Saturday, 30 November 2013

What I have loved this month? November edit

I continue to love what I loved using last month, but I asked myself; what else have I enjoyed using this month? 

I pulled out my drawer in which I keep all my empties inside just in case if I wanted to write about them. Instantly I saw my much much loved Beauty Elixir by Caudalie which I have raved about it man thousands a times. This is probably the 3rd bottle I have finished and I still love it so much. 

I'm a loyal nail polish wearer and I change colours so regularly so it shouldn't be a surprise to myself that I've finished one. Loreal Colour Riche Nails (in shade 828 Flashing Lilac) is a great nail polish range and this pastel lilac colour is by far my favourite amongst my nail collection. Not only is the colour exactly the right shade which flatters my skin tone and it pops, the application and the formula is also amazingly user friendly. It's especially great for a on-the-go application when you need to be out of the door or need to be in bed by 30mins, it never fails to shine and makes my nails look top notch!

A new discovery this month and has surprised me big time has to be benefit Stay Don't Stray eyeshadow base.  In terms of my makeup, I'm lucky as they don't normally smudge all over my face or nor does it melt away by lunch time.  However, earlier this month I found my Primping With The Star  lying at the back of my lip products drawer.  So I picked this eye primer to give it a try.  I was wowed by it the first time I used it.  These days I tend to put on my makeup in the morning and wear them for a good 8+ hours.  I realised that the difference when I put this eye primer my eye makeup stay put so much better than when I don't.  As I said although my makeup doesn't normally move by the end of a busy day, this eye primer helped my makeup to stay in place even better!  I can imagine for girls who have oilier skin/ oily eye lids would benefit from using this primer - try it if you haven't!

Relocating to Hong Kong also means that my skin is also adapting to a new environment.  I found my  skin a little allergic to the polluted air and I desperately wanted to keep to a strict skin routine of having a deep cleanse once a week to make sure that any impurities are drawn out regularly to avoid pores clogging up.  I looked around and wanted to try some Japanese brands but failed to do so yet.  Whilst I panicked I remembered I used up a couple of samples by Aesop and was very pleased with the result.  So I picked up the Camomile Concentrate Ant-Blemish Masque.

I had a consultation back in the shop in London.  I was first interested in trying the Parsley Seed Cleansing Mask but was advised this might be too strong for sensitive skin as parsley seed can be quite potent ingredient for delicate skin.  Camomile is a much gentler ingredient for sensitive skin.   The Camomile Concentrate Anti-Blemish Masque also contains ingredients such as Tea Tree Leaf and Evening Primrose, both of which have healing effects.  I found that it does what it says on the tin which is minimise breakouts and blemishes, what's more is that it helps to clear my skin in a really gentle way.  There is no feeling of stinging at all when put this all over my face.  It is a bit like a clay mask.  When put all over my skin it looks rather clear, as it dries up the masque turned opaque so you would be able to tell it's about time to wash this off.  If you are in the market to try out a new deep cleansing mask, I would recommend you to give this a try.  It is a little expensive (HK$380/ £33) so I would suggest you ask for a sample before you commit to a full size version.

What have you loved this month?

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Christmas Shopping Guide 2013: High End Beauty Picks

Welcome to beautyorbread first ever Christmas Shopping Guide 2013 - High End Beauty Episode.  These are all my personal favourites for this year's Christmas Collection by luxury brands.  Of course I cannot buy everything that is available there otherwise, poor Mr. H and I would end up sleeping rough by xmas.  I hope you will like a few things that I managed to splurge on and are inspired when you do your christmas shopping this year!  Have you started doing it yet?

First up..... Dior! When it comes to luxury and extravagant packaging, Dior knows how to do it and does it better than anyone else in my very humble opinion. This year, Dior has launched 3 products in its Christmas Collection: Highlighter, Nail Polish (also a gorgeous manicure caviar set) and Lipsticks.

I picked the Diorific Vernis Nail Varnish  in Winter (20 in UK, or HK$215) It comes in 4 shades, each colour has some shimmery glittery bits in it to make it extra festive!  The gold and glass bottle make it to die for.  I chose this beige/ nude colour as I think you can wear it all year round and not restricted to the party or winter seasons.  I'm sure you can make someone very happy by buying one of these!

Who doesn't like handbags? Especially for girls, your wife, girlfriend (s), sisters; any girls would love to receive a lovely handbag as a Xmas present!

Nars x Guy Bourdin Holiday Collection Limited Edition One Night Stand Cheek Palette could be your next hottest and yet most difficult beauty item to obtain.  

As soon as I knew this was available, I popped to a Nars counter in Hong Kong but was told this wasn't available in Asia Pacific Regions!  It is available in the UK however it seems to be completely out of stock.  

