Vanity Post: Benefit Agent Zero Shine Workshop

Wow, it sure has been some crazy weeks! I do apologise for the lack of recipe posts here, as I barely has time to cook for myself for the past month and have been sticking to simple frittata and soups for my meals. Here’s a fairly backdated post for Benefit, as I attended a small workshop at their Midvalley branch back in February.

I’ve always been quite fond of Benefit line of cosmetics because of their cute packaging and fun names. I remember going on a Benefit shopping spree several years ago after being successfully coaxed into a makeover one day at Myer Melbourne. Hence it was just the right time for me to be reintroduced to them again with the launch of Agent Zero Shine (more on that later).

Some of my favourite products

I arrived at the workshop rather late due to the delay of my flight from Penang (that reminds me I need to blog about my Penang work trip soon) so the MHB girls were already there and had their makeup removed. I probably didn’t get the memo otherwise I wouldn’t have put on my makeup prior to the workshop. So there I was frantically removing my makeup as the girls put on their face mask, sitting back and chit-chatting away. The mask was soaked with Benefit Prep Moisturizer Toning Lotion to soothe our skin and prep our skin for the makeup.

Benefit Skincare

We then put on the moisturizer followed by the eye cream. I really like the light texture of their skincare products, perhaps time to try some of them out once my current one finish.

James demonstrating with the POREfessional

A primer has become rather essential in our makeup routine not only to increase the staying power of the foundation, but also to prevent environment irritant clogging our pores. Here Benefit’s star product the POREfessional is perfect for the job. Once again the texture is fairly light and non-sticky.

I don’t normally use liquid foundation (my eternal combination is BB Cream and Mineral Powder Foundation for minimal coverage) but find their “Hello Flawless Oxygen Wow!” quite pleasant. A little bit goes a long way and the coverage is quite good too.

The Benetint

We then moved on to my favourite product of theirs, the Benetint. It’s supposed to be the highest selling product in Korea and the Korean girls mainly use it on the lips. The famous lip and cheek stain actually comes in several shades but Benetint is their signature with a sweet rosey colour. Just do a couple of swipes across the cheeks and blend, and dot it on your lips. Fabulous!

We also tried on a couple of other things including their “Gimme Brow” Brow Volumising Fibre Gel, which gives our eyebrows natural definition and is pretty easy to use. For eyeshadow I used a small brown palette to achieve a smoky eye look. But what I was really impressed with is their “They’re real! Mascara”. You might be able to guess from the name for their dramatic results. No need to curl our lashes, just a few brushes and voila! Here’s a pic of my done-up eye.

My lashes are usually quite pathetic, here they look nice and long!
No need for falsies.

And of course, the last step involves their brand new POREfessional Agent Zero Shine.  It comes in a tube with a twist off brush. The shine-control powder instantly minimizes shine and helps smooth the look of pores. Just twist off the brush, tap the powder onto the lid and dip the brush in, and sweep on your face for a matte complexion.

Agent Zero Shine

I love it! As we all got to take one home, I have been carrying this product everywhere and it’s especially handy when I am doing outdoor gigs.

Here’s a pic of my finished look.

And of course, we need a group pic with the girls.

 

Thank you Benefit for a fun workshop!

The Mid Valley branch offers brow bar service too! They provide one-stop brow shop for their signature brow shaping, body & facial waxing everything you can find from head to toe. Check out their new store in Mid Valley. To find out more, feel free to visit their website as follows:

MIVVA Beauty Box July Edition

Before I get to the review of July’s MIVVA Beauty Box (terribly delayed, I know), I just need to make a huge annoucement. I know that I generally don’t advertise the music stuff here but this is too exciting not to share. My first collaboration with 2 International Trance Producers (produced by Mehrad of Iranian origin, based in Singapore, remixed by Sebastian Weikum, based in Poland) is about to be released in a double-compilation CD in the UK (and online too so you too can get a copy). We are going International! Here’s a preview track for you:

Please do head over to YouTube to like the video, leave a comment and even share it on your social media sites if you have the time. It will definitely help me with my career. Thank you so much in advance! Enjoy the music.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ End Commercial Break ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Ok now, back to the beauty box. This is my fourth MIVVA Box and I’ve always wondered how they can keep the price so low, yet able to pack in so many products. It’s hard to believe the subscription is merely RM38 when you unbox and see this:

Apted themed: My Pamper Kit
Apted themed: My Pamper Kit

As usual, I’ll start with my favourite product in the box:

UNICO Eye Lip Enriched Cream
UNICO Eye Lip Enriched Cream RM98 for 15ml

I’ve never heard of this brand before. Google tells me it’s a local manufacturer though they do use the best natural ingredients and biotechnology in their formulations. This Eye and Lip cream is specially designed to block cell degeneration by scavenging the free radicals and epidermis mediators that could damage the skin tissue fibres. Designed to enhance the biological function of the lymphatic system, thus strengthening the cell metabolism. This helps to eliminate eye bags, dark eye circles, bulging, puffiness and fine lines, making the facial skin around the eyes firmer and brighter. Personally, I like the texture of the cream as it’s quite light and gets absorbed well. I haven’t used it long enough to get rid of my dark circles but eye area sure looks more hydrated. It also reduces my addiction to lip balm somewhat.

