Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Giveaway: Skin MD Natural Shielding Lotion

After my great experience trying out the Skin MD Natural Shielding Lotion, I decided to do a giveaway! Here's your chance to win a bottle of that lovely goodness! (Prize will be shipped directly from Skin MD Natural.)

All you have to do is go to the Skin MD Natural website and list one ingredient in the Shielding Lotion and tell me why you need to win!

This giveaway is open to international readers and everyone is entitled to 2 entries in the contest machine below consisting of
  • One mandatory entry where you list one ingredient and tell me why you need to win
  • A second optional, additional entry for followers of my blog (just write in the box - I'm a follower!)

Good luck everyone! (:

Contest ends 1st March!

Plus - get 20% off your order at the Skin MD Natural website with this code - CC10.

By the way, Tina is having a giveaway as well - hop over there!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Review: Skin MD Natural Shielding Lotion

Recently Skin MD Naturals sent me a bottle of their Shielding Lotion to try out. Apparently they have this massive online marketing blitz and lots of people have reviewed it but I must have been living underneath a rock because I never knew! Anyway, on to the review.

As you can see, Skin MD Naturals is a really light, watery gel-lotion with a nice neutral scent that reminds me of those simple, no-frills and fragrance-free products you might get from a dermatologist's. It's very easily absorbed and is totally non-greasy, which is a delight in Singapore's hot weather. The best thing is that it's a multi-purpose lotion for face, hands and body, which is such value and convenience in a bottle! (I can totally imagine packing a bottle in my luggage when I travel to save space.) Plus, it's paraben-free!

When I first received the lotion, I was having a really bad cold and so I had really dry hands from washing my hands all the time to prevent myself from infecting others. (I have really dry hands usually anyway, cos I'm a hygiene freak and wash my hands all the time. My sisters cannot stand it when I keep applying hand lotion, lol.) My entire stash of hand creams couldn't help, because the hand creams don't stay on my hands long enough to be of much help, since they get washed away once I wash my hands. So without hoping for much, I decided to try the Shielding Lotion.

The first thing I noticed was that it's totally non-greasy, yet really moisturizing, unlike many other handcreams. I need my handcream to be non-greasy especially since I'm a part-time pianist and can't be greasing up the piano keys. The Shielding Lotion absorbs like a dream and seems to form this protective layer which doesn't wash away as easily as my other handcreams. During the first couple of days, I had to reapply frequently as per my usual habit, but after that I seemed to regain the protective layer on my hands and didn't have to apply as frequently. Plus, my sisters are always complaining about the lavender fragrance of my favourite Crabtree & Evelyn handcream, but they seem fine about the neutral scent of Shielding Lotion.

I started reading the brochure they sent me, and I realised it could be used on the face, and some blogger actually tried it as an eye cream. It sounded so promising, I decided to try it as well! The texture of the lotion is so light, I have absolutely no qualms about using it on my face - it's lighter than Clinique's Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel, but just as or even more moisturizing. Seriously, any kind of skin, from dry to oily, will love it. It's totally oil free and absorbs like a dream, and is a great base for smoother make-up application. Non-comedogenic, so no worries about breaking out. I expect people who enjoy using the fragrance-free Simple Skincare products for sensitive skin would love this lotion as well.

I tried it under my eyes as well, it moisturizes so well and leaves my under-eye area smoother and my fine lines less noticeable. (Yes, I have fine lines - from rubbing my itchy eyes and tugging when putting on my contact lens and applying/removing concealer. Sigh.) Of course, it's not marketed as an eyecream so it doesn't help remove dark circles or anything, but for hydration, it's awesome. And for the price - so worth it!

10/10! (budget HG material)

I know this is a really long review but I am so impressed with it, it's really affordable and you can use it for so many different purposes, I'm definitely packing a bottle with me when I go to the US in May. According to the website, Skin MD Natural is available in Singapore as well, I think maybe in Guardian pharmacy, but I haven't had the time to check it out. I am definitely repurchasing if it can be found locally! There's a version with SPF15 as well for sun-protection, I expect it'd be great for lazy days when I don't feel like applying sunscreen.

Note: This is obviously not a paid advertisement. I was sent a bottle by the company to try out, and I personally didn't expect it to wow me this much, especially with the no-frills look. Seriously. :O I am utterly surprised I couldn't find reviews on Makeupalley.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Review: Clinique High Impact Mascara

I went out for dinner 2 nights ago and this was done in like 5 minutes flat! (Cos I was running late again, hehe.) Used my Bourjois Effet Metallise metallic eyeliner in bleu cinquant and fil d'or, plus the Clinique High Impact mascara. My favourite eye colour is teal/turqoise/emerald, I find it really complements tanned skin. And recently I've been crazy about lining my lower rims in all sorts of colours, cos I find it's a subtle and quick way to show a flash of colour.

