Saturday, November 29, 2014

SK-II Festive Confret Sets

SK-II Miracle in a Bottle Set (RM565)
  • SK-II Facial Treatment Essence 215ml
  • SK-II Facial Treatment Gentle Cleanser 120g

SK-II Best Essential Set (RM974)
  • SK-II Facial Treatment Essence 215ml
  • SK-II Facial Treatment Repair C 30ml
  • SK-II Facial Treatment UV Protection SPF 25 PA++ 30ml
  • SK-II Facial Treatment Mask 2 pieces

SK-II Revival Deluxe Set (RM1,094)
  • SK-II Facial Treatment Essence 215ml
  • SK-II STEMPOWER Eye Cream 15g
  • SK-II Skin Signature 3D Redefining Mask 1 piece

SK-II Aura Glow Set (RM1,310)
  • SK-II Facial Treatment Essence 215ml
  • SK-II Cellumination Aura Essence 50ml
  • SK-II Cellumination Deep SurgeEX 50g
  • SK-II Whitening Source Derm-Revival Mask 1 piece

SK-II Men Essential Festive Set (RM784)
  • SK-II Men Facial Treatment Essence 215ml
  • SK-II Men Moisturizing Cleanser 120g
  • SK-II Men UV Protect Moisturizer 50g

SK-II Finest Inspiration Set (RM2,439)
  •  SK-II Special Edition LXP Ultimate Perfecting Essence 215ml
  • SK-II LXP Ultimate Perfecting Cream 50g
  • SK-II LXP Ultimate Perfecting Serum 50ml

Thursday, November 27, 2014

My Favourite Top 5 Natural Skincare Brands

Many of us are slowly converting into natural skincare, and whenever possible, organic skincare. I think we all can agree that too much of chemicals put on our skin isn't the best way to take care of our skin. There are so many natural skincare brands that appeared in the market lately. Here are the top 5 natural skincare brands that I love and I think you should give it a try.

#5 - Tebe

Tebe is a skincare brand originated from New Zealand. They're very specific with the ingredients of their products. The main portion of the ingredient is made of olive extract that grown in New Zealand. Their product range is limited. I love their cleansing products. The olive extract retains moisture and pH level of the skin. However, Tebe products aren't exactly that effective when it comes to targeted problems.

#4 - L'Erbolario

I recently discovered this brand at 1Utama. I wasn't convinced at first, but after trying out the eye cream with Camellia & Grape Seeds for two nights, I'm totally sold! The brand originate from Italy. Their outlet is very easy to spot. It looks like antique apothecary store from the outside and it feels that way too on the inside. They have full product range - skincare, body care, aromatherapy, men and baby range. The product range is very structured. You can choose the products based on your skin type, or your skin condition.

#3 - L'Occitane

L'Occitane can be a bit mainstream, but I still love it as a natural brand, particularly the Immortelle and Divine range. The Immortelle scent is very pleasant and it's skin repair ability is pretty effective. Meanwhile, the Divine range works like wonder for matured skin. The result is almost immediate. I love other products from L'Occitane as well, but I can never justify paying that much for it. For repairing products (serum, night cream, eye cream), it is totally worth the investment.

#2 - Pangea Organics

Pangea Organics is not just a natural skincare brand. It is an ecocentric brand that certified organic. It is one of the very few companies that take a holistic approach in being a green company. Their products are made from organic and sustainable grown ingredients. The packaging are recycled and the boxes are infused with plant seeds. When you throw it away, the box will biodegrade and grow into a tree. As for the product, I think they do a great job in their facial masks and day cream.

#1 - Korres

Korres have been on the top of my list as favourite skincare brand for awhile. As a bonus, it is also a natural. The company combines natural formulations and match make it with the latest technology to produce clinically effective skincare. So far I've not disappointed with Korres products and they continue to amaze me with its efficacy (except the makeup wipes). Korres have full range of beauty products, not just skincare. There's cosmetic range and nail polish as well.

