Today’s review is for the highly raved limited edition Urban Decay UD Gwen Stefani Eyeshadow Palette (bought here in Australia). I am a big monochrome fan, and the minute I spotted Gwen’s UD palette in a black and white funky polka dot design, it just clicked with me. I can see that it was designed with 100% input from her -  it is very wearable with mostly flattering neutral shades, yet there is this ‘unique Gwen’s’ playful and rock-n-roll edge to it which makes the palette interesting and a stand out from the brand’s other releases.

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What is great about this palette is that there are 12 new shades out of 15 that are exclusive to this palette, so this won’t be a repeat of what you have already owned from Urban Decay.

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Urban Decay is known for their affordable and supreme eye shadow quality, and the same goes for this palette. This is my first palette from them, and I am just so intrigued by how great they are. Every shade is ultra pigmented, and buttery soft. The shimmery shades are extremely finely milled so they feel silky smooth to apply and deliver an elegant satiny sheen. The matte shades are even more superior as they are probably the most soft and easy to blend mattes I have ever used. Also the color payoff is intense so little goes a long way.

Closer look at these stunning eye shadows:

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Swatch

Top Row:

Blonde (pale beige/pink iridescent shift), Bathwater (pale beige with gold pearl), Skimp (pale nude satin), Steady (medium rose/metallic gold shift), Punk (reddish brown matte)

Urban-Decay-UD-Gwen-Stefani-Eyeshadow-Palette-review-swatch-2Middle Row:

Baby (cool metallic rose), Anaheim (light taupe-brown matte), Stark (nude-pink matte), Zone (medium brown matte), Serious (smoky gray with iridescent floating pearl)

Urban-Decay-UD-Gwen-Stefani-Eyeshadow-Palette-review-swatch-3Bottom Row:

Pop (pale coral with iridescent sparkle), Harajuku (metallic blue-pink/iridescent micro-shimmer), Danger (deep metallic royal blue/blue micro-sparkle), 1987 (bright metallic yellow-gold), Blackout (blackest black matte)

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The Urban Decay UD Gwen Stefani Eyeshadow Palette is available online at Nordstrom and Sephora in the US. I bought mine here in Australia.

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I often get asked about my updated skincare routine from my readers, and it seems a very big job for me to consolidate everything I use into one post. I am currently in the process of shortlisting a handful of products that I absolutely love. In the meantime, I like to share with you a selection of products that I am bringing along with for my upcoming 2 weeks vacation in Hawaii! These are the trial and tested products that I pulled from my current skincare selections (not just random samples), and they are mainly for keeping my skin clear, congestion free, hydrated and lifted (so more photogenic) on a hot destination.

best-skincare-routine-tutorial-normal-oily-skin-reviewCLEANSE:

TATCHA One Step Camilia Cleansing Oil: My holy grail cleansing oil for removing makeup. One pump is all you need for removing the makeup completely, and it emulsifies well and most importantly it doesn’t make my vision blur for days if it gets into my eyes accidentally.

SUQQU Eye Makeup Remover: It removes the eye makeup including waterproof mascara easily, and is super gentle for my sensitive eyes.

TATCHA Polished Rice Enzyme Powder:  Love this gentle powder exfoliator that also helps to brighten. It totally deserves a separate review post for it.

MASKS:

GLAMGLOW PowerMud DualCleanse Treatment: It is currently my favorite deep cleansing mask. I love it so much so I bought a mini size just for this trip. It is gentle (doesn’t sting), but very effective for lifting all the impurities and clearing out the pores.

SK-II Facial Treatment Mask: My go-to paper mask for ultimate hydration and glowy skin. I plan to use one a day so it helps to reverse the damage from the sun, and keep my skin hydrated and brightened.

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DAY & NIGHT:

La Mer The Reparative Face Sun Lotion SPF 30: If you want to simplify your skincare routine, this is possibly the only product you need in the morning. It is La Mer Moisturing lotion + SPF30 sun protection. This milky lotion is less richer than their famous cream, so it is light enough to use in the morning with the same repairing benefits as in all La Mer products.

