Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Clinique Even Better Foundation - Better than BB?

I recently got my grubby hands on several bottles of foundation via a beauty swop meet with a girlfriend and Clinique's Even Better Foundation was one of them~ I think this was a Spring/Summer release back in 2012?

30ml / Retails at Changi Airport DFS for S$35 / Sephora USD27


Dermatologist developed, this foundation suits 2 - Dry Combination and 3 - Combination Oily skin and claims to help brighten and even skin tone as well as lighten spots gradually over 4-6 weeks with its cocktail of Vitamin C, Vitamin E, grapefruit peel, mushroom yeast extract and white birch extract.

Extracted from Clinique.com:

Wear oil-free, dermatologist-developed Even Better Makeup SPF 15 and something amazing happens: Without any makeup, see improved clarity, a more even skin tone, visibly diminished age spots. For all ethnicities. In just 4 to 6 weeks. Broad spectrum SPF helps protect against future darkening. For continued benefits even after you take it off, partner with Even Better Clinical Dark Spot Corrector.

Comes in 20 shades in the US but only 10 locally (boo~) so some may find that a tad restrictive. My girlfriend is slightly fairer than me (63 - Fresh Beige) but being quite light-handed makes this shade alright for my medium fair skin. Spreads and blends very easily so I only use a pearl-sized blob for my entire face!

Blends quite nicely as you see~


Yep, this amount. For my whole face~

I don't have any acne issues at the moment...so my main areas of concern are the sun spots/pigmentation around my temples.

With 1 layer of Clinique Even Better with concentration on temples

Coverage is exactly as the bottle says i.e Moderate. If my spots were just a tad lighter it might have been sufficient coverage but I find I need 2 layers or a light dusting of powder to have those spots concealed to satisfaction.

Here's a before and after comparison between absolutely no makeup and Clinique Even Better plus a very light layer of bareMinerals powder, Sleek Makeup Blush by 3, Canmake Balm Rouge and eye & brow liner~


Those are my new glasses from Furla =P Sorta in a love-hate relationship with 'em at the moment.. (>__<)

I think the Even Better liquid foundation is....ok. I like that it's light, blends well and doesn't oxidise or cake much with 2 or 3 layers except on my undereye area but that's pretty normal for me. The finish is neither powdery nor dewy on me so it looks au natural~ Holds up quite decently in our humid weather and on my combination oily skin. Touchups were required after about 6 hours even in an air-conditioned environment but this might be due to my light-handedness with it.

I can't say much about the evening or lightening of skin tone and age spots though as I'm juggling this with a couple other foundations I have open.

In a nutshell, Clinique's Even Better Foundation is:
  •  A light creamy textured liquid foundation that gives natural-looking light to moderate coverage; for 2- Dry Combination and 3- Combination Oily skin types.
  • Light sunblock capabilities; SPF 15/PA++, also claims to help even out skin tone and lighten spots with continued use.
  • Not pricey per se but properties are easily comparable to drugstore options e.g Maybelline or Kate.
  • Natural finish holds up decently in Singapore's humidity on my combi-oily skin with touchups required abt 6 hours in.
  • Moderate coverage would be perfect for those with just light spots and zits to conceal.
  • Doesn't oxidise or turn cakey with layering.

Would I buy this? Not likely.

I like the lightweight formula but with this level of finish and coverage, I'm inclined to think my usual drugstore BB creams can give this Clinique product a run for its money~

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

DIY Home Spa - Biore Aroma Time Bodywash ꒰●꒡ ̫ ꒡●꒱

I've been in sort of a girly mood since Valentine's Day...something like a heart-shaped hangover I guess =P I suppose part of the reason is the bodywash I've been using~

Biore Aroma Time - Elegant Spa fragrance

I picked up the Biore Aroma Time bodywash around early Feb because I wanted a nicer, more pampering sort of bodywash~ and also because my friend was late so I was wandering around Nishino Pharmacy at Shaw while waiting....so technically it isn't completely my fault that I bought beauty products AGAIN ngahahaha~  <( ̄︶ ̄)>

Retailing at S$17.80 / 550ml

Made in Japan, this bodywash comes in 2 fragrances:

  • Elegant Spa - a rich floral fragrance consisting of 3 notes: Creamy Gourmand, White Floral and Sweet Fruits

  • Paradise Air - a clear floral & fruity scent consisting of 3 notes: Airy Musk, Aqua Floral and Watery Accord


Back of the bottle info in a nutshell:

Envelope yourself in premium aroma scent and create a beautiful atmosphere for your bath. (Something along those lines =P) Formulated with natural aroma essences.

