Monday, 29 March 2010

Beautification Tip Day

Apologies: I used to put prices as a service for those who wanted to know, but I no longer do it. ^__^ Has this happened to you? You wash your face thoroughly, apply cleansing masks regularly, deep cleanse, exfoliate, apply cleansing toners, use blackhead extractors, etc, etc and yet, you feel like your skin is getting oilier and oiler, despite what you do? Sometimes, the oil also seems clogged up in the pores and your skin feels rough to touch? Recently, this happened to my skin and I couldn't fathom what was wrong! I actually put off applying the heavier lotions and creams that I used to apply. Yet, my skin felt super oily. Oil was emerging from pores I didn't use to see before. At one point, I thought I was experiencing some hormonal changes. However I discovered something by experience. One evening, I decided I needed to just use my hydrating sheet mask as I started seeing dry lines on my skin, despite all the oil that was pouring out of my skin. And you know what? My skin returned to normal!! Yep, my skin plumped up and the lines were less prominent the next day. Best of all, the oil field that my face had become stopped producing and slowly returned to normal. I've read that it's possible to over-stimulate your skin's oil production by drying it out too much. Every skin needs hydration and if you dry out your skin, the skin will try to compensate by producing more oil. Now, why didn't I remember that before I started panicking and using clay masks by the bucket? If you skin is behaving very oily, try introducing some hydration. Either in the form of an oil-free moisturiser/serum or using oil-free masks with lots of watery hydrating serums. Oil-free because, you don't need to introduce more oil to your oily or acne-prone skin. Additionally, drinking water and eating juicy fruits and vegetables will also hydrate your skin from the inside out. © Copyright. All rights reserved.

Friday, 26 March 2010

Review: Montagne Jeunesse Masks

Apologies: I used to put prices as a service for those who wanted to know, but I no longer do it. ^__^ I received a press kit with some Montagne Jeunesse wash-off/peel-off masks and a eye-mask to try. They arrived in a very pretty package! I was informed that Montagne Jeunesse used to be in Singapore and as of end of last year, the brand returned to Singapore shores with stores like Watsons and John Little stocking the products. Each mask comes in single-use packs with about 10-20 ml/g worth of product inside. Face masks I was given included Blemish Mud (Skin Clearning, with Aloe Vera and Willow), Cucumber Peel-off Mask, Chocolate Mud Mask, Sauna Masque and Sensitive Skin Masque. There was also one Anti-Shadow Eye Mask, which came in 2x2 patches. The most impressive of the range that I tried was the Sauna Masque. It heated up and made my skin "sweat" underneath the layer of mask. After I rinsed off, there didn't seem to be any difference, but after I put on my softening lotion, I suddenly felt my pores needed some extraction, so I pressed and alot of clogged stuff came out! Woot! Very very impressive. I have too many masks to finish using but this is one mask I'll purchase when I feel I need some deep cleansing action. Other masks such as their Chocolate Mud Mask are gentle enough for sensitive/hyper-reactive skins like mine, are hydrating, and provide a spa-like experience at home because they smell DELISH to boot! There is a wide range of masks available for many different purposes. For example, the Sensitive Skin Masque comes in one pack that contains 2 separate products. One part of the pack contains product for Step 1: an anti-stress mask with Zen Flower to deep cleanse and nourish the skin. After Step 1, you tear open another part of the pack to apply Step 2: a serum with rehydrating ceramides that promises ultra-moisturisation. Very innovative! I checked out the prices of the masks in the stores and they are very affordable. Furthermore, I think they are very popular because I often see the items are out-of-stock from the shelves. I don't remember Montagne Jeunesse at all, maybe the last time they were here, I was too young and busy going out to disco or having fun with my friends? >_<" Nonetheless, I'm really glad that I have another range of affordable and effective masks to pick from, now that Montagne Jeunesse is on our shores. © Copyright. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, 24 March 2010

