Skin Deco

Monday, January 31, 2011

Double Prosperity for the Year of the Rabbit!

Let's kickstart the Year of the Rabbit with the tossing of "yee sang", festive nails and giveaways!

Being a rabbit myself, 2011's Lunar New Year marks a turning point in my life. Here's to hoping that it'll be an auspicious year.
Giveaway details after the jump!








One month into 2011, have you started fulfilling your resolutions?

Share with us the "New You" and win RM300 worth of I Nuovi products!
Complete the following tasks by 11:59pm Feb 28th, 2011

1. "Like" Skin Deco on Facebook
2. "Like" I Nuovi Professional on Facebook

On the Skin Deco Facebook Page Wall...

3. Upload a picture of yourself or anything else that represents the "New You" or the "New You" that you hope to become
4. Describe your picture and/or the "New You"
5. Link to your favorite look/tutorial on www.skindeco.net

The winner will be determined by the number of "likes" for the entry.
Hint: Tag your friends on your picture to get them to vote for you ;)

*This contest is open to Malaysian residents only. For non-Malaysian residents, check out the next giveaway.

Open worldwide EXCEPT for Malaysia

This goodie pouch is tightly-filled with all sorts of makeup and skin care products. To win it, complete the following tasks:
  1. Be a Follower/Subscriber of Skin Deco (please state in your entry)
  2. State in the comment section below: (a) Your Chinese Zodiac sign (b) Your favorite tutorial/look on Skin Deco
  3. Include your location
  4. E-mail a copy of your entry to skindeco.net@gmail.com. This is necessary so that I can contact you if you are selected as the winner.
  5. Get your entry in by Feb 28th, 2011 (GMT 8:00)
Example:

I'm a follower of Skin Deco on Google Friend Connect. My Chinese Zodiac sign is the Ox and my favorite tutorial is "Fall Easily". I hail from Singapore.


Good Luck and Gong Xi Fa Cai!


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My Travelling Moisturizers: Steam Cream + Vichy Essentielles

I'll admit that I have far too many moisturizers than my face can possibly absorb which is why I have ones that I dedicate for traveling. With reason too.

When I travel, I look for moisturizers that will maintain my skin when I'm away from my usual skin care and not using any toners or serums. They should also be able to help my skin adapt to different environments such as dry air-conditioning and be gentle enough to prevent irritations.

The Steam Cream and Vichy Essentielles hold a place in my travel bag. They have been serving me well and I believe they'll continue to do so when I'm away for the Lunar New Year.
Steam Cream

What can be handier than a cream that can be used on both the face and the body? I try to keep my skin care to a minimum when I travel so I mostly just bring with me a cleanser, moisturizer and sunblock.

My skin doesn't tolerate air-conditioning well and with the Steam Cream, I can keep my skin from pruning throughout the night. The cream is pretty rich but the amount can be adjusted to what you're comfortable with. Nevertheless, I wouldn't recommend it for day use if your skin has a tendency of becoming oily. I'd sometimes do without a day moisturizer because my skin would be sufficiently hydrated by morning and my sunblock would've provided enough moisture.

There's a rosemary-like scent that may seem rather strong initially but with continuous use, I've finally gotten used to it. In fact, I now find it rather calming. The mousse-cream texture is rather interesting. It's not as thick as most creams nor is it runny like a lotion. With that, I can cover a large area without using too much product.

The tin packaging, while very attractive, probably isn't the most practical for travelling but because I only need just one moisturizer, I have more than enough space for the tin. Just gotta make sure that I close it tight.

Steam Cream comes in all sorts of tin designs. I have another one in Earth. They're available from Serendipity for RM63.

Vichy Essentielles

If you're looking for a fuss-free gentle moisturizer, look no further than the Vichy Essentielles Facial Cream and Vichy Essentielles Emulsion. They're simple, non-irritating and they do what they're supposed to do -- moisturize.

The cream is rich enough for night time and the lotion is lightweight for day time even under makeup. Actually, they make excellent staple moisturizers as well. If I use the cream at home, I'd sometimes add a few drops of the Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Concentrate for a boost. But what makes these moisturizers ideal for travelling is the compact tube packaging. No heavy jars or pump bottles with the caps going missing.

