Wednesday, March 18, 2015

ATM: Little Innisfree

Innisfree's one of my top brands this year. I'm not declaring my undying love for every product, but there are some that really stand out for me. These little ones up there are what I received as GWP and I have been having fun using them. (:

  • Apple Juicy Deep Cleansing Foam: I LOVE the Apple Juicy Lip & Eye Remover and was actually quite eager to use this when I finished my HABA one. This is supposed to go deep into your pores to remove all yucky debris, so that your skin is as radiant as the surface of polished apples. It smells really pleasant, but that's all. Just a very simple cleanser, that leaves my skin feeling a tad tight but it isn't so drying that it leaves my skin flaky.

  • Green Tea Pure Cleansing Foam: This contains Jeju green tea, which helps retain the skin's moisture whilst cleansing. Unlike the previous one, this doesn't leave my skin feeling dry but it isn't very hydrating either. And because of the green tea scent, it's quite refreshing. But... Still a very simple cleanser. Nothing stellar.

  • Orchid Eye Cream: Enriched with Jeju orchid, this deeply hydrates your sensitive eye area so that you look youthful. This cream is rather heavy but it does hydrate the skin around my eyes very nicely. Haven't had any new milia seeds and I wake up with even-looking eyelids. Also, no residual greasy feeling!

  • Orchid Enriched Cream: When I first read about the cream here last year, I quickly made a trip down to Innisfree. Unfortunately, it wasn't launched yet. But wait, I did and boy, do I love this! This is an anti-ageing cream that helps smooth, firm, brighten, nourish and tighten pores. It is heavy, so I use this only at night. It leaves my skin very hydrated and incredibly smooth and bouncy. Take note that this has silicone, which I don't really mind. So... I totally ordered a full-sized tub from Cosmetic Love and it arrived today. HEE. :D

  • Orchid Massage Cream: This cream is meant to be cleaned off with a tissue, hot towel or lukewarm water. This is hydrating, but I still like the Orchid Enriched Cream better because it gives more 'bounce' to my skin. Also, I don't think the whole massage thing really made any difference for me.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

SPOTTED: Come experience the SK-II #ChangeDestiny Museum

SK-II will be celebrating h35 years of heritage and innovation at its first ever #ChangeDestiny Museum at The Paragon from 5th March to 11th March.

Here are the top 3 things you should do at the Museum:

  1. Discover your Skin Age
    Find out your skin destiny now with SK-II, and it only takes 5 minutes to decode your current and future skin! You will also receive a personalised consultation and a starter kit to kick-start your miracle journey.

  2. Meet Korean Celebrity Kim Hee Ae on 6th March
    Meet our Living Proof ambassador Ms. Kim, who will share the secrets behind her youthful look and life after changing her destiny. Also, enjoy stunning live dance performances and stand a chance to receive our best-selling SK-II Facial Treatment Mask*. Only 20 pieces are up for grabs!
    *7th March (3-5pm) and 8th March (1-3pm)

  3. Be Rewarded for Changing Your Destiny
    New to SK-II? Visit the #ChangeDestiny Museum, complete the challenges and receive an exclusive museum door gift. Plus, receive a full-sized SK-II Clear Beauty Powder Foundation worth $130 when you purchase more than $250 worth of SK-II products.

Have fun and SK-II your way to crystal clear skin! :D

Monday, March 2, 2015

ATM: Taking the Sephora Shower

No matter how bad our day gets, we can always count on scents to provide a quick little fix. And it doesn't stop there. Studies have shown that scents influence not just our mood, but our stress level, self-confidence and overall performance too. They can also aid better and deeper beauty sleep (Be gone, insomnia!). One fab way of enveloping ourselves in a cocoon of scents is taking a luxurious shower after a tedious and tiring day at work. And Sephora online has got this covered, yay!

Just in case you're unaware, Sephora has her very own body and bath line that is paraben-free and tested under dermatological control. One product that I really like is the Bubble Bath & Shower Gel. Available in 7 different scents online, you can definitely find one that will erase your grumpiness, add more happiness to your clouds or give you the boost of confidence that you really need. It is formulated with fragrant flowers, algae, fruit extracts, Vitamin E and glycerine, so that you leave each shower with velvety-smooth and well-hydrated skin and of course, a smile dancing on your lips.

