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Beauty Hits & Misses (September & October)

With my salary increment padding my bank account, it really couldn’t be helped that I would splurge a little bit on beauty products :) So here’s what I tried in the last two months!

1. Dove Damage Therapy Intense Repair Overnight Treatment – with Micro Moisture Serum & Fiber Actives. Complete Hair renewal Overnight.

It’s such a darn long name but this product REALLY works! It’s basically a conditioner that you can leave in your hair overnight, & I feel that because it’s a cream product, it’s easier to apply it evenly to one’s hair than say, a spray. So I’m liking product application & the results.

It’s no secret that have long luscious locks is the dream of every girl. I actually tried this product after I began using Dove’s damage therapy shampoo range, which I love. It’s very gentle on the hair and even my boyfriend says he sees a marked improvement in the state of my hair (which prior to this, was very frizzy with many split ends etc due to my excessive hair dyeing..)

Moreover, it’s less fuss free / time consuming compared to hair masks/treatments that you wash off etc. Just a quick pump of the product into your hands, a wipe down and finger comb through your hair, then voila! you’re ready for bed :)

Dove with FIBER ACTIVES deeply penetrates damaged hair throughout the night to actively replenish vital proteins and restore strength. MICRO MOISTURE SERUM nourishes and seals each hair strand from root to tip.

All in all, it’s definitely a product I would re-purchase. the only thing i’d complain about is that my hair does feel more “heavy” when I wake up – perhaps because the cream makes my hair heavier?? but it’s not a big issue, though I would think that those with oily scalps would prefer the spray treatment instead of this overnight cream.

2. L’oreal White Perfect Intense Rosy Whitening – Night

I’m not too ready to jump into the entire world of anti-ageing creams yet, but I thought it wouldn’t hurt to give a night cream a try. Since I’m already an ardent fan of the L’oreal Hydrafresh Anti-shine All Day Hydrating & Mattifying Icy Gel, it seemed like a good idea to grab one of their night creams as well.

What it does:

  1. Brightens skin complexion and tones down spots – this cream contains the powerful double action ingredient, Melanin-Vanish, that helps to inhibit melanin production and unload existing dark pigments in skin layers. During the night, skin gets visibly fairer and spots fade out.
  2. Boosts your skin’s rosy glow – Enriched in Tourmaline gemstone, known to help stimulate skin microcirculation, it acts during the night for a radiant rosy glow in the morning
  3. Soothes and reinforces the skin – UV rays, pollution and stress can lead to create free radicals, which have harmful effects on skin cells. This cream contains vitamin E, a well-known antioxidant that helps to fight against free radical’s damage on skin.

My verdict? I can’t exactly pinpoint how awesome it is yet, but I’m definitely pleased with its non-greasy texture, and my skin does seem less “tired” in the morning. While it’s true that I don’t seem to have dark spots these few days, I’m not exactly a dark-spotty type of person. plus my facial hair is naturally invisible anyway, so hmm maybe this wasn’t the right product for me to purchase. That said, I quite like it for its moisturizing properties, plus my skin seems slightly less blotchy. They also have this product in the day cream, with added SPF.

3. The Faceshop Pore Minimizer – Controlling Toner with Powder, All Skin Types

I hate my pores. there’s no getting around it, I really do :( so everytime i see a pore-minimizing product, i have to control myself before i grab it off the shelf. The Faceshop has rather affordable products, so i decided to try this.

Due to the powder content, one has to shake the bottle thoroughly to ensure that the mixture is mixed properly, which for the lazy ones, might be a bit of a hassle. At first, I wasn’t used to shaking it and ended up wasting some of it (since i had to re-shake and apply all over again), but after awhile, it became routine.

Most toners out there in the market tend to have a high alcoholic content, which makes them smell like alcohol & feel extremely drying. This is so that they perform precisely what a toner is supposed to do – clean your face thoroughly. That said, because of my skin’s sensitivity, I tend to steer away from very strong toners. So I was rather apprehensive about using this product after bringing it home, but to my pleasant surprise, it didn’t sting at all and was very gentle. However, I’m also doubtful about its pore minimizing properties, I certainly didn’t see any huge effect.

