Friday 28 December 2012

Collection Roundup - Le Metier de Beaute Eye Kaleidoscopes (Part 1)

This is going to be a long post, but if you are an LMdB fan or want to see a swatch heavy post, this is your lucky day! :P

LMdB Kaleidoscopes were once my obsession. They still are. I skipped on the recently released Nouvelle Vague collection but I think I might cave on Bauhaus. It looks interesting and hopefully not dupable. For a great review on this palette, check out Birkin Bag Beauty or Best Things in Beauty (my first resource for LMdB kaleidoscopes :)). If you are interested in the lip kit from this collection, head on over to see the review on my favourite beauty blog ever, Cafe Makeup.

Anyway, it looks like we will be having mild weather here in Perth today and I thought it would be a great chance to do a comparison post/swatch archive of all the LMdB kaleidoscopes I have accumulated through online purchases/swaps/custom purchases by my lovely friends in the US. 

I will list my kaleidoscopes below... This post is actually an excellent way for me to keep track without having to look in my "Kaleidoscope Drawer" and you guys can enjoy the swatches :D Kaleidoscopes listed in order of acquisition:

{Part 1}
- Splendid Frost
- Le Cirque
- Silk Road
- Penelope
- Oscar de La Renta
- City Girl
- Come One, Come All
- Antiquite Poupee 
{Part 2}
- Cherry Blossom
- Chinoiserie Azure
- Violaceous Splendour
- Modernist Merlot
- Devotion
- Northern Lights
- Chauvet Pont d'Arc
- Pallid Incandescents

Btw, I met Dustin Lujan in New York when I was over for my holiday. Oh my, he is a lovely one, and we are catching up for lunch when he visits (hopefully sometime this year!).

There are a few kaleidoscopes that I really would love to own, especially Aphrodite, Mediterranean Seas, and Smoldering Embarkment. Also within my collection, there are a few that I really could do without; Northern Lights (blah), Modernist Merlot (a little muddy on me but when my skin is tan, it is ok), and Cherry Blossom (I only got it for the green shadow lol...) 

Please note that for all my swatch photos, I did not use the flash so the shimmer and sparkle will not show. The shadow finishes will be noted next to the swatch instead.

Splendid Frost

This is the first kaleidoscope that I swapped for and remains my favourite (initial review here and tutorial here). There is something about the colour pairing that suits my skin and lights up my face everytime I wear it. I would have got a backup of this if it was still available at the time. I believe this palette sold out like hot cakes as soon as Messy Wands published a post about Vintage Kaleidoscopes. My review on this palette stands, eventhough my collection has grown considerably. It is simply the best. 

My favourite palette (not just kaleidoscope) of all time. Love love love it.

Le Cirque

This palette is taupe heaven. Oh my gosh, I got this shortly after Splendid Frost and I decided to take it on holiday with me to Indonesia. For two weeks straight, this palette is the only one I wore on my eyes. It is amongst the most used palette in my collection. I have to use this with restraint because I don't have a backup and I will really be sorry to not have this around. Will the kaleidoscope fairy shine upon me and grant me another Le Cirque please? :)

For my initial review, click here.

Silk Road

Oh, I die for this palette. Specifically, the first two tiers. The third plummy colour seems to make this look a little too bruisy for my taste but used in moderation, it gives beautiful depth. I have a soft spot for golds, and the gold in this palette is stellar. Just... amazing. The last shade is harder to the touch but it performs beautifully as a liner.


Due to the intensity of the colour and the saturation of shimmer in the layered look, there are few occasions where I could actually wear this confidently. Definitely not one I can wear to work (unlike Splendid Frost or Le Cirque) but it is SO beautiful. Also, I prefer to wear this in the traditional way with lid, crease, outer v and liner placements instead of the couches de couleur method.


Penelope is another beautiful palette. The overall textures are so smooth, I think the best out of the bunch of eye kaleidoscopes that I own. I am not a big fan of the lavender in this palette though (and by that, I mean layered in the couches de couleur technique) but on its own its a great colour. What I love about this palette is the combination of finishes. It has two satin finishes and two shimmery finishes, which are my favourite eyeshadow finishes to work with.

