Skin Deco

Saturday, October 23, 2010

I'm As Depressed As a Fish About to be Barbecued

I'm going on a short hiatus.
My laptop wouldn't start. All my pictures and videos are in there.
I don't know what's gonna happen to it just yet.
If I can't recover the files, I'll have to do all the makeup, take all the pictures, record all the videos, all over again. Not to mention edit, compile and watermark. It's dreadfully troublesome and time-consuming. What more, I can't get back event pictures that I've yet to post up *SIGHS!!!*

Just not in the mood to blog right now until I get everything sorted out. Bad enough that I have assignments to complete and here I am, handicapped. The netbook's not very user-friendly for long hours (because it's sloooowwww.....)

I've been meaning to get a new computer. A desktop this time. I'm done with laptops! But I need my files :(

Anyway, I'll probably still blog bits and pieces because I do have interesting things coming up that I've been waiting to share with all of you. Ah, horrible timing to have this breakdown AND a meltdown!

Please excuse my negativity. I'm just horribly pessimistic right now because I utterly HATE when things go wrong and I can't or couldn't have done anything to prevent it from happening.

You all enjoy the rest of the weekend. I need to go smash a few plates to release tension.

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Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Pantene 14-Day Hair Challenge + Makeover Party + New Hair-do!

Every time I think of Pantene, Legolas (Lord of the Rings) comes into mind and then I'll start chuckling to myself because his swishy long hair reminds me of the Pantene commercials.

When I was asked to take the Pantene 14-Day Hair Challenge, I figured, "Why not?". If there's a chance for me to spin my straw-hair into silk and make my "hair dreams come true", I'll take it!

Read on for the outcome, a makeover party and my new cut!

Challenging my coarse, thick and abundant hair as inherited from my mother is... Pantene Hair Fall Control?

Despite not worrying that I'll run out of hair, hair fall is a problem, even with short hair! Thinning hair is not my concern but having to pick up hair from the floor constantly, is! To address this problem, I've started to use three products from the Pantene Hair Fall Control range -- Shampoo, Conditioner and Intense Treatment (mask).

Pantene Hair Fall Control Shampoo
(RM9.30/180ml, RM14.90/350ml)

I've come to know that many people dislike the scent but to me it smells like Bubble Yum watermelon-flavored bubble gum, which I love. The shampoo creates loads of foam and my hair feels clean and soft after washing. I don't mind using it everyday but it doesn't really stand out on its own.

Pantene Hair Fall Control Conditioner
(RM9.30/180ml, RM14.90/350ml)

I was a little disappointed that this one smelled nothing like the shampoo. Instead, it smells of... soap? I don't know. Just very uninteresting. After washing off the conditioner, I got the expected slippery hair feel. There's one MAJOR problem that I have with this conditioner is that at some point of rinsing, it repels water. I'll explain why this has become a bother in a bit.

Pantene Hair Fall Control Intense Treatment
(RM14.90/135ml, RM19.30/300ml)

It's really just a thicker version of the conditioner. It even has the SAME ingredients as the conditioner! Smells the same and gives pretty much the same result too. Maybe less frizz? *shrugs* Oh, and it has the same problem that the conditioner has.

There is a bright side to this hair care range. Firstly, it did help to reduce hair fall because I'm sweeping the floor less (Maybe I just got lazy. Very probable) and I don't get that much hair between my fingers when I run through it.

When freshly washed, my hair would feel super soft and look super shiny.

Fast forward 2 hours, and I get this comment from a guyfriend, "Did you put hair cream or hair wax today? Your hair looks sticky". I said, "No, I just washed my hair this morning!" then when I reached to touch my hair, sure enough, it felt as if I've applied hair wax T_T That meant I had to wash my hair again the next morning because it'd look unbearably sticky and you know I don't like washing my hair! I tried rinsing my hair vigorously after conditioner but it simply didn't work. The silicone content in the conditioner and intense treatment is just too much!

So, now I just use mostly the Shampoo and cut down on the conditioner.

To celebrate the end of the 14-Day Hair Challenge, Pantene was kind enough to arrange a Bloggers Makeover Party at Hair Atelier in Jaya One. It unexpectedly ended up as an editorial photo shoot as well? Hmmmm..... So, if you happen to notice me in any Pantene ads or articles, please let me know!

