Friday, May 25, 2007

Lip Venom by DuWop


Want to achieve a shiny, naturally rosy pout? I saw this on a TV show where the hosts tried it out and it really works! It was like having the cosmetic effect without the surgery. Save time, no side effects, save on $$$ and best of all, no needles.

What give this effect? It is Lip Venom by DuWop.

What Is Lip Venom? According to their website, it is a spicy, tingly gloss that enhances lips' natural color and shape with a blend of essential oils including cinnamon, ginger, and wintergreen, in a jojoba oil base that causes blood to rush to the surface of the lips, flushing and swelling them slightly. Its purpose is to flush and plump up the lips and it is the tingly sensation felt on the lips upon applying that causes that.

They have now created a second version, The Lip Venom 2nd Sin. This still gives all the fullness but without the sting.

If you’re uncertain about which one to get or just in doubt, they also have the “Mini Venom Trio” for you to try out. These consist of 3 mini purse sized tubes of the original Lip Venom and Venom Flash. So you get one Lip Venom and two Venom flash. The Venom Flash is spiked one with gold (warm effect) and one with silver (cool effect). Once applied, this Venom Flash reflects the light on your lips which means even fuller, flashier lips!

This is definitely going on my wish list! Can’t wait to get some…kissable lips, here I come!!

Monday, May 21, 2007

Opal 澳宝

I got this as a gift. It's a hair treatment that only needs 1 minute to do its magic!

This contains NaPCA (which is apparently a natural emollient for the hair), Vitamin B5, Aloe vera and Keratin protein. It is an oil treatment for the hair that doesn't need to be activated with heat and will do its magic just via normal application. It is advertised to leave hair light and better manageability.

After using it, I was amazed at the results. I have dry and frizzy hair that likes to add more volume due to its frizziness (not to mention that I already have thick hair). When I used this, I didn't even have to blow dry, my hair just came out really smooth and straight Au la natural~. Not to mention shiny as my hair was definitely a lot smoother and less frizzy and dry!

This is one of the best and simplest hair treatment I've ever used. Just shampoo as usual and apply this as you would your conditioner. I tend to leave it longer for around 3 minutes rather than 1 minute and then rinse off.

Not to mention that the price is right up my alley. I was in Hong Kong recently and bought this at Mannings. A set of 4 tubes was HKD30.

Luvs ~ Vey affordable, leaves hair smooth, shiny and silky. Non-complicated and very easy and quick application.
Don't Luv ~ Nothing really.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Neutrogena UltraSheer Dry-Touch Sunblock

If there is one thing that we must never never ever exclude from our beauty regime, it would have to be applying sunscreen.

I'm really not the most diligent person in this area. One of the reasons, well actually the main reason being that I don't like how it feels greasy on the skin. All is well applying on the face (nothing a dash of powder couldn't help!) but when it comes to the body area, *sticky* *sticky*, I can't really take it, and I'm not going to apply powder to my entire body after applying sunscreen either.

So, I have been searching high and low and all types of sunscreen (gels, lotions, sprays) and have yet to find one that I am happy to stick with.

When Neutrogena came out with this Dry-Touch sunblock, my eyes lit up like stars and I had to try this. Unfortunately, couldn't find this in Sydney, had to resort to buying online.

This sunblock contains 2% avonbenzone which is a good ingredient providing UVA protection and 3% oxybenzone which provides good UVB protection. This formula is said to be enriched with anti-oxidant vitamins A, C and E. It is waterproof, sweatproof and resists rub-off. It is also non-comedogenic and PABA free. Satisfied that this sunblock will provide me with the protection needed, I commence using it.

True to its word, it really feels clean and weightless and ends up with a powdery finish. Voila! I have just found THE body sunscreen for me. I am amazed, application upon application and none of the greasy feel on your skin after that, it always ends up dry and powdery on my skin. In essence, it leaves a matt (non-shiny) finish, which is another gripe I have about most sunscreen products.

One thing though is that it seems to have a heavier sunscreen smell. So for those who prefer a sunscreen that doesn't really leave as much scent, you might want to go with something else. For me, I am happy with the scent and am happy that I now have a body sunscreen to use.

Luvs ~ Dry and matt finish and still has an SPF of 30. Good dose of anti-oxidants.
Don't Luv ~ Tad heavy sunscreen scent.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Time saving routine

In Taiwan, there is a saying that gets mentioned consistently in the beauty world "没有丑女人, 只有懒女人". This is true as anyone can look good and presentable with a bit of time and lots of effort. However, in our current lifestyles where most of us work, we don't really have a lot of time, not to mention $$$. Give anyone $$$ and we will all be able to splurge and make ourselves look good like the celebrities!