Infused with kaolin clay –  a popular product in many sebum/oil-controlling face masks, the toner aims to help in oil control besides minimizing your pores. I wouldn’t say it’s a bad product, I’m just skeptical of its abilities. Half a bottle’s gone on my end but hmmm maybe I need to use the whole range of products together before I see any visible results. What do you think?

4. Eucerin DermatoCLEAN Refreshing Cleansing Gel & Daiso Facial Brush

Targeted specifically for those with normal to combination skin, this product promises to make skin visibly purified, clear & refreshed, plus it lets skin breath and primes it for moisturization. Whilst Eucerin is normally one of my favourite brands (because it hardly ever allows me to breakout), I do find that this gel formula kinda makes it hard to lather & subsequently, wash my face properly. Somehow the gel seems very thick and doesn’t seem to be washing my skin as effectively as I hoped it would.


So i endured a couple days of frustrating face washing, but since I didn’t want to just dump the product, I decided to look for a more effective way to use it. Cue in the Daiso facial brush! (pictures credit to bebe2003)

First, I dabbed the Eucerin gel all over my face, before proceeding to brush my face with the soft silicone Daiso Facial Brush in circular motions. It’s a tad more tiring but after that, I really felt my face was really smooth, cleaned and soft. The brush isn’t irritable at all, as long as you use it gently. It was rather incredible how awesome my face feels after every wash with this facial brush now – I’m definitely recommending it for gels of all sorts!

:) What beauty products would you like us to try?

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A little “me time” for my hair

Despite the hectic work schedule on weekdays and meetups & outings with the friends + the bf on weekends, I always make it a point to have time for myself, just to sit back, relax a little and give myself some pampering. Lately, besides my weekly face mask, I’ve begun to multi-task and do hair treatments at the same time as well, which really makes sense since both should be left on for about 10-15 mins :) It’s amazing how just setting aside 15 minutes each week can do such wonders for my hair, I’ve noticed HUGE improvements in my hair, and love how light, shiny and tangle-free it is at the moment.

Hair Masks are not new to my personal care repertoire, but I used to use them only monthly, instead of weekly as I’ve recently started doing. I always used to think that there was never enough time, but as it turns out, the satisfaction and happiness gained from having such lovely locks more than makes up for the tiny sacrifices I make in order to have the time to treat my hair :)

As usual, shown above are the hair treatments I’ve already tried.The Dove Regenerating Hair Mask was the first I tried, back in 2009 as I received it in one of the CozyCot fair goody bags. It was a pretty huge tub and I really enjoyed how my hair felt after that. It felt like hair conditioner, just that you leave it in your hair for a much longer time and it’s slightly harder to wash off.

The L’oreal Professional Lumino Contrast hair mask was a gift that came with my contact lens purchase late last year [2010] and though it was merely a sample size bottle, I had enough of it to last me through a month. Meant for those with dyed/highlighted hair, I definitely noticed that my hair colour stayed more vibrant for a longer period without fading. similar to Dove’s product, it felt like conditioner as well.

Last but not least, the Essentials Hair Damage Care Rich Premier Treatment was the only product I purchased, as I was freaking out slightly about the increasing number of split ends in my hair. It’s the one I’m presently using, and of all those I’ve tried, has the most pleasant scent. (the other two were quite scentless post-treatment). My hair is tangle free, my dyed hair looks vibrant and feels much smoother as well :)

All in all, I wouldn’t say that there’s a great difference between any of these hair treatment masks, but sparing just 5-15 mins (depending on instructions) each week using these had definitely made a wonderful difference for me, and I plan to continue doing so.

