Sunday, September 29, 2013

Hakuhodo Brush Up Fair and haul

Back in the end of August, Hakohodo held a brush up fair at Takashimaya. I think when news came out that Hakuhodo was in Singapore, every beauty addict came out from their hidey holes and went to that fair. Okay I might be exaggerating but from what I gathered from the sales staff, they were surprised by how well received they were. There were ladies who visited the fair numerous times to stock up on brushes.

I was lucky enough to get a free day and I made it a point to hunt the fair down and make a visit. It was a small little counter but the number of ladies swarming the place were plentiful.  Like bees to honey.

Anyway, once you start touching these, basically you will want to bring everything home.

I can only drool at the Kokutans and the above, the S100 series. These are the most expensive and luxe of the lot of brushes.

(Information taken from the Hakuhodo website)

S100 Vermillion Brush Range - this is the flagship range of Hakuhodo. Crafted for ease of use, our S100 series features a wide variety of brush types. The handle is made of wood colored in rich vermillion, a traditional Japanese color. The handle broadens slightly towards the bottom. Sumptuous to hold and superbly balanced for easy handling. The brass ferrule is 24-karat gold plated with clear coating.

The handles in our Kokutan (Ebony wood) range are sumptuous to hold, improve as you use and are perfectly weighted for exacting control. These brushes feature precisely defined brush heads made from superior-quality blue squirrel, goat and synthetic blend.

I settled for the a mixture of brushes from their other series which were more affordable. The pictures below are taken pre wash.

Below is my most expensive buy. The J531 Powder and Blush Brush L Angled. I paid SGD $90 for this. It is USD $87 online

(Information taken from the Hakuhodo website)


The densely packed, angled bristles are made from goat. The angled shape means that even the side surface of the bristles has hair tips and was carefully designed to deliver product to tiny areas such as around the eyes and beside the nostrils. Resilient yet soft, this bristle type will produce great color. Distributing product quickly and evenly, it will help you achieve the radiant and polished finish you desire!

I use the J531 for my bronzers for a soft diffused effect. I love how soft this is. My DS picked it up while I was leaving them to dry and wouldn't let go of it. He kept brushing it on his face.

I couldn't resist getting eye shadow brushes because they were so affordable. 

K021 Eye Shadow Brush Round and Flat

Close up of K021 Eye Shadow Brush Round and Flat
Side view of K021 Eye Shadow Brush Round and Flat

I bought the K021 to use as an all over lid colour brush. It is made of Blue Squirrel hair and costs SGD $33. It is the same price online at USD $33. I bought this mainly to interchange with my other favourite all over lid brush the Suqqu Eyeshadow brush in L.

Comparison of K021 (top) and Suqqu L (bottom)

Closeup comparison of K021 (top) and Suqqu L (bottom)

The Hakuhodo features a firmer brush head and gives a more pigmented all over lid colour whereas my Suqqu is much much softer and gives a sheerer veil of colour.

K024 Eye Shadow Brush Round and Flat
Closeup view of K024 Eye Shadow Brush Round and Flat
The K024 has a smaller and shorter head. It is made of horse hair. It is good for applying pigmented lid colour on the upper eye lid. I paid SGD $19. USD $17 online.

Comparison between K024 (top) and Suqqu M
Closeup comparison between K024 (top) and Suqqu M
To be honest, I prefer the Hakuhodo. The application is more pigmented because the brush head is stiffer.

G5522BkSL Eye Shadow Brush Tapered
Closeup of G5522BkSL Eye Shadow Brush Tapered
I have not owned a brush like this before. I have a few crease brushes but not one as tapered as this. It is a mixture of Blue Squirrel and Goat hair. It is also slightly shorter than the rest of my Hakuhodo brushes. This brush helps me put a definite spot of colour on my crease and helps me to blend my eye colours at the crease well. I paid SGD $29, it is USD $28 online.

I am very happy with my purchases. The prices are very reasonable for such great quality brushes. 

A word of caution though. I have a habit of using my MAC brush cleaner to clean my eye brushes instead of washing them with soap. (I admit I am lazy!) My bad habit is to spray the cleaner directly onto the brush head instead of on a cotton pad because it is much faster to clean. I notice that my older Hakuhodo brushes show signs of rust on the metal ferrule. So don't do that! Use soap or baby shampoo instead if you want to maintain your brushes.

I hear that Hakuhodo will be coming back in the beginning of 2014. I can't wait to get my hands on more brushes. It is so much easier to pick and choose brushes that you will really use instead of guessing what you see online.

Ratings: 5++ lipsticks (I am give extra pluses because not only are the products great, the staff at the counter were all helpful and informative.)

