Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Essential Damage Care

Essential Damage Care is the new hair care range to try on the market. With its bright sweet pink and radiant lovely orange, it shouts "Sassy Kawaii" to all the girls who love their hair out there. =)

Both ranges of Nuance Airy in Pink, and Rich Premier in Orange, promises to care for even the last 15cm of your hair. And true enough to its words, I found my hair un-frizzed and detangled all the way to the end.

Presenting my latest rave together with a mini competition vs Asience Deep Nourishing Range (Gold):
Essential Damage Care in Nuance Airy (Pink)

Available: Watsons, Guardian, NTUC, Shop&Save, $3.95 at many places for 200ml, $9.95 for 500ml

Volume: 200ml, and 500ml

Star Properties: *1 Protection ingredients: honey and whey (milk) of very high purity
*2 Repair ingredient: lanolin fatty acid

Essential Damage Care in Nuance Airy, picture courtesy of Kao Essential website.

The design for the 200ml pour out bottle is simple amazing. It fits *clicks* right into my palm. Staying there so beautifully and will not slip like many other shampoo/conditioner bottles.

All of them, the shampoo, conditioner and treatment, smells wonderfully of sweet fruits, yet not overwhelming.

This is the first time my SO commented that my hair is fragrant after knowing him for so long. Previously, I have been using L'oreal and Asience, which are not known to leave any smell on the hair.

All of them artificially coloured to be beautifully pink, exactly the same as the bottles of course.

It is definitely not as smooth nor easy to rub in as Asience. I had to take more to shampoo the whole length of my hair.

1. Ultra duper volumizing! I didn't expect the results to be so good, and as promised. Can you imagine my eyes wide open when I saw how "popped" up my hair suddenly became, when I sat down in front of the mirror for the first time? My hair has grown so limp from the number of rebonds I did. It always lies flat on my head like forever already. Nuance Airy actually made the silhouette of my head wider by 2 inches around!! 2. Totally detangled! Even with Asience Deep Nourishing, I always found the inner portion of my hair to remain frizzy, and thus easy to tangle/tangled. I think Essential Damage Care straightens out my hair so well that all the knotty problems at the hair ends are solved. As promised, it delivers care all the way to even the last 15cm of your hair.

3. Not soft and smooth. Maybe it is because the pink range only promises light and volume, it just doesn't makes my hair as soft and smooth as Asience does. With Asience, my hair has the super velvety soft feel and shine, like in many advertisements. But not with Nuance Airy.

Nuance Airy treatment works. It does makes my hair softer, smoother and straighter than if I do not use treatment. But it is not as "dream-come-true" as Asience. Asience Treatment can keep my hair in the same soft, smooth and shiny state for two days. Which is the longest lasting I can find so far. Dove, Silkpro, L'oreal all doesn't works that well.

What I like about Essential is that it gives damaged hair volume. It's like a 2-in-1 actually. Because none of the other brands can repair damaged hair and give volume at the same time. They only offer a range for damaged hair, and a separate range for volumization.

Overall, I would recommend Essential if you looking for
- care for the last 15 cm
- detanglement
- straightening
- anti-frizz
- volumizing.

But I would still vouch for Asience if you looking for
- soft like flowing water and piece of silk
- smooth
- lasting softening and smoothening effects.

And definitely still recommend Asience Treatment over Essential's.

As for personal preference, I still like Asience, and I would still stick to Asience despite the $3 more price.

I love this: 4.5 hearts

VERY value for money!!!
It delivers the promised quality as written in description despite its lower pricing strategy.

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Thursday, September 24, 2009

Metholatum For Men Charcoal Cooling Facial Wash

Metholatum For Men Charcoal Cooling Facial Wash
Available: Watsons, Guardian, very affordable.


Star Properties: Has unique charcoal formulation to help control oil in male skin.

I think this is my all-time favourite packaging so far. It still sounds quite impossible to me now, that a men's range packaging actually wins all the beautiful, colourful, wonderful bottles of women skincare bottles.

This Charcoal Cooling Facial Wash comes in a diesel-like water bottle shaped pump bottle. Which is so easy to dispense, so easy to hold in my hands (it's quite tiny), so cute to pump out.

I definitely prefer this form to those tubes that even expensive women brands come in.

The Liquid
Oh, it's such a very beautiful, shiny shade of silver. I am quite sure that's artificial colour. But I am alright as long as my skin doesn't reacts to it.

The liquid flows very well, feels very smooth when I glide it along my face. And it is absolutely non-foamy at all! That's what I love about it. I hate cleansers that foam. LOL. A lot of even expensive brands have cleansers that foams.

Foaming is not definitely a good thing. As they just add more surfactants to your product. Surfactants do not have any direct skincare benefits. They are merely added to give you the psychological illusion that the cleanser is doing its job, and the more foam, the cleaner your skin is. No, it does not, and this is a myth.

Surface Finish
Much as charcoal is supposed to dry out the excess oil, and supposedly more suitable for oily skin, I am so happy that this face wash does not dry me out till my face is squeaky.

I really like it so much compared to something like Kiehl's Centalla Facial Wash (I have ditched Kiehl's already).

This is probably due to the low amount of active carbon too. The amount of charcoal is Daiso Charcoal Cleanser is so much more, according to the ingredients list.

Maybe that's why I can use this. I know it's men's skincare. haha. But it's more or less the same. Of course, I wouldn't purposely choose this over my other products choices. But I am just using it for the sake of writing this review. If I were a guy, Yes, I would choose it. But I am a girl, haha, so no, I already have my HG cleanser.

Sensitive Skin
No problem at all. So surprised. I think I am only sensitive to strong potions and oily formulas. So I guess, this cleanser is non-oily, and non-drying, not too potent too. My SO is also loving it.

