1. 6. Grayburn: December 2007 7.


Favorite Things 2007 - The Finalists

This is probably one of my most difficult posts yet. I spent some time scribbling a list of my Favorite Things of 2007 on a note pad before I dozed off one night. Each one of them had an emotional component to it as well and reflecting on them was quite satisfying. It was easy because I hold dear in my heart my must-haves products I discovered in 2007. However, it was extremely difficult because I had to limit the number of items on my list to the finalists (or else the list would be too long). I may post the other items at a later time but for now, these are the finalists and why:

1. Imju (Dejavu) Fiberwig Mascara

Because of my wimpy lashes (The 3 S's - straight, sparse & short), mascaras have always been such a struggle for me. Maybe this is a little dramatic, but if you have small eyes like me, you would understand!

Good lashes frame the eyes and open them up to make them appear larger. The tools you need for this is a lash curler, a good mascara base and a good mascara. This takes up the first place on my list because this is
that incredible mascara I have searched for all my life! Read my previous post here .

2. Kanebo Kate Mascara Base

I never attend a party without armour on my lashes. I never attend a party without pretty lashes as well. So this one here is my lashes' new found love of 2007. I used to deal with flaking and white peep-through with mascara bases. No longer. You can read more
here from my previous post on this.

3. Alqvimia Cleopatra Body Oil

I discovered this one when I visited a dear friend in Barcelona, Spain; who could not wait to show me this brand when I got off the plane. It was a damn hot summer there and beach hopping was the main event. I needed good skin to show off in! We went in and me not speaking a word of Catalan, my friend did all the talking. We walked out of there with 2 handfuls of samples each. She is such a smooth talker!

This body oil is the most feminine in texture and in scent I have ever encountered. Incense and Myrrh in an almond oil base gives it such deep femininity. The liquid is golden in color and has a way of nourishing my skin that I have not seen before. The scent lingers all day until it is showered off which I love for lazy days. I posted in November about Alqvimia
here if you are interested.

Alqvimia's website

4. Rituals Hammam Body Mud nourishing shower mud

"Oh wow" was all I could say when I felt
this touch my skin as the SA applied it to my dampened skin. I quickly imagined my simple shower at home filled up with this refreshingly energizing scent as it transformed into a Turkish hammam! By the way in case you don't know, a hammam is a Turkish steam bath where for a long time religious cleansing rituals and social gatherings were held.

I bought the box set earlier this year and have been in love with it since. The lady at the shop told me that this is the best selling product line from
Rituals (among others such as the Rise and Shine and their new makeup line which I also adore).

5. MAC Emote Blush

MAC brought our attention to their smoldering side in their Smoke Signals collection. I did not want to know anything about contouring my face before I was introduced to this contouring powder called Emote. I thought they were only for Dynasty ladies (see my post in November on this
here). Believe it or not, this is now my blush/bronzer for my "natural day" makeup. Who knew such a humble shade can win my love?

6. Chanel Lèvres Scintillantes Chanel Glossimer #108 Constellation LE

My heart holds dear this Levres Scintillantes from Chanel; which has landed itself on #6 on my 2007 Favorite Things List! This was a birthday present from my boyfriend who not only managed to go to the Chanel counter by himself (no arm-twisting or bribery involved!) and surprised me with what turns out to be my favorite lipgloss of the year! This was the limited release item that Chanel so expertly introduced. The ads were everywhere; a pair of shiny shimmery lips clasping a pearl and diamond gold chain got many writing about it. Many of us already knew how elegantly Chanel Glossimers wore. This one however has a big punch of shimmer that is not gritty or over-the-top. Chanel has a special place in my heart for creating such elegantly wearable products.

You can find more Chanel products online at FragranceX.com

7. MAC Heirloom Face Brush Set

This was another surprise from my boyfriend who now at the end of the year have the courage to go to makeup counters by himself (the second time this year). He was tipped off by me a few weeks back that I had liked the look of this brush set. He arrived at the MAC counter and saw that there were only 3 left on the shelves at MAC in the Bijenkorf of Amsterdam. Without hesitations, he purchased it.

