Friday, July 4, 2014

Unboxing June 2014 Fashion Culture Box

I missed a month of unboxing blogpost for Fashion Culture Box. Things are getting really tied up on my side and I'm glad I have a little free time right now to share with you all what's in this month's Fashion Culture Box.

Fashion Culture is a monthly fashion subscription box in Malaysia. We understand that every girl have their distinct fashion personalities, hence there will be THREE (3) exciting styles for you to choose from every month.

With just RM50 per box, you will receive fashion items and beauty products that fit the style of your choice.

I have all the three styling themes for June to show you all. This month the main theme is called Colours of the World. And you can choose you favourite style - (1) Viva la Brasil (in conjunction with World Cup Brazil 2014), (2) Harajuku Girls and (3) K-Pop Mania. The fashion boxes this month concentrating on streetwear. All the items fit for everyday wear.


Let's begin the unboxing for Viva la Brasil since it is the special box of the month. In a glance, here's what you will get:


The main item for all the boxes are the bauble earrings. In the Viva la Brasil box, the Carnival Earrings (RM49) represent the wings of the queen of samba. It does remind me a lot of the Rio Carnival parade. You can also find a flip flop in this box from Papilo (RM20). Flip flop is the national foot wear of Brazil. There's a Corsage Orchid hairpin (RM15), which is my most favorite item in this box. Did you know, Corsage Orchid is the national flower of Brazil? And there's a rose gold Borboleta ring (RM25) that's in the shape of a butterfly.

Here is a close up of the ring...





The next box is the Harajuku Girls, which has a kawaii Lolita aura in it.


The bauble earrings is called Decora (RM35) which means "decoration" in Japanese. The biggest item in the box is the modern Kinchaku bag (RM25). Traditionally, Kinchaku bag draw-string bag that the Japanese use with their kimono outfit. And my most favourite item in this box is the Lolita hairclip (RM15). It is an oversized bow ribbon. I think I can be mistaken as Minnie Mouse if I wear this on my head. It is so cute, but I just don't dare to wear it out. Lastly, it is the item which caught the attention of so many people.... the Hikaru Ring (RM30). It is a midi ring chained with a main ring. You can wear it on the same finger or separate the two rings on different fingers.



Lastly, it is the K-Pop Mania box. Surprisingly this box is the best seller for this month. I think the K-Pop wave is getting really hot at the moment.


The statement earrings for this box is called My Oh My Earrings (RM39). And my, oh my... the combination of neon and pastel melts my heart. I love the earrings the most in this box. The Statement Cap (RM35) trend is also quite hot in K-Pop MTV lately. I love the mustache on the cap! Next is an item from a Swedish streetwear brand, Cheap Monday, that is the Shaped Up Rings (£3). I think many people would love this three-piece ring that made of different shapes. Lastly, it is the Bubble Pop hairpin (RM9), which also has a combination of neon and pastel. I really love the colour trend of mixing neon and pastel right now.








All the boxes also comes with a nail art kit that consist of a nail polish from Bloop, nail sticker from Bloop, a dotting tool (not in photo), sponge and stripping tape. Fashion Culture Box and Bloop are partnering to run a nail art contest on Facebook. You don't necessarily need to subscribe to the box to participate (it is a bonus that you subscribe the box to receive all the nail art tools). The contest is really simple. All you need to do is to create a nail art design and take a photo of it by holding Bloop nail polish in the photo. Post it up on Facebook by tagging @fashionculturebox and @bloopinc. You can read all the contest rules here: http://fashionculturebox.com/fcb-x-bloop-get-creative-nail-art-contest/


There are a lot of restructuring happening at Fashion Culture Box lately. There is no more printed magazine that comes with the box. This is to save some cost, so that we can lower the price of the subscription. From July onwards, the box is only RM50 and special theme box will be priced accordingly. 


You can still get all the fashion editorial of the month from FCZine Online. You can check out the item description, fashion editorial and exclusive interview with our national swimmer, Cai Lin.

 
Let me know what you think about this month Fashion Culture Box. Which theme do you like? What item that caught your eyes? 


The July fashion box is already open for subscription. The main theme for this month is Inspired by Music. You can choose your style, whether you are a Rocker Queen, or a romantic soul inspired by Love Story. In conjunction with Hari Raya Aidilfitri, there is a special theme box - The Hijab Box. Do head to www.fashionculturebox.com to subscribe. Remember to use my code FCB-MDB-1188 at the checkout to receive a 10% discount!



Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Everything you need to know about SK-II Facial Treatment Essence

When I did my last "What's in my trash" post, you all probably notice the two bottles of SK-II Facial Treatment Essence (FTE) that I finished up. This time I've gotten myself a bigger bottle because I just can't live without it. The FTE normally comes in the size of 75ml and 150ml. And this is the 215ml one...



I notice a lot of people are interested to try the FTE but require more information on the product. Here's a compilation of all the information you need to know about the SK-II Facial Treatment Essence.


The Discovery

Over 30 years ago, researchers chanced upon the sight of aged sake brewers working on koji yeast with soft, youthful hands. That chance observation would inspire the discovery of SK-II's Pitera, a metabolic fluid derived naturally from the fermentation process of a unique strain of yeast. Through a perfectly controlled process that has remained essentially unchanged over the years, that delicate balance of nutrients in every drop of Pitera is derived.




The Making of SK-II Facial Treatment Essence

There are the six artisanal steps in crafting that precious ingredient, from the starting culture to every bottle of Facial Treatment Essence.

1. Cultivating the Power of Pitera
The yeast strain discovered out of 350 different types is cultivated in its precious form in a strictly-controlled environment. The environment prevents any favorable bacteria growth from occurring to enhance the power of this rare ingredient.

2. Enhancing the Culture
The yeast is added to a precisely calculated culture solution, providing "food" and nutrients and enhancing growth. As the yeast cells multiply, the yeast is eventually moved to the production chamber.

3. Perfecting the Balance of Pitera
In the chamber, the yeast is cultivated in a tank filled with a generous amount of culture solution. As the yeast absorbs the nutrients and multiplies, it diffuses precious elements that have beneficial impact of skin's beauty - a metabolic fluid which comprises a delicate balance of vitamins, amino acids, minerals and organic acids.

4. Refining the Solution
Upon completion of the fermentation process, the metabolic fluid is then intricately filtered to form the solution of Pitera.

5. Revealing the Miracle
Water is removed from the stock solution, giving birth to the powerful Pitera.

6. Encapsulating the Essence
Pitera is bottled after formulation, giving birth to SK-II Facial Treatment Essence. Facial Treatment Essence is the only beauty essence with over 90% Pitera.



The Treatments


You may ask, what does the FTE do to our skin... It enhances our skin in 5 dimensions (they call it 5D). The dimensions are texture refinement, firmness power, wrinkle resilience, spot control and radiance enhancement. 



Product Efficacy

The proof of the product efficacy is through its sales. The FTE has always been a best-seller since it was developed 30 years ago. However, to proof it right in front of your eyes, here are two simple experiments. The SK-II FTE is tested against Essence X and water to assess its level of oxidization and penetration power.

Experiment 1 - Banana demo

L-R: FTE, Essence X and water

Thin slices of banana are soaked in the SK-II FTE, Essence X and water. It is very obvious that the banana soaked in water is highly oxidized. The Essence X banana looks darker in the center and the banana soaked in FTE is slightly oxidized but still looks fresh. Here's a video of the experiment:


Experiment 2- Penetration demo

Three layers of chamois leather are put together to test the power of FTE's penetration into the skin. Again, the experiment is tested with Essence X and water for comparison. As you can see from the photo, the FTE is able to penetrate into the third layer of the chamois leather. This shows that the molecule for FTE is really fine that it is able to seep into the skin.


Here's another video for the experiment:





Do you use the SK-II FTE? Or would you like to try it? Go to SK-II counter and get your skin analyzed by the Magic Ring machine to check out the real age of your skin. The machine is also able to predict the condition of your skin in another few years time. The analysis is totally free and you don't have to purchase anything at all.


If you have any questions about the SK-II FTE, do leave me a comment. I've been using it for a long time, and I think you should try it yourself too. 

Friday, June 20, 2014

[Haul] Clio Eyeliner, Lipnicure & Cushion CC from HiShop

All I wanted to try from Clio was the Waterproof Pen Liner Kill Black. I have heard a lot of good things about this eyeliner and I want to check it out myself whether the quality is worth the hype. So, I head to HiShop and gotten myself all the Clio products that are available.



I'm going to do a quick review on each product. And let's start with the eyeliner because that's the product which I wanted to try initially.


Clio Waterproof Pen Liner Kill Black


What it is:
The Clio Waterproof Pen Liner Kill Black helps you to draw clear eye lines with deep black (included in carbon black) color. Beginner can use it easily by just one touch without breaking line. It is waterproof and no smudge formula so you can enjoy clear lines for a long time.

