Sunday, November 27, 2011

Lancome Friends & Family Sale 20% Off

* Free standard shipping on any order until 12/25/2011, no code needed!

Friends and Family starts 11/28 through 12/02/2011. 

Review: Holiday Manicure - Butter London The Full Monty

Butter London The Full Monty ($14 for 0.15 oz) is such a holiday-appropriate shade. A pure golden shimmer that screams holiday! I wore it for Thanksgiving. Love it!

It goes on opaque for 2 coats. As other Butter London nail polishes, The Full Monty has very smooth texture. Each application is a thin coat that glides on easily. The golden shimmer though very visible is finely milled and sticks on my nails evenly. The shimmery shades are always more forgiving for newbies  to applying nail polishes.

The Full Monty chipped slightly on the second day but that was it. No more chipping until day 5 while half of Yummy Mummy faded on day 3. Even though The Full Monty is a pretty common and predictable golden shimmer for holiday, it is beautiful. It compliments warm skin tone very well. Highly recommended!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

shu uemura Black Friday Sale 20% off 2011

Yay, shu uemura is on sale until 11/29/2011!!!

Keep in mind though, this brand ships from Canada so it may take a while. But at least, we can still access to the brand. 

Review: Kiehl's Abyssine Serum

Kiehl's Abyssine Serum ($45 for 1.7 oz) is a light weight but concentrated anti-wrinkle serum. I'm currently on the third bottles in the last 6 months. Not having wrinkles yet, I can't tell whether it helps to prevent them. But it hydrates and smooths out my skin. I apply Abyssine twice a day before the daily moisturizer. My skins is much smoother with this serum than without it. When I travel to humid regions, I don't even need a lotion or moisturizer. Abyssine Serum is hydrating and nourishing enough to maintain a smooth and even skin.

Highly recommended!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Review: Kiehl's Avocado Eyecream

Kiehl's Avocado ($27 for 0.5 oz) is a moisturizing eyecream as it claims. It's thick, very creamy and extremely hydrating. At the same time, it is so comfortable on my eyes. I've worn it on my brow bone and it didn't crease my eye makeup. And you just need a teeny tiny amount for each application.

I've been using it twice or trice daily and I can see the under eye areas are much improved. My concealer glides on easily and doesn't set into my fine lines. One jar like this last for about 10 months making $27 such a good deal.
See how the cream blends into my skin so smoothly?

If you're looking for a generally good eyecream, Kiehl's Avocado got you covered. And I found that's the only target of this eyecream, no anti-wrinkle, no erasing dark circle or or depuffing your eyes. If you want a nice cool eyecream to depuff your eyes, put it in the fridge the night before. Anything cool will reduce the puffiness.

Bottom line. Highly recommended! 

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Smashbox Friends & Family Sale 20% Off 2011

Smashbox has now joined the crowd. 20% Off and free shipping on US orders. This offer expires on 11/28/2011 at 11:59 PM Eastern Standard Time.

Please head to this link for full details.

Happy hauling!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Yves Saint Laurent Holiday Sale 20% Off & Free shipping

It seems that every band has a good sale in November! I finally will lay my hands on Touche Eclat.


Monday, November 21, 2011

Kiehl's Holiday Sale $20 off a $65 purchase

Many of you might probably receive a personal coupon accompanied by three extra coupons for three of your friends. Kiehl's is having an one-time deal - $20 off a $65 purchase online and in store (not valid at Kiehl's counter within department stores). This festive sale ends on 12/31/2011. 

Kiehl's is my absolutely favorite skincare brand, so I'm more than excited for this sale. I've only reviewed several Kiehl's products on my blog so far but I've used quite a few of their products since 2010. I'd like to throw out some shopping ideas for this sale in case you're new to the brand. Reviews on these are coming up.

1. Super Fluid SPF 50 (I swear by this sunscreen)
2. Avocado Eyecream (my daily eyecream)
3. Rare Earth Pore Refining Tonic (my friends love it!)
4. Abyssine serum (very nice serum)
5. Panthenol protein moisturizing face cream ( I love this rich nourishing moisturizer)

Enjoy shopping!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Review: Laura Mercier Eye Color Sable and Lacome Color Design Volcano

Laura Mercier Sable ($22 for 0.09 oz) and Lancome Volcano ($18 for 0.05 oz) are beautiful taupe greys. Laura Mercier Sable is the lighter version of Lancome Volcano but is more shimmery. The first possesses powerful yet sophisticated teal shimmer that strikingly resembles to that of Chanel Prelude. Don't be concerned with this shimmer in Sable since it's very subtle and elegant.

