August 28, 2011

My Recent Purchases from Singapore

My recent travel to Singapore allowed me to restock my usual skincare. I never buy anything from beauty-related in Copenhagen, which has helped to curb lemmings on expanding my already exploded makeup collection. I succumb to temptations alot more easily in Asia. Things are generally cheaper and there's a huge selection to choose from. For example, Chanel nailpolishes at Changi airport would cost $26, whilst in Denmark it will cost $40!

I always get my skincare from Changi Airport Duty Free - it's a shopping paradise for cheaper skincare, fragrance and cosmetic products. They even carry Serge Lutens and Annick Goutal! It is heaven, truly.

The Estee Lauder Hydrationist Maximum Moisture Creme 50g (S$71) and the supersize Estee Lauder Hydrationist Moisture Barrier Fortifier 100mL (S$166) will serve it's purpose during the dry winter months.

Diorsnow skincare line can't be found in Europe, so I decided to repurchase the Dior White Reveal Gentle Purifying Foam 110mL (S$43.40) and Dior White Reveal Lotion Riche 200mL (S$61.50). I've used both products before and they made me skintone even and luminescent.

No trip is complete without a visit to the Paul & Joe counter. My favourite SA, Bee Lian, still works at Takashimaya and she mentioned of this 50% promotion. I was like 'eek!'... and I only ended up with 2 products. I was too sensible! I should have bought alot more because these eyeglosses are simply exquisitely gorgeous! Here are Paul & Joe's Eye Gloss Duos in colours 05 (top) and 003 (bottom).

A friend of mine recommended me to try Talika Lipocils Expert, which supposedly claims to grow your lashes in 28 days. Since I had done an eyelash perm at Poly Beauty at Vivocity ($48 for each session), I thought that anything hydrating for the lashes will be quite beneficial. I highly recommend Poly Beauty. The result of my eyelash perm is beautiful. I'm in love with the look, and makes me look wide awake.

I've been using Talika Lipocils Expert for about a week now, so I will have a verdict on it in due time. Talika is present in Metro and Sephora. I decided to buy the travel pack that is available in Changi Airport, which costs S$120, instead of S$160 (I believe). Lipocils Expert contains a sponge tip that allows you to spread the product more evenly on the root of the lashes.

And finally, Crabtree & Evelyn's Home Fragrance Reed Diffuser in Iris (S$88). I love this scent and the diffusers add a lovely touch of decoration to my otherwise boring living room. I realise that purchasing them from (GBP 24) is alot cheaper than buying it in-store. They offer free shipping and carry a huge range of products from Urban Decay, Kerastase, etc. A site that is worth checking out.

I hope you enjoyed my haul. But I'm tempted to buy some things from Adam Beauty, Bobodave, etc... just feel like I need to splurge on something and it sucks that there's hardly any choices here in Denmark. Anyway, thanks for looking and have a lovely Sunday!

August 27, 2011

Mandarin Love by Chanel Rouge Allure Laques

I can't believe I have never mentioned Chanel Rouge Laques, particularly this one in Mandarin. The less popular cousin of Chanel Dragon still shouldn't be missed. I would wear this when I want to look sophisticated and romantic at the same time. It's not starking as a red lip, yet it adds warmth to your look.

Chanel Rouge Allure Laque in Mandarin has a warm undertone, with a formula that is creamy and glides on your lips. Rouge Allure Laques are somewhere in between a lipstick and a lipgloss, and actually, works really good with anyone suffering from dry lips.

Today's look is pretty basic. I used Anna Sui's Protective Foundation Primer C which gives you a face lift from the pearlescent illuminating effects. Using Paul & Joe's Protective Fluid Foundation as a light veil for additional coverage, and topped off with Chanel Natural Finish Loose Powder in 25 Peche Clair. Because the primer and foundation made me look one shade lighter than I normally am, I added some bronzer to give me a healthy glow, with a touch (not much) of Shu Uemura blushes in M Peach 43. Shu Uemura blushes are fabulous, especially the matte ones. They give this beautiful skin quality, like you have a colour that's coming from within the skin.

For my eyes, I decided to give Beaute de Kose Eye Fantasis in Sparkle Shine Brown, that is quite warm toned in color with lots of glitter infused. It's an oldie of mine, but still works nicely. I added Shu Uemura's Drawing Pencil in M Blue which is a navy blue eyeliner that doesn't look as harsh as traditional black eyeliners. It's quite nice, but it tends to smudge after a few hours (typically). Again, MAC's Phloof! eyeshadow to blend out harsh lines is a staple of mine. The fun part is applying Lancome's Hypnose drama on my permed eyelashes. It instantly volumizes and lengthens. It made a whole lot of difference in making me a Japanese doll, I think.

