Month: January 2016

Dior vs KIKO PSA

If you’re interested in the Spring 2016 Dior pencils :
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Check out the ones from KIKO too:

DOUBLE DARE EYESHADOW & EYELINER 03

The KIKO ones are released December apparently, as part of their Campus Idol collection. There are more shades at KIKO but I think the ones at Dior are very well thought out and coordinated. But hey you can’t beat the KIKO price. I haven’t seen any of these in person, but thought I’d give everyone a heads up! 🙂

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Favourites of 2015

I debated whether to make this post because it risks being irrelevant. Posting was also delayed because I was on holidays and couldn’t take pictures of the items mentioned. But I’m going ahead anyway, because while some specific products were LE it’s a general indication of the relevant brand’s quality etc. So hopefully it’s still useful 🙂

Suqqu
I think this is my favourite/kryptonite high-end eye shadow brand. I bought 2 LE palettes in 2015 (summer and holiday) and the summer one especially is easily a HG palette. That’s a no-brainer fave in 2015.

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Holiday on the left, summer on the right

I wrote briefly about their Spring collection here.
They of course, also sell the most coveted cheek brush… perhaps one day.
I’ve only tried a few skincare items (from GWP and sets) like the face wash, lotion, SPF and enjoyed using every single one of them. I’m not sure, however, if they’re worth the high price tag for the moment.

There’s also this beauty:

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Lighting Liquid

The most amazing liquid highlighter. Words fail to describe how beautiful this is. It can be a really natural and subtle glow that makes itself visible only when the light hits, or as glowy as you wish for a look with more drama, highlight & contour. It is of course also very versatile, mixing it in with foundations and so on. This was a LE summer release IIRC, if they do release it again don’t hesitate!

[21 Jan: I just checked on selfridges.com and both of these palettes are still available when they were previously sold out. So who knows?]

KIKO

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from KIKO website, the full range of the On-the-Go Minis

From favourite high-end to favourite bargain brand. KIKO consistently amazes me with their quality. My favourite purchases from them this year were their on-the-go minis range. The made myself choose only one Colour Veil blush and decided on 06 Mauve, which a quick search on google tells me is very similar to MAC’s Warm Soul. It’s not mauve at all, more like a bronzey rose. It’s smooth and blends beautifully.My picture kind of makes it look coral-ish but it’s not. (more…)

On the Radar

These are some of the products I’m looking forward to checking out in 2016! A lot of them are spanking new Spring collections but there are some permanent items tucked in here as well. I guess I could have named this post my lemmings 🙂

NARS Spring Collection – Hammamet duo

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from NARS website

This duo reminds me of the St Paul de Vence last Spring. I’m curious as to how the bronze rose translates onto the eyes. I probably won’t buy it because of …..

Suqqu Spring

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Suqqu Spring campaign image

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LE palette model above is using

As mentioned before I’m a little obsessed with Suqqu shadows at the moment. Controllable obsession though, since the closest Suqqu counter is over the pond … or a click away on selfridges. 😛 The Spring collection “Tokyo Spring Colours” has me intrigued. I’m not sure what I’ll buy but swatches have started trickling in and they’re not helping my wallet.

The pictured quad is EX28 Kinshasuna which is so ethereal and luminous. The other quad 22 Kikyoutsubomi is a permanent item. But I’ll probably end up getting the trio EX 06 Hanamizuki (and EX28???)

Chicca Mesmeric lipstick
This is something I hope to try this year. I’ve read many wonderful things about it. It’s supposed to be very moisturizing and forgiving on the lips. It’s designed to be sheer though, so that your natural colour comes through and make the lipstick your own.
Chicca is a brand targeted at the older age group. I feel that it’s like Aerin. It’s not Suqqu level luxe but it’s still luxe. Obviously prices varies within a brand depending on the particular formula, but just to give you a general idea: The Mesmeric lipstick is 4100 yen. A lipstick from Suqqu is 5400 yen, and one from Lunasol is 3240 yen. Chanel is 4104 yen (all prices with tax included). This link will take you to the official site and page, you can see there are 3 new shades coming in January!
Another item I hope to try from them is their blush.

Bourjois Rouge Edition Souffle de Velvet
New liquid matte lipstick from Bourjois! This is so exciting and I can’t wait to test them out. Bourjois posted swatches of these on their instagram account so go check those out if you’re interested!

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taken from Bourjois instagram

Tom Ford Spring
I haven’t yet purchased any Cream Color for Eyes and this Spring seems to be a good time as the brand is re-releasing some older shades (platinum/spice from what I can see) and some new ones. They will be permanent apparently! There’s also a new quad called Honeymoon that looks promising. I just found swatches here on this site.
The packaging for the Patent Finish Color looks suspiciously like the ones from ellis faas. I didn’t enjoy using them at all despite loving the colour so I’m not sure if it’s going to be the same deal with the TF ones. In anycase it’s not a product I’m interested in.

