Friday, October 24, 2014

[Product Comparison] The Body Shop Facial Scrubs

I guess everyone here knows I'm pro skincare that uses natural ingredients. The Body Shop is one of the convenient brand that serves me well. I know a lot of you will argue that The Body Shop is using the "natural" basis as corporate image. Nonetheless, it is very convenient to grab The Body Shop's product when you're on-the-go.


Recently, I went to The Body Shop to grab a facial scrub. I wanted a scrub that scrub that can remove my clogged pores but the shop assistant wasn't that helpful. So I grabbed 3 tubes to test out and see which one suit me most. Later I find that the three scrubs I grabbed serve different purposes respectively.


If you are deciding which facial scrub to get at The Body Shop, I hope my personal experience can help you to decide which one to get. Read on...


L-R: Seaweed Pore-Cleansing Facial Exfoliator, Aloe Gentle Exfoliator, Vitamin E Cream Exfoliator


Seaweed Pore-Cleansing Facial Exfoliator (RM45/75ml)
This has a very rough exfoliate agent, which is fine jojoba beads and olive stone. I find this useful for removing dead skin cells, particularly the rough ones. Use this sparingly because it is seriously very rough. In fact, I recommend you to use it only when needed. It feels as if a layer of your skin gets peel off after using.

Good for: Removing dead skin cells. Removing dirts from pores.
Not good for: Sensitive skin. Acne-prone skin. Avoid using this after you done peeling procedure. 

Aloe Gentle Exfoliator (RM53/75ml)
This is my favourite scrub of all. The exfoliate beads are gentle but compact, I'm not too sure what it is made of though. It is good to use on sensitive skin as well. It removes my skin thoroughly but gently. When I desperate to get rid of my dark spots and acne scars, this is the product that I rely on.

Good for: Revealing fresh layer of skin. Sensitive skin.
Not good for: (None)

Vitamin E Cream Exfoliator (RM45/75ml)
If you are looking for a scrub that removes your dead skin cell, this is NOT the scrub. The beads are made from jojoba but it is not rough as the seaweed scrub. It is round and rubbery. I find it good for skin polishing. It gives that shiny glow on your face after using.

Good for: Skin polishing.
Not good for: Exfoliating for the purpose of removing dead skin and unclogging pores.


I wish I bought more facial scrubs to compare. Maybe next time. If you are looking for a basic facial scrub that does the exfoliating work in general, go for the Aloe Gentle Exfoliator. It is my personal favourite. And I think it is mild to the skin, but yet able to deliver its job to remove dead skin and unclog pores.


If you have any favourite facial scrub in your list, do share it with me in the comment below so I can try it out.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

How to clean your dirty NARS packaging


The other day I was at NARS to grab something and I brought home a priceless tips from the makeup artist. She taught me how to clean dirty NARS packaging. If you're NARS lover, you know how annoying the packaging gets after awhile. Today, I've pulled out my dirtiest NARS packaging, which is my blusher to demonstrate.


You'll need to get this...



What is this? This is called Magic Sponge. The sponge feels more compact and silky soft compared to ordinary sponge.


Add just a few drops of water and make sure you squeeze out all the excessive water. Make sure it is wet but not saturated. Then rub the dirty parts of your NARS packaging as if you are polishing a magic lamp.


It works! You can see the obvious difference. It is indeed cleaner. However, it doesn't turn the packaging as new as the one fresh from the store. The most it can do is to clean off the dirty makeup stain on the packaging.


You can buy the Magic Sponge from hardware store or Daiso. I prefer to buy from Daiso because they have various sizes and quantity to choose from.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Brand Introduction Korres - Natural Ingredients Brand




Korres is a Greek skincare brand, born out of Athens' first ever homeopathic pharmacy in 1996. The first Korres product was an aromatic herbal throat-soothing syrup with honey and aniseed; a recipe inspired by 'rakomelon', a warming spirit-with-honey concoction, which George Korres' grandfather used to make in his hometown on the island of Naxos. Today the Korres portfolio includes over 400 natural and certified organic products, with brand presence in 30 markets. Our goal is to develop innovative and clinically effective skincare products based on natural active ingredients; to promote natural ingredients research in relation to its biochemistry; and to project the unique Greek flora benefits through our cooperations with local farmers, and the production of our brand-own high value organic extracts. 

