April 29, 2012

YSL Glossy Stain in Corail Fauve #12

Every post I've seen/read so far on the blogosphere and Youtube Community only has positive things to say about the YSL Glossy Stains. This range of lip products is quite revolutionary - it works as a stain, a gloss, and a lipstick in one, delivering a punch of colour in a single swipe. 

I picked up only one shade in Corail  (a rather impossible task), not sure how I would like it on my lips. I've now had the chance to wear it in Berlin for a few days, and found the task of keeping my lips prestine and extremely fuss free. I would still recommend a hydrating lip balm underneath, especially for sensitive lips like mine. I didn't experience pronounced dryness, but I've always found my lips to be  prone to flakiness when travelling. 

The color range are all rather pigmented, with many shades that seemed to predominate towards different hues of reds. Corail Fauve is the most attractive from all that I swatched, and I would describe it to be a coral red.

It comes in a spatula-like applicator that is semi-flexible, pointed towards the tip to give a slightly more precise application. 

If you have been reading several blogs about the formula, the best way to apply the lip product is to smear it quickly and as precisely as possible. It applies runny at first, and then becomes tacky within a few seconds. I then apply a second layer towards the centre of the lips to give it a bit more of a glossy dimension. 

Leaving a light stain on my hand after wiping off the product with a tissue. The gloss itself is quite long-lasting, staying put for a 3-4 hours of wear. 

I paired my look today with Burberry Sheer Eyeshadow in Porcelain. This colour is simply stunning on the lids, blended with Kiko eyeshadow in 122 and Bobbi Brown Eggplant. Burberry eyeshadows are my biggest weakness. They are incredibly versatile and easy to wear as a single colour on the lids. 

All the makeup I used for today's look...!

Other news; been going to hot vinyasa for the last month, and really enjoying the vinyasa sequence. It's a bit of a change from Bikram Yoga. Although, Bikram is highly raved by lots of people, I dislike the scripted flow and the robotic expectations of each pose. I think it's pointless to have a teacher repeat a script over and over again, rather than encouraging you to be more curious about your postures and body. Yoga is afterall a free expression and finding something that you know you'll be happy with. 

I wanted to leave a picture of my beloved yoga mat. Some of you will be thinking 'so what?'. But for me, whenever I see my little bundle of rubber, I can feel my heart do a little dance of happiness. Isn't that funny? 

*sigh* I really love love love my yoga. 

I hope you're having a wonderful Sunday! 

April 25, 2012

Blog sale will be up on 6th May, 5pm CET

(I apologise for the double entry, somehow my previous post disappeared and now I am rewriting this again... here goes).

I will be holding a blog sale, timely for Spring. My beauty products are now spreading to my boyfriend's 'shelves' and it's a little out of control at the moment. lol! I have makeup in every part of apartment, including the kitchen! 

So, this is your chance to try products you haven't tried before, ranging from Asian beauty brands to limited edition items that you may have missed out the last time.

There are now 100 products listed on the blog sale link here, but the sale only goes live from the 6th May (next Sunday), with pictures. There will be new products added during the week (I'm only getting started!). Mark your calendars and please spread the word! :-)

April 22, 2012

Distractions distractions from Chanel

Chanel has got me distracted lately - with its mysterious new Summer collection trickling into my google and YouTube feeds. I have been searching high and low online to find more details of prices and availability; scouting through Chanel links on Harrods, Selfridges, Saks, etc. Alas, there is no sign of the new collection yet - at least, not where I am. 

For now, I can keep myself distracted with the latest nail offerings from Chanel. I picked up one a few weeks back, called Chanel Distraction. The colour is suitable for summer in my opinion. It gives a nice pop of salmony pink with a jelly-like finish. Chanel nailpolish colours are hard to describe, because of it's chameleon-like effect under certain lighting and angles. Distraction is similar in that sense, which gives a hue of coral tangerine under bright sunlight. 

Upon closer observation, there are mini purple shimmer in the bottle. Unfortunately, the shimmer is not apparent on my nails.

The formula is lovely as always, and two coats achieves good opacity. Sabrina is right to say that Distraction is a lovable shade, and will look stunning on tanned skin. 

Thanks for looking! And I hope you're having a wonderful Sunday afternoon. 

