powder

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
BiorĂ© 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
EstĂ©e Lauder AzurĂ©e 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. AzurĂ©e 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. SacrĂ© 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 !

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Shiseido Maquillage Dramatic Powdery UV Foundation

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As much as I enjoyed using the Primavista powder foundation, when it came to replacing it I wanted to try something new. So when I found myself in Hong Kong earlier this year I made it my mission to try out all the possibilities. At one point it came down to the new ones from Jill Stuart (shade not 100% match, but it was very silky. I wanted more coverage though) and ClĂ© de Peau (truly sublime! but price!) and another from KosĂ© Esprique (middle of the road between the two, nothing to write home about though). Then I saw the new one from Maquillage and once I tried it I was sold. This comes really close to the effect I see with the ClĂ© de Peau (both companies is under Shiseido). They achieve this by playing with light and reflecting them with particles in the powder – don’t quote me on that, it’s just off the top of my head and I honestly can’t remember the details.

… ok I got off my ass and here’s there blurb from CdP for their Refining Powder Foundation: (more…)

ClĂ© de Peau Translucent Loose Powder

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This has been my go-to loose powder for the past 10+ years. I started using it before they updated their packaging. The only reason I needed to get a new one was because I lost my old one – I was overseas when my family moved and nobody wanted to be responsible for my makeup/perfume and so I lost everything. It almost brings a tear to my eye whenever I think of all the goodies that could have been kept safe. But were instead thrown away. ;( Moving on!

The ClĂ© de Peau loose powder is the smoothest and most finely milled powder I’ve ever used. ClĂ© de Peau is of course, Shiseido’s top luxury brand, their Rolls Royce. I think other high-end brands are finally catching up in terms of quality but CdP has been doing this for yonks. The powders I used before this (like more than 10 years ago) was Laura Mercier’s, I also had a T. LeClerc compact in the famous shade ‘Banane’. I went from those to CdP and haven’t looked back since. Everything about this screams luxury, especially the packaging which is nicely thought out. It comes with a fine sieve mesh that you place on top of the powder. On top of this goes the screw on tray for the soft, velvety puff (which I do use from time to time, especially when my go-to puff needs washing but isn’t :p) and finally the lid which you also screw on to secure. I never have powder flying everywhere when I use this. There’s no shaking, I just dip the puff or my brush directly onto the mesh and that’s it. Just as well because this is one expensive splurge. I can’t remember how much it is and I think it’s better that way. It does, however, come with 30g of product. The Diorskin Nude Air one I just got for example has only half the weight (16g) and I suspect most loose powders are around the 10-15g mark.

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The CdP powder looks a very light pink but it is truly translucent. It has very subtle and tiny micro-shimmer that keeps the skin from looking too matte and flat, but are indiscernible once the powder settles. It sets makeup beautifully and photographs well (I wore this on my wedding day), but oil control is not its forte. Meaning it performs like any other regular powder when it comes to keeping my oilies at bay, no more no less.
Regarding oil controlling/blotting powders, I got a few around September/October last year and so far none of them has really impressed me. I’m waiting for summer to do the real test and will report back.

You can buy the CdP in refills without the container but in this instance I do recommend getting it. Note though even with this nice set-up this powder doesn’t do well on travels. I can speak from experience that the powder will move on top of the fine mesh and once you unscrew the tray it goes *poof* and they will fly everywhere.

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…)