Here’s an interesting question I get sometimes, about when or whether to use cleansing oil or cleansing balm. I should say that I’m a proponent of using both, because I’m a proponent of double cleansing. It’s the one facet of the Japanese skincare routine I started with, that I maintain and it seems to be a pretty popular practice or notion these days as well, to ensure your skin is properly clean.

cleansing oil cleansing balm

However, what would you use as your first step of the double cleansing routine? Years ago, I’d have unhesitatingly said “Cleansing oil as a one step process to remove makeup and dirt from skin”. But in the past 2 years, my answer would be “Cleansing balms because they feel more gentle on skin”

So naturally, I get people asking me which I prefer and why did I stop using cleansing oils when they’re so much more convenient. I hope to explain myself here :)

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If you know anything about me by now, it’s that I love using oils; be they for the face or for the body. They help my dry skin stay more supple and moist, and for my body, absorb better without ever feeling sticky or greasy, unlike lotions (I don’t use body lotions in general) I know, that’s not something we expect to hear about applying oil to the skin, but you’d be surprised, it works!

But if there’s something to note about using oils is that good quality oils can be pricey. Two of my favourite body oils – REN and Antipodes - fall into this pricey category (but they’re so lovely and decadent on skin!) but I always like finding options. So I was very happy to stumble on one while shopping on iHerb one day :D

EO Products French Lavender body oil

I was looking for lavender essential oil when I came across the EO Products French Lavender Body Oil. I love the scent of lavender as well, so I took a chance on this body oil. I was going through my insomnia phase and wanted something to relax me as well. This seemed to fit the bill, based on the description.

I have to say however, that this EO French Lavender Body Oil has fast become a bedtime favourite, and one I am already planning to replenish! Oh and it costs under RM40 (US$10.06) so really, what’s there not to love about it?! :D

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You know, brands have a tendency these days to release little capsule collections alongside their primary seasonal collections, and these days, it’s getting nigh impossible to keep up. So, I did the next best thing. I closed my eyes to all collections LOL! :D

However, my attempt to avoid them was a little thwarted after I was sent a couple of items from the NARS Eyes Opening Act collection. You will already have seen it in their stores, I’m sure. The one item that intrigued me the most from the range was the Velvet Shadow Sticks. I love using cream eyeshadow sticks, and I just had to know how these ones from NARS fared.

nars velvet shadow stick glenan nunavut

Incidentally, the NARS Eye Opening Act collection is already available in our local NARS stores, but from what I see, in the USA it’s exclusive to Nordstrom for now and will be available at the NARS stores and online in March 2015. So if you miss it the first time around, fret not!

There are 5 shades of this limited edition product, which is essentially, a cream eyeshadow in a twist-up stick format. Not unlike that popularised by Laura Mercier and Bobbi Brown, with one notable difference – the NARS Velvet Shadow Sticks are matte. The name is a bit of a give away isn’t it? Velvet.

The other difference is that all 5 shades are very dark. There is Dark Angel (a dark brown), Flibuste (black), Glenan (dark navy blue), Nunavut (dark purple) and Reykjavik (dark grey). I have here Glenan and Nunavut and incidentally, you can view the other 3 shades at The Beauty Lookbook.

But I know what you’re thinking (cos I’m a mindreader, wouldn’t you know?) Do these Velvet Shadow Sticks measure up to my raves for the similar items from Laura Mercier and Bobbi Brown?

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Towards the end of every year, just as everyone is feeling a bit tired of the glitz and glitter surrounding the Christmas season, and feeling just that little bit more stuffed from feasting, a ripple goes through the beauty industry when the Pantone Colour of the Year is announced. I only mention the beauty industry, because that’s where my finger on the pulse is, as it were.

Suddenly, with this announcement of what the “Colour of the Year” is, we see brands, magazines, blogs et. al. explode with suggestions on how we can wear this colour and more importantly, where we can buy this colour so we are “with it”. For 2015, the Colour of the Year is Marsala, a rather vague browned red shade; and as I’ve noticed in the past few years, Sephora is right there with a host of new makeup representing this colour.

pantone marsala 2015

Honestly though, do you care?

Do you care what the colour of the year is, or where you can buy something in that shade so you feature the colour on you at some point? Does it matter to you what some high flying executives in a printing company decide should be the sell out colour in a specific year? Do you take an interest?

I think you have an idea of how I feel about this LOL ;)

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