It was love at first sight for me with the Extra Dimension Eye Shadow collections from MAC lately, and as much as I tried to resist on buying single eye shadows as well as MAC makeup.. I couldn’t help but pick up these two beautiful neutral colors in Sweet Heat and A Natural Flirt.

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It is quite difficult to capture the true beauty of these eye shadows in photos, as they have the most amazing liquid sheen with a metallic effect to it. They look like semi-wet eye shadows from the pan (but they apply dry), and the colors can look different depending on the angles you are looking at. One swipe convinced me that I had to get few colors from the collection- they feel silky smooth, extremely finely milled, and highly pigmented. They don’t show up as metallic once they are swatched as you see from the pan – just a shimmery wash of colors with a hint of metallic sheen that add an impact to the rather boring neutral colors.

A natural flirt is gorgeous. It is a light ivory champagne color with an iridescent pink undertone. Yes I probably can find tons of similar shades from my collection, but this one will make it to my top 3!

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Sweet heat looks dark and chocolaty at some angles, but in real life it is a stunning medium sandy copper color that has a light rose gold metallic sheen to it.

mac-extra-dimension-eye-shadow-sweet-heat-a-natural-flirt-review-swatch-5Swatches

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I bought the MAC Extra Dimension Eye shadows here in Australia. They retail for AUD$40 each.

 

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I have used tons of brightening products (some were really expensive!) in the hope of improving the appearance of the pigmentation problem on my complexion, but I hardly reviewed any on the blog because they never worked for me. You may have heard me saying some brightening products did improve the skin luminosity, but I would have never said that my freckles were faded after using them. So today I’d like to introduce you to an amazing and phenomenal product that really worked – the SkinMedica LYTERA  brightening complex, which is probably the only product I have ever used that made a big difference in reducing pigmentation!

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The SkinMedica Lytera was recommend by my dermatologist after I received several IPL sessions (see this post). Had he not introduced this brand to me, I would have never heard of it. I started using this product 6 months into having the IPL done when I noticed that my freckles had started re-emerging! I was very keen on seeing the result because I read so many great reviews about it on the internet and some have even described the result of using Lytera to be on par with the effect of having IPL. At first I was disappointed with the result as I didn’t see much of an improvement after a few weeks. So just like many other skincare products, I kept on using it without holding my hope high..and it was around the 2 month mark where the ‘transformation’ happened – my freckles were noticeably faded. The result was not as dramatic as if having a laser, but I do remember there was one morning I looked into the mirror and I could not believe how clear my complexion looked again. I even re-wiped my mirror just to double check!

The Lytera has a very lightweight gel texture that is absorbed into the skin immediately. It is slightly hydrating but if you have dry to very dry skin, you will need a better serum for hydration purposes. It doesn’t sting and nor does it make the skin red. One thing to note is that if you are using this product during the day, be sure to apply lots of sunscreen as it does make the complexion slightly more sensitive.

I have just finished my first bottle of Lytera which lasted about 4 months (one pump per application), and I am up to my second bottle. I didn’t see any further improvement after 2 months, so this is more for up-keeping.

SkinMedica-LYTERA-Skin-Brightening-Complex-aha-bha-exfoliating-cleanser-review-2Ingredient list

 

Also a brief review on the SkinMedica AHA/BHA Exfoliating Cleanser which I also can’t stop gushing about. It’s a clear gel cleanser with micro-beads in it and I use it every night with my Clarisonic (reviewed here).  It makes my skin very clean without stripping off the moisture, keeps the pores clear and makes the skin texture incredibly smooth. If your skin texture is looking uneven and feeling a little rough, or if you think your makeup is just sitting on top your skin (doesn’t sink in) then that is most likely because your skin is in need of a better exfoliation product. If it is still a mild case I highly recommend incorporating at least one product that contains BHA/AHA such as this cleanser into your routine. Using it in conjunction with the Clarisonic, they help to improve my skin texture dramatically and make a big difference in how good  my makeup holds.

