Tuesday, July 26, 2011

NOTD: Gelish June Bride

Having pretty gel nails comes with a big price… and that is weak, thin nails after removal.

After about 3 months of gorgeous gel nails in pink and blue, I felt that my nails were getting way too thin (due to all the filing), and decided to remove them. Got them removed in first week of June, but now my nails are still far from full recovery. Basically, my nails tips can't even be longer than 0.1cm (no kidding- just look at how badly chipped my thumb nail is)! It's still some time before all my gel-nails-damaged nails get all grown out. I look forward to strong, healthy nails again… 

The best solution to my current nail problem is Gelish. Gelish protects my nails from chipping, way better than normal nail polish.  It forms a thick-enough layer of soft gel over my nails, and doesn't harm my real nails further. Normally, Gelish should last about 3 weeks without chips, but due to my nails' condition, it lasts about 2 weeks (better than nothing).

So far, I have tried colors Stand Out, Black Cherry Berry, Sweet Dream (it's a nude, very clean sort of color) and now, June Bride. 

Pink holographic glitter polish
With darker lighting
June Bride is a rather unique color -- a little flashy, cause it has silver and holographic glitters in it. The holographic glitters shimmer like rainbow under the light. However, the glitter is not saturated, so those who don't like nails to be too sparkly will still find the color acceptable. The pink is different from the usual sweet pinks -- it's a bit close to my skin tone (but I won't really call it nude as it's not those natural pink), with a hint of purple. Very interesting, complicated kind of color -- I like! So, if you are the type who get bored with your nail colors easily, this one might keep you happy for a while :)

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Ettusais Medicated Pre-acne Care Sheet

As I find that I tend to have quite some nasty pimples, during certain days every month >_<, I thought that it might be good if I try Ettusais' pre-acne care sheet. I can't really remember how much I got it for, but official site says it's $49, though I thought I paid $50+ for it… hmm…

The care sheet is designed to strengthen the skin that becomes prone to pimples before menstruation each month. About 1-2 weeks before menstruation, this can be used on areas where pimples usually appear. This is used as the last step of my skincare regime. After applying Ettusais Skin Version-up Extra, Dual Effect White-shooter and Whitening Essence, I put 1 sheet of the care sheet at area above my lips, and 1 sheet at my chin, the 2 areas on my face most prone to painful large pimples. I leave the sheets on for 5-10 minutes. After that, I massage the remaining essence into my skin and follow with Medicated Acne Defense Nighttime Powder.

I can see some immediate results after I remove the sheets, especially at the chin area, where the skin's texture is usually very rough, with those impossible-to-remove kind of white heads 'embedded' in the skin. After care sheet, the skin looks and feels smoother, and some of the white heads actually seem to have disappeared. Did the care sheet 'melt' them down? 

So after using 2 sheets every night for 2 weeks, only 1 pimple appeared, when usually I would get 3-4 every month before menstruation. In fact, I remember that last week, 2 red bumps appeared, one above lips, and 1 at the chin. After 2 days, the bump above lips did not develop into a pimple, but the one at chin did. I am pretty sure it was the care sheet that managed to calm the skin down. Too bad it couldn't get rid of the pimple at my chin, which I think was the more serious one. However, I think the result was  good enough for me! 

The care sheets sting a little upon application, but that kinds of make me feel that the care sheet is working...

Sealed with aluminum foil, so that the essence do not dry up

50 thin sheets, shaped like those black heads pore packs with slits for better fit

Comes with tweezers so that it is convenient to pick the care sheets up

A loop attached to the side of jar packaging to hold the tweezer

Though this product does not solve my pre-menstrual acne problem 100%, I find it effective enough and will definitely buy the refill once I am done with the 50 sheets in my jar. 

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Miss Me Crosses Skinny Cargo Pants (Olive)

I never knew that cargo pants can look so casual, yet glam and fashionable!!

 Miss Me Crosses Skinny Cargo in Olive, US$88

I first got introduced to this American brand 'Miss Me' when I came across it in Taiwan while shopping in the departmental store. 

I was very attracted to its slightly gothic/punk designs - lace and leather, crosses and wings, studs and rhinestones, lots of grey, black and red.

I ordered this pair of cargo pants from their official online store. It has 2 side pockets (thigh area), and each pocket is embellished with rhinestones and rivets, which form the shape of a cross. The whole design is kind of chunky but that is why I love it! Photos don't do it justice!

Even the front button closure is very stylish

 The back pockets are just as funky

Large corner pocket rhinestones

The pants are very well made with thick cotton and polyurethane. It sits comfortably at my hips and is able to hide my unsightly tummy fats ^^; They are meant to be worn as crops but I prefer to fold the hem of pants down and wear as long pants. The design is versatile. I can go for the casual look by matching it with simple tank and sandals, or dress up the look with a pretty blouse and heels. 

