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It's a few days early, but... Kung Hei Fat Choy!  Happy Chinese New Year!

There's a Chinese saying that says the entire year's work depends on its beginning.  It's so true, which is why we make new years resolutions, to prepare ourselves for a great year ahead.  I might not be able to help with all the plans you have ahead.  But for beauty-wise, let me share a few of my favourite tips to help you kickstart the Year of Horse with a few of Benefit's bestsellers in Asia.

Kickstart the Year of Horse with Benefit Cosmetics! Kung Hei Fat Choy! & Giveaway

January 27, 2014 • 8 comments

Thought we were out of the Polar Vortex but it hits again.  It was -20 ~ -30 degree Celsius over here in Canada.  Since I'm not getting a southern island escape, I've got helped from Revlon Nail Art Sun Candy to try to bring some Sunshine in my life.

Revlon Nail Art Sun Candy is Heating Things Up with their Vibrant Hues | Review, Photos & Swatches

January 23, 2014 • 12 comments

This Spring, Dior is nailing it with their Trianon Édition Collection.  Available at Sephora now and coming to all counters on January 30, the new collection features a beauty rosy coral blush with a pretty and cute bow embossment and a limited edition 5 colour pastel eyeshadow palette.  They're also bringing on the bright lips to prep for the summer and delicious floral hues for the nails.  Not to mention a limited edition shade for a cult fave, Dior Lip Glow.

"This collection can be defined by its desire to divert Dior, disrupting and pushing it to a place where lyrical romanticism can be dangerous; there where the most beautiful rose garden seems poisonous," —Raf Simons, Creative Director of Christian Dior.

Diorshow Fusion Mono Matte (CA $32 / US $30)
  • 091 Nocturne
  • 761 Mirage
  • 641 Fantaisie
  • 121 Celeste (LE)

Dior 5-Couleurs Trianon Édition in 234 Pastel Fontages (LE) (CA $62 / US $61)

Dior Backstage Primer (CA $30 / US $28)

Dior Pore Minimizer (CA $42)

Dior Glow Maximizer (CA $42)

Diorblush Trianon Édition in 763 Corail Bagatelle (LE) (CA $44)

Dior Addict Lip Glow in Coral, LE (CA $35)

Dior Addict Lip Gloss, LE (CA $31 / $29.50)
  • 442 Pétillante
  • 772 Exquise
Rouge Dior, LE (CA $36)
  • 531 Rose Crinoline
  • 774 Allégresse

Dior Shimmering Matte Effect Top Coat in 197 Perlé (LE) (CA $26)

Dior Vernis (LE) (CA $26 / US $24)
  • 204 Porcelaine
  • 457 Bouquet
  • 777 Bloom

Also new this year is an addition to their Capture Totale line—Dior Capture Totale Dream Skin (CA $115 / US $110). Dior says their scientists have spent over 1000 hours and conduct hundreds of trials to formulate this new treatment to achieve "an immediate ultra-natural finish for all skin types and tones while fighting against signs of aging". The expected results after regular use of Dream skin are firmer, plumper and smoother skin, as well as radiant and youthful glowing skin.

"This breakthrough formula features a combination of optical active ingredients as well as the active biological ingredients from the Dior Gardens. Together, these ingredients work to immediately recreate beautiful skin on the surface while fighting deep down against wrinkles, redness, dark spots and loss of radiance over time." — Dior

I have major soft spot for a beautiful blush, especially one with a bow embossment, so I deem that this blush would be a must check out item in the collection.  The Dior lip colours also look extra delicious, as always.  I have used Dior makeup for a long time but have never actually tried their lipsticks and lip glosses... maybe I'm missing out.  I'm also very curious about the Shimmering Matte Effect: How can it be shimmery and matte? I need to swatch.  As for Capture Totale, it's an interesting idea because it claims to produce a homogenous colour that will blend with your skin and blurs imperfection after applied.  I wonder if it's like BB or CC creams out there.

What about you? Which product from this collection intrigues you?