A Random Mid-week Post About Cupcakes & Stuffs

Apologies: I used to put prices as a service for those who wanted to know, but I no longer do it. ^__^ Hello. To begin this post: some cupcake porn. Chocolate cupcake, chocolate ganache glaze and whipped cream from a can, with sprinkles and such. Chocolate-chip cupcake, with honey-cream cheese frosting. Hmmm, the frosting looks abit too oily in the photo, maybe it's the honey? Son didn't like this flavour, even after adding a tonne of sprinkles, which justifies getting an electric mixer to make some buttercream frosting. ^_^ Baking, together with coffee and rice are the main barriers to my efforts to be healthier and eat more raw foods. Erm, key-word being "effort" ie. "trying". LOL. Now, for just some random talk about some beautification things, to get us over the middle of the work-week. My current favourite BB Cream is SkinFood Mushroom BB Cream. First time I bought only 1, I didn't expect to like it so much. Later, I bought doubles back from each of my trips to Korea. It costs too much here in Singapore. I'm down to just half of my last tube. I didn't expect to finish it so soon! T_T I still have alot of other base makeup to use but I have been happy with the convenience of the BB cream and neglected the rest. Maybe this is a great excuse to head to Seoul soon? Haha. I'd rather pay the air ticket, eat some nice Korean food, and shop in Seoul than buy BB Cream at Singapore SkinFood stores. (Caveat: I will only go to Seoul, not likely to venture outside Seoul again.) It has a nice texture, not too thick but good enough coverage for me, spreads evenly and easily with my fingers, great hydration but not too oily and also not too matte. Plus it's a good nice match for my skin tone. I like the smell too. Some herbal-ly, aloe-y scent. I purchased this Etude House Black Head Final Kit in Korea. I'm not sure about the price here in Singapore. Anyway, you're supposed to soak a cotton pad with the lotion and let it sit on your nose for about 10-15 minutes, so that your embedded blackheads will rise to the top and you can wipe it away. After which, you put on the pore-tightening cream. Well, forget about this set. It's pure rubbish. It did seem to make my skin smoother, which I think is the work of the pore-tightening cream, but I didn't feel any blackheads coming out of my pores. I think Etude is more for the young girls in Korea, if I'm not wrong, so sometimes I find the products are not too good for me. It might work better for the younger ladies. One of the books I'm dipping into once in a while is The New Science of Perfect Skin written by a scientist who has developed and tested products for brands like Estee Lauder and Loreal. It's a pretty good book with a nice balance of science, facts and personal opinion. Downside is that it's US/Euro-centric, with few Asian products or companies mentioned. So far, the only Japanese company discussed was Biore. Do check it out, it's published in 2008 so it's fairly current. © Copyright. All rights reserved.

Sunday, 21 March 2010

What Do You Use to Clean Your Makeup Brushes?

Apologies: I used to put prices as a service for those who wanted to know, but I no longer do it. ^__^ As a clean-freak, I shampooed my brushes once a week and clean individual brushes daily after each use with a wet wipe. Several bloggers have been writing about washing makeup brushes regularly. Commonly, it is advised that you shampoo your brushes with a cleanser of your choice, rinse thoroughly with water, squeeze out all the water, then lay the brushes on the side to air dry. Recently, one of my brushes cracked, despite the care I had taken to prevent water from touching the wood handles and laying my brushes on the side to air dry. Fortunately, it's not one of my expensive brushes. But it triggered me to consider whether shampooing and then rinsing with water is really the best thing for my brushes, because somehow, I just can't completely prevent water from accidentally touching the wood handle. Thinking back, when I purchased a small travel set of brushes from Shu Uemura, the MA was appalled when I told her I shampoo and rinse my brushes with water. She said it's a total NO NO when it comes to Shu Uemura brushes, "You must NEVER (her emphasis) let your brushes touch water!" I was told Shu Uemura brushes "last forever" because of the quality and the way the brushes are maintained. "Our brushes at the counter are all cleaned this way, and see, they don't shed nor do they go out of shape. The handles are also still perfect," she told me. Looking at the brushes, I could see she was telling the truth. The brushes seem used (ie. I could tell they were not brand new) but not worn out or chipped. So, what was the secret? This. Shu Uemura Brush Cleaner. Yep, I bought a bottle. But it's so expensive, I use it only for my Shu Uemura brushes. Then it occured to me to look at the ingredient list. Top ingredient? Isopropyl Alcohol (sorry abit hard to photograph.) Which is exactly this. You can buy it for about SG$5 at the pharmacy. So this is what tried recently. I figure the other ingredients in the Shu Uemura Brush Cleaner list are for moisturising and the main ingredient serves the cleaning function. I wet a cotton pad with the Isoproply Alcohol. Dab my brush on it until all the colour is gone. Clean off the alcohol with a wet wipe. Squeeze dry the brush. Then lay it on the side to completely air dry. (Oops I reveal that I don't care for my Mac brushes as much as my Shu Uemura ones ... :0) Despite some misgivings and admonitions I've read about alcohol drying out your brushes, I actually found that my brushes are softer and less frizzy, compared to when I wet shampoo and wash them, regardless of the cleaner I use. I think using this method worked for me because I only use my brushes for powder applications. For people who apply wet/liquid/cream makeup with their brushes, a wet shampoo and water cleaning might still be necessary. Unlike Shu Uemura, Mac MAs say it is ok to wet shampoo your brushes. That's the instruction given for the Mac Brush Cleaner. Mac's Brush Cleanser has no ingredient list printed on the bottle, but it smells strongly of alcohol and there's a "Flammable" caution on the bottle. For daily cleaning in between uses, I picked up a bottle of Stage Keep It Clean Brush Cleaner. I just bought it, after reading Paris B's post. Check out what's the top ingredient, after water. ©Copyright. All rights reserved.

