Current Favorite Cleansers

October 12, 2017

Sharing some cleansers I have been using lately. As usual, I love to have a lot of products to choose from depending on my mood. There is a mix of Japanese skincare products in my routine now as I brought back a suitcase of them from my trip to Japan!

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Shiseido ELIXIR WHITE Purify Cleansing Gel Cream – I really love this fresh gel cleanser in a clean white pot. It is a makeup remover that reminds me of the cult favorite Eve Lom, and it is best to be used together with a muslin cloth. The difference is that it’s much cheaper with a very lightweight jelly-like consistency.  It applies like a creamy jelly – doesn’t feel balmy nor oily, but removes and dissolves the makeup including waterproof eye makeup thoroughly. It is ultra-gentle and feels very hydrating to the skin, and your complexion feels very clean, fresh and supple once it’s removed with a muslin cloth. Highly recommend it if you are after a non oil-based lightweight makeup remover but still does a good job.

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Sodashi Clay Cleanser with Lime – A luxury under-the-radar organic skincare brand. If you are into luxury spas, you will be quite familiar with ultimate heavenly Sodashi facials and treatments that are widely used in a lot of high-end hotels such as the Four Seasons Resorts around the world, and the Qualia resort in Australia. I couldn’t help but buy some products to try after having the Sodashi facial years ago. Since then I was hooked on the Clay Cleanser which I have repurchased over and over. It’s a luxurious, gentle cleanser with a milky clay texture. It cleans the face, helps to restore the moisture and balance, and the clay helps to calm and detoxify the skin. The amazing invigorating spa-like smell also instantly brightens up my mood when I use it in the morning. Totally love it.

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Kate Somerville Exfolikate Cleanser – Since I love their Exfoliating Treatment so much, I bought the cleanser version of it! It has a blend of AHA (glycolic acid and lactic acid) and enzymes that help to exfoliate and renew the skin mildly. It’s very gentle to my normal-dry skin, and doesn’t strip the moisture off. I love using it at night after removing my makeup. It has a creamy minty green clay texture that doesn’t lather much. Overall it brightens up my complexion after use and keeps the skin very clean and keeps the pores clear. Another big thumbs up from me!

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Kanebo SUISAI Beauty Clear Powder – These cute little tiny pots of powder cleanser is trending everywhere in Asia now. It’s very affordable and I love the packaging which is very convenient for traveling. One pot lasts for two uses for me depending on the condition of your skin. The powder is quite grainy, and it lathers up mildly and cleans the skin thoroughly with a mild exfoliation effect. It is gentle and non-drying to my dry and sensitive skin. It makes a great and affordable dupe for the cult Dermalogica daily microfoliant.

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Kose SEKKISEI White Powder Wash – I am going through a powder cleanser phase, so I also picked up this product to give it a try as well. This powder feels quite different to the Suisai Beauty Powder above, as it works like a typical Japanese foam cleanser that lathers up to an ultra-rich creamy foam, and deeply cleanses the skin with a squeaky clean feel. If you have combo to oily skin, you will like this one. I personally find it too strong for my dry skin during the cold days.

 

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So, I haven’t bought any Chanel eyeshadows for a very long time, until I saw the Les Beiges Healthy Glow Eyeshadow Palette (bought here) which was released more than a month ago in Australia. I picked it up before my holiday to Japan, and I finally started breaking into this beautiful palette. Along with the eyeshadow, I also picked up their latest Stylo Sourcils Waterproof Longwear Eyebrow Pencil (available here in Australia). Chanel’s eyebrow products are quite under the radar until you have personally used it. I got hooked onto Chanel’s brow products from a celeb recommendation, and their latest brow pencil is the best I have used so far (yep it’s officially my HG pencil)!!

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The Les Beiges eyeshadow inherits the highly popular Les Beiges packaging which I absolutely adore with 3 applicators and a large mirror. This palette has the same concept as the entire Les Beiges line – they represent a new simple and intuitive makeup approach with five harmonious neutral shades that are easy to wear for a variety of looks. There is nothing bold and dramatic about it, but it’s one of those fool-proof palettes that you will always reach out to on a daily basis and you will never look overdone with your eye makeup. I don’t wear heavy eye makeup so this palette is right up my alley, and both the finish and the effect reminded me of the iconic Lunasol Beige Beige.

