Lip Balm Round-Up

Lip balm 2

Testing lip balms has to be one of my favourite things as a blogger. Constantly picking up ‘promising’ lip treats has been my mission in 2017! So finally here’s my thought’s on a few that’s been in rotation.

Chanel – Hydra Beauty Nutrition Nourishing Lip Care

It’s no secret Chanel is all about the ‘luxury experience’, and when they finally released this chic little lip balm a few years ago I decided to grab one. The key ingredient is an extract from the Camellia Flower, a flower closely associated with the house of Chanel. It’s to soothe and coat lips with a waxy formula for instantly hydrated lips.

The balm is mildly scented with a near perfect consistency. Not too heavy or too light, this one’s my everyday go-to in general. Unlike most lip balms in my rotation, it allows flexible use, day or night. Though I find it specially enticing at night just to ensure my lips don’t end up dry from the Air con.

If luxury beauty treats are your vice, this is a perfect addition. Get’s the job done, all the while looking sleek in your makeup bag or vanity top.

Clé De Peau Beauté – Lip Treatment

Unlike most deeply hydrating lip balms, the CPB Lip Treatment comes in the ever so favoured stick packaging. I love this for on-the-go use. Hygienic, nourishing and always in my bag for whenever my lips feel parched.

The formula of this is lighter, doesn’t feel waxy and comes with no noticeable scent. According to the official web site, it’s said to restore plumpness and reduce any peeling.

What I love about this is the consistency is perfect for pre-lipstick application. Of course there are many cheaper lip balms that do this job perfectly well, but I had to try the Clé de Peau one if only for the need to try all things Clé de Peau as a regular user of the brand. Btw, did you notice the pink marble style cap? Sooo cute!

Elizabeth Arden – 8 Hour Lip Protectant

Every beauty editors favourite SOS balm now comes in a travel friendly tin. At first it was the wanderlust inspired packaging that got me. Subsequently, the powers of the tried and tested 8 Hour formula won me over outta the blue. It’s a nourishing, thick oily balm for whenever your lips are going though that dry phase. What I love is that, this classic doesn’t come at a steep price. Keep one in your hand bag, on your bed side table or at office. It’s affordable and gets the job done.

P.S – you can rub in the excess on your cuticles too, this works great as a barrier balm to stop your nails/cuticles from drying out! An inflight staple for me.

Laneige – Lip Sleeping Mask

The Laneige mask is one of those incredible finds over the years. It’s been my best friend when my lips are beyond help and just needs some extra TLC.

Thick, but in a melty, buttery smooth texture, this little gem comes in several mouth watering flavours. It truly does smells DELICIOUS, and I’d say backup worthy.

The hero ingredients that make this balm a winner includes a Berry Mix Complex, berry extracts that contain vitamin C and anti-oxidants to restore lips to their supple state. Secondly, a Moisture Wrap technology that forms a moisturising film to lock in hydration (a mix of hydro ion mineral water, evening primrose root extract and Hunza Apricot extract).

This Sleeping Mask comes in several flavours, and when in doubt, choose Berry (the original). Smells like an absolute DREAM!

La Mer – The Lip Balm

One more beauty editor favourites. This one’s an OG! Infused with La Mer’s patented Miracle Broth, the Lip Balm hydrated DEEPLY and softens any dry flakes to be easily scrubbed off by morning.

It’s the very first luxury balm I ever owned.

As with all things La Mer, the ingredients are designed for anti-ageing and deep hydration. Keeping the lips looking younger by plumping and smoothing. Do you need such an expensive balm? Probably not. But this does work extra hard to keep those lips ultra kissable!

Ettusais – Lip Essence

The most affordable lip choice of the lot, and something i’d recommend to EVERYONE.

Not only does it soothe and soften dry lips overnight. I find this works even better as a lip mask than the Laneige.. A few consecutive nights of this lip oil repairs my lips like no other.

Unscented. Great packaging and handbag friendly.

Bobbi Brown – Extra Lip Tint

I thought i’d include one lip balm that’s also a lip tint. And my favourite is by Bobbi. May not be as popular as the Dior Lip Glow, but this does the exact same thing. But only better (in my honest opinion).

Firstly, I find this provides longer lasting hydration with the same pretty tinted lip effect. Also, keeps the lips emollient even after meals and constant drinking though out the day.

