Saturday, 28 December 2013

The Pump Action(s)

I want to talk convenience in beauty today.

I often ask for a hassle free type of product which gives me the convenience, efficiency and effectiveness that I want to see.  So when I heard Viviannadoesmakeup talked about 'The Best Nail Polish Remover?' in which she referred to the pump design nail polish remover by Zoya, I felt the urge to get my hands on it.  I bought mine in London in the WholeFoods Market at about £11.99.  You can, alternatively get this little beauty from for £10 (delivery is free within the UK).

For those of you who live in Hong Kong, I have seen this available in a few independent nail specialist retailer in Tsim Sha Tsui and Kimerley in Causeway Bay but the prices are slightly more expensive than in the UK (within a reasonable margin though I think).  

Zoya nail polishes are cult products because of the ingredients that they used.  It is free from paraben or any nasty chemical ingredients, also they are suitable for vegans and vegetarians, too.  However they are normally at the £10 price range and this is why I am yet to try their nail polishes yet.

Let's go back to the nail remover.  I have been enjoying using it as you can see I'm at the final 1/3 lag.  The pump action certainly ticked the boxes of efficiency and convenience.  However I must say that the first couple of times when I used it, I managed to pump out more than I needed to and wasted a little bit of the product.  Practise made perfect, now I'm an expert, a few pump onto the cotton pads, I got enough of what I needed.  The power of this nail remover to remove nail polishes is stronger than other nail remover I have tried, and at the same time I don't feel that it's done any damage to my nails.  Also you don't need that much product to remove ten nails which are full of colours, apart from glitter nails if you happen to have.  

The 3-in-1 formula is also worth mentioning, that this remover removes old polish, cleanse nails and prep your nails for the next nail polish you choose to wear.  Do I find my nail polish last longer as a result of using this?  Hm.... not really but in terms of doing damage to my nails as a result of removing nail polish, I can certainly notice the difference.

Since I have been enjoying all the pumping action that Zoya has given me, the search on pumping beauty products continued and the next one I wanted to share with you is by Charlotte Tilbury, her Take It All Off Eye Makeup Remover (£24).  Charlotte Tilbury makeup range is available in Selfridges in the UK.  Unfortunately Selfridges isn't delivering to Hong Kong yet but when it does, I would really recommend you to try something from her range because it is amazing!

This makeup remover is a bi-layer solution which is designed for removing eye makeup.  'Shake, Pump, Soak and Swipe' is the 'slogan'/ instructions to use this makeup remover.   The solution is a blue liquid which doesn't smell of anything.  

It doesn't stink my eyes which is good but when it comes to the effectiveness of removing makeup, I am not impressed.  I followed the detailed instructions of pumping and pressing twice to get enough solution onto my cotton pads, then soak onto closed eyes for 10 seconds.  It does remove some make up but it leaves residue (dark marks) on my eye areas, and when I further cover my eyes with the cotton pads soaked with the makeup remover solution, it didn't really help in removing the rest of the yuckiness left.  Perhaps I haven't mastered the pumping actions good enough but when I pumped, lots of solution splashed out from all sorts of direction.  I wouldn't repurchase it, for £24 and for what it does; I definitely wouldn't!  But I'm glad to have bought this as I can recycle the bottle and pour in some better ones inside.

Are you pumping enough in the beauty world?

Wednesday, 25 December 2013

Merry Crimbo, love from beautyorbread in Hong Kong

Merry Christmas to everyone! 

Christmas in Hong Kong is different, it's very commercialised. I know what you may be saying, as that's how it seems these days in most parts in the world.

Trust me, it's all revolved around materials and expensive gifts approaching the Christmas period! This year, perhaps it's the not-so-cold weather; my anticipation to Christmas is fairly weak. The feeling has only grown a little stronger since last week!

The shopping complex that is very close to my home has some pretty impressive Christmas set-up which I want to share with you all here.

During this exciting period of time, there are also these really amazing cute little sets of confectionary for children.

No matter what you are doing today and where you will be; have a lovely Christmas!

Monday, 23 December 2013

The White Shade in Nail Polish

White nail polish equals to painting Tipex/ Correction fluid to your nails?

