Wednesday, 31 December 2008

Beautification Resolutions

I didn't realise it's the last day of 2008. I mean, I knew, because I was at work for only half a day but I didn't really think about it ... Now that I do realise it, I'm going to write down a few Beautification Resolutions. Next year I'm going to do the following:
  1. Buy only what I really want or what I know is good stuff that will work
  2. Conquer The Evil Dark Eye Circles with concealor and all other known methods
  3. errrmmmm ..... I think that's all ...
Hohoho. Wishing everyone a Happy New Year! © Copyright. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, 30 December 2008

2008 Best Of/Worst Of: Eye Makeup (Others)

I don't have any Worst of 2008 Makeup Base, so I'm moving to other eyemakeup. This is my personal Best Of/Worst Of list of 2008 purchases. Best of 2008: Eye Makeup (Others) 2008's Best Liquid Eye Colour Image002copy Beaute de Kose Eye Fantasist Thanks to Yumeko's reviews, I started buying Beaute de Kose Eye Fantasist liquid eye colours. Love them so much I now have a small collection in a short time. Texture: Easily blended liquid. Colours: Nice variety of colours in the Eye Fantasist range. They provide a subtle shine. I love the ones neutrals I have, they can be good on their own and as a base. Pigmentation: Buildable, can be applied lightly to achieve a sheer look too. Lasting Power: Lasts all day long for me and I have watery eyes/oily lids. Doesn't crease at all. Final Verdict: It's not cheap price-wise but I love the quality. I will definitely be adding more to this collection. 2008's Best Mascara Image000copy Top to Bottom: Majolica Majorca Lash Gorgeous Wing (Ltd, BR777), Majolica Majorca Lash Bone, Dejavu Fiberwig (Brown). These are my favourite everyday mascara. I alternate between them depending on my mood. For me a good mascara is one that doesn't smudge all day, lengthens, separates my lashes into a natural fluttery look (ie. doesn't clump them) and is easy to remove. These mascara do all that. Lash Bone really curls up my lashes, but I can't use it with Fiberwig, it's too much of a good thing, so I only use it with my Majolica Lash Gorgeous Wing. Worst of 2008: Eye Makeup (Others) 2008's Worst Mascara Image001copy Bourjois Volume Glamour Mascara This mascara clumps. I shouldn't buy volumising mascaras. It also smudges awfully. I always have to go over it with my Fibrewig to seal it, so it kind of defeats the purpose of using another mascara. 2008's Worst Eyeliners Image003copy Majolica Majorca Automatic Neo Liner I'm so disappointed with this that I made a post about this in New Revelations on Majolica Majorca Neo Automatic Liner. For me, a good liquid liner must not smudge, must be easy to apply (hence I prefer pencil-shaped liners with the brushes attached) and must be easy to remove (that's why I don't get Kpalette though it is good). Next year I will try Koji as Yumeko suggested, and I also purchased Shiseido's liquid liner pencil and gel liners during a sale, so I hope those will work. 2008's Worst Cream Shadow Image004copy MM Frozen Splash Eyes (PK705) It's so sweet, I still love to look at the colour in the pot. But it is too shiny for me, isn't pigmented enough and doesn't last at all, so it is useless even as a base. Very sad. I shouldn't buy this anymore since I am not very, very young nor very sweet. © Copyright. All rights reserved.

Monday, 29 December 2008

2008 Best Of/Worst Of: Makeup Base

Best of 2008: Makeup Base Legere's BB Cream is the best base I've used in 2008 and the only one I used since I purchased it. I discussed the benefits I enjoyed from using Legere BB Cream in a previous post: Legere BB Cream & Beauty Credit Color Lotion, so in this post, I shall compare it with another Legere BB Cream I have. A few weeks ago, I purchased another tube of Legere BB Cream, Water Drop Shiny Pearl, Oil Free. I have been alternating between White Multi Legere BB Cream and Water Drop, depending on my mood. Image002copy According to the SA, the 2 have exactly the same colours and benefits. The only difference being Water Drop has more moisture, a pearly-dewy finish and is oil free. Howver, I found they are not exactly the same. Image003copy Colour: From the tube Water Drop appears lighter than White Multi but after spreading, they seem to have the same colour. Water Drop doesn't really appear more pearly. Image005copy Texture: Water Drop is more liquid. Both spread and blend easily. Image006copy Coverage: White Multi has better coverage. Water Drop is a little more sheer, close to but better than simple water-based foundation. Lasting Power: White Multi lasts longer through the day but I'm beginning to like Water Drop a little more, as it leaves the skin with a natural dewy look. Final Verdict: I'd probably buy both again, due to affordability and good results. I like that I can choose either, depending on my mood and how my skin is acting that day. I would have gone so far as to say, since I found a good base, I might not buy anything else next year, but I'm soooo tempted by Chanel Lift Lumiere, so I'll reserve a space for that option. © Copyright. All rights reserved.

2008 Best Of/Worst Of: Eyeshadow Palettes

Colour suitability is based on my personal skintone and preferences. The easiest way to describe my skintone is that I use NC25 Mac Studio Perfect Compact Powder and Legere's BB Cream is a good match as a base. My personal preference is for a natural but polished look. Do let me know if there are other things I should look out for in my reviews. ----------------------------- Worst of 2008: Eyeshadow Palettes These are the palettes that I used, then felt sick of and never used much again. Image001copy L-R: Paul & Joe Eye Colour Palette 2, Paul & Joe Eye Colour Palette 1 Paul & Joe Eye Colour Palette 2 Texture: Feels quite powdery to me. Colours: Not really that bad but the pinkish-orange is really a waste. I was told by the SA to mix it with the white highlighter and use it as a blush. It does work as a blush but still a waste as an eye colour. Pigmentation: Doesn't need alot to build up intensity but the blue gives my eyes a blue-black look if I use too much, so I don't apply much. Lasting Power: Due to the way I apply it, it's not that lasting. It fades and requires reapplication. Final Verdict: In truth these Paul & Joe palettes were the only palettes I used for most of 2008, but they didn't do much good for me, and when I got new colours, I ditched them. It's not really that cheap, but fortunately I got one of these palettes as a freebie. I think the colour combination sucks. While the packaging is so cute, I don't like most of the other palette colours in P&J either, so I won't be buying P&J eyeshadow palettes again. ----------------------------- Paul & Joe Eye Colour Palette 1 Colours: More natural than Palette 2, but as with 1, the pinkish-orange is a waste. I used this more than Palette 2. However, the colour is a bit muddy on me, so it doesn't really flatter me all that much. Booo. Image004copy L-R: The Face Shop Baked Shimmer All-Over Illuminator 003 Apricot Nuance, Milani Runway Eyes 03 Couture in Purples The Face Shop Baked Shimmer All-Over Illuminator 003 Apricot Nuance This is actually a blush, but the SA told me I could use it as an eyeshadow palette. Anyway, it's another big booboo for me. Texture: Gritty and powdery. Colours: I think oranges and apricots don't look good on me. This was made worse with the super glistening shimmer in the powder. It doesn't work well as an eyeshadow palette, and is worse as a blush. I only use the colours as a high-lighter but rarely as I don't have time for complicated makeup (I'm very slow). Pigmentation: Actually quite pigmented and intense. Lasting Power: Quite lasting. Final Verdict: It's not really that expensive and would work well for someone with suitable skin tones and who doesn't mind the super shimmer. ----------------------------- Milani Runway Eyes 03 Couture in Purples Texture: Powdery. Colours: Suitable for me but there's not much difference between the various colours. Pigmentation: It's too sheer, but not in a good way like in Japanese palettes. Not much pigmentation at all and can't build up much. I can't even do shading or whatever with the different colours. This coming from me, is bad. Very bad. Lasting Power: Fades and even after reapplication, I don't get much colour. Final Verdict: It's not at all cheap considering the quality. Again, fortunately I got it at a discount. I won't be buying Milani eyeshadow palettes again. © Copyright. All rights reserved.

Sunday, 28 December 2008

2008 Best Of/Worst Of: Eyeshadow Palettes

Though I came into makeup fever late in 2008, I thought I should do a review of the Best Of / Worst Of makeup items I got in 2008. I shall start with 2008's Best of Eyeshadow Palettes and I want to use a more succinct review method. So, I'm trying it out here. Colour suitability is based on my personal skintone and preferences. The easiest way to describe my skintone is that I use NC25 Mac Studio Perfect Compact Powder and Legere's BB Cream is a good match as a base. My personal preference is for a natural but polished look. Do let me know if there are other things I should look out for in my reviews. ----------------------------- Best of 2008: Eyeshadow Palettes These are the palettes that I used most and felt most comfortable using. There are some cons in some palettes but I still found them the better purchases for 2008 in terms of colour and texture. Image000copy L-R: Lunasol Party Coffret 2008 EX04 Soft Silver Lighting, Fasio C-4, Majolica Majorca Christmas Ltd 2008 BR788 & BR799.