Dior Spring
I actually quite like the look of the quad Rose Garden #451
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They also have duo pencil with shadow on one end and a liner on the other. I’m sure something like this exists already but I can’t think of anything off the top of my head. It’s a good idea though!

RMK Spring
I’ve got my eyes on the Ingenious Powder Cheek blushes in Hot Red and Hot Pink:
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Addiction blushes
Hard-to-get items. While I’m at it the eye shadows are worthy of a gander as well. Here’s the official site.

L’Occitane x Pierre Hermé

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image taken from L’Occitane site

So this is a collaboration that’s been released for a couple of months now. I believe it came out November perhaps? I didn’t notice too much of a fanfare but that could just be me.

For those who don’t know, Pierre Hermé is a world renowned pastry chef. He makes some of the best desserts and pastries ever. Ever. EVEEERRRRR. I can’t stress this enough. You might have seen, wherever you are in the world, a cake/dessert in your country made with two pink macaron shells, in between them a cloud of pink cream and a round of juicy looking raspberries. On top of the pink macaron sandwich is a decoration, I’d wager it’s a raspberry and very likely, a rose petal as well. The classic flavours of this is rose, raspberry and lychee. If your local shop claims this is their invention, they are LIARS. Pierre Hermé invented this dessert like 20 years ago. He called it Ispahan, after the city renowned for its Damask rose.

So L’Occitane did a collaboration with the house of Pierre Hermé, using some of the flavours he has developed for his desserts. There are three varieties, Jasmine/Immortel/Neroli, Pamplemousse/Rhubarbe and Miel/Mandarine. I believe they are all LE products, but still widely available at the time of writing.

Anyway I have been gifted with a couple of products from this collection, and having further smelled all the scents in a L’Occitane shop I declare my clear favourite to be the Grapefruit & Rhubarb combo. L’Occitane really should consider turning this scent into a permanent range.
I confess I was probably already biased – not a big fan of jasmine or the immortal flower to start with, honey and mandarin is fine but no match for the sparkling grapefruit.

I have the body cream and hand cream in this scent.

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L’Occitane hand creams, like Diptyque candles, are some of the things that are duds to me but that everyone else loves. Diptyque candles are not what they used to be some 10+ years ago when they truly burned cleanly and evenly. My last purchase was in 2013 and I’m done with them, even if they do have some very nice scents. At the price they’re charging, there’s simply no excuse and I’ll advice anyone who is willing to listen to move on. I know every blogger in the world has them but they really are overrated. I’ve since turned to Cire Trudon for my splurges and find that more rewarding. Luckily my candle addiction/obsession seems to have been cured… But I see I have gone off topic!

Ok to be fair, L’Occitane hand creams are ok if you don’t need much moisturizing, or for summer use. Or general daily use if you live in a hotter and more humid climate. I just find them average and not that interesting for the price. My work demands that I wash my hands constantly and sometimes use harmful chemicals so I need some TLC. The only product from L’Occitane that I find helpful for my hands is the shea butter range.

Now having said all that, you must think I hate this hand cream. But I don’t, and it’s mainly because of the smell. It’s just so invigorating and fresh. It *is* mostly grapefruit but you do get a hint of the rhubarb on the hands. Fades quickly though. The texture is very light (too light for me) but it does provide some immediate relief before you can run and get your heavy duty stuff – if that’s what you need. Most of the hand creams in this handy size share a similar formula so it’s mainly a game of choosing your favourite scent.

As for the body lotion, I haven’t really dipped into it knowing it’s rather light and that I favour a heavier formulas especially at this time of the year. I think this will be wonderful when summer comes. I’m using the balms and butters now, but am saving a few products for summer, like bliss lemon + sage body butter (despite its name it’s simply not heavy enough to be called a butter IMHO) and the Bronze Goddess souffle from last year that I have yet to finish.

Kate Black Feather Lash

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Another mascara review!

I think this mascara was released in 2015. The colour I have is black (BK-1), there’s 6.8g of product and it’s made in Japan. Like many Japanese mascaras this is sweat and sebum resistant. This particular formula is also waterproof. It also promises to hold your curl, and contains ingredients that nourishes your lashes (like olive oil, Vitamin B5).

I really like the tube of this mascara. It’s got a nice shape and weight, nice and easy to hold. Also Feels and looks expensive:

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The main draw of this mascara is its two-sided brush: one is for volume and the other length and definition. So in theory you get the best of both worlds with one mascara.