These are the TOP 5 natural skincare brand that I love. Choosing natural skincare is not exactly an easy task to do, taking account that so many companies are packaging themselves as "natural brand" but still adopt the same practice as other mainstream skincare brands. If you're thinking of going into more natural products in your beauty regime, I think you should start with these brands first.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

[Review] M.A.C. Blacktrack Fluidline Gel Liner

What it is?
Ultra-smooth, Fluidline's gel formula provides the precision of liquid liner with a silkier, softer finish. Goes on "foolproof" with a brush in an easy dip-and-stroke action. Long-wearing. Smudge-proof. Lines up in a rich array of colours and finishes.

1. Long lasting. This gel liner is one tough chick. Put it on and it stays there as it is until you remove it. Not just that, it doesn't smudge even after 24 hours of wearing it.
2. Waterproof. If you want to look good with your eyeliner while swimming in the pool, this is the eyeliner to go for.
3. Creamy smooth texture. It makes the work of drawing the line really enjoyable. Very easy to work with.
4. Completely opaque so you don't have to go on to apply second round.
5. Very durable. One jar goes a long way.

1. You have to invest on a good eyeliner brush. May seem as troublesome to some people.
2. Expensive. This is pretty much expected from high end cosmetic brand.

I really enjoy this product a lot because of two reasons - it wears a long time and the lifespan of the product is super long. If you break down in terms of per use, the price is cheaper than a lot of drugstore gel liner, but of course the initial sum to fork out can pinch your purse a little bit. I love this eyeliner for clubbing (even after party the entire night, my eyeliner did not smudge a little bit), beach/pool day out (it is a real deal when it comes to its waterproof strength) and sweaty days.

As much as I love this eyeliner, this is not my everyday eyeliner because it requires a little bit of time to draw with my lousy eyeliner brush.

Price: RM76
Available at all M.A.C. store

Monday, November 17, 2014

Introducing Natural Artisan Skincare: Witchery Bath & Body

I've just started my own natural artisan skincare!

But first, let me thank all of you who read my blog. By coming to this blog, you guys enable me to cash out some cheques from ad earnings on this blog. It is not a lot, but I managed to save it up to start Witchery Bath & Body. Thank you so so much for reading this blog. From the stats, I know you guys been following my blog and if you have been really quiet, do drop me a hello on the comment.

I'm so excited to tell you guys about this and I don't know where to start. Should I talk about the brand first? Or should I talk about the products? Or should I start with the collaboration? My mind is all over the place.

The name was the hardest part of the setup. I was looking for an icon that uses herbs & plants because the nature of the products is plant-based. At first the idea was to brand it like hippies (hippies always preach on being close to nature and live their lifestyle the basic way). It isn't a bad idea to package the brand as hippies but later I had a lightbulb moment. I thought it would be more interesting to brand it in a wizadary fashion. It sounds more fairy tale and I can play with the product names.

The products are 100% handcrafted and made from 100% natural ingredients. Whenever it is possible, we will use organic ingredients. 

For the debut, I've started with Nut Over Nutella Lip Balm. Like the name suggest, it is all about Nutella. I'm a Nutella fan, so it is no surprise when I choose Nutella as the very first flavour for my lip balm. You can read all about the product on the product page.

I also made an unflavoured, unscented, and uncoloured lip balm for those with very sensitive skin. This lip balm is specially dedicated to my friend who has very sensitive skin. She can't put on any lipstick, her lips turn red and itchy everytime she put on lipstick. The Back-to-Basic Lip Balm works as a protectant for your lips. It creates a layer of barrier that works as a base to protect your skin.

Coming up very soon, I will be launching Joey's Peanut Butter Lip Balm. I'm not sure if you have tried Joey's Peanut Butter yet. It is an artisan peanut butter, available in creamy and crunchy. You can get it from Jaya Grocer. I will also be launching aloe vera gel, but I need to get to my house in Melaka to harvest it from my backyard garden. Next month, there will be mood soap where you can enhance your mood with essential oil soap.

I'm so lucky to have my partner helping me to develop the products. She works as chemical engineer in a skincare factory and has all the expert knowledge in product development. She's like an angel sent from heaven because she really knows her stuff and that's something I really need to have Witchery started. 