If the sleek white packaging hasn’t swayed you already. I’d assure you it’s one of the best lip treatments you’ll find.

Bottom Line 

Personally I find a use for all of these. They work for me in various situations and as someone who’d perpetually suffering from dry lips, these are saviours and therefore must-haves!

Do you have any balm recommendations that hasn’t made it to this post? Let me know i the comments! I’m always up for trying your suggestions! x

 

Skincare Chat: March 2015

Skincare Chat: March 2015

Hello! Thought i’d start off with a little skincare chat early in the month since lately it’s all been makeup, makeup and MORE makeup. I figured i’d make this a monthly practice so you know what’s being used behind the scenes when i’m too busy posting about makeup.

So this month has finally been a more ‘settled’ month for me. I’ve been taking a lot of trips to the beach though, so some of the items here are pretty much SOS treatments my skin needs when I get back. I also wanted to talk about some things i’ve hauled from my last London trip and share my thoughts on those products too.

Here’s todays mix.

Skincare

Let’s start with some new favourites from Ettusais.

Ettusais is a brand that’s mostly popular amongst the younger girls who are just starting out with a daily skincare routine (we are talking age 20-30). It’s mainly due to the fact that it’s a more affordable and budget friendly brand which is accessible to pretty much everyone.

Ettusais UV block spray

These two products I tried have been really nice, so I had to share with you. First up, the new 50+ UV Block Spray that was sent to me just in time for all my sunny holidays. I have already reached the last few pumps of this so I didn’t waste any time repurchasing. It’s that good.

I find this product is superior to other spray type sunscreens as it doesn’t leave your skin feeling grossly oily. It also has a very nice fragrance and nothing like other similar sunscreens i’ve tried. Trust me, they don’t usually smell this good.

The reason I like spray on sunblock is that they are so easy to apply. No need to get your hands dirty. One quick spray, and you are done! It’s also great if you want to do a quick spritz on your feet as well, so your toes are well protected. I basically use this on my entire body, face, arms, feet.

It’s one of those products that you use and wonder, ‘where have you been all my life’?!!!

The next Ettusais product that’s been making an appearance in my skincare routine is the new Amino Caviar cream from the Ettusias Premium skincare line which targets those who are experiencing the very first signs of aging (ages 20-30).

Ettusais Amino Caviar cream

The name comes from the little caviar like beads you find in the cream. The texture is sooo intriguing!

Ettusais Amino Caviar cream

When applied, these beads break down and absorb immediately to the skin. Hydrating the skin well.

The light texture feels very refreshing and there’s no oilyness . Skin feels a bit tacky, but not uncomfortably tacky. It’s just the feeling of well hydrated skin.

I find this cream great for the mornings, as it keeps skin bouncy and supple and well prepped for makeup. But for those who have oily or normal skin, this would be perfect for morning and nightly use as well.

If you are just starting out using anti-ageing skincare, I highly recommend trying this out. It retails at a very attractive price, S$48!

Bioderma

Bioderma

This product needs no introduction really, it’s basically every makeup artists backstage staple. Excellent for instantly taking off makeup without the use of water.

To me this is the first step of my daily night time skincare routine, breaking down the first layer of makeup before I follow up with an oil or balm cleanser. I also love this for when I am doing swatch posts for the blog to clean my arms of any makeup between swatches.

The reason I thought i’d feature this is…. now they sell the pump version in Singapore! Makes it so much more easier to use! I got mine from Changi Airport. It was just around 40 bucks for this extra large size which will actually last me a good while!

Daily Microfoliant Dermalogica Hydraluron

Next batch is a couple of things I got myself in London.

I know Dermalogica is widely available in SG, but at Selfridges they had a counter where the entire range is available. After my skin consultation I was given a generous sample of the Daily Microfoliant, something i’ve been wanting to try for a long long time.

It’s a rice based exfoliant which is very gentle and suitable for daily use as the name suggests. Although I would use it a less frequently.

The product itself is like powdered rice, and very fine, and is meant to be ‘activated’ when in contact with water and releases Rice Enzymes and Salicylic acid to gently buff away dead cells. I simply dispense some into wet hands and create a paste which I then use to exfoliate. Simple, speedy and effective.

