Thursday, 30 September 2010

Mentholatum Mogitate Kajitsu lipbalms…

Anyone who knows me will know I go batty over lip products – lipglosses, lipsticks, lipbalms, you name it and I’ll probably have a few lurking around on my person. So when Mentholatum offered to let me try out their new Mogitate Kajitsu lipbalms, I just had to say yes! :) They sent me the Mogitate Strawberry, Mogitate Orange & Mango, and Mogitate Lemon & Lime.

Mentholatum’s Mogitate Kajitsu lipbalm moisturises and softens lips with natural fruit juice, honey and beeswax. Smoothes lips and prevents wrinkles with Squalane, Grapeseed Oil, Vitamins A and E. Contains UV protection.

The Verdict:
Mentholatum’s lipbalms are pretty legendary and need little introduction – I remember using their Softlips and Lip Ice balms since my days as a poor student, so it’s no wonder they’re the #1 bestselling lipbalm in Japan. The Mogitate Kajitsu lipbalms were originally introduced in Japan back in 2003, but they’re only reaching us now! *sob* Better late than never I guess. I actually like the new lipbalms better than their Lip Ice, but that’s probably a matter of preference.

Here’s a bit of interesting info for you – Mogitate means ‘fresh’, while Kajitsu means ‘fruits’ in Japanese. So by definition, Mogitate Kajitsu means ‘fresh fruits’! And it’s not only in the name and the scent, but the lipbalms themselves contain real fruit juice along with honey – sounds like a real sweet deal eh?

I was hoping to have tried out the White Peach or the Grape & Berry one since I’m not particularly into Strawberry, but the lipbalms were pleasant enough. My surprising favourite turned out to be the Lemon & Lime one which I was worried was going to end up smelling like dishwashing liquid. -_- As it turned out, the lipbalms smell absolutely delicious (albeit a tad on the strong side) and taste almost as good as they smell. I swear I could taste a hint of honey too somewhere along the way.

All the lipbalms go on clear with a slightly waxy texture, which make them ideal to use under lipsticks and lipglosses. A single application of the Mango & Orange lipbalm under my Clinique lipstick lasted the entire day, and I didn’t experience any ‘sliding off’ that typically happens with oilier lipbalms.

Clockwise from top left: Mojitate Lemon & Lime, Mojitate White Peach, Mojitate Strawberry, Mojitate Orange & Mango, Mojitate Grape & Berry

On the whole, these balms get a two thumbs up from me – my pout stayed nice and moisturised the entire day (notwithstanding my temptation to nibble at the balm) and at SG$5.90 each, they’re not likely to break the bank either. Now, who wants to get me the White Peach and Grape & Berry ones for my upcoming birthday? :D At the rate I’m going, these aren’t going to last me very long!

Mentholatum Mogitate Kajitsu lipbalms come in 5 varieties and retail at SG$5.90 each. Available exclusively at Watsons stores in Singapore.

Rating: 4.5 / 5
Value: $$$

Labels: , ,

Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Clarus Hand and Foot Repair Packs…

When I first arrived in Singapore, I found that the soles of my feet used to get really dry and dirty thanks to walking a lot in slippers. I was frantically rubbing in lotion at night to avoid the dreaded cracked heels, and in a bid to fix it, resorted to trying almost everything available at the local pharmacy.

One of them was the Clarus Foot Repair pack, which I picked up together with the Hand pack just because it looked interesting. The hand pack came in pink while the foot pack came in blue, so it’s easy to differentiate. For this purpose, I’m going to be lumping both the hand and foot pack review into one since there’s not much difference in both products.

Clarus Repair Hand Pack – A convenient and effective skin care product which gives you a pair of soft and silky hands. Its anti-aging ingredient Camellia Sinesis Leaf Extract and skin lifting Collagen, when formulated together, nourish, moisturise and protect your hand’s skin. With 3-4 times of intensive treatment per week, you can achieve your desired condition of soft and silky skin. To maintain, use at least 2-3 times a week.
Clarus Repair Foot Pack – Repairs, rejuvenates, revitalises, heals chapped areas and eliminates calluses from the feet. Its unique formula for beautiful feet nourishes and moisturises them making your feet smooth and soft. You can show off your great looking feet after a few intensive uses. To maintain soft skin condition, use at least 2-3 times a week. Contains Collagen, Aloe Vera, Carbomer, Witch Hazel, Green Tea Extract, Morus Alba bark extract.