The texture is buttery to the touch (even for the matte shades!) and they are easy to blend without being powdery.  One to 2 swipes with a fluffy eyeshadow brush gives the perfect color payoff. The powder applies without looking cakey.

Indoor lighting

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Natural lighting

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Shade Description:

Top: Semi-matte ivory color that serves as a great base color. It evens out the eyelid color and makes the eye makeup look fresh and clean.

Second Left: Medium taupe brown in satin finish

Second Right: Medium soft brown in satin finish

Bottom Left: Semi-matte charcoal

Bottom Right: Shimmer ivory

Swatch:

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I did a post about my favorite brow products a while back, and I definitely need to update my HG list because the Chanel Stylo Sourcils Longwear Eyebrow Pencil has made it to the top which I will repurchase over and over! Love the sleek and retractable twist-up pencil packaging (as opposed to the conventional pencil type), as it just feels very sturdy and expensive in the hand.

It has a medium to hard formula that glides on smoothly with just the right amount of pigments with a single stroke. I particularly love the slanted tapered tip that allows for an adjustable thin or thick line. You can draw a super thin and sharp line with this pencil which makes a big difference for defining the brow shape. The color is also near perfection – I picked up 808 Brun Clair which is medium brown ash tone without looking too red, warm and harsh.

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Swatch – one stroke in 808 Brun Clairchanel-stylo-sourcils-waterproof-longwear-eyebrow-pencil-brun-clair-808-review-swatch-3

 

 

 

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Always in Black & White

September 26, 2017

The long-awaited Shopbop Big Sale Event has begun again for 3 days only (offer ends on the 29th Sep). Use code EOTS17 for early access for discount up to 25% off on all orders! In this ootd, I am wearing the ALC Kyle Pants that I bought from Shopbop a while back and I am totally loving the style and fit. It has a slim fit with legs slightly cropped, and the high waist with the lace-up closure gives a corset effect for an hourglass silhouette. It’s super chic, unique, and goes with everything.

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Sunglasses – Victoria Beckham

Top – ALC  (also loving this similar style by Anna Sui that is on sale at Shopbop now)

Pants – ALC

Shoes – Valentino

Bag – Chanel Coco Handle in small

Lipstick – By Terry Velvet Rouge in Dream Bloom (reviewed here)

Shopbop Sales Event

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Tom Ford has released another epic collection of the Boy and Girls Lip ColorsThe Girls (limited edition). They come in 50 new shades housed in his iconic white and gold case in the clutch size. They are named after 50 women he admires, and the finish varies from sheer, metallic to ultra creamy rich. I picked up 4 gorgeous colors to share with you in this post – Marisa, Isla, Zoe and Grace, as I know many of you are after the swatches! I bought mine here in Australia, and they are also available here with worldwide shipping.

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As usual, I go for my usual  MLBB colors and they are just beyond beautiful! All of them are ultra-rich with a creamy consistency in full coverage and opaque colors. Marisa, Isla and Grace all have a high shine creamy finish, and Zoe has visible tiny specks of shimmer so it looks a tad more shimmery than the other colors when it is applied. Swatches below are done with 2 swipes only.

From left to right: Grace, Zoe, Isla, Marisa

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Marisa – Medium nude creamy MLBB dusty pink.

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Isla – Medium peachy coral

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Zoe – Medium warm MLBB muted coral with shimmer

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Marisa – Warm rosy pink coral

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Group Swatch:

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The matte and ultra long-wearing foundation is certainly making a comeback this year. There are a lot of brands releasing a new version, and the cult favorite Lancôme Teint Idole UltraWear 24H Foundation (available here in Australia) is my favorite. It has been their signature foundation for over a decade – it was actually my first bottle of high-end foundation! To mark the 20 years of the product, Lancôme has revamped their iconic foundation with a newer and better formulation in a wide range of shades. I have been wearing it every day throughout the chilled winter days in Sydney as well as the scorching summer with high humidity in Japan, and the formula is near flawless for me in both extreme seasons!

