Monday, 30 November 2009

Workout at Becca! Friends & Family Global discount of 25%

25% discount offer valid only at or via phone orders.

Enter promo code: FF1209 at checkout

Valid now until December 4th 2009 (midnight EST)

What will you be getting? I'm thinking Watermelon peach tint...

I would highly recommend their duo concealer if you're wondering what to get ; D

Friday, 27 November 2009

Beauty Blog tag!

Long time no blog everyone : D Hope you've been doing well. This is a long overdue blog as I was nominated very kindly for blog awards by 2 fellow beauty bloggers- jellyminx and clearlybeautiful.blogspot. Thanx laydeez!

So I #think# this is what I have to do in order to accept these awards:

1. Thank the person who nominated me for this award.
2. Copy the award and place it on my blog. (I tried but it won't paste!)
3. Link to the person who nominated me for this award.
4. Name 7 things that people might find interesting; (yikes) (Gorgeous Blogger award)
5. Nominate 7 Bloggers
6. Post links to the 7 blogs I nominate.
7. Leave a comment on each of the blogs/Email them letting them know they have been nominated.

OK so here goes. 7 things that might be interesting (which I have covered some of them in a YT vid!) and which are the first things that come to my head:

1. I am part Chinese, part English. Love you Mum and Dad!
2. I play in a netball league. Love it for the team spirit and competition to push yourself to be a better player for the team.
3. I only started to get into makeup about 5 years ago after joining makeupalley - so I was a late bloomer!
4. I lost 25lbs on Weight Watchers and have kept it off for 4 years.
5. I have been on a couple of makeup courses which I found challenging and fun - definitely out of my comfort zone!
6. I have a scar on my right eyebrow which my mum unintentionally and accidentally dropped me whilst I was sitting on her lap as a baby as she was playing mahjong (popular Chinese domino like game) - it can be an exciting game that you forget your baby is sitting on your lap!
7. My day job is a Project Manager so I pride myself on excellent organisational skills at work. However, this doesn't apply to my home life sometimes!

7 blogs I love & that I check pretty much daily and who I nominate - most of them there are no surprises (in no order):

- belledejour at
Just a very cool lady living the life in NYC

- lollipop26 at
What can I say - the original beauty blogger and YTer

- gossmakeupartist at
Another what can I say - we all love him. Just a great giving person - and a talented MUA and a Brit to boot!

- rougedeluxe at
This is my trusted source for all that is happening in Asia. Always keeping in touch with what's new and researching for my visits there!

- birdsdecoratebrances at
Just the most gorgeous eye looks ever. EVER.

- makeup bag at
My trusted source of info for things going on in the US, again another place I stop at to research for US trips!

- 15 steps, then a beauty blog at
A newly found blog for me, great FOTDs and reviews. Look forward to more!

Take care now : D

Friday, 13 November 2009

A Smashbox Workout - makeover and Interview with Daniel Chavez, Director of International Artistry and Training

I had a bad end to a tough week at work so it was with great relief and release when I left work tonight as I had a makeover booked at the newly launched Smashbox counter at Debenhams in London's Oxford Street. There was no booking fee. I was tres excited because I am indeed a fan of the line, and have always wanted a makeover from a Smashbox professional, not least from one of their top artists and trainer of Smashbox artists worldwide.

It didn't go without hiccups as when I arrived Daniel had popped to the loo, though the other artists thought he had left for the day. Disappointed, and miffed because I had had a difficult end to my working day, I left feeling dissatisfied. But soon after (whilst browsing in House of Fraser next door), I received a call from the Smashbox counter saying they had got it wrong and apologised as Daniel was indeed in the building and had wanted to see me and could I come back. It didn't take much persuasion : D And it was worth going back. Daniel is lovely. Of course he and his team were there to promote Smashbox so no doubt there would be much extolling of the line. But, and maybe cos I was receptive to it, I liked that he was so full of energy, had genuine enthusiasm for the Smashbox line and was all ears, patiently answering questions of customers and shoppers. This picture says it all:

It was with some trepidation that I agreed to be his model for a demonstration (you know the kind where the MUA puts on a microphone set so that he can be heard above the shopping buzz?) but once I placed myself in those black director chairs with the Smashbox logo printed on it, I already felt special. Yes, I am taking this way serious ; D

Daniel demonstrated a black/grey smoky eye look on me using a few new products I haven't tried and some that I love. I've posted a pic with details of what was used at the bottom of this post.