As a 100% natural artisan skincare brand, we are very transparent. Most of the products are developed from ingredients that are readily available in your kitchen or garden. We have all the ingredients listed and also the making method on the product page. If you are interested, you can make it yourself. Of course it is much cheaper to purchase from us because we buy the ingredients in bulk and we (the partners) share out some of the costs.

Thank you once again for making this a reality for me. I really appreciate all of your support. Do continue to support me in this new project. Head to Witchery Bath & Body and subscribe to us. We will be making more interesting products soon and we'll also share a lot of natural beauty tips on the page. I hope that soon we have enough products to join artisan markets and flea markets on the weekend. I'm so excited already!!! You can also follow us our Facebook page for short snippets and beauty tips on the go.

Tips for Working from Home

Hello Monday! It's the beginning of working week again and let's talk about work today.

With the rise of technology, more and more companies are encouraging their employees to work from home. It saves cost, save time and increase productivity (if you use the opportunity properly). I've been working from home for almost one and half years. I hope I can share with you some tips that I learn along the way to make your experience working from home an enjoyable one.

#1 - Wake up normal hour
It is so tempting to sleep in, especially when you have a flexible hour. Avoid the temptation. Wake up as usual, like how you wake up when you have a 9 to 5 job. It is to train your body on your awake-and-sleep pattern. My dad told me anything that has got to do in changing your body is the hardest but when you set a pattern to it, it becomes a normal thing to do.

#2 - Make yourself available during working hour
Set your working time and chain yourself at your work desk (not literally). Let's say your normal working hour is 9am to 5pm, you have to put your job as your top priority during those hours. If you want to take an hour off to run your errands, make sure you bring your phone along and answer every call. Make sure all your important tasks are done before you take your time to do your house work. I always reply my emails early in the morning. While waiting for the replies, I'll take 10 minutes to do my laundry or to sweep my floor. The most important thing is to make yourself available to your job at working hour.

#3 - Allocate a work space
Get yourself a work desk. Or if you can afford, make a room into a work office. Make sure everything in the vicinity of your work place is only related to your work. This allows you to separate your personal life from your work life. And it helps you concentrate better, especially when your bed, tv, kitchen, pool, etc. are constantly tempting you to slack off.

#4 - Stay connected
Although you're away from office, remember to stay connected with your colleagues and especially your bosses. Discuss with them about work during office hour (this is also a good way to show that you're actually working at home). Whenever you have to make decision, make sure you get approval from your bosses or discuss it with your colleagues first. Always remember that working from home is a big disadvantage when it comes to communication and communication is the key to maintaining relationship with others. In a situation where your boss has a chance to promote someone, the person sitting in office has double the chance compared to you. This is why you need to stay connected with everyone in the office despite not being there in physical form. Remember, out of sight out of mind.

#5 - Hangout with your team
This is part of #4. Do make time for lunch with your team/boss/colleagues at least once every fortnightly. This gives you the opportunity to catch up on what's happening in the office. Be included in your team. Remind them that you are part of their team so that you're not left out in any opportunities available. When you're not around, your presence can be easily slipped off their minds.

For a positive vibes for working from home, always separate your personal life from your working life. The most import thing is to separate your time, space and mind. Remember to stay connected with those whom you are working with. When you're in the comfort of working from home, you might forget that relationship is very important. Stay connected with everyone.

I hope you appreciate these tips. If you are working from home and have more tips to share with me, do comment below so I can learn from you as well.

Happy working week everyone!

Saturday, November 15, 2014

[Weekend Edition] Alexa Chung's IT Book

Do I need to introduce who Alexa Chung is? I guess not. But if you don't know, she's one of a top self-made model. Some of her major appearances are face of DKNY & Lacoste, music video appearances for Westlife, catwalking for Vivienne Westwood, Stella McCartney, Pepe Jeans and many more. Recently she launched her range of bags for Longchamp. Flip any beauty magazine, and you'll see her face.

Unlike most of the fashion models, Alexa is one rare phenomena, putting her in the same category as Kate Moss & Cara Delevingne. She's gotten the nickname the "It Girl" for being original, beautiful, clever and modern girl. That's the right definition for "it" girl by the way.

And so.... she wrote a book titled "IT". I've been looking for it for a  long time, unfortunately I couldn't find it anywhere. Surprisingly, I found it in a bookshop in Indonesia. So I quickly grabbed it.

