HIGHLIGHTER

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!

frontrowbeauty_likes_march

CLOCKWISE

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!

 

{ 9 comments }

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.

Tom-Ford-Shade-Illuminate-Intensity-One-review

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.

{ 14 comments }

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!

dior-grand-bal-2012-collection-5-Couleur-Eyeshadow-Palette-524-Fairy-Golds

SWATCHES:

dior-grand-bal-2012-collection-5-Couleur-Eyeshadow-Palette-524-Fairy-Golds-swatches-1dior-grand-bal-2012-collection-5-Couleur-Eyeshadow-Palette-524-Fairy-Golds-swatches-2FOTD:

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.

dior-grand-bal-2012-collection-5-Couleur-Eyeshadow-Palette-524-Fairy-Golds-swatches-fotd-1

dior-grand-bal-2012-collection-5-Couleur-Eyeshadow-Palette-524-Fairy-Golds-swatches-fotd2

dior-grand-bal-2012-collection-5-Couleur-Eyeshadow-Palette-524-Fairy-Golds-swatches-fotd-3

dior-grand-bal-2012-collection-5-Couleur-Eyeshadow-Palette-524-Fairy-Golds-swatches-fotd-4

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!

{ 22 comments }

The Chanel Pearl Glow Powder has been on my radar for sooo long ever since I read about it on Sabrina’s blog. It’s a limited edition Asia exclusive highlighter which was released as part of the Le Blanc collection a while back. Although Chanel had similar highlighting powders in the subsequent releases worldwide, I just felt this one could be the best one ever made by Chanel based on Sabrina’s reviews and swatches here and here. I was finally be able to procure this product at a duty free shop through my friend. *Yay*chanel-pearl-glow-illuminating-powder-1

I don’t think I have ever mentioned how much I love contouring and particularly highlighting  – a few highlights/shades here and there on the face makes a huge difference to define my typically flat Asian bone structure, as well as adding a nice glow to the skin. I don’t contour everyday as it requires more skill and patience, but I use highlighters religiously. My go-to highlighter is in powder form – it’s fuss free and quick to use as the last step of my makeup.

On to the product itself, the size of the compact is the same as Chanel JC. Instead of including a not-so-functional mini brush, the Pearl Glow Powder comes with a large and fat sponge applicator which feels very soft and velvety. It picks up more product than a brush and it’s great for blending.

The powder is very buttery soft, smooth, and highly pigmented. It contains tons of pearly gold micro-shimmer but rest assured, they won’t make your face sparkly. It shows up as pearly soft beige on me with a tinge of gold undertone. The color is very user-friendly and works brilliantly for my skin tone as it brightens as well as adds a bit of warmth rather than silvery or metallic.  What makes this product stand out from the norm is the incredibly radiant finish. It adds a lovely soft pearly sheen to the skin that almost has a wet-effect. I’m always curious about how they make the models’ complexion look so fresh and glowing backstage, and I think I have found the answer to that!

Comparison Swatches:

From left to right: Chanel Lumiére Sculptée; Chanel Pearl Glow; Chanel Ombres Tissées Iridescent Effects Eyes in Beiges; Giorgio Armani Sheer Shimmer 1, Nars Nico, Nars Albatross

chanel-pearl-glow-illuminating-powder-comparison-swatches

chanel-pearl-glow-illuminating-powder-comparison-swatchesWearing Chanel Pearl along the cheekbone, T-zone including the nose bridge, along the Cupid’s bow and the chin

chanel-pearl-glow-illuminating-powder-comparison-swatch-fotd-1chanel-pearl-glow-illuminating-powder-comparison-swatch-fotd-2

Bottom Line: Possibly the best powder highlighter I own!

{ 30 comments }

Chanel always excels in base makeup, and I personally enjoyed every base product I have used from them. When the new Light Mastering Whitening Concealer was released from the Chanel Le Blanc 2012 Collection, I immediately knew I wanted to have it. Thanks to the lovely Jen who helped me purchase it from Hong Kong as the collection is not available in Australia.

chanel-le-blanc-2012-light-mastering-whitening-concealer

chanel-le-blanc-2012-light-mastering-whitening-concealer-1

If you happened to have read this post, you will know I have quite an unnecessary amount of concealers, and I would say the Chanel Light Mastering Whitening Concealer definitely tops my favorites list.  The texture is the winner for me. It has an airy and creamy moussy texture that goes on smoothly and feels very lightweight and natural on the skin.  Two teeniest dabs of it is enough to conceal my mild dark circles completely and softly brightens my skin by about half a shade. I normally like to use the Becca extra small polishing brush (reviewed here) for application and it gives a natural yet flawless and luminous result. Once the concealer is settled, it dries down to a semi-matte finish with a hint of dewiness that is just needed for concealing and illuminating purposes. It doesn’t settle into any fine lines nor does it require any setting powder, and it doesn’t slip throughout the day.

It also has SPF30+ and  PA+++ which is an added bonus for those of you who are very cautious with sun protection. I bought the shade in 10 Beige Clair which has a neutral undertone, and it works excellent with my skin.

Bottom Line: If you are after a concealer and a highlighter all-in-one product, and you have mild to moderate discoloration/pigmentation, I highly recommend this product!

{ 9 comments }

I am wearing the Lumiére Sculptée De Chanel Highlighting Powder today and I am loving it more than I thought I would be!

