Thursday, December 6, 2007

When the internet is not a friend

I know I haven't been posting lately. Unfortunately, I was tied up with tons of work to do since July/August. Took a well deserved break in November but I was having problems with my phone which means no internet the first two weeks.

Got that fixed and it was now my modem which wasn't working. It is still getting replaced which means that I still can't post frequently. My posts are piling up.
I will hopefully be back soon.


Friday, September 14, 2007

Hair Stylez


Doesn't Michelle Yeoh look FABulous at the Venice Film Festival? Even at the age of 45, she has kept herself well. I especially love the way her tresses fall on the side of her shoulders in the pic.

This is a good look for a prom or glam occasion. Elegant & refined.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Rusk Sensories Line - Pure


I had my hair coloured recently and decided to try out the Sensories range by Rusk. The Sensories range contains a unique chemistry known as CFT (Compressed Formula Technology). Compressed during the formulation, Rusk Sensories™ expand with a little water and gentle manipulation, transforming their physical appearance while releasing their provocative botanical/ozonic aromas for an irresistible sensory experience. With Compressed Formula Technology, you use 30% - 50% less product to get double the performance!

I used Pure from the Sensories line as that was for coloured hair. This is meant to awaken the senses and acts as an energy booster for depressed hair. It helps to keep hair colour bold, rich and vibrant and is loaded with UVA/UVB sunscreens and antioxidants.

To maximise the benefits, I used it together with the conditioner. After a few weeks of using this, I find that it didn't really do much for my hair. Not only was the conditioner not silky and emollient enough, it didn't give my hair the incredible shine it promised. I also noticed that there was a lot more product buildup in my hair as the cleanser didn't do a good job of cleaning thoroughly.

I'm switching even though I haven't finished the bottles.

Luv ~ Nothing.
Don't Luv ~ shampoo doesn't clean thoroughly, conditioner isn't conditioning enough.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Eye Designer by Pupa


Pupa has always come up with interesting designs to market their products. This is another product that is unique, application wise for an eyeshadow.

This works such that you get 2 colour shades on your eyelids in one stroke. According to their website, the shape of the anatomical latex applicator has been especially designed to follow the eye's various contours.The kit includes an applicator glide system to release a constant and appropriate quantity of the product. The guides let you regulate pressure on the sponge so that the product does not come out all at once.

I tried out the tester and the handle is made of some sort of latex and you just glide it across the colour from one end to the other. The applicator picks up the colour and it is define quite well. You then slide/stamp it across your eyelids. It does leave the 2 shades on your eyelids. You can then use your fingers to soften and blend the colours.

This is useful for those who wants something quick or can't be bothered too much with makeup, I guess. However, I think I love the whole make up process too much and would rather spend time playing with my colours.

Luv ~ Simple, ease of use for someone new to makeup, quick.
Don't Luv ~ Restricts being able to blend with your own palette of colours.

Exfoliators & Anti-oxidants

Recently, I have been getting a lot of comments from colleagues, friends, even from a beauty waxer about my skin. I have already been in the working field for more than 4 years but a lot of people still mistake me for being a graduate or even a university student.

After pondering over this, I realised what 3 skin ingredients / products that I should give credit to.

I've mentioned about Paula Begoun at an earlier post and I use some of her products. This is definitely one product that in terms of price and what it does, is the best that I've found in the market.

This is a BHA product, also known as salicylic acid. This is a gentle exfoliant that exfoliates both the surface of the skin and also inside the pore. I use to have quite visible pores and blackheads with an oily T-zone. Ever since I started using this, my pores have more or less disappeared and I hardly get pimples anymore other than the occasional ones when I get stressed at work. This is best for skin prone to blemishes and blackheads.

Using this is much better than using a scrub as it is much gentler on the skin and it is able to penetrate the pores to work on any dirt on the inside. I use it daily and don't use a facial scrub anymore. This is also at a pH level of 3.2 which is optimal for effective exfoliation. A lot of BHA products in the market has either too little of the BHA or are not at the optimum pH level. A whole bottle lasts me a year and is definitely value for money.

I've recommended this to friends and after 3-4 months, their skin has cleared up considerably. Both my female and male friends have since receive compliments and it was their turn to rave about this product. This BHA comes at a strength level of 1% or 2% and comes in either gel or liquid form depending on your preference.

