Aug 27, 2014

Bioderma is finally in Malaysia!

I think you probably heard a lot about Bioderma if you follow some international beauty blog or Youtube beauty gurus. This product was almost impossible to get in Malaysia, even in the US. The other day I was strolling down the mall and suddenly I saw a huge Bioderma sign at Guardian pharmacy. I thought I saw the wrong thing, or maybe it is some knock-off Bioderma product. When I went to the shelf, guess what.... IT IS BIODERMA! 

I couldn't resist getting a small bottle to try. I've been hearing a lot about the makeup remover and I would totally regret if I don't get it. The shelf was almost empty when I notice it. I assume a lot of people already grab most of the products.

I don't hear much about their other products, other than the makeup remover. This is because the makeup remover is very gentle to the skin, but at the same time it has powerful strength to remove makeup with just one wipe. It is alcohol-free, soap-free and no colouring. The product is made in France. You don't need to rinse your face after removing your makeup with it. So this product is a must-have for late owls who always skip removing makeups. I didn't manage to get the one for sensitive skin (red colour bottle) but I got the blue bottle one which is for oily skin.

In my honest opinion, and as a person who have normal skin, I think the Bioderma makeup remover is overrated and overpriced. The small bottle that I bought cost RM38.90. And the full size bottle is about RM79. The Maybelline makeup remover that barely cost RM15 can do the same job. However, if you have sensitive skin, I do urge you to try. There aren't a lot of products out that that made especially for sensitive skin. This is one that manage to please a lot of people with sensitive skin.

Have you tried the Bioderma makeup remover before? What do you think about it?

Aug 19, 2014

[Makeup Basics] Eyeliner for Beginner

Makeup Basics is a weekly topic on this blog. The topic's aim is to help makeup rookie on how to get started. If you're interested in this topic, make sure to come back every week. There will be tips and product recommendations. If you have any useful tips and comment to share, don't forget to comment below. 

I finally done with makeup basics on foundation, and now we're going to discuss about eyeliner. Just like foundation, eyeliner comes in different formula. For beginner, you only need to know 3 of the main formulas - pencil, liquid and gel.

Pencil Eyeliner

Pencil eyeliner comes in a pencil form (duh!). There are some which comes in a wooden form, which you need to sharpen from time to time. And there's also the automatic type, where you can twist the pencil to reveal more product.

The common mistake that a beginner always do is to use a pencil eyeliner when they first start out using eyeliner. Pencil eyeliner is not the best product for a beginner to test out because it is frustrated to get a precise line with pencil liner. People assume that pencil liner is comfortable to use because we are so used to using pencil. But for an eyeliner, the pencil liner is usually use only when you want to smudge it for a smokey look, or when you really want to achieve that bold and graphite look.

If you're a beginner and insist on trying the pencil eyeliner, I would recommend Line Express by Maybelline.

Liquid Eyeliner

Contrary to popular belief, liquid eyeliner is actually the easiest  to master for a beginner. If you manage to find the right liquid eyeliner, you'll have the best experience ever. The ink glides smoothly, as compared to pencil liner that you have to go back and forth. If you make a mistake, you can clean it off easily with cotton bud before it dries off.

Liquid eyeliner comes in a few different forms. Some comes with a brush tip, some comes in marker pen tip. From my experience, the brush tip last longer. For some reason, those that comes in marker pen tip dries up really fast.

For a beginner, I would recommend the Heavy Rotation Liquid Line because the tip of the brush is super easy to manage. 

Gel Liner

And lastly, there's the gel liner. When you have master the technique of drawing the eyeliner, you should go for gel liner. Gel liner is the amazing thing ever! The line stays throughout the day, it doesn't smudge even if you sweat or tear. Sometimes when I'm too lazy to remove my makeup after clubbing, my gel liner stays exactly how it was the next morning.

Gel liner normally comes in a small pot. You will need to apply it with a brush. Some brands provide the brush (like Silkygirl and Maybelline). Lately, ZA is able to put the gel liner into a pencil form. The formula of the eyeliner is like a gel, but for ease of application, it is in a pencil form. For beginner, I think you should try the ZA one first.

