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 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!)


Friday, January 16, 2015

REVIEW: December's BlackBox

If you haven't already seen, I became a BlackBox influencer last December. Really appreciate the opportunity, so big thank you to Melle and Zoe for roping me in! :D

Now, what exactly is BlackBox?

There are so many brands and products coming out all the time, promising to do this and that. Beauty junkies like me will want to 'catch 'em all' but we often need to purchase them in full sizes, even when we aren't certain if they would work out for us. So here, is where BlackBox comes in! BlackBox offers samples of the latest brands and products, so that we can try them out first before making commitments of any sort. It is basically the quintessential lifestyle kit for you to get a taste of everything at pocket-friendly prices; $5.90 for 4 samples or $9.90 for 9 samples, which you can pick!

Here's what I received last month:

Tahpre's Everyday Mask
What it is: This 5-in-1 treatment silk mask is 100% essence base of aronia extract essence, antioxidants, anthocyanin, Vitamin B and Vitamin C. Formulated for everyday use, it helps to moisturize, whiten, maintain your skin's elasticity and replenish nutrients.

What I think: I'm always a little wary when using new skincare products, especially when it's from brands I have never heard of. I mean, I get excited and all but you know, I have only one face which is made compulsory by biology to show it to the world. Heh. I tried googling this brand and ummm, didn't find much. But I really like is that it's free from parabens, artifical preservatives, artificial dyes, artificial perfumes and mineral oils.

Anyway, it was with a lot of caution that I placed this mask on my face and I was constantly trying to feel for any stinging because I have sensitive skin. But it was so comfy that I only remembered I had it on when my Anime finished. Haha. When I took it off, my skin was hydrated and looked brighter and clearer, with a visible reduction in redness around my nose and my cheeks. I have only used this thrice, so I can't vouch for its long-term effects. BUT it does make a pretty good everyday mask!

Klarity's Lasertox CC Miracle White Lotion
What it is: This lotion helps to restore your natural beauty with diamond powder sans stickiness and oily shine. It also contains wild rosehip extract to help prolong your skin's youthfulness. It comes with a sunscreen factor of SPF30 PA++.

What I think: This lotion is highly raved by local beauty bloggers and I was quite eager to try it. It comes out white, so it will instantly brighten any complexion when you have it on. I have pretty fair skin, so it blends right in and doesn't look too jarring. It's works great as a base; lightweight, feels like a second skin and provides a smooth canvas for foundation to go on. I'm trying to use less makeup, so I use this alone with some concealer if need be. I haven't experienced any irritations but in Singapore's weather, I still apply some mattifying powder over it.

Avalon's NaturBeauty Skin Whitening
What it is: This packet contains little sachets that help to promote skin whitening and moisturize your skin from inside out in 28 days. Clinically proven, it helps reduce 85% of melanin production, blocks 67% of UV rays and provides up to 8X more water absorption capacity.

What I think: I have a sweet tooth, so this really makes my taste buds go into a frenzy! Unlike other supplements I have tried, this can actually be eaten straight from the convenient slim sachets. However, it's a little tough spotting effects from oral supplements for me because I'm not very regular with them. Also, even though I really like the taste, I think it can be a little too sweet for everyday consumption.

Ladrome's Purifying Herbal tea with Tangerine
What I think: Being a creature of habit, I rarely stray from green tea. So this was a refreshing change. Haha. I love the tangy tangerine (HAHA.) notes because it really perks you up. Works great as a way to start or end work!

Omical's Real Organic Calcium Tablets
What it is: This organic calcium helps promote strong and healthy bones and teeth in one small tablet.

What I think: I'm lactose-intolerant, so I don't drink milk very often. I do understand the importance of calcium because I live with my Gran. So yeah, it's great that I have these tablets as an alternative source of calcium and they are really convenient, especially when work gets busy (I take a couple of supplements every morning!)

Dr+Nu:ell's BB Cream SPF30 Triple Action (not pictured)
What it is: This B.B. cream contains polyglutamic acid from Korean natto beans to moisturize skin, radish root ferment filtrate to purify skin, arbutin for whitening and adenosine for anti-wrinkle effects. It leaves your skin supple, helathy and naturally radiant.

What I think: I received this separately from the rest, hence no photo. I was really looking forward to its arrival because... B.B. creams excite me? HAHA. I mean, there's something so 'alluring' about multi-functional products, no? #crazybeautyjunkiehere Okay, anyway, this comes out as a light beige, but it does darken after a while to match my skin tone. It dries to a matte finish and sits very light and comfortably on my skin. It hides redness but spots will probably need some help from a concealer. Also, you will still need a mattifying powder in our unforgiving weather!


And I'm finally done! I know I can get pretty long-winded. I mean, even when it comes to Math, my secondary school teacher told me I'm long-winded. Like whut, okay. Haha. Anyway, if you're going to purchase a BlackBox, key in BBXCJ10 for a 10% discount! :D Alrighty, TGIF!


