September Favourites

Sephora professional – Smudge brush
Pleasantly surprised by how well this brush performs. My only other smudge brush is Laura Mercier’s, which has been with me for around 8 years. The Sephora is a little bigger, but less scratchy. I find its size perfect for the way I do my smoky eye: sloppily applied eyeliner that’s smudged and smoked out. With this brush I can do the job faster than with the LM, which I now rely on for more precision when I just want to soften the edges of my eyeliner.

Sephora on the left, Laura Mercier on the right

Bourjois Magic Nail polish remover
This is not a new item but I recently picked this up, admittedly with a bit of scepticism. Consider me won over. It seems more ecological as well. I use maybe 1 cotton soaked with remover to get into the corners and edges, but that’s it. Just be careful not to topple the bottle as the solution will spill.KIKO Lavish lips creamy lipgloss
Perhaps the best buy of the month. A full review can be found here.

Shiseido Pureness oil control blotting paper
This was a sample from Sephora, I’ve bought a full sized packet since. I’ve tried many blotting papers when I was living in Hong Kong. Most are pretty cheap and differs only in size and packaging. The papers usually have a satiny side and a matte side. The better ones have more resilient paper that won’t tear easily. Yojiya (click on Aburatori-gami) from Kyoto is really famous for theirs, I tried and did find a difference in quality. Gatsby makes them in a film type material that’s super absorbent. I’ve always avoided the powdered ones, I can’t remember which brand it was but it had a tinted powder on it that made me look slightly orange after blotting. I also tend to use 2 sheets each time I blot.

The Shiseido papers have a powdered side. I thought this would be a deal-breaker and didn’t have high hopes with it but I was wrong. The paper absorbs and mattifies in one go, without leaving any colour. The finish is like you have powdered your face. I also prefer the larger size. When I was using this, one sheet was plenty. It’s probably the priciest blotting papers I’ve ever bought (buying them in Europe didn’t help either). They are worth it for me but there are probably similar papers out there that are cheaper. If you’re in Asia or your travel brings you there, have a look at their cheaper and much wider selection.

You can of course blot anytime you want during the day but the general idea as far as I know (for everyone, not just ladies with oily skin) is that it’s especially important to blot before you retouch your foundation or powder. People say that this minimises the chances of clogging your pores.

On the other hand I have also heard blotting makes the skin oilier because it produces more oil to compensate for the dryness. Moderation is key, as it is in many others areas in life.

La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo
Another La Roche-Posay product, they have pretty much taken over my skincare regime.
Effaclar is a range aimed at oily skintypes, there are 10 products that cover cleansing, moisturising and toning. Effaclar Duo is said to be used for people with rather severe skin imperfections, while Effaclar K is for combination to oily skin, with clogged pores and bumpy skin. Based on the description K is probably more suited for my needs, and Duo is looks to be stronger. I can’t remember why I went for the Duo. It’s so crowded in Citypharma that I probably just grabbed one without thinking too much so I could get out of that aisle! The tube is 40ml and I got it for 9.90 euros.

I have sensitive combination skin, and have put up with this area with a small cluster of clogged pores for a while (6+ months) on both sides of my cheeks. I didn’t take any drastic measures to get rid of them, thinking a deep-cleansing mask with regular use will help. But my patience finally ran out and I got the Effaclar.

The bumps while haven’t completely disappeared have reduced in number and the area looks smoother. I have noticed a real improvement on both sides. I also applied it on my nose it looks more clear. Combined with gentle massage during cleansing a lot of the blackheads have gone.
I have used this for just over 2 weeks, applied twice daily. It doesn’t sting nor burn, the formula is thin and very spreadable. I only use a tiny grain sized amount on the areas where I need them. I always use a moisturiser after this.
There are a lot of mixed reviews on this product. I’m happy to say that it works for me but everyone’s skin is different. I saw results rather quickly, and find that it makes extraction (ideally done by a professional!) a lot easier. However I have decided to reduce my usage to once a day or maybe stop for a while and use it again as a special treatment from time to time.

Kevyn Aucoin Sculpting Powder (Medium) and Celestial Powder (Candlelight)
I haven’t had these two products for long but they have quickly became my favourites. With these I have killed my lemming for Tom Ford’s cream version (for now – I still maintain that having a cream formula has its advantages). The Sculpting powder is what everyone says – mimics extremely well what a real shadow looks like. Medium is actually the only shade available. And Candlelight gives this subtle ethereal sheen that will look beautiful on anyone. If you’re still contouring with a bronzer, please consider giving the Sculpting powder a go. You will never look back.
* Note that they both contain parabens.



  1. Great picks! I tried Kevyn Aucoin for the first time a few months ago (picked up an eyeshadow palette and one of the shimmery bronzers). I did swatch the Candlelight highlighter though and LOVE it–definitely need to go back for that. I have heard a lot of good things about the Sculpting Powder too though. I'm curious–but as I've never contoured my face before/used a contouring powder, I'm not sure. It looks like a good color to contour with though!

  2. If I had to choose between the two I would get the Sculpting Powder so please give it a chance when you're at the KA counter 🙂

    How do you like the bronzer btw?

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