Sunday, January 25, 2015

Tips on Makeup Primer & Ultra Face Base Primer by Makeup Revolution Review

A lot of people get the wrong idea about makeup primer. The main misconceptions about makeup primer are:

  • We don't need makeup primer because moisturizer is sufficient to protect our skin.
  • Makeup primer is expensive and will incur extra cost for our makeup needs.
  • Primer is only for eye makeup.

I don't blame you if you have any of the misconceptions above. Makeup primer was introduced very late as compared to other beauty produces. We have very little idea of what makeup primer is and we often skip it because we don't understand what the product actually does to our face. 

Today I'm going to explain what makeup primer is and hopefully you'll get some information about it. 

Makeup primer vs. moisturizer

We all agree that our skin needs some sort of base before we apply our foundation. So we go on and apply our moisturizer as the base before we put on the foundation. Do you know that, applying skincare as base (e.g. serum, moisturizer, etc.) will tend to block up your pores and cause congestion in your pores. This is because skincare are meant to be absorbed into the skin. When you put on your foundation on the top layer, not only the skincare gets absorbed into your skin, the foundation and the skincare gets mixed up (especially when you put moisturizer and liquid foundation on). As a result, your skin turns oily, this can be very obvious when you don't set your makeup. 

This is why you need a makeup primer - to provide a solid separation between your skin and the makeup you're going to apply. 


Some people avoid using makeup primer because it is expensive. This is because the market for makeup primer is limited. So most of the big brands take advantage on hiking up the price. There is very little competition for this product range. Not every brand have makeup primer in their product list. Those brands who are pioneer in this product will put a high price tag on their makeup primer. Currently leading brands priced their makeup primer at about RM100 to RM150. 

If you scout around, you will find good makeup primer with reasonable price tag. Moreover, you only need a very small amount of product (even smaller than a pea size). Read on to find out on the price of the makeup primer I'm going to introduce, you'll be surprised.

You only need makeup primer for eyes

If you hear this from someone, chances are, the person is an Urban Decay fan that's a little outdated. Urban Decay was famous of their cult product Primer Potion which is only meant for eyes. 

Makeup primer comes in different types (for eyes or face, with silicone base or cream base) and colours. Normally, the makeup primer comes in two formula, cream or silicone. The only difference is the texture. However, I find silicone base works better with liquid foundation and cream base works better with powder foundation. 

Makeup primer for face also comes with different colour - purple, green, pink, orange, skintone color. This is because different base colour can hide different concerns. This rules is the same with concealer. 

If you are concern with costs, you can get makeup primer that's closest to your skin tone or clear one. 

Makeup Revolution - Ultra Face Base Primer

Currently this is my favourite makeup primer. The texture is more of a gel silicone base. It's very hydrating as compared to other silicone feel makeup primer. 

This makeup base  holds my makeup in place for almost the entire day. I applied it at 6am in the morning, head out to work until 7pm and my makeup is still fresh. 

The difference of applying makeup primer and not applying them is not that obvious. I can't do a comparison on my face, but I find it useful to illustrate it on an orange. I've applied the Ultra Face Base Primer on the right side and no makeup primer on the left. 

As you can see, on the left the foundation appears dry and cakey. The pores of the orange is very obvious, you can see the bumps. Whereas on the right side, the foundation looks hydrating and the orange bumps are not as obvious as the left side. 

What I don't like about the Ultra Face Base is that the packaging has very little information about the product. It doesn't state the ingredients and what the product will do on your face. However, after so many applications, I find this as a basic face primer. It gives you all the basic function - giving a shield between your skin and foundation, even out the pores and make your foundation applies smoothly. 

If you are interested to try this out, the price is pretty affordable. It is only RM39. I've been using this for close to one month and I still have more than half a tube left. To break the calculation, I think for each day application it will only cost you 20 cents. You can purchase it online from Makeup Revolution website

Sunday, January 18, 2015

[Weekend Edition] Michelle Phan's Book Make Up Review

I guess there is no need to introduce who Michelle Phan is. If you love beauty & make up and always connected to the internet, you probably know who Michelle Phan is.

Last year Michelle Phan released her very first book, Make Up. There has been a lot of ravings about the book and I couldn't wait to get it after seeing all that hype online. I spotted this at Kinokuniya, almost gave up on it because I already done my purchase and not willing to queue up at the check out counter again. After flipping a few pages, I decided I will get it because the photos are amazing and the page layout is very neat. Overall, I was sold by the design of the book, not so much on the content.

