Tag Archives: Chanel

Here Today, Haul Tomorrow

It’s that time again… another EPIC haul post. So here’s what I’ve been buying over the past few months. Non-shopaholics look away now!

I loved the look of the Chanel’s Fall 2011 Illusion D’Ombre Collection, which marks their first foray into cream eyeshadows in nearly ten years (and as we know, I’m currently loving my cream shadows), plus some of their highly-coveted limited-edition sell-out nail polishes. The eye shadows are all kinds of gorgeous – shimmery, lightweight and extremely easy to use – and I picked up Illusoire (a smoky mauve), Epatant (a silvery khaki) and Emerveille (a shimmering peach). I have, wonder of wonders, actually swatched these so you can expect a review soon! I also got the nail lacquer in Graphite and a free sample of eye make-up remover.

These Stila Beach Palettes are the result of ‘which one should I buy… oh, I’ll just buy them all syndrome.’ Which happens to me a lot! They contain four eye shadows and two blushes/highlighters each, they’re super-cute and they were only £10 quid each. What’s not to love?

They’re from Lookfantastic.com, who I’ve already sung the praises of in my previous haul, who have since gone one better – by crowning me the winner of a competition to win a £75 beauty hamper! The spoils of my victory are shown here and I’m most excited about the mini bottle of Moroccan Oil, which I have been dying to try for ages yet never dared take the plunge full-size – and full-price!

My latest beauty discovery is Nars, thanks to the bessie beauty blogger Jenn. I love bright non-neutral colours, and it seems Nars does too! I picked up eyeshadow duos in Noveau Monde, Eurydice and Sugarland, plus a single in Strada, this amazing gold-dusted lavender. My wonderful boyfriend then bought me some goodies from their limited-edition Night Series collection – the Night Series Palette and two nail polishes, Night Flight and Night Rider, which are based on the eyeshadow colours and are seriously STUNNING. As usual, reviews to come!

Illamasqua had a summer sale so I used this as an opportunity to try my first make-up from the brand, which launched in the UK after I left. Service was brilliant – the order was beautifully-packaged, came with a catalogue, arrived by registered delivery and came within a week of ordering! I got two nail polishes – Raindrops (which I’d been lusting after since this post) and Poke, the Liquid Metals Palette, a Loose Pigment in Involve and a Liquid Metal in Stoic, both of which were on sale. Can’t wait to try these as they look all kinds of intensely awesome.

Clinique also have a new range of cream eyeshadows out – the deliciously-named Lid Smoothies. Colours, as ever with Clinique, are un-exciting but the formula and quality is great – I got Bit O’ Honey (a glistening light gold), Cashew Later (a super-versatile neutral) and probably the star of the collection, Born Freesia (a light lilac). I also stocked up on their Anti-Blemish Foaming Cleanser, one of my make-up miracles, and their Derma-White City Block, a great anti-pollution base with a high SPF that I loved from a free sample. Mega-spend with Clinique equalled a pretty awesome bag of freebies too!

I also got my Mum to send me over some stuff from Boots – can you guess which item I might be stocking up on because it’s been discontinued?! Yes, my make-up miracle, the Benefit Get Bent Eyeliner Brush SOB. I also got two of Benefit’s Creaseless Cream Shadows in Skinny Jeans and Birthday Suit, a load of toothbrush heads (which I’ve spared you) and some super-moisturising Lanolips stuff, another brand I’ve been dying to try. I got the Intense Rose Balm For Very Dry Hands & Nails (remember how my hands are falling apart?), Lemonaid Lip Aid, 101 Ointment and their coloured Lip Ointments in Dark Honey, Apple and Rhubarb (my lips are now falling apart too). Lanolips will be launching in HK soon, but as usual for mega-bucks…

After Benefit also discontinued my holy-grail, one-and-only blusher/miracle, Georgia, I’ve been one the hunt for a suitable replacement. And ever since Mac’s Semi-Precious Collection, I’ve been obsessed with baked, marbleised make-up. Enter Laura Geller, a brand which comes with great word-of-mouth Stateside and again, posted over by my Mum via QVC. I got Blush N Brighten blushers in Golden Apricot and Pink Grapefruit (I love that these come with brushes too!) and the Backstage Beauty Kit, which includes a Blush N Brighten Highlighter Duo in Como/Portofino, a Baked Eyeshadow Duo in Rome/Milan and a Lip Lights Lip Gloss in Dewberry. Can’t wait to try these stunners either!

