eyes

Happy New Year + Favourites of 2016

Happy new year everyone! 2016 just flew by didn’t it? 2017 will be about ‘Change’ for me. There’s the obvious big move coming, with it means new job, home and everything else. Am excited and anxious at the same time ;^__^

Beauty and makeup-wise I see a definite swing back into a focus on skincare. The makeup releases in 2016 didn’t really excite me much, even Suqqu failed to perk my interest. I *will* however, have better access to Japanese and Korean skincare/makeup with my move, so who knows what will happen in 2017. I do hope to get more pans in 2017 but failing that I hope to reduce my stash. I’ve also realized I buy a lot of lipsticks but I really don’t wear them much. Hopefully with the blog sale I’ll be able to downsize the stash.

Looking back I don’t really have a lot of new favourites in 2016. None of them are LE items (apart from the Lighting liquid). These are things that work for me and that I’ve reached for consistently this year:

fave2016

Suqqu Lighting Liquid
This is the best liquid highlight I’ve ever used. I believe Suqqu released a pinker version of this sometime last year so perhaps they might do it again in 2017. This was also in my favourites of 2015 post. (more…)

December Empties

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Kosé Medicated Sekkisei Lotion (360ml) – Made in Japan
I’ve stopped keeping track of the number of bottles I’ve gone through since rediscovering it a few years ago. This bottle lasted me four months.
Repurchase? Always.

Hadalabo Gokujyun Medicated Skin Conditioner lotion (170ml) – Made in Japan
Mentioned in my last skin regime update here. This was my first product from the Hadalabo Gokyjyun range. This medicated version has a alcohol/medicinal smell. It’s nothing offensive though and I was never bothered by it. I’m not sure this did anything for my skin, I reckon it would be more suitable for younger acne-prone skin type who aren’t necessarily breaking out from monthly hormones fluctuation. Usually blemish control products tend to be drying but I never felt that with this. The Gokyjyun range are formulated with hyaluronic acid and the world ‘gokyjyun’ pretty much means ‘extreme moisture’. This medicated range is a relatively new member and I think is an interesting range to try if you have problem skin. The only challenge is perhaps locating it, I got mine online from alphabeauty (not affiliated).
Repurchase? I will try the Premium Rich one next. (more…)

Pan that Palette & Shopping the Stash – December, Report #3

Previous report was in July (ha ha) and can be found here.

I went back to stila ITK after my holidays in the summer. Since I got a little bit tanned I mixed Wind and Desert up to get a better match on the lid. Here’s what it looked like it July:
stila-itk-july

Now:
stila-itk-dec16

I’m back to using just Wind at the moment. If I’m lucky I might see pan before 2017.

I took the Lunasol foundation with me for the summer because the shade worked better on me then. The picture in the last report was after holiday use. I went back to Maquillage not long after that. So here’s an update on that group photo:

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Taken January 2016

Now (almost a year later):

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Taken December 2016

Every time I travel I take the WnW with me. Haven’t used much of the BB this year (I use this as a brow powder). I’ve reached for it from time to time lately but nothing regular so it looks pretty much the same. I managed to use up quite a few brow pencils though 🙂

Blotting powders then:
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Now:
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That’s the Soap & Glory one on the left. That’s since July as well I believe? Probably forgot to post this last time 😛
Ok they both claim to be translucent (Sexy Mama’s “anti-shine translucent powder” vs SG’s “super-translucent mattifying powder”). I think SG might be just a leeetle bit better at oil control, but if you’re not careful it can look chalky. Sexy Mama is talc-free and tinted so you’re less likely to look ashy. If I had to choose I’d probably go with S&G as that one seems to work better on my skin.

And I’m still working on the MAC blush:

July:
mac-poised Now:

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Lunasol Chocolat Beige, MAC Poised, RMK Hot Red

Yup, not much change. But I got so bored of using Poised everyday I incorporated other blushes. Primarily those two in the pictures.

I actually took the RMK with me (due to its slim and compact size) for a solid month during my time in Hong Kong and it still looks like new. There’s only 2.2g of product in this compact. How am I ever going to use up the 6g in MAC? And that’s just a fingerprint mark in the Lunasol and not a dent. But I’m hoping it being a cream formula I’ll hit pan faster.

I really don’t know how I’ll manage to pan anything!

Addiction by Ayako Haul

*ahem* I’ve been away on holidays, hence the silence again but more importantly it’s also how I got my paws on some Addiction shadows!! To compensate this will be a really long post so get ready!

I am so excited about these cos I’ve been wanting to try them since forever and the brand finally opened a counter in Hong Kong where I happened to be 🙂 Too bad I missed out on the opening GWPs, I heard there were some nice things.