Daniel was kind enough to answer my many questions (whilst he was making up another customer at the same time - I'm an avid supporter of multi-tasking!) - so here they are. Again, I only had a pad and paper so I have paraphrased it.

Smashbox has been a brand available internationally for some time, so what is the reason for its appearance in a London store now?
Daniel: Smashbox has been available at QVC UK for about 5 years now, and it was an exclusive contract held with QVC which has come to an end just this year. So we've only just now been able to open counters in the UK.

What would you say distinguishes Smashbox from other makeupartist lines?
Daniel: Smashbox is different in that it was created to be a problem solving and innovative line, both to deal with the hot lights and long working hours on professional TV, film and photography sets as well regarding itself as a fashion forward makeup line.

What's the difference between the Jet Set eyeliners and the Cream eyeliners?
Daniel: The one thing you notice about the Smashbox permanent line is that there are no eyeliner pencils - practically every other cosmetic makeup brand does have an eye pencil. But what happens to an eyeliner when it is near heat (ie hot weather/environment)? It melts. It's the same when you apply eye pencil to your waterline, the warmth from your eye makes it melt and wear off. That's why Smashbox created Jet Set as well the Cream eyeliners - to prevent this melting effect so that they stay on longer on your eyes. Both of these products are the same thing with the exception that Jet Set is made to set in c.15 seconds whereas the Cream eyeliner sets in 60 seconds so you have more playtime (ie. can smudge the eyeliner) before it sets.

Name one product that you would recommend as a must have to a newbie to Smashbox?
Halo Hydrating Perfecting Powder

Name one product that you would recommend as a must have to an existing Smashbox fan?
Photo Finish Foundation Primer (which is, if you haven't heard of it by now their No 1 best selling product)

Who's your favourite celebrity to make up?
Well, I haven't been making up celebrities for a while now as I have been busy travelling for Smashbox, but the most recent celebrity job was backstage for the Ugly Betty cast for the SAG awards 2009. They were really fun - I did America Ferrera, Vanessa Williams and the best was making over Becki Newton. She was really lovely and friendly - beautiful.

Here are some pics I googled of Daniel's work at the SAG Awards 2009:

Becki Newton

America Ferrera

Vanessa Williams

And this is a cheeky question, but is Hank Hoffman married? (For those of you who aren't aware, Hank Hoffman is one of Smashbox's top MUAs and who features on alot of their YT vids and on the Smashbox website - having built up quite a fan base - go check him out!))
Daniel: (laughs) Ummm....not sure if I am allowed to say......

I'm asking a cheeky he attached?(snigger, snigger)
Daniel: Yes...let's say he is attached!

In the end, it was a really nice event and Daniel was so obliging - of which I appreciated. Cheers Daniel!

I didn't purchase anything (and there was no pressure to either), as I am waiting to check out the Holiday Eye Wish palette which comes out in Debenhams next week - it's a new lemming!

Here's a final pic of Daniel and I (under the obligatory Smashbox signage!)

I didn't have time to write the colours/shades of the products that were used on me but here's what was used:

Anti Shine
Photo Finish Foundation Primer
Camera Ready Full Coverage Foundation UVA/UVB SPF 15
High Definition Liquid Concealer
Halo Hydrating Perfecting Powder
Brow tech
Photo Finish Lid primer
Cream e/l in Caviar (love this!)
Twilight e/s trio (shades of silver, black, frost white, and yes inspired by the book/
Layer Lash primer
Lash DNA mascara (love this too and I learned a good trick which I wll post soon!)
O Plump (didn't like the ginger/menthol feel to this)

There were also some tips from Daniel that I'll be posting about in the next few posts, cos this one has just gone on too long!

