April & May 2013 Empties

♫ 张杰 - 突然想爱你

I've never done a monthly empties post before, mainly because I usually just throw away a product after I've finished using it. However, after reading so many empties post from fellow bloggers, I decided it would be fun to share my thoughts on some of the products I've used. Who knows, it might come in useful to you. ;)

April-May 2013 empties
These are some of the products I've used up from April and May. Most of them are sample/travel sized items, except for the big orange container. Read on to find out what they are and what I think of them! :P

1. Kérastase Reflection K Bain Chroma Riche shampoo
This shampoo is described as a "luminous softening shampoo for highlighted or sensitised colour-treated hair". I started using this because I recently dyed my hair and wanted to make sure the colour didn't fade so fast. To my surprise, this not only helped the dye last longer, it also made my hair softer and less dry and frizzy! ♥

2. Kérastase Elixir Ultime Serum
This hair serum/oil is similar to L'Oreal Mythic Oil, and has pretty much the same effect. Makes hair smoother, shinier and less frizzy. However, it is more expensive than the Mythic Oil. 

3. Kiss Me Medicated Hand Cream
I received this as a sample when I bought the Kiss Me eyeliner. It smells very strongly of medicated herbs (similar to Tiger Balm or medicated oils), which I dislike. The hand cream itself is thick and very moisturizing, but tends to feel a bit oily until it is fully absorbed into skin, after which it leaves your hands feeling silky smooth and soft. Great if you love these scents, not so great if you dislike it. More suitable for use in cold weather. 

4. Bio-Energy Firm & Brighten Eye Cream with SPF 15
I don't really see any difference/improvements after using this eye cream. What I liked was that it has SPF 15, and the cream has a light and easily absorbed texture.

5. Bioré UV Aqua Rich with SPF50+ PA+++
This sunblock looks like a cream but applies like a gel, and has a cooling sensation during application. Pleasant scent and easily absorbed, but for some reason, I dislike applying it on my face. Applying it on arms/legs is okay for me though. I still prefer the Bioré Face Milk as a sunblock for face.

6. Bausch + Lomb Biotrue Multi-Purpose Solution
As a frequent contact lens user, I find that this multi-purpose solution works really well with all my contact lenses. It doesn't irritate my eyes, and my lenses don't feel dry even after more than 6 hours.

7. Essential Ultra Honey and Shea Butter Rich Premier Intensive Hair Mask
This is my 2nd or 3rd jar of this hair mask, so you can probably guess that I love this product. If your hair feels dry or frizzy, this will definitely help a lot! My only peeve is that it isn't sold in Malaysia. >_<

That's all for today! Hope you enjoyed my first ever 'monthly empties' post! (^o^)

Review: Canmake Brown Eyeliner (Liquid)

♫ 東方神起 - I Know
Canmake Brown Eyeliner
If you've read my previous eyeliner reviews, you'll know that I'm a big fan of brown eyeliner. To me, brown eyeliner is not as harsh as black, and gives a softer, more natural look. I received this Canmake Brown Eyeliner in the goodie bag from the Canmake workshop.

Canmake Brown Eyeliner outer packaging
Described as a 'sweet angelic brown'
Canmake products always give me a very pink princessy impression, and this eyeliner did not disappoint. It comes packaged in a pink plastic box with lots of Japanese words, which I unfortunately cannot understand. (^_^;) However, from the description at the bottom and the explanation during the workshop, I gather that this particular eyeliner's brown shade is mixed with a bit of red to give a 'sweet angelic' look, which is perfect for kawaii makeup.

Canmake Brown Eyeliner
The pen-type eyeliner is brown with golden wording and accents. Pretty, effective and convenient.

Felt tip eyeliner
It is a felt tip liquid eyeliner, which is slightly thicker than the brush type eyeliners I use. You can still draw pretty fine lines with it though, as the tip is quite firm and tapers to a point.

Canmake Brown Eyeliner (liquid) swatch
Above is a swatch of the Canmake Brown Eyeliner. As you can see, the brown has a hint of red in it. One swipe yields the result you see above, so it is very pigmented indeed (yay!). It dries to a matte finish.

