Shades of Autumn (cont'd)

So this is how the Nouba purple eyeshadow looks like:

I used M.A.C. Electra on the first third of the eyelids, then a matte dark grey on the last third. I'm still using Giorgio Armani's concealer here.

I went easier on the blush, but used L'oreal H.I.P. #636 "Giddy" lipgloss to match the eyes. This lipgloss is extremely pigmented. It keeps a stained look all day long.

My fringe was so out of place because I slept when my hair was still damp.


Shades of Autumn

Hi everyone, I have quite a few things to go over this time so let's get started.

Angie has reviewed La Prairie cellular treatment liquid foundation with SPF before, but I thought I'd mention it too.

Customer service is practically non-existent in Italy so I never stop by La Prairie counter unless my sweet Clara is there. She's a very knowledgeable specialist, and listens to my every skincare need. She sold me the undereye treatment (a concealer) last year.

I asked her about La Prairie foundations and she gave me these.

A sample in shade #100 for both the liquid foundation and the Caviar cream foundation.

I've used the liquid foundation on two separate days and am very happy with it.
The first time I used it, I applied it with a foundation brush, and the result was much too pale. I think the brush picked up too much product and soon my face got oily.
But the second time I used it (today), I warmed up the product on the back of my hand, and applied a thin layer, as if it's a moisturiser, with my fingers. The result was wonderful: extreme comfort and all-day moisturising without being oily at all. The colour also looked much more natural. I will definite purchase this foundation after I finish the sample.
For those of you who have been reading my blog, you might notice that I don't do any major hauls. I absolutely cannot buy for the sake of quantity, but only quality.
This past week, I got Giorgio Armani luminous silk powder compact, and two Italian brands: Royal Effem (Laboratori Royal) lipstick and Nouba wet & dry eye shadow.

The packaging is very minimal. I love Guerlain and YSL's fancy casings too, but packaging is not something that affects my decision to purchase.

The powder is in shade #4, the lipstick is Totally Gloss #LU25, and the eye shadow is Nombra #329.

Looks coming up this week!


Six Quirky Things About Me

Thanks watercolor sky for tagging me! So let's play by the rules:

  • Link to the person who tagged you.
  • Post the rules on your blog.
  • Share six non-important things/habits/quirks about yourself.
  • Tag six random people at the end of your post by linking to their blogs.
  • Let each random person know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their website.
  1. I wash my handbags, because I hate holding something dirty.
  2. I only drink and cook with bottled water.
  3. I read magazines from back to front, and fill out forms from bottom to top.
  4. I speak very slowly (as in John-Malkovich-slow).
  5. I speak five languages, and speak my mother language (Chinese) the worst.
  6. When I'm nervous, I giggle non-stop.

Let me tag:

Girl Meets Makeup


Nic Nic

Mrs. Zeus

Tao's Makeup

Purple Snowflake


Here and Taer

Hi everyone, thanks so much for all the comments on my post a few days ago. Now I have more confidence applying blush on the apple of my cheeks. I guess it's a more sun-kissed look.

This time I'd like to share with you an Icelandic organic skincare brand called Taer Icelandic.

From left, here are the firming serum, complete cleanser and 24-hour moisturiser.

The brand grows most of its own herbs on an organic farm. The signature ingredent is yarrow, an ancient plant known for many benefits. During Iceland's summer, it's at its most potent state and Taser harvests it for the products.

I love the unique recyclable ceramic packaging!

I've been using the cleanser for the past few days. It smells pleasantly strong, almost medicinal. With no preservatives, it's white and creamy.

I apply it dry onto my face (with makeup), massage and wait for a couple of minutes before rinsing everything off. You can also simply wipe the stuff off. My skin feels very soft, clean and refreshed afterwards.

I love a luxurious cleanser after a long day because it makes me feel good.


In the Mood for Fall

Hi everyone, I thought I should post a proper photo this week. I didn't do anything extraordinary here, but...

This is happy hair with Phyto shampoo :-)

Now that the weather is nice and cool (finally), I've started using Shu Uemura purple base as foundation. My skin looks more luminous with it, and the loose powder stays on better.

I don't know if you noticed, but I applied the blush only on the apple of my cheeks, and did contouring. It's not my favourite way because it can easily look clownish, but I gave it a try anyway.

On my lips, I dabbed some M.A.C. 5N lipstick (not very noticeable, sorry). I'm into stained lips for autumn so I'll continue playing with this kind of colour.


The Pasta, The Opera...

...the shoes! These are just some of the things for which Italy is famous. Here are some highlights from the spring/summer 09 collection of Gianvito Rossi.