I hope you enjoyed it anyway, and I would check out the Smashbox counter if you are near a Debenhams that stocks it in the UK. Best to ring up. The line has some hits and misses - would you like me to post my experience of these and some of the things I loved - and not loved? Just let me know.

Thanks for bearing with the length of this - and for staying with it!

Monday, 9 November 2009

WEEKEND FOTD WORKOUT - Shu newbies and MAC Espresso

Just a FOTD that I did over the weekend which was easy to do using my new Shu purchases and a MAC e/s I received in a swap.

Here it is:

MAC Espresso e/s is surprisingly one of those shadows that is easy to blend into a smoky eye without needing to have a billion e/s to create depth. I also used a smidgen of my fave black eye khol on the outer corner - YSL Kajal Majorelle (LE) - and then used a brush to blend it out and upwards. Any waxy black khol or gel e/l would do - you could use Stila Kajal e/l in Onyx.

Also using my new Shu blush, brown cream e/s as a base and Shu brow gel - which I am liking both very much.

Here's the rest of the products I used:

LM Moisturising foundation in Sunny Beige
Prescriptives All Skins Mineral Powder Fdn (L2 Warm Medium)
Becca duo concealer in Tahini
Jouer flesh colour e/l on bottom inner line
Shu cream e/s M Sand Brown as an eye base
MAC Brule on brow highlight and inner corner
MAC Espresso all over lid and blended upwards
YSL Majorelle Kajal on outer corner and upperwaterline
Maybelline WP Full & Soft mascara in Very Black
Shu brow gel in Forest Black
Shu glow on blush M Orange 55
A touch of MAC Global Glow on top of cheeks
Korres Lip Butter in Jasmine

Any fave e/s that you like to use for a smoky eye?

Saturday, 7 November 2009

A British Beauty workout - my top 5 British beautiful exports

This post is a chat really on 5 British actresses currently in Hollywood who I think are just beautiful and whose beauty, style, elegance and talent I admire. It's spurned on by this month's UK Instyle cover girl - Thandie Newton. She's one of the top 5 for me. And I emphasise the 'current' bit (cos lord knows I could go back to the 40s with Vivienne Leigh, Liz Taylor etc).

Thandie Newton

Rachel Weisz

Catherine Zeta-Jones

PS. CZJ has come a long way in the makeup department IMO!

Kate Winslet

Emily Blunt

I loved the Harper's Bazaar UK cover of Emily, and the spread in the magazine was also really cool. I still have the issue.

They're all brunette-ish (bar one). Go brunettes!

Wednesday, 4 November 2009

Shu Uemura workout - a treat

I took advantage of tonight's 20% discount at the Shu boutique in Covent Garden and took home a few things. I had a tough day at work today and amidst a few weeks of feeling a little low lately (work reasons - nothing insurmountable but y'know we have our off weeks) I wanted a treat : D I've also wanted to try some Shu blushes. I haven't bought anything from Shu in ages but I have one blush from them that I absolutely adore (M Peach 44) which just lights up my face. Seriously, if I feel sick or am looking pale this blush does wonders.

So I went in without much research and really just needed to enjoy a pleasant makeup experience. Which I did. The MUAs were so nice and not at all pressurising - just completely letting me play around for as long as I wanted and being available when I needed. And the shop was busy with customers in and out but the MUAs managed it really well IMO.

So I came away with this:

Below, a swatch of the blush - M Orange 55. It is gorgeous. A real instant pick me up. Looks bright in the pan - but layered on gradually and then blended out it looks stunning IMO! I really wanted to try a stronger, more intense blush - something that I'm not used to.

