Vanity Trove Malaysia x Kosé Special Edition (July 2013)

♫ XIA (준수) - No Reason

Whoa! It's already the end of July, and I know this is a super duper late unboxing of July's Vanity Trove, but please bear with me. I'll make it short and sweet. (⌒_⌒;)

Vanity Trove Malaysia x Kosé
Robin Niu (牛尔老师) of 女人我最大 fame
Vanity Trove Malaysia had prepared a special edition Kosé box for its July 2013 edition with the theme of "Infinite Youth Is Possible With Kosé". As a long-time user of the regular Kosé blue bottle range, I was really quite happy to receive this to try out.

Info card
The info card for this month's box has details of all the Infinity Kosé range products, but the Nature & Co. products information were sadly missing. In fact, Nature & Co. is also under Kosé. :)

Tadaa! A full box~
All of the items included in this trove are sample sizes, except for the Nature & Co. hair treatment which I think is a deluxe sample. Let's take a closer look at them!

Some items from the Infinity Kosé range
Travel-size samples of (left to right):
Infinity Kosé Pure Advance Essence Lotion II 
Infinity Kosé Pure Advance Serum II 
Infinity Kosé Pure Advance Clear Up Wash 
Infinity Kosé Pure Advance Oil Cleansing Gel 
Infinity Kosé Deep Protection UV 

Sample sachets
Sample sachets of (clockwise from top left):
Infinity Kosé Pure Advance Eye Jelly 
Nature & Co. Vital Purity Lift Mask 
Nature & Co. Pure White Lotion/Milky Lotion Light

Nature & Co. hair treatment
Nature & Co. Honey Blend Hair Treatment 

A voucher to redeem an exclusive Kosé pouch with any purchase from the Infinity Kosé range was included in the trove. :)

This trove is great because you get to try out the Infinite Kosé range, from cleanser, lotion, serum, eye jelly to even sunblock. If the Kosé range is somewhat beyond your budget, you can opt for their Nature & Co. label which is more budget-friendly and focused more on natural ingredients. :)

Vanity Trove Malaysia x Kosé July 2013 Special Edition
Eager for more beautiful surprises to arrive at your doorstep each month? Subscribe to VanityTrove Malaysia now, or check out their Facebook page for more updates! ;) 

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

Tagged: Get Your Freak On!

♫ Super Junior K.R.Y. - Sorry Sorry Answer

It's been a long while I last did or even read a tag. (⊙ω⊙) This one looks pretty fun! Thanks to Nancy for tagging me. :P

1. What's a nickname only your family calls you?
My family members just call me "Mei" because it's part of my name and also because I'm the youngest (and a girl). It's pretty common in most Chinese families here, so if there's a gathering or during Chinese New Year, it's no surprise to hear somebody yell "Mei" and several people turning to answer (⌒_⌒;)

2. What's a weird habit of yours?
I tend to twirl my hair when I'm bored or stressed, and it ends up a tangled mess which I then have to cut. (×_×;)

3. Do you have any weird phobias?
I don't have any weird phobias, per se. I really hate cockroaches and long wriggly things (with or without legs) like worms. Pretty normal stuff.

4. What's a song you secretly love to blast and belt out when you're alone?
I tend to listen to one (or a few) favourite songs over a certain period of time, so it's not really fixed. Some of the songs I currently have on repeat are "Turn It Up" by Xia 준수, "Come Back To Me" by Bii, "刚好的幸福" by Nicholas 张栋梁, and "Before U Go" & "WHY (Keep Your Head Down)" by TVXQ.

5. What's one of your biggest pet peeves?

Gosh, where do I start? ヽ(ー_ー )ノ I can't choose the biggest because it changes according to the situation lol. People who hog the right side of the escalator. People who don't know how to queue. Bad grammar. Food being served to customers who ordered later than me.

6. What's one of your nervous habits?
I tend to shake my leg and fidget around. And use a horrendously large amount of the word "so" when talking.

7. What side of the bed do you sleep on?
It's a single bed so... every side of the bed. (╯_╰)

8. What was your first stuffed animal and it's name?

My mum tells me it was a Tweety Bird plushie, but the earliest stuffed animal that I really remember was a small dinosaur that I brought around everywhere when I was small - until its head fell off. Don't ask.

