NARS

Sharing some of my favorite skincare products of late. I go through lots of products at the same time, and once in a while, I like to do a round-up post on some of the products that I enjoy using.

NARs Multi Action Hydrating Toner – A lovely hydrating and refreshing toner in watery gel consistency, with some brightening properties that help to combat the formation of pigmentation. I bought the toner because I really like its sleek and minimum packaging, and its’ reasonably priced for such a large bottle. I enjoy using it in hot weather when my skin is not so dry, and it feels refreshing, lightweight and it mildly hydrates the skin. It also helps to clarify and deep clean the pores – If I apply this toner with a cotton pad even after washing my face with cleansers, sometimes there is still dirt and makeup residues left on the pad. It reminds me of the famous Clinique Clarifying Toner, but this is an alcohol free, and a much gentler and hydrating version of it.

Jan Marini Age Intervention Retinol Plus: I was a little skeptical about introducing retinol into my regime. My dermatologist highly recommended me to incorporate this 0.5% retinol serum nightly to start with, after I complained that I noticed some pores on my face becoming raindrop shaped which is clearly a sign of aging. I finally started using it about a month ago, and all I can say is what have I been missing out on all these years!! It has made a huge difference to my skin texture, as it truly visibly refines the pores over a period of one week. My complexion is looking more even, refined and the pores are more cleared, which in a way has improved the appearance of the pores. Retinol is also great for anti-aging, so if you start to see fine lines this is also a great product to consider. Not much firming and lifting effect from using it. Next on my to-try list will be the Chantecaillie Retinol Intense +.

Sulwhasoo Activating Serum:  Reviewed here! Love this super hydrating and soothing serum which also helps to boost the benefits of other skincare products. The high concentration of ginseng also helps with blood circulation for a more youthful and radiant complexion.

Chanel Sublimage Regenerating Mask: As the mercury is dropping drastically in Australia, I am starting to appreciate this ultra nourishing mask more and more. You can see my full review here. In short, it’s a lovely luxury ultra moisturizing mask with anti-aging and regeneration benefits. It’s particularly great for those who are seeking the convenience of just using one product overnight (as a sleeping mask), and it gives you radiant, fully re-charged skin the next day.

Chantecaille Fruit and Acids Mask: This is an oldie but goodie which I really like to use once a week for exfoliating, clarifying the skin for a clearer complexion. It contains grapefruit and flower acids which help to take off the dead skin cells and re-texturises. It’s very gentle, and the result is instant to a brighter, more even-toned, radiant complexion after one use.

Fresh Youth Preserve Serum: Last but not least, I can’t believe this lovely serum from Fresh is discontinued. It’s hydrating, lightweight and is absorbed into the skin immediately. Just a really lovely serum to use in the morning, and helps the makeup go on nicely. And the best thing about it is that it smells exactly like the Fresh Soy Cleanser – like heaven! I’m addicted to the smell of all Fresh skincare products!

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The new NARS Spring Color eye shadows HAMMAMET Duo and Dual Intensity KARI from the Spring 2016 Collection thankfully reminded me of how much I used to be obsessed with Nars years back. (yes Nars was the brand that made me into a makeup addict hence the blog!) Over the past two years my obsession had slowed down, and I became very selective with the colors they released. My goal is to only collect the everyday colors that will get lots of use, rather than the unique bold colors (which Nars tend to do) that will end up collecting dust. Hammamet and Kari are beautiful neutrals again that I just can’t take my eyes off –  love the soft dusty rosy tone to them!

pictured clockwise: Nars Duo eyeshadow Hammamet; Nars Duo Intensity Kari and Nars Audacious Lipstick Natalie (one of my all time favorite lip colors – reviewed here)

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The Nars HAMMAMET duo is a must-have for me. I always thought it was the duo eye shadows and the blushes that has put Nars where he is now. The quality of the duo is always consistent, as the eye shadows are silky and creamy to the touch, and they are ultra pigmented but easy to apply and blend without any fallout. One compact will last you forever and the powder quality stays the same over a long period of time without drying out like the MAC singles.

Shade description:

Left : a matte medium sandy beige color that is perfect for shading/contouring. As a matte color it feels buttery soft and it glides on smooth and evenly.

