Thursday 31 January 2013

Dior Cherie Bow Twin Sets in Beige Ruban 530 and Rose Cache-Coeur 840

I got the chance to test my new Dior Twin Sets while I was away on a short vacation last weekend to beautiful coastal Albany and Denmark.

Rose Cache-Coeur  840

Rose Cache-Coeur is a brightening slightly coral pink that has gold pearl when the powder shadow is patted on top. Its the equivalent of Nars Orgasm on the eyes :) Eventhough such a bright shade can risk looking a little 80's, with restrained application this shadow twin set looks smashing for summer and spring.

Just cream eyeshadow

With sparkly pink loose powder shadow on top, edges blended out with Shu Uemura eyeshadow in P832

Beige Ruban 530 

Beige Ruban is a gold leaning neutral that perfects the eyelid and can be used as a powder eyeshadow shade with any colours (not just the sparkly gold it comes with :D)

When applied on its own, it does look a little plain, a little too natural. With the sparkly loose powder on top, the eyes are given a new texture, added dimension and they become simply amazing.
Just cream shadow

With sparkly gold powder shadow on top, taken up to the browbone

I'm happy to report that both Beige Ruban 530 and Rose Cache-Couer 840 were extremely pigmented and long lasting. They are the most long lasting cream eyeshadows I have ever tested, even surpassing my beloved Chanel Illusion d'Ombres. I expected that the shadow would not last at all on my lids and would experience fading and creasing after the 3-4 hour mark. Rose Cache-Couer being such a bright pop of colour, any fading and creasing of this shade would be especially noticable and to my great surprise, the shadow only started creasing at the 8th hour mark. Even then, it was minimal and barely noticable.

Both shadows were tested during a day full of exploring and being outdoors on the beach. How impressive is that??

I think I may get the graphite colour of the twin sets next. They are super easy to use and have great wear. One thing to note is that Beige Ruban is very nude. Just because you can't see much colour on your lids, its there. I made the mistake of trying to build up the colour and ended up excessively tugging my lid area with a marginal increase in saturation of pigment LOL

Happy Friday!


Chanel Spring 2013 Collection Swatches - Printemps Precieux

Good evening all :D Today I have selected item swatches for you from the Chanel Spring 2013 collection. I dropped into Myer today just as they were closing and managed to get good swatches of a few selected items...

Clockwise from top: Chanel Joues Contraste in Frivole, Chanel Stylo Yeux Waterproof Eyeliners in Or Rose and Beryl (Both LE), Chanel Raffinement Quad, Chanel Extrait de Gloss in Attirance (LE) and Chanel Rouge Allure in La Favourite.

While I am not a huge fan of Chanel's baked quads, Raffinement seems to have a much more softer and refined texture. It is also well pigmented. Frivole is just amazing, melts into the skin creating a natural effect. La Favourite is a bright corally pink that is just gorgeous for spring. Attirance is a simple topper or natural gloss for days when you want a no fuss, no brainer look. The eyeliners are great quality, though not as soft as the Giorgio Armani ones.

Basically these are the things I am planning to get over the next few weeks. Lucky for me, only the eyeliners and gloss is LE so I can purchase those first and buy the remainder later...

I did a staying power test of the eyeliners by using a dry tissue to rub all products away and guess what, they held up amazingly well! Or Rose seemed to have flaked off a little bit there, but I overapplied the product there anyway and it wasn't a fair test. I think they both have superb lasting powers. Personally I think that Or Rose is a little too warm to wear on the lower waterline but Beryl can do that perfectly.

Hope you had a great day!


Monday 28 January 2013

Dior Cherie Bow Spring Collection 2013 - My picks!!

Just a short post to share my picks from the newest Dior collection. I bought the new and exciting lip and nail glows, a polish in Plaza 579 (repromote?), and two of the new Dior Twin Sets in Beige Ruban (530) and Rose Cache-Couer (840). I passed on the new eyeshadow palettes and lip and eye palettes because I didnt like my swatches of them. It was also partly because I recently purchased the Shu Uemura- Unmask Pink palette which is way better in quality in my opinion.

I got some pretty sweet gifts from the boutique because I was apparently the first one to purchase from the new collection!! LOL the big white box is actually a Dior clutch with a mini Lip Maximiser and a mini Dior Addict in Lucky.

