Monday, 30 September 2013

A conditioner for the body?

Nivea In-Shower Body Moisturiser is available in Boots priced at £2.56.  A fairly new product in the body care section by Nivea.  It, to me is a new concept.  Inside this blue packaging is an in-shower body moisturiser.  How to use it?  You still need to use your normal shower product and rinse off, then apply this in-shower body moisturiser whilst you are still in the shower the rinse off again.  The end result is that you don't need to apply another layer of body cream because this in-shower body moisturiser is enough.

An extra step in the shower, is it worth it?

I'm not sure.  When it comes to body care I am probably the laziest girl - I don't use body scrub regularly at all, I only apply a body moisturiser when my skin is complaining which I probably should make a change!  Despite suffering from dry skin (all over my body and face), I often skip the step to moisturise.  After taking a shower, I just want to quickly dry and get dressed.

Therefore when I saw this in-shower moisturiser, I had hoped that it would make a real difference to my skin and the idea of not having to wait until my body to dry then slap on body cream sounds ideal.  I've used it religiously everyday until I finished the whole tube (250ml).  The body moisturiser is in a thick creamy texture so it felt very soothing on the body.  It is available in two 'flavour'/ 'ingredient' - Almond oil and Sea Minerals.  I chose Almond Oil in hoping that it would add extra hydration to my skin.  It didn't tighten my skin nor did it make my skin feeling dry after shower.  By the same token, it didn't make my skin feeling more moisturised, at times I still had to apply a body moisturiser.

All in all, I think it is an average product to my skin type.  Would I repurchase?  No I won't.

Have you tried this before? What's your secret to silky smooth skin?

Saturday, 28 September 2013

September favourites

September is a bit of a weird month for me, on 12 September I flew back to Hong Kong (relocation) to reunite with Mr Holiday who is working there.  I have now been here for just over 2 weeks - times fly it's unbelievable.  

I haven't ventured out yet to try any new beauty products as I had been on a shopping ban for 2 weeks, I'm glad it's nearly over now - 2 days to go!

I tried to recall what I have been enjoying wearing makeup wise or skincare products in the first half of the month whilst I was still in London but I can't remember any bits at all.  Things have moved on so much so fast this month.  It must have been the overwhelming relocation experience has completely washed away my memories.  However, when I tried to prepare for this blogpost, I instantly thought about these products which I have been using regularly in the past 2 weeks in Hong Kong.  

Entering September means the beginning of Autumn in London but for Hong Kong, it's still as hot as ever, well at least to me it's like at the peak of summer - HOT (30c everyday), humid (at least 70% - 90%).  My original dry skin definitely feels more greasy, although not oily.  The sun is strong, too so I made sure I had stocked up on a good sun protection for my skin, for that I reached out to Clinique's Super City Block SPF 40 everyday, not only does it offer the sun protection that I needed, it also blocks out the nasty pollution in the air for gals who live in a busy city - like me!  This oil-free sun protection squeezes out from the tube as a beige/nude colour cream but once blended with fingers all over the face, it sets transparent.  It doesn't clog up my skin I don't think and I feel that the texture is very light.

For some strange reasons I used my Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua Foundation a lot, partly because I wanted to use up as much of these as possible before November comes (as I bought this almost a year ago and once it's gone by its expiry date I will be a bit skeptical of using it), partly probably because I wanted something that gives me a little bit more coverage but still doesn't make my face feeling greasy and this has done the job perfectly.

I needed a bit more more coverage on a daily basis than usual because I have a few spots on my forehead and on my right cheeks, I blame it on the stress of relocation, the humidity and the jetlag that causes lack of sleep in the past 2 weeks.  My skin needed time to recover but before that, when I needed pinpointed coverage on my spots, I reunited with my trusted undercover pot concealer by Laura Mercier.  As you can see, the bit for my under eye areas has been well loved but I re-discovered how great a coverage the left bit gives to my spot, and I set it with the powder below the two compartments.  It lasts a good 6-8 hours, and under such hot and humid climate - this gets a massive thumbs up from me!  I totally recommend it to anyone!

Finally, my overflowing, over-congested mascaras stash needed to get used up so instead of buying anymore extra ones; I turned my attention to my current ones which I haven't used it as much as the others.  L'Oreal False Lash Telescopic Infinite Length  Effect Mascara (Waterproof) has made it to my favourite list for lengthening my lashes - it's effective and it doesn't smudge!

What beauty/ skincare products have made it to your favourite list in September?

Thursday, 26 September 2013

Update on Shopping Ban

Last week I announced that I'm going on a shopping ban until the end of September. Well I'm more than half way now.

