Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Beauty Swap #2

♫ The Script - Hall of Fame (ft will.i.am)

I did another beauty swap last month with the lovely Sara from Passing Fancy, and honestly, I was super touched and overwhelmed by the contents of the box she sent me! Just take a look at the photo below and you'll know what I mean.

Full of goodies! (Candy, chocolate, letter, individually wrapped items with little notes)
I am seriously amazed at the amount of items that was inside the box. The first thing I saw when I opened it was a letter from Sara. It's so rare to get handwritten letters/notes nowadays that it felt really awesome to open and read one. :D

Besides that, the thing that really got to me was the deliciously sweet scent that hit me when I unwrapped the parcel. At first, I thought the scent was from all the candies and chocolate that was inside the box...


...but turns out this was actually the source! :D A bar of super yummy-smelling soap from Lush! From its appearance, I think it's something like chocolate with chocolate chips? Hahaha! Anyway, it made the entire contents of the box smell amazing! This is my first time seeing/smelling Lush soap bars, so I'm really excited to try it out in the bath.

Lush soap bar! Smells absolutely divine.
All of the items were wrapped individually with little notes attached. It was really fun to read the notes and unwrap the surprise item, hehe~
The little notes for each item! :)
Now let's see what other goodies are in there. ;D

This is probably my favourite item from the swap! :) It's a Catrice Cosmetics nail polish in the shade "Genius In The Bottle", which is a very close dupe of the famous Chanel Peridot. Even in the bottle you can see the amazing colour shift. ♥

Bershka ear studs
This set of ear studs from Bershka are totally cute, and perfect for me! I'm trying to collect more ear studs, because they're more discreet and don't get tangled up in my hair like the dangly earrings, lol. My fave pair would be the keys. ^_^

Lip cream, lipstick and lip balm
I'd been dying to try out matte lip creams ever since I saw reviews of them on blogs, so I was really excited to see the Manhattan Soft Mat Lipcream that Sara got for me! There was also a Catrice Ultimate Shine lipstick and Balea Young Lippen Pflege Never Ending Story lip balm. (The name  reminds me of that movie I watched as a kid, haha!)

So far I've only tried the Manhattan Lipcream, and it's great! It's supposed to be as good as (or even better than) the NYX Lip Creams, and after the first try, I can safely say that it's as awesome as she described it! The colour is gorgeous and the scent is nice, like vanilla buttercream icing. :D

Blusher, pigment and holographic nail polish
I also received a Bourjois blush in "Rose", a pot of Essence pigments, and two holographic nail polishes. I have the maroon one (right side) on my nails at the moment, and it shows up as a holographic opaque dusty rose colour on the nails. I can't help staring at the pretty holo effect. XD

Nail files and mask
There were also a couple of cute nail files and a raspberry+vannila scented mask pack. :D

Catrice cream eyeshadow and Maybelline Color Tattoo
Last but not least, there were 2 cream eyeshadow pots! One is the Catrice Made To Stay Longlasting Eyeshadow while the other is a Maybelline Color Tattoo. Both are cream eyeshadows, and not available in Malaysia, so I was really happy to receive them. :) The Catrice one is supposed to be a dupe for Chanel's Apparence Illusion d'Ombre Eyeshadow, so I'm eager to try it out!

A bunch of heart-shaped glitter confetti inside the box. XD

Thank you so much, Sara, for sending me so many lovely items in our swap! (*≧▽≦) ♥ I love all the things you sent me, and I really hope you will like the items I sent you too!

P/S: That Duplo chocolate bar is so yummy! It's tastes so much better than Ferrero Rocher; I don't think I can eat another one without comparing it to Duplo now. (ToT)

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

WonderBox Malaysia - First Edition!

♫ 周杰伦 - 你好吗


Malaysia's first ever WonderBox finally arrived at my doorstep today! :D

WonderBox is one of the first monthly subscription beauty boxes in Malaysia. Basically, when you subscribe (for a minimal fee), you will receive a box filled with up to 5 samples of premium cosmetics and beauty products every month. It's a really good way to try out new products, and totally value for money! :)

Securely wrapped in bubble wrap
I absolutely love the simple yet classy black & white packaging!
Yup, I'm a total sucker for beautifully tied bows.
As you can see, the box was securely wrapped in bubble wrap so that it won't get damaged during shipping. The box itself is a lovely creamy white colour with embossed patterns on it, with the WonderBox logo in the middle. The black ribbon bow adds to the overall elegant packaging and makes it look like present. I loved it so much that I was quite reluctant to undo the ribbon bow, haha!





