Monday, April 29, 2013

NAILS: Easy Nail Polish Removal Tutorial

When I remove my nail polish, I usually douse a piece of cotton pad with my nail polish remover. Then, I go through my ten fingers (or 8 fingers and 2 thumbs for the picky 'English people'.) one at a time, covering each nail with the same piece of cotton pad and wait for-ever for the nail polish to fi-nal-ly come off.

The other day, whilst looking through some nail art online, I came across this nail polish removal tutorial that practically shaves off half the time and effort I take with my aforementioned method. This was taught by some popular Youtube-r, I think. But I learnt this from someone's blog. Unfortunately, I can't remember either names so do let me know if you know who the Youtube-r is, so that I can give credit properly. (:

All you need to do it to tear up your cotton pad into ten tiny pieces. I'm going to tear mine up into 4, for this tutorial.

Wet each cotton piece with your nail polish removal and wrap it around each finger (or thumb). Unless there's nail polish on the underside of your nails, take care not to wrap the cotton pieces over the top of your nails. This will dry out the insides and increase the white areas on your nails.

Leave the cotton pieces on for about a minute or even less and then, gently swipe the cotton pieces upwards. Most of your nail polish would have come off. You just need to clean the sides a little.

This tutorial works great with glitter nail polishes too. (: I hope you found this helpful!


Sunday, April 28, 2013

NAILS: Etude House's Fashion Queen Nail Collection in #01 Hey! Jean E.

One of the items in Etude House's March Pink Box is the Fashion Queen Nail Collection in #01 Hey! Jean E.. I am really enjoying these little nail kits from Etude House because they dress up your nails in a particular theme, with the nail polishes complementing one another really well.

Back in 2011, Chanel launched their Les Jeans de Chanel Collection and for the first time in my life, I thought denim was very classy. But I refuse to go into premium nail polishes (That would be equivalent to opening a Pandora's box.) and instead, lived on regret and Google images... Until now.

Of course, these nail polishes aren't dupes of the real McCoy and barely come close. But I like that they draw inspiration from the universally friendly denim. The shades in this kit are:

No. 1 White T-shirt and Jeans
No. 2 70's Blue Denim
No. 3 Perfect Skinny

No. 1 White T-shirt and Jeans is a gorgeous powder blue with strips and tiny circles of various shades of blue. This required at least 3 coats for the blue to be solid. The surface is pretty uneven because of all the specks but I love this nonetheless because of its uniqueness.

No. 2 70's Blue Denim is an air force blue that only required two coats. The nail polish went on smoothly and would be my favourite shade in fall.

No. 3 Perfect Skinny is space cadet blue loaded with blue glitter. Another 'bumpy' nail polish, this required two to three coats. Even though I think this is the prettiest, I like it the least. Haha. It doesn't quite make sense but oh wells.

This is quite possibly my favourite nail polish kit from Etude House thus far. I'm probably partial towards it because of the Chanel collection but I like the formula a lot too, especially No. 2 70's Blue Denim's. Do check it out if you pass by an Etude House store! (:


Tuesday, April 23, 2013

LOOKBOOK: Lily and me.

Lily Pirates floral dress, Marc Jacobs earrings, Cotton On sunglasses

Singapore, fortunately/ unfortunately, doesn't have the 4 seasons but I still like to celebrate the coming of each in the form of clothes (And nail colours.). The is my first dress in the colour mint and it's perfect for Spring. The floral print looks a tad old-fashioned but it gives the dress a vintage vibe (Which is forever the rage. Right?). The material's thick cotton, which doesn't trap as much heat as polyester does. Where washing and ironing are concerned, this dress is a breeze.


Monday, April 22, 2013

REVIEW: Novalash's Eyelash Extensions by Lolita

In February, I attended Beauty Asia 2013 and got the chance to try out Novalash's Eyelash Extensions at Lolita Group's booth. My lashes were given the most lustrous and gorgeous boost and when the extensions finally shed, I was pretty bummed out (Cue: Plays Gabrielle's 'Out of Reach' on repeat. The song is incredibly sad and beautiful at the same time.). So you can imagine my joy when Joyce, the owner of Lolita Group, asked if I wanted to be one of the 3 Lolita/ Novalash ambassadors! So yes, I'm currently the ambassador for Lolita/ Novalash and I'll be blogging about my journey of gorgeous, fluttery lashes in the coming 6 months!

But guess what?!? The happiness doesn't just end with me! My readers, a.k.a YOU, get something out of the sponsorship too (Read on for April's and May's promotion! :D), so do join me on the ride kay and we will be batting our eyes together like Betty Boop!

