Tuesday, January 24, 2012

LOTD: Hybrid of Guerlain 160 Plus Que Jamais Rose and 121 Orange Encore

Happy Chinese New year to those who celebrate this festive season!

After all that spring cleaning (which is decluttering for me mostly) and preparation for Chinese New Year, contemplating of what look i should wear on the first day of Chinese New Year is a headache to me. This is especially so since i have been tidying the house non stop for the past few days and having to stay awake as long as i can the previous night, which is "shou ye" (a chinese tradition whereby the children would stay awake as late as they can so that they can enchance longevity of their parents).

I looked tired in the morning of the first day of Chinese New Year (obviously lacking sleep), and that.... no amount of miracle foundation or highlight powder can bring me back my radiance. : (

I am desperate to look alive that morning, so i figure the best way to go about it is to be extremely lighthanded when it comes to foundation application (before that, moisturiser for sure), a light pink blusher (i chose NARS Oasis), highlighter (The Bodyshop's Bronze shade: Warm Glow), loose powder (RMK in N00), kept my eyemake up to the minimal and some warm coloured lipstick.

Having to go though the my makeup stash in the morning is not a fun thing, when i finally to made my choice, it would be between Guerlain's 160 Plus Que Jamais Rose and 121 Orange Encore, which i find the former too blue based and the latter a tad too overwhelming for my minimalist look in the morning.

What to do?

I start to get creative.

Blending 60 % of 121 Orange Encore and 40% of 160 Plus Que Jamais Rose, what do i get?

A lovely 137 Ma Belle Corail (i named it for the fun of it : ) ), that is actually flattering on my skin tone and makes me look alot less tired.

 The Guerlain Kiss Kiss Extreme Lip series......

 160 Plus Que Jamais Rose- a cool slightly lilac tone pink.

 Actual 160 against my palm.

 121 Orange Encore - a bright orange red, almost fiery.

 Actual 121 against my palm.

 Swatches L to R: 121 Orange Encore, 160 Plus Que Jamais Rose and 137 Ma Belle Corail.

A photo of how it looked in the morning (please excuse me for the lighting).

 I say it made my smile looks better. Ha!

And yes, 137 Ma Belle Corail brighten my skin tone quite a fair bit too.

The swatches as you can see are swatched the next day, i would say it looks quite close to the photos i have taken of my lip colour on that day. I guess, i put on slightly more Orange Encore that morning.

I am not saying that this is a unique shade of lipstick, just that sometimes when we are at our wits end and nothing seem to be able to work for us , solution found its way to us sometimes. Its more of like i have gotten more bangs for my bucks... 3 colours for the price of 2...heheh...

In this case, i love the hybrid too much, which i think i will start to wear my 160 and 121 this way. : )

How do you get creative with your current stash?

Do share if you would like to : ) 

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Review: Dior 5 Colour Eyeshadow Palette Garden Edition in 441 Garden Pastels

This is the Spring collection that has been generating quite a buzz in the cyber beauty world long before it was even launched early Jan this year. Part of the buzz was contributed by the extent on how the rose mottifs in the eyeshadow palette were handcrafted and there are even pictures of the crafting processes posted online and of course, the striking colours in the collection as well as the perfumed nail polishes, not fogetting to mention the exquisite rose knob on the limited edition makeup clutches.

To be frank, i am seldom drawn to Dior's collection as i do feel that they are more suitable for beauties with cool colour skin tone and the fair ones. I am not surprised by the shade of the limited edition blusher that was launched in the spring collection- bright pastel pink, even though it was fused with the technology that upon application the blusher will appear just like how you are blushing naturally. I figure the technology would be similar to Dior Addict Lip Glow SPF 10 which i did a review of it previously.

Despite the technology used, the blusher did not work on me, i looked ashy so i figure there isn't anything for me in this collection looking at the swatches widely available online and testing on the various products in person.

The colours from the garden clutches looked a little similar to the ones released last year which i have both and looked like they can be duped, the nail polishes which i would love to love doesn't work on me (but they look gorgeous on my fair friend which is simply not fair : ( ), the limited edition blusher in the beautiful casing was calling out my name but the ashy colour on my cheeks made me unwilling to part with my dollars and the pretty Garden Roses Palette refuse to love me when i tried them on.....

Until when i swatched the Garden Pastels Eyeshadow palette....

I was deeply intrigued by the way-out-of-my- comfort zone colouring ( i am a neutral lover mainly), but the greens... the 2 greens are nothing that i have seen... i was sold on the spot.. almost.

