Monday, August 14, 2017

ARMANI | Power Fabric Foundation


Armani Power Fabric Foundation

Just like those sleek black suits they do so well, when Armani releases a new foundation, everyone's buzzing about it. While there has a been a few base product launches in recent year, the Power Fabric Foundation* seemed to me like the brand's way of re-energizing their image... after all they are known for the untouchable Luminous Silk. With words like matte, flawless and full coverage being the selling points these days, Armani plays its card. I've used it pretty consistently for the past month and I'm ready to talk.

Armani Power Fabric Foundation

Brand: Giorgio Armani
Product: Power Fabric Foundation* SPF25
Size: 30 ml
Shades: 12 Shades (Canada), 20 Shades (USA)
Price: $64 USD / $70 CAD
Details: Made in France
Availability: Sephora, The Bay, Armani Online / Counters
Would I repurchase: Probably not.

Presented in an iconic frosted glass bottle, what denotes Power Fabric is the red Armani insignia on the lacquered cap. Pumping out the product, I was surprised that it had a thick almost moussey consistency but it applied thin on the skin and blended out easily whether you used fingers, beauty blender or a dense fluffy brush. There is an every so slight skincare scent to the foundation but it was neither strong or bothersome. One full pump will give you a single half face application so this is certainly one of those products that you will run through fast with regular wear.

Armani Power Fabric Foundation Swatch
Armani Power Fabric Foundation Swatch
TOP - BOTTOM | Power Fabric #3.5 | Luminous Silk #02+

According to the Sephora website, there's currently a spectrum of 12 shades available in Canada and 20 shades listed in the USA ranging from but there's likely additional offerings around different parts of the world according to the regional demographic - it's a pretty popular set up by many luxury brands. My testing shade was #3.5 and is listed as neutral for fair skin tones which blended in like a great match despite coming off very dark and red in the bottle. You can see (below) that it's a smidge dark compared to my neck but not terribly noticeable. My usual shade is MAC NC15-NC20, see my full range of matches on My Stats page.

I prefer wearing this over a pore smoothing primer especially for the center zone of my face but my swatches are over bare skin. It does cling slightly to flaky patches and I find a beauty blender is best for those problem areas with texture. Power Fabric photographs so beautifully! Despite being marketed as full coverage, I would call one layer a medium and I had a hard time building it up to a true completely coverage. Non the less, I love how it retains a touchable skin like quality and it's certainly not a true matte foundation. Dry down has a slight powdery touch and there is also some transfer if left unset.

Armani Power Fabric Foundation 2
Armani Power Fabric Foundation

This is where things started to go downhill and quick. Going solo, Power Fabric stayed neat for only 3-4 hours and with a primer / setting spray combo, it was only able to push through to about 6 hours before I felt like I just really needed to take this off. Now while that doesn't sound bad at all from a regular running to the grocery store perspective, I was expecting more from something that claimed to be full coverage and long wearing. On the plus side, while I certainly noticed a good amount of wear problems, the foundation never fully melted off my face even in this summer mugginess yet this is certainly not something I'd recommend for those truly oil skinned. 

This is the burning question then and my vote still swings towards Luminous Silk as the preferred formula for my combination skin and my makeup style. I found lasting ability to be about the same but LS is easier to smooth over skin texture and offers a satin touch finish that I prefer. It's still my go to event or date foundation of choice.

Armani Power Fabric Foundation


Giorgio Armani's Power Fabric Foundation is a medium slightly buildable coverage soft matte foundation which photographs excellently but lacks in staying power. The SPF is a nice added bonus and doesn't appear to cause any flashback but shouldn't be relied upon for solo sun protection. I can see Power Fabric useful for achieving a particular velvety finish for a short event or occasion but it's not something that I feel can put up with day to day stressors unless you work in mild temperature controlled environment or have dry to normal skin. So while this is not a bad product per say, it was a disappointment measured against its claims. Additionally, for a similar effect and similar lasting ability, MAC's Studio Fix Fluid or Estee Lauder's Double Wear are very comparable at a much lower price point. 
Chat soon,

Thursday, August 10, 2017

SEW WHAT NOW | August sewing updates & progress

Well, I think the reality is I simply can't seem to pre-plan or sew fast enough to wear the things when I need them! Somehow creating a wearable wardrobe is about sewing one season ahead despite it not being the most motivational. My summer progress has been slow but a few new patterns always puts me in a good mood and hey at least I got some fall things ready to go... (I say this as I'm sitting at my chair toasting in the muggy heat and seriously contemplating running cold bath). 

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Anyone else loving the Chanel fall collection? I might have to do some online shopping to match those gorgeous colour combinations but I haven't been this wow'd in a while and it's giving me all kinds of feelings!  How would you wear these colours in your wardrobe?

Happy sewing,

Monday, August 7, 2017

3 Things | Highend vs. Luxury Bodywash


drugstore vs luxury bodywash

Soap. Doesn't sound all that interesting when you're washing up the dishes but all of a sudden turns quite snazzy in the beauty aisle. If you're thinking of trading up your regular shower bar, here's three options sitting in my shower.

