I always get asked by readers and Instagram followers where I get certain things from. Others assume beauty bloggers get sent all sorts of stuff for free all the time and whip up reviews from thin air (i.e. copy and paste)… this cannot be farther from the truth. I am first and foremost, a beauty addict (obsessed, maniac, crazy, etc), and spend untold lunch hours prowling the malls. Even if all the brands are sending me stuff, I will still be out there prowling. And it is in spending time swatching and talking to the BAs that I got to know them better, and picked up some tips and tricks from them.
One of my favorite shopping destinations is a specific section of Level B2 of Ion Orchard, which is home to a fabulous selection of beauty brands! Highly coveted brands such as Chanel, YSL, Dior, Bobbi Brown, Shu Uemura, Estee Lauder and Crabtree & Evelyn have their marquee boutiques (yes, boutiques! Not mere counters in impersonal departmental stores!) here. It is super convenient for me because it is mere paces away from Orchard MRT, making it a hop and skip away from my office.
Each of these boutiques are special not just because of the privacy and exclusivity that comes with having their proprietary spaces, but the latest collections tend to be launched here first (1-2 weeks ahead of the other counters), and if there are any limited edition items they tend to be found in the boutiques here. Some brands also offer special products and services here that are not available elsewhere. I had the chance to visit with 3 of my favorite brands located at Ion B2 recently, and would love to share some make-up tips and tricks from their in-house makeup artists with you.
YSL is one of my favorite brands, and you can find me at this boutique at Ion frequently. This was the first stand alone YSL Beaute boutique to open in Southeast Asia, the store was renovated recently and now boasts a larger space than before. Apart from the sexy and opulent reflective black and gold interior, this particular boutique is home to their National Makeup Artist Francis Lim. Francis, along with all of the YSL BAs I’ve gotten to know, are some of the friendliest and most personable in town. You can also get 1-on-1 tutoring on makeup, makeovers, and skincare consultations here (by appointment only).
Some tips I picked up from Francis recently:
And here is the completed look created by Francis, a completely fresh day-appropriate look featuring flawless natural skin and a very soft smokey eye paired with nude cheeks and lips.
A closer look at the soft smokey eye created using the new YSL Couture Palette #7 Parisienne.
This is the latest boutique to unveil at Ion Level B2. I must admit I don’t dabble with Estee Lauder products quite as much as they deserve, mostly because they seem to just fly under the radar of bloggerville. Regardless, I have enjoyed some of their skincare products (review on the Nutritious range here; and Advanced Night Repair here) and makeup (reviews are in the pipeline!). The Estee Lauder boutique at Ion is crisp and elegant, products are immaculately displayed, and the BAs here are all very knowledgeable and friendly. There is also a beautiful lounge at the back of the store for private consultations.
During my visit, the lovely Alyssa (member of Estee Lauder’s Global Artistry team) was on hand to demonstrate some of Estee Lauder’s signature 3-minute makeover techniques. Here are some tips I gleaned from the session:
And here is a half-faced look to show the contrast of using all the techniques discussed above. Notice how much more luminous the skin is from patting on ANR and the much more sculpted features from highlighting.
This is by far the most exciting beauty boutique at Ion, and the reason why I keep coming back to this mall. The Backstage Studio is a completely different concept from the rest of the Dior counters, and stock many exclusive products such as the Dior Backstage Box (Spring-Summer 2014 edition reviewed here), the Airflash Foundation, several nail polishes and eyeshadow singles.
There are only a handful of these stores around the world, and it is designed to replicate the atmosphere of a fashion show. With giant screens airing the latest Dior runway show, and changing strobe lights, this is a fun playground for beauty-holics.
There is a giant nail wheel featuring every Dior Vernis ever produced, and a cozy station for complimentary manicures with every 2 nail lacquers purchased.
There is even a lash bar where you can try on exquisite runway lashes.
Enter a short tunnel at the back of the store and emerge on the other side dedicated to Dior skincare and fragrances (Obviously the sequence is reversed if you entered from this side instead!) The fragrance bar is decked out with all sorts of exclusive scents, and with 2 specialty corners dedicated to J’Adore and Miss Dior.
Dior Backstage Studio is home to 4 Dior national makeup artists. I had the chance to get a mini makeover from Han at another event before and he is amazing. This time round, I watched Vivian work her magic and picked up a couple of tips:
Thank you for making it through this long read, I hope the above tips and tricks have been useful for updating your beauty routine! As always, if you’d like any help getting hold of some elusive items, feel free to reach out. Lastly, I would also like to thank Ion Orchard for organizing and hosting me on this amazing journey!