Skin Deco

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Living the Dream in Energy Day Spa

Waking up at a little past ten, I lazed around before I headed to Energy Day Spa for my facial appointment. Of all things to worry about, I thought about how am I to fall asleep during my facial if I'm already so well-rested?

To my delight, going into total relaxation wasn't an issue. Read on...

I arrived at the spacious reception where I was led into a consultation room to fill in form stating my skin concerns and details regarding my health and lifestyle. My spa experience began with changing into slippers and a bath robe followed by a stretch-out at the ladies' only Balinese-themed lounge, sipping hot date tea (so delicious!) while overlooking the city view. I noticed the woman beside me, taking her time with a paperback in hand as she waited for her massage on a weekday afternoon. If this is the dream, I wouldn't mind living in it. They also have a unisex lounge and couple treatment rooms for the lovey-doveys who want to relax together.

Soon, it was time for my facial treatment where I opted for a Youth Replenishment Treatment for hydration as well as firming and smoothing out fine lines. My therapist for the day, Grace, had excellent conduct with the kind of subtle courtesy that doesn't go unnoticed. You know how when you're given some private time by the therapist to change into your facial 'sarong' type of robe and the therapist would either a) barge in when you're not done, b) knock on the door asking if you're done and then you go "Not yet!" or c) doesn't knock when you're done and you open the door sticking your head out looking for her. Grace's instruction was simply to unlock the door and open slightly (not enough to see in) when I was done and lay on the bed.

Five minutes into the facial, my initial worries melted away. Grace's touch was perfectly pressured and yet completely fluid that she was releasing the tiniest knots I had that day. By the tenth minute, I was already dozing off. If I could feel that way when I was in a state of relaxation before walking in the spa, imagine how I would've felt if I was truly stressed and tensed. It would be 75 minutes in heaven.

When my facial was done, I was practically floating into the lounge as I stretched out again and enjoyed a second cup of that delicious date tea. In fact, I had a third. I didn't want to leave. If it wasn't because I was there on official duty, I wouldn't have.

Energy Day Spa uses Swiss Line paramedical skincare for their facial treatments and it worked well on my skin. My skin was looking and feeling fabulous for the entire week after my facial. My skin glowed, I didn't feel the need to wear foundation and even if I did, it glided on like a dream.

Having gone through my first day of work in realization that I will no longer be able to sleep in 'til noon on a weekday for a very long time to come, I'm now appreciating my moment in Energy Day Spa more so than ever.

The Youth Replenishment Treatment facial was RM198. They have facial treatments that go as low as RM150 and as high as RM450. In all honesty, for the ambiance and the service, I don't feel that the treatments are especially pricey since the typical shop-lot facial salon with the draw curtains are charging RM100+ for a facial and even more when they use space-age light machines that you're supposed to believe work. A RM700 facial didn't feel this good either.

For more information, do visit the Energy Day Spa website.

So if you're a keen on a moment in paradise, there's a special discount for Skin Deco readers!

Click on coupon to enlarge

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Thursday, February 17, 2011

Giveaway Reminder

Ello everyone!
We have a little more than 10 days until the two running giveaways end.
  1. Malaysia-only giveaway
  2. International (except for Malaysia) giveaway
There's only less than a handful of entries for the first giveaway which baffles me because I thought winning RM300 worth of I Nuovi products would be pretty cool. If you have any feedback on the giveaway or reasons for not entering (tasks too hard, prizes not attractive enough, etc.) do voice out below.

Anyway, if you haven't checked out the giveaways, please do :)

Off I go. Have a good day ahead!

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Reviews: L'Oreal White Perfect + Garnier Light

Pigmentation is perhaps one of the most difficult skin concern to tackle. It's especially so for Asian complexions with stronger skin color pigments. Personally, I take my medium skin tone for granted because I don't develop dark spots easily but I'm pretty sure they'll pop up eventually as I age. Thus, I do make sure to apply sunscreen especially on my cheeks where pigmentation is most prone to appear.

Mom, however, has been battling pigmentation for the longest time and so I've been pushing all sorts of whitening products over to her and believe it or not, one of them is actually working!

Read on for reviews of the products that she has been using including one very effective product from the L'Oreal White Perfect range.

L'Oreal White Perfect Day SPF17 PA++ Cream

For a day cream, it's pretty thick and heavy so you may wanna use just a tiny bit or it can get oily. It also has a pretty intense floral scent. The sun protection in this cream is nothing to shout about since it's only a mere SPF17 so you may wanna apply a sunblock after regardless.

