Malaysian Travel & Beauty Blog

Nov 30, 2016

November 2016 Favourites



I figure out I should start monthly favourites to dump all the good stuff I have tried at the end of the month onto this blog. Sometimes (well, most of the time actually), I don't have enough time to blog a full review post, so this section will compile all the good stuff that I want to introduce to you. This month is a low month for me because I took a vow on cutting out my purchase.


#1 - Banana chocolate chip muffin
This recipe is so simple. First, melt 1/4 stick of butter. Add ripe bananas (4-5 pieces) into a mixing bowl with the melted butter. Add brown sugar (3/4 cup) and vanilla essence (1/2 tablespoon). Mash all the ingredients until the banana is crushed into small pieces. Add flour (1 and 1/2 cup), baking powder (1/2 tablespoon) and baking soda (1/2 tablespoon). When all the ingredients are mixed together, add chocolate chips (amount up to you to decide). Scoop the mixture into cupcake cups and then bake them at 200 degrees celsius for 15-20 minutes.



#2 - London Beauty Queen Blog
While I was searching for beauty products to shop for in London, I accidentally found the London Beauty Queen beauty blog. The writer started as a beauty brand manager. Her blog had won many blog awards. What I love about the blog is the unique write-ups (appreciate her unbiased opinion on beauty products review) and her creative flatlays.




#3 - Back support strap
If you don't know me personally, you might not know that I am suffering from mild scoliosis. It is a medical condition where the backbone is in an abnormal shape. Because of the condition, my left shoulder is constantly in pain (there is never a minute that I don't feel the pain) due to the backbone curve pushing my shoulder muscles upwards. As a result my muscle is strained. I stumbled upon this backstrap in a medical supply shop and got it. I only put it on while at home when I am doing housework. Although it doesn't heal my problem entirely, I do feel less straining on my left shoulder. At the same time, I feel some tingling feeling on my left waist (on the spine area), which I translated it as an improvement. Hopefully in a long run, this backstrap can help my backbone gets it shape back. If you are in your 30s, you should really start taking care of your backbone.Taking calcium pills, drinking milk and putting on back support like this are the little efforts which you can take. Your older you will thank you for it.




#4 - Haribo Worms

I didn't like sweets or candy in the beginning. This is because my mom has a grocery store and I was always surrounded by sweets & candies. Recently, I put a pack of Haribo Worms into my shopping cart and then I became a convert immediately. And now you can see me with a pack of Haribo anytime and anywhere. I even tried to convert my colleagues. Whenever someone pass by my table, I will be offering them, "Do you want to have some worms?"


#5 - Mary Kay TimeWise 3-in-1 Cleanser

This is the lazy girl holy grail product. It is called 3-in-1 cleanser is because it is (1) a regular cleanser, (2) it removes makeup at the same time you are doing your cleansing, and (3) it is a mild scrub which can be used on a daily basis. You see why I call it the lazy girl holy grail? If you are a lazy girl and want to have a thoroughly clean skin, you should incorporate this cleanser into your skincare regime daily. By the way, I am also a Mary Kay beauty consultant. If you are interested to try this out, do contact me.

I will be putting up my monthly favourites at the end of each month. On this section, I will be sharing the good stuff I have experienced personally. If you have any good stuff to recommend to me, make sure you do let me know so I can check it out as well.
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Nov 27, 2016

Top 10 Must-Buy Beauty Products When in London


The thing I am most excited about traveling to London is the shopping. More specifically the beauty products I can get! I do not have any fashion items on my shopping lists, but the beauty shopping lists are definitely longer than the London Bridge. Here are the 10 beauty items/brands that I think you should check out when you're in London.


#1 - Rimmel

Rimmel is quintessentially British. With Union Jacks and a royal crown design on its palettes, this is on the top of my list for beauty shopping. Rimmel was a brand well-loved around the world, however, they didn't last long in Malaysia market. Their mascara was one of the best mascara I've tried. At a drugstore price, you can get really good quality products. And with Kate Moss as one of their team member, this brand is a great drugstore brand. It doesn't cost much, so it would be a great item for souvenirs for your girlfriends.


