HIGHLIGHTER

October Favorites

October 28, 2014

Whilst I am still in the process of putting together some more reviews for the other products I picked up from the Chanel Holiday 2014 collection, I thought I’ll quickly share some of my favorite products for the month of October before it ends. The monthly favorite posts are my all time favorite posts/videos to watch from other bloggers, and I don’t know why have I never done one?! So I am definitely going to incorporate this new series into my blogging schedule going forward.

1. Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush Palette – So glad I was able to get hold of this one from Net-A-Porter. I’ve been holding out on buying the individual blushes in the hope that they would release a palette one day, and my wish has been granted! It’s also available here in the US. Detailed review for this one as well as the highlighting palette is coming soon.

2. Chanel Camelia De Plumes Highlighting Powder – Every year Chanel releases an art piece of highlighter which is worthy of collection. This piece is stunning on its own, and also works great as a highlighter without looking frosty on me. Detailed review coming soon.

3. Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution Lipstick Lost Cherry – Definitely one of my favorite purchases from Charlotte Tilbury (reviewed here). It’s longing lasting and can be worn for a polished look or sheer it out as a lip stain (the latter is my preferred method of wear).

4. Tiffany Key Necklace – Starting to wear and mix and match my jeweleries more now that my boy is bit older so he doesn’t pull them off me anymore :-)

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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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The Charlotte Tilbury  Filmstar Bronze and Glow Face Sculpt and Highlighter is the most highly raved product of her line and I am so glad that I bought it while it was still in stock as it completely lived up to my expectations. It is a very beautiful and harmonious highlighter and bronzer that would look great on various skin tones.

Both the bronzer and the highlighter feel very high quality – the powder is very finely milled, and it feels velvety soft and they apply silky smooth and easy to blend seamlessly.  The pigmentation is on the higher spectrum for me, so I have to use a very soft and fluffy brush to apply this product for a soft and subtle effect. The brush featured in the below picture is the CHIKUHODO GSN G2 that I highly recommend for a fool-proof contouring and highlighting application.

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The bronzer is a neutral warm medium brown with micro shimmer that doesn’t look visible on the skin. I apply this product very light-handed under my cheekbones for a subtle contouring effect. As an Asian with fair skin tone (NC15-20) I don’t normally wear shimmery bronzers as a lot of them just look odd on my complexion (trust me I have tried a few and the feedback I received from friends were just hilarious!), whereas this one blends in with my natural skin tone very well, as it gives me a healthy glow look rather than “your tan went wrong” look.

The highlighter is just exceptionally beautiful. The shade is a pearly gold neutral champagne color (neither too warm nor too pink) with quite visible but refined shimmer on the skin (not frosty and glittery).  A little bit of this goes a long way and this is by far the most long lasting highlighter I have ever come across. Applying this product light-handed gives me a “supermodel glow” that looks more intense than what I would normally achieve with my regular highlighters that were made for a subtle brightening effect. This is a perfect product for highlighting the cheekbones for a more lifted and modelesque effect.

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You can find the Filmstar Bronze and Glow online at Nordstrom or Net-A-Porter worldwide.

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I was going to post my review for the Giorgio Armani Cheek Fabric Blushes which I have already sneak peeked on my Instagram, but I got sidetracked with the arrival of my Charlotte Tilbury Order from Net-A-Porter (as mentioned in my previous post they are currently offering free shipping to certain countries for all orders). Always enjoy the shipping service provided by NAP as it took only 2 days for the package to arrive! This is my first Charlotte Tilbury purchase and my feelings for the products are quite mixed as some are absolutely fantastic whereas some are let downs, so I thought I’ll quickly share my initial thoughts.

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Charlotte Tilbury Eyeshadow Palette The Dolce Vita – Absolutely Amazing! This is my favorite product out of this order, and I would say if you can only have one product from this line – this is the one!  The picture doesn’t do this eye shadow palette justice, as it looks far more beautiful and complex in real life. Review for this product will be posted shortly.

Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Bronze and Glow – Another must-have product from this line. I am not a fan of using shimmery bronzer on me, however this product surpassed my expectations. Both the bronzer and the highlighter are stunning and look flattering on my skin tone. If you apply the shimmery bronzer light handed, it gives a lovely warm glow to this face that works for my fair complexion. Review for this product will be posted shortly.

Charlotte Tilbury Lipstick Coachella Coral and B*tch Perfect -  My feelings for the lipsticks are mixed – love the colors and the quality of the lipstick, but I am quite peeved at the packaging. It is very lightweight and looks quite cheap for its price (nowhere near as luxurious as the YSL or Tom Ford lipsticks). Somehow I feel that the packaging is “inspired” by those free Estee Lauder lipsticks that are always included in their gift-with-purchases during the Christmas time lol..

Charlotte Tilbury Lip Lacquer Hall of Fame - I am sorry to say that but I am very disappointed with this lip gloss. The swatch online shows a lovely milky pink color, but the actual color is pretty much transparent. I don’t mind a clear lip gloss if the quality is great, but this product looks and feels downright cheap, and it has a typical vanilla scent that reminds me of those cheap $2 lip glosses you find at the sales bin at the local drugstore.

