Tuesday, 17 June 2008

Off on 2-week Hiatus… :)

Yup…after almost two months of nail-biting tension and waiting, I’m finally off for my (almost) 2-week break to London and Barcelona!! For those of you in London (yes, I’m looking at you, Jackie!), I’ll be looking you up for sure. Can’t wait!

As such, I won’t have access to the Internet during my holiday, so this blog will be taking a hiatus for two weeks. I’ll be back with plenty of pictures and tales, for sure…till then, take care y’all!

PS: Yes, I know I'm supposed to pick up stuff for some of you - haven't forgotten! :)

Make Up Store Microshadow…

During my last visit to the Make Up Store in Gardens Midvalley (by the way, if you’re ever there do look for Natalie – she’s brilliant!) I got a microshadow in a very pretty pastel baby blue – Rodeo.

With Microshadow, the colour you see is what you get. The eyeshadows are highly pigmented and gives rich colour and a long lasting result. Blend it with Mixing Liquid for a waterproof make up or to get your favourite colour as eyeliner. Microshadow works perfect as a blush as well (I assume they mean with the pink-red toned colours!). Apply with brushes in different sizes.

The Verdict:
As far as Make Up Store’s ranges go, the Microshadow is just one of three different types of eyeshadow available. At first look, I liked that it came in a sturdy snap-shut case, with the trademark transparent ‘M’ that allows you to view the colour (fyi, I hate it when I have to play guesswork with makeup because all the containers are sealed shut tighter than glue with no peep-hole).

Once I got past playing with the case (!), the texture was the next thing to strike me – it’s remarkably soft and fine, but has excellent pigment – you only need a tiny swipe with your fingertip to pick up colour. To be honest, I never thought I’d like the look of baby blue on my peepers (and a shimmery shade at that!), but after trying this out with a slightly darker shade of blue from the Body Shop, I think I’m a convert. The Microshadow also has good staying power, seeing as it lasted a good 6 hours before starting to fade.

Surprisingly, ‘Rodeo’ is not listed on the Make Up Store site, but it’s been featured in several of their ‘Step by Step’ guides. Odd, innit?

At RM60, this is along the upper-range mark for eyeshadows, but you get what you pay for. The end result? I am in love, in love, in LOVE with this shadow. Now I’ve got my eye on the Hyacinth for my next Microshadow…any sponsors?!? :D

Make Up Store Microshadows are available at all Make Up Store outlets nationwide and retail at RM60.

Rating: 4 / 5
Value: $$


Friday, 13 June 2008

Body Shop Almond Oil Nail & Cuticle Treatment…

This portable cuticle pen features a brush applicator and lid that functions as a cuticle pusher. The natural ingredients in this treatment help protect nails from splitting and breaking. Ingredients include:
  • Sweet Almond Oil – Provides essential fatty acids that help to repair skin's moisture barrier, thus helping to restore moisture, smoothness and suppleness.
  • Organic Olive Oil from Italy – Helps to condition skin.
  • Vitamin E – Conditions, nourishes and protects the skin, leaving it soft, smooth and healthy.

Twist the base to release the desired amount of treatment into the brush and apply to nail bed and cuticles. After treatment has penetrated the nail bed (approximately 10-15 seconds), gently use the cover of the treatment pen to push back cuticles.

The Verdict:
I bought this during the sales since I couldn’t stand the fact that my cuticles always end up looking like something a grizzly bear would have. What can I say – my nails are fine, but the skin around them is a completely different matter.

As luck would have it, this has a almond smell, but after being mixed with the olive oil and vitamin E, it’s OKAY, but not that enticing a smell to have. Then again, this is going on your fingers, not your nose, so it doesn’t bother me too much.

Results-wise, it’s not bad. I haven’t used the cap to push back my cuticles as I don’t have any to push back anyway – they’ve been trained by my manicurist! Instead, I just wait for the oil to settle in slightly, then rub the remainder into the nail bed and surrounding area. This works well for me, as I not only moisturize my nails and fingertips, but improve the circulation in them as well.

The pen makes applying the oil a breeze…the treatment flows directly into the centre of the brush for easy application, and there’s no mess. However, it takes a while for the treatment to flow into the brush, so if you’re a bit overzealous twisting the base, you might end up wasting quite a bit.

Also, the other bad thing about this is that there’s no safety mechanism to stop the base from being twisted when the pen is capped. You may just very well end up accidentally twisting the base while the thing is closed, and then what? For people like me who carry these items in their handbags, this spells a potential disaster (I’d liken it to losing the cap off your lipstick – a brand new lipstick, the kind that sticks out of the tube) and I’m sure we’re all aware of how difficult it is to clean oil-based stains off fabric, or worse, LEATHER.

