Category Archives: Reviews

My Travel Beauty Essentials: Makeup Edition

 

Travel Beauty Essentials: Makeup Edition

What a beautiful mess.

 

We’re in Jeju today, and what a wonderful time to be here! Being overseas for a short time means you should always only have with you your travel beauty essentials, things that you would naturally reach out for when time allows for it. I’ve brought along some of mine, and thought it would be nice to share them with you.

 

Travel Beauty Essentials: Makeup Edition

Everything’s here, except for my Diorskin Forever Compact Foundation.

 

  1. 3CE Eyeshadow Palette in Bitter Sweet
  2. Urban Decay Naked 3 Palette
  3. Kiko Milano Shade Fusion Trio Blush in 04
  4. Australis AC On Tour Contouring & Highlighting Kit (available on Zalora here)
  5. Julie Hewett Belle Noir Lipstick in Femme Noir
  6. Tom Ford Lip Colour Matte in Black Dahlia (awesomely available on Nordstrom here)
  7. Heroine Make Long and Curl Mascara Super Waterproof
  8. Bourgois Brow Design Brow Mascara in 03 Châtain
  9. Laura Mercier Paint Wash Liquid Lip Colour in Nude Rose (available on Nordstrom here)
  10. Sara Happ The Pink Slip
  11. 3CE Pore Silky Balm
  12. Galeries Lafayette Angled Blush Brush
  13. Mary Kay Eye Colour Brush
  14. Sigma Flat Kabuki F80 Brush (5th Year Anniversary Edition)

 

Travel Beauty Essentials: Makeup Edition

The Australis AC On Tour Contouring & Highlighting Kit.

 

In My Travel Beauty Essentials: Skincare Edition, I mentioned that the Australis AC On Tour Contouring & Highlighting Kit is the only contouring product I own – and I can’t be more glad to feature it here. It’s a product that has everything you need for decent contouring and highlighting, and because it’s in a compact powder form, it works great for oily skin. You can read my detailed review on this palette and see more close ups of it here.

 

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My Travel Beauty Essentials: Skincare Edition

 

Travel Beauty Essentials: Skincare Edition

Introducing my travel beauty essentials for my trip to Korea.

 

Hello from the sunny land of South Korea! It’s my third time here in Seoul, but this time I’m visiting Busan and Jeju Island for the first time as well and I can’t wait. It’s also my first time in Korea in the summer, and my skincare routine has since changed. Here are the skincare products I have with me this time round, and I hope you might find something new to try out from today’s post.

 

  1. ANIA Skincare Moroccan Rosewater (available on ANIASkincare.com here)
  2. DCS Nutriderm Ultra Nutrition Night Cream (read my blog review on it here)
  3. L’Oreal Gentle Lip and Eye Make-up Remover (For Waterproof Makeup)
  4. Neutrogena Deep Clean Brightening Cleansing Oil
  5. Dr. Wu Intensive Acnecur Spot Treatment with BHA
  6. Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Eye (available on Nordstrom here)
  7. Olay Regenerist Revitalising Eye Serum
  8. Avène Extremely Gentle Cleanser Lotion

 
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Rave & Review: The Mirenesse Forbidden Ink Auto Lip Liner Duet in Crazy Coco

 

Mirenesse Forbidden Ink Auto Lip Liner Duet

 

So in between preparing for lectures, minding my own business (literally), catching up on some Neil Gaiman (Any fans out there?), napping, Nordstrom-ing and Pilates, I’ve also been trying my very best to find out where I can buy more of this product. I’d received the Mirenesse Forbidden Ink Auto Lip Liner Duet as a gift and started using it some weeks ago. I’ve kind of fallen in love with it but man, it’s so hard to find online!

 

This is the first time I’ve heard of the brand Mirenesse and from what I gather on their website, they are an Australian label that is cruelty-free and their products contain ingredients that are organic. Although one of their star products is the Secret Weapon Supreme 24Hr Mascara, it didn’t work as well for me as fibre mascaras do. But this lip liner, this one, is amazing.

 
Mirenesse Forbidden Ink Auto Lip Liner Duet

 
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Review: The Kiehl’s Crème de Corps Nurturing Body Washing Cream & Body Moisturiser

 

Kiehls Creme de Corps

 

Eczema is so annoying. You never know how you got it in the first place and it never seems to go away no matter what you do. It turns you, often without warning, into this fussy consumer you used to swear you would never be. Alas, you now have to bite your tongue.

