January 2012

My quest for the perfect base makeup never seemed to end, until my most recent acquisition of the Tom Ford Translucent Finishing Powder that has really put my obsession to an end for now.  I was at the counter with my friend wanting to buy  another eyeshadow palette, and while she managed to get herself a beautiful new quad, I got sidetracked by the testers of the finishing powders. The minute I swiped my fingers across the powder, it was the silkiest and the finest powder I have ever touched. My desire for achieving the most flawless complexion intensified so I just became $100 poorer!

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The packaging is tastefully plush – a sexy and masculine looking brown mirrored compact case with a gold magnetic closure embossed with Tom Ford.

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I praised my love for the La Mer Loose Powder recently, on how incredibly light and silky fine the powder is. To me Tom Ford’s Translucent Finishing Powder is the compact version of it – it has an aero light and superfine texture that adheres to the skin like an invisible silky veil for a natural and luminous finish.  I have been using the powder to set my makeup every morning, and it gives a shine-free and soft-focus finish with a better coverage than loose powder but just as natural looking. The powder diffuses the light to blur out the imperfection, and although a lot of companies have done the revolutionary “light reflecting” technology in their compact foundations/powders,  Tom Ford is the only one that lived up to my expectation with such a lightweight texture of powder. It is also surprisingly long lasting and keeps my face shine-free for the whole day. Sometimes I use it to retouch my makeup throughout the day to freshen up, and it applies beautifully without caking up and looking blotchy. My only complaint is that the enclosed brush is a little prickly for my sensitive skin that has been spoiled by my Suqqu brushes lately.

I am using the shade Ivory Fawn which is the second lightest shade. I have also compared it with the lightest shade Alabaster Nude and they looked extremely similar in the pan! Even the SA was not able to tell the difference…Tom Ford Translucent Finishing Powder is available online here and here.

PS. I don’t have a swatch for you because it just disappears in the skin.

Updated with the Ingredient List:

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Ever since I missed out on the infamous Chanel Jade Le Vernis (which was all sold out during pre-order!) I developed a quite odd addiction for green nail lacquers. Unquestionably, the Dior Le vernis in Waterlily 504 was on my must have list for this spring.

Waterlily contains a very subtle degree of emerald green shimmer that I did not even notice until I inspected it closely under the direct sunlight. Dior normally makes the best formulation for nail polishes in my opinion. With waterlily, unfortunately I thought the formula was little on the thick side, so I had to add a few drops of nail polish thinner as I personally prefer to apply 3 thin coats rather than 2 thick coats.

picture 1: taken under direct sunlight

dior-le-vernis-waterlily-504The color is a leafy green on me. Picture was taken with 3 coats of waterlily without a topcoat.

dior-le-vernis-waterlily-504-swatch-notdCompared to OPI Mermaid’s Tears (reviewed here) and Essie Turquoise and Caicos which lean towards the cool side of green, Dior Waterlily appears very warm when swatched against them.

dior-le-vernis-waterlily-504-swatch-2Bottom Line: Store your usual vampy and dark shades for now, Spring is all about pretty pastel hues, and Dior Waterlily is one of the most unique shades this season! Dior Le Vernis retails for AUD$39 in Australia.

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The Spring 2012 Makeup Collection is finally making its way to Australia ,with  Dior 2012 being the first spring collection landing on the shore. The Dior ROSY GLOW Healthy Glow Awakening Blush is one of the most anticipated products from Dior for me. I was very excited when I saw this gorgeous blush in real life – a beautiful cool tone pink blush totally meant for me!

dior-rosy-glow=healthy-glow-awakening-blushThe ROSY GLOW blush is housed in a sturdy glossy silver case, and I much prefer the silver packaging than Dior’s classic blue packaging. The blush is embossed with Dior Logo and it has a faint rosy scent, but it’s not detectable when it is applied to the skin.

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The blush is extremely finely milled and feels velvety smooth – it is one of those blushes that makes my skin looks better as the ultra fine powder conceals the pores, rather than settling into them as with some other chalky blushes. Dior is introducing the ROSY GLOW as a blush that intuitively adjusts to the moisture of each skin, and upon application ROSY GLOW develops a rosy radiance to match each skin tone for an all day ultra natural, customized and healthy glow effect. Therefore although the blush appears as a cool tone vibrant pink with a hint of lavender tone in the pan, it reacts quite differently on my skin.

