Monday, August 31, 2009

Daiso Natural Pack Charcoal Masque

This is the all famous charcoal mask that everybody in the Daiso thread on beauty forums like Flowerpod is raving about.

Daiso Natural Pack Charcoal Masque

Available: Daiso $2

Volume:
80g

Star Properties:
Charcoal for deep clarifying of toxins, especially good for oily skin types and acne.


Packaging
I like the very cute black face woman sticker paste on top of the tube! hahaha. I tore it off though. It is made in Korea, which I like. And made of good quality plastic.

And see how the tube is sealed with aluminium foil, so you can be careful to buy an untouched tube? So nice right? For $2. I didn't expect this.

The sealed tube that I just have to show readers. =)))

Texture
Not easy to spread at all. For the rough 20-cent coin amount that I first squeezed onto my palm, as shown, I could only spread it far enough to cover 1/3 my forehead.

The black as charcoal masque. I didn't expect the colour to be so rich too. lol.

This 20-cent coin amount could only cover 1/3 my forehead nicely.

Subsequently, I squeezed another 2 and a half ful, full palmful of thick gel before I could cover my entire face nicely, as shown in the picture below.


Covered my face nicely in enough charcoal. =) Probably the most unglam pic I am ever going to post up on my blog. hahaha.

Effect
Squeaky clean. It's like, wow! I've never felt my face this clean before. I guess it does removes toxins and deeply clarifies.

But then it left my dehydrated skin too dry, that I broke out later in the day.

I love it: 4 hearts.

I think this is a very good quality mask. Comparable to those that I get during facial. Not to mention the $2 only. But it is not suitable for my skin.

I have passed it to my SO, who also has oily skin. After he used it, I see that his face really looks lighter, as the charcoal has cleansed out the dirt. (Just like how my skin looks so much brighter, and not dull, after I started going for facials.)

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Daiso Charcoal Face Wash

Daiso Charcoal Face Wash

Available: Daiso $2

Volume: 80g

Star Properties: Contains Charcoal powder to help remove toxins

Packaging
It comes in a normal screw open tube, which has very good quality plastic for something this cheap.

Ingredients
It does not contains Sodium Laureth Sulfate. And the main cleansing ingredients are very similar to Eversoft, aside from the charcoal powder added around the middle of the list. Which is very good, as according to ingredients list reading technique by Viva Woman, this shows that charcoal is indeed added in a substantial quantity.

Compared to male charcoal lines, like Vichy Homme, and Mentholatum For Men Charcoal Cleanser, Daiso Charcoal Face Wash is more true to the consumers. I've checked the ingredients list for both the former, and I found that Vichy's one does not even contain charcoal. As for Mentholatum, they name it Carbon, and is placed at the end of the list. Which I feel is too little an amount to do any real good. Makes me feel cheated.

Texture
It is easy to foam up and spread. Pretty much the same as many other cleansers.

Effect
Drying as charcoal may be known to be, I did not feel my face as tout as Eversoft Pomegranate Whitening & Firming Cleanser that I wrote about earlier. My face felt very clean though. Not squeaky, but clean. =) Happy.

Since I don't have oily skin, I really have no idea whether it helps to control oil or not. And I can't vouch much for this.

However, my mum very kindly agreed to test this out for all of us, as she has very oily skin. She says that it's not bad in quality. And it does seems that her face is less oily after using for 2-3 days. But it has been raining in Singapore, and she feels it could be due to the cooler weather making her oily skin condition better. As such, she says she will have to test it for around 2 weeks before she can really conclude.

Sensitive Skin
According to Avene, there is such a thing as oily and sensitive skin. So just for those in concern, this is not irritating for my sensitive skin. I think it is due to the absence of SLS.

There are two brands of charcoal face wash in Daiso. One is the same brand as the charcoal mask, and it contains SLS, while the other one is what I bought. Do read the ingredients and make sure you buy the one without SLS.

I love it: 4 hearts.

Unfortunately, I have to deduct marks for the slight dryness it cost me. Charcoal is just not suitable for already dehydrated skin.

But if your skin is oily/normal, $2 for 80g is a real bargain even if you compare to supermarket prices, like 100g for $5 kind. haha. Now my mum is contemplating switching to Daiso.

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Bio-essence Tanaka White

Once again, I have to thank Cleo for the Bio-essence Tanaka White samples. =)))

The promotion pamphlet.

My samples. Which all can last at least 7 days.

Bio-essence Tanaka White Rejuvenating Whitening Day Cream
Available: Watsons, Guardian, NTUC

Volume:


Star Properties:
Contains Tanaka, to whiten and cools skin, prevent evaporation of moisture, provide coverage to even out skin tone, lighten pigmentation, and prevent future melanin.


The description and ingredients list on back of sample sachet.

Packaging
Since I got the sample in a sachet, there is not much I can comment about the packaging. Except that from what I see on the shelves, it comes in a tub. Which I don't really like, as I find it slightly unhygienic to be dipping my nails into the cream over and over again.

Of course I do wash my hands before using, as skincare regime is always after bath. And I do cut my nails very short and very regularly. But I still can't help feeling guilty of polluting my cream.

The Cream
It is a very pretty beige pink colour, which I like.

The texture is quite light, and easy to spread. But I can feel that it is not the very water-based kind, e.g. Garnier Aqua Defense texture. This is not a problem to me.

The smell is kind of strange, yet pleasant. I suppose, it's the smell of Tanaka. As usual, I like fragrances, so again, no problems with it.
Note: Thanakha, also known as Tanaka, is a traditional whitening secret used by all women in Myanmar for 2000 years. The Tanaka tree bark extract has deep nourishing, hydrating and cooling properties, and is a tried and tested formula used to maintain skin fairness even under the hot sun, blocking out harmful UV rays and external pollutants. (Information copied from Tanaka White pamphlet that comes with the sample.)
Effect
I feel that after 7 days of use, I do not exactly see whitening effect. (Honestly, I've already given up hope that I can recover the fair skin I had before I learned swimming.)

But I always have the strong feeling that my skin is indeed a lot, a lot softer. I really like to tap tap my face because it feels so nice! lol. Very springy, and smooth. I guess Bio-essence is right by saying Tanaka has deep nourishing properties.