You might be wondering how I have done so far.

I haven't bought a single beauty product (yet)! Well I have, shampoo and conditioner, body wash and they are necessities because I don't already have these in where I live 

I have done a little bit of shopping here and there, but I haven't yet had the urge to purchase anything yet; until yesterday.....

I caved in when I went into a little boutique which sells all these loose fitting high-low, longer length plain colour Korean clothes. I was so stressed with all the moving and relocation stuff that I didn't care and snapped up 4 pieces of top! I can't wait to wear them. Some were a bit more tricky to style but with what I have for accessories, I'm sure I can crack it!

Shopping in Hong Kong really is rather amazing, any brands from anywhere in the world, you name it Hong Kong has it for you, and more. Borghese, Bioderma, Melvita, Apivita, fresh, and the list goes on and on.... That is probably why I have been a little more than overwhelmed. And, technically I'm not on holiday in here, I am now living here so there are plenty, absolutely plenty of time for me to try anything and everything that takes my fancy.

I'm thinking, after my shopping ban is over, there's one thing in my beauty stash that I will continue to ban myself from buying, that is; MASCARAS. 

I have way too many and all of them, as you know has a short (6-month) expiry date so I'm going to use them up until the end of this year before I'll buy any new one!

Meanwhile, there is one particular thing that has really caught my eyes when I browsed at a shop called Global Work. It's a pair of earrings:

I really love it, I like the simplicity of the design. It's only HK$89 (£7). However, what's the point of setting myself a challenge at the first place of not buying anything and then later breaking it? If by the time my shopping ban is up, and I still want it; I think that means I really want it and it's meant to be. For now, I can resist not buying this.

Are you on a shopping ban right now? Or have you been on one in the past? How was it like for you?

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Some pots and a few tubes

I  went away for a family trip in Paris last month as you know (I'm such a long way away from Europe now!), you can click here and here to refresh memories on what I bought.

Without realising it myself, I found that I brought along with me products mostly in the shape of pots and tubes, for which fingers became my best makeup tools. I found this combination  incredibly convenience, liberating and organic when it comes to the application of makeup and the texture of these beauty products moisturising for my dry skin.

Products list:

A fresh and clean makeup look which gives me the coverage I needed but the glow that I like, no colours that are too outrageously obvious but enough to give some definitions for my eye areas especially. 

Are you a fan of pots and tubes form of beauty products? Have you got a favourite?

P.S. You can pick up RMS Beauty products from Cult Beauty (Online) or a very special shop in called Being Content in Marylebone where they stock RMS Beauty.  It is not easy to find RMS Beauty products in the UK, so when I visited Being Content recently, I was super excited to swap RMS Beauty products on my hands and decided to get a few!

Sunday, 22 September 2013

What's worth to invest in #2: High End Makeup

Welcome back to the 2nd part of this 'What's worth to invest in series on High End Makeup'.  If you've missed part 1, you can click here to have a little read.

Last time I mainly focused on getting the complexion right, and this time I'll talk through products for the rest of the face that I think are worth your money.

Window of the soul: Eyeshadow palette

I was going through my eyeshadows collection and realised I am not such a fan of eye shadows although I do love them.  When it comes to high end eye shadows, needn't me to say it wasn't a difficult  task to pick out one to recommend.  Chantecaille is an exceptionally expensive brand you can find in my favourite beauty shop, Space NK.  Chantecaille Just Skin Tinted Moisturiser (£57) was something that I desperately wanted to try and later purchased.  I liked it but I wasn't wowed by it.  It's painful to say that because it's so expensive and I have to say I am a little disappointed because I was expecting amazing result.

I decided to give Chantecaille another go, this time I picked up The Coral Reefs Palette (It was reduced from £75 to £36.5 in the sale).

Oh My God!  It worths every single penny!  I created a look for my birthday using this palette, you can click here to have a little peek.  This palette serves multifunctionally which is very clever.  The lightest off-white, slightly peachy shade works as a highlighter as well as a shadow base.  It is a matte colour so it highlights the high points on your face (cheekbones, brow bones, etc.) by excenuate your features rather than making it all shimmery, a fantastic highlighter if you want a subtle finish.  The light brown shade is great as an eye shadow for the crease areas or all over eyelids to create a soft smokey eye looks.  The darker brownish burgundy shade can be used as an eyeliner but at the same time for creating a more dramatic look.  The rosy pink shade is actually a blusher, which is ever so subtle when you sweep it on your cheeks.  This is definitely a fantastically handy palette for travelling.

