I am going to be trite and say this “I cannot believe that we are halfway through February 2018!” Is it me, or is 2018 flying by a little too quickly for comfort? Slow down! I want to cry. And I guess I will have some time to slow down soon, with the Lunar New Year festivities upon us.
This year, the barking Dog chases the Rooster out of our home, and I will be taking a few days off, as I do at this time of year, to celebrate the festivities and spend time at home with the family. Incidentally, if you want to stay in touch with blog posts, you can sign up here for a weekly email that goes out with a compilation of that week’s blog posts, so you don’t have to miss out on any future posts!
But before I leave you for the festivities, I wanted to quickly share some things I’ve been loving, that I think you might love too! Or at least, some things you can save your ang pow money for 😀 I’ve made sure that they’re (mostly) permanent products because I despise the limited edition push to buy NOW, as much as anyone else.
There are a couple of items that I may elaborate on in future review (holler, if there is one you want to see in greater depth!) but I wanted to make sure I told you about these things, some of which I’ve been using for months now, and thoroughly loving to bits! 😀
Bobbi Brown Extra Illuminating Moisture Balm – Pink Glow – RM275 | US$68
I was a fan of the original Bobbi Brown Extra Illuminating Moisture Balm formula, so when I read about the introduction of 3 new shades to the formula – Pink Glow (pink), Bare Glow (pearly), Golden Glow (bronze) – I was intrigued. When I popped by the store, I opted for Pink Glow, which as the name implies, has a pink tint.
You can use this like a primer, going on skin first, then applying a base over, or if you feel happy enough, just some powder to set it. What I like to do, is to add just a tiny pump of the Pink Glow INTO my liquid foundation. It adds a lovely glow to heavier or more matte textured foundation, and it seems to help my base stay on better too. I also add it to BB cream, and I love just how beautifully natural the glow is, without making you look greasy or sweaty. One of my favourite combinations is combining this Bobbi Brown Extra Illuminating Moisture Balm in Pink Glow with the Nars Velvet Matte Skin Tint. While it sounds counter-productive to add a shine to a matte textured base, the combination lifts my skin, helping it look less tired, while retaining the satin texture. I’ve been using it very often, every time I do makeup, and it’s definitely going home with me!
Oskia Renaissance Mask – RM365 | £51 for 50ml
My Oskia Renaissanace Mask is a sample pot, but I am already plotting to purchase the full sized tub once I’m out. Naturally therefore, I have been a little more sparing in my use LOL! Sayang yo! 😛
To me, it feels like a thicker version of the Renaissance Cleansing Gel, with a similar rosy scent. Not unpleasant at all. I won’t go into specifics (I’ll leave it for a proper post to come) but what this mask does is to boost radiance and increase cell turnover, but most of all, it leaves your skin looking bright, and feeling smooth like a baby’s bottom! There is a recommended method for use to take note of.
Apply it to skin, then massage it gently until it turns white. Depending on how much product you use, it will look more or less noticeable. Then, leave it on. I leave it on for up to 30-40 minutes sometimes, before rinsing off. The result is like Angels dancing on your skin LOL 😀 Forget all that fancy glitter or unicorn masks. This one is the one you want (and the one I want in full size to come!) Into my travel pouch it goes!
Skin Dewi Raspberry Hydrating Cleansing Milk – SGD52.36 | US$39.68 | IDR480,000 for 200ml *
You might be wondering what brand this is. Skin Dewi is an Indonesian brand of organic products. The owner, Dewi Kauw, runs workshops in Jakarta on how to formulate organic skincare, and I would love to join this workshop some day. But she also makes some ready made products, which she sells online and ships worldwide.
Dewi sent a few products my way (which I will tell you about later) and one of them was this Skin Dewi Raspberry Hydrating Cleansing Milk. I am big on using cleansing milk, especially in the mornings, as I find them so gentle. I also generally find gels stripping for my drier skin, and this one has been lovely!
I like the slightly thicker lotion texture, and how it feels on my skin. But more importantly, it rinses off easily with water without leaving any residue, just lovely soft, hydrated skin. It doesn’t smell wonderful, but it isn’t unpleasant either. The packaging I’m told, will change to a green packaging soon, as mine was a working prototype packaging. If there is one thing I could change, it would be the packaging, to be honest.
I find the texture a little too runny, so when I open the flip top cover for the tube, the contents can run out, and I can end up with more product that I want. I don’t need to use very much, so I am careful to turn the tube over, and just gently squeeze out the amount I need. In this instance, I posit that a pump bottle might be a better packaging option for this product.