Sensitive Skin
Unfortunately, even after some 3 days of use, I still always feel the slight itchiness every time I apply this day cream. I must be sensitive to something in the ingredient, which puts me off this day cream.

I love it: 4 hearts.

Deducted marks for the skin irritation. But I highly recommend people with non-sensitive skin to try this for the long term.

Bio-essence Tanaka White Skin White Perfecting Lotion SPF15

Available:
Watsons, Guardian, NTUC

Volume:


Star Properties:
Uses bio-engineering techniques to blend Tanaka bark extract, Bio Mineral Essence, and Bio Energy Fluid with other precious herbs extracts to moisturize and nourish skin.


The description and ingredients list on back of sample sachet.

Packaging
This comes in a pump bottle, so it's much more convenient and hygienic for use.

The Cream
It's white. Perfecting or not, I have no idea, as I did not see the effect. I suppose it can be used for a makeup base. But I do not usually put makeup, so I am not sure if it feels pores or anything. It is also very easy to spread.

Effect
But one thing is for sure. It instantly whitens my face by giving it a white coating. I could see the difference between my face and neck every time I apply it. So if you want to look fairer, you could apply this all the way down to the collar bone area.

The white colour really lasts throughout the day. When I was washing my face, I could see the whitish water, something like when we emulsify cleansing oils, that kind of look.

Anyway, it contains SPF, so I was careful to give my self 1.25ml/one-quarter teaspoon of this Perfecting Lotion. And I use makeup remover to cleanse first before my usual cleanser.

Sensitive Skin
Same as the day cream, this cream irritates my skin slightly.

I love it: 4 hearts.

Bio-essence Tanaka White Renewal Night Cream

Available: Watsons, Guardian, NTUC

Volume:


Star Properties:
Contains Tanaka and ginseng extracts, combined with Bio Mineral Essence and Bio Energy Fluid. Brightens and firms skin while you sleep, leaving you with fairer, radiant and blemish-free complexion (<-- I swear by this).

The description and ingredients list on back of sample sachet.

Packaging
Comes in a tub like the day cream.

The Cream
It is more like a curd, rather than cream, unlike the day cream and perfecting lotion. Thus the texture is slightly thicker, and a bit more difficult to spread. But it is still a pass for me.

Effect
I cannot fully describe how much I love, love, love this night cream with words alone! Try to imagine all your pimples gone in one night (or perhaps a few), your milia seeds reduced, and fine undereye lines also visibly reduced. Imagine how over the moon you will be, that's how I feel about this miracle night cream!

Before I tried this, I used both the charcoal face wash and charcoal mask from Daiso that I talked about in my previous post. As most of you would know, charcoal is very drying, that's why it is especially suited for males who generally have oilier and thicker skin than females.

But I was silly enough to use both the face wash and mask at the same time, knowing full well that I already have dehydrated sensitive skin.

So my face got so dry that it started producing so much oil that night. And boo hoo hoo, I got a breakout the next day. =((( Possibly coupled with my period, the breakout was quite bad. I had pimples all over my cheeks, some fighting to pop out on my forehead, nose and chin.

I am so grateful that Tanaka White saved my day!

Those pimple with pus about to ooze out were soothen, and went down in just 1 night!!! And the next night, they flattened out. And now, they disappear. Including the scar or any black dots. I had a blackhead stucked inside my cheek for a few weeks. And that too disappeared. My milia seeds were so greatly reduced. (I have quite a bad case of milia seeds, due to misuse of my previous eye cream.) My fine line, oh, my fine lines also reduced. To think I have long given up hope of ever, ever finding anything to combat fine lines...

Sensitive Skin
And the best part? The Renewal Night Cream does not irritates my skin at all. SO HAPPY.

This is so going into my Holy Grail after I finish up my current moisturizer.

I love it: 5 hearts.

Watsons is having 20% all many products, such as L'oreal, Maybelline and SilkyGirl cosmetics. Sally Hansen nail products. And it includes Bio-essence items, and Tanaka White range. The Renewal Night Cream only costs $19.95 after discount.

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Rave of the week!

I feel really obliged to dedicate a post to my rave of the week, Bio-essence Tanaka White skincare!!!

Before I move in, just want to apologise for the lack of posts since I started school. Have been more busy doing assignments when I am online, rather than blogging.

Anyway, my skin has been so beautiful for a whole week, the most flawless I have seen it since I started going for facials and taking care of my skin. *touch wood* (I hope my skin stays this way forever. hehe.)

Anyway, thanks to Tanaka White, my whole face is more radiant, free of red bumps about to form pimples, rid of pimples that were about to mature, and very, very soft.

I am beginning to realise that lots of Ginvera's products work, even though Ginvera is a relatively affordable brand. Even their Bio-Gold range is still cheaper than brands like Avene or Vichy.

Here is Ginvera's online shop website: ShopOnlineGinvera.

My SO showed me to this website. Depending on the situation, you might find that prices on the website is cheaper. But for this period of time, drugstores in Singapore (Watsons, Guardian) are having a lot of promotions, so I think it's better to catch the discounts in-store.

Also, the website is not exactly updated, so some ranges, like the Tanaka White and Bio-Pollen are not available online.

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Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Aloe Bubbling Make-Up Remover

I think most of the girls would be very eager to know whether a $2 makeup remover works well right? haha, I was also equally curious.

Aloe Bubbling Make-Up Remover

Available: Daiso $2

Volume: 80g

Star Properties: Contains Aloe Vera stuff to help remove dirt from makeup.

Packaging
The tube and cap is as good as any other tubes of skincare, like Nivea, or Vichy. So no worries. If one just saw the picture alone, with all the Japanese words, one would probably guess that this is a Japan-made product, or at least a Japanese brand that may cost anywhere from $10 to $30 (like those The Face Shop products).

Ingredients
I almost wanted to put it back on the stand, when I saw that the second ingredient is Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLS). My body skin is sensitive to SLS, and I get little red bumps if I use those body foam with high SLS content.

The last line of ingredients also contain Methylparaben, Ethylparaben and Propylparaben. But I figure that this is still better than my Sasa two-phase rose makeup remover, which has paraben in the middle chunk of the ingredients.

Sensitive Skin
I am so happy to announce that despite the not so stella list of ingredients, my sensitive skin did not break out from it!

