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Garnier 5 Sec Perfect Blur Smoothing Base Perfector


BEAUTY, Sponsored | by — April 24, 2014

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Remember this snippet on my Instagram feed? Laughs aside, the allure of smooth and poreless skin is something that has women searching the world over for products that hide imperfections.

Not so many years ago I was blessed with tighter pores to the extent that some people even believed I had none, and I was blissfully unaware of what it was like to have enlarged pores.  As age took its toll year on year, I was mentally prepared to embrace hyper pigmentation and fine lines but I really didn’t expect my pores to enlarge despite living in moderate weather.

The trouble with pores is that they can’t be “removed” as such, but they can managed with products that temporarily minimise their appearance.  Garnier’s 5 Sec Perfect Blur (RRP $16.95 AUD) is an affordable option that is a smoothing base perfector with light reflectors that visibly blurs wrinkles, pores, imperfections and reduces shine.  It’s designed to be worn after moisturiser and under makeup (or without makeup) for an airbrushed effect.


What they say

Garnier 5 Sec Perfect Blur is not a moisturiser, it is not a foundation, and it is more than a primer. A smoothing and perfecting skincare base with light reflecting technology to reduce the appearance of wrinkles, imperfections, pores and shine.

What I like about the squeeze tube packaging is that the slim nozzle makes it easier to control how much product is dispensed.  It’s more hygienic than pot packaging, and you can get every drop out compared to pump packaging.  The 22ml size is also travel friendly so you can get picture-perfect skin while on short trips or holidays.

GARNIER 5 Second Blur 5

GarnierPerfectBlur-4My experience

  • It’s light pink when first squeezed out of the tube, but blends quickly into the skin without a trace, and instantly creates a blurred airbrushed effect.
  • It did a pretty good job of blurring pores and an even better job of blurring fine lines. I shall leave you to be the judge from the before/after pics of the back of my hand and cheek.
  • Leaves skin feeling velvety smooth with a diffused matte appearance.  It sat comfortable on my dry skin type, so I can’t really comment on how it controls shine.
  • Foundation was a breeze to blend over the base without it sinking into pores.
  • Skin appears brighter and photographs better without needing to do as much photoshop.

GARNIER 5 Second Blur 7

No photoshopping done on these pics other than cropping.  I used a lighter application on my pores, and a heavier application on the back of my hands, which clearly look as though they could do with the help of Garnier 5 Sec Perfect Blur.

GARNIER 5 Second Blur 8


What I like about Garnier 5 Sec Perfect Blur is that it instantly brightens and blurs imperfections, helping you achieve picture perfect skin faster than it takes you to choose your favourite filter on Instagram.   Whilst it’s only a temporary measure, given how challenging it is to find something as affordable as this that instantly minimizes the appearance of pores, it’s a quick fix alternative that helps your foundation go the extra mile.  Give it a try if your skin can handle silicone based primers, and adjust the amount depending on how airbrushed you want the results to be.  As with silicone based products, I recommend a thorough cleanse afterwards, either double cleansing or a Clarisonic, whichever you fancy.


Win one of two Garnier prize packs! *** GIVEAWAY CLOSED***

  • Each contains 3 x Garnier 5 Sec Perfect Blur products valued over $50.
  • Giveaway open to Australian residents only, and ends 5pm AEST Tuesday 6 May 2014.
  • To enter, leave a comment on this blog post sharing “Which imperfection do you hope to blur with 5 Sec Perfect Blur and why?”
  • The best 3 comments will be shortlisted by Beauty Swatch and the final winner will be chosen by Nuffnang who will ship the prizes.
  • To claim the prize, the winners must reply to the winner notification and accept the prize within 48 hours of the winner’s notification, as well as indicate their preferred address for the the prize to be sent. If the winner does not respond within 48 hours, they will forfeit the prize.
  • Click here for detailed Terms and Conditions.


