May 2013

I haven’t physically been to any shops for a while..and when I finally decided to give myself a ‘workout’ today, guess what I found?! The beautiful Chanel Le Vernis Taboo 583 that has just been released in Australia, along with six new reformulated Levres Brilliant Extreme Glossimer which I also bought the shade Rose Sauvage 172. Taboo looked stunning in Chanel’s promo as well as in real life. It’s a typical edgy vampy shade with complex shimmer that Chanel is known for. I am not wearing much nail polish lately but this one is definitely worthy of purchase.

chanel-le-vernis-taboo-glossimer-172-rose-sauvageSwatches of 2 coats of Taboo -it’s a dark eggplant shade with a mixture of red and magenta iridescence. Texture is superbly smooth and opaque.

chanel-le-vernis-taboo-583-swatchWith the new Glossimers, I picked up the shade Rose Sauvage 172 which is what the model wears in the promo picture. It’s a soft rosy pink shade with tons of pink and silver micro-shimmer. I always have a soft spot for Glossimer because they all look lovely with that irresistible iridescence shining through the tubes, but sometimes they can look very similar on the lips. The new range has been slightly reformulated so the pigmentation is richer (you can actually see the color rather than going on super sheer), and it feels noticeably smoother and lighter on the lips. The result – beautifully plumped juicy lips with a tinge of pale rose undertone in a watery shine finish. Love it!

chanel-Levres-Brilliant-Extreme-glossimer0172-rose-sauvage-swatchesA FOTD (selfie taken with my iPhone) wearing Taboo and Rose Sauvage. It’s not the best quality picture but you get an idea of what they look like..

chanel-le-vernis-taboo-glossimer-172-rose-sauvage-fotd-swatchesI bought Chanel Le Vernis Taboo for AUD$39 and Rose Sauvage Glossimer for AUD$46 in Australia. They are available here and here in the US.

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In the word of my favorite style icon Victoria Beckham “A good pair of shades complete any outfit”. I too, have a weakness for a pair of stylish shades and have collected many over the years. The Celine Audrey remains my all time favorite style which pretty much suits all face shapes. Found these old OOTD which were taken before I got preggo..oh I miss my old body!! Can’t wait to get back to shape.

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Shades: Celine Audrey (similar here by Karen Walker)

Bracelets: Chan Luu (bought here)

Dress: Zara

Belt: Topshop

Boots: Alexander Wang

Deal Alert: It’s time to snatch up as a new round of sales has started on Shopbop! I bought shoes again 😛

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Multiples

May 22, 2013

You know you can’t live without these products when you have multiple backups of them.

From left to right:

1. Shu Uemura Precision Volume Mascara Waterproof – suggested by my readers and they are absolutely amazing!! It does everything I want for my lashes (review to come soon).

2. Ysl Touché Eclat – an oldie but a goodie. I mix both shade 1 and 2 for everyday use. It doesn’t provide much coverage but it brightens up the skin without making it look cakey. The formulation is great for most skin types unless you have very dry under eye areas, then you need a good moisturizing eye cream underneath and it helps the product to set beautifully.

3. Suqqu Cheek Blush Brush– crème de la crème of brushes, reviewed here.

4. Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray – reviewed here

 

 

 

 

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After my success with the Suqqu Cream Foundation, I have been exploring the beauty of cream foundations of different brands and I am absolutely loving the result! So naturally I started looking for a brush that is designed especially for cream foundation application, and the Tom Ford Cream Foundation Brush was on top of my wish list. Tom Ford makeup brushes have won a lot of raves amongst the bloggers, and I have waited a long time before delving into this hype as I knew I would be addicted to them. And I was right – the brush is ultra luxurious and functional which makes me want to collect the rest of the collection, but they will seriously burn a hole in your wallet!

tom-ford-cream-foundation-brush-review-1The design has a round and fat brush head, and it is extremely densely packed. The hair is ultra soft which feels to me like the finest goat hair so it has some degree of resistance in it. Perhaps that is why they recommend this brush for cream foundation as it has more ‘strength’ to blend thicker and creamier product into your skin than a conventional flat head foundation brush. Having said that, I have tried this brush with a runny liquid foundation, and it works just as good. So please note that it is not restricted to cream products only.

