Tom Ford Purifying Cleansing Oil Review

Tom Ford Purifying Cleansing Oil Review

As a good foundation is to a makeup routine, cleanser in my opinion is it’s skincare counterpart, and today I’m here for a much requested post on this new Tom Ford cleanser hitting the counters later this month.

Of course no one NEEDS a $100 cleanser, but for those of you who are interested, read on.

Tom Ford Cleansing oil review

The new Purifying Cleansing Oil comes in a frosted glass pump bottle. It truly encapsulates the essence of Tom Ford Beauty, iconic, sexy & unapologetically luxurious.

Tom Ford Cleansing oil pump

As all things Tom Ford, this oil is created with some of the finest ingredients in skincare right now.

Nourishing oils such as Jasmine Flower oil, Evening Primrose oil, Buriti oil, Tamanu oil paired with botanical extracts, Panax Ginseng Root extract & Thistle fruit extract come together to purify & cleanse the skin. The mixture of these makes a clear, velvety smooth oil that surprisingly doesn’t smell ‘spa like’. To me it smells biscuity and not one bit artificial, which I really REALLY like! If you hate the overly healthy smell of plant extracts, you won’t have that problem here.

Tom Ford Cleansing oil

To cleanse off a full face of makeup I’d recommend 2-3 pumps applied directly onto a dry face (it’s important that you do not wet the skin in advance).

Work in the oil in smooth motions till the makeup breaks down and starts to come off (just about a minute or so). Then add water to emulsify till the mixture looks milky and rinse clean. There will be no oily residue.

Overall I found the formula very gentle and never experienced any irritation over the month of use. I can safely recommend it even to those of you with sensitive eyes.

Tom Ford cleansing oil

The bottom line

I’d recommend this to all skin types and ages. Even safe to use around the eye area for removal of waterproof mascara. It’s gentle and won’t sting.

If your budget permits, definitely something i’d highly recommend trying. Of course I can’t say it does a better job than my less fancy oil cleansers, though I understand the price reflects the ingredients used as well as the luxurious packaging and appreciate it for what it is.

It’s a good cleanser that get’s the job done while making my skincare routine that much more enjoyable! I’ll be repurchasing.

Pricing & Availability

Retails at SGD110 for a 200ml bottle (should last around 2-3 months depending on frequency & quantity of use). Find this at Tangs Plaza soon!

 

Gift Ideas for Le Men.

Gift Ideas for Le Men.

If there’s one gift I always save for last, it’s my husbands or dads. They are by far the hardest to shop for and each year I feel like I’ve truly run out of creative gifts ideas and suffer planning my purchases.

This year however my shopping was done well in advance and I have the opportunity to show you what I plan on gifting to these special people in my life. So hopefully you’d benefit by this post too!

Mens gift ideas

So first on todays guide… Monogram or solid coloured scarves in cashmere or light weight fabric.  These make useful gifts specially if some winter travels are on the cards. My favourites are by Ferragamo and also Burberry. They make quality scarves which last forever.

Here’re some links. (all from Mr. Porter and directly shoppable! )

Untitled-1

Burberry checked ombre scarf  (which i’m particularly loving!) , Hugo Boss navy and grey scarf , and a dressy Hugo Boss two toned black and grey scarf.

If you are looking for cheaper options. Here’re some I found at Zara all available in Singapore.

Striped black and white scarf, solid mink scarf, solid grey scarf + hat pack.

For something more extravagant, Tom Ford makes some gorgeous scarves as well. You can check them out in store. (Boutique at Marina Bay Sands the Shoppes)

Next up, body care.

The secret to buying body care for men is ensuring the packaging looks unisex. Something very basic without loud labels is the best way to go. My favourite for gifting is Aesop. Their shower gels make the best gifts and come in a variety of fragrances. All under the price of $35.

Mens gift ideas givenchy le soin noir

Another great place to shop body care is Stenders, and while browsing around I found two things hubby would like. A Chocolate Sugar Scrub and a Coffee Lip balm. It’s no secret all men love chocolate, and a chocolate scrub is sure to be enjoyed! Btw this smells just as good as it sounds 😉

Stenders

For the man who’s more open to dabbling with skincare, the Givenchy Le Soin Noir range is PERFECT! I’ve already gifted the cleanser to my husband and he loves it already. The product itself is black (interesting right?!!) and foams up lightly to cleanse without drying out the skin. I also love how this smells. Nothing crazy floral or girly, more of a unisex scent. Retail price – $148

Their eye cream is another ultra luxe treat if you’re looking to spoil your man. A nourishing lightweight gel cream that fits perfectly into a mans grooming routine. Not too greasy or heavy that he’d fuss about. Retail price – $285

Moving along to some fragrance options. I narrowed it down to a very luxe version and a not so splurge-y version.

Tom Ford Venetian Bergamot for a zesty hit of bergamot paired with ylang ylang, magnolia, gardenia and a hint of black peppercorn that adds a spicy warmth. The perfume smells divine as you’d imagine and utterly exotic. Something for a man with expensive taste 😉

Retail price $330.

tom ford venetian bergamot

Next up in the fragrance department is the new Dior addition, Sauvage with hottie Johnny Depp as the face of the fragrance.

This one’s more masculine with heavy smoky notes and a core of bergamot. Something bound to be enjoyed by a mature man. The packaging too looks very sleek and expensive. Perfectly Dior! and perfect for gifting.

Kikki K

Another interesting gift idea is stationary. It can be tricky shopping stationary as A. most stores don’t carry stylish stationary worthy of gifting for Christmas, B. how does one buy stationary men would actually use?

Persistance paid off when I discovered this luxurious leather notebook with gold detailing at Kikki K Ion. Perfect for the creative types who’d like to scribble down ideas or designs! It ticks all the boxes. Luxurious finish, unisex simple design. A Classic. Price- $59.90.

Last but not least, a few stocking stuffers.

