Monday, 30 January 2012

Happy Chinese New Year!! :D

It’s the 8th day of the Lunar New Year, and I’ve just only gotten back to work today. I’ve been on leave for almost two weeks and back in Malaysia, hence the lack of updates. This is going to be a rather picture-heavy post, so do bear with me yeah? :)

First off, since we’re still within the 15 days of Chinese New Year, Gong Xi Fa Cai & Xin Nian Kuai Le to all those celebrating! There was a whole barrage of fireworks set off by the temple behind my aunt’s place in Seremban, and this was one of my favourite shots.

On the whole, it was a fantastic time back spent with family and friends, and I definitely *gulp* overindulged quite a bit. As of today, it’s back on a diet…*sigh*

The first few days pre-CNY were spent in Genting with my dad’s side of the family, and the star of the trip was definitely my cousin’s new kid Owen – such a cutie at just 6.5 months, and super smiley. All together now, awwwwww… :D

CNY eve and the first day of CNY was spent in Seremban with dad’s relatives, resulting in very little sleep (but so what else is new?) Last minute me of course, left my CNY manicure to the last minute, which had me and my cousin painting our nails at 3am on the day itself! Seche Vite was such a lifesaver, seriously.

And here’s my simple CNY manicure – I used the Shu Uemura Wong Kar Wai red and gold glitter set. The colours in this set are gorgeous and applies like a dream! *love*

My favourite part of CNY would be seeing my granny again – am super glad she was able to join us for CNY celebrations despite having to use a walker because of her recent hip surgery. Nevertheless, she’s still looking good for someone in her nineties! :D

With my cousin Kim and my feisty paternal granny. It’s not quite apparent in this pic, but I also broke in my Benefit Hervana blush for CNY and am quite liking it. (will do a full review on this later).

Like my angpow pouch? It’s made out of silk with hand embroidery, and my angpows fit oh-so-nicely inside – one of my best and most-loved purchases from Hanoi. I’d like to think keeping my money in this pouch has brought me luck this CNY as well, since I’ve actually won quite a fair bit at Blackjack – enough to fund a fair portion of my new iPhone 4s purchase! *wink*

No CNY would be complete without yee sang right? Tossing the mixture high into the air while making wishes for prosperity, long life and success is a lot of fun (as long as it’s not in your house where you have to clean up the aftermath), and am quite happy that I’ve already had four rounds of this, with at least another two to go before the week is out!

Another CNY highlight would have been meeting up with Kahani, who was back in KL for CNY from her posting in Hong Kong. The day we met up just happened to be Rinnah’s birthday as well, so we decided to celebrate her birthday as well as make it an early celebration for Kahani’s birthday in Feb since she wouldn’t have been around then.

How do you like them cute Twitter bird-looking cupcakes? :P

One for the album: Dom, Rinnah, Lisyen, Kahani, Connie and yours truly…

I think that’s about it for now – am positively suffering the first day back at work trying to get back into the working groove after almost two weeks off, but I’ll admit these waiting for me made it a lot easier!

My packages arrived!! My A-England nail polishes arrived as well as some items my friends ordered, and my iPhone 4s arrived in KL today too! #awesomesauce

That’s the last couple of weeks in a nutshell…but enough about me, how were your plans? Come and share, I’d love to know how you spent your CNY! :D

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Monday, 16 January 2012

Getting Maudrey nails with help from China Glaze and OPI…

Of late, thanks to the group of lovely (and completely bonkers) ladies I hang out with, I’ve been painting my nails more often…and accumulating a rather modest collection of nail polishes along the way.

I reckon my parents would protest that collecting 30 polishes in 2.5 months is bordering on madness, but you ladies understand me right? Right?? :P

The two that have my manicure covered this week are China Glaze for Audrey and OPI I Juggle Men. I had originally meant to just pick up the China Glaze for Audrey for a friend, but after seeing the shade in person, I ended up getting one too. As for the OPI, well, let’s just say having a whole counter of OPI testers to play with is just as dangerous. LOL!

This is two coats of China Glaze for Audrey – it was during application of this that I realised I won’t be buying many China Glaze polishes, because I detest using the brush. It’s skinny, difficult to control and goes all over the place!

It’s unfortunate, because I’m in love with the Tiffany blue-esque hue of this polish. The creamy finish and quick drying time of the polish isn’t anything to sneeze at either.

