Kevyn Aucoin

Kevyn Aucoin Lipsticks

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This is the small Beautybay haul I mentioned in this post. Two Kevyn Aucoin lipsticks and three small brushes from Louise Young.

The lipsticks are from the ‘Expert Lip Color’ range, I think they have a small matte lipstick range now as well. They are 3.5g each and are made in Italy. The shades I got are Bloodroses and Black Dahlia:

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L: Bloodroses, R: Black Dahlia

They have a magnetic closure (the base is magnetized) but the magnet isn’t very strong. I thought the bullet looked short/small when I twisted it all the way up but it’s actually in the standard size. To give you an idea, Chanel lipsticks are 3.5g (apart from Rouge Coco Shine which are 3g each), UD Vice are 3.11g, MAC and Tom Ford are 3g, NARS Audacious are 4.2g.

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Left: Bloodroses one swipe, built-up. Right: Black Dahlia one swipe, built-up

Sorry I didn’t want to ruin the pointy tips of the new lippies so they have this funny shape.
I’ve never tried KA lipsticks before. These didn’t disappoint – they are creamy and luxurious. Colour is rich and opaque. Very comfortable on the lips.

From what I’ve read Bloodroses is a universally flattering shade, a deep red created by Kevyn Aucoin and one which he counted as his favourite. I did some swatches but all my red lipsticks are in the traditional vein and none came close to being as deep as Bloodroses: (more…)

2016 Holiday Buys + OT Shoes

Actually not much holiday beauty purchase this year at all! I haven’t been tempted by anything really. I had a 25% discount from Sephora (this was just before Black Friday) and I reasoned Sephora France wouldn’t offer more than 25% on makeup even if they were doing Black Friday sales (I was right!) so I did a quick browse and of course found something.

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I don’t even know if this is part of their holiday release but I picked up the Urban Decay Vice palette. Like many, I picked that up in Blackmail. The palette is certainly a nice way to try some popular UD shades and formula. I also told myself when I bought it that I can easily mix some of the shades up if I feel creative. But let’s be honest I’m not sure how likely/often I’ll do that 😛
I’ve only tried two shades for now and TBH a little disappointed in the texture – they’re more drying than I thought. I tried Blackmail and Ex-Girlfriend. I’ll give them another whirl and see.

To qualify for free shipping for the Vice palette I grabbed a Chanel beauty flash balm. I thought the beauty balm would be great on long haul flights. Plus lately my skin has been feeling pretty dry and I definitely feel like slapping on some moisturizer during the day and this seems like a good product for that. I’ve used it a couple of times now. Not much thought at the moment, I just feel the scent lingers longer than the micro-serum from the same range. It’s a quick-fix.

Lastly I got a couple of Kevyn Aucoin lippies – Black Dahlia and Bloodroses. TBH I got those because of the names and the fact that they were on sale. I’m still waiting for the delivery actually so no photos just yet but I will add them later. [Edit: Dec 09 – They finally arrived and you can find them on this post here] Actually now that I think about it my last order from Beautybay was also slow to arrive. Maybe they’re slammmed, I don’t know. Back to the lipsticks: I’ve never tried Kevyn Aucoin’s lipsticks and am not familiar with their formula. Black Dahlia is totally out of my comfort zone so we’ll see what happens. I did hesitate getting them because I’m pretty sure I can get a dupe of these rather easily, given how everyone seemed to have released 50+ new shades and formulas in one go (off the top of my head: NARS, MUFE, UD, the Boys from Tom Ford etc etc etc).

That’s all the beauty purchases for now. None of the Christmas sets I’ve seen tempted me, no not even Suqqu! So I’m good. Skincare-wise I still got loads of stuff to go through at home in all categories so that’s covered. Otherwise I might get something from Clarins (a cleanser and lotion) and the micro-serum from Chanel warrants a re-purchase especially in this drying weather.

Finally, I never wrote about fashion because I’ve always wanted to keep this strictly beauty only but I’ll make an exception this time because it’s Christmas and I really want to share these.