Lunasol Party Coffret 2008 EX04 Soft Silver Lighting Texture: Smooth, creamy. Colours: Very natural and I feel flattering on me. Pigmentation: Moderately sheer but can be built up. Don't need alot for colours to be visible. Lasting Power: Very good. Does not fall into my creases. Does not fade. Final Verdict: I will purchase Lunasol again. I'm tempted to say I'll only buy Lunasol next year, but I have in mind to try Chanel and Dior, so I can't make such a decision. But I can say, this is one brand I will definitely stick to.


Fasio C-4

Texture: Relatively smooth, not too powdery Colours: Natural and flattering. Brightens up the eye area. Pigmentation: Very sheer. Needs alot of application to build up but doesn't really give a loud pop of colour. This suits me, but may not be good for others who like more colour. I used the purple shades more, as I've been told pink doesn't flatter me because it makes my eyes puff up more ... personally I'm not so self-aware so I don't know. Maybe I need to buy more purples & mauves instead. Lasting Power: Not so lasting. Does not fall into creases but fades and requires reapplication. Final Verdict: It's cheap. So for variety, it's a brand I might buy again if the colours are fun enough.


Majolica Majorca Christmas Ltd 2008 BR788

Texture: Smooth, not powdery. Colours: The soft shimmer adds sparkle to the eye. Natural but this colour appears a little dull on me. It gives me a very nude and pale look. Maybe a bit too washed out. Pigmentation: Quite sheer. Needs a few applications to build up yet never really becomes intense. Lasting Power: Not lasting. Does not fall into creases but fades and requires reapplication. Final Verdict: As with Fasio, it's cheaper. It's a brand I will buy again if I feel I need more variety and some fun. -----------------------------

Majolica Majorca Christmas Ltd 2008 BR799

Colours: Again I like the soft shimmer that is not too "young". The pink turns out looking a little more brown on my eyes, so it ends up as another nude look but this one is a little more flattering, I do not look so washed out.

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Saturday, 27 December 2008

St Ives Oatmeal & Shea Butter Body Moisturizer and Body Wash

Lately, even my remaining Lush soaps have been irritating my skin and The Body Shop washes are making it worse (*Sad*). Even after slathering the usual lotions, my skin will feel itchy and dry after a few hours. The skin also feels dry and irritated the next morning. So, I purchased these today from John Little. Too bad the John Little 20% discount is over, so I got these at full price. Image000 St. Ives Oatmeal & Shea Butter Advanced Body Moisturizer (SG$10.35) St. Ives Oatmeal & Shea Butter Ultra Moisturizing Body Wash (SG$6.40) According to the label, this formula "deliver(s) long-lasting relief of dry, itchy skin. Oatmeal naturally soothes the skin and Shea Butter provides rich moisturization ..." On first use, I love the smell. It's very delicious buttery fragrance. The wash cleans well. Both the wash and body moisturizer are thick, creamy and moisture-rich. My skin feels comforted, even after a few hours. I hope it works in the long term, because I really like the smell. © Copyright. All rights reserved.

Good Customer Service Makes for Returning Customers

Last Sunday, based on recommendations from the SA, I purchased a tub of gel liner from The Face Shop (TFS) at Plaza Singapura. Since I needed a liner brush to use that gel liner, I also purchased a TFS liner brush. When I returned home, I opened all my purchases, as is my usual habit, and found to my dismay that the tub of gel liner had dried up. It was dried to such an extent that the gel shrinked away from the sides of the tub and formed a solid pillar in the middle, like a mini crayon had been stuck inside. I dug my brush into the tub but couldn't get any gel liner out at all. It's no longer a gel, but a piece of hardened dark-coloured cake. On Monday, I called the Vivocity TFS branch and asked if I could exchange the item in Vivocity instead of Plaza Singapura. The SA said yes, so I headed down there on my way home. TFS doesn't have a return policy but they do have an exchange policy. So, when I got there the SA told me, I can get another item but the special discount that I got for the gel liner could not be applied on the price of the exchange item. Ie. if the gel liner was $10 after the 15% makeup sale discount, I can exchange for an item of $10 or more value but I cannot apply the 15% makeup discount, even if it's a makeup item. Complicated? I wasn't happy at all. On top of that I couldn't use my 5% member discount, but it's only 5%, I didn't bother to argue. Overall, I was happy enough they were willing to take back the opened gel liner and the messed up brush. I picked a toner for the exchange, which wouldn't have been eligible for the 15% makeup discount anyway. I was also happy I could exchange the product at a different but more convenient branch. That made me a sufficiently satisfied customer. © Copyright. All rights reserved.

Friday, 26 December 2008

Bobbi Brown's How-To Apply Concealor Video

Hi everyone, how was Boxing day? We went trying our luck at getting a cheap point-and-shoot camera at Isetan's post-Christmas Member Private Sale. There was a coupon for a Casio Exilim EX-Z77 camera at $179 but when we arrived all the 30 pieces available were sold out. We decided the other one available at $199 wasn't too great a buy, so we left the store without any purchases. People who didn't have an Isetan card were denied entry, but even so, the store was very hot, stuffy and crowded. It seemed like the airconditioning was spoilt! The queues were also very long and slow-moving. So, we went over to Marks & Spencer to get some cheap wine and headed over to The Red House for Chilli Crabs. Yumms. In makeup news, I'm defeated by my dark circles again. I can't seem to get them concealed well enough. Today, I spent time experimenting yet couldn't get it right at all. It's such a disheartening thing because while I am trying to cure the underlying problem with creams and sleep, meanwhile I really want the dark circles to be well-concealed too. All I can remember is that one day when I asked a friend how was my eyemakeup, she only noticed my dark circles, not the eyemakeup! What's the use of trying to beautify oneself if the flaws are still more obvious than the beautification? So, I went scouring about the net for more tips, and guess what? I found a video clip from Bobbi Brown's website, explaining how to apply concealor! I'm glad the video confirms the correctness of my step-by-step description in my post, Bobbi Brown: How to Apply Eye Brightener and Concealor. Now on top of my description, you have a nice How-To video from Bobbi Brown herself. View Bobbi's How-To Apply Concealor Video I'm in two minds about whether I should get a Bobbi Brown concealor. I've spent so much and already have a total of 5 types of concealor right now that don't work perfectly in any combination: Mac Select Moisture Cover, The Face Shop Flower Dual Concealer, Loreal Touche Magique, Bourjois Brush Concealor and Bobbi Brown Tinted Eye Brightener. Is it a case of the wrong concealor or the wrong colour or both? Gaaarr!! Wish I knew. © Copyright. All rights reserved.

Photo Evidence: Hydra-detox & Ultimation

Photo Log 22 nov 2008 Photo of my eye, after using Loreal's Derma Genesis Eye Contour Cream (Photo was from the Diary of My Fight Against Eye Wrinkles post). Skin is very much improved but still I felt dehydrated, and the lines/dryness returned in full force when I didn't have the cream on. Image012copy Just-cleaned eye without any eye cream. Photo dated: 24 Dec 08 This is the state of my eyes, after using Ultimation and Astalution for a week. Not as dehydrated as before, even without any eye cream. (Used to be worse, when I was using L'oreal's Eye Contour Cream, when there is no eye cream, the eye area is parched ... nothing like what you see in the previous photo.) Image013copy Just a few seconds after applying Biotherm HYDRA-DETOX BIO-DEFENSIS Yeux and Beaute de Kose ULTIMATION Eye Cream. Eye looks very bright and oily, but feels comfy (probably shows how dehydrated I feel). Does it look like I am wearing eye brightener? There aren't any optical brighteners in the ingredients of these creams that I know of. I don't know what's doing the brightening, maybe it's just the oils from the creams. Image000copy A few minutes after the creams have settled and absorbed. Notice that deep line seems to have been plumped up ... Thoughts on Hydration and Improvements on Wrinkles With these photos, does it seem Loreal's Derma Genesis Eye Contour Cream is a better cream? It looks less oily and seems to have absorbed better. The skin seems clearer. However, I suspect that Loreal's Eye Contour Cream works by plumping the skin up, but hydration factor isn't that high, which is why the uncomfortable dryness is not soothed. Like I reported before, I needed to use another cream on top of it when I felt extremely dehydrated and uncomfortable. On the other hand, I receive alot of physical comfort and hydration from Ultimation. Since Ultimation soothes the dry feeling around my eyes, I think Ultimation works by hydrating and trying to improve the underlying structure of the skin. That's why the eye area doesn't look quite as plumped up, but the deep line is softened and hydrated. The eye area is also does not feel dry even when the eye area is just cleaned and there is no eye cream on it. Dark Circles and Freckles By the way, do my dark circles look any lighter to you? I don't think they have improved at all ... I don't think Biotherm's HYDRA-DETOX BIO-DEFENSIS Yeux is any use for the dark circles... And you can see my freckles, I have them even around my eye area, gah! Hopefully Biotherm's serum helps with lightening them. Additional Random Thoughts Maybe I should go see a dermatologist or plastic surgeon ... to get, you know, those skin treatments that smooth out the skin, remove/lighten wrinkles and remove the oil clots? It's just a sudden random thought, would need some research on that and would definitely like to hear your views. © Copyright. All rights reserved.

