Ha-Ha-Halloween! (ft. Spooky Cute NOTD)

♫ Ragnarok Online BGM

It's that time of the year again, when people roam the night with outrageous costumes/makeup, and adorn their nails with blood-stained tips.

It's 31 October, Halloween! ψ(`∇´)ψ

I'm not one for dressing up on Halloween because #homebody, but it may also be due to the fact that I find the whole idea of celebrating (or rather, just using it as an excuse to go crazy with makeup and costumes) Halloween in Malaysia kinda absurd. It's like... why do we even do it? Absurdity aside, I'm always fascinated by the gory, spooky and downright creative nail art designs that pop up online in October. For last year, I did a very simple Halloween manicure using nail decals, but this year I decided to try my hand at some spooky-cute nail art after watching cutepolish's Ultimate Guide to Halloween Nail Art video.

Thumb to pinky: Dripping blood; Jack-O'-lantern; Frankenstein; twilight graveyard; skeleton.
I picked these 5 designs because they seemed easy enough to do, and also because I wanted each finger to have a different colour, haha!

My favourites are definitely the Frankenstein and twilight graveyard, because the former is really cute and the latter looks gorgeous. Although I have to admit, I cheated by adding a bat nail decal to the graveyard. (¬‿¬) What's Halloween without bats, right?!

Did you do anything special for Halloween, like dress up for a scary party or nail the spooky spirit with a Halloween manicure? Do share! :)

The Big CLEO Shoe Drop (September 2014)

♫ Taylor Swift - Shake It Off

The thing with having a smartphone with limited storage is space that your come to realize that photos take up a LOT of space. I was clearing some photos on my phone a few days ago when I came across these, and thought 'Hey, I should post this up as a reminder to myself, and also to let others know what/how to prepare for next year!'. And yes, I realize this post is more than a month after The Big CLEO Shoe Drop. (⌒_⌒;)

(Picture credit: CLEO Malaysia)
Even before September had arrived, I was pretty excited about the September 2014 CLEO Malaysia issue because they had a limited edition Dipped Row for CLEO exclusive sold at selected bookstores. Then I got wind of the Big CLEO Shoe Drop event and was like 'EMERGERD I NEED TO GET A COPY NOW!' with my friend.

Dipped Row for CLEO Malaysia (Sept 2014)
There were 2 types of earrings and 1 type of bracelet in different colours to choose from. I ended up choosing the black and gold bracelet because I like the elegant match of colours, and it'll be easier to wear with my usual outfits. Unfortunately, the quality had me less than impressed as it was very light and plastic-y, unlike the earrings which were much more solid. Oh well.

CLEO Exclusive! Dipped Row for CLEO edition
13 September 2014, the day of The Big CLEO Shoe Drop, finally arrived. My friend and I had decided to go for the Midvalley session in the morning. I reached there around 8.30 am (the event started at 10 a.m.) and managed to get #47 in line. My friend had arrived earlier but went to grab breakfast before lining up, so she was about 20 numbers behind me.

Paper wristband with queue number
The queue in front of me when I arrived.
I was very happy with the way the CLEO staff handled the event. I think they had managed to learn from last year's event where some people got their brothers/boyfriends/husbands to grab an extra pair of shoes, and so this year they had some pretty strict rules e.g.
  1. ONE pair of shoes per copy of CLEO (they punch a hole through your copy to verify);
  2. You must be able to WEAR the shoes and WALK IN THEM to the finish line (which means if you want a guy to get an extra pair for you, you'll need to buy an extra copy of CLEO and find somebody who has the same shoe size and doesn't mind wearing ladies shoes);
  3. First come first served - you'll be given a number once you join the queue, so if any of your friends arrive later, they'll have to join the end of the line;
  4. The CLEO team had thoughtfully arranged the shoes according to size so that it'll be easier to choose.
Kudos to the CLEO team for great event management! *salutes* I have always been very annoyed by these kind of events because there are always queue-cutters and lax rule enforcement, but they did a stellar job and I am super impressed. (✿◠‿◠)b

After waiting patiently in line for 1.5 hours, the event finally started. We were all sorted into groups of 10 for our turn to choose the shoes. Each group had 5 minutes to try on the shoes and then had to wear their chosen pair over to the 'finish line'.

My loot from the event?
A pair of Melissa x Vivienne Westwood heels! (✿ ♥‿♥) My first pair of Melissa shoes ever.