Another Mac haul from their latest Mac Me Over Collection. The Icelandic Cool section was, sadly for my wallet, totally my colours! Again, amazing boyfriend gifted me the Lady Grey Eyeshadow Palette and four Shadesticks, in Tundra, Cakeshop, Heirloom and Street Cool (Butternutty is still to come, thanks to the lovely Vicky!).

I also won a Lush competition to win their Limited Edition John Burgerman Bath Bomb Set – I absolutely love the colourful tin, which is definitely a keeper, and the bath bombs look like sweets! Is this a bad time to admit I don’t actually have a bath?!

What haul post of mine would this be without some nail polish! Zoya’s Smoke & Mirrors Collection is one of my favourite collections in ages – two halves, one with a dusty murky shades (Smoke), the other with glimmering glittering smoky shades (Mirrors), and a ridiculous amount of purples. I picked up Jana, Neeka, Yara and Jem – how could I resist a polish named after Jem & The Holograms, only my favourite cartoon of ALL-TIME! Spot the odd OPI out, Grape… Set… Match!

And finally, the piece de resistance, the Urban Decay 15th Anniversary Eyeshadow Palette. Ugh… how GORGEOUS is this?! Thanks to my lovely Mother I’ll leave you with a few pics revelling in its ultra-luxeness… try and keep your drool to yourselves!

Chanel White Essentiel Whitening Modeling Effect Base in Rosée review

My hunt for the perfect primer continues with Chanel’s White Essentiel Whitening Modeling Effect Base in Rosée.

You may remember that I was very happy with the glowing effects of Benefit’s That Gal primer, so why change? Firstly, I seemed to be getting through my That Gals at a too-speedy-for-my-wallet pace, plus the bottle design meant that it was impossible to predict when its time was up – leaving me high and dry on a few occasions! Instead, I found myself drawn to the Chanel White Essentiel Base because, unlike That Gal, it contains a high SPF of 30, essential (or should that be essentiel!) for HK’s scorching summers. Secondly, it had been developed especially for Asian skin – I’m half-Asian, I have skin, a perfect fit, surely!

I was recommended the Rosée shade for my complexion, which has a cool-toned pale pink tint to the very white fluid. [The other shades are yellow Mimosa and blue Azur]. This would supposedly revive my pale and tired complexion and add a touch of radiance that I thought might not be dissimilar to That Gal’s pinky glow. How wrong I was.

But let’s not jump the gun. I like the chunky but compact packaging and was glad it’s plastic rather than glass; too many bottles fall out of my bathroom cabinet thanks to vigorous door slamming from my auntie for glass to be a viable option in this house! After shaking the bottle (it makes a clicking sound in the old-fashioned way I remember my Mum’s foundation doing), the fluid is dispensed via a dropper-type nozzle on the top of the bottle (see photo, apologies for rubbish description). There’s a definite knack to learning how to use it, and the first few times, far too much liquid splurged out.

The liquid itself is quite runny and can be used sparingly (so far, my bottle has lasted well over 6 months; it ended up lasting well over a year!). However, that’s just about where my positives end. It requires a lot of rubbing in to be absorbed and once it has, leaves my skin feeling chalky. Looking pretty chalky too. Whatever pink there is to the fluid is null and void and rather than brightening, it’s just whitening – in the ‘seen a ghost’ sense! Yes, it’s too pale even for my milky bean curd complexion! I know some Chinese women like their face looking several shades too white for the rest of their body (hi Fan Bing Bing) but I’m not one of them and thus, there’s no chance of being able to wear this product on its own, like the sales assistant said I could, or like you can with some other primers. Then again, I suppose the ‘Whitening’ in the name should have given it away!

It also has quite a strong scent, a very artificial sweet floral scent that I’m not a huge fan of. To White Essentiel Base’s credit, it does allow your make-up to glide on super-smoothly and keeps it set for your day. Thanks to that chalky, almost mattifying effect, it seems to minimise sweat and oily patches, although the downside is that it doesn’t give a luminous radiance like the light-reflecting particles of That Gal.

Overall, I wouldn’t re-purchase this product – it’s too pricey for something that obviously doesn’t work well with my skin tone. As a newer Chanel product exclusive to the Asian market, I feel it still needs a bit more tinkering to make it great. So whilst it’s effective enough as a base and the high SPF is a bonus, there are really no other benefits… unless I need to audition as a geisha anytime soon.

Chanel White Essentiel Whitening Modeling Effect Base in Rosée, $350; see all Chanel Beaute locations in Hong Kong here

Going Over The Taupe at Cher2: OPI nail polish review


The other day, I had lunch with a friend who was sporting turquoise nails and I developed a sudden finger fetish, quietly coveting her aqua talons all afternoon. Having not painted my nails in about ten years, it suddenly struck me that there was a whole rainbow-coloured world of make-up that I was wilfully neglecting – and I felt the need to rectify it immediately.