Thursday, 25 December 2008

New Revelations on Majolica Majorca Neo Automatic Liner

I am not all that happy with my Majolica Majorca items anymore. Image010copy Photo of my eye at the end of the day: dated 24 Dec 08. Majolica Majorca Automatic Neo Liner Never used to wear makeup often so perhaps I never noticed it, but the Majolica Automatic Neo Liner flakes off in small bits and dot my eyes. I need to look for another liquid/gel liner. Pencil liners smudge and fade very fast, no matter how water/smudge proof they claim to be, so they are out for me. Maybe I'll go look for something, make good use of the post-Christmas sales. Side note: You probably can't see my liner in the photo. Due to the shape of my eyes, I purposely draw the liner on the eyelash line only and no higher, just to define my eyes a little and also give the illusion of thicker lashes. I don't like the harsh look of a thick dark line of eyeliner. I'm quite grouchy-looking so it doesn't do well to make my eyes look fiercer ... Majolica Majorca Limited Lash Gorgeous Wing Mascara in Golden Brown I like using Majolica's Limited Lash Gorgeous Wing Mascara in Golden Brown as a coat over any other mascara I'm wearing to add some sparkle, but sometimes too much of it comes off the brush, then it clumps and leaves a powdery white look on my lashes. Wearing it on it's own is still ok, so it's not a big loss. Eye Brightener and Concealor As you can see, I botched the brightener-concealor application that day. The eyes look so bright ... and yet the darkness at the corner is still so apparent. Feel quite hopeless about this. © Copyright. All rights reserved.

Merry Christmas Everyone!

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Wednesday, 24 December 2008

Holy Grail of Skincare

It never occured to me to try La Mer, until Fuzkittie commented that she's stuck with La Mer for a long time and she's very happy with it. If I can find something that works, solves all my problems, and I can stick with it, I think it makes alot of sense to buy it, even if it costs alot. In the long run, the initial cost will pay off with the good skin and elimination of the need to keep buying new skincare to try. I mean, think about it: I must have spent enough to buy several tubs of La Mer cream, truth be told, in my search for my skincare Holy Grail that has hydration, clarifying, and anti-aging properties, yet strengthen the skin to reduce/soothe sensitivities. Also, how fast do we go through our lotions and creams anyway? One tub, if a little goes a long way, can last for a long time. So, I headed over to La Mer's site to check out the cream and from what I read, it seems like it WILL serve my purposes. Dare I plonk money down to try this right now? I haven't finished using all my new products from Biotherm yet and I wonder if the cream alone used with products from other brands will work just as well. Or perhaps I can look for a serum to use. I think I will be heading to the La Mer counter soon.
Creme de la Mer THE MIRACLE Even now, it is not entirely clear how Crème de la Mer works. For us schooled in logic, it is something of a jolt to the imagination. But facts are facts and certainly the proof can be seen on the faces of those who use it. In a short time, skin becomes softer, firmer, looks virtually creaseless. Aging lines and pores are noticeably less visible. Even the driest of complexions are healed. Sensitivities are soothed. And, of course, there are some who insist it has produced astonishing results - as Dr. Max Huber witnessed. No wonder many who have tried every cream available remain steadfast in their devotion to Crème de la Mer. THE LEGACY Today, Crème de la Mer's Miracle Broth™ is manufactured by the same slow, meticulous bio-fermentation process created by Dr. Max Huber. And because kelp has natural anti-microbial properties, only the tiniest amounts of preservatives are necessary to maintain its long shelf life. This extraordinary Crème must be individually hand-filled in order to sustain its delicate balance.
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Mango Sales Tactic

I was on leave when the much-loved Mango sale started the week before. We were walking about at Takashimaya (I do go there alot, don't I? I never realised) and I thought I'd like to take a look at the sale. However, once I entered the shop I saw the crowd and wanted to leave. Turning around to the door, I was told by the SA stationed there that I need to head to the other end of the shop to get out. While squeezing through the crowd, I spotted a cardigan and I stopped to take a look. Then another cardigan ... and by the time I headed to the exit, I had purchased 2 cardigans at a nice discount. What might have perhaps been a way to control the crowd is possibly also a clever sales tactic to force shoppers to walk through the store! Once people see things they like, it's more likely they'll stop, look closer and eventually buy. Image004 Image003 © Copyright. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, 23 December 2008

Skincare History

While chatting with Pinky yesterday, I was reminded of why I didn't continue with Jurlique products and went on to try Fancl instead. Jurlique isn't big on whitening and among the things I want from my skin care is clarifying action. I have alot of freckles and I don't want them to turn into huge dark age spots. So, besides sunscreen, whitening or some form of clarifying is needed in the products that I use. Yesterday, I used my sample pack of Herbal Recovery Gel from Jurlique exclusively. It might be my imagination but while it soothed and sped up healing of my tender skin (that was reacting from using a wrong product), I felt my skin was lacking clarity that I would normally get after my usual skincare routine. Sigh, we women are hard to please, aren't we? Anyway this prompted me to try to recall my skincare history and my search for the perfect products: Kose & Shiseido In my teens and University days, I tried Kose and Shiseido with disastrous results (similar to recent events) that left me with scars that have never really healed and a perpetually weakened skin structure (because I listened to the well-meaning SAs and persisted in finishing up the products then buying more, with the hope that the skin will detoxify and normalise). Clarins & Jurlique Following this, I used Clarins then switched to Jurlique. While they helped my skin heal and recover from the Kose-Shiseido trauma, I felt they didn't give me skin clarity and smoother texture because they were not big on whitening. So, I went over to Fancl, besides wanting to dump Jurlique for being so expensive, I was hoping Fancl would give me what I was looking for in terms of whitening. But although Fancl is natural and less expensive, at that time, whitening was also not that big for them. The Face Shop Then when I married, we were not rich (erm we're still not rich now but comfortable enough), just bought our own place starting off with our careers, and a bit later, bringing up our child. So, with bills to pay and Fancl not giving me the results dramatic results I was looking for, I reached a point when I felt I had to give up on Fancl and find some cheaper alternatives. I think at that time, Korean skin care products starting showing up on our shores. So I went over to The Face Shop and was sold on it, becoming their regular customer. I was mighty happy with their products that combined affordability, gentle and healing natural ingredients, and sufficient clarifying action. That is, until I discovered my eye cream wasn't doing the job it was supposed to do at all (see my post on Fighting Eye Wrinkles)! At the same time, I started feeling my skin was getting more and more dehydrated. So I went off on the search for new products. I headed back for Kose and Shiseido mainly because I am abit brainwashed by the local perceptions. Among those I know and also my mom, Kose and Shiseido are thought of as being among the best for Asian skincare. I also thought my skin had matured and changed enough to be able to use them again but I thought wrong I guess. Fortunately, I can use the Kose eye products (which are still my Holy Grail for eye treatments). And Biotherm's face creams and serums are giving me the hydration I'm looking for but I have not used it long enough to decide on the clarifying and anti-aging efficacy. Rationale for Change Well then, I think this leads to the question: "OMG, why am I constantly changing products? " Polar told me to stop trying new things and give my skin a break! LOL. I am going to follow her advice. But, I do have a reason for this constant skincare search: It is probably because I am hoping for a miracle ... something that will treat my skin gently, yet give clarity and hydration, improve texture, and prevent aging, but doesn't break the bank (I still have to be the prudent wife and mother afterall). I feel I still haven't found the right type of products that gives the best balance of all these factors and criteria. So, I will continue to test and try until I find the solution ... but after my skin has recovered ofcourse. Additional Final Thoughts I was also reminded by Tine's comment in my Sensitive Skin post that contact dermatitis could happen even if one doesn't have sensitive skin, so do stop using the product if any adverse reactions happen after you use it. © Copyright. All rights reserved.

Buying Benefit Online

Benefit's cosmetics are not faaaaaantastic but I am constantly drawn to them. It might have alot to do with the marketing (all those cute names!), packaging (so retro-cute!) and wonderful copywriting (all those great descriptions). I do have some success with a number of their products, so I still like looking and planning purchases from Benefit. While surfing, I just found out that Benefit ships internationally at a rather reasonable price. It's worth it in my opinion to buy online, because I realised Benefit's prices in Singapore are heavily marked up, even higher than buying online with shipping and the exchange rate.
Right now, it's even more worth it to buy online because there is a Free International Shipping promo for any $115 purchase (I'm not sure how long it lasts as there is no expiry date on the website).
The first thing I'd love to have is Peace, Love and Glossiness.
However, I should be strong and think of buying them only after I recover from my Christmas splurging, though they are limited editions. Since they are categorised as Holiday Products, I suspect they'll stay available only as long as there are stocks available.
I'm also thinking Realness of Concealness might be a good buy, because it contains Ooh-la-lift, High Beam and Lemon Aid.
And, I also like their Creaseless Cream Eyeshadows. I own one in Stiletto, which I purchased during the local Benefit Sale. I use it as a liner and it doesn't crease or fade, so I'd love to get one of the newer Spring 09 shades, Flyin Down To ... © Copyright. All rights reserved.