Really affordable. I wish female skincare products could be this cheap. Expensive is not definitely better. It's just part of marketing, prices must be tweeked to appeal to different target groups. e.g. Tai-tais wouldn't want to buy LV if LV is not 4 digits and above.

I love it: 5 hearts

No complains about this. =)))

Oh, and the sub-website for Mentholatum For Men is much clearer. Click HERE to view.

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Mentholatum SPF15 Sunscreen + Moisturizer

I am very sorry that I cannot provide the pictures for the Acnes range right now, as there isn't a proper Acnes website, and I haven't taken photos, since the products are not my house.

If it would help, here is the Mentholatum Acnes sub-website: Click to view.

Mentholatum SPF15 Sunscreen + Moisturizer

Available: Watsons, Guardian


Star Properties:

Pretty strange packaging for a moisturizer. Normally bottles in this shape contain very fluid sunscreen, like Biore, or Sunplay.

It felt strange when I squeeze out from the bottle an opaque but non-fluid cream, that is quite watery.

Considering the gel-like texture of this sunscreen moisturizer, I think it would be difficult to squeeze out the last bit of it! LOL. I really don't understand why the dispense mechanism was designed this way.

A tube or tub would be more appropriate.

Surface Finish
Pretty okay. This is not a WOW! product for me. If I were forced to use it, I will just use. But I think there are better choices for me out there.

Sensitive Skin
I had no problems with this cream at all, despite slapping 1/4 teaspoonful of it, to get the maximum SPF15 effect.

I love it: 2.5 hearts.

If I am not wrong, this won the Cleo Beauty Awards. Cos my SO was choosing between this and Mentholatum Charcoal range's Soybean Moisturizer. Moreover, the soybean moisturizer is cheaper, and he still chose Acnes. Must be because of the award.

Overall, I think if I were still in my teens, going through puberty and have severe acne problem, I would appreciate Acnes range much, much more. As compared to now, I only like the Medicated Sealing Jel.

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Mentholatum Acnes Toner

Mentholatum Acnes Toner

Available: Watsons, Guardian, quite cheap


Star Properties: It has powder that will dry off the excess oil on your face.

This is the usual toner bottle with the holed cap, so you just have to turn it over to dispense. I am fine with it, as I am already used to pouring out toner. I don't use cotton pads nowadays though. Just pour 3 drops on my palm.

But I understand that some people would prefer to have it in a spray bottle, as this saves on the volume used each time.

My favourite is the still a pump bottle though, like TFS Eco-Vert Toner.

This is a powder-water bi-phase toner, which means you have to shake before use. Honestly, I don't like bi-phase stuff. To me, it's very troublesome. Plus I am particular about how I shake. Cannot be too vigorous, as this will cause bubbles in my products.

I will overturn it, wait patiently for the particles or oil slowly mix with the water. Then overturn, and overturn again. Swirl gently in between too. This is time-consuming.

Surface Finish
This toner is very drying, as it contains alcohol. Definitely only recommended for people with oily skin. My SO, who is the main user of this product, says it is mattifying, and controls oil on his face, lasting a whole day.

I personally stay away from alcohol products.

Sensitive Skin
It is okay for me. Despite the dryness, nothing happened to me.

I love it: -
I can't exactly rate this, as it is not for my skin in the first place. So I hope the description in this review may help you to judge the product by yourself.

Just want to say that it's kind of so far so good that Acnes range of Mentholatum really does help those with more serious acne problems. Haven't read serious complains before... ...

If anyone has used some Acnes products before, feel free to post your thoughts. =) Heard that the cleanser is not too bad...

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Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Himalaya Herbals Acne-n-Pimple Cream

I found a new pimple cream that is mild but works for me!

This time, this cream is the winner of Cleo Beauty Awards 2009 and absolutely natural. I am currently trying to take baby steps to go as natural as I can when it comes to skincare. And this time, I have found something that is pretty cheap, and pretty good.

Himalaya Herbals Acne-n-Pimple Cream

Available: Watsons, Guardian, $10+

Volume: 30g

Star Properties: Silk Cotton Tree, with its astringent and cooling properties, controls acne and pimples and prevents future breakouts. Five-leaved Chaste Tree reduces skin inflammation. Aloe vera heals and softens the skin.

Note: Himalaya Herbals promises on its label that it is 100% plant active ingredients.

Himalaya Herbals Acne-n-Pimple Cream, picture courtesy of Himalaya Herbals website.

Do take a look at the website, here, cos I found it quite useful, with the amount of ingredients stated and all.

It comes in this cute, short and fat, little tube. haha. Very adorable, compared to ACNES Sealing Jel, which is long and normal geometry, like mosquito itch cream. The Himalaya Herbals tube is made to stand on your vanity table, rather than lie down.

Okay. I don't really care that much about the viscosity of pimple creams, as it doesn't matters, since I am supposed to dot it anyway, not spread it all over the face.

I like the way this cream comes in beige colour, so it acts like a medicated concealer. I have been looking for a good medicated concealer for ages. So why not the other way round, look for a concealing pimple cream instead! hahaha.

Although the price of this cream is still more expensive than ACNES, as both have 20% student discount, I think this concealing point is quite worth paying for.

I was very surprised to feel the tingling sensation on my acnes/pimples, right after application, since the ingredients of this looks so mild. And as I hoped, I woke up the next morning with pimples gone. =) Not all gone-gone-gone, but gone such that my skin is smoother. So I am satisfied. Like I said, if my pimple really was gone-gone type of gone, then I am applying poison, not pimple cream.

I need to be very responsible to my readers... So here's the down side:

My SO thinks this cream totally no use on his pimples at all even after applying quite a lot for one week. His are those volcanic type, and erupted volcano some more. Really can see a pea size thing on the face.

So it might not work for you too, if yours is pea-sized erupted volcano.

