Saturday, 28 November 2015

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Bronzer - Luminous Bronze Light

I am a huge fan of Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blushes, but not so much of the powder. When they launched 2 bronzers to complete the range, I was really interested to try. So at the time they were available at net-a-porter, I decided to give them a try.

Looking at swatches online, it was difficult to choose which shade to get as both shades look very similar. So I randomly opted for Luminous Light. 

When I first received and swatched it, I was surprised to see how shimmery it is. As you can see on the pictures above, the fine glitters are definitely visible which I really didn't expect to see because most swatches I found on the internet don't really show the shimmers. And holy moly, the shade looked orange! So I was not really impressed on the first sight and first swatch. But, gladly it all changed once I applied it on the face. The shimmers become less visible and it blends really really well. The formula is just so smooth and excellent, similar to the Ambient Lighting Blushes which I am a huge fan of. It's surprisingly not orange at all once applied. It is definitely a warm toned bronzer and won't be best option if you're going to use it for contouring. But, it works really well to warm up the complexion, especially in colder months where my skin is even paler than it usually is and can easily look sick. This bronzer gives it life xD.

I think Hourglass really kills it with the formula. It managed to transfer the shimmers on to a luminous glow on the skin instead of being a glitter ball. I don't know how they did it, but it really is a nice bronzer! It doesn't accentuates pores at all and instead, blurs them out and provides a smooth surface. The texture is a bit powdery but it does not really bother me. It is sooo smooth and silky, Ooooh I am just in love. The pigmentation is great, you barely need to swipe your brush because a little goes a long way. This bronzer will last me a long time.

One downside I can pinpoint, is the staying power. It doesn't really stay that long on the cheeks, which is kinda annoying. 
Overall I am happy with the bronzer. It's not as amazing as the blushes and it is very expensive and definitely a splurge. But I am glad I splurged on it because it has become one of my favourite bronzer at the moment.


Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Diorblush Cheek Stick in Cosmopolite Rosewood

I've been eyeing this cream blush / cheek stick from Dior since the first time I saw the press release. When it's finally launched, I was hesitated because the reviews have been mixed. Some people love it some don't really recommend it. So I didn't get it right away, but when I was having 3 hour transfer at Charles de Gaule airport - Paris, I was browsing at the duty free ( sure thing! ) and spotted the cheekstick for only €24. I couldn't say no.

PS : I applied heavy handedly for pict purpose

Diorblush Cheek Stick comes in a chubby retractable bullet. I like the cute chubby short bullet and the design as well. Actually the packaging was the first thing that attracted me and made me want to get it. 

There are 3 shades available and based on swatches I saw online, and the one I did at DIOR Counter, I decided to go with Cosmopolite Rosewood. The color Cosmopolite Rosewood is not a rosewood shade at all if I may say so. I feel like the shade is more a peachy coral rather than a rosewood which is supposed to be warmer and less vibrant I guess.

On the negative reviews that I read about this blush stick, most people find it difficult to blend and too pigmented. Upon first application, I literally had to wipe up the blush from my cheeks because it was impossible to blend. I swiped a very light swipe on my cheeks and it was already very bold and blotchy. I tried beauty blender , my hands, make up sponge, blush brush, anything but nothing worked. I tried to swatch it on my hands and blend it using all techniques that I know, but also it didn't work. So I was very disappointed and this blush stick just stayed untouched on my dressing table for awhile. Until I finally realised I had not given Real Techniques Stippling brush a try, so I did and it worked!!! I didn't dot or swipe the blush on my cheeks ( lesson learned xD ), but instead I swipe the RT stippling brush on its surface and start applying it on my cheeks using circular motion. And voila it worked! And the colour is so pretty too! The RT stippling brush gives me a nice control and it's easier to not going overboard with this blush as it is very pigmented. It applies smoothly and the finish is dewy and so pretty! 

The cream blush stays on pretty well too. It really sticks on the cheeks for hours. LOL. I got 7-8 hour solid wear which is great considering I didn't set it with powder blush. 

