Shu Uemura

It doesn’t matter how many new and innovative makeup removal products I try, at the end of the day I always go back to the most trusted makeup remover – the Shu Uemura Cleansing Oil. This year Shu has released a new reformulated cleansing oil – the Anti/Oxi Skin Refining Cleansing Oil (bought here in Australia) and as I was in the need for restocking, I decided to give this new formula a try.

A quick rundown on my experience with the Shu Uemura cleansing oils. They have lots of different oils for different skin types, and I have pretty much used most of them. Prior to this, my favorite was the Blanc Chroma (the purple oil) as it felt refreshing and I liked the slight brightening effect after washing. As far as I know, their best seller last year was the Ultime8 which I found to be too rich for my skin so I did not repurchase (but it is really great for dry skin).

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I have been using the new formula for about a month now, and it is now my favorite cleansing oil. It is formulated with green tea extracts along with other anti oxidant ingredients for a more clear and radiant complexion.  The main differences in this new formula

  • no mineral oil
  • can be used with wet hands
  • suitable for removing lash extensions! (which doesn’t really apply to me)
  • more powerful removability

This oil lives up to my expectations.  I am not the biggest fan of using cleansing water for removing makeup on a daily basis as it can be a little too scrubby with the use of cotton pads, and I feel it is pulling my skin too much. With cleansing oil it is lubricating enough to not cause any friction to the skin. The consistency of this oil is lightweight and doesn’t feel greasy, and it emulsifies (turns into milky lotion) really well as soon as you add water to it. Takes less than a minute to completely dissolve the most stubborn makeup including liquid eyeliner, waterproof mascara, long lasting foundation and liquid lipstick. It makes the skin feel supple, smooth and refreshing, and leaves no oily film and residue to the skin. Of course second wash is recommended! It doesn’t clog the pores nor cause breakouts for me.

The new formula also promises to give you an extraordinary cleansing experience with a blend of essential oils that invigorates your senses while washing. To me it mostly smells like strong green tea (more like Matcha) with a hint of lavender and wood. It is quite an interesting stimulating scent, but not blowing me away.

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Overall I highly recommend this oil. It comes in 3 sizes – 450ml (as pictured), 150ml and 100ml (good for travel). A bottle of 450ml normally lasts more than 6 months with daily use.

 

 

 

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Makeup News!

May 16, 2016

Here is another round of exciting makeup launches happening in Australia.

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1. First of all, the highly anticipated Tom Ford Soleil Color Summer 2016 Collection was finally launched in Australia at David Jones yesterday. No surprise that some of the popular items were sold-out within the first hour again in the store, including the Soleil Contouring Compact and Sheer Color Duo, the good news is that they are still available online! If you already know what to get from the collection then I highly suggest  ordering them online, as the Tom Ford counter in the Sydney shop is just getting way too crowded lately.

2. The stunning YSL Le Cushion Foundation is also in the store now! I didn’t think Australia would receive this product, so I already had my friend purchase it for me from overseas. Absolutely loving it, and the packaging is just to-die-for. (review coming soon this week).

3. If you love Cushion foundation, another brand worth checking out is the Shu Uemura Blanc Chroma Cushion Foundation. I am besotted with their foundation and the super cute cushion blushes, (yes another review to come soon!). In short their coverage is the best of all the cushion foundations I have used (as good as a medium coverage foundation), while it looks very luminous and dewy on the skin.

4. Last but not least, really pleased to find out that Sephora AU now carries Edward Bess! My favorite from the line is their luxury eye brush!  Also the latest Kat Von D liquid lipsticks are not to be missed if you like the current trend of matte lips.

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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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One of my most frequently asked questions is how do I clean my makeup brushes, and I’ve finally decided to put together this big post about everything I do to keep my beloved brushes in their pristine condition.

There is no such one product that fits all. I use different types of brush cleaners based on the brush functions, types and colors. I don’t always go for ‘professional brush cleaners’, and I don’t mind using shampoos to clean the brushes that are made of natural hair. At the end of the day if this shampoo is good enough for my own hair, it is also good enough for a brush!

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When to clean your brushes and how often

Ideally, it would be good if you can clean/wash your brushes once a week. If you don’t have the time, another good indication is that when you find the bristles of your brushes are no longer as soft as they originally are, or you notice your makeup has an oily film on top that hardens the powder, which is normally due to the grease from your brushes being transferred to the powder.