Gentle enough to be used on delicate baby skin, Aroma Time Bodywash is of the same PH balance as normal skin and formulated to gently cleanse the dirt off the body.

How to use: Apply an appropriate amount of bodywash (2 pumps recommended) to a damp towel or sponge. Foam will build up as you go over your skin with the towel/sponge, rinse off after.

Additional info off the web: Rich formula makes your skin feel nourished as if you've had a cream or milk bath. Naturally moisturizing easily dry areas like elbows and knees, the bodywash also contains skin whitening ingredients that can be easily absorbed by your skin.

My weapon of choice - The Body Shop Ultra Fine Bath Lily

I use this with the ultra-fine bath lily from The Body Shop to ensure a solid foam buildup and it works great! Instead of using 2 pumps as recommended, I tried it with just 1 as well as 1 1/2 pumps and it was very sufficient for a full body scrub down.

Look at that foam!!!

The foam builds up very easily on wet skin and is rich and quite creamy~ LOVE IT! If you use 2 pumps you get ALOT of denser foam (seems almost neverending to me =P) and a stronger aroma whilst you're bathing. It feels like I'm bathing in a cloud of flowers~~~ ꒰ღ˘‿˘ற꒱❤ Really makes one feel like a lady of leisure~

I feel it's necessary to use this with a sponge of some sort as I'd experimented using just my hands and it simply doesn't foam up. So yeah, pick up a bath lily or foaming net or something from Daiso~

The only downside I've detected is the bottle. After using the bottle, I'd left it lying on its side on the table and after some time noticed that it had leaked a small amount from the pump area. A small inconvenience you might want to take note of to prevent wastage =) Or maybe I just have a slightly defective bottle.

So in short, the Biore Aroma Time Bodywash is:
  • a pretty luxurious aromatherapy spa-in-a-bottle at a reasonable price
  • more easily found in Japanese pharmacies or supermarkets.
  • can be used at half the recommended amount without too much difference, you can get a whole lotta foam with less of the scent if you're not a fan of strong fragrances
  • the creamy base notes of the fragrance makes the floral scent very elegant & more pleasant, less potentially nauseating I feel?
  • leaves a clean feeling without the tautness, also no unpleasant afterfeel
  • skin feels nourished and pleasantly, though only lightly, scented after use (scent doesn't last more than a couple hours on me, probably because of the humid heat of Singapore)
  • bottle MAY leak if left lying on its side, just fyi~

I'm very pleased with this bodywash, can you tell? (^ _ ^) It makes bathtime that much more relaxing and is the perfect start to some me-time before bed! ꒰ღ˘‿˘ற꒱❤

Tuesday, 25 February 2014

♥ Valentine's Day Baking - Hidden Heart Cake ♥

A week and a half after Valentine's Day, this post is rather belated~ Please excuse my tardiness~ (>_<) I've been a tad more social recently so it takes me out of the home quite often (^__^);; But anyway, I wanted to share this cake that I made for Valentine's Day~ It's quite easy and lovely to look at. Got it from Boulder Locavore's beautiful Hidden Heart Valentine's Pound Cake post...(。♥‿♥。)

From the local baking supplies store and supermarket I got my ingredients:

Cocoa chips + walnuts + eggs + loaf baking pan (approx. 7'' long 4'' deep)
+ edible colouring + strawberry flavoring + cake mix

Ok so I know using cake mix is quite a short cut here but I figured I might have my hands full with the technique and didn't want to have to worry about the cake recipe so I settled for something safe! Thank you Betty Crocker~

Chose Rose Pink instead of straight pink or red for a nicer colour~

Using the yellow cake mix, I put in about 15 - 20  drops of the colour paste and about 2 teaspoons of the strawberry flavoring. The flavoring intensity is of course subject to individual taste so test as you go~

My cake mix was this shade when I put it in to bake:

 
And came out looking like this:
 
 
Waited for the cake to cool completely before taking a knife to it. Sliced the cake into about 1'' wide pieces and used an approx. 2'' wide heart-shaped cookie cutter from Daiso to make the hidden heart slices~
 

Poured a small amount of the chocolate cake mix into the pan and left it for a few min to pull itself together before lining up the heart slices together and pouring the rest of the chocolate cake mix over them. This part was a little bit difficult to do on my own because there was a constant worry of the hearts slipping all over the place while I was pouring the chocolate mix in...
 
