Tuesday, 30 May 2017

Why I Don’t Use Whitening or Brightening Skincare Products and Local Brand Products

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To be honest, this is actually 2 separate subjects, but I had to address them both together, for one relates to the other. This is also going to be a touchy subject, as I will effectively be saying to not support local industries, but some things have to be said.

I live in Malaysia and there is a thriving local beauty cottage industry, that is unfortunately, not premised on legitimacy nor integrity, but purely on making money. Lots and lots of money. Founders of such local brands are known as “Jutawan Kosmetik” or Cosmetics Millionaires, because they are. And they flaunt their wealth in the most ostentatious way.

chanel le blanc foundation, guerlain sakura blush, sisley phyto blanc

* Images are used for illustration purposes only 

I’ll preface this by saying that this is by no means a slur on legitimate local cosmetics businesses. How can you tell? There’s the real rub – you can’t. I could tell you that a legitimate cosmetics business will have some modicum of research behind it, or that it will have a proper ingredients list, and a proper company setup behind it, not just the face of one person flaunting their wealth and faces. Yet, as we all are aware, indie cosmetics companies often start out in someone’s kitchen, especially if they leverage on the current trend and demand for natural and organic skincare. Or they are formulated by a lab, which then sells the formula on an OEM (original equiment manufacturer) basis to be repackaged. Legitimacy therefore, is subjective and something to be earned, in my eyes.

I decided to raise this rather touchy subject, because locally, some beauty products have just been banned by the authorities for containing controlled substances. These are hydroquinone (skin lightening/whitening but can be carcinogenic) and tretinoin (treatment of acne but which can cause skin to peel). They are not banned substances per se, but may only be administered under medical advice, not sold to the general public. Prior to this, some products were banned for containing mercury (ostensibly used for skin lightening but which is also a poison).

For the most part, what I have observed over the years (these news crop up now and again) is that the creams and products that are banned usually target the one thing that local women actively seek – to lighten, or more accurately, whiten their skin. Locally, as in many parts of Asia, it is still widely perceived that fairer is better. There are ads on TV that tell you basically, that if you are fairer (or whiter) you’ll be more beautiful, more successful and be more attractive (Fair & Lovely anyone? 😛 )

It is no surprise therefore, that in the local market, whitening, or, the more politically correct term, brightening ranges of skincare bring in the bulk of a skincare brand’s income. It caters to what the people want, and it promises a whole host of things. Yet, I’ll state right here and now that I don’t use any whitening or brightening skincare. Not any more, and I’ll tell you why, based on my personal experience.

**Read lots more & Share your thoughts here**

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Sunday, 28 May 2017

Want an eyeliner that won’t transfer at all? You want the Marc Jacobs Highliner Matte Gel Eye Crayons

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Quite a few months ago, a giant box popped up on my door step all the way from the USA. No sender details, just like my mystery package from Bite last year. It was truly a mystery. But when I opened it, I let it a squeal of delight – and you know I don’t squeal.

Inside, was every single one of the (then) brand new Marc Jacobs Highliner Matte Gel Eye Crayon pencils! I was stoked and stumped all at once.

marc jacobs highliner matte eyeliner

The Marc Jacobs Highliner Matte Gel Eye Crayon is the matte version of their bestselling Highliner Gel Eye Crayon, which contains shimmer. While I had been very impressed by the Marc Jacobs liquid eyeliner, I had yet to try their pencil liners. This came at an opportune time, for I’ve been using colourful eyeliners in place of eyeshadow for a while – call it laziness or just a bit of apathy.

Oh and this is going to sound really trite, but these liners are AMAZING! I swear, they don’t transfer at all, not one bit! That is what impressed me the most. Let me show you how they hold up to water in my little experiment.

**Read lots more & Share your thoughts here**

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Thursday, 25 May 2017

Thank you lovelies for joining me at the #MWS10 Luxury Pampering Party with Jo Malone London!

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Hello lovely peeps!

Can you believe that it’s almost A WEEK since the #MWS10 Luxury Pampering Party held at Jo Malone London at Pavilion KL? Goodness me – where has the time gone?!