Not as easy as it sounds. Without my trusty Boots to fall back on, I headed to the local equivalents (Sasa, Bonjour, Colormix) and checked out their huge vats of pick n mix nail polish. They were cheap (average $15) but not so cheerful – colours already separating in the pots, brands I’d never heard of and signs imploring me not to try out the goods. When I sneakily opened one, the sad thin lacquer dripped down, morose and unloved. No thanks. I trusted the Revlon and Maybelline concessions more but their limited range of colours left a hole in my technicoloured heart and although I’d heard you could buy good stuff at salons that did manicures, I felt a little odd rocking up at one without wanting a treatment. So it was a case of Sassy Hong Kong to the rescue.

Through Sassy’s fantastic website, I found out about a shop called Cher2, a candyland of nail polish that stocked every colour under the sun. What’s more, this was real nail varnish, made by established brands OPI, Essie and China Glaze, but sold at nearly half the normal retail price. In Hong Kong, you come to rely on such tip-offs because these secret goldmines are invariably tucked away in shabby, unassuming office buildings with those scary lifts where you have to open the doors yourself. I felt like an explorer navigating these old and dusty corridors in search of the treasure trove – and this quiet haven with racks and racks of rainbow explosions was definitely some glorious treasure for a make-up mavens like me!

I’d taken my first tentative toe-dips of getting back in the nail polish groove by doing my thumbnail with a tester pot of ‘it-shade’ Particuliere in Chanel. Classy, I know. I’d selected that mould-colour out of curiosity more than anything else, but over the past few days it had grown on me… rather like mould, I suppose! Armed with painted thumb, I asked the Cher2 shop assistant for the most similar colour they had. The girl was brilliant, knowing her stock exhaustively and producing about five different variants, with us eventually settling for OPI’s Over The Taupe as the most accurate dupe. So here we are.

I’m so in love with this shade right now. I love how subtle it is, yet also how very grown-up. Mushroom, putty, greige, mink, taupe, mould, cloudy coffee, sludge – call it what you will but it’s a sophisticated and seriously arresting blend of brown, grey, beige and even a touch of pale purple. I’d also forgotten how great wearing nail varnish makes you feel, like you’ve made an effort even on off-days, and I keep staring at my pinkies in pleasure. Yes, the finger fetish is back!

As for the nail varnish itself, I found it a little thicker and gloopier than I was expecting. OPI’s fatter brush took a while to get used to and I found the Chanel one easier to apply but this is as much due to the deterioration of my nail painting skills over the intervening decade (when advising me on base coats, the Cher2 assistant told me I had healthy nails – probably because I hadn’t painted them in ten years!) as to any shortcomings of the lacquer itself.

Despite lack of skill, I’m sadly still a bit of a perfectionist. I’d paint, not be entirely happy, try and tidy it up with nail varnish remover but manage to get acetone on other nice nails, meaning I had to start all over again, several times! It also seemed to take an age to dry, possibly because I didn’t leave enough time between coats (and you definitely need two coats, just one is too streaky and uneven) – I was amazed that it was still tacky over an hour after application, causing me to perennially smear it on things, meaning the final finish wasn’t quite as smooth as I’d hoped. 90 minutes and three rounds later, I was practically high on nail varnish remover fumes – but I had beautiful nails. Well, from a distance anyway!

I think I need to go a few more rounds with OPI to decide whether the thicker polish and fat brush works for me, but I really adore the colour. Two days on and I’m still chip-free, which speaks highly of the quality, especially reasonable at Cher2 prices.

I’ll be back on the nail varnish wagon again soon with the other two shades I bought so watch out for reviews of them! In the meantime though, I’ll just stare lovingly at my fingers some more…

Looks great with: Black, cream, smart/casual look
Drying time: +10-15 mins
Coats required: 2
Chips: After 2 days

OPI Over The Taupe nail polish, Summer 2009 Bright Pair Collection, $70, Cher2

All Cher2 locations in Hong Kong:

– 1E Po Foo Building, 84-94 Percival Street/1 Foo Ming Street, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong, 2882 2528
– 809, Mong Kok City Centre, 74-84 Sai Yeung Choi Street, Mong Kok, Hong Kong, 2886 1132
– 1202A Century Square, 1-13 D’Aguilar Street, Central, Hong Kong, 2810 0171
– 607 Kowloon Centre, 29-39 Ashley Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong, 2730 0701

http://www.cher2.com