Saturday, 31 January 2009

Photos: Sukin Skincare Set

This is what's keeping me up late at night, and making me rush through all my chores today (even rushing my blogging ... but I did want to tell you about this since I took pics haha). The Legend, K-drama dvd. All I want to do is sit down and watch the last 2 discs. Then I want to go out and get more K-drama to watch. So addictive! Image002copy I always thought Bae Yong Joon was a little bit too sissy and never understood all the fuss about him. He's the lead actor you see on the dvd covers. But then I've never watched any of his shows, and now that I have, I can see why he's got so many fans. In fact, I've come to like his acting very much and feel he has charisma. (Maybe a new fan in the making?) One interesting thing: the Korean title of the show, sounds very close to the Chinese title. 태왕사신기 (Tae Wang Sa Shin Gi) / 太王四神記 (Tai wang shi shen ji). The pronunciations are so similar (similar meaning too). Anyway, this sort of confirms my suspicions about why Korean seems easier to "hear" and pick up - it's similar to Chinese in many ways ... perhaps with the close Chinese-Korean history, there are many borrowed words? Everytime I watch k-drama, Korean phrases and words run around in my head, almost like if I could, I would just start talking in Korean! How weird am I? Now you know. (I did try to learn Korean and Japanese but ahhh all my efforts are half-baked with nothing much to show for). Ok, this is a beauty blog, so I'll show you my $36SG Sukin skincare trial set and the $19.95SG night cream. Image000copy Used them last night and this morning. Nothing spectacular in terms of promises ... in fact, it promises nothing except being gentle and soothing. But, today my skin looks like skin ... normal human skin, not scary bumpy, itchy-scratchy or red but normal even toned skin ... that seems to be normal ... hahaha ... I don't know how to explain how good this feels. To have normal human skin ... ugh. I hope this lasts. I think Jamilla and Chizu Saeki are right about not over-treating your skin. I've probably been over-treating it and it was getting upset with me. Now it's just getting a good rest. Image001copy I'll give a proper review when I've used it for some time, hopefully with good reports. I have to say this is a very value-for-money brand. The 4-piece trial set contains four 125ml bottles consisting of cleanser, scrub, facial mist (like a toner) and day moisturiser. The night cream is an item from the standard-size range and is 120ml. Fuz is right, if it works, I save more money for makeup, which is a good thing in this crazy economy, isn't it? Keke. © Copyright. All rights reserved.

Friday, 30 January 2009

Minimalist Skin Care

A recommended strategy for people with sensitive skin is to use products with fewer ingredients so as to limit the number of potential chemical irritants. In fact, beyond giving cortisol for ezcema conditions, doctors I saw always told me to just wash my face with Cetaphil and apply nothing else, so as to give the skin a rest when it becomes agitated and starts peeling or becomes dry and itchy. According to an article on Sensitive Skin, " Products containing less than 10 ingredients should be used. The fewer ingredients a consumer is exposed to the less the possibility of sensitisation." I've actually read this statement at several places. If as-few-ingredient-as-possible and as-natural-as-possible is the best way to go, then the geek in me would like to seek out the optimal outcome (good basic skincare) for the minimal inputs (good price). Hmmm, then, I would think I should go for as cheap as possible with as good ingredients as the brand could use. How should one such as myself make a choice about products. Step 1: Take 2 comparable products (like face wash or toner) that contain similar basic ingredients and proclaim nothing special beyond the basic functions like cleansing without stripping the skin. I would think, to make the choice between the 2, I should go for the one that has the "best" basic ingredients. So, the question is, "What is considered 'best ingredients'?" Because we are talking about sensitive skin here, I am thinking, 'best' would be ingredients that contain as few chemical additives and are in as "pure" or natural a form as possible. So, organic would be good. Natural would be good. Not a chemical product would be good. And not chemically processed would be good. Step 2: If 2 brands have equally "good ingredients" as I have defined above, then the geeky consumer like me, should go for the cheaper one. Why pay more, yes? Haha. ...... Eerrrms erggg hahaha ... actually this is me trying to rationalise why I went and bought the $36SG 4-piece Sukin trial set, instead of going the Fancl, Jurlique or Dr Hauscha route ... What do you think? I'm just trying to be logical but probably over-analysing this. I'm emotional in the way I buy things, which is why I keep trying new products even though I know it's not so good to aggravate my touchy skin. Still, I should think harder before I buy. If Sukin works, I should stick to it ... it's rather cheap. © Copyright. All rights reserved.

Review: Anosa L Carnitine V Face Water Gel

Today's review is on Anosa L Carnitine V Face Water Gel (RRP: $13.50SG). It is the 2nd item from the left. Image001copy Here's an official product poster/photo. Lookie at the bottom right hand corner: There's a "before" and "after" photo of what the gel can do for you. It will slim your face down! According to Beauty Bistro and Shill promotion posters, this Anosa gel has:

"Super slimming mini water molecules!! 100% absorbent rate.

Anosa L Carnitine V Face Toning Water Gel’ combined with the latest technology from Japan, enables L- Carnitine to dissolve into tiny molecules which can be absorbed into the skin to remove excess water hence assist in the removal of bloated face. The Caffine composition and toning essence tones up the curve and reduce face flabbiness. Together with the green tea and seaweed extracts, it promotes blood circulation and retains skin moisture."