Fortunately, the cream does work to brighten mom's complexion overall. Her skin tone is now much better matched to her neck and chest. She hasn't experienced dryness either since she's been using the cream.

Retails for RM33.90 at leading health care stores.

L'Oreal White Perfect Day & Night Spot Corrector

Day corrector on one side and a concentrated night serum on the other, this combination is to be used specifically on the pigmented spot. The day side dries to a slight powdery finish and has a bit of a concealing effect but it doesn't substitute an actual concealer. It only helps to brighten a little.The night sight is more of a gel that absorbs readily.

Mom went through her first tube in two weeks and was thrilled to see that her larger patches of pigmentation very much lightened. The darker spots didn't quite disappear but they don't look as intense as before. The problem is that there's really very little product in the tubes so unless you have only a few countable spots, you're gonna use up the tubes very quickly.

Because she didn't want to use up her second tube so fast, she's now using the corrector very sparingly and it's still working. The lightening effect is less dramatic but her spots are much more under control and do not resurface.

At the price, it's worth giving the L'Oreal White Perfect Day & Night Corrector a go especially when you should be seeing results by the time you're done with the first tube.

Retails for RM39.90 at leading health care stores.

L'Oreal White Perfect Double Action Radiance Boosting Double Essence

This one's supposedly a whitening serum infused with tourmaline to increase blood circulation for a rosier complexion. The serum is light and doesn't feel like much nor did it do much for mom. Perhaps it'll make a good for-the-sake-of-it serum but if you're looking for an intense whitening serum, you may wanna look elsewhere.

Retails for RM62.90 at leading health care stores.

Reader, Kelly Lee, reviewed two whitening product from Garnier. Unfortunately, they did not quite hit it out of the ball park when it came to lightening.

Garnier Light Oil Control Cream

The texture for this cream was a little too thick for my liking. I find it hard to apply it on my face. Sadly, I am allergic to this product. I gave this product to my mum to see if she was allergic to it. Gladly she wasn’t. She gave this product a 6/10 for its oil control abilities. Can’t see the difference in skin lightening as my mum has fair skin. It has a citrus scent and you only need a little amount to apply it to the entire face. The only thing lacking about this cream is SPF.

Retails for RM9.90(40ml) at leading health care stores.

Garnier Body LightExtra Whitening Repairing Milk Lotion

I love this product! I like the citrusy scent. It smelt almost like garnier light oil control cream. It’s milky white and it is easy to apply it on every part of your body. It absorbs really well into my skin. I tried applying this lotion on only one side of my legs for 2weeks to see if it whitens my skin. Sadly, I can’t see the difference. However, it really absorbs into the skin fast and keep my skin soft. This works better than most of the drugstore lotions.

Retails for RM9.90(120ml), RM16.90(250ml) and RM22.90(400ml) at leading health care stores.

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Monday, February 14, 2011

Failed V-day Tutorial

So this was supposed to be the last tutorial for the 2011 V-day Tutorial line-up inspired "Terrified" performed by Katharine McPhee and Zachary Levi. Can't stop listening to that song! Katharine has such a beautiful voice and Zachary looks unusually sexy when he sings ;)

Anyway, I filmed the tutorial, edited it but Windows Movie Maker refuses to save the video. I've tried re-uploading the files and re-editing but nothing has worked. I haven't been able to find a decent video editor that doesn't crash or produce one error after another. Any recommendations would be much appreciated!

Read on for more pics, items used and explanation on how I did the look.

The music video has nothing to do with this look. The song simply made me think of golden shimmers and deep purples yet soft. Not exactly what I've envisioned but it's still a good combination.

First, I prepped the lid with Urban Decay Primer Potion in Eden which is a soft matte yellow. Then, I dabbed a golden shimmer base (KATE Gel Liner in GD-1) on the inner lid. With the Stila #30 brush, I applied MAC Ricepaper (frosty golden beige) on the rest of the lid. After that, using a round crease brush, I applied MAC Sweet Chestnut (maroon) on the outer corner and blended it out with a tapered crease brush, bringing the color into the crease. Then, I placed Urban Decay Eyeshadow in Jet (deep purple) into the outer V and blend that out as well. I darkened the outer V with Urban Decay Black Dog (matte black) and blend. Following that, I applied MAC Pigment in Gold Dusk (frosty pale yellow) over the shimmer base. For the highlight, I used Lotree Eyeshadow in 07 which is a light beige.

