Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Fragrance of the Moment: Serge Lutens Ambre Sultan

I have not met a Amber that i remotely like or love, not that i have encountered many so as to speak. However, there is only one word i can describe when i encountered this Amber....


Ambre Sultan....

This is my very first niche fragrance which i decidedly to finally take the plunge on the very same day that i encounter it. Usually i took quite a while to get the full sized bottle (the usual rite- spray some of it on the wrist and walk around for at least 1 hour and decide if i really like it, then deliberate a little on everything and anything and finally to the cashier), especially when there is no discount going on, so its the full retail price.

THIS is dangerous stuff... why?

I was window shopping at TANGS Orchard and stumbled upon the Escentials section which is sort of hidden in the inner part of the TANGS Beauty Hall and i was actually there to check out the Burberry Makeup collection, it was never my intention to part with my money for anything apart from that.

Until, the moment i stepped into the Escentials section and was drawn to the Serge Lutens Fragrance display whereby i reached out for the bottle with amber gold that struck my eyes......

Serge Lutens Ambre Sultan.

The liquid amber.

At the first whiff, it hits on me strongly and i was taken aback by the force of the fragrance. It was really potent, nothing that i ever had in my stash or came across. I wasn't put off by it, but rather i was surprised by it and wasn't thinking of purchasing it at all, until i continued with my mission of checking out Burberry's makeup collection and also the collaboration of Anna Sui with Hush Puppies in the shoes department.

As i continued my shopping, i began to notice the potent thick spicy and maybe a little woody scent began to work its magic on my wrist.....it began to have a certain sweetness to it, a hint of vanilla to me while retaining its spicy character. The fragrance smells warm and luxurious for most part and then it further evolved into a scent that i associate with things vintage (for instance a lit  fireplace library with tall wooden bookshelves and a old leather armchair). The amber gold liquid developed into a being with a subtle tone of spiciness with a hint of wood and vanilla, very warm and cozy, something i would reach out for if i were ever left in the cold.

It does have a middle eastern element (from the name to the colour of the fragrance, everything) which i find it most acceptable and certainly wearable to me even in this humid and hot weather, which it lasts a good 8 hours at least on me.  

This is certainly one of the most complex fragrance i have ever worn and owned and yes, it opened my "nose" to the world of niche perfumery (which can only mean more additions to my stash and wearing the precious liquid amber carefully) and the Ambers.

Note: I do not possess any technical knowledge or sophistated vocabulary to "flower"my review about it so i am going to describe it the best i can with my layman understanding of it.

Background: Ambre Sultan by Serge Lutens was created for Les Salon Du Palais Royal Shiseido by Christopher Sheldrake in 1993.

Fragrance Notes: Corriander, Sandalwood, Bayleaf, Patchouli, Angelica, Resins, Myrrh.

Nose: Christopher Sheldrake is also the Nose behind the majority of the Serge Lutens Range and Les Exclusifs de Chanel's Sycomore.

Priced at S$162.00 for 50ml or 1.56fl oz, available only at Escentials in TANGS Orchard, TANGS Vivocity and Paragon.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Something Random... Paul and Joe Ring

Yap... just like the title of the post says... something random.... my first piece of Paul and Joe Jewellery (non-cosmetic and skincare item : ) ).

That's all. Have a good day ahead. : D

Review: RMK Smoothing Polished Base

After having reviewed the RMK Sheer Powder Checks Blusher from the Dusty Bright Colours collection, today i am going to review another item from my previous RMK haul at Takashimaya- RMK's Smoothing Polished Base.

I have been using RMK's creamy makeup base for quite a while which i would say i am rather fond of it, in fact i think RMK actually monopolised my base makeup... from makeup base to liquid foundation (of course the other liquid foundation would be Bobbi Brown's Moisture Rich liquid foundation)... pressed powder and then loose powder.

I am open minded when it comes to mixing and matching base makeup items from various brands as long as they suit me, so in that sense please don't mistaken me for a "purist". The 2 deciding factor as to why RMK monopolised my base makeup stash, would be the colour match and the staying power, so far my experiences with RMK in this area are quite pleasant and so i don't see the need to switch unless of course something better comes along.

