February 29, 2012

Essie Spring 2012 Nails

Essie's Spring 2012 is a stunning collection, full of brights and pastel shades. I first heard about it from the Make up and beauty blog, and the next 10 minutes was click click click and buy. It was a matter of time till these bottles of happiness arrived at my doorstep. And I immediately stole some time away from study to snap a few pictures.

I am blown away with the compatibility of these colours. I can imagine wearing a Crewed Interest, Navigate Her and To buy or not to buy, together. It's so appropriately Spring!

To buy or not to buy is a pastel lilac creme. The bottle reflects light blue microglitters, but does not show up on the nails. It tends to streak a little, and 2 coats is needed to give semi-opacity. It's very similar to OPI Rumples Wiggin' from the Shrek Forever Collection - give it a miss if you already have this. 

A Crewed Interest is a cream light pastel orange. It looks less orange in the bottle than on the fingers. Comparing to Chanel June, it is definitely a few tones lighter. Again, it seems to be streaky but 2 coats is all you need.

Navigate Her is reminiscent of young bubs of tulip leaves. It's not exactly a mint green, in fact, more muted. Compared to Dior Waterlily, Navigate Her tends to be more of a neutral without the shimmers and appears more office-appropriate. It applies well in a single coat.

Ole Caliente is a hot fireman red creme with a tinge of coral. It's strikingly beautiful and applies like a dream in a single coat. These are going to look so hawt on my toenails!

Tour de Finance is a fuschia pink with micro shimmers. It's the colour my boyfriend describes as barbie. I can't wait to apply this on the weekend. 

I am definitely delighted with Essie's Spring 2012 Collection. And it's a much needed break from all the dark vampy winter shades.

What are your nail picks for Spring?

February 26, 2012

Glittery red nails

I've been rather busy lately, trying to juggle study and work commitments. But I will try to post some shorter posts on my do-abouts. Recently, I have been obsessed with nails. I keep changing colours every 2nd day depending on my outfits and mood.

This weekend I have on opi teenage dreams over opi color to diner for. The glittering dimensions over a classic red shade makes my 'shakey hands' mani look foolproof! And it simply looks gorgeous under dim lights.

I hope you're having a wonderful sunday!

February 21, 2012

A Sneak Peak into Dior Summer 2012

I was browsing Twitter this morning and discovered this... after many rounds of retweets, I have no clue which blogger to give credits to. credits go to a Swedish Blog (URL is still a mystery!)

Probably the collection will look much better under non-ambient lighting - although, I am not too excited about Dior's bronzers this year. They do have eyeglosses to the top right, which mimics Paul & Joe - something I will need to try.

February 14, 2012

Body Pampering for V-Day

Whether you find Valentines Day an overhyped commercial cheesy excuse to splurge on roses and chocolates for your loved one, or another day to cringe at the public displays of affections. I'd say... join in the fun! You don't have to do it the conventional way. Treat those whom you care about with love. That in itself makes V-day so worthwhile!
So all mushiness aside...

My dear bf gifted me with more beauty products last week, just in time for Valentines. I don't think he had meant it to be a Valentines gift. He just wanted to show me the wonderfulness of Greek products. He's Greek, btw. Which means anything that is made from Greece is the best. ;-)
Contents in the Best of Korres Set:
  • Guava Body Butter
  • Basil Lemon Showergel
  • Vanilla Cinnamon Showergel
  • Evening Primrose Eyecream
  • Wild Rose 24-hour moisturiser 

I can't wait to try these!
Greek Trivia! If you haven't already watched 'My Big Fat Greek Wedding' - "the word cosmetic comes from the Greek word "kosmētikos"

I hope you're having a wonderful V-day. 

Much love <3

February 13, 2012

Spring Yellows: Shu Uemura ME Yellow 300

My colleague at work had just told me that this morning's fog is a sign that Spring is almost here. Even though the pavements and roofs are still covered with a thin layer of snow, I feel inspired to feature some spring-related makeup looks using my older makeup. Today, I'm using Shu Uemura ME Yellow single eyeshadow as a my centrepiece. Shu Uemura has since revamped their formula and packaging for their eyeshadows, which I have not tested yet. But I fully endorse their older eyeshadow singles - they have an amazing quality and payoff, making it far superior to MAC eyeshadows in my honest opinion.