The Gel
It comes in a transparent and very watery gel form. If you buy this product, please remember to cap it immediately after pouring the gel out. Otherwise, it will flow and flow and flow. Yes, I left mine uncapped, and lying down... So as gravity and Science dictates, the gel flows until the level of gel is level with the mouth of the tube. And my floor was foamy when I flushed it. =((( Wasted a lot.

Fragrance
As usual, I notice the fragrance. Definitely there, since fragrance is the last ingredient on the list. It smells very familiar, like something I have used before. Neutral to me. I don't find that I especially like the smell. But I wouldn't call it unpleasant. (Vitamin E and Tea Tree are the irritating ones that I dislike.)

Feeling
It's a nice feel. Smooth enough. No rubbing during wash.

After feel
Be assured that this is not stripping at all. My face felt very normal. Not as soft and smooth as Laneige Refreshing Cleansing Oil will leave me. But $64 vs $2, I am not expecting Daiso to give me soft and smooth after feel like Laneige.

Makeup Removing Effectiveness
VERY effective, in my opinion. Maybelline Gel Liner is the most stubborn makeup that I have, which even cleansing oil like Neutrogena also failed to remove it (which is why I fail Neutrogena Deep Cleansing Oil, not recommended to buy that).

I am so, so, so amazed with its capabilities.

Just follow the instructions, and take a cherry size amount, foam it with a little water, and wash your face.

I don't own the Majorlica Majorca mascara, which is very famous for being so stubborn. So I can't give a review if this removes MM mascara. But I am using Maybelline Intense XXL, which I believe many girls have too. And it comes off without any tugging.

I love it: 4.5 hearts.

Deduct marks for the too watery texture that pours out of the tube the moment you open the cap. And also deduct marks for the ingredients containing more no good stuff like SLS and paraben. Otherwise, this is a so awfully worth it product. $2 only. Exceeds expectations by a lot!

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Daiso - Your Beloved $2 Shop

I specially made a trip down to Daiso yesterday to buy their famous charcoal mask. But I ended up buying 5 more items than planned. LOL. I guess that's how it will end up for any beauty lover who steps into the tempting $2 shop that originates from Japan.

Everything in Daiso is a flat $2. Much as The One 99 Shop has failed, there is still space in the Singapore market for another Japanese products based $2 shop. Daiso is in fact opening its 5th outlet at Rivervale Mall, Seng Kang MRT station soon (this year). So residents in the North can finally get Daiso nearer to their homes. =)

These are the things I picked up:
- Charcoal Mask
- Charcoal Face Wash
- Aloe Bubbling Make-Up Remover
- Raspberry Scented Nail Polish Remover
- Pack of 3 Highlighters
- A4 Carrier File

Besides all that, I like the way Daiso has Japanese style crockery. There is the black and red Japanese bowls and trays, like those you see Sakae using. And there is the blue designs clay teapot and tea cup etc.

I think the containers, glass, plastic or clay, are very worth it to get also. I especially like those glass candy jars, those olden day kind, that is capped by an aluminium cover.

Haha, okay. So next, I will review the 3 skincare products that I got from Daiso, starting with the Aloe Bubbling Make-Up Remover.

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Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Blanc de Blanc 3 in 1 Hydro Retention Gel

I got this free from my beautician, and I actually wanted to sell it off on ebay, as I thought I did not need anymore hydration products. But fact is, I need.

I have so many fine lines now. I learned from someone that if you pull your skin, and the lines disappear, then it is fine lines, that are a result of dehydrated skin. That means my skin needs more water.

I am so lucky nobody bought this off ebay, as I did not know what a gem it is until I tested it. I have already used it twice so far, and I plan to finish the whole tube.

Blanc de Blanc 3 in 1 Hydro Retention Gel

Available: My beautician

Volume: 60ml

Star Properties: Contains plant extracts, can be used on lips, as an eye mask or as a massage gel.

Blanc de Blanc 3 in 1 Hydro Retention Gel

Packaging
Good. Nothing to complain about. I like the transparent look, so I can see how much there is left.

Ingredients
I like the way the ingredients look so natural. I am definitely avoiding the more common bad ingredients, such as alcohol and parabens.

The description and ingredients list.

Texture
Very soft.

Fragrance
Present and pleasant. =)

Spreadability
Extremely spreadable.

Absorption
Extremely easy to absorb. In fact, I applied one layer on my face, and it almost immediately goes in, so I applied another layer. And another. Cos I love the feel on my face so much.

I was supposed to leave the layer on as a second skin for 20 minutes. But it dissolved into my skin so well that I had the barely there feeling. Love it.

Effect
My face is the softest I have ever felt it to be. And very smooth too. In fact, it stayed this way for at least 3 days!!!

Compared to NuTeen Acne Away Gel, NuTeen gave me a smoothest finish ever, but this gave me the softest finish ever.

I love it: 5 hearts

So loving it. I am looking forward to the next time I can do this mask, since I schedule my skin treats to be twice a week. =)))

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Mentholatum Acnes Medicated Sealing Jell

Finally have time to blog about Acnes Sealing Jell.

Acnes is a new brand on the market made by Mentholatum, for teens. My SO bought it as both our pimple cream had run out. And I am happy to announce that it is so far so good for us!
Mentholatum Acnes Medicated Sealing Jell

Available: Watsons $8.90 (with Student Card, discount 20% now), Guardian, NTUC

Volume:
18g

Star Properties:
Contains Vitamin E and B6 to prevent dry and rough skin.


The box front and ingredients list.

Description on box: > Contains Triclosan to penetrate the pores and prevent formation of acne bacteria > Soothes discomfort of acne prone skin > Keeps oil secretion under control and helps remove excessive sebum > Contains sulfur which helps unblock pores and promotes healing - Oil-free and mild formulation - Mild and pleasant fragrance

Box back, with description of the jell properties.

Packaging
It comes in a normal cream tube shape, like how you would get your mosquito bite creams or burn creams. But unlike those normal tubes, Acnes tube is made of plastic, not aluminium. This means that it can't be bent until it breaks. So we girls can keep it safely in our handbags without it going out of shape or tearing apart! (Those of you who have experience Crabtree & Evelyn La Source Hand Cream would be familiar with the aluminium tube tearing accidents.)

