June 30, 2012

Frederic Malle Iris Poudre

All Frederic Malle's fragrances are fabulous and Iris Poudre is no exception. Pierre Bourdon, a Parisian perfumer known for coming up the household name of Davidoff Cool Water, collaborated with the Frederic Malle fragrance house to come up with exquisite blend of Iris Poudre. 

I'm not generally a floral person as such, often scents like these are too soapy and detergent-like. My nose tends to prefer the slight musky, spicy and plenty of vanilla. I am particularly fond of winter-scents, i.e. Serge Lutens Tuberose Criminelle, Thierry Mugler Angel, to name a few. During the summer, I keep things quite simple with Jo Malone colognes. 

So Iris Poudre is no walk in the park. I consider it a scent you would wear on the slightly cooler temperatures; i.e. Autumn or Spring. It opens fresh and floral, but the woods, powder and vanilla comes through as it dries down. Vintage, deep, smooth, sensual and extremely cosy. There's a small story it wants to tell you, but it does so silently with a strong feminine presence. Sometimes it disappears, then it reemerges again, delighting the senses softly. 

Sillage is good, lasting about 5-6 hours of summer wear. It was love at first sniff for me, and I had picked this up during my last visit to London Liberty. This is my second bottle of Frederic Malle, and I know that I will be collecting more soon. 

Do you own anything Frederic Malle? What fragrances do you love?

June 23, 2012

Leibster Blog Award

Sweet Claire from aucuparia-brumalis has kindly nominated me for the Leibster Blog Award. Thank you, Claire! If you haven't already followed her blog, you should. She features lovely Japanese hard-to-come-by brands with a thoughtful approach to her posts, especially her reviews. 

The Leibster Award gives recognition to bloggers with less than 200 followers, to encourage them to blog more. The encouragement is very touching, and I appreciate the time you spend to read and comment on my posts. Your comments are something that I always look forward to on a daily basis. I apologise for not posting frequently enough, especially lately. More news on that front later...

I am so glad I found blogging and this wonderful community. I used to think that it's pointless to blog, since the beauty space is already very crowded. But I've since changed my opinions about it - I now believe that there's an unlimited space when you read and meet inspiring people (whatever it is they blog about). What better way to know someone across the world by connecting on common interests? 

I know I am meant to link 5 bloggers with less than 200. It's a hard task - considering that I keep my reading lists limited to what I can honestly keep up with daily. Since then, most of these blogs have gained a number of followers, more than 200! 

But, I do have 4 bloggers that instantly came to mind and they deserve a hearty mention. 

My Beauty Hoard is the mama of hauls, including things that are hard-to-get and downright lovely. She covers many brands and definitely a blog to follow, not excluding the fact that Jacqueline is very approachable and down-to-earth. 

Indigo Kir Royale has been a my source for my lemmings. She has a keen eye for pretty things, and takes fantastic photographs. I believe she has only started out, but she has the potential to be a great resource for all beauty fanatics.

Miaka My Life is a hidden gem. The author behind the blog is one smart lady, with a pragmatic view on beauty - something that I relate to 100%. She has a variety of interests including food, movies, and cute cats. Head over to her blog and give her your support.

Product Doctor Beauty Blog has been my latest discovery. She covers some to-die-for brands and writes beautifully, with a description that matches exactly to the product.

If you have any bloggers who you think deserves recognition, why not link it below?

Thanks for reading!

June 17, 2012

Amsterdam tripping ~~~

The best thing about living in Europe is the number of travel choices for a long weekend. Travelling from one city to another offers a magnitude of things to do, shops to see and history to learn. My friend who lives in 'den Haag' told me all that I needed to know about the Dutch... on the superficial level and their way of life. My conclusion? The Dutch are incredibly interesting people!

Amsterdam is synonymous with 'legal weed', 'coffeeshops', 'red light district', however, that is a very limited view of this vibrant city. To get this topic out of the way... yes, I did visit the Red Light District, and honestly thought that the place would have looked so much nicer without these joints. There's nothing seedy about the Red Light District, where tourists flock to see women in skimpy bikinis standing inside a glass window. 

Which brings me to the topic of nudity. The Dutch have a 'blaze' opinion of nudity - some 'extreme nudists' can strip naked and not give a flying damn about exhibitionism (typically expressed by tourists - i.e. MOI!). I saw 20 or so naked men & women cycling around the smaller streets, with a camera man shooting. No pants, no nothing. Free hanging and all!!