Once opened, the first thing you see is a welcome card with details of the items found inside the box, along with a discount card for The Body Shop and a brochure from Clinelle. For this first box, there are 3 full-sized products and 2 travel-size items.

Clinelle SnoWhite Mask (50ml - full size)
This rinse-off mask is used to strengthen the skin's barriers, restore and maintain optimal hydration while brightening dull and lacklustre complexions.

I seldom use masks, and have never tried rinse-off ones before. Perhaps I should give this a try, or let my friend (who loves masks) try this. :D

Clinelle Blemish Clear (15ml - full size)
The gel is used to speed up skin healing and tightens enlarged pores. It also helps to relieve skin pain, inflammation and clears acne in just 1-2 days.

I guess this could be worth a try when pimples/zits attack again. >__< I really hope that doesn't happen though.


Elianto Princezna Mascara (7g - full size)
Gives even sparse, fine lashes volume and length thanks to its unique Twist Brush for maximum coverage on each and every lash. Plus it's enriched with vitamin E and protein rich keratin for healthier lashes.

I am super fascinated by the 'twist brush' concept of this mascara, and can't wait to try it out. I really hope it's waterproof though.

The Body Shop Strawberry Bath Shower Gel (60ml - travel size)
A refreshing cleansing gel that lathers up in the bath or shower to leave your skin feeling clean, fresh and subtly scented.

I don't think this item needs any explanation. TBS shower gels are great and smell so nice, and lathers up nicely with use of a loofah. :)

Sothys HOMME Tri-Active Cleanser (15ml - trial size)
This cleanser has a fresh and light texture to soften and soothe sensitive skin. It also regenerates and repairs damaged skin.

This looks pretty awesome, and it's ideal for both men and women! :D You can definitely give this to the man in your life to try out, or try it yourself first and decide later. ;)

Overall, I'm pretty happy with this first WonderBox, as there are 3 full-sized items and 2 deluxe samples. However, I wish they'd include more cosmetics in the box. Maybe for the next box? *hint hint* If you like the look of this first edition and would like to subscribe for the next (November) box, please click on the image/link below to subscribe via my referral code! :D


Future boxes will include brands such as Inglot, Jurlique, O.P.I., SAMPAR, TheFaceShop, Office Makeup USA, and many more! So why wait? Subscribe now! :)

Monday, October 22, 2012

Review: SAMPAR Ultra Hydrating Fluid

♫ One Direction - What Makes You Beautiful

What makes you feel beautiful today? ;)

For me, the answer would be beautiful skin, and the best way for me to achieve that is by having a properly moisturized face! Having dry patches on your face is a big no-no, especially if you apply makeup foundation, as it highlights the cracks/patchiness on your face. (Eeeeks!)


I received a deluxe sample size of SAMPAR Ultra Hydating Fluid to review, and boy, am I glad I did! Read on to find out why. ;)

SAMPAR, Smart Skin in the City
"Awaken the sleeping beauty in every woman, uncovering and revealing her natural allure."

SAMPAR's products are enriched with the brand's exclusive complex, Urban Advance, as well as its “Smart Skin” and “Smart Ingredients” concept, which aims to “wake-up”and reactivate the skin’s vital functions. The result? An optimal outcome that is both effective and healing.


SAMPAR Ultra Hydrating Fluid is meant to be used just like any other moisturizer. Just squeeze out a pea-sized amount and spread it evenly onto your face, concentrating on the dry areas, after your usual cleansing routine both morning and evening.


The texture of the Ultra Hydrating Fluid is more like a serum than a cream. It is very lightweight and is easily absorbed into the skin. The scent is very nice and relaxing too, as the main ingredients are mint and white lupin. If you are like me and dislike strong minty scents, don't worry, because it doesn't smell like mint at all. XD

Click for larger image
Tadaa! Instant hydration!

Click the image above for a clearer picture on how effective the hydrating effects of SAMPAR Ultra Hydrating Fluid is! I have combination skin (oily nose/forehead and very dry cheeks), so I usually focus on moisturizing my cheeks and avoid the oil-prone T-zone. It works extremely well to keep my skin supple and hydrated all day long, and my face doesn't look cakey/patchy when applying foundation/BB cream. ♥

This is probably one of the best moisturizers I've ever used, and although the it might seem a little pricey at first, a full-sized bottle (50ml) can definitely last you a long time! The Ultra Hydration Fluid is part of the SAMPAR Essentials range, which is suitable for most skin types. They also have several different ranges for different skin types and needs. :)

Boink! Boink!
SAMPAR Ultra Hydrating Fluid retails at RM276 for 50ml (full size), and is available at Parkson Sunway Pyramid and online at www.sampar.my. You can also visit SAMPAR Malaysia Facebook page for daily updates and upcoming promotions!

