December 2011

Chanel Therapy

December 20, 2011

Just a post with a double interlock C to express my infatuation…

Part of my fashion haul from US – a pair of timeless black patent leather pumps with an edge, as it has a silver metal toe engraved with Chanel which seems to be the style of the moment. Very low key as the logo is hardly visible when worn, and most importantly I can run in them!

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I finally had the time to take some FOTD pictures wearing the Tom Ford Lip Colors. I know some of you are interested in knowing my thoughts on them – both the Pink Dusk and the Spanish Pink are probably the most coveted shades from his lipstick line so as a makeup enthusiast I have to have both. Though Pink Dusk was released as part of  his  previous lipstick line (the white tubes), it has been repackaged into the black tube now.

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Tom Ford Lipstick retails for $65 in Australia, much more than what I would normally pay for a lipstick. Some of my favorite lipsticks such the Suqqu Creamy Glow and Chanel Rouge Coco Shine and Dior Serum de Rouge are around the $50 mark and they are superior. So judging by the price tag I expected Tom Ford lipsticks to be better. The packaging design is definitely more flashy and looks more expensive than the rest. It’s one of those lipsticks that steals the limelight -  as soon as you pull it out from the makeup purse there will be other girls ‘checking you out’ and trying to work out what is THAT lipstick?! The texture feels luxurious as well, as they are smooth, creamy and not as slippery as the Suqqu. The downside is that it feels heavier on the lips and less moisturizing compared to the Suqqu and Dior (both have a melting texture that keep your lips hydrated).  It offers full coverage with a single application. There is not much luminosity to the finish as with other lipsticks such as Suqqu or Chanel RCS. The sheen is kept subtle and I thought that it gave quite a sophisticated and grown up look. The lasting power of Tom Ford’s is the best as it lasts about 5 hours on me with minimum fading.

Differences between Pink Dusk and Spanish Pink :

Pink Dusk contains micro shimmers in the tube and Spanish pink has none. Spanish Pink looks slight more peachy than Pink Dusk. They are both slightly streaky on my lips, with the Spanish Pink being slightly more streaky than the other. However if I don’t compare them side by side, I won’t be able to tell the difference.

Left: Pink Dust Right: Spanish Pink

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Pink Dusk on me is a neutral pink with a hint of rosey undertone. The shimmers are not noticeable on the lips.tom-ford-lip-color-pink-dusk-swatch tom-ford-lip-color-pink-dusk-swatch-1Overall Look:

tom-ford-lip-color-pink-dusk-swatch-fotd-1Spanish Pink shows up as true nudish peachy pink on me.

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tom-ford-lip-color-spanish-pink-swatch-1Overall Look:

tom-ford-lip-color-spanish-pink-swatch-fotdSpanish Pink looks quite similiar to the YSL Rouge Pur 06 from the tube, but on the lips it appears darker and less glossy as it is much more opaque than the YSL.

Bottom Line: My weakness is pink lipsticks and as you may have known I have a huge collection of them, and Tom Ford just brought the pink lipsticks to a new level of sophistication and luxury. They are keepers but my HG are still the Suqqu Creamy Glow lipsticks.

 

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My Best Concealers

December 15, 2011

I’ve been meaning to do a concealer post for a long time. I can live without foundations but I can’t live without a good concealer, because I would never leave my house without wearing one hence I have collected many…  My concealers are mainly for highlighting the under eye areas. I don’t really have visible dark circles but I find that brightening the under eye areas makes a HUGE difference to my complexion, as it just instantly makes me look more awake and my face looks more lifted.

I am a little lazy doing a proper review on each concealer that I own (you know as a beauty blogger once in a while you lose the blogging mojo!…), so I thought I’ll just quickly share what I have with you now.

THE BREAKDOWN:

Chanel Corrector: It’s a good concealer but not the best, will not repurchase.


Shiseido Natural Finish Creamy Concealer: Nothing special about this one, will not repurchase.