Friday 25 January 2013

Shu Uemura Blossom Dream Collection Spring 2013 - Unmask Palette in Pink

I lurveeee this new collection by Shu Uemura. I have to tell you, this Spring sees a huge selection of pink palettes, pink lips, pink nails etc. Basically a plethora of pink-ness to choose from. Shu Uemura's Unmask Palette in Pink is the best out there. Its a totally matte palette (HALLELUJAH!!!!) that offers great basic matte shades with one bright pink in there that is very wearable. I was so excited to swatch, try, and then purchase this palette.

I also bought one of the eyelashes from the collection, and the sales assistant provided me with some great samples.

There are a few sets of swatches and a couple of eye looks below for you.

Look at the texture of these eyeshadows. It does not sit on the skin at all and it looks so gorgeous on the eyes as well.

I started with the light beige on my browbone. Then, I placed the light baby pink all over the lid and above the crease. I then layered the brown all over the mobile lid and then used the pink in the crease area. The dark brown is used to create a soft hazy liner.

In the eye look below, I have done exactly the same thing but layering twice and building up the pigmentation. I hope you can appreciate how well the colours transition and this was with minimal blending. The eyeshadow quality is just outstanding. I think this may be one of the best matte palettes ever!!

What do you think about the Shu Uemura Blossom Dream Collection? I absolutely love my pink palette, I will be wearing this a lot!


YSL Pure Chromatics #10 - Review and Swatches

I was sort of, kind of, most definitely was pressured into buying this by the lovely sales assistant at the YSL counter at David Jones. I am not totally regretting my decision, because this is the first palette I have owned that is actually designed to be used wet. They even provide special rubber applicators for you to do that!! I thought that was pretty cool :P

The swatches below are dry (top row) and wet (bottom row) swatches. 

There is a gorgeous deep khaki with flecks of microshimmer on the top left of the palette. I used this in the crease for my eye look below.

The top right shade is a silver glitter. It has a sheer silver base and the glitter is very noticeable. I patted this on the inner corner of my mobile lid.

The bottom left shade is a golden khaki, used all over the lid in my eye look.

The bottom right shade is a blackened emerald green with gold shimmer. The green is intensified when used wet and it becomes a beautiful eyeliner shade.  

In terms of softness, I do think these are quite good. The pigmentation is a bit lacking when swatched dry though, and even when wet/foiled, its not out of this world. It does, however, blend very nicely together (wet and dry) and you can mix and match the finishes depending on whether you choose to foil or not. You can even layer a foiled shade on top of a dry one. It all works. The only major problem (aside from lack of pigmentation when dry) is the fallout. It is quite fallout-y. I don't like having to perform a major clean-up after doing my eyes, but other than that I am happy with the overall performance of this palette.

Hope you like my swatches and eye look! I am trying to be more dilligent in swatching and creating wearable looks for you guys and it forces me to think of new ways to wear a certain colour combination in a palette. I have to say I am getting a lot of benefit from the process and I love having more play time with my makeup :D


Shu Uemura Smokey Velvet Palette - Review and Swatches

With the spring collection finally arriving at the Shu Uemura counter, the items from the Karl Lagerfeld holiday collection was on sale and I decided to pick up the second eye and cheek palette called Smokey Velvet.

The sales assistant was also nice enough to throw in this Shu Uemura bag for free! :D

The slightly scary packaging... My husband actually commented that the packaging is eerie. LOL

And the gorgeous shades inside!! Aaahhh I die for this palette. I think right now I prefer this palette to prestigious bordeaux. It can create a more seamless green smokey eye look and the blush colour is amazing.

Some swatches for you. All shades applied evenly with superb pigmentation. The blush was soft and quite creamy despite being a matte, pigmented red.

The ingredients on the back :)

I have included a couple of shots below where I am wearing the palette. I love it, I truly do. Its so effortless and appropriate for a daytime look that isn't boring. The dark sparkly green is just divine.

Hope you enjoyed the photos and swatches. I am seriously considering a backup, though at 88 AUD (61.50 AUD on sale) it is not an easy price to swallow.


Tom Ford Sable Smoke Swatches

Today I bring you a review of one of my recent acquisitions from the luxurious and super expensive Tom Ford cosmetics line.

I purchased Sable Smoke because I was looking for a nude lip colour that would suit me, and this is simply perfection on my skintone (medium-tan, pink undertones). 

Tom Ford Sable Smoke is a emollient lipstick with a subtle vanilla scent. The colour is a gorgeous rose brown beige that looks mostly nude brown on my lips with a very very slight rose tinge. 