The Verdict:
From start to finish, I wasn’t very impressed with this product. To be fair, at least some thought went into the design of the packaging which is separated into two compartments so that the vinyl covers don’t get wet, plus it’s relatively easy to tear open. The scent of both is also quite similar and rather mild, which suits me just fine. However, after that point everything went downhill.

Each pack contains one pair of gloves / socks with 20g of essence along with a pair of vinyl covers. To use it, you’re supposed to slip on the gloves / socks, pull on the vinyl covers and leave for 20-30 minutes before removing and rubbing the remaining essence into your hands/ feet. For your hands, they also tell you to wear a rubber band around the wrist so that the essence doesn’t flow out (not included in the pack).

Just to clarify, I have short fingers to begin with and wear a size 7-8 shoe (38-40). As it is, the gloves and socks only come in one size and I found both quite a snug fit, so those with bigger feet or longer fingers may find it a challenge to use. First off, when I compared the ‘essence’ to that in the usual face masks, this felt really just like they were soaked in water – there was no slippery feel, which to be fair could be just attributed to the particular makeup of that formula.

However, once I put it on, I just felt I was squishing around in a pair of wet socks – coupled with the vinyl covers which I suppose were meant to ‘infuse’ the essence through heat as well as to keep it from staining anything else, it made for a pretty uncomfortable half hour (and this is coming from someone who can stand rubbing baby cream into her feet and wearing cotton socks over them to sleep just to fix the cracked heels). Ditto for the hands – they didn’t provide any rubber bands with the pack, so I was left holding my hands clasped throughout the half hour hoping they wouldn’t slide off.

Now, I wouldn’t have minded it so much if they had really worked, but after I took the gloves and socks off, it didn’t feel as if any of the essence had been absorbed at all. I even tried rubbing the rest of the essence into my hands and feet, but by the next morning there wasn’t any noticeable difference. If at all, I think my hands and feet were a bit drier than before!

The instructions on the pack said to use 2-3 times weekly to see results, but honestly I can’t be bothered. At SG3.90 each, that’s tantamount to spending almost SG70 a month on just twice-weekly use. I’d rather use the money on baby cream and cotton socks for my feet, thank you very much. It would also allow me a lot more freedom of movement compared to sitting around hanging on to the vinyl covers or sliding around feeling icky.

The only good thing is that the gloves and socks provided were actually half decent, and I’ve since laundered them and reused them with my own hand and foot cream. For the price, really, save your money and go to a salon to get your hands and feet pampered. Better still, you can get a much cheaper and more effective solution by just investing in a huge tub of Sorbolene and cotton gloves and socks.

Clarus Hand and Foot Repair Packs retail at SG3.90 per pack but can sometimes go down to SG1.95 on promotion. Available at Guardian and Watsons outlets in Singapore.

Rating: 1.5 / 5
Value: $

Labels: , ,

Monday, 27 September 2010

Vichy Family & Friends Sale…

By the way, for those interested in Vichy or happen to be around the Uptown area, there will be having a one-day Vichy Family & Friends sale tomorrow from 9am – 5pm at the L’Oreal office. Details are as below:

If you do go, let me know how it went! :)

Labels: ,

Random weekend ramblings…

Hi hi! Am back after the weekend in hiding – it was F1 weekend in Singapore, and I didn’t particularly fancy getting stuck in the horrendous traffic jams (thanks to road closures) or getting squashed with stinky sweaty people on the MRT, so spent most of the weekend just chilling out, snoozing or wandering around VivoCity (which even with less people around, was still pretty crowded!)

Anyway, the downside to this is I’ve somehow managed to kill my throat – woke up this morning and could barely swallow…*gulp* (pun intended quite literally!), so I suspect I’ll have to go make a visit to the doc’s later today. So instead of the regular reviews, I thought I’d share a couple of random bits from the past weekend…

This ad in the MRT just cheesed me off – if you can’t read from the picture, the caption says “It takes years to build a reputation…but one wrong outfit to ruin it.” Seriously?? Are Singaporeans THAT superficial to buy that sort of crap? I can understand losing your reputation due to lack of ethics or integrity, but the wrong suit? Just leaves me thinking that anyone dumb enough to believe this needs a kick in the head. What’s more, it’s meant to promote a local magazine’s website. Whoever did this ad should be shot, and that’s getting them off lightly. Really.