I opened my present and found this lovely treat! The cute ivory/gold clutch holds 4 travel-size MAC brushes with gold handles; 194SE, 190SE, 187SE, 168SE. Now I know these are not handmade like the MAC full-sized brushes are, but who said handmade is always better anyways? All the essentials for the face in one set makes it great for traveling and touch-ups. That is why
this is my favorite brush set of 2007.

The full selection of MAC brushes can be viewed

8. Weleda Seabuckthorn Creamy Body Wash

I bought my bottle when I visited Germany (where
Weleda is based) this year. The scent is uplifting and the creaminess is so soothing. Did I mention that this is also good for your skin? I step out of the shower with a smile every morning!

9. Tigi S Factor Creamy Molding Wax

I have lazy hair days on most days. I look at my colleagues and alot of them are always impeccably well tressed. Amsterdam is known for our tulips amongst other things as well as the wind. I find that using this fruity-smelling finishing wax gives me hair that looks well-managed and full yet soft and casual. I wrote about it in my December post

10. Kamillosan

I have sensitive skin and I hate using cortisone creams to suppress irritations. I believe in balancing rather than suppressing. This ointment from Kamillosan is a life-saver for parched, irritated skin. I often have this with me to bring my skin back to balance.

11. Opi Russian Navy Nail Polish

Simply the best blue shade made this year. Deep indigo blue with fine purple shimmer. Many compliments (from men) about my nails came from wearing
this shade.

12. Sabon Body Scrub in Lavender/Apple

Their stores have popped up everywhere this year in the Netherlands. I walked into the store with my shopping buddy and we were instantly offered hand scrubbing/massages. How could we deny them of giving us pleasure?
This particular scent is our favorite so we both bought one each. I have since gone back for another large-sized jar because I like it that much!

13. Bourjois Effect Metallise #53 Feuille de cuivre

Glides on with ease, comes in exciting colors, metallic finish, and is inexpensive. How can I argue with these people who also produce makeup for Chanel. What more can I ask for?

This shade is warm and shows up just enough to highlight the eyes. Perfect day or night.

14. Pop Beauty Eye Class Blue Eyes

Looking back on 2007, makeup palettes have really done a turn for the better.
POP Beauty's palettes are fun and applies smoothly (read: doesn't settle into lines). Looking at my Eye Class Blue Eyes palette sometimes is like looking into my closet; too many choices and possible combinations.

15. Frizz-Ease Moisture Barrier Firm-Hold Hair Spray

I have impossible hair which doesn't like to hold a curl; much like my lashes.
This if used sparingly (hold the nozzle far far away from your hair while spraying!) holds my heat-created curls. I can even sleep in it and wake up the next morning with sexier wavy hair!

16. i.d. Weather Everything liner sealer

I learned the trick with this one while I was in Chicago (what a great city for shopping!) earlier this year. We don't have a Sephora here in the Netherlands (can you imagine that?) so when I entered the store on Michigan Avenue (inside a mall), I shed tears of joy!
This little bottle of clear liquid converts all my powder eye shadows into liquid liners and seals them in - so nothing moves until it is washed off.

17. Shiseido Tsubaki Shampoo & Conditioner

The panel of Japanese celebrities that joined forces to promote this new line of Shiseido haircare was gigantic! The red camelia flower oil takes main stage for this line. Check out my post
here for more on this.

18. Viktor & Rolf Flower Bomb

Viktor & Rolf are from the Netherlands, I rushed out to Douglas (Europe's version of Sephora) to check it out right away. At that time they only sold it at the one in the center of Amsterdam. I fell in love with it right away and bought the largest bottle. This remains consistently my favorite fragrance. Top notes: Bergamont & Tea, Middle notes: Jasmine, Freesia & Orchid, Base notes: Centiflora Rose & Patchouli. Victoria from Bois de Jasmin sums it up perfectly:

"everything about it is cashmere and pearls—poised, sweet and pretty." Victoria of Bois de Jasmin.

