Skin Deco

Monday, July 28, 2008

Cleansing: The First Step to Great Skin

To achieve healthy skin, first and foremost is to thoroughly cleanse your skin from any make-up, debris and impurities. Even if you don't wear any make-up, cleansing is still very important to avoid oil and dirt build-up that causes whiteheads, blackheads (oxidized oil), dead skin cells and even pimples. Finding the right cleanser is not as easy as you may think. The cleanser that you use should be suitable for your skin type and condition while not causing your skin to feel tight or taut. After cleansing, your skin should feel fresh, smooth, soft and bright.

For the past month, I've been testing out a couple of cleansers and today I shall finally review them. Origins Checks and Balances, Skineeds Age Defense Silky Cleansing Cream, La Mer The Cleansing Foam, Missha Effectual O2 Bubble Cleanser, Dermalogica Special Cleansing Gel, Enjoy Your Rice Day Facial Soap.

Read on for the individual reviews.

Origins Checks and Balances (150ml/RM95)

This frothy face wash is designed to balance out the two skin condition of combination skin which is dry and oily. Only a pea-sized amount of the mousse-like cleanser is needed to create a lot of foam making the tube lasts for a very long time. Broad Leaf Extract discourages excess oil production while Wheat Protein balances and protects dry areas. No tautness or tightness is felt after cleansing instead skin feels smooth and very refreshed with a minty feeling. This cleanser also contains tourmaline (a gem stone) which actually makes water wetter to more easily disperse dirt and sebum. The aromatic scent is provided by Bergamot, Spearmint and Lavender. Cleansing has never felt so enjoyable with the spearmint smelling like Christmas.

Skineeds Age Defense Silky Cleansing Cream (100g/RM6)

This cleansing cream is enriched with 100% pure orange essential oil which is packed with Vitamin C and natural emollients to protect against aging and environmental aggression. The orange scent is very distinct but not in a negative way. Unlike other cleansing creams, a small amount of this cream lathers up quite a bit making the cleansing process more satisfying. Skin feels clean but slightly taut after cleansing, which is unexpected from a cleansing cream. The product has to be stored upside down to avoid the orange oil from accumulating at the tube's cap. this product is available from Price Abuse.

La Mer The Cleansing Foam (125ml/RM265)

This product is marketed in Asia as a whitening cleansing foam but it does not have any whitening ingredients and is actually exactly the same as the US' version of the Cleansing Foam. It contains marine extracts which have anti-irritation and calming properties, a combination of fine jade and white pearl powders that are rich in amino acids to gently polish the skin, magnetized tourmaline, and Deconstructed Waters to aid the loosening of debris without having to cleanse with much force. Only a small amount is needed to create a lot of lather to thoroughly cleanse skin without feeling tight or taut. There's a slight cooling feeling on the skin after cleansing and skin feels very smooth, looking immediately brightened.

Missha Effectual O2 Bubble Cleanser

I initially used the sample of this cleanser that I got to wash my brushes and I was surprised at how clean my brushes got; murky foundation all out in one wash. I decided to use it on my face and indeed this cleanser work as a foam cleanser and removes makeup as well. Enriched with O2 Carrier Liquid, it purifies and revitalizes the skin. This products give a lot of bubbles when lathered. An excellent cleanser for deep cleansing. Should be available at Missha Stores

Dermalogica Special Cleansing Gel

Um... it cleansed... and that was it. Nothing special. Not a lot of foam. Available at Dermalogica agents.

Enjoy Your Rice Day Facial Soap (100g)

I got this at the beauty expo for RM5 (regular price unknown) and just thought I'd give it a try. Apparently, it is a recommended product by a famous Taiwanese show (Nu Ren Wo Zui Da) and had good reviews so I was quite happy that my instinct told me to buy it. This bar soap contains Rice Bran Oil which is used traditionally in Japan to smoothen skin. It is believed that rice bran oil can help stimulate skin's collagen production making skin feel firmer as well and also improves blood circulation for a healthy and glowing complexion. I found out about the information on these benefits only after I've used the product and I've come to believe now that it is true. This pleasantly fragrant soap give lots of foam with just a few rubs in a wet palm. Surprisingly, the skin did not feel any tightness or tautness after cleansing and more obvious than any other cleansers, my skin looked immediately brightened.
This product is available from Vee-Man Beauty. Click for locations.

I have two more cleansers to try and review which is Clarins Gentle Foaming Cleanser and Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser so do look out for their reviews in the near future.
Photo Credit:,,,,

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New Review Rating System

You know how at the end of a review there's usually a rating out of 5 or out of 10? Well, previously I was practicing rating out of 5 but I find that it's quite hard for me to actually express how I feel about a product with the rating. For instance, I may rate two products 4/5 but I actually like one of the products more than the other. The ratings are usually determined not merely by how I feel but rather aspects such as packaging, quality, performance and price are taken into account. So, I've decided to come up with a new rating system that uses emoticons to express how I feel about the product. For each product that I rate, from now on, I will include an emoticon for it so that you'd know, overall, how I feel about the product.

I hope this new rating system works and do provide me with some feedback.
The emoticons that will be used are as follow:

-- OMG, I love it! I love it! LOVE IT!