Both have silky soft texture but Lancome Volcano feels more powdery and less smooth than Laura Mercier Sable. The first has similar texture to a typical satin MAC eyeshadow, whereas the latter is buttery smooth like a Urban Decay deluxe eyeshadow.

What I found really disappointing are the mediocre pigmentation and short wearing. Both look awesome on top of Laura Mercier eye basic at first. They fade so quickly that by the time I finish my full face makeup, half of the pigmentation is already gone. The only patch of color that stay put after 8-hour wears is the part layered on top of an eye primer and a creamy base like Bobbi Brown gel liner or Urban Decay 24/7 pencil.

On a more positive note, Laura Mercier and Lancome single eyeshadows are housed in sturdy case that would travel well with you. The first has a mirror for touching up on the go.
Bottom line. Gorgeous wearable color, decent texture and reasonably priced. As much as I love the color and fine shimmer, I wasn't impressed with the longevity and pigmentation.  It's a tough call to whether spending time with products that don't completely win my heart. But I decided to review these two eyeshadows anyway since some of you might find their flaws negligible. So check them out! Both are easy to pull off for everyday simple looks. 

Classic & Classical

Dior Cruise Collection 2012 - French classic (photo by Dior)

November has been excitedly rolling through. This months I'm celebrating the classic French style. Dior's released a short film "I found my love in Portofino" featuring 2012 Cruise Collection. Absolutely stunning was Jac Jagaciak. I'm so inspired to go back to simple, chic, sophisticated, classy makeup

My obsession this month has been the Lisa Eldridge. Her signature look is described as flawless, natural and fresh. Her videos are sweet, concise and easy-to-follow. Lisa's immense knowledge and passion in her job shine through. Professional but real and down on earth. I *adore* her French-inspired valentine look. And she is on youtube!! How many celebrity makeup artists spend time teaching on youtube? How cool is that!

The classic silhouette mermaid dominated Zac Posen Ready-to-Wear Spring Collection 2012.
(photos by

Giorgio Armani Beauty Holiday Sale 20% OFF & free 2nd-day shipping

What is the deal? 20% off plus 2nd day shipping with any $75 purchase
And the code is..... GAHOLIDAY1
Good until..............11/24/2011 the sale is still going on as of now. I'm waiting for the customer service confirmation on the end date. 

May I recommend some of my very favorite Giorgio Armani goodies?
1. Eyes to Kill Intense Eyeshadows (Purpura, Khaki Pulse, Rock Sand, Blast of BluePulp Fiction)
2. Luminous Silk Foundation (reviewed here)
3. Eyes to Kill Mascara (reviewed here)
4. Micro-Fil Loose Powder (reviewed here)

Or you may browse through Giorgio Armani label in the post for my other reviews of the line.

Happy hauling!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Review: MAC cream color base Hush and Cream

Subtle glow seems dominate the holiday season this year. It inspires me to re-discover my two MAC cream colorbases that I love to use as highlighters - Hush and Cream.

Hush is special in its own way. Fair-skinned beauties will be able to use if for cheek highlighter at ease. It's a light soft peachy pink that goes well with all kind of blushes or can be laid as a base to intensify the blush color. Having a medium skintone, I don't find it flattering on my cheeks since it almost matches my skintone with just a hint of warmth. However, I have loved Hus to highlight my brow bones for cool-toned smokey eyes. The warmth of the peachy pink balances the coolness of the eyeshadow, bringing more light to the look. It's sophisticated thanks to the sheen and the almost exact match with my skin. I love it!

Cream on the other hand works well as both eye and face highlighter. The creamy color compliments my warm undertone well. It has teeny tiny bit of golden shimmer that further enhances the sheen on my skin.   It's certainly warmer than Urban Decay Yeyo 24/7 pencil but both has equal sheen. Also, Hush provides a more subtle glow than the other two.
Both Hush and Cream glides on quite evenly. The pigmentation is sheer but buildable. The downside of these cream colorbases lies in their texture. In the drier months of the year, they aren't that friendly in application. Cream becomes really chalky and textured. While Hush works slightly better, it's not a whole lot smoother. I've found Urban Decay Yeyo creamy year-round. It definitely beats the texture of MAC cream colorbases, 

Hush and Cream wear well for good 4 hours on my normal to combination skin. For a cream product, that does it for me. MAC cream colorbases is retailed at $17.5 for 0.12 oz.  

