June 30, 2013

Rescue Beauty Lounge Bella

I think I have found the perfect white nail polish. Ji Baek, creator of the cult-following brand Rescue Beauty Lounge, nailed this creation of milky innocent jelly nail polish - Bella Donna as it was called then, and now called Bella. I don't know what took me so long to review this lovely pot of goodness - but now that I have them on my digits, I am so excited to share this discovery with you. 


Like most light coloured nailpolishes, 3 coats is needed, and alot of patience is required. I took mine to my local manicurist and fell asleep on the chair while waiting for my digits to dry. I woke up to beautiful nails. 

Brides to be, this colour is downright gorgeous. It gives your hands an elegant look because the colour is neither glaring nor white like Tippex/liquid highlighter. It's muted just enough to make the end results look like fresh yoghurt or milk, or what Ji would call bleached bones. To this, I am going to be ultra careful with this bottle because it'll most likely be my staple nailpolish for special occasions. 




You can pick yours here

June 29, 2013

Tom Ford Summer 2013: Pink Haze and Escapade

I picked up a number of lovely things from the Tom Ford Summer 2013 Collection through Nordstrom. The Tom Ford counter in Singapore had only received a total of 6 pieces of each item! So I'm glad to have pounced on my order when I saw these items appear online in the US. They sold out so quickly online.


Today I will feature the two Cream Color for Eyes in Escapade and Pink Haze. Each pot weighs 6g, and retail for S$60 or US$40.


Escapade is a light peach-champagne shade that looks understated on its own, however, when matched with Pink Haze as a companion, the duo looks magnificent on. Pink Haze may look intimidating from the swatches but this would be my favorite of the two. Pink Haze has better pigmentation than Escapade, and produces a beautiful metallic sheen of burnished copper. I would describe the texture to be of a whipped mousse, and definitely creamy. There's a slight cooling sensation when applied on the lids, too.  


When worn alone, Escapade seems to blend into my skin color, leaving not so much of a contrast. My guess is that Escapade would probably look better on darker skin tones. 


Wearing Pink Haze on the outer corners. 



If your budget allows, picking these two shades make perfect sense. They look fabulous together. But, lets say you had to pick one of the two: go for Pink Haze. I don't believe I have seen this shade before from other makeup brands. And, don't let the pink tone scare you off. With just a lick of mascara and brown eyeliner, Pink Haze can look good alone as well.  

Makeup Magpie has a stunning feature of these two eyeshadows - if you haven't already, you should. Her photography is stunning. period. 




I have been wearing the two cream eyeshadows consistently for about a week now. All I can say is that Tom Ford's cream eyeshadows are not to be missed. If only he would release Platinum from last year's Summer Collection again; I will snatch it up in a heartbeat. 


June 16, 2013

All Year Round Bronzing: Guerlain Terracotta 4-Seasons 00 Nude

As the title is uncreatively and aptly named, Guerlain Terracotta 4-Seasons in 00 Nude is the star piece of today's post. When I first heard about this on Cafemakeup (my source of desirable lemmings), I knew this bronzer was going to be THE bronzer of the year. Make no mistake, when my mind is set on getting something, nothing can hold me back. 


Well and truly, Guerlain has hit the sweet spot in my obsession for all things bronzers.  Swatching all my current bronzers today confirms that sent Chanel Les Beiges collection a run for its money. If you can still get your hands on this, I urge you to. The shade 00 Nude is exquisite for fair skin tones. 


While versatility is a key feature of having the four quadrants, I found that the best effect was seen when all the colours are swirled together. The powder is incredibly finely milled and glides on so seamlessly onto my skin. Each compact houses 10g of product and encased in a brown sea-shell luxurious case. 

Here are some of my Guerlain bronzers that I am rotating with my other bronzers in my stash. 


Guerlain Teracotta Poudre Des Sable was an older LE release (I believe 2009 or 2010?) with a seashell swirl. I use this less often because the shade can look quite orangey and appears quite 'put on' sometimes. Guerlain then brought out Teracotta Light Blondes Halees, which is reddish in tone, an improvement of the Teracotta Poudre Des Sables, and mimicks the look of sunburnt skin. While the color is beautiful, the sparkles often hinder me from using this more regularly than I should. 