Dewi has told me that she is looking to try to sell her products here in Malaysia, so I’m hoping that will be available to us soon 🙂
WHERE TO BUY: Skin Dewi website
Bobbi Brown Luxe Lipstick – Guava – RM115 | US$37
I did think it might be overkill featuring 2 products from the same brand, but it just so happens I love them both! When I wandered into the store to buy the Pink Glow Illuminating Moisture Balm, I wandered over to check out my favourite range – Luxe Lipstick.
While I do find the gold packaging rather gaudy, the lipstick within is one of the best in quality I’ve used thus far. The lipstick is creamy, pigmented, opaque in one swipe, and very comfortable on lips. This is all very important to me! While I owned a few red shades, I wanted something a little more everyday. And we eventually settled on Guava.
Well, let me just say that I highly HIGHLY RECOMMEND that you check out Guava too! I was told by the SA that this is a newly released shade. It is a pink-toned coral, that is more pink. It isn’t too bright, but it is bright enough to brighten up your complexion very prettily. It makes a nice change from all the bright reds you are wont to see around this time, what with the Chinese New Year and Valentine’s Day period. I love this and it’s been my go-to colour for a while now, because it resides in my bag. Absolutely LOVE it!
Hourglass Ambient Powder Brush – RM182 | US$38 | £35
I’d seen this brush around, but wasn’t sure how to use it. But when I saw fellow blogger MakeupBlogette use it in doing her makeup, I was intrigued. So, one day I sprung for it. It was quite a splurge! (But always watch out for sales and voucher codes 😉 )
This is an interesting brush, as it has a short, wide handle, which allows you to hold it better and have more control. The bristles are long and flexible, but quite dense, like a kabuki brush. When it arrives, it looks quite flat and insipid. But once you wash it and start to use it, it fluffs up a lot more. The bristles are synthetic and incredibly soft!
It took me a little while to get the hang of it, but once I did, I fell in love. In fact, I use it almost daily! This is the brush that has made bronzing powders work for me! I usually tap the surface of the brush on the bronzing powder, then brush it along the sides of my face and cheeks. Do note that I do not go for a sculpted, contoured look, so what I aim for is a diffused bit of warmth.
I find that this brush, because it is so soft, diffuses powder very well. This might be why it was made for the Ambient Lighting Powder, but I don’t use it for that purpose (I find it applies face powder too heavily, ironically). For bronzing powders however, and sometimes, for blushes, it adds just that right bit of colour to the skin, so it looks natural. Because it is wide and narrow, it also allows you to apply bronzing powder along your jawline and cheebones. Again, do note that it will not give you a sculpted appearance (although you can pinch the bristles to allow it to) but for someone who prefers just that hint of shadow and warmth, like me, this is perfect. Honestly, this is the brush that is allowing my bronzing powder (or ‘healthy glow’ powders) to see the light of day, and I love the results! I’m actually planning to pick up a back-up. Rather, not a back up, but a spare so I can rotate them, and travel with it. So handy! So useful! Love it! 😀
L’Occitane Shea Fabulous Shower Oil – RM100 | US$25 for 200ml *
I love using shower oils and L’Occitane’s Almond Shower Oil had been a firm favourite over the years. Strangely enough, not many brands make shower oils, so I always went back to the Almond Shower Oil. Then this year, L’Occitane introduced the Shea Fabulous Shower Oil, which is a new shower oil using shea butter.
Do I like it? Of course I do! It’s why it’s being featured here! 😀
It has a thick texture of oil, yet like the Almond Shower Oil, emulsifies immediately on contact with water. I do find that this might suit those who have drier skin on your body better. It rinses off easily (don’t keep your bottle INSIDE your shower stall as water will destroy it) and I don’t need very much. I usually wet my body first, then pour some shower oil into my palm, emulsify, then apply to body as I will a shower gel. This is NOT like a cleansing oil that you use on dry skin.