Lumiere-Sculptee-De-Chanel-fotd

As you all know the Lumiére Sculptée is the star product of the Chanel 2011 Holiday Collection. I bought it simply for the sake of “I can’t miss out on Chanel Limited Editions”. However upon playing with it for the past 2 days I found that both the quality and finish are beyond my expectations. Here is a close up picture of the Lumiére Sculptée – such intricate design can only be seen from the best cosmetics houses.

Lumiere-Sculptee-De-Chanel-1

The texture has a velvety touch to it and is amazingly buttery soft for a highlighter. Compared to the Chanel Ombres Tissées Beiges, it feels smoother hence less powdery. I much prefer the finish of the Lumiére Sculptée as it provides a more natural radiance in daytime – it imparts a soft glow to the face that is not too shimmery but is still visible as a highlighter. If you think highlighters such as Bobbi Brown Shimmerbrick has too much of shimmers, then this is a toned down version.  On the other hand, if you prefer a rich intense highlighting effect, then Lumiére Sculptée may not be your cup of tea.

chanel-lighlighters

Swatches don’t lie do they? The Lumiére Sculptée powder is more finely milled with no visible glitters, therefore it glides over the skin smoothly as opposed to Ombres Tissées Beiges that appears to be sitting on top of the skin and enhancing the lines. Color wise, Lumiére Sculptée shows up less beige on the skin when swatched heavily. However, when applied on the skin softly it is translucent without much color.

Lumiere-Sculptee-De-Chanel-1-swatch

FOTD: Applied the Lumiére Sculptée along the top of the cheekbone, combined with a contour powder (the Suqqu OSHAGECHA), it definitely sculpts my cheekbone in the most flattering way.

Lumiere-Sculptee-De-Chanel-fotd-2The Chanel Holiday 2011 Collection has arrived in Australia. I have picked up a few other items from the collection which I will be showing you in my next post. The Lumiére Sculptée De Chanel Highlighting Powder retails for AUD$90.

{ 19 comments }

Every now and then Nars would release a set of limited edition makeup containing some of their best selling products – none of them have caught my attention as I have already collected most of the Nars makeup . When the Nars Blush Bronzer Trio was released a few months ago, it featured some the most iconic Nars shades including the 0rgasm blush, albatross highlighter and the laguna bronzer.  I didn’t give it a second thought until I read from BestThingsinBeauty that the blush from the palette is different to the original blush.  I was intrigued by what she said as well as her pictures- as much as I love the original 0rgasm shade, the “new” shade just looked so much better! Since this palette was not available in Australia I wasn’t able to swatch them at a counter, so I couldn’t help but order it online.

nars-blush-bronzer-trio-orgasm-Laguna-AlbatrossIt comes in a zippered compact nylon case which is handy for traveling – not a big fan of the design but at least the nylon will be more durable than the usual rubber case which I detest…

nars-blush-bronzer-trio-orgasm-Laguna-Albatross-1Swatches of the three must have shades by Nars:

nars-blush-bronzer-trio-orgasm-Laguna-Albatross-swatchesFirst thing I did when I received this palette was to compare it with my original blush.  I held the swatch under every lighting – it was much to my delight that the “new” shade is much more pink than the original.

Another comparison:

Bottom Line: What a lovely surprise! I love the “reformulated” shade more than the originals.

 

 

{ 21 comments }

I bought the Ombres Tissées Iridescent Effects Eyes in Beiges and the Chanel Le Vernis Nail Color 507 Tendresse a while ago (soon after I posted it here) but never had the time to swatch them for you. For the Chanel makeup lovers in Australia, unfortunately we have only received these two products from  Les Aquarelles de Chanel Collection, which means we miss out on the rest of the products such as the JC blush in pink cloud and the Rouge Coco Shine in Royallieu which I am dying to get my hands on! As usual, both CafeMakeup and TheBeautyLookBook have great reviews for all the products from the Les Aquarelles de Chanel Collection.

les-aquarelles-de-chanel-collectionThe Ombres Tissées Iridescent Effects Eyes in Beiges is truely a master piece of art – it shines in the light like a precious jewel.

chanel-les-aquarelles-ombres-tissees-beiges-swatch-1Once the overspray is removed it loses its glamorous appeal…

chanel-les-aquarelles-ombres-tissees-beiges-swatch-2Swatches with the overspray

chanel-les-aquarelles-ombres-tissees-beiges-swatch-3Swatches without the overspray are luminous but without the frost and glitters. They look the same on the skin once they are blended.

chanel-les-aquarelles-ombres-tissees-beiges-swatch-4Layered it with a matte pink blush

IMG_9390

FOTD: I have applied the Chanel Beiges on top of a matte grey shade on my eyes. On my cheeks I applied a pink cream cheek color on the apples then added the highlighter from the center of the apples towards the temples.  I would say it is a good highlighter for people who are not overly tanned. On my NC15 complexion it delivers a soft candlelit glow to the face without changing the skin color.

chanel-les-aquarelles-ombres-tissees-beiges-fotd-1

chanel-les-aquarelles-ombres-tissees-beiges-fotd-2

Chanel Le Vernis Nail Color 507 Tendresse is a lovely nude neutral pink – my number one staple shade if I want my hands to look polished and clean. The consistency of this polish is very thin and liquidy compared to the other Le Vernis. I had to apply 4 thin coats to achieve a semi opaque jelly-like finish.

chanel-Le-Vernis-Nail-Colour-507-tendresse-swatch

chanel-Le-Vernis-Nail-Colour-507-tendresse-swatch-1

{ 20 comments }