I find men love receiving edible gifts as much as anything else. Slabs of fine chocolate, tied with a ribbon. A little package of bite sized brownies dressed up in ribbon or personalised tag. Assorted nuts in a hand decorated jar. There’s lots of great, simple gifts that can be made to look festive and holiday appropriate, you only need to jazz them up a bit 😉

Again for gorgeous wrapping paper and gift tags Kikki K is the place to go. Everything’s pretty much bundled in sets for easy gift wrapping and decorating.

Store Locations 

Burberry – Ion Orchard and Paragon

Ferragamo – Paragon

Aesop – Tangs beauty department

Stenders – Plaza Singapura

Givenchy Skincare – Sephora

Kikki K – Ion

Tom Ford – Tangs beauty department, Marina Bay Sand Shoppes

Dior – Tangs, Ion, Paragon

Tom Ford Lips & Boys 2015 – Photos & Swatches

Tom Ford Lips & Boys 2015 – Photos & Swatches

After last years successful release, Tom Ford is back again with his irresistible clutch-sized Boys, and best of all they are here to stay!

TF Lips and Boys closeup

I had the pleasure of meeting them in person at a press preview, so I took plenty of photos and swatches to enable you and help you decide which one’s you’d like to take home!

Here’s a look at the glorious 50, sitting pretty in their new home!

Tom Ford Lips and Boys New 2015

This years collection consists of 25 old Boys with an additional 25 new fellas.

In case you missed out the last time, the popular colours are back, so you can grab them without any danger of it selling out 🙂

*Please check out this post for a detailed review on the ones I picked from the first release!

Screen Shot 2015-11-25 at 1.27.41 PM

For those of you who did manage to grab your favourites, the 25 new Boys are definitely something to consider. These come in a new pearlescent, metallized finish. Designed to be worn on their own or layered with one another.

Screen Shot 2015-11-25 at 1.27.16 PM

Without further delay, hear’s a look at the new collection!

25 new Boys, ranging from golds to nudes, to reds and berries! The selection as always is mind blowing with something for everyone!

Tom Ford Lips and boys

Onto swatches!

Row 1

Lips And Boys 2015 swatches

Please note that everything swatched here is around 2-3 passes for maximum intensity, just so you see the colours clearly.

Row 2

Lips and boys 2015

Row 3

TF lips and boys 2015

Row 4

Lips and boys 2015

Row 5

Tom Ford lips and boys 2015

First Impressions

I found almost all the new shades contained a certain percentage of shimmer or micro glitter as expected. However since many of you have been inquiring, i’m happy to report that NOT ALL 25 come in that high metallic finish.

Some shades such as Tony, Roberto and Kingston had very little or fine shimmer. Good news for those of you who prefer a more satin finish.

Pigmentation wise, most of these swatched with semi opaque coverage in a single swipe. With an exception of the lighter shades needing more layers. Overall I like the formula of these and feel they are worth the luxury price tag!

Recommendations

My favourites from the new range were mostly pinks and rosy nudes. I liked that they had a beautiful sheen to them and applied smooth and even without any streaks.

My picks

 

Left to right there’s Louis, Austin, Jake & Daniel.

Other than these I also loved, Kingston (Row 1), Drake (Row 2), Egon (Row 4) and Roberto, Theo and Jay from Row 5.

Collection information (relevant to Singapore).

The Lips & Boys collection is set to launch on the 4th December at the Tangs Orchard Tom Ford counter AS WELL AS the Tom Ford Boutique at Marina Bay Sands Shoppes.

Each lipstick will retail at $50 and will include a novelty lipstick box (seen below) when purchasing a set of three of your favourites 🙂

lips and boys tom ford

This year there’s also another larger box set of 10 containing pre selected shades, Ian, Beau, Julian, Addison, Leonardo, Demsey, David, Egon, Daniel & Theo which will retail at $500.

P.S- If you are feeling spendy, or looking for a generous gift for someone special, there’s ALSO a magnificent lacquered box set containing all 50 at $2500!

Now wouldn’t that be the perfect Christmas gift?! ❤ Me thinks YES!

Tom Ford Night Sky : Review, Photos & Swatches

Tom Ford Night Sky : Review, Photos & Swatches

Hi there! Just a few more days till the Tom Ford Noir collection launches in Singapore so i’m back with an in depth review on the pièce de résistance. Night Sky.

TF Night sky opening image

Night Sky consists of one navy cream base infused with electric blue micro shimmer and a satin navy blue powder eyeshadow speckled with pink and turquoise micro glitter.

Tom Ford Night sky review

In comparison to cream shadows released in the past, Night Sky is just as pigmented and as high quality as you’d expect from Tom Ford. I love how it can be built up to an intense colour (as deep as seen in the pot), or sheered down to a translucent grungy wisp of blue.

It’s all in the application.

Tom Ford Noir makeup Night sky

On the topic of application, I found Night Sky to require a lot more time and patience than any other TF cream i’ve worked with. It goes on slightly uneven as the cream feels a lot more emollient and tends to sheer out while blending. The best way to go for an even result was to layer on gradually building up intensity. For this I used my fingers (as I always do).

Tom Ford Night sky swatches

The powder shadow as you’d expect, compliments the cream base perfectly. It conceals any unevenness, adding depth and decadence to this smokey look!

Tom Ford Noir Night Sky swatch

(Left- cream shadow on it’s own, Right- cream & powder layered)

On a side note, I also noticed layering the powder shadow on top of the cream significantly prolongs the wear time. As on it’s own the cream shadow was highly prone to creasing and didn’t last longer than a couple of hours on the lid.

Now on to some application tips and a look featuring Night Sky.

I found that starting with a clean lid worked best. Skip your eye cream and primer. Anything layered under this will only make it harder to work with.

As mentioned before, start with very tiny amounts of product, building as you go. I went for around 4 layers in the look you see below.