19. Gianna Rose Atelier Le Chouette

A scrumptious lychee scented
soap shaped into a grumpy-faced owl. Cheers up anyone that visits my bathroom!

20. L'oreal Sunless Sublime Glow Daily Body Moisturizer + Natural Skintone Enhancer

2007 was the year of gradual self-tanners! Every brand from high-end to the lows jumped onto this bandwagon. My favorite is the one from
L'Oreal. Although it is not sold here in the Netherlands, I get mine by begging my friend in the US (if you are reading this, hello and thanks!) to ship them over to me. It smells of mango and makes my skin glimmer. No nasty tanner smell or the common streaks.

Available at drugstore.com

21. Claus Porto of Lafco New York soaps

Another soap I love. Loved by Oprah and produced by a Portuguese family. This was in my November post which you can read

22. Shiseido Automatic Lip Crayon in LC3 Rose

Carrying around a big purse isn't my thing; I am proud of the fact that I travel light. When I go abroad I pack up all the little packets of samples I have been collecting (they are all in a large shoe box) so I never worry about spilling anything. This lip crayon takes the 3-step process of lipstick application down to 1 (see my post from November
here to read more).

So there we have it, these are the finalists for my Favorite Things of 2007. I hope you enjoyed my list and don't forget to tell me some of your favorites as well. These are my greatest finds which I cannot imagine living without. Wise words from a wise man (my boyfriend) are: "When you find something exceptionally wonderful, don't let it go!". Advice taken.

Thank you Annie from Blogdorf Goodman for organizing this event and please also visit the following bloggers who also participated in this event:


A Recap of Favorite Things 2006 - Don't Miss Favorite Things 2007!

Bloggers around the world are working our butts off to compile a favorite beauty list for the 2007. I have seen last year's list and every single post had items that I was either drooling over or I was already in love with the beauty picks just like they were.

This will be my first year participating in this event organized by Annieytown of BlogdorfGoodman so please don't forget to visit my site on December 31st for my comprehensive list! Join us all in welcoming 2008 with a bang and with style!

I guess I should get back to working on it so until then, have a great weekend!

See YSL's Spring 2008 Collection

See RMK's Spring 2008 Collection


From the Heirlooms Face Brush Set - Brush #187SE by MAC

Following up on the MAC #187 brush (my previous entry here), I promised a review on the Holiday edition of the brush in the Heirloom Face Brush Set called #187SE. The "SE" stands for special edition; represented by its shorter handle.

The brushes in this set all have gold handles and although the quality is not as good as the original-sized MAC's, they work well for traveling and touch-ups. Since the duo fiber-ness (2 separate layers of different types of white and black bristles) is one of the reasons the 187 is so famous, consumers buying the 187SE for this reason may be disappointed here. This 187SE's duo-fiberness is less obvious so if it is not what you're looking for, then it may be best to get the original. Otherwise, after testing the 187SE with different types of powders and liquids, I can truly say that it is a wonderful brush to work with as it applies those products in the sheerest of ways.

On Shiseido's Maquillage Liquid Foundation Brush

2 Other Ways to Use Loose Face Powder

picture from maccosmetics.com

A Look at Celebrity Makeup Artist - Paul Starr

Paul Starr's makeup artistry amazes me. These are just some of the looks he has done for countless famous beauties and a video of him talking about essential makeup tools.

Click on image to enlarge

Read About Eye Shadow Trends and Ideas

Where Celebrities Shop for Drugstore Items

Read about my Favorite Things of 2007

pictures compiled from paulstarrmakeup.com/


The Dirt on Counterfeit MAC

I received the Heirloom Face Brush Set for Chirstmas and I am so excited because I have been meaning to test the infamous #187 brush for some time now. Now I am not a mineral makeup user but I know from testing the brush at the MAC counter that it would be a winner for liquid foundations.

