Thursday, March 31, 2011

Review: Laneige White Plus Renew

I got this free trial set 2 weeks ago when I purchased the Laneige Spring Makeup Collection Fresh Modernist, because I spent more than SGD150 at the counter.

Trial set includes: White Plus Renew Skin Refiner, Emulsion, Night Cream, Eye Serum (Night Care) and Essence

I have not used Laneige Skincare since I was in University, so I was really looking forward to trying out the set, especially since my skin is now better than those days, and see what Laneige can do for my skin now.

The really nice SA (who probably wanted me to buy more hahaha) gave me samples of the White Plus Renew Eye Protector (Day Care) SPF12 PA+ and the Daily Protection Cream SPF36 PA++ to try as these are not in the trial set.

Like all whitening/ brightening products out there, this range claims to reduce darkening or dullness, and put radiance back into the skin.

Here I include the descriptions of the products from the pamphlet, as well as some of my comments about the products after using them for 2 weeks now.

1. "Whitening Boosting Skin for Bright & Clear Skin" - WHITE PLUS RENEW SKIN REFINER - "The Amino acid peeler removes impurities and dead skin cells and the Swiss White Lupin prevents loss of moisture giving you clearer, more supple skin."

My comments: It's transparent, and texture is a little thicker than normal toner. Not the watery but more like essence kind of texture. I don't feel any special effects after using it, but I think this is a nice toner as my skin feels moisturised after application. If I am going to buy the actual size of the whole range, I will probably buy this as well. I apply this with cotton pad, after cleansing.

2. "Instantly Supply the Whitening Moisture Barrier" - WHITE PLUS RENEW EMULSION - "Watermelon extract replenishes moisture to weary skin. Non sticky, fresh texture softens and calms skin."

My comments: This is my favorite of the range. I think this is something like the SK-II Cellumination Mask-in Lotion that I blogged about earlier on, a lotion that helps the skin absorb the benefits of the skincare products applied after it better. The texture is like a normal emulsion, a semi-creamy milky lotion. It is hard to describe why I like it. It's like my skin feels good after application, somewhat calmed, just like the description in the pamphlet. It is also non sticky indeed, and doesn't feel greasy at all on the skin. Skin feels more supple and moisturised. I apply this with cotton pad, after the Skin Refiner.

3. "Highly-Efficient Whitening Essence for Bright and Clear Skin" - WHITE PLUS RENEW ESSENCE - "Grapefruit peel extracts remove impurities while marshmallow extracts restore elasticity making the skin smooth and clean.

My comments: I think that this is a decent whitening essence. It doesn't give me that "WOW my skin is radiant instantly!" feeling, but I think the benefits show over time. After two weeks, my skin is still clear and not dull. The texture is a little thicker than emulsion.

4. "Brightening Eye Care against UV Rays" - WHITE PLUS RENEW EYE PROTECTOR SPF12 PA+ - "An eye brightener for daytime use with sweet almond extracts to form a moisture barrier on the skin and Snow Crystal Pearls to correct dullness."

My comments: I didn't like it at first, as the texture is very thick and felt greasy for the eye area. However, after using it for 2 days, I began to like it, as it actually absorbed quite quickly into the skin and brightened my eye area, thanks to the Snow Crystal Pearls. The Snow Crystal Pearls gives eyes a subtle sparkle; Laneige must have added something into the eye cream that gives a subtle reddish pink brightening effect. It also contains SPF12 PA+! Something I appreciate as I start to see fine lines at my eye area =(

5. "Whitening, Moistuising and Sun-Protection at Once!" - WHITE PLUS RENEW DAILY PROTECTION CREAM SPF36 PA++ - "Bead Tree extracts and Silymarin prevent skin darkening and restores the brightness of skin. SPF 36 PA++ protects skin from harmful UV rays during daytime."