Why should you get it?

The brush feels unlike any other foundation brushes I have used. It feels ‘cushiony’, meaning I can barely feel there is any hair against my skin – it almost feels like I am applying foundation with a piece of marshmallow on a handle!  It’s soft, bouncy and dense. and it gives a completely streak free result. I don’t have problem working around the corners with this brush, but you might need a small brush for more precision work.

Other similar brushes:

Tom Ford brushes are made in Japan. As you all know, the Japanese excel in making brushes, and here are some relatively cheaper Japanese brushes that are comparable to TF:

Shu Uemura Natural 18 Goat Brush: It retails for around the same price in Australia so I opted for TF. The hairs are equally soft but less dense.

RMK Foundation Brush: RMK is also known for this brush which I have yet to try, but I have heard good reviews about it.

Chikuhoko GS10 Foundation Brush

Bottom Line: I probably won’t suggest this brush as your first foundation brush because of the high price tag. But if you are looking into expanding your collection, this is the one to invest. It brings a totally different experience in foundation application.  I know it’s expensive, but good brushes will last you for a very long time.  I bought mine from David Jones for AUD$108, and you can get this brush here in the US.

On a side note, I have been asked by many of my readers where do I store my brushes. I store my favourite (expensive) brushes in a roller as I like to keep them dust free, and lie them flat so the bristles don’t change it shape over time! For my other brushes I normally place them in my Anna Sui brush holders and leave them on my vanity table for easy access.

Tip: If you are after a brush roller, make sure it is made of non-stick fabric such as canvas, cotton or nylon. Though leather or faux leather look better, they tend to get sticky in hot weather and might scratch the paint/writing off the handles.

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A good hair day

May 17, 2013

Love my hair today – I finally found a tool that gives me effortless loose beachy waves that I can do within 10 minutes! Diva Big Waves Waver/Curler (bought here), I am still playing with it so will report back soon on what I think of it! Happy weekend everyone.

diva-big-waves-hair-curler-review

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I can never have too many ankle booties as I literally wear them all year round with everything. Bought these a few weeks ago and I haven’t taken them off since. The Rag and Bone Newbury is such a timeless style to have, and in my opinion every girl needs at least one pair in their closet. If you already do, then this new style adds a fashion twist to the classic as perforated leather is everywhere this season, and they also make booties much more wearable during the hot weather. Love love!

rag-and-bone-classic-newbury-booties-perforated-panel-tan-picture-2rag-and-bone-classic-newbury-booties-perforated-panel-tan-picture-1

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As with most cult beauty products, there are always two comparable products between high-end and a more accessible drug store brand from the same company. Lancome’s Genifique Youth Activating Concentrate has reached the cult status across the world ever since it was released , and it has now become the world’s best selling serum and most sought after serum in the beauty market. In the wave of its popularity, L’Oreal has released a drug store version of it named Youth Code PreEssence.

lancome-genifique-youth-activating-concentrate-vs-loreal-youth-code-pre-essencelancome-genifique-youth-activating-concentrate

Let’s talk about the original Lancome Genifique first. The product shown in the picture is a travel exclusive of 100ml edition of it, and I always restock them whenever I get a chance. Judging by its jumbo size, it clearly shows how much I love this product! It has been a staple base serum in my skincare routine for years. Apart from its anti aging and rejuvenating benefits, the main function of this serum is that it boosts the benefits of other products that are applied after. So I always combine this with another more powerful serum that targets at specific areas, as it helps the second product penetrate into deeper layers of skin for better absorption, then finish with a moisturizer. These three-steps never fail on me, and the result is almost immediate. I wake up with a noticeably more supple, energized and radiant complexion the next day. Most importantly I have noticed the texture of my complexion appears more refined, even and translucent day by day. I wouldn’t say it helps to shrink the pores (actually nothing does), but as it makes the skin more moisturized and plumped it definitely helps to reduce the appearance of pores.

At the moment, I am combining Genifique with the following serums in rotation depending on my skin condition.