The tube with the cute Mentholatum logo there. Reminds me of Smith's Rosebud Salve logo.

Texture
It is good. Easy to absorb, easy to spread.

What I do, is squeeze out a green bean size amount, then use the forefinger of my other hand to touch/dab a teeny weeny bit, then pat it repeatedly on the pimple ONLY, until it is roughly absorbed.

Fragrance
None that I can smell. Only a very, very slight tinge when I brought the cream very close to my nose. LOL. Yes, I was checking for smell, as there really is none normally. And no, I was unhygienic enough to bring the tube to my nose. I squeezed out a pea size to try.

Feel on Face
Slightly cooling. Which I like.

Effect
Very good. Both my SO and I could see our bumps going down, and redness soothed, plus after a few days, the pimple will be gone.

Price
Cheap and good. Many pimple killers are priced at $30-$40.
Note: This is definitely no instant miracle cream. It takes time to heal.

Side note: If you are looking for one day drop off creams, I think things like Oxy10 or Clearasil would work better because they contain benzoyl peroxide. Creams like this dries your pimple off to bits, and so making it fall off.

But the thing to be concerned about is that potent creams are in a sense poison. And for people like me, I can't afford to poison my skin cells. I have used both Oxy10 and Clearasil before, and all I can say is that, I am allergic to them. And more and more pimples pop out eventually.

So I'd rather get something like Acnes, which encourages healing rather than drying, so that I can nurse back my pimples, not kill them. Killing and plucking out should be done when you are doing deep cleansing/clarifying, or during facial.
Anyway,
I love it: 5 hearts.

Another Holy Grail product for me. =)))

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Monday, August 17, 2009

Eversoft White spf50pa+++ Intensive Sunscreen Moisturizer

Yet another cheap and good thing to rave about. =)

Eversoft White spf50pa+++ Intensive Sunscreen Moisturizer

Available: NTUC (promo $11.30)

Volume: 40g

Star Properties: Sakura extract and lipo-vit C concentrate, to give whitening and UV protection

Eversoft White in box.

Back of box, with description in English and Chinese.

Packaging
I think the packaging is very good. No problems. Both the box and the tube are in nice colour combination of blue and white, which I like. And both have detailed description of the sunscreen.

The tube is easy to squeeze, and the mouth is just nice for you to control the amount dispensed. It also has a secure twist open cover.

The pretty white and blue tube that I really like.

Back of tube with description.

With the cap open. Easy to squeeze and control mouth.

Ingredients
The first thing that I consider now when I wish to buy a sunscreen, is whether it contains alcohol or not. I believe most of you would know that alcohol dries your skin and clog pores, thus causing the skin to age and pimples to appear. And I am so happy to announce that though cheap, Eversoft is one of those sunscreens that is alcohol-free!

The ingredients list.

Spreadability
Eversoft is so much easier to spread than the Avene Very High Protection Cream. For its SPF of 50, I really love how well it spreads.

Fragrance
Some people may not like fragrance, but for me, I like it. And I think it's a very pleasant smell that lasts a while.

After feel
After applying on my skin, my skin feels a bit sticky. But definitely not oily. Which I like. Once the cream is absorbed into the skin, the stickiness goes off, leaving my skin very soft. I think the moisturizer property is definitely there. =)

Shine
There is a slight sheen of silver on my face. But I am not really concerned about that. It makes my face looks oily, but it is not. I can apply loose powder to matte it out after the stickiness goes off. But for those who don't like shiny sunscreen, you will be disappointed with this.


Sensitive skin
Apart from the very first time, when I experience a slight slight tingly sensation at the base of my nose (probably due to Vit C
This is definitely my Holy Grail product! When NTUC gives discounts, I hope to stock up on this, so I can use it on my body too. =))))

Now I use Avene for my body, to finish up the tube, cos Avene is just too oily. And Eversoft for my face. Love it. Love it.

I love it: 5hearts.

If planning to buy, please note the silver sheen. Testers are available at NTUC, so try before purchase. =))) And there is the tinted version but in spf35 too.

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My 1st FOTD (14/08/2009)

This is my first Face of the Day.



Cosmetics used:
- SilkyGirl Loose Powder
- Maybelline Gel Liner
- SilkyGirl Eyeshadow Duo, in Smokey Eyes, and Purple
- Shu Uemura Eyelash Curler
- Maybelline XXL Mascara
- SilkyGirl Duo Blush in Peach
- Mentholatum Lip Pure Lip Balm
- L'oreal Glamshine Lipgloss in 116

No photoshop was done (except for my website stamp).
No makeup primer and foundation was used.
Did not draw my eyebrows too, as I just had it trimmed, and I thought it shouldn't look too strong, since I did smokey eyes.

I must say, I really love SilkyGirl smokey eye eyeshadow duo! As recommended by another beauty blogger too, the colour turns out very nice, and you can match it with other colour, like purple (as I did), or blue or green.

Just that SilkyGirl eyeshadow drops if your lids are oily. For me, it's fine. I was at mahjong session till 3am, and it's still there.

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NuTeen Oil Control Series

I actually wanted to post on Kiehl's hand cream, just to complete my hand cream series of reviews. But I just discover something that I really want to rave about - NuTeen Blackheads Away Gel.

I can't give a complete review because I only got a 3ml sample packet from a promoter during the John Little Bazaar in my school. But I hope to take this chance to rave about this product, introduce this brand to some of you, and hopefully get kind reviews from those who have tried NuTeen.

NuTeen brochure from my school's John Little Bazaar.

On the inside is the elaboration, and see the two sample packets at the top?

I understand that NuTeen has been the sponsor of some Channel 8 TV shows, such as those Superband or Campus Superstar, I think. So this is not an entirely new brand.

And of course, as the name suggests, NuTeen is for teens. But as most of us probably already know, acnes are not restricted to teens. Even 40 year olds can have breakouts.

In my opinion, I actually feel that teen targeted acne creams or treatments are effective for all ages. I can't confirm since I am not old enough to test that out for you. But at least for my age, teen acne creams still work.

According to what I know about marketing and pricing, products aimed at older women are much much much more expensive than anything else. And according to my scientific knowledge, the pricing is ridiculous since the general ingredients and effectiveness are very much the same. (Unless it is a patented thing, like Pitera.)