Re-gen Oil RM29.90 for 75ml
Re-gen Oil RM29.90 for 75ml

I’ve been a long-term user of Bio Oil and Re-gen Oil contains very similar list of ingredients: PCL Liquid, Lavender/Calendula/Chamomile/Rosemary Oils. To me, the benefits are the same: providing moisture and improving blemished skin and scars. I am naturally klutzy so needless to mention, I have a lot of scars on my body so these products are very much welcomed.

Beautymate Puryfying & Hydrating Nano Toner
Beautymate Puryfying & Hydrating Nano Toner

Beautymate is a pretty reputable brand and this toner is formulated to brighten up skin tone and increase the moisture balance. Nothing can sway me away from SKII FTE though, so this will be given away soon.

Smang Danahan Bonyeon Intensive Moisturizing Skin Toner and Emulsion RM190.90 each for 160ml
Somang Danahan Bonyeon Intensive Moisturizing Skin Toner and Emulsion RM139.90 each for 160ml

Another brand I’ve never heard of. Obviously Korean, it’s a herbal formula containing extract from chrysanthemum Indicum Flower, Cyperus Rotundus Root, Red Ginseng, Hoelen alba, angelica gagas, white peony roots, chuanxiong and gardenia seeds which improve blood circulation and enhances skin’s natural moisturizing function. The scent is a little strong, but the formula is silky and quite hydrating. I will keep this for my next trip (in couple of weeks’ time).

Elianto Ardour Shadow
Elianto Ardour Shadow RM8

Not a brand I’d go for, but I do like the colour (I use quite a bit of blue as I have a lot of dresses in various shades of blue). This has a matte finish though, so a little bit goes a long way.

Cute little Pumice Stone
Cute little Pumice Stone

Compact enough for travel, this is useful to scrub off the dead skin and calluses on my feet. Sorry if the visual isn’t too pretty (well unless you have a foot fetish….. please do keep it to yourself if that’s the case yeah).

So that’s all for July’s MIVVA Beauty Box. Definitely good value for money! Want to get yours? Head over to www.MIVVA.com to find out how!

More info:
Facebook: fb.com/MIVVAcom
Twitter: twitter.com/MIVVAcom

Vanity Trove July Edition with Kose

This month’s VanityTrove is all about KOSÉ. Specifically the Infinity range of product. As the name suggest, giving your skin a forever young appearance by improving skin texture, colour and elasticity.

Infinite Youth is Possible.
Infinite Youth is Possible.

Personally, I have used the Sekkisei range and found the product a little too harsh now for my sensitive skin. So it was interesting to see how the Infinity products would fare. So let’s take a look quickly, shall we? I will start from the left.

Deep Protection UV – with SPF50+, this is a powerful guard for the skin. I like the texture of the emulsion as it’s totally non greasy and absorbs really well while keeping my skin translucent, unlike a lot of the sunscreen out there.

Pure Advance Clear Up Wash – I have tried a lot of cleanser be it gel, milk, cream, foaming, oil and found this one to be quite luscious with fine bubbles (meringue-like, as they say). Effective enough to remove excess make up and non-drying.

Pure Advance Oil Cleansing Gel – When it comes to makeup remover. I prefer to use an oil-based cleanser and this does the job well. It has an interesting gel formula that only turns into oil in contact with the skin. Follow up with the clear up wash and there you have it: lovely, smooth and clean face.

Pure Advance Essence Lotion II – I like the soft scent of this serum and it sure feels really hydrating when applied. It’s definitely not as harsh as the Sekkisei product as I don’t detect that signature alcohol scent.

Pure Advance Serum II – Once again spotting the similar floral scent, this is quite a lot richer yet non-greasy. Containing natural essences to rejuvenate, hydrate and plump up tired skin. This would be a good product for my stressful schedule. That reminds me I should be taking a break soon before I go insane. Heh.

Pure Advance Eye Jelly – As you know, the skin around our eye area requires extra delicate care and the eye jelly gives an instant boost to the under eye area with intensive moisture. The negative point is that it doesn’t seem to absorb well and gives off a somewhat oily appearance.

So will this range of products bring me Infinite Youth? I surely hope so though of course I have to use them for extended period of time to tell. It’s probably not going to make me a convert yet (from SKII) but a good range to consider as back up. Remember: beauty comes from within so eating well and practising healthier lifestyle in general will slow down the aging process.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Vanitytrove1

Introducing ALL NEW Customizable VanityTrove!

From July onwards, VanityTrove will select products best suited for you based on your Beauty Profile and Preferences on the VanityTrove website. You are also able to pick and choose your beauty samples to go into your personalised trove, which will then be sent to you within 7 working days.To ensure you get the products tailored to your need, all you need to do is fill up you beauty profile here.

Very straight forward questions :)
Very straight forward questions 🙂

Wishlist is another useful tool that will help you get the product you’ve been eyeing on. Remember the Like the brand and the product  too as this will help to unlock more samples for you to pick!

My wish list
My wish list: it’s quite long!

