Sunday, June 28, 2015

日本ラブ: Japanese Beauty Products

If I get obsessed with something and there's a beauty part to it, you can bet that the massive beauty junkie in me will spend hours googling it. Hence, it's completely natural that I started hauling Japanese beauty products again. Am so glad that the Great Singapore Sale is here now and has even been made available online. Away from the heat, away from the crowds... That's what I like. And also, GSS means that in the virtual world, there are these awesome coupons and deals for almost everything under the sun. Cannot. Wait. For. Pay. To. Come. In.

And... I digressed. Heh. Anyway, Japanese beauty products always pride themselves on using the very best of everything - quality, technology, knowledge etc. So I feel very safe using them. (: But of course, I still monitor my skin when I try a new product.

Here are 3 brands which I really love:

  • Cezanne
    I really wish that I had discovered this brand so much earlier, when it was still available in Singapore. I have tried 2 of their powder foundations and I love them so much. They are light, sit comfortably on the skin and give you almost-flawless skin (Prominent blemishes will need some assistance from the concealer.) throughout the day. I now get my 'supply' whenever I go to Bangkok. (:

  • HABA
    I tried the 3-Step Skincare System and the White Lady last year, and I really enjoyed the regimen. It was simple, fuss-free and most importantly, free from parabens, fragrances, mineral oils, artificial colourants and petrochemical surfactants. If I ever retire from being a beauty junkie, this is the regimen that's going to follow me for the rest of my life.

  • Hada Labo
    This has been a great friend since 2011 and I like the Super Hyaluronic Acid Hydrating Lotion best. It keeps my skin so well-hydrated and clear that I always keep a bottle in my bathroom. Whenever my face feels oily in the day, I splash some water, dry it and pat some of this in.

And 3 brands which I can't wait to explore:

  • Albion
    This brand was raved quite a bit previously in the local beauty blogosphere, so I started googling for reviews and if you check the brand's hashtag on Instagram (HAHA. I really love my beauty products.), there are many Japanese ladies who love this as well. Especially the Skin Conditioner. I got a trial set at the Takashimaya counter last December and when there was a sale online, I ordered 3 big bottles of the Skin Conditioner. HAHA. Do I like it that much? Hmmm... It's difficult to say. It's lightweight, makes my skin soft and hydrated, but I'm still not really sure if it's worth the price. Will definitely only buy it when there's a sale.

  • Shiseido
    This brand is everywhere. I love their Tsubaki hair care products (Loyal fan since JC days.) and those tiny lip balms, which I got from Taiwan, are the most adorable things ever. I don't know why I haven't tried their skin care products (Actually, I do. I have a whole drawer of untouched products! Heh.). But, soon! Haha.

  • Son Bahyu
    I always see Horse Oil when there's the Japanese fair at Isetan Scotts, and I decided to pick a little tub when I saw it at Tokyu Hands. I was hoping that it would help with my eczema, but umm... It works better just as a moisturizer. Heh. Maybe this will work better in the long run? It's supposed to reduce the risk of scarring.
I really shouldn't be asking this, but are there other Japanese beauty brands that you're really into currently? :D

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

ATM: 'Love your Expressions, Lose your Lines' with Pond's x Michelle Chong

Since 1846, Pond's has been making a difference to women's skin and their lives through revolutionary product creations. Passed on from one generation of women to the next, the brand strives to be a true reflection of the modern woman who radiates with confidence and happiness.

The brand recognizes that the secret to youthful skin lies within the stem cells, which are responsible for cellular renewal and young cell regeneration. Hence, Pond's concocted a potent combination of 6 Youth Enhancing Bio-Actives - two Retinol boosters, AHA, Glycerin, CLA and Retinol - that works to correct expressions lines by 27%, repair the skin, enhance collagen and new cells production, and boost skin's moisture from within.

Earlier this month, Pond's announced multi-talented award-winning local artiste, Michelle Chong, as the latest ambassador for this new anti-ageing range - Age Miracle. Ever ready to express herself through different roles – actress, director, host and writer, Michelle Chong embodies the confident and driven woman that Pond's aims to reach out to.

Here are Michelle Chong's Pond's Age Miracle must-have picks:

  • Dual Action Eye Cream ($29.90 for 20g)
    This is made up of 2 creams - pink and white. The former is enriched will cell-boosting collagen that helps to reduce the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles and crow's feet around the upper eyes, for a smooth and lifted look. The latter is powered by anti-aging active, CLA, to stimulate blood circulation of tired-looking and puffy skin under the eyes for an instantly brightened look.

  • Cell ReGEN™ Day Cream SPF 15 PA++ (Combination/ Dry skin) ($29.90 for 50g)
    Containing the five actives - CLA, AHA Retinol, Glycerine and 2 Retinol boosters, this velvety, luxurious cream renews skin fast and intelligently targets wrinkles, fine lines and age spots, resulting in an exceptionally smooth and bouncy skin.

