Friday, December 16, 2011

Review: Shiseido Pureness Pore Purifying Warming Scrub

This is my first facial exfoliant I've ever bought, so it is a few years old.  I haven't been consistently using it, partly because of the price for the amount of product I get.  =\ 

The scent:
Fresh, light floral scent.  Not an irritating smell.

It is a clear oily-sticky-feel gel with orange microbeads.

To prep my skin, I cleanse my face with whatever cleanser I'm using at that time.  Then if I feel like it, I'd use a facial sauna to steam and soften my skin to melt away the impurities in my pores.  Sometimes I skip this facial sauna step.  I dry my hands and face, dab the scrub on my forehead, cheeks, nose and chin.  Slowly, I massage and spread it all over my face until I feel the microbeads and granules have dissolved.  Then rinse.

Swatch of scrub
Comes in a 50 mL (1.7 oz) tube.

What it claims:
"Give your skin power over shine, imperfections and dryness.  A self-warming gel scrub that unclogs pores and removes excess oil for a feeling of fresh, deeply-cleansed skin.  Pores look less obvious.
-  Warms comfortably on contact to help draw out pore-clogging impurities and excess oil.
-  Contains microbeads and purifying granules for deep cleansing action.
-  Minimizes the visibility of pores while leaving skin feeling fresh and silky." 

Thoughts / Results:
White clumps = dead skin cells
I was first introduced to this product when I received a small sample of it as a gift with purchase.   Sometimes I can feel the the blackhead lumps caused by the excess oil.  So I like the microbeads and granules in this scrub as I feel it really rubs away the excess oil / dirt / impurities that clog my pores - especially on my nose.  Personally, I don't feel this scrub is causing too abrasive on my skin.  Though others may feel otherwise.  Shiseido's Pureness line is supposedly for combination and normal-to-oily skin.  Its products are suppose to bring balance to skin.  IMO, if you use too much of this product, you are possibly removing too much oil from your skin.  Thus, I'd recommend adding little bit as you're massaging and spreading it over your skin.  Using too much of this product also prevents you from feeling the "warming" effect.  The warming effect comes from the friction of micro beads and granules as you're rubbing it in circular motion over your skin.  This is also the problem for many people who claim they don't feel the warming effect.

I can definitely feel the results of this scrub.  My skin feels smoother, not lumpy due to the blackheads.  For me, the smoothness can last around 3 - 4 days.  These results are more clearly seen and felt on my nose.

In terms of giving shine to the skin, I do feel and see the shine.  Before using the scrub, my skin does look duller.  But I'm not sure about imperfections, at least it's not visibly noticeable to me.  I still see the dark areas due to developing/developed/no longer there pimples.  As for dryness, I do feel this scrub is more hydrating than the other brands of exfoliants - i.e. the B. Kamins Bamboo & Rice Facial Polisher.  Yet, I still see some dry peeled skin on my nose.  However, my pores do feel and look unclogged.  Thus my skin is left feeling smooth, fresh and silky.  But don't expect the blackheads to disappear, they may look smaller and/or less prominent.

$29 CAD

Before; skin more yellow and dull
After using facial sauna
After using scrub; skin more clear

Product: Shiseido Pureness Pore Purifying Warming Scrub
Rating: 4 / 5

- Leaves skin smoother
- Noticeably unclogs pores
- Restores shine to your skin
- Warming effect helps draw out the impurities in your pores
- Pores become less visible

- Doesn't completely clear the dry peeled skin
- Warming effect is hard to grasp
- $29 CAD for a 50mL tube is a bit expensive

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Review: NARS Eyebrow Pencil in Jodhpur

I hardly use eyebrow pencil but have always wanted to include it in my makeup routine.  This eyebrow pencil is the first eyebrow pencil I have bought and tried.  For me, I need an eyebrow pencil to fill in spaces between hairs.  I don't have over plucked eyebrows so I don't need to draw them on.  However, I have areas where filling is needed as I got them done before and the lady messed them up permanently - I haven't been able to grow them back in some areas.  For darker hair individuals, I've heard the closest shade to your eyebrow hair is to find a colour that is 2 to 3 shades lighter than your hair colour.  For lighter hair individuals, it's 2 to 3 shades darker.  But to me, this rule of thumb is so abstract.  It doesn't tell me exactly how to find the right colour for me, since beauty brands don't carry multiple shades of one colour.  Therefore, I've had to hunt around and look for the right one.

Left: 2 light strokes; Middle: 2 regular strokes; Right: 4 regular strokes
Sometimes I find the product needs to be warmed up on the back of my hand before I apply it because I think it's a little dried up and no colour is coming off.  When it works perfectly fine and the colour is paying off, I start at the arch of my eyebrow and lightly stroke outwards to the end of my brow.  Then I take a spooly (or a disposable mascara wand) and spread / brush the colour towards the beginning of my brow.  I like my eyebrows starting light and gradually gets darker at the end of my brows.  I guess you can consider it the natural look of eyebrows.

I bought this NARS eyebrow pencil at the Shiseido and NARS warehouse sale so it didn't come with a box, though I'm not sure whether it usually does come with a box - probably not.  The product comes in a form of a pencil with a lid and no sharpener, nor a eyebrow brush on the lid.

