Month: September 2012

Thursday Blathers

Or things I don’t know where to put really. First up:

1. has a video going behind the scenes at the Dolce & Gabanna Spring fashion show. Pat McGrath tells you how to get the look! I’m inspired to start mixing my red lipsticks with another shade.

2. MAC x Marilyn Monroe collection: Temptalia has swatches and reviews up. It’s out online now, but I don’t see it on the French MAC website yet. Probably have to wait another week until the official launch date. I’d like to pick a blush up even though I’ve said to myself (many times) I’m not getting blushes anymore ……

3. Best Things in Beauty has a few posts about some Armani Beauty goodness to come. Eyeshadow palettes, their Holiday collection and new liquid lipsticks.

These are the 3 things that got me excited about makeup this week.

We’re seeing more and more pictures of upcoming Holiday collections, some are even available for purchase already. It’s a little early isn’t it? Maybe I just don’t like the thought that 2012 is almost over. The older you get the more you think time flies.

I’ll finish this post with a piece of advice about buying foundation. It may be obvious but this girl learnt it the hard way.

Random foundation advice:
Companies tend to roll out new foundations for summer/winter before the actual season starts. These foundations usually are formulated for the upcoming season, a summer one tend to be thinner (think Chanel’s Vitalumiere Aqua). Don’t buy it straight away even if you’re tempted to, if you must maybe go for a shade darker. You’ll be colour-matching your winter complexion and when you start to get a little more colour as the season unfolds, you won’t be able to use your new foundation. Same thing applies to winter foundation launched at the end of summer (go a shade lighter or wait until your tan fades – it’s quicker than you think).

Voila. I started this post yesterday but got interrupted. Keeping the title anyway. Have a good weekend ladies!

MUA eye shadow palette – Undressed

We all know about Urban Decay’s Naked palettes and the craze they spawned. I am probably one of the few who’s immune to it. While I agree it is a good idea to have a set of neutrals, I wasn’t a big fan of their shadows and I thought there were too many shades (I plead insanity). It was only recently that I ‘saw the light’ and appreciate having a palette of this size.

My search for neutrals of course lead me to the Naked palettes, but better yet, the dupes. This is one advantage for those who are really late to the party. I decided quickly I’m not going to get the original – I may be wearing these more often but it won’t be an everyday affair so if there’s a cheaper option, why not?
I narrowed it down to Makeup Academy’s Undressed or Sleek’s Au Naturel, both popular and with glowing reviews. They are also based in Europe so that’s in my favour.

Undressed from MUA’s website, actual shades are warmer 
Au Naturel iDivine from Sleek’s website


Natalie Portman on ELLE France

In case anyone is interested, and I suppose a few of you might be, if all these posts on the Dior Nude polishes and lippies that’s appeared/appearing on seemingly every single beauty blog are of any indication.

This is issue #3482, 21-27 September. I actually thought ELLE’s a monthly… but anyway! I took pictures of my own copy. The makeup breakdowns are provided by ELLE, and of course Ms. Portman is head-to-toe Dior. The cover:
slightly bigger than printed size
Foundation: Diorskin Nude Teint Eclat Effet Peau Nue in Beige Clair
Powder: Diorskin Poudre Libre Clair Transparent (loose powder)
Blush: Diorblush Beige Rosé
Mascara: Diorshow New Look in black
Eyes: Palette 3 Couleurs in Smoky Brown
Lips: Rouge Dior Nude Grège
Nails (sorry I trimmed it off but there are plenty of swatches online): Dior Vernis Nude Charnelle
The interview:
actual size

agnès b. Teint Osmose

A lot of you may be aware that agnès b. has a beauty range for many years now. I remember first seeing them in her boutiques many years ago but one day they disappeared. The makeup has always been available if elusive, if you’re interested the entire range can be found online on ccbparis. I don’t know what the equivalent of CCB would be in the U.S. … maybe QVC? It’s a mail order catalogue and they sell a mish-mash of beauty stuff from makeup to shampoo to slimming products.