Here are some quick 'guidelines' to the different scents:

  • Blueberry: When you need a smile.
  • Chocolate: When you need some excitement.
  • Green Tea: When you need a little calm.
  • Lemon Verbena: When you need more energy.
  • Peony: When you are feeling girly.
  • Strawberry: When you just want some sweetness.
  • Vanilla: When you want some elegance.

Sephora also has the Creamy Body Wash, Smoothing Body Scrub and Moisturizing Body Lotion online that also come in the aforementioned scents. So go on, take a long good soak, scrub away your worries and then slather on some lotion for a sleep that even Sleeping Beauty will be envious of!

Monday, February 16, 2015

ATM: Spending my V-Day with some Dolce Floral Drops

It is the clarity of dawn.
It is the delicate scent of freshly picked white flowers, still wet with dew.
It is the crispness of Neroli leaves that accompany and enhance their aroma.
It is the echo of laughter from your beloved and the light trail of her perfume that triggers the memory.
It is Dolce Floral Drops, the new fragrance by Dolce&Gabbana.

This April, Dolce&Gabbana will be launching Dolce Flora Drops Eau de Toilette. The first flanker of the original Dolce Eau de Parfum, this fragrance is lighter and a little more crisp - very much like freshly picked flowers, but still retains the signature scent of the White Amaryllis.

Dolce Floral Drops is housed in a vintage-looking, misty green flacon that takes the unique shape of Dolce; thick glassed with curved lines for a contemporary feel, topped with a flower that is specially crafted to portray the marzipan sculptures seen in traditional Sicilian confectioners. A thin, black grosgrain bow sits around the neck to represent the classic white shirts and bow-ties that walked the early runway shows of Dolce&Gabbana. Last but not least, the word 'Dolce' is penned lovingly in the style of Domenico Dolce's father.

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Top Notes
Light scents that are detected immediately upon application. Forms your first impression. Lively and crisp green opening of Neroli leaves and Papaya Flower that enriches the character of the fragrance and defines its freshness right from the start.

Middle Notes
Scents that emerge just before the top notes departs. Masks initial unpleasant impression of base notes, which improves with time. A harmonious combination of White Amaryllis, White Daffodil and White Water Lily.

Base Notes
Rich and deep scents that emerge before the middle notes departs. Brings depth and solidity to the fragrance. The floral signature is counterbalanced by a base of warm Musky notes, Cashmeran and Sandalwood.

This year, my V-Day was... Unexpected. It started out very homely (I'd like to think that this was how single Taylor Swift would spend her V-Day. Minus the coolness and Karlie Kloss. HAHA.) and ended on a note of fear, which quickly turned into many 'Aww...'s. Haha. Probably the strangest V-Day I ever had and ever will have.

My rather mundane V-Day started with a 4-hour attempt at making Tokyo Banana for my colleagues. 'Attempt' because this time, the oven decided to 'play punk' with me by baking only the top half of the sponge cake (Yes, blame the defenseless machine.). But the brother mentioned that the banana cream filing was better this time round, so yay! :D Practised the piano a little, studied Japanese (Planning to take JLPT N5 this July!) and ended the night with some drawing and painting. The girl in the orange striped top is a replica of one of @papercrownluvsu and @riflepaperco stationery pieces, which I really love and obviously failed to do any justice to it. But I'll keep practising so がんばって!And of course, I had Dolce Flora Drops accompanying me throughout the day. Yes, I do spritz a little perfume on at home sometimes. Just to, you know, feel a tad classy. Heh. (:

Then, this really 'frightening' thing happened. At around 11pm, right when everyone was about to retire, the doorbell started ringing like crazy. And I was really scared because it happened before - this burly dude, with all his luggage, told us that he was given our address to reside in. He did go away but of course, my imagination ran wild and I was thinking of murderers and kidnappers and... I basically fill my brain with too much thriller stuff. Anyway, back to the original story, it kept ringing and I went down with Dad and was like "Dad, don't open the door and let anyone in." (Like my Dad, who made me, didn't know better. -_-|||).