The colours in this palette is so soft, yet so pigmented and extremely easy to blend.  They give a healthy wash of colours on your face without making your face look all made up.  It's hard to explain how great this product is in words, you have to try swatching it in a shop to feel it for yourself.  I believe this product is not available anymore after the sale period in Space NK, but an alternative in the range is the Save The Sharks Palette.

Cheeky Blushers

When it comes to cheek products, I think Dior made it to the top for me.  I have two cheek products, one in powder form, the other in cream form that I want to recommend to you.

Diorblush Cheek Cream (£24)and Diorskin Rosy Glow (£30.5) win my vote.  I have done a fuller review on the Diorblush Cheek cream which you can remind yourself by clicking here.  All in all, I think this is the best cream blusher hands down (high street and high end).  The packaging, intensity of the colour, the stay put power and the ease of blending, ticked all the boxes!

Diorskin Rosy Glow is a cleverly designed powder blush.  I reach for that on days when I cannot decide what cheek colours to wear.  Diorskin Rosy Glow is clever because the powder reacts to the moisture level of your skin and adapt to individual's to give its colour - so let your mood swings a colour for you!  It's pigmented but easy to blend which is so important and what I'm looking for in beauty products.  The little brush that comes with it actually is a great tool, and the big mirror is fantastic, too if you decide to carry this compact with you.

Lippies and Nails

There is no doubt about the extremely high equality and competitively priced lip products and nail polish that the high street can offer.  There is, however something about owning a high end nail polish and taking out an extravagant lip sticks out from your handbag make every girl the happiest person in the world.

The classic Chanel Rouge Coco Shine Hydrating Sheer Lipshine (£24) was my no.1 choice when it comes to high end lipsticks.  The combination of black and gold packaging, with the double C logo on the top of the cap is to absolutely die for.  There are over 10 colour shades to choose from.  The formula is so hydrating that I don't need to worry about carrying around with me an extra lip balm.  You can apply it on your lips straight from the bullet but if you want extra precision, of course you can use a lip brush.

YSL Rouge Volupte lipstick (£24.5) is also another strong contender after Chanel's.  The packaging is more of an extravagant gold  bullet, with YSL logo engraved around the lipstick itself.  This is just the ultimate lipstick experience.  The bullet leans towards the slightly heavier side if compared with Chanel's one.  YSL Rouge Volupte lipstick also tops the moisturising level of Chanel, and also comes in over 10 different shades of colour.  I simply cannot choose between the two because they are both winners to me and have different positions in my heart.

Finally moving onto nail polishes, is it worth investing into high end nail polishes when Barry M, Rimmel, Revlon, Essie offer much better value and possibly equally good if not better quality nail polishes.  The answer is still a Yes to me, although I definitely don't go excessively obsessed with high end nail polishes because they can be a little damaging to my bank accounts if I was to buy in large quantities and frequently.

Chanel's Le Vernis Nail Colour (£18) is one that I would go for because of its ease of application despite the brush isn't one of those flat one which is known to be the best amongst the best.  The consistency of the polishes itself is just about right which makes the colour gelled and sat on the nails much better.  They dry rather fast, too even without the help of other fast drying agent.  The colour lasts long, too.  I can go without having to do anything to it for a week.

Tempted by all these products?  I hope you say YES!  I do enjoy browsing and having a nose round what's new in the high end beauty world.  I don't necessarily buy things all the time from it as high street brands are definitely my better friends when it comes to having a beauty splurge.  But high end beauty products do have their very special places in my heart.

Friday, 20 September 2013

Hong Kong Drugstores

Moving to another country altogether, apart from having to adjust to lots of changes in lifestyle, another important area for me as a beauty addict is to familiarise myself with the local beauty scene.

When I was living in London, Boots and Superdrug were two of my favourite places to hang out. In Hong Kong, you can find the equivalent and they are called Watson's and Mannings. They work exactly the way Boots and Superdrug do, they are Hong Kong chained pharmacies, in there you can find things from panadol tablets, to drinks , and of course beauty products. 

Apart from some big European and American drugstore beauty brands; there are tons of Japanese beauty brands! I'm yet to explore but in times, I'm sure I'll try them one by one and share with you all here.

To start off with, I quickly applied for their storecards. Watson's one is a lime green plastic opaque card, which design could be a little better. However I'm not complaining at all, I felt so excited when I got my hands on the card! I joined the club, yay!

Apart from using this card in-store to collect points, this card can be used in other stores such as supermarkets, how great is that!

