Update + Holiday Travel Makeup (or What I’m Taking I Took with Me)

I’ll be off in a couple of weeks for my summer holidays, which I haven’t had in years because of work and all. Needless to say I’m super excited. However this also means I won’t be blogging much during that time, so I’m afraid the blog will be even more quiet than usual 😛

I started this post before I left, intending to share what I planned to bring/use but I ended up being super short on time with last minute packing and random little things to organize so I never got around to finish writing and posting it. So to anyone wondering where I’ve been, now you know.
Ever since my return work’s been super hectic and I just didn’t have the energy nor time to do anything proper here. I’m going to have more free time after October though, with some big life changes ahead. So fingers crossed I’ll have more opportunity to update the blog regularly thereafter 😉

I had a three-week holiday and I went on a road-trip in the US. There were lots of driving and intense heat as we rolled through the states of NM, AZ and CA. It was a lot of fun seeing how the landscape changes from state to state. I had three pouches, one for skincare, a small one with the minimal daily makeup I need and the last one was all the other extra good to have makeup options like a nicer foundation (I took the Dior serum), a long-lasting primer, highlighter, bronzer, eye shadow palettes, liners in different colours, lipsticks and another shade of blush etc.

Well I ended up using maybe one or two products from that third good-to-have and also the heaviest pouch. I could have left that at home. With the heat in summer I didn’t feel like applying much foundation and other bells and whistles stuff. There wasn’t much point prettying up when I’m just mostly in the car either. Lesson learned.

Here are what I used on a daily basis:

Bioré Watery Essence – this is my daily face sunscreen and kinda doubles as a primer.
Shiseido Expert Sun Protection Lotion – this is for the body and what I took on the beach and outdoor hikes. It was a new bottle and between me and the Man we used half of this bottle up.
Maquillage Snow Beauty II (LE) – daytime for setting and night time for keeping stickiness at bay. I like using this powder, if you’re interested they release a new version every year and you should start checking online for this year’s version now if you want one. Pre-orders are in September I think?
Soap & Glory One Heck of a Blot – this can look chalky if you’re not careful but it seems to perform better on my skin than the Balm’s Sexy Mama in terms of blotting power.
Eye primer
Too Faced Shadow Insurance – really like the small squeeze tube packaging, but sometimes the product separates when you skip a day or two of using it. Maybe it’s just my tube?
Eye shadow base colour
Wet n Wild Brulee – it’s the perfect size for traveling with. However it was a bit light towards the end of my trip when I picked up some colour.
Eye liner
Kate slim gel pencil – long-lasting and doesn’t require sharpening
BCL Browlash EX Long Separate Macara (Hello Kitty LE) – Because the Fasio irritated my eyes, I thought I’d take another one just to be safe. I’ve never tried this mascara before and as it turns out its formula is pretty wet and takes a while to dry. I’m not sure how I feel about this. Cute packaging though and I’ve always liked comb mascaras.
Kate eyebrow pencil – again, no sharpening
Chanel Sunkiss Ribbbon (LE) – multi-colour for variety. I went with powder instead of cream thinking it might melt in the heat.
Dior Addict Lip Maximizer – because it has a cooling and tingling effect, I thought it’d be nice in the heat haha. This will be the first time I finish a gloss! Or any lip product that’s not a balm!
Estée Lauder Azurée Soleil – I dug this up and decided this is the year I’m going to use it to the max. This was released maybe 10 years ago and it was a collaboration between Tom Ford and EL years before TF launched his line. Azurée Soleil is like the version 1.0 of the now familiar Bronze Goddess scent. It’s labeled as a skin scent and it stays close to the skin without leaving a cloud of sillage. It’s a very elegant interpretation of a beach scent, by that I mean the tiare, coconut association. Perhaps Terracotta from Guerlain would be the closest in spirit among the perfumes available in the market now. I bought this when it was released and it was forgotten in the back of the wardrobe for years and so the juice still smells as it should. I don’t know how much people are selling this on evilbay but I don’t think it’s worth whatever exorbitant prices people are asking.

I brought along my Suqqu eye palettes and only used them a handful of times, if that. This started before I left for the holidays but I’ve been applying them with *gasp* my fingers and it might be my preferred way of putting these on. Sacré bleu, I know! I go in with a blending brush afterwards if I need edges taken care of. I find this to be super fast and the colours come out more vibrantly, and I feel I have more control and avoid over blending them.

