Sunday, June 23, 2013

My current travel must-haves

I am currently in transit travelling from Brisbane to Ukraine. The trip is very ling and involves 2 stop overs. So I've decided to stay overnight in between flights.

I am currently in Malaysia. 

Anyways...this is what I am loving ATM

                                                    1. Chanel "Romantic" travel palette 

I love every single thing in this palette. It has everything I need for eyes, lips and cheeks. The colours are very flattering and semi-sheer. It has 4 eye shadows with subtle iridescent shimmer in light beige, warm light rose, taupe and reddish brown. The cheek Colour is warm bronze-pink and it has one light iridescent lip gloss and four lipsticks in pink nude, rose and brown nude. It is perfect for soft day time look.

2. Clarins "Tonic" body treatment oil

I tend to retain a lot of water when traveling, probably because Airplaine and Take-away food is packed with salt. Plus my feet get very swollen when I fly. This oil is supposed to get rid of excess water which is exactly what I need. Plus it feels very indulgent to massage myself with it, it smells gorgeous and makes my dehydrated skin glow.

3. Sportsgirl Tote

I picked it up just before I left for only $20. I have it as my "handbag" but it fits so much! I have all my carry-on liquids, wallet, passport, book, iPad and more in there...

4. Witchery flats

I picked them up for about $40 five years ago and they lasted me so well. They've been trough a lot and survived several overseas trips. They are just as comfortable as thongs except better looking :)

5. iPad in my Marc Jacobs case

I flew with AirAsia so they didn't have on-board entertainment (but they offered to hire a tablet). My iPad made my 7.5 hour flight a lot more bearable. 
I love this MJ case, the quality is great and it has fur-like lining for better protection. I picked it up on sale from Shopbop for around $30!

6. Peter Alexander make-up bag

I got it the other day for just $4 from PA outlet. It has several compartments, a space for brushes/pencils/mascaras and is super compact.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Clearing my stash - empties...May'13 - June '13

Yes, I've finished another 10 items!

1. Clarins Hand and Nail Treatment Creme (Full Size)

My overall impression - Easily absorbed and heavily scented (like a lot of other French cosmetics) hand cream. It sinks in well but it is on the lighter side in terms of moisturising properties.
Would I buy it again? - Probably not. It just wasn't moisturising enough to justify $$$ price tag.

2. Kiehl's Facial Fuel (Full Size)

My overall impression - This cream is designed for guys but I love it! It is oil-free but has creamy texture and at the same time feels refreshing. I love "manly" scent too.
Would I buy it again? - Yes! I loved using it during warmer months. It sunk in quickly and didn't break me out

3. Estee Lauder DayWear Plus Moustirser (2 x 5 ml TS)
My overall impression - I've re-discovered this moisturiser when I found couple of samples in my stash. I used to use it years ago but moved on to try other creams. I forgot how nice it actually was. It makes my skin feel great in winter and according to SA it only contain a tiny bit of oil. It suits my skin well in winter and doesn't break me out, however it might be bit too rich for summer.
Would I buy it again? - Yes, however I would pay inflated RRP for it.

4. NARS Orgasm and Laguna Duo
My overall impression - I loved this duo for a number of years. Laguna was nearly gone and Orgasm became a bit dried out, the packaging went really gross so it was time to bin it.
Would I buy it again? - No, I feel like there are better products out there. I think the days of pearly peachy cheeks and shimmery bronzer have passed.

5. Blistex Lip Conditioning Balm

My overall impression - Smooth clear lip balm with neutral scent and great moisturizing properties.
Would I buy it again? -Yes...and again...and again. I keep returning to this lip balm. It does a great job at moisturizing my lips, feels light, I don't get sick of the scent, it is very affordable and it doesn't discolour my lips, nor makes them unnaturally shiny. It also acts as a great lipstick base and keeps my lips moist for hours.

6. Softlips Rasberry Lip Balm
My overall impression - Very light clear lip balm with artificial raspberry scent.
Would I buy it again? - No, I didn't particularly like the scent plus it wasn't moisturising enough for my liking.