Gotta love cute cupcakes and jellybeans though most of us were too busy running around having our hair styled, nails painted and photos taken to savor the food.

I was the only one who got a "rocker chick" type of do as opposed to the classic flirty Pantene hair. The mess, I liked, but the beehive thing, not so much. Nevertheless, I did pick-up several helpful tips from the Stylist, Sun (who's based in Taman Maluri). He taught me how to blow my hair in so that it won't flip out and also to rinse my hair with room temperature water instead of tepid after treatment so that it'll be more effective.

Because I can, I chose to have cow prints on my nails.

Camwhore galore! You can tell that my "persona" is a lot different than the others. Can you spot Juanita, Kahani, Ee Von, Xin, Plue, Bee, and Rinnah?

The makeover party was a fun-filled day of pampering but best of all, I got to do it with my friends.

Two week later, I went back to Hair Atelier in Jaya One to have my done. I was hoping to book Sun but because he wasn't based at this outlet, I had a cute (little boy kinda cute!) stylist named Terry attending to my godforsaken hair.

Ugh, I can't even stand looking at it! It flips out everywhere!

I wanted a cut that wouldn't be as short as before but more importantly, one that doesn't flip out and is easy to manage. Terry came up with this look and I was quite pleased with it. At least I don't have to grow it out to have it look decent. For RM35, it's not bad at all.

The color however (Yes! I colored my hair!) was disappointing. I explained that I wanted a cool medium brown instead, I got a very dark and slightly reddish brown. Because I have tactless guyfriends; "You dyed your hair? What color? Transparent?". It was either my hair was too dark to begin with or the fact that they didn't attempt to lighten my hair color prior to dyeing. *Sighs* Thankfully, I didn't pay real money (had a voucher) or I'd be throwing a fit right now. Oh well, nothing I could've or would've done. "Haiyah, free thing don't complain so much la"

The entire process took 5 hours. I'm not kidding you. 2 hours of plain waiting because each stylist had to attend to several people at a time. My back was aching by the end of it.

Ee Von sat through the grueling 5 hours with me as she got her locks done too and I so prefer her hair color!! Mine's so dark that I look as fair as she does T_T

Nevertheless, the stylist (hers and mine) were fun to be around and they were constantly cracking up weird but funny comments. I wouldn't mind going back there for a cut but probably on a day that's not so busy.

I can live with dark hair but my hair extensions arrived and the color SO doesn't match! I'll definitely need to dye my hair again (because I'd rather have lighter hair). Just annoyed that I'd wasted the voucher and several hours on a hair color that's practically transparent.


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Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Male Edition: L'Oreal Men Expert Pure & Matte Anti-Mark Moisturizing Gel Cream

Taiwanese singer and actor, Will Pan, fronts the L'Oreal Men Expert Pure & Matte line, alongside the other Men Expert hunks such as Gerard Butler, Daniel Wu, Dome Pakorn Lum and er, Pierce Brosnan?

Because my resident-male (literally) is phobic of skin care, here to enlighten you about the L'Oreal Men Expert Pure & Matte Anti-Mark Moisturizing Gel Cream is male skin care enthusiast, Cecobi.




Target Market:
Men who have concerns with acne spots and scars

The claim: Helps by doing two things: (1) To brighten post-acne marks and even out skin tone, and (2) To provide relief by reducing the appearance of acne marks

For someone that has been struggling with acne and been under two courses of Accutane, a product that is gentle yet effective to control the acne is like a miracle, HG (Holy Grail) product!. It’s a fact that acne is hard to cure but luckily peeps, it is controllable. However, even when the acne problem is under control, post-acne brown spots (hyperpigmentation) or worse, hollow acne marks (ice-pick pitted acne scars) will be another problem that comes to mind.

So when our beloved Connie (blog “taukeh” aka “boss”) offered me the chance to try the new L’Oréal Paris Men Expert Pure & Matte Anti Mark Moisturizing Gel Cream, I was excited but uh oh... I was hoping that this product did not have Salicylic Acid as their main ingredient, as my skin is quite sensitive to it and of course, I’m one of those acne sufferers who only has faith in Benzoyl Peroxide after all these years. Unfortunately, it did have!