I hope you're having a beautiful Saturday. Mine has been a great week so far! Apart from falling sick, feeling feverish and suffering a bad throat. My significant other surprised me with flowers and we both made dinner together. It's nothing major, but to me it was very sweet. :-)

August 26, 2011

Nailpolish hauling

I flew back to Singapore about two weeks back, met up with gorgeous Sophia from the make-up blogette. We of course talked alot about makeup and she sparked an intense fetish in me for nailpolishes. I'm not sure how I ended up with  9 nailpolishes in total (7 from OPI, 2 from Chanel), but it's fun looking at them now in its entire collection.

These nailpolishes were selling at $30 for 2, so it was a bit hard to control my spending... clearly.

So here is what I ended up with. Some work safe shades...

 ...and dark vampy shades for the fall.

Today I have OPI Color to Diner For on my nails. I love it! There's a iridescent shimmer on a medium dark red shade. A gorgeous color all year round.

August 25, 2011

Foundation Series: Guerlain Lingerie de Peau

I took a short break from my liquid foundation series, but here it is again! It's amazing how you rediscover great products within your stash when doing series like this, because I had ignored this particular foundation for quite some time. 

Guerlain Lingerie de Peau foundation feels almost like second skin. I don't believe there is any other foundation that feels as comfortable as this. It wears very well during the day and keep all signs of oilies at bay. That's quite surprising for Guerlain, especially as their older foundation lines tends to be really mediocre in my books. I had done an initial review of this foundation, click here to see more

The product is thicker in consistency and much less fluid than the MUFE HD foundation or GA Lasting Silk UV Foundation. 

The colour shades for Guerlain tends to steer towards the pinkish side, and too much so. It explains why I don't use this particularly often. The colour somehow looks a little strange on me, but not overly so. I wear it, look decent in it, but it doesn't give me the 'WOW' effect that I get with GA Lasting Silk UV Foundation or even with Laura Mercier's Tinted Moisturiser. 

Coverage is medium. In fact, no powder is required because it provides a nice matte feeling, and yet still looks like satin on the skin. 

Surprisingly, this foundation did very well when I was living in Singapore. And it does even better here in cooler climates! I don't get that suffocating feeling that I'm forming an oily t-zone, nor do I suffer from extreme cakiness as a result of my dry skin. After 8 solid hours, the coverage of the foundation is still great!

In summary, I think this foundation will really do wonders for ladies who are a little more of a fairer pinkier complexion. It's a bit of a struggle to find the right shade, but if you have been matched perfectly, then it's a great foundation all in all. It has great medium coverage, satin in finish, matte control for oilier skin types, and feels like you're not wearing anything at all on your skin!

Overall ratings
4 out of 5 stars

August 21, 2011

Chanel Graphite... How I love thee

I must admit that I'm quite a late comer when it comes to Chanel nail polishes. I only possess one single nail varnish from Chanel, being Black Pearl released in the Spring 2011 collection. It was a favourite of mine for many months and won my heart. Chanel finishes and the brush quality is unsurpassable, and with that, I did not hesitate to pick up more nailpolishes from their glamorous Autumn 2011 collection. 

It took Cafe Makeup's recent entry on Chanel Graphite vs. Revlon Carbonite post to convince me that the $ spent on Chanel is in fact totally justifiable. The duochrome gold-grey-green sparkle of Graphite is completely captivating, capable of bringing a new level of depth and dimension that I have yet to see from the typical range of nailpolishes from Essie or OPI. 

I wore it today after a very relaxing weekend back home in Copenhagen (I was in Singapore the last 2 weeks). Graphite achieved a nice opacity after a single coat, but I added more 'oomph' with a second and Seche Vite top coat to give it a lovely glossy finish. 

Unlike Chanel Black Pearl, the application is homogenous, without any signs of brush strokes. There's a slight christmas feeling I get when I see a colour so sparkly and intense like this. It's not your ordinary grey nailpolish. It reminiscent of the holiday season, yet not too loud for the office. 

So if you're still considering which of the three nailpolishes to get from the Chanel Autumn 2011 collection, it has got to be Graphite. Hands down. 

August 7, 2011

Foundation Series: Lunasol Water Cream Foundation SPF18 PA++

I picked up Lunasol's Water Cream Foundation, which was mentioned in many asian beauty blogsites, and most infamously by Fuzkittie. I also went through my hardcore phase of loving everything from Lunasol. I'm a little chilled out now about asian makeup brands. Probably because the eyeshadow palettes released by them tends to look the same over and over again.

