July 2011

I wore my latest purchase – the Giorgio Armani Jacquard Woven Eye Color Palette in 1 today! It is lovely – the shades are not what I would usually go for in a daytime look. To my pleasant surprise, I was able to pull them off without looking too heavy.

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This whole palette feels very luxurious to use (of course it comes with a high price tag). The couture inspired jacquard pattern design is aesthetically pleasant, and this pattern is firmly embossed so it doesn’t come off after a few uses, unlike some other brands. All shades are moderately pigmented for a refined and sophisticated finish with a a creamy and silky smooth texture, in line with the classy Giorgio Armani’s signature looks.

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Shades Description (from lightest to the darkest):

- dove-grey with an icy green sheen in a sparkly luminous finish.

- shimmery minty green in a sparkly luminous finish

- army green with fine shimmer

- eggplant in a matte finish

giorgio-armani-jacquard-woven-eye-color-palette-1-swatch-1EOTD:

Upper: I applied a very sheer wash of the army green all over my socket to create some depth, then I smudged the eggplant shade along the lash line and the outer v. I then dabbed some dove-grey on the inner corner.

Lower: Minty green along the lash line then I filled the outer corner with the eggplant shade.

On a side note: I just bought a macro lens after so long! These close up shots were taken by the macro lens and I am really happy with the result :-)

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giorgio-armani-jacquard-woven-eye-color-palette-1-swatch-eotd-3Overall Look:

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Other products used on my face:

Cheeks:  Giorgio Armani Jacquard woven face color palette

Lips: Giorgio Armani Sheer Lipstick Rouge Transparent in 36 Sunset Pink

The Jacquard Eye Color Palette retails for $135 in Australia, which makes it the most expensive eyeshadow palette I have ever owned!

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I went ecstatic today when I was told there is a Pre-launch of Giorgio Armani Fall 2011 Jacquard Collection to their regular customers. As soon as I saw the preview pictures that were floating around the internet, I knew I wanted to have everything from that collection! I was absolutely thrilled too see that everything is just as gorgeous as I anticipated it to be. So I picked up two Jacquard woven eye color palettes and one Jacquard woven face color palette.

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As the name suggests, each palette comes in a jacquard pattern design with the GA logo embossed in the middle. All shades are extremely wearable and perfect for fall -  ranging from an illuminating highlighter to medium and rich shades in muted hues. I felt this collection from Giorgio Armani has outdone their previous and permanent collections. The textures and pigmentation are incredibly high quality and luxurious.

A closer look.giorgio-armani-jacquard-fall-collection-2011-swatches-1

Here is a review for the face palette for today. It is probably the most practical face palette I have ever owned, as it has multiple uses as a highlighter, cheek color, bronzer and can even be used on the eyes!

Shades description:

- a highlighting shade – pearly white with a frosted sheen

- shimmery sandy beige – has a hint of taupe with a frosted sheen

- shimmery tan copper – not as frosty as the above two which is excellent when used as a light bronzer

- a deep strawberry red – extremely rich and pigmented

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Swatches in order of the shade description:

giorgio-armani-jacquard-woven-face-color-palette-swatch-1Far right is the mixed color of all shades:

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Swatches on my face: I personally found that the finish is too frosty for my liking if I mix all the colors together, hence in my swatches below I have applied the colors separately.

First Look: Applied the red shade on the center of my apple then layered the two lightest shades on top of my cheekbone.

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Second Look: Applied the bronzey shade along the hollow of the cheek as a contour then added the beige shade on top of the cheekbone just to make it pop. ( no blush is applied)

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Last but not least for those of you who have missed out on the Chanel Joues Contraste Blushes in ROUGE, the red shade in the Giorgio Armani Jacquard woven face palette is surprisingly similar but more wearable as you can make it more muted by mixing or layering with the rest of the shades.

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Bottom Line: Absolutely love it! The texture and pigmentation of these palettes are superior to previous collections. A must have for the Giorgio Armani makeup fans!

FYI The Giorgio Armani Jacquard woven face palette retails for $90 in Australia. I will be reviewing the eye palettes very soon so stay tuned :-)

 

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I managed to get up 10 minutes earlier than usual this morning (unbelievable!) so I quickly snapped a few pictures of my makeup before I left home for work.  The eyeshadow palette I used is my beloved Lunasol Chocolate Cosmos by Kanebo. Lunasol is well known for neutral eyeshadow palettes, and this one has been one of their top sellers for years! It can look bland or dupable, but the beauty of this palette is that all of the shades are so wearable and flattering and are designed to enhance the natural beauty of your eyes and complement the rest of your makeup.

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Shades description (clockwise from top left)

a soft shimmery cool sandy brown

a soft shimmery peachy brown

rich chocolate brown with silver glitters

a pearly beige white with an iridescence – the texture of this shadow is different to the rest – it has a spongy creamy texture that can be used as a base as well as being excellent for highlighting the inner corner of the eyes.

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I love how the iridescence of the pearly white shade shows up in this picture.