This is one product that I cannot be without and will always use. Do not expect a miracle straightaway as it takes at least 3-4 months for any visible results. Initially, it helps to clear your skin and you continue to use this to maintain your skin. Exfoliation can only reach a certain level before it stays that way. Don't think that it's no longer working, it's still working to maintain it.

I was really busy during a period and stopped using it for a few weeks and I saw a difference in my skin after. I resumed using it and the glow has returned.

The other product that I use is the AHA lotion from her as well. This contains 8% glycolic acid that works to exfoliate the outer surface of the skin to reveal beautifully smooth and healthy skin. I used this to help remove minor spots and freckles and keep my skin smooth.

You can use both products on your body wherever there are break outs as well.

Both AHAs and BHA affect the top layers of skin, and they help to improve the appearance of sun-damaged, dry, and/or thickened skin. Removing this dead layer can improve skin texture and color, unclog pores, and allow moisturizers to be better absorbed by the skin.

What is the difference between AHA & BHA?

The primary difference between AHAs and BHA is that AHAs are water-soluble, while BHA is lipid-(oil) soluble. This unique property of BHA allows it to penetrate the oil in the pores and exfoliate accumulated skin cells inside the oil gland that can clog pores. BHA is best used where blackheads and blemishes are the issue, and AHAs are best for sun-damaged, thickened, dry skin where breakouts are not a problem.
To understand more about these exfoliants, check out this article, "Understanding Exfoliants" here.

Ever since I started using the AHA and BHA, my make up slides on smoothly and I don't even use make up sometimes and just dab on sunscreen before leaving for work.

Lastly, I use moisturisers that are loaded with Antioxidants. Antioxidants are ingredients such as vitamins A, C, and E; superoxide dismutase; flavonoids; beta carotene; glutathione; selenium; and zinc. It helps to keep your skin looking youthful and delay the ageing process.

I think that it is a combination of this 3 which allows my skin to stay youthful and glow even on bare skin. Of course, there are other steps such as cleansers and masks which helps but there are many in the market which are good at all price level while the first 2 products are not easy to find a good one and which most people overlook.

In or around Australia, you can buy the AHA & BHA here.

In or around Singapore, you can buy here:

Paula's Choice Singapore

Telephone: +65 9068 3333

For other countries, please go to here.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Oil Bath by Nivea


Nivea was one of the pioneers when their oil bath bodywash hit the beauty market. Nowadays, other brands such as Dove has join in. When the oil bath first came out, I bought one to try it as it was winter and the timing seems to be right.

A check on the website describes this as suitable for even dry skin, offers a superior caring experience. The 55% caring oils and gentle foam replenish and care for your skin, leaving it feeling beautifully soft and pampered.

I have to say after using it that this definitely contains oil. Not only does it clean but it adds moisture at the same time from the oils. So what happens is that you come out of the shower having your skin feel all silky and smooth.

In a sense, this is good for winter as that is when skin tends to dry out more. It is also for those of us who do not put body lotion on a regular basis. I probably wouldn't place the liquid straight onto my loofah as I found that my loofah lost its toughness due to the oil seeping in. Hence, no more exfoliation benefits from my loofah. It is best to rub the bodywash onto your skin first before using the loofah.

Luv ~ Smooth silky skin. Moisturiser and body wash in one.
Don't Luv ~ Might make your shower floor & loofah a little slippery.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Foot Petals


Do you love your shoes? Can't stop wearing those heels even though it makes your feet scream sometimes? I am definitely one of them. One can never have too many shoes, I say! However, I've experienced discomfort, blisters, slipping on the street when the grips of my shoes have worn out and loads of others.

I have tried a lot of shoe products under the sun from heel protectors to rubber soles which absorb the sweat from your feet while wearing them. I came across Foot Petals a few months ago and began my long and hard journey trekking them in shoes shops in Sydney. A lot of the shops no longer stock them and even the few that I manage to find only have a limited range. I eventually resorted to buying them online. These wonderful tools are geniuses!

They are the most comfortable and the best that I have found so far.