In the more affordable category, OLAY body wash is probably something you've seen in every single drugstore around town and for good reason. Always out with new seasonal scents and lathers easily with or without a pouf, I usually go for the sensitive skin version but lately it's been the Outlast Birch Water & Lavender*. In the summer heat of the summer, when your only salvation is constant cool showers, Olay has been keeping me fresh but not dry. Bonus point, it comes in a few neutral scents so it makes a great unisex bathroom staple.

New to the market but still sharing the drugstore shelf is France's best selling body wash by the name of Le Petite Marseillais* which prides itself in it's beautifully concocted shower scents. And true to its name, I've never quite smelled something like these before under the $10 mark! With five scents to choose from including Cotton Milk & Poppy, Orange Blossom and the Vanilla Milk currently in rotation, I think they are such a fun step up to enliven your shower experience. The fragrances are based from natural ingredients, doesn't overwhelm your nose and leaves just a faint trace so you can still layer on your daily perfume. Moisturization factor is on par with Olay but just a little bit more fun.

Now I also think that once in your life time, one should absolutely experience a completely indulgent bath product. Lately mine has been the AERIN Mediterranean Honeysuckle* body wash and if you know anything AERIN's perfumes, these do not disappoint on that level and the scent lingers for quite a while close to the skin. In a gel consistency, I find this doesn't lather quite as foamy versus the creamier options and is better suited for oilier skin types or the occasional weekend use. For the luxury price point, I'd really wish they'd upgrade the formula because it would make such a great add on if AERIN is already your scent of choice.

Chat soon,

Thursday, August 3, 2017

BEAUTY LOOK | Romand Korean Trend Makeup

ROMAND Korean Makeup W2Beauty

Feeling pretty hip at the moment as I've recently gotten my hands on some very trendy Korean makeup courtesy of W2Beauty. Romand is range of tightly curated products by popular blogger and makeup artist Min Saerom, who's plain girl transformations attracted a strong fan base. The aim of her range is to be fool proof for the everyday user so they can achieve everything from office wear to date night makeup right at home. You'll notice that both of Romand's day and night palettes contain a interesting mix of colours in a variety of finishes that's not quite your familiar natural brown palette!

ROMAND Korean Makeup

ROMAND Korean Makeup

ROMAND Korean Makeup W2Beauty

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Ever changing curated selection of K-Beauty trend products, straight from Korea and with a focus on up and coming brands. Not every single product will be available from each brand but I feel like its thoughtfully chosen and frequently updated. I like that they carry niche brands that are more well known locally in Korea instead of the big drugstore options. Products came well packaged. Due to current crazy customs situation for Canada, I recommend EMS shipping option - although more expensive, it has tracking and will be much quicker. I've had a few things come from Asia via normal shipping and it has been ridiculous. The new beauty chat forum part of the website has just launched so I'm excited to sign up and check that out as well!

Chat soon,

Monday, July 31, 2017

Beauty Look | Man Eater... metallic lips


Mettalic Lipstick - ManEater Colourpop

Nelly Furtado or Colourpop? In the case of today's post, it's the later but I couldn't help but hum the tune in my head whenever I pick up this lipstick! This whole makeup started quite innocently as I was testing out the new Marc Jacobs Icon Palette (whoohoo, new stuff) but quickly morphed into something else once I put on this metallic lipstick. Now, in all honesty, I never quite got on with this throwback lip trend and I actually think it's super gorg on darker skin tones but none the less I thought this face came together in a cool way.

 Mettalic Lipstick - ManEater Colourpop

The fun thing about this ultra shine finish is that the particles reflect differently depending on the lighting so while it looks a little more grungy in the shadows, the whole makeup takes on an ethereal glow in the second shot. In person, Man Eater is actually a rich metallic coppery rose.

Marc Jacobs Icon Palette

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Between you and me though, I wasn't brave it enough to rock it outside and took it off before I left the door... but I'm sure Nelly would.

Chat soon,

Monday, July 24, 2017

ESTEE LAUDER | Advanced Night Repair Complex II & Mask In Oil


ESTEE LAUDER Advanced Night Repair

In the beauty world there are cult favourites but then there are the products that seem to have existed since the dawn of time. As teenager fawning over glossy magazine pages, I looked up to Estee Lauder's Advanced Night Repair like a right of passage into adult hood when one is finally old enough to this serious amber bottle on their vanity. In recent years, Estee Lauder has expanded the A.N.R. line to include a variety of add on products and even relaunched the much beloved serum as the Complex II formula.

ESTEE LAUDER Advanced Night Repair Complex II

ADVANCED NIGHT REPAIR SYNCHRONIZED RECOVERY COMPLEX II* | Perhaps one of the most well known serums and likely a first for many people, the reincarnation of Advanced Night Repair is aimed at regenerating the skin through its nightly rest cycle, providing anti-aging benefits while smoothing and imparting a more radiant complexion. With 25+ patents and patents pending, this is marketed across all age groups and skin types. Housed in a light filtering amber bottle, the dropper dispensing format is easy to control and the serum itself has a slightly medicinal scent which doesn't linger on the skin. The texture is beautifully silky yet without any silicone slip and leaves a non-sticky water light finish makes for a great layering product in all seasons. Ant-aging products are notorious for being heavy yet I was happy to find this so comfortable to use whilst being gentle enough to bring it all the way up near my eyes with no irritation. My nightly application uses 4 drops and it sits right between my toner and moisturizer. At times, I've also used my Sulwhasoo First Care Essence before putting on this serum.

