October 2011

I haven’t done a monthly favorite for a while. Reason being I use way too many products throughout a month that is impossible for me to consolidate a list of things into a short post. So I have decided to resume my favorite posts as of this month but will focus on one particular category. For the month of October I would like to do a Drugstore Products Edition! Surprise?! I just feel like I always talk about high end products, but in the mean time there are some really wonderful and affordable products that deserve a shout out!

Western Brands:

PANTENE AQUA LIGHT Lightweight Nourishing Shampoo, Conditioner and Treatment:

These are absolutely amazing!!!  I have been neglecting my high end shampoos and conditioners ever since I had them. They have made my hair feel soft, smooth, tangle free and most importantly as light as feather. The first few times I used them I literally could not stop swinging my hair (like the girl in the shampoo ad but in a clumsy way). It is the same feel as if you just had a hair cut – the hair just feels so healthy, manageable and light. I need to re-iterate, these are amazing :-)

OPI NAIL ENVY

I wear nail polish everyday as a result my nail becomes yellow and dull. This product has completely rescued my nails and serves as a good base for nail polishes.

Covergirl Lash Blast Volume Waterproof Mascara

An oldie but a goodie. It separates, volumises, holds the curl and doesn’t budge. May not be the best mascara in the market but definitely best value for money!

SLEEK Blush in Rose Gold

Gifted by my sweet beauty pal Joyce! She always raves about it and I totally understand why she loves it more than the Nars 0rgasm blush the minute I opened it. The color is gorgeous. I will do a comparison post later in the future, for now please check out Joyce from Atelier Beauty’s review here.

Asian Brands:

LAVSHUCA Eyeshadow Palette

Newbies to Japanese drugstore brands? Lavshuca is the brand to go! It is a affordable line of Kanebo.  Though the packaging may not look as elegant Lunasol quads, the actual eye shadows are just as good – smooth, finely milled and great color payoff with a soft shimmery finish. If I only had 10 dollars as my budget for eyeshadow this will be the one.

K-Palette Liquid Eyebrow Pen

Big fan of liquid eyebrow pens because they last 24 hours on me.  If you love the Suqqu liquid eyebrow pen, you would love this one. Actually they are pretty identical to me and K-palette is only a fraction of the cost.

Etude House Cream blush

They are housed in a sterdy glass jar with an adorable packaging. These are very pigmented, cool tone pink blushes. They have a perfect texture of cream blush that is not too creamy nor too dry, and give a dewy finish that lasts all day. What more can I ask for?!

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From LTR:

Dolly Wink 02 Sweet Girly: super long and dramatic, wore them in this post.

Dolly Wink 04 Feminine Style: these are cute corner lashes, very natural and suitable for daytime wear. Wore them in this post.

Dolly Wink 01 Sweet Dolly: the perfect style for a sweet and dolly looking eyes. Wore them in this post.

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Helena Rubinstein Lash Queen Feline Extravaganza Waterproof Mascara (AUD$48)

Okay I am cheating… this is not a drugstore brand. I am just loving this one too much that I have to include it in this month’s favorite! HR Lash Queen Feline Extravaganza WP Mascara is my Holy Grail Mascara. I have tried tons and tons but nothing else beats this one! I always get a few backups whenever I get a chance to shop at DFS Galleria.

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Along with the Lumiére Sculptée Highlighting Powder, I have also picked up the Rouge Allure Extrait De Gloss in 517 Triomphal and the Chanel le Vernis in Rouge Carat from the Chanel 2011 Holiday Collection, which explains why I am painted in red today.

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To be honest I wasn’t that excited about this collection after seeing the testers. There were some lovely lippies in pink, rose and beige, but none of them really stood out for me as I am sooo in love with my Suqqu Creamy Glow lipsticks at the moment, so I would rather buy more Suqqu as the formulation is just perfection. Chanel Rouge Allure Extrait De Gloss in Triomphal was a black horse as it wasn’t on my shopping list initially, but after putting in on my lips there was a ‘wow’ moment. I always adore the formulation of Rouge Allure Extrait De Glosses (reviewed here), and this one is just as good – semi opaque with a watery and translucent finish.

