This morning I was having a conversation with a patient about how it is so ingrained in the Asian mindset that the best Chinese/Thai/Vietnamese food is usually cheap, cheerful, and humble. There’s always a little bit of resistance (from me and my partner) to fine dining or hipster-ized Asian food, even though I readily admit that it’s not really a good attitude to have, because you do end up missing out on some truly spectacular meals.
A good recent example of this is Kinn Thai in Canberra, which opened up a couple of months ago. We must have walked past it 20 times while looking for dinner options, and it was only last week when we tried it for the first time.
The food is out of this world- we ended up going twice in one week.
The second time I took my camera, and these are some of the dishes we tried….
Read the rest of the post on Straight No ChaserPosted by myfunnyvalentine on Jul 28th, 2015 in Food and Drink | 114760 comments. Kinn+Thai%2C+Canberra%3A+Straight%2C+No+Chaser2015-07-28+06%3A49%3A56myfunnyvalentinehttp%3A%2F%2Fmyfunnyvalentineblog.com%2F%3Fp%3D11476
I have been hearing great things about this cult undereye product for years now, but it was only after reading about it on Karima’s post on Shameless Fripperies (she uses this together with Clarins Instant Light concealor- reviewed below) did I seriously think about making it part of my makeup routine.
Applied heavily on the left swatch, blended out on the right.
This is a silica based powder designed to set undereye concealer as well as brighten the area and diffuse light around fine lines. I like to use a fluffy brush to apply a fine layer of this on top of concealer.
The Secret Brightening powder has a very subtle brightening effect, and a subtle light diffusing/mattifying effect when worn on top of my undereye concealor. I’ve photographed myself wearing it under my left eye only in the picture below. As you can see, it’s a very subtle effect, but it does seem to give a more ‘awake and refreshed’ look.
Secret Brightening Powder worn over concealer in the left eye only (right side of photo). Clarins Instant Concealer worn in both eyes.
The Secret Brightening Powder (right) compared with the Laura Mercier Translucent Setting Powder (left).
Clarins Instant Concealer is another product I’ve heard great things about, and the other recommendation that I’ve taken from Karima’s post.
This concealer is a liquid formulation with a lightweight feel and a velvety, light diffusing finish which looks natural and not at all cakey on my skin. It wears well with no creasing or collecting in fine lines. This has medium pigmentation, which is easily sheered out or increased with layering.
I have the shade in 02 which has a strong peach undertone to counteract blueish undereye circles- I find this works well on me, although to be honest my undereye circles aren’t that bad and although this is better with colour correcting, a regular (non colour correcting) concealer does an ok job.
It’s available in 4 shades. I feel that 02 is the closest match to me.
Swatches: Clarins Instant Concealor in 02 (left), and my foundation shade- NARS Fiji (right)
note: these products were provided by PR for consideration. More details on editorial policy in PR tab.Posted by myfunnyvalentine on Jul 20th, 2015 in laura mercier, Reviews | 113710 comments. Laura+Mercier+Secret+Brightening+Powder%2C+Clarins+Instant+Light+Concealer%3A+In+Search+Of+The+Flawless+Face2015-07-20+01%3A42%3A17myfunnyvalentinehttp%3A%2F%2Fmyfunnyvalentineblog.com%2F%3Fp%3D11371
For years I’ve been a fingers-to-blend-foundation girl, despite owning foundation brushes. It’s by far the most convenient- no extra brush washing, one less tool to bring when travelling, I’ve found the heat in my hands help me really massage the foundation in…. did I mention no extra brush washing?
When applying makeup for others, fingers are not the most hygienic option so I’m faced with the decision of which brush/tool I should use on my bridesmaids for foundation.
Here are my thoughts on comparing the Real Techniques Expert Face Brush ($19.95) , Becca One Perfecting Brush (rrp $65/ $56 at Ry.com.au), Beauty Blender ($26 on it’s own, or $33 with the solid cleanser).
Real Techniques Expert Face Brush is a synthetic (taklon bristles) brush designed for cream or liquid foundation. It is very dense and firm, but also really soft- it blends the foundation really well into the skin, giving it a very natural ‘my skin but better’ finish. I like to spread my liquid foundation on the back of my left hand and then swirl the Expert Face Brush into it to pick up a small amount of product, then buff it into the skin- you can achieve a very sheer layer that way, or build up to desired pigmentation. Out of the three tools here, I think this gives me the most amount of control over the level of coverage.
The smallish size of the brush head (25mm in length, 30mm in width, and 20mm thick) is perfect for getting into the contours of the face, nose, under-eye area. Some reviewers find that the size of this means a longer time applying foundation- I don’t think it takes me any longer with this compared with any of the other brushes (and is faster than using my fingers).
