Sunday, 26 October 2014

Charles & Keith 2014 New Arrivals - Sunday Shoe-Crush!

It's been awhile since I had a shoe crush. Wandering around my neighbourhood malls last week I popped by Charles & Keith for quick look see and this pair tugged at my heart strings a little =)

Pointed Slingback Mules in PU leather S$56.90
Of course the marble print is all the rage now. But faddishness (is that even a word?) aside, I think it's a print that's likely to stand the test of time?



All images from Charles & Keith

I like that the height is quite perfect. After tramping in heels through the gravel, sand & rock on the fortress island of Suomenliina last winter, my feet have never been quite the same and I haven't been able to deal with heels of the steep incline or towering variety ever since. This heel (8.5cm) is enough to give a girl a boost and comfortable enough to be standing around in. Also, these heels are light! Now...if only they'd go on sale for Xmas....... XP

Monday, 20 October 2014

DrGL Restore Gel Mask - Budget-friendly Boutique Skin Solution Review

If you've followed me on my Instagram (@r_san82....oh you haven't? Why not! =P), you may have noticed when I purchased this little titbit during one of my many recent Luxola hauls. I think I bought this at least a month or 2 back so I thought I'd better post this before I forget again ^___^;;;

S$38/100ml, S$68/240ml on Luxola

At only S$38 for the 100ml, it's the cheapest in the Dr.GL range and a very popular item. Combine that with the titles of Cosmo Beauty Grand Prix 2013 Winner, Elle Beauty IT List 2013 and the frequent Luxola sales and you know you really have to try it out~

Description of the Restore Gel Mask:

Bring skin back to equilibrium with this restorative gel for all skin types. Packed with healing botanicals to help sooth skin, it makes a particularly good travel companion as skin tends to be stressed by changing environments, manifesting signs of irritation such as redness and dryness.

A proprietary blend of natural ingredients including Gardenia Florida Extract and Scutellaria Baicalensis Root Extract heals skin with its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and antibacterial powers. It's blue hue extracted from Guaiazulene helps counteract redness while its all-natural fragrance exerts a calming influence. 

Info from DrGL

Comes in a nondescript dark moss green box and plastic pump bottle that I like in all its simplicity. The pump (and bottle) is sturdy and firm, making it quite easy to dispense the small amount that's needed. I do however worry about the potential wastage once it's finishing >___<

Here's a look at the instructions/details and ingredients:


I know the font is quite hard to make out, doesn't help that it's printed so close to each other >_<

Directions:
  • To use as a moisturiser, apply a thin layer in circular motions till gel is fully absorbed.
  • To use a mask, apply a thick layer onto skin and leave on for 10 - 20min. Remove remaining gel on face.
  • Good for sunburns, post-tanning and post-procedure treatments.
  • Best used when chilled. (I LOVE it chilled!)
  • To use as shaving gel, apply a thin layer before shaving.

Ingredients:

Water, Scutellaria Baicelensis Root Extract, Paeonia Suffruiticosa Root Extract, Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract, Butylene Glycol, Glycerin, Carbomer, Coceth-7, PPG-1-PEG-9 Lauryl Glycol Ether, PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Rutin, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract, Disodium EDTA, Centella, Asatica Extract, Gardenia Florida Fruit Extract, Beta-glucan, Guaiazulene, Arginine, Aloe Vera.

Made in Korea. 

Some extra info on a couple of the herbs/flower extracts that are more prominent in the makeup of the Restore Gel Mask:

Scutellaria Baicelensis - One of the 50 fundamentals in Chinese Herbology, this is a pretty purple flowering plant known also known as Skullcaps. Often used in traditional Chinese medicines to dispel 'heatiness', hepatitis, diarrhea and inflammation. Increasingly rare in current times due to its popularity and unfortunate overexploitation.

Paeonia Suffruiticosa - The iconic Chinese Peony, it's roots (called 牡丹皮) are also used commonly in traditional Chinese medicines to dispel 'heatiness', mildly invigorate the blood and 'cool' the blood amongst others.

Licorice - The root extract has shown various medical properties such as being antimicrobial, antiviral and hepatoprotective. In skincare however, it has also shown the ability to treat hyper pigmentation caused by skin inflammation.

Hope this extra info helps give a clearer idea of how the gel works! And just in case some of you were curious where this lovely blue colour came from:

Guaiazulene - The blue hue of the gel is derived from this hydrocarbon, which is an U.S FDA-approved cosmetic colour additive.

Albeit a tad disappointed that the colour isn't a natural occurrence, I still like the calming blue that it is =) And the smell is really soothing too! Makes me think of Chamomile tea mixed with other flower teas. Y'know...like 'ahhhh~~' (▰˘◡˘▰) 

My dad just pointed out that my random squiggle of blue gel-ly goodness looks like umm..well..sperm. 

