December 2012

Holiday Sales Picks

by Reika on December 27, 2012

Hi everyone, happy holidays! Hubby and I have planned our next holiday in late January, so we have decided to stay home this Christmas. To unwind the stress of a year of hard-work, there is nothing better than just doing nothing…other than indulging myself with good food, and lots of TV! The sales has officially started yesterday worldwide. I popped into the Sydney Central Westfield today but realized there were waves of people at every store! So I have decided to shop in peace in front of my computer and picked some of the best sales I have spotted online.

dec-wishlist

 

1. A.L.C Margaux Leather Jacket – The structure and the ribbed details on the sleeves make this moto jacket perfection.

2. Paul & Joe Sister Illiade floral print silk chiffon dress – an airy and flowy silk chiffon dress in a grunge-chic babydoll cut.

3. Rag & Bone Classic Newbury Booties - the classic Newbury booties are on sale in Burgundy!

4. Chan Luu Wrap Bracelet

5. YSL Treasury Snail Ring – a classic ring by YSL

6. Phillip Lim Convertible Vendetta Bag- a timeless and chic shoulder bag

7. Super Lucia Sunglasses

 

{ 7 comments }

Sequin Collar

by Reika on December 18, 2012

I have a soft spot for beautiful dresses. Whether I am shopping online or in-store, it’s always a cute little flowy day dress that catches my attention first. I have tried to cut down the number of dresses I buy each season, but this beautifully-made collared silk dress from Gryphon is a nice addition to my wardrobe.  It’s made of 100% silk chiffon, and the sequin collar lends an elegant feel to this airy and boho inspired printed dress.

The Céline Luggage Mini in Lemon is one of the goodies I brought back from Paris. It was a very fruitful trip to Paris as I was able to fight off all these other tourists and acquire some of the highly coveted items including this limited color. I was over the moon when the kind Céline SA sold me this bag from their warehouse as it wasn’t on display!

celine-luggage-mini-bright-yellow-lemon-1

gryphon-sequin-collar-shirtdress-1

celine-luggage-mini-bright-yellow-lemon-2

Dress – Gryphon Sequin Collar Shirtdress (bought here, and cheaper version here)

Shoes – Toni Bianco

Céline Luggage Mini

 

 

{ 19 comments }

I recently splurged on the Tom Ford Shade and Illuminate Intensity One. Makeup products designed for contouring is never really an area where I like to splurge on, but as my obsession grows I have decided to try out some of the best products in the market. What drew me in with this product is that it is a duet of highlighter and shading cream.

Tom-Ford-Shade-Illuminate-Intensity-One-review

The packaging is exactly the same as their eye shadow quad. I have this in Intesntiy 01 which is a good match for my skin tone (NC15-20).

I generally prefer a fluid or cream based product for contouring over powder form. They blend into the skin seamlessly so it makes the result appear more natural (like your own shadow). In the old days I would normally use a darker foundation for contouring for a very subtle result. Compared to my old method, the contouring cream shade is much more pigmented and intense so it’s easier to use but I have to be very light-handed.  A little bit of the product goes a long way and the color applies and blends evenly without too much effort! This is what I love most about this product as many contouring products can look uneven, patchy and bruisey on the face.  The texture is also perfect- creamy enough to blend the product into skin seamlessly  but not so slippery so it allows for a precise application for sculpturing and defining the face.

The cream highlighting shade feels like a solid clear cream gloss. Compared to the contouring shade, this texture is much more emollient and is super sheer. It can feel a little tacky on the skin if too much product is applied.  On the face it gives this soft, translucent and wet-like glow that is often seen on the backstage models. It also makes the applied areas look more moist and dewy – dab this product on the apple of the cheeks makes you look instantly younger and fresher . On the downside, this cream highlighter only lasts for a mere of 1-2 hours if applied alone. If I apply another product over it, it defeats the purpose of using this for a natural and dewy glow. For that reason I would probably only use this highlighter for taking pictures as it photographs extremely well.