It’s All About the Face [Part one]

It seems that a girl has tons of choices when it comes to foundation these days, so what’s the difference between liquid foundation, mineral foundation (loose), mineral foundation (compressed), compact foundation, two-way compact foundation and pressed powder? Having played around with these various types over the years, I thought it’d be good for me to compile all my knowledge into one blog post, for future reference as well for anyone who’s looking out for an idea of what suits her best :)

Liquid Foundation is probably the type of foundation that I’m most familiar with, though as these bottles are stock images from US websites, they look slightly different from our local versions (e.g. the L’oreal bottle i got was the pump bottle, featured is the pour bottle, but I’ve purchased both styles of bottles from local stores, product is exactly the same..). These can either be applied with a brush or sponge – I personally prefer sponges, but there are those who recommend brushes, which I find harder to clean. With sponges, I dispose of them within two weeks, which is more hygenic than holding onto a brush that you wash once a month. Here’s a breakdown of Liquid Foundation:

  1. Coverage: The best, when compared to any other type of foundation
  2. “Heaviness”: Feels the most “heavy” on the face
  3. Imperfections: relatively obvious, but it’s quite noticeable in any type of light if you apply liquid foundation unevenly

Essentially, I’d recommend liquid foundation for anyone who’s beginning with makeup – but DO note that you must use a pressed powder with liquid foundation, to set it. Otherwise, you do get a slightly “sticky” feeling. So cost-wise, do note that you must invest in a powder as well.

As I’ve tried all three liquid foundations featured above, here’s a quick review:

  1. Ettusais Flat Design Liquid Foundation – said to “flat-ten” your complexion, hiding all bumps and imperfections, with an anti-bacterial formula, I quite liked this foundation, but found it a tad pricey ($50+) for the small amount. The coverage was relatively good and I really didn’t experience any breakouts etc. whilst using this foundation.
  2. L’oreal True Match Super Blendable Foundation – it certainly lived up to its name and perfectly matched my skin tone, but I felt that its super blendability also meant super wearability, it faded off my face quite quickly, particularly if I blotted midway through the day. I also experienced some “orangeness”, which is normal when a foundation undergoes oxidation.
  3. Revlon Colourstay with Softlex Combination/Oily skin – Due to its assertion that it was meant for people with Combination/Oily skin, I kept using this for awhile (went through 2 bottles) before deciding it wasn’t for me. It didn’t help much with controlling my sebum production!

Do also check out Caroline’s review of Maybelline’s Pure Liquid Mineral Foundation here

Mineral Foundation has been pretty raved about these last few years, and for good reasons too! It’s great for anyone of any complexion, plus it looks natural due to the mode of application – normally a kabuki brush or a large fluffy foundation brush. The key about mineral foundation is that it’s supposed to be applied gradually in layers to determine the amount of coverage you want. Here’s my breakdown:

  1. Coverage: light to medium
  2. “Heaviness”: extremely light, with only one coat it feels like you’re not wearing makeup
  3. Imperfections: really not visible unless you have very uneven skin tone

I’d recommend mineral makeup to fairly experienced make up users – it does take some know-how to know where your most uneven spots of your face are, and how to cover it with a brush without being too heavy-handed. Mineral makeup can look uneven after application if you’re not careful with how much you put on the brush. usually I’ll tap the brush on the side to shake off excess.

For reviews, do check out here (Bodyshop & Everyday Minerals)

Maybelline’s Mineral Powder Foundation was something I tried for about 2 weeks before deciding that it really didn’t suit me. As with some particular foundations, oxidisation tends to be a problem with me, and I really dislike turning orange after 4-5 hours of wear, it makes me look really dark and weird. So this was generally a no-no for me, but might suit other people whose pores secrete a different combination of chemicals I guess?

Oddly enough, even though many note that compact/powder foundation would be the best for one with combination/oily skin, I am the least experienced with this type of foundation, mostly because I dislike the “cakey” look. With powder foundation, it is way too easy to go overboard and look like a clown – during my university days, I’ve seen more than one girl go around with a “cracked” face due to an excessive application of powder foundation, or even people with visibly streaky foundation (too much foundation + sweat). Here’s my breakdown of it:

  1. Coverage: medium to heavy
  2. “Heaviness”: Depends on how you apply, do you sweep up alot of product? Application with brushes generally mean a lighter (but less efficient & more wasteful) application. Sponges tend to hold alot of product if you use a heavy hand.
  3. Imperfections: relatively obvious, mirror checks throughout the day compulsory if it’s your first time!

Maybelline Angelfit Foundation was probably the first one I ever used! I bought the wrong shade, applied it wrongly, I pretty much played with it rather than used it. The thing about it was, it was scarily waterproof and water would stay as droplets on my skin. It didn’t however, feel heavy – not that I remember perfectly, but I don’t recall that being a problem with this foundation at all.