Right: coppery bronzey shimmer with a hint of dusty rose undertone. Stunning color with ultra pigmented micro fine shimmer.

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The Nars KARI is another beautiful soft neutral color that just can’t be missed. It’s a soft dusty sandy taupe color with a hint of mauve undertone in satin finish. Texture is firm and silky smooth, and it can be applied wet or dry with a more intense finish when applied wet. If you think HAMMAMET might pull too warm on you, then KARI is more neutral and softer.

nars-duo-eye-shadow-spring-2016--intensity-kari-review-swatchSwatches

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You can find the Nars Spring 2016 collection at Nordstrom Online, and they are currently offering Gift with Purchase with Nars.

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Sheseido Maquillage has released a new line of lipsticks this year called Dramatic Melting Rouge. Since I am a devotee of their highly popular lip gloss (Essence Glamorous Rouge that has won many beauty awards in Japan), I was excited about this new launch. Similar to the lip gloss that was enriched with hyaluronic acid, this new lipstick claims to have a high concentration of their unique blend of ‘beauty oil’ that hydrates your lips like moisturizing essence, and provides a full coverage with a mirror shine gloss.

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I picked the colors PK227 and RD425 – a pink and a bright red as they are my go-to colors these days. The texture completely lives up to my expectations as they are ultra smooth and glides on like silk that just melts into your lips. It nourishes even the driest lips without enhancing any dry skin and lines, and make them appear fuller and youthful. It feels very lightweight and extremely hydrating on the lips. The coverage is excellent and it’s opaque with a degree of translucency. It also has a jelly like shine without any shimmer which I absolutely adore. Best of all, they are very long lasting for a glossy lipstick. The colors remain at full intensity even after 4 hours of wear and I even had snacks in between!

Shiseido Maquillage Dramatic Melting Rouge in PK227 is a beautiful girly and soft neutral pink that is neither too cool or nor too warm. You probably would have seen a gazillion of them on my blog, but this shade just guarantees to make me feel happy and pretty which is the most important purpose of wearing makeup!

Shiseido-Macquillage-dramatic-melting-rouge-pk227-review-swatchesLip Swatch with a single swipe – natural day light

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FOTD wearing PK227

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Shiseido Maquillage Dramatic Melting Rouge in RD425 is a bright cherry red in high gloss. You can either apply this color to the center of your lips for a gradient look, or you can apply it to your entire lips for a more glamorous look but still stay young and fresh.

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FOTD wearing RD425

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Group Swatch

Left PK227 Right RD425

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Other makeups used in the FOTDs include

Sheseido-Macquillage-dramatic-melting-rouge-review-swatches-fotdDIOR Diorskin STAR Studio Foundation

CHANEL Natural Finish Loose Powder

YSL Touche Eclat

NARS Illuminator Limited Edition

HOURGLASS Ambient Blush Palette Limited Edition (reviewed here)

JILL STUART Ribbon Couture Eye 03 Vintage Satin (reviewed here)

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November Favorites

November 30, 2014

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

frontrowbeauty-november-favorite-products-1Clockwise:

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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Hi everyone I’m finally back from my months long hiatus! My computer crashed (which was catastrophic!) and I lost all my pictures soon after my previous post, and that just completely killed my blogging mojo for longer than I thought…Big thanks to those of you who messaged me!

I spent a few days thinking about what my ‘first post’ should be upon returning, and I decided on doing a FOTD with some of the new makeups I recently bought.  It is my go-to makeup look now, with an emphasis on creating a translucent complexion and very light touch of neutral eye shadows with the MAC Golden Hours Mineralize Eyeshadow from the “Fantasy of Flowers’ collection.

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Being a 24 hours on-call mum, I find that warm neutral shades are easier to work with and look more flattering on tired eyes than the cools. The colors from MAC Golden Hours do a fantastic job in opening up my eyes and add a lovely warm glow to them. Though the texture of this quad feels a little gritty and dry, they apply smoothly and are relatively easy to blend without any fallout with the use of an eyeshadow primer. The color payoff is semi-sheer when applied dry with a translucent soft shimmer finish. Overall this is a lovely and affordable warm neutral eye shadow to own, as it is priced the same as a single MAC Mineralize eye shadow but you get 4 different shades. The quality may not blow you away, but I love the flattering complementary shades that are fool proof to use.

