Thursday, July 30, 2009

Watsons Member

I am so happy to announce that Watsons has finally come out with a membership card!

I have been spending so much at Watsons over the past half year, ever since they rebranded and changed marketing directions. And I am very sure a lot of other girls have also made this drugstore their playground, that I think we are all delighted about the membership card.

The website homepage. =)

I like the way they offer so many choices, of everything, especially for the shampoos, as compared to supermarkets. It's like, I really can't have enough of Watsons, and the environment makes me feel like taking a walk inside every time I see, even though I know I have already been there just yesterday. LOL.

So, more happy shopping to all of us!

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Sally Hansen Diamond Strength No Chip Nail Colour

Previously, I only experimented with $2.90 to $3.90 range nail polish bought from places like HDB marketplace, private limited beauty stores like Venus, or The Face Shop, Missha etc. However, I find that nail polish is another beauty product whose quality really only comes with price.

So although I try my best to keep the recommendations in my blog to low budget items, I have to make another exception for the Sally Hansen nail polish. I assure you that you will find this exception worth every cent you spend on it.

Sally Hansen Diamond Strength No Chip Nail Colour

Watsons U.P$13.90 Now $9.90 Member Now $8.90, Guardian, and other big stores

Star Properties: Exclusive micro-diamond formula guarantees a brilliant, multi-faceted shine!

  • Diamond Strength: Instantly bonds with nails to provide a shatterproof, diamond hard protective coating that virtually ends splitting, cracking and peeling.
  • Diamond Shine: Light-refractive diamond particles go beyond ordinary lacquer to produce a multi-dimensional faceted shine.
  • Diamond Wear: Long-lasting color is chip-resistant, fade-resistant and waterproof.
  • Available in 36 shiny shades.
My bottle of Sally Hansen Diamond Strength

I decided to get a bit wild, and try a brighter colour, so I chose Precious Peach.

When I first took out the brush, I actually thought that the colour would be too sheer to look like what is in the bottle, as the concoction is really, really thin, that it drips down a 3 drops if you just hold it at the mouth of the bottle. However, I was so wrong.

Since I always press my nail polish brush to the side of the bottle once before painting, I needed to use two coats, but this does brings out the exact same colour as that in the bottle.

It dries up very fast, but thought slow enough for me to apply and mix the two coats well so that I get an even coat. There is no difficulty in spreading either, as can be deduced from how thin the liquid is.

The best thing is, that it really shines like diamond naturally. This is the first time I don't feel like putting a top coat on my nail colour, as I always do base coat and top coat, to protect the colour from chipping, and also to add shine.

Because this dries fast, very much unlike those $2.90 nail polishes, I no longer have to use the hairdryer or my mouth to blow, and worry about leaving fingerprints or mattress prints on the nail polish anymore! (Yes, some really lousy nail polishes do not fully dry by bedtime, and by sleeping with the sticky coat of paint, fine lines are often left on my nails. I also can only paint the top coat the following day, otherwise, it will mix with the nail colour.)

Honestly, I do feel like throwing away all those bottles I bought previously. I feel that they cannot be used at all, cos they are too horrible. Of course I feel the pain, so I still leave those colours on my shelf.

So I think, yes, it is worth it to eliminate all the above problems, by saving up and not buy 3 bottles of cheap nail polish, but invest in just 1 good bottle of Sally Hansen Diamond Strength.

Anyway, just want to add that I picked Sally Hansen, because I have always been attracted by the Doctor-like professional impression that their display shelf gave me. So now that Watsons is offering at $4 less, and the latest, $5 less at $8.90, this is my chance to get it.

If you can afford, then it is good to stock up on the colours during the discount. Although I think 13.3ml can last me a lifetime since I only change the coat after 2 weeks.

I love it: 5 hearts.

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Kiwi Soft-Ins in Leopard

It has been a headache for quite some time that my favourite Americaya heels is very dirty. Every time I remove it, I will feel embarassed about the base being so black. So even if I wanted to shop for a new shoe, it was humiliating enough to remove my heels and try, as the shop assistants might be watching.

Sadly dirty base of my heels.

Thanks to Kiwi Soft-Ins, my heels are as good as new again! It would have been such a waste if I just threw my heels away like that, as the base is still very pretty, and nowhere near spoiled.

Kiwi Soft-Ins in Leopard

I have always liked Leopard prints, on bags or wallets etc, it makes things look more high class. So it goes without saying that I chose the Leopard one. Plus, I feel that the colour makes it last longer, since dirt will not be seen too easily on brown, as compared to white for the Zebra pattern.

My heels as good as new, for only $4.95!