As for the application, I would advise a beginner to do the cat-eye style on the top lid. Refrain from putting on the lower lash line because that area smudge easily. If you're not sure how to put it correctly, or use a wrong product, you might end up looking like a panda. Youtube some of the tutorials and practice it at home. Don't leave it til the last minute, the possibility of you ruining your eyeliner experience is very high.

That's all about eyeliner. I hope the info above is useful. If you're a beginner in makeup, do comment below and let me know what you would like to know more. Next week we will be talking about mascaras for beginner.

Aug 18, 2014

Difference between Toner, Lotion & Essence

Earlier, I was so lost between the meaning of toner, lotion and essence. And then I begin the discussion with a few beauty bloggers when I met them in person. Most of us were confused with the terms and some of them did gave me a heads up on where to start my research. After a few weeks looking around (thank you Internet for being informative), I begin to understand the terminology more.

In theory...


Toner has molecule that is larger than essence, but smaller than lotion. The texture is watery. The absorption power is between lotion and essence.


Lotion has larger molecule compared to toner and essence. Do expect thicker texture that similar to serum. It takes a longer time to absorb because of the large molecule.


Essence has the smallest molecule compared to toner and lotion. It gets absorbed into the skin faster than the rest.

In practice...

Back then there were only a few skincare products under each brand and it is very easy to categorize them based on the function. However, these days manufacturers no longer follow the simple rules. The terminology are interchangeable despite how big or or small the molecule is. Most of the brands name their product based on which marketing direction that they are adopting.

Some might argue that the term toner, lotion and essence are the same. Western countries use the term toner, meanwhile in the East we call it lotion and essence. That is not entirely true. You can find toner and essence in a same product range in a certain brand.

If you find it difficult to understand the terms, don't be. There is no definite answer to it. Take this to your advantage. You can layer your skincare routine with the three products based on their level of absorption. Apply essence first, then toner, then lotion. When you layer your skincare, you can opt for different functions of the products, for example, use anti-aging essence, then calming toner and moisturizing lotion. 

At the end of the day, it comes down to the brand how they name their products. You can only rely on your own judgement whether the product is a toner, lotion or essence. Anyway, if you have any idea of the differences between the three products, do comment and let us know. It is always nice to share some info..

P/S: I will post up photos of the three products later to show you the different texture to it. I lost it in my SD card and lazy to retake them :p

Aug 17, 2014

[Charity] JCI Nothing But Nets Fight Malaria in Africa

The Problem
Residents of malaria-endemic countries need your help and they need it now. On average, every 60 seconds a child dies from malaria. There is no time to waste in the battle to stop this devastating disease. The vast majority of deaths occur in Africa, where malaria is a leading killer of children.

The Solution

The United Nations Foundation started an initiative called "Nothing But Nets" to provide solution to the problem. Millions of lives in Africa have been saved through their program to provide long-lasting, insecticide-treated nets to children and families.

As a proud and active Nothing But Nets partner, JCI runs a campaign called JCI Nothing But Nets. Through the campaign, JCI members raise funds to send mosquito nets to Africa and educate children and their families on the correct use and care of the nets. While your nation may not be affected by widespread malaria, 40% of people in the world live in countries that are.

How to Help?

If you have the time and the right community, you can start your own fundraising team for the Nothing But Nets program. If you prefer easier way, you can donate one mosquito net to prevent the disease. For only USD10, you can provide a mosquito net to the children who needs them. Go to CrowdRise page to donate or to set up your own fundraising team.


Shokubutsu Japan Original Sakura Whitening Shower Gel

I found a package on my office table, when I open it up, I thought... Shokubutsu sent me mooncake! How nice of them. Mooncake festival is just around the corner, yay! And when i open it up...

This doesn't look like a mooncake box, now that I open it. The box has a booklet attached to it on the front. There are infos relating to their shower gel. Everything you need to know about the ingredients of the shower gel in that few pages of booklet.