Okay, moving on from the ranting to something more light-hearted…my office had the global awards ceremony over lunch (yes, more food) last week via video-conferencing (there’s something surreal about having a conference going on simultaneously with almost 40 countries at a go!) and we decided to make it more interesting by wearing…glasses. Any kind of glasses…and one of my colleagues managed to come with this pair which I just HAD to borrow for a snap:

Cute, no? Hahaha…somehow the peeps here tend to have more reasons to dress up (remember the hot pink wig a couple of months back?) so there’s no shortage of interesting shots to take.

The last one is something amusing my boss brought back from Korea. Before you ask, yes it’s food (yet again)…but just check out the cute wrappers!

Pucca “Funky Travel” chocolates! LOL…these are absolutely adorable – heck, they can have the chocolate, I want the wrappers!! :D

And we’re back to our regular programme. How was your weekend? :)

Friday, 24 September 2010

Bloom Butterfingers Shea Butter Hand Cream…

It's Friday! :D Well, it's F1 weekend here in Singapore so the whole road system here is pretty much like downtown KL on a rainy Friday at 5pm - traffic jams everywhere. I'll be heading in the opposite direction instead to Harbourfront for some window shopping, thank goodness for the trains!

Anyway, while going through my unopened stash a while back, I came across this hand cream which had been gifted to me by someone in Australia (Bloom is Australian after all). The packaging was such a cute baby pink, not to mention the description was so cute, I had to open it.

Bloom Butterfingers Shea Butter Hand Cream is a smooth, fast absorbing hand cream rich in nourishing Shea Butter and skin softening Sweet Almond Oil. Scented with Lavender and Geranium essential oils. Let natural shea butter give you a hand to nourish and protect your pretty paws.

The Verdict:
The goal was obviously to have ‘pretty paws’ after using this, which I found so funny. I typically prefer my hand creams to be less strongly scented during the day to avoid clashing with my perfume, and the shea butter, sweet almond oil, lavender and geranium in the description had me ready to relegate it to the ‘night use only’ pile. It didn’t though, the reason why I’ll go into a bit later.

The opening of the tube is actually quite big, and the tube is sealed for hygienic purposes which is good. Texture-wise, it’s quite creamy and sinks quite readily into my skin without too much oiliness. As for the smell, it was pretty strong to begin with, but has rather dissipated a bit after opening the tube. The smell of the cream itself also doesn’t linger very long, which is why I can use it during the day as opposed to only at night.

So, did I have ‘pretty paws’ after using this? Ermm…yes...and no. While this cream sank in like a dream and nicely moisturised my ‘paws’, the effects didn’t last too long either. I found I had to reapply throughout the day compared to say, my Crabtree & Evelyn Gardeners Hand Remedy, where one application can last me most of the day. As this was a gift, I’m not too bothered about the lasting power, but personally I’d prefer to buy a tube of my Gardeners even if it costs RM80+ per 100ml for the results.

Bloom Butterfingers Shea Butter Hand Cream retails at approximately AUD$16 for a 75ml tube. There is also a 250ml pump bottle version that surprisingly retails at just AUD$15.28 on the website.

Rating: 3 / 5
Value: $

Labels: ,

Thursday, 23 September 2010

L’Oreal Paris Total Repair 5 Shampoo + Conditioner = *flick flick*…

About a month or so back, I decided to hand the scissors over to my hairdresser to crop my hair – and she ended up chopping off about 5-6 inches, which is quite a lot! It was also about the time that I was sent some L’Oreal Paris Total Repair 5 products to try, my hair was feeling rather rough due to the lack of TLC plus my existing shampoo had just run out, so I figured it would be a good time to switch haircare (especially since Paris gave me a good laugh on Twitter calling it the ‘Aishwarya Rai’ shampoo!)

The L’Oreal Paris Total Repair 5 range replenishes and restores fullness to weak, limp, lifeless hair. Repairing Shampoo – Especially for damaged, devitalized hair. Repairs the hair without weighing it down. Repairing Cream Conditioner – Completes the shampooing process by adding body to each hair shaft and untangling the hair. Products are enriched with Pro-Keratin and Ceramide, strengthening hair to better resist daily wear and tear.

The Verdict:
I’ve started with the shampoo and conditioner first, since those are the two I’ve been using regularly. I’ve never really been one to go for creamy shampoos, since I have this thought about it leaving residue in my hair, but I’ll make an exception for the Total Repair 5 shampoo. Both the shampoo and conditioner are creamy as you can tell from the picture above, although the shampoo resembles more of a very thick liquid. When I tipped my hand upside down, the conditioner would not budge – which to me is a good thing since I like my conditioners to feel like they’re working, y’know?