The dizzying height comes with patent leather and python skin. A zipper at the back of the ankle gives this shoe a femme-fatale touch.

Platforms, a safe alternative for daytime, go exotic here.

Going from day to night becomes easy as the urban gladiator goes sleek and elegant.


Art of Concealment (cont'd)

I said I would try and do a review on the Giorgio Armani high precision retouch concealer so here we go.

Here is the size compared with the La Prairie undereye treatment concealer. The tube is tiny and handy.

The applicator is a mini tip. I don't want to contaminate the product so I swap the stuff onto a little spatula and use it that way.
I swiped a bit onto a shiny surface. As you can see, it has full coverage. The texture is incredibly, incredibly soft and easy to manage. It goes on like butter.
Here is a photo of using the concealer around the highest part of my cheekbone, where my freckles are. I also used it along the bridge of my nose. The concealer is very luminous. It's also foolproof because you can just blend with your fingertips and it will look perfect, without using a brush.



I'm a real nerd. I love classical literature, museums, concert halls, ballets, and of course La Scala. It was eight years ago when I first saw this legendary theatre. And being younger at that time, I thought it was the only "world" - hidden behind those doors - that mattered.

I've been needing a little pick-me-up, and a good opera was just the thing. So, after the gym today, I headed to the ticket office one hour before the show started.

I saw The Marriage of Figaro, and was lucky enough to be at the ninth row - very nice seat considering I got the ticket last minute.

I was glad to see that even children and grannies had a good time (hey, who doesn't like Mozart). The music, the performance, the set... The real world seemed like a cruel and ugly place after I got out of the theatre :-(

Just before summer, I had gone to La Scala for a very special event in collaboration with Montegrappa, the Italian fountain pen company. As part of the press, we saw La Traviata (Seventh row seat: the view was just as good here). The whole thing went from cocktails to the opera to the dinner. I finally got home at 2 a.m. It was a wonderful event.

Coming up: La Prairie Anti-aging liquid foundation review and FOTD.


Stressed Tresses

Instead of a rainy autumn, Milan is stuffy and humid, somewhere between warm and cool. My hair hates this kind of weather. Neither my Cowshed nor Klorane shampoo works anymore so I went in search of a new shampoo. Having heard so many good things about Phyto, the choice was an easy one.
This comes in a very modest packaging. The shampoo bottle itself is an unattractive metal bottle. Photocédrat is the name. This is supposed to regulate the scalp's sebum secretion.

The cap twists off. The shampoo is suprisingly thin, like tea!
To avoid spilling (and I hate the bottle), I transferred some of the product to an easy Shu Uemura pump bottle. 1-2 pumps are enough for my long hair.

I tilted the bottle just so you see how incredibly thin the shampoo is. The colour is tea, the consistency is tea, the delicious aroma is sugared tea!

I've washed my hair with this twice since I bought this a few days ago. It foams a bit, and doesn't give much of a lather. It rinses off easily with no build-up whatsoever, leaving my hair clean, calm and renewed. It remains clean and manageable even after the second day.

Anyone who thinks they have oily hair should try this, because it regulates your scalp and set everything right again.


Burberry in the Hills

While I try to prepare a proper review on the Armani concealer, I have to say that it's really wonderful. Two nights ago, I slept only a few hours. The next morning, I applied the stuff more liberally and the result was luminous. The shimmer was not visible, but what it did was illuminate the dull spots dramatically. I'll post a look with that later.

Meanwhile, this is for those of you in California.

Burberry re-opens in Beverly Hills as a brand new concept store created by Christopher Bailey himself. In this boutique of 7300 sq. feet, you will find Burberry Prorsum, Burberry London, Burberry accessories, ready-to-wear and much more. There is even a separate shoe room!

9560 Wilshire Boulevard, Beverly Hills, CA 90212

Tel: 1 800 284 8480


Art of Concealment

I am still using my La Prairie eye treatment, which is like a liquid concealer packaged in a silver pen. You click and the product comes out at the tip. Great stuff. I've been using it every day since last winter and it still hasn't run out.

But I want more. More coverage, perhaps! And I want something that feels more luxurious.

Last weekend, I came across YSL Anti-cernes Multi-action Concealer. There are three shades and the lightest one works on my skin tone. The tube is small and skinny, very easy to handle. It provides full coverage, but it's absolutely matte. It's very cakey, so when applying, the skin has to be perfectly moisturised, and the product has to be blended very well otherwise it will just look dodgy.

At a major cosmetic boutique or counter, it's around 20 euro.

