Here is a quick review of the APOT.CARE OPTILASH Lash Enhancing Serum this weekend! I have never reviewed any eyelash growth products on this blog, but I have actually used many different brands in the past. So before I dive into the review for this brand, I thought I’d give a quick rundown on what I have used in the past and how effective they were. Most of the eyelash growth products I’ve used give improved results to some extent, but the most important factor to consider is how “safe” it is to your eyes as there were some effective products pulled from the market due to controversial ingredients.

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In terms of results, I was the most impressed with RevitaLash Eyelash Conditioner (available here in Australia). It is very effective and truly makes your lashes much thicker and longer after 2 weeks. This is the product that gives me the best results, as it probably increases the volume and length by 50%. However it always starts to agitate my sensitive eyes (they become more dry, gritty and itchy) after 2-3 weeks. I have to stop using it for a week for my eyes to ‘heal’, and then instead of applying it everyday I can only use it for few days a week to maintain the result. At this pace one tube can last me almost 6 months.

RapidLash Enhancing Serum – Not a bad product for half the price of RevitaLash! I can see my lashes grow longer and thicker after 2-3 weeks, but the result is not astonishing – I would say this product gives 30% of improvement. It also irritates my eyes the same way as with RevitaLash.

Latisse – The most famous eye lash growth serum. I have tried very hard to get hold of this product in Australia. The result was as good as with RevitalLash, however the irritation to my eyes was so bad to a point that I had to visit an eye doctor for prescription eyedrops! It’s not a product that I will touch again.

The reason I wanted to give a full review for the OPTILASH is because this is the only effective serum that I have used with absolutely no irritation to my eyes! The formula has been ophthalmologist and dermatologist tested, and I am glad that it truly worked for me without any side effects! It works the same as any other lash serums – just apply along the upper lash lash once a day, and don’t worry about the lower lash line as the product will get to it when you blink your eyes. I started to see my lashes became thicker after about a week into using it, and the optimum result is seen after 3 weeks as my lashes are about 40% thicker, fuller and longer than. As the brand promised, this is a very gentle yet effective formula. It doesn’t sting if it gets into my eyes, and I have been using it for more than a month now with no discomfort experienced. The other bonus is that the price tag is much more friendly.

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Other information about Optilash

- Made in France

- Optilash is prostaglandin-free, prostaglandin derivative-free, hormone derivative free.

- Optilash enhancing serum formula is suitable for sensitive eyes, and can be used even with contact lenses.

- Optilash can be used by pregnant women

With all the products above, I did not experience darkening of the skin around my eyes.

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Makeup News!

May 16, 2016

Here is another round of exciting makeup launches happening in Australia.

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1. First of all, the highly anticipated Tom Ford Soleil Color Summer 2016 Collection was finally launched in Australia at David Jones yesterday. No surprise that some of the popular items were sold-out within the first hour again in the store, including the Soleil Contouring Compact and Sheer Color Duo, the good news is that they are still available online! If you already know what to get from the collection then I highly suggest  ordering them online, as the Tom Ford counter in the Sydney shop is just getting way too crowded lately.

2. The stunning YSL Le Cushion Foundation is also in the store now! I didn’t think Australia would receive this product, so I already had my friend purchase it for me from overseas. Absolutely loving it, and the packaging is just to-die-for. (review coming soon this week).

3. If you love Cushion foundation, another brand worth checking out is the Shu Uemura Blanc Chroma Cushion Foundation. I am besotted with their foundation and the super cute cushion blushes, (yes another review to come soon!). In short their coverage is the best of all the cushion foundations I have used (as good as a medium coverage foundation), while it looks very luminous and dewy on the skin.

4. Last but not least, really pleased to find out that Sephora AU now carries Edward Bess! My favorite from the line is their luxury eye brush!  Also the latest Kat Von D liquid lipsticks are not to be missed if you like the current trend of matte lips.

