Wednesday, 1 January 2014

Bobbi Brown Illuminating Bronzing Powder (Blush) - Santa Barbara

Recently I strolled through David Jones (beauty section, of course!)  pushing my pram looking for Christmas specials. I walked past the Bobbi Brown counter and a new display caught my eye. I sidled over and swatched the new bronzer and blush. The bronzer is light, perfect for fair skinned ladies (and gents), but i already have ----loads that I couldn't imagine ever finishing. The blush is gorgeous peach-pink with finely milled gold shimmer flecks throughout. It instantly reminded me of Nars Orgasm, theBalm Hot mama and sleek's Rose Gold.

I was quite excited about this, as this was hailed as a "new" product by the Bobbi Brown counter that I visited, but to my disappointment, it had already come out in the U.S. (like...a year ago) when I tried to find reviews of it on google. Story of my life. 

This is a very true colour representation of the blush. I know sometimes the colour changes in pictures due to the lighting and angle. 

I apply the blush with my Real Techniques blush brush

front view
side view
When compared next to Orgasm, Santa Barbara is more peachy where as Orgasm has a pink base underneath the gold shimmer. Bobbi's blush is also more pigmented and the product seems to be more powdery making it easier to be picked up by a brush. Having said this, you will have to apply with a light hand in order to avoid a blush patch in the centre of your cheek.

Nars Orgasm
L-R: Nars Orgasm, BB Santa Barbara
L-R: Nars Orgasm, BB Santa Barbara
To take home one of these babies you will need to part with $60, which I know is quite steep for a blush. Bobbi Brown is infamous for doubling their prices once their products get imported into Australia. But you do get 8g of gorgeousness in this compact as opposed to $45 for 4.8g of product for a Nars blush. If you are looking for a summer blush and bronzer, I strongly suggest you try these from Bobbi Brown at a Myer or David Jones.

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BareMinerals Ready Eyeshadow 2.0 - The Epiphany

I can never come out of a Mecca store empty handed. (For those who don't know what Mecca is, it is a store in Australia which is like a mini version of Sephora. It carries brands like Stila, Nars, Hourglass, BareMinerals, Chantacaille and By Terry which no other retailer in Australia stock)

This is what I purchased from one of my visits last month. The BareMinerals Ready 2.0 Eyeshadow Duo in The Epiphany.

It contains two eyeshadows A-Ha and Foreshadow. A-Ha is a bronze, coppery soft shimmer shadow and Foreshadow is a matte chocolate brown. Both the colours are super pigmented and they compliment each other. However, I do feel that there needs to be a transition shadow between the two as the finish and contrast in colour is so vast. (This is one of the reasons that I rarely buy shadow duos as it is never a complete palette for me. I always have to add something to finish the look). The reason I bought this duo is because of A-Ha, when I swatched it in the shop with my fingers, it was so creamy and so smooth. I just couldn't bare to leave it in the shop any longer. When applied onto my eyelids with a shadow brush, not as much product was picked up so the finish was not as opaque and metallic as I had hoped for. I love this duo non the less :)

L-R: A-Ha and Foreshadow

It was only after I used The Epiphany a few times that I realized A-Ha looks quite familiar. I actually have a shadow that is really similar in shade and texture. This is the Nudes palette by Chi Chi. This is a cheap dupe palette for the Urban Decay Naked 1. It retails for $22 AUD from Myer and Target. And the 4th shade (which on the Naked palette is called "Sidecar" I believe) is very similar, just a little bit less coppery than A-Ha.

L-R: A-ha and Sidecar dupe shadow

Have you created a unique look with this duo? 

Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Baby Update

Little Evelyn is now 6 weeks old. And weighs approximately 4.8kg.

Revlon Lip Butter - Strawberry Shortcake & Cotton Candy

I've finally jumped on the bandwagon for the Revlon Lip Butters. I've been reading reviews, seen swatches and watched countless mentions of this product from beauty gurus on youtube but every time I go to swatch this product (on my hand) in the shops, the texture feels sticky and the pigmentation looks uneven. So I never actually purchased any. 

And then I went through one of those days. A day where you really don't have anything in particular that you need to buy or even want to buy but you refuse to go home empty handed. Yeah, one of those days. Fortunately these babies came home with me. I purchased two and I...LOVE them!

