Oct 31, 2014

Skin Aqua's New UV Watery Gel & UV Watery Essence with SPF50+ PA++++

Hello from Gili Trawangan. It's a very small remote island in Indonesia, by the way. Just before I jet off to come here, I received a set of Skin Aqua's new UV Watery Gel and UV Watery Essence for review. What an apt time to review these two products! I brought it along to the island. Seriously, who goes to the beach without putting on sunscreen? No, no... Never do that.

Before I get to the product, let me explain something to you regarding UVA. It is one of the UV rays and mainly responsible for damaging our skin. It causes damage to the elasticity of fibres and collagen of our skin, thus our skin turns saggy and droopy. If the exposure to UVA is consistent, your skin will experience wrinkles, fine lines and pigmentation. Hence, the high PA++++ protection is created to offer 16x better protection against UVA rays.

UV Watery Gel

  • High UV Protection - SPF 50+ and PA++++ (Formulated with Solarex-3 technology with photo stability for long lasting broad spectrum UV Protection. Highest PA offers 16x better protection against UVA rays.
  • Watery light texture - Water light texture that leaves a weightless feel and matte finish.
  • Soothes & Protects Skin - With aloe extract & portulacca extract to soothe and protects skin from free radicals.
  • Whitening - Contains Vitamin C to help fight dark spots for visibly fair and radiant skin. 

UV Watery Essence

  • High UV Protection - SPF 50+ and PA++++ (Formulated with Solarex-3 technology with photo stability for long lasting broad spectrum UV Protection. Highest PA offers 16x better protection against UVA rays).
  • Ultra light texture - Ultra light breathable texture that spreads easily and absorbs quickly for a lightweight non-greasy feel.
  • Whitening - Contains Vitamin C to help fight dark spots for visibly fair and radiant skin.

My comment:
The Watery Gel is less stickier than the Watery Essence, although the names suggest otherwise. I much prefer the Watery Gel one because of the less stickiness. And I find myself reaching for it more. Both the sunscreen last about 1 hour if you get soak in the water and 3 hours for dry skin. It doesn't irritate the skin and feels really light. Not exactly a good sunblock for the face because it gives that white-ish look when you take photo. But as protection, I think it is just as good as how you put in on other parts of your skin.

Both the sunblock are available at all leading pharmacies and major supermarkets at RM37.90 each.

I'll leave you with some of my holiday photos...


Oct 24, 2014

[Product Comparison] The Body Shop Facial Scrubs

I guess everyone here knows I'm pro skincare that uses natural ingredients. The Body Shop is one of the convenient brand that serves me well. I know a lot of you will argue that The Body Shop is using the "natural" basis as corporate image. Nonetheless, it is very convenient to grab The Body Shop's product when you're on-the-go.

Recently, I went to The Body Shop to grab a facial scrub. I wanted a scrub that scrub that can remove my clogged pores but the shop assistant wasn't that helpful. So I grabbed 3 tubes to test out and see which one suit me most. Later I find that the three scrubs I grabbed serve different purposes respectively.

If you are deciding which facial scrub to get at The Body Shop, I hope my personal experience can help you to decide which one to get. Read on...

L-R: Seaweed Pore-Cleansing Facial Exfoliator, Aloe Gentle Exfoliator, Vitamin E Cream Exfoliator

Seaweed Pore-Cleansing Facial Exfoliator (RM45/75ml)
This has a very rough exfoliate agent, which is fine jojoba beads and olive stone. I find this useful for removing dead skin cells, particularly the rough ones. Use this sparingly because it is seriously very rough. In fact, I recommend you to use it only when needed. It feels as if a layer of your skin gets peel off after using.

Good for: Removing dead skin cells. Removing dirts from pores.
Not good for: Sensitive skin. Acne-prone skin. Avoid using this after you done peeling procedure. 

Aloe Gentle Exfoliator (RM53/75ml)
This is my favourite scrub of all. The exfoliate beads are gentle but compact, I'm not too sure what it is made of though. It is good to use on sensitive skin as well. It removes my skin thoroughly but gently. When I desperate to get rid of my dark spots and acne scars, this is the product that I rely on.

Good for: Revealing fresh layer of skin. Sensitive skin.
Not good for: (None)

Vitamin E Cream Exfoliator (RM45/75ml)
If you are looking for a scrub that removes your dead skin cell, this is NOT the scrub. The beads are made from jojoba but it is not rough as the seaweed scrub. It is round and rubbery. I find it good for skin polishing. It gives that shiny glow on your face after using.

Good for: Skin polishing.
Not good for: Exfoliating for the purpose of removing dead skin and unclogging pores.

I wish I bought more facial scrubs to compare. Maybe next time. If you are looking for a basic facial scrub that does the exfoliating work in general, go for the Aloe Gentle Exfoliator. It is my personal favourite. And I think it is mild to the skin, but yet able to deliver its job to remove dead skin and unclog pores.

If you have any favourite facial scrub in your list, do share it with me in the comment below so I can try it out.