-- Great product! Totally worth it.

-- Not too bad. I don't mind having it around.

-- I don't see the point of having this. Doesn't make any difference.

-- I can't decide if I like it or not.

-- You have got to be kidding me. This thing is horrible.

-- What an awful product! I hate it! Where's the bin?

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This look was inspired (but I toned down a notch) by a member -- Ambonee. I absolutely adore her looks as they're always so fun and colorful but at the same time they don't look over the top. As I was editing the pictures for my recreation, I noticed something: The look resembles the flag of Malaysia. Hmm...
Anyways, read on for close up pictures and description of products used.

Items Used:

Loreal True Match Foundation
Missha Perfect Concealer
Revlon Skinlights in Peach Light
Giorgio Armani Loose Powder
Jordana Powder Blush in Coral Sandy Beach
MAC Paint in Stilife
Manly 80-Color Bright Palette (Lemon Yellow, Rust, Dark Brown, Sky Blue, Metallic Blue, Beige Highlight)
Indelible Gel Eyeliner in Black Cherry
Maybelline Volum' Express Mascara
Prescriptives Eyebrow Powder
Origins Once Upon A Shine in Sheer Peach

Ambonee's version

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Saturday, July 26, 2008

Simple Night Silver Smokey Eyes with Qianyu Palette

Ok. I do way to many silver smokey eyes, I know, but I swear this 3rd one wasn't intentional. I was actually just trying to show how to create night-appropriate smokey eyed look with the Qianyu palette. Furthermore, this technique is very basic without having to use many products so you can just throw this look on for clubbing nights. This is also a very universal look that practically anyone can pull off.
I'll also be posting up basic methods on applying eyeshadow on different eye shapes in my upcoming post. So, do look out for that.

Eyeshadow: Qianyu 5-Color Silver Smokey Palette
Eyeliner: Elianto Liquid Liner in Black, Bloop Eyeliner Pencil in Black
Mascara: Maybelline Volum' Express
Brushes: Small eyeshadow brush, highlight brush

I'll be indicating the colors by the alphabets

With the small eyeshadow brush, apply (a) into the inner corner of the eyes. Then, apply (b) onto the middle of the lid

Apply (c) onto the outer lid and bring the color up to the crease. Extend the color to the outer lower lash line as well. With the same brush, blend the edges of the eyeshadow to smoothen the harsh separation line.

Starting from the outer corner of the lid, apply (d) into the crease and blend out to the outer part of the lid to create a more smokey effect. Fill up the rest of the lower lash line with (b). Lightly sweep on (e) under the brow with the highlight brush. Further blend with the highlight.

Tightline the upper lash rim with black eyeliner pencil. Line the bottom rim as well. Apply a thin line of liquid liner. Finish off with mascara.

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Simple Daytime Golden Plum Smokey Eyes Tutorial

I've gotten a few requests on how to create a quick and simple smokey eyed look so I've made this tutorial for a daytime-suitable smokey look using gold and dark plum. Keep in mind that smokey eye doesn't mean that only blacks and dark browns can be used. The aim here is not to create raccoon eyes (that would be a different look) but rather "smoke" up the lids to make eyes appear bigger and more distinctive with better dimensions. You may always substitute the colors that I've used here as long as you keep the basic idea of using a lighter shade and a darker shade in a combination as opposed to having one sweep of dark color or liner and calling it a day.

I'll be using my MAC Fluidline in Uppity as a base because it sucked to the core as an eye liner but it worked pretty well as a base.

Read on for step-by-step instructions. Enjoy the tutorial!

Base: MAC Fluidline in Uppity
Eyeshadow: Loreal Holographic in Golden Rose, Smashbox Single in Taupe Two, NYX Trio in Lake Moss, Stila Single in Champagne
Eyeliner: Indelible in Chocolate Mousse, Giorgio Armani Pencil in Grey
Mascara: Maybelline Volum Express
Brushes: Eyeshadow Fluff, Round Crease, Highlight, Gel Eyeliner

Start with a naked, sleepy eye. Apply Uppity with fingers all over the lid. Using the eyeshadow fluff brush, apply Golden Rose on the inner half of the lid up to the crease.

With the same brush, apply Taupe Two on the other half of the lid up to the crease. Blend the Taupe Two over the crease in windshield wiper motion until there's no more harsh line

Use the round crease brush to apply Taupe Two on the outer half of the lower lash line as well. With the same brush, apply the dark plum in the NYX Trio starting from the outer corner of the lid and slowly blending it up along the crease in back and forth as well as circular movements.

Sweep on some Champagne with the highlight brush right under the brows and blend together with the Taupe Two. Apply gel eyeliner with the eyeliner brush starting from the inner lashline (or the middle or the outer. Your choice). Make the line thicker towards the outer corner of the lash line.

Smudge on remaining eyeliner on the lower lash line. Tightline into the rim of the upper lashline with an eyeliner pencil. Apply volumizing mascara. Done!

