Makeup Base

Life has been extremely busy for me lately.  Returning back to work full time, and trying to spend as much time as possible with my baby, and blogging after he goes to bed along with several other projects going on is really a juggle for me. As a result I’ve learnt to cut down my makeup time drastically, which is something I swore I would never do because I absolutely enjoy putting makeup on with my endless stash of makeup! Anyway I figured that my top priority right now is to catch up on my beauty sleep so I have carefully edited a selection of my favorite makeup that give me the look I am after under 5 minutes.

When it comes to quick makeup – perfecting the complexion is always my number one priority. If I can get a nice clean and fresh complexion then it makes the rest of the makeup application a breeze. My current favorite combination is the Bobbi Brown Enriched Vitamin Face Base (reviewed here), then a sheer layer of the YSL CC Cream Lavender (reviewed here) which gives me a well-rested glow, followed by YSL Touche Eclat Foundation applied with Beauty Blender. All together takes about 2 minutes, and these three products are guaranteed to give me a natural and flawless complexion with a moist and dewy glow.

For the eyes and cheeks, I go for cream based products and I like to apply them just with my fingers. I use the Chanel Illusion D’Ombre 93 Impulsion for highlight around the eyes, and Mirage on the crease. The By Terry Hydra Blush 3 Bubble Glow gives an effortless coral-pink flush to the cheeks that instantly brightens up the complexion.

Eyeliner and mascara are essential items for me which I would never skip. I have been wearing a brown eyeliner instead of black lately as it makes my eyes appear softer. The Creer Beaute makes the best waterproof and easy to apply liquid eyeliner in my opinion, and their latest Sailor Moon Star Power Liquid Liner (brown) is a medium warm chocolate brown liquid eyeliner that goes well with my neutral eye shadows. It leans a little to warm and reddish for my liking so I am still on the hunt for a perfect dark cool brown eyeliner. The Le Volume de Chanel Mascara came as a surprise for me. I didn’t like any other Chanel mascaras that I tried before but this one is a gem and worth the hefty price tag!

Last but not least, having lipstick on defines me! I  always have at least 5 lipsticks that are on high rotation every week, and the Chanel Rouge Coco 60 Triomphe (reviewed here) is my go-to lipstick of the week that goes well with my By Terry blush.

 

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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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Bobbi Brown’s skincare products are just as divine as their makeup line. Though it is primarily a makeup brand, the skincare products I have used are just far more superior than some other major big brands. A case in point is the Bobbi Brown’s Vitamin Enriched Face Base that remains as their best seller for many years..

Bobbi-Brown's-Vitamin-Enriched-Face-Base-review-2This is a double duty product – it can be used as a moisturizer or makeup primer. I bought it for the purpose of using it as a makeup base. The minute I took it out from the box, I was drawn to its simple and sleek glass jar design, and its signature luxurious citrus scent. The texture is creamy but silky and lightweight, and it glides on skin soft and smooth like cashmere. It gives the skin an instant boost of moisture with a radiant glow, so it gives the appearance of more plumped skin.  This is a product for people with normal to dry skin, or anyone who wants to achieve a natural glowy complexion for a photo shoot. It makes the skin slightly emollient (but doesn’t feel like a film) with plenty of slip, so it allows the foundation and other base product to adhere to the skin much better as well as for ease of blending. The only drawback would be it makes my T-zone slightly oily after 5-6 hours of wear (which is fine with me as at this old age I appreciate any natural oil on my face!), so this will not be the right product for anyone with oily skin or living in humid/hot weather condition for daily use.

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I personally do not like any primer that feels siliconey with a matte finish. My skin is dry, so I need a good moisturizer-like primer that is packed with nurturing ingredients that makes my complexion more smooth and dry patches free for subsequent makeup application. The Bobbi Brown is a savior for people with normal to dry skin as it turns any foundation into dream-like application for a radiant finish. It’s a just a classic product to have in your makeup kit.

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I have used quite a few BB skincare products and I absolutely love them all – here are the backups of some of my favorite Bobbi Brown products!

Intensive Skin Supplement; Buffing Grains; Hydrating Gel Cream; Vitamin Enriched Face Base. I have also reviewed the luxurious Extra Rinse Balm here.

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I’ve been very obsessed with multi-purpose base products that can be used as a makeup base and also containing a decent level of SPF for sun protection.  Cle De Peau Beaute is a premier Japanese beauty brand that is known for their base products for a smooth and flawless complexion, so when I found out that they have released a new Brightening Enhancer Base which has SPF35 with PA+++, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it as I knew it would be an ideal product to meet my needs!