Friday, 19 March 2010

Bum Booster, but Why?

Apologies: I used to put prices as a service for those who wanted to know, but I no longer do it. ^__^ Gee wheez, I just received this ad in my email. I'm not criticising Triumph. Rather, I'm intrigued by the conflicted society that we live in. First, we are bombarded with pressure to be as thin as possible. Then, we end up so thin that we need fake boosters to give ourselves the illusion of feminine curves? Truly laughable. © Copyright. All rights reserved.

Thursday, 18 March 2010

Pretties to Share

Apologies: I used to put prices as a service for those who wanted to know, but I no longer do it. ^__^ I've been away from work and looking after my son. Have tweeted about it so I won't bore you about the details. Occupying myself and making the son happy with baking cupcakes (wow I made alot!) and this is one batch I recently made: chocolate cupcake base with chocolate ganache glaze and chocolate cream cheese frosting. (What to do? He loves chocolate. Man, I'd like to do some fruity or tangy cupcakes soon or something.) I know they are not uniform and some look deformed, LOL! I don't have enough cupcake trays so I just put them in the oven in the paper cups and they bake into weird shapes. And no electric mixer so I hand-beat everything, you can see specks of cream cheese that were not mixed in properly buahahaha cause I didn't wait for it to warm to room temperature. But hey, they taste pretty nice so that's good enough for us. Managed to get out of the house for a while on Thursday and haul some stuff. Very fast buying! All within 1 hour. LOL. Photos are kinda grainy, because I took them in dim light, in the night. ❤ ❤ All very, verrrry pretty colours. I couldn't resist.❤ ❤ New colours from Lunasol, with a 10% discount. So matchy-matchy huh? Items from Mac's Spring collection, with a 12% rebate, woot! I don't like pigments at all but the Mac MA told me these will be perfect for my skin colour and a great combi with the purplish Vintage Grape blush I bought. She showed me how to use these pigments and assured me these are different from the usual pigments. Truly, they are very intense even when applied dry and without a fix-it. So I was convinced and bought it. :D The very popular peach blush from the same collection was sold out. I wanted to get it so I asked the MA for an orange, peach or brown blush dup but we couldn't find anything suitable. Everything in those shades make me look very sallow, or abit sick or like I put on fake tanning lotion. :( Finally, a gloss from Kiehl's that I picked up to make up $100 spending, together with the shampoo and lotion I purchased from Kiehl's, to get an umbrella that I totally didn't need. LOL but I like Kiehl's glosses. Btw, I tweeted about it before, I don't get the Kiehl's boys, they aren't cute neither do they have personality, what is their function? ☠ ☠ Haha. Looking forward to the weekend. :D © Copyright. All rights reserved.

Sunday, 7 March 2010

Fasio Sale at BHG & Weekend Updates

Apologies: I used to put prices as a service for those who wanted to know, but I no longer do it. ^__^ Thank you to everyone who wrote or commented your support and encouragement in response to yesterday's post. Now we shall move on to happier things. :D

I was at the library and stopped at BHG for dinner, but before dinner, I saw the Fasio sale and I got a Clarifying Foam and Brightening Eye Essence to try. Here're the details of the sale and other items available:

I had this for dinner last night. Pictures taken with my handphone in dim light, so a little blurry. But yummmmms. I think I'll go back again, to eat the burger that my son had.

