Hourglass Cosmetics is a make-up brand based in California that's specially formulated to contain anti-aging properties using only ingredients from the Earth's minerals and leaving out harmful elements such as parabens, phthalates and sulfates. You can find it at any Sephora store or Barneys New York.
The reason why I wanted to try out this brand is for its mineral primer. I've been wanting to try mineral make-up in a while so this makes the first (although, I wouldn't say mineral make-up is really their forte, compared to other brands that really focus on it). I'm also looking to see if there's a better face primer other than Laura Mercier's...
So here are the samples they sent me. I like their packaging - very clean-cut and solid, doesn't seem like it would break easily, which is excellent and definitely shows good quality. You'd be surprised by the weight of the lipstick alone! ...very solid.
The 'Veil' Mineral Primer (SGD76) contains SPF15 which is a plus (better protect the face from the sun's harmful rays to prevent wrinkles!) and is made from Earth-derived minerals such as Titanium Dioxide and Zinc Oxide.
The texture of the primer is smooth and velvety. It helped to minimize the pores, fill in wrinkles and gave my face a luminous glow with a slightly lighter appearance. The difference between this mineral primer and Laura Mercier's face primer is that it definitely made my skin more 'radiant'.
Both primers leave a matte, silicone finish, and protects your skin from the make-up for a more longer lasting coverage.
They sent me a sample of their 'Veil' Fluid Make-Up Liquid foundation but I'm only sampling their 'Illusion' Tinted Moisturizer because it's probably something I'd use more frequently as it's less 'heavy'. I try not to use liquid foundation on a daily basis so to let the skin breathe. Like the mineral primer, the 'Illusion' Tinted Moisturizer also contains SPF15, but what makes it special is that it contains INSTALIFT®, which is a natural plant-based glycopeptide which lifts and tightens the skin within an hour of application.
The texture of the tinted moisturizer isn't as 'liquidy' as I expected it to be (unlike most tinted moisturizers I've tried), instead, it was slightly thick, even more than my favorite Revlon ColorStay foundation (which I use almost everyday) but yet still not as thick as Shiseido's Lifting Foundation (See other comparisons here).
I much prefer liquid foundations that aren't too thick so my make-up doesn't feel or look heavy. Although, I must say, as a Tinted Moisturizer, it provides enough coverage on the skin, leaving a natural, radiant finish when used with the 'Veil' Mineral Primer, so you can skip the liquid foundation when using this one yet still get good coverage. Here I'm using the 'Sand' shade which was closest to my skin color.
I love the compact case for the 'Illume' Creme-to-Powder Bronzer Duo (SGD58) for it's flexible, 360° swivel rotating mirror. This 3-in-1 bronzer, highligher and blush gives you a streak-free, lasting finish when applied correctly. I'm not a huge fan of a cream-based blusher as I find powder so much easier to apply with a brush, however, I do like this one because it gives you a more natural look that's long-lasting so there's no need for touch-ups every few hours. That's the beauty of cream-based make-up (same for eyeshadow).
I applied the darker, bronze shade under my cheekbones as shown in the example below to create a slimmer face, followed by a touch of the pink blusher on my cheekbones to give a natural, rosy look.
I always use a lipliner to define my lips and to make the lipstick last longer. It's definitely an essential in my handbag and my colors of preference are nudes and light pink.
The 'Trace' Lip Liner (SGD41) is retractable so you save the effort of sharpening a lip pencil, and it comes with a brush applicator on the other end for convenience. You can also buy the cartridge refills which is sold separately should you need to replace it - which is what I like about it - eco-friendlyness!
Here, I'm using 'Bare'. I noticed that it says 'Made in Korea' on the applicator (while the rest of the products I sampled were 'Made in USA') - which should mean it's good because I've heard many good things about Korean cosmetics, but I found the lip liner to be slightly difficult to apply and didn't go on smoothly because it was too dry, so it's probably a good idea to dab a bit of lip balm before applying the liner.
Unfortunately, the 'Femme Rouge' Velvet Creme Lipstick they sent me melted probably due to the weather conditions during shipping and handling so luckily, I had the brush applicator from the lip liner! Here I'm using 'Grace', which is a very light, natural shade for the lips and matches the lip liner very well.
Top it off with some mascara and loose powder and you're set! You can achieve this natural look, perfect for everyday in under 10 minutes.
I've found it! The PERFECT foundation for my skin color that has just the right texture, full-coverage and super long-lasting. And for only SGD29.90 (with a 20% discount when I bought it from Seiyu in Bugis/Singapore), it's a quality product made affordable.
