June 27, 2011

Hand-made Soaps & FOTD

I picked up a new hobby recently and have quickly fallen in love with it!  Soap-making is a great avenue for me to explore my dormant creativity as well as trying to make a soap that is good for my skin.  Here are samples of the soaps I've made so far.

The green soaps above are the first soaps I made.  I used a rubber stamp to create designs on the soap.  The exfoliating herbal vanilla soap has apricot seed powder in it for light exfoliation.  The moisturizing herbal soap is made with olive oil to keep the skin soft and smooth.

The coffee soaps above are hand-milled (but I don't think I hand-milled them correctly).  In addition to coffee grounds, I added some jojoba oil for moisture.  This coffee soap is good in the shower and in the kitchen.  The coffee grounds are great with exfoliating rough areas like knees, elbows, and heels.  In the kitchen, the coffee aroma completely eradicate any scent, especially raw meat smells from under the fingernails.  *lol, sounds gross but I love cooking!*

These are my best soaps to date.  I gave one to Mr. P's mom this weekend.  The soaps above are unique because the pink flower portion is rose scented.  The green soap base is jasmine scented.  I have added rose petals throughout the soap for aesthetic purposes.  It also seems sexy to me to have rose petals on my skin.  A "True Lies" moment.  ^_^

Here's a quick FOTD.  I did a simple wash of shimmery brown shadow on my upper eye lids, mascara'd up my eyes, and kept everything else minimal.  It's good to let the skin breathe every now and then.  Mr. P was busy answering a work email on the weekend.  Suck a workaholic!  *I still love him though!*

Does anyone else have a cool hobby?

June 19, 2011

Product Review: DiorSnow White Reveal UV Shield

Silly me.  I threw away the box many years ago. Yes, that's right.  YEARS is exactly how long I've held on to this gem. I bought it on China Airlines in 2009.

Anyways, since I threw away the box I can't do my product review by claims like usual.  So I'm going to go out on a limb and assume what the claims would be based on the product's packaging.

Brightens skin with regular use
Protects skin from harmful UVA/UVB rays
Improves skin tone and texture over time *

* I included that because I believe that's what every beauty product tries to achieve.

I notice that my skin does look brighter when I apply it. I don't think it works to change my skin on the molecular level, meaning that my skin looks brighter only when I have it on.

I believe this does offer some good protection. My age spots aren't any darker or bigger than what they have been for the last couple years.  However I just noticed a new one in recently days.  I think it might have started developing a couple years back though...  :-(

When my skin looks brighter I feel as if my skin tone is more even.  One of the things I really like about this gem is that it makes my pores look a little smaller.  Sometimes I notice a slight glow to my face, like a just-had-a-great-facial glow, when I apply this after I've done some exfoliating with aspirin powder.

Heck yeah!  I would totally get it again the next time I fly on China Airlines.  It's worth the $52 I paid for!

June 12, 2011

Product Review: SK-II WS Derm-Renewal Essence

I'm running into formatting issues when sending pictures directly from my phone as opposed to when I upload it to my computer then creating the blog.  Oh, well.  As they say, the show must go on!
The claims regarding the SK-II Whitening Source (WS) Derm-Renewal Essence are as follows:

SK-II WS Derm-Renewal Essence gently removes the dead skin cells on face, nourishes your skin with hydrating ingredients such as Pitera and stimulates the growth of healthy skin-cells.  SK-II WS Derm-Renewal Essence helps to improve the texture and moisture balance of your skin in the long-term.  Contains no fragrance.

I am not paid to do product reviews; everything you read here is based on my experiences with this product.  Please read my About Me page.

This product a mask.  Apply it on clean skin and leave on for 10-15 minutes.  Rinse off.

Contains no fragrance
It definitely doesn't contain fragrance of either the candy sweet, fruity sweet, or floral variety.  It smells like a concentrated form of SK-II Facial Treatment Essence.

