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Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Current Skincare

My skin type: Combination (Dry cheeks & Oily T-zone)

Hada Labo Tamagohada Daily Foaming Wash 
Purchased from $12.60 AUD
Doesn't dry out your skin like other foam cleansers do, good use for hotter climates, suitable for sensitive skin types, very affordable. Just a really nice simple foam cleanser. 

Clarisonic mia
Purchased from David Jones $139 AUD
I use this when I feel like my skin needs a more thorough cleansing (1-2 times a week). It gives a nice deep clean however if you use it every day it can stimulate the skin too much and may cause some irritation/breakouts (depending on the person). They say it's quite good for oily/acne prone skin but it can also help buff away all the dead surface on dry skin which will allow for more moisture absorption.  

La Prairie White Caviar Illuminating Cream 
Purchased from David Jones $560 AUD
A luxurious cream that has a semi matte finish when it absorbs into the skin (therefore doesn't make your skin look so shiny like other rich hydrating creams would). Makes the skin feel so soft and smooth, gives the skin more clarity and luminosity, and definitely firms the skin. The lovely packaging is a bonus too! However the only thing is, it failed to fade away my pigmentation. Not recommended for really dry skin types as it's not that rich. 

Clinique All About The Eyes 
Purchased from David Jones $58 AUD
I didn't see much difference in terms of my eyes being brighter/less puffy but it did indeed help smooth out my fine lines. I like the texture of this eye cream as it isn't too rich and sticky. But I don't really know if it does much apart from moisturise the skin. Maybe my bags and dark circles aren't that severe for me to see a major difference?

Jurlique Daily Exfoliating Cream 
Purchased from David Jones $30 AUD
I love how this product is all natural. You can even smell and feel how natural the product is. The texture isn't like a typical rough exfoliated; Its more soft and grain like as its made out of oatmeal and crushed almonds. Because the texture is so soft, you're not going to feel as much of a resurfacing factor compared to a normal rougher exfoliator. But it does however leave your skin feeling quite smooth and clean. Ingredients such as sesame seed oil, honey, and macadamia oil also help to hydrate and rebalance dryness. 

Aveeno Positively Radiant Daily Moisturiser 
Purchased from Chemist Warehouse $17 AUD
This moisturiser does indeed brighten the skin but it can also make the skin look a little bit shiny. It's a bit too oily for my liking (maybe because of the SPF in it). Though it doesn't feel as nice/smooth on the skin as other higher end creams/moisturisers, i find it to be a decent moisturiser for the price you pay. 

Kiehls Clearly Corrective Dark Spot Solution 
Purchased from David Jones $85 AUD
Ive almost finished using this serum and I honestly haven't seen much difference at all in terms of fading away my pigmentation or even brightening the complexion of my skin (which it claims to do). I also find that it runs out incredibly fast compared to other serums I've tried. It's been about 2 months since I started using it its almost empty. That is to say, I'm not even a lather/drown yourself in skincare type of person.

La Prairie Refining Toner
Purchased from David Jones $130 AUD
A really nice refreshing toner. I like the tight and refreshed feeling I get from using this. It's not too drying either and doesn't contain alcohol. Suitable for sensitive skin. 

As you can see, I absolutely love experimenting with different skincare products - from cheap  drugstore brands to high end luxurious brands. I don't always believe that you get what you pay for. It really depends on what works for you. What may work for you may not work for other people so its really just trial and error. If you don't want to spend so much money on experimenting with skincare, try to get your hands on some little sachet samples for you to test out first. However they are quite small and only last for a couple of days so it may not give you a good indication of whether the product works for you. Also the skin cell turnover is around 4 weeks so its best to use a product for at least 4 weeks to see if the product has an effect on your skin. You can try to encourage faster cell turnover by exfoliating or using chemical peel masks but theres only so many times you can do them consecutively before your skin turns in to a ripe tomato! 

Conclusion: Best to read product reviews for less chance of wasting your money on skincare.

Ann x

Thursday, 21 February 2013

Smokey Eyes ft. Urban Decay NAKED Palette

Urban Decay Naked Eyeshadow Palette - Purchased from

Brushes used for this look


Using Too Faced Shadow Insurance eyeshadow primer
1. Apply eyeshadow primer to clean eyes. You can put your contacts in first like I have here.

