Get Ready with Me: The MUFE #readytomouthoff challenge

Get Ready with Me: The MUFE #readytomouthoff challenge

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Hi hi!

so sometime back, when the MUFE team asked if I am interested in doing a makeup challenge, I found myself quite game for it – and it took me almost 2 weeks to get down to doing something.

I certainly didn’t expect a whole kit filled with the gear – tools and products which I can use to create a bold lip look.  I am guessing others who are doing the challenge might get other sort of challenge, for example, a cut crease eyelook, etc. I guess doing a bold lip isn’t too stressful for me, right?

The kit is impressively packed – and certainly helped create the sense of a ‘challenge’ – but the purpose of this entry isn’t really about the kit… but rather, WHAT I did with the products given to me.

We have a couple of their Artist Rouge Lipsticks (a creamy white, and a creamy deep berry shade), fix mist, concealer, lip pencils, glitter pigments… so with all that in mind, I started some casual mental brainstorming, of what I can do with the products.  I know I probably won’t be able to do those really cool graphic artistic lip looks that I have seen those makeup artists do… but I will try to move out of my comfort zone, and use some of the products in different ways to create something unexpected.  Besides, if my lip look is too ‘out there’, what am I going to do with the rest of my face?

I believe the #gopromakeupchallenge is a campaign which they are currently running (can check out their social media channels) so if you are keen to take part in your own way, you certainly should!  – The MUFE SINGAPORE FACEBOOK page is linked here. 

 

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I did two looks:

One – a rather futuristic glittery grey liplook over a white base.  To be honest, the white lipstick was quite tricky to work out.  It applied rather unevenly and streaky no matter how I tried to blend and build up the colour. So I decided to use the metallic grey pigment and applied it over the white base instead.  I left the middle of my lips quite bare, to create that silvery grey white gradient effect.  Then I pat on some of the silver glitter bits in the centre of my lips.

I kept the rest of the face quite simple and clean so that it’s not competing with the liplook.  I think this is not that outlandish, but it is certainly not the most flattering shade on me (or anyone for that matter) – it seemed to drain my face of colour – which is why I piled on the warm shades in terms of my face colour.

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I decided to make use of the other lipstick included in the kit.

A deep wine berry shade, I decided to smudge it out at the edges, to make it look like I am just ‘drank some blood’ or like my lips are ‘bleeding’ – because the rest of the face is quite clean, I find that this look is definitely wearable.

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So which bold liplook do you prefer?  I have listed everything else used below, in case you are wondering.

All products used: (ALL MUFE unless stated otherwise)

face – Ultra HD Invisible Cover Stick Foundation (shade Y225)

contour/ highlight/ blush – contour with Pro>Bronze Fusion in 10M, bronze & highlight with Pro>Sculpting Duo 02, blush Becca Luminous Blush in Tigerlily

eyeliner – Graphic Liner in Black, outline with white liquid eyeliner from Too Faced Sketch Marker in Pure White

set with IT Cosmetics BYE BYE pores pressed powder

Lips (Look 1 – grey glittery over white base)

line lips with Aqua XL Pencil in M16, fill in with Artist Rouge Creme C600, paint over with Star Lit Powder in 27, and dust the centre with Glitter Powder in 15

Lips (Look 2 – grungy messy berry lips)

smudge the edges and blend out, using Artist Rouge Creme C407

eyes – lightly colour the crease using the contour shade in the Sculpting Kit (shade 2)

 

 

That’s all for now, and thanks for reading!

Oct/Nov 2016: New Beauty Products [MUFE, Urban Decay, Clinique…]

Oct/Nov 2016: New Beauty Products [MUFE, Urban Decay, Clinique…]

Hi hi!!  Get ready for a long rambly post ahead!  I will be loosely dividing this post into a few ‘chapters’ – each with a cluster of products which I am currently playing with, and share with you my thoughts on them.  There are so many new products lately, holiday collections, fall collections, is it that time of the year already??

Anyway, let’s start with new products from Urban Decay – palettes! Here, we have the Naked Illuminating Trio, I think this retails for about SG$60 and it contains 3 shades of sparkly highlighters and a dual ended brush.

I find the packaging excessive in this trio.. they could have done with the packaging of their Flush palettes – more compact, and prolly more product too.  The powder is dome shaped (are they baked powders?) and all three swatched almost the same on my skintone.. and the colours or the sheeen did not show up very well in swatches.  There are visible sparkly bits, especially in the middle shade, oasis.  I didn’t have high hopes when I applied it onto my cheeks later on.  But they perform better when applied onto the actual skin on my face, as you can see in the close up shots of my cheeks.  I used a Morphe fluffy blending brush to apply the product instead of the brush that is included (which seems too synthetic to pick up this type of powder but maybe quite good for contouring/ sculpting instead).

As far as highlighters are concerned, these are not the best in terms of quality… the price point is okay.. but I think I would rather pay about the same for a good single highlighter from Becca or Hourglass. Or if you want to stay in the Urban Decay family, stick with their existing Afterglow Highlighters (only SG$39 each) – Sin is a dupe for Becca’s Moonstone/ Mary Louminizer.