But hey, scepticism aside, I still wanted to give this moisturizer a go as the L’Oréal Paris Men Expert line has this special place in my heart, especially their godsend L’Oréal Paris Men Expert Hydra Energetic Eye Roll-On (that would be another coming review!).

For starters, this moisturizer comes in a handy pump bottle (think Olay Total Effects) with their signature Men Expert’s silver and bright orange colour. Applied together with my usual 4-step regime (cleanse, tone, moisturize and suncscreen) for almost 2 weeks and I’ve come up with this sum:

Texture:
Cool, clear gel texture that vanishes upon contact with skin

Scent:
Fresh, minty with a bit of a ‘hair-gel’ kind of scent (wonder why most men skincare products tend to have this smell?! Me NO likey T_T). Luckily, the scent gradually vanishes when you get used to it

Pros:
  • Managed to kept my skin matte for a good one hour (this is from someone with ultra-oily skin)
  • The cooling gel texture is godsend especially in our hot, humid climate. It also managed to keep my skin hydrated yet tightened due to its oil control properties. Not sticky and it really does leave the skin smooth and primed (may be due to the dimethicone* in it) *mainly used in makeup primer and foundation for the glide-on capabilities
  • Affordable, RM 29.90 for 50ml. As usual, men are quite kedekut* when it comes to spending for something that is used for their faces (metrosexuals aside). *stingy

Cons:
  • The ‘hair-gel’ minty smell is quite a turn-off for something that you put on the face
  • Does not contain SPF (this is where you'd need to use a sunscreen after you moisturize). Some sunscreens can be somewhat oily and this will conflict with the oil-control benefit of this moisturizer
  • As for the anti-marks capabilities, it may take more time for it to work as for me, who’s been using it for only two weeks, there has not been much improvement on the appearance nor the texture of my post-acne brown spots
The verdict:

4 out of 5

Even though this moisturizer does not have SPF plus it does contain fragrance (sensitive skin alert!), it really gets the job done when it comes to moisturizing and oil-controlling without leaving the skin feeling sticky and heavy, just smooth and primed. Also, note that even though this moisturizer may have the anti-blemish benefit from the Salicylic acid ingredient, this moisturizer is more for those who are concerned with prevention of blemish marks and not so much for acne control.

Retails for RM29.90/50ml at leading pharmacies and healthcare outlets

Ingredients: Aqua/water, alcohol denat, glycerin, dimethicone, silica, salicylic acid, sodium polyacryloyldimethyl taurate, isohexadedecane, methyl methacrylate, crosspolymer, mentha piperita ectract / peppermint leaf extract, sorbitan oleate, zinc gluconate, sodium hydroxide, phenylethyl resorcinol, poloxamer 338, disodium edta, xanthan gum, polysorbate 80, acrylates/c10-30 alkyl acrylate crosspolymer, parfum/fragrance (B432370/1)



Cecobi

A 20-something who adores good-looking skin just as much (or maybe more?) as he adores Malaysian Pop Princess, Siti Nurhaliza. He slaves over his skin to keep blemishes and oiliness at bay while always on the hunt for the most ideal products to make his skin flawless.


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Favorite Lippies On-the-Go: Shiseido Perfect Rouge + Luminizing Lip Gloss

Some of us may have close to a hundred lippies but only a handful makes it for a long stay in the handbag. These elite bunch not only have foolproof colors that seem to match any look, anytime but they are also comfortable enough for long hours of wearing. Sometimes they do get replaced by a newcomer or two but it doesn't make them any less exclusive. Let's welcome the new elites.

Je vous présente...
Rouge Parfait de Shiseido et Brillant à lèvres Pur Éclat Shiseido*
(because everything sounds more sophisticated in French)

*May I present... Shiseido Perfect Rouge and Shiseido Luminizing Lip Gloss

Where do I begin? There's so much to love about the new Shiseido Makeup Perfect Rouge and Luminizing Lip Gloss. By the way, did you know that Shiseido has revamped their ENTIRE makeup line? From Shiseido The Makeup to Shiseido Makeup?