So anyway, I got this Clinique High Impact Mascara as a GWP and I do love it quite a lot! It gives really good volume in just a couple of quick swipes, absolutely no clumps, and can really hold a curl without weighing down. It's non-waterproof and does smudge a bit after a hot day outside, but if you're in air-conditioning mostly, it stays pretty well. I hear that the full-sized version isn't that great because of the larger brush size, but I've never tried it before and I think the sample size is great. (I still have another sample sized tube so I'm not in danger of running out!)



I had a great dinner (to celebrate my sis' birthday) at Tung Lok Signatures at Vivocity - we had this really amazing sharks' fin soup with double boiled chicken (or something like that), the waitress said you're not supposed to add vinegar and pepper in it like normal sharks' fin soup because it's been boiled for 5.5 hours and the broth is all milky goodness! To die for!!! My mum usually double-boils her chicken soup for just a few hours, so I told her to double-boil it to death the next time to see if her soup turns milky white and yummy as well, hehe.

And to top it all off, the service was impeccable and our waitress spoke Cantonese in a really adorable accent! (Cos my mum asked her something in Canto.) I love the sound of Cantonese. And the manager was wearing this amazing teal eyeshadow. We got 2 vouchers so I'll be back for a return visit! Must take photos of the amazing food then. Yay. :D

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Review + Swatches: Kevin Beautymaker Aqua Eye Concealer and Color Correcting Eyelid Primer

These were recommended to me by my friend during my internship last year, then I went to google and realised Fuzkittie liked Beautymaker stuff as well, so last year when I went to Taiwan, I ordered a whole bunch including these from the Payeasy website! It's pretty easy for foreigners to order from Payeasy, you can order like a couple of days before you reach Taiwan. You'll need to sign up for an account, and choose to pay by cash and collection at a convenience store (by choosing the store location on a map). Basically you need some understanding of Chinese and pretty good map-reading skills. :P

The packaging is quite pretty, I find the box similar to MAC's style. The price is really affordable, they always have promotions on Payeasy. I would consider Kevin Beautymaker to be in the same category as drugstore brands, though they're slightly marked up on websites like Imomoko.

From left: Kevin Beautymaker Color Correcting Eyelid Primer, Kevin Beautymaker Aqua Eye Concealer in #1 Bright and #2 Natural

The packaging is really above average - there's a magnetic closure, and the mirror is really convenient!

Basically the tagline for these products is - 'First brighten, then conceal!' So you're supposed to use the eyelid brightener first followed by the concealer. I guess the concept of the eyelid primer is kind of like Benefit's Lemonaid.

Swatches: Kevin Beautymaker Color Correcting Eyelid Primer, Kevin Beautymaker Aqua Eye Concealer in #1 Bright and #2 Natural

The colour of the concealer in the pan looks scary and dark, but once swatched, they're actually quite light. The best thing about these would be the aqua texture - really light, watery and blendable! I find the concealers to have a peachy tone though, and may not be very suitable for Asian complexions, cos I find yellow works better. And I guess that's where the pale yellow primer helps!

The Naked Eye

With eyelid primer (under the eyes as well)

With eyelid primer and concealer #2

The effect of the concealer is quite natural and doesn't cake or crease. The primer, on the other hand, creases like crazy on my eyelids from the moment I put it on. So I wouldn't call it a primer exactly, it's more of an eyelid brightener, and works quite well over UDPP. It's pretty chalky as you can tell from the swatch, but if you blend well it really makes you look wide awake.

Rating: 7/10 for both

Pros: Great texture, no caking, affordable with great packaging
Cons: Non-lasting primer, poor colour selection with peach tones


Anyway, one weird thing I notice with my general use of concealers is that when I use concealer, I look a lot more Chinese! When I don't use concealer, with the dark shadows around my eyes, I find my eyes look rounder and according to my friend, 'deep-set' and dimensional, but with concealer alone, while I do look more awake, I also look more chinky cos it sort of flattens my undereye area, and makes my eyes look more narrow and slanted and... small. Does anyone else experience this?! I'm really curious!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Happy Chinese New Year

Slightly late cos I've been busy with visiting etc, but Happy Chinese New Year! (It's 15 days after all. ^^) This is not the prettiest red packet, but it's certainly the most amusing -

Back to reality tomorrow...