Monday, 22 December 2008

Bobbi Brown: How to Apply Eye Brightener and Concealor

When I purchased my Bobbi Brown eye brightener, the SA showed me how to use it with concealer. Here, I'll try to recap what she taught me with as good a description as possible, I'm not putting up any photos, because I normally only apply makeup just before I leave the house and I don't have time to do a set of step-by-step photos. Also, my abilities are limited. Even though I try to replicate what the SA taught me, I'm not always successful. Just yesterday, I thought I did quite a good job with the eye brightener and concealor, but today, I seem to have botched it. I think I just need more practice. Ok, on to the step-by-step description:
  1. The SA applied moisturiser to soften and hydrate my undereye.
  2. Then, she used a Bobbi Brown concealor brush to dip and pick up a little eye brightener. She told me I could use any small eyeshadow brush with a compact brush head approximately the same size as the Bobbi Brown concealor brush.
  3. She dotted the eye brightener below my eyes, then blended lightly and also blended downwards toward the cheek area.
  4. After blending, she used her finger to pat and even out the eye brightener a little more.
  5. Not all my dark shadows are covered after this, so she picked up concealor with the concealor brush and dabbed it on only the darkest areas. Again blending carefully and lightly, then pat to even out.
  6. Use only a little (she told me not too much) powder to set. She used a small powder brush to pick up the powder and brush it on lightly.

This method has helped to create a brighter eye area for me and also conceal my dark circles rather more effectively than when I was only using concealor (Thank you Fuzkittie for the recommendation!). Now it's just up to me to practise so I can do it quickly and achieve a consistent good result.

By the way, I don't use the Bobbi Brown cream concealor. I am using the Mac Select Moisture Cover which I bought previously and my Mac Studio Perfect Powder Foundation or Benefit Georgia (the orange-peach-pink combination seems to work best for my dark circles).

Cream concealors tend to settle thickly and cake up on my dry skin, so I avoid them like a plague. Fortunately the Bobbi Brown eye brightener is more liquid and is moisturising enough for me to use with comfort. © Copyright. All rights reserved.

Sunday, 21 December 2008

What is Sensitive Skin?

I was at a skin care shop buying things to put into Christmas packages ... and the nice and well-meaning SA who was serving me asked me about my skin ... *boohoo* ... She said, "Oh dear, your skin has so many dry patches and small bumps! What happened?" I told her I probably had a reaction to something I used, probably because my skin is sensitive. That was when she tried to explain to me that I do not have sensitive skin but that I am adapting to the new product. She said, "If you put something on your skin and it right away feels prickly, then your skin is sensitive. But, if there are reactions like dryness, itchiness and pimples/small bumps then it's just the skin detoxifying and getting used to a product. Use the product a bit more and it should all go away." Because her demeanour was friendly and nice, I didn't want to argue with her, so I smiled and said, "Ok, I'll go back and try some more." (Just to clarify, this SA wasn't from Kose, so she wasn't trying to defend her product, and I didn't tell which product I used anyway.) ... Dear friends, Do not. I repeat, DO NOT. Do not listen to anyone who says that to you. Do not go home and continue using the product on your precious face, thinking it is detoxifying and that one fine day it will get used to the product, and all will be well. Because that was what I did years ago and I had a bad case of skin reactions that caused my skin to become so very weak as it is now. Sensitive skin is not restricted to having a limited and immediate prickly sensation or reaction to products. I know I have sensitive skin because if left unprotected, even things like dust from a gust of wind or a sudden change in temperature will cause dry, itchy red patches to appear on my skin. It happens all over my body, arms, legs but mostly the exposed regions of the neck and face. If I use a product that I cannot tolerate, the allergic reaction is almost but not always immediate. Sometimes it takes a while, but there will be symptoms like contact dermatitis that some people get from eg. wearing nickel jewellery, which is another sign of sensitivity. I also cannot wear cosmetic jewellery, it makes my skin react. So, I list for your benefit below, some signs and symptoms of sensitive skin, which I collected from the web. I have sensitive skin, and maybe you do too, so try your best to listen to your skin, not those well-meaning SAs who might not be as aware of your skin as you are.
"A sensitive skin is a thin or a fine-textured skin. It reacts quickly to both heat and cold; therefore, it sunburns and windburns easily. It is commonly dry, delicate and prone to allergic reactions. Temperature changes, some detergents, cosmetics and alcohol (used on the skin) can all cause irritation, leaving the skin red and blotchy, with visible surface veins."
  1. Does your skin get extra dry after you wash it with soap?
  2. Does your skin get extra oily and break out after you use particular types of moisturizers?If you answered Yes to one or both of these questions, you may have sensitive skin.
  3. Does your skin get red, itch, burn, or feel "tight" after coming into direct or indirect contact with perfumes and/or particular shampoos, shaving creams, detergents, dish soaps, hair sprays, cleaning products, or deodorants? What irritates sensitive skin includes many household and personal products. The fragrances and dyes in just about every household product, and many personal care products, can cause irritation either from direct contact or even from deposits left on your clothes, towels, or bedding. If you have any of the classic signs and symptoms of sensitive skin in Question 3, try to use hypoallergenic products without ingredients known to cause skin reactions.
  4. Does your skin get red, itch, burn, or feel "tight" after extended exposure to sun, wind, heat, or cold? Sensitive skin often reacts to extreme weather conditions. In fact, anything in the environment that damages your skin's natural protective barrier against water evaporation -- called sebum -- can irritate sensitive skin.
  5. Do you have acne or psoriasis? People with acne, psoriasis, or skin conditions like eczema often have sensitive skin. These conditions impair immune system functioning and/or destroy the skin's protective barrier. If you have of these conditions,you may have sensitive skin.

Classic Signs of Sensitive Skin
  • Tingling, tightening, cutaneous discomfort without visible signs.
  • Easily reacts to products
  • Overreaction to external factors: shaving, stress, aesthetic procedures,…
  • Diffuse redness, drying, recurrent irritation of the skin

Contact Dermatitis Symptoms

Telling allergic contact dermatitis apart from irritant contact dermatitis can be very difficult. Allergic dermatitis is usually confined to the area where the trigger actually touched the skin, whereas irritant dermatitis may be more widespread on the skin

  • A red rash is the usual reaction. It appears immediately in irritant contact dermatitis, but sometimes in allergic contact dermatitis the rash does not appear for 1-2 days after the exposure.
  • Your skin may blister, or you may get a raised red rash, called hives, sometimes in a pattern that points to the offending agent.
  • Your skin will itch and perhaps burn. Irritant contact dermatitis tends to be more painful than itchy.
  • Irritant contact dermatitis often affects the hands, which have been exposed by resting in or dipping into a container (sink, pail, tub) containing the irritant.
  • Once a reaction starts, it may take as long as 4 weeks to resolve completely.
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Not Fated To Use Kose Skin Care

Be prepared for scary skin pictures (edit: ugh, I felt my skin looked too gross, so I've removed the photos) ... I'm quite upset. My skin was fine for this week when I used the Biotherm creams and the Ultimation eye cream. Then yesterday morning, I started using the Ultimation lotion samples. It made my skin soft and hydrated, not oily, but this is what started happening last night and got worse this morning when I woke up ... Pimples, itchy scaly-dry skin and itchy bumpy rash, pores enlarged terribly ... I do have old enlarged pores from old pimples and probably from skin sag due to aging but this is a horrible worsening of my skin condition ... Look at the scaly skin near my driest areas around my mouth and cheeks! It seems to have gotten worse ... and turned into some kind of contact dermatitis!! OMG ... *photos removed It is exactly what happened to me when I used Sekkisei in the past, many years ago. Just to clarify, my skin used to be slightly oily but it is now no longer oily, it is now quite dry (you can see the dryness in some area) and that is why I need to look for hydrating skin care ... I may need to fall back on natural products ... looks like my skin is too sensitive to try products with advanced-tech ingredients ... *SOB* ... (ref my previous post about Jurlique ... looks like I need my Recovery Gel all the more now *SOB SOB!*). I was so determined to give Kose another try but it looks like the SAs were right when they seemed like they didn't want to sell me any of their skin care. They do know how to look at the skin and decide if it's suitable for their skin care products ... Good thing the Taka SA told me not to buy the lotion but try it with the samples first ... I did say I am dense in this way, didn't I? It took so long and so much for me to finally arrive at this conclusion and accept the truth that I am not fated to use Kose Skin Care ... luckily the eye cream and eye masks are still working out well ... But, you know what? I thought if the eye cream and masks are ok with Kose, it means it should be ok for the skin on the rest of the face too ... I don't quite get the logic behind this. © Copyright. All rights reserved.