You didn’t know we had a party? Ah! That’s why you have to follow my social media channels lah LOL! The invitations didn’t go out here on the blog, as it was quite a special little thing and I wanted it to be super special for you.

mws10 jo malone party

But in a nutshell, here’s what I did. To celebrate surviving 10 years of blogging, I wanted to do something special this year. I ran a massive giveaway that many of you participated in (thank you for all your lovely kind wishes!) and I had originally planned for a little party to celebrate, but the planning process floored me, so I shelved the idea.

But along the way, as these things happen, I spoke to the lovely people at Jo Malone London, and they very kindly allowed me to host the first #MWS10 party in their new Pavilion KL store! Was I stoked?! WAS I STOKED?! 😀 Fragrances are such unique and personal things, and I absolutely loved the idea of having 15 readers experience this!

I was so overwhelmed on the day, and so caught up in the excitement (it’s been 3 years since the last MWS event!), that I totally forgot to take any photos! Or post on Instagram. And my one Instagram Story didn’t post – do I suck at IG stories or what?! 😛 But the lovely JML peeps provided a professional photographer, and I’ve just received the photos! So, come and see what went down at the #MWS10 Luxury Pampering Party! (I’d suggest you read till the end, but hey, you do you! 😉 )

**Read lots more & Share your thoughts here**

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Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Your Say: Is makeup primer a must-have for you? What is your favourite?

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When I started out learning about makeup and how to use it, I stumbled upon this thing called a “primer”. It all made sense, when put in a painting context – you prime your walls, before you apply your paint. It helps the paint stick better, and last longer, and creates a smoother finish. When I had my walls painted, I made sure they put on a primer too! LOL!

But, what d’ya know? That’s what makeup primer does too! We discussed this once right here on the blog, but that was way back in 2012 – a lot has changed in 5 years! Or has it?

use makeup primer

If you watch YouTube videos and try to learn about makeup, primer is always used. If you have oily skin, primer is recommended to keep the skin oil-free for longer. If you have visible pores, primer helps create a smooth finish.

Yet, how often do you use a makeup primer? Or rather, do you use any at all? 😀

**Read lots more & Share your thoughts here**

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Sunday, 21 May 2017

In love with the Melvita Apiscoma UHT Soothing Cream for helping my sensitized irritated skin get back on track

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I don’t generally have sensitive or easily irritated skin, but sometimes, I do silly things to my skin that results in my skin throwing a fit. This usually results in bumpy, dry and flaky skin for me. What I’ve learned to do then, is to take it easy.

I went through one such episode recently, and unearthed from my stash the Melvita Apiscoma UHT Soothing Cream, a product I fell in love with and knew I just had to tell you about it!

melvita apiscoma uht soothing cream

Melvita is a brand you may be familiar with. It’s a French brand of certified organic skincare, with its roots in honey and the bee. My favourite product from them has been the Floral Water Mist, which is lovely, soothing and hydrating, and I also liked their Nectar Supreme La Creme moisturiser.

While the Nectar Supreme La Creme is a good cream, I do think it serve a better purpose for those with more matured skin (and slightly deeper pockets). This Apiscoma UHT Soothing Cream however, is suitable for most, and especially, those with sensitive skin or those undergoing a bout of sensitivity – it happens! 🙂

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Thursday, 18 May 2017

Sharing grape beauty tips and secrets from founder of Caudalie – Mathilde Thomas

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Good skincare is better than hiding behind a mask of makeup.”

Wise words, from Mathilde Thomas, founder of French skincare brand, Caudalie, when asked for her approach to beauty. I had the privilege of meeting this tall, elegant lady in the beautiful setting of Flutes, at the National Museum of Singapore, during her visit to the region, and it was insightful and inspiring.

caudalie mathilde thomas

I was there, with another 2 members of Malaysian media, to speak to her and to gain a little insight into some new and upcoming products from Caudalie, and to learn a little more about the brand, and the person behind the brand, and her approach to beauty and skincare. So join me as I speak to Mathilde Thomas 🙂

**Read lots more & Share your thoughts here**

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