The Kiwi-Ins are more lengthy rather than wide, so it was not a perfect fit on my wider heels (I have wider feet). However, I think this is alright, as the gap left is minimal, and it saves me the trouble of trimming to fit (which I am very bad at doing).

I am a size 5.5 or 37. And the Kiwi-Ins are slightly longer than that. It would probably fit a maximum of size 6 (38) or 6.5 (39).

Another angle of my new shoes. =)

I can't believe I am shoe-camwhoring. The Kiwi-Ins are really so pretty that I just had to take more pictures of it.

The side view of a single heel on its own.

See, the heels are still good right? I have always believed in the quality of Americaya shoes. They have been around in Singapore for decades already.

Trying a more artistic pose. lol.

Another pose.

The comparison. The leopard prints can still be seen when I wear it. *hearts*

By the way, the sticker is not exactly sticky, so you will have to be very accurate, and avoid re-pasting. Do it one-shot, and wear your heels to step on the Kiwi-Ins, until they stick down hard.

My heels meeting each other.

Them leaving each other.

And last, the beautiful pair together.

So what are you waiting for? I think every girl is entitled to leopard prints and zebra backs, so go out and get your Kiwi Soft-Ins now. A new shoe at a steal. =)

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Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Wong Kok Char Chan Teng

I've always loved HK Cafe Restaurants ever since they emerged in Singapore. And my favourite is the popular Xin Wang Char Chan Teng, at Cineleisure, PS etc.

The other day, we stumbled upon another one called 旺 角 茶 餐 厅. Obvious, their hanyu pinyin is quite wrong. But nevermind. This is the website. So we decided to give it a try since I was craving for Chinese food.

The restaurant layout.

It was very empty at around 5pm. I do hope they have more customers at the 7pm meal time. Otherwise, it would be hard to maintain the rent at Bugis.

I like the clean layout, and the sofa seat is nice. As they are situated right at the bridge on the 2nd floor, I felt like I was dining in a balcony. Which is very nice.

My drink, called Cinderella.

I didn't know what's inside, but I ordered because the name Cinderella sound sweet. haha.

There are 3 san chas on top, and that black ball is a prune.

It turns out, this is actually sour plum juice. Which I don't really like. But this is okay, because they put quite a lot of sugar syrup at the bottom.

Our drinks together. My SO ordered something blue again. lol. =)

Blue Ocean, with strawberry ice-cream on top.

I was very impressed with the Blue Ocean. I love the blue, and the combination they made with the pink ice cream. On drinking, this tastes like normal soda water. But quite expected. Because from my experience with my SO, Blue Lagoon is usually soda water.

And here is my food:

Sze Chuan Style Chicken Baked Rice with Portugese sauce.

As usual, I just had to try their baked rice, as I like to compare baked rice with Swensen's. Yet as usual, the new one still lose to Swensen's. It tastes pretty normal. Not not nice. But just, normal.

I find the steam basket that it is served in very creative. They probably melted the cheese by boiling instead of the usual microwave. Even though it is called baked rice. lol.

A spoonful of Portugese sauce laden rice.

The special thing about this rice is probably the Portugese sauce, or what the waitress told us, Ang Moh Curry.

The yellowy yellowy sauce you see, is the Portugese sauce, and it tastes very, very much like egg yolk. I would bet it contain egg yolk. But I am bewildered at how they make the egg yolk taste cooked. It is absolutely not raw at all, yet it is not the hardened egg yolk we normally get.

Though it is known as Ang Moh Curry, the Portugese sauce is not spicy at all. And I like the way it is salty but not too salty.

I wish I could buy a jar of this home! Serious. So nice, I feel like eating the sauce again.

The service was okay, and the food came really, really fast. Likely because there were so few people.

But altogether, I think I like the place. And I feel like going back to try the French toast. It is a very nice spot to drop by for a French toast if you are working nearby, and need a tea break. =)


Laneige Snow Crystal Shimmer Lipgloss

WOW! That's only thing I can say when I tried out the sample from Laneige.

I got a whole lot of samples when I bought 2 bottles of Laneige Professional Makeup Remover Refreshing Cleansing Oil from Korea. They are so generous with the samples, just like Kiehl's.

The loot.

I will probably review the others at a much later date. Still don't have to use them yet.

I decided to try the lipgloss, as my current L'oreal Glamshine (older version) is running out.

Laneige Snow Crystal Shimmer Lipgloss

Available: At all Laneige counters and imports from Korea S$32 (depending on exchange rate)

Volume: 3.8g

Star Properties: - Realize full voluminous lips by containing Multi-coating Pearl that has similar light reflection with snow crystal. The hole in flexible heart-shape tip contains lip gloss, makes it easier to apply with just one dab. Sheer, shimmering, and sparkling.

The little tube of sample I got. Good for around 3-4 uses.