*awkward silence* (//∇//)

I guess I could've kept quiet and hope that nobody notices but I JUST CAN'T. So yeah, sorry if it looks like a slightly suggestive squiggle of blue~  ~(˘▾˘~)

*ahem*

As recommended, I store it in the fridge and since I'm about halfway through my usual Laneige moisturiser, use this on and off...when I want to give my skin a treat or when it's feeling particularly stressed, dry or sensitive. A little goes a long way so the 100ml bottle will probably last pretty long.    Just so that you have an idea, for basic moisturising I use a little under 1/2 a pump for my whole face, abit lesser than the amount pictured in my lovely Daiso saucer. Oh and may I add that the chilled gel on my face is freakin' awesome in this sticky hot weather we've been having in Singapore recently!

It spreads well and absorbs to a slightly tacky finish after massaging in circular motions but this tackiness will disappear in under 5 min, leaving my skin feeling and looking soothed and really, well, comfortable! It also dries on the matte side so you don't need to worry about the shinies~ 

As a testament to its soothing capabilities, one time when my skin was going through a dry spell and one particular spot on my cheek was so dry that I suffered some abrasion. Nothing too drastic but a flaky red patch on the cheek is pretty hard to miss. I applied just a thin layer of the Restore Gel in the evening and by the next morning the redness was gone and there was only a very slight dry feeling left. Problem solved with a 2nd application that day and no sign of a reoccurence!

So would I repurchase the DrGL Restore Gel Mask? Of course! It's taken a conscious effort NOT to repurchase until my current bottle reaches at least the 30% level~

  • Easily available online and with frequent sale deals via Luxola, S$38/100ml and S$68/240ml.
  • Often sold out during and around sale period so keep a look out if you want to score a good deal!
  • The most affordable in a line of boutique skin solutions, easy on the pocket because a little goes a long way.
  • Applies and spreads well, awesome on a hot day when applied fresh from the fridge.
  • Requires a minute or so of massaging to fully absorb (if using as a moisturiser) and after a few minutes of very slight tackiness, dries to a matte finish leaving skin soothed and comfortable.
  • Keeps my combination/oily skin moisturised without any shine.
  • Quickly soothes irritated and dry skin without any discomfort even on my slight facial abrasion.
  • Has served my skin very well in recovering from shuttling between dry and humid climates.

Yep, that's all I have to say about this pretty awesome multi-purpose gel~  =) Do drop me a comment if I've left anything out! 

Saturday, 4 October 2014

New In Town - Inglot Cosmetics & the Freedom System lipstick swatches!

A couple of days ago, Polish brand Inglot Cosmetics's first store in Singapore opened its doors in Wisma Atria B1! I don't get out much but like it was meant to be, I had to run some errands yesterday so I popped in for a look! Located along the same row as Lush, facing CottonOn Body, you can't miss it. Oh and also, 10% storewide till Sunday! =D


Once in, a friendly makeup artist (a pretty Malay girl rocking the Inglot blue lipstick, envious much!) came up, introduced the brand to me and escorted me over to the lipstick wall as I was hoping to get a nice pigmented nude (brown, not pink) lippie like my beloved Edward Bess Ultra Slick in Sundown. She was friendly, patient and not too attached to me if you know what I mean so I felt quite comfortable.

Look at all those lippie shades~

Lipstick prices range from S$22 - S$26

Unfortunately, the lipsticks didn't have what I wanted (the nudes were either too sheer for my lips or too frosty sigh) so we tried the Freedom System individual lip squares and found a very nice match in No. 25! =D Yay!! Since they were really cheap (only $12 each), I decided to put together a day to night palette~ Armed with a magnetic board, I set about picking my colours...

Sooooo many shades!!

Inglot also has face powders and concealers ranging from S$22 - 26 as well as a wide variety of shades in the eye and lip colour dept for your Freedom System palettes at S$12 apiece!

So anyway, I ended up with these 3 shades and after adding the Freedom System magnetic case (Starts at S$10 for a single, S$12 for double, S$13 for the trio case...etc) my total was S$44.10 after the 10% discount! CHEAP!!

My Custom Day to Night Freedom System Palette!

After all that excitement (cheap thrills or what lol), I was pretty hungry so I popped over to Domani Cafe at Takashimaya for some brunch (my first and only meal that day) before heading home ^_^ I don't care what people say, I like the food here. Can't remember what the item was named....Sunny something? But it's the only brunch item with the egg, bacon, smoked salmon (which I replaced with more bacon) on toasted muffins ^_^


Explored my purchase while waiting for the food to come:


Simply packaged individual colours and the sleek magnet casing

I really like the case. It's reusable, feels sturdy and the magnet is strong enough to keep that nice frosted lid in place yet not so strong that you need to struggle to open it. Swiveling from either end (as below) is the easiest way =)

Freedom System 3 case - S$13
From Top to Bottom - Lipstick Shade No 30, 25 and 11

The lip colours clip in firmly to the magnetized casing.