 

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The YSL CC Cream is my latest obsession, as you an see I have them in both the ROSE and the LAVENDER. I had them for about a month now and I have been using them every single day which is rare for me!

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Before my review for the YSL CC cream, I thought I’d share my thoughts on CC cream in general first. Basically CC cream stands for color control, and they have been marketed as the “latest beauty breakthrough innovation” after BB cream. To me they are nothing new, I have similar products for correcting complexion colors many years ago, such as the Makeup Forever HD Primer Color Control which I absolutely love. After trying out many latest CC creams, I have concluded that the only difference is that the newer products have better texture (more creamy and fluid) and more moisturizing to the skin because they all contain some skincare properties. So they are good products to own, particularly for those of you who wish to correct the appearance of dull skin without using a dozen of products.

Many of you may also be confusing BB Cream with CC Cream. I have also purchased several CC creams of Korean brands that look and feel exactly like BB cream, but upon application the CC cream generally makes the complexion a lot brighter than the BB cream. I am not a big fan of those particular CC creams.

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I was sold to the YSL version after I read that my favorite Asian MUA swears by the combo of YSL CC cream and Youth Liberator Foundation (to be reviewed soon). Since I really like the foundation so I thought why not to give the CC cream a try! They come in 3 different colors – ROSE; LAVENDER and APRICOT, and all have SPF35 and PA+++. As a pink makeup lover I purchased the ROSE one first, and the lovely sales lady also gave me a generous sample of the Lavender one which I loved so much I went back and purchased it again!

The YSL CC Cream has a lovely milky and fluid texture. It is very refreshing and lightweight yet hydrating enough to the dry skin. It feels like a nourishing light skincare lotion, and it doesn’t enhance pores nor the dry patches. Both of them are very pigmented for a color corrector for the complexion, and I only need tiny a little bit (half of the pea size) for the face. They help to brighten, corrects and even out the complexion so it reduces the need for subsequent foundation. On days where I don’t feel like a full face makeup, I normally just wear this on my T-zone, under the eyes and along the cheekbone alone. It’s almost like an instant-highlighter-but-better that makes you look so fresh and well-rested.

ROSE brightens up the skin with a hint of pale rosy glow. It’s a pretty color that makes the complexion appears more youthful and radiant, and works great with other pink based makeup. However if you have some redness in the skin this product tends to enhance it.

LAVENDER helps diminish the look of sallow skin and yellow-looking skin. I love this because it makes my complexion appears so fresh and clean with a natural glow. I wore this on days where I had the worst flu, and I still got compliments on how great my skin looked, so this product must be doing something magical. I only apply this to the areas of the face where I would normally apply the highlighter, and the result is similar to “the moment you just take off your brightening mask”. Using this as a makeup base also helps other colored makeup show up better.

ysl-cc-cream-lavender-rose-review-swatches-2Swatch comparison with the Korean brands. On a quick note, Tony Moly Aura and Tony Moly BCdation makes me way too white and geisha-like. Hera CC Cream is more like a BB cream and isn’t worth its high price tag.

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I bought these at David Jones for $89 each. You can get them here or here with international shipping available.

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I like to do a compilation of random things I like as my weekend post. This week is all about some of the Asian beauty products I like which are excellent value for money!

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1. My Beauty Diary Masks (Camellia Mask) – They have been a staple for me for countless years. They do a great job and the paper mask itself fits my face perfectly, and best of all they are so affordable so I can use one a day! I have probably used every single series from the My Beauty Diary Mask Range and the Camellia is one of my favorites. It belongs to the premium range (so slightly more expensive) but it delivers super hydration which can keep my skin feeling hydrated for a number of days.

2. BONANZA Active Moisture Membraneous – Best selling mask in East Asia. It’s pretty cheap and comes in a huge tub (250ml). It has a clear gel texture and must be kept in the fridge. The instruction states that to get the best results, apply a layer of your preferred serum first, then apply a very thick layer of this mask for more than 30 minutes to ‘push’ the benefits of the ingredients into a deeper layer of the skin. I am not sure how it works but I do like the result! It’s very soothing (ideal for hot weather), cooling, and hydrating. The skin appears more plumped and translucent after each use. And again, the affordable price allows me to slather this mask on everyday.

3. Innisfree Mineral Shimmering Base – I am all about dewy skin these days and the performance of this shimmering primer exceeds some of the very expensive ones I own. It is hydrating and contains super fine shimmer so it sets on the skin seamlessly, adds a beautiful gleam without settling into pores/lines or making the skin look scaly which is the main issue I have with some shimmering products of Western brands.

4. SCINIC Snail Matrix Cream – Yep it’s made of Snail mucus! And it’s the hottest ingredient in the Korean beauty market for the past year, and there are thousands of korean brands that have released series of cosmetics with the IT ingredient. If you can get over the fact that it has Snail mucus…then you really should give this interesting moisturizer a try. The texture is tacky and gluey, but interestingly it transforms into a liquid-like texture upon application, and it is super hydrating and lightweight. Possibly the best $20 moisturizer I have ever used!