Along the lower lash line, I applied Urban Decay Cobra (black with gold specks) and Gold Dusk in the inner corner. For eyeliner, I used Stila Smudge Pot in Pink Noir and then darkened it with Lotree Brush Pen Eyeliner. Just a slim (not too thin) line with a little wing. False lashes would look good with this makeup but a heavy load of mascara would work as well. I used Max Factor False Lash Effect mascara. I kept the brows lightly filled.

For the cheeks, I used MAC Blush in The Perfect Cheek, which is a a sheer matte muted pink. Then, I added some glow with Benefit Sugarbomb.

On the lips, I have on Anna Sui Lip Gloss C in 700. It's a sheer pink with light pink shimmers.

What do you have planned for Valentine's day? I'm keeping it on the low this year :)

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Friday, February 11, 2011

V-Day Tutorial: Just The Way You Are

Guys say that they like their girls just the way they are, all natural and without makeup. That's bull talk, if you ask me. Get them to Google 'Jessica Biel without makeup' and watch them cringe. I suppose what they really want is for their girls to look effortlessly beautiful but between you and me, effortless does take a bit of work.

"Just The Way You Are" by Bruno Mars is not completely realistic but it's still an awfully sweet song :)

Tutorial after the jump.

Items Used:

Stage Opening Act Primer
MAC Mineralize Foundation in NC30
I Nuovi Undercover Concealer in 4Y
Ben Nye Banana Visage Powder

MAC Mineralize Skinfinish in Comfort

Urban Decay Primer Potion in Sin
Anna Sui Eye Color in 500 Royal Brown (I think)
MAC Eyeshadow in Tete-a-Tint
Lotree Chic Smoky Black Pencil Eyeliner
Urban Decay Eyeshadow in Black Dog
MAC Eyeshadow in Ricepaper
ES False Lashes in A200 (KKCenterHK)
Maybelline The Magnum Super Film Mascara
Shu Uemura Hard 9 Eyebrow Pencil in Seal Brown

Stage Wondergloss Lipgloss in Lucina

Apply a golden brown eyeshadow onto the lid with an eyeshadow brush (Stila #30). Then, blend a matte flesh-toned or peachy eyeshadow into the crease to blend out the color.

Apply a black eye pencil along the upper lash line and smudge it out with a dense brush (Sigma E20), paying more attention to the outer corner. With a small brush, set the liner with a matte black eyeshadow.

Using a fluffy crease brush (Stila #30), smoke the outer corner by diffusing the black eyeshadow. Highlight under the brows. Line the lower lash line with the previously used golden brown eyeshadow and accent the outer half with a light smudging of black eyeshadow. Highlight the inner corner.

Complete the eye makeup by filling in eyebrows and applying mascara. Natural-looking false lashes are optional.

I've found my Valentine. Have you found yours?;)

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Thursday, February 10, 2011

New Tanning Experience at The London Orchid

My natural skin tone is between medium to tanned and although I have no problem walking out in the sun without an umbrella, I'm afraid I've been cooped up indoors a bit too much lately. Tanning, real or fake, takes work. To think that most Malaysian women do everything in their power NOT to get darker! :P

I haven't been basking out in the balcony nor have I been visiting the tanning salon (Note: Both options are NOT safe). My self-tanners have been untouched as well because I'm far too lazy to contort my body to reach unreachable areas eg. my back. So, you can imagine my excitement when I tried out spray tanning for the first time. Heck, I didn't even know such service existed in Malaysia.

Read on for my experience.

The London Orchid, owned by Leagha McMahon, offers your usual spa stuff such as facial treatments, body massages and manicures. But what really stood out for me was their spray tanning service, which is rare and possibly non-existent in Malaysia.


What's Spray Tanning?

Picture a compressed airbrush gun spraying a tanning solution all over you. The solution contains DHA which is the same stuff they put in self-tanners to make your skin darker, except in a higher concentration.


I was very pleased to have met Leagha. Not only did she make me feel comfortable (you'll know why this is important later on!), she is very knowledgeable and walked me through the entire process so that I'd know what to expect and understand how spray tanning works.

The London Orchid has a dedicated tanning room, allowing ample space to move around. Getting a spray tan requires a mini stretching exercise it seems! The spray gun is human-operated which means you'll need to be de-clothed. You can opt to wear a bikini (if you don't mind it getting stained) if you prefer but you'll get tan lines . If you're okay with going topless at the very least, a disposable thong will be provided and for those who want a wee bit more coverage, like I did, a regular disposable undie. A pair of sticky foot pads were also provided to prevent the solution from getting on the soles of the feet.