From Left - Lipstick Shade No. 30, 25 and 11.

No. 30 looks like it might be a natural sheer red but swatches a slightly coral red-pink. Really pretty!
No. 25 is a nice and pigmented brownish nude, close enough to my Edward Bess Sundown shade!
No. 11 is a lovely warm red that had impact but wasn't too in-your-face. Love!

From Left - Lipstick Shade No. 30, 25 and 11.

Inglot really has a sh!tload of colours for you to pick from so if standard palettes are not your thing, you should definitely try Inglot! The fact that it's so budget-friendly doesn't hurt either!

I lip-swatched No.30 last and left it on while I went in search of brunch. It stayed on through my shopping and then my drink but there was only a stain left after my meal so touchups are required after eating.

Why should you pop by Inglot?
  • Loads of colours for all your eyeshadow and lipstick needs, pigment powders, gel liners, don't forget their new (huge) range of breathable nail enamel!
  • All lip, eye and nail colours come in a variety of finishes; matte, normal, glossy, shimmery, sheer, you get the idea!
  • Definitely swatch, both on hands and lips, as pigmentation & finish differs quite abit from colour to colour. Inglot has disposable applicators at the displays so it's easy to do a quick lip swatch!
  • Budget friendly with lipsticks and face powders at S$22 - S$26, eyeshadow and lip colours for the Freedom System palettes at S$12 each and Freedom System cases sold separately starting at S$10.
  • 10% off storewide till 5 Oct 2014, my 3 lip colours + case only cost S$44.10!
  • Freedom System cases feel sturdy, come in 2 styles (magnet with frosted lid or regular closure with mirror) and different combinations depending on your choice of products.
  • No.30 stayed on for shopping and drink but required touchup after a meal. Does leave a stain though so you're not left with a totally naked lip.
  • Formulated with castor seed oil, shea butter, beeswax and apricot kernel oil, it's fairly decent in the moisturising department. No SPF though =(
  • My selection of colours were more of a gloss finish so didn't emphasise the lines on my lips and were not drying.
  • Only 1 outlet at the moment, kinda cramped, wish it was bigger~ Show 'em some support so they can open more branches!
I wanna hit pan soon just so that I can go back for more hahahaha hopeless shopaholic I know! Hope you guys enjoyed this quick review! Did you get anything on your visit? I'd love to know if I missed anything good! =D

Monday, 22 September 2014

Brow Resurrection @ Browhaus Wheelock - Review (Unsponsored!)

So. I'd been wondering about the Brow Resurrection services at Browhaus for awhile so when Arissa (from Monoxious) had a promo on her Instagram last month for 10% off the trial price, I jumped at the opportunity! While I don't have sparse brows, I do feel sometimes that the arch is a tad too sharp and makes me look abit aggressive sometimes even though I'm anything but! Also, they're abit unbalanced ^-^;;

So umm...alot of the Browhaus reviews I found online were sponsored, so I wasn't 100% sure what kind of customer experience I would be in for as I'd popped into Browhaus @ Tampines1 before to ask if there was a walk-in slot available for eyebrow threading and also called to enquire about a slot for Brow Resurrection. There wasn't as Browhaus seems pretty busy all the time so you really need to make appointments in advance e.g 2 to 3 days advance for Brow Resurrection. I was fine with not being able to get a slot since I wasn't in a rush but I didn't get a very welcome vibe from both the lady at the reception and the guy who answered my call so....yeah....=\

Anyway~~~~

I dug around for reviews from customers and found them to be quite mixed with a portion airing their irritation at package hard selling and poor customer service e.g irritation when customer rejects a package. I shopped around some more and decided that the Wheelock branch seemed to be the most 'friendly' so I gave them a call. Happy to say, the lady who answered was polite and friendy, got my appointment down for 2 days later.

Situated on the 3rd floor of Wheelock Place, it's just opposite MTM so you can't miss it.


The ladies were very smiley and I felt quite comfortable as they sat me down and one of them explained to me about the procedure (method + 100% vegetable dye and so on so forth) and the paperwork that I had to sign. After that I was introduced to my brow technician, Ella, who spoke mainly mandarin which is ok since my mandarin is pretty fluent; but occasionally her accent was abit thick and I couldn't understand her (^_^;;)

First she drew the shape of my soon-to-be new brows:


A little surprised as I had thought they would draw my brows in strand by strand so I could see the full effect but she only drew the outline. I was just a little teensy bit insecure as I haven't had full brows since I was 14 so....I just decided to wing it and go ahead.

On went the numbing cream!