L’oreal Super Blendable Match Powder was not something I purchased, but received as a sample from some magazine I think! I liked it but felt that coverage was too light, and I also felt that the shades provided instores didn’t match me very well, so I decided against purchasing the full sized product. Otherwise, it had great lasting power and was only slightly cakey.

[the rest of the foundation types will be reviewed in part 2!]

 

Glitterati

I went on a slight silver craze yesterday whilst out with my friend Rachel :) Witness my silvery purchases :D I’m all for doing a monochromatic look soon with a pop of silver.

Sally Hansen Hard As Wraps 13 Celeb City
Colour: Silver foil with very dense micro glitter
Opacity: Semi-sheer the first layer, completely opaque the second layer onwards
Dries: Medium fast
Imperfections: when hurt it layers off, rather than chipping off.

Personally I loved the colour of this. The pink tint wasn’t part of the polish, but due to the reflection of my camera. This polish isn’t holographic, but pure silver. It was very festive and would be perfect for Christmas!

My next purchase was the L’oreal Chrome Hip Liners that I’ve been so curious about, given the tons of reviews given online by many beauty bloggers. Unfortunately the price was relatively steep for an eyeliner $17.90 SGD so I only purchased one just in case its quality wasn’t up to par (in my opinion)… the silver one!

I was quite happy about the fact that it came along with a plastic cap, which is extremely important and essential for keeping any eyeliner properly. It’s highly pigmented and caused my eyes no irritation even after 4 hours of wear. Moreover, its intensity lasted for the short time that I used it.

L’oreal Hip Colour Chrome Eyeliner

Colour: Intense Shimmery Silver
Texture:
Layers on Smoothly, slight gaps when applied unevenly, shows slight evidence of the skin’s creases
Intensity:
Strong
Ability to Last:
exceeds 4 hours within the home (where I tried it) EDIT Lasts me for 10 hours no problem!

Admittedly my Revlon Colourstay eyeliner beat this one out in terms of its ability to last, but I still love this for its intensity and 4 hours is no small feat, even though I was at home (no fading or smearing even though I took a nap haha!)

My L’oreal Christmas Sale Haul

I was lucky enough to hitch a ride from the bf on his way to work this morning, & he dropped me off at the Singapore Expo so I could take a quick glance at the L’oreal Christmas Sale. Much to my disappointment, practically none of the things I wanted to grab were there – however I was pleasantly surprised by the fact that the sale wasn’t limited to L’oreal products only, as I had initially expected. Instead, brands such as Vichy, La Roche-Posay, Garnier, Maybelline and Redken had products there on sale as well. Unfortunately because I hadn’t researched on these other brands prior to the sale, I wasn’t exactly sure what products were good or bad so I RESISTED THE TEMPTATIONS and didn’t go insane. That said, I still came away with quite a nice haul:

Hair Colour: 2 for $10
Lipsticks: 4 for $20
Maybelline Hyrdra Boost + Maybelline Pencil Eyeshadow: 2 for $10
Elseve Shampoo: Free with purchase

Total Damage: $40

pretty good I must say! So despite the fact that I didn’t exactly get what I wanted, I still got stuff I needed at a lower price. Here’s some pics of the sale!

(1) I took this as I entered the sale area. You can see that it’s actually not a very large sale area, with a moderately sized crowd (I went during lunch hour and most of these women took the expo shuttle bus from their industrial work places).

(2) Even though the markdowns at the Redken booth were quite good, it was relatively empty, with the exception of a few women who were there. The man in the picture is (I assume) a stylist of some sort – he advised many women on what shampoo or mousse or treatment would be good for their hair. Some products did not have markdowns, but came in limited edition sets which are still cheaper than buying the products on their own

 

(3) Unlike the hordes of people that were overcrowding the L’oreal area, the Maybelline booth was largely ignored, with the exception of its eyeshadows, eyeliners, lipsticks and mascaras. The side with its angelfit foundation was practically ignored by everyone – which I guess is a pretty good indicator of its quality?