When it is swatched it on my arm, ROSY GLOW shows up as true blue based pink.

dior-rosy-glow=healthy-glow-awakening-blush-swatchOn my face (NC15), ROSY GLOW begins as a luminous soft candy pink glow upon application, and it does not look as cool as it is on my arm. The blush gradually transforms into a warmer pink glow (with a hint of coral undertone) on me once it is settled on my skin.

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Bottom Line: If you could only get one blush this spring, make it this one! The good news is that it will be part of the permanent collection, but I reckon it will just be as popular as the Dior lip glow which was released years ago and has always been low in stock.  DIOR ROSY GLOW Healthy Glow Awakening Blush retails for AUD$75 in Australia. It’s also available here in the US.

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FOTD – Hot Pink Lips

January 21, 2012

Once in a blue moon I am 90% happy with my hair, and unexpectedly, it happened today! So I wanted to take the opportunity to post a FOTD wearing hot pink lips, which is what I am obsessed with at the moment. It is just as bold as red lips but much easier to pull it off on a daily basis. I can wear this look out in the day without feeling “too much”…As for the eyes, I went for my favorite taupe shade, the slight purple undertone of taupe complements the hot pink lips perfectly.

chanel-Illusion-D'Ombre--Eyeshadow-83 Illusoire-fotd

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Face:

Chanel Perfection Lumiere Foundation

Les Tissages De Chanel in Tweed Fuchsia

Nars Laguna Bronzer

Nars Albatross Highlighter

Eyes:

Chanel Illusion D’Ombre Eyeshadow in 83 Illusoire as a base

Chanel Ombre Essentielle in Taupe Grise applied on top

Lips:

Shiseido Lipstick in Enchanting Pink (LE)

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Btw Happy Chinese New Year to all my Asian readers! Don’t forget to wear bright colors for the festive season :-)

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La Mer The Powder Review

January 20, 2012

I have briefly mentioned that La Mer The Powder is my favorite loose powder in several of my posts but I have never gotten around to do a full post on it. Quite a few people have asked me about it so here is the full review.

I discovered the La Mer loose powder many years ago after this powder literally went viral amongst the Asian bloggers and on some beauty forums. La Mer is normally known for their skincare products, so had I not heard of this powder on the forum I would never have looked into it further. I am really glad I did and was totally hooked on to it ever since. Of course I have tried other brands during the years but I always go back to this one.

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La Mer’s powder is housed in a heavy, sturdy glass jar, and it contains  25g of product, which is a lot! One jar would last about 2 years for me, and I normally get it from the US which is significantly cheaper than in Australia – it retails for USD$65 . I really think this is quite a reasonable price for the amount of product you get, for the brand and the superior quality. Of course it is still in the expensive category, but if you do the maths (calculate the price per gram of product), it is actually cheaper than those of other high end brands!

Though I have been using this powder for years, to date I still get blown away by how light and finely filled the powder is. La Mer claims that this powder is so incredibly light that it appears to float. I agree! Sometimes if  the powder puffs into the air during use, it looks like “smoke” and the particles of the powder is invisible.

As for the finish – I love it! It is neither too matte, nor too translucent. I normally use this powder on top of a sheer foundation or tinted moisturizer.  It provides a very subtle coverage that is just needed as a finishing step to even out the areas of the skin that your foundation/tinted moisturizer can’t do. It takes away the unnecessary shine without looking powdery and cakey. When it is applied, the powder is so finely milled it just disappears into your skin, so I even use it under the eyes to set the concealer.  The finish is just naturally flawless – not too matte, not too dewy, just  like a baby’s complexion with this natural radiance/glow that seems to diminish as we age.

The only thing I don’t like about this powder is the puff that comes with it. Having used the ultra luxury powder puff that comes with some high end Japanese powder, this one feels cheap and not velvety enough for me, so I always replace it with the MAC Pro Powder puff which is much better (but still not perfect…)

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I am using the shade Creme which contains no shimmer and has some color to it rather than totally translucent, and my review is only for this shade. Please note that La Mer’s powder also comes in the shade Translucent, and I did not like the finish as it contains micro shimmer.

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Bottom Line: The creme de la creme of powders!

 

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I always have a soft spot for pink blushes and lipsticks, so when Elaine told me to check out the Lunasol Modelling Cheeks in EX03 Coral Pink (limited edition), it was so beautiful I just couldn’t let it pass. I particularly like the fact that it comes in four strips of different variations of pink and peachy shades that can add dimension to the skin, and the coral pink color is literally fool proof on any skintone.