To soften the edges of the cream base and create that true smoked out effect I took a neutral toned silvery grey (I used the Silvered Topaz quad) and ran it around the edges. A small step that makes a huge difference. Attempting to smoke out the look using just the cream shadow is a process i’d rather not spend time on. So that was my shortcut!

Here’s the final look.

Tom Ford Night Sky

I decided to take the festive route and add a silvery white shadow on my lower lash line to keep things fresh.

Tom Ford Night sky

I also skipped eyeliner adding just a bit of tight lining for definition and to thicken up the lashes. This keeps the blue lid in full focus.

Here’s a quick look at some of the makeup used.

Tom Ford makeup Noir holiday 2015

Lips – Tom Ford First Time

Eyes – TF Silvered Topaz Quad, TF Night Sky, TF Extreme Waterproof Mascara in the colour Noir & the Tom Ford Brow Sculptor

Cheeks – Tom Ford Frantic Pink blush

In addition to the above mentioned products, I also used Dior Swan Mono Shadow (as the silver liner), Tom Ford Mood Light highlighter, Kevyn Aucoin lip liner in Natural & Clé De Peau Foundation.

Here’s one more look at the eye makeup before I conclude this post.

I hope you found this review informative and an enjoyable read! And please do leave a comment down below if you have any further questions regarding Night Sky 🙂 I’ll answer them ASAP.

Wishing you a wonderful Wednesday,

Michelle.

 

Tom Ford Noir Colour Collection – Preview & Swatches

Tom Ford Noir Colour Collection – Preview & Swatches

This Christmas, Tom Ford comes out with a limited edition collection inspired by his newest fragrance release, Noir Pour Femme.

tom ford noir makeup holiday 2015

Packaged in glossy black, with hints of art deco style detailing, it’s the perfect extravagant indulgence we needed this Christmas!

Tom Ford Noir makeup 2015

The Noir collection consists of,

Night Sky Cream & Powder Eye Colour

Lash Tips Mascara (2 shades, Pure Cobalt & Burnished Gold)

Waterproof Extreme Mascara in Noir

Eye Defining Pencil in Navy Black

Matte Lipstick in First Time

Nail Lacquer in Blackout

Starting off with the star of the show, here’s a look at Night Sky. A dazzling combo of rich navy blue cream shadow paired with a glitter infused powder shadow.

Tom Ford holiday 2015 noir

I found the overall formula of the cream slightly different to those of the past. A lot more translucent in nature and prone to sheering out. The best way to apply this was to layer on bit by bit, building up the colour. As always I used my fingers, switching to a fluffy blending brush just to smooth out the edges.

tom ford holiday 2015

To deepen the base of the cream shadow, this micro glitter infused powder shadow is the perfect pairing. Although swatches seem slightly dry, this went on like a dream with hardly any fallout.

I love how the glitter catches the light and sparkle in flashes of turquoise and pink. Absolutely STUNNING!

Overall this duo wears well without creasing or any fallout. However the cream shadow worn alone didn’t hold up longer than 2-3 hours. The slippery base melts and slides off causing noticeable creasing, be sure to set it with the powder!

Tom Ford Noir 2015 swatches

 

L-R : Night Sky cream shadow and powder layered, Night Sky cream shadow, Night Sky powder shadow, Navy Black eyeliner, First Time lipstick

Moving on to the matte lipstick First Time.

A gorgeous, wearable ‘nude’ lipstick with a hint of peach.

Tom Ford First time holiday 2015

Unlike the swatches, this pulls more pink on the lips. It’s a match made in heaven for your blue smokey eye!

The colour goes on opaque as you’d expect and is mildly drying on the lips (noticeably more drying in comparison to the TF matte lipsticks from the permanent line). If you are prone to chapped, dehydrated lips maybe give this a miss. Or! You could prep with a balm before application so you enjoy the colour without sacrificing comfort.

Next up, the gorgeous Eye Definer Pencil Navy Black! The first thing to catch my eye when the promo images came out.

It’s a stunner!

Tom Ford holiday 2015

As seen above (and in swatches) this limited edition pencil comes infused with micro glitter. Very festive and a nice finishing touch to a neutral eye look. (I didn’t pair this with the Cream & Powder eye duo, sticking to a black liner instead)

The regular liners by Tom Ford are my go-to’s. They are perfect for smudging close to the lashes for definition and wear all day once set with powder. They don’t do well on the waterline though so I tend to use these exclusively on the upper lash line or just the outer corner of the lower lash line, ALWAYS setting with a powder.

Next up, mascaras.

Tom ford noir mascara

Pure Cobalt and Burnished Gold are two new additions to the Tom Ford portfolio. Designed to be worn just on the tips of the lashes for a hint of colour, these are add a fun flirty element to liven up your holiday makeup.

The wands are much smaller in comparison to the regular TF wands and are perfect for precision application.

Tom ford holiday 2015 makeup

Swatches!

Tom Ford holiday 2015

*P.S – Pure Cobalt looks less vibrant when worn on the lashes, providing only a hint of navy blue. 

Also new, the Tom Ford Extreme Mascara that now comes in a waterproof version. I noticed no flaking or smudging when worn (even after an unplanned nap!) making this my new favourite mascara for the season! The extra fat wand bulks up the lashes with ease and also holds curl well. On the flip side…. a bigger wand means slightly tricky application, specially so if you have shorter lashes.

Recommendations!

Other than minor blending issues, the star buy in my opinion is the Cream & Powder Eye Colour Night Sky. I love how sexy this looks on the eyes with deep smokiness and that unexpected twinkle of glitter. Plus I feel this was the best value for money!

If a bold audacious eye isn’t for you, the lipstick First Time will make a beautiful addition to your lipstick collection. With the added perk of limited edition TF packaging. Something we always get suckered into 😉

Collection info & Pricing

Tom Ford Noir collection is set to launch 15th Nov at the Tangs Orchard beauty counter.

