Tuesday 30 November 2010

L'Oreal HIP Duos

This week, I decided to play around with my new collection of L'Oreal HIP eyeshadow duos. HIP was very easy to find in most drugstores in New York, with about 25 combinations to choose from. They retail at US$8 (excluding sales tax, about S$10.60) each, which is much cheaper than Singapore where they cost S$18.90 each. They're even more of a steal if you can get them during a buy-one-get-one-free promotion.

208 Sassy is a taupe brown paired with a smoky green. Several reviews on MakeupAlley pointed out that the taupe is a dupe for MAC's Satin Taupe. The smoky green shade applies quite blackened without much of a bright emerald or teal flash. It is actually quite easy to wear as it's not as harsh as a jet black eyeshadow.

510 Electrified seems to be quite a popular duo with a lighter silvery taupe and smoky plum. This belongs to the "Metallic" group of HIP duos. Fortunately, the finish is not frosty.

For this look, I used Urban Decay Primer Potion as the base with the taupe shade from Sassy from the inner corners to the middle of the upper lid and the green shade from the middle of the lid to the outer corners.

Next, I applied the dark plum shade from 510 Electrified above the crease, and a metallic light beige shade from Dior Sky Glow over the browbone area and at the inner corners.

Like the earlier batch of HIP duos that I reviewed, I was impressed by the good colour payoff and smooth texture of the eyeshadows. They are a breeze to apply with the included sponge applicator and have a lovely glimmer without being too powdery or falling all over the face during the application process. The only flaw is the bulky and cheap-looking pot packaging with the silly double compartment. If they had dispensed with the bottom compartment holding the small sponge applicator, the pot would be much slimmer and more compact. One also needs to be careful not to drop these as they seem to break quite easily. I saw many shattered duos that were still sealed in plastic in the shops.

306 Gunmetal is quite an odd name for a green duo as one normally associates the word with dark grey. This is another "Metallic Shadow Duo".

Using Beauté de Kosé Eye Fantasist GR751 Dew Green as the base, I applied the metallic smoky olive shade from the inner corner to the middle of the upper lid and the dark emerald shade from the middle of the upper lid to the outer corner and along the lower lashline.

Next, I applied the silvery taupe shade from Electrified above the outer half of the crease, and a metallic light beige shade from Dior Sky Glow over the browbone area and at the inner corners.

I was expecting the dark emerald shade to have a brighter tone as it has green sparkles sprinkled throughout but it turned out to be more ashy than I had expected.

For both looks, I also used HIP Intense Eyeliner #320 Dark Sky, a velvety matte jet black from the latest Midnight Muse collection.

While I liked how the eyeliner glides on with minimal dragging and lasts well throughout the day, it's not good at creating the slim upward flick at the outer corners of the eyes, so I ended up using my usual Heroine Make Smooth Liquid Liner to touch up the corners.

I hope that L'Oreal decides to bring in more of the HIP line and make it permanent in Singapore as the eyeshadow duos feature more interesting shades than the conventional drugstore selection and offer good quality at a very affordable price.

Lancome Ultra Lavande Spring 2011

Biteki.com has a sneak peek of Lancome's Spring 2011 makeup collection, "Ultra Lavande", which will be released on 2 January in Japan. It includes:

1. Butterfly Fever (¥6300)

2. Ombre Absolute Palette Lumessence: 2 eyeshadow palettes (¥6930)

3. Virtuose Precious Cells Mascara (¥3990)

4. Ombre Magnetique: 2 shades (¥3675)

5. French Touch Absolute: 3 shades (¥4200)

6. Color Fever Gloss Naturelle: 3 shades (¥3360)

7. Le Vernis Mini: 2 shades (¥1890)

Kate Spring 2011

Kate will release its Spring 2011 makeup collection on 1 February in Japan.

It includes:

1. Crystallise Quartz: 5 eyeshadow quads with crystal-like pure shine (1680yen)

2. Mineral Powder Foundation: 3 shades SPF15 PA++ (1575yen for refill, 420yen for case)

3. Mineral Liquid Foundation: 3 shades SPF20 PA++ (1575yen)

4. Mineral UV Gel Base SPF32 PA++ (1260yen)

5. Dual Pressed Eyes: 1 new duo (1365yen)

6. Gradical Eyes: 1 new palette (1470yen)

Kosé Sale Haul

I was not able to make it to the Kosé Sale at Great World City yesterday but thanks to Kas (Shine Shimmer & Sparkle), I was still able to snag these four Beauté de Kosé Eye Fantasists!

As some of you may have heard, Beauté de Kosé will be discontinued in the third quarter of 2011, which is a pity as it has quite a loyal following and some outstanding products like the Eye Fantasists, which are metallic cream eyeshadows. I already owned two of these from the Fantasist Collection 2.

The Eye Fantasists were going for S$12 each at the sale, down from the usual retail price of S$38. Above are GR750 Dressed Leaf (left) and GR754 Emerald Mist (right). Below are BL952 Blue Wonder and GR751 Dew Green.

Hope some of you ladies managed to make it to the sale!

Sunday 28 November 2010

New York & Japan Haul

A few readers asked about what I had purchased during my recent trip so here are the pics!