I could have left it at that, but on a whim decided to layer OPI I Juggle Men over it, which is an iridescent shimmer. The effect turned out to be very subtle, but pretty nonetheless.

It was a b*tch trying to get the shimmer to show up in photos, and this was probably the best attempt – the two nails on the left are two coats of China Glaze only, while the two on the right are two coats of China Glaze with THREE layers of OPI I Juggle Men on top. (Note: I enlisted the help of the bf to help take these shots, hence the difference in the pictures!)

You can see that OPI I Juggle Men is really very sheer and only works best layered on top of another shade. I’ve tried it with a few colours, and it seems to work well with strong red, blue and green hues (the purple didn’t look too different, but maybe I just have to try a different shade).

But there you have it – the shimmer is very subtle, but pops in real life under sunlight. And while writing this, I just realised I have SEVEN coats of polish on my nails…base coat + 2 coats of China Glaze + 3 coats of OPI + Seche Vite!

The amazing part? I finished all seven coats in less than an hour (including drying time!), and haven’t gotten any chips or smudges on them yet after 3 days. YAY!!

By the way, if you’re still wondering what Maudrey means, it’s Modern Audrey (Hepburn). *winks*

So, what do you all think? Can I carry off the colour, and is it a colour you’d pick for yourself? :)

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Friday, 13 January 2012

Not quite sugar and spice, but everything nice with Lancôme Trésor Midnight Rose (plus sampling)…

Lancôme, Lancôme. It’s a brand I’ve known since my childhood days since mum has been loyal user for as long as I can remember. I couldn’t remember much about their skincare apart from Blanc Expert and Primordiale since those were the words I always heard when accompanying her. Now it’s a different story of course, but I digress…

Lancôme fragrances – now that, I remember. My first encounter with the original Lancôme Trésor was some years ago when I was just hitting my teens – mum never wore perfume back then, and used to give me the miniatures that came with her purchases. The Lancôme Trésor miniature I ended up with looked exactly like the full sized one above, and I remember it being one of the first fragrances I came across. Mature scent or not, I still loved it to bits.

Fast forward almost 20 years later, I’m trying out Lancôme’s fragrances once again with Trésor Midnight Rose. There’s also some info at the end on how you can score a sample of the fragrance as well.

Yes, it’s purple, and I shall try to refrain from becoming a giddy schoolgirl over my favourite colour. :D

For those who are familiar with fragrance notes, Trésor Midnight Rose has top notes of raspberry and blackcurrant; heart notes of jasmine, peony, blackcurrant bud absolute and intense pink pepper; and base notes of Virginia cedar essence, vanilla and musk.

Personally, I can’t make head or tail of notes, and can only identify a few of them but I’ll try my best!

When first spritzed on, the fragrance has an unmistakable fruity freshness to it and I can just make out the berries. On me however, the berry and rose notes in Midnight Rose give way almost immediately to the cedar and vanilla notes, leaving a faint but lingering fruity and vanilla scent that makes me crave ice cream (which I’ve since given in to twice!)

Think berries with vanilla cream, you’ll get the idea. *wink*

The bottle itself is lovely – Trésor Midnight Rose comes in a pink-to-purple gradiated bottle with a purple satin rose on the neck, similar to the black one seen on Trésor In Love.

For the Trésor Midnight Rose campaign, Lancôme picked Emma Watson as their frontline, and it’s easy to see why – the fragrance is young, flirty and yet elegant all at the same time…much like Emma post-Harry Potter. She looks amazing in the fragrance ad below – okay, so I may be just a little more swayed considering the whole clip has shades of purple running through it, but the backdrop for the movie is gorgeous (especially the shots in the bookshop *love*)

Despite my natural gravitation towards bight, citrusy scents, Trésor Midnight Rose has grown on me, although I would opt to wear it in the evenings rather than during the day. Now if I could only get a chance to wear it in Paris... :P

Lancôme Trésor Midnight Rose Sampling:
From now until 31 January 2012, readers in Malaysia can redeem a free sample of Lancôme Trésor Midnight Rose by registering on the Lancôme Facebook page. A SMS will be sent to you after registering, which can then be flashed at Lancome counter nationwide to redeem your sample.

Alternatively, you can drop by the Lancôme Trésor Midnight Rose roadshow at Midvalley Megamall (Lower Ground Centre Court) from 9-15 January to try the fragrance for yourself.

