Tuesday, August 30, 2011

More Than Pot Rouge: Bobbi Brown Sheer Color Cheek Tint in Sheer Lilac (5)

Cheek Tint in Sheer Lilac (5)

I have always liked Bobbi Brown Pot Rouge (reviews HERE and HERE). Although I rarely touch up my blush when I hang out, there are times when I want the healthy natural glowy finish of Pot Rouge, yet forgotten all about it till I have powdered my face...uh it's too late!...As you know, it's difficult to wear Pot Rouge nicely over powder, especially when you have been sleep-deprived! The problem is now resolved with the birth of Bobbi Brown Sheer Color Cheek Tint.

The Cheek Tint comes in a super handy size and packaging, literally a smaller version of NARS Multiple, but much cheaper (HKD 200 or USD 25.66). Yes, you may say that it's cheaper because it's smaller, but I personally don't need such a huge stick that can survive years! The best part of the Cheek Tint lies not on the packaging, but the texture. It glides effortlessly on my skin and it's so sheer that I don't even need to blend it in with my ring finger. The sheerness also makes it absolutely foolproof, perfect for both professional and novice users. Even if this irritating nerve on your wrist suddenly twigs when you are using it, all you have to do is to dab it in slightly harder and it will go invisible. The makeup artist recommended me to dab the stick onto my apples for a more natural finish. And by dabbing, I can comfortably layer it over powder. Really?!! 

I was dubious when the makeup artist suggested to test it out on my cheeks at the counter. Frankly, I'm quite timid in this sense. I usually won't do it in case I end up dining with an embarrassingly dramatic flush (I got that before!), but this time round, I took the dare. It was indeed a wise decision! No shifting or smudging. Perfectly smooth and sheer. My tired look was instantly picked up with a natural flush. It's definitely a better version of Pot Rouge which has a relatively thicker, richer consistency (See swatches). With Cheek Tint, there is no more worries about forgetting to blend in the edges or not blending well enough! And yes, Cheek Tint is less sticky too.

From left: Pot Rouge in Calypso Coral (2) and Cheek Tint in Sheer Lilac (5)

After the delightful trial, I purchased Sheer Lilac (5), a rosy-coral with a tinge of purple. Like any primers in purple tones, it neutralizes my yellow skin undertone, making the flush noticeably more natural-looking and the overall look healthier. 

The only thing is, for some reasons, the makeup artist remarked that Cheek Tint can't be worn on pouts. Hmm...it doesn't really bother me since my dehydrated pouts can't even tolerate Pot Rouge! I like Cheek Tint and I have already popped it into my makeup bag. =)

Sunday, August 28, 2011

What Makes My Skin Smile: Shiseido White Lucent Brightening Massage Cream

I went for this promotional event by Shiseido last Tuesday which included a complimentary skin analysis and a 60-min facial session at this Conrad ballroom. My apologies for not taking any pictures as I was too busy relaxing...oops!

The session began with a skin analysis. And as expected of my combo skin, my cheeks were slightly dry. According to the results and my purchase record, I was prescribed with a range of White Lucent products plus a mask from their Revital line. 

What impressed me most was the White Lucent Brightening Massage Cream, which left my skin feeling so super soft and well-rested after the massage in the facial session, like it had just undergone a yoga session - relaxed and refreshed! The facial therapist suggested me to try using it for 7 days to speed up the cell renewal of my recently blemished skin.

I have used it for 5 days now and I can almost feel my skin metabolism being activated! Uhem, I may have exaggerated a bit here, but I'm truly happy with this purchase because I could see how it replenished my skin's moisture level after the very first application at home! I was surprised that my pores looked smaller and my face became more luminous...I could visualize my skin cells being hydrated like a stomata! What I also like is that it can be used on the delicate eye area and problem skin too.

Although my face massaging skill was not that professional, my face was warm after the 3- to 5-minute massage. I assumed it had really activated my blood circulation, and anywayz, my face was really brightened with more radiance after it's cooled down. The skincare products that followed could also seep through my skin more easily. The best was, I couldn't remember the last time I woke up with such radiant skin! What's more, this gigantic pimple that had just begun to dry out on the day of the facial session had completely dried and shrunk into a small dot after using the Massage Cream for 3 consecutive nights! That's almost the recovery speed I got when I was a teen (I hardly had any acne problem then)!