 

Woe betide me. And you, the one who also has silly eczema problems. I hope you’ve learnt to embrace it as part of who you are. I mean, it’s not as if we have a choice. But there’re always ways to make life a little bit better. Today, I’m quite delighted to share with you a couple of products I tried and loved – the Kiehl’s Crème de Corps Nurturing Body Washing Cream and Body Moisturiser. Click on the individual tabs below to read my in-depth reviews.

 

The Kiehl's Crème de Corps Nurturing Body Washing Cream

I’ve never had something more luxuriously perfect for sensitive skin – at least not yet. Truth be told, this is the first body shower product I’ve ever tried for eczema sufferers but I can safely say I do like it. It doesn’t aggravate any itchy patches or cause any more to appear. It smells like pure milky soap – and also looks like it. Squeezed out of the tube, it looks like creamy sunblock.

 

It lathers only minimally, as it does not contain ingredients that promote it. I love it that there is no fragrance in this – and it’s important to know that the ingredient “fragrance” can be used to label a thousand and one things under the sun. So, because there is no fragrance, at least we all know what exactly is in this product. However, you’ll notice several parabens in the ingredient list.

 

Ingredient List:

Aqua/Water, Myristic Acid, Palmitic Acid, Disodium Laureate Sulfosuccinate, Potassium Hydroxide, Zea Mays/Corn Germ Oil, Lauric Acid, Stearic Acid, PEG-7 Glyceryl Cocoate, Cocamide MEA, Glycerin, Phenoxyethanol, Butyrospermum Parkii Butter/Shea Butter, Disodium EDTA, Cetyl Hydroxyethylcellulose, Polyquaternium-7, Methylparaben, Simmondsia Chinesis Butter/Jojoba Butter, Xanthan Gum, Propylparaben, Butylparaben, BHT and Aloe Barbadensis/Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice.

 

The Kiehl’s Crème de Corps Nurturing Body Washing Cream is non-irritating, non-drying and moisturises skin well. It currently retails at S$35 for a 200ml tube, which is pretty expensive for a shower product. To compare, the Bioderma Atoderm Gel Douche, which I currently use daily, retails at S$23.50 for a 500ml bottle. I wouldn’t get this as a daily product to use, but it’s perfect for a gift or for special pampering sessions, such as staycations or a Friday night relaxing time in the shower.

 

The Kiehl's Crème de Corps Body Moisturiser

I love this Body Moisturiser from Kiehl’s mostly because it is very deeply hydrating. That’s all thanks to the second ingredient in the list, squalane, and the other plant oils in it. I once had a bad reaction on my eczema patch to some product, where my skin was basically red and raw from all the mindless scratching I did. That very night, I applied this moisturiser on that parts that were sore, and then as a booster and moisture lock added another thin layer of my PHB Skin Repair Gel (read my review here). Not only did it not hurt the skin at all, but everything calmed down by so much the next day. I swear this can only be a miracle.

 

Like the Nurturing Body Washing Cream, the Body Moisturiser is fragrance-free. However, the ingredient list is longer and it also contains parabens.

 

Ingredient List:

Aqua/Water, Squalane, Hydrogenated Polyisobutene, Glycerin, Propylene Glycol, PEG-100 Stearate, Glyceryl Stearate, Stearyl Alcohol, Myristyl Alcohol, Dimethicone, PPG-5 Pentaerythrityl Ether, PEG-5 Pentaerythrityl Ether, Sesamum Indicum/Sesame Seed Oil, Phenoxyethanol, Isopropyl Palmitate, Ozokerite, Benzophenone-3, Butyrospermum Parkii/Shea Butter, Methylparaben, Magnesium Aluminium Silicate, Xanthin Gum, Glycine Soja/Soybean Sterols, Sodium PCA, Propylparaben, Allantoin, Olea Europaea/Olive Fruit Oil, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis Oil/Sweet Almond Oil, Prunus Armeniaca/Apricot Kernel Oil, Theobroma Cacao/Cocoa Seed Butter, Persea Gratissima/Avocado Oil, Tocopherol, BHT, Lecithin, Butylparaben, Zea Mays/Corn Oil, Aloe Barbadensis/Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice and CI 75130/Beta-Carotene.

 

This product comes in two sizes, 250ml and 500ml. The smaller one retails at S$60 and will last for a pretty long time, so I recommend getting this first before you’re sure you want to commit to it. The 500ml bottle retails at S$90 and though it’s more value for money, it can actually be a waste if you won’t end up using all of it.

 
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Review: The ANIA Skincare Argan Oil That’s 100% Pure and Certified Organic

 

ANIA Skincare Argan Oil

A great addition to your bathroom countertop.