I was totally blown away by the packaging. The Japanese really know how to amaze people with their product packaging.

Shokubutsu has a few shower gel series under their umbrella. This one that I got is from the Japan Original series, which is also one of their very first series. There are a few scent for you to choose - Sakura Whitening, Green Tea Harmony, Green Freshness (the one I always buy), Orange Peel Sensation, and Floral Delight.

All the Japan Original shower gel has "Triple Power of Plants", which means, it has:

1. 100% plant cleansing ingredients

2. 100% plant restoration with Nuka Oil (also known as rice brain oil which contains Oryzanol and Vitamin E for anti-aging purposes)

3. 100% plant nourishment from sakura extract

The texture:
It has creme texture and leather up easily when in contact with water. The foam leather is thick and fluffy. If you are into shower gel that has rich foam, this would be a great one for you.

The scent:
It has a light sakura scent. The scent leans towards floral and it is not very strong.

After rinse:
There is no feeling of residue left. Your skin will feel just like your skin. But it does leave a moisturized feeling. There is a light smell lingering after shower. I don't really see the whitening effect on my skin. I think it requires a longer use before you can see the result.

The Shokubutsu Japan Original shower gels are available in every major pharmacies, supermarket and hypermarket. The price is RM13.90 for 650g and the refill is RM7.90 for 550g.

Aug 15, 2014

Which Beauty Guru on YouTube to Follow

When I'm having my lunch or dinner at home, I will load at least 2 beauty videos to watch on YouTube. And let's be honest to ourselves, how much time can we spend looking for a suitable beauty guru to follow. There are tones of beauty gurus on YouTube, so many of them gone mainstream (*ahem* Michelle Phan *ahem*) and some of them are totally waste of your time.

In this post, I will share with you some of my favourite beauty gurus on YouTube that I think you should check out. I hope they will inspire you as much as they inspired me.

#1 - BeautyQQ

Queenie Chan is from Hong Kong and almost all of her videos are in Chinese. If don't understand Chinese, she has subtitles on her videos and sometimes she upload her video in English. She is not just another beauty guru on YouTube, she's my beauty mentor. I admire her in a lot of aspects. Her teaching on beauty goes beyond just beauty products and tutorials. Her videos broadens your view on beauty and she advocates self-worthiness. She is an inspiring figure to follow. To some people, she might be a little weird but that is just her being herself. Her take on life is simple - love yourself first before anything else.

#2 -Tati 

Follow her for product recommendation. She is great for giving honest opinion on products. And she is also good to follow for drugstore products. Most of her products are purchased by herself and she is not affiliated to any brand. I love her "What's New at the Drugstore" videos for a sneak peek on what is coming up and whether I should spend my money on it.

#3 -Julia Graf

She's one of the very few popular makeup guru on Youtube that hasn't change a bit since the beginning. I love her "What's in my Mailbox" videos. It gives me a preview on what will be out in store. While I follow Tati for drugstores products, I follow Julia Graf for high ends products. All her product review videos are honest, unless it is sponsored then she will announce that it is a sponsored post.

#4 -Melodee Morita

Some people prefer Korean beauty products, some love the French products, as for me... I'm more into Japanese products. If you are like me who prefer Japanese beauty products, Melodee Morita would be a good beauty mentor for you. Her videos are all in English. She talks a lot about Japanese beauty products.

#5 -Lauren Curtis

I've been following Lauren Curtis since I was staying in Australia, and Lauren is an OZ. I can relate to most of her videos because she is from OZ. I like most of her tutorial videos because they are easy to follow, doesn't require a lot of products and her face feature is similar to mine. She do a lot of educational videos as well on how to treat your acne, what are the do's and dont's for makeups, etc.

#6 -MakeupByEman

I love Eman! She is a professional makeup artist. YouTube is something she does as a part time and also her portfolio for her to get clients. She uses products that are easily available and all her looks that she created are easy to follow. For some reason, I think she looks like Megan Fox. 