What about coffee shops and weed? It is legal. But they have recently passed this law that now prevents foreigners from purchasing and smoking weed from coffee joints. Coffee joints are also not allowed to advertise, but you can smell weed from a mile away. To me, it stinks, even more so than cigarettes. Not the slightest bit curious on the effect, and never will. 

You do encounter florists selling marijuana seeds. Not to be taken into Singapore of course...

On the other side, Holland has some lovely tulips! They have fields and fields of tulips, which they then export to all European cities.

AND, they have lovely canals! Many more than Denmark. 

With some fascinating buildings, each with it's own character and architectural build. 

Including a building which looks obviously tilted to the right! 

And leaning forwards as well. 

And the Dutch houses that stand by the canals have a characteristic steps into the front door - simply because Amsterdam is below sea level! The Indonesian government needs to learn how the Dutch manage this, because the rate of flooding is too embarrassing. 

Another feature of Dutch houses is the large windows. My simplistic attempt to explain this points to the Calvinist society, which is built on 'penny savers' and 'saving for the rainy day'. Anyone is free to look inside the windows, only to see very basic furniture and a simple way of life. Anything extravagant is always dismissed by the Dutch, who don't want to be seen as 'superior' or 'better off' than anyone else. 

Moving house is often a pain in the butt. You can barely move up the stairs with one person, yet alone big pieces of furniture. How do they move then? Each building has a hook - furniture moves in and out of apartments from the windows. How ingenius is that!!

Amsterdam is particularly friendly towards gays. Generally, a tolerant society. Weak drugs, alcohol, nudity, sex, etc are all ok for the Dutch. Hard drugs on the other hand are badly frowned upon.

This is what you see of Amsterdam, but surprisingly different when you visit other cities (Leiden, Rotterdam, etc). Other Dutch cities are more conservative, like yours and mine, and even go the extra mile to still wear the old style Dutch maid clothing! 

My weekend in Amsterdam could not be complete without a museum visit. Their historical art schools have lead the way in terms of art techniques, such as, lighting, shading and textures. Rembrandt, amongst the few world famous Dutch painters, dating back to the 1700s, has a few of his paintings permanently exhibited at the Rijksmuseum. 

That particular weekend was the Denmark vs. Holland 16th Phase of the UEFA 2012 Eurocup Championship, which I profess that I am obsessed about lately. Holland lost to Denmark that weekend, a surprising defeat, considering that Holland had won the championship 4 years ago. The city was buzzing with energy with people 'pre celebrating' Holland's win, claiming 'We are the Champions' and patriotically displaying stark orange attire. The Dutch definitely know how to have fun! 

Who did I support? Denmark of course! Now don't go telling the Dutch that...!

To anyone who are football fans ("really, Tracy? this is a beauty blog"), happy Eurocup 2012! May the best team win! 

June 14, 2012

OPI New York City Ballet Soft Shades Collection

I took the plunge with OPI New York City Ballet Collection, sight unseen, from Lookfantastic.com. It looks like OPI is starting to make more of their products available on online retailers. Sometimes I prefer to have the mini-version of nailpolishes (3.75mLs) as opposed to the full size version. I've never finished a single nailpolish, and probably never will at the exponential rate in which I have been hauling. Well, that's another story.

OPI NYC Ballet Petites comes with four colours - 3 sheer toned shades (soft white, grey and lilac) plus 1 glittery polish. It's a nice assemble in case you're feeling like bingeing on nailpolishes but don't have the space!

As always, OPI has some really cute names! Care to Danse? My Pointe Exactly? lol~ love it!

Don't touch my tutu was quite streaky and hard to apply - I had to use 3 coats to obtain decent opacity. My nailbed still looks obvious with 2 coats. I guess that's the difficulty in nailpolishes, in that it's often quite hard to obtain that jelly-like finish, yet be streak-free. However, I do like the delicate feminine finish. 

My Pointe Exactly is a gorgeous jelly grey. It applies better than 'Don't Touch my Tutu'. The combination is fabulous when paired with 'Pirouette My Whistle'. Below is two coats. 

Care to Danse? is a sheer jelly lilac. It's a nice addition of sheerness, nothing stark like other lilac cremes, which can sometimes look 'tarty' in the office environment. Applies smoother than 'Don't Touch my Tutu'. Here is two coats. 

Pirouette My Whistle is probably my best pick from this entire collection. It contains silver shaded hexagonal shaped glitter with mini glitters on a clear base, giving a lovely feminine touch to the ring finger. I suggest that you pick this in the full size bottle if you're considering anything from this collection.