  • Deep Action Night Cream ($29.90 for 50g)
    Designed to intensely accelerate the renewal process at night, when cells' regeneration potential is at its peak, this rich creamy texture melts into the heart of the skin – revealing skin that is silky smooth and luxuriously soft the next day.

The products are now available at selected shopping malls (Bugis BHG and Centrepoint), supermarkets (Cold Storage, Mediya), Giant Hypermart and Guardian pharmacies.

Monday, June 15, 2015

ATM: Celebrating Father's Day with Zalora x GSS Online

And the Great Singapore Sale is upon us again! These 8 weeks, from May 29th to July 26th, is the only time of the year when we can give ourselves a little treat (or many treats. Heh.) without feeling too guilty. I mean, we are saving while shopping. Kind of. Heh. Expect to see massive discounts from your favourite brands and... Prepare to unleash your inner shopaholic (Gather some girlfriends around!)! *winks*

However, sales would also mean huge crowds in unbearable weather... Not a situation most of us would like to be in. Well, fret not! We have the greatest invention of all time - the Internet. And thanks to Zalora, we can experience GSS Online! (: For the uninitiated, Zalora houses both local and international brands so yes, there are awesome deals from them all.

And just in case you have been too caught up with work, Father's Day is just round the corner! So why not take this opportunity to get a gift for the first and favourite man in your life? Here's my little gift guide for 5 different Dads. (:

  • The Chillax Dad: Carl & Oak Full Leather Suede Driving Loafers, $199
    These loafers are perfect for the Dad who wants comfort, but also appreciates elegance.

  • The Classic Dad: Skmei Men's Leather Strap Watch, $39.90
    This watch is fitting for the wrist of the Dad who wants classic simplicity.

  • The Sporty Dad: Eyki Men Stainless Steel Watch, $59.90
    This watch will keep the Dad running towards greater heights.

  • The Stylish Dad: Carl & Oak Full Leather Textured Brogue Shoes, $279
    Made premium cow leather and sheep lining, this will keep the soles of the Dad, who embodies the modern gentleman, warm with sophistication.

  • The Young-at-heart Dad: Moley Grosband Slip-On Boat Shoes, $48.90
    This bright and cheery red shoes will catch the heart of the Dad who's jolly 24/7.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

REVIEW: The BlackBox Exclusive Pack - Apex Beauté

This June, BlackBox teamed up with Korean brand, Apex Beauté, to bring you an exclusive pack that will take you a step closer to being K-ready. For the uninitiated, Apex Beauté is the latest K-brand to hit our shores. This beauty brand aims to bring out the elegance and beauty in every women with the best products at affordable prices.

This pack contains

  • Apex Face Loose Powder (#01 Light Beige) $19.90
    This silky-smooth powder comes with a soft-focus and skin-perfecting formula that will give you clear, natural-looking skin. It has mica micro-particles that reflect light so that pores seem to disappear instantly.

  • Apex Soft-Feel Eyeshadow (#02 Gold Pearl) $9.90
    This long-lasting colour eye shadow is enriched with Vitamin E and ultra-fine pearl to create a shimmery and vivid finish.

The Apex Face Loose Powder (#01 Light Beige) comes with a little puff, but I prefer using a brush. Just because it's more fun. Heh. After foundation, I sweep this all over my face and immediately, my complexion looks smoother and poreless... Almost airbrushed, but still very natural! (: I wore this out for about 5 hours or so, and came home with just a wee bit shine on my T-zone.

One tip which makeup artist Wayne Goss suggests is to apply the loose powder before your foundation. This fills in the pores and so, provides a smooth canvas for your foundation to go on. In this way, you need less foundation and it stays throughout the day!

The Apex Soft-Feel Eyeshadow (#02 Gold Pearl) is soft and pigmented. If you are having a little trouble working with this colour on your eyelids, you can always work with other parts of your face. One way is to dab a little in the centre of a pair of red lips to make your pout fuller. (:

The Apex Beauté Pack (worth $29.80) is available at $15.90 on BlackBox. (Psst! Key in BBXCJ10 for a 10% discount!)

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

REVIEW: Skinfood's Black Sugar Strawberry Wash-off Mask

I have been enjoying a couple of Skinfood products recently, one of which is the Skinfood's Black Sugar Strawberry Wash-off Mask. I got my tub from Sunnaz because it was on a sale (Just $9.90!), but my love for Skinfood scrubs stretches way back to 2010 (Read my ancient reviews here.).