This is what I thought in the past, and when white nail polish was at its hottest trend back in the summer; I refused to give it a go.

A few months down the line, I caved in and went into Sasa; and realised my hands were helping themselves to the Sinful Color Nail Polish stand...... and the rest is history....

I don't think I can yet wear white nail polish on all ten of my nails, but as the best nail art buddy, white nail polish has got my vote big times!

Look how much fun I've had with them, creating my own unique nail art pattern!

Are you a fan of white nail polish?  Perhaps you can pick one up and create your own festive nails?

Saturday, 21 December 2013

The packaging did it for me!

Here on beautyorbread, I often talk about if I like a product or not based on how it performs, whether it works or not. It all sounds very mechanics at times. However, sometimes I'm not at all a sensible shopper. The impulsive me inside always jump out of nowhere telling me to buy because of how good something looks. 

Today's post is all about the packaging, and it's all because of the looks that did just it for me.

Are you also a sucker for beautiful packaging?

I've heard people said that if you don't like Tom Ford's lipstick, you have no hearts. I wouldn't go as far as that but my god, it really was just because of the white and gold bullet that drew me into grabbing one of these Tom Ford lipstick. 

It is a nudy brown shade with fine golden shimmer runs through the bullet. The shade actually doesn't flatter my skin tone at all so I haven't used it that often. The funny thing is on party night out, I would actually bring this with me as an extra lipstick, and would actually take this out from my clutch and pretend to apply this on my lips, well, lightly dabbing it on my lips. It is just because of the packaging. Sad but it's lovely and I couldn't resist, and who cares!

Then I remember one Sunday afternoon, I was reading a few blogs that I would. I saw a gorgeous deep blue back cap engraved with two shiny silver letters: C D. There, I told myself I had to run down to Selfridges and own that little pot or something on that very day. 

This  Dior Cream Blush is in a glass pot so it's slightly on the heavier side. Not entirely travel friendly but completely satisfying when put on dressing table. Of course I haven't just let it sitting on the dressing table, I used it and it has been well loved. It looks a really scary bright pink on the pot but surprisingly easy to blend on the cheeks. 

Folks in London familiar with the brand Jill Stuart? Clothing may be but she's got a whole range of makeup and skincare bits going on. All, and I do mean all; are designed in these beautiful princess packages. That makes her shops a very special one to visit. 

It's called the Mix Blush Compact N, and I have it in the colour #04 Candy Orange.  At the time when I needed this in my life I was all over coral.  The combination of the 2 coral shades together with some pinks made it the perfect blushers for me.  The adjustable little cheek brush that came with the blush compact made me felt like a little pretty princess holding this.  However, I'm disappinted by the colour pay off, it's a bit sketchy and the quality of the brush is not soft....... nice packaging but poor quality for this.... I've tried JS' eye shadow quad which was amazing and I managed to use them all up.  I'm hoping that the next product I try would be a nice one!

I have written a whole blogpost about Burberry Nail Polish, you can remind yourself by clicking here.

I used to be a Burberry clothing and accessories kind of girl.  I liked how English their clothings were and how sleek and simple the designs were.  Time went by and I fell out of love with B, as I found their design, to be more precise the Burberry trademark - the check pattern a little bit all over the place, too overwhelming.  However, I think that Burberry beauty products are a total killer - sleek and high end.  This nail polish in the shade of stone No. 104 is the first Burberry beauty product that I own.  I love how petite this little bottle of nail polish is, and how elegant the cap comes in.  A simple BURBERRY wording printed at the bottom end of the bottle has perfectly put their marks on it.   The quality of the nail polish also didn't disappoint - thick and gel like.  I must try other Burberry beauty products, soon.

What about you?  Are you a follower of beauty packaging?  Do you just buy something because of how good they look?  Or are you a bit of a realistic, you'd prefer to buy something that performs and don't mind how it looks?

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Shopping in Lane Crawford, Hong Kong

Selfridges is my favourite department store in the whole wide world.  I miss shopping in Selfridges the most since departing London.  I desperately needed an alternative/ dupe now that I live in Hong Kong.  Of course I wouldn't be disappointed, Hong Kong has Lane Crawford in their LaLa land.

