Monday, 31 March 2014


A week of largely crappy weather, last-minute things-to-do, and a revisiting of old (old-ish) favourites.

Clarks boots - These have long been a favourite of mine since I bought them last year. With the rainfall this week I had the excuse to pull them out again.

Glassons knit sweater - I love the colour of this jumper (which goes perfectly with Revlon's ColorBurst Lip Butter in Raspberry Pie, btw), and had the chance to wear it with the cooler weather.

Packing for HK - I'm leaving for an overseas trip to the motherland in 5 days' time! I should probably start actually packing...

Chanel Soleil Tan De Chanel Bronze Universel - With the dreary weather I've been reminiscing of Summer, which has made me pull this bronzing beauty out, in the desperate hope to retain (or at least fake my way to) my Summer tan.

Nivea Light Feel Daily Face Veil SPF 30 sunscreen - The last few days were surprisingly sunny, so I've loved layering this under MAC Face and Body, or wearing it on its own with concealer and a touch of cream blush for a no-fuss weekend face.

Maybelline Baby Lips Glow tinted lip balm - I've been using the untainted version for the past couple of weeks, but recently fished this one out of the depths of my makeup bag - perfect for days when I want a slight hint of colour and something that doesn't require precision in application.

Elizabeth Arden Pretty EDP - I've loved this perfume for years now, and have only recently gone back to using it, after switching over to her Pretty Hot sister.

Friday, 28 March 2014



I first heard about this 'miracle balm' from Lisa Eldridge, who praised its rich, hydrating properties and, Essie Button, who confirmed its potential as a remedy for eczema.

Having suffered eczema from a young age, you can imagine I was 'itching' to give this one a go (heheh, see what I did there?). I've tried a plethora of 'lotions and potions' in an attempt to remedy it: disgusting oral liquids from naturopaths, countless ointments and oils, vitamin/omega 3 tablets, and a few dietary tweaks. While my skin is much better than it used to be, it is not yet 'eczema-free'. Lately I'd developed a nasty, angry patch of eczema just over my hip bones that refused to budge, so I thought I'd give this 'Soothing Repairing Balm' a try.

It's free of parabens, lanolin and fragrance, and suitable for sensitive skin, which is the first thing I look for. Product claims include: "Optimal skin recovery; soothing of dry, irritated areas; skin protection." I also liked its no-fuss packaging and flip-lid design. The 40ml size is small enough to be handbag-friendly, as well.

At first it really did seem like a miracle: I applied it once after showering and my skin was immediately smoother, and hydrated. I reapplied before going to bed three hours later and woke up with smooth, hydrated, non-cracked skin. It was mind-blowing, to be honest. The only thing about this product, is that I found it was only a temporary remedy. It cleared up most of the eczema on my left hip, but wasn't so successful on my right side. However, it did provide relief from itchiness and dryness, and was overall very soothing. I found it was most effective when used in conjunction with a 'steroid' cream, such as Elocon.

A common gripe with this product is that it's very thick and difficult to spread, though I didn't have too much issue with it. It is of a thick, creamy consistency - not as oily as an ointment, but more like a heavy hydrating masque.

This product held quite well to its claims of providing relief to dry, irritated areas, and I think it'll definitely come in handy when Winter hits.

Monday, 24 March 2014


A week of novelty chilling at home, surprising improvement, and small luxuries.

Love Your Hair by Richard Kavanagh - This week I thought I'd shake up my hair routine as I was kind of stuck in a hair-rut. I don't brush my hair because it usually looks worse afterwards, and end up shoving it into a bun everyday because it's quick. I grabbed this book when it was on sale at Dymocks, but have to admit I found it somewhat disappointing. It lacked diagrams and detailed step by step instructions, and was very brief and simple - too simple. There were no images to accompany the tools and utensils summary, so I had to google half the items listed. I did think it was an interesting look at how the pros do more intricate hairstyles, and 'cheats' they use to achieve a certain effect. There were a good mix of hairstyles for different lengths, though none of them really appealed to me, as I was put off by the amount of time required to create them. Most of them were quite time consuming for me personally. It's just unrealistic for me to spend half an hour doing my hair - ain't nobody got time for that! However, I do wish I had longer hair. Now I'm inspired to grow it out again - I haven't had long hair since I grew it to donate to the Princess Charlotte Alopecia Foundation. And who knows, maybe this book will come in handy for special occasions. (Try'na be positive, here!)

Nivea Men Post Shave Balm - I actually got this a while ago from iherb, as part of a Real Techniques Brushes haul, but only just started using it. I mistook it for the Nivea for Men Revitalising Double Action Balm, which I really liked, due to its creamy texture and surprisingly-not-so-offputting scent. This Post Shave Balm has a rather cologne-y/lynx deodorant-y (and not like the one for female folk, either) scent, which I was not anticipating, and which I did not love. It's also runnier - more of a lighter cream/lotion-y, whereas the Double Action Balm has more of a whipped-ish, light, creamy consistency. Thankfully it does the job, and I'll continue to use it, but I guess I've learnt my lesson!

Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse Or Multi Purpose Dry Oil and Reve de Miel Ultra-Nourishing Lip Balm - A couple of cult goodies that I've wanted to try for ages, bought from Priceline as a little pick me up. Post coming soon.

Cedel Blow Dry Faster - So this week I finally came to a conclusion about this little gem: it's love.

Seagull guitar -  I've been trying to teach myself guitar for years, but only recently starting making a more consistent effort. Sometimes I surprise myself with the things I'm able to achieve when I apply myself... I've been trying to learn 'Home' by Gabrielle Aplin, and Birdy's version of 'Skinny Love'. They're progressing slowly!

Bloch pointe shoes - This week I was finally able to progress doing to centre work, as I had previously been barre-bound. I've been learning pas de bourrées in the centre, which has been a painful but satisfying experience, seeing myself improve. Maybe one day I'll finally be able to do fouettes en pointe!

Thursday, 20 March 2014


A revisit and more in-depth look at this 'wonder' product. I first mentioned this eye-catching little can of promise in my second Week in Review, noting its 'different' scent and seemingly improbable claim. I'd been wanting to try it for a looooooong time - ever since I spotted it in Priceline whilst on the hunt for dry shampoo, but could never justify buying it as I still had a barely-used heat protecting spray by Tresemme. The other day, however, I decided to bite the bullet, justifying it with some flimsy excuse or another.

I had my fingers crossed that it wouldn't have the same powdery grandma scent as Cedel's dry shampoo and to my great relief, it didn't! (After being burned once, I was certainly going to be more wary about future Cedel purchases!) It's difficult to describe the scent - not quite fragrant, not overly unpleasant (not as unpleasant as the dry shampoo, anyway). Plus it doesn't linger, so it's a safe bet that it won't overpower or compete with your fragrance.

I really liked that it was a heat protector and a kind of 'blow dry balm' in one, while also lessening drying time and detangling hair. It usually takes me a while to dry my hair and my arms are already aching by the time I'm half way. When I tested it on 90-95% dry hair, it became fully dry in about 5-7 mins, which is pretty good for my thick, coarse hair. I try to avoid heat styling as much as possible, as I'm paranoid about the damage and breakage that comes with frequent usage. Consequently, I never blow dry my hair until it's 'bone dry'.

I also liked the spray nozzle on this product - not overly highly pressurised, or concentrated; reminiscent of an aerosol deodorant without the 'oomph' - a light mist for even distribution. I found that three sprays (sides and back of head) were plenty. It left my somewhat-unruly and slightly-frizzy hair straight and sleek - I was even more impressed by the fact that I was able to achieve an almost salon-worthy blow dry using only my fingers as a comb.

Now I don't have "stereotypical Asian hair" - thick, poker straight, shiny, 'swooshy' strands. My mop is more of the thick, straight-ish, voluminised, fluffy bedhead-y faction. Think a slightly scruffier version of Alexa Chung's signature lob minus the panache. Occasionally I'll wake up with wonderfully straight hair that I won't have to style, but that's usually once in a blue moon, so you can imagine my amazement when I woke the next morning with straight, 'swooshy' hair. Not quite shampoo-commercial-worthy hair, but pretty good by my standards. My verdict? This one's a keeper!

Monday, 17 March 2014


A week of even crazier weather, sickness and sleepiness, a little indulgence, and a bit of good ol' exercise.

Pattison's Patisserie - My first creme brûlée. Ever. And it was delicious. To escape from the storm outside, Dad and I made a quick detour into Pattison's Patisserie, where we enjoyed a few treats. It took all of my weak self-control to not walk out with boxes of macarons. Maybe next time...

La Roche-Posay Cicaplast Baume B5 - This temperamental weather is wreaking havoc on my sensitive skin, so I grabbed this with the hope that it would be able to soothe and hydrate stubborn rashes and dry patches. Within the first couple of days I saw great results; the rashes and dry patches were subdued within a few hours of application, but now I'm not so sure, as the rashes are just as bad as they were before...

Maybelline Baby Lips Anti-Oxidant Berry - Now that my favourite Natio lip balm is nearly finished, I've switched back to this cult fave, though I'm not sure it still makes the cut. Though they're both very similar, I think I still prefer the limited edition Maybelline Baby Lips in Protecting Berry.

Wheat heat pack - This has been my bff this past week, to calm stomach aches and muscle soreness.