Back on subject, the first thing I love about these Shiseido lippies is the packaging. It's simple, sleek with a classy yet understated metallic shine. I have this weird fascination over the lipstick's packaging though. The casing has a metal feel to it like how most high-end lipsticks do. Actually, I suspect that it's plastic but let's just assume that it's metal! Anyway, just the weight of it gives a certain luxury and the way the cap slides on and off slowly and silently... the click, so poised. Don't get me started on the way it twists. Yes, I'm exaggerating.

The colors couldn't be more perfect for me.

BE333 Caramel (lipstick): Warm pinkish beige with almost invisible golden shimmer. The opaque color is sure enough, the Perfect Rouge for me. Not too bright but with just enough color to take away the paleness so that the lips don't overpower my entire look

BR302 Brown Sugar (lipgloss): Translucent warm brown with smooth golden shimmer. The color is sheer, thus not opaque enough to change the color of my lips. Rather, it enhances it. Again, just enough to take away the paleness


Perfect Rouge is very moisturizing and a little glossy but still has the weight of a lipstick, which I like. There's no distinct scent and the color stays on for a reasonable amount of time without drying out the lips. Simply, an easy and comfortable lipstick to apply and wear.

Luminizing Lip Gloss comes with a slim brush applicator that precisely applies the lipgloss. It's not at all sticky and as you can see, it's intensely glossy. What more can I ask for?

Both colors combined = perfection!

Albeit being very much natural colors, these two lippies work well for a dramatic look and also a natural look. The look on the left features the Luminizing Satin Eye Color Trio in YE406 Tropicalia and Luminizing Satin Face Color in RS302 Tea Rose while the look on the right features the Perfect Mascara Defining Volume and Natural Finish Cream Concealer.

Shiseido Perfect Rouge is available in 20 shades, priced at RM95 while the Shiseido Luminizing Lip Gloss is available in 8 shades, priced at RM79. However, not all shades are available in Malaysia as per the website.

By the look of the fading texts and scratched-up casings, you can probably tell that I've given these few lippies quite a fair use. Those that have made it for the long trip in my bag include:
Now's your turn to tell me:

What is your favorite everyday lipgloss and/or lipstick?


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Monday, October 18, 2010

Tanning 101: Outdoor + Indoor + Sunless

Oh yes. This post is like two months late. In fact, I was about to give up on it altogether because well, tanning is really a Summer thing. Even I've been feeling out of it. However, the weather these days being brain-boiling hot, made me realize that we have "Summer" practically all year long in Malaysia so 'ere goes!

I will be covering activities and products that I use to achieve a tanned complexion including outdoor tanning, indoor tanning and sunless tanning.

I'm not gonna bore you with the same introductions as I've explained in some previous tanning-related posts that I prefer being tanned over fair. Though I naturally have a medium skin tone, I wanted to be more tanned and have an even skin tone that looks less sallow.

These are some of the products that I use for outdoor tanning, indoor tanning and sunless tanning.

All the methods that I mention in this post are based on my own personal experience and may not be completely accurate. Also, please note that both outdoor and indoor tanning expose your skin to harmful UV rays. Tanning will cause photo-damage (pigmentation, wrinkles, dryness, etc.) even though you do it in a controlled environment and within a restricted amount of time. Of course, the damages will be more intense if you tan excessively and also if you do not practice proper tanning skin care.

Outdoor Tanning

Beach

Even if you don't have any intentions to tan, you will still tan. Unless you're wrapped-up like a mummy, sitting under a huge umbrella with a huge hat and huge shades.
My tip is to first apply a tanning lotion which will help to moisturize your skin as it tans while promoting a more even color. After that, slather on a waterproof sunblock and reapply every 2-3 hours.

If you're looking to actually tan lying down on a mat, do it in the morning (before 12pm) when the sun rays are less intense. Also, keep your sessions to a maximum of 15 minutes a day. Applying a tanning lotion first will again, help to moisturize and give you a more even color. On more delicate areas such as your face or areas that you don't want to have tanned, apply sunblock. Make sure to wear tanning goggles or at least sunglasses because direct sunlight to your eyes can be very harmful and the rays can even penetrate your eyelids so closing your eyes as you tan doesn't really work.