NOTE: Oil-free, non-comedogenic, no added fragrance.

30ml @ $86CAD | 50ml @ $120CAD
Would I (re)purchase: Undecided.

Ingredients: Water\Aqua\Eau; Bifida Ferment Lysate; Methyl Gluceth-20; Peg-75; Bis-Peg-18 Methyl Ether Dimethyl Silane; Butylene Glycol; Propanediol; Cola Acuminata (Kola) Seed Extract; Hydrolyzed Algin; Pantethine; Caffeine; Lecithin; Tripeptide-32; Ethylhexylglycerin; Sodium Rna; Bisabolol; Glycereth-26; Squalane; Sodium Hyaluronate; Oleth-3 Phosphate; Caprylyl Glycol; Lactobacillus Ferment; Oleth-3; Oleth-5; Anthemis Nobilis (Chamomile); Yeast Extract\Faex\Extrait De Levure; Choleth-24; Hydrogenated Lecithin; Ceteth-24; Tocopheryl Acetate; Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate; Hexylene Glycol; Carbomer; Triethanolamine; Trisodium Edta; Bht; Xanthan Gum; Phenoxyethanol; Red 4 (Ci 14700); Yellow 5 (Ci 19140)

ESTEE LAUDER Advanced Night Repair Recovery Oil

ADVANCED NIGHT REPAIR RECOVERY MASK-IN-OIL* | One of their newer additions, this Mask-In-Oil had me intrigued at first sight. I'm no stranger to facial oils but I liked the concept of this being an oil based sleeping mask and thought it made sense to try it together with the A.N.R.. Housed in a miniature version of the amber bottle, it has the same slightly herbal scent as the serum but again does not linger. The oil is very lightweight and I found 3 drops to be sufficient for a full face application, first smoothing the product between my palms then pressing it into my skin. The oil absorbs quickly and leaves my skin with a satin sheen and feels moist to the touch. As I tested this during the warmer months, I did not find it necessary to use an additional moisturizer.

NOTE: Formulated for night time use.

30ml @$100CAD
Would I (re)purchase: No.

Ingredients: Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride; Squalane; Aleurites Moluccana (Kukui) Seed Oil; Prunus Armeniaca (Apricot) Kernel Oil; Bisabolol; Vaccinium Myrtillus Seed Oil; Garcinia Mangostana Peel Extract; Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil; Salicornia Herbacea Extract; Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract; Anthemis Nobilis (Chamomile) Flower Extract; Salvia Hispanica Seed Extract; Coffea Arabica (Coffee) Seed Extract; Magnolia Officinalis Bark Extract; Cholesterol; Linoleic Acid; Tocopheryl Acetate; Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate; Bht

ESTEE LAUDER Advanced Night Repair

To say I had high hopes for this duo would be a complete understatement yet at the same time, I went into this without really knowing what the Advanced Nigh Repair system was actually supposed to do and I even doubted if my skin was ready (aka. mature enough) for it at all. First thing I noticed was the elegant yet lightweight formulation which is something many people overlook in skincare but I feel is part of what separates the high-low price spectrum. It didn't feel heavy or greasy on my skin and I could easy layer these with other products which is more than what I can say for many other anti-aging lines. They were gentle and soothing, calming some redness from daily aggressors and did not clog my pores or cause any breakouts. 

The immediate noticeable changes in the first week applications was the overall smoothness of my skin in the morning after, followed by more balanced oil production for my combination skin and then some visible firmness and lift at the end of my 5th week. Switching it up being using the Complex II alone and in combination with the Mask-In-Oil, I didn't find the oil to add to the benefits but simplely worked as a moisturizer. The serum did not help correct surface dehydration or fade any of my pre-existing dark spots and hyper-pigmentation. My skin looked less-fatigued and almost "reset" but I have not seen any dramatic results for now. I am looking forward to keeping this in my collection and seeing if the full bottle results would be any different.

ARE THEY STAYING IN MY PERSONAL COLLECTION: Yes, Advanced Night Repair Complex II but not the Mask-In-Oil.

OTHER SKINCARE USED DURING TESTING: Omorovicza Mud Cleanser*, Fresh Soy Cleanser, Origins Gen-zing Moisturizer*, Sulwhasoo First Care Essence

Estee Lauder's Advanced Night Repair Sychronized Recovery Complex II works well as a daily skin maintenance, restorative and balancing serum. It's light weight consistency will likely work for all skin types and I'd recommend this to those in their 20s and beyond. Despite being marketed as an anti-aging powerhouse, I found it mild and see it more as a preventative and early stage treatment. The corresponding Recovery Mask-In-Oil, while working great as an add on moisturizer, is overpriced for its lack of results and you'd be just as happy with many other lower priced oil options on the market. 

Chat soon,