I’ve reviewed the Becca One Perfecting Brush in an earlier post is a large flat brush with goat hair bristles- it is soft and dense, and firm enough to use the long edge for contouring. It’s not a bad brush for foundation- it blends foundation quite evenly without brush marks and gives skin an ‘air brushed’ finish- but I do find that it tends to give the foundation a matte, high coverage look that is not quite as natural as the finish achieved with the other 2 tools. It’s also a little more difficult to control the amount of product you pick up compared with the other two tools- so high coverage is easy if that is what you are after- but sheer coverage is more difficult.
The major advantage of this brush, and the reason why I really love this for travelling- is that it’s a decent contour brush, blush brush, and highlight brush- and you can use it for all of those things in between washes.
Note the brush I have shown in this post is the limited edition Gold handled one- they usually have dark brown handles.
The Beauty Blender is a reinvention of the traditional makeup sponge- it’s tear drop shape is designed to better fit into the curves of the face, and the proprietary material is supposed to allow seamless application of liquid/cream foundation. As usual I’m late to the party with these things, and I’ve only recently tried the cult beauty tool out for myself to see what the fuss is about.
The Beauty Blender is used damp- I like to spread some foundation on the back of a hand then pat the sponge onto the product to pick up the desired amount. I then do a combination of bouncing and blending to apply foundation onto the face. I like how this gives me the ability to apply a very sheer layer of foundation, and build up the coverage if needed. It does leave a very natural ‘second skin’ finish, with the foundation blended well into the skin with no cakiness.The control of the coverage and distribution of the product is not quite as good as the Real Techniques brush, but better than using my fingers, and better than the Becca One Perfecting Brush.
The advantage of this tool over the others is if you are using spot concealers and/or colour correcting products underneath foundation that you don’t want to blend away – you can simply bounce the Beauty Blender over the trouble spots without shifting underlying product.
Each tool has it’s own advantages and disadvantages. For the application of liquid foundation, I like the Real Techniques Expert Face Brush the most for the natural, ‘second skin’ finish it gives, as well as the great control over the amount of coverage you need. It’s also the cheapest option of the three! The One Perfecting Brush is great because it’s a multitasking wonder, but as a foundation brush it tends to give a more matte, high coverage finish- not always what I want. The Beauty Blender is almost as good at the Real Techniques brush in terms of the finish, and also gives you the ability of apply foundation over the top of spot concealing.
notes: the Beauty Blender and the One Perfecting Brush were provided by Ry.com.au , who stock all three products. I purchased the Real Technique Expert Face Brush myself. Editorial policy details in the PR tab.Posted by myfunnyvalentine on Jul 16th, 2015 in Beauty tools | 114420 comments. Foundation+brush+comparison%3A+Real+Techniques+Expert+Face+Brush%2C+Becca+One+Perfecting+Brush%2C+Beauty+Blender2015-07-16+02%3A18%3A02myfunnyvalentinehttp%3A%2F%2Fmyfunnyvalentineblog.com%2F%3Fp%3D11442
Being able to achieve a flawless makeup finish is a great thing for most occasions – it’s even more important for special events. With my wedding coming up next year, I am really paying attention to products that can give the highly sought after flawless-but-natural-looking face, especially looking for those that photograph well. I’ll be trying and reviewing makeup and beauty tools for this purpose over the next few months- watch this space for more!
The Corrective Colours Kit ($54 from ry.com.au) is a camouflage/concealer palette with 4 colours that can be used alone or combined. Yellow corrects for redness in skin and blemishes; peach counteracts the bluish green tinge of under eye circles; beige for a general neutral shade that can be blended with other colours, and lilac to counteract yellow and sallowness.
I’m mostly happy with the texture of the product- the peach shade sits well on the undereye area without noticable creasing through the day. The only problematic shade texturewise is the yellow shade- which is a little drier, and catches on flaky skin a little bit. On normal skin it’s not a problem, but on flaky blemishes it’s not ideal.
I use the peach and yellow shades the most. The peach does work fairly well under the eye area to cancel the bluish green tinge of undereye circles, and there’s no noticable creasing if you use a thin layer.
I find the yellow works well at cancelling redness around the nose, and the lips- although my one gripe here is that it’s really quite a pale shade. Probably a touch to pale for my fair to medium skin, and most likely too pale for anyone darker than me. I get around this problem by patting on some foundation on top with my beauty blender. You could probably also try and mix it with your own concealer.
I haven’t really found a use for the lilac shade yet- I’d love to know what you guys use this type of shade for in terms of spot correcting.