The smell of the shampoo is lovely, it actually smells...shiny, if you know what I mean (reminiscent of Pantene's 'Smell the Shine' campaign I guess). The results were nothing to sneeze at though - from the first use I was a happy camper…my hair felt soft and shiny, and very manageable. I thought I was having a particularly good hair day, but as the weeks went on I feel like I’ve been having a series of good hair days. :)

Something quirky though, I found that I use surprisingly little shampoo and conditioner when using this range. Normally, I squeeze out a fair bit of shampoo and conditioner in order to wash my hair, but the amount has dropped drastically after using this range. If you’re thinking it’s because I’d cut my hair, I did take that into consideration (I was using about 3 pumps of shampoo even with my shorter hair compared to about a 20-50sen coin size with the Total Repair 5 shampoo).

I actually liked this combo enough to haul all the way to Hanoi and back, which I normally never do with my haircare – I usually only decant my shampoo and use whatever conditioner samples I have lying around.

The shampoo and conditioner combo lasted me a good 6 weeks before running out, and that’s pretty good considering it was the smaller 180ml size bottles. My only gripe was that my conditioner ran out a bit faster than my shampoo, but that’s nothing new for me.

Would I buy this? Yes, and I just did in fact – they were having promotions on this at Guardian and Watsons, and I ended up picking up the 375ml bottle of shampoo for about RM20 at Guardian, and the 375ml conditioner at Watsons for about RM21 (I didn’t pick them up at the same place becaue Guardian didn’t have the conditioner, and the shampoo at Watsons was more expensive!). FYI, Watsons is also having a promo on the smaller bottles which are now below RM10 per bottle – good time to pick one up if you want to try it out. :)

The entire L’Oreal Paris Total Repair 5 range consists of shampoo, cream conditioner, mask and night essence – I’ve just gotten my hands on a couple of samples of the mask, and I’ve got a bottle of the night essence to try now, so let’s see how those go. For now though, it’s back to my hair flicking…*flick flick flick*

The L’Oreal Paris Total Repair 5 range is currently widely available at personal care stores. Retail prices are as follows:
Repairing Shampoo – 180ml (RM11.90), 375ml (RM22.90)
Repairing Cream Conditioner – 180ml (RM12.90), 375ml (RM24.90)
Deep Repairing Mask – 200ml (RM27.90)
Repairing Night Essence – 150ml (RM36.90)

Rating: 5 / 5
Value: $$$

Labels: , ,

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Clinique Limited Edition Lash Power Mascara…

We’ve all heard of Clinique’s Lash Power mascara, but last month Clinique released a new limited edition of the mascara in Brightening Blue/ Black. How is this different from the original? Well, read on to find out…

Clinique Limited Edition Lash Power Mascara makes eyes appear brighter with this soft blue/ black shade that creates the necessary contrast against the whites of the eyes to create a vibrant look. Tested for 24-hour wear, Lash Power Mascara will stay in place all day without smudging or flaking. Thermal activated, removable with warm water.

The Verdict:
I’ll say, I had my reservations when I first opened up the tube – the shade may have said Brightening Blue/Black, but the colour of the wand was closer to that of indigo! Then again, I’d never been one to shy away from coloured mascara before (I think the weirdest colour I’d ever tried was electric blue, and that was pretty odd!), so I decided to try it – on a working day no less.

As it turns out, I needn’t have worried. The bright colour of the mascara blended in quite well with my lashes so you see only a hint of blue, and the end result is pretty good by my reckoning for my pathetically sparse Asian lashes. In terms of holding a curl though, I had to curl my lashes before AND after applying the mascara to get it to hold, so this might not be one you want to reach for if you’re in a hurry.

On the whole, I actually kind of like this – it adds a little ‘something something’ to my lashes, and layers on pretty decently with minimal clumping. Then again, I now go by a new tip I learned from Paris and Kahani – if the mascara’s too wet, let it dry out a little and try again. It’s worked wonders for some of my other mascaras that I thought wouldn’t work on me…so far, so good. If you’re looking for that little boost, this might just do the trick. :)

Clinique Limited Edition Lash Power Mascara in Brightening Blue/ Black is available for a limited time and retails at RM75 at all Clinique counters nationwide.