Let's be frank. I don't think this is a book that you have to have. It's more of a leisure reading. The beauty tips featured in this book are shallow, even a beginner knows most of it. The beauty tips are like reminder of what you already know, but never practice for a long time. If you're looking for a good and resourceful beauty book, this one might disappoint you. It feels like you're reading blog posts but they're printed in a book.

However, as a fan of this internet beauty sensation, the book is inspirational on its own way. Her success isn't an overnight story. The first two chapters of the book about her previous experiences are pretty motivational. Inspirational, but not educational.

If you ask me whether you should get it, my advise is browse through the book first and decide if you really need the book. The content of the book is very basic. You won't miss anything if you skip this book. If you're a fan of hers, this book might worth something to you. My personal reason of getting it... it has very pretty cover and it makes my bookshelf looks nice.

If you would like to browse more of the book, you can check it out on Amazon. If you're living in the city, you can always drop by Kinokuniya and check it out. The price at Kino is inviting - RM79.90 (+20% discount if you purchase another item).

Monday, January 5, 2015

Bath & Body Works Haul.... and Complaints

It’s almost a month since Bath & Body Works (BBW) arrived in Malaysia and the long-awaited trip has finally materialized for me. By the way, here’s a little update on what’s happening in my life. If you are here only to read about BBW, you can skip the next paragraph that’s in italic.

I’ve moved to Negeri Sembilan and currently working in Melaka. I’m living out of luggage in my uncle’s house. When I’m not working I keep myself occupied by tutoring my cousin as part of my rental there. This is why I hardly blog these days. The house that I am supposed to move into is not safe. The entire area has zero occupancy. I guess these days people very rich and buy houses for the sake of buying it with no intention to move in. I do hope I can move in by next month because I am planning to keep one room as my blogging office. So excited! Now back to BBW, here’s my little haul:

French Lavender & Honey Body Scrub (Signature Collection), RM62

French lavende, nectarine de Provence and sunkissed honey. With exfoliating sugar crystals, this Provencal recipe smooths and softens skin as it lavishes the senses with the fragrance of springtime in the south of France.

My main reason for the trip to BBW was to get a body scrub. It is disappointing to find that there are very limited options of body scrub at BBW here. If I’m not mistaken there were only 3 types to choose from and the other two had vanilla scent in it. I don’t fancy vanilla at all, so I left with no option but to get this one. Although the name suggest a soothing scent, but the scrub smells more like sweet berry instead of lavender. I don’t mind it. It still smells great.

Sweet Pea Scented Candle, RM45

BBW is famous of its scented candle and its various choices of scent. Unfortunately, the Malaysia BBW don’t carry much of it. I can’t find my favourite honey suckle scent which was another disappointment. Most of the signature scents are not available, instead they overload the shelf with the Christmas collection which isn’t suitable for the weather here. I picked up Sweet Pea (the best-seller scent at BBW in US), a scent that leans towards cotton candy scent. The smell reminds me a lot of childhood memories, but I can’t figure out how to describe it. Certainly there’s something familiar with the scent.

True Blue Spa Super Softening Hand Lotion with Parafin, RM75

Paraffin locks in essential moisture to keep skin soft, smooth and super protected. But spa-savvy you already know that, didn’t you? This softening hand lotion also includes moisturizing Olive, Avocado and Apricot Oils plus antioxidant Vitamin E.

I’ve been looking for a paraffin hand cream for a long time and I think BBW is the only brand that has it (besides other nail salon brand). If you have dry and wrinkly hand, use this hand cream every night, you’ll feel the difference after a week. You’re not advised to use this as your day hand cream (unless you don’t have a lot to do with your hands) because it might be a waste. This would be on the top of my list on what-to-buy at BBW because the product is good, effective, not easily available and useful to have. But I must say, I felt a little cheated with it. They didn’t put up the price for this hand cream, so I asked the sales assistant how much it cost. She told me it’s RM65. When I check the bill when I came home, I found out it’s actually RM75.

Sleep Sommeil Lavender Chamomile Pillow Mist, RM38

Use this sleep enhancing pillow mist each night before bed. Spray a light mist over pillow or sheets for an authentic aromatherapy experience. Allow fabric to dry prior to contact.

