Lush’s Cupcake Fresh Face mask: your acne saviour

This, I present you, is the Cupcake Fresh Face Mask by Lush.  And, for all you people out there who are suffering from acne and blemish troubles, this just might be your solution!

The mask itself contains ingredients such as cocoa powder,  rhassoul mud, vanilla, spearmint and peppermint oils, as well as cocoa butter.

The rhassoul mud helps to deep cleanse the skin, removing extra sebum and oil from your skin, vanilla calms redness, cocoa butter moisturizes the skin and all the minty things just help make the whole experience that much better.

How to use: Apply this mask after you’ve washed your face, leave on for 10 min. and remove using lukewarm water.

I use this mask whenever I get break outs and I find that it’s really useful, because on some days, it almost dries up my acne right after using it.  I would not, however, recommend it to those who have dry skin or to use this mask during the winter because it might dry out your skin.  If that is your concern, you could also apply it on affected areas, that way you won’t have to worry about drying out the other areas, this is especially effective for those with combination skin.  If you really need to use this mask during the winter, then put on a moisturizing paper mask as a second step after washing off the cupcake mask.  This would actually work even better because the cupcake mask helps you to clean everything out of your skin creating a fresh surface for the paper mask; enabling it to absorb the moisture better.

Price:  CDN$6.95 / 60 g , HKD$115/100 g

It’s definitely worth a try if you’ve been dealing with acne and blemishes, just remember to moisturize after using it!


Happy Cupcake-ing!

Fast and easy ways to save your skin during winter

I’m sure we’ve all been victims of dry skin at some point in our lives, especially now that winter has arrived.  So I’ve got a few tips and tricks that you could use in your daily beauty routine that could save your dry skin in minutes and inexpensively!
All you need are two things: baby oil and olive oil.

Baby Oil:
I figured this little trick back in the years when I used to live in Toronto where the winters were much harsher than the ones in Hong Kong.  All you have to do is add a few drops of baby oil into your body wash that you use to shower, mix it together and soak up a lather all over your body; rinse off.

 This is a great way to keep your body moisturized while cleaning, as a lot of body washes out there can easily dry up your skin, it’s also great on sensitive skin as baby oil itself is very gentle and is often odorless.  You’ll definitely notice your skin being softer and smoother post shower!

I was also told by my tattoo artist that baby oil is the best type of oil to apply onto your tattoo during the healing process as it prevents the wound from being irritated because it relieves the itchiness and dryness that results from the healing of the tattoo.


Olive Oil:

You’d be surprised as to how versatile this natural oil actually can be.  Not only can it be used for cooking, but it’s also great as a natural skin moisturizer, an eye make up remover, hair conditioner..and the list goes on.

Using Extra virgin oil would be the best as it’s oil that results from the first pressing, meaning it is less processed and therefore retains the most nutrients from its original fruit.

To heal dry skin, apply a few drops of olive oil all over your body post shower, paying attention to areas that are extra dry.   It is best to do it while the skin is still damp as the moisture on your skin helps absorb the oil better.

This oil also doubles up as a make up remover, and hair treatment.
To use as an eye make up remover, just simply add a few drops of it onto a cotton pad, and wipe off.  Olive oil is gentle, and therefore suitable for the delicate skin around your eyes.  If you’re worried that it might be too oily for your eyes, just simply wipe it off with luke warm water to get rid of the excess oil left on your skin.
Olive oil is also great for dry and flaky hair scalp, just simply massage the olive oil into irritated areas to relieve itchiness.

There you have it, a few easy and inexpensive ways to keep your skin moisturized  and happy throughout the winter!

my top 5 beauty picks atm

So Christmas is rolling around the corner, and if you’re still thinking about gifts for your girlfriend, or best friend, I’ve got some ideas for you!  Being the product person I am, I’ve actually tried a lot of different skin care products, hair care products, make up ..and the list goes on and on.  So I figured it would be nice to share with you all my favourites out of the bunch.