You know those misters they have in restaurants where you can feel the mist but it isn't really bothersome? That's how spray tanning feels like. The process was over pretty quickly so you should be in and out within 20 minutes.

Fresh out of the tanning room, I looked pretty baked and it's primarily due to the bronze guide color which washes off in the shower. The actual color takes 8 hours to develop during which you're advised to not get wet or sweaty even. Leagha used Sun Labs 12% on me. Those with lighter skin tones may wanna go for a lower dose of DHA to avoid looking like a walking carrot.

The tan was most beautiful on the second and third day where I've had people assume that I'd been out in the sun. It's certainly a much deeper color achieved in a shorter time compared to the usual five days of slathering on self-tanner to build the color.

Moisturizing daily and exfoliating every other day is impartial to ensure that the color will last longer and fade evenly. Nevertheless, by the 7th day, my skin was pretty much back to its regular color. You should also exfoliate and moisturize the day before your session so that you'll get an even coverage.

Considering how tiresome it is to apply self-tanning lotion and never being able to get an even application on the back, spray tanning is a relief. However, at RM210 per session, I'll probably only reserve it for special occasions though it's hard not to be tempted to have it done more frequently.

Check out The London Orchid website and Facebook page for full list of services.

67M Plaza Damansara, Damansara Heights Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 50490 +603 2095 6009 or +601 73060706

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V-Day Tutorial: Hero + Mini Review: Flower by Kenzo

Less than a week to Valentine's Day! I hope this year's V-Day Tutorial line-up will inspire you as much as it has inspired me.

Let's start with a look that I'm not familiar with: A classic old Hollywood pin-up look.

This one's full of inspirations and one of them is the Flower by Kenzo fragrance. I'll tell you more after the jump.

Read on for pictures (heavy) and the tutorial!

It started with Flower by Kenzo inspiring me to try a look with red lips to match its poppy flower icon. I figured the pin-up style eye makeup would best match a first-time red lip, which reminded me of 50s Hollywood. That made me think of the Chippendales in full marine uniform, stripping down to the bare minimum as I was serenaded by Enrique Iglesias's "Hero", sung by Bryan Chan.

Yeah... my brain's not properly compartmentalized.

Speaking of Flower by Kenzo, it's a very feminine scent that's very powdery, in my opinion. I find it rather unique compared to the usual sweet fruity or floral scents. I'm personally not too keen on the initial scent but it fades into something more pleasant after a few hours and lingers up until the end of the day.

If this perfume works for you, you may find yourself loving it. I know of some people who have it as their staple and after 10 years, it is still a favorite of many.

Available in both EDT (RM175/30ml, RM250/50ml, RM335/100ml) and EDP (RM275/50ml) with refill pack for the EDT (RM188/50ml).

The Tutorial

Items Used:

MAC Paint in Stilife
Lotree Eyeshadow in 02 (peachy pink)
Lotree Eyeshadow in 07 (light beige)
Lotree Eyeshadow in 10 (white)
MAC Pigment in Gold Mode
MAC Eyeshadow in Dark Edge
NYX Eyeshadow in Brown
I Nuovi Fluidliner Eye Pencil in Light
I Nuovi Fluidliner Eye Pencil in Noir
Lotree Brush Pen Eye Liner
Maybelline Cat Eyes Mascara
Maybelline theMagnum Super Film Mascara
ES False Lashes in A254 (from KKCentreHK)
Shu Uemura Hard 9 Eyebrow Pencil in Seal Brown
Lotree Natural Styling Eyebrow Powder Kit

Shu Uemura UV Under Base Mousse
Shu Uemura Nobara Cream Cover Stick in 754
Anna Sui Spot Concealer in 03
RMK Loose Powder in P00

Ettusais Cheek Color in PK6

RMK Lip Pencil in 09 Silver Brown
Stage Wonderlust Lipstick in Gwen

Beauty Mark:
For once in never, I'm actually pleased with my mole. But if you don't have one, no harm in drawing one on with a dark brown gel liner or liquid liner :)

The eyes are neutral but still dramatic because of the strong eyebrows and full lashes. Blue contact lenses would go well with this look because they make the eyes appear brighter, thus bigger and more doll-like.

The dark brows complement the red lips, framing the entire look. The cheeks are kept soft for balance.

Very surprisingly, I liked this look a lot. I've always stayed away from such a look as much as I love seeing it on others because I've always been uncomfortable wearing bright lip colors. I'm very glad that it turned out the way it's supposed to be.

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