1. Ultraceuticals Ultra Brightening Serum for brightening purpose.

2. Lancome Visionnaire for an overall anti-aging, poreless complexion. Possibly my all-time favorite combination.

3. Ultraceuticals Ultra B Hydrating Serum if my skin feels desert dry, and it helps my makeup to glide on like a dream.

4. Ipsa ME Serum for tightening and lifting purpose. If my face appears puffy, this is an instant overnight fix!

skincare_serumsWith the L’Oreal Youth Code, in terms of texture it is very similar to the Lancome Genifique. Both of them have a very fluid and lightweight texture with a mild floral scent, and they absorb into the skin immediately. It also feels the same when just applied, and the skin appears softer and hydrated immediately after use. The instant absorption allows you to prep the skin with more potent products straight after. I have finished the entire bottle of Youth Code, and combined with exactly the same products I would use with Genifique. The result is relatively great for an affordable drugstore serum as it keeps my skin moisturized and supple, however I have not noticed a great improvement in my skin’s texture and clarity compared to the result of using Genifique.

lancome-genifique-youth-activating-concentrate-vs-loreal-youth-code-pre-essence-1Genifique Ingredient List:

lancome-genifique-ingredient-listBottom Line: Both are great as a base serum. L’Oreal Youth Code is more suitable for younger women with a lesser anti-aging concern. Lancome’s Genifique is a great all-purpose serum on its own for all skin types, and you can achieve an even better result if it’s combined with other products.  I personally cannot live without Genifique so I highly recommend this product to any women over the age of 25.

Lancome Genifique in 5ml, 30ml and 50ml are available here with international shipping.

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The summer 2013 makeup collection has started rolling out across major department stores in Australia. I really wanted to check out the products in person so I made an effort to go to the store and waddled along each counter. After a major debating of “Do I really need this blue/green color”, I only got one product in the end which is the beautiful and wearable Diorskin Nude Tan Paradise Duo 002 Coral Glow from its Summer 2013 collection. I probably will pass on the rest of the Dior and Chanel collections as the color theme of this year is not so appealing to me though they are beautiful to look at.

Diorskin-Nude-Tan-Paradise-Duo-002-Coral-Glow-summer-2013-collectionThe Dior Paradise Duo Coral Glow is a stunner as well as it makes a very practical bronzer/blush duo for everyday use. There are 2 colors to choose from and I picked the coral color (instead of pink) as I always love the healthy look of a hint of bronzer with coral cheeks for a sun-kissed look. It comes with an uber cute mini kabuki brush which is very soft and fluffy for its size. The texture is absolutely superb – buttery soft and richly pigmented. Compared to the blush duo from Dior’s Spring Cherie Bow Collection, I much prefer this one as the texture is softer and smoother. I liked the Cherie Bow blush initially (when it was brand new), but I found there was a change in the texture after it was opened for some time, and now it has become chalky and dry which was disappointing! Anyhow, the quality of this is fantastic and I believe it will stay good for a very long time.

Diorskin-Nude-Tan-Paradise-Duo-002-Coral-Glow-swatch-1

The color of the bronzing powder is very wearable for my NC15-20 skin tone. It doesn’t look completely matte in the pan, but when it is applied it blends into my skin naturally without making me look too tanned or orange. It can be used either as a contour product if applied sheer, or as a bronzer for a touch of sun-kissed look. The color of the blush is pink coral with a hint of watermelon undertone. I absolutely adore this color, as it instantly adds a pop of fresh and summery color with a youthful glow to the face. I have been reaching for it everyday and it lasts on me the whole day.

Diorskin-Nude-Tan-Paradise-Duo-002-Coral-Glow-swatch-2Left and right mixed

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ON ME: Applied the bronzing powder underneath the cheekbones, as well as along the jaw lines. And applied the blush slightly above the apple of the cheeks.

Diorskin-Nude-Tan-Paradise-Duo-002-Coral-Glow-swatch-fotd-1Diorskin-Nude-Tan-Paradise-Duo-002-Coral-Glow-swatch-fotd-2Diorskin-Nude-Tan-Paradise-Duo-002-Coral-Glow-swatch-fotd-3

Bottom Line: One of the must have blush/bronzer product to have amongst all the summer 2013 collections! I bought the Dior Paradise Duo for $82 in Australia. It is available on here or here in the US, or on Harrods with international shipping available with 20% off VAT deductions at the checkout.

 

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