There's nothing bad that I can say about these moisturizers. They satisfy me well as basic everyday moisturizers wherever I am. They get the job done and nothing else. Just don't hope for anything extra.

The Vichy Essentielles range has a lower price point compared to other Vichy products. Both the Facial Cream and Facial Emulsion are RM35/50ml each.




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Mini Reviews: Organic Lippies

Organic cosmetics are the in thing right now and while I’m personally not too iffy about needing to go organic, I do have a slight inclination towards organic lippies. Having very sensitive lips, I often find myself allergic to all sorts of lip products. Organic or even natural formulations tend to have more simplified ingredients, making it easier for me to pinpoint the culprit if I do get a reaction.

This post reviews several organic lip products that I’ve tried and tested.

EOS Lip Balm

I’ll admit that I wanted this lip balm because Ed Westwick uses it. I was very well aware that the formulation contains beeswax, which I’m allergic to, and yet I wanted to try it. The packaging is so not pocket-friendly but awfully adorable and the dome-shaped balm gets balm everywhere but who cares? I was definitely allergic to it but if I wasn’t, I’d like this balm a lot. It’s neither heavy nor oily and yet it moisturizes so I can imagine why a dude would use this balm. He can apply the balm hands-free and yet not look like he’s applying lipstick.

Mine’s in Honeysuckle Honeydew and it does smell pleasantly of honeydew melon. Also available in Lemon Drop and Summer Fruits. You can get them from Sasa.com for USD$5

Hurraw Tinted Cinnamon Lip Balm

If your knees go weak every time you walk pass Cinnabon, you’ll love the smell of this lip balm. The cinnamon scent is quite distinct with a hint of spiciness even. I like the flat tube design which reduces the bulk when I stuff it into my jeans pocket. The oval-shaped balm also allows for a more precise application. This particular flavor is tinted, giving a sheer cheery red tint. When applied, you should feel the tingling sensation from the cinnamon and your lips may look a tad fuller.

The formulation is chock full of moisturizing ingredients that your lips would love such as jojoba oil, cocoa butter, olive oil and vitamin E. Overall, a pretty decent lip balm. It comes in many other flavors if cinnamon’s not your cup of tea.

Available from Super Smoocher at £2.76

Lavera Glossy Lips

Organic lip balms are easy to come by but organic lip glosses aren’t so I was certainly keen to try one. Everything about this lipgloss looks like a regular lipgloss. I especially liked the slim tube. The content, however, was a little unexpected. It didn’t really feel like a lipgloss rather, it felt more like a runny lip balm. So it does give a little shine and color to the lips but it wasn’t sticky gooey glossy gloss. I like it enough to use it but because it’s not long lasting at all, I’d need to reapply quite often.

The color that I picked is Almond Kiss which gives a warm bronzy color that I’m ok with. Not particularly thrilled with the color. It's not outstandingly great but it's not bad either. I guess I’m not too sure how I feel about this lipgloss.

Available from Super Smoocher at £8.08

Madara Sunkissed Tinting Lip Gloss

This one’s somewhat similar to the Lavera lipgloss except it has slightly better lasting power and more glossy shine. However, it's probably from oil rather than gloss. The color Sunkissed is pretty sheer but I like how the bronzey tone enhances my natural lip color. It feels rather moisturizing so I’d use this more as a tinted lip balm rather than a lip gloss.

Available from Super Smoocher £9.50. Locally, it's available from Body Bar at RM48.


Get 10% off your purchase from Super Smoocher with the code SKINDECO. Promo ends February 28th, 2011. They ship internationally!

Bonus: A few other natural/organic lip balms that I like

Origins Organic Soothing Lip Balm
Crazy Rumors Lip Balm
theBalm to the Rescue Vegan Lip Treatment


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Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Review: Sasatinnie Super Dolly Powerful Curling Mascara

Usually when I'm asked to recommend a good mascara, I'd say go for the Maybelline Volum' Express range. They're highly affordable, work fantastically and well, not many pricier mascaras have worked better, in my experience. Um, with the exception of my one and only makeup vice, Make Up For Ever Smoky Lash.

