January 30, 2012

Highlighting with BB Shimmerbrick in Beige

Bobbi Brown Shimmerbricks are collectible-worthy, wouldn't you agree? Each 'brick' is graduated with 5 different tones of shimmer, giving you the versatility to adjust the tone of your highlight/blush. This is the case for my beloved Bobbi Brown Shimmerbrick in Beige. Beige, is not limited edition (luckily) and is described to be a nude-toned highlighter, accentuating the skin's candlelit glow. This is probably my first Bobbi Brown Shimmerbrick purchased back in 2006 (omg!), and since then, I couldn't help but build a substantial collection. 

I have used Beige as eyeshadows before and it gives my lids a simple wash of illuminance. The swatches for the top lightest shade is more of a golden hue, which brings a glow to the skin, rather than a whitish sparkly cast that some highlighters tend to do. 

Pictures don't do justice when it comes to highlighters. It's almost impossible to catch the right angle and light with the camera. 

Below, I have applied Beige on the tops of my cheeks.

I discovered the beautiful packaging of MAC's Hipness Blush (Frost), which is probably a summertime shade. I do like the contrast that the blush gives to my cheek. 

As an eyeshadow base, I took out Benefit's Creaseless Cream Eyeshadow in RSVP. Holy - this shade is beautiful. I will need to do a separate blog post for this. 

I also brought out my Stila All Doll'd Up Eyeshadow Palette to play. I just love that there's 12 different multicoloured shades to work with in a pan that is easy to carry around. I used the last circle with the beige, brown and mid-tone green, just layering it on top of another to create some form of gradation.

Then there's the other usual suspects, like Lancome's Hypnose mascara, Shu Uemura Eyelash Curler, MUFE Aqua Liner, and the little treasure of MAC Splashing Lipglass.   

I hope you're having a good Monday. It's freezing outside and I hate it. I want spring to come by already!

January 29, 2012

Winter hydration with trusty Estee

There's one thing I dread the most about winter, apart from below freezing temperatures and cold blasted wind, is dry patchy skin that hurts for days on end. I was determined not the face the same fate that I once did during the winters in Australia (which is still in comparison milder than those in Nordic countries). Surprisingly, I was blessed this time round with hydrated skin, and I had to (absolutely must) make a review of the products. 

All credits go to Estee Lauder Hydrationist range. It's as simple as it is. Nothing more, nothing less. I have the largest bottle of the EL Hydrationist Moisture Barrier Fortifier Serum and the EL Hydrationist Maximum Moisture Creme for dry skin, and I use both products daily for the morning and night. 

The Hydrationist Serum claims to be a moisture fortifier, by interacting with the skin to create a moisture insulating layer to lock in hydration. It sounds really fancy, like most skincare products out there. Whatever it's doing, my skin likes it and it's working. 

A single pump dispenses just the amount you need to cover the entire face and neck. The texture is light, lightly fragranced, and absorbs rather quickly into the skin.

I normally skip toning altogether. Just a personal verdict, I don't think that toning does anything to my skin, and I believe it's another marketing trick to get you into buying another product of their already extensive skincare line. I have over the years learnt to keep my skincare routine rather simple. It's a deliberate choice to minimise the 'activity' done to my face, and to keep the repurchase to the minimum. 

On a clean face, I use a pump of the Hydrationist Serum and then the Hydrationist Moisturiser. Done in less than 3 seconds! Isn't that a godsend? My friends, hydration, no matter how old or young you are, are necessities to good skin.

The Estee Lauder's Hydrationist Maximum Moisture Creme comes in 3 types; combination and dry skin, and an oily skin that comes in a pump bottle. I consider my skin to be combination in nature - oily t-zone and dry cheeks. I was deliberating between the combination and the dry skin, and opted for the latter just because I needed something heavy duty. 

If I recall, the combination skin formulation is much more gel-like and less creamy. And surprisingly, the  cream is just as easily absorbed into the skin even though it is thicker. It doesn't create oiliness or the heaviness you would expect with winter creams, so I wouldn't judge the wording on the packaging too seriously. 

A small scoop with your fingers is all you need for the whole face. Again, it has a light fragrance, and absorbs well into the skin, leaving it feeling quite refreshed! I also think that it makes my face feel softer and prepared for primer & foundation. 

Honestly, it has been a long while since I have last found a great cream. I have tried a range from Biotherm, Lancome, Shiseido and more, then giving myself a long break while being on Roaccutane. I have found this cream to be really effective in giving me back the moisture that I needed during the colder months. 

Have you used Estee's Hydrationist range? I recommend snagging a few samples from the EL counter next time you visit! 