I love it: 4.5 hearts.

Yes, I am not going to give this full marks, much as I prefer this to ACNES, if I can shell out the extra few dollars. Cos my SO says it doesn't works on him, but ACNES does.

So now, I am going to exchange my tube with his Himalaya Herbals. lol.

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Tuesday, September 22, 2009

I'm Lovin It!

Yes, that's the tagline of MacDonald. I'm Lovin It. Lol. I really like starting to like McCafe so much nowadays, as they serve high quality stuff at a much cheaper price than I can find anywhere else. (Especially Starbucks.) It is no wonder that the emergence of McCafe killed at least half of Starbuck outlets in US.

It is reported that in the US, Starbuck outlets used to dot the streets, with 2 to 3 within one street. That's recipe for money loss, IMO. When economy is good, sure can earn. But once economy turns slightly bad, the company is going to have difficulty staying afloat, as the overheads will suddenly become more than the profits, resulting in negative turnover.

Okay, enough of lessons on the economy from me. I am not even qualified to say anything. LOL. Just reiterating the things I pick up over the years from all sorts of reports.

Yup, anyway, so what is it that I like about McCafe?

1. Definitely the drinks and food. I love the Mango Smoothie, and the Himalayan Tea Frappe is WOW! So special too. Both are $5.10. But Mango Smoothie can be bought in a smaller size at $4.30 I think.

2. The cheesecake! OMG! The cheesecake is absolutely fabulous for just $3+. I have eaten the famous, and arguably best in Singapore Hilton Hotel cheesecake before, and I say, McCafe's one is sooooooo close to Hilton Hotel! Very dense, and heavier in taste, towards the saltier side.

And I recently tried the Secret Recipe Award Winning Marble Cheesecake. It's like *EEEEK*. Want to vomit. I don't understand how that marble cheesecake won cooking award. So hard, so dry, not much taste. Eat one mouthful, don't feel like taking another.

Whereas for McCafe, I keep feel like eating and eating another bite.

3. Ambience, and convenience wins me over. =) I think McD is a very smart enterprise.

Must try McCafe cheesecake, Mango Smoothie and Himalayan Tea Frappe if you haven't, okay! hahaha. =)


Friday, September 18, 2009

Dr. Jart Black Label Detox Healing BB Cream

This is the last sample of my 1st fr3b.com order.

Dr. Jart Black Label Detox Heeling BB Cream

Available: Watsons $32

Volume: 50ml

Star Properties: Triple function of whitening, wrinkle decrease and UV protection.

Cream Texture/Spreadability
The Black Label is substantially thicker than TFS Skin Extra BB Cream, and therefore harder to apply. And I also had to use slightly more to fully cover my face.
This cream has no problems blending into my yellow undertone and more tanned skin. It should not be a problem for fair skin people too. As I have read that good BB Creams do blend into your skin.
Healing Properties
Good! I am very satisfied with it. Again, I wouldn't say that it works as well as a proper pimple cream like ACNES Sealing Jel. But I am indeed happy with the all-in-1 results (foundation + healing + protection) that a good BB Cream promises.

Surface Finish
Super smooth, unlike TFS Skin Extra, where I could still feel my standard skin texture after application. Black Label has really good coverage, and filling/concealing properties. I would promise the sky that it works like a proper concealer, but I am very satisfied that it can cover some of the tiny flaws on my skin, and make pimples look less red too.

This is the main reason why I really, really love this cream so far. My best choice for now!

PS: LOL. I realise I use the term "surface finish", as if I am producing a metal machine part in engineering industry. hahaha. Occupational hazard.

Sensitive Skin
As most of my readers would know by now, this portion is MUST write for me, since skin allergy reactions are such a great concern for my dehydrated sensitive skin.

Very, very happy to announce that I am fine with Dr. Jart Black Label!

Actually, I am quite over the moon right now, as I feel that contrary to my initial belief, it seems that BB Creams are not so poisonous for me afterall. I am elated that I can stop using just loose powder (even though I have hardly finish 1/2 of my Silkygirl LP and still have a stock of Palgantong LP 10g to spare).

I try to remember to put loose powder everyday as we live in a bustling city that is full of pollutants and dirt. And it should be quite well-known beauty knowledge that a layer of powder (any powder) can protect our delicate facial skin from the harms of this concrete jungle.

PS: Maybe it's just crap by the industry people. But all these news keeps appearing in newspapers and articles, I think it's better safe than sorry to adhere, protect and prevent when we can afford to.

I am so pleasantly surprise that this is $10 cheaper than TFS. TFS Singapore is really a cheat-people company, in terms of price. All the TFS Korea items are much, much, much cheaper.

TFS really shouldn't price their BB Cream above that of any Dr. BB Creams. (Just me ranting.)


I love it: 5 hearts.
PS: I have amended that rating for TFS Skin Extra to 4.9, as I want to distinguish between what I feel is the best, and what I feel is very good. Plus, the price of Dr. Jart is also better than TFS.

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Thursday, September 17, 2009

Aries - The Old Times Hair Accessories Haven

Aries, a hair accessories chain has been around since forever. I remember it being around when I was a kid, and my mum would sometimes bring me in to shop with her.

Aries sells mostly hair accessories, like a whole wall of hairbands, all sorts of clips, combs, wigs, mirrors, scissors and whatnot. It also carries other accessories like rings, bangles, scarves, belts and more, but in much lower quantity. As well as nail polishes, very obscure and small brands of makeup.

However, over the years, there seem to be sprout in the number of accessories boutique, such as Chameleon, Chomel, and Diva. And all these new brands have chic, bright and oh-so-nice ambience. In particular, I feel the chain that poses the greatest challenge to Aries is Chameleon.

