Sunday 28 July 2013

UK Magazine Freebies August 2013

My husband brought me another armload of UK magazines bundled with great beauty freebies when he flew out from Heathrow airport earlier this week. These are the August issues. Glamour came with a choice of four Balance Me products. I picked the limited edition Shine On Tinted Lip Salve in Sheer Raspberry (10ml). This gives the lips just the barest translucent tint of color without any shimmer. It feels quite moisturising without being sticky, similar to Clinique Superbalm Moisturizing Gloss.

Cosmopolitan comes with a choice of three Nip+Fab body products. I picked the 365 Body Glow Fix (55ml) without realising that it is a clear tanning gel that purports to offer a sun kissed glow within 4 hours of application.

Marie Claire came with an Eyeko Liquid Eyeliner. I haven't tried this yet.

Red came with the most attractive freebie of all, a trio of REN skincare samples: my favourite Rose Centifolia Cleansing Gel, Frankincense Revitalising Night Cream (3ml) and Vita-Mineral Day Cream (10ml). If you have sensitive skin, REN is an excellent brand to explore as its formulas are very gentle.

Saturday 27 July 2013

Giorgio Armani Kaleidoscope Collection Swatches

Giorgio Armani's Kaleidoscope collection just launched at counters here in Switzerland. I was eagerly anticipating this collection for its six new limited edition Eyes To Kill shades (Scaranbeo edition) which have a duochrome finish. This is the only autumn collection that has been released so far here amongst the prestige brands.

The collection also includes two limited edition Scarabeo Kaleidoscope Face & Eye Palettes and six new Rouge D'Armani lipsticks.

The Eyes To Kill have a dreamy velvety texture and the duochrome finish is gorgeous. The only boring shade that can be easily duped is #35 Silver Chafer which did not appear to be a duochrome to me. Sara BeauTime has excellent comparison swatches of these shades with earlier ETK shades so do check out her blog. There are also close-up pics of the ETK on Kai's Obsessions.

After swatching these, I settled on #34 Blue Beetle, a stormy dark blue/green, which was the most intensely pigmented shade in this collection.

The two palettes come in Armani's usual glossy black lacquer cases. These have a rather odd oval shape. The cases snap close with a magnetic closure. The lack of a traditional clasp make these feel less secure than I prefer. Made in Italy, each palette contains a sheer blush (10g), three powder eyeshadows (1g each) and two sponge applicators.

Both the blush and the middle eyeshadow shade have a shimmery overspray that rubs off at the first swipe. The blush in the #1 Mystic Blue palette is not as shimmery as it looks in the pic below. The purple overspray on the middle blue shade is quite deceptive as the color underneath is quite different, a turquoise blue that reminds me of MAC Parrot. See more pics on Sara BeauTime.

I was pleasantly surprised by the texture of the eyeshadows. Extremely velvety smooth to touch, they produce great color payoff with just one swipe without needing any primer underneath.

The blush in #2 Venomous Green has more subtle overspray than #1 Mystic Blue and should be easy to pull off for light to medium skintones.

Again, the pale green overspray on the middle eyeshadow shade is deceptive as it rubs away to reveal a deep green.

I fell in love with the dirty dark brown shade with bronze flecks at the first swatch.

Swatches of Venomous Green on the left half and Mystic Blue on the right half of the pic below.

The new Rouge D'Armani were all very attractive as well with beautiful color payoff and a moisturising finish but I decided to skip these as I simply have too many lip products.

I came home with both palettes, ETK in Blue Beetle and a Gloss D'Armani Plum 602 that was on clearance sale. If you have access to an Armani counter, the Kaleidoscope collection is well worth checking out. The products are definitely on the pricey side but this is truly the most unique and stunning collection I've seen from Armani in recent times.

Thursday 25 July 2013

Visee Brand Renewal Product Lineup

Here's the full list of Visee's new product range that will be launched on 5 September in Japan.

1. Glossy Rich Eyes: Eyeshadow quad in 8 variations (1260yen)

2. Smoky Rich Eyes: Eyeshadow quints including two liner shades in 8 variations (1470yen)

3. Nudy Rich Eyes: Eyeshadow quints in 5 variations (1470yen)

4. Blend Color Cheeks: Blush quads in 8 variations (1575yen)

5. Creamy Lipstick: 10 shades (1575yen)

6. Lip Balm & Gloss: 8 shades (1260yen)

7. Lip Volume Essence: 2 shades (1260yen)

8. Feather Impact Mascara (Film Type): Removable with warm water (1470yen)

9. Feather Impact Mascara (Waterproof Type) (1470yen)

10. Lash Treatment Essence (2100yen, 5.9ml)

11. Color Impact Gel Liner: Waterproof gel eyeliner in 6 shades (997yen)

12. Liquid Eyeliner: 2 shades (1050yen)

13. Shadow & Liquid Liner (1260yen)

14. Point Eyeliner (1050yen)

15. Tear Drop Liner: Shimmery jelly liner (1260yen)

16. Eyebrow Pencil & Powder: 3 variations (1260yen)

17. Eyebrow Pencil: 4 shades (840yen)

18. Eyebrow & Nose Shader: 2 variations (1260yen)

19. Eyebrow Mascara: 2 shades (892yen)

20. Shape Modelling Foundation SPF24 PA++: Powder foundation comprising two gradational shades to create a face-slimming effect (1890yen for refill, 630yen for case)

21. Nudy Rich BB Cream: 3 shades (1365yen)

22. Perfect Loose Powder: Semi-matte powder in two shades (1575yen)

23. Perfect Concealer: Stick-type concealer in two shades (1050yen)

24. Slim Model Powder: Shading/highlighting face color powder (1260yen)

25. Nudy Feather Eyelash: In Lady Glam, Girly Glam, Natural Glam styles (1260yen)

26. Eyelash Glue & Liner (1050yen)

Majolica Majorca Holiday 2013

Majolica Majorca will launch its winter/holiday collection in two parts this year. All items are limited edition.

