December 27, 2010

MoroccanOil - why your hair will love this

In my last hair care overview post, I failed to mention MoroccanOil an oil treatment for all hair types. I received this as a gift from my sister, who purchased this from Australia. I have never heard of this product before, and only did she educate me that MoroccanOil has won the Allure's Best Beauty Awards, did I realise that I was missing out. 

Her hair looked better than ever. And she swears by it. She applies 3-4 pumps of this daily to her dry ends that has also been digitally permed. She probably applies a bit too much, cos her bottle finishes in 3 months easily. It doesn't come cheap. Psst... buy this from, they have a 30% coupon happening right now. 

The product has a distinctive scent, almost nutty and nature-like. Upon application to my damp hair, the product soaks in so easily. My hair is not weighed down and doesn't look greasy at all. Even better, it eliminates any frizz to my damaged ends and makes my hair alot more healthier than it is. Surprisingly, my hands didn't feel greasy after smoothing the oil on my ends. 

It claims to provide long term conditioning. Judging by my sister's luscious locks, I think this product is in fact the next best thing in treating damaged and over-processed hair. It's no wonder it's a celebrity favorite. 

Biotherm Skincare Haul - Aquasource Skin Perfection

I needed new skincare. Biotherm was doing a special with the christmas packs, and it took them 3 weeks to get it to me!!! When I did receive my little goodie pack, I was pleased. Extremely pleased. Retail addicts love it when we get free GWPs. 

GWP galore!!!! Can you imagine my delight when I saw the extras? :) ~

I've always walked past Biotherm and head straight to Chanel, Dior or Shu Uemura. But I've started to realise that the more 'expensive' skincare is not really giving the results I'm looking for. My skin was still looking dull and dehydrated. I realise that my skin has only started to look sullen ever since I started my intense travel schedule in October.  

The first product is the Biotherm Skin Perfection Catalyzing Serum. 

I've been using the serum for about 2 weeks now. I did notice that the texture is more creamy than a typical gel-serum and feels 'greasy'-ish upon the first few minutes of application. But after about 10 minutes, the feeling disappears. My skin is surprisingly more hydrated. I'm not sure if it's the serum or the moisturiser, but either way it's working. Used once-daily treatment but I apply this day and night. 

Ok... this is where I'm going to rant. Why do Biotherm make their bottles and jars so heavy? I hate that beauty companies waste so much of their product spend on wasteful packaging. Is it really necessary?

So with the GWP, I got 2 major deluxe sized products from the Skin Perfection line; 
1. a 50mL hydra-perfecting cleanser 
2. a 125mL hydra-perfecting lotion  
3. a 4-mL 360 degree Hydra Massager Eye Cream

All this for S$90, basically the cost of the moisturiser. 

And because Biotherm took forever to get their deliveries to me. I received 2 additional GWPs... 
3. a 75mL gentle exfoliating milk - Lait de Gommage
4. a 75mL cleansing shower milk - Lait de Douche

Leaving the best for last, the Aqua Source Skin Perfection 24h moisturiser does live to its 24h hydration claim. My skin feels plumper and pores look smaller. It doesn't clog or sting or cause any bumps (often due to excessive creams). The only gripe is the heavy fragrance. To some it may smell quite 'soothing' like a refreshed feeling. But I find that the scent isn't necessary since added fragrances are often for an aesthetic purposes. This is according to pharmacy texts I learnt eons ago that added fragrances enhances the 'behaviour' and 'feel good' factor. 

The claim is that this moisturiser offers a 'miracle' product to the skin, also known as the concentrate that is equivalent to 5000 liters of thermal spring water. By now, you will know that I am a skincare skeptic. Honestly, I find this claim over marketed. It does feel cooling upon application and that is because the 1st ingredient is 'aqua', and following by 'alcohol denat'. AND... it's in a glass jar container that keeps the product feeling cool. I will really like to find that name of this compound to prove that it's truly equivalent to 5000 liters of thermal spring water. Haha! Skeptic, I am. 

But that said, my skin likes it. I will continue to use it, even challenge it when I'm in the harsh winter conditions in Copenhagen. 