After tanning, liberally apply body lotion or body cream to moisturize your skin.

Balcony

If you're not bothered by your neighbors staring at you thinking you're a crazy person, you can tan at the balcony! Depending on your level of comfort, you can choose to tan in your bikini or in my case, a long tube top with shorts. The best time to tan is before noon so make sure your balcony has direct sunlight. Allow yourself to tan for only 20 minutes a day. Your tan will gradually deepen as you do this everyday. As mentioned before, apply tanning lotion prior to tanning, sunblock on sensitive areas and moisturize after tanning.

Indoor Tanning

This is basically tanning with a tanning bed. Tanning salons are rare in Malaysia and the only one that I know of is Fabulous Tan in Mid Valley. After a consultation, I signed up for a 7-session level one student package for RM180. I'm not sure of the regular prices though. There are several types (or should I say levels) of tanning beds. If you're new to tanning, you'd need to go for the level one bed to build up your base tan.

The first few times you tan is to develop your base tan, most likely you will not see much difference in your skin tone but once your base tan is developed, your skin will tan more easily. Generally, people with naturally fair skin may take a while to develop their base tan and thus, may need to tan more often to achieve a deep color. However, keep in mind that this also means that the risk of skin damage will be higher.

Indoor tanning can be considered as tanning in a more controlled environment because the light bulbs used and machine build is focused to help you achieve darker skin but with less sun damage compared to the unfiltered sun. The same as outdoor tanning, a tanning lotion should be applied liberally prior to tanning. Don't forget to apply a lip balm with SPF and also wear the tanning goggles provided. If you have sensitive eyes, you may wanna consider buying your own goggles to avoid infection from sharing. Because I tan in the nude, I also apply sunscreen to my nipples.

I visit the tanning salon every 2 weeks or so and each session is for 20 minutes. I'm personally not comfortable with tanning too often and if you follow my frequency, you're gonna tan rather slowly. After a session, it would take about 5 hours for the color to develop and I was advised to allow 4 hours before showering. Keeping your skin moisturized and, from what I was told, drinking carrot juice will help your tan last longer.

Do check out Fabulous Tan for more info.
(Self promotion alert!) Please quote my membership number (M600852) and name if you do sign up! Referral program :D

Tanning lotions that I've tried:

MySun Shocking Tan with Bronzer

I purchased this from Fabulous Tan for RM149 (I think) and it should be good for about 8 to 10 sessions.
The amber-colored fluid gel-like lotion is lightweight and absorbs readily. This color in particular is meant to promote a rosier complexion which really works to neutralize the yellow of my skin. It develops quite an even tan and I do get a reasonable amount of color after about two sessions. The coconut-y scent fades to be somewhat soothing after a few hours.

Squeeze Lime'n da Coconut

This one's more of a lotion (think body lotion) and smells incredible. It doesn't have those nauseating coconut scents probably because of the counteracting lime scent. Very refreshing! I haven't used this enough with the tanning bed to know how well it helps to develop the tan but I know it's an excellent moisturizer and I suppose if you're an outdoorsy person, you can treat this as a body lotion to help you get a tan as you're exposed to the sun.
I bought mine from EBay for USD$22.95

There are different types of tanning lotions and you can read more about them on iamTan. The forum has a great support group for anyone who's interested to know more about tanning.

Sunless Tanning

Sunless tanning is well, tanning without the sun. This is by-far the quickest and most effective method to achieve a quick tan safely, provided that you're diligent and can find the right self-tanner.
Self-tanners contain ingredients that promote skin darkening including DHA. I've mentioned in a previous post how the self-tanner that I was using kinda smelled like cow's pee (according to The Boy)? That would be the DHA smell and it's quite inescapable from most self-tanners.

