it with me on holiday to Japan which could be a true test as the weather there was hot and humid. To my pleasant surprise, the foundation surpassed my expectations. I was mostly outdoor sweating under the sun, and the humidity level there was 100%. I wore this foundation with powder on top, and my makeup held up nicely for more than 12 hours with minimum oil come through. I did not have to worry about touch-up at all!

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Shade

I am shade 02 Lys Rose (pink base) and it matches me perfectly.

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Shade comparison

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The Lancôme foundation is available at Nordstrom at 15% off currently. For all the US readers, Nordstrom is currently offering great beauty deals with lots of GWP and samples.

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Japan Holiday Part 2 – OOTDs

September 18, 2017

Rounding up on some of my favorite city-escape holiday looks in Japan. hermes-birkin-25--30-35-etain-black-noir-togo-modelling-ootd-pic-1

Look 1 – Top Veronica Maine / Jeans MOTHER (super in love with this frayed and flair style) / Bag Hermes Birkin 25

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Look 2 – Tee Converse Tokyo (similar here by Camilla & Marc for under $100) / Pants Neon Hart / Sunnies Victoria Beckham (HG aviator!)

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Look 3 – Hat Maison Michel / Sunnies Victoria Beckham / Top AJE (similar here for under $100) /

Denim Skirt Topshop / Shoes Acne Studios (similar here at 50% off) /Bag Hermes Birkin Etain 35

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August is always the holiday month for my family as we have two birthday celebrations (me and my boy!) and there is nothing better than having the celebrations overseas! This year we spent two weeks in Japan, and we had such a great time if you follow me on Instagram. The trip is mainly for city hopping with lots of shopping and eating around. We stayed at 3 different hotels during the trip – Peninsula Tokyo, Conrad Osaka and Park Hyatt. Out of the 3 hotels my top favorite was The Peninsula Tokyo for its perfect location and the impeccable service.

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For the first leg of the trip where we would be spending 7 nights in Tokyo, I wanted to stay at Ginza because it is my favorite area for shopping and restaurants. If you have kids, you should not miss the Toy Park Ginza which is a 5 storey toy paradise! I was debating between Four Seasons (which is my all time favorite hotel chain), and the Peninsula Tokyo and both of them are located at Ginza. I chose the latter because the location seems to be better and I also wanted to experience the iconic peninsula experience in comparison to my beloved ‘four seasons’ service.

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Peninsula is known for their luxury transportation for the guests (surcharges apply)

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We arrived at Tokyo on a very wet day with a severe thunderstorm and pouring rain.  We had a chauffer picked us up from the airport (extra charge) and on arrival at the hotel, there were lots of doormen working in the rain to make sure we stayed dry with lots of umbrellas covering us which was impressive. The entire check-in was quick and smooth and the host introduced us to the room. Being a top luxury hotel, I love the fact that Peninsula is also known as a child-friendly and family-oriented hotel.  I just love the extra touch they added to the room for my child which included a complimentary toy pack, children’s snacks and milk, children’s robe, slippers, skincare and even a diaper disposal bin!

for the kids

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The room itself is very roomy and is much bigger than a standard Tokyo hotel room with a view of Ginza streets. The most amazing part of the room is the massive walk-in-closet. It almost feels like a second room with lots of racks and storage spaces, huge full-length mirrors, and a big vanity table with a built-in nail dryer!  The bathroom is also very roomy with double vanities, a separate bath tub and a shower room. In addition, their bath towels are the best I have used (yep I am an Egyptian cotton towel snob).

Our Room – Grand Premier Twin Room

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The hotel serves breakfasts at 2 different restaurants. You can have the à la carte at the lobby restaurant which I highly recommend. There are a lot of choices include western, japanese, and chinese sets on the à la carte menu, and every dish is well prepared and presented. I was surprised that I was not bored of their breakfasts after 7 days. The children’s menu is also full of options and well edited.  The hotel also serves breakfast buffet at their basement café. I found it to be average as the choices were limited, and the service was not fast enough if it runs at full occupancy.

À La Carte

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Buffet

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The hotel has an outdoor cafe with a cute coffee van which is my favorite coffee stop.

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Every afternoon you can meet with the iconic Peninsula Teddy Bear! In the evening, you can have dinner or just drinks in their lobby restaurant while enjoying the live jazz band. They also have a bar at the top floor with amazing views but I have not been.

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Every hotel staff is impeccably dressed. Being a fashion lover, I love seeing their beautiful hostesses dressed in the classic full-white uniforms, and it makes you feel special when you enter the hotel with a lady-in-uniform turning the revolving door for you.

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My favorite has to be the complimentary bicycles that the hotel offers! You can hire them for a day just to pedal around Ginza!