Overall thoughts. I like Hush and Cream. I have to acknowledge the fact that there are other excellent cream highlighters that offers natural sophisticated glow, an expensive-looking glow I should say. Note though, all locate at a few price scales about MAC cream color bases. For a decent highlighter of reasonable budget I think these are good candidates. Recommended!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Review: Giorgio Armani Micro-Fil Loose Powder

Setting powders have always been an issue for me second after finding a perfect foundation. Most of the time they dry out my skin, wash out the warmth in my complexion or just make me look chalky. I want a flawless finish (sure who doesn't) but natural. And I know it must be loose powder for that natural finish. My search for a good loose setting powder seemed like for ever until I discovered Giorgio Armani Micro-Fil Loose Power. The powder comes in three shades that are creatively named No 0, No 1, and No 2 ranging from very white to light beige. The powder ($49 for 0.53 oz) is a very finely milled translucent powder. I picked up No 2 that is not completely translucent but has a light beige undertone and subtle shimmer. The shimmer is a toned-down version of Guerlain Meteorite Compact Powder shimmer.

I love that the powder is truly hydrating. I've been using it since the summer and now we're heading to drier months. I never had any patchy area on my face. It's not chalky nor washes out my complexion (medium warm undertone) like Laura Mercier translucent loose setting powder.

The result is flawless and very natural. Problem solved!
Highly recommended! A must-have for me!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Review: Chanel les 4 ombres Murano

Chanel Murano ($57 for 0.24 oz) was added to the permanent line in the fall 2009. You have a sparkly pink champagne, a shimmery deep teal, a satin light blue teal, and a satin dark teal grey. All are highly pigmented, very smooth and silky. Even though half of the shades are deep and dramatic, Murano is highly versatile and wearable. I use the deep teal as eyeliners and the champagne to highlight my brown bones. Gorgeous! If you want to rock a smokey eye look but opt to avoid the commoner grey and black, Murano is an excellent alternative. It complements cool tone better but warm tone beauties can still wear it beautifully.

Besides the beautiful color coordination, Murano stays put really well without fall outs. The texture is creamier than most of the Chanel quints I've tried (for example here and here). It's comparable to some of the best Dior 5-color quints (for example here, here, and here).

As usual, Murano is housed in a Chanel signature sleek case accompanied by 2 sponge-tipped applicators and a large mirror. Perfect for touch up en route.

So easy to swatch Murano...
Overall I love Murano! It's a must have for me. Teal/green can be too loudly in-to-the-face. Murano is surprisingly easy to pull off. If you're looking for a great quality green/teal palette that is versatile and beautiful, Murano has it all. I have a feeling that it will flatter medium to dark skin tone better than light skin. But if you're fair-skinned, just use a light hand, it should look pretty on you. Highly recommended! 

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Sephora VIB Sale 20% Off 2011

Obviously, not all of us received personal invitations by mail or email. I have to admit I'm running out of patience with Sephora sales this year. Had to ask them for the VIB code on facebook. *Sign*. The sale starts tomorrows 11/10 -11/14/2011. The code is VIBDREAM for online purchase.

Here is the promotional link to download the invitation for in store purchase. You need to sign in your VIB account to download it and also for the code to be activated if you opt to shop online.

Who are VIBs? When you open a free account (membership) with Sephora, you are a Beauty Insider. Very Important Beauty Insiders (VIB) are those Beauty Insiders who spend at least $350 per calendar year.

Happy hauling!

Review: Essie Mucho Dinero - Elegant rosy nude

The weather has become chilly recently where I live. The sun sets earlier but still shows his face for most of my working day. This is the ideal atmosphere for Essie Mucho Dinero. It's a warm rosy nude that has enough color to adorn your fingers and is muted enough to grace your work place. Mucho Dinero was listed in J.Crew's summer catalog but I find it versatile for year round. It's the warmer-month version of Essie Lady Like

The texture is creamy and very smooth. It goes on completely opaque after two coats. I don't have any chipping until day 7. Mucho Dinero has an outstanding consistency that is very comparable to Essie Lady Like. Although the latter has better texture, Mucho Dinero is still a well-done polish. Highly recommended!

Mucho Dinero in action.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Clarins Friends and Family Sale 20% Off 2011

I hope you've yet to exhaust yourself with all the Friends and Family Sale. Happy shopping ladies!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Benefit Friends and Family Sale 20% Off 2011

This is just in. Enjoy! 

*Get 20% off any order, enter LOVEYALL at checkout. Offer valid only at Excludes holiday products and expires 11/14/11 at 11:59pm PST. Combinable with standard shipping offers only. FREE standard shipping is automatically applied on all US orders over $50 and international orders over $125. No codes necessary. Excludes order shipping to China.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Beauty routine updated with Bobbi Brown Pretty Powerful 2.0

Recently, I've been obsessed with Bobbi Brown Pretty Powerful makeup-overs. It's so fun to browse through her "get the look" catalog. I've learned many simple yet effective tricks to achieve a myself-but-better looks. I especially love how Bobbi picks out the most prominent feature of the face and enhances it. Most of the time, she uses only one or two single eyeshadows as wash of color. No defining the outer V or the creases. Elegant. Natural. Polish.