Until next time,

x Rica

Dior Trianon Edition Collection for Spring 2014 & Capture Totale Dream Skin | Beauty News

January 22, 2014 • 9 comments
Remember when we all fell head over heels for the Revlon by Marchesa Nail Art 3D Jewel Appliqués?  This dream collaboration has done it again and this time for something that could last more permanently, beauty tools! I got a chance to preview some of the items before the holidays at Tips Nail Bar (that was recently moved and the new location was fabulous!). There were cookies, hors d'oeuvres, nail polishes, manicures, sketch artist, and of course, the Revlon by Marchesa Beauty Tools

Revlon by Marchesa Beauty Tool Collection are the tools you want to collect! | Beauty News

January 17, 2014 • 14 comments

Inspired by Asian calligraphy, Shu Uemura is introducing a brand new liquid eyeliner–Calligraph:ink–that will be available starting March 2014 at Holt Renfrew, Hudson's Bay & selected Sephora stores or online at in Canada.  For US, it will be available on  This liner has a brush tip similar to a calligraphy brush that would allow you to draw lines as thin as 0.5mm to as thick as 2.0mm in a single stroke.  Shu Uemura believes the eye is the central element of make up and the heart of beauty.  Therefore, they want to create an eyeliner that would make drawing eyeliner easy.

"The most difficult makeup technique is drawing lines, in particular the eye lines. You need to draw precisely on eyelids that are soft and mobile, as well as to express changes in dynamism and texture, just like calligraphy.

Calligraph:ink eyeliner has made drawing lines easy for all, from beginners to professionals. As an Asian expert on eye, Shu Uemura invites you to discover different eye lining techniques for different looks, moods and impact." – Kakuyasu Uchiide, International Artistic Director of Shu Uemura

Along with the release of Calligraph:ink, the collection also come with 5 complimentary shades that would emphasize the intense calligraphy black of the liner.  No Shu Uemura is complete without false lashes, they are also collaborating with PAPERSELF for the first time to create exclusive designs of paper false lashes to this collection.

calligraph:ink eye liner - permanent
  • liquid eyeliner refillable applicator (CA $24)
  • liquid eyeliner cartridge (CA $22)
pressed eyeshadow (CA $19) (from T to B, L to R)
  • S light beige 815
  • ME vermillion 252
  • S dark brown 884
  • G beige 821
  • S medium brown 853
paperlashes (CA $36) - LE (from T to B)
  • cupid angel
  • love lasts forever
After seeing Uchiide-san's demo on Calligraph:ink, I'm convinced that I need that liner in my life. Maybe I won't be able to apply eyeliner from the wing like he did (oh yeah, it was magical), but it sounds like it would give me a great control over eyelining and I need that in the morning after only 5 hours sleep and trying not to mess up my eyeliner, again.  I can't wait when it comes out!

Until next time,

x Rica

Shu Uemura Calligraph:ink Collection for Spring & Spring 2014 | Beauty News

January 14, 2014 • 25 comments

This Spring, Shu Uemura is bringing us the word of mystery and enchantment from Japanese renowned photographer and film director Mika Ninagawa.  This is the third collaboration Shu Uemura has had with Mika Ninagawa and it will be available in April 2014 at Hudson's Bay & selected Sephora stores in Canada..  Mika has created four exclusive visuals –Curiosity, Forbidden Fruits, Singing Forest, & Melting Sweet Dream–as the packaging for some of the cult favourite products as well as limited edition shades.
"To me, make-up is a way to open the door to an unknown world, a world filled with excitement. The magic that takes you from your regular life to an unknown new world and the sense of adventure that accompanies this journey are what I wanted to express through this collaboration." — Mika Ninagawa

Cleansing Oils - LE packaging (from L to R)
  • POREfinist anti-shine fresh cleansing oil (CA $82)
  • ultime8 sublime beauty cleansing oil (CA $98)
  • Anti/Oxi skin refining cleansing oil (CA $92)
  • whitefficient clear brightening gentle cleansing oil (CA $92)

UV Under Base mousse (CA $46) - LE packaging (from L to R)
  • POREraser - pink
  • POREraser - beige
  • BB mousse - BB beige
  • Brightening Whitefficient

Dual Fit Pressed Powder Compact - LE packaging
  • limited edition empty compact case (CA $23)
  • compact pressed powder refill (CA $42)

Eye Shadow Spiral Duo (CA $60) - LE (from T to B)
  • shade 01 - pink & orange
  • shade 02 - beige & medium brown

Nail stickers (CA $28) - LE (from L to R)
  • shade 01 (singing forest)
  • shade 02 (melting sweet dream)

Mika for Shu Natural False Lashes (CA $35) - LE

Tint in Gelato lip & cheek stain (CA $28) - new to permanent
  • AT01
  • AT02
  • AT03
  • AT04
  • PK01
  • PK02
  • PK03
  • CR01
  • CR02
  • CR03
  • CR04
  • BG01
As always, the Shu Uemura collaboration always brings out fun packaging and incredible lashes.  This time around, they are also releasing a new line of lip & cheek stain called Tint in Gelato.  It is of a smooth creamy texture that will gives a nice stain (that is still on my hand after swatching it during lunch).  This whole new line of products is definitely a must have for this collection, but more on that later.  If you're a fan of Mika Ninagawa's art, you may want to stock up some of your favourite Shu products in this collection.

