Shu Uemura

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!




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.


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.




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.


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.


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 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.



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.


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.


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-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


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.


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!)


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.


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.




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






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.


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



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.


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.


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.


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!




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.






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!


Hi everyone, it’s a been a long time since my last post! And I miss you all! Thanks to all of you who dropped me a message/comment during my absence – I am well. I just came back from my 4 weeks holiday in Europe. I was in Paris and London most of the time enjoying the food and shopping there, and I also went to Vienna and Prague for the first time which I will probably share my shopping/traveling experiences in my future posts.

Today’s post is about the skincare products I packed for long-haul flights as well as for long vacations. I won’t say I am a light traveler as I tend to bring more clothes and shoes than I would wear. But when it comes to skincare and makeup I try to only bring the bare minimum as they can get heavy and take up a lot of space. I would normally start to ‘save’ the sample skincare of my ‘tested and trusted’ brands months before the trip so I would have enough to bring.

Products I used during long-haul flights – they are mainly for hydration

YSL cleansing water: I don’t wear makeup on flights , so I only needed a gentle cleanser (rinsing not required).

Caudalie Beauty Elixir - I then spray my face with this after cleansing – it’s very soothing and calming (great for flights!) for the skin and the mind :-)

SKII Repair C Serum – One of the best hydrating serums I’ve used so I always bring some samples of this with me for holiday use.

Jurlique Skin Balancing Face Oil: This is a second layer for hydration. I only use 2 drops of it and mix it with the Caudalie Beauty Elixir . The cabin air gets extremely dry so I like to supply some good oil to my skin.

Naruko Rose & Snow Fungus Hydrating Night Jelly: The last step is to lock in all the moisturizing products I applied. I personally prefer sleeping mask over heavy cream. I slather a thick layer of it all over my face and wash it off before landing. It really is a key product to keep my skin staying plumped and hydrated after a 12 hour long flight.

Elizabeth Arden 24 hours Cream (not in the picture)- I apply a thick layer of it on my lips every few hours. Don’t like the smell but it works.

Skincare Products I used during the Holiday:

My main goal is to keep my skin clear and moisturized, so I brought sample sized products mostly from La Mer and Shu Uemura. I have been using these brands for years so I know they will do a good job without breaking my skin.

Cleansers: Shu Cleansing Oil as the makeup remover, and Shiseido White Lucent Brightening Cleansing Foam as my daytime cleanser.

Toner: Caudalie Beauty Elixir

Exfoliate: La Mer the refining facial

Moisturizer: La Mer Moisturizing gel-cream and Shu Vitalizing Rejuvenating Cream

Eye Cream: La Mer Eye Balm Intense

Blemish Treatment: Peter Thomas Roth Acne Spot Treatment just in case I get blemishes.

I know I will be taking lots of pictures during the holiday so I also brought some Clarins products from the Facial lift line . The Clarins Shaping Facial Lift Serum (full-sized) is my go-to face product for anti-water retention, and along with the new Shaping Facial Lift Wrap Mask, they really help to keep the puffiness at bay and enhance the facial contour even after eating fatty and sodium rich foods everyday.

Oups how could I forget to mention sun protection for a summer holiday! I like to wear the Shiseido Anessa Perfect Essence Sunscreen when I’m frequently outdoors. It is SPF50+ and PA+++, so it offers the maximum sun protection and also ideal if you don’t want to get tanned. I also brought many packets of Silk Whitia Anti-Oxidation Whitening Mask which I used every few days for brightening and moisturizing purposes.

Pictures of these products were taken before the trip and I have managed to use all of them up by the end of trip! (Yay) I will be doing a part 2 for makeup.

Hope you are all well :-)


noir-jewelry-Neon-Crystal-Pendant-Necklace-pinkNoir Jewelry Neon Crystal Pendant Necklace – bought it here, a similar one here

pink-neon-makeupClockwise: Essie Pink Parka; Lancome Rouge in Love Lipstick in Rose Boudoir; Shu Uemura Lip Gloss in Radical Fuchsia