La Mer The Mist: A very refreshing and hydrating mist that is great to use during the day to replenish the moisture and keep the skin cool.

Dr Ci LaboVitamin C Special100 Series: Pure vitamin c oil that moisturizes and also helps to improve pigmentation and brighten up the skin. It’s great for mixing in with other products.

For Beloved One Mandelic Acid Renewal Serum 20% . It is the newest ingredient that surpasses the effect of BHA+AHA which is trending everywhere in Asia now. It gives a deep exfoliation (like a mild peel effect) to the skin, and it is the most effective I have ever used for clearing up pores, and preventing pore congestion. If you notice your skin is not as smooth, or has white heads, and congested pores but difficult to remove, then this serum brings all the dirt and impurities to the skin surface and help to dissolve them after 2-3 uses. Continuous use will help the pores to stay clear longer. I use it twice a week, and always mix it with the vitamin c oil to make it more diluted and apply it over the areas prone to congestion.

Beauty Bar 24K Gold:  My favorite portable beauty tool for de-puffing and a temporary more lifted look (reviewed here).

Methode Jeannue Piaubert Visagist Facial Slimming Roll-On: This brand makes the best slimming and contouring body products. I was excited to find out that they also have a slimming skincare product for the face. I bought this in Europe earlier this year, and unfortunately I can’t find any stockist online.

HAIR & BODY:

Jurlique Hand Cream: Holy grail hand cream that I have repurchased over and over.

Original Mineral Frizzy Logic Shine Serum: A weightless serum that repairs the hair and control the frizzes. Similar to Argan oil but I prefer this one.

 

 

 

 

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Today’s review is for the supremely luxurious Chanel SUBLIMAGE Regenerating Mask. I don’t use skincare products from Chanel as much as with their makeup, as I always prefer brands that are specialized in skincare rather than generic beauty brands that do everything. However after trying out several samples from the SUBLIMAGE series, I was totally blown away by the performance.

One of the products that wowed me the most was the Sublimage Lotion (it just made my skin look so good!), but I didn’t buy the full size version as I had way too many serum lotions to get through. I was convinced to buy the Regenerating Mask as I was in need of a wash-off type mask and the SA claimed this was more intensive than the lotion, and it could also be used as a sleeping mask.

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As with most high end masks, it comes with the most luxurious packaging that makes you feel very pampered every time you apply this over the face. It has a set of standard tools such as a mask brush, a scoop, and a small pamphlet with massaging techniques included to make a prestige skincare product.

It has a thick and heavy cream texture that moisturizes even the driest skin, and smooths out the dry lines within few minutes. Different to the gel mask, this is much more nourishing and anti-aging. Since it’s so expensive I always use it a as sleeping mask so I can get optimum results. The formula is very rich, so I only need a very small amount to cover the whole face and I leave it on my face for at least 30 minutes before I go to the bed. It has quite a strong signature Chanel floral rosey scent that makes it smell enchanting.  My skin feels extremely supple and smooth with a radiant glow the next day similar to having an intensive moisturizing facial. It takes away all the dry patches and makes my complexion look fresh and rejuvenated. No brightening, lifting and repairing effect observed.

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Overall I recommend this product for those of you who are short on sleep, and are wanting your skin to look at its best the next day; or if  you don’t have the time for a long skincare routine and  just want to use one product at night that gives you the similar result as with 10 products. For people with oily skin, this mask may be too rich for you.

I bought the mask here in Australia. It is available on Nordstrom and Neiman Marcus Online in the US.

 

 

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Aquazurra is taking the fashion world by storm over the past few years, and is certainly setting himself as a shoe trend setter who is also becoming my favorite shoe brand to collect. I own several pairs of them (see my post here and here), and my newest addition is the iconic Sexy Thing Suede Sandals in nude color (finally!). I love their shoes – they are sexy and young with a chic edge to it (not the usual boring pumps), and are comfortable for heels as they are very lightweight yet sturdy.