7. MAC Brow Pencil in Fling

My overall impression - Very fine retractable brow pencil in taupe blonde. Has good pigmentation and texture.
Would I buy it again? - No. Few years ago it was very hard to find a good brow pencil because it seemed like not many people were filling in their eye brows. MAC Fling really stood out due to its very flattering and natural shade. I got one from MAC, then got about 5 of them from US ebay seller. I am on my last one now (keep rotating between a few). It is a nice product but it runs out very quickly. Not sure if it is worth $30. These days brows are BIG so you can find something similar that will last you a lot longer. I think I also prefer brow pencils that can be sharpened so you can control the thickness.

8. Matrix Biolage Conditioning Balm
My overall impression - Something between hair conditioner and treatment. It does seem to make my bleached hair more moisturised without weighting it down. It has very neutral pleasant scent
Would I buy it again? - Yes, my hair seems to like it

9. Wella SP Hydrate Shampoo

My overall impression - Light, clear, almost unscented shampoo. It cleans my hair well without making it dry. This was my 2nd bottle.
Would I buy it again? - Yes, I prefer to alternate between few shampoos (toning, protein, clarifying and moisturising). I feel like it does what it supposed to do well.

10. Rimmel Wake Me Up Foundation

My overall impression - I don't usually go for low-end foundations but this one pleasantly surprised me. It had good packaging (glass pump bottle), good coverage (medium), good finish (radiant) and turned out to last well too. Plus it didn't break me out.
Would I buy it again?- Yes, it became my favourite day-to-day foundation. I think it works better for me in winter when my skin is a bit drier because my face can get very shiny towards the end of the day in summer when I am wearing this foundation.

Wednesday, June 05, 2013

Guerlain Terracotta Light Bronzer in 02 Blondes

I am addicted to Strawberrynet daily specials. About a months ago they had Guerlain Terracotta Light Bronzer on special for around $30! Guerlain makes beautiful products so I just couldn't resist.

This product received very good reviews on makeupalley and I really wanted a light bronzer. I currently have Benefit Hoola which is a bit too dark and too matte for my liking and NARS Laguna which is too shimmery, too dark and too orangey. Plus I've hit a major pan on both of them :)

 First of all the compact itself is gorgeous! So much nicer than any other Bronzer I've had.

...with flash
 ...without flash
 The colour combination is perfect! You get different shades of beige, a touch of shimmery bronze and a bit of pearly pink to add "freshness" to your bronzer. The shimmer is very subtle, it just adds an extra dimension to the finish.

It was very hard to swatch this product! I had to use flat brush and build it up...
 ...but it looks beautiful on my face (I am NC25).

You won't look like that after using it...
 ...or like that

Instead it will give your face just a touch of colour and I personally love it for contouring! I usually apply it under my cheekbones, on my temples and on the sides of my jaw to balance my round-ish face!

Sunday, June 02, 2013

Guerlain Parure Extreme Foundation Review

I am always on a lookout for a long-lasting foundation. I have combination skin and get occasional breakout. Unfortunately a lot of foundations don't last very long and tend to go blotchy or disappear after few hours.  Plus I wear face masks at work (I work in dental industry) so my foundation needs to be truly long-lasting. Unfortunately a lot of long lasting foundation have very flat finish and medium to full coverage. I loved the finish of the original Lancome Teint Idole but it doesn't last on my skin.

Few months ago I got Guerlain Parure Extreme. It is waterproof and non-transferable plus has SPF 25

The bottle it comes in is gorgeous....
Plus it has a pump which is a big bonus in my books.

Most long-lasting foundations smell like chemicals but this one smells like high-end powders or lipsticks. I can't really describe it but I like it. The scent doesn't last very long, it is gone once the product has set.

I am MAC NC25, Dior 020-023 so I got shade 02 Beige Clair. I prefer warm yellow-based foundation as I have slight pink undertones and it helps to neutralise them well. Plus I feel like pink-based foundations make my skin look more dull and grey.

The consistency is quite thin but the product it very pigmented. In the instruction booklet it says that this product contains "Crystal Pearls" which suppose to diffuse light and make skin more radiant...However I still think that the finish is more matte than radiant (maybe slightly better than other similar products)

 This foundation sets fairly quickly so you have to work with it fast. However this property is great if you need to layer it.

 ...and after

 I've only applied one this layer...
You will need to dilute this product with moisturiser or thin primer if you want light coverage.

