Friday, 7 August 2015

July Empties

Oops! It's already the end of a week in August and I'm only posting my July empties now. The last week has been CRAZY. I think I bit off more than what I can chew. >.<

Anyway, here are my empties from July!

Batiste Dry Shampoo, Etude House Real Art Cleansing Oil (Light), Mane n Tail Herbal Gro Shampoo, Essential Nuance Airy Hair Mask
(L to R) Batiste Dry Shampoo, Etude House Real Art Cleansing Oil (Light), Mane n Tail Herbal Gro Shampoo, Essential Nuance Airy Hair Mask

Batiste Dry Shampoo

I love this stuff. I use it almost everyday. As long as I need to leave the house, you bet that I will definitely use this dry shampoo on my hair. I saw my make up artist friend using this on a actress to freshen her hair and the actress' hair went from limp to Hello! So I immediately went to buy it after we wrapped that day. This prevents my hair from going limp, it absorbs the excess oil and gives my hair volume too. 

Will I repurchase? I already did! I bought the Oriental version.

Etude House Real Art Cleansing Oil

I use cleansing oils to remove my make up and this Etude House cleansing oil is indeed light and it cleanses well. A great product as step one in double cleansing. The fragrance doesn't irritate me unlike other Etude House products. 

Will I repurchase? Technically I can't because Etude House reformulated their cleansing oils, but I will get one of those new ones once my Biore cleansing oil runs out. 

Mane n Tail Herbal Gro Shampoo & Conditioner

I love the Mane n Tail shampoo and conditioner and I have expressed that love in my iherb haul, but I absolutely dislike the Herbal Gro version. It has an overpowering shea butter smell and makes my hair frizzy. The shampoo makes my hair feel like rubber and the conditioner does nothing at all. 

Will I repurchase? Never.

Essential Nuance Airy Hair Mask

I seriously suspect that this is what comes with the Kao Liese Bubble Hair Dye. This hair mask smells and feels exactly the same as the Bubble Bye hair treatment, and both of them do a great job at moisturising my hair. My sister likes this too.

Will I repurchase? I already did! I'm on my second tub now.

That's all for my July Empties! Gotta go work on my school assignment now. T_T

Tuesday, 4 August 2015

Review: VDL Sunscreen, Eye Cream, Cleansing Foam, Make up Remover

VDL is a brand from Korea and it's name stands for 'Violet Dream Luminous'. Yes, I know like what does that mean? I find Korean and Japanese make up brands tend to have rather strange descriptions and taglines.

e.g. VDL is a brand making sensitive desire of 25 years old women come true with vivid professional colour. 

But I kind of get the gist of what they are trying to say.

Anyway, my impression of VDL is it's a slightly more upmarket cosmetics brand, appealing to women in their mid-twenties and above. VDL is under LG Household, which is the parent company over THEFACESHOP, Belif and The History of Whoo. VDL came to Singapore just two years ago and I discovered this brand while exploring a nearby mall. The SA I met was so nice and helpful and I ended getting almost everything she recommended. I have a weakness for good customer service.

I went online to read up more about the items I bought but I realised there aren't many reviews or posts on VDL. :( I took the plunge, tried them out and I became a fan of VDL. There have been hits and misses, and for today I will talk about the skincare hits!

VDL Skincare, Beauty Sun, Pure Cleansing Foam, Naked Cleansing Foam, Botanicals Eye Cream
(L to R) VDL Beauty Sun SPF50, Pure Cleansing Foam, Botanicals Enriched Repair Eye Cream

VDL Beauty Sun SPF50

(From VDL Website) A powerful moisturizing sunscreen [formulated with prune water] for the face that defends against UVA/UVB rays which cause sunburn,cell damage, dryness and premature signs of aging such as fine lines.

I am heavily dependent on sunscreens. I had skin issues when I was in my teens and the dermatologist told me that my skin is photosensitive so I have to use sunscreens whenever I am out. So I've been faithfully slapping on sunscreens throughout my teen years till now (my twenties).