Remember my blog about The Body Shop pillow mist? Since I’ve tested out the effectiveness of pillow mist, I think this is a good purchase. The BBW pillow mist cost cheaper than The Body Shop and it has more content too. This is definitely another good buy. I think I prefer The Body Shop scent better. Let me try out another experiment with my SleepBot app to see which pillow mist gives me better sleep.

Sweet Pea Shea & Vitamin E Shower Gel, RM20

I didn’t intend to buy this. While I was bored waiting in line at the cash registry, I pop it into my bag. I love the Sweet Pea scent and wouldn’t mind trying out the shower gel. This is a travel-size shower gel and I think it’s pretty expensive for the price. Feeling a little regret with this purchase, but oh well…

That’s all that I got from BBW. I might go back another trip after I move into my new house. I was eyeing on the hand wash and spa range.

My trip wasn’t a pleasant trip because I’ve been to other BBW before and had wonderful shopping experience there. Writing bad comment about the brand I love isn’t what I plan for this blog post but I want to talk abuot some of the bad experiences I had at BBW here:

1.       Sales assistants weren’t helpful. The give me a cocky aura the whole time I was there (except for Nita). When I wanted to ask for something, one of the SA told me the product is not under her department and she just walked off without assisting me. It hurts my feeling as a shopper because I was so eager to look for it. If you would like to know, I was asking for the Honey Suckle candle.

2.       A lot of products aren’t properly priced. I went to the back of the shop where they display all the candles. There were some body wash at the display as well. I asked the SA how much it was, he told me the price is written at the front of the shop. He didn’t help me find out the price either, because clearly he was only told to take care of the candle department. I couldn’t be bothered to walk to the front again, so I ditched the shower gel.

3.       The candle selections are pathetic. I remember going to BBW in Dubai Mall and I was like a kid in candy store. I spent almost one hour deciding which candle to get and I got dizzy trying out all the scent. All the scent I love (watermelon, strawberry margarita, honey suckle, lavender .., …) are not available. When I walked in to check out the candles, I had this little voice in me “that’s all they have?” This is why I only manage to get one candle. Initially I planned to get 6, but meh…

I do hope that they will improve. Despite the bad shopping experience, I will still go back because as a newbie, I think they deserve a second chance. As for the product, I will review it separately. Hopefully I have the time to do so. Now, I'll go enjoy my bath. Can't wait to use all the products. 

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Your Golden Tickets to SK-II #ChangeDestiny Museum & Get Facial Treatment Mask Worth RM150

Please read additional terms & conditions in highlight.

For those who missed the SK-II Pitera House at Publika few months ago, here's your chance to participate in another amazing SK-II event. For the fist time, SK-II will be launching #ChangeDestiny Museum which will highlight Pitera’s power to change skin’s destiny and to empower women to #ChangeDestiny with the theme - SKIN CHANGES DESTINY.

When: 5th Jan (Monday) - 11th Jan 2015 (Sunday)
Where: 1 Utama Shopping Mall, Old Wing Concourse Area

On the 10th Jan (Saturday), there's an amazing activity for all my blog readers at the SK-II #ChangeDestiny Museum. You will receive special Golden Tickets to the museum and receive 3 pieces of Facial Treatment Mask worth RM150 upon purchase of 1 bottle of Facial Treatment Essence 75ml. Here's what to do:

1. Mention my blog name "Million Dollar Beauty" at the entrance of the museum to receive the golden ticket.
2. Enjoy your tour at the museum. Take photos and upload at least 3 photos of the museum on your Instagram.
3. At the end of the tour, show your Instagram post to the person in charge and you will receive your 3 pieces Facial Treatment Mask worth RM150 upon purchase of 1 bottle of Facial Treatment Essence 75ml

This is not a contest, all my readers that visit the museum will receive the golden ticket as long as you mention my blog name at the entrance.

Terms & Conditions:
1. Open to ALL Million Dollar Beauty readers in Malaysia. 
2. The gold tickets are only valid for tour on 10 January 2015 from 10AM - 10PM
2. Readers to upload 3 photos of the #ChangeDestiny Museum on Instagram with hashtag #ChangeDestiny & #ChangeDestinyMuseum and show the 3 posts to the person in charge before they can redeem their gifts at the end of the tour upon purchase of 1 bottle of Facial Treatment Essence 75ml.
3. Redemption can be made at the special redemption counter at the museum.