I usually like to do some research on the products I get just for the fun of it. I was happily reading glowing reviews of the #187 until I landed on a page which burst my bubble! There are infact counterfeit MAC brushes out there; especially the beloved #187! You must imagine my horror when I started reading and realized that the counterfeit looks quite similar to the original if we don't look carefully.

Have a look at the picture from blog.pixnet.net above. The 2 brushes look very similar but the difference is in the quality of the bristles. The counterfeit apparently is less "bouncy" and when viewed from the side, the hairs are crooked. The fake ones also have slightly different printing on the handle which may be pretty difficult to tell. The original MAC #187 is known for their duo-fiber look of white and black hairs in 2 separate layers. However, the fake ones have bristles dyed half with black and half with white (see picture above) and not in separate layers.

More on the MAC #187SE Heirloom brush tomorrow......

A Note on Lipstick

The Beautiful Shiseido Maquillage Foundation Brush

Another Lash gadget - D Feel Mascara

A look into RMK Spring makeup collection

This is very exciting news for me when I saw these Shiney Mix Eyes and Shiney Mix Cheeks from RMK. Why? I have missed out on many many MAC minerlize eye shadow and these may not be the same colors as the ones from MAC, they sure have won my heart.

If Vincent Van Gogh was alive today, he would be proud of these I reckon!

Read a note on Lipstick

A Look at YSL's Spring Collection

Get 25% off everything in the GNC store. Hurry! Offer ends 12/28/07

picture from rougedeluxe


About the 26th of December - Boxing Day and Favorite Things 2007

The day after Christmas is usually the day we spend recovering from the huge meals we have had in the last few days or weeks. For some of my friends over in North America, it may mean doing so by shopping the Boxing Day sales. All the stores other than maybe Ikea is open here today! So I decided I will spend my time going through this past year's beauty file. Looking back I have discovered many surprisingly good as well as disappointing beauty finds. I wish to make a list of my favorites for 2007 and to share this with all of you!

A bunch of my fellow bloggers will be doing the same and we will be publishing our lists starting from December 31st till early January. So be sure to drop by as I am sure these will be some of the best reads you will come across! I have to thank Annieytown from Blogdorf Goodman for coming up with such a great idea (see this for more details).

What a wonderful way to wrap up 2007 and anticipate what wonderful beauty finds will be awaiting us in 2008! Stay tuned!

Other Reads:

A Look Back at My Christmas Wish List Items 1 - 17

My favorite candles - One for Every Occasion


A look at YSL Spring Collection

Yves Saint Laurent celebrates the coming of Spring 2008 with an incredibly outstanding collection. The usual girliness is mixed with an extra dose of flirtiness which is apparent in the new Pop palette LE. The Pop Stick Blush may just be my new found love; temporarily replacing my beloved Nars Multiples. The Eye Color Touche which is an eye shadow in the infamous YSL click-pen will be so handy for ladies' room touch-ups.

They look very wearable and gives just the right "pop" of color for spring! Irresistible!

Read about the current trends in eye shadow

A Look at RMK's Spring Collection

picture via rougedeluxe


To You and Your Loved Ones.

Dearest readers,

I look forward to bringing you many more interesting (hopefully!) reads.

I wish you happiness and warmth for the holiday seasons!


Makeup for the holidays - Party in red lips and porcelain skin

The ultimate feminine look; a porcelain complexion paired with red lips is glamorous for holiday parties.

Red Lips

Whether you choose a matte or a red lipstick with some shine, be sure to first prepare your lips with a good balm. I have had a few makeup artists use the Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream Skin Protectant on me before applying red lippie. Get some help at a good makeup counter on choosing the right red shade for you.

Porcelain skin

It must be an overload on self-tanners, we are no longer afraid of looking pale and porcelain. Winter is the perfect time to do this look because the cold wind brings out the rosiness in our cheeks; just enough to give our perfect-looking complexion some color. Remember to also prep your skin for foundation and choose a foundation with some luminosity in it. Set the foundation with a dusting of face powder (like this one here) or with blotting paper (like this one here) and you are good to go!