That aside, I really like the VDL Beauty Sun. I have both versions in SPF32 and SPF50 but I left the SPF32 in my boyfriend's house. The sun protection is good and it does not feel too greasy on my skin. The VDL sunscreen has prune water in it, which is VDL's trademark beauty ingredient. Due to that, this sunscreen is also moisturising and I use it in place of a moisturiser in daytime. It has the distinctive fragrance of the VDL prune water products. 

VDL Skin Care, Beauty Sun SPF 50
VDL Beauty Sun SPF50 has a cream consistency

VDL Sun Care fully blended out

It does have a slight white tint after you spread it out but it doesn't cause a bad white cast. The sunscreen also evens out the skin tone and works well under foundations, which makes it a good make up base.

Will I repurchase after I'm done with this? Yes!

Pure Cleansing Foam (now known as Naked Cleansing Foam)

(From VDL Website) Mild and deep cleansing foam washes out invisible dirt, oil and pollutants using rich whipping cream bubbles that penetrate deep into pores.

My skin is sensitive and any facial wash that is too stripping will cause me to break out, so I am also very particular about my facial wash. Which is why I am glad I was introduced to the Pure Cleansing Foam.

In case you are confused, VDL has numerous lines under its skincare catergory - Pure (now known as Naked), Beauty, PRO, Botanical. 

VDL changed the name of the Pure line to Naked but for the sake of this review, I will stick to Pure because that's the word on my product. The VDL SA introduced this cleansing foam to me because I told her I was looking for something will be cleanse my skin effectively without stripping it of its moisture. 

VDL Skincare, Pure Cleansing Foam / Naked Cleansing Foam
It has a gel-like consistency

It starts to lather when in contact with water

A tiny bit goes a long way with this cleansing foam. It cleanses effectively and my skin always feel refreshed and cleansed after each use. Although it does not dry out my skin, it does remove some natural oils off my skin so a moisturiser after this is a must.

Will I repurchase? I like to try to new products and I have two tubes of this, one in my house and the other at my bf's, the tubes last forever so I will think about it when I reach that bridge (which is a really far way off).

Botanicals (now known as Botanique) Enriched Repair Eye Cream

(From VDL Website) Eye cream that repairs both deep and fine wrinkles around eyes, while brightening dark under-eye shadows.

Again, a low-down on my skin, I inherited dark circles from my mum and I have them since I was young.  I had people commenting on them when I was only in primary school. 

This eye cream works for me, it keeps my dark circles at bay even when I was severely sleep deprived. I stopped using this to try out another brand and my dark circles came back with vengeance. 

VDL Skincare, Botanicals / Botanique Enriched Repair Eye Cream
Inside the tub. 

VDL Skincare, Botanicals Enriched Repair Eye Cream
Thick, creamy consistency

I've used more than half it and I bought it last year. Again, a little goes a long way as the formula is thick so you only need tiny bit. On top of that, there is a lot of product in the tub so it can last a long time even if you use it twice a day. Although it is rich and thick, I experienced no milia seeds.

Will I repurchase? I am tempted to try the Belif eye cream because it is under the same company as VDL. I want to know what's the diff? But other than that, there's a high chance I will repurchase because this works!

Hope this entry has been helpful and thank you for reading!

Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Hauliday at Sephora!

Hauliday! Holiday! Hauliday! Pardon my weak pun. :P

But yes, I went on a haul at Sephora today! I started work at the crack of dawn and was done by mid morning and I thought since I was already out, why not head somewhere. And that 'somewhere' was Sephora. :D

(From top, clockwise) Smashbox Full Exposure Palette, Tarte Amazonian Clay Waterproof 12h Concealer, Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara (mini version), Benefit Porefessional (mini version), Tarte Amazonian Clay 12h blush, Nyx Butter Gloss

Smashbox Full Exposure Palette
Smashbox Full Exposure Palette

Honestly, I bought more than what I intended to and this palette is one of my 'unintended' buys. I've been looking up on eyeshadow palettes with a good mix of neutrals. The ones I have considered are the Too Faced Chocolate Bar, Too Faced Natural Eyes, Lorac Pro Palette, Zoeva Naturally Yours and so on. You get the drift. I saw ilikewyelie used the Smashbox Full Exposure Palette in one of her videos and I was won over by it. The mattes looked like they will work well on my tan skin, and she did a beautiful look with this palette on her monolid eyes. 

