Category Archives: Reviews

Rave & Review: Kiko Milano – Quality Beauty on a Budget

 

Kiko Milano Cosmetics - Laced Ivory

The Kiko Milano Velvet Mat Lipstick (top), Shade Fusion Trio Blush (middle) and Dazzling Highlighter (bottom).

 

Have you ever discovered a beauty brand by accident, or through a friend’s recommendation, and then fell so much in love with it that you wished you could have everything in store? That’s what happened to Kiko Milano and me.

 

Kiko Milano is a beauty brand that originates from Italy, proving that not only is this European country the home of fashion, it is also one for beauty. I’ve only seen their outlets here and there the past few times I had been in France, and each time, the stores were all filled to the brim with shoppers. The crowds were the main reason I never stepped into any of their stores, but now that I’ve discovered their products and brand vision, I haven’t looked back.

 

Kiko Milano serves to create top-notch beauty products using the best ingredients they can find, and leaving out anything that isn’t up to their standards in terms of safety. The brand is cruelty-free and their quality products deliver great colour payoff. The best part is that they are oh-so-affordable.

 

The very first products I bought from them are featured in today’s entry: the Velvet Mat Lipstick in shade 613 Pink Carnation, Dazzling Highlighter in shade 04 Bright Rose and Shade Fusion Trio Blush in shade 04 Peach Rose- in that order. The lipstick first caught my eye because it was a matte range and the colour seemed very wearable. I tried one using my finger and my lips didn’t immediately feel tingly (I have eczema), so I added it in my imaginary basket.

 
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Rave & Review: The 3CE Pore Silky Balm

 

3CE Pore Silky Balm Review

The 3CE Pore Silky Balm is a god-send.

 

Oh dear, I’m not sure you’ll be very friendly to your wallet after reading this post. Today I’m raving about a product I finally got to try – the 3CE Pore Silky Balm. If you need to know the verdict now, I’m telling you this is something you need in your beauty stash, stat!

{I’ve previously written reviews of some of my favourite products from 3CE, and you can read the one on their gorgeous lip colours here. One of them makes a cameo appearance above – you’ll notice the consistent white-on-black packaging.} 

 

I first heard about this product because a friend recommended it to me. This is a product that makes you go, “Why haven’t I discovered this earlier,” once you start using it. The 3CE Pore Silky Balm is a solid balm in a round metal pot. It only comes in one shade – Ivory – but would fit various skin tones because each use only requires a minimal amount.

 

Once you screw the cap open, you’ll find a spatula to scoop the product with, a sponge and a transparent plastic protector which you should keep to ensure that the balm does not get dirty. As the balm is a little sticky in nature, dust can get stuck on the surface and contaminate it.

 
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Review: The DCS Nutriderm Ultra Nutrition Night Cream & Ultra Nutrition Toner

 

DCS Nutriderm Review

 

Sometime back, I wrote a review on the DCS Aquaderm range, where I tried out the toner, day cream and ampoule. This time, I got to try out a couple more products from the DCS Nutriderm range and am quite pleased with the Ultra Nutrition Night Cream, in particular.

 

Like all DCS products, this range contains skin-loving volcanic seawater from Jeju, Seoul, which is rich in minerals like selenium and zinc, that help to repair and regenerate skin. The main difference between the Nutriderm and Aquaderm ranges is that the Nutriderm range is targeted towards anti-ageing because it contains the key ingredient of Korean red ginseng berry.

 

I am a huge fan of Korean red ginseng skincare products, as not only is this ingredient so rare (it’s harvested once every four years over a seven-day period), it really works wonders to help maintain youthful skin. If you haven’t given Korean red ginseng a try, I highly recommend it.

 

The main thing you’ll notice about both the Ultra Nutrition Toner and Ultra Nutrition Night Cream – and the other products in the range, I’m sure – is the smell of ginseng the moment you place the product close to your skin. Two words: It’s heavenly. It could actually mostly be fragrance but the scent is enough to make me feel like I’m really applying full-on ginseng to my skin. Now that I think of it, I’m not even sure how ginseng fragrance is made. Maybe it’s just ginseng.

