LOTD: Vice 3 – Halloween Red-dy Eyes… Geddit?

Okay, granted this look wasn’t created with Halloween in mind, nor was it created for Halloween but… it’s Halloween today and so appropriate to post this rather over-the-top red-hued eye look, no?

To my own defense, I did wear this out and about my normal day at work and while yes some colleagues commented on my eyeshadow (“oh hey you’re wearing eyeshadow today!” – when I do wear eyeshadow everyday…) no one said it looked too much.

So perhaps sometimes frames (if you’re new, I wear glasses because contacts aren’t my friends right now) does help tone the madness down.

But anyway, yes this look is really an exploration of the beautiful pink-ish and cranberry tones within this palette.

Rightfully they should be paired one at a time (either Alchemy or Sonic) and rarely worn all together but… if you’re going all out, might as well.

All the red hued eyeshadows within Vice 3 are gorgeous in color and pigmentation while being smooth and creamy in texture.

They have a mild frost or sheen to them that gives it a little depth but not so much that it makes these already bold shades even harder to wear.

If you ask me, of the lot I would personally give Sonic and Bondage a little more wear purely because Alchemy is a touch pink for my taste but Alien paired with it would be beautiful for those who love a flash of pink to their eye look!

Rightfully, with an eye look as strong as this one it’s always safer to go neutral and plain with the rest of the face, keeping the focus on the eyes.

But I think we’ve established from the start of this post that soft is not the way I am going.

I managed to shop my stash and dug up a Dior Addict lippie (Mayday) that I have completely forgotten about.

Why? I’m not sure because it is another gorgeous (I’m over-using this word here) red that I’ll be sure to reach for a lot more.

Products Used:

BROWS
Shu Uemura Hard 9 Pencil in Walnut Brown
Shu Uemura Brow Manicure in Honey Glazed

FACE
Vichy Normaderm Anit-Imperfection Hydrating Care
ZA Perfect Fit Liquid Foundation
The Body Shop InstaBlur Eye
Urban Decay NAKED Loose Powder (to set)
Guerlain Perles D'Azur Meteorites

EYES 
Lancôme Aquatique Eye Base in 01
Urban Decay Vice Palette 
- Truth (all over lids)
- Alien (over lids, just below the crease)
- Alchemy (middle portion of the lids)
- Sonic (outer-corner)
- Bondage (outer-v definition)
- Downfall (blending in the crease)
- Bobby Dazzle (browbone)
Starlash Waterproof Lightning Liquid Liner
MAC Powerpoint Liner in Engraved

CHEEKS 
Shu Uemura Glow On (Powder Blush) in P Soft Coral 332

LIPS 
Dior Dior Addict Lipstick in Mayday

 

Voila, thy dramatic look~

Does it look like what some of you are wearing out for Halloween today?

Pity I’m at work this Halloween (not at work the whole night but rather working late) so I’ve got nothing planned but I’m thinking to throw a pillowcase over my baby boo once I’m home and have her play a ghoul, just because.

Only when you’re babies / toddlers can you get away with simplicity like that, heh!

 

Thanks for reading!

Urban Decay’s Vice 3 Palette will retail for S$88 and is already available at Sephora!

Vice 3 is a Limited Edition Palette.

Sponsorship disclosure

LOTD: Vice 3 – Breaking Down the Dragon

Okay, enough neutral play, let’s bring on the big guns and by this I mean summoning thy Dragon

Okay, fine…

As far as dragons go, this little fella is on the tamer and milder side but don’t look down on him (it’ll hurt his little green heart) because he still packs quite a punch, especially if you decide to pile this Dragon on over a darker (or complimenting) base!

For this look, I used it as-is and the only thing I wore it underneath is a sweep of Last Sin, which I’ve been quite taken to using as a quick sweep beneath any bolder colored looks (that require more blending) that I’m doing.

I’m not sure why but… it’s just a thing.

To tame the green-eyed Dragon look down, because even though this green isn’t a pow-wow intense green it does glow with vigor and catches the light even in dim sitations (like a dragon squatting and watching from a darkened cave… okay too much imagination now), I introduced a little bit of Brokedown to the outer-corner.

I’m not sure why I didn’t think up this look earlier, it’s so stunning and as far as colors go, this is easy to wear and pull off.

Everytime I wear greens on the eyes, it’s a default reaction to plop on some corals on my cheeks and lips so, that’s what’s going on on the rest of my face!

Products Used: 

BROWS
Shu Uemura Hard 9 Pencil in Walnut Brown
Shu Uemura Brow Manicure in Honey Glazed

FACE
Vichy Normaderm Anit-Imperfection Hydrating Care
Giorgio Armani Silk Luminous Liquid Foundation
MAC Select Moisturecover Concealer
Tarte Smooth Operator Micronized Clay Finishing Powder
Guerlain Perles D'Azur Meteorites

EYES 
Lancôme Aquatique Eye Base in 01
Urban Decay Vice Palette 
- Last Sin (as a wash all over lids, not seen)
- Dragon (on the inner corner
- Brokedown (on the outer corner)
- Revolver (lightly on the outer-v)
- Reign (crease, lightly)
- Truth (brow bone)
Starlash Waterproof Lightning Liquid Liner
MAC Powerpoint Liner in Engraved

CHEEKS 
YSL Heart of Light Blush in Light 01

LIPS 
Lancôme Rouge in Love in 132M

 

It was a really nice refresh to wear a fun pop of color on the lids again and while I will still scurry to neutrals when I need a reliable and quick look, I’ve been willing myself to wear more color these days and I’m enjoying it.

Something about donning stronger shades on the lid feels so liberating, fresh and ‘alive’ once more.