Guerlain Terracotta 4-Seasons really nailed it by making this year's collection versatile for every skin tone, with beautiful shades resembling a soft natural glow and with no hints of orange or glitter/sparkle.



I have a weakness when bronzers are concerned. I like using them for the office. I prefer bronzers over blushers. And, I certainly have alot to last me for a whole lifetime. Guerlain 4-Seasons in Nude is probably the lightest bronzer shade I have to date; a perfect shade for all year round bronzing. 

 



Today was probably the hottest day all year in Singapore at 35 degrees around midday. So please ignore my drops of perspiration because my room was sweltering hot even with air conditioning. On days like these I wish I was back in Denmark... The heat and humidity (plus haze) can be such an energy-drainer. 

I swept all 4 shades of the Guerlain Nude 00 with my Bobbi Brown bronzer brush and applied it directly to the cheekbones, up to the temples, and straight along my chin. I skipped blushers in this look below, so you can see the bronzer shade cleanly. All pictures are taken with no flash and with natural lighting. 






In conclusion, I am so excited to have the Guerlain Terracotta 4-Seasons 00 Nude in my collection. Finding bronzers that are not only pretty in packaging but also easy to use on a daily basis can require a bit of trial-and-error. Because of my excessive trial-and-erroring, I have now accumulated perhaps too many bronzers that I am gladly ignoring - either due to shade or excessive shimmer/glitter. My older Guerlain bronzers never made it past the 5-day-in-a-row in use and certainly could not surpass my die-hard love for Chanel Bronze Rose. I think this will change now. Step aside, Chanel... Guerlain is taking the top spot. 

I can't say how the other shades from the 2013 Terracotta Collection are, but I found Nude 00 the most flattering shade for my skin colour. If you are still out in the market to find a bronzer to hit the summer season on a good start, do let the Guerlain Terracotta 4-Seaons Bronzers be the one key piece to add into your makeup kit. 

I hope you're having a wonderful Sunday. I'm going to be off-line from blogging for about 2 weeks or so but will be back again with lots more to show you!


June 15, 2013

A surprising few Bourjois finds from the drugstore

For those who don't live in this part of the world, Watsons is the mecca of drugstores in South East Asia. It offers a wide range of asian-specific brands (Peripera, ZA, Canmake, Heroine Make, etc) and Western drugstore brands. In some of the larger flagship stores, you can find a fairly large Bourjois counter. As much as I frequent the drugstore, I find their prices quite a deterrent. For example, Maybelline Falsies Mascara at S$20 or Revlon glosses at $19 are a bit ridiculous for drugstore prices. While all the higher-end makeup are also increasing their prices steadily, makeup consumerism is a rather expensive habit to uphold here in Singapore. It doesn't stop me anyway... 

I took full opportunity to pick up a few items from Watsons when they held their 1-day member sale. Most things were discounted at 20-25%, including Bourjois. 


I picked up the new Bourjois new blush in 01 Nude Velvet, which has a beautiful cream-to-powder consistency. Very lovely creamy texture and blends beautifully on the skin. Each compact holds 2.5g and packaged in a small magnetic-closure container, approximately the size of their eyeshadows. 


Nude Velvet is the lightest of the four newly available shades - probably described to be a light apricot color and looks fabulous on lighter skin tones. This retails for $20.


And, my first ever Revlon Colorburst Lip Butter in Juicy Papaya. Looking forward to trying this when I play around with more summer shades.


Finally, I succumbed to the Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum Gel Foundation. It has been on my wish-list for a while now, but somehow I have been strong enough to push my lemmings aside because of my overcrowded drawers of foundation. I picked my shade in Vanilla 52, a shade that seems to match my NC25 complexion nicely. 


The consistency of the foundation is fluid-like and can be easily spread within seconds.  The finish is satin-matte and the coverage light. I can see why many see the Bourjois Healthy Mix as a great high-street foundation, because it has a lovely finish and lasting-power equivalent to the higher-end foundations. I noticed the shelf had a new and improved Bourjois Healthy Mix Foundation, which comes in a glass bottle. I decided to go with the tried, tested and loved older version, which I have here. 


