Beauty

The long awaited Sephora 20% off everything for gold and black members is starting tomorrow! I used to be super envious of the Sephora sales overseas, and it is good to see that we Aus beauty lovers are getting an equivalent shopping advantage! Sharing my wishlist as well as my recommendations.

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1.  ZOEVA – Really like this affordable brand. My recommendation is the Zeova Nude Eye Spectrum Eye Shadow Palette (reviewed here), and their lovely brush set.

2. Anastasia Beverly Hills – World’s most wanted eyeshadow palette – the Modern Renaissance Palette is restocked on Sephora and is on sale! Reviewed here.

3. Kat Von D – Been eyeing the Kat Von D Lock-il Powder Foundation and the Concealer Cream for a while so will be getting them during the sale! The pigmentation and coverage are amazing in this range with a broad color range, and texture is buttery and silky smooth to the touch.

4. OUAI – Loving this new hair care range. My favorite products include the Repair line and the hair oil.

5. 3CE – If I could only get one product from 3CE, it would be the Under Eye Flash. The quality of them is on par with the high-end brands ie Chanel eye stylo, and there is a lovely range of colors to choose from for lining the under eyes. My favorite colors are the peachy bronzey colors including 01 Romanticism and 04 Brown Sugar. The Liquid Lip Color also offers a range of pretty colors that would look flattering on most complexions.

6. SK-II  – The Genoptics Aura Essence is one of the best brightening and hydrating serums I have used. Reviewed here.

7. Benefit Cosmetics – Two must have products for me include the Benefit Hoola Lite Bronzer for contouring (just the perfect matte shade for contouring for a natural effect) and the Goof Proof Eyebrow Pencil that is super easy to use and stay put the whole day (reviewed here).

8. Clinique – It’s not just a foundation, the Chubby Stick also makes a great contouring product that takes no skill to apply on the go! My foundation shade is NC15-20, and I go for the shade Bountiful Beige in this range to create the most natural result that mimics the real shadow effect. It is much easier to use than a pro-contouring product, so if you are a novice in this field, I highly recommend to give this a try!

 

 

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I went on a lip serum quest ever since my favourite YSL Eye and Lip Serum had been discontinued, and I finally found one that works just as good – the Verso Lip Serum with Retinol 8.  The only downfall is that it is not cheap for a lip product, but it is hard to go back to the traditional lip balms after having used the serum. If you have splurged on the luxury lip balms such as La Mer or Cle Dea Peau, the verso works 100 times better for the same price!

The difference between a lip balm and a lip serum is that former works as a thick film that just sits on top of the lips to protect them from chapping. Lip serum is much more lightweight yet more intensive and nourishes the lips from within. With the Verso, you only need to apply it once a day (preferably before bedtime), and it keeps your lips soft, smooth and moist for the whole day. I have not seen any chapped skin and dry lines on my lips since I started using the serum, and best of all, the result is long lasting so there is no lip balm retouch required during the day! It also helps the lipsticks in dryer formula glide on more smoothly.

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The Verso contains their signature retinol which is a powerful anti-aging ingredient. The active ingredient is supposed to fight the aging appearance of your lips, by making them appear more plumped and reducing the lines. My lips are not in a bad condition yet, so I can’t really attest that. The Lip serum comes in a user-friendly applicator, and the formula is lightweight and has a nice luxurious balmy consistency on the lips. A tiny amount (as seen in my swatch)  is enough and you will notice a change overnight.

