The Makeup Box

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Diorskin Star Foundation Review

Dior’s latest foundation. Star, promises to provide a “professional lighting” effect on the face so your imperfections are masked and your contours look more sculpted. 

Like many of the latest-generation illuminating foundations, Star creates a glow without being shimmery or dewy, which is good for people with slightly oilier skins. 

Texture

Satin finish; feels matte and diffuses light so your pores look smaller, but it still leaves a smooth glow on the skin, like clean skin. 

Fluid and lighter in texture than Diorskin Nude, although the satin finish is slightly similar. Diorskin Nude is a bit fluffier and thicker in feel.

TIP: This foundation is very fluid and easy to apply, but it sets fast so blend quickly and make sure your brush or sponge is slightly damp.

Coverage

Medium-buildable; sheer if you use a sponge. This covers discolorations and even some of my dark circles and the best thing is that even after it is built up a bit, it still looks like skin and doesn’t feel tacky.

TIP: You can use a finger to pat on more where you need, without it looking cakey.

Lasting Power

This did not oxidize on me at all, and it lasts through my 10-12 hour days pretty well, although it does fade a bit after about 8 hours, and sooner if you’re out and about sweating up a storm.

I still don’t consider this the best foundation if you have very oily or very dry skin, but if you are combination, normal or slightly dry, this would be good. 

Other Things To Note

I did hear from a couple of people that this dried up on their skin and started looking patchy after awhile. I have dry skin and that never happened on me though.

My guess is this foundation doesn’t work with all primers or skin products. I use it with Laura Mercier’s Protect Primer with SPF30 or over my Guerlain Super Aqua Gel Creme and it’s never given me a problem, so I can’t begin to explain why the formula might be seizing up on some people. 

Verdict?

I really like this foundation as a good basic formula for slightly oily to combination and normal skin, who need a lasting foundation that isn’t powdery, heavy, or overly-matte. This does a good job of staying consistent-looking for hours (i.e. it has a smooth satiny look all the way through, instead of going on matte and then looking shiny after a few hours).

But I don’t see any sculpting effect at all. You’ll need contouring powder and a lighting crew for that. That one strange claim aside, I think it’s a great daily foundation and you like the look of Diorskin Nude foundation but find it too moisturizing, or you just want something a bit lighter feeling, try Star.

Grape-y! Six Grape Colored Lipsticks in Different Intensities.

I love grape colored lippies. They are purple, often with a hint of pink or rose. The difference between typical deep plum colors and what I call “grape” colors is the lack of brown tones.

Grape shades can make your teeth look whiter, and are far less likely to emphasize bruised tones in your skin.

BUT - the catch is not all of them are easy to wear. The most violet or blue-toned ones can make the skin look a bit sallow, so make sure you have some blush handy.

  1. Lancome Lip Lover 357 - Beginners’ grape. This shade looks purple in the tube but sheers out to a fuchsia-toned tint with slight blue pearl shimmer
  2. OCC Strumpet - A grape with a lot of rose; this one can be worn almost like a regular rose/pink shade, but there’s less red, so it looks a touch more edgy and hip
  3. Make Up Store Magic - An old favorite of mine. I avoid frosty lipstick like the plague UNLESS it is a dark red or purple-toned shade. Because it just looks wicked-cool.
  4. Givenchy Gloss Interdit 15 - this is a deep plum with tons of silver sparks. The texture is semi-sheer, and I do think the best way to wear it is to layer this over a coat of dark lipliner. You get incredible twinkling lacquered lips.
  5. Sephora Bewitch Me - This is the quintessential dark purple toned lip. It has a very blue-toned violet undertone so be careful to add a bit of pink blush if you have yellow-based skin like me. Otherwise you can look sallow in comparison.
  6. Lime Crime Kaleidoscope - This thick sticky gloss is very high-maintenance, but gosh it is pretty. Not for wallflowers! This is a straight violet with a dramatic blue pearl. Wear it if you’re ready to be stared at.

LJH Vital CC Cream and Oxygen Bubble Brightening Pack Trial

I hadn’t heard a whole lot about LJH (Lee Jiham) Doctor’s Care Cosmeceutical products before this, but I recently got the opportunity to check out some of their best-selling products via HKCplaza.com. They might not be the most well-known internationally but they were apparently one of the first companies in Korea to start selling cosmeceutical products (cosmetics with skin-treatment properties).

Outside of Korea, it’s hard to get hold of their products but HKCplaza.com ships internationally for free - without any minimum purchase required. The products aren’t cheap though, so it’s up to you which products to check out, and make sure you take note of the free trial product redemption and discount code at the end of the post!

Above are demos of 2 bestsellers; the Oxygen Bubble Brightening Pack, and Vital CC Cream.

Oxygen Bubble Brightening Pack is a rinse-off oxygenating mask similar to Bliss’s. What it does is:

  • Brightens and evens
  • Detoxifies
  • Exfoliates

How you use it? You apply 1-2 pumps of the white-ish gel over your face and it will quickly puff into a layer of fine foam. After that, you can start to rub it in until it disappears.