2. Taking a short shader/concentrated application brush, apply the colour 'darkhorse' all over the eyelid. 

3. Taking a small fluffy blending brush, apply the colour 'naked' on the upper most bit of 'darkhorse' (near the crease of the eyelid) and sweep back and forth until the colour has softened out. 

4. Using a large fluffy blending brush, take the colour 'creep' and gently apply some colour to the outer corner of the eye so you can deepen the crease of the eye and create gradient of colour. 

5. Using the same small fluffy blending brush from before, sweep back and forth to blend the colours. 

6. Using the same small fluffy blending brush, lightly dab the colour 'half-baked' on the centre of the eyelid. 

7. Using the small tapered brush, apply the colour 'darkhorse' from the middle to the outer edge of the bottom lash line. 

8. Using the same brush, apply the colour 'half-baked' on the inner corner of the bottom lash line (best to briefly clean/wipe the brush first to get rid of the excess dark colour from before). 

Using Bobbi Brown Long Wear Gel Liner in Black
9. Apply black gel liner just above the top lash line and slightly wing it out. 

Using Urban Decay 24/7 Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner
10. Apply black liquid eyeliner over the black gel liner. 

11. Apply false lashes to complete the look.

Finished look - no flash
Finished look - with flash

FOTD: Luminous Natural Glow

Urban Decay Naked 2 Palette
Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation #2
Bobbi Brown Long Wear Gel Liner Black
Topshop Glow Highlighter
MAC Mineralize Blush Miss Behave
Christian Dior Mineral Loose Powder #020
Nars Laguna Bronzer
Illamasqua Lipstick Sonnet (Peachy Nude)
Giorgio Armani High Precision Retouch Concealer/Brightener #2
Helena Rubinstein Lash Queen Sexy Blacks Waterproof Mascara

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

DIY Heart Tipped Nails for Valentines


What you'll need:
- Nail Polish Remover (Sally Hansen)
- Cotton Buds
- Nail Filer (OPI)
- Nail Cutter
- Sheer Nude Pink Nail Polish (Essie Mademoiselle)
- Top Coat (OPI)
- Red Nail Polish (Sportsgirl Kiss a Rose)

1. Make sure your nails are clean & relatively long (so that you make the shape of the heart tips).

2. With a nail cutter, cut the nails so you create a sharp point.

3. Do this with the rest of your nails.

4. File the pointed nails down (file both around and on the tip of the nails).

5. Paint your nails with the sheer pink nude nail polish.

6. Wait for it to dry and do a second coat. 

7. Once your sheer pink nail polish has dried, use a red nail polish to paint heart tips on the nails. If you don't get the heart shape right the first time.. its okay! You can always paint over it again until you get the heart shape right. 

8. Dip a cotton bud in nail polish remover and use it to clean up around the nails. 

9. Apply Top Coat. 

The finished result - Heart tipped nails 

Saturday, 9 February 2013

Top Lip Treatments

Why is it important to moisturise your lips?

Lip treatment is very important if you want to maintain soft/subtle lips; especially if you're using lipstick all the time (which can often dry out your lips). 
The skin on your lips is very thin and just like your eye area, it doesn't contain any oil glands so the they are very susceptible to become dry, dehydrated and chapped. 
A good lip treatment should provide a protective layer to seal in hydration as well as replace any natural oils that have been lost from all the drying environmental conditions.  

Ive always been a quick spender when it comes to cosmetic products and I find this habit especially so when it comes to lip balms. 
Lip balms are usually the quick to grab add on product, one of the most affordable beauty products in the market, and the one cosmetic product that people often waste their money on. You can even say that buying them is almost like an addiction. You know that feeling when you're just browsing around the shops and wanting buy something but theres no luck of finding anything good? Well in my case, this is where the quick to grab lip balm comes in handy - to ease that retail therapy itch. 

So through many years of my occasional  or rather compulsive lip balm purchases, I have tried many different types and brands of lip treatments; from the primary school Lip Smackers, to the high school Strawberry Chapstick/Lucas Pawpaw Ointment, and to the now luxurious spends on Dior and La Prairie. After years of experimenting, I have finally found my top picks for lip treatments.