However, you can still get this from Sephora (US$65 or £45).  For any beauty addicts, I think this wouldn't go wrong if you were to give her this.  

Nars is famous for its quality makeup products and it range, it has many star products and this palette, contains 6 shades - which include the most famous Bronzer (Laguna) and a cheek colour (Orgasm).  

It also comes in very generous amount for each shade, with £45 or US$65; I think it is a great bargain, and you would definitely make one very happy girl!

Anteprima latest launch - Lucchetto (F/W 2013/14) could be your next best xmas option! (You can read a more in depth review here)

You can wear this handbag 3-way which suits any occasions that you need: on the shoulder, across the body and as a tote bag.  The size is also perfect for those who carry a little more than just a lipstick when going out.  I used this on a recent trip to Taipei and have found it more than enough to keep all the essentials that I need.  

The handbag is also very agile, too - it's stretchable - you can fit as little or as much as you want to.  It definitely adds glamorous touch to a causal outfit or complement elegantly if you want to dress up a little bit!

I hope that you liked my Christmas ideas - what are you still waiting for?  Time to go shopping!

Sunday, 24 November 2013

Conceal to perfection? In depth review of 6 concealers

Perhaps it's because of my favourite festival coming up real soon - Christmas, that's why these days my thoughts have turned more to giving a good base for my skin before adding any colours (eye shadows, blush, etc.).  So I decided to take a stock-take on all the concealers that I currently own, and my collection has definitely grown in the past year.

My skin condition overall is good in general.  There is an occasion blemishes here and there, some freckles round the cheekbones area, and a pair of light dark circle.  Other than that, I don't think it's too bad.  However, as my expectation to give a flawless finish to my total look has risen, aside from wearing a good primer which I've found my holy grail product - Becca Resurfacing Primer which you can click here for my review on it.  I also like wearing a light foundation, such as Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum or Chanel Vitalumiere are my favourites and I reach for the most.  I am also on the hunt for a good tinted moisturiser, too - will keep you guys posted when I get there!

Concealing becomes my last step to a flawless base and I have tried a few and here's systematic review on my collection.

Top Row: Laura Mercier Undercover Pot/ e.l.f. stick concealer/ Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer
Bottom Row: Rimmel Match Perfection 2in1 Concealer & Highlighter/ e.l.f. Zit Zapping Concealer/ Bourjois Touche healthy mix brush concealer

1. In order of my preference:

  1. Rimmel Match Perfection 2 in 1 Concealer & Highlighter
  2. e.l.f. Stick Concealer
  3. Laura Mercier Undercover Pot
  4. Bourjois Touche Healthy Mix Brush Concealer
  5. Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer
  6. e.l.f. Zit Zapping Concealer
2. What are their textures like?

Rimmel Match Perfection 2 in 1 Concealer & Highlighter
  • It is light weight and creamy.
e.l.f. Stick Concealer
  • It is a stick concealer so the texture is not creamy nor runny but easy to smooth out on the face
Laura Mercier Undercover Pot
  • One side is for concealing spots which is thicker in texture
  • The other side is for concealing the under eye areas which is much more creamy in texture
Bourjois Touche Healthy Mix Brush Concealer
  • It is light weight and creamy, very similar to the Rimmel Match Perfection
Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer
  • Quite thick and creamy
e.l.f. Zit Zapping Concealer
  • Creamy and quite thick
3. In order of effectiveness:
On blemishes/ spots/ darkness
  1. e.l.f. stick concealer
  2. Laura Mercier Undercover pot
  3. Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer

Under eye areas
  1. Rimmel Match Perfection 2 in 1 Concealer & Highlighter (this covers faded marks quite well too)
  2. Bourjois Touche Healthy Mix Brush Concealer
  3. Laura Mercier Undercover pot
P.S. I can't continue to use my e.l.f. Zit Zapping Concealer because the shade (Fair) I got is too light for me.  It's a shame because it helps to fight and prevent acne with the unique blend of Salicylic Acid and Tea tree.  It does smell of tea tree which seems quite reassuring to use.

5. In order of lasting power

  1. Laura Mercier Undercover pot (It contains a third compartment with powder to set the concealer)
  2. Rimmel Match Perfection 2in1 Concealer & Highlighter
  3. e.l.f. stick concealer
  4. Collection Lasting Perfection concealer
  5. Bourjois Touche healthy mix brush concealer

6. In order of affordability (Most expensive to least expensive)
  1. Laura Mercier Undercover Pot £29
  2. Bourjois Touche Healthy Mix Brush Concealer £8.49
  3. Rimmel Match Perfection 2in1 Concealer & Highlighter £5.99
  4. Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer £4.19
  5. e.l.f. Stick Concealer £3.75
  6. e.l.f. Zit Zapping Concealer £2.50

I normally use two concealers - Laura Mercier Undercover Pot is my go-to concealer most days and I would always bring my Rimmel Match Perfection with me whenever I'm on-the-go to do any touch up.  You can also see that I've hit pan on the Laura Mercier Undercover Pot for one of the concealers.  I'll definitely use them all up but I'm probably not going to repurchase again, purely because of the price (although it's lasting me for over 6 months now so that's really impressive considering I use it daily).  However there are other concealers which are at least 3 times cheaper but can provide a similar result.  Under this current economic climate, I think I'd stick with my drugstore concealers.