I like it better than a lot of other long-lasting foundations I've tried like Estee Lauder Double Wear, Revlon Colourstay, Dior Forever (old and new versions) and they were either too flat, broke me out or both!

I am still looking for my HG foundation that has lasting properties yet more natural finish. I am approaching 30-s and feel like caked-on make-up makes me look older :)

Saturday, June 01, 2013

Project 10 Pan...March-May '13

Another 10 items were finished by me recently. My collection is looking much better than before however I had few slip ups when Priceline and Strawberrynet had sales :)

1. Sohum Gingersnap Roll-on Perfume
My overall impression - It smelled very nice and gourmand, however the scent didn't last very long. I liked layering it with other fragrances to give them a spicy note. It also disappeared fairly quickly (mine was a roll-on, not spray like pictured), I suspect it evaporated.
Would I buy it again? - Possibly not, unless the lasting power has been improved.

2. Clinique Superbalanced Powder

My overall impression - the concept looked quite good - you "shave" pressed powder so you get fresh product each time you use it. However it gave very boring and flat finish, although coverage was ok.
Would I buy it again? - No, you can get very similar Rimmel powder for about 1/3 of the price. I prefer either very translucent finishing powders or more opaque ones with radiant finish.

3. Redken Anti-snap Leave-in Treatment
 My overall impression - This product was recommended to me years ago when I went from almost black to blonde to prevent breakage. I had this bottle for ages however I kept forgetting to use it. I finally went back to it when I bleached my hair again. It is very lightweight and has mild scent, it is not going to make your hair super soft or glossy but as a protein-based product it is supposed to prevent breakage.
Would I buy it again? - Yes, my fine blonde hair seem to like it.

4. Revlon Grow Luscious Mascara
 My overall impression - Looks like very standard black mascara with classic wand. I actually quite like it for everyday wear, it didn't make my lashes super long or voluminous however it wasn't bad either. Not sure if it make my lashes longer or thicker :)
Would I buy it again? - Possibly, if I am after a classic mascara.

5. Estee Lauder Double Wear Concealer
 My overall impression - Opaque creamy concealer that has slight grey undertones and flat finish. Lasts for ages and it is easy to work with.
Would I buy it again? - Possibly. I just wish it was less flat and came in a wider range of colour (I dislike slight grey tinge, ok for face but doesn't brighten eyes).

6. Revlon Brow Pencil in Blonde
My overall impression - Good shade and great design (doesn't need sharpening and has a brush). However the actual pencil is very waxy and it glues eyebrow hair together. It is very hard to apply it in fine strokes too.
Would I buy it again? - No, even though a design is one of the best I've seen the actuall product is not that great :(

7. Evodia Vanilla Addict Lip Gloss

 My overall impression - Clear gloss that has balmy and non-sticky finish and gorgeous vanilla scent. Plus it doesn't have any "nasty chemicals". Gives your lips very nice natural sheen
Would I buy it again? - Yes, is I can find it :)

8. Elizabeth Arden Intervene 3-in-1 Face Wash
My overall impression - It didn't foam up much however it cleansed my skin well. I didn't get any breakout from it either which is a big bonus. It had very gentle exfoliating particles. I wouldn't use it for make-up removal but it is perfect for AM cleansing.
Would I buy it again? - Yes, I liked it.

9. Chanel Hydramax + Active Gel Creme

My overall impression - Beautifully scented light gel-creme that absorbs easily. My skin seem to like it, I didn't get breakouts from it. A little goes a long way too.
Would I buy it again? - Yes, but only if it on special (I got mine from Strawberrynew and I think I paid under $50). However I wouldn't pay RRP of over $100 because you can find similar products for about 1/2 that price!

10. Prestige Skin Lowing Minerals Powder Foundation

My overall impression - Yes, I finished another one :) I think it was my 3rd or 4th so obviously I like this product. It has very good coverage so I like using it over light foundation plus it doesn't have flat finish. Slight iridescent particles make my skin glow without being glittery!
Would I buy it again? - Yes, I already got two recently when Priceline had their 40% off sale (they retail for $29.95). I have it in fair and light shade so I can alternate between two shades depending on my tan levels and even mix them together.