I've got to admit.. In the past I have wasted a lot of time and money on buying beauty products purely based on their packaging, but these favourites that I'm going to mention in detail below are majorly based on how they work in terms of hydrating and conditioning the lips (which really should be what lip balms are for anyway). 


Clarins Moisture Replenishing Lip Balm

($32 AUD David Jones)

- extremely nourishing
- lips feel instantly hydrated
- works on super dry and chapped lips
- melts into lips (feels very silky and comfortable on)
- slight rose scent
- my HG lip balm (the one lip balm I have almost finished)
- SPF 15 helps protect the lips from the ageing effects of UV rays
- even when it wears off lips feel nourished and protected

- none

Shiseido Benefiance Full Correction Lip Treatment

($57 AUD David Jones)

- plumps up the lips
- improves your lip contour
- not too glossy/shiny when applied (almost looks like you don't have lip balm on giving you a natural moisturised look on your lips)
- not so waxy therefore can use it underneath as a base or on top of lipstick
- long wear/lasts on lips for hours
- doesn't have that thick gooey feeling on your lips
- hydrating without being too oily on the lips
- increases collagen levels (plumps up existing lines/wrinkles and prevents new ones from forming) 
even when it wears off lips feel nourished and protected

- a bit pricey

Lip treatments with a bit of colour and tint

Clarins Instant Light Natural Lip Perfector 02

($26 AUD David Jones)

- mixture between gloss and lip balm
- slight sheer tint of peachy pink (very nice neutral colour)
- softly textured lip gel
- deliciously sweet scent (smells like vanilla cake)
- gives a sheer and soft colour on lips
- leaves lips feeling smoothed, silky, and moisturised

- doesn't work that well for extremely chapped lips
- not much colour pay off
- not as moisturising as the original Clarins moisture replenishing lip balm

Dior Lip Glow

 ($48 AUD David Jones)

- cute packaging
- applicator makes it easy to apply on lips 
- can use it just like a lipstick
- enhances your natural lip colour with a beautiful berry pink glow
- can use it by itself without a lipstick for a more natural youthful look 
- SPF 15 to prevent any aging/discolouration on lips
- pleasant minty vanilla scent
- nourishing and moisturising
- can use it as a base before lipstick as it isn't very waxy/slippery

- doesn't last on the lips for a long time 

Lip conditioner and exfoliator

La Prairie Cellular Lip Renewal Concentrate

($140 AUD David Jones)

- continuously hydrates without that thick rich layer on top of lips
- lightweight formula
- feels watery but soaks into the skin after a couple minutes and leaves a nice matte appearance
- rebuilds lips natural moisture barrier
- lips feel firmed and smoother after using it 
- smoothes out any fine lines and cracked skin on lips
- AHA based formula (fruit acids that deeply exfoliate away dry skin on lips)
- lips appear more plump and pink after using it
- pleasant citrusy scent
- quite a large bottle
- a little bit of the product goes a long way

- the pump bottle can disperse too much product sometimes
- quite pricey 

Saturday, 2 February 2013

January Favourites

January Favourites

Molton Brown - Naran Ji liquid hand wash 
$39 AUD purchased from David Jones

A gentle pH balanced soapless cleanser that disinfects (contains natural bactericides) whilst protects the hands from dryness and irritation at the same time. The first time I tried this at work, I was in love with the smell! Later on I was told that the Molton Brown Naran Ji range is very well known in the hospitality industry around the world and is particularly favoured by celebrity chefs, chef hat restaurants, and many five-star hotels and spas. No wonder it smelt so luxurious! The scent is citrus based and infused with the sweet smell of orange oil and grapefruit-seed extract. Not only does this hand wash smell divine, but it also gets rid of any stubborn stains and cooking/eating smells on your hand. It's also very conditioning.

Molton Brown - Naran Ji hand lotion
 $39 AUD purchased from David Jones

Apart from the pleasant luxurious scent, I love how the hand lotion is non-greasy and has a light-weight formula that is easily absorbed and very hydrating at the same time. When absorbed, it leaves your hands feeling velvety soft and expictbly smooth. Although this hand lotion is a bit pricey, I find that a little bit goes a long way - all you really need is one small pump for each use and it's enough for both of your hands.  