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Friday, July 25, 2008

Flabbergasted -- Insanely Cheap Eyeshadow Palettes

I showed my classmate one of these palettes and asked her "How much do you think this costs?". Her answer, "Um, 50 bucks?".
Whoever told you that only expensive makeup can be awesome has been living under a rock.
These highly pigmented eyeshadows give very smooth textures and brilliant metallic colors with good lasting power too.

So, how much are these pretty palettes? ---- 5 Ringgit each. Unbelievable? Believe it.
Read on for the review and swatches for all the palettes.

Qianyu has an assortment of RM5 palettes that mainly consist of hyper metallic eyeshadows and super shimmery shades. They're made in China (almost everything is, nowadays!) which is probably why they're so cheap. I am sure many are concerned with cheap makeup and would hardly give these under-publicized eyeshadows a second thought with fear that they are of horrible quality and may conjure a rash. However, be rest assured that I've personally tried and tested these eyeshadows arnd they did not give me a rash. Instead, I get red flaky eyelids when I use Dior eyeshadows. See! I'm allergic to expensive makeup (just kidding, of course). The only thing that I'm concerned with is that the fragrance is quite strong. No allergies. Just annoying.

I like the eyeshadows very much for their beautiful colors but they are a tad too metallic for my taste and may not combine in such a balanced manner but as individual colors I think they're excellent. This would very much be loved by those who like very shimmery eyeshadows.

The palettes are available at Hinode Shop (the 5 Ringgit per item store). You may not find the exact eyeshadows as shown in this post but you can look out for the brand name. If you're lucky, there may also be testers so that you can swatch the eyeshadows. Sometimes I help myself with the swatching and thankfully, the salespeople are not fussy about that.

The Hinode Shop is available in many shopping complexes in Malaysia but those that I know of are in Berjaya Times Square, One Utama, Wangsa Maju Carrefour (I hope it hasn't close down), Mid Valley Megamall, Sunway Pyramid, Sunway Carnival Mall Penang.... and uh.. That's all I know of.

*All swatches are made without a base

9-Color Cool Palette: Pretty and sweet icy colors

9-Color Warm Palette: Rustic metal colors

5-Color Silver Smokey Palette: Great for on-the-go silver smokey eyes

5-Color Purple & Blue Palette: For bright fresh looks

5-Color Metallic Brown Palette: For basic natural day looks

5-Color Autumn Palette: Earthy colors for a neutral look

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Thursday, July 24, 2008

I Won the Battle of the Zits!

My weapon?
Dermedex Sceptic Challenge Pack

I've been having an absurd problem with my forehead since pimples were popping up like chicken pox and it made my skin looked all dull, scarred, rough and wrinkly. I've tried so hard with masks, pimple creams, scrubs, acne cleansers, etc. to get rid of the ugliness but with little success. I finally decided that I should go for a facial and get my zits professionally extracted and start working from there. The beautician recommended me this trial pack and I religiously applied the two tubes every day. In within a week, I was seeing amazing results. Pimples stopped coming up, the skin was much more smooth and refined, fine lines were less visible and scars faded.
Read on for more information and to see the amazing results! Please be warned, icky pictures ahead.

The pack comes with two 5g tubes: Biotox Cleanser and Biotox Refining Cream. The Biotox Cleanser "deeply cleanses and unclogs pores while helping to reduce dry, thickened, outer layer of the skin. Regular use will help to reveal a fresh, clearer, brighter complexion to dramatically reduce the visible signs of aging, restoring the supple, glowing effect of healthy skin". The Biotox Refining Cream on the other hand is "quick and effective for problem prone skin, such as pimple prone, big open pores, dull and tired appearance. Regular use will encourage your skin's natural defenses to resist blackheads, reduce redness and irritation, and dramatically lightens and restores your youthful radiant complexion".

My journey to wellness recorded.
Pictures taken on: 29/06, 09/07 (slight improvement with Himalaya A-N-P Cream), 13/07, 21/07

For once, I did not feel like I fell into the trap of false advertisements. This stuff really works! The cleanser is not a foamy type and it gives a cooling minty feeling to the skin. It can also be used as a 15-minute quick mask or even an over-night mask but it has to be rinsed off.
The refining cream is the 1st prize winner here. The cream contains fine exfoliating beads that eventually dissolves as it is massaged onto the skin. I use it primarily on my forehead and wherever that I have a problem with acne scars. A cooling effect is also given off by this cream. Despite the daily exfoliation, skin did not feel dry or peeled instead my skin felt softer, more refined and even the discolorations have been reduced.

The trial pack which sells for RM22, of course, comes in full sizes as well which I've actually never seen the full-sized one, that sells for S$58 for 30ml of the Refining Cream and S$48 for 50ml for the Cleanser. I don't know the price in Ringgit. Regardless, the little tubes go a very long way as only a small amount of product is needed.

Dermedex is so confident with this product that they even have a 100% 30 Days No Question Asked Money Back Guarantee. They even claim that it is a genuine, no gimmick guarantee.

According to the Dermedex official website, they are running a promotion whereby they are giving away this trial pack for free. Click here to find out how to go about it.
I'm so gonna try to get another free trial pack. Heh heh.

Dermedex products are available at appointed retail salons. Click for the list of outlets.

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