It is the time of the year where everybody has lots of social gatherings planned, and we all want to look at our best! I have been good with my diet (trying to eat very clean food so I can fit into my party dresses and look less bloated), and most importantly I picked up some skincare products and tools that will instantly transform the appearance and texture of the skin to a better condition, and preps my skin to be party-ready (radiant and smooth).

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Baby Quasar MD Plus – Salon therapies definitely give you an instant skin transformation, but they are pricey and requires down time. At-home beauty tools are always a cheaper option to try, and they are far more effective than solely relying on the skincare. My latest addition is the Baby Quasar MD Plus. I have had it a few times in salons, and I finally decided to get the home version. It is not cheap, but I like the result it delivers and it is a gentle tool to use. It emits 4 different wavelengths that deeply penetrate,  stimulates collagen reproduction and over a short time your skin appears firmer with an improved density. I will do a full review on the tool soon, but in summary, this tool makes my skin appear  plumped up and more youthful looking with a glow instantly.

Kate Somerville Exfolikate – Still my HG exfoliator. I use it more intensively 2 weeks before the events/parties. It makes my skin as smooth as a baby’s bottom, and prevents congestion from clogging up.

GlamGlow TingleExfoliate Treatment – Another HG skincare item. A deep cleaning and clarifying mask that brightens and detoxifies the skin. Skin looks ultra clear and luminous after use!

Cle De Peau Essential Correcting Refiner – Best of the best pore refining lotion in the market! Full review coming soon

SKII Facial Treatment Essence – Alternating Cle De Peau with SKII, this famous highly concentrated Pitera liquid lotion deeply hydrates, clarifies and brightens for achieving crystal clear skin.

Suqqu Massage & Mask Creme – Face lift in a jar and is equivalent to the result of having a facial. It is a nourishing and moisturizing mask that gets rid of water retention, instantly creates a slimmer and more toned jaws and lifted cheeks and eyes following the enclosed GANKIN massage techniques.

Charlotte Tilbury Magic Cream – Best seller from Charlotte Tilbury that she uses on Celebs and models before events. It cheats the appearance of 8 hours sleep and gives a plumped, glowing, youthful dewy complexion in a flash!

Chanel Le Lift Cream – Reviewed here. My go-to moisturizer for recontouring and refining the complexion.

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I have been showcasing this beautiful Hourglass Ambient Lighting Surreal Light Palette (bought here with free international shipping) a lot on my insta lately. The marble packaging totally captured my heart. I have lots of individual Hourglass ambient lighting powder, as well as the Ambient Lighting palette. Since this palette comes in 6 new never-before-released shades, that makes a wonderful excuse for me to add it to my stash.

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Basically, the ambient powder adds a soft lit-within glow to the face. All powders are not fully matte, but they are also less shimmery than a traditional shimmer product. It imparts a luminous glow to the face that looks good with all age groups (unlike the ultra glamorous finish that you see on Insta which may not look good in real life!), and all powders go on semi-translucent with a tinge of color so it would look flattering on all skin tones. The application is fool-proof as the pigment is soft and easy to blend, and the powder does not enhance the pores.

The palette contains 1 finishing powder, 2 blushes, and 1 bronzer and 1 highlighter.  All of them contain very fine micro shimmer that does not look visible on the face.

  1. Surreal Light: A sheer nude finish powder that goes on translucent on my NC15/20 skin tone. I like to use it to set my makeup over the center of the face. It instantly brightens, and makes the face look more dimensional and lifted as the powder reflects light softly, as well as controlling the oil all day long.

2.  Surreal Bronze Light: A neutral tan shade. Great for creating a subtle contour, and adding warmth to the face.

3.  Surreal Glow: A pale peachy pink blush that looks very delicate on the skin. Can also be used as a highlighter depending on your skin tone.

4. Surreal Effect: A cool, pink rose fused with a soft, warm peach for a pop of flattering color. Goes on quite bright and adds a flush of color to the cheeks.

5. Surreal Strobe Light: A glimmering golden peach powder, and can also be used wet for an intense highlight.

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Swatch

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Sales Haul

November 28, 2016

It was quite a stressful weekend for me as there were just way too many good deals to check out! Besides beauty, my orders from Shopbop are slowly arriving. I thought I’d share my first round of haul while the promotion is still on for Cyber Monday.

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Boots – Casadei

Necklace – Gabriela Artigas. I’ve been looking for a dainty bar diamond necklace for a very long time, and glad I got this beautiful piece at a special price. It seems to be sold out by now, but another cheaper and smaller diamond bar necklace I love by EF Collection is still available.

