Saturday, 29 June 2013

June Empties

I love the feeling of getting new beauty products, but at the same time I also have a sense of 'mission accomplished' when I finish one, too.

This month, I finished using up a few more products and want to share with you my thoughts on these.

Skincare wise, I used up 3 skincare essentials.  My skin is still quite dehydrated at the moment (I blame it on the messy breakout that I had last month and it is still at recovery state), so the La Roche-Posay Thermal Spring Water  seem to tick all the boxes for me as an additional step to my skincare routine to inject those much needed hydration back to my face.  I used this for both my morning and evening routines, before and after I cleanse and tone my face.  If you ask me whether this has made my skin feels more hydrated, the honest answer is I am not entirely sure but I can definitely feel that my skin (especially around the cheek areas) feels plumper.  However, whether or not it is entirely down to this spray or other products, it is unknown.

Nuxe was a brand I wanted to try so when I ran out of a toner a couple of months ago, I decided to put this Gentle Toning Lotion to the test.  I specifically wanted one which was suitable for my dry and sensitive skin so this seemed to be a good prescription for me.  After I use this, I felt that it tightened up my pores without tightening up my facial skin and left it feeling dry.  It is definitely a very gentle toning lotion.  I recommend this to people who have dry and sensitive skin like me.  Whether I would repurchase is a different story though.  At the moment, I am 'toner-less' and am searching for another one.

I had the Clarins Multi-Active Night Youth Recovery Comfort Cream as free gifts when I purchased the Clarins Instant Light Natural Lip Protector which you can read the review here.  This 30ml youth recovery cream has lasted me for nearly a month which is pretty awesome.  I have been teaming this up with my Clarins Double Serum which I have just stopped using it as I am mildly suspecting that it may be giving me blemishes (since stopping the use of glycolytic containing products, I still have the odd blemishes creeping up).  I found that wearing this youth recovery cream on its own is hydrating enough.  I would recommend this to anyone who wants an anti-ageing product but want a all-in-one night cream which is hydrating at the same time, this might be for you to consider?

Next up is hand cream - I go through tubes after tubes of handcream like no others!  Here's the two hand cream I finished this month.

I had this Caudalie Hand and Nail Cream  from the Caudalie beauty set that I bought a while back which I have done a review here.  I love the Beauty Elixir by Caudalie which I have purchased and repurchased over and over again.  I had high expectation of this hand and nail cream.  I'd say I liked it but I didn't love it.  This hand and nail cream has a pleasant citrus scent to it which might appeal to other people but I am not the biggest fan.  It is a very light weight hand cream which actually wasn't intense enough for my very dry hands.  I am not disappointed with the product, but I don't think I would repurchase.

The Space NK own brand florabelle hand cream (couldn't find it on Space NK website anymore) has taken my by complete surprise.  It was highly addictive.  The consistency of the cream was just right to moisturise my hands - not too greasy and not too light, and absorbed quickly by my hands.  I love the floral scent,  it isn't an intensely sweet floral scent.  It smells a little bit like baby powder which for some strange reason I love!  I got this in the clearance sale so it only cost me £2.50 as opposed to £10.  I wouldn't pay £10 for it though despite how much I love it.  Perhaps until next time it's become available and on sale, I wouldn't repurchase.

Finishing up a makeup product is definitely a rare scene for me, and I managed to use up two of them!

I bought the Helena Rubinstein Lash Queen Fatal Blacks mascara back in December when I was in Hong Kong.  I've been constantly using this during its first 3 months but got distracted by other new additions.  I have finally used it up - overall impression?  Hm.... there are better ones by drugstore brands which out-perform this one.  Repurchase?  No I don't think so.

Bourjois Touche Healthy Mix brush concealer was a great product - the brush on formula made applying concealer under the eye areas like a dream.  Its consistency is light and creamy and doesn't cake up on my skin as my day goes by.  It gives a light coverage, I wouldn't say it can be built up to a medium coverage though.  This is definitely a false-proof concealer for under the eye areas!  Repurchase?  Oh yes I would!

Are you like me who feel a real sense of achievement when finishing a product?  What have you finished using this month?

Thursday, 27 June 2013

The Sacred Truth - an amazing mask

Meet Lush's The Sacred Truth fresh facemask.

