Holiday Beauty Sets at Sephora – My Picks!

Hello!

Holiday season is the best time to go shopping. Beauty brands roll out all sorts of products – new, reformulated, re-sized, repackaged and sometimes if you’re lucky, even re-priced! Here is a look at some of the Holiday sets that I picked up at Sephora recently.

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Fresh Sugar Legends ($82)

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This set contains 7 deluxe-sized Sugar Lip Treatment balms by Fresh. The lovely thing about this set is that Fresh put together lovely, bright, vibrant shades in this set. Shades on the extreme of the colour spectrum like the clear or very deep vampy shades (like Cherry which is super deep purple) are not in this set which works out well for me. The deluxe-sized balms are about 1/3 the size of the full-sized ones.

sephora-holiday-sets-fresh-sugar-sizeWhat I like about this set is that it gives me the opportunity to try a good number of shades from the Fresh range. Their high pigmentation also make good options for someone like me who enjoys wearing matte lip shades in bold colours – the balm keeps my lips hydrated without taking away from the true pop of colour from my lipstick. The Fresh Sugar Legends Set makes a great gift for a lip balm or lip colour junkie. It also can be split up and gifted as stocking stuffers!

Fresh Sugar Wishes (S$42)

sephora-holiday-sets-fresh-sugar-wishesI received this set from Fresh when I attended one of their workshops recently and I was utterly delighted to receive this – this was actually what set me buying the other sets from Fresh. This set contains a full-sized original Sugar Lip Treatment and a deluxe-sized Sugar Lip Polish. It’s a good set because it allows you to try the Sugar Lip Scrub without committing to the full size. Admittedly, the lip scrub is also something I won’t be using SO often so this works out well for the less-than-diligent lip scrubbers like me :) The thing I also adore about this set is the packaging – the fact that you can hang it like an ornament is a great idea.

Peter Thomas Roth Skinstant Mask Magic (S$83)

sephora-holiday-sets-peter-thomas-rothThis set contains 3 of Peter Thomas Roth’s popular products for a complete skincare ritual – detox, repair and polish. It includes one of their newer ranges, Rose Stem Cell. Initially, I couldn’t decide if I wanted this set or not despite really wanting to try the Rose Stem Cell mask. What sold me was the fact that these can be used not only as rinse-off masks but leave-on sleeping masks too (the instructions indicate to use a thinner layer).

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Again, this set is an excellent way to sample the PTR mask range without committing to full sized ones. I paticularly like that the quantity included in this set is not puny – each mask included is 50ml which allows you a good number of uses so you can really decide if you like the product enough before buying full sizes. With this set, you can even split it with your mom or girlfriend depending on your skin concern.

Smashbox On The Rocks Primer Duo (S$69)

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This set has to be one of my favourites – it retails at $69 but with an actual retail value of $114! If you’re someone who uses oil-free silicone type primers then you should definitely check this out. It contains a full-sized tube of the original oil-free primer ($65) and a full-sized tube of the Hydrating Under Eye Primer ($49). I’m au fait with Smashbox primers having used and loved the Hydrating primer for ages and this clear original version is no less. The undereye primer is new to me and so far from  roadtesting it, i find that it helps a little with making the lines on the under eye area look better – less crumpled looking. This set is a great buy – a tried and tested great product that helps keep  makeup in place at a fantastic price

Butter London Steam Punk Ball Collection – The Art of Alchemy (S$68)

sephora-holiday-set-butter-londonThis Butter London set – ok admittedly I don’t need it at all (my polish drawers are overflowing .. still). That said, i went ahead and picked it up given the nice combination of shades – Pillar Box Red is a shade ive been wanting for a long time. The other shades are equally nice and reviews point out that cotton buds (the white lacquer) has an excellent formula. Goss (the metallic blush lacquer) is another shade i’d been eyeing (in the same colour family as Chanel Rose Moiré and Marc Jacobs Gatsby which are 2 polishes I’ve been very tempted to buy).

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This set also comes with a striping brush and a dotting tool. This set makes a good gift for a polish loving girl or for someone keen on DIY nail art. Again, you  could also split up the set for stocking stuffers and share the polish love!