TOM FORD Velvet Orchid – Review, Photos

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BEAUTY | by — April 21, 2014

Tom Ford Velvet Orchid-1 bsw Tom Ford Velvet Orchid-2 bsw Tom Ford Velvet Orchid-3 bsw

Velvet Orchid is Tom Ford’s new fragrance that is the feminine version of the iconic Black Orchid fragrance, and comes in glossy, dark purple version of the iconic Black Orchid flute glass bottle.  It’s an incredibly seductive concotion of floral, woody and spicy notes that speaks strong sexy confidence.

The scent is a blend of Italian bergamot, Mandarin Orpur, ultra-purified rum extract and a creamy vanilla that gives a brilliant caramelised note that gives me visuals of leather skirts and louboutins.  The base of the fragrance is intensely rich and warm thanks to the sandalwood and myrrh for a raw suede effect.  To counter-balance the woody and spicy base, floral notes of jasmine, rose oil, orange blossom, and orchid bring out a rich nectar notes topped with magnolia and hyacinth for a touch of feminity.

After falling in love with the  Jasmin Noir fragrance, it didn’t take much for my nose to be easily acquainted with Velvet Orchid which takes the definition of “strong and sexy” to a whole new territory.  As for my husband and mum, they felt Velvet Orchid ventured into the territory of men’s fragrance! It’s so concentrated that a whiff at the nozzle is enough to send your mind wandering off to another place.  It’s also really long lasting, so once spritz is all you need paired with a strong outfit to take it to whichever territory you wish.

RRP: $155 AUD (50ml), $230 (100ml)

This product was provided for consideration.

Chanel Le Blush Creme de Chanel Revelation #63 – Review, Photos, Swatches


BEAUTY | by — April 14, 2014

CHANEL Cream Blush - Revelation 63 1

The first time I heard about Chanel Le Blush Creme was on Lisa Eldridge’s Youtube channel, where I was intrigued by her description of the texture as “a hybrid between a cream and mousse”.   The idea of a hybrid texture appealed to me, and I imagined it to be easy to control in application, having seen it effortless blend into a soft flush by Lisa herself. I was given the opportunity to try Revelation 63, a soft peachy apricot that’s perfect for my fair neutral skin tone.

CHANEL Cream Blush - Revelation 63 3

What they say

This innovative powder-cream formula offers an enticing new way to blush with sheer yet vibrant pigments for instant luminosity. The silky texture offers a long-wear satin finish—soft and comfortable for every skin type—and is simple to apply with fingertips or brush.

CHANEL Cream Blush - Revelation 63 2

It’s easy to apply with fingers, but since I’m so used to brushes I find I have better control with it.    It’s cream to touch but quickly sets into a powder finish. Once blended out, it transforms into a beautiful diffused finish as shown below.

CHANEL Cream Blush - Revelation 63 4

Revelation is the perfect shade to pair with a bright coral lip.  Overall, Le Blush Creme de Chanel was fun to play with but with my flat facial features, I have a fair bit of “cheek” to cover so powder blushes are still easier to control myself from applying blush on half my cheeks.

Link Love: Do check out Front Row Beauty’s swatch of this shade on her cheeks.

RRP: $60 AUD

This product was provided for consideration.

I’ve found the ULTIMATE Holy Grail waterproof eyeliners with Solone & Dasoda


BEAUTY, Featured | by — April 7, 2014

SOLONE Pencil 1

As I mentioned in my previous post, I have retreated away from lipstick back to my obsession with finding good waterproof eyeliners, and after hearing rave reviews about Solone from bloggers and vloggers I decided I’d give it a go to see what the hype is all about.

In my first round of purchases, I bought Solone 30 Second Dry Gel Like Smoody Pencil for Eyeshadow and Eyeliner (Brown and Champagne) and Solone Automatic Auto Waterproof Eyeliner Shining Eyepencil 2mm (Black).   I love the whimsical paper packaging, which is refreshing change from that of other eyeliners at similar price points.

SOLONE Pencil 2

The texture of all three formulas was very smooth and creamy without tugging on the skin, and there was no need warm up the product at all for best results.  Pigmentation is intense at immediate application.