The Killer Kushionz are insoles for your shoes and I just love love love them. Due to their design, you can even use them on open-toed shoes or even half covered shoes without a worry of them being seen. As it comes in a variety of colours, no worries about finding one to blend with your colourful range. I find that I tend to use black a lot. They absorb sweat well and do not worn out easily. That was the problem that I had with the Scholl insoles. They tend to wear out really fast due to the excessive walking that I do and just becomes black and really yucky after a few wears! No such problems with the Killer Kushionz.

The Strappy Strips are amazing for those new shoes or anywhere which is giving you a blister where using the heel protector isn't going to work as those heel protectors are too big. Because they are thin strips, you can even stick them on the shoe straps without a problem.

My absolute favourite from them at the moment? The Sole Stopperz. it helps protect your outer soles, prevent you from slipping on wet or slick surfaces, it also gives your shoe grip and doesn't wore out that outer sole. So many of my shoes now still retain their fabulous outer soles & designs becaues of the Sole Stopperz.

Overall, I am happy and can't wait to give their other products a try. With all their products, the material that they use is just fantastic and makes it really comfortable. Don't you just love their cute names too!

Luv ~ Comfortable, great designs, innovative creations for all your shoe woes.
Don't Luv ~ Nothing really.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Eyelash Curler by Shu Uemura


I've always heard about the Eyelash Curler from Shu Uemura. Some people swear that it's the best thing they've ever used. I've always been a little skeptical considering that they were selling for quite an exy price.

I finally decided to buy it when I was on a Cathay Pacific flight and it was selling on board for USD15.

All excited, I checked out the website. Its design and features allows for ultimate precision that delivers the perfect curl. With an upgraded silicone pad in a new "mushroom" shade provides improved safety yet still delivers an optimum curl. The patented hinge with precise engineering applies the write amount of pressure on the eyelashes.

I seriously wasn't sure about this and was more convinced with actual reviews and experiences from people. Anyway, having got it, I finally tried it.

Wow! I am convinced. One of the best that I've used so far. In just one to two curls, my lashes are perfectly curled and shaped like a fan. I hardly need to apply any pressure at all which is better for your lashes. This curler doesn't require you to heat it up a little for about 5 seconds before hand with a hair dryer either!

Although in my excitement, I went a bit overboard and all of a sudden, the lashes were straight up like it was shooting for the stars. This is one curler that requires minimum effort for maximum results. Finally something that works for Asian eyes.

The price is worth it. It is always better to be able to buy it at a cheaper price. Cheapest I have seen was at the duty free shop at Kansai airport in Osaka selling for 900 yen.

Luv ~ Minimum effort, great looking lashes
Don't Luv ~ Nothing really.

Rimmel London Magnif'Eyes Mascara


Rimmel London showcased their new Magnif'Eyes Mascara recently. It promises 70% more vertical lashes and a unique lash-sculpting formula that that boosts volume and length.

Now I discovered recently that I need to look for a mascara that adds volume to my lashes instead of just length. Heard quite good things about this mascara and I bought one to try.
It definitely adds length to my lashes, however this mascara gives minimal volume at best. I was a little disappointed, I think I need to go for a volume boosting mascara. This is still a good one though as it gave me natural looking lashes as it defines each lash individually and there was no clumps. I wore it for a few hours and there was no rub offs on my lower lids.

Luvs ~ Natural looking lashes, no rub offs on lower lids.
Don't Luv ~
Minimal volume on lashes.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Bijoux Terner


Need to satisfy that shopping ache without breaking a hole in your pocket?

Have you tried Bijoux Terner?? This is one of my favourite stores and I'm excited that they just opened a new store.

Bijoux Terner is a specialist company that supplies affordable fashion accessories to the top travel retail operators in the world and many others. Their products are available in more than 370 locations around the world, including airports, on cruise ships and in domestic retail areas. You can usually only find them around airports and cruises though especially around the Asia region. This company has made a name for itself over the years by designing and supplying watches, jewellery, handbags and other items which are all priced at $20 at retail.

Everything from Watches, Sunglasses, Costume Jewellery, Silk Ties, Handbags, Home Accessories to scarves, shawls and small leather goods. You'll be hard pressed not to find something that will tickle your fancy.

AND the BEST thing is, they just opened a retail shop at METcentre in Wynyard station.