One thing I like the most about this blush and this particular shade is that it makes me look more fresh and younger. My friend told me I looked less antagonist LOL when I wore this blush ( with the application shown on picture ) on the centre of the apple of my cheeks. I personally like it when blush is applied there, but not all blushes can look good when applied that way as some will make you end up looking with 2 round blotches on the centre of your face xD.

Overall, I am happy I finally found a way to make it work. 


Friday, 20 November 2015

Guerlain Meteorites Christmas Collection

Holiday season is my favourite time of the year, yet the least favourite time of year as long as the financial balance is concerned xD. All those beauty brands releasing holiday collection is just too irresistible and for someone like me, with barely there self control, it's financial catastrophe. 
You may have seen this particular limited edition  meteorites from Guerlain. It's everywhere, yet it was really difficult to get - at least in Germany. I had to go to 5 different stores with no success, it was sold out online within few hours, so I was really gutted and almost lost hope when I finally found it still available at , then I realised I had 10€ voucher from the website I hadn't yet used. It was a big win for me in the end woohoo!

First of all, I'm gonna admit that I got this meteorites only because of the packaging. I didn't really care whether the meteorites would work for my combination skin. I hadn't tried any meteorites prior to this one, but with that dreamy packaging how could I say no?

The first time I tried it, as a light finishing powder, I was positively surprised. I didn't expect it to have a 'blurring effect'. I thought it would be too shimmery for my combination skin. But it is not shimmery at all. The finish is definitely not mattifying but you don't have to worry about turning into disco ball either. Combined with demi matte or matte foundation, it will give the complexion a 'hint of life' xD. I haven't yet tried it with dewy or luminous foundation as I am worried it will be too luminous for my liking. But with demi matte or matte foundation , it works really well.

The meteorite balls are magic balls indeed. I swipe my fluffy powder blush for more light application then dust it all over the face. It gives instant brightening effect to my skin which is very much needed during colder months. If you're afraid of the glitters, don't worry because they don't really transfer onto the skin. Well, if I really zoom in my skin, I can see very very fine glitter particles but they don't bother me at all. In fact, they help enhancing my complexion.  I didn't expect to like it, but I've been reaching for it quite a lot. 

If you expect to use it as cheek highlighter, you might get disappointed though because it will not show up really well. It is once again very subtle.

Talking about the packaging, OMG how not to love? The balls ( including star shaped ones which Guerlain insists to call them as snow flakes xD ) are housed inside a ethereal snow globe like container. I appreciate the fact that the container - despite of its round shape , has flattened bottom , so it will sit nicely on a flat surface. Just looking at it sitting nicely on my dressing table brings the inner joy out of me xD

Have you bought anything from the holiday collection?

PS : Sorry for the lack of update, have been busy with my final thesis as the deadline is getting near :O

Thursday, 12 November 2015

Charlotte Tilbury Magic Foundation

Charlotte Tilbury is a brand that has achieved such a huge success within relatively short period of time. The reason being, is of course besides of the great products, the persona behind it ; the world class MUA , Charlotte Tilbury. 
To be honest, I am not really a fan of her. There is something about her attitude I just don't really like. But then again, it didn't stop me from loving her brand since the products I've tested so far, have been mostly exceptional. This newly launched Magic Foundation is another great example.

I ordered the Magic Foundation from net-a-porter when the site was offering free worldwide shipping. I didn't do much research beforehand, there is just something about the foundation that made me want to give it a try. And gladly it didn't disappoint. 

Charlotte Tilbury Magic Foundation comes in a frosted glass bottle packaging with pump spender. I like this type of packaging for high end foundation though. It looks expensive, functions well and hygienic due to the pump.
I picked up shade number 3,5 which according to Charlotte Tilbury's website is a light shade with yellow / gold undertone. The model who is wearing this shade on the website is asian, so I thought this would be a good match for me. I'm glad the shade is a spot on though! It has distinct yellow / gold undertone but it works well to counter the redness on my face. It's difficult to find foundations with yellow undertone and not orange, fortunately this one is not an orange case. ( PS : The shade #3,5 is almost identical to Tom Ford Perfecting Traceless Foundation in Linen ). I didn't oxidise on me. Charlotte Tilbury offers a wide range of shade which is great. I am shade 4 in CT Light Glow Foundation and #3.5 in Magic Foundation is a better match for my skin.

