My Favorites

Ever since Net A Porter launched beauty, I became a loyal shopper (I meant – always tag a few beauty products along with my fashion purchases in every shopping cart!) . They don’t have the biggest selection of beauty products as with the department stores, but I like their picks and some of their exclusive beauty brands which are not found in Australia. At the moment they are offering free shipping for orders over AUD$150/USD$300 (normally free shipping for order value of AUD$300 or greater) which I thought was a good opportunity to stock up.

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Sharing my hauls and the picks from NAP.

1. Charlotte Tilbury Hot Lips Lipstick – I love CT matte revolution lipsticks (see my review here), and recently she has launched the Hot Lips collection in some beautiful new shades. I posted a few pictures of my picks for the Hot Lips on my insta, but haven’t had the time to do a full review for the blog yet.

2. Charlotte Tilbury Life Changing Eyelash Curler – Reviewed here. It’s so pretty and works as good as my HG Shu curler.

3. Charlotte Tilbury Instant Look in a Palette – A natural everyday palette for the entire face. Love all the colors in the palette and it is such great value for having lots of multi-purpose shades in one palette. Unfortunately, it is currently sold out, but you can add it to the wishlist and you will be notified.

4. Beauty Blenders – Can’t live without them! I use a new one every 3 months, and I have got them in every size and color!

5. OUAI Haircare – Possibly the hottest haircare brand at the moment. This brand is  launched by Kim Kardashian’s hairdresser, and they are an instant hit. I’ve been trialing out some products lately and absolutely love all of them, especially the treatment mask.

6. Artis Elite Mirror Brush – Totally a new concept for makeup brushes. The foundation brush is my first brush from the brand, and so far I like it very much.

7. BBROWBAR – A great brand that specializes in brow products for every single brow issue. I love their brow pen (have them in several colors) as it is really great for drawing short and hair-like strokes for the most natural real-brow look, and I find them more pigmented and longer lasting than the Japanese brands.

8. Christophe Robin Cleansing Purifying Scrub – I just bought it and it’s on the way so it’s not in the picture. Heard so many raves about this hair scrub for an intensive cleanse and scalp detoxification.

 

 

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I love doing top 5 (or more) picks posts, and today I am sharing some of my ultimate favorite eye shadow blending brushes. If you ask me to pick only a few favorite lip colors, it will be nearly mission impossible, but with brushes it’s a relative easy job as I tend to reach out for these brushes all the time, and I just know that my makeup routine will not be the same without them! They are suitable for all budgets, ranging from the most premium high end such as Suqqu, to the very affordable brand from the rising star Zoeva.

From left to right:

Suqqu M, Chanel Large Tapered Brush #19, Tom Ford Blend Brush, MAC 217, ZOEVA 227, Edward Bess Luxury Eye Brush

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All of these brushes are of very high quality, even though they are priced differently because of the type and source of bristles, where they were made and the packaging along with the brand name. However in terms of usability, they all stand the test of time and will last you at least 10 years of use. I have had each of them for a very long time, and none of them shed hair, change shape or fall apart.

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MAC 217 – Using the MAC 217 as the standard blending brush. Needless for me to say how useful this brush is for eye shadow application, and you can find my detailed review for MAC brushes in this post.

ZOEVA 227 Soft Definer – If you love the MAC 217, you will love this ZOEVA brush made with goat hair which pretty much feels and works the same. The hair softness is similar, with an oval shape, but a tad more flat than 217 which is great for working the color into the crease. I love ZOEVA brushes in general which I have hauled a lot lately – they are affordable with a big selection, and I find that the quality is on par with MAC. Each brush comes in an individual zip bag.

Edwass Bess Luxury Eye Brush (available here in Australia) – This is the star product from his line. I have had this brush for more than 5 years. It boasts the same dome shape as the MAC 217, but slightly larger and feels softer and more dense against the skin. It is a powerful blending brush that gives lots of resilience so it blends eye shadow effortlessly. I normally like to use this brush for applying a neutral color over the entire eye crease area, and it only takes 1 to 2 strokes for the color to distribute evenly and seamlessly.