Cream & Powder Eye Colour – SGD 94

Lash Tips Mascara – SGD 75

Waterproof Extreme Mascara – SGD 65

Eye Definer Pencil – SGD 52

Lip Colour – SGD 80

Nail lacquer – SGD 52

Top 10* Makeup Brushes (Tom Ford, Hakuhodo, Wayne Goss & Kevyn Aucoin)

Top 10* Makeup Brushes (Tom Ford, Hakuhodo, Wayne Goss & Kevyn Aucoin)

Todays post is all about brushes! My Top 10.

They are a well edited bunch of eye and face brushes that I REALLY enjoy and use practically every day. Therefore I’m certain you’d end up loving them too!

So before we get to todays post, confession time. There aren’t 10 brushes here.

As I started out picking my favourites, I could only manage gathering nine! It wouldn’t have been fair to speak about 9 favourites and add one extra brush I just don’t feel comfortable recommending as a TOP FAVOURITE!. So I figured I’ll keep it real and share a post about my top 9 brushes instead!

First up, here’s a look at the poor souls to be judged based on looks, size and performance.

Makeup brushes review Hakuhodo Tom Ford

Left to Right we have,

Hakuhodo J4006, Hakuhodo J5523, Hakuhodo J125, Tom Ford Eyeliner & Definer Brush 15, Wayne Goss 05, Hakuhodo J004G, Kevyn Aucoin Concealer Brush, Tom Ford 05 Bronzer Brush, Wayne Goss 02.

Tom Ford bronzer brush review

Tom Ford Bronzer Brush 05

Is a plush, goat hair brush. One of the oldest brushes in my current collection (4yrs or so).

The bristles are soft and densely packed enabling it to hold it’s shape well and allow maximum control.

The handle is a chubby wooden lacquered one to match the voluminous brush head and gives it good balance. The overall quality of this brush is exceptional. The gold lettering hasn’t rubbed off, the handle has never chipped (even after dropping it many a time) and the golden ferrule has never lost it’s shine. I’m happy that it lasted so well over time and is money well spent.

Performance

This brush applies bronzer twice as fast as any other brush I’ve tried. Mostly due to it’s size as it covers a large area one go. It also picks up just the right amount of product and applies it seamlessly without any harsh lines or patchiness so I don’t have to spend time blending.

My method of application is holding it close to the furrule and buff in circular motions to achieve a perfect finish every time.

General Maintenance

I try to wash my brushes at least every two weeks. And so far I’ve never experienced any shedding from the Tom fords. They also never stain and after every wash look as good as new!

Additional info – The bristles of most of the TF brushes are Goat Hair and are a natural off white, which means the goat hair has never been dyed. Usually I notice brushes with dyed hair smell strange when being washed (my Hakuhodo powder brush being the perfect example) and also has a slight colour bleed.

Tom Ford brushes are made in Japan and are available at Tom Ford Beauty counters, which is where I purchased mine. (Now available at the Tangs Tom Ford Counter retailing at SGD190)

Wayne Goss makeup brushes

Wayne Goss 02

Is a small tapered face brush.

It’s described as a natural bristled brush (with uncut hairs for maximum softness).

The bristles are indeed soft and I believe the size and shape of this brush makes it quite versatile. The moderately packed bristles enable just the right amount of give for applying powder products with ease.

In comparison to the Tom Ford brushes, the handle of this is much much lighter. But overall I believe it suits the brush well and is perfectly balanced and comfortable to hold.

Performance

According to online description, it’s a brush which can be used for bronzing, blusher or highlighter. Personally I feel the shape is too tapered for blush or bronzer. But ideal for placing a perfectly diffused highlight or powdering areas that are harder to reach with a regular brush, such as the inner corner of the eyes, under eyes as well as the sides of the nose.

I mainly use it as a powder brush for setting concealer as it fits the undereye area perfectly.

P.S – It’s also a nice size and shape for softening your contour and blending. So if you do contour your face everyday, you’ll enjoy this multi purpose brush very much.

General Maintenance

As with all my other brushes I wash this every two weeks or so since I use it everyday. I never noticed any colour bleeding but have experienced slight shedding every once in a while.

Additional Info – If you’ve owned a tapered brush before you’ll know that it can ‘fluff up’ after the first wash. They don’t look as sleek as when it arrived. The best way to retain the shape is to put them in a brush guard to train the bristles to stay in their initial form. I obviously don’t do this and have no problems with my brush looking puffy. It doesn’t really affect it’s performance in this case. But I do shape the bristles into a point before I lay them down to dry.

Made in Japan. Retailing at $35 at Beautylish (Ships to most countries)

Kevyn aucoin concealer brush review

Kevyn Aucoin concealer brush

This is a densely packed, stubby brush with a small pointed tip. Perfect for pin point concealing. I came to know about this brush through a Lisa Eldridge video and have found it rather lovely.

The dense bristles allow great control and lets you conceal tiny acne spots or discolouration easily.

The brush handle of the KA is a hard acrylic and very durable. Almost feels like holding a pen.

Performance

I use this with a cream concealer. Just dab it right onto the blemish and soften the edges by tapping it with my finger.

As far as spot concealing goes, this brush is ideal. It doesn’t have much give and remains firm, so the application is very precise.

Currently on sale at BeautyBay for $24.60

Hakuhodo J004G review makeup brushes

Hakuhodo J004G

Is a round, medium sized flat eyeshadow brush made of goat hair.

The bristles of this is perfectly shaped to follow the contours of the lid to apply eyeshadow effortlessly and precisely.

What’s special about this basic flat eyeshadow brush is the size. I found it difficult to zero in on a nice medium sized brush as everything I had in my stash were slightly too big with much longer bristles. However this one is perfect for steady application as the larger brushes are too clumsy for precision jobs. I also noticed this particular flat brush retained it’s shape well without the bristles getting unruly or fluffing up after a wash.