Anyway, back to my 2nd session of eyelash extensions! When I visited Lolita on April 7th, the place was already all done up! It was a lot brighter and looked more spacious. And instead of one room with 3 beds (I think!), there are now 3 sections, 2 of which have 2 beds and the last one with just 1.

The place was, as usual, incredibly clean and the bed, very comfy. I would probably have fallen asleep, if I weren't having an engaging conversation with Shu Xian, my therapist!

I blogged pretty extensively about the whole eyelash extension process in my Beauty Asia 2013 post so, I'll just write about the before and after and do a little comparison today.

My natural lashes are your average short, sparse and very thin Asian ones. I used to load up on lots of mascaras but the good ones were pretty tough to remove and I would lose a few in the removal process and often, woke up to dark eye circles brought about by leftover mascara (I never ever clean off everything.).

At the start of this year, I switched to false eyelashes and though they looked really good and all, sticking them on took forever (For me. :\). Sometimes, the glue would get onto my natural lashes and they would end up looking more messy than classy. And the worst thing of all, was when the glue lost its adhesiveness and I ended up looking like my eyeballs were growing hair. Not a pretty sight, nuh-uh.

So eyelash extensions are the best thing to have happened to me this year, in the beauty department. Shu Xian gave me really subtle and natural-looking lashes so that they didn't overwhelm my eyes. Instead, they brightened them up by providing a nice, dense frame and make me look more awake and refreshed, even when I have no makeup on!

The other day, Mum commented that she really liked this set of lashes and I was really surprised because she doesn't usually encourage such stuff. Am thinking of taking her to Lolita and let Shu Xian work her magic on her lashes for a Mother's Day treat!

Here's how the lashes look like with eyeliner and contacts. (: Really, really natural! Thanks so much, Shu Xian!!! (:

Yes, I'm very pleased with my lashes! Heh. :D

And now for April's and May's promotion for my readers! All you have to do is to quote 'Novalash@charlene' when you make an appointment with Lolita at +65 6338 9981 and you get to enjoy Novalash's Eyelash Extensions at $39, instead of $139! Shu Xian, my therapist, will be working on your lashes and she was really gentle! Just like my previous session, I felt no pain at all! I'll blog more about her in my next entry. (:

6 Raffles Boulevard
#B1-12 Marina Square
Tel.: +65 6338 9981

Below is an excerpt (The steps and FAQ!) from my Beauty Asia 2013 post, where I first tried Novalash's eyelash extensions!

Step 1: Cleansing of eye makeup, mascara and false eyelashes especially.
Step 2: Applying eye masks and under-eye stickers to separate your upper lashes from the bottom ones and your skin.
Step 3: Attaching the eyelash extensions on!
Step 4: Drying the glue with a handheld fan for 5 minutes (At the salon, a different fan is used and all it takes is just 2 minutes!). There is the spraying of water in-between as it helps the glue adhere to your natural lashes better.

Are your eyelash extensions painful?
No, they aren't. They didn't hurt during or after application. Even now, they don't hurt at all. However, I do think that the therapist plays a very important role during application. Pinky is Lolita's top therapist so you may want to look for her. She started doing eyelash extensions 2 years back. (:

Are the eyelash extensions going to affect my natural lashes?
Jocelyn explained that the Novalash system involves the attachment of the eyelash extensions to your natural eyelashes, about 1mm away from the roots. This way, your roots aren't touched (And so, won't be damaged!) so your natural lashes won't be affected. And typically, 1-3 eyelashes are supposed to drop from each eye everyday.

Can my eyelash extensions touch water?
Yes, they can! Unlike other eyelash extensions, Novalash 'loves' water! After the eyelash extensions are attached, a burst of water is actually sprayed (In-between drying!) on the lashes to help the glue adhere better! I shower with ease!!!

Can I wear makeup with these eyelash extensions on?
Yes, you can! Just make sure that your makeup removers don't contain glycol! Alternatively, you can purchase cleanLASH by NOVALASH, 3-in-1 conditioner, makeup remover, cleanser. This comes in 60 circular pads, soaked in pomegranate seed extracts. I bought a tub of this at the show for $29. I find them a little oily so I do wash my eye area with my cleanser after that (Make sure this doesn't contain glycol too!!! I didn't check mine until this morning. ):)

What are the eyelash extensions made of? Are there different lengths and degrees of curl?
The eyelash extensions are synthetic. 3 lengths were available; 8mm, 12mm and 14mm. The therapist will actually use different lengths for you in order to mimic natural eyelashes. And yes, there are different degrees of curl.