This particular foundation sparked my interest when I felt like I needed something with higher coverage, but without feeling caked up. The word 'water' appealed, since I didn't like the feeling of foundation on my skin. I want to apply it and forget that I even have makeup on.

Encased in a glass jar, this foundation scored badly in packaging. Well, most cream foundations are in form of a jar anyway, but it generally lacks the hygiene factor. It came with a spatula, which I lost along the way. So now I rely on my clean fingers or brush to scoop out however much I need.

Shu Uemura's lovely foundation brush in 18 in goatshair is the perfect foundation brush to apply more thicker foundations. The short bristles allow you to control the foundation application more evenly, especially where streakiness tends to be a problem.

In terms of texture and grip, Lunasol's water cream foundation takes a while to 'dry', and leaves your skin a matte finish. The good thing is that it doesn't feel too greasy, unlike the Chanel Teint Innocence Cream Foundation Compact. Either way, cream foundations are not conducive in humid and temperate weathers. They work better in the autumn and winter months, when you start to experience dry patches.  

As you can see, Lunasol's Water Cream Foundation covers all my blemishes and pigmentation spots very well. I was matched to OC02, which I believe is not a true yellow-based foundation. There's a slight hint of pink to brighten up the complexion slightly. Just enough. I don't recall exactly on the range of shades in Lunasol's foundation lineup, but I believe there are 6 in total - 3 belonging in the 'ocher' category, and 3 in the 'yellow' category. There are definitely no shades catered to darker skin types, considering that it's marketed for asian countries.

I noticed that I needed MORE time to blend in the foundation more evenly, as it takes a little bit longer to dry. So blend, blend, blend...

I noticed considerably less patchiness to my nose and upper lip area. And, if you have been reading my foundation series, this is a very common problem for me.

My biggest gripe I have with Lunasol's Water Cream Foundation, is that my skin (no matter what angle or lighting) just looks crap in photographs. I don't know what it is exactly, but my face looks pastal without that hint of 'life'. Flash photography is absolutely inhibited, because it gives that white death glare.

In reality, your skin does look nice with this foundation. A friend complimented me on my skin the other day. I was quite surprised because I didn't feel like this foundation gave me my most optimal look.  

Since I'm getting used to the light-airy feeling of the GA Lasting Silk UV Foundation, switching to a cream-based foundation made me feel like I was wearing an extra layer of skin. It's not too uncomfortable, but you will definitely feel it.

I also noticed slight oxidation after a few hours. Just slight. There's no oil control qualities in this foundation, which is to be expected anyway. I was oily by midday, but I certainly wasn't as oily as the Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua. Isn't that strange? I think the weather had something to do with it. Today had a bit of a chill factor and helped the longevity of Lunasol's Water Cream Foundation on my face for eight solid hours.

Overall thoughts
- A colder-climate foundation, great for dry skintypes
- Medium to high coverage foundation
- Takes some effort and time to blend and achieve an even complexion
- Not good in photographs, but ok in real-life
- Not a favourable packaging concept

Overall ratings
3 out of 5 stars

August 4, 2011

Foundation Series: Giorgio Armani Lasting Silk UV Foundation SPF 20

A good indicator of a great and loved foundation is the level of product left remaining in the bottle. In this particular example, I have gone through more than half of my Giorgio Armani Lasting Silk UV Foundation bottle, which says alot. If you go through more of my recent FOTDs, you will notice that I have been using this and only this foundation.

This foundation has given me compliments, in-person and on my blog. I daresay that this is by far my most favourite foundation so far. Like the name describes, it feels like silk on the skin, and glides beautifully with your fingers or a brush. I still find that using a foundation brush to be more effective, especially to buff in the product more evenly.  

Yes, I agree that it's a pricey little 30mL bottle from Giorgio Armani... but honestly, this has been the best money I have ever spent on a department store makeup product. My skin always looks luminous and healthy with this foundation on. I consider this my trusty friend when I need to look my best.

 GA Lasting Silk Foundation claims to be used for backstage studio lighting, similar to the MUFE HD foundation, to blur any signs of imperfections. Between the two, I don't think the cheaper MUFE HD Foundation is a cheaper dupe to the GA Lasting Silk Foundation.

Firstly, the shade of the GA Lasting Silk Foundation is simply stunning on my skin (NC 25). I have the shade in number 5, and has a slight tint of pink undertone. Just having that small tint of pink helps to add a bit of life to my otherwise dull complexion. Unfortunately, having too much a yellow-based foundation tends to make you look quite FLAT (i.e MUFE and MAC Foundations tend to do this to me). Today I swept a bit of loose powder on top of my foundation, and I could walk out the door and still look 'alive'. No blush and no bronzer required!