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Ingredients

-Hylaronic Acid
-Retinol 8
-Turmeric
-Crambe Seed Oil

Theobroma Cacao Seed Butter, Bis-Diglyceryl Polyacyladipate-2, Butyrospermum Parkii Butter, Glyceryl Rosinate, Hydrogenated Polyisobutene, Canola Oil, Crambe Abyssinica Seed Oil Phytosterol Esters, Olea Europaea Oil Unsaponifiables, C12-16 Alcohols, Hydrogenated Lecithin, Palmitic Acid, Isohexadecane, Water, Ethylene/Propylene/Styrene Copolymer, Butylene/Ethylene/Styrene Copolymer, Sodium Hyaluronate, Xanthan Gum, Phenoxyethanol, Tripeptide-1, Pseudoalteromonas Ferment Extract, Salicylic Acid, Citric Acid, Sodium Salicylate, Cera Alba, Retinyl Retinoate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Curcuma Longa Root Extract, Tocopherol, Beta-Sitosterol, Squalene, Glycine Soja Oil, Aroma, Limonene, Eucalyptus Globulus Leaf Oil.

 

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Loving Right Now

May 17, 2017

Just a round up on what I am loving recently.

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  1. Cle De Peau Silky Cream Foundation (previously named teint naturel fluide cream foundation) – One of the staples I have had for many years, and it’s one of the most classic foundations of Cle De Peau which has been around for a long time under different packaging and names! I am up to my last backup and due for a repurchase (reviewed here). It’s just a classic Cle De Peau foundation that stands the test of time – gives a beautiful semi-matte finish with a great coverage whilst still looks natural. The texture is phenomenal and only a small dab is enough for the whole face and it blends effortlessly with just the fingers. Highly recommend if you are after an all year-round foundation and want to dip your toe into the luxury beauty world of premium Japanese beauty Cle De Peau.

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2. Verso Lip Serum – It offers more than a lip balm. This is an anti-aging lip serum that only needs to be used once before bedtime. I was a little shocked at the price of it but it beat any lip balms that I had used for nourishing my dry lips and restoring the youthful appearance as it is formulated with their signature retinol ingredient for anti-aging and plumping. Full review to come soon.

3. Dior Forever Cushion Foundation – Can’t stop gushing about this cushion foundation – reviewed here. If I want a no-makeup makeup look, I opt for this one.

4. Benefit Hoola Lite Matte Bronzer – Contouring products are over saturated in the market, but I am still having difficulty finding a product with the right shade that is neither orange nor too dark for my complexion. The newest Hoola Lite powder is perfection for mimicking a real shadow effect. One of the best contouring powders I have came across, and I need a backup!

5. Byredo Candle – You probably would have seen this in many instagram pictures lately. This month I am loving the Breydo which is my favorite alongside Diptyque – they offer a wide range of fragrances in candles that are very unique. Love their minimalist design and the quality is on par with Diptyque. I bought mine here with worldwide shipping.

6. Suqqu Eyelash Curler – Back to loving this eyelash curler. I didn’t understand the rave about it when I first got my hands on it, but the more I’ve used it the more I love it for curling my deadly stubbornly straight Asian lashes. Reviewed here.

7. Aesop Rejuvenate Intensive Body Balm – A super luxurious and nourishing body cream for my dry skin in winter. It has a signature Aesop aroma scent and it lingers on the skin for a long time! Love it. Also available in smaller size.

8. Dior Addict Lacquer Stick – I am always spoilt with many choices of lip colors. This month I am loving the new Dior lacquer sticks (reviewed here). I wear lazy during the day most of the time, and love Party Red which is a super flattering red when I am in the mood for color!

9. 3CE Liquid Lip Color – I have previously talked about this Korean Brand and they have a huge range of makeup at an affordable price point, albeit the quality is a bit hit and miss. I bought many shades on StyleNanda, as I just can’t resist these beautiful colors that are right on point yet very wearable for my complexion. Some shades have a lovely full coverage consistency, and some shades are quite watery. They are also available at Sephora Australia.

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Peel is a game changer for my skin which had suffered from congestion since the teenage years. Prior to my “greatest discovery”, my skin tended to have blocked pores (aka black/whiteheads) on my nose, chin, and the cheeks. I had tried a gazillion pore clearing, clarifying and refining lotions and creams and none of them have completely solved the problem (albeit I have seen a mild improvement that makes the skin texture appear smoother). I had even stopped putting anything on my face (including makeup) for several weeks and apart from ‘feeling extremely insecure’ it didn’t help much either. My dermatologist told me to cut out dairy from my diet as it could contribute to the excessive oil production, and unfortunately, that did not work out either.