✓ Pros: Great hydration effect (definitely lives up to its name!), lovely scent, lightweight formula, easily absorbed into skin, a little goes a long way - less wastage, available for purchase online.
✗ Cons: More expensive than some other moisturizers, not widely available in physical store locations. 

*This item was provided for review purposes without financial compensation. All views and opinions expressed are completely honest and strictly my own. 

Review: Gamila Secret Cleansing Bar (Original)

♫ One Direction - One Thing

“I talk with the herbs and they respond to me with their secrets.”

"What's that about?", you must be wondering. Well, today I'll be sharing with you my experience with Gamila Secret's Orginal Cleansing Bar (mini), which I've been using every day for the past 28 days.

Gamila Hiar's devotion to make nourishing skin care products started at the age of 20, when she sacrificed a few hours of sleep each night to make soap after her daily chores. She was inspired by her father, an expert on plants and an authority on medical herbs. Within a few years, Gamila Hiar discovered her talent to mix the right herbs and cook them in a specific order to create a substance with a nourishing effect. After more than 40 years, Gamila Hiar developed a secret recipe formula based on her wisdom of nature: Gamila Secret. (Excerpt from Gamila Secret website)


Today, the Gamila Secret cleansing bar is still prepared and packaged by hand in Galilee. It is a cocktail of no less than fifteen handpicked active wild herbs, born in a base of shea butter and six pure vegetable oils, including 80% first cold pressed olive oil. The process of controlled cooking, with ingredients being added at different moments to accomplish the best result, is the real secret.

Gamila Secret Cleansing Bar Mini
I received the Gamila Secret Cleansing Bar Mini (30g) in Original, which is suitable for all skin types including sensitive skin. The cleansing bar has a really nice and soothing scent, reminiscent of herbs and flowers. To me, it smells faintly of lavender, sandalwood and shea butter, along with other sweet-smelling herbs.

Click for larger image of ingredients list
The cleansing bar can be used just like any other ordinary soap, but for maximum effect, it is best to first moist the bar with some water for 1 minute, then use the resulting jelly-like emulsion to massage into skin and rinse off. As seen in the pictures below, the emulsion looks like clear jelly and has a sticky texture, which you can then lather into soapy foam and use as a facial cleanser, mask or shaving emulsion! :D


Now on to the real test! Here's a pic before I started using the cleansing bar, 4 weeks ago. I generally have pretty good skin, with just some dry patches due to air conditioning and the occasional zit from stress.

Before
Then, about 1 week after I started using the cleansing bar, *le wild pimples appeared*! >__< It definitely wasn't due to stress or oily food, because I was pretty much at home doing nothing getting a well deserved holiday after my internship and eating deliciously healthy home-cooked meals.

OMG The dreaded pimple breakout!
I was told to expect this to happen, as the breakout was due to the toxins being forced out of the layers of our skin in order to renew itself completely. True enough, by the end of the 3rd week...

Yay! No more pimples, and clearer skin too! (^▽^)
As our skin is made up of various layers, it takes 28 days to renew itself completely. That is why we are advised to use Gamila Secret every day for at least four to six weeks to build up a new, healthy skin.

Here are the "after" photos from today (Sunday), just after my morning wash-up routine.


What do you think? Does my skin look clearer now? I think it does, and I can definitely feel an improvement in my skin texture and condition. However, sometimes after washing up, I still feel that my cheeks are slightly dry (probably due to constant A/C exposure), so I have to apply some moisturizer to ease the dryness.

Overall, this is indeed an amazing product, especially for those with problem skin (face, body, arms, legs) or those looking for an all-natural product to care for their skin.


Gamila Secret Original Cleansing Bar Mini (30g) - RM66
Gamila Secret Original Cleansing Bar (115g) full size - RM119

Gamila Secret Cleansing Bar and other products can be purchased from Parkson Sunway Pyramid or online at the Gamila Secret Malaysia website. For more info, you can visit the Gamila Secret Malaysia Facebook page.