Unlike Selfridges which only has 3 stores in the whole of the UK, Lane Crawford has 4 stores in Hong Kong, its territory also crosses the border and has another 2 stores in Beijing and one in Shanghai.  In Lane Crawford, its beauty hall is called Joyce Beauty where you can find most international brands, from Dior, Chanel, to Tom Ford and Chantecaille, also Jo Malone and By Terry, etc.  It's a bit like if Selfridges and Space NK has a beauty princess daughter, Joyce Beauty would be her!

Recently, my childhood best friend, Miss V and I had another shopping trip down in Lane Crawford, I told her I wanted to get a Joyce Beauty card.  She was stunned but the beauty blogger inside me has to have one of these to confirm her identity in this vibrant city.

I went to the fresh counter, as it was pretty difficult to hunt down back in London.  Whereas in Hong Kong, fresh counter is relatively readily available in many department stores.  fresh SUGAR Rose tinted balm is one of their most popular products but the slightly high price tag scared me a way a few times.  So, when I found out from my sister forksandbrushes a holiday gift set which has the three star products - Sugar Lip Polish, Sugar Rose and Sugar Shine Lip Treatment; I was all itchy to get my hands on it.  All these wonderful products cost only HK$275 or UK£21.  Pretty good value, eh?

Although they don't come in the full size, they are good enough for me to sample three fresh products at once and to get my lips sorted out, as they are getting a little dry and flaky you know?!

Just as when I was getting all excited about this gift set, the lovely fresh lady  told me I was eligible to receive a welcome gift as becoming a Joyce Beauty member.  Wow there I was thinking, 'hooray a free gift, whatever that would be I would be happy!'

When I was handed over the gift..... scroll down please.........

It's a SK-II gift set which contains 2 sachets of serum and a little pot (rather generous) stem power cream, I believe it's used as a nuit cream.  I was and still am a very happy bunny!

I feel like a more complete beauty junkie in Hong Kong now that I have claimed a bit of an identity in Lane Crawford - I know it sounds a little crazy but it's true!

Are you as obsessed as me putting your feet in the beauty department in major department stores in your own home cities? What gifts have you received from your department stores in the past?

Sunday, 15 December 2013

Weekend Special #1: Anna Sui Surprise

Shopping around Apita, previously known as UNY (a Japanese Department Store in Hong Kong, a bit like House of Fraser; but Apita also has an impressive supermarket selling mainly Japanese food); is one of my favourite things to do at the weekends since relocating to Hong  Kong.

Today was no exception. After lunch, Mr H and I went wandering around Apita and suddenly I stumbled into this small but compact section, which is packed full of Japanese magazines.

It's an area inside Apita which I don't normally go into but today was different!

I was greeted by a mountain of Japanese magazines, with a trick. Many of these magazines come with free gifts, mainly handbags and cosmetic bags!

Before seeing these I knew already lots of Japanese magazines come with impressive freebies but this was the first time I browsed each of them with care, I looked at every single one of the free gifts .

Suddenly, I saw a black and purple coloured magazine which attracted my eye sight, it was an Anna Sui magazine!

With this magazine, you get a cosmetic bag! As a fan of Anna Sui's, I knew I had to get it despite I already have a vast makeup bag collection! 

As I unwrapped the A4 size box, it felt like Christmas has come early (only 11 days to go)!  Wow, in front of my very eyes was this black colour with purple embroidery prints design makeup and wash bag.  It's a lot bigger (W270 x H210 x D40mm) than I think but I think it would be perfect to hold both cosmetics stuff and skincare essentials, this would be perfect for organisation beauty freaks!

I love it as well that it also has a detachable smaller pouch to put bits and pieces.  You can definitely use it as part of this cosmetic bag but I might use it as a separate makeup bag elsewhere.  Even though this makeup bag was first launched as part of the Spring Collection 2012, I didn't think twice about it's an item which was first available more than a year ago.  I rather like Anna Sui stuff and normally her accessories do come with a high price tag.  So when this appeared in front of my eyes, I couldn't let it go....