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Swimming pool

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Location

It is located on the quiet end of Ginza which is perfect for me. It takes 5 minutes to walk to the busy shopping streets, and 2 minutes’ walk to the royal palace.  It is also located above a train station, so it’s super convenient to catch a train.

Overall Rating:

Interior 4.5/5

Comfort 5/5

Child Friendliness 5/5

Facilities 5/5

Service 5/5

Food 4.5/5

Location 5/5

Total score 5/5!!

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Sharing my thoughts on some of the best oils for face, body and hair that I have used so far – the Dior Prestige Replenishing Oil Serum, OUAI Hair Oil and the Omorovicza Firming Body Oil. All of them are ultra-luxurious aesthetically and the formulas are to-die-for with the most incredible scent. I have been using these 3 oils religiously every night, and they are my minimalist approach to taking care of my skin and hair in less than a minute instead of using 10 different products. They are effective, and I love how they make me feel pampered and relaxed. The amazing smell of each oil helps me to unwind from a stressful and chaotic day so I am very addicted to them.

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Dior Prestige L’Huile Souveraine Oil Serum – I have a detailed review here. It is amazing for rescuing the driest skin along with the best anti-aging benefits. My skin appears moisturized, plumped and radiant day after day. It is pricey, but all you need is one/two drops per application. I’ve been using it every day for 3 months now and I am not even half way through. Best of all, this oil is derived from premium French roses, so it will literally make you feel like you are in a fresh rose garden.

OUAI Hair Oil -I bought this oil (from here) after hearing lots of great reviews. It has a very lovely musky jasmine smell to it, and the oil is lightweight and instantly absorbs into the hair. It nourishes the dry ends and smooths out the frizz without feeling greasy and heavy, and keeps the hair looking and feeling healthy. My HD recommended me to apply a drop of oil to the hair before bed, and I’ve been following her advice which seems to make a difference to the condition of my hair in the morning. My hair feels smooth and soft, and less tangled so it takes less time to style in the morning.

Omorovicza Firming Body Oil -I had an incredible body massage at a spa recently with this oil. I loved it so much I had to get one for myself (bought here) at home! It is a luxurious body oil serum with a blend of aromatic essential oils that targets at skin firming and toning. I love the smell as it instantly reminds me of a tranquil spa. Apart from using it all over the body for moisturizing, I particularly love applying it on the neck, shoulder, and décolletage every night. The heavenly aroma helps me to relax and gives me a good sleep. The oil has rosemary and chamomile that are anti-inflammatory and helps to relieve muscle tension. I was advised to apply this oil (as I have a stiff neck and shoulder) immediately after a hot shower which will help to soften the muscle and any tight knots!

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I took a mini break from blogging as I just felt exhausted from everything, and after my two weeks of holiday in Japan, I am mentally re-charged again to get back to my usual routine of life including my favorite blogging. This review is long overdue, as I have had the Charlotte Tilbury Hot Lips for a while. I ordered 5 amazing beautiful shades on Net-A-Porter based on these online swatches  (big thumbs up for the swatches on her website as they are always accurate and reliable). It was a 100% successful order for me,  as every color is what I expected and they all wear so beautifully that I struggle to pick a favorite!

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Left to Right: Miranda May; Super Cindy; Kidman Kiss; Secret Salma; Hot Emily

Charlotte has several lines of lip colors, and the Matte Revolution (reviewed here) is the best for the texture and finish in my opinion. The HOT Lips lipstick range was born under the collaborations with 12 female celebrities (hence all lipstick shades are named after them), and it has the formula as the matte revolution line.  It gives a velvety matte finish without making the lips look and feel dry, and the color stays put for 5-6 hours depending on the color.  It applies silky smooth and streak-free, and it has a lovely buttery but non-slippery consistency so it is easy to blend without feathering. It makes the lips feel soft and plump for a youthful look. Overall as a matte lipstick, this is one of the best formulas you can find in the market.

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As usual, I picked up some nude, MLBB and red and pink lip colors. All the colors are very effortless and are great for everyday wear, and they go with all sorts of makeup looks and occasions.

Kidman Kiss – is a medium peachy-pink nude. The color is similar to my natural lip color so it doesn’t wash me out and is a such an easy to wear elegant color for a natural look.

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Super Cindy – is a true medium muted nude color. It has the perfect balance of nude and dusty pink that instantly makes your lips look more sultry and edgy. One of the IT shade to get your hands on now!

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Secret Salma – is a true medium MLBB rosey pink. This is a must have color that most girls can’t get enough of including myself!

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Hot Emily – is a coral red that is just as pretty and hot and takes your breath away like the real person. Dab it to the center for a gradient look that gives a more youthful and girly appearance.