Comment:
This is indeed an easy eyeliner to use. It feels like a fine marker pen. And it is easy to control the thickness and the intensity of the line. The eyeliner last all day long. Everything is good about this eyeliner, except I don't know if it is oil-proof. Some people's eyelid gets oily throughout the day. And I'm not sure if this eyeliner can sustain that. Let me know in the comment if you have any good or bad experience with this eyeliner. I really want to know.



Clio Virgin Kiss Lipnicure


What it is:
Manicure for the lips. Specially developed to provide extreme long-lasting effect and high intensity colors for a flawless finish with a single touch upon lips.

Comment:
The Lipnicure gives a matte finish texture. I love that the Lipnicure is able to stay in place for the whole day. It doesn't bleed and you don't need lip liner for it. But like every matte lip product, it is quite dry on the lips. When you first swatch it, it gives a moisturized feeling. Then it slowly dries up to a matte texture (something like acrylic paint after it dries up). I have a love-hate relationship with this product. It is a pretty good product if I don't have a dry lips. And I prefer it to come with a lip brush rather than the doe-foot applicator. It is so hard to get a precised line with the applicator.




Clio VF 21 Cushion CC in 01 Pink


What it is:
VF 21, acronym of Volume face 21, will help moist and resilient skin back like 21 years of age.

Comment:
If you ever use CC Cream before, this has the same function, except it comes in a cushion form. It is a product for day wear as it has SPF50+ and PA+++ for an adequate protection from UVA and UVB. If you're looking for a  product to even out your skin tone, this is a perfect one. However, it doesn't give enough coverage to conceal dark spots and dark eye circle. I also find it a good product for makeup base.


 
Overall, I am very happy with the eyeliner and VF 21 Cushion CC. It is totally worth every penny. But for the Lipnicure, I don't like the doe-foot applicator and the drying effect it has on my lips. Here's how I look with all the products in action. Red lips is totally not my kind of thing...



Price & where to buy:
Waterproof Pen Line Kill Black, NP RM55.90, HiShop price RM45.80 (18% discount)
Lipnicure, NP RM55.90, HiShop price RM44.90 (20% discount)
VF 21 Cushion CC, NP 119.90, HiShop price RM89.90 (25% discount)

All the products are available at HiShop and they deliver it directly to your doorsteps.

Subscribe to HiShop newsletter for updates here. And follow them on Facebook for interesting info on beauty products.

Let me know which product you are interested. I will do a full review if you want me to. I will be more than happy to give you a more comprehensive review on each of the item above.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

L'Oreal Buying Over NYX Cosmetics

[In the News]

L’Oreal SA (OR), on course to spend more than $5 billion on acquisitions in the first half of 2014, may just be getting started. “We are confident that we will find other opportunities this year or next year,” Jean-Paul Agon, the Paris-based company’s chairman and chief executive officer, said late yesterday in an interview with Bloomberg Television. “This is the story of L’Oreal.” L’Oreal, the world’s largest cosmetics maker, yesterday agreed to acquire Los Angeles-based NYX Cosmetics for an undisclosed price to bolster its makeup offerings in North America, where the consumer-products unit has faltered. NYX, with $93 million in sales in the year through May, isn’t indicative of the size of deals that L’Oreal is interested in, Agon said without offering more specifics.


“We thought it was a great opportunity and we took it,” Agon said, adding that L’Oreal was solicited by NYX. “We are pretty good at seizing brands that are at the early stage of development and making them huge.”


The personal-care market is consolidating as companies from Germany’s Henkel AG to Japan’s Kose Corp. (4922) buy niche brands to widen their product ranges. Since January, L’Oreal has acquired facial-mask maker Magic Holdings International Ltd. and spa brands Decleor and Carita. Including the buyback of 8 percent of its stock held by Nestle SA, slated to close this month, L’Oreal will have spent more than $5 billion on deals this year.



NYX Eyeliners

Founded in 1999, NYX sells $6 blush and $10 eyeliner in more than 70 countries, according to its website. The competitor to Estee Lauder Cos.’s (EL) MAC Cosmetics says it’s one of the fastest-growing makeup companies in the U.S. Sales rose 57 percent in the 12 months ended in May, L’Oreal said. “NYX has seen tremendous growth in the last decade and I have complete confidence that L’Oreal will remain true to its brand identity and mission,” Toni Ko, NYX’s founder and chairwoman, said in a statement yesterday. NYX will continue to operate under the brand’s current leadership team, L’Oreal said. With NYX, a mass-market brand, L’Oreal aims to replicate the success the company has had with Urban Decay in the prestige segment, Agon said in the interview. That will include strengthening NYX’s position in North America and expanding distribution internationally, the CEO said.