SOLONE Pencil 3

As testament to how waterproof all three are, I ran the tap on my arm  tried to rub off the swatches with my thumb and it didn’t budge at all.  Not even with cream cleanser.  The only thing that would get rid of it was eye makeup remover, which thankfully removed it quite easily.  It also stayed on my waterline very well.  I find that the product doesn’t transfer on my mobile lid as long as I use a good budge-proof concealer and set the eye area with powder.

SOLONE Pencil 4

The only downside is that the retractable liner lasted me only 3-4 weeks with daily use, as there’s not much product in it at all.  So I decided to purchase the Solone Magic Waterproof Eyeliner Smudger Shining Pencil in Black.  The packaging wasn’t as exciting but it did come with a sharpener.

SOLONE Black Pencil 1b

The pigmentation is slightly more intense than the retractable version possibly because it’s a larger surface area than the 2mm tip of the rectractable one.   I find that it is less prone to transfer as long as you blend the excess with a cotton bud seeing as it’s so creamy and easy to over apply.

SOLONE Black Pencil 2

This was just as waterproof as the other three eyeliners, and here’s proof of me splashing it with water and trying to give it a good rub but the intensity is just as good as the “before” shot.  This was the same result for the other three eyeliners.

SOLONE Black Pencil 2b

Next on my holy grail list is the Dasoda Mega Liquid Liner which I decided to try after seeing it on the top recommended list on imomoko.com.  The packaging leaves much to be desired, but the pink metallic lid makes it easy to spot amongst my myriad of eyeliners. DASODA 1

The pigmentation is not as intense black as Dolly Wink or K-Palette, but it’s black enough to intensify my eyes (which need a lot of definition).  Having tested it in the peak of summer in Australia, I can say hand on heart that this is transfer-proof, smudge-proof and waterproof.    The Dasoda Mega Volume Mascara is also smudge and transfer proof, however it does clump easily on my thin sparse lashes and I end up having to remove half of it with a cotton bud for clean separated lashes.  Nevertheless it’s still my go to mascara for work since I can’t take any chances with panda eyes when I’m at meetings for most of the day.


Have you tried Solone or Dasoda products?

What’s your holy grail eyeliner?


I purchased the Solone products from ebay here and Dasoda from ebay here.

Currently Using: Skincare (March 2014)

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BEAUTY, Beauty Articles, Featured | by — March 31, 2014

Currently Using - Serums Mar 2014

It’s with mixed emotions that I wrap up my final skincare post for 2014 as I prepare to say goodbye to Beauty Swatch and the beauty blogosphere.  I have been very fortunate to be at the forefront of trialling new skincare products before they release, and thanks to beauty blogging I have found the perfect customised skincare routine that I know works for me, regardless of whatever hype I see.  For my skin type that’s prone to dehydration and dullness, it’s a cocktail of AHAs, nourishing serums and masks, rich moisturisers and cream cleansers. I now know that eye serums suit me better for day time, and I have also come to terms with graduating from starter serums to needing a bit of oomph to look alive and well rested.

I hope you have enjoyed my skincare posts over the past 5 years! If you ever feel like browsing through my old skincare posts, I’ve saved them under the “Popular Posts” section (the link is also located on the top right hand corner).

La Mer The Lifting Contour Serum* & Lifting and Firming Mask* ($410 / $300 AUD)

La Mer has been one of those products that have taken years off my mum’s visible age before, so when I got the chance to try The Lifting Contour Serum and Lifting and Firming Mask I shipped them to mum to trial on my behalf.  The Lifting Contour Serum was a winner, with the cell renewing properties visibly softening her wrinkles and sculpted her skin into a smoother, softer and well rested finish.  The other most striking result mum experienced was how moisturising it was and kept her dry skin soft throughout the day.   This is thanks to the Listing Ferment™ ingredient, made from a combination of Perennial brown algae, copper-rich blue algae and marine peptides, to increase the skin’s natural collagen production for a more refined silhouette.

As for the Lifting and Firming Mask, the keyword mum repeated when she described this mask was how nourishing it was, improving her skin density and elasticity and rejuvenated.  Mum was also surprised by how well this “leave on” mask absorbed into the skin, and how easily it was to apply her skincare on top of it.  As for me, with the dollop that I saved for myself, my skin was more refined, also nourished with a “post facial” glow.  The key ingredient in this mask is a blend of brown algae, marine peptides and active marine plant stem cells, to enhance the skin’s support structure and increase density and elasticity.  A great gift idea for mum’s birthday, mother’s day or any special occasion.

