DIOR

All About Sunscreens

March 14, 2015

I have been road testing a lot of sunscreens in recent years, and in this post it covers some of my absolute favorites. As we all know, there are two different types of UVS – the UVA and UVB . What you probably aren’t aware is that UVB rays can burn the skin, whereas what we women really have to watch out for on a daily basis is the UVA rays that causes aging and pigmentation. SPF is only for blocking UVB. In most western brands, if the sunscreen also protects you from UVA it is indicated by the word “Broad Spectrum”, however how much coverage it provides is unknown. I personally prefer the Asian standard of labeling for UVA protection as it is denoted by the PA+. The more plus signs there are, the better job it does for blocking UVA which is valuable information for those who are sensitive to the sun.

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1. Estee Lauder CyberWhite HD Advanced Brightening UV Protector SPF 50 PA+++: My top favorite and I would repurchase it over and over. It has all the protection I need, and the texture is like a lightweight gel cream that feels invisible and hydrating on the skin. It is neither greasy nor drying. And unlike other gel sunscreens, this one does not flake up and sits well under makeup. Highly recommend! (Asia version here)

2. DIOR DIORSNOW White Reveal UV Protection SPF 50 PA+++: It’s a sunscreen with moisturizing and brightening ingredients, so it doubles up as a makeup primer as it helps to brighten up and even out the skin tone. The texture feels very rich upon application – almost like a heavy moisturizer for dry skin but it absorbs into the skin after a few minutes without the oily residue, leaving your skin supple and slightly dewy. A lot of my friends who have dry skin really love this sunscreen because of the dewy finish. (Asia version here)

3. Lunasol Control Essence UV SPF34 PA+++ : It feels just as good as the Estee Lauder -very lightweight, and has a luxurious serum-like lotion texture that feels refreshing and hydrating on the skin without changing the skin color. I would rate this one as my second favorite because it has a lower SPF.

4. BECCA Mineral SPF30 Face and Body Sunscreen: This is a mineral sunscreen so it is better for sensitive as well as acne prone skin types, and more importantly, they become effective immediately upon application as opposed to the classic sunscreens that should be applied at least 20 minutes before exposure to the sun. The texture of this is lovely – it is creamy but non greasy, feels refreshing on the face but it might leave a white cast if your skin tone is darker than NC30.

5. ORBIS UV Cut Sunscreen FACE SPF34 PA+++ – A Japanese drugstore brand and their UV CUT line that is highly raved about and just blows the western drugstore sunscreens out of the water. This is a mineral sunscreen with titanium dioxide and zinc oxide. It has a watery milky lotion texture with more than 80% moisturizing ingredients that just melts into your skin and prevents oxidization. It sets immediately to a semi-matte finish without feeling drying nor powdery. I love using this one on days I don’t wear makeup, as it is tinted with a pale beige color that makes the complexion look really fresh and clean. My top pick for an affordable sunscreen!

6. ORBIS UV Cut Sunscreen SUPER SPF50 PA++++:  Offers maximum protection, and the texture is very similar to the face product without the beige tint, so it can be used for both the face and the body without leaving a white cast as it goes on invisible. Since it has the highest PA protection, it is great for prevention from being tanned.

7. Peter Thomas Roth Instant Mineral: Another mineral sunscreen but in powder form! I thought this is a brilliant idea as I like to re-apply sun protection every few hours without having it messing up my makeup! It applies pretty much like transparent loose powder, but the brush feels coarse and it doesn’t fit into the cap so it can get messy for carrying it around.

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Swatches from left to right: Estee Lauder; Dior; Lunasol; Becca; Orbis Face; Orbis Super

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I have not been posting about nail polishes for a long time so a quick post on the Dior Lady 294 Nail Lacquer today. The reason I have not been writing about nail polishes is because I completely stopped wearing them for several months. My nails became so damaged after having shellac gel several times – they became very brittle and thinner, and the surface got very rough as I had to sand them off each time. From this experience I would probably never having them done again (sorry shellac!).

Dior Lady is a muted dusty pink with flesh undertone in cream glossy finish. It’s a very classy and elegant shade and would suit most skin tones. The quality of Dior nail polishes is the best in the market – 2 coats give you a smooth, streak free, and opaque cream finish with a gel-like shine. Unfortunately for this post I still can’t take close up shots of my nails as they have not returned to the tip-top conditions, hope you get the idea of what the color looks like when it’s painted!

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I bought mine at David Jones, and it’s also available here in the US. Other products featured in the pictures include Vita Fede mini bracelet; Vita Fede mini v ring; Vita Fede mini pearl ring; Diptyque mini candle from the mini candle set.