If you have the same skin problem as me, then I highly recommend you to give peels a go! To have your skin completely renewed and pores refined drastically, a medi-salon peel is the best option. I get one once or twice a year combined with micro-needling and the result is beyond phenomenal as it clears up and shrinks every single pore. There are a few days of downtime required as your face will look ‘badly sunburnt’.  To keep up the amazing poreless baby-like skin, I have incorporated a home peel to my skincare regime. The Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Peel is my favorite so far as it’s strong so it works. They have 3 levels of strength – extra strength, original (normal) and extra gentle. Since my skin is used to having strong treatments,  the extra strength does a good job for me without any irritation. If you are new to the world of peel, then perhaps start with either gentle or original.

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Another reason I love using the 2 -steps peel is the convenience as there is no rinse off required. It comes in 2 bottles, and there are 30 pre-saturated cotton pads in each bottle. Dr. Dennis recommends to use them every day. As for me, I use it 3 to 4 times a week and it is good enough for me to maintain the clear skin. If I didn’t have a salon peel, I would use this every day for a better result.

The peel does not dry out the skin and there is no irritation or redness after each use. Immediately you notice your skin is more smooth and makeup glides on beautifully. Over a period – when all the dead skin cells are ‘shed off’ and new cells have renewed, I can see that my skin appears more smooth, clear and refined, and it also helps the skin to absorb other skincare products better. The clarity is improved, and it brings back a natural glow to the complexion. Best of all, the pores have become decongested and more clear.

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How to Use:

I apply them at night. The pads are very ‘wet’ so it is enough for application to the whole face, neck, and décolletage.

Step 1 of the peel is for deep exfoliation and refining. It has higher concentrations of alpha and beta hydroxyl acids (than the original version) plus the additional of mandelic acid and willowbark extract, acids.

Step 2 immediately nourishes this newly revealed layer of skin with soothing, anti-aging ingredients. The formula more powerfully battles fine lines and wrinkles, large pores and uneven skin texture—but still without irritation.

The peel comes in different sizes. I bought them in the size 30 application, and it also comes in a mini size of 5 applications which is very affordable and allows you to experience the product without hurting your budget. I bought mine here with free worldwide shipping.

Ingredients

Glycolic Acid, Lactic Acid, Malic Acid,Citric Acid, Mandelic Acid, Salicylic Acid, Willow Bark Extract, Genistein, Chamomile, Green Tea Extract, Retinol, Phospholipids, Vitamins A, C, E, Yarrow Extract, Ubiquinone (CO-Q10), Resveratrol.

 

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PS: So excited to finally have my Shop My Instagram Page launched on the site (as you can see in the menu bar). As I am updating my instagram with pictures of what I buy, love and wear on a more frequent basis, you can now find all the details and product links on the page!

Back to the topic of the day, I had been eyeing on this super popular  Anastasia Beverly Hills Modern Renaissance Eye Shadow Palette (aka the world’s most wanted palette!) which had been sold out for a very long time – yep I was one of those girls who stopped by the counter and drooled over the buttery texture and the gorgeous color combination with the tester on display. I am so glad that it finally came back in stock so I snatched one up at lightning speed! It took me a while to dip my fingers into the beautiful eye shadows. They completely lived up to my expectations as they apply flawlessly and every single shade is flattering and easy to wear for every day.

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The palette is housed in a plush dusty pink velvet case, and retails for AUD$75/USD$42 (available here in Australia but it’s not in stock yet) which comes in 14 shades. I personally think it is very reasonably priced as it equates to only $5 per eye shadow for such high quality! The color theme of the palette is wearable all year round, as there is a good balance between the warm and cool tones shades. What I love about this palette is that it offers an abundant choice of the most flattering neutral colors from ivory, light brown to taupes in different finishes varying from matte to shimmer.  The pop of a few berry shades makes it more interesting and gives the palette an edge. Unlike the blues and greens, I always find that a touch of plummy red mixed with other neutral colors really compliments my brown eyes and skin tone.

