Enavose Workshop: Juice Your Way to Fresher Skin

Friday, August 31, 2012

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Enavose is holding a "Juice Your Way to Fresher Skin" workshop! Back by popular demand, the interactive workshop lets you learn which combination of fruit juices helps to improve hydration, detox skin or keep acne at bay. I always like it when a company takes a more holistic approach to health and skincare (there is, after all, only so much products can do if you aren't keeping yourself healthy), so I thought I'd share this with you guys!

What You’ll Learn:
• The most nutritious superfruits and veggies that greatly transform the skin
• When should we drink juices to get the optimum nutrition
• Juice recipes beneficial for skin concerns
• Sampling of the juices!

7 September (Fri), 6.30pm – 8.00pm or
8 September (Sat), 11am – 12.30pm

Fees: $60 per person, $100 for two

The course fees are fully redeemable for products and includes an $80 goodie bag plus refreshments. I happen to have tried a couple of Enavose products in the past, and I do think the brand's products are of really good quality.

Register: Please sign up at our Enavose store or email feliciachng @ enavose.com (you'll have to remove the spaces in the email address - that's an anti-spam measure) (Tel: 6775 9026) to register.

(Information provided by company. I am not affiliated with the company and do not benefit in anyway from sharing this information.)

China Glaze DV8: Teal Holo Awesomeness!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

I'm totally into to holos whenever the sun is out. It's been pretty hot and sunny lately (even by Singaporean standards!) so I've been holo-ing my nails out!

This one here is China Glaze DV8, from from the highly sought after OMG Collection sometime back. These were one of the first few all-holo collections to be released back then, so everyone went gaga for those. I bought it a couple of years back, and as usual, it just kind of languished in my stash for awhile before I finally brought it out!

china glaze dv8 4

And no wonder! DV8 is a gorgeous, beautiful teal holo that is lovely. First, I have a thing for teals - I feel like the colour is just universally flattering on most skintones, and secondly, it's HOLOGRAPHIC baby! I love the holo, it's more linear than scattered, which is to my preference.

china glaze dv8 1

Like most holos, this one was a tad tricky to apply, and also a tad chippy (holos tend to chip on me within 2-3 days). However, it just sparkles and twinkles and catches the eye so much, whatever hassle I have to go through is absolutely worth it!

china glaze dv8 3

It's also hard to photograph, and believe me, I tried it many ways - shaded sunlight, direct sunlight, even indoors light, but it's so hard to get a photo of. So I apologize, but these photos just aren't capable of conveying holo awesomesauce.

china glaze dv8 2

I gotta say, China Glaze DV8 is superb - like a glittering teal gem on my nails! Anyone else has a thing for holos?

Help: Clear Skin Review Before/After: Does it Really Help Acne?

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

If you're a longtime reader of my blog, you'll know that I've been battling acne for years. And when I say years, I mean since before I entered University. To give you an idea of how long that is, well, I've graduated with my degree, gone on to do my masters, and have started work. And I still have acne. It's like one of the most constant things in my life.

Anyway, this means if there's an acne cure, I'm all over it. In my younger days I spent inordinate amounts of money on alot of acne treatments - I have memories as a teenage schoolgirl trudging to the drugstore, and blowing my entire week's worth of pocket money on a teeny tiny bottle of tea tree oil/pimple gel/acne cream/whatever. (This is how I learnt that beauty product companies are liars, and I am pretty sure that there is a special place in hell for all these people who make little kids go broke by packaging lies for sale.) I've even been to the doctor for it, and that's another totally different topic and a different suite of products and stuff to ingest - essentially, I've been there, done that. So the latest thing I've tried out recently is Help: Clear Skin.

