March 2012

Loving Right Now – Accessories Report

by Reika on March 31, 2012

Instagram Pictures:

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cc-skye-mini-spike-gold-bracelethermes-h-enamel-orange-silver-bangleFrom Left to Right: Marc by Marc Jacob Large Blade Chrono Watch in rose gold (bought it here), Hermes H Enamel Bangle in orange/silver, CC Skye Mini Spike Gold Bracelet (bought it here)

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Make Up For Ever HD Foundation Review

by Reika on March 28, 2012

I was asked by several readers what foundation did I use in my recent review/fotd posts, and it was by the Make Up For Ever HD Foundation which photographs very well. I have had this one for quite a long time, and I never bothered to give it a review as I just did not like it back then. It was sitting at the corner of my foundation drawer until I decided to give it a second chance recently. And to my pleasant surprise, it’s been performing really well!

The MUFE HD Foundation is housed in a typical plastic bottle which comes with a pump that dispenses just the right amount of product. I am using the shade 118 Flesh which has a yellow undertone.

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I have heard quite mixed reviews about this foundation – it is either hate or love and I have been on both ends. So I am going to share both sides of my experience with you.

My skin was dry and dehydrated back then, so in essence this foundation just did not make my skin look any better. Though it has a liquid consistency,  it wasn’t easy to blend the product into my skin seamlessly. I tried to apply this foundation with a brush as well as my finger but neither worked – the foundation always appeared sitting on top of my skin looking quite dull and flat, and it did not improve the appearance of my skin texture at all. So this foundation was quickly neglected…

Fast forward to now, the condition of my skin is much better.  I took very good care of my skin every night so I woke up with supple and hydrated skin the next day, and I would say this accounts for why the HD foundation is now working for me. Rather than using a foundation brush, I like it better now to apply it with a beauty blender.  It makes the foundation sink into my skin immediately like “my own but better” skin, with a soft dewy finish. The coverage is pretty good for a liquid foundation – it covers  most imperfections such as fainted acne marks, freckles etc. It lasts about 5-6 hours on me looking fresh without the need to powder my face again. Best of all it photographs very well.

Overall it is a very natural foundation. If I compared this to my HG Giorgio Armani Designer Lift foundation at the moment, this one lacks the ability to make my skin look more translucent and luminous. But it is a much cheaper option and does a pretty good job for most foundations at this price tag. (Sorry I bought it a long time so I don’t remember how much it costs). Highly recommended for girls who don’t have dry skin.

I believe the Make Up For Ever HD Foundation can be classed as one of the most raved foundations in the recent years. Have you tried it yet? and do you love it or hate it?

 

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My lipstick collection is growing a little out of control lately, and my wallet is severely damaged after a little stroll around the department stores as I have noticed all the major brands have released either a new range of lipsticks or new shades.  Meet my Burberry Lip Cover in Tulip Pink and Devon Sunset from the Burberry Spring 2012 Collection. These are my first taste into the Burberry lippies and I am completely head over heels.

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I wasn’t that into Burberry until Christopher Bailey became the creative director, as I love his modern and grunge take on the classic Burberry design. He once again did an excellent job for their makeup line, as the packaging of Burberry Lipsticks are the most luxurious and classic you could ever get. I instantly added one to my makeup purse just for “a touch of Burberry” :-)

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The texture of Burberry Lip Cover is on the semi opaque side – it has enough pigment to completely cover the natural color of your lips, and it’s non-drying and neither does it look or feel too heavy on the lips. It applies silky smooth with a satiny sheen.

Tulip Pink is a nudish pink color on me. To me it’s a fuss free all year round shade that would look lovely with any makeup.

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Devon Sunset is a beautiful salmon coral pink on my lips. Compared to Tulip Pink, this is more of a spring summer color that instantly makes your complexion look more fresh and youthful.

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As a beauty blogger, I always feel compelled to show you the makeup swatch on my arms. But I have to say in this case, the swatch of them on my skin is completely different to the color showing on my lips.

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Overall look wearing Burberry Lip Cover in Tulip Pink

burberry-lip-cover-lipsticks-tulip-pink-27-swatch-fotd-1Overall look wearing Burberry Lip Cover in Devon Sunset

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Bottom Line: Have absolutely no regret for my poor wallet! Love love these shades. If you are still hesitant about making a foray into the Burberry makeup line, I urge you not to wait!

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I took some makeup swatch pictures on a rare sunny day over the weekend. When the lighting was perfect, everything appeared just the way I anticipated. I love the the look of the Chanel Joues Contraste Powder Blush in NARCISSE in some of the pictures, so I thought I will just do a quick review for one of my all time favorite Chanel Blush.