They swatch beautifully - lots of pigmentation, satiny finish, and a range of different finishes (iridescent, matte, metallic, pearl and glitters). I prefer the metallic finishes, indicated by the words ME labelled on the back of the pan. I have discussed ME Yellow 300 before and think it's beautiful when paired with neutrals or browns. I wouldn't have picked this out on my own as yellows tend to look quite garish on me. This suggestion by a Japanese makeup artist back in 2007 convinced me otherwise that this shade is WORTH IT! I'm not sure if Shu Uemura still sells this shade, however they have one online called 'ME Soft Yellow 336 with 24 caret gold'.  

Here, I have concentrated ME Yellow 300 on the centre of my lids, blending in IR purple 795 towards the outer lashline, and smoothing out the harsh lines with ME Beige 800. Using the same IR purple 795, I lined the lower lashline, giving my eyes a nice contrasting pop of colour!

On my cheeks I have Benefit Dallas Bronzer - which adds just a bit of shimmer and contour to my face. I want to avoid bright cheeks here - it'll only make me look ridiculously 'colorful'. I finally finished off with Shu Uemura Rouge Unlimited PK 316, a glossy girly bright pink.

~*Base Makeup*~

  • Laura Mercier oil free primer
  • IPSA Pure Protect Foundation 103
  • Chanel Natural Finish Loose Powder Peche Clair
  • Benefit Dallas Bronzer
~*Color Makeup*~
  • Lips: Shu Uemura Rouge Unlimited PK 316
  • Eyeshadow: Shu Uemura single eyeshadows in ME Yellow 300, ME Beige 800, IR Purple 795.
  • Eyeliner: MUFE Aqua Eyeliner
  • Mascara: Lancome Hypnose
  • Brows: Shu Uemura Eyebrow Pencil Seal Brown 02
I hope your Monday has been a good start to the week! My to-dos are piling up fast!

February 12, 2012

Valentines Rouge: YSL Rouge Pure Couture Rose Dahlia

I am a bit nonplussed about wearing bright pink lips on Valentines Day and I've been seeing a variety of looks of 'Valentines makeup' as you would every year. This morning I was reading Temptalia's post on wearing bright lips for the V-day, and in all honesty I would personally keep the bright lips for a more girly occasion out with the girlfriends rather than shock your dear half on your distracting lips. Just my opinion - use whatever makeup your man fancies, I suppose!

But if you so insist of having a more 'brighter' lip - may I suggest that YSL Rose Dahlia to be the very lipstick for a pleasant date night. It's very sheer and adds the lovely touch of flattering coral rose (almost tangerine I would say but with more rose). YSL Pur Coutures are very moisturising compared to YSL's older range of lipsticks - think YSL Rouge Purs and Rouge Voluptes. They glide on seamlessly having a smooth texture to the lips. 

Click here for my earlier post of Rose Dahlia. <--

Running through the makeup used today.

~*Point Makeup*~
  • Lips: YSL Rouge Pur Couture #17 Rose Dahlia
  • Eyeshadow: Guerlain Bal De Minuit 407
  • Eyeliner: MUFE Aqua Eyeliner 
  • Mascara: Hypnose Drama
  • Brows: Anastasia Dark Brown
~*Face Makeup*~
  • Primer: YSL Flash Radiance Skincare Brush
  • Foundation: IPSA Pure Protect Foundation 103
  • Powder: Guerlain Meteorites Perles D'or
  • Bronzer: Guerlain Terracotta Poudre des Sables

February 11, 2012

A Look with YSL Pure Chromatics #5

It's officially time to break into the YSL Pure Chromatics Eyeshadow Quad which I had posted about earlier this week

What is noticeably different about the YSL Chromatic Eyes is its ability to use wet or dry and the applicators that come with the palette allow you to work both ways. One of the applicators looks like a mini plastic spatula which supposedly helps you to 'scoop and mould' the pigment, which I must say is the strangest thing to do. After much deliberation and one failed attempt to use the powders wet, I gave up and went ahead with a dry look instead. 