Clarins Extra-Firming Eye Lift Perfecting Serum* ($72 AUD)

This morning eye serum does an fabulous job of de-puffing and firming the under eye area, thanks to Albizia extract, Caffeine, Escin and organic oat sugars, which together provide a lifting effect, encourage micro-circulation, elimination of glycated protein build up and release of fats under the eyes.  The serum also contains corrective pigments to illuminate the eye area, and on my very dark circles the results were subtle, requiring slightly less concealer than before.  I find it hydrating enough to use it on its own during the day in mild weather, but for more mature skin or winter weather I’d recommend topping off with an eye cream.  Works a treat for refreshing tired eyes.

Clarins Extra Comfort Anti-Pollution Cleansing Cream* ($48 AUD/200ml)

Imagine a buttery cleanser that applies like a massage cream with water, that’s what I felt Clarin’s newest cleansing cream, which is designed to protect and calm the skin from pollutants.  It not only gently cleanses, but also contains Moringa Seed Extract to cleanse the pollution particles, Camomile extract to soothe, Bioecolia to restore the skin’s biological balance and Jojoba oil / mango and shea butter to prevent dehydration.  My favourite thing about this cleanser is that it doesn’t lose its creaminess even with water, smells of delicious mango and leaves absolutely no residue whatsoever. Best of all, skin has never looked better after cleansing than before, it looks smooth, bright and kinda peachy.

Paula’s Choice RESIST Daily Smoothing Treatment w/ 5% AHA ($39 AUD/50ml)

Say hello to my new favourite AHA daily treatment.  It contains 5% glycolic acid plus pore-penetrating salicylic acid0 of 5%, which together renews skin texture, evens skin tone, smooths fine lines, and stimulates healthy collagen production via daily exfoliation.  Even though I already use AHA’s on a regular basis, the results are still immediate, with a noticeably more radiant, firmer and smoother complexion in just the first few days.  I recommend avoiding layering other serums on top of this, as it will cause other skin products (Eg. foundation) to ball up.

RESIST Intensive Wrinkle-Repair Retinol Serum ($43 AUD/30ml)

This is my first foray into Retinol & boy am I hooked.  Best applied at night time, it has a silky oil-like gel consistency that’s best massaged into your palm & finger tips and pressed into skin.  The morning after, my skin was noticeably less tired, tighter, firmer and dare I say it – younger.  In my long list of beauty products that are mandatory before I walk out the door (eg. concealer, sunscreen, brows), Retinol is definitely one ingredient I won’t go to bed without. For the amazing results it delivered, it’s very affordable & even better still –  Paula’s Choice is stocked in Australia via their website.

AHC Vital Complex C-15*

Having experienced amazing results with the AHC Hydra B5 Soother 6 months ago,  this time I decided to try the Vital Complex C-15.  Unlike the Hydra B5 Soother which was really viscous and clear in appearance, the Vital Complex C-15 was runny and dark amber, making it easier to pat into the skin without needing to massage.  The results on my face was not really noticeable as I have been using my fair share of skincare, but when I tested it on my arms I noticed it was immediately smoother, more supple and looked renewed.  Therefore I recommend this as a starter serum for anyone that is still relatively new to introducing serums into their skincare routine.

Elemis White Flowers Eye & Lip Makeup Remover* ($49 AUD / 150ml)

This makeup remover will appeal to those that love to unwind their day with a touch of luxury, with soothing white peony extract and cooling white tea to refresh and hydrate whilst removing even the most stubborn of makeup.  It’s gentle on the eyes and leaves the skin feeling fresh and comforted without much residue.  A little goes a long way & removes even the most waterproof eyeliner & mascara.  Simply shake before use.

 Hope you enjoyed my last skincare round up!


Products marked with an asterisk were provided for consideration.  All other items were purchased by me.