Dior

August + September Empties

AUGUST

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Shiseido Integrate gel liner in BK999 (0.28g) – Made in Germany
I bought this cos it seemed to be a favourite among Japanese beauty magazine readers. But the size of the nib is too big for my liking and unlike a pencil it can’t be sharpened. Also the performance is inconsistent – sometimes it smudges, sometimes no. Despite no change in the steps leading to or out prior.
Repurchase? Nope.

Kate slim gel pencil in BK-1 (0.12g) – Made in Japan
Now this is a liner I know I can count on. I took this with me on my holidays and with daily use it lasted around one month. This has less than half the product of the Integrate liner though.
Repurchase? Staple.

Here’s a comparison photo with nibs from different liners. The UD acts as your average, typical pencil liner. You can see the Integrate is just slightly slimmer than that. Visée is the thinnest (mentioned a few entries below). KATE and dejavu are the same in diameter. I’ll write about the Dejavu one eventually but lets just say for now that I don’t reach for it often despite it having the best staying power.

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Top-Bottom: Visée, dejavu fiberwig, KATE, Shiseido Integrate, UD24/7

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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:

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Sunscreen
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.
Powder
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
Mascara
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.
Brow
Kate eyebrow pencil – again, no sharpening
Blush
Chanel Sunkiss Ribbbon (LE) – multi-colour for variety. I went with powder instead of cream thinking it might melt in the heat.
Lips
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!
Scent
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.

Others
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 !

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! 🙂

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
diorspring

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:
rmkspring

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.

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…)