Chameleon is the one that you sprouting up everywhere, and at very eye-catching locations. As compared to slightly higher end boutiques like Chomel and Diva, which only locates at city areas.
I must admit that I am one of those who fell victim to Chameleon. And every outlet I see, I just can't resist the temptation to step in. I particularly like the ultra bright lights, white-washed floors and walls, and the exceedingly neat categorization of items, plus built-on-shelf mirrors on every shelf.

Even if I don't buy anything, it is just so nice for a girl to step in and preen herself like nobody's business.

It really all started when I started to grow my hair long. I had to tie my hair everyday because of the school rules, and as a Gemini, I couldn't stick to one colour or one pattern. So I went to look around for nice scrunchies. And Chameleon always stocks nice scrunchies. I can't find the same thing at the same shine and same quality at other places like May Fashion of Aries.

Though these other places sold everything at much cheaper prices, they didn't bother to restock frequently enough, and update to the latest pretty things. Scrunchies remained at pass level of black and blue.

So the love-hate game with Chameleon began. I can't stand how certain bling bling items could be sold for as much as $100+, and a normal clip would cost somewhere between $5 - $10. But if it is unique enough so that I wear it often, I guess, I just have to go with it.

All these endured until some time last week, when I discovered that Aries carried the latest fashion of hairbands. Those with super-sized exaggerated hats or flowers, like the one you see on the Caucasian model for Orchard Central ad, pasted all over the MRT.

Pretty amazed that Aries is making effort to reinvent themselves.

I am quite interested at marketing and branding, especially of fashion/skincare retail. And I like to watch how people do things, look at why some brands succeed after remake, some brands don't, spot which are the failing brands and think about how they should revamp, etc and etc.

Right now, I think Aries is one of those in need of rebranding. Maybe not renovation, I hate renovation because it means passing on the extra cost to customers. But sales would run faster if they give a counter to more popular and quality items like Rainbow Nail Polish and the latest trendy items, like the hairbands.

Merchandising is a good way to kick off the rebranding. As this means more astute purchasing/sourcing for items that catch on quickly from the New York/Paris runway. Nowadays this becomes easier because of massive remakes and manufacturing in places like China and Thailand. This translate into highly affordable fashion.

Okay, I guess I should end my post here before I go on and on, rambling about marketing theories and strategies. (Geminis can talk all day long... ... :PPP Please pardon me.)

PS: Will upload the photo for my loot soon.

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Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Latest News

Juice Organics

Juice Organics is a new drugstore line created by Juice Beauty (a higher end line selling at Sephora@Ion), that can now be found in Watsons.

I am longing to try the serum from Juice Organics right now. Reason being my current dead sea mineral serum (which I do like), is probably going to finish in 1 month (only lasts 2 months, and so expensive).

Juice Organics, picture courtesy of Juice Organics website.

The part that really attracts me is the cheap price for certified organic products. Organic is good if it is affordable. =)

Do check it out here if your skincare is running also. =)


The next news is more of something that I have learned to do over the week. I credit this to chiaberry of Cozycot, who is very well-informed on anything to do with sunscreen.

The TIP!

Layer your sunscreen if it is too thick to apply all 1/4 teaspoon/1.5ml at one go.

Layering means to apply say 1/8 teaspoon at a time. Which is what I do. So I basically apply sunscreen two times. Each time, I will massage the sunscreen gently until it feels drier, then I will pat and pat it in. There is no need to wait 20 minutes for each layer to fully dry before putting on the other.

But this procedure actually lengthens my skincare time by another 10-15 minutes, as I really spend time massaging it in.

I think this layering + patting in is working very well for me so far, since I am using Eversoft Intensive Moisturizing and Whitening SPF 50 sunscreen. Cos after doing this, I feel that my skin is getting fairer by the day. This is the only whitening product I have, so I attribute the fairness to Eversoft. =))) Still in deeply in love with this sunscreen.


kawaii TOKYO Melting Dew - Makeup Dissolver Series

Another sample from fr3b, and I love it! My latest rave for now.

kawaii TOKYO Melting Dew - Makeup Dissolver Series

Available: Watsons $36

Volume: 150

Star Properties: All cleansing and moisturizing ingredients are plant derived, ensuring the makeup dissolver is gentle enough for your precious skin.

kawaii TOKYO Melting Dew - Brighten-Up Makeup Dissolver Series, picture courtesy of fr3b.com.

Form - No stinging of eyes, no blurring of vision.
This is called a Deep Cleansing Liquid, but I feel that it is more of a jelly or gel. Jelly form is really good, as it doesn't flows all around so freely, and even drip like cleansing water or bi-phase removers (e.g. Fasio Point Makeup Remover =( ).

When a makeup remover flows too freely, it will seep into the eyes no matter how tightly you close it, as you can't possible seal your eyes with rubber and magnet like the refrigerator.

So saying, this Melting is so wonderful to just stay on my eyes like an eye mask. Definitely no stinging, not even blurring of vision, as with cleansing oils. (Even my HG cleansing oil, Laneige Refreshing CO, seeps into my eyes and blurs my vision. It just doesn't stings, that's all.)

Since this is in a jelly form, definitely, the spreadability will be compromised, and with quite a big difference compared to cleansing water and Laneige Refreshing Cleansing Oil.

However, what I do is to cleanse parts of my face separately, as compared to when I just lumped eye cleansing together with face cleansing, and do all at one go when I use Laneige RCO.

1. Take 2 x 10-cent coin amount and spread it around each eye gently as if you are applying eye gel mask. Spread until you can feel that your mascara has come off. Rinse off with water.

2. Take a 20-cent coin amount, and use one finger to dab it on your eyebrows, then spread it until brow liner comes off. Dab another amount onto the other eyebrow and do the same. Use a separate two fingers to dab the Melting Dew on both cheeks. Spread as if spreading moisturizer. Dab another fingerful of Melting Dew for the lips.