I use this mostly with wet eyeshadows (such as the NARS Dual Intensities) to create an intense lid. Just load the brush with eyeshadow and pat to pack on the colour. I find the size is just right and should be perfect for those with hooded eyes or smaller eye lids.

Additional Info – Hakuhodo brushes from the J series are all made of natural bristles that are not dyed. So they always maintain their original colour, be it white or brown without any colour bleeding. It’s why I always purchase brushes from this particular range.

Made in Japan. Retailing at $20 on Hakuhodo US. (Ships worldwide)

Wayne goss makeup brushes

Wayne Goss 05

Is a small, tapered crease brush with a rounded tip. The bristles are natural hair and very soft. They are also uncut which means they won’t feel scratchy when used on the lid.

I personally love the smaller size of this, and the density and length of the bristles allow just the right amount control while remaining flexible. Perfect for blending out harsh edges.

You can even use this to do a very defined crease as this brush gets right into the socket. It also excels in blending out small areas such as diffusing out the edges of a cut crease or smoking out liner keeping close to the lash line.

The Goss 5 is a unique brush and overall I am extremely happy with it. So far it has never shed and always retains it’s shape after each wash. I think I need another one in my life. One of the best eye brushes I have ever come across.

Made in Japan. Retailing at $25 on Beautylish. (Ships to most countires)

Tom Ford Brush review

Tom Ford 15 Eyeliner & Definer brush

Is a rounded, dense liner brush with a very fine tip. As far as eyeliner brushes go, I find this to be unique. The well packed, short bristles allows maximum control and a stiff edge for smudging out liner easily.

The thin edge also allows to smudge very close to the lash line (upper and lower, both) and define the eyes well. It’s one of the most frequently used brushes in my stash.

I plan on purchasing another since I use it so much.

Made in Japan. Retailing at $52.

Hakuhodo brush review J125

Hakuhodo J125

Is a round brush with an angled tip. It looks like someone chopped off the upper half at an angle.

This brush is very densely packed and has little flexibility. Regardless of the sharp flat edge the brush feels very soft on the lid and never scratchy.

I use this mostly to blend out any stubborn hard lines of a smokey shadow look. Just place the angled edge of the brush along the eye contour and swipe back and forth in a windshield wiper motion. It’s that easy.

Made in Japan. Retailing at $27 at Hakuhodo US

Hakuhodo J5523 review makeup brush

 

Hakuhodo J5523 (a softer, better quality substitute for a MAC 217)

Is a medium sized crease brush.

I find the bristles of this much softer than the TF Blending Brush which is downright scratchy in comparison (and why I didn’t include that brush in my top 9).

The brush allows for good flexibility while maintaining just enough resistance to blend eyeshadows in the crease.

The rounded fluffy brush tip allows for general colour placement and blending both. Making it a versatile brush for daily use. I already have three and also purchased several as gifts for friends.

If you are just starting out on your brush collection, this is an excellent brush to invest in. The quality is top notch (as all the brushes I’ve included here) and will last you very long if looked after. Plus, it’s very budget friendly.

Made in Japan. Retailing at $19 at Hakuhodo US

Hakuhodo J4006

Hakuhodo J4006

Is a tiny duo fiber fan brush.

It’s the only brush I’ve included which has synthetic bristles.

The brushes main purpose is to separate and define your lashes while removing any unwelcome clumps of mascara with ease giving lashes a natural fluttery finish.

How do you use this brush?

Simple, you just place the brush at the base of your lashes and wiggle and comb out.

Additional Info & Maintenance

The synthetic bristles allows the brush to retain it’s firm fan shape while also extending it’s durability as most mascaras tend to be waterproof and are difficult to cleanse off. This brush cleans easily though with a regular brush soap and dries fast.

Made in Japan. Retailing at $20 at Hakuhodo US

 

That concludes my post on the Top 9! However I’d like to leave you with some additional info on brushes, questions some of you have asked me on Instagram. I hope you find this useful as well.

The most frequently asked question is what my favourite brush brand is.

It’s Hakuhodo. I love that the quality is great. The brushes are long lasting and are priced very competitively. I feel that artists in particular who are looking to expand their brush collection would benefit a lot as the selection of brushes Hakuhodo carries is just mind-boggling and they have a brush for virtually EVERY need imaginable.

Another FAQ is what I use to clean my brushes.

It’s mostly soap.

There are special soaps meant specifically for brush cleaning. Some brush companies carry their own soaps but also artistry brands such as Make Up Store make a great one as well. So far, I’ve tried the Hakuhodo soap and the Make Up Store one. Both equally good.

For those of you with no access to purchase a brush soap, just use a baby shampoo and luke warm water. It works well. Occasionally I use my facial cleanser (a gel one) too as it’s  very mild and doesn’t dry out or damage the bristles. Of course that’s an expensive option. But I don’t mind, as I only need a teeny tiny bit to wash my brushes. And to be honest my brush collection consists of mostly high end natural fibre brushes which require very gentle cleansing!

So there you have it, lengthy ramble about brushes. If there is any additional information you’d find helpful, please feel free ask me in a comment, I’ll answer them asap.

I’m also planning on doing a post on a brush starter kit for those of you new to makeup brushes, so if you are keen on something like that, let me know!

Anyways, Thank you for reading and I hope you have a great week ahead  🙂

xx, Michelle.

 

 

 

 

 

Mascara 101: Mini Reviews & Recommendations

Mascara 101:  Mini Reviews & Recommendations

Hello hello! It feels like i’m on a roll these days, continuously blogging! Therefore while i’m in the mood to blog, I thought i’d do a post on my mascara collection along with mini reviews which I hope you find useful!

 

Mascara review

 

Currently I have 6 mascaras in rotation, cos a girl can’t just have one right?