December 23, 2010

Sephora by OPI Metro Chic

A quick post for today. A bit of a lazy week for me. I didn't feel compelled to shop even with the sales. I blame it on my sheer exhaustion. 

Today I have on Sephora by OPI Metro Chic. I expected alot more from this colour considering the number of raves. However, it's unique and a shade that I can't fully describe.

Cuticles need a bit of TLC. haha.  

December 22, 2010

Digital Perm from Day 1 to 4

A big change in my life means a big change in hair. Instead of cutting my tresses off I decided to go for the perm. I was originally wanting to get a brazillian blowout, but I was jealous of my sister's curly locks, so I decided against it. 

I have gone to Wesley for years now. I can't trust any other hairdresser. When it comes to my hair, he's the boss. He did mention to me that my ends are rebonded so I shouldn't expect the same 'bounce' as the first digital perm.  Without feeling too disheartened, I decided to just give it a go. I hate flat hair.  

He works at Kenaris, Wheelock. You need to make an appointment with him. He doesn't do walk-in customers, unfortunately. 

The curls he was trying to achieve are more 'wavy'. I believe he used medium sized rollers, starting from the top of the ear. Picrure taken from a few Japanese magazines. 

There's alot of resources on the internet about the 'digital perm'. I'm not an expert on it, but the curls do look crazy tight. From no volume to too much volume, I got VERY worried. Even with my first digital perm, I didn't expect as much frizz. But my hair has gone through lots of chemicals from colouring, to rebonding, and I'm a regular Bikram 'yogi'. My hair is simply dehydrated. I wonder whether I should have gone for a digital perm in the first place... Anyway, it's too late now. Time to take good care of my locks and make sure it doesn't turn to straw. 

The result...

Sorry the picture is dark. This was taken at 9pm. I swear, sitting on that chair for 6 hours was painful. As you can see, the ends of my hair are 'straighter' cos of the lasting rebonded effect. Bloody hell. 

So Wesley told me that I could wash my hair after 48 hours... And so I did. I immediately noticed dryness to my ends so I used hair masks. Please refer to previous post on my hair masks. 

Day 4 - after 2 washes 

 My immediate reaction is why my hair colour is drastically lighter? Wesley explained that any perm or straightening job will strip the colour from the hair, making it look much lighter. Lets say, I don't quite fancy this colour hair. There's zero shine. *sulk* 

I like these curls. It's smaller than I expected, but it's very Miley Cyrus. Her curls have alot more definition, so I'm planning to buy Sebastian Potion 9 to give my fuzzy curls a bit more 'oomph'!

The top part of my hair is slightly flat and you can see a marked demarcation of the permed and non-permed hair. So for the next few days, I'm hair clipping some of my hair to the back. I hope it softens up eventually. 4 weeks, Wesley said. So yes... I patiently wait... 

So what's my hair care regimen for permed hair right now? Well... I will get that done in a separate post. I'm still working on this regimen. It's a bit of a struggle since most of my products are just for natural hair and are not specifically tailored for chemically processed hair. But I will be using hair treatments for the next 2 weeks to pump the moisture back into my ends. Exhausting, yes. But thankfully it's christmas season, so more time to procrastinate (I think?!). 

My eye of the day... using the MAC Shadowy Lady Quad. I like it!

Makeup used for today's look:

primer - Shu Uemura UV Under Base
foundation - Guerlain Lingerie de Peau 02
 bronzer - Soleil Tan de Chanel
loose powder - Paul & Joe Face Powder N

 Eyeshadow - MAC Shadowy Lady Quad
Eyeliner - Chanel Stylo Yeux Waterproof Cassis
Mascara base - Lancome Cils Booster XL
Mascara - YSL Faux Cils
Blush - Guerlain Blush 4 Eclats Rosee Du Printemps 04
Lipstick: MAC Angel 

December 19, 2010

2010 Hair Products - Likes & Dislikes

Hair. It's such an emotional thing, especially to me. The one thing I always dream of having is achieving the gorgeous loose Victoria Secret waves. It has not been an easy feat and I'm far from achieving it either. Yesterday I digital permed my hair, and made my already dehydrated hair to super-uber-dry. I'm determined more than ever to start pampering my hair and not making laziness my excuse.