Read more on the season's hottest makeup trends

Read about My Favorite Things of 2007

image from flickr by busy.child


Friday Feature: Beautiful Candles to Get Now

We've all seen all the wonders they can do with wax and candle-sculpturing. They can be such pieces of art.

There is something however very wonderful and beautiful about a container candle. They instantly set the mood of the room as they can become center pieces in the living room or by you at tub-side. They also make such great house-warming or first-time-visiting someone gifts.

Take a look at these special ones below....

For something festive:
....when the family is there

KarenKlein Candles Holiday Collection, Ornament Design

For something elegant and romantic:
....when it's just the two of you

Etro Heliotrope Perfumed Candle

Comptoir Sud Pacifique Perfumed Candle, Vanille Abricot

For something trendy:
....drinks at home with co-workers

Jen Lew Designs Soy Candle, Bamboo

For something uncluttered but nice:
....lunch party with friends

Clean Ultimate Perfumed Candle

Fresh Scented Candle, Sake

For something feminine:
....when you want some time for yourself

LoLLIA Relax Luminary Candle

Malie Kauai Soy Candle, Gardenia

For something exotic:
....when you are feeling adventurous

Nyakio Candle, African Tea

Claus Porto Voga Acacia Tuberose Candle

Claus Porto Ilyria Honeysuckle Candle

Read last Friday's Feature

Painting 101 - Ideas and trends in eye shadow

Have you always wanted to try bold eye shadow color or is there a color you have never worn? It seems that this is the season to try them. This season's eye makeup has gone totally wild for super color combinations and the effect is really something else.

The key seems to be that the shadows are worn with some deliberate contrasting. The trend is moving away from too much glitter or frosty to something a little more matte. You can achieve this by starting with a matte shadow and then pat on a little bit of shimmer on key areas afterwards.

When considering a color:

1. Look at what you are wearing that day. Matching the colors exactly with your outfit is not the key; you want your eye shadow to pop!

2. Pick a shade that flatters your skin tone rather than being too bold in the wrong way.

3. White accentuates light so they are beautiful on darker skin tones.

4. Dark blue shadow looks amazing with another orange or yellow tint shadow.

5. For more of a contrast, choose a shadow either lighter than or darker than your eye color (i.e. dark blue shadow for light blue eyes).

6. Green eyes become more striking with purples, violets contrasted with rosy shadows.

7. Brown eyes can be accentuated by copper, bronze or gold shadows; contrasted with some green.

Have fun creating these looks for the parties!

If you prefer a natural look for your makeup, Read about it here

image from flickr by kee-um


A Note On Lipstick

A good lipstick is one that compliments your skin tone and expresses how you feel in a particular moment. The formula you choose will determine the look of the color as well as whether it will be high maintenance (requiring frequent re-application).

Choosing a color:
If your hair color is....

Light blond complimentary colors include wine and berry reds, mauve and natural coffee tones.
Golden blond
sunny shades like coral, apricots and peaches.
Blond and Olive skin tones
also neutral tones like peach and terracotta.
reds with brownish undertones and terracotta.
earthy tones such as terracotta, peach and cinnamon.

Darker lipstick shades will make smaller lips appear smaller; so stay away from them if you want a fuller looking pout. Use a reflective or luminous lip liner to line your cupid's bow (the wonderful V-shaped part of your upper lip) as this highlights how beautiful it is. For the rest of your lips, line with a neutral shade in the same color as your natural lip color.

See how to make your lipstick stay put longer

Photo from Flickr.com by Bella of Bacardi

Christmas Wish List item No. 17 - Beautiful Foundation Application

I swear that I will keep my makeup tools ie. brushes, sponges, dishes, separators etc clean forever.

This one is so beautiful that I don't think I will have a problem doing so. I probably won't be able to wait to use it everyday. Call me obsessed but I would probably continue to think about this while at work or having coffee with friends!

It's called beautyblender Blendercleanser and it's available by on the link just given.

See what's on my Christmas Wish List No. 16

picture from beautyblender.net