#2 - Max Factor

Max Factor face the similar fate as Rimmel. They landed Malaysia for a few years and then quiet down and disappeared. Max Factor has very good mascara and foundation. I remember trying the concealer and it is one of the best drugstore concealer.



#3 - Christian Louboutin

Christian Louboutin has the prettiest lipstick ever. The nail polish is really special as well. The bottle is so sharp you can stab your enemy's eyes with it. Anyway, I think you should at least get one of the lipstick because you will regret your entire life if you don't. There are a few different textures for you to choose. They also have lipglosses in a similar packaging, but transparent. You can get it from Selfridges.


#4 - Huda Beauty

I am mentioning Huda Beauty again because the lip contours received too many hypes that we can't ignore. From the swatches and review, you know that it is one of the best matte liquid lipstick in the market. With Huda's high expectation on product quality, you can be sure that the lipstick won't disappoint you. If you manage to see the Rose Gold palette, be sure to grab it. It is one of the highly sought after palette among makeup artists. If you're a falsy lovers, do check out the man options of eyelashes as well. Huda Beauty is available at Harrods.



#5 - Charlotte Tilbury

Charlotte Tilbury is a celebrity makeup artist with star-studded portfolio under her wings. She has launched her own beauty line under her name. The recommended products are the lipsticks, eyeshadows, blush and bronzer. The shades are very neutral and wearble for daily look. For those of you who aren't a makeup trend-goer and prefer classic look, this is the brand for you. Charlotte Tilbury is available at Harrods.



#6 - Tanya Burr Beauty

Of all the Youtube beauty guru, I personally feel that the Tanya Burr line is worth to try. The price point isn't high and it is in the drugstore selection. Compared to other beauty gurus that taking advantage of their fame to market their own brands, the Tanya Burr Beauty isn't like that. It is affordable and the packaging is very cute as well. The Tanya Burr Cosmetics is available at Superdrug.


#7 - No7

The No7 skincare brand is exclusively available at Boots, which is one of the leading pharmacy in UK. This brand has similar characteristic as Simple. It is suitable for sensitive skin and very mild. The price is around L'Oreal or Olay price range, so it isn't that expensive. If you have sensitive, do try out this brand.



#8 - Topshop Beauty

Yes, I know we have Topshop Beauty in Malaysia. But the Topshop Beauty in the UK isn't like the one we have here. They actually have variety of other beauty brands in their beauty section such as Lip Smacker, EOS, Tony & Guy, Tangle Teezer, etc. You can also find a other product range that aren't available in Malaysia such as Aircushion, Face mask, Contour palette, etc.

Photo from A Style Collector

#9 - H&M Beauty

H&M in the UK has one of the cheapest beauty brands in the UK. With just GBP7 you can get a bottle of perfume, GBP10 for an eyeshadow palette, GBP3 for eyeliner, and GBP5 for lip pencil, etc. You have really wide range and choices of shades as well, not to mention the packaging is as good as high end and luxury brands.



#10 - La Roche Posay


La Roche Posay is another well-loved skincare brand in the UK. For those of you who are sunscreen addict (like me), you should try the La Roche Posay sunscreen. They have different varieties of sunscreen. I have been following some London haul and it seems that most beauty gurus will stock up their La Roche Posay sunscreen when in UK. It is available at Boots.


There are a lot more brands and products that I can recommend to you such as Anastasia (available at Sephora), but I think the above are the ones you should get if you have luggage weight concern. Another brand that I highly recommend you to get is the Jo Malone perfume. Since Jo Malone is based in London, you should check out some of their products there. 
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Nov 24, 2016

Ten "Halal" Beauty Brands to Try

"Halal" cosmetic is going to be the next big thing in beauty industry. However, Malaysia is a little backward in adopting this movement but we are definitely picking up. Slow but sure...


When we talk about halal, as a Malaysian, we immediately assume that it is "porkless" and "non-alcoholic". Well, almost 90% of the beauty products in the market are non-alcoholic and porkless anyway, why can't we call all of them as halal cosmetic. The term halal coins a deeper meaning. Even the operation of the business has to follow Islamic law.