This is unheard of~. They are changing their strategy of only focusing on holiday travel areas.

Go check it out now on their first week of opening and you can nick yourself a handy 10% discount voucher.


MET Centre

Cnr George & Margaret Street

Sydney NSW 2000

Friday, July 13, 2007

Creative designer of a different kind


When I was a little girl, I've always dreamed of perhaps being a fashion designer! Hey, who doesn't love clothes? Later, I realised that I am not talented that way and was quite happy to study fashion marketing instead. As it turns out, I never did venture that way!

However, I found another area that those who are interested can ponder upon. A perfume designer. That is so interesting. You basically go from the concept and the fragrance and come up with the design of the bottle for the target market. It's still related to beauty but is from a different angle. When I think about it, the aesthetics of the bottle definitely plays a part in whether I do purchase the perfume.

Another name for this is cosmetic packaging. I came across this when I read an article about a female designer named Valerie Bernard. She started by specialising in graphic arts and packaging design. Moving on thereafter to Kobayashi Kose and created their trademark , cosmetics packaging and shopping bags. Ooh~ no wonder I love some of the shopping bags that I get from certain brands. They apparently have specialised people who create the designs.

She also created the design for the Espoir perfume from Korea. Now my guy friend loves this and is looking for new replenishment which we can't seem to find in Sydney. This is definitely an interesting area (potential career path) for those who are interested.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Kinsuikan Ryokan 锦水馆

I was in Japan recently for a holiday. Boy, was I excited!

We arrived at Kansai airport around 8pm and took the train to our first destination, Kyoto. According to the agent, accommodation in Kyoto is cheaper so we headed there. The train journey was 90 minutes and considering that we were quite Jap-illiterate, taking the subway seems risky and we ended up searching for our Ryokan hotel by foot.

Aahh~ the fresh cool air, the pebbled streets…it was wonderful.
A young and polite gentleman greeted us at the reception. Did I say that he was really soft spoken? Welcome to the world of Japan, polite and excellent customer service and society as a whole in general. Makes you wonder how the same society also breeds a strong pornographic industry.

Considering the warnings I’ve got about how small the rooms here can be due to lack of space, I have to say that my room was just spacious. We had a separate room which houses the washing basin and toilet.

Then there was the main room itself with more than adequate wardrobe space. A small area for dining and a TV and still enough room for our tatami beds. On the other end, slide away the sliding doors and you are greeted with another area which has a refrigerator as well as a full length mirror.

The tatami beds were just wonderful. Soft and fluffy, I felt like I was sleeping on clouds. We added another quilt on the floor and it was pure bliss. The pillow was made of some sort of sand so it was hard. Just the way I like it, you can mould it to fit your head and it gives support to your neck.

We got the room that we had to use this shared bath (same sex only of course!) with the rest of the guests. Must say I was a little nervous the first time I went as you had to be stark naked. There was a hot spa and showers all over the side of the area. After walking for hours on end everyday, the hot spa was really a welcoming end to the day. I loved the shared bath after that and looked forward to it everyday.

I definitely loved my stay at the Kinsuikan Ryokan. For less than AUD50 per night per person, it's definitely a good deal! Did I mention that you can get a host of information as well as buying bus tickets and souvenirs at the reception too?


zip 604-8074 531,Asakuracho,
Sanjo sagaru,Tminokoji,Nakagyou-ku,Kyoto
TEL: (075) 255 3930

Importance of removing eye makeup


Do you have dark eye circles?

They might not be dark eye circles after all.

Some dermatologists have mentioned that when they look at their patient’s skin under a magnifying glass, quite a number of them actually have make up crusted into the lines around the eyes.

So that means that those dark circles you see could potentially be dirt and grime and make up instead. Removing eye make up is more important than ever! Especially if you regularly wear foundation, eye-shadows etc…

The skin around our eyes are thinner than the rest of the face, so it is definitely not recommended to be using an eye make up remover and be pulling and tugging away at our eye area.

For those who wear minimal makeup, a gentle water soluble cleanser would suffice.

For the rest of us who uses make up on a regular basis, such a routine isn’t going to be enough.
My suggestion is to first wash your face with a cleanser. I’ve recently discovered the virtues of using oil-based cleansers when I have makeup on. Using a facial cleanser means that you are gently massaging all over the face will prevent tugging and pulling at the eyes and skin.