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Next chapter – I shall discuss the Urban Decay Ultimate Basics eyeshadow palette.  It is amazing how they keep coming up with new releases of crowd favourites.  I must say I prefer the Basics 1 rather than Basics 2 palette which seems a tad too cool toned for my liking.  But the Basic palettes contain really good smooth matte eyeshadows which I enjoyed, and I even used them for my eyebrows for a long time (I think I have an old blog entry on using the BASIC palette for my brows).   This palette retails for SG$83 and contains 12 mostly matte eyeshadows (actually only ONE shade has a pearl sheen to it – called Blow, the rest are all smooth & matte).  Mimimal fallout, easy to apply, easy to blend.  This is an outstanding matte eyeshadow palette.  I personally can do with only the lower row of shades, the top row seem all too cool and too similar.  My personal fave shade is BITTERSWEET, that orangey brown just jumps out at me in the whole palette, so I had to use it all over my eyes in this LOTD shown.  I also did another look with only the top row colours, ending up with a very lightly defined look.

Packaging for this palette is also on point, I really like the solid feel of the palette and the huge mirror inside is a bonus.

Bottomline – I highly recommend this Urban Decay palette.  If you have to get something from their new collections.. this is it.

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All products used in this warm smokey look:

face – By Terry Colorless Hydra-Filler, NARS All Day Weightless Radiance Foundation (Light 4), set with NARS Translucent Loose Powder

concealer – NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer

brows – ABH Brow Promade Dark Brown, filled in any gap with Shu Uemura brow powder duo (seal brown)

lashes – Huda Beauty Gisele #13

no eyeliner

eyeshadows as used and stated in the pic above

bronzer/ contour – NARS Olympia

blush – TARTE sensual blush

highlight – Urban Decay Illuminating Trio

lipstick – Urban Decay Vice Lipstick in 714 (mega matte finish)

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All products used in this everyday ‘no makeup’ look:

face – MUFE Ultra HD Liquid foundation, set with NARS Translucent Loose powder

concealer – NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer

brows – MUFE Brow palette (used the waxy base, followed by ABH brow promade in Dark Brown), filled in any gap with MUFE brow palette

lashes – NARS falsies from the Sarah Moon collection #09

lipstick – Urban Decay VICE Lipstick in Naked

eyeshadow – as stated in the picture below

no eyeliner

contour / bronzer – Cle de Peau bronzing powder duo 01, Kevyn Aucoin sculpting powder in Medium

blush – NARS Ukriane (LE)

highlighter – Urban Decay Illuminating Trio

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One last Urban Decay offering I have here to share – the VICE palette – this retails for SGD$68 and contains 12 shades of Vice Lipsticks. I have never been a fan of lipstick palettes – I find the texture to be nothing like the original lipsticks in a tube.. For $68 you can buy almost 3 full sized VICE lipsticks, and you can pick the exact shades that you would actually wear.  This palette contains a lot of fun colours, but who is going to wear the purple or green lipstick, even if they are going to be your lipstick topper…chances are those would not be used  much at all.

One thing tho, I like the packaging, the extra cover is really neat and keeps everything sanitary.  I would like to see a more colour themed VICE lipstick palette though.. for example, and all NAKED lippie palette, all RED palette.. instead of this varied offering.

I won’t be swatching this palette… it is a bit pointless as you can google for the swatches of the individual shades online.. I might give this palette away to someone who would love it more than me.

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Next, let’s move to another brand, Clinique has released new additions to their POP LIP collection, with the POP LIQUID MATTE, and POP MATTE.  I think these retail for under SGD$30, or early $30+.

The Pop Liquid Matte lipsticks have a rather large doe-foot applicator which I find a bit hard to get into the corners of my lips.  I am curious to see how the more  natural MLBB shades work in this collection, as the samples I received are both quite bold. The formula is quite creamy and comfortable to wear.  They take a while to set before looking matte, and I personally prefer 02 Flame Pop as a true red.  These don’t feel dry like most other Liquid Matte lippies, but they don’t have the smooth velvety feel of the Chanel Rouge Ink or NARS Velvet lip glides- the creamy matte formula is something quite nice, especially if you tend to have dry lips.

The Pop Matte lipsticks are more matte than the liquid ones… no dry down, they appear matte immediately.  I like how the colours in the tube have a true colour payoff when applied on the lips.  They are creamy and matte, again the formula is very nice, and easy to use.  05 Graffiti Pop is my top pick from these three, it has a very pretty raspberry red, flattering on most skintones.  Bonus – the frosted bottle design is a winner.

Bottomline – if you like the Clinique Pop Lipsticks, you will like these too.  I enjoyed the original Pop lipsticks when they launch, the formula is creamy and non-drying and the colours are all quite wearable.  Again, I am curious to check out the MLBB shades in person.

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Next, we have some new products from MUFE – I have several other products from MUFE, but I might feature them sometime later. Here we have the Artist Rouge lipsticks, in several finished, and a myriad of colours.  I was sent a selection of colours, one of which is a wicked blue shade that I showed on my Instagram a while ago, but I have since gifted it away to someone who would rock it way better than I would ever do.