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A makeup/foundation base may not be an essential product for many women, but it is absolutely a must-have for me! Over the years I have learnt that if you have the right products that make your skin well-hydrated and translucent, you can pretty much use any foundation to make your complexion look naturally flawless and radiant. It is all about the preparation than piling on layers of foundations and concleaers. Whilst most of us don’t have the budget and time to prep our skin with an SKII paper mask (that many MUA swear by), I have been spending my time to find some of the best base products in the market, and I am very happy with this purchase.

As a Makeup Base:

Cle De Peau claims that “it transforms bare skin into pure clarity“.  It has a serum-like fluid texture with a pink beige color. It is very light and blends into clear color which is suitable for most skin colors. Upon application it evens out the complexion moderately and imparts a subtle radiant glow to the skin with a semi-matte finish. It certainly reduces the amount of foundation needed afterwards as it already helps to improve the texture and clarity of the complexion. You could probably even skip the foundation if you already have good skin to begin with. I find that the brightening effect can also be used for highlighting purposes. Formula-wise, it is quite hydrating and makes your skin softer but not the most hydrating. I think it would be wonderful for combo-skin type or in humid/hot weather.

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As a basic suncare product for everyday use:

Anything above SPF30 is enough for my everyday use as I don’t stay out-door a lot (mostly home to the office, sad I know.. ) The Clea De Peau Brightening Enhancer Base feels completely weightless on the skin, and unlike many other products with a high SPF, I feel that my skin can still breathe with this one.  It doesn’t cause any breakout and congestion to my skin. It also contains some brightening ingredients which might help to brighten/whiten your complexion over time – however it’s not evident from my experience.

Bottom Line: An ultra luxurious makeup primer if you have the budget for it. It’s not something that will transform your skin completely, but it does draw you to its beautiful packaging, the expensive floral scent and the luminous finish. I would say it is suitable for all skin types (exclude acne-type), and you will appreciate this product more if you have oily to combo skin.

It retails for $6000 JPY + tax (approx around $70 USD and $75 AUD) for 30 grams of product. Made in Japan.

 

 

 

 

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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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I got asked about my thoughts on the Sunday Riley Effortless Breathable Tinted Primer after I mentioned it was one of my all time favorite base products. Sunday Riley is a relatively new cosmetic brand – they are known for their skincares and they recently released a remarkable collection of makeup which is only available at Barneys for now. I was initially interested in their skin care products while I was browsing, but the gorgeous SA insisted that I should not miss the tinted primer which is their signature product. I normally do not like SAs trying to sell me a particular product, but I was totally sold after I noticed there were many gorgeous girls dropping by the counter just to pick up this primer. So I managed to get myself the last bottle of this on that day! *phew*..

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The Sunday Riley Tinted Primer is housed in a plastic bottle, the packaging is sturdy but I won’t say luxurious. On the contrary, the ingredients are the most luxurious you could ever get for a tinted moisturizer and that’s what makes it stand out from norm. It has

- Peptide: for regeneration and anti-glycation.

- Sodium Hyaluronate : a form of hyarulonic acid that contains higher molecular weight (totally out of topic – most fillers are made of that) that leaves skin fine-textured and appear more plumped.

- Paraben Free

I thought it was a perfect formulation for me as I am constantly on the look out for products that prevent the first signs of aging and the first two ingredients are known for that. The texture is mousse-like and ultra lightweight, and it feels silky smooth and melts into the skin upon application.  The use of hyaluronate never enhances the dry patches on the skin and keeps my skin hydrated throughout the day without getting greasy. The coverage is about the same as any sheer foundation, and it leaves the skin appearing more even toned, smooth and finely textured with a touch of dewiness. I normally let it settle for a few minutes, then quite amazingly, my skin appears noticeably more plumped and radiant, and the signs of dullness is diminished.   I have seen such results with a good moisturizer, but for a makeup product that can deliver this it truly blows me away.

The Sunday Riley Tinted Primer can be worn alone for a sheer wash of color, or followed with your foundation if you prefer more coverage. As for my complexion, I like to use it alone with a touch of under eyes concealer and I’m good to go. It also keeps my base makeup looking like it’s freshly applied all day.

Full ingredient list:

Bottom Line: An amazing combination of a sheer foundation packed into an ultra luxurious moisturizer! I purchased mine here.

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This post is inspired by some of my favorite bloggers who have done an extensive summary of the beauty products they loved the most in year 2011. I thought it was such a good idea to show you some of the amazing products that I came across last year (or years before..). As a beauty junkie I have way too many products to showcase so I will be breaking them into several posts, and today’s post is all about the best base makeup products that I have absolutely been in love with, and I am pretty sure my appreciation for them will be carried over to year 2012.