Ella left them on for 20 min and brought me some tea and magazines to keep me occupied =) Oh! I was also given a personal pack of earphones in case I wanted to listen to some music from my phone =)

This is my view while I'm waiting and she preps the tools. I took all my photos as if I was just a major camwhore so they wouldn't think I was a secret shopper or something =P


20 min later, Ella returned and wiped off the numbing cream after which we set about choosing the colour of dye I would be using. Considering that my hair was a dark ash brown tone, she chose a dark brown grey shade that would match it exactly. She also showed me the tools used for Brow Resurrection still in their packs to show that they were new and opened them in front of me.

On with the dye!

I actually really like my nose here haha =P ok irrelevent

Mahahahaha I look like Crayon Shin-chan! The Husband was quite amused XP

And then we started! Ella brought me a rolled towel for my neck so it wouldn't get sore, so nice of her! And I'm happy to report that there was NO PAIN at all. All I heard was a scratching sound throughout that didn't bother me much. And throughout the process, Ella was very concerned if I felt any pain so even when I decided to take a deep breath, she stopped and asked if it hurt. She even reapplied some numbing cream halfway through to make sure.


The whole session took 1.5hrs and because I was free to entertain myself with my phone or just grab 40 winks, it wasn't a drag at all.

If you have trouble picturing it, here's an animated clip from Browhaus with a simple explanation about Brow Resurrection~ More related info in the Q&A portion of this post below.



Bam! Here are the before and after shots! Starts from the day of the session (27th Aug), immediately after and so on~ (All photos are without brow makeup)

Before:


After:

Quite impressed cos the 'strands' look so real!



End result: Slightly more defined brows, especially at the head and tail. More balanced and a slightly gentler arch. (^_^)v

I've passed the 2 week mark and back to washing my face normally again, thank god. I've been poking around my brows though and it looks like I've lost quite abit of ink thus the slight gaps but overall still an improvement so I'm not too upset. I do have to fill them in a little though. It's looks like it's mainly my own brow hair now so...I dunno...maybe all that scratching acted as a growth stimulant? =D

I think it turned out decent for about $450 (Brow Resurrection trial plus 1 touchup session). The ladies there explained to me a couple of times that everyone's retention of the ink is different thus the need for touchup sessions. So whilst I lament the couple of gaps that have resurfaced, the overall effect is still satisfactory for the trial price. At this point I'm not entirely sure if I would ever purchase the package at full price though >_< maybe because I didn't have like severe brow issues?

Quick Q&A
Several friends had some questions for me when they knew I'd gone for Brow Resurrection so I'll just repeat them here~

  • How is the trial different from the full deal? (Easily the most popular question lol)
Well, the procedure you get is exactly the same. However, you can only buy 1 touchup session (approx S$160) with the trial after which you have to repurchase the full package again if you want to continue. The full package price includes the aftercare kit (retails ard S$160) and 3 touchup sessions. As usual, it's cheaper if you buy the full package at the time of your trial appointment - they offered me S$1,200 at the time of my appointment as opposed to the usual approx S$2,000. The full package should provide a 2 yr supply of good brows.

  • Is the aftercare kit (aka camera kit) a must-buy?
No, you can opt not to purchase it. They whined abit but left off when I said I had a hand-me-down from a girlfriend (not true). A girlfriend had mentioned that the 2 pots of the aftercare kit contained a vaseline-like cream and a clear, hyaluronic-acid-like serum so I just went with the vaseline since that's what we use for tattoo aftercare too. I am not sure if this substitution affected the end result though =\ my girlfriend barely touched her aftercare kit and her brows look fine~

  • Did it hurt?
Not one bit! But the numbing cream wore off about half an hour after the session and developed a burning sensation that lasted about 4 - 5hrs. Felt quite hot but not really bothered. 

  • Was the aftercare troublesome?
At first washing my face around the brows wasn't so bad. But when the itching started after about 3 days I was soooooo urrgghhh about it! A couple of times I forgot and scratched at them for like a millisecond and freaked out lol =P After a week, they began to peel a bit so I had thin inked flakes of skin that looked like mosquito legs dropping on my cheeks. So yeah, you have to work around that. No direct sun exposure, facials, swimming or sauna-type activities for 2 weeks too.

'Mosquito legs' XD

And one of the biggest questions..

  • DID THEY BUGGER ME ABOUT THE PACKAGE SIGNING?
Well, they did explain it to me again and again and again....and again. But thankfully they were not forceful and didn't 'meh' me when I politely declined again and again.....and again. The reception's smile got a little bit frozen but remained friendly otherwise. So I reckon the Wheelock branch is pretty safe in that sense ^_^

Will be going back for my touchup in a month or 2 and will update again then! Hope this review has been helpful! Do feel free to ask if there's anything I missed out~ =) On a sidenote, did you notice that my skin looks pretty good in all these photos?? Even in the ones without makeup! I didn't realize it until I did up this post! Guess all that Skin Inc is paying off! =D