Too Faced Melted Kisses (S$39)

sephora-holiday-sets-too-faced-melted-kissesThis ultra cute cute set is irresistible – 4 best-selling shades of Too Faced Melted lip colours in mini versions! These are high-gloss lip products that are intensely pigmented and long-wearing. I’d been waiting for our local Sephoras to bring these in and at first sight, I picked up the full size in Fuchsia a while ago.

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Melted Peony is a light neutral pink, Melted Nude is a browned nude, Melted Fuchsia is .. well fuchsia and Melted Berry is a medium wine shade. While swatching these, I blended Berry and Peony together and got a beautiful warm pink shade – another plus with a set like this, where you can custom blend shades since they are all of the same texture. I only wish they included Melted Candy in this set instead of Fuchsia (for selfish reasons actually – Melted Candy is a newer shade in Singapore and I already have Melted Fuchsia!)

There you have it, my picks of the lovely Holiday sets from Sephora – there are a few more I’m eyeing like the Nails Inc Winter Wonderland set and the Fresh Black Tea Age Delay Set but I’ve maxed out my Holiday budget (even with the Sephora 10% Black Card discounts I’ve accumulated!) so I shall just enjoy these pretties instead .. for now..

If you’re looking for gifts for yourself or for loved ones or want to try certain brands, I hope this post might have come in handy. Take care and enjoy the weekend!

love-kas2

Laura Mercier Holiday 2014 – Festive Offers

Hello!

Laura Mercier has a couple of festive offers available this Holiday 2014, including a complimentary makeovers and a sure-win lucky dip.

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If you’re looking for shopping inspiration (actually, just go to Sephora or Tangs – the inspiration will rush forth upon you like a broken fire hydrant), here are a couple of products from Laura Mercier which are part of my staples.

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Continue reading

SK-II Holiday 2014 – SK-II Festive Party and Holiday Coffrets

Hello!

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SK-II will be holding a Festive Party this 21 Dec 2014 (Sunday) at Tangs SEVIIN from 2-6pm. At the Festive Party, you can enjoy Holiday buys and special promotions in addition to Holiday Makeovers and refreshments. You can secure your spot at the Festive Party by spending $500 from 19th to 21st Dec 2014 on SK-II products in a single receipt at SK-II TANGS Orchard or TANGS Vivo to join in the SK-II Festive Party on 21st Dec at TANGS SEVIIN.

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If you’re looking for luxurious gifts for yourself or loved ones or need to stock up on your SK-II essentials, the Holiday Coffrets are really the best options. Here’s a quick look at some of the coffrets this year – I love the packaging for Holiday 2014!

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Have Beautiful Skin this Holiday season and into the New Year with SK-II – I’ve been slathering my skin with the SK-II Treatment Clear Lotion and the Stempower face cream these weeks. If you haven’t tried, you really should take a look at the Treatment Clear Lotion, a personal must-have of mine (review HERE)

Take care and thanks for stopping by

love-kas2

FRESH Black Tea Instant Perfecting Mask – Photos, Details and Thoughts

Hello!

I’ve been popping into Sephora one time too many this Holiday 2014 and one of the things I picked up was the Fresh Mask Bar, among others. The first thing I tried from this Holiday coffret was the Black Tea Instant Perfecting Mask (along with the Soy Face cleanser and a lip serum). LOVE at 1st (2nd, 3rd, x…y…z…) swipe.

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Black Tea Instant Perfecting Mask with advanced antioxidants is a hydrating treatment that immediately reveals softer, firmer, healthier-looking skin. The innovative formula’s velvety whipped texture has an immediate cooling effect to refresh the skin and the senses.

~ Fresh

Before I go on about the mask, just a little skin update – admittedly, my skin is behaving rather well on the spotty front but I’m no longer quite the oily girl i used to be. Either years of using anti-sebum products or just hormonal changes (i’m 34 yrs old so I’ve been told this could be the norm) has changed my skin completely. It’s now rather dry and I tend to flake a little on my nose often. As such, I now look towards using more hydrating and replenishing products and have introduced more masks and packs into my skincare regime (click HERE for 2 other skin serums that have helped regulate my skin).