Thursday, September 26, 2013

NARS Satin Lip Pencil in Luxembourg swatches and review

There are a few products that I can't resist hoarding. For example my Chanel Illusion d'Ombres, Giorgio Armani Eyes To Kill shadows, Laura Mercier Caviar Sticks and others ahem (blush).I have developed an unhealthy obsession for the NARS Satin Lip Pencils. They are just absolutely great lip pencils. My lastest NARS acquisition is Luxembourg. I was able to score this for USD $20 from from a friends and family event.


Luxembourg is a bright watermelon red pink. On my picture it looks more pink but in fact I see more red in real life.

My current stash of Satin Lip Pencils.

Top to bottom: Majella, Yu, Luxembourg and Lodhi
I am already contemplating what other shades to get but nothing is jumping out at me. Perhaps Rikugien, Hyde Park or Golshan. I think they need to make more shades, perhaps an orange or deeper coral.

Just to recap, Satin Lip Pencils are not the most moisturising lip pencils but with lip balm preparation, it applies wonderfully. They are pigmented with just one swipe. They not dry my lips. They have amazing staying power and actually looks better after a few hours of wear. Although there is wastage from sharpening them, I love how easy they are to tote around.

If you want to buy more than one, might I suggest you wait for Friends and Family events. You can get these at USD $20 as opposed to the normal retail price of USD $25. Selling at local counters for SGD $37. That is almost a $12 savings.

Ratings: 4 lipsticks (Bumping the ratings up a little because I have grown to love these)

Monday, September 23, 2013

Chanel Illusion D'Ombre Long Wear Luminous Eye Shadow No. 90 Convoitise Swatches and Review

I am a big big fan of Chanel Illusion D'ombres. When new ones comes out I rush out to swatch them and most of the time they come home with me. I first saw Convoitise in Visionary Beauty's blog. Even though I already had a gold shade named Apparence. I had to own Convoitise. Something about gold eye shadows lures me to them like a moth to a flame I suppose.

I was so glad to be able to find it at the Chnagi airport DFS shop because it meant I don't have to pay full retail price. Oops I lost my receipt anyway I can vaguely recall paying less than SGD $50 for this. Normal retail price is SGD$52.

Chanel Illusion D'ombres are a mousse-like bouncy eye shadow. So far my hoard of Illusion D'ombres have not dried up on me and are still good as new.

Convoitise is long wearing and stays on my oily lids throughout the day. It blends beautifully and can be used as a sheer lid colour or over another eye shadow to give it sparkle.

I have here Apparence and Convoitise for comparison.

As you can see Apparence is more of a warm gold whereas Convoitise is much lighter.

The picture below shows how it looks on my lids over a primer as a sheer wash of colour.

I wanted to give my Chanel Ebloui some love so I paired both together. I added Laura Mercier's Caviar Stick i Sugar Frost as a brow highlighter.

My complete look.

The stuff I used.

I love love Convoitise and have been using it over many of my eye shadows to give it sparkle. It is versatile and suits my colouring. Gold, what is there not to love.

Ratings: 5 lipsticks

Friday, September 20, 2013

Giorgio Armani Eyes To Kill No. 31 June Beetle swatches and eye look

I have a thing about Giorgio Armani Eyes To Kill shadows. I simply love the textures and how intense they look when used wet. I fell hard for the Fall 2013 Kaleidoscope collection. I own 3 of the newly released Eyes To Kill shadows, Gold Hercule, Scarab Violetta and Blue Beetle. I missed out on June Beetle because the online swatches made it look like an icy blue. But after having a good look at it at the counter, I decided to reserve one and here it is!

As you can see, I also got myself a Flash Lacquer. But that is another story for another time.

Left to right: June Beetle and Blue Beetle

June Beetle is lighter than Blue Beetle. It is kinda hard to describe how it looks. It has a bit of icy blue,  green and violet tinge to it.

Left to right: June Beetle and Blue Beetle
Here is an eye look I did recently. I used all the Eyes To Kill wet. Using my finger dipped with MAC Fix+ I picked up June Beetle and applied it on the inner corner of my eyes and blended  it out. Then I used Blue Beetle wet on the outer corner of my eyes and blended inwards. Then added a black eyeliner and mascara for a simple yet colourful eye look.

This is going for SGD $41 at the counter at DFS Galleria as compared to USD $33 online. I love that there isn't a mark up at the counters. I usually try to get my Giorgio Armani products at the counter but sometimes the impatient girl in me can't wait.

Well here are all my Kaleidoscope collection Eyes To Kill shadows.

Wet swatches
Left to right: June Beetle, Scarab Violetta, Gold Hercule and Blue Beetle

Ratings: 4+ lipsticks