Unfortunately I haven’t had the time to review many products in this post yet, but I am sure they will appear sometime in the near future!

Best Makeup Primer: the award goes to By Terry Teint De Rose. The most luxurious primer I have ever used – the hydrating texture, the  scent and the pink rosy color just blows me away every time I use it.

by-terry-teint-de-roseBest Illuminating Makeup Base: the award goes to Dior Radiant Base. It gives a “your glow but better” effect.

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Best Tinted Moisturizer: the award goes to Sunday Riley Effortless Breathable Tinted Primer. One of their signature products. I was at Barneys shopping for Sunday Riley skincare, and I noticed there were so many (gorgeous) girls dropping by just to purchase this primer over a short time! So I had to have it and it is my holy grail makeup base now on a good skin day.

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Best BB Cream: the award goes to Dr Jart Blemish Base BB Cream, love the hydrating yet lightweight liquid texture.

dr-jart-water-fuse-blemish-base-balmBest Liquid Foundation: the award goes to Giorgio Armani Designer Lift Firming Foundation (reviewed here). I don’t know one single person who doesn’t love this foundation?!

giorgio-armani-designer-lift-smoothing-firming-foundationRunner up: Chantecaille Future Skin Foundation. This was my first high end foundation that I got it when I was in High School, and I was hooked on to it ever since. There is always a backup in my vanity drawer.

chantecaille-foundationBest Compact Foundation/Powder: the award goes to Tom Ford Translucent Finishing Powder. My new discovery and this is THE most finely milled powder I have ever used!

tom-ford-translucent-finishing-powderRunner Up: La Prairie Cellular Treatment Powder Foundation (old packaging). A little goes a long way and it gives a flawless coverage.

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Best Contouring Powder: the award goes to Suqqu Balancing Cheek in OSHAGECHA (the shade on the right). Provides a perfect subtle contouring that just blends in with my natural skin color.

Best Concealer: the award goes to Cle De Peau Concealer (have discussed in this post)

cle-de-peau-concealerBest Under Eye Brightening Concealer: the award goes to YSL Touche Eclat (have discussed in this post)

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Best Loose Powder: the award goes to La Mer Loose Powder. The most finely milled loose powder inthe market and gives a soft focus finish. This is my second tub and my first one lasted me a few years!

la-mer-the-loose-powderRunner Up: Cle de Peau Loose Powder. It has a slight pink tinge to it rather than totally translucent. Provides a brightening effect and a flawless finish.

cle-de-peau-loose-powderIf you haven’t read the 2011 picks by these beautiful bloggers yet, please do check them out.

Atelier Beauty’s 2011 Picks.

Delicate Hummingbird’s best picks for the foundations/powder/concealers 2011

Rouge Deluxe 2011 Loves and Thoughts

Miss Elaine-Nio Year 2011 Favorites, I am VERY sad to hear that she will no longer be blogging…

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I bought Becca Radiance Primer not long ago and it has quickly become my all time favorite radiance and illuminating primer. At the time I was purchasing I had a choice between the most raved Shimmering Perfector and the Radiance Primer which is a new product from Becca. As usual I like to go against the crowd…and took this baby home. I am so glad I did because it has surpassed my expectations.

becca-radiance-primerWhat is it:

- It is an age defying illuminating primer that instantly diminishes signs of dull, uneven complexion with a luminous, dewy finish.

- It has a water based formulation that hydrates and boosts the vitality of the skin.

- Can be used underneath foundation or on its own. Suitable for all skin types.

- Made in Italy

- Paraben Free, Fragrance Free and Alcohol Free.

This primer has a subtle gold tinge to it. When you squeeze the product out, you can see tiny particles of gold shimmer.

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What I love about it the most:

- Many primers are ivory or pink based, sometimes they can make my face look too white and oily in the photos . This primer blends into my skin seamlessly – I cannot detect that there is a layer of highlighter or shimmer on my face. It gives a nice glow-from-within effect.

- There really is no rule for applying makeup. Rather than using it underneath my foundation, I like to mix this product in with my foundation to achieve an all over radiant effect. The hydrating formulation also makes my foundation adhere to my skin even better.

- My favorite use of this product is that I like to apply, or more specifically pat this product into my skin on top of my foundation. It takes away the cakiness and thickness of foundation – instantly makes my skin look more lifted and gives a moist and dewy glow. In a way it reminds me of the Clarins Beauty balm but much better. I have no luck with the Clarins as it flakes on me horribly.

More pictures!

Slightly blended out

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Applied Becca Radiance Primer on top of the foundation along my cheekbone. Again the effect is hard to capture by the camera – it always looks better in real life.

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Becca Radiance Primer retails for $55 in Australia.

 

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