These retail for SGD$35 each, quite reasonable!  The packaging is industrial chic, very weighted cap, and the lipstick bullet has a very sharp tip.. give you lots of precision when it comes to application.

I find these lipsticks to have a true colour payoff – what you see is what you get.  There is no hint of white in the bright shades I have to share here, and the formula is quite comfortable and glides onto my lips effortlessly.  I personally prefer the matte shades compared to the creme ones which I find a tad slippery, and streaky.

Bottomline – every brand is coming up with new lipsticks (and I haven’t even start on the MAC liptensity ones!) and I think it is easy to get lost in everything.  For me, the reds in this range stand out, and my personal pick is the hot pink M202 – it looks almost neon without that white base, and still manages to look really opaque.  I am impressed.  It is what I think NARS Schiapp should be like, M401 is gorgeous and really classy. C304 is a true orange, and way better than MAC Morange – again, too white too stark.  C304 is a super in your face true bright orange, almost blindingly bright.

I could probably wear the black a bit better, such as blotting and re applying, but it does take some work.  It is a true black without any blue or green tinge.  Great for Halloween eh?

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Lastly, we have the MUFE pro sculpting brow palette – this is in shade 1, which is a tad light on me, so I only use it to fill in gaps in my brows after using my usual brow promade.  I go through phases with my brow routine, and for the past couple of years, I usually only reach for the gels/ creams, and using a powder to fill in any gaps etc…I like the waxy base in this palette though.  I just rub my spoolie brush into the wax, and brush it through my brow hairs before I use my brow gel/ cream/ powder.  The wax sort of pressed my brow hairs down, and provides a base for the gel/ cream/ powder to hold on to.  I am enjoying this little step… and it makes my brows look quite 3D ish (refer to the ‘natural LOTD’ in this entry for a close up of my brows).

This retails for SGD$76 (pricey!!) and comes in 2 shades (01 and 02).  I think the darker one might suit me better though.  If they sell the waxy thing alone, I would totally just buy that only!  It is a fab base before I fill in my brows.

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Almost at 2000 words already!! I hope you are still reading!!  Do people still even read blogs these days?  The stats on my blog seem ‘healthy’ on a daily basis, but everyone seems to be all about snapchatting, posting stories, posting pretty flatlays.. do people actually care about reading long entries like this?  Even I am guilty and get caught up in this vicious cycle, new products arrived at my desk, post the obligatory IG pic, put everything away, unopened, unused…(opps!!! yes, I am guilty!).   Event launches are organised around the whole Instagram aesthetics these days too, with lots of props and trinklets for participants to artfully arrange them.  I stopped attending such events.  But that’s another story altogether, and I guess you already know my views.  Some people don’t like what I have to say on this, to each her/their own.

I guess there is still a point for my blog… if not where else can I ramble about stuff that I have actually opened and used?  Even if they aren’t that new anymore, I would like to think someone out there might find it interesting to read and maybe try out something new.  I personally find it therapeutic to write and blog, and have been for years and years…so even if the whole ‘influencer’ thing is dead for me, if people stop inviting me to events or stop sending me new stuff, I would still have my own content my own stories my own experience to share.  That’s how it has always been for me, even before ‘influencer’ or ‘blogger’ became a thing.

Not sure if I would be able to post more before the end of Nov.. the month is shaping up to be pretty nightmarish and hectic so far.. and I am leaving early Dec for my year end holiday.  Sometimes I am mentally composing rambly topics in my mind… I am tempted to post another skincare round-up, and also posting current faves entry/ stuff that I am using up lately…my current makeup routine is very simple.. I just have a long-lasting base, brows on… blush, and hardly any lippie.  Very boring.. but sometimes I still like to slap on a full face of makeup.

Anyway, I hope this entry has been helpful as always, and do let me know if you have any questions.. or suggestions for new posts in the comments below!

Thank you so much for reading.

Review: NARS x Sarah Moon Holiday Collection – swatches, top picks!

Review: NARS  x Sarah Moon Holiday Collection – swatches, top picks!

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Hi hi

As mentioned in my previous entry (link here) this will be a more up close and personal look at the latest Sarah Moon for NARS Holiday Collection 2016.  There are plenty of gifting sets within this huge collection, but I will only be focusing on the range which I am most excited about – the colour collection – think new blushes, new eyeshadows, and most of all, falsies! (not featured here, but you can be sure I will be getting both designs when they launched).

Also, I don’t normally make such disclaimers, but I have loaned all products from the NARS team for my trial/ swatches/ photo-taking.. just in case people be thinking why am I getting everything etc .. I only make loan requests for products which I am personally very keen on, and which I know you all will enjoy previewing along with me too.  And since NARS is my fave makeup brand, it’s all a win-win situation.

So as I am sitting  here making my top picks, I am also adding them to my shopping list – mark your calendar this November!

