Month: February 2015

Clé de Peau Translucent Loose Powder

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This has been my go-to loose powder for the past 10+ years. I started using it before they updated their packaging. The only reason I needed to get a new one was because I lost my old one – I was overseas when my family moved and nobody wanted to be responsible for my makeup/perfume and so I lost everything. It almost brings a tear to my eye whenever I think of all the goodies that could have been kept safe. But were instead thrown away. ;( Moving on!

The Clé de Peau loose powder is the smoothest and most finely milled powder I’ve ever used. Clé de Peau is of course, Shiseido’s top luxury brand, their Rolls Royce. I think other high-end brands are finally catching up in terms of quality but CdP has been doing this for yonks. The powders I used before this (like more than 10 years ago) was Laura Mercier’s, I also had a T. LeClerc compact in the famous shade ‘Banane’. I went from those to CdP and haven’t looked back since. Everything about this screams luxury, especially the packaging which is nicely thought out. It comes with a fine sieve mesh that you place on top of the powder. On top of this goes the screw on tray for the soft, velvety puff (which I do use from time to time, especially when my go-to puff needs washing but isn’t :p) and finally the lid which you also screw on to secure. I never have powder flying everywhere when I use this. There’s no shaking, I just dip the puff or my brush directly onto the mesh and that’s it. Just as well because this is one expensive splurge. I can’t remember how much it is and I think it’s better that way. It does, however, come with 30g of product. The Diorskin Nude Air one I just got for example has only half the weight (16g) and I suspect most loose powders are around the 10-15g mark.

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The CdP powder looks a very light pink but it is truly translucent. It has very subtle and tiny micro-shimmer that keeps the skin from looking too matte and flat, but are indiscernible once the powder settles. It sets makeup beautifully and photographs well (I wore this on my wedding day), but oil control is not its forte. Meaning it performs like any other regular powder when it comes to keeping my oilies at bay, no more no less.
Regarding oil controlling/blotting powders, I got a few around September/October last year and so far none of them has really impressed me. I’m waiting for summer to do the real test and will report back.

You can buy the CdP in refills without the container but in this instance I do recommend getting it. Note though even with this nice set-up this powder doesn’t do well on travels. I can speak from experience that the powder will move on top of the fine mesh and once you unscrew the tray it goes *poof* and they will fly everywhere.

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Diorskin Nude Air Powder

[Edited post to add ingredient lists – see bottom of post]

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Apart from the foundation (reviewed here) I also got the two powders. I didn’t plan to get both, this is simply a result of indecision.

To start with I haven’t bought a loose powder in years – I’m extremely happy with what I’ve got and well, they’re hard to finish. I’ve been tempted once (NARS Light Reflecting) but Dior here caught me at a weak moment. I have always wanted to try a tinted powder because be it loose or compact, I’ve only ever bought translucent setting powders. So, here we are.

The loose powder comes with 16g of product while the compact has 10g. The loose powder costs 50 euros and the compact 46.50 on Sephora France (which is cheaper than the price on the official Dior website?). Both powders carry the ‘Healthy Glow Invisible’ banner. The loose powder comes in 4 colours, 3 skin tones and 1 pink. The compact has 3 shades. I have both in 020, Light Beige, the lightest shade available.

I didn’t swatch the powders because you can’t see it once blended on the skin – it is quite invisible as it claims. I couldn’t capture the effect is has on the skin. Similar to the foundation which gives you a your-skin-but-better + subtle airbrush blur, the powders I found also give this blurry perfected skin look without making the skin flat/dull. The powders are finely milled and a pleasure to use.

Here’s a look of the loose powder:

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Typical packaging for loose powders … My first loose powder was Laura Mercier’s translucent and I remember it had the same design. I’ve been spoilt by my current powder’s packaging which does away with this big shaker type of deal.
Dior advises you to remove the film and with the puff in place and lid closed, turn it upside down once to get the dosage on the puff, then apply. I think the trick is not to peel the film completely away. The Dior puff is decent but when I’m not using a brush, I prefer bigger puffs and have a better one. (more…)

Diorskin Nude Air Serum Foundation

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Ok so I caved and bought this foundation. I reasoned that it’s different enough from the Kevyn Aucoin SSE to justify a purchase.

So I unexpectedly found this in shade 021 (Linen) at Le Bon Marché. I halfheartedly asked if they had it and the guy who helped me said that he heard the shade is international only, so no they don’t. Proceeded to check anyway (rare thing in Paris), pulled out one of the drawers and lo and behold there it was the tester (which they can’t display apparently) hidden alongside the only bottle in 021. We didn’t try the foundation together but he commented that 020 is probably better for me, brighter and less yellow. I swatched anyway and decided to go with 021 – 020 had just a little too much pink for my liking when I compared the two side by side. I had a feeling that 021 would look more natural on me. Honestly though I think I could pull off both shades if I had to.
The only sad thing about this is I paid full price (53 euros) for it instead of 36.37 at Sephora (48.50 euros + 25% off Valentine’s Day promo). Damn you Sephora for not having my shade in stock *shakes fist* And yes, I contemplated getting 020 for the attractive price but resisted. I made it up by getting the powder though (future post alert).