Scattered cocoa chips and walnuts over the top and into the oven it went:
 
 
It'll rise higher than usual because of the extra volume from the heart slices, so no worries there.
 
And then the moment of truth! O(≧▽≦)O
 
 
It's not as pretty as I was hoping was still pretty decent I think! Served this with some Dreyer's Roasted Almond ice cream and it was omg yum~~~~ (。-_-。 )人( 。-_-。) The Husband was also quite wow-ed and wanted to know how it was made hehe..
 

The only thing I would change the next time round is the choice of cake mix. Super Moist was not a good idea as the cake took much longer to bake thoroughly the 2nd round due to the already-baked heart slices that were probably in the way of the dissipating heat? The cakes had to be kept in the fridge too because they were too moist to be simply boxed and left on the dining table... (^_^;;;)
 
Hope you enjoyed this post~ Next time there's an occasion I'm gonna try a Hidden Rainbow cake! 

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Urban Decay Spring 2014 - Naked Ultra Nourishing Gloss

I recently came into ownership of a few products that have yet to hit the local market =D So~ whee! I'm quite excited to review them~

This~~~ is the Naked Ultra Nourishing Gloss from Urban Decay's Spring 2014 collection~ Already available in the States of course, this range of nourishing lip glosses come in 9 'Naked' shades (varying natural shades) and is touted as 'Like a luxe balm and a rich gloss in one, it’s laced with ingredients that are good for your skin—like Hyaluronic Filling Spheres™, vitamin E, avocado oil and shea butter to hydrate and condition your lips. Rosehip seed oil provides an extra hit of vitamins, including vitamin A and vitamin C.' (extracted from Urban Decay) The formula is also vegan and free of parabens, sulphates and phthalates.

Set to retail at S$32, I have to say, the packaging is pretty gorgeous~

Love the cut-out NAKED!!

So easy to spot in the sea of black packaging in my makeup bag~

From top: Lovechild and Nude


Lovechild is described as a 'Medium Pink' and Naked, a 'Nude-Pink with pearly pink shift'.

I expected Lovechild to be a tad brighter but the swatches proved otherwise. Naked was..well...naked with only a very light hint of colour so it's mostly gloss effect. Lovechild too, was surprisingly sheer.

From left: Lovechild and Naked

The brush is a slim, slanted paddle applicator that doesn't pick up too much gloss from the tube so no worries about a gloppy mess on your applicator~

 
One layer of gloss was quite enough for me since I'm not usually a lip gloss wearer...too much shine and stickiness isn't really my thing...
 
 
Decided to give Lovechild a whirl!
 
 
Aside from a slight pink tone to my lips, it's pretty much all gloss factor. Personally, I quite like the colour because I'm very much a nude/au naturale kinda girl but this is probably disappointing for fans expecting a little more.
 
The gloss was also unfortunately a tad sticky in the beginning..such that strands of my hair would stick to my mouth if the wind blew but it seemed to settle in after some time and stopped being so sticky.
 
Here's another shot where you can see the gloss factor abit better.
 

You can also see the slight pink it lends to my lips, quite pretty actually ^^ But touchups are required after meals because the gloss just disappears even though I tried to be careful. I did notice that my lips were not as dry in between touchups though, so the nourishing factor does count!
 