I've accumulated a whole host of haircare and styling products over the 4 years in Singapore. Today I will be doing some short reviews on my thoughts on these products individually. Mind you, I'm the sort who will research extensively before buying something or rely on my reliable hairdresser to recommend me products. Disclaimer, whatever works on me may not work for you. 

I have course dry hair with an oily scalp, coloured, rebonded, and now digital permed. So my hair does go through ALOT.  And I underestimated the importance of good hair care until my hairdresser mentioned that I need to switch my shampoos to cater towards my dry hair.

Hair Care Products

These are the hair care products that currently sit in my bathroom. It includes:
- Phyto Phytojoba Intense Hydrating Masque
- Fekkai Technician Color Care 3-Minute Masque
- LUSH American Cream Double Strength Conditioner
- Fekkai Technician Color Care Conditioner
Fekkai Technician Color Care Shampoo
Redken Scalp Relief Oil Detox Shampoo
Tsubaki Damage Care Shampoo (White Bottle)

Phytojoba intense hydrating mask has been my favorite friend for years now. I love how citrusy it smells and it leaves your hair so silky soft. Watsons often have a 20% for Phyto products. It does cost quite a fair bit, I believe at $56, but a jar has lasted me a long time. I bought a backup of this cos I love it THAT much. This will suit dry and course hair. 

I'm now trying the Fekkai Technician Color Care 3-minute mask, which smells like coconut. A dream to use and also leaves your hair soft. I'm not sure if it really meant for colored hair cos I don't notice any difference. Phyto is still my favourite by far. 

Conditioners... Lush American Cream Double Strength Conditioner is absolutely rubbish in my opinion. Apart from smelling beautiful, it does nothing to condition. People say that it's not meant to be a detangler but man... this stuff is a tangler. I can't stand it and I wouldn't recommend it anyone. Surprisingly I've used half of the bottle, but each time I lose too much hair. 

On the other hand, Fekkai Color Care Conditioner is the best conditioner hands down. It doesn't weigh your hair down like other conditioners (Shiseido Tsubaki Oil in particular). It's similarly scented to the mask, coconuts. I love this stuff!

Although I love the Fekkai conditioner, I don't have the same loves for the Fekkai Technician Color Care Shampoo. I find that it doesn't really do that much for my hair. It's nice but nothing special and definiately not worth the money you pay for. In fact, my scalp wasn't doing so well after some time because it's not as effective in cleansing the scalp.

It's so important to have a shampoo that targets your scalp. If you're planning to grow out your hair, you MUST treat at the roots. And this was a mistake that I made. I ignored my scalp to the point that it itched like crazy and I needed to spend $130 to get my scalp treated at the salons. That was when my hairdresser recommended me to use the Redken Scalp Relief Shampoo. I went through this shampoo so fast (1 month?!) cos it doesn't feel like it lathered very well, and it leaves your hair super crispy. Yuck. I hated it. But I endured it cos my hairdresser told me to. So glad to get that scalp problem over and done with. I think ,y stress had something to do with my distressed scalp. 

And, finally the Shiseido Tsubaki Oil Damage Care Shampoo was miraculously good when I first started using it. It moisturised, it hydrated and left my hair really nicely moisturised even without conditioners. But unfortunately it left my hair feeling quite weighed down. I'm giving this shampoo a rest and I will probably come back to it when my hair needs a change or rotation of shampoos. 

Hair Styling Products

When it comes to hair styling, I'm really really very lazy. I hardly use much hot tools in the morning. I'm the sort that will wake up half an hour before I rush off the door. So hair is the last thing on my mind. But having rebonded hair does make the morning job so much easier. It looks decent... well, ok... a bit flat. But I still dream of having that 'time' to manage my hair in the morning, so I still buy hair styling products nevertheless. 