The online shopping experience was fuss free and fast. They ship internationally. I ordered on 11 July, and it arrived yesterday, 18 July. They were delivered by DHL. The shipping fee was around US$40, which was definitely expensive, but when I think of how much cheaper it is to get online than from the stores in Taiwan (I got a pair of jeans at NT5980 [approx US$206] there, which later I discovered costs only US$98 on the website), I didn't mind the shipping.

I will buy from them again!!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Fancl Beauty Treatment *Hydrating*

Apologies to those who have been waiting for a quality post from me!!
Since I started on my new work, things have become a little irregular for me :)

But anyway, today's post is another skincare review. I have not been buying makeup, just skincare!

 Each box contains 6 tubes of treatment, 13g each, NT1250 (not sure how much it is in Singapore)

This is a facial treatment designed to refine and restore complexion to smooth and moisturised suppleness. 

From website: 

'Powerful restorative like Green Tea Capsule boosts blood circulation to remove waste matters trapped in cells and refines open pores aggravated by warm weather in Singapore. European Pear Extract removes stubborn dead skin cells while Fresh Royal Jelly Essence restores cell function and enhances skin metabolism.'

Each tube is packed in such a way that you have to finish 1 tube per use. 

 This is the amount of product you have in 1 tube. It's a lot!

After washing my face with facial cleanser, I massage the treatment onto my face. It is very creamy and there are beads of, what I believe, to be green tea capsules, which kind of gently exfoliate my skin as I massage the creamy mask all over my face. The more I massage, the more the tiny capsules will start melting into the mask. I massage for about 5 minutes, until 1/2 of the capsules are gone (I simply have no patience to wait for all to melt), then leave mask on for about 5-10 minutes (website says 3 minutes, but I prefer to leave mask on for longer). After that, I rinse with warm water.

As it could get really messy while massaging the mask on my face, I like to use this mask before bathing, so that I could rinse everything off in the shower. It would get really boring if I just stare at the mirror while massaging the mask over my face, so I usually occupy myself with TV while doing so :)

The BA advised me to use the mask for 3 consecutive days to improve my skin, then once a week subsequently to maintain it. 

After my 1st use, I didn't really see anything impressive, except that my skin felt smoother to the touch. It was the 2nd day when I saw some impressive results. Other than my skin just felt smoother, it looked smoother and more refined. Pores also appeared smaller! The 3rd use did not amaze me as much as the 2nd, although my skin still felt smooth after use (just like how I would feel after using the normal cotton sheet masks). Subsequent use gave similar results as the 3rd time.

I was really pleased with the results on the 2nd day, though not sure why after that the 3rd and 4th use were not as fantastic as the 2nd. Perhaps my skin condition already improved so results were not obvious anymore?

Instructions on box for massage method

I think this is a really good product, something that I could use if I want to improve my skin fast. However, the downside of the mask is that it is really really really troublesome to use, especially because I am the type who doesn't like to use wash off masks. I love the mask, but I don't think I will repurchase, because I don't think I would want to go through all the trouble using it.

Overall rating: 4/5 Great results, but too messy to use!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Hello Kitty iPad Hardshell Cover & Screen Protector

*SQUEAL* Hello Kitty iPad cover and screen protector!!
Ok, they are hardly new products as iPad 1 is probably considered old technology already… but hey! They are adorable and I love them!

Just a short post today. Not been buying eyeshadow/ lipstick etc lately :)
And anyway, I signed up for a professional makeup artistry course today!! YAY!! Starting in October!!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Which way now? Important decisions in life.

At age 29, I have finally reached the time to make one of the biggest decisions in my life. 

I have always seen myself as a happy-go-lucky, optimistic, simple kind of person. Other than loving to spend $$ and the bimbotic urge to look pretty all the time, I don't ask for much in life. Yup sure, I love $$ and love branded goods, but if I can't afford it with my salary, I am not the sort to start blaming my parents for not being rich, or my husband for not making enough. I just deal with it and don't buy them. 

Being really dissatisfied with my previous job, I finally took the big step and QUIT after 3 years of talking about it. Reasons why I didn't quit earlier? Financial stability! Clear future! Iron rice bowl! Hahaha very cliche but very true… Nope, it's not that the job was too challenging/ my boss sucked (in fact, my last boss IS the boss I respect the most, out of 3 others I had). I just wasn't doing what I like and want to do. 

So what do I want to do? I want to be a makeup artist/ visual merchandiser (fashion, beauty). The sad thing is, I only realise what I want at the age of 29, and I don't have the qualifications. I don't have a degree in art, or even a diploma in merchandising. I can't take up masters (I need art!), or a 3-year course in Temasek Polytechnic, or go back to HK to take up some part time courses (can't find a relevant one in Singapore). I have a husband, and mortgage to worry about.

Just spoke to my uncle last week, who happens to be a visual merchandiser, and I realise how silly and ignorant I am. I know nothing! I know nothing about Art, or anything about visual merchandising. So if someone asks me to conceptualise the window/store display for, let's say, a German brand, what do I know about Germany to design an appropriate look for the store?? Nothing!