I believe it was Ee Von (eevisvain) who made me take a second look at the Sasatinnie Super Dolly Powerful Curling Mascara. Perhaps there is a bigger mascara world out there...

Instead of your regular brush applicator, you get this angled comb wand. I assumed that it would be easy to control but I ended up with a few messes when I was coating my upper lashes. I think it's probably because the bristles are very short so you won't get the feeling of combing through your lashes like how you would with a brush applicator. It reminds me a little of a screw mascara.

However, it applies very well to the lower lashes where less pressure is needed to coat the lashes. Also, the wand itself is flexible so when you swirl it in the tube, you'd be able to pick up the mascara towards the side of the tube... Did that make sense? Basically, less wastage.

I'd say that the effect is pretty darn good in terms of curling, separating and lengthening. It's certainly waterproof as well. What it lacked though, was volume but I did find a way of using this mascara to make me love it. Unlike the Majolica Majorca mascaras that have those pesky fibers in them, Sasatinnie Super Dolly's fibers (at least I think they're there) are super small and fine. So, what I'd do is apply my volumizing mascara first then add a coat of Sasatinnie for lengthening. For those who are more well-endowed, this combo has the potential of making your lashes look like falsies.

If you're looking for a mascara's that up a notch from Majolica Majorca Lash Expander, give Sasatinnie a try. That is if you can get used to the comb applicator.

Retails at SaSa outlets for RM42.90
Also available via Sasa.com

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Monday, January 17, 2011

I've Got The Whole World In My Hands

One moisturizer to rule them all!
I finally caved and bought into the hype that is Steam Cream. Damn that awesome-looking tin! Earth and many other designs available at Serendipity for RM63 :D Join the cult...

With Stage Cosmetics having a might-as-well-be storewide sale of RM18 per item, I've made progress with my 2011 resolution. And I bought a few beauty books.

Read on to check out my loot!

The brand's acting like they're closing down but rumors here and there say they're not. So, this is probably the best time to get their amazing lipglosses (I have 5 colors now so trust me, they're good!). Among other things.
Trying to not buy stuff that I already have (YES! This is trying! *cries*), I bought the Wondergloss in Lucina, Picture Perfect concealer in Ingenue Genie, Eye Pencil in Teal (gorgeous color!) and my very first red lippie that I bought with my own money, Wonderlust Lipstick in Gwen.

RM18 each! The only items that are not RM18 I think are the brushes and palettes. Promo ends February 28th, 2011.

Beauty books are usually full of pretty unrealistic pictures (PHOTOSHOP!!!!) with hardly any substantial information. Nothing that you can't Google, at least.
Months of stalking physical and online bookstores, realizing that most beauty books are not much different than one another, I finally picked up:
  1. "Beautiful Brows" by Nancy Parker and Nancy Kalish: Eyebrows, to me, can make or break a look. If there's one makeup skill that I'd like to perfect, it would be eyebrow grooming for both myself and for others. This book is very informative but the ideology may be a tad outdated. Some of the instructions are perhaps too rigid. The graphics for this book are horrible and not at all good examples of beautiful brows. Otherwise, the written content is not too bad and you'll certainly learn more about eyebrows than what a regular beauty book would present. -- USD$9.81 from Book Depository (ships worldwide for free!)
  2. Kevin's Make-up Magic Book + Kevin's Perfect Beauty Guide: Just as much as I prefer Asian beauty magazines over Western ones, this duo by Taiwanese makeup maestro, Kevin, is how beauty books should aim to be. They're translated versions so don't expect perfect English content but I assure you, there's something to learn from every page whether you're a beginner or intermediate when it comes to makeup. The models used are all regular girls (aka non-supermodels) and Kevin addresses a few common concerns, showing how to fix them using makeup as well as skin care. There's a step-by-step instruction for every look. -- RM45 for a set of two books. Purchased from MPH.
*coughs* A little self-promotion *coughs*

I've just completed my finals, awaiting graduation and I'm looking for a position in Marketing and/or Communications. If you know of any companies based in KL with job vacancies, please please drop me an e-mail. Thank you!