My experience? This does brighten and remove dead skin very well, but if you have sensitive skin, don’t leave it on or rub too long. I felt a bit of mild stinging when I rubbed and rubbed for a longer than instructed. This is a quick-acting mask! 

For those that wonder: this brightens by exfoliating; no bleach and I wouldn’t try or recommend anything that does!

Price in SGD: $58

Cellabel M.C. Vital CC Cream

A lot of CC creams claim to correct skin tone but end up an odd color with little coverage. This is a white cream that blends out and adjusts to a skin-tone and does a decent job of covering flaws. 

Natural-looking satin finish (not matte, not dewy)

Evens out skin tone and texture with medium coverage

Natural, neutral coloring

Vitamin C and plant extracts to condition, protect and treat the skin

How you use it? Just dab on and blend like you would any product. I would recommend working with your fingers just so you can properly activate the pigment capsules or it can look a bit pale and unnatural if not blended out well.

My experience? Definitely worth checking out if you’re a BB/CC cream fan. This is more natural looking than a lot of BB or CC creams from Korean brands that have very few shade options. It really doesn’t look like makeup after blended in. Just nicer skin. You won’t need much concealer after that. It promises to be gentle enough and non-aggravating for acne-prone skins but you will probably need a bit of powder to help it last longer if you are very oily.

Price in SGD: $72 (But this is 50% off now while stocks last so it’s $36!)

I would say to start with the CC Cream if you’re really interested in this brand. They have a new face cream and Propolis Ampoule that I’m curious about as well, but to be perfectly honest it is not a cheap brand. If you’re getting anything, make sure to redeem one of the free starter kits!
10% discount code: SB01000JAD (usage guideline

My Lush Collection!

Not sure how many of you are LUSH freaks but I first purchased their soaps and shower gels about 10 year ago, and I’ve seen a lot of favorites come and go.

They’ve become more popular among the younger crowd in Asia recently, and just opened a new outlet at Gateway (Orchard) in Singapore. If you’re not too familiar with the brand and are curious, here are some of my favorites. But I want to know what your faves are as well, so comment below and tell me!

Even after all these years, my favorites from the brand are still the shower products, although I dabble with their face products sometimes. I don’t have a bathtub in my apartment so I really only use the bath-bombs and bubble-bars when I’m traveling.

  1. Honey I Washed The Kids and Rock Star soaps: These are 2 very sweet soaps and bestsellers in LUSH’s range. Honey I Washed The Kids is really a caramel scented soap with some powdery honey scent thrown in, so I need to be in the right mood for it cos it can smell a bit heavy in warm weather. In cold weather it’s perfect, not just for the comforting scent but also because it’s very moisturizing. Rock Star is a fun one for those of you who love the sugary smell of bubblegum and vanilla. I didn’t like it initially but got a small bar one day and found myself getting quite addicted to it.
  2. Snowcake: I am hopelessly addicted to this delicate milky-almond scented soap and it’s changed appearance over the years, but the rose- and benzoin-infused formula is still as soothing and smoothing on the skin. I even use it on the face when I need a quick gentle cleanse. This is a holiday-only product in the West, but it’s available year-round in Singapore. (Yay.)
  3. Lust: I have an all-abiding lust for all things Lust, from the soap bar to the Gorilla perfume. I mentioned it awhile back as a “dirty jasmine”. It’s made with a very dense and rich jasmine absolute with a slightly green and very natural kick; and there’s a warm vanilla to round it out without turning it into a sticky candy-ish mess. Sadly I can’t find the soap on the UK/US sites anymore so I’m worried it’s been discontinued. The perfume and dusting powders might be the only things left of this range.
  4. Orange Jelly, Sexy Peel and Miranda soap: I love citrus soaps in the shower, so I’ll always have a bar lying around. They’re toning and invigorating, and I love how they scent the entire bathroom for hours after. 
  5. BIG shampoo and Seanik shampoo bar: I need volume for my limp locks, and BIG is one of the best I have ever tried. Just a tiny scoop of this grainy sea-salt infused shampoo goes a long, long way, and one jar lasts a long time even though it’s quite expensive. Ditto for the shampoo bars if you’ve never tried them. One small bar lasts me about 3 months (in a soft-water region) so it works out to be quite economical. And an extra bonus, these both smell divine.
  6. Happy Happy Joyjoy Conditioning Hair Perfume: This is one of those things I use just because it smells so gorgeous. If you like orange blossom and grapefruit, and most conditioners weigh your hair down, give this a try. This never makes my hair limp or greasy.

Tip: To get them to last longer, cut out a smaller chunk to use and/or place them on a proper soap dish to drain the water away. Soaps don’t last well and their scents fade if they’re constantly wet.

Face scrubs/masks:

I’ve only just started exploring the Fresh face masks so I’m not the expert on those, but I do enjoy Cosmetic Warrior (after I got over the very medicinal tea tree and garlicky smell) as a anti-blemish mask and I might try Cupcakey next! I did try Mask of Magnaminty a few years back but I wasn’t impressed. It didn’t do anything a normal clay mask couldn’t do better. (Sorry LUSH!) 

