July 29, 2014

Monthly: Sam's July Favorites

Hey guys!

I'm sorry I missed out on last month's favorites.. Ashley and I may alternate from now on depending on our schedules.. and we are so sorry. In fact, we are thinking about putting more mini reviews on our Instagram because it's more on the go and easier to digest! So if you want to see/read something almost everyday, then feel free to follow us there: @samanthashley_ :)



Isn't it such a pretty picture above? I love how their colors come together and look so beautiful! Anyway... some are sponsored, some are personally purchased, but let me promise you that all these thoughts and opinions come straight from the heart! June's been more hectic than usual, as you can see we are now managed by The Sample Store, so woohoo! :) These products have helped me through this very stressful period, and I'll tell you why.

- - 

1) La Mer The Powder


Let me start with my La Mer 'The Powder" which is made of heavenly fine particles! I've just got this about the middle of the month...annnnnd nothing you can say will take me away from the beauty which is this.

The powder is so fine, my Guerlain Meteorites pale in comparison and look like huge chunks of glitter. It never settles into any lines, pores, whatever. Everytime I have it on, it's like I know my skin looks perfect. EVERY TIME. No kidding. I know with some powders we just expect them to oxidize or cake, but this one does neither. And while it doesn't do well with oil control per se, it makes up by allowing your skin to look dewy instead of oily. It lets your skin BREATHE, it lets your skin look G-O-O-D, it lets your skin look soft focused without the need for photoshop AT ALL. If you need more reasons, then go to the La Mer counter to test it out and I assure you, you'll never look at your other powders quite the same way again.

Stockist: Any La Mer Counters (Tangs & Robinsons Orchard)
Price: SGD $123



2) Mac Prep + Prime Lip Primer

I got this because my lipsticks just don't seem to stay smoothly on my dry lips, no matter how much lip balm I seem to apply beforehand. It just got so frustrating that everytime I applied lipstick, some parts would peel off or look horrid in comparison to the other parts of my lip...

Finally, my close friend (Hi Tashy!) convinced me to get this after raving non stop about how well her lippies apply and how long lasting they are with this lip primer below. I was a little hesitant because I'm not too big a fan of primers in general.. but when I saw just how moisturized and lovely my lips looked with this on.. I just shut up and bought it. Say goodbye to disgusting fine lines in between your lips and horrid feathering out whilst eating meals. Now your lips will look freshly painted on for so much longer! ;)

Stockist: Any MAC Counters
Price: Approx. SGD $30



3) Glam Glow Super Mud


We just received this recently from LuxAsia and Escentials as part of a mail package where we were to test out the entire range of GlamGlow (*ahhhhhhh happy scream*). Though this, along with the Youth Mud, were given in sample sizes, there was sufficient product within to test it out for a good few times! I've used this mostly for targeted treatment on my nose and chin as opposed to the whole face because my skin is rather dry and sensitive at this point of time. In this aspect though, it has passed with flying colors because I really feel the gunk being SUCKED OUT by this wondrous mask and my acne/whiteheads/blackheads have significantly reduced! Plus I like how it works like the Pore Strip where you can actually SEE the junk that comes out of your pores! I use this for spot treatment at night sometimes as well and my headless bumps have shrunk to mere pimples!

Stockist: Tangs and Sephora
Price: SGD $92



4) CLIV Max Hyaluronic Stemcell BB Cream

We both received this BB Cream when we attended a CL-IV (pronounced as CL4) event awhile back at SASA. Though we never really heard of this brand before, we were inclined to think that Korean cosmetics, especially in the BB Cream department, were excellent! The fact that it also boosted such assurances of heavy Hyaluronic Acid content which was supposed to add hydration back into our air-condition-beaten skin was just cherry on top of the cake! Ash and I both really like this as we find that a little goes a long way, and though it does start off fair, it does later come to suit your skin tone accordingly. It feels comfortable on, and our skin no longer feels as dry when we are stuck at work the whole day.

