Urban Decay

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.

pumpfury
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.

June Empties

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Bifesta Cleansing Express Eye Makeup Remover (145ml) – [can’t find the fabrication country]
Here’s a link to the official website in English. It contains moisturizing ingredients and vitamins. I’ve used this before. It’s a double-layer remover that you shake before use. Very efficient at removing all types of eye makeup.
Repurchase? I use oil makeup removers now (and double cleanse) so a separate remover is a little redundant in my regime. But I definitely recommend this remover.

Biologique Recherche Lotion P50 (150ml) – Made in France
You can read about my thoughts on the BR lotions here. This lasted me 3 months with twice daily use, so the same as P50V. I still have a backup bottle of this but I’m going to take a break from acids because of my IOPE bio essence – I feel I should use that as my first step after cleansing and thus it’s not ‘compatible’ with an acid toner. I don’t feel ‘right’ applying P50 after the essence. Anyway! This will be a chance to see what P50/Bio essence does.
Repurchase? TBD (more…)

May Empties

I’ve got 10 empties in May 🙂

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Estee Lauder Perfectly Clean Multi Action Cream Cleanser (150ml) – Made in Belgium (? I forgot to check)
I originally prepared a separate post to review the Estee Lauder cleanser but I guess I’ll do this here now. First, it smells like fabric softener, like those ‘clean laundry’ or ‘soft cotton’ smell. So sensitive noses beware.
This is a very gentle cleanser, not designed to do any heavy duty cleaning. My eyeliners are hard wearing and it didn’t even budge. Same with my mascara, it kind of just smeared around. I mention this because it blurbed about removing makeup on the back of the tube.
I’m using this mainly in the mornings, as you’re supposed to use it on dry skin and I tend to wash my face in the shower in the evenings. On that front it is gentle and non-stripping and my skin feels supple afterwards and never feels tight, even if I wait a bit before putting the rest of the skincare on. That’s something.
You can also use this as a moisturizing mask, I admit I’ve only done this once or twice and well, it was alright. I see it like this: when used as a cleanser it kind of leaves a film behind and won’t give you that squeaky clean feeling; so if you were to leave it on longer as a mask the clingy film layer that you feel will still be there, but perhaps will be interpreted as a moisturizing, protective layer instead… if you know what I mean…?
I suggest using a face cloth or konjac sponge ff you’re after a less clingy feeling.

All in all I think this is a nice option for those wanting to try cream cleansers or those with very dry skin. It’s not stripping at all.
Repurchase? Unfortunately it’s not really for me.

Kanebo Sekkisei Lotion Excellent (200ml) – Made in Japan
I wrote about this here, check that post if you want to find out what the difference is in terms of ingredients between the Lotion Excellent and the regular Sekkisei. Compared to the regular version, I do feel this one is slightly less watery, and the alcohol is less present and thus more moisturizing. In terms of whitening I’m afraid I can’t gauge if it’s more efficient. All I can say is since using the Sekkisei lotions, my skin tone lost a lot of the dark, sallowness that made me look tired and sort of wilted 😛 Now it’s definitely more uniform. There are still some areas that are ‘darker’ and I still have red scars I want to fade from recent breakouts but other than that I do feel in general it has improved. Sekkisei also claims to curb spots and stuff but my breakouts are hormonal (I know I’m a broken record on this) and those benefits are lost on me.
Repurchase? Personally the regular version is enough for me so I won’t be getting the Lotion Excellent. You could potentially start on this version and then go to the regular for ‘upkeep’. (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…)

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…)

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.

aquis

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…)