I sound a little cuckoo about now so I’m gonna stop…

 

Thanks for reading!

Urban Decay’s Vice 3 Palette will retail for S$88 at Sephora, launching TODAY (30th October)!

Vice 3 is a Limited Edition Palette.

Sponsorship disclosure

LOTD: Vice 3 – Blues the Natural Way (Sins, Heroines and Bondage…)

So… I tried to think up ways to make use of the very blue-sy row of colors but I will admit that my days of donning blue eyeshadows are well over.

I still like them and I recall my smokey blue wearing days fondly but for some reason, maybe because I am so tired all the time now, I feel a full out smokey blue eye look would just emphasize the fatigue on my face.

Though it is a color I still like to revisit, in small doses and paired with the right amount of neutrals to keep it from looking too ‘druggy’ on me. If you’re a blue loving and donning fiend then yes, please go ahead and scoff at my wimpy way of wearing it but for ladies who are seeking out ways to wear color (but not wear color, hurhur geddit?) with the Vice 3 palette, then maybe this look might resonate with you!

As they say, a leopard never changes its spots right?

Once a neutral lover, always a neutral lover… Though okay, I’ll admit colors are fun to don and I’ll feature more of that in the upcoming Vice 3 looks.

Vice 3 aside, I also want to give a shoutout to the eyeliner that I have on.

You see that blue sparkle amidst a darkened base? As well as the deep dark and creamy black I have on my lower lashline? Yes those are the works of the Urban Decay 24/7 Dual Ended Glide-on Pencil (from their Black Magic pencil set) in LSD (the blue) and Perversion (the black).

So… I heard that LSD is a name of a drug and I get Urban Decay’s ‘edginess’ to go with something like that but it makes me wary to say something like “I really love LSD”.

Which in this case I do… but I’ll have to clarify that it is the pencil liner I love.

I’ll talk about Urban Decay’s Black Magic 24/7 Pencil liner set again, but if you’re curious it launches tomorrow (along with Vice 3).

One more last shoutout, the lips.

I have on a recent favorite, the Shu Uemura Vision of Beauty Vol 01 lipstick in Orange.

I don’t have a true creamy and straight out orange lip color in my stash, the closest of which is a coral / reddish-orange which ultimately looks red so this little fella is such love.

Though pity that with it being such a stand-out color, in a way different to a bold red, it is not something you can pop on everyday because it can be a little tricky to match.

But it is a beautiful shade and if you’re adventurous with your lip shades, it’s always good to have an orange in the stash!

Products Used:

BROWS
Shu Uemura Hard 9 Pencil in Walnut Brown
Shu Uemura Brow Manicure in Honey Glazed

FACE
Vichy Normaderm Anit-Imperfection Hydrating Care
Dior Star Liquid Foundation
MAC Select Moisturecover Concealer
Urban Decay NAKED Loose Powder (to set)
Guerlain Perles D'Azur Meteorites

EYES 
Lancôme Aquatique Eye Base in 01
Urban Decay Vice Palette 
- Last Sin (all over the lids, below crease)
- Freeze (on the outer corner)
- Heroine (on the outer corner, outer-v)
- Bondage (dabbed lightly, blended in the crease)
- Truth (brow bone)
Urban Decay 24/7 Double Ended Eye Pencil in LSD & Perversion

CHEEKS 
MAC Mineralised Blush in Warmth of Coral

LIPS 
She Uemura Vision of Beauty Vol 01 Lipstick in Orange

 

Thanks for reading!

Tomorrow I promise you, we’ll be stepping out of neutrals!

Urban Decay’s Vice 3 Palette will retail for S$88 at Sephora starting 30th October 2014.

Vice 3 is a Limited Edition Palette.

Sponsorship disclosure

LOTD: Vice 3 – Of Copper-Golds & Purples!

Now, for the second look I decided to take a baby step towards using colors.

I would say that overall this look still leans rather neutral and is one that is safe enough to wear without feeling too dramatic or smoked out but the little peeks of color within, be it the stunning copper gold or shy purple shimmers, gives it that little something too amidst all that whole neutral-wearable aspect!

The copper-gold shade I used here (frankly I don’t even know if copper-gold is the right way to describe it) leans a little orange under certain lighting and it’s really quite a color shifter.

Though regardless what color it reflects, one thing is for sure and that this is a stunning color to wear. It easily adds that spark to a look because of how vibrant a shade it is but it doesn’t appear too unwearable either, which is what makes it such a joy and such an ease to pull off.

If you’re ever tired of mixing up neutrals with Vice 3, just pop on a little bit of Lucky and you’re all set!

I’ll admit that I’m not doing Vanity (that sultry purple) much good with this look because I dabbed it on lightly and blended it out such that only a darkened base remained, speckled with purple shimmers within.

When worn full on I can imagine this being a really complex purple that would shift depending on how the light hits it!

For this look, I also tried to keep within the same ‘column’ if you recall the layout of the palette from my Vice 3 overview entry. That’s why I thought to pair Lucky with Vanity and even though both are strong colors alone, they still work well together and compliment each other in a look.

Products Used:

BROWS
Shu Uemura Hard 9 Pencil in Walnut Brown
Shu Uemura Brow Manicure in Honey Glazed

FACE
Vichy Normaderm Anit-Imperfection Hydrating Care
ZA Perfect Fit Liquid Foundation
MAC Select Moisturecover Concealer
Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage Palette (concealer)
Urban Decay NAKED Loose Powder (to set)
Chanel Les Beiges Healthy Glow Sheer Powder

EYES 
Dior Backstage Eye Prime
Urban Decay Vice Palette 
- Lucky
- Vanity
- Defy + Revolver
- Reign
- Truth
Starlash Waterproof Lightning Liquid Liner
MAC Powerpoint Liner in Engraved

CHEEKS 
MAC Mineralized Skinfinish Blush in Happy Together

LIPS 
Maquillage True Rouge in RD382

This is an eyelook I’ll certainly revisit when I find myself in a neutral rut and needing a soft pop of vibrance!