Next up, the Gentle Cream Exfoliant, which is actually one of the more potent chemical exfoliators I own. This is meant to go on like a mask and then washed off after the stipulated time. One thing I learnt when using this product is, to follow the instructions religiously. DO NOT leave it on longer than the suggested time, it WILL over exfoliate.

I bring this out when my skin is feeling dull and congested. It immediately takes off any build up and leaves you with brighter, smoother skin. I would recommend this treatment every 4 days for oily skin types and around once a week for dry skin.

Lastly, Hydraluron. Something of a cult favourite when it comes to hydration. It’s active ingredient is Hyaluronic acid which is known to help skin attract and hold moisture, essential for maintaining supple, healthy skin.

This gel like serum absorbs instantly & completely, giving skin a burst of moisture. I then follow it up with a light hydrating lotion to lock in moisture levels or any treatment serum that I would be using on the day. The product pairs well with any other skincare that you are currently using so it doesn’t disrupt the benefits of those.

Lastly, my go to hydrating mask. The Omorovicza Gold Hydralifting mask.

Omorovicza gold mask

This I use as a followup to any exfoliating or purifying treatments that I do, so that any moisture loss can be restored. The soft rose scent is calming when applied, which adds to the whole experience of ‘pampering’ oneself.

Luxurious from the packaging to the product. It’s something I truly feel is a treat and this never fails to get my skin feeling plump and hydrated.

So there you have it, some products i’ve been loving lately. I hope you found it an informative read.

Thank you for stopping by!

What’s in my makeup bag?

What’s in my makeup bag?

Hi There!

How’s the beginning of the year been treating you so far? Good I hope!

In my case, the start of the year has been somewhat busy and I have just returned back to the city from a week long stay at the beach.

So today I dumped out the contents of my makeup bag so I can share with you a couple of things that have been proving quite useful while I was away!

Here’s a little peek.

makeup bag guerlain tom ford ettusais

 

As you can see i’ve changed my makeup bag, yet again. This time I swapped it for a very light weight, black Ferragamo version which basically was free. It’s the Qatar airways travel pouch from my last trip. The case can be wiped clean and is pretty sturdy and most of all it’s the lightest makeup bag I have ever owned! Which means… I get to stuff it with even more product without it weighing a tonne!

What’s inside?

Hakuhodo Tarte cosmetics Tom ford Crabtree and evelyn

As always i’ve got my Chanel mirror and Hakuhodo lip brush in there, staples. In addition, this time I also have a brow brush, also by Hakuhodo which I use with my Tri Brow palette by Make Up Store. The Make Up Store brow powder is a new addition to my stash. And is great for speedy brows. In the event I don’t have time to whip out my Anastasia Brow Wiz, this is my next best option. On it’s own it doesn’t give me a perfectly defined brow as I do have rather patchy brow hair which also is very fine! But when i’m running late, i’d rather have presentable brows than no brows at all!

In the event you do have rather neat groomed brows without too many bald spots and you want some extra definition, a brow powder will be your friend. It’s easy to use and gives your brows a very natural finish.

On regular days I use my Anastasia Brow Wiz to fill in bald spots and give the ends of my brows a bit more definition by using the darkest shade in my Make Up Store Tri Brow. It really defines them well and gives the illusion on a fuller, more youthful brow.

Next up, lips. I haven’t got any lipsticks in there. Mainly cos I don’t wear lipstick while i’m chilling at the beach, unless it’s dinner of course and I whip out a bright orange.

The three products I relied on were the Tom Ford Rose Crush Gloss, my very first Tom Ford gloss, Tarte Blissful Lip Surgence lip gloss that came in a Sephora lip kit set, (I never really went out and purchased this) and my holy grail lip balm, the Ettusais Lip Essence. In fact I’m just reapplying it right now.

The Tom Ford lip glosses truly are hard to beat. They are non sticky, highly pigmented (as far as lip glosses are concerned) and long lasting. Rose Crush is my most used colour and it goes really well with medium tanned complexions. I highly recommend this.

The Tarte Blissful gloss is a sheer peach coral shade. Smells like sugary vanilla and does a good job of keeping the lips hydrated. I enjoyed this gloss, although for some, the smell could end up a bit overpowering.

Kiehls Sunscreen

For skincare, I relied on my Crabtree & Evelyn handcream in Caribbean Island Wild Flowers & the Kiehl’s Ultra Light Daily UV Defense SPF 50 PA+++.

