Laura Mercier

I often receive emails from my readers sharing their love for Suqqu products with me, and it is very flattering to hear that they find my reviews helpful for their purchases. To date Suqqu remains one of my favorite makeup brands. There are a lot of other great brands out there, but every time I use a new Suqqu product, it always blows me away. For instance, the Suqqu Balancing Eyebrow Palette 01 with the Eyebrow Brush S are just the perfect combo -  they are officially my holy grail eyebrow products now.

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There are two eyebrow powders in the palette – one is a medium brown shade and the second one is a moss green shade which allows you to mix the colors to your desire. The light brown shade shown on the right is perfect for contouring the nose or eye socket. You can hardly see this shade in my swatch which is why, ironically, what makes it a perfect contouring shade! As usual Suqqu product design is always very attentive, as the palette comes with a brow brush and a shading brush. The quality of both brushes are excellent for their mini size.

The powder is ultra smooth, very pigmented and long lasting. The most outstanding quality is that it is a perfect ashy brown palette for my complexion and hair coloring. The shade moss green is brown based with a tiny tinge of green to it. It might sound ‘strange’ but it’s a very common color used in Asian cosmetics. We refer to this shade as a ‘natural linen’ color. Since most Asians have black to black-brown hair, and red is the most dominant color in black, a tinge of green mixed with brown helps to counteract the red tone. This helps to lighten the hair with an ashy tone.

Compared to Laura Mercier Eyebrow Palette 01 Ashy Blonde and Shu Uemura Hard Formula 6

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suqqu-balancing-eye-brow-palette-01-moss-green-swatches

The Suqqu Eyebrow Brush S is the thinnest eyebrow brush I’ve ever used compared to other brands, so it gives the most precise and thin stroke that really mimics the natural eyebrow hair. Most eyebrow brushes including Stila and MAC are very firm and stiff, but the bristles of this Suqqu brush are firm yet soft (which might not make sense until you try it!), so it is a very directional brush for application and allows you to define and shape the brows better.

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Left: Stila Eyebrow Brush Right: SuqquSuqqu-Eyebrow-Brush-G-stila-1

As you can see, the thickness of Suqqu is only half of Stila!Both products are available on Selfridges here and here. And BIG THANKS to A Girl’s Guide to Makeup – I read in her blog (link here!) that you can use SKYPAX (a UK parcel forwarding service) to forward any purchases from Selfridges to anywhere in the world for a fraction of the cost that Selfridges charge for international shipping.

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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:

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.

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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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My Picks for the Best Eye Makeup 2011

by Reika on January 13, 2012

It is Friday night! I usually don’t blog on Friday night as it is my “happy hour” time, but I wanted to lose a couple of pounds after the festive season so I decided to stay home and just vegetate, and in the meantime killing my time off blogging…This post is about my picks for the best eye makeup year 2011! The same with my previous post – I picked one or two of my favorite and most used items from every eye makeup category.

Best Eye Shadow Primer - Nars Smudge Proof Eye Shadow Base

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Best Liquid Eye Liner: Dolly Wink Liquid Eye Liner in Jet Black, reviewed here.

Best Gel Eye Liner: Bobbi Brown Gel Eye Liner – an oldie but a goodie!

Best Eye Liner Pencil: Dior Crayon Eyeliner Waterproof - I use an eye liner pencil to define the outer third of my lower lash line, and I like the Dior as it is soft and pigmented so doesn’t tug my skin, and it stays put for a whole day without any smudge.

Best Eye Brow products: I get asked all the time what eye brow products I used in my FOTD. They are always by my holy grail combination – The K-Palette Real Lasting Liquid Eye Brow Pen in dark brown, followed by the Laura Mercier Brow Powder Duo in Deep Blonde

The Laura Mercier Brow Powder Duo in Deep Blonde has a light brown ashy color which works really well with my complexion. I use the dark shade to define my eye brow and the lighter shade to contour the bridge of my nose.Best Eye Brow Tint: MAC Brow Set in Girl Boy. If I go for a very soft and fresh makeup look, I tend to tint my eyebrow slightly lighter and I really love the color of MAC Girl Boy.

Best Cream Eye Shadow: Chanel illusion d’ombre long wear luminous eye shadow, I like the weightless texture and the shimmery semi-translucent finish.

Best Pigment: Inglot Pigments

Best Single Eye Shadow: Le Metier de Beaute True Color Eye Shadow. I haven’t used them long enough to do a proper review yet, but I was impressed and they win for their exclusiveness!

Runner Up: Chanel Ombre Essentielle Soft Touch Eye Shadow. Chanel offers a beautiful and wearable selection of single eye shadows. I have collected quite many of them and both the texture and the colors never let me down.

Best Eye Shadow Palette in general: Without a doubt that it’s my Suqqu Blend Color Eye Shadow, the entire range is easy to wear on a daily basis.

Best Cool Neutral Eye Shadow Palette: Other than Suqqu I have also included a few of my all time favorite neutral eye shadow palettes in this post. For the cool neutrals, Chanel Les 4 Ombres Quadra Eye Shadow in Prelude wins my heart. Do you know Chanel les 4 Ombres has also won the 2011 Japanese Cosme best eye shadow award?!

Best Warm Neutral Eye Shadow Palette: the legendary Lunasol Beige Beige – perfect for a “no makeup” makeup look.

Best Sparkly Neutral Eye Shadow Palette: Tom Ford Eye Color Quad in Golden Mink (reviewed here)

Best Collectible Eye Shadow Palette: Shiseido Maquillage Eye Creator by Alexander Wang (limited edition). This is my most precious makeup as I am huge fan of Alexander Wang’s modern and edgy design. I was lucky enough to snatch up some products from his first makeup collection in collaboration with Maquillage.