After eight solid hours

Secondly, I noticed that the GA Lasting Silk Foundation lasts alot longer than the MUFE HD Foundation. After eight hours, my skin is not suffocating from an oily t-zone and I can still see that my face had some coverage even after a sweltering hot day.

I still experienced a little bit of cakiness around the upper lip area and tip of my nose, and again, this seems to be constant problem. I concluded that it's not really the foundation's con, but rather, I need to use a more hydrating and moisturising skincare regime. However, it does elicit that the GA Lasting Silk Foundation is not a hydrating formula, and is targeted for ladies with oilier skintypes.

Overall thoughts
- a great foundation for oily skintypes, stays put for a good 8 hours
- beautiful semi-matte luminous finish
- feels like second-skin, just like the name suggests - 'silk'
- great in photographs

My ratings
4.8 stars out of 5!

August 3, 2011

Foundation Series: Make Up For Ever - High Definition Foundation

Make Up For Ever High Definition Foundation is no stranger to the beauty insider. It's been highly raved, discussed, and mentioned on many blogs and review sites. So rather than go into the technical details of the product, I will zoom right into my experiences and what my thoughts are on it.

I have the Make Up Forever High Definition Primer (Mauve) to complement the MUFE HD Foundation. Together, the duo is meant to give you a flawless looking complexion under high-intensity lighting or studio photography. Under the product advertisement, this foundation claims to blur any signs of imperfections to give a your skin a soft-focus effect. I have yet to prove that this combination is more synergistic as compared to using other primers. However, I have been using alot of the MUFE HD primer (halfway through my current bottle!) for its illuminating qualities and it seems to work quite well with alot of other foundations.  

I digressed slightly. MUFE's HD Foundation spreads easily, is considerably fluid, and provides medium coverage. I use about 1.5 pumps to cover my entire face, which is a little bit more than I would typically use for the daytime. Unlike the MUFE HD primer, there is no fragrance.

As you would already know by the time you read this post, there is an extensive range of shades under this foundation range. With 25 different shades, it will be quite unfortunate if you are not able to find the right color. I have the foundation in the shade 120, which is equivalent to MAC NC25. Shade 120 is particularly yellowish, without much pink undertones.

I find that using a flat top synthetic brush like the Sigma Flat Top Synthetic Kabuki F80 to be the most effective way to apply this foundation. The short and dense bristles moves the foundation to cover the skin more evenly, and minimises the cakey look. I noticed that the MUFE HD Foundation has alot more pigment in the formula (obviously because it gives medium coverage), and has a tendency of caking or streaking if you use just your fingers to apply.

So lets look at the before and after pictures...

And oh, before I go on, I have been using the MUFE HD Primer for all my foundation reviews, to give each foundation a fair comparison.

Now I must apologise for the slight difference in lighting! I took a gazillion pictures to match the lighting but the Danish sun is so inconsistent! Nevertheless, you can tell that the color match is 98% perfect. I do find my complexion somewhat flat and I was immediately tempted to apply some bronzer to give my otherwise flat-obviously-made-up-face some dimension. I experience much less of this need with lighter-coverage foundations, like the Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua.

I love the evenness of the foundation especially on my cheeks and forehead. My skin looks great under sunlight. But again, I seem to struggle with my foundations on drier patches, especially around the upper lip and the tip of my nose. It's quite annoying, and I had to rub off the product over the course of the day, to not have foundation-mustache. It's not a hydrating formula, so I would recommend this foundation for more oilier skin types.  

This foundation photographs incredibly well!

I consider my skintype to be combination - I have an oily t-zone by midday, but I'm also confronted with dry skin around the lips and nose.  

After 8-9 hours and under extreme temperatures and humidity in the office (no air conditioning and no ventiliation), I must say that the MUFE HD Foundation did VERY well. It stayed put most of the day, and my skin did not feel like an oilslick after 8 hours, as compared to the Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua Foundation. So yes, the MUFE HD Foundation is long-lasting, which makes sense if you think about the practical uses of this foundation under studio lighting.  

Overall thoughts
- Great for oily skintypes
- Need a more moisturising primer or cream for more drier skin types
- Long lasting (8-9 hours guaranteed!)
- Perfect color match
- Fantastic for photography, gives medium coverage and covers blemishes effectively without needing to use concealer

 Overall ratings
4 stars out of 5!
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