Since I *love* to observe and sum things up, here are a few steps I pledge to add to my makeup routine.

#1. Erase dark circle and even out the skin with concealer. No more excuses on skipping concealer.  Flawless complexion makes you look at least 5 years younger.

#2. Eyeliner changes the whole look. I've learned about this long before I heard of Bobbi Brown. But her manipulation on eyelining really urges me to play up my eyeliners more regularly.

#3. Never skip the brows. Rarely do I fill my brows. I'm totally cool with my natural thick brows. After witnessing the magic of a well-defined brows, I'll add brow grooming to my to-do list.

#4. Apply bronzer for healthy look skin. I never use bronzer as a bronzer (weird phrase) but a blush. This needs to be rectified too.

#5. Everyone needs a bit of pink, either on lips or cheeks. Countless times did I flip over Bobbi's Pretty Powerful look book and see her applied a pink lipstick/lipgloss/blush on all skin tones and ages. A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!

By the way, several makeup-overs should grace magazine covers                                    

Have you visited Pretty Powerful 2.0 home page? You might find useful tips for yourself and very likely your friends and family. Friends and Family Sale 20% Off 2011

Another big beauty sale! Link is -------------> here.

"Discount valid on items only, excluding Fresh, Jane Iredale, Maui Jim, and Oakley products, gift cards, and certificates. Valid Tuesday 11/8/2011 from 12:01am through Friday 11/11/2011 11:59pm Pacific Time. Only valid at time of order and cannot be applied to past orders. Value cannot be redeemed for cash. May not combine with other offers. Please see site for full details. International orders are not eligible to receive this offer"

I've been eyeing Deborah Lippmann and Kevyn Aucoin! What will you stock up?

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Review: Guerlain Ecrin 6-couleur Eyeshadow Palette Place Vendome

When the highly anticipated new permanent Guerlain 6-color eyeshadow palettes ($84 for 0.25 oz) entered the beauty world last fall, its intricate packaging and the jaw-dropping price tag immediately created a fuzz. Many have considered the price point a pure insanity despite the luxurious unique design.  We makeup lovers, especially those who adore designer brands, expected a wowing quality from such a palette. The obvious question is whether it's well worth the price. Does this new set of 6-color eyeshadow palette actually amaze us?

Place Vendome is one of the six palettes released last year. I was speechless to see it in person, although the promo pictures were floating around months before the launch date. The metal case is heavy and attracts finger prints. It comes with a large mirror and a two-ended brush of decent quality. Breathtaking design!

I chose Place Vendome for its lovely color theme - a matte ivory, a silky light taupe, a shimmery golden taupe, a matte grey, a satin deep blue, and a matte deep grey eyeliner. It offers diverse depth of colors and finishes. The deep blue and the golden taupe bring interesting touch that balances the overall cool tone. This palette together with Champs-Elysees lies in the deeper tone among the six palettes.
Great features. Place Vendome is one of the most versatile palettes I've ever seen thanks to the rather neutral colors and various finish it has to offer. You can created endless looks with 6 different eyeshadows. The texture of all shades are silky soft and smooth except for the dark grey eyeliner. I used the eyeliner wet and still experienced raccoon eyes after 3 hours.

Weakness. The pigmentation is sadly mediocre. And this is what those palettes received vast criticism for the poor color payoff and chalky uneven texture. Place Vencome is certainly more pigmented than the lighter palettes of the line but I still rank it under Dior 5-color eyeshadow. I use Laura Mercier Eyebasic and all the shades look lovely. Even so, Place Vendome wears well for 5 hours (versus all day in case of a good Dior 5-color quint).

I guess the exquisite design and sky high price produce such a great expectation for these palettes. Naturally, it's more than an usual disappointment when the quality doesn't live up to all the excitement before they joined the market.

The swatches below were layered over Urban Decay Primer Potion. They are very easy to swatch.
Final thoughts. Like but not impressed. I don't think Place Vendome is worth $84. It'd be much more marketable in the $60 price range because of the not-that-great texture and longevity. By the end of the day, it's your personal preference on what features of the product matter the most to you. So if you want a great quality eyeshadow palette,  skip Place Vendome and the other 5 from this line. If it has to be designer brands, I'd say Dior, Chanel, the new 4-color eyeshadow palette from Guerlain, Givency and Dolce & Gabana have much more to satisfied your taste. However, if you want a decent quad but a unique fabulous packaging, Place Vendome is for you.
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