Monday, September 26, 2011

Giveaway!! Win a $25 gift card from!!!

Apothica is a premium online beauty boutique whose list of brands seems to go on and on like Celine Dion. Between itself and its 2 partner sites, SkincareRX and Skinbotanica, it must surely carry every single beauty product known to (wo)mankind.
In addition to its impressive inventory, they also offer live help from licensed estheticians, a huge sale section and reasonable international shipping rates. U.S. orders over $49 even get free standard shipping!

Twas a sad sad day when Sephora decided to discontinue carrying Cargo Cosmetics. I was a huge fan of their LE eyeshadow palettes and heard good things about their Blu_Ray series of foundations. I looked forward to hoarding more of their products but alas the only other shop near me which stocks the brand don't seem to get any of their LE collections.
Luckily Apothica came to the rescue!
Look! Look! The Lumieres du Monde eyeshadow kit from the 2010 holiday collection! I lusted after this last year but it was nowhere to be found! Yet here it is on Apothica and for the bargain price of $18.50!!
The Cargo Liquid Powder $22. Something I've been curious about for the longest time; goes on as a liquid, finishes like a powder.
Another item I've been wanting to try; the CheekActivator $32
Apothica has very generously offered one lucky reader the chance to win a $25 gift card which can be spent at either Apothica, SkincareRX or Skinbotanica.
Simply do any one of the following to enter:

Option 1: Facebook
  1. Visit
  2. Write on Apothica’s Facebook wall about what you think of Apothica
    Opt in to Apothica’s Newsletter
Option 2:  Twitter
  1. Visit
  2. Tweet about Apothica on your own Twitter Account
    Bonus: Retweet Apothica’s tweet about this giveaway
Option 3:  Blog
  1. Visit
  2. Write something on your blog about what you think of Apothica
    Bonus: Write about the brand I highlighted and link it to Apothica
Then simply leave a comment at the bottom of this post letting me know which of the above you've done!
Contest is open internationally and ends on October 11, 2011.
Good Luck!!!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Win a weekend getaway for 2 to New York City courtesy of Kiehl's!

2011 marks the 160th Anniversary of Kiehl's. Yup, it's been 160 years since the very first Kiehl's Apothecary opened on Pear Tree Corner!
To mark this momentous event, Kiehl's has released 4 of their all time customer favourites in limited edition packaging:
 The collection features:
While this greasy pirate is personally on the oil-free version of the Ultra Facial range and loving it, I am told that the original Ultra Facial range works a treat for dry skin, and that the Calendula Toner smells like Crysanthemum tea...mmmm...Crysanthemum tea.
Even more exciting is the opportunity for Canadian Kiehl's fans to win a weekend getaway for 2 to New York City or their ultimate wish list of Kiehl's essentials! To enter, simply visit to participate in their "Send Kiehl's a Birthday Wish" contest.

Step 1: Publish a photo/video along with your birthday wishes for Kiehl's
Step 2: Create a wish list by choosing your favourite products (psst! may I suggest the Line Reducing Concentrate and the Midnight Recovery Concentrate?)
Step 3: Fill out a short contact form
Step 4: Share your Kiehl's birthday wishes on Facebook and Twitter, and sign up for the Kiehl's Canada newsletter!
New York, New York is where it all began for Kiehl's, and when yours truly is in the concrete jungle where dreams are made of come October, I shall make it a point to visit their flagship store.
Kiehl's Canada will also be hosting a series of exciting in-store events from tonight through September 30. Follow them on Twitter @KiehlsCA for updates!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Sponsored - EOS Adult Blue Circle Lenses

Shoppingholics kindly sponsored me with a pair of the EOS Adult Blue circle lenses for review.
I'm kind of a circle lens n00b, so please bear with me for this review.

Lens details:
Diameter : 14.0mm
Water Content : 38%
Base Curve : 8.6mm
Life Span : 1 year disposal

Shoppingholics is a Malaysian based online shop which stocks a large variety of Korean circle lenses and Asian beauty products. EOS, GEO, Candy Magic and Barbie Eye are just some of the brands of circle lenses that they carry. Shipping is extremely prompt; it took less than 2 weeks for my lenses to be delivered. The lenses come in an adorable box securely cushioned in bubble wrap. Shoppingholics also included a cute animal lens case and a pair of hair velcros.
The lenses themselves are slightly thicker than my regular Acuvue Oasys lenses but surprisingly comfortable. I was able to wear these lenses for 6hrs with no irritation.
There was very little to no enlargement of my pupils as these lenses don't have a dark limbal ring.
The colour varies between a dark navy in low lighting to a bright piercing sapphire in strong lighting. Of course, being Asian, there's no way blue lenses would look natural on me, but if you're looking for something striking to wear on a night out, or looking to dress up as a Fremen for Halloween (*gasp* is that a Dune reference?!) then these lenses would do it. Personally I quite like the way I look with these lenses, I just have to make sure I balance it out with the right amount of makeup xD
EOS Adult Blue vs. no lens