What it claims:
"Sculpts and defines the eyebrow with rich, natural looking pigment to softly frame the eyes.  The firm texture allows for maximum control and provides long-lasting definition.  Ideal shades for matching to most brow colors.  Longwearing and blendable.  Firm texture for smooth strokes of color."

Thoughts / Results:
NARS came out with 3 different shades of its eyebrow pencil - Ipanema (darkest), Jodhpur, and Panama (lightest).  I chose the colour that best matched my hair - Jodhpur - and after using this pencil for over 6 months, I find it fills and blends in my sparse areas quite well.  It does give the natural looking effect.  As for the lasting effect, I have worn my full face makeup - including the brow pencil - for around 7 hours and it is agreeable that it is longwearing.  It doesn't budge and I don't have a problem with removing it with cleansing oil.  For me, with light strokes, this colour works for me.  The product quality is great as well - in comparison with the popular Lancome eyebrow pencil in Taupe.  I've tried the Lancome one in Sephora and warming it on the back of my hand to get some colour payoff took quite a bit of effort.  Plus the colour didn't look natural for me.  =\  The only thing that I don't like about this eyebrow pencil is no sharpener or an eyebrow brush on the lid.  It would have been more convenient if the packaging included either one.

Overall, I'm happy I got this at a great price and it's a great product.

*My camera flash refused to light in my 'After' photo =(

$6 CAD @ Shiseido / NARS warehouse sale (Retail price: $25 USD MSRP)

Product: NARS eyebrow pencil in Jodhpur
Rating: 4.5 / 5

- Long-lasting
- Blendable or spreadable with a spooly or disposable mascara wand
- For me, works well with my hair colour

- Wish it had a eyebrow brush or sharpener on the lid
- Pricey

Friday, November 25, 2011

iPhone 4S

I finally decided to get myself an iPhone 4S!! =) Through my network carrier, I ordered the iPhone 4S 16 gb in White on Sunday and received it yesterday.  =)  This is my first iPhone.  I usually play around with my friends' iPhones and wanted my own since 3GS came out.  =\  I love the sleek look.  But one down side is how fast the battery gets used up.

Anyways, I need to get a case to protect my phone from getting scratched and whatnot, but then again I want a phone case that looks nice.  I'm considering an Otterbox Defender case for practical purposes and / or a pretty case for the sake of appearances but not probably not as practical.  Any ideas?

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Just have another rant

Ha, I must seem bitter for the many rants I have.  Anyways, I have been listing some stuff on eBay to sell and realized the many regulations they've changed.  For example, sellers can no longer say in their auction listings that they are no longer responsible for lost or damaged mail.  Um, a little unfair don't you think? So dear eBay, do you expect me to personally fly down to California to deliver a package safely? Well are you going to pay for my flight ticket? Because only then can I ensure I am fully responsible for any delivered and undamaged mail.

It's no wonder eBay has to give out so many incentives to sellers to attract them to sell again - i.e. list 1000 items for free on November ##.  Dear eBay, you're just deterring people from selling on your website.  Funny thing is there's not enough buyers on your site either! Why else would you come up with the eBay bucks program? I can easily create a blog and start selling without using your site!

I hope some smart computer programming dude or girl out there comes up with a better auction site then yours, eBay!

Haul: Lisa's Cosmetics November 2011

Yesterday, my mom and I went to Lisa's Cosmetics sale at around 1PM and lined up for 40 minutes, which is surprising because I thought most people would have gone on the weekend.  Anyways,  I went in and there were a lot more shampoos and conditioners of different brands at the sale.  But even so, I didn't get any since I bought enough at the Shiseido sale.

Photo credit:
This time around, for myself, I bought two patterned Pashmina scarves, Sally Hansen Brow Stencils and a LaCross powder brush.  The scarves were $9.99 each, brow stencils were $0.99, and the powder brush was $2.99.  Clearly I loved my brow stencils that I had to get another pack.  =\  Well, for 99¢ I don't mind having a back up.  As for the powder brush, I was a little iffy when I decide to buy it.  The bristles are soft but in terms of shedding quality, I wasn't too sure.  Despite my worries, I still got it and when I washed it with soap, oh geez, it shed so much.  Finally the scarves, I saw a woman holding a sample of this scarf and the colours caught my eye.  Though I like the colours, I don't like the "C" monogram print.  It gives the impression that it's a Coach scarf, which clearly isn't.  Nevertheless, I'd still wear it for the colours.  As for the leopard print one, it caught my eye first.  I saw a similar print scarf @Aritzia that cost $65 which stopped me from buying.  I'm assuming leopard prints are trendy for fall and winter. 

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Review: Lacross Brow Shapers by Sally Hansen

I bought these exactly a year ago.  I tried them once and had no idea how to properly use them, so I thought they were useless to me.  Until recently, I really wanted to change up the shape of my eyebrows.  I was thinking about getting the Anastasia Brow Stencils, but I read some reviews saying the stencils were too big.  Then I decided to give these LaCross Brow Shapers Stencils another try, using the Anastasia method of finding where the eyebrow starts, arches and ends.