However, those minor defects aside, the treatment does all it claims, so I’m in rather a mixed mind about this. On one hand, I have not had any problems with dry skin around my nails since using this, but I’ve also been running the risk of having it leak in my bag by carrying it around with me. I guess I’ll see what happens when I finish this round. If you’ve tried this and have any tips, I’d love to hear from you!

The Body Shop Almond Oil Nail & Cuticle Treatment is available at all Body Shop outlets nationwide.

Rating: 3.5 / 5
Value: $$


Tuesday, 10 June 2008

Korean BBQ Restaurant @ Plaza TTDI…

Thanks to a hankering for kimchi and all things Korean, we happened across this Korean BBQ restaurant named…well, Korean BBQ Restaurant! It was tucked away on the 3rd floor of TTDI Plaza, away from the bar and bistros on the ground floor.

The interior itself is lushly decorated with floral, wood and water elements, and is very spacious. Our table was tucked away in one corner, which had a fantastic view of…the building opposite, but also of the people passing by below.

Korean BBQ is done in quite a unique way – instead of picking all the dishes from the menu, you order only your selection of meat (chicken, beef, pork, seafood, etc), and the side dishes are all part of the package. Admittedly, this means that you’ll be looking at rather steep prices of RM30-RM55 per dish of meat, but it has to be factored in accordingly. After all, you do get unlimited refills of almost 10 selections of side dishes…more than sufficient.

The coleslaw salad and fresh salad – didn’t like the coleslaw, but the fresh salad disappeared almost immediately!

All the side dishes – I loved the kimchi (extreme left), the asparagus sprouts (upper left), seaweed (centre top), fried vegetarian patties (upper left) and this spicy ikan bilis-peanut mix (bottom right)

The selection of drinks isn't exactly fantastic, and tea is served by the cup instead of pot. The selection ended up as a split between the Ginseng tea, and ice Korean green tea. Apparently, my brother took a while to get used to drinking Ginseng tea, since he wasn’t familiar with having to fish out dates (the dried kind!) from his cup (!!).

On to the main course – meat, meat and more meat!

Chadolbagi – Fresh Brisket (RM50)

Saeng Galbi – Fresh Short Ribs (RM58)

I loved the fact that we didn’t have to lift a finger to BBQ the meat ourselves. There were two staff solely assigned to the table for the purpose of preparing the food. However, from this experience, the best size to go for this type of Korean BBQ would be 4-6 people, since you’ll need to leave space on the end for the staff to do their thing.

Oh, and the meat was absolutely SUPERB – juicy, tender and melted in my mouth. The best combination was to take a piece of meat, roll it up in a salad leaf and dip it in the sauce provided…I’m drooling just thinking about it.

Marinated chicken (I think it was RM35) and Budae Zzik – A spicy stew of chicken sausage, kimchi, cheese and ramyun (RM70 for the small version)

It’s wise to err on the side of caution when ordering the meat, because those are priced on standard portion, regardless of the number of people you have. You’d have the same amount of meat for RM55 if you have 2 people, or 10 people – also a good reason to bring more company when you eat BBQ so that you can try more dishes! Besides, you can always order more if you want, but can’t ask them to uncook it if you’ve ordered too much, right?

For dessert (which was also complimentary btw!), we had a Korean version of Ice Kacang – shaved ice mixture with a mix of condensed & evaporated milk. You can opt to have it with or without the red bean (I personally don’t like red bean, so I had it without). It was a little bit *jelak* sweet, but a nice cap to the meal.

I must say, this restaurant came with some very cute features…just check these out!

Toothpick case

Paper napkins

I’d love to go back there. Although the price was a bit steep (about close to RM400 for 5 of us), it was still really good food and you get your money's worth (on par with the Daorae restaurant in Hartamas, but a bit more high class). Of course, now with the price hikes and rates going up, who knows? However, if you’re looking for good food and service, do give them a try.

Korean BBQ Restaurant
3rd Floor, TTDI Plaza
Opens Mon-Sat: 12-3pm, 6-11pm
Sunday: 6-11pm

Rating: 4.5 / 5
Value: $$


Monday, 9 June 2008

Hunt for Cheap & Good Eyeshadows – Elianto Shimmer Shadow…

This is Part 3 of the Hunt for Cheap & Good Eyeshadow series. Full explanation of the series and Part 1 on Bloop de Paris can be found here, and Part 2 on Skin Food Vitamin Shadow can be found here.

The shade that was reviewed is #30 – Forest Green.

The Verdict:
Being the cheapest eyeshadow in this experiment so far, I wasn’t expecting much from this, but it did surprise me. The surface was smooth yet not powdery, and just a soft swipe was all it took to pick up the pigment. I did find that it took a bit more eyeshadow to build up to a similar colour as that of in the pan, but for RM5, what would you expect?

