Thursday, January 30, 2014

Biotherm White D-Tox, Biosource, and Aquasource Skin Care Reviews + GIVEAWAY



Friday, January 31st marks the day of the 2014 Chinese New Year, and celebrations are well underway in Asia! Many Asian Americans do participate in the festivities with family gatherings and the symbolic red envelopes, but today, I turn the spotlight on skin care with Biotherm!
Biotherm is a French luxury skin care brand that incorporates active aquatic ingredients to create advanced skin care solutions. It is very popular in France, Canada, and of course, China. I had seen some of my favorite Asian Instagrammers posting photos and reviews of their Biotherm goodies last year, so I was very excited to try these products.


I will share with you 8 iconic Biotherm products, since 8 is the lucky number of the Chinese. Let's begin with the newest whitening products! White D-Tox is a gentle brightening line of skin care that fights against skin pigmentation at every step.
  • The White D-Tox Clarifying Lotion ($33 USD) is a toner with a fresh, lively fragrance that will contribute to a more even-toned complexion. Skin instantly looks more radiant and feels hydrated without looking oily or greasy. I apply this to the face and neck with a cotton pad after washing my face and follow with the White D-Tox serum.
  • The White D-Tox Liquid Light ($80 USD) is a 'triple illuminating' essence. This silky serum will help to create a more translucent complexion while hydrating the skin. It has a sweet floral scent that fades quickly, and it has a milky pink tint that instantly brightens. As recommended, play "piano" on your cheeks and pinch and pat the skin until it is fully absorbed, about 2 minutes. 
  • The Biosource Total and Instant Cleansing Micellar Water ($22 USD) does not irritate my skin or cause acne flare-ups. I am very particular with the cleansing waters I use, but this Biosource version removes makeup easily but gently. I use two damp cotton pads to remove a full face of makeup, though I still reserve my waterproof mascara for heavy duty cleansing oil. When my skin is particularly sensitive or dry, I will wash my face with cleansing water instead of a traditional face wash or cleansing foam. 
  • The Biosource Exfoliating Gel ($22 USD) is a cleanser ideal for everyday use on combination skin. It has a lightweight texture without leaning watery, and the mild exfoliating beads should not irritate even the most sensitive skin. It has a very refreshing scent!
  • The Cleansing Shower Milk ($27 USD) is a soap-free milky formula that is ideal for very dry skin since it is enriched with ultra-nourishing agents. I love the citrus essences of this body cleanser, and the formula's moisturizing agents effectively cleanse while pampering my dry skin.
  • The Aquasource Deep Hydration Replenishing Gel for Normal or Combination Skin ($39 USD) is my favorite Biotherm product. I am so glad to have discovered this because as much as I prefer fresh, cool gels to thicker creams, it has been difficult to find a gel that sufficiently hydrates. This mint-tinted, oil-free moisturizer has a dense, plush gel texture, so it is ideal for night time use. After all these years working in beauty, the Aquasource Replenishing Gel is most likely the best mid-range moisturizer for normal to combination skin that I have encountered thus far, and I look forward to using this all year round. It non-sticky and also does not contain any shimmer particles, which I absolutely love.
  • The Aquasource Emergency Hydration Mask ($28 USD) is excellent for immediate relief of dry patches. I also love to use it on my hands, which are prone to extreme dryness. The creamy gel mask goes to work as soon as I massage it in. I leave it on for ten minutes and wipe off the excess with a damp cotton pad without rinsing for plump, supple skin.
  • The Aquasource Biosensitive Eye Cream ($33 USD) was specifically developed to relieve redness, tightness, and tingling sensations while instantly smoothing eye features and reducing puffiness. I save my rich eye creams for my night-time routine and reach for this lighter, fluid eye cream for day use and under my makeup. 

I was pleasantly surprised with my first Biotherm experience, and I highly recommend the Aquasource Deep Hydration Replenishing Gel as well as the Biosource Cleansing Water. To celebrate the 2014 Chinese New Year, BIOTHERM is offering you a discount of $20 OFF any purchase over $80 with the promo code HORSE. This code will be active until February 3rd!

Now here's an opportunity to win your favorite Biotherm product. Officially submit your entries via the Rafflecopter widget and leave us a comment to share which of the 8 products featured here intrigued you most!

GIVEAWAY [Open to US and Canadian Residents!]
a Rafflecopter giveaway
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January 2014 Favorites - Foundations, Lipsticks/Lip Balm, and Skin Care



I love filming Favorites videos! I know these tend to be on the longer side, but I still end up tossing out quite a bit of footage while editing. For example, I wanted to discuss the Smashbox Full Exposure Eyeshadow palette that I'm holding up in the photo. It's a pretty neutral palette, but I decided to save my thoughts for a blog post instead. That way, you can take a comprehensive look at each of the swatches as well as my application tips & tricks in one go! I know some may be disappointed that I was not able to include a Hakuhodo brushes update, but the truth is, I absolutely love every single brush I purchased at IMATS! I have only washed one thus far, so I will put together a brush round-up review with comparisons to similar brush head styles after I have washed all seven. And without further ado, here are the products that made January's cut!