9. What's the drink you always order at Starbucks?

It's a toss-up between Caramel Macchiato and Green Tea Frappucino. 

10. What's a beauty rule you preach, but never actually practice?

Always moisturize and put on sunblock. I'm lazy so sometimes I skip them, especially the sunblock. That's why I always like beauty products that have SPF lol (¬‿¬)

11. Which way do you face in the shower?
Away from it. I don't fancy breathing in water.

12. Do you have any 'weird' body 'skills'?
......not that I know of.

13. What's your favorite comfort food that's 'bad' but you love to eat it anyways?

Nuggets. Nuggets and mashed potatoes.

14. What's a phrase or exclamation you always say? 
"What the f*ck" and "shit" (✖╭╮✖) Please don't learn from me, kids!

15. Time to sleep, what are you actually wearing?

Old t-shirt, shorts/long pants depending on the weather.

16. What did you used to wear that you thought was cool but now you realize it wasn't that hot?
Oh man, what a question. I used to wear three-quarter pants and sometimes skirts, until I did some research and realized that they made my already short legs look even shorter. Makeup-wise, I used to put on too much, especially blusher (clown cheeks OMG) and concealer that didn't match my skin tone. *shudders*

That's all from me! Really.

I tag:
Little Miss Smexy
Sugar Coated Muffin

Anybody who would like to do this fun tag, feel free to do it too! ^^

Vanity Trove Malaysia x Avene Workshop

Last month, I attended a workshop by Avene, in collaboration with Vanity Trove Malaysia. :) The workshop was held at Cafe Barbera in Bangsar, and it was cozy affair with many other bloggers in attendance.
Bloggers mingling and waiting for the workshop to start
While waiting for other bloggers to arrive and before the workshop started, we were able to explore the area and check out the various ranges of skincare products by Avene. :)

Sun protection range
Avene's famous thermal water
Gel cleansers
Milk cleaners
Skin recovery cream
The entire range of Avene products!
We were also treated to some aromatic coffee during the workshop. :D Really effective in waking us up properly on a weekend morning, I tell ya! :P
Caffeine rush XD
The workshop started with an introduction to Avene, followed by step-by-step guides for us to use the products placed on our tables. Avene is actually a village in France where the Avene production facility is located. The production center is directly connected to the source from which they obtain the spring water. They have a state-of-the-art hydrotherapy center where people go to get treatment for their skin problems. Pretty awesome, eh? ;)

First, we had to remove all our makeup in order to personally experience Avene's skincare regimen. It was my first time using a makeup remover that literally looked and smelled like, well, plain water. It did an amazingly good job at removing makeup though (including eyeliner, mascara and foundation) and didn't make my skin feel dry or tight. Amazing!
Avene cleanser and makeup remover
After that, we were each given a dry mask sheet, and instructed on how to use it. Basically, hold the dry sheet in your hands (don't unfold it!) and spray a generous amount of the thermal water until it is damp. Then, unfold the mask and place in on your face. Spray more thermal water onto your face/mask until it adheres properly, then leave it on for 15-20 minutes.
Not really used to the semi-dry mask sheet, lol.
Nicole and I taking weird selcas while wearing the mask LOL
After letting our skin absorb the thermal spring water, we continued with the other steps of the skincare routine. I'll just let the pictures do the typing talking. (¬‿¬)
Step-by-step skincare routine
After completing our hands-on skincare workshop, all the bloggers could go for a skin analysis test to check our skin type and get consultation on what kind of skincare products would be suitable to target our needs. A sumptuous buffet lunch was also provided.
Yummy buffet lunch!
Before we left, each of us were also given a special Avene themed Vanity Trove that was specially curated to fit our individual skin types! I super love the makeup remover! (✿◠‿◠)
Special edition Avene Vanity Trove
It was definitely an instructive workshop, and I got to know more about Avene and their products. Managed to meet some friendly new bloggers as well as familiar faces there, so it was fun. :)

Thank you Avene and Vanity Trove Malaysia for the great workshop! I definitely learnt a lot about skincare, and had a good time at the event. (。◕‿◕。)

Style Tip: Blazers with Shorts

♫ 김현중 (Kim Hyun Joong) - Unbreakable (ft. Jay Park)

I don't often do fashion posts, mainly because I'm the type of person who doesn't really follow the latest trends in clothing styles (galaxy print? Pffft~), preferring to go with what feels comfortable and looks good. Besides, I have a mortal fear of heat, which means that I pretty much live in shorts all year round due to Malaysia's tropical weather.

