Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Benefit's 10 - Good Introductor to Bronzers & Highlighters

I have been sitting on this review for more than 2 months now but I think I can bear it no longer.

I finally gave in and got myself one of Benfit's famed boxed powders. So well recognised are their powders that I remember walking through Selfridges' stark white beauty hall in London a good 6 years ago now, debating whether to get their lovely boxed Georgia powder.

But then, I had no idea about makeup. You see, I am a late bloomer to makeup. But I suppose that is a good thing - I can make up for all my teenage and 20-something years of sans makeup now! :):)

Anyways, back to Benefit's 10. It is a bronzer and highlighter in one. And I think it is a brilliant introduction to how to use a bronzer to contour your face and give you those faked high cheekbones.

I scoured You Tube and found this brilliant short video on how to use it. The most startling thing is how you can actually see the powder contour her face!

VERDICT: 8/10 I think this is a simple, no-fuss powder that performs brilliantly as a bronzer and highlighter in 1. Once you've mastered the art of contouring with a bronzer, you can ditch the brush that it comes with and use your own blusher brush. But for a no brainer, quick application, I still use the brush it came with for a quick sweep of colour.

Just so that you know, it is slighly on the shimmery side but even on my oily skin (so oily, even BP would have trouble cleaning up my oil slick!), the powder looks really nice and I love how it gives an overall pop of dimension to an otherwise "flat", 1-D face post-foundation application.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Mecca Cosmetica Freebies!

My lovely local You Tube Beauty Guru made a video telling all Australian ladies out there about Vogue's current collaboration with Mecca Cosmetica and I thought I'd pass on the love to my lovely readers too!!

Hurry now and go to your local newsagency (I just walked into the recently opened Big W in South Yarra - so exciting! :), and grab a copy of this month's Vogue.

For $8.50 (Btw, I don't read Australian Vogue as I find it a bit lacking in substance. My favourite beauty magazine if I had to name one would be Harpers Bazaar but I don't normally purchase any beauty magazines because well, I have You Tube!!! :):), all you have to do is to fill out a card and trot straight to your local Mecca Cosmetica to exchange for A$90 worth of beauty items!

I did call ahead to check the Toorak branch had stock first and I recommend you doing the same.

Yay for freebies!

It all came rather nicely packaged I must say. The items in the giveaway are meant to be Mecca Cosmetica's Beauty Icons:

1) NARS Multiple stick
2) Mecca Cosmetica SPF 30+
3) Dr Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Daily Face Peel
4) Bunble and Bumble Thickening Hair Spray
5) NUDE Age Defense Intense Moisturizer

The sole reason why I got the magazine was to try out NARS Multiple. The one in the freebie is South Beach.

The Multiple sticks are meant to be multi-purpose sticks for eyes, cheeks, lips, body. It's a cream to powder formula and I thought not only was the tiny packaging adorable but it would be fun to try out. I can see myself using it more as a blush.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Bourjois Makeup

I must admit now that my maquillage collection is painfully anaemic when it comes to drugstore brands.

The only thing I swear by from drugstores are Loreal mascaras (I've recently added Rimmel to that list - their Glam Eyes mascara is amazing!).

I am sure some drugstore maquillage perform just as well if not better than their more expensive beauty hall counterparts. In fact, the only reason why we are paying close to A$80 for a NARS eyeshadow duo (reviews coming up soon, I promise) is because these companies spend so much on marketing.

But I was taking a short cut through a Priceline pharmacy last year and normally, I do not pay attention to any of the makeup counters there but the little pots below caught my eye.

They were from the Bourjois Paris Rendez-vous a Paris Limited Edition. What Bourjois tends to do is to revamp their permanent line with cute but limited packaging. And guess what, this gal got sucked in big time! I simply could not pass up such Parisien icons.

If you didn't already know but Bourjois is a French makeup company that was founded in the 1860s in Paris by a French perfumier, Alexander Bourjois. He came up with the original concept of the Little Round Pots that Bourjois is famous for.

The other thing that you may not know is that Chanel apparently is their sister company!! Just like Estee Lauder owns MAC, the rumour is that Bourjois's makeup is made in the same factory as Chanel. Either way, the Made In France stamp is clearly printed in capital letters on the bottom of my Little Round Pots.

I haven't tried all of Bourjois's makeup line but for a drugstore brand, I have to say, they are pretty alright.