The relaxation, radiance and visible replenishment make the product an addictive one. The results are visible too. I haven't worn any foundation for the past 4 days and I can now hang out with great complexion using only my MAC Pre + Prime Fortified Skin Enhancer in purple (HERE) and a bit of concealer under eyes (currently using Diorskin Sculpt - HERE) - Hooray!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

My Old Friend: Shiseido White Lucent Intensive Spot Targeting Serum

I call it my old friend because I'd finished 3 bottles before switching to Lancome Blanc Expert Melanolyser (HERE) this year. With that, I can't see why I should ever leave it out in my beauty blog!

Honestly, as many people will agree, the name of this product is quite misleading. Shiseido White Lucent Intensive Spot Targeting Serum is not spot targeting at all, but I kept repurchasing it for its excellent work in evening out my skin tone and its super absorbable and sheer texture. I know there are quite a handful of negative reviews of this serum because it really doesn't erase any of your spots! But I shall stress that if you're looking at its overall illuminating power, it is a brilliant product. Like I said, it didn't lighten my sun spots at all, but my usual dull areas, the nose and chin, were noticeably brightened, adding radiance to the overall look. What's more, the formula is literally weightless. It seeped through my skin like SkinCeuticals Hydrating B5 Gel (HERE) and it left my skin baby smooth and soft. Come to think of it, think the texture is actually what I liked most, but of course you may not put sheerness so high on your checklist like me.

One last thing, a bottle could last for one and half month, which makes it a lot more pricey than Lancome Melanolyser. As a matter of fact, I have been using Melanolyser since early April and I am still on my first tube now (finishing though)! So all in all, this Shiseido Spot Targeting Serum is not a perfect beauty product, but in one way or another I did know what I'd paid for. Worth the money? It depends on what you will scream over...

Monday, August 22, 2011

Skincare Review: Clinique Repairwear Laser Focus Wrinkle & Photo Damage Corrector

As I can consciously observe how my skin recovery is slowing down over the past few years and more significantly this year (caution!!!), I was looking out for an antioxidant and repairing serum, and preferably one that contains as many benefits as possible to save my wallet. I happened to receive samples of Clinique Repairwear Laser Focus Wrinkle & Photo Damage Corrector when I repurchased my All About Eyes Serum the other day.

The serum vouches to boost natural collagen level and fight against lines, wrinkles, and UV damage in 12 weeks. I however stopped using the samples after a few days. What I dislike most is that it doesn't seep into my skin, but forms a transparent film that coats and tightens my skin. Perhaps it's meant to be, but I detest anything that doesn't leave my skin feeling refreshed and pampered. Of course, it is possible that this serum will work perfectly on mature skin. 

My verdict is, it's not what you should go for if you're just looking for a serum that can combat the early signs of aging in at your late-20s or early-30s. 

Saturday, August 20, 2011

BB Cream Mania: Laneige Snow BB Cream SPF 41++

Oh gosh, I have delayed this post for soooooooooo looooooong! I have actually purchased Laneige Snow BB Cream shortly after its launch. I was attracted by the antioxidant effect, the texture, the price, and the aqua image of the brand.

The BB Cream comes in two shades, but it turned out that even the darker shade is too fair for me! As with many traditional or earlier generations of BB creams, the fairness is rather grayish, which unfortunately doesn't settle and blend into your natural complexion like what MAC Prep + Prime BB Beauty Balm does (review pending!). So I will only recommend this Laneige one to those with pink skin undertones and super fair complexion like the Korean girls we often see on TV dramas. 