They have a texture that's unlike pressed powders, which is explained in their manufacturing process, being 'poured into the palette' rather than pressed. The result is 4 gorgeous shimmery metallic swatches - a shimmery pink, opalescent white, taupe, and gunmetal grey. 

Dry and wet swatches compared side by side shows only the slightest difference. For example, the taupe shade appears more chromatic when wet. The best shade of the whole palette has got to be the pink, and in fact I am quite pleased with the combination of colours. 

Another thing is that there's sparkles which fall out and they land on my cheek or upper lip. Hmm...

Is the YSL Pure Chromatics stashworthy? Not really. 1) it's not so straightforward to use when wet and, 2) there's a total of 5gs in this palette making this the most expensive palette I have in my collection. There's pretty colours but you can easily find alternatives in your stash that would create the same look. I'm glad I only purchased one. 

YSL Rouge Pur in 148 Tea Rose is an oldie of mine - Its a nude with a rose tint, surpassing MAC Viva Glam II in wearability! The only complaint I have about YSL Rouge Pur are that it is unbearably drying on my lips. I have a bad case of dry lips at the moment, and even the Shu Uemura lipsticks that are otherwise moist during the summertime, now appears flakey on mine! So you can imagine what the YSL Rouge Purs would look on my lips after a minute - you guessed it right... Flake City!! 

I used a combination of YSL products from YSL to create this look today - i.e. Flash Radiance Skincare Primer (which I still love) and the YSL Cream Blush in 02.   

Point Makeup
  • Lips: YSL Rouge Pur Tea Rose 148
  • Eyes: YSL 4 Wet & Dry Eyeshadows 05, MUFE Aqua Eyeliner, Lancome Hypnose Drama Mascara, Bobbi Brown Long-wear Gel Eyeliner Caviar Ink. 
Face makeup
  • Primer: Flash Radiance Skincare Brush
  • Foundation: IPSA Pure Protect Foundation 103
  • Powder: Paul & Joe Finishing Powder 001
  • Bronzer: Soleil Tan de Chanel
  • Blush: YSL Cream Blush 02
I hope you're having a wonderful Saturday!

February 10, 2012

It's Friday and my nails for the week

It is Friday! It has been one of those weeks where work-work-work has preoccupied my mind. Almost everyone is off next week for winter vacation, leaving all the deadlines to be completed at the last minute! My energy level is starting to pick up due to the brighter days as we are now moving closer towards Spring. It has been a rough few months struggling with the depressing daylight - almost only 5 hours a day of light! Trust me, blogging was almost non-existent because of light in general.

Onto more fun things; I have on Essie Merino Cool nailpolish today - and I must say this is my most grabbed for nailpolish shade for the work week. It's a purplish grey taupe and wears very well for my cool skin tone. It applies very easily in 2 coats with no streakiness. Excuse the dry cuticles - it's a result of the winter!


February 9, 2012

Paul & Joe Eye & Lip Makeup Remover

Paul & Joe is a brand that I have always been impressed with - their packaging and quality of their products make it a stellar brand. Considering the strong patronage I have given Paul & Joe over the years while I lived in Singapore, it is no wonder they gifted me a full size  Paul & Joe Eye&Lip Makeup Remover. At first, I didn't like it at all because I do not find it as effective as my Holy Grail Lancome Bi-Facil, so naturally I left it to gather dust. 

Until recently. So lets have a look... 

The Paul & Joe Eye&Lip Makeup Remover has a consistency like a serum and appears quite viscous. There is no oily residue, unlike Lancome Bi-Facil or any other dual-phase makeup remover. It also serves as a light moisturiser to the skin around your eyes, and does not create any burning or stinging sensation when accidental contact is made. So in that regard, I think it's a nice product for very sensitive eyes.

Water (Aqua), Butylene Glycol, Hydrogenated Polisobutene, Arginine, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Flower Water, Lilium Candidium Bulb Extract, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Sodium Hyaluronate, Tilia Europaea Flower Extract, Triticum Vulgare (Wheat) Germ Oil, Acrylates Copolymer, Disodium Edta, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Methylparaben.