 
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Rave & Review: The Tom Ford Black Dahlia Lip Colour Matte Lipstick

 

Tom Ford Black Dahlia Review

Winter in Seoul with Tom Ford.

 

Hello from Seoul, South Korea! I thought it best to take a short break from street shopping to blog a little bit about my new favourite beauty product, the Tom Ford Black Dahlia Lip Colour Matte Lipstick. I apologise first for pictures that aren’t too gorgeous, as I’m taking these pictures from my phone.

 

I first heard about this lip colour from Elle’s article about why everyone can wear this shade. And I mean everyone from all skin tones who dare to wear a bold lip for the winter. Because it’s Elle and because I’ve never bought a Tom Ford lippie, I thought this was a great chance to get it. I mean, Elle said it would suit me and all the models in their article looked great in it.

 

So I dropped by the Tom Ford counter while shopping for Christmas presents one evening and tried the lipstick on to see if I would have an allergic reaction to it. Better safe than sorry, I always say. After walking around the mall for a while, nothing happened to my lips so I went back and spent some hard-earned money on it. At S$75 per pop, it had better not make me itchy.

 
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Rave & Review: The Laura Mercier Paint Wash Liquid Lip Colour in Nude Rose

 

Laura Mercier Paint Wash Liquid Lip Colour in Nude Rose

The Laura Mercier Paint Wash Liquid Lip Colour in Nude Rose.

 

It isn’t often that you find a beauty product that you feel like you’re going to keep using for the rest of your life. Or the foreseeable future, at least. That’s just how I see the Laura Mercier Paint Wash Liquid Lip Colour in Nude Rose. This product has made my day many more times than I’d expected it to, ever since I got hold of it at Sephora one fine afternoon shopping with my best friend.

 
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Rave & Review: The Nails Inc NailKale Nail Polish in Windsor Mews

 

Nails Inc Nailkale Nail Polish Windsor Mews

The Nails Inc Nailkale Nail Polish Windsor Mews on a weekday dreaming.

 

If the name of the nail polish shade itself isn’t enticing enough – just think of somerset meadows and a walk down Oxford Street on a bright sunny day – perhaps the colour of the polish will be.

 

Windsor Mews is my first Nails Inc lacquer, which I delightfully discovered at a random Sephora trip. I was looking out for a classic, elegant and timeless shade that wasn’t over the top nor would give people the impression that I was all about serious business. I swatched this shade once and I was sold. Here’s why.

 
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Feature and Personal Picks: The Body Shop Christmas 2015 Collection

 

The Body Shop Frosted Plum

Introducing the festive Frosted Plum range from The Body Shop.

 

I know it’s only the very beginning of November but Christmas has come early! Aren’t you in the mood yet? Come on, you’ve got to be.

 

I’m just really excited that beauty brands have started launching their Christmas collections and the one from The Body Shop is no exception. I first discovered The Body Shop while I was still in university but somewhere along the way, I kind of lost touch with the brand as I found out about other brands out there. I mean, hello Laneige, 3CE, Sleek, Sigma and Dior! I’m glad I got the chance to rediscover this brand after the long hiatus from it.

 

The Christmas 2015 Collection from The Body Shop is filled with goodies for you but today I’ll just share my favourites and recommendations from the brand. If you’ll like to check everything else out, do be sure to drop by a counter near you.

 

The Body Shop WHITE MUSK SMOKY ROSE EAU DE TOILETTE

The Body Shop White Musk Smoky Rose Eau de Toilette Gift Set.

 

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Review: The Marc Jacobs Beauty Enamored Hi-Shine Nail Lacquer in 120 Delphine

 

Marc Jacobs Beauty Enamoured Hi-Shine Nail Lacquer

Timeless classic that is the Marc Jacobs Beauty Enamored Hi-Shine Nail Lacquer in 120 Delphine.