Several of these are actually purchases for friends, like the Tokidoki Robbery palette, the Wet'n'Wild and Physicians Formula Shimmer Strip palettes on the left side of the pic. I've already reviewed some of these, like the Magie Deco, Anna Sui and Addiction items, so I won't elaborate on them in this post.

Sephora happened to be having its 20% VIB discount during my trip so I took the chance to haul Philosophy shower gels. This prettily packaged Peppermint Bark Shampoo, Shower Gel & Bubble Bath was an absolute steal at just US$5 with any Philosophy purchase at Sephora.

Philosophy Glow & Behold Celestial Citrus Shampoo, Shower Gel & Bubble Bath.

The Melting Marshmallow set with a Body Lotion, lipgloss and Shampoo, Shower Gel & Bubble Bath.

Josie Maran Argan Lip Treatment

At Saks 5th Avenue, I picked up the Giorgio Armani travel brush set. Priced at US$100, it is supposed to have a retail value of US$200.

It includes an eye contour brush, a concealer brush, an eye shader brush, a blender brush and a blush brush.

Another new brush is Stila's #33 One Step Complexion Brush. According to the description on Sephora, one side beautifully blends liquid, creams, and powder foundation into your skin, while the other delivers precision concealing for a perfected, polished complexion. The synthetic bristles are shaped to imitate application with your fingertips, but are firmer and more flexible for quicker, easier makeup application. The tapered brush tip can burrow into tiny, hard-to-reach crevices and the synthetic bristles eliminate the transfer of oils and bacteria. It can also be used to apply eyeshadow and cheek color.

At the drugstore, I bought a clutch of L'Oreal HIP eyeshadows. Some are permanent shades while the others are from the new Midnight Muse collection. I tried to pick the duos with more complex colours.

Wet'n'Wild ColorIcon Lust palette.

Sally Hansen HD Nail Color in DVD and Wet'n'Wild ColorIcon Nail Color in Prowler.

In Japan, I picked up this newly released Shiseido #131 Foundation Brush, which can be used with powder, liquid, cream and stick foundations. The normal retail price is 1890yen but I got it at 30% off at a drugstore.

Visee Glam Nude Eyes N-6 Rose Pink Fur

Canmake Cheek Gradation #6

Shiseido's new Tsubaki Water is a leave-in hair treatment spray with Tsubaki's trademark camellia oil to help nourish hair.

Paul & Joe Sister, Liberty and Anna Sui handkerchieves.

And finally, some snacks for the hubby! :-)

Magie Deco Shadow Brilliance II

On my recent trip to Osaka, I also picked up a couple of Magie Deco Shadow Brilliance II palettes and a Pure Color eyeshadow single in addition to the holiday coffret. The palettes are 5775yen (about S$88) each while the Pure Color eyeshadow is 1575yen (about S$25).

The gold and pink packaging of the Shadow Brilliance compacts is less elaborate than that of their higher end sister brand, Cosme Decorte AQ. The cases tend to attract fingerprints though but I like that they are slim and lightweight and thus, convenient for carrying around.

The plastic sheet overlay is printed with the suggested use for each shade, with more detailed application instructions in the included leaflet, as shown below.

The ingredients list is printed only in Japanese with the first ingredient as talc. Other ingredients include lavender flower water, almond oil, rose and safflower extracts and tocopherol. It also contains mineral oil, fragrance and methylparaben.

Each palette contains 4.8g of product. To compare, Jill Stuart's Jewel Crystal Eyes are 6g, Lunasol's Nature Color Eyes are 6.5g and Dior quints are 6g.

DC037 Dream Star is from this year's fall collection. The "DC" prefix denotes gradational shade combinations while "LC" denotes combinations with more contrasting shades.

The texture of the eyeshadows is quite soft and silky, which makes them easy to blend. The shimmer is very refined without any chunky glitter bits.

The only drawback is that they all tend to apply sheer, so it takes quite a bit of layering if you prefer a more intense finish.

LC032 Boulder Opal, from this year's spring collection, is a more unusual combination of sky blue, light mint and smoky grey and silver. Once again, the shades all apply relatively sheer, so a good primer is necessary to get them to show up better and last throughout the day.

I did two looks with this. For the first one, I applied the light green shade from the inner corners to the middle of the lid, blended into the dark grey and blue shades at the outer corners. I used the white shade over the browbone area and a mixture of the dark grey and green shades along the lower lashline.

For the second look, I applied the blue shade over the eye socket area, the green shade at the inner corners and the dark grey shade along the upper lashline. I used the white shade over the browbone area and a mix of the silver and green shade along the lower lashline.

I actually forgot to do my brows before taking the pic below! Anyway, I decided to post it anyway so that you can see the difference that groomed brows can make to the overall look. My current daily staple is K-Palette Real Lasting Eyebrow 24h 01.

Overall, I liked the refined texture of the Magie Deco eyeshadows and the fact that they don't have any fallout problems (which I sometimes experience with Jill Stuart and Lunasol). However, I wish they had better colour payoff and applied more true to how they appear in the pan, especially for Boulder Opal.