The shimmer aspect of this shadow is also quite well done – very subtle, and doesn’t flake off like the Maybelline eyeshadow I reviewed previously. Elianto has found a good formula for most of its shadows (and I say most because there are still some colours that feel a bit grainy to the touch). I also have their baked eyeshadow in a black shimmer, and that one has also held up quite well.

You can see the contrast of the Skin Food Vitamin Shadow to the Elianto shimmer shadow in terms of pigment quite clearly – I had to heap the Skin Food eyeshadow on compared to just a swipe of the Elianto shimmer shadow for almost the same opacity.

Even though the colour of the eyeshadow wasn’t something I’d usually pick for myself (I don’t wear much green, but when I do I love rich greens), it was definitely something I’d check out again. Elianto has an extensive range of colours for the shimmer shadows.

Admittedly some of the shades are a bit ‘young’ for my liking (dang!), but I wouldn’t mind trying out the Cool Aqua, Summer Silver and Crystal Plum sometime in the future. This one is definitely worth checking out the next time you pass by a Elianto outlet. :) And of course, if you’re the kind that loves to play around with different looks on a budget, Elianto would probably be a dream come true.

Elianto’s shimmer shadows retail at RM5.00 and are available at all Elianto outlets.

Rating: 3.5 / 5
Value: $$$

** Paris started off her review series with Elianto Shimmer Shadow in Forest Green, and Part 2 on Skin Food Vitamin Shadow. Check it out!


Wednesday, 4 June 2008

Crabtree & Evelyn Botanical Shower Mousse – Olive, Almond & Myrtle…

Since I’m on a ‘foamy’ roll, I’m going to go with the other half of the Crabtree & Evelyn Naturals products I bought (you can read my review on their In-Shower Moisturiser here).

Our rich, foaming body wash is formulated for pure and gentle cleansing with moisturizing glycerin, skin-conditioning amino acids from apples, nourishing wheat proteins and soothing Vitamin B5 (panthenol), with a rejuvenating blend of olive oil, olive leaf and sweet almond oil. It is free from harsh detergents with all lathering agents derived from natural botanical sources.

Dispense a generous amount directly onto damp skin and work into a rich lather.

The Verdict:
In contrast to my previous review of their In-Shower Moisturiser, I actually love this. From the ingredients of olive, almond and myrtle, I half-expected it to have some ‘herby’ smell, but the fragrance is very pleasant, and leaves a very mild scent behind – a total score for me in the shower!

The mousse itself is quite thick, and feels really nice against my skin. However, it took a lot of repeated ‘pumping’ to get out enough mousse…*wink*…good exercise, no? I’m going to be keeping this on my shelf for quite some time to come.

Crabtree & Evelyn Botanical Shower Mousse – Olive, Almond & Myrtle retails at RM73.00 for a 200ml bottle and is available at all Crabtree & Evelyn outlets.

Rating: 4 / 5
Value: $$


Tuesday, 3 June 2008

The Body Shop Tea Tree Oil Foaming Face Wash…

After running out of my usual Dr Murad Energizing Pomegranate Cleanser, I decided to try something cheaper this time around, and on recommendation from my usual advisor at the Body Shop, bought the Tea Tree Oil Foaming Face Wash during their recent sale.

Instantly lathers up, unclogging pores as it washes away make-up and oil. With added peppermint oil to refresh and cool skin. A cleansing gel that lathers to gently cleanse, lift impurities and make-up while helping to control shine and blemishes.

The Verdict:
There’s just something about foaming cleansers that piques my interest. Maybe it’s the fun of playing with a mass of moussy foam while still cleaning off your makeup. At first glance, I thought it was a bit much to have 3 pumps of the foam for each application, but judging by the level at which the contents are dropping, it’s really not much. I’ve been using this for nearly two weeks now, and there’s hardly a difference in the level!

Be warned though, this cleanser takes a bit of getting used to, particularly if you have sensitive eyes. The peppermint and tea tree oil can make it a rather overpowering experience, and the smell alone is enough to make your eyes water – I don’t think I need to tell you that you’ll be screaming if you get any in your eyes by mistake!

Eye-watering factor aside, it did take off all my makeup on the first go, except for the couple of occasions where I was wearing heavy makeup (ie. foundation, powder, eyeliner, the works) where I took of most of the makeup with a remover prior to cleansing. I have a feeling this will last me quite a while...

The Body Shop Tea Tree Oil Foaming Face Wash is available in 150ml bottles, and retails for RM45.00.

Rating: 3.5 / 5
Value: $$

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Hunt for Cheap & Good Eyeshadows –Skin Food Vitamin Shadow…

This is Part 2 of the Hunt for Cheap & Good Eyeshadow series. Full explanation of the series and Part 1 on Bloop de Paris can be found here.