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If you are not the most enthuastic korean beauty fan, you will probably be confused of what brand and products to get as they all look and sound the same, and some can be a little gimmicky (at least to me!). One brand that guarantees premium quality and a luxury user experience would be the top rated Sulwhasoo. I haven’t tried that many products from the brand, but so far everything I have used has blown me away, including the Perfecting Cushion Foundation (reviewed here – the best cushion foundation in the market!), the ultra nourishing Gingseng Renewing Cream for the driest skin (packed with high concentration of ginseng), and my latest additions were the  First Care Activating Serum and the Snowise EX Brightening Mask reviewed in this post.

Long time readers would know that my all time favorite masks has always been the SKII , and it has now been officially replaced by the Sulwhasoo Brightening Mask (currently on backorder at Nordstrom!). I ran out of paper masks when I was holidaying in Hawaii, so I shopped around and decided to give the Sulwhasoo a try.  The next day I went back to the same counter and purchased two more boxes as they were so good!

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The mask is for hydrating and brightening use, and it does both jobs exceptionally well. The main ingredient is the fermented ginseng essence, which gives a “treatment equivalent” result. For brightening, it claims that it will leave your skin luminous and more translucent than ever after just a single use. Most paper masks always make your skin appear brighter after use, but the difference with this mask is that the immediate brightening effect is better, and leaves your skin appearing visibly  more translucent, youthful and even-toned after use. The brightening effect is also prolonged for a few days. If you have the budget of using the mask 3 times a week, they will dramatically improve the tone and luminosity of your skin from deep within more so than makeup products. I was literally sun-baking everyday for 2 weeks when I was in Hawaii, I used the mask every 2 days and my complexion became even brighter (existing freckles did not darken) after my holiday so I was very pleased! It also helps to hydrate and plump up your skin. If you have normal to dry skin, this mask is sufficient for keeping your skin hydrated with some anti-aging benefits. If you have very dry skin, I think the SK-II is still a better option.

The sheet mask has the ‘skin-like’ paper-gel texture, and it is extremely thin and completely adheres to the face regardless of your face shape (no bubbles!). The mask is fully soaked with milky essence, and it stays moist for up to 30 minutes. I normally leave the mask on for 20-30 minutes for the optimum result.

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The Sulwhasoo SA also successfully convinced me to purchase their best seller the Sulwhasoo First Care Activating Serum. We all know the Koreans have the most complex skincare system, and this product is designed to be used as the first product of the entire skincare regime. It is a serum which helps to deeply hydrate, plump the skin immediately, as well as for boosting other skincare products for ultimate results. The purpose of this product is very similar to the famous Lancome Genifique. It has a honey colored consistency with a soothing herbal smell, feels lightweight and non sticky and is absorbed in to the skin immediately. It is very hydrating, especially if you feel your skin is becoming accustomed to the products you are using for a while, this boosting serum helps to give them a kick and offers extra moisturizing effect. Even on its own without using any other serums, it’s a lovely gentle serum that helps to replenish essential moisture and nutrients for all skin types and suitable for all age groups.

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When it comes to makeup, I change my lip colors much more diligently than any other makeups. I can get away with wearing the same foundation and eye shadow for a long time, whilst for lip colors, I like to keep my many lipsticks on high rotation for an updated look. Lately I am a little over the pink and coral phase, and have become besotted with more neutral lip colors again. Perhaps it was to do with the current fashion trend, anything with a muted tone such as MLBB or browns in matte finish has my heart fluttered!

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Here is an array of my current favorite lipsticks!

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Top row from the lip swatch collage is the MLBB shades with a dusty pink undertone – absolutely obsessed with this shade.

Illamasqua  Lipstick in Climax – One of my favorite colors from Illamasqua. Their quality is slightly better than MAC – very pigmented and smooth to apply without streaks. Climax is the most beautiful MLBB shade I own – it’s a tad darker than my own natural lip color with a peachy pink undertone in creme semi-matte finish. Think about your flushed lip color when you just step out of the shower.

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MAC Lipstick Please Me (Matte) – My Holy Grail lip color, If I could only live with 3 lipsticks ‘Please Me’ would be one of them. It’s a MLBB with a dusty rose undertone in semi-matte finish. Just a natural but sexy color with a fashion spin and is easy to wear with different makeup looks.

