July 2012

NEW IN: Ash Cool Wedge Sneakers

by Reika on July 25, 2012

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Never imagined myself to be in sneakers other than being in the gym. The ASH Cool Wedge Sneakers (bought here) has completely changed my view of sneakers – they are uber chic, and add a casual and edgy vibe to my normal everyday outfit. I am completely in love with them and now I want them in black and suede as well! The high street shoes shops are flooded with wedge sneakers lately, and upon “inspection” I am very grateful with this purchase as the Ash are much better made and look more expensive than the others I have seen. Love love!!

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I don’t get more excited than finding the perfect soft milky pink lipstick – meet my lipstick of the moment which is the Giorgio Armani Rouge d’Armani Sheers 505 from the skin lacquers collection. Finding a light pink shade that works for me is not an easy mission. Most milky pink can be a little tricky to pull off for Asians with a yellow skin tone. I have made a lot of mistakes in the past (used to wear the most unflattering pink on myself), so I am glad I am a little more “tasteful” now and I know how to work out the right pink for me.

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The Rouge D’armani Sheers, skin lacquers collection just landed in Australia , and 505 was the only shade that caught my eye instantly, as it reminded me of my all time favorite light pink lipstick The Shiseido Doll Pink (which is shown in the comparison picture below) . As the name suggests, the formulation is sheer (but not as sheer as Chanel Rouge Coco Shine) with a glossy finish. Two or three swipes are enough for the color to show. The texture is light and has a good slip, and feels quite hydrating on my dry lips with a longer than average lasting power (about 3-4 hrs) than most sheer lipsticks.

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Compared to the other light pink (slightly blue based) lipsticks:

From left to right: Rouge d’Armani 505; Shiseido Sheer Gloss Lipstick Doll Pink; MAC Victorian, Chanel Rouge Coco Shine Chance

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Overall Look:

Foundation: Laura Mercier Moisturizing Foundation

Eyes: Giorgio Armani ETK 29 Rose Titanium as a wash, and ETK 27 Oxidised Silver over the lid. (both shades are reviewed in this post)

Cheeks: Jill Stuart mix blush 105 sweet lock

giorgio-armani-eyes-to-kill-eye-shadow-29-27-Oxidised-Silve-rose-titanium-swatches-fotdI purchased mine at DJ for AUD$52. The collection is also available here online.

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The Embryolisse Lait-Crème Concentrè (24 Hour Miracle Cream) has been a cult product amongst the supermodels and top makeup artists. Every now and then I come across magazines featuring big names (in the beauty/fashion industry) that swear by this moisturizer, so I had a very high expectation for this product. After using it for more than 2 months and having gone through half a tube of it, my personal thought was that it is over-hyped. I think people are just drawn to the fact that it is made-in-France, and as with many other French products, the Embryolisse is almost impossible to get outside of France.Embryolisse-Lait-Crème-Concentrè-24-Hr-Miracle-Cream

I am always attracted to hard-to-get products, so I scouted the internet high and low and finally found it available here (which is the only online resource I can find)! The packaging is of standard French drug store products  – simple, low key with a ‘medicinal’ aesthetic to it. It’s a lotion with a rich and creamy milky consistency, and it is fragrance free. For a lotion, it feels a little on the rich side. If I apply more than a pea size , it can feel a little greasy on my face for a short while. It doesn’t feel moisturizing enough for me if I apply anything less than that. It makes my skin feel nourished and softer immediately, and it did not make my skin break out. It keeps my skin moisturized for about 5-6 hours.

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However, it works and feels pretty much the same as many other basic moisturizers that I have used in the past (far from being a miracle cream!). For a product with such a cult status, I expected more. I prefer a moisturizer that makes my skin feel drenched  in water and plumped up immediately like Shu Uemura’s Depsea Hydrability Moisturizing Cream. Additionally I prefer a moisturizer that makes my skin glow and look “refreshed” and vitalized the next day like Creme de La Mer or Guerlain’s Issima Midnight Secret. I would consider any moisturizer that ticks one of these criteria as a keeper, and unfortunately the Embryolisse 24 Hr Miracle Cream met neither. On a different note, it works brilliantly as a makeup base. It can also be used as an emergency makeup remover.