agnès b.’s cult product is the apricot complexion enhancer, which I’ll review soon. I’m not too familiar with the brand actually, having only used a handful of their products (4 to be exact and at the moment I currently have a 50% success rate). It does look to be a brand that keeps up with trends, regularly updating their collection. I haven’t tried any but they have a nice range of eye shadows. The standouts for me (at least visually from the catalogue) are the duo-chromes (14 shades to choose from) and baked dome shadows (3 shades). Pictures from the ccb website:

[Bear in mind that shades may or may not be 100% accurate so do your research if you do order]
They also appear to be early adopters of innovative products, their BB cream for example came out in 2010. This might also have to do with the fact that they have a market in Japan. I don’t know exactly how long the apricot tint has been around but the oldest review on MUA was written in 2001. The Teint Osmose came out in 2010.

agnès b. Unifying Foundation “with color’osmosis pigments”, 34ml, 26.90 euros (now 50% off on the website – you will find that a lot of things are 50% off, including the shadows above).

Beauty Counters Hit and Run

Woohoo another installment! (See first one here) Sephora is tempting me (again) with 20% off, good until Oct 8th. So of course I went and have a look-see … I’ve decided to use the coupon at the Sephora in Champs-Elysees, just because they have MAC there as well. I’m thinking of getting the face and body foundation.

My findings from said Sephora:

1. Shiseido Natural Finish Cream Concealor – caught my eye. It is very creamy, spreadable and blendable. It is almost like a foundation. I might have put a little too much on the back of my hand and when I blended it all out, I couldn’t see lines or pores. It is insane. Definitely covers well, but at the same time not sure of the ‘natural’ looking claim (will have to test again). I’m thinking of thinning it out with a moisturiser to get a lighter coverage, and to eventually phase out my foundations and use something like this instead on areas where I need it.

2. NARS shadows – I’ve always skimmed their shadows at the counters because they have so many it’s overwhelming. This time I really had a look and swatched a few. They didn’t have all the shades, and I skipped all the Night series, but nonetheless I ‘discovered’ the duos Alhambra, Portobello, Brumes, Brousse, Cordura, and Lhasa (single). Brumes and Brousse are great for a smokey eye, I prefer Brumes at the moment. They are not the same but somehow I don’t think you need both. If you have a lot of browns at home I’d suggest going for Brumes, which has a matte grey and a shimmery charcoal blue. Lhasa risks looking bruisey on me, Portobello is a good matte neutral, good for shading and contouring the eyes, for a no makeup makeup look. Alhambra is like a more reflective, satiny All about Eve (which I have). I wish I have Alhambra instead (but I found out I have one of the shades in the Modern Love palette!). Cordura is very pretty but I’m not sure about the sparkles on the darker shade … fear of fallout mainly.

3. NARS Storm bird polish – A lighter grey than last year’s Galion. I have clothes the exact same colour. I love greys and I really like this.

4. Smashbox Photo Op Trio in Screenshot – I’ve been lemming this. Found out the dark brown shade (Roast) looks a lot like the dark brown in Cordura with the same gold shimmer. Lovely texture and pigmented. I like the Smashbox trios but somehow they don’t get much love?

Yes these are all permanent items. Not feeling the Fall collections at all and my wallet is thanking me.

‘The Ten Commandments of Makeup’ + ramblings

I came across this article from Vogue the other day. It’s an old piece published about a year ago when they rolled out the rest of the collection. A short and (to me) amusing read on Tom Ford makeup with the man himself. There’s a video you can watch on the TF website where he talks about beauty in relation to his range.

I don’t own anything by Tom Ford, but it got me thinking about the brand (talking about his beauty collection here only), and how well-oiled their PR machine is. People say the line was conceived as a top tier brand positioning itself with other luxurious lines like Clé de Peau, Sisley and byTerry. To give you an idea of pricing (in US dollars):

Clé de Peau $120
Tom Ford $78
Guerlain $58

Clé de Peau $52 – $60.
Tom Ford $48
Guerlain $48 (Rouge G)
[just for fun, Serge Lutens lippies are $75 and are apparently smaller]

Sisley and byTerry are closer to Clé de Peau in terms of pricing. They almost make you think Tom Ford is a bargain. TF is a step up from the Chanels and Diors, but still more affordable than Clé de Peau. (more…)