1. Lush’s Big Shampoo

Intended for: people with limp and greasy hair
Price: $24.95 CDN/$189.00 HK for a pot (usually lasts for about two months when I use it everyday, you only need a dime size)

I felt like I found gold when I used this shampoo because I have VERY limp hair and volume is basically non existent. At about two years ago I gave this shampoo a try and it has been one of the best hair products I’ve used so far.  Its main ingredients are sea salt and lime juice, so the texture of this shampoo is actually really grainy.  The sea salt helps keep your hair soft, while the lime juices cleanses your hair, removing build up and gives your hair a great shine.  You’ll definitely feel the difference with this shampoo after you rinse off, because it actually leaves your hair feeling squeaky clean and I loooveee the smell of this shampoo, it’s quite citrus-y, and you’ll notice it throughout the day.  I’ve also noticed that my hair was less oily, and felt a lot more weightless.   I would, however, not recommend this product if you have really dry hair as it could make dry it out even more.

2. Clinique’s Clarifying Lotion 2 (Toner)


Intended for: people with combination-oily skin
Price: $ 21.oo US (400 ml)/$270 HKD (400 ml) (lasts for a really long time, I’m still working on it..)

This is part of Clinique’s 3 step skin care program.  The toner itself is great for those with combination-oily skin.  It contains a little bit of alcohol, but it is gentle enough to be used on the face.  I was surprised when I used it the first time because even after I had cleaned my face with a cleanser, I was still able to wipe off brown residue on my cotton pad soaked with this toner.  It’s definitely a great buy as it really picks up on the dirt and left over residue on your face.  It’s also fragrance free, perfect for those with sensitive skin.  However, if you have really dry skin, then you might opt for the # 1 (these toners range from 1-4, with 1 being the most mild; suitable for dry and sensitive skin, while number 4 is suited for those with very oily skin types).  It’s definitely a great buy and economical.

#3  MAC’S Fortified Skin Enhancer


Intended for: those with dull skin and needs a boost in radiance
Price: $30.00 US/$290 HKD

If you love glowing skin, then you gotta love this primer.  It’s basically one of those primers where you could either use alone, or under a foundation.  What I love about it, is that it’s got sunscreen, and you can really see your skin radiating after you apply it.  It’s a little bit tinted, but it definitely won’t leave your skin feeling too pale.  After using it, it keeps my make up together throughout the day, and most importantly keeps my skin glowing.  It’s a bit pricey, but you only need a wee bit of it every time, therefore, a tube like that could last you for a good 2 and half months or so.  It also comes in 4 different shades depending on what your skin tone is.

#4 Clinique’s All About Eyes


Intended for: those with dark circles, puffy eyes and dry skin
Price: $29.00 USD / $ 260 HKD

Although I haven’t seen much of a difference in my puffiness, I did notice that it has really hydrated my skin around the eye area.  I have relatively dry skin under the eyes, and because of that, wrinkles have started to develop.  However it has been better after using this product, as it really hydrates the skin around it.   I would especially recommend this eye cream for those who need a light but moisturizing eye cream.  The texture of this cream isn’t too heavy and perfect for those who are prone to developing white heads around the eye area, ie myself.  It’s also very soothing, so when you use it in the morning, it sorta wakes you up from your sleepiness!

#5 Laneige’s Water Bank Essence


Intended for: all skin types, esp those who need a boost in hydration
Price: $310 HKD for 60 ml (I’ve been using it for a month, and I still have 3/4 of it left)

This product worked really well for me as I felt that the moisture and hydration it gave me, lasted throughout the night, (when I applied it before sleeping) and through the day, (when I applied it in the morning).  It has a watery texture and when you apply it, it’s really soothing.  For those who have dry skin, you can use this essence first and then apply your moisturizer on top for a better effect.  It definitely wasn’t sticky or oily, it just made my skin feel like it was surged with water and gave my skin more elasticity.  It’s also a great product to bring with you on the plane as it hydrates your skin through long hours.  I would however warn those with sensitive skin about this product, as it contains a strong fragrance.

Hope this will benefit you all in choosing your Christmas gifts this year.
Happy Christmas shopping everyone :)

The holidays

Hey guys, so I decided to create a holiday look with some warm tones of peach, brown, and auburn/burgundy’s.
This is my first attempt at this look, i’m still not sure whether to stick with red or nude lips.
What do you guys think?