Here's a comparison swatch:
Canmake is the most vivid and pigmented, while Kiss Me is much darker. Kate is very watery and the least pgimented.
Now for the water test!
I used a wet cotton pad and wiped the swatches twice. Not exactly waterproof. Canmake had the best staying power, followed by Kiss Me and Kate.

Applied as eyeliner
Here's how it looks like when applied on the eyelids. I'd say this eyeliner shade is more suitable for black, brown, grey and green eyes (or contact lenses). I was wearing blue lenses that day, so it didn't look as nice. (¬‿¬;;)

Full (well, almost) face shot
I like how the colour is so pigmented, and dries to matte finish. The firm felt tip also makes it easy to draw flick it at the end for the classic winged look. :)

The eyeliner lasted a good 6 hours on my eyelids without fading or smudging. It even survived a non-air conditioned steamboat dinner, so I daresay the lasting power is pretty amazing. o(≧∇≦o)

Canmake Brown Eyeliner retails at RM46.90 and is available at most SaSa Malaysia outlets. 

✓ Pros: Long lasting, pigmented, smudge-proof, vivid colour, natural brown shade suitable for natural/cute makeup, matte finish (good for oily skin), reasonable price.
✗ Cons: Cannot draw extremely fine lines, not completely waterproof.

*This item was provided by Canmake Malaysia for review without financial compensation. All opinions expressed are completely honest and strictly my own.

Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) Experience @ STRIP Ministry of Waxing

♫ 동방신기 - 인생은 빛났다 (Viva)

Monkeys are hairy, but we don't have to be! :P
If you're a frequent waxer, or considered going for waxing, then chances are you've probably heard of STRIP Ministry of Waxing. I've done waxing there before, and the service, outlet ambiance and staff professionalism really impressed me.

Interior of the outlet
A couple of weeks back, I visited the Bangsar branch of STRIP to try out their IPL underarm treatment.
Staircase to STRIP Bangsar. Do you notice sexy Marilyn? ;)
A very homey, vintage ambiance at the Bangsar store :)
What is Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) treatment?
IPL is an advanced semi-permanent hair reduction method which uses specially filtered beams of pulse light to disintegrate unwanted hair from the root. This technique delays the growth of new hair and furthermore, a percentage of hair may not re-grow.  At the same time it aids in the lightening of skin pigmentation and aids in diminishing ingrown hair issues. Not to be mistaken with laser hair removal, IPL is a way more comfortable treatment.

STRIP's treatment rooms
Cute lil squishy friends if you need some 'pain support' while waxing, lol!
All the treatment rooms in STRIP are furnished according to the outlet's theme. :D I was led to a small but cozy room by my 'waxpert'. I love the scent in the rooms, which come from both the aromatherapy burner in the corner as well as the different waxes (orange and chocolate, anyone? :P) used for waxing.

STRIP's specially customized IPL machine equipment
There are different grades of IPL machines in the industry, and STRIP has the Ferrari of IPL machines! These IPL machines used at STRIP are specially made and customised to STRIP's standards, which ensure that customers get the best experience and optimal results for every session. 。.:*☆ (⌒▽⌒)☆

Media articles for you to browse (and to showcase STRIP's achievements, lol)
I expected the treatment to last about 30 mins, but to my surprise, it took only about 5 minutes, and was relatively painless! Each time the pulse light went off, it just felt like a teeny weeny ant bite, and both underarms were done in (almost literally) a flash! (^∀^)The treatment will only show results after a few days (unlike waxing which is instant) but it really does work! It's been a couple of weeks since the treatment, and I already see results - underarm pigmentation is slightly reduced and less hair growth.

With the signature STRIP orang utan :D
6 sessions are all you need to be hair-free! The interval between each session is about 4-6 weeks, after which you can kiss goodbye to your hair woes for about 2 years or more (as it is a semi-permanent treatment). Even laser hair removal treatments are not completely permanent, and costs a bomb compared to IPL.