After using the cleanser, the last traces of makeup can be removed with a gentle makeup remover or eye makeup remover and a soft cotton pad (minimising pulling and tugging as much as possible). This double cleansing will help to prevent having traces of make up crusted in those lines around the eyes.

Hmm..maybe I should start using the eye mask I bought earlier which you are meant to massage around the eyes when you’re in the shower.

This brings me to a separate tip, how you clean your face with water after using a cleanser is really important as well. I noticed people who really scrape and tug at their skin when washing off with water. That is bad as when you age, your skin will not be as elastic and all that action will only exacerbate those age lines.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

L'oreal Bare Naturale Powdered Mineral Foundation SPF19


L'oreal has decided to jump on the bandwagon around the whole mineral makeup hype and created their own version of a mineral make up foundation. I was quite curious when I saw it being promoted and decided to test it out.

I went on to the L'oreal website to get a bit more information and this was what I found. It promises flawless, skin perfecting coverage using a brush and contains vitamins and minerals as well. It also comes with SPF19 which is important in any foundation. Further research reveals that the active sunscreen ingredient being used is titanium dioxide and zinc oxide. It still uses talc which is what a lot of mineral makeup brands are claiming that shouldn't be used and their products don't contain them. However, talc has been researched to be potentially less irritating actually.

I decided to try out the testers at the display stand. It comes in a compact size with the brush included. There is a potential for some wastage when you tap the brush to get rid of excess powder but I guess you just need to be careful. I quite like the whole package and size as it is small and can be slip into any bag for touch ups. I tested 2 shades "Light Ivory" and "Nude Beige". They both blended really well and the trick is that a little goes a long way. You really have to start with just a little and build up from there or the end effect will not be natural. It does comes with instructions so it's not that hard to apply.

In certain lighting, it does look really natural while standing under a yellow light seems to make it look too pasty in the shop. Maybe I might have put on too much or it wasn't the exact right shade. I think with practice, you will get the desired effect. My skin felt really soft and it did cover minor imperfections as well and with minimal shine.

This is probably ideal for someone with normal skin bordering on a little oily. Applying on dry skin will most likely highlight the dry areas and the same goes for oily skin too. I think it is most ideal for those who have quite a good complexion and do not want to wear foundation and just want a light coverage.

I do wonder if sheer application will give you enough sunscreen coverage though. It retails at AUD32 at Priceline. I am quite impressed with this as well as the brush that comes with it. Might consider getting this after using up my current foundation.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Cod Liver Oil


For some of us, we might still remember the Cod Liver Oil advertisement from the Fisherman's Friend brand and the classic logo of the fish being held on a man's back.

I can still remember a bottle always sitting on the shelf in the kitchen and my parents placing some onto a spoon for us kids to take daily. It stopped after a while when I was still very young. Then my little brother was born and he had to partake in that daily activity from a toddler all the way till he was in high school.

I recently came across an article about Cod Liver Oil and its virtues. According to this report on Weston Price, this marvelous golden oil contains large amounts of elongated omega-3 fatty acids, preformed vitamin A and the sunlight vitamin D, essential nutrients that are hard to obtain in sufficient amounts in the modern diet. It greatly improves heart function to prevent heart disease and to treat it even in advanced stages, after a heart attack and after heart surgery.

The elongated omega-3 fats found in cod liver oil have been shown to improve brain function, memory, stress response, immune response, allergies, asthma, learning and behavioral disorders, including bipolar syndrome and manic-depression.

Cod liver oil is most famous for contributing to bone health, preventing and reversing rickets in children and osteomalacia in adults. I've always suspected that my brother's tall height must have been due to the cod liver oil! I should have taken since I was young too. My brother is now the tallest in the family.

Physical appearance wise, topically applied cod liver oil contributes to faster wound healing and improvement in skin quality and cod liver oil taken orally helps maintain soft skin and minimize wrinkles.

I have to say that when I noticed my gums were sort of thinning a little a few years ago, I started taking cod liver oil and in a span of 2 weeks, my gums were much healthier.