Here's the list of my hair styling products:
- L'oreal Studio InvisiFX Micro Fine Spray
- Alberto V05 Styling Mousse Extra Body
- Bumble & Bumble Does it All Styling Spray
- Redken Smooth Down Heat Glide
- Redken Ringlet 07
- Bumble & Bumble Brilliantine
- Fekkai Glossing Cream
- Redken Glass Smoothing Serum
- L'oreal Playball (label peeled off) 

When it comes to course and porous hair, I find that cream based products works the best for me. It helps me texturize my hair without feeling weighed down. 

Firstly, Redken Ringlet 07 is a must-have for anyone with digital permed hair. This was the only product that I used diligently on a daily basis and it helped to give me the definition to my curl without looking crunchy or 'held together'. It's applied on damp hair before hair drying in scrunching motion. To give your curls more of the 'bounce', I twirl my hair, scoop it in my hands, and let the hairdryer and product do it's magic. This stuff is legend. 

Bumble & Bumble Brilliantine is an interesting product, in that it somehow makes your hair look more healthier and can be used as a styling cream to give your hair texture. It gives a nice sheen and creates that definition to wavy hair. It comes in a small tube but this has lasted me a while. It leaves no residue to the hair and is generally nice. I will probably repurchase this. 

People either love or hate Fekkai Glossing Cream. To me it does nothing, but add gloop on my hair. It's not worth it my opinion. I use the smallest amount if my hair has too much flyaways. Otherwise, its not really worth the hype. 

Finally L'oreal Playball... Sorry, the label peeled off. This stuff is so nice on blowdried hair. It has microshimmers to give your hair that oh-so-healthy look. It has a hold of 2-3/6. I love this stuff!

Hairsprays. I've experimented with the drugstore L'oreal Studio Invisi-FX. I hate the scent and leaves a crunchy feeling that I don't like. I only used this once and never again.

Bumble & Bumble Does it all Styling Spray is much better, in that it holds your style very nicely without giving you any crunchy feeling. The bottle mentions that it can be used as a hair protectant, but generally I use this as a finishing touch. The smell is divine too!

I also went through a period where I wanted to get more volume, so I experimented with the Alberto V05 Styling Mousse Extra Body. The mousse is somewhat sticky and 'tacky', and not so great for the roots, cos it does leave a residue. I stopped using it in fear that it was making my scalp suffer. Honestly, it will be much better to use a styling spray to give volume rather than a product that will leave too much deposit on an already sensitive scalp. 

The last two products are serum or oil based hair styling products. Redken Glass 01 was recommended through Makeupalley, as a product to give some shine to the hair. I haven't used it that much, cos I generally like cream based products instead. So I'm not sure if I will recommend it per say. It left no lasting impressions on me.

Redken Smooth Down Heat Glide are for hot-tool junkies. I'm not sure if they still sell this though as Redken has completely revamped their hair products line. It allows your hair to glide through the hot iron without the fizzling sound. I like it but again, I steer clear of oil based products because of the difficulty in rinsing it in the shower. Plus, I don't really use alot of heat styling products but whenever I do, I reach for this. 

I've been watching plenty of 'bathroom tour' videos... and notice that hair products do easily accumulate. Gosh, if only there was only 1 shampoo and conditioner that can address all the problems we have with our hair. I generally go for more expensive hair products because I spend a bomb at my hairdressers already. And hair products are so confusing to the layman. So to me, it's pretty much trial and error.  Here's my little assortment in my bathroom. 

and my hair styling products on my shelf...

I hope you found this post useful. If you have any recommendations, please let me know. I'm always in search for a good hair product. 


December 1, 2010

November Collective Haul - boots, uggs, makeup, clothes

Wow! I've been really slack with my blog. haha. My bad. Parents were in town, sister's started her first job here, I'm running 2 jobs and managing my relocation slowly but surely. I just came back from Australia last week although I'm feeling quite flat and exhausted. I did do some shopping here and there, so I'm really excited to show you my fantastic finds!

Denmark is already snowing in November, and the word is that it's going to be a pretty hard winter. So I picked up some boots, to keep my feet happy. Although the relocation is going quite slow, the plan is that I will be traveling to Denmark during the coldest time of the year. 