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Saturday, January 15, 2011

Jungle Adventure -- The Brazilian Wax

I enjoy the occasional adventures in my life even if I'm not so much of an adrenaline junkie. I've become wimpier over time.

The urge for adventure has always been there but being a typical Virgo, this is what happens:
I over-analyze, make a million excuses not to do it, refuse, get close to doing it, chicken out, be pushed by someone else to do it, dig up some courage and then it's now or never.

Be it swinging from tree to tree on Sky Trex or white water rafting (though I'm less nervous about water), the outcome is always the same -- I'd feel exhilarated after and I'd wanna do it again.

So, I figured if I can survive my fear of plummeting to my death from 200 feet (ok, it was more like 60), I can survive a Brazilian Wax.

Now or never. Do or die. Read on.

Standing outside STRIP! The Ministry of Waxing in Lot 10, it was the moment of truth.

Are you ready for this? *cue pumped-up music from Jock Jams*

They started by putting me at ease with whatever I'd worry about getting a Brazilian wax for the first time.

Hygiene is assured where everyone gets a personal wax pack, consisting of new spatulas and a wet wipe, before they go in. Strip has a strict no-double-dipping policy. Can you imagine having wax with a stray hair THAT'S NOT YOURS being spread over your hoo-ha? *shudders*

Strip compiled The Virgin Forest Guidebook which takes Brazilian virgins through the steps of the procedure so that they'd know what to expect.

A squeezy animal can be brought into the room for company. Mr. Koala was very helpful!

The 4th Strip outlet in Malaysia has a nautical theme with all the works, from the lighting to the door knobs. While it's still functional, the space was a little tight.

The room, however, was comfortably spacious. Not the most intimate environment but I did appreciate the reading material on the cabinet to take my mind off the "discomfort", both physical and mental.

Formulated with Brazilian virgins in mind, Strip uses Strawberry wax, a type of hard wax*, that's supposedly gentle on the skin.

*Hard wax is normally used for delicate area where the wax hardens before the therapist rips the entire thing off. No cloth strips are needed. Those would be strip wax, used for larger areas and would be more painful when used on delicate areas.

The Experience

Butt-naked (totally exposed!) and wiped clean, I laid on the bed with a towel covering down 'til where the bush starts. The therapist, Christine, began by inspecting the density of hair before proceeding to trimming. Remarkably, I got over being exposed quickly enough, which was initially by biggest concern. Perhaps it had something to do with the therapist's blank expression during the process. I suppose if she had looked surprised, I'd have something to worry about. "Jeebers! There might be an extinct animal in there!"

It's not fair for me to tell you that it isn't painful since everyone's pain tolerance level is different and mine happens to be somewhat low. Holding my breath throughout the entire session, I didn't cry nor did I scream. Except when she did the labia, that was the most painful but nothing more than a "Woooh! Ssss.....".

My skin's dry everywhere and down below as well. Because of that, the wax couldn't grab onto my hair as well as it should, explained the therapist. She also showed me how the wax ripped off some of my dry skin as well... along with my coarse hair... Yeah, I didn't ask so I was a tad taken aback but still fascinated with how much hair that's down there. Word of advice; scrub and moisturize prior to waxing. Any remaining hair that didn't manage to come off with the wax were tweezed. She then applied some anti-septic on the area as well as the Peace ampoule to soothe and calm.

The entire process took about 25 minutes and by the end of it, I was feeling relieved with a huge sense of accomplishment.

The Aftershock

I was given two tubs of cream, which I can't be certain worked or not. Day one was well and dandy but day two came the painful zits. It started out with two and another one about a week later.

When I was still mentally preparing for the wax, I was told by experienced people that my vag will itch and itch, it did. Sometimes it'd get so bad that I'd have to take anti-histamine pills and sleep bottomless.

I've always wondered what the purpose of pubic hair is and when I peeing at a public toilet one day, I realized. The hair helps direct the pee. And when I'm faced with a seated public toilet, I do a plié instead of sitting so direction is crucial!

Despite all that, I actually wanna do it again. Itchiness aside, it feels comfortable to not have a bristly forest and though it's been 1 month since my wax, the growth has been very little and the hair's definitely a lot finer.