So my uncle said, that's because I don't read, so I don't have ideas, therefore not creative. Shame, shame on me!! Right on spot ~ sigh… 

However, he said that it's never too late, and advised me to go for my professional makeup course, at the same time start noticing things around me, and write down notes everyday about what I see. Why do certain stores look great, and why some don't. Also, start learning programs like Photoshop, Indesign etc etc. I told him I knew a little bit of Photoshop, and he replied me promptly that 'a little bit means you don't know how to use it'. Ouch! But… so true :) Create a portfolio, and go look for a job, if I realise that visual merchandising is what I want really, as compared to being a makeup artist.

I am grateful for his advice. Really! 
But… am I going to make it as a visual merchandiser? At this age? To be honest, doing makeup is my passion, and I just so love to share the joy of looking good with others. Visual merchandising is something I am interested in, but it is too late for me to start? Am I smart enough? 

On the other hand, my husband feels that it is better for me to become a visual merchandiser, as he thinks that being a makeup artist is not something I can do till I am like, 62.  I also promised him a kid before I turn 32… what if it takes me long to learn the craft and I am offered a VM job, but it is also time for me to give him a kid…? ARGH!!!

In summary,

Makeup artist - my passion, but filled with uncertainties and financial instability (at least the 1st few years), not something I can do till I retire
Visual merchandiser - interest, more prospects, but not sure whether I will make it 

This is how I feel for the past few days…


Never knew a person like me would reach this point in my life!!

But then again… no point regretting choices I have made in my younger days (like going down the safe route and enroll in JC and NUS, studying something I had and have no interest in). Just go for that makeup course and learn something!! Learn Photoshop, Indesign and what not and treat it as an extra skill if I don't become a VM!!!

Am I thinking that things are too simple… again??

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Ma Cherie Hair Care Range by Shiseido

 Ma Cherie Hair Oil, 60ml

 Watery kind of texture

I found this wonderful product in Watson's in Taiwan. It is a hair serum formulated with 'champagne honey essence' (literally translated from Chinese), which penetrates deep into hair, making it soft, smooth and easy to manage. Supposed to work well for damaged hair. 

I can't say I have tried many hair serums, perhaps only a few from L'oreal Professionel, SexyGirl and Sebastian. Of those I have tried, this is really the best! As my hair is pretty damaged due to many chemical treatments like perming, rebonding and coloring, I have never really found a serum that is able to make my hair feel smooth to the touch (my hair ends, eeks!) I really chose this out of many other hair oils because of the packaging, and I am glad I did. 

I spread 3 pumps of the essence to my hair ends (yups a lot, cause my hair can be quite fizzy!) when it is still damp after washing. Then I carefully comb the hair ends, making sure that I do not pull too hard, as it is not advisable to comb my hair when it is still wet. There is no need to rinse and I let my hair air dry. My hair is really smooth and very manageable after that! Surprise surprise :) Of course, the smoothness does not last the whole day, as my hair is still damaged, but it is already much better.

After I tried the essence in the hotel for 2 days, I bought 6 more bottles back to Singapore!! 

Rating: 5/5!! Love it!

 Ma Cherie Air Feel Shampoo, 500ml, NT290
for 'fluffy' hair with airy feel

Ma Cherie Moisture Conditioner, 500ml, NT290
for damaged hair

After being really impressed by the essence, I decided to try their shampoo and conditioner. I am not sure  how to review shampoo and conditioner, except that I think they work quite well with my hair. I don't think they impress me, as I can't use the shampoo without the conditioner, and my hair doesn't feel very smooth if I don't use the hair oil. However, I like these 2 better than the Tsubaki hair care range. Too bad I can't get new ones in Singapore yet when I finish these! I used to use the one for damaged hair (white packaging). 

Rating for shampoo & conditioner: 3.5/5 Good, but probably can find better.

All the 3 products have a sweet fruity scent that reminds me of apples. I can't really smell any champagne or honey. The scent is the strongest for the essence. 

You could read more about Ma Cherie Hair Care range here (Chinese). 

Monday, July 4, 2011

Ettusais Medicated Acne Whitening Essence

I am a new huge Ettusais fan, ever since I started using their whitening skincare range. I have posted about them here and here. I thought it would be nice to complete my skincare regime with their whitening essence. I got it in Singapore for $57, 40ml, which I find quite a reasonable price.

Hmm, there is nothing much to rant or rave about this essence, except that I think it does its job at whitening, to a fair extent. My skin is brightened upon application, but I do not see drastic improvement in my skin or skin tone over the weeks. I have been using this for more than a month. However, I guess the essence somewhat keeps my skin from looking dull, because I had friends telling me that I look fairer (I just don't see it myself). 


There is one thing about this essence that kind of bothers me -- it has a rather strong alcohol smell. My skin does not sting or anything when I apply, but I just smell alcohol when i use it, which is not terrible, but would be great if it isn't there. Because of the smell, I feel like I am putting strong stuff on my face!

Overall, I would give this a 3/5 for its mild brightening effect, something I might repurchase, since I love Ettusais skincare, but would not miss if I find something better.