Besides the falsies, I am also excited about the Moon Matte lipsticks – these are all matte shades, but as I am trying them out the past few days, I find that the formula vary slightly among them.  Some are nicer… but some tend to run a tad patchy, as you would see in my lip swatch pictures.  Also, if you are a fan of reds and smokey eyes, you will love this collection.  I am also happy to see that NARS has put out two blush shades which manage to be outstanding given their already impressive permanent range, and new shades which aren’t new for the sake of being new.   For the blushes, I love the sheen that both impart, both in my  hand swatches (heavy swatching I know), but the sheen does translate onto the cheeks in a more subtle but still visible way.  My LOTD pic doesn’t quite capture nor do the blushes justice, but trust me… I will be purchasing Isadora, just for that muted cool toned dusty pink with the almost purple sheen.  So so gorgeous!  Impudique is the bolder and brighter blush, a bit much for my preference,  but if blushes are your thing, or if you have a richer skintone, I think Impudiquewould look gorgeous on you.

Here’s a close look at everything, and I will provide the names and shade descriptions as we go along!  Be prepared for more rambling!

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Moon Matte Lipstick, $40

An intensely opulent, high-pigment formula. Limited edition.

Indecent Proposal Moon Matte Lipstick – Nude Rose – good formula, smooth & matte.  Love the slightly warm tone too. Will need to get this.

Rouge Improbable Moon Matte Lipstick –Blood Red – smoothest red in this range. My top top pick.  Safe to say, I am a hopeless sucker for all NARS BLOOD RED lippies.  This applies so creamy and sits on the lips so nicely.  I wish I can say the same for the next two.

Rouge Indiscret Moon Matte Lipstick –Ruby Red – a richer deeper true red. This is a tad patchy on me somehow.  I prefer the vibrant true red of Rouge Improbable, but if you want something a bit more toned down, Rouge Indiscret is the way to go.

Fearless Red Moon Matte Lipstick – Fire Brick – as the name suggests, this has a tawny brick tone – and also the ‘safest’ red among the three in this collection.  This is also a tad day patchy, like Rouge Indiscret, but nothing too draggy  nor drying.

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The three nail polishes –  $30 each

FlonFlons Nail Polish  Geranium – a one coater,though I applied two here to show the true colour and finish.

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Never Tamed Nail Polish  Geranium  – same creamy opaque fomula as FlonFlons, I prefer this shade though.  Flonflons has this stark look to it, more stark in real life, as compared to the pictures here.

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La Dame En Noir Nail Polish Deep Burgundy – gorgeous colour, but took me almost 3 coats and careful application to ensure an even colour payoff.

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Next, let’s move on to the blushes and eyeshadows!

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Can we just swoon at the blushes already?  It’s been a while since I have seen such awesome sheen (not shimmery!) in blushes… awesome formula, awesome payoff.  I highly suggest you get both.. if you love NARS blushes.

Isadora Blush Lavender Pink – I see why it is Lavender – that almost purple sheen… love love!  And it is neutral enough to go with everything else you wear.

Impudique Blush Pink Red – the bolder one of the two, this has a warm golden sheen – think a more pumped up redder version of Orgasm without the shimmer.  This is a real good one.

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I find the two duos to be very similar, they both have this smokey silvery almost taupey shade, couple with a matte shade.  Though I must say Quai des Brumes contain a charcoal matte that is shot through with the tiniest golden shimmer. But the base and overall is still largely matte.

Quai Des Brumes Duo Eyeshadow

L: Shimmering Lavender Gray

R: Charcoal with Golden Shimmer   – this shimmer does not transfer much to the eyes upon application, so I will still think this is a charcoal matte.

I love how the matte shade in the duo helps to blend and bring out a different dimension of colour to the metallic other half.

Indes Galantes Duo Eyeshadow

L: Shimmering Deep Gunmetal

R: Matte Plum   – This matte plum is lovely, and so creamy easy to blend, it brings out the warm tones and shimmer of the deep gunmetal shade.

Of the two duos, I will pick Indes Galantes Duo – it seems to offer more diversity and wearability.

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Next, we have the two Kohliners – which I used as a base more than a liner in my looks.  They are both very smooth and creamy.  And I would definitely recommend Witching Hour over Sichuan.

Witching Hour Kohliner Iridescent Charcoal

Sichuan Kohliner Rust Brown

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Some pictures of my application – just sharing with you how I used the duo, not as much as a tutorial, obviously, for there are way more skillful women out there who can showcase and apply the eyeshadows way better than I do.   But I am sharing with you my application thoughts – as far as I am concerned, they deliver in terms of colour payoff, and easy of blending.

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(also note that my brows and base are not freshly applied in these set of pictures, they are from a 8 hour day)

And if you are still reading, or just scrolling all the way to the end for my summary, here we go – my top picks and final thoughts!

Overall, an impressive colour collection that covers nails, eyes, lips and cheeks.  I like that they are all powder products (not crayons, no multiples or single eyeshadows) – very classic NARS, outstanding lipsticks, outstanding blushes – those alone make me very happy.

my top picks

Lippies – Indecent Proposal, Rouge Improbable

Both sets of Falsies – have you seen the packaging – super chic and nifty!! omg – and both pairs are quite natural fluffy ones, like those I wear!   I have posted the falsies on my instagram if you have missed it.

Witching Hour Kohlliner

Isadora Blush

That’s all, and thanks for reading!

NARS x Sarah Moon Holiday Collection 2016 Preview

NARS x Sarah Moon Holiday Collection 2016 Preview

This entry will take you through a private preview of the Sarah Moon for NARS HOLIDAY 2016 collection.  I will follow up with a closer look at the entire colour collection and share with you my thoughts and top picks in a later entry. Link here!