Stockists: SaSa Outlets
Price: Approx SGD $48


5) 13 Rushes Flat Top Sculpting Brush

13Rushes was so kind to send us a few more brushes to test out after our previous review, and I couldn't help but pick this one out! It's not one of their new brushes, but I've tried it out at Roseanne's place before and I just LOVED how easily it applied on liquid foundation/BB Cream! It's short bristles make it easy to control and navigate around contours of the face, and its shape just makes blending out a dream! When we were asked what brushes we would like to try again, I already knew I HAD TO have this!

Say goodbye to streaking or buffing-out-a-product-till-its-gone, because this will make sure you've got it all on and you've got it all on FLAWLESSLY. It also doubles up as a quick concealer brush for the undereye if you're in a rush and don't want to change brushes on mornings where you need to run off to work! Can you spell "Perfect", because we can!

Stockist: 13Rushes
Price: SGD $19.80


Do you guys have any favorites this month to share with us? We're always up for trying new things, so do let us know! :)


Have a happy week!
()
Sam



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July 22, 2014

Sponsored Review: LJH Cellabel MC Vital CC Cream

Good morning darlings!

A few months back, I was sponsored by HKC Plaza with this LJH Cellabel MC Vital CC Cream. At first, I was a bit hesitant because I never really used base makeup...

I've always been a sunblock/sunscreen kinda gal - but my current skincare bSoul - mentions that I should not use any purely sun protective products during this point of time (explanations in a future bSoul post), so I thought, why not?

That, plus I've been seeing raves of this all over the internet, especially over on fellow Beauty Bloggers' websites! Thus, I took the plunge! And here is what I have to say about it!


Information

LJH stands for LeeJiHam and is known as a "Vital Turnaround CC Cream". You may be wondering why, so here are a few reasons this CC cream is promoted for its amazing qualities:

  • CC Cream does not separate from skin and adheres very closely
  • It feels as light and soft as air when it's on the face
  • It has a certified triple action formula which has whitening, anti-aging, and UVA/B-blocking effects
  • Claims to contain 800x more Vitamin C than apples
  • Contains acacia collagen which provide hydration to skin
  • Helps troubled skin and relieves the issue with elder fruit extract
  • Contains Centella Asiatica which helps with scar treatment
  • 7-free Prescription formula which is great for sensitive skin 
Basically, it is a Makeup, Sun screen and Vitamin C Essence all in one, which is great for those who are great fans of multi-tasking products.


Packaging

The packaging is of squeeze tube, though it does come with a nozzle.. I kind of find this redundant because I could've squeezed out more (should the product be finishing) on my own than depending on the nozzle. In fact, I haven't reached the halfway mark and am already experiencing some issues so.. yeah, not a big fan.

It does look good though, and I suppose safety wise you can feel assured it won't just pop open and spill all over inside your bag!


Color and Texture

This is the part I find most exciting to talk about. The color!!! Well, technically, there is NO color seeing as it comes out white, but it does transform to suit your own! :) Of course, this isn't new technology - I believe quite a few brands, including the ever famous Body Shop, has already incorporated this technique into their makeup, but it's still pretty exciting nonetheless!

What I love watching is how it blends into the skin as though there's nothing there because it's so easy to spread out and, as it does, you get to watch it transform into another color in front of your very eyes!


The texture is really quite light, but the coverage is not bad! When I use my brush to apply this on my face, my brush gets rather heavily stained (you can see the 13Rushes Flat Top Sculpting Brush below), as opposed to my other BB-creams, so yeah this can be a pretty strong concoction! At the same time, it feels really comfortable on the skin and I don't feel like there's something LYING on top or really irritating it, so yes, thumbs up! :)

As a side note though, this smells very strongly to me of sunblock :\ Which might be due to the high SPF... if you're one who is averse to that smell, I guess you should take note!


Application

I've applied this both with my fingers, a buffing brush, as well as a foundation brush.

Originally, I thought the application with my fingers was fine - but I eventually realized the result wasn't as smooth as when I used my 13Rushes Rounded Kabuki Brush or my 13Rushes Flat Top Sculpting Brush... I felt that, when applied with a brush, the CC cream looked more even and adhered to the skin much better. This ultimately meant I could use less product and have it go a much longer way.

So what I do each time is squeeze out a tiny amount, literally a pea size or half a fingernail but gauge it on the size of your face, dot it all over my skin, and then go over with my brush to spread.