Something for the wet season...

J Shoes - Sold at Isetan Scotts. It feels like great quality leather and tough enough to resist the snow, ice and water. I know it's probably best to get boots in Denmark, but I couldn't resist. I am turned off with the 25% additional VAT I need to pay on top of high European prices. 

The openings are large enough to fit your jeans in. 

And hardware buckles to adjust the size of the openings too. 

Ugg boots are all the rave, although probably not so much in Australia. It's a favourite for university students, because they're easy to slip on. However, when you have too much of something you just don't appreciate it as much. The Europeans love it and the Australians are just over it. I bought 2 pairs. 

Chanced upon a quint shop at Flinders Street Station called Urban Ugg. There's alot of Ugg variations and Ugg companies, with the famous one called 'UGG' (as in you-gee-gee). It's a lot more expensive and the wool is just about the same in quality. My suggestion is to explore the different Ugg companies, and go with a style you like. Urban Ugg ships internationally -

My feet are sized 39, which I presume to be around an 8-9 depending on the cut. Ugg boots however tend to loosen up with wear so going with the smaller cut is probably best. 

The Brightons with 3 cute little buttons and wool detailing. 

The softness of the wool is absolutely sensational. Buying wool in store is an advantage cos there are different textures to each pair of shoes. I suppose no sheep is the same.  

And these are the classic black Uggs, which will match any jeans. 

Again, my sizing is an 8 for all the boots. 

Lined with black wool. 

Beauty buys. I've been very selective in what I buy for the Christmas season. There are alot of tempting offers (such as the Dior sale, which I sadly missed) and lovely collections. However, I took the opportunity to buy some of my most wanted items this month:

Guerlain meteorites in the new packaging - yay!

Urban Decay NYC Book of Shadows 

Lancome and Guerlain skincare

Moroccan Oil from my sister. :) Thanks sis! 

Ella Bache to get a nice bronze tan. 

Lancome Genifique Youth Activator Serum - a present from a friend. :) I love the eyecream so I hope this will be just as good. 

Guerlain Meteorites from the Christmas collection (don't know what it's called though) - It's called Perles D'or, and has been released in Tangs Orchard. There are 4 different shaded rose-scented balls, that illicits the most beautiful glow. I've used this a number of times and I LOVE it. 

Embossing the Guerlain mascot, the bee. I love Guerlain meteorites, and I'm actually liking the metal casing alot more than the paperbased original casing. It's just alot more versatile and portable for travel. 

I also bought the regular Meteorites in Teint Rose, which is a similar version to Mythic. I haven't used this yet but it's meant to slightly different to the Perles D'or, in that it creates a more fairer complexion. 

There are 5 different shaded balls that serve different purposes in correcting any sallowness, dullness etc.  

I'm not a big fan of this design of a flower. I'm not even sure why.  

St. Tropez mousse has been on my mind for a very long time. I just never got around to buying it and unfortunately it's not available in Singapore. I used the opportunity to purchase this from Australia, but was convinced by a SA from Ella Bache that hers is better! Indeed, I decided to purchase the Ella Bache alternative Great Moussetan instead. Hopefully it will not turn out orange or streaky. 

The Urban Decay NYC palette was released about a month back at Sephora Ion. The UD Sales Director as usual was there to demonstrate a makeup look from this palette. I didn't like that we as customers had to wait to purchase a palette. I didn't have to hear him talk about the other 'so called amazing' products from Urban Decay. Too much of a sales pitch.  

I haven't used this palette yet, but the colours are really lovely. Really intense and will suit a more dramatic bold eye. 

I also snagged the most gorgeous Shu Uemura Rouge Unlimited Lipstick from duty free. Here it is PK 316. 

On my lips

And finally some sweaters... The one below is from TopShop, and they're having 20% off on some sweaters. 

And this one is from Zara. I love the flower detailing. 

Anyway, that's all for now. I hope you enjoyed my collective haul. I really look forward to seeing your Black Friday and Cyber Monday purchases. :)
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