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Texture and Finish

It has a fluid creamy texture that blends into your skin seamlessly. Surprisingly as an ultra long wear foundation, the formula feels very lightweight on the skin and your skin still feels breathable. It looks very natural (not cakey and powdery), and it gives a semi-matte finish with a hint of glow that just looks like your own fresh skin. No powder is needed if you have normal to dry skin, and your complexion stays fresh-looking for at least 10 hours without creasing and fading!

Formula

The formula is suitable all year round for my normal to dry skin type. It has the right balance of consistency that wears comfortably on my skin without feeling dry nor greasy. In winter, the foundation applies smoothly without looking patchy and enhancing any dryness/fine lines. If I want to boost up the radiance or hydration, I normally add a layer of hydrating primer underneath. In summer, this foundation wears even better and looks better over time with no oxidation! Unless you have ultra dry skin, the formula of this foundation is friendly for most skin types and weather conditions!

Coverage

The coverage is medium and buildable to high – it blurs out imperfections, evens out skin tones, and covers the pores naturally.

Lasting power

It stays put the whole day with amazing oil control power when I am in Australia. I decided to bring it with me on holiday to Japan which could be a true test as the weather there was hot and humid. To my pleasant surprise, the foundation surpassed my expectations. I was mostly outdoor sweating under the sun, and the humidity level there was 100%. I wore this foundation with powder on top, and my makeup held up nicely for more than 12 hours with minimum oil come through. I did not have to worry about touch-up at all!

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Shade

I am shade 02 Lys Rose (pink base) and it matches me perfectly.

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Shade comparison

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The Lancôme foundation is available at Nordstrom at 15% off currently. For all the US readers, Nordstrom is currently offering great beauty deals with lots of GWP and samples.

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Japan Holiday Part 2 – OOTDs

September 18, 2017

Rounding up on some of my favorite city-escape holiday looks in Japan. hermes-birkin-25--30-35-etain-black-noir-togo-modelling-ootd-pic-1

Look 1 – Top Veronica Maine / Jeans MOTHER (super in love with this frayed and flair style) / Bag Hermes Birkin 25

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Look 2 – Tee Converse Tokyo (similar here by Camilla & Marc for under $100) / Pants Neon Hart / Sunnies Victoria Beckham (HG aviator!)

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Look 3 – Hat Maison Michel / Sunnies Victoria Beckham / Top AJE (similar here for under $100) /

Denim Skirt Topshop / Shoes Acne Studios (similar here at 50% off) /Bag Hermes Birkin Etain 35

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August is always the holiday month for my family as we have two birthday celebrations (me and my boy!) and there is nothing better than having the celebrations overseas! This year we spent two weeks in Japan, and we had such a great time if you follow me on Instagram. The trip is mainly for city hopping with lots of shopping and eating around. We stayed at 3 different hotels during the trip – Peninsula Tokyo, Conrad Osaka and Park Hyatt. Out of the 3 hotels my top favorite was The Peninsula Tokyo for its perfect location and the impeccable service.

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For the first leg of the trip where we would be spending 7 nights in Tokyo, I wanted to stay at Ginza because it is my favorite area for shopping and restaurants. If you have kids, you should not miss the Toy Park Ginza which is a 5 storey toy paradise! I was debating between Four Seasons (which is my all time favorite hotel chain), and the Peninsula Tokyo and both of them are located at Ginza. I chose the latter because the location seems to be better and I also wanted to experience the iconic peninsula experience in comparison to my beloved ‘four seasons’ service.

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Peninsula is known for their luxury transportation for the guests (surcharges apply)

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We arrived at Tokyo on a very wet day with a severe thunderstorm and pouring rain.  We had a chauffer picked us up from the airport (extra charge) and on arrival at the hotel, there were lots of doormen working in the rain to make sure we stayed dry with lots of umbrellas covering us which was impressive. The entire check-in was quick and smooth and the host introduced us to the room. Being a top luxury hotel, I love the fact that Peninsula is also known as a child-friendly and family-oriented hotel.  I just love the extra touch they added to the room for my child which included a complimentary toy pack, children’s snacks and milk, children’s robe, slippers, skincare and even a diaper disposal bin!

for the kids

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The room itself is very roomy and is much bigger than a standard Tokyo hotel room with a view of Ginza streets. The most amazing part of the room is the massive walk-in-closet. It almost feels like a second room with lots of racks and storage spaces, huge full-length mirrors, and a big vanity table with a built-in nail dryer!  The bathroom is also very roomy with double vanities, a separate bath tub and a shower room. In addition, their bath towels are the best I have used (yep I am an Egyptian cotton towel snob).