Addiction by Ayako is a beauty brand in the Kosé family. Ayako was NARS’ creative director before starting Addiction. I found an interview with Ayako here on Haru’s website, my source for all Japanese beauty news 😉 Addiction has changed the packaging of their eye shadows when they (re)launched their eye shadows – all 99 shades at once. Some shades were retired, but I’m not sure if there’s a difference in the formula. Perhaps someone can comment?

Before I get into the shadows I purchased, I want to mention the LE Christmas Winter White set:

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pic from official website

This set was going for HKD550 (or thereabouts, IIRC) which I feel is a good price. Inside the compact you get 4 shadows and a blush:

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pic from official website

I was there the first day on the launch but after some thoughts, I passed. My reasons? I don’t use nail polish, and am not a fan of lip glosses, even if this one is black and thus more interesting. So there goes two products. The compact is nice but the blush shade is really more of a highlighter as the colour wouldn’t show unless you’re really fair and pale. And I don’t need another highlighter. Once I eliminated the blush shade there’s little reason left for me to get the palette even if the four shades of shadows are beautiful and practical and work really well together. This set is really a good deal and if you’re someone who uses all the products I highly recommend it. I should have asked the ladies if you can pop the highlight out and replace it with a blush instead (especially if you already own a blush from them). That would make this more versatile. Actually the gloss and polish would make kick ass as stocking stuffers even if you don’t use them. Oh well!

I picked up a total of seven eye shadow shades, purchased separately on different occasions. They are HKD 140 each, with 1g of product. You can buy an empty compact separately that could hold 4 shadows or a bigger one to hold 6 shadows. Note that the size of 1 blush = 2 shadows so you can customize whichever way you want. I almost got a compact but didn’t in the end because for me out of sight is out of mind.

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  1. 085 Shanghai Breakfast (P) A mauve with a gold and red gloss
  2. 082 Taxi Driver (P) A smooth grayish mauve
  3. 069 Flash Back (P) A grayish brown with a smooth gloss
  4. 040 Dolly Bird (P) A steel gray with a wet luster and sparkle
  5. 039 Yesterday (P) A light lavender gray radiating pink
  6. 043 Dangerous Liason (P) A deep purple shimmering with red and silver
  7. 109 Red Lily – Gold orange tinged with red, like the lilies of Northern Europe (limited edition)

It’s a bit of a pain to get the English names. They are not printed on the display panels in Hong Kong, nor on the boxes/sticker on the back of the cases. I had to cross reference them on the Japanese website. Having English names would make it so much easier to remember what I’ve got and what I’d like to try.

Swatches: (more…)

Tom Ford Cream Color for Eyes

I only got my first taste of these this summer (August to be precise), so yes I’m really late to the party! I was tempted to get the Spring 2015 but didn’t. I never saw the previous LE releases of Platinum and Spice and others at the counters here in Paris, they probably just flew out of the shelves. Fully made peace with never owning one of these (rationale being I’ll never finish them anyway) but when TF released them as permanents I wavered. Now I have three:

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L-R: Platinum, Burnished Copper, Spice

Spice is the third cream color I picked up within two months. I got this with Modern Mercury because Selfridges shipping 😛 I first tested the waters with Platinum – found one on a blog sale and followed that with a purchase of Burnished Copper. You can see the older releases are bigger and contain more product than the now permanent ones. The smaller pots hold 5ml/0.17oz are like the size of a gel liner. I’ve actually used Burnished Copper a couple of times already but the pot looks untouched because this shade (and Spice too) is super pigmented and you really only need the tiniest amount!

Here are swatches of the three:

tf-cream

L-R, lightly blended and normal: Burnished Copper, Platinum, Spice

For the light swatches, I intentionally used a minuscule amount and blended it out as a light wash (although I seemed to have used too much for Spice); With the ‘normal’ swatches, I stopped adding product once I achieved the kind of intensity I’m comfortable with on my lids. You can push them further and they’ll be thicker and more opaque. Also you get a fair amount of play-time with these before they dry and settle.

Burnished Copper is an olive/khaki, these kind of shades are a weakness of mine. This and Spice has noticeable fine gold shimmers. I’ve only worn this a couple of times so far, further comments to come.

Platinum is something you can use daily. You can certainly use it alone but I find the shade/look I’m after benefits with a deeper brown/taupe to give it more definition. Lately I’ve been using Platimum with a light wash of MAC’s Sea Worship (an extra dimension formula, it blends seamlessly with the finish of these cream colours) in the outer-V at the end. I’ve also used a random Bourjois shade (from this trio, if you want to know. Scroll down towards the bottom) and the brown from Suqqu’s Yosaizora (summer 2015 LE). For evenings I’m thinking NARS Mekong or something like that. I guess what I want to say is you probably have a million browns at home you can use to complement this 🙂 It’s not the most exciting colour of the range but it’s a workhorse type of shade. I’ve experienced some fallout with this but none after it’s dried and settled. I think it’s from the blending-to-death rubbing and patting that I do.

