foundation

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 Clé de Peau (truly sublime! but price!) and another from Kosé 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 Clé 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…)

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Diorskin Nude Air Serum Foundation

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Ok so I caved and bought this foundation. I reasoned that it’s different enough from the Kevyn Aucoin SSE to justify a purchase.

So I unexpectedly found this in shade 021 (Linen) at Le Bon Marché. I halfheartedly asked if they had it and the guy who helped me said that he heard the shade is international only, so no they don’t. Proceeded to check anyway (rare thing in Paris), pulled out one of the drawers and lo and behold there it was the tester (which they can’t display apparently) hidden alongside the only bottle in 021. We didn’t try the foundation together but he commented that 020 is probably better for me, brighter and less yellow. I swatched anyway and decided to go with 021 – 020 had just a little too much pink for my liking when I compared the two side by side. I had a feeling that 021 would look more natural on me. Honestly though I think I could pull off both shades if I had to.
The only sad thing about this is I paid full price (53 euros) for it instead of 36.37 at Sephora (48.50 euros + 25% off Valentine’s Day promo). Damn you Sephora for not having my shade in stock *shakes fist* And yes, I contemplated getting 020 for the attractive price but resisted. I made it up by getting the powder though (future post alert).

I haven’t had this foundation long enough to truly comment on the wear so this is more a first impression. I’ll come back and update this when I have better information on that. I intend to test it out at work (yes, in the kitchen)!

First impressions
So I tested this on clean, moisturized skin. No primer. On both occasions I stayed at home most of the day, went out/did some groceries but otherwise didn’t do much. Weather was quite chilly. (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…)

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…)

Holiday Mega Haul

There’s a good reason for the lack of updates – I travelled to Hong Kong without my computer, and to compensate the freed up time spent a bit too much time (and money) at the makeup counters.
Here is the haul, in all its glory:

1. SOFINA Primavista Liquid Foundation UV
2. SOFINA Primavista Multi Cover Base UV
3. SOFINA Primavista Powder Foundation UV
4. Giorgio Armani Waterproof Smooth Silk Eye Pencil in black and brown
5. Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill Waterproof Mascara in black
6. Astalift Essence
7. Astalift Jelly Aquarysta
8. Astalift Eye Cream
9. Muji eye pencil sharpener
10. EOS lipbalm in lemondrop
11. YSL Pure Chromatics in #8
12. KOJI Dollywink Volume mascara in black
13. SANA Gel Pencilliner EX in black
14. Prada Infusion de fleur d’oranger eau de parfum
15. Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill Silk Eyeshadow in #20 & #24
16. Diorshow New Look Mascara in black
17. Chanel Joues Contraste in #69 Fleur de Lotus
18. Jo Malone Sweet Lime and Cedar Cologne
19. Maybelline Clear & Smooth pressed powder
20. Kanebo Media pressed powder
21. YSL Glossy Stain in #2
22. lunasol powder brush
23. RMK blush brush

Ok. So. They are purchases accumulated over a reasonable period of time. I’ve left out stuff like hand creams, random drugstore lip balms, skincare and sheet masks, but the reviews will be here when I get round to finish the products. I think I’ve exercised quite good restraint with this lot.
I’ve found prices in Hong Kong to be cheaper in general than in Paris. With the exception of the YSL quad – which I could’ve got cheaper here and is therefore my only real regret, everything else is either not available in France or more expensive. Buying Armani was a real pleasure in Hong Kong. The EtK shadows for example are HKD260, on sephora.fr, it is 37.50 euros… so 10 euros of difference.

I haven’t tried every single one of the products. There are a couple that I’m already using (and love) and I will do a write-up on those as soon as I can. I will start with either Armani or Chanel.

These aren’t all the items I brought back with me though – I will do a little surprise post somewhere down the road 😉

Skincare Haul

Everything from Citypharma except the Nivea sunscreen and Bourjois foundation

Everyone knows about the Citypharma, the para-pharmacy that’s said to be the cheapest in Paris, sometimes up to 20% of a markdown. It’s in all the travel guides (I imagine) and all over the internet. I happened to just walk into it years ago without knowing its fame, as I used to live in the area and I would always walk past it while on my way to Pierre Hermé, and be intrigued by the non-stop number of people going in and out.

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Wedding Makeup

I got married earlier in the year, and after some deliberation I decided to do my own makeup. Why? Well …
1. My wedding was small and pretty casual (I chose not to wear a wedding dress)
2. I wanted to look natural and like myself (an enhanced, polished version of course!)
3. Budget and timing – yup, finally realised how much people are charging for bridal makeup.

I figured this would be a great excuse to splurge on products that I can keep afterwards too. The only things I bought for the day were foundation, mascara and lip gloss. Here’s the list of products used: (more…)