Annick Goutal - Petite Cherie Eau de Parfum Spray 
100ml - $250 AUD purchased from David Jones

Love the unique packaging and scent. To describe the scent - beautiful, lightly floral, peachy, pear, fresh, clean, soapy aroma, subtle sweetness, feminine, refreshing, sophisticated, girly, innocent. Perfect for day time wear. 

Sigma Synthetic Precision Kit - 5 Brushes 
$65 AUD purchased from

I was really impressed with all these brushes.
All of these brushes are:
- super handy (they all have really good use/very multifunctional)
- good quality (no shedding of brush hairs and maintains good shape)
- dense (making it easy to control and allowing precise application)
- saves product (doesn't absorb so much of your product)
- works especially well for concealing

According to Sigma, these brushes were developed to mimic your fingertips when applying on makeup on the most sensitive and precise areas of your face. They're also made up of special fibres that are designed to apply powder, cream, and liquid products without absorption into the bristles. 

P82 - Precision Round
This round brush is meant to replicate your fingertips so it works wonderfully when applying eye primer or concealing the more rounded areas of your face such as your brow bone, under eye area, or sides of your nose. 

P88- Precision Flat Angled
The flat angle allows precise application for the harder to reach areas on the face such as the eyes or nose areas. I always use this brush for concealing under my eye area. Works perfectly!

P80 - Precision Flat
This one has to be one of my favourites. It is such a good brush for stippling concealer on the any area, especially on stubborn acne marks or dark spots. I find it extremely effective for covering pimples. It makes such a big difference in terms of covering pimples compared to using your fingers or any other brushes/sponges. 

P84 - Precision Angled
This brush works great for concealing underneath the eyes, hollows of the cheek, and sides of the nose. However I use this brush mainly for contouring, especially when applying contour colour on the sides of my nose. 

P86 - Precision Tapered
Perfect shape for applying concealer around the mouth to create more defined lips. Also really good for applying concealer under the eyes (right underneath the lash line) or on the bottom/sides of the nose. 

Kate Eyebrow Pencil BR-4
($6.25 AUD

This superfine 1.5mm eyebrow pencil is not too soft/pigmented in colour (but rather hard) which allows precise application and less room for mistakes. You can create softer more natural looking brows by using light-medium pressure or more defined and darker looking eyebrows by applying a little bit more pressure. It is really so easy to control!

Kate Eyeshadow Palette - Real Create Eyes BR-1
($19.70 AUD

For those of you that haven't heard of Kate, Kate is a very well known budget cosmetic brand in Japan available in Japanese drugstores. Kate eyeshadow palettes are well known for their ability to enhance asian eyes and deeply contour them by using a blend of different textured eyeshadows (e.g. light/neutral colours, warm toned colours, deep monotone colours, soft sheen/shimmer colours) together.  

The palette I got is a 5-shade eyeshadow palette and when used correctly, will subtlely make the eyes pop/give more definition (the concept: using the different textures together will create deeper/more contoured eyes). 

These colours compliment each other very well and are quite pigmented but I would still say you have to use an eye primer underneath. You can use it for a subtle every day look or you can build it up for a night time more glamourised look. Overall, I'm very happy with this eyeshadow palette and currently using it every day for work. 

Swatches of Kate eyeshadow palette
left: natural lighting 
right: with flash

Below is a everyday look tutorial using this palette

Quick Everyday Eyes Tutorial using the Kate Eyeshadow Palette:

1) Using a small angular brush, apply the white gel shadow on the top and bottom inner corner of the eye (and rub in with fingers).

2) Using a small fluffy brush, apply the light brown colour from the middle to the outer corner of the eyelid. 

3) Using a small tapered brush, apply the darker brown (very well pigmented dark brown colour) on the very outer corner of the eye, creating a side ways 'V' shape. Apply to bottom of eyes too. 

4) Using the same small fluffy eyeshadow brush before, apply the champagne brown all over the middle of the eyelid.

5) Using the same small angled brush before, apply the light beige colour on the inner corners of the eye (top and bottom). 

6) Using a medium sized fluffy brush, blend the eyeshadows to your liking (sweeping back and forth). 

7) Apply gel liner to the top and bottom of eyes. 

8) Curl your lashes and apply mascara. Finished!