April 21, 2012

Dior Summer 2012: Diorskin Nude Tan Sunlight 002

Initially I was not too impressed with Dior's Summer 2012 sneakpeak pictures that were circulating around the web. Probably it was due to the indoor lighting, which made everything look rather dull. But in person, there's alot to swoon for. I didn't think that Dior could have surpassed it's stellar rating on their bronzers last year - Dior Aurora caught the blogosphere by storm. You couldn't simply wait and think about it.

I passed up on the eyeglosses - I think P&J are far superior. The nailpolishes are pretty, but I have too many similar shades in my stash. The eyeshadow quints are too much outside of my comfort zone. The only other things that I may consider picking up are the lipsticks. The stellar item from the collection are the Healthy Glow Enhancing Powders. Dior also has 4 or 6 standard bronzers, which I paid no attention to. 

This year Dior will released 4 shades of the Healthy Glow Enhancing Powder, and I picked up number 2 called SUNLIGHT. It seems that in some countries, there are only 2 shades available. But here in Denmark, some people are avid sun tan lovers. So a number 3 and 4 shade is probably warranted! 

The collection is officially released on 1st May. You can expect to see the collection displays up in the next week or so. 

The box (and price) was surprisingly large. Inside, it encompasses a mini kabuki brush. Although, it's nice to add extras, I wish they didn't. I was told that the price I paid, factors in a kabuki brush inclusion. I paid DKK 400, which translates to SGD$90-100. Ok, whatever. I was willing to pay for it irregardless. But I just thought it was a little unnecessary. The bristles are already falling out like no tomorrow. 

The bronzer is encased in a lovely velvet pouch, similar to an envelope. I find these velvet pouches quite chic and gives me that extra boost of happiness when you open the product for the first time.

The casing itself is sturdy and heavy. The lid doesn't snap shut, rather it has a magnetic closure. Compared to Dior Aurora from last year's Summer Collection, this compact is comparably thinner and sleeker - probably easier to carry. I do fancy square packaging though... does that make me a square? The only observable thing I saw about the case is its obvious fingermarks after my initial use.

The fancy description to Dior's Healthy Glow Enhancing Powder is described to have a unique formula which is designed for the skin's original tone and suitable in all types of light. The innovation is based on photo adaptable mineral prisms that offer a revolutionary combination of translucent pigments that adjust to the skin's colour and light sensitive mother-of-pearl.

What a mouthful. But sure sounds cool. I have to agree that Dior bronzers are legendry and perhaps it is true that over the years, there had been some reformulation attempts.

Here you have 2 different bronzer hues, with raised NUDE letters that makes it so lovely to gaze at. Dior Sunlight 002 has the most obvious contrasting colours on pan. The other 3 shades under the Health Glow Enhancing Powder has less contrast from memory. I recall that 001 was obviously glittery and shimmery, which was the main reason for my pick for 002 Sunlight. If you're NC20-30 in skintone, Sunlight is probably your best pick. 

Letters U and D are slightly darker, whilst N and E are lighter and slightly pinky in undertone. Together, you get a copperish brown. I know, it's always a risk with bronzers. You don't want anything too orange, but this was not overly so. It's not as natural brown as Nars Laguna though. There was no obvious shimmer. 

Compared to my other bronzers in my stash, you can say that it's a lovely addition. I am a bronzer addict - in fact, I wear bronzer in preference to blush. It appears more natural, and work-friendly. I see it as a necessary addition to any base makeup routine, as it gives a bit more 'colour' to an otherwise flat foundation-made-up face. And even if you don't fancy the 'tanned look', it still imparts a lovely glow from within. 

I will show you two swatch comparison pictures - one under 2 different lightings. It was rather sunny outside, so the camera had difficulty adjusting. What you see below is slightly whiter white-balance. Comparatively, Dior Sunlight from this year's Summer collection and Dior Aurora from last year's collection has a similar colour base. The only difference is that Sunlight is a tad darker, and more 'burnt'.

Chanel Bronze Rose (a favorite of mine) is pinkier. The most glittery of all would be Guerlain 01 Blondes Halees (to the far right). It's the hardest to work with amongst the 5 here, but the reddish undertone makes me even more bronzey. I love all of them equally.

And below are the same swatches under indoor ambient natural light.

On my face, I have applied a slightly heavier application of Dior Sunlight to the left hand side. Although it may look very subtle, but if you care to observe closely, there is a slight more colour to the cheek. I applied the bronzer with my beloved Bobbi Brown Bronzing Brush.

Now applied to my whole face. What's my impressions? I LOVE IT! It's gorgeous.