So how did that work? (more…)

2016 Pan that Palette Challenge

Right. Thought I’d give this panning thing another go. Last time I attempted any panning was when I did Project 10 Pan (I called it 2 x 5) two years ago, which went alright for skincare and stuff but terribly for makeup (the finale is here). I hit pan on a couple of things and between then and now I might have added 2 or 3 products, that’s all. Terrible.

The only makeup items I consistently finish/hit pan on are:
– brow powder
– brow pencil
– traditional pencil eyeliner
– gel pencil eyeliner
– powder foundation (I hit pan but I might have only finished 2 so far in my life)
– eye primer
– under eye brightener
– lip balm

Mascaras I rotate and change often for hygienic reasons but never because they’re bone dry.
I struggle with everything else.

For 2016 I’ve decided to challenge myself, and I’ll attempt to pan stila ‘In the Know’ palette. A little (very) ambitious really, considering I don’t wear eye shadows to work. And this is nowhere near being a favourite palette of mine. But I don’t know what else to do with it. I actually kinda regret buying this … As you can see in the picture it’s pretty much unused except for some marks left from swatching. Anyway this palette is no longer available because stila has been revamped. And I saw AmberF (links to her video on panning ‘In the Light’) on Youtube mentioning stila palettes are soft and easy to pan so I thought I’d jump in.

‘In the Know’ is an all-matte palette:

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I’ll probably be able to give my final verdict on this palette afterwards. But for now, my very late first impression of this is I have no idea why I bought it (ok, I think it’s because it’s all-matte and because of the shade ‘fire’). Ignoring ‘fire’ and ‘ebony’, the shades that are left can be divided onto either side of the light/dark spectrum. And each side look pretty similar to each other. The variation is very subtle. The shadows are soft and you can easily over blend them and make everything look muddy. And looking at the lighter shades, there are potentially three I can use as an all-over lid colour. Hmmm!

Just for fun, here are the pans I have at the moment. Compare the BB Saddle below with the one in the link to the Project 2×5 pan above:

pans

So the powder foundation on the left is my new fave, Maquillage Dramatic Powdery UV bought last year. Fastest pan ever. The one on the right is a really old one from Lunasol. I guess I still keep all my old powder foundations around because the shades are all different and I use them to match  my skin tone.
The small beige shadow on the bottom left is Wet n Wild’s Brulee, which I use everyday as an all over shade even when I don’t put any other eye shadow on. I started using this back in 2013 and if I’m not mistaken have not stopped using it since. So what you see is 1.5 years’ of usage. 1.7g of product, that’s one solidly packed shadow. If I’m panning the stila though, I’ll probably use one of those lighter shades instead of this one …
The last item is the ever-present Bobbi Brown Saddle, 2.5g of matte dark brown I use for my brows. I’ve strayed and have been using brow pencils and trying other brow stuff for most of 2015.

I hope to finish one of the four items pictured above in addition to the stila palette. While I’m wishful dreaming, here’s hoping to finish a lip product or two (other than lip balm) as well. Or hit pan on a blush, haha.

Oh one last thing, when I say ‘pan’ I really meant ‘to hit pan’, not like empty the pan 😉 Baby steps!

2015 Holiday Haul

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Spring collections are already available in some parts of the world, crazy! Bit late to the party as usual, but I thought I would post this anyway since most of the items are still available for purchase. I was pretty much immune from the big names’ Christmas collections this year. The last item to have tempted me was the blush Alezane (?) from Chanel Fall, and for a very brief moment the Gwen Stefani palette from UD. I sprung for these instead:

Shiseido Maquillage Snow Beauty II powder

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Just realised I bought quite a few things from Maquillage this year (the others are lipsticks and their wonderful powder foundation of course). I think they’ve done a nice job of revamping the line. The packaging may not be everyone’s cup of tea but the quality is there.
Snow Beauty powder came under my radar when I chanced upon the spreads they had in all three of the major Japanese beauty magazines that I happened to have. I was drawn by the skin-care ingredients and how they’ve encouraged its use at night before sleeping. This is not exactly part of their holiday collection, but anyway!

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So this is version 2 of the Snow Beauty powder. I read that it’s pretty much the same as last year’s release except the packaging is slightly different. It comes with 2 puffs, one significantly puffier than the other. The fat one really allows a liberal application, good for night time use only. If you use this during the day you will look really powdery and chalky. The powder itself is fine and is a truly translucent. I have no problem getting a beautiful finish with the flat puff. It’s lightly perfumed, the soothing kind of fragrance. Nothing sharp. I actually enjoy the scent. (more…)