I had planned on buying beauty stuff, like brands I don’t have access to here/costs more etc but oddly enough I didn’t. Buy anything. At all. Just didn’t see anything exciting enough to make me take my wallet out. I was hoping to check the Tarte Rainforest of the Sea foundation but it seemed this item isn’t sold in every Sephora. I saw it once but didn’t have time that day and then never saw it again. Anyway I’m kind of glad of this, it’s like I’ve finally made peace with new makeup releases and all the frenzy around limited editions. I’m gearing more towards skincare at the moment, but it’s a pendulum that’s swung before so it won’t be long til I get hooked on colour again I’m sure 😉
Luckily so far none of the holiday collections piqued my interest. We’ll see !

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 🙂

2014 Mid-Year Re-view

By that I mean looking back rather than critiquing releases. I know I tend to repeat this but it’s crazy how time flies. Carpe Diem.


I can definitely do more … if only I’m not so tired/lazy/procrastinating.

We’re halfway through 2014 and have just started seeing Fall collections trickling into blogs [at the time when this post was started – now you can buy the collections]. [Ed #2: now we’re seeing Winter collections …] I have a few favourites that I reach for often during the last six months but that will be for another post (sorry!). For this one I want to tie up some loose ends. Like how since I’ve completely ignored Christmas/New Year on the blog, I still have the resolutions for 2013 hanging in the air.

If you’re too lazy to read that, understandably irrelevant post, first on the list is hitting pan. I accomplished this with two products last year, a powder foundation and my Chanel Tissage blush. I tried to hit pan with NARS Deep Throat but couldn’t manage. I s’pose I kind of grew out of that shade and it made using it a bit of a chore. These blushes are like, 7 years old. *gulp*


All the pans I have at home at the moment

1. Chanel Purete Mat Shine Control Powder
This was purchased when the Purete Mat first launched, like 10 years ago or something like that. It’s kinda blah and doesn’t really keep you shine-free. Nonetheless I’m still plowing through this and hope to get a real, empty Chanel pan. 15g of product here!
2. Sofina Primavista powder foundation
Reviewed here. This is one of the two products I hit pan on last year, and (for me anyway) a recent product too. I haven’t been reaching for this as much though, only because the shade is a little too dark for me now. I didn’t get a chance to get some sun at all since last year.
3. NARS single eyeshadow in Blondie
Again this is from way back. I used to use this for my brows back in those days when I coloured my hair. This sits mostly in neglect, even though I could have reached for this as an eyeshadow but I just don’t as I associate it with brows. 3.5g of product!
4. Bobbi Brown eyeshadow in Saddle
This is my current brow powder. 2.5g – I thought this has more product than the NARS but colour me wrong. Maybe 3-4 years old, can’t remember.
5. Chanel Blush Duo Tweed Effect in 50 Tweed Sienna
Gathering dust since I hit pan on it, this poor thing. 5.5g of product so I still got quite a bit to go. Honestly one of the most easy, no-brainer go-to blushes. But I need to give some love to my other blushes too.

The second thing on the list was to avoid the lure of LE products and be more selective… I think I was more selective in 2013 than 2012, and I’ve been doing good this year only really succumbing to Alluring Aquatic from MAC. Improvement! Last year, every time I bought a makeup product (which ended up like every other month) it was almost always for something LE (which was an escape clause I allowed in my project 10 pan). This year they were mostly staples (like black eyeliners, oil cleansers etc), or items from permanent lineup that I hope will be my regular standby (in other words possible HG material). Interestingly, I don’t have anything LE that’s a HG for me. Discontinued yes but not LE releases.

Continuing on, I did fulfill #6 & 9 – taking care of my skin and washing my brushes. But I’m afraid everything else was sadly lacking in effort. I still haven’t tried Patyka either, going for cheaper pharmacy products instead. I’ll see what happens this year.

No resolutions, just hopes for 2014:
1. More pans. And maybe try to finish a lipstick this year?

2. Manage my stash – the size of my stash is a speck of dust in the world of beauty bloggers, maybe just above average ‘in the real world’. I knew someone who bought one lipstick and one foundation at a time and would use them until they were almost gone. Only then would she go and buy a new lipstick. I will never be that person but maybe I can try to control and pare down my stash in a more reasonable manner. Sometimes I look at all those pretty things and I wonder how I got here/for what purpose.
I just depotted some eye shadows, I suppose that counts towards this?