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I have about a dozen new foundations sitting on my dresser, so I thought I had better get my act together to resume my reviews for foundations as I haven’t done one for so long!  The Dior Diorskin Star Studio Foundation is the one I have been reaching out for constantly, as it just works really well with my skin and I love the naturally radiant and luminous finish.

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Texture and formulation

The Dior Star Foundation has a slightly thick milky texture (not as fluidy as other liquid foundations), and it is best to be applied with a foundation brush or sponge for an even finish. My top preferences are either the Dior Backstage foundation brush which gives an airbrushed finish with a fuller coverage, or with the beauty blender which gives a slightly more translucent and dewy finish. Except for oily skin, I think the formula works great for most skin types. I have used this foundation in extreme cold weather conditions, and the formula is ‘creamy’ enough to be used on dry skin as the light-reflective pigments makes the skin appear more plumped and it does not enhance any fine lines nor dry patches. On days that my skin behaves normally, this foundation holds nicely throughout the day, and it does not fade nor crease. However there is a little bit of oil coming through around my t-zone after half a day of wear.

Coverage and finish

For a fluid foundation, the Dior offers pretty decent coverage. I normally use less than a pump and it gives a medium coverage (dependent on the tool you use) that takes away the dullness, redness and most of the mild imperfections. It feels weightless on the skin, and it goes on seamlessly and completely blends into your own skin. It gives a semi-satiny finish with a soft luminous glow – like a soft beauty light shining on your face that helps to diffuse and reflect the light on your skin to camouflage the imperfections rather than masking them. If you look at the swatches below, you will see that the Dior has a velvety finish (not as dewy as the others) and once it blends into the skin it just looks really beautiful and natural but not dull and matte.

Color

I bought the foundation in shade 020 light beige which has a hint of pink undertone to it. It matches my skin well with a slight brightening effect which I absolutely adore. The brightening effect makes your complexion look radiant, healthy and well-rested but doesn’t make you look pale white. In a way the effect of this foundation is quite similar to the YSL Touche Eclat Foundation with an emphasis on “creating light” on your skin.

Comparison swatch (left to right): MAC Mineralize NC20 (reviewed here); Chanel Perfection Lumiere 20 ; YSL Touche Eclat BK20 (reviewed here);  Giorgio Armani Designer Lift 3 (reviewed here); Dior Star 020

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dior-diorskin-star-studio-foundation-review-swatch-020-light-beige-review-swatch-3dior-diorskin-star-studio-foundation-review-swatch-020-light-beige-review-swatch-4I bought the Dior Star Foundation and the Dior Backstage Foundation brush here and here in Australia. Always have my beauty blenders restocked on NAP.

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OOTD

August 19, 2015

Winter is certainly not as fun as summer, but the upside is that we can wear chunky sweaters and knits! I love throwing myself into cozy and over-sized knits, and I am constantly adding new pieces into my closet. In this ootd I am wearing my current favorite sweater by Bassike. I have been looking for a military green color sweat for so long and I am so glad I found the perfect piece. It has the signature Bassike relaxed cut – like a slimming boyfriend style that doesn’t look boxy nor wide. It is made of wool and cotton with ribbed knit over all which gives a very effortless and chic feel to it. Styling wise, can’t go wrong with ripped denim (my other obsession atm) and a touch of rockstud!

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bassike-sweater-knit-frame-denim-le-skinny-de-jeanne-distressed-valentino-rockstud-noir-pump-mansur-gavriel-mini-bucket-bag-ootd-3bassike-sweater-knit-frame-denim-le-skinny-de-jeanne-distressed-valentino-rockstud-noir-pump-mansur-gavriel-mini-bucket-bag-ootd-2Sweater – Bassike (bought here)

Jeans – Frame Denim (sold out and similar here and here)

Shoes – Valentino (bought here and featured in this post)

Sunglasses – Tom Ford Aviator Sunglasses (bought here)

Necklace – Jennifer Zeuner (available here)

Bag – Mansur Gavriel (featured in this post, try your luck here and here!)

lipstick – Charlotte Tilbury Red Carpet (reviewed here, available here and here)

 

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Bold lips have been my statement look over the past year – whether wearing the red lip color in a full opaque coat or as a sheer stain, I am infatuated with how much impact it adds to the overall look. Today’s review is for my 3 current favorite red lip colors – Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution Red Carpet, Chanel Levres Scintillantes Glossimer Rose Paradis 447 and Surrat Automatique Lip Crayon P.O.C.  They are all of different texture and finish, so they offer different options for achieving different looks.