My comments: This is the one thing in the range I might not purchase the full size, mainly because I really don't like the idea of SPF in my moisturiser! As I always use a sun protector after moisturiser, I really don't need SPF in my morning cream. The SPF properties make the cream too greasy for my liking.

6. "Eye Serum and Apple Zone Mask for Special Eye Care" - WHITE PLUS RENEW EYE TREATMENT - "A special Apple-Zone care product consisting of whitening Eye Serum and whitening booster Apple Zone Mask. Restores resilience and vitality of your eye area overnight (Eye Serum + Apple Zone Mask)"

My comments: I only have the Eye Serum. I think there is nothing that special about this eye serum. I don't see much difference to my eye area after using it for 2 weeks. However, it does a good job keeping my eye area moisturised, so I might consider buying the full size if it is not too expensive.

7. "The Secret of Skin Brightening through The Night" - WHITE PLUS RENEW NIGHT CREAM - "White birth extract restores clarity for dry skin overnight. Gently massage on face and neck using simple strokes for better results."

My comments: I was quite sure I wasn't going to like this when I used it for the first time as the cream is really rich and quite greasy. However, now I am pretty certain this is the cream that is keeping my skin soft and smooth. That is because each time after I apply it, my skin has this clear and translucent look which stays till the next morning. One way I combat the greasiness is to really massage the cream in - no laziness allowed! =D

Overall (4/5):
I am pleasantly surprised by this range as I didn't have very high expectations of it. I don't think any of the individual products shine by themselves, but when used together the effect is really good. Only 1 pimple in 2 weeks! Now, that is something (for me). I used to think I am too old for Laneige products already, but how wrong I am! I might consider buying the whole range (except the day cream perhaps), as I don't like using products from different brands in my skincare regime. Laneige used to my favorite brand during University times and I think I am falling in love with it all over again.

However, this is not going to happen anytime soon as I still have my SK-II on my dressing table, and the super luxurious Shiseido Future Solution range waiting for me in my shelf (splurged on in Hong Kong last year)...

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

*Limited Edition* Mika Ninagawa for Shu Uemura:UV under base mousse SPF30 PA+++ (Updated!)

I love Shu Uemura limited edition products, as the packaing is always so pretty! After hearing very good things about this mousse makeup base, I thought that maybe I should finally try it, especially because the packaging is LE now =)

65g, SGD78

This time round the base comes in 3 different packaings. The one I got is a new formula that has an even lighter texture than the original, therefore lighter coverage. The SA told me that the original formula has better coverage. As this is just a base, I thought the lighter the better, so I went with the new formula in beige. The lighter version also come in pink, which is supposed to make skin appear fairer and more radiant. I have two many pink bases, so beige was the clear choice!

*NOTE* I have just been informed by a reader that this is NOT a lighter version of the original. I am going to check it out and update =D

*UPDATE* So I just checked and discovered that the dear reader was right and I am wrong. Indeed, the beige and pink version are the normal formula, only with limited edition packaging! The new thing is the the BB cream in mousse form, the one with the darker blue packaing =) Now, BB cream in mousse sounds exciting... I feel like trying! No wonder it was sold out at the Takashimaya counter on the 2nd day of launch when I went there!

So what is special about this UV under base? Yes, it is a mousse base! I had fun squeezing the mousse out =)

This is the description of the original formula on the Shu website:

"Latest technology introduces UV under base mousse SPF30 PA+++ with 20 times lighter texture, to achieve “pore-less” complexion with exquisite coverage for long-lasting flawless beauty. Lighter in weight compared to liquid or cream type make-up base."

I think the idea of a mousse base is really innovative. And I liked the process of spreading it on my face as it feels "new". However, once again I feel a little disappointed because I don't think my foundation applied easier/ lasted longer, compared to other bases that I own like Jill Stuart and Chanel. It might be the way I used the product. Maybe I got it wrong? After applying the mousse all over my face, I let the product settle for 5 minutes or so before applying my foundation.