#7 - Elleandish

For nails, I love the videos from Elleandish (her real name is Janelle). A lot of nail art videos are hard to follow because the artists are mostly manicurist. I like Janelle's videos because it is simple, achieve-able, don't need a lot of tools.

#8 - Sasakiasahi 

As I have mention earlier, I love Japanese beauty products. And I so happen to love Japanese beauty guru as well. Sasakiasahi is someone that I follow very closely. I watch every video she uploads. They're all in Japanese. I understand 80% of what she says. But if you don't understand Japanese, I think she has English subs to her videos. Most of her videos are educational, travel, and tutorials. If I'm not mistaken, she is the Japanese spokesperson for Revlon.

#9 - Teni Panosian

The first time I saw Teni's video, I thought Kim Kardashian was doing makeup tutorials. I love her for her tutorials. She is into every detail of the steps. If you are a makeup beginner, you should watch her videos.

#10 - Hana Tam 

 Lastly, it is Hana Tam from HK. Although she is so much younger than me (in terms of skin type and makeup style, we ahve a huge age gap), I follow her because of product recommenndations and also she is youthful and funny. It makes me feels so youthful watching her. LOL.

A lot of us follow beauty gurus on YouTube and blogs. Here are some tips to choose the right beauty guru for you:

1. Follow beauty guru that are honest. A lot of their comments and recommendations will affect your spending. If you follow a non-trustworthy beauty guru, you will be spending a lot of money on the wrong product that you don't need.

2. For makeup tutorials, follow beauty guru that has similar face features as yours, especially the eyes. If the beauty guru has wide large eyes, and you have a hooded eyes, you won't be able to recreate the same look. 

That's all for this post. I love to check out YouTube for beauty videos. If you have any beauty guru that you think worth for me to check out, do let me know in the comment below. I would love to extend my list...

Aug 13, 2014

[First Impression] New Stuff From ZA

ZA just announced the arrival of some new additions to their skincare and makeup collection. I'm going to share with you my first impression of these new products. On top of that, ZA will be launching their brand new men skincare for our gentlemen friends. And Malaysia will be the first market in Asia to launch the ZA Men. It is nice to hear that Malaysia is ahead of other countries.

Ladies, here are the new stuff:

For the girls:
ZA Perfect Solution Youth Whitening Serum (RM59.90)
ZA Perfect Fit Liquid Foundation (RM37.90)
ZA Gel Eyeliner (RM26.90)

For the boys:
ZA Men Energizing Scrub (RM16.90)
ZA Men Energizing Moisturizer (RM26.90)

I didn't try the ZA Men products and gave it to my friend. So I can't give you any comment of it until I get back from my friend. Meanwhile, I will give you my first impression of trying the other new products for women.

ZA Perfect Solution Youth Whitening Serum

What it is?
  • With the advanced technology of RETINO-WHITE complex, this whitening and anti-aging serum works on restoring youthful looking skin filled with radiance and resilience just like bringing you back to glorious days.
  • Reduces excess melanin production and lightens pigmentation to eliminate dark spots and dullness. Achieves radiant, even-toned skin.
  • Reduces visible wrinkles caused by UV damage and aging. 
  • Targets on hidden dark spots and wrinkles.
  • Maintains youthful, radiant skin by approaching to future aging factors. Formulated with a cutting-edge effective ingredient, RETINO-WHITE complex. (RETINO-WHITE complex is derivative and whitening effective ingredient, 4MSK.)
  • Swiftly penetrates into the skin without leaving a trace of stickiness.

 My first impression:
I only use this for less than 5 times. I don't see any improvement, but it is too early to tell if the product is indeed effective as it claims. I use it at night and I like the matte texture. It makes my skin feel moisturized even though they didn't claim to moisturize the skin. This product is definitely worth trying for a longer period.

ZA Perfect Fit Liquid Foundation

What it is?
  • Contains Micro Pink Pearls. Ultrafine pearls emitting diverse kinds of aurora-like light diminish the unevenness and pores. Emitting light from within for flawless skin with a rosy glow and white complexion. 
  • Oil free and water based formula. Feels watery and spreads over the skin with a dewy texture to perfectly fit your skin. Provides a non-sticky finish that renders face powder unnecessary.
  • Contains Hyaluronic Acid.
  • Dermatologist-tested.
  • Non-clogging to pores. 