Of course, getting a Watson's store card without also getting one from Mannings is a crime, it's unfair. How could I possibly not? So I also got a Mannings' card. I think I might prefer this over Watson's. although I didn't quite like the orange colour, I like this transparent card better as its a little bit thinner so it felt a little more chic. I also like it the fact that apart from the main card, it also comes with 3 key ring sized cards. I'm showing 2 here as Mr Holiday has already taken one from me straightaway! But what a great idea to have this design, one household can collect points on one card which in turn can save up more for the family in the long term!

Another really good feature for these storecards apart from collecting points and hence using them to purchase stuff, every day you get some sorts of discounts. You get 10% off for purchasing own brand (Watson's and Mannings) stuff every day in the month. Then on 10th of every month, not only you get the 10% for own brand products, there are lots of other products, including beauty stuff; are included in this offer!

Wow I'm so shopping there on the 10th every month!

I will continue to do more investigative work on finding out the main differences between the two stores, including brands available, offer and services, then report back! By the way, I saw Boots own brand products, also No.7 stuff available in Mannings!

Do you have your own favourite to-go drugstore in where you live?

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

What's worth to invest in #1: High End Makeup

I have to say the majority of my makeup in my collection was purchased from the British High Street ,oh how I miss strutting down marylebone high street!(click here where I did my B or B guide to starter makeup kit).  Every now and then I would splurge on the likes of Dior or Chanel for a little beauty treat to myself.  If you compare high end makeup to their sisters or cousins of the equivalent, i.e. handbags or fashion items, high end make up becomes a lot more affordable to the masses.  They are not all necessarily better or result in greater results than their high street counterparts, but some of these products are worth your money invested in.  In today's post (part 1 of a 2 part series) I want to recommend a few high end makeup pieces that I have tried and tested, which in my opinion have been worth my money spent on them.

The Base Work

When it comes to foundation, it is the first layer of makeup products (that is, if you don't have the habit of wearing a primer) that is applied to your face; therefore I think it is worth investing into a good quality one to ensure that it gives a close to flawless (nothing is perfect) finish to your face.

Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua (£32) and Veil Fluid Makeup by Hourglass (£50) are my favourite high end foundations.  Why?  Both formulae are extremely light weight and give the most transparent and near flawless finish to the face.  Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua is a little more watery than the Veil Fluid Makeup by Hourglass in terms of consistency, so it's best to use fingers to apply and blend it into the skin.  I prefer using a Beauty Blender  (you can click here to read my review on beauty blender) to apply my Veil Fluid Makeup by Hourglass - a perfect combo.  You can get away with using fingers but the finish is not as seamless as it is if you use a beauty blender.  Both foundations give a light to medium coverage as you build it up in areas you want more cover up and stay put really well (I have dry skin).

Veil Fluid Makeup by Hourglass is right at the top end of a foundation not only because of its excellent formula but also the skincare benefits that it provides: anti-ageing.  One of the other things that worth mentioning is that once applied, Veil Fluid Makeup foundation seems to settle 'transparent' on your skin.  It gives coverage but without the whole 'made up' finish - it really is quite amazing in my opinion.  The pump dispenser is more favoured by me as I can often control how much product I want each time, whereas the Chanel one, you have to shake the bottle well before squeezing out the foundation out which is sometimes harder to control the amount you end up with.

I think both foundations are totally worth getting (otherwise I wouldn't feature in here), it depends on your budget really as the price points vary.  Definitely give it a proper try in shops and see which one you prefer.

Further perfection: concealers

Hourglass has once again made it to my recommended list, their Hidden Corrective Concealer (£23) is one of the best stick-form concealer I tried.  Its creamy but not cakey or heavy formula made concealing an easy job.  It comes in 5 shades which gets a vote for me because I often find drugstore concealers either a tad too light or too dark for me.

It conceals both under eye areas and blemishes.  Once applied on the face, because of its creamy texture, it blends with your skin so easily, effectively and efficiently.  It doesn't take much time to blend well, so if you are a lady who doesn't have much time, this concealer might be your choice!  One of the down side is that it doesn't brighten up the under eye areas but for me, I don't really need that on a daily basis so it works perfect.  It also claims to improve the appearance of dark spots, blemishes and fine lines, and the added Vitamin E acts as a protection to your skin from environmental elements.  The concealing ability is good but it doesn't stay put as well as other drugstore brand concealers, you might find yourself needing to top up during the day.  However the size of the stick is compact and small, so it definitely doesn't take up much space at all in your handbag.