In terms of texture, eventhough the LMdB shadows are really smooth and finely milled, I believe Burberry is still best in class in this category. However, Burberry loses out in terms of pigmentation, lasting power and selection of colours. 

Oscar de La Renta

I have previously reviewed this palette here and also did a FOTN here. This was my first eye/lip kaleidoscope and I loved it. I love the blue-based red lip creme and I love the fact that a highlighter is included. The pink eyeshadow is extremely flattering and the navy teal shade is so gorgeous as a liner. I might be slightly biased though, I do prefer navy colours to line my eyes :)

This palette is the most luxurious LMdB palette ever (and the most expensive). The smooth, buttery texture of the powder products in this palette reminds me of Burberry's infamous texture, but it has the added bonus of terrific pigmentation. The combination of the red lip and a blue liner just ticks every box for me. I think you can create a whole look just with this palette and a good base makeup. Note to self: next face of the day post with under five products?

City Girl

My lovely friend (and fellow LMdB fan) Anthea informed me that Hong Kong LMdB has released their own kaleidoscope and I reviewed it here.

Having owned a few kaleidoscopes already at this point in time, I was a little disappointed to find a few dupes in the kit. The layering of the four shades create a very light, shimmery colour for the eyes that is very easy to use.

Come One, Come All

This is the palette that started to create waves for LMdB (in a not so good way). This kaleidoscope is also known as the dupes palette. Three of the colours in this kit are repromotes (different shade names in the promo, of course) and a lot of LMdB fans were not happy about this at all, especially for a palette that costs $95 dollars a pop. The only original shade, whose originality will indeed be investigated later on in this piece, is the first tier - a satiny peachy pink.

Eventhough this palette had so much bad press surrounding it, I cannot deny that this is a palette that is superb in quality and the couches de couleur technique produces one of the most beautiful gradation of colours. Its a peachy pink-taupe-plum-browny version of heaven. AMAZEBALLS.

Antiquite Poupee

Ahhhh... my FIRST Dustin Lujan creation! I loved this palette when it was released. I was wearing it so much that I actually had to stop myself from reaching for it so that I don't run out within a few short months. My initial review can be found here. I think my favourite thing about this palette is that you can use it to create a rosy smoky eye look, and I don't quite have anything like it in my stash at all.

The finishes of the first, second, and fourth tier are beautifully shimmery and just like the Oscar Palette, the eyeshadows are extremely buttery. The third tier (a scary terracotta red) is harder in texture and sheer, and I like it just fine as it is. I hope you have enjoyed my post and please stay tuned for Part 2.

xx Cindy

Thursday 27 December 2012

Currently Coveting: YSL Arty Ovale Ring in Aqua

Look at how beautiful this ring is!! I have seen various designer colours and I think this is my favourite of them all.

Perhaps this is something I can purchase to celebrate the new year - not that I ever need an excuse to buy anything LOL

What is currently on your wishlist?

xx Cindy

Wednesday 26 December 2012

My Favourite Highlight Eyeliners

I have been searching for a great highlight eyeliner for a while now, and I believe I have found a favourite. When I purchased the Giorgio Armani waterproof eye pencils in 04 Antique (antique gold) and 05 Copper (rose gold), I was amazed at the softness of these eyeliners and how well it stays put even on the waterline.


I have a few comparison swatches for you below. I added the LMdB Champagne eyeliner because I momentarily forgot that sometimes, makeup companies name their items in a completely non-sensical way and don't even bother matching the name to the actual shade. I believe LMdB Champagne should have been called Taupe instead. (Also GA Copper...)

In terms of performance, I believe the Giorgio Armani is the best in every way. It is soft in texture and does not pull on your delicate eye area. The Chanel is the worst in this regard, it is hard and you have to use a lot of pressure and pull quite hard across the skin for the colour to deposit on your eye. I had no problems with the application of the LMdB Champagne and MUFE 23L, however, the texture is significantly harder to the touch than the Armani and it does not glide on as easily.  You can probably tell from the picture above that the Armani is just so much creamier.

