Sep 28, 2010

How Do You...

... deal with flu, especially if it's a "MAN'S FLU"???

The best answer will get my gratitude and a spot in my "Hall of Fame". :)

Sep 22, 2010

Charles Worthington Moisture-Seal Shampoo and Conditioner

Last week I finished my Charles Worthington Moisture-Seal Shampoo and the matching Moisture-Seal Conditioner. Sometimes I get bored easily, so using up two full-size bottles (250ml) brings a certain amount of satisfaction. I would have been able to do it sooner if I didn't use other brands in between. (As of today I own 4 big bottles of shampoos, 2 big + 2 small bottles of conditioners in my collection.) Yeah, can't help it, I like variety and having the options to treat my hair according to seasons and conditions. Especially after the last hair panic when I found some split-ends and the disaster caused by using dodgy product on hand... Eeeks, never again I'm left without any spare good quality conditioner!!!

Back to topic. For almost a decade I've been a fan of Charles Worthington products. It's the brand that I always come back to again and again in between dabbling with "organic" haircare. I've bought and used various shampoos, conditioners, hair serums, heat sprays, etc. from this UK brand. Mostly with great results.

It's hardly surprising to say that I love the Moisture-Seal Shampoo and Conditioner. They smell good and did what it said on the bottles, keeping my long hair nice and fluffy, conditioning without weighing it down. I especially love the practical flip-top bottles, though I think they're changing the packaging soon.

For those of you who are interested to try the range, their "Takeaways" or travel size products make fantastic introduction.

Verdict: what can I say, I'm a long-term fan! :)

Shampoo Ingredients: Aqua (water), Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Cocamide MIPA, Parfum (Fragrance), Polysorbate 20, Silicone Qaternium-16, Undeceth-11, Butyloctanol, Undeceth-5, Polyquaternium-10, Sodium Chloride, Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein, Hydrolyzed Wheat Starch, Citric Acid, PEG-120 Methyl Glucose Dioleate, Hydrolyzed rice Protein, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Propylene Glycol, Silicone Quaternium-8, Tetrasodium EDTA, Sodium Benzoate, Benzotriazolyl Dodecyl p-Cresol, Phenoxyethanol, Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate, Hexylene Glycol, Citronellol, Hexyl Cinnamal, Butylphenyl Methylpropional, Linalool.

Conditioner Ingredients: Aqua (water), Behentrimonium Chloride, Cetearyl Alcohol, Cetrimonium Chloride, Dimethicone, Parfum (Fragrance), Hydroxyethylcellulose, Sodium Benzoate, Isopropyl Alcohol, Citric acid, Tetrasodium EDTA, Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein, Hydrolyzed Wheat Starch, Laureth-23, C12-15 Pareth-3, camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Propylene Glycol, Sodium Benzotriazolyl Butylphenol Sulfonate, Buteth-3, Tributyl Citrate, Hydrolyzed Rice Protein, Hexyl Cinnamal, Butylphenyl Methylpropional, Linalool, Citronellol.

Sep 16, 2010

Benefit Eyecon Brightening Eye Cream

For the past 10 days I've been using Benefit Eyecon Brightening Eye Cream sample I received from my swap with GQ long, long time ago... So far I'm impressed with it. The supposed "fading action" really works, I can see the difference on the areas underneath my eyes - less shadow, perking up my appearance instantly. It doesn't "erase" the darkness completely, no super duper magical effect here, it works more like a "transparent" concealer, if it makes sense.

My skin absorbs the cream quickly, no crease settling under foundation, and no allergic reaction despite the long ingredients list. I had to squint when reading those tiny list! Well, they really worked to brighten my eyes noticeably. The cream isn't making the shadows go away, it gives light coverage that's good enough to be used on it's own when I'm in a hurry. Obviously vain me still use concealer when I have more time on my hands. Haha...

I'm not sure whether overtime the cream would improve my shadowy areas. For now I'm content enough finding something that makes noticeable difference, enough to make hubby said I looked "well rested" despite my lack of sleep. Hurrah, the eyecon really conned hubby! Thanks for the sample, GQ. :)
Verdict: the full size has made it to the top my "must buy" list.