I stayed far away trying to make out the ominous shadow behind the door, as Dad opened it. And... Standing there was my cousin, JH, with a huge luggage. So I thought he fought with someone at home and decided to take refuge in our house but nope! Out of the corner, popped up the sister who was grinning away like a Cheshire cat. She just traveled 16 hours from Dublin so that she could spend Chinese New Year with the family! <333

Best V-Day present ever, but I was really scared for my family for a moment. Heh.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

ATM: A Weekend Affair with Za Cosmetics x BlackBox

Just in case you have been too caught up with life, this Saturday is V-Day! I know it has been said many times that it has got too commercialized and that every day should be V-day... But I still think it's fun to do a little something special for your family, friends and of course, that special someone. *grins*

Here are 3 ideas that you and your loved ones might want to do this weekend:

  1. Make your own chocolates.
    No food spells love better than chocolates. Especially when they are lovingly crafted by you and your loved ones. Recently, I have been watching tons of Ochikeron's videos and she has just the right recipe for you here.

  2. Have dinner away from the city.
    Our island is getting pretty crowded and on this special day, I think some quiet would be nice. Heh. Buttercake N Cream is a little diner tucked away in a little corner of Clementi. It was where I spent my first V-day and though things didn't work out, the place remains special to me. And I hope it will be for you too. (:

  3. Snuggle in bed with pjs and a romcom.
    Self-explanatory, haha! Highly recommended movies are 'Breakfast at Tiffany's', 'Roman Holiday', 'Sixteen Candles', 'Pretty in Pink', 'When Harry Met Sally', 'Sleepless in Seattle', 'While You Were Sleeping', 'You've Got Mail' and 'Kate & Leopold'. Mmhmm... Now, I feel like rewatching all of them. Haha.

And if you are thinking of getting a gift, Za Cosmetics and BlackBox have specially come together to bring you an exclusive box, A Weekend Affair, that is perfect for two. Read on to find out what's inside! :D

For Him

  • ZA Men U Recharge Gel Moisturiser $12.90 for 50g
    This moisturizer transforms dull and tired-looking skin to one that's bright and healthy. It contains an oil-absorbing mud, which is rich in minerals that are essential in maintaining the moisture of the skin.
  • ZA Men U Recharge Gentle Scrub $9.90 for 100g
    This mud scrub/ cleanser contains energy capsules and taurine. It revitalizes and gives skin a good deep cleanse, whilst eliminating fatigue

For Her

  • ZA True White Cleansing Form $12.90 for 100g
    This brightening cleansing foam contains vitamin C granules that helps remove dead corneal cells containing melanin, revealing a brighter and clearer complexion.
  • ZA True White Essence Lotion $23.50 for 150g
    This lotion is formulated with whitening ingredients, '4MSK + VitaminC (APM)', and hot spring water which contains Vitamin C essence capsules (VC-IP). The thick liquid hydrates the skin to make it translucent, reducing dark spots in 7 days with an enhanced whitening effect.
  • ZA True White Day Protector $13.50 for 35g
    This daytime moisturizer protects the skin from harmful UV rays while mattifying skin and controlling sebum. The pearly brightening effect diminishes dullness and leaves your skin looking bright. It doubles up as a makeup base.
  • ZA True White Exfoliating Clay $15.90 for 100g
    This clay mask transforms dull and UV damaged skin into soft and clear skin instantly.

  • Za Liquid Eyeliner $19.50 for 30ml
    Smudge-proof, water-proof and resistant to water and sebum, this product adheres perfectly to the eyelids, with a beautiful, long-lasting finish.
  • Za Vibrant Moist Lipstick $18.90 for 3.5g This lipstick comes with a moisture-holding formula and achieves vibrant color with its superior lip-adhesion base compound, spreading smoothly and fittingly – contouring lips beautifully without smudge.