The palette also has a mix of warm and cool tones unlike the Naked palettes. I own a Naked 2 and I'm still trying to love it. :(

I read some negative reviews on this palette so it's a little worrying. I really hope this palette will be worth the buck! I don't want to have another underused palette sitting in my drawer.

Tarte Blissful Blush
Tarte Amazonian Clay 12h Blush in Blissful

This is one item I set out to buy! I don't have many blushes; the ones I have are from the Japanese brand Brigette. They are pretty with a slight shimmer in them. So I don't have a matte blush and recently, I've been very aware of my pores. O_O They look larger than usual. 

I went to the store and swatched the Tarte blushes and had initially settled on the shade Captivating, which is a warm peach. But the sales assistant encouraged me to consider Blissful because she felt Captivating may have too much orange for my skin tone. I was hesitant about Blissful as it has more pink in it compared to Captivating and pink blushes don't suit me. 

Tarte Blissful Blush Swatch
Blissful swatched on skin

She asked me to wait for a couple of minutes for the blushes to settle on her skin. The colours did change a little when they react with skin temperature. Captivated became quite orangey and the colour looked like it may be a little muddy on me. Blissful, on the other hand, became a well-balanced peach with an obvious pink undertone. The SA then tried Blissful on me and it really perked up my look, which was great because I only had less than 8 hours of sleep over the past two days and I looked washed out. 

Singapore Sephora Haul

Tarte Amazonian Clay Waterproof 12h Concealer
An intended buy! Looking for a waterproof concealer with good coverage for my blemishes and spots. Bought the shade light medium honey.

Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara
Not an intended buy! I already have my HG Majolica Majorca mascara but I thought the small size will be great when I need to pack my staying-at-the-boyfriend's make up bag.

Benefit Porefessional Face Primer
Semi-intended buy because of my pores. T_T I am using the Motives Perfecting Face Primer and it's good - doesn't break me out, keeps my make up for a longer period. But somehow it does nothing to minimise the appearance of my pores. Hopefully, this Benefit primer will do the job.

Nyx Butter Gloss
Semi-intended! The reason is I currently don't own a single lip gloss. I know. As for the shade, I could only find 'BL G07' on it but I suspect it may be Creme Brulee? 

Sephora Beauty on the Fly Pouch

I got a freebie from Sephora too - their Beauty on the Fly make up pouch! I was thinking of getting a bigger make up pouch so I can dump more stuff in it so this is timely! The only downside is it's clear, which means my boyfriend can see its content. I tend to hide my purchases from him because he is VERY thrifty. :X

That's all for this haul! This post took me close to 4 hours to compete! And it's all thanks to this princess:

My boyfriend's cat Dewey who is the boss of me. She was whining for my attention. I had to accompany her while she was napping on the sofa. It's crazy how she is so similar to a toddler.

Thank you for reading!

Saturday, 25 July 2015

Small buys from the past week

Just a little more than a week ago, I was as free as a bird. But now, I am running everywhere like a headless chicken! School has just started and some part-time gigs are also happening right now so I am up to my eyeballs in work. Maybe that's why I found myself in Sasa one day after work with the intention of only buying cotton pads, but walking out with a couple of other stuff. I blame the stress.

Mitsuki Oishi Vivi Model

I bought a small bottle of Coach Poppy Flower perfume, Mitsuki Oishi Lashes, LB Glam Khaki Gel Liner and Kate White Lash Maximiser.