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1. Office Lucky Charm Boots on asos.fr (NOT affiliated! I don’t use them)
Chloe Susanna dupe. Asos seems to be the only place I can find this combo (red + nubuck). Otherwise they also carry it in black nubuck. For regular leather you have to go to the Office website. I recommend nubuck because from what I can glean from the comments the regular leather is pretty hard you need time to wear it in. I ordered the nubuck and they were comfy right off the bat. The only reason I didn’t keep mine is my wardrobe doesn’t really work with these.
Another good dupe is from the brand Lemare, but they are a lot more expensive. I’m not comfortable paying that much for dupes personally.

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2. Marni x Zalando collection
Zalando is a French online retailer, mostly shoes but they also sell clothes. Anyway they have a capsule collection with Marni that’s worth checking out.
My picks are the VANS SK8-Hi and those Instapump Fury, which also come in khaki and khaki/ivory mix.

Makeup Hits and Misses of 2014 – The Hits

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I think I did quite well last year resisting beauty releases (especially those of the limited kind) and impulse buys. As such my 2014 Hits won’t be exclusively on products that are released this year but include things that I’ve (re)discovered, have impressed me and constantly reached for. I’ve made a top ten post back in August and the items mentioned in that post are still very relevant. Think of this as more of a Favourites / Most-used of 2014 post.

1. Urban Decay Pulp Fiction eye palette
One of the LE collections this year I fell for. Love this palette even if I do wish the packaging is a little more travel-friendly – tested its portability on a short trip and found it to be a real PITA to pack. It just takes up so much room! I’m not sure if I’ll take it with me on trips again but being a neutral palette it really makes life easy and goes with everything. The texture and quality is amazing. Reviewed here.

2. Tom Ford Orchid Haze
If I could only bring one quad with me on a trip this will be it. It pulls quite neutral and by controling the darkest shade you can adapt it to any day/night look. This is my favourite palette out of everything at the moment (HG?). Also featured in the mid-year top 10 post.

3. Urban Decay Naked 3
I picked this up early in the year 2014 when Sephora France had it back in stock (and it was promptly sold out again). This is my first palette in the Naked series and really my first go at Urban Decay eyeshadows. I resisted 1 & 2 but something about the pink and rose called to me. I have enough browns at home already and thought 3 would be a nice change. I admit I was worried the pinks wouldn’t look good on me (rabbit eye/cried-all-night) but it’s surprisingly easy to wear and versatile. I’m used to quads and at most quints so the size and choices are overwhelming. I’m still on the learning curve with this but it’s been nothing but pleasure each time I reach for it. (more…)

Kevyn Aucoin Sensual Skin Enhancer

Brace yourselves ladies cos this is looong!

The Kevyn Aucoin Sensual Skin Enhancer is a super pigmented ‘creme Makeup/concealer’. It has a light scent that’s somehow familiar to me, and it hits me as I’m writing this – it has the same smell as the Shiseido cold cream my mum used back in those days. The SSE is indeed made in Japan, not saying anything – I just found this tidbit interesting on a personal level to mention it that’s all.

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I picked this up in May 2014. The pot contains 18g of product. The brand underwent some a repackaging in the last couple of years and from what I can see, the SSE comes in a gold box now (instead of burgundy), and the label on the bottom is black (again instead of burgundy). Other than that it seems to be pretty much the same.

Confession: I started this post in June actually, and of course never gotten round to finishing it for all sorts of reasons. I went easy on my base makeup since starting my new job in July, often not wearing any. When I do I reach for my powders because they are fast and help with the shine I get when it gets hot in the kitchen. Because I’m determined to post today I pulled out the SSE yesterday to refresh my memory and was completely blown away all over again.