How It WorksBroad-spectrum heat energyFocused point heat energy
EffectivenessUp to 80% hair reductionUp to 80% hair reduction
Cost (scale of 1-5)3.55
Pain Factor (scale of 1-5)14
Speed of TreatmentFast due to big area per pulseSlow due to small area per pulse
SafetyGenerally safe with no side effectsDangerous to operate, subject to burns
Side BenefitsReduces occurrence of ingrown hair, lightens pigmentationReduces occurrence of ingrown hair

Picture credits: STRIP
Why should I go to STRIP for IPL?
  • STRIP is an established brand with 35 stores in 9 cities worldwide (and expanding!)
  • STRIP has completed over 500,000 successful IPL treatments for customers all over the world
  • The IPL machines are propriety to STRIP and have been customised for maximum comfort and effectiveness.
The Verdict
IPL is more comfortable then laser treatments (for both you and your wallet ≧∇≦), and a much longer-lasting solution to waxing (without the ripping-off-a-band-aid sensation)!

Strike a pose with Marilyn, tag STRIP Kuala Lumpur and post it on the STRIP Facebook page to enjoy your special IPL treatment offer! :D

From now until 30 June 2013, first trial customers can enjoy the following IPL offers:
  • IPL Brazilian treatment @ RM188 (usual price RM900)
  • IPL Bottom Half Leg treatment @ RM188 (usual price RM900)
  • IPL Underarm treatment @ RM88 (usual price RM450)
  • IPL Upper Lip treatment @ RM38  (usual price RM112)
This offer extends to customers of STRIP who have done waxing before but not IPL treatments, so if you're a STRIP regular, you should definitely consider giving their IPL treatment a try! (ノ*゜▽゜*)ノ

STRIP's specially customised IPL equipment
STRIP outlets in the Klang Valley are located at Solaris Dutamas, Bangsar, The Curve, Sunway Pyramid and Lot 10. You can visit the STRIP website for more details, and also interact with their friendly staff via the STRIP Facebook page

Review: NYX Love in Paris Eyeshadow Palette in "Merci Beaucoup"

♫ Fuying & Sam - 分开以后
NYX Love in Paris collection
Thanks to Blanc to Noir, I was given the opportunity to review several NYX items of my choice to review, so today I'll be showing you the NYX Love in Paris eyeshadow palette in "Merci Beaucoup". 'Merci beaucoup' means 'thank you very much' in French. ( 。◕‿◕。)

NYX Love in Paris palette - Merci Beaucoup
Click to enlarge photo
The NYX Love in Paris eyeshadow palettes are housed in a shiny black plastic flip case with a large clear window in front, which makes it easy to see which shades are inside. It is fairly light but sturdy, and the lid closes firmly so it won't accidentally open. However, I highly recommend you try not to drop it on the floor. (⌒_⌒;)

Small safety seal at the side
The first time I tried to open the palette, I was surprised when it wouldn't open. Then I realized that there was a black NYX safety seal sticker at the side, which was cleverly camouflaged with the black plastic casing. I love this little feature, as it assures you that the product is brand new and not tampered with.

Love the pretty bow detail <3
What I love about the NYX Love in Paris palettes is the cute little bow detail at the snap closure part. Isn't it adorable?! (✿♥‿♥)

I've reviewed NYX's lipstick before, but have never tried any of their eye makeup products before, so I decided to pick a neutral palette as they'd be more practical for everyday use. I chose the NYX Love in Paris palette in "Merci Beaucoup" because it contains a good mix of nude, brown and pink shades for mixing and matching, suitable for day to night looks. :) It comes with a double-ended sponge applicator.