Left: AFTER, right: BEFORE

However, the base definitely evened out my uneven skin tone, as you can see from the photo above. After applying the base, my skin does look more translucent and skin tone much better.

I really wanted to like this base more, not only because it's SGD78, but also because it is so raved about! I don't think that it is a bad product at all, but I guess I was just hoping for a break through, a base that will make my foundation appear really smooth and silky, last longer, and controls oil better? Maybe I am too demanding and there isn't a product out there that does all that I want =D

Why you should buy this:

1. Limited Edition!!

2. Covers pores and evens out skin tone

3. Fun to use

Why you should think again:

1. Product is expensive - you can get other products with similar results at a cheaper price

Well, although I think there is only one reason why I would not buy this product again, I think it's a reason really important for me. What do you think?

Friday, March 25, 2011

*Updated* Etude House VIP girl Dear darling lips & Miss Tangerine VIP girl Dear darling lips

I got a little frustrated while taking photos for this post -- My HTC Desire HD just REFUSED to capture the colors of the lipsticks accurately. I mean, yes, I love my photos to turn out vibrant, but not when I am doing lipstick swatches...

So anyway, for this post, I had to manipulate the images a lot in order to capture the color of the lipsticks in the most accurate way, so the packaging of the lipsticks become a little dull. Yes I have tried my best =) and I think the colors of the lipsticks are pretty much accurately portrayed here, especially the last photograph.

Left: VIP girl Dear darling lips OR206. Right: Miss Tangerine VIP girl Dear darling lips OR205, SGD21.90 each

The packaging of these lipsticks is as bright as these in real life.

Miss Tangerine OR205 (NEW SHADE!)

When I tested this color at the back of my hand, it looks quite bright. The SA told me that this is a nude orange, and appears less bright on the lips. I have no idea how orange lipstick can appear nude =) Whatever it is, I call this milky orange. I can't explain what I mean by milky... it's like, the color is bright, but more to cool than warm... it's like the kind of color you get when you mix normal orange with white.

VIP girl Dear darling lips OR206

Why is this an OR color? It really looks pink to me! Ok, I am calling this milky pink. Pink mixed with white...

*Update* After using this yesterday, I realise that this is really quite a bright color! Maybe I will call it strawberry pink now...

Left: OR206. Right: OR205

For some strange reason, the Miss Tangerine feels less moisturising on the lips, while the OR206 (the normal range) seems really creamy. They are both from the VIP girls range, so by right the texture should feel the same. Both colors cover my the natural lip color well, and are to the intense side.

I never get disappointed by Etude House lipcolors!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Laneige 2011 Spring Makeup Collection - Fresh Modernist

I was only buying Fancl's Calorie Limit when I walked into Isetan - or so I thought, before I passed by the Laneige counter.

Laneige's 2011 Spring Collection 'Fresh Modernist' gives the Mod look, not only romantic, but also brings out the freshness of Spring.

As a fan of Song Hye Kyo (partly because of my fascination with Hyun Bin's role in Secret Garden), I have always thought Miss Song to be a real beauty. I usually can't resist testing out makeup endorsed by her.

Interesting packaging: the patterns on the compacts change when you look at them from different angles

Fresh Modernist Blusher, SGD49

Lavender, orange, beige

The lavender seems matte to me, whereas the other 2 colors are slightly shimmery. Slightly. The texture is not exactly silky, but the color payoff is decent. The texture reminds me of Coffret D'or Beauty Sharp Designer. I think the colors are not meant to be loud, but subtle. I tried mixing the 3 colors together, and the effect was a soft shimmery peach, most similar to the middle color in the picture above. I haven't tried this yet, but I have a feeling I am going to love it. The colors are just so like Korean makeup!

Fresh Modernist Shadow, SGD49

Orange, Pink, Green, Black

All colors are shimmery, almost frosty. Color payoff is excellent! Much better than the Mystic Veil Collection. All the colors look very good together - a new tutorial idea!! This is my first Laneige eyeshadow purchase. I hope the lasting power will be good.