SANA Make Essence Concealers: One is a yellow based concealer in an essence (serum) consistency to cover dark circles, and the other one is a pink based concealer with silicone to cover pores. Best value for money as they only cost less than $10 each.

ColorScience Eyes Wide Open Eye Brightener: Strictly speaking it is an eye cream with a baby blue color made of all natural botanical ingredients.  It has a lotion consistency that sinks into your skin straight away. When it is first applied it has a cooling sensation, then quite magically it brightens and takes away the dark circles very effectively. A great alternative for those of you who don’t like to wear makeup. I bought it on skinstore, and you can find more reviews on this product there as well.

Ellis Faas Concealer: My most recent favorite! The texture is creamy but not heavy, easy to blend and provides very good coverage as well as brightening. For those of you who prefer a lightweight concealer that has a better coverage than the YSL Touche Eclat, this is the product to try.

YSL Touche Eclat: My all time favorite concealer for the under eyes! It just has a perfect formulation to diffuse light and create a soft illumating effect. The texture is neither too creamy nor too silicony, which makes it perfect for the delicate under eye areas as it will not enhance any fine lines. In the meantime it is great for retouching your makeup any time of the day, as it glides on smoothly without rubbing off your base makeup.

Estee Lauder Ideal Light: A cheaper dupe for the YSL Touche Eclat.

Bobbi Brown Corrector: Very creamy and emollient and it covers the dark circles well, I don’t feel the need of applying another concealer on top of it as recommended by Bobbi Brown. My only gripe is that it doesn’t last the whole day and it makes my mascara smudge.

Shu Uemura Pro Concealer: A heavy coverage and dryer concealer that I use to cover occasional spots.

Cle de Peau Concealer: Another holy grail concealer for me. This is my third tube! Formulation is perfection and it is versatile enough to cover both the dark circles and freckcles/blemishes in a natural way.

Benefit Powderflage: My HG setting/concealer/illumating powder for under eyes.

To conclude, my favorites have to be the Cle de Peau Concealer and the YSL Touche Eclat. What is your favorite concealer?

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I didn’t update my blog for many days, and I felt bad so I am making sure that the product in this post is extraordinary! – which is the Eye Color Quad in 01 Golden Mink by Tom Ford. I was a little late jumping on the Tom Ford’s makeup bandwagon as his collection has been released in Australia for a while. For some reason I just didn’t have the urge to get my hands on his makeup sooner, and it wasn’t until recent that I read an interview of him talking about beauty. I was really impressed by his knowledge of makeup and was convinced that his views on beauty appear to be in line with my ideal perception. The entire line was created in collaboration with his favorite makeup artist Charlotte Tibury.

Some of my favorite quotes from his interview:

“Number one is to get yourself a good dermatologist. You need to cleanse your skin well and moisturize it. Cosmetics can only improve your looks.”

“Symmetry is what we as human beings find beautiful. I know my face from staring at it in front of a mirror. Be brutal.”

“Makeup is all about light and shadow. People shy away from contour makeup, because it scares them. But it’s as important as the lighting in this room.”

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Tom Ford eye color quads contain three different textures – glitter, shimmer and matte. I bought the quad golden mink because it contains two shades of glitter – my favorite texture out of them all, as I had not seen such a high quality texture of glitter eye shadow by any other brand. I normally associate glitter eye shadow as “tons of  chunky glitters in a dry and chalky texture with lots of fallout” – just think about MAC and Nars….but Tom Ford offers everything I ever wanted from an eyeshadow to create a beautiful sparkly finish, minus everything I hated. The glitters are extremely finely milled which makes the eye shadow ultra smooth, and it feels moist and creamy upon touching, but applies like a powder shadow and it adheres to the skin smoothly without a single fallout. The finish is sparkly (not metallic) in a grown-up polished way. Under certain lighting it gives a wet look effect which is often seen at fashion backstage makeups that I adore. That is the best description I could think of, but if you get a chance to test them out, you might be just as overwhelmed as I was!

