Sunday, July 24, 2011

Review: B.Liv Got Me Covered sunscreen + foundation

I've been using this tinted sunblock from B.Liv for 2 months and I really love it! I've been using tinted sunscreens since forever and I think this is a keeper. The B.Liv website describes it as a BB cream. It's a sunblock, SPF35 PA+++ which seems less than my regular SPF50 sunblocks; I suppose if I were on vacation at a sunny place I'd choose a sunblock with higher protection, but SPF35 is sufficient for me for daily use.

You can see it blended out a little on the left, and totally blended in on the right. It has a really creamy and moisturizing texture which is refreshing compared to my other Japanese sunscreen lotions with the shaker balls inside, which can be drying. Surprisingly, while it's creamy, it controls oil really well and gives me really nice looking semi-matte skin. Plus, it's not chalky at all and I love the yellow undertone which is really suitable for Asian skin. I've also gotten compliments that my skin is more radiant when I have this on. -flips hair- LOL. Love it.

Plus, while I've been using it for 2 months, I've barely gone through half the bottle! I'm not too sure about the regular retail price cos I got this in a value set, but I think it costs about SGD45/USD35 for a 45ml bottle. It might seem pricey but a bottle can last for a really long time! And I love the light coverage it gives me without making my face scary white.

Ingredients: Purified Water (Aqua), Propylene Glycol, Cyclopentasiloxane, Iron Oxide, Cyclohexasiloxane, Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate, Hydrogenated Polydecene, Dimethicone/Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Cyclomethicone, Titanium Dioxide, Silica, Dimethicone Crosspolymer, PEG-10 Dimethicone, Zinc Oxide, Roman Chamomile (Anthemis nobilis) Flower Extract, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Talc, Salicylic Acid (BHA), Diazolidinyl Urea, Sodium Citrate, Methicone, Methylparaben, Mica, Dimethicone, Vitamin C (Ascorbyl Tetraisopalmitate), Zinc Stearate, Propylparaben.

From the ingredients, I think this is mainly a physical sunblock which is good for sensitive skin, as opposed to chemical sunscreen which might cause irritations for some. Plus it contains vitamin C! And I guess the -cones are what make it give the illusion of smooth skin. It contains salicylic acid too, making it good for oily, acne-prone skin. I really do recommend this sunblock - it's a really great formulation, creamy and moisturizing while oil-controlling and the tinted colour works really well to even out skintone. While it's creamy, it feels light on my skin, not suffocating at all! I'm in love and have already purchased -cough- two back-ups though I'm barely halfway through my current bottle. Plus, did I mention, it smells great? It has a light fragrance that smells expensive. Can't really describe it, but expensive and luxurious is what it evokes for me. (The packaging isn't very luxurious though, but hey, functionality is good.)

Rating: 10/10.

Ultra-holy grail stuff.

Short entry this week; gotta rush to do some shopping and catch the last Harry Potter movie. Toodles!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Organization and Review: Kevin Beautymaker Skin Repair Awakening Gel

Recently for day I've been using Kevin Beautymaker Skin Repair Awakening Gel. Just one of the many items in my stash I've resolved to use up before I go to Taiwan again next year to stock up!

It comes in a frosted glass jar, quite classy-looking, NT330 for 50g which is about S$16 or US$12 thereabouts. The description is pretty cute - "It has a tender, friendly texture. Only a pearl-size particle is enough to apply to your entire face." I think it does have a 'tender' texture - an easily absorbed gel-serum, but because it's quite light, I think I need to apply more - like, probably a really huge and expensive freshwater pearl-sized amount? Lol.

The description suggests 2 ways of using - as part of your regular morning routine as a massage gel, or as a sleeping pck at night -

Use before make-up:
Natural rose wter can calm the skin down; combining natural yeast extract with facial massage can remove the old corneum and brighten your skin.

Use before sleep:
Kinds of algae and the three-dimensional amino acid moisturizing membrane can retain all active cosmetic ingredients and accelerate the speed of absorption; like wearing a non-sticky mask while sleeping.

Purified water, ethyl alcohol, cabbage rose water, butylene glycol, glycerin, pineapple extract, gama-polyglutamic acid, glycine, methylparaben, propylene glycol and yeast extract, codium tomentosum extract and propylene glycol, tocopheryl acetate, methylisothiazolinone, serine, hydrolyzed ulva lactuca extract, auqa and chrondus crispus, fragrance, squalane.