I did try tapping my brush directly onto the product and then placing it on my skin, but the brush ended up "eating" more of the product than my face! Hence, I will still advise using the former method.


Before and After

Here is a Before/After photo, and as you can see, my skin tone is evened out! And hey! My face, for once, isn't a lighter shade than my neck (shadows aside)! The color correction is really pretty awesome, and my skin is smoother! :) I can't say my pores are entirely gone or lessened, because if you zoom in you can still see them.. but on the whole it's still a pretty good product! 

If you've got pretty good skin and you just want some evenness in your skin tone, then I suppose this would be a good call for you! I don't have much acne besides a tiny breakout across my forehead (due to an allergy to something *cries*); on the whole my skin issues aren't anything serious, so I can't speak for those really looking for high coverage. On a final note, this lasts me a good 6-8 hours and doesn't oxidise, which is a real plus!


Overall Thoughts

I do like this CC Cream very much, but I wouldn't say it does GREAT in the hydrating department. Just enough perhaps, for my skin to not feel dry and gross when I'm in aircon all day.. but my pores do still get obvious after awhile (maybe due to my own oil).. Who knows?

As with all base makeup, it performs as well as your skin behaves. Which means - on days that my skin behaves well, this CC cream enhances it and makes my skin look positively radiant and even. On days that my skin is a little more dry and troubled.. this doesn't really hide it that well. I mean, I can kind of accept it though I wish it would be a little more forgiving. I suppose if I piled it on more it would, but I'd rather not.

It performs fine with my sensitive skin and DOESNT break me out at all! When I do remove it properly (I do make sure I do a thorough job when it comes to cleansing), it's fine and gives me zero issues - so that's something I truly appreciate! However.. scar healing-wise, not so much. I don't see it really IMPROVING my skin.. it improves how my skin LOOKS but not how it is.

On the whole, I think this is something much better suited for skin which ranges from very good to only SLIGHTLY troubled.. more than that, I feel this may not hide the issues as well! At the end of the day it all boils down to what you're looking for.


Recommended for:
- Anyone with normal to combination/oily skin.
- Anyone looking for a CC cream that keeps your skin semi-matte

- Anyone looking for a REAL color-correcting cream with good color matching
- Anyone looking for a CC cream that doesn't harm/affect sensitive skin


Stockist
HKC Plaza (Click to Redirect)
Price: SG$48



Discount for Readers

If you'd like to try out this CC Cream for yourself, then great news!

All you have to do is enter "SB01000JAD" as your 10% Discount Code when you check out! :)



Overall Rating: 7.5 / 10




Any CC Creams you'd like to ask us to try?
()
Sam
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July 14, 2014

Review: Bioderma Cleansing Waters



We are back with a review on the range of cleansing waters that Bioderma has to offer (we say REVIEW instead of SPONSORED REVIEW because we've bought probably 5 bottles each on our own, besides the ABCDerm range, before we received these ones)! Ashley has written her own post longgggg ago when we first started, but here's a more extensive one.

As you can see in the header image, there are a total of 4 types of Cleansing Waters (in order): ABCDerm (for babies), Sensibio, Sebium, and Hydrabio. To know more about each of them we've broken them down below, along with their details, for your better understanding. But first, let's give you an overview on what Bioderma cleansers are all about.

*This is going to be a very long post because we want to be REALLY thorough. So if you want to skip ahead to the parts you're interested in, please feel free!*


What Their Cleansing Waters are About

Bioderma is well known for their Micellar Cleansing Waters, which combines the freshness of water with the cleansing prowess of oil to take off dirt and makeup from your face.

What are Micelles though, you might wonder? They are very special molecular microstructures that allow impurities, dirt, and excess sebum to be removed without the need to rinse. Suspended in water, they only disband when in contact with the skin.

The secret of micelles is that they are essentially made up of two parts: a hydrophilic component that likes water, and a hydrophobic component that attracts oil.  Having these water and oil loving components mean that the Micellar solution can lift up impurities from our skins without any tugging or strength.