I've tried out different foundations from Bobbi Brown, Chanel and Shiseido and this one from Revlon proves to be the best out of the 4.
(I ran out of the Bobbi Brown foundation a while back so I didn't include it in this comparison.)
CHANEL's Vitalumière foundation is a little more 'liquidy' compared to Revlon's ColorStay. It's also slightly too dark for me. I've even tried this other foundation from Chanel which made me look 'dusty' and ashy. Well, Chanel's foundation just doesn't suit me.
Shiseido's Lifting Foundation is great for coverage but not ideal for everyday wear because it's a little too thick and creamy. However, I use it over the ColorStay foundation (applied only on the t-zone and the area just above my cheekbones) to highlight and for maximum coverage during night time.
I like that the Revlon's ColorStay foundation stays long-lasting (how many times have I mentioned this?) and makes my skin feel breathable. Perfect for everyday use and so affordable. I can't express how happy I am to have found THE ONE foundation
If you're looking for a good and cheap liquid foundation, try this one out and tell me that I'm not the only one fanatical about it!
(This article is not intended for any advertising, sale or marketing purposes of the brand(s) mentioned.)
I made it a point to keep track of the temperature settings when I go for my Brazilian IPL at FabulousTan (Read: My First Brazilian IPL Experience). I've heard so many horror stories about people getting burnt and permanently scarred from IPL. Luckily, my therapist, Glaiza, is experienced in what she does and knows how to set the right temperature so it doesn't hurt, burn or sting at all! The IPL machine that they use at FabulousTan can set different Hair Type and Skin Type - for people with light skin and light-colored hair, dark skin with dark hair or a combination of both.
The first couple of times I went in, my Skin Type was only set to III but I must've gotten darker because it was set to IV thereafter! The other settings were kept consistent, although Glaiza upped the intensity level to 6 during the last session to make sure all the fine little hairs are zapped too! Hair becomes finer after each session, and I'm not only satisfied with the results, I'm happy with the customer service. I've also just signed up for 6 sessions of underarm IPL. Each session doesn't take more than 40 minutes and as mentioned in my first post, there's also a shower facility there should you feel like you need to 'freshen up'.
Leave your questions and comments on this post if you have anything to ask about Brazilian or underarm IPL. I'd be happy to share my experiences
I just found out that YesStyle is now selling colored contact lenses! I never trusted buying lenses online, especially from blog shops, but YesStyle is an authorized Internet reseller of GEO Circle Contact Lenses so it's safe and reliable. I ordered a pair of Magic Color Lens in 3-tone brown and it was delivered to me in 3 days as the item was already in stock (for those who are new to shopping on YesStyle, sometimes your order may take about 2-4 weeks to be delivered because of limited availability). The contacts are sold in single lens only (in case your prescription power range for each eye varies) so make sure you order 2 pieces/a pair! My pair costs US$22.80 because each piece costs US$11.40 .
Yes, my prescription power is -5.50... I am almost blind without my glasses or contacts 0_0 The contacts came in a glass vial with a free plastic contact lens case and they even threw in 2 packets of BB cream testers for me (I've never tried BB Cram before but have heard so many good things about it)!
This is how I look like without any contacts...
The vial that the lenses came in can be a little tricky to open so make sure you follow the instructions! I cleaned the lenses with my own contact lens solution and let it soak in the case before putting it on. You may skip this step but I personally prefer to clean my contacts with solution before using them. The color of the lenses I picked remind me of tiger stripes!
The colored lenses almost match my hair color and make me look like I have really natural, exotic eyes.
Do you like my lashes? (Read: Forget Faux Lashes, Make Your Lashes Longer Naturally...)
You may check out the other different types and colors of circle lens here. The best part about the lenses is that the lifetime is one year (after opening with proper care and cleaning) which is so much cheaper than buying monthly disposables. I can't wait to try out the Super Size Lens next!
Martini gave me a piece of good advice about skincare that I'll always remember until now:
"Always invest in good skincare products and any make-up you use, branded or cheap, will make you look good. If you want your make-up to make you look good, you gotta start with good skin."
I was shopping at Robinsons (The Gardens Mall) for a new loose powder the other day because I left the one I had from Estee Lauder back in Singapore. So I got one from Shiseido (Maquillage collection) in Pink Rose. I love Shiseido, it's my favorite make-up brand and their skin care products are said to be the best and most suited for Asian skin.