I like to look good and love the whole pampering process, but don't have a lot of time (not to mention the occasional laziness). Having to take care of every part of yourself from top to toe requires a lot of effort. Most people only focus on perhaps their hands or face or hair and other parts gets neglected. :(

Therefore, we cannot be neglecting any part of ourselves (this includes our hearts and minds too!) from the beauty process. Along the way while I woefully keep discovering more neglected parts, I try to combine as many beauty processes together to save time. Here are a few of my tips for a time saving routine while your skin still gets the benefits that it needs.


You can include a lot of steps during your daily showers that only increases your shower time by a few minutes but when done every day saves you a lot more time and $$$ in the long run. So, below is my routine.

  1. Take a shower as usual.
  2. If you're washing you hair, once you have the conditioner in your hair, you can start to wash your body while waiting for the conditioner to do its magic!

  3. Loofah Towel/ Exfoliating Gloves

  4. Use a loofah/exfoliating gloves/exfoliating cloth and pour your body wash on it and lather and scrub your entire body. There is no need to scrub too vigorously as this is done on a regular basis so it is meant to be a mild exfoliation. This saves you from having to exfoliate once a week with a body scrub. You can do this everyday or once every other day and you will find that your skin is smoother and looks better as well as the problem areas such as your knees and elbows will be smooth and not dry and crackly. Make sure that you focus more on the elbows and knees as well as any other parts which is darker or thicker. I alternate between the gloves and the cloth as the cloth allows me to scrub my back too which can be forgotten.

  5. Foot File

  6. Once you finish showering, wipe the soles of your feet either with your towel or the bathmat so that it is dry, pick up your foot file such as those from Scholl and proceed to scrub the soles of your feet. As you skin has already soften during your shower, exfoliating with the foot file is easier in getting rid of dry skin. This saves you from setting a time to do a pedicure in the salon or having to do a whole pedicure routine separately. If you do this everyday, you don't even have to spend too much time or strength in the exfoliating as the soles of your feet will not get a chance to accumulate dead hard skin over a long period of time. After completing the exfoliation, you just need to pop back into the shower to wash off the dead skin from your feet and clean your foot file.

  7. Clay Mask

  8. If the day happens to be the day that you use a mask, ensure that you shower with warm water and the last thing that you do is wash your face in the shower. Saves time and water. After drying yourself, you can then put on the mask for your face.
    Why do you put on a mask at this time? The heat from the warm water would have open up your pores and allow your mask to work better. This saves you from having to set up a whole different time to use your masks and steps such as placing a warm cloth on your face for 10 minutes to open up your pores as that would have been achieved during your shower.
    I always start with a clay mask to draw out the impurities from my skin first. I find that my clay masks works much better this way rather than when I just use it at a separate time from my shower as I'm too lazy to use a warm cloth and placed it over my face and wait for 10 minutes for my pores to open up. Because of that, I end up not having my pores open for the clay mask.

    Body Lotion
  9. You will still be in the bathroom after applying your clay mask and while waiting for it to dry, you can start moisturising your body. This saves you time as you are doing 2 things at the same time. Your body is also able to absorb your moisturiser more readily after a shower than any other time.

    Vitamin C Mask/ Essence Mask

  10. After washing off the clay mask, I will then proceed to use a moisturising mask if my skin is dry or whitening masks or any sort of masks which is meant to be infuse goodness back into your skin. You want to do this as your clay mask have already drawn out the impurities so your skin is now clean and able to absorb more goodness. If you use the clay mask one day and the other type of goodness mask another day, the effect is not as good as on the other day when you just cleanse and apply say your whitening mask, there is still dirt and impurities in your skin that is in the way or partially blocking. Using both type of mask consecutively one after another will also save you from having to set aside time on another day of the week just to apply your mask.
  11. After this mask is done, I will then finish off with toner or moisturiser or any other essence that you use.
  12. If it happens that you washed you hair as well, I will now take off the towel that was wrapping my hair all this while and proceed to blow dry. Your towel would have absorb a lot of the excess water so that you hair will be semi dry by now. Less time spend needing to blow dry etc...
  13. Finally, the last thing is washing your hands and proceed to moisturise them.