It quickly became a good travel companion. Basically, the reading is light, fun and short. The content is very original, somewhat like reading a diary of a very interesting piece of mind. The topic that she covers is very wide - everything under the sun. From fashion, her family stories, growing up experience, being a groupie, summer rave party, weird tips and tricks and many more.

This book is perfect for lazy weekend and travel. It's not very educational per se, but it's definitely mind-opening. Every girl age below 30 should have this on your coffee table. It is fun to read. I find myself turning page after page, and I finished the entire book in less than an hour. I wanted more, except there's nothing more to it, so I turned back the pages and enjoyed the photos instead. Most of the teaching sounds like what your mom would have told you but she never did...

Note that if you're a serious reader you might find this book pointless or a waste of time. This is why I put this book in the category of lazy weekend or travel. It is those kind of books you will want to read while enjoying your coffee or suntanning on the beach. Don't take it too seriously. Don't judge the language or anything beyond the words. Just enjoy the pun.

Weekend Edition posts are short blog posts that not related to beauty. And it's published only on weekend, duh!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

The Proper Way of Using Mud/Clay Mask

If you ever get breakouts from using mud/clay mask, maybe you are using it the wrong way. If use in a proper manner, mud mask works like wonder. But it is also a product which requires a little bit more attention when using it.

When applied on the skin, the mud mask covers the skin area completely, leaving your skin trapped underneath. It also covers all the pores and there is not oxygen that gets into the skin. It creates a barrier on top of the skin, if you don't use it properly, it might cause infections underneath your skin.

Here are some of the tips to consider before you put on your mud mask:

1. Go through your cleansing as usual. Make sure you apply your toner before putting on the mud mask. Reason being, your skin pH level get to the alkaline side after you cleanse your face. The toner will balance up your skin pH level. If you don't do this and straight away apply the mud mask, it will cause condition such as eczema.

2. If your skin is extremely dry or if you are using the mud mask during winter, add a little bit of oil to prevent the mud from cracking. Add your ordinary face oil, essential oil, olive oil or grapeseed oil. It will keep the mud soft.

3. Don't use mud mask if you have open wound on your skin. When it dries up, the layer of mask shield up the wound and might cause infection if there's bacteria trapped underneath. For less severe cases, it might cause sudden breakouts.

4. Don't leave the mud mask dry up on your face for more than 15 minutes. When it dries up, the mask tend to pull your skin. In a long run, it might cause premature wrinkles or fine lines.

The main purpose for applying mud mask is to exfoliate your skin, for deep cleansing or to withdraw toxins and impurities out of your pores. If your skin lack of hydration, it is best to stay away from mud mask. Put on hydration/moisturizing mask instead until the moisture level goes back to normal before you start using mud mask. However, there are so many mud mask available in the market these days. There are some mud mask that has hydration purpose in it. Make sure you read the product description first.

Here are some of the mud masks that I love:

1. Freeman Facial Clay Mask Avocado & Oatmeal
This is a hybrid clay mask where they mix hydration properties (avocado) into it. It gives a lot of benefits in one tube - hydration, exfoliation, deep cleansing and removing impurities.

2. GlamGlow
I only tried the sample pack before and I think it is worth a try. The main purpose of this mask is to exfoliate, hence it is able to give you the glow on the skin. The price is a little steep though.

3. Himalaya Clarifying Mud Mask
I love this mask as staple. I like to put it on until it's dry, then add a few drops of water in my hand and slowly rub it off in circular motion. It draws out most of the sebum in my pores and it makes extraction a little easier.

4. Lush Mask of Magnaminty
Although claimed as the multipurpose mask, I feel this mask works more on deep cleansing. It does dry and crack up like most mud mask though. Because it is made of 100% natural ingredients, this product is pretty safe to leave on for a longer time.

5. Innisfree Jeju Volcanic Pore Clay Mask
Disclaimer, I've never tried this. But I keep hearing all the good things about this clay mask. And I even saw a lot of before-after photos with huge improvement after one use. This is one of the top product that I want to try. I've also been eyeing this on for a long time but they don't seem to restock it yet.
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