Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Honoring your emotions...

Friday, December 12, 2014

Empties: October 2014

2 months late! Keeping it short and just highlighting my repurchases at the bottom:

Products repurchased: Clarins Extra-Comfort Toning Lotion, Multi-Active Day Cream-Gel Moisturizer, Instant Smooth Line Correcting Concentrate, Body Lift Cellulite Control and Schwarzkopf Extra Care Q10 Recharge Hair Mask.

Full/travel sizes: 22
Sachets: 17

Total January - October: 125

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Skincare: La Mer

A La Mer kinda weekend...

The Treatment Lotion
The Regenrating Serum
The Radiant Serum
The Eye Concentrate
The Moisturizing Lotion
The Moisturizing Gel Cream
Creme de La Mer

Still in the process of clearing out travel/sample sizes. I usually introduce products into my regime one by one, that way I can pinpoint any specific product which might cause skin irritation. 

However, La Mer's skincare was developed to treat burn marks, so I reasoned it should be okay for sensitive skin even if used all together. 

Will report back if my skin experiences drastic improvement. 

Wednesday, November 12, 2014


A Disney classic but so so good, truly enchanted by her voice here...

Lane Del Rey- Once Upon A Dream

"I know you, 
I walked with you once upon a dream
I know you, 
that look in your eyes is so familiar a gleam
And I know it's true,
that visions are seldom all they seem..
But if I know you, I know what you'll do
You'll love me at once, 
the way you did once upon a dream..."

I love movies which tell the other side of a classic story, it is no surprise that I enjoyed Maleficent and Wicked.

Shows a different perspective from what we've come to know and understand.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Baby Hillary's fullmoon celebration!

One of my dearest friends recently gave birth, and just last weekend there was a party to celebrate the new addition to their family.

Congratulations to the new parents, especially to the beautiful mama who looks positively radiant! Not many words to share here, but it was an afternoon filled with laughter, photo ops and plenty of sweet treats spread on a sparkly, unicorn-themed decor.

Dearest Baby Hillary, 

May you grow up healthy, happy and always surrounded with love and joy!


Thursday, October 30, 2014

Empties: September 2014

My empties posts are have been a little repetitive in the past months, as I have been sticking to a range of products which work for my skin type. I will probably cease writing them in 2015, instead focusing more on new additions to my beauty line-up. 

My beauty stash is considerably smaller compared to a few years back, and I've also learnt to read labels and be more conscious of the products I purchase as well. No more hoarding body lotions and buying 101 eye shadows or cleansers. I'm glad that I challenged myself to take on this monthly project as it really forced me to reassess what I needed and actually used.

I read somewhere that clay masks are all the same, the expensives ones do not differ much from drugstore brands, and after trying a number I think I am ready to agree. REN Invisible Pores Detox Mask worked the same for me as the other clay masks I've used. The only difference is, you are encouraged to gently rub off the mask (once dry) to exfoliate the skin. The CLARINS Extra-Comfort Cleansing Cream is one which I reach for when my skin is irritated, it soothes my skin while removing my makeup well. I only use this once in a few months which is why it lasted for so long (there's a new formula & packaging out already). 

The sukin Foaming Facial Cleanser which has been review many times. I always make sure to have at least 1 bottle backed-up. My final bottle of the Melvita Eau florale de Rose, and the CHANEL Le Blanc Serum which I used on my arms (too scented to go on my face, not ready to risk another round of breakouts). It has a nice scent and absorbs well, but brightening isn't one of my skin concerns. The La Mer Eye Balm Intense is a light eye cream, I do enjoy the La Mer signature scent and though this was nice and light, I have found similarly performing eye creams at a fraction of the price. The Lucas Papaw Ointment is a multi-purpose paste, I used it as a lip mask, as well as on dry elbows.