MAKEUP REVIEWED
**Score 50% OFF Sacha with promo code: RAE
MAC 187 Brush (shown is a discontinued Marcel Wanders edition) 
3LAB Aqua BB Cream SPF 40 [launches at Barney's in March]
**Score 30% OFF GlamGlow with promo code: RRGG30 
**Score 40% OFF Macademia Oil with promo code: RRMD40 
Chinese Laundry Janes Way Cage Heels 
For Reference: Chinese Laundry Lace-Up Jackpot Heels 

MAKEUP WORN
Koh Gen Do Aqua Foundation in 213 mixed with SUQQU Frame Fix Foundation in 003 
Anastasia Beverly Hills Dipbrow in Ebony 

Blouse:

Necklace:

Ring:

Nails:

SHOP THE POST


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Monday, January 27, 2014

TOM FORD Spring 2014 Beauty Look Book



"Beautiful and glowing skin touched with a bit of hot color is a ravishing Spring look — it is alluring and sexy."
__TOM FORD

Sheer, natural, effortless beauty is the focus of the Tom Ford Spring 2014 Color Collection launching officially this March. This limited edition line-up contains eight new sheer lip colors and four new nail lacquer shades that harmonize shimmering nudes with accents of hot, sun-kissed color. 



TOM FORD LIP COLOR CONDITIONER ($49 USD)
This exclusive new lip color collection, featuring 9 indispensable shades, is housed in Tom Ford's iconic ivory and golden case. The semi-translucent formula, in a distinct beveled form, contains a blend of moisturizing ingredients, such as Vitamin C and E, Shea Butter, and other natural oils. Available now at Nordstrom.



TOM FORD NAIL LACQUER ($32 USD)
A perfectly edited collection of four fresh colors, with extra-amplified gloss and shine, complete the Tom Ford Spring look. Shades come in the original high-performance formula with bendable coating that delivers high coverage easily and fluidly, insuring that the lacquer stays color-true throughout wear. Available now at Nordstrom.

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Sunday, January 26, 2014

Bright-Eyed, Natural 'Everyday' Makeup for Spring 2014 + Tutorial



As much as I love dramatic eye looks, I rarely wear smoky eyes or even dark eyeshadows these days. I like to keep things natural and simple, especially when the weather is gloomy, so I have found that the easiest way to perk up my look is to focus on brightening the eyes. A little bit of highlighter in the tear duct area and perfectly curled lashes with a hint of elongating eyeliner is really all it takes to add some polish to any outfit. I like to think of this as a template tutorial, so feel free to layer on more blush and add some half lashes to the outer corners of the eyes! Have fun with it xo


Products Used:
Panasonic Heated Eyelash Curler
-- Discount Code: CURLIT / Click here to purchase
Anastasia Brow Powder Duo in Granite
MAC 266 Angled Brush
By Terry Hyaluronic Eye Primer in Neutral
Bobbi Brown Spring 2014 Nude Glow 'Bronze' Eyeshadow Palette
Hakuhodo Kokutan Eye Brush ML
Sigma Exact Blend E32 Eye Brush
MAC 239 Flat Shader Eye Brush
EM Cosmetics Waterliner in Chocolate Dream
Dior Eyeliner Brush
Eyeko Black Magic Mascara
Clinique Spring 2014 Cheek Pop 'Plum Pop' Blush
Bobbi Brown Blush Brush
Dior Crème de Rose SPF 10 Lip Balm
ALSO WORN:
Burberry Sheer Cover Fluid Foundation in 4
Dior Nude Powder Compact Foundation in 20
Tom Ford Matte Bronzer in Terra

Nails:
Glitzy Nail Bar

Blouse:
Black Twisted Draped Blouse

Earrings:
House of Harlow White Sunburst Studs

SHOP THE POST
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Wednesday, January 22, 2014

YSL Gloss Volupté Lip Gloss Collection Photos, First Impressions, Swatches [ALL 27 SHADES]



YVES SAINT LAURENT Gloss Volupté.
The Volupté sage continues with this new lip gloss formula from YSL.
Scandalously shiny. Extremely creamy. Sensual to ecstasy. Irresistibly tempting to kiss. Yves Saint Lauren offers lips a totally unique experience with its new sense-stimulating gloss, the latest addition to the Volupté family. 

A revolutionary formula, luscious nectar, with an extreme high-shine. Its heavenly light texture, creamy beyond compare, embraces the lips like a sensual "bouche à bouche" thanks to its patented kiss-shaped applicator. Lips are lathered in intense glossy color with golden, iridescent or pure color, outlining an irresistible smile that stirs the desire for more. Indulge in the sensual pleasure of its sumptuous texture, luscious color and dazzling shine.