The scent is rather strong and sweet but not unpleasant. While I would prefer a lighter scent, this is tolerable. Can I choose between the Almond or Shea shower oil? Please don’t make me 😛 But maybe I’ll pick the Shea Fabulous Shower Oil, as next to it, I find the Almond scent a bit strong (I’m not a fan of almond anything and tolerate it only because it is truly one of the best shower experiences you can have). A luxury shower treat? Yes it is. But when you’re feeling frazzled (and you will be during the festive season) escape to the shower for a few minutes, luxuriate with the Shea Fabulous Shower Oil and forget for a moment, the madness out there 😀
By Terry Eye Designer Palette Parti-Pris – RM239 | US$58 | £44
I’m going to be up front and tell you that not everyone will agree with my pick of the By Terry Eye Design Palette Party-Pris. Firstly, it’s expensive. Secondly, it’s quite small and doesn’t look very luxurious at all. I first received the Techno Aura palette during a press preview day, and wasn’t too impressed. It was primarily due to the shades in the palette, not the texture. However, I later found another shade online on sale, and picked it up for something like £20. Score!
I really enjoyed using it, so armed with a discount code, I picked up the Preciosity Parti-Pris palette, and that is my favourite. Granted, that particular one is also limited edition for Christmas, but if you head down to KEN’s Apothecary stores I know they’re doing some discounts on the gift sets, and this is still available there. I know because I was there and I saw them.
The reason I like these By Terry Parti-Pris palettes is because of the texture. The matte shades aren’t chalky, and if there is shimmer, it lends itself to a satin texture, not bling. While the texture can feel a tad powdery, I find that my brushes pick up colour with just the softest touch to the powder, so very little powder is kicked up for me. I also find that it blends very well, and I love how portable it is because it is such a slim little compact, with a large mirror.
For me the pigmentation is fine. I eventually was able to work with Techno Aura, where I discovered that the pale shades did work well together for a nude eye. Line with black liner, and it is your eyes, but better. If you go for bold, strong colours and like the punchy shades you get from MAC, Urban Decay or Too Faced and its ilk, then don’t bother with these because you will pour scorn on them. But if you want something a little more understated, easy to use and don’t need 20 colours in a palette to be happy, take a look at these palettes.
Bowerhaus Joy Luck Club collection
I often get queries about where my necklaces or pearls come from, and it’s usually from Bowerhaus. I’d shared last year about Bowerhaus too. I have been shopping there for my costume jewellery for a few years now, picking up little pieces now and then. I mostly go for their necklaces, as I have a penchant for pearls, and I like that they work with pearls and have simple, elegant designs.
Late last year, during the Shiseido Future Solution LX event, I had the opportunity to meet with the 2 ladies who own Bowerhaus, sisters Shentel and Elizabeth Lee, and it was a lovely experience meeting the women who design my favourite pieces. When I saw that for Chinese New Year this year, they had launched a collection with jade pieces, I loved it!
Jade is a stone that the Chinese consider lucky, yet it is a stone often associated with much older women. Most of us will remember our grandmothers with a green jade bangle on her arm, or simple jade earrings in her ears. For me therefore, jade was never something I’d consider wearing. But now, I feel like I’ve grown into that age group who can wear jade LOL Goodness, what does that say about me eh? 😛 Grandma PB 😛
Anyway, stories aside, Shentel and Elizabeth kindly gifted me with 2 pieces from their Joy Luck Club collection, the Diamonds and Malay Jade long chain necklace and the Gold Kirin with Freshwater Pearls bracelet. It wasn’t for a feature, but I loved them, and when I picked up the green jade stud earrings, I thought I’d feature them 🙂
The jade is “Malay Jade” which is in fact dyed quartzite. It’s not exactly jade. But if it was, it would be much much more expensive. I was happy with the jade-look of the pieces. It is still stone, and it isn’t plastic so there is still a nice weight to it.
The long necklace is my favourite. It is a thin chain, and quite long so you can wear it long, or loop it to form a double necklace. I love the versatility and the simplicity. The bracelet has a kirin (or qilin in Chinese) which is a mythical creature, and is a symbol of prosperity and serenity. They aren’t terribly pricey (although they do have pricier pieces) overall, so I don’t feel bad popping by their online store to browse every now and again 😉
WHERE TO BUY: Bowerhaus website (ships worldwide), The Playground Borneo at The Gardens and Publika
Are you eyeing anything from here? Or perhaps you have tried them too and have a view to share?
Do let me know if there’s an item you’d like a post with greater depth. For some, I will be delving deeper, but for others, I think an overview gives you a good enough idea of what to expect right? 😀 Do we share any faves? Have you got your eye on any of these? 😀
I’ll be away for about a week so to everyone celebrating, I wish you a happy, healthy and joyful Lunar New Year celebration! To everyone else, enjoy the long weekend! Stay safe on the roads and Gong Xi Fa Cai! 😀