I've used the L'Occitane Volumizing Shampoo & Conditioner before and though I do like the scent, I've found a replacement for them which is less pricey and performs just as well. A staple in my bathroom is the CLARINS Tonic Bath & Shower Concentrate, I am going through all my travel sizes but I do have full-sizes backed-up. I just love the scent!

The Sephora Caramel shower gel was a nice warm scent, but I still much prefer the Laura Mercier Creme Brulee Bath Creme. I am also a hair mask addict, I usually use them in replacement of a conditioner. The Schwarzkopf Hydro Collagen Intensive Mask is a very light gel-ish mask which didn't weigh my hair down. It was okay, nothing special, the one with Liquid Keratin is much better.

My body lotion for the month was Sophie Monk x Little Twin Stars, which has a green apple scent. Absorbs fast but wasn't particularly moisturizing. Lastly, is the Smoothing Body Scrub which is from a redemption, I'm not too fussed with body scrubs as long as they don't hurt. It comes out in a pink paste and has the classic Clarins scent.

Total January - September: 103

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

SHISEIDO: Ultimune Power Infusing Concentrate

Been so long since I've used anything from Shiseido! The last time was when I was still a teen and I remember persuading (hounding relentlessly more like it) my mother to get me the 3-piece kit from their Pureness range (probably lured in by the box set which none of the other brands had).

Yes, that is I floating in the reflection LOL
Almost every Asian skincare brand has a "pre-serum", here's an excerpt of what the Shiseido Ultimune Power Infusing Concentrate is:

"The ultimate concentrate for enhancing skin's inherent multi-defensive power against signs of aging, environmental factors and daily stress. 
Day by day, your skin becomes smoother and more resilient making wrinkles less noticeable and your complexion appears to glow with more radiance than ever. 
Ultimune Power Infusing Concentrate is for all women of all ages. It works with your skincare to boost the benefits of your regimen, no matter your concerns.
Shiseido's exclusive Ultimune Complex helps boost defensive functions that have declined in Langerhans Cells, the cells that hold the key to promoting skin's multi-defensive power. 

In one week, skin appears to glow more than ever.

In 4 weeks: firmness and resilience are improved, making wrinkles less visible.
Apply morning and night after cleansing and softening the face. 

When using other serums, apply Ultimune first to enhance the benefits of the following treatments."

image source: Angelic Betrayal

The ingredient list doesn't look very promising for sensitive skin users (alcohol is second on the list!) but I was assured it would be okay. Tested it out for a week, applied 3 pumps religiously day and night. It absorbs fairly well and my face was left smooth but not in a silicone-y way. The floral scent is detectable but in no way overwhelming.

image source: Ashley Yeen

Mighty claims and though it didn't break me out or encourage oiliness, my skin didn't look quite changed. Somehow it was plump-ed up but my BB cream didn't look as smooth on. I did not experience any irritation with this product. The glass packaging is lovely on the counter but butter-fingers should beware. It has slipped my toner-wet-fingers at least once in the past week.

A summary of the "pre-serum"s that I've used:
SK-II Facial treatment Lotion: My face started breaking out on the second bottle, and the scent took a while to get used to.

Sulwhasoo First Care Activating Serum: My favourite of the lot, has a herbal scent but I like it, also absorbs very well. My skin liked this the best!

Clarins Daily Energizer Wake-Up Booster: Discontinued in Asia but I still have a bottle left. The scent is refreshing (orange?) and very light as well. It says to use before toner but I use it after.

Next on the list are: La Mer Treatment Lotion as well as the Estee Lauder Micro Essence.

If you've tried the above but haven't found a suitable pre-serum, this could be the product for you.