 


The satin finish from the Bourjois Health Mix Foundation surprised me... There was no evidence of excessive powder that would typically gather around my nose and upper cheeks. Further testimony to this surprising foundation is that even a few hours after application, I have not broken out into an oily mess. Radiance-boosting? Tick and tick!


On my cheeks I have Bourjois 01 Nude Velvet Cream Blush. I wasn't able to accurately capture the color on my cheeks because the colour is extremely subtle when blended out. While it is a nice little limited-edition item from Bourjois, I wouldn't say it is a must-have. It's pretty but the color does not last throughout the day. 


Again, I'm very impressed with the Bourjois Healthy Mix. I just can't get over how awesome it is!



The look I have on today features...

- Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum 52 Vanilla
- Bourjois Nude Velvet Cream Blush
- Anna Sui Pressed Powder
Diorkin Nude Skin Perfecting Hydrating Concealer in 002 Beige
- Giorgio Armani ETK 28
- Chanel Stylo Yeux Waterproof in Cassis
- Shiseido Nourishing Mascara Base
- Lancome Oscillation Mascara
- Shu Uemura Eyebrow Pencil in Seal Brown
- Dior Rouge in Fuschia Star


Have you tried Bourjois Healthy Mix Gel Foundation? Did you like it?

I hope you're having an awesome weekend!



June 11, 2013

Recent daily staple: the Sulwhasoo Snowise Whitening BB Base

If there is any product that can simplify my dreaded morning routine, you have got me interested. I am one who tends to gravitate towards base products that are light coverage, especially foundations, tinted moisturisers, or bb creams that gives me a translucent appearance to the skin. I actually like that bit of natural blemishes coming through. I think it looks tres chic to still see freckles around the nose. 

This is why I seem to have an obsession towards bb creams because it's enough to even out the skin tone, but just light enough to be smothered on in the morning without a makeup brush. The caveat here is that its simply not easy to find one that matches me perfectly. While I have yet to find a bb cream that ticks all my boxes, I seem to have grown a fond affinity towards Sulwhasoo's Snowise Whitening BB Base. It has hardly the same coverage as say Liole or Missha, but it is packed with some awesome skincare ingredients that completely justifies a splurge. 

 Image source: Google Image


I was encouraged to try Sulwhasoo's BB cream after reading this fantastic review from hope-inablog.com. She has a detailed run down of the ingredients and goes all the way to describing how each bb cream fares in oil-control, color-selection, etc. 

The shade I have on today is the #2 Natural Beige.

Below, this is me in bare skin: you can see blotchiness most around the cheeks and blemishes around the chin area.


The coverage is very very light - so it's enough to just smoothen out redness. The initial application is still somewhat grey, although only slight. Of course, over the course of the day this color oxidises slightly.  What I do love about this bb cream is the lovely texture and the appearance of true skin. There is no hint of powder or foundation, like you would see with many foundations, including that of lighter textures (Nars Sheer Glow Foundation). 

Below is me with one pea size amount of the Sulwhasoo's Snowise Whitening BB cream with a slight dusting of Anna Sui Pressed Powder. 


After a 10-hr work day (apologies for the lack of lighting, but this just can't be helped when I reach home at 7+pm), my face is definitely oily. But that is without any blotting or touch-ups during the day, and usual scurrying from one place to another on this congested island. I would rate the oil-control only average. Although, this is quite typical from a brand like Sulwhasoo, in which I find their products a bit more emollient and suitable for the drier climates.

My mascara has already melted, my nose clearly has no base foundation, but overall everything else is holding up fine. 


I am just over halfway through my current tube. Did I notice any overall whitening effect? Yes, I did. At first, I didn't like this BB cream at all - it seemed to give me a whitish cast, even with shade Natural Beige. Over time I am starting to see how nicely the color blends into my natural skin color. 

What are my thoughts on asian bb creams vs the western ones? Previously, I used to think the former was far superior but as more of the designer cosmetic houses are reformulating and launching their own take of their bb or cc creams, I can finally breathe a sigh of relief that bb creams are not just simply an asian phenomenon. Those living in Europe or US won't have to stock up on bb creams whenever you do travel to Asia. In fact, there are a few brands that will not be arriving to our shores soon, including the Guerlain BB Booster. I'm looking forward to trying the Guerlain BB booster and Dior Nude Tan BB Cream when I get my hands on them eventually. 

