Raving about makeup, skincare, hair and other little obsessions... A Beauty Blog

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Post-exam Lunch Date

My housemate/good friend, Ann-Marie and I had an exam on Thursday morning through till the early afternoon. When we were finally released, we excitedly changed our clothes, slapped on some makeup and made our way to a café about 15 minutes from where we live. Got there at exactly 2.30pm and the waiter said that the kitchen was closed and they were only going to serve coffee and cakes...

So what did we do? We whipped out our smartphones and started Google-ing and making phone calls to other cafés. We got hold of one that was willing to keep their kitchen open for us. The very smart barista suggested that we ordered our food over the phone so that they can whip it up while we were on our way. Then we hopped into the car and drove. And drove. And drove. It took us at least 20 minutes to get to the café. By the time we got there Ann-Marie was starving and my tummy was beginning to grumble.

The food was all ready for us when we arrived and the staff was very friendly. Plus points for them! We wolfed down our burgers, not just because we were hungry; it was also because it tasted really good! According to Anne-Marie, being a big coffee-drinker, their coffee was really smooth.


Isn't the café cute and beautiful? I think so. Anne-Marie brought her polaroid camera along so we couldn't resist taking some photos.

How would I rate this café? Four out of five stars for me. The prices were reasonable, the food was good and the staff was friendly. The only reason it lost one star is because I had to travel very far to get there. Hence, as sad as I have to say it, it is highly unlikely that I'd be returning to this place anytime soon.

What do you think of this post? Do you enjoy reading these types of post? If you do, great! 'Cause there will be more café adventures coming. For privacy reasons, I have intentionally omitted the name and location of this café. If you really want to find out, you can always shoot me an email and I'll give you all the details.

Have a wonderful Easter break!
Saturday, March 23, 2013

Heart Beauty Magazine Launch

Easter is less than a week away! Is everybody excited? I've been enjoying lots of hot cross buns, particularly chocolate ones, and easter eggs, MORE CHOCOLATE! Apart from the long weekend/school and uni holidays, there's one more thing we beauty lovers can look forward to... The release of Heart Beauty Magazine!

I don't know about you but everytime I pick up a magazine, be it Madison or Cosmo or Cleo, I always jump right to the back where all the beauty articles are. I just love reading them and can't get enough of them. I always wished that Australia had a beauty magazine, that wasn't mainly about cosmetic surgery that is. Something similar to Allure, you know? So you can imagine the thrill and joy I experienced when I heard of Heart Beauty Magazine's upcoming launch.

According to HBM, they are "dedicated to all things beautiful" and "will cover new beauty products and services, profile industry leaders and provide juicy feature stories written by beauty experts for beauty loves." I am really excited about their launch issue because it includes shoots with Australia's beloved and world renown make-up artist, Rae Morris! If you've read my review on her makeup books before, you'd know how much I love and admire her work and talent. Other features include Michael Wolff, Australia's leading and most established hair stylist and Rachel Montgomery, Australian Make-Up Artist of the Year 2011 & 2012.

So keep an eye out on the newstands this Easter. Copies sell for $8.95 each. Alternatively, you can subscribe at their website and get the first issue for free! Heart Beauty Magazine publishes quarterly but I am crossing my fingers that they will eventually switch to monthly for I need a regular and frequent dose of beauty!

Do you enjoy reading about beauty in magazines? Are you excited about HBM? Please do share your thoughts!
Saturday, March 16, 2013

Cedel Blow Dry Faster Heat Protector Review and How-to

Cedel Blow Dry Faster Heat Protector
Claims: two-in-one formula that reduces blow drying time while protecting your hair from the heat of your hair dryer.  
RRP: AUD7.99 
Packaging: 5 out of 5 
Review: I was very skeptical about this product when I first received it. It claims to reduce the blow drying time and I was dubious.  Normally, I take at least 15 minutes to dry my hair. The first time I tested the product, I shook the bottle, sprayed and proceeded to blow drying my hair. I did not feel any significant reduction in the drying time. The second time round, I still took 15 minutes to dry my hair. I started to think that this product was a total gimmick.

Despite my frustration and doubt, I decided to give the product another try. After all, as the saying goes, "third time's a charm". I picked up the bottle and took another look at the instructions at the back. Eureka! It finally hit me why this product wasn't working. I was skipping a vital step! I will get to that in a minute... 

Now, I am very impressed with this product. I used it again yesterday, following all the steps and it works. I took only 5 minutes to blow dry my hair. The best part is, it still leaves my hair smooth and soft (I was afraid that applying product to my hair would caked and crunch my strands up). Whoever invented it is a genius! I have a really heavy hair dryer. With this product, my arm no longer has to suffer every time I blow dry my hair. To me, this is the main feature of the product; the heat-protecting function is an added bonus.

