November 2012

Obsessed with CAMEO

by Reika on November 30, 2012

I found this amazing skirt by CAMEO at this shop. What can I say, other than it’s just so perfect! The cut is very reminiscent of Proenza Schouler’s signature’s skirts, but at a much affordable price and the quality is superb.

frontrowbeauty-ootd-nov-4frontrowbeauty-ootd-nov-2frontrowbeauty-ootd-nov-3frontrowbeauty-ootd-nov-1Sweater – Witchery

Skirt – Cameo (bought here)

Booties – ShuBar (similar here)

Bag – Chanel 2.55 Reissue

Necklace – House of Harlow

PS. If you are heading to Westfield for XMAS Shopping this weekend, they will be holding some great deals across all stores in all Westfields this Super Saturday. Check out more details here.

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I received a large response from my last mascaras review post, and many of you have given me a lot of suggestions on other drugstore mascaras. Thank you all! I have indeed purchased a lot based on your recommendations, and here are the three mascaras I have been using for the past 3 months – the Makeup For Ever Smoky Lash, L’oreal Extra Volume Collagen and KissMe Impact Frame & Curl Mascara.

To recap: I have stick straight lashes with medium volume and medium length (Asian standard..). I need my mascara to hold the curl (I use my Shu eyelash curlers), volumize and separate the lashes and to be smudge proof. I also use mascara on my lower lashes so preferably the brush of the mascara is easy to work with, without staining my skin, and is black enough to make my lashes pop.

1. L’oreal Extra Volume Collagen Plumping Mascara Blackest: This is a mediocre mascara for me. I like the brush which reminds me of the infamous DiorShow. The formula is on the dry side and is quite waxy, so it tends to clump my lashes but are fixable using an eyelash comb (I love mine which is by tweezerman!). It gives medium volume and length, holds the curl and stays put all day. Overall it is quite a satisfactory mascara but there is no aspect of it that blows me away.

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2. KissMe Heroine Make Impact Frame & Curl Mascara: I am a big fan of the original KissMe Heroine Make Volume and Curl, so I was very excited to try out their newer version. It has a comb style, and the teeth is finely spaced so it separates the lashes amazingly. I absolutely hated this mascara when it was first opened, as the formula was so wet it made my lashes look spidery. I gave this mascara a second chance after letting it ‘dry’ for 2 months, and an amazing thing happened – it worked so well for my lashes as the result was even slightly better than my beloved Maybelline Falsies. It adds medium volume and length, but the unique comb just really helps to separate and fan out the lashes beautifully. It holds the curl all day without smudging, so a big thumbs up from me! I probably would repurchase this one, but the fact that I had to wait till it dries is off putting.

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3. Makeup For Ever Smoky Lash Jet Black – Compared to the above two, this is a very dramatic mascara. It is ultra black and thickens the lashes a lot! The effect is more of a doll-like (thick and slightly clumpy lashes) rather than natural-but-better lashes effect. I like it because it is so black and I only needed a little bit on my lower lashes which really helps to open up my eyes. I only wish it had a better brush design for separation.

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Whilst the quality of makeup is generally improving in newer releases, I think the overly saturated mascara market can be a little gimmicky with their newer inventions (ie. the 360 degree rotation brush). So I don’t keep track of the new mascaras, but if you have discovered any new ones that knock your socks off, please let me know!

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Tom Ford’s Private Blend Lipstick Black Orchid is the one and only vampy lipstick that I have bought this season. It is a very bold and daring deep wine color with the most intense pigmentation – it’s one of those dramatic shades that gives you an attitude and a ‘bad-girl’ look, and makes you feel powerful!

Tom-Ford-Private-Blend-Lipstick-Black-Orchid-1I have expressed how I feel about Tom Ford’s lipsticks in my previous post, so I won’t repeat that again here. In short every inch of Tom Ford lipstick is totally luxurious and I just absolutely love them. From packaging to the most fashion-forward color selection, I cannot pick a single fault. I love the texture with most of the shades that I have tried, but I have some issues with this particular shade.

Black Orchid gives a satiny finish.  The texture feels the same as the others and it still glides on ultra smooth. Unfortunately it enhances every single dry patch/skin on my lips which I was not even aware of, so the finish looked very uneven on my lips. You may not be able to see this in my FOTD, but that’s because I had spent a great deal of time to make it work with a lip brush by applying a thin layer over and over until it looked reasonably even.  This lipstick will not work for me if it is directly applied from the tube. However, to be fair, I have experienced the same issue with vampy lipsticks of other high-end brands as well. The highly raved Chanel and YSL also added more dry lines to my lips than I thought.

