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16 May 2012

sampling: Curél face pack

i've always loved hauling makeup and skincare but since i moved back to Singapore couple of years ago, i've never been more into it. not only because there are more brands here worth checking out for and cosmetics regularly hold sales/promotions, there are lots who also give out samples before you actually buy the product. and one day proding around facebook did i bump into Curél - distributed by Kao (a Japanese brand founded in 1887 and incorporated in 1940). to get sample pack of their face, body or hair line, you need to visit http://apps.facebook.com/curel-tip-the-sample/ and signup (Singapore address only.) you'll be asked of your preference from the three lines - my first choice was face and that's what arrived!

i appreciate that they have their own envelope for branding and better presentation than using usual brown mailers. i think that presentation/imaging is really inherent with Japanese brands.

some info and instructions how to use their products

Moisture Lip Care Stick

lately i've been getting hooked on lip care items (Burt Bee's Pomegranate Lip Balm, MOR Lip Macaron Cassis Noir, DIY Sugar Scrub) that this quickly got my attention. i haven't tried the sample yet but if i like it, i will add another lip care item in my stash!

UV Protection Face Milk

Moisture Face Milk

Moisture Lotion II

i'm not sure about you but for me, the product names kinda confused me - with products sharing the same words (moisture, milk). in the product list, you'll also find that there are 3 variants for Moisture Lotion - I, II, III. reading through the brochure also gave me the impression that this is most effective for use of someone with dry skin - which is opposite mine, oily. not a surprise, this ended up to someone else - i don't wish to look like a disco ball in broad daylight. this is what they also say in their website's (http://www.curel.com.sg) Q&A:

What types of skin care are Curél products suitable for?

Curél is a skincare series specially formulated for people who suffer from recurring dryness and sensitivity caused by external irritation. Curél products have high efficacy in retaining moisture in skin by protecting and replenishing ceramide. It helps to boost skin’s natural barrier function and defend against external irritations.

odd thing though, they say normal and oily skin can use it too.

Can Curél products be used on normal and oily skin?


me disagrees... from experience i can say that skin products are best used by skin types they are formulated for. i don't believe in skincare that says it can be used by all skin types.

they may also have realized that there will be a confusion on the naming of Moisture Lotion. in one of the Q&A items, they tried to address that:

How do I distinguish the uses between Moisture Lotion I, II, III, Moisture Face Milk, Intensive Moisture Cream, UV Protection Face Milk, and UV Protection Face Cream?

Moisture Lotion is suitable for those who prefer a rich hydrating experience, while Moisture Lotion I is suitable for those who prefer a light and refreshing moisturizing sensation. All three lotions provide the same moisturizing effect and can be selected based on personal preference.

When Moisture Face Milk is used regularly, Intensive Moisture Cream can be added to the moisturization regime for areas especially prone to dryness.

UV Protection Milk has a silky-light texture, which is suitable for those who perspire easily. UV Protection Face Cream provides a richer moisturizing effect, and is best used for areas of skin particularly prone to dryness.

overall, i must say that even though i've chosen not to try most samples they had to offer (due to skin incompatibility) i still loved their sampling service - from the time i signed up for it, how easy was that to do, how they even captured my preference, the presentation of the samples themselves and the cleanliness of the product packaging. i do hope they (either Curél or Kao) will come up with products for oily skin soon! then i'll definitely try them out - as what made me dive into Avene skincare previously as well. nevertheless, there are other items they carry that i might actually buy like the UV Protection Face Cream, Moisture Eye Zone Essence and the Moisture Lip Care Stick. i'll update you if i do try them out.

if you want more details and/or further updates from Curél, visit their website - http://www.curel.com.sg - and/or like their Facebook page - http://www.facebook.com/Curel.SG.

*disclaimer: i'm not paid to blog about Curél or Kao. this blog post is the result of my experience with their sampling service. the entirety of this entry is my sole and honest opinion.

15 May 2012

sale alert: Shiseido

calling all Shiseido fans and addicts!

ENJOY SHOPPING! - to those who are coming. i went to last year's (mid-November) - i got some great deals and discovered fab items, like their stick foundation and Ettusais' blush that am loving until now. i'm passing this sale though because i've blown out my monthly makeup budget at Luxola.com - i finally have the Deborah Lippmann Mermaid's Dream and Stairway to Heaven polishes, wohoo! (-^_^-)

hope you're having a wonderful day like moi! God bless you!