My friend also scored a pair of Melissa heels, but hers is the Melissa x Karl Lagerfield ones.

Super happy with our loot that day, as both pairs together were worth more than RM 1000! Σ(O_O;)

The Big CLEO Shoe Drop
Here are some useful tips if you're going to an event like this, or even warehouse sales/ticket launches:
  • Do get to the venue early, but not too early, especially if you're going alone. 
  • Bring along a drink and some food to eat while lining up. Bring a book/magazine/MP3 player too, if you feel you're gonna be bored.
  • Be patient while lining up. No pain, no gain.
  • Keep your eye on the prize. CLEO had already published the brands/types of shoes that will be given out, so it's best to have a goal in mind to help you save time while choosing. After all, you only have 5 minutes!
  • Play nice and don't grab everything without letting go. It's okay to hold onto a couple of pairs to decide, but definitely DON'T hog everything. Let other people have a chance to choose. :)
At the end of the day, it's FREE, so don't take it to heart so much if you didn't get what you wanted. It's all in good fun, and it's a great activity to share with your friends. (๑>◡<๑)

Review: Solone Gel-Like Smoody Eye Pencil in #09 Turquoise

♫王力宏 - 依然爱你

You'll be seeing a few more eyeliner reviews from me, so brace yourselves! :P

Solone Gel-Like Smoody Eye Pencil
I discovered this little beauty during my recent Beauty Expo visit, and was totally blown away when I swatched it on my hand there.

Solone Gel-Like Smoody Eye Pencil in #09 Turquoise

Skin Aqua UV Watery Gel SPF 50+PA+++

♫ Taylor Swift - Red

Aloha! (✿◠‿◠)

The weather has been rather cold and gloomy lately, but sun protection is still very important during the day! We often neglect sun protection when we are indoors and also when it’s cloudy thinking there’s probably not much UV. However, did you know that long term exposure to the sun’s UV rays especially UVA can be damaging to our skin, causing our skin to age prematurely? UVA rays can cause damage the elastin fibres & collagen of our skin causing it to sag and droop. Furthermore, the skin will experience wrinkles, fine lines and pigmentation. Scary! (ºДº)

Skin Aqua UV Watery Gel SPF 50+PA+++
One of the latest sun protection products by Mentholatum SunPlay is the Skin Aqua UV Watery Gel SPF 50+PA+++, a watery-light and breathable daily sunscreen that protects your skin 16 times better against UV rays and premature aging. It is formulated with the new Solarex-3 technology to provide users with photo stable protection against  the sun’s damaging UV rays which is proven to resist photo-degradation 3x more effectively.

  • High UV Protection: SPF 50+ and PA++++ (formulated with Solarex-3 technology with photo stability for long lasting broad spectrum UV Protection; highest PA offers 16x better protection against UVA Rays)
  • Watery, Light Texture: Water-light texture that leaves a weightless feel and matte finish
  • Soothes & Protects Skin: With Aloe Extract & Portulacca Extract to soothe and protects skin from free radicals
  • Whitening: Contains Vitamin C to help fight dark spots for visibly fair and radiant skin
  • Gentle & Mild Formula: Suitable even for sensitive skin
  • Colorant-free and No Mineral Oil
  • Can be used for face and body 
(Click for larger image)
One thing I find useful is that the Skin Aqua UV Watery Gel can be used for both body and face. In fact, you can even use it as a makeup base!

Light, watery texture
The Skin Aqua UV Watery Gel comes in a plastic bottle with a screw cap and nozzle-type dispenser, same as most other Skin Aqua products. You'll have to shake the bottle before dispensing the sunscreen onto your hand/skin. It has a light, watery texture that is easily absorbed into the skin without leaving any greasy or oily texture. There is also a slight floral scent which I find very nice and soothing, which dissipates quickly.

The Skin Aqua UV Watery Essence SPF50+PA++++ (50g) retails at RM 37.90 and is available at all leading pharmacies and major supermarket outlets.

*PR sample. This item was sent to me by Mentholatum Malaysia  for review without financial compensation. All opinions expressed are completely honest and strictly my own.

Review: Y.E.T. Korea Nail Wrap #03 Rose of Versailles

♫ 张栋梁 精选集

You know I can never resist a pretty rose print, much less on my nails! ❣◕ ‿ ◕❣ *swoon*

I've known about these Y.E.T. Korea nail wrap stickers since last year, but I've never actually done a proper review of them. The brand name Y.E.T. stands for Yes! Enjoy Time; I have hardly heard about this particular Korean brand, but the items on their website look pretty cute and the designs are fairly similar to those from Peripera. I figure they're very much worth mentioning here on the blog, mainly because the nail wrap designs they offer are super pretty!