All pictures here courtesy of the NARS team.

SARAH MOON FOR NARS HOLIDAY 2016 COLLECTION

LOOK CLOSER
François Nars and fashion photographer Sarah Moon dare you to look closer as their limited-edition collection exposes every facet of the feminine.

Deeply inspired by iconic cinema, François Nars and Sarah Moon collectively worked from the nostalgic futurism of Metropolis to set the mood for the season’s story. Every element of the collection blurs the lines between real and surreal, serving as a direct expression of their collaborative vision.

THE COLOR COLLECTION [NOVEMBER 2016]

Rich and hypnotic, the Sarah Moon for NARS Color Collection sharpens and softens, evokes and provokes.

The collection consists of – names and colours in my follow up entry – click here for details and swatches!

Moon Matte Lipstick, $40 [4 shades] – An intensely opulent, high-pigment formula. Limited edition.

Blush, $50 [2 new shades]

Duo Eyeshadow, $52 [2 new shades]

Kohliner, $40 [2 new shades]

Eyelashes, $38 [2 designs]

Nail Polish, $30 [3 shades]

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THE GIFTING COLLECTION [November 2016]

Deceptively nuanced. Boldly mysterious. Every look demands a second look.

GLASS METROPOLIS MINI AUDACIOUS LIPSTICK COFFRET, $180  – 

EIGHT MINI AUDACIOUS LIPSTICKS:

Sarah, Anita, Marlene, Rita, Olivia, Sandra, Charlotte, Bette

*Available exclusively at Tangs at Tang Plaza

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GET REAL AUDACIOUS EYE AND LIP SET, $65

TWO MINI AUDACIOUS LIPSTICKS:  LESLIE, BETTE

BLACK MOON AUDACIOUS MASCARA

THOUSAND WORLDS AUDACIOUS LIP AND NAIL SET, $65

TWO MINI AUDACIOUS LIPSTICK: CODIE, EVA

TWO MINI NAIL POLISHES: LA DAME EN BLANC, LA DAME EN NOIR

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LOOK CLOSER EYESHADOW PALETTE, $65

FOUR EYESHADOW: I, II, III, IV

VIA VENETO MINI LARGER THAN LIFE EYELINER

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TRUE STORY CHEEK AND LIP PALETTE, $90

FOUR BLUSHES: DEVOTEE, MYTH, UNWRITTEN, OUTLAW

MYSTERIOUS RED VELVET MATTE LIP PENCIL

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RECURRING DARE CHEEK AND LIP PALETTE, $90

FOUR BLUSHES: ALBATROSS, SEX APPEAL, ILLUSIVE, MAKE BELIEVE

GOLSHAN VELVET MATTE LIP PENCIL

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MIND GAME MINI VELVET LIP GLIDE COFFRET, $80

SIX MINI VELVET LIP GLIDE: BOUND, NO. 675, CHEZ CLAUDE, UNSPEAKABLE, PLATO’S, TOY

*Available exclusively at Sephora

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Skincare Update [Sept 2016]

 

Hi hi, this is just an entry to list down what I am currently using and loving for the past few months (over 6 months, in fact).  I don’t always feature skincare products on the blog, and I have a lot, a lot of skincare products waiting for me to try out.  But longtime readers know I only update on skincare 2 or 3 times a year because I don’t tend to skip from one routine to another…I usually add in a couple of new products here and there until eventually the whole routine is updated and we have another entry like this to share.

It is only fair to give credit to the products which have served me well, and before I accumulate more empties that I throw away, I better start documenting them while they are still in my rotation.

Also, I have been getting questions on what is my skincare routine/how I maintain my skin, and I find that I don’t have a straightforward answer to that. If I were to tell them the 20 or 30 products that I am rotating, then where are they supposed to start? Besides who want to sit and listen to me ramble on and on about my skincare routine? What turned out to be a polite/ curious question about my skincare routine becomes a 1 hour long conversation is NOT what most people expect, right? Which brings me to the focus of this entry…I am going to list products according to what I think serves a purpose for my skin. You can pick and choose what you think you can try out.

I find it hard to review only a single product or a single brand– unless everything I am using happened to be from one brand (and I believe I have done this with great results from Lancôme, Shiseido and Clarins in the past) but in recent years, my skincare stash has become a lot more varied. I hope to share everything I am using with you in the most organic way possible–nobody is paying me to talk about their products here, and I am just sharing with you my own personal experience.

Of course, some of the products I mentioned here have been repeated several times in my previous skincare updates- they are staples and won’t be going anywhere soon.
I am also not mentioning a host of other products that I have previously featured in my other skincare feature entries (like the Sephora cleansers and anti-aging features)-  those products are still lurking in my rotation, but I won’t be repeating them here. I have shared some of the anti-aging serums to my mother who can benefit from those products too. Everything mentioned here are really just things I can count on for the past few months.

About my skintype – I have normal to combination skin. My skin will break out in one or two spots if I try out a product that does not work on me. Hence, in my skincare routine, I must always have something that will HEAL and also RESET my skin back to original condition. I will also stop using that product immediately and fall back on my own routine. I am also 37 this year, so some form of anti-aging, skin cell regeneration & hydration is important to me.