October 21

1. Lash Expander Edgemeister #17 真冬の星屑 (1260yen, limited edition shade)

2. Rouge MajoKiss RD311 Poisoned Apple and RD412 Pure Apple (924yen)

3. MajoRomantica P Sheer Floral & Vanilla (1680yen, 20ml)

4. Little Humming Book IV (1575yen)

November 21

1. Melty Snow Hand Cream: MajoRomantica P-scented hand cream (630yen, 40g)

Wednesday 24 July 2013

Shu Uemura Fall 2013 Sweet Red Collection

Here's a sneak peek at the Shu Uemura limited edition Sweet Beige Brown Palette (6825yen) that will be released on 23 August in Japan as part of the Sweet Red Collection for this autumn. I'm not sure if there will be other products in the collection as this is all that is listed for now on The Japanese beauty magazines such as Biteki, Maquia and Voce have just published their fall collections catalogues as part of their September issues, so if anyone comes across anymore information on this collection, please do let me know! (Side note: Biteki comes with a free deluxe sample sized MoteMascara that has apparently sold 2 million units in Japan. Maquia comes with a sample of L'Occitane 5 Oils Repairing Hair Oil. )

On 1 August, Shu Uemura will launch a new Tokyo Lash Mascara Eye Defining Volume (3360yen), a long-wearing smudge-proof mascara.

Thursday 18 July 2013

Esprique New Base Makeup and Limited Edition Brushes

Esprique will release the following products on 21 August in Japan.

1. Brightening Make Up Base SPF18 PA+

2. Foundation Brush in two limited edition designs Engage Ribbon and Cat Maison

3. Foundation Case 13AW (limited edition)

4. Beautiful Skin Pact UV Limited Kit 2: Includes Beautiful Skin Pact UV powder foundation, Brightening Make Up Base 4ml, Astablanc Lift Sensation 2g, Rouge Stay Magic (Essence Liquid) 0.3g and Makeup Sponge P.

Tuesday 16 July 2013

Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer

Having struggled with oily skin for so many years, I've finally found a product that is literally a game-changer for me and worthy of Holy Grail status. Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer SPF15 is a silicone and mineral-based, oil-free primer that has given me results like no other primer or foundation that I've ever tried (and I've tried a lot!). In terms of oil control, this has the competition beat absolutely hands down.

Using Veil Mineral Primer under my current Sofina Primavista powder foundation, there is only the slightest hint of shine on my nose after three hours and none at all on my cheeks and forehead. Even without blotting, after seven hours, it was only my nose area that looked shiny. With virtually every other primer or foundation that I've tried, my whole T-zone and cheeks get oily and blotting is required at least every 2-3 hours. With Veil Mineral Primer, I only have to blot once or twice a day, every 3-4 hours. That, for me, is unheard of and it means I no longer run through packs of Gatsby blotting sheets like crazy. I recently tried out a sample of Pixi Flawless Beauty Primer and the difference could not be starker. My skin got oily within an hour and I was blotting every hour. Needless to say, I returned to Veil Mineral Primer the very next day.

The white fluid has a thin texture that absorbs readily without any whitish cast on the skin. It does have a silicone-y texture and requires virtually no waiting time before applying foundation. There isn't a significant effect in terms of diminishing the appearance of my pores, but when combined with foundation, the skin surface does look smoother. After using this for two weeks, I've not experienced any breakouts or excessive pore clogging.

Aside from boasting a broad spectrum sunscreen (comprising 2.45% titanium dioxide and 4.20% zinc oxide), the vegan-friendly formula is also free from fragrance, parabens, synthetic dye, sulfates and phthlates. The other ingredients are: Cyclopentasiloxane, Isododecane, Polysilicone-11, Polymethylsilsesquioxane, Hexyl Laurate, Peg-10 Dimethicone, Polyglyceryl-4 Isosterate, Stearic Acid, Alumina.

This retails at US$52 in the US, and £52 in the UK. It's not cheap but a full size bottle (30ml) should easily last at least half a year, if not more, as you do not need that much product for one application. My 5ml sample bottle is still about two-thirds full after using it for two weeks. The sample bottle has a spatula applicator while the full size bottle has a pump.

I ordered the Veil Mineral Primer from SpaceNK in the US back in February when SpaceNK had an awesome gift with purchase promotion. Aside from Veil, I also picked up the No. 28 Primer Serum and their Extreme Sheen lipgloss, Opaque Rouge and Femme Rouge in their signature Icon shade. I haven't tried the No.28 Primer, which will probably work better during the winter months. Veil is perfect for the sweltering summer weather we're having here right now.

The gift with purchase of $250 was supposed to be worth $325 and consisted of several luxury brands such as By Terry, Rodial, Sunday Riley, Darphin, Diptyque, the Veil Mineral Primer sample and even a full sized Lipstick Queen lipstick. It's going to take ages to try it all out, but nothing tempts like a generous sample bag!