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Second Row is the cool toned dusty pink shades

MAC Lipstick Snob (Matte) – One of the top sellers from MAC. It’s a cool toned milky dusty pink color. Not an easy color to pull off, as it can look a little streaky on the lips, and the key for application is to blend and blend until the color is completely blended into the lips. I would say it is a stunning color on blondes with cool skin tone and blue/green eyes. On me, since I have cool skin tone, I can still manage to pull of this color. It does wash me out a little, and I tend to use Snob on top of having my lips colored with a darker lip liner such as the Charlotte Tilbury Lip Liner in Iconic Nude (reviewed here), and together they look perfect.

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Shu Uemura Rouge Unlimited Supreme Matte PK 335 – Similar to Snob, but a tad darker in a complete matte finish, and it’s much easier to pull off. I love wearing this color alone, or mixing it with other colors. I actually bought this color after I saw the Shu gal had this lip color mixed a plummy lip liner, and it looked beautiful on her which resulted in this purchase!

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Third row is the brown and nude shades

Charlotte Tilbury Lipstick B*tch Perfect (CT KISSING Lipsticks reviewed here)- A delicate peachy pink color with a tiny tinge of nude brown undertone in a satin sheen finish. It’s a very easy color to wear for all skin tones, and leaves a luminous finish to the lips if matte is not your thing.

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MAC Velvet Teddy (Matte) – Possibly the world’s most famous and wanted shade because of Kylie Jenner who swears by this lip color. I love it too. It’s such an edgy and high-fashion color – a pure deep beige brick brown shade that is on every IT girl’s lips at the moment.

MAC-lipstick-velvet-teddy-review-swatchGroup Swatch

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You can purchase MAC and Shu Uemura beauty products at David Jones Online in Australia.

 

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In achieving a perfect complexion with makeup, apart from an awesome foundation, another essential product would be the makeup primer. I included this product to my makeup routine religiously about a year ago, and nowadays I find that I simply cannot live without it! There are many types of foundation primers in the market, and once you find the right type that suits your skin, it’s very likely you will also be a primer convert. My recent favorite is the Dermalogica Hydrablur Primer. The name says it all – it gives a blurring effect to your complexion and gives it a more smooth, airbrushed appearance.

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Why should you include a smoothing primer

It helps to minimize the appearance of pores and fine lines, and extends the wear time of foundation, and even negates the need of powder as the primer already provides a mattifying effect. I find that the combination of a primer and a foundation is sufficient to cover imperfections as well as creating a much more natural finish than having foundation followed by powder.

Thoughts on the Hydrablur

Dermalogica doesn’t make a huge fuss on packaging, but I do like the design of this slim tube (22ml). As with most smoothing primer, it works by filling out your pores, smoothing out the fine lines and giving a more flawless effect to your skin hence less foundation is required. It has a creamy white consistency that has an interesting mildly gritty texture, but on application it applies translucent, and makes the skin feel smooth, velvety and appears more pore-less and even looking. As a makeup primer, this formula works cohesively with all types of foundations (I have tried liquid, cream, powder and cushion!), and  it allows the foundation to glide on more smoothly, and keeping it from creasing for the whole day.

closer look at the texture

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The Hydrablur feels lightweight and more hydrating than a conventional silicone primer on the skin. Though it’s not as hydrating as a moisturizer, it still works well on my dry skin without flaking up nor enhancing dry patches. On a different note,  it is wonderful as a mattifying primer – for my oily t-zone it is able to control the oil for a whole day. In terms of ingredient, this product is formulated without artificial fragrances, colors or parabens.

dermalogica-hydrablur-primer-review-before-afterYou can find the Dermalogica primer at ry online in Australia for less than the retail price!

 

 

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Sharing some exciting new makeups and good deals that I spotted this week.

1. The highly coveted Charlotte Tilbury Instant Look In A Palette (limited edition) is now available at NAP online and ships worldwide! I have already ordered mine, and be sure to get yours if it is on your wishlist before it is all gone! Apparently this is the fastest selling product ever from CT.