As i have oily combination skin (think large pores around the checks and oily T-zone and some dry patches), naturally i am inclined to check out their Smoothing Polished Base (anything to make those pores smaller) which i have not purchased before (i think it was launched together with the improvised version of the creamy makeup base earlier on).

RMK Smoothing Polished Base.


 Before application.

After application.

In terms of packaging, the product is housed in the typical RMK silver box and it comes in a squeeze tube just like the creamy makeup base. So far so good, no pots to dip my fingers into it.

No scent detected too. Good good.

Texture-wise, it is of a much thicker consistency than the creamy makeup base or any other makeup base that i have tried. It is more paste-like and requires quite a far bit of blending done to achieve the "smooth" appearance. 

According to the RMK SA, this Smoothing Polished Base is not supposed to be used all over the face, it is specifically targeted at the T-zones and areas where there are fine lines, it is also capable of controlling oil.

The size of this base is 20ml which is a third smaller than the makeup base, this is fine for me since my intention of purchasing this product is for creating a smoother appearance (minimizing appearance of the pores around my T-zone and my nasolabial folds =laughing lines).

In terms of performance, yes the product is able to create a smoother surface, probably by "blurring"the apearance of the pores (around my T-zone, especially my forehead and my laughing lines are less obvious, this is good as i don't find my foundation setting into the lines that much (usually i moisturise like mad.. haha). It does produce a natural smoother surface for me. I tried to show the effects in the photos above, apologies if they are not clear enough for you.

Where oil control is concerned, i don't find it particularly good at that which i don't really fault it that much as it is not a "Oil control Smoothing Polished Base" afterall. The Smoothing Polished Base does wear quite well around 6 hours or so which is more or less around the same as the creamy makeup base (i do need to blot my face especially T-zone a few times, other than that so far so good).

Would i recommend this to anyone?

Sitting on the fence on this product, considering that i have higher expectation of it at the current price point and the fact that this product is not versatile enough to be used on the whole face.

People who have deeper laughing lines and enlarged pores might not find this product working as well for them as they would like to. If you are looking for something to achieve that flawlessly porcelain smooth skin, then this product might not be your cup of tea

I say, don't be shy. Go to the counter and try out the product. I do find RMK's SAs really approachable even if you don't purchase any products at the end of the day (which is partly why i am inclined to the brand as well : ) ).

Priced at S$41.00 for 20ml, available at Takashimaya and Isetan Scotts Shopping Centre.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Review: Naruko Raw Job's Tears Whitening Night Gelly

Yes, the item to be reviewed today is part of my Skincare loot from Taiwan..... let's introduce Raw Job's Tears Whitening Night Gelly from Naruko.......

Naruko is a skincare brand created by Taiwanese skincare guru Niu Er (those who are familar with the Taiwanese Beauty TV programme "Niu Ren Wo Zui Da" will be very familar with Niu Er), with the aim of creating a skincare line that focuses on the quality and functionality of the product (which should be the focus of any product anyway) rather than the packaging and advertising (which is normally what the consumers ususally paid the bulk of the price of the product).

Interestingly, there is a line on the carton that states his philosophy "Results derived from the product is matters more than the packaging of it. What's in your skin is far more important than what it looks like on the surface."(my loose translation of the wording).

When i first caught sight of the product, i was quite ticked by the word "gelly"on the carton and i couldn't figure why the word "gelly" until the moment i opened the packaging for the first time.  

I have been an avid fan of the programme and managed to catch a few episodes every now and then on Youtube after Channel U stopped showing it for a while. To be honest, i am quite keen to try this skincare line (it is available at http://www.naruko.com.sg/ locally and delivery is free if you spend a certain amount, think its about S$60+) and while i was in Taiwan, i picked up a few items from Naruko (it is exclusively available in Watsons but pity not the entire range, i have only seen some random products from the Raw Job's Tears range, Magnolia Brightening range, Tea tree range and the Am Pm line).

Okie... the product......

Minimal packing and the carton as assembled purely by folding (no glue, no nothing).

The red jar- contains 60ml/2.1Fl.oz of "gelly".

A plastic cap to mantain the integrity of the product.

The milky semi-transparent "gelly".

The amount i used for application a quarter of my face.

Before the application.

During the application, the gel-liquid like texture of the gelly.

After the application.

List of Ingredients.