27 COLORS OF KISSES ($32 USD)
  • N1 Gold
  • N2 Or Saharienne
  • N3 Rose Fusion
  • N4 Fuchsia Vermeil
  • N10 Or Rose
  • N15 Grenade Pepite
  • N19 Rose Orfevre
  • N20 Nude Carat
  • N30 Corail Lingot
  • N49 Terriblement Fuchsia
  • N101 Iridescent 
  • N102 Rose Satine
  • N103 Opium Persan
  • N104 Prune Organdi
  • N201 Pure
  • N202 Rose Jersey
  • N203 Corail Gandoura
  • N204 Corail Trapeze
  • N205 Rouge Shantung
  • N206 Fouchsia Oran
  • N207 Rouge Velours
  • N208 Fauve
  • N209 Smoking


FIRST IMPRESSIONS  +  SWATCHES

I purchased the delectable 206 Fouchsia Oran at Nordstrom and plan to review it in a couple weeks.  I tried half a dozen Gloss Voluptés directly on my lips since the testers were brand new, but 206 was the most comfortable on my lips and most flattering against my complexion. For now, I will comment that the kiss-shaped applicator is not gimmicky whatsoever and allows for versatile application. I wish more 'Pure' or shimmer-free colors were available, but do try 207 Rouge Velours (another Pure) or the subtly shimmering shades like 202 Rose Jersey, 203 Corail Gandoura, and 205 Rouge Shantung first if you have sensitive lips like I do. I will admit, however, that I was impressed by the iridescents in 30 Corail Lingot, a bronzy peach, and 49 Terriblement Fuchsia, as worn by the model in the campaign ad. I may go back for those since the formula is smoother than I had anticipated it'd be.
TIP: If you are interested in a baby pink, 19 Rose Orfevre is perfection! Not too pale and very pigmented!


209 Smoking was a pleasant surprise since I can still recall an identical black YSL lipgloss from nearly five years ago. Do not be intimated by how bold it may look, since it is sheer and used to add a 'vampy' effect. It looks best over burgundy, plum, and red lipsticks. Now, the 201 Pure gloss is a great alternative for those who love high shine but would rather steer clear of color and shimmer. I was hesitant when I noticed the higher shimmer content of some — particularly the gold top coat — but these Gloss Voluptés a definitely worth try. The Golden Glosses do have more glitz and glam, but I prefer this new gloss formula since it feels more plush and less gritty, not sticky. The Gloss Volupté collection strikes the right balance between sparkling and shiny finishes!



SHOP MORE YSL LIPS


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Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush for Spring 2014



Ignite your accent light with the new AMBIENT LIGHTING BLUSH ($35 USD)
Discover a new way to blush: This groundbreaking hybrid combines the customized lighting effects of Ambient Lighting Powder with a spectrum of breathtakingly modern hues. The result in seamless, soft-focus and multidimensional color.

Hourglass has fused Ambient Lighting Powder, the cutting-edge collection of finishing powders, with an array of vivid cheek colors, creating a hybrid product that is unique, contemporary and revolutionary. Unlike traditional blush, which tends to be flat, Ambient Lighting Blush uses Photoluminescent Technology to exhibit depth and dimension. The airy, lightweight powders contain optically transparent particles that amplify the colors to a multi-dimensional level — effectively reinventing the way you view blush. The state-of-the-art formula means that its full potential is only displayed on application. The hand-made powders are formulated using an advanced miscelare technique — which means "to mix" in Italian — creating the perfect balance of pigment and powder, and no two look alike.


The Ambient Lighting Blush delivers a radiant natural finish and offers buildable color. It is designed to be paired with Ambient Lighting Powder. Using the two products together inbues the entire complexion with an otherworldly glow. The six shades, which range from soft coral to cool pink, are a wardrobe of captivating accent lights for cheeks. Free of parabens, talc, fragrance, nanoparticles, and gluten. No animal testing.

6 PERMANENT SHADES

  • Radiant Magenta: A golden fuchsia blush combined with Radiant Light for a summer glow
  • Mood Exposure: A soft plum blush fused with Mood Light to brighten the complexion
  • Diffused Heat: A vibrant poppy blush combined with Diffused Light for a subtle halo effect
  • Ethereal Glow: A cool pink blush fused with Ethereal Light for a moonlight luminosity
  • Dim Infusion: A subdued coral blush fused with Dim Light to add warmth 
  • Luminous Flush: A champagne rose blush fused with Luminous Light to evoke a candlelit glimmer
AVAILABILITY: Launching first at Hourglasscosmetics.com on January 24th, 2014. Launching February 2014 at Barneys New York, Bergdorf Goodman, Net-A-Porter.com, Sephora, and SpaceNK.



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