1: Neurogena Oil to Foam Cleansers
These come in three types – normal, brightening, hydrating. I have already used uo the normal one, and I am almost done with the hydrating one. I love these cleansers because they are so easy to use. They break down your makeup when massage on dry skin, and start to emulsify and foam up when you add water to the massaging. I use this everyday in the evening to remove makeup, and sometimes I will double cleanser with a foaming cleanser. I highly recommend these effective and affordable cleansers.

2: Foaming Cleansers – IOPE IDEAL CLEANSING FOAM
This is not new to me, and I have mentioned it a few times. It is just a super foamy brightening cleansing foam that washes my face well.

3: Mask Treatments
I love a good mask on weekend mornings. To detox my skin, to boost skin firmness and also just to nourish my skin in general. Three masks that I am loving are
BIOTHERM WONDER MUD – this is soooo awesome, I am quickly running out of it. My brother loves it too for the no fuss and refreshing cleansing properties.
GLAMGLOW MUD FIRMING TREATMENT – this is a silver peel off mask. I find that this does plump up my skin, and gives it an overall brightened appearance.
FRESH VITAMIN NECTAR – this is like applying an apricot jam spread on your face. It smells sweet and fruity and I like this as a lightweight nourishing face mask treatment.

4: DIOR SKINCARE – my skin has been loving Dior skincare products for the most of this year. I am thankful that I get lots of Dior stuff to try out because they are definitely not cheap. If I have to recommend only one item you got to try, and if you are looking for a rich face cream, you must use the Dior Capture Totale multi perfection cream – this cream comes in 3 formulations : gel, universal, and cream (?) I got the universal, and this is the night cream I go for when I want to reset my skin, when I want to heal a particular spot or dry area. I use the cream in conjunction with the matching serum – the Totale Capture Intensive Skin Detoxifying Booster Serum & also the Total Capture Eye Zone Detoxifying Radiance Boosting Care. I apply a very generous layer of the serum, and I sealed it with the application of the cream afterwards. Which sounds slightly messy, but the next morning, my skin is restored and ready for the day. I think the Capture Totale range is my fave from Dior by far.

Still on Dior, I also enjoyed mixing the DiorSnow White Perfection brightening serum with the Bloom Perfect Brightening Perfect Skin Perfector (which is slightly tinted). This gives me a good base to apply my makeup though I wish the combo can be more hydrating.

— you would notice by now, I like to go for skin renewal products at night, and for day I like hydrating products —-

4: Kiehls Essentials
I have very good luck with Kiehls Skincare. They are reasonably priced and there is something to suit everyone. I love most of their face creams, and currently my basic face cream is their iconic Ultra Facial Cream. I am also trying out both of their facial treatments, the Micro-Peel concentrate & Clearly Corrective Dark Spot Solution – both are awesome at ensuring that my skintone is as even as possible. And both the facial oils are fail-proof for me. I always go back to the night concentrate – can’t remember how many if these I have gone through over the years – and it is also a staple oil that my sisters swear by – when I only want to use one product. I use the day oil on weekends at home, and literally just let my skin soak in oil for the day.

5: Other essentials that I rotate daily
I like to dab some Laneige Firming eye cream under my eyes for day time, and I use more at night. This is a rich cream without being too heavy. Definitely will repurchase when I am done with it.

Algenist Splash Absolute Hydration is a great moisturiser for day time. I alternate between this and Kiehls Ultra Facial Cream. I don’t usually use serums in the day time, so it is just a great basic face cream and sunscreen before I apply my makeup for the day. Also I love that it is in a pump bottle, so easy to use.

I also use the Sunday Riley Luna Oil once or twice a week. I have just a tiny bottle, but I can see the hype over this facial treatment oil. To me, it is like a richer version of the Kiehls midnight discovery oil and almost twice the price. I love it, but I won’t be purchasing the full size soon – have too many similar products for me to use up first.

6: SKIN INC SERUMS
These serum cocktails are a funny thing. They don’t feel like anything on the skin, but yet they are made up such powerful ingredients. I like that their composition is so pure, they don’t really interfere with any other creams I apply over. Again like previous serums I have mentioned, I apply them very liberally and soak my skin in them for a minute before I apply my face cream. I can’t remember what is the formula of my skininc cocktails but the beautiful thing is you are supposed to customise them based your own skin concerns.

7: SUN SCREENS
I have a whole host of sunscreens that my sister and I rotate.
For lightweight/ invisible ones that I use before makeup, I would go for the Chanel UV ESSENTIEL, CLARINS UV PLUS DAY SCREEN, KIEHLS Ultra Light Daily Defense.
For running days when I only use the sunscreen on its own, I would go for the KIEHLS Ultra Daily UV Defense mineral suncreen which is slightly tinted, and the DIORSNOW UV Shield protection which is quite a heavy duty one that adheres to my skin and doesn’t move at all.

Throughout the day, I also spritz my skin with various facial mists, especially if I am in an AC room for too long, or whenever I feel like refreshing my face. But I guess that another entry for another time.