So rather than spending your hard earned money on working class products or mature people products, why not go for teen products that are so much cheaper and work as well?

NuTeen Blackheads Away Gel

Available: -

Volume: -

Star Properties: Specially blended with active ingredients such as Salicylic acid, Thanakha extract and Triclosan to thoroughly cleanse the skin, thus making your skin look new, smooth, fine and clear.

NuTeen Blackheads Away Gel and All Clear Moisturizer sample sachet.

The instructions says to use this product on dry skin with dry hands, and before cleansing. I pressed all the 3ml of sample out, and massaged gently all over my face. Strangely enough, I felt balls of dirt, (like wet and teared up balls of paper), on my face.

The NuTeen steps to Oil Free and Flawless Skin! =)

There was quite a lot of dirt balls because I did not remove my sunblock prior to clarifying, since the instruction says use on dry face.

After 1 minute, I felt the gel used up. But my face was not at all dry or tout. I rinsed off the gel, and my skin felt super ultra smooth! WOW! After I cleansed, the smoothness still remains.

The feeling was so amazing, because this is the smoothest I have ever felt of my skin. Even my Laneige Cleansing Oil cannot produce the same feel. And none of my cleansers or moisturizers can produce this feel. Goodness, I am so tempted to buy the full size tube.

But I am hesitating because while the gel was on my face, I felt a slight tingly sensation on the area between my nose and my upper lips. I did not breakout though. So not sure if it was because I am sensitive or what... ...

I also don't quite like the strong smell, which smells slightly of chemical.

I love it: 4 hearts.

I think it gives a really good feeling. But I can't tell whether it does removes blackheads or not, as I have only use it once. And I did not steam my face before that. If I do get a full size tube, I will review it again and might give it 5 hearts. =)))

NuTeen All Clear Moisturizer

Available:

Volume:

Star Properties: Enriched with Thanaka extract for soft, crystal clear skin. Balances oil secretion and cools skin without menthol.

I was also given a pack of moisturizer from NuTeen. And I had to try it together.

I can't tell whether it does control oil secretion, cos I don't have oily skin.

But the texture of the cream is quite light, and dissolves very well into my skin (within 1-2 minutes), without leaving a sticky feel.

This is certainly performing much better than many other moisturizers I have tested.

And the best thing that I really like about it, is the cool feel without menthol. Because most of the cooling creams contain menthol, which is very unsuitable for sensitive skin. However, with NuTeen, I can vouch that this is completely sensitive skin friendly (not sure for eczema though).

And so,
I love it: 4 hearts.

I have deducted marks because I am unsure of the long term effects, and oil control power. If anyone has used this before, do let me know if I can give this 5 hearts. Thanks a lot!

PS: With NuTeen Oil Control Series, now you can have Oil Free and Flawless Skin!

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Thursday, August 13, 2009

Nivea Creme

The Nivea Creme is like the grandmother of all moisturizers to me. And it has piqued my curiosity ever since I found out how cheap the whole big tin is.

Recently, Watsons even started selling the smaller tins at $1.95, so those who are just too curious can try before committing to the huge one. Which in my opinion, looks like it can last forever. haha.

Nivea Creme

Available: Watsons, Guardian, and many other little shops

Volume:
variable

Star Properties:
Contains skin-related Eucerit, a unique moisturizing ingredient

Nivea Creme, picture courtesy from Nivea website.

Ingredients
One of the top ingredients in this is mineral oil. Honestly, this is something that I will not buy on my own. I only tried it because my friend has a tin. Not especially after reading everything from Viva Woman. hahaha.

Packaging
Even though it is stored in a tin can, I think the tin can is actually quite strong and durable. I like the way it is flatter than most moisturizer containers, especially the smaller size one. As compared to those in thick, heavy and tall glass containers. I also like how it gives us so much surface area to use. So we don't have to dip in with one finger or two. For application on the whole body, it is so easy to swipe 4 fingers across for more cream.

Texture
I think the cream is very heavy, dry, and not easy to spread. Which is really surprising, given the number of good reviews I have read about it.

Absorbance
Quite bad, as I still can feel the thick layer of something on my skin.

After feel
My hands felt more of rough in the sense, it is not easy to glide my fingers across the back of hand, as I meet with the resistance from the hard to spread cream.

Smell
The smell is kind of weird. More towards the chemical side, which I don't like.

Irritation
Unfortunately, this multi-purpose cream irritates my hands so much that I kept scratching at it. Luckily I only tested on my hands. It could be because of the mineral oil, which is one of the top ingredients in Nivea Creme.

I love it: 0 hearts.

Sorry to say, but I really don't recommend buying this at all. Even though it is cheap, I think a cream is not really a good cream if it is hard to spread and does not leave a nice feel on your skin.

The good news for people who want big tubs of good moisturizers at the price of Nivea, is that Dove actually has a rich moisturizing cream. I just read this on Beautyholics Anonymous: here. However, the top ingredients are all petroleum derivatives, which many people are not willing to leave on their skin.

The bad news is, I have never seen it in Singapore. No chance to test it... If anyone has seen it here, please kindly leave a comment. If you have tried it, please leave a review. Thanks in advance! =)))

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La Source Hand Therapy

I actually got this quite long ago, but only doing the review now.

I previously got a sample of Kiehl's Hand Slave, and was really, really disappointed with it. So I went online to search for good hand creams, and stumble upon raves for La Source Hand Therapy. It really sounded like the No. 1 hand cream of all times after all the reading. And I've just got to try it.

It was just as well that my SO had cracked skin on his fingers then, due to long hours in air-con and lack of water. I thought I could buy him a saviour. haha.

And it also so happened that the annual Christmas gift exchange was coming, and I had to get something around $5 for it.

The best part is that Crabtree & Evelyn was offering a pack of 3, 25ml tubes for $24, if paid by UOB card. The usual price is $30 for the pack of 3. So that was my chance! One tube for myself, one for my SO, and one for the Christmas party.

Plus, I fell in love with the cream immediately upon testing. I was debating with myself whether to get the pump bottle of 250ml for $65. There is also the 100ml tube. But the more volume you get, the cheaper it is.