 

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Sheseido Maquillage has released a new line of lipsticks this year called Dramatic Melting Rouge. Since I am a devotee of their highly popular lip gloss (Essence Glamorous Rouge that has won many beauty awards in Japan), I was excited about this new launch. Similar to the lip gloss that was enriched with hyaluronic acid, this new lipstick claims to have a high concentration of their unique blend of ‘beauty oil’ that hydrates your lips like moisturizing essence, and provides a full coverage with a mirror shine gloss.

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I picked the colors PK227 and RD425 – a pink and a bright red as they are my go-to colors these days. The texture completely lives up to my expectations as they are ultra smooth and glides on like silk that just melts into your lips. It nourishes even the driest lips without enhancing any dry skin and lines, and make them appear fuller and youthful. It feels very lightweight and extremely hydrating on the lips. The coverage is excellent and it’s opaque with a degree of translucency. It also has a jelly like shine without any shimmer which I absolutely adore. Best of all, they are very long lasting for a glossy lipstick. The colors remain at full intensity even after 4 hours of wear and I even had snacks in between!

Shiseido Maquillage Dramatic Melting Rouge in PK227 is a beautiful girly and soft neutral pink that is neither too cool or nor too warm. You probably would have seen a gazillion of them on my blog, but this shade just guarantees to make me feel happy and pretty which is the most important purpose of wearing makeup!

Shiseido-Macquillage-dramatic-melting-rouge-pk227-review-swatchesLip Swatch with a single swipe – natural day light

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FOTD wearing PK227

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Shiseido Maquillage Dramatic Melting Rouge in RD425 is a bright cherry red in high gloss. You can either apply this color to the center of your lips for a gradient look, or you can apply it to your entire lips for a more glamorous look but still stay young and fresh.

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FOTD wearing RD425

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Group Swatch

Left PK227 Right RD425

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Other makeups used in the FOTDs include

Sheseido-Macquillage-dramatic-melting-rouge-review-swatches-fotdDIOR Diorskin STAR Studio Foundation

CHANEL Natural Finish Loose Powder

YSL Touche Eclat

NARS Illuminator Limited Edition

HOURGLASS Ambient Blush Palette Limited Edition (reviewed here)

JILL STUART Ribbon Couture Eye 03 Vintage Satin (reviewed here)

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Whilst most people realize that the end of another year is fast approaching by noticing that the shops are starting to sell xmas goodies, as a beauty enthusiast I am reminded because of the Holiday Makeup Collections trickling into the stores! After scouring the internet for previews I have finally put together my 2013 holiday beauty wishlist. Except for the Suqqu Makeup Kit B which I have already ordered on Selfridges (in case you don’t know that Selfridges now ship Suqqu internationally with VAT deduction available!), I’ll just have to wait patiently for the rest of them to arrive in Australia.

 

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1.  Dior Sparkling Nail Powders Set (Nordstrom exclusive) -  love the over-the-top opulent finish for party nails

2.  Dior 5-Couleurs Eyeshadow in Golden Flower – a perfect combination of warm neutrals

3.  Chanel Nuit Infinie de Chanel Collection Holiday 2013 – particularly the eye shadow palette which is another alluring set of neutrals that can be worn all year round

4.  La Mer Treatment Lotion – eager to try out this latest product from La Mer

5.  Suqqu Makeupt Kit B – bought this droolwhorthy set with a heart beat!

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Dior Vernis Trafalgar which was released recently in Australia quickly became my top favorite red nail lacquer – it’s a true stunning poppy red in a glossy gel-like finish. There are different variations of red, and my preference always lean towards this kind as it’s young and fresh. On my ring finger I am wearing the Ultra Midi Mini Titan Ring (also available here) by VITA FEDE. I am completely obsessed with everything from this brand at the moment and I will show you what I have collected so far in a future post.

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I wanted to pick up some new Dior cream blushes from the Summer Mix 2013 Collection but there just wasn’t anything that caught my heart. Instead the stand out from the collection were the nail polishes, particularly the  Dior Le Vernis Creoles #678. It’s a hot pink (no shimmer) that  is just incredibly vibrant and deliciously fresh. It’s freezing in Sydney now and it’s just uplifting to see a pop of bright pink color on the nails in this kind of gloomy weather – I call this color therapy!

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The quality of Dior Le Vernis is also phenomenal (yes it’s better than most Chanel Le Vernis…). It is extremely opaque and ultra smooth to apply, and with only one coat you can get an even, opaque and ultra shiny finish. I have this on my nails for more than a week now and there is still not a single chip!