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I received the gift with purchase kit that contains a deluxe-sized Black Tea Instant Perfecting Mask too – I’m not sure if the promotion is still ongoing but it was a very good and worthwhile GWP so check out the Fresh counters in Sephora. Let’s take a closer look at the mask itself. Here is the ingredients list: Continue reading

Clarins Skin Savers: Clarins HydraQuench Intensive Serum & Double Serum

Hello!

If you’ve been with me for a while – you’d have seen this phrase pop up numerous times: “oily girl”. Oily oily oily used be the only thing i could say to describe my skin type. Everytime i went for a skin consultation at SK-II or Clarins, i’d be told that my skin is oily on the surface and a little dehydrated inside.

Well .. all that has changed in the last few months. I don’t know whether it’s stress or hormonal change from age… or it could be all the years of using anti-sebum products. My skin has done a 180° turn and is now dry. Initially, I didn’t even realise what was going on with my skin – I couldn’t  recognise that it was dryness that was causing shiny, uneven patches on my skin (well, I never thought it would happen). Oh.The.Horror.

SK-II and Clarins are 2 brands I’ve always trusted, especially to fix skin. So I reached out for 2 Clarins serums – the HydraQuench Intensive Serum and the Double Serum.

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I started with the Double Serum (S$118) first.

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When I initially received it, I was sold on the ingredients and the technology but I somehow found the texture a little too heavy on my skin – I needed to use it very sparingly and couldn’t found that 2 pumps of serum was a little too much (click HERE for my original review). Fast forward several months and now, Double Serum has become an integral part of my night routine. I use between 1 to 2 pumps after my SK-II clear lotion and I smooth it on.

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My mom noticed the difference after about a week – my skin no longer had the shiny dry patches i had been battling. The trick is to warm the serum in your palms and then smooth it in, with gentle patting motions. Skin the next morning looks and feels soft and smooth and continuous usage helped to regulate my skin. Here are the main ingredients that work wonders on dehydrated skin looking for nourishment and pick-me-up:

  • Katafray bark extract, hyaluronic acid (moisturising)
  • Organic perilla and macadamia oils (nourishing)
  • Organic quinoa and green tea extract (protecting)
  • Maritime pine extract, organic rosehip oil (oxygenising)
  • Organic green banana extract, thyme and bocoa (regenerating)

The other skin saver is the Hydra-Quench Bi-Phase serum. This is a lighter serum that you have to shake up before use. it is from the Hydraquench line which is targeted for dehydrated skin types – one of the star ingredients is the Katafray bark which is lauded for its moisture retention properties. Other ingredients such as Chondrus Crispus and Inca Peanut extract also help repair skin, making this a very useful serum to add to your skincare stash.

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This serum has a light, runny texture and is light enough for use under makeup during the day – the thing is just to let it sink into skin before the makeup base goes on. The Hydraquench bi-phase serum keeps my skin from looking dry and parched (which can look powdery – not a good look).

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Here are the main ingredients that explain why the HydraQuench Intensive Serum helps immensely with dehydrated skin:

  • Hyaluronic acid (helps restore the skin’s moisture)
  • Katafray extract (helps reinforce the skin’s surface barrier effect and helps prevent dehydration)
  • Sorbier bud extract (reinforces skin hydration and radiance)
  • Inca peanut extract (helps restore the hydrolipidic film)
  • Chondrus crispus extract / red algae (helps stimulate skin’s natural moisturization process)

Along with these, I’ve been masking more often (new fave is the Fresh Instant Black Tea mask!). Following a more careful skincare regime, my skin seems to have been saved and feels more normal now – I still do get a little oily in this weather but it’s more of a dewy-looking oily rather than an oily-oily-oily. Now, THAT, I can deal with!

Thanks for stopping by and take care

love-kas2

Along with these, I’ve been masking more often (new fave is the Fresh Instant Black Tea mask!)

MAKE UP FOR EVER New Artist Shadows – Photos, Swatches & Details

Hello!