Tom Ford Eyeshadow Blend Brush (bought here in Australia) – The ultimate luxury eye shadow blending brush you could ever find, as the packaging and the handle feels so luxurious and precious that makes you not want to ever use it! Once you overcome the ‘obstacle’, you will find this is such a practical blending brush. The bristle is made of premium super soft goat hair, and it is all hand made in Japan. It is about the same size as MAC217, but the head is more tapered for a more precise application. It’s particularly great for blending the color just along the crease, and blending multiple colors.

Chanel Large Tapered Blending Brush (exclusive to Chanel.com only) This is best-seller out of the entire Chanel brushes collection. I was actually on the wait list for a while until it became available again. All Chanel brushes have black bristles, except for this exclusive edition with white bristles which makes me adore it even more! It’s made of goat hair, and is made in France. It’s a cute and ‘chubby’ blending brush compared to the MAC 217. The brush head is more rounder and dense with shorter hair, and it picks up lots of pigments which works perfectly with eye shadows that do not have intense color payoff. If you always want a brush that is tad smaller than MAC217, then this is the one to look out for.

SUQQU Brush M – Last but not least, leaving the best at the end. The Suqqu is the crème de la crème, as it has the softest squirrel hair that feels non scratchy even on the most sensitive skin. It is a smaller blending brush (same size as the Chanel) with a tapered end. The ultra fine and silky soft bristles deposit the pigments softly on the skin, so it is the best for applying dark colored eye shadows to create perfect shade gradation, as well as allowing for precise application around the eye corners. I have a post for the entire Suqqu brushes.

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When it comes to makeup, I change my lip colors much more diligently than any other makeups. I can get away with wearing the same foundation and eye shadow for a long time, whilst for lip colors, I like to keep my many lipsticks on high rotation for an updated look. Lately I am a little over the pink and coral phase, and have become besotted with more neutral lip colors again. Perhaps it was to do with the current fashion trend, anything with a muted tone such as MLBB or browns in matte finish has my heart fluttered!

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Here is an array of my current favorite lipsticks!

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Top row from the lip swatch collage is the MLBB shades with a dusty pink undertone – absolutely obsessed with this shade.

Illamasqua  Lipstick in Climax – One of my favorite colors from Illamasqua. Their quality is slightly better than MAC – very pigmented and smooth to apply without streaks. Climax is the most beautiful MLBB shade I own – it’s a tad darker than my own natural lip color with a peachy pink undertone in creme semi-matte finish. Think about your flushed lip color when you just step out of the shower.

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MAC Lipstick Please Me (Matte) – My Holy Grail lip color, If I could only live with 3 lipsticks ‘Please Me’ would be one of them. It’s a MLBB with a dusty rose undertone in semi-matte finish. Just a natural but sexy color with a fashion spin and is easy to wear with different makeup looks.

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Second Row is the cool toned dusty pink shades

MAC Lipstick Snob (Matte) – One of the top sellers from MAC. It’s a cool toned milky dusty pink color. Not an easy color to pull off, as it can look a little streaky on the lips, and the key for application is to blend and blend until the color is completely blended into the lips. I would say it is a stunning color on blondes with cool skin tone and blue/green eyes. On me, since I have cool skin tone, I can still manage to pull of this color. It does wash me out a little, and I tend to use Snob on top of having my lips colored with a darker lip liner such as the Charlotte Tilbury Lip Liner in Iconic Nude (reviewed here), and together they look perfect.

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Shu Uemura Rouge Unlimited Supreme Matte PK 335 – Similar to Snob, but a tad darker in a complete matte finish, and it’s much easier to pull off. I love wearing this color alone, or mixing it with other colors. I actually bought this color after I saw the Shu gal had this lip color mixed a plummy lip liner, and it looked beautiful on her which resulted in this purchase!