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Review: Tinted Sunscreens - an alternative to BB creams?

I'm down with a really bad cold currently, so I'm really sad cos Chinese New Year is coming and I won't be able to have my favourite goodies cos they're too 'heaty'! :( I'm too sicked out to study or anything, so I decided it's a good time to come online and write something I've wanted to post for so long - tinted sunscreens!

I'm talking about those Japanese fluid-type sunscreens, in skintone tints. So far I've only been able to find 3 of them - (from left) Kiss Me Sunkiller Super Block Skintone SPF50+ PA+++, Kiss Me Sunkiller Kirei Hada SPF50+ PA+++ and Mentholatum Acnes Medicated UV Tint Milk SPF30+/50+ PA+++. I know there are tinted sunscreens from brands like La Roche Posay and Vichy as well, but the formulations aren't as lightweight as the ones I have - they're more sticky and thick.

I really like these tinted sunscreens a lot - they provide very sheer coverage, really good oil control, act as a pretty good makeup base (blurs pores) and they're more lightweight and blendable than BB creams which are a pain, in my opinion. (I still amassed a huge BB cream collection though, which I might do a post on this week, since I'm in no mood to do any work, haha!)

Swatches from left - Sunkiller Super Block Skintone, Sunkiller Kirei Hada, Mentholatum Acnes UV Tint Milk

Swatches after slight blending (or smearing, haha)

Super Block Skintone is the darkest of all the shades, while Kirei Hada and Mentholatum Acnes are lighter. Super Block Skintone and Mentholatum Acnes are flat, matte colours while Kirei Hada has a beautiful pearly finish with slight shimmer.

One thing to note is that while they are 'tinted', it's essentially a white base mixed with some colour... so if you're taking flash photos, you might still appear whiter in the face. They might look dark at first, but when blended out they become paler as the white undertone appears.

Review: Kiss Me Sunkiller Super Block Skintone SPF50+ PA+++
This is the most expensive of the lot (can't remember the price exactly), but I think it's because it contains caffeine extract to help tighten and firm skin. The tint might look dark but it's still pretty light when blended, and can suit skin up to NC25 in my opinion. It gives a lovely matte look with good oil control. I haven't noticed anything about lifting and firming, but I expect that's more for mature skin? This has the best coverage of the lot.

Review: Kiss Me Kirei Hada SPF50+ PA+++
This is my favourite of the lot! I've repurchased it many times. It gives a pearly glow and really blurs pores, with slight shimmer, and really gives a dewy skin effect which might seem like overkill on oily skin, but if you follow with powder it gives a really natural effect, and it has good oil control as well. It's more like a makeup base since it's very fluid and blendable, and doesn't really even out skintone all that much. I like to dab a bit over my dark circles, it helps me look more awake and hopefully keeps my dark circles from getting darker from the sun.

Review: Mentholatum Acnes Medicated UV Tint Milk SPF30+/50+ PA+++
There are 2 types of this available - in either SPF30 or SPF50. I bought the SPF30 in Taiwan, and I have the SPF50 which I bought in Singapore. It's the most affordable of the lot, only about $9 a bottle, and most widely available in all drugstores.

At first the colour looks a bit dark, but when blended out I feel it's actually the palest one. It has a nice scent (typical of all Mentholatum Acnes products), and texture that is slightly thicker than Kirei Hada and slightly more difficult to blend. It may appear chalky on darker skintones, I expect skintones up to NC25 should have no problems with it. It's supposed to be good for acne-prone and oily skin, and I like the oil control, but it might be too drying for people with dry skin. While I've never had problems with it, I've heard of people breaking out from the mineral oil content in it.


Basically, they all have good oil control (which is more than I can say for BB creams, blah), but as they adhere very well to the skin, you really need to remove them with makeup-remover after use to prevent breakouts. Sunkiller sunscreens tend to have high alcohol content as well, which might irritate sensitive eyes if you use it around the eye area. (I wear contacts and sometimes my eyes get irritated, so it might be good to avoid putting sunscreen around the eye area.)

It's quite difficult to find the Sunkiller Super Block Skintone and Kirei Hada around in Singapore (they're not available in Watson's or Guardian), but I get mine either from BHG Bugis or the pharmacy section of Robinsons.

Do try these out - I really believe they're way easier to use and less likely to clog pores than BB creams!


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