I was about to walk away from it until by BBF (fellow skincare and cosmetic addict) dragged me back and told me that it will work on me, just that i have to be lighthanded with it and not to be ambitious to use all 5 colours in a look. What can i say, i feel that she knows me better than i know myself... after much contemplating, i hauled it, tucked safely in my bag cushioned in between stuffs.

 Dior's 5 Colour Eyeshadow Palette Garden Edition.

 441 Garden Pastels.

 The Classic Dior compact.

 441 Garden Pastels.

  A Closer look.

441 Garden Pastels without the plastic lid.

More of it.

 Swatches under normal light, photo taken near the window at noon.
Swatches: Top left to right, centre then bottom left to right.

Photo of swatches taken indoor.

In terms of packaging, this limited edition eyeshadow palette was packaged in the classic Dior compact, and the standard 5 colour eyeshadow palette placement which isn't any different from its normal eyeshadow palette thus lacking the WOW factor that i would have expected from a limited edition (same case as Chanel's), a subtle difference like motiffs or even colouring would have made one drawn more towards it (yeah, i am referring to me).

I do not detect any hint of fragrance from the eyeshadows..so far so good. What's the use of perfuming eyeshadows anyway right?

Next, the eyeshadows are nicely pigmented (which is supposed to be so at this price point) and one can easily layer on to build up intensity but they are such lovely light spring colours i wouldn't try to wear them heavily layered on. A touch of subtly would be a nice touch, i personally think. The swatches above are taken with just 1 brush of colour.

In terms of texture, it is a absolute delight in swatching and application, it glides on buttery smooth. The colours however are nicely shimmery and with a little frost to them, having said that i would wear them lighthanded (as my BBF suggested) and with other matte colours or just 2 or 3 colours each time.

As for the colour combination of the palette, they are totally different from anything that i have owned or seen and nothing can represent spring better than them. The light yellow grassy green at the top left corner wow me as it is so vibrant and alive in real life swatch, the white at the top right corner is versatile and nicely pigmented which would not be difficult to use, the light pastel pink in the middle has a very very subtle hint of lavender to me, it is not terribly unique but a nice colour to work on (especially on fair beauties, i just use it nevertheless). The buttery yellow at the bottom left turns out to be a little like very pale gold on me when i use it with a lighthand so i figure its good as a highlighter for eyes and lastly the cool blue toned green with a hint of silver shimmer at bottom right is a unique colour that turned out quite well for me as well.

All in all, i love it. With the exception of the horrid pricing.... Its only USD59.00. Why such high markup? 

Priced at S$94.99 for 4.8g or 0.15oz, available at all Dior Counters. It is a limited edition..... as so get it before its gone.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Something Random.... PAUL Maison de Qualite

There's no better way to start a new year than to have a good meal. Yes, good food... good bread too to be exact.

PAUL is a new French bakery restaurant that just had its soft opening on Friday. According to my french colleague who is already very excited when she got to know that PAUL is opening their first branch outside France in Singapore, PAUL is apparently very famous for their croissant in France.. its buttery and soft.....

The way she describes how good it is, i just can't wait to taste it for myself... and yes, me and my colleagues had the honour of sampling some of the dishes before they are officially opened.

Without further ado, i present the yummy..... 

 The Menu- history of PAUL was introduced.

 The table setting- i positioned the fork and knife in that way so that i can capture the image in one shot (small table).

 My cappucino.

 I don't know what on earth possess me to order cappucino in the middle of the day, its not too bad but not the best i have ever drank. Their warm chocolate on the other hand is a totally different story.... it is what heaven would taste like! I stole a sip from my colleague's cup and i regretted ordering cappucino. Sigh!

 I couldn't recall the name but its resembles Napoleon without the strawberry. This flaky pastry though it is messy to eat with the flakes dropping here and there, the custard filling totally won me over. The custard is sweet but not sickening sweetly like some do, its rather refreshing and light. I would definitely order it again and yes, that is their signature pastry dessert.

 The bread basket- there is a few bread baskets with different bread and baked pastries combination. The one our table ordered had their famous croissant and yes, the baguette is delicious too.

The main- Sirloin steak medium. 

 The portion is decently big, i would say it is sufficient to satisfy my hunger that very afternoon. The steak is well done and comes with a sizable portion of salad and baked/grilled potatoes at the side.

 Look at that juicy slab of steak, the mushroom sauce compliments it perfectly.

 A closer look at the steak.

 What amazed me was that the grilled/baked potatoes actually retained its warm even towards the end when i was finishing the meal and the salad is really fresh, hardly those pathetic loose leafs that one sees normally.