Embryolisse-Lait-Crème-Concentrè-24-Hr-Miracle-Cream-ingredientOverall It is a very affordable and basic moisturizer that would work ‘safely’ for any skin type at any age group, and versatile enough to be used for other functions. It will be a staple for my traveling kit, but not a moisturizer for my everyday skin care.

 

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Asymmetrical

by Reika on July 18, 2012

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rag-and-bone-Sliver-Tuxedo-Jacket-2Rag&Bone Sliver Tuxedo Blazer, Satch Asymmetrical Pullover, Zara Floral Skirt, Alexander Wang Boots, House of Harlow Necklace, Marc by Marc Jacobs Watch, Gucci Sunglasses

I love to pair a soft and flowy skirt with something more structured such as a leather jacket or a tuxedo blazer. From what I have read I think this combination was originated by French women. They can never do wrong with fashion.

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I received a call from the Giorgio Armani SA that the Eyes To Kill Eye Shadows from the AQUA Collection arrived in Australia the day after I posted my beauty wishlist – perfect timing! After playing with the testers for about 20 minutes, I restrained myself to 3 shades for now – 27 Oxidised Silver, 28 Red Platine and 29 Rose Titanium. The entire collection is gorgeous but I thought I will make more use out of these shades compared to the others as they appear very wearable and “me”. The rest of the shades are more for a smokey look which are attractive but I have been rarely wearing dark eye shadows lately.

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There have been similar products released in the market by some cheaper brands, but I always have a soft spot for the Giorgio Armanis as they are the original. Especially when it comes to the presentation of the product, as each shade of Eyes To Kill appears to be made of multicolored and complex shimmery pigments which give a multi-dimensional finish, and I have not seen that in any other cheaper brand. They blend like a dream as well as last a whole day on my oily lids.  I generally prefer to use my fingers for application if I want to create a soft sparkly layer with a hint of color. Or to use my beloved MAC 217 if I want to pack on a decent layer of color.

Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill Eye Shadow Rose Titanium 29: Had I not seen it in real life I would have skipped it as I am usually scared of pink eye shadows. But Rose Titanium swatches beautifully, as it shows up as a pale pink that looks very flattering on my skin tone. It makes a great alternative to the usual beige-champagne base color which I am a little bored of now.

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Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill Eye Shadow Oxidised Silver 27: It will be a sell-out. You can’t miss this one if you love taupe, and it has the perfect undertone of purple for me.

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Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill Eye Shadow Red Platine 28 : It is another drop dead gorgeous neutral but complex shade. It shows up as a bronzy coppery gold on me with silver shimmer. I always wanted a shade like it in a portable glass pot so I can carry it with me easily.

giorgio-armani-eyes-to-kill-eye-shadow-Red-Platine-28-swatchGroup Swatches:

under the sun

giorgio-armani-eyes-to-kill-eye-shadow-27-28-29-Red-Platine-oxidised-silver-rose-titanium-swatchesIn the shade

giorgio-armani-eyes-to-kill-eye-shadow-27-28-29-Red-Platine-oxidised-silver-rose-titanium-swatches-1Blended out

giorgio-armani-eyes-to-kill-eye-shadow-27-28-29-Red-Platine-oxidised-silver-rose-titanium-swatches-2Compared to other ETKs

Top 28, 27, 29 Bottom: 15, 4 , 8

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Bottom Line: I think the color palette and the wearability of AQUA Collection surpasses all of its previous limited editions. It’s a versatile yet unique collection of eye shadows for the neutral lovers.

I bought these at David Jones for AUD$45 each. The new AQUA collection is also available here in the US.

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NEW IN: Sunnies

by Reika on July 14, 2012

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It’s the beginning of a new financial year! which means it is the time that I allow myself to shop without thinking about my yearly budget, until I get a heart attack half way through the year then start to count every cent :-P Anyhow I have been eyeing these sunnies for so long. The Prada Baroque (bought here) is a must-have – it’s the perfect accessory to instantly make you look glam and chic . Also loving the super over-sized cat frame of the Gucci Retro Cat Eye Sunglasses – they fit perfectly on my meaty face. I had tried them on at David Jones which retails for AUD$460, and they just listed on shopbop (also available here) a lot cheaper so I took the deal.