Golden Mink also contains two shimmery shades which are absolutely beautiful – buttery soft and silky with great pigmentation.

My only gripe is the flimsy velvet pouch that comes with the palette – it just feels cheap rather than Tom Ford…

tom-ford-eye-color-quad-01-golden-mink-swatchLeft:  Pale yellow gold (glitter) and beige taupe (shimmer)

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Right: Copper gold (glitter) and chocolate brown (shimmer)tom-ford-eye-color-quad-01-golden-mink-swatch-2Swatches:

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close up shot:

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These eye shadows stay put for the whole day without any fallout. The gold theme of this palette really flatters my complexion, as it doesn’t make me look more yellow nor muddy.

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The pictures are only 2-D, so they don’t really capture the multi-dimensional effect of these eye shadows and how they appear differently under different lighting.  Thumbs up for Golden Mink, the most beautiful sparkly neutral eye shadow palette that I own, and is not dupable by other brands.

Bottom Line: Tom Ford – the man who does everything to perfection and he certainly knows how to make women look more beautiful. You can’t go wrong with his creations. You can get Tom Ford Eye Shadows here or here in the US.

Tom Ford’s eye color quad retails for AUD$99 in Australia – the good news is that the price here is not as marked up as much as other brands.

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For the month of November I was mainly focusing on achieving a flawless complexion.  If you have read my previous posts you would know my skin was breaking out more than usual over the time in US, so I have spent a great deal of time on finding the right skincare products that can clear up my skin as soon as possible (I have zero tolerance for them!), as well as fading the acne scars. For makeup I opted for base makeup that offers a slightly more coverage than what I would normally go for, so they can help me to ‘fake’ a flawless complexion on a bad skin day.

Let’s start with my favorite skincare of the month. After I was let down by Tanda Zap that failed to clear up any blemishes, I went back to my trusted formulation – Alpha and Beta Hydroxy Acid. I started with the Peter Thomas Roth AHA/BHA Acne Clearing Gel, which contains potent AHA and a high strength of BHA (2%). Then I couldn’t help but buy the MD Formulation Vit-A-Plus Clearing Gel which has an even higher concentration of salicylic acid (5%), and it also includes retinol. Combined with MD Formulation Vit-A-Plus Clearing Complex Masque, I saw visible results within 3 days, after 1 week my blemishes were almost all gone and they also prevented new blemishes from appearing. All of these products are extremely harsh to the skin, so I needed an extremely gentle cleanser to neutralize the harsh effects. The Bobbi Brown Extra Balm Rinse is the savior.

At the moment I am focusing on having my skin repaired as I was left with some acne marks. The Creme de la Mer The Concentrate has recently been voted as the Best Skin Secret by Harper’s Bazaar Australia, and I can’t agree with them more. La Mer has always been marketed as a miracle for anti aging, but little did people know the healing power of their products. If  you are familiar with La Mer’s signature ingredient – the miracle broth, it was initially developed by the founder to heal severely burnt skin, and I believe this is what some of their products are best used for. The Creme de la Mer The Concentrate contains the highest concentration of miracle broth, and is mainly used for treating scars, not for anti aging. It is the best I’ve used for repairing damaged and irritated skin, as it heals wounds, and fades scars quite miraculously!

The weather was somewhat dry in the States, and now it’s cold in Sydney. So I have been using Laura Mercier’s Moisturizing Foundation, finished with either Cle de Peau Beaute Translucent Loose Powder or La Mer The Powder. For concealing, I love using the Bobbi Brown Corrector in light bisque. If I want some extra luminosity, I topped it up with YSL’s Touche Eclat, of which I have now lost count of how much of this I have gone through. The Shiseido Foundation Brush made me fall in love with compact foundations again, as I have been using this brush with either Laura Mercier Mineral Powder or Edward Bess Sheer Satin Foundation (not in the picture) whenever my skin needed more coverage, and they have worked their wonders to fake a flawless complexion.