(4) The Vichy counters were also packed, I only managed to get this picture whilst queuing as the sales assistant temporarily cleared the crowds at this counter for crowd control (it was situated right next to the queue). Items were marked down by as much as $20 or more. e.g. I saw its normateint foundation going for $20 instead of its retail price of $39.

I think the most surprising thing was that there were many men’s items on sale – Vichy had a limited edition men’s set for $50 (3 products if i saw correctly) whilst L’oreal had their entire Vit C men’s Turbo range on sale as well. So many of the bfs and husbands I saw there.. or maybe co-workers of their female colleagues managed to grab quite a lot of stuff as well. The sales assistants were friendly and well-informed on the products available, which I appreciated.

Details of the L’oreal Sale can be checked out at our sidebar –>

The L’oreal Breakdown

Since the L’oreal Christmas Sale is coming up at the Singapore Expo, I thought I’d do a breakdown & review of all the L’oreal Products I’ve ever owned, because a shopper forewarned is a smart shopper indeed :)

5 Products I’m Loving

1. L’oreal’s Skin Genesis Pore Minimizing Skin Re-Smoother

This moisturizer promises to smoothen the pores of your face, tighten them and give your face a more flawless complexion. Certainly, it didn’t produce instant results in a week – but I continued applying simply because I was busy and didn’t have any other moisturizer on hand… surprise surprise two months later when I was looking at older face shots (I take these so I can track the effectiveness of my products), I realised that though my pores didn’t really change in size, but the depth of my pores had become shallower. Moreover, my blemishes had decreased. This product does not give me a greasy feel, & moisturizes without being too oily. I’ve re-purchased this product twice, because it’s better than most of the other oil control moisturizers I’ve used, with the exception of one (also from L’oreal)

2. L’oreal 2 in 1 Kid’s Shampoo, extra gentle, Burst of Strawberry

I LOVE the scent of this shampoo! You must be thinking – kid’s shampoo? Well for a person who bathes awfully lot in the hot & humid climate we have, washing your hair too often with salon products or specialized shampoo products is NOT good for your hair – hence my use of baby shampoo whenever I bathe too often. It cleans the hair without being too chemically harsh. Most importantly, kid’s shampoo is wonderful for cleaning make up brushes. Particularly since this formula is both extra gentle and a 2 in 1 formula (containing conditioner as well), I don’t have to worry about drying out my makeup brushes when I use this product for cleansing purposes.

3. L’Oreal Feria  Multi-Faceted Shimmering Colour

Ever since I decided to stop trimming my hair because I wanted it to grow out even longer, I’ve resorted to hair dyes whenever I needed that extra oomph or got bored with the hair I had. I’ve tried a huge number of hair dye brands, from Bigen, Revlon, Liese, even henna dyes! L’oreal’s Feria range remains one of my favourites because the colour payoff is great and it’s really affordable. Moreover, the conditioner contained inside the box works wonders on coloured hair, I love it!

My only complaint would be that this hair dye kinda stinks due to its ammonia content, which most hair dyes contain. So do use it in a well ventilated area and be careful of getting any product near your eyes, which stings really badly. trust me on this one! I’ve repurchased this product four times.

4. L’oreal Hydrafresh Anti-Shine Mattifying Gel

Bearing in mind that sleeping or staying in an air-conditioned area for several hours is extremely dehydrating for the skin, I apply this moisturizer twice a day and it has really helped in keeping my face mattified for longer hours. Of all the moisturizers I’ve ever tried, this is the best one I’ve ever had. I really love it! I am DEFINITELY repurchasing this product if I see it at the sale on Monday, especially since the jar I have at the moment is already running low. This product has lasted me approx 3 months. My only gripe is that as a jar there are pros and cons – in opening it’s exposed and might get contaminated (you never know, even though I think my room is very clean!), however you can really get ALL of the product out of the packaging. I do however, prefer it to the push pump, because I can control how much I put on my face. The amount of moisturizer applied differs from individual to individual and for this product, I apply a pea sized drop to my entire face.