Anyway, while I shopping for make-up at the Shiseido counter, I got 'distracted' by this salesgirl who came up to me and asked if I wanted to make my lashes longer naturally. I looked up and was just about ready to say no when I noticed that she had FULL, thick lashes on one eye and her natural lashes with no mascara on the other eye in contrast. I asked her immediately if she was wearing fake lashes and she shook her head and whipped out a mascara and Lash Volumising and Lash Extender from Mircoz. Beautiful lashes without the hassle of putting on a faux? I'm IN!
It didn't take much convincing when I saw how remarkably thick and long my lashes became after she did the demo on me so I bought the Lash Volumising (RM79) and Lash Extender (RM79) along with a heated lash curler after that. They recommended a mascara of the same brand but since they said I could also use any other mascara, I decided to save a little extra money. A girl can only have one too many mascaras...
So this was what I used...
Before applying the 3 combo (left) & after (right)
Natural, pretty lashes. No need to carry eyelash glue and worry about your faux lashes coming off anymore!
I layered my lashes using Maybelline's MAGNUM Volum'Express, L`OREAL's VOLUMINOUS and Estee Lauder's MAGNASCOPIC mascaras...
It's long lasting and doesn't come off easily so you'll need to use proper eye make-up remover to thoroughly remove the fiber lashes. Your natural lashes will feel so naked without it! I use Maybelline's Make-Up Remover for Eye & Lip, SIMPLE Cleansing Facial Wipes and Neutrogena's Fresh Foaming Cleanser to make sure my face is squeaky clean every night before I go to bed.
(This article is not intended for any advertising, sale or marketing purposes of the brand(s) mentioned.)
2 July 2010 — I can't stand body hair. I've spent a ridiculous amount of money on IPL for my underarms, shaving and waxing other parts of my body (i.e. legs, arms, bikini... I even shave those tiny little toe/finger hair).
After trying out IPL on my underarms last year and getting satisfactory results at such an high expense, I was a little skeptical about doing Brazilian IPL. But since I've tried Brazilian waxing, I figured I might as well give it a go and share the experience.
Hawaiian Spa (by Fabulous Group) is located at 9 Tan Quee Lan street, #01-04 TQL Suites. It is just opposite Bugis Junction (across the road from Mcdonalds & Starbucks), on the same street as the Apple Strudel Store.
It was my first visit to Hawaiian Spa but I do go to FabulousTan (under the same company) at Cineleisure occasionally to even out my tan and cover up the unsightly stretchmarks when I have an upcoming shoot.
They provide services such as indoor tanning, IPL treatments, waxing, teeth whitening, spas and even hair extensions! I really like to decor — it's like a spa by the beach!
One of the tanning rooms. Doesn't it look like it's in a little hut by the beach because of the blue sky? Actually, the place has a pretty high ceiling and the blue sky is actually the color of the wall on the other side of the room!
And that's how you get a fabulous tan Truth be told, I haven't done indoor tanning in months... this is the result of running outdoors. Wait until you see the hideous tanlines!
And this is where it all takes place. My therapist was a very nice and friendly Filipina. Somehow I felt more comfortable with her because Charles is half Filipino so we were talking about the Philippines the whole time. It helps if you can hold a conversation with your therapist to ease off the tension and nervousness!
For safety purposes, I was asked to remove anything metallic, including my accessories and belly-button ring - something I was never asked to do when I went for IPL on my underarms at STRIP.
I was pretty shy at first because of the little 'bush' I had grown down there and it didn't help when my therapist used an electronic razor to trim the bits because I started giggling like a little girl! It took me a while to get used to the 'vibration' of the electronic razor. It wasn't easy! The whole time I thought to myself, "Please don't get turned on!" Awkward. Just a tad.
I wonder why they didn't use a normal disposal shaver instead. Wouldn't that be more hygienic?
It used to be that IPL was only suitable for those with dark hair and light skin but not anymore. The machine used for IPL treatment here uses a new technology that distinguishes dark hair and dark skin types. The first setting that my therapist used was a little painful (like a quick, sharp pain) but she finally adjusted the settings so the pain was minimal and I barely felt anything.
It took about 25 minutes for the whole session (a much shorter time than Brazilian waxing... and less painful).
I didn't shave or wax for 2 weeks before going for the Brazilian IPL and personally I found it to be a real torture. I can't stand hair down there. The hair grew back so fast and by the end of 2 weeks, I had a full-grown bush. I don't know how some Japanese girls live with that. I could never!
