Sunday, January 16, 2011

Review: Coffret D'or AQ Modelling Nuancer

I won this at Makeup Stash's Christmas giveaway! It's a complexion enhancing cream colour which comes in 2 colours - white for highlighting and brown for contouring. Mine is the white one. I love the case it comes in - gold and pretty. I'd have liked it to be heavier though. I like compacts to feel heavy and expensive. The price of this is 5,000 yen which is pretty high-end, so I expect better.

The description:
"Face color with a silky cream texture that highlights and redefines facial contours to create an elegant, sculpted look."

- Spreads smoothly for a long-lasting, natural finish.
- Contains natural aromatic. Based on the idea of aromachology, they are extracted from fresh-picked plants.

Doesn't it sound amazing? It smells really nice, so I kind of buy into the aromachology thing, though I know fragrance doesn't really help in skincare; it just makes me feel happier.

The instructions say you're supposed to use it under powder foundation, over liquid foundation. It comes with a sponge applicator and you're supposed to blend it in using a light patting motion. I find it difficult to blend though, so after applying with the sponge, I use my fingers to blend it in properly.

The swatch, unblended and blended. Can you see it when it's blended in? It's a matte white cream, no sparkles or glimmer. That's the part I don't get.

When I use it under my powder foundation, it acts as a kind of primer - it keeps my foundation on longer, but the effect of the highlight isn't really apparent since it's matte and doesn't have glimmer or glow to give a 3D effect. When I use it over liquid foundation, it leaves a white cast on the areas I use it on, and it's even more difficult to blend over liquid foundation (since it's already quite difficult to blend on its own).

Overall, I'm quite glad to have been given the chance to try this since I've never tried Coffret D'or before (it smells really good!) but I don't think it works well as a highlighter.

Rating: fail


Last week I went out with my old friend from high school and we went to explore the new mall, Serangoon NEX!

Dress - Taiwan, Jacket - Miley Cyrus for Walmart, Bag - Rebecca Taylor (free with mook)

I love the flats, the colour reminds me of Tiffany blue. And can you believe I got the Miley Cyrus jacket for only USD$1 at Walmart?! OMG. Best buy ever.

We had lunch at Freshness Burger, which is apparently from Japan. I had the Bacon Omelette Burger, not bad. And the fried Hokkaido potatoes were so good! They're very lightly salted and you can really taste the natural flavour of potato. And I had the Yuja Cha which is honey citrus tea with lots of candied citrus peel - it doesn't contain any tea, it's more of a very sweet drink.

And we had dessert at Lena's, which is opened by Lena Sim, the founder of the Ministry of Food chain. I read an interview of her before, she's quite an inspiration. They seem to have lots of desserts featuring fried bananas (or goreng pisang, a local fave) and you can choose to have it breaded or fried like a spring roll. I like the spring roll kind better, the breaded one made the banana inside a little too mushy.

Fried bananas and vanilla ice-cream

Breaded bananas and brownie on a hot plate

The hugest mint tea ever

The brownie on the hotplate was good, except the parts that are on the hotplate too long tend to get a bit hard. And the mint tea - I thought one jug was for both of us to share, but it ended up that we each got a jug to drink from. Like, omg! And we kind of forgot how filling bananas can be, and got super stuffed... Haha!

That's all for today, hope you enjoyed reading. I have finished one week of my peak period and it was like a really really long week. I hope leaving work at 12am will be the max for this week. -prays- Have a great week ahead everyone!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Review: Bio Beauty Skincology Advanced Hydrating Serum II and Beautymaker Aquamarine Hydrating Serum

Happy New Year everyone! Apologies for lack of updates, life's been hectic. I'm gonna start the year off with a rave review for these 2 hyaluronic acid serums I bought in Taiwan last year and only got around to finishing recently.

Kevin Beautymaker Aquamarine Serum II and Bio Beauty Skincology Advanced Hydrating Serum.