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The Chanel Levres Scintillantes Glossimer Rose Paradis 447 (available here in Australia) is from the Chanel Summer 2015 Collection. It is a highly pigmented rosey red color that has a transparent finish which makes it very wearable for the day and night. I really like the Glossimer formulation for intense colors, as it is very easy to sheer out and gives a lovely wash of stain on the lips in a glossy finish. During the day I’d like to wear a sheer layer of this – it’s pretty and youthful and the color helps to brighten up the complexion. If you are after a dramatic and bold look, the lip gloss is intense enough for delivering its full color with a jelly like finish.

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As the name suggests, this Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution Red Carpet is the red color for making a statement. It is a cool deep ruby red with a hint of burgundy undertone in a matte finish. It is bold, sultry, a little vampy and the velvety matte finish adds an edgy and fashion-forward spin to this classic color. I absolutely adore the formulation of Charlotte Tilbury’s Matte Revolution Lipsticks (detail reviews on other colors are covered in this post). Red carpet is no exception – it ‘s non drying and extremely long lasting. Available worldwide here.

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Surrat is a new makeup brand that I am still uncovering. So far I have only tried their lip products, and also interested in exploring their luxury brushes range! Love their sleek frosted black packaging design, and their Automatique Lip Crayon range has some stunning colors. I picked the color P.O.C which is the most beautiful warm red with a hint of orange tone that I have ever seen. This is a summery red in my opinion, and looks great on either fair or tanned complexion. It has a non slippery crayon-like texture so it goes on very opaque and applies relatively creamy and smooth. I would say the texture is quite similar to the Nars Velvet Matte Lipstick Pencil, if you are interested in exploring new brands, Surrat is a good option. Available here worldwide.

surrat-Automatique-Lip-Crayon-review-swatch-1surrat-Automatique-Lip-Crayon-review-swatch-2Group Swatch:

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Today’s review is for the absolutely stunning limited edition Chanel Joues Contraste Powder Blush in VIBRATION 270 from an exclusive collection. Australia seems to be the first country that has received this collection which also includes the Chanel Infiniment Illuminating Powder (reviewed here), and as far as I know they will be launched in the US in the very near future (around September). I have a substantial collection of Chanel JC blushes, and not every one of them is a must-have due to the high price tag and many of them are quite similar. But Vibration is phenomenal – I haven’t seen a beautiful blush color like this for a very long time.

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Unlike most of the other Chanel JC blushes, Vibration is a matte color without any shimmer, but the texture is creamy and silky smooth to apply. It applies to a semi-satin finish with a soft glow that looks so pretty and like a natural flush of color. The pigmentation is ultra intense, so for application I would recommend to use a soft and fluffy blush brush to pick up the pigment softly and blend. Vibration is a beautiful coral pink with a hint of red undertone to it. This is the color that would look flattering on both the warm and cool skin-tones, and it would help to brighten up the complexion and add a youthful pink wash of color to the cheeks without looking too girly.

Chanel-Joues-Contraste-Powder-Blush-VIBRATION-270-review-swatch-3Swatches:

Chanel-Joues-Contraste-Powder-Blush-VIBRATION-270-review-swatch-5Chanel-Joues-Contraste-Powder-Blush-VIBRATION-270-review-swatch-4The Chanel Joues Contraste Blush in Vibration is only available online here in Australia.