Another amazing feature of the Bioderma H20 is that they use biometic Fatty Acid Esters that act as hydrating agents and are biologically compatible with and have the same PH levels as our skin! Therefore, whilst Bioderma cleanses our skin, it also restores our skin's protective layer! :) 


How to use Bioderma Cleansing Waters

Basic Cleansing: There are many people we know who use Bioderma as part of their morning cleansing rituals. This is because they feel that they don't need a cleanser too harsh or strong when they've basically been sleeping the whole night and haven't accumulated too much oil/dirt on their faces. You can opt to use it at night too as a double cleanse, but it's all up to personal choice! 

Toner: Others we know like to use this as a toner because they want to feel certain that all the gunk is fully off their face even after their cleansers! We don't know how useful this is, personally, but some live by it!

Makeup Removal: Ash and I use this mainly for our makeup removal! We find it really easy on our skin, and it removes our makeup relatively well! Plus we both have dry, sensitive skins, and this is so far one of the best at ensuring that our natural oils aren't taken off during the whole process! All we do is put a generous amount on a face pad and then proceed to wipe our faces with it. Some people complain it doesn't take off waterproof makeup too well, but Ash finds it alright for her eyeliner and I find it sufficient for my BB/CC creams! We do double cleanse, and we both sometimes use the Clarisonic for better cleaning, so everything works out fine! :) 

Do I need to Rinse it off: Well, it's really how comfortable you are with the feeling of the cleansing water on top of your skin! Some people find it comforting and hydrating, but others don't like the slightly tacky feeling. Ash and I prefer to rinse it off too, but do what is comfortable for you. It's originally not meant to be washed off anyway. 


ABCDerm

ABCDerms is a high-safety and high-tolerance dermo-paediatric cleanser dedicated to babies and children. It has a gentle formula and delicate texture that helps preserve and restore the skin's natural physiological balance whilst respecting it's fragility, and hence envelopes babies in a tender and protective cocoon. Also, since it is made for babies, it follows a framework of Dermatological Safety Commitment that strictly responds to 4 principles: Safety, Efficacy, Tolerance, and Traceability.


Sam's Thoughts: I passed this to my sister-in-law to try out on my baby niece, who does suffer from slight eczema. She's turning 3 this year (you can check out her insanely adorable face here), so she doesn't use diapers too often since we are toilet training her, but I thought I'd still let her try it out for cleansing purposes to see how gentle it really is.

From my Sis-in-law's reponse, the Bioderma is safe for eczema skin! No allergic reaction AT ALL, and everything went well! It was easy to use and my niece felt zero discomfort. But what she did tell me was that it didn't actually HELP the eczema problem so it didn't go away or lessen, but it was just safe for use! :) For those who have babies or skin with bad eczema, this could be a safe cleanser before whichever medicine or lotion you would like to use on top.


Sensibio

This is the star product of Bioderma as it is suitable for almost everyone, and is especially suitable for sensitive skin as it has both a patented natural complex (a combination of ingredients that consists of saccharides, sugar, golden seaweed extracts) and a soothing cucumber extract to ensure that the skin's natural PH is noted. This is proven to strengthen the skin's resilience and have anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and moisturizing properties.


Ashley's Thoughts: I've been using the Bioderma Crealine cleanser for the longest time now and have recently swapped to the Sensibio a couple months back. What's the difference you might ask? Upon dropping an email way back last year to Bioderma, I found out that  they're the same thing except that the Sensibio is targeted towards the asian skin!

I love how gentle it is on my skin and much like most Bioderma Micellar waters, they truly are a weightless cleanser! Having a combination of dry-sensitive skin on most days, this works like a charm. It's alcohol-free and doesn't strip my skin of its moisture, has a fresh to almost no scent and I feel that I can walk around freely right after cleansing before my shower because it doesn't make my skin feel taught at all.

Although it removes my face makeup and eyeliner really well, I do recommend using this for your face and purchasing an oil-based makeup remover to better remove stubborn waterproof makeup (i.e your mascara) because I do find that It takes a little bit more effort to have to soak off my Benefit They're Real Mascara.

I'd have to say that this is probably Sam's and my favourite out of the few cleansers and as it is we've both repurchased it several times. It's a great product to take on the go as well to freshen up especially at the gym or on long haul flights. 