Rouge-Allure-Extrait-De-Gloss-517-triomphalTriomphal is a striking rich red with fuchsia flecks but without grittiness. If you are scared of wearing red lips, Triomphal is a good starting point. The translucency and the moist finish makes it more wearable and youthful looking.

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Chanel Le Vernis Rouge Carat is a stunning shimmery red with tons of magenta micro glitters! If you are into Chanel nail polishes, this one should not be missed.

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Compared to Chanel Le Vernis Pirate

FOTD wearing Triomphal Allure Extrait De Gloss and Rouge Carat Le Vernis

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chanel-Rouge-Allure-Extrait-De-Gloss-517-triomphal-fotd-3Chanel Rouge Allure Extrait De Gloss retails for AUD$50 and Chanel Le Vernis retails for AUD$39.

So ladies, what is your must have from the Chanel 2011 Holiday Collection?

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I am wearing the Lumiére Sculptée De Chanel Highlighting Powder today and I am loving it more than I thought I would be!

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As you all know the Lumiére Sculptée is the star product of the Chanel 2011 Holiday Collection. I bought it simply for the sake of “I can’t miss out on Chanel Limited Editions”. However upon playing with it for the past 2 days I found that both the quality and finish are beyond my expectations. Here is a close up picture of the Lumiére Sculptée – such intricate design can only be seen from the best cosmetics houses.

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The texture has a velvety touch to it and is amazingly buttery soft for a highlighter. Compared to the Chanel Ombres Tissées Beiges, it feels smoother hence less powdery. I much prefer the finish of the Lumiére Sculptée as it provides a more natural radiance in daytime – it imparts a soft glow to the face that is not too shimmery but is still visible as a highlighter. If you think highlighters such as Bobbi Brown Shimmerbrick has too much of shimmers, then this is a toned down version.  On the other hand, if you prefer a rich intense highlighting effect, then Lumiére Sculptée may not be your cup of tea.

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Swatches don’t lie do they? The Lumiére Sculptée powder is more finely milled with no visible glitters, therefore it glides over the skin smoothly as opposed to Ombres Tissées Beiges that appears to be sitting on top of the skin and enhancing the lines. Color wise, Lumiére Sculptée shows up less beige on the skin when swatched heavily. However, when applied on the skin softly it is translucent without much color.

Lumiere-Sculptee-De-Chanel-1-swatch

FOTD: Applied the Lumiére Sculptée along the top of the cheekbone, combined with a contour powder (the Suqqu OSHAGECHA), it definitely sculpts my cheekbone in the most flattering way.

Lumiere-Sculptee-De-Chanel-fotd-2The Chanel Holiday 2011 Collection has arrived in Australia. I have picked up a few other items from the collection which I will be showing you in my next post. The Lumiére Sculptée De Chanel Highlighting Powder retails for AUD$90.

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NEW IN

by Reika on October 27, 2011

I needed a pair of new flats desperately. As I was browsing my usual websites Neiman Marcus and Saks for ideas…I clicked into Ferragamo subconsciously. It is a brand that I adore for their  flats and pumps for their timeless styles. My heart skipped a few beats when I saw this pair, it is everything I wanted for my new flats – beigy taupe color, chunky gold buckle at the front, intricate leather detailing. So I rushed down to my local Ferragamo counter and bought the last pair in my size. Love it!

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Giorgio Armani Designer Lift Smoothing Firming Foundation with SPF20 is my latest foundation acquisition. I tried to refrain myself from buying new foundations because I have way too many, however this foundation is just too good to be passed upon testing at the counter so I promised myself that this will be my last foundation for this year! (although the new Sisley foundation SKINLEYA is calling my name every time I walk pass..)

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I love GA foundations in general, and if you have read my review here, you will know the Luminous Silk foundation has been my HG for years.  It is due for a replenishment but I was more than curious to try the new one out.

I was matched with shade 03 and 04 and it appears 03 is a perfect match for me. The SA also told me the shade 03 is equivalent to GA LSF 04 .