Then 2 unexpected buys - eyebrow gel in Forest Black and cream eyeshadow in M Sand Brown. I was looking for a coloured eyebrow gel in wand form (like MACs but they never had testers out!) and the MUA showed me this gel e/l (reminds me of Bobbi Brown's gel e/l) and it seemed so easy when she applied it (I watched in a hand mirror). Time will tell if I can recreate it! She also suggested the brown cream e/s not only as a base but said that it will bring out any e/s colour, and she proceeded to show me applying a bright lilac and then a dark bronze e/s over it. They both were intensified - I was quite surprised that the brown colour didn't dull the e/s colours as I expected.

So here are some swatches:

And of course, I've always wanted to try the cleasing oils which are so famed - and I was given samples of the tea tree oil version.

All in all, the experience was a definite pick me up. And what I needed. Something new that I wasn't expecting - but not overboard IMO. Definitely I'll be looking out for the next 20% discount Shu event at the Covent Garden store which they're organising before Xmas (though I don't know the date yet).

I'll let you know how I get on with these products : D

Sunday, 1 November 2009

Le Metier de Beaute vs Laura Mercier - Foundation workout

I have found my HG foundation. Prescriptives All Skins Mineral Powder foundation. End of.

The makeup fiend in me is always drawn to foundations. I think I've only just realised that. I think maybe because I think base is an important, perhaps THE most important, part of a good makeup look. I have quite a lot of foundations, and have tested quite a lot too. Yesterday was no exception : D I met up with some lovely UK makeupalley members - we meet up every so often - in London (hello ladies if you are reading this)to trawl around the counters and have a spot of lunch.

So, we were at Liberty and I wanted to stop by the Korres counter, just to play. Opposite Korres was a newish brand to Liberty - Le Metier. Now I had read about the brand from various bloggers but nothing really caught my eye as it seemed to me to be in the same box as Chantecaille and By Terry - both brands that don't quite do it for me. (Ok, maybe Chantecaille does sometimes)

If I'm honest the beautiful SA caught my eye - she had a great smoky bronze eyeshadow thing going on (I am a sucker for bronze shadows) and so I moseyed on over. With a quick scan of the products in front of me, the row of foundation bottles caught my eye too. They reminded me very much of Laura Mercier's packaging and when I swatched their Classic Flawless Finish Liquid Foundation on my hand - it seemed very similar to my LM Moisturising Foundation, except it had a bit more 'shine'/'moisture' in its finish.

I then asked the MUA to apply it on me (she used their synthetic foundation brush) and the resulting finish was very nice and polished. It gave very good coverage and had a bit of 'shine' to it. A bit of powder over it reduced the shine. The MUA proceeded to tell me that the foundation was developed to be long lasting and so there was no need for a primer. It also contains hyaluronic acid (something that always pricks my ears) which binds moisture to the skin - and a property you find in anti-ageing creams to keep skin supple and moisturised when the skin ages. For the next few hours the foundation stayed on well but on my T zone (especially on my nose)
I became shiny - in that not good way - and touching up with powder took that away although maintained the foundation's 'moisturised' overall look.

I got home and took some pics in order to compare it against my LM moisturising. I know the lighting varies (and I look a bit more yellow in some pics than others - but I tried my best). So here they are:

Close up of coverage and finish of Le Metier Classic Foundation in IV

Close up of coverage and finish of Laura Mercier Moisturising Foundation in Sunny Beige

Full Face Le Metier foundation

Full Face LM foundation

I think they are very similar in packaging, coverage, durability, quality and almost similar in finish. Le Metier's gives a bit more shine and feels a tad bit more tacky. The LM is more of a satin finish and for my combo skin does not look dewy or shiny at all. Le Metier retails at £40 whereas LM retails at £32. Both would last you ages.

For my skin now I would pick the LM because it is practically the same product, a bit cheaper and is not a shiny finish as I find the Le Metier on me. But then Le Metier contains hyaluronic acid which helps moisturise your skin. So I think this foundation would definitely suit drier skins and I would definitely look at it if my skin turns drier as I get older. I cld see this working for my mum for e.g.

This turned out to be a very long post, sorry bout that, but I just typed as I thought! If you've lasted this long thanks for staying with me! Hope it was helpful anyway.