Hyaluronic acid, I believe, is the best kind of moisturizer for people with oily, acne-prone or reactive skin that is prone to breakouts. A lot of people who have problems with oiliness actually have dehydrated skin as well. The oily-but-dehydrated skin thing, what an irony. :( But hyaluronic acid is good because it is light, but it's a great humectant as well, attracting more than a thousand times its own weight in water. Read this for more information! I like how hyaluronic acid leaves my skin plump - it's because it retains water in the skin and brings about plumpness of the skin due to retention of water.

L-R: Bio Beauty Skincology Advanced Hydrating Serum II, Beautymaker Aquamarine Hydrating Serum

Same, to show the texture.

Bio Beauty Skincology Advanced Hydrating Serum II
This is a lighter, more watery serum than the Beautymaker one. It plumps up my skin real good! It's very fluid and dries quickly, but once it dries it can give a tight feeling, and I find it can't be used on its own. Instead, I have to layer another lightweight moisturizer over it. While the serum's not too substantial by itself, I can definitely tell the difference when I use it - it really helps prevent my skin from drying out and extends the moisturizing capability of whatever I layer on top of it. I use this up very quickly - 30ml is gone in a month!

Plus - it's very cheap, I think about SGD$17 a bottle or around USD11 for 30 ml. I like the clean glass bottle with the dropper, very hygienic and practical. But the only way you can get it is through the Payeasy website which I don't think delivers outside of Taiwan. Thank God I have a Taiwanese friend, I'm thinking of getting her to CP me another 5 more bottles (there's a discount if you buy 5).

Ingredients: Purified water, sodium hyaluronate, panthenol, sodium PCA, natto extract, cactus extract, butylene glycol, dmdm hydantoin, iodopropynyl butylcarbamate.

Rating: 10/10

Kevin Beautymaker Aquamarine Hydrating Serum
This is a thicker, slightly sticky serum. It smells really good, like rosewater. It may be a serum, but I find it hydrating enough to be used on its own. In fact, my favourite way to use these 2 serums is to layer the Aquamarine Serum over the Advanced Hydrating Serum. This method really locks in the moisture the whole day. The Aquamarine Serum is slightly more expensive - about USD14 for 30ml if I remember correctly. I used this up in about 1.5 months.

Ingredients: Carbomer, deep sea water, hyaluronic acid, cucumber extract, butylene glycol, glycerin, ethyl alcohol, gamma-polyglutamic acid, triethanolamine, glycine, cyclomethicone, serine, auqa and chondrus crispus, hydrolyzed placental protein, methyl paraben, disodium EDTA, hydroxyproline, ethylisothiazolinone, mica & titanium dioxide, hydrolyzed ulva lactuca extract, algae extract, pelvetia canaliculata extract, codium tomentosum extract & propylene glycol, fragrance, acetyl hexapeptide-3.

Rating: 10/10

Another thing to note - I have been looking at other hyaluronic acid skincare brands like Aquajuju,Hada Labo and Shiseido Aqualabel (because my Taiwanese friend is kind of busy and I won't be getting my back-ups anytime soon and I need a replacement), and looking at the ingredients lists, I realised that for all of them, the hyaluronic acid (or sodium hyaluronate) component comes much later in the ingredients list. On the other hand, you can see from the ingredients lists above that for both the Bio Beauty and Beautymaker serums, hyaluronic acid (or sodium hyaluronate) is the first active ingredient. I'm not sure if this makes a difference, but I'll be trying the AquaJuju, Hada Labo and Aqualabel ones soon to see if I can find a suitable replacement.

However, if I had a choice, I think these 2 serums are the best because they're so pocket-friendly! (AquaJuju, Hada Labo and Aqualabel are about 50% more expensive I think.) I especially like the Bio Beauty Advanced Hydrating Serum II because the ingredients list is very simple and doesn't contain weird chemicals that may irritate skin.

If you haven't tried hyaluronic acid skincare yet, do give it a try! This miracle ingredient has really done wonders for my skin. However, just one thing to take note - hyaluronic acid works best in humid climates (like Singapore!) because it draws moisture from the air and retains it on your skin. If you live in a dry climate (like Australia), hyaluronic acid might actually leech moisture from your skin instead (because there is no moisture in the air). In that case, you can try taking hyaluronic acid supplements. Fancl makes a good one.

Have a good 2011 everyone!


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