For those of you who have visited a Lush store you would know how crazy it can get in the store.  It is usually full of people (both customers and high-energy, extremely friendly and knowledgeable beauty assistant).  Recently my sister and I visited their store in Westfield on a quiet afternoon so we took our time to look at each and every product.

Lush's facemasks is one of those products that is always on the 'to try' list.  This is because they are 'quick and dirty'.  They are fresh, their shelf lives usually last for a maximum of 3 weeks and you'd also need to keep it in the fridge.  That's what I love about them, it forces you to work hard to keep your appearance nice, as well as it forces you to use up products in less than a month's time.

One day, my sister bought another fresh mask but I had my eyes on the Sacred Truth as it is for anti-ageing.  The beauty assistant kindly gave me a free sample to try, in this little pot.

This little pot is little but the content was enough for 2-3 masks.  The customer service tactic has worked - I'm definitely going to go back to buy a normal sized tub to continue using it.

So, what's in the Sacred Truth?  Well, I'm not going to name every single ingredient here as it will take up all the space in this post.  Basically it contains over 20 natural ingredients.  The featured ingredient is Papaya and it is this good stuff which has the anti-agening property.  When it gets to your skin, it helps to eat away the dead skin on the surface!

As this freshmask is stored in the fridge, so when I first slapped these on my face, it felt extremely cool to my skin which gave such a refreshing sensation instantly.  This mask looks green so for about 10-15mins you look a bit dodgy.  The texture of this mask is smooth, there is no bits in it.  It's great for dry/ sensitive skin.  When it is dried, it goes slightly hardened but it is so easily rinsed with water.

The result?  Amazing!  You can see the difference yourself in these two pictures below:

There is an instant glow added to the face.  It felt extremely refreshing afterwards, at the same time it didn't dry my skin out completely.  The effect has lasted until the next morning.

I strongly recommend this mask to you if you have dry/ sensitive skin like me, and if you are also looking out for anti-ageing product - this one is definitely a winner!

Will you want to give it a try?

Monday, 24 June 2013

Kate Spade earrings - it's all about class and elegance

I love browsing in a Kate Spade shop but I hardly walk away from the shop with any purchases because it is simply too expensive for me.  There is one thing in which I have been keeping an eye on for absolutely ages - earrings.  Why?  It's because I'm simply in love with studs type earrings, they are easy to wear, classy and elegant.

I am lucky - I went into Kate Spade shop in Covent Garden and found out some selected items were on sale (they probably still are).  I found these small square stud earrings were on sale, I had to grab them!

They came in beautiful packaging, the box with a little bow tied around it was absolutely adorable.  The earrings were put into a little brown tie bag.

I chose a pair of light purple one (there were also a darker purple and turqoise colour left), I thought they would go with any outfits extremely easily and more importantly of all, I love purple!

I've worn them a few times already and am in love with them.  They are light and the size of the square wasn't too big that it looked awkward on my ears.

I usually have issues with earrings which they cause allergic reaction to my skin.  These didn't and I think it was because the pins were made with 14-karat gold so it didn't cause any troubles to my ears.

So let's talk money, they were £30 originally and have been reduced down to £18.  One very happy and satisfied customer walking away from Kate Spade!

What earrings are you rocking these days?  Are Kate Spade's jewellery on your wishlist?

The shopping type - what I bought at IMATS London 2013

I am so pleased about making it to IMATS London this year - this was my first IMATS ever attended.  My sister (Forsk and Brushes) and I bought tickets back in late February this year so you can tell how eager we had been waiting for this day to come.

For those of you who were less familiar with IMATS, it stands for the International Makeup Artists Trade Show.  IMATS took place in 6 cities internationally this year which included London, Vancouver, Sydney, Toronto, Los Angeles and New York.

I had an amazing day and have met many of my favourite beauty bloggers there.  Please click here for whom I met!

I had been making my wish list at least 2 months ago and it was a mixture of makeup products and tools, namely brushes.  In the end, I didn't buy any makeup items at all because the queue to my targeted stores (NYX and Inglot) were just way too long.  However I am so excited about adding 7 brushes by 3 brands to my makeup brushes collection.

Here's an overview of what I bought.....

Meet my most wanted item on my wish list - not only is it the most wanted item, it was also the priciest of all -----

A Kokutan Blusher brush by Hakuhodo.  I have heard really nice things about Hakuhodo's brushes, as well as the very steep price tags to them.  I kept hypnotising myself two months prior to IMATS, whatever happens, I will have to buy at least one brush from Hakuhodo (condition, provided that I can afford it.....)