My usual outfit for uni
However, I've found that a simple blazer thrown over an outfit will instantly make it look so much better, therefore I've invested in a couple of them over the past year. Trust me, they're well worth it. Here are some tips for pairing shorts with blazers that I've gathered, both online and from personal experience.

1. Black is basic. Always.

You can never go wrong with a basic black number. If you plan on getting just ONE blazer (for now, that is :P), I'd highly suggest getting a black one with contrasting colours or pinstripes on the inside of the sleeves. That way it'll look a lot more casual when you roll up the sleeves.

Dark navy (it looks almost black) Simba blazer from Cotton On

2. Keep the material of the blazer light and summery...

...and don't be afraid to experiment with lots of colour and printed tops, crop tops, bralets, lace, etc.

Fun candy colours! ♥
Violetta blazer with lace top and denim shorts from Missguided UK
Violetta blazer with bralet and denim shorts from Missguided UK

3. Play with patterns and texture

If you feel that the rest of your outfit looks kinda boring, plain or just too casual, spice it up a bit with a patterned blazer! Stripes, polka dots, baroque, floral, animal print, leather... The possibilities are endless!

Floral (New Look); Stripes (n/a); Leopard (MissRebel)

Faux Leather Trimmed Blazer from Forever21
Okay, maybe not so much the crazily-patterned (but super awesome) jacket that Junsu wore for "Incredible"...

Last but not least...

4. The Military Jacket (my personal favourite)

Honestly, military jackets are the coolest thing ever. (Okay, maybe not the 'coolest' thing you'll wear in Malaysia, but you get my drift.) Best paired with a kickass pair of boots. :P
Military jacket from Cultivation (Isetan)
Allow the various looks to evolve by throwing your blazer over your outfit every day and see if it 'goes' or not - you (or at least the people around you) will soon be able to see and get a feel of what works and doesn't work.

Time to put your swag on (¬‿¬)

Your own personal style is definitely up to yourself to define. It might take some time to get used to wearing a certain style, but if you experiment a little and push the boundaries of your (fashion) comfort zone, you might be surprised at what it can do for you! (✿◠‿◠)

I'm dying to get myself a really nice piped blazer (preppy style, kinda like the Warblers uniforms from Glee) for my next purchase. Guess I'll have to put it in my wishlist while I look around for a nice one that doesn't break the bank. XD
Piped blazer
Feel free to share with me your fashion staples and/or adventures! (≧∇≦)

Review: Skin Aqua UV Silky Smooth Milk SPF 50 PA+++

♫ TVXQ (東方神起) - Ocean

夏だ!It's summer! Sun, sand, sea... and sunscreen?! Yup, sun protection is super important, especially in Malaysia where it's summer all year round.

I've never used this particular brand of sunscreen before, so I was looking forward to test this Skin Aqua UV Silky Smooth Milk SPF 50 PA+++ by Mentholatum. (Also due to the fact that I'd finished using up my previous sunscreen and hadn't gotten around to buying another one, lol)

I like the subtle holographic detail on the cardboard backing, lol
Skin Aqua UV Silky Smooth Milk SPF 50 PA+++
Palm-sized summer companion!
The sunscreen comes in a palm-sized light pink bottle which contains 40ml of product, with the words Skin Aqua printed on it. However, the rest of the words on the bottle are in Japanese, which can be a bit of a problem. (⌒_⌒;) The words UVさらさらミルク 'sarasara miruku' in pink mean something like 'smooth milk'.

