I have received many compliments on how good my skin looks lately which I cannot agree more (excuse me for not being humble lol..)! One of the reasons must be the Sunday Riley Good Genes Treatment. As the name suggests, this serum will help transform your skin into good skin as if you are genetically gifted!  This product was definitely not on my radar, until I accidentally ran into two people who told me they were all using this serum and they all had really beautiful skin. So I purchased this one straight away, along with a face roller which is also reviewed in this post.

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The Sunday Riley Treatment has a milky gel texture that feels very lightweight and absorbs into your skin immediately. Unfortunately the smell of this product is horrible (it stinks!) and it tends to linger on your skin for a short while, but I don’t really mind the natural smell of a skincare product as opposed to overly fragrant products. Like many other serums on the market, the product claims to have multiple benefits on your skin such as “radically re-plumps fine lines; creates youthful radiance and texture, and brightens“. I never believe such “miracle products” that sound too good to be true, but this product definitely proved me wrong as it delivers what it claims. Since it’s not a hydrating serum (but might be enough for those of you who have oily skin), I pair it with a rich night cream. The result is a more visibly plumped, smooth and radiant complexion overnight. I have been using this serum for about 2 months now (every morning and night), and my skin is as smooth as a baby’s bottom now, with noticeably refined texture and pore sizes. And best of all, my skin is brightened and the freckles appear to be faded. Overall I highly recommend this serum. I would say this is by far the best serum within the $100 range I have ever used. I have dry and sensitive skin, so sometimes there is a very mild sting when applying which is normal.

The ingredient list

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Another favorite product of mine is the Derma Skin Roller in 0.25 mm – it’s very affordable and effective. A derma roller has very fine needles so it feels slightly prickly when you roll it over the face (but trust me it’s not painful as I have quite a low pain tolerance). What it does is that it’s tricking your skin to believe that it’s been ‘injured’ so it helps to accelerate and stimulate your skin’s natural renewal and regeneration process, as well as boosts absorption of skincare products. If you are young, forget about this tool. At my sad old age where my skin takes months to heal an acne scar, this tool is a god-send. I use this tool about three times a week after I apply the serum. I roll it over my face multiple times, particularly paying more attention to the acne marks. Over time, my skin remains looking good consistently as the regeneration is improved, whereas it used to be good and bad. The acne marks are fading at a much quicker pace, and the overall texture is improved in conjunction with the help of the Sunday Riley Treatment.  I am also using this tool combined with the Kate Somerville Scar Dimishing Serum on the scars on my leg, and I am also seeing quite a great result! This tool also claims to improve firmness of the skin but I did not see this result.

I purchased my Sunday Riley Good Genes Treatment from NAP which ships worldwide, and it’s also available at Sephora in the US. My derma roller is from a Korean brand which I bought off Ebay. The most well-known brand is this one available at AdoreBeauty.

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I have been hauling a lot of Japanese makeup lately as there are not that many western makeup brands of interest to me. My recent additions are the Jill Stuart Ribbon Couture Eye Shadow Palettes 02 Floret Tulle and 03 Vintage Satin from the 2015 Spring Collection. I could not take my eyes off these beautiful pretty neutral quads the first time I saw them, so I bought them immediately when they became available.

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The design of these new eye shadow palettes are different to their old ones. It has 5 eye shadows, housed in a new case design that will melt any young girl’s heart. I am way over the cuteness phase, but for some reason Jill Stuart can still conjure up my long-gone inner girly side.

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The texture of these are very similar to the typical premium Japanese eye shadow – as they all boast a distinct marshmallow texture (velvety, soft and cushiony to touch) that are not common in western brands . All shades have fine shimmer in them but they feel ultra smooth and silky to apply without any fallout.  The texture is very finely milled, and the pigmentation is quite rich with a translucent finish as I only need one swipe for the color to be shown on my eyes without looking overly heavy and opaque.

The colors of both palettes are of typical universally flattering neutral shades that I cannot resist to, as they work tremendously well for enhancing Asian eyes. Though they look very shimmery from the pan, the four main colors apply to a semi satin finish, with the middle shade appearing more shimmery and slightly sparkly which is great for using at the inner corner.

Left 03 Vintage Satin Right 02 Floret Tulle

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02 Floret Tulle was my first purchase. The color reminds me of my all time favorite palette – Chanel Spice. I just love such combination of colors that gives a soft and pretty neutral look.