 

Mascara collection reviews

 

As we begin todays mascara smackdown, a quick note that I’ll be following a sequence, where I will start with the brush design and then move onto formula etc.

First up,

Dior IT-Lash 

The IT-Lash comes with a spiked elastomer (plastic) brush. It’s a reasonably slim, slightly longish style. Personally I hate big brushes as they are harder to apply with so this one’s just perfect.

Diot IT Lash

The formula of this is on the thinner side and is great for those of you who have trouble with your mascara weighing down your lashes. This holds a curl well and keep lashes beautifully lengthened and separated without clumps. Sadly I don’t see much of the volumising action that it claims to have, but I really like this one for everyday use.

As far as removal is concerned, it’s pretty easy to get off. Just warm water does the trick. On occasion I also use Bioderma for removal as well.

 

Tom Ford Extreme Mascara

The sexiest packaging in my opinion. And incidentally the old school bristle brush does a good job making the lashes look sexy too.

Tom Ford extreme mascara review

The formula of this is denser and coats the lashes well for a thicker, lash look. Building up the volume is easy as this doesn’t set too quick and you have ample play time to keep adding more, more and MORE. I also love that this doesn’t clump and holds the curl pretty well to stay looking wide awake!

To remove, you can simply use an eye makeup remover. This one isn’t waterproof.

 

Le Volume De Chanel 

The very first volumising mascara I truly fell in love with. I have been repurchasing it over and over and I believe i’m on my 6th now.

The brush of this is a plastic one with shorter bristles meant to create an eye opening effect. (Sadly I never see any such results as the weight of this mascara droops down any curl I had to begin with) The shape of the brush also seems to give trouble separating the lashes and they always cling together.

Le volume de chanel review

If you have naturally curly lashes this would work great for you. It volumises and adds drama for a very glamorous look.

Le Volume de Chanel isn’t waterproof and removes easily with warm water similar to the Dior.

 

Clé de Peau Perfect Lash Mascara

Features a curved wand with natural bristles. It’s designed to comb the lash from root to tip and create a nice separated and defined lash.

Cle de peau mascara

If smudging is a problem for you, this is your guy! The waterproof formula keeps lashes looking fresh throughout the day without any flaking or smudging. It’s even rub proof!

As far as volume goes this one isn’t really mind blowing, and it doesn’t build well either as it sets pretty fast. I also notice if I attempt a second coat, the lashes start sticking together and look spiky. It’s strictly a one (quick) coat mascara.

Looking at the positives, the real claim to fame is the longevity of it’s wear and that it works great with shorter, stubby lashes that are prone to smudging.

For removal I always use Clarins Express Eye Makeup Remover which works well with waterproof formulas and never irritates my eyes.

 

Helena Rubinstein, Lash Queen Feline Black

If it’s mascara, then Helena does them best! She has such an extensive range of mascaras, it truly is overwhelming and difficult to pick one! I ended up with this leopard print ‘feline’ version which is great for volume and lengthening.

The brush is chubby and torpedo shaped which works well to separate and build up volume.

Helena Rubinstein

The best thing about this mascara is the formula is near perfect. You get plenty of time to build it up as it sets quite slow and the longer bristles keep the lashes from sticking together and comb as you go for good separation.

Volume, length and long wearing. It’s all there.

*This mascara comes in a waterproof version as well, and is my HG for packing on beach vacations. THE BEST!

 

Urban Decay Perversion Mascara (seen here is a mini size)

Comes with a shorter more chubbier wand in comparison to the Helena Rubinstein. This one though has a slightly fatter middle creating a more rounded, bushier brush.

Urban Decay Perversion mascara

 

An unexpected find which came in the form of a press sample. I really love how this volumises. Another one of those buildable formulas that you can layer and layer. You get fuller, thicker, lengthened lashes for a ‘bigger, blacker, badder lash’.

I believe i’ll repurchase this in a full size, quite loving it’s smooth, creamy texture and the colour intensity.

Lastly, this too isn’t a waterproof formula and comes off easily with a eye makeup remover.

 

Now a look at these worn on my poker straight lashes! Unfortunately you won’t be seeing much of a difference unless you click on the image for a closeup and look at the base of the lashes to see the more volumising ones 🙂

I promise the differences between them are far more visible in person. I blame my poor selfie skills!

Mascara grid 2Bottom Line

For volumising and lengthening, the best would be Helena Rubinstein and Urban Decay. I like how buildable they are and never look clumpy. The TF is also a good option, though lacks that wow factor you’d expect for the price.

For waterproof mascara, the CDP hands down. I never have to worry about it flaking or smudging. If you don’t mind a natural lash look, this one’s great for everyday use. For other cheaper waterproof options you can also check out Helena Rubinstein.

For lift and curl i’d recommend the Dior IT-Lash. This is great for those of you with already thick lashes but just want them defined and lengthened. It’s my favourite for day to day use and have just repurchased!

 

 

Tom Ford Summer 2015, Golden Peach & Black Oyster : Review, Photos & Swatches

Tom Ford Summer 2015, Golden Peach & Black Oyster : Review, Photos & Swatches

Hi there!

Here to share my thoughts on the Tom Ford Cream & Powder Eye Colour duos.

These combine two of Tom Fords most coveted formulas, the divine celestial powder eyeshadows (the TF glitters) & cream shadow to create a new hybrid product.

Some of you may already know, the cream shadows in 3 of the 4 duos are repromotes from earlier releases. So if you missed out, don’t let them slip away again! here’s the break down.

Golden Peach – Pink Haze cream shadow

Naked Bronze – Spice cream shadow

Midnight sea – Spring 2015

I received 2 for review, which i’ll be discussing in depth today.

Tom ford golden peach black oyster

 

Packaging

These duos come with a double decker design. On top we have the celestial shadow and on the bottom, the cream. The cream is secured with the screw on lid (which actually houses the celestial shadow) and there’s also teeny mirror up top in the event you feel like using this on the go to refresh your makeup or take your simple day time look up a notch and head out for dinner.