VanityTrove is not just a beauty page, it’s also a community for beauty junkies like me. It’s fun to write reviews for the products and read what others think about the same product too.

Love the product? Don't love it? Have your say on the product page.
Love the product? Don’t love it? Have your say on the product page.

And that’s not all! VanityTrove will be introducing new phase of beauty discovery, and you’ll be able to find out the latest happenings of the people you follow on VanityTrove (their beauty regime, likes and wish lists etc(. Think Facebook, but exclusively for beauty.

More info at VanityTrove website.Personalised VanityTrove subscription is RM50 per month.

Vanity Trove + Avène Workshop

It’s time for me to reveal what I’ve received in this month’s Vanity Trove! I can tell you that I was very impressed with the amount of products they’ve managed to packed in the box. Let’s take a look:

Full of goodies!
Full of goodies!

I reckon this might be their best month yet! The theme is “Obsessive Beauty” and it has indeed fed my obsession. I love how they covered hair, skincare and make up at once. I shall divide them into groups.

Hair care:

L'Oréal Professional Liss Ultime Shampoo and Masque
L’Oréal Professional Liss Ultime Shampoo and Masque

I’m actually using L’Oréal Professional Vitamino Color at the moment and I do love their products. The Liss Ultime promises to repair and smooth thick rebellious hair. Infused with Oil Incell technology (a combination of Incell and nourishing olive and argan oils), the shampoo will soften and nourish the hair while the masque protects the hair against humidity. Beautiful scent too.

Skin Care:

Decleor Hydra Floral Moisturizing Cream, Cocolab Aromatic Body Oil, Payot Speciale 5 Purifying gel
Decleor Hydra Floral Moisturizing Cream, Cocolab Aromatic Body Oil, Payot Speciale 5 Purifying gel

My favourite product from this series would be the Decleor Hydra Floral Moisturizing Cream. It’s deeply moisturizing but non-greasy. My skin absorbs it well and feels supple after applying this. I will probably get the full size next time. The Cocolab Aromatic Body Oil contains Virgin coconut oil with a fruity blend of essential oils. The coconut scent isn’t very apparent (not a bad thing) and it’s perfect for my dry skin especially the problem area. The Payot Purifying gel (2 samples) is included as bonus for filing out my beauty profile on their website. It’s targeted for skin imperfections, containing Melaleuca essential oil and Salicyclic acid, both are known for acne fighting benefits.

Of note I must mention that I have unfortunately lost the Soap Artisan Natural Lip Balm, probably in Penang somewhere. Such a shame though as I’ve only used it a couple of times and it’s incredibly rich and moisturising. My dry lips are still moaning the loss.

Make up:

Celeb Lash and Bifesta Eye Makeup Remover
Celeb Lash and Bifesta Eye Makeup Remover

If you look closely, you can see pretty purple strands on these false lashes, my favourite colour. Not for daily use but definitely great for stage performances. They are my favourite criss-cross style too. The “stems” are quite soft so should be very comfortable to wear. Can’t wait to try it out. A good make up remover is essential for a girl like me and I’ve tried many varieties: the best formula for me would be oil based remover. This eye makeup remover is not as effective as I’d like (had to use more than one cotton pad per eye) so I shall stick to my current one.

Avène x Vanity Trove Beauty Workshop @ Cafe Barbera
Very few things can lure me out of my Saturday afternoon stupor as I usually work (perform) til late on a Friday night. But last weekend Vanity Trove held a special member event in partnership with Eau Thermale Avène. I’m a fan of the Thermal Spring Water spray and was curious to check out their other products. It turned out to be quite an educational afternoon, with decent coffee at Cafe Barbera (the place smells so much like Melbourne.. must be the lingering coffee aroma)
Specialist for sensitive skin.
Specialist for sensitive skin.

We were told not to wear make up at the event (well, not quite, but we were required to wash our face anyway during the hands-on session), which suited me (extra 15 minutes of sleep, lol).

In short, all Avène products are formulated with Thermal Spring Water from this little French village called Avène (sorry to channel Captain Obvious). Apparently, some 200+ years ago, the villagers discovered the magic of their spring water after observing a horse with a skin condition magically healed after playing in the spring water (sounds rather surreal and almost fairytale-like), from there a water research centre and even a hydrotherapy centre was built. The spring water was found to be beneficial especially to people with sensitive and allergic skin (hello, I’m raising my hand here!). Daily use of their products will not only soothe the skin, also improve conditions like ezcema.

During the hands-on session, we were instructed to first wash our face, soothe with Thermal spring water spray, tone, mask, moisturize and lastly apply sunscreen. We all have different skin types and my best combination of products are as follow:

Avène Micellar Lotion (Cleanser and Remover) – a light formula but effective make up remover however I didn’t have eye make up on to test it.

Avène Gentle Gel Cleanser – Non-foaming formula, non-drying too

Avène Thermal Spring Water – the star of the show, it’s wonderfully soothing.

Avène Gentle Toner – Noticing a lot of gentle stuff here?

Avène Hydrance Optimale Light Hydrating Cream – although the texture is light, it’s absorbed quickly and provide enough hydration to my skin.