Left to right: Snow Crystal Lipstick in YR28 Modernist Peach, Fresh Modernist Lipgloss in LR07 Modernist coral

I actually forgot to take close up photos of the 2 lipcolors. I hope you are able to see them clearly in the 2nd pic of this post.

The Snow Crystal Lipstick has a very moisturisng formula and the color is quite intense and able to cover natural lipcolor pretty well. Although its name is 'Modernist peach', I actually find it quite pink! It's a lovely color, that is very suitable for fresh spring looks.

The Fresh Modernist Lipgloss has a thick formula, and has 3 soft colors combined in 1 tube. To be honest, although it has '3 colors', to me, it's only 1, because the 3 colors will mix eventually. I didn't try to test the 3 colors separately, as I think it's rather impossible, so I just swiped whatever gloss that was on the applicator as I pulled it out. The color when applied on my lips looks like natural nude pink, though on the back of my hand it looks quite bright.

These are the 3 recommended looks found in the pamphlet:

Pattern 1: Smooth and Romantic Makeup

Pattern 2: Glamorously Vibrant and Sensual Makeup

Pattern 3: Sophisticated and Delicate Spring Makeup

I think I am going to try all 3 patterns.

This collection is a definite must-have for those who love pastel colors =)

Review: O.P.I Nail Envy Natural Nail Strengthener for Soft Thin Nails

O.P.I Nail Envy Natural Nail Strengthener for Soft Thin Nails, SGD42

This is a treatment top + boat coat. I have used other "branded" top coats like Poshe, Seche Vite and Nubar Diamont before, and I think the O.P.I wins without a doubt.

First of all, the O.P.I is a treatment base, as well as top coat.... so that's $$$ saved. Secondly, the O.P.I has the thinnest formula comparatively, which makes any DIY manicure look more professional, less thick. Thirdly, the shine of the polish as a top coat is the most lasting. Usually, my manicure "top-coated" with Poshe or Seche Vite will look dull on the second day. Nubar Diamont was slightly better. But for me, the O.P.I one will look fresh for at least 4 days. I am not sure about the anti-chip ability though, as almost ALL polish chip on me on the 2nd day, if not the 3rd. Lastly, this treatment polish has improved the condition of my nails. Although they are still discolored, relatively thin and translucent (eekkks!), they are no longer peeling.

Good shiny finish

Please forgive the horrible look of my nails. My poor nails have been tortured and ill treated by me for many many years ^^"

So, I really recommend this... if you don't mind pricy nail polishes...

Friday, March 18, 2011

Results: Jill Stuart Post Valentine's Day Giveaway WINNER!!

ELLE []: you are the winner!
I will be sending out an email shortly =)

For those who are interested how I drew the winner...
I used an online device, Random.Org to compile all the entries, according to the number of chances, and the order of comment posting. So, for example, the first follower who posted a comment will be entered first to the randomiser, then if the follower tweeted my giveaway post, I will enter her name 2 more times into the system.

After entering all the names into the randomiser, I will click the button to randomise the list. The first person on the list will be the winner!

I put a screenshot of the draw here. Hope the pic is clear =)

Thank you for supporting my blog!

FOTD: Egg in the Basket

It just suddenly came to me last night - I wanted to eat the egg toast V made for Evey, in one of my favorite movies of all time: V for Vendetta.

So, Paws (my husband) and I did a little bit of research on youtube and found many videos showing us how to do it. I didn't know it is called "egg in the basket" at first! I have no idea why it's called that; the only logical reason I can think of is that there is egg in the centre of the toast (basket) ^^"

When I bit into the toast, the first thought that came to my mind was -- crispy and fragrant! I didn't add any salt to the egg so the taste of the toast came purely from the butter and egg! I love the taste of butter on bread =) The egg was slightly runny, bread crispy, butter fragrant -- so the end result was simply orgasmic!! I can imagine eating this for breakfast for a week. No kidding!