I usually can't handle perfumes, they always make my nose itch. I am very sensitive to fragrance - shopping in Sephora makes my nose itch too. This Coach Poppy Flower perfume is a last minute buy, I was already at the counter paying when I spotted this. The salesgirl asked if I wanted a sniff and I thought why not. And when my nose did not react to this, I knew I HAD to get it. The scent is light, floral and a little citrusy. The downside is I suspect Coach may have discontinued this! If that's true, I may need to run down to Sasa and buy a couple more bottles. 

You may have noticed the lashes on the third role are slightly shorter. That's because I used the lashes yesterday! Let me explain about my eyes - I have small eyes with double eyelids that are half hidden so I can't use dramatic lashes. They are usually too huge for my eyes and will always look unnatural on me. The Mitsuki Oishi Lashes appealed to me because of it's shorter length and light natural looking lashes that starts from short to long towards the outer corner. These lashes have a thin band so they don't feel heavy, and they look natural on my small eyes while giving me a thicker layer of lashes.

As for the Kate White Lash Maximiser, I saw SekineRisa using this in her videos and it really plumped up her lashes. I tried it on and it works. My thin, sparse lashes became fuller and longer. Numerous coats of this Maximiser really lengthens the eyelashes. I was too excited and my eyelashes got a tad too long. :X

My last purchase is the LB Creamy Waterproof Gel Liner in Glam Khaki. I have a make-up artist friend who swears by this and so when I saw it, I grabbed one off the rack with zero hesitation. This gel liner comes in a bunch of colours - black, purple, blue and I think beige? Anyway, this gel liner is the BOMB. I have oily lids and my gel liner ALWAYS creases and transfers to the upper part of my eyelid. But this gel liner DOES NOT BUDGE. It's creamy and easy to apply, and its lasting power is phenomenal. I tried Clio Gel Liner and Etude House Play 101 Pencil, and I say LB wins them hands down in terms of lasting strength.

LB Waterproof and Creamy Eyeliner Glam Khaki Swatch

I swatched it on my wrist. The Glam Khaki looks almost black but softer and with green and gold sparkles. 

I splashed water on it and rubbed the swatch and it barely moved. This really lives to its name - Creamy & Waterproof. It's going to take me a fair bit of self-control not to dash to Sasa to pick up the other colours. 

Coach Poppy Flower - S$30 (Original Price: $75, got it at an offer)
Mitsuki Oishi Eyelashes - $12.90
Kate White Lash Maximiser - $20.50
LB Creamy Waterproof Gel Liner in Glam Khaki - $16.90

Thursday, 16 July 2015

Haul: iHerb Physician's Formula Shimmer Strip, Elf Stipple Brush, Mane 'n Tail & More

To that person who introduced iHerb to me: THANK YOU!

iHerb is an online site where they sell a ton of health and organic products ranging from vitamins, organic food, body care and make up. You can find lots of products from the US that are not commonly available here in Singapore.

I ordered some stuff from iHerb last week and items swiftly arrived within a week. The mail man was knocking the door down in the morning and thankfully my sister got to the door fast because boy, this haul is heavy.

A number of these products are repurchases. I tried them out at my boyfriend's house and dang, I knew I will eventually get them myself because they are gooood.

1. Alaffia, Authentic African Black Soap, Tangerine Citrus

iherb black soap

I bought this Alaffia Black Soap because I heard how black soap can be really beneficial for the skin. The scent is very citrusy but not too overpowering. A good scent in general. I tried it once with a loofah and whoa, this thing is MOISTURISING. The soap is very smooth and slightly thick, and after rinsing it off, my skin feels very moisturised. This soap will come in handy when I need a good boost for my skin but I doubt I will use this everyday as it can be a little too much for our humid weather. 

Apparently, this soap can be used on your hair, body and face. And can also work as a shaving soap, hand soap and general household cleanse. Basically, everything. I will try this out on my hair but not my face - not going to take chances with my sensitive skin.