"DHA is scientifically known as dihydroxyacetone and is classified as a 3-carbon sugar. When applied to skin, a chemical reaction occurs between amino acids and the dead surface cells to produce a brown color, or tan. It is important to note that DHA does not damage skin, it only affects the outermost cells of the epidermis causing no long-term ill effects (unless a skin allergy is discovered, which has been only rarely reported). DHA carries less health risks than any other tanning method, achieving a tan without sun exposure and UV rays which have been linked to multiple skin problems and diseases. DHA is considered safe enough to be approved for cosmetic application by the FDA, and is considered nontoxic and noncarcinogenic. However, while DHA does provide some minimal, short-lived protection against UV rays, it should not be a substitute for an SPF sunscreen." -- The Tanning Store

I'm currently using (actually, I haven't been for 2 months) the Banana Boat Summer Color Self-Tanning Lotion in Deep Dark Color for my body and Scott Barnes Self-Tan Mist for my face.

Banana Boat is the typical lotion type but it's tinted, which I like because I can see where I've applied the self-tanner. Out of all my self-tanners, this one smells the least of cow's pee nor does it have a very strong fragrance.

Scott Barnes is a clear, slightly golden liquid that comes in a spray bottle. It's lightweight so I usually apply it after my skin care and under makeup. DHA smell becomes detectable after 30 minutes.

Using a tip as suggested by Picturesque Makeup, I apply the Banana Boat lotion using a kabuki brush so that the coverage would be more even and I won't have to dirty/stain my hands.

I wish it was just as easy as misting and leaving it be with the Scott Barnes mist, but it isn't. The spray nozzle isn't very fine so the liquid would splash out in blotches. Therefore, I'd have to blend and massage the liquid in using surgical gloves after spritzing.

The Banana Boat lotion is easy to apply, absorbs quickly and no sticky feeling! An additional huge plus comes from the color. Not yellow at all and the color develops almost immediately. Unfortunately, it doesn't last very long! Maybe just a few days so you'd have to reapply regularly.

The Scott Barnes mist absorbs quickly and doesn't feel sticky at all however, the color becomes most noticeable only after three usages and it gives off a slightly yellowish tint. On the other hand, the lasting power is quite impressive.

Other self-tanners that I've tried:

Bain de Soleil Mega Tan

I hate the super artificial and sweet coconut scent enough to not wanna use it on my face anymore even if though it contains some SPF. It's annoying that the lotion is white and gives no immediate coloration so it's hard to tell where I've applied the lotion. Besides, it's not developing much of a tan for me

L'Oreal Sublime

There's a full review here. I like this product a lot at first but the more I used it, the stronger the smell of the DHA. Also, it left a rather strong yellow tint on my skin.

Sunless Tanning -- Make Up

You can fake a one-day tan with make-up if you're just looking to be tanned for say, a special occasion.

Sporting a fake make-up tan at the Hugo Boss Bottled Night launch event. I'm like the bologna sandwiched between two gorgeous pieces of white bread...

One way is to use a bronzing liquid that temporarily tints your skin until you wash it off with soap. The one that I have is the Ben Nye Bronzing Body Tint, purchased for USD$4/2oz. from Stage Supply.

I thought it'd be a product that I'd really like but it didn't turn out as so. The liquid evaporates way too fast, making it so difficult to pick up the product, let alone blend it in. It also feels very sticky and the tint has a tendency of rubbing off (literally) leaving the skin with ugly discolored patches and streaks.

I've tried using a synthetic kabuki brush, a sponge and my bare hands but with little luck.

Which was quite pity because the tint has the ability to darken the skin by at least two tones.

I still find actual make-up to be most effective in achieving a one-day tan. Click for the tutorial!


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Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Apronbay Brow + Waxing Destination -- Welcome Onboard!

Murder at a Seaside Loft?

Apronbay is your destination to escape from the mundane hustle and bustle of real life. It’s the place for you to leave behind your worries, stress and unwanted hair.

Bonne vacances!

Note: This post also includes step-by-step pictures of my first eyebrow waxing experience and a mini tip on how you can make your eyebrows look less harsh.

As the first beauty boutique with an air travel concept, Apronbay allows you to be pampered like how you would be on a first class flight. It is the ultimate brow and waxing destination where you can be groomed in full privacy of your desired holiday destination. Well, currently limited to five locations...

Pick your destination -- Eyebrow design and all sorts of waxing services including Full Leg Wax, Underarms Wax, Brazilian Wax and Nipple Wax? *imagines hairy nipples*

Apronbay takes pride in using only the best quality waxes from France with an extensive range to suit different skin and hair types. There's nothing short of luxury here!