I bought Strawberry Shortcake and Cotton Candy because recently I've realized that these light pink shades really make my skin look whiter. From looking at the lipstick bullet, i preferred strawberry shortcake as it is such a girly pale pink colour. Cotton Candy appears to be a cool pink and kind of has a little tint of purple to it. But alas! when I smeared them across my lips, cotton candy was more of a nude colour against my naturally dark coloured lips and I actually like it better than strawberry shortcake which has a barbie doll superficial pink appearance to it. The texture is so creamy and moisturizing. When I took the lipstick off in between swatches, it really did remove a layer of dry/dead skin from my lips. Double happy!

Now value for money for these products is another story. The bullet is not as long as I expected and you really have to apply quite a bit to get an opaque coverage across the lips. For $22 AUD, these "drugstore" moisturizing tinted lip butters are a little investment. 

Strawberry Shortcake

Cotton Candy

Saturday, 14 December 2013

Review: Sigma F80 & Sigma E40

It was one of those rare occasions this month that I enjoyed a quiet afternoon on my balcony with a nice cup of coffee where my baby was soundly asleep and I was free for one hour (2 hours max) to do anything I wanted. Anything at all. 
Of course I chose to pull out my new beauty purchase arrivals and play with them :)

I purchased two brushes from Sigma during their Black Friday sale. It was free international shipping and I did not want to miss the chance! Sigma's shipping fees are ludicrous! Although I was tempted to add one of the kits to my cart, my conscience advised me to save my money for better things to come. The end result was the much raved about F80 flat top kabuki and an E40 tapered blending brush. A travel sized E25 blending brush was included as a GWP.

F80 Flat Top Kabuki

For any make up lover, I think this is one of those things you eventually will add to your collection. Simply because everyone has it, and everyone likes it. I must say, it really is as good as everyone makes it out to be. It buffs in the product beautifully and the bristles are soft which is not harsh on the skin for such a dense and packed brush. This is perfect for when you just want to buff in liquid foundation quickly and flawlessly. It's a win/win.

For a year now, I've been using a dupe to the F80 because I just couldn't get my mind to overcome the $20 shipping fee for a $20 brush. This dupe is from and it is their F20 brush. Now this one isn't cheap either, it is still AUD $21. But I was not initially after this brush. I was interested in the contour palette that Sineady Cady (the makeup chair) promotes in almost all her videos. and this brush, along with some other face brushes, were included with the kit. 

Left: BCC F20. Right: Sigma F80

Comparing these two flat kabuki brushes, they both create the desired end result which is flawless foundation finish. The bristles on the F20 are just a little bit longer making it a little less rigid that the Sigma F80. However, although the F80 is more rigid, the bristles are softer making it gentle against the skin. The F20 bristles feel more plastic-ky whereas the F80 feels more like fur despite both being synthetic. So the question now is which one do I like better? I definitely have to say F80 but just by a little. I will still go back to the Blank Canvas Cosmetics brush once the F80 is in need of a wash without a negative thought.

E40 Tapered Blending

The E40 tapered blending brush has such soft bristles, but yet still stiff enough to pack on the product. The thing that I love the most about it is it's long handle. It just has the perfect amount of weight to it. I also own a dupe to this brush, and for my small, flat creased asian eyes, i actually prefer my dupe.

The Models Prefer Professional crease brush has shorter bristles and is more tapered at the tip. Having shorter bristles means that it is more precise shading the correct (limited) area in my crease and creating a sharp but blended in shadow. Sigma's E40 is definitely more suitable for people with a deeper crease socket as there is more surface area to play with. Models Prefer brushes are much more cheaper and accessible for us Australian girls and I can never resist buying their brushes when priceline has a sale.

Models Prefer Professional Crease Brush

Left: MPP Crease Brush. Right: Sigma E40

Saturday, 30 November 2013

Introducing: My Little Chubbers

I haven't posted anything in the past two weeks reason being I gave birth to a gorgeous baby girl! She was born 9am 16th November.

Recently, my husband and I have started to read this book by Heidi Murkoff. It is a really good book for first time and expectant mothers. It really goes into depth about what to prepare, what to expect and how to deal with being a new mum. 

Thursday, 14 November 2013

Monthly Marvels - October

I really apologize for the lateness of October's favorites. I have no idea where all the time has gone. (Me just lying in bed playing with my iPad and stuffing my face. Pregnancy is the only time I can eat without feeling guilty) So without further ado I will get into my months most reached for products!

Throughout the entire month of October, I have only used one primer. And that is the Benefit Porefessional. I like it because I know it works on my skin. I don't have to worry about whether or not it's going to break me out or whether it's going to make my foundation slide around my face in the Australian spring heat. I haven't put too much pressure on this little tube for reducing the appearance of my pores as my foundation usually does that trick. But it does amaze me with how well it separates my my skin from my make up. And hence reducing clogged pores, pimples, and the disappearing-make-up act after my foundation has been on my face for 5+ hours.

