fenty beauty first impressions

September 7, 2017  |  New Launches  |  8 Comments

I just got back from the Fenty Beauty launch at Sephora, and thought I’d get some quick and dirty swatch photos up for anyone who hasn’t yet been able to make it down to try the products themselves.

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Before I get into it, let me just say that I truly loathe over-hyped celeb brands. However, I have to give credit where credit is due: Rihanna did an amazing job with this line, and it’s obvious she put a lot of thought and work and time into the development of each product. From the ultra-inclusive range of foundation (40 shades!) and their genius swatch book system to the thoughtful packaging to the beautiful, beautiful highlighters, you can tell this wasn’t just a line of pre-made makeup that Rihanna slapped her name on. So kudos to you, Riri! I went in today looking for faults but there were none.

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There were hiccups though. As much as I wish I had been able to swatch and photograph the whole range, it would have been a two person job to do so and get quality photos for my readers…and since there was some awkwardness over me asking if I could have Adam pop in and help me really quickly, I had to pick my battles and focus on just the highlighters. So I apologize for the inconsistent photo quality here and not having the foundation or contour swatches up too.

Here are swatches the Killawatt Freestyle Highlighters (click to enlagrge). My first impression was positive. The quality was good on average, but some powders definitely performed better than others. My favourites of the bunch were Metal Moon and the Lightning Dust/Fire Crystal duo. Trophy wife is gorgeously pigmented, but straight up glittery and tough to wear as a highlighter unless you’re looking for pure theatrics. Mean Money was the bottom performer here, lacking pigment and being too sheer.

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And here are the Match Stix Shimmer Skinsticks. Some were more sheer, some more pigmented, all were consistently smooth and texturally even. No complaints here. My favourites were Confetti and Sinnamon, but really they are all winners. And that’s all she wrote! Anything you’re eyeing up from Fenty Beauty?

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chanel gabrielle launch

September 2, 2017  |  Chanel, New Launches  |  No Comments

Sorry for my absence everyone – we’ve been on a bit of a travel bender lately, going from LA to Tokyo to Singapore to Melbourne to all around New Zealand’s North Island, and I’ve only just unpacked my suitcase…right in time to head back to LA in a couple of weeks, of course!

While I’m in Singapore however, I’ve been doing my best to cram in as much as possible so I was delighted to be able to catch the launch exhibition of Chanel’s new pillar fragrance, Gabrielle. Chanel hasn’t released a pillar fragrance in 15 years (the last one being Chance) so this is really quite the occasion. As someone who’s worn their perfumes for many years, I couldn’t pass this up. Here’s a quick recap of my visit last friday.

The Gabrielle exhibition is essentially a beautifully-staged art show that breaks down the various elements that go into making a would-be iconic scent. There are insightful visual representations of fragrance creator Olivier Polge’s inspiration, an opportunity to smell the different notes of the perfume as separate entities and appreciate how they are combined…

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…as well as an in-depth exploration of the unique bottle its packaging (easily the highlight of the exhibition for me, as a design geek), a behind-the-scenes look at the Gabrielle promo video and overall a well executed sensory journey that goes well beyond scent.

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There are a couple of interactive displays too, one of which is a faceted tunnel that is like the most chic funhouse mirror ever and pretty awesome for photos (which the Chanel staff will print for you upon request).

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The exhibition at SOTA closes today, but the lovely Chanel fragrance experts (and presumably…hopefully?…some of the displays) will move to Paragon next so you can chat them up there and try the perfume on.

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My personal take on this might be a wee bit biased because I’ve been wearing Chanel No.5 since I was a teenager, but I really REALLY like Gabrielle as a lighter, ever-so-slightly fruity alternative to my staple scent. They actually share a couple of floral heart notes so if you like No.5 but want something fresher (that isn’t L’Eau, which as a fan of the original I personally find too derivative) and equally sophisticated, then I definitely recommend having a sniff of this for yourself.

coco cafe pop-up

April 7, 2017  |  Events, New Launches  |  No Comments

Guess what just opened in Singapore?

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I had the pleasure of checking our Chanel’s Coco Cafe yesterday and thought I’d do a quick blog post to share some photos from the day. I just couldn’t fit everything into one Instagram post!

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Despite its name, the Coco Cafe isn’t actually the newest and most beautiful cafe in Singapore, but the newest and most beautiful cafe-themed beauty pop-up-store in Singapore. It was conceptualised as a luxurious, relaxing space where you could go with beauty-loving friends to have a coffee and play with makeup.

And while it’s sadly not a permanent addition to Singapore’s F&B scene, Chanel is pretty serious about the cafe theme. The Coco Cafe features a full-fledged espresso bar…

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…a juice bar with drinks inspired by Chanel perfumes…

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…and edibles like candies and cakes, which are complimentary when you make a purchase.

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The entire space is stocked with testers, set up so that makeup-lovers can play to their heart’s content. Of course I took the opportunity to swatch everything. Look out for a post on Chanel’s new lipgloss line next!

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Aside from being encouraged to play on your own, there are also loads of complimentary professional services, and you can get everything from a manicure to a makeover to a private perfume consultation from the staff who – in my experience – were incredibly helpful, patient and knowledgable. They really nailed the trifecta of perfect service.

I enjoyed my quick makeup consultation, where I got to try on the Chanel Rouge Coco Stylos I’d been eyeing up, as well as brand’s famed bronzers (which I now think I need in my life) and blush, all of which was set with a spritz of Chanel’s Beauty Essence Mist.

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Once you’re all prettied up, grab your girlfriends and head into the photo booth at the back of the cafe. They’ll print the photos for you right there as a keepsake.

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And yes, I dragged Adam into the booth as well.

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All in all it was such a fun experience, and just being in the space somehow just felt really uplifting and re-charging. I don’t usually think of pop-up stores as anything more than a marketing tool to sell product, but the Coco Cafe was a genuine treat to be in. Every aspect of it was beautifully crafted to make it a luxurious sensory experience rather than a store, and there were no sales pitches – just pampering. I walked away from it not only well-caffeinated but more in love with Chanel that I’d ever been before. I highly recommend checking it out!

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Details: Admission is free, but there are crowd-control measures in place to make sure that everyone who enters has a special experience. Though the reservation list is full, I’m told that Chanel staff are also accepting walk-ins and will encourage guests to leave their phone numbers for a call-back on a first come first served basis (so there is a benefit to showing up early in the day).

Coco Cafe will run from the 8th to the the 16th of April, and is located at the Visual Arts Centre, Dhoby Ghaut Green. No idea where that is? No problem! Just take the MRT, get off at Dhoby Ghaut Station and use Exit B which will pop you up right next to the cafe’s entrance.