Tell me, do you like to pair copper and purple together?

 

Thanks for reading!

Urban Decay’s Vice 3 Palette will retail for S$88 at Sephora starting 30th October 2014.

Vice 3 is a Limited Edition Palette.

Sponsorship disclosure

LOTD: Urban Decay Vice 3 – The Natural Sage…

Neutral and natural, it’s in my blood really.

No matter what I get my hands on my first approach is always to cautiously dip my toes into it. Or in this case, my makeup brush…

So it’s no wonder that when presented with a multitude of colors, via the Urban Decay Vice 3 palette, my first option is safe. Safe in the form of browns and fairly earthy neutral tones. Though to my credit, I did attempt a bit of a sage olive here!

 

Oh how I love sage / olive tones. So murky and pretty but easy enough to wear. Call me crazy for loving swampy colors but Breakdown (said murky shade) is a stunning neutral to work with and I can see myself giving it lots of use in looks to come.

When I am not actively reminding myself to vary my looks, that is.

This isn’t a very exciting look, I’ll admit, but here’s saying that Vice 3 can be a netural natural buddy too if you let it be!

p.s. the contrasting in the pics here is still a little iffy, these were shot before I ‘fixed’ my camera custom settings.

While generally simple and neutral, one of the things that I played around with with this look, color aside, would be textures. I kept the inner corner of the eye look smooth with a matte finish along with some shimmers on the outer-corner and crease (stray shimmers!).

Products Used:

BROWS
Shu Uemura Hard 9 Pencil in Walnut Brown
Shu Uemura Brow Manicure in Honey Glazed

FACE
Vichy Normaderm Anit-Imperfection Hydrating Care
Porcelain FLAWLESS Skin Perfecting Moisturizer
MAC Select Moisturecover Concealer
Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage Palette (concealer)
Urban Decay NAKED Loose Powder (to set)

EYES 
Lancôme Aquatique Eye Base in 01
Urban Decay Vice Palette 
- Downfall 
- Brokedown
- Undone
Starlash Waterproof Lightning Liquid Liner
MAC Powerpoint Liner in Engraved

CHEEKS 
YSL Heart of Light Blush Volupte in Light 01

LIPS 
nothing - heh

Of the Vice 3 looks that I have lined up, this is by far the simplest and also the most instinctive way I would use the palette if I am going for a no-brainer everyday look.

In upcoming looks, I assure you you’ll be seeing more use of color and also me stepping out of my comfort zone a little (and actually really liking it…) to better showcase the different shades within Vice 3.

This particular look wasn’t done with any form of a structure – like me trying to keep to their complimenting ‘columns’ – though in upcoming Vice 3 look features I try a hand at that just to see how it works out.

Of course I dabble a little across the board just because… you have all these colors there so why not use them if you have to, no?

So, that’s that for a quick and natural start, do check out my Vice 3 palette swatch-out if you haven’t and read about my thoughts on the shadow textures and such!

 

Thank you for reading!

Urban Decay’s Vice 3 Palette will retail for S$88 at Sephora starting 30th October 2014.

Vice 3 is a Limited Edition Palette.

Sponsorship disclosure

What is Your Vice? – Urban Decay Vice 3 (Photos & Swatches)

We’re drawing close to the launch of this little guy (and okay, maybe little isn’t a good way to describe it) and I am mighty excited!

The Urban Decay VICE installment is actually one of the more exciting releases of the brand, I feel.

Of course the NAKED range will forever have my neutral-loving heart but out of all the whacky eyeshadow boxes and renditions that Urban Decay does, the only other one that I felt drawn to would be the Vice series.

So, why do I only have a Vice (Vice 3 at that) on my hands now?

Well… you know me, eyeshadows aren’t actually a vice of mine. I can resist them quite okay because lovely as they are, I feel that I can get away with or replicate them with what I have. But of course, it’s always nice to have something new, something pretty and something like Vice 3.

When Vice 1 was released, I remember thinking to myself that the whole palette looked absolutely gorgeous – so edgy, so wearable (in my mind back then) and soooo nice.

Now, looking at Vice 3, I went back to see images of Vice 1 (and 2) and felt that of the 3, I think I like número tres the best.

This one. Vice 3.

Why?

Because compared to Vice 1 and 2 at least, 3 is a whole lot more wearable but don’t let that discount the edge because it’s still got plenty in the form of shades like Heroine, Bondage, Alchemy, Sonic and Dragon. The rest of the palette holds well in it’s own way and the neutrals are there with a good purpose too – to help gel this whole palette together.

I like that because you don’t get a whole palette full of pow-wow that you can’t use it alone since we’re all about portability and sticking with one sole product for a whole look these days.

If you’re a neutral sorta gal, don’t let Vice 3 scare you because it’s very simple to use. And if you are the sort that likes it vibrant and smokey, Vice 3 has just enough of that for you as well!

Before we get to the color and swoon about the shadows in terms of both shades and quality lets get the other stuff out of the way first.

Grey Divider

When you pick up a Vice 3 palette, apart from the 20 eyeshadow pans, you’re also getting a thin zip pouch (cute but nothing to shout about, really) and also a double-ended eye brush within.

The pouch helps to keep this very reflective palette from being imprinted with finger prints or scratched if you intend to bring this for travels. Otherwise, the pouch is also able to house tablets the size of an iPad Mini, should you have one.