Tom-Ford-Shade-Illuminate-Intensity-One-swatchI bought mine at DavidJones for AUD$98. The Tom Ford Shade and Illuminate can be purchased here in the US, or here with international shipping and VAT deduction available. A contouring tutorial using this product can be found here.

{ 14 comments }

Accessory Report – Wrapped by Chan Luu

by Reika on December 13, 2012

Chan-Luu-Beaded-Wrap-Bracelets-tigers-eye-mixChan-Luu-Beaded-Wrap-Bracelets-tigers-eye-mix-modelling-pic

It’s summer in Sydney! And it’s all about sipping a glass of cocktail mocktail by the pool or on the beach. To complete my summer look, I bought the infamous Chan Luu Beaded Wrap Bracelets recently. This wrap bracelet is all hand crafted with semi-precious small stones on natural colored leather. It looked very understated and organic to me – nothing glamorous about it, but that’s exactly what I want. It goes well with any casual outfit, and adds a cool, relaxing and beachy spin to it. I’ve only got one so far, but as you all know – the more Chan Luu to stack up the merrier!

{ 2 comments }

Contouring Tutorial for Asians

by Reika on December 12, 2012

I find contouring is particularly challenging for everyday makeup. I have tried different ways of contouring my face over the years, and I have finally figured out a way that enhances my typical Asian bone structure. The reason I said that is because if you are an Asian like me – you would probably realize by now that there are a lot of makeup tricks that work on other races but do not work on Asians/Orientals. That’s because our bone structure, facial features and skin tone are completely different to that of Caucasians, so one solution does not fit all..

To make contouring work, you really need to study your face and this exercise is more important than the amount of tutorials you watch/read. I have made a few generalization of standard Asian features which might apply to some of you.

Cheekbones: Asians generally have a bigger, flatter and wider face (sad but true…) Contouring cheekbones is never a mainstream makeup application as the highest point of our cheekbones is already over the nose bridge. Hands up how many times you have given up a pair of sunnies because it is sitting on your cheekbones rather than on your nose bridge?! Whereas for the Caucasians it is the other way around. The placement of our cheekbone is slightly different too. They are normally more prominent (slightly protruding) on the side of the face (below the temple areas), whereas Caucasians’ cheekbones are more prominent to the front.

Jaw: The gold standard of Asian beauty is that we don’t want chiseled jaws. We want a v-shaped face!

Nose: Kindergarten knowledge! Asian noses are much flatter, lacking of a prominent nose bridge, with a rounder or wider nose tip.

So based on the above ‘general Asian features’, I have put together this contouring tutorial.

STEP 1:

Cheekbones: Apply the contouring product starting from the hollow of the cheekbones all the way up to the temples. More product is applied on the side of the cheekbone for a slimmer face effect.

Nose: Apply the contouring product starting from where your eyebrow begins to fake a v-shape for the nose bridge. Bring it all the way down to the bottom of the nose for a more refined nose tip. I also applied a bit of product along the nostrils for a slimmer nose effect.

Jaws: Apply the contouring product starting from the side of your chin up to the cheekbone. More product is applied to the side of the jaws.

contouring-tutorial-for-asians-frb-step1contouring-tutorial-for-asians-frb-step2

STEP 2:

Blend, blend and blend. I find that a good blending brush really makes a big difference to the result. Start light-handed, and do not apply too much contouring product in the first place. Start blending within a small area then blend the residual product outward – that way it gives a natural looking gradient of shading.

contouring-tutorial-for-asians-frb-step3

STEP 3:

How much to blend is really your personal perference. I wish my face was that small (see pic)! I just blend the contouring shade to cover the areas covered under my hands.

contouring-tutorial-for-asians-frb-step4

Final Result:

contouring-tutorial-for-asians-frb-step5Added cream blush to the apple of the cheeks

contouring-tutorial-for-asians-frb-step6BEFORE AND AFTER

Left: With foundation only – my face is looking flat without contouring and highlighting applied.