Drinks and dessert were yummmms too.

This is Chestnut and Honey ice cream with toasted bread, and waffles in the background.

I'm trying my hand at deco-ing my stuff. This is my practise piece, using a cheap glue, cheap "crystals" and cheap medicine case. Hope I get good enough to do my iphone soon! I got some opinions and was told not to fill up every space available, hence the scattered crystals here and there.

While searching around for more tips and inspiration, I found this super-kawaii site: violetlebeaux and she has alot of great tips and tutorials for decoden. I wanna bling out my earphones too.

Have a great rest-of-the-weekend! © Copyright. All rights reserved.

Saturday, 6 March 2010

You Are Beautiful

Apologies: I used to put prices as a service for those who wanted to know, but I no longer do it. ^__^
"Don't look at me Every day is so wonderful And suddenly it's hard to breathe Now and then I get insecure From all the pain, feel so ashamed I am beautiful no matter what they say Words can't bring me down I am beautiful in every single way Yes, words can't bring me down, oh no So don't you bring me down today To all your friends you're delirious So consumed in all your doom
Tryin' hard to fill the emptiness, the pieces gone Left the puzzle undone, ain't that the way it is? 'Cause you are beautiful no matter what they say Words can't bring you down, oh no You are beautiful in every single way Yes, words can't bring you down, oh no So don't you bring me down today No matter what we do No matter what we do (No matter what we say) No matter what we say (We're the song that's outta tune) (Full of beautiful mistakes) (And everywhere we go) And everywhere we go (The sun will always shine) The sun will always, always shine! (But tomorrow we might awake on the other side) 'Cause we are beautiful no matter what they say Yes, words won't bring us down, oh no We are beautiful in every single way Yes, words can't bring us down, oh no So don't you bring me down today Don't you bring me down today Don't you bring me down today" Songwriters: Perry, Linda; Singer: Christina Aguilera Depression is a dirty little secret that I have. No, it's not that kind of moody thing you get every once in a while. It's the clinical sort. And I honestly didn't want anyone to know about it, especially not readers of this blog, or people I have yet to meet, because in many ways, no one likes to be around people who "drag things/them down" with "problems or issues". Because of this, I also don't like to meet new people, as I tend to feel that they are able to sense I'm not a very fun person to be with.
However, with the way things are going recently with this blog, I feel I should be honest. I don't want to mislead anyone or even any publicists or advertisers who hope to work with me through the blog. I don't want to send any misleading messages to my readers either. So here it goes: My life isn't perfect, I struggle with alot of difficulties and circumstances aren't always ideal even if it looks so. I know I'm not alone in this. Many people have problems to deal with in their lives. And I do have alot of blessings in my life, but I guess I might just have been short-changed with the set of genes I was born with or the way I was brought up: I have a very low threshold for stress and surprises that life inevitably brings, and this somehow translates into alot of physical pain (like migraine and tension headaches), anxiety attacks and finally, the "shameful illness": depression. Medication doesn't always help, but it alleviates things. Recently I've quit the medication on the advice of my GP and trying to improve things by going the herbal way.
Don't get me wrong, I'm trying to live positively. I tried to make this a posititive blog. I also wake up everyday, focussing on doing some nice things like putting on some makeup and dressing nicely to meet the world. But truthfully, this is no simple matter of just saying, "I can do it!" or "Pull your socks up!" or "Snap out of it!" I am writing this, to ask that you be forgiving of me. More often than not, I get into these "moods" and I don't want to "bring things down" for others or overly stress myself.
As things seem to be moving in a more public direction with this blog, I am not sure if I am able to meet the challenge. Hence, I've been struggling with this decision about the future of this blog. I honestly started this blog as a way to distract me from things, and never expected it to take the direction it did, by the end of 2009, it never was my intention to have it go that way. If this post scares you off, I'm really sorry, especially since, I haven't been updating as much as I should. Even though I have the intentions to do it, this issue has been bothering me alot, and I just wanted to be honest to say: Life can be hard, but sometimes it's the little things that keep us going: good and understanding friends (thank God I do have some, and though I really don't like burdening them with talking about my problems, they are ready to accept me as I am) and small happiness (like being able to put on some pretty colours in the morning to perk yourself up). Finally, have a good life! Take care and remember, "You are beautiful" always. No matter what. Namaste.
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