Monthly Archives: September 2011

Estessimo Tins Seductive Amethyst nail polish review

Regular readers may be aware of my quest to find every single holographic nail polish in Hong Kong. I just can’t enough of my rainbows in a bottle – it’s such a magical concept that taps into my inner holographic-sticker loving child. The latest on my hit list to show you: Estessimo Tins Seductive Amethyst.

I’ve already told you a bit about Estessimo Tins (known to my boyfriend as Snils and who knows, he may be correct!), a Japanese brand that specialise in creating glitter bombs for the nails. Most of their polishes are the old-fashioned type with pieces of actual glitter sparkling away inside them – like The Neptune and The Splash Blue which I have previously showed you – but they do have a few holos hiding in the wings too.

Seductive Amethyst is one such specimen and it is GORGEOUS. It’s a medium purple colour, slightly pink-leaning, that on its own is the exact colour I picture amethysts being in the first place. Tip in those holo rainbows and it becomes an even more magical prospect.

Unlike the famous China Glaze OMG holographic polishes, which produce a strong rainbow effect that sort of radiates round the nail in ripples (nail geeks call these ‘linear holos’), Seductive Amethyst produces a ‘scattered’ holo effect – little bursts of rainbow scattered all over the shop.

Holographic polishes are different from the old glitter polishes because, through some nail polish magic, they don’t actually feature glitter pieces submerged in the lacquer – even though the scattered ones, like these, really look like they should! Instead, the rainbow glitter seems to just exist as part of the polish itself, meaning you get a smooth (and easy to remove) finish but with a just as beautiful bling to your buck. It really is totally reminiscent of those kaleidoscopic rainbows I saw in stickers in my childhood; substitute Pokedex cards or Pogs or whatever was your childhood magpie equivalent!

I find Estessimo Tins’ longer handle easy to control and its brush is nicely-sized – somewhat equivalent to China Glaze’s but a little bit thiner – and spreads nicely. Seductive Amethyst was super-easy to apply in two quick-drying coats and delivered a flawless holographic finish. It’s a rainbow-dusted amethyst purple that looks like it belongs in fairytales.

But where this beauty really comes alive, when all the rainbows come out to play, is in super-bright sunlight… and thankfully, that’s one thing Hong Kong does well! It’s like rainbows are dancing off your nails! It’s searingly, blindingly, mind-blowingly brilliant. I could not stop staring in awe at my claws.

Beautiful, bountiful, bouncing rainbows at my very fingertips and in my fave shade, purple – seriously, what more could I ask for? Seductive Amethyst didn’t even need to bother with a chat-up line, it had me at hello… or should that be holo!

Looks good with: bright sunlight, not minding if you bump into stuff because you’re staring at your nails
Drying time: 5 mins
Coats required: 2
Chips: 2 days

Estessimo Tins Seductive Amethyst, Winter 2006 More Jewellist Collection

Atelier Versace Exhibition, Pacific Place: Gonna dress you up in my love!

I love beautiful dresses. I love seeing them, buying them, wearing them and, as this blog proves, writing about them too! Sadly, with the most beautiful designer dresses worn by the most beautiful celebrities, that’s about as close as I get – seeing them on a computer screen and then detailing my lust in writing afterwards. But not anymore…

Kawai Wong, the lovely Shopping & Style Editor of Time Out Hong Kong, tipped off her followers on Twitter that there would be a mini Atelier Versace exhibition in Pacific Place shopping mall. I made a mental note and promptly forgot all about it but as chance would have it, I just happened to be in Pacific Place that weekend – and thank God I was. Because I got to see some of those beautiful dresses that I had previously only written about IN PERSON. And they were BREATH-TAKING.

Apologies for all the caps but as you can see from the photos, upper-case in this case is totally deserved!

I squealed with delight when I saw this stunning  gown that I adored on Charlize Theron at the Vanity Fair Oscars Party standing there in all its glory right in front of my eyes! This was my favourite gown of the lot simply because I remembered writing how much I loved it – and there it was!

Even on the mannequins, everything draped just so and looked utterly beautiful. This gown was worn by Eva Mendes at the Rome Film Festival last year. I didn’t really like the dress in photos but up-close, all the detailing was just exquisite. What was missing was the gorgeous sense of movement that Eva managed to create but I think this proves just how much a million flash bulbs wash out a dress, as it was much more of a vibrant tan colour in person.

This cobalt beauty was worn by Jessica Alba at this year’s Baftas and was another one I wrote about! She worn it sans feathers but this was every bit as vividly gorgeous in person. I love how effortlessly flowing it is.

This cascading grey ombre dress hasn’t been worn by anyone famous – yet! Love the cut-out detail on the back too. Stunning. By now, I was nearly going into seizure at being close enough to touch these gowns. Waaaah… just one stroke!

Fan Bing Bing’s ruffled purple gown (as worn at the Cannes Film Festival, which marked the beginning of many of our style crushes on The Bingster) was probably the true show-stopper of the collection. It was just so big, pouffy and spectacular in real-life. Again, the detail of all those flounces was just amazingly lush up-close. It was so delicate yet dramatic and that skirt looked like it was made up of crush flower petals. Divine.

There was lots of ‘oh my God’-ing and longing sighing that my boyfriend didn’t totally understand but ugh, I need more of these exhibitions in my life! Just five dresses isn’t enough! Hurry up and get that Alexander McQueen Savage Beauty show on the road to Hong Kong please!