Ingredients: water (aqua), ethylene/acrylic acid copolymer, butylene glycol, propylene glycol, dicaprylatedicaprate, squalane, glyceryl polymethacrylate, caprylic.capric tryglyceride, glycerin, steareth-21, linum usitatissum (linseed) seed extract, hexyldecanol, stearaliconium hectorite, cetyl alcohol, stearyl alcohol, steareth-2, stearic acid, glyceryl hydrosyctearate, sodium polyacrylate, methylparaben alcohol denat, chlorphenesin, dimethicone, propylene carbonate, tocopheryl acetate, althaea officinalis root extract, prunus amygdalus dulcis (sweet almond) fruit extract, hesperidin, methyl chalcone, acrylates/C10-30 alkyl acrylate crosspolymer, steareth-20, tromethamine, butylparaben, ehtylparaben, propylene glycol, triticum vulgare (wheat) germ protein, chlorhexidinedigluconate, titanium dioxide (Cl77891), tetrasodium edta, propylparaben, avena sativa (oat) kernel protein, isobutylparaben, theobroma cacao (cocoa) extract, sodium hyaluronate, sangusorba officinalus root extract, xanthan gum, phenoxyethanol, pyrus malus (apple) fruit extract, caprylic/capric/suconic triglyceride, dipeptide-2, potassium sorbate, eriobotrya japonica leaf extract, plankton extract, palmitoyl tetrapeptide-3.

Sep 15, 2010

Innoxa Line-Defying Eye Creme

I bought Innoxa Line-Defying Eye Creme when my favourite eye contour gel (Germaine de Capuccini = GdC) turned super runny. Which wasn't the gel's fault, really, as it had served me faithfully for about a year (12 months expiry date on the tube).

The blurb said, "Targets lines, wrinkles & dark circles around the delicate eye area. Specifically formulated to help reduce the appearance of lines, wrinkles and dark circles around the delicate eye area. Anti-Age for All Skin Types including Sensitive. 100% Fragrance Free. Ophthalmologically Tested. Dermatologically Tested."

I've been using the eye creme since my arrival in Cairns. I bought it specifically as I had dark circles for not having enough sleep.

Good things first: great texture, makes great base for under eye (as long as I leave it to dry first before applying concealer), doesn't irritate my eyes, not greasy.

Bad things: it doesn't help to diminish the panda eyes, it doesn't help preventing new lines appearing as I have deeper lines than when I was using GdC. Now that I've typed up the ingredients list I realize that it's scarily long, too. It must be one of those times when I forgot to look at the list closely before buying. Hey, I'm not perfect! Haha...

This affordable eye cream didn't work for me. Which leads me to the conclusion that I have to splurge to get decent quality eye cream. Brands that work like Elemis and GdC. Which aren't available in Cairns. Sigh.

Verdict: no good effect seen even after 6 months of using. I won't be re-purchasing.

Ingredients: Aqua (water), caprylic/capric triglyceride, C12-15 alkyl benzoate, isohexadecane, saccharide isomerate, sodium hyaluronate, dimethicone, cetyl alcohol, isostearyl isostearate, hydrogenated polyisobutene, petrolatum, glyceryl stearate, steareth-20, cyclopentasiloxane, dimethicone, crosspolymer, acetyl glutamyl hexapeptide-1, glyceryl stearate, PEG-75 stearate, ceteth-20, symmondsia chinensis (jojoba) seed oil, cera alba (beeswax), polyacrylamide, C13-14 isoparaffin, laureth-7, palmitoyl oligopeptide, glycerin, tribehenin, ceraminde 2, PEG-10, rapeseed sterol, xanthan gum, hydroxysuccinimide, chrysin, palmotoyl tetrapeptide-3 urea, saccharide hydrolysate, magnesium aspartate, glycine, alanine, creatine, retinyl palmitate/carrot polypeptides, ascorbic acid/citrus polypeptides, tocopherol/what polypeptides, disodium EDTA, silica, phenoxyethanol, caprylyl glycol, chlorphenesin, may contain: Cl 7789 (titanium dioxide), Cl 77491 (iron oxides).

Sep 14, 2010

Chouquette, Gateaux, Eclairs

Back in July I had a little trip to Brisbane. At that time I was missing French pastries, so much so that I dragged hubby and his brother to New Farm to visit an authentic French Patisserie called  Chouquette, which is actually the name of one of my favourites pastries (pictured above).

As I suspected, the long walk from the city was totally worth it. There were so many things to choose from, everything looked beautiful and yummy. The seatings inside and outside the cafe were full, so  we bought some to take away.

I bought this Gateaux with chocolate macaron on top (above picture) and a bag of Chouquette to share between us. The men bought some apple tarts. Everything was very delicious, very French, and comes in very generous portions. Three of us agree that they tasted very authentic, unlike some bogus macarons sold in Asia. My brother-in-law said the girls behind the counters were cute, too. LOL.

The next time I'm in Brisbane I would like to stay closer to the patisserie so I can have my daily indulgent there. You should, too, if you have the chance to go there. Highly recommended! :)

P.S. all the pictures here are taken from their webpage. I didn't bother taking pictures of the ones we bought as they looked very similar.