They’re sort of the same thing aren’t they?

I don’t need anymore of these (and I’m writing this down to help drill the message inside my head):
– eyeshadows (enough – but maybe I’ll allow myself a matte palette? or LORAC Pro? Urban Decay? the new Guerlain? YSL? Aarrghhh)
– lipsticks/glosses (enough – I mean if I’ve never even used up 3 grams of product I don’t think I deserve to buy new ones)
– bronzers (enough)
– highlighters (enough – I have four, all textures: powder/liquid/cream stick/ and one of them is HG Candlelight)
– concealors (enough)
– foundation (happy with what I have now and it’ll take ages to finish)
– primers (enough and not that much of a fan anyway)
– makeup brushes (enough, and I’m not really an aficionado. But I will consider if and when the opportunity arises that I can get my hands on some Hakuhodo/Chikuhodo …)

The only things I’ll allow myself to buy are:
– eyeliners (I do go through a lot now that I’m back to pencils)
– blushes (this is my weak spot so ONLY IF they are really really really exciting)
– perfume (another weak spot. My collection is however, very manageable)
– mascaras, of course.

Yes the voice of reason. But we all know how it goes when you’re innocently clicking online or just happened to be in Sephora.

That’s it for now!

My Yaby Palette Breakdown + NARS packaging

Someone wanted to know what the eye shadows are depotted in the Yaby (see post here). So here’s the breakdown:


Unfortunately a lot of them were LE and/or really old stuff that I managed to hang onto between moves. This palette is MAC dominant (Back 2 MAC baby). The small square ones (six in total) came from a LE palette called Delights 6 Eye/Trend palette from 2005 (!!). Go, Smoke & Diamonds, Mink & Sable, Grand Entrance and Top Hat are from 2008’s Starflash collection. You can see which ones I nixed while depotting… Kid is permanent and I only picked that up earlier this year.

NARS All About Eve and Demon Lover, and the other two are Sonia Rykiel shadows.

Despite the number of purples/champagne colours you see, my weakness is actually shades like Mink & Sable and Smoke & Diamonds. I can’t resist a good khaki/olive green and dark, smoky, sultry shadows.

If you have a lot of NARS shadows I recommend depotting them cos you just can’t see what shades they are. I hardly touched Demon Lover because of this. And I bought Top Hat from MAC because I forgot I had Demon Lover.

Also the cases get really disgusting:


Deep Throat and AAE are similar in age, I may have gotten AAE first. We’re talking almost 10 years. Amour was from last year I believe.

I don’t even carry them in my makeup bag. They got like that by and by. Deep Throat has gotten slightly sticky and you can see all the powders and dust on it. AAE was the same, but I used rubbing alcohol on it and slowly removed the rubberized varnish/layer. You’re left with a regular plastic casing. This is an option if you got nothing better to do, or while you’re working on your tan perhaps? I don’t really recommend it (nor tanning either). Amour is what they all looked like in the beginning. Pristine, smooth and clean. Just you wait.

Here’s another photo:


Left: The one at the back is Deep Throat, middle is AAE (I had trouble removing the rubber on those areas) and the closest one to you is Amour. On the right is an eye shadow single (Thunderball, a favourite). I think I took this picture to show the change in packaging. The old ones says Made in Italy and Modele Depose, meaning registered design. No writings at all on the newer packaging. I don’t know how long this change has been in effect. I’ve cooled down on NARS for a long time now. There are a few older, permanent duos I’d like to have but nothing serious. Luckily I realise I have enough blushes so I’m immune most of the time. NARS seem to be putting out more and more smaller themed palettes lately. If the quality is on par with the duos/singles I might eventually buy another one. They’re just so damn pricey in France.

February Blog Blathers

So the shortest month of the year has come and gone and we’re well into 2013. … although that didn’t stop me from hesitating when it came to writing down the current year for a form (“2012? 2013??”) I guess deep down I still couldn’t believe how fast time goes by. I know, I say that a lot here. It comes with age.