Until 28 February 2011, Strip is offering a first-timer package for RM88 (usual price: RM152). Strip outlets are available in Bangsar, The Curve, Sunway Pyramid and Lot10. For more info, do visit their website www.strip-my.com

By the way, Strip does Boyzilian as well so the next time a boy makes fun of you for being wimpy, dare them to have their scrotum waxed. A doctor once told me that if men were meant to give birth, there'd be a lot less people in this world.





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Saturday, January 8, 2011

Update: It's The Final Countdown

So I've got this fabulous (fake) tan and here I am, cooped up at home. It's the final of my finals. One paper down and two more to go. That would be my notes on the floor. With all the makeup crowding my desk, where'd you think I was gonna study?

Anyway, I'm not big on resolutions because I almost never stick to them so I'm not really making any improbable ones this year.

But I do have one beauty resolution for 2011. Check it out after the jump.

What's your beauty resolution for 2011?


This pic was taken before the tan

This year, I'm gonna try wearing lip colors that are not nude. I know this pink isn't a big deal but hey, baby steps! It's already a lot more color than what I'd usually go for. Who knows? Maybe come 2012 I'd brave myself to wear a deep burgundy or... wait for it... fuchsia! If not, is there a lip color that you're eager to see me wear? As in, with a full look and not just a lip shot!


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Monday, January 3, 2011

Favorites of 2010 + Beauty Reads of December '10

2010 marked my last year of being a student which means this year, I'll be morphing into an adult -- hunt for a full time job, work towards getting myself a car (though very unlikely!), pay off my student loan, wear clothes other than T-shirt and jeans and perhaps even have a cup of joe every morning. As cliché as this sounds, it's amazing how time flies! Can you tell that I'm twitching?

I've had my blogging buddies prepare me via Tweets and I'll surely be needing them to keep me sane in 2011!
December '10 was a month of temptations...
My Favorite Products of 2010 after the jump!

Skin

Hada Labo Tamagohado AHA + BHA Cleanser
Cleanses very well, keep my whiteheads at bay and smooths my skin. I recently discovered that it makes a pretty decent exfoliating mask when applied on dry skin and left on for about 3 minutes before rinsing off.

The Body Shop Honey & Oat 3-in-1 Scrub Mask
It scrubs gently without drying out my skin and I can't get enough of the authentic oatmeal scent that brings back many happy memories.

Madara Deep Comfort Toner
This toner is a must have for anyone with dry, irritated skin. It calms down the skin immediately and there are so many other ways that you can utilize this toner.

Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Oil
I'm still not sure what it does but my skin loves it and a little goes a long long long way!

Biore Oil in Cotton Cleansing Wipes
It gets all makeup, including waterproof mascara, off! My only gripe is the size of the wipe.

Base

Madara Moon Flower Tinting Fluid
I never imagined that I'd like a tinted moisturizer so much but this one's an exception.

Make Up For Ever HD Foundation
If you can find the right color, it really is a very impressive foundation.

Eyes

Make Up For Ever Smoky Lash Mascara
My favorite mascara ever. EVER! I've already ordered my 3rd tube. Why must it be so pricey? T_T

Shu Uemura Hard 9 Brow Pencil

I've never really bought into the whole iconic makeup products but this one's a real keeper and though I'm very pleased with my cheap RM5 Daiso eyebrow pencils, this one's still very worth it because one pencil will probably last you a year or longer.

Beautilicious Victoria Palette
Good quality makeup in a pretty and very compact palette. It's been in my makeup pouch for the longest time.

Lips

Silkygirl Moisture Max Lip Gloss
I was completely thrilled with this cheap find. There were so many reasons to love this gloss!

Urban Decay Pocket Rocket Lipgloss
This lipgloss will make you crave for desserts or a hot man or both.

Shiseido Perfect Rouge Lipstick

One of the most comfortable lipsticks I've ever worn in one of the easiest-to-wear colors.

Body

Wakilala Underarm Whitening Cleanser and Essence
Wave confidently with whitened underarms! This duo really works!

Fragrance

Britney Spears Circus Fantasy Fragrance
I usually forget to wear perfume but I love this one so much that I have to remember NOT to wear it so that I won't use it up so fast!

What were your favorite products of 2010?


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