Sunglasses – Victoria Beckham. Obsessed with aviators so I have to get my hands on the famous VB aviator!

Hair Clip – Alexandre de Paris. These are the best of the best hair accessories as they are all hand-made in France.

Jeans – Mother Denim

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Details – Mansur Gavriel Bag / Gucci Shoes / T by Alexander Wang Tee

Closer look

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As a beauty blogger, I am always intrigued by new and innovative products. Since the Artis brushes look very much state of the art, and the price point is acceptable for a high-end range, I decided to give them a try. My first order consisted of two most essential brushes for me – the Oval 6 Brush as a foundation brush , and Circle 1R for eyeshadow blending. The performance of these brushes has completely blown me away and surpassed my expectations. I have a fair share in premium brushes such as Suqqu and Tom Ford, but I have never used brushes that deliver such wonderful pro results in a very easy way.

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The Artis Brush comes in 4 different designs. I have them in the Elite Mirror Finish design from Net-A-Porter, which has the handle made of silver metal in mirror finish with a white rubber in the middle for easy grip. NAP also carries the brushes in an ultra glamorous gold design and the Elite Smoke design in silvery grey color. Neiman Marcus carries their own exclusive line – the Artis Fluenta that comes in a completely different handle design (with the same brush heads). At the moment Neiman Marcus is offering SPEND and RECEIVE Gift Cards up to $750 (more details at the bottom of the post) from their Cyber Monday deal with eligible beauty purchase including the Artis brush.

Each Artis brush comes in an individual box with full instructions on the back. The look of the brush is beautiful in an expensive way and futuristic. All bush is made of their patented velvet soft CosmeFibre bristles, that is revolutionary engineered fiber made for applying cosmetic and makeup products. The bristle is very fine (finer than the synthetic flat top brush) and is extremely dense and feels soft. All of their brushes can be used with products of different textures such as cream or powder based, and each brush can be used for different purposes.

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The Oval 6 Brush (fluenta version here) is recommended to use with foundation, blush, bronzer and concealer. I personally think it is the most amazing for applying foundation, as it is the perfect size and shape, and it gives an airbrushed and flawless finish with all types of foundations. It has an oval design (about the same size as a conventional kabuki foundation brush) with a flat top head. Unlike any other foundation brush, this brush gives a completely streak-free finish, and in the mean time it doesn’t sheer down the coverage and opacity of the foundation as with a beauty blender or sponge. Normally it would take me at least 2 and 3 different ways to achieve the same result as with only this brush! Can’t gush enough about it.

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The Oval 6 also works well with other cream-based products such as concealer or cream blush for the face. As with powder blush, it works great with a sheer blush. For a vibrant blush, it is not the most ideal tool for me as it picks up a little too much pigment due to the density of the brush.

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It didn’t love using the Oval 6 for powder application as much as with cream-based products, surprisingly with the Circle 1R brush (Fluenta version here), it has once again blown me away for applying and blending powder eye shadows over the crease area. This brush has a dome tapered tip that gives a softer finish. The application is like a breeze. All you need is to dip the brush into a neutral color, and swipe it across the crease area and it gives a perfectly blended pro result! It leaves no harsh edges, no patches. Another must-have brush that I highly recommend.

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The shape of the brush is quite versatile, as you can use it for the eyes for either blending or shading, and it is even ideal as lip and concealer brush.

Bottom Line: Pure love. I love them so much so I have bought several more brushes from the range. Will be reviewing them in the near future. My friends have been asking me what Artis brush should they get, and I highly recommend to them the 5 brush set because they are of better value and they will not let you down. If you really just want to get one or two brushes, then 6 and 1R are the most versatile from the range in my opinion.

Here is the Cyber Monday Deal from Neiman Marcus

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Best Black Friday Beauty Deals

November 25, 2016

Black Friday Sales has officially started, and my inbox is bombarded with sales emails. I have hand-picked some really good beauty deals that certainly appeal to me, and would be of interest to all my beauty and fashion lover readers as well! Most of the deals should be carried to the weekend.

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1. Nordstrom– Lots of great gift with purchase deals for most beauty brands.

2. Giorgio Armani US – 20% off everything with code ARMANI20. My picks are the new lip magnet and check out my review here.