If you are into natural ingredients product, I would like to introduce you to Korres. Korres is a Greek beauty brand, that share a some-what similar brand philosophy with The Body Shop, Himalaya, and Pangea Organics. I got to know this brand from my bestie in Singapore. She claimed that her sensitive skin couldn't take a lot of beauty products and Korres is the one that she could use. Then she got me a jar of the Wild Rose Lip Butter and I instantly fell in love.


One of their star product is the Lip Butter, which is also the first product that I tried from Korres. The Wild Rose lip butter gives a little red tint on the lips. I love to use it for natural look makeup. Meanwhile, the Jasmine and Guava (not in the photo) is my everyday dry lips rescue. I have the Guava one placed right next to my bed stand so I can reach it before I sleep. I must say the difference in color between the Jasmine and Guava is not visible at all. The only difference is the scent. Guava gives a refreshing scent, meanwhile Jasmine has a rich smell to it just like jasmine flower. Like any other lip butter, its function is to moisturize the lips and to prevent it from chapping. One thing special about the lip butter is the Greek ingredient called Quince. It has wound-healing properties that restore cracked lips instantly.



When my bestie gave me the lip butter, she manage to slip in some samples of their body butter. I tuck it aside (just like most samples that I received) until my impromptu trip to Hong Kong during winter. I could only take one hand carry bag, so sample sachets were the best thing to pack. The body butter was my biggest savior during the trip.


The weather was dry and windy in HK and my skin suffered severe wind rash. After applied the Body Butter, amazingly my skin stop itching and I had no problem showering hot water. This body butter is perfect for those who suffer from eczema and dry skin. Aside from its efficacy, I also like the texture a lot. It feels like soft butter, literally! When applied on the skin it glides smoothly, as you rub against your skin the butter gets absorbed into the skin. They have a few variants of scent but I like the Japanese Rose and Guava the best.


One product that I dislike from Korres is their wipes.


I bought this Milk Proteins wipes at the Athens airport because I needed something to remove my makeup before connecting to my next flight. To my surprise, I didn't like it at all. The wipe sheet feels rough and it doesn't saturate a lot of products in it. The remover strength is not as good as other ordinary makeup remover. I had to apply strong force before I could remove all my makeup. I don't think this is good to use on the skin because you will be constantly pulling the skin when using it. This is the only Korres product that I wouldn't recommend to you.


Overall, I'm pretty satisfied with all the Korres skincare products. I've not tried their makeups yet, but I did bought a full set of makeup as a souvenir for my friend and from her testimony, she loves it a lot. Other products that you should try from Korres are their Honey Base Cough Syrup (the initial product that developed by Korres), Black Pine Anti-Wrinkle & Firming Cream and Milk Proteins 3 in 1 Cleansing Emulsion. I think it is noteworthy to point out that Korres is NOT an organic brand although they use 97% of natural ingredients in their products.


Unfortunately Korres is not available in Malaysia. If you're visiting our neighbor Singapore, they have a store at Takashimaya. Alternatively, you can buy from Luxola which ships to Malaysia.


Are you a fan of natural skincare products? If you are, tell me what's your favourite brand in the comment below. I would love to check it out. 

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

L'Occitane 10th Anniversary #naturallyloccitane Photo Contest


Bonjour!

2014 marks an important milestone for L’OCCITANE MALAYSIA as they are celebrating 10th beautiful years. To make this events even more meaningful, there are many interesting activities lined-up and to kick-start this, you can join the #naturallyloccitane 10th anniversary photo contest which can grant you a chance to win L’OCCITANE Gift Sets & 1 Ticket to participate in the lucky draw. Guess what, the grand prize is a trip to Provence, France!