Skinfood's Black Sugar Strawberry Wash-off Mask is a facial scrub that's made from mineral-rich Brazilian black sugar, strawberry seeds and strawberry seed oil. So it's not surprising that it smells so much like strawberry jam! I always feel a little hungry after using it. Heh. Anyway, I apply this in circular motions after cleansing and drying my face a little, concentrating on my nose and inner cheeks.

The scrub isn't very coarse, so I use it every other day in the shower (Be gentle!). It washes off easily and leaves a slight residue that's comfortable and feels moisturizing. I don't feel it after a while though, so I still apply my moisturizer. On certain days, when I need the extra 'Oomph!' in my skin, I use it like a mask and leave it on for like half an hour. Actually, instructions say to leave this on for 10-15 minutes but umm... Heh. When I'm using this in the shower and so frequently, I just leave it on for 5 minutes. Heh. Probably should make better use of it. :\

If you are looking for a scrub that's gentle enough for sensitive skin, you should check this out! (:

Sunday, May 10, 2015

SPOTTED: Come hang out with SK-II Brand Ambassador Cate Blanchett and local influencers‏ online!

From 1pm to 1.30pm on 14th May, SK-II Brand Ambassador and Academy award-winning actress Cate Blanchett will be hanging out LIVE on Google+ with our very own local influencers. Come find out beauty tips from celebrity Cate and stand a chance to win SK-II products when you watch the session live! You can even instantly shop the products she loves with Luxola.

All you need to do is:

  1. Follow SK-II Singapore on G+ via this link:
  2. Watch all the action LIVE on 14th May, 1pm to 1.30pm by RSVP-ing via this link:

Good luck! (:

Saturday, May 9, 2015

SEWING: She Wears the Pants「気分はマニッシュ」

She Wears the Pants「気分はマニッシュ」is the first English-translated Japanese sewing book that I owned. All my other Japanese sewing books are in well, Japanese, and it's actually quite a challenge to try and 'decode' it. Heh. So it was really with ease when I wanted to pick my next (Japanese) sewing project from this book; I didn't have to worry that I didn't understand a particular term or piece of instruction. Heh.

The book is penned by Yuko Takada and it's meant for ladies who are opting for the boyfriend look. The clothes featured are simple and classy. And even though there are completely no frills, there's still a hint of feminine sophistication - which I really like. (:

There are 20 different projects altogether. At the end of the book, there's also a small section that shows you how to choose and make the patterns, and teaches some basic sewing techniques.

No. 05 Velour Blouse

This piece is a combination of velour and knit - 2 fabrics which I have yet to work with. I really like the sailor-looking collar though, which takes structure from fusible interfacing.

No.06 Square Top and No.07 Fleece Jacket

The square top is an interesting piece - it's basically a long rectangular piece of T-cloth (Google says that this is a plain-woven cotton fabric.) with 2 arm holes. I'll probably try making this during the holidays!

No.12 Draped Mini Dress and No. 14 Semi-flared Culottes

I love, LOVE culottes! This year alone, I have bought 4 and we haven't even hit June. Haha. It's a real pity that I can't wear them to work but anyway, the one above is stitched from corduroy and fusible interfacing.

No.16 Tippets

These tippets are adorable and dress up any outfit in any instant! They do look a tad more challenging though, because of all the curves.

No.18 Dotted Blouse and No.19 Semi-flared Culottes

Culottes again! This is the same pair as the aforementioned one. And a dotted blouse that's made from a fabric with a dotted pattern in 2 different colours.

No.20 Belt Stole

The book ends with a knitted belt that comes together with a big safety pin, which is a little strange but I suppose it can double up as a scarf as well.

The small little section on 'Basic and Techniques'.

The patterns which come in 2 double-sided sheets.

There's a good mix of simple and more challenging projects, and various fabrics are explored. Instructions are succinct but there were some tiny bits which beginner me needed help figuring out.

The patterns for all 20 projects are compiled in just 2 double-sided sheets, which makes tracing the patterns a tad difficult. So I use Pilot Frixion pens (Pictured right above.) to go over the patterns first. These pens' ink goes away with some heat from the hair dryer. (:


No.10 Pompom Blouse

For my 2nd 'major' sewing project, I tried making the Pompom Blouse, without the pompoms. Didn't quite like the idea of having little fluffy balls hanging around my neck. Heh. But I do like the strip of contrasting fabric!

This blouse is a lot simpler than the previous one, so it took a shorter time to complete. The most challenging bit was actually sewing the bottom seam (Haven't erased the chalk marks above!). I must have tried sewing it close to ten times. Haha. And the front neckline sags a little. I think it was meant to cater to the pompoms but because I don't have them, it looks a little strange. Heh. I'm probably gonna make a little fold in the centre or at the side. Still very not perfect but yay, I did it! :D

She Wears the Pants (ISBN No. : 978-4-8053-1326-8) will be available from May 12th onwards here.