It does just that for me, only not as dramatically as seen in the product photo. It does not sting, absorbs quickly and is not sticky, has a slight fragrance and does not irritate the face. I don't use it every day though, only when I remember. Actually, I've always hated how puffy my face and nose looks. After I apply this, my face and nose are less puffy. Who would have thought I have water-retention in my nose too?!!? I think I really ought to review my diet, like abstain from some foods, but I don't have the discipline to do it. Meanwhile, my skin is acting up again. Right now, it's peeling at my cheek area and I need to stop using SANA. Probably because the SANA product is for acne?!!? >_<;; Gawsh. This drives me nuts. It's also probably a combination of stress at work, sleeping late (I'm watching k-drama dvds late into the night!) and eating badly (all the Chinese New Year snacking!) In such situations, I feel really frustrated because it means I must truly go back-to-basics for skincare, such as simply washing with Cetaphil and applying nothing else (this is normally what the doctor prescribes and it normally works). But I don't want to do that!! (Why don't I want to do that? It's because ... I'm so sold on the idea that I need stuff to improve my skin ... like prevent wrinkles, lighten my freckles, smooth my pores etc. And I like the idea of "pampering" myself ... but it's really getting me into more problems with my skin instead... Ugh I don't know.) Anyway, I went to get a trial set of Sukin Organics face care products (the only thing available at the nearby shopping centre I went to during lunch). Almost as basic as Cetaphil, but at least I get the illusion of using something "luxurious" because it smells nice and has 3 steps. Fortunately it's rather cheap. I decided to try this because it's cheap, rather than Fancl, Jurlique or Dr Hauscha (which come well-recommended). I used those brands before, then stopped using them but I can't recall exactly why. If Sukin works well, I can save money on the skincare basics in the long run. I'll let you know how it goes. Wish me luck. © Copyright. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, 28 January 2009

Agitated Skin Soothed By SANA Natural Resource

Decided to just blog something quickly. Sad to report that my facial skin started becoming agitated a few weeks ago. There was the usual peeling, redness, raw sensation and bumps, which did not go away no matter what I did. And a "stretched", dry look, like the skin is very "stressed". I suspected Biotherm creams were the main culprit, although I used it without much problem for some time. I stopped using Biotherm but even my normal face wash was irritating by then. So, I looked through my stash and found a lucky draw freebie: SANA Natural Resource Trial Set (Face wash, Lotion M, Milk Lotion). I figured since it's all-natural, my skin will do better with it. Image001copy After using it for a few days, indeed my skin calmed down, looks and feels smoother. Even the bumps are gone. Since I had such good results, I thought I could explore using this for the long-term. But now I have a problem trying to understand this SANA product line. Why is it called "Medicated" on all the bottles? I wonder should I even continue using it? I didn't even realise it is targetted for acne-prone skin. I checked the SANA website, and it seems only some products are for acne, not all. So why are all the products labelled "Medicated"? I wonder what to do next, after the SANA Natural Resource trial pack is used up. Overall, looks like I have to face the fact that I need to return to gentler skincare, since I find the ingredients lists are too long and difficult to read. It's hard to isolate which are likely ingredients that might cause sensitive skin reactions! I should just suck it up and return to "natural" and "preservative free" skincare like Fancl or Jurlique. © Copyright. All rights reserved.

Review: Cellulite Reduction Gels

Image000copy Remember these leg gels? I had an amazing surprise last night. I think the Hip & Leg Power Tight, which is for removing cellulite, actually works! My yoga pants that I use for sleeping, (not doing much yoga anymore haaha), were quite fitted a few days ago but when I used it yesterday, they were actually baggy and loose! I don't think it could be due to anything other than using these gels every night, because I have been eating alot due to the Chinese/Lunar New Year celebrations and these yoga pants have not shrunk nor expanded. I guess these gels work on reducing the water retention. Image005copy I must confess, I had been feeling bloated and so I also bought a gel for the tummy area called Fit Suana Waist. I am not sure how much the tummy has reduced in size ... but it has reduced some due to the loose pants, and also de-wrinkled some of my flabby stretch marks (which came from having my extra-large son lol). Overall, I'd say these are rather useful gels to have. They are not expensive, I purchased them for below $20SG each and I didn't have great expectations. I only wanted some comfort and relief from my bloated and swollen sensation on my legs and tummy. I thought the warmth the gels provide will give some relief. I didn't expect they would actually provide real inch-loss so I didn't measure myself, but it seems they do work! © Copyright. All rights reserved.

Sunday, 25 January 2009

Happy Chinese New Year!

Taking a blogging break ... I'm going off for a long Chinese New Year reunion dinner, and tomorrow, visiting and a long lunch, lounging about at my mom's! Lots of eating, hope I don't get too fat ha. Have a great Ox year ahead! © Copyright. All rights reserved.