No purchase needed. Just join the contest as per the rules above. It's as simple as that! Good luck. If you win the trip to Provence, do tag me on your photo!!!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

[Makeup Basics] Things To Consider When Buying Makeup Brushes

Makeup Basics is a weekly topic on this blog. The topic's aim is to help makeup rookie on how to get started. If you're interested in this topic, make sure to come back every week. There will be tips and product recommendations. If you have any useful tips and comment to share, don't forget to comment below. 


As a makeup beginner, you probably feel that you need to buy every brush that's on the counter. Actually you only need at about 4 brushes to cover your basic needs. Here are some of the tips you need to remember before investing on your brush set:


1. Soft doesn't mean good
A lot of people judge how good is the brush base on the softness of the bristles. Sometimes brushes that are too soft can't pick up the product that well and you will ended up wasting the product and wasting your time because the product don't transfer to your skin. Always read review of brushes before jumping into getting it.

2. Expensive doesn't mean good
One of the earlier advice that I got from someone was that makeup brush is a form of investment therefore we should buy the expensive ones. After attending a few beauty expos and getting to know the industry better, I find that some brush that cost RM200+ and RM30+ probably comes from the same factory and produced from the same materials. It's all about branding and making you pay for the marketing prices. As a makeup beginner (or veteran) you only need brushes that does its job well, and I find some cheaper or average priced brush is apt. 

3. Get to know the bristles
Bristle is the "hair" of the brush. It comes in synthetic (artificial hair), natural (horse mane, squirrel hair, etc.) or hybrid of the both. Normally people with sensitive skin works better with synthetic hair (for face brush). Meanwhile, natural hair bristle gives a better effect in blending (for eyeshadow). The shorter the bristle, the easier for you to control the brush, hence some work that needs extra concentration needs shorter bristles such as eyeliner brush, foundation brush, contour brush and eyebrow brush. On the other hand, brushes that you apply loose powder and fan brush works better with longer bristles.

4. Get to know the handle
The handle of the brush plays an important part in your makeup experience. A lot of people make the mistake for buying long handle brush thinking that it has more surface area to grab on. However, long handle brush is made for makeup artists to apply makeup on clients. The best size of brush is slightly bigger than your hand when you grip it. It gives you better control of the brush and you won't poke the mirror when you get close to it.

5. Brushes you need as a beginner
3 brushes is enough - one for foundation, one flat shader brush for picking up eyeshadow and one blending brush to smoke out your eyeshadow. As for blusher, you can use the same foundation brush or use the available brush from the packaging. Blush brush is not really that important for beginner.

6. Cleaning the brush
As a beginner in makeup, I wouldn't recommend you to incur extra cost to purchase special brush cleaner. Use baby shampoo. And if you don't have baby at home and don't want to buy it, use your facial wash. If it is good enough for you face, it should be good enough for your brush.


Today so happen there's a special launch of the Colours Cosmetics Brush. Since we're talking about brushes, I want to take the opportunity to introduce to you this new brush brand. You probably haven't heard of Colour Cosmetics Malaysia. This company took a very long time to develop the brush and finally Colour Cosmetics Malaysia brushes will be officially launched on 30th September 2014.



I have the Flat Top Foundation Brush to share with you. I have use this brush for 10 days now, which I think it is a sufficient trial period for me to share my experience.


What I love about the brush:

1. The quality of the bristle is really good. In terms of the bristle, I like how it is so soft but still able to pick up the products really well. The density of the bristles is just nice, when you applying the product (especially liquid foundation), the product covers the skin evenly. Use a circular motion to get an even and flawless effect.

2. The presentation of the brush is sleek, which I love the most about this brush. The handle is in black gloss and the ferrule of the brush is in shiny tri-chrome copper.

3. The size is within a palm size. Not only it is convenient for traveling. It is also very easy to grip when you use it for everyday application.

4. The price of the brush is pretty affordable for its quality. The retail price for this brush is only RM55. This brush is so similar with Sigma F80, and the Sigma one probably cost RM100. For half the price, this is a pretty good deal. 