For the remaining amount on your palm, dot it around your face and spread, as if applying moisturizer.

Rinse everything off.

3. Since I still somehow think the above is not clean enough, I took another 50-cent amount, and this time quickly spread it all over my face like a cleanser. Instead of the dab-dab method for precise makeup remover, this step is just to ensure the whole face gets cleaned. Rinse off. Now you can proceed to double-cleansing with your cleanser.

Needless to say, if I can be raving so much about this, its power of removing makeup must be great! No problems with removing my most stubborn Maybelline Gel Liner at all.

Definitely no feeling of toutness/dryness at all. No film coating on my face. Strangely enough, I feel extremely clean, like rid of sunblock, rid of BB Cream and all, but yet my face texture is perfectly normal.

However, sad to say, it does not leaves my skin soft and supple the way Laneige RCO does. haha, now you know why I keep raving about Laneige. Love it!

No fragrance. But it has a chemical smell. This is the only part that I am not so happy with. But tolerable.

Sensitive Skin
No irritations. I don't expect any allergic reactions at all, because the ingredients are good, except for methyl paraben somewhere in the middle of the list. No Sodium Laureth Sulfate or normal stuff in cleansers.

In fact, there are quite a number of special ingredients --> View Website.

I love it: 5 hearts.

Now, I am seriously considering converting from cleansing oil to cleansing jelly. haha. I really love Laneige, and nothing anybody says about other MU removers, like Shu Uemura, Bobbi Brown, Dove, Mandom etc, and etc, ever moves me. I always believe so much that Laneige will still be No. 1 after I compare it to its rivals. But kawaii TOKYO Melting Dew has shaken me... ... Tough choice now.

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Silkygirl Magic BB Cream

LOL. This BB Cream is my first, and is a gift from my SO, cos he saw it at one of the front counters in Watsons.

Silkygirl Magic BB Cream

Available: Watsons, Guardian

Volume: -

Star Properties: Contains Hyaluronic Acid to prevent fine lines and Vitamin E Derivatives to fight against free radicals.

Silkygirl Magic BB Cream, picture courtesy of Silkygirl website.

Both the 01 Natural and 02 Beige are extremely light, suited for fair skinned girls. It makes me look like a clown... ...

Thin, easy to spread. But IMO, not as thin and easy to spread as TFS Skin Extra BB Cream.

Also, it sort of disintegrates into a powdery feel upon application, which I don't like.

Very, very poor. It hardly does anything to my face, if at all. Contrary to what is posted on Silkygirl's website, it has zero concealing property.

Healing Properties
None that I know off. I highly doubt the amount of hyaluronic acid and vitamin E is sufficient to render any effects.

Sensitive Skin
I suspect that it does irritates my skin. A few more pimples did popped out after using it.

I love it: 0 heart.

No good, no good. Not worth the money even though it's dirt cheap for a BB Cream. Maybe at the most, you can use it as foundation or makeup base. Should be fine.

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The Face Shop The Skin Extra BB Cream SPF 20 PA++

As I previously posted, this is the 2ml sample that I got from fr3b.com. =)

I chose to this sample because I have read so many raves about TFS BB Cream. It is known to have very good coverage and suits darker, yellow undertone skins, which means it will suit my skin colour. =)

The Face Shop The Skin Extra BB Cream SPF 20 PA++

Available: The Face Shop Outlets, and some blog spree sites.


Star Properties:
Smart 3-in-1 cream the nourishes protects and correct in just one easy application.

TFS Skin Extra BB Cream, picture courtesy of fr3b.com.

Cream Colour
It is beige, like all other normal BB Cream. But I think if you have tried quite a few BB Creams, you will notice that TFS BB Cream is on the darker and browner side.

As all the other reviews have reported, this cream is indeed very well suited for darker, yellow undertone skins like mine! I don't feel like a powdered-face, Barbie doll wannabe.

Cream Texture
The texture is very good, very thin, easy to apply, and all. After application, it feels pretty much weightless, not sticky or oily. It's really super thin and wouldn't disintegrate into powder feel like SilkyGirl's one.

I wouldn't call it fragrant. haha. It has a very weird herb smell. And sometimes, I even think it's smelly. I can still smell the weird smell on my face after application. But of course, after a short while, it wears off.

I think coverage is the second most important attribute of a BB Cream. This is because, if BB Cream is to be used as a makeup base + foundation + loose powder substitute, it has got to have good coverage, wouldn't oxidise, and best, some concealing properties.

And I am so glad to say that TFS BB Cream is very good in this aspect! Very good such that I have so convinced now that I should never ever use foundation ever again. Except maybe for mineral foundation.

The reason being, I have hypersensitive skin, and normal liquid foundation, powder foundation or two-way cake, make me breakout.

Healing Properties
This is the No. 1 attribute that I feel a BB Cream should have.

In the first place, BB Cream was made for patients who have undergone face peel, which is a very mild cosmetic surgery that uses laser to remove the top layers of skin, so that the perfect baby-like skin underneath can grow out.

This skin regrowth procedure is said to be able to remove scars, acne black or white marks, and of course also means that besides smoothed skin, the patient will suddenly have soft and supple skin.

And after sessions of peeling, the patient will be given BB Cream to apply day and night, fall healing and protection, as the skin after laser treatment will be hot, itchy, and weak. (IMO, something like doing a mild burn on your face.) In addition, the patient will also have to avoid the day time sun (which explains SPF in BB Creams), such as stay indoors, use umbrella etc.

And because of how amazingly BB Cream has helped patients recover from the peeling, BB Cream shot to fame in the (Korean) mass market, as something like miracle all-in-one cream for problematic skins.

Okay, anyway, that's basically the story...