First thing when I opened it, was that I really like the packaging! I like the lipstick shape tip.

Then I applied it on my lips, and the look is as shown below:

With Laneige Snow Crystal Shimmer Lipgloss on.

I like the way it doesn't dries my lips one bit at all, even though I put it on without lip balm. In fact, after I removed it, my lips felt exceptionally soft and smooth, as if the lipgloss did a therapy for me.

The colour is quite light, I don't think it is the same as what I see when I squeezed it out of the tube. But I am fine with it, as I prefer gentler shades.

I looked closely at the mirror, and see that it contains very, very tiny particles of glitter. Indeed shimmery, but does not looks oily.

It does not feels oily as well. Although it is slightly sticky. However, I think that all those lip stuff that stay on for long are definitely slightly sticky. As with Laneige, this stays on for as long as I did not wash it off. It didn't drop when I ate my dinner, and my hair doesn't sticks on it. Love, love, love.

I feel this is worth the investment if you are wearing lipgloss everyday. For me, I seldom wear makeup now, so I am not planning to buy the full tube.

I have read a lot of people naming Laneige lipgloss as their favourites too. So I think, this is really, really worth a place on your wishlist! =)))

I love it: 5 hearts.

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Singapore Shopping Street

A few years ago, the government proposed to make the whole stretch of Orchard a dream shopping street. Ideas even include underpasses or overhead covered walkway from OG to opposite OG. And now, I think their plan is slowly, but surely, materializing.

Of crowds and buyers, I don't have the statistics. But of shops and shops, and MORE shops, it is plain for all to see.

I went on a walk from Plaza Singapura at Dhoby Ghaut MRT Station to Ion Orchard at Orchard MRT Station the other day, and there were so many things I just had to check out. I wanted to walk down to Tangs and Far East, but my feet just could not bear it anymore. :PPP

Okay, so without further ado, here are the pics I took along the way.

I went to PS to look for a shop called Funny Pockets as I wanted to look at the real thing before buying online. They are selling Japanese Fashion Accessories here. And I was tempted to get the rings for my SO and I. I think the Lolita dress is nice too, though with limited variety. However, I tried the rings at the shop, and I am surprise that they don't fit my fingers, despite the measurements shown online, which should fit. No pics for this shop.

One of the surprises I got was, to find Etude House. This is another Korean skincare and cosmetic brand that has just opened in M'sia. But I didn't know in Singapore too. It is somewhere in the basement, right in front of an escalator.

It looks like a doll house, and the bottle designs and colours are also the milky kind. I quite the lip plumper, but it stings a bit. The nail polish is no good. Same as The Face Shop, though cheap, but simply too thick to spread. I guess the thing to try out there is probably the BB creams. They have 3 kinds. But that shop is too small and too crowded for my liking.

Then I went out, walk towards Orchard, and tadaa! Orchard Central.

Orchard Central from across the road.

I was so curious to see this place, as it is reported that its interior incorporates art, like an art gallery. Below are some pictures of the art on the first floor.

A water feature.

One of the many islands of sofas on the 1st floor.

Good to rest your feet, and yes, just spend the day reading newspaper like the guy I caught in the picture.

The scarlet heels of the famous 5 storey tall plastic person. (You can go to the 5th floor to see the head.)

The first part of the very long fashion display in dark settings and neon lights.

A mannequin sitting in the dark.

The last part, the sports display.

The place was very cold and deserted, save those people enjoying the sofa and air-conditioner. I think all these are meant to be some form of attraction, as the guard did not stop me from snapping away.

I went down to the basement to see the shops as there are many unknown names that I saw on the directory. But it was so highly disappointing that I did not have the mood to go up to the higher floors. The directory says there are more well-known shops up there.

The only consolation is perhaps, Missha. Missha is a low-end cosmetic brand from Korea, that has disappeared from all over Singapore, as compared to 3 years ago, when they had branches in the most crowded areas of this island, like Citylink Mall. Young girls have been looking all over for Missha products, only to find that they have shifted some of the items into Watsons.

So, if you are reading this, and are looking for Missha, do go to Orchard Central and stock up on whatever you want before it disappears.

So feeling awfully disappointed, my next stop was Takashimaya. I wanted to visit the Watsons there, as it is the biggest I know, looks bigger than Vivo City's branch. And I wanted to re-visit Sephora there too.

I bought a Kiwi Soft-ins for only $4.95. Which I will review later. Lovely, look out for my review.

For Sephora, it was a very sad case. Not sure if it is because that was a weekday, but the store was so cold, and I belonged to the miserable handful of customers. To think when I went a few days after it opened in December, the store was so pack, I could hardly make my way around.