Hydrabio

This particular formulation has the Aquaporin Patent which "teaches hydration" so that the skin reconstitutes its own resources to restore its original hydrating abilities. It also contains an apple seed extract that stimulates the skin's natural hydrating capabilities and Vitamin PP that locks in water within the skin's layers.


Sam's Thoughts: I wasn't too big of a fan of Hydrabio, especially as someone who has been used to Sensibio before. I didn't like that there was a scent, which was pretty strong to me. I know people who are impartial to it and find nothing wrong with the fragrance but... as someone who once suffered from almost anything with a smell touching my face, it rose some negative feelings in me.

NOT TO SAY that it didn't do its job or it was lousy or bad or whatever. It worked! Great! My skin did feel slightly more moisturized than it would with Sensibio and there were no bad reactions at all! It was safe to use for my skin and removed makeup as well as Sensibio would/did. I am lucky that my skin has now recovered to a point where it's no longer dry enough for me to require this anymore, but if I had to, I would repurchase.


Sebium

Bioderma Sebium is for those who suffer from oil-prone skin or dilated pores. It uses copper sulphate and zinc gulconate to purify and regulate sebum production without drying the skin. This is because a Fluidactiv patent improves sebum quality and inhibits comedogenesis.


Ashley's Thoughts: The Sebium line is targeted towards oily skin types. I know what you're thinking.... " don't you have dry-sensitive skin?! how would you have experienced the true benefits of the product? " True, but there are times where my skin changes due to the weather where it can become incredibly oily.

This product right here is non-comedogenic ensuring that it doesn't clog your pores, feels incredibly gentle on your skin and to be very honest,  I don't feel that there's a very significant difference between this and the Sensibio cleanser, they both leave my skin feeling hydrated and refreshed. I often find that upon using this when my oily-skin phase pops up, my skin often returns to its normal state within 2 days thanks to the Fluidactiv ingredient that helps normals the sebium (oil) levels within my skin!

Is it greedy to say that I feel you need both the Sebium and the Sensibio in your life when you have an indecisive skin type like I do? I currently have both bottles sitting on my bathroom counter and am not ashamed of it! I do recommend trying this product out if you do have very oily skin, I am certain the effects would magnify and do your skin wonders over time as compared to what is has for me during my oily phases.


Overall Thoughts

We find that Bioderma is quite a love-it-or-hate-it brand. There are the cult fans (a.k.a us) and then there are those determined to hate it - and we've deduced that those who tend to dislike it are those who like to have on heavier makeup or more waterproof makeup.

We agree that Bioderma isn't so great with waterproof mascara or foundations because you will need both patience and the willingness to use quite abit of product - and let's be honest, we are less likely to possess both these two qualities at the end of the day and we're just tired and want to remove everything ASAP and AQAP (as quickly as possible hehe). We admit that sometimes, we ourselves do resort to the stronger oil makeup removers when we are deadbeat and just want to get to bed.

But on a daily basis though, this is really our optimum choice when all we have on is some BB cream, concealer and loose powder. It's more than enough, and we do double cleanse. It just makes our skin feel way more protected, and it has never ever affected our sensitive skin!

I suppose you must weigh out your pros and cons when it comes to this but at the end of the day, Ash and I choose to have healthier skin and that outweighs any cons. I've just recently finished the given bottle of Sensibio and have moved on to my 7th one, so that should tell you enough.

We hope this post has been insightful to all of you, and do leave a comment with your questions if any! :)

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July 11, 2014

Monthly: Ashley's June favourites


What do’ya know? It’s already July! Didn’t feel like too long ago where we were celebrating the end of our school year at Lasalle and here we are… 2 months post-school.

This month has really been about discovering staples that would go into my every day makeup routine and pampering sessions because lets face it, we’d all like to get ready a lot quicker in the mornings. Plus! Who doesn’t want to find the perfect products to include at-home pamper regimen after a tiring week at work? Without further ado - here are my top 5 products for the month of June ;)

3CE Cream Blusher in “ Coral Coral” 

I’d never ever thought that I would pick such bright coral cream blush to welcome into my makeup collection. I’ve been using this every single day since I first got it off Luxola to brightens up and brings life to my face (especially on mornings where I look completely zombified).