Are there coloured eyelash extensions?
Yes. (: There are brown, purple (Used for subtle highlighting!) and even green ones! Chinese ladies usually go for black, unless they have dyed their hair. Caucasians go for brown.

How long will the eyelash extensions last?
About 3-4 weeks!

What happens when I want to remove my eyelash extensions?
You can either make an appointment with Lolita to get them removed or just wait for them to drop naturally!

How much do the eyelash extensions cost?
At the show, each set costs $89. At the salon, different therapists charge differently. For Pinky, it's $169. Touch-ups are at $129.

Can I learn how to do eyelash extensions?
Yes, you can! Jocelyn does the training personally. Her trained therapists will be there to help out as well. Unfortunately, I haven't got the exact price of the 2-day class (At the show, it's $1400+?). You will need to pass oral, theory and practical tests before you are certified. If you fail, Jocelyn will teach you till you pass. (:

Any other things that I need to take note?
Don't indulge in any steaming activities for two days after getting your lashes done. This will weaken the glue. Also, avoid glycol at all costs! Do check your makeup removers AND cleansers! I was so preoccupied with my lashes and using a new makeup remover that I forgot about my cleanser. ): 4 strands have dropped off already. ): ): ): Thankfully, I don't see any gaps though but ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh! ): ): ):


Sunday, April 21, 2013

EVENT: Cadbury's The Most Marvellous Bloggers' Party

On the first Saturday of April, I attended Cadbury's The Most Marvellous Bloggers' Party at Nassim Hill. I was really looking forward to the event because gawd, you have no idea how much I relied on Cadbury during my 'O' and 'A' Levels. I would eat the tube of mint chocolates for lunch, the bars of Turkish Delight whenever I couldn't solve my sums... Ah, (literally) sweet memories!

Anyway, Fel and I, together with other bloggers, met outside Tangs so that we could hitch a ride on Cadbury's Joyrider. It was so much fun to be on it because chocolates were given out and there were tons of accessories for us to play (and camwhore) with!

Nassim Hill was bursting with balloons all over when we reached there and the place was just so cheery! There was a photobooth by Hello Stranger, where Fel and I spent quite a lot of time at (Heh. Keep reading for the photos!) and of course, tons and tons of chocolates! It was a really swell way to spend a lazy Saturday! :D

And before I forget the main Cadbury stars, the event was an introduction to the new Marvellous Creations range, which comes in 3 delectable, yummilicious flavours; Jelly Crunchie Bits, Jelly Popping Candy Beanies and Peanut Toffee Cookie. I tried the Jelly Popping Candy Beanies way before the event and you have no idea how yummy it is! There are chunks of chewy jelly bean-like candies and little bits that literally pop in your mouth! It's like the popping candy that we used to eat in primary school!

A blind tasting booth for the brave and courageous!

Brad (a.k.a Lady Iron Chef), Beatrice Tan and Maureen (a.k.a Miss Tam Chiak) were also announced as Cadbury's Marvellous Blogger Ambassadors!

There was a little Instagram contest going on during the event and I think because I was 'spamming' so many photos, I won (Along with 2 other bloggers!)! And that meant more chocolates!!! Hahaha! Yes, M, the human sweet tooth, is very proud of me! *beams*

And of course, no event is complete without a partner-in-crime! :DDD Am always thrilled to have Fel's company!

(The girl's finally going Taiwan, after so much persuasion and urging!!! Keep a lookout on her blog!)

My favourite shots from Hello Stranger's photobooth! Cheers to 6 years of friendship and counting! :DDD

(Hello Strangers printed out photos on the spot and even uploaded them onto their online gallery for easy download. Awesome much? (: )

More shots of us on board the Joyrider, from Fel's new camera. :DDD Thanks Kelvin from Protocol and Cadbury for the invitation! (: It was a really fun-filled Saturday and Cadbury sure brought smiles to many of us. :D The Marvellous Creations range are already out in stores and there's a promotion going on right now. Do try them out and join Cadbury and me for some poppin' fun! :D


Monday, April 15, 2013

MAIL: April's Vanity Trove

And it's mid-April already! Time always catches us by surprise and today, I was, tragically, reminded about how old I was. I mean, I still clearly remember a 14-year old me, sitting in my yellow chair, blogging about some monkeys creating a huge ruckus at the pool. Time, our friend and fiend.