Avène “Very High Protection” Emulsion – armed with SPF 50+, it’s slightly sticky after application but not annoyingly so.

Besides trying out the products, we also got to take home some of them in a special edition of Vanity Trove, tailored to our skin types (according to our beauty profiles), what a great idea!

Including a full-sized Thermal Spring Water Spray
Including a full-sized Thermal Spring Water Spray
Thank you Avene and Vanity Trove for organising the event! I’m officially a fan of the Thermal Spring Water.
Avène Facebook Page:

Want to receive your own Vanity Trove and enjoy special events as a member? To order the July Edition of Vanity Trove, sign up and subscribe at www.VanityTrove.com/my for monthly subscription fee of RM50 or choose the 3, 6, 12 months subscription options.

For more information, visit

HiShop Beauty Ambassador Pack – May (featuring Jelly Pong Pong)

Ahhhh my hands are so itching to cook but I have been down with a bout of ulcer attack (mouth, not stomach) precipitated by my hectic schedule and sleep deprivation (by the way, have you ever had more than 10 ulcers at once? I counted about 15 and pretty sure there are some further down where I couldn’t see). I’m still in the middle of it and currently find swallowing a chore so I have resorted to a liquid diet. Imagine having to go through 3 days of singing with that amount of pain! Good thing is, I will be able to lose those stubborn flabs in the next few days. Hah! There’s always a silver lining, eh? I’m also busy preparing my menu for Plateculture, hopefully my supper club will be ready by the weekend. You’ll be the first to know, of course.

One month flew by so quickly, it feels like I’ve only blogged about the HiShop Beauty Ambassador welcome pack very recently. The new box arrived just a week ago with 3 Jelly Pong Pong products which I found very adorable. Jelly Pong Pong (rather weird but cute name) is founded by Susan Chyi (fellow Malaysian) who has been in the beauty industry for many years. The products are all made in Italy and it’s also good know that JPP is against animal testing.

May Surprise
May Surprise

I like how it’s all makeup products this time, as you know a girl can never have too many. I do not use any lipgloss or lipsticks generally, but if I leave the house without a lip balm, I’ll have a panic attack. That’s how much I’m addicted to them. So the Jelly Pong Pong Lip Cushion Lip Balm (Crush) is perfect for dry lips. It contains evening primrose oil, beeswax & aloe vera and comes with the most delicious sweet rose, berry flavor scent.

Jelly Pong Pong Lip Cushion looks like something we can actually eat.
Jelly Pong Pong Lip Cushion looks like something we can actually eat.

Despite the dark jam like colour, it’s not highly pigmented and the finishing is more like a sheer gloss. It’s also non-sticky. My favourite out of 3 products.

Doesn't the Jelly Pong Pong Brazillian Sun Blusher look so gorgeous?
Doesn’t the Jelly Pong Pong Brazillian Sun Blusher look so gorgeous?

Many years ago when the Oz girls are putting on bronzer for the sun-kissed look, Malaysian girls (Chinese, anyway) are still in favour of the pale oriental shade. I remember my friend trying to purchase a bronzer at our local duty free and the shop assistant just look confused. Now the sun-kissed look is more fashionable than usual, and I can cheat the holiday glow with this beauty. Jelly Pong Pong Brazilian Sun Blusher is the product that surprised me. When I opened the box, I was a little puzzled to see the purple flower, but turns out it’s connected to the puff, how cute! This product is a proper ‘brown’ (none of those orangey, rusty tone) and it is sheer enough with a little shimmer that also acts as highlight. Quite natural looking.

 Jelly Pong Pong Mineral Foundation Powder SPF 15 (Fair) Jelly Pong Pong Mineral Foundation Powder SPF 15 (Fair) Jelly Pong Pong Mineral Foundation Powder SPF 15 (Fair) Jelly Pong Pong Mineral Foundation Powder SPF 15 (Fair) JELLY PONG PONG Jelly Pong Pong Mineral Foundation Powder SPF 15
Jelly Pong Pong Mineral Foundation Powder SPF 15 (Fair)

I have been using Mineral Foundation Powder for years (M.A.C being my only choice so far) and it’s nice to receive similar product to try on. The Jelly Pong Pong Mineral Foundation gives a matte finish while leaving the skin silky to touch. My only problem is this is just a tiny bit light for my skin, but since I have actually gotten a little bit tan after the 2 Penang trips, this should be just ok when my tan fades. Just like my M.A.C foundation, this comes with SPF 15 which is an important factor I consider when I get my makeup products.

Thank you, HiShop.my for the lovely ‘presents’ that actually targets my own need. Looking forward to the next box of surprises!