Size to scale
Product pick up
Application comparison


What I don't like about the brush:

1. Overall I love everything about this brush, except one thing... The bristles are so compact that it requires a bit more effort to clean, especially the middle part. There are some remains of the product stuck in the middle of the brush even after I clean it twice. If you're a lazy person like me, you might get a little irritated that you have to put in more effort in cleaning it. Otherwise, I'm sure this might not be a problem to most of you.


You probably can see the difference in application on the photo above. I think this is good brush to recommend to you all if you are looking for a quality and affordable foundation brush. You can get this brush at CCM's website. For my readers, I have a 15% off promo code for you to try this brush. Just enter MDBEAUTY15 at the check out and the price of the brush will be reduced to only RM46.75*. I think that is a pretty good deal, so head on to the site to get one and try it out yourself.


*Promo code valid until 15 June 2015.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

[Giveaway] 5 Bottles of SK-II FACIAL TREATMENT ESSENCE & SK-II Pitera House, Publika

Nature gives you the face you have at 20. Life shapes the face you have at 30. But at 50, you get the face you deserve. - Coco Chanel

Can't wait to see how my face is like when I'm 50!


I know a lot of you been wanting to try the SK-II Facial Treatment Essence (and other SK-II products). Here's the good news. SK-II will be setting up their first Pitera House at Publika (The Square). I strongly recommend you to be head to the Pitera House to check out SK-II products and receive your personalized skin analyst. Details as follow:

Date: 7th to 14th October, 2014
Venue: Publika, The Square



What to expect at the Pitera House?

1. Get your skin analyzed by SK-II Magic Ring. This special machine can measure your skin texture refinement, firmness power, wrinkle resilience, spot control and radiance enhancement. It can even predict how your face looks like in the future if you don't take good care of your skin!

2. Exclusive Skin Destiny workshop that will be held on 10, 11 and 12 October 2014. There will be two sessions per day on 11 and 12 October 2014 with the first session from 11am to 1pm and the second session from 3pm to 5pm. For 10 October, there will be one session only from 11am to 1pm. You can pre-buy vouchers to attend these Skin Destiny Workshops which are available for sale at the selected SK-II counters for RM200 which are fully redeemable for SK-II products at the SK-II Pitera House. You can purchase the vouchers at SK-II counters in AEON Bandar Baru Klang, Bandar Utama, Mid Valley, Taman Maluri, Bukit Tinggi and Wangsa Maju.

3. Friend Bring Friend promo where if you bring one friend to purchase a Pitera Essence Set (PES) and register as a new crystal club member, you will receive one SK-II Facial Treatment Cleanser 20g worth RM37. If you bring 2 friends to purchase the PES and register them as new crystal club members, you will receive 2 bottles of the Facial Treatment Cleanser 20g worth RM74.

4. There will be a special launch on 10 October beginning with a mini-concert at 5pm featuring prominent independent Malaysian singers. This will be followed by an official launch at 6pm which will feature our local celebrities including SK-II Malaysia brand ambassador Fauziah Latiff and others.

Pitera Essence Set


That's not all. SK-II will be giving away 5 bottles of Facial Treatment Essence 75ml worth RM299 to my readers. YES! THAT'S YOU!!! All you need to do is:

1. Go to the SK-II Pitera House any day between 7th to 14th October.
2. Take a selfie of yourself and upload it on your Instagram with the special hashtag #JerineChangeSkinDestiny & SkiiPiteraHouseMY and tag my Insta handle on the photo (@QueenJerine). You don't have to purchase anything to join this giveaway.
3. I will pick 5 most creative selfie as winner. Winners name will be announced on my Instagram by 21st October.
4. After that I will contact the winners on how to redeem the Facial Treatment Essence.