14 May 2012

Review: beautyblender pure

hello my dear readers! am so sorry for not blogging for a while. things are really just spinning and keeps on piling at the workplace. i'd like to make it up by doing a sponsored review. (-^_^-)

last month, i heeded Japalang's call for bloggers to test out beautyblender®. i almost didn't want to join because i still haven't used the one my sister gave me last time she was here in Singapore - i keep thinking how a waste it would be if it gets ruined by another cleanser other than blendercleanser®. but when i saw that they have another version - very strikingly resembling a real white egg - then i got curious and signed up! it's called beautyblender® pure™.

but first, let me share some background and product info of beautyblender® pure™ (i didn't know these until i read the blog press kit!):

Rea Ann Silva (www.reaannsilva.com) is the creator of the smashing beauty hit beautyblender® - appeared in InStyle, People, Elle, Seventeen, Allure, Vogue, Bazaar, O and several other magazines all over the world (www.beautyblender.net/press.html). Her experience in the beauty industry spans 20 years as one of the most sought after makeup artists in Hollywood. She's also a mother of two, which makes me admire her more - there really isn't any excuse to be not at our best selves ladies! Through her creation, she helps women, especially those on the go, to be ready with their makeup flawlessly, easily and quickly!

new beautyblender® pure™

A flawless look starts with the perfect canvas - clean, beautiful skin. Most of us have come to rely on the original beautyblender® - the iconic bright pink elliptically shaped, hi-definition cosmetic sponge - for picture-perfect makeup application. Celebrity makeup artist Rea Ann Silva is taking her expertise in creating the flawless face a step further with the launch of beautyblender® pure™.

beautyblender® pure™ utilizes the innovative shape, texture and material of the famed beautyblender® makeup sponge and strips it to its core to provide woman with the perfect tool for prepping their skin for makeup application. Ideal for at-home beauties and professional aestheticians alike, pure™ is designed to be used with moisturizers, eye treatment serums and lotions, makeup primers and makeup removers to be a truly hygienic, gentle way to ensure optimal use of the most advanced skin care products.

Our skin care routine is an investment and applying product with our fingers leaves for spotty coverage, less penetration of product in key areas around the eyes and nose and allows for dirt to travel over freshly cleansed skin.

Why beautyblender® pure™?
- shape: beautyblender®'s patent-pending elliptical shape makes application foolproof by allowing you to access hard-to-reach areas with stunning ease
- texture: its suede texture is sensual to the touch and its unique curves fit the contours of your face
- material: beautyblender® is latex-free, non-allergenic and odor free
- color: in celebration of nature's most perfect design - the egg - pure™ is clean and simple

How do you use pure™
- bounce pure™ against your face when applying makeup primers, eye treatments and moisturizing serums. bouncing, called stippling in the makeup world, blends product evenly onto the skin ensuring complete coverage
- use pure™'s pointed side for hard-to-reach spots like around the nose and mouth, and under the eyes
- use the round base on the larger areas of your face such as your forehead, cheeks and chin
- use pure™ damp when applying primer or skin care products or makeup. when pure™ is wet, it is normal for it to expand to nearly twice its original size. wash after use with the new solid cleanser and let air dry

did you know?
...that when wet the beautyblender® becomes twice it's size and even softer
...that when it air dries it goes back to it's original size
...that the beautyblender® is latex-free, totally odorless and hypoallergenic
...that your pedestal is the perfect place for the blender to air dry on your vanity
...that the beautyblender® can be used wet or dry; but the BEST results are when its used dampened
...that the smaller tip end is not only the best applicator for concealer under the eyes, around the nose, but also for achieving dramatic results with your eyeshadow
...that the beautyblender® can be used with all types of makeup, including loose powder and mineral makeup
...that the beautyblender® applies self tanning lotions without any streaks
...that with proper care, your blender will last 4 to 6 months
...that the soy based, lavender scented blendercleanser® was specially formulated to maintain the integrity of your beautyblender® and helps to make it last that long
...that the blendercleanser® is also a perfect cleanser for your favorite brushes

my thoughts:
- the color kinda intimidated me when i first used it as i was very concerned about leaving a stain later on. my fear was a bit true as even though it hasn't retained any stain yet, i think it didn't look as white as i originally got it. part of that could be because i didn't use the recommended blendercleanser® - i used Daiso detergent for puff and sponge instead (review on that later). still, it didn't browned or anything like that so i kinda can look past that.
- speaking of cleaning it, you have to carefully clean it. i made the mistake of squeezing on it too hard that some part of it sort of fell and i tore the pointy tip. not sure if it's because i used a non-recommended cleanser or due to my heavy handling, but i'm now sure to take extra care when cleaning it.
- i think the shape and it expanding to double the size really made a difference, as i was able to cut my foundation application in half the time it usually takes me - that's just brilliant! it also made the foundation look a lot smoother and polished compared to using a brush. i was just in awe the first time i noticed that!
- i like that this didn't irritate my skin and has no funny smell (i anticipated some rubbery smell)
- i've used this on liquid makeup primers and mineral/compact powder/cream foundation. i am convinced application is a lot better than how i used to do before!
- even though this beautyblender® is not recommended for makeup application, i still went ahead and used it  for such and i had no issues with it. maybe it will just stain the beautyblender® but so far, it's not happening (badly) yet.
- i haven't found a better way of drying this after washing but putting it in its pedestal. this was given to me in a box so it' a good thing my sis gave me one original beautyblender® with the pedestal. i tried drying this like how i dry my brushes (lay flat on table) but it took a longer time to do so.
- it may be a bit on the pricey side for a sponge, but if you look at it as an effective makeup applicator, i'd say this is a very good cosmetic investment!

