Monthly Archives: December 2011

Chanel Blue Boy nail polish review

Since you all seemed to love Chanel’s Coco Blue as much as I did, I have another little treat in store for you from the Les Jeans de Chanel Collection – Chanel Blue Boy!

Blue Boy is the medium blue of the trio and the most jeans-esque of the lot.  What makes it just that little bit more special than your average teal (apart from the fact it’s a Chanel, of course!) is that it has a lovely dusty quality to it – and rather than making it look faded or old, it simply makes it even prettier! In fact, it reminded me of fields of gorgeous dusty blue cornflowers.

At this point, I have to thank my BFF Mirander for lending me Blue Boy in the first place. I’m sure you remember my tales of woe surrounding trying to get hold of the Les Jeans de Chanel Collection and by the time I knew this was even in HK stores, it was already sold out! Luckily for me, Mirander had already bought Blue Boy for herself and very generously, let me give Blue Boy a spin – and I’m very glad she did!

Application-wise, it was just as easy as every Chanel nail polish I’ve tried to date, although it’s finish was a little less glossy than Coco Blue. What I love about all the Chanel lacquers I’ve used so far is that they’re really easy to get even and opaque, and whether it’s something about the brush, the polish itself or some special Chanel mojo that overcomes my fingers, I seem to be able to achieve a really beautiful neat and clean finish!

I didn’t love Blue Boy quite as much as I did Coco Blue – though maybe this is a coping mechanism because I know I can’t have the polish for myself! Nevertheless, it really is a lovely wearable and versatile colour and a gorgeous in-between shade of blue for those neither wanting a pastel nor a navy.

Blue Boy really is like the perfect pair of boyfriend jeans – goes with everything and looks great too! Now if only someone would swap me a pair of jeans for a Blue Boy polish of my own..!

Looks good with: jeans!
Drying time: 5 mins
Coats required: 2
Chips: 5 days

Read my review of another Les Jeans de Chanel polish, Coco Blue here (it’s lush!)

Chanel Le Vernis Blue Boy, Fall 2011 Fashion Night Out Les Jeans de Chanel Collection

Advertisements

Beauty Spot: MAC Viva Glam makeover for World Aids Day plus giveaway!

How many companies make a huge fuss about ‘giving something back’ only for you to read the small print and discover charitable donations are limited to a small percentage of profits or a tiny fraction of the selling price?

Well, not MAC. I was invited to be part of their World Aids Day initiative to coincide with the launch of two new Viva Glam lip products fronted by Lady Gaga – where I discovered that every single penny/cent from the SELLING PRICE of their Viva Glam items goes directly to the MAC Aids Fund. Pretty impressive… and in Hong Kong alone, they’ve raised over $5.3 million over the past five years.

But a bit more about that later. On December 1, World Aids Day itself, MAC artists around the world gathered to distribute red ribbons and condoms to raise awareness about HIV – and I was amongst them! Alongside two of my beauty besties, Danielle and Jenn, we braved the elements (and the indifference of the general public) to hand out condom packs to passers-by outside iSquare in Tsim Sha Tsui.

An interesting experience to say the least. Given I generally get ogled if I expose just one inch of general chest area, I knew we’d be in for a bumpy ride – Danielle even more so when she decided to station herself outside Chungking Mansions! The high/lowlight was one man coming up to ask for seven packs ‘one for each day of the week… every time I change my clothes, I change my women’; oh well, at least he was planning on using condoms! Then there was the man that put his arm round Dani and asked if they were for use with her (balk)… and then there were the Muslims we managed to insult by insinuating they might have sex before marriage.

Having done the best we could, we were then led into the much safer waters of the MAC Training Studio, for a Viva Glam masterclass and make-up demo by MAC artiste extraordinaire, James Molloy.

I think I may love this man. In the past, I’ve found MAC staff somewhat scary and intimidating with their wild make-up looks, but James was so down-to-earth, lovely to chat to (gotta love hearing a Northern accent in HK!) and, most importantly, a dab hand with make-up! He demonstrated three looks using different Viva Glam lipsticks and lipglasses – the latest, Viva Glam Gaga 2, a creamy peachy nude lipstick with an ‘amplified finish’ and a matching beige-nude lipglass; mine and Dani’s favourite, Viva Glam I, a classic matte old-Hollywood scarlet and the very first creation in the Viva Glam line; and Viva Glam V, a neutral pink with a slight shimmer.