Nothing much, except that the SA let me try Versace's latest women fragrance, and I fell in love with it. So now, this goes on my waiting list. Will get it once my Omnia Crystalline runs out . (Which would be a few years later. lol.)


Now, it's time for ION@ORCHARD!!!

I like the way it is integrated into Orchard MRT, like how Wisma Atria is. It is huge! Like M'sia's KLCC. So spacious, probably the first of its kind in Singapore. All other malls in SG are cramped like a sardine can.

I happened to see the opening of Shu Uemura's store. The store is very small, by the escalator. I heard the person-in-charge saying something like this store will open a new chapter of Shu Uemura's history in Singapore. I think they are rebranding, with the new Japanese design cleansing oil bottles. Yet, I don't feel any difference in their brand.

Here are some pics:

The models who look so unreal. Ultra smooth skin and so fair and bony. Slightly envious.

The models from another angle, and without the cameraman.

Now, it is looking for Sephora@Ion. I do not think it is easy to find that place. Had to go up a few storeys. But I found it anyway.

This is the famous MAC counter right at the doorstep.

And the store entrance is so big that I had to use 2 shots to capture it.

I am most of you would already have read that Sephora@Ion carries new brands from the US. And the famous ones that many of us look forward to is Burt's Bees and Smashbox.

There is also the Sephora Girl cosmetic line from Sephora. Really cute and sweet colours.

Other than that, this shop carries a multitude of other brands that are already in Singapore. And I like the way it is just so spacious, with many makeup counters. So you could go there and get everything you want then do a makeover, instead of stopping separately at Shu Uemura, then Clinique, Bobbi Brown etc, and facing snobbish or pushy SAs.

I wanted to try the Sephora nail colour in blue. But after testing over there, I decided that the texture is just too thick and not easy to spread. It feels like $2.90 nail polish that I can get outside.

So this is all for the long Orchard walk. Bring water to drink and wear comfortable shoes if you ever want to go on this shopping trip. Take care. =)


Ear Piercing & Earrings Haul

I have not bought any earrings for like the longest time ever. I am still wearing a metal ring one from 女人街 in HK. I even wear it to swim. I really like the design of that, and it doesn't irritates my earhole.

I am still quite surprised at the quality of street-sold earrings in HK. Because I am very sensitive, and about 3 of my earholes have closed after irritation from normal street-sold earrings in Singapore.

There is something I read from an issue of Urban from The Straits Times which I think would be good to share.

For people who are piercing their ears for the first time, it is better to ask for surgical steel studs, although this would mean the price would be somewhere around $10 or more for one earhole.

But this is very worth it for people with sensitive skin. Very likely, people with sensitive skin would develop something called "Nickel-sensitivity", if they do not pierce earholes using extremely low nickel content ear studs.

Nickel-sensitivity is undesirable, because this means that other parts of your skin (remember, your skin is one big connected organ), will also be sensitive to nickel, and you will end up unable to wear normal necklace, bracelets or anklets etc. Nickel-sensitivity is not confined to the ear, although it was induced from the earhole.

I myself, most likely have got this problem, the area of skin around my necklace turns red and itchy after the ear piercing. I am sensitive to metal watch straps too. Especially if there is sweat.

So, it is better to be safe than sorry. Since buying and avoiding high nickel content accessories is pretty troublesome and more expensive in the long run. Just be cautious that even so called purer gold jewelery may have high nickel content. So you must ask the sales assistant before purchase.

Anyway, just want to share a place where you can get cheap and beautifully designed earrings.

It is a shop on the 2nd floor of Orchard Cineleisure, called Beadstreet. Service is good when you are paying, and the staff is helpful if you ask questions (but I did not need any help there).

My haul of earrings, totaling to only $10.30.

The big round ones, which suits my long hair, are my favourites. I really like the sweet, gentle colours, and the flowers. They are so nicely printed even though it goes for only $0.90 each!!! wow! These designs are good for casual wear, and I think the red flower one is even good enough for dinners, if you match your clothes nicely.

I thought it would be nice to stock up on casual earrings, as mine current stash are very *bling bling* and extremely formal.

The 2 doll face plastic square earrings are so unique that I just had to get them. Also only at $0.90 each.

The blue rose is bought with my SO in mind, as he likes me to wear things blue. Also $0.90.

Only the small metal ring one at the bottom is $4.90. Since I am so happy with the metal rings from HK, I thought I should get one more for backup. I like ring earrings a lot, especially those thick band ones.