Thanks again for staying till the end! I'll be holding a giveaway for 3 boxes of A Weekend Affair on Instagram (@charlenejudith), so do keep a lookout. :D And if you're purchasing anything from BlackBox, key in BBXCJ10 for a 10% discount. Last but not least, have a very special V-day! :DDD

Saturday, January 31, 2015

ATM: My 2014 Skincare Story

2014 was a huge year of experimentation for me where beauty was concerned; I was a lot more daring and adventurous, leaving my comfort zone of familiar brands and trying more 'obscure' one. Towards the end of the year, I stuck to a combination of products which I really enjoyed. But besides products, I have also been visiting Trinity Medical Centre (Marine Parade) for treatments once every month or two. Depending on my skin condition during consultation, Dr. Lim prescribes the appropriate treatment. Here are some of the treatments that I have gone for in the past year:

Spectra Carbon Laser Peel
When late nights wrecked havoc on my skin (Think: Zits, blackheads, ew.), Dr. Lim did the Spectra Carbon Laser Peel. I had this done several times and it's one of my favourite treatments. There was no downtime and it really helped with balancing the excess sebum production. My face is still a breeding ground for blackheads, but zits usually just come during the time of the month now. Or if I try to be smart by squeezing a blackhead and end up infecting it more (Seriously, need to STOP touching my stupid face.).

Nd:YAG Laser Rejuvenation
When my skin decided to be obedient and look decent, Dr. Lim did the Nd:YAG Laser Rejuvenation. This treatment stimulates the growth of collagen, makes skin smoother, lightens pigments and is great for monthly maintenance. After each session, my complexion looked clearer and my skin felt perkier.

Very recently, I have also decided to laser away some of the many tiny raised bumps on my face. These bumps are either oil seeds or caused by sun damage (Am INCREDIBLY religious with the sunscreen now.). So basically, these bumps were burned off and became tiny red spots immediately. It did hurt but the pain came fast and went away quickly. Scabs were formed in a day or two and you are supposed to just leave them on your face for as long as possible so that the skin can heal properly. Unfortunately, I'm quite rough so mine took a while to heal. But heyyy, those that were laser-ed off are permanently gone! さよなら!

And now, for the products which I was using...

  • HABA's Squa Powder Wash: This is the cleanser that I use in the morning (Yes, I'm still using it in 2015!). And the more I use it, the more I like it. The powder, when combined with water, creates a velvety smooth foam that feels so good on the skin. It's gentle and doesn't leave my skin dry after washing. I did a review on HABA products back in March and you can read it here.

  • bSoul's Hydra Milk Cleanser: I started on the entire range a pretty long while back. But at that time, my skin was going through quite a tumultuous period so in the end, I decided to stick with products my skin was more familiar with and just use the cleanser. This cleanser contains argan oil, rosa moschata, rosemary extract, sage, thyme and natural surfactants to cleanse the skin physiologically, while respecting the hydro-lipoprotein film of the skin. It neither irritates my sensitive skin nor leaves it feeling dry after washing. I use this at night, after removing my makeup with an Innisfree makeup remover.

  • Kose's Sekkisei Lotion: I got this as a GWP a long time ago and only started using it because it was going to expire. Haha. I didn't turn fairer but it was light, cooling and a joy to apply on the face. It also helped prep my face for subsequent products. I'm kind of on the fence as to whether I should repurchase this again because I didn't get the whitening effect that others got. BUT MUA's reviews are all really good so maybe, just maybe, I will give it another chance.

  • HADA LABO's Goku-jyun Clear Lotion: This was a huge favourite of mine previously and I decided to revisit it when my skin was in dire straits. It keeps my skin well-hydrated and clear. A doctor, whom I met recently, swears by hyaluronic acid for his crystal clear skin!

  • RODIN Olio Lusso's Face Oil: Okay, this is the most expensive facial product that I have ever (so carelessly) splurged on. I think I was very stressed at the point of purchase BUT then again, it was featured like a gazillion times on Intothegloss.com so it must be THAT AWESOME. And it is! Just a few drops and it eliminates dryness and redness throughout the day. There's like a visible and distinct difference. I friggin' love this! There are some days when I just use like 5 drops and let my face soak in all that botanical goodness (No, I can't afford to do this often. ): Only when the days are bad and I need to cheer myself up a little. Heh.).