The problem with the Fresh masks like Cosmetic Warrior and Cupcakey is you need to refrigerate them and use them up by the stated expiry dates, and it’s almost impossible to, unless you mask almost daily. So it’s worth considering splitting one tub with a friend so you don’t waste product and money!

The ones that keep for slightly longer are the exfoliating cleansers like Dark Angel (blemished skin) and Herbalism (Sensitive/combi), but I do still recommend keeping them in the fridge. You take a small amount in your palm, add water until you get a paste, and then you apply and massage over your face gently before rinsing. Dark Angel, I actually leave on like a mask. I find the charcoal bits a bit too rough on the skin. Herbalism on the other hand, is very very gentle and quite fun to use.

A note on LUSH massage bars:

I won’t say too much cos these are quite self-explanatory. They’re solid shea and cocoa butter bars that melt at skin temperature, and there are so many to explore, including holiday limited editions. I always break them into smaller pieces and bring them out in tins cos they make a nice quick moisturizer in the middle of the day when my skin’s feeling parched in air conditioning.

The one I’ve used and repurchased for years is Hottie, the sweet and spicy bar with pepper and ginger to soothe aching muscles. But I really just like the very soft zing from the spices mixed with the sweetness of the nut butters.

One final tip before you go!

If you’re keen to check out lots of exclusive new formulas in small batches that haven’t been released yet, check out LUSH Kitchen on their UK site. I was actually tipped off to this by the LUSH team in Singapore. They’ve been fanatically ordering and shipping new products to try. I’ve already got my eye on a few items!

Last-Minute Mothers’ Day Gift Ideas

Mothers often spend too much time on others and never enough on themselves. Mother’s Day is the one day of the year when everyone focuses on them instead, so here is a list of some nice stuff that I think would make great treats for the Mrs in your life. 

If you haven’t been able to find something yet, here are 9 suggestions for you!

  1. Mrs On-The-Go: Chanel Les Beiges Harmonie Poudre Belle Mines No 1 - highlight, bronzer, and coral blush combined. (Above S$50)
  2. Mrs Classy: A tin of Guerlain Meteorite powder is just the thing for her boudoir when she wants to powder her nose with a little something luxe. (Above $50)
  3. Mrs No-Fuss: A nice little box from Crabtree & Evelyn filled with pick’n’mix Bath Gel, 2 x Hand Therapies, and a Body Lotion will allows her a bit of pleasure when she manages to find a quiet moment in the day. And she gets to choose from 4 scent ranges; Rosewater, Lily, Lavender, Wisteria. (Below $50)
  4. Mrs Quiet-Elegance: Any item you pick from Fresh’s Rose series would be a lovely sensorial treat for her skin AND her nose. My recommendation would be the Floral Toner and Face Mask to pamper, tone and refresh her skin. (Ranges from below to above $50)
  5. Mrs Ageless: Being busy and tired often means you need extra help in the skin department. Pick up a 75ml jumbo size Powerful Strength Line-Reducing Concentrate from Kiehl’s this May and let the 10.5% pure Vitamin C formula go to work on her skin tone, texture, radiance, and fine lines while protecting against future damage. And while you’re there, you might want to check out Super Multi-Corrective Cream, which contains jasmonic acid, hyaluronic acid, and beech tree extract to help retexturize, firm, and hydrate the skin at the same time. (Above $50)
  6. Mrs Radiant: VDL Lumilayer Primer is a quick and inexpensive treat to add an instant glow back to the skin when she doesn’t have the time to go for a facial. It feels fresh and works under AND over makeup. (Below $50)
  7. Mrs Yummy Mummy: YSL’s limited edition Rose Baby Doll nail lacquer and lip varnish are a gorgeously intense shade of rose. Not quite red, not quite fuchsia. Just very very chic and pretty. (Below $50 for one, above $50 for both)
  8. Mrs Sweetie-Pie: It doesn’t always take an expensive gift to make her feel happy. Something as simple as Too Faced’s Sweet Hearts blushes will bring a smile to her face simply because they’re so cute. (Below $50)
  9. Mrs Chic: Dior’s silver-quilted Nude Shimmer No 1 Rose compact makes quite the statement when she pulls it out for a mid-day touch-up, and the blush-pink shade looks pretty on most skins. 
Nail Polish Crush: Lancôme Vernis In Love Gris Angora 407N
Was at a L’oreal private sale the other day and picked up some varnishes going at less than one-third the usual price.
This soft grey with a hint of lavender, Gris Angora, is my absolute favorite polish shade right now. It is just gorgeous gorgeous gorgeous. Enough to dedicate an entire post to it.
Neutral and polished, but never dull.
What more could a girl want???
I’m just wondering why I never noticed it until now. 

Nail Polish Crush: Lancôme Vernis In Love Gris Angora 407N

Was at a L’oreal private sale the other day and picked up some varnishes going at less than one-third the usual price.

This soft grey with a hint of lavender, Gris Angora, is my absolute favorite polish shade right now. It is just gorgeous gorgeous gorgeous. Enough to dedicate an entire post to it.

Neutral and polished, but never dull.

What more could a girl want???

I’m just wondering why I never noticed it until now. 

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