Like most sunscreens with similar packaging, it comes with a nozzle tip. Just remember to shake the bottle thoroughly before squeezing the body to dispense the product. Word of advice: remember to close the screw cap properly before throwing it into your beach bag to prevent spillage! Happened to me once. x_x

Texture of the sunscreen
The Skin Aqua UV Silky Smooth Milk has an ultra-light and ultra-smooth texture that spreads easily onto skin. It is formulated with oil absorbing powder that leaves skin shine-free and feeling silky smooth. What I like about this sunscreen is that the texture is really like milk - it spreads easily and is so lightweight that you don't even feel it on your skin. (。◕‿◕。)

Click to enlarge
This daily sunblock aims to provide users with the ultimate 3-in-1 defence: anti-UV, anti-aging, and anti-dryness) to keep skin looking young, healthy and beautiful. Most premature aging is caused by sun exposure, not to mention freckles, age spots, rough skin, wrinkles, uneven skin tone, redness, etc. So, it's important to defend yourself against those harmful rays, especially during the summer when it's super hot!
  • Anti UV: High SPF 50 PA+++ that provides long hours of broad spectrum UVA and UVB protection.
  • Anti-Aging: Collagen and amino acid to improve skin elasticity and reduce the appearance of fine lines.
  • Anti-Dryness: Super hyaluronic acid and hyaluronic acid provide superior moisture for long hours by targeting different layers of the skin.
I ♥ silky smooth skin!
You can use this sunscreen for both face and body. The Skin Aqua range is free from fragrance, colorants and mineral oil, which makes it suitable for those with sensitive skin. It is water resistant (great for seaside activities) and ideal as a makeup base for a silky smooth finish.

Overall, I quite like this sunscreen, as it doesn't dry out my skin and works great as a makeup base. The high SPF content and silky smooth finish definitely helps too. :D

Skin Aqua UV Silky Smooth Milk SPF 50 PA+++ (40ml) retails at RM 35.90 and is available at all leading pharmacies and major supermarket outlets.

*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: OXY Anti-Pimple Mark Gel

♫ Bii 毕书尽 - Come Back To Me

Ahhh... OXY - the brand name irrevocably linked to the fight against pimples that has been around since I can remember.

Introducing OXY's latest addition to the range!
I was pretty fortunate to not have many pimple woes during my school years, but that doesn't mean I didn't get them during the occasional stressful exam period. When that happened, I would turn my room inside out just to find that small tube of OXY 10 to save the day. More often than not, the pimples started receding the next day, but many of them left behind ugly red marks that stayed long after the pimple had run its course.

Therefore, I was pleasantly surprised to see this small little item land on my table several weeks ago. I had several pimple marks that were giving me a bit of a headache, so it was the perfect opportunity to put this OXY Anti-Pimple Mark Gel to the test. This new gel claims to not only lighten pimple marks, but also smoothen skin, help prevent blemishes, and revitalize skin cells.

Typical OXY screw cap tube
The gel comes in a soft plastic tube with a screw cap cover. Its small, travel-size packaging makes it easy to carry around in your bag or pouch during traveling.

Clear gel
The gel itself is transparent and does not have any scent. As it is transparent, the gel can be applied before or after make-up on targeted spots. Personally, I prefer to apply it on targeted areas after the toner step in my cleansing routine.

Diagram of how the gel works
OXY Anti-Pimple Mark Gel has a high content of Vitamin C and anti-oxidants, which helps lighten pimple marks and dark spots. It also contains arbutin that effectively brightens and re-balances skin tone. It is suitable for all skin types.

Below are the before and after (2 weeks) comparison after using the gel on targeted areas with pimple marks.
Pimple mark on cheek
Pimple mark on forehead/nose bridge
As you can see, the gel doesn't show much improvement on the marks on the cheek, but the marks on the forehead look lighter and less visible. I have to admit, I didn't apply it religiously every day, only on alternate days and usually before going to bed. Nevertheless, OXY products have been my go-to choice for pimple woes, and I daresay this anti-pimple mark gel is worth a try, considering that it worked and is very affordable even for students. :)

✓ Pros: Affordable price, works quite well to reduce pimple marks, suitable for all skin types, no colourants, fragrance-free
✗ Cons: Does not seem to smoothen skin or reduce blackheads, effects may vary on individuals

OXY Anti-Pimple Mark Gel (12g) retails at RM 13.90 and is available at all leading pharmacies and major supermarket outlets.

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