In the past, I've used Shu Uemura Pro Concealer, which comes in a mini-case. There was so much product I couldn't finish it. I threw it out after 10 months, being concerned with expiration. The coverage was good, but since it's a cream, it takes me longer to blend.

This retails for USD23 when I last checked.

So this is what I got last night: Giorgio Armani High Precision Retouch. The tube is so tiny and handy. It contains 4ml of liquid concealer. The top twists off, and there's a tiny tiny tip for precise application.

I went for the lightest shade. The coverage is medium and easily buildable to a full coverage. Today was the first time I tried using it.

I applied the product with my fingertip. It was easy to control. I had to be swift though, because it dried quite quickly. It had a very elegant pearlised finish without looking glittery. This can easily work as a highlighter!

In Italy, this is 28 euro for 4ml of product.

This is dermatologist- and ophthalmologist-test. I guess that's what convinced me in the end, because the YSL product did not say anything about the product being tested!


Monday Blues

These are the worst photos I've taken! I use a professional camera, but recently it's been updated and I realised that it works quite differently! I'll figure it out somehow...

This weekend was very tiring for me, and today wasn't much better. Here's an attempt to dispel the blues.

On my cheeks, I used a completely matte pink, then topped it with an iridescent version, concentrating on the apple of the cheeks.

After applying black kohl, I used a white pencil around my eyes, and applied M.A.C. contour powder in Emphasize all over my lids. On my lips is NARS Masai, the most versatile shade I've ever had.



An Italian model who came back from Fashion Week in New York told me that the handful of Asian models are very well-paid, because they are simply so hard to book. Here's a look at a few faces. Which one's your favourite?

Ai Tominaga getting her hair done at fall/winter 08 Couture Armani Privé.

Daul Kim, looking very bored backstage at Benjamin Cho's f/w 08 show.

Mo Wandan checks out her makeup backstage at Valentino.

Emma Pei with minimal makeup at s/s08 Dries Van Noten.

Hye Park at s/s 09 Max Mara.

Han Hye Jin, with dramatic purple lips at s/s 09 Zac Posen.


Blush Tutorial

As autumn sets in, sometimes I need a little pick-me-up with a sun-kissed look. This can be achieved by applying blush in a particular way.
1. I usually do the rest of my makeup first.
No foundation. La Mer loose powder, M.A.C. and MUFE kohl pencils.

2. I'm using my Sephora contour brush and NARS Angelika blush.
I wiggle the blush on the product to get quite a lot of colour without making a mess.
3. If you want a glowy look, start from the apple of your cheeks.
4. Then I slowly drag it towards my ears.

5. I like this brush because it's dense and small enough for precise application without the product flying all over my face.
6. But if I want a sun-kissed look, I start from the bridge of my nose, being careful with my eyes here.
7. Lightly drag towards the apple of my cheeks.
8. Drag a "U" shape up towards my ears.
9. Repeat with more product if necessary.

10. I use the remaining colour left on the brush to go over my chin too. As you can see in this last photo, there is a band of colour across my face, mimicking a sun-burnt look.

The look is modern and fun. The trick with blush, as always, is use more. Otherwise, the effect is really lost. Hope you liked it!



I seem to be having some connection problems so I will be a bit behind on reading your blogs.

Coming up: my 10-photo series of blush application.


Oh my Pashmy

Du Juan seen carrying Tod's Pashmy bag in Beijing
Tod's, one of the (few) authentic Made-in-Italy brands, just seems to put out one hit after another. From the signature loafers to this Pashmy bag, Tod's seen on everybody.
I really don't mind the idea of a nylon bag. Whether it's a Longchamp or Tod's or Prada, high-tech nylon can be dressed up or dressed down. I'm always surprised at how good this simple Pashmy bag can look on certain people. From the elegant Du Juan to a random 50-something woman in Milan, this bag is a true crowd pleaser. Hats off to Tod's.



My makeup brushes are basic, mostly because I don't usually do complicated looks.
The Shu Uemura brush is 10 years old, literally my very first makeup brush! It's still absolutely beautiful.
Together with the M.A.C. angled brush and the Sephora eyeshadow brush, I can do all of my eye makeup with ease.
I use the Sephora #5 to apply my Shu Uemura foam UV base. It doesn't waste any product.
For contouring and blush, I'm using Sephora #40, though I am looking for a better brush. Any suggestions?
Clarins powder brush is great for loose or compact powder.

After every use, I draw the brushes across a tissue to remove excess product. At the end of the week, I wash all of them, and let them dry pointing down. I've had these brushes for years, and with care, I'm sure they will be good for a few more.