Tuesday, August 30, 2011

coloring my world with crayons

Blogging is far and few in between as my 4-year-old gets ready for Kindergarten!  Time sure flies!  
Here she is enjoying her last days of summer vacation with her Princess Leia hair on a hot day ;)

Thursday, August 25, 2011

wishlist : end of summer blues

Summer will soon come to an end.. here are some of the items I'd like to have to transition into Fall
(but let's be honest, some are, of course, more attainable than the other..)

*Les Jeans de Chanel nail polish trio - Blue Rebel, Blue Boy, Coco Blue
*Rag and Bone Pocket Tank
*3.1 Phillip Lim Silk Contrast Sweater
*Rag and Bone Skinny Jeans in Cobalt
*Louboutin Kasha Caged Shoes
*Louboutin Artemis Handbag
*Creed Original Cologne (perhaps someday it will come in a smaller bottle)
*Tom Ford Private Blend Lipstick (all new shades!)

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

that 70's vibe : diane von furstenberg fall 2011

I have always been a big fan of Diane Von Furstenberg and her timeless and classic wrap dresses.
I remember purchasing my first wrap dress almost 10 years ago and from then on I was hooked.  I just love her easy pieces, and for Fall, I saw this collection from Neiman Marcus and fell in love with DVF all over again.  

I love love love this Kipling Chevron-Print Dress!!!

*all images via neiman marcus

Thursday, August 18, 2011

chanel le jeans de chanel

This is an exclusive and limited edition capsule collection that will be available in September 
for Fashion's Night Out. 


easing into fall : dolce and gabbana orchid lipstick

I was going through my lipsticks and ran into this lovely magenta shade I haven't worn in a while.  It is the Dolce and Gabbana Orchid lipstick, which I believe was from last year's fall collection.  Either way, I thought this is a perfect transition shade from summer into fall without going too dark.  I love the texture and slight creaminess of this lipstick.  There is a bit of a shine on the finish, and I think gloss is optional on this one.

Here are some lip swatches.. no primer or lipliner..

Summer is quickly coming to an end.. this year is going by so fast!   Sure I will miss the sunny days.. 
but I am looking forward to the sultry colors of autumn.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

guerlain's it girl : natalia vodianova

I just love model Natalia Vodianova.  I was quite thrilled to see these behind the scenes photos for Guerlain Fall 2011.  I think she is just gorgeous in any looks and makeup transformations.  Guerlain definitely has the best face for its line, hands down.

*all images via Guerlain

Thursday, August 11, 2011

makeup inspiration for fall : gucci runway

I love the combination of the luscious lip colors in reds, aubergines and bordeaux
with the jewel-toned clothing on the Gucci Runway.

*all images via style.com

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

product rave : effaclar duo dual action acne treatment

This is pretty much how I wanted to walk around last weekend.  Sure I've had a few blemishes in the past, but nothing compared to the rage that my hormones unleashed 5 days ago!  It was so bad that instead of waiting for an appointment with a derm, I trekked the drugstore (no way I'm going to the mall) for a cure!  But seriously, is there anything that the drugstore can offer?  Pretty much any skincare I purchased there had ended up in the trash bin.. until I saw this:

Effaclar Duo

According to La Roche-Posay:

Breakthrough Technology
Patent-pending combination of Micronized Benzoyl Peroxide [5.5%] to reduce acne inflammation and Micro-exfoliating LHA [0.4%] to exfoliate and even texture. Clinically proven to reduce acne as effectively as the leading acne prescription.²
Recommended For
Mild to moderate acne-prone skin. Mixed blackheads and whiteheads with inflamed breakouts.
  • As effective as the leading acne prescription²
  • Visibly reduces inflammatory and non-inflammatory acne in only 3 days
  • Fragrance-free, oil-free, paraben-free, non-comedogenic
  • Dermatologist tested on sensitive and multi-ethnic skin types

The one I ended up purchasing came with a free Effaclar Purifying Foam Gel, which I used alongside the treatment.  The first night, I cleansed with the Effaclar cleanser and used a muslin cloth as opposed to a brush or sonic cleanser.  Then instead of my usual night routine, I just applied the Effaclar Duo on the affected areas.  Now the instructions on the label say it can be used all over the face, but I concentrated mainly on the blemishes.  I noticed a couple of hours later that the redness and pain had subsided.

The following nights, I did the same routine, but on the third and fourth nights, I noticed dryness on the areas I applied the products more liberally, so on those nights, I added an oil-free moisturizer.  I think I noticed the major difference by the third day, the swollen blemishes have pretty much subsided down to nothing. On the fourth night, all that I noticed where a few dark marks that the blemishes left behind.  Today is the fifth day, and I woke up to to healed blemishes, just a few dry spots that I treated with the moisturizer.