This is how I save time while still ensuring that I maximise the benefits on a regular basis. It might seem like a long list of steps but on a regular day, there is only Steps 1, 3, 4 & 6.

Other occasions where you can also save time.


If your gym happens to have a steam room, pop in there after your workout. Of course shampoo your hair first and apply hair treatment and then proceed happily to the steam room for about 15 minutes. The heat and moisture from the steam room works similarly to those steam machines that is used in the salon when you go for a hair treatment. By doing this, you save $$$ and time by not having to go to a salon to get it done. This is not recommended in a sauna as a sauna is dry and will potentially have an adverse effect instead.

If you happen to go to a hot spa or hot bath, come out from it after 10 minutes or so and put on your clay mask and go back in. The heat would have open up the pores and your mask is able to work even better. You might get some stares from people but is something you can hopefully live with. You might even find that they will start following you as well. TeeHee.

A lot of times you need to wait a while for your moisturiser to absorb before you can do anything. Or worse still, if you don't even realise that your moisturiser hasn't fully absorb and you start doing stuff and the moisturiser just gets rub off instead of being absorbed by your skin. One way of speeding this up is to always place the moisturiser on your palms first. Rub your palms together in a fast motion quickly about 30-40 times so that the moisturiser is heated up. You can then massage onto your skin. I heard about this and tried it and find that it really does work. My skin isn't as sticky and dries up quickly and I know my money spent on the moisturisers is right where it should be. You also get a pretty good workout for your biceps by doing this.

Hopefully, this helps you and do share if you have any time saving tips too.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Palmer's Cocoa Butter Formula Smoothing and Perfecting Leg Gloss Lotion


When this first came out, I was happy to give it a try. This is a tinted moisturiser that adds gloss and masks imperfections. So if you have tiny scars or you want to minimise shaving, this will help to still make your legs look good. It also contains pure cocoa butter and Vitamin E, why not impart a little goodness for your legs while making it beautiful is always good I say!

It claims to be a fast drying formula and eliminates the need for pantyhose and stockings. Now that is seriously awesome as I am not a huge fan of pantyhose and stockings!

I finally bought it when it was on sale. Tried it out and I didn't like it. I didn't really like the smell as it emits some sort of chemical smell rather than the cocoa butter or a nice fragrance. The tint in the moisturiser also sticks to the palm of your hands so washing it off afterwards is rather difficult. The colour doesn't really go on smoothly on my legs and it took rather long to dry.

I feel like this is more like one of those tanning lotions rather than a body moisturiser enhanced with a bit of tint. This didn't work for me. It definitely goes into my Dud List.

Luvs ~ Nothing. :(
Don't Luv ~ It streaks, leaves colour on the palms, heavy chemical scent.

Sunday, May 6, 2007

Suffering from aches and pains?

According to this article in the Sydney Morning Herald, there are a number of exercises that we can do to help minimise or prevent ailments such as headaches, backpain and for healthy gums?

These are some of what you can do to help.

Aerobics for healthy gums
A study of 12,000 people, published in the Journal of Periodontology, reveals that regular gym-goers who participate in a range of classes, such as aerobics, are 40 per cent less likely to develop periodontitis, a gum disease that can result in loss of teeth and lead to an increased risk of heart disease and diabetes. Exercise reduces inflammation throughout the body and so boosts oral health.

Tai Chi for stress

Dr Chenchen Wang, of Tufts University's New England Medical Centre in Boston, analysed almost 50 clinical studies on tai chi. The results revealed that the almost meditative state of calmness it produces reduced anxiety and stress, and also lowered blood pressure. Two years ago, Dr Michael Irwin, a clinical psychobiologist at the University of California, showed that tai chi boosts the immune system, helping to raise protection against common viruses by 50 per cent.

Walking to ease depression

Researchers at Duke University in the US found three brisk 30-minute walks each week had greater effects on reducing depression than drugs from the same family as Prozac. Six months after 156 subjects had completed the 16-week study, only 8 per cent saw their depression return. A separate study at the University of Texas showed that a half-hour walk gave an instant lift for the moderately depressed, providing the same sort of mental pick-me-up they might normally get from cigarettes, coffee or binge-eating, said the study, published in the journal Medicine and Science in Sport and Exercise.