Tools

I’ve only recently started washing my brushes with the Sigma Brush Cleaning Glove, and I love it to bits! It has 2 designs – one side for cleaning the face brush, and the other side for cleaning eye makeup brushes. The glove is made of soft silicone, and each side has different patterns and textures for different uses. It is definitely a very useful tool for a deeper and effective clean, and most importantly, it cuts the washing time in half!

There are a lot of rinse-free brush cleaners in the market that allows you to clean your brushes on the go. It is very convenient to use, and is recommended to be used to clean the brush after each use. I normally spray some on to a paper towel (cotton pad and tissue are not as good as they can become fluffy) and swirl the brushes multiple times till the colors are removed. If you have brushes made of white hair, this is a very important cleaning job to keep the bristles white for as long as its possible.  Otherwise the pigments will stain the white hair if the color is not removed immediately. My picks are the MAC Brush Cleaner, Shu Uemura Brush Cleaner, and the very affordable cleaner from Daiso. They all contain a bit of alcohol so they also help to disinfect the brushes.

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Foundation Brush

Foundation and concealer brushes take the longest time to clean in my opinion. They are normally made of synthetic hair, and there is always a lot of build up over time. I like to use a bit of makeup oil just to dissolve the grease in the first wash, and followed up by a shampoo for a thorough wash. My current favorite is the QV gentle shampoo or ECO Store Baby Shampoo to wash synthetic hair brush – they are gentle, chemical free and forms a rich lather which is great for washing the dense brushes and removing oily makeup products from the bristles.

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Natural Black Hair brush

I have invested in a lot of premium brushes such as the Suqqus, Tom Fords, CHIKUHODOS etc . Since they are all made of premium natural hair, I like to use an organic animal shampoo to wash these brushes. My current favorite is the John Masters Organic Pet Shampoo; other pick is the Aesop. They are all made of 100% organic natural ingredients so they are safe to use on expensive brushes. They also contain some conditioning agents which are great for keeping the bristles soft, glossy and protected.

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Natural White Hair brush

As mentioned above, I always use a rinse free brush cleaner to remove the color pigments after each use, and every few weeks I wash them with an organic shampoo. If you want to make the white hair even whiter and cleaner, or if there is any tough stain to remove. I have a great tip from the MAC MU – the SARD Wonder Soap literally gets rid of everything and makes the hair incredibly clean and whiter. However it does tend to dry out the hair a little, so I suggest to apply a little bit of lightweight conditioner for another rinse.

Sponges

Sponges and powder puffs should be washed  more frequently than brushes. My everyday sponges include the Beauty Blenders and the Shu Uemera Sponge (can’t live without them!). I always wash them with the Beauty blender Cleanser which is made of all natural ingredients. Recently I discovered a very cheap makeup sponge cleaner by Daiso Makeup Sponges Detergent.

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I have been frequently reaching for my Suqqu Eye Colour Palette Bordeaux EX01 lately so I thought I’d write up a review and FOTD post for it. I love the color combination of this palette. They are different to the usual neutral earthy palettes that I normally gravitate towards. The colors are relatively more vibrant outside of my comfort zone, but somehow I find them to be very wearable yet fresh looking, with the signature Suqqu’s subdued elegance to it.

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The Suqqu eye shadow is among the most superior eye shadows you can find. The quality of the newer 3 eye shadow palette feels quite similar to their regular quad. I have done many reviews for them in other posts, and overall the texture of Suqqu is slightly different to the western brands. The powder feels more creamy and moist to the touch, and they glide on weightless, silky smooth and evenly without looking powdery that would really work well on dry skin. The color payoff is also great for this palette – one to two swipes will show the true color as you see in the pan.

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Shade Description

Top : Icy white color, slightly sparkly

Middle: Shimmery coppery golden peach.

Bottom: Wine color with a purple undertone in semi satin finish. It contains multi colored glitters but they don’t show up once applied unless you look at it very closely at a certain angle.