Application: Very easy to use.  I make it easier to see which strays of hair to pluck by using a dark brown eyeshadow.  Specifically, I used Signed, Seal by MAC.  Taking the eyeshadow, I marked the beginning of where the eyebrow should start by using an angle brush, aligning straight up along the middle of the nostrils.  I marked the end of the eyebrow by aligning the edge of my nose to the outer end of my eye.  Finally, I marked where the highest arch of my brows should be by aligning the tip of my nose to the pupil of the eye.  Then taking the most suitable stencil of the three, I matched which one was the most suitable with the beginning, end and arch of my brows.  I shaded in the brows using the stencils and the eyeshadow so I can clearly tell which strays of hair can be plucked.  When using the stencils and shading in the brows, it is important that I aligned the stencil so that I was keeping most of my hair.  I didn't want to wait another few months for certain areas of hair to grow.

Packaging: The packaging is really simple.  Nothing fancy.  I like that it's plastic, washable and reusable.

What it claims: "Perfect tweeze guide."

Thoughts / Results: I agree with what it claims.  I'm loving them right now.  I used to groom my eyebrows myself with very little touch-ups because I was afraid of ruining my brows.  As you might know already, some hairs - once plucked - won't grow back.  I haven't been to the salon, Caryl Baker Visage, for almost 3 years.  I wasn't doing my brows properly, but they still looked half-decent, and now I'm really happy with them =).

Don't get me wrong, I do recommend the Caryl Baker Visage salon to do your eyebrows if you're afraid - like I was - of ruining your brows.  I have been to three different Caryl Baker Visage in the GTA region, personally, I think they are all reliable.  The first time I got my brows done at a salon, I threaded them.  Mind you, it wasn't a Caryl Baker Visage salon I went to.  Unfortunately, the lady that did my brows ruin them.  =( They were VERY noticeably uneven - like one side was thinner than the other.  I was in grade 10 back then, so I just grew them out.  Sadly, I feel that the lady did ruin my brows forever as one side still looks thinner to this day.  It wasn't until my first year of university that my friend brought me to Caryl Baker Visage to do my brows and I love how they groom them.  They do exactly what you ask them to do.

Anyways, I love these stencils.  I'm super glad I finally decided to pick these back up and try again.  They worked out great.  They really are a great guide to tweeze those unwanted hairs.  They are perfect size for me.  If you have small or short or not-so-long or not-so-wide brows like me, definitely take a look at these.  I was able to find these @Lisa's Cosmetics Warehouse Sale last year. *side note: they are still being sold there.

Cost: $0.99 CAD @Lisa's Cosmetics Warehouse Sale

Product: Sally Hansen LaCross Brow Shapers
Rating: 5 / 5

- Perfect size for people with smaller eyebrows or face
- Reusable
- Great for newbies

- Nothing I can think of

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Rant: Canada Custom Appeal

Heads up for those Canadians who shop online and your packages come from outside of Canada.  I ordered a pair of heels from back in late September.  They arrived in Canada in mid-October and I finally get my hands on them today, mid-November.  Ridiculous or what?! It was NOT because of shipping.  Rather it was CUSTOMS! CanadaPost arrived at my door in mid-October asking me to pay $19 CAD for a pair of $22.50 CAD heels.  Uhhh, hello?!?! I could use that money to buy another pair of shoes if I had paid custom.  So hell no am I letting you (customs officer) rob me of my money! So I stopped the postal dude and told him to leave me a delivery notice.  For those of you who don't know, you have a few options when your package arrives at your door and customs is asking for a good chunk of money.  You can refuse it and it gets sent back to the sender (which I don't recommend but then again weigh your cons and pros), pay for it (then see if you can get it reimburse either through the seller or customs office), or ask for a delivery notice.  I took the delivery notice and printed out an online invoice that was sent to my e-mail inbox where I clearly highlighted the price I bought it at, which I declare as the true value of my shoes, along with a handwritten note to ask the customs officer to accordingly reassess my package.  My note wasn't rude but I had to take a hard stand at my argument.  Anyways, I took my note, delivery notice and invoice to the post office and told the CanadaPost woman (and how unfortunate of me, it's that cranky old woman AGAIN - if you've been following me, yes, it's that same old woman that gives me a hard time!) to send my package back to customs as I needed to get it appealed.  This reassessment process takes approximately 1 month, so be patient!

It's an easy process to send packages back to customs for an appeal, but seriously it's time-consuming.  So if you've ordered online and have been hit by customs, know how the process goes! Google about customs appeal, even after writing the note and asking for appeal, you do run the risk of them denying your request.  And if they do deny your request, you have to pay that customs fee PLUS the additional shipping - which I think is $8.50 CAD

My thought on this issue? You can really tell government is pulling funds from EVERYWHERE when you get four packages sent to your door step in the past 2 months and THREE of them are charging custom fees.  As most of us online shoppers know, in the past, packages that arrive at our door doesn't always get taxed.  Well that was when the economy wasn't slipping away and falling into a deep deficit hole.  For now, I think I'm going to hold off on the online shopping.  It's just too much work and time-consuming to have to get my stuff appealed!