Eeps, I didn't mean to sound so morose. But aye, it's a Monday after all. Anyway, this month's Vanity Trove is oh-so-fabulous! There aren't any full-sized products but the brands of the samples are stellar!

Dr. Ci:Labo makes its debut appearance with an almost-complete skincare range (Just missing the toner!). The Super Washing Foam EX is a hydrating cleanser that's formulated with collagen, hyaluronic acid and ceramide. The Super Cleansing EX, on the other hand, is an anti-ageing cleanser which also doubles up as a makeup remover.

The Aqua Collagen Gel Super Moisture EX is one diligent skincare worker. Formulated with 120 natural skin beautifying ingredients in nano capsules, this will keep your skin hydrated and supple all day.

Elizabeth Arden also appears for the first time with Visible Whitening Smoothing Cleanser and Visible Whitening Multi-Targeted UV Shield BB Cream SPF30 PA+++. The former contains melting micro beads and enzymes to dissolve surface melanin. As for the latter, it is a daytime formula that contains biomimetic peptides to ensure skin that is hydrated and even-toned. I have used this a couple of times and will review it next! :D

Last but not least, it's the Visible Whitening Melanin Control Night Capsules. These capsules house a serum of SpectraBright technology and plant-derived extracts to help prevent melanin synthesis.

As aforementioned, there aren't the usual full-sized products but I think the brands featured make up for it. I do, however, think that 3 cleansers are one too many for a single box. Nevertheless, this was certainly a trove of surprises since I'm a huge skincare junkie! I'm actually more excited about Dr. Ci:Labo than Elizabeth Arden because I have heard so much good stuff about said brand! :D


Saturday, April 13, 2013

LOOKBOOK: Like a circus girl.

Everlane tee, F21 tulle skirt, Tinkerbell necklace

Walk on a wire, jump through a fire for you
Hang from my knees on a trapeze while you, make me spin
Yes, you make me twirl, like a circus girl

'Circus Girl' by Mindy Gledhill

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

ATM: Top 5 Eczema Products

Eczema entered into my vocabulary when I entered university. Initially, I thought I was going through a second puberty on my back. But when something itches and spreads, you sure as hell can bet that it's eczema. And even though eczema is pretty common, I don't think common equates okay. Skin afflictions is a way of your body telling you that hey, you aren't doing something right to your own health! For me, it was a matter of stress, heatiness and late nights.

Most Western doctors don't differentiate the various types of eczema. Instead, they just prescribe topical steroids... Which do work, but only temporarily. They don't eliminate the root cause. So, for instance, you have stress-induced eczema, you apply steroids and the itching stops. But the minute you get stressed again, the eczema is going to come back. If you run a search on Google, there are many cases of steroids backfiring instead. But of course, such situations differ for different people and for the different types of eczema.

For me, I decided that I didn't want to apply steroids because it's only a temporary solution and it thins the skin. So I turned to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). TCM makes up about 3/4 of my childhood and whenever I am down with fever or flu, I find that TCM works better and quicker. With that said, I wouldn't recommend TCM if you have major problems like a deep cut, or virus of some sort because there's a reason why technology exists. Needles can only be needles, if you get what I mean.

Anyway, I underwent about 3 months of TCM and stopped when the doctor told me to. My eczema was especially bad during my last university semester; I would wake up in the middle of the night because my back was itching so badly and insufficient sleep just sent me into a never-ending vortex. The doctor told me that my eczema was birthed from heatiness and stress and proceeded to prescribe medication that would bring my body back to equilibrium. During and after the 3 months of TCM, my eczema cleared up quite a bit. But it still itched, though I didn't wake up in the middle of the night as often as I did before.

I haven't been to the doctor since January and of course, my back still itches but the it occurs A LOT less now (Read on!). I haven't got any topical medication left from the doctor, so I have been trying out steroids-free eczema creams to tackle the occasional itch and here are some of my favourites:

California Baby's Calendula Cream
This was recommended by Beautifymeeh on her Instagram. Developed for babies, this cream has a 100% natural base and contains organic ingredients. It is free from gluten, oat, dairy and nuts, except for coconut. I bought this purely because I was/ am into organic products and yes, it does a pretty splendid job in calming the itch at that moment. When I use this, I would still itch in the middle of the night. I love the scent very much though!

Yuskin A Family Medical Cream
This came in my January Vanity Trove and I mentioned it here. This works great in winter but I find it slightly too thick for my liking when I'm here in Singapore. By the way, if the insides of your nails are dried out from all the gelish-soaking business, this is for you!