Okay, so here's the review:

La Source Hand Therapy

Available: Crabtree & Evelyn outlets

Volume:
25ml, 100ml, 250ml

Star Properties:
Unique shea butter and herb formula soothes, moisturize and conditions dry or rough hands

La Source Hand Therapy, 25ml, by Crabtree & Evelyn

Packaging
The smaller ones are stored in an aluminium tube, just like normal mosquito creams. I have no issue with it, as I leave my hand cream at home. But I have read a lot of rantings about how the tube cracks after pro-longed time of bending, when people carry them around in handbags. There are also complaints that say the remaining little bit of cream cannot be squeezed out from the tube.

Fragrance
The first thing I notice is fragrance. La Source smells of gentle sweetness, very pleasant that I keep feel like bringing my hands near my nose to get more of the fragrant. It is addictive for me. lol. (I do like my skin care to mildly fragrant, so you can guess how much I love this.)

Spreadability
La Source spreads really, really well! You are going to love it.
Absorbance
It is quickly absorbed by my skin the moment I spread around. It is so lightweight, that you feel your hands soft and smooth, yet you don't feel the cream.

After feel
Soft and smooth hands, with absolutely no stickiness or oiliness. Super good, as this is my top priority criteria for an effective hand cream. I don't want to be spreading oil all over my keyboard or handphone right after I apply hand creams.

Lasting
It is really lasting, as I can still smell it after 8-9 hours. It still stays there after I rinsed my hands with water. Must really rub under water for enough time before it comes off totally. This means that if you are going out for a short while, you don't have to carry it along. Just apply before going out. =)

Sensitive
This cream does not cause itch. =)))

Availability
I like the way they have the 250ml pump bottle. So good for office use (put in front of the computer), or even at home, place one in the bathroom, one by the bedside. haha.

Price
$8 for 25ml is definitely slightly more expensive that drugstore brands. But it should be affordable for working class people. For students, I think this is worth saving up for. Just use it sparingly. A red bean size amount can spread nicely on 1 hand for me, so the tube lasts pretty long.

Definitely will repurchase. Wait for the Christmas sale. hahaha.

I love it: 5 hearts

I do not exactly consider hand cream a necessity. Perhaps, unless you are in air-conditioned environment for long periods of time.

But I am really wondering if VERY, very soft and smooth hands are a must for me. My palm is rougher than a lot of older and old people I have shaked hands with. Even some senior citizens have softer hands than me. haha.

Not that my hand is rough. It's just not that smooth on the palm, also because I have lots of fine lines. (Some people I know have hardly visible lines, which is inborn.) But the outside is still really good.

I really don't think I need to try other hand creams already. I don't feel like I would find anything else better than this. haha. :P

What do you think? Is it a must for you?

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Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Avene Thermal Water

Finally! Now, for the most famous, extremely popular special water, the Avene Thermal Water!!!

Avene Thermal Water is actually my third brand of facial mist. I have been using DeCosmet Miracle Swiss Essence and then Evian Braumister as a moisturizer ever since I started my skincare regime.

Since I was looking for a cheaper alternative to the very expensive DeCosmet water, I decided to buy Avene after reading a whole thread of raves about it.

I will roughly compare Avene with my other 2 facial mists, since Avene is like the King of facial mists.

Avene Thermal Water

Available: Watsons, Guardian

Volume:
50ml (promo bottle)

Star Properties:
From the Avene spring in France, and with a truckload of uses.

Avene Thermal Water

Packaging
I think the aluminium bottle is okay. Evian uses aluminium bottle too. However, the DeCosmet one comes in a thick, thick plastic bottle that looks aesthetically much more appealing. So I guess, the best packaging actually goes to DeCosmet (Mind the price tag though!).

The Pump
Evian's pump is clearly inferior to the other two. It's sort of unstable when the water goes low. Like you will feel that you are pressing the left or right side down more... Also the dispense is not uniform. When full, the water "gushes" out. But when nearing the bottom, there is so little water. I am guessing this is due to bottle of the aluminium bottle being an inverted semicircular dome.

DeCosmet's pump is the regular shape kind, that you find is standard perfumes.

Avene's pump is a short fat cap.

Avene Thermal Water, uncapped, showing the pump.

The Spraying Motion
For Evian, the dispense is not uniform. When full, the water "gushes" out. But when nearing the bottom, there is so little water. I am guessing this is due to bottle of the aluminium bottle being an inverted semicircular dome.

Avene's bottom is also an inverted semicircular dome. But I have not used it to the bottom, so I don't know about the spray then.

DeCosmet spray is good. Very steady throughout the bottle, and still feels the same at the bottom. This could be because DeCosmet's bottle is rounded at the bottom, instead of flat, or the inverted dome.

The droplets
I don't really notice any difference here. But there are reviews that say Evian's droplets are larger, and Avene's is finer. It doesn't really matters to me though.

Droplet of Avene Thermal Water on my hand.

Water
Seriously, all the water are the same to me.

Effects
No particular really good effects from any of them. Although DeCosmet's is said to balance the skin's pH.

Evian just says it's for refreshing and setting makeup.

Avene gives a whole long list of uses for its water. And touts it to be anti-irritating and will soothe sensitive skin.

So I don't exactly think there is a winner. But since I normally choose skincare based on effects, rather than packaging or dispense effectiveness etc, I think I would choose Evian as the champion.

There are no visible effects from any of the water, so if you just want to spray something on your face, for setting makeup, or for cooling effects, just choose the cheapest facial mist will do. And that is Evian.

Anyway, for Avene Thermal Water,
I love it: 3 hearts.

I am not a facial mist person. To me, they are not a must in any skincare regime if you already have a tub of moisturizer. Even though I use water as my moisturizer, I still think there is no difference as to where the water I use comes from. As long as it's clean.

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Avene Cleanance Soapless Gel

Since I talked about the promo pack in the last post, I think it is more logical to continue my reviews for Avene products.

Avene Cleanance Soapless Gel Cleanser

Available: Watsons, Guardian

Volume: I got the mini sample bottle...

Star properties: Avene Thermal Spring Water. Soapless.

Avene Cleanance Soapless Gel Cleanser, for Oily, Blemish-prone, Sensitive Skin

Packaging
I like the transparent bottle through which you can see translucent green soapless gel. What I do not like is the wide open mouth of the bottle, because this means that it is very hard to control precisely how much I want to pour. And I often over pour... I have no idea whether the regular bottle has a pump or something. I hope it does.