Now, I'm thinking ... and rethinking ... because Pinky said to go buy Australian products now the exchange rate is so good ... I suddenly recall those days when I used Jurlique. For several years, I used Jurlique exclusively for my skincare. This was before Jurlique came to Singapore, I think even before I started trying Fancl. I got the skincare from Australia through my travels and through friends. Now that I think about it, I recall my skin behaved so well when I was using that brand. I wonder why. It was hydrated, smooth and clear, and the sensitivities were well-controlled. Jurlique's products contain none little of the so-called scientifically-proven miracle formulations, but are instead famous for their 100% natural and organic ingredients. What made their products do so well on my skin? I still can't figure it out ... What made me stop buying Jurlique? Because once it came to Singapore, I didn't have a good reason to get it from Australia directly, then suddenly it dawned on me how expensive their stuff was. In particular, my favourite Recovery Gel is so freaking expensive here in Singapore that I couldn't bring myself to buy it! Maybe I should rethink this ... © Copyright. All rights reserved.

Saturday, 20 December 2008

Biotherm Product Review

I was previously using a combination of The Face Shop's Eco Vert Moisturiser and L'oreal Derma Genesis Intensive Night Cream. I found the Derma Genesis lacks hydration even though it does seem to help clarify my skin, and Eco Vert moisturised and protected but did little else. So, feeling the need for more skin improvements, especially in terms of moisturisation and hydration, I purchased these Biotherm Line Peel Day and Night Cream last week, sold as a set for a discount at SG$154. I think they are normally SG$80-90 plus each, I forget the exact price. (Edit: Line Peel Day cream - S$110, Line Peel Nuit - S$110) blog 018copy According to the SA, this one is gentle for sensitive skin, helps skin renewal and clarify texture. Also helps to protect against environmental damage. The information leaflet that comes in the package says it contains skin illuminators too, that optically correct skin flaws and brighten texture. I have been using them for almost a week and I find them good for moisturisation, My skin does feel more hydrated than before, so the creams are better than what I used before and do not just provide cosmetic improvement from the illuminators. But I can't tell if they are really very much better than what I was previously using in other aspects, such as clarifying the skin or skin renewal. As for my eyes, I was previously using the Derma Genesis Eye Contour Cream, and though it seemed to help my lines, I still felt it wasn't moisturising enough, as I explained in my previous review. So, for my dark circles and dehydrated eyes, I was told by the SA to use the White Detox Yeux. I purchased both the White Detox Yeux Eye Essence and the White Detox Whitening Concentrate as a set for the discount price of SG$154. I think these are also normally SG$80-90 each, I also forget the exact price. (Edit: whitening essence - $105) blog 017copy White Detox Yeux does quite a good job of depuffing, because one morning, I woke with puffy eyes from crying the night before over a sad movie (LOL!) and it really helped my eyes depuff. But I don't normally have a problem with puffiness. Over the last week, I had to combine it with the Derma Genesis Eye Contour Cream, but I was dissatisfied with the hydration, even when using both. It's altogether not moisturising enough, because my skin felt continually dehydrated, my eye makeup don't look smooth, and after washing my face, the skin around my eyes felt extremely dry, ie. the moisture does not stay in the skin and improve it. My dark circles do seem to have slightly lightened, but only slightly. How sad. I don't think I'll ever remove my dark circles ... That was why I purchased the Beaute de Kose Ultimation cream and Kose Astalution Eye Masks a few days ago. As for the White Detox Whitening Concentrate, I never meant to whiten my skin, only wanted to clarify it. However, after using White Detox Whitening Concentrate for a week, last night I realised with horror that my face was getting whiter than my neck! Oops! I forgot to apply the whitening concentrate on my neck! So, gradually without me noticing, the whitening concentrate was effectively whitening my skin. Right now, I feel so weird with slightly 2-toned skin (1 tone on my face, another on my neck and arms), so I'm restarting use of my Nivea Whitening Body Lotion on my arms and neck. Hopefully I'll have 1-tone skin soon. The following were gifts with purchase and some samples (I forgot to photograph the Aqua Trio samples). Overall, Biotherm doesn't seem to provide dramatic improvement or impact on the skin. I do feel the creams are good for hydration. However, if my skin clarity and hydration improves with continued use of the Biotherm creams and concentrate, I'll be in a dilemma when the time comes to purchase new creams after I finish using this set ... because I'm considering getting Kose instead. Oh, and I forgot to tell you, I got membership for both Kose and Biotherm! Ahhh!! Spending too much!! blog 019copy blog 020copy © Copyright. All rights reserved.

Friday, 19 December 2008

It's a Race! Go, Go, Go!

Out of the office the whole day without access to a computer or the internet. So ofcourse the first thing I do before going to bed is update my blog. It's not a beauty post but wanted to share with everyone my first experience at the Night Races at the Singapore Turf Club. Image000 Image002a It was a freaking tiring day but the evening programme spent at the Turf Club was fun. Really nice experience being part of a VIP group, sitting at the highest level Committee Box and seeing people dressed to the nines, wining, dining, betting and screaming when they won. LOL! Image003 Hohoho, lookie at those people taking photos in the other neighbouring box. At least I tried to be discreet ... because I was the ONLY ONE doing it in our box. LOL! Image002 I didn't bet though. Every time I was too focussed on eating and chatting, and didn't realise it was time to bet. By the time I realised, I haven't looked at any of the horse or jockey information yet, so I didn't know who to bet on! Personally, I don't like the races, so I'd never have come if not for today's special schedule. We were also brought down to look at the horses coming in and going out for the races ... up close ... beautiful animals! (But too fast for my silly old camera phone, hence the blurry picture.) Image001 © Copyright. All rights reserved.

Photo Request: Astalution Eye Mask & Ultimation

I received a request for photos of Kose ASTALUTION Eye Zone Mask ($47SG)and Beaute de Kose ULTIMATION Eye Cream (SG$91). Here they are. ^__^ I tried to do nicer photos. I haven't been doing any Quality Control on my pictures at all because I'm so lazy and it's so easy to just use my camera phone. blog 012copy Here's the gift with purchase (the SA gave me an extra lotion so I can have a bit more to try before I decide on the purchase), there's a light lilac-pink bag too but I gave it to my mum already. ^__^ blog 014copy © Copyright. All rights reserved.

Tivoli! Tivoli!

A few days ago, I was really in a bad mood for several reasons but when I arrived at my work desk and saw this message on my phone: "Hi santa is back!" my mood lightened considerably. So, I met "My Best Friend" yesterday. He told us how he had to work really hard in school (clever person is doing his postgrad studies in a top business school). But he's looking well and much happier. This is the bag that he brought with him: blog 001copy blog 002copy blog 005copy On hindsight, I felt bad I asked him to help me buy this bag. I didn't expect him to ask them to place it in the box. Normally, my husband will bring LV back with him without the box because it really is so bulky! I can't imagine how "My Best Friend" brought it back on the plane by himself. Yet, it looks so nice in the box. HAHA. So it is truly a happy thing. Luckily "My Best Friend" said it was fun shopping. I didn't get a chance to give him a treat to repay his help. Here's the damage! Eeek! blog 003copy © Copyright. All rights reserved.