What about you?  What's your favourite concealer?  Have you tried any of these before?

Friday, 22 November 2013

H&M Pop-Up Store in Hong Kong

I happened to be in Causeway Bay area yesterday and saw this signpost: H&M Popup store. Wow I made a mental note that I had to visit here today.

For those who are less familiar with Causeway Bay Area, it is situated in Hong Kong Island (in rough, Hong Kong is made up of 3 parts: Hong Kong Island, Kowloon and The New Territories). I would say its similar to Covent Garden in London. It's got its quirky spots with little boutiques and more exquisite designers' brands making their marks in the area. 

Enough of geography, let's move onto the Popup store itself.

It's set up on Kingston Road, trendy is all I would say; nice location. The store is popped up between 15-24 Nov, so if you happen to be in the area in the next 2 days; definitely go and check it out.

As soon as you walk into the store, you are greeted by a big Christmas wheel and it's very nice and sparkly! It's starting to feel a lot more like Xmas!

On the first floor it stocks all the ladies' clothing, mainly clothes with only a few pieces of jewellery.  A small selection of handbags and other accessories at the back of the store. On the second floor, once you arrive you are greeted with a table full of boiled sweets (now I think back I think the theme of the store is amusement park?!) and it's mainly a world for men but with a small section still has women's clothes.

I haven't seen most of the clothes available in the popup store in other H&M stores. In the end I bought a check & floral pattern chiffon type of material blouse.

I have been to quite a few popup stores in my lifetime, J Crew's one being the most breath taking one! Is this one worth going? Hm... If you were a fan of H&M I would say yes, do; you've got to!  

I think the concept is hugely exciting but it could do with more USP, like featuring limited edition pieces exclusively available in this period of the popup store....

Are you tempted? If you've been to this popup store, I want to hear from you! 

Thursday, 21 November 2013

Crush on Wirebag by Anteprima

My handbag ban has failed big time..... you can click here to view why I went on one in the first place.....

But, as soon as I saw Lucchetto by Anteprima, there was only one thing in my mind - I had to own this bag.

There are a number of colours available - this one I have is called Nero Blu Metellico.  I love this colour, not only because it is unique (the lovely shop lady told me that this colour is available only with this design.  I love how it can also go with a causal outfit or in the evening when I want to dress up a little bit.

Amazingly, it can hold a relatively reasonable amount of stuff - my purse, my makeup bag, my keys, my Caudalie Beauty Elixir (seriously I don't fail to bring this with my anywhere that I go).

The strap is also adjustable, too according to how you want to wear it.  It can also double up as a tote bag if you want to carry it a little more elegantly.  Or even as a cross shoulder bag if you are on the go!

I am one happy lady whenever I have this on my shoulder.  I feel that this bag is fun yet it feels so luxury - it does help to make an outfit look just that bit more special!

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Day 5 & 6 Taipei Fun

Day 5 in Taipei, we took our time to explore more of this city. Mr Holiday needed some shopping time on electronic goods so we went to one of the biggest computer centre in Taipei. It was huge! Anything about computers, electrical appliances, you name it; here has it!

We then made our way to another fairly newly opened Eslite Bookshop nearby. It's inside a huge park where it used to be the place for a cigarette factory in the past; now turned into a cultural park. 

Inside Eslite bookshop, apart from selling books, and other special little things; you can also find plenty of Taiwanese tea room.

We chose one of them and had a bit of tea time there! In this tea room, it serves everything made with rice. Such as rice tea, rice pudding and brown rice ice-cream. 

It was the ultimate unique relaxing tea time for a long time! 

In the evening before we met up with our friends for some late night local food, we strolled down near a busy shopping areas, and as I walk passed a shop in an underground shopping area, one familiar bottle caught the back of my eyes and I quickly made a U-turn and dashed into the shop.  Ah!!!!! I found Marc Jacob's nail polish on the rack!  How could this be? It's not available in London or Hong Kong yet and I desparately wanted this! There were only a few colours available and I picked this sparkly metallic dark copper shade, which I'm wearing on me nails as I type this blog.

I love Taipei even more! If anyone knows when Marc Jacob makeup range will be launched in the UK or Hong Kong, please let me know!