By the way, as a reader, you also get to enjoy some discounts, so here are all the discount codes you can use.
MILKADEAL (8% off)
Disocunt Code: MAD0613
Multiple transactions allowed.
WHITE.MY (8% off)
Discount Code: WHITE0613
Valid till: 30 June 2013
Multiple transactions allowed.
HISHOP: RM20 voucher
Discount Code: HS0613
Valid till: 30 June 2013
Multiple transaction allowed. Redeemable on purchases worth RM 100 and above only*

Do subscribe to HiShop’s newsletter for exclusive offers: http://www.hishop.my/subscribe

For more offers and promotions, check out these websites below:Official Website
Facebook: HiShop Malaysia
Twitter: @hishopmy

Hopefully I’ll have a recipe to share in my next post! Pulling out all the stops to get myself better, wish me luck. 🙂

Shawn Cutler Salon Review

It has been a rather hectic few days for me and I’m excited to announced that I’ve come 1st Runner up for the Simplot Food Blogger Cook Off Challenge, I’ll do a little write up on the competition soon but I gotta say that I can’t seem to shake off this 1st Runner Up thing yet since 2007. Be it singing competition, beauty pageant, baking or cooking competition, always the number 2! Too much of a coincidence? Hehe. Anyway, I put up more food posts (few reviews and recipes to come), I shall write about my experience at the Shawn Cutler Salon as they have very kindly sponsored a makeover for us.

Shawn Cutler has been in the business for many years and has now opened the 4th branch just a stone throw away from their first salon on Jalan Telawi 2. The Cutler is located at the new Telawi square just opposite Bangsar Village II. I have initially made the appointment for the older branch but the staff there insisted for us to try out their brand new salon.

New Telawi Square where The Cutler is located
New Telawi Square where The Cutler is located

The new branch is distinctively different from the other as it’s blessed with abundance of sunlight, albeit smaller in size.

All glass wall gives it a clean look.
All glass wall gives it a clean look and you can see that it’s buzzing with activities

As per usual, I went into the salon with an open mind and left the pros to do what they want. I basically told them I need more volume in my hair (I’ve mentioned before that hair loss is my main concern for my hair) and perhaps a subtle pop of colour.

Before: Long, slightly curled at the bottom from the last makeover, but very thin.
Before: Long, slightly curled at the bottom from the last makeover, but very thin.

I have very fine hair and I’m starting to find that longer hair styles no longer suits me, so I told them to show no mercy and just cut as much as they want. As a result, I think I lost about 4inches of length.

A peep at the washing station
A peep at the washing station

I was told that they will have to make more alterations with their basin as some customers have complained about the angle. I just found it a little ‘short’ for tall people like me. Small issue though.

Majirel by Loreal colour
Majirel by Loreal colour, my hue was the red one in the middle.

I like red in my hair and that’s what I chose. Love to have a whole head of red hair but considering how lazy I am I will not be able to keep up with the touch-ups etc (and I hate the regrowth look), so highlights it will have to be. The hair dye took about 40 minutes or so and then it was time for treatment. Loreal Hair Spa was used on my hair, the main aim is to lock in more moisture for that healthy look.

Kung Fu Hustle lady!
Kung Fu Hustle lady!

Put up this photo and I thought it was hilarious. Here you can also see how vibrant the red is. Although the layers are actually all buried until the top layer.

Back view
Back view

Love it! On hindsight I should have asked them to put the colour at the very bottom layer too as this is less noticeable than I hoped. My hair now looks thicker too.

Tada!
Tada!

The curls are obviously temporary and it was achieved just by those hair rolls. Maybe I should invest in them. Seems like the least damaging option for big volume.

As red colour fades quickly, shampoo for coloured hair is important, and I bought a bottle from them.
As red colour fades quickly, shampoo for coloured hair is important, and I bought a bottle of Vitamino Colour Shampoo (middle pink series) from them.

I must say that the service is really cheerful and friendly in Shawn Cutler and every hair stylist truly shows their passion into creating a suitable for each customer. My stylist Emily in particular was good-humoured and best thing we had something very much in common.

With Emily.
With Emily.

You see, early into our session, I guessed correctly that my hair stylist is a Sarawakian (She’s from Kuching). Our conversation went something like this:
Emily: bla bla bla bla if this happens, then “Ngai Ti” lor
Me: Hey! You must be from Sarawak?
Emily: Eh how did you guess?
Me: Only Sarawakian would use “Ngai Ti”, haha!

From Urban Dictionary:
Ngaiti
A very popular Sarawakian Chinese slang (A region in the Borneo) to express “what the hell”, “OMG”, “gosh” or something else similar.

Once you hear someone else called out “ngaiti” you could directly conclude that they are the Sarawak people.

Just for your reference, my hair makeover would have costed this much:
Cut RM75
Colour (Majirel) RM250
Treatment (Loreal Hair Spa) RM180
Total: RM505.00

Thank you Shawn Cutler for the makeover!

After the long 3-hour session (clever me didn’t have time for lunch before the appointment and was starvin’ marvin’), it was only apt to have a cheap but good meal just next door to Telawi Square:

Banana Leaf Rice!
Banana Leaf Rice!

No need for fancy side dishes, just the rice flooded with curry gravy and veges! Yummo.

The Cutler
Shop 3, Telawi Square, No.39841, Jalan Telawi 3, Bangsar Baru, 59100 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: 03-22881008

Shawn Cutler’s Facebook page – http://www.facebook.com/pages/Shawn-Cutler/128088503930988

More info at http://www.shawncutler.com.my

Awesome Wholesome Vanity Trove (May)

First of all, I want to say a big thank you to Vanity Trove for their wonderful idea to collaborate with bloggers. It sure has added some element of excitement to my life knowing that I’ll get to try something new every month (third one, so far). You can check my my reviews on the March and April Edition.