Saturday, 24 January 2009

Shills Haul

Sorry for the lack of updates. I thought I don't have much to do for Chinese New Year that's coming up this weekend, but it turned out that I did have quite some stuff to settle which has kept me busy. I've also been busy settling the spa issue. After much to-ing and fro-ing, I ended up with a "settlement" that I am content with (all things taken into consideration): I now have enough spa products like body serums and lotions to use for the rest of the year! Although it ended relatively well, I must remember to never, never, never, NEVER buy packages anymore, because as a working mother with a young child to care for, I really don't have the time to go out for such regular treatments. Anyway, on with the beautification blogging. A couple of days ago, I had the idea that I should go get a back-up bottle of Canmake Eyelash Essence. I haven't observed any dramatic overnight increase in the length or density of my upper lashes but I did notice my lower lashes were slightly longer! Maybe it takes time for the upper lashes to grow further? However, when I walked about the store, I noticed a brand, "Shills" and wondered why I didn't see it previously. It has a tonne of really interesting stuff with great prices (although I hear that it's cheaper in Taiwan) and cute packaging, abit like Benefit and the like. I ended up getting the Shills Eyelash Essence instead of Canmake, as I'm convinced it is better since it has more ingredients: Vitamin B3, B5 & E, and panthenol. I am now applying Shills' essence at night and using Canmake's essence as a protective layer under my daily mascara application. I didn't take any "before" photos ... so I don't know if I should take any now ... maybe if my lashes do grow alot, I can show you later. Ofcourse, with a 30% discount, and the rather affordable prices of the products, I picked up more than one item. Image001copy I purchased (from L-R, original retail price in brackets): Shills Foam Esthe Pack $24.90SG Anosa L Carnitine V Face Water Gel $13.50SG Shills Magic Bubble Peeling $23.90SG (edit: OMG I just noticed there's a spelling mistake on the box! HAHAAHA!) Shills Whitening Mud Mask $28.90SG Anosa Magic Lash Essence $19.90SG I will focus my up-coming posts on reviews. Among them I will tell you about the outcome of using Shills. I have started using some of the products and do have some good reports. In fact, I am surprised some people expressed reservations about buying Made in Taiwan skincare. I found the products innovative and of rather good quality at a reasonable price. If you are interested, Shills products can be purchased in Singapore at John Little and also online at Beauty Bistro. I also heard they are available at Sasa stores. © Copyright. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, 20 January 2009

Canmake Eyelash Essence

I was getting jealous of Fuzkittie's increasingly long lashes. I wanted to have long thick beautiful lashes like her too! I have been searching for Yu-Be cream that she is using on her lashline. I read it is available in Nisshio pharmacy but I haven't seen it yet. Image003 Fortunately, today, I spotted an Eyelash Essence by Canmake and bought it because there's a 15%+20% discount specifically for Canmake! (Thanks to the John Little storewide discount, I'm making pit-stops at Plaza Singapura on my way home, every other day, haunting Star Dust.) The discount meant I got the Canmake Eyelash Essence for less than SG$10plus. Quite cheap! The sales lady told me, "Buy more! Can stock up!" But I decided I should try it first before buying more. It seems like the price at Star Dust is more than at other places too, so it's only worth getting it from JL only during a sale. I used it tonight. It has no smell, does not sting (I have quite sensitive eyes) and I am told I can sleep with it, or use it under my mascara in the day time. Did a google tonight too, and read that it gave successful overnight eyelash growth for some people and it is also much raved on Makeupalley. I sure hope I wake up with full and long lashes! I'll let you know when I see some results. Lately, I don't feel like posting photos of my ugly eyes online, so you'll have to be satisfied with and trust my written report with no photo evidence. Keke. © Copyright. All rights reserved.

Naris Wink Up Primer & Scoop on Sephora

I went to Sephora again over the weekend to try my luck at getting the Too Faced Shadow Insurance, but it's not available. The SA suggested I leave my name in the telephone book, so she can reserve one for me and give me a call when stocks arrive. That's really very good service, since I didn't ask and she did it out of her own initiative. I then checked with her if our local Sephora will be likely to stock the popular brands that aren't already available here, such as Tarte, Urban Decay, Philosphy etc. She said yes, it's likely in the near future, but she's not sure when. She said these brands could be carried at the current Ngee Ann City store or at the soon to-be opened branch in the new building Ion. According to her, there will be like, 40 SA staffing the Ion Sephora branch, so it'll be a huge store. Wow! I'm excited. Is this a scoop? I'm reporting it as a scoop hahaaha since I haven't heard this news elsewhere yet. ^__^ To tide me over while waiting for Too Faced Shadow Insurance to appear on our shores, I purchased a Japanese primer from John Little. It's Naris Eye Colour Base, and has only 1 shade. I felt costs a little too much at SG$20+. I wouldn't have bought it if not for the 20% (+10%) discount I got using my Robinson's card. I used my finger to rub the primer on my lids. Hence, you can see the uneven colour on the primer in the photo. It works for me, as it helps increase the eyeshadow payoff and staying power. No caking either. I've never used any primer on my eyelids before, so I can't say it's better than other primers but my eye makeup is better with a primer than without. Final word? Primer rules! Image006copy © Copyright. All rights reserved.