January 28, 2012

Category features: Cream Eyeshadows

I'm going to post a category feature every week, to assemble the collection of assorted products in each category; such as cream eyeshadows (this very post!), powdered eyeshadows, cream blushers, powdered blushers, eyeliners, etc etc. I think it's fun to bring them all together so that there's a nice comparison made with each product type. 

So lets begin!

Today I assembled all my cream eyeshadows, as part of my organisational effort, and loved playing with the textures of each brand and comparing the effects. I would love to be more detailed in my pictures but today is another typical grey day and no matter what, my white balance miserably brings the whole prettiness to dull dull dull. 

I picked up 2 more Benefit Creaseless Cream Eyeshadows during the Benefit 20% sale last year, Birthday suit (a neutral barely there shade) and RSVP (a sparkling champagne shade), are my newest additions. The texture and shimmery finish of Benefit's cream eyeshadows are by far my favourite. They're creamy and have a lovely sheen, making it a perfect base for shadows on top. 

Jill Sturt's Jelly Eyes are really fun little products. They are packaged in a gorgeous princessy button cap, adding a lovely touch to your dresser. And, they have a texture like jelly gummy bears with alot of bounce. They're more watery generally, but they have a glittery finish. Probably less suitable for the office but it's great for the Japanese kawaii look!

Illamasqua's Cream Pigments are less creamy. Instead, they are harder to the touch, and dries to a semi-matte finish. I reach for them less because they're harder to blend, and often, I would have to use some more powdered eyeshadows on top to balance the pigmentation that it gives. When I have less time in the mornings, I just can't be bothered with additional steps. 

There are a few odd cousins in my stash - MAC paint pot, Shiseido Hydro Powder Eyeshadow and a MUFE aqua cream. Lets talk about them too...

MAC paintpots are not my favourite. I don't know what it is but I never got into them, and clearly the soft ochre paintpot doesn't serve as a very good base when your skin is verging towards dry. I don't like it when my eyelids look flakey as well. So, I don't really like them.

As for Shiseido Hydro Powder Eyeshadows, they're nice. I picked up a shimmery pink shade, which is not the most pigmented, but I picked it up just to give my cheeks a little bit of sparkle. They have released new formulas, and their packaging is flatter in design. They're really lovely but I never got around to buying it. 

And finally, the MUFE aqua creams are nice too. I never got around to picking more shades but I would if I had the chance. They're creamy, nicely pigmented and are water resistant. 

There's alot of other cream products out there... like the Bobbi Brown Metallic Eyes, Chanel illusion d'ombres, etc etc. And, I probably would have them in my collection by now if I lived near a department store. Actually, I do.. but I still have not felt the urge to expand the already extensive collection that I have! 

I hope you enjoyed my first category features. I'm sure to do more in the coming few weeks!

January 21, 2012

January smokey eyes with Shu Uemura and Laneige

Hi everyone! After a rather long break for Christmas and X-mas vacation, and then followed by an intense period at work, I am back! Today I decided to do a smokey eye look, assembling a few little gems I found here and there. My skintone went a few shades darker after a stroke of sun bliss in Koh Samui (Thailand). This new tan has given me more opportunities to use more pigmented blushes and eyeshadow colours. 

Shu Uemura eyeshadows (at least the old versions) are stunning. Its' quality surpasses MAC and Urban decay by a LONG mile, as it neither too hard or too soft. I have a small collection of Shu Uemura eyeshadows, and I used to love collecting unique shades. Well, until Shu Uemura decided to revamp everything with their eyeshadows. I have yet to test out the newer formulations, so I have nothing to comment.

Shu Uemura P Black 990 is a must-have black eyeshadow with specks of microglitter that sticks rather well on the eyelid and does not transfer to the cheeks. Nothing beats this shade, not even MAC Carbon.

I also picked up a few discounted Laneige eyeshadows from way back, including this gorgeous duochrome white-golden eyeshadow in Laneige Snow Beige Prism eyeshadow. It minimises the look of the harsh black eyeshadow and gives a nice 3D dimension.

It has been a long while since MAC Cheeky Bronze made its entrance back to my life. You would probably agree with me, that MAC MSFs were once a raved and coveted product range (and probably still is, but lesser so now). I look back now and think that it was overhyped. It does give a beautiful sheen to the cheeks, especially MAC Cheeky Bronze, as it blends in very well into the skin. 

Here are some finished looks for the day. Close up of the eye.

Finished off with MAC Viva Glam II - a flat nude shade, and a great companion for the smokey eye.

All the products used for today's FOTD.

I hope you're having a wonderful Saturday. It's snowing here in Copenhagen!
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