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Color Description:

Top Left – Vanilla satin finish

Top Right – Soft coral pink satin finish

Bottom Right – Dark brown with silver shimmer semi satin finish

Bottom Left – Light bronze pearl (slightly more shimmery)

Middle – Champagne beige (slightly more sparkly)

Swatch

jill-stuart-spring-2015-makeup-collection-ribbon-couture-eyeshadow-a02-floret-tulle-review-swatch-2jill-stuart-spring-2015-makeup-collection-ribbon-couture-eyeshadow-a02-floret-tulle-review-swatch-203 Vintage satin is more sophisticated and beigey. I don’t think anyone would go wrong with this palette. If you love the cult favorite Lunasol beige beige, you would love this one.

jill-stuar-ribbon-couture-eyeshadow-03-vintage-satin-review-swatchColor Description:

Top Left – Ivory satin finish

Top Right – Fawn satin finish

Bottom Right – Dark chocolate brown with charcoal undertone semi-satin finish

Bottom Left – Peach champagne shimmer

Middle – Icy vanilla metallic

Swatch

jill-stuar-ribbon-couture-eyeshadow-03-vintage-satin-review-swatch-1jill-stuar-ribbon-couture-eyeshadow-03-vintage-satin-review-swatch-2Bottom Line: Absolutely love them! Despite Jill Stuart’s overly sweet packaging (if you are not a fan) these two eye shadows are worth every penny for their quality as well as its wear-ability. They are available online here, (use coupon code 2015FIRST for 10% off), and please note that the product 02 Floret Tulle is linked to the wrong picture on that site. More information can be found on Jill Stuart’s Beauty Website.

http://www.amazon.com/Lunasol-Shadow-Skin-Modeling-Beige/dp/B008N6992S

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Finally got some time to update my blog after a busy week. Today’s review is for the YSL Le Teint Touche Eclat Compact Illuminating Powder Foundation SPF35+++ (Asia exclusive) which I can’t stop gushing about! It was the talk of town when it was launched last year in Asia, but I was just not that into it back then. Recently I was on the hunt for the best compact powder foundation, so I went a little overboard and bought everything on my wishlist and The YSL happened to be the most affordable as well as my favorite so far!

Packaging:

The YSL Le Teint Compact Powder Foundation is housed in the signature YSL gold mirrored case that’s quite prone to finger prints. The sponge that comes with the products feels a little cheap. I bought mine at David Jones (so glad that it’s available in Australia!). The case and the actual product are sold separately.

Texture and Coverage:

The compact powder is extremely finely milled so it gives a  silky and creamy touch to it. On my dry skin, it applies seamlessly and flawlessly so does not look powdery at all. If this is applied by a powder blush, then it sets as natural as a good loose powder but offers much better coverage. I normally apply this on top of a sheer foundation with a brush, and it covers up the rest of the small imperfections such as pores and redness that your normal foundation does not cover.  Otherwise if it is applied by a sponge, it gives more of an airbrushed foundation-like finish with a build-able coverage.

The Glow

Compared to the traditional compact powder foundations, this one gives the most beautiful illuminating glow but also helps to mattify the skin so it doesn’t make your complexion look flat and cakey. I love using this one on top of a sheer layer of the YSL Touche Eclat Foundation (reviewed here), and together they make my skin look like I have a beauty dish light shining on my face! Overall I would describe the finish as a creamy satin finish with a beautiful glow (not dewy) when it’s freshly applied.

Why do I love it?

The best thing about this product is that it does not oxidize, and makes your complexion look even better over time. I find my complexion appears miraculously brighter and more luminous after a few hours of wear when the oil starts to come through, giving it a more natural and slightly dewy look that I absolutely adore for my dry skin.

Color

I bought the color B10 which matches me perfectly. It’s impossible to swatch powder and hopefully my picture will give you an idea of how B10 matches my skintone (NC15).

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Bottom Line: Perfection and definitely enhanced the performance of the Touche Eclat liquid foundation! I bought mine at David Jones, and unfortunately this one is not available in the US and Europe.

 

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November Favorites

November 30, 2014

Just in time to post my favorite products for the month of November!

frontrowbeauty-november-favorite-products-1Clockwise:

- Diptyque Mimosa Candle – I love the smell of Mimosa, and when this fresh and enchanting scent is packed into a candle by the magic hands of Diptyque it’s a must have for me! I have used this one for the home all year round.

- YSL Le Tient Touche Eclat Illuminating Powder Foundation (Asia exclusive, also available in Australia) – Currently obsessed with this one. I can’t stop looking at my complexion when I dust this one on top of the foundation – it makes skin look incredibly radiant and air-brushed but so natural with a decent coverage.

- YSL Touche Eclat  Foundation -  I thought the performance of this foundation was on the average side for me (reviewed here), however when it’s used in conjunction with the Touche Eclat Powder I am more than amazed! It is currently 20% off at YSLBeauty Online.

- Gucci Cat Eye Sunglasses (Take up to 25% off use code GOBIG)- Love the subtle cat eye shape and it is extremely lightweight so I can wear this for the whole day without leaving marks along my nose bridge!