Sep 10, 2010

Garnier CleanSensitive 2 in 1 Waterproof Make-Up Remover

I'm pleased to announce that Garnier CleanSensitive 2 in 1 Waterproof Make-Up Remover has officially got rid of the bad taste left by the recent power-cuts. Not powerful enough to wipe Labour out of this world though. *wink*

Back to wiper remover. It has been ages since I find a makeup remover that makes me excited because it works well. This is one of those rare occassions. I bought this some months ago when I ran out of sweet almond oil (fantastic for removing waterproof eye makeup, by the way). Over the years I've emerged to be a bit more of a brand snob, but every now and then I find good stuffs in reliable/old-fashioned brands. Like Garnier. I used to love one of their day moisturiser until they discontinued it. Pity that, it was a good stuff.

I digress. Okay, waterproof remover. I really love this, I wonder why I didn't try it earlier. Unlike some dodgy products marketed with the word "sensitive", this product is kind to my skin, for real. It doesn't sting (no alcohol) - a big fat tick from me. It doesn't cause my face to puff up in allergic reaction.

Secondly, it removes my waterproof makeup easily. No tugging nor pulling involved. Which is very important, as I'm using more waterproofs makeup nowadays. Living in humid (and slightly backward - I'm still hating the 23 hour power cut!) Cairns means non-waterproof mascaras and liners smudged as soon as I finished putting them on.

Back to topic. This Garnier product also removes my "foundation of the moment" easily and quickly. This ability, I really, really like. Reason: the said foundation is from Revlon, who some said are renown for the super staying power - I'll write about the foundation next time, if there's no more power cut, God (or Labour or ?) willing...

What's with the "2 in 1" tag? It's both a blue liquid makeup remover oil and clear cleansing water (toner in layman's term?) in one. More big fat tick from me.

The only thing that's bugging me, and it's a pretty big bug, too, is the size of the hole on the flip-top. Everytime I used it I always spilled the liquid everwhere. Somehow I can't soak the cotton wools without having liquid spill on my arm, leg, or the floor. Can't blame this klutz, it's not as if I'm pouring the content to cotton wools. The spill happens even when the cotton wool is position tightly covering the hole. This, I don't love.

Verdict: Affordable waterproof make-up remover that works. I like it very, very much, it has been an important first step in my double-cleansing regime. The status will be upgraded to LOVE if the huge hole problem is fixed. :)

Ingredients: aqua/water, cyclopentasiloxane, isohexadecane, isopropyl palmitate, panthenol, rosa centifolia/rosa centifolia flower water, dipotassium phosphate, poloxamer 184, polyaminopropyl biguanide, potassium phosphate, sodium chloride, CL 61565/Green6. (F.I.L. B26656/1).

Sep 8, 2010

Another Power Cut

The title says it all. Now you know why I can't blog as regularly as I did.

I'm officially living in an un-civilized place. Even "developing countries" don't have this much power cut. Atrocious. Perhaps it's to "celebrate" Labour being in power again?! Now that they've won the election, looks like they have started cuttting services. So NOT supporting Labour. Blah.

Sep 2, 2010

Napoleon Perdis Protégé Lip Gloss

Firstly, picture of The Aromatherapy Bar Soap is now up.

Back to business. I received NP Protégé Lip Gloss limited edition for doing a survey. The packaging says: "This limited edition strawberry-flavoured lip gloss is the secret to lustrous lips 24/7. A built-in mirror ensures ease of application, while Bees Wax nourishes and protects your pout. Result: lips are left super-shiny."

I was intrigued when I first read about the mirror description on the box. I thought it would be like a Nina Ricci lipstick I had many years ago: mirror on the side of the lipstick cover, to make it easier to touch up. Imagine my disappointment when I saw the mirror is actually on the back of the applicator, making it impossible to see your reflection while applying it... What's the point then? A bit daft in my opinion, why can't they stick it on the side of the tube instead??

Enough with the mirror rants. The gloss actually tastes like strawberry smoothie, even the textures makes me think of smoothie. I love the light peachy-tone (I'm not sure whether you can tell from the picture). On its own it creates glossy nude lips. Worn on top of lipliner it creates a stronger but subtle effect.

Verdict: I like. :) Apart from the silly mirror - what were they thinking?! Really...

Ingredients: Polyisobutylene, 2-Ethylhexylp Almitate, Paraffin, Poly-isobutylene, White Mineral Oil, Gellants, Butylated Hydroxystearic Acid, Aloe Barbadensis, 2-Phenoxyethanol, Mineral Oil, Silica Dimethyl SSilylate, Butyrospernum Parkii Seed Oil, Synthetic Beeswax, Bisabolol, D & C Red No. 6 Iron Oxides, Yellow Iron Oxide, Titanium Dioxide, Perfume.
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