Step through the [air]crafted door into...

New York or Shanghai?

Each room is decorated to look like a holiday destination, from the wallpaper to the lighting.

Perhaps the beach will get you in the mood for a Brazilian wax? Or have your brows waxed in the middle of the Covent Garden?

The Country Garden is an ideal escape from hot and busy Kuala Lumpur.
You can also have your manicure and pedicure done at the first class waiting lounge.

Pay close attention and you will notice decorations meticulously selected to fit Apronbay's air travel theme. See the three clocks? Each one represents a different time zone -- London, Kuala Lumpur and Paris.

Middle: Founder of Apronbay and former flight attendant, Ashley Loong

While they're also pleasantly at your service in their 60's flight attendant uniforms, the Apronbay beauticians are trained professionals in the art of waxing.

You can have your eyebrows designed ie. groomed by means of tweezing (RM18), threading (RM12) or waxing (RM22).

If you ask me, it's like paying for economy and getting a free upgrade to first class. Why pay RM30-RM55 to have your eyebrows done on a stool in plain sight of curious passers-by in a department store when you can be groomed on a designated bed or seat in your favorite location, privately? Won't you rather have the full attention of a trained beautician instead of putting the fate of your eyebrows on a possibly untrained sales assistant who may abandon you halfway through to serve another customer? Just saying.

If you're not sure of which method to choose, have the Apronbay beautician consult you and make recommendations based on your existing eyebrow shape, hair texture and also pain tolerance.

Because I already have shaped eyebrows, waxing was a good option for me to clean up the strays.

First the warm wax is applied to the unwanted hair area where it hardens as it cools. The strip of wax is then swiftly removed along with the unwanted hair. I hardly winced during the stripping so I'd say the level of pain is about 2 out of 10. There was a slight numbing sensation where the wax was stripped off. I tried two types of waxes; beeswax-based and mineral-based. Again, the type of wax used is according to your skin and hair type.

Hair that is too short to be waxed will have to be removed using tweezers. The wax area is disinfected using an electronic thingamajig to prevent infection of the hair follicle as opposed to using alcohol which may cause stinging and sensitivity. Finally, a cooling gel is swiped over the freshly waxed area to soothe it.

The result -- exactly what I'm looking for! Clean brows that are even and not too thin.

My strays didn't start to grow back until after about a week and a half. Hair that eventually grew out were a lot finer than usual thus, not too visible.

With a laid-back ambiance and good company, I can confidently say that my visit to Apronbay was a delightful one. I can even imagine having a private ladies-only soiree with good food and some bubbly, being pampered to the max.

This is not the last time that you'll be seeing Apronbay featured on Skin Deco. Guess what's in store next?

After months of contemplating and finally getting proper "counseling" from Ashley herself, I'm about 90% ready to get a Brazilian wax. The other 10% is actually booking an appointment and doing it... *breaths in and out*

I'll definitely be writing about my first time but erm, no step-by-step pictures!

A Brazilian wax starts from RM35.

Apronbay is located along Jalan Telawi 4 in Bangsar. Please call 03-22878081 to make an appointment.

Visit the Apronbay website for full listing of services and be a member of their Facebook page for monthly promotion updates!

Mini Tip!

If your eyebrows are looking a little too harsh from the filling, lighten them with some face powder using an eyebrow brush. Lightening with a cotton bud or spoolie may lift off too much color. With this method, your eyebrows stay on completely, just lighter.

Credit: Many thanks to Kahani and Xin for the pics!



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Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Review + Tutorial: Anna Sui Autumn 2010 Makeup Trend

This year’s Fall makeup trend ushers in a refreshing change from the usual dark brooding colors. You still wouldn’t look off trend with pale skin, dark eyes and dark lips but for those of you who aren’t quite as emo, try the key color for Fall 2010 – yellow!

Anna Sui Autumn 2010 Cosmetics Collection, Kaleidoscopic Illusions, has a line-up of bright eyeshadows, which have been revamped to replace their previous line.

Read on for reviews, swatches, looks, and a tutorial. I’ve got something cute to show you at the end of the post!