My first impression:
I really like the texture. It is watery and covers the skin evenly. My only concern is that the coverage is quite sheer. If you have any pigmentation that you want to cover, you need to concealer to do it. The foundation alone can't cover imperfection. However, if you have no skin concern to cover, this foundation gives a dewy look without making your face shine. I totally recommend this to everyone. For liquid foundation first timer, it is a good product to start with because it doesn't cost a lot and it does the job well. Pick a shade darker than your skin tone because the pearl extracts will lighten the shade a bit when you apply it on your face.

ZA Gel Eyeliner

What it is?
  • The convenient, easy-to-use pencil-form Gel Liner achieves bold, defined lines with an ultra smooth texture.
  • Resistant to sebum, sweat and tears. The beautiful finish lasts all day long till cleansing at night.
  • Dermatologist-tested.
My first impression:
The texture don't remind me of gel eyeliner, in fact it feels a lot like normal pencil liner. However, the long-lasting effect is very much like gel liner. It doesn't smudge and stays for the entire day. The one that I got is in brown, which I hardly use. I will definitely repurchase this in black because it is super convenient. All you do is twist the pen, there's no need to dip in the gel pot to get the product.

Here are the first impression of the products above. I will definitely put in more time to try out the products. If it is worth a buzz, I will do a single review post on each of the product. Do let me know which product you are interested. I will do a separate review on it.

Aug 10, 2014

[Makeup Basics] How to Apply Face Foundations

Makeup Basics is a weekly topic on this blog. The topic's aim is to help makeup rookie on how to get started. If you're interested in this topic, make sure to come back every week. There will be tips and product recommendations. If you have any useful tips and comment to share, don't forget to comment below. 

I have been a very bad blogger. I know I promise to blog about the "Makeup Basics" topic weekly and I know I've failed to do it badly. Let's be real. There are a lot of things happen in real life and since blogging is not my day job, there will be times that I have to attend to something else. I wish time is not limited, so I can accomplish more.... like blogging every day, if I could.

We are still in the discussion on face foundations (gosh, why is it never ending? I'm looking forward to talk about eyeshadows!) and today I will guide you through the different ways to apply your foundations.

#1 - Flat foundation brush

A lot of people start by using the flat foundation brush because this is what makeup promoters are marketing to first time users. It is also sell-able because makeup beginners often see this brush use by makeup artists. The brush isn't cheap, that is why promoters tend to push this product so they can get higher commissions. The truth is, this brush is not really the tool for beginner. Check out the "cons" below. 

Use for: Liquid, stick, cream & mousse foundation.

Pros: Easy to use. It doesn't make your hands dirty, it is pretty neat and hassle free when you use a flat brush for applying your foundation.

Cons: It causes streak lines when you apply your foundation, which you need to temper down with loose powder (which you need to incur more cost on your makeup investment). You will also need a brush cleaner to clean the brush often. Or else you will get break outs if the brush breeds bacteria or contaminated by dust.

#2 - Stippling Brush

The stippling brush is a rounded brush with flat edge. It often comes in duo color - white at the tip and black at the body of the brush. The white tip are made of synthetic fiber which allows the brush to pick up more products. 
Use for: Liquid, stick, cream & mousse foundation.

Pros: It is the same as flat brush above, but it covers one weakness of the flat brush, which is creating streak lines. The synthetic fibers tones down a lot of streak lines and it creates a flawless coverage of your foundation. 

Cons: Costly. Need to clean often.

#3 - Makeup sponges

There are plenty of brands, shapes and sizes of makeup sponges. And we'll discuss about it generally. The price range of makeup sponges range from a few ringgit to hundreds.

Use for: All types of foundations.

Pros: Easy to use. You can opt for disposable ones when traveling. 