Shiseido Ultimune Power Infusing Concentrate is priced at RM255//30ml and RM355//50ml.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Nike Women's Dunk Sky Hi

LOVE!!!!! These Nike Women's Dunk Sky Hi are the perfect walking/travelling shoes.. great for all the travels I will be going on next year! 
image source: Baby Shoes 1
image source: Baby Shoes 1
Nike Dunk Sky Hi Black mesh high wedge sneakers canidce swanepoel all black fashion blogger inspo inspiration sporty sportsluxe
image source: Red Reiding Hood

Got the Black ones from Zalora, when I paid all sizes were available however when I checked today, they seem to be out of a few sizes already!! I am still contemplating the Grey ones.. not sure if I would get much wear out of them though. I did buy half a size bigger as recommended by most of the users online (always research the item you're buying!).

Quick links to purchase: Black or Grey, which looks more like a light washed-out Blue to me.
Use code: ZBAPT19 for 15% off your order (only applicable for new users!)

Their customer service I dare say is one of the best, last year they managed to add on a note to my surprise present which had already shipped. They could have easily said "Sorry, your item has already shipped." but no, the team really put in an effort to materialize my request. So happy that they could accomodate else the recipient would have no idea what it was for. 

Returns are also very easy, and you usually get the store credit reflected within a day or two. I do most of my shopping online these days and Zalora is one of the sites I bookmark for their wide range of beauty and fashion items.

Like I mentioned, stocks are running out fast so if you like em act fast!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Empties: August 2014

Getting on track with my empties posts! Lotsa travel and sample sizes last month..

Lately I've been going through all my travel sizes and the CLARINS One-Step Gentle Exfoliating Cleanser is one of them. It's a 2-in-1, with little grains that are gentle enough for daily use. I used it at night after my oil cleanser. It has a nice orange scent but I still prefer using a separate scrub, The Melvita Rose Floral Water is a nice face mist as well, reviewed previously. One of my favourite cleansing oils is the CLARINS Total Cleansing Oil, I've gone through a few bottles as well. I'm always on the look for cleansing oils to try. Any suggestions?

CLARINS Body Shaping Cream is something I'm trying to use regularly, the texture is light and I like the scent but I'm not too sure if it really works. For body care, I went through the CLARINS Moisturizing Body Lotion which was a bit light for my liking, as well as the Tonic Bath & Shower Concentrate (of which I have made a permanent feature in my bathroom). Love the scent!

The CHANEL CC Cream has quite a good coverage and dries quickly, but the colour didn't quite match my skintone and looked too matte for my liking. I much prefer their BB cream, the colour and texture suits me better. Samples of the CLARINS Multi-Active Day and Night creams which I am using full-sizes. I wouldn't recommend the La Mer Moisturizing cream to those with easily congested skin, this formula was rather thick so I used it on my hands instead. There is also a cream-gel available which might suit my skintype better.

Sachets! Got round to using the Sophie Monk x Little Twin Stars masks I bought last year (no, not expired yet). They come in a 2 pack to be used 2 days in a row, each mask comes with a serum sachet to be applied after. The first is a hydrating mask (blue) and the next day you follow up with the brightening mask (pink). Unfortunately my face broke out in itchy red little bumps on the 3rd day, I can't be 100% sure that this mask triggered it but I would be wary of trying "cute" masks in the future (I never seem to learn my lesson!). 

Had these Aesop Sage Scalp Cleansing Shampoo and Rose Hair & Scalp Moisturizing Masque sachets, both were nice and I've purchased the Mask before (a wee bit on the pricey end) but these days I am more thrifty with hair products. 

Guerlain L'Or Radiance Concentrate, loved it but not so much anymore. A luxury, not a necessity in my stash. Bobbi Brown Shimmer Wash Eye Shadow in Beige, the only pot of eye shadow I've ever finished! I use this as a base mostly and have already repurchased a second.

Avon Colour Trend Twinkle Twinkle Cream Eye Colour in Moonbeam, I bought this many many years ago to highlight the inner corners of my eyes, haven't touched it in years so it goes in the bin. Another makeup product which has hit the pan is the Yves Saint Laurent Blush Radiance, will continue to use this until its crumbly but I had to take a photo while the colours were still visible.

