I’ve been flat out with moving into my parent’s place for the next couple of months, so blogging can be a little challenging as I only brought the bare minimum things for myself and 5 car loads for my baby lol (as a typical mommy would do…) Anyhow today’s post is about my recent experience of IPL treatments. I have been asked by my readers about how I look after my skin so I thought I’d share my first laser treatment experience with you all which has done wonders to my skin.

To begin with, I’d like to set the record straight that this review is solely for sharing my experience with this popular laser treatment but it’s really not for encouragement. I have had freckles since I was a teen – partly genetics, partly due the harsh sun in Australia. I went through a long phase of  “I wanted to be tanned so I wouldn’t look like a typical fair Asian girl‘ and I had spent most of my weekends on the beach sun tanning or at a solarium during my teenage years. It was one crazy phase that I really regretted as I suffered from really bad sun burns and ended up with pigmentation problems.  The freckles never really bothered me (as I thought they looked quite cute) till I got pregnant and they became extremely dark, prominent and just looked terrible. Looking back some of the pictures that were taken during pregnancy, I was shocked and decided that I needed some proper treatments to get rid of these.

After a consultation with a dermatologist, I was recommended with 2-3 sessions of IPL treatments. The laser treatment itself was not as painful as I anticipated. It goes for about 15 minutes for the whole face and most of the time it felt like a rubber band snapping your face. There were some very uncomfortable moments, but they were very short lived and by the time you realized the pain it was already gone. After each treatment the face would appear quite red (like as if you had a sun burn) for hours, and it goes away by next day. It is absolutely normal to have the pigmentation appear even darker (like dark brown spots) during the first week of the treatment, and they will slowly fade away.

Results after each treatment

1st treatment: The outcome was amazing after the first treatment – it had removed about 60% of the pigmentation on my face, with the rest of the pigmentation looking more faded. After about a week, my face just looked much more clear and clean. I couldn’t be happier with the result. The downside was my skin felt extremely dry than usual during the first few weeks, and I was recommended to use biocellulose masks daily that are designed for hydrating and repairing post procedure skin. My recommendations are this one by Sarah Chapman, or this more affordable one by DHC.

2nd treatment: I went for the 2nd treatment after 8 weeks after the first one. It had removed another 20% of the pigmentation. The result wasn’t as impressive and noticeable as the first one, but it was expected as most clients benefit the most from the first treatment, and any subsequent treatments were more for maintenance purposes.

3rd treatment: Unfortunately there was no change after this compared to the 2nd one, so the money was wasted this time around… I was advised that this is the best result I would get from the IPL treatments, and I should stop from here. Some clients would still get some improvement from the laser depending on the skin condition, as for me I am still left with some pigmentation that was caused genetically so there is nothing the IPL can do.

Overall I am very pleased with the total outcome as it has cleared about 70% of the pigmentation, with the rest looking faded. Though my face is still not flawless as I would hope for, but the removal has made such a huge difference in how clear my complexion looks. I am happy with this drastic improvement with as little as 3 sessions (2 would do actually). In my opinion they are totally worth the money, time and effort spent. Here is a comparison picture of my FOTDs – one was taken during pregnancy, one was taken recently. Note that I wore the same coverage of foundation in both pictures.

frontrowbeauty-ipl-treatment-before-and-after

 

More facts

- I did not see any changes in pore sizes, fine lines/creases, skin firmness.

- The result of the treatment doesn’t last a lifetime. The removed pigmentation will eventually come back over the next 1 to 2 years, but they will still look better than how they originally were, provided if you take very good care with sun protection. To maintain the optimum result, I was also advised to come back for at least one treatment a year.

- I was also advised to always include a brightening skincare products in my skincare regime going forward. I should look for product that contains Hydroquinone 2% such as this one or this one, or the equivalent but more gentle such as this one by Clarins, and continuous use should further improve the appearance of the pigmentation.

- Each treatment costs about $310 in Sydney. This is quite a premium price for what I paid, and I believe you can find cheaper deals if you shop around.

Have you had any type of laser done? I would love to hear your experience!

 

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The new Chanel Rouge Allure Gloss Colour and Shine Lipgloss in One Click have been released in Australia recently. I picked up the color 13 Affriolant and 16 Extase. They are the latest lip gloss line from Chanel that wear like a lipstick with intense pigmentation and lacquered shine. I absolutely love Chanel lip glosses in general and the Rouge Allure Extrait de Gloss are my holy grail lip glosses (reviewed in this post), so I was eager to see how this new line performed.