Best Drugstore Eye Shadow Palette: Kanebo Lavshuca Melting Eyes – as the name suggests, the eye shadows are so fined milled that they almost felt they were melting into the skin.

Best Mascara: The Helena Rubinstein Lash Queen Mascaras. I have both the original lash queen and the feline extravaganza lash queen. The feline adds more volume to the lashes but the original defines the lashes better and gives a soft and feathery finish. Absolutely adore this range!

Runner Up: Fresh Supernova Mascara – it gives super thick and dramatic lashes (almost doll like). The only downside is it doesn’t hold the curl well so I have to use another mascara or a primer underneath.

Best Drugstore Mascara: Kiss Me Heroine Make Volumising Mascara

Best False Eye Lashes: It’s a tie between the Princess Lee criss cross 7 in light black and the DUP Eyelashes. They are the most natural looking falsies I have used so far – soft and feathery and the human hair blend into your own lashes. I get a panic attack if I don’t have multiple backups of them. Just a note to those of you wanting to buy the Princess Lee lashes, be aware that there are so many counterfeit on the internet as Princess Lee lashes are extremely exclusive.

What a long post! If you have made it to here, well done! Hope you all have a good weekend :-)

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November Favorites – Flawless Complexion

by Reika on December 7, 2011

For the month of November I was mainly focusing on achieving a flawless complexion.  If you have read my previous posts you would know my skin was breaking out more than usual over the time in US, so I have spent a great deal of time on finding the right skincare products that can clear up my skin as soon as possible (I have zero tolerance for them!), as well as fading the acne scars. For makeup I opted for base makeup that offers a slightly more coverage than what I would normally go for, so they can help me to ‘fake’ a flawless complexion on a bad skin day.

Let’s start with my favorite skincare of the month. After I was let down by Tanda Zap that failed to clear up any blemishes, I went back to my trusted formulation – Alpha and Beta Hydroxy Acid. I started with the Peter Thomas Roth AHA/BHA Acne Clearing Gel, which contains potent AHA and a high strength of BHA (2%). Then I couldn’t help but buy the MD Formulation Vit-A-Plus Clearing Gel which has an even higher concentration of salicylic acid (5%), and it also includes retinol. Combined with MD Formulation Vit-A-Plus Clearing Complex Masque, I saw visible results within 3 days, after 1 week my blemishes were almost all gone and they also prevented new blemishes from appearing. All of these products are extremely harsh to the skin, so I needed an extremely gentle cleanser to neutralize the harsh effects. The Bobbi Brown Extra Balm Rinse is the savior.

At the moment I am focusing on having my skin repaired as I was left with some acne marks. The Creme de la Mer The Concentrate has recently been voted as the Best Skin Secret by Harper’s Bazaar Australia, and I can’t agree with them more. La Mer has always been marketed as a miracle for anti aging, but little did people know the healing power of their products. If  you are familiar with La Mer’s signature ingredient – the miracle broth, it was initially developed by the founder to heal severely burnt skin, and I believe this is what some of their products are best used for. The Creme de la Mer The Concentrate contains the highest concentration of miracle broth, and is mainly used for treating scars, not for anti aging. It is the best I’ve used for repairing damaged and irritated skin, as it heals wounds, and fades scars quite miraculously!

The weather was somewhat dry in the States, and now it’s cold in Sydney. So I have been using Laura Mercier’s Moisturizing Foundation, finished with either Cle de Peau Beaute Translucent Loose Powder or La Mer The Powder. For concealing, I love using the Bobbi Brown Corrector in light bisque. If I want some extra luminosity, I topped it up with YSL’s Touche Eclat, of which I have now lost count of how much of this I have gone through. The Shiseido Foundation Brush made me fall in love with compact foundations again, as I have been using this brush with either Laura Mercier Mineral Powder or Edward Bess Sheer Satin Foundation (not in the picture) whenever my skin needed more coverage, and they have worked their wonders to fake a flawless complexion.

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My Favorite Perfumes

by Reika on May 28, 2011

One of my readers asked me what are my favorite perfumes. It is quite hard for me to pick because my preference for fragrances changes in different seasons – I wear totally different perfumes in winter time to summer time .

In this post I am just going to show my all time favorite classic perfumes. They  have been around for a long time – with a new perfume being released every week I have yet to find any that could replace them. I will always re-buy them if they run out.

perfumes

I don’t have a preference for a particular scent,  the ones I picked fall into different categories:

STEP OUT OF SHOWER - does it make sense? I am obsessed with this scent though!

Amazing Grace by Philosophy: My top pick. I love it so much I even bought a roller version of it so I can carry it with me everywhere.

Banana Republic: It is also beautiful, definitely good value for money.

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VANILLA – with a hint of sweet note

They are my “dating” perfumes, the kind of scent guys are attracted to. I use to wear them religiously when I was dating my bf (now hubby) haha. He loves them

Addict by Dior

Armani Code by Giorgio Armani

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CITRUS AND JASMINE

Light Blue by Dolce & Gabbana – citrusy, perfect for summer.

Daisy by Marc Jacobs – Jasminey, although it is such a common scent there is something about this one that makes it so appealing to me. I am pretty sure my next perfume purchase will be the Eau So Fresh Daisy by Marc Jacobs

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NEROLI / ORANGE BLOSSOM – I am totally crazy about this scent right now.

Orange Blossom by Jo Malone – the best one in the market! To me  it smells the most pure out of all the orange blossoms in the market.

Neroli by Laura Mercier – this one is not in my all time favorite fragrances list. I don’t like it as much as Jo Malone’s – it is more warm than JM so I reach for this one more in Winter.

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On a side note,  I like to layer Orange Blossom with French Lime Blossom or Nectarine Blossom and Honey by Jo Malone – they combined into the most unique and captivating scent.

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