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Swatches
MAC-golden-hour-mineralize-eyeshadow-swatchesApplication Method:
Upper Lid – Applied the golden brown shade all over the socket then layer it with the peachy shade. Then applied the bronze shade on the outer-v.
Lower Lid – Applied the vanilla shade on the tear duct and the bronze on the outer 1/3.

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Other products used:

Using my favorite base products of the moment which are from a Korean cosmetic brand called 3 Concept Eyes . The Glossing Waterful Foundation and its matching Concealer feel almost like water upon contact with the skin and gives the skin a soft ‘wet look’ radiance. I like to use the Nars Adelaide Illuminator as a blush base, and in my FOTD it was layered with the cult favorite Nars 0rgasm.

 

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Coming Soon!

January 17, 2014

 

1. Nars Final Cut Blush New Attitude – My heart skipped a few beats when I saw the preview of  Nars Final Cut Collection – it’s all about Pink! After playing with the testers for some time, I ended up with these two items. Check out the swatches of the entire Final Cut collection on The Make-Up Blogette. Nordstrom has a tutorial video on this collection.

2. Nars Final Cut Skin Illuminator Adelaide

3. Suqqu Concealer 01 – I heard so many good things about the white concealer as a highlighter!

4. Suratt Automatique Lip Crayon POC – A new makeup brand only available at Barneys. This is my first product from this line as I always have faith in the quality of the beauty products from Barneys. Check out reviews and swatches on Wondegondigo. Have you tried anything from Suratt? I would love to hear your thoughts 🙂

5. Giorgio Armani Flash Lacquer 520 – I rushed to the store and got these beautiful glosses after I read the review on The Beauty Look Book!

6. Giorgio Armani Flash Lacquer 522

7. Tom Ford Lip Color Indian Rose – I bought thes lipstick with the gloss because the combo looked so beautiful on the gorgeous Tom Ford SA.

8. Tom Ford Ultra Shine Lip Gloss Sahara Pink

 

Deal Alert! Neiman Marcus is currently offering $50 off any $200 purchase with promo code JAN50 and free shipping to Australia which I think is pretty fantastic (offer ends this Friday)! So I got myself this one…Yay!

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I love the NARS Purifying Foam Cleanser! I started using this one since summer, and it worked brilliantly for my normal to dry skin. What surprised me the most is that my skin is still loving it in this cold weather which is a good indication that it is an all year rounder for even dry and sensitive skin. So I think I need to write up a more detailed review to share my love.

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As the name suggests, it’s a foaming cleanser that helps to clean and purify the skin. The cleanser contains micro beads that feel very gentle on the skin. A tiny dab of it forms a lot of bubble so I have barely used a dent after several months! And this gigantic tube will last me a long time I think. It is part of the Nars’ latest brightening skincare range so it contains “light reflecting technology” which helps to brighten up your complexion. I would say it is a good product to be incorporated into your skincare routine if your main concern is pigmentation or dullness but I won’t solely rely on this product for brightening purposes.

When it comes to foaming cleansers, my preference has always been with Japanese brands as that is what they are known for. The Japanese cleansers pioneer in terms of producing ultra-dense and creamy foam (that has a marshmallow-like texture) and has excellent cleansing power . The downside is that they tend to over clean my dry skin so I always feel my skin a little taut after washing with most brands. Compared to that, what wins me over with Nars is that it does a good cleaning job and makes your skin feel refreshed without stripping any natural oil off. My skin feels clean, balanced and soft (not dry and tight) after washing, It completely removes any makeup residue and makes the skin appear ‘very clean’, and for morning use I like how refreshing it feels and how it instantly wakes my skin up.

Bottom Line: A very good foaming cleanser for any skin type (even sensitive). Highly recommend! I love it so much so I have bought almost the entire range (typical me!), and so far I am very impressed with the luminous mask and the moisturizing gel-cream which are worth checking out. The cleanser can be purchased here.

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