This style is the most classic from Aquazurra, and it comes in a rainbow of colors as well as different heights of heels (love this gray pair as well!). Most of their sandals can also be worn as cut-out booties, so they make great transitional pieces to wear into the winter. If I make an investment on shoes, they always have to be work appropriate but also great for styling with causal (off duty) wears and this pair ticks all the checkboxes!

OOTD:

Maje khaki suede skirt (on sale here in Australia)

Saint Laurent Bag (bought here)

 

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aquazurra-sexy-thing-suede-sandals-booties-nude-review-ootd-look-2Aquazurra shoes are currently the cheapest on NAP for shipping to Australia but they have limited colors. I bought mine here for the 10cm heel, and they are also on Neiman Marcus in the US.

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This spring Chanel has released a limited edition nail color 683 Sunrise Trip in a newly reformulated gel formula! I am absolutely smitten with the exclusive formula to this spring collection, and it got me very excited about the upcoming nail polish collection in a newly renovated formula by Chanel. The new collection is called Le Vernis Longwear Nail Color available in 15 shades (some are new, some are the classic shades) will be launching very soon worldwide. Note that Sunrise Trip is actually labelled Nail Gloss on the packaging, which suggests to me it might be of a different formula to the new collection.

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The Sunrise Trip (bought here in Australia) is a bluish purple color with no shimmer. It has a fluid gel consistency and it glides on very smoothly and applies streak free. It is more opaque than the regular Chanel Nail Color, and with 2 coats it gives a full opaque and the glossiest gel-like finish. I have had the color on for 2 weeks and there was only 1 tiny chip thus far (without any nail base coat), so I am very impressed with the longevity of this new formula. The shine also lasts about a week before it starts to fade. Last but not least, it is also easy to remove with any regular nail polish remover.

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Here is a preview picture of the new nail collection from Collection that I shared on my instagram. More information can be found on Chanel.com.

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The Limited Edition Chanel Sunkiss Ribbon Blush from the LA Sunrise Spring 2016 collection is definitely the item to look out for this season (available online here in Australia). It looks gorgeous in the pan, and just as equally pretty on the face. As for the other items from the collection, I have only picked up the Le Vernis Sunrise Trip, and passed the rest.

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It has an ultra buttery creamy texture and is smooth to apply. In terms of pigmentation, it is one of those ‘rare’ blushes from Chanel that offers extremely intense color payoff, and it even puts a Nars blush to shame when I did a quick comparison. Each of the color strips are equally pigmented (not one color significantly more pigmented than the other), so when they are mixed together, you get an even blend of color. There is a small amount of shimmer in the blush, and once applied it translates to a cream finish with a soft glow on the skin.

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What I love about this product is that it contains all sorts of colors for a blush – there is the cool fuchsia, a soft pink, an orange, a rosy pink, and a soft brown color, which makes it very fun and versatile to apply. You can mix all the colors together for a base color, and it translates to a complex peachy pink color with a coral undertone. Since each color is highly pigmented, you can also layer another single color on top just to make the color pop a little.

Swatch clockwise

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All colors mixed

chanel-sunkiss-ribbon-blush-LA-sunrise-2016-spring-collection-review-swatch-5Comparing it to Nars Orgasm

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FOTD (picture was taken with the CASIO Selfie Camera TR35!)chanel-sunkiss-ribbon-blush-LA-sunrise-2016-spring-collection-review-swatch-7

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Today’s review is for the highly in-demand highlighter – the Becca x Jaclyn Hill Shimmering Skin Perfector Champagne Pop Pressed Powder . Their shimmering skin perfector products (come in liquid, pressed powder and cream forms) have always been the best sellers for Becca, especially with shades like Opal and Moonstone that are the absolute staples in many beauty guru’s makeup kit. The Champagne Pop, released in collaboration with youtube guru Jaclyn Hill combining with her fan base, was pretty much set for an immediate success as it was sold out worldwide for a long time.  It is now finally back in stock at Sephora Australia.