Diorskin Sculpt Lifting Smoothing Concealer  (£21) gets a vote for me, as much as the Hidden Corrective Concealer by hourglass.  Why?  Its slightly more 'liquidy' formula makes my skin feels hydrated whilst it does its job by concealing both the under eye areas and on blemishes.  This concealer  gives a slight better brightening effect under the eyes but it doesn't 'highlight' your spots if you use it that way.  The dover applicator means that you can dab it on the areas you want to conceal before you blend it away.  Similar to the hourglass concealer, it doesn't set on lines as the day goes by, nor does it drying either.  Diorskin concealer stays put a bit better than the one by hourglass.  Both are of a compact size in a small tube, so great for carrying around with you for top up during the day.

I hope that I have given you some detailed analysis of each product which makes navigating around beauty halls and choosing which product to get a little easier.  If you have other recommendations, please do let me know!

In 2nd part of this What's worth to invest in: High End Makeup series, I will focus on blushers, lipsticks, eyes and nails.  So, stay tuned!

Monday, 16 September 2013

Challenge Tag: 2-week Shopping ban

Oh my! I'm actually thinking of going on a shopping ban, and I think I will do a little trial to see how it goes and probably report back half way through the process and by the end of it.

For those of you who have read my previous post on 'Relocation, Relocation', you will know that I have moved from London to Hong Kong to reunite with my husband who is working here.  Huge impact on lifestyle and everything, anticipated but I am more curious to find out how this move will actually have an affect on my beauty blogging life.  As said, I will continue to publish posts (which have been sitting in my draft folder but I promise they are still current and fit for purpose).

Just for an example, yesterday I dropped by at City Super in Times Square in Causeway Bay, for those of you who are less familiar with what City Super is, it basically is similar to Whole Foods Market although City Super doesn't only sell organic produce; they do have a vast range of products from food, domestic stuff, to beauty products.

Of course I went into the beauty sections and found myself getting very lost and overwhelmed there!  I saw a few interesting things e.g. a makeup remover with a pump dispenser 

but I'm yet feeling the itch to buy and try.  I blame it on my 'unsettling mind' as I'm pretty pre-occupied by domestic refurbishment right now and I want to get that out of the way first before I establish a more normal beauty shopping routine.

Therefore, I thought what great time to implement my shopping ban for 2 weeks, which will end on 1 Oct 2013.  I want to monitor how I feel about not buying any beauty related products unless they are an absolute essentials such as cotton wools, shampoo and conditioner and body wash, etc.  Even though I was a little tempted to buy another mascara to try when I saw some interesting ones yesterday at City Super.

Anyway - I'll see how successful I will be or how much I will have failed by the end of this; and report back!

Wish me luck!

What's in my travel makeup bag? #2 Overnight brush-less makeup

Hope you like another edition of "whats in my beauty bag",this time for an overnight version. I was away in Guildford (where my husband and I went to university) for an overnight break with my husband last month.  Because it was just an overnight trip, I just couldn't be bothered to pack crazy so I kept my makeup bag to an absolute minimum and only brought with me the essentials.  I also didn't bring any brushes with me but relied only on my fingers.

Here's my 10-pieces overnight makeup bag:

As I said above I didn't want to bring any brushes, so when I thought about what makeup I brought, they had to be no-fuss, fingers friendly products.  Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua Foundation is a no brainer, I teamed this up with my hourglass hidden corrective concealer which can be used as both a highlighter as well as a concealer - there, my base is done and near perfect!

I love applying highlighter on my face and I'm grateful for benefit girl meets pearl liquid pearl for face (from the Priming with the Stars set).  It's a pearly pale pink liquid highlighter which is watery in texture, very easy to blend with fingers, in fact it is perfect.  It doesn't make you look like a disco ball but a healthy glow.  Love this as my travel must have highlighter especially if you don't want to carry any brushes with you.

My Revlon Colorburst Lip Butter in shade 025 Peach Parfait is a lip balm/ lip stick 2-in-1 formula which gives both the moisture and pigment that your lips need.  You can build it up to intensify the colour or just layer it thinly to give a sheer finish.

Other products brought:

Does this look like something you would pack if you were going on an overnight trip?  Do you pack less or more products?

Saturday, 14 September 2013

Relocation, Relocation!

Hello peeps

A very big juicy hello all the way from Hong Kong!

Nope, I'm not on yet another holiday, I have been relocated to Hong Kong to join my husband who has been working here for 1.5 years.

I want to thank you for all you lovely people who have been following my blog since its launch in April this year.  For those who is reading this for the first time, welcome.

Relocation to Hong Kong will not discontinue myself from blogging, I look forward to sharing with all of you my new findings and thoughts on the beauty world here - compare and contrast!