The fuss free packaging convey fully the philosophy of "pay for what is inside the jar, not the packaging" which is what beauty fanatics, in fact what everyone of us ought to pay for anyway. Having said that, the night gelly comes in a simple glass jar (which my mom mistaken it for SKII because of the red). It comes with a small spatula for scooping out the gelly. The recommended amount for each usage is 2 pearl size which i figure could very well be 2 full scoops using the spatula (Pearl size? How is that measurable? I have no idea and so discretion is used).

There is a noticeable barley scent when i scooped out some of the gelly, its not a irritating scent that will put off people at the very first instance, rather it reminds me of barley drink. The scent will linger a while on your face until it is completely dry.

In terms of application, its light gel-lotion like texture makes application a breeze. It spreads easily on the skin and as i applied it it sort of turned into water (but with slightly thicker consistency), perhaps the gel like texture is the reason for the word "gelly" in the naming of the product range (Naruko has a whole series of Night Gelly catered for different needs, 8 or 9 types if i am not mistaken).

The gelly dries quite fast and after application, my face felt smoother (close to velvetly smooth), matte and less oily hours later (i do have shiny spots on my face at times after application of moisturiser after a few hours).

Product Description: This Night Gelly is enriched with powerful moisture to comfort dehydration and fortified with 3 unique whitening actives to even skin tone. It leaves skin softer, smoother and more resilent with a younger appearance.

I have been using this night gelly for more than a month every night straight after my toner as i wanted to see how good it is in its claim of providing the skin with sufficient hydration and whitening ability.

Honestly, i do find my skin sufficiently moisturised even though i skipped my daily moisturiser in place of this night gelly which comes as a pleasant surprise and i do like it very much for this, plus the light weight texture and the barley scented gelly makes the application enjoyable. Now for the whitening claim, i do not find it working on me, probably because i am tan in the first place (i am no Snow White and proud of that). However, i have to say it does evens out my skin tone slightly.

So in conclusion, i like this product. Not for the whitening effects as the product's name indicate but for its hydrating capability and its ability to keep my skin smoother and softer, plus the affordability of this product makes it accessible to anyone. Also,it does not contain any preservatives, colourings, parabens, fragrance-free and no animal testing which appeals to people who are looking for skincare products that are as natural as possible. The absence of the above shortens the shelf life of the product too, which means it has a shelf life of only 2 years even if you leave the product unopened in its original packing sealed.

Will i buy it again?

Yes, if i have the chance and not for whitening purposes but as a light weight moisturiser.

Priced at NT 329 (S$14.00 approximately) for 60ml or 2.1fl.oz, available at http://www.naruko.com.sg/ or Watsons in Taiwan.


Friday, October 21, 2011

Family of Guerlain Eyeshadow Palettes...

Yes, this post is entirely about eyecandies..... whenever i am feeling down, usually a peek at the beauties in my makeup drawers will manage to lift up my spirits somehow...

Am i mad, obssessed, a hoarder or what..... probably all of the above... and so for those who are a little down in spirits, i do hope these will cheer you up a wee bit as they do to me. : )

The Guerlain Eyeshadow family...

I didn't realise that the compacts were of different colours until now.

Guerlain Terre Indigo 4 shade eyeshadow- Limited edition (Summer 2011 Inca Collection).

Guerlain 408 Jeu D'Ombrelles- Limited edition (Spring 2010 Cherry Blossom Collection).

Guerlain 410 Velours Dór- Limited edition (Holiday 2010 Les Ors Collection).

Guerlain 404 Paradis Exotique- Limited edition (Spring 2009 Exotic Paradise Collection).

Guerlain 400 Fleur De Feu- Limited edition (Spring 2008 The Guerlain Woman Collection).

Guerlain 490 Turquoise Cendre- Permanent range (first introduce in the Spring 2008 The Guerlain Woman Collection).

These Lovelies were acquiried as i continue my journey into the world of beauty from 2009 and i do remember fondly my very first Guerlain eyeshadow palette being the Guerlain 404 Paradis Exotique- Limited edition (Spring 2009 Exotic Paradise Collection).

I was deeply impressed by the vibrant colours and the silky colour pigment and subsequently sinking deeper and deeper into the realm of beauty products with intricate packaging and quality which fascinate me time and again.

And so... my journey in the world of beauty is nowhere near its end.....