Monday, 19 January 2009

Esprique Precious Glamourous Glossy Eyes

I opened up my mail loot yesterday and used my tube of Esprique Precious Glamourous Glossy Eyes (EPGGE) this morning. I don't have a habit of "saving" my stuff. If I have them I should use them or they are wasted, aren't they? LOL. My Thoughts Texture: Very smooth and easy to blend. Dries down to a comfortable smooth finish, not cakey. Colours: The colour I got was BR 31. I find it very convenient to have 2 colours perfectly matched for me in a tube. I like how easy it is to create an easy and casual look with these 2 colours. The colours are also very flattering and natural looking on me. They brighten up my usually dull eye area with the shine and shimmer. Pigmentation: Sheer but I only need to use a little to get good payoff. I can actually see the colours on my eyes! I always thought my problem was my application methods eg. because I didn't use enough powder e/s, I don't really get alot of colour payoff. With this tube of EPGGE, I can see colour. EPGGE made me reconsider, because of how good it looks, I now think some of my powder e/s are simply not good enough or perhaps the wrong colour for me. Lasting Power: Lasting. No need to reapply. I have so far only used Kose's liquid e/s, such as Eye Fantasist. Generally, Kose's liquid e/s is very lasting and EPGGE is not different. Final Verdict: Personally, I like the way liquid eyeshadow (e/s) doesn't crease/fade so much as powder e/s. For me, liquid e/s is also less irritating, as no powders fall into my eyes. I'm also not good at makeup, so anything that does not require precision is best for me, and liquid e/s gives me just that right touch of ease in application. So, overall, I love EPGGE and I'm tempted to try get all the other colours too! I'm so looking forward to Esprique arriving in Singapore shores! Can't wait. © Copyright. All rights reserved.

Sunday, 18 January 2009

Lovely Beauty Package From Japan

After many problems with the inefficiencies of my local post office, I finally received the parcel that I was excitedly waiting for. Image000copy I did a swap with Yumeko, and she really gave me some super cute things in super cute wrapping and Hello Kitty bags. Thank you, Yumeko! Image001copy The things I asked for were the Esprique liquid eyeshadows, but Yumeko also included all the other things! I will do detailed reviews of all of them soon. And how did she know I love ume and strawberry? Yummy. Image003copy Sadly, the eyeshadow broke, I'm sure because of my super lousy local postal service! I've sent in numerous complaints and am now trying to get them to give a refund to Yumeko. © Copyright. All rights reserved.

Saturday, 17 January 2009

Leg Gels: The Verdict

When I woke this morning, my legs felt ok. Not so swollen like usual but not really completely well. When I step down, I still feel some pain at the arch of my right foot. Maybe it will all get better with regular application. Or maybe if this pain persists, I need to go see a doctor... Eeek. So, the conclusion is that the leg gels, are good for temporary soothing but I can't tell if there will be any long-term benefits, except the skin feels tighter and smoother. I'll try to report back on further developments if there are any. I can't wait for Yumeko to tell me what the OLs like to use ... And recently we were having lunch together and someone, let's call her A, said to the group, "To tell the truth, I honestly think people who blog have no life. Those with a life are out there living it, they have no time to blog." I've heard someone else relate this obnoxious comment from A before. She's basically not an obnoxious person, so I didn't take what she said to heart. PLUS she doesn't know I blog. Hahaa. So I know she wasn't directing it at me. In all, I feel that people who write and share what they write are abit egoistic in principle, me included. I just want people to know what I think and also discuss with me topics of interest. I can't find people who want to do makeup talk with me in real-life. Real-life is so filled with real and serious things, and I do real and serious things in real-life, make-up and beautification is so not discussed. So I blog, to allow my voice to be heard, when in real-life, it often isn't ... What do you think? Why do you blog? Additionally, I must say that I do so love the British sense of humour and style of writing. Just think of the "voice" that Nigella Lawson uses in her shows and cookbooks, and Neil Gaiman. OMG Neil Gaiman. He's adorable. Just read his latest blog post, Journey's End. Very interesting tone and style. Never fails to make me amused and happy in just the slightest subtle way. © Copyright. All rights reserved.

Friday, 16 January 2009

Leg Products: Cool Tights Gel, Hip & Leg Power Tight

John Little's beauty store, Star Dust, is now having a 20% (+10% for Robinson Card members) storewide discount. So, since I had some time I stopped by after work to stock up on my HG stuff, like Fiberwig. In addition, lately, my legs have been feeling tired and heavy. I also wake up with sore feet and painful soles. I know there are several things I could do, like change my diet and do some stretching etc. but I also wanted some immediate relief. So, when I saw thesegels with funny names, I bought them after some consideration. Very cheap, in my opinion, after all the discounts. Image000copy The blue bottle is for the lower legs, with the purpose of relieving tiredness, heaviness and provide a tightening feeling, improve circulation, prevent formation of veins and swelling. The orange bottle is for hips and thighs, has a cool-hot effect, and is supposed to also remove cellulite. They are both light-weight gels that absorb quickly and do not require long massaging. According to a poster display, both were reviewed in 女人我最大, together with some other items. Seems like that means they are good products? I don't know why appearing on 女人我最大 implies a product is good though. *tickled* Nonetheless, after application, my legs and feet felt relieved of tiredness and heaviness. The very minty and cool sensation is soothing. It does the job of giving me some immediate relief, so I'm quite happy with my purchases. The heat feeling from the orange bottle is not so strong. Not sure if the cellulite will be removed, but for something less than S$15 each, it's ok to me to just have some sensory comfort effect. I also found this online: Leg Care Synergy. Maybe I could find something similar in the aromatherapy oils sections at the pharmacy. © Copyright. All rights reserved.

Korean Women's Beauty Secrets

Viva Woman posted Korean beauty secrets revealed and gave a link to Beauty Tips from a Korean Makeup Artist, Laneige's International Trainer, Jin Lee. I was reminded of a few of my Korean neighbours in my previous house, who were quite mature stay-home moms, with several children. They were very youthful, very fair with clear skin and had trim bodies. They were also often dressed properly with not a hair out of place, even if they were just sending their kids off to school or getting the groceries. In fact, one of them would be wearing high-heels when she carts back bags and bags of her weekly necessities! I didn't get to talk to them much to gather any beauty secrets from them, but I did notice one unique thing that they did. They always went for suana together once a week at the condo suana room. While in the suana they would steam their faces, do facial massages and god knows what other things! (I didn't get to ask them but I saw one of them applying something in her hair before putting on her shower cap. I presume it was a treatment for the hair?) Maybe the secret is having a regular beauty routine. According to the articles, Korean women put on 17-18 products in the morning. How diligent! © Copyright. All rights reserved.