Vivid colour eye shadow with infused Vitamin E. The shade tested was #94 – a lilac shade.

When Paris passed me this, I was quite intrigued by the packaging – solid case, the innocent cherub embossed into the shadow and the built-in mirror…and then I noticed the rubbed out portion at the bottom corner, which kind of tipped me off.

After testing it out, I can definitely see why. I had to wear out another corner of it just to pick up enough colour to show up on camera! The texture was smooth enough, but did not provide enough pigment at all. I tried blending it with my black eyeliner, which gave a decent look but didn’t quite blend properly as it looked like I was heaping on eyeshadow on top of eyeliner - not the look I was going for.

As far as the shimmer goes, it’s quite pretty, but hardly an item I’d buy as it’s not really value for money (who wants to pay RM23 for just shimmer?). Honestly, for the price I’d rather have gotten another Bloop eyeshadow than this (which would have been cheaper too!).

Skin Food also has a range of other eyeshadows which range up to RM40 (I think), but it’s interesting to note that the texture of these shadows can vary quite a bit from smooth to powdery. This particular Vitamin Shadow would be good for those who want more of a delicate wash of colour rather than a strong pigment, but I think there are better alternatives out there at similar prices.

Skin Food Vitamin Shadow retails for RM23 at all Skin Food outlets.

Rating: 2 / 5
Value: $

** Paris started off her review series with Elianto Shimmer Shadow in Forest Green, and Part 2 on Skin Food Vitamin Shadow. Check it out!


Monday, 2 June 2008

Maybelline Color Wear Trio Eye Shadow…

I picked this up for RM5 at the recent L’Oreal warehouse sales, and recently got around to trying it out.

Three coordinated intense eye shadow colours that glide on effortlessly with superior smoothness. Maybelline Color Wear Trio Eye Shadow comes with a velvet-tip applicator for blending without tugging or pulling, and provides all-day crease-resistant wear.

The Verdict:
Although I loved the selection in green shades (#23 - A Leaf Life), the trio wasn’t what I hoped for in an eyeshadow. The surface of the eyeshadow had these really cool prism-like designs cut in (see the first pic), but rather gritty to the touch. I had to literally gouge my fingertip into the shadow to get any colour.

Applying it wasn’t much better either – the glitter flaked off almost immediately, leaving me with rather shiny cheeks and more every time I blinked. In terms of pigment, the colour was very pretty but it took a bit of rubbing to pick up enough colour, so the usual soft eyeshadow brush I used had to be set aside, and I ended up using my fingers instead.

However, the staying power is definitely commendable, seeing as it lasted – crease-free – for a whole 6 hours. I’m quite surprised at the difference between Maybelline’s eyeshadows, since some of them are very velvety-smooth, and others are coarse to the point of gritty. What’s up with that?

Paint Me Gorgeous did a review on the same eyeshadow, but in a different shade. Again, the experience was different…hmm…would I repurchase? If they come up with a new formula that omits the glitter and improves the texture, maybe. In the meantime, I think I’ll stick to my Kanebo, Body Shop, Bloop and Revlon (which I'll get around to in a bit!) eyeshadows – the textures on those are simply VELVETY SMOOTH.

Rating: 2.5 / 5
Value: $


Weekend bargains…

This weekend was quite a haul for me…I came across this fab bargain at the Famous Amos in Sg Wang – with every 100g purchase of cookies (I got the No Nut Choc Chip ones for RM7.70), you get a Buy 1 Free 1 deal on Lindt’s dark chocolate bars (RM7.90)

Chocolate overload!

And to make it even sweeter, the darling that I usually get my Body Shop stuff from (and this is one of the reasons I keep on giving him all my business!) gave me the sweetest gift – the Invent Your Scent collection pack!

It comes with small atomizers of Rougeberry, Zestini, Aztique, Amorito, Chymara and Velique inside, so I’ve been going a bit loopy the whole weekend mixing and matching. I’d say we have a good thing going eh? Sweet!

The Blogger Tea Party was also quite cool – finally got to meet Rinnah up close, who is one cool chick…and of course, the ever shrouded Paris and PinkElle, not to mention Zeroimpact. Sad to say, didn’t quite get a chance to meet the infamous Zewt, who was supposed to make an appearance.

How was your weekend?


Clinique Lash Power™ Curling Mascara…

Have any of you seen this around? I'm glad to see that Clinique has placed emphasis on the 'sanitary' aspect of trying out their new mascara, but then again, I'm still not quite inspired by the fact that every darling with the wand attached will be dipping it into the same mascara tube (pushing air into the tube dries out the mascara, and introduces bacteria).
Nevertheless, small steps are good...so have you tried it out?