However, I wouldn't consider it to be the most effective for waterproof makeup. There are days when I am using an average of 4 cotton pads to get the darn mascara off. And there are more straightforward days (like today) where 2-3 swipes pretty much captures most of the mascara. In terms of effectiveness, Lancome > Paul & Joe > MAC > Sephora (rubbish really) would be my personal ranking.

Will I repurchase? Nah... Lancome Bi-Facil still rocks my world! 

February 8, 2012

Tools for everyday: Face Brushes

Over the years I have progressively managed to put together a very nice collection of face brushes. When I first got into makeup, I only had one single brush from the Body Shop - which was the powder brush that I gave away a long time ago. I discovered that it was the tools and techniques that made a difference to how your makeup looks. And even then, I had no idea where and how to start. I had to take down all the numbers of the MAC brushes that were mentioned on Youtube and individually consult makeup artists. I believe we have all come a long way in the online beauty community. When someone mentions 'MAC 187 brush', all girls know what it is. But say this to your boyfriend, it's all a mystery code.

I've always considered makeup brushes an expensive hobby - acquiring the first 5 absolute essentials, and the rest are all pretty hit or miss. My oldest brush in my collection is dated back in 2005 and is still holding up very well. Even though I'm tempted to pick up Chanel or Suqqu brushes, my jars don't have the extra room anyway. So for now, I am more than content with what I have. 

Let me breakdown the brushes for you.

*Foundation Brushes*

  • Sigma Flat Top Kabuki Brush F80 - The density of the bristles in this brush makes this the best ever liquid/cream foundation brush ever made. No streaks, no cakiness, and evenness all around for any liquid-based product. Highly recommend. 
  • Shu Uemura 18 brush is made with Goats hair, giving it a very soft quality. The shortness of the bristles and small handle allows you to work on thicker foundations with better control. Another beautiful product by Shu Uemura. Can't be missed if you like cake / cream foundations. 
  • MAC 187 used to be my most used brush. It promised to give an airbrush look, especially when applying liquid foundations in a stipple motion. I recall that it was EnkoreMakeup that set the trend of the stippling brushes. Nice it once was, I hardly use this brush anymore. 
  • MAC 130 was designed for foundation on areas that are hard to reach with it's smaller brush head - i.e. sides of the nose etc. I have only used this brush twice since I bought it, and it's a waste of $. Skip this. 

*Loose Powder Brushes*

  • MAC 150 is my regular loose powder brush which I always go to everytime. Initially, the bristles tend to be quite 'stiff', but over the course of time, it is a beauty. If you're on a budget and you can't seem to splurge $130+ for the more fluffier MAC 134, go for this. Beware though, over many years MAC ferrels tend to become duller and less shiny. If this is a bother for you, go for Shu Uemura brushes instead - their ferrels are always shiny like new! 
  • Shu Uemura 18R with it's distinctive red bristles is reserved for my Guerlain meteorites and shimmery loose powder. It is the alternative to Guerlain meteorite brushes, and is incredibly well made. I highly recommend this brush, even as a statement piece. 
  • MAC 134 is my alternate brush to the MAC 150. It functions the same way, but covers a larger area and feels very soft and silky. In my opinion, it was worth the $130+ I paid for three years ago. God forbid how much it costs now!

*Powder Blushes Brushes*

  • Bobbi Brown Blush Brush is probably my oldest brush, and comes from the BB older brush collection. BB has since revamped her brushes (thankfully) because some of her older brushes were like rubbing straw on your face! It has served me for a good 6 to 7 years, and still delivers! What I do love about this brush is the fan shaped head that seems to transfer blushes evenly across my cheeks. I also adore the longer handle - not sure why, but I like it.  
  • MAC 129 sadly does not perform as well as my Bobbi Brown and Shu Uemura blush brushes. I use this when my other blush brushes need cleaning. 
  • Shu Uemura 20H and 20 brushes are legends. They are both made of pony hair, and is unbelievably soft, silky, and dreamlike. They pick up powders gently and glide the pigment on your skin like it is just meant to be. I recommend buying one of the two when Shu Uemura have their next F&F sale as they tend to be quite pricey. All Shu Uemura brushes are handmade with Japanese care and quality. Like all Shu Uemura brushes, you will never experience dropping bristles and the ferrels are always shiny like new. 