It isn’t a cushy pouch in any way, really just fabric sewn together so it’s cute if you’re head over heels with the Vice 3 design – of motion blurred lights – but otherwise, I chucked mine aside a little unimpressed.

Cute, Urban Decay, but let’s get on to the real stuff!

The double-ended brush is good enough, since Urban Decay doesn’t disappoint with their synthetic fiber brushes. Though it’s worth noting I personally don’t use the brush within the palette unless I really have nothing else proper on hand.

It’s cute that it comes in the same lime-green that adorns the base of the Vice 3 palette.

On one end you get a blending brush looking… brush, which works great for buffing that crease color out.

On the other, you get a… shorter version of a blending brush? It’s almost like a stumpy crease brush which I have some of in my stash but those are often left untouched. It’s good if you like placing strong colors in your crease but the stiff nature of it leaves me from picking it up much.

I like my blending brushes a tad fluffier, but it’s a good brush no doubt.

Grey Divider

So, with all those said and done, let’s move on to the colors now, shall we?

While at a glance this palette can look very… messy, and I mean that in the whole “zomg so many colors” sort of way, you’ll be surprised to know that they are actually carefully arranged within the palette to give some semblance of an order.

Each ‘column’ is almost like a quad of its own, with colors that compliment and match each other well enough to create a look with. We have

  • the neutrals column
  • the vibrant column
  • the purple-gold column
  • the cranberry-hued column
  • the smokey column.

Does this now make a lot more sense to you?

As with most of Urban Decay’s eyeshadow offerings, a large amount of the eyeshadows in Vice 3 did not disappoint.

The mattes were buttery and smooth with good pay-off while the pearlised or metallic shades were intense in both color and shine with a creamy formula that imparts amazing pigmentation.

There were a couple of shades that seemed a little powdery or lacking in intensity when swatched but those were the rare duds of the palette because overall, this still feels like a gem to own.

I can’t help but think Din Tai Fung (a chinese restaurant) when I see that brown…

I especially liked the intense colors (the whole row of reds is love!) within this palette and felt the smooth matte neutrals were good enough supporting roles. They’ve lovely alone too, no doubt, but if you wanted neutrals only I think Naked 2 Basics is more up your alley (more info about that one to come!).

Here’s a close up of some pretty shades I zoomed into (well, literally with a camera) when I first marveled at the palette.

Enough said, I think you want to have a look at the swatches.

Column by column now, so you can see how the colors look when paired with their column, though of course you can always mix and match it up.

So, that’s that for the swatches and a look at the palette!

To countdown to the launch of this beauty, at Sephora, this Thursday (30th October) I’ll be dedicating this whole week’s entry to featuring looks from the Urban Decay Vice 3 palette – Whoop!

If you’re looking to get your hands on a Vice, this should be the one to get!

In other news, the rest of Urban Decay’s holiday offering will also be launched this Thursday (30th October) at Sephora!

That includes:

  • Urban Decay Shadow Box (Permanent)
  • Urban Decay Black Magic 24/7 Liner Set (LE)
  • Urban Decay Naked 2 Basics Palette (Permanent)
  • Urban Decay Aura Naked Illuminated Shimmering Powder (Permanent?)
  • Urban Decay Naked Basics Double-Ended Brush (Permanent)

Urban Decay’s Vice 3 Palette will retail for S$88 at Sephora starting 30th October 2014.

Vice 3 is a Limited Edition Palette.

Thanks for reading!

Sponsorship disclosure

Lifted Eyes & Pampered Skin With Immortelle Atelier!

I know a lot of us live very rushed lives with hardly any spare time to indulge or pamper ourselves. Even when we do any form of pampering activities, we often have a ‘time slot’ for it inwhich we rush off to yet another appointment or errand right after we are done.

So much for pampering, right?

In the realm of spas and treatments, we have seen quite a technological leap whereby these days machines are often used to help quicken the facial treatment yet still provide and promise the same cleansed result. While a quick pop by these facial services definitely get the job done, especially so for the time constrained, sometimes it is nice to indulge yourself in a little more time and a lot more pamper.

Truth be told, it has been a good while since I had treated myself – or rather, my face / neck area – to a facial session as pampering, calming and soothing as this one. And I have clearly forgotten how therapeutic and indulgent face massages can be especially when done in the right environment – perfect plush blanket, soft music and soothing botanical aroma.

It’s absolutely indulgent and while photos can’t capture the whole situation I can try my best to relate this absolutely calming and much needed rejuvenation.

What’s more Immortelle Atelier offers this absolutely stellar ‘Intensive’ Eye Treatment which I absolutely enjoyed and am raving about to no ends. It is amazing, simply said, read more about it below!

Grey Divider

Stay tuned till the end because, as always, Immortelle Atelier has some really great deals for Icyabstract readers! They are pretty awesome deals for a treatment I thoroughly enjoyed and would recommend, so stay tuned!

Grey Divider

 

So… tucked away in a quiet little corner of United Square is this very quaint-looking and delicately furnished facial shop that is Immortelle Atelier.

The minute you spot the shop and the entrance, you’ll be greeted with a very ‘backstage’ set up meets French-boutique sort of vibe. It’s clashy but it’s so feminine and beautiful at the same time. It’s almost like saying, we’re here for you be it if you want to be stage-perfect and ready to shine or looking for a calming and tranquil space to relax your mind.

Previously located in the Chinatown area, Immortelle Atelier had shifted over to United Square to cater to the busy moms (and working ladies or home makers) who need a quick refresh and break from the hustle and bustle of life.

I popped by after work and was offered a cup of tea (Jasmine, I think) before I was brought to one of the facial treatment rooms. For the small square space they had to work with, the room was nice and cozy. It didn’t feel cramped even though it could have been and the furnishings (soft lush carpet, such a plus!) along with bedding accessories made it feel so comfortable overall.