Thursday, 18 December 2008

Japanese Cosmetic Counter Brands (Part 3): Kose

I am happy to report that I believe I found the Kose counter that has the best SAs! It's the Kose counter at Takashimaya. I visited that counter 3 times. The first time, I purchased a Eye Fantasist with the help of the SA. The second time, I asked the SA about Espique and she was friendly, sharing the news that it will come to Singapore next year. Yesterday was the third time I visited that counter and I was assisted by the best SA I've encountered with Kose so far. She was wearing a Cosme Decorte tag and helped to advise me on the best items to purchase according to my needs. Kose, Takashimaya Yesterday, I was feeling extremely bothered that everything I was using wasn't really helping to improve my eye problems, in particular the dryness. I constantly felt my skin was dehydrated and tight, so, I was determined to find a good eye cream. The dryness around my eyes also hindered me from achieving a smooth look when I apply concealer. After dinner with my son I headed to the Takashimaya Kose counter, determined to find something there. I have been hearing and reading good reports about Kose products both from online reviews and from friends. I was honestly very keen to use the products if I only I could find something suitable. I also wanted to look at the Fantasist makeup coffret again to decide on whether to purchase it. Anyway, I was at the products at the counter when the SA wearing the Cosme Decorte tag approached me. She simply stood next to me unobtrusively for a while and I didn't feel pressured by her presence. After a few moments, I asked her what's the best lotion to buy if I feel my skin needs moisture. She proceeded to check a few more details about my requirements and then told me if I wanted moisture, Ultimation would be the best bet, so she showed me the lotion. I found I liked the moisturising sensation. The SA also told me it will help to brighten the skin. Then I asked her about eye creams, and was specifically requesting a moisturising one (I totally ignored my dark circle problem at that point because I am already using something and hoping it will work). She showed me the Ultimation eye cream then proceeded to explain more details about the cream. In response to my question about the differences between Sekkisei and Ultimation, she told me Sekkisei is more for whitening, and the moisturisation factor for whitening products is usually lower, so if I'm really looking for moisture, Ultimation would be better. When she noticed I was hesitant and indecisive, she took the initiative to advise me to get the eyecream first, and an eyemask because by her evaluation, she feels my skin is ok but perhaps my eye issues are of greater concern to me. She said not to buy the Ultimation lotion but to try the lotion which was available in the gift with purchase. Also without prompting she very politely and unaggressively advised me avoid rubbing my eyes because it will contribute highly to creating dark circles. Massage gently but try hard not to rub my eyes as the eye area has blood vessels that will burst and the blood pooling there could lead to the look of very dark eye circles. In truth, I do rub my eyes. They get so dry and are often irritated. Although I honestly told her I couldn't decide whether to purchase from her because I have a 5% rebate at Robinsons but not at Takashimaya, she did not change her very good service attitude. Instead, she told me pleasantly I can buy at Robinsons too because Ultimation will also be available there. Can I say that I'm SUPER impressed with her? Her demeanour was professional and approachable. She was knowledgeable about her products and she was able to give good recommendations. Well, I finally decided to buy from Takashimaya instead of walking over to Robinsons because I was very impressed with this SA and I sincerely wanted to close the sale with her. I was also very pissed with the Robinsons' Kose counter SAs and didn't feel like buying from them. HAHA what a spoilt customer I am huh? I think I must get the Takashimaya rebate card, because Takashimaya is the place with the best SAs for both Kose and Kanebo. To complete my review on Japanese brand counters I'll just give a rough run down on the other counters I visited, without too many details. Kose, BHG, Bugis Junction Nice, unassuming and helpful SA but a little confused. When I first heard about Lunasol in November, I somehow thought it was a Kose product. So when I was at the Kose counter, I mistakenly asked the Kose SA about Lunasol and she told me Lunasol is no longer available, and then peered over to the Kanebo counter but didn't say anything else. I only found out later that I made a mistake and that Lunasol is from Kanebo, not Kose. LOL. Kose, Robinsons Centrepoint Very unpleasant SA. She showed me 2 eye creams then stopped talking. *eek* How was I to decide between these 2 if she can't look at my skin and advise? Ack! Then she showed me the Sekkisei and when I picked up a bottle from the counter to take a look, she shrieked and snatched it from me, saying, "It's not a tester!!!" Then walked away with the bottle, holding it like she was nursing a hurt baby. What? How was I supposed to know? It was displayed on the counter!! #_# Veeeery. Creeeeepy. Kose, Robinsons Raffles City Polar was with me there. She witness how the SA was distracted and took a long time getting my Eye Fantasist from behind the counter. The SA then showed me an eyecream when I asked but didn't explain more, just showed me a brochure. :p Ofcourse, I was uncertain about her recommendation and didn't buy anything else from her even though she was pretty friendly and chatted with us about the long queue at the cashier. Kose, John Little, Plaza Singapura A rather nice girl. Hoever, as I was asking about Sekkisei, she looked at my skin and tried to explain its efficacies to me but seemed a little hesitant to recommend me to buy it. So I told her I'll return later to check it out and never bought Sekkisei. Ok, that's all the reports I have for now. I don't think I should go into Orchard Road anymore until after Christmas (for Chinese New Year shopping .. *gasp*)!!!! OMG. I need to go on an austerity drive for an entire quarter of next year!!! © Copyright. All rights reserved.

Holy Grail of Eye Solutions: Kose Astalution and Ultimation

I may have found my Holy Grail of Eye Solutions. I purchased it last night from Kose (will tell you about my shopping experience in another post) - Kose ASTALUTION Eye Zone Mask and Beaute de Kose ULTIMATION Eye Cream. This morning, my eyes look better than it has been in a long time and feel better too. Circles seem to have lightened, skin is moisturised, lines and crepiness filled out. The undereye makeup seem to be smoother too. Let me retrace the things I did to arrive at this point: I used the Kose ASTALUTION Eye Zone Mask last night. It is full of orange-coloured serum and was extremely soothing. After I removed the eye patch I gently massaged in the remaining serum. There was still alot of serum in the package so I used as much as I liked, applied some on the corners of my mouth as well where there was dryness and still had some more left to keep for use the next day! This morning, my eyes looked rested and less wrinkled! It felt better too, because there's none of the dehydrated, tired feeling around my eyes that have been bothering me alot lately. The dark circles seem to have been alleviated even though Astalution isn't marketed for lightening dark circles. After I applied my Biotherm HYDRA-DETOX BIO-DEFENSIS Yeux (I will review this later together with my other Biotherm products), I put on a small rice-grain amount (as instructed by the SA) of the Beaute de Kose ULTIMATION Eye Cream. It feels like there is too little to go over both eyes but when I applied it, the cream was not only enough for both eyes, it was absorbed quickly and easily. Then I applied my undereye makeup, carefully and taking my time. The concealor did not cake up and I didn't have to apply as much as I previously had to. In fact, the overall look is smoother. (I had a good think to recall the instructions carefully and I will make a post about how the Bobbi Brown makeup artist/SA taught me to apply eye brightener and concealor). I liked Purederm Anti-wrinkle Gel Patches that I reviewed previously for its efficacy at a fantastic affordable price, but I must confess it pales in comparison to Kose ASTALUTION Eye Zone Mask! There's something extra in Kose ASTALUTION Eye Zone Mask, I can feel it in my eyes. Sometimes, products work while they are still on the skin but after it is removed, eg. after a shower or after you clean your face, the skin still feels unchanged, eg, if it was previously dry, it still feels dehydrated. On the other hand when I used these 2 products, I felt like the underlying problems have also been treated, so that overall, my skin has become healthier! I know it is too soon to make such an exaggerated proclamation, after all I've only just started using these products! But I am so happy with the immediate visible and experiential improvement that I truly believe this will be a good long term solution. I will continue to use these products and hopefully I have even more good news to report after a few weeks or even months. © Copyright. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, 17 December 2008

Skin Supplements

I started taking collagen drinks after I got the beauty tip from Yumeko, and I thought that since it is a fish-derivative supplement, I could stop taking my fish oil supplements when I finished them but I was wrong! It took some time for me to realise it (I'm sooo dense like that) but it dawned on me that the reason my skin is so crepey and dry lately is due to the lack of my regular fish oil supplements. So, yesterday, I purchased my fish oil supplements. I don't normally take this brand but there was a discount so I decided to give it a try. I also added in an EPO and chose Efamol brand because it has more GLA. Image001 My nutritionist friend had recommended me fish oil supplements for the Omega 3 and DHA, which are good for brain functions and provide numerous health benefits. (After buying this new fish oil brand, I felt bad because I normally purchase a better brand from my friend's shop ... LOL! ... but I got to save some money this month, seriously overran my budget!) Fish oil is also great for improving skin sensitivities (like ezcema) and helps general skin conditions (like balancing oiliness and dryness). I found all those to be true and when I stopped taking the fish oil, I suffered some "relapse" with a return of dry, itchy skin and other skin sensitivity issues. In addition, I also purchased Evening Primrose Oil with extra GLA because I read that besides Omega 3 fatty acids, Omega 6 fatty acids like GLA are important too. Besides ensuring we have enough Omega 3, I read that for optimum health, the ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids should be between 1:1 and 4:1. Hence, it is important to eat right to have the right balance between Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids in our bodies. Besides the health benefits, Omega 6 fatty acids are useful for improving the skin and beyond that also alleviate things like PMS and other mood disorders.

In addition to taking these oils, I also take Vitamin B supplements to assist me in coping with my busy life. I'm also told it'll be good for my hair. One thing I forgot to get is a multivitamin to ensure I have enough nutrients like magnesium and zinc, also good for hair and skin. Ofcourse, one should be like Fuzkittie and also make sure one eats fruits and vegetables, plus avoid toxic foods that are bad for the body and skin. Personally, I'm quite lazy, very busy and eat out often, so I try to balance all that eating out by taking supplements, plus fruits and vegetables as much as possible.

As I was saying earlier, these supplements provide numerous health benefits. Additionally, from skin care point, I do recommend the Omega 3 and Omega 6 supplements even if one eats healthily. Specific to the skin, I find they helped alleviate my numerous skin sensitivities and normalise my skin.