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All of the eye shadows feel buttery soft and silky smooth to apply without any fallout, and they all have good pigmentation and blend nicely even for the matte shades.

Closer look at the colors

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Shade Description

  • Tempera: velvety beige with an ultra-matte finish.
  • Golden Ochre: earthy yellow with an ultra-matte finish.
  • Vermeer: iridescent shell with a metallic finish.
  • Buon Fresco: antique lavender with an ultra-matte finish:
  • Antique Bronze: metallic sable with a satin finish.
  • Love Letter: raspberry with an ultra-matte finish.
  • Cyprus Umber: dark coffee with an ultra-matte finish.
  • Raw Sienna: neutral amber with an ultra-matte finish.
  • Burnt Orange: deep orange with an ultra-matte finish.
  • Primavera: shimmery gold with an ultra-matte finish.
  • Red Ochre: sienna with an ultra-matte finish.
  • Venetian Red: crimson with an ultra-matte finish.
  • Warm Taupe: earthy gray with an ultra-matte finish.
  • Realgar: brick with an ultra-matte finish.

I break the swatches into 2 parts. Part 1 features the 6 eye shadow colors on the left, and part 2 features the 8 colors on the right. All of the colors are swatched with 1 swipe only!

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The Anastasia Beverly Hills Modern Renaissance Eye Shadow Palette is currently available here and here with free worldwide shipping. Get it fast before it’s gone again!

 

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It’s been a while since my last update, and every day I was blaming myself for not posting a review for the lovely Dior Addict Lacquer Stick (currently 10% off on Nordstrom!) which I have acquired a while back. It was one of the most exciting lip color collections that I had anticipated, and being a beauty fanatic I was sitting in front of my pc and placed an order as soon as the collection was available online several weeks back (some colors sold out fast at some shops overseas!). I picked the colors LAZY, TURN ME DIOR and PARTY RED which is my favorite. I bought them here in Australia.

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The design of the lacquer stick is the best I have seen from Dior so far. The black and purple tinted glossy tube makes it very high end and modern. The gel formula seems to be the new trend now. The Dior Lacquer has the comfort of a hydrating lip balm, and the intensity of a highly pigmented lipstick, and mirror shine of a lip gloss. Basically, this is the best of all-in-one lipstick you can have. It feels very silky smooth on application, and it gives a nice hydrating slip feel to the lips but feels much smoother and more lightweight than applying a lip balm. The color seems to meld into your lips and gives a lacquered glossy finish that makes your lips appear more youthful and plump.

One swipe gives a full coverage for all 3 colors I own. Lasting power varies on the color. For the highly saturated colors I can get up to 6 hours of wear, and for soft and nude color such as Lazy it is about 3-4 hours of wear.

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577 LAZY is muted mauve pink. The color is quite close to YLBB, with a more dominant mauve undertone.

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744 Party Red is my favorite color! It’s a vibrant orange red which is the type of red that looks the best on me! It looks young and makes a great gradient lip look.

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877 Turn Me Dior is the color they are promoting with for this range. Jennifer Lawrence wore this color for the ad, so did the Asian Makeup Maven Pony. It’s a bright red color with a raspberry pink undertone that looks more glamorous. As for me I like to dab just a tiny bit of this color to the center of my lips then blend for an everyday look.

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Group Swatch – All colors are applied with one coat only. It gives a full coverage and conceals all the dry lines beautifully.

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Bottom Line: Perfection! The formula is hydrating, ultra-weightless and very easy to apply on the go. The Dior Lacquer Sticks are available at Nordstrom with 10% off, or Neiman Marcus who are running a beauty event GWP at the moment. They are also available here with worldwide shipping.