Kathmandu Exercise Mat - I've taken to stretching the day after ballet/exercise, which I'd previously not been doing (whoops), and have definitely seen the benefits. While I'd previously written it off as too time consuming, or had just plain forgotten - despite walking around with aching limbs - I think I'll be feeling a whole lot less sore if I manage to keep it up.

ECCO Touch Bow ballet flats - Super comfy, and in a no-nonsense style. A bit of an impulsive purchase, to replace my Seed ballet flats which are currently dying. (I blame it on the spontaneous 5km trek. And my brother, whose brilliant idea it was. Don't do it in a pair of flats - you've been warned!)

What was the highlight of your week? (:

Wednesday, 12 March 2014


As Summer becomes Autumn I've got my eye on leather accessories in 'cosy' tones, beauty products to combat parched, dull skin, and little luxuries that will end up being Winter warmers, bringing cheer when the weather is dreary.

Clockwise from top left:
Citizen Eco-Drive watch
Wittner Helsinki brogues in Black
LUSH Bubblegum Lip Scrub
Brown Pot Rouge in Raspberry
Glasshouse Triple Scented Candle in Fudge Brownie (Peter Alexander Limited Edition)
T2 Creme Brûlée tea
Fossil Sydney Satchel in Cranberry
La Roche-Posay Cicaplast Baume B5
NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer in Custard
Salvatore Ferragamo Signorina perfume

(Images from Google).

Tuesday, 11 March 2014


Yup, using up bananas again - and this time making a quick smoothie inspired by the one my dad makes for us on Saturday mornings. It's definitely a more exciting alternative to muesli, cereal or toast. I must admit that my version is somewhat lacking, compared to the real deal...

2 medium sized bananas, peeled and sliced
1.5 cups rice milk (or any other kind of milk)
A handful to half a cup of almonds
A drizzle of honey (optional)
A teaspoon of vanilla essence (optional)
Cinnamon (optional)

Throw it all into a blender and blend until smooth and frothy. Add more milk to thin, if necessary. Sprinkle with cinnamon and enjoy!

Monday, 10 March 2014

Wednesday, 5 March 2014


I picked this up from Priceline, along with a few other items, during their Boxing Day (Day-After-Boxing-Day?) sale which featured a 40% off promotion on skincare and sun-care, spurred on by my own curiosity, and the encouragements of beauty bloggers such as Lisa Eldridge. I was quite excited to try it as I'd heard so much about it - so much so that I didn't really bother to research or Google reviews on it. Is it really worth the hype, though? That remains to be seen...

Product claims, according to website: "The skincare classic that soothes, restores, calms and helps relieve chapped, cracked, dry skin. Soothes roughness, redness and minor skin irritations."

My first trial of this product was a spur-of-the-moment decision, with exhaustion to blame, one late January night when I was too tired to care what I slapped on before heading to bed. So I quickly grabbed this as it was laying around - for some unknown reason confusing it with Clarins' Beauty Flash Balm in my fatigued mind - and hastily squeezed a dollop into the palm of my hand. My first impressions of the product were the scent - an oddly medicinal kind of smell - and the consistency - like that of an ointment. I would describe it as more of an ointment than a cream, as it is rather emollient and heavy, rather than of a 'creamy' consistency. Despite my initial hesitation, I slathered it on anyway - and instantly regretted it. It was so thick and heavy that my immediate reaction was to get it off, so I actually grabbed a tissue and tried to remove it, unsuccessfully. There was something about the almost-'stickiness' of the product that made it uncomfortable to wear. It was certainly not the light moisturiser I'd been accustomed to using in the Summer (Neways' Firm Up, in case you're wondering). I had decided to shelve it for the cooler months, or perhaps a plane trip, if it indeed came up in the near future.

On a whim, I was inspired to give it another chance last night, upon noticing that my skin was drier than normal - though, with the weather being like it has been as of late, it's really no wonder. Anyhow, I squirted a blob onto my palm again, caught a whiff of it, and was instantly reminded of my first lacklustre experience with this famous apricot-tinted 'cream'. Yes, it is very heavy and spreads with some difficulty, requiring a good deal of massaging in before it starts to feel like it's no longer sitting on top of the skin. It's also quite long-lasting, as I discovered that first time...

When I woke up this morning the scent had disappeared (no doubt transferred to my pillow), and I noticed that my skin overall was smoother and more hydrated, though the dry patches from the night before had stuck around, although diminished in size. After washing my face and moisturising with Neways Barrier Cream, however, I found my face to be feeling much better - smooth and moisturised, minus the greasy, sticky sensation. As a side note, it also worked as a hydrating lip treatment, though it didn't taste overly pleasant.