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Let’s kick off the review with its ultra modern and unique packaging. Chanel packaging never ceases to impress me, and I greatly appreciate their packaging evolving throughout time for a modern take whilst maintaining a classic Chanel look. These new lipglosses are housed in a sleek black lacquered tubes, and to use the gloss you just click the base to push out the product itself which comes with a gold base. I think the design has a very interesting innovation to it and makes it convenient to use with just one click.

Chanel-Rouge-Allure-Gloss-Colour-and-Shine-Lipgloss-in-One-Click-review-swatch-3Chanel-Rouge-Allure-Gloss-Colour-and-Shine-Lipgloss-in-One-Click-review-swatch-4

The new Chanel Rouge Allure Colour and Shine Lip Gloss delivers the color of a lipstick and the lacquered shine of a lip gloss. The texture is smooth, rich and creamy as it adheres to the lips rather than being runny. The beveled double-sided, flocked applicator allows for ultra-precise definition. It has a lacquered cream shine that makes your lips fuller and more plumped. They are not sticky, but it doesn’t feel weightless on the lips which is my only gripe. Compared to my HG Rouge Allure Extrait de Gloss, this new line obviously has much better color payoff for a more intense and sophisticated glossy finish, and you never need to wear a lipstick underneath this gloss. Whereas the Extrait de Gloss is more sheer and luminous with a jelly-like gloss finish, they are more young and great for people who don’t like to wear too much color on the lips.

left – 13 Affriolant Right – 16 Extase

Chanel-Rouge-Allure-Gloss-Colour-and-Shine-Lipgloss-in-One-Click-review-swatch-213 Affriolant is a coral pink. When it comes to picking lip colors I tend to stay in my comfort zone and Affriolant is just the right color that I would reach for everyday so I get the most value out it!Chanel-Rouge-Allure-Gloss-Colour-and-Shine-Lipgloss-in-One-Click-13-Affriolan-review-swatch-1Chanel-Rouge-Allure-Gloss-Colour-and-Shine-Lipgloss-in-One-Click-13-Affriolan-review-swatch-216 Extase is a bright rosey pink that is neither too cool nor too warm. Again this is a fool proof color that would complement any makeup look and makes my complexion more brightened and alive.

Chanel-Rouge-Allure-Gloss-Colour-and-Shine-Lipgloss-in-One-Click-16-extase-review-swatch-1Chanel-Rouge-Allure-Gloss-Colour-and-Shine-Lipgloss-in-One-Click-16-extase-review-swatch-2Comparison swatch

Left to Right: Rouge Allure Extrait de Gloss 54 Liberte, 55 Confidence, 56 Imaginaire, Rouge Allure Gloss Colour and Shine 13 Affriolant, 16 Extase

Chanel-Rouge-Allure-Gloss-Colour-and-Shine-Lipgloss-in-One-Click-review-swatchThe new Chanel Rouge Allure Colour and Shine Lipgloss in One Click is  now available at Nordstrom and Harrods (international shipping available).

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Holiday season is just around the corner and I am starting to look for resort wear and travel friendly yet stylish shoes for my coming soon vacation. I had my eyes set on this pair of Stella McCartney Wedge Platform Loafers as soon as they were out, and little did I know they were completely sold out within days across major online stores for my size. I had to add my name on the wishlist for quite a while until they were restocked! They are uber chic luxe loafers with a mannish inspired look. Flatforms can feel chunky but this pair is very flexible as they are quite light and the heels are made of rubber. Perfect as ‘walking shoes’ and I can dress down or up with them.

stella-mccartney-wedge-platforms-binx-loafters-ootd-1stella-mccartney-wedge-platforms-binx-loafters-ootd-2stella-mccartney-wedge-platforms-binx-loafters-ootd-3Shoes – Stella McCartney (bought here, also love this version here)

Tote – Chanel

Jeans – Frame Denim (bought here, also available here)

 

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Today’s review is for the most beautiful eyeshadow palette that Tom Ford has ever released – The Nude Dip Eye Color Quad from the Fall 2014 collection, and the Contouring Cheek Color Duo Stroked. I don’t really go out of my way to buy things, as my motto has always been “if it’s meant to be mine it will be”. But I hunted frantically for this quad (see this post) as it’s simply too irresistible!