Gonna revise this look throughout the week, and hopefully it’ll be up on the blog by next weekend, stay tuned!

Time to shed my make up…!


Tip #1: Remember to hold the cotton pad with eye make up remover against your eyes for a few seconds before  gently wiping it off.  To remove mascara, use a q tip, it’s much easier that way.


Squeaky clean :)
Tip #2: After removing all make up, make sure you soak a cotton pad with toner and wipe your face clean.  A toner helps remove any leftover residue that the cleanser didn’t manage to clean.
Tip#3: Remember to apply moisturizer after you’ve cleaned your face.  The number one reason why people have oily faces is because they don’t moisturize their faces enough, therefore causing the skin to produce more sebum to naturally “moisturize” your face.
If you have a combination-oily face, try choosing water based moisturizers instead of oil based, as those could leave you breaking out.


And my favourite part of the skin care regime – paper masks :)
They’re so hydrating and great for the winter!

Tip #4: Before putting on the paper mask, exfoliate your face with a peeling gel (I’ve used the Yoghurt Peeling Gel by Laneige).  They act as a dust sweeper that gets rid of all your dead skin cells that have built up over time, that way when you put on your paper mask, it’ll absorb into your skin better.
Tip#5: After exfoliating, apply a hydrating essence, (I’ve used ones from Laneige, Skin Food, and Clinique), this will hydrate your skin even better as the paper mask will help absorb the essence into your skin.
Tip#6: Paper masks are great for all skin types, and especially great for those with combination-oily skin, as it is more hydrating than moisturizing.  If you tend to have dry skin, you might like cream masks better as they are more moisturizing.   If you like cream masks, you can check out the ones by Lush as they’re all natural and provides cream masks for all skin types!

Remember, especially during the winter, our skin NEEDS water and hydration, if you can, do a facial mask every other day and keep moisturizing; you’ll find your skin glowing and radiating in no time :)

Have fun and stay warm! 

The best skin care product i’ve invested in so far

So today, I wanna share with you two special gems of mine: Bliv Off with those heads, and the Shrink and Tighten.
Off with those heads is a sebum gel that helps you get rid of your black and white heads, while Shrink and Tighten is a serum that  helps those with huge pores to… well, shrink and tighten them.

I’ll start off with a review of Off with those heads.

Texture: light clear gel
Scent: minty
What if feels like: if you’re applying this for the first time, it gets really, really tingly, but it’s normal because that’s how it’s supposed to react on your skin. 
To use: if you’re only applying this on your nose, then a small drop (meaning you squeeze the pump just half way), is enough.  Apply this day and night after you’ve cleansed and toned your face.
Results: It advertises the product saying that you should see less and less of your black and white heads after two weeks. For me, however, two weeks didn’t do much.  But on the third week, I started to see results- there were fewer black heads on my nose. I’ve already been using this product for 4 months now and it really does wonders for me.
Price: USD $49.00 for 30ML or USD $63.00 for 45mL

Texture: light cloudy serum
Scent: light grapefruit scent
What if feels like: literally nothing
To use: After cleansing and toning, apply a dime size on areas where you have the largest pores, day and night.
Results: The product claims to help repair your skin by sealing the pores and also prevent future problems by calming the skin.  I’ve been using this product for about month now, and I have to admit, I haven’t seen very drastic results yet.  Though in some areas on my forehead, the pores seem to have gone a bit smaller. So i’ll continue to be patient..and see.  If you’re using this with the black head serum, you should apply that one first, and then this one second. 
 Price: USD $49.00 for 30ML

Hope this review helped you guys, and if any of you have used these products as well, let me know how it’s worked for you!
And as always, track of the day..
today I have Tame Impala’s Sundown Syndrome
somehow this track always makes me think of sitting in a car on a hot summer day, just driving on an never ending road…
Enjoy!

Detox and Reboot!

First of all, Happy 2011, this is my first post in the new years and I’m almost sure it’s gonna be a useful post for most people.So, if you partied just a little too much last night, not to worry.. there are still ways to detox and reboot your body from the inside and out!