Go and have fun at the SK-II Pitera House... Experiment the products, check your skin performance with the Magic Ring, and ask anything you want. I'm sure there will be loads of programs line up for everyone. Let me know which date and time you want to attend in the comment. Maybe we can do a mini entourage there, and I can meet you all in person as well. If you want to know more about the SK-II Facial Treatment Essence, you can go to <<this link>>.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

[Makeup Basics] Choosing the right mascara

Makeup Basics is a weekly topic on this blog. The topic's aim is to help makeup rookie on how to get started. If you're interested in this topic, make sure to come back every week. There will be tips and product recommendations. If you have any useful tips and comment to share, don't forget to comment below. 




So we have done foundations and eyeliner. This week, let's talk about mascara. The BIGGEST mistake when choosing a mascara is trusting what the product promise. Almost every mascara in the market promise you something - longer lashes, fuller lashes, separating your lashes, etc. From my personal experience (and also collective experiences from my friends), those promises were never fulfilled.


Choosing the perfect mascara can be a tricky one. It is as tricky as choosing the right foundation but it is less expensive and it doesn't hurt so much to throw away a mascara if you find you have purchased the wrong one. However, to save you the hassle, I will break down the selections so you can choose your mascara easier. The most important thing is to know how your eyelash grows and choose the right mascara wand. It is like finding the best comb for your hair, for example, if you have a curly hair, a flat comb probably won't work for you. Same goes to mascara and eyelashes.



The very first thing to do is to observe how your lashes grow. Are they:

a. Long, curved and full
b. Long but sparse
c. Short and full
d. Short and sparse
e. Mix of long and short
f. Growing criss-crossed

Then the second step is to choose the right wand for the type of lash that you have. Below are some of the wands that you can find:

1. This wand is perfect for longer lashes, but not lashes that grows criss-crossed. For shorter lashes, the wand may tend to make a mess on top of your lid because the surface area of the bristles is quite big. It might cause clumsiness when applying.

2. Notice that the bristles of the wand is extremely straight and it is made of rubber/plastic instead of brush? This type of wand is perfect for lashes that grow criss-crossed. It is also great for longer lashes, but not short lashes.

3. The hybrid wand is perfect for any type of lashes. To play safe, you can choose to buy the hybrid wand mascara, however it is not easy to find and may cost a bomb.

4. Similar to #2

5. The comb type of wand is suitable for shorter lashes. The comb helps to ease the application without making a mess. It is usable for longer lashes but no advisable because the comb won't be able to spread out the products and your long lash might feel heavy with the products collected on each strand.

6. The long-short bristles wand is good for lashes has mixture of long and short hair. The bristles are able to catch the different length of the lashes.

7. The thorn type of wand that made of plastic or rubber is the best wand for any lashes (in my opinion). However, the downside is the wand won't be able to pick up a lot of products, so you might have to coat your lashes more.

8. The ball-tip mascara is usually use to separate lashes and to coat the lower lash.


Besides choosing the right wand, the way you apply the mascara is also very important. A lot of people apply mascara with the zig-zag motion, where the wand goes left and right of the eyelash. This is a WRONG method. The zig-zag motion will create clumps on your eyelash and excessive product will stick to your lash. The CORRECT method is to comb your lash from the inside and the wand goes outward. Repeat until you get the desired amount of product coated on your lash. As you brush your lash outward, the wand will help push excessive product out of your lashes.


Having your lashes curled before applying mascara makes a huge difference. It elevates your lashes twice compared to using just mascara itself. NEVER curl your lashes after you have applied your mascara, unless you want your lashes to appear looking like it has an L shape. It looks weird, trust me.


If you tend to over comb your lashes and leave stains of mascara on top of you eyelid, apply eyeshadow on top of your lid first. Nude or skin color eyeshadow comes really handy in this situation. The eyeshadow works as a shield to protect your eyelid from getting messed up by the mascara. You can easily remove the stain by using tissue paper to wipe off the eyeshadow. Alternatively, you can use card or the specific tool to shield your eyelid from the mascara mess.


That's all for this week Makeup Basics tips. Let me know if it is useful. And if you have any mascara tips to share, please feel free to comment below. I always welcome new knowledge when it comes to beauty. Next week, let's talk about brushes.
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