Thursday, January 15, 2015

REVIEW: Trilogy's Mineral Radiance Mask and Blemish Control Gel

Last December, I received Trilogy's Mineral Radiance Mask and Blemish Control Gel from the kind people at Fusion Cosmetics. Thank you so much! This is a brand that I always see in Watsons and is prominently displayed in Beauty by Nature. I haven't bought it yet though, because I have an entire shelf worth of new products... BUT Trilogy will definitely be on my beauty radar from now on. Those two products you see up there, MAJOR LOVE.

Trilogy's Mineral Radiance Mask
What it is: A luxuriantly-textured, creamy clay mask formulated to deeply cleanse the skin, drawing out impurities and absorbing excess sebum. Revitalizing, energizing and purifying, this rich blend of botanicals leaves the skin soft, smooth and radiant. Ingredients include kaolin clay for deep cleansing and instant radiance, evening primrose oil and certified organic rosehip oils for nourishment and hydration, and native New Zealand pohutakawa and other carefully selected botanical extracts for their toning, soothing and regeneration properties.

What I think: I love this way too much! I have combination, sensitive skin (The recommended usage is once or twice a month for dry/ dehydrated skin and once a week for oily skin.) but sometimes, I use this like twice a week? Haha. After cleansing, I put on some toner and then, apply a thin layer all over my skin. I usually let it sit for about half an hour (The recommended duration is 5 - 10 minutes. I know, such a rebel. HAHA.) because I will be doing things. But it doesn't dry out my skin in the least bit! My skin always looks so clean and clear after each masking session, SO GOOD! It keeps blackheads and zits at bay and because it's so chock-full of bontanicals, it's really relaxing and calming!

Here's a tip from me: When washing the mask off, it can be a little difficult. After all, it has kaolin clay in it. What I do is to have some water in my palms and basically just rub in circular motions, so that the mask become a cleanser of some sort! It makes washing a whole lot easier. :D

Trilogy's Blemish Control Gel
What it is: This certified natural gel formulation is a powerful and concentrated treatment for zits. It contains salicylic acid to help clear congestion, lemongrass and mandarin for their antibacterial properties, cucumber to cool and soothe, ginger to help reduce inflammation and certified organic rosehip oil to help repair skin.

What I think: For on-the-spot treatment, I have tried a gazillion and I swear by these 3 products. I really don't stray from them and never ever bother to read, buy or pick any other in whatever beauty stores that I 'accidentally' find myself in. I just don't think I can find anything that's more effective than the golden 3. So imagine my surprise when this killed a burgeoning 'volcano' the other day! Said volcano was one of those spots that you know is going to be so darn painful, lasts like forever and there will be no white head to annihilate... But just a dab of this for one night, and it was reduced to 'Bukit Merah' (A small hill in Singapore. Heh.), TOO GOOD!

Will I repurchase these 2 when I empty them? Hell yeah!

Trilogy's Mineral Radiance Mask and Blemish Control Gel retail for $58 and $48 respectively and can be found in all Beauty by Nature outlets and selected John Little stores.


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Monday, January 12, 2015


It has been a pretty long while since I last checked in here. ごめんね!The last 2 weeks of December was spent cramming Japanese because I decided to take up classes again (My 4th and final attempt!). I'll probably be journalling it either here or over at my (very dead) Tumblr, so as to keep my interest going. Especially in the face of confusingly difficult grammar. がんばって!

Anyway, back to one of the 2 main focuses of this blog - fashion, shoes in particular. I'm not really a shoes person because I really like unblistered feet. Heh. But I still do look at shoes because they can be oh so pretty! Also, as we ladies are very aware of, shoes can make or break an outfit. One rich source of shoe-spiration which we can look to for advice is, of course, the very bold and experimental K-pop industry. And we are in luck because homegrown Mitju just started offering designs similar to what our K-pop princesses don on their feet.

Here are 5 different styles of chic shoes for ladies:

  1. Jessica's casual, ladylike look
    Former Girls Generation's Jessica goes for the sophisticated model-off-duty style with the tee-and-jeans combo, paired with a tweed jacket. Capped ballet flats are a classic and give off a girlish look. Here's a pair with a Chanel-ish quilted design from Mitju:

  2. Hyoyeon's sporty look
    There are so many days when we just want to be comfy, especially in Singapore's unforgivable weather. I love red shoes (Prolly because of Dorothy from 'The Wizard of Oz' film.) and I like how Hyoyeon matched her red striped top with red sneakers. Here's a red nautical pair from Mitju:

  3. Krystal edgy's look
    Unlike her sister Jessica who goes for a more mature and womanly look, f(x)'s youngest member, Krystal, opts for an edgier and darker style. She works a pair of brown loafers with printed skinny jeans and a dark grey jacket over a black T-shirt. Here's an unstated teal pair from Mitju:

  4. Victoria's sexy look
    The outgoing leader of f(x), Victoria, exudes strength and femininity in every outfit. She shows off her incredibly toned legs in a pair of black wedges. Here's a grey embellished pair from Mitju:

  5. Seohyun's menswear inspired look
    The youngest member of Girls Generation is usually seen in girlish dresses and skirts. However, she veers away from her usual style by opting for menswear-inspired pants and shoes. She still manages to keep things feminine with a bright red blouse and coat. Here's a sleek, stylish and still feminine pair from Mitju:

Which K-pop princess's style are you a fan of? And which Mitju designs do you like? :D

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