I really love these mini versions. They make experimenting fun and safe, especially as it takes very little room and you don't need to shell out quite as much to try different shades. 

June 5, 2012

FOTD featuring Burberry Porcelain, Midnight Brown & Taupe Brown

Hi everyone! How's your week been so far? Today is the last public holiday (until Christmas) here in Denmark, and it's been rather lazy and unproductive for me. I'm dreading tomorrow and the day after as I'll be needing to wake up super early to attend conference calls, and then writing a heap of reports (which nobody bloody reads so why even bother?!).

Anyway, on my last trip to London, I picked up a bunch of Burberry eyeshadows and building on my current collection. I love Burberry cosmetics - especially their eyeshadows. Burberry Porcelain has been my go-to shade for work. I brush this on as an all over wash of colour on my lids, line and blend the crease with Burberry Taupe Brown, pop a bit of mascara, and that's pretty much it. Easy peasy.

I wanted to show you how beautiful this trio is.

Taupe Brown is a perfect crease colour - it's matte but glides on beautifully without interfering with your main lid colour. It's a lovely sable brown that leans cool.

Porcelain is that lovely light champagne ivory colour, perfect for brushing on the lid and up to the brow bone and giving you that lovely inlit glow. Love it.

Everyone knows midnight brown - this is the classic warm toned brown with flecks of shimmer.

The texture of these shadows are phenomenal - nothing compares to this. Sadly all my MAC eyeshadows are ignored because of the superior quality you get from Burberry eyeshadows. Even my the famous Urban Decay Naked Palette is unused.

And what you swatch is what you get. Lovely on swatches, and lovely on the lids.

On my cheeks I have on Benefit Coralista and a very thin veil of Nars Luxor Multiple. It's been some time since I've used Benefit Coralista, and I can see why I used to love it. Tell me, why do I keep on buying new blushes when I have already own some fantastic products?!

On my lips I have MAC Cremesheen Glass in Just Superb. I'm surprised I don't have more of these; they feel very moisturising on my lips. It's definitely a first for MAC lip gloss product.  

And here's all the products I used for today's look. Hello Guerlain Perles D'Azur! Did I tell you that I really really love swirling you around? :-D 

Do you own any Burberry eyeshadows? Which ones have become your daily staples?

Thanks for dropping by!

June 4, 2012

Finished Products for the Month of May

This month I finished 8 things. I am adamant in finishing all the 'skincare and haircare' stuff I have stacked in my cupboard. It was looking quite ridiculous in the beginning of the year, and now it's starting to show signs of sanity. I just need to fight the online shopping urges. And they are quite profound lately... The routine has been about clicking products into the basket and then emptying, only to restart all over again.  

I'm trying very hard to finish something makeup related. It's hard. I just keep on trying new things (and acquiring more and more). Plus, banning myself from buying makeup only makes me buy more eventually. Personally, I find project 10 pan related blog posts very interesting - it's representative of what you like to use on a daily basis. I know that my blue turqoise eyeliner will never be part of posts like these, and neither will a blush or whatever. However, when I do see someone complete a blush or an eyeshadow, I can only swoon and wish I could do that too! That really takes commitment and determination!!!

Anyway, here is this month's breakdown:

Shu Uemura High Performance Balancing Cleansing Oil Fresh
I bought this in the large 450mL size, and this bottle has lasted me for about 8-9 months. Its one of my trusted skincare staples, an absolute necessity to remove makeup prior to bed. The pink bottle is geared towards anyone with oily skin, but still remains gentle and effective for the drier months. 3 pumps is what I need to remove all the makeup off my face, followed by another cleanse with my IPSA Cleansing Smooth Foam.

Crabtree & Evelyn Lavender Body Lotion
This was another repurchase - I love the texture of the body lotion, in that it's not too creamy and not too lightweight. It's scented of course, in Lavender, so it makes it a perfect bed time routine. My only gripe is the pump and bottle, which makes it impossible to get any last remnants of the cream when it approaches the bottom.

IPSA Cleansing Smooth Foam
I love this cleanser and have gone through tubes and tubes of this. I buy backups whenever I can. It can be quite drying, but it cleanses extremely well. My skin breaks out when I change my cleanser.

Korres Wild Rose 24-hour Moisturiser SPF 6
This came part of the travel pack, and I've been using this mini size during my short trips around Europe. The product itself feels quite heavy on the skin and takes a while for it to be absorbed. I'm not quite used to the greasy feeling, so I would only recommend it for drier skin types.