Starting with detoxing your body..
Remember that it’s very important to
1. Drink at least two full glasses of water right when you wake up so it flushes the remaining alcohol out of your system and rehydrate your body from all the excess drinking.
2. Avoid oily and high sodium foods as this will retain the water in your body making it unable to flush the fluids out.
3. I was lucky to have a wonderful friend of mine from Montreal that bought me some David’s Tea, with one of them in particular that is great for detoxing!

This tea contains: roobios, ginger, gingko, lemongrass and juniper berries.  Roobios is a type of plant from South Africa and is known to boost your immune system, treat allergies and recent studies suggests that it may also treat acne.  Ginger is a type of root that is a natural remedy for an upset stomach and relieves nausea.  Gingko is a type of plant native to China that helps boost blood circulation in your system, and therefore helping your brain in its alertness; I was also told that if you consume Gingko in the long term, it may also improve your memory.  Lemongrass is a type of grass that contains Vitamin A which is good for your eyes and skin, and it is known to help with poor digestion and can also calm your nerves (which may be helpful when you’re hungover).  Last but not least, Juniper berries help to remove excess water from your body, and also helps with digestive system.

Another tea I know that is good for curing hangovers is Gingseng tea.  And this comes from personal experience too.  So there you go..have some hot tea and feel better!!

As we all know, drinking excessively can really stress out our skin as it will dehydrate it.  But more importantly, we should always keep in mind that whether we’ve had a few drinks or not that it is very crucial to wipe your make up off every night before you take your beauty sleep.  Leaving your make up on at night can clog your pores and create breakouts the next morning and will double stress your skin if you’ve actually drank the night before.
When the next morning comes, you should remember to wash your face with a mild cleanser as your skin may be sensitive from dehydration from the alcohol.  And lucky for me, another wonderful friend of mine gave me this super hydrating mask from Bliv by Cellnique, and I will suggest to plop this mask on right after you wash your face.


It contains all sorts of fruit acid complexes and acerola fruit extracts that can lighten and brighten your skin tone, unclog your pores, retain moisture in your skin, it’s also anti bacterial and acerola is a known antioxidant.
I must say, this mask is really hydrating, it is literally dripping with moisture once you take it out of the pack.  It is also very soothing and feels great on tired skin.  All you need is 20 minutes, take it off and massage the excess goodies into your skin and you’ll instantly feel that your skin has come alive again.
Another mask that I suggest would be perfect for re-hydrating after a long night of partying is the ice cream mask that I blogged about earlier on from Lush – A crash course in skincare.

After you’ve replenished your skin with a moisturizing mask, you should move on to patting your eyes lightly with an soothing eye gel to relieve the puffiness from your eyes, as well as applying a soothing moisturizer.

Last but not least… get an early night’s sleep tonight to reboot yourself :)
Hope all this info will work out for you guys & rest up to face the new year!

Silver..for now

Recently, I’ve been trying to create a look for the new years, and I’ve come up with something like this..

It’s got lots of silver going on, maybe a bit too much, I might tone it down a little when I do the actual tutorial.
But with close up:

I’ve added shades of blue on the outside V area, as well as a dark burgundy on the crease (which you can’t really see here).
Hopefully i’ll have the tutorial ready before new years!

Meanwhile, what’s not to love about collagen eye masks after cleaning all that eye make up off?!

I bought this from SaSa (the Sephora equivalent in North America), it claims to have collagen and will soothe fine lines and stressful eyes, reduce puffiness etc.  Well, we’ll see after a few weeks..and I’ll write up a review for it, if I remember.

Until then, stay warm and be prepared to ring in the new year!!

Wipe it off!

For the past few years, I’ve had my fair share of experience in trying different eye make up removers.  It was always hard to find the perfect one because I always used waterproof mascara, or waterproof eyeliner and so the normal make up removers just don’t make the cut.  Well, luckily I’ve found a few, and I’m here to share with you my thoughts on them and which one I think works best.  Also, I will talk about the best way to remove your eye make up without damaging the skin around your eyes.