The Porefessional has a slight tint to it so it does even out the skin tone and reduces some redness around the nose and cheeks. It is by no means a tinted moisturizer even though it looks like one when first squeezed out of the tube.

The Porefessional swatch

I have used only 2 foundations throughout the month of October and that is the YSL Le Teint Touche Eclat and Covergirl's Outlast Stay Fabulous. The Covergirl foundation may just be my most favorite foundation of all the moment. It offers amazing coverage but yet doesn't look cake and feels light and smooth on the skin. It is a matte finish and doesn't leave behind any dry patches and is super blendable. And for just $19.95 I'm so glad I found such a perfect foundation at such an affordable price. 

The only other foundation that I have used is YSL's Le teint Touche Eclat. It is a super lightweight medium coverage foundation. It leaves a very dewy finish to the skin and smells divine as well. The packaging is so sleek and elegant. I do have to set it with setting powder so that the foundation stays in place in my oily t-zone as it is dewy and rich rather than mattifying like the cover girl foundation.

L - R: YSL, Covergirl

L - R: YSL, Covergirl swatched

I did an in-depth review of this blush here: Estee Lauder Illuminating Powder Gelee Blush - Tease when I first purchased it but I didn't use it much to be able to include it in my September Favourites. This month however, I've been found myself reaching for it more often than not. It gives the most subtle pink sheen to the cheeks. And it saves the extra step of applying a highlighter. It's very pigmented when swatched on the fingers, but when it comes to using a brush, not much product is picked up, which I think is a good thing because it gives you more control with how much to apply. Nothing can be worse than having already finished your foundation base and then plopping too much blush on one cheek that you have to wipe off and ruin the whole side of your face. This is limited edition and if you can still get your hands on one of these babies, I highly recommend it. Even to look at it is worth the AUD $75 price tag.

Tease blush swatch

My favorite lipstick range from Chanel is the Rouge Allure Velvet collection. I love almost every single shade that is available. This one is #34 La Rafinee which is a plummy pink. The formula is so soft and smooth. Unlike usual matte lipsticks, Chanel's is super creamy and rich. The velvet range of lipsticks also slightly tints the lips which I prefer to Rouge Coco's and their lip glosses. To me this is like a matte version of the YSL Rouge Volupte lipsticks.

I usually go through phases with my brows. I like to change things up every now and then. Sometimes I would use pencil, sometimes I would use wax and sometimes I go for brown eyeshadow. This month,  I have chosen the brown eyeshadow route and been setting it with MAC's brow set. It's super easy to use, and doesn't make your eye seem like you brushed super strong hold hair gel through it. It also helps soften the lines/brush strokes a little but from my application making it look more even colored and natural. It does get pretty icky pretty quickly, but it's just eyeshadow in there, can't hurt nobody :P

I have probably used 5 or 6 bottles of this cleanser from The Body Shop in my lifetime. I've just rediscovered it in the past two months and was reminded of what a simple and easy to use cleanser it is. This foaming cleanser is serious when it says that it foams. This product actually comes out of the tube in a foam state which is super easy to massage around the face and, amazingly, very quick to wash off as well. Almost every other "foaming cleanser" I've used comes out in gel/cream state and then blends into slightly foamy state after mixed with water and once rubbed throughout the face for a minute already. I love this product so much because its easy to wash off and that means I don't make a wet mess of my bathroom counter trying to wash my cleanser off my face.

I bought this moisturizing gel a really long time ago. So long ago that I'm not sure if it's past its expiration date yet. But it is a brand new bottle and I just don't want to waste it and throw it out. When I first purchased it, it felt really oily on my skin. I'd rub it into my skin before bed and wake up the next day with my face soaked in oil. I tried it for about a week and then put it in the back of the bathroom cupboard. Not knowing what came over me a few weeks ago but I decided to give this product a go again. Maybe my skin has matured? Maybe pregnancy has changed my hormones and hence my excretion of oil? But this just makes my skin feel silky smooth after application. It seems to absorb into my skin straight away, not leaving behind any oiliness that you get with some other moisturizers. So I've been finding myself using this day and night and preferring it over my usual (and unfinished) Estee Lauder Advanced Time Zone creams. For the large bottle of 125mL, I must say Clinique is very reasonably priced. And this bottle will definitely last you months. If you have oily/combo skin, I recommend you visit a clinique counter to request a 7 day sample of this product before you dive it as it may have different results for your skin. And if you have dry skin, there is a lotion version that is a little more rich to give your skin a little help.