Thursday, 15 January 2009

A Quandary Of Treatments

A few years ago I purchased some spa treatments as a package (ie. I block purchased a set of treatments for a discount). At that time, I made an agreement with the hubs that he will be staying home at least twice a week to be with the son, while I go out for these treatments after work. Sometimes these treatments go on till 8-9pm and I don't get home till 9plus, so I didn't feel good leaving my son at home alone. I know there are tonnes of women who do leave their children alone at home many nights a week and the children go to bed by themselves. But I'm not one of these women. I won't do it until my son is old enough and that means when he's reached teen years, at the very least. I still feel it is important to talk to him, check in with how he is and review his day with him in person, face-to-face. Mind you, some of these other parents personally tell me with conviction that talking over the phone several times a day to check up on the child is good enough parenting. I'll reserve my comments about such parents but when they attack me for being "over protective" I will not take it lightly when I have to defend myself and my position to these people. (Yes, I'm still sore about these highly self-righteous and judgemental people). Ok now that I've made my position clear, let's get back to the spa treatments. HAHAA. So, these darn treatments, they have languished in the spa unused because since last year, my husband's work pace has picked up alot and he hasn't been able to keep to his side of the bargain. The situation doesn't look like it's going to improve either this year. This means I cannot find the time to go for the treatments. Additionally, I was increasingly cheesed off by the gradually declining standard of service at the spa. I would make an appointment but will have to wait at least half an hour before my treatments begin. This means I often arrive home late, much later than I planned. Last week, I finally took some action. I made a complaint to the spa HQ about the spa service and also requested for a refund for my unused treatments, but since it has been such a long time since I purchased the treatments, the spa said I can't get a refund but they are willing to give me alternatives. Yesterday, the spa consultant finally came back to me with some detailed breakdowns with suggested alternatives:
  1. Convert existing body treatments to facial treatments
  2. Convert remaining dollar value to products.
After thinking about this, I feel strongly I want to stop the treatments because I really can't afford the time to go anymore, yet I feel the products they are offering me isn't that great. I'm in such a quandary. This teaches me an important lesson. Never buy treatment packages, ever again! I still don't know what is the best way forward to solve my current problem with the spa treatments though. © Copyright. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, 14 January 2009

Inner Beauty & Health Is Much More Important

Yesterday, I bumped into someone who hasn't seen me for some time. He took a long look at me and said, "You look very tired." My first reaction was to think of how much effort I had put into trying to do my make up and hair. So, my first instinct was disappointment, that someone would actually notice how tired I was, instead of saying how pretty I looked. Hahaha. *Bitter laugh* Well, anyway, since we were at the office lift lobby, I told him, in front of several other people, "That's good. It means I'm working hard." Duh. I'm so sad at my lousy retorts. I can only think of good come-back lines after the fact. Still, I wonder how much of our external beautification efforts really pay off, if we are in fact actually physically and mentally run-down? On another note, I've recently been noticing bag charms from companies like Coach and LV. I really like them alot but don't want to pay so much for a bag charm. I've done google and ebay searches but haven't come up with any nice alternative finds. I'd really love to find some nice ones. If you know any places to buy, let me know please? I'm still searching for the perfect bag, but I've come to think there's probably no such thing! I'll write more on that later. © Copyright. All rights reserved.

Monday, 12 January 2009

More On Sensitive Skin

Previously I had written about sensitive skin in my posts What is Sensitive Skin? and Not Fated to Use Kose Skin Care.

Recently, in the spirit of good reporting and being a dedicated beauty blogger, I took a photo of what happened to the skin on my arm when I walked out of the air-con office into the humid, hot and dusty evening air after work. This has been happening alot more since I had to take the public transport home every evening, instead of driving comfortably in the car. (To avoid scaring you, I've made the photos small. Kekeke.) Image001copy Image000acopy As you can see, my body skin can get very blotchy and dry, and itchy and scratchy. To prevent such adverse skin reactions, I normally have to slather on alot of lotion to create a protective barrier. So, I shall share with you some of my favourite body and hand lotions. I always apply body lotion all over my body after every shower while the skin is still damp. I also reapply hand lotion every time I wash my hands. Well, yes, I admit, I do have some little OCD tendencies. Yb3RVvt_zev2

For most of 2008, I was able to keep my body skin soft and blotch-less by using Canus Goat's Milk Lotion. There's something in this lotion that allows moisture to absorb into the skin, such that when I wake up in the morning, I can still feel my skin is soft and moist. I also liked the delicate scent. I had the cream too, but I didn't find it as good as the lotion.

8G4DAR_cgWSk Then, I ran out of it late last year and since I find it overpriced here in Singapore and only the small bottle is available, I turned to using other creams. I didn't find any of them any good at all. Eventually, I found Origins' Paradise Found was a close substitute in providing good moisture and soothing properties. But I used it up very quickly and after it was finished, I didn't buy a replacement because I was on a guilt-trip about spending so much. I had a hard time finding a good cheap lotion. I needed cheap because I go through them very fast!