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Third row is the brown and nude shades

Charlotte Tilbury Lipstick B*tch Perfect (CT KISSING Lipsticks reviewed here)- A delicate peachy pink color with a tiny tinge of nude brown undertone in a satin sheen finish. It’s a very easy color to wear for all skin tones, and leaves a luminous finish to the lips if matte is not your thing.

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MAC Velvet Teddy (Matte) – Possibly the world’s most famous and wanted shade because of Kylie Jenner who swears by this lip color. I love it too. It’s such an edgy and high-fashion color – a pure deep beige brick brown shade that is on every IT girl’s lips at the moment.

MAC-lipstick-velvet-teddy-review-swatchGroup Swatch

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You can purchase MAC and Shu Uemura beauty products at David Jones Online in Australia.

 

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Sharing some of makeup retouch tips in this post. I wear makeup to work everyday, and I usually touch up my makeup midday just to make it look more fresh and energized. I don’t want to spend too much time doing my makeup in the office so I have hand selected a handful of essential items that refresh the makeup within minutes. As always, the main goal is to make the complexion appear more radiant and flawless without looking cakey.

frontrowbeauty-makeup-bagPrep:

Since there is already makeup on the face, my must-have product is to apply a few spritz of MAC Prep and Prime Fix+ Finishing Mist before I put anything else on, then gently pad the skin dry with a tissue paper. It is better than oil blotting paper, as it helps to remove the surface oil, freshens up and hydrates your complexion, and takes away any existing powder on your skin so you don’t look cakey following more products.

Complexion:

For the complexion, my preferences have always been either powder foundations or cushion foundations for adding a bit more coverage throughout the day. Depending on your skin condition and the work environment, powder foundation is great for mattify-ing and gives a tad more coverage. I normally gravitate towards powder foundation if I go to the gym during lunchtime and my foundation is pretty much gone after a sweaty session. Other days I prefer to use the Sulwhasoo cushion foundation (reviewed here), it is like a foundation and radiant booster in one product that is perfect for creating a moist and dewy finish with a touch of sheer coverage. It takes less than a minute with no blending required for retouch, and it instantly makes your complexion appear fresh and more plumped. My go-to pick-me-up product!

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Eyes:

If you have any smudges around the eyes, you don’t need to carry a bottle of eye makeup remover. My tip is to always bring a little skincare sample (preferably eye cream), and dab a little on a cotton tip and this will erase any stubborn eye makeup smudges. I don’t normally touch the eye makeup, other than using a nude Charlotte Tilbury pencil in Eye Cheat to line the lower rim if I look very tired. A shimmery neutral eye shadow pencil such as the Chanel Stylo Eyeshadow is also great for emergency, as it is convenient to use with no brushes required. Sometimes I like to dab a little to the center and along the lower lash for a wash of color.

Colors:

The golden rule is to always use powder blush on top of powder foundation, and cream blush on top of cream/cushion foundation. At the moment I have got this Becca Tint Shimmer Souffle (reviewed here) in my makeup bag, as the formula works well with the moist finish from the cushion foundation. Also really love this pale baby pink and it’s fairly easy and quick to apply with fingers. As for the lips, I have an array of lip colors in my bag.  Showing in the picture is the super cute Mini Tom Ford Lip and Boy colors (reviewed here).

Highlight/Contour:

Last but not least, I like to use the KATE 3D Highlight and Deep Shadow Stick for a quick highlight and contour touch up. It is a pen highlighter on one end (ivory color with soft shimmer) and shading on the other (light matte sandy beige brown color) that is great for carrying out. The colors are really subtle so they are fool proof for application on the go. It is a creamy powder formula, and the sponge applicator helps to even out the color nicely.

If highlight and contour is not your forte, then a liquid illuminating concealer pen is a great option for brighten up the T-Zone, and the under eyes area. Loving the Chantecaille Anti-Fatigue Corrector Pen (reviewed here) as it is packed with their famous hyaluronic acid, so it works really well on dry skin.