Do you like my new, even shorter haircut? xD
Products used:
My skin actually looks like crap right now but the Chanel Matt Lumiere is made out of something miraculous and manages to make me look somewhat acceptable. Lashes used are ES Clear Band lashes in A111 kindly sponsored by KKCenter review of those are coming up soon!
P.S. can someone please tell me whether or not my skin appears unnaturally orange in my photos? On my laptop they appear fine but on my work monitor I look like an oompa loomp. I don't know which one to trust T.T

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Sponsored - DHC Lip Cream Review

Artie Beauty kindly sent me the DHC Lip Cream a while back and I'm finally ready to write my review!
$8.99 from Artie Beauty
Promises to:
"Blended with emollients, including squalane and aloe, this formula is amazingly smooth-gliding. Free radical neutralizers in olive oil and vitamin E defend against feather line creators and collagen deflators. Lips receive long-lasting moisture, look less rough, and feel undeniably more luscious."
lanolin oil, caprylic/capric triglyceride, euphorbia cerifera (candelilla) wax/candelilla cera/cire de candelilla, lanolin, beeswax/cera alba/cire d’abeille, stearic acid, olea europaea (olive) fruit oil, squalane, pentylene glycol, panax ginseng root extract, aloe barbadensis leaf extract, tocopherol, phenoxyethanol, stearyl glycyrrhetinate
My lips went through hell this Summer; first they'd burn, then they'd itch, and finally they'd peel - in chunks. Then once the peeling was finally over, it'll start all over again. 
I also ended up with a free trout pout because the skin around my lips got so irritated and swollen from the peeling.
In the end I had to resort to applying 2% hydrocortisone cream to my lips, and while that kept the itching and peeling at bay for as long as I kept applying it, the moment I stopped it'll all come back. 
Burn, itch, peel. Rinse and repeat.
Since hydrocortisone is a steroid hormone and not intended for long term use, I had to look for a safer alternative.
I was quite skeptical about the DHC Lip Cream as I'd tried just about every other lipbalm out there to relieve my peeling lips with no avail, however, it proved me wrong.
The DHC Lip Cream doesn't heal like the hydrocortisone, but it does prevent the vicious cycle from restarting once my lips are healed. On application, it forms a protective barrier against any further loss of moisture and also leaves my lips soft and glossy. 
I especially love how the lip cream comes packaged like that of a sleek lipstick instead of those fiddly plastic tubes that most lipbalms come in. 
While the price is a bit high, this has definitely made HG status for me.
Flakey dry lips:
 After DHC Lip Cream:

Friday, September 16, 2011

Weekend getaway - Harrison Hot Springs

My apologies for the humdrum and gathering dust on this here blog this past week. It was kinda sorta our anniversary so Mr. Nunu and I snuck away for a few days of much needed quiet time.
Harrison is located in the Fraser Valley about a 90mins drive from downtown Vancouver. The picturesque village is famous for its natural hot springs and for being the home of the Sasquatch - yes as in Bigfoot.
While there, we did as little as possible, venturing outside only in search of food or for a sunnier spot to flop down our embarrassingly pale city dweller bottoms. We came back looking like Dr. Zoidberg and a bit uncertain as to how to operate a rice cooker.
The resort that we stayed in had 3 outdoor and 2 indoor spring fed pools. The water temperature varied between 26C to 40C. We basically hopped from one pool to the next until we got tired at which point we just lolled about on the lounge chairs. Yes it was a blissful few days.
The weather was absolutely gorgeous during our stay:

We stayed at the Harrison Resort and Spa:
This backdrop of woody mountains was our view:
 Yes I actually managed to get a tan! I no longer look like a corpse!
 I managed to sneak a photo of the indoor pool when no one else was there xD
We ate at the Crazy Fish Bistro on our first night. The food was a bit pricey but since it's a tourist area that's to be expected. The fish was a bit dry and overcooked imho but the crab cakes were amazing!
Crab cakes:
Crazy Fish Hot Pot:
 Trout fillet (yes that is a piece of grilled watermelon xD):
 Next meal was at the Wild Cat Grill. Casual food but pretty tasty and the prices were unbeatable!
Crab stuffed mushroom. Yes there's mushrooms under all that cheese!
 This is called a "Silly Billy" and it consists of 2 breaded veal cutlets topped with mushrooms on a baguette:
 I had the "Cat's Meow" which was a rotisserie chicken breast with pesto sauce and baked with cheese...mmmm cheese.
Those on my Twitter were regaled with my breakfast in this....uh....charmingly quaint "restaurant". Dude I saw someone smash a pie for breakfast. An apple pie.
 This is the Canuck version of "eggs & bangers":
We then decided to take an impromptu hike...
 signs of Autumn:
 To the beautiful Bridal Veil Falls:
 Very aptly named no?
 Just so you know, I climbed all the way up in flip flops!!! I nearly died ok.
 I leave you with this photo of me breaking the law:
Regular posts resumes next week.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Sana Konuka Bubble Face Wash Review

$10.99 at Artie Beauty or $11.40 on Sasa
Promises to:
"Sana Konuka Bubble Face Wash is a velvety face wash which can remove dirt thoroughly. With nano-particles of high purified rice Ceramide which is rich in vitamins and minerals, leaves the skin clean, soft, moist and transparent.
Sana Konuka Bubble Face Wash also protects the skin and improves its immunity against impurities. Gentle to skin, no fragrance, no coloring and no mineral oil are added."
I'm on a Sana kick lately. You can't blame me, as they have some seriously awesome products at very budget friendly prices.
I picked up the Sana Konuka Bubble Face wash because I've been intrigued with face wash nets for a while but being too lazy to create my own foam, it seemed like the next best thing xD.
The Sana Konuka face dispenses as a thick foam thanks to a special dispenser nozzle. The only other foam cleanser I've tried was the Aveeno Foaming Cleanser and compared to the Aveeno, the Sana foam is less dense and retains more of a "bubble" quality whereas the Aveeno produces thick dense foam that feels not dissimilar to shaving foam.
I've heard that some find the Sana too harsh and leaves their skin feeling tight, so those with sensitive or ultra dry skin might want to avoid it. On my combination skin it gives me that "squeaky clean" feeling which I quite enjoy for Summer xD.
As you can see in my little experiment below, the ability of either foam cleansers to remove makeup is quite shite hence I only use it in the morning when I don't have any makeup on.
Overall, I like the Sana Konuka Bubble Face wash and the novelty of washing my face with bubbles amuses me greatly but being the lazy, can't-be-bothered-with-two-different-cleansers type, I don't think I would repurchase this.

Left: Sana Konuka Bubble Face Wash. Right: Aveeno Foaming Cleanser

Assortment of waterproof and non-waterproof makeup:
After Sana Konuka Bubble Face Wash:
After Aveeno Foaming Cleanser

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Sleek Pout Polish Review

I got some pretties in the mail courtesy of the generosity that is Vicky:
Sleek Pout polish in Monte Carlo; Electric Peach and Pink Cadillac:
Swatches from left: Monte Carlo; Electric Peach; and Pink Cadillac
Monte Carlo:
Electric Peach:
Pink Cadillac:
and for comparison, MAC Pink Fish:
$6.50 from Sleek
Promises to:
"A tinted lip conditioning balm formulated with natural oils such as Almond Oil, Shea Butter, Avocado Extract and Vitamin A, C and E to help condition the lips and lock in moisture. It also includes SPF15 to help protect the lips from sun exposure. Using a lip brush or fingers, apply a small amount to the upper and lower lips for a sheer wash of colour and gloss. 10g"
Ascorbyl Palmitate; Avocado Oil; Bis-Diglyceryl Polyacyladipate-2; Black Iron Oxide (CI 77499); Butyl Methoxydibenzoylmethane; Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter); Diisostearyl Malate; Ethylhexyl; Methoxycinnamate; Ethylhexyl Palmitate; Jojoba Oil; Methylparaben; Microcrystalline wax; Miristyl Lactate; Octocrylene; Polyisobutene; Propylparaben; Prunus Amgdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond Oil); Red 29 AL Lake (CI45410); Red 7 Ca Lake (CI 15850); Red Iron Oxide (CI 77491); Retinyl Palmitate; Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891); Tocopheryl Acetate; Triticum Vulgare (Wheat Germ Oil); Yellow Iron Oxide (CI 77492)
This is Sleek's $6.50 answer to MAC's $18 Tinted Lip Conditioner. Both are are potted balms that offer moisture, SPF15, and colour in one swipe. The Pout Paints are, however, far superior in pigmentation. In my test run, each application lasted at least 3 hours as long as I didn't eat. They also stained my lips so that fading wasn't as obvious.
The finish of the PPs are also much glossier and more akin to that of a lipgloss. I'm also happy that the finish is non-sticky! Texture wise it is creamy and moisturising.
The only thing that takes marks off is the packaging; potted balms are not the most convenient on-the-go and some would balk about the hygiene factor.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