Help: Clear Skin isn't a topical product like most acne treatments. It's sort of like an oral supplement that you take with food. You get 14 sachets in a box, and you take a sachet a day.

help clear skin packet

The product itself is a white powder. You can mix it with food or water - I just dissolved my packet of powder in water and took it that way. The powder is pretty much tasteless, I found that it had a slightly sweet-ish flavour, and it wasn't unpleasant for me to take it.

help clear skin powder

Here you can see what it looks like when the Help: Clear Skin powder has been dissolved in a mug of water you get a mostly clear, colourless, but slightly cloudy solution. It doesn't taste like much to me, and I imagine if you put it on your food, you wouldn't be able to taste it. I generally don't have issues about using the product, although I read a couple of blogs complaining about how it was a hassle to use. I was thinking, seriously? You guys don't drink water? Or drink so little that dissolving a pack of powder in water and drinking it is a hassle? If that's true, I'm pretty sure just drinking more water will help your skin...But anyway, moving on.

help clear skin drink

So, the key question - does Help: Clear Skin work? Well, I knew you'd ask. So although I didn't want to (like, really, really didn't want to!), I took some before-and-after photos. OMG, now my acne is on display for the whole world to see. You guys better appreciate this!

Here's the before. I actually took this photo a couple of days into using it, but you get the idea. I know, bad skin, acne scars, shiny new big boils popping out, blah blah blah. What's new. Please don't hate - just be thankful you don't have skin that breaks out at the drop of a pin.

help clear skin before w

Here's the after. Still bad skin, but there are a couple of things to note: first, that my big boils seem to have calmed down somewhat. And, that the newer pimples that have emerged are less angry-looking. As in, they come up in normal-looking pimples nearer the surface, like everyone else's, instead of my big, red, deeply-buried acne landmines. That's an improvement, right?

But of course, you can see my skin isn't totally clear. Nowhere close. This is because my old acne scars are still there, and because I still have some new bumps here and there.

help clear skin after w

So the conclusion from my experience? I found it to be helpful overall, although it wasn't a panacea for my acne. Although it didn't really help my acne scars, it did help to control new breakouts somewhat. That said, I've seen other bloggers report far greater improvement than I have, so maybe my acne is just much more severe and thus harder to get rid of. The price is probably the largest sticking point for the product, but if it's not an issue, it's worth a shot.

(Product was sent for review. Review is my complete and honest opinion. I am not affiliated with/compensated by the company.)

DIY Peel Off Base Coat For Easy Glitter Removal: PVA Glue (And the Essence Peel Off Base Coat Dupe)

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Remember the Essence Peel Off Base Coat that was launched recently, and got a lot of buzz among the beauty blogger community? Well, it turns out there's a simple, much cheaper dupe for it - Elmer's glue! In fact, not just Elmer's - any kind of PVA glue will do.

It all started with some bloggers reviewing the Essence Peel Off Base Coat, which was part of a travel themed collection called "Ready For Boarding". The idea behind the Peel Off Base Coat is that you paint your nail polish over it, and simply peel it off to remove! No messy acetone or nail polish remover required. The bloggers noted that it looked, felt, and even smelled and behaved like your average craft glue. (No kidding! You can read them here and here.)

Then one astute blogger looked at the ingredients list of the Essence Peel Off Base Coat was the same as PVA glue! (Essentially it was Polyvinyl acetate (PVA) emulsion, water, and preservatives.) Looks like Essence has been repackaging PVA glue and selling it as Peel Off Base Coat!

So I thought, why don't I just use PVA glue, instead of trying to get the Essence version? Cheaper, easier to get, and not LE or sold out. And if you're in Asia, like I am, you don't have to wait months for it to be launched in your locality, only to be ripped off by the fact that it's PVA glue. Score! Turns out, I wasn't the only one with the idea. Other bloggers had tried this out too (in addition to Labmuffin, the original astute blogger, you can see others here, and a DIY version here.) So, in the knowledge that I wasn't the only crazy one with this idea, I tried it out.

essence peel off base coat dupe pva glue bottle

I got a small bottle of Elmer's glue, and then, all excited, without further ado, I started work. I was too lazy to decant the Elmer's glue into a nail polish bottle, so I dumped a big blob of the glue out on a sheet of paper, and just dipped a clean nail polish brush in the blob, and painted my nails that way.

