November 27, 2014

Christmas Things

Happy Thanksgiving! While the turkey's cooking, let's talk Christmas things, shall we?

Loccitane really upped their gift set game this year - the candy colored packaging with gold accents is so so pretty! I've never been a huge Loccitane fan but my boyfriend's mom loves their stuff and has gifted me several items over the years. She surprised me with an early Christmas gift set which got me very excited, mainly because it includes the Loccitane Almond Shower Oil - probably the number one Loccitane product on my wishlist - plus a mini Almond Hand Cream. Immediately tried both, love both. I was smitten with the Almond Milk Concentrate in the summer so I'm very happy to have the decadent almond scent back in my life again. 

Also in the set - the Neroli & Orchidee Body Milk & Eau de Toilette, the Creme de Douche Ultra Rich Shower Cream, and their infamous Precious Cream. I've yet to try these but can definitely see myself enjoying the shower cream since Loccitane bath and body products seem to always hit the spot for me. Definitely a set to consider if you want to sample some of Loccitane's best sellers, or for the girl who loves pamper nights.

Speaking of Christmas things, where is your Roasted Chestnuts Candle, Laura Mercier? *beats self up for not stocking up last year* The Laura Mercier Roasted Chestnuts candle is probably my favorite Christmas candle, ever, but I can't seem to find it anywhere this year. Instead I bought my first Diptyque candle in Resine, a sweet yet fresh pine scent. Good throw, pretty packaging, but I'm not crazy about it. Mine sadly didn't burn evenly, which I think is quite unacceptable for a candle of this price. I also slightly regret not choosing Epice instead, the spicier variation. I think that miiiight resemble Roasted Chestnuts a bit more. *sniff*

 

I can't promise there won't be more Christmas Things to come, especially since I've heard there's some serious gorgeousness going on at the NARS counter...


November 21, 2014

Anna Made Me Do It.

ViviannaDoesMakeup has been my long time beauty blog obsession. Her taste is right up my alley, her photography is perfect, her style of writing is endearing, and her blog just always hits the spot for me. Everything she recommends, I want; and everything I end up trying, I love. She also has an amazing Youtube channel but her blog is still my ultimate fave. I'm on it every day, sometimes just to re-read her yummy, feel-good reviews of the most gorgeous products. She has this sweet, friendly, genuine personality that really comes through in her writing. She's amazingness.

It goes without saying that Anna has influenced a lot of my makeup buys over the years, and recently she sold me on getting 2 new amazing products. I've been wanting to attempt a berry lip but being the wussy that I am, popular shades like MAC Rebel and NARS Charlotte are too intimidating. So when Anna mentioned the Clinique Chubby Stick Intense in Grandest Grape as "the entry level berry lip" in her Autumn Edit, I was pulling out my credit card at the Clinique counter the day after. I love love love this (and so does the boyfriend, woohoo!). You can sheer this out for a light berry hue, but also build it up nicely for a true berry lip. Comparing to the original chubby stick formula (review), the intense one has a creamier consistency and actually feels more hydrating. Well done Clinique, and thanks to Anna I'll be rocking a berry lip all winter now!

Next up, the sinful, guilty-purchase that is Tom Ford. My number one beauty obsession of 2014 has been cream eyeshadows, so it's not a surprise that this was my first Tom Ford buy. The Tom Ford Cream Color for Eyes in "Spice" is a limited-edition, re-promote in their 2014 holiday collection. It's all kinds of awesome. It's very pigmented; a teeny tiny bit is all you need. The consistency is significantly wetter and more mousse-like than other cream shadows, making it so versatile to easily sheer out or build up. It's also very long-lasting and does not crease, especially with the help of my trusty NARS eyeshadow base.

More importantly, Spice is a unique and gorgeous shade - a warm metallic copper brown with very fine gold sparkles and a strong red undertone. Appropriately named, it reminds me of cinnamon and nutmeg, all those yummy warm flavors associated with winter. It screams Christmas. Like other cream shadows I like wearing this on its own, and let it work its own multi-dimensional, self-contouring magic. I apply it with my finger and blend out the edges with a MAC 217 brush - easy peasy.
Swatched: Clinique Grandest Grape, Tom Ford Spice (swatched heavily), Tom Ford Spice (sheered out)

The other re-promoted Tom Ford Cream Color for Eyes is "Platinum," a lighter taupe metallic that goes on the eyes as a sheer wash of shimmer. I tried both at the counter and found Spice to be a more unique, standalone type shade that is more worth the investment. Platinum is gorgeous too though, so if you feel like treating yourself, going for both might not be a bad idea.... just sayin'.

November 15, 2014

The Body Shop | A Hit, A Miss, A Staple

 
No, this isn't a post about the Body Shop holiday gift sets. Although I really did not mind the bright red colors, sparkly gift packaging, and insanely sweet and fresh new apple scent that the Body Shop has brought out this Christmas. With some new coupons (and a Body Shop membership card... finally!), I might just be back there soon to look into the festive value sets.