I especially enjoyed the furry comforter they provided. It was like sleeping with a furry little kitty – warm and cozy.

The lighting within the room was kept dim most of the way so I do apologize for grainy images. I shot with RAW and was able to turn up the picture so you can actually see what happened but graininess is something that happened as a result, I can’t escape that bit for sure.

 

Makeup Removal –

As always, the very first step was to remove my makeup and while I didn’t explain above, Immortelle Atelier mainly uses Maria Galland skin care products (hence the posters in their waiting area). This brand is new to me but according to my therapist, and also after some googling once I got home, Maria Galland is a brand rich with heritage and is deeply devoted to offering natural, quality and also indulgent skincare.

A globally renowned brand amongst those of the trade, Maria Galland supplies to a large amount of top beauty salons so I was glad to be introduced to this and also to experience these indulgent and positively delightful products.

Being all about peace, wellbeing and a well-rested experience, most of Maria Galland’s products have a soft botanical scent to them. It isn’t cloying nor over-powering but they lend a hand in the relaxation process along with the soothing music and ambient lighting (along with the really comfortable throw) at Immortelle Atelier.

Product-wise, the Maria Galland creams and cleansers felt watery, yet still creamy, aqueous but also luxurious. It had made me intrigued enough about the product to consider some of their items. Immortelle Atelier also sells some pieces of the Maria Galland skincare brand at their boutique.

So anyway, the therapist did a double-cleanse for my skin (soo calming I tell you!) before proceeding to access my skin concerns.

After accessing my skin, my therapist (Julia) commented that I have fairly good skin – phew! – though it is a little fatigued and stressed out from both environmental exposure and perhaps some lifestyle choices too. Oops, I should really stop keeping late nights.

Given that, she opted for a anti-stress facial (which consists of multiple massages to relax the tired skin), their famed eye treatment just to relax the taut eye muscles, and some deep cleansing steps just to properly clean out my skin once more. It seems like no matter what, my skin is like a lint roller and it just sucks dirt to it.

I swear I have a proper cleansing regimen and I hardly slack off it!

 

Extraction –

I’ve spoken about extractions before, the pros the cons, the lovers and the haters. I mentioned that as much as it hurts and as much buzz as there is around extractions, I actually really like them.

I think machine cleansing is great for the time constrained peeps and if anything, sometimes machine can clean in a way that human hands can’t but same goes. Machines can’t extract or cleanse pores the way extraction can and for me, I feel that often times my skin truly feels cleaner after a manual extraction process.

Of course, I must also disclaim that it is best to leave your face in hands that are professional at doing this because it can be painful or go awfully wrong if extractions aren’t done right.

Thankfully for me there isn’t all that much to extract, only a few problematic spots and blackheads around / on my nose.

Since only a couple of points of my face required an extraction, my face wasn’t left sore or painful after. I didn’t have to walk around with a whole bunch of red spots post-facial either (as you will see later).

After extracting, Julia soothes a layer of toner over just to calm the skin and also because the mild astringent quality helps constrict the pores post-extraction.

 

Meridian Eye Treatment –

Thisssss, this is awesome, you must read this portion even if you somehow decide to speed-read the rest of this entry.

A famed treatment here at Immortelle Atelier, their Meridian Eye Treatment lends the technique of the traditional chinese massage method ‘Gua Sha’. Those who are familiar with that massage method may recoil in shock at it being used on the eye area, but let me just say – it’s not the same of course.

The technique and thought is the same, to relief any taut tension and muscles from the area but the way it is done is obviously different because the eye area is such a delicate spot. I assure you there is absolutely no pain in this process and I actually found it really relaxing.

Firstly, your therapist will apply some thick balm to help ease the movement of the ‘bone’ tool that is used to massage the eye area.

After that, your therapist will go through a series of soft rubbing and point-pressing sort of movements around your eye area ranging from your socket, to your brow-bone. Again, let me assure you that this is not painful at all.

This massage reminded me of the body massage that I have to do regularly to help ease the tension in my neck and back because somehow my meridian passages get congested very easily.

I had no idea that the eye area gets ‘knotted’ as well, until Julia started easing some knots on my lower socket away and I could feel that familiar motion of her ‘pressing the knots out’. I really can’t describe it as well without making it sound scary but those who do similar treatments will likely grasp what I am trying to get at!

The eye treatment takes 30 minutes in all, so that’s about 15 minutes for each eye and after your therapist is done with your first eye they’ll usually stop to let you see the difference between the massaged eye and the not massaged one.

I expected the eye to feel more relaxed after but I wasn’t expecting to actually see a visible difference in the eyes, much less the face! It appears that the whole cheek and eye area of the side that was massaged is lifted and that in turn makes me look a lot more awake!

It’s quite amazing, see for yourself!

So after that comparison, Julia proceeded to work on my next eye and I just sat back (or rather lied back) and enjoyed the massage.

 

Massage Time! –

Now, this part I really really enjoyed.

I enjoy massages of all sort, especially face massages! With more facials moving towards the technological side, I’ve realized that lesser places incorporate massages into their facial routine, which some people may prefer since it saves time but a face massage just makes you feel so pampered and so good after.

What’s more, it helps lift the face too (no matter how temporary)!

The neck isn’t forgotten about either!

A bit of a random point to mention but I noted that my therapist, Julia’s, hands always felt warm and soft on. It’s a small thing to pay attention to but it definitely adds to the overall relaxation process, to have a warm touch instead of icy cold hands.

I never thought I would mind or nitpick on things like the temperature of the therapist’s hands but, it truly was enjoyable.