Until next time,

x Rica

Shu Uemura Mika for Shu Collection for Spring & Summer 2014 | Beauty News

The first red carpet event of the year is happening tonight at 9PM EST.  Hosted by the 2 Broke Girls starlets Beth Behrs and Kat Dennings (I'm a fan of Max lol), the People's Choice Awards has a star studded guest lists, which would mean that there will be some major beauty moment on the red carpet.

image courtesy of

Celebrity Makeup Artist Amy Nadine forecasted that will be 3 major makeup trends:

1. The Metallic Sparkle Smudge

As Amy puts it, this is a reverse sparkly smoky eyes, so all the drama happens on the lashline and add the shimmer eyeshadows on top.  This look is simple to do too and she suggested to use the following COVERGIRL products:

T to B: COVERGIRL Clump Crusher Mascara, Flamed Out Shadow Pots in Molton Black (shown here, or try Melted Gold), Ink It! in Black Ink (shown here, or Liquidline Blast Eyeliner in Black Fire or Brown Blaze)

People's Choice Awards Red Carpet Trend Forecast & Giveaway | Beauty United

January 8, 2014 • 17 comments
T to B: MAKE UP FOR EVER Artisan Brush 134 Large Powder Fan Brush

It's no secret that I'm a little obsessed with finding the perfect makeup brushes.  So I just can't resist in trying the MAKE UP FOR EVER Artisan Brushes out.  They said that it took 5 years to develop this range of brushes and 30 people to handcraft each brush.  And that their unique straight and wavy synthetic fibres are used to mimic natural hairs.  So the production of this brush is cruelty free and vegan friendly.  And you can really appreciate the craftsmanship of the each brush from the bristles to the handle.

Tip: use the end of the handle for pressing false lashes closer to your lash line, works every time!

The 134 Large Powder Fan Brush (CA $55 / US $48) is large fan brush that is mainly used for powder.  It  has wavy fibre and is very soft to touch.  It didn't shed (or bleed) when I wash it.  The build of this brush is very top heavy (brush head is a lot heavier than handle).  It works out, because it was tilted when lay flat and helps drawing water out from the hair after washing it.

The great thing about this Large Powder Fan Brush is that it's multipurpose:
  1. Sweeping fallouts of eyeshadow near my under eye area
  2. Applying setting powder under my eyes
  3. Contouring my cheeks with a matte bronzer
  4. Highlighting high points of my face
  5. Dusting blot powder all over the face
While it works pretty well on all 5 purpose, I find that it excels in #3 and #4 in particular.  If you struggles with contouring, you may want to give this a try.  It magically does the work for you.  But make sure to test it out in store before buying, just so you get the feel of it and learn how to use it from the MUAs, they're there to help!

But the most impressive brush from them, yet, has got to be the 242 Large Blender Brush (CA $35 / US $30) because it is by far the softest brush I have EVER tried.  It's softer than any MAC eye brushes I've used.  I think the secret of the softness is not only the high quality synthetic wavy fibres, it is also the right about of density.  It's not too flimsy, yet not too stiff so it helps to blend things out.

I've used it alone for the entire look and it works seamlessly.  I would pounce a shimmery nude over the lid and blend a contour colour along the crease.  And because it has enough stiffness, it allows me to intensify the look by darkening the outer corner out using a dark brown shade.  It's a minimal simple 5 minute look.

It's another great multi purpose brush that works great with cream products too.  But my favourite way to use it would be, as it name suggests, blending.  Even though it says it's a large brush, it's suitable for most eye shape (if you don't have much lid space, try the 218 Medium Blender Brush (CA $29 / US $25) instead).

I'm loving the handle of these MUFE Artisan Brushes
Overall, the two brushes I have tried from the MAKE UP FOR EVER Artisan Brushes range are incredible and are definitely worth your money (of course if you're a pro MUA, you can get the pro card to get the pro discount too). And from all the reviews I have read, there are so many other great brushes in the range too.  My next one would probably be either 110 Medium Foundation Kabuki or 102 Small Foundation Kabuki.  What about you?

Until next time,

x Rica

MAKE UP FOR EVER Artisan Brush: 134 Large Powder Fan Brush & 242 Large Blender Brush | Softest Synthetic Brushes of allI

January 7, 2014 • 13 comments