Before I venture out to the likes of Sasa and Bonjour (Hong Kong Sephora), Mannings and Watsons (Superdrugs, Boots, CVS or Ute for those of you who are less familiar), and other small independent beauty stores in Hong Kong; normal postings of blog will remain as regularly as possible.  Let me tell you a little secret, I am normally a highly organised person, so I do have quite a few pieces of blogs sitting in my draft folders waiting to show their faces!

Thank you for bearing with me in the transition period!

Love to all
beautyorbread/ Cynthy

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

A Sharing: Gel Manicure at Nails Inc

I am a fan of gel nails but because of its rather high maintenance in between one treatment and another, I only really have it done for special occasions or at times when I could foresee I will be so busy I won't have time to do my nails for a few weeks.

I normally have my gel nails done in just some random nails bar locally but this time, I decided to give the Paint Shop by nails inc at Selfridges a go.

I made an appointment 2 days in advance but normally you could get a same day appointment as a walk-in customer, only if it isn't a busy day.  

As I arrived at The Paint Shop, I was asked to choose a colour of my choice.  I knew the shade I wanted so it wasn't too challenging to pick my favourite.

I wanted a neutral tone, beige/ nude type of colour, so in the end I chose Basil Street.

A 45-minute gel manicure will set you back at £38 which costs a little bit more than a local nails bar, so I expected a little more from Nails Inc.  I always opted for an Intensive Cuticle Therapy which cost me another £10, but I wanted my nails to look as perfect as possible so I didn't mind paying the extra.

I have to say though, I felt the team was a little disorganised when I first arrived.  Although I was told to pick a nail colour of my choice, I didn't know that I wasn't restricted to nails inc. own brand's shades only.  As I was having my nails done, I saw other customers choosing colours from other brands available in the shop floor area, such as Butter London, Essie.  Luckily I was pleased with what I have chosen, otherwise I would have been gutted if I knew I had a wider range of choice to choose from.

I had to wait for quite a bit before any nail technician attended to me, so I was left a little confused sitting there waiting.....

However, I ended up having a really experienced, patience and friendly nail technician who helped do my nails.

Firstly I had my cuticle treatment which did make my nails and cuticle looking rather neat and tidy!

Then she applied a coat of gel nail base onto my nails and in between my hands were put underneath some UV lights - I guess that's the secret to the long-lasting effect of gel manicure.

After a coat of gel nail base, she then applied 'Basil Street' on all of my nails.  Then topped it off with another coat of gel nail top coat.  Again my hands had to undergo the UV light machine.

The whole process lasted for just over an hour.  It was very relaxing and pampering and I loved how it looked in the end.

It was glossy and shiny.  I love 'Basil street' as well, it is such a neutral and elegant colour.  As I wanted something to last for 3 weeks (gel manicure normally lasts up to 3 weeks), so I didn't want a colour that is too 'outstanding' that wouldn't go with my outfits for 3 weeks.

After two weeks, my nails were still looking strong - no chipping and the glossiness and shininess were still maintaining!
Gel Manicure after 2 weeks

Overall I am satisfied by the gel manicure provided by Nails Inc. but I most likely wouldn't go back and have my nails done again by them just because it is a little bit more expensive than my local nails bar which they offer the same result, dare I say a little better (both the customer service and finishing result).  My gel manicure has lasted well for just over 2 weeks, then it was just me who couldn't stand it anymore and had them taken off.  Otherwise, I am confidence they will last for 3 weeks as they claimed.

However, I do think as a birthday gift to girlfriends would be an idea option!

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Waste Not, Want Not

Is your beauty cupboard overflown with way too many beauty products?  Have you ever bought skincare products that you thought was going to work but found out they didn't?  Are you one of those type of people who are sucked into the hype of products and bought it for the sake of it?  Or you bought something purely because of the free gifts promotion?

All sounds familiar?  (I can see heads nodding!)

I only have one face but often I buy too many skincare products in one go that some of them just sit in my beauty cupboard for ages, waiting for their turn to perform and show their real colours.  Then when I finally put them to the test, sometimes not all products would pass the ultimate challenge.  I would be left feeling gutted and stupid about wasting all the money.  At the same time, being a selfish person myself; it's even more heart-breaking to just give them away to friends and families because I think to myself, 'I need to find a way to use them up'.

Clarins Double Serum was a product that I bought in an emergency situation because lines on my forehead were getting too obvious, too fast.  I bought it and used it immediately for more than 3 months.  I struggled with it (you can see a detailed review here).  I continued and kept telling myself my skin loved it but really I think I was lying to myself.  I finally came to terms with it the fact that anything branded as an anti-ageing product can be a little too overwhelming for my skin at this stage (I am 31, any recommendations?)