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The latest Dior Diorskin Forever Perfect Cushion Foundation (bought here in Australia) is everything I could ask for in the most beautiful natural-looking finish that still gives coverage in a cushion. I have an impressive collection of cushion foundations of Korean and European brands, and prior to this, my favorite was the Dior Dreamskin (reviewed here). It was nearly flawless except for the sheer coverage, and this one is a step up that delivers a similar poreless finish with a decent coverage. In addition, the formula is exceptionally long lasting for a cushion foundation.

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The formula is designed for all skin types – it is neither too creamy nor too watery and dewy. It has the perfect balance of being lightweight that feels hydrating and still pigmented for a medium coverage. It completely blends in as a second-skin finish. The finish is amazing – pretty much on par with the Dreamskin. It covers all the pores and makes the texture appear dramatically refined, blurring out the imperfections, and freshening up the complexion in a semi-matte luminous finish that just like yours but much better. The formula stays put the whole day (about 7-8 hours without setting powder required) in an indoor environment. Unlike the creamier formula, this one does not crease nor melt over time, and it also works well with your existing makeup for touching up throughout the day.

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My shade is 012 Porcelain (FYI I am NC15-20) with a hint of pink undertone that matches me perfectly. If you have fair skin but warm tone, I suggest going for 020.

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Swatch with 3 stamps

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Compared to the Dior Dreamskin 010 with 1 swipe each – as you can see the Forever formula is much more pigmented for a higher coverage

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Bottom Line: Must have for me! The best cushion foundation I have come across. It takes less than a minute to achieve the most natural looking flawless finish as you would with a normal foundation and tools which might take you 5 minutes. Highly recommend! I bought mine here in Australia. Unfortunately, the Forever Cushion is currently not available in the US, but you can find it here and here with worldwide shipping.

 

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Today I have a super amazing product that I’d like to share – the Charlotte Tilbury Dry sheet Face Mask. I have had a fair share in face masks but this dry mask is like nothing I have tried before! Yes the entire paper mask is dry and is full of vitamins and peptides that deeply hydrates and lift the skin. The most amazing factor is that you can re-use it for up to 3 times.

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Each paper mask retails for $22 (AUD$35).  At first, I thought it is quite overpriced for a single mask, and it came to a surprise to me that it can be re-used 3 times based on the instructions, which makes the ‘cost per use’ quite reasonable for a high-end skincare product. The active ingredients include vitamins, floral extracts, peptides, oils and butters.

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The sheet mask (which is completely dry) is made of plush velvety fabric. It is soft, stretchable and thicker than the traditional paper masks. The design of the mask is phenomenal – designed in a way to lift your entire face and chin. It comes with 4 hooks, to be hooked behind your ears. The size of the mask is quite small, and I believe it is intentional as you need to stretch then lift the mask up while placing the hooks behind the ears, so your face is completely vacuum wrapped and lifted. Immediately you feel the skin is tightened (imagine having the corset on the waist) when you have the mask on.

Here is the picture I found on Charlotte Tilbury site

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On me!

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Result

Since it’s a dry mask, you don’t feel your skin is being ‘water replenished’ during the application. Other than feeling the warmth and the lift, I actually had doubt whether the mask was doing anything while I had the mask on. After the mask is removed (15 to 20 minutes), the skin has been ‘miraculously’ moisturized and nourished. There is a glow on the face, the skin feels emollient and supple with a thin coat of the product from the mask. Puffiness is reduced, and the face shape appears slimmer and lifted for a youthful v-shape contour temporarily.

Bottom Line

A miracle and easy to use mask as it does not feel wet with liquid dripping and messing up the hair. It gives an instant lift and a boost of moisture and radiance. Perfect for prepping your skin before makeup for any important events. It is most suitable for ageing and dry skin, or anyone who needs a quick skin fix. If you have combo to oily but dehydrated skin, I think a traditional wet mask would work better for hydration only. One single sheet retails for USD$22 ($AUD35), or a box of four for $88 (AUD$126) for a better value.

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