- TATCHA Deep Hydrating Lifting Mask – A luxurious paper mask that guarantees to make your skin appear more plumped and glowy.

- Becca Beach Tint Shimmer Souffle – Reviewed here.

- BEATS Mixr White – I cannot workout without music. So I rely on my BEATS Headphone to help me get through the sessions as I am hitting the gym more often now to get myself in shape before the holiday starts!

- Ipsa Premier Line Cleansing Creamy Paste – A gentle creamy and refreshing cleanser that I use in the morning. The texture reminds me of Neutrogena’s Deep Clean Cream Cleanser, but 100 times more luxurious overall.

- Bobbi Brown Smokey Nudes Eye Shadow Palette – My workhorse lately (reviewed here).

- Nars Audacious Lipsticks – I reviewed Natalie here, and went back and bought the shade Grace as I just love this new formulation. They are currently 20% off at NarsCosmeticsOnline.

 

 

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BEAUTY

Nars – 20% off site-wide through Monday. My picks are the luscious Audacious Lipsticks!

Shu Uemura - 25% off site-wide use code SHUJOY. My pick is the LightBulb foundation range.

Harrods – 10% site-wide including all Beauty and Fashion items, plus VAT deductions at checkout for international order outside Europe. I just stocked up this and this, and FYI that Harrods is now carrying SUQQU!

SAKS – Receive a $25 Giftcard when you spend $100 on Beauty or Fragrance using code BEAUTY14.

Nordstrom – Choose from 75+ Gifts with Purchase.

IMMOMOKO – Up to 20% off site-wide (click on the link for more info). My favorite shop for stocking up Japanese and Korean beauty products.

TATCHA – 20% off site-wide use code FF2014.

Giorgio Armani Beauty – 20% off any order with $75 or more with free shipping.

YSL Beauty – 20% off any order with $75 or more with free shipping.

 

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FASHION

ASOS – 20% off everything use code FRIDAY2014.

J.Crew - 30 percent off your order use code HOLIDAY.

Net-a-Porter - Up to 50% off the entire site.

Piperlime – 25% off site-wide use code IHEARTNYC.

SSENSE – Up to 50% off fall/winter designer items.

FORWARD – Up to 50% off fall/winter designer items.

Shopbop - 15 percent off orders of $250+, 20 percent off orders of $500+, 25 percent off orders of $1,000+ through Monday.

The OutnetGlobal free shipping

Whistles – 30% off everything through Nov. 30.

Madewell – 25% off site-wide with code GIFTON through Nov. 30.

Equipment – 25% off site-wide use code THANKS.

Joie – 25%off site-wide use code THANKS.

Theory - 40% off site-wide use code, and spend $500 get $100.

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This month my favorite eye shadow palette has to be my new Bobbi Brown Smokey Nudes Eye Shadow Palette. As a neutral eye shadow addict, I could not resist the color palette of this one – with many wearable soft neutral shades and a few smokey shades in a variety of finishes that I will make so much use out of. Bobbi Brown tends to release eye shadow palettes in either warm tones, or cold tones, but this palette leans perfectly neutral which is a rare find so I decided to add this one to my collection.

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The Bobbi Brown’s signature two tier design of this palette is also another attraction for me. I just love the fact that there are 8 reasonable sized eye shadows housed in such a sleek and compact case. The texture of each shadow is also on par with their single eyeshadow, as they are very smooth and apply effortlessly without any fall out including the sparkly shades. This palette contains three different types of eye shadows – the matte, the metallic, and the sparkly, so I get to show my playful creativity as I really enjoy mixing and matching these shades for different day and night looks .

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Shade description – all the shades included in this palette are exclusive and are not available in their permanent collection. I absolutely love Bobbi Brown’s Metallic single eye shadows for their amazing shimmer factor and high intensity, but the color choices are very limited. So I am very pleased to find out that this palette contains 2 metallic shades that are in the most gorgeous neutral colors.

Top Tier (clockwise)

- Cream (matte):  A creamy ivory shade that is almost the same color as my skin. An essential color to be included in a palette for serving it as base color purpose.

- Naked (matte):  A warm nude with a hint of mauve undertone, and leans slightly warm on my skin.

- Woodrose (matte):  A medium ash brown and is perfect for contouring.

-  Silver Brown (sparkle):  A sparkly grey brown with a hint of silvery purple tinge to it. Adds a glamour touch to the eye makeup for a soft smokey look.

Bottom Tier (clockwise)

- Watercolor pink (sparkle):  A sparkly pale pink

- Nude Beach (metallic):  A cool shimmery sandy beige, and is one of the most beautiful shades in this palette.

- Smoked (matte):  A rich brown black in matte

- Smokey Brown (metallic):  A true taupe with a metallic sheen. I wish they have this in the single form so I will buy a dozen of them lol.