They are also a rarity because it is not available in the UK unless you order them online from their USA base.  It really was quite exciting arriving at Hakuhodo booth.  They don't sell the largest amount of brushes compare to some other brands but what they have for sale were absolutely amazing.

They really ARE the softest brushes I have come across.  I have already given it a wash and when the brush was wet, it actually looked like a Chinese Calligraphy pen which made me think this is probably why Hakuhodo can produce such amazing brushes - because the Japanese also practice calligraphy using special pen and they probably have made used of the technology onto developing these makeup brushes.

This traditional looking brush, with a wooden handle and have 'Hakuhodo' imprinted on it cost me £51.  Expensive, yes I know but I see this as my investment and hopefully will last me a lifetime.  The brush was also made from Blue Squirrel hair.  You won't know how soft it is until you feel it for yourself.  I am planning to use this as a blush brush and am really looking forward to using it for the first time!

After buying one brush from Hakuhodo, I left with a tiny budget to buy a few more brushes and luckily, there are some good quality but affordable by the masses type of brushes.

I went to Crown Brush.  I didn't know anything prior but my sister said they are also good so I bought three brushes, plus a flat brush holder from them.

The brush holder was a real bargain which cost me £20 and has 15 slots.  As each slot can actually hold more than one or perhaps two brushes, it is more than enough for me at this moment in time.

The three brushes I bought was an Angle blush brush, a blending brush (possibly a dupe for MAC 217) and a mini concealer brush.

They are no comparison to my Hakuhodo brush however they are good enough for everyday's use.  They were very affordable, too - I don't remember the individual price but the three brushes and the brush holder came to a total of £32 - extremely impressive!

The handles of brushes tend to be a boring black or dark brown, so when I saw the brand bdellium tools, I was drawn to the various colour handles that are available.  bdelilum tools specialise in eco-friendly synthetic bristles which are suitable for vegan.  Although I am not a vegan, I support eco-friendly items.

There are three colour ranges: green, yellow and pink and I bought from its Pink Bambu range for another three brushes - a #776 blending brush (£5), #781 crease brush (£5) and #925 duet fiber fan (£6).

They are a little bit softer than the Crown brushes.  I have never owned a fan brush before so for £6, I thought that's not bad to give it a try!

When it comes to applying foundation, I have always been a firm believer in using my fingers.  I still haven't mastered the skill in using foundation brush to buff my foundation on to a satisfactory finish.  Since I've been introduced to a beauty blender, I have been absolutely obsessed with using one.  Here's a review I did on beauty blender.

When  I said I was obsessed, it's no joke about it.  I have been using a beauty blender religiously every single day for a month now and I cannot imagine life without a beauty blender.  Before my current one is gone old and unwanted, I have been planning ahead and wanting to get her a sister.

I'm glad I found something a lot more affordable.  It is from Maquillage paris berlin professionnel.

Forgive my ignorant about paris-berlin professionnel but as soon as I saw the word paris, I knew they wouldn't be bad - the French know their beauty products.  This beauty blender only cost £5!  What a bargain.  I have to say though when I gave it a wash the other day, it definitely didn't feel as bouncy and soft as the original beauty blender, however as it was soaked in water, the texture changed and became almost as soft as the beauty blender I currently own.  I am also looking forward to trying this and compare the experience.

So.... did you go to IMATS in London this year?  Or you went to the IMATS in other cities before?  Let me know because I want to know what have you picked up!

Sunday, 23 June 2013

The Beauty Events' Edit - Makeup House Rock 'N' Kohl and IMATS London

This week has definitely become a highlight for me as a beauty blogger.  Here's why:

  • Two significant beauty events
    • Charlotte Tilbury's Make-up House of Rock 'N' Kohl at Selfridges 
    • IMATS London 
  • Meeting more than four of my favourite beauty bloggers in person - A-M-A-Z-I-N-G
I want to share with you all my exciting week in pictures:

On the first day of Charlotte Tilbury's Make-up House of Rock 'N' Kohl at Selfridges:

Meeting the lovely, down to earth and pretty Lily Pebbles What I Heart Today and look at how 'nervous' I looked!