Plus, you know what really pisses me off? The fact that when I opened my package, the shoe box was teared off and just shoved back into the box.  Clearly wasn't handled with care.  I thought everyone knew this right conduct: if it's not yours, you handle it with care.  Even though the shoe box will be tossed out, I'd like my stuff to be in piece and not mistreated.  I know custom officers get a certain degree of authority, but that does NOT justify the way they use that power nor the right to misuse it!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Collective Haul - Guess Warehouse Sale, LUSH, F21, Shiseido warehouse sale

This past week, I did quite a bit of shopping.  On Wednesday, I did go to the Guess warehouse sale.  Generally, I get disappointed whenever I go to the International Centre Hall sales in Mississauga.  I do come out with a few purchases but never happy with the overall sale.  I did have a gut feeling that I would get disappointed again this time.  =( Well here it is:
1.  The jacket is by a brand, ONLY.  Not a Guess brand but it has a nice fit cut at the waist - revealing more of an hour figure.  Originally for $65 CAD, this jacket was at the sale for $40 CAD.
2.  The Guess bag retailed for $130 CAD but was for $40 at the sale.
However, I had a 10% discount from their e-mail so I saved $8 CAD in total.
Today was their last day of the sale and I believe their prices dropped, but *meh* I lost interest in looking for clothes.  They had clothes scattered everywhere on tables and it was a lot of the same tops.

 This is the 3rd haul I've ever made at Lush.  I've tried their body scrub, emotibomb and a face mask.  This time, I walked into Lush wanting solutions to my sudden breakout on my chin and my problematic hair.  I asked the SA and she recommended me these products:
1.  Rehab shampoo - $24.95 CAD
2.  Cupcake fresh face masks - $6.95 CAD
3.  R & B hair moisturizer - $20.95 CAD

I've already tried the products twice already in the past 5 days and I'm liking the results.  But I'll def have to try these for a good month or so before developing some real thoughts of their products.

On this past Friday, I stopped by Wal-Mart @Scarborough Town Centre to pick up Airwick scented oil plug-in refills.  I knew STC was opening up a F21 store and I happen to be there on their opening day.  So they were having a promo where if you purchase over $40 worth of their items, then you'll receive 10% off.  Clearly, I didn't make it to the mark.  But I picked up what I thought was essential for me.
1.  V-neck cami - $3.80 CAD
2.  Fringe infinity scarf - $7.50 CAD

And now, the haul from Shiseido warehouse sale.  I went there today (Sunday) and surprising there was a lot of stuff and not as many people.  The doors opened at 9AM but I got there around 9:15AM and there was NO line! I was so glad since I didn't want to be pushed around, squeezing between people to see the products.
Every time I shopped at these sales, I try to hold back on buying more eyeshadows but I just can't.  I'm nowhere near done my stash at home but here I am with another haul with more eyeshadows.  =\  Anyways, here it is:
1.  Shiseido Hydro-Powder Eyeshadow in H5 Aqua Shimmer - $8 CAD
2.  2 NARS Multiple in Turks and Caico - $15 CAD each
3.  Shiseido Dual Balancing Foundation in O40 Natural Fair Ochre - $15 CAD
4.  Shiseido Luminizing Satin Eye Color in WT907 Paperwhite - $8 CAD
5.  NARS Night Rider - $8 CAD

I got more shampoo and conditioner since I am nearly done the 6 bottles I bought from the first time I went to this sale.
6.  Evolve Maintain Moisture shampoo and conditioner - $12 CAD each
7.  Evolve Cherish Color shampoo and conditioner - $12 CAD each
8.  2 travel-sized bags - $2 CAD each
9.  Shiseido The Skincare Hydro-Balancing Softener - $25 CAD
10.  3 Orlane Morning Recovery Concentrate - $20 CAD each
11.  Shiseido Benefiance Enriched Balancing Softener N - $30 CAD
12.  Shiseido Benefiance Balancing Softener N - $30 CAD
13.  Shiseido Benefiance Daytime Protective Cream N SPF 15 - $32 CAD

That is about it, hope you enjoyed reading about my haul! =)

Monday, November 7, 2011

Guess and Marciano Fall Warehouse Sale

A few days ago, I received this e-mail in my inbox telling me of the Guess and Marciano Fall Warehouse sale so I thought I should share with those of you who live in the GTA area. 

November 9 - 13

Wed 10AM - 8PM
Thurs & Fri 11AM - 9PM
Sat & Sun 11AM - 7PM

International Center Hall 4
6900 Airport Road, Mississauga, ON

Here's the coupon I received in my mail.  So if you're going on Nov 9, make sure you print this coupon off so you can save 10% too!  It's only valid for Nov 9.

I'm not sure what to expect at this sale.  I've been to other sales at International Airport Center, I usually find stuff but it's never overly exciting.  So hopefully, this Guess one will be better. *Fingers cross*

You can also sign up with their newsletter so you can get their sale notifications via e-mail.  Just go  Enjoy!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Late Update of My August Vegas Haul

I know, this is a super late - like 3 months - update.  I went to Vegas with my friends in mid-August and after I got back, I did say I'd do a haul of what clothes I bought in Vegas.  Though I really didn't get much, here's my haul.