 

The Purifying Mask –

After the very enjoyable face and neck massage, Julia proceeded with the masking session and recommend a purifying one for my skin. She said that this mask would help draw the impurities, clogs and oils from my skin out and leave it cleaner and fresher after.

Julia also went ahead to put a cold eye mask on the eye region to relax the eye area after the treatment.

While we left the mask on to do it’s job, more massaging went underway and this time it was a scalp / head massage – bliss!

 

Cleanse Off, Cream On! –

After leaving the mask on for a bit and leaving me to relax on my own after the scalp / head massage, Julia returned to remove the mask and also proceeded to help my slap on some skincare.

The skincare that she used would be a toner and face cream from Maria Galland, followed by an eye cream (which felt so creamy and nice!), all of which came with a little application massage as well. I can’t get enough of the massages and wish someone would apply and massage my nightly routine on for me, ha!

They even do a little shoulder rub and back massage (not just a quick pat all over) once you’re up from your lying position before they head out and leave you alone to change to your clothes.

 

Post Facial Face! –

So after you’ve seen my face in all sorts of unglam from the facial, here are some post-facial shots with no makeup and flat hair but it’s good enough to show you how rejuvenated my skin looks and feels!

Again, it’s quite hard to actually translate the cleaner skin or to measure the amount of tension that Julia massaged away from my face but the whole lifted complexion, brighter eyes and smoothened skin after says enough for itself!

The key area to note would be how my eye lids seem less puffy and the whole cheek area is so much more lifted than before. Maybe it’s only partially lifted but the difference it makes in making me look a little more awake is awesome.

And then following that, here are some shots taken the next day with a little foundation and brows on. Just to better showcase the smooth canvas my skin is, so as to allow foundation to go on flawlessly.

And a closeup of my eye area (which I had also posted about on instagram) just because I am so so amazed with the eye treatment. My lids are less puffy and my hooded lids aren’t as hooded anymore! They seem lifted almost and I don’t have as much issues with eyeliner smearing in the outer edges!

It’s quite something and I’m so impressed.

Unfortunately this lift isn’t permanent, of course, and to upkeep this you will be recommended to go back to Immortelle Atelier for the Eye treatment about once a month or so, depending on your needs!

I know I’m definitely going back for another session – I need and love it sooooo much!

If you’re curious about the Eye Treatment too then I’ve got a treat for you!

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Promotions For Icyabstract Readers!

So, yes, just for my readers I am so glad to be able to share this amazing promotion which I had suggested to Immortelle Atelier about and they gladly agreed to!

Simply mention my name (Sara or Icyabstract) when you call to make an appointment and request for any (or both in 2 separate sessions) of the following promotions!

  • Promotion #1 – The Buy 1 Get 1 FREE
    Bring a friend along when you buy a Meridian Eye Care Treatment (S$48 for 30 minutes) and your friend gets to enjoy her session FREE!
  • Promotion #2 – Book A Facial & Receive An Eye Massage FREE
    Buy a facial session (any session to suit your skin) and receive the Meridian Eye Care Treatment for FREE!

For further information, the prices over at Immortelle Atelier are actually really affordable. The pampering session I received (and talked about above) is the Instant Anti-Stress Facial and it costs S$68 per session (of 1 hour)

 

So hurry, call Immortelle Atelier now (6259 9001) to enquire and book an appointment – they function on an appointment basis so no walk-in allowed.

If you would like to find out more about Immortelle Atelier, head over and LIKE their Facebook Page for information on promotions and offers!

Immortelle Atelier is located at 101 Thomson Rd #02-08B, United Square Mall

Thanks for reading!

 

Sponsorship disclosure

On My Nails: A Little Attitude + Sephora’s Express Drying Oil

It’s been awhile since a nail post hasn’t it!

I’ve been pretty good about keeping my talons colored at all times, though not good enough to remove and swap out a color at the first signs of chipping but hey, good enough!

Compared to my almost 6 month long abstinence of nail color due to time constrains and eczema issues, I have to say that it’s nice to once again have color on my nails and get to change that up according to my mood. Bright and summery one day, moody and dark the next.

In this post, I’ll be showcasing the last of my piCture pOlish loots (featured here) and this color, Attitude, was not one that I purchased. It was one that Eliza had picked out for me and I can’t say how perfect a shade it is for me. This girl knows me so darn well, thank you love <3

 

Attitude is a mysterious purple that leans a little blue. It’s almost like a galaxy reflected in your nails – the blue tinted sort of cartooned galaxy instead of the dark starry space kind.

The shimmer within this is stunning, almost as if they each have a role to play – there are the prominent silver ones that glint and shine from the darkened base while the softer shimmers lend a subtle sheen, adding dimension to the nail color.

What’s more you’ll be glad to know that while the polish is strewn with shimmer (like, really packed), it wasn’t difficult to remove either.

How perfect is that?

So that’s how Attitude looks under sunlight, and it is actually rather true to what it appears like in person – soft sparkles on a dark base with a nice glowy sort of sheen to the base color.

Though for representation sake, here’s how Attitude looks under really bright and harsh lighting, just to show you the concentration of the shimmers within.

It’s gorgeous yes, but it is a little obnoxious if you ask me and we have a lot of glitter or shimmer polishes out there that can achieve this effect rather easily so I feel that what Attitude can achieve with it’s mix of prominent and subtle shimmer is really quite unique and gorgeous.

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Aside from piCture pOlish’s Attitude, I also want to give a little mention to Sephora’s Express Drying Oil.

What this is, is basically an oil that you drip on the nails and it acts like a topcoat, as well as quickens the drying process of the nail color you have on.

It sounds incredibly interesting and to date I’ve never tried anything of the sort. The only quick dry thing I have tried would be top coats (like Seche Vite) and even those are painted on very much like nail polishes are, not dropper-ed on and surely not an oil.