Besides those local "mak cik" brands that are established in Malaysia, here are some of the awesome & younger brands that I think worth a try.


1. Flomar

Flomar is a famous drugstore makeup brand from Turkey. The brand is technically an Italian brand, however the products are manufactured in Turkey. It is a big brand in Europe compared to in Asia. In Turkey itself, it represents a quarter of the beauty market share. The brand is available in Bangkok, but so far in Malaysia, it is just sold by individuals who "smuggled" it here. Their specialty is on coloured cosmetics such as eyeshadows, blush, and lipsticks. This is one of the brand that I am interested to bring into Malaysia. Do let me know what do you think? Is it a good idea or a bad one?

Photo from sarahshireen.com

2. WOW by Wojooh

WOW by Wojooh is a home brand of Wojooh, which is a beauty supermarket in the Middle East (just like Sephora). The brand is more of a high-end addition to the luxury brands that Wojooh house. The colours and trend are highly inspired by Middle Eastern culture - you will get foundation with the shade called Desert Camel and eyeshadow palette called Mosaic Madness. Expect to pay about RM90 for a tube of lipstick. WOW by Wojooh is exclusively available at Wojooh.




3. Huda Beauty

Everyone knows Huda Beauty, right? The brand is made in popular by Huda (very famous beauty blogger from Dubai). Who am I kidding? Huda Beauty is Huda's own brand. Rumours say that the Huda Beauty Lip Contours are made by the same manufacturer as Kylie Lip Kit. Rest assured, the Huda Beauty quality is much better than Kylie Lip Kit. Besides the Lip Contour, the Rose Gold eyeshadow palette is highly sought after by makeup artists. I'm not entirely sure if this brand is halal or not, but I guess if it's good for the Middle Eastern girls, it can be good for us too.




4. Forest Colour

Our very own premium herbal cosmetic brand. The brand is halal certified and supports green initiative. Yes, we can tell by its name. Forest Colour is conveniently available at Guardian KLCC. And you can also purchase the products directly from their website. What I recommend is the Collagen Blush and Collagen Velvety Lip Colour.




5. S'N'B' Wash Off Nail Polish

A lot of Muslim girls can't wear nail polish due to the inconvenient removal process when they have to pray daily. S' N' B' Wash Off Nail Polish will solve all that problem because you can simply wash off the nail polish with water. Two downside of this product is - you can wash your hands after applying it because it will be diluted into the water, second is it can be very costly to keep applying after you wash it off. However, when attending special events, this nail polish comes really hand.



6. Samina Pure Makeup

Samina Pure Makeup is a certified halal brand established by Samina Akhter. It's main market is in the Europe. The ingredients of the products are 100% plant and mineral based. No animal trances can be found in their products. The best sellers are the foundation, mineral powder and lipsticks. So far, this brand has the strongest brand presence that has a certified halal status.



7. Sariayu

Sariayu is a brand under the umbrella of Martha Tilaar, which is a cosmetic giant brand in Indonesia. It came to my surprise that this brand isn't available in Malaysia although it is HUGE just right in our neighbour country. Some friends told me that the brand is spotted in Mydin but they don't carry the entire range. Only the skincare, bath and body products are available. Sariayu has the best and most pigmented eyeshadow in the drugstore range. They have over 100 shades of eyeshadow to choose from. There's even a book that published to showcase their eyeshadows. The price are very reasonable as well. For as low as RM12, you can get a decent lipstick. The trio eyeshadow is no more than RM20. By chance if you happen to go to Indonesia, do snatch some back here. And get me some of their Borneo collection eyeshadow, please.

8. Zuii Organic

Zuii Organic is a certified organic cosmetic brand in Australia. It isn't certified halal, but the ingredients are definitely safe to be consumed. Their best sellers are the skin tone correcting products such as foundation, concealer, makeup base and face powder.



9. Paul Penders

Paul Penders are our very own Malaysian brand which is certified as 100% natural and plant based. There isn't a wide range of cosmetic products, but the skincares are very effective despite mild on the skin. The manufacturing plant is in Langkawi, surrounded by forest and sea. You may have seen this brand in some of the beauty saloon around town.