As I'm using Vitacreme B12 at night, I ony use this in the morning. I don't use it for facial massage though, because facial massages always go upwards and I don't like applying stuff other than toner upwards cos I'm afraid it'll clog my pores. So basically I can only comment on the moisturizing aspect.

Skin Repair Awakening Gel smells really really good, like rose water! Cos of the cabbage rose water. It also contains Vitamin E and hydrating stuff like glycerin and squalane. Also, yeast extract is a good humectant and apparently helps accelerate cell turnover. (Googled!) I like that this moisturizer is a light watery gel that doesn't make my skin more oily, just that it's kind of sticky. It absorbs quite well and the scent is very relaxing. I do find my skin clarity improved after using it, so it does "awaken" my skin somewhat. This gel should suit oily skin well but those with drier skin would do well to use another moisturizing serum underneath. That's cos I find if I'm in a room with strong air-conditioning for about 12+ hours, my skin can get slightly dry at the end of the day. For regular 10 hour days in places that aren't too cold and dry, it's quite sufficient. The only other thing I don't really like (other than the stickiness) is the fact that it comes in a jar - not too hygienic!

Rating: 9/10 (I'd prefer Kevin Beautymaker Aquamarine Hydrating Serum! It's more moisturizing and smells just as good.)


In other news, The Body Shop's having a sale on organic cotton pads - each roll has 100 dual-sided pieces and 2 rolls are going for S$5.90. Pretty good deal I'd say! I put them in my Daiso glittery pink box, fits one roll perfectly. Love it. The cotton pads are very nice and thick and the textured side can be used for exfoliation. I know some people say toner is useless, but I find it very important because when you use cotton to apply it upwards, you're actually exfoliating your skin gently and hydrating your skin so that it's better primed for absorption of skincare. (From Saeki Chizu, my skincare guru. Lol.)

Recently I've been crazy about organizing. I went to Daiso to get my super cute glittery pink acrylic box series - they're so versatile. I hope they restock! I didn't manage to get enough. :( This is but about 50% of my stash; I didn't take photos of the other drawers which are still kind of messy. >_< I've already thrown away quite a bit of stuff. Must get rid of stuff so that I can go on more vacations and buy more stuff! :D

My current vanity area. Love the pink beaded mirror from IKEA. And I love the owl, it's an ocarina from Australia. I got the brush holders from Muji (so expensive; you can probably find good acrylic alternatives from Daiso) and all the glittery pink ones from Daiso. Love. Them. To. Bits.

Shelf for skincare/hair stuff/shower stuff. I have enough make-up removers for another year. Cleansers too I think. I have a list of them written down and filed and cancel them off neatly when I finish a bottle. I need to do stuff like that or I'd go crazy.

Some unopened boxes of masks, and discarded packaging for products I haven't gotten around to reviewing. Also, some empty used-up bottles for products which were bought overseas or are difficult to find, so that when I search for them in the shops I have something to refer to.

Foundation, loose powder, blush - stuff I don't use often.

Cheek and eye stuff.

Shelf of unused brushes, SPF sunscreen, my whole stash of eyeliners, BB creams (in box, hidden), stashes of foundation refills and boxes of eyedrops.

Not too organized yet but will be trying to clear! Hope to take a comparison photo in half a year's time to see how much I've used up. I'm definitely not adding to my stash right now, just trying to clear so that I can purchase more when I go on holiday in the future. (:

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Review: Burt's Bees Beeswax Lipbalm

These are my favourite lipbalms of the moment. Both the tin and tube cost USD$3 each, but the tube contains 4.25g while the tin contains 8.5g. They cost a lot more than this when shipped to Singapore or purchased from brick and mortar shops here, but I love these so much I believe I'd repurchase readily!

The ingredients differ slightly (taken from As far as I can see, the tube contains sunflower seed oil while the tin contains sweet almond oil, and that's the only difference.