Right: Final look.

contouring-tutorial-for-asians-frb-step7

Products Used: Tom Ford Shade & Illuminate Intensity One, with Giorgio Armani Blender brush. Reviews coming soon!

 

 

{ 44 comments }

If you are looking for a perfect taupe eyeliner, look no further than the Lancome Le Crayon Kohl in 015 Jazzy Taupe from their Holiday 2012 Collection. I didn’t think I needed any more eyeliners after I got my hands on the THREE Flash Performance Eyeliners (reviewed here), but this one is just a must have for me!

lancome-Crayon-Kohl-015-Jazzy-Taupe

The packaging is just downright ugly for such a high end brand. It reminds me of those really cheap eyeliners you get at the drugstore – a plain pencil type with a gold cap. No sharpener, no sponge applicator, and it was glad wrapped without a proper case… But do not get discouraged by its cover, the texture of this pencil is near perfection based on my holy grail standard of THREE . It’s a kohl pencil eyeliner with a buttery texture. If you ever wonder how soft are the THREE Eyeliners, this one is about 90% close! It gives a shimmery satin finish without any glitter. It glides on my sensitive eyes easily without tugging the skin, and stays put all day. Best of all, it is the most perfect brown taupe and it complements my mostly neutral eye shadows perfectly. I probably need a back up of it as taupe eyeliners are just so hard to come by!

Swatch of Jazzy Taupe

lancome-Crayon-Kohl-015-Jazzy-Taupe-swatch

Compared to Urban Decay Underground, Chanel Rose Platine (reviewed here), and THREE 01

lancome-Crayon-Kohl-015-Jazzy-Taupe-urban-decay-underground-chanel-rose-platine-three-01-comparisonlancome-Crayon-Kohl-015-Jazzy-Taupe-urban-decay-underground-chanel-rose-platine-three-01-comparison-swatches

Le Crayon Kohl Jazzy Taupe is part of Lancome’s Holiday 2012 Collection in Australia (I believe in Europe as well..), but it is not in the Holiday Collection on the Lancome USA website. So I am a bit confused! Can any of you shed any light on this :-)

I bought this for AUD$45 at David Jones. You can also get this here or here from UK.

{ 6 comments }

I’m on FACEBOOK!

by Reika on December 1, 2012

Hi everyone, just a quick update about my blog. I am slowly getting myself (and my blog) into the social media so I am finally on FACEBOOK! I look forward to communicating with you all through this new channel. Highly appreciate if you could like my new facebook page if you like my blog :-)

frontrowbeauty_facebook_1

 

{ 2 comments }

Hi everyone, happy weekend! Today I have a rather unusual product to review – The Balenciaga Florabotanica Eau de Parfum Spray. I hardly review fragrances as I am really not that great describing scents, but I like this one very much so I thought I’ll share my two cents with you.

Balenciaga-Florabotanica-Eau-de-Parfum-Spray-review

“Balenciaga Florabotanica is inspired by the woman who is beautiful but dangerous like many rare botanical flowers. This new scent twists Turkish rose with hemp and vetiver roots for an addictive trail”.

A lot of floral fragrances can smell too sweet for me, but this one is very unique, complex yet feminine. I didn’t think it was my type of scent when I first sampled it, but it grew on me day to day. So I bought the 100ml (3.4oz) bottle in the end! I would describe the first note as a fresh floral scent with a hint of violet, leaf and mint. Once it dries down, the main note becomes a powdery woody scent (vetiver) – it’s clean, sexy and slightly floral. If my ordinary description does not tick your fancy, I urge you to give it a try at a shop if you get a chance. It is such a distinctive scent! It lasts about 8-10 hours on me with 4 and 5 sprays.

This Balenciaga makeup pouch was a gift with purchase

Balenciaga-Floralbotanica-Eau-de-Parfurm-Spray-review-makeup-pouchI bought mine at David Jones for AUD$155. You can also get this at Neiman Marcus in the US.

{ 4 comments }