So, you can imagine my joy when recently, I found this cheap and good substitute ...

Image000 St Ives Oatmeal and Shea Butter moisturiser. It works well in combination with the matching shower foam or by itself, regardless of whatever I use in the shower. I also love the buttery smell, yummy.

For my hands I always have these in my bag. There's no beating these for moisture and a beautiful scent! My favourite has to be the Rose Velvet Cream.

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Slathering lotions doesn't always work though. These couple of days, my neck has a patch of itchy ezcema. Ugh! Hard to remove without cortisone. Used to be that my friends thought my boyfriends (then later when I married ... husband) must be terribly horny and violent for always giving me so many HUGE hickies. Hahaa, but no, they're not hickies, just ezcema on my neck. LOL.

Recently, I read Now I know why so many people have sensitive skin on their face! and realised why even if your body skin isn't sensitive like mine, you might have sensitive skin on your face.

"Now it is certainly possible to irritate the skin of the hands. There are whole journals devoted to contact dermatitis which is most common on the hands. But there does seem to be something about facial skin that makes it especially liable to react to products. It is a bit of a puzzle because the skin is generally a pretty good barrier - and why should the most exposed part of the skin be the worst at keeping nasties out? Thanks to Tagami, I now know why. It turns out that the skin on the face is particularly rich in pores, and it seems to be these that are letting the allergens through. So it seems that are faces are most sensitive to irritation for the same reason that they are most prone to acne. It is because they have lots of pores."

Very interesting, isn't it?

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Why I Should Revisit Tokyo

I'm on a shopping ban of sorts after all my splurging in December (I'll allow myself to buy some magazines and makeup and skincare .... aaaaahh? What sort of ban is that?) ... so anyway I'm convincing myself I need another Tokyo trip. I need to go because I want ...
  1. Hello Kitty Hello Kitty Hello Kitty Hello Kitty Hello Kitty
  2. Makeup Makeup Makeup Makeup
  3. I wanna to go a temple and buy a good luck charm
  4. Eat eat eat eat
  5. ...

Hahahaa. I dunno what else. I think those are good enough? Plus, I just need a holiday. Who wants to go with me?

Aside from that, I purchased some body treatments from a spa and now I am really cheesed off by their service, I am asking for a refund. Wish me luck!! © Copyright. All rights reserved.

Sunday, 11 January 2009

Daily Conversations

Me: Which bag is nicer? X or Y? A: (looks at bags) X is nicer... (pause) A: Didn't you just buy a bag? (pause) Me: Yes ... (*sigh*) Ugh, yes, someone said it's possible to get a Coach bag from the US at a cheaper price, so I'm now eyeing 2 bags ... Addison leather bag in brown or Addison Spectator leather bag in pink. But ofcourse common sense says, "No more new bags!" © Copyright. All rights reserved.

Gifts with Magazines

During last month's Kinokuniya 20% discount period, I purchased a bunch of magazines, among them are the January issue of Voce and February issue of Maquia. I was too late to get the February air shipment of Voce, as it was sold out. Maybe I can get it later when it arrives this month in the sea shipment. Image003 Image002 I like the fresh, clean makeup looks on the cover girls of these 2 issues. Voce came with a Bathology sample, it says good for 1 time use, but I think there's quite a lot in the sample pack, which maybe could be used for 2 baths? I don't normally soak in baths, so I don't know, maybe I'll use this on a sponge? Haha like a shower foam? Image004 Maquia came with DHC skincare sample set, which contained a nice-sized amount of Deep Cleansing Oil, a cake of soap, a lotion and olive oil. I believe it is called the Olive Essentials Set on the DHC USA website. Image000a In the past, I saw alot of DHC sold in Taipei and Japan but I never purchased any products. I wonder why? (Lately I've been thinking of going to Taipei and Japan for shopping! Oh-oh.) I think it is a rather popular brand, isn't it? If anyone has tried it before, I'd love to hear your personal experience of this brand's products. I am quite keen to give this a try. But I have alot of skincare samples to try besides this and I don't know which to start with. And my skin has just returned to stable condition after my Kose Ultimation lotion scare last month, so I don't feel like using anything new for the moment. Perhaps when my current cleansers, lotions and creams are nearly finished, I can try using all the samples. How do you normally use your samples, so as to obtain a good evaluation of the products? © Copyright. All rights reserved.