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I own quite a lot of Chanel Joues Contraste Powder Blushes – all are in the euro baked version and I loved them all. Though many people much prefer the US version, for a blush I really adore the soft and glowy effect of the baked version. The texture of NARCISSE is quite hard and dense, as it doesn’t have a rich pigmentation so I normally apply it with a more coarse brush such as the enclosed brush.

NARCISSE is my favorite pink blush, and it is a soft pale pink blush that leans slightly blue in the pan, but it shows up as a perfect soft neutral pink on me. The finish is very natural and subdued I would say, even though it appears as a relatively matte powder without shimmer in the pan, it creates a natural luminous glow on the skin and this is the beauty of  baked powder texture.

Swatched on the back of my hand

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On Me:

Just in case you are curious, I had the Shiseido Maquillage Eye Creator by Alexander Wang on my eyes.

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The Sheer Maxi

by Reika on March 18, 2012

I have been searching for a sheer and flowing black maxi skirt for the longest time! And Zara seems to always be the problem solver. Wearing it out on a rather perfect windy day was just coincidental.

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Saba Shirt, Zara Maxi Skirt, Chanel Tote, Dior Sunnies

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My quest for the perfect lash curler never ends. This year I have acquired two – one good and one bad, and let’s talk about the good one today and I’ll leave the bad one for another day. The Mirenesse iCurl is a revolutionary heated eyelash curler with two heated pads which has totally blown me away. Despite the fancy design, when I first received the product I wasn’t really sure what set this product different to the other heated eyelash curlers in the market, until I roadtested on myself…OMG…the performance of iCurl has exceeded way beyond my expectation, and whoever invented this innovative device is simply a genius!

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As mentioned earlier, it has twin heated pads to curl lashes at the same time. As soon as you switch the button on, they heat up speedy fast (within 10  seconds). Once they are fully heated the pads turn from red to clear, and the temperature is just about right – hot enough to curl and hold the lashes in place, but it doesn’t burn your eyes or harm your lashes.

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Still confused about what the additional pad is for? Here you go, I hope my pictures below will explain everything.

Basically you place the lashes in between the gap as with any other curlers. The device comes with a lever, and as you lift the lever up, it pushes both pads up at the same time to curl the lashes. One pad (where it is placed traditionally) is to clamp the lashes from the base. With the second pad, as it is sliding up the lashes  it bends the lashes from the roots to the ends to create a natural curve (rather than just crimping the lash). And as you all know, the heated mechanism helps to curl the lashes faster and last longer.

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Mirenesse claims that iCurl is designed especially for girls with stick straight lashes – that’s me! I can’t say it for all girls, but as for me who has medium volume and length lashes, the device is a cinch to use and works brilliantly for me.

Applied a coat of mascara after curling the lashes with Mirenesse iCurl. I am quite embarrassed to show you my natural lashes, but I hope this picture is just to give you an idea of the natural curve it creates.

The iCurl can be purchased at www.mirenesse.com

Disclaimer: this product was provided to me for consideration of review at free of charge.

 

 

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I finally jumped on the Burberry Beauty bandwagon! I have been good saying no to the permanent lineup but after seeing the beautiful Burberry Spring 2012 colletion, I couldn’t help but purchase some including the Sheer Eye Shadow in Pale Barley No 22 as they were limited edition.

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The Burberry eye shadow totally lived up to my expectation. The texture has a “wow” factor to me considering I have quite a fair share of premium eye shadows, but I was still deeply impressed by how good the Burberry eyeshadow is. The word sheer in the name is quite misleading, as I don’t find it to be sheer at all for a neutral shade such as the Pale Barley. It is a pale mushroomy beige shade in a satiny finish that serves an excellent base color for most complexions. It applies completely fuss-free – one to two swipes are suffice to show the true color, and the ultra-fine silk smooth texture applies like a second skin without any fallout.

Swatches of Pale Barley

burberry-sheer-eye-shadow-pale-barley-22-spring-2012-collection-swatchburberry-sheer-eye-shadow-pale-barley-22-spring-2012-collection-swatchOn my eyes, it is a tad darker than my natural skin color, which makes it a perfect shade for just a wash of color over the eye socket that gives a deeper set of eyes effect.

EOTD with only Pale Barley applied

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Overall Look:

burberry-sheer-eye-shadow-pale-barley-22-spring-2012-collection-swatch-fotdBottom Line: The Burberry Pale Barley is one of those classic shades that should be in every girls’s makeup kit. For the minimalist girls who don’t wear much makeup, it is the perfect shade for a “no makeup” makeup look. LOVE it!