Since I won't be taking any photos of my bits and pieces for censorship purposes, I've done up a simple illustration to show you a quick 'visual'. You are advised not to wax or shave after your first IPL session especially if you plan on going for more. This is so that the hair can grow out and 'fall off' on its own (yes, literally — you will soon be bald down there!). Shaving or waxing will interfere with the process.
As you can see, my hair-down-there was a lot thicker and more bushy when I let it grow out 2 weeks before going for a Brazilian IPL. After, the hair grew out almost the same, except less coarse.
I'd have to admit that I cheated and shaved 1 week after my first IPL session. I know I wasn't supposed to but I was not used to it at all and it became quite uncomfortable.
To my surprise, a few days after I shaved, the hair grew back more fine and sparse (refer to the illustration). It may look a little weird but it is a lot better now than how it was during the first week after the IPL, or let alone before the IPL!
I am liking the results already. My 2nd session is due this Friday (which is exactly 3 weeks after my 1st). It is recommended that you do a follow-up of your next session within 3 - 4 weeks after each IPL session for optimum results.
If you're interested in doing a trial session, you can enjoy this offer for being a loyal reader at withlovefay.com simply by making your appointment via sms by texting <Hawaii><fay><yourname> to 8221 9221.
Permanent Brazilian IPL - $125 (current 1st time trial price is $148) (U.P. is $338)
Do share with me YOUR experience!
UPDATE: I just found that they have a branch (for indoor tanning, waxing, teeth whitening, hair extensions and make-up only) in KL at Mid-Valley! That's only about 10 minutes away from my place in KL... perfect! Check it out:
Mid Valley Branch
Lot T-029, 3rd Floor Mid Valley Megamall, Lingkaran Syed Putra, Mid Valley City,
Kuala Lumpur 59200
I've been using Shiseido's 'Pureness' skincare range for over a year now and I firmly believe that all Shiseido products are well-suited for Asian skin. However, when my boyfriend introduced me to Estee Lauder's 'Idealist Pore Minimizing Skin Refinisher', I realized something better did exist.
The conversation started when he got out of the shower and I noticed how fresh and matt his face looked. My immediate reaction was to ask, "Did you put on powder on your face?" I've never dated a guy who would swear by Estee Lauder, or let alone swear by any moisturizer at all, so this was something relatively new to me.
So I tried out the pore minimizing skin refinisher and I found the same love my boyfriend had for it. My skin felt velvety smooth, fresh and shine-free as pores (especially on my nose) were minimized. I decided not to put on any make-up the first time I tried it out to see how it would last by the end of the day. 6 hours later, I was pleasantly pleased to find that my t-zone was not as oily as it usually was and my pores weren't very visible even though I skipped the 2-way cake.
Did some research and found out that Estee Lauder's Idealist Pore Minimizing Skin Refinisher has received a lot of good reviews and feedback. The only setback that a number of users complained about was the price. I got mine from YesStyle with an additional 9% off as an Elite Club Member. It's US$58.90 for 30ml and US$97.85 for 50ml. It's definitely quality for quantity.
If you use make-up everyday, you should know the importance of a good moisturizer and preferably an oil-free foundation primer. I recommend using Laura Mercier's Foundation Primer (USD$40). It glides on smoothly over your skin and gives you an even finish, so your face won't feel 'heavy' after you've piled on all the make-up on top. It also double as a pore refiner as it is meant to create an invisible layer over your skin to give you a smooth finish.
If you can't afford the moisturizer by Estee Lauder, you may stick to what you're comfortable with and try using this foundation primer over it. I read somewhere that one beauty guru would make Laura Mercier's Foundation Primer the only beauty essential she would need if she was stranded on an island - it's all the base you'll need for your face in one.
Coca-cola has always been known to come up with the best advertising and marketing strategies. It's a brand you'll think of when someone mentions "soda in a classic red can". If you know what's good for you and would rather stick to sky juice (aka water) than some sugar-loaded, carbonated drink, Coca-cola still has something for you: Nail polish.
Coke teamed up with Nails Inc. to create four shades, each named after fashionable cities: London, Paris, New York and Milan (left to right, above).
The nail polishes will be given away free with every purchase of two 500ml bottles of Diet Coke at Boots in England until June 30, and for those of us living stateside, you will soon be able to order the polish online at Asos.com, which has an ongoing partnership with Coca-Cola.
Smart. They know fashionistas and health junkies like me would NEVER touch an empty-calorie-filled real Coke.
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My skin is peeling, finally! Just need a scrubadub!
I guess the Hazeline Snow must have helped! This is probably the first time my skin is peeling!