Effaclar Duo Ingredients (click on photo to enlarge)

These are the first La Roche-Posay products I have tried and I can safely say, would not be the last.  The Effaclar Purifying Cleanser will probably be the next item I will purchase in full size.  It did not irritate or dry out my skin after cleansing.  I have never had any luck with any drugstore skincare or makeup products in the past, maybe with the exception of nail polishes.  Now I know that there are a few hidden gems on some of the shelves -- However, Effaclar Duo came with a hefty, non-drugstore tag -- $29.99 for a 1.35 fl.oz. tube.  I purchased mine at CVS and got the pack with the free cleanser so maybe that somehow made up for the price.  

Friday, August 5, 2011

weekend wishlist : fall fever!

Guerlain Mosaic Bronzer (keep that summer glow!)

Givenchy Leather Cuff

Isabel Marant Cleane Booties

Elizabeth and James Tee with leather sleeves

Rebecca Minkoff Kate leopard print blouse

And any colored denim to offset all the neutral colors!! 
(image via Neiman Marcus)

sunny and naked

Not much to see here folks.. just the mood for my mani-pedi!

I went with naked nails for my manicure using Essie Tie The Knot

And did a sunny-themed toes with China Glaze Lemon Fizz

*Disclaimer: No little piggies were harmed in these photos -- they're sporting a pair of Stuart Weitzman sandals and cooling off with a non-alcoholic lemonade sparkler! 

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

chanel le blanc : light mastering whitening fluid foundation spf 25 / pa+++ review

According to the Chanel site:

Inspired by the fine pearl, the beauty secret of Mademoiselle Chanel and a model of radiance and perfection, CHANEL creates LE BLANC: a new whitening range featuring skincare and makeup. 

Specially designed for Asian skin, the fine, lightweight LE BLANC fluid foundation melts over the skin to reveal an absolutely luminous complexion with a delicate semi-matte finish.

The groundbreaking Mineral Ceramic Pigments optically erase imperfections and dark spots for a perfectly even and translucent complexion. Along with the anti-dulling and anti-yellowing action of Pearl Protein Extract, moisturization is encouraged for smooth, plumped skin that glows with radiance.

A key whitening ingredient, the Liquorice Extract balances melanin production to enhance a fair complexion. SPF 25 / PA+++ protects the skin from sun rays and helps preserve its original beauty. Your pearl-perfect complexion looks plumped and radiant all day long…

Chanel Le Blanc Light Mastering Whitening Fluid is an Asia exclusive foundation from the Le Blanc Collection.  With that said, Nordstrom had brought part of the collection to their Anniversary event with the exclusion of the skincare, liquid foundation and powder foundation. 

The packaging reminds me of Chanel Mat Lumiere, but the cap and pump on the Le Blanc foundation is white... but that's where all the similarities stop.  I have this in the shade B30, which is the darkest shade in the range!  In comparison to other Chanel foundations, it lies between Cendre 30 and Beige 40.  Talk about limited shades!  For some odd reason, this foundation's texture reminds me so much of a BB Cream, I don't know if that's because it is geared toward the Asian market and a BB Cream feel is the approach that Chanel felt was more appealing.

half a pump of product

product spread out

The texture is rather thick.  The first time I applied this foundation, I picked up the Real Techniques Stippling Brush to stipple and blend out the product.  Bad idea.  The foundation had set before I can fully blend the product.  I have heard people complain about Mat Lumiere as a hard to blend product, well, Le Blanc beats out Mat Lumiere in that arena.  I have found that using your fingers is the best way to apply this foundation.

fully blended (with flash)

fully blended (no flash)

The coverage on this foundation is light to medium.  I couldn't get a full coverage with this it even with a third layer, which I'm not keen on doing.  I stop at a second layer if needed.  The finish is semi-matte as described above.  I do prefer to finish with a setting powder after applying this product.  As far as wear goes, basing it on a hot or humid day, it is not as long-lasting as say, the Mat Lumiere, but it definitely lasted longer on my skin in comparison to Pro Lumiere.  I had to blot after 3 hours, and touch up after 7 hours.  I have combination skin, only my t-zone suffers the most shine. 

(click on the image to enlarge list of ingredients)

Overall, if you are seeking to get the benefits of this foundation, or have a lighter skin tone, give it a go.  Otherwise, I don't think that this is the foundation for those looking for great coverage and for flash photography (because of the SPF 25).  I noticed that this contains the same Liquorice Extract just like the UV Essentiel I previously reviewed.  I like this foundation for everyday wear since it has the higher sun protection, and it does feel light on the skin.  It also doesn't hurt to reap the benefits that it promises.  However, I do feel that Chanel has created superior formulas when it comes to texture and coverage in their other foundations, in comparison to this one. I think Le Blanc should be categorized as a treatment foundation to get its share of fair reviews.

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