So to sum up, regardless of your age, I think sun protection and hydration are most important. Have a few trusted skincare products that you can count on (or like me, maybe 10 of them ahahah) and know what works for your skin concerns.

I hope that my sharing has been useful, and thank you for reading!!

“Fitness” & Lifestyle Update [Sept 2016]

“Fitness” & Lifestyle Update [Sept 2016]

Hi hi!!

This entry, as you can tell from the title, is going to be a rambly, possibly pointless update.  A couple of years back, I wrote about my weightloss journey (I started back in Dec 2013, spent the whole of 2014 losing almost 20kg, maintaining it in 2015, and now here we are in September 2016).  Over 2 years on, how am I doing?   What long term changes have I noticed in myself?

Not quite sure how to organise this entry yet, I am just typing whatever comes to my mind.

I can share with you the most obvious benefits I have noticed about myself:

Eating ‘Healthy’ & Juicing – I am guilty of something.  Compared to 2014 and 2015, I haven’t been eating quite as clean this year.  But I am not going crazy eating anything I crave either.  I am still holding off the carbs 80% of the time, and I try to avoid fatty food.  I am not doing so good when it comes to sugary stuff (which is really bad I know) but my bad  funky logic is, having a sweet tea/coffee is better than having a whole plate of fried rice that most people eat as a meal everyday?  I try to do a juice cleanse every 1-2 months, a 3 day programme at one time.  This year I have juice cleansed for 3 or 4 times – I find that this is  good detox, not so much as a weight loss, I do lose 2-3 kg each round, but I do it more to reduce bloating and really just to clear my system.

Staying fit and growing stronger – One of the benefits which I think will stay with me for life, is making fitness a way of my life.  And among my close friends, we all do something physical regularly on our own.  We can yak non-stop about our workout sessions, we work out together and also perfectly fine on our own.  I used to only go on my solitary runs, but in the past year, I have grown to love practising yoga.  I have to thank the great yoga teachers along the way, starting with MABEL (@mabesyoga) who started us off the right way – to me the right way is to ease into it, learn the proper techniques and form.  She got my friends and I into yoga, and even though our sessions together have taken a  hiatus, we continue to practise on our own at various places – I usually stick to the same few studios only.  I may not be the most yoga-ry person – no contortions and inversions for me, but I think yoga is something that I can see myself doing for many many years to come.  I have experienceed greater strength and flexibility in my body, more toned limbs – my weight didn’t go down but I think I am more toned.

Because my body is stronger and I am going to different places to practise yoga, I am now more open to trying new forms of working out.  I tried out Pilates, I tried out a barre class, etc I don’t think I would have dare to try a couple of years ago.  And that confidence to try out a class is priceless.  

I still go for my runs, but the frequency has gone down from 4-5 times to 1-2 a week, usually weekend mornings.  I try to do yoga at least 4 times a week.  I have since switched from Kfit to Guava – read about my Kfit experience/ fitness update back in Feb 2016 here.

Guava is more expensive – I signed for a 6mth contract at SG139 a mth, but I need the unlimited classes factor.  The ten sessions per monthly cycle with Kfit wasn’t giving me enough sessions. I do enjoy the variety of places which I practise at, which is why I did not commit to a membership at one particular studio.  Besides, on Guava, I get to try out barre classes and pilates as well. If I had only sign on as a member at one studio, then I won’t explore other options or discover other great yoga classes.

Also, I think there is a difference between learning and practising yoga.  Some places (usually the big crowded classes) you only get to practise, but you won’t get to LEARN the poses as compared to a smaller more intimate setting – where the teacher is able to go around and help you. I am not saying that teachers in huge classes/ studios ‘dun teach’ but you just to be aware, the style and feel is different when you are in these huge classes of over 30 students.  So you might want to have a session a week where you LEARN, and 2-3 other sessions where you practise what you have learned.  There is no point in doing something if your form is wonky, you might hurt yourself, and you might be left wondering what the heck just happened after a class, and also you don’t end up working out the correct muscle groups.. or you end up thinking ‘oh yoga is just to stretch only right’… because believe me, a good yoga session (whether hatha or vinyasa) is all sweat and work, super enjoyable, you don’t have to be all panting and puffing, but your body feels great afterwards.  I hope this point about learning vs practising and small vs big classes isn’t too controversial… but it’s just my own thoughts.

Lastly, the weight – I have put back on 3-4 kg over 2015 to right now.  But I am not so worried about the extra kilos…I still fit the same size clothes, but I think whatever I am doing now is more sustainable (I need to improve on my eating).  And if I need to cut back, I know what to do (eat cleaner works the best for me).  I still go for my accu once a week, and I don’t think I will stop that yet.

Other benefits?  Exercising is the best form of anti-aging self care!  Eat well, sleep well, workout regularly. FYI, ONCE A WEEK IS NOT ENOUGH – you got to keep at it at least 3 times a week, commitment and dedication is important.  Work is never-ending, that dinner date or event which I am invited to can wait or skip… I would rather turn up on the mat for my yoga then attend a beauty event these days.  I am already 37, and I know it is shameless to say, everyone who asks how old I am, or wonder to themselves how old I am, they always guess at least 10 years younger.  Then they ask, what do I do?  How?   And this is how – skincare, bodycare (not just slapping anti-cellulite creams mind you), eating well… it is all the whole package.  I don’t think I intentionally try to look younger… but everything I do regularly in my lifestyle helped.