I don't remember what the cost of these were.  But I did see the shorts and dress were still being sold online.
The dress is sold online for $23.80 CAD.
The shorts are sold online for $21.80 CAD.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

October 2011 Vaughan Mills and Online Haul

Last week, I stopped by Vaughan Mills for a bit of clothing shopping.  Mainly I wanted to shop at the Forever21 store since I haven't shopped there since it opened.  Personally, I find this F21 store has more variety and better choices than the Eaton Centre and Fairview Mall ones.

This tribal t-shirt has a wide neck, which can be worn off the shoulder.  This shirt was $17.80.
The body con dress has a slight slit on the chest.  This dress was $23.80.

This Lululemon Integrity Hot Tank that I got in light purple cost me $52.  A little pricey but I like it.
Another gym tank top I got from Reebok that I got in a darker purple cost me $9.99.

This is my online F21 haul.
Floral chiffon sleeveless top was $18.80.
Brown shorts was $27.80.
Floral BodyCon dress was $13.50.
Beige rib knit tights was $9.80.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Review: Persian Cold Wax

How many ways have you tried removing body hair? I've tried shaving, pucking with tweezers and finally waxing.  I've tried the Veet wax strips and they barely work.  Shaving works too but it just gives me thicker and more noticeable hair.  Pucking with tweezers can thin out the hair but also create ingrown hairs and dark armpits.  I finally resorted to cold wax as it was recommended to me by a friend.

The scent:
There is no scent.

Very thick.

Take the provided popsicle stick and twirl up some wax then apply where hair needs to be removed.  Then take the fabric strip and cover the wax area.  Pull the strip parallel to your skin surface in the opposition direction of the way most of your hair grows.  Best to be pulled in one quick motion.

I've tried warming the wax in microwave for easier pick up but it kinda ruins the wax, so I don't recommend it.  I feel the wax becomes less adhesive.

Great packaging.  There is not better method of putting the wax in.  It comes with the wax, two different shaped wooden sticks for application and plenty of reusable, washable fabric strips.

Thoughts / Results:
The wax really does the job well.  It fixed my dark armpits problem.  I haven't noticed any ingrown hairs.  Prior to using wax, I read out way to get rid of dark armpits like using a exfoliating product with beads in it, loofah, and moisturizing after showering.  These methods did lighten the armpits a bit but not by much.  Wax really does the job well, it easily pulls those hairs out of the pores.  Much better than pucking one by one.  The one flaw is that sometimes, the wax can't get to all the hair.  Probably due to the short hair length, which is forgivable as the wax can't grab a tight enough how to yank out the barely coming out hairs.  I usually wait until my hair is about 0.3 - 0.5 cm long before I wax.

My legs aren't hair so I don't really bother with them.  My leg hair is barely noticeable. 

Another good thing is its all natural ingredients.

$16.99 CAD (I believe this was the cost I paid at Shoppers Drug Mart)

Product: Persian Cold Wax
Rating: 5 / 5

- Helped my dark armpit problem
- Haven't found any ingrown hairs
- Convenient and efficiently removes hair

- Doesn't remove smaller hairs but that's forgivable

Shiseido the Makeup Perfecting Lipstick in Praline P21

L - R: MAC Honeylove, Shiseido P21
Currently I'm using the Shiseido Perfecting Lipstick in Praline P21.  It's a neutral beige colour.  One thing about Shiseido's lipstick is they're really moisturizing.  This colour is really pigmented.  However, they don't have a long staying power.  I'd say the reapplication is needed every 30 mins.  It's a lustre colour but after 30 mins, it dries out.  A little colour may still be there but it'll lack that lustre colour.

Shiseido Perfecting Lipstick in Praline P21

With flash (L-R): Shiseido P21, MAC Honeylove

Without flash (L-R): Shiseido P21, MAC Honeylove

Product: Shiseido Perfecting Lipstick in Praline P21
Rating: 3.5 / 5
- Moisturizing
- Pigmented
- Sheen version of MAC Honeylove

- Applies sheen but dries pretty quickly

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Review: Skinceuticals Hydrating B5 Serum

I have been using this Skinceuticals Hydrating B5 serum for more than one month.  Since I have so many skincare products to go through, I share most of my skincare with my mom and this is one of the many.  And seems like results are the same between my mom and I.

The scent:
No scent

Very liquidity.  As you can see (right), one drop on my finger and it runs down very quickly.

After cleansing and using toner, I use serum before moisturizing.  I tend to use two drops, one on the middle finger and one on the ring finger.  Then rub my fingers together and in a patting motion, pat it all over my face and neck.

The product comes in a dropper bottle.  For its liquidity consistency, I think the dropper is a great design.  The bottle is made of glass - so best not to drop it on the floor.

What it claims:
"Contains high concentrations of hyaluronic acid to bind moisture to the skin and increase hydration.  Enriched with Vitamin B5, this hydrating fluid maximizes the benefits of your daily moisturizer.  Fragrance-free formulation ideal for all skin types."

