Thursday, March 27, 2014

March Favourites 2014

March marks the month of my birth and the start of my favourite season autumn, so it's a fairly good month. I must admit that this month I haven't worn too much makeup and when I have the looks were quite simple, So picking out my favourites was a little bit of a struggle, but i've managed it.

My friend recently went on a trip to America and the sweetie picked up the Tarte Amazonian Clay Blush in Exposed for me. I had actually passed on this during my own trip to Hawaii in October, but reconsidered it when I had another chance at it and i'm so glad I got it this time. It has instantly become a favourite because it is so easy to use, extremely flattering (I would imagine on plently of different skin tones) and suits a whole host of different makeup looks. MAC MSF in Comfort is something I've had for years, I picked it up in Boston in 2010 and for so long questioned why on earth I bought it. But i've finally found love for it and i've been using is plenty. Since it has a soft shimmer running through it, I love using this as a golden peach blusher/bronzer - It adds so much warmth to the skin and its so lovely.

During Christmas I picked up a few lippies from Giorgio Armani and have been in absolute love. I can't understand why their lip products are so underrated because the formulation of the lip laquers are so comfortable, pigmented and beautiful. Pictured is the Giorgio Armani Lip Laquer in 504 and it is definitely my kind of lip colour - It is actually more of a pink/berry colour and I love wearing this with just mascara for a really fast and put together look. M.A.C Satin Lipstick in Rebel, is another one of those really good lipsticks that you can just slap on for an instand 'look'. This I can imagine would be on a lot of autumn/winter staple lists. I always feel so badass wearing this colour and whilst i'm not huge on M.A.C lipsticks, the formulation of this is so nice, pigmented and smooth - I also don't get any lip peeling with this one. Definite thumbs up.

Lastly, Clarins Beauty Flash Balm - this has quickly become a staple in my makeup routine and sometimes my skincare routine. My skin is an annoying combination of dry/normal with dehydration usually between my brows and sometimes around my mouth. I just smooth a thin layer of this on before my foundation and it instantly gives my skin a boost of radiance and an added layer of moisture. It's one of those products that the industry just loves and you don't really understand the hype about it until you buy it, use it, then stop using and once you stop using it, it hits you like 'ohhhhhh, that's what it did'. Really hard to explain but on my skin it works wonders. I use it here as a base in my Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk review.

So those were my March picks. My brother will be going to America in two weeks and I'll be doing a fairly large haul - buying products for my professional kit and killing some high end lemmings for my self.

So let me know below, what were your favourites for the month of March. I'd love to know and maybe try a few of them out too!

Thi Ly Tran xx
instagram: thilytran

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation Review

For almost a year now, my foundation of choice has been the Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation, it is quite a cult favourite winning beauty awards year after year and personally I can completely understand why. For reference my skin is dry/normal combination and I usually have dehydration around my nose and especially inbetween my brows.

PACKAGING: The foundation comes in a nice weighted frosted glass bottle with a built in pump for convenience. Whilst is it quite standard these days for foundation to have this feature, I can think of several foundations which still don't include this essential feature, so I thought that was definitely worth a mention. The design it self is very modest and minimal which I can really appreciate.

PRICE & AVAILABILITY: Giorgio Armani cosmetics are stocked in selected Myers and David Jones and can be purchased online from both department stores. This foundation in Australia retails for $90 (30ml), which is the most I have ever paid for a foundation. With such a hefty price tag this is definitely a luxury item, but if you can afford to splurge and it is suitable for your skin, it is well worth the price. Definitely ask for a sample first or try on in stores, again I don't recommend purchasing online unless you are sure of your colour match.

FORMULATION: A nice fluid formula that is oil free and spf free. Good for flash photography and bridal shoots as there won't be any white flash back. You might not enjoy this is you need to have spf in your everyday foundation but foundations generally only have spf 15 which really isn't enough anyway. Light weight on the skin and not heavy at all, it will eventually set and dry but if aren't used to or just don't like a more dewy wet touch then you may want to avoid this.

APPLICATION & WEAR: So comparing the before and after, my skin is actually in pretty good condition at the moment; no active breakouts and the skin is quite even in tone and texture - there is slight dryness around the nose area and little around the chin. Before applying the foundation I applied my moisturiser and a layer of Clarins Beauty Flash Balm as a primer - I really enjoy the boost of moisture and how it gives my skin an extra glow. I applied the foundation with an angled kabuki brush and set the t-zone with a tiny bit of Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Powder.

You can definitely see how the overall colour of my compexion has been evened out and how it leaves my dry/normal + dehydrated combination skin with a really healthy natural complexion, it doesn't look 'cakey' or feel heavy either. It doesn't accentuate any dry skin and doesn't make me look tired - I have found that some foundations make me look worse after I apply it. On my skin I get about 6-8 hours of wear, by the end of the day it will start breaking down on my forehead and around my nose, but all foundations do the same so I will need to touch up those areas. Some friends with oily skin don't like this at all as they complained it doesn't have any oil control properties.

OVERALL: I definitely recommend this if you have dry or normal or dry combination skin like mine and want something nice for both day time use and night time photography use. But with the hefty price tag, unless you're willing to splash out $90 on a bottle for everyday wear you may want to look else where and maybe reserve this for those special occasions. Definitely get a sample or even get a BA to apply it on your skin before committing to a purchase.

PRODUCT LIST: Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation #6.0, M.A.C MSF Comfort, Clarins Beauty Flash Balm, Laura Mercier Undercover Pot, Tarte Amazonian Clay Blush Exposed, Illamasqua Brow Cake Thunder, Loreal Infallible Eyeshadow Hourglass Beige, Giorgio Armani Eyes To Kill Eyeshadow #5, Giorgio Armani Eyes To Kill Mascara (sample) + not pictured: Giorgio Armani Rouge Sheer Pink #500

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Shu Uemura Custom Quad

I can't believe that after so many years of makeup hoarding collecting, that these are my first ever Shu Uemura makeup items. Shu Uemura do have quite an extensive range of products but there weren't many products that stood out to me on this shopping trip but I was planning to buy some plum/purple colours suitable for bridal anyway, so that was my excuse.

PACKAGING: It's nice, sleek and very light weight which is excellent for travel or even for your pro kit as it won't add much weight - plastic. They've added a mirror which is convenient if you're in a pinch or need to touch up but personally I think that the mirror is too small. A feature I love is the sliding platform for the shadow pans which securely sit in the case, this is perfect for ensuring that the shadow pans never fall out of the palette. It also has a nice snap shut closure which is very secure. The case can hold 4 shadow pans, 2 shadows 1 blush or 2 blushes - nice if you have a few different blush and shadow shades to mix and match.

Shu Uemura is only available in select David Jones stores and via the David Jones online store; not easily accessible and I would only recommend you purchase these in store because online swatches will vary depending on your monitor/ display settings. Price wise, I picked up the entire quad for $103 - $22/shadow pan (1.4g of product) & $15 for the empty palette. I think that the price is very fair considering that M.A.C refills are $26/shadow pan (1.5g of product) online and in Pro stores only.

QUALITY & FORMULATION: Both the matte (M) shadows and the metalic (ME) are very impressive, they swatch and apply very evenly and smooth, they aren't dry or chalky at all; I believe there are about 12 matte shades, but the David Jones website only shows 4 which is extremely limiting. These swatch and apply true to pan and are definitely comparable to my M.A.C & Inglot shadows.

OVERALL: Looking forward to using these as bridal colours and smokey eye colours and I can't wait to pick up a few more. Definitely recommend these if you can access them and are looking to invest in a few excellent quality shadows that are a little cheaper and possibly even better than M.A.C.