I just wouldn't give it away to anyone I know, this was NOT going to happen.  I paid so much money on this bottle and had to admit it didn't work for me was hard.  An eureka moment came one night, 'Ah I could use it as a neck serum to retain elasticity and smoothness.'  I was so pleased about my creativity and thought I was a genius!  

I use this serum as a neck and upper chest treatment as part of my evening routine.  Serum is considered to function at its best if put as the first layer to your skin after cleansing and toning.  An overnight treatment perhaps requires a little something more potent.  I have been using it like how I described for over a month.  Although I can't see a real difference this has made to my neck, it certainly felt that money spent was worth it.  At least I didn't waste the product.

As picky as I am, I needed my neck to be treated during the day as much as in the evening but using this serum seems a little too extravagant for this purpose.  I went through my beauty cupboard and found the Multi-Active Day Early Wrinkle correction  (this came as a free gift when I purchased something else from Clarins in Boots) sitting there waiting to be used.  Since I am a little skeptical about using 'anti-ageing' product on my face, I found this could be the perfect neck day cream for me and it worked perfectly.  It is a thick cream but absorbed extremely effectively.  It is very moisturising and my neck is left feeling hydrated and tightened.  Yet again, I am a genius!

All you beauty lovers out there, how about going through your beauty cupboard today to see what's been ignored?  See if you can discover an alternative use for them on different parts of your body?

Waste not, want not.

Sunday, 8 September 2013

In-flight Beauty Bag

There must be something in the air, I seem to be travelling all the darn time this year.  This week I am going long-haul again, all the way to Hong Kong.  A bit of announcement in here, too - I am relocating to Hong Kong in just a few days of time to reunite with my husband who now works in Hong Kong.  I look forward to continuing to blog and bring you more new thoughts and reviews on products when I have settled down in there.  Meanwhile, normal posting of blogpost should remain regular - I'll do my best!

Anyway, packing my in-flight beauty bag was the highlight for this packing mayhem!  I snapped up the Charlotte Tilbury's Makeup Bag recently from Selfridges after my sister Forks and Brushes has got one for herself.  I am loving this makeup bag everyday - I love the printed lips (from iconic fashion women, shame I didn't know whose lips are who) on one side, and the little phrase, 'Give A Woman The Right Make-up & She Can Conquer The World' on the other side - very empowering, well said Charlotte!

Sometimes I try to avoid cotton material makeup bag because of how dirty it can get, however I now think that it is actually better for cleaning purposes.  I also love this makeup bag for how wide the bag can open up.  This makes life much easier when I need to fetch something out from the makeup bag.  The size of the makeup bag also makes it very flexible to fit it rather a lot of products in but at the same time the shape doesn't stay bulky if there isn't too many things inside.

As you can see I am planning to take with me quite a number of things, just in case!  There are mainly two groups of products: skincare and makeup.

What's better time to try out some sample when you are travelling.  This time I am bringing along with me an Aesop Facial Cleanser, Biotherm Aquasource 24-hr hydration moisturising gel and Kiehl Ultra Facial Moisturiser.  I especially left these two moisturiser to use on the flight to use because of their reputations of keeping skin very hydrated, that will be exactly what I need on a long haul flight!   I am not normally a face-wipe user but on the plane, I thought it is a rather convenient tool.  Under eye areas is also my priority especially on a long-haul flight so I brought along my Tony Moly Intense Care Snail Eye Cream (I also like to bring products which I need to use up).  As my hands can get so dry any time, and on the plane it gets even drier, I am bringing along with me a travel size Rose 4 Reine Hand Cream by L'Occitane.  My lips can also get so dry therefore I brought along two lip balms: La Roche Posay lip balm and a recent favourite Reve De Miel Lip Balm by Nuxe it is a light weight but impressively moisturising and hydrating lip balm.  Finally some essentials, tooth brush, tooth paste and my contact lenses case.

I have also included a few makeup bits, I picked these because I won't need to reach out for my brushes at all.  I don't think I will use all of them up but I think I'll want to put something up to refresh my face before I touch down in Hong Kong!

Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua - I love taking this when I'm travelling because this foundation provides a finish which is in between of a tinted moisturiser and a foundation - light weight but enough for a light to medium coverage dependent on how my skin feels.

RMS Beauty 'Un' Cover up - my new favourite concealer and can be doubled up as a foundation if needs be.  I like how hydrating and light this concealer is.  It can also be used to lightly brighten up those dark circles.  Most important of all it doesn't cake up at all!