Without further ado, let's get down to the method of making it!!!

1) 1 slice of bread, preferably white
2) 1 egg
3) butter (no margarine)

How difficult can this be? =)

Use a glass to cut out a hole in the centre of the bread.

Spread butter generously on both sides of the bread.

Put the bread on a heated pan.

Crack an egg in the hole.

Flip sides once you can move the bread/ when you see the egg is almost cooked.


It's easy to make and simply delicious! Try it =D

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Review: Chanel UV Essentiel Multi-Protection Daily Care SPF50/PA+++

30ml, SGD73

After reading lots of positive reviews from Makeup Alley, I decided to give this expensive sunblock a try, though I really have been using drugstore sunblock for a very long time, like my favorite from Kanebo.

I like the elegant, simple packaging of this Chanel UV protector. Though its just white and rectangular, you can tell that it's expensive stuff (I have no idea why my HTC Desire HD camera pics turned all blurry here).

This sunblock has a noticeable floral scent, typical in Chanel skincare (I must say I bought it partly because I was attracted to the scent). The texture is neither thick nor runny. When spread on face, it is slightly whitish; but when I let the stuff settle into my skin, I don't see the color anymore, though it does leave behind a slightly sticky feeling like most sunblocks do. I think it can be used as a sunblock + primer, as the chinese description says "多重防晒隔离乳", where the last 3 words means "primer". This is not really stated in the English description though.

I do not see any special improvement in my skin after using this for a week, and I do find foundation application slightly more difficult as it is "stickier" then the Kanebo one I was used to. Foundation is kind of harder to spread on face evenly, but not really so difficult that it becomes a problem.

I have mixed feelings for this product. Though I like the feeling of spreading it on my face because it feels like a nicely scented moisturiser, I find the price of it too high for me to repurchase.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Indian Style Sandals

After swearing to myself that I shall not buy footwear for sometime, I came across this lovely pair of Indian style sandals...

It is beautiful and stylish, and I can match it with dresses, shorts, jeans. Its base color is grey, so it will be easy to match clothing.

However, I must say that it was WAY TOO EXPENSIVE. Made of PVC, priced SGD59.90 at this shoe shop, Surrealism. Usually, I don't buy footwear from them, because their shoes are usually (in my opinion) overpriced. Most of the time, I just need to pay $10 more and get a pair of leather ones from Pazzion.

I just couldn't help it this time.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Majolica Majorca Pressed Pore Cover 2011 Limited Edition

A quick post before I start doing more work at home after work...

Majolica Majorca Pressed Pore Cover 2011 Limited Edition, SGD33.90

This is a finishing powder after power/liquid/mousse/cream foundation. It was launched together with the Sugary Trap Collection, which you can see swatches and read how I feel about that collection here and also a related makeup tutorial here .

This is the product description on the pamplet:

"Cover pores and leaves skin smooth and fluffy soft like candy, comes with a limited edition case. Cover pores and imperfections in just one application."

Indeed, the powder gives a transparent finish and is very fine milled. Although the compact powder color looks very light, but the finishing is actually transparent, so even girls with darker skin tone can use it. When you finish using the powder, you can just purchase the refill (can't remember price though).

Why you should buy this:

1) Limited edition casing! Very pretty... I much prefer the green to the original casing which is black.

2) Provides a very smooth finish, and really seems to cover pores well

3) Very light texture, which allows layering, without making the face appear whiter and whiter

4) Good for touch ups

Why you might want to think again:

1) Oil control power is average. Shine on my T-tone after 1.5 hour of application.

2) Almost nil coverage (can't cover pimples and stuff)

I applied it thickly for photo above, so you can see the color is slightly whitish. It is almost transparent if you apply the right amount over face.

I might consider buying the refill after finishing the first one. I must test it further to see whether I like it enough...