Total January - August: 89

Sunday, September 21, 2014


Loved it from the first time I heard it on Donnie Darko...

Gary Jules & Michael Andrews- Mad World

"I find it hard to tell you,
I find it hard to take
When people run in circles it's a very, very
Mad world, mad world... "

Somewhat sad but more in a comforting rather than depressing way.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Empties: July 2014

So late with Empties posts, but I will find the time to publish them all! Finished up another bottle of Clarins Lotus Face Oil, I had 2 bottles accidentally open which is why this product appeared last month as well. One bottle lasts me around 2-3 months.

The Sulwhasoo Gentle Cleansing Oil is a new oil cleanser I picked up, I've tried most of the cleansing oils in the market and not all are the same. This has their signature herbal scent which I quite enjoy, and even when used on my eye area, it did not sting or irritate them. I really like this and might consider repurchasing it!

The Clarins Multi-Active Serum has been my staple serum for quite some time now, I am very keen to try the Double Serum (despite it containing mineral oil, ALL my friends and family have had good results with it). However my skin has been very clear and I'm quite hesitant to throw it into breakout mode again. Maybe I will after an upcoming major event (bridesmaid duties!).

I would definitely recommend the REN Clear Calm 3 Replenishing Gel Cream to those who suffer from combination and sensitive acne skin. It is very gentle and soothing to use and I use it under the Chanel La Nuit at night. If I am not mistaken this has replaced the Clear Calm 3 Serum.

Always a fan of rose face mists, the Aesop Immediate Moisture Facial Hydrosol is pricey and nice on the skin but I still prefer the sukin face mist, which is a third of the price and performs just as well. Might clean out the bottle and reuse it as the size is travel-friendly.

My second bottle of Melvita Facial Scrub, I have a thing for lightly herb-scented products.. I find them very relaxing to use. This scrub is one which leaves my skin smooth and soft but isn't harsh at all. You can feel the little bits but it doesn't hurt the skin. 

This diptyque L'Ombre Sans L'Eau Shower Gel smells just like the perfume however, the formula isn't hydrating at all. I find it leaves my body a little taut and the scent doesn't last very long either.

The Lavshuca lip gloss was a gift, it's a pretty colour and I like the heart tip. Throwing it out as it has been open for way too long. The My Melody lip balm was a gift from Japan, and is a colourless but strawberry scented wax formula. Coincidentally both the lip products were gifts from the same friend.

Total January - July: 72

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Chanel Polish: Rouge Allure Gloss Collection

Was shown these swatch sticks over the weekend, but even the SA had no idea which collection it will be from.

They haven't had their training done so she wasn't able to share any details, only that this collection will be launched after the Fall Collection États Poétiques. These Chanel nail polishes kinda remind me of previous ones- Cinema, Accessoire and a basic Beige-y tone.

635 Expression
639 Exception  
633 Intention   

They don't look unique from the swatches, might just pass on the whole collection. Anyone has any ideas which collection they may fall under?

edit: These polishes fall under the Rouge Allure Gloss Collection and will be launched in October. Thank you, Sara for tracking down the info!

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Empties: June 2014

Finished up another bottle of Clarins Lotus Face Oil, I really love this face oil! I've gone through so many bottles that I've actually lost count. This is one of the best products I have ever used on my (then) acne-prone, congested and sensitive skin. Love love love!

When I was younger I had really bad acne and tried the whole Proactiv range for about a year (saw it on late night tv and signed up after watching all the amazing results and testimonials lol). It was one of the worst things I did for my skin honestly, the formula was too drying for my face. It did clear up the small little yellowheads but it dried my skin out so bad and I was left with a tight face, and cystic acne instead. I received the Proactiv Deep Cleansing Wash as a gift and was a little apprehensive at first (I vowed not to use Proactiv ever again) but I'm glad I tried this! I started slow, once a week, then a few days and finally when my night cleanser (REN Clay Cleanser) ran out, I used it nightly. My skin is relatively clear, so I can't tell if it does help with acne, but they have definitely improved the formula as there is no tight feeling and my skin does feel smoother and clean.