As for TFS BB Cream, I do feel the healing effects. If you remember, I broke out after using the chemical sunscreen from L'oreal UV Perfect. So while I was on TFS BB Cream, I really saw my pimples being soothened over the week. I wouldn't say it is exactly a pimple cream that will give me total cure, but I am happy with the results from TFS. =)

Sensitive Skin
Last but not least, no allergic reaction! I keep reading reviews of how BB Creams clog pores, give some people breakouts and all. I am so glad TFS is fine. Just remember to use makeup remover.

If I am not wrong, TFS BB Cream is around $40. Pretty high mid-range. Considering nobody dares to price BB Cream higher than BRTC's $50.

I think I will feel the pinch if I decide to get the full tube. But currently, I am still abstaining from foundation, only using loose powder. Plus, for BB Cream, though it says with SPF, one should only use about 1-cent coin amount, should be enough to spread. 5-cent if you think you have a bigger face. Thus, 1-cent coin amount each day should stretch the full tube to at least a good 3-5 months. =) This makes my heart not so painful. hahaha.

It is recommended that one refrains from using BB Cream as a substitute to sunscreen, as this would mean you are going to have to use 1/4 teaspoon of it per day. This will almost definitely lead to clogged pores. Just imagine piling on that much of liquid foundation or powder.

I love it: 4.9 hearts!

Besides the slightly steep price, I think TFS BB Cream is worth it if you are looking for a BB Cream right now, really SiCk of liquid/powder foundation, and have more tanned yellow undertone skin.

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Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Random updates + Notes for myself

I have been busy with school and also quite a lot of beauty/skincare products this week. So much to update about.

Coming soon, will be:
- SilkyGirl BB Cream - Cheap, But Is It Really Worth The Money?
- The Face Shop Extra BB Cream - Good Reviews All Over The Net. For The Budget Conscious, Is It Worth It To Save For and Splurge On?
- kawaii Tokyo Melting Dew/Makeup Dissolver - Miraculous New Form of MU Remover, Bye Bye Cleansing Oil?
- Essential Damage Care Series - Sweet, Kawaii, Cheap. Does It Works?
- Himalaya Undereye Cream (NEW!)
- Acnes SPF25 Moisturizer - Cleo Award Winner, But Does It Lives Up The Title?

Also, I've got loot from Aries! Nice things can still be found in budget stores. Forget Chameleon! It's daylight robberrrrryyyyyy!

Yes, yes, yes, I definitely must blog about Chameleon VS Aries/Other "Olden Day" Shops.

I have to go off now. =((( Haiz. Busy, busy, busy.

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Monday, September 14, 2009

FOTD September 11, 2009

I tried my second attempt at FOTD last Friday. This time, I tried to be bolder with experimenting eyeshadow colours. And I basically used two colours, green and black, which I thought would turn out hideous. But ended up, I am quite satisfied with the combination. =)))

I think smokey eyes base is so versatile, as I can fit the silvery greyish black with so many different colours. I really don't think smokey eyes is limited to dark purple, which many claim. I have tried dark olive green this time, and I think next time I going to do red or pink, or perhaps blue. I am also thinking of using lighter shades like lemon green or sky blue, instead of the dark shade, that will tend to fit in more with smokey eyes.

haha, though I am a total newbie to makeup, I think I am having quite a lot of fun with it right now. And my learning curve is still at the steep part of the sigmoid curve. Long, long way to go. (I love logging on to forums and YouTube to learn more about makeup.)

Here goes my pictures:
(Please pardon me for the amateur skills. Thanks for your tolerance. =))

Face with eyes open.

Face with eyes closed.

This is what I had on:
(not very different from my 1st FOTD.)
- The FaceShop BB Cream
- Maybelline Gel Liner in Black
- SilkyGirl Eyeshadow Duo in Smokey Eyes
- IN2IT Green Eyeshadow Palette, darkest shade in Olive Green for the inner part of eyes, and lightest shade in Cream Gold for corner of eyes.
- Maybelline Intense XXL Mascara
- Rhomlon Eyebrow Pencil in Black (This time I decided to draw my eyebrows. haha.)
- SilkyGirl Duo Shimmer Blusher
- Mentholatum Lip Pure Lip Balm
- Make Up Store Lipstick

By the way, I think not many people would take notice of IN2IT eyeshadow palette or Rhomlon eyebrow pencil, because it is much cheaper than brands like L'oreal and Maybelline. But to be honest, they are good!

The blue IN2IT eyeshadow palette is not really nice. The blues are really weird. But I like the green palette a lot. The shades are nice, and the colour stays. Comparatively, SilkyGirl eyeshadow falls off much faster, and is normally gone within 2 hours.

Moreover, for eyebrow pencil, it's just an eyebrow pencil! Unlike lipstick or blusher, you can't feel it, and your skin at the eyebrow will hardly ever be sensitive to any ingredients etc, etc. Therefore, I find it incredibly hard to justify something like a Shu Uemura eyebrow pencil.

PS: I just modified this look with a brighter shade of green, and using pink base today! It's very nice, IMO! I will do the modified version, and post it next week.

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Thursday, September 10, 2009

School Food

I really love Japanese cuisine, and I am so happy there is reasonably good Japanese food in my school's foodcourt.

I ate the Teriyaki Chicken Don again the other day.

Teriyaki Chicken Don

The sauce tastes rich and good, neither too salty nor too sweet. =)

They give quite a lot of chicken too. And I like the shredded crabstick. (I don't eat crabstick except for this shredded one.) There is the tasty mash potato too. And miso soup. But I never finish my miso soup as I feel it is too high in MSG. LOL.

Quite a lot of ingredients given.

Enjoy the food. =) I hope I have taken good enough pictures.


L'oreal Glam Shine Lipgloss

In this post, I just feel like talking about my first ever lipgloss, L'oreal Glam Shine (old version).