I will confirm everything else you’ve read on the internet about this cult product. Yes, you can use the SSE as:
1. full-coverage foundation that can be sheered out to a tinted moisturizer
2. spot concealing – probably the best concealer out there
3. contour/highlight (by using a shade lighter/darker – you can do this with all foundations though, not just the SSE)

There’s a wealth of information out there on how to use this product. I won’t go into too much detail, but to get you started:
1. You’ll read/hear again and again that you don’t need much, just a pin size. That’s probably true but you need to experiment and find your preferred dosage. You may need more than that, or less depending on what you want to achieve and the way you use this. (more…)

Ten Current Favourites

I was originally going to call this ‘2014 Favourites’ or something along the line, then realised the products I mention are permanents and aren’t dependent on the year. Which could be misleading for those searching for 2014 releases.

I stopped doing the monthly favourites cos a lot of the times it’s whatever shiny new toy I happen to have my paws on, plus some staples. It wasn’t really honest, like I was doing it for the sake of doing a favourites post. And it got boring for everyone.
So now I’ve decided to do these only when I feel like I have used/tried/like ’em enough to share. Ten is a good number, and I feel that a lot of what you’ll see are at the top of the categories list.

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1. Too Faced La Creme lipstick
This was the biggest discovery of 2013. I’ve never tried Too Faced before, kind of ignored it really because I lumped them with Benefit (similar packaging vibe) and I’m not a huge fan of Benefit. Prejudice/judging a book by its cover etc etc. This lipstick surprised me. I loved Spice, Spice Baby so much I went back and bought a second one (Naughty Nude). They are just so creamy and so comfortable to wear. Pleasant lemon pie scent. Great colours, nicely opaque. Spice, Spice Baby is a great everyday colour and it’s the lipstick I’m counting on to be my first used up lippie. I’ve never used a shade so often. I took it on my holidays, wore it to a wedding. Love it.
I’ve started paying more attention to this brand on the strength of this lip formula. The Pretty Rebel eye palette (LE but still available on Sephora US website) is nicely put together. (more…)

Hits and Misses of 2012 – The Hits

Looking back the year I made so many purchases … it’s a little crazy but not quite out of hand, luckily. I’ve made many discoveries this year, tried new brands and what were for me new genre of products (highlighters for example). There’s almost an overwhelming amount of things I want to single out but I do realise I need to be selective and keep it streamlined. Even so I’m quite excited to gush about some of these products and you will find there are significantly more products in this entry than the ‘misses’, thankfully.

One last word on how I categorise, ‘Discoveries’ are not necessary instant favourites, however some of them do overlap into the ‘Hits’ category.
The products listed under ‘Hits’ are the real standouts that pop in my head instantly when I think about the topic. They are my ‘best-of’ and favourites of 2012.

Discoveries


La Roche-Posay Cicaplast
Perhaps my greatest skincare discovery of 2012, this is now my go-to SOS topical cream. I reach for this when I have peeling skin, flakiness or general tightness from the dry weather and it works like a charm.

Bourjois Magic Nail Polish Remover
I don’t know if Bourjois was the original innovator behind this but this has changed and improved the way I clean my nails. It’s fast, efficient and most of all I really like that it’s more environmentally friendly without the use of a million cotton balls to wipe polish off.

Kiehl’s Creme de Corps
I’m so late to the party it’s unbelieveable that only this year did I find out about the wonders of this cream. This has attained HG status during the year. (more…)

September Favourites



Sephora professional – Smudge brush
Pleasantly surprised by how well this brush performs. My only other smudge brush is Laura Mercier’s, which has been with me for around 8 years. The Sephora is a little bigger, but less scratchy. I find its size perfect for the way I do my smoky eye: sloppily applied eyeliner that’s smudged and smoked out. With this brush I can do the job faster than with the LM, which I now rely on for more precision when I just want to soften the edges of my eyeliner.

Sephora on the left, Laura Mercier on the right

Bourjois Magic Nail polish remover
This is not a new item but I recently picked this up, admittedly with a bit of scepticism. Consider me won over. It seems more ecological as well. I use maybe 1 cotton soaked with remover to get into the corners and edges, but that’s it. Just be careful not to topple the bottle as the solution will spill. (more…)