It has the signature GA foundation scent that lingers on my skin for quite a while. I find that the scent is quite pleasant and smells expensive. The texture of this foundation feels very unique – silky, dense and creamy in an emollient milky formula – GA describes it as a gossamer-like texture and I cannot find a better word than that! Compared to LSF it is  more creamy. Since it has a denser and more opaque consistency than most liquid foundations, a tiny amount of it goes a long way. It glides over the skin and spreads effortlessly, but for a weightless finish I like to use a foundation brush to apply a sheer layer of it, followed by patting my skin using the beauty blender just to make it more sunk into the skin. The result is extraordinary - flawless yet natural looking, translucent, dewy and feels weightless. It stays put for 10 hours of wear and still looks amazing by the end of the day.giorgio-armani-designer-lift-smoothing-firming-foundation-shade-03

On to the most impressive part:

A NEW Beauty Breakthrough has been introduced into this foundations – A NEW BLUE

Young, vibrant skin has a higher blue light retrodiffusion. Yet as we age, the blue light component decreases and a yellow tinge takes over, causing the skin to loose its natural radiance. Designer lift pioneers a bold movement towards including a precise dose of the magical Prussian blue pigment to diminish dullness, maintain flawless coverage, and “backscatter” radiance on the face.

I am normally quite skeptical with the so-called beauty breakthroughs, however with this one I can really see the difference. Most foundation shades are either yellow or pink based. As an Asian with not so yellow skintone, whenever I go for the yellow based shades they always appear quite yellow or even orange on me, and they wear into half a shade darker once it settles in with my skin’s own natural oil. As what they said, once the yellow tinge appears more prominent, I tend to look dull and tired.

I can really see the difference with the blue pigment used in this foundation. It counteracts the yellowness and brightens up my skin without looking too pinkish or white. Visually my complexion looks more lifted. At the end of the day it stills look radiant and fresh on me, almost like  I have a softbox cast over all my face all day! Truly amazing…

I pulled out some foundations from my stash that are similar to shade 03, and from the swatches I hope you can see the difference in the undertone.

From Left to Right:

Giorgio Armani Designer Lift Shade 03 – compared to the other pink and beige based shades, this one strikes a perfect balance.

DiorSkin Nude Shade 02- pink based

Chanel Mat Lumiere Shade 20 Clair

BECCA Luminous Skin Color Shade Cashmere

MAKE UP Forever HD Shade 125

Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua Shade B20

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Bottom Line: Perfection! I love this foundation more than any others now. If you have normal to dry skin and looking for a new foundation to try, this is the one to go for! But ladies with very oily skin might have to stay away from it. The GA Designer Lift Foundation is available here or here.

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Suqqu Eye Shadow Brush Medium Review

by Reika on October 25, 2011

I bought two Suqqu eyeshadow brushes a while ago. I have already reviewed the Suqqu Eye Shadow Large and this is my review for the Suqqu Eye Shadow Brush Medium, also called Socket Brush. As you all know Suqqu brushes are expensive- this little socket brush retails for $48 pounds on Selfridges. But I am using this brush with so much joy everyday, so really it’s worth its weight in gold.

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The Suqqu eyeshadow brush medium is a round crease brush that is made of 100% premium gray squirrel hair.  The size is a little unusual – larger than a pencil brush and smaller than a normal blending brush (ie MAC 217). The hair is the softest you can get and it is densely packed which just gives enough control over applications such as contouring, and gentle blending for small areas.

suqqu-eye-shadow-medium-socket-brush-1Compared to some of my other pencil brushes, the Suqqu is relatively larger, and the softest and fluffiest. I have also included MAC 217 in the picture to show you the size differences.

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Suqqu brushes are very unique and original as the the design is always different to the mainstream brushes for the same purpose, which makes them extremely versatile and practical. I personally find that this brush is great for the following uses:

- It is great for applying the eye shadows into the crease/socket line.

- My favorite use of this brush is for adding color to the outer edge of the eyes (as seen in many Lisa Eldridge makeup tutorial videos as that’s how she uses this brush).  I normally like to apply a darker color on the outer v, and this brush picks the perfect amount of color as well as giving a full control on defining the edge on my small eyelid space.

