Guerlain

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…)

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February Empties

Another month another bunch of minis! Let’s get those out of the way.

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L’Occitane Conditioner with 5 essential oils (35ml) – Made in France
This is for dry and damaged hair. Love this and the shampoo in this range. If I buy anything from L’Occitane I’d definitely buy these. Leaves my hair silky and smooth and has a nice inoffensive scent. This one has angelica, ylang ylang, lavender, geranium and sweet orange. ‘Helps nourish and restore capillary fiber’. ‘Cones heavy though! (second and third ingredient).

L’Occitane shower gel with 3 essential oils (35ml) – Made in France
Nice invigorating scent! Mint, pine and rosemary essential oils. It’s supposed to ‘leave a fresh sensation to the skin’ but I can’t remember if it had a particularly cooling effect.

L’Occitane Body Lotion with 3 essential oils (35ml) – Made in France
With lavender, tea tree and geranium oils (I start seeing them in the middle of the ingredients list, whereas they appear much higher on the list for the conditioner and shower gel). Being a lotion this doesn’t really satisfy my drier skin at the moment. I have used it in hotter months and enjoyed it more then. It’s very lightweight and quite thin in consistency. A light lotion. This smells similar to the shampoo/conditioner. First three ingreidents: water, grape seed oil, glycerin.

These samples from L’Occitane has a nice texture and consistency, nothing that comes out in big blobs (for shower and hair stuff) like some other samples I’ve tried.

Elemis ap@home Revitalise-me Hand & Body Lotion (50ml) – Made in the Czech Republic
It has almond oil to hydrate and ‘aromatic oils of thyme, basil and neroli to revitalise and invigorate the senses.’ This lotion is slightly thicker than the one from l’Occitane. Water is the first ingredient for both, but Elemis has Cetearyl alcohol as second ingredient followed by isopropryl palmitate; whereas l’Occitane has grape seed oil and glycerin as second and third.

Elemis ap@home Revitalise-me Conditioner (50ml) – Made in the Czech Republic
With camelia leaf and rosemary extracts. For hair products without SLS, SLES and silicones these ones from Elemis are rather well done.

I forgot to mention last time that the Elemis products (at least this sp@home range) are all paraben, SLS, SLES, DEA, mineral oils, artificial colours and silicones free.

thisworks reviving shower gel (30ml) – Made in China
The natural blend of energizing essential oils in these are bergamot and bitter orange. Nothing really special about these shower gels, very run of the mill. Scent is rather sharp, inoffensive but forgettable. The l’Occitane one smells a lot better.

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Last bunch of the month

Asprey Purple Water Shower Gel (35ml) – Made in China
Despite the prestigious looking packaging this is a very average and boring typical hotel supplied type of product. First three ingredients are water, SLS, cocamidopropyl betaine. Sharp lemony-smell, quite invigorating but perhaps best suited for summer.

thisworks balancing body lotion (30ml) – Made in China
I think with the thisworks stuff you really need to like the scent. First three ingredients are water, sweet almond oil and caprylic/capric triglyceride. Alcohol follows. Anyway. Forgettable.

Elemis sp@home Revitalise-me Shampoo (50ml) – Made in the Czech Republic
Wrote about this in last month’s empties.

Random note:
As it happened I got curious and from google found out that Asprey and Elemis have the same manufacturer – Pacific Direct, a huge company that licenses many brands and produce hotel amenities. It’s a one-stop shop, you can choose the packaging and so on. They have factories all over the world and stuff Asprey happened to be made in China while Elemis’ are made in the Czech Rep. The Elemis brand gets more care as you can see, but I suppose it’s normal because it’s also one of the few brands that really makes their business in skincare. Asprey makes jewelry.

Onto the full sized stuff! Lots to go through this month (this is not everything, there are more pictures below).

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Kose Medicated Sekkisei (360ml) – Made in Japan
A staple in my skincare. I started the bottle in October 2015 so this size lasted me 4.5 months with twice daily use. Not bad!
Repurchase? I have a bit of stock left, which when used in rotation with other lotions should see me until the end of the year. (more…)

January Empties

Argh am so late with this but work’s been busy and I haven’t had time to take the necessary photos 😦

I’m trying to empty my drawers so you’ll start seeing a lot of sample-sized products. Little bottles I saved and intended to use on short trips and holidays, but I finally admit that I just don’t travel often enough to use them all up in a reasonable amount of time.

thisworks-hair

this works revitalizing shampoo & conditioner (30ml)Made in China
General observation: product in little bottles appears to be a lot thicker than in regular packaging (for all beauty brands).