Spice is a very warm brown. I dismissed this at first to be honest. But I based all my purchases on the potential frequency of use and well, you can’t beat a brown. Same with Burnished Copper, I’ll comment later if there are issues with this.

For those wanting an alternative to brown I would suggest looking at Opale – this is a really beautiful shade and can double as a cream highlighter on the cheekbones/brow bone/inner corner of the eyes. This is definitely multi-purpose, so perhaps more value for money.

When I was looking at swatches online for research I thought I would get Midnight Violet but when I swatched it in person, the more I looked at it the more I understood that what draws me is how dark it is, and it reminded me of the LE Spring 2015. I have Chanel Mirifique as well (sadly ignored), so I passed. Also my eyelid area is too small to really show this shade off.

Anyway I think these cream colours deserve all the raves and praises you read about. I tried the Charlotte Tilbury ones at the Selfridges counter last year but the one I applied creased on my lids within a couple of hours so I haven’t been very keen on those since. In hindsight perhaps I should have explored all other options/offerings from other luxurious brands but TBH I was fixated on these and I know I’ll end up getting one even if I do find a better alternative.

ETA – 21 October 2016
I’ve been using more of Spice and Burnished Copper and surprisingly I’m liking Spice more and more, it might just be my favourite out of the three. They both have a very teensy bit of fallout if you over blend, but it’s noticeably less than Platinum. In terms of the wear I get, they wear well and I’m happy enough but they do not wear like iron on my lids. However they just fade somewhat but do not migrate or budge, so you won’t find it under the eyes. I really appreciate this cos that’s the biggest problem I encounter with cream shadows and those in a stick forms, they all tend to migrate south and I get panda eyes.

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

(more…)

July Empties

Please bear with me – I’m playing catch-up with my empties post. Since there aren’t many from August those empties will be in the September post 🙂

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Banila Co Clean It Zero Purity for Sensitive skin (100ml) – Made in Korea ?
Lasted around three months, this is a cleansing balm for makeup removal. Like the Body Shop’s Camomile cleansing balm in idea, but with a better texture that instantly melts when you start rubbing so there’s no tugging or harsh rubbing involved. Very efficient at makeup removal, took everything off with no problem. My skin was never irritated nor felt dry afterwards either. A pleasure to use.
Repurchase? Yes, I have the regular version in maxi format to go.

IOPE Ultimate Hydro Cream (50ml) – Made in Korea
Cool upon application so it’s refreshing especially with a light, gel texture. Mildly scented with an aquatic type fragrance. Most importantly it does its job at moisturizing and my skin never felt dry. I really enjoyed this even if it’s not a one-of-a-kind product. IOPE isn’t readily available where I am so off the top of my head I would take a look at Laneige’s (obviously) water bank range, Biotherm, and even drugstore brands like No.7, L’oreal. I feel like I’ve seen similar products from these brands in the past before.
Repurchase? Yes if I come across it again.

Shiseido Medicated hand cream (100g) – Made in Japan
Bought this at the same time as the Kiss Me medicated (reviewed here), which now that I think about it is probably their attempt to make something like the Yu-Be cream. I found the Shiseido more effective. Texture-wise it’s not heavy but provides decent moisturizing. It’s got some kind of moisturizing beads in it. This is a medium strength hand cream I feel, and is not half bad at all. Good for those needing more oommph than a lotion but not anything heavy like the Yu-be. Yu-be is where I like my hand creams to be. The best thing I like about this though is the packaging – it comes in a jar but has a flip-lid opening/closing system so you won’t struggle screwing the cap back on with slippery moisturized hands afterwards. I might decant other creams into this jar …
Repurchase? Nah.

Steam Cream (75ml) – Made in Japan
Used and reviewed in the past. I’m using this as a hand and body moisturizer. It’s more hydrating than the L’Occitane lotions. You really have to like lavender to use this range.
Repurchase? I’ve still got two more jars of these.

Nature Republic Snail Solution 70 Eye Cream (20ml) – Made in Korea
This little tube took me forever to use up, more than six months I’m sure. It’s just a regular eye cream, run-of-the-mill, not better or worse than the average offerings. I felt I could use more hydration TBH but most eye creams like these I’ve tried deliver similar results (ie. not much) and I’ve found in my experience that you need to go to those in jars, and pay a little bit more to get more. Best eye cream (tube or jar) I’ve used those is the one from Astalift. Too bad it seems they’ve pulled out of everywhere outside of Asia.
Repurchase? No.

Kosé Fasio Powerful Curl Mascara Long (7g) – Made in Japan
I wasn’t particularly wowed by this mascara. And I’m starting to think there’s something about Fasio’s mascaras that doesn’t agree with me because my eyes get irritated when I use this. Same thing happened with the last Fasio mascara I used. It must be the fibers or something. I think I will stick with other brands.
Repurchase? No.