I won’t be doing an Empties post this month because I’ve only managed to use up 2 items, one being a shower gel (wow… I know) and the other a body cream. I’m saving them for March, hoping that the lineup will be a little longer.
Instead I thought I’d do a post recapping some significant events of past, beauty-related of course. Most recently I went skiing and while we had the most beautiful weather and snow possible, I paid it with the dreaded goggled-look. Yes, this is where the top half my face is pale and the bottom half from the tip of my nose down to the chin is tanned. Check out my self-portrait:

It is absolutely horrendous and I haven’t found an elegant solution to this. I’ve tried foundations to even out skin tone, but most of them don’t have enough coverage. The only one that truly covered was Vichy Dermablend, but since at the time of purchase I intended to use it mainly a concealor, the shade I have is a little too light for all-over use, which resulted in a quasi-Michael Jackson kind of look. A little too pale and thick-looking for me.

I then tried lightly dusting bronzer on the top half of my face but it didn’t really help, except in getting a comment from a colleague wondering if I’ve gotten more sun during the weekend.
I guess I’ll just wait for the tan to fade in due course. Meanwhile I’m just bringing the blusher up a little, adding some colour to those pale cheeks so they won’t be so stark against the rest (bottom half) of the face.Lesson learned: Wear sunscreen. And Rouge Coco Shine in Boy looks terrible on my tanned skin.

While we’re on the topic of skiing, I did put on some makeup before hitting the slopes but have kept it to a minimum. My experience: (more…)

Happy New Year!

2012 flew by. I went through changes in work and personal life, met some nice and fun people and did some memorable travels. I’m not one to make resolutions but I think some makeup resolutions would be ok. It would be fun at least to review them at the end of the next new year.

1. Start a Project X pan
I’ve been mulling over this for a long time now. I have no excuse not to start, except of course for all the new products that are to come in 2013 – I see pictures of Spring collections already … it’s a little crazy isn’t it? But I do need to use up some of my stash, especially the older ones. The monthly empties post provides the motivation I need so far. It is quite a feeling of accomplishment when I use something up, especially when it’s not skincare!

For powder products I will be happy if I just hit pan. So one blush and one powder foundation. I’m not going to include eyeshadows because that’s just impossible for me.

2. Be more selective with makeup purchases
Related to the above of course, and it’s something I’ve started doing already. I just need to focus and not be tempted by the LE label. I’m lucky I haven’t really been bitten by the MAC bug. Chanel is quick on their heels though it seems …

3. Sunscreen
Confession: I haven’t been putting any on since winter since I hardly spend much time outside anyway.

4. Stop picking
By that I mean spots. It’s a bad habit I need to break.

5. Actually wear my red lipsticks
Instead of just admiring them. And wear them during the day if I feel like it.

6. Give some TLC to my skin & hair
I’m turning 35 in 2013, not a big deal really but it’s a good time to really start taking care of my skin and my hair. All that makeup is not going to do much if the foundation is bad right? As for my hair, I’ve cut my long locks earlier this year and while it’s been a cinch to wash and dry, I wash it everyday because I wake up with lucky troll hair every morning. I need a solution for this as all that washing and heating isn’t good.

7. Try Patyka
I’ve always to try their products and I should take advantage of the fact that I’m in France when I do it. This of course has to wait until I’ve finished all my skincare stash …

8. Use my eyeshadows, especially the palettes
Enough said.

9. Regularly wash my makeup brushes
I’m not so bad at this really but some in-between washing periods are longer than others. Either I get better at the schedule or really start using a product to spot clean them after usage.

And lastly,
10. Blog frequently and regularly
This is going to be a real challenge but I promise I’ll try 🙂

Happy new year everyone!

Merry Christmas!

Work has been keeping me away from blogging. I still have to go to work today but will thankfully get two days to rest tomorrow and the day after. I hope to have the blog updated sometime between our belated Christmas celebration and dinner and recovering from the madness at work during the holidays. So glad the end is almost here!

Wishing you all a very happy holiday (for those that are on holidays) and a very enjoyable festive season. This is perhaps my favourite time of the year in Paris. Paris has always been more beautiful at night but come end of November to early December when they’ve put up the lights and decorations it really shimmers. They have an enormous Christmas tree this year near the end of the Tuileries garden not far from the ferris wheel. I still haven’t visited it yet – only saw it on route to work and back. Hopefully with some time off me and the man can do some walks around town and enjoy the last of the Christmas atmostphere before everything gets taken down.

Just one week before 2013 is here. Woohoo.