“Infused with essential oils to restore silky texture and shine”
This shampoo cleans very well, every time I rinse it off, I hear my hair squeak. The conditioner doesn’t add a lot of moisture/nourishment considering how well the shampoo works. Thus I conclude that this is a shampoo more suitable for oilier hair. I wash my hair daily and this shampoo can sometimes feel a little stripping when used over a longer period of time. It has a herbal smell. Stings the eyes terribly if the product does get into them (both me and the Man can attest to this). Like really sharp pain.
Repurchase? Nah this is not for me.

shower gels

L’Occitane Verbena Shower Gel (30ml) – Made in France
This shower gel didn’t feel any special. The smell is very fresh, I mean it’s verbena. Otherwise not much to write home about. It’s not thickened up though comes out of the bottle easily.
Repurchase? I don’t know how much this is but I don’t think it’s worth splurging for. The scent bored me quickly. (more…)

Summer Loves

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I reached a lot for these products this summer, and without intending to a lot of them happens to be 2015 releases. However only a couple of them (if that) are limited releases so you shouldn’t have much trouble hunting them down.

Starting with the Suqqu trio in Yosaizora (夜彩空) EX02, one of two limited edition palettes Suqqu released for summer.  Here’s an official image of both palettes:suqqu2015summer-off

Yasaizora is more my style and is easier to wear and more flattering on me. Benikakesora looks really pretty but it would require more thought/work to coordinate a look that might be a bit too feminine for my comfort. And oddly enough I can find closer dupes to Benikakesora with the stash at home than Yosaizora. If you can find Yosaizora at a reasonable price, go for it! The quality is there. I have read comments on pigmentation (not as good as the quads/harder, drier/not impressive etc) and find them not to be true.

I also reasoned if I’m spending that much money on a palette I should get one I know I would get more use out of. Even if it’s always tempting to get the more unique one!

Guerlain Terracotta Sun Sun Protection Compact is a cream foundation that dries to a matte powder finish on the skin. This is also a limited edition product but it can still be found easily as of writing. The main reason I reached for this during summer is to make my foundation work, or have my face match the neck. The finish is natural and it never looked orange-y. You don’t need to get this particular compact to achieve the same results, any ol’ bronzer will do. I bought this mostly because I wanted a bronzer/foundation in a cream formula.

About the packaging, the pearlish white compact is a nice change from the usual black while still looking classy. It’s also got a big mirror and I (more…)

Small 2014 Christmas Haul

Merry Christmas everyone! I know it’s Boxing Day, small technicality there. I was hoping I could get a post up before today but work drained me out more than I thought it would. Hopefully you all enjoyed a nice time with your family and love ones.

I managed to remain calm with the Christmas releases and only picked out a few things *pats self on back*

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Suqqu Christmas Set B
When I saw both of the sets on the Selfridges website I had a hard time deciding which one to go for. I reasoned that while Yukiichigo is pretty and special and delish, I know deep down that I won’t be wearing it as much as I would Tsukianzu.
I like eye shadows to be pigmented and from my experience back in the stone age days Japanese brands generally tend to do sheer washes and are more subtle than their western counterparts. This is my first ever Suqqu palette and they deserve all the raves they get. Great formula, silky and easy to blend. I’ll certainly pay more attention to their releases in the future, even if I do have to order from Selfridges and pay for the shipping.

I know the two sets are sold out and are very hard to find unless you go on evilbay (don’t). I’ll point out that Tsukianzu is quite shimmery (‘grown-up’ shimmer) because the Man noticed and made an off-hand comment when I wore it one day. But it’s a Christmas set afterall so that’s ok.

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I just found the videos Suqqu has on these two sets. See Tsukianzu in action below:

I’d like to get that lip brush.

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Guerlain Perles d’Etoile
I got the Crazy 68 meteorites compact last year but couldn’t resist having them in their tradition pearl form. The warmer tones and the packaging sealed the deal. At the moment I think I prefer the look of the compact which seems to do an instant brightening finishing magic touch. Nitpicking, the Perles d’Etoile is a hair more shimmery when applied. Nobody but you would notice the ‘difference’ though.
Don’t cry if you didn’t get this – Guerlain Spring 2015 has new meteorite compacts and a blush that comes in variation of pink and rose ballz.

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Urban Decay 24/7 Black Magic set
I picked this up with the Suqqu to bring the shipping average down 😛
I haven’t tried UD’s 24/7 liners before and since I use a lot of black eyeliners and I prefer my liners to be dark in general (so I can just line-and-go) this looks to be promising. Also double-ended = good for travel. I’ll review this when the time comes.
The other eyeliner set that looks promising is the set of minis from Marc Jacobs. I haven’t tried MJ’s liners either but the shades look fun and the set works out to be a better deal.