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Swatches: All of these shadows are smooth and are easy to blend.

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Love the finish of these shadows – they are neither too matte which can look too flat nor too shimmery. They give a satin shimmery effect with a subtle sparkle that bring my morning lifeless eyes back to life.

Some pictures of my FOTD this morning. Just a very soft and fresh makeup look I normally wear to work everyday.

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This week I have been wearing Chanel Le Vernis in Vendetta – it is such a classic edgy vampy shade that has become one of my all time favorites.

In the bottle it is a deep rich eggplant shade with tons of red micro glitters. Swatched with 2 coats on the nails, it shows up as a deep purple with a hint of navy. Under direct sunlight you can see the magenta sparkles in it. Application was a breeze, 1 coat gives an opaque finish. I prefer an ultra rich and glossy finish hence I always go for 2 coats.

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Focused on the bottle.

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The only close Vendetta dupe I have is by Sportsgirl in Galaxy.

chanel-le-vernis-vendetta-483-dupe-by-sportsgirlLeft: Sportsgirl in Galaxy. Right: Vendetta by Chanel

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I am probably not a big fan of MAC makeup…there are only a handful of MAC products that I love and will always repurchase them. One of them is the MAC Lightful Ultracharge Foundation SPF 25 Compact. Unfortunately it is an Asia exclusive product as this line is designed for brightening the complexion -  since fair skin is high in demand in Asia.

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This is the third time I have purchased this – I always re-stock them whenever I get to go overseas. The packaging is much better than the normal MAC products – it comes with an ivory white lacquered finish case that feels sturdy and weighty. It includes a mirror and has two compartments allowing you to store the product and the sponge seperately.

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It can be used as a foundation alone or as a powder. The powder is so finely milled and silky smooth and the texture reminded me of the finest velvet. The coverage is sheer to medium so I mainly use it for retouching my makeup throughout the day. It blends into my skin perfectly without looking powdery and cakey. On the oily t-zone, this powder doesn’t look blotchy and absorbs the oil.

Applied MAC Lightful Ultracharge powder on top of Becca Luminous skin finish which is a very sheer foundation that has no coverage. As  you can see, it looks very natural (doesn’t enhance any dry patches and fine lines) whilst offering a nice coverage and covers the pores.

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A closer shot – there is no trace of powder on the cheek area.  However it tends to collect around the edge of the nose, which is the case with any powder foundation.

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On the left side of my face, I applied MAC Lightful Ultracharge Powder as a foundation on bare skin using the sponge applicator. The finish is pretty much identical to the above, except that it slightly enhances the dry skin around the nose.

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Bottom Line: I love it for retouching my makeup, not as a foundation. Compared with some other compact powders that are on the higher end such as La Mer, La Prairie, Guerlain and Chanel that I have used, this one works the best on my skin type for a natural finish and good value for money. The SPF25 is an added bonus!

Some of you may ask how does this one compare to MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Natural? Size wise, the MAC Lightful contains 14 grams of product and the Skinfinish contains 10 grams. The texture of MAC Lightful is more finely milled hence it feels much more smoother and looks finer on the skin than the Mineralize Skinfinish. They both last about 5-6 hours on me.

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In terms of shades, I am MAC Mineralize Skinfinish in light, and MAC Lightful in NC 20. They appear quite differently in the pan but once blended out on the skin they are both translucent.

mac-lightful-ultracharge-foundation-mineralise-skinfinish-natural-swatchesThe MAC Lightful has a yellow base to it which I believe would suit people with a warm skin tone better.

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MAC Lightful retails for around $50 in Australia. I bought mine at the Sydney Galleria Duty Free Shop which is the only shop in Sydney that stocks High End Asia exclusive products.

That’s all! Hope you all have a good weekend :-)

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I have incorporated the famous Moroccan Oil Series into my haircare routine for a while so this post is going to be my 2 cents worth on these products. My review is based on my medium to thick, dry and chemically processed hair type. I abuse my hair everyday with hair dryer, straightener and sometimes hair curler. I am always on the look out for good hair care products that restores and protects my dry hair and improves the manageability.

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So let’s start with the most raved about Moroccan Oil Treatment if you still haven’t tried it! It is

- Argan oil based with silicone, contains no alcohol.

- It conditions, softens and defrizzes your hair but without the thermal protection for all hair types.

- Apply one to two drops as shown in the picture on your damp hair depending on your hair length.

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I was very impressed with this product at the start as I felt that there was a noticeable difference in terms of the overall condition of my hair. The oil is light and completely absorbs into the hair once it is dried.  My hair feels soft, silky smooth and a lot more manageable without feeling like it is coated with an artificial product. I normally apply this product before I blow dry and GHD my hair- it stays sleek straight for the whole day. Unfortunately like many other amazing products, once your hair is used to a certain product it loses its effectiveness. After about 2 months I had to switch to a different brand as I wasn’t getting the same results with the Morrocan Oil Treatment as before.