Familiar Route

It’s a familiar path for L’Oreal. When the French company acquired Maybelline New York in 1996, it had sales of $300 million, Agon said. Last year, Maybelline revenue reached 2 billion euros ($2.7 billion), he said. Kiehl’s will generate 600 million euros of revenue this year, compared with $30 million when L’Oreal acquired the company more than a decade ago, Agon said. “NYX will follow the same direction,” Agon said. One brand that hasn’t delivered is The Body Shop, which has struggled since L’Oreal acquired it in 2006. The retailer’s sales fell in the first quarter, spurring analysts including Sanford C. Bernstein’s Andrew Wood to question whether the company would consider disposing it. “I’m pretty confident” of turning around The Body Shop, Agon said. “When you ask young consumers around the world what is for them the ideal profile of the brand of the 21st Century, what they describe is exactly Body Shop: natural, respectful of the environment, ethical, good value for money.” NYX and shareholder HCP & Co. were advised by Piper Jaffray Cos. and their legal adviser was Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP. L’Oreal was advised by Lazard Ltd. and Weil, Gotshal and Manges LLP.

L’Oreal Forecast

Agon declined to comment on L’Oreal’s second-quarter performance ahead of an update next month. While North America has been sluggish since the start of the year, “I’m very confident about the U.S. and our market share gains,” he said. Sales at L’Oreal’s consumer-products division fell in North America in the first quarter, contributing to the company’s slowest quarterly increase since the recession. Regional sales at the unit, which includes Garnier shampoo, will return to growth this quarter and accelerate through 2014, L’Oreal has said. Southern Europe, where L’Oreal posted a sales gain for the first time in six years during the first quarter, “could be again a growth region,” Agon said. “Europe is back.” L’Oreal’s full-year revenue growth should exceeded the cosmetics market’s estimated 3.5 percent to 4 percent expansion in 2014, Agon said, repeating an earlier forecast.


Taken from Bloomberg 

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Top 5 Skin Whitening Myths

I'm sure all of you heard of the horror stories about skin whitening. Some of the stories are true, and some of it are obsolete. Here are 10 of the most common skin whitening myths:

Myth #1 - Skin whitening products causes cancer
This is entirely a myth. It might be true during our grandmother's time. But the advancement of R&D has improved the formula of skin whitening product. This is why you should only choose established brands for skin whitening product.

Myth #2 - Skin whitening products cause skin thinning
This is true for some products that contains Retin-A reacts like an exfoliator. Constant use of product that has Retin-A might thin the top layer of your skin. These product helps very little in whitening your skin. It exfoliates the top layer of your skin to reveal a fresh layer of skin. If your skin is naturally tanned, the product has no effect at all.

Myth #3 - You can't use other products when using skin whitening products
This is partly true. Some skin whitening products contain active ingredients. When you mix with another product that has different active ingredients, it might overload your skin.

Myth #4 - When using skin whitening products, you can't treat other skin concerns
This is partly related to Myth #3. A lot of skin whitening ingredients are not suitable to use with other products, especially when it contains active ingredients. Watch out for harmful active ingredient in skin whitening product such as mercurous chloride (mercury).

Myth #5 - You don't have to use skin whitening if you use sunscreen
A lot of people mistaken skin whitening and sunscreen. Both of the products have different function. Sunscreen only protects your skin from UV rays. It doesn't lighten your skin or protect your skin from darkening. Sunscreen is a protective product, whereas skin whitening is a corrective product.


After reading all the myths above, don't you think skin whitening can be quite troublesome? It is not impossible to have a skin whitening product that does the protective and corrective work for your skin. The brand new L'Oreal White Perfect Total 10 Day Cream overcomes all the problems with skin whitening products.



The L'Oreal White Perfect Total 10 Day Cream has 10 functions - 5 protective functions and 5 corrective functions.


Protective functions:
  • Anti-UVA
  • Anti-UVB
  • Anti-oxydation
  • Anti-pollution
  • Anti-oiliness
Corrective functions:
  • Instant brightening
  • Fairer skin
  • Even tone
  • Reduce Dark Spots
  • Shine Control


What I love about it:
  • You don't have to worry about getting different products for different functions. This L'Oreal White Perfect Total 10 Day Cream protects your skin from external aggression, and at the same time, whitens your skin from the inside.
  • Works as moisturizer as well.
  • Visible improvement on the skin within 4 weeks.
  • You can apply underneath your makeup as base. 
What I dislike about it:
  • The bottle is a bit bulky for traveling.