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I have been passing on the eye shadows from Chanel for the past several releases, and this fall Chanel has finally delivered the beautiful Les 5 Ombres De Chanel Entreslacs Eyeshadow Palette that was special enough for me to make a purchase. The 2015 Fall Collection is all about playing with shadow and light, so you will find that most of the products echo the theme with a neutral color palette. I personally think that this eye shadow palette is the star product of the collection, as it comes in a limited edition palette form with 5 eye shadows, and all the colors are the best neutral colors that you could ever get.

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I absolutely love the variation of the colors included in this palette – it’s almost like a contour kit for the eyes. They work with various skin tones, and each color compliments and works in perfect harmony. They can be layered together for mimicking a shadow and light effect for creating an illusion of deeper set eyes in an effortless way. This is the ultimate appeal of a neutral eye shadow palette, with the right balance of matte and shimmery eye shadows that can be worn in so many ways for different looks.

The quality of this palette is also phenomenal, as the texture of all the eye shadows are buttery soft and glide on like silk without any fallout. The pigmentation is also lovely – a gentle dip into the eye shadow is suffice for an entire application.

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Color description (from left to right)

1. shimmery ivory vanilla – Perfect for highlighting the brow areas and the inner corners.

2. semi-matte soft neutral brown – This is a rather ‘common’ color but it adds so much value to an eye shadow palette, as both the color and the finish are perfect for contouring the eyes which makes them appear deeper set and less puffy.

3. shimmery chocolate brown with gold micro glitter – A great color for layering or deepening the outer v, and the shimmer adds a lovely touch for creating a multi-dimensional finish.

4. satin charcoal brown – Great for creating smoky eyes, or can be used as an eyeliner. The subtle shimmer makes the color appear less harsh on the eyes.

5. shimmery pale peachy pink – I can never have enough of this color! Sometimes all I need is a wash of this color on the eye lid that will just transform the eyes.

Les-5-Ombres-de-chanel-Eyeshadow-Palette-2015-fall-collection-review-swatch-3Les-5-Ombres-de-chanel-Eyeshadow-Palette-2015-fall-collection-review-swatch-4Bottom Line: Must have for the neutral eye shadow lovers! One the best eye shadow palettes I have acquired in this year. I bought the Les 5 Ombres De Chanel Entrelacs Eyeshadow Palette here in Australia, and it is also available at Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus and Chanel Online in the US.

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Every year Chanel releases an exquisite limited edition illuminating powder of which many makeup enthusiasts deem it as a collectable item. This year the Chanel INFINIMENT Illuminating Powder is no exception – it looks breathtaking, smells amazing and it is also a practical powder that would wear beautifully on most complexions. As always, this product is flying off the shelf in Australia. I am not sure if it is available in other countries now, so best to give your Chanel SA a call.

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The main part of the powder is a light beige color, with the interlocking C in slight shimmery peachy color embossed in the middle. If you look carefully, the signature Chanel logo has a delicate weave texture that just shows how intricately made this product is. The powder is very finely milled and feels buttery smooth and silky to apply. It gives a semi-matte finish with a hint of illuminating effect. Depending on your skin tone, on my NC15-20, I would say this is more of a setting powder that adds a healthy warm glow to the skin (very similar to the effect that Chanel Les Beige Powder gives). On a darker skin tone, this would work more as an illuminating powder.

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Swatch of Chanel Infiniment Illuminating Powder

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If you are wondering if it is necessary to have this powder if you already have the Chanel Les Beiges in the lightest colors such as NO1 or Mariniere 01 (reviewed here). I personally prefer the finish of Infiniment. The texture feels more creamy, and it also offers better coverages as it gives a more opaque and air-brushed finish so it completely covers the pores and blurs out other imperfections. It is also more long lasting and heat resistant. Of course the fact that this is highly coveted and limited edition is always a reason to get your hands on it!

Comparison swatch between Chanel Les Beiges NO1 and Infiniment:

Chanel-INFINIMENT-Illuminating-Powder-review-swatch-les-beiges-healthy-glow-no1Heavy swatches – left Chanel Les Beiges No1 (all colors mixed), Right Chanel Infiniment (all colors mixed)

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