The magazine that comes with also looks very interesting.  It has all the Anna Sui stuff from beauty, to clothing, handbags, to umbrellas.

I cannot wait to have a proper study of the magazine, and a suitable occasion when I can use this beautiful makeup bag.

Anna Sui Spring Collection 2012 Magazine HK$158/ £12

Saturday, 14 December 2013

Top 3 cream blusher

How do you like to colour in your cheeks every morning?  I get very excited about what cheek product to wear every day.  If you haven't caught up with my Top 3 Powder Blusher, you don't know what you have missed!

Today, I want to share with you my Top 3 cream blusher.  I'm slowly growing my love towards cream cheek products.  Reason being I'm not entirely sure if they are my favourite blushers type.  I find blusher should be in powder form.  The logic is a bit similar to my trust is on liquid foundation, rather than on powder form.  Blusher should be powder, be it loose or on the pan.  

But for today, let's forget about my weird rationale on cream blusher; I still have my top 3 that I have enjoyed using and still am loving them.

Revlon PhotoReady Cream Blush won my heart in the drugstore cream blusher category.  I think it is a dupe for Diorblush Cheek Cream.  A fraction of the price of the luxury Diorblush, Revlon offers a long-lasting bright pink colour to your cheeks.  It is quite a creamy texture but within it you can feel that it hydrates your skin, especially good for those dry-skinned girl, like myself.  I normally use my fingertips to blend into my skin which can be done so easily but sometimes when I can spend a bit more time on my makeup, Real Techniques Stippling brush is my best companion when it comes to applying cream blusher.

When it comes to cream blusher, I think Jouer definitely delivers.  Jouer doesn't have fancy packaging but instead, they are functional, honest and gives the best quality and performance.  Inside this little brown square comes a slightly darker shade of coral cream blush.  It is actually a Cheek & Lip Tint but I've only been using it as a cheek tint rather than for my lips as I found it a little unhygienic and would try anything to avoid blemishes to cause at all cost.  Anyway, back to this little box of tint, it tints your skin but allows you to have enough to blend it away in your cheeks to perfection.  Unlike other liquid tint by other brands, this is very easy to blend because of its creamy texture.  It is also because it is a tint, it stays put extremely outstandingly.  

I fell into the Chanel's trap again so when I bought this Le Blush Creme De Chanel Cream Blush (in the shade of Inspiration), I wasn't expecting anything at all.  It was purely to satisfy my desire to own one Chanel cream blush when it was first launched a few months ago, and dreaming of transforming into a Chanel kinda gal once I have this put on my cheeks.

Perhaps the philosophy is that when you least expect something to happen, it would surprise you.  This Chanel cream blush surprised me in a really pleasant way.  It gave one of the most natural pinky finish to my cheeks, and the creamy texture is so easy to blend and works especially well with fingers rather than with a brush. It also manages to stay put for a rather reasonable amount of time.  Thank you, Chanel for fulfilling my dream to own you and to actually enjoy using your cream blush.

Do you feel the same way as me, blushers are meant to be in powder form?  What's your favourite cream blush?

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Early Christmas Present from London!

Christmas has come a little early for me in Hong Kong!  Thank you to my friends Mr and Mrs Liu in London.  I have completely forgotten about keeping the parcel I received in the post tonight until Christmas day to unwrap them.

As soon as I saw this little square shape box being wrapped with Space NK tissue paper, I lost my sensibility and ripped off the paper instinctly.  I saw this very cute bauble by this works.

This is This Works' Beauty Shimmer Ball.  The beauty ball is a multi-coloured tinned ball which you can use as a decorative bauble on your christmas tree or in fact, hang it up anywhere in the house to just add that little extra beauty touch to any beauty junkies leading up to the christmas period.

Inside this beauty ball, comes the shimmer balm which you can dab on lips, cheekbones, eyes or décolleté for a subtle shimmer.

I cannot wait to start using it!

I have never used anything by This Works but have heard so many brilliant things about this brand.

Thank you my friend for knowing me so well.