The design I'll be showing you today is Y.E.T. Easy Funny Nail Sticker #03 Rose of Versailles which was purchased during my recent Beauty Expo visit. This is my second time using them (the first time was during Chinese New Year earlier this year), and although I still haven't quite gotten the knack of applying it as perfectly as I want to, the results are still gorgeous. If you're curious, this is the one I used before - #07 Sunny Day, a sweet combination of rainbows and clouds.

Each pack of Y.E.T. nail wraps contain 18 pieces of nail wrap stickers in different sizes and a small nail buffer, which is used to trim off the excess sticker.

#03 Rose of Versailles is a beautiful black and white design featuring roses on a wavy background. If you see closely, the roses have a shiny diamante center.

(Source: BeautynetKorea)

Same as other nail wrap stickers, application is pretty straightforward.
  1. Choose a nail sticker that matches the size of your nail
  2. Stick and press it firmly onto your (clean) bare nail; trim sides using small scissors if needed
  3. Smoothen the edges, making sure there are no bumps or air bubbles
  4. Trim off excess sticker using a nail buffer
  5. (Optional) Wrap free edge of nail with matching shade of nail polish
  6. Seal with a top coat, and you're done! 
Step 5 (optional) to remove the white line after trimming the sticker
All done! :)
For this manicure, I managed to use only 4 pieces for all 10 fingers. (Also because I'm a cheapskate and want to stretch my dollars. #moneysavingtips HAHAHA) I used one whole sticker for the thumb and ring finger; the excess sticker from both were then used as tips for the index, middle, and pinky fingers. (~˘▾˘)~

It always happens with the thumb nail. ALWAYS.
Oh, the less-than-perfect application I mentioned earlier? I usually have the most problems with thumb nail application, not sure why. Maybe it's because it's more curved? All my other finger nails are fine, but my thumb nail always has issues with bumps at the sides and edges. (Imagine applying a sticker on a ball; there's always one section that sticks up, right?) The edge of the stickers, after being trimmed off, are also prone to jagged/rough edges. It could be due to the thickness of the nail wrap; these are actually quite thick compared to the Sally Hansen or Bloop ones, but are very stretchable and don't tear easily.

Nevertheless, despite these flaws (which could easily be user error on my part), I still absolutely love these Y.E.T. nail wraps because they are so pretty, and honestly, they look great on the nails. Nobody's going to just grab your hands and stare at your nails from 5cm away, right? (⌒_⌒;)

Left hand (improvised a bit on the index finger, which is barely noticeable)
Right hand
The black and white design really pops on the nails, and not only does it go with any colour outfit, it also makes a great manicure for formal or special occasions. What's not to love? (◕‿◕✿)

*Products were purchased using my own money. 

Beauty14 Expo at KL Convention Centre + Haul

♫ Coldplay - A Sky Full of Stars

Over the weekend, I paid a visit to the annual Beauty Expo at KLCC with my friend. It's a huge event where hundreds of local and international exhibitors from the beauty industry converge to showcase and expand their business. Although it's targeted mostly towards those in the beauty industry (e.g. hairdressers, salon owners, spa owners, makeup artists, nail art professionals, etc), the expo is also open to the public. This is good news if you're a makeup/nail/skincare enthusiast looking for some sweet deals. Don't believe me? Read on! ;)

The expo is practically the same every year I've been there, so it's quite easy to navigate around. The halls are divided into different sections, which are Spa & Wellness, Hair Products, Nail Products, and Makeup & Education. They also have region-specific sections, such as Korea, Taiwan and Singapore.

(Photo from Beauty Expo website)
The expo literally looks the same every year, so I'm not going to post a bunch of photos of the inside (you can check out last year's pics), but I did take photos of some things that caught my eye this year.

Pretty gel nail polish bottles
Hands down the prettiest (gel) nail polish bottles I've ever seen. Anna Sui, eat your heart out.

Mini sports balls?
No, lip balms!
Lip balms packaged to look like mini sports balls. There's a golf ball one that looks exactly like the real thing! Not quite sure what brand this is from, but it's under the same company that brings in Solone makeup (Taiwanese brand).