2. The long awaited YSL Rouge Volupte Shine Oil In Stick is finally launched in Australia. You can find them at David Jones online. I have ordered a couple of shades already including No43 Rose Rive Gauche, No47 Beige Blouse and 48 Smoking Plum. Really looking forward to receiving them.

3. Last but not least, TATCHA is giving out a deluxe travel size of Pore Perfecting Sunscreen SPF35 with any purchase of $100 or more with the code SPFMINI (offer ends 4/28). This featherweight formula uses silk extracts to leave skin silky smooth and Japanese wild rose to visibly tighten pores. It also creates a beautiful canvas for makeup.

 

 

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When a big sparkling diamond is not on the near horizon, there are little luxury things in the world that will bring a smile to you everyday without breaking your bank. My favorite is probably everything from the iconic french fragrance maker – Diptyque Paris. Apart from their luxury scented candles, I have recently discovered they also carry this incredible line of Scented Ovals which I have been dreaming of to have such a product. These are the small scented home accessories that are used to perfume small spaces. Prior to this discovery of the century, I always liked the Hermes scented papier perfume, but I much prefer the Diptyques as they are longer lasting and offer lots of scented options.

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The design is very elegant and look expensive in an understated french way. Each scented oval is hand-made with a white ceramic medallion, and filled with a hand-dripped scented wax that is embossed with the name of the fragrance.  It is designed for perfuming small spaces such as the closet, drawer, or even the bathroom. I was told the product will last you about 1-2 years. While the scent is still very strong when it is  new, it is best for keeping it in the closet and it will make your clothes smell like HEAVEN! Generally you would only keep one per closet, and it keeps the space perfumed and away from any stale odour. Depending on the size of your closet, for a small closet I find that the fragrance also transfers to the clothes mildly which is a bonus. After one year when the scent starts to dissipate, then you can leave it in a smaller space such as your drawers. It is not recommended for use in the car as the wax might melt in very hot conditions.

pictured: Sea Lace Top

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The scented ovals come in 4 different fragrances – the Baies, Figuier (leans more fruity), 34 boulevard saint germain, and Roses (floral based) I picked up the former 3 as they are less feminine, and blend in well with my wardrobe. Here is a brief description on each scent.

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Baies is my all time favorite fragrance from Diptyque. I have been addicted to it for years and I have it in the candles, perfume as well as the scented oval. Main notes are the roses and blackcurrants, that smells slightly woody and fruity. To me this is such a unique scent that I will never be bored of.

Figuier is a soft woody fig scent. If you love the Philosykos fragrance which is the best selling perfume for Diptyque, you would love this one.

34 is the special scent that was born after many customers requested to ‘bottle’ the boutique of Diptyque located on Saint Germain which was filled with many rare and precious fragrances. It is complex and unisex that encapsulates the scent of the boutique. If you haven’t had a chance to visit the Paris boutique, then 34 is as close as you will get!

You can find Diptyque products at Nordstrom online. I bought mine at Neiman Marcus.

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OOTD – The Flares

April 21, 2016

I haven’t been that excited with new season’s fashion for a while, as I am fully embracing the retro trend from the 70s with flares making a huge comeback. Favorite collection so far is the Zimmerman’s 2016 collection including this paisley necklet top in this OOTD.  As much as I try to add ‘non monochrome’ pieces into my closet, finding a perfect floral top has always been a challenge for me that doesn’t look overly cute, nor too matronly. This top updated with a neck tie and bell sleeves is right on point and tres chic. Pairing it with a cropped wide leg pant, and my go-to Valentino rockstud pump in Noir that literally goes with everything!

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Sunglasses – Tom Ford (available here)

Top – Zimmerman (bought here)

Pants – Tibi (currently 30% off here!, also available here)

Bag – Proenza Schouler Mini PS11 (bought here , also available here in black, and lots of other colors sold here)

Shoes – Valentino Rockstud Pump (bought here, also available at Nordstrom with lots of color options)

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