In this FOTD, I am wearing the Tom Ford Black Orchid in full opaque layer. I probably applied 5 thins layers of it and I blotted my lips between each application. I am also wearing it as a blush (as suggested by Claire – check out her awesome blog here!) I applied the color on the back of my hand and mixed it with Embryolisse Lait-Crème Concentrè so it turned into a cream blush. It goes on pink with a plummy undertone, and the Embryolisse Cream gives a lovely dewy finish.

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If you don’t feel comfortable wearing such a bold shade out (including me…), you can wear it as a lip stain. I have a FOTD showing this, and I paired it with a clear lip gloss to take away the dryness.

I bought mine at David Jones for a record high of AUD$65. It is available in the US here and here. Good news to the fellow Aussies – international delivery of Tom Ford makeup is now available at Harrods with 10% VAT deduction off the retail price.

 

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NEW IN: Michael Kors

by Reika on November 21, 2012

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I am going through a major shoe phase lately, and the fact that there are a lot of nice booties rolling out amongst the US shopping sites is not helping to curb my obsession at all. I bought this pair of gorgeous KORS Michael Kors Shailyn Wedge Booties a few weeks ago (bought here) – the sharp pointed toe is a little Givenchy inspired (high end version here) and I just love it. It’s a pair of very classic black booties with an edge, and as you know I am all about classic with an edge for fashion, as well as for makeup! The quality looks just as good and they feel comfy. I haven’t had a chance to wear them out yet, but will report back in my future OOTD.

BTW, shopbop is having another awesome deal at the moment. Enter promo code BIGEVENT12 for the below deals. I noticed that some of the hot goodies saved in my wishlist have already sold out..but I managed to get this Helmut Lang! Yay :-)

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Good Deals

by Reika on November 20, 2012

Just a quick update on some of the good deals from the ClickFrenzy Sales that stopped the entire nation (and the internet :P ). In case you don’t know what ClickFrenzy is – it is Australia first national online-only mega-sale that was launched to compete with America’s Cyber Monday sales.

1. My favorite Australian brand SABA is having a 25% on all full priced items with free delivery.

2. 20% off storewide at WANTED Shoes Co. Enter code WANTEDFRENZY at checkout.

3. 20% off Storewide at PEEPTOE. Enter PEEPFRENZY at checkout.

4. Save 25% storewide at SkinCareStore (the Australian site of skinstore.com). Enter promo code CLICK25.

5. I know some of you are die hard fans of Alannah Hill. Enter AHFRENZY at checkout for 20% off storewide.

 

 

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I often receive emails from my readers sharing their love for Suqqu products with me, and it is very flattering to hear that they find my reviews helpful for their purchases. To date Suqqu remains one of my favorite makeup brands. There are a lot of other great brands out there, but every time I use a new Suqqu product, it always blows me away. For instance, the Suqqu Balancing Eyebrow Palette 01 with the Eyebrow Brush S are just the perfect combo -  they are officially my holy grail eyebrow products now.

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There are two eyebrow powders in the palette – one is a medium brown shade and the second one is a moss green shade which allows you to mix the colors to your desire. The light brown shade shown on the right is perfect for contouring the nose or eye socket. You can hardly see this shade in my swatch which is why, ironically, what makes it a perfect contouring shade! As usual Suqqu product design is always very attentive, as the palette comes with a brow brush and a shading brush. The quality of both brushes are excellent for their mini size.

The powder is ultra smooth, very pigmented and long lasting. The most outstanding quality is that it is a perfect ashy brown palette for my complexion and hair coloring. The shade moss green is brown based with a tiny tinge of green to it. It might sound ‘strange’ but it’s a very common color used in Asian cosmetics. We refer to this shade as a ‘natural linen’ color. Since most Asians have black to black-brown hair, and red is the most dominant color in black, a tinge of green mixed with brown helps to counteract the red tone. This helps to lighten the hair with an ashy tone.

Compared to Laura Mercier Eyebrow Palette 01 Ashy Blonde and Shu Uemura Hard Formula 6

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The Suqqu Eyebrow Brush S is the thinnest eyebrow brush I’ve ever used compared to other brands, so it gives the most precise and thin stroke that really mimics the natural eyebrow hair. Most eyebrow brushes including Stila and MAC are very firm and stiff, but the bristles of this Suqqu brush are firm yet soft (which might not make sense until you try it!), so it is a very directional brush for application and allows you to define and shape the brows better.