Rating: 4 / 5
Value: $$

** By the way, as you all know September is going by fast, and October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The Estee Lauder Group (and yes, Clinique falls under this group) will be organising a pink charity evening with Frances Yip on the 29th of October at the KL Convention Centre. I’m not sure if any of you remember who she is but I’m sure some of your relatives might. For those interested, details are in the poster below. Have fun!

Labels: , ,

Monday, 20 September 2010

Indulgence – Marc Jacobs Daisy Solid Perfume Necklace…

It’s been a hectic few weeks, which can be seen in the sore lack of posts – I was sent to Hanoi on work for a few days, and ended up flying on Singapore Airlines (that experience, I’ll save to share another time) but being a three and a half hour flight, I had the chance to browse through the in-flight shopping catalogue and decided to splurge on something for myself…

Pretty, no? I’d had my eye on this for the longest time since it first came out, but it was just freakishly expensive and came as a ‘Purchase with Purchase’ which I didn’t want at all. The fragrance itself was quite pleasant and rather whimsical, but I wasn’t particularly inclined towards it for the long term.

To be honest, it was the whole design of the necklace that suckered me in…a charm dangling from a black chord has that whole ‘dominatrix yet sweet’ feel about it…*wink*

The charm/ pendant twists away to reveal a tiny 0.02oz of solid perfume, which is just nice for touch-ups on the go, plus the black cord is adjustable so it can double up as a choker, necklace or even belt accent in a pinch! :D

At SGD$60 this wasn’t too bad, considering it’s now pretty difficult to find – the last time I hunted for it in Malaysia, it was going at nearly RM200 so I’m quite happy with my find…plus it made my Hanoi trip just that little bit more fun.

What was your most recent indulgence? Come on, share the guilt a little! :)

Marc Jacobs Daisy Solid Perfume Necklace is retailing on Sephora for USD$35, or can be purchased on Singapore Airlines In-Flight Duty Free at SGD$60.

Labels: , , ,

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

It's time to share...favourite beauty reads for August! :D

Missed me? To all Malaysians, hope you enjoyed the two public holidays almost back to back, and yay on celebrating our 53rd year of independence. :)

But before I go into what I’ve been up to the past week, let me share my favourites from my beauty blogging pals in the past month…

I want a slice of paradise at Pangkor Laut Resort’s Spa Village too!My Women Stuff

On the lookout for a cheap and good nail polish remover? Etude House is the answerPrettybeautiful

Revlon Red Hot Tamale Nail Enamel is flaming on her!Lipglosseater

I liked this so much, I went to get my own Daiso Italy Towel Scrubby! Soloverly

Badger Balm…don’t knock it till you’ve tried it, they’re great!Skindeco

I should try her beach inspired nails to prolong thoughts of my holidayAskmewhats

If you want something really unique, how about a lip balm in a real seashell?RedLusciousLips

For those that didn’t know, I was back in Malaysia for the past 11 days and hopped over to Sandakan for a short break. Okay, maybe ‘break’ isn’t the right word for it because I barely got any sleep thanks to early morning starts at 4.30am (FYI, the sun rises unbelievably early there, and sets about 5pm!) Then again, waking up at 4.30am to sit in a dinky lil boat is worth it to see this sight…

The scenery is unbelievably beautiful in Sandakan, even more so given its remote location. The greenery around is postcard standard, and the air was as fresh as it could possibly be (other than the occasional passing smell of petrol from other boats, and ermm…leavings from animals!)

Another first for me in Sandakan would have been seeing this scary-looking variety of durian – known as “Durian Hutan” (translated as Jungle Durian), they actually split at the seams when ripe and need to be held together with string!

And before you ask, YES, the flesh is that hot pink – looks like some radioactive durian eh? I must say though, I was rather disappointed by the taste…instead of the usual pungent durian texture I’m used to, it tasted rather like…flat avocado.

Sandakan is well-known for its fresh seafood, so during our last night there we totally gorged ourselves on various aquatic delicacies – the main highlight was this poor lobster which got turned into sashimi…it was a 1.7kg whopper! And another thing I love about Sandakan is the prices – we had a 10-course dinner for 11 people which included lobster, mud crabs, tiger grouper and escargot…and the bill was just RM600. It would have cost double or more in KL! *burp*

This is definitely going on my list of places to revisit sometime soon… :) Hope y’all are having a great week so far!

Labels: , ,