Truth be told, I packed this C&E handcream for it’s very beach appropriate, fresh smell and pretty packaging with the coral motif. There I said it. However C&E is in fact one of my current favourite hand cream formulations as it’s hydrating, yet non greasy. It’s a good medium between my heavy La Mer handcream and other lighter options like the L’Occitane ones.

The Kiehls sunscreen on the other hand was as essential. I use this for my arms and chest, hence why I have it in this lager size. For the face I strictly rely on my Avene one which has SPF 30. I don’t take that around in my makeup bag as I never reapply my sunscreen on my face. Bad I know. But I do liberally apply the Kiehl’s one on my arms every 2-3 hours or so. It’s a nice light texture and doesn’t have that god awful, typical, old-school sunscreen smell.

Next up two perfume samples I carry for touching up. My favourite between the two, Guerlain Aqua Allegoria in Manderine Basilic. I love the fresh zesty fragrance of this and pairs well with humid, sweaty weather. I plan on purchasing the full size when I go back to Singapore next week.

The other newer addition was the Giorgio Armani Si Perfume. Something a little too sweet for my liking, but it came in my travel pouch so I let it be there.

Last but not least, two essentials. Oil blotters by The Body Shop (a must in this crazy humidity) and a mini deodorant spray by Sephora. Normally I would stock up on the Sephora Deodorant Wipes. They are easy to carry in your bag and great for a quick freshening up midday. I picked up the spray this time around as I believe it was something new at Sephora SG. Since i’m yet to use this, can’t tell you anything except that it will fit into your tiniest of clutches, no problem 🙂

 

So that concludes my ‘What’s in my bag’ mini post! I hope you found it a useful read and discovered something new.

Wishing you a great start to the week AND new year, Michelle.

December favourites

December favourites

Given that most of these last months have been spent living out of a suitcase, it’s been rather difficult to determine favourites each month. Luckily December was more anchored and I have had decent access to makeup and I finally put together an informative (In my opinion at least) post on what I have been reaching for the most these holidays.

Please note, some of the products are fairly new to me and are first impressions and by no means what i’d call a ‘proper review’. This post is purely me sharing favourites and I hope you find it useful!

Anyways, chatter aside, here’s the menu for today! Guerlain Nars holiday 2014 Gucci makeup hourglass

As you may have noticed, I haven’t included any eyeshadows as there were just too many favourites to cover, I thought i’d edit it and focus on the most used. First up a bunch of lipsticks I have been enjoying loads.. maybe just a bit too much come to think about it, as I’ve clearly neglected everything else I had brought along with me!

Tom Ford lips and boys matte lipstick   Left to right, it’s Alexander, Matthew, Ruby Rush & First Time. From the latest Tom Ford releases the clear winners to me were the matte lipsticks, excelling in texture as well as coverage. They aren’t as drying as regular matte lipsticks and are perfect for those with eternally parched lips like mine. If you are a red lipstick lover i’d suggest Ruby Rush. It’s currently my favourite red and last hours upon hours without any fading or slipping around. It’s a prefect candidate for party looks as it’s pretty ‘sip resistant’. For nude lip lovers First Time would be an ideal choice. A pink beige nude, this would suit most complexions below NC35 beautifully. And of course, the pigmentation of these are just stellar and unrivaled.

Moving on to the 50 Lips and Boys released I have been wearing mostly Matthew and Alexander. Between the two i’d say Alexander was harder to wear (in terms of tone) and application was rather tricky too, but still made it to my favourites as it was a rather unique pink in my collection. Matthew on the other hand was a dream as far as application is concerned and was very similar to the regular Tom Ford lipstick formula. I believe it’s a must have for spring or summer and truth be told who could possibly resist such a pretty peachy coral, yes? Next up two darlings from Hourglass.

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush palette
So I may be a bit late to rave about how amazing Hourglass blushes are. Mostly due to the fact that I am easily put off by overhyped products also I wasn’t reaching for my one and only Hourglass Ambient Powder as much as i’d like. Luckily for me, Hourglass recently released their blushes in palette form! And the exclusive shade that was included in this palette was just too tempting to pass. I use this on days where I just can’t decide which blush to pair with my makeup (which are most days, since i’m eternally running late!). All of them are very flattering and pretty much suit every day-makeup look I have ever worn! The blushes are easy to work with and add a youthful glow. I also love that these blend like a dream and diffuse the colour for an almost airbrushed glowy look even if you use a s***** brush. Hourglass blushes are a great beginners product to invest in. Two thumbs up!