Feel
This gel is actually more like water than gel. It is very thin. Just by turning over the bottle, you can see how well it flows. It feels fine, quite nice. I like it on my face. Soft, and non-drying.

Sensitive
Unfortunately, my face broke out after 2 days of use. =(((

Upon checking the bottle, I realised that it says for "Oily, blemish-prone sensitive skin". Okay, that explains it. I have a history of breaking out after using products meant for oily skin. Those are the most toxic for me. I should have read the label properly, and shouldn't even have tried it.

I love it: 3 hearts.

It feels good during use, but causes me to breakout due to unsuitable skin type. Please don't purchase it if you do not have oily skin.

Conclusion: I think what I can conclude from the Avene sunscreen and this Avene Cleanance Soapless Gel Cleanser, is that Avene really, really, do tailor their products for every skin type precisely. Before using their products, I had the impression that it says for sensitive skin, means as long as I have sensitive skin, confirm can use. But this is not true.

I learned that there are really many types of sensitive skin, as there are normal skins. Mine is dehydrated combination sensitive. And to my surprise, Avene shows me that oily skin CAN be sensitive. Goodness, cos I thought oily skin is the type of skin that can use everything, except extra moisturizing stuff meant for dry skin.

What a lesson!

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Avene Very High Protection Creme SPF50

Actually, I got this in a promo pack long ago. But haven't thought of posting about it, because I don't feel that it's worth raving about.

Avene best-sellers in a promo pack: Avene Thermal Water, Avene Cleanance Soapless Gel, Avene Very High Protection Creme SPF50+

haha, but my Polymer Technology professor talked about why some creams/moisturizers are harder to spread than others, so I am reminded of Avene sunscreen. Because Avene sunscreen is the most viscous (hard to slide) skincare product that I own.

Avene Very High Protection Creme SPF50

Available: Watsons, Guardian

Volume: 50ml

Star properties: Made with Avene Thermal Spring Water in France

Avene Very High Protection Creme SPF50 in a tube.

Basically, Avene is a brand specially made for people with sensitive skin, including eczema sufferers. All their products are made with their Thermal Spring Water in France. And this water is uncontaminated, thus especially suited for sensitive skin. I shall not make my post too wordy by introducing Avene. You may check out their website here, for details.

Description and directions for use.

Ingredients list.

Looks
Honestly, I do not like the look of this product. Kind of too white and too wordy, even though my favourite colour is white. And the logo of Avene is actually some messily coiled circle of lines, which if uninformed, I wouldn't know what it means. It just looks messy and unappealing. But that coil of lines is actually a sketch of the spring where Avene water comes from - the source of the miracle special healing water.

I wouldn't buy this if not for the number of raves from so many girls. Plus, I have sensitive skin, and I needed something with assurance.

Packaging
The first thing I noticed is that it comes in a tube, which is not my favourite form of dispense. But anyway, what gives the headache is the fact that the cream somehow sticks around the dispensing mouth. Even when I try squeezing vertically, the cream still does not falls cleanly into my hand. So it ends up that I always have to wipe the cream of with tissue.

If you look closely at the picture, you will see a slight pop up around the mouth. I think they should redesign that part.

Design of opening, that I find inconvenient.

Otherwise, the box and tube are in nice orange, so if you like orange, you will be very happy. =)

Smell
The second thing I notice every time I use it, is the smell. It is not unpleasant, but it is not the most pleasant I've come across as well. I just don't like the smell. hahaha, but anyway, just have to bear with it, because all sunblocks have weird smells, like Coppertone. LOL.

Spreadability
This cream is very difficult to spread. I need the length of one segment of my finger to fully cover my face once. But then again, it doesn't matters, because when applying sunscreen, you need the full length of your middle finger to ensure you get all the protection you are promised.

Weight
So saying, I need to cover my face 3 times to get SPF 50. And this cream feels so heavy... ... =(

Stickiness
It is sticky on the face. And it takes a long while to be absorbed so that I don't feel the stickiness anymore. Which makes me weary of applying makeup after that. Afraid that my sunscreen would mix with the powder.

Oily
Yes, this is VERY oily. And it gives me pimples. But I guess, it is by no fault of Avene, because the package does say "For Dry, Sensitive Skin". I have sensitive skin, but definitely not dry (I do not flake, and I don't have eczema). Dehydrated (lack of water), yes. But not dry (lack of oil).

So I think it is right to caution all readers that if you don't have dry skin, please don't buy the orange one that says "For Dry".

Avene has other sunblocks, like one in white tube, and one in a spray bottle. Maybe you can try the rest.

Sensitivity
I should think it is alright, as they say, since it does not stings. But I still got breakouts from the oiliness.

I love it: 1 heart

I am giving credit to indicate that it is highly raved about. And it is also known that doctors recommend the brand Avene to people who see them regarding sensitive skin problems. However, this product really does not suits me, and I don't like the feel of it too.

I will not repurchase.

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Friday, August 07, 2009

G.I.Joe: The Rise of Cobra (2009)

I really think I should review this before the weekend, since I was so lucky to catch it yesterday. Thanks my SO for asking me out. =)

I don't know what G.I.Joe is, but I definitely have heard of it before I watched the movie. In my database, this seems to be some old time action film hit. And I thought it is a remake, that would turn out pretty lame.

I was apprehensive about it, but my SO seemed extremely upbeat. And according to facebook sources, everybody who saw the preview on Wednesday was WOWed by it. Sounds like a must watch...

haha, and indeed it is. If you are rushing for time, or don't want to see potential spoilers, don't read anymore, just go watch it. Now. It's worth the ticket. =)))


So you see the pic. Apparently, if you can infer from the advertisement, this movie is divided into two armies - the group with the white ninja on top, and the group with the black ninja below. I will leave you to guess which is good, and which is bad. (LOL. They look equally bad to me.)

And both armies have a hot babe in line. So for those who are concerned, no worries about lack of girls. Comparatively, Transformers only has one lead girl - Megan Fox. haha. And Night at the Museum 2 only has one girl, in the ENTIRE cast.

If you like Transformers I, I am 99.9% sure you will enjoy G.I.Joe as much as I did. It IS action-packed to the max! Every single moment is action. There is not one dull moment. Not a second for you to look away, or a minute for the toilet.