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The pigmentation is of typical Japanese blushes – soft but just good enough to be shown on fair complexion ladies with a few swipes. Each strip of color contains very tiny particles of shimmer that is only noticeable when you look at it very closely. When applied on the skin it gives a lovely pearly sheen.

Swatches

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What I love most about this blush is the luminous finish to it – whether I want to go for a sheer wash of color, or adding more layers for more color. The finish is always a luminous coral pink on me – it never looks too cakey and opaque. The lasting power is about 4 to 5 hours.

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I had Elaine purchase this blush for me from Singapore as it was out of stock on Adambeauty at that time, but I believe it is back in stock now, so ladies be quick to snap one up! I only bought the blush powder itself and many many thanks to the sweet Elaine who gifted me the case for the blush :-)

 

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It seems soaps have become the “IT” facial cleanser at the moment. There has been a few brands of soap that have taken the beauty world by storm with raving reviews, so naturally I have to try one! I had a choice between the COR Silver Soap, the Penelopi Moon Faicla Cleansing Soap Junoa which has been voted the best facial cleanser by the Japanese @ Cosme Best Cosmetic Award 2011(the most trusted yearly beauty award in Japan), and the Gamila Secret Soap that has every Asian blogger talking. In the end I went for the COR Silver Soap as it has some anti blemish properties and so far I haven’t read a single bad review about it.

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It retails for USD$125, very pricey for just a bar of soap isn’t it?! But the ingredient list might give you a good indication that it is not just an ordinary soap! The star ingredient of this soap is that it contains the patented formula of nano-silver with silica and they are derived from natural sources.

Silver: is one of the best antibacterial agents. It blocks the bactera’s ability to transfer oxygen through its cell walls. Silver also has healing properties and has been used by doctors to speed cell repair.

Silica: prepares the skin to accept the ingredients of Cor. The sponge-like nature of Silica draws the Silver and other active ingredients into its particles so that it can richly nourish the skin.

Other ingredients include:

Glycerin: derived from natural palm oil which is a renewable source of glycerin most often used in high end soaps.

Marine Collagen from Japan: Collagen starts to disappear at the rate of 1.5% per year in adulthood! Cor’s collagen can add a more youthful apperance to one’s face.

Sericin: is a natural, soluble protein made from silk. Highly moisture-binding and film-forming.

Chitosan: is a natural fibre that acts to even out skin tone, and helps to balance out the skin’s oil levels.

Pomegranate Extract: helps to reduce the effect of aging and fight free radicals.

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How I use the soap: This soap develops into very dense, creamy and rich lather (very silimiar to the high end Japanese foam wash).  The instruction recommends to leave the foam on your face from 30 seconds to 5 minutes depending on your skin type, and below is the recommended steps to follow:

First week: If you have normal to dry skin, massage the foam onto your face for 30 seconds then leave the foam resting on your face for a further 1 – 2 minutes. For oily, troubled, acne prone skin, leave the foam on for 5 minutes.

Second week: start to reduce the length of time the foam is left on your skin

After second week: use daily as a normal facial soap.

My experience with the COR Silver Soap:

Prior to using this soap, I had always been using a very gentle, moisturizing cleansing lotion. The COR soap is on the other end of the spectrum, it deep cleans the skin and provides a squeaky feel to the skin. I tried to leave the foam on my face for 5 minutes during the first week of use, and it felt like a deep cleansing mask for me. Though my skin appeared noticeably more clear with refined pores, it also felt very dry and tight. Since then I reduced the length of time to 2 minutes as I didn’t have troubled skin, and my skin has been looking very good lately. It just looks brighter and much more clear, and best of all I only had one minor hormonal break out during the two month of use. My skin still feels a little taut after washing, but nothing can’t be fixed by my beloved moisturizer – creme de la mer which seems to work so well with this soap (and that’s going to be another review)

I have also used the COR Silver Soap on the back of my neck and shoulder (they have been suffering from little white or red bumps for years as I always wear my hair down), I left the foam on for 5 minutes and magically after three days it has totally cleared up the bumpy skin! Even my husband cannot believe for once my shoulder is as smooth as..his..haha! However as soon as I stop using this soap, the congestion problems seem to come back.

Bottom Line: Ever since I had the “break-out” attack a while ago, I always try to incorporate at least one anti-blemish product in my skincare routine. And I much prefer the COR Silver soap than the conventional AHA or BHA based products, as it is a lot less harsh to my skin. Even though it is still a little drying for my skin,  it doesn’t make my skin irritated, red or peel like some other products do. Highly recommend for people who have acne-prone, oily skin. Dry skin ladies can skip this.