So visit the shop now, before it disappears. I am so afraid it will disappear, because they are selling things so cheap in Orchard, they may not be able to cover the rent for longer. I really like the way the designs are unique, in that I can't even find these on blogshops, not to mention standard mass production accessories shops like Chomel and Diva. =)

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Mentholatum Lip Pure Lip Balm

I bought this because the Watsons that I was at does not carry Yes to Carrots or Eco Lips. And I was really attracted by what is written on the packing and the white, white tube. White is my favourite colour. =) I am also quite curious about Mentholatum, an emerging drugstore brand, whose other new product is the Men's facial care line. I think the cooling charcoal cleansing wash in the diesel-like pump bottle is quite cool.

This is something that I did not see on Viva Woman's, so I guess I will review it.

Mentholatum Lip Pure Lip Balm

The front of the package. It says Natural Beeswax, 100% Food Grade, Natural Plant Ingredients, and Fragrance Free.

Available: Watsons $7.90

Volume: -

Star Properties: 100% food grade, natural plant ingredients. Good for sensitive lips.

I think this is the most caring lip balm ever, as it does not stays on my lips for beyond 3-4 hours. But rather, it dissolves right into my lips, like applying moisturizer on my hands. And this is proven by my really, soft, and totally unchapped lips left after the 3-4 hours. And the best part is that my lips remain nice after that. It really heals, unlike petrolatum from my Make Up Store Aroma Balm, which did heal, but 1-2 days later, the wounds are back again.

However, this being so, I am not too sure if it will do good if you want to apply lipstick over. I have not tested it with lipsticks yet.

It is indeed very pure, like it claims, and like the image that the creamy white tube impresses you with. Totally no smell. LOL, I was actually trying to test for smell because I quite like fragrant skin care stuff. Then I found myself so silly to do that, since it already claims that it is fragrance free. And no taste too.

The back of the packaging. It says No Preservative or Colourant. And that is the ingredients list which looks very tiny. Only the last one says Butyl Hydroquinone, one of the last one is Tocopherol. The rest of either oils or waxes.

Absolutely non-sticky and non-oily. I really love it so much, since I am adverse to sticky and oily skin care stuff. I can't stand even the thinnest film of oil.

Just a caution, as it says no preservative, and food grade ingredient, so I think you may want to keep using it after you start on it, as I am quite afraid it will expire if you take too long to finish it. I don't know.

All I can say is, this lip balm is exactly what it claims to be! And if after reading the packing, you like it, you will definitely like it and not regret the buy. I like the way it resembles a lipstick so well too!

The resemblance to a lipstick, and the creamy white tube that I love.

I think this ought to go onto the Hall of Fame for lip balms in my previous post. =)))

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Lip Balm Ranking

I actually did a shortlist and rough ranking for lip balms the other day, as I figured that I really do need a working lip balm to base those drying lip glosses and lipstick on. I have been abstaining from lipsticks, and tolerating lip glosses for so long due to the lack of good lip balm, and laziness to find one.

I really love Viva Woman for being such a sweet lip balm fanatic, because she has all the reviews I need. So here is the shortlist that I made from her reviews, ranked from best to good (I have eliminated all those that Viva Woman failed), are:

1. My Lip Stuff lip balm
They won it because of the all natural ingredients (with no SPF), and extremely cheap price of only US$2.17 if you buy it in a pack of 6. However, you have to pay for the shipping, which I think is compensated by the fact that they have over 400 yummy and exotic flavours for you to try. I really like the variety. Read Viva Woman's review here.

2. Yes To Carrots See Me Smile Lip Butter
One of the cheapest, at just $5.90 from Watsons, this is real, real steal for something organic. Read Viva Woman's review here. I rank this second because of the price.

3. Eco Lips Organic Lip Balm with SPF 15
This one has 87% organic ingredients, and with SPF (which accounts for the lower percentage of organic ingredients) , it is a good pick at $8.90 from Watsons. This should be ranked No. 1, if you are into organic skin care, and looking for SPF. I rank this third because of the slightly higher price, since I am not looking for SPF. Read Viva Woman's review here.

4. Burt's Bees Pomegranate Lip Balm
Not as many flavours, but this is the reigning champion across the world. It is 99.6% natural according to Viva Woman. And the big plus is that Burt's Bees has arrived on the shores of Singapore, together with Sephora@Ion Orchard. At $10 from Sephora, and only S$6 (+$0.50 shipping fee to SG) from, you are getting something really proven to be value for money. Read Viva Woman's review here.

5. Smith's Rosebud Salve - Brambleberry Rose Lip Balm
At $14, it is a tad expensive. Moreover, it contains petrolatum, though a strong emollient, it is said to be toxic to our bodies in the long run. Furthermore, lip balms are normally swallowed. However, this is one of the oldest lip balm around, highly raved about, and with the vintage packaging, I really feel like owning it too. Read Viva Woman's review here.