Gently removes dead skin cells
I like to apply this in the shower after I have used my JnJ Head-to-Toe Baby Wash to cleanse off all my makeup.  Whenever I apply this, I can feel a slight tingling sensation on my skin, which is the product working to removing dead skin cells.  I can tell that my skin feels softer and smoother after rinsing this off.

Nourishes skin with hydrating ingredients such as Pitera
All SK-II products contain Pitera, the brand's legendary secret ingredient to softer, smoother, and hydrated skin, so I believe that there is a bit of Pitera in this product to maintain hydration in my skin.  However, I don't believe that you can rely on this solely to deliver Pitera and hydration to your skin.  You definitely need another moisturizer or serum to lock in the benefits of the mask.  The immediate benefits of the hydration is that my fine lines under my eyes and on my upper cheeks are immediately lessened.  They don't disappear, but they look less like developing wrinkles.

Stimulates the growth of healthy skin cells
Based on an age/sun spot assessment, this product doesn't seem to be working because my age spots don't look diminished.  However, the areas between my under-eye and nostrils seem more radiant and clear.  My usually visible pores seem a little tighter, though not completely diminished.

Improves texture and moisture balance in the long-term
I think that if used consistently, this product will go a long way to helping you maintain the elements of great skin.  However, I'm too impatient to try new things so I probably will not have a chance to see how long is "long-term."  Food for thought: if this mask is good for short-term improvements, think only of how well it will work over time. 

Final Verdict
Even though SK-II has a special place in my heart, I probably will not repurchase this mask.  I think that there are other masks (like my Envie de Neuf Platinum CellWhite masks) on the market that do the same thing as this mask, and will also help target my age/sun spots.

June 04, 2011

Battle Mascara: NYX Doll Eye vs. Maybelline Volum'Express One by One

I've had to say goodbye to my Lancome mascara.  It's almost time for me to say goodbye to my NYX Doll Eye mascara as well.  So, I went out to Walgreens and got a new mascara in anticipation of being mascara-less.  Welcome to my vanity: Maybelline Volum'Express One by One in blackest.

I have to be honest and let you know that today is the first day of my using this new Maybelline mascara and I'm so excited by it that I felt compelled to post something.  But if my opinions on this Battle Mascara change from today onwards, I will update this post.

Click to enlarge

And below, we have the following pictures.  First up: NYX.  I think these pictures are a lot better than what I took in Battle Mascara 1 because I've finally learned how to position the camera and tilt my head and wait for good lighting opportunities.  *forehead smack*

Second, we have the newbie: Maybelline.  All these pictures of were taken today and the difference in curl between the NYX and Maybelline is astounding!

UPDATE: 6/7/2011

I decided to experiment with the Maybelline Volum'Express One by One mascara and the NYX Doll Eye mascara.  Maybelline is great for retaining curl throughout the day.  NYX is great for not smudging.  Putting them together ought to give me the best results possible.  So here are the pictures from my experiment.  Here are pictures of my lashes 3 hours into the experiment.

Here are pictures of my lashes 9 hours into the experiment.

If only these two were ONE mascara, this would be the perfect mascara for me.  ^_^

June 02, 2011

Oops! Mascara Smudge

5pm, end of day mascara smudging

NYX Doll Eye Waterproof Mascara
Mr. P made me laugh while I was putting on mascara and that resulted in some mascara smudges that looked like vertical bars on my eyelids.  My quick fix: ring finger and dark eyeshadow.

You can't really tell in the top camera phone quality picture, but the dark eyeshadow was actually visible even after opening my eyes.  I simply covered up the mascara smudges with eyeshadow and no one was the wiser all day.  If you look closely, you can still see the individual smudges, but c'mon, who is going to stand 2 inches away from your face and point it out?

To date, I haven't found a brush I'm totally crazy about to do my eye makeup.  I still prefer my ring finger to apply eye makeup as I have total control over the entire process.

Have a good day!
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