RMS Beauty Living Luminiser  - another great discovery which I found.  Cream highlighter isn't the commonest product so when I saw this and tried it on my hands, I instantly fell in love with the texture - smooth and hydrating, and gives the most natural dewy luminising finish without making you looking like a glitter ball.  Great for highlighting brow bones, cheekbones and the bridge of the nose using your fingers.

Other products taken:

I want to know what do you bring on your inflight beauty bag?  

Friday, 6 September 2013

New In: Vaseline Paint The Town Red Lip Tint Limited Edition

Just when I was getting rid of my current stash of Vaseline (I have way too many lip balms going on in my life!), there is a new one just released!  Every time when there is a new limited edition vaseline launched, I just couldn't resist but to dash down to Selfridges to get it!

Vaseline Paint The Town Lip Tint Limited Edition (£3.49) exclusively available in Selfridges for a limited time only.  At first when I opened the lid and saw the content I was quite taken aback because of this very intense red colour.

However, don't be freaked out by the intense deep red colour!  As I applied on my lips, it actually appears very sheer, as the product stated, it gives a tint of red colour on my lips, and provide an 'au naturel' finish.  It also has a yummy fruit jelly scent. It is, as you would expect, very moisturising to the lip and I found this formula stays on longer than other vaselines I've tried.

I think this would be perfect to wear in Autumn especially for girls who have dry lips and sometimes can't be bothered to wear colours.

Are you tempted to get one?

Thursday, 5 September 2013

Pinkie Promise

My favourite colour used to be blue when I was little, then purple/ violet has taken over my life.  However pink still plays a big part in my life that I found myself wearing pink every now and then.  Here's only a small makeup collection of the pinks I have.  Forget about purple and burgundy colour for Autumn, let's take a moment to appreciate these beautiful pink colours.

Pinkie Promise's Run-down:

Bourjois Je T'Aime Powder Blush in #34 Golden Rose
Bourjois Cream Blush in #3 Rose Tender
Rimmel Lasting Finish Soft Colour Blush in #050 Live Pink
EOS lip balm
innisfree in #49 shimmery pink (From Seoul)
Revlon Colorstay Ultimate Suede in #025 Socialite
L'Oreal Glam Shine Stain Splash in #101 Lolita

What about you?  What's your pinkie promise?

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

How to...... display your accessories?

Do you sometimes find trawling through your jewellery box picking out a necklace to go with your outfit a messy act?  Especially when you are in a hurry, you've got your makeup on, you've thrown something on your body but there's just something missing!  

Here's a couple of ideas of how I display my accessories to save times on picking accessories to go with your outfits at record time!

#1 idea - A mug stand......

Displaying necklaces on a mug stand
I used to use this to stack up all my mugs in the kitchen but since moving house a few times, gradually this has become an extra piece of unwanted equipment.  Instead of leaving it covered with dust, I have been using this to hang up some of my statement necklaces which I reach to them regularly.  You can get this mug stand very easily in kitchenware shops.

 #2 Idea - Hanging Basket Jewellery Holder

I bought this Hanging Basket Jewellery Holder priced at £12 from Claire's Accessories.  They come in more than 5 different colours and styles.  I have been using this for the past 6 months or so and have really enjoyed both the design and the function it offers.  I also think that this is a great idea for displaying your accessories in style and it makes me a very happy person.  I hang it by the entrance to my bedroom door so every time before I head out, I can perfect my outfit by choosing the most suitable pair of earrings or necklace.  I also think it is a great piece of storage if you don't have a lot of 'surface space'.  Hanging something up makes things easier, saves a lot of space and it looks pretty, too!

 I managed to hang up 21 pairs of earrings which is pretty amazing.  This hanging basket holder also allows me to choose my favourite, go-to pieces on display, too.  In between the top and bottom half, there is like an open drawer/ plate type of thing (excuse my description!), which is fantastic because I can just throw any loose pieces (as you can see I put them inside these little velvet bag as there are precious earrings inside) there.

 The second half of the holder has many hooks to it and I picked out my favourite statement necklaces and bracelets and hang them there.  As you can see I can hang over 10 pieces there, and a cute little pink knitted dress which owned by my little cuddly toy, so she gets to use it, too!

This hanging holder comes with two black ribbons already tied up, when I first bought it I wasn't sure about the strength of the ribbons.  However, I have since added one piece after another piece of accessories on it and so far it's been holding well.  If anything (hopefully it won't), I could just replace the ribbons with other stronger materials.

Do you display your favourite pieces of accessories?  Do share your ideas!