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Make Up For Ever has recently revamped its existing eyeshadow collection and lo behold, we have 210 new eyeshadows to colour our world with.

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Billed as the Artist Shadows, these eyeshadows boast a very smooth texture, superior blendability, high impact colour with 88% pigments and coverage.

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I love MUFE’s tag #NOTHINGBUTMAKEUP which attests to the new Artist Shadow’s pigmentation and blendability. Great texture is like a good tool – it lends to infinite possibilities in the hands of the artist and creator.

Another facet of the the new Artist Shadows I love is the freedom system MUFE uses – all the eyeshadows are available as refills and you are free to custom-create your own eyeshadow palettes.

mufe-artist-shadow-refillThe MUFE Artist Shadows retail at S$26 a pop. There are 3 types of palettes to choose from – single, duo and triple pan palettes. Regardless of the size, each palette retails at S$9 (might as well get the 3-pan one!) and comes with a clear flip-top cover and magnetised wells.

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There are 210 shades of Artist Shadows but all 210 shades will only be available at the MUFE Pro Loft & Academy located at Armenian Street. I usually head there for my MUFE fix because that is where the complete range of powders, concealers, lipsticks and now Artist Shadows are available. MUFE will also retail the Artist Shadows at Sephora stores in Singapore. The MUFE MAKE UP SCHOOL located at Sephora ION Orchard and Ngee Ann City will carry 108 shades while the rest of the Sephora stores will carry 24 shades (the most popular!) as seen in the photos below.

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The Artist Shadows are available in 5 textures – Metallic (pearly and metal-like), Matte (opaque with no shine, sparkle or pearl), Satin (soft sheen), Iridescent (soft glimmer) and Diamond (rich colour base with same-tone, gold or silver glittering accents). Each Artist Shadow’s number is preceded by an initial indicating the texture – D104 is a Diamond series Artist Shadow while ME554 is a Metallic series Artist shadow My personal favourites are the Metallic and Diamond textures – the ones I picked up too were all the Diamond series.

Here are swatches of Artist Shadow shades that caught my eye.

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  • D320 Golden Khaki – a cool golden brown with a lovely sparkly finish
  • ME554 Gunmetal – looks more like a cool pearlised taupe with the slight hint of mauve
  • I324 Bronze Khaki – a soft golden-olive; the olive rather than bronze tone dominates on my skintone
  • ME216 Electric Blue – electric blue alright! Medium bright blue with blue pearl
  • D308 Aquatic Khaki – the base shade is actually more of a black-brown with green-blue pearl and sparkles strewn throughout
  • D334 Apple Green – yellow-toned bright light green with gold accents
  • D410 Gold Nugget – bright gold with gold sparkle

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I added this photo because I wanted to show you the multi-dimensional effect of the pearlised sparkles, particularly in D320 and D308 (which I succumbed to temptation and bought, along with a few others). Also, the irresistible shine of ME554 is making me regret not picking that up!

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  • M100 Black – a good opaque, neutral matte black
  • ME108 Steel – cool metallic stainless steel shade
  • D118 Platinum – bright white-toned silver with sparkles
  • S228 Sepia Blue – reminiscent of the blue from the Blue Sepia palette a couple of collections ago, this is what I refer to as peacock blue.
  • D104 Black Diamond – deep satin black base accented by silver sparkles
  • D236 Lagoon Blue – pearlised teal blue with silver sparkles

Love how the sparkles dance in the light!

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  • ME512 Golden Beige – Pale gilded nude (it’s pulling a little silvery on me)
  • D222 Night Blue – a deep metallic blue with blue and silver sparkles
  • D306 Bottle Green – a deep metallic forest green with gold sparkle
  • ME202 Iceberg Blue – pearlised silver-blue
  • ME224 Navy Blue – metallic black-navy with blue pearl
  • ME304 Emerald – pearlised mermaid green (more green-toned than D326)
  • I340 Lime Green – acid chartreuse green with a very soft sheen

In the close-up shots, you can see that unlike many diamond or glitter eyeshadows, many of these Diamond-series MUFE Artist Shadows use a pearlised or soft-sheen base colour in addition to the sparkles, giving the eyeshadow richer, jewel effect. I have since bought both D222 and D306 but now after seeing my own photos (!), I’m going to go back for ME224.