Perhaps this has given you an idea of a Christmas present that you want to buy for one of your friends?

Merry Christmas everyone!

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Top 3 powder blushers

I am a total blusher junkie - I love blusher more than any other beauty products in the beauty world.  I don't know about you but when I apply blusher on my cheeks everyday, I feel that it adds to the finishing touch to any makeup look.  I love how they make my look complete, I love how wide a colour range cheek products have; more importantly, I love collecting every single blusher by every single makeup brand.  I'm working on it.

I have just way to many blushers, so to do a blogpost to feature every single one of them isn't a sensible one. I also don't want to bore you to death!  So, I decided to do two posts to feature my top 3 powder blushers and another of my favourite 3 cream blushers.

First up, Chantecaille Coral Reef Palette.  Chanetecaille products are insanely expensive, it's a fact.  But more to the point their products really are amazing.  When it comes to knowing how to create or bring out the best of the features from any woman's face, they know exactly how to do it.

Next up, one of my latest addition to my already overflowing blushers’ collection is by Charlotte Tilbury.  For those who live outside of the UK or are unfamiliar with Charlotte, she is one of the top makeup artists in the UK.  Charlotte is renowned for her rock chic and feline cat-flick eyeliner look.  I had the pleasure to meet with her back in early September 2013 when she first launched her makeup range in Selfridges.

I picked up her very special Cheek to Chic blusher and I have the colour Love is the drug (Yeah rock and roll never dies!!!!)  You can basically use this blusher in 3-way – swirl the outer circle for a more natural look, or if you are looking for a more cheeky finish to your total makeup look, you can rely on the inner circle to pop the apple of your cheeks.  You can also combine the two (swirl & pop) to intensify your look for special occasions or in the evenings.

Finally, a cheek product which I have been longing for absolutely ages which is currently not available in the UK.  Rumour has it though it will land itself in the British High Street from across the pond in Spring 2014.  Happy Booster Glow & Mood Boosting Blush by Physicians Formula, I picked up in Paris a few months ago.  I went absolutely mental when I saw a whole counter of Physicians Formula before my very eye. 

First of all I love the pop of pink packaging, it is so sweet, so girly!  The cheek palette itself is full of heart shapes embossed on the surface.  It truly has made me a very happy girl whenever I apply this blusher on my cheeks, ‘wink’ and ‘smile’!  Inside this compact cheek product, it has a second compartment where it has a very cute little pink brush.  It isn’t the best brush in the world but it is enough to brush on if you are on the go or when you are travelling.

The colour pay off is quite subtle, and not as bright pink as it looks on the pan.  However it is so it gives such a natural blush finish to your face.  I loved it!

Have you used any of these cheek products before?  What’s your favourite powder blushers?

Saturday, 7 December 2013

Stay, don't stray!

I'm not an eye primer wearer, I rely on the power of my dry skin which seems to grasp my makeup pretty well; apart from the occasion panda eyes which caused by some rubbish mascara. 

Until recently I found this Stay, Don't stray primer by benefit sitting at the back of my beauty drawers. I gave it a go and was blown away by it!

This primer comes in a light beige colour, and is creamy in texture. It is multi-purpose as it can be used as an eye shadow primers which you put all over eyelids or as a stay-put primer for concealer, which I haven't tried using it as. 

It doesn't feel greasy or anything and blends very well. It sets opaque although it doesn't offer any colour tone which is quite handy for the next steps of eye makeup.

Here's a few experimental picture to attempt to illustrate (non-scientifically) how my eye makeup differed when I had the primer on or not.  Please note as they were taken on different days... and I tried to take them in an as similar way as possible.

When makeup was first put on at 11am: 

With Primer On
Without Primer on

This was after 5+hours:

With Primer On

Without Primer On

As you might be able to see, my makeup with the primers on seem to look much more intense than the one without.  I did notice a difference personally.  Despite I don't have a big problem for the staying power of my makeup in the past, I did feel that this primer helped in making my makeup staying in place a little better.

Are you an eye primer wearer?  What have you used in the past?  Would you recommend the same one or you have an alternative one that you prefer?