Swimming for PMS

According to a recent survey by Leisure Connection health clubs in Britain, most women find the hormonal flux of their menstrual cycle causes them to skip or compromise workouts. Sam Howells, sports scientist for the group, says it needn't be so.
"The menstrual cycle is inextricably linked to mental and physical performance," Howells says. "All women who exercise should listen to their bodies." During the follicular stage (days one to 13 of the cycle) oestrogen levels are low so the body finds it easier to perform high-tempo exercise, she says. In the luteal phase (days 14-28), when menstruation begins, try lower-intensity workouts, such as longer swims, to lessen symptoms of PMS.

Pilates for Back Pain

Many physiotherapists recommend pilates for its ability to increase flexibility and core stability. Back pain is often caused when your body is pulled out of alignment; pilates helps to pull it back by strengthening the core muscles around your lower back and stomach.

Yoga for Headaches

Tomas Brofeldt, a doctor of emergency medicine at the University of California's Davis Medical Centre, believes headaches can be treated using yoga.
He says 75 per cent of all headaches arise from muscle tension in the back of the neck caused by problems in posture. In people who have rounded shoulders, a strong curve in the upper back and a tendency to hold the head forward, the "headache muscles" are held in a chronically foreshortened state.
Anyone who suffers frequently from headaches should practise regular yoga to "retrain the upper back to extend, the chest to open, the shoulders to roll back and down, and the head to rest on the midline", he says.

Running to ease joint and muscle pain

New research shows that regular running protects vulnerable joints from damage and pain. A team from Stanford University found that adults who run consistently can expect to have 25 per cent less musculoskeletal pain and less arthritis than non-runners when they get older.
"The key word is consistency," says Sammy Margo, a sports physiotherapist for the Britain's Chartered Society of Physiotherapy. "If you run consistently, your joints, tendons, ligaments, discs and muscles get used to the habitual pounding. The body accommodates the demands so running doesn't necessarily lead to pain."

Pilates, swimming and aerobics...I'm on my way!

The Body Shop Moisture Booties

To keep feet smooth and supple, it's always good to moisturise your feet and slip on some socks overnight. The results are amazing! I have tried the usual socks and find that my feet really does become a lot softer and moisturised. I came across this moisture booties in The Body Shop and thought that this might help to greatly increase the effects of the whole overnight "moisturising the feet and cover with socks" routine.

After using this for a while, I find that if you're not careful, the socks can slip off your feet during the night. It does help to keep your feet supple but I don't seem to find any difference between using this and just regular thick socks. As this is made of cotton, I suspect that a lot of the moisturiser is being absorbed by the cotton fabric rather than by your skin.
I'll just revert back to my usual socks, at least it doesn't slip off during the night.

Luvs ~ Nothing. :(
Don't Luv ~ Slips off easily, doesn't really super moisturise as promised.

Body Shop plastic foot file


Wearing heels can wreak havoc on your feet and if you don't take care of them, soon there will be buildup of dry skin and cracked heels that just looks unsightly.
One way of of keeping your feet smooth and supple is to use a foot file. I was in The Body Shop and came across this. It looks different from the normal foot files that you see in the market and I decided to try it out.
According to the instructions, one side (pink) is for rough areas and the other side (grey) is to gently exfoliate. I used this after my shower after allowing the skin on my feet to soften in the shower and then rub it at the bottom of both my feet for a minute or two. I used the pink side first and then move onto the grey side.
After using this for a week or two, I don't find that it works. It doesn't seem to exfoliate as effectively. I'll give this a pass. This goes into my Dud list.

Luvs ~ Nothing. :(
Don't Luv ~ Doesn't work for me.

Saturday, May 5, 2007

Losing hair?

Are you suffering from hair loss? or do you want to delay the process of hair loss?

Here's one way of helping. According to some studies and research, while some hair loss problems are hereditary, there are many things that can be done to slow down the process. Plus, not all hair loss is hereditary, in which case it can be prevented a lot of the time.

What you should do is to massage your scalp on a regular basis to stimulate your hair growth. Especially for men as men tend to have short hair and most do not even brush nor comb their hair. Women tend to have longer hair and use brushes which will stimulate the scalp as well as promote and distribute oils all along the hair strands. So for those with dry hair, you should brush your hair to distribute the oils throughout your hair. However, please do not go overboard.

For men, brushes are usually not the best thing as hair is too short, a massage is most ideal! Ever wondered why you get a scalp massage when you get your hair wash at salons? There is a reason why!

Therefore, massage away.

Cosmed Caviar Repair Serum


This is a product from Cosmed International, France. I saw this in Sasa and was intrigued that it uses caviar as an ingredient. Now, I know that caviar is a delicacy in the gourmet world but in skincare?