Tube: cera alba (beeswax, cire d'abeille), cocos nucifera (coconut) oil, helianthus annuus (sunflower) seed oil, mentha piperita (peppermint) oil, lanolin, tocopherol, rosmarinus officinalis (rosemary) leaf extract, glycine soja (soybean) oil, canola oil (huile de colza), limonene
Tin: cera alba (beeswax, cire d'abeille), cocos nucifera (coconut) oil, prunus amygdalus dulcis (sweet almond) oil, mentha piperita (peppermint) oil, lanolin, tocopherol, rosmarinus officinalis (rosemary) leaf extract, glycine soja (soybean) oil, canola oil (huile de colza), limonene

Honestly I can't tell the difference in formula between the tube and the tin. I would have expected the formula for the tin to be more creamy as you'll be using your fingers for application, but no - it feels totally solid, just like the lipbalm in the tube, which makes it difficult to get enough product out using my fingers. I find I have to keep swiping at the lipbalm in the tin to get enough product. However, the product itself (both tin and tube) is really awesome - there's enough natural tasting mintiness and moisturization and I can really feel it healing my lips when they're dry and chapped. The thing I love most is how everything is natural and tastes natural - I don't have to worry about ingesting weird chemicals. For me, Burt's Bees works a lot better than Carmex - the mintiness is not overwhelming unlike Carmex which can sting a little, and it also heals cracked lips faster than Carmex.

If you're deciding between tin or tube, well, the tin looks prettier and contains more product for the price, but it's kind of unhygienic to use your fingers and application is time-consuming. Plus if you bring it around, the tin will get banged up. For me, I'd prefer the tube for the ease of application even though it contains only half the amount of product for the price, also because I'm a hygiene freak and it's troublesome ensuring my fingers are clean before using the tin version. What I do right now is that I carry the tube with me all the time, while I keep the tin at home to use before bedtime, so the tin remains quite pristine.

Rating: 10/10

You know, lipbalms are the kind of cheap thing that you'll keep buying a lot of, from different brands, just because they're cheap and there's so much variety! But I can see that Burt's Bees will be something I'll go back to over and over again, and always keep a back-up tube of. Sometimes I find it annoying when I find a HG (holy grail) item like that though, because I feel like I won't be able to try other products. Is that weird? :P

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Review: Carmex lipbalms!

I bought a whole load of stuff from the US and haven't gotten around to reviewing all of them. I bought like 5 lipbalms? 3 from Carmex and 2 from Burt's Bees... I forgot where I put the photo of my Burt's Bees lipbalms so I guess I'll do a review next week.

I read this other beauty blogger Kimoko really likes Carmex so I bought these to try them out. Carmex comes in a jar too (it's the original form), followed by squeeze tubes then stick form.

I bought the cherry flavour in a squeeze tube, and cherry and strawberry in stick form. Between the squeeze tube and the sticks, I'd choose the lipbalm sticks because they're more convenient and I kind of like the texture better. One thing about the lipbalm sticks - I don't know if it's because Singapore is really humid, but the Carmex sticks have the most amazingly thick melting texture as compared to other solid lipbalm sticks. (However this may just be due to the weather; I remember bringing a pot of beeswax lipbalm to the US in spring and to my amazement it solidified in the spring weather; so different from its regular texture in Singapore which was creamy soft)

Both the squeeze tubes and the sticks have the same minty feel - it's a little too strong for my taste though. And yes I really really detest the taste of Carmex - minty and artificial cherry/strawberry tasting, very unnatural and chemically artificial, imho. The ingredients: menthol, camphor, phenol, lanolin, cocoa butter, salicylic acid, vitamin E, shea butter, and petroleum jelly. Salicylic acid? To exfoliate your lips? I don't know, man. I do find it quite moisturizing and I really like that this is one of the few lipbalms that contain SPF15, but the taste! Yuck.

In a nutshell - I'd choose the stick over the tube, and strawberry over cherry any time.

I'd choose Burt's Bees over Carmex though, because Burt's Bees is natural while Carmex makes me feel like I'm ingesting yucky chemically-flavoured stuff. Also, Burt's Bees is more moisturizing and heals my lips faster when they're dry and cracked from drinking too much green tea in a cold air-conditioned office.

Rating: 8/10

Some photos to share:

A mask set with a bowl, brush and measuring spoons for mixing your own masks - purchased at a small shop in ShenZhen, China. They sell this at Bonjour and Sasa as well. After opening it I realised the bowl was rubbery and smells like rubber too. Yucks. You know, the kind that gets sticky in the heat. Kinda regret it.

Rilakuma envirobags!

Cute Hello Kitty lipbalm!

My new white iphone! And Rilakuma case (ok I don't know what the white one is called, I like Rilakuma better but the white one matches my white iphone better, so...)

My current collection of Rilakuma plushies.

A photocard my interns gave me... sweet!

Have a great week ahead everyone!!! I'm praying my breakout subsides... Busy-ness ahead...


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