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I am very happy with my latest foundation brush purchase, which is the Shiseido Foundation Brush 131 – the Japanese Version. I have previously done a foundation brushes overview post and was quite happy with my current collection, but there is something about this brush that just really clicked with me.

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The Shiseido Foundation Brush 131 was released a while ago in Japan. First of all, it has achieved phenomenal success in an already saturated brushes market. Almost every Japanese beauty magazine has done a feature on this brush. Secondly, this brush was designed and endorsed by THE celebrity makeup artist 山本浩未. She is known for her flawless and natural base makeup creation and is the magic hand behind all of the amazing beauty shoots for some of the most popular Japanese mags such as Voce, Vivi and Ray. Most importantly, it is a very affordable brush. I bought it for only USD$20 at Adambeauty. There is also a high end version of it released by Shiseido.

The Shiseido Foundation Brush is made of synthetic fiber, and it feels incredibly soft and bouncy on the skin. Most of the foundation brushes are made of synthetic fiber and this brush is the softest amongst all.  The bristles are also the most densely packed – it’s important for a foundation brush as it means it will leave no foundation streaks if you apply it the correct way.

It’s a flat top brush but it is slanted, and don’t confuse this as a Kabuki brush as it is not meant for buffing. The application method is slightly different – in essence you dab the foundation on to the skin first, mainly focusing on the large pore areas and the under eye areas, then you gently smooth the foundation outward. I highly recommend that you view the following videos in which the makeup artists demonstrate the application method in detail.

Video Demonstration by 山本浩未

Video Demonstration from Shiseido

shiseido-perfect-foundation-brush-131-1The makeup artist was using a dry compact foundation with this brush in both videos, and that’s also what I love using this brush for. If you find that applying compact foundation/powder with a sponge gives a cakey and blotchy finish and hard to blend, then this is THE perfect tool for it. I have been using it with my Laura Mercier mineral powder foundation and the Edward Bess Creamy Compact foundation, and the result is so remarkable that it got me totally hooked!

Bottom Line: A remarkable and affordable foundation brush that is excellent for applying liquid foundation, dry or creamy compact foundations. I don’t think I can live without it!

 

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The NARS 9966 DANMARI All About Cheek Palette was on top of my shopping list before I went to the States, so the first item I grabbed from Sephora was this one. Actually it was all sold out at the first Sephora so I had to go to another store.

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I am sure by now you will have read thousands of reviews on Nars blushes so I really don’t want to bore you with my opinions. Basically I love Nars blushes, as they have been my staples ever since I started wearing makeup. I don’t collect all of them as some shades just don’t work with my complexion. I bought this palette mainly because it is just too good value for money – it only retails for USD$65 for 6 blushes which will normally set you back $107 if you buy them individually (almost half the price)! It contains some of the most classic Nars shades such as the 0rgasm and desire which I already own – they are so beautiful so it doesn’t hurt to have multiples of them. Sin is also a good addition as it has just been repromoted in the2011 holiday collection. The rest of the shades are nice to have for me but are not necessary.

Top Row: Hungry Heart Duo II, orgasm, Desire

Bottom Row: Casino, Super 0rgasm, Sin

NARS-9966-DANMARI-All-About-Cheek-Palette-swatchTop Row Swatch:

NARS-9966-DANMARI-All-About-Cheek-Palette-swatch-1Bottom Row Swatch:

NARS-9966-DANMARI-All-About-Cheek-Palette-swatch-2Group Swatch:

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My Nars Blushes Family Photo: The NARS 9966 DANMARI All About Cheek Palette has completed my Nars blush collection. As you can tell I tend to go for the muted colors by Nars.

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Bottom Line: Not matter how many Nars makeup you have, Nars palettes are just too good to pass!  This is a limited edition palette and at the moment it is only exclusive to Sephora.

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