By the way, I'd recommend my nutritionist friend, Yondi at Ascension Healing, to anyone in Singapore, who'd like to improve their health. Besides having post-grad qualifications in nutrition and holistic medicine from Melbourne, her basic degree was in psychology, so I personally find her a very understanding and caring health-care provider. LOL, she sure knows how to listen and provide the appropriate natural healing prescriptions. Be sure to let her know Karen sent you her way. ^___^ © Copyright. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, 16 December 2008

Bobbi Brown Counters

I want to take this opportunity to talk about my experiences at Bobbi Brown counters, before I continue with my report on Kose to complete my review on Japanese brand counters. Bobbi Brown, Robinsons I was shopping on Sunday at Robinsons and went to the Bobbi Brown counter to look for the brightener that Fuzkittie recommended. There was one male SA there, and no other SA there, so I approached him but he seemed to be thinking about something. He was distant and gestured to me the general vicinty where the concealors were located, together with all the foundation and powders. So, I didn't know better, picked up a concealor and asked him, "Oh, so this the eye brightener?" He shook his head and gestured in another direction to indicate the brightener is somewhere else. I tried to be friendly and say I needed some explanation on how to use it, but he didn't show me! Strange. He also didn't try to help me choose the appropriate colour either. I was really surprised at how unfriendly and unprofessional he was. So I walked away after a while, looking really disgusted at him and he ignored me! LOL. When I returned to Robinson's today, I was in my office wear, obviously dressed better than I was on Saturday and he did a double take to look at me with recognition when I was at the counter, but right after that he purposefully looked away! I stood there for a while, but though there were other SAs there today, they were busy. Though that male SA wasn't busy like the other SAs there, he didn't bother to come up ask if I needed help. So, after a while, I didn't want to spend anymore time at the counter and I walked away. Sometimes, it just takes ONE bad SA to turn a customer off. :( Bobbi Brown, Takashimaya I was at this counter a few weeks ago, same time I was looking at the items at the Kose and Kanebo counters. At that time, I was looking for a concealor. The SA, a female, showed me the recommended concealor colour and left it at that. I didn't quite understand her sales method ... HAahaaha because I stood there, and then had to ask her if I could try it ... I guess Bobbi Brown is such a famous brand that the SA is surprised anyone would need explanations or testing? LOL. Anyway, this SA wasn't such a big put off. At least she was quite helpful. When I asked her about the Shimmering Nudes eye palette and it wasn't available at that counter, she took the initiative to call the Isetan counter to do a check. I ended up buying a Mac concealor that day when I walked by Tangs on the way over to Isetan! It shows what sort of shopper I am ... and how stores can lose a sale based on such inane reasons. Bobbi Brown, Isetan Scotts I bought today's Bobbi Brown haul from the Isetan Scotts counter, in a span of 15-20 minutes, even though I don't have a rebate/discount at Isetan like I do at Robinsons (I do plan to correct this, I'm applying for an Isetan rebate card! LOL.) I intended to buy something all those times (described above) I went to Bobbi Brown counters but I eventually bought something today because the SA took time to help me. First of all, when I asked her about the brightener, she not only pointed it out to me but also showed me the recommended colour, and demonstrated how to put the brightener on. She tried the brightener and concealor on my undereye circles to show how it will work. When I told her about cakey concealor, she showed me how to apply it a different way and explain how to do it so it will be less cakey. It made alot of difference, I was ofcourse convinced by the facts that looked back at me from the mirrow and decided I will buy the brightener. When I asked her about the Bobbi Brown Shimmering Nudes eye palette, she told me there are a few pieces of it left and showed me how it could be applied. Then she compared it with the new Lip and Eye palette, explaining it's more fun and though shimmery, it's sheer so can be used for day time also. I was sold on the newer palette, bought it. I also wanted a lip gloss and she spent time recommending different colours, so I bought one too when I found one I liked. That was how I ended up spending enough to get a Bobbi Brown Club membership. I think I'm not much different from most customers, am I? I just need some prompting to help me decide on my purchases. © Copyright. All rights reserved.

Bobbi Brown Haul

After work today, I returned That Darned Bling Bling Bag and got a refund. Then I walked to another department store and bought these from Bobbi Brown. Image002 Ohoh I seriously don't know how to save money, do I? So, now I'm a Bobbi Brown Club member and I have 6 free makeup lessons to attend! Image003 I never knew this, but if you spend SG$150 you can become a club member and receive these makeup lessons: (1) Beautiful skin, (2) Perfect brow, (3) Everything about eyes, (4) Natural blush, (5) Perfect lip, (6) Conceal and cover up and finally a complimentary Makeover or Brow Grooming. Nice huh? On top of this, if you gather 500 points ($1 per point), you get a lifetime membership and can redeem stuff from your points. Cool. The SA showed me a better way to apply the brightener and concealor (I have a separate report on this that will be coming up in the next post). And, I totally love the palette and lip gloss! They are so me, so terribly colourless and monotonous, aren't they? Left on my own, I'm sure I'll use them in such a way that no one knows I'm using any makeup at all. Ugh, the bane of my life! I hope I have the time to go for these classes and learn some updated makeup styles. A little personal history: When I was 18, just after Junior College (our equivalent of American High Schools), my parents sent me for a grooming class, so I can walk, talk, eat and dress properly (ie. know how to be a nice in society). LOL!! Though I graduated well enough from that, I think my personality is too strong and I never did get into the highly-groomed woman role, preferring a more natural style. It's only recently that I find myself revisiting the idea of looking more polished. Finally, I have some news to share. I was at the Kose counter at Takashimaya and found out something. This might be old news to Kose fans in Singapore, but the SA told me Esprique will be coming to Singapore sometime next year! Yeah! © Copyright. All rights reserved.

Morning Musings

  • I'm returning That Darned Bling Bling Bag!!
  • Using Lunasol's blush (Contrasting Cheeks N Soft Silver Blush) from the Party Coffret: It's beeeeautiful on me! The first blush I like!! Ever! I always hate blush because I don't really like too much colour on my face. I thought plums suit me better for a natural look but this is one gorgeous sheer, natural colour that brightens my face and freshens me up. I need to rethink my blush colour choices.
  • Putting on a peachy-pink concealor combination of Mac and Bourjoir then adding more eye gel on top to remove/prevent cakiness (tip from Benefit SA) seems to help, but I still can' t get rid of the supreme darkness residing in the inner botton corners of my eyes. Shall go look at Bobbi Brown's eye brightener today - wish me luck - hope the SA is good and not haughty like the one I spoke to on Sunday.
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Monday, 15 December 2008

Magazine Scans 女人我最大 2008 冬季号

I'm curious ... Do Kose SA have a way of looking and knowing whether your skin is suitable for their products? My skin is generally ok, but I needed a better eye cream and also wanted to try their Sekkisei lotion. But the SA don't seem to want to sell me their skincare product! I tried several counters but at all of them the SA were taciturn and unwilling to explain the products or their benefits. Is it because they think the product won't suit me? Now I'm afraid to buy because they are usually fine when I try to ask them about makeup. Ended up buying $300 plus worth of Biotherm skincare products instead. I started using them yesterday. Will report on the efficacy of the products after a few days of use. Here are some photo/scans of the Queen magazine (女人我最大) 2008 winter issue from Taiwan that I just bought. It's a very nice magazine, filled with lots of information and tips like those Japanese magazines. Image014 How to Dress in Boots: for Short Legs vs Fat Leg. Hahaaha. Image013 Exercises Image012 Pages and pages of eye cream comparisons and reviews. Image010 Make Up Instructions Image009 Image002 Hair Styles © Copyright. All rights reserved.

Sunday, 14 December 2008

I Lost It

My taste or my mind that is. I went shopping alone while the son stayed home and played Xbox co-operative games with daddy. And I bought this super bling bag from Paris Hilton, feeling happy because it's super bling, a cute size, at a discount and reminds me of Juicy Couture. However, I'm now feeling despondent ... It does not receive the son's seal of approval!! He thinks it's "Yucks". Boohoo ... gawsh ... I actually still think it's rather cute! *Help* But, come to think of it, I wonder if I should return it to the shop ... (hence the wrappings are left unwrapped ... except for one which I carefully undid, so you can see how bling it is ... ) Image003 I think it's a rather unknown entity, this so-called Paris Hilton line of bags ... no one posted anything online about it at all. Or at least I did a search (so I could compare prices) and I couldn't find anything. There were some complaints about the ickky-factor in everything Paris Hilton does, but not much about the bags ... Shucks. Oh and I bought skin care! I'll write about it soon. Probably, after I've tried it a few days and can make a review. © Copyright. All rights reserved.