Neutrogena oil-free Make up Remover:
Contains two layers, and you have to shake it before using.  Has a cool sensation when you apply it on the eyes.  This one worked well with waterproof eye make up, however though it claims to be oil free, I did feel a film of oil on my eyes after using it.  And I also felt that it took a little longer to get my make up off.  I also felt that the bottle finished up very quickly as it had a large opening, so every time i poured it on the cotton pad, a lot came out.  If i remember correctly, I bought this for $12 CDN back in Toronto, so it’s around 80 something HKD.


Laneige Waterproof Eye and Lip Make Up Remover:
I’ve actually used this one for the longest time.  It has two layers, so again you have to shake it before using.  Very effective in removing waterproof eye make up as well as lip stick/gloss.   Leaves a little bit of an oily residue, but not as much as Neutrogena.  Quick in removing stubborn make up, and it lasted for awhile because the opening was really small.  It’s around $125 HKD, a little more pricier than Neutrogena, but I felt that it was worth it.


L’oreal Gentle Waterproof Eye and Lip Make up Remover
This one is actually my personal favourites.  Again, like most waterproof eye make up removers, it contains two layers, one blue and one transparent; so shake vigorously before using.  Like the Laneige one, it has a small opening, so a bottle like this can last you for awhile.  Very effective in removing all sorts of stubborn make up, doesn’t take long and most importantly, it doesn’t really leave an oily film on the eye area.  So, if I remember correctly again, I think I bought it for $12.99 in Toronto, so around 90 something HKD.


Super Off Moist Cleansing Lotion
This one is the one I’m currently using now.  It’s from Japan, and again contains two layers.  It claims to remove stubborn make up as well.  However, though it does what it says, I found that I had to wipe a few times before all the make up came off.  As well, I felt that it stung a little around the eye area as well as in my eyes.  So if you have sensitive skin, I don’t advise you to use this.  I believe I bought this for $69 HKD from SaSa, and it’s a big bottle, so it might take me awhile to finish it.

In conclusion I felt that L’oreal and Laneige are the best picks from the ones I reviewed above, as they both remove stubborn make up effectively without leaving an oily residue; it’s also really gentle around the delicate eye area.

Moving onto removing your eye make up correctly:
1. Pour the make up remover on a cotton pad and put it on your eyes for 15 seconds.  This allows the solution to dissolve the make up resulting in less tugging when you wipe it off.
2. Gently pat your eyes with the cotton pad, keeping in mind not to tug the skin around your eyes as this will cause pre mature aging/wrinkles around the eye area; even if this means repeating this process a few times.  For removing waterproof make up, put the cotton pad under the eyelashes and gently rub it upwards.
3. Once the eye make up on your upper lid is removed, use a q-tip and dip it in the make up remover and gently go along the bottom eyelid, removing any remaining make up.
4. I like to finish it off by relaxing the eyes with a cotton pad soaked with warm water and just applying it on the eyes to soothe it.  You can also do it with cold water if your eyes have the tendency of being puffy.
4. Now, finish the rest of your skin care regime, ie: washing your face, toning, moisturizing, eye cream etc.

Hope the reviews and tips worked out for you, remember what may work for me, may work differently for you.  So before you use any product, try to do more research on it and use it as a guide to pick what’s right for you!

Save your skin!

 

For those of you out there who don’t know, I’m a huge Lush fan, and today I’m gonna talk about one of the Ice cream facial masks that I purchased.  It’s called “A Crash Course in Skin Care”, it contains ingredients such as avacados, natural yoghurt, lemon juice, chamomile oil, and sandalwood oil.  It’s great for those who need to save their dull and tired skin.  It has a really herb-y, avacado scent to it, which I think smells great.  Storage is easy, just place it in the fridge whenever you’re not using it so every time you do use it, it gives you a really cooling sensation.

After using this, I felt that my skin looked brighter, more radiant, and it felt really soft and nourished.  It didn’t leave my skin feeling oily, instead it felt like it gave all the nutrients back to my skin!  Also, this mask is great for people with combination skin because the lemon juice balances the natural oils.
Price-wise, it was a little more pricey than your average drug store brands, (HKD $125/100g), but trust, it is worth the price.   All you need is 10 minutes, apply it on after you wash and exfoliate your face and then wash off with warm water.

Next time you stop by your local Lush store, give this mask a try!!