*Highlight, Contour, Bronzing Brushes*

  • MAC 168 is designed for contouring or adding a touch of highlight to the cheekbones. It sounds like a versatile product, but in reality, I have only used this brush less than 10 times. I hardly contour anyway, and think that the whole half highlight and half bronzer application a bit gimmicky.
  • Bobbi Brown Bronzer Brush is a must-have. Life sucks when you don't this. It serves as a kabuki stuck on a fat chubby stick, with bristles that soft and dense, which makes applying any bronzer a dream. It applies evenly and can be buffed in to give your powders a more natural look. I love love this brush!
  • MAC 103 is a nice brush for adding just a bit of highlight to the upper cheekbones. It can also be used for liquid foundations, but I tend to keep it for powder products because of its natural hairs. The only thing I have noticed about this brush is that it keeps on losing its bristles. Annoying indeed.

*Specialty Brushes*

  • MAC 131 and MAC 188 are honestly the most redundant brushes that I own. It's supposed to be used on cream blushes, but that's complete bollocks. The sparse bristles works better on crazily pigmented blushes - like NARS exhibit A or NARS Desire blushes. Even then, I don't think it does a decent job on that either. So with that, these are my 2 biggest regretful buys.
  • Sigma Round Top Kabuki F82 and Sigma Angled Top Kabuki F84 are also redundant brushes. Unlike the F80 brush, these two do nothing. It's meant to be used for cream-based cheek products, but I use my fingers anyway. Again, I would trade the 2 of these for the Sigma F80 brush instead.
That rounds up my face brush collection. What is your standout / can't-live-without brush in your stash? 

It's mid-week! Another 2 more days to Friday!

February 7, 2012

A YSL Haul

I picked up a few pieces from YSL sometime back and I thought it's high time to make a haul post about it. I placed this order sometime in November last year on the YSL.com website when they had their F&F sale, then I got it shipped by a  borderlinx to Singapore, then picked it up during my vacation end December, and only now posting it! All this in 2-3 months. Probably not worth all that effort, I reckon. But anyway, I am one happy bubby seeing them out of their boxes!

I picked up a total of 4 items - 2 glosses, 1 lipstick and 1 eyeshadow. Looking back, I wished I had picked up a mascara, an eyeliner, a foundation, a powder... and the list goes on. Instead, I settled with the  things that I really wanted. Got to have a little bit of makeup sense in me once in a while, right? 

I'm so glad YSL improved the packaging of their products. What irked me the most was their tarnished packaging after a few uses. My older YSL products is covered with small scratches and impossibly-hard-to-remove fingerprints. No mistake, the packaging is uber glamarous but doesn't hold up against the 'elements'.

The older YSL Rouge Pur lipsticks had this very issue. In contrast, the 'newer' YSL Rouge Pur Coutures are alot more resistant to the fingerprints. I have the most beautiful shade in Rose Dahlia. Rouge Pur Coutures also fare better in the moisture factor, and does not have as much slip as the older YSL's Rouge Voluptes or YSL Rouge Purs. So I picked up another one in the shade #6 Rose Bergamasque (what a name!) for an everyday rose nude. 

I also picked my first two golden glosses. I have had the YSL Rouge Pur 04, which I still have and love. The colour is a fantastically bright watermelon pink. Unlike the Pur Glosses, the golden glosses are infused with microspecks of 24 caret gold - to be absolutely precise; 0.2%of gold flecks which translates to  0.00012g or 0.12mg per tube (the geek in me says). With gold prices shooting off the roof compounded by the Eurocrisis and worldwide recession, it still amazes me that gold is still used in some beauty products. Seriously! Is it necessary?!

 YSL Golden Gloss Golden Lavender #18 is a straightforward lavender, and YSL Golden Gloss Golden Obsession #42 is a deep cool toned pink. What gets me swooning about YSL glosses in general is their melon scent.

And finally a YSL Pure Chromatics in #5 which contains a quad of bubblegum pink, gunmetal pewter taupe, silver grey, and light pink shades. They can be used either wet or dry, and is right up my alley in shimmery goodness! I definitely look forward to trying these this weekend, and featuring it in one of my FOTDs.

What have your experiences been with YSL makeup?