He stressed the importance of priming the lips first (using Mac’s Prime & Prep, a soft lip balm-like product that smoothes the surface and makes the colour last longer), advocated the use of blotting and reapplying to create a colour that stays put and generally made Queenie, the model, look rather fabulous (even if she doesn’t look too happy about it in the photos!)… and made it all look very easy!

We also had a chat about Viva Glam in general – in case you didn’t already know, Nicki Minaj and Ricky Martin are the most recently announced spokespeople (and I’ll put money on Minaj doing a bubblegum pink) for the line and Gaga had definite creative input into her choice of colours. I also learnt that ALL of Viva Glam sales, not just profits and not just some piddling percentage of the price, goes towards the MAC Aids Fund, which supports HIV sufferers worldwide and helps fund direct care, prevention and global fight against the disease. Whatever you think about MAC and its products, I don’t think anyone can doubt that this is a really brilliant initiative for such a worthy cause.

No-one else being up for it, I offered myself as guinea pig to James’ capable hands for a quick make-up demo! I rarely wear lipstick (instead going all out on the eyes front), so if I do, I want to make a splash with it – hence my choice of the Hollywood red Viva Glam I! We learnt from a Chinese journalist that local women generally steer clear of such bright lip colours, as they think their lips are too big, and that the colloquial phrase for wearing this lipstick colour is ‘a big basin full of blood’ (血盤大口, ‘huut pun dai hau’), like a monster who’s gorged on some animal! Great!

I personally loved what James did. It might be a little bit more vampire than vamp given how pale my skin is and how long my very dark Morticia Adams hair has become, but it was such a striking look that immediately made me feel gorgeous, glammed-up and red-carpet ready! I usually have difficult finding a red that doesn’t lean pink or orange on me, yet Viva Glam I seemed to do the trick nicely! I will say that I do think you need real confidence to wear bright red lipstick as it tends to magnify any other blemishes or flaws in your complexion and in Hong Kong especially, I’ve noticed it gets you many more stares than usual (or maybe I just notice them more?!).

Dani mentioned that whenever she wears red lipstick, it never lasts the distance and instead, ends up all over her face (what’s she been doing?!). So I decided to put Viva Glam I to the test and wore it for the rest of the day post-makeover. My photos show it after two hours wear, where it’s clearly as strong and saturated as ever. I then went to the Jack Wills opening party later that night; it was still very obvious, if not quite as freshly bloody, so I spruced it up with a slick of Lanolips Lip Tint (in Apple, an amazing product that I will be reviewing properly later) – you can check out some photos of me at the event on Jasmine’s fab blog here, which shows how Viva Glam I was holding up some 4-6 hours after application. If you can’t be bothered to look, the answer is pretty bloody well! By 8-10 hours, it was wearing off, but my boyfriend was still able to detect I had some red tint to my lips. Viva Glam I is obviously intensely-pigmented and boasts a gorgeous matte finish, but the downside to this is that it’s slightly drying – one coat of Prep & Prime beforehand does help matters significantly!

I’ll have separate swatches and full reviews for the two new Gaga Viva Glam lip products, but first I have a fantastic MAC giveaway for you all! You lucky devils can win the MAC goodie bag shown below for your make-up pleasure – including a fluid line gel eyeliner, mascara, mineralize blush, duo eyeshadow, lipglass, lipliner and a MAC World Aids day t-shirt. All you have to do is leave a comment saying who would be your ideal Viva Glam spokesperson and make sure you enter a valid email address in the comment form (so I can contact you if you win!).

The winner of the giveaway was Miss ChicMcMuffin – congrats girl, and enjoy the make-up!

Chanel Coco Blue nail polish review

It’s been far too long without a nail polish review on here for my liking! So what better than some sneaky Chanel action to get back into the swing of things?! May I present to you Chanel’s Coco Blue.

Coco Blue was from the very limited-edition Les Jeans de Chanel Collection, a trio of denim-inspired blue nail polishes released for Vogue’s 2011 Fashion Night Out. After staking out my nearest Chanel cosmetics store for what seemed like weeks on end, I resigned myself to the fact they weren’t going to be released in Hong Kong… until the lovely Carmen told me they had in fact already been released, but only in certain stores! Argh! Of course, by then, they were long sold out… but luckily for me, I had the gorgeous Vicky on the case, who managed to snag me Coco Blue from duty-free on her trip here.

And it really was an extreme case of lucky (very rare where I’m concerned, as you all know by now!), because Coco Blue was the colour I had deemed the fairest of them all! So mega-thanks to Vicky for helping me lay claim to this blissful blue beauty!