6. Nivea Essential
One of cheapest that can be found in Watsons, at $4.10 per tube, it is worth a buy if you are extremely tight on budget. Nivea lip balm has garnered enough raves from forum reviewers to give it a place on this list of mine. However, after looking at the list of ingredients, I really find it too unnatural that I didn't want to try it.

To be really practical, I will go for Yes To Carrots, and save Burt's Bees and Smith's Rosebud Salve for the the wishlist.

There, I have compiled all the 5 hearts reviews by Viva Woman, added in Nivea on my own and did my own wishlist. =))) When my current runs out, it has got be YES to Carrots.

Credits to the respective websites for the pictures too. You may click on the item name to go to the website.

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Thursday, July 23, 2009

The Half Blood Prince

Harry Potter is back with Movie 6 - Harry Potter and The Half Blood Prince. This time, I am not too excited. I think I am already used to the how HP movies have always been disappointing. I did have too much hope for this sequel.

Harry Potter and The Half Blood Prince, picture credits to Shaw Cinemas.

Unfortunately, I am right. The movie is nice, but with no surprises. The special effects are superb, the acting is good, the faithfulness to the book is there. Yet there were no surprises even though it has been about 6 years since I read HP & The Half Blood Prince, the book.

Though my expectations were low this time, I still hoped that there would be little delights because I had forgotten many of the details in the book. Hope was dashed, and the movie captured just exactly the main points that I remember.

All the same, HP movies have always kept non-readers confused and wondering. This time, sitting besides me was a couple, who obviously did not read the book, because throughout the movie, they were exclaiming loudly about what this is, or what that is... ... LOL.

So overall, The Half Blood Prince remains a normal movie to normal people, and would only appeal to people who have been chasing the sequels or have read the book, and are all just too curious to stay at home and not buy the ticket.


Conjuring Beauty w/o Busting Your Purse - Intro

I am writing this after being inspired by the article, "Perfect At Every Stage" in August issue of Cleo. The article in Cleo is more of an advertisement for L'oreal's 100 Years of Beauty, featuring a plethora of products coming from all brands under the huge wings of L'oreal.

The long list includes L'oreal Paris, Maybelline, Garnier, L'oreal Elseve, Biotherm, Vichy, La-Roche-Posay, Emporio Armani Diamonds Intense, Diesel Fuel for Life, Matrix Bioloage Colour Care, YSL, Shu Uemura, Lancome, Kiehl's, Skinceuticals, Raplh Laren, Kerastase, Redken.

Amazing isn't it? I was truly dumbfounded when I saw all these. To tell the truth, I googled "L'oreal" last month, before this 100 Years of Beauty Campaign appeared. It was pure coincidence that I saw in Wikipedia that L'oreal is the oldest cosmetic company in the world, which started in 1909 (of course). And then I posted on my facebook that L'oreal own 40% of Nestle!!!

Imagine how big L'oreal is... ...
It's like, know it or not, you probably have contributed to their profits before.

Actually, I like it! Cos L'oreal's L'oreal Paris products are good and affordable. I like L'oreal Elseve shampoos too.

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Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Impressed by Michelle Phan Again

I am really impressed by Michelle Phan again, after watching makeup tutorial on Romantic Valentine Look.

I thought that any girl who knows makeup would know how to put on pink theme eyeshadow to suit V-day's mood. And so concluded that this particular tutorial is a little extra. But trust me, you've got to watch this.

She has done every single makeup tip that I have come across, right down to the T. I especially like how she emphasizes on the Maquillage M Way by Maquillage Eye Creator (which I have posted about here).

She even did the highlighting which would contour the face. I find it too troublesome to do contouring every time. But then I think it is good, because every girl wants to look her best on Valentine's day.

The pace of this video is quite fast, because I think it is meant for people who already use makeup. I think it serves as a reminder for me, as I always skip the little, little details.


Michelle Phan has came out with her online of skincare!!! It's called IQQU, which you can read about here.

Michelle Phan's IQQU Beauty, picture credits to Splendicity.

This is simply amazing. haha. But it seems natural that she would go into this line.

Michelle, you have done it again! =)

Define Organic Cosmetics

I searched the title, "define organic cosmetics", after being so influenced by Viva Woman on how we should keep things natural. And this is the best result I got: Organic Cosmetics for Natural Beauty! The other top hits are just reiteration of what she wrote.

I think the best info that I have learned from here, is that there are certifications for organic cosmetics. Those touted to be organic but without the certified stamp, are products out to cheat your money.

Some Western organic-certified logos, picture credit to Organic Cosmetics for Natural Beauty!

And the next best info to know, is that
"A serious problem with ethoxylated surfactants (those that utilise ethylene or propylene oxide in the chemical reaction) is that they can be contaminated with dioxane, a potent carcinogen."