Prada -Baroque-Round-SunglassesGucci-oversized-retro-cat-eye-Sunglasses

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Best Dry Shampoo – Drugstore Brands

by Reika on July 11, 2012

Washing hair everyday is considered a chore for me – I hate it with passion and always on the look out for different ways to minimize the frequency of washes. Trust me I have experimented with a lot of silly ideas including rinsing hair without using shampoo, only washing half head or not washing hair for 5 days (which my husband was glad he wasn’t around back then!). Anyhow I have been looking for the best dry shampoo for my haircare regime for the past 2 years.  I normally use it on second-day hair, and find that it is the most convenient, time efficient, and effective way to make the hair look fresh and clean.

I have pretty much tried every single drugstore brand that is available in Australia. So I would like to give a quick run-down on my thoughts on these dry shampoos. I have also used several from the more expensive ranges, which were a hit and miss as well, so for now I like to stick with the drugstore brands until I find the holy grail.

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Lee Stafford Dry Shampoo: AUD$15 at Priceline. The only thing I like about this dry shampoo is that the powder is brown which is excellent for my colored hair. Other than that there is no reason for me to repurchase it. It felt sticky on my hair and it wasn’t easy to brush out the powder, as there was always some residue left.

Batiste Dry Shampoo: I have gone through tons of it in its original version which comes in white powder. It is great – for AUD$12 a bottle I really have nothing to complain about other than that it sprays out too much powder compared to other brands. The excessive powder is great for cleaning and removing grease, but it can feel too powdery and takes longer to completely brush them out. The Batiste in the picture is a newer version which comes with gold shimmer, and I thought it would add a golden glow to my hair. Unfortunately it was awful – there were big chunky glitters in it, and I felt like a ’80s beauty queen’ every time I used it.

Toni & Guy Dry Shampoo: This is an odd one, as it applies almost invisible on my dark hair.  At first I thought I had bought a faulty one until I checked the reviews online. I could hardly see any powder on my hair, but I do feel it added “something” and it instantly makes the roots look matte. I leave it on for a few minutes then pat the “invisible powder” off. My hair looks more refreshed with lots of volume. The downside is that it doesn’t clean and remove grease as thoroughly as the other brands. It is mainly for refreshing and adding some volume to the roots. Overall I quite like this dry shampoo, and I always reach out for this one whenever I am on the go because it does not leave any white residue.

CEDEL Dry Shampoo: I buy them in little travel sizes and always carry one in my purse. I currently have the blue one which is designed for dark hair with black powder. I really like this dry shampoo, as it does everything it claims to – refresh dull and greasy hair between washes.

KLORANE Gentle Dry Shampoo with oat milk: This is my all time favorite. I believe Klorane is the first brand that brought dry shampoo to our attention (long before Batiste ), and it’s been a cult favorite ever since. I personally think this is the best out of all the drugstore brands I have used. It sprays just the right amount of powder, and it feels lightweight and very easy to remove. The hair instantly feels clean, revitalized and full of body. Compared to the above brands I have reviewed , I thought the Klorane dry shampoo performs well in all aspects.

 

 

 

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WISH LIST – Beauty

by Reika on July 10, 2012

I love reading other blogger’s wish lists, as they always give me a lot of “shopping inspiration” so I have decided to share mine from now on.

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1. Esthederm Intensif Hyaluronic Concentrated Formula Mask

2. Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill eye shadows, new shades from the Aqua Collection

3. Diptyque ‘Eau Rose’ Eau de Toilette Spray

4. Cloud Nine Wand: I’ve been eyeing a conical wand for a while now. There are a lot of brands making it and if I am ever going to get one it will be a Cloud Nine.

5. Esthederm Cellular Concentrate

6. Jill Stuart Custard Lip Pot from the Fall 2012 Patisserie Collection

7. Tom Ford Beauty Cheek Brush: I really want this brush now after reading the review from The Non-Blonde.

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