my thoughts would be useless if i won't have before and after pics, so prepare your stomachs for my raw face haha! seriously, i just want to let you know that i don't have perfect skin (yes, i'm aware that i have syringoma all over my forehead and around my eyes as well as a wart and a few birthmarks/flat moles) and at the time i was testing this, my face is breaking out (due to stress at work!) so please bear with me if you can - if you cannot, please refrain from looking at the next pics haha! :-P and yeah, pardon the towel too as i just got out of the shower hehe!

my bare face, toned and moisturized (i didn't use beautyblender® pure™ yet because i still prefer using cotton - my current fave is RMK's "weaved" cotton - and my moisturizer is sprayed directly onto the face)

notice the discoloration on the different areas of my face - some have dark pigmentation, redness, pimples/blemishes and general uneven skintone

all damped up (doubled in size!) and ready for action!

after putting on makeup primers with beautyblender® pure™ (RMK Smoothing Polished Base on my nose and RMK Creamy Polished Base on the rest of the face)

do you agree that the discolorations of my face was evened out nicely - no obvious patches? i noticed that it was actually better to use beautyblender® pure™ to apply the primers as compared to my fingers. it looks a lot smoother and it's a lot less messy - no icky residue on the fingers!

after putting on mineral makeup (Joppa Full Coverage Medium Light #3 - loose powder foundation)

this is when i was really blown away - compared to applying this foundation with a flat top brush versus the beautyblender® pure™ (damp), this really gave me a polished look, i even skipped concealer for most of the smaller pimples/blemishes. i wasn't able to do that before, i always needed concealer for every single pimple/blemish. i tried getting the brush a bit wet before to apply the same loose powder foundation but it turned out to be messier so i never thought of applying it wet/damp before and with beautyblender® pure™, it was possible and delivered superb results! if you haven't guessed it yet, i am in love with this little cosmetic wonder!

with finishing powder (applied with a stipplish brush)

other times i've worn foundation using beautyblender® pure™ 
(all taken with iPhone, sorry if the quality is not that good)

if you are interested in purchasing one yourself to try, beautyblender® is exclusively distributed in Singapore by Japalang Pte Ltd (www.facebook.com/japalang) and only available at selected BHG stores and at online store Beauty Carousel (www.beautycarousel.com). there was a release of the limited edition beautyblender® pure™ kit (which consists of 1 beautyblender® pure™ sponge, 1 solid cleanser and 1 air bag) especially for BHG's 17th anniversary. it's available at a special price of S$59 (S$17 off) at BHG (Bugis/Clementi/Tampines/Bishan) from 6 April 2012 - while stocks last. i've still to check it out, as i'm curious with the other two items in the kit. if you are curious what are the details of this kit, check out the following:

the pure™ kit

the pure™ kit includes everything you need for your makeup and skin care application regimen both at home and on-the-go!

pure™ kit: 1 beautyblender® pure™ sponge, 1 solid cleanser, 1 air bag
retails at S$76

pure™ sponge

in celebration of nature's most "perfect design", the egg, we have stripped down the original beautyblender®, beauty's most perfectly designed modern marvel for makeup application, and came up with a product so simple and complex, yet complete.

pure™ is still the same amazing cosmetic applicator but without color.
retail price: TBC

solid cleanser

this travel friendly alternative to our original liquid beautycleanser provides the same cleansing results and soothing lavender fragrance for your beautyblender® applicators and makeup brushes.

retail price: TBC

air port

let your beautyblender® breathe!

this mesh pouch allows light and air to pass through, allowing your beautyblender® to dry thoroughly and completely while decreasing the amount of bacteria build up on your beautyblender® sponge.

it is the perfect travel companion for both your pure™ and solid products when you are on the go.
retail price: TBC

should you feel that you want to try the original beautyblender® instead, here is the price list:

single beautyblender® - S$29.90

the duo kit (2 original beautyblender®s) - S$39.90

starter kit (1 original beautyblender® and 1 5 oz. blendercleanser®) - S$49.90

double duo kit (2 original beautyblender®s and 1 5 oz. blendercleanser®) - not yet available in Singapore

do you own a beautyblender®? love it or hate it? spill it!

happy Monday everyone! God bless you!

*disclaimer: all opinion and thoughts about the mentioned product herein expressed are my own and not in any way influenced by the sponsor, Japalang Pte Ltd. the product was given to me to try, for my honest review thereafter.

P. S.
since i already own the original beautyblender®, i will post a separate review on that as well as use the beautyblender® pure™ for more ways it is intentionally to be used for and update this review. stay tuned!

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