So with that, I found this Sephora Express Drying Oil very fascinating and fancy-effects aside, I’m actually quite happy to report that this does work fairly well.

It is a little messy to use given the whole oil factor and dripping it on your nails and all but if you put a tissue, kitchen towel or cotton pad under your nails while you do it, it’s no big deal. What’s more given this is an oil of some sort, I would like to think that it actually helps to hydrate the skin around your fingers a little more. I’m not sure if they market this as being hydrating or nourishing to your cuticles but my dry cuticles seem to be facing better days after I’ve started incorporating this into my nail routine.

It could be a coincidence with a better skin cycle, who knows.

Though what I do know about this is that it in the inital period of wear (maybe the first day or so?) it gives you a mega glossy and pretty shine which is rather incredibly given you just had to drop one drop of oil over your polish. Though the plush shine does subside by day 2 and it becomes a pretty okay shiny finish.

Not mega wow but it’s decent enough on for someone who can’t stand muted nails, aka me.

I can’t feedback on the added wear time of this because piCture pOlish polishes wear really well on their own already so.. perhaps I’ll get back in future if I test this out with MAC polishes or something.

In short, I think this is a rather nifty product especially for those who don’t have a lot of time to sit around and paint a pristine top coat after you have already spent this long on your nail color. What’s more we all know topcoats, especially the awesome fast drying ones, get gunky real quick and become more of a pain than a help so having something like this would be great!

Daily use aside, I can see this being of help for photoshoots, considering it instantly gives you hi-shine, plush and glossy nails that are so picturesque.

I really should have made this a review entry of its own but… ah well, what the heck. Go check this out if you’re a nail fiend or if you know a nail fiend. I’m sure this would make a nice stocking stuffer now that the holiday period is around the corner!

 

Sephora’s Express Drying Oil is available at all Sephora outlets.

piCture pOlish’s Attitude is available on their website here.

Thanks for reading!

Aside

Sephora Hols 2014 – Marc Jacobs

So… I drafted this about sometime last week while I was coughing and sneezing my brains out, I’m better now but here’s a sentiment of how I felt about a week ago, along with some gorgeous holiday promo pics, heh!

Hey all!

It seems I’ve caught the flu bug that’s been circulating awhile of late so my mind’s in a bit of a haze and I’m close to sputtering nonsensical rambles so… with that let me take this time to put up a generic press post about some Holiday pieces from Marc Jacobs!

A brand still relatively new to us – like a little baby toddling about our shores! – it’s highly exciting to see what they will put out for their very first Holiday here and I guess I can say that Marc Jacobs doesn’t disappoint.

Of course, as expected, you should have a few dollars ready when you’re spying any of these but if anything, Marc Jacobs’ makeup line is almost always on point in color and also texture / finish so you can expect to get your money’s worth!

 

Marc Jacobs Beauty Blacquer and Bleu 5-piece Eye Essentials Collection – S$99

Marc Jacobs Beauty Blacquer and Bleu 5-piece Eye Essentials Collection – S$99

Marc Jacobs Beauty Blacquer and Bleu 5-piece Eye Essentials Collection – S$99

Marc Jacobs Beauty Blacquer and Bleu 5-piece Eye Essentials Collection

Discover the magic of midnight with Marc’s 5-piece eye essentials collection featuring three best-selling Marc Jacobs beauty products in a collectible makeup bag designed by Marc Jacobs. The decadent collection includes:

  • Magic Marc’er in Blacquer
  • O!Mega Lash Mascara in Blacquer
  • Highliner Gel Eye Crayon in Th(ink)

Marc designed this ultra-covetable clutch to reflect his color-blocked vision of Paris’ night sky. A chic and portable mirror is tucked into the bag’s sleeve for effortless touch-ups.

 —

Kiss Pop Collector’s Edition – S$350

Kiss Pop Collector’s Edition – S$350

And somehow because promo visuals don’t do this amazing box justice, here’s a shot of it in all of its grandeur.

Kiss Pop Collector’s Edition

A collection of all nine irresistible Kiss Pop Lip Color Sticks presented in a limited-edition case. The long-wearing, demi-matte shades are Marc’s spin on the color pencil and range from first-date rose to take-me-home red, all encased in a luxurious, collectable, lacquered jewelry box. The coveted lip collector’s edition is only available during the holiday season and makes the perfect gift for the luxury enthusiast. The custom box was designed exclusively to fit on top of Marc’s 13-piece Lovemarc Lip Gel collection, which debuted during Holiday 2013. Shades include:

  • pow! – peony pink
  • crush – tangerine red
  • heartbreaker – pink coral
  • pop – bright berry red
  • wham – coral rose
  • pop rock – strawberry red
  • poparazzi – electric rose
  • smack – burgundy berry
  • headliner – berry sangria

 —

La Coquette 4-piece Favorites Collection – S$79

La Coquette 4-piece Favorites Collection

Line and shine to create a classic parisienne look with this set of Marc’s most covetable items, including the ultimate black liner for dramatic eyes, the perfect nude nail, and a shimmering pink pout. The addition of a signature mirror and a Marc Jacobs-designed pochette ensure you’ll be ready for a night of magic. This exclusive set contains:

  • Lip Vinyl in Kissability
  • Enamored Hi-Shine Nail Lacquer in Madame
  • Magic Marc’er in Blacquer
  • Mirror Pochette (exclusive with this set)

 —

The Sky-Liner 7-piece Petites Highliner Collection – S$69

The Sky-Liner 7-piece Petites Highliner Collection

Let eyes take flight with a seven-piece set of petite Highliner Gel Eye Crayons. Marc picked five best-selling shades of his incredibly innovative, first-ever waterproof gel liner crayons and added two more exclusive shades, including the signature color of the season, Midnight in Paris, for Holiday 2014. This limited edition set is housed in a keepsake case that will live in your collection long after the pencils are enjoyed. Shades include:

  • o(vert) – forest green
  • brown(out) – brown with shimmer
  • sunset – bronze with shimmer
  • midnight in paris – navy noir shimmer
  • th(ink) – deep navy
  • plum(age) – vivid purple
  • blacquer – black

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That wraps up the holiday line-up from Marc Jacobs, coming to us at Sephora. From what I understand, a lot of the Marc Jacobs holiday pieces are fairly exclusive to Sephora ION and… to date I believe that the full Marc Jacobs line up is still mainly available at Sephora ION, right am I?