Saturday, 10 January 2009

Mixology Mineral Makeup

Mixology Makeup is a mineral makeup store. It is preparing a website launch but meanwhile, you can buy the makeup from its online store in Etsy. Here are the Mixology Samples that I received in the mail this week. Image000copy Swatches below are eyeshadow except those marked B for Blush, I didn't swatch the foundation (Natural Girl). I've not tried the foundation. makeup 001copy L-R: Connundrum, Radiate (B), Armor, Fray, Connundrum. makeup 002copy L-R: Chica (B), Dune, Fringe, Crush, Sugar According to Mixology's online shop information,
"Mixology Makeup is the healthy makeup alternative that will help improve the quality of your skin and give you a radiant look without damaging ingredients! NO cheap fillers, NO chemicals, NO synthetic dyes (the culprits for most allergic reactions), NO parabens, & NO preservatives. Vegan friendly, Virtually water resistant, perfect for very sensitive skin, anti-inflammatory, great coverage for acne & rosacea, won't clog pores so your skin can breathe, natural SPF, light weight, & dry ingredients so bacteria does not grow (if kept dry). Bismuth & Carmine Free!"
My Thoughts Texture: On application, the mineral powders smooth out and blend easily. Especially for the blush, it applies on very sheer and nicely blended. Colours: As you can see from my swatches, the colours are very subtle and don't look very distinct one from the other on the skin. However this is a quality that I like and seek in my eyeshadows and blush, because I prefer a more subdued look to my makeup. This way, I get some variation in colours but not too intense in effect. Some colours are too light for me and don't look good, but the dark colours can be quite nice due to the sheerness. Pigmentation: I read that Mixology's colours are more pigmented than most other mineral eyeshadows and blush. The powders can be built up to be more intense. There's a quality of sheerness even after applying many layers ie. the colours show, can be intense but it's sheer, not opaque like maybe Mac? I love the sheerness of the colours and also the shimmer. It's got almost similar qualities to Japanese makeup colours. Lasting Power: Very lasting indeed actually! I really love the fact that though it does crease a little if I apply more layers, I can still see the colours on my lids and cheeks even after an entire day. Final Verdict: I will be buying full-size quantities of my favourite colours. I love the Chica blush. It gives me a nice, natural flush. I also love the blues and greys in the eyeshadows. I mentioned it in my previous post, the first set of samples got lost in the mail and the seller sent me another set without extra cost, so I highly recommend Mixology for the great service. I do have a dislike for the packaging of the samples. I simply stuck my brush into the packets to get the powders out and for the blush, I did end up with some mess, because my blush brush is too big for the packet. That said, I can understand why the seller would put the samples in packets, as it helps to keep the cost down and enable buyers to get samples at a rather reasonable price. © Copyright. All rights reserved.

Friday, 9 January 2009

The Japanese Skincare Revolution

I spent 2 days out of the office and coming back home late. Tired and not able to catch up on online stuff at all. I just saw an introduction to this book in my January Kinokuniya email newsletter: Japanese Skincare Revolution, by Chizu Saeki. I was so tempted to buy it but I think I'm going to pass on it because I want to spend my money on some upcoming Spring makeup. I'll leave you with the blurb and if you decide to get it, let me know what you think of it. "Japan's most popular beauty consultant and esthetician, Chizu Saeki reveals the beauty secrets of Japanese women in this new revolutionary book on beauty. Saeki teaches women how to attain beautiful skin without the need to invest in expensive cosmetics and facial treatments that may not even work. With photos and step-by-step instructions, Saeki shows you how to use your own hands to massage your face like a professional esthetician. She offers solutions to every skin problem and leads you toward a well-rounded, sustainable skincare routine, the results of which will amaze you. Japanese Skincare Revolution has sold more than three million copies and have been approved by Japanese and international dermatologists. If you are looking for the book for beauty and skincare, this is definitely the right book to buy." © Copyright. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, 7 January 2009

True Fashion Confessions

I have a confession. See these pictures taken from a British magazine? Image016 I actually really love the colours and combinations of the bottom 2: Blazer Style and Bomber Style ... everything, the clothes, the colours, the footwear and accessories, right down to the materials in Do they seem very old-fashioned to you? I so love subtle colours, textured fabrics and coats/cardigans/sweaters, layers and those boots and shoes are really so me ... Oh-oh ... Someone told me she NEVER buys UK-edition/British fashion magazines or because their fashions are so stale. Hahaha OMG. I must be really stale then!! © Copyright. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, 6 January 2009

Random Mutterings

  1. Ugh, I forgot to put on mascara today!
  2. Concealor application looks slightly better ...
  3. Blush still looks faint ... maybe I'm just a "natural" makeup person...
  4. Stuck my eyeshadow brush into the mini-ziplock and tried using Mixology's Armor eyeshadow without spillage. LOVE LOVE LOVE!!! So sheer but pigmented enough to see the colours (my type of thing). Not powdery at all (will try to do proper review with swatches soon) ... . I'm so going to try every colour then buy more in full-size quantities hahaha!!
  5. My timing sucks! I never do know exactly when John Little's Stardust is having it's 20% storewide discount!! Why don't they send me the mailers? I seldom receive Robinson's mailer on time and none of John Little's mailers at all, despite being a Robinson's Card member.
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Monday, 5 January 2009

Mac's Dame Edna Collection

Oh, by the way, I saw the the Dame Edna collection displayed at Isetan Scott's Mac counter. It's the first time I saw it, so I'm guessing it must be news worthy of sharing. I didn't like the collection colours but I think the packaging is cute, especially the embossed powder compacts. © Copyright. All rights reserved.

Mixology Samples

In November, I ordered 10 samples from Mixology at a price of $5USD for 5 samples with free shipping. Sadly, the first set of samples sent to me got lost in the mail and when I told the seller, she immediately sent me another set. Kudos to her! Tonight, I finally received the samples. I really like the colours as-is in the packets, there's a nice sheen and shimmer to the eyeshadows. I read that their mineral eyeshadows and blush are much more pigmented than the usual mineral makeup, so I chose samples from the eyeshadow and blush collection, plus 1 foundation colour. The seller threw in an extra sample. After such a long time, I've forgotten which are the colours I chose and which is the extra. LOL. But as you can see, the samples are sent in mini-ziplock bags and I'm having a hard time figuring out how I'm going to try these samples without causing a mess. I haven't opened them up yet. Maybe I should go to Daiso and get some small containers. I don't know. I'll see if I have time tomorrow morning, to just dip my brush into one of the eyeshadows to give it a try. I also forgot which pinks are blush and which are eyeshadow! I'll let you know if I create a big mess. Image000copy © Copyright. All rights reserved.