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Miranda May – I would say this is a very Miranda Kerr color as she always wears a similar lip color in pictures. It is a very pretty and friendly pink coral that would look flattering on most girls, and it instantly brightens up your complexion.

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Group Swatches:charlotte-tilbury-hot-lips-lipstick-review-swatches-3

 

 

 

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I gushed about how amazing the Dior Prestige skincare line was lately. Along with the Huile Souveraine Replenishing Oil Serum (reviewed here), I am sharing my thoughts on this most luxurious hydrating toner/essence from the Dior Prestige White Collection Line. It is not easy to get hold of it unfortunately, as I noticed this special white line is only available in certain countries. In Asia, this product is called Satin Brightening Water, whereas in Europe it is called White Brightening Light In Lotion – but they are the same product.

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When it comes to the first step in skincare after cleansing, I always like to prep my skin with a layer of toner/essence water. They tend to offer better anti-aging benefit with more intense hydration than a normal toner does. Dior has several different types of essence water in the Prestige line (also eyeing for the Rose Essence Lotion).  I chose this because it has brightening ingredients along with their signature Rose Souveraine Absolute concentrate. For my prone-to-freckles skin type, it is always a good habit to incorporate as many brightening products into the routine as I can.

As usual, the packaging from the line is on another level – it is housed in a very weighty glass jar with a gold cap that looks so clean and pure, and instantly glams up your vanity! The consistency of the product is quite rich – like clear gel-water and a little bit goes a long way. With this product, I only need half the amount of other similar products for one application. You can either pat it into the skin and it takes about half a minute to fully absorb as it almost feels like applying a rich essence! Otherwise, you can apply it with a cotton pad for a more refreshing feel and it cleans the pores and removes any traces of dirt and makeup residues.

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This Dior White Brightening Lotion is for the ultimate hydration and regeneration. My complexion feels immediately drenched with water and appears plumped up, even-looking and brightened. It is so hydrating that I even skipped the real essence since I have this in my routine! What I also really like about this product is that it is very long lasting, even if you don’t apply other skin care products after this, it keeps your skin moist and supple for many hours.

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Overall, this is the best of the best essence water you can find in the market for normal to dry skin.

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My love interest in eyeshadows has been shifted from the cool taupes to the warm, coppery and berry shades lately – perhaps it’s due to the craze for palettes like Tom Ford Honeymoon (reviewed here), the Anastasia Beverly Hills Modern Renaissance (reviewed here), or the Huda Rose Gold Palette which are taking over the beauty world by storm! My latest addition is the Dior 5 Colours Eyeshadow Palette Attract 867 from the Summer 2017 Collection (LE). It was love at first sight as it has all the beautiful colours that I am drooling over for, yet it’s an ultra wearable every-day palette without looking too over the top.

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The quality is consistently good. The eyeshadows in the palette are buttery to the touch, and silky smooth to apply without being powdery. The powders are densely packed, and they can be easily picked up with a soft bristle brush such as Suqqu and blends effortlessly with no fallout. All the colors have a great color payoff – a gentle dip and one swipe is good enough to get a nice wash of the colors on the eyes.dior-5-couleurs-eyeshadow-palette-attract-867-summer-2017-collection-1

 

The four gold colors on the corner have shimmers with a hint of metallic finish to it, which really compliments the coppery and berry tone. When applied on the eyes, there is a subtle gleam to it that really makes the eyes pop. The touch of pink berry shade is stunning  – I normally add a little to the outer corner of my eyes, or line the outer edge of my lower lines, and it instantly adds a pretty touch and gives a different appeal to the usual ‘soft brown’ eye makeup.

Closer Look

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Color Description:

Top Left: Shimmery rose gold

Top Right: Shimmery nude pink

Middle: Raspberry pink in satin finish

Bottom Left: Shimmery medium brown with gold shimmer

Bottom Right: Shimmery medium burnt burgundy brown

Swatch

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Champion

June 19, 2017

I am very much in love with lots of items I am wearing in this OOTD today, so I have to share them on my blog as these pictures were originally intended for my instagram only. First of all, it’s my pink Champion Hoodie. It’s very affordable as it’s not the x Vetement version and it looks just as chic. Pairing it with my beloved Burberry trench coat which I have had for a very long time. There is the same Burberry trench in the iconic camel beige which is currently on sale here now!  Accessories are my go-to Victoria Beckham Aviator and my latest favorite sock boots by Tony Bianco (more pictures in this post).

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Sunglasses – Victoria Beckham in gold

Hoodie – Champion Premium (similar styles here in lots of different colors)

Trench – Burberry (the same style here in camel beige is on sale here)

Skirt – Topshop

Shoes – Tony Bianco

Bag – Chanel Reissue

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