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My previous post on my reader’s requests about how I clean my brushes was very well received, so I though I’d include a post that addresses some of the other most frequently asked questions. Today’s round-up is my picks for the base products for normal, combination to oily skin that have a great staying power in hot and humid weather and still look natural.

This is the list of my favorite products that are great for controlling the oil throughout the day, and most importantly they tick the criteria for not looking too matte, powdery and cakey on the face.

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1. MAC Prep and Prime -I bought the full size bottle of this after using a sample as I loved it so much. I am not a big fan of MAC base products but thumbs up for this one. It smoothes out the skin, covers and fills up the pores and creases, and slightly mattifies the skin without feeling silicony and heavy. The foundation sets beautifully on top of this primer, and gives an airbrushed finish of a more even and refined skin texture. It also helps to keep the shine and oil away for a longer time.

2. Make Up For Ever Smoothing Primer – Similar concept to the MAC, but more mattifying and covers the pores better. It has a heavier silicone texture than the MAC, and takes away excess oil and shine completely. Highly recommend it to anyone who has oily skin with large pores.

3. Chanel Mat Lumiere Foundation – My go-to foundation for the hot weather. It has a milky fluidy texture, feels lightweight, and offers a great coverage. It sets slightly more matte and powdery than the other fluid foundations, but it still gives the signature Chanel radiant glow from their Lumiere range. It also photographs beautifully – natural with a soft glow but not shiny.

4. Chanel Perfection Lumiere Foundation (reviewed here) – I wasn’t very impressed with this foundation at first as I was in a ‘dewy foundation’ phase back then, and fell in love with it during the summer time, as it has an amazing stay power and keeps my face looking fresh and clean for the whole day. It gives a velvety finish that is a tad more matte than the Mat Lumiere upon application, and it becomes more natural and luminous over time. Would only recommend this to normal to oily skin types.

5. Chanel Natural Finish Loose Powder – A very mattifying powder, and a little goes a long way. I only dust a very sheer amount on to my t-zone on a normal day, and it keeps the shine away for the whole day. I brought this along with the Mat Lumiere foundation to my last tropical vacation, and they worked wonders keeping my makeup on without melting for the whole day in very humid weather. It can look slightly powdery if applied too much, and it is not the most finely milled powder (can slightly enhance the pores around the cheeks) compared to the other high end powders I have in my collection.

6. Cle De Peau Translucent Loose Powder – My absolute holy grail for so many years. The most luxurious, silkiest and finely milled loose powder you can find in the stores. It looks natural, non powdery, and gives a brightening and more refined finish as it helps to cover the pores and lift the dullness. It slightly mattifies the skin and guarantees to keep your makeup stay put all day.

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I have recently re-organized my makeup bag before my trip to Sweden, so I thought I’ll do a ‘what’s in my bag’ post. The makeup pouch is from Louis Vuitton 2015 Summer Collection limited edition. I really like the bright pink V graphic on it and its matching hot pink interior – it is very on trend and adds a playful touch to a rather classic style! The size is also quite compact, and I like the round shape (rather than a flat pouch) so it’s great for holding lots of makeup!

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1. Dior Eye Reviver Eyeshadow Palette – reviewed here

2. Bobbi Brown Cheek Palette Pink – reviewed here

3. Suqqu Cheek Brush – The greatest investment you can make for a brush! I have been using it everyday for the past 3 years and it is still in perfect condition (reviewed here)

4. Chantecaille Corrector Concealing Pen – reviewed here

5. Beauty Bar 24k Gold – Highly recommend! I use this face massage tool whenever I can for an instant lifted contour (reviewed here).

6. Dior Rainbow Powder – I use it as a setting powder with a kabuki brush for a soft glow with a brightening effect (reviewed here).