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Aquis microfiber hair towel
Not makeup but beauty related. I bought my first Aquis maybe 10 years ago. It was well loved but I left it in the hotel bathroom on one of my trips a few years ago. I finally bought a replacement earlier this year and decided I want a second one. I have a full-head of thick hair that takes a long time to dry and the Aquis really helps in cutting down the drying time. Indispensable on trips when you never know how good/bad the hotel blow dryer will be.

Urban Decay Pulp Fiction Mrs. Mia Wallace Lipstick

[Edited to add more photos – 12 November 2014]

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Following the eye shadow palette which I wrote about here, I have now the red lipstick and lip liner.

They are both named ‘Mrs. Mia Wallace’ and described as a ‘deep blood red’. I hemmed and hawed before purchasing these because I have quite a few nice red lippies already that don’t get reached for enough and I have no business buying anymore but we all know how that story goes. These are my first UD lip products so I’m no expert and can’t compare them with the usual UD formula. I’ll concentrate on the lipstick for this post and the one on the lip liner will follow.

The colour payoff of the Revolution lipstick is indeed very rich, intense and opaque in one swipe. Seriously impressed. My lips aren’t in the best condition at the moment (leaning on the dry side) but the lipstick doesn’t highlight nor sink into the lip lines. The lipstick is very creamy and emollient, doesn’t make my lips feel dry at all. I don’t know if it makes sense but it is ‘thick’. It doesn’t really tug per se but I do have to apply certain amount of pressure onto the lips to get a good swipe. [A lipstick that truly glides for me is the Givenchy’s Le Rouge first and foremost, then by Terry and the Guerlain Rouge Gs]. This could also be due to the lack of a tapered bullet as a tip for the Revolution lipsticks, which may have too creamy/heavy a body to employ a blunt cut like this. For a colour like Mia Wallace you should be using a lip brush anyway so it’s not too much of a problem I suppose. When it comes to the finish, the Revolution lipsticks promise a ‘creamy shine’ in general but I wouldn’t call the finish I get with Mrs. Mia Wallace shiny. To me shiny is like the Rouge Coco shines, or other balmy ones that really reflects and throws light back. This is more of a satin, which luckily I prefer anyway.

Now onto the shade!

First things first, I don’t know if it’s me but the colour I see in the tube isn’t the colour I get when applied. In the tube it’s a deep red with sort of a brown undertone, fitting UD’s ‘blood red’ description. When swatched, it’s a blue-based red. You can see a deep fuschia if you wipe on a white tissue. So even if it does apply opaque in one coat, if you want the deep dark red that’s promised you really need to go all out and intensify the application. *Then* it turns into this beautiful, deep red that for some reason looks quite neutral and you think might actually be flattering on a variety of skin tones. It’s weird.

I thought I would have more similar looking reds but I don’t. I actually have more blue-based reds than I previously thought. Anyway these are the ones I found that are closest to Mrs. Mia Wallace. Sorry the swatches aren’t so neat:

mia swatches

You can see Mrs. Mia Wallace (#2) isn’t particularly shiny and has pretty much the same finish as the others

Another photo: (more…)

Aphrodite’s Shell vs Other Bronzers … or just some swatches of my bronzers

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1. Stephane Marais bronzer #1 – I shouldn’t have included this one in hindsight because the brand doesn’t exist anymore. But this was my first bronzer and very dear to my heart. The Stephane Marais brand was so ahead of its time.
2. MAC Aphrodite’s Shell from Alluring Aquatic
3. Guerlain Terracotta 4 Seasons in 01 Blondes – this was before Guerlain revamped their Terracotta line. This shade is the new 04 Blondes. From looking at the pictures 02 Brunettes in the new line would probably be a better match for me.
4. Dior Nude Tan Healthy Glow in 002 Sunlight.
5. Caudalie Teint Divin (one shade only)
6. Bourjois Delice de Soleil in 12 for Fair/Medium Skin

Swatches:

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Different lighting:

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1. Stephane Marais
2. Guerlain  – top quad on the right only
3. MAC
4. Dior – swirled all quads
5. Caudalie
6. Bourjois

1-4 are the lighter bronzers and among them MAC has the least amount of orange/pink.  If you have the Dior, using only the ‘D’ and the ‘U’ you can get something really close to Aphrodite’s Shell.

The Guerlain will give you the most options as all 4 of the quads have different intensity. If you’re fair now but are counting on getting some colour during summer then this will be a good option. You can however, probably get 2 separate bronzers for the price of this.

I didn’t bother swatching my Chanel Tan de Soleil (not the paste but the powder from Summer 2012, Sable Beige) but let me know if you would like to see a comparison.

Btw I used Aphrodite’s Shell the other day and I didn’t notice any of the shimmer flecks. So who knows really?