- Gentle blending for small areas

- Adding a light wash of color along the lower line which is great for creating soft smoky eyes.

Bottom Line: My life (in the world of makeup) wasn’t complete before I had this brush. If you are on a constant lookout for brushes, Suqqu is the ultimate brush to go for.

FYI, Suqqu brushes are made in Japan by Chikuhodo, and the hairs are sourced from China.

Just a little information on Chikuhodo if you are interested. They are one of the best makeup brush makers in Japan – not only do they have the biggest cosmetics companies such as Suqqu, Shiseido and Kanebo as their clients, but their own series of brushes are even more amazing. For example, the Z-series is their second best series – all brushes in the Z-series are made of 100% gray squirrel hair and have a similar design to Suqqu. Some people say you only need to invest in either one. I personally find that the bristles of Z-series brushes are too silky and densely packed (been playing with them for the last couple of days), it lacks the fluffiness of  Suqqu and picks up less color.

Now I want to talk about the P-series which is their best premium range. These brushes are the creme de la creme… can you believe the powder brush retails for 157,500円, that is equivalent to USD2000??!!!

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Lunasol is known for their neutrals, and this fall Lunasol has taken it up a notch and delivered a set of new eye shadows – the Three-Dimensional Eyes, that lets you to manipulate light and shadow more effectively to add depth to your eyes. The star feature of this collection has to be the graduation of the neutral colors, as in each palette the Highlight Color and the Shade Color consists of three different textures and levels of luster. Being an Asian who doesn’t have deep set of eyes, this concept is really intriguing.

Under the influence of my beauty pal Elaine who is a purple-holic, I went for 03 Mysterious Beige which has a purple color (the old me would have gone for the neutral beige but I decided to venture out…)

lunasol-three-dimensional-eyes-03-mysterious-beigelunasol-three-dimensional-eyes-03-mysterious-beige-swatch-1 The highlight color which is a pinkish ivory comes in three different textures – 2 shimmery’s with slight variations in undertone (however on the eyes I don’t see much difference), and 1 sparkly shade.

The purple leans lavender and is very similar to the purple shade in Nars Nouveau Monde, but a softer version.

lunasol-three-dimensional-eyes-03-mysterious-beige-swatch-4The shade color is brown with a hint of charcoal undertone – it comes with 2 shimmery shades in variant undertones, and a sparkly shade.

A safe shimmery peachy beige, very similar to Stila Kitten.

lunasol-three-dimensional-eyes-03-mysterious-beige-swatch-3

lunasol-three-dimensional-eyes-03-mysterious-beige-swatch-5Group Swatches: All shades are very smooth and easy to blend.

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How I wear this palette:

I firstly applied the shimmery highlight colors all over the eye lid up to the brow bone, then applied the purple shade all over the eye socket area and added the peachy beige into the socket line only. Applied the shimmery shadow colors along the lash line up to the outer v and patted the sparkly shadow over.

On the lower lash line, the sparky highlight color was added to the inner corner and the sparkly shadow color was added to the outer corner. Blend the edge using the peachy beige color.

Finished with a set of quite dramatic lashes, so if you want your eyes to appear 10 times bigger this is the style to go for! (picture can be found in this post)

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Overall Look:

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I hope you like my take on the soft smouldering look with the Lunasol Mysterious Beige. I also really love how Elaine wears it, check it out here.

For other colors that are available in this range, you can find them on Lunasol’s website.



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Weekend Wear – All Black

by Reika on October 23, 2011

I am completely obsessed with Zara! Ever since Zara opened its first store in Sydney, I make sure I pop in every week to check out their new arrivals. There really wasn’t anything new that suited me last week, so I hopped over the basics section and bought a really simple black top as my ‘weekly Zara obligation’. This weekend I dressed myself in black from head to toe.

front-row-beauty-ootd-2310-zara-black-topfront-row-beauty-ootd-2310-zara-black-top-2front-row-beauty-ootd-2310-zara-black-top-3Top – Zara

Leather Skirt – Sportsgirl

Bag – Balenciaga

Heels – Gucci

Necklace – Mimco

Belt – Sheike

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