Cons: Costly. Makeup sponges don't last as long as brushes. It needs to be replaced very often. And it is hard to clean. It probably breeds bacteria faster than brushes because it soaks all the moisture inside the sponge.

#4 - Fingers

This is my favorite! Using fingers...

Use for: Liquid, stick, cream & mousse foundation.

Pros: I love everything about using fingers for foundation. It is fast, cheap (don't even cost a thing) and hygienic.

Cons: I really don't know anything bad on using fingers.

I hope the above tips able to help you decide which tools to go for when applying foundation. For beginners, I really recommend you to just use your fingers. Don't spend your hard earned money on makeup brush because then you need to incur cost for brush cleaner, brush holder, brush guard and all that other stuff. Spend your money on other products so that you are able to experiment more.

From now on, I think I will incorporate more lifestyle posts in this blog so that I don't leave it idle for a long time. I hope you guys are ok with it. Do let me know what post you would like to see on this blog ya... 

Aug 7, 2014

Joico K-Pak 4-Step System Hair Treatment

You're meeting your friend for a dinner at the mall on weekday. You have arrived at the mall, while your friend stuck in unforgiving rush hour traffic jam. What do you do to kill some time while waiting for your friend:

A. Grab a cup of coffee
B. Window shopping
C. Browse some books at bookstore
D. Get a hair treatment

What is your answer? I pick D. I don't have much time to take care of my hair. But I can definitely slip in half hour for an intense hair treatment from Joico. Normally hair treatment takes hours, but the Joico K-Pak 4-Step System only takes about 20 minutes.

Step 1 - Clarifying Shampoo (5 minutes)
An intense clarifying treatment that cleanses the hair and removes mineral deposits, impurities and styling product buildup. The K-Pak Clarifying Shampoo is formulated in a creamy texture to leave hair feeling moisturized, smooth and radiant - while providing an excellent overall feel and slip for wet-combing after the clarifying process.

Step 2 - K-Pak Cuticle Sealer (5 minutes)
Smoothes and tightens the cuticle, locks in curls and color, and reduces pH swelling torestore hair back to its natural state of pH level 4.5 to 5.5. Cuticle is locked down and sealed, while diminishing raised or swelled cuticles.

Step 3 - K-Pak Deep Penetrating Reconstruction
K-Pak's original Reconstructor is the ultimate choice for true hair reconstruction. By rebuilding the hair's structure from the inside out, K-Pak re-energizes stressed, damaged, and chemically treated hair, bringing it back to its natural state. K-Pak Reconstructor contains more Quadramine Complex than any other products in the Joico family.

Step 4 - K-Pak Intense Hydrator (5 minutes)
Replenishes moisture and lipids to overly dry, damaged hair, rendering it manageable, soft, shiny and hydrated. The Intense Hydrator seals the hair cuticles and improves hair elasticity.

Step 5 - H.K.P Liquid Protein Chemical Perfector (2 minutes/additional)
The hair stylist gave me an extra step to the treatment. The H.K.P. is a pure liquid form of human keratin protein that improves chemical services as a porosity equalizer when used for color or to improve hair's strength and integrity when perming or straightening.

The treatment was so quick, it feels like I was in the salon for a hair wash. It was definitely the best time spent while waiting for my friend at the mall. I had this treatment at A Cut Above. The price is RM180 (differs according to the length of your hair). This treatment is good for those who have chemical treatment done to their hair. 

About Joico
Joico is a Shiseido company and has been pioneering revolutionary hair-science and artfully blending it with the latest innovations in heir care, creating beautiful, healthy hair that Turns Heads since 1976. All Joico hair care, styling, hair color and texture products fuse the latest breakthroughs in hair care science with inspirations from the worlds of art and fashion, to offer exceptional quality, unparalleled performance and lasting beauty from inside out.

Do you know?
Joico is the main sponsor of hair care for the movie Hunger Games. All the hair styles in Hunger Games characters are styled by Joico's stylist. The movie was one of the fashion trendsetter for our time and I think Joico did an amazing job with the crazy Effie Trinket's hair and Katniss's natural braid.