Girl de Provence fragrances by Girls Generation/SNSD
Girls Generation/SNSD fans might want to take note - now you can smell like your favourite SNSD member! The fragrance is called Girl de Provence and there are 9 scents in total, with each SNSD member having their own signature scent. Unfortunately, they have only brought in 3 for the Beauty Expo. Chatted to the friendly SA at the booth and got information that these *might* be available at Sephora sometime in the future! (¬‿¬) Not an SNSD fan by far, but I have to admit that the fragrances smell lovely.

Baylis & Harding lotions, body cremes and fragrances
The Baylis & Harding booth is one that will definitely attract your attention, with its pretty flower-strewn booth and typical English style decor. My mum absolutely loves everything rose-scented from this particular brand, which is sold at Metrojaya. They had some really irresistible offers exclusively during the expo.

On to the haul!

Tadaa! My Beauty14 Expo haul~
I would never forgive myself if I came back empty-handed amidst all the crazy promotions and discounts at Beauty14 Expo. (~˘▾˘)~ My friend apparently felt the same, because we actually went back the next day (Sunday + Monday) to grab more stuff, lol.

Nail products
Nail stickers, nail polish (China Glaze; score!) and some cheap striping polish, because everybody knows by now that I'm a serious nail polish/art lover.

mask sheets
Assorted sheet masks
I will not forgive myself if I did not buy any sheet masks from the expo. They are crazy cheap! Pro tip: If they're selling for cheap, make sure any sheet masks you buy are from trusted suppliers, and also note the expiry dates.

eyeliner lipstick
Tested out these Solone gel eyeliner pencils and was totally impressed by the pigmentation and quality! Also spotted my HG lipstick Peripera My Color Lips sold at one of the booths, and grabbed one for a steal. ψ(`∇´)♥ I'll be doing reviews for these soon, so keep a look out for them!

Total damage from my Beauty14 Expo haul? Less than RM95. (๑>◡<๑) *flips hair*
Now, time for me to live off of bread and plain water for the next 3 months. ಥ_ಥ

Review: OXY Anti-Bacterial Acne Patch

♫ Coldplay - Fix You

OXY has introduced yet another cool innovation for acne sufferers – a hassle-free Anti-Bacterial Acne Patch that effectively fights pimples with a clever disguise.

OXY Anti-Bacterial Acne Patch
OXY Anti-Bacterial Acne Patch is made with medical grade hydrocolloid dressing that can effectively absorb oil and pus inside pimples like a sponge, which helps to enhance pimple recovery. Its double action formula (Anti-bacterial + Absorbs Oil) works to effectively fight pimples, giving you faster results. With OXY Anti-Bacterial Acne Patch, you can instantly cover up that unsightly pimple while at the same time helping to inhibit bacteria infection and prevent blemishes.

The ultra-thin design of 0.03cm is translucent and close to the skin color, which makes it blend into skin and is barely noticeable. The patches - 26 in a pack - come in 3 sizes (0.8cm, 1.0cm and 1.2cm) to cater to different pimple sizes. Each pack also includes a mini tweezer for you to easily pick up and apply the patch. Trust me, the tweezers are really handy, because the patches are quite thin, and using your fingernails to pick them up from the sheet could prove to be difficult, not to mention ruin the patch. (⌒_⌒;)

Thin and translucent patches that blend into your skin
Ultra thin 0.03cm patches
A strong adhesion with waterproof and sweat-proof formula ensures that the patch will remain in place and create a barrier from our ‘itchy’ fingers or dirt from the surroundings which could possibly lead to further infection. It also comes with UV protection that prevents the sun’s UV from aggravating the inflamed acne.

I have only tried before the Nexcare acne patches, and while they were quite effective, they were rather thick and felt uncomfortable on the skin, as well as looking very noticeable. I was very pleasantly surprised by how thin the OXY Anti-Bacterial Acne Patch was, and quite impressed by how it managed to stay in place until the next morning when I removed it. Below are the before/after results of using a patch on an acne spot overnight. I've spared you the gory details (or rather, pics) of the pus that oozed out after I removed the patch. After wiping it off, you can see from the last picture that the spot is now much clearer. (◑‿◐)

Before/After using OXY Anti-Bacterial Acne Patch

The OXY Anti-Bacterial Acne Patch is available at all leading pharmacies and major supermarket outlets nationwide and priced at RM13.90 for a pack of 26 pieces consisting of 3 different sized patches.

*PR sample. This item was sent to me by OXY Malaysia for review without financial compensation. All opinions expressed are completely honest and strictly my own.