I think the bottle is a very good size: easy to grip, hold up and spray at different angles. The price is reasonable and affordable. I recommend getting this product, especially if you're someone who leads a very busy/hectic lifestyle and need something that saves you time!

Here's how I blow dry my hair with Cedel Blow Dry Faster Heat Protector

Step 1 Shake the bottle. Then spray it all over your hair

 Step 2. The step I missed! The instruction says to take a comb and run it through your strands to evenly distribute the product. I don't own a comb, so I used a brush and ever-so-gently ran it through my hair. Remember, hair is weakest when it's wet, so please be gentle! 

Step 3 Proceed to blow drying! Note, this photo is only for show. That's not how I normally blow dry my hair. And you're done in 5 minutes! Well, for me anyway.


Do you know if any other products or tricks that reduce blow drying time? Please do share!
Saturday, March 9, 2013

Products I Dislike

I did not intend for this post to be such a negative one but I think it's a nice change from constantly posting "good"reviews all the time. And as I've mentioned in my disclaimer, the opinions that I expressed here are 100% my own. This post is no exception. However, to make this post less depressing, I will refrain from using the word "hate".

Products I Dislike (in no particular order) 

1. Neutrogena Deep Clean Gentle Scrub  
This product was (almost) an absolute waste of money for me. It does nothing for my pores; my blackheads remained perfectly intact even after several washes. The microbeads are way too abrasive for my liking; this scrub is anything but gentle.

2. Bourjois Smoky Eyes Palette
I know a lot of people love their palettes but I don't. I can only describe the eyeshadows as "super dry". No matter what brush I use, it's very hard to pick up any product and it's also very difficult to apply on my lids. I used the sponge tips provided and most of the eyeshadow are just stuck to it. When I tried swatching the product with my fingers, it's hypo-pigmented. 

3. Lancome Juicy Tubes
Lancome products in general are of high quality and standard. This lip gloss is very pigmented. Unforunately, it's very sticky and goopey. Whenever the wind blows and strands of my hair land smack into it, I literally have to peel my hair off the gloss. 

4. Clarins Hand and Nail Treatment Cream
I know I've featured this product in my Battle of the Hand Creams post. If you can recall, I've listed this as my least favourite hand cream. It is on my dislike list purely because I am "allergic" to its fragrance. Everytime, the scent hits my nose, I sneeze.

The next one may come as a shock to some of you. 

5. Lucas' Papaw Ointment
An Australian cult product, this was a favourite of mine for nearly a year. Then my lips started peeling and it would not stop. Every time I applied this product, it would temporarily seal the epidermis. A new layer would form and then peel again. I finally stopped using this product and switched to a Burt's Bees lip balm. The peeling stopped. That's when I knew it was no good for me. It's very sad. I very much wanted to continue loving this product but unfortunately, it's not for me.

Have you ever had similar experiences? What products don't work for you?
Monday, March 4, 2013

How I Made My (Asian) Hair Softer and Shinier

As hard as it is to believe, I've finally reached a beauty goal of mine! I've finally achieved softer and shinier hair despite my genetics dictating that I should have coarse, straight-like-sticks, Asian hair. This post isn't a tutorial because I don't have the universal answer for soft and shiny hair. I only know what works for me now. It may or may not work for you (because your hair and mine are not the same). Please take what I say as tips and hopefully they are helpful!

I've experimented with different shampoos over the past two years. Along with fighting back dandruff and poor attempts at preventing hair fall, I was also aiming for softer and smoother hair. I've always envied all the Caucasian women with their soft silky hair (particularly the blondes). My target was reached when I started using Clear Scalp & Hair Beauty Therapy Total Nourishing Care Shampoo and Conditioner consistently. Boy, that was a mouthful! I noticed my hair became a lot softer. Not as soft as those blonde ladies, of course. Genetics still holds me back. Nevertheless I was pleasantly surprised.

I've always made hair oil a part of my routine now. Currently, I'm using Dove Nutritive Therapy Nourishing Oil Care Nutri-oil Serum. What's with hair products and long names? I apply it once a day. I usually use it after I've washed and blow-dried my hair. It helps my hair stay soft and gives my strands a really nice shine without looking greasey/oily.

My tips
  • Keep trying different shampoos and conditioners if you can. I think the trick is to find the right one that works for your hair. Herbal Essences works for a good friend of mine and she has Asian hair too! 
  • I think hair oils/serums are important. You can't have soft and shinier hair with dry and malnourished locks! 
  • I only wash my hair twice a week, thrice at most. I think it's important to not over-wash. It allows your own natural scalp oils to nourish your hair (at the roots particularly).
  • I try to rinse my hair with cold water (or as cold as my body can stand it). I've read articles explaining that it closes the cuticles, making the hair shinier. 
I hope this post helps you in achieving your dream hair. Good luck! 

Do you have any hair softening or shining tips? Please do share!