Top Tier

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Bottom Tierbobbi-browns-smokey-nudes-eye-palette-review-swatch-5

bobbi-browns-smokey-nudes-eye-palette-review-swatch-7bobbi-browns-smokey-nudes-eye-palette-review-swatch-8Bottom Line: Must have! And it also makes a perfect gift for your girlfriends. I bought the Bobbi Brown Smokey Nudes Eye Shadow Palette here in Australia, and apparently it is all sold out at Bobbi Brown Online. In the US it is available at Nordstrom and SAKS with the following two great deals!

Nordstrom is running a major Gift With Purchase event for beauty products along with their Black Friday Sales

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Saks is offering a $25 Giftcard when you spend $100 on Beauty or Fragrance using code BEAUTY14.

 

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Shopbop’s amazing Black Friday Sales has officially begun using code GOBIG14 (see offers below)! I am a little peeved that a lot of clothes I saved in my wishlist have just been sold out within a blink of the eye. Anyhow besides fashion, I think it is a perfect opportunity to start shopping gifts for this holiday. It amazes me how many wonderful and stylish gifts are available on Shopbop which I never used to pay attention to, so I put together a gift guide with price starting from $15.  I want everything, particularly all the fashion books for my coffee table, and this ultimate jewelry box.

holiday-gift-guide-1

FASHION BOOKS

- Living With Style by Rachel ZoeParis Street Style (love this one!);  Chanel Book

ART & ILLUSTRATION

- The Oliver Gal Artist Co Canvas Print (want!);  – Garance Dore Collection 2015 Calendar

FASHION ACCESSORIES

- Furla Cosmetic Case Set (great value set); Sophie Hulme Box BagMichael Kors Watch

JEWELRY BOX AND HOLDER

- Ring HolderEddie Borgo Jewelry Box;   Monogram Jewelry Box

HOMEWARES & STATIONERY (clockwise)

- Kate Space mini notebookGarance Dore Greeting Card SetJonathan Adler Phone DockMore Please Help Yourself Serving SetAccent CoastersJonathan Adler Vase (as seen on Fashion Police);  RABLABS SpreadersMirror TrayRABLABS  Candlestick Holder;

More Details on the BlackFriday Offer

 

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Calling it “I hate clogged pores with passion” is an understatment. Though this problem has become much better as I age (one perk about getting old!) as well as knowing what skincare products work for me, unfortunately every now and then my skin still ‘flares up’ with blackheads on my nose, and some congested pores on my cheeks and forehead due to stress, lack of sleep, and PMS. If that happens, I always reach for my “special skincare kit” that guarantees to clear them up within several days. These four hero products give the most effective result without irritating my sensitive skin, and are also great for prevention. They are the best ones I have used so far, so I must share!

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1. Clarisonic Facial Cleansing System – I have a very detailed review here. This cleansing brush tool is great for prevention and minimizing the occurrence of clogged pores. On average I use it 3 days a week as I don’t like to over exfoliate my skin.

2. Kate Somerville Intensive Exfoliating Treatment – This is the best exfoliator for congested skin. It’s a very strong and robust product  for clearing up mild cases of congested pores and smoothing skin out completely. I apply a very thin layer over the ‘rough areas’ and leave it on for a few minutes. It clears up and clarifies the congested pores by at least 50% after each use.  Since it is a very intensive treatment I wouldn’t use this as my weekly exfoliator, but this is my absolute top pick for treating blackheads/whiteheads on occasions. If you have very sensitive skin you might want to start with the Gentle Exfoliating Treatment first. For daily use I recommend TATCHA Rice Enzyme Powder for purifying the pores gently.

3. Shiseido Revital Retino Science AA Lotion – I bought this product because it has a small percentage of retinol which we all know is a dermatologist approved ingredient for treating enlarged pores. I don’t have much luck with retinol cream but I feel comfortable to use this gentle lotion frequently for hydrating and improving skin texture. This product is a treatment lotion that you use after cleansing, and followed up by other products. The texture is like runny gel and feels very hydrating on the skin which also helps to fight the aging signs.

4. Chanel Le Weekend Renewing Face Care – Chanel released a 3-step simplified skincare product this year. I have used all of them and decided to only repurchase this one. This product is marketed to be used on weekends only as it helps to resurface and renew the skin. I like this product because it contains glycolic acid complex (not sure the percentage but it’s the 4th ingredient) which is another star ingredient for treating congested pores, and it feels gentle enough for my skin. The texture is like a milky serum and it can be used to replace your usual serum and moisturizer. Using this one for 2 days in conjunction with the Shiseido retinol lotion definitely helps to noticeably unclog the pores, and gets you as close as possible to a poreless complexion.  Note that they are not recommended to be used daily, as you don’t want your skin to be too dependent on these strong ingredients especially if you are still young.

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