Then I went back again on the 4th day to meet with the ever so popular Fleur +Fleur DeForce de Force (there was a queue to meet her!)

The excitement didn't end there, I finally made it to IMATS this year in London.  For those of you who weren't sure of what IMATS was, it is the International Makeup Artists Trade Show. 

 Body paint models were everywhere and here's just two of them which caught my eyes the most:

I finally visited the Hakuodo booth which they sell the highest quality of brushes.  Do stay in tuned with the upcoming post about what I bought at IMATS!

Then meeting three of my favourite beauty bloggers, from left to right; Becky @Talkbeckytalk, Holly @xTwinkleLashesx and one of my absolute favourite American beauty bloggers Tati @GlamLifeGuru.  They are all super nice and pretty!  My sister (ForksandBrushes) and I chatted to them for a little while and showed them what we've bought!

One more individual picture taken with Tati @GlamLifeGuru - it was uber nice seeing you and chatting to you!  I love love love your videos.  You are so pretty in real person!  Welcome to London and hope you enjoy the rest of your stay here.

Finally I attended a rather light-hearted and very informative and funny talk host by Ruth @modelrecommends, joined by Louise @Sprinkleofglitr, Anna @ViviannaMakeup and skincare expert Caroline Hirons.

It was definitely my best week that I had since started blogging two months ago!  

Did you attend any of these events?  Have you met any of these lovely beauty bloggers before?  Do you follow them?

Friday, 21 June 2013

Waterworks or no waterworks - hydraluron

You would know by now I have dry and sensitive skin.  I suffer from dry patches, mainly round my nose; rather badly.  Any products that claim to bring all the moisture back that I need on my face, I'm happy to give it a try.

The hype of hydraluron by Indeed Lab, that has been created by Caroline Hirons (Skincare goddess/ expert) on Youtube, an interview by Pixiwoo - you can click here to learn all about the nitty gritty.

 So, what's so special about this small, white and contemporary designed tube of product?

For £24.99, you can have 30ml product inside.  I have only seen it available at Boots so it isn't the most accessible product. This product is produced by a Canadian company called Indeed Labs.  They haven't manufactured a ton of products but a few key items that target dehydrated skin, wrinkly and saggy skin, etc.

hydraluron works as a serum, apply this all over the face before applying your daily moisturiser, I normally use this in the morning.  It contains sodium hyaluronate which works to increase skin hydration from below the surface with an ultra-high-quality hyaluronic acid that holds up to 1,000 times its weight in water.  Sounds wickedly amazing?  If to use this continuously, you can reduce the amount of moisturiser used as this product will have helped to inject the moisture that your skin desperately need.  Sounds like a dream product?

When I learnt that this product can do such wonderful thing to my skin, even though for £24.99 which I felt was a little pricey for me, I thought twice and bought it and have been using this for over a month and have nearly finished it.

First of all, I like the look of the product, it's in a clear gel form which doesn't look anything that would irritate my skin.  It doesn't have any scent to it either, so all sounds good so far.  When I applied it on my face, it feels refreshing, just like applying a water-gel onto my skin.  It then turns somewhat 'sticky' after about 15 seconds I put this on my face.

I guess that's because the stickiness then helps the moisturiser to cling onto the skin so that my skin can drink up as much moisture as possible that I'm injecting onto?  I'm not sure as I haven't actually used any 'hyaluronic acid' containing product in its most purified form.

Now that I have almost finished using this product, I didn't notice a huge difference on my skin.  I still suffer from dry patches round my nose area.  Perhaps I have to continue using for another tube or 2 of this hydraluron to achieve the results that Caroline said it would?

I'm not quite sure if hydraluron worths all the hype that has been received recently in the beauty world? Since the discovery of hyaluronate/ hyaluronic acid, I noticed there are plenty of products out there that contain this ingredients, in varied amounts.  I won't necessarily repurchase this hydraluron by Indeed Lab, just because it didn't wow me like I was hoping that it would.  However, I would certainly keep an eye on products which claim they contain hyaluronate/ hyaluronic acid just to keep my skin hydrated all times.  I guess, every little helps?!

So, have you surrendered in to trying hydraluron?  What did you think of it?  Or you've tried other similar products like this one and have had better results?  Do let me know!