I hope you find this post helpful... Have a wonderful week ahead!

June 9, 2013

An Inlit Glow with Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector

Hi everyone! I hope you're having a chill-axing Sunday. 

I finally picked up Becca's Shimmering Skin Perfector in Pearl when I was at Breeze Centre, Taipei. I have been hunting down this highlighter everywhere - online and Escentials (Tangs and Paragon), but alas it is supposedly discontinued or simply out of stock everywhere. I believe its close cousin, Moonstone, is the one that is readily available on SpaceNK. In Taiwan, they are selling this at 1600 Taipei Dollars.


Of course I have to blame this particular lemming on Lisa Eldridge. If it weren't for her drool-worthy showings of beautiful products, my purse would be alot happier. Nonetheless, I am extremely happy to have discovered this highlighter. Basically the Becca SSP (in short) can be mixed in with your foundations, or lightly dabbed on the top of the cheekbones to create a soft inlit glow. 


The only other liquid highlighter that I can compare to from my stash is the Rouge Bunny Rouge Seas of Tranquility. RBR's illuminators are true liquid highlighters; the finish is shimmery and complex. Becca's SSP in Pearl feels more emollient to the touch and the finish is subtle under indoor natural lighting. I suppose the shimmer is alot more obvious under bright sunlight. 


As you can see below, the RBR Seas of Tranquility appears far more frosty/metallic. I love them both, but would use the RBR seas of tranquility for a more pronounced highlighter effect on my cheeks. 


I mix one pump of Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector with 2 pumps of Dior Nude Foundation in Shade 031. Then I mixed the two together with my finger and dabbing it to my face. I then dusted some By Terry Pressed Powder. 


I also placed a few dabs on the upper cheeks, blending it upwards to the temple. Overall, I really love the ethereal look. This combination makes my skin look alive - I'm very impressed; there's hardly any signs of powder gathering at the nose.


The shimmer is extremely subtle. Love!


Perhaps the only downside to this highlighter is that oily skin types will find the texture a bit too emollient. I suffer from slight T-zone oiliness and I hardly blot throughout the day, so I don't mind the odd feeling of mid-day oiliness. 


What are your thoughts about the Becca Shimmering Skin Perfectors? Do you like it? How do you best use it?



June 8, 2013

A Critical Look at Lancome Oscillation Mascara

Hi! I hope you are all doing well!

I have been testing out a new mascara this week - namely, the Lancome Oscillation Mascara. As you probably would already know, I am a die-hard fan of Lancome mascaras, especially Lancome Hypnose and later Lancome Hypnose Drama.

The Lancome Oscillation Waterproof Mascara (black) comes with a gadget that allows the wand to oscillate at 7,000 vibrations per minute. It promises the ability to coat each individual lash, giving it separation and length.

Lets discuss the features...


The button to activate the oscillation feature is attached to the top part of the handle. And while I am an amateur when high-technology mascaras are concerned, a bit of effort is  required to press and activate this rather stiff button. Once activated, the button drives the oscillation motion down all the way to the tip of the wand. Technology feature easy to use? hmm... not quite.


As you can see here, the wand is made out of clean bristles, mimicking the wand design of Lancome Difinicils. Did this wand create any significant separation to my lashes? Well, lets have a look...

I am lucky to have longer eyelashes, but they are typically Asian in that it hangs around like a curtain. AND, further concealed by my hooded eyelids.


One coat reveals significantly longer eyelashes. Tick, it does lengthen. Separation? Not really.


But on the second coat, my lashes start to look like burnt twigs. Not a pretty sight. On other blogs, it seems that clumpiness was a common problem on the second coat.


One coat on the side view. The mascara definitely lengthens. But clumpiness just couldn't be avoided.



Overall, this mascara is thumbs down for me. Although I have been hardly disappointed by Lancome mascaras in the past, the oscillation feature is completely redundant as I saw no added separation to my lashes, the lengthening effect was nice but resulted in tragic clumpiness, and the very wet formula felt very heavy which then dragged my eyelashes down making it look like boudoir curtains.

A total miss. what a shame.



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