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Left: Stila Eyebrow Brush Right: SuqquSuqqu-Eyebrow-Brush-G-stila-1

As you can see, the thickness of Suqqu is only half of Stila!Both products are available on Selfridges here and here. And BIG THANKS to A Girl’s Guide to Makeup – I read in her blog (link here!) that you can use SKYPAX (a UK parcel forwarding service) to forward any purchases from Selfridges to anywhere in the world for a fraction of the cost that Selfridges charge for international shipping.

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This is another eyeshadow review for the Dior 5 Couleur Grand Bal Eyeshadow Palette in 524 Fairy Golds (Limited Edition) from the Grand Bal Holiday 2012 Collection. My compulsive makeup hoarding is getting a little out of control lately as I am completely engulfed by the waves of new eye shadows being released at the moment. But what could be a better time to shop than this festive time of the year?!

dior-grand-bal-2012-collection-5-Couleur-Eyeshadow-Palette-524-Fairy-GoldsBefore I start my review, please allow me to ramble about the sub-par service at various Dior counters. The SAs were either busy chatting or showed no interest in doing their jobs at 3 different counters I visited! Whilst most of the other cosmetic counters thrive to deliver the best possible customer service in such a competitive economy, it was such a let down experience from a premium beauty house like Dior.

Nonetheless, this did not distract me from buying this uber gorgeous eyeshadow quint. It’s a neutral eye shadow palette with some of the most beautiful sparkly shimmery shades I have ever seen – and that is what drew me in the most! I love a sparkly shade when it is done right. It needs to have the perfect spongy creamy texture (not gritty) and adheres without any fallout, and most importantly it needs to be sparkly in a grown-up way. And the color is important too, as it needs to be subtle but you can still see the color with some translucency so it doesn’t overpower the base eye color when you apply the sparkly shade on top.  This Dior quint ticked all the boxes.

COLORS

Top Left: Shimmery champagne pinky beige

Top Right: Rusty gold with a sparkly finish

Middle: Silvery white with a sparkly finish

Bottom Left: Shimmery mushroom taupe

Bottom Right: Shimmery chocolate brown

All shades are rich in pigmentation, feel buttery soft and blend so well. As mentioned above, the two sparkly shades are exceptionally superior and rivals the Tom Ford which I thought were the best!

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SWATCHES:

dior-grand-bal-2012-collection-5-Couleur-Eyeshadow-Palette-524-Fairy-Golds-swatches-1dior-grand-bal-2012-collection-5-Couleur-Eyeshadow-Palette-524-Fairy-Golds-swatches-2FOTD:

Upper Lid: Applied the beige color all over the eyelid, then I blended the light taupe color from the upper lash into the eye socket. The dark brown shade was only added to the outer-v, and I used my finger to pat the gold sparkly shade on the inner corner, and the silvery white shade on top for an ultra sparkly festive look!

Lower Lid: The white sparkly on the inner third, and the brown on the outer third.

It is worth nothing that I have been obsessed with highlighting and contouring lately, so I have used more-than-the-usual amount of base product to create a luminous complexion that also looks more defined.

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OTHER PRODUCTS:

Face: Laura Mercier Moisturizing Foundation (discontinued) mixed with Dr Jart+ Waterfuse Moist BB Cream.

Highlight & Contour: Prescriptives Contour Stick (discontinued) + Nars Copacabana Illuminator. YSL Touche Eclat for under eye concealing.

Blush: Chanel JC in Rouge

Lipstick: Shu Uemura Rouge Unlimited Supreme Shine SS BG 957 (reviewed here) + MAC Dazzleglass Glamour

Bottom Line: A perfect eye shadow palette for a touch of sparkly glamour this festive season.

I bought mine at David Jones for AUD$99. The Dior Palette can be purchased here in the US. You can also get this new collection including the palette here with free international delivery, and use the code GIFT10 for 10% off!

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Statement Shirt – Cheetahs on me!

by Reika on November 14, 2012

My obsession with leopard and cheetah print has elevated to a higher level -  I am wearing a shirt with literally wild prints of cheetahs all over it and I love it! I spotted this quirky shirt from TopShop in Sydney. It is very well made and looks actually quite expensive. The skirt is by Alexander Wang. I have had this skirt for over 2 years now and it is one of the best purchases I ever made! It is so easy to wear and literally goes with everything. You can never go wrong with his basics and this skirt is one of those classic items that I want to have in multiple colors (currently eyeing the burgundy version).

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Cheetah Shirt – Topshop (link here or here)

Skirt – T by Alexander Wang (bought here)

Clutch – Celine

Necklace – Noir Jewelery

Booties – Alexander Wang

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