I have been using the Clarins Total Cleansing Oil for quite some time now and I quite like it so I will continue to repurchase. It takes off my makeup very well and doesn't clog or irritate my skin.

The Melvita Organic Cornflower Floral Water came in handy for mornings when I get too lazy to properly tone with a cotton pad. It is supposed to be soothing and can be used on the eye area. Nice, but I prefer the Rose Water.

Lastly, is a Sohum Sugar Musk & Grenadine Body Cream which I was very reluctant to finish. There was a period when my room used to be scented the same as I was always burning a candle from the range. Brings back so many sweet memories. Aside from that, the formula is also lovely, like whipped butter but not at all greasy and leaves the skin so soft and supple. Might repurchase when I visit Melbourne!

And that's all for the month of June~

Total January - June: 63

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Travels: Singapore 2014

Was in Singapore a few months back, it was a short trip and we mostly ate, strolled along Orchard and spent a day at Universal Studios.

Every restaurant and cafe we ate at was excellent, would love to visit again just to have the same dishes.

KL's street food and local delicacies wins my vote but for cafe style food and breakfasts, Singapore takes the cake.

My 3rd visit to Universal Studios, this time with my sister and Mama...

Thursday, July 10, 2014

LUXE//LESS: Gel Eyeliners

Having tried quite a number of luxury and drugstore beauty products, I have come across products which are similar in function but cost much less. I know there's a saying "you get what you pay for" but sometimes a higher price tag doesn't equate to a better product (to me at least).

Was flipping through the magazine today and saw this feature:

Been meaning to write about these 2 products but kept putting it off! I used to be a big fan of Bobbi Brown Gel Liners (my go-to liner for 10 years!) but with their increasing prices over the years, I set out to find a replacement. Not to sound like a broken record, but I have sensitive eyes which tear easily and oily lids- meaning the formula has to be budge proof, pigmented, easy to apply AND gentle. 

Bobbi Brown ticks all the boxes for me however removing it can be tough without my trusty eye makeup remover. Currently using Clarins Instant Eye Makeup Remover and it removes even the most budge proof eye-makeup easily. 

One little tub lasts a long time, and I've never had it dry up on me though I've had friends who complain of this. You have to buy a separate brush and if I'm not mistaken it costs just as much as the liner.

The Maybelline Gel Liner was a random grab from the drugstore; I never expected it to perform so well! The black is a solid black, glides smoothly and does everything Bobbi Brown does, at a lower price. It even comes with a good quality brush which I have been using for months, even after multiple washes it is still soft yet firm.

I can't vouch for the "36-hour" claim, but it does stay put throughout the day and doesn't irritate my eyes.

My thoughts: I love them both as they are very similar- in terms of formula and packaging, but if I had to choose one.. I'd go with the Maybelline Lasting Drama Gel Liner. It comes with a brush, is a true black and is so affordable!

Hope you found my first LUXE//LESS post informative and I look forward to sharing more products under this tag.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Eating Out: Miam Miam @1 Utama

Good food, good service.. been twice and can't wait to go again!

Everything we tried was yummy; 
Souffle de Nuage- an airy, fluffy cloud of egg and light cheese atop fresh tomato sauteed rice
Riz Noir- a squid-ink rice with seafood and omu egg
Lobster Bisque Pasta- a soupy pasta served with tiger prawns
Iced Matcha Latte with Matcha Softee
Riz au Curry- baked rice with Japanese curry and sausages, broccoli and egg
French Toast- fluffy squares served with a delicious ball of cream and syrup, not too sweet 

Gonna be trying out another new place tomorrow, haven't been excited over Japanese cuisine for a while now!

Have a good weekend everyone, xoxox.