Lots of photos have made Coco Blue look like an Easter-egg baby blue, but actually it’s a heavenly shade of super sky blue – and utterly gorgeous with it! It also has a subtle but noticeable pink shimmer running through it, giving it an enchantingly glossy finish whilst still maintaining its creamy dreamy lusciousness. This secret shimmer (and its not a dreaded case of ‘so secret you can’t see it’, as with many Essies!) also prevents it from looking too chalky and harsh, as I have often seen with paler blue nail polishes in the past. It’s the idyllic cloudless summer sky straight from a milkmaid’s dreams.

You may remember me waxing lyrical about Chanel’s Graphite and its magical self-applying formula; well, Coco Blue wasn’t quite as miraculous but it wasn’t far off. Again, my photos show my nails ‘no clean-up required’ so Chanel’s combination of formula and brush shape must be doing something right! The first coat was a little streaky but it evened out beautifully and easily by the second, to leave the divine blue-sky dream you see here!

This really is such a lovely, charming and uplifting colour. It’s a total fairytale blue – the colour of Cinderella’s gown (you shall go to the ball!) but with the pearly shimmer of her glass slippers and the magic touch that only a fairy godmother (Coco herself?!) could bring.

The only major issue? Well, I don’t know about you, but Coco Blue sure don’t look like any pair of jeans I ever owned! It’s waaaaaay too pretty for that!

Looks good with: glass slippers, pumpkin carriages, being home by midnight
Drying time: 5 mins
Coats required: 2
Chips: 5-7 days

Read my review of another Les Jeans de Chanel polish, Blue Boy, here

Chanel Le Vernis Coco Blue, Fall 2011 Fashion Night Out Les Jeans de Chanel Collection

Beauty Spot: Cosmoprof Hong Kong 2011

I had heard of a mystical wonderland called Cosmoprof on other beauty blogs.

This mystical wonderland was a magical place where you could get sneak previews of new nail polish lines, discover secret cool cosmetics brands, get to try products so new they didn’t even have names, hob-nob with the great and the good of the make-up world and generally hang out with other beauty addicts. So I was extremely excited when an invitation to Cosmoprof landed in my letterbox!

Unfortunately, Cosmoprof turned out to be less a Wonderland and more a ‘Wonder what the hell I’m doing here’ land. Although at least I got this awesome visitor pass – yes, ‘Through The Looking Glass Blog’ is famous! Well, sort of.

Just for those not in know, Cosmoprof is a super-huge-massive-enormous beauty trade show that lands in the HKCEC once every year – with numerous other high-profile international destinations too. There are booths and exhibitors for every beauty product and machine you could think of (and probably a few you wish you couldn’t) but really, it’s for brands to find distributors/buyers and for businesses to find products. So quite how bloggers started coming along for the ride I’m not entirely sure!

Luckily, I went along with the gorgeous Georgie, who as a beauty salon owner actually had a valid reason for going. She was great company and her proper business credentials meant that I didn’t feel such a fraud!

Georgie ended up visiting Cosmoprof on all three days that it ran – and may I extend my deepest sympathies to her feet, which are probably bloodied stumps by now. Seriously, I can’t remember the last time I walked so much! The booths were spread over three or four floors, jam-packing each huge stadium-sized room like sardines in a tin (where I saw Kylie a few months before and where my position remained relatively stationary!)… suffice to say, I won’t be doing a fun-run, let alone a marathon, anytime soon! After just a few hours, I was knackered – the things I’ll do for make-up!

I was actually invited to Cosmoprof by the gorgeous Clara of MOR Cosmetics, an Australian brand I had never previously heard of. And, despite everything, I’m SO glad Clara did invite me because MOR Cosmetics are a definite keeper!

I was totally wow-ed by this brand and it was by far the highlight of the day – which had I known when I set out to visit them first thing, I might have planned to end things on a high instead! All of MOR Cosmetics’ products look and smell totally deluxe-ly divine and I wanted them all! They specialise mainly in bath and body care, with a few cute lip products too, but encased in the most beautiful, classical ancient Greek and Roman-inspired packaging.

Just look at this packaging and tell me it isn’t irresistible?! I honestly don’t know if I’d ever be able to rip off that beautiful embossed wrapping paper to use the stuff inside! The scents were just utterly delicious too – Georgie and I really loved the Lychee Flower Soap, whose light fresh fruity scent was near enough edible!

Unfortunately, MOR Cosmetics aren’t yet available in Hong Kong – although that might be a good thing as I’m sure large chunks of my bank balance would disappear into an MOR shaped hole! I think these perfectly-packaged pretties would go down a storm here (they remind me a little of Fresh, which is sold in Lane Crawford) and if you do live somewhere where MOR is available, the gift sets would make absolutely wonderful Christmas presents *hint hint*.