Thoughts / Results:
Since I've used this product for a two months, I've still been getting dry skin patches on my nose once in a while.  I thought this product could have helped with me that problem.  Unfortunately, it didn't help much.  My skin did get a little smoother or softer but not by much, so this proves it does help with absorption of moisturizers.  Now one of the problems I've noticed is the milia I have been getting along my jawline.  As I said before, my mom has been using this product as well and she's been getting milia on her jawline as well.  I haven't noticed anything else of my skincare routine that has changed, so I can only conclude it was because of this product.  The recommended amount to apply this product was 3 to 5 drops, and clearly I had to reduce that to 2 drops.

I like the idea that it's fragrance-free as I'd prefer sometimes that products don't have a scent.  And I like that it's in a dropper bottle as it's easier to control how much I want by how many drops.

$66 USD (but I got it at a discount for $59.40 USD)

Product: Skinceuticals Hydrating B5
Rating: 2 / 5

- Hydrating with use of moisturizer

- Not best to be used alone as it gives no effects
- Causes milia on my jawline

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Review: Dr. Scholls Sleep and Slim Socks

Dr. Scholls Sleep and Slim socks are thigh length socks that are super tight, creating pressure along the leg.  The purpose of these pressure points is to slim down your legs by reducing water retention.  Water retention - causes swelling - is the accumulation of excess fluids in body tissue.

Cost: $31 USD


Everyday wear these socks to bed.

Thoughts / Results:
These socks are really tight but bearable.  On some nights, I feel that it's so tight and makes me feel too warm to sleep - so warm that I start sweating.  I was able to tell that these slim socks do work by taking measurements before and after putting them on.  It's not recommended to leave them on for too long - more than 8 to 10 hours.  But I've done that and I didn't notice much difference.  As for the lasting results, it is a temporary fix.  Results are not permanent and the slim socks must be wore as long as you want to slim down a few centimeters of your legs.
What I don't like about these slim socks is the end of the socks at the thigh.  It has a tendency to slip or roll down on the thighs while I sleep.

Product: Dr. Scholls Sleep and Slim Socks
Rating: 4 / 5

- Gives temporary results
- Makes me sweat it out

- Has a tendency to roll down the thighs

Monday, October 24, 2011

Haul: Urban Outfitters + Sephora + Le Chateau had a $10 shipping option about 2 weeks ago and today, my shipment finally arrived.  According to their website, shipments to Canada should arrive within 10-12 business days and mine came on exactly 10 business days.  =) Best thing is my package was able to skip customs.
Yet, I didn't get much on UO and spent $66.37 CAD.  With shipping, I spent $77.37 CAD on this package.

1.  Title Unknown Dreams Oversized Fringe Tee - $25.49
2.  Sparkle and Fade Paperbag Short - $29
3.  2 pairs of Pointelle Tight - $5.94 each

Overall, I'm pretty happy about this purchase.  However I do wish the shorts didn't come so wrinkly. =\

Last week, I dropped by Sephora to see what I can get with my gift card and I came home with a bottle of Urban Decay Long-Lasting Makeup Setting Spray.  It cost me $39.55 CAD with tax, I really should've bought it when I was in Vegas in August =(.  The price there was $29 USD.  Anyway I've been using it since I bought it and I'm pretty satisfied with this purchase.

Last Sunday, my mom got a 50% off all purchase ticket for Le Chateau Outlet for up to a maximum of $100.  We spent a good 3-4 hours at the outlet trying on clothes and we bought a few pair of dress pants.  I saw this pair of sunglasses with UV400.  I'm loving them! =) I love how nerdy yet unique they look.  And even though I prefer my dark shades, I would still wear these as accessory eyeglasses.  The best part of buying these glasses was they cost me $1.50 with the discount! =D

Friday, October 21, 2011

Review: MAC Prep+Prime Skin Refined Zone Treatment

About a year ago, I heard about this Skin Refined Zone Treatment that was supposed to shrink the size of your pores - temporarily.  I was really interested to try out this product since I read from quite a few reviews that it does work.  I was super happy to find this product at one of the MAC warehouse sales I went to last year.  Now, I've been using this product on and off - only times when I remember to use it - and I believe I'm ready to review this product.

The scent:
Straight from the tube, the product has a strong chemical acidic scent.  But when applied, the scent disappears.

I use this after cleansing my face and before I apply my regular facial moisturizer.  A small amount of this product will go a long way.  I tend to apply this product on areas where I get visibly larger pores - i.e. nose, the nose-cheek area, between the eyebrows, and chin.

The consistency:
Not thick, a little more on the runnier side - kind of like lotion consistency.

Personally, I like the tube packaging.  I can control how little or how much I want.  However, the tube I bought from the MAC warehouse sale was slightly off printed, and maybe because of this not-so-perfect packaging, it ended up at the sale.

What it claims:
"A light, oil-free emulsion that helps cloak visible pores while controlling oil and shine. Applies "wet" for a gentle micro-exfoliation: dries instantly to create an invisible, long-lasting natural matte finish. Ideal for the T-zone."

Thoughts / Results:
This product is definitely not just a hype.  It does work, for me at least! I have combination skin where my T-zone area tends to get more oily throughout the day.  Once applied, it immediately matifies the skin.  In terms of shrinking/minimizing pores, it just barely does that job.  Just like what it claims, it acts as cloak to conceal/hide visible pores.