This lipgloss was recommended to me after I complained to my beautician about the Lipice Lip Colour being so extremely drying.

L'oreal Glam Shine Lipgloss in 116, Rose Shimmer

Available: $13.90 (iirc), I don't see it around already (old version).

Volume: 12ml

Star Properties: Supposed to shine? None that I know off...

L'oreal Glam Shine, in 116, Rose Shimmer

I like it! I like the size, I like the way it looks like a female's body with nice curves, I like the gloss metal finish of the cover, and the standard transparent bottle.

The Applicator
The applicator is a feather pointed tip brush, which is the pattern that I like best so far, as compared to tube applicators, or straight brush applicators (like SilkyGirl). This is because the pointed tip allows me to apply the lipgloss precisely within my lips, and therefore remove the need of cleaning off extras.

The Applicator.

The Look
Though Rose Shimmer is a very sheer colour, it turns out satisfyingly rich on my lips, and does change the colour of my lips, rather than merely giving it a gloss.

Unfortunately, the gloss is too glossy, and a friend of mine commented that it makes my lips look so oily.

I like the rich colour. =) Sorry about the lack of good lighting.

It is very sticky, and always sticks my hair.

Staying Power
Very poor. Glam Shine falls off withing an hour or so. And will definitely come off after eating.

It is also very drying, and I have to apply quite a thick layer of good lip balm underneath to keep my lips from chapping.

On the high side, considering Majorlica Majorca's gloss tubes are only $7.50, and SilkyGirl's gloss with flat brush applicator, and non-drying is also very cheap. Not really worth it, cos Glam Shine is drying.

Overall, I really don't understand why my beautician says this is not drying.

I love it: 1 heart.

Will not buy the old version of Glam Shine again, as I only like the rich colour. It is too drying for my own good.

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L’Oreal Paris Dermo Expertise UV Perfect SPF50/PA+++ sunscreen

L’Oreal Paris Dermo Expertise UV Perfect SPF50/PA+++ sunscreen

Available: Watsons $20.90, Guardian etc


Star Properties: Enriched with Meroxyl SX and Meroxyl XL with proven efficacy on UVB as well as UVA rays. Tailor made to suit Asian women phototypes by preventing the appearance of brown spots. Contains also Activa-cell, to reinforce skin's natural capacity to defend itself from aggressions.

L'oreal UV Perfect SPF50/PA+++ Sunscreen, picture courtesy of fr3b.com.

This is one of the sunscreen that should be recommended because it does not contains alcohol, which is drying for the skin.

Back of packet, with description of properties, and ingredients list.

However, it is a chemical sunscreen, so the active ingredients may irritate sensitive skin. A lot of people have reported allergies to chemical sunscreen, that's why fr3b.com is good! haha. As someone with sensitive skin, I am really afraid to try something that is widely claimed to be irritating. Yet, I have to try it, because this is a good sunscreen if your skin is comfortable with it.

The Cream
This is the lightest cream form sunscreen that I have ever felt. It is watery, and so easy to spread. And it makes me want to pile on more, unlike all those other sunscreens that are so thick and icky to deal with. No problem putting 1.5ml/0.25 teaspoon at all!

After Feel
It dissolves into my skin well, since it is thin and watery. On the back of the packet, it says this will serve as a good makeup base. So another plus point for L'oreal UV Perfect.

Sensitive Skin
However, so unfortunately, and as predicted, my skin (the sides of my face, near my hairline) really itched like crazy upon application. And a number of pimples popped out.

Last but not least, this is one of the more affordable, more branded sunscreens with SPF50, on the market.

I love it: 4 hearts.

This really is the best in texture so far, with high protection of SPF50, and other properties, I do recommend it to people who have no history of allergies to skincare products. For those who have, perhaps you can try a sample from fr3b.com too. =) Too bad, I can't use it.

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Hi again! I am finally back from school.

Today's muse is about fr3b.com. I am sure many people already know about this fresh and innovative website which allows very normal people like me to be able to test all sorts of products before shelling out the money for an item.

So it is definitely a must for me to introduce this on my blog. --> More savings! No more wasteful purchase of products, then finding out that they are not suitable, and leaving the whole bottle at the back of your cupboard!

I am sure many people already know about this. So without further ado, I unveil my first mail from fr3b.com: Ta daa!

fr3b.com envelope(front)

I am quite impressed that fr3b has printed their own envelop. And they use of satisfyingly big one to mail me the samples, though my samples are all 2ml sachets.

fr3b.com envelop (back)

The back more information, like you should introduce your friends to fr3b.com, to get more points, for you to redeem more products.

My 4 items.

fr3b.com limits users to redeeming at most 4 samples per mail. And one mail is $2. So it comes to $0.50 a sample.

My items are:
1. L’Oreal Paris Dermo Expertise UV Perfect SPF50/PA+++ sunscreen
3. Dr Jart Black Label Detox Healing BB Cream

I chose L'oreal UV Perfect Sunscreen because a cotter recommended it. I have tried the sample, and I will review it in a subsequent post. Look out for it. =)))

As for the TFS BB Cream, I really can't resist the urge to try, as so many beautiful bloggers have given good reviews about it.

Dr Jart is just for me to try a doctor product, which I have never tried before, and actually don't intend to convert to doctor products.

kawaii TOKYO is for me to try out a kawaii Tokyo product. I have tested its 5-in-1 moisturizer in Watsons, and am very satisfied with it. But it's $50++ a bottle (though supposedly for 5 products), which is out of my budget right now.

Sign up for fr3b.com, read reviews, explore and get samples right now! =) I believe it will be very beneficial for people with sensitive skin like me, and who are also budget conscious.