Moroccan Oil Restorative Hair Mask

- A treatment that penetrates deep into the hair to help restore elasticity and rebuild strength while repairing damage caused by chemicals and other environmental stresses.

- The formula is very rich and contains vegetable proteins to repair damaged hair leaving it moisturized with a shine.

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I always have the habit of exploring further into the range if I am in love with one product, as I am presuming if one product works well for me, then so do the rest of the products as they share the same ingredients. In the case of  Moroccan Oil Series, the other products I had tried so far from this range were a disappointment. The Moroccan Oil Hair Mask was quite an average product for me. It didn’t do anything to my hair. It was supposed to restore and repair damaged hair but I just didn’t see any improvement. It wasn’t worth the high price tag (AUD $49.95) and I much prefer alternatives like Frédéric Fekkai Protein Mask or Alterna Caviar Mask which is around the same price.

Moroccan Oil Glimmer Shine Spray for all hair types

- Infused with Argan Oil it provides an invisible veil of luminous shine and protection against environmental elements to the hair.

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I like to add a bit of shine spray to the dry ends of my hair just to make them look more healthy and less dry. This mist is not fine enough as a result it can easily make your hair look oily. Again it is an overpriced product for what it does (AUD $35), I have used much better products within the same price range, such as Ojon Glossing Mist.

Bottom Line: I only like the Moroccan Oil Treatment.  It works brilliantly for my hair for a period of time and then it needs a break. That is why I am only buying the travel size (AUD $20) now. I will not be buying other products from this range as its performance is not consistent enough for me.

 

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I did an overview on some of my favorite Japanese drugstore mascaras a long time ago which I promised I will do a review for them. However I got sidetracked by other mascaras and new makeup hence the late review :-P Today I want to talk about the legendary mascara by Majolica Majorca Lash Enamel Glamour – it is an oldie but a goodie. I don’t know anyone who doesn’t like it! If you are new to Japanese drugstore brands, this is a Must Have!!

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It has a plastic comb applicator

Smudge proof

Very waterproof

Glossy black

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To begin with I have typical Asian lashes – deadly straight; sparse and medium length. For a daytime look I prefer a mascara that defines my lashes and more importantly holds my curl for the whole day without smudging and flaking. This mascara does a fantastic job in terms of what I need. Not only does it hold the curl until you wash it off..the comb wand allows me to easily get to the roots of the lashes and lift the lashes to the maximum extent. It lengthens and thickens the lashes moderately which is good for daytime looks. If you are after a more dramatic look you can always add a few coats of volumising mascara on top of it, as this one is excellent when used as a base to hold the shape.

The only downside I can think of is that it is quite difficult to remove if your eyemakeup remover is water based such as Bioderma H2O (sorry it won’t work for Majolica Mascara..) I don’t have problem removing this mascara if I use a dual phase remover or Shu’s cleansing oil.

Here are some pictures of me wearing 2 coats of Majolica Majorca Lash Enamel Glamour . Please note: I don’t have much lashes to play with hence the result may not be that impressive. For those of you who are blessed with long and thick lashes, I am sure this mascara will make your lashes look like falsies!

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I bought this one from my last trip to Hong Kong in Sasa at around $10.

 

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Being a neutral shades lover I always pay attention to Bobbi Brown’s new releases. Their latest Tortoise Shell Collection has really captured my heart. It is  a collection consisting of only neutral shades  that would look flattering on any skin tone. There are two limited edition eyeshadow palettes – the SAND and the BRONZE from the collection. I opted for the Bronze Tortoise Shell Eye Palette after I swatched both at the counter as I prefer the color payoff and the texture more than the other.

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This palette comes in a tortoise shell case and has a unique two tier compact design. Perfect size to carry it around in the purse or travelling.

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This Bronze palette contains 8 warm neutral shades in 3 different finishes, with 5 of them being the new shades:

Top Tier

Banana – matte

Gold NuggetNew, sparkles eyeshadow

Olive - New, sparkles eyeshadow

Bronze: – New, metallic eyeshadow

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Bottom Tier

Tiger’s Eye: New, metallic eyeshadow

Espresso: Matte

Copper Cocoa: shimmer wash

Amber: New, shimmer wash

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According to Bobbi Brown’s website, the Bronze Tortoise Shell Eye Palette is designed for medium to darker skintones.  Although I am nowhere near that I find all of these shade are easy to work with and look flattering against my skintone after playing with it for a few different looks.

There are millions of looks you can create with this versatile palette. I went for a simple look today wearing the new shades.

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Olive as a wash over the eye socket. Then applied Tiger’s Eye at the outer corner and defined the outer v with Copper Cocoa.

Along the lower lashline, I had Tiger’s Eye applied then layered with Gold Nugget at the tear duct area and Copper Cocoa towards the outer corner.

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Overall Look:

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Bottom Line: I really like it. These shades don’t pull too warm on me and it is a palette that I can use all year round.  Having all of these wearable shades in an elegantly designed compact is a bonus for women (like me) who like to travel light.

FYI the eye palette retails for $130 in Australia.

 

 

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