When I first painted my nails with my Essence Peel Off Base Coat dupe, they looked like this. That is to say, they looked like I had glue on them (which, by the way, is how the real Essence Peel Off Base Coat looks when you first put it on too, according to the blogs I've read). But when I first saw my nails, I had this "OMG WHAT DID I JUST DO? I PUT GLUE ON MY NAILS!" moment. It felt a little crazy, I won't lie.

But after a few minutes, the glue quickly dries down and becomes clear, and much thinner than I'd expect. I guess all the solvent (which really is just water) has evaporated. It gets dry pretty fast (in 2-3 minutes) but if you want to be cautious, perhaps waiting for 10mins wouldn't hurt. There, all dried out, it doesn't look so crazy now. (OMG, yes, you are seeing my nekkid nails!)

essence peel off base coat dupe pva glue dry

The good thing about using PVA glue is that if you make any mistakes with the base coat, you can clean it up with water, or just wash it off entirely with water. So in a way, it's even easier to handle than your normal base coat.

Anyway, seeing how this was a peel-able base coat, I decided I would absolutely HAVE to use it with a glitter polish. So I picked out Nubar Night Sparkle, part of the Sparkle collection sometime back. I've had this for years but haven't worn it yet...

nubar twilight essence peel off base coat dupe pva glue

I know, gorgeous, right? The best part? The easiest glitter removal ever - just peel off the entire polish right off your nail! I was really psyched at being able to just peel off the polish - it's even more convenient than the foil method!

essence peel off base coat dupe pva glue removal

Generally, I got pretty good removal - if you can peel off all the PVA glue base, then you're peeling off all the polish. Unless you polish outside of the PVA base (as I did near the cuticle area), then you'll have to use a little bit of remover to take off whatever is left behind. Still, this is great for me - a clean, convenient method of glitter removal! Just look at that! (Yet another nekkid nails shot.)

essence peel off base coat dupe pva glue removed

One of the questions I had about using PVA glue was the water resistance of the glue. After PVA glue is water soluble (so is the Essence Peel Off Base Coat), so I was worried that even after the glue had dried, the manicure would still come loose when I showered or washed my hands. Other bloggers had mixed results - some reported 4 days without incident (here and here), while others had only one day before chipping (here). That's something I've yet to try out, since I haven't tried wearing the PVA Glue base coat for a few days yet. Still though, if it lasts, it would be fantastic. Updated: I tried out the PVA glue as a base coat for an NOTD wear test, and it did great! Check out my Elianto Burnt Umber NOTD post for more details!

Another thing to note of course, is safety. Based on the ingredients list in the Essence Peel Off Base Coat, a mixture of PVA emulsion and water (found in the Essence version) probably won't harm your nails if you use it topically. So I imagine most PVA glues would work. Just don't use superglue! And if you are unsure, check the ingredients before buying or trying on your nails. The good thing? It's washable with water, so if you try it and don't like it, just rinse it off.

So, would I ever try out something as crazy as using Elmer's glue as a base coat? Well, to be honest, I actually think I would! I can see how a peel-off base coat would be useful for glitter manicures, elaborate nail art that would be a pain to remove, and also for swatching, especially swatching of multiple glitters in a row. Basically, if it's going to be a pain to remove, and I don't intend on wearing it for all that long (say maybe 2-3 days), I'd use the glue method. But for plain ol' creme manicures, I'd probably just use a normal basecoat.

Bella Box August: Patriotic and Pretty!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Bella Box has landed again, and this month's August box is super exciting for me, because of the National Day theme! It's totally cool that we have a box in line with our celebration of Singapore's independence! Now, even if you're not Singporean, surely you can appreciate the festive feeling in the box? I mean, there's a bright happy red "I Heart SG" card staring you in the face the moment you open the box!

bella box august box

Inside the box, we have further proof of the festive spirit and pride in our country. See, a "I Heart SG" bag! This is seriously cute.

bella box august bag

The Bella Box itself also has some good products this month. I'd say I'm actually quite happy with this month's box! You can see why from the photo below, can't you? It's the nail polish! Okay, but before I get excited, first things first. We gotta run through everything in the box.