But for now, this one is about stocking up on some regular items (which I tried to do as quickly as possible as I had 2 boys with me, patiently waiting. Lol thanks Shaun and Alan!). I had emptied out the body scrubs from earlier this year and decided it's time to try a new scent. Unfortunately the Body Shop Honeymania Body Scrub was a miss for me. I find that Body Shop scrubs vary quite significantly in consistency - they tend to be marketed as the same formula, but are definitely not made equally! The Honeymania cream body scrub is heavy on the "cream" and barely there on the "scrub." It does smell sweet and comforting, and might be a good one for those with severely dry or sensitive skin, but if you're looking for an effective, deep cleansing scrub, I'd recommend the Moringa or Brazil Nut Body Scrubs instead (review) - both with gritty yet creamy consistencies.

Also on my list to try was the Body Shop Wild Argan Oil Miracle Solid Oil for body & hair. Again a sweet, sweet scent, this one reminds me of sugared almonds or marzipan. Yummy! I love this solid oil because 1. it's travel friendly, and 2. it feels so nourishing but not grossly greasy. It's a great post-bath, pre-bedtime product for those dry cuticles, ankles and elbows. I've also been applying it on targeted dry patches of skin on my arms (TMI) and can see an instant difference.

As I was a little amount away from the Body Shop membership, I threw in a bottle of the Body Shop Tea Tree Oil for my boyfriend, an old staple for soothing red, angry spots. With the generous discount the total summed up to even less than if I didn't add this to my purchase. Gotta love those Body Shop deals!

November 1, 2014

Things I Love | Early Fall

 
It's finally, finally, finaaaally slightly cooler in Hong Kong. The air smells of autumn breeze, and I can finally pull out my favorite jeans, cardigans, and light scarves.

Alongside my recently reviewed Rouge Dior Baume in "Lili," I've also been obsessed with the Innisfree Canola Honey Lip Balm Stick. This one's literally honey in chap stick form; it smells like nothing but full on honey, goes on incredibly smooth and velvety, and leaves lips baby soft with a healthy sheen. It's also very wallet friendly at about USD$5. If you love honey scents, this one is a must try.

The Kat Von D Tattoo Liner has quickly converted me from a pencil liner kinda gal to a liquid liner fanatic. With this I'm able to create a perfectly even thin line - defined yet muted. I've been working 16-18 hour days for the past week but this liner has proven that it does NOT budge, through all the plane rides, tears and sweat. Thanks to the Tattoo Liner I feel like I've finally perfected the classic cat eye flick!

Skincare wise, I've been testing out Indie Lee's skincare line and am really enjoying the Indie Lee CoQ-10 Toner*. It's alcohol & paraben free, packed full of lovely anti-oxidants and hyaluronic acid, and smells faintly like my favorite honey green tea drink. It's a very refreshing, feel-good pamper treat for the skin, especially in the morning. Full review of my Indie Lee experience to come soon after I try out the products long enough form a better opinion, but for now this toner has definitely made a great, great first impression.
 


What have you been loving for fall?

October 26, 2014

Well Played, Dior

 
Rouge Dior Baumes have finally hit counters in Hong Kong! Colored lip balms are probably my number-one weakness, and I'm happy to report back that Dior has nailed it this time - this is the best lip-balm-meets-lipsticks release of the year in my opinion.

Featuring a "rare, natural crystal oil" as the key ingredient, Dior Baumes are marketed as a lip plumping, nourishing lip balm-lipstick hybrid. The formula did not disappoint - it goes on velvety smooth and feels so comfortable on the lips, just like a creamy lip balm. It has a very slight glossiness, just enough to leave your lips looking plump. Even as the color wears off (which it does after a short while, as all sheer lip colors do), my lips look and feel significantly more hydrated. I've just had a week of nasty, chapped lips, and the Dior Baume definitely came to my rescue! 

Color wise, I chose shade #558 Lili, a my-lips-but-rosier shade. It's one of those easy to wear, no-brainer colors that leaves a healthy glowy tint after wearing off. It's that shade you can wear for a modest look at work, then layer it on to create a brighter red for a night out of town (or just movie night at home, #homebodiesunite). 

We've seen countless brands come out with their interpretation of a lip-stick-lip-balm hybrid, but most tend to end up being more of just a sheer lipstick. Dior has definitely showed them how it's done this time, creating a truly nourishing, balmy lip color that I would happily reach for even on my worst chapped-lips day.

Side note: I've read a lot of reviews comparing Rouge Dior Baumes to Chanel Rouge Coco Shines, but to me there are noticeable differences between the two. I've been a long time fan of the Chanel Coco Shines, but the Chanel formula is definitely more slippery, looks glossier, and is not as nourishing. Chanel's is a sheer lipstick, Dior's is an intensely colored lip balm. If I had to choose, I'd probably recommend the Dior one (shhhh!).

Have you tried the Rouge Dior Baumes? (p.s. you should!)

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