A very tiny bit goes a long way. The texture is smooth, I don’t find it oily nor greasy when it goes on. You do have to blend almost immediately upon application because it sets pretty quickly.  It’s lasts throughout my day and is definitely build-able product. Granted applying this with a synthetic blush brush like the Real Techniques Blush brush, 13rushes rounded kabuki would help give an airbrushed finished but using your finger tips to blend the product in does the job just as well too! 

stockist -  Luxola 
Price -  SG$22 

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3CE  Marble Highlighter in Bling Peach

Highlighters would have never topped the list if I were to name the products that go into my makeup routine. Recently, it has been a staple and is absolutely vital to bringing that subtle healthy glow to to help fake the extra sleep that I obviously lack. The texture isn’t chalky and gives a really natural finish to your #fotd! 

Before you scroll pass this particular section thinking that the product is a completely glitter bomb, it isn’t. The shimmers are incredibly fine and can even be used as an eye shadow base. I apply this to my cheek bones, cupids bow and inner corners of my eyes with a Coastal scents fluffy blending brush.  

stockist -  Luxola
price SG$30 


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Innisfree wine jelly peeling scrub

I’ve put off purchasing scrubs because I used to have an obsession with them - ask Sam. Upon a recent trip to the Innisfree store at Ngee Ann City when our dear friend and fellow beauty junkie Cindy (@skinzmakeup) came to town, I purchase this gem. The exfoliating beads are suspended in the grape smelling jelly and an SG$1 size amount would do you the trick! 

I use this twice a week during my pamper evenings so I don’t over scrub my skin and it leaves my skin feeling clean, renewed after an effortless application to the skin. Most importantly it doesn’t strip my skin’s moisture. I’ve used it about 10 times now and It doesn’t appear like I’ve made a dent at all! Who doesn’t love an affordable product that does wonders? 

stockist - Innisfree at Ngee Ann City 
Price- SG$21 

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Innisfree Olive Real Cleansing Oil

Don’t get me wrong I love using my Bioderma Micelle Solution to remove my face makeup but when it comes to my eye makeup, it’s a different story. There’s a gotta be a reason why people make it a point to use a cleansing oil before their face wash as part of their double cleanse routine and I finally know why. 

The oil lifts off and dissolves the makeup much like the cleansing sherbet that I adore and have run out of from 3CE. You won’t see a single trace of residue after your routine and makes so much of a difference, perhaps not one that is visible but one that you an feel. Even for stubborn mascara’s, you’ll see and feel that you’re mascara has been completely stripped off your face leaving you with a clean canvas!

To apply I take a generous amount, spread it between my palms and gently massage the oil into my skin to dissolve the makeup. Once the makeup has “melted” off my face, I dampen my finger tips and massage my face to emulsify the oil. The process takes less than a minute depending on the amount of makeup you have on to which I rinse off righter after. There’s nothing like going to bed with clean skin. 

stockist -  Innisfree at Ngee Ann City 
Price -  SG$21 

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Bobbi Brown Sand Palette 

I've searched long and hard for a palette that encompasses both matte and shimmery neutrals that I could incorporate into my every day makeup routine. This baby right here satisfies my craving for the perfect neutrals palette. 4:4 the perfect ratio of mattes to shimmers, I also find myself using the matte shadows to fill in my brows on mornings where I have more time.

The packaging is also incredibly summery as you can tell from the header image, there's nothing I don't like about it. There's also a mirror on the flip side of the palette so it's perfect to take on holidays. The shades within the palette are very warm and are more of a subtle wash to compliment the perfect summery glow but it's definitely buildable.

However, if you're looking for neutrals that are insanely pigmented for a very bold look upon a single swatch, perhaps the NARSissist palette is what you could look into!

stockist -  Any Bobbi Brown counters
Price -  SG$90


That's all I've got for the monthly sum up! I hope you all have had a lovely June and as we are already in the early stages of July - here's to an amazing one! For those of you lucky babes on summer break, Enjoy it!

Much Love,
()
Ash


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