$24 CAD @MAC counters
$10 CAD @MAC warehouse sale

Product: MAC Prep+Prime Skin Refined Zone Treatment
Rating: 4 / 5

- matifies skin

 - barely shrinks pores


Thursday, October 20, 2011

Review: AHA + BHA Daily Peel Pads

What's AHA and BHA? AHA and BHA stands for alpha and beta hydroxy acids, respectively.  They are also widely known as salicylic acid.  They are used as chemical peels of the skin which - when applied - dissolves or exfoliates the outer layer of our skin.  Essentially it speeds up the turnover of our outer layer of skin, removes dry dead skin cells and skin blemishes and in turn, improves our skin texture - soft, youthful-looking, minimizing fine lines, etc.  It is usually recommended to use these chemical peels daily because your body or your skin reacts to the dissolving of the skin by thickening it - a defense mechanism your body naturally performs.  
Now I bought these pads earlier this year - when it was still winter - to remove the dry skin on my nose area.  But I haven't been consistently using them since: (1) it wasn't winter, so my skin was AS dry; (2) I was just too lazy to keep up with using it every other day as recommended by the sales associate; (3) my skin itched after application.

The scent:
Smells like chemicals.  Not particularly strong, not a light scent either.

I wash my face with a cleanser first then apply the "Step 1 - Cleanse" pad, wait a minute for it to do its work on my skin then follow up with the "Step 2 - Peel" pad, wait another minute and apply my moisturizer.  In circular motions, I do go over my whole face with the pads but I concentrate more on my T-zone area where they tends to be more oily areas and more dry skin. 

Step 1 - Cleanse pad
Step 2 - Peel pad

It comes in two separate containers, each soaked with different solutions - Step 1 has the cleansing solution; Step 2 has the peeling effect solution.  The pads are made of thin cotton - one side is bumpy while the other is smooth.  I use the bumpy sides of the peel pads.

What it claims:
"A sophisticated 2-step daily peel formulated with alpha and beta hydroxy acids to exfoliate dead skin cells and help increase cellular turnover.  Step 1 cleanses skin and better prepares it for improved effectiveness of Step 2 - the peel.  This advanced formula helps to minimize the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles and age spots, create more even skin tone and increase skin brightness and clarity. Skin feels revitalized and fresh, and stays moisturized thanks to hydrating ingredients that help prevent skin from over drying.  Results are softer, smoother and more radiant-looking skin."

Thoughts / Results:
One of the reasons I don't use these peel pads that often because I don't feel these peel pads work amazingly well.  My skin doesn't feel exceptionally softer.  I was told this B. Kamins AHA + BHA Daily Peel Pads works just like the B. Kamins Bamboo and Rice Facial Polisher but I find the polisher works a lot better.  It claims to give softer, smoother and more radiant-looking skin but I feel none of those results apply to me.  My skin isn't any softer and when compared to the polisher, the polisher does a more evident and better job.
Now I don't have a problem with the Step 1 - Cleanser pad, but the Step 2 - Peel pad cause itchy sensation on my skin.  I guess I can describe it as irritation.  However, the packaging does claim this product does gives a 'tingling sensation that may be felt is a sign that the product is active on the skin.'  Then again, it's a itchy sensation that I feel, not a tingling one.
My skin doesn't appear more radiant or bright after using this product. Though I do feel that it works on pimples.  I had a few pimples then I rub the pads over those areas and the next day, the pimple started to get smaller and disappear.
I do feel my skin has thickened overtime after using this product as I had a few milia formed on my cheeks and around the jaw.

$59 CAD

Product: B. Kamins AHA + BHA Daily Peel Pads
Rating: 3 / 5

- Helps relieve and diminish pimples
- I do feel the itchy sensation, meaning the chemical peels ARE reacting to skin

- I do feel my skin has thicken as I find more milia formed on my cheeks and along my jaw line
- doesn't make my skin more radiant or bright

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Contagion, the movie

I haven't been to the theatres to watch a movie since April or May, which was when I saw Water for Elephants.  Today, I was bored and my friend asked me if I was interested to go see Contagion with her at the theatres tonight.  Tickets tonight at certain theatres are $5.25.  I was a little hesitant to go, since most of the time my friend chooses a movie, it's a drama one.  =\  I prefer to watch action, adventure, comedy and chick flick movies.  Not a fan of horror movies, I find some of them too scary or rather most of them.  And I don't like drama movies because I find the plot usually moves too slow.  You'd know I'm bored of a movie if I start checking my watch to see how long it's been.

Anyways, Contagion is a thriller movie so I thought it wouldn't be so bad.  40 or 50 mins into the movie, I started checking my watch.  =\  There were a few slow parts in the movie.  I kind of expected Matt Damon to play a heroic role where he would save a bunch of people, sadly he doesn't.  Although I do have a habit of washing my hands every time I come home, but this movie has definitely gotten me paranoid about being hygienic.  So tomorrow, I'll be picking up some hand sanitizers at the drug store to keep in my purse.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Review: Clarisonic Classic Sonic Skin Cleansing System

I bought my Clarisonic Classic back in January of 2010.  And yes, I still have the box that it came in with, just so I can take pictures and do a review on it.  =\  I know there are tons of reviews on Clarisonic systems, but I have one, so I might as well add one extra review to the thousands that are out there.  I initially wanted the Clarisonic Plus, which included an exfoliating body function, but apparently, using a normal brush if just like using the exfoliating body brush - the only difference is the surface area it covers.  Back then, in-store Sephora in Canada only carried the Clarisonic Classic, so Clarisonic was pretty new to Canada.