First up, we have skincare samples. Skincare samples are like, de rigeur for beauty boxes, it seems, but these include some pretty good ones. There's Porefessional from Benefit, and a Exfoliance Gommage from Enavose, which is a pretty excellent brand. And there's a sample of a Pre-Serum (not too sure what that is) from L'Oreal's Youth Code range.

bella box august samples

Next, we more skincare! Here we have a Facial Fresh Collagen Cloth Treatment Mask, which looks very intriguging, as well as some samples of skincare from Elizabeth Arden - a set of cleanser, toner, and serum.

bella box august facial fresh collagen cloth treatment mask

Lastly, we have the nail polish! This totally makes this month's box worthwhile, for me anyway. You know I love nail polish, so I was all over this. I got a bottle of Purple Panic! Best part, it's a full size bottle! I love full-size items. They just make me so happy.

bella box august china glaze purple panic

My thoughts on this month's August Bella Box? Well, overall I liked it - I liked the touches of National Day festivity, the full-sized China Glaze nail polish (I really, realy liked that!) and the general spread of samples. I guess there are less samples than in some other boxes, but I feel like having a full-sized product makes up for it. But maybe that's just my take on things. If you like the full-sized nail polish, and would use the samples, this month's Bella Box would probably be of interest to you.

(Product was sent for review. Review is my complete and honest opinion. I am not affiliated with/compensated by the company.)

Solone Gel-Like Smoody Pencil: Eyeliner and Eyeshadow in One

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

I think I've found something that is just like the Urban Decay 24/7 Eyeliner Pencils - the Solone Smoody Pencils! Solone is a Taiwanese cosmetics brand, (not Solone the drug, or Solone the place in Ukraine - man, Google sure does enrich my general knowledge!), and the Smoody Pencils are one of Solone's star products, and has won some awards here as well.

The idea behind the Solone Smoody Pencils is that you can use them either as eyeliner or eyeshadow. And also one of their selling points is that they dry fast, and are advertised as drying in 30 seconds flat.

solone gel like smoody pencil 2

The pencils themselves are long and slim, and are double-ended. One of the ends is, of course, the pencil tip itself, and the other end is a blender. The concept is that you can use the pencil tip to line your eyes, and if you want, colour your eyelids in with a Smoody Pencil, and then use the blender to blend out the colour for an easy smokey eye.

solone gel like smoody pencil tip

Here's the blender tip. It's a tiny sponge tip, good for blending in tight areas. This is why the Solone Smoody Pencils are so popular - the selling point is that you smudge, blend, and go. These pencils are supposed to give you a foolproof eye look, either day or night.

solone gel like smoody pencil blender

Here are swatches of the three colours of Smoody Pencils I have - Peach, Jade and Stardust. These are all gorgeous colours, but Jade is my favourite - it's not quite jade in colour, but is a lovely olive green. I actually also like Peach - it actually sort of reminds me of NARS Orgasm, but in pencil form.

solone smoody pencil swatch

Now I know you're wondering - so far so good, but how do the Smoody Pencils measure up? Well, I tried using the pencils a couple of times, and here is my attempt at using Peach and Jade to make an eye look. Jade was used on the lid and blended, and Pearl was added to give an extra zing of gold glitter!

solone smoody pencils eotd 1

As you can see, the blending wasn't perfect. I think this is because the pencils set very fast, and don't budge once they're set, so you have a short window of time to blend out the colour. As you can see, I wasn't always quick enough, so my blending wasn't that great in some spots.

solone smoody pencils eotd 2

Here is the same look, eyes closed. As you can see, I guess my reflexes just aren't fast enough to blend the pencil out in time. I have to say though, this eye look stayed on from the afternoon right until the evening - and I just used these pencils on my bare eyelids, without any primer or base. So they really don't budge at all once they've set.

solone smoody penncils eotd 3

The only bad thing though, was that since the pencils set so fast, I was tugging at my eyelids roughly in an effort to blend out the colours before they set. After a few tries, my eyelids started to hurt, LOL. Obviously, I can't quite get the hang of blending these out yet.