Oct 21, 2014

How to clean your dirty NARS packaging

The other day I was at NARS to grab something and I brought home a priceless tips from the makeup artist. She taught me how to clean dirty NARS packaging. If you're NARS lover, you know how annoying the packaging gets after awhile. Today, I've pulled out my dirtiest NARS packaging, which is my blusher to demonstrate.

You'll need to get this...

What is this? This is called Magic Sponge. The sponge feels more compact and silky soft compared to ordinary sponge.

Add just a few drops of water and make sure you squeeze out all the excessive water. Make sure it is wet but not saturated. Then rub the dirty parts of your NARS packaging as if you are polishing a magic lamp.

It works! You can see the obvious difference. It is indeed cleaner. However, it doesn't turn the packaging as new as the one fresh from the store. The most it can do is to clean off the dirty makeup stain on the packaging.

You can buy the Magic Sponge from hardware store or Daiso. I prefer to buy from Daiso because they have various sizes and quantity to choose from.

Oct 16, 2014

Brand Introduction Korres - Natural Ingredients Brand

Korres is a Greek skincare brand, born out of Athens' first ever homeopathic pharmacy in 1996. The first Korres product was an aromatic herbal throat-soothing syrup with honey and aniseed; a recipe inspired by 'rakomelon', a warming spirit-with-honey concoction, which George Korres' grandfather used to make in his hometown on the island of Naxos. Today the Korres portfolio includes over 400 natural and certified organic products, with brand presence in 30 markets. Our goal is to develop innovative and clinically effective skincare products based on natural active ingredients; to promote natural ingredients research in relation to its biochemistry; and to project the unique Greek flora benefits through our cooperations with local farmers, and the production of our brand-own high value organic extracts. 

If you are into natural ingredients product, I would like to introduce you to Korres. Korres is a Greek beauty brand, that share a some-what similar brand philosophy with The Body Shop, Himalaya, and Pangea Organics. I got to know this brand from my bestie in Singapore. She claimed that her sensitive skin couldn't take a lot of beauty products and Korres is the one that she could use. Then she got me a jar of the Wild Rose Lip Butter and I instantly fell in love.

One of their star product is the Lip Butter, which is also the first product that I tried from Korres. The Wild Rose lip butter gives a little red tint on the lips. I love to use it for natural look makeup. Meanwhile, the Jasmine and Guava (not in the photo) is my everyday dry lips rescue. I have the Guava one placed right next to my bed stand so I can reach it before I sleep. I must say the difference in color between the Jasmine and Guava is not visible at all. The only difference is the scent. Guava gives a refreshing scent, meanwhile Jasmine has a rich smell to it just like jasmine flower. Like any other lip butter, its function is to moisturize the lips and to prevent it from chapping. One thing special about the lip butter is the Greek ingredient called Quince. It has wound-healing properties that restore cracked lips instantly.

When my bestie gave me the lip butter, she manage to slip in some samples of their body butter. I tuck it aside (just like most samples that I received) until my impromptu trip to Hong Kong during winter. I could only take one hand carry bag, so sample sachets were the best thing to pack. The body butter was my biggest savior during the trip.

The weather was dry and windy in HK and my skin suffered severe wind rash. After applied the Body Butter, amazingly my skin stop itching and I had no problem showering hot water. This body butter is perfect for those who suffer from eczema and dry skin. Aside from its efficacy, I also like the texture a lot. It feels like soft butter, literally! When applied on the skin it glides smoothly, as you rub against your skin the butter gets absorbed into the skin. They have a few variants of scent but I like the Japanese Rose and Guava the best.

One product that I dislike from Korres is their wipes.

I bought this Milk Proteins wipes at the Athens airport because I needed something to remove my makeup before connecting to my next flight. To my surprise, I didn't like it at all. The wipe sheet feels rough and it doesn't saturate a lot of products in it. The remover strength is not as good as other ordinary makeup remover. I had to apply strong force before I could remove all my makeup. I don't think this is good to use on the skin because you will be constantly pulling the skin when using it. This is the only Korres product that I wouldn't recommend to you.

Overall, I'm pretty satisfied with all the Korres skincare products. I've not tried their makeups yet, but I did bought a full set of makeup as a souvenir for my friend and from her testimony, she loves it a lot. Other products that you should try from Korres are their Honey Base Cough Syrup (the initial product that developed by Korres), Black Pine Anti-Wrinkle & Firming Cream and Milk Proteins 3 in 1 Cleansing Emulsion. I think it is noteworthy to point out that Korres is NOT an organic brand although they use 97% of natural ingredients in their products.

Unfortunately Korres is not available in Malaysia. If you're visiting our neighbor Singapore, they have a store at Takashimaya. Alternatively, you can buy from Luxola which ships to Malaysia.

Are you a fan of natural skincare products? If you are, tell me what's your favourite brand in the comment below. I would love to check it out. 