The lasting power of the Armani is almost on par with the MUFE aqua eyes. I do believe the MUFE is slightly longer lasting but not by much. If Armani had that exact colour (my favourite for lining under the eyes), I would buy it in a heartbeat because the Armani formula is just so much more pleasant to apply. When I used a baby wipe to remove the swatches, the Chanel was the first to go, followed by LMdB. I had to use a little more elbow grease to remove the MUFE but MUFE and GA were the hardest to remove :) To be fair though, neither the LMdB nor the Chanel was advertised as long lasting and waterproof. Chanel Peche Cuivre is indeed a khol pencil which excuses the lasting power (maybe) but still does not explain the texture...

Chanel has released three new waterproof pencils with the spring collection in Santal, Or Rose and Beryl. I can't wait to get my hands on these, especially Or Rose and Beryl, so I can add to my highlight pencil collection :)

What are your favourite eye pencils?? Do share :) If anyone is interested in these GA eyeliners, they are still available online from Harrods. Both are on sale for 14.40 pounds.


Dior Addict Lipstick in New Look

I think I have turned into a lipstick monster. Ever since starting my beauty blog, my meagre lipstick collection of TWO tubes/bullets have grown considerably. Without any further ado, here is another lipstick review...

I purchased this Dior Addict lipstick in New Look because I felt that I was missing a sheer coral red in my collection.

Well, what a lovely lipstick line this is. I was instantly reminded of the Chanel Rouge Coco Shine formula which is a sheer balmy lipstick perfect for someone like me who isn't used to wearing a block of colour on my lips.

The colour is a coral/orange red with  a smattering of fine shimmer which is not noticable and therefore this isn't a frosty colour at all.

As you can see below, the colour translates into a beautiful juicy watermelon pink on the lips. The colour is buildable to a certain extent. When I look in the mirror (and the photos below), I also see a resemblance to the YSL Glossy Stains in terms of the finish. I find that the Glossy Stains are less slippery though, and a bit more dry and tacky as it dries. The Dior Addict (and Rouge Coco Shine) formula never really dry and sit on top of your lips like a moisturising tinted balm. The Revlon Lip Butters are slightly less slippery, not as hydrating and tend to have larger shimmer particles in the shimmery colours.

The lasting power is about 3 hours on me. It does not leave a lovely stain like the YSL Glossy Stain range. I love the packaging because it looks super cool and it is very light (and therefore travel friendly in that regard - you wouldn't feel burdened carrying this in your everyday handbag).

I think I am all blogged out for today. Hope everyone is having a good holiday and stay safe!

xx Cindy

RMK Blush in Pink Beige

RMK is a new makeup brand discovery for me this year, having never previously even seen an RMK makeup counter in Australia. The legendary Lisa Eldridge uses RMK products from time to time and she never steers me wrong! I love all her product recommendations, both low and high end :D

I sourced this particular blush from Ebay, and I have been wearing it quite a lot recently because it pairs well with a red lip, and only a red lip will do for the holidays.

Pink Beige has five amazing shades of matte pink fuschia (very pigmented and buttery), shimmery vintage pink (very pigmented and buttery), shimmery bright orange (very pigmented, soft and buttery), a light pearly pink (sheer, buttery), and a sparkling white (medium pigmentation, buttery, kicks up a lot of powder but not chalky).

Below I have two swatches for you. The top swatch is to show how all 5 colours combine, and directly below is a swatch of the top three stripes. With this palette, you can either wear it with all colours swirled together (a no-brainer blusher), or the top two or three colours combined as blusher and the bottom two shades as highlighter.

I am wearing the RMK blush in the photo below. I love that it looks very natural eventhough the three blushing colours look so bright in the pan!

Hope you enjoyed the review. Do you have any RMK blushes? I would love to hear your recommendations because I am dying to get more! :)

xx Cindy

Makeup Trend : Vampy Lips

I must admit. I am not usually for the latest trends in makeup, fashion etc etc. I prefer more classic items that never go out of style and the same goes for my makeup collection as well. 

I blame my fellow blogger, Reika, for my falling victim to the vampy lip bandwagon with her Black Orchid FOTD here. I decided to purchase Becca's Ultimate Colour Gloss in Berry Twist. It looks like a very dark plum in the tube but it applies very beautifully.