My final verdict? Overall, these are good eyeliner pencils - they set fast, don't budge, and have good colour payoff. As eyeshadow pencils though, I'm less keen on them, simply because I can't blend them out fast enough, and I don't like to tug at my eyelids. But if you're more skilled at blending than me, then the Solone Smoody Pencils may just be your thing - after all, what's more appealing than a smokey eye in a pencil?

(Product was sent for review. Review is my complete and honest opinion. I am not affiliated with/compensated by the company.)

Sunplay Watery Cool Sunscreen SPF 65 and SPF 75

Monday, August 20, 2012

Sunplay is a Japanese brand of sunscreens that are very popular in the region. Us Asians do tend to have a reputation for being sun-averse, and Sunplay, with its SPF 130 sunscreen, caters to such consumers (myself included, I'll admit). Since it's summer, Sunplay has released a new line of sunscreens, the Watery Cool range. This consists of two sunscreens, the Watery Cool Body Mist Sunblock SPF 75 PA+++, and the Watery Cool Clear and Smooth SPF 65 PA+++, which is meant for the face.

I actually quite liked Sunplay's last sunscreen range, the Super Block range (my Sunplay Super Block Sunscreen review is here), so I knew what to expect with this range. And true enough, it was as cosmetically elegant and also as easy to use as I thought it would be.

sunplay watery cool body mist sunblock spf75

The Watery Cool Body Mist Sunblock has SPF75 and PA+++, so it offers a good measure of protection for most activities. It comes in a spray bottle that is so easy to apply. Just spray and you're done!

sunplay watery cool body mist sunblock spray

When you first spray the Body Mist, you get a clear liquid, as you can see above. Once you rub it in or waits for if to dry, it sits on your skin and is totally clear. And it doesn't feel sticky or leave any residue or anything. So this is perfect for outdoors use.

sunplay watery cool body mist sunblock dry

The second product in the Watery Cool Sunscreen range is the Watery Cool Clear and Smooth SPF 65 PA+++, which more suitable for face use. It's a sunscreen that uses chemical filters - most of Sunplay's sunscreens are chemical - so I wouldn't recommend it for people who are very sensitive to chemical sunscreens.

sunplay watery cool clear and smooth spf65

When you first pour the product out of the nozzle opening, you get a very thin, white liquid. You need to shake the bottle first, by the way, or else the sunscreen will be separated when it comes out.

sunplay watery cool clear and smooth liquid

But once you blend it in, it is again colourless and non-sticky. It absorbs pretty fast too, which is another reason why I think most people will like it - it's so cosmetically elegant to use.

sunplay watery cool clear and smooth dry

My verdict? Like its previous Sunplay Super Block Sunscreen range, this is a very cosmetically elegant, easy to use sunscreen, that will please those who feel traditional sunscreens are too sticky or a hassle to use. If you aren't sensitive to chemical filters, I'd recommend this.

(Product was sent for review. Review is my complete and honest opinion. I am not affiliated with/compensated by the company.)

Erabelle: My Brow Overhaul!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Few things define and shape the face like your brows. And yet, the brows are often an overlooked part of the face. I guess it's because brows aren't like eyeshadow or nail polish, where there's a new colour coming out every week. But I was very humbled to remember how important basics are when I visited Erabelle.

Erabelle is the local equivalent of Anastasia, in that the focus is on beautiful, well-sculpted brows, with a focus on looking natural. Like Anastasia, Erabelle too has also branched out into other beauty products (Erabelle also sells BB cream), but for today, I'm just focusing on the brows.