7. BBrowBar Brow Pen – Best brow pen I have ever used (reviewed here)!

8. Charlotte Tilbury Liquid Pencil in Eye Cheat – Can’t live without this pencil now. I use it on the lower waterline and it instantly makes my eyes appear more awakened and bigger (reviewed here)

9. Chanel Stylo Yeux Waterproof Eyeliner in Marron Glace –  A lovely rusty brown color I like to use on the along the lower lash line.

10. Chanel Le Volume Mascara – This mascara gives the most feathery fanned out lashes.

11. Dior Addict It Line– Review coming soon. Absolutely addicted to this liner!

12. Chanel Rouge Coco Ultra Hydrating Lip Color in Roussy – reviewed here

The interior

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November Favorites

November 30, 2014

Just in time to post my favorite products for the month of November!

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Diptyque Mimosa Candle – I love the smell of Mimosa, and when this fresh and enchanting scent is packed into a candle by the magic hands of Diptyque it’s a must have for me! I have used this one for the home all year round.

YSL Le Tient Touche Eclat Illuminating Powder Foundation (Asia exclusive, also available in Australia) – Currently obsessed with this one. I can’t stop looking at my complexion when I dust this one on top of the foundation – it makes skin look incredibly radiant and air-brushed but so natural with a decent coverage.

YSL Touche Eclat  Foundation –  I thought the performance of this foundation was on the average side for me (reviewed here), however when it’s used in conjunction with the Touche Eclat Powder I am more than amazed! It is currently 20% off at YSLBeauty Online.

Gucci Cat Eye Sunglasses (Take up to 25% off use code GOBIG)– Love the subtle cat eye shape and it is extremely lightweight so I can wear this for the whole day without leaving marks along my nose bridge!

TATCHA Deep Hydrating Lifting Mask – A luxurious paper mask that guarantees to make your skin appear more plumped and glowy.

Becca Beach Tint Shimmer Souffle – Reviewed here.

BEATS Mixr White – I cannot workout without music. So I rely on my BEATS Headphone to help me get through the sessions as I am hitting the gym more often now to get myself in shape before the holiday starts!

Ipsa Premier Line Cleansing Creamy Paste – A gentle creamy and refreshing cleanser that I use in the morning. The texture reminds me of Neutrogena’s Deep Clean Cream Cleanser, but 100 times more luxurious overall.

Bobbi Brown Smokey Nudes Eye Shadow Palette – My workhorse lately (reviewed here).

Nars Audacious Lipsticks – I reviewed Natalie here, and went back and bought the shade Grace as I just love this new formulation. They are currently 20% off at NarsCosmeticsOnline.

 

 

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I was recently ‘challenged’ by a tag on Instagram to show my one-and-only favorite lipstick. I thought that was such an interesting challenge to take on as it is near mission impossible to only narrow down to one favorite lipstick from my collection! I have been thinking about this tag seriously for days and the one that popped into my head the most frequent was the Nars Audacious Lipstick in Natalie – partly because it was one of my recent purchases, and partly because this was the perfect pink I had not seen for a while!

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You probably would have read tons of reviews on the latest Nars Audacious Lipsticks, so I’ll keep my review short and sweet. Out of the entire range, I only picked up one color which is the Natalie. It wasn’t because I didn’t like the other colors, but as soon as I swatched this on my lips, I thought I found the lipstick.  I haven’t bought Nars makeup for a while as I just couldn’t put up with their rubber packaging. But I am very pleased that this new release comes in sturdy plastic tubes, and the formulation is as divine as you could get from a premium luxury lipstick – it applies silky smooth and evenly with only one coat required for full coverage, and feels lightweight and creamy on the lips. The more I wear this one the more I am infatuated with this new range, and I will definitely be picking up more colors in the near future.

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Natalie is a bright and fresh neutral pink with a hint of  coral undertone. There is something in this color that just makes it a standout for me, as if it is custom made for my complexion (NC15-20)!

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