"All compounds containing TEA, DEA and MEA can undergo nitrosation with other chemicals to form nitrosamines, which are carcinogenic. One study has found that over 40% of products containing triethanolamine (TEA) were contaminated with these potent carcinogens."

All these info kind of gets to you, and eat into your conscience about how you are not taking care of your body if you use inorganic skincare.

Anyway, the solution, of course, is to go organic, and trust the organization that gives those certificates. You can read about what the really organic substances are in that article I linked.

So this gets me going to BudCosmetics. A place recommended by Viva Woman. When I was Novena Square 2 the last time, I did not see this shop... ...

BudCosmetics homepage - Zuji Organics is an organic certified makeup, the lipstick is reviewed to be very good by Viva Woman, here.

What I love about BudCosmetics website is that they put up all the prices clearly, so that customers can shop online. Square 2 is not all that accessible, so if you do not want to make a special trip down there, you can check out your items online.

Also, they list the ingredients in a nothing to hide manner, as many of the products are certified natural or certified organic.

I thought organic things are usually more expensive, but they actually have more affordable ranges, around $30-$40, which matches up to what popular flagship stores like The Body Shop, The Face Shop, and Skin Food are selling. Of course, there are those $100++ bottles too.

If it is roughly the same price, my thought is, why not make a switch? =) For my sensitive skin, I will have to be trying brands like Longona and Sante, which have everything from makeup removers, toners to makeup, and body care.

You may want to try it too. =)

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BRAND’S® InnerShine® Prune Essence

The first time I saw this new product by Brands was at the TNP New Face audition. They set up a stand besides the queuing area, and gave all contestants a voucher to buy it.

At that time, it looked really good. I was attracted to the womanly purple packaging, and almost bought it. Luckily I did not.

This second time, I got a bottle free from a copy of Cleo's August issue. My first thought was, if something is really so good, it does not have be given away free this way. LOL. Cos I was linking this giveaway to the booth at TNP New Face, and I reckoned that this must be leftovers from the other time! (This is purely a personal conjecture and impression formed from 2 separate events.)

The instructions says this can be taken at any time of the day you like, and either at room temperature or refrigerated. I left mine to chill, as I recall memories of Brands Chicken Essence.

My bottle of Brands InnerShine Prune Essence (sorry about the darkness).

Okay, I hate Brands Chicken Essence. Not that it is no good. I do not like the taste, which is somewhere between salty and bitter. eeeks. There are people who can take weird tastes like cod liver oil and Brands, and one of them is my younger brother. I salute him for that.

I am so afraid of the prune essence tasting like chicken essence. And only agreed to give it a try after I looked at the ingredients. I forgot to note it down before throwing the box, but I remember there are only about 3-4 ingredients. And the first one states "prune juice".

If the primary ingredient is pure prune juice, then it has got to taste like the Sunsweet Prunes, which I love. So it is alright.

So I tried it. Yes, it tastes alright. Exactly like Sunsweets.

Sunsweet Pitted Prunes, credits to Sunsweet website.

But what set me thinking was, the description says that this is high fibre and to help busy working women etc, etc. Yet seriously, do we really need this thing?

In my opinion, NO. A big, big NO. This is just another gimmick to make people spend money. I mean, if you are leading an okay lifestyle, with fruits (no need vege) everyday, you should be able to visit the toilet once/twice a day. Which is, according to Mind Your Body, the absolutely normal, and healthy frequency for big business. If there is no pain while doing business, your fibre intake is fine.

I even recall reading in the primary school Health Education textbook that we only need a bit of fibre each day. Not a lot. So a slice of watermelon, papaya, during each meal should be enough. In fact, fibre should not be taken in excess.

If you think Brands Prune Essence is going to help your constipation, then I will say, YES, BUT it is a waste of your hard-earned money. Talking about inducing diarrhoea, honestly, it did not even put me on a run. Sunsweet prunes does gives me the runs.

Eating prunes will get you to egest solid waste. Anybody who has eaten dried prunes by Sunsweet or any other brands before, will know that. Especially if you eat prune and drink water immediately. This is a recipe for diarrhoea (as my mother told me). I have tried and proven it. So if you are having constipation, you can try this method.

Instead of Brands, seriously, the normal Sunsweet will do. They have new antioxidant juices as well. (refer to website: here).

This world is becoming stranger to me. All the funny products emerging. The onus is us, consumers, to discern for ourselves.

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Tuesday, July 21, 2009

A Post for Cleo

Where more appropriate to blog about Cleo, the magazine itself, than at

I just found out that Cleo provides us a space to blog although I have been a member for some time now. Funny isn't it?