There are other amazing activities happening at the event. SK-II global ambassador Sinje and Godfrey Gao will be unveiling the museum on the  9th January. If you don't want to miss them, make sure to make your way there at 4:30pm.

If you are going to the #ChangeDestiny museum, don't forget to tag me on your Insta photos ya! I would love to check out what you guys did there. 

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Brand Introduction: Makeup Revolution

There are more and more international beauty brands are coming into Malaysia lately, and Makeup Revolution is one of it. This brand is one of the popular drugstore brand in UK and popular among teenagers and students because of its affordable price. Let's check out the stash of products I have with me.

1. Lip Power (Duo lipstick-lip gloss)
2. Ultra Face Base Primer
3. Vivid Blush Lacquer
4. I Heart Chocolate Eyeshadow Palette

I will write a separate review for each product. I want to try it out longer before I pass any judgement. At the mean time, the comments below are just my first impression.

1. Lip Power (Duo lipstick-lip gloss)

The color that I received is It's My Life. It's totally the color that I would love to wear on a daily basis (yay, for that!!!). When I first retrieve the product from the tube, the first thing that I notice is the scent. It has a plastic kind of scent to it. It didn't bother me much, but for some of you who are sensitive to it, you might want to smell it first before making your purchase. The texture is........ for the lipstick and .......... for the lip gloss. The price is RM24 which is really a steal.

2. Ultra Face Base Primer

I really love the texture of this face primer. Other face primer feels powdery when you apply and it becomes flaky when you apply face foundation (not all are like that, but most of it are just as disappointing). But this face primer doesn't feel like that. It is gel based and when you spread it out it feels matte. The application is so thin that you don't feel it's there. One thing that I need to confirm is the longevity of the application. Let me try it out a few times first. The price is RM39.

3. Vivid Blush Lacquer

Let me be very blunt here... I hate the packaging. Before opening it, I thought it's going come with an applicator like brush or doe-foot. But it is not. It has  a pump and there's no way to control how much products you want. I keep pumping more product than the amount I need. as for the product itself, it is very nice. The texture is smooth matte and glides on smoothly. The colour pay off is really good, very pigmented and long lasting. The shade that I have is called Heat. It is quite a pity because the product is good, but the packaging is a major turn off. The price is RM24.

4. I <3 Makeup I Heart Chocolate Eyeshadow Palette

This is the most exciting product I received of the whole lot. It reminds me a lot of Too Faced Chocolate Bar palette. I <3 Makeup is a mini line under Makeup Revolution. The palette that I received is called I Heart Chocolate (love the name so much!). It has all the cool tone natural colors with a mixture of shimmer, glittered and matte. I think the colors are all useful colors for daily wear. And I really appreciate it that they give us more product for the whites (matte & shimmer) because those are the colors that will run out the fastest. Note that I haven't swatch it yet, so I can't advise you in terms of its texture and pigmentation. The price is RM65.

After reading my first impressions, is there any product that you would love to try? Or do you want to wait for my separate reviews for the products? Which product do you want me to review first? (I'll save the eyeshadow palette last because it requires a lot of time to do the swatching)

Makeup Revolution is currently available only online. It is local based (Malaysia) so it will be shipped directly from their warehouse locally. The delivery charge is pretty cheap as well, about RM3 cheapest. They do have plan to bring their brand into stores or stand-alone shop, but that will be at later stage.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Does The Body Shop's Deep Sleep Really Give You Beauty Sleep?

I never knew I have sleeping difficulties, until I downloaded the SleepBot App on my phone. The app helps you to readjust your bio clock by:
  • allowing you to set alarm based on how many hours you are required to sleep
  • allowing you to set fixed alarm to wake up every weekdays and weekends
  • monitor your sleeping pattern every night (very interesting)
 I'm taking initiative to give myself more quality sleep next year. So I'm trying different approaches to help me achieve my goal. One of my approach is to try out The Body Shop's Deep Sleep. This is a mist for pillow, bed, blanket and also can be used on body.

The mist contains jujube date extracts, camomile and blended essential oils (I assume there's lavender in it because I can smell it). It has very soft hint of lavender or eucalyptus, which puts you into a relaxed mood.