Atelier Versace Exhibition, Pacific Place mall, Admiralty

Bliss Spa, W Hotel Hong Kong: Fabulous Facial treatment review

As you all know by now, I love Bliss – the products, the spa, the brownies. And at the risk of boring you, I’ve found yet another thing to love about Bliss – their Fabulous Facial.

I was lucky enough to receive a gift-card to the tune of one free Fabulous Facial, thanks to the good folk at Flare Communications (did I forget? I love them too!). It’s a new treatment at Hong Kong’s Bliss Spa (set to replace their Best Of Skintentions facial) so there weren’t many details available about the procedure – but even when you’re heading all the way to Kowloon for a facial you know nothing about, the thought of the Bliss brownie buffet at the other side is enough to make it worthwhile!

The Fabulous Facial is intended as more of a maintenance facial than some of Bliss Spa’s more luxurious ‘special occasion’ type treatments. Your technician will take a close look at your skin, focus on your problem areas amongst the general basic facial routine and chuck some massage action in the mix too. The products used are from Bliss’ ‘Fabulous’ range, including their best-selling Fabulous Foaming Face Wash cleanser and exfoliator, Fabulous Face Lotion (with SPF 15) and the lightweight Fabulous Every Day Eye Cream; if you want, you can also opt for some more targeted add-ons, like eye treatments or masks.I had a lovely bubbly Bliss technician called Annie (much preferable to the po-faced whispering sorts you get at some joints) and as expected, my strawberry nose was deemed the focus of the session (strawberry like because it’s studded with big blackheads like a strawberry is studded with black seeds). This meant most of my hour was spent on… dun dun DUN… extraction.

If extraction ain’t hurting, it’s probably not being done right. I had to start doing breathing exercises (God knows how I’m ever going to get through labour!) to cope with the pain! I liked that my pores were opened up with hot towels, as opposed to the steam machines that make me feel like I can’t breathe, in addition to the searing pain of the extraction in the first place, and Annie was sympathetic to my plight but battled on – even finding blackheads behind my ears! [Gross.]

The rest of the facial was fairly standard – cleansing, toning, moisturising, a cooling eye mask – but all done with Bliss’ signature products, which means they smell gorgeous, work gently but effectively and are more than a few cuts above your average. What some may feel the treatment is missing is a really intense, deeply moisturising face mask (often left on during a massage or, in the case of my local, whilst the beautician goes off to watch TVB soaps in a room next-door). Whilst I did miss the sensation of a thick cream sitting on my face, I actually didn’t notice much difference in results come the end of the Fabulous Facial so perhaps these heavy-duty masks are overrated in the first place!

And the massage more than makes up for it! Most of the time, you’ll get a perfunctory rub of the head, neck and shoulders, but the Fabulous Facial goes above and beyond the call of duty. You get the usual head, neck and shoulders stuff – and very nice it is too – plus the back, arms, hands, legs and feet. And it’s all done with the skill of a masseuse as opposed to a beautician who’s given her boyfriend a few back rubs. Annie was really brilliant here – she had a light soothing touch, applied just the right amount of pressure and my arms, hands, legs and feet in particular felt really light and limber by the end. Even when she was applying products, it felt like she was massaging my face and it was amazing how fabulous I felt all-over after just a facial!

I also really have to mention the spa experience itself. I’m not going to bang on about why I love the whole concept of Bliss Spa itself (see here if you want that essay) but I loved the room I was in. As opposed to a dim, dark air-conned to the hilt space with Enya-esque plinky-plonks dripping in the background, I was in a light airy room with an amazing view of the harbour (not that I got to see much of it) and bright sunlight streaming through the window, with proper songs happening in the background instead – Nina Simone, Dean Martin and various acoustic singer-songwriter types are much preferable to panpipes and wind-chimes in my book! Getting to bask in that just-right heat was so absolutely relaxing and wonderful – better than the beach I reckon, with no worry of sunburn (and sand in your pants) to prey on your mind either!

As ever, I finished things up with the brownie buffet – a few may even have found their way into my pocket for the journey back (and lasted as far as the dressing room, nom) – and, as ever, I was sad to leave.

The immediate effects from the Fabulous Facial were, to be honest, fine rather than fabulous. My skin did look brighter but post-extraction, my throbbing nose was obviously giving Rudolph’s a run for his money. You’re recommended not to wash your face for at least five hours afterwards or apply other make-up and products; I followed this advice and I’m glad I did so, because the next day, the results were truly fabulous! When I emerged after only four hours sleep the next morning, I was honestly taken aback. My complexion was noticeably smoother, softer, brighter and glowing. Niggly blemishes had practically disappeared, my nose had calmed down and my blackheads had abated, even my trademark under-eye bags were lighter and less pronounced – effects that were still noticeable up to a week afterwards. It was basically as if someone had pressed a refresh button on my face.

So yes, the Fabulous Facial lives up to its name and yes, it lives up to everything I love about Bliss Spa too. Long may life continue to be Bliss-ful!

Read my review of Bliss Spa’s Blissage75 and Triple Oxygen Facial treatments

Bliss Spa’s Fabulous Facial costs $870 for 60 mins

Bliss Spa, W Hotel, 1 Austin Road, Kowloon, Hong Kong, +852 3717 2797

www.w-hongkong.com/en/bliss-spa