Thursday, September 03, 2009

Beauty DIY: Rice Water Face Wash

I am neither the first, nor will I be the last person to blog about using rice water to wash face. But this the first time I am venturing into DIY Beauty, and I am so excited about my experience! haha.

It happens that my mother cooked today, so I asked her for the rice water. And wow! It's such a big tub.

DIY Rice Water Face Wash

Available: From washing rice before cooking (May filter the water from first wash, or start collecting from the second wash). It's free of charge if you eat homecooked rice everyday. =)

One big tub. I think at least 1 litre.

Star Properties:
Ever heard of SK II Pitera? Rice washing brightens the Granny's hands and keeps it smooth even at her age.

My big tub of rice water.

Honestly, I don't know exactly what the nutrients in rice water are. But my mother has been using rice water to water the pot of plant for as long as I can remember. So there must be good nutrients inside for the plant, besides water. And presumably, the nutrients are also good for our skin! hahaha.

Basically, I had such a big tub that I was trying to finish it up, so I used the rice water for everything. I first cleansed with my cleansing gel, then rinse off once with warm water. Then I used the rice water to splash on my face until all the rest of the cleansing gel came off.

I had this dried up mask cloth from another sheet mask, so I soaked it in the rice water, then press some sort of hydrating serum generously onto it. The one I use is Phyris Profession Hydro Elixir. I rubbed the serum all over the mask sheet, and placed the mask sheet on my face.

The mask sheet. Look kind of scary hanging there. :P :P :P

I did this because that bottle of serum has expired, but still looks and smell okay. And looking at the amount left, I know I would never be able to finish it soon enough (before it degenerates). So I thought of taking this chance to squirt out a lot and finish it up.

Expired bottle of Phyris Professional Hydro Intensive Elixir

I took off the mask after 10 minutes (actually should wait for 20 minutes), as I was tired of waiting for it to dry. hahahaha. Then I rinse off with cold tap water until I think the serum is gone.

Next, I soaked a cotton pad in the rice water, to use it as a toner.

I even used the rice water as a moisturizer, as my current night cream is very, very thick. Using about a 10-cent coin amount of rice water on my palm, I rubbed my normal amount of night cream into it, then spread it on my face. So much easier to apply now!

I read somewhere that we can use facial mists like Evian Braumister or Avene Thermal Water to spray once/twice on our face, then use the moisturizer. The water droplets will help carry the moisturizer into the skin, cos water is a good carrier of all sorts of stuff, and the water molecule is also small enough to pass through the lipid layer of cells.

However, water oxidises things like Vitamin C. So if you are using a Vit C cream, which may be quite thick, I think it is not so advisable to spray water over it.

There is still half a tub left after I tried to use it up in so many ways. lol.

After Feel
I must admit, the after feel of using rice water is good!

My skin is very smooth and very soft. The effect is quite immediate, as I could feel it right after I use it to wash off my cleansing gel.

However, like all masks are, this is no miracle recipe. Even Genefique takes 7 days to see the effect. So continue using if you hope to see real visible effects.

Sensitive Skin
Yay! I am alright. I have read some reviews about girls complaining that rice water irritates their skin. I thought that nobody should be sensitive to rice water... ... Fortunately for me, I am okay with such a wonderful nutritious water.

Remember to do a patch test by soaking a cotton pad in the rice water and leaving it on your face. Remove if there are stinging sensations or sudden itch.

I love it: 5 hearts.

Free and good. haha. Just be careful of splashing you face and washing off with normal water too many times. Because water washes off the face's natural oils, and make the face dry.

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Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Cleaning My Brushes

I finally got down to cleaning my brushes after 3 whole years! haha.

When I bought my first brushes from Make Up Store (in October 2006), I was a real greenhorn, and did not even know that makeup brushes have to been cleaned.

My mother never cleaned her brushes all her life. And she was quite surprised when I took mine out to wash. The reason being that she uses cheaper brushes, and basically just threw them away and buy new ones when the bristles start to get messy and fall out.

It was only until I started to take more interest in makeup, and found this thing called Brush Guard, that I discovered that we have to clean our makeup brushes, quite frequently actually.

I did not buy any Brush Guard, as I feel that I have no need to wash my brushes too frequently, and neither do I soak them in water.

All one has to do is pour a 1-cent coin amount of body gel/foam/(whatever you are using) onto the middle of your palm, and swirl the brush on the gel. Keep swirling and swirling until one is satisfied that enough colour has come out. Then wash the dirtied gel from your palm first. Do not put the brush under direct running water to prevent soaking it and loosening the glue on the bristles. Turn down the tap, and let a small, gentle steady stream of water onto your palm. Swirl the brush in the little puddle of water until the foam bubbles stop coming out.

If you feel that the brush is still not clean, just pour another 1-cent coin amount. I prefer to wash in a staggered way, rather than pour a lot a lot of gel at one time. So I repeat this step a third and forth time if I still feel the brush is not clean. For foundation brushes and blusher brush, which are bigger, you can pour a 50-cent amount.

You can roughly gauge whether the brush is clean or not by looking at the colour. If no more colour comes out into the gel when you swirl, means it should be alright.

Double check that the brush is clean by using kitchen towel (thick tissue paper) to blot it dry. No colour trace should appear on the tissue if it is clean. Also, blotting dries the brush faster, so that you don't have to air/sun dry it too long.

By rights, if you makeup everyday, you should wash the brushes every fortnightly to once a month. And especially if you feel that the brush gives you pimples or is too hard because of the dried up makeup on it, like for eyeliner brush and lipstick brush.

I am currently using The Body Mango Shower Gel to clean the brushes, as I really like the mango smell while I doing this chore. haha. I use Dettol for daily shower, but I feel Dettol may be too strong for my brushes, and I definitely wouldn't want them to smell of Dettol after that. lol.

There, you have it. =) Clean brushes that will not give you pimples.

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