2. Mane 'n Tail, And Body Shampoo & Conditioner, Moisturizer-Texturizer (Repurchase)

I was skeptical of this when I first saw it in my boyfriend's house. He got it because it was cheap and the shampoo can be used to wash animals = super value for money. The shampoo and conditioner both do not have much fragrance unlike the other shampoos out there. You also do not get much soap suds from them and your hair doesn't feel super smooth after the wash. BUT the magic happens the next day. I woke up to a head of tame and manageable hair. It seems the shampoo and conditioner helped to normalise my hair. 

I started using this the same time as some of my friends and we all noted one thing - your hair grows faster when you use Mane 'n Tail. The two of us cut our hair short around the same time and we noticed how much faster our hair was growing. Which is why I am using Mane 'n Tail religiously now after a bad haircut gave me random short layers on the left of my head. We use the shampoo on our cat too and notice her coat becoming thicker. ;)

The 946ml bottles can be found in Singapore at Watsons but they cost S$29.90 each! I bought them on iHerb for only around S$10.00 each.

3. Physicians Formula Shimmer Strip Custom Bronzer, Blush & Eyeshadow

Physicians Formula Shimmer Strip

Drugstore bronzer, blush, eyeshadow

I've been eyeing this Shimmer Strip after I watched youtuber KathleenLights raved about it. Was very excited to try this out but now I am sorely disappointed. The formula is rather chalky, not smooth and difficult to blend. The pigmentation is quite lacking. I tried it first as a blush and the colours were concentrated on the areas when the brush first landed and I had problems blending it out. When I used it as an eyeshadow, the individual colours barely showed and again it was chalky on my eyelid and blending was painful.

I see so many great reviews of this and I wanted to like it so badly, but I just guess this Shimmer Strip and me are not meant to be.

4. Elf Studio Stipple Brush

elf brush

The stipple brush is one of Elf's bestsellers and I've read some good reviews about it. I've only used it twice for the Physician's Formula shimmer strip so I can't say much about it yet, but I am not impressed. It could be just me having issues with the shimmer strip but the brush also seems rather sparse, not as full as what is depicted in the product photo.

After getting this, I realised I already have a stipple brush and it's by VDL.

From here on, the products are all edible foodstuff:

5. Alive Multi Vitamins Adult Gummies (Repurchase)

vitamins gummies

Bought these for my brother because he can't swallow pills for nuts, and these gummies contain a good mix of vitamins for adults.

6. Really Raw Honey (Repurchase)

raw honey

This honey is the bomb. It contains pollen, propolis & honeycomb so you can see the bits in the bottle. The bits are chewy and I enjoy the added texture while I use this honey in my chamomile tea. It has slight floral scent too. You can find this in Singapore but at an insane price of S$40! I got this bomb on iHerb for only S$19.39. 

7. MaraNatha No Stir Almond Butter

healthy almond butter

Peanut butter fan? Checked.
Healthy food junkie? Checked.

It's healthier than peanut butter and also less salty. This creamy highness is heavenly on toast. I tried this once in my boyfriend's house and I never looked back!

That's it for my iHerb haul! Shipping to Singapore is free when you spend more than S$80. I saved around S$60 from buying the honey and Mane 'n Tail products from iHerb. Woohoo!

Wednesday, 15 July 2015

Brunch with the sister at Baker & Cook

My sister is a cafe junkie. She loves exploring new places and eating overpriced brunches. A new cafe opened near our place and we decided to head over there for brunch. It wasn't our first time at Baker & Cook but we went there during dinner time previously and didn't have the chance to try the brunch menu.

Singapore cafe
The interior of Baker & Cook/Plank

The place houses two establishments - Baker & Cook, where you get your coffee, brunch and baked goods, and Plank where they serve sourdough pizzas. 