  • DermaVeen's Moisturizing Lotion: This is like gold to me. And I find that it compliments RODIN Olio Lusso's Face Oil especially well. My complexion is usually super duper clear and radiant the next day. And because this is so much more inexpensive than the oil, I buy back-ups every time Watsons or Guardian has a sale. Read how this helped me with my rash here. :D

Monday, January 19, 2015

REVIEW: The Rachel K Box (Light) by BlackBox

Rachel K Cosmetics was started in 2010 by Rachel K, who was crowned Miss Universe Singapore in the previous year. When I first knew the brand, I thought it was a tad gimmicky because it was marketed as 'Beauty Queen's Makeup Secrets'. But fate happened, I bought it, fell in love almost instantly and raved about it here. When the brand went for a revamp, I was swimming in a pool of other brands and got sidetracked. So I was only too eager (As usual. Haha.) to try out the new products when I received The Rachel K Box earlier this month. Heh.

This exclusive BlackBox edition houses the following:

  • Rachel K's CC Renew Pressed Powder in Light (full-sized)
  • Rachel K's Supreme Whitening Lotion (full-sized)
  • Rachel K's Stem Cell Cleansing Gel (1.5g x 3 sachets)
  • Rachel K's Youth Spell Day Cream (1.5g x 2 sachets)

Rachel K's CC Renew Pressed Powder
What it is: This CC powder contains a unique colour-correcting complex that instantly perfects skin with organic shea butter, an anti-oxidant complex and Vitamin E to keep ageing at bay. Just a few pats and it reveals a complexion that's flawless, smooth and naturally luminous. It is talc free, paraben free, non-comedogenic, dermatologically tested and comes in 3 shades; Very Light, Light and Medium.

What I think: I have this powder in Light, which blends seamlessly into my skin. It helps to conceal the redness that I usually have around my nose and on my cheeks, giving a matte and very even complexion. Small zits are carefully hidden as well, though big ones will peek through. My T-zone starts to get oily after about 4 hours, so this compact is really handy. I like that it has a small plate that separates the sponge from the powder, so that the sponge doesn't collect too much of the powder.

One thing to note though, if you are applying a thick sunblock, do make sure that the sunblock has sunk in completely before patting on the powder (I have been way too pampered with my mattifying powder that I forgot! Eeps.). Alternatively, use a sunblock with a matte finish!

Rachel K's Supreme Whitening Lotion
What it is: This lotion takes your skin from dull to brilliant with its breakthrough natural ingredients of Octadecenedioic Acid (Lightens skin tone by regulating tyrosinase within skin cells.), Delentigo (Halts the development of age spots by regulating the formation of lipofuscin and melanin.), β White (Corrects the MITF cellular pathway to decrease various types of pigmentation.) and SEPICALM VG (Decreases regular pigmentation induced by inflammatory stress, and Basal pigmentation caused by genetic ageing.). It is also enriched with aloe vera extract which helps to cleanse and refine your skin.

What I think: This is my favourite product out of the lot! The lotion is so light that it sinks into my skin almost immediately, leaving a cooling and refreshing feeling. My skin feels soft and hydrated, and is well-prepped for my moisturizer. Though I wish that it didn't have fragrance, the scent is actually quite pleasant. As for its whitening effects, I didn't think it would do much because I'm quite fair already. But a friend actually commented that I was fairer than before the other day, which made me incredibly happy! :D If I don't have any other products to try out, I will be repurchasing this!

Rachel K's Stem Cell Cleansing Gel
What it is: This cleanser is formulated with PhytoCellTec™ technology that boosts the natural performance of human skin stem cells. It prevents the loss of moisture and maintains your skin's balance naturally, bathing it in the goodness of witch hazel and aloe vera.

Rachel K's Youth Spell Day Cream
What it is: This balancing day cream regulates the secretion of sebum in both dry and oily skins, ensuring that your pores never get clogged. It is formulated with Matrixyl™ 3000 to prevent wrinkles and a unique mixture of Bamboo-silk and Rice-silk which work together to absorb sebum, leaving you with hydrated, plump and soft skin.

What I think: I only had sachets to try, so here are my first impressions. For the cleanser, it smelt a tad 'funky' but I like that it didn't leave my skin feeling tight after the wash. For the day cream, it stung upon application but it went away soon after. And though it felt heavy to touch, it was absorbed by my skin quite easily so there was no greasy after-feeling. It was actually quite comfy!

The Rachel K Box (worth $75) is available at $49.90 on BlackBox. (Psst! Key in BBXCJ10 for a 10% discount!)