 The salmon dish with rice that my colleague ordered- i would say the mustard goes with the salmon perfectly. It's a shame one's stomach can only contain that much.

 The ambiance of the restaurant- i love the crystal chandelier at the back and the walls (the pale grey and white borders) plus the furniture are done in french style.

 The assorted baked pastries at the front of the store.

 The chandelier at the entrance, above the pastry counter.

 The takeaway box for baked pastries.

All in all, this is a pleasant dinning experience, apart from the mixing up of orders by the serving staffs. What amazed me was that the french chefs actually came to each and every table to gather feedbacks from guests. In that sense, they do show sincerity and determination to make this work. I hope they maintain this earnest attitude in improving their food and service, i guess PAUL will continue to be a success in Singapore just like in France.

Guess, i will be getting my breakfast from them in the future.....

Location: Ngee Ann City Tower B, 3rd Floor, next to Books Kinokuniya. Open from 9am to 9pm daily.

Haul: The object of my Desire......

Yes,yes... this is the object of my DESIRE ever since i first laid my eyes on it.

The NARS Hanamichi Eyeshadow Palette, and yes it is a Limited Edition.

Please forgive me for not having the heart to swatch it yet. Do give me more time to look at it longingly every day, whispher sweetnothings to it softly and until then i will swatch it. 

 The Hanamichi Eyeshadow palette by NARS.

 The Eyeshadow palette is the size of my whole palm.

 The mini kabuki-like brush attached to the set.

 The signature rubber compact.

 A hefty 12.0g or 0.42oz worth of Eyeshadow.

 Behold the beauty.

 Can't get enough of it.

 Not enough.

Yes, never enough.

Grab yours if this stirs your heart like it mine and of course, if you can.

Review: RMK Loose Powder in N00

This is actually a long overdue post..... which i really should have it done it sometime in July of 2011.

Although it is really late, i think its time to credit one of the unsung hero in my stash....

I hereby present the RMK Loose Powder in N00.

RMK Loose Powder in N00.

4.0g and Made in Japan.

The soft rubbery net that protects the powder from falling out.

The small slits that allow the puff to pick up the loose powder.

The loose powder applied on the back of my hand.

I don't usually use loose powder as 1. i am terribly scared of looking very powdery,2. picking up too much powder and in the process of applying it, i will scatter it all over my table and 3.i am a total klutz during the morning rush and the probability of the typical loose powder in a jar knocked over by clumsy me is real high, which in turn will make me in a madder rush trying to clear the mess in the morning.... and of course the reasons for being resistant towards loose powder in a jar goes on and on.

What appeals to me in this particular case is the the accident-proof packaging of the RMK loose powder that draws me to it. No worries about powder spillage in the mad mornings and even if i do drop the whole compact onto the floor, no serious harm done which means there is very little product wastage. Good.

It comes with a soft puff enclosed between the lid and the soft rubber net, plus the handy size of the compact makes it easy to travel with. However, the real reason that sold the loose powder to me is the fact that although it contains shimmer... not only my face doesn't turn into a disco-ball in fact this "miracle powder" managed to "blurred" the look of the pores on my face. It makes my makeup look softer, especially layering it over after applying the blusher (it can also soften the look if i do happen to apply my blusher a little too heavy handed). I do not detect any scent when i was applying it.

I chose N00 which is translucent, if i am not wrong there are 2 other shades for fair skin and darker skin ladies.

The texture of the powder is very very fine, it is finely milled so there isn't any feel of too much powder on the face as i just need a tiny amount of powder to work around my face. The end result is a velvety smooth and matte finish which i like it very much.

The staying power is around 3 to 4 hours depending on the weather and what else i put on my face, and since this is a loose powder i am not expecting it to perform the miracle of not having to touch up for 8 hours.
The staying power is decent enough and as usual, i would need to touch up a bit after 4 hours or so after blotting a little oil with tissue (i have oily- combination skin type).  

I may not have used a lot of loose powder but i do like RMK's loose powder's texture and packaging. The only con that i can think of is its rather high price point, S$75.00 for a mere 4.0g which is really a tad too high compared to Bobbi Brown's Loose powder, around S$60.00 for 28.0g. The refill itself doesn't come cheap either, its about S$57.00 for 4.0g.

In this case, i prefer its quality, accident-proof packaging and travel handy. Sometimes I just wish that RMK would give more of it to make shelling out S$70+ for the loose powder a less painful experience.

Priced at S$75.00 for 4g or 0.14 oz, available at Takashimaya and Isetan Scotts Shopping Centre.