Kiehls Ultra Light Daily UV Defense Sunscren SPF 50 PA +++
It usually takes me many months to finish a full size skincare product. On the contrary, the Kiehls sunscreen vanished within a few months. I had to deform and squeeze the remaining product that was stuck around the sides of the container and trust me, it was a real pain in the butt. You can find a full review here.

Kerastase Masquintense Epais (for thick hair)
I give credits to the this particular hair masque for restoring the health to my hair. I went through months relying on this in order to smoothen out my damaged ends as a result of a bad perm job. The disadvantage is that it is loaded with silicones, which you would occasionally need to deep cleanse. Otherwise, my hair had never felt so silky and smooth before this. It's really lovely and in fact, I have a backup already in use!

Lush Snow Fairy Showergel for Body and Hair
Cotton candy is the only way to describe this showergel. It's very extremely heavily scented and almost passed me out when I first took my first whiff! Even though it is limited edition, I don't think there's anything special about it.

And finally Cutex Strengthening Nailpolish Remover
Not sure if I should have included this, but I am. I'm searching for a better nailpolish remover - something that could be more gentler to my cuticles, which have been flaking off like no tomorrow.

What have you finished lately?

June 3, 2012

FOTD - Guerlain by Emilo Pucci: Meteorites Perles D'Azur

By now, you would have seen many bloggers reviewing the various items from the Guerlain by Emilo Pucci Collection. If you haven't already, head over to Rouge Deluxe, Cafe Makeup and Indigo Kir Royale to read more of their thoughts on the Guerlain Meteorites in Perles D'Azur. If you have picked up anything from this collection, please feel free to add your blog links in the comment box below!

Guerlain's collaboration with Emilo Pucci this summer is an ingenius idea. Emilo Pucci is known for her beautiful silk scarves, printed in geometric prints and kaleidoscope of colours. Both Oliver Echaudemaison and Laudomia Pucci drew inspiration of the colours froms the beautiful Italian beaches, represented with various shades of aqua and blue. The packaging of this year's Guerlain meteorites plus the addition of turquoise balls makes this item an absolute must-have.

There are a total of six different shaded balls - each blended to correct and illuminate your complexion after base makeup. I used the Shu Uemura red bristled brush in 18R to swirl the beads around to grab different coloured pigments.

The shades of the balls this time round is clearly differentiated - some deposit more shimmer than others, and some having a clear coloured effect. However, together you will not see these individual shades of colour - in fact, the meteorites are designed to be an overall face powder and illuminator.

I personally love each and every ball this time round. The orange and turquoise bead makes this particular release very interesting compared to previous Guerlain meteorite releases.

What you see above is clearly too much product for a single application. Although each bead is not meant to be crushed, you can definitely find deposits on the bottom of the container.

Guerlain meteorites are almost impossible to photograph. What you do see is a lovely illuminating effect, with some sparkle, although not much. Some of Guerlain's previous releases are less shimmery than the Perles D'Azur, however, I personally do not find the shimmer to be too much. When applied to my face, it's only noticeable under direct sunlight.

Above, you will see the swatch with flash.

All the swatches together once again under natural light.

Now, I'll show you how the Guerlain Meteorites Perles D'Azur looks on me in an FOTD. First up, here's me with just foundation alone. I've applied a thin layer of Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua Foundation on top of Illamasqua Satin Primer. My skin has some sallowness and uneven patches and the foundation does an excellent job to cover that.

After brushing on a generous amount of Guerlain Meteorites in Perles D'Azur, I noticed an immediate brightening effect to my right cheek (left side of the photograph).

Now applying to both sides of my face. The effect is marginal and very subtle. It's very hard to capture in photographs - but trust me, I did notice a more brightened look. And I LOVE it!

I brushed on my new favorite Burberry Light Glow Blush in Peony, which blends seamlessly into my skin and adds on to the whole brightened complexion. On my eyes, I have on Lunasol 3D Eyes in Deep Beige - especially loving the beige taupe shade and then smoothing on some of the darker liner shade on the lash line. This palette is the perfect daytime smokey eye, and extremely versatile.

I lined my lashline with Bobbi Brown Gel Liner in Caviar Ink, and waterlined my eyes with Chanel Stylo Yeux in Black Shimmer. And completed the look with a single coat of MUFE Aqua Eyes Mascara.

All the makeup I used for today's look.

In summary, I really really love the Guerlain Meteorites in Perles D'Azur. It's a piece of art and such a luxury to use. I'm thinking of picking another one up for my mum. It makes the perfect gift for anyone who loves art or beautiful things.

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