 

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I recently splurged on the Tom Ford Shade and Illuminate Intensity One. Makeup products designed for contouring is never really an area where I like to splurge on, but as my obsession grows I have decided to try out some of the best products in the market. What drew me in with this product is that it is a duet of highlighter and shading cream.

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The packaging is exactly the same as their eye shadow quad. I have this in Intesntiy 01 which is a good match for my skin tone (NC15-20).

I generally prefer a fluid or cream based product for contouring over powder form. They blend into the skin seamlessly so it makes the result appear more natural (like your own shadow). In the old days I would normally use a darker foundation for contouring for a very subtle result. Compared to my old method, the contouring cream shade is much more pigmented and intense so it’s easier to use but I have to be very light-handed.  A little bit of the product goes a long way and the color applies and blends evenly without too much effort! This is what I love most about this product as many contouring products can look uneven, patchy and bruisey on the face.  The texture is also perfect- creamy enough to blend the product into skin seamlessly  but not so slippery so it allows for a precise application for sculpturing and defining the face.

The cream highlighting shade feels like a solid clear cream gloss. Compared to the contouring shade, this texture is much more emollient and is super sheer. It can feel a little tacky on the skin if too much product is applied.  On the face it gives this soft, translucent and wet-like glow that is often seen on the backstage models. It also makes the applied areas look more moist and dewy – dab this product on the apple of the cheeks makes you look instantly younger and fresher . On the downside, this cream highlighter only lasts for a mere of 1-2 hours if applied alone. If I apply another product over it, it defeats the purpose of using this for a natural and dewy glow. For that reason I would probably only use this highlighter for taking pictures as it photographs extremely well.

Tom-Ford-Shade-Illuminate-Intensity-One-swatchI bought mine at DavidJones for AUD$98. The Tom Ford Shade and Illuminate can be purchased here in the US, or here with international shipping and VAT deduction available. A contouring tutorial using this product can be found here.

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This is another eyeshadow review for the Dior 5 Couleur Grand Bal Eyeshadow Palette in 524 Fairy Golds (Limited Edition) from the Grand Bal Holiday 2012 Collection. My compulsive makeup hoarding is getting a little out of control lately as I am completely engulfed by the waves of new eye shadows being released at the moment. But what could be a better time to shop than this festive time of the year?!

dior-grand-bal-2012-collection-5-Couleur-Eyeshadow-Palette-524-Fairy-GoldsBefore I start my review, please allow me to ramble about the sub-par service at various Dior counters. The SAs were either busy chatting or showed no interest in doing their jobs at 3 different counters I visited! Whilst most of the other cosmetic counters thrive to deliver the best possible customer service in such a competitive economy, it was such a let down experience from a premium beauty house like Dior.

Nonetheless, this did not distract me from buying this uber gorgeous eyeshadow quint. It’s a neutral eye shadow palette with some of the most beautiful sparkly shimmery shades I have ever seen – and that is what drew me in the most! I love a sparkly shade when it is done right. It needs to have the perfect spongy creamy texture (not gritty) and adheres without any fallout, and most importantly it needs to be sparkly in a grown-up way. And the color is important too, as it needs to be subtle but you can still see the color with some translucency so it doesn’t overpower the base eye color when you apply the sparkly shade on top.  This Dior quint ticked all the boxes.

COLORS

Top Left: Shimmery champagne pinky beige

Top Right: Rusty gold with a sparkly finish

Middle: Silvery white with a sparkly finish

Bottom Left: Shimmery mushroom taupe

Bottom Right: Shimmery chocolate brown

All shades are rich in pigmentation, feel buttery soft and blend so well. As mentioned above, the two sparkly shades are exceptionally superior and rivals the Tom Ford which I thought were the best!

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SWATCHES:

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Upper Lid: Applied the beige color all over the eyelid, then I blended the light taupe color from the upper lash into the eye socket. The dark brown shade was only added to the outer-v, and I used my finger to pat the gold sparkly shade on the inner corner, and the silvery white shade on top for an ultra sparkly festive look!

Lower Lid: The white sparkly on the inner third, and the brown on the outer third.

It is worth nothing that I have been obsessed with highlighting and contouring lately, so I have used more-than-the-usual amount of base product to create a luminous complexion that also looks more defined.

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OTHER PRODUCTS:

Face: Laura Mercier Moisturizing Foundation (discontinued) mixed with Dr Jart+ Waterfuse Moist BB Cream.

Highlight & Contour: Prescriptives Contour Stick (discontinued) + Nars Copacabana Illuminator. YSL Touche Eclat for under eye concealing.

Blush: Chanel JC in Rouge

Lipstick: Shu Uemura Rouge Unlimited Supreme Shine SS BG 957 (reviewed here) + MAC Dazzleglass Glamour

Bottom Line: A perfect eye shadow palette for a touch of sparkly glamour this festive season.

I bought mine at David Jones for AUD$99. The Dior Palette can be purchased here in the US. You can also get this new collection including the palette here with free international delivery, and use the code GIFT10 for 10% off!

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