I hope this sharing is helpful, and thank you for reading.  Leave your questions, comments below!

 

Experiencing Estetica’s Skinjexion Facial

Experiencing Estetica’s Skinjexion Facial

 

Hi hi

In this entry, I will share with you a new facial treatment I got to try out a few weeks ago at Estetica.  I tried their new Skinjexion Facial – a multi-step facial treatment targeting lines and signs of aging.   The treatment is a high performance line reducer which is safe and yet affordable as compared to other more invasion methods.

By fusing three active substances, SKINJEXION is a skin therapy treatment representing a genuine substitute for medical-aesthetic injections. This efficacious treatment produces immediate results, working on three different levels to slow wrinkle formation in the skin, smooth wrinkles by relaxing and attenuating skin contraction, and fill wrinkles to reduce wrinkle depth through hydration and restoring the skin’s elasticity.

The three active substances to fight the wrinkles are:

Imudilin, SNAP-8, and High Molecular Weight Hyaluronic Acid.

Imudilin plays a critical role in slowing down the process of skin tissue aging – it is supposed to stimulate the skin’s immune cells, which is essential for cell communication, a trait that decreases within the skin tissues as ageing occurs.

SNAP-8 smoothes wrinkles by relaxing and attenuating skin contraction – think of this as a botx effect, and SNAP-8 is ideal for anyone searching for a milder, safe yet effective anti-wrinkle treatment. It acts as a gentle and efficient alternative to Botulinum Toxin (botox), mimicking the effect of injections while targeting the same wrinkle formation mechanism.

High Molecular Weight Hyaluronic Acid fills in wrinkle through hydration  and facilitates the formation of a structure at the skin’s surface to hold in water, preventing dehydration of the skin and reinforcing the skin barrier. This allows the restoration of the skin’s elastic properties, increases hydration levels, while plumping and smoothening the skin’s surface and texture.

 

The Process (and click on my pics which shows every step of the treatment) 

  1. Like every facial treatment, we started with cleansing of the face with a cleansing milk and lotion.
  2. Next, is the SCRUB, which peeling cream that is applied to the lines (mainly around the sides of my mouth, frown lines between my brows and on my neck) A brush is used to literally scrub this cream into my lines a couple of times, and then over the whole face lightly. The scrub is then rinsed off, and the same lotion from step 1 is applied.
  3. After the scrub, comes the serum application, using a syringe like applicator. The skinjector device is used to allow the serum to penetrate into my skin for ten minutes.  The remaining half of the serum is then applied onto my face, and this time, a mcropick is used to ‘roll’ and ‘prick’ my skin to stimulate the surface and boost absorption of the serum.  (You can see a close up of the mcropick in one of the pictures.)  The prickly sensation from the mcropick rolling on your skin takes a short while to get used to, but it is not painful by any means.
  4. After this intensive serum application, a richer cream is applied and massaged onto my face (by then I think I dozed off).
  5. After the cream massage, is the masque step – this is a bright red paste which is mixed just before use.  The masque is applied liberally over my face, and left on for 20 minutes.  As you can see in the collage, the mask sets and lifts off easily during the removal.
  6. After everything a ‘matte’ cream is applied to the lines area and lightly over the whole face.  Then a ‘filler’ cream is applied to the lines, filling in any wrinkles to ensure a smooth and firm surface.  This filler cream (shown in one of the close up pictures) is something you can use a base for special events, if you really want a instant wrinkle filler. The effect, I was told, last for about 5 hours.

All the skincare products that are used in this treatment are all formulated just for this Skinjexion facial and they are available individually for sale at the salon.

The entire treatment lasts for 75 minutes, and it is recommended to for a 4 session course, once a week. The cost of the treatment is S$350 and available at all Estetica outlets.

My thoughts: 

The treatment is soothing and comfortable.  I noticed smoother skin instantly post treatment, the lines around my mouth definitely diminished while I think those on my neck need more work (but anyway, I don’t think the lines around my neck are due to aging, they have been there since I was a kid – think of them as more of fat folds hahahaa).

Over the next couple of weeks, I must say I enjoyed a very smooth and even skin texture which was noted by people at work (no kidding, when more than two people ask me how I maintain my skin, I know something is showing – having a good facial, good skincare, clean makeup base all help to enhance the look of anyone’s skin).

I think that this treatment is beneficial for those in their late 30s to early 40s.. if you are starting to show signs of wrinkles/ lines.. and you want to treat them without doing anything too drastic.. this facial will definitely help – maybe one session might be enough to boost your skin, but a couple more will yield more obvious results for sure.

SKINJEXION TREATMENT

SKINJEXION Facial Treatment (90 minutes, $350) is available at all Estetica Beauty Studios islandwide. It is recommended the SKINJEXION sessions are done once a week for at least four consecutive weeks.

I hope that my sharing is useful, and do share with me what are your tried and tested anti-aging methods!

Thanks for reading!