I can also vouch for its prowess as both an eyebrow tamer and highlighter, though I wouldn't say that those accreditations are sufficient to consider it a cult product. I will be taking a trip overseas in a month's time, so perhaps it may have another chance to prove its worth, though presently I'm not entirely convinced. I concede that the hype surrounding this product may have lead to unrealistic expectations on my part - or I could be using it entirely wrong. That said, its lip balm little sister is one that I'm thoroughly impressed with and have absolutely no qualms about.

Have you tried Elizabeth Arden's Eight Hour Cream? Love it, or loathe it?

Tuesday, 4 March 2014


Lately I've been loving simple snacks that are satisfying, without requiring significant preparation or cooking time. This burger/toast/roll has been on high rotation these past few days, especially as the cooler weather has me hankering for a heartier meal. (Sandwiches just don't cut it). I usually don't like ham or cold meats, but it's actually quite nice when panfried. It tastes just like a Bacon & Egg McMuffin, with the added bonus of nutritional value :P

I've tried this combination with different types of bread and my favourite would have to be Helga's wholemeal, though the 'filling' makes practically anything taste good! It only takes about 5 minutes. Max.

Ingredients used:
1 egg
1 slice of ham
1 slice of cheese
1 bread roll/slice of bread
Pepper to season

I heated the bread roll in the mini oven, fried an egg, seasoned it with pepper, heated the ham on the still-hot pan, melted the cheese and shoved it all into the bread roll. And then proceeded to devour it in a most unladylike manner. I wanted to add some tomato or lettuce as well, but we didn't have any. This would also make a lovely lunch paired with a garden salad and fruit smoothie. Maybe next time (tomorrow)...

Monday, 3 March 2014


I came across this little gem while strolling past my mother's dresser. A little sample of La Roche-Posay's Uvidea XL Melt-In BB Cream, perched beside a little sample of their Anthelios XL SPF 50+ Sunscreen. Curiosity swiftly got the better of me - naturally, I had to try them out.

La Roche-Posay Melt-In BB Cream in 02 Natural/Medium

Before (wearing a thin layer of Neways Barrier Cream) and after (with La Roche-Posay BB Cream)

I used my fingers to apply this over clean, moisturised skin. Shade-wise, I found this to be just a tad light - it would probably be perfect for me in Spring, before I get more tanned.  However, I really appreciated that this BB cream has yellow undertones, which made it a better match for my skin (around NC25-NC30, for reference), unlike some other BB creams that I've tried in the past (Garnier, anyone?). It comes in two shades, 01 Light and 02 Medium (the shade I'm using is equivalent to Medium). You can check out swatches of both shades by Yishan of Beauty Swatch here.

According to La Roche-Posay's website, product claims for this BB cream are as follows: "unifies complexion by covering blemishes, fine lines, brown spots and hydrates skin. Helps prevent pigmentation and ageing induced by UV. Moisture replenishing. For sensitive skin. Melts into the natural skin tone for unified complexion and healthy-looking skin." 

What first struck me was it's comparatively thick consistency. I haven't used a "proper" BB cream before, so while it was not unexpected, I found it markedly different from Mecca Cosmetica's In a Good Light and Garnier's BB Cream for Sensitive Skin, which are both thinner in texture.
I would say that it has medium to full coverage - enough to cover redness and imperfections, and even out skin tone, without looking mask-like. It also has an illuminating and brightening effect, though it may not be so obvious in the photo. I found it to have a semi-matte finish once 'set', with a slight sheen, though not quite as dewy as MAC's Face and Body, for instance. Be warned that it also sets relatively quickly, so work fast!

In terms of lasting power, I found that once it 'set', it was difficult to move. For the most part this wore comfortably on my sensitive skin, though I found that my air-conditioned work environment was to blame for exacerbating dry patches. I also liked that it had SPF 50+ and a non-greasy feel. It's moisturising enough for those with dry skin, but its semi-matte finish makes it suitable for oilier-skinned gals, too.
*No concealer was used, to see how well it covered blemishes and lasted throughout the day.

8 hours later...

And this is how it looked after work, eight hours later - I must admit that I'm impressed!

According to the website, the BB cream can be purchased from Priceline and Terry White Chemists, though it was not in stock at my local Priceline (apparently because it was only a newly released product). Looks like I'll have to get myself to a Terry White Chemist, pronto!

I thought I'd also do a quick mention of the Anthelios XL SPF 50+ Sunscreen. My mum raved about it, praising its light feel and skin-perfecting qualities ("It's comfortable, light, and looks very natural..."), but I, on the other hand, found it to be quite thick and heavy in comparison to the watery consistency of Nivea's Light Feel Daily Face Veil SPF 30, which I've been using lately. I found that the Anthelios XL SPF 50+ left a white cast on my face, which I wasn't overly thrilled with.

Have you come across these products whilst browsing your local Priceline or Terry White?
What were your first impressions?