 

Remember the first time you saw a nail polish shade and fell immediately in love with it? That was exactly what happened when I caught sight of the Marc Jacobs Beauty Enamoured Hi-Shine Nail Lacquer in 120 Delphine – on Instagram. Say what you want but Instagram, to me, is very influential indeed.

 

I made it a point to check it out the next time I dropped by Sephora for my skincare staples and joyfully found it on the shelf amongst other shades form the range. On the Sephora website, this shade is described as “opaque smoky purple grey” and I suppose that’s as close to being accurate as I can get. Oh yes, maybe something like mocha would work too. The colour is classy and timeless, and works great to fit a neutral palette at work or play. It would go with any piece of clothing you wear and wouldn’t draw too much attention away from it.

 
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Review: The Stenders Wild Rose Gentle Facial Exfoliator

 

Stenders Wild Rose Review

A beautiful pink, to brighten up any bathroom counter top.

 

If you take great care of your skin, you’ll know its behaviours. Like when it needs a good moisturising treat, or when it needs a good scrubbing down. Normally, when it starts to look dull and uneven when you scrutinise it, you’ll know it’s time to do something on top of the normal cleansing and moisturising.

 

The best way to reveal radiance immediately is to use a good facial scrub. I gave the Stenders Wild Rose Gentle Facial Exfoliator a try and found it to be quite a pleasant experience.

 

Stenders is a brand hailing all the way from exotic Latvia. It was launched in 2001 when the founders had an idea for home-made soap using ancient Latvian knowledge and natural ingredients. Granted, the Gentle Facial Exfoliator isn’t only made of natural ingredients but it does contain plant extracts.

 
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Rave & Review: The Australis AC On Tour Contouring & Highlighting Kit

 

Australis AC On Tour Contouring & Highlighting Kit

The Australis AC On Tour Contouring & Highlighting Kit.

 

Got your cuppa? Ready? OK, here’s the question of the day: How do you find out about new products besides reading them on blogs?

 

Just a couple of weeks ago, while waiting for our dinner date, I walked past a Metro outlet and found out it was having a moving out sale. Obviously I went in to have a look at the beauty department, wondering if I would be able to find some hidden gems at a fraction of the original retail price. I chanced upon a shelf filled with Australis products, and something about the hot pink-on-black packaging of the Australis AC On Tour Contouring & Highlighting Kit tugged at my heart strings. The tester was wide open, tempting me with all six shades of the palette.

 

I went away after some time (there were three of the palettes left at this point) but couldn’t help reading online reviews on the palette throughout dinner. Poor Mr. Ratatouille had to bear with my, “I think I need a contour palette,” and my, “I don’t have one. Now’s a good time to get it!” and finally my, “Let’s go back and take another look.” So, with our tummies satisfied (they serve the best pancakes ever at Paddington House of Pancakes), we went back to the beauty counter. That’s when I found only two of the three palettes left. I hurriedly grabbed the nicer looking one, just in time before another girl took the last one right after me.

 

And I can’t say it enough, that this is one purchase I’ve never regretted.

 

A photo posted by Roxanne C. (@lacedivory) on


 

The palette has six shades in all – 3 highlighting shades and 3 contouring shades. The shades don’t have individual names but are simply numbered from 1 to 6. Shades 1, 2 and 3 are the three highlighting shades at the top row, while shades 4, 5 and 6 are the contouring shades at the bottom.

 

From other reviews I’ve read, most people are madly in love with shade 2, calling it the “banana shade” and gush about how awesome it is as an under-eye colour. However, it seems that the not-so-good things about this palette are that the contouring shades can’t be blended easily and that there are way too many shades in total.

 

Here’s what I think:

 

Australis AC On Tour Contouring & Highlighting Kit

The Australis AC On Tour Contouring & Highlighting Kit.

 

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