I was first given a short introduction to some of the key Erabelle products needed to groom your own brows for the DIY girls. This includes their Brie tweezers, with a polymer tip that pinches the skin much less than a traditional metal tip; brow scissors, which are specially shaped to make trimming along the curve of the brow easier, and which also comes from Switzerland. These implements are really precise - the manufacturers Erabelle sources from also sell their products to the Swiss watch makers and electronics manufacturers, where high precision is required. So despite these being simple tools, the technology behind them is formidable. And these are only sold through Erabelle within the region - to get them elsewhere in Asia, you'll have to fly to Japan.

erabelle instruments

Erabelle also has a brow pencil, of course, and there are 5 shades to choose from. Dark Brown is the most popular, but I opted for grey. These pencils are pretty good - I wore them out for a day and they didn't move.

Last, but not least, are the services. Erabelle provides upmarket brow shaping services. It so happened that I hadn't been taking care of my brows much in the past few weeks (you know, real life gets in the way), so I was totally having these bushmen brows coming in. And after, I had pretty brows! One of my brows tends to be a bit higher than the other, so I was pleasantly surprised to see that they evened out my brows and made them look more symmetrical too!

Here's the before and after.

erabelle before after

Erabelle also offers semi-permanent brow colour, for those with little in the way of natural hair. While my bushman self probably won't ever need such services, I got to watch a short demonstration of their soft stroke technique, which basically consists of short, gentle strokes that apply the colour bit by bit in a way that resembles hair and gives a more natural appearance. All semi-permanent colours used are FDA approved, and the equipment used is from Germany, so despite the kimono-clad staff, the technology is actually all the latest and greatest from the West. Erabelle also offers semi-permanent lip colour for other girls who are interested.

erabelle embroidery

One of the things I really appreciated about Erabelle was the individually themed rooms, which are geared towards guests getting body/face care treatments. I always love it when a store has beautiful decor. The rooms are individually themed - there's a Western-themed one, a Japanese-themed one, and even a more utilitarian one for the boys.

erabelle overview w

So, if you're looking for a way to experience the Erabelle treatmenwitt a fraction of the cost, this August's Vanity Trove has a 50% off voucher, so if you're a Vanity Trove subscriber, keep your eyes peeled for the discount!

erabelle event
(With Michelle at the event)

(Product and services provided for review. Review is my complete and honest opinion. I am not affiliated with/compensated by the company.)

Summer At The Pool Duochome Layering NOTD: Sally Hansen HD Duochromes

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

After using Sally Hansen HD Polish in DVD for my previous mani, I got inspired and felt like layering further. So this time, I added Sally Hansen Byte, and this is what I got.

For those who need a recap, I used Nails Inc Belgrave Street as the base, and then layered Sally Hansen DVD and Byte, in that order.

duochrome manicure sally hansen dvd spectrum nails inc belgrave place 1

I loved the previous mani, and I love this one too! I'm not sure if you can really see the difference between this mani and my previous mani in these pics, but there is a difference that is visible in person. DVD (blue reflects with a pink tinge in a clear base) already has a slight pink flash, but I feel like layering Byte (pink reflects in a clear base) on top really makes the pink pop, and brings it from being a blue that flashes pink to an actual duochrome. Awesome.

duochrome manicure sally hansen dvd spectrum nails inc belgrave place 2

Anyway, I wore this mani to work, and when my mani flashed and twinkled in the sunlight during lunch (the effect is less obvious indoors due to the lighting), my colleagues claimed that my nails were "distracting". I was secretly happy.

I also went to the pool, on the pretext of getting some exercise (I was really just cocered by my sister into accompanying her), and then I noticed that in the water, my nails were absolutely twinkling and blinging in the water. So here you go: poolside photos, not of me in a bikini ('cause a model I ain't) but of my nails all prettied up.

duochrome manicure sally hansen dvd spectrum nails inc belgrave place 3

It was hard to take these photos, by the way. The majority of them kept coming out blur. These were the best of the bunch. It was a pity, it really was. The blue pool would've made such an awesome backdrop for the nail colour...

duochrome manicure sally hansen dvd spectrum nails inc belgrave place 4

Anyway, this has gotta be one of my favourite manis, since I love duochromes. Anyone else rocking a duochrome for the summer?


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