3. Neiman Marcus – $50 off $200 Purchase for Beauty and Fragrances with code THANKFUL

3. SAKS – Earn a $25 giftcard with every $100 purchase on Beauty and Fragrances with code LUVBEAUTY

4. Cult Beauty – $5/15/30 off when you spend $50/100/150 with code BLACK5/10/15 (with free world-wide shipping).

5. SpaceNK – $25 off with $150 purchase, and $50 off with $250 or more purchase.

6. Charlotte Tilbury – Exclusive surprise gift every day for the next 4 days.

7. David Jones Australia – $10/30/50 giftcard with $100/200/300 purchase. Also worth mentioning that the Tom Ford Lips and Boys shades in 25 new shades are released in Australia today, all available here.

8. Sephora Australia – 20% off everything with code TGIF.

 

 

 

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Fall’s Favorite Sweater

November 23, 2016

I wanted to do a sales pick post, then I realised that everything I wore in this OOTD is all on sale now (except for the bag)! Here is another plush and ribbed oversized sweater by 3.1 Phillip Lim that I loved so much in the cold months, and it is on sale on Shopbop since they are offering up to 25% off for all full-priced and sale items with code GOBIG16! Another great pick is my workhorse suede ankle boots from Stuart Weitzman which I swear are the comfiest boots with heels (more comfy than Rag and Bone!).

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Sweater – 3.1 Philip Lim

Skirt – Carven

Boots – Stuart Weitzman (30% marked down)

Sunglasses – Tom Ford (bought here)

Bag – Chanel (similar here)

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I am very pleased with the way I do my eyebrows lately as I have perfected my routine. Since I have received a lot of requests from my readers to share how I do my brows,  I have finally put together a tutorial.

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Step 1 – Prime the brows with Anastasia Brow Primer. It is a clear wax brow primer that helps the color to glide on more easily and extends the wear time. I love it and always use it whenever I have the time.

Step 2 – Shape and fill the brows with my favorite Benefit Goof Proof brow pencil for your desired shape and thickness (I have a review on some of my favorite brow pencils in this post). Since I have very sparse and thin brows, I always draw my brows wider and thicker, and I find that this step is much easier to do if I use the primer first as in step 1.

Step 3 – Soften the head of the brows with a pencil brush using the MAC 219.

Step 4 – This is a crucial step for me. By now I have achieved the desired shape of my brows, but they look drawn-on. I like to use the BBROWBAR Brow Pen to mimic the strokes of brow hair on the areas where I filled beyond my own brows. When applying strokes, follow the natural growth direction of your hair, so they look completely blended in.

Step 5 – This step was taught by a makeup artist that is making a huge difference to the result. Apply an opaque concealer such as the Cle De Peau underneath the brows using MAC 242, and it instantly makes the brows appear more dimensional and popping out, and makes the whole look more polished and neat-looking.

Step 6 – Apply a light brow powder to the highlighted corner for a more prominent nose bridge (must do for Asians!). I am using the Tom Ford Brow Kit in Light which is perfect for nose contouring with Chikuhodo Brush Z5.

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I’ve been flat out with lots of gatherings during this time of the year, and it’s taken a toll on my hair as I’ve been using lots of styling products and the dry shampoos. My holy grail hair care product at the moment is the Christophe Robin Cleansing Purifying Scrub with Sea Salt, which is amazing for deeply purifying and detoxifying the scalp and hair. It was introduced by my friend who swears by how clean and weightless the hair feels after washing with this scrub, and I’m glad I bought it!

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What it is

It is a sea salt scrub designed for targeting scalp issues and encouraging hair growth. It intensively cleanses and rebalances sensitive or oily scalps, and helps relieve post-coloring itchiness or stinging. The main ingredient Sea Salt is a natural exfoliant that eliminates impurities and boosts circulation.

My experience

I use it to substitute shampoo once a week. It gives a very mild exfoliation to the scalp and relieves mild irritation as well. It washes off all the build up and the impurities left on the scalp. During washing, the sensation is quite bizarre and is very different to any other shampoo I have used. The texture is like a thick paste and is not easy to massage over. It makes the hair tangle a little due to the sea salt, but it can be fixed with lots of conditioner. I don’t know how you feel with gentle shampoos, as they never seem to make the roots of my hair completely clean. What I love about this product is that it makes the hair feel so clean without drying the scalp, and my hair feels weightless, healthy with lots of volume. It is also great for post hair coloring, as it thoroughly removes the color residuals, and eliminates all the irritants left on the scalp which may cause sensitivity.

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