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Selfridges Sales Haul

I am particularly excited about the Selfridges sales this year, perhaps since I started blogging; I found shopping even more irresistible.  This time, I managed to buy a few luxurious items that I wouldn't buy normally but have been eyeing on them for absolutely ages.  I am so pleased I've managed to get them in the sale fashionable quick!

I love the promotional slogans that Selfridges uses during the sales period, 'It's almost free!' (well it isn't but for some people, it might be!), and 'I didn't find it, it found me' (this seems more applicable to me however!).

I came away with a mere 2 shopping bags after spending 2 days (not literally!) shopping in the Selfridges sales.

Here's what I bought:

The first exciting thing was these Laura Mercier's Signature Votive Candle Collection (Was £42, Now£21).  When I checked the Selfridges website just now, these are out of stock already.  However you can still pick these up at House of Fraser at the same price.

I've heard so much about Laura Mercier's candles, but I really cannot justify myself for buying candles which cost more than £5 - technically you are burning money.  However, I have to say, lighting a luxurious candle and smelling the scents from it can be such a therapeutic act when you are stressed. When I found out that this candle collection has been reduced by 50% off, I thought this couldn't be a better time to give these a try.

This candle collection comes in 4 scents: tarte au citron, fresh fig, creme brulee and warm roasted chestnuts.  I love the chocolate brown packaging of the box, and the candle holders feel very luxury, too.  As I opened the box, the strong scents of all the candles flushed right out and all I could smell are the lovely scents.  As I am writing this blog, I have lit the warm roasted chestnut candle; a scent which I am probably least familiar with by Laura Mercier; but it is so soothing and was definitely a good buy!  After I put it out and walked into my bathroom the next morning, it was still fulfilled with the lovely scent of warm roasted chestnuts.

Next up in the line is my YSL Creme de Blush in #7 (Was £29, Now £19).  YSL is a brand which I am paying more attention to recently.  Mostly because I'm drawn to its sophisticated packaging but their products are good!

This cream blush is a lovely rose pink colour, it is very creamy to touch and dry like a powder.  I haven't worn it properly yet but I already really like it so much!  The ice-cube like packaging gives a refreshing feel to it, it is also very compact and small, great as a travel blush!

The third purchase was...... I have to say I am a very fortunate person during this Selfridges sales.  Reason being, I saw this Longchamp Le Pilage small handbag in indigo (was £48, now £25).  The story goes like this I saw this handbag amongst the other discounted handbags, there were at least 10 of these amongst the lot.  I hesitated, my heart told me to get it straight away but my head told me to think twice.  I've always wanted a Longchamp handbag because of its causal function but classic feel to it.  I put it down and went away to have a coffee nearby, whilst doing so I talked to my sister about it and decided it would be stupid not to get it.  As soon as I finished my coffee, I rushed back to Selfridges and found out there was only 1 left on the lot!!!! I quickly grabbed it and paid for it.  I was 'this' close to losing this.

I've been using this since and it is just the right size for a casual day out - shopping, running errands, going out for breakfast, lunch and a causal dinner.  I love the colour, too!

Finally, I bought a pair of shoes which is completely unplanned..... That's what happens when you walk around shops without any intention to buy anything or more things - you always end up getting more than you need, or in this case, something I've been looking for but didn't have any luck.

Come and meet Amica by Kurt Geiger (Was £95, Now £49)

I have an absolutely love-hate relationship with high heel shoes, be it low or high.  I just don't get along with them because I have flat feet...... I wear flats most of the times.  Therefore my hunt for a perfect pair of beige colour heels has been very tricky, they are either too high a heel or the material is too hard, or the front of the shoes are too narrow and pointy that would hurt my feet so much.  When I tried these on, it felt really comfortable, it really did.  I felt that the height of the heels were just right, the leather was soft.  The tone of the beige colour match with the skin of my feet perfectly and made my legs a little longer than they are.  All in all, Kurt Geiger has ticked all the boxes for me for a perfect pair of beige coloured heels.  I'm so pleased I found these (or they found me)!  I hope they are not a nightmare to wear.  I couldn't find these on the Selfridges website anymore, they might still be in the shop floor but I found them on Kurt Geiger website.

I feel that I have been a wise shopper this time and have got some great deals from the sales.  I would have had to pay £210 for all these on a non-sale period, but now I have only paid £114, making it a total saving of £96!

Selfridges sales, I LOVE YOU!!

The sales is still going strong almost everywhere.  What have you picked up?