Oct 8, 2014

L'Occitane 10th Anniversary #naturallyloccitane Photo Contest


2014 marks an important milestone for L’OCCITANE MALAYSIA as they are celebrating 10th beautiful years. To make this events even more meaningful, there are many interesting activities lined-up and to kick-start this, you can join the #naturallyloccitane 10th anniversary photo contest which can grant you a chance to win L’OCCITANE Gift Sets & 1 Ticket to participate in the lucky draw. Guess what, the grand prize is a trip to Provence, France!

No purchase needed. Just join the contest as per the rules above. It's as simple as that! Good luck. If you win the trip to Provence, do tag me on your photo!!!

Oct 1, 2014

[Makeup Basics] Things To Consider When Buying Makeup Brushes

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. 

As a makeup beginner, you probably feel that you need to buy every brush that's on the counter. Actually you only need at about 4 brushes to cover your basic needs. Here are some of the tips you need to remember before investing on your brush set:

1. Soft doesn't mean good
A lot of people judge how good is the brush base on the softness of the bristles. Sometimes brushes that are too soft can't pick up the product that well and you will ended up wasting the product and wasting your time because the product don't transfer to your skin. Always read review of brushes before jumping into getting it.

2. Expensive doesn't mean good
One of the earlier advice that I got from someone was that makeup brush is a form of investment therefore we should buy the expensive ones. After attending a few beauty expos and getting to know the industry better, I find that some brush that cost RM200+ and RM30+ probably comes from the same factory and produced from the same materials. It's all about branding and making you pay for the marketing prices. As a makeup beginner (or veteran) you only need brushes that does its job well, and I find some cheaper or average priced brush is apt. 

3. Get to know the bristles
Bristle is the "hair" of the brush. It comes in synthetic (artificial hair), natural (horse mane, squirrel hair, etc.) or hybrid of the both. Normally people with sensitive skin works better with synthetic hair (for face brush). Meanwhile, natural hair bristle gives a better effect in blending (for eyeshadow). The shorter the bristle, the easier for you to control the brush, hence some work that needs extra concentration needs shorter bristles such as eyeliner brush, foundation brush, contour brush and eyebrow brush. On the other hand, brushes that you apply loose powder and fan brush works better with longer bristles.

4. Get to know the handle
The handle of the brush plays an important part in your makeup experience. A lot of people make the mistake for buying long handle brush thinking that it has more surface area to grab on. However, long handle brush is made for makeup artists to apply makeup on clients. The best size of brush is slightly bigger than your hand when you grip it. It gives you better control of the brush and you won't poke the mirror when you get close to it.

5. Brushes you need as a beginner
3 brushes is enough - one for foundation, one flat shader brush for picking up eyeshadow and one blending brush to smoke out your eyeshadow. As for blusher, you can use the same foundation brush or use the available brush from the packaging. Blush brush is not really that important for beginner.

6. Cleaning the brush
As a beginner in makeup, I wouldn't recommend you to incur extra cost to purchase special brush cleaner. Use baby shampoo. And if you don't have baby at home and don't want to buy it, use your facial wash. If it is good enough for you face, it should be good enough for your brush.

Today so happen there's a special launch of the Colours Cosmetics Brush. Since we're talking about brushes, I want to take the opportunity to introduce to you this new brush brand. You probably haven't heard of Colour Cosmetics Malaysia. This company took a very long time to develop the brush and finally Colour Cosmetics Malaysia brushes will be officially launched on 30th September 2014.

I have the Flat Top Foundation Brush to share with you. I have use this brush for 10 days now, which I think it is a sufficient trial period for me to share my experience.

What I love about the brush:

1. The quality of the bristle is really good. In terms of the bristle, I like how it is so soft but still able to pick up the products really well. The density of the bristles is just nice, when you applying the product (especially liquid foundation), the product covers the skin evenly. Use a circular motion to get an even and flawless effect.

2. The presentation of the brush is sleek, which I love the most about this brush. The handle is in black gloss and the ferrule of the brush is in shiny tri-chrome copper.

3. The size is within a palm size. Not only it is convenient for traveling. It is also very easy to grip when you use it for everyday application.

4. The price of the brush is pretty affordable for its quality. The retail price for this brush is only RM55. This brush is so similar with Sigma F80, and the Sigma one probably cost RM100. For half the price, this is a pretty good deal. 

Size to scale
Product pick up
Application comparison

What I don't like about the brush:

1. Overall I love everything about this brush, except one thing... The bristles are so compact that it requires a bit more effort to clean, especially the middle part. There are some remains of the product stuck in the middle of the brush even after I clean it twice. If you're a lazy person like me, you might get a little irritated that you have to put in more effort in cleaning it. Otherwise, I'm sure this might not be a problem to most of you.

You probably can see the difference in application on the photo above. I think this is good brush to recommend to you all if you are looking for a quality and affordable foundation brush. You can get this brush at CCM's website. For my readers, I have a 15% off promo code for you to try this brush. Just enter MDBEAUTY15 at the check out and the price of the brush will be reduced to only RM46.75*. I think that is a pretty good deal, so head on to the site to get one and try it out yourself.

*Promo code valid until 15 June 2015.