I can tell you this month’s box is the best yet. The theme is “Awesome Wholesome”, and the focus is inner peace vs outer beauty. Well I’m all for skin care and beautiful glowing skin. A quick look at my daily regime you’ll know I spend a lot of time caring for my face and body, rather than piling on cosmetics on my face (except for events and performances, that I can’t really avoid). So this is definitely right up my alley.

Vanity Trove May Edition
Vanity Trove May Edition

Before I opened the box, I detected a pleasant scent telling me that I will like this very much. Initial thoughts: The products have bulked up as compared to the previous boxes. I guess I’ll start with my favourite products, which would be the Pure South Organic Body Lotion with Fresh Goat’s Milk, followed closely by the Tilley Goat Milk Soap.

Tilley Goat Milk Soap (RM12) and Pure South Organic Body Lotion (RM59 for 255ml)
Tilley Goat Milk Soap (RM12) and Pure South Organic Body Lotion (RM59 for 255ml)

My preferences for products has always leaned towards the creamy side. Think shea butter, cocoa butter, milk and honey. Which is why this duo of products ticked all the right boxes. The body lotion contains plant extracts and pure essential oils, perfect for dry skin (in my case, “aircond” skin). The rose oil and rosella extracts made the lotion smell amazing while boosting skin cell renewal.

I normally opt for shower gel for quicker shower, but occasionally using a bar soap can be a treat to my skin. This soap is wonderfully creamy and great for sensitive skin. Keywords: Organic Shea Butter, Organic Jojoba Oil, Organic Cocoa Butter. Love it! I think I might actually stick to this product for the long term.

Heaven on Earth Essential Oil - Lavender (RM50 - 5ml)
Heaven on Earth Essential Oil – Lavender (RM50 for 5ml)

Of all the essential oils available on the market, my favourite has to be lavender. Lavender is extremely versatile and the Heaven on Earth preparation can be used directly on the skin, inhaled (the vapor of course not the oil itself, best in a hot bath). As a chronic poor sleeper, my favourite way to use this is to apply a few drop on my pillow to help me sleep better. Apart from its well known relaxing/calming effect, it can also soothe insect bites.

EAU Thermale Avene Thermal Spring Water (RM19 for 50ml)
Eau Thermale Avène Thermal Spring Water (RM19 for 50ml)

I’m actually using the Eau Thermale Avène Very High Protection Emulsion (SPF 50+) as my sunscreen. The KL weather is brutal and this Thermal Spring Water is great for the cooling effect on skin especially during super hot days. Besides, it’s great for sunburn skin (although best to avoid sunburn in the first place), setting make up, soothing all sorts of skin irriation etc. This 50ml bottle is perfect for my handbag and will stay there from now on.

Schwarzkopf Essensity Natural Shine Serum (RM56 for 50ml)
Schwarzkopf Essensity Natural Shine Serum (RM56 for 50ml)

I can never pronounce Schwarzkopf properly but I do like their hair products. Fizzy hair is never a problem for me but it doesn’t hurt to add extra shine to my hair with organic essences of sesame and olive oils from the Essensity Natural Shine Serum. The citrus scent is rather refreshing too.

Great job for putting together such a fabulous box this month, Vanity Trove! Looking forward to June already. 🙂

Vanity Trove is also going to have a special booth at the Market, Jaya One this Saturday and there will be many exciting activities for us all. I guess I will see you there!

To order the June Edition of Vanity Trove, sign up and subscribe at www.VanityTrove.com/my for monthly subscription fee of RM50 or choose the 3, 6, 12 months subscription options.

For more information, visit

HiShop Beauty Ambassador Welcome Pack

Sometimes, writing a blog comes with interesting perks. Receiving beauty products certainly wasn’t on my agenda when I started this blog. Since the bloom of Beauty Boxes, many of us have enjoyed the delight of receiving beauty products at home. Well, HiShop takes it even further and have introduced a Beauty Ambassador Programme where we get to receive monthly delivery of goodies to review and share with our readers.
HiShop is an online beauty and cosmetics store, a sister company of MilkaDeal and White.my. They only carry Genuine Products and they believe that beauty should be made accessible for everyone. Well, especially for lazy shoppers like me. I think I receive an average of a parcel per week of various products, that’s how much I love online shopping. The postmen probably don’t like me so much though.
So a bright hot pink box came to my doorstep a week or so ago, and it is a heavy one too.
Eyecatching box used for all their deliveries.
Eyecatching box used for all their deliveries.

Not wasting any minute I opened it up and this is what I see.

Some goodies in there.
Some goodies in there.

The big bottle you see there is the Scent Affair Fragrant Bodywash – Pomegranate (725ml). I can never have too many types of body wash for choice of delicious scents. This one has a very refreshing fragrance that is good for the mornings to perk me up. It’s moisturising with aloe vera and natural pomegranate extracts and it also has antibacterial properties.