It won't be a surprise if there are some people who buy Anna Sui cosmetics simply for the packaging. Look at that mother-of-pearl-esque casing and tell me it's not beautiful! The design was apparently inspired by Anna Sui's home furniture and interior decorations, which are embedded with mother-of-pearl.

I have the Anna Sui Eye Color in two colors:

900 (Light Green) -- pastel seafoam blue with sparse turquoise shimmers
801(Yellow) -- bright yellow with soft silver sparkles

The texture of these eyeshadows feel as if they are powdery matte eyeshadows. However, they do give off pretty good color vibrancy. They blend relatively well but can get slightly chalky if not properly layered. No prizes for guessing that I'm in love with the yellow. It's almost golden but not quite there. Good thing!

There are 25 colors in the range and I believe the texture as well as amount of shimmer vary from color to color.

Another eyeshadow in the new range is the more popular Anna Sui Eye Color Duo. The bottom portion (usually a darker color) is a cream eyeshadow while the top is a sheer powder eyeshadow. The idea is to apply the cream first and layer the powder over half of the cream to create a third color. Doing so, you'd get like this well-blended three-color look without actually having to blend. If only it was that easy!

Mine is in 03 Cool Green Nuance which contains a metallic royal blue for the cream and a light golden brown for the powder. When layered, the third color's supposed to be this light green but all I'm really seeing is a muddy teal? The blue generally has a poor color pay-off which takes forever to layer because a little bit of it keep rubbing off when a layer is added. The brown is basically just a sheer shimmery blending color.

When used together, the combination is not bad but here's where the weakness of the cream eyeshadow ruins everything. It creases horribly! Before I can even walk out the door, it has already started to crease. In the pictures above, I applied the cream eyeshadow over a layer of Urban Decay Primer Potion. If that can't get the color to stay, I don't know what can. Nice color combination or not, I'm done trying to make the cream eyeshadow work. The powder one is at least still usable.



For a bright fall look, combine yellow eyeshadow with warm browns. You can also apply a dark brown on the lower lash line instead of the seafoam blue to make the look more sultry. Add a very dark brown or soft black eyeshadow to the outer V if you want a more smoky look. I've used a very dark and thick liner to create more contrast, making the yellow pop even more.

Items Used:

Face:
Shu Uemura UV Under Base Mousse in Beige
Anna Sui Moisture Rich Fluid Foundation in B03
Anna Sui Spot Concealer in 03 Dark
Anna Sui Eye Brightener
Anna Sui Moisture Rich Powder Foundation in P04

Click here for base makeup tutorial and review

Cheeks:
Shu Uemura Glow On Blush in M Orange 55

Lips:
Anna Sui Lip Stick B in 03 (Last year's collection. Discontinued)
Anna Sui Mini Rouge V in 03 Vivid Purple

Eyes:
elf Mineral Eyeshadow Primer
Ben Nye Lumiere Creme Color Wheel (yellow)
Anna Sui Eye Color in 801 Yellow
NYX Eyeshadow in Brown
Anna Sui Eye Color Duo in 03 Cool Green Nuance (powder only)
NYX Eyeshadow in Deep Brown
Anna Sui Eye Color in 900 Light Green
MAC Eyeshadow in Ricepaper (highlight)
MAC Creme Eyeliner in Black used with Daiso Eyebrow Coat
Almay Intense i-Color Mascara
Daiso Auto Eyebrow Pencil in Light Brown

Isn't this the cutest little thing? Major brownie points (though I personally prefer cookies) for this uber cute classic Anna Sui rose. Now in purple! The Anna Sui Mini Rouge V is limited edition including two more colors; Vivid Red and Vivid Pink. They do have it in the permanent line but the rose is black. It's meant to be a mobile phone dangler or key chain so you'll have access to glossy lips on the go!

03 Vivid Purple is very sheer, just giving a hint of color and shine to the lips. I think it makes a decent tinted lip balm but not so much a gloss.

Anna Sui cosmetics are available at all Anna Sui counters.

Anna Sui Eye Color -- RM77
Anna Sui Eye Color Duo -- RM114
Anna Sui Mini Rouge V -- RM72


*Products featured in this post were provided by Anna Sui Malaysia for the purpose of review on Skin Deco

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