BabyGanics' Moisturizing Eczema Care Cream
I got this recently from because it contains 1% Colloidal Oatmeal. Colloidal Oatmeal is just oatmeal that has been grounded into very fine powder and it's impossibly difficult to find it in Singapore. Anyway, this is currently what I'm using on the rare occasions that I itch. This is free from parabens, sulfates, phthalates or toxins and contains natural, plant-based ingredients like the Advanced Antioxidant Seed Oil Complex. I love how light this feels and it absorbs so quickly that it's perfect for the day too! And yes, this is one of the two products that stop the itch for the longest time.

Dermaveen's Moisturizing Lotion
And this is the other one (that stops the itch for the longest time). This contains 2% Colloidal Oatmeal and it works so well; it not only hydrates but increases the elasticity of your skin. It feels so darn good that I always end up over-applying it and when you do that, a layer of it rests on your skin instead and it becomes pretty uncomfy for me, especially during the day. That's why I only use this in the night.

Last but not least, Lolita Group's Eczema Combat Homemade Soap is THE product that has been curing my remaining eczema. Jocelyn passed me a bar when I met up with her last month and challenged me. She told me to use the soap for 3 weeks and even though I was quite skeptical, I did what she said. And then, got two more bars and nearly cried when I was told she would be stopping production. This PREVENTS the itch from happening! And unlike most bar soaps, this doesn't dry out your skin. At all. I hardly itch now (and that's why I have been using Nivea's Body UV Whitening Serum SPF25 PA++ to get rid of the marks left.)! *jumps around* But sigh... The day that I finish my last 2 bars will be the saddest day of my life. ):

And before I end this incredibly wordy entry, I just want to mention that it's important and certainly more effective to tackle your eczema at its root. I started sleeping earlier (From 2pm to 12pm and now, 11.30pm.), cut down on fried and heaty food and drink a lot of green tea. Alrighty, thanks so much for reading and I really hope I helped in some way.


Monday, April 8, 2013

REVIEW: Nivea's Body UV Whitening Serum SPF25 PA++

Ever since I received Nivea's Body UV Whitening Serum SPF25 PA++ from Elfaine (Thanks, dear!), I have been using it religiously (I'm into my 4th week!). Every night, I would slather this on my arms and legs and I wasn't expecting a lot from it. But boy, did I underestimate Nivea!

(How could I?!? I mean, sheesh. Kate Middleton uses Nivea, for pete's sake! *rolls eyes*)

Before I go into the review, let's take a look at the latest Nivea baby. (:

Nivea's Body UV Whitening Serum SPF25 PA++ is a tube of innovation that provides a 14-day intensive whitening treatment for our body. The innovation makes the serum lightweight and allows it to penetrate into our skin quickly. Packed with ingredients like natural Vitamin C from Camu Camu and 95% Pure Vitamin C, the serum helps to repair and restore skin that is both dull and damaged, so that we can have skin as fair as Snow White!

Mmhmmm... Snow White. Pretty ambitious of Nivea... NOT! Keep reading! :D

The product is housed in an opaque white 200ml tube, so you don't have to worry about the Vitamin C decomposing upon exposure to sunlight. I like that it's a squeeze tube so we don't run the risk of contaminating the rest of the product at any time. Its scent is light and fresh and it doesn't linger for long.

I wouldn't exactly call the product a serum; it's more of a very watery moisturizer. Just as what Nivea said, the product sinks into the skin easily and quickly. It's almost like you didn't apply anything. During my first week of usage, I noticed that my skin was kept hydrated throughout the day even though I only applied it at night. In my second week, I realized that my skin looked brighter and clearer, especially on my arms. But I have been so busy that I didn't think much of it until I looked through my photos.

photos from here and here.

These shots were taken in late March. Look at the arms. :\

photo from here and here.

And this was taken last week! The ombré effect on my arms is still there but it isn't THAT obvious anymore! I'm so happy!!! Not that it mattered very much in the first place. Just that it didn't look very nice in photos... :\ But yay, thank you Nivea and Elfaine for this!!! My legs are also looking pretty even-toned! And guess what? I bought my 2nd tube from Watsons yesterday. :D

Oh, I am currently using this on my eczema scars and haven't encountered any irritations. And yes, they have lightened too. (: I'm gonna start 'focusing' on my elbows now (I usually skip them because... I don't know. Does anyone bother with their elbows?!?)!

Anyway, just a heads up! Nivea will be conducting a giveaway soon so do like their Facebook page here for the latest updates! :D

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