Monday, December 28, 2009

Happy Holidays

Since Christmas is over... happy holidays! ;)

I finally got my laptop back from the repair centre and they gave me a laptop sleeve for free - lime green, yay! More updates to come!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Review: Chagrin Valley Soaps 2

Here's a review of the Chagrin Valley complexion bars I currently own. I'm expecting another bar of Grapeseed Shea complexion soap and I hope to get the Primrose complexion bar soon since it's a seasonal item. It is so addictive omg.

Shea Rose Clay Soap
Shea rose clay is my favourite of the lot! It cleans well because of the french pink clay in it, it smells wonderful like rosewater and leaves my skin uber soft. It contains coconut milk as well and rosehips which I am convinced are great for the skin (judging from my friends' and my experiences with rosehip oil). Overall a great daily cleanser for any type of skin. It's a pretty good body bar as well, just that it's not as moisturizing as I'd like for a shower.

Carrot and Honey Complexion Soap
This is supposed to be good for mature skin since it contains carrot for beta-carotene and vitamin A, but it's my least favourite of the lot (which is not to say I dislike it) because it doesn't seem to clean as well (which I guess is due to the absence of clay). It's the most moisturizing though, since it contains goat milk. I find it works better when used with a muslin cloth.

Muslin cloths are typically used with cream cleansers but I use it all my cleansers when I want extra exfoliation. I get mine from The Body Shop (they come in a pack of 3). I'm really hoping to get the famous Eve Lom ones though they're bloody expensive, but that's another story for another day. Using it with muslin helps it clean better - you can see the grime coming off and it provides very gentle exfoliation.

The carrot and honey bar fares better as a body bar for me because it's more moisturizing, but that's because I have oily skin - I'm sure people with dry skin would love it more on the face.

Rhassoul Clay & Yogurt Complexion Soap
This smells interesting but I have no idea how to describe it - slightly citrus and spicy. Quite different from the other soaps they have. I got this because I heard wonderful things about rhassoul clay. Plus it has yogurt which is a pretty good ingredient since it made me think of yogurt masks and the lactic acid it contains which can help exfoliate and clarify.

I think it's a really good deep-cleansing bar, good for people who have oily skin or are prone to breakouts. It leaves my face slightly tight from the clay and it's the least moisturizing soap of the lot, so I wouldn't use it all the time, but only at night when more heavy-duty cleansing is needed to remove the day's grime, or a couple of times a week as a treatment. It's also good for a shower occasionally, I find it helps clear up heat rashes on my back.


About the size, for Shea Rose Clay and Carrot Honey, I got samples and for Rhassoul Clay I got a full bar. As you can see from the photos, a full bar is ginormous and can't even fit into my soapdish! So I'll just cut a bar off to use and keep the rest. A sample size can last me about a month, and a full bar probably at least 3 months! They're really good value for money since they cost the same as all the other Chagrin Valley soaps and last much longer since you don't need much for the face.

In short, I highly recommend the Shea Rose Clay bar. I love it so much! I can't wait for my latest Chagrin Valley haul to arrive - it should be here next week. (:

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Review: Julie Hewett camellia lip balm stick

I got this Julie Hewett camellia lip balm stick free with Chic magazine - it's only S$2.80! It looks a really cool orange - like something Limecrime/Doe Deere would wear, but it goes on clear, sadly. I really like the packaging, it's way classier than the other sticks around and the balm itself is really moisturizing cos it's made of camellia oil. Very addictive!

As for the magazine, Chic is more like a catalogue with reader-contributed content like reader's styles, beauty tips etc. It's very budget in feel with no articles but rather listings of pretty things, and with many blogshop advertisements since the advertising is really cheap - $175 for a quarter of a page. I expect they guarantee readers by offering freebies with every issue, or that's what I guess their business model is. Interesting!

Today's the first rare day since my 'holidays' started that I'm home for a large part of the day. So far I've gotten offers for each of my 3 interviews and I'm hoping my decision will be the right one...