Here's a closer look at the 9 shades of the "Merci Beaucoup" palette:

And here are the swatches of the eyeshadows:
Top row
Shimmery champagne
Shimmery brown
Shimmery pink nude

Middle row
Matte brown
Shimmery dark brown
Shimmery salmon pink

Bottom row
Matte brown-black
Matte cream
Shimmery brick red

The colours are generally very pigmented (except for the three matte shades) and glide on very smoothly without any fallout. My favourites are the brown in the top row and the shimmery dark brown and pink in the middle row. The shimmery red in the bottom row is also very pretty, but the colour doesn't really suit my skintone for some reason. (; ̄д ̄)

Simple neutral eye makeup
Here's a quick and simple look I did for a lunch date with my BFF yesterday. :) Pictures above are about 8 hours after, and the colours still look quite fresh with minimal fading. Quite amazing, really, because I didn't apply any primer underneath. ∑(O_O;)

If you're looking for a versatile yet affordable eyeshadow palette with a variety of colours and good colour payoff, I cannot recommend the NYX Love in Paris collection enough. There are several different palettes to choose from, each with 9 coordinated shades that compliment each other. The palette is small and light, great for traveling, and comes in cute and user-friendly packaging. (*^▽^*)

You can purchase the NYX Love in Paris palettes from B2N, along with lots of other NYX products.

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

Mivva Box May 2013 Edition

♫ Singer - Song title

Remember the introduction to Mivva Box I did a while back? Well, it's finally time for me to review my first ever (official) Mivva Box! :D I had previously won a Mivva Box from a giveaway, but did not review it as it was already a backdated box by the time I received it. >_<

Love the new box design! :)
Earlier this month, I received the May 2013 Mivva Box to review, which is also a special edition for Mother's Day. :) Naturally, the items inside the box are curated to suit the Mother's Day theme.

I love how the info card had a really sweet and meaningful quote on the front. 世上只有妈妈好~

A very thoughtful card and pretty tea cup was the first thing that I saw in the box. My mum is a great fan of roses (as am I) so it was perfect for her. 。◕‿◕。

Here's a quick glance at the beauty/skincare items in the May 2013 Mivva Box:
Mivva Box May 2013 edition
Aupres Ultimate White Extra Intensive Spot Serum (travel size)
Aupres Aqua Active Sleeping Mask (travel size)
I tried the sleeping mask overnight, and it seems to work quite well to keep my skin moisturized all night, but the spot serum made me experience some minor breakouts after using. >_<
Aupres serum and sleeping mask
Garden of Eden Jojo E Serum (5ml)
This serum contains 100% natural concentrates and essential oils, and helps to improve skin elasticity, lighten stretch marks and hydrate dry and itchy skin.
Garden of Eden Jojo E Serum
Nature's Lab Antioxidant Body Scrub
I very rarely use body scrubs, so I can't say how well this product works, but winning the Harper's Bazaar 2011 Best Body Scrub award has got to count for something, right? :D Gonna try this out soon.
Nature's Lab body scrub
O'slee Rosehip Hydra-White Cleansing Powder (30g)
This is one of the products I'm most eager to try, because it's rose-scented and a cleanser in powder form. My first ever (proper) cleansing product was also a powder cleanser, so you can say this product brings back some good memories. :P
O'slee cleansing powder
Somang Danahan RGII Premium Ex Deep Wrinkle Line Cream (sample sachet x3)
"This botox-like cream is a double functional cream for whitening and deep wrinkles." Definitely a product for ladies with aging skin concerns. (¬‿¬)
Somang Danahan RGII wrinkle cream
Claire Organics Handmade Soap - Guinness Stout 
Claire handmade soaps are made using fresh and natural high-quality ingredients so it is gentle on skin. They have various 'flavours' of soap, including mulberry yoghurt, aloe vera shea butter, evening primrose, etc. This Guinness Stout soap has revitalising and anti-acne properties. :)
Claire Organics Handmade Soap
I'm pretty pleased with the contents of this May 2013 Mivva Box. Most, if not all, the items inside are great for mums and daughters alike, as well as introduced us to some new brands and products. The card and tea cup were a nice touch to highlight the special occasion.

You can subscribe to a Mivva Box for RM38 per month (they also have 3 months/6 months subscription), and you can check out their latest updates on the Mivva Facebook page.

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