This product is not like skincare or makeup where you can see the results. It is hard to tell if you indeed had a better sleep after using it. So I put this on test with the SleepBot app that I installed. I benchmarked the first night where I didn't use the pillow mist, and the second night when I use it. Here's the result.

The first night my sleep movement was quite frequent. On the second night, I had a better sleep. I think the graph is pretty self-explanatory. It is pretty obvious that the Deep Sleep pillow mist did gave me a better sleep.

In my personal opinion, this mist doesn't help to put you to sleep. If you already have insomnia and find it hard to fall asleep, it wouldn't help much. But if you are looking for some quality sleep, it did enhance your sleeping pattern.

I'm not sure how useful you will rate this product. It is not something which I would recommend you to get it. But if you are interested, it is worth it to get it when there's The Body Shop sale.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Les Merveilleuses LADURÉE

Laduree has their own makeup line!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! *scream like a fangirl* I'm so excited to blog about this that I don't know how or where to start. Maybe we should talk about the brand first. It is a French patisserie that's famous for its macarons. I get so hungry talking about it. The brand image is ala Parisian-Marie Antoinette style.

Let's talk about their beauty products. I actually didn't know they have a beauty line until last month. I'm not sure which cave I was living in. How can I possibly missed out such cute beauty packaging???

Fun facts:
The manufacturer of Laduree beauty products also manufacture for Anna Sui, Jill Stuart and Paul & Joe.

I've gotten myself the Face Color Rose Laduree and Pressed Cheek Color. Both are blush.

Face Color Rose Laduree

This is their best seller blush, which is also their  most expensive product. The blush is made into rose petals that looks exactly the same as dried rose. Each petal is handmade that's why it is rather pricey. The packaging and the product is sold separately. The vintage dome container and the refill cost 120euro. It comes in 3 shades - 01 (orangy peach pink), 02 (light fuchsia pink) and 04 (berry pink). 

I'm not going to swatch the product yet. I'm still stuck in the period where I want to admire its beauty for a longer time. Whenever I decide to use it, I'll write a separate review post on it. So sorry for being an inadequate beauty blogger. I just can't bear to destroy the pretty petals, just yet.

Pressed Cheek Color

For those who prefer the conventional pressed powder blush, the Pressed Cheek Color offers wide range of shades. In my opinion, this is more useful to have than the Face Color Rose Laduree. The packaging has a typical vintage lady portrait and the product has the same portrait embossed on it. Good luck on that first feeling when you break the product. It's going to hurt me a lot when I decide to use it. This cost 52euro for the case and refill.

The shades option is very wide. There are some dark shades which you can use as contour. Some of the shades are quite special, I've never seen other brands have shades like tangy orange and plastic pink before. This is one of the product that worth it to get.

Besides beauty products, Laduree also have a petite stationery line that sells greeting cards, personal note books, pencil, pen, envelops, candles, bags, keychain, etc. The price isn't that cheap as well. But it is definitely a very darling and luxury souvenir to give out, especially for girls. 

If you happen to find this brand and want to get a few products to try, I recommend you to check out the products below:

Cream Cheek Base - Cream blusher that very easily to glide on and has strong staying power
Eyebrow Palette - It has duo tone eyebrow powder for you to blend the colour and a gel to keep your eyebrow hair stay in place
Face Powder - The company that makes the product has reputation of making good face powder. Use it as loose powder.
Treatment Oil - No particular reason why you should get this, except the packaging is to die for. Girls that sucker for packaging should get this. It makes your dressing table looks really glam. 

After seeing all that, do you feel the itch to get some of the products? It is seriously worth it to spend the money. Not only they're pretty to see, the products are of high quality as well. Sadly it is not available in Malaysia. But if you ever go travelling, Les Merveilleuses LADURÉE is available at these places:

JAPAN (Tokyo)
Mitsukoshi Ginza
Isetan Shinjuku
Loforet Harajuku
Isetan Mirror Yokohama Lumine
Isetan Mirror Kichijoji Parco
Haikarado Lumine Omiya
Haneda Airport 

JAPAN (Nagoya)
JR Takashimaya Nagoya

JAPAN (Osaka) 
Hankyu Omeda
Daimaru Kyoto
Daimaru Kobe

TAIWAN (Taipei)
Pacific SOGO Department Store Zhongxiao

SOGO Causeway Bay

FRANCE (Paris)
Sephora Champs Elysees
Sephora Haussmann
Sephora Medeleine 
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