10. Khadija

Khadija is a brand from Paris. Despite its luxury packaging and quality products, this brand actually just started to kick off. Currently the brand is involved in beauty roadshows and expo to gain attention of the halal beauty market. Apparently the brand is inspired by the beauty of the Prophet's 1st wife. The nearest to get the products are in Indonesia.

Photo from HijabTrendz

I believe there are heaps of halal beauty brands out there which are yet to be discovered. If you know of any halal certified cosmetic brands, do let me know, so I can add to the list. 
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Nov 22, 2016

Makeup Tips for Muslim Girls


I'm not sure what to put in the title. It supposed to be "makeup" tips, but I'm not going to drop any makeup tips. And I think it should be "makeup removing" tips, but we're not going to talk only about removing makeups. Anyway, this post will suggest you convenient ways you can adopt while keeping your responsibility as a Muslim.


I have very close Muslim girl friends throughout my life -

In primary school my friend Aimi who sat next to me in class;
In secondary school, Nadia who accompanied me for lunch and the many activities we had in school;
In uni I had Shikin, my BFF til now and ever;
When I started to work, I had Ida, my housemate and also my colleague;
Even when now, I have Umi who sits right next to me, she's also my boss that tirelessly guide me everyday.

There's one common thing that these girls have when it comes to beauty - they have to remove their makeups midday for prayer. It becomes a hindrance to them put on makeups during the day because they constantly thinking of the hassle to remove the makeup. Here is a compilation of tips that I dropped for my Muslim friends if they want to look good and convenient to remove the makeup before prayer:


1. Keep a pack of makeup wipes
Makeup wipes are the most convenient thing invented. Keep a pack in your bag so that you can remove your makeup easily and fast with no hassle. You can check out <<this post>> to see which makeup wipes suit your needs.

2. Make your own makeup remover mixture
To be honest, makeup wipes are expensive and aren't environmentally friendly if everyone starts using it. One of my ex-colleague mixed her own makeup remover spray. She adds makeup remover oil (Biore) and water into a spray container (buy from Daiso) with a ratio of 1:1. Whenever needed, just shake the bottle well, spray on your face and massage thoroughly until all the makeup dissolve. Wash your face to clean off the makeups. It is economical and convenient.

3. Use tinted moisturizer instead of foundation
To get an even skintone, ditch the foundation, CC cream and BB cream. Instead, go for tinted moisturizer. You can remove the tinted moisturizer with just water. My all-time favourite is the Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer. It has SPF20 which provides adequate shield for daily day wear.


4. Keep a minimalist daily look
Take care of your skin well and you can easily pull off the minimalist or bare skin look. With just tinted moisturizer, eyebrow gel, and tinted lipbalm, you can look well-groomed and presentable. In case for emergency, swap the lipbalm with a bright colored lipstick. Most importantly, avoid waterproof mascara and eyeliner. Removing it is like scraping off a layer of paint. It will also cause black-ish stain around your eyes if not removed properly.


5. Keep a touch up pouch
After removing all the makeups, touch up with some simple products - compact powder, eyebrow gel, mascara and tinted lipbalm. You don't have to carry the entire makeup collection around. Just some minimal products that can make you look presentable will do.


6. Avoid foundation transfer onto your tudung
I know this might happen to a lot of you who are wearing tudung - where the foundation on the rim of your face gets transferred to your tudung. One way to avoid that is to spray on makeup setting spray or makeup finishing spray. (Commercial break: Mary Kay's Makeup Finishing Spray by Skindinavia is pretty good. Contact me if you are interested to try out). Another way is to cut a thin film of plastic (the one we use as cover for book printing) and put it in the inner part of your scarf around your face.


If you are a Muslim, do you think the tips above help you? Do you have any other tips that you can drop here for me to add up to the list?
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Nov 19, 2016

Makeup Tips: How to fake freckles


I'm dropping a fun tips here. I know we don't wear fake freckles on a daily basis, but at times, it is quite fun to try something new.


I see a lot of girls are faking freckles and tried it myself with the Urban Decay 24/7 Glide On Pencil Eyeliner. It was a horror beauty story for me. My face turned brown after half of the day. And now, I've invented (not literally) another long-lasting freckles. The secret is....