Background makeup for the day:

In summary, I think it's a worthwhile item to have this summer. Dior is the first brand to release its Summer collection. And I'm glad to have seen in person. I am eagerly waiting for Guerlain Terra Azzura and Chanel Summer 2012. Its rather hard to pick a bronzer of the 3 collections, unless they are released together within the same week. If you already have Dior Aurora and you're still on the fence, I suggest that you wait and see what the other brands have to offer. Otherwise, go for it! It's lovely lovely lovely!

I hope you're having a lovely Saturday!

April 16, 2012

YLBB with an extra ++ featuring Dior Addict Extreme Lipstick Incognito

Dior Addict Extremes are my new found discovery when I was browsing the duty free isles two weeks ago. Regrettably, I only picked up one shade - Incognito. They are priced at 25 euros duty free, so they're not cheap. My S.O. purchased it for me even though we all know that I have a sick obsession with makeup (i.e. duplicates of every shade that ever existed out there). But they are so worth it in my opinion, and even more so than the YSL Glossy Stains. Since then, I've been wearing Incognito on an everyday basis. It's really that good!

The packaging of the Dior Addict Extremes are luxurious and weighty. The packaging dimensions are slightly larger than the older Dior Addict lipsticks. I love the whole black glossy exteriors - it reminds me of the purplish-black Dior Addict parfums, which my mum adoringly uses. 

You might think that it's a very boring shade of YLBB (your lips but better), but on the lips, it's really quite pretty. It's close cousin would be P&J Lipstick CS in 055 - a limited edition shade. I thought it would look like YSL Rouge Volupte in #1, but YSL is much more pinkier. 

Incognito glides on beautifully on my lips and doesn't create any flakiness. That is a record in my books - considering that lipglosses also make my lips flake. I think this is my justification for buying more in the near future. 

Try it, I think you will fall in love with it!


April 14, 2012

Kiko Eyeshadows - swatches and my thoughts

On my last trip to Berlin, I picked up 4 eyeshadows from Kiko Cosmetics, a brand from Milano. Kiko Cosmetics is located in selected cities in Europe, and is starting to expand into new territories. All the prices in the store are very reasonably priced (blushes are 6 euros, eyeshadows are 4 euros and mineralised eyeshadows are 6 euros), and even cheaper than those found in the drugstore. It has a large variety of shades and products  - from nailpolishes, eyeshadows, face products, lippies, blushes, eyeliners you name it. And they're not conservative either - if you need to find that right tone of green blue eyeshadow, they probably have it. The store is always packed, and there's always someone restocking the displays. There is simply no such thing as 'sold out' here in Kiko Cosmetics.

Now, I must say that I was rather conservative in my selection of eyeshadows. Perhaps I should have been more adventurous, but I wasn't really feeling like it that day. I did settle with 4 neutral tone shades to be paired up for this look I have on today.

'Highly Pigmented Eyeshadows' is the name, with shades named in numbers (which makes it even more confusing!) - so here it is:

118 - is a neutral tone champagne, almost like my skin colour, and has a slight shimmer. I was quite disappointed in the texture of this eyeshadow - I hardly had any oil on my fingers, and I already notice that hardening on the surface. I had to rub vigorously to get a decent swatch on my fingers. I dislike it, and I'm already considering of tossing it.

122 - is a matte greyish beige, which I thought to use to blend out harsh lines. It has better pigmentation than 118, fortunately enough.

135 - is a plum with microglitter. This one was pigmented and rather beautiful when swatched, and probably my favorite of the four.

134 - is a dark brown with microglitter. This one was also pigmented, and applies beautifully on the extension of the lashline. HOWEVER, this was a real b£$(* to blend. Really.

I hate to say this, especially knowing that there are so many good quality drugstore dupes out there, but sometimes I really do believe that you get what you pay for. Burberry eyeshadows are exquisite - even shades that are barely noticeable on the lids, blend well with other shades. Of course there are exceptions to this rule - many expensive brands release terribly mediocre quality. What do I think of Kiko eyeshadows? They're great in terms of variety, but the quality of them is largely a hit or miss. For 4 euros a pop, it's not bad to experiment.

Here is a look featuring all the four eyeshadows swatched today.

What are you up to this Saturday? I am off to an Orthodox Easter Mass at midnight! But first heading to the bar for some drinks. How unorthodox! :-D

Have a lovely evening!