I will show you two ways to apply this gloss. In the first one, directly below, I have applied one pump of lip gloss and smeared it on my bottom lip. I then purse my lips together to distribute the gloss over my whole top and bottom lips. You can then use the little remaining gloss on the wand to fix the lip line or add a touch more to certain areas.

One coat of the gloss will give you a berry stain, with minimal shine but still the comfortable feeling of a moisturising balm. I love wearing the gloss this way, as it is "tame" enough for office wear. 

The lip swatch below was done with two coats. As you can see, the colour is significantly more opaque, and really emphasises any dryness and imperfections on your lips. This is not uncommon for very pigmented lip products.

I looove this gloss. I wish I bought more colours from Sephora. With every new product that I try from Becca, I fall in love with the line more and more. The Ultimate Colour Gloss is richly pigmented, and feels very  comfortable on the lips. Its quite moisturising (though I don't expect lip glosses to be moisturising at all), and has a delectable shine rivaling my favourite Chanel Glossimers. There is a slight vanilla scent when you first apply the gloss but its not detectable after a few seconds.

Happy Boxing Day everyone!!


Monday 24 December 2012

Two Tone Manicure - Inspired by "Bachelorette" the movie

I recently watched a movie called "Bachelorette" starring Kirsten Dunst, Isla Fisher and Lizzy Caplan. I thoroughly enjoyed the movie but I could not stop staring at Gena's nails (played by Lizzy Caplan). I don't have any screen shots of her nails from the movie but it looks like a base paint of matte white with a dark vampy red over most of the nail area.

I would expect that an easier way to do this is to buy those french tip stickers to cover the bottom of the nail bed and paint the red nail polish over it. However, I chose to do it the hard way and just free-paint my nails. Disaster. I had so much trouble with this manicure!! (granted, I am not the best with DIY manicures).

The two nail varnish I chose for this manicure is Ciate's Members only and Shu Uemura Shiny Rouge (released as part of a duo in the Wong Kar Wai collection)

I love this manicure a lot... as hard as it was for me to achieve the same look as Gena, I definitely think that the hard work paid off. Its super chic for the holidays!

I have one more review to do before Xmas day, so stay tuned!!

xx eCindy

Sunday 23 December 2012

Chanel Variation Quad - Review and Swatches

I was on a layover in Singapore a few months back and spotted this quad at a duty free shop. What's a girl to do in this situation? Haha, after all, the quad looks ever so pretty in the pan and it has purples!! I've recently been taking a departure from my boring old eyeshadows of taupes, browns and bronzes and leaning towards dark navy and purples.

The quad includes an instruction booklet that I have not seen included in Australian versions eventhough they are the same baked version.

Variation includes four colours: a shimmery pale pink, a silvery shimmery green grey, a light shimmery purple, and a dark satiny purple with some silver microshimmer.

Dry and wet swatches are shown below. I have used Chanel eyeshadows dry and wet before and have found that the wetting the shadows cause no significant change to the shadows themselves.

There are several downsides to the baked formula:
- inferior texture compared to the US formula
- sheerer pigmentation, particularly with the shimmery shades (I found the dark purple to be the best performer)
- powdery (you NEED a great base to ensure the shadows adhere better)

With this quad in particular, I find that using the sponge is actually the best way of applying the shadows.

Here is a look that I created with this quad. Forgive the slap-dash makeup application here, I had very limited time because I was running late to go to a movie :P

The one thing I LOVE about this quad is the shimmery shades. It is not visible at all in these photos but imagine the sparkle from the fourth swatch photo on your eyelids. Pretty! As you can see, the result is a grown up, sophisticated eye look that can go from day to night.

The look I created here (day appropriate) can be transformed into a night eye look by patting on the shimmery purple over the mobile lid and using the satiny dark purple on the outer v instead of just as a liner. You can also glam it up with a red or vampy lip :D

I really liked the photo below but the color cast was just horrible so I played with the hues and saturation instead to make it fun. The reason I wanted to include it is to rave about the Frederic Fekkai Glossing range. My hair now has so much volume and natural waves (instead of frizz) and I definitely recommend this product!

Have a great Christmas everyone!! Stay safe and don't drink and drive ;)

xx Cindy