Beside the body wash there are also couple of samples: Nature & Co Pure White Lotion Light & Pure White Milky Lotion Light (in green) which is brightening and hydrating at the same time, and the Nature & Co Vital Purity Lift Mask which is a clay mask containing organic plant extract essence (moisturizing), organic lavender extract essence and, and organic chamomile extract essence, great for night time use as relaxation.
Baviphat Sharp Liquid Eyeliner
Baviphat Sharp Liquid Eyeliner

Hiding in the corner of the box is the Baviphat Sharp Liquid Eyeliner, an ultra black smudge proof eyeliner from Korea. Just as well my Sephora eyeliner is near finished.

Love the sharp felt tip
Love the sharp felt tip

I tested it on the back of my hand and it looked pretty good. Rich colour and clean line.

Still smudge free.
Smudge free after a few hours too.

I’ve been trying all sorts of things: rubbing it, running water over it and it still stayed. But it does come off easily when I tried to rub it off under the water.

I’ve actually bought something (which I’ll talk about soon enough) from HiShop and was happy with the service. You get free delivery for purchase over RM50 and they also give you the option to choose up to 3 samples. Best of all, I received the item just 2 days after I made the order.

Last but not least, good news for all of you: HiShop is giving away RM20 off discount for any purchases above RM100. Use this discount code: LOVEHISHOP (expires on 30 June 2013)

Do subscribe to HiShop’s newsletter for exclusive offers: http://www.hishop.my/subscribe

For more offers and promotions, check out these websites below:Official Website
Facebook: HiShop Malaysia
Twitter: @hishopmy

Vanity Trove April Edition: The Shower of Summer

You might have noticed that the cooking posts have decreased recently, and you are not just being paranoid. I haven’t stopped cooking, but I’ve been eating very simple meals involving whole fruits and vegetables. At most, I’ll throw a combination of vegetables into the pot to make soup (not nearly exciting enough). But don’t worry, I’ve bought plenty of ingredients for a few interesting dishes.

If you are planning to travel via Airasia this month, don’t forget to flip through the in-flight magazine. Some of my friends have already informed me via instagram/tweet/facebook that they have seen my face on Pg. 36. Though if you are not travelling, you can also download the magazine here. So this is what Pg 36 looks like.

5803_10151352894596440_1910271193_n
I’d like to thank Airasia Travel 3Sixty Magazine for this great opportunity and Wilson Ng for organising this.

Last weekend I’ve received my beautiful surprises from Vanity Trove. The theme this month is “The Shower of Summer”, so picture sunshine (which we have plenty of), beach, bikinis and your favourite pair of sunnies. Unveiling the surprises, it’s evident that this month’s box is more filled than the last.

Anchor Pendant and Seashell came from my own collection. Fitting though right?
Anchor Pendant and Seashell came from my own collection. Fitting though right?

First glance: several full sized products here and lookie there’s an eyeshadow palette by Kate (one of my favourite brands for eye shadow, and I have 3 different palettes already).

Earthy copper and beige.
Earthy copper and beige. (RM49)

This is almost identical to my Sephora’s 2 tone palette but with slightly more shimmering effect. My eyeshadows are much more toned down these days so this duo is just perfect. Safe to say this is my favourite item in the box.

Strong pigments
Strong pigments and sparkly

I’m a little surprised that there wasn’t a sunscreen of sort in the box but there is an Intensive Brightening Serum by Clarins which contains the exclusive Trans-Luminescent Complex, promising clearer and more radiant skin. I’ve just put this on after washing off my makeup from a photoshoot and it gave my skin a little glow after just one application. I also like how it’s very quickly absorbed.

Clarin's Intensive Brightening Serum (RM296 for 30ml)
Clarins Intensive Brightening Serum (RM296 for 30ml)

Besides, there are 5 of these samples which will last at least a week. What’s not to like?

ORIKS Gemstone Nano Platinum Aqua Watery Cream
ORIKS Gemstone Nano Platinum Aqua Watery Cream (RM398 for 50g)

I generally like ORIKS products and this Aqua Watery Cream is a moisturiser that is supposed to smooth the wrinkles, tighten pores and brighten your complexion. I think one can have too much hydration sometimes and this felt a little sticky after application. And my skin looked a bit too shiny after. I might try this with a different combination of toner/serum next time.

Perkins Nail Wrap
Perkins Nail Wrap (RM39.90)

You might have noticed that my nails are always bare and clipped short, it’s kinda occupational (doctors don’t wear nail polish, pianists do not keep long nails and manicured nails don’t quite gel with the kitchen) and a bit habitual I guess. I know, not very feminine of me. I do love the cute nautical designs though. These are easy to stick on with no drying time. So….. anyone want this?

Issey Miyake Pleats Please EDT (RM255 for 50ml)
Issey Miyake Pleats Please EDT (RM255 for 50ml)

I do like perfume samples simply because you can carry them even in dinner clutches. This one is a little fruity, a little floral with a citrus-y base note. Slightly sexy too. I’m a loyal fan of Annick Goutal though so it’s unlikely I’ll switch sides.

Bonus Product
KilaDoll Pearl Facial Mask (RM39.90 for 10pcs)

I reckon a girl can never have too many facial masks. And to be honest, most of them are great for a little boost for your skin. I’m a bit too lazy and use facial masks once a month at best. Looking forward to seeing the effects of the pearl extract, aloe vera, cucumber etc.