Using eyebrow tattoo!


For those of you who have this, you can experiment with it. I am using the Rire Luxe Gel Tatoo and you can read the review <<here>>. Don't use eyeliner or eyebrow pencil to create your fake freckles. The product doesn't gel with foundation and you have to constantly check if they fade away.


Simply apply the eyebrow tattoo onto your bare skin. Peel it after it is completely dry. Then apply foundation as usual. Voila!You have a natural looking freckles. I find that the eyebrow tattoo gives a more natural effect and it doesn't smudge throughout the day. To remove it, just use waterproof eye makeup remover. That's all.


This is one of my successful experiment that I want to share with you. I don't know if anyone would find this tips useful. But if you're going to fake some freckles, remember to use this trick. 
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Nov 16, 2016

2016 Beauty Holiday Collection Part 2

Continuing from the previous post, I'm bring you more Christmas collections from various beauty brands. After all, we need more options right?


YSL Sparkle Clash Holiday 2016

More from YSL. This is a full collection compared to the lipstick and nail set that I previously shown. As the name suggested, the packaging is sparkly, very festive and luxury with the gold glitters. On top of the Kiss & Love collection, there are additional 2 more shades.












Estee Lauder Compact Mirror

This is not a beauty product per se but it  can be considered as beauty tool. Each year Estee Lauder will launch its limited edition compact mirror and this year it's all about animals! I really love the tortoise shell but it is pricey. Some of the collection can go up to USD300. This is a collectible item and can fetch a high price in the future.


Lancome Le Parisian Beauty Box

You can find most Lancome best sellers in this Le Parisian Beauty Box. It comes with a makeup bag and a small pouch. It is a good opportunity to get this set if you have been wanting to try all the Lancome makeups.


Benefit Holiday Collection

The Benefit Holiday Collection is extremely adorable! They look like cookie jars. However, the content of the products are boring. They are the usual Benefit products in deluxe/mini/travel sizes. For Benefit first-timers it would be great to get one or two sets, but if you are familiar with Benefit products, you might want to skip it.




Dolce & Gabbana Baroque Night Out Collection

In line with the brand's fashion direction, the makeup line adopted the Baroque inspiration. The color are very festive. The packaging also in gold. They look like generic holiday collection, except the gray lipstick which is pretty unusual for a Christmas collection.







Bobbi Brown Wine & Chocolate Collection

Fan of brown shades, this is made for you. The Bobbi Brown Wine & Chocolate Collection has a lot of browns, burgundy and plum shades. It is more suitable for medium skintone and older girls due to the dense color. The shades aren't that special. I believe if you dig into your vanity, you probably have most of the shades in other collection.







NARS Sarah Moon Collection

NARS team up with Sarah Moon for this year's Christmas collection. The palette is beautifully curated with the latest shades. However, the blush palette has similarity with the Tom Ford palette.












Dior Splendor & Holiday 2016 Collection

Dior's beauty holiday collection covers skincare and makeup altogether. The skincare sets are just a combination of their existing products. However, the Splendor collection has beautiful pink shades of lipsticks and nail polish. The pressed powders such as eyeshadow and blush are imprinted with sequins and they're beautiful.























Tarte Holiday Collection

Tarte has really amazing collection this year. The shades aren't festive, however I am sure they are wearable on daily basis so you won't be wasting your money on impulse purchase. The blush palette has all the prettiest shades that Tarte makes - some are their best sellers, some are new shades and some are limited edition. On top of that, the Tarte Pretty Paintbox collection is a blockbuster of eyeshadows, blush, contour, higlight, mascara, lipgloss and eyeliner in a pouch that is travel-friendly.





Too Faced Christmas in New York Collection

This is my personal favourite out of the many collections. I even gotten myself two of the main sets from this collection - the Chocolate Shop and Grande Hotel Cafe. The whole packaging reminds me a lot of Christmas when we were young. It has all the collections - lip, blush, and mixture of everything. You can find any gifts for all the budgets.







Shall we do a Part 3? I believe I haven't cover all the beauty brands Christmas collection or have I done all? Do let me know what I missed out because there are way too many collections to be featured. 
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