April 13, 2012

Ramble: Copenhagen streets & Imperfection

I thought of doing a rather random post today, assembling some of the iPhone shots I take on the go. Some of you had asked me to take more pictures of Copenhagen.

Well, last night I went to my 90 minute hot yoga, something that I desperately missed doing. My studio is tucked in a small alley, situated at a rather hippie area of Copenhagen called Chrisitianhavn. Most of the inner city has lovely cobbled stone pathways, which you will see here! Comfortable walking shoes are suggested!

What's so charming about Copenhagen is its irregularity. Nothing here is 'perfect'. The Danes rather spend a couple of kroners more for the same piece of bread that is irregularly shaped. The more ugly and irregular the bread, the better!

I don't usually share my personal life on my blog very much, only because I know that some of you are here to read my reviews and looks using certain beauty products. But I'm starting to feel that blogs that interest me are those that add a personal flavour. Slowly you will start to see more of 'me' in some of my posts, and if you're bored, you are most welcome to click away.

Today's ramble of the day is 'imperfection'. Try to discuss the topic of imperfection to a perfectionist, and you get some form of chaos. That's me.

Sometimes we go through the daily motions, doing a million-and-one things but not actually realising why we're doing it. Once in a while, something happens, and you start thinking of why you react in certain ways. And, trust me, I have plenty of situations where I would berate myself for not handling it better. I.e. I may say the wrong things, or hurt peoples feelings unintentionally, or behave unreasonably. I'm not saying that it is ok to do these things, but there's only so much I can do to manage my reactions. (some people are better at this!) And often, I spend lots of time thinking and regretting for the things I say.

And you know what's funny? Everyone else has moved on and I'm still thinking about it!

I learnt over these years that imperfection is really my form of perfection. The journey of self-acceptance is that very process of life. And I just wanted to say as well, I am sincerely grateful for my family and friends who continue to smile and accept my flaws even through I may have upsetted them in the past.

I hope you have a lovely Friday!

April 10, 2012

Berlin Beauty Hauling

We just got back from Berlin last night, completely exhausted but extremely satisfied from all that we did in 5 days of easter vacation. Not only did we see the spectacular museums and galleries, we also got to listen to fantastic classical concert at the Philharmonie.

If I had to live anywhere else in the world, I could consider Berlin as my next place. It's not quite as expensive as London, but offers just as much in terms of shopping, food and sights. Amazingly, just an hour away from Copenhagen, Berlin has prices that are reasonable (for once). A decent meal for two, costs as much as 39 euros in Berlin, compared to 80 euros here in Copenhagen. 

I definitely did my fair share of shopping, after a rather long makeup hiatus. 

I saw Chanel's distraction nail colour from thebeautylookbook, and had my heart set on picking it up on store. On my nails it appears coralish peach, and under certain lights it appears more of a tangerine orange. A beautiful shade in my opinion. 

I saw the new Dior Addict Extreme lipsticks, and was wondering what the whole fuss was about, and totally understand it now. It has moisturising qualities of a balm but feels glossy without being sticky on the lips. I picked up the shade in Incognito, since I lack quite a number of nudes in my lipstick stash. I have a feeling that I will be picking up a few more in this line. 

Also, I did very well in controlling myself to one shade of the YSL glossy stains. Surprisingly, I veered towards #12. The range is very intensely pigmented, and as much as I love bright lips, I can't pull it off at the office. #12 is exactly that. It's vibrant that I would only consider applying it on the weekends. Now get this, I wasn't a big fan of the tacky glossy feeling post application. I am on the fence, and will only be able to express my true thoughts after a few more applications. 

I also picked up a few French skincare items... lets see how it goes. More reviews of them coming soon.

Okay, teaser over. I bought Kiko cosmetics from Berlin. I was first introduced by this brand from Sophia at the Makeupblogette. She asked if they had Kiko in Copenhagen, leaving me quite puzzled to wonder why she wanted stationary! Only to my surprise that Kiko is in fact a cosmetics line. It's similar to polish brand, Inglot, with prices that are comparable to drugstore. Picture this, a small store packed with teenagers and tourists, blasting Berlin underground trance music. It was almost impossible to navigate around the massive array of eyeshadows, nail polishes, liners, lipglosses. Each eyeshadow was priced at 4-5 euros. Too good to be true. 

More reviews of my new goodies coming soon! I hope you had an excellent easter break!
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