Eitherways, pop by Sephora ION – the HQ of all Sephoras it seems – and you can’t go wrong!

If you ask me… I think the Kiss Pop Collectors Set is to die for but at a pricetag of S$350, it does seem like a huge splurge even though when averaged out, it sounds a whole lot more reasonable at about S$38 a Pop (forreal pop here) and you get the lacquered box thrown in too.

Pretty good deal, yes? Ha!

And the Sky-Liner set is another really pretty and nice piece worth checking out too as these pencils swatched really nicely on and if you have ever wanted to get your hands on some of their Eye Crayons, this is the best time / way to!

 

So tell me, are you eyeing any pieces from Marc Jacobs’s Holiday 2014 collection?

Marc Jacobs Holiday collection will launch 6 November 2014 (mainly) at Sephora ION.

Press File Disclosure

Audio

GIVEAWAY – GlamGlow, PeterThomasRoth & More Masks to Be Won!

I just thought I would do an extension of the shoutout since I’m back at work now and feeling way better. Still coughing but nothing’s going to stop me from sharing giveaways!

So, yes I have a mini giveaway over at my instagram as of now (and yes to take part, you will need an instagram account) so hop over to have a look.

Basically all you have to do is share a photo of yourself with your favorite mask on (or a photo of your favorite mask you shy folks) and hashtag #sephoramaskquerade along with tagging me @icyabstract!

Once again, Sephora Singapore is giving away ONE box of masks packed with goodies from GlamGlow, Peter Thomas Roth, For Beloved One and more (worth over S$200 in value) so you can mask to your heart’s desire!

This giveaway ends 22nd October, which is real soon, so hurry over! Look out for this picture for all the details and don’t forget to comment on it once you are done, good luck!

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Another reason for me posting this giveaway mention in a whole blog post of its own is also because I wanted to talk a little bit more about said featured mask.

In the giveaway Instagram picture I am seen wearing Boscia’s Luminizing Black Peel-Off Mask and I feel, amongst the brands included within Sephora’s generous mask box, Boscia is somewhat like an underdog.

It could just be me and my exposure to the brand but I have received a couple of items from the brand, tried them out and they’re all pretty good.

Though given that, I don’t hear too many mentions about the brand and I’m not too sure why. It could be the lack of presence and/or the fact that not many people actively mention it to begin with so… here I am throwing a little mention to this gem!

So, here’s an official write-up about the product because I don’t think I can tell it as well as they do.

This jet-black, mineral-rich mask has a unique ‘peel-off’ effect. It also delivers powerful detoxifying, purifying and brightening results. Made with premium quality clay, its deep-cleansing properties draw out dirt and oil, while powerful antioxidants ingredients shrink the pores, firm skin and reduce inflammation. When dry, the mask strips away dead skin, impurities and excess oil to reveal brighter skin and smaller pores.

The function of this is much like the Kose Seikoshi Mask White (old entry here) that I really enjoy using.

Both dispense a thick, gooey and sticky formula that you slather liberally on the skin. This is particularly important because a nicely coated layer makes it easier to peel the mask off after without it tearing midway.

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Fun fact –
My 2 year old daughter was so intrigued and creeped at my black masked face. She was staring inquisitively but notably keeping her hands close by her sides and said “No!” when I asked her to touch my face, ha!

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Compared to the KOSE mask, I feel the Boscia mask is gentler to peel off, it doesn’t grab on as tightly and in my experience it doesn’t leave my skin feeling like I had just ripped a tacky tape off it. Which means those who found KOSE a little painful to remove might appreciate this one more.

While gentle, it doesn’t take away from the efficacy of the mask as I did note that my skin felt clearer, brighter and fresher after the mask. With the KOSE mask I did note that the pores around my nose area, especially, seemed cleaner but it didn’t lend a hand with brightening my complexion like this Boscia one did.

For the sake of comparison, I had only applied the Boscia one on half of my face so here’s the half-face comparison of both the masked and unmasked sides.

The side that had been masked appears clearer and brighter, compared to the other. And this is even with all the regular facial sessions I have been going to. Which goes to show doing your part with at-home masks in the midst of facial sessions is just as important in the skin up-keep!

And also that this Bosica Luminizing Black Peel-Off Mask is pretty awesome stuff.

 

Though if you thought that KOSE’s mask is expensive (at S$35 for 75ml), this is going to set you back a little more at S$52 for 80gm.

It’s a little more to pay for for the additional skin-benefits as well as the gentler-yet-still-effective touch but I’m sure those with sensitive skin will be glad to know that there is now a peel-off mask that they can try!

Boscia’s Luminizing Black Peel-Off Mask retails for S$52 and is available at Sephora Singapore

 

Thanks for reading!

p.s. Sorry about the URL error for ClearSK’s FREE Facial Redemption in the earlier post! It has since been fixed so go ahead and click over to redeem a free trial treatment session, specially for my readers!

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