If you are familiar with the TF cream shadows, you’ll probably miss the luxury of a glass pot. However I feel this acrylic, plastic type packaging works out quite well for this product, making it more travel friendly and great for packing on your summer trips.

 

Formula, texture and application

The TF cream colours are highly pigmented cream eyeshadows with a soft moussey texture. They dry slowly and don’t quite set as typical cream shadows do, which means you never need to rush to blend them out. This quality also makes them great as bases for your eye makeup and are very easy to work with. (you can refer this post for more information on how to use these shadows)

The overall finish once applied is a slightly wet look with glistening shimmers. They are my summer makeup essentials!

TF cream shadows are easily my favourites among other brands I have used. They are foolproof when it comes to application and are great for rushed days as you only need literally 2 mins to get the colour on. I use my fingers to apply and blend them and i’ve found this to be the best method to get a smooth result without any visible brush strokes.

As far as longevity goes, these never crease on me unless I spend my entire day out in the hot sun. Under normal conditions you can expect these to wear a good 12 hours or more (no primer needed).

I highly recommend the TF cream shadows for even mature eye lids as they never emphasise lines and texture like other cream shadows do.

The Celestial shadows are also a Tom Ford speciality and by far the most elegant glitters I have ever come across. They never look vulgar or childish and add a sexy, sophisticated touch to whichever eye look you create. It’s an integral part of a signature TF look.

Previously these celestial shadows were only sold as part of the TF eyeshadow quads, and never available for individual sale. Making this new product all the more appealing to those of you who are curious to try this unique formula.

Worn over powder eyeshadows or creams, they adhere well onto the lids and I never see any fallout throughout wear. I apply them with my fingers and encourage a press and place technique to make them adhere well.

Onto some swatches of Black Oyster and Golden Peach.

Tom ford cream shadow swatches

 

Black Oyster is my favourite.

The subtle grey smokiness it creates once layered, is unbeatable.

Either way, if you missed out on Pink Haze before, then by all means you NEED Golden Peach (after all, Pink Haze is only my FAVOURITE cream shadow of all time and i’d never hesitate to recommend it!), however Black Oyster in my eyes is a must if you are picking up any of these duos.

 

To make things more informative, I also put together a few comparison swatches for you with some of my existing cream shadows and Celestials. I hope they are useful!

Tom Ford cream shadows

Here’s a look at the peachy tones (can never have too many!),

Between these I find the Tom Ford and the Shiseido ones to be the easiest to work with. They are great for day time wear, not overly sparkly and very understated. I also love how they feel when applied as well, weightless!

The Chanel Laurier Rose is one of the newly released Stylo Eyeshadows from summer. The pigmentation of this is incredible and superbly opaque! On the downside, I find it sets even before I’ve had time to blend it out.

Now onto some Celestial swatches. I have Silvered Topaz, Golden Mink and Titanium Smoke for comparisons.

See how Golden Peach is a very close match to shade 2 from the Golden Mink quad!

Tom ford celestial shadows

Now onto an eye look I created with Black Oyster. Super sexy and the perfect smokey look for a special night.

Recreating this is quite easy. Just start with a suitable transition shade (a matte taupe or grey should do) and apply it onto the crease with a blending brush, creating the ‘smoke’ for this look. Then we pat the cream shadow all over the lid using fingers and build up the intensity. Lastly take another clean blending brush to soften the edges of the cream shadow and blend lightly, you can pick up more of your transition shade to make blending easier if you like.

For the final touch, place the celestial shadow just in the middle of the lid, for extra pop! Done!

To complete this look I added some falsies for drama. Of course if you are blessed with amazing lashes you could just skip this step!

 

 

 

Bottom Line

I would categorise these as a splurge worth the investment. And to be honest, if I had to pick one eyeshadow to last me all summer, day in day out, it would be one of these. It’ll take your makeup from day to night without breaking a sweat. Promise 🙂

Product information

These duos retail at SGD85 and are currently available at the Tangs Tom Ford Beauty counter. There’s still stocks available for the Midnight Sea and Black Oyster combo. Both which I highly recommend. Snap them up while you can!

 

 

Tom Ford Gold Dust & Terra Bronzer – Review, Photos & Swatches

Tom Ford Gold Dust & Terra Bronzer – Review, Photos & Swatches

Bronzers are quite a tricky thing to work with. Either you have the correct shade, or you don’t. There’s no middle ground. And as someone who’s already pretty ‘coloured’, I somehow don’t feel the need for a bronzer as a complexion enhancer, but more of a shader. I use this method instead of contouring just to add definition to the face. Either way, so many things to consider, colour, shimmer content (if any) and texture!

I feel that cream bronzers would give you the most realistic bronzed, skin like sun-kissed effect. Or is it? Well the Tom Ford bronzers are really something else. I am glad they are now in my life, rocking my world.

 

Tom Ford bronzer

 

 

As seen above, for summer Tom Ford has repackaged their bronzer in the luxurious white and gold packaging. In addition to that they also launched a mini version of each bronzer too, perfect for taking along with you on all those exotic summer holidays you are planning.

The white packaging is a glossy lacquered finish, it doesn’t attract fingerprints and is perfectly accented with a gold trim. Overall the feel of this very luxurious with a touch of retro glamour. I quite like this white packaging a bit more than the original mahogany in this case. What are your thoughts? Isn’t it deliciously summery?

The Tom Ford bronzers come in two shades. Gold Dust & Terra.

 

Tom Ford bronzer review

 

The main difference between the two is the finish. Gold dust is a shimmer infused bronzer while Terra being completely matte. Apart from that, there’s also the variance in shade. The more yellow toned one is clearly Gold Dust with Terra being an almost neutral bronze.