Word of warning though, please ensure that the cod liver oil you buy does not contain synthetic vitamins A & D as that can be toxic. Have a look here for the recommended brands.
My childhood Fisherman's Friends brand is not here. :(

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Summer Collection 2007 by Charles & Keith

One can never have too many shoes I say!

I just checked out the new summer collection by Charles & Keith and they are fabulous. I totally love peep-toes, kitten heels and wedges.

Charles & Keith started in Singapore with shoes and has since expanded to include bags. They have also started expanding internationally. At prices that do not break the bank and yet still incorporating a wonderful variety and fabulous designs collection after collection. It beats some of the shoe stores here in Australia.

These are some of the ones that caught my eye.

An Oriental Twist

Peep Toes

Now, to the bags.

And these are my absolute favourites from their new collection.

Not sure where to find a Charles & Keith store? Their website has all their location details. They also have an online shop.

Cheerios...I'm off to get me some shoes and bag!

Thursday, June 14, 2007

4 Way Folding Buffer by Missha


I came across this when I was browsing a Missha store at the QVB in Sydney. It's a 4 way buffer that can be fold in half. Half the size and can be slip easily into any bag or pocket and carry around everywhere. I couldn't resist and just had to get one.

It's really easy to use as well as each part is labelled from 1 - 4 so that you know which one to use first. It also tells you what each one does. Step 1 - shape nails, Step 2 - smooth nails, Step 3 - buff nails and Step 4 - polish nails. They are all in different colours too.

That's how small it becomes when you fold it in half. Really handy especially for those times when my nails gets chipped or snagged! Now I can fix it on the spot instead of having to wait till I get home.

At a price of AUD4.90, it's a bargain! If you can't get to a Missha shop, you can buy it online at their website.

Luvs ~ Affordable, compact and easy to carry around.
Don't Luv ~ Nothing.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

O'slee Rosehip Deep Cleansing Oil


I've been hearing a lot about oil based cleansers, and that it is especially good for removing make up. I have to admit that I have been a little hesitant about them because I don't know if putting oil on your face to clean it is my cup of tea considering that we tend to want to remove excess oil from our face in the first place. I came across this Deep Cleansing Oil from O'slee recently and decided to give it a go.

This is part of the Rosehip Series from O'slee. This Deep Cleansing Oil is meant to remove make-up, purify pores and prevent blackheads. It also contains rosehip extract that has the following benefits:

1. Repair skin, restore the healthy skin structure
2. Stimulate the skin self-rejuvenation and skin becoming smooth and glow
3. Activate the production of collagen, leaving skin firm and reducing wrinkles
4. Moisturize the deeper layer of skin and reducing pore size
5. Restrain the damage of free-radicals to skin, delaying anti-aging process
6. Lightened pigmentation, with whitening effect

Not sure if it can really do all that but Rosehip is definitely an anti-oxidant that benefits the skin, especially for females.

I haven't had a chance to use it till recently when I had to put on really heavy make up. It was full on heavy make-up so that it will stand out on stage for shows and included fake eye lashes too. If I use my regular eye make-up remover, I will definitely have to use a lot of rubbing to remove it all which I didn't really want to do to my skin. Checked out the instructions on the bottle and here we go. You are meant to have clean and really dry hands, pump 2-3 drops and start massaging onto your face to remove the make up.

When I started massaging the cleansing oil onto my face, I was amazed at how easily the make-up comes off. There was hardly any rubbing or friction on my eyes as well to remove the make up from there. After that, I just had to use warm water to rinse my face.

Inspecting my face after the cleansing, my face was oil-free, clean and really smooth. I could also feel that all the dirt and grime was washed off and there was a tiny tight feeling which means clean skin. I couldn't believe it, I kept touching my face and it was clean clean clean. I couldn't help but washing my face with my normal cleanser again but that is just me being an oil-phobic.

I am definitely converted to oil cleansers to remove make up. This was also a bargain as I bought it for USD7 from Sasa. You can also check out the range from O'slee at their website.

Luvs ~ Affordable, reduces friction from cleaning makeup from skin. Really removes all traces of even the heaviest make up.

Don't Luv ~ Nothing.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

Diamonds n Duds Discoveries Along The Way Copyright 2008 Shoppaholic Designed by Ipiet Templates Image by Tadpole's Notez