But even so, I have to confess that I do like its texture. It's soufflĂ©-like, ultra sheer, and less sticky than Lancome UV Expert BB Base (HERE). For your information, I find it quite uncomfortable to wear Lancome UV Expert BB Base living in this 33-degree hot air. There's no way I can get rid of the stickiness with powder lately and I have decided to reserve it for autumn and winter. Back to this Laneige Snow BB Cream, yes, I love the texture. It literally feels like my second skin and my Bobbi Brown Pot Rouge (for reviews, see HERE and HERE) blends in perfectly. But again, it's too fair for my face and reduce wastage, I can only use it on my neck and chest on days that I find my face paler for any reasons. Oh, and one more thing, I also like the scent, which is actually identical to the pleasant floral scent of their Water Sleeping Pack. Will be fabulous if they can add some darker shades to the collection next year...!

Friday, August 19, 2011

A Plumy Fall: Chanel Rouge Coco in Plumetis (79)

Plums are everywhere this fall! Many beauty brands have included a plummy shade in their latest F/W collection. Of course, Chanel is in the picture too. The newly launched collection features a Rouge Coco in Plumetis (79), a plum-rose shade, along with the compatible Levres Scintillantes in Pampille (156). But even being a BIG fan of Chanel makeup, the lipgloss is not appealing at all, especially if you already own other shades of Levres Scintillantes. All Pampille does is to intensify the color of Plumetis, which is itself already quite eye-catching.

Rouge Coco in Plumetis (79) does worth some special attention. I gasped when the sales representative removed the cap and revealed the brownish stick...How can it be plummy?!...But DON'T be fooled! As you can see from the swatches below, the plummy rosy shade looks like a sister of Rouge Coco in Cashmere (04), but more rosy and livelier. A swipe on the pouts gives a touch of sophistication. Honestly, now that the weather is still hot and sticky, I find Plumetis too intense to go with most summer clothes. For now, Dior Addict in Nude (333) (HERE), Rouge Coco Shine, and my favorite Rouge Allure in Desinvolte (86) will give a more refreshing and summery finish. But I'm sure it will be a perfect shade as wintry weather sets in.

From top left: Rouge Coco in Cashmere (04), Plumetis (79), Rouge Allure in Desinvolte (86), and Instinctive (78)

From left: Rouge Coco in Plumetis (79) and Dior Addict in Nude (333)

Friday, August 12, 2011

My Overnight Companion in the Acne War: Dermalogica Overnight Clearing Gel

For a few years, I'd been using Clinique Spot Treatment Gel for my occasional pimples until I was down with a very horrible acne breakout like two years ago. The dermatologist prescribed me with this super pimple cream from the pharmacy, which has worked magic since. I don't want to conveniently recommend any of you to go for this super pimple cream without any professional diagnosis. And in fact, despite its impressive effectiveness, I actually began to wonder recently if I shall switch back to something milder before my skin has built up a strong tolerance against the normal acne treatments.

Amid my recent Acne War, I purchased Dermalogica Overnight Clearing Gel, just for a desperate go. It turns out that, inclusive of this Clearing Gel, Dermalogica products (HERE) have never let me down! 

In terms of ingredients, this Gel contains Niacinamide and Biotin, the two important members of the Vitamin B family that work on our skin, hair, and cuticles. There is also the ever-familiar Salicylic Acid that clears your pores and sloughs off the dead skin cell to prevent further breakouts. Alright, enough of introducing the featured ingredients...

The actual results? It functions like an overnight film mask that, I suppose, absorbs the excessive sebum and strengthens your skin cells to eradicate the breakouts. I have used it for two weeks by now. What I like about this gel is that it doesn't really dry out my skin, at least there's no peeling so far, although I do need to use a hydrating mask. But it won't give me any problem with my makeup. It also doesn't carry any medicinal smell that some medicated pimple creams do. In fact, it's fragrance free. And above all, I could see the pimples healing the next morning and, unexpectedly, it also seems to have sped up the recovery of my pimple scars! Bravo! I know Dermalogica has recently launched this Clean Start line that targets on acne-prone skin, but I find the pricing quite steep. Although this one may also look pricey at the first glance, but hey, you get 50ml when you are practically using it by drops, plus its brilliant results, it's definitely a deal!!! 