Our Room – Grand Premier Twin Room

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The hotel serves breakfasts at 2 different restaurants. You can have the à la carte at the lobby restaurant which I highly recommend. There are a lot of choices include western, japanese, and chinese sets on the à la carte menu, and every dish is well prepared and presented. I was surprised that I was not bored of their breakfasts after 7 days. The children’s menu is also full of options and well edited.  The hotel also serves breakfast buffet at their basement café. I found it to be average as the choices were limited, and the service was not fast enough if it runs at full occupancy.

À La Carte

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Buffet

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The hotel has an outdoor cafe with a cute coffee van which is my favorite coffee stop.

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Every afternoon you can meet with the iconic Peninsula Teddy Bear! In the evening, you can have dinner or just drinks in their lobby restaurant while enjoying the live jazz band. They also have a bar at the top floor with amazing views but I have not been.

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Every hotel staff is impeccably dressed. Being a fashion lover, I love seeing their beautiful hostesses dressed in the classic full-white uniforms, and it makes you feel special when you enter the hotel with a lady-in-uniform turning the revolving door for you.

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My favorite has to be the complimentary bicycles that the hotel offers! You can hire them for a day just to pedal around Ginza!

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Swimming pool

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Location

It is located on the quiet end of Ginza which is perfect for me. It takes 5 minutes to walk to the busy shopping streets, and 2 minutes’ walk to the royal palace.  It is also located above a train station, so it’s super convenient to catch a train.

Overall Rating:

Interior 4.5/5

Comfort 5/5

Child Friendliness 5/5

Facilities 5/5

Service 5/5

Food 4.5/5

Location 5/5

Total score 5/5!!

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Sharing my thoughts on some of the best oils for face, body and hair that I have used so far – the Dior Prestige Replenishing Oil Serum, OUAI Hair Oil and the Omorovicza Firming Body Oil. All of them are ultra-luxurious aesthetically and the formulas are to-die-for with the most incredible scent. I have been using these 3 oils religiously every night, and they are my minimalist approach to taking care of my skin and hair in less than a minute instead of using 10 different products. They are effective, and I love how they make me feel pampered and relaxed. The amazing smell of each oil helps me to unwind from a stressful and chaotic day so I am very addicted to them.

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Dior Prestige L’Huile Souveraine Oil Serum – I have a detailed review here. It is amazing for rescuing the driest skin along with the best anti-aging benefits. My skin appears moisturized, plumped and radiant day after day. It is pricey, but all you need is one/two drops per application. I’ve been using it every day for 3 months now and I am not even half way through. Best of all, this oil is derived from premium French roses, so it will literally make you feel like you are in a fresh rose garden.

OUAI Hair Oil -I bought this oil (from here) after hearing lots of great reviews. It has a very lovely musky jasmine smell to it, and the oil is lightweight and instantly absorbs into the hair. It nourishes the dry ends and smooths out the frizz without feeling greasy and heavy, and keeps the hair looking and feeling healthy. My HD recommended me to apply a drop of oil to the hair before bed, and I’ve been following her advice which seems to make a difference to the condition of my hair in the morning. My hair feels smooth and soft, and less tangled so it takes less time to style in the morning.

Omorovicza Firming Body Oil -I had an incredible body massage at a spa recently with this oil. I loved it so much I had to get one for myself (bought here) at home! It is a luxurious body oil serum with a blend of aromatic essential oils that targets at skin firming and toning. I love the smell as it instantly reminds me of a tranquil spa. Apart from using it all over the body for moisturizing, I particularly love applying it on the neck, shoulder, and décolletage every night. The heavenly aroma helps me to relax and gives me a good sleep. The oil has rosemary and chamomile that are anti-inflammatory and helps to relieve muscle tension. I was advised to apply this oil (as I have a stiff neck and shoulder) immediately after a hot shower which will help to soften the muscle and any tight knots!

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