I decided to give this a go. One box has two 5ml bottles in it.
According to Cosmed, this is some of what the caviar serum promises...

1. To fade out brown spots, marks, blemishes and imperfections.
2. To whiten and even dull and yellowish skin tones.
3. To reduce pores, firm and lift slackened skin tissues.

I tried it and find that my skin seem to instantly brighten up after using it. So it does seem to whiten and even dull and yellowish skin tones. I'm not sure about reducing pores and the whole firming bit. Each bottle doesn't last long as it's only 5ml.

Based on the instructions given, you need to use this for 3 weeks consistently for any visible results. My bottles did not last me that long but from what I can see from the amounts that I used, it does brighten your skin.

Luvs ~ Brightens the skin on application with a glow look.
Don't Luv ~ Only comes in such a small size.

Hyams Beach

Interested in experiencing something unique?
I read recently that Hyams Beach, which is on the South Coast of NSW, Australia is in the Guinness Book of Records as having the whitest sand in the world.

That got me all excited and raring to go and check it out, to experience something that is unique in the world.

I went with 7 friends and we got this place at Huskisson which is really close to Hyams Beach and the house is just fantastic! For AUD305 for a night and split between 8 people, that is less than AUD40 per person.

So for those of you who might be interested in going to Jervis Bay, you can check out this place, it can fit 9 people comfortably! I found it on this website.

By the way, Hyams Beach was just truly wonderful!

Friday, May 4, 2007

Overnight Anti-Acne Gel Patches


This was placed in the same range as the 3M Acne Dressing in the shops that I tried earlier and did a review about.
Looking at the ingredients in this product, it uses salicylic acid.

This is actually cheaper than the 3M one and has more pieces (48 to be exact)!
It comes in the grey wrapper shown above and the anti-acne patch is the brown spots. One side is the brown wrapper and the other side is where you're supposed to placed on the pimple. It is gel form.

This dries up the pimple really quickly and seems to work too. However, I find the it is really hard to tell when the pimple has dried up as it isn't transparent like the 3M one so you have to keep taking it off to check the status which probably isn't really good. The other thing is that because it is in gel form, it slides really easily.
After using this one, it tends to leave a mark on your skin as in you can see that there was a pimple there whereas the 3M doesn't seem to have that problem. That probably means that the 3M one is gentler on the skin.

Luvs ~ There's more pieces and cheaper.
Don't luv ~ Leaves a mark, can't tell when it's time to remove and change to a new one. Slips easily.

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

3M Nexcare Acne Dressing

I came across this when I was in HK and decided to give it a try!
I was a little sceptical as to how it works and it didn't have salicylic acid nor benzoyl peroxide in it that are proven ingredients that helps with pimples and acne.

According to the 3M website, it contains hydrocolloid acid which helps to absorb the secretion and in the healing of acne.

As I had a few pimples that are growing and which I couldn't squeeze on my face, I decided to give this 3M acne dressing a go.

Did the whole usual routine of cleansing and then opened the box. I pulled out this pack which is actually a sterile pack to keep the acne dressing clean. This comes in two boxes of 18 pieces and 36 pieces and consists of circles of different sizes depending on the size of your pimple.

Flip it over and those are the acne dressings in different sizes. Took out different sizes that fit my pimples and that's it. Not only is it suppose to clear up my pimples but is meant to prevent contamination from like dust, dirt etc...
Went to bed after that and allowed the acne dressing to do its magic. The next morning when I woke up, the secretion from my pimples have been absorbed by the acne dressing as you could see that the acne dressing has turned white. I even had a pimple which was an "under your skin" type which I thought I'll try as well and it has swelled down tremendously. The small pimples only took a night and I just used it for the bigger ones for another day or two and the pimples were cleared up. It didn't really leave a mark either as my skin healed up within a day.

I was surprised but glad that it worked!

I bought the 18 pieces initially at HKD25 while the 36 pieces was around HKD43 I believe, the cheapest price that I was able to find was at Bonjour Beauty shops in HK. I found it again when I was back in Sydney but it was more expensive (18 pieces = AUD17, 36 pieces = AUD22). For those whom are overseas, you can try getting it from Sasa online who is selling it at USD4.10.

Luvs ~ It isn't obvious once it's been applied after a while, doesn't leave any marks, works almost overnight.
Don't Luv ~ Pre-determined sizes. Sometimes you might want more small ones but there is only so many of the small and large ones. But this is no biggie!
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