In a nutshell, Urban Decay's new Ultra Nourishing Gloss:
  • comes in a gorgeous packaging that's both decorative and functional
  • 9 shades of nude - Versatile or Boring, it's subjective
  • smells abit like playdough...but only noticeable if you stick your nose right at the tube
  • product is a tad sticky upon initial application but seems to settle in after awhile
  • covers slightly dry lips nicely with a luscious gloss that doesn't feel heavy on the lips
  • nourishing formula helps lips stay moist-looking after the product is wiped off or eaten =P
  • definitely requires touchups after meals, staying power doesn't seem to be a strong factor here

In all honesty, while I think it's pretty and all, it's unlikely I'd purchase this since it really doesn't pack much of a 'wow' factor in any area. *sigh*

Friday, 24 January 2014

Pucker up - Canmake Stay-On Balm Rouge

I envy ladies who can work solid colours on their lips. I really do! Some may say that I have full lips that should be emphasized...but I really can't.... (>__<) And therefore, I have an overflowing arsenal of nude lipsticks, lipglosses and lipbalms. And that's what I'm sharing today~

The Canmake Stay-On Balm Rouge:

Retails S$19.90 at Watsons
Comes in 6 colours (colour description from canmake.com):

01 - Rosier Rose; A delicate, pretty rose pink
02 - Smily Gerbera; A bright, stylish orange
03 - Tiny Sweetpea; A pure red that highlights your complexion
04 - Savonly Lily; A coral beige that blends in beautifully. classical and a casual look (That's mine)
05 - Flowing Cherry Petal; A pink that offers a short-cut to girlishness
06 - Sweet Clematis; Pink Beige which we can use without choosing a sence


Summed up, this is a coloured lipbalm. Containing no UV absorbers, this stick delivers a comfortable layer of protective balmy colour with ingredients like macadamia oil, rosehip oil, grapeseed oil, pomegranate oil, honey, shea butter, royal jelly extract etc. For you ladies who're big on SPF for your lips though, this product has only SPF 11 and PA+ so maybe layer it with your SPF30 lipbalm? I layered mine a couple times with my Maybelline Dr Rescue lipbalm and it was fine.

Anyway, I got this on my last Japan trip for around 600 yen (about S$10) so it's actually really really cheap! The amount of product is really good too, just slap it on and don't worry about it running out soon =D The next picture should give you an idea of the size...

As you can see, it's not one of those dinky little tubes~




The only gripe I have about this it the shape...would've preferred it to be an angled stick like lipstick but that's a really really small issue ^_^ Swatch time!


It looks darker on the stick but goes on really nice, balmy & sheer. A couple more shots just so you can get an idea of the sheen & balminess...


When I first applied it, my lips were a tad dry and at first I felt like it was highlighting the drier patches on my lip but after a few minutes, the balm settled in and it looked great!

Light colour but totally covers up my darker outer lip shade!

My darker outer lip bothers me to no end so it's instant love when I get a lipbalm that helps even the colour out. There's a very slight/fine shimmer in the pigment that's hardly noticeable so it makes for a nice natural lip sheen.


In a nutshell, the Canmake Stay-On Balm Rouge
  • is an easy go-to option for sheer as well as richer yet balmy colours with basic SPF 11 PA+ lipcare
  • comes in a pretty plastic casing with a firm cap (no accidents!)
  • amount of product allows for lavish usage =P
  • balm take a minute or 2 to set in and pretty up your lips if they're running abit dry/chapped; will probably not be sufficient for severely dry or chapped lips
  • feels light on the lips; no sticky icky feeling
  • the colour is only slightly buildable for this shade; layering brings up a glossier sheen
  • staying power for this shade is decent; light tapping will remove some sheen but colour holds up ok; touchups required to maintain a 'made-up' look though
  • 2 thumbs up for au-naturale looks =D

Overall, I really like this balm rouge and I'm looking forward to my next trip so I can buy try the richer colours like Tiny Sweetpea! ლ(´◉❥◉`ლ)

Thursday, 16 January 2014

Nuxe Aroma-Perfection Purifying Cleansing Gel, Hello!

I'm not sure if you guys remember but I stopped using cleansers when I rediscovered the awesome cleansing and skin-balancing properties of the konjac sponge in Nov 2012. I really feel that not using cleansers 90% of the time helped my skin to regain its natural balance and got my skin back to a..how shall I say...neutral ground? Like I got a fresh look at my real skin type y'know? =P I hope I'm making sense here.