Texture wise, this foundation has thick liquid-y consistency. It glides on very smoothly on the face despite of the thick consistency. The foundation dries down to a demi matte finish. It's not completely matte like Estee Lauder Double Wear and it still has a very subtle glow. I prefer to apply it using damp beauty blender for more natural finish. But it works well with foundation brush too. 

Charlotte Tilbury Magic Foundation provides a solid medium to full coverage. It evens out the complexion and covers blemishes or redness very well. I also notice that it does blur fine lines or large pores which is a very good thing. It doesn't set into lines or dry patches so I think it will be friendly for people with dry skin too.  The demi matte finish is natural and flawless without looking too much. It tends to transfer though, so I always set it with light translucent powder and setting spray ( my favourite is Urban Decay deSlick ). The oil control is nice, but on its own, I need to blot after 4-5 hour mark. With the help of powder and setting spray, I can get to 7-8 hour mark with no problem.

I've read a lot of reviews stating this foundation to be heavy. Well, it is not a lightweight foundation due to the thick creamy texture and the full coverage, but it's not as heavy as Estee Lauder Double Wear or MAC Studio Fix Fluid IMO. Applying it using beauty blender also helps to tone down the coverage and make it more lightweight which I prefer.  I think the foundation is still very comfortable on the skin. It's lightly scented and the scent doesn't linger.

Overall, I think this is a good foundation. One thing that bothered me though, was the over the top claims that the brand did to promote the foundation. Sure, you need to boost the sale with great claims and promises, I just found them to be slightly over the top.

And no, it is not miraculous or magic like the brand said. 


Monday, 9 November 2015

Velvet Plum

Okay, I am actually on a lipstick ban. But, as my self control is barely there, of course I broke the ban! lol.
I was accompanying my friend on a shopping day and she wanted to pick up her Tom Ford perfume at Tom Ford counter. And what did a good friend do? Of course I browsed around too xD. I ended up swatching the matte lipsticks frantically. I was so close to get the shade ; Pussycat but decided it was 'too' ordinary so I opted for Velvet Plum instead. 

Tom Ford matte lipstick comes in the same square-ish bullet like the regular lipstick range. The packaging is luxurious, I think most of us agree that the packaging alone is almost worth to get. 

The shade Velvet Plum is a bold magenta shade. It's bordering fuchsia though, but the purple hint is potent enough for me to like it. The shade has a brightening effect that lights up my whole complexion every time I have it on. 

Speaking about the formula, Tom Ford Velvet Plum is full coverage matte lipstick. It glides on smoothly on the lips and feels very comfortable on the lips. It doesn't dry out despite of the matte finish and doesn't enhance my lip lines. Tom Ford describes it to be velvet matte, which is a spot on description. It's not full on matte like those mattes from MAC , so it's a really good alternative if you have dry lips. The texture is richly pigmented and creamy, and I don't experience any tugging or dragging during application. However, I do feel like the bolder shades tend to bleed or feather, so a lip liner is a must ( I tried the lighter shades at the counter and didn't experience the issue ). I didn't get any fancy lip liner though, just use a similar color lip liner that I have from Kiko and it works well. 

The lipstick is long wearing too. I got to ca. 6 hour mark with no problem. It does stain the lips , so I need to use oil based make up remover to thoroughly remove it by the end of the day. It's vanilla scented but I don't notice any potent scent. It's barely recognisable though.

Overall, I think this one is a justified splurge. The whole package is just lovely. I have my eyes on the Plum Lush and the Pussycat even though I thought Pussycat is rather 'ordinary' but it will make a nice every day shade. Oh but I'm on a lipstick ban, ain't I? xD


Friday, 6 November 2015

H&M Beauty Eye Shadow Pencils

H&M just launched a new beauty line which has been receiving a lot of positive reviews among the beauty community. So I gave the store  a visit and got myself some products from the line to try out. The entire concept is clean cut, sleek and pretty. After doing some swatches etc, I went home with the eye shadow pencils, velvet lip creams, and 1 powder blush. I'm going to talk about the products that stood out the most, the eye shadow pencils.