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As the name suggests, the colors of this quad are very neutral and nude in a very elegant and sophisticated way. The texture is buttery and extremely finely milled, so I prefer to use a dense eyeshadow brush to apply these shadows to get the maximum impact. All the shades are highly shimmery and that’s the beauty of this quad. Had this quad been in a normal matte to satin finish, then it would have certainly lost its glamourous appeal and made it too common. Since the colors are so soft and neutral, the high shimmer gives a glistening effect that just makes your eye makeup stand out more. Of course you can always tune it down by using a less dense brush.

Color Description

Top Left – beige champagne

Top Right – peachy-pink champagne

Bottom Left – cool taupe

Bottom Right – cool chocolate brown in satin finish

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Except for the dark brown shade, the rest of them are classic colors for a wash of color on the lid. I like to layer them to get a soft gradient look for more depth and dimension. When these colors are layered together, the combination pulls quite cool on me.

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On my cheeks is the Tom Ford Contouring Cheek Color Duo which is another must have from his Fall 2014 Collection. This palette is actually quite good value for money as you get both the highlighter and the blush for a much cheaper price than if you buy them individually from Tom Ford. The blush appears to be a saturated coral from the pan, and I was a little worried that it might pull too dark and brown on me. It actually transforms to a very fresh, bright yet soft coral when I applied it gently. The highlighter also deserves a thumbs up – it gives a translucent veil of glow on the cheekbones that works well with my skin tone, and it is just as good as the highlighter in the Filmstar palette by Charlotte Tilbury (reviewed here)!

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Close up

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Total look

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tom-ford-nude-dip-eye-color-quad-review-swatch-fotd-2Other products used:

Tom Ford Traceless Foundation

Tom Ford Translucent Finishing Powder (reviewed here)

Elegance Perfect Brow Powder (reviewed here)

Tom Ford Lip Color Twist of Fate (reviewed here)

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This fall Tom Ford has released a breathtaking makeup collection that once again was sold out within days of the launch. I picked up the Lip Color in Twist of Fate which is a lovely warm coral color with its matching Contouring Cheek Color Duo Stroked. I bought the Tom Ford’s fall collection online so I went for the coral theme as I just knew this color would work for my complexion without the need to see them in real life.  I haven’t purchased the other set which leans more plum but I will definitely check them out in person once they become available in Australia.

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Twist of Fate is a highly saturated and opaque coral color in satin finish. It has a moisturizing and non slippery texture that will hide the age/lines of your lips with a great lasting power up to 5-6 hours. It’s a beautiful and universal flattering color that is suitable to be worn all year around, but it’s not the most unique color and I am sure you will find close dupes of this if you search for it. So why the hype? Because it is by Tom Ford – the ultimate luxury beauty line that we can’t say NO to! I received emails and comments about ordering Tom Ford from Harvey Nichols through a delivery service, and it was interesting to see how many makeup devotees are willing to go that extra mile for owning them.  So if you still haven’t actioned and thinking to add a coral lipstick to your collection, this one should not be missed!

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Swatch of Twist of Fate – application was done by dabbing the color on using fingers as my preferred method to get a less opaque but more fresh and luminous finish. tom-ford-lip-color-twist-of-fate-swatch-review-fall-2014-collection-2tom-ford-lip-color-twist-of-fate-swatch-review-fall-2014-collection-3Bottom Line – Beautiful and lust-worthy! You can still find it at Neiman Marcus and Nordstrom in the US, or Harrods in the UK.

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What’s on my Wishlist

September 24, 2014

It’s been a busy week for me but I still have time to ‘window shop’ and put together my wishlist for this month!

1. Gucci Makeup!! – I am so excited about the new Gucci makeup line which is the talk of the town at the moment. The packaging speaks for glamour and luxury, and I sense that these following products will be mine very soon after browsing through the entire range over and over again.

- Gucci Lipstick Exposure and Hibiscus Thrill

- Gucci Color Shadow Mono

- Gucci Nail Lacquer

- Gucci Eyeshadow Quad Crystal Copper and Tuscan Storm

2. La Mer LE Illuminating Powder – The La Mer  loose powder is the best I have ever used (reviewed here) and it’s sad to see that it’s being discontinued. So thrilled to find this  limited edition illuminating powder set that makes me swoon.

3. La Mer Intensive Revitalizing Mask – If you have read my previous skincare posts, you would know that I am a big fan of La Mer. It’s a brand that you either hate, or you love and you will stick to their products for years and years, and I am the latter. I have seen visible and great results from their products, and I always wished for a more ‘affordable’ wash off type mask from La Mer. So my wish has been granted and I am definitely going to get this one! Also available in Australia now – here.