 

If you’re addicted to body oils, chances are you’ve definitely heard of argan oil and its benefits. You might also know that argan oil is safe for pregnant women, children and babies. In fact, it’s recommended for pregnant women to help prevent the formation of stretch marks because it improves the elasticity of skin. To be honest, I’ve never really been a fan of body oils, especially when the first time I ever tried one gave me a case of eczema that’s never really gone away till now. Then again, it wasn’t a natural product – but I’m digressing.

 

I was invited to give the ANIA Skincare Argan Oil a try, and because the only ingredient in this product is 100% pure certified organic argan oil sourced directly from Morocco, I decided to give it a go. The product is placed in a translucent glass bottle, so you can see the contents inside it. It also comes with a dropper screw cap, which gives you better control over how much product to use each time.

 
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Review: The PHB Ethical Beauty Skin Repair Gel with Aloe & Lavender

 

PHB Ethical Beauty Skin Repair Gel

 

It wasn’t only yesterday that I became quite aware of skin-loving products that were made ethically and contained ingredients that weren’t doubtful. In the past 1-2 years, the skin on my calves seemed to have become more sensitive than it had always been, and I started developing eczema patches here and there. Suddenly, I could no longer use shower gels from the many brands I used to love, because they would just make the condition worse.

 

In the past couple of months, I’ve been on the search for skin-repairing products that would make my eczema go away and return me the healthy skin that I used to have. I was asked if I wanted to give PHB Ethical Beauty a try and one of the products I was recommended was the Skin Repair Gel with Aloe & Lavender.

 

The gel itself comes in a 120ml glass tub with a metal lid that screws shut.  It is hand made in the UK, like all the other products from the brand, and contains natural and organic ingredients. A quick look at their short ingredient list shows organic aloe vera as the second ingredient on the list after water. Now we’re talking.

 

Ingredient List:

Aqua, Aloe Barbadensis (Organic Aloe Vera), Vegetable Glycerine, Lavendula Angustifolia Flower Distillate, Sclerotium Gum, Biosaccharide Gum-1, Xanthin Gum, Coco-caprylate, Propandiol & Salix Alba, Lavendula Angustifolia (Lavender) and Benzyl Alcohol. Occurs naturally: Geraniol, Limonene and Linalool.

 

The gel smells quite strongly of lavender the moment you open it, though it dissipates quite fast once applied. Because it has aloe vera in it, it does have an immediate cooling effect on the skin even when left to store at room temperature. Which makes sense, seeing that this gel is meant for skin that is irritated, inflamed, sun burnt or suffering from eczema. The gel calms the skin down and leaves behind a thin, lightweight, silky smooth feel. When applied on inflamed skin that itches, it immediately stops the itch. I think it would be good to give this a try on mosquito bites. It can be used on the face as well, as aloe vera helps to soothe acne if you suffer from it.

 

As for the other ingredients in the list, they seem fine to me as well. Glycerine is very commonly used as a base in soaps. All the gums you see are used as emulsifiers and thickeners, but since this gel is quite flowy in nature, I don’t think a high concentration of the gums is used. Coco-caprylate (a natural ingredient) is what helps the gel to spread well and hydrate the skin, and gives the skin its silky effect after applying. I love it!

 
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New on the Beauty Counter: The Guerlain Météorites Base in its Pink Perfection

 

Guerlain La Petite Robe Noire Makeup

 

The long weekend that just passed gave us some time to rearrange our furniture at home, and what better time than this to prop up my art work of La Petite Robe Noire? I know it’s not fantastic on canvas but she has a tutu skirt, and that’s all that matters.

 

I’m not sure if you’ve heard, but Guerlain recently launched their La Petite Robe Noire Makeup Collection along with their SS 2016 makeup collection. I can’t get enough of the Météorites Base Perfecting Pearls Anti-Dullness (available on Nordstrom here) – the pastel pink and white combination has me weak in the knees. When applied on the skin, it leaves a super smooth finish that’s slightly shimmery and very romantic. Although it is a silicon-based product, it’s pretty lightweight so you don’t feel as though your skin can’t breathe.

 

Guerlain La Petite Robe Noire Makeup

 

And if that doesn’t inspire you to live life a la Parisienne, you need to check out the 20 new lip colours in their pretty new packaging. 007 Black Perfecto is my favourite of the lot because it looks black in the tube – or at least a deep, burnt indigo – but when applied on the lips, it ends up being just a light purplish or pinkish stain, depending on the shade of your natural lips.

 

Guerlain La Petite Robe Noire Makeup

 

But perhaps the one thing that’s got me missing Paris the most is this book by Jennifer L. Scott: “Lessons from Madame Chic: 20 Stylish Secrets I Learned While Living in Paris.” I just can’t put it down, so pardon me for being slightly late with my recent blog posts while I relive France in my mind, imaginary vintage dressing table and all.