H&M Eye Shadow Stick in Oxidise

They surprisingly have a wide selection of colors ranging from matte too shimmery / metallic. I ended up with 3 shades ( 2 mattes and 1 shimmery / satin ). Predictably, all the shades I picked are brown and copper xD.

Cordoba ; My favorite shade from the lot, it's a matte milk chocolate brown. It has a slight red hint once applied, very nice autumn shade and without being too much red / orange.

Oxidize ; a burgundy / copper shade with very fine gold shimmer. It's very similar to Rimmel Scandalous chubby eye shadow pencil in Bad Girl Bronze. 

Brownstone ; a matte dark brown. 

The eye shadow pencils come in a similar form to NYX Jumbo Eye Shadow Stick, they're not retractable so you always need to sharpen them. And you need a special jumbo stick sharpener as they won't fit into regular pencil sharpener. 

Texture wise, they're so creamy dreamy but not slippery. They don't set directly upon application so you will still have time to blend them. Once they're set, they don't budge and don't smudge even on my oily lids with no eye shadow primer. They dried up to a nice finish that can be a good base for powder eye shadow too if you'd like to wear them as base. I personally like to wear them solo on the lids. Despite of the matte finish ( Cordoba and Brownstone ), they don't appear dull on the lids.

I didn't expect much when I bought these eye shadow sticks. They seemed promising when I swatched them at the store, but still for €4,95 each,  I didn't set my expectation high. Fortunately, they exceeded my expectations. They are absolutely excellent! They need more love!! xD

Overall, I will definitely get more shades and will urge anyone of you who have access to H&M beauty line, to give these eye shadow sticks a try. They're uh-mah-zing!!


Tuesday, 3 November 2015

Charlotte Tilbury Magic Cream

After my 5 month stay in Jakarta, I came back to Berlin facing an extreme weather change. From scorching hot humid Jakarta to dry breezy autumn in Berlin. My skin started to annoy the hell out of me plus the 20 hour flight I had behind was not helping either. No matter what foundation I applied, it turned out accentuating all dry patches and bums I seemed to develop within the 1st week in Berlin. I slaughtered moisturiser beforehand but none really worked. So I decided to give Charlotte Tilbury's Magic Cream a try. I remember having a small sample of it and found it too 'rich' for my liking. But 'rich' was what I needed at the moment, so there it went into my shopping cart.

I was wearing Covergirl Outlast 3in1 Foundation + Magic Cream in this pict

Charlotte Tilbury's Magic Cream comes in a heavy duty glass jar. The jar is well made and sturdy but is definitely not travel friendly due to its weight. But you can always depot it to a small container though. 

The cream itself has rich but lightweight texture. It sinks into the skin quickly and doesn't leave oily residue. I must say that this cream does have a slight old fashioned Vaseline feel to it, only creamier and airier. Once applied, my skin instantly looked better and brighter. For the picture above, I applied Covergirl 3in1 Stay Outlast Foundation over the cream and together they looked great. The glow is visible on the picture, right? That might not be anything groundbreaking if my skin was not acting up like cray cray. But at that time, achieving that finish was a struggle so I was very very happy with the performance of this Magic Cream. During that period of time, this Magic Cream didn't make my combination skin looking oily at all. I did need to blot a wee bit more often but that's okay as I always touch up regularly anyway. But now that my skin is back to its 'normal' state, I do need to be careful with this cream as it is a slight too rich for my combination skin. 

So I usually apply a very little amount of the cream and avoid the Tzone area. Then I combine it with matte - satin finish foundation to tone down the glowiness. It works great in autumn / winter as my skin is more problematic during the season. But I can't imagine using it in summer as it is going to make my skin looking oily very fast.

Whether it's worth the €90 price tag, I don't think so. I was lucky I had a voucher I could spend so it didn't hurt my wallet too bad. The cream is very expensive but you do get a lot of product as you only need a tiny bit of product for every use. I sometimes use it as overnight mask and it works well too. I will wake up with a moist and suppled skin the next morning. This is not a bad product and I can understand why it gets hyped and loved by a lot of people but I can't see myself repurchasing it for the price.