Check out Bourjois's official website as they have some cute makeup tutorials. Additionally, you can also check out their latest Pretty Paris Spring 2010 Limited Edition collection (on their France website) which I don't think Australia will get because well, we are in the middle of Winter!

Also, Myer Chadstone in Melbourne and Pitt St in Sydney have started stocking Bourjois.

And finally, if you are interested in making your first makeup drugstore purchase, Priceline is having a 50% sale of Bourjois makeup from the 27th of May 2010 till 7th of June 2010!!!!! Don't say I don't luv chu ladies!!! :):)

These came from the Limited Edition but the colours are from their current permanent collection. Wouldn't you get sucked in too what with places like Rue Honore, the Eiffel and Arc de Triomphe on your makeup boxes??

The 2 at the back are eyeshadows (Beige Rose on your left, and Blanc Diaphane on your right). The shimmery pot in front is a blush (Rose D'or) which I really love for it's gorgeous rose smell. You can smell it when you put it on and it makes you feel so girly which I love!

A word of caution, their blushes are baked so I've read on the Internet that some ladies have complained that they can acquire a hard surface. Thus explaining the dent on my Beige Rose eyeshadow. I thought I had already reached pan on it (I used it everyday as my all over lid colour for work) as I was not getting a lot of product after using it almost daily for 4 months. So I dug into it with my tweezers to make sure there was still product left.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

NARS Makeup - From Malaysia With Love

I must admit now that I am a newbie to the makeup line NARS.

This is mainly because there is no NARS on the island that is my shopping paradise Singapore. As far as I know, even the newly opened Sephora at ION (the largest Sephora in Asia and the second in size to the biggest one in the world located in France’s Champs-Élysées) does not carry it.

But thanks to the makeup community on You Tube, curiosity got the better of me. Of course I had heard of their cult blushes that go by names that will make your own mother go crimson in the face when requesting for it at their counters ("May I get an Orgasm please? And oh, a Deep Throat on the side as well??") but perhaps that was what Francois Nars wanted.

So apparently as the NARS story goes, it twas a Frenchman that started out with a mere 12 lippies in Barneys that is now the name behind cult lipsticks like Dolce Vita and Turkish Delight. Ooh-la-la I hear you exclaim. Oui, I didn't know that either.

But I have been secretly reviewing my recent NARS purchases from Mecca Cosmetica (in Australia, you can only get NARS from this beauty emporium) for the past month and ladies, I have only but tres bien things to say about it.

I will get the post up soon, complete with pictures of my Orgasmified cheeks but Francois Nars has made me not only fall in love with his makeup, but him as well (typical Frechman!). But which other makeup line will name their latest Spring 2010 blush and multiple sticks after my own homeland?

Only NARS.

Malaysia is part of the NARS Multiple Bronzer line (they have 4 shades). Together along with their Multiple line, these operate as a multi-functional colour stick for face, eyes and lips.

I have only heard good things about NARS Duo Eyeshadows and their fabulous colour payoff that you get. This is the Kuala Lumpur duo which is part of their Spring 2010 look that Amber Valleta sports. I just love the way NARS describes the eyeshadow:
" A perfectly harmonized gold infused rose and boysenberry pairing is influenced by contrasts - traditional yet modern, like it's namesake "

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Lights! Camera! Smashbox is in town!

Once again, I was taking the short cut through Myer last Friday night and the scene below immediately caught my eye.

Smashbox has come to town!

If you don't know already, Smashbox is a line of makeup from the 2 great grandsons of Max Factor, Dean and Davis Factor. Originally starting out as a photo studio, they eventually branched out into their own line of makeup catering specially for photoshoots.

Now I must admit, I do not own a single Max Factor product. Hang on, I do. A free Max Factor mascara I see lurking at the back of my makeup drawer from last year which I've yet to crank open!!!

I do not have enough experience with Smashbox products to give a verdict/review and the make up community of You Tube world hasn't really gone viral over it either.

But I do know that it does make the cult product Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer. There have been mixed reviews on it with some ladies claiming it to be absolutely amazing with others saying it broke them out. I managed to get some tested on my hand. It had an odd oily feeling to start of with but then suddenly it transformed into this amazing smooth texture, perfect for filling in those awful pores and smoothing out fine facial lines. To be honest, I was a bit surprised by it and will ask for a sample (I am in the midst of testing out a ka-zillion makeup primers for you ladies out there!!!). Here is a good introduction video from the Smasbox official website on their SEVEN makeup primers.