 

Oh yes but how could I forget. If you’ll like to know the ingredients in the Météorites Base Perfecting Pearls Anti-Dullness, here they are.

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Wednesday Musing: My Top 5 Beauty Priorities

 

Top 5 Beauty Priorities

 

Life is all about making priorities. Our priorities change from time to time, depending on what is important to us at any moment in our lives. But there are some priorities that are here to stay, either for the next 10 days or the next 10 years.

 

Here are my current top 5 beauty priorities.

 

1. Good Skin

Good skin has always been a great concern of mine. I used to be a sufferer of really bad acne, some of which was cystic, while growing up. Even when I grew into adulthood, they never truly went away. If not for hormone regulating pills, I wouldn’t have the skin that I do today. And for me, that’s OK. Not everyone is born with flawless-skin genetics, so we just have to deal with it in our own ways.

I foresee that sometime in the near future, I’m going to have to slowly wean myself off this medication for specific periods of time, and a part of me is quite worried about what things are going to be like when that happens. I suppose with the invention of beauty cleansing tools (I currently use the Clarisonic Mia and am totally smitten by what it has done for me), good skincare products, a good diet, a regular skincare routine, enough rest and optimism, I can continue to have the skin that I wish for.

 

2. Brows

Oh dear me, wherever my brows went after I was born is a mystery. Actually, I’m not sure I actually had them proper. My brows are the finest you can get out there, never mind the fact that my hair is typically Asian-dark.

Brows can make or break a look, and I learnt this quite the hard way. Looking back at some of my very first beauty looks, where my brows were completely unfilled, I still cringe today. Nowadays, my daily look includes filling them in with some soft brow powder, so I feel somewhat better that people sitting at the far end of the lecture theatre can tell I have some sort of brows when I give my lectures. In a way, it’s kind of like stage makeup.

 
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Rave & Review: Kiko Milano – Quality Beauty on a Budget

 

Kiko Milano Cosmetics - Laced Ivory

The Kiko Milano Velvet Mat Lipstick (top), Shade Fusion Trio Blush (middle) and Dazzling Highlighter (bottom).

 

Have you ever discovered a beauty brand by accident, or through a friend’s recommendation, and then fell so much in love with it that you wished you could have everything in store? That’s what happened to Kiko Milano and me.

 

Kiko Milano is a beauty brand that originates from Italy, proving that not only is this European country the home of fashion, it is also one for beauty. I’ve only seen their outlets here and there the past few times I had been in France, and each time, the stores were all filled to the brim with shoppers. The crowds were the main reason I never stepped into any of their stores, but now that I’ve discovered their products and brand vision, I haven’t looked back.

 

Kiko Milano serves to create top-notch beauty products using the best ingredients they can find, and leaving out anything that isn’t up to their standards in terms of safety. The brand is cruelty-free and their quality products deliver great colour payoff. The best part is that they are oh-so-affordable.

 

The very first products I bought from them are featured in today’s entry: the Velvet Mat Lipstick in shade 613 Pink Carnation, Dazzling Highlighter in shade 04 Bright Rose and Shade Fusion Trio Blush in shade 04 Peach Rose- in that order. The lipstick first caught my eye because it was a matte range and the colour seemed very wearable. I tried one using my finger and my lips didn’t immediately feel tingly (I have eczema), so I added it in my imaginary basket.

 
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Rave & Review: The 3CE Pore Silky Balm

 

3CE Pore Silky Balm Review

The 3CE Pore Silky Balm is a god-send.

 

Oh dear, I’m not sure you’ll be very friendly to your wallet after reading this post. Today I’m raving about a product I finally got to try – the 3CE Pore Silky Balm. If you need to know the verdict now, I’m telling you this is something you need in your beauty stash, stat!

{I’ve previously written reviews of some of my favourite products from 3CE, and you can read the one on their gorgeous lip colours here. One of them makes a cameo appearance above – you’ll notice the consistent white-on-black packaging.} 

 

I first heard about this product because a friend recommended it to me. This is a product that makes you go, “Why haven’t I discovered this earlier,” once you start using it. The 3CE Pore Silky Balm is a solid balm in a round metal pot. It only comes in one shade – Ivory – but would fit various skin tones because each use only requires a minimal amount.

 

Once you screw the cap open, you’ll find a spatula to scoop the product with, a sponge and a transparent plastic protector which you should keep to ensure that the balm does not get dirty. As the balm is a little sticky in nature, dust can get stuck on the surface and contaminate it.

 
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