February 6, 2012

Finished Products for the Month of January

There's nothing better than finishing something, and then gazing forever at an empty pan or pot. haha!
I have not finished ANYTHING makeup in 2011. Nada. It's an epitome to finally have finished something, actually 3 things!

  • Make Up Forever High Definition Primer (mauve) was my go-to primer for months on end. I love the scent, the texture and how fittingly well it goes with the MUFE HD Foundation. Click here for a review. Will I repurchase? Yes, absolutely! 

  • Yves Saint Laurent Faux Cils Mascara should have been tossed out many months ago. It was my cult favourite for a while, then I started to use Lancome Hypnose instead. I would still go back to YSL Faux Cils, just because it created more volume and the wand is easy to use. Will I repurchase? No, I will instead try the newer YSL mascaras instead just out of curiousity.

  • Lush Dream Cream was my regular purchase - it applies like a lotion but has the benefits of a cream for the winter. The downside is the scent, which my boyfriend thinks it smells like toilet detergent. Well, he exaggerates of course. It is herbal and very 'organic' in scent. Will I repurchase? Maybe. 

February 5, 2012

Blush Horizon de Chanel is to die for!

I'm definitely very late in the myriad of Spring '12 collections that have been constantly streaming in since December. Chanel, Dior, Guerlain has only started coming out in stores here in Denmark, significantly later than most countries. Chanel Singapore had already started selling the Spring '12 collection from late December. 

I picked up the Blush Horizon de Chanel, induced by my dear friend Ivy from Singapore. This is probably the first time in my life that I bought this product even without realising the price tag. Only much later, I realised at hindsight that I was significantly brainwashed to have paid $100 for yet ANOTHER blush to my stash of overflowing blushes.

Well, it was worth it I think. 

Yet again, this is another blog post discussing the very Blush Horizon de Chanel. My opinion, like others, would be that this is the masterpiece of the Spring '12 collection. If you're setting yourself a makeup budget that only allows you to buy 1-2 pieces of makeup from any Spring collection this year - I consider this one of them, and Cruel Gardenia highlighter from Guerlain. 

Powders are incredibly finely milled, but not too soft like the Guerlain blushes. It also comes with a lovely soft brush, encased in a separate pouch, which I am always impressed with. 

The colors towards the top tends to be brighter and pinkier, and transitioning towards a more softer coral pink towards the bottom. The stripes are too small to be used individually, but I would say that there's two ways of using the product. A brighter pink on the upper half of the pan, and a softer light pink on the bottom half. 

I am convinced that this blush is going to be used fairly often. It swatches beautifully on my arm, and it looks even better on my cheek. The slight shimmer doesn't get in the way, to make you look like ms. Oompa Loompa of the Spring. In fact, it  adds that delicate touch of extra luminosity that I am so loving this season. 

What is simply amazing about this blush is the glow it gives to your cheeks. There's no chunky glitter, there's no overloaded shimmer, it doesn't accentuate the pores or the lines, nor does it oxidise. It's exquisite. It's love. 

I was discussing Rouge Bunny Rouge Highlighting Liquid in Sea of Tranquility in my last post. Here, I mixed RBR's Highlighting Liquid with my IPSA Pure Protect Foundation Creme, which I find quite flat when used alone. The effect? Oh my god, to die for luminosity!!!!! I think I must revert my opinion on the RBR Highlighting Liquid in Sea of Tranquility, which I previously thought it could be duped by Benefit's High Beam. Wrong! The magic of RBR works when when mixed with your foundation. Stamp, sealed and approved by moi! :-)

Ok, back to the subject - Blush Horizon de Chanel is perfectly paired with the lipstick Chanel Rouge Allure in Joyeuse 87 and lipgloss Chanel Rouge Allure Extrait de Gloss in Insolence 57. It's remarkable how close the three of them are in shade. 

For the rest of my face, I used some lovely staples from Chanel, Laura Mercier, etc etc. 

I hope you're having a wonderful Sunday. I spent my weekend gulfing down chapters of Stieg Larsson's Girl with a Dragon Tattoo. It's a great book! It's been one of these months where fiction books is making yet another appearance to my life, along with blogging. If you haven't already watched the movie, I suggest you read the novel first. 


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