I have a swatch comparison for you below. Burberry Rosewood is shown at the bottom swatch in the next picture. Can you see how creamy the Tom Ford is?? The Burberry applies like a light layer, a thin veil of colour on the lips. The Tom Ford formula is more buttery and applies like a visible layer on the lips. It does not catch on dry bits and makes my lips look fuller and hydrated.
Unfortunately, I can't really comment on the lasting power of this lipstick. Since the colour is so close to my own lip, I couldn't tell when it actually wore off. If I judged the lasting power by the lasting power of the vanilla scent on my lips, then I would hazard a guess at roughly 3-4 hours. This is with frequent snacks and drinks throughout.

The list of ingredients is shown below :)

Honestly, as much as I love this colour and the feel of the lipstick (very moisturising and buttery, by the way), I do not care for the price point. I think that the quality is not better than other luxury brands like Suqqu or Guerlain.

I am happy to own my meagre collection of four lipsticks (Pink Dusk, Vanilla Suede and Black Orchid are yet to be tested and reviewed), but I doubt that I would buy more unless he comes up with AMAZING new shades. Coincidentally, my Pink Dusk and Vanilla Suede are in the old (read: better) formulation. I will test, compare and report back. I'm a total lipstick newbie so I want to make sure that my review is not half baked :P

Happy Australia Day to my aussie readers!!


Thursday 17 January 2013

Makeup Tips for an Engagement (or Bridal) Photoshoot

I have often been asked what makeup I wear for my wedding and what sort of makeup look best on brides for engagement and wedding day shoots. I really hope this post is somewhat helpful to those who are looking for hints on how to look their most beautiful self for engagement portraits. With the exception of the hairstyle, I think that these tips can be useful for bridal makeup too.

I guess the most important thing to note here is that makeup is absolutely essential for these shoots unless you have flawless skin. I made the mistake of NOT wearing any AT ALL except for eyelashes and while my eyes looked pretty, my skin did not. The camera picked up every.single.flaw and it was such a bad decision on my part that I am still kicking myself for it.

The following recommendations are based on creating a radiant, fresh faced and in-love look. I don't think an engagement shoot is the best occasion to be adventurous with makeup.


Now, the perfect foundation for your engagement portrait may not be your favourite everyday foundation. I suppose this depends on the level of coverage your skin usually needs though. I prefer a more sheer, dewy foundation for every day. For a portrait session, I recommend that you find a foundation that provides flawless coverage and a gorgeous luminous quality to the skin. You want to look like you are glowing from within :)

My foundation recommendations are listed below, please note that these are foundations I have tested and loved. You may find something you already have in your stash that fits the bill just as well...

- Chanel Mat Lumiere : this is medium coverage, and I don't need as much concealer for my spots (I get them regularly, unfortunately). It is very long lasting, oil free, and gives my skin a very understated, subtle glow. The finish is velvety and a setting powder is not recommended. It will make your skin look too matte/dry and therefore, unnatural. It looks brilliant in photographs on its own, and probably more suited to elegant and urban-type engagement shoots.

- Bobbi Brown Natural Finish Long Lasting Foundation : I find this to be a great sheer - medium (buildable) foundation that makes your skin look better. More fresh, more even toned, while still looking very very natural. This foundation is perfect for a more fun or outdoorsy photoshoot, or when you just want to look like yourself. Also oil-free and supposedly non-comedogenic (don't quote me on that though!).

- Laura Mercier Silk Creme : Its no secret that I love love this foundation very much. It never makes my skin break out (oil free), and when applied as part of Laura's Flawless Skin method, it is fail-proof. It is a creamy, easily spread foundation that offers high coverage. What I love most is that it matches my skin perfectly and it is a very dewy foundation. Translucent powder is necessary to set and while I find that this foundation transfers quite easily, it is worth the trouble for the amazing result it gives. I wore this foundation to the latest photoshoot I did with dearest hubby.

Foundation Base (optional)  

The best foundation base, if you choose to wear one, is Laura Mercier Oil Free Primer. It is simply the best to ensure perfect application of your base and extend its longevity. If you wear a good moisturiser, I absolutely think that you can skip this step. 


This may be personal preference, but I think the eye makeup should be kept to a minimal. Perhaps some shading on the crease and a brightening colour on the lid. I do recommend that you wear eyelashes and some subtle eyelining to enhance your eyes. Refrain from creating a harsh line on your undereye by dotting a gray eyeliner pencil on your lower lashline. Lastly, I think it goes without saying that good curled lashes and mascara are a must!