NYX HD Studio Photogenic Foundation review

"Our most advanced foundation uses light-diffusing ingredients that render skin smooth, poreless and flawless—even under most high-definition technology. HD Studio Photogenic Foundation is also infused with tri-peptides that promote collagen production, reduce the appearance of wrinkles and help rejuvenate skin. Ideal makeup for everyday use, professional shoots or anytime you’re in the spotlight."
$15 on and For Canadians, NYX is also available at Save-on-Foods, Rexalls and Pharmasave.
Deionized Water, Cyclopentasiloxane, Diethylhexyl Maleate, Butylene Glycol, CETYL PEG/PPG-10/1 Dimethicone, Cyclopentasiloxane/Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate, Dimethicone, Kaolin, Sodium Chloride, Orbignya Oleifera Seed Oil , Sorbitan Olivate, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Sorbitan Sesquioleate, Dimethicone/Vinyl Dimethicone crosspolymer, Cyclomethicone/Dimethiconol, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Polymethyl Methacrylate, Phenoxyethanol, Triethoxycaprylylsilane, Propylene carbonate, Chlorphenesin, Fragrance, Hydrogenated Vegatable Oil, Dimethicone/Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Silica, Alumina, VP/VA Copolymer, Hydroxypropyl Methylcellulose, C12-14 Pareth-7 , Amodimethicone, Adipic acid/ Neopentyl Glycol Crosspolymer , Salicornia Herbacea Extract, Copper Peptide-1, Acetyl Hexapeptide-8,and  Palmitoyl Pentapeptide-4. MAY CONTAIN: Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Mica (CI 77019), Zinc Oxide (CI 77947), Yellow Iron Oxides (CI 77492), Red Iron Oxides (CI 77491), or Black Iron Oxides (CI 77499).
I picked up this foundation at IMATS purely based on Temptalia's review. It was around $11 ($15 regularly) and she compared it favourably to the MUFE HD Foundation. I seem to have a chronic allergy to everything that MUFE makes, I'm not sure why, but everything I've tried from MUFE either breaks me out, gives me the itchies or burns T.T. Total sadness.
The foundations come packaged in a plastic pump bottle. The pump is top notch and doesn't clog up or have dispensing issues. I'm kinda meh over the plastic bottle but I guess it's good for travelling.
There are a total of 8 shades available and I picked up shade 01 and 02. I had to get both because neither one on its own would match my NC15 going on to NC20 skin tone. The shades in the range vary schizophrenically between being pink and yellow based. Shades 01, 03, 06 and 07 are pink based and shades 02, 04, 05 and 08 are yellow based. This wouldn't be such a big problem if only there wasn't such a huge difference between the shades of the same base. In addition there are also no colours suitable for darker ladies.
Swatches from top: 01 Nude and 02 Soft Beige
01 Nude and 02 Soft Beige blended out:
As you can see from the swatches, shade 01 is a very light pink based ivory that is much too light for my Summer skin but would probably be perfect for me in the Winter. Shade 02 is a much darker yellow based beige, it's around the NC20 zone and is currently a match for me.
Without foundation:
With NYX HD Studio foundation on:

Coverage is medium and buildable. As you can see it evened out my skin and covered most of the redness and blemishes. The foundation is a bit runny so you need to pay a bit more attention to application or risk streakiness. The finish is a bit dewy, not overly so that you look greasy, but just dewy in a very natural way.
I have no idea if it's really HD quality but the formula is SPF free so at least you won't get a funny white cast if you take flash photographes.
On me the foundation lasts around 6-8hrs before fading around my T-zone.
With flash:
With powder on top (I swear I am not really this disgustingly pale, it's just the lighting T.T):
After approximately 10 hours of wear blotting once:
Overall, a very good foundation for $15 if you can find your shade!