Price: RM39.90 (50ml)
Available: From June 2014 onwards. You can get it at any major pharmacies and supermarket.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

[Tutorial & Giveaway] Step-by-step Manicure & Nail Art with Sally Hansen


Earlier I have showed you all the functions of the Sally Hansen's products and now it's time to show you how they are put in action.  Last month I went to Sally Hansen's HQ for a workshop and I will pass on what I've learn in this workshop in this post for you guys.

If you read until the bottom (or skip through), I will be giving away FOUR (4) bottles of Triple Shine nail polish to TWO (2) winners, each person gets two bottles. And you can choose your own color!


Step 1: Remove your cuticles


Drop one drop of the Instant Cuticle Remover and spread it around the cuticle. Let it sit for about 15 seconds to dissolve the cuticles, then use a cuticle stick to push in the cuticles. Rinse of the remains with water.

Tips: Whenever you visit the salon, the manicurist often trim your cuticles. This is extremely dangerous because your cuticles will be exposed. You might get infection when in contact with bacterias or viruses.


Step 2: Nourish your cuticles


Apply the Sally Hansen's Vitamin E Nail & Cuticle Oil on your nail. Leave it for 10 minutes. Then rinse it off. 

Tip: If you have extremely dry cuticles, hand cream is not enough to do the job. The Vitamin E oil absorbs faster and provides more nourishment compared to hand cream. Apply this overnight for best result.


Step 3: Apply base coat


I use the Hard as Nails (Nail Hardener) as base coat. The nail hardener can be worn by itself to strengthen your nails. If your nails tend to chip off easily, you should get this.

Tips: Using Hard as Nails as base coat will prevent all the damage cause by nail polish. It protects your nail and harden it at the same time.


Step4: Apply color


This is pretty much self-explanatory. Paint your nails with the Triple Shine nail color. This nail polish comes with a flat and rounded tip brush  for easy application. This brush is idiot-proof. It's okay if you don't have a stable hand to paint nail polish, the brush will make you look like a pro.


Look how neat my nail polish is. And I don't even have professional practice!


Step 5: Nail art (optional)


You can end your manicure with a top coat once you apply your nail color. Or you can add on some artistic touch. I use striping tape to create stripes. Then apply second coat of nail polish and remove the striping tape before the nail polish dries.

Tips: You can try various nail art tools like sponge to create ombre effect or dotting tools to create flowers and heart shape.


Step 6: Seal it with top coat


Seal your nail polish or nail art with a top coat. The Insta-Dri is my current favorite. Not only it dries the nail polish faster, it gives a glossy effect on the nail polish. Unlike other fast-drying top coat that dries only the surface, the Insta-Dri dries the manicure completely within 30 seconds.

Tips: When in the rush, apply the Insta-Dri before you apply the second coat of nail polish. It dries the nail polish in between quicker. Usually manicure takes about one hour to dry completely. But if you apply the Insta-Dri in between, it takes about 25 minutes to dry off completely.



Here is the result of my nail art!!!


For the above nail art, I use Great White as the base and for the top layer, I use Dive In and Reef-Raf. What do you think of my nail art?


Giveaway 


My momma tell me, good things must share with friends. So I'm going to giveaway four bottles of the Sally Hansen Triple Shine nail polish. There will be two winners. Each get two bottles. And the best thing is.... You can choose your own color!!!


Here's how to enter... LIKE Sally Hansen Malaysia's Facebook page. Then comment on this post. I will pick the best and creative comment. If you're not sure what to comment, you can write "I deserve the Triple Shine nail polish because..." or you can state the color you want with nail art ideas. I will pick the two winners. Deadline is 27th June 2014.


Commenting is not the hardest part of the giveaway. Choosing the color you want is the worst! Sally Hansen has wide range of colors from the Triple Shine line. Below are your options:




Check out the swatch if you still can't decide...


1. Kelp Out
2. Great White
3. Dive In
4. Lemon Shark
5. Statemint
6. Reef-Raf
7. Pixie Slicks
8. Vanity Flare
9. Drama Sheen
10. Red Snapper
11. Twinkled Pink


Decided which color to get? It's a tough choice like I said. I want to get all of it.


If you want to get a more explanation for each of the product I use above, you can check out my Sally Hansen's haul <<here>>. Thank you for reading and good luck!
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