Sunday, December 6, 2009

So You Think You Can Dance

Jaime and Hok's Hummingbird and Flower dance. So beautiful.

Kayla and Kupono's Addiction. So heart-rending.

What I love about the choreography is that they are very easy for the layman to appreciate. I remember going to a Ballet Under the Stars once where they did lots of contemporary pieces, and one of my friends asked my other friend what the dance was about, and she replied, "It has no meaning." And obviously I was appalled, but the beauty of these 2 pieces is that they're so... universally understandable. And touching.

So amazing I could cry if only I hadn't watched them 12872058707 times already.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Review: Chagrin Valley Soaps 1

I bought my Chagrin Valley soaps at the beginning of this year but they didn't get much love cos I couldn't get used to the afterfeel. But when I'm stressed, I shower, and with the recent exam period I got the chance to try out most of the soap bars I got!

As I mentioned, the first few time they leave a squeaky clean afterfeel typical of soaps but after towelling dry, the feeling goes away and you'll get used to it. The afterfeel is probably due to the layer of glycerin left on your skin after washing. The glycerin is emollient and helps attract moisture to your skin. My skin gets so soft after prolonged use, it's amazing! (And contrary to what I thought, glycerin is not comedogenic at all.) These are better than even the Crabtree and Evelyn soaps I used to use.

Here's the review for 3 of the body bars - next up will be the complexion bars. I won't go into too much detail - you can find really good detailed descriptions on the websites with listings of ingredients which make them so tempting.

Chamomile and Calendula
This is what a new, never before used sample size looks like. They are rather roughly cut with some chunks in the bag but that lends a home-made feel to it and I guess it keeps costs down. It smells really nice and lathers the best out of all the bars I've tried - I'm guessing that's because it doesn't contain either coconut milk or goatmilk. Very moisturizing! It also liquefies very easily which is why it lathers more easily, but in humid Singapore, it makes the bar shrink faster too. I always air my soapbars out of the bathroom when not in use to prevent melting.

Lavender Oatmeal Spice
It's a coconut milk soap and smells like lavender with an earthy undertone. I really like the gentle exfoliation of the oats in it. It lathers slightly less well than the Chamomile and Calendula, but better than the Goatmilk Honey Oatmeal. It's also a slightly firmer bar than the Chamomile because it doesn't melt as easily.

Goatmilk Honey Oatmeal
It's a goatmilk unscented soap, with oats for exfoliation. I find it's the most moisturizing of the lot but because of the goatmilk in it, it's not as easy to lather - the lather is fine and silky. It gives me the feeling that it would be really great for sensitive skin.

Similarities I found for all bars were that they all have this natural earthy scent to them, even the unscented ones - it's not very strong but just an undertone. After inhaling natural scents for so long, it makes me a little uncomfortable to use artificial body sprays and such. It just makes me so much happier having natural products around, and they leave less toxins in your body - imagine all the chemicals in your body wash.

Basically I really really love all of the soaps, I won't even bother rating them. One thing is that some people might not really get used to how the soap lathers - I basically rub it all over, splash with lots of water and lather. They work better with body sponges or puffs because they help to lather. And I find that the soaps make the bathroom floor really slippery as compared to bath gels. They also need to be kept well-drained in humid climates.

I think Chagrin Valley is a really great company - what makes them different from other soapmakers is that while their bars may not be pretty, and the packaging is just brown paper, the product is really unique cos all the different bars have different ingredients with no artificial colourings. I've been to other soapmakers' websites where the soaps look so amazing and pretty, but they all use the same base or use mica to colour the soap or use preservatives and artificial scents.

The sample sizes last about a week for me and I expect a full bar to last about a month. I've already placed more orders! ^^ Can't wait. Complexion bar reviews coming up!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Hip-hop Bleeding Love

BEST DANCE EVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


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