I think I will let the hype settle down and then perhaps meander back to Kit Cosmetics (who brought Smashbox to town) for a more detailed play around.

Any other ladies have thoughts about Smashbox products? Would love to hear them!

Smashbox at Myer, Bourke St Mall

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Review : Bobbi Brown Foundation Brush

So ladies...application of liquid foundation. Fingers or brush?

I am a firm believer of fingers. It's free. You can clean them instantaneously by washing your hands prior. And the product goes on smoother as you can warm it via finger tips.

Before I go on, I must say now that I am a fan of very sheer coverage. I really do not like the cakey look and neither do I like the feeling of makeup on my face. I apply liquid foundation very sparingly and only on places that I think I need it e.g. under my eyes and around areas of redness like my nose and mouth. A bit like you would with tinted moisturizers i.e. with an extremely light hand.

But I had dagerously meandered to the Bobbi Brown counter one day and the MUA (make up artist) there did an entire make over for me using both the brush and the Bobbi Brown's latest oil-free Natural Finish Long Lasting Foundation. I walked away with a flawless look that even BabySis commented appeared smoother and brighter. I must say however that she did perform the works i.e. moisturizer, primer, eye cream, foundation, concealer, powder.

I did a quick online review of the brush and after reading Makeup Alley's reviews (rated 4.8/5), I was sold.

Here is my own simple test to answer that question : Fingers or brush?

I applied liquid foundation to half of my face using fingers and the other half, with Bobbi Brown's foundation brush. I only allowed myself 2 pumps per side from the bottle.

VERDICT: To be honest, I didn't see any difference myself. In fact, I tended to use less liquid foundation when I applied it using my fingers as the brush absorbed most of the product. But looking at the pictures below, I noticed something very subtle : my freckles on the side of my face where I had used the brush appeared less pigmented. Hmmm....

So, to brush or not to brush? I think as I am very light-handed with my own coverage, fingers suffice for me. But if you are someone who would prefer heavier coverage, I think a brush is useful in building up the foundation.

Bobbi Brown Foundation Brush
USD $35

Bobbi Brown's Foundation Brush is made out of synthetic fibres as like most other foundation brushes. It has a flat head with a tapered end which is very useful for getting into the corners and under the eyes. The brush itself feels very silky soft and smooth. The handle is extremely lightweight and it has a black metal ferrule. Cleaning it was a breeze.

Sorry for the scary picture! But this was taken early in the morning prior to an appointment. All I have on my face is Bobbi Brown's Natural Finish Long Lasting Foundation (review coming up soon!). The side of my face to your right, I used the brush. The side of my face to your left, fingers. Not much difference at all!!!

Aaah, much better! :)

Liquid Foundation: Bobbi Brown - Natural Finish Long Lasting Foundation
Face Powder: Chanel - Mat Purete (their whitening range)
Eyeshadow: MAC -All That Glitters
Eyeliner: MAC Powerpoint -Buried Treasure
Blush: NARS -Orgasm
Bronzer: Benefit - 10
Eyebrows: Shu Uemura - Seal Brown (mechanical pencil version)
Liploss: NARS - Chihuahua

Friday, April 30, 2010

My Singapore Eyebrow Guru

This post is for all those lovely ladies out there who have asked me about my Eyebrow Guru back in Singapore.

I've been going to her yearly since 1997. I followed her from the Annu Sui counter at Wisma Atria to Raffles City Underpass and now to Dhoby Gaut.

She may be a tad bit pricier than the millions of eyebrow grooming services on that tiny isle but I trust her with my brows. At one point, she was so busy just grooming brows that she had an assistant!

Her name is Anita and she can be found by following these directions:

Exit Dhoby Gaut MRT station
Take the first escalator to your right
Take the first right after the escalator (there is a Mr Bean at that corner where I often get a soyabean drink first!) and you will see a small arcade of shops.
Walk down the arcade until you see a hair salon on your left called Hair Folio.

She does everything from eyebrow shaping to enhancement to tinting to waxing to eyelash extension to perming to tinting to tattooing - whew!

Hair Folio
11 Orchard Road #B1-11
Dhoby Gaut Exchange
Singapore 238826
+65 6333 4323