Swatch with one swipe

Suqqu-Eye-Colour-Palette-Bordeaux-EX01-review-swatch-3Suqqu-Eye-Colour-Palette-Bordeaux-EX01-review-swatch-4FOTD:

Suqqu-Eye-Colour-Palette-Bordeaux-EX01-review-swatch-fotd-2Suqqu-Eye-Colour-Palette-Bordeaux-EX01-review-swatch-fotd-3Suqqu-Eye-Colour-Palette-Bordeaux-EX01-review-swatch-fotd-4Other products used in the FOTD

frontrowbeauty-fotdFace:

Shiseido Pore Smoothing Corrector

Shu Uemura UV Underbase Mousse – totally obsessed!

Tom Ford Powder Compact Foundation (reviewed here)

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette

Eyes & Brows

Tom Ford Brow Sculpting Kit (new, review coming soon)

MAC Pro Longwear Waterproof Brow Set in Toasted Blonde

Dior Addict It Liner (reviewed here)

Lancome Mascara

Lips (my current favorite combo!)

MAC Lip Pencil Rosy Rim (reviewed here)

MAC LipStick Please Me

The Suqqu Eye Shadow Palette can be purchased here with international shipping available (TAX will be automatically deducted at the checkout), and more colors are also available at Selfridges.

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I am currently on vacation so Ill just quick share some of my absolute travel beauty essentials. After years of traveling, I came to realization that I don’t need to bring my entire bathroom vanity along with me! This edition is more for a summer holiday where my main priorities are skin-hydration, sun protection, and last but not least staying photogenic (even with binge eating everyday!)

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Skin Hydration

I chose to bring the Shu Uemura Cleansing Oil in travel size with me – one of the very few brands that has makeup removal oil in travel size, and I have always been using the green one for traveling. It completely removes every trace of makeup and it’s not so oily but retains the moisture in your skin so it’s just perfect for hot weather. Then I do a second cleanse with any foam cleanser sample I can find with my beloved Clarisonic Cleansing Tool (reviewed here). I did not include the moisturizers in this post, as I am not that greatly fussed about it. I basically just grab a lot of sample moisturizers with me and use them along the way. The SK-II Facial Treatment Mask is an essential item for keeping my skin hydrated during holiday – I use one every night. After a day of exposure to the sun and chlorine, there is no moisturizer that does the same job as good as a nourishing mask for repairing and hydrating purposes.

Sun Protection

Sun protection is my passion now. I love bathing in the sun on holiday but with my current skin condition I have to be extra careful. The Shiseido Anessa Sunscreen is my go to sun protection line which I have been using for many years (my hubby also only wears this one!). It has a really high SPF, feels weightless and non drying, and best of all (for Asians),  this is the best one for tan proofing! I hardly get tanned if I wear this one liberally. The For Beloved One Advanced Whitening Arbutin plus Q10 Jelly is my new discovery. It’s a brightening and anti-pigmentation gel mask that can be used as a sleeping mask. I bought this one because this brand is known for their brightening sheet masks, so I thought I’d give this one a try. So far it’s been great as there is no darkening of any spots on my face even with the amount of outdoor activities that I do.

Photogenic

Taking pictures and selfies are the most important  things we do on holiday for girls. So as a blogger I feel ‘obligated’ to stay photogenic lol! Having a more lifted face shape (the v shape) is absolutely critical to look “better” in pictures and my secret weapon is the 24K Gold Beauty Bar. I am loving it so much as I have been raving about this tool to everyone around me, so I will definitely post a detailed review for it. In short, 5 minutes massaging face with this tool gives a noticeably more lifted and firm looking complexion that beats any face slimming/firming moisturizers in the market. I always use this one before taking FOTDs, and I love how portable this tool is.

Other products featured in the pictures include Celine Nano Luggage and Karen Walker Sunglasses.

 

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Multiples

May 22, 2013

You know you can’t live without these products when you have multiple backups of them.

From left to right:

1. Shu Uemura Precision Volume Mascara Waterproof – suggested by my readers and they are absolutely amazing!! It does everything I want for my lashes (review to come soon).

2. Ysl Touché Eclat – an oldie but a goodie. I mix both shade 1 and 2 for everyday use. It doesn’t provide much coverage but it brightens up the skin without making it look cakey. The formulation is great for most skin types unless you have very dry under eye areas, then you need a good moisturizing eye cream underneath and it helps the product to set beautifully.

3. Suqqu Cheek Blush Brush– crème de la crème of brushes, reviewed here.

4. Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray – reviewed here

 

 

 

 

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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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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.

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