Singapore cafe

Singapore cafe

Singapore cafe

Singapore cafe

Singapore brunch cafe

The coffee was great and the food pretty decent. Not a huge fan of the pancakes and they gave us the wrong order for our Egg Benedict - with bacons instead of smoked salmon. 

Baker & Cook/Plank
#1 Swan Lake Ave - Opera Estate East 
Singapore 455700.

Monday, 13 July 2015

Review: Ettusais BB Mineral Liquid

Hello and this is the very first post of this blog!

Recently I was on a hunt for a BB cream that will be great for daily usage. The criteria I had was:

  1. BB cream should not feel like foundation on my face, I wanted something lightweight and feels like second skin. 
  2. It should not break me out and this is huge factor because I have sensitive skin.
  3. It should not be too fair or look ashy on me. I've gotten BB creams from other brands before but they always look too light or grayish on me. I don't aspire to have fifty shades of gray on me. So finding a tone that fits my tan yellowy skin is important. 

While reading and watching tons of beauty reviews and videos, the brand Ettusais caught my attention. A Japanese youtuber SekineRisa reviewed the Ettusais Aqua Foundation and I was intrigued by how the foundation matches her asian skin tone. Cutting the long story short, I went to the Ettusais website, read up about its BB creams and marched down to a Ettusais counter.

Ettusais has a couple of BB creams available: BB Mineral Cream, BB Mineral Gel, BB Mineral White and BB Mineral Liquid. Okay that was a lot of 'BB' in one sentence!

The Ettusais sales assistant asked me a couple of questions on my skin type - I have a oily T-zone and sensitive cheeks - and introduced me the BB Mineral Liquid. I intended to find out more about the other products but... English wasn't the SA's first language and also she directed me straight to the paying counter right after I confirmed my selection. -_-

Anyway, let's get right to the product!

Japanese BB Cream

Official Product Description: 
An all-in-one makeup base, foundation and concealer that spreads easily, makes the skin fresh and light to give a smooth, matte finish. Let's go matte and smooth with this 8-in-1 liquid foundation! The ultra-light liquid to powder foundation leaves your skin feeling naturally soft, supple with no sticky after feel! It spreads easily and adheres well to the skin. Shine-Free Powder and Smooth Matte Powder rapidly absorb sebum to achieve a natural lasting finish. With SPF 35 PA ++, it protects skin from UV rays!

The packaging also likened the final skin texture after application to a baby's skin. *raise eyebrow*

Firstly, the bottle is small, it fits smugly into the size of my palm and the product feels light which is great for travelling, and I often need to bring my makeup out.


The product is watery and light, and you need to shake the bottle before applying, very much like most Japanese sunscreens. 

There are two shades in total:
(taken from Ettusais' website)

The SA recommended Natural Beige and I bought that.

Japanese BB cream swatch

The BB Mineral Liquid in Natural Beige

The consistency of the product is true to its namesake - Liquid. So it's not heavy nor creamy. The photo above is before application. I have slight redness and an uneven skin tone.

After Application

This BB Mineral Liquid evens out my skin and covers up the redness and little imperfections I have on my arm. One thing to note, you have to apply and blend this out really quickly as it settles into a powdery finish in seconds. 

I have used this BB Mineral Liquid out on a couple of occasions.

  • The powdery finish makes well for my oily T-zone. I only started to get shiny after 5 - 6 hours.
  • The coverage is good and does a decent job at covering pimple scars. Although I would still have a layer of concealer under this Mineral Liquid.
  • Problem with the powdery finish is I can't use cream products after applying this because it creases. T_T
  • It did not break me out!
  • The shade Natural Beige suits my yellow based skin and I don't look gray. WOOHOO.
  • The product slowly disappears from my T-zone thanks to its Holy Oilyness but it stays put on the rest of my face
This is definitely one idiot-proof product that I can slap on and dash out of the house without worrying about having an even finish or my skin resembling the corpse bride!

Bought it for S$38 at the Ettusais Counter at Tampines Mall Isetan.