Lovely combination this month and definitely good value considering they are more generous with the samples this time (2 full sized products too).

You can still order the May Edition of Vanity Trove (do it before 14th April though). Sign up and subscribe at www.VanityTrove.com/my for monthly subscription fee of RM50 or choose the 3, 6, 12 months subscription options.

For more information, visit 

Beautiful Surprises – Vanity Trove March Edition

Several weeks ago, I received an email from Vanity Trove asking me if I would be interested to check out the March Edition of their beauty box. Well, I’m a not-so-closet beauty addict and love trying out new products without having to buy the full-sized items straightaway. Of course, I had to say yes!

Temptress
Temptress

The theme for the March Edition of Vanity Trove was “Temptress”. The way I see it, the products are meant to make us feel ‘sexy’ from within, as we received mostly skincare products with one makeup item (foundation). A far cry from what I’ve imagined actually. Well, let’s take a look at the individual products then.

Timeless Truth Orchid Extract Whitening Mask
Timeless Truth Orchid Extract Whitening Mask

Judging by the reviews available, the Timeless Truth Orchid Extract Whitening Mask is a clear favourite. It promises 7 Benefits: Whitening, Brightening, Moisturizing, Anti-aging, Clarity, Prevents Dark Spots, Reduce Uneven Skin Tone. Sounds too good to be true? I put it to the test last night and although the result is not quite as dramatic as described, my skin looks well hydrated and radiant after just a single application. The subtle floral scent is lovely. The most unique part about this product are the ear flaps for extra firming effect, it also covers the neck area too. For RRP of RM10, this is something worth investing in.

I also managed to scare the beejeezus out of Frank by posing at the doorway with the mask on. Cheap thrill!

Sensiplus Hydrasilk Day & Night Cream and Gel Tonic
Sensiplus Hydrasilk Day & Night Cream and Gel Tonic

Prior to this I’ve never heard of Etre Belle before. I do like the Sensiplus Hydrasilk Day & Night Cream though, armed with silk proteins, white tea and pure vegetarian ingredients, my skin feels quite silkier (for a lack of a better word) after application and the bonus SPF10 makes it more suitable for day time before applying my makeup base (which also contain SPF), the Gel tonic is meant to be applied before the cream and it also hydrates the skin. The full size products are of RM138 (140ml) and RM188 (50ml) respectively.

Asian Potions Blooming Ginger Body Lotion
Asian Potions Blooming Ginger Body Lotion vs my hand. Hand: 1, Lotion: 0

This is made from natural flowers, fruits and plant essences, and promise to moisturise the skin and improve firmness. I love the scent of the ginger flowers. But for a body lotion, this size is quite ridiculously small! It’s only enough for half my body. Points deducted just because of this hmph. The full size product is RM89 for 250ml by the way.

Kanebo Lunasol Makeip Base (top) and Skin Fusing Powder Foundation
Kanebo Lunasol Makeip Base (top) and Skin Fusing Powder Foundation

My make up base usually consists of only 2 products: BB Cream and a Mineral Powder foundation. So this Skin Fusing Powder Foundation seems like a pretty good product to try out. I’ve only tested the Powder foundation on small area of my face and it’s seems a tad too light for my skin. I will have to mix it with my other powder. The coverage is medium (I don’t need much usually anyway) and it has a matte finish. The Makeup base will be perfect for days when I have to wear makeup for longer hours, so I’ll try it this weekend.

Bio Essence Bird Nest Bio-Energy Firm & Brighten Eye Cream
Bio Essence Bird Nest Bio-Energy Firm & Brighten Eye Cream

This is probably a bonus product as it wasn’t listed in the little booklet. I use the same Bio-essence Cleanser at the moment so I know their products are pretty decent. This eye cream is great for daytime use with the SPF15. My under eye areas are a little beyond repair though so I might have to use something a bit more miraculous save them. Heh.

ORIKS Twister Essence
ORIKS Twister Essence

Another bonus product: ORIKS Twister Essense with Wild Ginseng. Another gentle hydrating product to give your skin a velvety texture. It also claims to help tighten pores (don’t really have a problem with this but hydration is always welcomed). This is a combination toner, lotion and essence, which is great for those are can’t be bothered putting a few layers of products daily. Unfortunately the product I received was only half filled.

To summarize my thoughts about the Vanity Trove Temptress Box: I don’t think the products match the theme. And even though Vanity Trove are supposed to send us a range of samples, I feel that they could have sent us at least Travel size/Deluxe sample size to justify the price. Beauty boxes are incredibly competitive locally and they will have to do much more to win the hearts of Malaysians. But a little birdy told me that the April edition is going to be much better, so let’s hope this is true.

To order the May Edition of Vanity Trove, all you need to do is sign up and subscribe at www.VanityTrove.com/my for the newly-revised monthly subscription fee of RM50 or choose the 3, 6, 12 months subscription options, before 14 April 2013.

You’ll also be able to find reviews on the website itself, post your own reviews and have the opportunity to update your beauty table with all the products you are currently using. Be careful as it can get a little addictive doing so.

For more information, visit