Saturday, 13 December 2008

Mega Tarte Failure

Haha, I was so excited when I saw that Tarte had a sale. Into my shopping cart went:
  • the eraser 4-in-1 natural concealer bisque
  • eye couture day-to-night eyeshadow palette eyeshadow palette
  • we wish you health skinvigorating™ set
  • vitamin infused lipgloss powered by BORBA apple-a-day (iridescent raspberry rose sheen)
  • double-ended lipgloss lloyd & diane
  • purse your lips limited-edition super fruit lip gloss clutch multi
Yes, I'm kind of a lip gloss nut. And I read their concealor was really good for undereye circles. Tarte does not ship internationally, so I thought I could use Vpost. But, I failed. Tarte only accepts US credit cards. Hrmphs! Should have tried to find that out before I shopped. Duh. © Copyright. All rights reserved.

Friday, 12 December 2008

Undereye Concealers

Tsk, I'm still thinking about the black lambskin Cannage drawstring that looks like a tote when you stuff alot of things inside it ... Ugh ... Well, to distract myself, I'll talk about undereye concealers. One of my current grouses is that I haven't found a good undereye concealer yet. One that isn't too heavy (to avoid accentuating my lines), is moisturising (for the super dryness), yet is good enough to cover my dark circles. While my Mac concealer is better than the Face Shop one I previously used, I find that on some days, my dark circles are still peering through ... I can still see some hints of the blackness especially at the innermost corner of my eyes. If I apply too much, it starts to cake ... After reading Should I use Peach or Yellow Concealer for undereye? in My Women Stuff, I kept peering at my dark circles to try figuring out what colour they are. I asked around and people mostly said different things! The funniest was my son who said, "It's brown here, and black here, and red here, and sort of grey here, and overall like blue-black." LOL! My experiments with using different coloured powders on the dark circles didn't give me any enlightenment either. I still have no idea whether a pink, blue, lavender, orange or yellow based concealor is best for me. I was at the Benefit counter today just scouting around as usual for a better undereye concealer. The SA tested Erase Paste on my eyes and it's just so cakey that I hated it. I went over to the other counters and the Givenchy Mr Light Instant Light Corrective Pen caught my eye. It is light, liquid and has light-diffusing properties. I haven't been able to check YSL's Touche Eclat concealer, though I read it is rather good. Basically the YSL SAs are always applying makeup on themselves when I'm at their counter, so I never get a chance to talk to them. One thing I did try was putting Benefit's That Gal Brightening Face Primer under my eyes and on my lids before applying concealer. Its texture is too thin to conceal anything but I found that it does help to lighten and deflect the darkness, but I have my doubts about putting this primer on my eyes too often. I wonder whether my skin will suffer, since this primer wasn't made for the eyes originally. It did give me the idea that maybe a light-deflecting/brightening sort of concealer will do a better job, so maybe I'll pick up one such concealer soon. I just need to figure out which store will provide the best "rebate" or even sale price, if ever ... © Copyright. All rights reserved.

Bags, bags, bags, bags

I'm obsessing about bags. But I received good advice, "Wait for the next season to buy more, so you'll get a good range of designs!" So, for now I'll just obsess. Yesterday, I was at Dior and saw several bags from the the Ethnic and Cannage range on discount, up to 50% off. I almost bought a black Ethnic but luckily thought the better of it, because I think it's too trendy and not the sort of evergreen design that I prefer. I didn't look closely at the Cannage but last night I was thinking I should go back and take a look. However, based on the good advice, I thought I should, I ought to resist. Yet, Cannage is an evergreen style and would be good to pick up at a discount ... Ohoh ... Tempted, tempted, tempted ... On the other hand, I loved the Dior soft bag I saw in pink, I don't know which range it's from, Dior is so confusing ... so, maybe I should just save up and buy that one next time ... Oh I don't know! Meanwhile, Coach has a cute pink bag, I was lured to it though a Poupee event special ... It's the Leah Emboosed Op Art Patent. I also quite like the Leather Sabrina. I wonder if it's worth the effort to buy online through Coach's official site (Coach in Singapore is so overpriced, even with a sale on). Oh and Neiman Marcus has aawfully cute Juicy Couture bags! Omg! Sheesh, anyone wants to spree with me? I ought to go find out if Neiman Marcus ships to Singapore, or whether I need to use Vpost. © Copyright. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, 10 December 2008

Japanese Cosmetic Counter Brands (Part 2): Kanebo

This is a continuation of my Japanese Cosmetic Counter Brands review. The last time I wrote about Shiseido counters I visited and today, I will report on Kanebo. Kanebo, BHG, Bugis Junction I went to Kanebo specifically to look for makeup and nothing else. I had not done any reading up on their skincare. At BHG, Bugis Junction, I walked around and tested everything on the Kanebo counters and was excited to see Kate available there but there was no SA around. About 1o minutes later, the SA appeared and started talking to me about the Coffret Dor Limited Party Palettes for Christmas 2008. She told me the purple Sweet Dressy set was sold out and I should get the Noble Dressy set because it was very worth it. Eventually she wasn't pushy at all and left me to decide what I wanted. In some ways it was good that she walked away because it gave me space to think. Not all SAs are polite like that, so in that way, she was a relatively good SA. Kanebo Takashimaya I visited this counter twice, the first time on a weekday morning when I was on leave and the second time on a weekday night, the following day, after I decided I wanted to get the Lunasol Party Coffret. On the first visit, the SA I spoke to was polite but distant because she was busy helping out a couple of regulars with colours and also filling out forms for a makeover promo that was happening that week. She showed me all the makeup items I wanted to see and let me try everything, plus explained to me about the prices even though she was really busy. She didn't show any distaste or frustration when I told her I'll come back later after I've made my decision. On the second visit, it was a different SA who was also busy but she was equally helpful. In fact, she took some time out to help me decide between colours and the various Kanebo sets. I initially wanted to get a Lunasol palette but she told me why not just get the Party sets because they are newer colours. She advised that the palette I wanted was much darker and from last year's Winter collection, so if I really wanted something with a fresher look, I could try this year's Winter colours instead. Overall, she was a very good SA, and I ended up buying both the Coffret Dor Sweet Dressy Party Palette and the Lunasol Winter Party Coffret, which I reviewed previously in another post.

Conclusion about Kanebo

Overall, I found my experience with Kanebo's SAs quite positive. I liked the Kanebo Takashimaya SAs best, fortunately, because from what I understand, it's the only counter that carries Lunasol. I even recommended a friend, Pinky, to visit Takashimaya's Kanebo counter when she experienced bad service from the Robinsons' Centrepoint Kanebo counter while searching for skincare.

However, I'm again disappointed the SAs did not offer any samples without me asking. And I suspect even if I ask, I won't get any samples. I think I'm spoilt by my experiences at counters like Fancl, Korean cosmetic stores and even Jurlique and Lush. I'm extremely spoilt by my experiences shopping in Taipei where samples are given freely for any cosmetics I purchase.

I must make an additional comment about Coffret Dor's Sweet Dressy Party Palette. After I reviewed it, I've used that palette several other times and my opinion of the palette has changed a little. When I use the Eye Fantasist as a base, the Sweet Dressy palette is actually very useable, not powdery at all and the colours show through better, so, I begin to like it quite a bit and I think I can consider looking at Kanebo's other eye makeup items.

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Monday, 8 December 2008

The Face Shop Paper Masks

We had a long weekend with the Hari Raya Haji public holiday today and I spent time catching up on beauty sleep, then did some skincare maintenance: exfoliated and put on a paper mask. Image000 Today I used the Vita C mask sheet from The Face Shop. It's one of the numerous paper masks that I regularly get from there. I find The Face Shop's paper masks are moisturising, don't irritate the skin and I don't have to use any serum or moisturiser after it. The good thing about The Face Shop masks is that they are very wet. Thus, there is usually extra serum from the paper mask which you can pour out of the packaging to massage into the skin after using the mask. Normally, I massage and pat the serum from the paper mask after I peel the paper mask off. Sometimes, there is so much serum that I have enough to even rub some on my hands and legs. Hahaha. The Vita C mask is soothing and really does help to brighten my skin. I find it good to use it when I see my skin is getting darker or dull, lacking brightness and clarity. This Vita C mask has Vitamin C, Rasberry and Strawberry extracts, and Phytolex Nanoliposome, which help to also fight free radicals to retard aging. According to the package, Phytolex Nanoliposome is "a composite of Ceramide and natural plant extracts of Mung Bean, White Birch and Rumex Crispus L". I noticed The Face Shop likes to use Mung Bean extracts. I did a google search and found that apparently, Mung Bean extracts have anti-irritation, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory action. The Face Shop sells 2 different types of masks . The one in the gold pack pictured above is slightly more expensive. I bought my mask sheets some time ago, so I've lost track of the current prices. The Su Hyang Special Mask Sheet is also moisturising and has a nice fragrance, if you like light herbal smells. I've used it before, but I think generally, paper masks are about the same? I don't discern very much extra differences between each of them. According to the packaging, the Su Hyang mask sheet contains ginseng, Sodium Hyaluronate, Pentavitin and Ceramide. © Copyright. All rights reserved.