Tom Ford Gold Dust

 

Tom Ford Terra bronzer

After repeated use I have come to appreciate how weightless these bronzers are. They are nearly impossible to over do. You can be as heavy handed as you like and the result will never look powdery or over bronzed and fake. They look incredibly skin like.

So far i’ve been finding hard to pick favourites, even though the more sensible option is to be drawn to Gold Dust with my very yellow toned skin.

Testing out Terra, I love how it gives an almost sun burnt look to the skin (in the best possible way, slightly rosy looking), like you came home from a day at the beach. It’s a brown with hints of redness, without the yellow tone. The actual colour of a tan!

For best results, just apply where the sun would hit the face, the forehead, tops of cheekbones and nose.

Here’re swatches of the two.

 

Tom Ford bronzer swatches

 

As I mentioned Gold Dust is the richer, more exotic colour. I see this looking amazing on Arabic skin tones, the very exotic golden ones. And also for Asian skin tones with yellow undertones.

If you are already tanned (regardless of skin colour) Gold Dust would be the perfect enhancer. The shimmer works great with sun-kissed skin and looks particularly lovely dusted on the décolletage. I have been enjoying it quite a bit.

For those on the look out for a day time, less conspicuous bronzer, Terra would be it. For a matte, the texture of this is sublime and I don’t think i’ve ever swatched a matte product that applied so beautifully. It’s veil thin & not in the least bit powdery or dry. The most perfect matte formula EVER!

This in my opinion would suit almost all skin tones. It’s quite a fool proof colour. I would specially recommend this to even the fairest of complexions with rosy undertones. It’s a very universal shade.

The Bottom Line

These aren’t cheap products. And yes it’s an investment! However, considering the amount of product one pan carries, you won’t feel so bad about parting with your hard earned cash.

As far as quality goes, these are a dream. It’s so weightless and light, never powdery on the skin. They blend in easily and just melds with it. I can’t find a single thing to complain about!

Since this summer the bronzers were released in a smaller size, I feel now is the time to give these a go. The mini version isn’t quite as value for money as the regular size, but is a good starting point if you are unsure about making a commitment.

Also can I tempt you with the packaging? I’m a little brainwashed by the white n gold mix, aren’t you? They sure do look so summery and nice!

Some Link Love

You can check out this review by my friend Dr. Ebru. I always find her reviews reliable and helpful.

Product Info

The large bronzer comes with 0.7 oz/ 19.8g of product and retails at SGD160, and the smaller one comes with 0.3 oz/ 8.5g of product, retailing at SGD102.

Available now for a limited time at the Tangs Orchard Tom Ford Counter.

Mine were samples sent for review by Tom Ford Beauty. Thank you Adeline!

 

 

Tom Ford Summer, Rose Soleil, Sweet Spot & Paradiso lipsticks- Review, Photos & Swatches

Tom Ford Summer, Rose Soleil, Sweet Spot & Paradiso lipsticks- Review, Photos & Swatches

A Tom Ford seasonal release will never be complete without their most popular item, the lipsticks. And this time it’s pristine white packaging as last spring!!

TF Summer Soliel lipsticks

The Soleil summer collection, comes with 4 lipsticks. Two new colours, Skinny Dip and Rose Soleil, and also two repromoted shades, Sweet Spot & Paradiso (both which i’ve had in my stash already).

*Seen here are Rose Soleil and Sweet Spot, two new lipsticks sent by TF for review.

Tom Ford Rose soleil Sweet spot

The packaging is as always of supreme quality. The white doesn’t attract fingerprints or discolour easy (I have carried them around in my makeup bag many a time without it getting dirty or gunky) and is sturdy and well made. I also like that these lipsticks have a nice weight to them, suggestive of it’s luxury price point.

Tom Ford Summer

Tom Ford Lipstick Summer 2015 swatches

Rose Soleil is a warm, bronze toned rose with very fine golden shimmer. When swatched this had sheer payoff and high sheen, like a gloss in lipstick form. On the lips it looks less sheer and leaves a better deposit of colour, however never quite meeting the medium coverage mark.

I found the shimmer in this quite flattering and as someone who strictly prefer matte and cream finishes, that’s saying a lot. The wear of this is better than most sheer lipsticks and lasted well into 2 to 3 hours while wearing off evenly. Overall I feel it’s quite a unique colour and was my favourite of the lipsticks released.

Sweet Spot is a light peach with a high sheen finish. I love how this melts into the lips instantly adding warmth to the complexion. Coverage was medium, and had noticeably more pay off than Rose Soleil. Again wear was around 3- 3.5 hours, all the while keeping lips subtly hydrated.

Paradiso is a warm, bright, medium coral with heavy pink tones. Between the three this was the most buildable with coverage a solid medium. This too wore well with very good staying power. I got a 3 – 3.5 hours without it looking too faded.

Here’s what they look like worn.

Rose Soliel swatch review tom ford summer

Tom Ford summer sweet spot

Paradiso swatch tom ford summer lipstick

Application tips

I like to wear these lipsticks sheer as they were intended, without building up the colour too much. Since this is a very emollient formula, it tends to gather around the inner rim of the lips if there’s excess product sitting around.

Overall thoughts

I find these perfect for day to day wear as the high sheen make them look more youthful in comparison to a full-on opaque lipstick, and is a good option for summer lips where you don’t have to keep touching up regularly as they fade evenly.

The hydrating formula of these are very comforting to lips that are parched by the roaring summer sun and protects them from drying out. A perfect mix to see you through this season.

Other links

You can check out Sabrinas review on these, here. She has very helpful comparison swatches and a review of Skinny Dip as well! 

For swatches and first impressions on the Tom Ford summer collection, you can check out my earlier post, here.

Also drop by for a full review of the Pink Glow Eye & Cheek Compact, here.

Product info 

These lipsticks come with 3g or product and retail at SGD 72

Currently available at the Tom Ford Beauty counter at Tangs Orchard.