The Burberry Pale Barley Eye Shadow is available online here or here. Non-US customers can purchase this here with international shipping and VAT deductions.

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My Best Hair Care Products

by Reika on March 11, 2012

This is another topic that is frequently requested by  my readers – my best hair care products and routine. It is quite a challenging post for me, and anyone who has been to my bathroom would agree with me..as it is just filled with an abundance of hair care and body products. They always walk out of my bathroom with the same question “Can I ever finish that many products?” Oh well…nope! But it’s the same with my makeup collection or many other vanity items. I just like to constantly buy them and I am always on the lookout for newer and better products!

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So back to the hair topic…Unlike most Asian girls who are blessed with a head of straight, glossy and smooth hair, I was born with naturally wavy hair and prone to frizz. The grass is certainly always greener on the other side, as I always wanted to have sleek and straight hair, so for years I have been battling with my natural hair to achieve the desired look. I have been coloring my hair ever since I was in high school, and after experimenting with every possible hair color on the planet, I have settled down with ashy highlights, and I think it is the best my hair has ever looked.

I get my hair colored on a frequent basis so my hair gets very dry and damaged. The utmost important goal in my haircare routine is to supply as much protein to my hair for strengthening and repairing. The KERASTASE RESISTANCE BAIN DE FORCE Reinforcing and Refinishing Shampoo for weakened hair and CIMENT ANTI-USURE Reinforcing and Refinishing Treatment for Damaged Ends are my everyday protein shampoo and conditioner – they make my hair much stronger and significantly reduce the breakage of it. I alternate them with Fekkai Shea Butter Moisturizing Shampoo and PHYTO PHYTOSESAME Express Hydrating Conditioner, and they are a heaven-sent for dry and lackluster hair. I am especially loving the Phyto Conditioner at the moment, as it has a lotion texture and melts into your hair upon application. It keeps my hair so hydrated without weighing it down.

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Ashy color can turn brassy or orangey after some time if your hair is naturally dark. To prevent that I use the Matrix So Silver shampoo once a week to eliminate the dull yellowness in my hair. I also use the KERASTASE BAIN CLARIFIANT Regulating Shampoo for Oily Scalp once a week – it’s a clarifying shampoo that removes the built up of my hair and purifies the scalp. It’s the best I’ve ever used as it doesn’t strip the natural oil and makes my hair feel feathery light and clean without being crunchy.

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I like to treat my hair with an intensive treatment mask after it is deep cleansed with a clarifying shampoo. My favorite picks for repairing damaged hairs are the ALTERNA CAVIAR ANTI-AGING SEASILK Hair Masque and Fekkai PROTEIN Rx Anti-Breakage Treatment Masque. The Alterna completely rejuvenates and brings life back to my dull hair but its’ quite expensive, and the Fekkai also does a good repairing job and restores moisture.

frb-best-hair-intensive-mask-alterna-caviar-fekkai-protein-rxTo slow down colors from fading, I like to use Fekkai Salon Technician Color Care Rapid Results Moisture Mask. It revives the color and deeply moisturizes my hair. When my hair feels relatively healthy but requires a pamper, I reach for the H2O Milk Silkening Hair Mask. It transforms my dry and frizzy hair into silky soft and smooth, and I can sniff my hair for the whole day for that heavenly scent. I always bring a tub of KERASTASE SOLEIL Masque UV Defense Active with me when I go on vacation, as the sun; the chlorine; and sea salt guarantees to make my hair feel straw-like. This is the savior for replenishing overly exposed hair to become softer and radiant.

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When my hair is still damp, I like to apply a tiny drop of KERASTASE REFLECTION CHROMA RICHE Luminous softening essence for highlighted or very sensitised colour-treated hair to the ends of my hair – it protects my hair from heat and completely smooths out the cuticles and makes my hair super shiny and sleek. I then a apply a pea size of Bumble and bumble Styling Creme around the roots before I blow dry my hair straight. It is a lovely lightweight styling lotion that gives the hair body and holds the style.

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For next-day hair, I like to freshen it up with a nicely scented protein spray. The Aveda Brilliant Damage Control used to be my favorite but at the moment my heart belongs to Label M Protein Spray. If my roots are looking too flat the next day I would rely on my Aveda Pure Abundance Hair Potion which gives instant volume to my hair and requires zero skill. I don’t use hair spray much, but if I do my holy grail is the Alterna Hemp Maximum Hold Volume Lock. It is unlike any other hairspray I have used, as it gives instant body and hold to my hair without making my hair stiff! Unfortunately most sites do not ship aerosol products to Australia now, so I am really saving this one for special occasions!

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Thank you for reading if you have made it to the end! :-)

 

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