Kiehl’s Clearly Corrective Dark Circle Perfector SPF
According to Kiehl’s…
” Kiehl’s Clearly Corrective™ Dark Circle Perfector SPF 30 is a multi-action formula that provides both immediate and long term benefits.
1. Instantly brightens and perfects the skin: Formulated with Amino Acid treated Mineral Pigments to instantly help diminish the appearance of dark circles and brighten the under eye area.
2. Brightens overtime by reducing hyperpigmentation: Activated C and Licorice Root are used within the formula to help reduce the appearance of pigmentation.
3. Protection: Developed with Broad Spectrum SPF 30, utilizing a 100% mineral UV filter to minimize future UV damage and discoloration”
Keep reading after the jump!myfunnyvalentine on Jul 14th, 2015 in Reviews, Skincare, Swatches | 113281 comment+Jane+Iredale+Corrective+Colours+palette%2C+Kiehl%27s+Clearly+Corrective+Dark+Circle+Perfector+SPF+14%3A+In+Search+Of+The+Flawless+Face2015-07-14+05%3A21%3A11myfunnyvalentinehttp%3A%2F%2Fmyfunnyvalentineblog.com%2F%3Fp%3D11328
This limited edition collection is inspired by one of Bobbi’s favourite destinations- Telluride Colorado. The collection features shades of tawny nude, rose gold, pinky bronze, reminiscent of the late afternoon sun in Telluride. It consists of a limited edition eyeshadow palette, 3 Pot Rouge shadeds for lips and cheeks, a limited edition Shimmer Brick in Sunset Pink, and 3 lip trios (lipstick, lip pencil, gloss).
I was very fortunate to receive the limited edition Telluride Eye Palette to swatch and review.
Bobbi Brown says..
” A palette of sunset-inspired eye shadow shades that deliver a range of brilliant eye looks. Featuring seven earthy eye shadows in a variety of brown, soft blush and mauve hues, this palette is a fresh take on a neutral eye—a major makeup trend from Fall 2015 New York Fashion Week. The palette includes a sleek Dual-Ended Eye Shadow/Eye Liner Brush for on-the-go application. ”
From left to right:
‘Cream’ is a (very) sheer matte warm white. I apologise if you can’t see the swatch, my camera didn’t pick it up well.
‘Woodrose’ is a sheer but buildable light brown taupe in a matte finish. This works well as a subtle crease shade that works with almost everything- I love this colour and wish it was more pigmented.
‘Velvet Plum Metallic’ is a medium but buildable pigmentation plummy bronze in a shimmer/metallic finish. The fine shimmers in this shade give the lids that ‘glossy look’ I adore . This is my favourite shade in the palette.
‘Blazing Star Sparkle’ is a white glitter shade in a clear base.
‘Heather Rose Shimmer Wash’ is bronze with multicoloured shimmer and medium pigmentation. The shimmer particles are on the larger side, and does seem to create a lot of fallout so be careful with the application of this one.
‘Antique Rose’ is a sheer to medium pigmentation dusty rose beige in a matte finish. Gorgeous shade, but it fades pretty quickly on me.
‘Smokey Brown’ is an extremely pigmented blackened espresso brown in a matte finish. This is a great shade because it works so well as a liner (it’s so pigmented it looks like a cream product even when applied dry), as well as a fantastic dark brown/black matte shade that blends out smoothly and doesn’t catch on the skin.
The dual ended brush that comes with the palette is pretty decent quality (surprisingly! I get so many crappy sponge applicators with my high end eyeshadow palettes, I usually just throw them out) I use the fluffy side for applying and blending shadow, the flat synthetic bristles on the other side works well for applying Smokey Brown as a liner.
Keep reading after the jump!Posted by myfunnyvalentine on Jun 30th, 2015 in Bobbi Brown, Eye shadow, FOTD, Reviews, Swatches | 1138118commentsBobbi+Brown+Telluride+Eyeshadow+Palette%3A+Review%2C+Swatches%2C+FOTD2015-06-30+05%3A27%3A58myfunnyvalentinehttp%3A%2F%2Fmyfunnyvalentineblog.com%2F%3Fp%3D11381
Optometrist/beauty blogger/crazy cat lady. It's Jenny, not Jennifer. You can also find me on www.straightnochaserblog.com email@example.com
Paula’s Choice Berry & Bright Lip Collection: Review and Swatches
September Beauty Favourites: NARS, Rouge Bunny Rouge, Jojoba Company, and more
MUSQ Skincare Reviewed: Hand Wash and Face & Body Exfoliant
Rouge Bunny Rouge Umber Firefinch Eyeshadow: Swatches, Review, FOTD
Rouge Bunny Rouge Eyeshadows Grey Go-Away Lourie and Blackpepper Jay: Review