To end the night on a high, our friends brought us to have some yumminess in a very local restaurant. Look at all these small dishes of delicious food!

Day 6.... Returning to Hong Kong in the morning... Sad times but we had such an amazing time in here!! We will be back, hopefully very soon!

I hope you have enjoyed sharing the highlights of my trip with me in the last few days! I shopped but didn't drop. I'm so pleased though I managed to get a few things that are only available in Taipei.

Monday, 18 November 2013

Day 4 Taipei Fun

Uh-Oh! Day 4 in Taipei had led me to get this little beaut!

It's a lovely faux leather bubble handbag by a Japanese brand called Rootote, which I haven't come across in neither London or Hong Kong. I've been longing to get one by Chanel but the price tag has once again freaked me out. When I saw this I fell in love with it instantly, and my handbag shopping ban went out of the window like it hasn't even been set out in the past! Can't wait to use this lovely handbag!

After a little browse in shops nearby our hotel, we head towards the National Theatre direction as Mr Holiday had a voice workshop to deliver with a local theatre group run by his school friend. 

At night we met up with our friends at a night market for very local Taiwanese food!

Bitter melon soup noodles, very soothing and felt like this was proper food therapy!

Steamed stinky tofu. Now I love fried stinky tofu but steamed one was the first time I tried and it tasted so good! However Mr Holiday couldn't stand the srinkiness, I wondered why?

This looks a bit weird but it's fried eel in a rice wine soup, very special!

We didn't go overboard in the food department, less is more!

I'm going to miss Taipei so much when I leave but we still have a full day ahead of us! Bring on day 5!

Sunday, 17 November 2013

Day 3 Taipei Fun

You can see food before words! Yes that basically summed up how we started day 3 in Taipei. Beef noodles in soup is one of the many popular food in Taiwan. It's hard to find good quality beef noodles in Hong Kong, so I had this on my to-eat list as soon as I knew I was coming to Taipei!

Then we took metro Taipei to a few places for the rest of the day. One of which being the flagship Eslite Book shop. There were 6 floors inside, aside from selling books, there were music records, handbags, stationery, and plenty of tea rooms and restaurants. A real entertainment city!

In the evening, we had business lunch with Mr Holiday's counterparts from the North Taipei Arts University.

After dinner, we were brought to walk around the neighbourhood area, it was lovely! It was an area full of caf├ęs and western restaurants, also lots of small independent boutiques. 

Surprisingly day 3 in Taipei passed without picking up any beauty products. Let's see what happens in day 4....

To be continued......

Saturday, 16 November 2013

Day 2 Taipei Fun

Day 2 in Taipei continued to be fun!

We didn't want to rush like an ordinary tourist so we took our time to walk around the area in our hotel. We stayed in the Taipei Central Station area, so you can imagine how busy and vibrant this area can get!

A trip isn't fulfilled until I visited some beauty goodies. Funnily enough, as soon as Mr Holiday saw a Watson's (equivalent of Boots or Superdrug in the UK) as we passed by, he slowed down and said to me, "you want to go in?". Heehee

I'm not familiar of any big beauty or skincare brands by Taiwan.  However this brand 1028 Visual Therapy suddenly came up in my mind. It is by a Taiwanese makeup artist called Kevin. I was so excited when I saw his makeup stand inside Watson's!

He has a whole range of products and they all look very well designed, packaged and with good quality.

In the end I picked two eye shadow palettes.  One is his latest launch called Brownie eyes which is in a light tin. It contains 6 shades, all are my favourite natural shades and they remind me of the  Bobbi Brown Chocolate palette. 

Another eyeshadow quad are available in 3 sets I picked this quad which had some greenish silver colour, it's for my sister (forksandbrushes), she said it's exactly what she's looking for! 

We also walked pass Eslite bookshop, probably one of the most famous and popular place in Taipei. We didn't go to its flagship store yet but we passed by a branch. Then I saw these cute little solid perfume which I was completely attracted to! 

In the end I picked two: 

Both have lovely pictures on the cover, and they smell like fresh floral scents.

Here's some of the food we had. We didn't go overboard at all. Food in Taiwan is never dull or not enough, you can only eat too much and have not enough time to eat! This time, we paced ourselves to enjoy what to eat!

In the evening, it was time to make our way to Taipei National University of Arts to fulfil the purpose of why we are here. Mr Holiday's colleague is on an exchange programme teaching here, and he is currently directing a show these two weeks. 

It's such a valuable experience. I don't think anyone would actually think of visiting a University here, and to see a show; whilst in Taipei. So here we were doing these couple of things that aren't conventional!

Well done to all students in the show, you guys rock!

Bring on Day 3!!!!