Lancôme Trésor Midnight Rose is now available at RM205 for a 50ml bottle and RM265 for the 75ml bottle.

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Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Get a Whiff of Something Fresh with Garnier Aqua Defense Bright 2-in-1 Hydrating Bright Essence…

Well, Garnier has introduced the next product in its Aqua Defense range – *deep breath* the Aqua Defense Bright 2-in-1 Hydrating Bright Essence *whew* As usual, it’s a super long name so I’ll shorten it to Aqua Defence Bright Essence for the rest of this post.

Garnier has invented its first 2-in-1 Hydrating Bright Essence with one million water molecules. With a fresh, fruity fragrance, the ultra-lightweight texture instantly penetrates and fills skin with intensive hydration. With the power of natural ingredients, Pure Lemon Essence, Vitamin CG and Scutellaria extract, Aqua Defense Bright Essence gives you crystal clear skin that illuminates from within. Dermatologically tested.

The Verdict:
When I first saw this out in Singapore some months back, I had a whiff of the half-full tester – and immediately gagged. It smelt terrible! It wasn’t until I came across it again while wandering in a newly-opened Watsons store that I saw the brand new tester and decided to give it another try.

To my surprise, it actually smelt pretty nice and reminded me of tangy apples, which led me to the conclusion that the previous one had been dipped into by one too many people with not-too-clean hands…*ugh* I had just finished my umpteenth tub of Clinique Moisture Surge and was game to try something new, so a bottle of this followed me back home.

One thing to note about the Aqua Defense Bright Essence is that it is iridescent – which you can see if you look closely at the picture above. Don’t worry though, you won’t end up looking like Edward from Twilight. :D The Aqua Defense Bright Essence is akin to a gel, similar to that of the Moisturising Essence, and melts into skin on contact.

Despite its claim of deep hydration, I found that I prefer using it only during the day as my makeup goes on smoothly afterwards. Unfortunately, despite turning on the aircond for just a couple of hours at night and using the fan afterwards, using just the Aqua Defense Bright Essence somehow isn’t quite enough. It could be the lemon in the formulation, I’m not sure.

Personally, as a daytime moisturiser I do like the Aqua Defense Bright Essence. I wouldn’t expect it to perform miracles in the area of hydration, but it absorbs quickly, doesn’t feel sticky and gives my skin just that little added boost.

Here’s the ingredient list for those who are interested:
Alas, those who are allergic to dimethicone (sorry Kahani!), this product is probably a no-go.

Garnier Aqua Defense Bright 2-in-1 Hydrating Bright Essence retails at SG$17.90 for a 50ml bottle and is available at all major pharmacies and personal care stores in Singapore. Not available in Malaysia at the present time.

Rating: 3.5 / 5
Value: $$

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Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Happy New Year, and I’m back! :D

How was everyone’s Christmas and New Year celebrations? My time back in Malaysia over the past week has been nothing short of E.P.I.C. – plenty to see, plenty to do and plenty to eat!

There are still close to a thousand photos to sort through and edit over the 10 days I was back in Malaysia but 2012 definitely got off to a great start, especially with a get together with the usual culprits on New Year’s Day.

It’s the second time we’ve met up on New Year’s Day, but this time with a little more pampering on the menu by popping over to Khareyana Spa for massages! :D (by the way, the foot scrub massage I had was SO good, I fell asleep!)

L-R: Paris, Xin, Juan, Yani, Syen, Dom, Lyn, Plue, Connie, Rinnah…and yours truly, who was behind the camera. Doesn’t everyone look blissed out? *grins*

In previous years, some of us used to exchange Christmas presents whenever we had the chance to meet up, but now that we could do it all together as a group the pile has gotten pretty shocking. Eleven mad beauty bloggers multiplied by individual presents from each individual end up creating…well, see for yourself:

For some reason, the wrapping (or lack of, although I really couldn't tell whose was 'badly wrapped' to begin with since they all looked great) was the hilarious discussion point for this session since we all had our own ways of presenting our gifts but heck, when it comes down to it we don’t really mind right? :D Will be interesting to see what happens next year...*hmmm*

Thanks for a lovely 2011 evurl ladies, and here’s to a fantabulous 2012 ahead!! *hugz*

PS: I’ll be doing a more reflective post on 2011 and my resolutions once I’ve gotten myself back to the swing of things…and *ugh* work (what’s that?). Stay tuned!

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