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Dior Le Vernis Creoles #678 can be purchased here in the US (link to the entire Summer Mix 2013 Collection). It is also available at Selfridges (link here) in UK.

I bought mine for AUD$38 @ David Jones in Australia.

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The summer 2013 makeup collection has started rolling out across major department stores in Australia. I really wanted to check out the products in person so I made an effort to go to the store and waddled along each counter. After a major debating of “Do I really need this blue/green color”, I only got one product in the end which is the beautiful and wearable Diorskin Nude Tan Paradise Duo 002 Coral Glow from its Summer 2013 collection. I probably will pass on the rest of the Dior and Chanel collections as the color theme of this year is not so appealing to me though they are beautiful to look at.

Diorskin-Nude-Tan-Paradise-Duo-002-Coral-Glow-summer-2013-collectionThe Dior Paradise Duo Coral Glow is a stunner as well as it makes a very practical bronzer/blush duo for everyday use. There are 2 colors to choose from and I picked the coral color (instead of pink) as I always love the healthy look of a hint of bronzer with coral cheeks for a sun-kissed look. It comes with an uber cute mini kabuki brush which is very soft and fluffy for its size. The texture is absolutely superb – buttery soft and richly pigmented. Compared to the blush duo from Dior’s Spring Cherie Bow Collection, I much prefer this one as the texture is softer and smoother. I liked the Cherie Bow blush initially (when it was brand new), but I found there was a change in the texture after it was opened for some time, and now it has become chalky and dry which was disappointing! Anyhow, the quality of this is fantastic and I believe it will stay good for a very long time.

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The color of the bronzing powder is very wearable for my NC15-20 skin tone. It doesn’t look completely matte in the pan, but when it is applied it blends into my skin naturally without making me look too tanned or orange. It can be used either as a contour product if applied sheer, or as a bronzer for a touch of sun-kissed look. The color of the blush is pink coral with a hint of watermelon undertone. I absolutely adore this color, as it instantly adds a pop of fresh and summery color with a youthful glow to the face. I have been reaching for it everyday and it lasts on me the whole day.

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ON ME: Applied the bronzing powder underneath the cheekbones, as well as along the jaw lines. And applied the blush slightly above the apple of the cheeks.

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Bottom Line: One of the must have blush/bronzer product to have amongst all the summer 2013 collections! I bought the Dior Paradise Duo for $82 in Australia. It is available on here or here in the US, or on Harrods with international shipping available with 20% off VAT deductions at the checkout.

 

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The DIOR Cherie Bow is a collection that catches my heart this season. The theme is just so pretty, delicate and pink. I can’t pass by a beautiful blush like the DIOR Cherie Bow Blush in 729 Pink Happiness. It’s one of the most-wanted items for me from this collection when I first saw the preview, and after have been wearing it for the past few weeks it totally lived up to my expectations.

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DIOR Cherie Bow Blush 729 is a dual pink powder blush in neutral pink. One side of the blush is matte, and the other side is slightly shimmer. I always like blushes that come with different textures, so it won’t look too flat on the face and always seem to make the application easier for a natural layering effect.  The texture is standard Dior. It’s very densely packed so it doesn’t get powdery when you swirl the brush over. The powder feels silky smooth, and the pigmentation is good enough to show with a few swipes. For application, you can apply the matte side first then add the shimmering part for a layering effect. Or you can mix them up then apply as a lazy person like me would do! The results are the same – it adds a delicate touch of pink to the cheeks with a soft glow. It is not an overpowering pink, but pretty enough to give you a youthful look and make the face look more alive .

Swatches: Left: Matte, Middle: Shimmer, Right: Mixed

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FOTD wearing Dior Cherie Blush in 729, and the Dior Diorshow Mono Eye Shadows in Spencer and Tweed (reviewed here) on my upper lid, and only Spencer on my lower lid.

On my face which is very tanned at the moment, the blush shows up very close to a neutral pink with a hint of coral.

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DIOR-Cheri-Bow-Blush-729-Pink-Happiness-fotd-3DIOR-Cheri-Bow-Blush-729-Pink-Happiness-fotd-4Bottom Line: Definitely a must have blush if pink is your weakness! I bought mine in Australia for $75. It is also available here in the US, or here that ships internationally except Australia..

On a side note, a good news for the fashion fellas! Shopbop is holding its annual Spring Event with the following discounts. I always prefer this type of event as it applies to all merchandise (not just for the past season items), and I have so many items on my wishlist but I need to narrow them down from a maternal perspective which is very challenging :P

 

 

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