It's been almost a year since I had a regular facial cleanser into my routine so I figured it was time to reintroduce one to my routine. Since there was some salicylic acid in the ingredients mix, I settled on the Purifying Cleansing Gel from the Nuxe Aroma-Perfection range~

S$42/200ml at the usual drugstores/pharmacies/dept stores

Although its just a tad pricey, Nuxe is quite often on 20% off during sales so that brings the price down by almost S$10! *thumbs up*

Here's a look at the back of the bottle and ingredients list:


'Clears pores and eliminates excess sebum while respecting the skin (soap-free, mild surfactants). Morning or night, work into a lather on damp skin then rinse off. Avoid contact with eyes.
Without paraben.'


After switching toners from Legere to DHC, my sebum clog-prone jawline was still experiencing the occasional clog so I was hoping that a cleanser would complete the job. The Nuxe Purifying Cleansing Gel comes in a regular pump dispenser that's abit on the stiff side so it travels safely without leakage.

I usually use about 1 to 1 1/2 pumps....this is the amount you get from 1 pump:


The instructions say to work into a lather on damp skin. For awhile I couldn't figure out how to foam it...applying it to a damp face only resulted in a thinned out gel with zero foam. Then I realized that I need to foam it in my palm first~ Just rub the gel and a little water semi-violently around the palm of your hand with a couple of fingers and you should get a thin foam that looks like this:


Conventional knowledge will tell you that gel cleansers are better for combination oily skin types but I was skeptical as I'd previously tried the Perfect Gel cleanser (Kose) and didn't like it because it seemed to leave an invisible layer of something on my face and didn't do anything for the sebum production...

But Nuxe totally did it for me. The lather washes off great and doesn't leave any dry or tight feeling. My jawline was completely clear within 2 weeks of usage and I use it maybe 4 days of the week to prevent overcleansing~ I'm about 2 months into the bottle and my jawline is PRISTINE. Not a single, tiny clog, I swear. I also notice an overall less oily complexion =)

So basically, the Nuxe Purifying Cleansing Gel:
  • at S$42, is on the slightly higher price end of drugstore products but there's always drugstore sales to take advantage of
  • 200ml bottle should last 3 to 4 months (I'm about 2 months into my bottle and have about 1/2 left)
  • clean-looking white plastic pump dispenser bottle; doesn't over-dispense and easy to travel with
  • soap-free, paraben-free, mild surfactants, contains salicylic acid & zinc.
  • thin lather washes off well and leaves no dry or tight afterfeel.
  • worked well in sebum control and delivered fairly quick results with regular use
  • results: zero sebum clogs on my clog-prone jawline and an overall less oily complexion
So glad that I didn't have to go through a few different cleansers before settling on this one! It was really a lucky on-a-whim purchase! (^_^)

Thursday, 2 January 2014

Belated New Year Greetings!

I'm a day or 2 late but~

HAPPY NEW YEAR~~~~ ヾ(@^▽^@)ノ
 
What were you up to on new years eve? Relaxing with loved ones in the cool year-end weather or partying the night away? =D Either way, I hope you had a lovely night!
 
Yours truly? I was home with a most unglamorous cold! (and still am. =_=)
 
I wanted to recall 2013 in a single wonderful day...and it would have to be...
 
Tokyo Disneyland 30th Anniversary 2013!!
Yeah!!! Tokyo Disneylandddddd~~~~!!!! Because I'm a 4 year-old trapped in an adult body~~~!! The last time I was there, I was 1 year old. Now 30 years later, just in time for Tokyo Disney's big 3-0~ I had such fun there, it really really felt like I was a kid again and everything in the world was happy and easy and all smiles & laughter. (Screw you adulthood.) Looking forward to my next trip cos I'm hoping to bring the husband there~ (^_^)
 
So moving on, what's your resolution this year hmm? Mine's an oldie but a goodie. It's part of my resolution every year =P
 
This year, I resolve to~~~ NOT SPEND SO MUCH.
 
Yes. My goal is to prevent THIS (sohelpmegod) :
 
 
...from happening again. And again and again. >___<
 
But seriously, my flat will be ready around end 2014 so I really need to tighten them purse strings abit...... After all the year end expenditure, what with X'mas and all....just bought new Furla specs...upcoming holiday in June (no prizes for guessing where to)....ohh mann....*deflates*
 
Umm...I also resolve to eat less carbs. *coughs*
 
(。^_^。 )人( 。^_^。) Hope we all have a good 2014~~!!! (。^_^。 )人( 。^_^。)