I haven’t had this foundation long enough to truly comment on the wear so this is more a first impression. I’ll come back and update this when I have better information on that. I intend to test it out at work (yes, in the kitchen)!

First impressions
So I tested this on clean, moisturized skin. No primer. On both occasions I stayed at home most of the day, went out/did some groceries but otherwise didn’t do much. Weather was quite chilly. (more…)

NARS Eyeshadow Duo – St. Paul de Vence

So I meant for this post to be up a week ago but got delayed because of the photos etc. Luckily though because when I first received my duo and played with it the first few days, both shades were sparkly, like there were micro-glitter. I doubled, tripled-checked in case I went bonkers because I don’t remember people mentioning the big sparkles. Now a week later, it *is* as though I went crazy cos those sparkles are mostly gone. So anyway. I decided to keep the pictures anyway (as proof I wasn’t nuts).

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I’m sure you’ve all seen NARS’ campaign for Spring featuring Tilda Swinton as their spokesperson. This is the image that accompanies the colour story (nude) with the products below: 2015nars01

I was only interested in the duo. ‘Interested’ is putting it mildly actually. For some unknown reason I was obsessed with this duo (LE, btw). St Paul de Vence first debuted on the Rodarte show last year, it was used on the eyes (right side shade) and on the cheeks. You can find the product breakdowns and model pictures here and with this link (which is pretty much the same thing) you get to see a face chart with products laid out in front of it. My reasoning thus: something versatile (eyes AND cheeks, yay!), that I can use everyday (because nude). So I bought it sight unseen relying only on swatches (pretty meh at that time) and hoped for the best. NARS described the left shade as ‘shimmering nectarine’, the right ‘chestnut’.

Like most of NARS duo, there are two textures. Here the nectarine is a frost and the chestnut a satin. When applied on the eyes, the nectarine is less frosty than swatched. When worn as a blush however, I found that it slightly emphasized my pores. (more…)

New Year, New Look

I’ve been meaning to change the theme for a while and I’ve finally gotten round to it. It’s less whimsical than before but I like that it’s cleaner. I shortlisted 7 themes in total and spent an hour choosing  (;-_-)

While I’m on the soapbox, the monthly empties post will now be added when I’ve accumulated enough to make a decent post. I only had 1 empty in January and sadly the poor thing doesn’t merit a post on its own.

I don’t have a posting schedule and I know it’s infrequent and erratic but I hope you guys understand. You might have gleamed from random posts (that refer to frequent hand-washing) but I work in a fast-paced kitchen and try as I might I just can’t muster the strength to post after work. Mine isn’t a blog that does shiny new toys and latest releases anyway. Thank you to everyone who subbed and drop by from time to time!

While we’re on the topic of new toys, Dior has released a new line of Diorskin Nude Air for Spring (link takes you to official French Dior site) for about a week now I believe. They include a loose powder, pressed powder, bronzer and a new serum foundation. I tried the serum foundation at Sephora yesterday and am mighty impressed. It’s thin and watery but is surprisingly pigmented and will give a fair amount of coverage with a beautiful finish. Feels like nothing on the skin. I was ready to snap a bottle up but they don’t have the shade I tried (021) in stock. Officially the shades start from 020 (beige clair) but I saw 010 (ivory) yesterday as a tester together with 021 (un-named). 021 is slightly more yellow than 020; 023 (peche) is a darker than both and more pink. On the Dior website there is no sign of 010, and while 021 is listed it’s not available for purchase (for the moment at least?). I’ve read that 010 and 021 are international shades. Sephora France lists the price as 48.50 and on the Dior site it’s 52 euros. It’s a shame cos I have 25% off at Sephora at the moment … might check out another shop to try my luck. But if the Champs-Elysees shop doesn’t have it, I kind of doubt the smaller ones would.diorair While there I also checked the Givenchy Color Confetti powder that I coveted and was glad I didn’t blind buy, simply because I have enough products like that at home. Basically it’s a finishing powder with a shimmery (the confetti side) and a matte powder on the bottom (the raised part). You can use the shimmery part to highlight and the matte to set, or mix them both and use it like a pressed meteorites. It’s a nice-to-have powder. I wasn’t wowed and doubt would reach for it often enough to justify the price.

I did some hauling during the sales (on-going, since mid-January) but mostly body products. I’m never sure whether to post hauls, they seem rather pointless without a comment on how they perform but I don’t like having 10 things opened at one time … will see about that.

Oh I actually do have a post featuring a new release coming up, hopefully later today or tomorrow. Stay tuned 🙂