The ladies at MOR were also really lovely and welcoming, which unfortunately cannot be said of most of the booths I visited. I encountered plenty of really interesting and gorgeous products but sadly, once vendors found out that I didn’t have a business to stock, the conversation was over. Could I take photos? No. Could I read the brochure? No. Could I look more closely at the products? Take a guess what the answer was.

I instead took to snapping ninja photos, so excuse the poor quality!

Gosh Cosmetics had a fabulous display of their range – and I was both excited and disappointed to see they had so much that wasn’t available in Hong Kong. They had SO much make-up, much of it looked fabulous and, when I swatched some, the quality seemed good too. They also had a much more extensive range of skincare and body products, which I hope they bring over as all my Gosh experiences have been pretty great so far.

Of course, I had to get a photo of these nail glitters. I’ve read about them somewhere before and think this is such a fun idea! Basically, it’s a pot of dazzle dust that you stick your freshly-painted fingernail into for a glitzy glamorous glittering look! I asked and these WILL be coming to Hong Kong, sometime in 2012, and the price (as with all Gosh stuff) sounded very reasonable indeed!

Australian drugstore brand BYS also had a huge display of their cosmetics, which I pored over happily. Of course, I wasn’t allowed to take photos, but I’d already snapped a few so never mind! They had a massive range of nail polish, which I was salivating over, with some really innovative (and competitively-priced) products. There were tonnes of shatters, of course, but I was more interested in these Colour Change Polishes (which takes me back the days of my mood stone… and even further back to my childhood Barbie whose dress changed colour in different temperatures!) and UV Polishes that glow under UV lights in clubs, which is a totally awesome concept. [And you can just see to the left some very glittery and highly covetable Wonderland Polishes, no doubt inspired by OPI’s sell-out Alice In Wonderland collection.]

Meanwhile, these Animal Instincts palettes were just too pretty not to show you! I did learn that BYS do international shipping, so I’m currently sorting through their enormous online catalogue to sift through what I want!

I also spotted Barielle Nail Polish, which had a few standout colours (Georgie and I were obsessed with Falling Star, a lush sky blue with copper glitter), and Palladio Beauty, whose herbal lipsticks intrigued me – but again both aren’t sold here!

My other major lust moment of the day came with Golden Rose, who have some of their nail polishes in the Colormix vats here (and alas, none of their really cool stuff, like flakies and holos), but nothing else. Well, we are missing out BIG TIME. As you know, I’m obsessed with mineralised baked cosmically awesome eye shadows – and Golden Rose has a whole galaxy of these Terracotta Eyeshadows available! These were a huge range of stunning swirls of marbleised colour, glittery, shimmery, intensely-pigmented, multi-dimensional and super-soft to the touch. I bet they’re a hell of a lot more affordable than the MAC ones I keep being conned into buying!

I also really liked the gorgeous retro packaging of these Coca-Cola cosmetics. These were at the same booth as the Coca-Cola Lip Smackers that are currently available at Sasa/Watsons/Mannings so I’m hopeful these will be brought to HK. The line consisted of lip balms, glosses and body cream – the left is Vanilla Coke, the middle regular Coke and the right Cherry Coke. Vanilla was the one that smelt the most divine, whilst regular was my ultimate favourite packaging. [Note: I have a vested interest in these as my boyfriend is a Coca-Cola fiend and I bought him a framed vintage poster, very similar to these, last Christmas!]

And well, we all love Swarovksi-encrusted nail files and Hello Kitty cuteness, right?! I particularly love Geek Chic HK!

And finally, a few shots to show yow just how random Cosmoprof was. This is a poorly-attended yoga display, happening right in the middle of all the action with absolutely no-one but press paying attention!

And here is a man having a crazy-ass treatment done to his face. At the next stall, there was a woman with a dripping face-mask being (badly!) applied. Georgie and I pondered the purpose of an egg-shaped cocoon, only to walk round and discover a model wearing nothing but a bikini and glum expression slumped inside. No-one talking or interacting with her… too miserable a scene to take a picture of!

So there you have it! Cosmoprof – not quite the mystical wonderland of my wildest dreams but a mix of interesting and exhausting nonetheless! Even if non-one wanted to talk to me!

Cosmoprof Hong Kong 2011, 9-11 November, HKCEC.
Cosmoprof HK 2012 will be held on 14-16 November.