Having abandoned for so long already, why am back? Why do I start now? This is because I love the August issue so much! So many surprises, so many goodies, what more can a beauty lover ask for?

I was bored over the weekend, when I asked my significant other (SO) if he could get me a copy of Cleo along the way back from buying lunch. And of course, as the ever-loving SO, he sent the brightly coloured beautiful Ciara cover into my hands. Together with the words, "I saw that there is a bottle of Brands essence packed together with every copy, so I bought it".

haha, so now we all know that all the freebie gimmick works wonders, even on males. Perhaps, especially on males, because males tend to buy things based on "wu-hua, boh-hua", value-for-money or not. (My SO happily bought another SPH magazine because August issue comes with a sample bottle of Colgate Plax.)

So that was the first surprise that Cleo gave me - BRAND’S® InnerShine® Prune Essence. I like the taste of it, and will review it and my thoughts (yes, I have an issue with selling prune juice) about this product in a later post.

My bottle of Brands InnerShine Prune Essence as a freebie from Cleo.

Then of course, I was so over the moon that Cleo came to relieve me of boredom, and I opened it much like child with twinkling eyes, and dying to play with an Optimus Prime model. And before I managed to fully flip over the cover, tadaa! A slip of paper with a peculiar blue straw fell out. Goodness! What is a straw doing in a magazine?

I picked up the "cup" of ZA Dewy Effect Lotion and almost put the straw into my mouth, just for fun. LOL. I honestly think that this is one eye-catching, insanely innovative advertisement. (And to think I thought doing the RevitaLift "lift" in another SPH magazine is creative enough.

So in this second surprise by Cleo, I have to answer 5 questions that will tell me how thirsty my skin is. Ah, this is consumer psychology unfolding. I am very attracted to doing quizzes, no matter how silly (on facebook etc), the designer of this ad really got me reading. That's not enough. The answers, of course, are strategically printed on the other side of the ZA card.

The quiz on the front of the ZA card ad.

So I flipped it over. It says that my skin needs regular hydration, which I already knew for 3 years now. LOL. I actually did a quiz that I know the answer to. But it was fun. The best thing is that I love the Dewy Effect light green bottle, I do think that I will like the product, and ZA is offering Cleo readers a chance to get some ZA freebies!

The back of the ZA card tells you more about ZA Dewy Effect, and offers freebies and discount.

And now, for the third surprise, probably nobody would guess this. It is Genefique. Yes, i just said Genefique, the latest scientific product that is fresh out of Lancome's lab. The Genefique that has been on our TV screens for the past week now. And the Genefique that one would likely see on every (Singaporean) magazine's first page advertisement for August.

Tucked nicely away on Page 86 -87, is the advertorial for Genefique, and pasted snugly besides the spine of the magazine, is a little sample of the miracle serum. I really am loving Cleo so much, up to this point. How did they clinch the deal for a sample??? The other SPH magazine does not have that. So anyway, Lancome offers readers only, a 7-day trial of Genefique. And using it, 5 girls who give the best blog entry about it will receive a full bottle of Genefique free.

Page 86-87 of August Cleo, Genefique by Lancome.

It says, "the No. 1 selling Lancome skincare product in France since its launch!"

It features a girl who has tested it, and likes it very much.

There is the silhouette of the sample that given to Cleo readers. I have plucked it out and used it. Enough for two times.

At this time, I would really say, Cleo, you are naughty. Hiding all the goodies so well, then letting me stumble into wonderful surprises. You are one naughty, playful mag.

After the third surprise, if you think this is all, you are wrong.

Are you the Cleo Star we've been waiting for?

Cleo wants you! If you are an avid reader of Cleo, you can talk, and have the personality, Cleo wants you for a host and a fashion spread.

Go for an auditon and receive a free makeover. Sign up with $30, fully redeemable for ZA products, and get a goodie bag worth $80. Sounds pretty good. I told my SO I just wanted to go and buy the goodie bag. LOL. But he says I don't need all those products. The other reason is of course, also because I have been wanting be a host for many years. A newcaster, or a compere, I think it will be great.

So here goes the forth lovely delight. You know, turning page and page and beyond the halfway mark, you see what thought shouldn't be there. But it is right there, smiling and beckoning you.

Now, this is like eating a 3 course meal, with no desserts promised. But at the end, the waiter serves a scoop of chocolate chips peppermint ice cream. Then you wipe your mouth, hands on your bag, but the waiter comes again with a strawberry cheesecake ice-cream. This time, you half-wonder if there will be more, but still take out your wallet, hands up for the bill, when the waiter comes a third time with a scoop of durian ice-cream. You keep shaking your head and say this is not real. Now you stand up and prepare to leave and the mango sherbet ice-cream presents itself.

Enjoy, cheers. =)

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