Enhance your arch slightly by placing light feathery strokes to fill it in and continue with the rest of your brows if necessary. Do not go overboard. If you want an example of overdone eyebrows, think Megan Fox. I don't know why but I hate her arch combined with the thickness and darkness of it. Sorry, Megan! For the record, I did not do my eyebrows at all for my shoot because I did not want to look too polished.


My favourite topic! The blush is very important in creating that radiance that we want. There are a few products that you can use to create radiant cheeks.

- Cream/Liquid/Gel Blush : I find that non-powder blush looks the most natural on the skin when blended properly. The only thing is that if you have spots on your cheeks, you will be required to spot conceal after cream blush application. If you are like me, you will not want to do this. Simplify your makeup routine and go for a powder blush. My favourite shades are Illamasqua Rude, Edward Bess Island Rose, and Becca Beach Tint in Watermelon.

- Powder Blush : Choose the best, least powdery blush you have in your stash. It needs to lay on the skin (well, foundation) naturally. Some of my favourites are Chanel Tweed Rose, Chanel Joues Contraste in Fleur de Lotus, Le Metier de Beaute Blush Kaleidoscope, Burberry Blushes (all of them are gorgeous!), Illamasqua Blushes and last but not least, Shu Uemura Glow Ons.

Remember that the camera washes out any colours so apply a touch more blush than necessary. 


Keep the lips simple and fresh. I don't think you can go wrong with the lipstick shade as long as you choose something that is close to your natural lip colour. A brightening lip colour that would be perfect for all seasons,like Chanel Rouge Allure Luminous Intense in La Favourite, would be my pick. For my own shoot, I used LMdB's Aurora Lip Kit, because that was my traveling lip kit of choice.


A small amount of highlighting couldn't hurt, can it? I don't think its strictly necessary, but if you have any dark shadows on your face that may be picked up during the shoot, it might be best to conceal and highlight.

Personally, I love YSL Touche Eclat in #3, but makeup guru Lisa Eldridge swears by Clinique Airbrush Concealer. I believe the two products are quite similar, in that they provide sufficient coverage for undereye darkness and any dark shadows on the face while highlighting, which lifts your features, creating a more youthful appearance. A small amount of highlight powder to the high points on your cheeks would also create the same effect.

Final Notes and Advice

I only have a few more sentences in me to finish off this long blog post. This topic is something I researched thoroughly prior to my own wedding and I hope I helped someone today.

- Remember to have fun! This is what will come across on the photos when you finally get to enjoy it some weeks later...
- Hydrate your skin from inside and out. Drink plenty of water!
- Before you leave your home for the shoot, do a final check of your makeup. Touch up to make sure that everything is as perfect as possible. Your makeup will only get worse unless you plan on touching up throughout the day.

I will leave you with some images from my shoot in Canada. Hope you like it, and more importantly, I hope you like the makeup! ;)


Friday 11 January 2013

US Beauty Haul - Cindy went a little Crazy!

This is going to be EPIC. 

I will be the first to admit that I go a little weak at the knees at beautiful makeup. Can you imagine what my heart was doing when I saw the prices of the makeup-s in the US?? I was giddy!!


A tarte 6-piece SMOLDER-eyes eyeshadow/liner set and MUFE eyeliner set.

Tom Ford Cognac Sable, Burnished Amber, and Shade and Illuminate in Intensity Two :D

Also picked up UD Vice Palette (still haven't played with this enough to review), BITE lip palette, and Guerlain Les Fauves.

Bought sooo many lip products this time round. The top row is three Revlon Lip Butters in Strawberry Shortcake, Cotton Candy and Peach Parfait, Mac Ruby Woo, Becca Ultimate Colour Gloss in Berry Twist and Fallen Angel.

The bottom row is YSL glossy stains in #7, #8, and #13, Lancome gloss in #321, Tom Ford Black Orchid, LMdB John Barrett Lip Creme, Coral Confection Lip Gloss and Bali Lip Gloss, BITE Beauty pencil in Scarlet.

Tarte Tipsy. My ONLY blush purchase. Nothing really grabbed me. I was really itching for Chanel Frivole, and I might finally cave soon. :D

And we have reached the miscellaneous bunch :) Caudalie face mist, UDPP, Essie Luxeffects in As Gold As It Gets, Chanel Malice (LOVE!!) and Chanel Peridot (also LOVE!!).

Hope you enjoyed this post :) I had a blast shopping in the US. I can't believe how cheap the prices are!! Please do let me know down in the comments section if there are particular items you want reviewed. I don't always review everything I buy even if I really enjoy using it (pure laziness).