It's two hours long, so please empty your bladders before sitting down to avoid missing anything.

Much as it did not give me the roller coaster ride and butterflies in my stomach feeling that Transformers I did, I was still deeply enthralled by the plot, the scenary, the gadgets, the hunks and babes.

And now, I am 100% sure that all kids will love G.I.Joe. It has the Disney like settings within it, a sea kingdom, a desert kingdom, the sky. Plus the batman gagets (yes yes, there were so many parts that reminded me of Batman: Iceman). And the way it felt like I was playing a game, sitting in a motion simulator machine, controlling some fighter jet or weird flying boat cum plane, dodging the missiles, shooting the enemy.

G.I.Joe has it ALL!

I love it because it provided mental stimulation in terms of plot and content, and the issues raised, like war and terrorism, Science: its inventions and impact of the world. Suitable for the adults.

Yet at the same, it cleverly brought me back to my childhood, with the thrills, the hang on ends, waiting for the bad guy to die, wondering if the bad guy will die. And watching duels, like in Kungfu Panda. Suitable for the kids who do not understand the plot.

Hopefully I have not spilled too much, but,
I love it: 5 hearts.
Must watch, and worth your ticket, good for family, and class outings. For couples, the girl just may not like it, unless she liked Transformers like I do. =)))

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Thursday, August 06, 2009

The Asian Kitchen @ Republic Plaza

I think this is my second time eating from Asian Kitchen. Asian Kitchen is very well-known for their roasted duck. But only for the Raffles City branch. I have not heard good things about the other branches... haha. And yes, I really love the duck at Raffles City branch, but not at Republic Plaza.

The duck noodles, featuring the soup

The soup is nice, though I prefer stronger soups, and darker ones, like that from You Kee@Koufu. This gentle soup tastes mildly of herbs and mildly of meat. It's oily, but if you want to eat duck noodles, this is expected. My SO says it's good though, better than their homemade barley drink.

The mushroom. One piece served, and this is half of it.

This is delicious! My favourite in this bowl of noodles. Very soft, and biteable. I hate Chinese mushrooms that are cooked badly, such that it feels of rubber, and never breaks no matter how I chew. How am supposed to swallow a big piece of rubber??? But rest assured, this is good, tastes of the soup, and not bitter at all.

The noodles.

Next, I tried the noodles. The noodles ties with the mushroom for first place. Absolutely QQ, absorbs the soup very well, which explains the heavenly taste of it. I can just eat it alone without other ingredients I think, since I am a noodle-lover.

The duck meat.

I dislike this. The part that I got is rubbery, and totally not chewable at all. It was such a waste as I couldn't eat like half the meat given. My SO says his share has no problem.

And for the portion that I could eat, it was dry, which I don't like.

Softshell crabs, anyone?

The waitress told us this is the hot favourite for side dishes. I can't take seafood, so don't know about the meat. But I love the sauce!!! hehe. The sauce is spicy, yet sour sweet. I kept taking the sauce to eat with my noodles, while my SO finished the crabs.

Pork with prawn XiaoLongBao.

I can bet you there isn't one bit of prawn in there. Firstly, I couldn't feel the prawn meat (unless they mashed the meat, which they usually don't). Secondly, I did not develop and allergic reaction after swallowing the whole thing. Well, if there is prawn meat, then all I can say is, I can't feel it. So don't waste your money on the prawn ones.

The meat is good. Honestly, I haven't tasted lousy meat in xiaolongbaos before. So I think the minced meat paste must be quite easy to make.

The skin is very dry, quite thick, and stuck to my teeth. My SO said they didn't steam it soft enough. But anyway, I failed this xiaolongbao because of the dry skin.

The juice does not squirt out like all Crystal Jade ones. But the juice taste fine. Not bad. Same like most others I've eaten.

This xiaolongbao is not worth it. The one at JP foodcourt is better and cheaper.

I love this meal: 2.5 hearts.
I only like the mushroom, soup and noodles. The rest are really fail stuff.

Remember to go to Raffles City branch if you must eat this.

And IMO, the best duck rice is by You Kee@ all Koufus.

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My Small Nail Polish Collection

Amazingly, I managed to even have a collection of nail polish. Since I only change the coat of polish after 2 weeks, and I rest my nails for 3 days in between. Plus, once I like something, I stick with it till it's used up.

Unfortunately, I have not managed to really find a polish that I think is perfect until Sally Hansen and Revlon came in. Hence, I kept on buying and trying different colours.

My little family of 15.

My criteria for the perfect nail polish:
- same colour as seen from bottle
- thin, very thin
- easy to spread
- dries fast
- shines
- no chip
- good brush
- don't dry up my nail and cause cracking

Usable Ones
O2 Skin Base Coat, Top Coat, the dark pink from O2 Skin, the Clatty Dark Blue one, Sally Hansen, and Revlon. The rest are deemed unusable.

My Biggest Disappointment
The L'oreal Star Magnet one. Spreadability is okay only. But what I don't like is that it damages my nails. It made my small toes dry up and peel off. Sigh.

The Cheap & Good One
O2 Skin base coat. O2 Skin tend to have discounts, and that's when you get it real cheap. But their colours are one tone lighter than in the bottle, so I think getting the base coat and top coat is okay, but maybe not the colours. For example, the dark pink I have, when applied, it looks like the light pink I have. The light pink, just looks like nail gloss with pink glitter.

What Looks Good On Me
Throughout all this colour testing, I've come to learned that I really should stick to warm colours, like the Precious Peach from Sally Hansen. I don't like warm colours, like brown, yellow, peach. But really no choice, since my skin matches with them more. Purple, pink tend to be a slight disaster. Not just for nails, but also eyeshadows, blush, lip colour. Sigh. So I must learn to let go off my favourite colours, and embrace those I hate but look good on me.

I guess the collection will stay small for now. Although I was amazed at myself for even having 15. Cos when I started using nail polish, I had thought that I would only have one or two, and stick with it till it finishes. But no. LOL.

Honestly, how many of you do this too?? haha. Like thought you would just get one red lipstick, but ended up buying all the shades, and every new invention that comes out, then end up with a whole collection of barely used lipsticks? :PPP hahaha.

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