✓ Pros: One full-sized bar can be used for a long time (the mini can be used for at least 5-6 weeks, made from natural ingredients (no artificial perfumes, preservatives, or colourings), suitable for all skin types including sensitive skin (even babies!), multi-purpose (facial cleanser, mask, body soap, bath soak, shaving emulsion), lovely soothing scent, available in a variety of scents/functions.


✗ Cons: Price is quite expensive, not convenient for travelling, must be used at least 4 weeks continuously for best results, storage can be a hassle as it turns into sticky jelly-like emulsion upon contact with water.



*This item was provided for review purposes without financial compensation. All views and opinions expressed are completely honest and strictly my own.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

En(reach)ing Lives

♫ J-Min - 일어나 (Stand Up)

Hey peeps! Today I have a short but very sweet and meaningful post to share with you. :)


What is en(reach)ing lives, you ask? Well, it's a blog with a mission to begin, grow, and flow that will touch, change & enrich lives. Hence, with a fistful of determination, a sprinkle of hope, a little wordplay, en(reach)ing lives was born.

The blog and its Facebook page hope to inspire people in their everyday lives, by sharing words of encouragement and inspiration every day. I admit, some of the pictures and quotes are really helpful when they pop up on your news feed in the morning or afternoon, especially when you're feeling a bit under the weather. :)

Besides daily inspirational quotes and images, en(reach)ing lives also has an en(reach)ing jar, where the proceeds of new and pre-loved items will be donated to charity. Do check on their website/Facebook often, as they will have updates on what is available for sale (usually around RM20 for a pair of shoes or a nice bag), and rest assured that the money will be donated for a good cause. :) ♥


As for me, well, I was first introduced to the blog by the founder, Jamie from JamieyWrites, whose blog I occasionally stalk and comment. :P The Johnny Walker cuff bracelet (above) was won from one of en(reach)ing lives Facebook giveaways, and I think it is absolutely gorgeous!

As the Johnny Walker slogan says...
"Keep walking"
...even though the road ahead might be tough or full of uncertainties.

I'm pretty sure en(reach)ing lives would agree. ;)

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Review: Peripera My Color Lips in 10 Rose Pink

♫ 刘若英 - 后来


If you remember my Gmarket haul or Peripera lipstick review post, you probably know that I'm pretty much in love with Peripera's My Color Lips lipstick. Today, I'm going to share with you another shade from the same range, which is #10 Rose Pink.



The lipstick tube is packaged in a metallic pink cardboard box that has lace flower patterns printed on it. The packaging of the lipstick is really gorgeous. It has a pink plastic slip-on cover that has a pattern of lace and flowers with silver accents. The tube itself is metallic light pink all over with a ridged handle at the end, making it convenient to hold when pulling off the plastic cover. The overall design is very sturdy, including the plastic cover, and can definitely take a few bumps even when thrown into a messy handbag.



True to its name, the lipstick is a beautiful rosy pink colour with hints of very fine shimmer when viewed under bright light. The shimmer does not translate onto the lips when applied. It does, however, give a nice satiny shine to the lips, unlike #4 Holy Pink which is completely creme without a hint of shimmer.

Shaded lighting
This swatch shows the slight shimmer better
I tried my best to take lip swatches that accurately shows the colour, but somehow I just couldn't capture it! >__< It is more red than the first pic (shaded lighting). The photo below is the closest I can get to the actual colour.

Say 'Hi!' toLil' Devil Hello Kitty! >:D
The Peripera My Color Lips lipsticks are still the favourites in my lipstick stash, but in a toss-up between Rose Pink and Holy Pink, I lately find myself reaching for this one (Rose Pink) more often. The texture is smooth, creamy and moisturizing, plus the rose scent is just too lovely for words. Definitely a 5-☆ rating from me! ♥

The Peripera My Color Lips lipsticks (3.5g) retail for 15,000 KRW (price may vary on Gmarket) in Korea, S$19.90 in Singapore and US$21.00 in the US. Peripera lip tints and nail polishes are now available in selected Watsons outlets in Malaysia, but the lipsticks have yet to be brought in.

✓ Pros: Gorgeous packaging, great colour payoff, lovely rose scent, moisturizing formula, generous amount of product (3.5g), wide variety of colours, good lasting power.
✗ Cons: Packaging is bulky, not easily available outside of Korea, slightly more expensive than usual drugstore brands.


Thanks for reading my review, hope you enjoyed it! :)


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