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Texture

It feels buttery soft and creamy to the touch, and silky smooth to apply with the tiniest amount of product going a long way. For $38 each, the texture is as superb as the higher end highlighters such as Tom Ford’s and Charlotte Tilbury’s.

Finish

Ultra pigmented and shimmery. It’s not the usual illuminating highlighter that adds just a soft glow to your face – this offers some serious highlighting effect which is best for creating a glamorous sculpted and lifted glow to the cheekbones. I would not recommend applying this all over the cheeks and forehead as it will just look too shimmery under daylight. For application, I like to use an ultra soft and fluffy brush for picking up less product for a softer finish.

Color

Absolutely breathtaking! It is a warm pale peachy gold shimmer with a hint of rose gold sheen, and this color would look absolute perfect on medium warm skin tone. On my NC15-20 complexion, it leaves a tinge of color and looks slightly too warm on my skin. It’s best to be used on top of a peachy, or peachy pink blushes (such as classic the Nars Orgasm) so the colors compliment. I have used it with cool pink blushes and they seemed a little odd together.

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Swatch

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Comparison swatches with Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar (review); Tom Ford Illuminating Duo Moonlight (review); Bobbi Brown Shimmer Brick Pink; Nars Albatross (in the swatch only)

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My blogging mojo is finally back after a much-needed lazy but wonderful short holiday break! Starting the new year with a new foundation review – the latest Chanel Les Beiges Healthy Glow Foundation (also available on Chanel.com ). This new range came to my radar as soon as I saw the preview picture last year, and I am thrilled to find that this is officially my favorite foundation by Chanel as of now!

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Texture

It has a lightweight creamy consistency that is different to the usual liquid foundation. It is almost similar to a tinted cream consistency but applies more opaque with a better coverage. This creamy foundation melds into the skin with minimum blending required and leaves no streaks nor dry patches. It also feels weightless and breathable on the skin which is ideal for the spring and summer time.

Coverage

Like most Chanel foundations, the Les Beiges offers sheer to medium coverage. On me it requires less than a pump for a sheer coverage, and buildable to a fuller coverage with 1 and a half pump. Since this foundation has a thicker and more opaque texture than a liquid foundation, I find that half a pump of this gives the same coverage as with a full pump of a typical liquid foundation.  It covers most of the mild imperfections and redness, and also covers the pores exceptionally well. In comparison, I would say the coverage of this one is better than Chanel Vitalumiere AQUA, MUFE Ultra HD Foundation (review), and on par with Chanel Perfection Lumiere (review) or Dior Diorskin Star Foundation (review).

Finish

Every good foundation has one element that stands out, and to me the finish of Les Beiges is absolutely unbeatable. It is exactly what I am after from a foundation to use in the warm weather season, and I am completely obsessed with this healthy glow that it gives. Once applied, it settles into a dry finish so no loose powder is required after that. The finish is very natural and porcelain-like – it’s not dewy but it makes the skin look more smooth and creamy, and gives a radiant glow that doesn’t look so artificial. I like to apply this foundation with a sponge (highly recommend the Shu Uemura Sponge) rather than the foundation brush, and if I just tap the foundation into the skin with a sponge, it gives the best result for a more flawless finish.

Lasting Power

Thumbs up for lasting power as well. It controls the oil really well over 7-8 hours of wear, and keeps the complexion looking fresh with no oxidation. To retain the coverage, you will need a bit of retouch once a day.

Color Match

I bought shade 10 (the lightest shade) which has a neutral undertone and is a great match for my skin at the moment (NC10-15).

chanel-les-beiges-healthy-glow-foundation-review-shade-10-comparison-swatchpictures are taken under natural light

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chanel-les-beiges-healthy-glow-foundation-review-shade-10-comparison-swatch-2Bottom Line: If you are generally a Chanel foundation fan, you will fall in love with this new foundation. I actually think this is the best foundation Chanel has ever released for my skin type. The Chanel Les Beiges Healthy Glow retails for AUD$89, and is now available here and here in Australia.

 

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