4. Cle de Peau Radiant Fluid foundation – Cle de Peau’s foundation is the crème de la crème for over a decade in the market. Very intrigued by their latest radiant foundation which sounds even better than the previous ones (reviewed here)! FYI Cle de Peau is currently offering a gift with purchase at Nordstrom.

5. Bottega Veneta Knot – Another amazing fragrance from this designer house! Been wearing the sample everyday and I am completely head over heels with the scent. If you love the Tom Ford’s Neroli Portofino you would love this one! Fresh, unique and sophisticated.

6. Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar On the Go – The latest Filmstar range is available on NAP now! I particularly love the color combination of this one.

7. Chloe Drew – Last but not least, a fashion item which is the IT bag at the moment that is spotted everywhere at fashion weeks.  I don’t normally crave for soft pink bags but somehow this bag just grows on me day by day. Such a delicate design with beautiful gold hardware that looks tres chic rather than overly cute. Sold out everywhere except here.

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I have been asked by several readers  if I had changed my eye brow routine since my last post. I would say the way I do my eyebrows are still the same but I have found my new holy grail set which is the Elegance Perfect Brow Powder Palette and the Chikuhodo GSN 12 Eyebrow brush.

The Elegance Perfect Brow Powder Palette has always been the best seller in Japan, and is constantly featured in their beauty magazines. What defines a good eyebrow powder is that the color complements your skin tone, good pigmentation and long lasting, and this product ticks all the boxes! I bought it in color GR40 which is a soft brown ashy color that goes really well with my cool skin-tone as well my as my colored hair (ashy blond balayage). It has a tinge of green undertone so it won’t look reddish brown on Asian (yellow) skin. The two shades on the left are for the eye brows, and I normally use the lighter shade for the start of the eye brow and the darker shade for the end of the eye brow, and that way it makes the brows look more natural and less flat. The shade on the right is for nose contouring which is perfection -  it is so subtle but easy to use to see the contouring effect.

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What I love about this product the most is that it is softly pigmented, which means it still applies and defines the eye brow with a tiny amount of the product needed but it will never make your brows look ‘drawn-on’. Lasting power is about 5-6 hours on me before it starts to fade, and that is very similar to my other eye brow products.

Swatch and you can see how they look on my brows in my recent FOTDs.

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The palette comes with 3 mini brushes which are all of high quality. I feel the shape and the quality of bristles are better than those brow brushes from the mainstream European brands.

Of course being a brush addict and snob, I always like to explore other better options, and the Chikuhodo GSN eye brow brush is my recent favorite. The bristles are firm but flexible, and it’s quite thick and dense so it makes the application a lot easier and quicker. Comparing this with my other HG eyebrow brush by Suqqu (reviewed here), they are very different. The Suqqu brush is much smaller, sharper and thinner, so it’s great for defining the brows precisely with brush strokes that mimics the real brow. Whereas the Chikuhodo is great for defining as well as smudging, so it gives a softer finish. In my opinion they are both really good brushes to own for different purposes as the Chikuhodo is more convenient for everyday use and the Suqqu is perfect for creating bold and strong eye brows.

Unfortunately I don’t know where to get the Elegance Eyebrow Palette online. With the Chikuhodo brushes, you can find them at Beautylish or Visage.

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LUXE BOHO

September 17, 2014

This fall I am really into fedora hats and basically any accessories that have fringe or tassel embellishments such as my shoes, so I put together this boho outfit mixing some of my favorite accessories this season with an Anna Sui crochet lace dress. I actually bought this dress as a formal wear last year for my son’s baptism, but that’s what makes me really enjoy fashion in that styling the same piece of clothing with different accessories such as bags and shoes can completely transform the look. Since it was such a sentimental dress for me, I got my boy (who is 13 months now!) to make a cameo in this post lol.

rag-and-bone-hat-toga-pulla-ankle-booties-karen-walker-superduper-ootd-1ag-and-bone-hat-toga-pulla-ankle-booties-karen-walker-superduper-ootd-2ag-and-bone-hat-toga-pulla-ankle-booties-karen-walker-superduper-ootd-3Hats – Rag and Bone (link here)

Shades – Karen Walker (link here)

Dress – Anna Sui (old, similar here by DVF, and here for under $130)

Bag – YSL (link here or here)

Shoes – Toga Pulla (link here)

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