I bought the COR silver SOAP on skinstore.com with a 20% off discount code.

 

 

 

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It is Friday night! I usually don’t blog on Friday night as it is my “happy hour” time, but I wanted to lose a couple of pounds after the festive season so I decided to stay home and just vegetate, and in the meantime killing my time off blogging…This post is about my picks for the best eye makeup year 2011! The same with my previous post – I picked one or two of my favorite and most used items from every eye makeup category.

Best Eye Shadow Primer - Nars Smudge Proof Eye Shadow Base

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Best Liquid Eye Liner: Dolly Wink Liquid Eye Liner in Jet Black, reviewed here.

Best Gel Eye Liner: Bobbi Brown Gel Eye Liner – an oldie but a goodie!

Best Eye Liner Pencil: Dior Crayon Eyeliner Waterproof - I use an eye liner pencil to define the outer third of my lower lash line, and I like the Dior as it is soft and pigmented so doesn’t tug my skin, and it stays put for a whole day without any smudge.

Best Eye Brow products: I get asked all the time what eye brow products I used in my FOTD. They are always by my holy grail combination – The K-Palette Real Lasting Liquid Eye Brow Pen in dark brown, followed by the Laura Mercier Brow Powder Duo in Deep Blonde

The Laura Mercier Brow Powder Duo in Deep Blonde has a light brown ashy color which works really well with my complexion. I use the dark shade to define my eye brow and the lighter shade to contour the bridge of my nose.Best Eye Brow Tint: MAC Brow Set in Girl Boy. If I go for a very soft and fresh makeup look, I tend to tint my eyebrow slightly lighter and I really love the color of MAC Girl Boy.

Best Cream Eye Shadow: Chanel illusion d’ombre long wear luminous eye shadow, I like the weightless texture and the shimmery semi-translucent finish.

Best Pigment: Inglot Pigments

Best Single Eye Shadow: Le Metier de Beaute True Color Eye Shadow. I haven’t used them long enough to do a proper review yet, but I was impressed and they win for their exclusiveness!

Runner Up: Chanel Ombre Essentielle Soft Touch Eye Shadow. Chanel offers a beautiful and wearable selection of single eye shadows. I have collected quite many of them and both the texture and the colors never let me down.

Best Eye Shadow Palette in general: Without a doubt that it’s my Suqqu Blend Color Eye Shadow, the entire range is easy to wear on a daily basis.

Best Cool Neutral Eye Shadow Palette: Other than Suqqu I have also included a few of my all time favorite neutral eye shadow palettes in this post. For the cool neutrals, Chanel Les 4 Ombres Quadra Eye Shadow in Prelude wins my heart. Do you know Chanel les 4 Ombres has also won the 2011 Japanese Cosme best eye shadow award?!

Best Warm Neutral Eye Shadow Palette: the legendary Lunasol Beige Beige – perfect for a “no makeup” makeup look.

Best Sparkly Neutral Eye Shadow Palette: Tom Ford Eye Color Quad in Golden Mink (reviewed here)

Best Collectible Eye Shadow Palette: Shiseido Maquillage Eye Creator by Alexander Wang (limited edition). This is my most precious makeup as I am huge fan of Alexander Wang’s modern and edgy design. I was lucky enough to snatch up some products from his first makeup collection in collaboration with Maquillage.

Best Drugstore Eye Shadow Palette: Kanebo Lavshuca Melting Eyes – as the name suggests, the eye shadows are so fined milled that they almost felt they were melting into the skin.

Best Mascara: The Helena Rubinstein Lash Queen Mascaras. I have both the original lash queen and the feline extravaganza lash queen. The feline adds more volume to the lashes but the original defines the lashes better and gives a soft and feathery finish. Absolutely adore this range!

Runner Up: Fresh Supernova Mascara – it gives super thick and dramatic lashes (almost doll like). The only downside is it doesn’t hold the curl well so I have to use another mascara or a primer underneath.

Best Drugstore Mascara: Kiss Me Heroine Make Volumising Mascara

Best False Eye Lashes: It’s a tie between the Princess Lee criss cross 7 in light black and the DUP Eyelashes. They are the most natural looking falsies I have used so far – soft and feathery and the human hair blend into your own lashes. I get a panic attack if I don’t have multiple backups of them. Just a note to those of you wanting to buy the Princess Lee lashes, be aware that there are so many counterfeit on the internet as Princess Lee lashes are extremely exclusive.

What a long post! If you have made it to here, well done! Hope you all have a good weekend :-)

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