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Stay-Put Makeup for a Day of Sunshine

I went on a boat trip at Sai Kung after days of hard work and a long morning. To ensure that my colleagues would see a normal-looking me throughout the whole-day social events, I had to be very cautious with the choice of beauty items! Here are what I picked from my makeup compartment:

1. A reliable sunscreen

Never try to skip your sunscreen thinking that your lotion or foundation already provides UV protection. In most cases, the SPF in lotions is not high enough to last through the day and don't forget your foundation will more or less melt or crack after long hours of staying under the blazing sun. So do spare one more minute to apply a good sunscreen under your makeup to top up the UV protection you get. My all-time favorite, as you may already know, is Chanel UV Essentiel SPF 50+++ (HERE and HERE). Topped up with the multi-functional licorice extracts, It brightens, nourishes, and protects your skin round the clock!

2. Sheer and lasting complexion
No matter how good your foundation is, it's will melt in the sizzling hot weather! The point is use one that melts and blends naturally into your skin without causing any embarrassment. My pick is Giorgio Armani Lasting Silk UV Compact with SPF 34+++ (HERE). It's so far the sheerest compact I've ever used. It literally gives the second-skin kind of natural finish. Plus it's pretty much sweat-proof, of course provided that you dab rather than wipe your skin dry! I usually use blotting papers to get rid of the excess oil, touch up my nose bridge, the side of my nose and my jawline with the sponge that came along with the compact, and I will look fresh and picked-up again! 

3. Oil blotting paper

Honestly, I haven't deliberately compared the quality of different oil blotting paper. I tried Shiseido's, but it didn't seem to outperform the cheaper alternatives in any ways. The one that I have always got back to is Gatsby's. I find it super duper oil-thirsty...not excessively though. Perhaps its appetite for oil (my apology if you feel disgusted) owes to the brand's focus on the Men's skincare market. But anyway, it has never failed to leave my skin feeling fresh in a flash! It doesn't stick off my Giorgio Armani Lasting Silk either. Perfect for retouches!

4. Coral blush
Although Bobbi Brown says pink looks nice on all women, I do find coral more natural-looking, especially on a tired face. It also feels more summery than the sweet dolly pink. I still adore Bobbi Brown Pot Rouge in Calypso Coral (2). Oh, if you still prefer to go pink, I would recommend Pot Rouge in Powder Pink (6) for more natural beach makeup look. The texture is so spreadable, which makes it pretty fool-proof. The color is also very lasting. So no matter how haggard you are, you won't lose the natural flush! 

5. Plump and healthy pouts
If you are going to wear your sunglasses under the blazing glaring sun, it will be a good idea to draw the focus to your pouts. Personally, I don't think crimson red goes well with most Asian skin. For a lightweight and hydrating highlight, my pick for this summer is still Chanel Coco Shine in Aventure (57) (HERE). The better-than-natural-lips coral shade can definitely give you a flash pick-me-up...plus the watery touch of Coco Shine...it's simply irresistable!

Friday, August 5, 2011

A Luxury Treat for Your Eyes: Chanel Precision Ultra Correction Lift Total Eye Lift

I suppose the past few days had been a disaster for my skin. The sleep deprivation (with a total of merely 10 hours of sleep for 3 days/nights), coupled with the nerve-wrecking work stress, the sweltering sauna-like weather, plus the unexpected UV exposure which definitely exceeded my usual threshold reminded me that I'm no longer in my early twenties...! My eyes drooped with extreme exhaustion at the end of each day, not to mention the intense dark circles and puffiness around my eyes.

Still, in a rather extreme condition as such, my eye areas managed to remain plump and hydrated all because of Chanel Precision Ultra Correction Lift. Comparing to my favorite Bobbi Brown Hydrating Eye Cream (did I ever review it?...NO, but I will!), this gel-cream formula is noticeably more lightweight and just as fast absorbing, making it ideal to go under makeup. I also realize I'm using a smaller blob at each application, which can perhaps make up for its relative higher price. Honestly, I truly wonder if it's moisturizing enough in wintry weather, but it nourishes my eyes sufficiently and comfortably on the steamy summer days. And although the Ultra Correction Lift vouches to combat dark circles and puffiness, I guess the current situation I'm in has gone beyond what this eye lift can buffer, so I can't tell how it fares in this regard at the moment. But it is, in no doubt, a pretty good option if you want to indulge in a luxury eye lift in this uplifting vacation season.

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