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  • ME390 Black Purple – pearlised burnt purple
  • ME828 Garnet Black – pearlised blackened plum
  • D652 Celestial Earth – metallic copper-brown with gold accents
  • D410 Gold Nugget – neutral gold with gold accents
  • D562 Taupe Platinum – metallic warm silvered-taupe (this taupe has lesser of a mauve tinge than ME554)

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  • D562 Taupe Platinum - Well, I think I liked this shade so much, I swatched it twice!
  • D708 Pinky Copper – pearlised salmon-copper with silver accents
  • I628 Reptile – khaki-grey with a soft sheen
  • ME700 Amber – pearlised warm golden-bronze
  • I662 Amber Brown – warm golden brown with a sheen
  • ME612 Silver Brown – warm reddened brown

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  • ME912 Orchid Artist – metallic pink-purple that is very reminiscent to MAC Pigment in Pink Pearl, only more intense
  • S852 Neon Pink – almost-matte neon pink that doubles up as a blush shade if used with the lightest hand
  • ME734 Tangerine – metallic bright golden orange
  • I730 Pumpkin – pearlised deep orange

I was lucky to be given a chance to play with all these eyeshadows and MUFE’s press kit contained a 3-pan palette with ME216, S852 and S924 (a bright purple). However, makeup enthusiasts will not be content to just 3 Artist Shadows in their collection – I have since picked up 5 more and have housed all 8 Artist Shadows in another MUFE palette. My palette has space for another 4 eyeshadows and I don’t think I’ll have much trouble filling it up. I’ve road-tested these – particularly the Diamond series and like them very much. More on my custom palette and how the eyeshadows perform in my next post. Till then, I assure you, the wear very much like the swatch – intense payoff and comfort on the eyes.

Hope this entry was useful. Thanks for stopping by and have a great week.

love-kas2

Clarins + FEED = A Partnership From The Heart

Hello!

clarins-feed-2014Clarins has embarked on another FEED project this year – available at Tangs, with purchase of any full-sized Clarins treatment serum (Shaping Facial Lift, Double Serum, HydraQuench Intensive Serum Bi-Phase, White Plus Serum, Super Restorative Serum), customers will receive a Clarins + FEED Gift Set worth $75. At the same time, you will be helping to provide 10 school meals to hungry children.

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FEED literally feeds schoolchildren and encourages their parents to send them to school. FEED also motivates the children who are more attentive and hard-working when they are better nourished. It’s by educating children that the world will change. It’s one way in which we can create a more responsible world

~ Christian Courtin Clarins

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The FEED collaboration is integral to Clarins’ philosophy – Clarins believes in responsibility to the Earth and this is seen in their commitment to protecting the natural environment as well as those who are the most dependent on it. Fair Trade and Sustainable development are 2 business philosophies that are so tightly woven in Clarins’ psyche that it now has extended in a vision to want to make life more beautiful for future generations and to leave them a better world.

The heartwarming video above is an eye-opener and has the ability to make us re-evaluate so many things we take for granted on a daily basis. Through responsible brands like Clarins, we too can contribute in our own small ways. It is timely also that Tangs is currently running the Shop For Good campaign till 2 Nov 2014, where Tangs will donate S$0.50 to the Community Chest (up to S$100,000) for every retail receipt generated.

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Clarins has numerous treatment serums but if you’re looking for some pointers, here are 3 of my favourite Clarins serums which I’m using in combination right now.

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My skin has recently undergone a drastic change – I’m no longer the oily-oily girl and my skin went through an immensely dehydrated phase. While I initially didn’t really like the Double Serum (back then, I found it a bit too heavy), this has been my skin-saviour and I’ve been using it nightly. The Hydraquench Intensive Serum and the White Plus Total Luminescent Intensive Brightening Serums are my go-to for day skincare. More on this soon (I’m back on the blog now and will be posting regularly!) but get yourself to Tangs pronto and shop to FEED … Shop For Good.

Thanks for stopping by and take care

love-kas2