Bobbi Brown Make Up Session #1

I went for my first Bobbi Brown makeup session today at Isetan Scotts Bobbi Brown counter. Basically I wanted to get the Makeup Artist to help me find the right concealor-corrector-brightener combination. I tell you, she's fantastic! I keep forgetting to ask her name though. It's just lucky that every time I go to the counter, she's there. She's a very small and cute young lady with short hair. Very friendly and helpful, with an unassuming air. The first session includes Skin Care, Foundation-Powder, Concealor and Blush. Well anyway, she put on a corrector for me and then a concealor on one eye. And I tried it for myself on the other eye. And I learnt that I am really using too little. She told me I need to use more and not be afraid to use more. I realise it's not just the colour or the product but the skill in application as well. So I really need to practise. The combination she used on me really works but still a little darkness shows through and she said, "You can conceal but if it's really dark, it can't really all go away." Still, it's better than anything I've done myself. I am still undecided if I should spend money on a corrector ... hahaa ... I've overspent during Christmas. I will try practising with what I have first then think abit more about whether to buy the corrector. I might end up getting it in a few days because I have a $10 voucher from Isetan I could use to off-set the price. When she put on the blush for me, I also realised I've been just using too little blush! And pink really suits me more ... Furthermore, today, I realised brown eyeshadow makes my eyes look worse! I always thought natural is better for me, but I now realise brighter colours like lilac, purple and blue freshen up my look and neutralise my dark, heavy lidded eyes. It's good, I learnt so much! Sigh... I just bought a couple of Bobbi Brown neutral-brown palettes. What do I do now? Grrr. © Copyright. All rights reserved.

Saturday, 3 January 2009

Sleep Perchance To Dream

"... sleep' - the innocent sleep, Sleep that knits up the raveled sleave of care, The death of each day's life, sore labor's bath, Balm of hurt minds, great nature's second course, Chief nourisher in life's feast." I haven't been sleeping well. In order to conquer my dark circles, I need some restful sleep, so I went in search of something to help me sleep peacefully. It's not just the amount of sleep but also the quality of sleep that helps refresh and renew the body. ebay 004copy I decided to buy Fancl's Sleep Support. It contains the following ingredients: Rice Oil, Valerian Extract, Hop Extract, GABA (4-aminobutanic acid), Gelatin, Glycerin, Beeswax, Niacin Amide, Vitamin B6, Vitamin B12, Folic Acid Apparently, GABA and Valerian help induce relaxation and sleep. And, according to Fancl's newsletter, 10pm-2am is the period when skin rejuvenates itself, so it's important to sleep at that time (not that I can sleep at that time though). The SA told me to use it for about 2 weeks before I can see any effects. I'll report on whether I am getting restful sleep in 2 weeks' time. Besides that, Chinese New Year is quickly approaching and I'm busy spring cleaning. For me, Chinese New Year is more significant. It feels more like a period of renewal and throwing off the bad from the past, with all the spring cleaning and preparation of new items. We also usually celebrate with a big family dinner at a restaurant. Ever since my mom got ill, we always book a restaurant for our reunion dinner with the family on my mom's side. I've been gathering my things and slowly listing them on ebay. It's a mish-mash of my scrapbooking, dvds, some makeup items ... Do go over and take a look to see if there's anything that might be of interest to you. I'll be adding more items over time. ^__^ Here's the link: My Ebay Auctions. © Copyright. All rights reserved.

Friday, 2 January 2009

Continuing Battle Against Dark Eye Circles

I was at Sephora today and the things I wanted were sold out. How disappointing. I read about the fantastic Urban Decay Primer Eyeshadow Primer Potion and that Two Faced Eyeshadow Insurance is a comparable product. Since Urban Decay is not in Singapore but Two Faced is, I thought I could go try it out. I was hoping it will help my concealor and also eyeshadow look better, so that I can conquer my dark circles and appear fresher. Unfortunately it is sold out and won't be available until mid January. Another product I tried at Sephora was Bare Minerals' concealor. I shamelessly and fearlessly put on the concealor testers on my dark eye circles! I tried all of them and found Well Rested covered and neutralised my dark circles the best. But it was also out of stock. I thought Bisque might work for me too, since it is the closest in colour to Well Rested, but no, it didn't work. I noticed Well Rested was quite yellow-based. So, maybe yellow based concealors are best for me. I did buy some items for helping me get a good night's sleep, so I can conquer my dark circles. I'll share with you about them after trying them for at least a couple of nights. © Copyright. All rights reserved.

Thursday, 1 January 2009

Another Place to Buy Rootote

I first saw Rootote in Japan. Liked it but didn't buy because of my personal history with these sort of tote bags: I buy them, then don't use them for various reasons. Then, I saw Rootote in Taipei. Attracted to them again, but didn't buy either. Then Rootote came to Singapore. I got this news from Viva Woman's post Rootote Available in Singapore. I saw Rootote yesterday in a rather unexpected place: The stationery section of Page 2 at Vivocity. You can check them out there, if it's a more convenient location. I still don't have a Rootote, so I don't have a photo for you, but I did buy 2 new notebooks for 2009! Yeah for cute notebooks. :D Image000copy © Copyright. All rights reserved.