5.L’oreal Hip Chrome Eyeliner

As a new product range that’s been brought to Singapore (even though it’s been out of the states for the past 3 years or so), I’m really excited to purchase this, particularly since everyone online is raving about how great their staying power is. Colours I’m gunning for? ALL OF THEM except the black because I have waay too many black eyeliners haha. The silver for widening eyes, the gold to go with all my brown/neutral shadows – just to give them a pop of shimmer when I need to change my look from “day” to “night” or “school” to “girls night out” and the purple simply because I am a DIE HARD fan of that colour.

5 Products I won’t be Buying

1. L’Oreal Micro Liner Ultra Fine Eyeliner

I cringe with a sense of nostalgia whenever I think about this pencil eyeliner. This was the very first beauty product I had ever purchased (besides my skin care) & I was all up and raring to “widen” my eyes and “accentuate” the shape of my eyes. Well, the young girl I was then spent hours in front of the mirror painstakingly attempting to create some sort of improvement to my looks – and when I say painstakingly, I really mean there was alot of pain involved. It may be Ultra Fine, but it also means that the edge is extremely sharp. Moreover, when it came to lining my waterline, though it did stay on for a few hours without problems, it caused quite abit of eye irritation at the time, even though I hadn’t started using contact lenses yet. So yeah, even though it was relatively cheap, it definitely wasn’t worth the money.

2. L’Oreal Wear Infinite Single Eye Shadow

Despite the lofty ambitions of its name, this shadow is nothing close to “infinite wear” – trust me, I bought two of this babies, one in the matte formula and one in the rich formula. Neither of them stayed on past 3 hours on my lids (without eyeshadow base) and with eyeshadow base they barely made it through 4 hours each, which is quite bad wear for eyeshadows, considering that I’ve cheaper brands that last far longer than these. That said, the colour payoff is great, it’s highly pigmented so it would be passable for say, a two hour outing but definitely not for a girl’s night out. The colour does not crease, which is another good thing. L’oreal also sells these in quads though they have a very different casing, but generally I’d steer clear of L’oreal’s eye products. Revlon trumps its ass in eye products anytime.

3. L’Oreal Studio Line Amped Up, Mega Volumizing Mousse

I still have this, though mine is a white bottle. There was a certain point in my life where I was really bored with my naturally ultra-straight hair so I bought this hoping that it would help keep the curls I made from my (poor quality) hot iron. Unfortunately, either I didn’t use this properly or I got a faulty bottle (damn you, Watsons! lol. I’m kidding I LOVE Watsons) because the mousse that came out was at times, liquidy and at other times, very creamy. Essentially, inconsistent and the staying power was likewise. I also didn’t like that after application, there was a greasy feel to it and it seemed like the perfect dust attractant – so specks of dust would stick to my hair *urgh* I shudder in recollection of that memory.

That said, the staying power was pretty awesome, but there are better products out there in the market for the same price that do as well a job as this product does, so nope, I’m not repurchasing this one either.

4. L’oreal Infallible Lip Colour

I haven’t actually purchased this product but having heard reviews from friends and seen what online reviewers have had to say, I’m definitely steering clear of this for the following reasons: (1) doesn’t stay, even though it’s “infallible” – L’oreal you need to STOP making these claims! It just ruins your reputation when they don’t work. (2) Colour payoff is not what it seems. There is colour, but it isn’t the desired colour that one sees upon purchasing the product. I would suspect that it’s due to a combination of the two sides of the lipstick.

And on a rather superficial note, I dislike the shape. One essential thing I always look for in a lipstick is its length and shape, because a compact lipstick is very easy to carry around, even in the smallest of purses. This lipstick definitely doesn’t fall under this category, and its promise of “no touchups” does not materialise.

5. L’oreal True Match Powder Foundation

Having heard some great reviews about this product, added on with the extensive advertising it received, I was quite excited when I received it as part of a hamper for a magazine subscription. The name for once, wasn’t lying. It was indeed a “true match” for my skin tone! However, 4 hours later it became streaky (i.e. visible streaks in make up, the horror!) and turned ORANGE on me. I’d previously heard of various foundations turning orange on some people, but I’d never thought I’d see it for myself, on my face no less. So while it does blend very well with one’s skintone and also gives quite a flawless complexion, it’s definitely not good for those with oily/combination skin.

Yup! So that’s it for my breakdown of L’oreal products :) I can’t wait to chiong to the sale tomorrow!

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