- It's a cordless cleansing system that has a built-in rechargeable battery
- You can immerse this in water
- With the use of a facial cleanser, it removes up to 6x more makeup than manually doing so
- Removing more dirt and makeup, and gently exfoliating your skin can help your skin absorb your moisturizer better, thus healthier for the skin
- Clarisonic Classic includes a cradle charger
- Two speed settings - normal and low
- 1 button for ON/OFF
- Uses a T-TIMER to keep track how long to spend cleansing each area of the face
- System comes a new sensitive brush head and three 1 oz trial sizes of cleansers - refreshing gel, gentle hydro and nourishing care
- Has a 2-year warranty

To change speed settings, just hold the button for 3 seconds until you hear 3 beeps.  If the 3 beeps are ascending, it means it's been changed to normal speed.  The 3 beeps are descending means it's been changed to low speed.
It has a timer that is set to clean 20 seconds each for the forehead and nose/chin, and 10 seconds on each cheek.  Their recommended way is to start on forehead, and after you hear a beeping signal along with a pause, you move on to the next area of your face.  So basically, with this factory default setting, you'd be cleaning your face in 1 minute.  However, you can change the settings so that you'd be cleaning your face in 2 minutes instead.  So instead of 20 seconds each on the forehead and nose/chin, you'd spend 40 seconds on each area; and 20 seconds on each cheek.  You can also choose to not use the T-TIMER feature and not be restricted to a time-frame to cleanse each area of your face.  To change this setting, press and hold the power button for 10 seconds until you hear the beeping signal corresponding to the setting you want.  If you hear one long beep and 2 short beeps, then you've changed it to the 2 min setting with the use of the T-TIMER feature.  And with just one long beep, it's the 2 min setting with no T-TIMER.  And the one long and one short beep is the 1 min setting with the T-TIMER.

I prefer the low, just a personal preference.  And because 2 minutes feels too long, I set mine at 1 minute.  Don't press to hard with the system on to your skin because then it won't cleanse your face that well.  On some days, I use my Clarisonic in the morning and at night.  On other days, I use it only at night.  However, I do find that using my Clarisonic too often does result in a more oily face.

The Clarisonic Classic Handle doesn't feel flimsy, so you don't get that feeling where you drop it and it'll shatter.  Though I do feel it's on the heavier side - probably because of the built-in battery.
Personally, I like the cradle charger.  I know the Mia uses some sort of magnetic charger, which is more convenient for traveling uses.  But individuals like myself that don't go out on trips too often, I find the cradle charger saves a lot of counter space in the bathroom.  It takes up less surface area that way.  Plus, even if I do take my Clarisonic Classic with me on vacation trips, I find that one full charge can last me at least 2 weeks - considering I use it day and night.
As for the box packaging it came with, there's not much for me to say about it.  I don't love the packaging, nor do I hate it.  I feel indifferent to it. 

I don't quite remember how much it was.  It's definitely over $200 CAD, even after using the Sephora 10% discount.

Thought / Results:
Overall, I like my Clarisonic.  I do feel my skin is softer after cleansing my face and before I apply any skincare products on - at least softer than washing my face using my hands.  It requires using a light hand when rotating it around your face, if you press too hard, it won't do as good of a job on cleansing.  However, I do find that my Clarisonic worked the best in the first few weeks or first month I got it.  After a while, it seems like it doesn't cleanse my face as well anymore.  Even after changing the brush, I feel it doesn't work quite as well as when I first bought it.
It's suppose to reduce the size of my pores, unfortunately, my pores seem to be the same size as before I used the Clarisonic.  My pores aren't huge, but I've seen people who such small pores that they're not noticeable, and I was hoping the Clarisonic could achieve that effect for me.
But I do feel that my moisturizers and other skincare products have taken a better effect on my skin.  It is even more noticeable during the winter, where my skin would used to have dry patches - i.e. cheeks, nose, area between nose and mouth - these areas no longer appear dry during the cold winter months.
After a few months of using the Clarisonic, I found out to clean the brush head and take it apart, the best way is to put the clear plastic cap on and twist the brush head out.  So for those of you who already have a Clarisonic, note to yourself the proper way of removing your Clarisonic brush head.  Don't break your valued $200 Clarisonic!

Product: Clarisonic Classic Sonic Skin Cleansing System
Rating: 4.5 / 5

- Better absorption of skincare products
- Skin feels softer
- Cleaner face - not as many breakouts
- Great gentle exfoliator

- My pores haven't shrunken after using the Clarisonic Classic
- I'd think the bristles can be harsh on some individual's sensitive skin
- You can really unnoticeable press too hard on the system onto your face when cleansing, so it's hard to keep a "light-hand" to know it's doing its job properly
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