Apart from that I also have been enjoying the Hourglass Ambient powder in Luminous light paired with this (blush palette) as well as other blushes for a subtle daytime highlight. Although Kevyn Aucoin Candlelight still remains my HG highlighter, the Hourglass one is a close second for it’s ease of use and complexion friendly colour.

Gucci Setting Powder makeup

Next up, is this fabulous new addition to my complexion product arsenal. The Gucci Luxe Finishing Powder. This ultra finely milled powder glides on like silk and sets makeup without the powdery look. No more powdery, cake face! On oily to combination skin this lasts around 3 hours before the first blot (just around the t-zone) therefore I can’t say it has commendable oil control properties. However I still love this for ease of use and is the very first pressed setting powder i’ve truly loved as most pressed setting powders can be very noticeable and powdery once applied. P.S- The shade I use is 040 Medium which suits light medium complexions.

Guerlain Meteorites

Now onto a holiday release for 2014. The Guerlain Meteorites Perles d’Etoile. I have been using this as a warming blush paired with a red lip. It adds just enough colour for a rich festive look. I believe it’s important to stress that this LE version is more shimmery compared to the regular meteorites in the permanent collection and has a reddish golden glow. For those of you who are very light in colour the red may show up excessively, i’d suggest taking out the red ball (I only had one in my tin!) and using just the rest for a beigey golden glimmer. It’s actually a very wearable shimmer that doesn’t look cheap or loud. I highly recommend this product.

Ettusais Nars Mac Eyeko

More holiday releases, and one random eye liner. From the Nars holiday release one of my favourites have been this ultra wearable lip gloss Corsica. I have been reaching for this a TONNE. A perfect my-lips-but-better colour for medium complexions as well as flattering pinky brown for lighter complexions, this one’s a work horse.

Next up, my favourite highlighter for the eyes. Lithe, from the MAC Gold-Beige pigments set from MAC Holiday 2014 gifting collection. This pigment is ultra fine and looks amazing as a inner eye highlight. It isn’t overly warm and the beigey tones pretty much make it a suit-all-complexions shade. I also like pretty much all the colours in this pigment set, especially the matte brown one! Just gorgeous.

Another recent release that has been much loved is my Ettusais Creamy Lip Crayon. I love the pink one best from the five that released. They are easy to use and take up minimal space in ones handbag for quick touch ups. On top of that these have Rose Hip oil for conditioning the lips and are fragrance free, which makes this a winner to me!

Lastly, Eyeko Eye Do eyeliner. I have mentioned this several times before as one of those fool proof eyeliners that are very easy to use. I love the felt tip that gives maximum control while the precision tip easily creates an enviable flick to your cat eye liner looks. It’s my go to these days and I am already on my second one. My only beef with this product is that if I open the cap in a hurry i’ve noticed the ink splashes! I have experienced this a few times and have now learnt to open the cap slooooowlllyyy.. apart from that little annoyance, it’s a great product.

Nars blushes

For blush options, my favourites are NARS Madly (a warm beige) & NARS Ukraine blush (a deep cranberry shade). Madly has been my go to blush topped with Hourglass Luminous light powder. And for a pop of colour I use Ukraine on just the apples of my cheeks for a very season appropriate flush. Both are highly pigmented and last all day (i’m talking well over 7-8 hours, maybe even more). I specially recommend Madly for day to day wear for adding a soft contour and colour to your cheeks. Excellent product as expected by NARS.

Mac Mineralise blush Heirloom collection

Another unexpected favourite from daily blushes has been Modest Blush by MAC from their holiday release, The Heirloom Collection. It’s a soft dusty pink which adds the subtlest flush. I love how easily this blends and is very finely milled. Something i’d recommend to girls who love a girly flush and colour phobic.

So girls, that’s rounds up my favourites for the month of December, all amazing products in terms of quality and wear.

Which products have you been enjoying lately? If there are any you’ve found back up worthy or repurchasing, please share! I’d love to hear suggestions.